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Russophobia as the new politically-correct anti-Semitism

In memory of Professor Stephen F. Cohen (1938-2020)

It would be wrong to say that Blacks or Jews are "genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor" But you can make similar claims about Russians – no problems. Sociopathic Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) is the leitmotiv of US foreign policy toward Russia and is dictated by "Full spectrum Dominance" doctrine: nothing personal only business. In reality, this is gaslighting the US population for pretty nefarious purposes.

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links British roots of US Russophobia Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine Cold War II Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukrainegate
NeoMcCartyism NSC -- a sinister organization that controls the President and ensures militarization of the USA foreign policy Demonization of Putin Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Perfidious Albion Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak and emailgate Anti-Russian hysteria as a method of suppressing of dissent against neoliberalism and militarism
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning Russia fight for multipolarity History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Magnitsky case Nulandgate The Rape of Russia Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump Putin-did-it fiasco Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
USA-Russia Gas War British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Post-Russiagate remorse -- Russiagate as the second Iraq WDM fiasco Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Pussi Riot Provocation Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Russiagate: Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Neoliberal Compradors Navalny's Saga Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss The Real War on Reality Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Economics of Peak Energy The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Brain Drain American Exceptionalism Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Soft propaganda

They told Gorbachev, 'We promise if you agree to a reunited Germany in NATO, NATO will not move-this was Secretary of State James Baker-one inch to the east. In other words, NATO would not move from Germany toward Russia. And it did.

The degradation of mainstream American press coverage of Russia, a country still vital to US national security, has been under way for many years. If the recent tsunami of shamefully unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles in leading newspapers and magazines - particularly about the Sochi Olympics, Ukraine and, unfailingly, President Vladimir Putin - is an indication, this media malpractice is now pervasive and the new norm. The Nation (February 12, 2014)

What Putin came to power to do was to modernize Russia, and that does not involve a cold war with the West. Period. End of story. That's his mission. He wants to go down in history as the man who did this. Cold war, not to mention hot war, is spoiling what he sees as his mission.

When Putin began talking about Russia's sovereignty, Russia's independent course in world affairs, they're (the Washington elites) aghast... This is not what they expected... Putin was kind of the right person for the right time, both for Russia and for Russian world affairs.

The people who created Russiagate are literally saying, and have been for almost three years, that the president of the United States is a Russian agent, or he has been compromised by the Kremlin. I don't know if there has ever been anything like this in American history... That accusation does such damage to our own institutions, to the presidency, to our electoral system, to Congress, to the American mainstream media, not to mention the damage it's done to American-Russian relations, the damage it has done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today. This whole Russiagate has not only been fraudulent, it's been a catastrophe.

Professor Stephen F. Cohen (Nov 25, 1938 – Sep 18, 2020)


The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were influenced by late Professor Stephen F. Cohen whom I really admire and follow. The US neoliberal elite became unhinged and adopted "Full Spectrum Domination" doctrine after the collapse of the USSR. That did not play well nether for the US national security nor the world, to say nothing about Russia. The real 101 on this topic are two his presentations:

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia. Actually it is more about American exceptionalism and imperialism (and for of all Full spectrum Dominance doctrine). That's why neocons, who are well paid prostitutes of MIC, are such rabid Russophobes. In more way then one it is a modern politically correct version of anti-Semitism practiced by the USA neoliberal elite.

Like anti-Semitism it is a wedge issues, which enhances the level social control of US population and suppression of dissent, which now can be framed as "Russian agents" in best McCarthyism traditions (NeoMcCartyism ).

Amy scapegoating of the particular nations/ethnicity is very similar, almost identical in sprit to anti-Semitism. In the definition below I just replaced terms in Wikipedia definition of Anti-Semitism:

Russophobia is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Russians. A person who holds such positions is called an Russophobe. Russophobia is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.

Russophobia may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Russians...

Here is another "adapted" definition (from The UK s Labor Party and Its Anti-Semitism Crisis) The definition states:

"Russophobia is a certain perception of Russians, which may be expressed as hatred toward Russians. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Russophobia are directed toward Russian or non-Russian individuals and/or their property, toward Russian community institutions and religious facilities."

The uncontroversial "illustrations" of Russophobia:

Scapegoating is an important part of the neoliberal Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda. Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and was evoked as a defensive tool when the neoliberal elite experienced the loss of legitimacy as happened in 2016. As ROB URIE noted in his Russiagate, Nazis, and the CIA (Jul 31, 2020) CIA was Russophobic organization from the very beginning and it infects the USA political establishment with Russophobia more effectively then COVID-19 infects US population:

The first Cold War was an imperial business enterprise to keep the Generals, bureaucrats, and war materiel suppliers in power and their bank accounts flush after WWII. Likewise, the American side of the nuclear arms race left former Gestapo and SS officers employed by the CIA to put their paranoid fantasies forward as assessments of Russian military capabilities. Why, of all people, would former Nazi officers be put in charge military intelligence if accurate assessments were the goal? The Nazis hated the Soviets more than the Americans did.

The ideological binaries of Russiagate -- for or against Donald Trump, for or against neoliberal, petrostate Russia, define the boundaries of acceptable discourse to the benefit of deeply nefarious interests. The U.S. has spent a century or more trying to install a U.S.-friendly government in Moscow. Following the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, the U.S. sent neoliberal economists to loot the country as the Clinton administration, and later the Obama administration, placed NATO troops and armaments on the Russian border after a negotiated agreement not to do so . Subsequent claims of realpolitik are cover for a reckless disregard for geopolitical consequences.

...Russiagate is the nationalist party line in the American fight against communism, without the communism. Charges of treason have been lodged every time that military budgets have come under attack since 1945. In 1958 the senior leadership of the Air Force was charging the other branches of the military with treason for doubting its utterly fantastical (and later disproven) estimate of Soviet ICBMs. Treason is good for business.

Shortly after WWII ended, the CIA employed hundreds of former Nazi military officers, including former Gestapo and SS officers responsible for murdering tens and hundreds of thousands of human beings , to run a spy operation known as the Gehlen Organization from Berlin, Germany. Given its central role in assessing the military intentions and capabilities of the Soviet Union, the Gehlen Organization was more likely than not responsible for the CIA's overstatement of Soviet nuclear capabilities in the 1950s used to support the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Former Nazis were also integrated into CIA efforts to install right wing governments around the world.

...To understand the political space that military production came to occupy, from 1948 onward the U.S. military became a well-funded bureaucracy where charges of treason were regularly traded between the branches. Internecine battles for funding and strategic dominance were (and are) regularly fought. The tactic that this bureaucracy -- the 'military industrial complex,' adopted was to exaggerate foreign threats in a contest for bureaucratic dominance. The nuclear arms race was made a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the U.S. produced world-ending weapons non-stop for decades on end, the Soviets responded in kind.

...The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 was met with a promised reduction in U.S. military spending and an end to the Cold War, neither of which ultimately materialized. Following the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the Cold War entered a new phase. Cold War logic was repurposed to support the oxymoronic 'humanitarian wars' -- liberating people by bombing them. In 1995 'Russian meddling' meant the Clinton administration rigging the election of Boris Yeltsin in the Russian presidential election. Mr. Clinton then unilaterally reneged on the American agreement to keep NATO from Russia's border when former Baltic states were brought under NATO's control .

The Obama administration's 2014 incitement in Ukraine , by way of fostering and supporting the Maidan uprising and the ousting of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, ties to the U.S. strategy of containing and overthrowing the Soviet (Russian) government that was first codified by the National Security Council (NSC) in 1945. The NSC's directives can be found here and here . The economic and military annexation of Ukraine by the U.S. (NATO didn't exist in 1945) comes under NSC10/2 . The alliance between the CIA and Ukrainian fascists ties to directive NSC20 ....

The recent example of Russophobia in the USA was neo-McCarthyism campaign which was nicknamed "Russiagate", which represents classic gaslighting of the population strategy. A common tactic used to promote the Russiagate narrative was unnamed officials making statements to the press without providing evidence or any factual basis to their claims. Another common tactic was frequent media appearances by former intelligence officials, like James Clapper and John Brennan, usually making wild accusations about Trump and Russia. These tactics are being repeated to promote an anti-China narrative.

The loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite which resulted in political fiasco of the establishments candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- is why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream with all major neoliberal MSM promoting it with the level of coordination that might cause some envy of stalwarts of Bolsheviks press.

Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in 70th. It's like boy who cried wolf: people just stop trust neoliberal media and this process already started in 2019 with Rachel MadCow being one of the first victim: she lost half a million viewers (may be temporary, as she is a talented demagogue, but still).

The current crisis of neoliberalism and discreditation of neoliberal ideology (2008 and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) created conditions in which reinventing "Red Scare" again became important, as a tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population and crushing the dissent.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome. USA elite inherited it from British elite. In this sense the current US neoliberal empire can be called the Western British Empire (the term which creates several interesting historical analogies, including its possible length of existence ;-)

American neoliberal elite like the British elite before now badly need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophobia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent. Another goal is to prevent the alliance of Germany and Russia -- which was the goal of British foreign policy for two centuries.

The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world. And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of US population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them. Like with Voice of America in the past, it is not necessary to buy Russian propaganda to see where neoliberal MSM completely distort the world event and hide important information. For those purposes RT can serve perfectly well.

Russophobia as Freudian projection of the behaviour of the US neoliberal elite and the US intelligence services

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would also consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing anti-Semitism. Kind of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct) nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency.

There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations). Now they probably might understand better what it means to be the target of anti-Semitism. As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of a complete vassal of the USA, the role that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR. And the role which was temporary Russia performed under drunk Yeltsin.

In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order -- the global neoliberal empire led by the USA. That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to global "neoliberal project" -- neoliberal World Revolution (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate.

Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind cliché used by German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory as well as WikiLeaks depiction of the USA war crimes.

The hatred of Russia as "a new normal" for the USA political elite, as it was for the British elite in the past

The hatred of Russia now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM. It actually seves as a pretty good smokescreen for the loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries as Btitish empire considers Russia as a threat to British interwsts in India and the region :

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public's "antipathy toward Russia" as the "most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad."

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite-and was off base, anyway, since Britain's foreign policy was actually "more provocative than Russia's" in this period. Others concur. "The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,"

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonably and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation.

Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation. Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen by the CIA in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia. But those were exception, rather then the rule. Probably the memory of the WWII and the level of cooperation of two countries in this war as allies still played some role in such restrain.

But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power. This new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour.

This adventurism backfired. This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright). they failed to utilize pro-USA fe4elings of the Russian population after the dissolution of the USA. Should the USA adopt the Marshall plan for Russia those feelings would be preserved. But the Clinton administration decided to loot Russia and concert it into a vassal state. That was a strategic mistake, although looting succeeded on a really grand stale (several trillions were stolen) with the help of Harvard mafia and Russian compradors. The instituted shock therapy for the Russian economics which plunged it into depression which was worse thatn the one which was coursed by the Germany aggression in WWII. Many important enterprises went bankrupts, other were bought by foreign investors for pennies on the dollar (Browder was one notable example of this "looting gang" that descended on Russia at the time; Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and other Jewish oligarchs were another important players in this looting)

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy) and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban.

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstained in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died"). Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 just to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise. And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy, which was dutifully continued by Trump administration (actually the USA foreign policy does not depend of who is in power as the President and who is the Secretary of State; it is controlled by the Deep State -- forces outside elected executive branch and which consist of MIC, intelligence agencies and the Wall Street (financial oligarchy) as well as created by then think tanks such and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)).

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. Gorbachov is generally considered in Russia as a traitor of the nation. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it).

But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative. After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated and "Athlantists" group enough Russian neoliberal elite lost a lot of influence and became politically ostracized. . In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years. That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends.

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the US domination. That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA. This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite. This view only became stronger under Trump administration.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer" strategy of British Empire, might be a geopolitical mistake despite short term dividends this action brought to the USA geopolitical position in the region. It also increase the changes of WWIII, which definitely would mean end of the USA as the global empire and probably as a country (the same is true for Russia -- both countries will be completely devastated)

Neocons as the owners of the USA foreign policy. Full Spectrum Dominance mantra

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs.

That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat". Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.

The role of skepticism toward neocon propaganda

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment). I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I'm a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it's the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country-favorable or unfavorable-shouldn't dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today's heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America's most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end-if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program-is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia-on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators-will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the "Russia Is Doomed" syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect -

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That's the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev's actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit' druzhno" (Let's be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What's the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia's official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can't abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That's a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That's where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it's not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you're right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It's funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it's Russia that's held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There's no reason foreign companies shouldn't have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We'll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the "anglo" reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the "zionist" reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term "zionist" referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don't want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people's of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world's "left" – or whatever remains of it - would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality."

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia


Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjŕ vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of "prisoners of conscience" was created from academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine-all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul's analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen's entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual's capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man's mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual's indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda's grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members' behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual's way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don't are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda's intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual's Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual's part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda's ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual's personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members' behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008 neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection.

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get. See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.

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[Apr 30, 2021] Around 80% of Russia oil wells will be in serious decline for the rest of this decade.

Apr 30, 2021 |

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 2:12 pm

A bit more about Russia. Dennis first posted this link a couple of weeks ago. It has a wealth of information. It was published in September 2019 . The Future of Russian Oil Production in the Short, Medium, and Long Term

They published another paper in 2017 predicting Russian production would hit 11,268,000 bpd in 2018. They did not quite make it but they did average 11,252,000 bpd in 2019. They predicted Russia to peak at 11.5 million bpd in 2020.

In our 2017 paper we identified that projects already in the pipeline, combined with efforts to slow the
natural decline of brownfields, could push oil production from an average of below 11 mb/d in 2016 to
around 11.5 mb/d by 2020 before going into gradual decline towards 2025.

Of course, the pandemic hit and kept that from happening. But from their 2019 paper, linked above, concerning brownfield management:

However, the success to date can be seen in the performance of six of the country's largest production companies, all of which are subsidiaries of the Russian oil majors. (These majors) have demonstrated a combined average rate of decline of 2 percent per annum over the past decade, compared to a natural decline rate for fields in West Siberia of around 10-15 percent per annum.

Massive infill drilling has gotten their brownfield decline down from a natural decline rate of 10-15 percent to 2 percent. But they do not believe this decline rate can be held:

An additional concern is that our long-term forecast for brownfield decline, of 2-3 percent per annum,
may be too optimistic if the current performance cannot be maintained as fields move further into their
final years

And they say, concerning the below chart", bold mine.

Figure 10 below. As can be seen, the overall output figure in 2030 of just over 8 mb/d is close to the "Brownfield+2 per cent" case in the corporate analysis above, implying that the regional analysis assumes a more normal decline curve for average oilfields in Russia. In other words, it confirms that the corporate analysis assumes continued technology progression, especially in slowing the brownfield decline, and therefore it is important to assess how this may be achieved. Indeed, an overall question is how can the Russian oil industry
achieve the target set for it by the Ministry of Energy of maintaining production at 550 mm tonnes per
annum (11.05 mb/d) until the end of the next decade? In other words, will the Russian oil sector be
able to fill a 2.5 mb/d gap by 2030, particularly when it seems that its major producing regions (West
Siberia and the Volga-Urals) will be in permanent decline by then?

What they are saying here is there may be serious problems with the Ministry of Energy's production goals. They seem to doubt it. Their brownfield production, (West Siberia and the Volga-Urals) shown in blue in the chart below, was about 80 percent of total Russian production in 2018 and 2019. Hey, 80% of their production will be in serious decline for the rest of this decade. Does anyone really believe the small fields they are finding in the East Siberian Arctic will replace that?

RATIONALLUDDITE IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 6:39 pm

Terrific post. Thanks Ron. I like the candidness of the Russians on important issues. Far more realistic than EIA et al elevation of "wishful thinking" to the status of "data".

OVI IGNORED 04/25/2021 at 11:42 pm


I totally disagree with this statement, which is very commonly made by too many.

" I suspect that combustion-only vehicles will only make a small percent of new vehicles sales by 2030, but it will take a long time to retire the current fleet of combustion-only vehicles throughout the world. "

Last week Honda said that by 2030. they were expecting their vehicles sales to be 40% EVs. While I certainly respect their decision, which is less ambitious and more conservative than other auto manufacturers, let's just do a quick and simple calculation to see what this really means.

US EV sales, BEVs plus PHEVs, in 2020 were close to 2%. So how much of a yearly rate increase in sales do we need to get to 40% in 10 years. How about 2*(1.3493^10) = 40. So EV sales have to increase at the rate of a shade less than 35% each year to get to 40% by 2030. Recent trends have been closer to 10% and slowing.

I think 40% by 2040 is more realistic. That would only take a 16% annual increase to get to 40% and even that may be a stretch.

[Apr 29, 2021] Crisis in American expertise- Washington has a dangerous destructive pattern of willful ignorance on Russia by Natylie Baldwin

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations. ..."
"... in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador. ..."
"... Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia. ..."
"... Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these. ..."
"... importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging ..."
"... the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned ..."
"... the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda. ..."
Apr 29, 2021 |
The rejection of Matthew Rojansky's candidacy as a Russia adviser to Joe Biden represents an escalation, and not a departure, from a pervasive bipartisan American pattern of dangerous ignorance about Russia in the post-Soviet era.

It was reported last week that Joe Biden's government would not be hiring Rojansky, of the Kennan Institute think tank, to help form policy towards Russia. Though the analyst is known as a moderate realist regarding Russia issues – in other words, he is not a virulent anti-Moscow ideologue – he was considered too controversial to be allowed a hearing during White House deliberations on policy regarding the world's largest country.

Rojansky's sin? Unlike many of the current crop of foreign policy officials, he actually has some expertise and experience on the subject.

While the scholar's fate may be a glaring and extreme example of an anti-Russia mindset in Washington that is counterproductive, it represents only a new low, and not a change from a pervasive bipartisan pattern in the post-Soviet era.

Those who aspire to, or attain, the most powerful executive position in the United States have shown a disturbingly willful ignorance of Russia. I learned from a former State Department official that, in response to a renowned Russia expert attempting to brief presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2016, the self-described democratic socialist "showed little interest or knowledge about US-Russia relations and the attendant dangers of a new cold war." Instead, Sanders was ultimately content to mimic the juvenile and Manichean "democracies versus authoritarians" model of international relations.

Similarly, an American business executive told me that, during a lunch with him and other leaders of commerce at the US Embassy in Moscow in 2012, then-Vice President Joe Biden showed no interest in his interlocutors' suggestions that it was in the US' best interests to partner with Russia after they offered social, economic, and strategic justifications for their view.

Biden seemed to see the meeting as an opportunity to lecture on his position rather than to learn or seek insight on Russia.

Moreover, once a US president is in power, the advisers that are appointed to counsel the commander in chief about Russia have been less than impressive from the 1990s onward. Condoleezza Rice served as an expert in the George Bush Senior administration and was wrong about the impending collapse of the Soviet Union. During her stint as secretary of state in the second term of the junior Bush administration, her Russian counterparts who spent significant time with her made the observation that Rice was "a Soviet expert, and not a Russia expert."

There was little improvement in the Obama era, as mediocre academics like Celeste Wallander were given positions on the National Security Council, and an ideologue like Michael McFaul was bizarrely appointed as ambassador.

According to investigative journalist Gareth Porter, advisers to Obama were so utterly incompetent that those serving in the administration really didn't think Russia had the ability or inclination to counter Washington's provocative actions in Syria, and therefore they did not plan for that possibility. This incompetence was also highlighted by Obama's public comments to the Economist in 2014, in which he claimed that Russia didn't make anything, immigrants didn't go there, and male life expectancy was 60 years – three claims that anyone with actual expertise on Russia should have easily known were false.

In fact, at that point, Russia was the second most popular migration destination in the world, after America itself, while average lifespans have been converging with those of the US over the past decade. As for manufacturing, Obama said these words at a time when the US, for instance, was totally reliant on Russian rockets for access to space, having retired its own unreliable Space Shuttle fleet. If he had access to a competent adviser on the subject, would he have made these mistakes?

Under Biden – who caved to pressure from the foreign policy blob to not appoint Rojansky – the advisers who are in place or in line, including Jake Sullivan , Antony Blinken , Madeleine Albright/Hillary Clinton adviser Wendy Sherman, the German Marshall Fund's Karen Donfried , and State Department nominee Victoria Nuland represent more of the same dangerous ineptitude and strident thinking. Many of these advisers, like their predecessors, have little on-the-ground experience with contemporary Russia.

Neoconservative ideologue Nuland, of course, is a slightly different case in that she has put her boots on the ground in the region. Unfortunately, that experience includes facilitating the dangerously divisive 2014 coup in Ukraine, without which Crimea would still be in Ukraine and the Donbass would be at peace. Competent officials would have warned Obama and Biden that the Maidan would lead to consequences like these.

It takes a special kind of hubris for the US political class to keep thinking they can get away with this level of sloppiness in understanding the world's other nuclear superpower – a country so massive that it straddles two major continents and is the sixth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity – without serious consequences. At what point will God's providence run out?

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Natylie Baldwin is author of "The View from Moscow: Understanding Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations," available at Amazon. She blogs at .

See also

ewel Gyn 9 hours ago 9 hours ago

"Washington has a dangerous & destructive pattern of wilful ignorance on Russia in post-Soviet era" It is not just wilful ignorance per se. Without a 'perceived enemy', the narrative for Russia will fall apart. Ditto China, Iran, N Korea et al.

But importantly, this 'perceived enemy' and its corresponding narrative sells... it enriches the military complexes, CIA etc. Even if it sounded unbelievable and outrageous, they will still be regurgitated and at best, given a new guised repackaging, but with the antiquated contents remaining intact.

dotmafia 6 hours ago 6 hours ago
Good article, but, the author assumes that the mistakes made by advisors to Obama and others were because of incompetence, when in fact it should be seriously considered they were actually quite deliberate and planned. In the example of Obama's remarks to The Economist, the job was NOT to deliver facts to the public; the job was to tell the public how to think and what to believe; ie. anti-Russia propaganda.
Levin High 8 hours ago 8 hours ago
It used to be said that you couldn't be fired for buying IBM, now days in the US you seem to be hired for blaming Russia.
apothqowejh 9 hours ago 9 hours ago
The US State Department is packed with idiots, political appointees, ideologues and globalist nut jobs. Their lack of anything remotely like competence is as astonishing as the CIA's full on embrace of evil.
wowhead1977 4 hours ago 4 hours ago
The cabal in America always want to blame Russia. I'm a American citizen and have no problem with Russia. These so called sanctions on other countries is a control tactic that most Americans didn't vote for. This race baiting tactic is from The Fabian Society play book. Wolf in sheep's clothing is the Fabian Society logo.

We must realize that our Party's most powerful weapon is racial tension. By propounding into the consciousness of the dark races, that for centuries have been oppressed by the Whites, we can mold them to the program of the Communist Party ... In America, we will aim for subtle victory. While enflaming the color people minority against the Whites, we will instill in the Whites, a guilt complex for the exploitation of the color people.

We will aid the color people to rise to prominence in every walk of life, in the professions, and in the world of sports and entertainment. With this prestige, the color people will be able to intermarry with the Whites, and begin a process which will deliver America to our cause." ~ Israel Cohen - Fabian Society Founder

[Apr 27, 2021] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 15 APRIL 2021 by Patrick Armstrong - TurcopolierTurcopolier

Apr 27, 2021 |

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 15 APRIL 2021 by Patrick Armstrong Posted on April 15, 2021 by Patrick Armstrong

UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR. Lots of heavy stuff moving in Russia; especially big artillery systems: 2S4 heavy mortars , 2S7 long-range guns and Iskanders . (Powerful counter-battery fire would be both effective and semi-deniable). Stockpiles of equipment near Voronezh. Two armies (corps) plus airborne formations (probably more than NATO could field anywhere in real life; certainly never as quickly). What most impressed me were ships from the Caspian Sea Flotilla being transferred via the Volga-Don Canal. Never forget that the really important stuff is not visible â€" the Russians are the best at operational-level deception. A Ukrainian convoy by comparison â€" pathetic mix of civilian vehicles and elderly APCs. (Incredibly, despite all the genuine videos, CNN still fakes it .) NATO huffs and puffs ; Blinken ditto ; Berlin throws some cold water on Kiev . Ritter calls Kiev’s “NATO fantasy” a “suicide pill” .

AND THEN AGAIN, MAYBE NOT. Just reported that the two US warships will not enter the Black Sea ; they are presently moored in Crete . Kiev changes its tune . Maybe the war hawks got the message: Moscow is determined, willing and more than capable.

BIDEN-PUTIN. At the US request, a phone call: White House take , Kremlin take . Biden talked tough (Ukraine, “cyber intrusions and election interference”), Putin mentioned Minsk agreement. No mention of Navalniy; I guess he’s passed his best-before date. Biden proposed a face-to-face meeting in a third country; I can’t believe that he will dare meet with Putin: look at his carefully scripted press conference . Probably won’t happen any way after this “national emergency” stuff.

INCOHERENCE. Killer, no soul but “ stable and predictable relationship with Russia “; more sanctions (love the election tampering charge â€" they’re not even trying to make sense now ) but mostly rational DNI report . Now a “ national emergency “. The self-delusion in Washington is stunning : “Freedom and justice for all” . Who’s in charge? Whoever it is, Washington is not agreement-capable.

HOW TO FIX UKRAINE. My idea . Dmitry Orlov’s more interesting suggestion.

SPACE STATION. The ISS is coming to the end and Putin has signed off on plans to build a new one . I’ll bet China signs on.

ARCTIC. CNN excitedly discovers “ huge Russian military buildup in the Arctic “; amusingly says “The Russian build-up has been matched by NATO and US troop and equipment movements.” Nope: Russia is far, far ahead of all the others: other than nuclear submarines, none has anything to compare .

SILENCE. Will be the sound that we hear in response to Lavrov’s call for a treaty banning weapons in space. (Not presumably to include the many communications and geo-locating satellites Russia and others already have up there. Bit of hypocrisy there: not weapons as such but necessary for many.)

HYPERSONIC. US test failure . The game of catch-up continues.

COVID. The EU’s vaccine rollout has been a dud and many countries are trying to obtain the Russian vaccine. CNN, for once, covers the issue reasonably evenly : reactions range from a welcome solution to the problem to those pesky Russians trying to divide us again. A German news outlet says Washington is trying to pressure Berlin and Korybko speculates that the tension in Ukraine may be related. One watches, somewhat dumbfounded â€" more evidence of things falling apart.

RUSSIA-TURKEY. I guess it’s time to teach Ankara another lesson: flights to Turkey have been severely restricted . Because of COVID; nothing to do with Ankara’s fiddling around in Syria or Ukraine. They say. Russian tourism is a big part of Turkey’s GDP. Moscow’s last shutdown brought results .

USA/AFGHANISTAN. Starting 1 May, all US troops to be out by 11 September . NATO’s too . Some questions: what about contractors, advisors, air power; but the biggest is how patient will Taliban be? â€" that’s another deadline passed. Neocons â€" Bolton , Haas , Boot â€" protest. The Pentagon too ? We’ll see. Whether it happens then or later, the Afghans have defeated another mighty empire.

PUTIN DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. 111 things Putin weaponised . Where does he find the time?

STASIS. We get closer to what Scott Adams foresaw: Biden in the White House, belief that the election was rigged. Rassmussen poll: “ A majority (51%) of voters believe it is likely that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election .” What happens if that number grows to, say, two-thirds?

UKRAINE/USA. Foreign interventions have a nasty habit of coming home . “Far-right extremists see the war zone there as a laboratory where they can gain actual combat experience to bring back home.”

  1. Patrick Armstrong says: April 15, 2021 at 8:34 pm Reply

  2. Avatar J says: April 16, 2021 at 3:42 am

    This unfounded accusation against Russia is being walk backed once again:

Vig says: April 16, 2021 at 6:47 am

Yes, stranger than fiction sometimes:

Department of State
@StateDept, United States government organization, @SecBlinken: Standing for people’s freedoms and dignity honors America’s most sacred values. At our best, we stand for freedom and justice for all. Not just here at home, but around the world.

Standing for Freedom and Justice for All?

Setting the Scene for Global Destruction. Now It’s the Arctic, Brian Cloughley, April 13, 2021, Strategic Culture

The scene-setting by Washington’s military-industrial complex and in the Pentagon’s sub-office in Brussels includes warnings about a Russian “buildup” in the Arctic, as reported by CNN which quoted a Pentagon representative as saying “Russia is refurbishing Soviet-era airfields and radar installations, constructing new ports and search-and-rescue centres, and building up its fleet of nuclear and conventionally-powered icebreakers.” This activity is indeed taking place, and is happening in Russian sovereign territory, which has nothing to do with the Pentagon or anyone else. It’s not in any way similar to the U.S. military’s overseas “forward military presence” of some 200,000 troops in over 800 bases around the world.

USA Today states that Trump “opened additional bases in Afghanistan, Estonia, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Niger, Norway, Palau, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Somalia, Syria and Tunisia”, which seems pretty impressive, but in reality-land is entirely counter-productive. And it seems that Uncle Joe isn’t going to close down any of them.

USA today states it is not sure how many he closed. But Germany?
aka says: April 16, 2021 at 9:21 am

BTW the Strategic Culture foundation seems to be sanctioned by the US Treasury for being a SVR outlet. Southfront is also sanctioned. Reply

James says: April 16, 2021 at 10:45 am

Does this mean that it is now illegal for me to give money to Southfront? Is it now illegal for me to provide services to Southfront? Reply

LeaNder says: April 16, 2021 at 3:48 pm

All credit cards we use in “the West”, presently, are issued are American institutions, basically. PayPal is American too. Can’t be that difficult to order institutions, who are within US jurisdiction, to collect whatever James et al. tries to give to whoever.

Technically all they needed to do is an algorithm that automatically collects everything going to a some person or institution.

That wouldn’t be the first time US laws are meant to apply extraterritoriality. Maybe based on US law the money didn’t even need to be returned to the sender? Extraterritorial forfeiture?

But interesting. Thanks for the link, aka.

[Apr 27, 2021] Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a stern warning to anyone threatening the national security of Russia, telling officials that those responsible will "regret their actions like they have never regretted anything before."

Apr 27, 2021 |

Avatar J says: April 21, 2021 at 9:20 am

Putin spoke this morning to Russian legislators, appraising of the current items and events.

Putin also spoke to the idiot leadership of NATO and the asleep at the switch D.C., and he didn't mince words.

Putin promises 'asymmetrical' response to any threats made against Russia, promises those provoking Moscow will come to regret it

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a stern warning to anyone threatening the national security of Russia, telling officials that those responsible will "regret their actions like they have never regretted anything before."

IMHO NATO and D.C. need to pull their heads out of their arses, for mankind's sake.

[Apr 25, 2021] The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Apr 25, 2021 |

The Ukraine Crisis Recedes - But A False Narrative Of It Leads To Bad Conclusions

Some two month ago we discussed how the U.S. focus on narratives will let it collide with reality . It is certainly not only the U.S. government that creates narratives, comes to believe in them, and then fails when it is confronted with reality. Carried by think tanks and media the narrative mold has grown throughout the wider 'western' world.

On the danger of this development the above piece quoted Alastair Crooke who wrote :

[B]eing so invested, so immersed, in one particular 'reality', others' 'truths' then will not – cannot – be heard. They do not stand out proud above the endless flat plain of consensual discourse. They cannot penetrate the hardened shell of a prevailing narrative bubble, or claim the attention of élites so invested in managing their own version of reality .

The 'Big Weakness'? The élites come to believe their own narratives – forgetting that the narrative was conceived as an illusion, one among others, created to capture the imagination within their society (not others').

They lose the ability to stand apart, and see themselves – as others see them. They become so enraptured by the virtue of their version of the world, that they lose all ability to empathise or accept others' truths. They cannot hear the signals. The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Over the last weeks we passed through a crisis that easily could have had a tragic ending.

Since February the Ukraine built up a force to retake the renegade Donbas region in east-Ukraine by military force. After waiting several week to see the situation more clearly Russia started to assemble a counterforce backed up by statements that were sufficiently strong to deter the Ukraine from continuing its plans. The danger of a Ukrainian assault has now receded.

Today the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu gave orders for the troops to return to their bases. Much of the equipment though will stay on training grounds near Ukraine until the regular fall maneuvers later this year take place. That minimizes transport costs and gives a little time advantage should someone in the Ukraine again have silly ideas.

Russia has clearly won this round.

But that is not how it looks when seen from the 'western' narrative. In that version the Ukrainian plans and its assembling of heavy weapons and troops near the Donbas border never happened. The narrative says that the whole incident started as a 'Russian aggression' when Russia very publicly showed its potential force.

Only a few analysts on the 'western' side have rejected that narrative and stuck to reality. Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie's Moscow Center is one who got it right :

In February, Zelensky ordered troops (as part of the rotation process) and heavy weapons (as a show of force) to go near to the conflict zone in Donbas. He did not venture out as far as Poroshenko, who dispatched small Ukrainian naval vessels through the Russian-controlled waters near the Kerch Strait in late 2018, but it was enough to get him noticed in Moscow. The fact of the matter is that even if Ukraine cannot seriously hope to win the war in Donbas, it can successfully provoke Russia into action. This, in turn, would produce a knee-jerk reaction from Ukraine's Western supporters and further aggravate Moscow's relations, particularly with Europe. One way or another, the fate of Nord Stream II will directly affect Ukraine's interests. Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.

Russia intentionally over reacted to Kiev's opening move. It demonstrated its overkill capability and made it clear to Zelensky's western sponsors that any further provocations would have extremely harsh consequences.

As Putin said yesterday :

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

Zelensky's plan did not work out. While he did get verbal statements of support from Biden and NATO everyone knew that those were empty promises.

But for people who have fallen for the false narrative the situation looks different.

Consider this reaction to Shoigu's return-to-barracks order today from a member of the European Council On Foreign Relations (a U.S. lobby shop in Europe):

Gustav C. Gressel @GresselGustav - 13:15 UTC · Apr 22, 2021

I have to congratulate (Flag of United States) @JoeBiden to deterence success and crisis management. The right warnings were sent to Moscow, the right intelligence to Ukraine. (Flag of Russia) could not extort concessions, could not provoke. Let's see w. these forces aren't just redeployed to (Flag of Belarus).

Indeed Biden's order last week to pull back two war ships that were supposed to go into the Black Sea to support Ukraine was really great deterrence. But that was not a warning to Moscow. It did not deter Russia from doing anything. But it did end Zelensky's illusions of U.S. support.

But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

The danger is that Gressel, and other 'political scientists' like him, may once take up government positions and use their learned illusions to handle the next crisis. Stuck in the idea that Russia will retreat if only 'deterred' enough they will lean to measures that are outright hostile to Russia and may have indeed very tragic consequences. To repeat Crooke's warning :

The point here, is that in that talking past (and not listening) to other states, the latters' motives and intentions will be mis-construed – sometimes tragically so.

Posted by b on April 22, 2021 at 17:25 UTC | Permalink

vk , Apr 22 2021 17:34 utc | 1

The Ukraine has now lost any notion of ridicule:

Act of war? Ukraine asks EU to consider cutting off Russia from SWIFT payment system as Kiev seeks more sanctions against Moscow

Stonebird , Apr 22 2021 18:02 utc | 2
The Russians have only partly gone. Heavy weapons will remain in place which can be reactivated easily. (Particularly in Crimea). However the Russian "Threat" to Zelnsky is still there. Logically he should now have more difficulty in stirring up the EU and US for cash and weapons as the "obvious and visble" threat is diminished. I don't think his troops can stay indefinitely where they are. How can he continue to pay for all his new mercenaries, new arms?

So how is the MSM going to react? They have a lot of "journalists" around there, waiting for something to happen.

One obvious factor is that the supply lines of both are within their own countries (Ukraine for Ukrainians, and Russia for the Russians). Those that have the longest supply lines are NATO, the UK and US.

An earlier ploy (Attempted violent assasination of Lukashenko and most of the Belarussian parliament), with Georgia and other close by countries getting involved too, is now unlikely. BUT the US is desperate to cut the Russian-Chinese access to Europe by any means. What's next? Plan ....F?

Someone_New , Apr 22 2021 18:18 utc | 3
The Western narrative was also very clearly visible in the latest printed "Der Spiegel" 16/2021 (News magazine in Germany). They had a 4 page article about Ukraine with the title "On the edge of war". They reported at length about russian troops near the border.

Explicitely they wrote about sabre rattling from russia and generally gave the impression that all action is solely on the russian side and must be seen negatively or with grave concerns.
But they failed completely to mention Ukrainian troop movements, bellicose rhetoric or even the Zelensky's decrete 117/2021 from march 23rd with the translated title "Strategy of de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol".

james , Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4
b... thanks.. yes - narrative and controlling the narrative is what so much of this is about.... people in the west are not told of ukraines role in any of this or how they are encouraged by the west... instead what they are told is how russia is building up along the ukraine border.... in other words only one side of the story is told, and not both..nor is the timing of all of it shared either... people are literally given a script or narrative tailor made for brainwashing.. and indeed it works on most...

for an example of this today - i was listening to cbc radio - national news show ''the currenct''.. the host matt galloway discusses the situation with Mark MacKinnon, senior international correspondent for the Globe and Mail; Nina Khrushcheva, professor of international affairs at the New School in New York; and Michael Bociurkiw, global affairs analyst, formerly with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Nev , Apr 22 2021 18:35 utc | 5
I am not so sure that this is over. The Belarus coup was intended to be around May 9. Zelensky has called up the reserves who ever they might be. He just floated the idea of banning Russia from the SWIFT so that it is on everyone's mind when Ukraine claims they were attacked. The NS2 will likely be initially complete in May. The USS Cook and Roosevelt are waiting for the British boats and will likely enter together. They have not yet given notice that I have seen. Two frigates are transiting the Suez to join their fellow yanks. I see a perfect storm yet coming. Shoigu is bright and knows that it looks good to announce the return to barracks, but he has access to my data plus a ton more. He knows that the situation is still fluid and volatile.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 22 2021 18:52 utc | 6
But for Gressel, who like others is stuck to the 'western' narrative, the sense is different. He really seems to believe that the U.S. deterred Russia from some nefarious plans which it never had. He ignores that Russia reacted to a Ukrainian provocation in a way that, in the end, has made NATO and the U.S. look weak.

This delusion reminded me of a retort, from an astute observer, to a dopey remark made by Bush II soon after the start if the Iraq Fake War. Bush said "We're gonna turn EyeRack into fly-paper for ter'rists! To which the observer responded...
"If Iraq was fly-paper then the only bug that got stuck to it was Bush."

vk , Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I'm one of the most ardent proponents of the "imbecilization of the West" hypothesis, but this is clearly a diplomatic style face-saving plausible deniability exit by the West.

The West knows time is not on its side in the Ukrainian issue, and its puppet president threw a Hail Mary. Russia correctly didn't swallow the bait, and the West fell back as it knew it would have to, since this was a long shot.

NS-2 is now getting finished, and the Ukraine will consolidate itself more than ever as a black hole of American resources. The West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then, if the American diplomacy is to do its job properly, and the Greens will have all the tools at hand to implode the project, thus giving the Ukraine some more years to ride on American finance by its gas leverage (over which all its sovereign T-bonds rest at this point).

The key to Ukrainian success is in Germany, not in Russia.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:18 utc | 8
Thank you b.
More and more interesting links for a great nightshift!

Every body must read in UNZ an interview of Israel Shamir (posted it in the afternoon)

Who cares their narrative? Dummkopft
On the decision level a lot of people know the facts.
And Putin and al. ability to build fact is impressive. A lot more than "1962 Cuba missile crisis".
And Russia got good countermeasures with RT, VK...

And YOU'll be there

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc | 9
One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation (interesting why they invented a replacement of "liberation" that has at least two equivalents with Slavic roots, perhaps they do not like their current occupations). The best proof is that through their democratically elected representatives they voted for a huge increase of punishments for avoiding conscription.

The other proof is that, temporarily at least, Ukrainians abolished the system of rotation in which units were staying on the fortified lines literally dying of boredom and related risk (alcohol poisoning, explosions of stills making moonshine, drug overdoses, suicide, stepping over their own mines, to mention a few), instead the troops to be rotated stayed in place and the other units joined them nearby.

However, Russian conscripts without the advantage of Ukrainian enthusiasm have better weapons. Modernizing Ukrainian military is a tall order. The budget barely supports the troops without modernization, the domestic industry in its better years relied to selling parts to Russia and buying other parts, remnants of industrial integration of Soviet times. Supplying them with NATO weapons would require huge gifts that (a) could be unpopular in the West (b) raise risk of getting the best toys of NATO to Russian in exchange for non-toxic alcohol, fresh Afghan heroin etc. Did I mention mind-killing military service? And with not so best toys, like missile boats that are about to be de-commissioned, say, in Canada, they do not really change the strategic balance.

Thus Zelensky had to be saved from his own rhetoric and gestures -- the aforementioned change in "rotation". Kiev authorities have a good practice in "never mind". For example, they utilize fascist radicals to intimidate opposition, but they are what I call "pet cobras", biting the hand that feeds them is what is programmed into their reptilian minds that do not have circuits for "friends" and "gratitude". And because of some grievances they trashed the Presidential place of work, insulting graffiti, broken windows, a broken and burned door, so three ringleaders got arrested, Parliament spent a few hours being appalled (after thinking for a week what to say), and now one ringleader was let free, with the remainder probably joining him soon (one at the time, I think). See folks: nothing happened.

It is possible that Napoleonic rhetoric and gestures were planned to get a "street cred" with those hoodlums, or that they were discreetly encouraged by an embassy (some people think that UK is the leader here, USA having mental problems and distractions). Or some combination.

Eighthman , Apr 22 2021 19:21 utc | 10
I would like to see some reporting on liability for Germany if the Greens cancel NS2. It seems rather nebulous on Google searches.
Benedict Arnold Palm , Apr 22 2021 19:24 utc | 11
"What fools those morons be." - Bugs Bunny

Imagine a drunken red nosed music hall comedian having to be taken so seriously. It really grates that the West has been reduced to this; a Spam headed sham, so pilled up he rattles, as a President of the FSOA. This obvious, self professed clown, Zelensky as head of an SS Totenkopf militia. A tiny appendage of Russia called Europe being a colony of a country based on genocide and slavery, that is reputedly anti-colonial. and a parcel of rogues spanning three continents and two oceans that gobble up lies like dung beetles on excrement lean back on their laurels, ill gotten gains, genocide and lies, and feel themselves morally superior to the victims, actual and future.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 19:25 utc | 12
Too much narrative, kills the narrative


Even Fox don't buy it

vetinLA , Apr 22 2021 19:27 utc | 13
Our problem here in the U$A is still the same as always. Mr. Z's announcement on 3/24 about his nation's intentions to take back the Crimea, were NEVER mentioned on our MSM. It's always Russian aggression, or China's aggression. It's NEVER our fault.

Somehow, someway, that scenario MUST change.

Piotr Berman , Apr 22 2021 19:28 utc | 14
listen from 22:48" for a good example of script writing and narrative control here... CBC The Current for April 22, 2021

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 18:19 utc | 4

Do you care to take responsibility for our mental health? I did provide a summary of a "narrative control" article once, I can do it once in few months, should we also have some rotation here?

james , Apr 22 2021 19:39 utc | 15
@ 14 piotr.... for your mental health i recommend unplugging from all western news outlets especially with regard to topics like russia, china, venezuala, syria, ukraine and etc. etc... free! no charge for you piotr! and okay - you're on next shift!
robert , Apr 22 2021 20:00 utc | 16
Just a couple of notes:
-The Greens, if they "win" will not win with a majority. That means they will need coalition partners. Neither the CDU or the SPD is going to go along with their plan to stop NS2. The Greens, in order to form a govt. will cave in on NS2 and probably other things.

-The Ukies are still fleeing the country to avoid going to the front. The Ukie brass says as much. These are not soldiers. They are farm kids. At the 1st sign of serious war, they will all head for the russians with hands in the air.

-V. Putin handled the western MSM narrative quite well, imo, when he said "Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time." It can't be clearer than that. And that tells me that the ussa is in the crosshairs. This may be the 1st time in history that the oceans will offer no protection for the warmongers that have been at war for 222 years of 237 years of their existence

The comedian is still flaying about and now trying to play the SWIFT card (last week it was nuclear weapons, before that it was...). Which, of course, the west will not honor because it would cripple the west as much or more than RU. I would imagine he needs to change his undershorts on an hourly basis these days. He is literally caught between a rock and a hard spot. No more support from DE, FR, US, NATO, TR except good wishes. And demands from his brain-dead Banderites are only growing more shrill. What's a poor comic to do?

The west is basically done with him and with the show of force by the russians they are more done with him than before. For his sake, i hope his khazarian passport app has been approved.

Another failed state compliments of the khazarians in DC.
And the beat goes on.

jared , Apr 22 2021 20:23 utc | 17
Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia's further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv's foreign policy.


I think B takes the "administration" too literally -
We know they are lying, they know they are lying, everyone knows they are lying but they are creating a virtual world in which their behavior is rational and justified. I am not sure why exactly such an artificial construct is seen as helpful. I suppose you could blame it on the voting public in the democratic west but we all realize by this point that the west is in no way democratic in a literal, functional sense - they less than do not give a damn what the little people think in fact they could well do with a lot fewer of them and really without the need of actual vote counting.

Possibly to their dog at night under the covers and after many martinis to help them forget what they are, they admit something like their best attempt at the truth.

And anyway, what did really happen to Seth Rich?

passerby , Apr 22 2021 21:17 utc | 18
Eighthman @10 North Stream 2 will be the last mayor cooperation between Russia and Europe for the next 10, 20 years. If you had to choose where to put your money, would you put it in a gas pipeline to China (Power of Siberia) or a gas pipeline to Europe (North Stream2)?

Putin will be the last Russian president who looked west, to Europe; the next president will look east, to Asia. It's where the money is.

oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 21:29 utc | 19
The militias with their supposed morale -- These are the grandkids and great grandkids of WWII collaborators. Middle class and hipsters. In a country where there basically is no middle class. Ukraine's economy is at African level. Only source of funds for anything is the US embassy. There is no agenda but the agenda of 1945. Any from the 2014 crop who had anything on the ball whatsoever is now my neighbor. What is left in Uke is the dregs. Hipsters do not hang around in failed states.

Entire political landscape is now centered on US Embassy. Oligarchs might have some input still, their wealth is out of country and so are they most of time.

Pure political vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum. CIA and their hired actors will fill the stage, journalists will report their antics. They are playing to an empty house. Ukraine could exist in same zone as Libya or Iraq for a long time. In end nothing fills the vacuum but Russian Federation.

JohninMK , Apr 22 2021 21:33 utc | 20
Piotr Berman 9

The Russian military's policy is not to use conscripts on the front lines, that role is far too important to trust to what are partially trained soldiers, they are used in support functions. The frontline is manned by professional soldiers.

Zelenski has got $300M of 'stuff' out of Congress this week so that was a result for him.

Russia might be pulling back but the Ukrainians haven't got the message. My understanding is there are 50,000 Ukrainian army and 20,000 Ukrainian security forces normally in the Donbass on the frontlines against 30,000 or so NAF. This crisis came when another 30,000 troops plus heavy weapons were moved into the area. Two days ago OSCE reported that two artillery battalions of self propelled 122mm and 152 guns have been moved up to the front. Then apparently earlier this week, two battalions of the Azov were moved up from Mariupol (their normal area) to the front lines facing Donetsk City. Most of these 20,000 security forces would be your Nazi wannabe's with the Azov unit being the largest. For those of you not watching in 2014/5 Azov are the evil bastards that make the Red Army in WW2 Germany look like angels.

So Kiev is still building an overpowering strike force with a probable objective of a thrust through the center to the Russian border, splitting the two 'rebel' states. Both US and UK and no doubt other advisors are on site. The Global Hawk is sucking up data overhead most days. There is NATO pride on the line here planning and directing. We await a false flag.

I think b is being a bit too optimistic. Somehow they have to stop NS2, in many ways their futures depend on transit gas and, as before, they won't care how many have to die to save their skins and wallets.

Bernard F. , Apr 22 2021 22:11 utc | 21
@ vk | Apr 22 2021 19:14 utc | 7
I agree
Once again Deutschland : أم كل المعارك

"The Mother of all Battles"

Germany, the biggest Tabaqui, surrounded by many petty tabaquies...
Germany, playing the two side...
Germany, so stark and so weak...
Germany, "So jung und doch so alt"

How long can Germany resist the narrative?
How long before the end of the show?

We must talk about Germania

Tom , Apr 22 2021 22:25 utc | 22
This tweet by circle jerker extraordinaire Anders Aslund, sums up todays essay by b.

"I tend to socialise with the elite in Kyiv (sic)" (not with the deplorables)

Oldhippie , Apr 22 2021 22:35 utc | 23
Tom @ 22

Scroll up on that to the original Aslund post. He is talking about his friends getting ready to flee to Western Ukraine (or further). Sounds likely enough. Maybe they know something. And if it is just a routine panic in a failed state amongst a nervous elite, it only repeats so many times before they all do get out of town.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 22:46 utc | 24
LOL The greens will not win in Germany. Wait to September and tons of pedophilia scandals to appear on the media about Robert Habeck, and they will be toast
Cesare , Apr 22 2021 22:47 utc | 25
There's no question that if and when push comes to shove, and the first hints of defeat waft from the frontlines despite all attempts to spin it otherwise, the Ukrainian people will drop any sense of unity, fold like a wet napkin, and demand peace. Only a small sector of the population is highly motivated to fight or turn out the vote for bellicose policy against Russia.
Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26
Do the Greens have vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany? I don't think so. Greens are popular Baden-Württemberg due Kretschmann charisma. If they haven't vote in Bavaria, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Eastern Germany , so they aren't going to win..

I'm seeing a lot of anglo and america media trying to boost these guys. But I have a bad feeling that the child book writer Robert Habeck will get a 'Sebastian Edathy' treatament.

vk , Apr 22 2021 23:45 utc | 27
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:00 utc | 26


1) Germany has a proportional representative system. You don't have to win it all to compose the government. The Greens are going to compose the next government; Germany, as a First World country, is socially stable enough so that we can already consider this a fait accompli .

2) Laschet's choice as Merkel's successor apparently backfired . The CSU-CDU will probably lose some 10% more on top of what they're already projected to lose in these next general elections, mostly to the Greens.

Nick , Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28
I know how the German system works. Yet I am not seeing the Greens win or compose the next government if they threaten to cancel NS2. The NS2 is not about the CDU/CSU but about the German elite interest. No way they are going to give green light to the Greens. Speaking of someone which city is on the border.
arby , Apr 23 2021 0:07 utc | 29
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2021 19:20 utc

"One advantage that Ukraine has in military terms is the number of people who willingly and enthusiastically want to join the army for the sake of de-occupation "

Not nearly as motivated as Russians who have dealt with Nazi Fascists once before. What happened last time is seared into their heads.

vk , Apr 23 2021 0:20 utc | 30
@ Posted by: Nick | Apr 22 2021 23:52 utc | 28

Yeah, but the American elite is stronger than the German elite.

Nick , Apr 23 2021 0:27 utc | 31
So Annalena Baerbock will be the next US chancellor beacuse the US wants.. haha. Not sure about that these days..
Sushi , Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32
Russia has closed the Kerch Strait.
It is reported that the two US destroyers which were to have transited the Bosphorus are awaiting a pair of Britsh destroyers intended to join them with the flotilla of 4 ships to enter the Black Sea.
What happens if the UK and US decide on a FONOP which involves a transit of the Kerch Strait to make a port visit to Ukraine on the Sea of Azov?
Does Putin keep the Kerch closed?
If he stops the flotilla does this become "interference with international right of navigation?"
Does this asserted interference then result in Ukraine attack? Or a combined NATO / Ukraine action?
PokeTheTruth , Apr 23 2021 0:45 utc | 33
President Putin consulted with Minster of Defense Shoigu and asks if the troops can be scaled back from the lines of contact without significantly reducing tactical capability. Shoigu runs the numbers and delivers the answer that Putin was looking for.

Putin is offering an olive branch to Zelensky knowing full well his military can roll over the eastern and southern borders of Ukraine with impunity.

Does Zelensky do the same? No, instead he calls up reserve boys to make himself look tough.

A Russian proverb that is most appropriate in this case is this: Дурна́я голова́ нога́м поко́я не даёт. Translation: The stupid head doesn't leave feet in rest or in other words, no rest for the wicked.

Stephen T Johnson , Apr 23 2021 1:02 utc | 34
Sushi @32
How does Putin close the Kerch strait?
The same way as last time, park a largish ship or two in it.
FONOPS don't work so well as battering rams, and the straight is very narrow.
Bernard F. , Apr 23 2021 1:15 utc | 35

Dans l'œil du cyclone

The only antiwar party in Germany is AfD. They don't buy at all the "narrative" Die Linke is only " pacifistes bêlants ".

The meeting of German parliament was interesting. Unfortunately, only found german SNA report

About green leadership in west Germany, it was a fake election, no meeting, no campaign...just ridiculous posters in the streets. Massive abstention.

A post Covid-19 election, with young people back, could be surprised. East Germany is to be analyse.

Germany often surprises the world for the better , SS-20 and Pershing II missiles crisis 1978-87 and Mauerfall 1989.

bill , Apr 23 2021 1:47 utc | 36

this pesky little problem of mud is the cause for the delay/ Russian troops given some rest

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
If all of this sound and fury is just to cancel North Stream 2, then it strikes me as a demonstration of terrible impotence, using a lot of leverage to achieve a fairly small end. Maybe it is exactly this. But I prefer Rostislav Ischenko's outline of several actions in several neighboring theaters as a concerted attack on Russia - with the objective of levering EU away from Russia. And the note here is that this is not over yet, the game is still afoot.

This larger ploy seems like a far more desirable objective for the US, given the expenditure of resources, rather than simply the NS2. But it still reeks of impotence, given how decisively Russia has countered each move (of the ones that are visible - no telling about the ones beneath the surface).

I have read somewhere, probably here, that if Germany were to cancel NS2 she would owe Russian billions of dollars in penalties. This project is after all, a matter of contract. And Germany must abide by its contracts if it is to remain in the business world. Or so it seems to me. Is Germany going to flout contract obligations with Russia, which supplies it with fuel for its industry and to stay warm in winter? It seems unlikely.

So, while the US acts to try to split Europe away from Russia, Germany is actually taking the least divisive path if it finishes NS2. Because if it is forced to cancel, and then to pay the billions in penalties, surely this causes a far greater split from the US and toward Russia than otherwise? Simply a split that plays out over a longer time, but much more finally.

If the US were capable of thinking all this through, it might understand how it pushes away everything it attempts to grasp. But we have watched for years, with some gladness, to see that this is exactly the fatal weakness of the US now. It simply doesn't understand reality, and simply cannot learn from it. Which I guess is b's point. Agreed.

Grieved , Apr 23 2021 1:52 utc | 38
@38 bill

Agreed, that Russia is not "withdrawing" troops, simply rotating them away according to the timetable and conditions of the battlefield.

Joshua , Apr 23 2021 1:57 utc | 39
For whomever may be under any illusion whatsoever,
Do not decieve yourselves,
The truth and the fact of the matter is very readily apparent.
All one must do is look objectively upon the reality of the situation in an honest manner.
Please do so.
Thank you.
Victor , Apr 23 2021 1:59 utc | 40
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world and has a maximum depth of 45 feet. An Arleigh Burke destroyer has a draft of 30 feet. Even if somehow NATO ships entered the Sea of Azov, there are not many places that they can go unless they are very small ships.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:05 utc | 41
Mr. B

The situation around these unplanned military drills reminded me of 8 unplanned military drills by Iran during the last few months of Mr. Trump's government.

A likely preemptive responses, in both cases, to planned acts of aggression, nullifying them. Someone might have alerted them too.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 42
b, thanks for this post and thanks for the link to the excellent Alister Crook SCF article. I am sick of being told what to think and what opinions I should hold by the corporate and public MSM.

Narrative control is even more pervasive these days and the disconnect with the actual reality is more obvious.

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations talk about 'our values' while the grotesque horror show and slow motion genocide continues in occupied Palestine?

How can the Anglo/Zionist captive nations politicians talk about 'free trade' and 'liberalised trade'
while enforcing illegal trade embargoes on sovereign nations?

We were told by President Nixon that trade with China was good. Now the BRI railroad is portrayed as a 'threat' and 'controversial.' Ditto the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe.

What is threatened is the cushioned pashas position to dictate hegemonic power throughout the world.

Australia is among the worst offenders of this moronic groupthink as shown by distinguished veteran correspondent Hamish McDonald: ">">

This from a former Australian diplomat:

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:10 utc | 43
Mr. Bernard F

During the Siege War against Iran, as well as during the hard times of the pandemic, Germany established herself to be of no consequence in the political arena or in the humanitarian one.

I was not surprised.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:19 utc | 44
Mr. JohninMK

If Ukrainian government has indeed mobilized or otherwise has planned a war against Russia, then her life expectancy in her current format or within her current borders will be measured in years and not decades.

Russia will not tolerate an armed camp of enemy soldiers in Ukraine, she will be neutralized as an independent actor shortly.

The 3 Westernmost oblasts might survive as a rump Ukraine but she is finished now.

Fyi , Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45
Mr. Paul

Everyone knows Australians have been boot lickers of US.

Nothing new there.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 3:07 utc | 46
Sorry about the bad link at 42. Here is the link:

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 23 2021 2:21 utc | 45

Yes Fyi, it is shameful. What is not so well known is Australia and the US have a long history of bullying New Zealand with loud megaphone diplomacy on cherished policy issues. One example was when the Muldoon [NZ] government recognised the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people many decades ago. Muldoon told them to F off, diplomatically, of course.

The NZ superannuation fund recently decided to divest from Israeli banks citing 'repetitional damage.' among other relevant things. Another win for BDS but ignored by the MSM. How could they spin that together with the prevailing narrative? So they ignored it.

At least NZ has some self respect intact. In business it is a good idea to speak the language of the buyer. I prefer NZ white wine and Australian red wine, particularly Barossa Valley reds. Now Australia complains about coal fired power stations in China, forgetting it is Australia selling the coal. NZ can sell the wine.

jiri , Apr 23 2021 3:25 utc | 47
@Sushi | Apr 23 2021 0:40 utc | 32

My guess is that the Russians will create the conditions whereby the US/UK flotilla will be forced to get stuck in the shallow waters of the Azov Sea. Thus they will achieve their objective without firing a shot. The Russians know the spots with shallow waters. US/UK not so much.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 23 2021 3:52 utc | 48
I wrote a long response and it disappeared. Oh well.
Fyi , Apr 23 2021 4:05 utc | 49
Mr. Paul

I have known, during my life, one single individual from New Zealand. He was the only English-speaker who could pronounce my name at first try. Very fine chap.

I do not know much about that country except that it is populated by serious Anglicans and is currently being led by a real statesman, unlike so many other countries.

I wish that country well, they are trying to do the right thing where larger more powerful countries, such as Germany, UK, or Italy, sold themselves for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.

uncle tungsten , Apr 23 2021 4:44 utc | 50
JohninMK #20

Agreed, your proposition for an immediate fast rush to the Russian border to split the region is just as likely as a stand down. I would never be trusting NATO or FUKUS.

See Libya.

Paul , Apr 23 2021 4:51 utc | 51
Hi Fyi,

I am actually an Australian living in New Zealand. Lucky me. The two countries used to have a deal. Now that deal is observed by NZ but not observed by Australia. I tell some Kiwis, sometimes young in cheek, 'I am an Australian refugee boat person, fleeing from an oppressive government.'

As for the population, someone told me years ago ' it doesn't matter which party is in power, the country is always governed by Scottish Presbyterians so it always has some money put away'.

Most people can pick my Australian accent.

Race relations is far better in NZ than Australia. Australia is dysfunctional and utterly corrupt at all three levels of government. My American friend says that is like America. He moved to NZ. Both countries have rotten bureaucracy, perhaps a British hangover.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 6:52 utc | 52
Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23 2021 1:48 utc | 37
(Germany will not walk away from NS 2)

Thanks for fleshing out the NS 2 'controversy' with additional "inconvenient truths". My confidence that NS 2 will proceed as planned is based 90% on Sarah Kelly's 2020 DW Conflict Zone interview with Niels Annen, Heiko Maas's 2IC. Annen pointed out to (deaf-in-one-ear, can't-hear-with-the-other) Sarah that Germany's trade relationship with Russia is "complicated" but works for both. By the end of the interview it looked as though he felt a bit sorry for Sarah being stuck in the awkward position of being obliged to argue that black is white.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
I thought Zelensky was the Real Deal, a kind of Trump echo. But he ran into the same problem as Trump - a painful collision with the reality that the President is just a figurehead with very little Leadership autonomy, if any.

There's a new post-Trump 3-part BBC documentary series called Trump Takes On The World. Last night, broadcast the first 1-hour Episode. It begins with Theresa May's visit to Trump's Washington. There's a formal meeting to discuss UK-US attitude to NATO. Before the meeting gets into stride, someone in Team Trump mentions that Putin phoned the White House and Team Trump is working out a schedule for the conversation to take place. Trump hits the roof.

"What!!?? Are you telling me that Putin, the only man who can destroy the United States, phoned the White House and you didn't tell me about it!!??"
Trump let's it slide, in deference to the presence of Ms May, but as the implications sink in he can't leave it alone and delves deeper into this weird event, Ms May's presence notwithstanding...

I think Zelensky ran into exactly the same problem - believing that the Prez is in charge of something important but realising that's just theatrical window-dressing. 'Democratic' window-dressing.
And with the Biden family having influence in Regime-changed Ukraine, it's probably safe to assume that the same Swamp Creatures which keep POTUS in check also 'manage' Zelenski's Presidential daydreams.

John Gilberts , Apr 23 2021 8:15 utc | 54
An excellent analysis. 'Blinkered' is the word on Washington. John Helmer's latest:

"State Department War Party has Led US Forces into their Worst Defeat Since Saigon - Without Russia Firing a Shot..."

snake , Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55
.. why ..artificial construct ... Passerby @ 18 < deep state reprograms what people remember about events.
planting misinformation 30 year study
Reprogamming what you remember about an event is technology embedded deep in MSM propaganda.

Passerby goes on to say "we all realize ...the west is in no way democratic in a literal,
functional sense - they .. do not give a damn what the little people think .. ..fewer of them .." <=is desirable.

Not true, the west is ~2.6 billion people [+ .010 billion can understand what you posted], but
<1,000,000 people are in the group you classify as the West. The governed masses are victim to
Oligarch owned nation states. The nation states are 1) tools, Oligarch's use, to compete in the
national and international markets (Article II), 2) each nation states includes a political
system (basically a consumer complaint department) to control the behaviors of the domestic
flocks and to keep the flocks distributed into their respective pastures.

Basically, the legislative and law making nation states are open air prisons that oversee the
domestic masses, but in foreign affairs, the nation states are economic weapons used by Oligarch
to engage in national and international profit making competition.
In other words,the only benefactors of the nation state system are the Oligarchs.

The 21st Century problem humans must resolve: "How to impose democratic principles,
human rights, and self-determination on the nation state system?"
It does not matter if we are talking East or West.
The nation state is the structure that confines the sheep so Oligarch can shear the wool.

A comment elsewhere alleged Lukashenko, of Belarus revealed how the world bank coerced sovereign nations to engage Corona virus lock down and vaccine scenarios; the same comment alleged Lukashenko fined the Soros foundation in Belarus 3.0 million for currency violations, and that the foundation left Belarus?
I am not sure about those claims. Can anyone authenticate those facts or elaborate on them . ?

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 23 2021 9:13 utc | 56
Biswapriya Purkayast: if the comment isn't the recent one you wrote in the "Kipling" Russia thread it has probably been snagged by the link-checker and will appear later. It happens to everyone once in a while, a good idea to write and save any comment in a text editor before copying and posting it, unless it's short like this one :)
Renard , Apr 23 2021 9:37 utc | 57
Ukraine was not the target.

All this fuss around Crimea and Donbass was simply meant to distract attention from Belarus. (Did the Americans inform Zelensky or did they just manipulate him?)

The destabilization, collapse, invasion of Belarus failed (When did the Russians understand?), so the players disengage from this point of confrontation to find another one (Where?).

ftmntf , Apr 23 2021 9:58 utc | 58
A key aspect of propaganda is reversing the actual order of cause and effect to make the enemy falsely look like the aggressor. We see this in the recent case of Ukraine. The western pressitutes cynically ignored, and failed to report, the unprovoked Ukrainian military build up on the border, to which the Russian build was a defensive reaction. So that now, as far as the average western consumer of this propaganda is concerned, the Russian 'aggressor' 'bad guys' have been forced to back down. All BS of course.

The anti-imperialist movement needs to establish popular online hubs that aggregate/syndicate the writings of small blogs like this. It is beyond the abilities of any single blogger to keep up with news events to counter imperialist lies in real time but collectively they can do it if their work is made available at bigger hubs.

Paco , Apr 23 2021 10:28 utc | 59
Posted by: snake | Apr 23 2021 8:20 utc | 55

Searched for some info on that fine but that's an old story, the Soros Fund was fined and expelled from Belarus in '97. But recently there was a debate about the influence in education by the Soros foundations in the former soviet countries. Probably this has a lot to do with the comments made by Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, he remarked that some history text books do not even mention the Stalingrad Battle while at the same time enhancing the second front influence in WWII outcome. In other words, the foundations might be out, there influence is not, money buys wills, and if anything else is missing in those influence institutions money is not one of them.

Do a machine translation for more info:

jared , Apr 23 2021 13:59 utc | 60
UK was hoping to provoke an incident with its ships in Black Sea.
Russia has unilaterally withdrawn, leaving the British ships to cruise about at their leisure. Pardon me, but might you have any Grey Poupon?
m , Apr 23 2021 14:04 utc | 61
@43 Fyi
To my knowledge Germany has several times delivered medical equipment to Iran during the ongoing pandemic. I`m not familiar with the details, though. Germany is also heavily involved with COVAX which is one of the main sources of vaccines for Iran.
Tollef Ås اس طلف , Apr 23 2021 14:22 utc | 62
It bugs me how even well-informed critics of North Atlanticist regimes and their foreign policies write and talk of them as "western demoracies". The "Founding Fathers" of the USA feared nothing more than 'democracy' -- by which they thought of ancient Athens, or the ancient republic of San Marino or some Swiss Cantons. What they wanted was a republic in the mold of Ancient Rome, Venice, or like the Netherlands before Wilhelm of Orange, i.e. roled by rich men's clubs and throuh inherited wealth, be that from land ownership, slave-holding or from commercial gains and prate privatering -- plus of course exploiting colonies and controlled marketing opium and its derivats (plus cocaine).

None of the present-day Atlanticist nations call themselves "demomracies" in their name or constitutions. Only Greece does -- and only because they don't have the romance word "republic" in their language.

In observation of these linguistic and political facts, the governments of Central Europe east of Nato, China, Viet-Nâm and Chosôn ("North Korea") all called themselves "people's republics" -- as opposed the the states further west that were ruled by the elected representatives of Capital and Big Banking.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:42 utc | 63
Mr. m

That is news to me.

I will investigate.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:48 utc | 64
Mr. Tollef Ås اس طلف

There is a discernible fear of the common man permeating the works of the intellectuals of Islam as well as the Sufis.

One expression of that among Shia is the idea and practice of "Source of Emulation".

The framers of the American Constitution, I understand, were also suspicious of the plebian rule degenerating into mob rule.

So they created a representative republic - which has become the dominant form of governance all over the world.

I personally do not find anything wrong with the theory of such a government.

Any form of government can become corrupt over time since Man is in the State of Fall.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 14:54 utc | 65
Mr. m:

So far, I have found an announcement of 5 million Euros of medical aide to Iran from UK, France, and Germany in March of 2020.

Earlier, in April of 2019, Germany donated 4 boats and a number of tents for the victims of floods in Iran.

EU, at the same time, stated aide to Iran of 1.2 million Euros.

aquadraht , Apr 23 2021 14:55 utc | 66
@7 vk
I don't know how you come to that conclusion:
he West, however, has one last ace in the hole: the German Green Party, which is well positioned to form the next government after the December national elections. The NS-2 certainly won't be finished by then ..

In fact, the elections will take place Sep 26. The newly elected parliament will gather fist time ("constituting") 3-4 weeks after that date, so end of October. After that, coalition agreement has to be negotiated, usually taking 6 weeks or more (last time, it was nearly 5 months). If the outcome is as the polls indicate at the moment, with the Greens as the strongest faction, they will get the task to strike a coalition deal, negotioting probably with CDU, and SPD plus FDP, for a couple of weeks. A new government, elected by the Bundestag, is not to be expected before end of December.

Before anybody could act upon NS2, it will be 2022. If the project is not stopped at the last kilometres, it will be finished by May, 2021. Once operational, the government does not have much leverage to shut it down.

fyi , Apr 23 2021 15:01 utc | 67
Mr. Paul:

Yes, I can confirm reports of Australian racism against Indians, Iranians, Lebanese, Chinese, and Greeks.

One person told me that she was reluctant to travel to the United States because she had feared similar treatment there.

On the other hand, I know of a case of an abandoned Sikh mother & child (by her husband) in New Zealand - the social services stepped right in and helped stabilize their lives.

I think all of these evils start from the top.

The late General MacArthur tolerated racism and the African-Americans under his command suffered.

Some other Flag Rank officers did not tolerate racism and that made a huge difference to the experience of the African-American soldiers and sailors under their commands.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 68
Addenda to Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 23 2021 8:11 utc | 53
(BBC doco Trump takes On The World)

Episode 1 spans events from Ms May's Trump White House visit, to Helsinki and Trump's 'betrayal' of AmeriKKKa in his private meeting with Putin.
During the closing moments of the doco (minute 55 - no ads on ABC) a bloke who looks like Mitch McConnell (R) Kentucky/Tel Aviv, says "That'll be the lar-yest time we ever have a President meet a foreign leader in private."

MrLenin , Apr 23 2021 17:26 utc | 69
Russia has not been idle as the US and allies have been pumping plane loads of weaponry to the ukropa army, this 'training deployment' was an opportunity for Russia to check, train and equip the Donbass militia. I would assume that an operation room is already setup, with spetnaz remaining in place to monitor the lines.
Nato is stumped at both the heavy response and language used by Russia, they are a paper tiger, and many of their members, would have opted out. The 'Belarus attempted coup' is another Red line for Russia, thus VVP stressed that Russia has the resources to put a stop to it.
The Czech hyenas have started walking-back(US State department word) accusations about the 2014 explosions

@B could you look into the issue of the Damona explosion, I believe a poster somewhere mention a retaliatory attack by Iran on missile factories in Jerusalem, I also doubt it was a stray AA missile.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:43 utc | 70
MrLenin 69

All the open source evidence does indeed point to it being an S-200/SA-5 missile.

The Israeli Defense Minister Beni Gantz has officially acknowledged that the attempt to shoot down the S-200PMT missile failed. Saying that 4 US and 6 Israeli Patriot SAMs & 2 Israeli SAMs "David Sling" missed the S-200 at 17 km.

So, not just IAF but US operated systems as well by the look of it.

This is now a huge problem for the US. At least when the Yeminis hit Saudi the US can mutter about the quality of the Saudi AD crews but here, in Israel they will be skilled and well trained crews from both countries i.e. the 'best'. This is very embarrassing for the US MIC. Their SAMs couldn't even down a Soviet era errant SAM.

No doubt today many countries will be re-evaluating their Patriot AD systems. Indeed, should existing customers be demanding their money back as the system is clearly shown to be faulty (it has to be a fault, it can't possibly be a design error)? Turkey and India must be feeling pleased.

JohninMK , Apr 23 2021 19:54 utc | 71
I meant to say that for a while now the Syrian rules of engagement have changed and they are now able to 'chase the launcher aircraft' home. Before that they were only targeting the incoming munitions. Putin confirmed the change.

The radars attached to the Syrian S-300s, plus freestanding units, give them a very good view of where the IAF aircraft are. Even better if they are plugged into the Russians IAD.

In a way this was a very good warning shot. It did no real damage so no excuse for Israel to seek revenge yet it must be giving the IAF second thoughts about their current attack strategy.

Sometimes accidents can be really beneficial.

james , Apr 23 2021 20:11 utc | 72
@ JohnMK... thanks for your comments on these matters... i appreciate it..
Paul , Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73
Update on the Ukraine situation:

When will they ever learn?

Jo , Apr 23 2021 21:17 utc | 74
I think along with Pres Putin address credit is also due to Lavrov's statement that Ukraine would cease to exist....a real dose of blunt sober reality.
uncle tungsten , Apr 24 2021 10:11 utc | 75
Here come the englanders turn Zelensky into David the Goliath killer. He will be all fired up by the British Embassy squad. Black Sea battle next week.
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 24 2021 14:52 utc | 76

When will they ever learn?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 23 2021 20:38 utc | 73

The Mouse That Roared redux?

Steverino , Apr 24 2021 19:08 utc | 77
Speaking of dangerous narratives... this is what scares the hell out of me...

"the plan which had been first described publicly in America's two most prestigious international relations journals, as being a suitable replacement for "M.A.D.": "Nuclear Primacy". That's the goal for America to blitz-nuclear attack Russia so quickly that Russia won't have enough time to launch a retaliatory response."

... that there are people who are so deluded they actually believe a nuclear war can be "won."

[Apr 24, 2021] Blinken's Winking and Nodding to the Neocons -- Strategic Culture

Apr 24, 2021 |

Biden's Western Hemisphere foreign policy is not much different from that of Obama's, Wayne Madsen writes.

Like proverbial bad pennies, the neocon imperialists who plagued the Barack Obama administration have turned up in force in Joe Biden's State Department. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has given more than winks and nods to the dastardly duo of Victoria Nuland, slated to become Blinken's Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number three position at the State Department, and Samantha Power, nominated to become the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Nuland and Power both have problematic spouses who do not fail to offer their imperialistic opinions regardless of the appearance of conflicts-of-interest. Nuland's husband is the claptrappy neocon warmonger Robert Kagan, someone who has never failed to urge to prod the United States into wars that only benefit Israel. Power's husband is the totally creepy Cass Sunstein, who served as Obama's White House "information czar" and advocated government infiltration of non-governmental organizations and news media outlets to wage psychological warfare campaigns.

True to form, Blinken's State Department has already come to the aid of Venezuela's right-wing self-appointed "opposition leader" Juan Guaido, whose actual constituency is found in the wealthy gated communities of Venezuelan and Cuban expatriates in south Florida and not in the barrios of Caracas or Maracaibo.

Blinken and his team of old school yanqui imperialists have also criticized the constitutional and judicially-warranted detention of former interim president Jeanine Áñez, who became president in 2019 after the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government of President Evo Morales was overthrown in a Central Intelligence Agency-inspired and -directed military coup. The far-right forces backing Áñez were roundly defeated in the October 2020 election that swept MAS and Morales's chosen presidential candidate, Luis Arce, back into power. It seems that for Blinken and his ilk, a decisive victory in an election only applies to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, not to Arce and MAS in Bolivia.

It should be recalled that while Blinken was national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama administration, every sort of deception and trickery was used by the CIA to depose Morales in Bolivia and President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. In fact, the Obama administration, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, claimed its first Latin American political victim when a CIA coup was launched against progressive President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. Today, Honduras is ruled by a right-wing kleptocratic narco-president, Juan Orlando Hernández, whose brother, Tony Hernández, is currently serving life in federal prison in the United States for drug trafficking. For the likes of Blinken, Power, Nuland, and former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, who currently serves as "domestic policy adviser" to Biden, suppression of progressive governments and support for right-wing dictators and autocrats have always been the preferred foreign policy, particularly for the Western Hemisphere. For example, while the Biden administration remains quiet on right-wing regimes in Central America that are responsible for the outflow of thousands of beleaguered Mayan Indians to the southern U.S. border with Mexico, it has announced that Trump era sanctions on 24 Nicaraguan government officials, including President Daniel Ortega's wife and Nicaragua's vice president, Rosario Murillo, as well as three of their sons – Laureano, Rafael, and Juan Carlos – will continue.

Biden's Western Hemisphere foreign policy is not much different from that of Obama's. Biden and Brazilian far-right, Adolf Hitler-loving, and Covid pandemic-denying President Jair Bolsonaro are said to have struck a deal on environmental protection of the Amazon Basin ahead of an April 22 global climate change virtual summit called by the White House. A coalition of 198 Brazilian NGOs, representing environmental, indigenous rights, and other groups, has appealed to Biden not to engage in any rain forest protection agreement with the untrustworthy Bolsonaro. The Brazilian president has repeatedly advocated the wholesale deforestation of the Amazon region. Meanwhile, while Biden urges Americans to maintain Covid public health measures, Bolsonaro continues to downplay the virus threat as Brazil's overall death count approaches that of the United States.

Blinken's State Department has been relatively quiet on the Northern Triangle of Central America fascist troika of Presidents Orlando of Honduras, Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala, and Nayib Bukele of El Salvador. Instead of pressuring these fascistas to democratize and stop their genocidal policies toward the indigenous peoples of their nations, Biden told Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he would pump $4 billion into supposed "assistance" to those countries to stop the flow of migrants. Biden is repeating the same old American gambits of the past. Any U.S. assistance to kleptocratic countries like those of the Northern Triangle has and will line the pockets of their corrupt leaders. Flush with U.S. aid cash, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador will be sure to grant contracts to greedy Israeli counter-insurgency contractors always at the ready to commit more human rights abuses against the workers, students, and indigenous peoples of Central America.

Biden is also in no hurry to reverse the freeze imposed by Donald Trump on U.S.-Cuban relations. Biden, whose policy toward Cuba represents a fossilized relic of the Cold War, intends to maintain Trump's freeze on U.S. commercial, trade, and tourism relations with Cuba. Biden's Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, a Jewish Cuban-American expatriate, is expected to reach out to right-wing Cuban-Americans in south Florida in order to ensure Democratic Party inroads in the 2022 and 2024 U.S. elections. Therefore, even restoring the status quo ante established by Barack Obama is off-the-table for Biden, Blinken, and Mayorkas. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Cuban-American and ethically-challenged Democrat Bob Menendez, has stated there will be no normalization of pre-Trump relations with Cuba until his "regime change" whims are satisfied. Regurgitating typical right-wing Cuban-American drivel, Mayorkas has proclaimed after he was announced as the new Homeland Security Secretary, "I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones." The last part of that statement was directed toward the solidly Republican bloc of moneyed Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, and Bolivian interests in south Florida.

While Blinken hurls his neocon invectives at Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba, he remains silent on the repeated foot-dragging by embattled and highly unpopular right-wing Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on implementing a new Constitution to replace that put into place in 1973 by the fascist military dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The current Chilean Constitution is courtesy of Richard Nixon's foreign policy "Svengali," the duplicitous Henry Kissinger, an individual who obviously shares Blinken's taste for "realpolitik" adventurism on a global scale.

While Blinken has weighed in on the domestic politics of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, he has had no comment on the anti-constitutional moves by Colombian far-right authoritarian President Ivan Duque, the front man for that nation's Medellin narcotics cartel. It would also come as no surprise if Blinken, Nuland, and Power have quietly buttressed the candidacy of right-wing banker, Guillermo Lasso, who is running against the progressive socialist candidate Andrés Arauz, the protegé of former president Rafael Correa. Blinken can be expected to question the results of the April 11 if Lasso cries fraud in the event of an Arauz victory. Conversely, Blinken will remain silent if Lasso wins and Arauz cries foul. That has always been the nature of U.S. Western Hemisphere policy, regardless of what party controls the White House.

[Apr 24, 2021] Putin Is Keeping the West Guessing and That's Just Fine With Him

Apr 24, 2021 |

...The view from Moscow is very different, fueled by a sense of grievance that the West is determined to weaken Russia and stoke a pro-democracy "color" revolution to topple Putin. By this reading, the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies have repeatedly betrayed Russia, abandoning missile treaties and expanding ever closer to its borders, since Putin became the first foreign leader to offer help to Washington after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

"The Kremlin feels in a fortress, under sustained pressure from the U.S. and the West in general. With its aggressive actions, Russia is trying to deter the U.S., but Washington is just responding with stronger measures," said Oksana Antonenko, a director at Control Risks in London. "We are certainly at the most dangerous point since the Soviet Union collapsed."

... ... ...

On Wednesday, the day before Russia announced its troop withdrawal, Putin warned rival nations not to cross Russia's "red line" in his annual state-of-the-nation speech, saying pressure on his country had become "a new form of sport." But he also held out an olive branch of talks on strategic security.

... ... ...

Prosecutors this month asked a Moscow court to declare Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation and his campaign offices to be extremist organizations, which could subject staff and volunteers to criminal prosecution and imprisonment. They accused them of plotting to stage a "color" revolution in Russia on the instructions of unnamed foreign states.

A top Putin ally, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, described Navalny as a "tool of American policy" that allowed himself to be used for interfering in Russia's domestic affairs.

... ... ...

In his call with Biden, Putin raised an alleged plot to stage a coup against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko hatched in consultation with the U.S., according to the Kremlin. Lukashenko, who's ruled Russia's neighbor and closest ally since 1994, has faced months of pro-democracy opposition protests since disputed elections last August.

"The practice of organizing coups and planning political assassinations, including of top officials, that's going too far," Putin said in his annual address. "They've overstepped all boundaries."

In talks with Lukashenko in Moscow next day, Putin said Russia is tightening military and security cooperation with Belarus.

... ... ...

Putin insisted in Wednesday's address that "we really don't want to burn bridges" with the West, before adding that anyone who mistakes Russian intentions for weakness "must know that Russia's response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough."

[Apr 19, 2021] Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out

Apr 19, 2021 |

Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19 2021 18:47 utc | 20

Don't make simple things complicated the irony of starting this way for this post lol :D (of course everything is complicated as well as simple, language betrays us all).

· The people of the Warsaw pact and then the Russians did what they did for themselves and not for others, and they did it by themselves. It went well as long as the people were in charge (ie. the initial actions) but the politicians then soon messed it up as politicians anywhere are bound to do.

Gorbachev and Yeltsin didn't want or wish for disasters due to the results they got (and maybe their tasks were impossible in their context). Clear mistakes were made and crimes "allowed", far too much was rushed and ill thought out. The politicians had no way of being prepared any more than they would be in the US right now.

· The US is out-competed, dysfunctional, and trapped in a cycle of excuses in order to shoehorn their labyrinth of lies into their current reality. All people lie despite this clear lesson as to why no one should, it is the lies one tells without realizing they are lies that are the worst. This is much like the USSR was but easily even worse.

Will people in Europe and the US manage to duplicate the fall of the Warsaw pact and the USSR? Right now it looks unlikely but remember or be aware that no one predicted the fall of the Iron Curtain or the Politburo and most if not all outsiders in "the west" had trouble believing it and understanding it when it happened or even now (and especially people on both/all sides that are running on ideological biases as fuel).

(Our systems and models do not capture reality and can not, not even theoretically, a different bigger discussion which boils down to the Shannon limit in the end (but I notice thermodynamics is contentious among some so why would I invite that much work?)).

A repeat of history is not necessary nor automatic; the US isn't doing anything to stop its own ongoing fall, at least not anything that I have noticed.

Because b is right.

(I really hope the CPC has a better grasp on this than that article vk posted hints at because I want a stable prosperous China and that includes/demands the continuation of the CPC and the way they have shaped and structured the Chinese system which is noticeable for not taking the USSR approach that worked itself into a blind alley despite decades of repeated attempts at reform (hell even Stalin tried)).

[Apr 19, 2021] Why now -- Trey Gowdy on Biden's move to pull troops from Afghanistan

This was Bush racket. Invasion on false pretenses to establish a foothold and get to former USSR republic. This move was initially a big success (and Putin helped by using his influence on Northern Alliance) but later backfire. In other words this was typical imperial policy.
Apr 19, 2021 |

Gary Buchanan , 3 days ago

This time, let's don't leave all our equipment and ammunition for them to use against us.

Julie Monarch , 3 days ago

Shut the door! That's how you stop them from coming.

R. Dillon , 3 days ago

I would guess 2 things, 1. He's hoping if he ends the war then none of the terrorists that just snuck in won't attack. 2. He plans on starting a war elsewhere.

Cris Renner , 3 days ago

Please, get them out of office, before they do anymore damage!!!

Clarence Spangle , 3 days ago

"Obama may have gotten (U.S. soldiers) out wrong, but going in is, to me, the biggest single mistake made in the history of our country." -- Donald J. Trump

Ratpatrol Renegade , 3 days ago

Afghanistan's a racket. We're rebuilding their country instead of America. Power plants hospitals and schools that they're never going to use

[Apr 19, 2021] Biden's Russia-China Tactic Is To Wage War AND To Ask For Cooperation. It Will Fail

Apr 19, 2021 |

Clueless Joe , Apr 17 2021 19:04 utc | 12

The policies of the Biden administration towards Russia and China are delusional. It thinks that it can squeeze these countries but still successfully ask them for cooperation. It believes that the U.S. position is stronger than it really is and that China and Russia are much weaker than they are.

It is also full of projection. The U.S. accuses both countries of striving for empire, of wanting to annex more land and of human rights violations. But is only the U.S. that has expanding aspirations. Neither China nor Russia are interested in running an empire. They have no interest in planting military bases all over the world. Though both have marginal border conflicts they do not want to acquire more land. And while the U.S. bashes both countries for alleged human rights issues it is starving whole populations (Yemen, Syria, Venezuela) through violence and economic sanctions.

The U.S. power structures in the Pentagon and CIA use the false accusations against Russia and China as pretense for cold military and hot economic wars against both countries. They use color revolution schemes (Ukraine, Myanmar) to create U.S. controlled proxy forces near their borders.

At the same time as it tries to press these countries the U.S. is seeking their cooperation in selected fields. It falsely believes that it has some magical leverage.

Consider this exchange from yesterday's White House press briefing about Biden asking for a summit with Putin while, at the same time, implementing more sanctions against Russia:

Q What if [Putin] says "no," though? Wouldn't that indicate some weakness on the part of the American administration here?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the President's view is that Russia is on the outside of the global community in many respects, at this point in time. It's the G7, not the G8. They have -- obviously, we've put sanctions in place in order to send a clear message that there should be consequences for the actions; the Europeans have also done that.

What the President is offering is a bridge back. And so, certainly, he believes it's in their interests to take him up on that offer.

The G7 are not the 'global community'. They have altogether some 500 million inhabitants out of 7.9 billion strong global population. Neither China nor India are members of the G7 nor is any South American or African country. Moreover Russia has rejected a Russian return into the G7/8 format:

"Russia is focused on other formats, apart from the G7," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a brief statement ..

Russia has no interest in a summit which would only be used by the U.S. to further bash Russia. Why should it give Biden that pleasure when there is nothing that Russia would gain from it. Russia does not need a 'bridge back'. There will be no summit.

... ... ...

If Biden wants cooperation with Russia or China he needs to reign in the hawks and stop his attacks on those countries. As he is not willing or capable of doing that any further cooperation attempts will fall flat.

The U.S. has to learn that it is no longer the top dog. It can not work ceaselessly to impact Russia's and China's military and economic security and still expect them to cooperate. If it wants something it will first have to cease the attacks and to accept multilateral relationships.

Posted by b on April 17, 2021 at 17:53 UTC | Permalink

"It can not work ceaselessly to impact Russia's and China's military and economic security and still expect them to cooperate"
You have to understand the USA. They're doing it against Europe on a daily basis, and it actually works... Get them confused why it doesn't always work against others.

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 17 2021 19:17 utc | 15

It's interesting what's happening right now (in the past hour or so).

First: Russian and Belorussian news about the arrest of leaders (or key participants) of an attempted military coup in Belarus, planned by the US security services.

Then, 30 minutes later: the Czechs expel 18 Russian diplomats, accusing them of spying and of connection to some explosion back in 2014.

I could've been skeptical about the details of the first story, but the second one seems to confirm it. The second story appears to be an obvious attempt to squeeze the first one out of the news. And who else could order the Czech government to do this with a 30 minute notice?

oglalla , Apr 17 2021 19:27 utc | 18

Wouldn't Oceania rulers love to print more of their own currency to buy up all the paper rights to industrial output without having to invest in the factories or anything else! They love this kind of business model.

"The secret of success is to own nothing but control everything."

Because of what's at stake and how little I trust Oceania, I confess I no longer have an opinion about global warming. Even if many of its scientists are *earnest*, who obtained, processed, and stored the data before they started building models? Those institutions are capable of anything.

[Apr 19, 2021] Bellingcat is in the middle of the GRU/Czech arms depot explosion story from 2014 - now being described as "defacto act of Russian state terrorism on a NATO soil."

Apr 19, 2021 |

jayc , Apr 17 2021 22:59 utc | 46

Bellingcat is in the middle of the GRU/Czech arms depot explosion story from 2014 - now being described as "defacto act of Russian state terrorism on a NATO soil."

It appears the GRU were following closely a movement of arms from the Czech depot to a Bulgarian middleman, meant to be then delivered to Ukraine. The explosion is now attributed to the GRU because of the Petrov/Boshirov ID, and their presumed signature ineffectiveness failing to destroy the arms cache and later failing to kill the Skripals.

Also reports now that the GRU have a super-villain lair in the French Alps

Wolle , Apr 18 2021 10:44 utc | 110

One picture says all about Bellingcraps B*sh*t:

[Apr 19, 2021] Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West

Apr 19, 2021 |

uncle tungsten , Apr 18 2021 0:52 utc | 62

NEO has the 'strategy nailed'.

Now that we've established who the aggressor is, let's take a look at Tsereteli's and Carafano's next brilliant takeaway point. The dynamic duo of war strategies says cosmetic measures against Russia will not do! The "west" (meaning NATO), they say, needs a more clear strategy. Which certainly means a massive arms buildup west of the Siverskyi Donets River. The Zelensky government is being pushed from Washington to take even more drastic measures to force Russia into a war stance. The editorial board of the Washington Post recently advised Zelensky:

"Mr. Zelensky now has the opportunity to forge a partnership with Mr. Biden that could decisively advance Ukraine's attempt to break free from Russia and join the democratic West. He should seize on it."

So, now that we've shown who is doing the pushing here, let's turn to the final takeaway from Heritage Foundation master strategists. Tsereteli and Carafano come right out and say "countries left outside of NATO will remain targets of Russian aggression and manipulations." So, the purpose of all this supposed spread of militaristic-based democracy is to expand NATO to? I mean, seriously. Washington is not reaching out with the Peace Corps to shore up a budding Eastern European democracy. The United States is kidnapping another former Soviet republic on the way to the big score. My country has military bases in almost every country in the world, has had more wars than the Mongols, and spends more on weapons than everybody else combined – but Russia is being aggressive!

Who believes this bullshit?

[Apr 19, 2021] This would be my plan if I were Zelensky

Apr 19, 2021 |

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 10:11 utc | 107

Norwegian at 98 says:

"I'd like to know how Zelensky and the Kiev authorities are supposed to get out of this situation without falling apart."

Well, if I were Zelensky I might imagine getting myself out of this mess by the following steps:

1. Keep raising the ante. Scream about an imminent Russian invasion, keep your population panicked (by concocting a list of "bomb shelters" in Kiev, for example). Keep actual violence against the Donbass republics at just low enough a level to not be enough provocation for a Russisn intervention, for now .

2. Keep acquiring missiles from NATO, and trainers in how to use them. Negotiate with Sultan Erdoğan for headchopper mercenaries (especially Chechens and other Russian speakers).

3. Arrange for NATO exercises in Ukranazistan this summer.

4. Under cover of those exercises, using the NATOstanis as human shields in fact, attack the Donbass Republics, and only the Donbass Republics. Use the headchoppers as shock troops to minimise own losses. Capture the Donetsk and Lugansk main urban areas, leave slices right on the Russian border. Do not touch Crimea.

5. Present this as a huge victory, like Ilham Aliyev did in Nagorno Karabakh.

As I said, this would be my plan if I were Zelensky. Whether it would work depends on how much "restraint " Putin is willing to give up on, and how much risk he's willing to take.

Bernard F. , Apr 18 2021 10:41 utc | 108

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

@ Norwegian | Apr 18 2021 7:43 utc | 95

The present stand-off cannot last forever, so it is a question of time before something falls apart.
Russia used the aggressive move by NATO/Ukraine to perform a judo-like move

The speed of execution of the manoeuvre also calls for admiration when NATO can't even move an armoured division in Poland (inadequate road infrastructure)

But Evil is in the details. And as the greatest french dialogue writer: "Les conneries c'est comme les impôts, on finit toujours par les payer."
[Bullshit is like taxes, you always end up paying them.]

S.O. , Apr 18 2021 10:43 utc | 109

All of the NATO ATGM's in the world won't make a pick of difference against russian artillery or their strategic rocket forces.

Zelensky get's out of it by turning his squeaky clean nato trained troops against his own domestic nazis and upholding his end of the minsk agreement.

Who knows.. he might even survive it too.

[Apr 19, 2021] The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

Apr 19, 2021 |

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 18 2021 8:14 utc | 97

Norwegian at 94 says:

"Time is working for Russia here."

Unfortunately, I strongly disagree. Rick Rozoff says here:

"The British training program, Operation Orbital, has trained over 17,500 Ukrainian service members since its inception in 2015. Last year British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed that the training mission would be extended until 2023. It is explicitly designed to transform the Ukrainian military in order to meet NATO standards: to be a NATO proxy army on Russia's western border."

To which my own response was:

"I strongly agree with Igor Strelkov: war now is preferable for Russia than (inevitable) war later. I also completely agree with him that the Ukranazi cancer should have been eliminated in 2014, or, failing that, the Donbass armies should have been permitted by the Putinist regime to liberate Slovyansk and Mariupol, or, even better, liberate Odessa and advance to the Dneiper. If that had been done then, there would have been no problem now.

"No wonder the Putinist regime hates him."

[Apr 19, 2021] The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Apr 19, 2021 |

jared , Apr 17 2021 20:33 utc | 29

It is characteristic signature of bureaucracy that they behave in manner inconsistent, because
- balkaniztion
- incompetence

Putin has Biden deep in his backfield. Rare opportunity. I would suggest split Ukraine on the Dnieper - it would benefit everyone.

Is Blinken really wanting war on three fronts?
Somebody wake Joe.

Bernard F. , Apr 17 2021 21:05 utc | 35

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24

Is Jake Sullivan supposed to coordinate?
Condorpuma , Apr 17 2021 20:11 utc | 22

The Empire is trying to surround and castrate Russia. Russian interests are being hit every day. Sanctions for ever, more and more.

Putin has to come up with something exceptionally crazy and unexpected. another level of asymmetry. Russian stockpile is "officially" of about 6.400 nuclear heads of which 1600 operational, probably more than that. This Nuclear Capital should be "invested ". Putin should convince Iran to change policy and accept donation or lease of 200-300 nuclear heads. Siria,Venezuela and maybe Korea should be given a number of tactical nuclear weapons for self defence. China,as well,with Russian help,should double the Nuclear Potential. A political Earthquake would shake the Empire. Russia survival
is the Stake.

uncle tungsten , Apr 17 2021 20:20 utc | 24

USA givesall its manufacturing to then moans about China carbon emissions. Chine is worlds largest solar panel manufacturer, us moans about China carbon. USA blocks Nord Stream 2 gas supply to Germany then moans about Russian carbon emissions. USA hasthe poorest house insulation regulationa and moans about others carbon emissions.

China achieves major reafforestation targets and reclaims huge tracts of desert and USA ignores it, continues to strip forests at home and everwhere else.

USA needs to build a bridge to its future and to common sense.

norecovery , Apr 17 2021 20:23 utc | 25

@ pnyx -- It's not only that USians are unaware of much of what's happening in other countries, it's the fact they are misinformed and misled about current events by propaganda. This is also the case in Europe because their MSM also have been co-opted by the coordinated Intelligence Apparatus (CIA - MI6 - FiveEyes) that controls the flow of information in the U.S. MSM. We are witnessing censorship/control of Social Media, Search Engines, and formerly independent websites as well.

This is an all-out effort of Class War. One aspect of this is to broadcast a hidden personal message that if I feel oppressed, "it must be my own fault" because "success" supposedly is within everyone's grasp (note the emphasis on celebrity 'culture').

powerandpeople , Apr 17 2021 21:24 utc | 39

Russia has shown an astonishing amount of 'strategic patience' in the face of racism, lies, insults, seizure of diplomatic property, obstruction of officials coming to the UN, possibly a hand in the murder of their high rank military landing in Syria, perhaps the downing of their choir, US silence of US radar data 'highly likely' showing Ukraine downing the Malaysian aircraft, fabrications everywhere, and so very much more.

Well, the cup of patience runneth over.

"These steps represent just a fraction of the capabilities at our disposal. Unfortunately, US statements threatening to introduce new forms of punishment show that Washington is not willing to listen and does not appreciate the restraint that we have displayed despite the tensions that have been purposefully fuelled since the presidency of Barack Obama.

Recall that after a large-scale expulsion of Russian diplomats in December 2016 and the seizure of Russian diplomatic property in the US, we did not take any response measures for seven months. We responded only when Russia was declared a US adversary legislatively in August 2017.

In general, compared to the Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, the US Embassy in Moscow operates in better conditions, enjoying a numerical advantage and actively benefitting from the work of Russian citizens hired in-country. This form of disparity frees up "titular" diplomats to interfere in our domestic affairs, which is one of the main tenets of Washington's foreign policy doctrine.

...the reality is that we hear one thing from Washington but see something completely different in practice... a proposed Russian-US summit. When this offer was made, it was received positively and is now being considered in the context of concrete developments. "/BLOCKQUOTE>

The last bit is deliberately ambiguous. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Tom , Apr 17 2021 22:07 utc | 40

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 17 2021 21:21 utc | 38

I suspect Sullivan and Blinken's next gig will be something like that. "We came here to forget", but instead of the French Legion, it will be PMC Wagner.

Personally what I would do would be a Operation Bagration 2.0 at the slightest misstep by Ukraine. There is may too much on the table here. Bio labs, nests of NATO rats, nuclear power plants, NATO missiles on the Ukrainian and Belarus borders with Russia. Time to clear out the rats including Lviv. After disinfecting this part of eastern Europe (again) of that other far more dangerous virus, Nazism, life will be much more peaceful in that part of the world, and likely by the domino effect (yes I actually said that!) to other places in the world plagued by US exceptionalism.

[Apr 19, 2021] Biden's Sanctions Leave Russia's Stocks and Bonds in Stalemate

Apr 19, 2021 |

The U.S. has leveled sanctions on Russia over election interference and cyberattacks, including barring U.S. financial institutions from buying new domestically issued Russian government debt.

The Biden Administration went where Presidents Obama and Trump had not, barring U.S. financial institutions from buying new domestically issued Russian sovereign bonds. The move excluded the secondary market, though. Anyone can still trade the so-called OFZs already in circulation. And it was matched by a substantial carrot: a dovish speech on Russia by Biden, floating a potential summit with Putin this summer.

The market had feared worse, says Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Global Markets in Moscow. The ruble is still down 4%, and stocks 3%, since Russia stoked tensions a month ago by massing troops on Ukraine's border. That is despite buoyant oil prices that should benefit Russia. "Everyone was discussing direct punishment of Russian companies or a cutoff from SWIFT," he says, referring to the backbone for global financial transactions. "The actual sanctions turned out to be relatively mild."

Global investors have been fleeing the OFZ market without any push from the White House. Foreigners' share of outstanding bond holdings have fallen to 20% from about a third last summer, notes Aaron Hurd, senior currency portfolio manager at State Street Global Advisors.

Political risk still depresses the value of Russian assets by 15%, Tikhomirov estimates. That is reasonable considering Biden's options for escalating sanctions, says Daniel Fried, an Atlantic Council fellow who was the State Department's sanctions coordinator under Obama. "He could move into the secondary debt market, restrict state-owned energy companies' ability to raise capital, or go after the money hidden by Putin and his cronies," he says. "It could get to be a pretty tight squeeze."

To close the political risk gap, Putin needs to at least restore calm with Ukraine, risking domestic political face after a month of hyping the alleged threat from Russia's southern neighbor. The coming week offers two opportunities for Putin to move toward Biden's proffered stable relationship, Tikhomirov says. He could sound friendly in an annual state of the nation address scheduled for April 21, and he could turn up (virtually) for the global climate summit Biden has called on April 23-24.

These may be far overshadowed by Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who is on hunger strike in a maximum-security prison outside Moscow. Navalny-allied doctors said April 17 he could "die within days" without outside medical intervention. Backing off from its merciless treatment of Navalny would also look like an embarrassing climb-down from the Kremlin's point of view.

Hurd expects a stalemate where Russian assets could nudge higher as oil prices remain firm and the Central Bank of Russia raises interest rates. Putin will make few concessions with his party facing parliamentary elections in September, he predicts. Washington will be constrained by the European Union's reluctance to stiffen anti-Russian measures. "The ruble could still go higher from here, but we remain tentative over the next six months," he says.

Putin has essentially accomplished the goal he set after his 2014 invasions of Ukraine, a self-sufficient Russia that can pursue its perceived security interests without worrying what the rest of the world thinks, says Yong Zhu, portfolio manager for emerging markets debt at DuPont Capital Management.

Government debt amounts to a mere 18% of gross domestic product, and in a pinch can be serviced domestically. That keeps yields too low to pay for the country's geopolitical turbulence, he concludes: 10-year Russian domestic bonds pay about 7% annually, compared with 9% for Brazil or South Africa. "Russia doesn't really need anything beside the iPhone," Zhu quips.

Self-reliance has also spelled isolation from the capital and talent that could lift Russia to its proper place in global innovation and growth. But Putin and his regime seem to like it that way.

[Apr 19, 2021] The danger here is that the US and the EU vassals push Russia into having nothing to lose. I don't see how NS2 can be finished if Navalny dies.

Apr 19, 2021 |

Eighthman , Apr 18 2021 1:26 utc | 65

The danger here is that the US and the EU vassals push Russia into having nothing to lose. I don't see how NS2 can be finished if Navalny dies. I hope Russia/Putin are working to prevent this, if they can.

[Apr 14, 2021] Biden's Presidency Will Be Destroyed By His Foreign Policy

Apr 14, 2021 |

Posted on April 8, 2021 by Larry Johnson

Dementia Joe and his coterie of enablers have embarked on a foreign policy that is likely to result in a new war that will endanger America and further a growing perception that the United States is weak and divided. There are three troublesome flashpoints (Ukraine, China and Iran) that could explode at any time and catapult our nation into a costly, deadly military confrontation. Topping the list is the Ukraine.

The corrupt dealings in Ukraine over the last four years by Joe and Hunter Biden leaves them completely compromised and subject to coercion, even blackmail. With this as a backdrop the decade long effort by the United States to weaken Russia's influence in eastern Ukraine has been revived with Biden's arrival in the White House.

Let me first introduce you to some essential facts:

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  1. Pat Lang Pat Lang says: April 8, 2021 at 9:54 pm


    Try to remember to turn the page counter on. Reply

  2. Avatar Ishmael Zechariah says: April 8, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Larry Johnson,
    If the Ukraine blows so will Syria! Then the situation might transition from nemesis to tisis in short order. Here is a strangely appropriate analysis with just one word blanked out.
    In the years ahead, _____________ will assuredly find itself in new international crises involving nations or groups that have powerful leaders. In some cases, these leaders may have a special, dangerous mindset that is the result of a "hubris-nemesis complex." This complex involves a combination of hubris (a pretension toward an arrogant form of godliness) and nemesis (a vengeful desire to confront, defeat, humiliate, and punish an adversary, especially one that can be accused of hubris). The combination has strange dynamics that may lead to destructive, high-risk behavior. Attempts to deter, compel, or negotiate with a leader who has a hubris-nemesis complex can be ineffectual or even disastrously counterproductive when those attempts are based on concepts better suited to dealing with more normal leaders.
    We, too, pray for sanity.
    Ishmael Zechariah Reply

  3. Avatar Walrus says: April 8, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Larry, I unfortunately agree with your observations and conclusion.

    I would add that in my opinion, the Russians are a lot more determined, as are the Chinese and Iranians, then the generally self absorbed younger generations in the West. "Woke" culture has no answer to sunken warships, downed aircraft and body bags. Do the SJWs want to die for LBGTIQ rights in Russia or another of their pet obsessions de jour? I don't think so.

    My concern for President Biden and America is that, if Ukraine attacks, unless President Putin succeeds in delivering a very short, sharp and successful lesson to Ukraine there is not going to be a clear path forward to a negotiated armistice. If that doesn't happen through bad luck, the fog of war, etc. Then I don't think Biden has the intelligence to get us out of the mess.

    If you add to that the possibility that Zelensky may demand American support "or else" when he starts to lose then we are in very very dangerous territory. If I were the Chinese, I would just stand back and watch. Taiwanese independence is a meaningless concept without American military backing and I'm sure the Taiwanese know it.

    The wild card to me is what is Israel's attitude? Is it possible that they might be a moderating influence for a change? Reply

    • Avatar Thomas says: April 9, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      Oh, yeah .!!!!!! The country that shoots women and children who get too close to the fence they have constructed in PALESTINE on other people"s land will be the moderating party. Or maybe Mad Dog Bolton.

      Try getting real, and come up with real world situations. Not some fantasy of killers acting like kittens. The Russians seem more balanced in responding to such provocations than the U.S. & it's gang of follower- puppets. How long would any of the these follower-puppets be able to go toe to toe with Russia in all-out-war situation. I'd bet less than 24 hours, probably far less. Or as a Chinese General once asked: would you want to give up Los Angeles to save Tiwan? The U.S. doesn't seem to have any sort of reliable anti-missile defence system. Would Ole Uncle Joe really like to get into such pissing contest so early on in his term of presidency? Maybe I am wrong, but from what I have seen so far, he just seems to be throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. In this game, if one blunders, the walls vanish, an the lights go out. Reply

  4. Avatar Andrei Martyanov says: April 9, 2021 at 12:42 am

    Russia moves cannon boats and amphibious vessels from Caspian Sea to the Black Sea, but in reality these combatants are perfect for operations in shallow waters and that means Azov Sea and Ukraine's South-Western flank. These ships can form both a surface group capable of dispatching anything Ukraine may have on Azov Sea, plus form excellent tactical amphibious group which can land a battalion or two of marines and support them with fire from the sea, both artillery and MLRS. Of course, there are other forces Russia has there but it is a good way to give Caspian Flotilla a chance for yet another combat deployment, after its missile ships spearheaded first salvos of 3M14 cruise missiles at ISIS targets in Syria in 2015. Here are some of those ships:

    Russia has an overwhelming firepower in the Black Sea proper and whatever the US is sending there is primarily for ISR purposes in case Ukies go bananas and decide to attack Donbass in death by cop scenario. The US will not interfere in any meaningful way other than supplying Ukies with recon data. Reply

  5. Avatar Peter Reichard says: April 9, 2021 at 6:28 am

    It is bigger than Biden or even the Military Industrial Complex. The establishment foreign policy apparatus transcends political parties and has a continuity that survives changes in administrations. It is obsessed with Russia. It opposed not just communism but Russia itself so when the Berlin wall fell for it the Cold War never ended and it successfully pursued the the break up and looting of the Russian Empire and the relentless eastward march of NATO. Putin pushed back on this resulting in him being demonized by the orchestrated Western media. Trump for all his faults had at least a halfway rational view of these matters but now the Borg is back and spoiling for a fight. I never cease to be amazed by the stupidity of these people, their apparent lack of understanding of the importance of Ukraine and Sevastopol in Russian history and their inability to read a map or know the basics of military operations to see the obvious indefensibility of Ukraine's eastern border. The danger now is that Ukraine's leaders will overestimate the support they think they have from the United States and start something they can't stop. This has the feel of 1914. Reply

    • Avatar Thomas says: April 9, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Or the Georgian/Russian of 2008 when Georgia attacked on Russian territory. President Bush was talking tough, saying he would send aid to Georgia on warships. But the rules governing ships entering the Bosferus proscribed such stuff, aND Bush ended doing nothing. The Russians quickly neutralized the Georgian forces and pushed deeper into Georgia where they currently remain. The odiot who started the mess was forced out of Georgia & was afterwards appointed a governor or some such in Ukraine. But I think that too went bad. Such is the level of governance in Ukraine. Reply

  6. Avatar john kliss says: April 9, 2021 at 6:35 am

    The last 5 Ukros killed were killed by mines. The contact line has many zones where minefields are employed by both sides. It appears some were killed in their own minefield according to local reports. Civilians in the LPR and DPR have been killed by incoming fire, most recently a 5 year old boy. Of course OSCE is worthless except as a "bean counter"; who fired what and where is too much to record.. Reply

  7. Avatar JohninMK says: April 9, 2021 at 7:09 am

    Another good analysis there LJ.

    US defence attache with a group was up at the front yesterday as well as the comic.

    Ukraine really has its back up against the wall financially. This year with big interest payments due and no way to get the funds as the IMF seems to hit its limit on their 'we're never getting it back' budget. Their only steady source of funds is ironically Russia with the gas transit fees guaranteed at $7B total over the next four years, much of which will go to the EU and IMF as interest payments. After that the gas fees will drop to zero as the gas transits move to TurkStream and NS2. With nothing to pay Russia, apart from the little mentioned oil transit fees, Russia may stop shipping gas/coal/electricity for local consumption as well. At that point either Ukraine crashes or someone else has to pick up the bill.

    Although Kiev will lose dramatically there are very good reasons why Kiev would push the button. Will they ever again have this PR opportunity to play the innocent victim? Reply

  8. Avatar BillWade says: April 9, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Earlier this morning I saw a pic of Zelenskiy visiting the front, behind him was a makeshift field tent with a sign on it, the sign is in Ukrainian but translates as "Vietnam". Is Biden serious about backing Zelenskiy, I guess we'll find out soon enough. Reply

  9. Avatar jonst says: April 9, 2021 at 8:34 am

    wondering if anyone can point me to a fairly, anyway, reliable, (assuming one exists) 'war games scenario' document on an attempted invasion of Taiwan by China. Intuitively, it would seem a difficult challenge, especially given China's lack of any appreciable experience in seaborne invasion. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide, and my apologies upfront LJ if you deem this offtopic. Reply

    • Avatar Yeah, Right says: April 9, 2021 at 7:58 pm

      Not meaning to be a smart-alec about it, but why assume that an invasion has to be "seaborne"?

      In WW2 the Royal Navy had total control of the waters around Crete. So the Germans simply went over the top of them and invaded the island from the air.

      It was very definitely touch and go for a while until German paratroopers managed to capture an airfield, and from that point it was all over.

      No idea how well defended Taiwanese airfields are, but the PLA would only need to capture one and, again, the final result will not be in doubt. Reply

      • Avatar jon stanley says: April 10, 2021 at 9:49 am

        well, the quick answer to your question would be 'fine, alter my initial question to include war games scenarios on airborne attacks on Taiwan. The glib answer might be, Taiwan is not Crete. And the Chinese PLA are not the Wehrmacht. Who, by the time of the Crete attack had built up a record that included many successful airborne attacks. I see no such history with the PLA. That, by no means rules it out. But, in any event, I can't imagine the PLA would role the dice, SOLELY, on an airborne attack. They would have to have a seaborne plan of attack, in case Plan A failed. So, in any event, I would be still be in search of that war games scenario. Reply

  10. Avatar Seamus Padraig says: April 9, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Absent any new evidence, I am going to continue to assume that this is really about Nordstream II. The Biden Junta are probably planning on having their Ukrainian cat's paw make a lunge at DNR/LNR, forcing the Russians to intervene directly. Ukraine, of course, is not actually a full NATO member, so no Article 5 will be triggered. Instead, Washington just self-righteously hollers 'Russian aggression!' and demands that Merkel immediately shut down Nordstream II -- the Russian pipeline into Germany -- just before it's ready to go online.

    And then, as a lush reward for their undying loyalty, the Germans get to import frack-gas and oil all the way from the US at four or five times the market rate. Problem solved! Reply

    • Avatar Terence Reeves-Smyth says: April 9, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      you are correct – the Ukraine state does not really want the return of the Donbass region let alone Crimea as it would result in a complete change in the balance of power in the Ukraine with the Russian-speaking population being able to form the government, as it had done pre 2014. They really want to push the Germans into stopping Nord Stream 2 by provoking Russia Reply

  11. Avatar Some Dude says: April 9, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Struggling to understand how a Ukraine with such supposedly strong ties to National Socialists of a century ago managed to end up with a Jewish comedian as President. Reply

  12. Avatar J says: April 9, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Larry, Colonel,

    Here's a backgrounder from the Ukraine military veterans of the Ukraine's 93rd Brigade's point of view. This was the period of 2014-2015.

    93: the Battle for Ukraine – first days of the war

    93: the Battle for Ukraine – around Donetsk Airport Reply

  13. Avatar J says: April 9, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Here's the viewpoint of Ukraine Army's snipers who are primarily composed of volunteer housewives. While to D.C. and Moscow, it's part of their sphere of political chess, however to those on the front lines, it is survival and protection of their loved ones.

    The Female Fighters of Ukraine's Forgotten War Reply

  14. Avatar Ed Lindgren says: April 9, 2021 at 11:57 am

    Almost half a century ago, I took a course in the German language as a refresher during the summer session at my local junior college. The woman who taught the course was a native Ukrainian. She told the class a little about her background.

    When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, she was in her mid- to late-teens. She had an intense dislike (hatred) of the Russians and took a job working for the German military government of occupation as an interpreter. She said they had welcomed the Germans as liberators from the oppression of the Soviet Communists.

    Later, when the Red Army juggernaut was rolling west through Ukraine, she realized that it would not be good for her long-term prospects to remain at home. She chose to move west with the retreating German army. Subsequent to the end of the war in Europe, she rattled around for awhile in displaced person camps, and ultimately made her way to the United States.

    I have no reason to doubt the veracity of her story. This was my first introduction to the enmity between the Russians and the Ukrainians. Reply

  15. Avatar Deap says: April 9, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Biden is a tin-hat emperor moving tin soldiers in his bathtub at play time. Surrounded by self-selected idiots who make him dangerous as hell. This is what his "return to decency" looks like? May he be struck down deaf and dumb. Reply

  16. Avatar Deap says: April 9, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Two front war – Russia moving into Ukraine at the same time China moves on Taiwan. They put their wet fingers up to the wind to see which way the Biden operation blows.

    And they could not escape the conclusion this was the time to strike if there is any fortuitous time to strike. Biden and his new team muddle deeply into reckless ineptitude. And Kamala Harris doesn't have anything to wear. Reply

    • Avatar Yeah, Right says: April 10, 2021 at 3:22 am

      An odd thesis. The Russians are signally very, very strongly that they do not want the Ukraine to start a war by attacking the rebels in Donbass.

      They could not be more explicit if they sent a hypersonic cruise missile through Zelensky's office window with a sign on it that reads "Don't start something you won't even live to regret".

      They very clearly do not think that this is "the time to strike", nor even that they think there is a "fortuitous time" for them to go to war with Ukraine.

      If Ukraine strikes first then, sure, they'll strike back. But I fail to see how anyone can come to the conclusion that the Russians are provoking this when it is very clearly the Ukies and their promoters in the White House who are pushing these buttons.

      Similarly with Taiwan.

      The Chinese are not provoking this. They made their red lines clear to everyone as far back as Nixon's trip to China i.e. if the USA sticks to a one-China-policy then the mainland will refrain from using force against Taiwan.

      But the USA is not sticking to the one-China-policy. Recent US diplomatic moves look exactly like what it is: maneuverings to prepare for when the Taipei government declares independence.

      Which is crazy.

      But in both cases the USA may well provoke a conflict and then dump their patsies like a discarded toy.

      Which would be beyond crazy. It would be an outcome so loopy that there isn't even a word to describe it. Reply

      • Avatar Eol says: April 10, 2021 at 3:20 pm

        Thank you for setting it straight.. it seems pretty evident Russia does not want a war but is sure as hell ready to finish this business if a war is pushed on to them and pushed on to them by the Americans. Ukraine has been armed by the U.S , funded by the IMF, and cheered by NATO. They will not do a single thing without their owners permission. Reply

  17. Avatar BillWade says: April 10, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Hunter's dad and his administration is making Trump look like the greatest statesman that ever lived. Reply

  18. Avatar J says: April 10, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Back in December 2020 Putin had an expanded meeting with his Defense Ministry Board. In it he laid out several items and agendas to be carried out by the Military Staff.

    The recent reinforcements by the Russian MOD to counter NATO along the Ukraine border region, it appears that the MOD has deployed the incorporation of their (RChBD) capabilities into their Military Field Hospitals. And it appears that Putin has authorized deployment of their Iskander near the Ukraine border. The Iskander is multi-faceted, EMP, fuel air explosive, as well as thermonuclear. Back in 2015 Putin authorized nuclear employment should they be needed.

    March 24th saw Ukraine's Zelensky virtually declaring war against the Russian Federation. One can not rule out Zelensky using the trade deals with Doha and use the direct flights between Kiev and Doha to smuggle in Jihad's from Syria and Libya to fight in Donbas. Zelensky on March 3rd in a joint press conference with the European Council President in Kiev stated that the retaking of Crimea from Russia was now Ukraine Official Policy. Reply

  19. Avatar J says: April 11, 2021 at 10:42 am


    Speaking of 'foreign policy', question is who will win out -- D.C. or Tel Aviv?

    'The model' is headed to D.C. to try and convince our IC's head-cheeses that the Iran JCPOA isn't such a good deal, and Tel Aviv is trying to get him an audience with his high-arsed the 'King', China Joe. If D.C. swallows 'the model's' spiel, then they're bigger suckers than they already appear to be.

    Mossad chief said heading to Washington in bid to block US return to Iran deal Reply

    • Avatar Deap says: April 11, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Assume this Mossad meeting will take place between Kackling Kamala who will be channeling Obama-Jarrett; or will it be Stinking Liar Susan Rose channeling Obama-Jarrett? But the Big Guy will be out to lunch. Reply

  20. Avatar English Outsider says: April 12, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Mr Johnson – this was posted today by a commenter on Dr North's blog. Reply

[Apr 14, 2021] Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas.

Apr 14, 2021 |

elephant , Apr 11 2021 11:00 utc | 113

"Why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

The apparent change in stance is unlikely a ruse because a ruse presumes that Russia would take the bait.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Ukraine's part because Ukraine was well aware of the strength of the juggernaut just to the east before Ukraine sent men and materiel that way.

The change is unlikely due to a miscalculation on Washington's part because a likely drubbing of Ukraine with Washington sitting on the sidelines would result in a loss of prestige vis a vis Russia and China.

I'd suggest the change -- if there really is such a change -- is more likely the result of Germany, and maybe France, exerting simultaneous pressure on Washington and Kiev, coupled with leading sectors of the bureaucracy in both Washington and Kiev agreeing with Merkel (Washington for its own reasons and Kiev because of Washington's instructions) that a war does not advance their interests.

Washington is in a position similar to that of Britain prior to the Suez Crisis: one loss away from losing its preeminence on the world stage. Losing that position over a conflict involving, essentially, a gas pipeline to Germany is not worth the risk.

It's likely that Washington's apparent stance is symptomatic of significant discord between the Neocons and the less belligerent of the foreign policy establishment. It appears that the Neocons may have lost this round. One can expect the schism to continue to play out over the coming years

steven t johnson , Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 41

vk@29 writes "[My comment@24] is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of
'trading' the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist."

It's hard to know how seriously this is meant. Luhansk and Donetsk are not *the* Donbas. Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas. At any rate, insofar as the "Donbas" is essential to control Crimea, though, it is Kherson and Zaporizhye provinces that control the water supply. And it is Mariupol's port that contests the Sea of Azov. That's the part of Donbas that vk implies to be essential for full control of Crimea. But if Mariupol is essential for full control, then Putin neither has full control now, nor does he want it, because it is apparently Putin who pressured the rebels into leaving Mariupol in Ukrainian hands. By the criteria vk uses here, Putin doesn't have full control of Crimea now. This could be understood to show that in the long run Luhansk/Donetsk are untenable too, trapped in a race to collapse with Kyiv. And it would show too that Putin needs a genuine peace in Crimea, needs to do something, because in the long run, time is not on his/Russia's side. The thing is of course, is that either vk doesn't mean what is actually written, or vk won't draw the conclusions vk's own premises require.

SingingSam , Apr 10 2021 19:46 utc | 43

MarkU @26 got it right. It is a head fake.

Ukraine's leadership doesn't care about their civilians and soldiers. US and NATO leadership care even less for them. In the current context actions speak far louder than words.

Even the dimmest and most senile leaders can figure out some of the following:
• Russia is not bluffing. Bluffing is not their style.
• Neither the US nor NATO will put boots on the ground of Donbass or Crimea.
• Against Russia the US surface ships in the Black Sea are floating targets, as they are anywhere else in the world.
• There won't be a Minsk3 agreement.
• Nord Stream 2 will be completed no matter what. For the respect, Russia doesn't need the revenue so much.

If in fact Ukraine backs down, it will be a Biden continuation of Trump's off-repeated stunt of walking to the edge and then backing off. You can't expect innovation from senile players.

dh , Apr 10 2021 19:51 utc | 44

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

A little too much vodka in the Galician contingent would be my guess.

Stonebird , Apr 10 2021 20:31 utc | 48

Water, water, in the air but not a drop to drink.

Crimea needs water badly with summer coming on.
Any Ukrainian or Russian advance cannot happen across bogs and mud. Wait until the rain stops, or sink.

I saw somewhere that Zelensky actually thought of opening the canal sometime ago but was "stopped". It was never made clear WHO ordered him not to, or who ordered him to start an anti-Russian drive, or.....etc.

b's post undelines that the previous lines of cultural/liguistic division have not gone away, and have probably hardened. The Nasty brigade are actually in lands that probably do not appreciate them being there. (ie, the Russian speaking areas under Ukie control are probably not overjoyed to become "permanent collateral damage")


Anyone else notice the large movement of Chinese ships in the South China Sea? Doubled trouble for the Empire? They hardly get the time to concentrate on claiming "rights of passage" through Indian territoral waters, or in the Black sea, or in the Artic, without someone stirring the pot. Whatever next?

A diversion or just taking advantage of the limited scope of the attention span of whoever is in command in the US ?

blues , Apr 10 2021 20:37 utc | 49

-// Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. //- -- Henry Kissinger

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 52

@vk "And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia."

How so? It doesn't seem to me that a hypothetical merger of DPR, LPR, and Ukraine would have any effect on Crimea.

In fact, if DPR and LPR join according to the Minsk2 conditions, it could help, as they would (theoretically) become a significant political factor on the national level. Which is why Kiev is not interested in a peaceful unification.

And even a military conquest (which is what you're talking about) would create problems for Kiev, as disenfranchising (or expelling) most of the population there might be somewhat problematic.

William R Henry , Apr 10 2021 21:31 utc | 53

"One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse." --our host

Precisely. The US prefers to start its conflicts with a sucker punch, but that is only possible if the target is unprepared and looking the other way. Russia only needs to let its guard down and look away for a moment for the empire to take advantage of it. Notice how the ukrops are not moving their attack forces back? They will attack while the US ships are in the Black Sea to monitor the fighting and provide direction.

Donbass does not have strategic depth. The plan is to hit the republics with a suicide bum-rush. America doesn't care how many of the ukrop aggressors are exterminated in the attack so long as some units survive to take up positions in the city centers. The empire's strategists figure that with a sudden enough and massive enough assault, and given at least some element of surprise, this can be accomplished overnight. The ukrop cannon fodder will be given orders to not bother securing any areas they overrun and instead continue to charge forward.

Suicidal? Absolutely, because any Novorossiya troops that are overrun will regroup behind the ukrop aggressors and pull back, cutting off the units that penetrated into the cities. That's when those advance ukrop units will go all "Shock & Awe™" on the urban civilians to draw the Novorossiya units away from their established positions and demoralize them.

So long as the Russians are not caught with their pants down they should be able to easily repel the ukrop assault. If they are thinking this through clearly then the Novorossiya troops, with the Russians at their backs, should push for the Dniper in order to acquire that much needed strategic depth. At the same time the Black Sea should be completely cleared of any hostile vessels, and obviously that means the American ships.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:44 utc | 55

I disagree about DNR and LNR are of importance for Russia to keep hold on Crimea. Crimea secession was prior to the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, they tried to copy Crimean secession (even held referenda in 2014) To the frustration of DNR/LNR activists as well as many russian nationalists, the russian government has rejected all pleas to incorporate the breakaway regions or Ukraine into Russia. On contrary, it has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise, and the Minsk accords are part of. Putin even ostensibly bound his hands by forcing a Duma decree in 2015, revoking the "Medvedyev doctrine" from 2008 Georgian conflict which authorized use of force when ethnic Russians were threatened, Anyway, the russian government could not abandon the insurgency in Donbas without risking to be toppled by nationalists.

One should keep this in mind: Russia does not want the ethnically russian parts of Ukraine which would comprise of most of it. It was not Russia who escalated the inner ukrainian divide. And militarily, LNR and DNR are in no way helpful for Crimea. Normal relations between the RF and Ukraine would be in Russia's interest, would belp both countries. But that is what the West prevents at any cost, to the last Ukrainian. Only the dumb ukronazis don't realize that.

aquadraht , Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 56

@53 vk Ukraine will never get back DNR and LNR by military means, but, if at all, only via a compromise alongside the Minsk accords. And if you speak to realistic Ukrainians (there are not few, even in the nazi infested galicia and volyn), they all realize that Crimea is gone, and that it always only grudgingly agreed to be an autonomous republic inside Ukraine until 2014.

JohninMK , Apr 10 2021 22:43 utc | 59

fx @ 46

Its not just the Fortuna laying pipe now, the Akadamik Cherskiy has been on the job for about 10 day and she can lay pipe faster. According to the plans submitted to the Danes, in whose waters they are laying, Fortuna is expected to finish in May whilst the AC has permission until September but is expected to finish early.

As to the USN ships (Black sea regular USS Ross passed Gib inbound Med today) are not due in until the start of next week and will leave early May. What their role, apart from being a gesture of support for Ukraine, is is not clear. An obvious job of one, if not both, could be to be tied up at a berth in Odessa harbour as a poison pill to try to make sure that Russia does not attack that part of the coast. Were there to be an attack of course.

Seems to be a big mistake by the US to me. I can understand what they are trying to do but, given the option above, if they stay at sea it will be a clear statement that they don't want to get that involved. I'm sure it is not their intention to be so open in showing their true objective.

Another possible reason for a delay until May is that the Orthodox Church celebrates its Eater Sunday on the 2nd May.

William R Henry 52

There is no need to go to the Dneiper to gain sufficient strategic depth, not only would that be a political nightmare but just stopping at the oblast borders should be sufficient. Included in that would be Mariupol, the only Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov. That would make Donbass economically viable.

No need to clear the Black Sea, Russia totally dominates over, on and under it.

jared , Apr 10 2021 22:52 utc | 61

@ Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Wouldnt this be the second time that Zelinski used thread of conflict to help himself in election?

It seems an important point. Why would B over look it, I wonder.

Declaring war and then declaring peace. I guess one cannot chose ones neighbors.

I thought Russia stood to benefit from war. They should keep pressure on Zelinski - training, preparations and support of Donbass. Seems Russia is very measured with assistance.

Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 22:58 utc | 63

b. :
"It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now."

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to Brussels next week for more meetings with NATO and European officials, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.

The meetings will take up most of the week,[...]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Brussels at the same time, for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Frank muses that just as the postman always rings a second time to make sure people receive their mail, fate has made sure that he and Cora have both finally paid the price for their crime.

"Schöne Wochenende".
Next week will be interesting as last 3 were.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 10 2021 23:19 utc | 65

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

You misssed it....

Those elections were in 2019....

Zelenski has been compromised since then... most notably via loss of his plutocrat mentor...

The CIA/NSA/RightSector are firmly in charge, because Zelenski did not use his mandate to throttle them.

The best he could have done, was to invite Russia in for the purpose of "stabilizing" ukraine.

That, of course, did not happen.


Bernard F. , Apr 10 2021 23:48 utc | 70

"Europe" ask Russia to negociate

Western nations chided Russia for failing to turn up at talks in Vienna on Saturday aimed at defusing tension over Ukraine, where a Russian troop buildup close to the border between the two countries has sparked fears of renewed conflict.

Don't you remember?

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Friday following talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"Therefore, we organize our life coming from the premise that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at this stage,"

"I hope that the strategic review which is coming will finally pay attention to vital interests of the European Union in its closest vicinity " Lavrov stressed.

"I hope that today's talks will help us reach a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for it."

Grieved , Apr 11 2021 0:45 utc | 75

@b - "...why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

J Swift offered a good clue in his comment in the previous thread:

"the Nuland crowd have played right into Russia's hands, because the Ukraine is definitely a place where Russia has escalation dominance. I suspect that when some of those famous military channels began chatting, the Russians were not so friendly, and made it clear that an offensive by the Ukies would not only free Russia's hand toward the Nazis and provide a perfect excuse to rid the East and South of them, but that Russia would be specifically targeting US/NATO "advisers," command centers, resupply aircraft or any aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace, and would be just waiting for any US ship in the Black Sea to do something remotely involving it in the conflict, such that it would be on the bottom in minutes."

We know from Pepe Escobar's latest article , presenting highlights from the recent important interview with Nikolai Patrushev (Secretary of the RF Security Council), that Patrushev, a very dangerous and serious man, enjoys undiminished communications with Washington, including a March phone discussion with Jake Sullivan, White House security advisor. If his interview is anything to go by, his candid discussions with US leadership could have scared them totally awake.

Once again, it could well be that the neocons talked up a blazing firestorm that the generals and security professionals ultimately had to pour water on.

Patrick Armstrong in his latest article gives us ample evidence that Victoria Nuland, back in power and riding high, is also vastly ignorant and imperceptive, incapable of learning or reflection, and mediocre in her intelligence. The neocons, as Armstrong points out, have always failed. And they have led the US down a path of loss.

If in fact this Ukraine adventure is over for the moment (if in fact it ever was real in the first place), then it bears total resemblance to every other neocon stupid idea, that goes as far down the path to ruin as it can, sometimes being stopped by wiser heads, sometimes simply charging over the edge, into the abyss.

If Russia gets to choose, one assumes Russia would prefer no military activity in Ukraine. And if Russia is forced into military action, one also assumes as best guess that Russia will reshape the map to a better end for all. It could just be that Russia managed to communicate this to the US, and that the US managed to hear.

dh , Apr 11 2021 1:14 utc | 77

@74 Yes but that doesn't really address b's question. Why was this allowed to happen in the first place? We know all about Nuland and her cookies and encouragement from Washington. But why was the Minsk agreement broken? Why do the Ukies keep lobbing shells into Donbass?

Those troops are bored. I'm sticking with my vodka theory.

vk , Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 78

@ Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 55

Just to clarify: Russia has already officially stated (many years ago) that it doesn't want any other piece of the Ukraine (i.e. any other piece beyond Crimea). It wants the Ukraine to survive in the form of a federalized State with the DPR and LPR enjoying high levels of autonomy (a la Spain).

Ukraine is not profitable to Russia. It would drain its coffers were it to have to conquer and absorb it entirely.

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, and they gave it some relief from its chronic negative population problem - all of that without having to advance one inch over continental Ukraine.

michaelj72 , Apr 11 2021 1:39 utc | 79

Germany vetoed any more provocations by the US or nato against the Donbass/Crimea that would clearly call in massive Russian support. Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation; an end of that part of the story - and there are several hundred thousand people in the Donbass that now have Russian passports. Russia won't stand for any of it. No matter how much the dumb Ukrainians or the lackey Poles or their US/nato masters huff and puff and bellow.....

it is also not in the slightest German interests for a war to break out right in the middle of Europe that might escalate into a nuclear confrontation, nor is it in their national interest to lose the Nord Stream 2 project... at all.

I don't know about France's position in all this but either France or Germany could/would exercise veto over any nato troops/intervention in the Ukraine.

time to return to the Minsk agreements. in spite of the incredible stupidity of the US foreign policy Establishment and those jackass war-mongers Blinken, Nuland and Austin et. al.

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 2:17 utc | 81

Do you really expect the Amerikastani Empire's puppet Ukranazi coup regime to say "we will attack"? Instead it will attack and then claim Russia attacked it. Just like Hitler's Gleiwitz radio station false flag attack that started WWII.

Lozion , Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 82

Zelensky in Istanbul. Erdogan to refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian territory..
Saw a tweet today saying something along the lines of Russia preventing flights to Turkey this summer for "Covid" reasons, read between the lines..

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

Cesare , Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84

It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.

Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.

psychohistorian , Apr 11 2021 2:31 utc | 85
@ Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 81 with the link about the Ukraine/Turkey meeting today..thanks

Interesting position by Erdogan and I would think it would effect Turkey's purchase of Russian defense equipment but who knows where the complexity balance resides in the ME.

Lots of tinder just waiting for a spark to point the blame at for world conflagration. I will believe this situation is cooling when I read about the US ships turning around and not going into the Black Sea.

Virgile , Apr 11 2021 2:56 utc | 86
Erdoğan has several goals in Ukraine. Show Russia that he is strong and important for Russia as he has influence on Ukraine. Show the USA that he is an active participant of NATo. Sell his military drones to whoever wants them as well as other turkish products.
He appears as a king maker and gets business and approval from russia,the EU and the Usa to avoid a war. A very successful move needed to rehabilitate Erdoğan seriously in trouble with both the usa and the EU...
jayc , Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87

The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.

Canada's Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as "the Kremlin's version of how to make peace" which are being utilized in an "enforcement operation" featuring a "coercive use of force" meant to "induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris" to accept "Moscow's terms." Awful reporting by any objective measure.

Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes "spontaneous" Russian deployments designed to "keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO".

Russia should be opposed because: "Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed."

Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:

1) "For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces "

2) "Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region."

Biswapriya Purkayast , Apr 11 2021 12:10 utc | 119

I have a feeling, it's only a feeling right now, that the looted black hole that's Ukranazistan after 7 years of "freedom " is such a drain that the EUNATO gangsters behind the Maidan would love to palm the ruins off to Russia. "Here, you broke it, you own it."

Lozion , Apr 12 2021 1:30 utc | 140

Saker's latest from Martyanov is a must-read. One can imagine Milley's reaction to Gerasimov's little reminder of what awaits any invading force..

psychohistorian , Apr 12 2021 4:49 utc | 143

Below is the latest I have read about Ukraine

MOSCOW, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Russia does not seek a war with Ukraine but is concerned for the Russian-speaking population in the country's eastern Donbass region, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday.

"No one is going to move towards a war, and no one at all accepts any possibility of such a war," Peskov told a Russian TV program.

"Russia has never been a party to this conflict (between Kiev and insurgents in Donbass). But Russia has always said that it will not remain indifferent to the fate of Russian speakers who live in the southeast of Ukraine," he added.

According to the spokesman, Kiev refuses to fulfill its responsibilities under the Minsk agreements on a Donbass settlement, with government forces intensifying "provocative actions" in the region.

Russia, Germany and France are "bewildered" by Kiev's recent claims that the Minsk agreements are useless, Peskov said, adding that there are no alternatives to the pacts for a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Political advisers of the Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders are working towards holding a summit on eastern Ukraine, he said.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:14 utc | 144

Skiffer #122

but I do see this situation more as having put the Maidan-coalition on the back-foot and having to disentangle themselves, rather than a carefully pre-planned and coordinated operation.

Thank you and I humourously appreciated your allusions to the asylum that has captured Ukraine. The Maidan Murder Coalition has discovered its karma that was always lying in wait. These villainous rsoles will seriously collapse under the weight of it all, particularly the sniper trick shooters on the Maidan crowds.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 8:44 utc | 145

Lozion #140

Thank you. Martyanov is direct and unambiguous in the main. I take it that this was the item at the Vineyard of the Saker you cited?

I loved this line: "Everyone can recall a wide-spread (spread most likely by some overly zealous, but not very literate, Russian "patriots") rumor about DDG-75 USS Donald Cook having her electronics "burned" by a couple of intrepid Russian Su-24s in April of 2014, who allegedly forced this American ship to fast return to Constanta, where, allegedly some of her crew expressed a desire to abandon the ship. NYT and other US media, not without justification, called those rumors to be Russian "propaganda". They have a point."

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:20 utc | 147

Which seems as good a moment as any to plug my new product (!!). Since that picture of Col. Brittany visiting Donbass in uniform of 72th mechanized division with a prominent skull badge reminded me so of the sketch 'Are we the Baddies' it is time to market my new velcro badges with rainbows and BLM logos. Stick them anywhere to show you're part of the right camp! If you shoulder badges may offend leftist softies, just stick these badges on top of them for the perfect photo op! HTS already ordered a large batch. Now 20% off and buy two get one free!

Tuyzentfloot , Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Turkey wants to build on its successes in Nagorno Karabach to sell its weapon systems to Ukraine. Whether they also explicitly wish the conflict to explode is less clear.

uncle tungsten , Apr 12 2021 10:11 utc | 149

Tuyzentfloot #148

Turkey was not alone in Azerbaijan. Its mate Israel was supplying toys and tricks as well as I recall.

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 11:26 utc | 150

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 12 2021 9:41 utc | 148

Erdogan needs money, cash. The same seems to be true of most if not all Western politicians. But some, like Erdogan and Bibi, need lots of money.

Putin on the other hand, does not need cash. He has a healthy fiat currency at his disposal and sells a lot of food, oil, lumber, weapons etc. internationally.

I don't think Ukraine is going to be a good source of cash for Erdogan, or Bibi. They need a lot of cash too.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

So there is a massive build-up on both sides in Ukraine? ( The following comment was provoked by info from a tweet that the Ukrainians have "found" a secret plan by the Kremlin for a union with Donbas .. unconfirmed )

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia? There is no "need" for the Russians to physically "invade" the area. They can just sit there and wait for the Ukrainians to do something. Then IF Zelensky decides, it is he who has to "start" the conflict. As a plan it is the perfect reversal of the usual Russian "aggression".

Zelensky's bluff called?

A "union" is just another way of saying "it is ours EVEN IF the title is nominally someone elses, stuff you".

The massive forces on the "frontlines" are there to remind the Ukes and their backers what "might" happen, IF they "invade" Donbas/Luhansk. What can they do about it? Make rude noises in the background?

The US, Israel and Turkey are all examples of one country simply "taking over" parts of another country - without any legality whatsoever. US in NE Syria, Turkey with it's advance of 32km all along a new frontline, with a wall between itself and Syria. Israel with the Golan. None of them have the slightest legal reason to be there. (Chinese claim the Spratleys, which is a legal fig-leaf).

Lateral thinking by Putin? Would he even need a legal fig-leaf?

Bemildred , Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

What if......?
... The Russians and the Dondbas/Luhansk actually DO declare a union with Russia?

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 12 2021 12:47 utc | 151

It is an interesting idea, and I would not want to say it will not happen, but it seems un-Putin-like to me based on past performance. He's been very comfortable with frozen conflicts in the past. And I think he probably still wants Ukraine as a buffer, friendly but not Russia, and to keep it whole minus Crimea.

Stonebird , Apr 12 2021 16:45 utc | 155

Bemildred | Apr 12 2021 14:26 utc | 152

This way he would still "keep" Ukraine on a tether, and avoid being accused of aggression.

OK, it may go that way but the silence (from Putin) and the refusal of the Russians to give more than vague reasons for their actions, does mean that the west's MSM have nothing to froth at the mouth about- Let Zelensky stew in his own juice.

As well as the regular Army and volunteers, He is going to end up with seven thousand ex-jihadists employees, multiple "mercenaries" from the US and the other parts of the world, orders for Drones, arms etc. BUT he is losing $3 billion revenue from gas (the transit of which has been "slowing down") since the 1st April. I don't know what he has contracted to supply to those futher along the pipeline. Plus the debts to the WB and IMF.

So how long can he keep up the expense of having a standing army of 105'000 or more at the ready?

The Russians can wait them out. If they just don't "talk" or give any PR leeway to the west, then with the attention span of the goldfish in the EU and US citizens, it will drop once again from view. (20 seconds for a goldfish otherwise they would get bored going round and round in a bowl ?)

karlof1 , Apr 12 2021 18:07 utc | 156

Diesen in his book, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia , provides the rationale for the Outlaw US Empire's actions in Ukraine, that are actually aimed at NATO members, which it fears will be enticed by Russia and fracture the alliance:

"This susceptibility to outside sabotage of regional unity [NATO] can be mitigated by centralizing power by, for example, instigating more overt military tensions to strengthen alliance unity." [Pg. 22]

This also serves to provide additional energy to the Russophobic Narrative and the unfounded rationale for anti-Russian sanctions. The Empire must at all costs continue NATO's viability for that ensures the Empire's geoeconomic and geopolitical control of the EU. The same is true in East Asia where the anti-China narrative must be continued to keep Japan and South Korea under the Empire's thumb, although South Korea is slowly slipping away.

[Apr 14, 2021] Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget

Apr 14, 2021 |

Piotr Berman , Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

[Apr 14, 2021] Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine"

Apr 14, 2021 |

vk , Apr 10 2021 21:41 utc | 54

Interesting interview. Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine" - probably West of the Dnieper, East of the Dnieper). It's in Russian, so maybe inconsistencies with automatic translation may exist:

Петр Авен: "У Гайдара было вполне имперское сознание"

The interview is with Russian neoliberal banker (of the circle of Yeltsin and Gaidar, St. Petersburg intelligentsia) Viktor Loshak, from "Alfa-Bank group" (machine translation). He was a working under Shatalin in the 1980s, so he's allegedly an eye witness (primary source) of the alleged plans.

He also claims that the St. Petersburg neoliberals never intended to end the Union, and that what really happened in the 1990s wasn't intended. Smells like revisionism to me, but ok, the St. Petersburg circle was never known for their intellectual prowess, so it's possible.


@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 51

It has in the sense that the Ukraine wants to restore its entire territory, not just some part of it. There is no scenario where, it being able to reconquer LPR-DPR, it would leave Crimea with Russia.

vk , Apr 10 2021 22:22 utc | 57

ERRATA: @ 53, I said the interviewed was Viktor Loshak. Loshak is the interviewer. The interviewee (the Alfa-Bank banker) is Petr Aven.

[Apr 14, 2021] After The Bear Showed Its Teeth The Ukraine Filed For Peace

Now it looks more and more like a deliberate provocation. With Ukraine striving to get attention and the USA striving to stop NS2.
Notable quotes:
"... The new 2020/2024 Russia/Ukraine transit gas contract is 'pump or pay' in that Russia pays $7B over 5 years regardless of whether gas is shipped or not. So it doesn't matter if the volume drops. I am actually surprised that it has given the still harsh weather in Europe. ..."
"... Meanwhile more figures are out on NS2 and it looks, given good weather, that both Fortuna and AC could finish pipe laying in both Danish and German waters by the end of May. So operational by the end as of year as stated by Gazprom looks on the cards, if not earlier. ..."
"... I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright. ..."
"... The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence. ..."
"... Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats. ..."
"... This will be followed by an attack on the two Republics, dead bodies everywhere, un indisputable reason to convince the Germans with to scrap Nord-2. ..."
"... I am wondering if this might be an advantage for Russia and other countries in the mid to long term, that their companies are forced to master all the complex technologies involved as fast as possible? Maybe they will even become competitors to their western equivalents? ..."
Apr 14, 2021 |
Jamesp , Apr 10 2021 14:58 utc | 1

First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.

It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the U.S. more influence in Europe . The U.S. and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty".

Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the U.S. or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.

Late yesterday it suddenly decided to file for peace (machine translation):

The Armed Forces ruled out the use of force to "liberate" Donbass

KIEV, April 9 - RIA Novosti. "Liberation" of Donbass by force will lead to mass deaths of civilians and servicemen, and this is unacceptable for Kiev, said Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak.

"Being devoted to universal human values ​​and norms of international humanitarian law, our state puts the lives of its citizens in the first place," the General Staff's press center quoted him as saying.

According to Khomchak, the Ukrainian authorities consider the political and diplomatic way to resolve the situation in Donbass a priority. At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for an adequate response both to the escalation of the conflict and to "the complication of the military-political and military-strategic situation around the country."

Zelensky himself chipped in (machine translated):

Zelensky spoke for a truce in Donbass

MOSCOW, April 9 - RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need for a new truce in Donbass after visiting the contact line.

The head of state wrote on Facebook that shooting at the front lines had become "a dangerous routine." "After several months of observing a complete and general ceasefire, we returned to the need to establish a truce," Zelensky said.

As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak emphasized earlier, the use of force to "liberate" Donbass is unacceptable for Kiev, as it is fraught with casualties among the civilian population and military personnel. At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue . One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Posted by b on April 10, 2021 at 14:44 UTC | Permalink

It would be so beneficial to Russia in so many ways to fix the Ukraine problem once and for all, that America is now backpedalling fast and hoping the Russians do not get their fix. They want this to continue to be a set of problems for Russia. Avoiding a war would be great for all, but if the West thinks they can resume this contentious scenario, they will find they are wrong. I am willing to bet that most common citizens of ukraine are sick of all this vitriol and tension, crashing economy, and other hardships. Maybe the majority will finally speak up and get their say.

JohninMK , Apr 12 2021 22:42 utc | 160

Stonebird @ 155

The new 2020/2024 Russia/Ukraine transit gas contract is 'pump or pay' in that Russia pays $7B over 5 years regardless of whether gas is shipped or not. So it doesn't matter if the volume drops. I am actually surprised that it has given the still harsh weather in Europe.

Meanwhile more figures are out on NS2 and it looks, given good weather, that both Fortuna and AC could finish pipe laying in both Danish and German waters by the end of May. So operational by the end as of year as stated by Gazprom looks on the cards, if not earlier.

andreweed , Apr 10 2021 15:04 utc | 2

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

because this is what bullies do. and when they sense they are about to lose in a fight, they ask for peace.

Mao Cheng Ji , Apr 10 2021 15:25 utc | 5

Once again, the World is saved. Pure West-emitted Goodness stopped The Dark Lord Putin in his tracks.

Jackrabbit , Apr 10 2021 15:38 utc | 7

At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

If war is really unacceptable to Ukraine why aren't they pulling back their forces?

1) Because the "Russian aggression' propaganda must continue until Nord Stream 2 is terminated.

2) Because the threat of a war with NATO-supported Ukraine must be sustained to deter Russia in Idlib and elsewhere.


Don , Apr 10 2021 15:42 utc | 8


The only deterrent US ships provide is the type that Russia wants to avoid engaging the US directly for fear of an eventual nuclear exchange. Otherwise, those ships provide no challenge to their military capabilities.

I submit the ships are there to encourage Zelensky to take a risk thinking the US has his back. But it appears even he isn't this dumb and this whole thing is going to blow over as I predicted a week or two ago.

imo , Apr 10 2021 15:44 utc | 9

So, was it always about bluff, theater and optics? ... Or did they simply lose their will to die young? I guess Zelensky is a bad-joke comedian after all. He gets the local nazis off his neck (for a while) by being a bold bad-ass boy and passing ideological laws (far from reality); and then goes listen to the frontline generals as they explain the suicidal meaning of his comic bluster. Being an actor, it's all just a stage for a gig, it seems. So, now he tells his pet nazi thugs that Ruslan Khomchak has their phone numbers. Perhaps now that Phil-the-(UK)Greek has died the Nato biolabs will be working on the next 'Plan B' reincarnation-virus pandemic mix. Sputnik-V 2.0 better be ready soon.

bevin , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

"Sluha Narodu ("Servant of the People"), the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, having won more than 43% of the votes countrywide, will now command majorities of both the party-list and the single-constituency seats in the new parliament; 253 seats altogether out of 422, or a "mono-coalition" as the party is calling the result, or as the hostile Ukrainian media term it, "a landslide [which] has never occurred in the contemporary history of Ukraine and it is more typical for post-Soviet Asian dictatorships..."

"...This beats earlier pollster predictions that Zelensky would be forced into a coalition with Holos ("The Voice"), a US-invented spoiler organization of Lvov region (Galicia) led by pop singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. He ended up with less than 6% of the national votes, fewer than forecast. Holos has proved to be neither the voice of youth, nor an organization without oligarch support (it was backed by Victor Pinchuk), nor a political party at all.

"Polling better than predicted was the Donbass (Donetsk, Lugansk regions) party, Opposition Platform led by Victor Medvedchuk, which ended up with 13% nationally; 48% in Lugansk; 42% in Donetsk; 24% in Odessa; and 19% in Nikolaev. If the additional votes of the eastern Opposition Bloc of Boris Kolesnikov and Vadim Novinsky are counted with Medvedchuk's aggregate, together they have drawn majorities of 53% to 54%, putting Zelensky's party in the east in a minority.

"This is the first time democracy has defeated a US Government-installed putsch and junta in Europe since the election of Andreas Papandreou's Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 1982."

According to John Helmer "President Volodomyr Zelensky (right) is suffering from memory failure, mood swings, and other neurological disorders after his hospitalisation for Covid-19 five months ago..." The obvious theory is that Zelensky was playing for time while giving the ultra fascists and their Canadian sponsors free rein until the elections gave the Ukrainian people- powerless political flotsam and jetsam, tossed around by Ottawa Nazis, Anglo imperialism and a corrupt oligarchy which has been robbing everyone in sight, blind since time immemorial a chance to indicate that it would be an extremely dumb move to attack Russia. Amongst other reasons, because the average Ukrainian would very likely side with the Russians against their ancient persecutors the Poles and Balts.

For Helmer:

psychohistorian , Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 14

b wrote
It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Good question. It fits with the characterization of late empire flailing at trying to exert/maintain control over global narratives. Empire keeps hoping that Russia and China back down because they have no other options than bullying. This is just the latest example of the bully being faced up to.....thank you Mr. Putin!....we just hope the bully goes down without taking all the rest of us with it.

Steve , Apr 10 2021 16:44 utc | 16

I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright.

AriusArmenian , Apr 10 2021 16:58 utc | 19
If Ukraine doesn't start their self-destruction by launching war before end of June then I will believe the danger has passed this year and only because the crazies in the US are hesitating to push the final button.
JohnH , Apr 10 2021 16:59 utc | 20
Meanwhile the New York Times, which always claims to know everything about Russian intentions, is left clueless!
vk , Apr 10 2021 17:05 utc | 22
But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

The only plausible explanation is that time isn't in favor of the Ukraine (and maybe the USA). Time is running up.

We should stop seeing capitalism as this unmovable, eternal and indestructible system, and the USA as this eternal and indestructible empire with endless resources. Both presuppositions are entirely false: capitalism and the USA are historically specific phenomena, and they will - 100% certainty - collapse and disappear eventually.

In politics, time is always relative. You know you won't last forever, but you know you don't need to: you just need to last longer than your political enemy. The fact that USA outlived the USSR gave it almost 17 years of incontestable supremacy, even though, analyzing the numbers, we know that the economic apex of the American Empire (its "golden age") was between Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. The absence of its geopolitical rival resulted in the fact that the American Empire reached its pinnacle during Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, not at the time its people was the most happy, during 1945-1969.

But geopolitical apex doesn't always translate automatically to economic apex. The USA also suffered a lot with the Oil Crisis of 1974, after which it quickly started to financialize and deindustrialize, in a process that was best symbolized by the Nixon Reforms (the creation of the Petrodollar in 1971 with the secret talks with the Saudi royal family and the deal with China in 1972). This crisis was masked solely by the fact that the USSR suffered even more with the Oil Crisis than the USA, resulting into a relative ascension. This relative ascension can be verified by the fact that Ronald Reagan was the most popular POTUS of the post-war USA: his reign was, by all economic metrics, a monumental failure, but it was during his watch that the USSR started to collapse.

Signs of cracks in the USA were already evident when George H. W. Bush wasn't re-elected because of a tax revolt by the electorate. During Bill Clinton, the American Empire gained a lot of breathing space thanks to the absorption of the vital space left by the ex-USSR countries, which were ransacked by the American and, to a lesser extent, German, capitalists (Victoria Nuland's husband, for example, got extremely rich with the privatization of the communications services in ex-Yugoslavia, hence her particular interest in Eastern Europe affairs). But even during Bill Clinton we could already see some dark clouds, e.g. the infamous "twin deficits" increase. Bill Clinton also governed long enough to see the crisis of the Asian Tigers (1997) and the Dotcom Crisis (2000). The dark clouds that would result in the storm of September 2008 were already there, gathering.

Analyzing the economic data, we can clearly see that the USSR wasn't the only one in an age of stagnation: since 1990, only China and SE Asia genuinely grew. If the 21st Century is to be consolidated as the "Asian Century", then a historian of the 22nd Century will have to go back to that year (or even earlier, to the mid-1980s) to try to understand the Asian rise. Growth elsewhere (when it happened) was either vegetative or fruit of a relocation (i.e. rise in inequality, bankruptcy of some sectors in favor of others) of wealth. During the 2000s, almost all the economic growth can be exclusively traced back to China (Russia's and Brazil's commodity booms, SE Asia's continued dynamism due to China's outsourcing or financing of American debt).

The 2008 crisis ended Neoliberalism as a hegemonic ideology. Today's world is still very much neoliberal, but only because the global elites don't know what to do and, either way, it's being implemented in a very distorted way, very far from its ideological purity of the 1990s. No one takes neoliberalism seriously anymore, even among the high echelons of the economics priesthood. Some remnants of neoliberal thought are still alive in the form of some living fossils in Latin America, but its end if fait accompli.

It is in this world that the Ukraine chose to align with the American Empire. To put it simply, it chose the wrong side at the wrong time: it chose the West in an era that's shifting to the East. The euphoria of the fall of socialism masked the degeneration of capitalism that was started at the same time and it particularly impacted the Warsaw Pact (Comecon) and the Western ex-USSR nations.

The Ukraine debacle has two aspects. First of all: the Maidan color revolutionaries clearly envisioned a neonazi, pro-Western Ukraine in its territorial integrity, i.e. with Crimea, Luhansk and Donbas. They didn't see the pro-Russians being well-organized enough to be able to quickly fall back to Russia (Crimea being the most spectacular case, rapidly organizing a referendum and fully integrating with Russia). Those losses are big: without Crimea, Ukraine essentially lost any significant Black Sea influence, and without Donbas + Luhansk, it practically lost all its industry and economy. Donbas specifically was a huge blow to the Ukrainians: since the Tsarist era, it was the most industrialized and advanced region of the Russian Empire (even more than Moscow and St. Petersburg) and it continued to be so during the Soviet Era - three of the main Soviet General-Secretaries of the post-war era came from the region (Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev).

Secondly, Ukraine, by choosing capitalism, has put itself withing the capitalist metabolic clock. The era of the Marshall Plan is gone. The USA needs wealth and it needs now. It will have to pay tributes to its new metropolis, and the price is high. The USA will settle for nothing less than the entire Ukraine - including the rich regions of the Donbas basin, plus the Crimea (over which its powerful Navy will be able to project into Russian territory). It also won't settle for anything less than a fully NATO-integrated, IMF-controlled Ukraine. That's the price for a full accession to the capitalist club post-2008.

In this sense, Ukraine's time is very short, as it is sucking the IMF dry (financial black hole) and it will collapse soon. The patience of the Empire is short and is getting shorter. As is common with capitalist societies, the Ukraine is also starting to devour itself as it collapses with the lack of vital space: the liberal elites governing it are having to ask themselves how can they get out of this mess without being murdered by the neonazi base that sustains it; at this point, they're more worried about avoiding another Night of the Long Knives than in reconquering the Donbas and Crimea.

The only good aspect I see in the dissolution and extinction of the Ukraine is that it can finally put to rest the myth that Nazism is a brutal, but highly efficient, "system": there's not such a thing - and never was - as a "Nazi system". Germany already was the second industrial superpower by the time Hitler rose to power; he never elaborated any kind of economic theory or even policy, instead delegating it to the already existing (Weimarian) industrial elite. Hitler was just a very powerful cheerleader who dreamed in being an epic movie. There was never such a thing called "national socialism" - it was just the name of the Bavarian party that already existed when Hitler crossed the border; it was by mere chance of destiny that he came from Austria (Southern border) and not Denmark (Northern border), France/Alsace-Lorraine (Western border) or Poland-Sudentenland (Eastern border). Nazism is not a system, it is just crazy liberalism, and I hope the white supremacists and traditionalists in the West take note of that - if they don't want to be crushed.

MarkU , Apr 10 2021 17:28 utc | 27 Prof , Apr 10 2021 17:33 utc | 28
The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence.
oldhippie , Apr 10 2021 17:35 utc | 29

It is more than 24 hours since the initial announcement of a stand down and it would be nice to see some confirmation. Troops withdrawing would be confirmation. If it is happening in is not reported. What we get tends to be like the NYT item cited by John H @ 20. Nothing in that article but fantasy and delusion. The ongoing narrative crowds out facts until nothing is left. No one is as bad as NYT, still it is hard to trust anything we read.

Keeping an army in the field indefinitely is difficult. At minimum the troops must be fed and must be kept busy. Does Ukraine have the wherewithal to do that? I tend to doubt that, and yes, I am speculating. We will find out much later how bad desertion has been. We will find out much later how the hodgepodge of conscripts, mercs, Special Forces, and NATO got along. Reporting from 2014 had it that 600 NATO of every flavor were captured in the Debaltsevo cauldron. If you believe that. I can't see how Ukraine musters and fields another army after this if it is in fact over. More likely future armies will resemble what US manipulates in Syria -- Turks, Uighurs, jihadis from whole planet, mercs.

Domestic politics in Uke have to be crazy. No one can possibly know what is happening except the US Embassy. And they have their brains fogged by a lifetime of NYT fiction. No good locals for them to work with. If there was anyone good we would have seen them by now.

El Cid , Apr 10 2021 17:49 utc | 32

One must be awestruck with the talent the neo cons have for nation destruction. What they created in Ukraine is a virtual post nuclear war. Neither the EU or Russia want this basket-case-failed-Nazi state. Like the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, it has fortified its enemy whom it intended to weaken. Now, Putin has a Hezbollah type ally in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, and it has Russian Crimean back to the Motherland.

jayc , Apr 10 2021 18:02 utc | 34

Rick Rozoff, writing for the Antiwar website, has taken note of other activity - not least next week's scheduled appearances at NATO hdq of both the US Sec State and US Defence sec with Ukraine discussions on agenda.

Rozoff also notes that the CC of Ukraine armed forces continues with bluster about Ukraine's "territorial integrity" and invoking NATo Article 5.

Sam F , Apr 10 2021 18:10 utc | 35

Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats.

Such an utter humiliation of the US to pursue such foolish and racist FP, admitting its complete control by money power in all federal branches and mass media.

dadooronron , Apr 10 2021 18:21 utc | 36

As others here suggest, it's possible to read this as a success for the neocons. Ukrainian gov't troop movements set off Russian troop movements, which are then portrayed as aggressive, justifying whatever. It is very hard to believe that they seriously contemplated an attack on Russia's doorstep, or in its antechamber. But the question remains as to how far Zelensky's can has been kicked down the road.

Baron , Apr 11 2021 9:00 utc | 108

It's a trap, the calls for peace, new negotiations and stuff, it's to create the impression that the West and Ukraine are the good boys.

The next stage will be a heap of accusations that Russia is breaking the peace, makes threatening moves, is poised to take over rUkraine.

This will be followed by an attack on the two Republics, dead bodies everywhere, un indisputable reason to convince the Germans with to scrap Nord-2.

Martin , Apr 11 2021 11:07 utc | 114

After foreign pressure, several western companies abandoned building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. For example, the pipes are now laid by the Russian ship Fortuna instead of a Swiss one (

I am wondering if this might be an advantage for Russia and other countries in the mid to long term, that their companies are forced to master all the complex technologies involved as fast as possible? Maybe they will even become competitors to their western equivalents?

Usually, when governments decide about big industry projects, they demand that their national companies get some orders to profit from the project. Now, it seems reversed. The German government is still not openly against Nord Stream 2, but it has to be finished without some of the companies originally involved.

[Apr 11, 2021] Reject Nord Stream 2 Once and for All

Apr 11, 2021 |

William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago

Just put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.
Where does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.

[Apr 11, 2021] Reject Nord Stream 2 Once and for All - WSJ by Oleksii Reznikov April 8, 2021 6:37 pm ET
A pipe bearing the Nord Stream 2 logo at a plant in Chelyabinsk, Russia, Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS
Listen to this article 5 minutes 00:00 / 05:07 1x Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma found himself in the company of a political titan, France's President François Mitterrand, on a gloomy day in December 1994. "Young man, you will be tricked, one way or another," Mitterrand told Mr. Kuchma, who was then the leader of a newly independent nation. Unsettled as he felt, Mr. Kuchma accepted the security assurances of the U.S., U.K. and Russia and signed the Budapest Memorandum. In exchange, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal, then the third-largest in the world. Little did we know that two decades later one of the signatories -- Russia -- would attack Ukraine and occupy its sovereign territory. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma found himself in the company of a political titan, France's President François Mitterrand, on a gloomy day in December 1994. "Young man, you will be tricked, one way or another," Mitterrand told Mr. Kuchma, who was then the leader of a newly independent nation. Unsettled as he felt, Mr. Kuchma accepted the security assurances of the U.S., U.K. and Russia and signed the Budapest Memorandum. In exchange, Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal, then the third-largest in the world. Little did we know that two decades later one of the signatories -- Russia -- would attack Ukraine and occupy its sovereign territory. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Now, after many years of wooing and cajoling, Russia's attitude toward Ukraine is again growing belligerent. The Minsk process to resolve the conflict is stalled, and foreign troops have yet to leave the Donbas, the Ukrainian region where fighting rages on. Despite the supposed cessation of hostilities agreed to in September 2014, when the Minsk protocol was signed, little progress has been made. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. Ukrainians therefore are bewildered by the continuing construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline, known as Nord Stream 2. Unlike the attack on Crimea, which came as a surprise, the pipeline's completion will have entirely predictable consequences for our national security. Ukraine will be irreparably weakened as soon as Russia has a new direct gas link to Germany. With the Nord Stream 1 and Turk Stream pipelines already operational, Nord Stream 2 will complete the encirclement of Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, decoupling our energy security from Western Europe. Russia has tried to bully Ukraine by threatening gas cutoffs, most recently in June 2014. But Moscow has always had to be careful -- a large percentage of Russia's gas reaches Europe through Ukraine. If Nord Stream 2 is built, this consideration will be null and void. With the Nord Stream 1 and Turk Stream pipelines already operational, Nord Stream 2 will complete the encirclement of Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states, decoupling our energy security from Western Europe. Russia has tried to bully Ukraine by threatening gas cutoffs, most recently in June 2014. But Moscow has always had to be careful -- a large percentage of Russia's gas reaches Europe through Ukraine. If Nord Stream 2 is built, this consideration will be null and void. me title=

Opinion: Morning Editorial Report
Apr 11, 2021 |

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The Kremlin has demonstrated time and again its willingness to use energy trade to advance its geopolitical ambitions. It would be unwise, if not reckless, for Europe to increase its dependence on Gazprom , Russia's state-owned energy company, and give Moscow direct control over which countries are supplied with gas and which can be cut off.

The current contract between Gazprom and Ukraine's gas-transit operator guarantees the flow of westward exports via Ukraine until the end of 2024. But make no mistake: The day Nord Stream 2 is completed, that promise will be worthless. Even if some transit through Ukraine persists, Ukraine will be subject to the Kremlin's whims.

The fighting in the Donbas, where Russia operates through its proxies, mercenaries and even regular troops, has continued unabated for more than seven years. The gas pipeline has been spared from shelling -- Russia needs uninterrupted gas flows through Ukraine as much as we do. This mutual dependence is a deterrent that Nord Stream 2 will remove.

Ukraine is grateful to the U.S. Congress, which recognized the true nature of this pipeline project, and the European Parliament, which voted 10-to-1 on Jan. 21 to demand a halt to construction with a resolution on the arrest of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny in Moscow.

Germany and Europe already have access to a massive gas-transit network spanning the Black and Baltic seas, Belarus and Ukraine. The existing capacity is more than 50% higher than current consumption of Russian gas in the European Union. Even if the demand increases as Germany is working to phase out nuclear and coal power generation, there is no commercial need for another pipeline.

While Germany has little to gain, Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built -- a fact that Nord Stream 2 apologists often present as the only basis for Ukrainian opposition. The economic effect will be significant, but the claim is deliberately misleading. Ukrainian soldiers will be putting their lives on the line if Russia decides to escalate the conflict in the Donbas after it no longer needs to consider the effect on gas exports.

Ukraine understands the need to strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance and the desire to find a solution that works for both Washington and Berlin. It is, however, incumbent on the Kremlin first to demonstrate respect for international law. The ball is in Moscow's court. It can and should end hostilities in the Donbas region, withdraw its troops from the Crimean Peninsula and restore Ukrainian sovereignty.

me title=

President Biden was right to call the pipeline "a bad deal for Europe." As the project inches closer to completion, Ukrainians can't help but recall Mitterrand's words from nearly 30 years ago. Ukraine was tricked, just as the French president predicted. Let us not repeat history but learn from it. We must come together and reject Nord Stream 2 once and for all.

Mr. Reznikov is Ukraine's deputy prime minister for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories. V

V Lee SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago

The Ukrainian kleptocracy will see their cut shrink or disappear when gas will start flowing via Nord Stream 2. Not "a bad deal for Europe" just for Ukraine.
A Koster SUBSCRIBER 17 hours ago
Did i mention Turkey's role in Syria ?

It's interesting that everyone conveniently fails "to mention the role that gas line geopolitics played in the "fallout" between Erdogan and Assad; as soon as Assad vetoed the Qatar-Turkey pipeline that would have brought massive wealth to his family's energy transshipment business (BMZ Ltd), Assad instead signing on to the Iran-Iraq-Syria "Friendship Pipeline", the friendship was ended and the war on Assad commenced"

A Koster SUBSCRIBER 1 day ago
This article is about one thing.. absolutely nothing to do with a risk to Ukraine's national security

'Ukraine stands to lose billions of dollars in transit revenue if the second Baltic Sea gas link is built"

And Turkey is in there like a dirty shirt.. see "Russia Warns of Full-Scale War in Eastern Ukraine, Blames Kyiv".. like it was with Azerbaijan as they slaughtered thousands of Christians in Armenia.. and all for the first find in the Caspian Sea by Azerbaijan since Russia's breakup.. HINT: they wanted.. not needed.. a direct route west for a pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.. which they got in a Russia brokered peace deal

So i guess congratulations are in order to Biden's NATO as they loyally keep working on enlarging the EU and keeping the oil baron families of Erdogan and Alyiev filthy rich

James Schumaker SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago
I suggest you look up the Budapest Memorandum. The U.S. gave no guarantees. Like Russia, it gave assurances. I also suggest you stop falling for pro-Trump talking points and look at what Trump actually did with regard to Ukraine. He tried to extort its President into digging up dirt on his main political opponent by threatening to withdraw military aid. That's what he was impeached for -- the first time.
Where does Burisma stand on the issue? Will be Biden's brief.
Jens Praestgaard SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Otto von Bismarck's maxim for the newly formed German state was to always keep cordial relations with Russia. NordStream 2 is a step towards normalization of the German/Russian relationship after 120 years of failure.
Jim Mcdonnell SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Bismarck's policy made sense in 19th Century Europe, and had Kaiser Wilhelm II not scuttled it we would be living in a very different world. But he did scuttle it, and the world has changed - largely in ways Bismarck sought to prevent - a great deal, as has Europe.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Bismarck's thoughts about Germany's geopolitical situation are still relevant today. He argued that the map that matters for German politicians is the map of Europe [and since 1945 that frame has been enlarged, has included the US and Canada]. That Germany needed to pay particular attention to relationships with its neighbors. That the country was to small to dominate Europe, and should rely on a system of stable alliances to ensure stability, Ukraine and Russia are neighbors, Bismarck would have seen relationships with both countries as relevant. Communication channels need to be kept open, those relationships need to be managed. One neighbor, Russia, is an authoritarian state and since 2014 more openly aggressive. It needs to be contained and challenged. The US has not been a reliable partner in doing that in the last 4 years under Trump. That might change under a Biden, but will he be able to make and lock in the appropriate policy decisions? We'll see.
John Bute SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Germany has made a terrible strategic mistake by abandoning nuclear power to become more and more dependent on Russian natural gas. France gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear power and about 10% from fossil fuel. Only moderate increases in hydro power and renewable energy will make it fossil fuel independent.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
German voters make their own decisions about climate change and definitely don't look for US advice. Power plants burning coal and producing nuclear energy are coming off the grid. Natural gas will continue to be important in that mix for quite some time. The Green Party's power is growing. It successfully expanded its electoral base in 2 state elections this spring with broad support from middle class voters. After all, environmentalism is a full belly movement. The Greens will challenge the German Conservatives, Merkel's Christian Democrats, in September at the ballot box in national elections and other state elections. And Merkel will not be on the ballot. Her CDU, which has been consistently the most pro-American party in Europe, finds that pro-American stance is now a big liability. 4 years of the Trump regime. which treated Germans as clients, changed the political landscape. Fewer Germans see the US is as a reliable partner, and that is now true even in Merkel's party.
Germany may view the US as an unreliable partner but they still rely on the US for economic and military protection. Perhaps Germans have replaced the US with NATO in their minds and ignored the fact that the US is the majority of NATO. Where Russia to threaten Germany where do you think Germany would turn? France? UK? China?
So Germans are free to trash Trump for asking them to provide a modicum of their own protection but in the end they will look to the US should they be threatened either economically by a cutoff of gas from Russia or a military threat from Russia.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 20 hours ago
Look at Gallup polling data or the Pew Research Center's data in its Global attitudes program. In many countries Trump ranked even below Xi or Putin. He was perceived as the bigger threat--unstable, angry, without a strategic vision, just a ventilator of his emotions, a middle schooler craving attention, a clown. Yet he made these huge claims, all lies, that the US was respected and listened to. The polling data tells us otherwise. Trump's lying and the hubris that fell from these lies, that is unprecedented.
And now; THE LOSER. The Mouse-of-Mar-a-Lago. But, the Republican Party still follows him.. The man will be remembered as the worst president the US ever had, ranking even below the corrupt Harding and the imbecile Buchanan. The lowest of the low. And as THE LIAR [-->Trump should register that as a trademark]. History books won't be kind to him and the suckers that still gobble up his lies even now after the putsch or whatever you want to call the Capitol "riot." Barnum was right!
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
England and France have their own nuclear deterrents. Europeans just want cheap steady supply of energy. Russia is in the Middle East because Hillary and Obama destroyed Syria and Libya. Bush put us in Iraq and Afghanistan for 20 years! Trump started the withdrawal. Let's hope sleepy preacher Biden continues it.
Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
A little reality check: At the very moment when Washington supposedly champions energy independence and warns European allies against becoming too dependent on Moscow, American refineries are buying more Russian oil than ever before.
Check out the article by Javier Blas on the Bloomberg News site, published Mar. 24, 2021: "U.S. Thirst for Russian Oil Hits Record High Despite Tough Talk."
David Thomson SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Puerto Rico buys Russian LNG because there are no American-built LNG tankers. Thanks to the Jones Act, we can't ship LNG from Texas to PR.
Eugene Boutz SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)
Ukraine is composed of three *identities* which have nothing in common and want nothing in common.

There are the Russian speakers in the East and along the Black Sea, the people surrounding Lviv in the West which want to be European and the denizens of Kiev who tend to favor the values and views of the Chancellor of Germany in the '30s.

Ukraine already has a tripartite schism and is most likely headed for a tripartite split once the Russian Federation, having had its absolute fill of Kiev's games, obtains Beijing approbation to bring the matter to a conclusion with weaponry of which Kiev can only dream.

The United States is not going to fight a nuclear war with Russia over the interests of the Kiev faction nor does Germany want it to.

Nor do I.

Nor do you.

Heiko Muhr SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago (Edited)
The Germans are not going to cave. They will finish the pipeline. It is now 96 % built. The West Europeans started importing Russian gas more than 40 years ago. Ronald Reagan failed when he tried to stick it to the Germans with sanctions. And so will Cancun Ted. The old pipeline system that runs through Ukraine has been reverse-engineered with EU funds about a decade ago. Ukraine has already been reliably supplied from the West when the Russians cut supplies. The talking points in this piece are based on Cancun Ted's hallucinations, and not the facts on the ground. For a factual analysis see Eugene Rumer's long piece published today in Defense News "Punishing Germany for Nord Stream 2 does nothing to stop Putin." Rumer is the director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously worked as a national intelligence officer on Russia and Eurasia for the U.S. National Intelligence Council. He actually knows what he is talking about.
William Wahl SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Just put Hunter on it. He'll fix this right up.
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
Biden has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision in his entire career in Washington. Mitterrrand was a bureaucrat who started his rise in vischy France. Ukraine is in a tough spot. So is Russia. They have been fighting for 7 years. Body counts go up,citizens do not like it. Russia will not sacrifice one pipeline for another. Ukraine and Russia can agree to no NATO troops on their border and tensions will go down.
bruce miller SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
And who talked Ukraine into giving up their nukes? Well we did. Or rather, Slick and his pals did. Bet the Ukrainians wish they'd kept a bunch. Just for old time's sake.
michael ring SUBSCRIBER 2 days ago
What bargaining power would they be?No person or government in their right mind would use them. This is about land grabbing.

[Apr 09, 2021] Can Ukrainian forces capture Donbass without heavy losses?

Apr 09, 2021 |

Aaron Hilel , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

@AH14 t turns tail (as usual).

NATO commissars chase Ukrainian conscripts into RU artillery and machinegun fire until they lose control over their units, which immediately flee the battlefield (as usual).
If V.V. Putin feels merciful, there's no Buratino rocket barrages on troop concentration points, as happened during Ilovaisk debacle.

Now, hopefully NATO will puff up and use their vaunted Israeli drones during the attack, so RU can study the remains.
You never, ever attack entrenched, prepared and boresighted Russians in tank country, without air superiority, because if you do you get Kursk.
In the best case.

In worst, and most probable case, NATO will get another Saur Mogila disaster.

Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

Yes, Russia could have some aces hidden up their sleeve. So could the US. So could Nato. So could even Ukraine...

Alfred , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:39 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Zarathustra urriculum. The Russians must stop protecting the Jews who control the narrative everywhere. Jews must no longer control more than 10% of the media. They are only 1-2% of the population.

Like the Jews, Galician Ukrainians are always victims. What they did to the Poles during the German occupation is forgotten.

Ukrainians deported from Poland in 1944 recall mass killings, explain paths to historical reconciliation

Desert Fox , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:45 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago

The zionists are in control in the Ukraine and if they start a war with Russia the Ukraine is going to be destroyed, Russia has warned Ukraine over and over but being the typical zionists that they are, they will accept nothing but destruction and bloodshed as long as it is someone elses blood and destruction.

The zionists have destroyed Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen and America.

Avery , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:31 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@alwayswrite ous Regions/Republics had the legal right to secede from the given SSR they were attached to. Furthermore, once USSR dissolved, any legal basis for a given (former) SSR to have sway on the given Autonomous Soviet Republic ended.

In fact most of original Ukraine was artificially "fattened up" by various Russian and Soviet leaders.
[Territories Annexed to Ukraine]

Herald , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:34 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Miro23 Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.

Merkel and Macron know just what the US is playing at. If the Ukraine does get the deserved thrashing, that it is literally begging for, then of course there will be German and French knee jerk condemnations along with the ritual imposition of token sanctions. However this dangerous episode, will likely harden the resolve of both countries to escape the grip of the flailing hegemon, which is now in its death throes. So perhaps in the slightly longer term, the whole episode will backfire on the US and big time at that.

Russia might feel that war in Ukraine is inevitable and perhaps it would be better now, rather than later.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:51 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Levtraro ganovich, henchman to Stalin, but with an agenda of his own, had his troops and secret-police agents seize essentially ALL the food stocks from perhaps 2 million peasant families, resulting in death by starvation for multi-millions.

Thirdly, the heaviest battles in the Second World War were mostly fought in Ukraine. Again, the death totals of the civilian population were huge. The land was ravaged. Essentially the entire population were deeply traumatized.

Consequently one should not wonder that to the average Russian Ukrainians appear to be dazed and dumbed-down. So next time you see your Russian friends, kindly remind them that their brethren to the south and west should be regarded and treated with considerable compassion.

Ukraine Tiger , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Majority of One

Good comment. Basically what I have been saying since Maidan. I understand why it has not happened but the time has definitely come. I think the demarcation would be Odessa, Kherson, Mykolaev and then north along the Dnipro including Khortiskia and up to East Sumy. I know it sounds warmongerish but I hope this happens. Get this shit over with. There is so much happening in this country that discriminates against ethnic Russians more each day.

EugeneGur , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:15 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Quartermaster s military is nothing like they were in '14.

No, it isn't; it's worse. The Ukrainian army suffers huge non-combat losses every day: accidents from drinking or narcotics, desertion, suicides. Their commanders are incompetent and super-dumb as well as first-rate scumbags.

They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor.

That they do not remember, for that never happened, at least, not as described. What they do remember, however, are the caldrons in 2014-2015 and their horrendous losses.

Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again.

If anyone cared to swallow it, it would be. Alfred Muscaria , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:17 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago


"They well remember the Russian reconquest after the revolution and Holodomor. Ukraine will not be easily swallowed again."

Ummmmm . it would appear that the grandchildren of the architects of the Holodomor are the ones currently in power in Ukraine. Pretty amazing level of cucking and submission if you ask me.

canspeccy , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 4:18 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

Did no one think of letting the people of each Ukrainian oblast decide for themselves to which country they wished to belong?

Oh, but wait a minute, that's what those Russian bastards did in Crimea.

So sure, WWIII, bring it on, if that's what it takes to restore Crimea to the rule of the legitimate kleptocrats in Kiev.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:46 pm GMT • 1.2 days ago
@Levtraro vernment of Ukraine and that the current regime is nothing more than a puppet state which does NOT represent the best interests of the Ukrainian people and particularly of those particularly Russian speaking folks in Crimea and the Donbass region.

The illegitimate regime in Kiev is almost entirely Khazarian Talmudist dominated and in cahoots with the fascistic Uniates in Galicia. That group should be entirely divorced from any future Ukrainian state as their history has a long involvement with Western Roman Catholic cultures and consequently is an alien entity within the body politick of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia. Let them go their own way and not infect their neighbors to the south and east with their culturally indigestible attitudes.

[Apr 09, 2021] Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows - ZeroHedge

Apr 09, 2021 |

Turkey Confirms 2 US Warships To Enter Black Sea As Ukraine Posturing Grows BY TYLER DURDEN FRIDAY, APR 09, 2021 - 10:29 AM

Turkey's foreign ministry on Friday confirmed that it's granted permission for US warships to use the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to enter the Black Sea at a moment tensions with Russia over Ukraine are spiraling higher with tit-for-tat threats. Given it revealed the initial notification was two weeks ago, a pair of American warships are expected imminently to enter the Black Sea .

The foreign ministry said in a statement while referencing the treaty that regulates passage through the straits: "A notice was sent to us 15 days ago via diplomatic channels that two U.S. warships would pass to the Black Sea in line with the Montreux Convention. The ships will remain in the Black Sea until May 4. "

Typically the US gives 14-days notice prior to sending warships into the Black Sea, according to the long established treaty with Turkey regarding use of the Bosporus to enter the waters.

And Reuters notes the significance of the timing as follows : "The United States has informed Turkey that two of its warships will pass through Turkish straits to be deployed in the Black Sea until May 4, Ankara said on Friday, as Russia has bulked up its military forces on Ukraine's eastern border."

Late Thursday an unnamed US defense official had told CNN the warships would be deployed "in the next few weeks in a show of support for Ukraine ," and further the deployment would "send a specific message to Moscow that the US is closely watching," according to the report .

Importantly, all of this comes just days after Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky personally urged NATO to immediately expand its Black Sea presence. He had said in a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia , which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping," the president's press service indicated in a readout.

Zelensky had also traveled to the site of frontline renewed fighting in the Donbas region on Thursday in a show of support to Ukrainian national forces who are clashing with Russia-backed separatists.

While American vessels have long operated in the Black Sea, even semi-regularly conducting drills there, this time the US ships are being sent there specifically as a "warning" to Moscow .

But Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday announced naval maneuvers of its own, confirming that it's moving more than 10 navy vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea in order to conduct naval exercises.

With the rival naval build-up on the Kremlin and Ukraine's doorstep, and with the mutual amassing of troops on either side of the border... what could go wrong?

Bdubs 49 minutes ago

And Trump was the bloodthirsty war monger?

Is there ANYTHING the left disparages the right for that is not a psychological projection?

These f-ers need therapy.

Misesmissesme 1 hour ago (Edited)

Man, we're doing everything we can to turn Ukraine into Poland circa 1939.

Maybe we can find an Archduke to assassinate so we can turn the clock all the way back to 1914.

USAllDay 1 hour ago remove link

Joe sent his kid to Ukraine to blow lines. He'll send yours to blow up.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago

No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.

BeePee 1 hour ago

There were NATO advisors in Ukraine. Even that should be stopped.

Selling arms to Ukraine, most likely will continue. That's what companies do.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 58 minutes ago

The Ukrainians are being pushed to make a move against Donbass and even Crimea. It is a poor country buying expensive weapons, doesn't end well.

[Apr 09, 2021] Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

Apr 09, 2021 |

Originally from: Ukraine redux, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz Review

Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let's cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war.

On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference with European Council President in Kiev on March 3, 2021. Photo: AFP / Sergey Dolzhenko

The decree establishes that retaking Crimea from Russia is now Kiev's official policy. That's exactly what prompted an array of Ukrainian battle tanks to be shipped east on flatbed rail cars, following the saturation of the Ukrainian army by the US with military equipment including unmanned aerial vehicles, electronic warfare systems, anti-tank systems and man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

More crucially, the Zelensky decree is the proof any subsequent war will have been prompted by Kiev, debunking the proverbial claims of "Russian aggression." Crimea, since the referendum of March 2014, is part of the Russian Federation.

It was this (italics mine) de facto declaration of war, which Moscow took very seriously, that prompted the deployment of extra Russian forces to Crimea and closer to the Russian border with Donbass. Significantly, these include the crack 76 th Guards Air Assault Brigade, known as the Pskov paratroopers and, according to an intel report quoted to me, capable of taking Ukraine in only six hours.

It certainly does not help that in early April US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, fresh from his former position as a board member of missile manufacturer Raytheon, called Zelensky to promise "unwavering US support for Ukraine's sovereignty." That ties in with Moscow's interpretation that Zelensky would never have signed his decree without a green light from Washington.

On March 8, 2021, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during observance of International Women's Day in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP / Mandel Ngan

Controlling the narrative

Sevastopol, already when I visited in December 2018 , is one of the most heavily defended places on the planet, impervious even to a NATO attack. In his decree, Zelensky specifically identifies Sevastopol as a prime target.

Once again, we're back to 2014 post-Maidan unfinished business.

To contain Russia, the US deep state/NATO combo needs to control the Black Sea – which, for all practical purposes, is now a Russian lake. And to control the Black Sea, they need to "neutralize" Crimea.

If any extra proof was necessary, it was provided by Zelensky himself on Tuesday this week in a phone call with NATO secretary-general and docile puppet Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference at the end of a NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels on March 24, 2021. Photo: AFP / Olivier Hoslet

Zelensky uttered the key phrase: "NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass" – which means, in practice, NATO expanding its "presence" in the Black Sea. "Such a permanent presence should be a powerful deterrent to Russia, which continues the large-scale militarization of the region and hinders merchant shipping."

All of these crucial developments are and will continue to be invisible to global public opinion when it comes to the predominant, hegemon-controlled narrative.

The deep state/NATO combo is imprinting 24/7 that whatever happens next is due to "Russian aggression." Even if the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) launch a blitzkrieg against the Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics. (To do so against Sevastopol in Crimea would be certified mass suicide).

In the United States, Ron Paul has been one of the very few voices to state the obvious: "According to the media branch of the US military-industrial-congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more 'Russian aggression.'"

What's implied is that Washington/Brussels don't have a clear tactical, much less strategic game plan: only total narrative control.

And that is fueled by rabid Russophobia – masterfully deconstructed by the indispensable Andrei Martyanov, one of the world's top military analysts.

A possibly hopeful sign is that on March 31, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, talked on the phone about the proverbial "issues of mutual interest."

Days later, a Franco-German statement came out, calling on "all parties" to de-escalate. Merkel and Macron seem to have gotten the message in their videoconference with Putin – who must have subtly alluded to the effect generated by Kalibrs, Kinzhals and assorted hypersonic weapons if the going gets tough and the Europeans sanction a Kiev blitzkrieg.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks as German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on after a German-French Security Council video conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on February 5, 2021. Photo: AFP / Thibault Camus

The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO. Yet Merkel and Macron at least are fully aware that if the US/NATO combo attacks Russian forces or Russian passport holders who live in Donbass, the devastating response will target the command centers that coordinated the attacks.

What does the hegemon want?

As part of his current Energizer bunny act, Zelensky made an extra eyebrow-raising move. This past Monday, he visited Qatar with a lofty delegation and clinched a raft of deals , not circumscribed to LNG but also including direct Kiev-Doha flights; Doha leasing or buying a Black Sea port; and strong "defense/military ties" – which could be a lovely euphemism for a possible transfer of jihadis from Libya and Syria to fight Russian infidels in Donbass.

Right on cue, Zelensly meets Turkey's Erdogan next Monday. Erdogan's intel services run the jihadi proxies in Idlib, and dodgy Qatari funds are still part of the picture. Arguably, the Turks are already transferring those "moderate rebels" to Ukraine. Russian intel is meticulously monitoring all this activity.

A series of informed discussions – see, for instance, here and here – is converging on what may be the top three targets for the hegemon amid all this mess, short of war: to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices; to crash the Nord Steam 2 pipeline; and to boost profits in the weapons business for the military-industral complex.

So the key question then is whether Moscow would be able to apply a Sun Tzu move short of being lured into a hot war in the Donbass.

On the ground, the outlook is grim. Denis Pushilin, one of the top leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk people's republics, has stated that the chances of avoiding war are "extremely small." Serbian sniper Dejan Beric – whom I met in Donetsk in 2015 and who is a certified expert on the ground – expects a Kiev attack in early May .

The extremely controversial Igor Strelkov, who may be termed an exponent of "orthodox socialism," a sharp critic of the Kremlin's policies who is one of the very few warlords who survived after 2014, has unequivocally stated that the only chance for peace is for the Russian army to control Ukrainian territory at least up to the Dnieper river. He stresses that a war in April is "very likely"; for Russia war "now" is better than war later; and there's a 99% possibility that Washington will not fight for Ukraine.

On this last item at least Strelkov has a point; Washington and NATO want a war fought to the last Ukrainian.

Rostislav Ischenko, the top Russian analyst of Ukraine whom I had the pleasure of meeting in Moscow in late 2018, persuasively argues that, "the overall diplomatic, military, political, financial and economic situation powerfully requires the Kiev authorities to intensify combat operations in Donbass.

"By the way," Ischenko added, "the Americans do not give a damn whether Ukraine will hold out for any time or whether it will be blown to pieces in an instant. They believe they stand to gain from either outcome."

Gotta defend Europe

Let's assume the worst in Donbass. Kiev launches its blitzkrieg. Russian intel documents everything. Moscow instantly announces it is using the full authority conferred by the UNSC to enforce the Minsk 2 ceasefire.

In what would be a matter of 8 hours or a maximum 48 hours, Russian forces smash the whole blitzkrieg apparatus to smithereens and send the Ukrainians back to their sandbox, which is approximately 75km north of the established contact zone.

In the Black Sea, incidentally, there's no contact zone. This means Russia may send out all its advanced subs plus the surface fleet anywhere around the "Russian lake": They are already deployed anyway.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on as Novator Design Bureau director-general Farid Abdrakhmanov and Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko shake hands during a signing ceremony for government contracts in Alabino, Moscow region, Russia. on June 27, 2019. Photo: AFP / Alexei Druzhinin / Sputnik

Once again Martyanov lays down the law when he predicts, referring to a group of Russian missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau: "Crushing Ukies' command and control system is a matter of few hours, be that near border or in the operational and strategic Uki depth. Basically speaking, the whole of the Ukrainian 'navy' is worth less than the salvo of 3M54 or 3M14 which will be required to sink it. I think couple of Tarantuls will be enough to finish it off in or near Odessa and then give Kiev, especially its government district, a taste of modern stand-off weapons."

The absolutely key issue, which cannot be emphasized enough, is that Russia will not (italics mine) "invade" Ukraine. It doesn't need to, and it doesn't want to. What Moscow will do for sure is to support the Novorossiya people's republics with equipment, intel, electronic warfare, control of airspace and special forces. Even a no-fly zone will not be necessary; the "message" will be clear that were a NATO fighter jet to show up near the frontline, it would be summarily shot down.

And that brings us to the open "secret" whispered only in informal dinners in Brussels, and chancelleries across Eurasia: NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia.

One thing is to have yapping dogs like Poland, Romania, the Baltic gang and Ukraine amplified by corporate media on their "Russian aggression" script. Factually, NATO had its collective behind unceremoniously kicked in Afghanistan. It shivered when it had to fight the Serbs in the late 1990s. And in the 2010s, it did not dare fight the Damascus and Axis of Resistance forces.

When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians.

That's the rationale behind the annual US Army DEFENDER-Europe 21 , now on till the end of June, mobilizing 28,000 soldiers from the US and 25 NATO allies and "partners."

This month, men and heavy equipment pre-positioned in three US Army depots in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands will be transferred to multiple "training areas" in 12 countries. Oh, the joys of travel, no lockdown in an open air exercise since everyone has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Pipelineistan uber alles

Nord Stream 2 is not a big deal for Moscow; it's a Pipelineistan inconvenience at best. After all the Russian economy did not make a single ruble out of the not yet existent pipeline during the 2010s – and still it did fine. If NS2 is canceled, there are plans on the table to redirect the bulk of Russian gas shipments towards Eurasia, especially China.

Connecting German infrastructure for Nord Stream 2 is in place. In this handout photo released February 4, 2020, by the press service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany. The Eugal pipeline, which will receive gas from Nord Stream 2 in the future, has reached full pumping capacity, and the second line of the pipeline has been introduced. Photo: AFP / Press-service of Eugal / Sputnik

In parallel, Berlin knows very well that canceling NS2 will be an extremely serious breach of contract – involving hundreds of billions of euros; it was Germany that requested the pipeline to be built in the first place.

Germany's energiewende ("energy transition" policy) has been a disaster. German industrialists know very well that natural gas is the only alternative to nuclear energy. They are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon – even assuming the egemon will be able to deliver, as its fracking industry is in shambles. Merkel explaining to German public opinion why they must revert to using coal or buy shale from the US will be a sight to see.

As it stands, NATO provocations against NS2 proceed unabated – via warships and helicopters. NS2 needed a permit to work in Danish waters, and it was granted only a month ago. Even as Russian ships are not as fast in laying pipes as the previous ships from Swiss-based Allseas , which backed down, intimidated by US sanctions, the Russian Fortuna is making steady progress, as noted by analyst Petri Krohn: one kilometer a day on its best days, at least 800 meters a day. With 35 km left, that should not take more than 50 days.

Conversations with German analysts reveal a fascinating shadowplay on the energy front between Berlin and Moscow – not to mention Beijing. Compare it with Washington: EU diplomats complain there's absolutely no one to negotiate with regarding NS2. And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.

Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

At the same time, the situation is evolving towards a possible new alignment in the heart of the "West": US/UK pitted against Germany/France. Some Anglosphere exceptionals are certainly more Russophobic than others.

The toxic encounter between Russophobia and Pipelineistan will not be over even if NS2 is completed. There will be more sanctions. There will be an attempt to exclude Russia from SWIFT. The proxy war in Syria will intensify. The hegemon will go no holds barred to keep creating all sorts of geopolitical harassment against Russia.

What a nice wag-the-dog op to distract domestic public opinion from massive money printing masking a looming economic collapse. As the empire crumbles, the narrative is set in stone: it's all the fault of "Russian aggression."

Alfa158 , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:05 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

Well, I'm hoping the Ukrainians will finally remember Bernard Lewis's warning about the U.S. and realize they are being used like a Kleenex: "America is harmless as an enemy but treacherous as a friend."
Americans have had it and will never tolerate sending combat troops into a Russia/Ukraine conflict no matter how much rah-rah let's you and him fight we'll hold your coat for you, faux patriotism the lugenpresse throw at them. Those of us who volunteered for the US military in the past have learned our lesson.

Agent76 , says: April 8, 2021 at 8:09 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago

Aug 10, 2020 Nord Stream 2 final stretch & Russia-Cyprus try to mend fences

Apr 4, 2019 NATO EXIT: Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

NATO is a criminal entity, an instrument of the Pentagon. There is no "Alliance". There is military Occupation.

Petermx , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:46 am GMT • 1.9 days ago

"The problem is Merkel and Macron don't control NATO." I don't know how a decision is made whether NATO will go to war or not but if Germany and France have no say in whether their soldiers will be sent to war or not, that must by a very scary thought for them.

I found the following analysis interesting and I think it makes sense. It suggests France and Germany have a say in matters and that they oppose any offensive Ukraine has in mind. The commentator analyzes the diplomatic language and Germany and France appear to be fed up. Without coming out and saying so directly, they see things more as Russia does than Ukraine. It's very unfortunate things have developed this way for Ukraine. In addition, if Merkel wants to be perceived as a complete failure as chancellor in Germany, only then will she let NS2 be stopped from being completed. This analysis suggests there may be some strain between France and Germany versus the USA.

Zarathustra , says: April 8, 2021 at 4:59 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

I do have to disagree. If Ukraine start a war Russia must take back all eastern part of Ukraine that has prevalent Russian population. Odessa and Zaporozhie is particularly important. Russia must also tale all Kiev area back.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website April 8, 2021 at 5:04 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Several things to note:

1. Senior Ukrainian officers were once Soviet officers. They, and most of their troops, don't want to fight Russians and know it's foolish. The Ukrainian army will crumble if they come in contact with regular Russian troops. It's not that they are cowards, but sane. It would be like Canadian troops ordered to attack across the American border.

2. The American empire is furious and concerned that its long-time puppet disobeyed orders. Germany wants Russian gas and the empire wants that pipeline stopped. Not only to hurt Russia, but to teach the Germans a lesson. If fighting occurs in the Ukraine, would the Germans dare to buy natgas from evil Russians?

3. Most importantly, Israel controls the American government. A major goal is the destruction of Syria to allow the expansion of Greater Israel, as explained in the video below. This nearly succeeded until the Russians intervened. Fighting in Ukraine would divert Russian military resources from Syria so that nation can be destroyed, or Russia may give up Syrian support as part of a grand peace deal.

The Biden administration is fully supportive of finishing off Syria and Lebanon, then moving on to destroy Iran. The new talks about Iran's nuclear program will go nowhere. It's just a show so Biden can say he tried.

Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."

The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.

Majority of One , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:06 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Part of me wants to think that the Ukies will want to fold at the last moment. Yet all this apparent evidence points to their going for it and promptly getting their collective noses smashed in. Those who speculate in meta-political geo-strategic analysis cannot make sense of the moves by the largely incompetent shot-callers and their even more incompetent minions who cut the orders to their chessmen.

Heavy pressure by the equally incompetent regime in the Di$trict of Corruption, where carrot and stick are equally in play, is as Escobar points out, the force behind this nearly automatic death-sentence for the Kiev regime and the poor slobs who make up the draftee elements in the Ukrainian military.

Again, geopolitically, one wonders at the deeper string-pullers within the Pentagram, the CIA and the mass media of mind-control and message-massaging. Is this essentially a move to keep the American people–most particularly the edjumacated managerial and technical classes who make up the core of the alleged "middle-class"–"on message and in line"?

Yes, the WarDefense industry (aka Eisenhower's "Military-Industrial Complex") insist on ongoing wars and threats of war to maintain their profit margins for the prime owners of that false economic basis,prime actors such as the Rottenchild Crime Clan and the rest of the parasites clustered in City of London and Wall $treet.

How will the canny and ever wary Russians proceed? Will they operate in the manner that Escobar proposes, by not directly employing the considerable ground-forces which now stand on alert just to the eastwards of their mutually agreed upon Swiss-cheese border with the Novorussians in Donetsk and Luhansk? Or will Russian strategy be somewhat more comprehensive by liberating the rest of the primarily Russian-speaking parts of eastern and southern Ukraine which had largely backed the overthrown legitimate government of that bedizened composite nation and are still smarting under the heels of the Galician fascists and the smaller grouping of Russophobic Ukrainian nationalists who still harbor nightmares about the Bolshevik/Stalinoid Holodomar? There are, after all human considerations which may influence Kremlin policy.

Should Russia decide to make a move, it is my projection that they would never be likely to even attempt to occupy central Ukraine and would set a stop-line well to the east of Kiev. Something that bemusingly intrigues me is the Belarus factor. It would appear that the Minsk regime, smarting from the attempted coup by the Poles, Baltic states and Ukraine backing of "pro-Westerners, may be mobilizing to get into the action and perhaps readjust their boundaries somewhat southwards. This could indicate a countering move by the Uniates in Galicia to make common cause with their Roman Catholic brethren in the afore-mentioned Poland along with Lithuania and remove their lands of control from a shattered Ukraine and form a confederation with their neighbors to the west.

There is little doubt in my mind that Russia has numerous human assets in central and southwestern Ukraine, who along with elements of a disintegrating Ukie military, would unite to overthrow the rotten regime in Kiev and establish a markedly neutral smaller but more cohesive Ukraine–a natural though smaller nation which could serve as an essential buffer between a strengthening Russia and a collection of NATO nations which would then comprise a hodgepodge of hawks and doves, a discombobulated collection of politico-economic entities attempting to swim their ways to calmer shores or to maintain some semblance of "Great Reset" programming in the face of popular resistance to lockdowns and mandated AstraGenica jabbings.

Worst possible scenario is that someone in the Pentagon-dominated NATO command complex loses their cool and initiates a conflict that could result in planet-wide chaos and destruction. One would hope that cooler heads will take a few hits to their expansionist fantasies and decide to make the best of a failed bit of adventurism and bide their time -- if they feel they have any time remaining before globalist economies hit the skids, leading to a potential collapse to the myth of progress.

Vojkan , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:16 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Everyone gets American logic. It's the Ukrainian logic that is truly baffling. Just how stupid do the Ukrainians have to be to attack when anyone with a brain knows what will be the outcome?

Silicon Silence , says: April 8, 2021 at 5:11 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

It makes all the difference when the revolving-door regulator-capture reframing is not "USA/Nato vs Russia" -- but rather the more accurate "Raytheon (et al) vs Russia."

The modern truth is: Russia and China have governments in control of policy and industry. The USA (and therefore also its yapping poodle collection) have Industry setting policy and running government for their 1%-er shareholder benefits.

GMC , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:37 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

You can't do any Normal business with a Crime Syndicate like the USA/ EU and or Israel. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others. Russia is so close to being self sufficient , they could turn their back on the West and it's cut throat allies , and just look to the East until the West implodes. They will have to destroy all armies within close proximity to their borders, including the Ukrainian/Mercenary one. Moscow must still have Jew Oligarchy baggage, that is making money on Wall Street and those ties need to break apart or come to a Pro Russian agreement or else. Rename Kyiv to Berlin 1944, and Lviv to Dresden and take it from there – and don't look back anymore. And PS : on way to Lviv, Agent Orange every F..n Monsanto/Bayer, Dupont and Cargil farm – like they did to Vietnam.

Levtraro , says: April 8, 2021 at 6:50 am GMT • 1.7 days ago

Behind the fog of war, though, a clear scenario emerges: the deep state/NATO combo using Kiev to start a war as a Hail Mary pass to ultimately bury NS2, and thus German-Russian relations.

Yes but also the Ukraine needs to save those gas transit fees that will go kaput if NS2 is completed and operational, so it is the Ukraine the one with the most immediate incentive to start a war. Though they need just a small war, a little war to force the hands of the Germans to cancel NS2. Problem is the Russians have promised to give the Ukrainians more than what they bargained for. To save those gas transit fees the Ukrainians may end losing the country to a puppet installed by the Kremlin.

Schuetze , says: April 8, 2021 at 7:19 am GMT • 1.6 days ago

Escobar, besides not naming the Jew, does not mention which side Israel is likely to support. We can be pretty certain that whichever side Israel supports is going to be the victor in this conflict. Turkey is also important because of the Bosphorus, and Turkey and Israel are working together to exploit the Leviathan gas field to the detriment of Cyprus and Syria, so Israel can jerk Turkey around like a pitbull on a chain.

The US has been moving drones into Ukraine and they now are right on the border with Crimea. The US Marines also have a large presence in Romania, also likely including all kinds of drones. The Israelis are among the planet's leaders in drone technology, and surely own even more patents. Israel provides much of its drone technology to Turkey, and the Azerbeijanis used Turkish and Israeli drones in their short war with Armenia. During this short war the Azerbeijanis shot up all kinds of Russian equipment with their drones including Pantsir's and ZSU-23's.

The US also has all kinds of stealth drones and missiles, likely that is one area where they lead the entire planet.

Miro23 , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:13 am GMT • 1.5 days ago

If this assessment is correct (in Russian but comes out OK in Google translate), then the US / NATO have to get involved to compensate for the lack of a Ukrainian air force – and in fact the rest of their obsolete equipment.

Personally, I can't imagine US or NATO troops on the ground in the Ukraine – and I don't see any planning for it, so what's the idea?

One possibility seems to be 1) to start the fighting 2) then start the real game, which is a massive anti-Russian media barrage "heroic Ukrainian patriots", "Russian atrocities", "killer Putin" etc. sufficient to finish with Nord Stream 2, divide Russia from France/Germany, plus reanimate NATO and sanction Russia. Basically to force Europe back into US hegemony, and away from independent decision making.

They won't have any problem with the UK (their most slavish follower) but at some point the French and Germans are surely going to become tired of all this CIA/Neo-con BS.

The Alarmist , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:18 am GMT • 1.5 days ago

[German Industrialists] are not exactly fond of Berlin becoming a mere hostage, condemned to buy ridiculously expensive shale gas from the hegemon .

German Industrialists and financiers have been repeatedly shaken down by the hegemon for fines related to a number of "infractions." The scuttlebutt I've heard from a number of them is that it got old a long time ago; what point is it to participate in the US market when your profits are repeatedly clawed back as "fines," and those in the US with whom you compete are given a leg up not just in the US, but on the world stage. Left to most industrialists, Germany might have gone its own way years ago. Oddly enough, it is the Ossivergeltungswaffe who dithers over breaking ranks with the "ally" that openly spied on her.

And even assuming there would be some sort of deal, Berlin is inclined to admit Putin's judgment is correct: the Americans are "not agreement-capable." One just needs to look at the record.

The most recent example would be the Doha agreement on the US withdrawal of forces and personnel from Afghanistan. Apparently the Pentagon recently awarded a number of contracts for contractor services in that country for some time well past the "agreed" withdrawal date, strongly suggesting the agreement to leave was a ruse.

Garliv , says: April 8, 2021 at 10:34 am GMT • 1.5 days ago
@J. Alfred Powell

Unfortunately we live in a world where history is/was erased, facts don't matter or they can be twisted to fit anything no matter how ridiculous, the present is what I say it is. Thus US and its vassals are just interested in their today's narrative.
Ukrainian leadership is hopelessly incompetent and corrupt so will do anything Biden's gang tells them. It's simply a depressing scenario.

street worm , says: April 8, 2021 at 12:59 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

Blinken poking the Ukies to attack is a Hail Mary to stop NS2. Maybe it will work, maybe not. But a few hundred or a few thousand dead Ukies is worth the Russian boogeyman psy-op for the empire.

Marckus , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

""Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of War blah blah""

Contrary to what Pepe asserts the rest of the world will not give a shit. Memories of Chechnya? The sooner Putin over runs the place the better. You can bet the Ukrainian ruling elite, for all their gumption, have their jets all fuelled and ready with flight plans for the US via Switzerland...

Reaper , says: April 8, 2021 at 1:56 pm GMT • 1.4 days ago

"NATO puppets do not have the balls to get into an open conflict with Russia."

Sadly not so sure.
Some has it`s own agenda, like POland, Lithuania. Not even NATO/ US are in full control over that, and needs no more than a misstep. Like activate some system which is potentionally dangerous for Russia.
Or in different NATO/ US bases elsewhere in continental Europe.

"to provoke an irreparable fissure between Russia and the EU, under NATO auspices"
"When all fails, myth prevails. Enter the US Army occupying parts of Europe to "defend" it against – who else? – those pesky Russians."

This sounds to be the real goal.
For long since the US is jealous to Europe as it became more and more equal in economic and political power, and prevail better even with this "global pandemic".
EU wants more independence, US wants it`s colony to more obidient and follow commands.

If not just occupy, but "let" Europe partly destroyed even better: the treat of dominance reduced, and again can be the "nice savior" who helps and "brings democracy".

So seems far too real in the Ukrainian conflict Ukraine is just a side character.

Anonymous [902] Disclaimer , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:54 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

Good point. They simply can't "win" anything by attacking.

The (((US))) will provide plenty of encouragement and support as long as they get mountains of Ukrainian corpses in return. Those corpses can then be photographed and the photos broadcast all over the world as "proof" that Putin is Hitler. Basically, Ukrainians are being funnelled into the meat grinder for a globohmo psyop opportunity. What a way to die...

Realist , says: April 8, 2021 at 2:59 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago

The crumbling US economy will provide more than enough meat for the neocon's grinder.

Perhaps they will turn their attention to problems at home. The question is are they smart enough to recognize where the problem lies.

MLK , says: April 8, 2021 at 3:01 pm GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Robert Bruce

Are you referring to the Ukraine fiasco? Would that it were so that it was just a distraction. Just apply some reverse engineering to how Germany and Russia have a pretext to link up energy-wise when Ukraine was a perfectly serviceable transit point until NeoCon filth started working their magic.

[Apr 09, 2021] German Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Putin yesterday and apparently told him she wanted to see immediate de-escalation

Apr 09, 2021 |

Indeed, let's not worry: German Chancellor Merkel spoke to President Putin yesterday and apparently told him she wanted to see immediate de-escalation or else she might not sell Russia any German cars; or buy Russian vaccine; or complete Nord-Stream 2 and tie the German economy into Russian gas supplies. Isn't realpolitik a German word originally?

"Destiny guides our fortunes more favourably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is noble, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"The ones you can see over there," answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long."

"Now look, your grace," said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone."

"Obviously," replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures."

Or labour vs. capital; or realpolitik. But Happy Friday!

GreatCaesar'sGhost 1 hour ago

No nato troops will ever set foot in Ukraine. They're trying to pressure Russia into doing something so they can force the Germans to stop nordstream. The Ukrainians can't win here and they're being used. Not good.

USAllDay 56 minutes ago

Germans need the gas and Russia needs the revenue. These are facts that can not change.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago

US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell. I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.

BeePee 43 minutes ago

Russia already sells gas. This will continue. Mistake to destablize Russia's economy.

GreatCaesar'sGhost 53 minutes ago

US has gas to sell. Greater Israel and their Saudi partners believe that after they overthrow Assad they will have gas to sell.

I'm not sure the constantly virtue signaling German government will buy Russian gas if there's a war.

land_of_the_few 51 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

They should just mock them mercilessly.

Formation flypasts with rainbow colored smoke, Village People blasting from frigates buzxing them, that kind of thing.

land_of_the_few 40 minutes ago

"In the Navy", anyone?

[Apr 07, 2021] Escalation in Donbass might well be about blocking North Stream 2

Highly recommended!
Apr 07, 2021 |

LIKBEZ 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂 REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/03/2021 at 3:04 pm

> Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine, much as their leaders and press seem to lose sleep endlessly over it.

This is about blocking North Stream 2. Ukrainian government is a puppet in a bigger geopolitical game and will do what they are told to do.

If they were ordered to invade Donbass Russia might intervene. I think Russia movement of troupes was a pre-preemptive move to block a joint plan of the USA and some Eastern(Poland) and Western European states to create a crisis and bury North Stream 2 by the attempt to retake the territory by force (Georgian scenario).

While writing resolutions in which they essentially declare war on Russia (retaking Crimea by force as a new Ukrainian government policy) Ukrainian government clearly understands that any significant military move in Donbass might be the end of Ukraine as we know it. So they are afraid to do anything without strong Western support, including military. That's why Biden administration made a statement about the support of Ukrainian sovereignty and, at the same time, probably pushing Ukrainians to make a move in Donbass.

There are two parts of Ukraine with different history and affiliations: Eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine.

The regime in Kiev represents Western Ukrainian nationalism and it is/was to a certain degree resented in Eastern Ukraine (where manufacturing is concentrated) as provincial, incompetent and corrupt. It is controlled by a handful of oligarchs -- a classic neoliberal oligarchic republic so to speak.

That does not mean that Eastern Ukraine would welcome Russians now (after seven years of anti-Russian propaganda by the government), but please do not write about things you have no clue: in 2014 the situation was different with several uprisings against Provisional government in Eastern Ukraine.

IMHO it was Putin's decision to limit Russia role that led to the current situation. As far as I know the only large city which supported Provisional government in the East in 2014 was Dnepropetrovsk ( the home town of oligarch Kolomoyskyi, and nationalistic politicians Kuchma and Tymoshenko.)

IMHO Putin has the ability to occupy all Eastern Ukraine without a single shot and establish separate "Eastern Ukrainian republic" government. But he decided not to do as the it would result in crushing Western sanctions (which was Washington's policy from the very beginning (google Nulangate); and that's why 2014 EuroMaidan putsch was organized and financed by the USA with Poland, Germany and Sweden in supporting roles).

Add to this the necessary to feed pensioners (mentioned above) and the amount of money necessary to resurrect the manufacturing which would compete with Russian's own. Which Russia probably could not afford at the time. REPLY HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 4:44 am

Putin just went shit scared into his basement with a bottle of vodka on seeing this photo of defense ministers of some NATO members . 🙂 REPLY LIKBEZ IGNORED 04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

04/04/2021 at 2:15 pm

I would run scared too ;-). They probably have a deep sense of inferiority and as such are extremely dangerous.

[Apr 07, 2021] Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

Apr 07, 2021 |

Norwegian , Apr 5 2021 17:12 utc | 30

Alexander Mercouris
Paris-Berlin Oppose Ukrainian Offensive, Call on Kiev to De-Escalate

[Apr 04, 2021] The level of incompetence of some authors at is just staggering

Russia a major producer of electricity using nuclear power. Which is preferable to Wind turbines or burning money for solar panels (Russia is a northern country with no so much sunlight). As simple as that.
Apr 04, 2021 |

Originally from: Russia Is Being Left Behind In The Energy Transition By Haley Zaremba

When it comes to climate change and the need to update and innovate in the face of changing weather patterns, Russian President Vladmir Putin's strategy is simple: deny, deny, deny. While other fossil-fuel dependent economies scramble to diversify or race to build up clean energy infrastructure in a bid to put themselves at the forefront of the coming renewable revolution, Russia has taken the opposite approach: the world's largest nation is sitting tight and waiting to be the last man standing in a shrinking fossil fuels market. While Russia, with its massive land area and enviable geopolitical positioning, is extremely resource-rich, its oil is more costly to extract than other oil superpowers. Nevertheless, Putin is trying to outlast them all as they are forced to transition away from the oil due to falling prices and political pressure. The world is still decades away from weaning itself off fossil fuels and there will potentially be even more money to be made as the competition begins to fall away. The calculation Russia needs to make is when will its oil industry move from being a profit driver to a burden as demand plateaus and then falls.

While the potential for profit is undeniably in oil markets, when it comes to the clean energy transition, Russia is being left behind . They are being left behind in terms of infrastructure, innovation, and a dogmatic attachment to business as usual. "Putin and other Russian leaders have periodically flirted with outright climate change denial," Bloomberg reports. "Scientists have estimated that melting permafrost could cost Russia $84 billion in infrastructure damage by mid-century while releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases. Carbon Action Tracker, a non-profit, gives Russia's climate policies a bottom grade of 'critically insufficient.'"

While Russia will soon be feeling the pain from the side effects of climate change, there will also be a silver lining to all that northern ice-melt for the world's largest country. The receding ice caps will unveil a veritable treasure trove of oil, gas, and minerals never before accessible - not to mention an extremely valuable set of new sea lanes to ease access for trade. The tradeoffs for this new natural capital, however, are so costly in terms of devastating ecological externalities that almost all of the world's biggest banks won't touch it .

Related: Recent SEC Decision Could Spark Investment In Big Oil

In the meantime, Russia has doubled down on natural gas. "In recent years, the Kremlin has bet the country's economic and geopolitical future on natural gas," Bloomberg reports, "building new pipelines to China, Turkey, and Germany, while aiming to take a quarter of the global LNG market, up from zero in 2008 and around 8% today." Within the vast expanses of Russia, where entire regions are reliant on fossil fuel for their entire economy, the prevailing belief is that natural gas is the future, and will always be cheaper domestically than renewable alternatives. "What's the alternative? Russia can't be an exporter of clean energy, that path isn't open for us," Konstantin Simonov, director of the Moscow consultancy National Energy Security Fund, told Bloomberg. "We can't just swap fossil fuel production for clean energy production, because we don't have any technology of our own."

While renewable energy is still an emerging sector, with plenty of potential opportunities for Russia to stake its claim in the global clean energy game, it's clear that the Kremlin has a long way to go in terms of ideological politicking for that to become possible.

By Haley Zaremba for

[Apr 04, 2021] An interesting undergraduate thesis from Munich put together a list of the adjectives and adverbs used in select articles about Obama (USA) and Putin (Russia) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine between 2000 and 2012 by Udo Ulfkotte

Notable quotes:
"... The adjectives used in the FAZ to describe Putin had overwhelmingly negative connotations, including: threatening, rough, aggressive, confrontational, anti-westem, power-political, untruthful, cool, calculated, cynical, harsh, abrasive, non-substantive (arguments) and implausible (arguments). ..."
"... The words used to describe Obama had a completely different tone: committed, fanatically welcomed, enthusiastic, conciliatory, praised, hopeful and resolute ..."
"... The former FAZ Washington correspondent Matthias Rub wrote the adulation to US President Bush cited above shortly before the Iraq War began in 2003, in violation of international law. One year later he received the Arthur F. Bums Award for a different article. The Arthur F. Bums Award is presented by Germany's Foreign Minister. So, who selects the winners today? ..."
Apr 04, 2021 |

An interesting undergraduate thesis from Munich put together a list of the adjectives and adverbs used in select articles about Obama (USA) and Putin (Russia) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung between 2000 and 2012.

The words selected were ones that implied a value judgement in their description of Obama or Putin. The adjectives used in the FAZ to describe Putin had overwhelmingly negative connotations, including: threatening, rough, aggressive, confrontational, anti-westem, power-political, untruthful, cool, calculated, cynical, harsh, abrasive, non-substantive (arguments) and implausible (arguments).

The words used to describe Obama had a completely different tone: committed, fanatically welcomed, enthusiastic, conciliatory, praised, hopeful and resolute :' In plain language: The reporting in the once renowned FAZ newspaper is definitely not neutral, independent, unbiased nor objective these days. So where is this bias coming from? Does this style of reporting possibly have anything to do with the closeness that the FAZ's writers have to certain elites and powerful circles? In the following chapters, we won't only be considering the FAZ when it comes to this question. We will also look into why the mainstream media doesn't even want you to imply that they're close to the elite.

Chapter one, scene two: A few years ago, the reporter Thomas Leif painted a rather conspiratorial picture in the ARD television documentary Strippenzieher und Hinterzimmer (Puppet Masters and Back Rooms). In it, journalists, ministers and party officials appeared to all be sitting in the same boat, isolated from the common folk and getting along like gangbustcrs. Viewers got to see how politics is made in secret meetings behind the scenes. The film was about a corrupt world of cozy connections.4 What was being shown, however, wasn't a conspiracy theory.

The film was controversial, because die people being shown in it were the perpetrators. They thought that this form of corruption was completely normal. The journalists portrayed in the documentary took it as an affront when they were simply asked about these secret networks operating in the background.

... ... ...

The manipulation of the readers has been noticeable at the FAZ for many years. Dr. Heinz Loquai gave a famous speech in 2003 where he said the following about the FAZ:

We learn from the FAZ's Washington correspondents that, among other things, Bush studies the bible every day, prays regularly and bases his actions on the question, "What would Jesus do?" The president is a "paragon of modesty and close to his people." There may be "an arrogant bone or two in Bush's body," but he is "a man of love." His "portion of missionary fervor" is "softened by statesmanlike prudence," through "patient waiting," the "natural political talent's decision" has been "expressed." Although Bush may know that he is not an intellectual, he can rely on "his political instinct, his wisdom and his natural wit."

So (...) lectured, we can continue to count on the judgement and objectivity of leading German daily and weekly newspapers' America correspondents! Embedded with the allied troops, embedded in the political-media network in Washington - what's the difference? 16

The former FAZ Washington correspondent Matthias Rub wrote the adulation to US President Bush cited above shortly before the Iraq War began in 2003, in violation of international law. One year later he received the Arthur F. Bums Award for a different article. The Arthur F. Bums Award is presented by Germany's Foreign Minister. So, who selects the winners today? The jury includes, for example, the journalists Sabine Christiansen and Stefan Kornclius (Sflddeutsche Zeitung).17 Keep these names in the mind. We will come across them and their interesting connections quite often.

[Apr 03, 2021] Is that you Bill Browder?

Apr 03, 2021 |
Anon [367] Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 3:19 am GMT • 2.7 days ago

ugghhhh the propaganda channel – thesaker – continues unabated

"Putin single-handedly "resurrected" Russia in an amazingly short time"

just LOL @ single-handedly

" Putin turned Russia into the strongest military power on the planet and he completely reshaped the Russian perception of themselves and of Russia"

strongest? zvezda channel posting youtube videos doesn't make you the strongest military power

completely reshaped? so much that still all the young Russians want to emigrate

"the country which created the best vaccine on the planet "

the best vaccine? only 4% of Russians got vaccinated, that's 6 million out of 144 millions
so much about Russians trusting Putin, LOL

-- -- -

Andrei Raevsky, do you even re-read what BS you write?!
you aren't fooling anyone but a handful of braindead followers you got there on your blog
in the real world – no one gives a shyt about Putin

the West doesn't hate Putin, they just want to loot Russia or get a cut from the loot of Russia.
Russian oligarchs want to loot Russia for themselves without giving a cut/tribute to Western oligarchs.
Putin is a non-issue, a nobody, he just follows orders of the Russian oligarchs.

But there is a real hate @ Putin – that because he is a fake, only a carefully prepared media
image. And you Andrei Raevsky are part of that propaganda effort. Putin is no savior, Putin
is not working for the betterment of Russians or humanity as a whole. He is just a facade for
Russian oligarchs. And that is what we hate . And the more you and the likes of you push
that fake image of Putin, the more the pushback and hate from us.
So go on – continue.

I was a believer in Putin. Then I saw the light. Now I would have no quarrel putting a bullet in
Putin's head. Analyze this!

[Apr 03, 2021] Understanding anti-Putin PSYOPs- Preparing for war by The Saker

Apr 03, 2021 |

... ... ...

In truth, the West has a very long list of reasons for which to hate Putin and everything Russian, but I believe that there is one reason which trumps them all: the western leaders sincerely believed that they had defeated the USSR in the Cold War (even medals were made to commemorate this event) and following the collapse of the former superpower and the coming to power of a clueless, alcoholic puppet, the triumph of the West was total. At least in appearance. The reality, as always, was much more complicated.

The causes and mechanisms of the collapse of the Soviet Union are not our topic today, so I will just indicate that I believe that the USSR never "collapsed" but that it was deliberately destroyed by the CPSU apparatus which decided to break up the country in order for the Party and Nomenklatura to remain in power, not at the helm of the USSR, but at the helm of the various ex-Soviet republics. Weak leaders and ideologies which nobody really believes in do not inspire people to fight for their rulers. This is why the Russian monarchy collapsed, this is why the masonic democracy of Kerenskii collapsed and this is why the Soviet Union collapsed (this is also one of the most likely reasons for the final collapse of the US as a state).

Putin, who was not very well known in the West or, for that matter, in Russia, came to power and immediately reversed Russia's course towards the abyss. First, he dealt with the two most urgent threats, the oligarchs and the Wahabi insurrection in the Caucasus. Many Russians, including myself, were absolutely amazed at the speed and determination of his actions. As a result, Putin suddenly found himself one of the most popular leaders in Russian history. Initially, the West went into a kind of shock, then through a process reminiscent of the so-called " Kübler-Ross model " and, finally, the West settled into a russophobic frenzy not seen since the Nazi regime in Germany during WWII.

To understand why Putin is the Devil incarnate, we have to understand that the leaders of the collective West really thought that this time around, after a millennium of failures and embarrassing defeats , the West has finally "defeated" Russia which would now become a leaderless, culture-less, spiritual-less and, of course, history-less territory whose sole purpose would be to provide resources for the "Triumphant West". Not only that, but the AngloZionist leaders of the Empire executed the 9/11 false flag operation which gave them the pretext needed for the GWOT, but which completely distracted the West from its previous focus on the so-called "Russian threat" simply because by 2001 there was no Russian threat. So there was a certain logic behind these moves. And then, "suddenly" (at least for western leaders) Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia . Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria .

In this sequence, Russia committed two very different types of "crimes" (from the AngloZionist point of view, of course):

The minor crime of doing what Russia actually did and The much bigger crime of never asking the Empire for the permission to do so

The West likes to treat the rest of the planet like some kind of junior partner, with very limited autonomy and almost no real agency (the best example is what the USA did to countries like Poland or Bulgaria). If and when any such "junior" country wants to do something in its foreign policy, it absolutely has to ask for permission from its AngloZionist Big Brother. Not doing so is something akin to sedition and revolt. In the past, many countries were "punished" for daring to have an opinion or, even more so, for daring to act on it.

It would not be inaccurate to summarize it all by saying that Putin flipped his finger to the Empire and its leaders. That "crime of crimes" was what really triggered the current anti-Russian hysteria. Soon, however, the (mostly clueless) leaders of the Empire ran into an extremely frustrating problem: while the russophobic hysteria did get a lot of traction in the West, in Russia it created a very powerful blowback because of a typical Putin "judo" move: far from trying to suppress the anti-Russian propaganda of the West, the Kremlin used its power to make it widely available (in Russian!) through the Russian media (I wrote about this in some detail here and here ). The direct result of this was two fold: first, the CIA/MI6 run "opposition" began to be strongly associated with the russophobic enemies of Russia and, second, the Russian general public further rallied around Putin and his unyielding stance. In other words, calling Putin a dictator and, of course, a "new Hitler", the western PSYOPs gained some limited advantage in the western public opinion, but totally shot itself in the leg with the Russian public.

I refer to this stage as the " phase one anti-Putin strategic PSYOP ". As for the outcome of this PSYOP, I would not only say that it almost completely failed, but I think that it had the exact opposite intended effect inside Russia.

A change of course was urgently needed.

The redirection of US PSYOPs against Putin and Russia

I have to admit that I have a very low opinion of the US intelligence community, including its analysts. But even the rather dull US "Russia area specialist" eventually figured out that telling the Russian public opinion that Putin was a "dictator" or a "killer of dissidents" or a "chemical poisoner of exiles" resulted in a typically Russian mix of laughter and support for the Kremlin. Something had to be done.

So some smart ass somewhere in some basement came up with the following idea: it makes no sense to accuse Putin of things which make him popular at home, so let's come up with a new list of accusations carefully tailored to the Russian public.

Let's call this a " phase two anti-Putin PSYOP operation ".

And this is how the "Putin is in cahoots with" thing began. Specifically, these accusations were deployed by the US PSYOPs and those in its pay:

Putin is disarming Syria Putin will sell out the Donbass Putin is a puppet of Israel and, specifically, Netanyahu Putin is a corrupt traitor to the Russian national interests Putin is allowing Israel to bomb Syria (see here ) Putin is selling the Siberian riches to China and/or Putin is subjugating Russia to China Putin is corrupt, weak and even cowardly Putin was defeated by Erdogan in the Nagorno-Karabakh war

The above are the main talking points immediately endorsed and executed by the US strategic PSYOPs against Russia.

Was it effective?

Yes, to some degree. For one thing, these "anti-Russian PSYOPS reloaded" were immediately picked up by at least part of what one could call the "internal patriotic opposition" (much of it very sincerely and without any awareness of being skillfully manipulated). Even more toxic was the emergence of a rather loud neo-Communist (or, as Ruslan Ostashko often calls them "emo-Marxist") movement (I personally refer to as a sixth column ) which began an internal anti-Kremlin propaganda campaign centered on the following themes:

"All is lost" ( всепропальщики ): that is thesis which says that nothing in Russia is right, everything is either wrong or evil, the country is collapsing, so is its economy, its science, its military, etc. etc. etc. This is just a garden variety of defeatism, nothing more. "Nothing was achieved since Putin came to power": this is a weird one, since it takes an absolutely spectacular amount of mental gymnastics to not see that Putin literally saved Russia from total destruction. This stance also completely fails to explain why Putin is so hated by the Empire (if Putin did everything wrong, like, say Eltsin did, he would be adored in the West, not hated!). All the elections in Russia were stolen. Here the 5th (CIA/MI6 run) column and 6th column have to agree: according to both of them, there is absolutely no way most Russians supported Putin for so many years and there is no way they support him now. And nevermind the fact that the vast majority of polls show that Putin was, and still is, the most popular political figure in Russia.

Finally, the big SNAFU with the pension reform definitely did not help Putin's ratings, so he had to take action: he "softened" some of the worst provisions of this reform and, eventually, he successfully sidelined some of the worst Atlantic Integrationists, including Medvedev himself.

Sadly, some putatively pro-Russian websites, blogs and individuals showed their true face when they jumped on the bandwagon of this 2nd strategic PSYOP campaign, probably with the hope to either become more noticed, or get some funding, or both. Hence, all the nonsense about Russia and Israel working together or Putin "selling out" we have seen so many times recently. The worst thing here is that these websites, blogs and individuals have seriously misled and distressed some of the best real friends of Russia in the West.

None of these guys ever address a very simple question: if Putin is such a sellout, and if all is lost, why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much? In almost 1000 years of warfare (spiritual, cultural, political, economic and military) against Russia, the leaders of the West have always hated real Russian patriots and they have always loved the (alas, many) traitors to Russia. And now, they hate Putin because he is such a terrible leader?

This makes absolutely no sense.

Conclusion: is a war inevitable now?

The US/NATO don't engage in strategic PYSOPs just because they like or dislike somebody. The main purpose of such PSYOPs is to break the other side's will to resist . This was also the main objective of both (phase one and phase two) anti-Putin PSYOPs. I am happy to report that both phases of these PYSOPs failed. The danger here is that these failures have failed to convince the leaders of the Empire of the need to urgently change course and accept the "Russian reality", even if they don't like it.

Ever since "Biden" (the "collective Biden", of course, not the potted plant) Administration (illegally) seized power, what we saw was a sharp escalation of anti-Russian statements. Hence, the latest " uhu, he is a killer " -- this was no mistake by a senile mind, this was a carefully prepared declaration. Even worse, the Empire has not limited itself to just words, it also did some important "body moves" to signal its determination to seek even further confrontation with Russia:

There has been a lot of sabre-rattling coming from the West, mostly some rather ill-advsied (or even outright stupid) military maneuvers near/along the Russian border. As I have explained it a billion times, these maneuvers are self-defeating from a military point of view (the closer to the Russian border, the more dangerous for the western military force). Politically, however, they are extremely provocative and, therefore, dangerous. The vast majority of Russian analysts do not believe that the US/NATO will openly attack Russia, if only because that would be suicidal (the current military balance in Europe is strongly in Russia's favor, even without using hypersonic weapons). What many of them now fear is that "Biden" will unleash the Ukronazi forces against the Donbass, thereby "punishing" both the Ukraine and Russia (the former for its role in the US presidential campaign). I tend to agree with both of these statements.

At the end of the day, the AngloZionist Empire was always racist at its core, and that empire is still racist : for its leaders, the Ukrainian people are just cannon fodder, an irrelevant third rate nation with no agency which has outlived its utility (US analysts do understand that the US plan for the Ukraine has ended in yet another spectacular faceplant such delusional plans always end up with, even if they don't say so publicly). So why not launch these people into a suicidal war against not only the LDNR but also Russia herself? Sure, Russia will quickly and decisively win the military war, but politically it will be a PR disaster for Russia as the "democratic West" will always blame Russia, even when she clearly did not attack first (as was the case in 08.08.08, most recently).

I have already written about the absolutely disastrous situation of the Ukraine three weeks ago so I won't repeat it all here, I will just say that since that day things have gotten even much worse: suffice to say that the Ukraine has moved a lot of heavy armor to the line of contact while the regime in Kiev has now banned the import of Russian toilet paper (which tells you what the ruling gang thinks of as important and much needed measures). While it is true that the Ukraine has become a totally failed state since the Neo-Nazi coup, there is now a clear acceleration of the collapse of not only the regime or state, but of the country as a whole. Ukraine is falling apart so fast that one could start an entire website tracking only all this developing horror, not day by day, but, hour by hour. Suffice to say that "Ze" has turned out to be even worse than Poroshenko. The only thing Poroshenko did which "Ze" has not (yet!) is to start a war. Other than that, the rest of what he did (by action or inaction) can only be qualified as "more of the same, only worse".

Can a war be prevented?

I don't know. Putin gave the Ukronazis a very stern warning (" grave consequences for Ukraine's statehood as such "). I don't believe for one second that anybody in power in Kiev gives a damn about the Ukraine or the Ukrainian statehood, but they are smart enough to realize that a Russian counter-attack in defense of the LDNR and, even more so, Crimea, might include precision "counter-leadership" strikes with advanced missiles. The Ukronazi leaders would be well-advised to realize that they all have a crosshair painted on their heads. They might also think about this: what happened to every single Wahabi gang leader in Chechnya since the end of the 2nd Chechen war? (hint: they were all found and executed). Will that be enough to stop them?

Maybe. Let's hope so.

But we must now keep in mind that for the foreseeable future there are only two options left for the Ukraine: " a horrible ending or a horror without end " (Russian expression).

The best scenario for the people of the Ukraine would be a (hopefully relatively peaceful) breakup of the country into manageable parts . The worst option would definitely be a full-scale war against Russia.

Judging by the rhetoric coming out of Kiev these days, most Ukrainian politicians are firmly behind option #2, especially since that is also the only option acceptable to their overseas masters. The Ukrainians have also adopted a new military doctrine (they call it a "military security strategy of Ukraine") which declares Russia the aggressor state and military adversary of the Ukraine (see here for a machine translation of the official text).

This might be the reason why Merkel and Macron recently had a videoconference with Putin ("Ze" was not invited): Putin might be trying to convince Merkel and Macron that such a war would be a disaster for Europe. In the meantime, Russia is rapidly reinforcing her forces along the Ukrainian border, including in Crimea.

But all these measures can only deter a regime which has no agency. The outcome shall be decided in Washington DC, not Kiev. I am afraid that the traditional sense of total impunity of US political leaders will, once again, give them a sense of very little risk (for them personally or for the USA) in triggering a war in the Ukraine. The latest news on the US-Ukrainian front is the delivery by the USN of 350 tonnes of military equipment in Odessa. Not enough to be militarily significant, but more than enough to further egg on the regime in Kiev to an attack on the Donbass and/or Crimea.

In fact, I would not even put it past "Biden" to launch an attack on Iran while the world watches the Ukraine and Russia go to war. After all, the other country whose geostrategic position has been severely degraded since Russia moved her forces to Syria is Israel, the one country which all US politicians will serve faithfully and irrespective of any costs (including human costs for the USA). The Israelis have been demanding a war on Iran since at least 2007, and it would be very naive to hope that they won't eventually get their way. Last, but not least, there is the crisis which Blinken's condescending chutzpah triggered with China which, so far, has resulted in an economic war only, but which might also escalate at any moment, especially considering all the many recent anti-Chinese provocations by the US Navy.

Right now the weather in the eastern Ukraine is not conducive to offensive military operations. The snow is still melting, creating very difficult and muddy road conditions (called " rasputitsa " in Russian) which greatly inhibit the movement of forces and troops. These conditions will, however, change with the warmer season coming, at which point the Ukronazi forces will be ideally poised for an attack.

In other words, barring some major development, we might be only weeks away from a major war.

macilrae , says: April 1, 2021 at 12:29 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

We must not forget President Putin's outrageous opinion piece in the New York Times of September 11th 2013: delivered at the same time as he had the impertinence to propose the voluntary relinquishment of all chemical weapons by Syria -- thwarting the traditional wholesale bombing campaign that the "Allies" were working up to. This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.

This behaviour by Mr. Putin has never been forgotten or forgiven and it will be quite a while before the New York Times prints another oped by him.

Biff , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:04 am GMT • 2.8 days ago

Russia was "back": in 2013 Russia stopped the planned US/NATO attack on Syria (the pretext here was Syrian chemical weapons). In 2014 Russia gave her support to the Novorussian uprising against the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and, in the same year, Russia also used her military to make it possible for the local population to vote on a referendum to join Russia. Finally, in 2015, Russia stunned the West with an extremely effective military intervention in Syria.

Don't forget what Russia did the Georgia's American trained and supplied military in 2009.

Mulegino1 , says: April 1, 2021 at 1:37 am GMT • 2.7 days ago

This was an unforgivable affront to the USA -- and to Obama in particular; who had only just invoked his "red line". It made him look ridiculous -- and a man in his position can't afford to look ridiculous.

Excellent observation.

To deal with contemporary western elites is, to a great extent, to deal with Satan himself. The devil- and presumably, his minions- does not mind confrontation or opposition anywhere as much as he hates being the object of derision.

"The devil the prowde spirite cannot endure to be mocked." -- St. Thomas More

Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website April 1, 2021 at 2:48 am GMT • 2.7 days ago

"why does the AngloZionist Empire hate Putin so much?"

I have an explanation, but that would tend to get me labelled a "sixth columnist".

It is obvious to anyone who does not believe that Putin is the Saviour Of Russia, but just a neoliberal politician who is moderately better than Yeltsin, and whose real alternatives, not Quislings like Navalny but real alternatives, are all far more nationalist and not beholden to international capital than he is. Since the 90s are now over, and the attempt to destroy Russia has failed, how does one ensure that the country does not become even stronger and, crucially, more assertive?

One possible answer is interesting: keep demonising the man in power, *even though you know that demonising him hardens support behind him*. Especially since it hardens support behind him. As long as you keep attacking him, the Russian people support him more, making it less likely for someone who would be more nationalist and less neoliberal to take charge.

Simple enough.

Greg S. , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:22 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

I've come to think that the whole "Putin the Devil" thing is pushed so hard by the corporate-communist-left (aside: I do struggle these days with what to call them) mostly as a distraction. "Hey! Look over there! A BAD MAN!" (and pay no mind to what I'm doing over here, flooding the country with replacements, thrashing the constitution, coming up with vaccine passports and enabling a totalitarian technocracy).

In fact, it's a necessary hallmark of ALL totalitarian leftist regimes to have a huge "outside enemy" who threatens the very existence of the state and is used to distract from domestic troubles. Try to find a single totalitarian state without one.

So the U.S. has everything to gain and little to lose (Biden gov thinks anyways) by goading Ukraine into "taking back Crimea." The U.S. is committed to fight that war down the very last Ukrainian.

anon [965] Disclaimer , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:43 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

Slightly old news from 10 days ago.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced this week that the country's National Security and Defense Council had approved a strategy that is aimed at retaking Crimea and reintegrating the strategically important peninsula.

What could possibly go wrong?

SafeNow , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:47 am GMT • 2.6 days ago

Christopher Caldwell delivered what I thought was a good assessment of Putin in 2017, and this excellent piece by The Saker complements and updates it for me. I think Putin is even more reviled than ever by the U.S. Dems, because Putin = a national-sovereignty proponent = Trump.

I play online chess -- speedy games, and so I have a lot of experience with players from Russia and Ukraine. They tend to favor what chess players call "quiet moves." Is this a manner of thought, a philosophy, that can be extrapolated to government? (U.S. players, by contrast, tend to be more impetuous and impulsive in their chess style.)

The Caldwell essay:

[Apr 03, 2021] Nord Stream 2 Warns Of Security Risks From Warships Low-Flying Planes - ZeroHedge

Apr 03, 2021 |

Nord Stream 2 Warns Of Security Risks From Warships & Low-Flying Planes BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, APR 03, 2021 - 09:20 AM

Authored by Dave DeCamp via,

A senior official from Nord Stream 2 AG, the project company leading the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline project, has reported an uptick in "provocative" activity from warships and planes in the area where the pipeline is being built .

"Higher activity of naval vessels, airplanes and helicopters and civilian vessels of foreign states is observed in the work area after restarted construction of the offshore segment of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, whose actions are often clearly provocative ," said Nord Stream AG official Andrei Minin, according to the Russian news agency TASS .

Above: the pipe-laying vessel Fortuna, which is operated by the Russian company KVT-RUS and recently targeted by US sanctions. Image via Reuters

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.

He added that a Polish antisubmarine warfare airplane is "regularly flying around the work area at a small height and closely to the pipelay vessel."

Minin said in one provocation, an unidentified submarine was above surface within one mile of the pipeclay vessel Fortuna , a ship that was hit with US sanctions on January 19th. Minin said the activity indicates "obviously planned and prepared provocations." Besides warships and planes, he said fishing vessels have also come dangerously close to the construction area.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline has been in the crosshairs of the US for years, but despite sanctions and threats, Nord Stream AG reported on Thursday that the project is now 95 percent complete . Construction restarted in December 2020 after being suspended due to threats of US sanctions.

Although it's not clear if the US is involved in these provocations, it is likely. Washington seems willing to take extreme measures to stop the project and is threatening to sanction its ally Germany . Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.

The original Nord Stream consists of two lines that run from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin, Germany, near Greifswald. The new project would add two more lines, doubling the amount of natural gas Russia could export to Germany.

Be of Good Cheer 1 hour ago

$3 billion loss to the Biden Crime Family. No wonder he wants to stop NS2.

NoPension 1 hour ago


Pair Of Dimes Shift 45 minutes ago

10% to the big guy would be $300M.

Damn right the big guy's handlers are pissed.

Rid'n Dirty 1 hour ago

The US spends over $1 trillion on "defense" with over 800 bases worldwide, yet we have no control over who illegally takes up residence here. America has become an ugly hegemon run by Wall Street and other corporate whores. Almost 2/3rds of the world is under some type of US sanction designed to wreck economies and starve innocent people (Houthis, Syrians and Iranians).

Let's see if Germany can do what's best for its economy for the first time since 1945.

Based Fren 1 hour ago

It's so tiresome. We just have to stick our finger in everyone else's business.

naro 1 hour ago

Have you heard of the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. Wars is their oxygen.....they are looking for wars wherever they can find it.

ManOnFirst 59 minutes ago

a Polish fishing vessel rammed a construction ship and blamed a faulty engine for the incident. I really hate the Poles. They are the whiniest, most cowardly country in the world. They lament the fall of their empire 1000 years ago and think they could still be a superpower if only the big, bad Russians weren't so mean. Oh, and the big, bad Germans too.

SoDamnMad 27 minutes ago

I'm surprised the Russians didn't throw a 3 liter gasoline jug with a burning rag taped to it down on that fishing vessel. Your telling me no steerage and no engine control. Two can play this game. Poles best not try to lay any communication cables in the next 20 years.

Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago (Edited)

Globalists from the US doing everything they can to prevent a more independent EU. The further away you can get from a dying and dangerous empire the better.

2banana 1 hour ago

Established by whom?

Oh, you just made that sh!t up in international waters in one of the most heavily used trade routes in the world.

Minin said a 1.5-mile safety zone is established around the construction area where vessels are not supposed to enter. "Nevertheless, naval vessels of foreign countries are constantly registered near service ships performing work," he said.

Games Without Frontiers 1 hour ago

It's international waters but safety zones are always established on this type of industrial project, it's hard to enforce in open waters but the West looks like a bunch of tools as usual.

not-me---it-was-the-dog 43 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

google is your friend, my friend.

.... Shipping and shipping lanes In Danish waters, the proposed NSP2 route will run inside and along the TSS Bornholmsgat for approximately 42 km close to the Swedish EEZ. The TSS Bornholmsgat carries most of the ship traffic to/from the Baltic Sea and experiences over 50,000 ship passages per year. The proposed NSP2 route additionally crosses the TSS Adlergrund in the Danish and German EEZs, which has approximately 7,000 ship movements per year. Safety exclusion zones will be implemented around slow-moving construction vessels. Only vessels involved in the construction of NSP2 will be allowed inside the safety zone; therefore, all other vessels not involved in construction activities will be requested to plan their journeys around the safety zone. The shipping lanes crossed by the proposed NSP2 route in Danish waters provide sufficient space and water depth for ships to plan their journey and safely navigate around possible temporary obstructions. The impact on ship traffic associated with the imposition of a safety zone is assessed to be minor and associated with local and temporary changes to the traffic scheme. Therefore, it is assessed that there will be no significant transboundary impacts on Baltic Sea ship traffic caused by the NSP2 project in Danish waters.

so....umm....since the work is being done in danish waters, well, gosh, i would guess the exclusion zones are set up with......wait for it......danish authorities. and the last bits in german waters will require german authorities to set up the exclusion zone.

Jerzeel 17 minutes ago remove link

Ukraine gets 3B a year in transit fees for Russian gas...

rejectnumbskull 15 minutes ago

Besides the US, another country keen to stop the project is Ukraine, which stands to lose up to $3 billion a year in gas transportation fees if the pipeline is complete.

Did you not read this sentence in the article correctly?

[Apr 02, 2021] America Is Back- Collides With A Multipolar Reality

Apr 02, 2021 |

Patroklos , Apr 1 2021 20:35 utc | 26

The World Health Organization recently published its report on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has caused the Covid-19 pandemic. Most scientist agree that the virus is of zoonotic origin and not a human construct or an accidental laboratory escape. But the U.S. wants to put pressure on China and advised the Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom, to keep the focus on China potential culpability. He acted accordingly when he remarked on his agency's report:

Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy.

The U.S. State Department fetched the pass and ran with it. It asked its allies to sign on to its Joint Statement on the WHO-Convened COVID-19 Origins Study which requests more unhindered access in China:

The Governments of Australia, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America remain steadfast in our commitment to working with the World Health Organization (WHO), international experts who have a vital mission, and the global community to understand the origins of this pandemic in order to improve our collective global health security and response. Together, we support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of working together toward the development and use of a swift, effective, transparent, science-based, and independent process for international evaluations of such outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.

The most interesting with the above statement is the list of U.S. allied countries which declined to support it,

Most core EU countries, especially France, Spain, Italy and Germany, are missing from it. As is the Five-Eyes member New Zealand. India, a U.S. ally in the anti-Chinese Quad initiative, also did not sign. This list of signatories of the Joint Statement is an astonishingly meager result for a U.S. 'joint' initiative. It is unprecedented. It is a sign that something has cracked and that the world will never be the same.

The first months of he Biden administration saw a rupture in the global system. First Russia admonished the EU for its hypocritical criticism of internal Russian issues. Biden followed up by calling Putin a 'killer'. Then the Chinese foreign minister told the Biden administration to shut the fuck up about internal Chinese issues. Soon thereafter Russia's and China's foreign ministers met and agreed to deepen their alliance and to shun the U.S. dollar. Then China's foreign minister went on a wider Middle East tour. There he reminded U.S. allies of their sovereignty :

Wang said that expected goals had been achieved with regard to a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East, which was proposed during the visit.

"China supports countries in the region to stay impervious to external pressure and interference, to independently explore development paths suited to its regional realities ," Wang said, adding that the countries should " break free from the shadows of big-power geopolitical rivalry and resolve regional conflicts and differences as masters of the region ."

Wang's tour was topped off with the signing of a game changing agreement with Iran:

Suffice to say, the China-Iran pact deeply is embedded within a new matrix Beijing hopes to create with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Iran. The pact forms part of a new narrative on regional security and stability.

The "U.S. led rules based international order" is finally finished . Russia and China buried it :

Countries in Asia and further afield are closely watching the development of this alternative international order, led by Moscow and Beijing. And they can also recognise the signs of increasing US economic and political decline.

It is a new kind of Cold War, but not one based on ideology like the first incarnation. It is a war for international legitimacy, a struggle for hearts and minds and money in the very large part of the world not aligned to the US or NATO.

The US and its allies will continue to operate under their narrative, while Russia and China will push their competing narrative. This was made crystal clear over these past few dramatic days of major power diplomacy.

The global balance of power is shifting, and for many nations, the smart money might be on Russia and China now.

The obvious U.S. countermove to the Russian-Chinese initiative is to unite its allies in a new Cold War against Russia and China. But as the Joint Statement above shows most of those allies do not want to follow that path. China is a too good customer to be shunned. Talk of human rights in other countries might play well with the local electorate but what counts in the end is the business.

Even some U.S. companies can see that the hostile path the Biden administration has followed will only be to their detriment. Some are asking the Biden gang to tone it down :

[Boeing] Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told an online business forum he believed a major aircraft subsidy dispute with Europe could be resolved after 16 years of wrangling at the World Trade Organization, but contrasted this with the outlook on China.

"I think politically (China) is more difficult for this administration and it was for the last administration. But we still have to trade with our largest partner in the world: China," he told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit.

Noting multiple disputes, he added: " I am hoping we can sort of separate intellectual property, human rights and other things from trade and continue to encourage a free trade environment between these two economic juggernauts. ... We cannot afford to be locked out of that market. Our competitor will jump right in."

Before its 737 MAX debacle Boeing was the biggest U.S. exporter and China was its biggest customer. The MAX has yet to be re-certified in China. If Washington keeps the hostile tone against China Boeing will lose out and Europe's Airbus will make a killing.

Biden announced that "America is back" only to be told that it is no longer needed in the oversized role that it played before. Should Washington not be able to accept that it can no play 'unilateral' but will have to follow the real rules of international law we might be in for some interesting times :

Question: Finally, are you concerned that deteriorating international tensions could lead to war?

Glenn Diesen: Yes, we should all be concerned. Tensions keep escalating and there are increasing conflicts that could spark a major war. A war could break out over Syria, Ukraine, the Black Sea, the Arctic, the South China Sea and other regions.

What makes all of these conflicts dangerous is that they are informed by a winner-takes-all logic. Wishful thinking or active push towards a collapse of Russia, China, the EU or the U.S. is also an indication of the winner-takes-all mentality. Under these conditions, the large powers are more prepared to accept greater risks at a time when the international system is transforming . The rhetoric of upholding liberal democratic values also has clear zero-sum undertones as it implies that Russia and China must accept the moral authority of the West and commit to unilateral concessions.

The rapidly shifting international distribution of power creates problems that can only be resolved with real diplomacy. The great powers must recognize competing national interests, followed by efforts to reach compromises and find common solutions.

Russia's president Vladimir Putin has repeatedly asked for a summit of leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council:

Putin argued that the countries that created a new global order after World War II should cooperate to solve today's problems.

"The founder countries of the United Nations, the five states that hold special responsibility to save civilisation, can and must be an example," he said at the sombre memorial ceremony.

The meeting would "play a great role in searching for collective answers to modern challenges and threats," Putin said, adding that Russia was "ready for such a serious conversation."

Such a summit would be a chance to work on a new global system that avoids unilateralism and block mentality. As the U.S. is now learning that its allies are not willing to follow its anti-China and anti-Russia policies it might be willing to negotiate over a new international system.

But as long as Washington is unable to recognize its own decline a violent attempt to solve the issue once and for all will become more likely.

Posted by b on April 1, 2021 at 17:52 UTC | Permalink

Very thought provoking b, I wish time off brought me back firing on all cylinders like this!

No doubt vk will chime in here better than I but it surely cannot be a matter of "if America decides". There are historical forces at work in this financialized phase of late capitalism that are not grasped by the US leadership, let alone factored into intelligent policy debates. Biden is an arch-lobbyist for the vested interests which compel the US's unilateral and interventionist foreign policy. I'm quite sure he is incapable of 'deciding' anything (not just mentally but institutionally). But the underlying dynamic of world-historical change is beyond him and his whole country. The die was cast long ago when the Soviet Union fell and the US couldn't help themselves. Junkies for unilateralism since 1989, they will keep shooting up until they OD (Boeing notwithstanding...). I suspect they will end up like the schizoid UK, psychologically unable to accept increasing and humiliating losses of empire until it hits the bottom of the dustbin of History.

[Apr 02, 2021] The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue

Military actions might be suicidal for Ukraine. But this exactly what the USA wants in order to achieve its geopolitical objectives.
The danger for Ukraine in Georgia war scenario.
Notable quotes:
"... Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine. ..."
"... A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose. ..."
"... Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves. ..."
Apr 02, 2021 |
Skuppers , Apr 2 2021 7:44 utc | 1

Cute /funny, but for me this points to the script that the "west" has laid out before hand: Washington has dialed up an attack by Ukraine, has been concentrating ukrop forces along the line of contact, and has kept its media muzzled, total media blackout, until the Russians respond. Then let loose with the media to make it appear that the Russians are threatening Ukraine. And per the 08/08/08 Georgia attack, if they push the button and attack donbass, and the Russians respond, blame it on Russian aggression. Russia attacks!! Russian aggression!! Who's to know it isn't so? They'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Not like in '08 when the EU was still semi autonomous. If Washington doesn't order an attack, then they can still point to Russia massing troops and score a propaganda victory as Russia is intimidating poor Ukraine. Russian aggression!! And "sell" more weapons to Ukraine and move more "advisors" in. The cost? Who cares? They'll just keep the printing press rolling.

powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 7:58 utc | 2

April 1, 2021

"Vyacheslav Nikonov: ...How dangerous is the situation in Ukraine in light of the ongoing US arms deliveries, the decisions adopted in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, and the statements made by the Ukrainian military, who are openly speaking about a war? Where do we stand on the Ukrainian front?

Sergey Lavrov: There is much speculation about the documents that the Rada passed and that President Zelensky signed. To what extent does this reflect real politics? Is it consistent with the objective of resolving President Zelensky's domestic problem of declining ratings?

I'm not sure what this is: a bluff or concrete plans.

According to the information published in the media, the military, for the most part, is aware of the damage that any action to unleash a hot conflict might bring.

I very much hope this will not be fomented by the politicians, who, in turn, will be fomented by the US-led West. ...

Like President Vladimir Putin said not long ago; but these words are still relevant, – those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass will destroy Ukraine. "

Not much more to be said.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 8:19 utc | 3

Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine.

The day before Zelensky "invited" NATO into Ukraine for military exercises.
In the face of the amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, setting up joint exercises involving Ukraine Army and Allied forces, including joint air patrols with NATO aviation in Ukraine's airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region, Mashovets has told his counterpart.
(Disclaimer; I don't know much about this site)

(The day before that there was a top level meeting of NATO "to discuss the situation in Ukraine, which might have provoked/told Zelnsky to do the former).

Talking of provocation; here is a "twit" showing a Polish, it looks like fishing vessel, ramming a supply ship to NordStream II pipe layers. Gangster warfare?

Although b says that the "Russian threat" is overdone, this buildup is certainly part of the problem as the US wants NATO in Ukraine. Therefore the more the threat is hyped the more they can use it to "justify" changing the facts on the ground.

One side observation is that Biden is totally absent. This situation is being run by the US High Command (Milley et al) and others who always want moar war for the cash it brings in.
The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the JCS, and National Security Advisor have all had phone calls with their Ukrainian counterparts over the past three days, and General Milley spoke with General Gerasimov.

powerandpeople , Apr 2 2021 8:30 utc | 4

Ukraine - and the West's - main problem with Russia over the Donbass is that Russia is NOT a party to the Minsk agreement. With both France and Germany, it is a guarantor.

The signatures on the Minsk document are that of Ukraine and the so-called republics.

Ukraine can create as many laws stating it is in an 'International armed conflict' with Russia as it likes, it does not alter the fact that no such conflict exists, nor has it been brought to the Security Council.

But the Minsk accord HAS been approved by the Security Council.

"On March 29, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a draft of so-called resolution on the situation in Donbass. It seems that there is noting new in such a document, however, it puts at stake Kiev's obligation on implementation of the Minsk Agreement...

Such a document is not the first to be adopted in Ukraine in the last years. However, this draft has a specific feature. It is for the first time that Ukrainian Rada adopted the draft statement, which says that the war in Eastern Ukraine is a Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Previously, the phrase "aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine" was used in Kiev's official documents. Today, the war in Donbass was designated as an international armed conflict, that is, war.

Such a definition has significant juridical impact. This statement completely blocks Kiev's implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures clearly defines that the parties to the conflict are Kiev on the one hand, Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic (LDPR) on the other.

Today the Ukrainian Parliament officially declared, at the highest level, that the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia.

The resolution ensures the immediate forwarding of the text of this statement to the national governments and parliaments of foreign states, international organizations and their parliamentary assemblies."

Dogon Priest , Apr 2 2021 9:39 utc | 5
A few more...
US general calls Ukrainian, Russian counterparts over reported Russian troop movements

Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"

PJB , Apr 2 2021 9:41 utc | 6
The propaganda may never change but that doesn't mean the events can't be different this time. There's video of large amounts of heavy weapons heading to the border.

A few weeks ago the US sent 350 tonnes of armoured humvees etc to Odessa. Then On 23rd March video shows Ukraine sending trainloads of tanks etc. On 24th March Kiev passed a decree claiming a right to retake Crimea. It's always said so but this seemed to really ratchet up the rhetoric as it virtually commits the government to trying to retake Crimea by force.

Several videos from 29th March show different Russian trains with scores of tanks etc heading across the Kerch bridge to Crimea, and to the Donbas border. Plus other videos of numerous helicopters & endlessly long lines of tanks & armoured vehicles on roads as well.

This is a buildup not seen since the hit war days of 2014.

Meanwhile a NATO Fleet enters the Black Sea for exercises with Ukraine.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 9:44 utc | 7

A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose.

Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves.

True, there is a possibility of war. Hot heads in Kiev and Washington appear always to want war. But insofar as Washington is concerned, its domestic agenda presently appears to hold far greater sway than does a failing outpost on the periphery of Washington's influence.

At this juncture, then, the possibility of a significant conflict seems low by comparison.

MarkU , Apr 2 2021 10:14 utc | 9

@ elephant (7)

You are completely ignoring the overall picture. The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue. Already physical provocation is being used against the pipe-laying ships (see Stonebird's post (2))

Ghost Ship , Apr 2 2021 10:27 utc | 10
Personally I blame all this shit on the Nazi scum moved to the United States by Washington after World War 2 and "weaponised". Desperate to destroy Russia and no doubt keen to acquire Lebensraum, these Hitler fanboys and their handlers in Washington are doing everything they can to apply Hitler's racial beliefs to Russia and make them seem like others when Russians are as European as Hungarians, the British and the Irish and certainly more European than Americans, Canadians and Australians. This is to make war with Russia more acceptable among Europeans. Perhaps the Hitler fanboys in Washington need to work to improve their understand of the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2 .
As Field Marshall Montgomery (a decent but fallible and somewhat egotistical British general) said in 1959:
Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.

A few years later he repeated his Rules of War and even claimed ownership for himself:
The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.

They are rules that the Hitler Fanboys and "Lost China" morons in Washington should have tattooed on their foreheads along with a free prefrontal lobotomy.
BTW, who are the more civilised:
The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women; limited data shows 74% of lobotomies in Ontario from 1948–1952 were performed on women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned, first in the Soviet Union and Europe.
The idea of "weaponized immigration" in the sense of bringing in immigrant hostile to their source state and using them to overthrow their source state was applied by Washington and largely publicized by Yasha Levine.
johnf , Apr 2 2021 10:56 utc | 11

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 11:12 utc | 12
As some of us are superannuated, it is good to know the views of younger generation . Top general of Ukraine addressed the deputies of Verkhovna Rada (parliament), declared readiness of Ukrainian army to attack with the aim of "re-integrating the temporarily not-under-control territories", but then he somberly added the perspective of huge civilian casualties, and then started to described Russian forces currently to the north, east and the south of Ukraine. That was taking some time, so Anna Kolesnik, at 26 one of the youngest deputies of the ruling party, texted "We are listening to Khomchak. We need to get out from this country."
Fran , Apr 2 2021 11:41 utc | 13

Looks like Zelensky signed a document or Decree No. 117/2021 the other day, to recapture the Donbas and Crimea which could also be seen as a declaration of war towards Russia, more in the link below:

As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3

I expected for something to happen in the Ukraine once Biden become President, but I am surprised by the speed.

PJB , Apr 2 2021 11:43 utc | 14

Look at the videos of massive troop build ups. Also the conscription in both the Donbas republics & Ukraine Donetsk & Lugansk militia veterans of 2014/15 returning from Russia to region.

To say nothing is going to happen this time seems wishful thinking.

Jen , Apr 2 2021 12:25 utc | 15

Of course US and European concern about Russian military build-up along Russia's borders with European nations serves a purpose: justifying even more NATO military build-up along the other side of the Russian border which in turn generates profit for US, British and EU arms corporations and their shareholders in the banking and finance industries (and politics as well), and helps NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to think he is important.

Several nations that have borders with Russia probably need the money that NATO soldiers might spend (mostly on entertainment like watching pole-dancing performers) while stationed on their territories. Latvia and Lithuania among others haven't done too well since joining the EU with something like 18 - 20% of their people living in poverty and many families dependent on remittances sent by their relatives working overseas. Instead of their resident Russian-speaking population being a bridge between their economies and the Russian economy, these countries prefer to deny their Russian-speaking minorities social welfare benefits and the right to vote, unless they can speak and read their host nations' languages at postgraduate level, and to harass them in various petty ways.

As for Ukraine, the Zelensky govt has its work cut out trying to get Crimea back so the US military can take over the base at Sevastopol and turn the Black Sea into a US lake, and to clear out the Donbass region of those pesky Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and make it secure for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation. The Bidens depend on Zelensky to get those oil and natural gas resources so they can get their cut.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 12:29 utc | 16

Anna Kolesnik, cited by Piotr Berman @ 12 has it exactly. The emigres are already arriving. Ukraine is and has been entirely a failed state. The Uke army is a joke. So they have a new boatload of Humvees. Probably already sold. Humvees were going to stop T72 and up. Right. High probability Ukraine simply vanishes, local residents invite stability and the Russian army.

The normalcy bias expressed by host and commenters is extreme. Start believing in defeat. Defeat is going to change your outlook.

imo , Apr 2 2021 12:40 utc | 17

Decree No. 117/2021

Translation etc here as-russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine --

Also on ZH

"So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?
Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won't read anything about it in the corporate media.

I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it. I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate

In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:
1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 "On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" (attached).

2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication
President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
March 24, 2021

Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia. Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force."
abee , Apr 2 2021 13:29 utc | 19

Russia, France & Germany had a call on Tuesday 3/30 & they asked Putin to address the situation in Ukraine - Russia is doing them a favor....

"Russia to act resolutely to secure a cease-fire in the east that has been routinely violated."

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Librul @ 18

That was more than a week ago. See how much Ukraine has done about it so far? That is as much as they are able to do. Also quoted in #17 by imo, Mike Whitney/ZH "I really had to dig to find Decree 117"... That would be because you have been trained to look away. That decree was well reported, just not in the house organs of the idiots.

Martyanov has a new post up. Worth reading. He cites Michael Hudson on the overwhelming influence Russian Jews have had on US policy. I would add Polish Jews. Zbig Brezinski gets mentioned. Ever taken a look at his pamphlet, The Grand Chessboard? It has been required reading for all students at Thomas Pickering School (State Department) for a generation. Theme is Ukraine is center of universe. And this is because Zbig is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all. Any in US policy establishment who should have known better were blinded by Russophobia. (Just a note, spellcheck on this box changed my spelling to 'Lviv' multiple times before allowing old spelling. The thought control is total.)

The deployed Russian forces are not about overwhelming the Uke army. It is an occupation force. They will be taking territory.

Don Harder , Apr 2 2021 13:46 utc | 21
I don't see mention of Ukrainian build up and increased aggression on the border of Donbass. That's why Russian troops are building up. They are posturing defensively. It's US-backed Zelensky that is taking the aggressive position here.
librul , Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22
@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Are you one of the fucks that voted for Biden?

And what does your last sentence mean? "They will be taking territory."

Piotr Berman , Apr 2 2021 14:13 utc | 23

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

77 millions that voted for Biden are not all "f....s". Everyone has some priorities, imperfect choices etc.

That of course applies to countries, something that "responsible media" never considers, but this is not a good role model for us.

Russia has to rely on her resources, so defending them from military and/or financial takeover or even nuclear blackmail is a vital interest. While there are no perfect choices, they try to choose the better ones. And not leaving people who speak Russian to repressions and even massacres is another vital interest.

In the current situation, Russia clearly needs a deterrence for any possible blitzkrieg type of plan by Ukraine. But pre-emption would not be the best choice.

In turn, Ukrainian government/elite has to bet on a patron and at least make some appearance of diligently following what the patron wants. And for that, they need to raise/maintain tensions with Russia (and China? hard is our fate now that we are underlings).

J Swift , Apr 2 2021 15:03 utc | 27

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

Roger , Apr 2 2021 15:07 utc | 28


The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out.

The US elites all went to the same schools (or military academy) where they were inculcated with "American Exceptionalism" and the need for "America to be the Global Policeman", ending up with mediocrities such as Blinken and Pompeo that thrash around as the world moves to multipolarity and the US becomes just another important nation. It will take at least decades for the US elite to get their heads around this, the British still haven't as seen by their wasting of resources on showy projects such as the two useless aircraft carriers (know as "targets" by submariners and missile batteries) to assuage its "size" envy.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 15:13 utc | 29
Granted I am just an armchair observer but I have been watching since before the Maidan coup. Something feels different this time, as if the positions of the players involved have changed somehow. I realize that the multipolar world has been incubating for some time now and that Russia, China have been waiting patiently for USA to collapse from exhaustion, but I rather doubt that it will do so with a wimper. There may come a time when the RF armed forces may opt to use a quick bone crushing response to say 'enough'. While this is never an great option to have to take due to potential reprecussions, it can sometimes be better than being slowly swallowed by the serpeant of Mission Creep.....
vk , Apr 2 2021 15:19 utc | 30
Russia's official position, as of today morning:

Kremlin says situation along engagement line in Donbass frightening

"Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive," Peskov said in reply to a question. "We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them."

Ukraine's economy is collapsing. Even the IMF (USA) is getting tired of giving it free money:

The IMF is in a panic: Ukraine has been doing without its money for ten months

Prospects for Ukraine this year to receive even the second tranche of the IMF under the $ 5 billion credit line, which Kiev agreed with the Fund last June, remain vague. Although according to the schedule, Ukraine should have already mastered the second and third tranches for a total of $ 1.35 billion and is about to receive the fourth tranche in the amount of $ 0.55 billion, in fact, the first June tranche of 2.1 billion is still the only one.

Commenting on this situation on television, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said this week: "The IMF does not give money, because, unfortunately, as a country, we have crumpled up some obligations and must renew them."


So far, budget holes have been bridged by historically record borrowings in December last year (over $ 6 billion) and an increase in interest rates on domestic borrowings this year. But last year's reserves and domestic borrowing are insufficient either to cover the $ 9 billion budget deficit or to service the external public debt, which will cost at least $ 8.1 billion this year (excluding the cost of securing new loans).

The IMF, by the way, is not interested in getting its money back - they already knew the black hole they were entering into when the coup happened in 2014 - but in social engineering: the American Empire wants a brand new province:

According to the aforementioned Sergei Marchenko, the IMF puts forward five main conditions for returning to consideration of the issue of allocating the second tranche of the loan.

First , the Fund requires the restoration of liability, including criminal liability, for the declaration of false information by officials and other persons for whom such is provided in the framework of anti-corruption procedures. This type of responsibility was actually abolished by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) in October last year as part of the recognition of a number of provisions of the anti-corruption law as unconstitutional. Although almost the entire so-called anti-corruption infrastructure in a format imposed by the West contradicts the Constitution, the judges are concerned about this problem mainly because of the infringement of their rights. Since then, Zelenskiy has effectively blocked the work of the KSU, making a number of decisions that clearly go beyond his constitutional powers. And last December, the Verkhovna Radaeven restored responsibility for declaring inaccurate data. But within the framework of the struggle for control over the anti-corruption infrastructure, the "seven-embassy" (the ambassadors of the G7 countries) did not even think that responsibility had been restored.

Secondly , we are talking about the restoration of the so-called independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), that is, the accountability of the body to Western curators, their actual appointment and accountability of the head of NABU, etc. and imply the legal consolidation of the full control of the West over the entire anti-corruption infrastructure, which in its essence is a parallel structure of government in the state. After amending the law on NABU and recognizing as unconstitutional the appointment of Artem Sytnik, a protege of the West, by the head of NABU Zelenskiy never dared to fire him. But even such a manifestation of loyalty to the "seven-embassy" seemed not enough.

Thirdly , the Fund demands urgently to "reform" the High Council of Justice, that is, to transfer the judicial branch of power under the control of the West - by analogy with anti-corruption bodies. In this issue, Ukraine is showing the greatest resistance so far. Moreover, it comes both from the judges themselves and from representatives of other branches of government. For obvious reasons: the surrender of the judicial system will destroy even the miserable remnants of sovereignty, and most importantly, it will carry serious risks both for judges and for various top-level officials.

Fourth and fifth - issues of the gas market and the electricity market. In the context of these markets, the Fund is interested in the abolition of tariffs [n.t. - probably it means here "subsidies"] for the population with a corresponding increase in prices. The Ukrainian, let's say, elites just do not care about the problems of the population - that is why the refusal to regulate gas prices for the population last year became one of the first fulfilled requirements of the IMF. However, when winter came, gas prices skyrocketed and social protests broke out across the country , and gas price regulation had to be urgently returned. Of course, only for a while - first until April, now until May. But the Fund did not like this either: just the other day, the head of the IMF office in Ukraine, Jost Lyngman, called a return to gas price control in an ineffective way of subsidizing households. Exactly the same applies to electricity prices - the tariff for the population was raised in winter, but the Fund wants the regulated tariff to disappear altogether. The Ukrainian authorities are, of course, ready to meet the IMF halfway on these issues. But so that social protests do not completely reset her ratings.

The article also mentions that Ukraine effectively cannot borrow elsewhere in the "free market" because its bonds are rated "junk" (this we already knew, since it's been so for some years now) and that its "borrowing rates" (interest rates) are at 12% (bonds) and 6.5% (central bank's). In other words, Ukraine will disappear as a sovereign country, one way (outright loss of the Eastern regions, reduction to a impoverished para-Polish rump state) or the other (become a proto-colony of the USA a la Puerto Rico). My guess is Zelensky is calculating an all-out war to reconquer the richer eastern regions, followed by a triumphal accession to NATO, to be the only way out for Ukraine as a nation-state.

Prof , Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31
If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious.

But Ukraine is just a puppet for America, which will use, abuse and even lose Ukraine for *other purposes*.

Those other purposes are fortifying European subordination to NATO, cancelling Nord Stream 2 and breaking any German and French rapprochement with Moscow. US hegemony is in fact conditional on a climate of hostility between Europe and Russia in general, and between Germany and Moscow in particular. Hence the need to provoke Germany to cancel NS2. The Navalny operation didn't work, and the sanctions didn't work either. So it's on to Plan C, which might sacrifice Ukraine for the greater project of US empire.

In the bigger picture, the strategy is to globalize NATO against China. This is the Biden regime's specific strategy of provoking minor conflicts to fortify alliances and bloc politics for taking on China and Russia. Ukraine is just disposable trash in this game.

elephant , Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

That Merkel and Macron just met with Putin is further evidence of the unlikeliness of war. Frau Merkel in particular has an interest in preventing a war because it is Germany who needs the Nordstream pipeline (to Washington's displeasure); the Russians can just as easily sell their natural gas to China if Nordstream falters. Thus the Germans are more likely to exert pressure on Ukraine to forebear than they are to let Ukraine loose the dogs of war.

juliania , Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 35

I agree with you, oldhippie @ 20. And thanks to b and other posters here who have kept us well apprised of the events in Ukraine as the buildup commenced on the Ukrainian side, supported by US munitions.

Actually, as far as I can understand it, if the Russians do enter Ukraine it will be at the behest of the Ukrainians themselves, just as it was in Crimea. They will be as supportive as possible of the Donbass, which is already back in the Russian Federation in every way except the formal declaration.

But Russia wants the country of Ukraine to remain whole. That's a big ask, but it surely must include all areas like Odessa in order to be viable as a member of the Federation. I don't know if that is possible yet, but rule by force has existed for so long under such duress there, that I do believe the entire civilian population would be happy to have this happen. And in will come the Russian aid, pouring in on tanks if need be, to a population weary of hardship.

Russia certainly doesn't want to be on a war footing with Ukraine, since it considers the citizenry to be its own people historically speaking, as Putin has said many times. It will not force the issue; it can be patient. But if its troops do enter, they will only do so if they are welcome; and I think that welcome mat is fast being woven, as fast as Penelopes in the Donbass can weave it. And as for the rest of Ukraine, plenty of Penelopes there as well.

It may not be Ukraine will enter the Federation immediately - there will have to be talks and so much restructuring politically speaking before that can happen. But if the hand of Russia is still extended in friendship to places like the US, it most certainly would be to a sane and peaceful Ukrainian government.

Let it be!

Petri Krohn , Apr 2 2021 15:35 utc | 36

This time the buildup is very real. But NATO has no reason to be "concerned", as it is they who have the initiative. Russia will only move in response to a Ukrainian attack on Donbass. Ukraine will only attack after it gets approval or direct orders from Washington.

Work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is progressing fast. I estimate that pipelaying may be finished by the end of May. To prevent it from happening, Ukraine has to attack in April. Rumors claim that the planned date of the attack is April 15, 2021. The problem on the Ukrainian side is that there is no sensible war plan, apart from attacking Donbass and then immediately withdrawing to defensive position on the western shore of the Dnieper River.

Christelle Néant from Donetsk published this on March 16th, citing Ukrainian sources.


In an enlightening article, the Ukrainian media outlet Strana revealed that not only is the Ukrainian army preparing for an offensive in the Donbass, but that there is an emergency plan to stop the attack if Russia were to send its own army in. This information is nothing less than a debunking of seven years of Ukrainian propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is fighting Russia in the Donbass.

The article is based on sources in the Ukrainian army and the Defence Ministry, and begins by questioning the reality of Kiev's preparation for an offensive against the Donbass.

Strana's sources on the front line confirm that there is no longer a ceasefire, nor a withdrawal of troops and equipment. The source even makes it clear that it was Ukraine that first violated this provision of the Minsk package of measures, and that the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics) did so only afterwards, in response to the violation by the Ukrainian army.


BUT, because there is a but in this kind of rather too pretty plan, if Russia sends its army to intervene then the Ukrainian army will have to give up its offensive against the Donbass and withdraw.

"In this case, the AFU offensive will be stopped. With a high degree of probability, the troops will then have to withdraw, so as not to fall again into cauldrons," says the Strana source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

In other words, for the Ukrainian army's offensive in the Donbass to work, Russia must not intervene. The problem for Kiev is that Russia has no intention of letting several hundred thousand of its citizens die on its border without reacting. A problem that Strana's source is well aware of.

Duncan Idaho , Apr 2 2021 15:56 utc | 41

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

If it isn't, it should be.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 16:18 utc | 45

Nice riff on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!
Excellent take on the situation as it has unfolded. I agree with your observations re: a change in tone coming Russia and China in regard to their criticizms of the USA. It's likely that they have indeed run the numbers on both how much damage they can absorb and what their counter move would be as compare to the long drawn out decline that seems to be atking forever.

The line (or really one of the several) is when the USA get more directly involved and sustains losses at the hands of Russian forces. Nobody really wants to find out what happens when the The Darkness behind the might of the Pentagram has a hissy fit. The yapping dog might just beable to run the numbers itself and see the outcome as being very disadventageous to itself and it's minions. Who am I kidding, the USA doesn't care a whit about it's minions....

Norwegian , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 55

@elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

I believe you are right. A war is unlikely, but with madmen in Washington you never know. Some of them would like to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 57

But, Russia is moving substantial troops and equipment to the Ukrainian border to deter the Kiev authorities from invading the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) - so this is real not a made-up story (it is not what 'normal' troop movements as the b's article implies). Russia is drawing a red line and it should be seen as such!

Russia's actions will probably be enough to dissuade Kiev but what have they got to lose? The Kiev regime is failing, its economy is in freefall, disaster beckons - a glorious military defeat might be considered preferable to inevitable social and economic collapse.

Kiev may also have well-founded belief that the US/West will be forced to support them militarily to keep the secrets of western involvement in the downng of MH17 out of Russian hands.

oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 17:15 utc | 58

Thank you for all the compliments. I am not and will not be angry with librul for more than one moment, in the past. Same Biden/Trump barbs are tossed daily on a face to face basis. It has become how Americans are.

Ghostship does make some good points. Not theoretical to me. Here in Chicago FuhrerTag is still celebrated at many bars. Large group sings of Horst Wessex song occur for a variety of occasions. When at University of Illinois (70s) there was a sizable contingent of OUN children in the History Department. They freely Indulged in Sieg Heil and Slava Ukraina to greet each other publicly. There was also an Ustache contingent who did return to Croatia, not to fight but to govern. Shall we say that these groups were insane. Some did go to military careers.Some did go to State Department. Some did go to think tanks. If the subject is Russia clinical insanity is not a career impediment in America.

For two days I owned the Rainbow, Bugsy Siegel's old joint 1900 N. Damen. . That was Ukrainian Village. My money was refunded. The alternative was death. Yes, they put guns in my face. Yes, they could do that. No, I do not like these people.

None of us predicts future with any accuracy. Will keep pointing out that downsides for Russia will vanish with victory. They have a lot of choices in how they could construct that victory. Every choice US/NATO has available is nothing but a defeat.

Thomas Minnehan , Apr 2 2021 17:17 utc | 59


Thanks for that note.

It is a very important reminder as to how insane and mindless the neo con hatred is of Russia and Putin. It is indeed alarming that this rabid hatred controls the neo cons and what passes for us foreign policy. How can on expect rational policy when the people in charge are completely irrational.

Link to the article:

If nothing else, just note the quote in the article from Hudson-it is beyond alarming as to the description by hudson of the mindless and controlling irrationality of the neo cons in the dimo biden admin!

Copeland , Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 62

I watched a video by Alexander Mercouris China Warns Ukraine on Crimea Ties which shows how coordinated this present crisis may be, as Washington may be maneuvering its Ukrainian proxy into nationalizing a corporation there that manufactures a variety of turbine engines, built to power both warships and aircraft. Zelensky is applying pressure on both China and Russia at once. The Russians have overcome some manufacturing problems and have had to build up their own stocks of turbines for military use. Responding to Zelensky's seizure of their assets and investments in Ukraine, the Chinese have sent an economic mission that involves serious investments in Crimea .

A coordinated threat to the culturally Russian Donbas and Lugansk region and the nationalizing of Chinese assets will place China and Russia again on the same path in their diplomatic response. It would not be a surprise if China officially recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

ptb , Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

@59 etc

To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.

ADKC , Apr 2 2021 17:51 utc | 66

Just to add to my post @57.

Russia doesn't need "troops" to defend Donetz and Luhansk; Russian can destroy Ukrainian forces using stand-off weapons and then DNR and LNR forces can easily cope with what remains. Russian doesn't need forces to "occupy" Donetz and Luhansk because these areas will remain under the control of the republics. What Russia needs "troops" for is to advance and capture Kiev and this is what Russia's troop deployments threaten. If the conflict starts in Ukraine then Russia will demonstrate its ability to do whatever it wants in all areas of Ukraine; then Russia will withdraw and leave what is left for the West/EU and US to deal with.

Rationally, nothing will happen because Kiev will be deterred. But, many elements in the Kiev regime may desire war because they believe the West will (because they "have to") support them (or, as I already said, glorious defeat may seem preferable to the slow-burn collapse of their regime). The US/West may encourage Kiev because they are posturing for war and the plandemic is envisaged as the best time for such an event (I feel the likelihood of this is underestimated), or compelling a demonstration of Russian "aggression" may have overriding propaganda value (regardless of the outcome for the Kiev regime) for their own populations (everyone can really hate on Russia for the next 10 years - hate is a great unifier).

Kapusta , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 74

All of this is to be expected after weeks and weeks of UAF buildup along the Donbass border. In fact, they've been shelling villages in the Donbass for some time now since they re-instigated aggression in February. Even today they were shelling the infamous Donetsk airport. On top of that you've got US aerial vehicles flying around the Black Sea right underneath Crimea and next to Krasnodar. Kiev's posturing has signaled their supposed willingness to attack the Donbass and attempt to retake Crimea, so Russia's reaction to protect Russian citizens would be entirely reasonable.

The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States held their second conversation in a month and a half on the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev "support measures" in the event of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The US will not come to the aid of Ukraine. That is a pipe dream, pun intended.

Chevrus , Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 75

@JohninMK et al:
On the surface this seems to be a continuation of the provocation game, which has been the tactic since the beginning. The Ukies are definitely upping the ante by threatening Crimea. I can only assume that they are deep into thinking wishfully that the USA will "come to rescue" when they poke the bear. But in both their cases I have to wonder: with WHAT? The Ukies dont have an effective army as demonstrated by mass defection and surrender last bout. Other than "punishment battallions" there do not seem to be many troops willing to fight. As for the USA, they are not shock troops, they are an occupation force. So then is it to be some sort aerial ballet of stand-off weapons over the skies of the Donbass??

As stated above, the Western MSM is going to shriek like flock of terrified Karens no matter what Russia does so they may as well earn it. My mind wanders over the demonstration of the Iskander in Syria most recently. Ten or so of those simultaneously in the right places would bring a Ukrops offensive to sudden halt if there were the will to do so.....

Per/Norway , Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 80

"Zelensky recent declaration of intent to interdict in Crimea"


oldhippie , Apr 2 2021 20:08 utc | 89

Zelensky is making de-escalation noises. Bit late for that. Should this all ratchet down it will be the end of Zelensky. Bear in mind he is there only because there is no one else. As an actor and a comedian he has been impersonating a President. He did that for the sitcom cameras and then he did it in real life.

It will also be the last time Ukraine ever pretends to field an army. Conscripts will make their way home somehow, they won't be played again. Heavy equipment and ammo will be auctioned off cheap to any who can arrange transport. Transport will be questionable, arms will be sold very cheap.

Ukraine army is heavily larded with mercs and Wahabi jihadis from all over the planet. Idiots could still start something big even if the "leadership" calls it off. Shelling has been happening all day up and down the line. Artillery is mostly mercs. Russia is holding fire so far, one shell chances to fall on a concentration of Russian troops and it is on.

Poles and other idiots could also blow this up. Way too many moving pieces and no one in charge, either in Kiev or Washington.

If this excitement just ends Ukraine will go from a comic opera government to no government at all. Russia will move in for humanitarian reasons. Western Ukraine will die or flood to Europe.

Stonebird , Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 90

I see we are back to the "fog of war".
There has been artillery/mortar fire around Horlivka and elsewhere. (50 shells) These mortar attacks were conducted by the 58th motorised rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the areas of Avdeevka and Pervomaisky.
A Global Hawk is presumed to have flown over both Donetsk and Luhansk - various altitudes to test the Russian radars. This is the same type that was shot down by Iran. Maybe the US wants to order a few more replacements?
One vid that is supposed to show a train full of Tor systems of the 56 airborne has already been debunked as filmed a long way away on the other side of Russia, (The 56th do not have Tors)

It is clear that there is a definite push to provoke a Russian reaction. The threats about Crimea mean that any movement in that area will be taken seriously, as "several" high ranking Russian Generals have arrived there. Russian Generals lead from the front, not the back as do the UK or US versions. (see Syria)

It is the details that are showing that this will escalate (Burning houses and villages) and civilians in bunkers. I was going to show you the picture of an old man still in the firing area, because he has nowhere else to go . Someday the human cost must be counted.


Interesting tie ups with the BRI and Afghanistan from Karlof1's post @70. One mention of a canal between the Sea of Azof and the Caspian, via Russsia. The "anything but Suez" canal?

More than that, I realised that the Saudi Arabian NOEM (Straight Line road) across the Gulf of Aqaba to Sharm el-Sheik, will eventually give it access to the Med via Egypt and Africa, without going through Israel. (Or Lebanon, Syria or Turkey)

Syria is in a mess because of lack of fuel. Their stolen fuel is/was bought by Israel cheaply. Are you sure that the EverGiven WAS an accident?


Biden has Zelenskys back - if he is thinking of his back pocket there is nothing left in it.

Dr. George W Oprisko , Apr 2 2021 20:26 utc | 94

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

A fair and balanced analysis, as far as it goes.

We must remember the Stavka is in charge....

What makes the most sense to them??? Where should the cease fire line be??? The best place to put it is the midline of the Denieper River. It is a natural boundary. It is wide enough so anything less than 155 mm artillery can't reach across. It resolves permanently water supply to Crimea.

NATO will use this action to censure, villify, and sanction Russia. She might as well get something for that.

Will this happen?? Last year, I'd say no.... but now.... anything goes...


Erelis , Apr 2 2021 21:07 utc | 97
I thought Biden would not start a war until next year to save the 2022 mid-term elections. My speculation is that Merkel is standing firm on Nord Stream 2 so the Biden administration is going to use the Ukrainians to start up a war against Russia to physically shut down the construction of the pipeline and introduce sanctions like against SWIFT, Aeroflot, etc.
Lozion , Apr 2 2021 21:20 utc | 98
Reports of use of Bayraktars TB2 in Donbass:

Jo , Apr 2 2021 22:07 utc | 111


During a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense attaches of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom assured Ukraine of the support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. "US, Canada's, and UK Defense Attaches met with Minister of Defense [of Ukraine] Taran, Deputy Minister Petrenko, Deputy Minister Polishchuk, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Naiev, and Colonel Budanov," the U.S. Embassy posted on Twitter. The Embassy assured Ukraine of support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity: "We stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity and are watching the situation in Ukraine closely."

librul , Apr 2 2021 22:08 utc | 112

@Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106

Could be.

The story is number one or two all over the place (The Hill, Politico, Reuters, The Washington Times,...).

No mention of Ukraine except perhaps in minor side stories.

"Biden holds first call with Ukrainian president amid Russian buildup"


04/02/2021 09:39 AM EDT

Updated: 04/02/2021 11:24 AM EDT

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Friday morning for the first time since Biden took office, amid reports of a Russian military buildup in eastern Ukraine that has alarmed U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The leaders spoke for 30 to 40 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of the call. A White House readout of the conversation said Biden "reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."

[Apr 02, 2021] The construction site of Nord Stream 2 has been suffering harassment by various vessels and aircraft in recent months, which nearly led to damage to the pipeline itself, according to Nord Stream AG representative Andrey Minin.

Apr 02, 2021 |

karlof1 , Apr 1 2021 22:22 utc | 49

Nice work on pulling all the puzzle pieces together, b!

The really big problem will be weaning the Outlaw US Empire from its addiction to Unilateralism, which is its primary mode of operation aside from a very brief interlude when FDR was POTUS, devised the UN and its Charter, and got the Senate to ratify it so it would become an integral part of the USA's fundamental law of the land.

All one need do to see the gravity of the bolded text is to examine the Outlaw US Empire's behavior since FDR died--The USA immediately transformed into the Outlaw US Empire on 22 October 1945 when the UN Charter came into full force and the Empire was already in grave violation of its fundamentals.

That those millions of violations have never seen the inside of a courtroom doesn't mean they never occurred or aren't now happening globally.

I was going to post this on the other thread but will use it here as an example that's grave:

"Nord Stream AG Says Warships, Submarines and Helicopters Tried to Disrupt Pipeline's Construction":

"However, it seems that in March threats to the pipeline multiplied and became more 'real'.

"The construction site of Nord Stream 2 has been suffering harassment by various vessels and aircraft in recent months, which nearly led to damage to the pipeline itself, according to Nord Stream AG representative Andrey Minin. He stressed that the disturbances were 'clearly planned and thoroughly prepared provocations,' devised to stop the joint Russian-European project in its tracks ." [My Emphasis]

Unilateral Act of War anyone?!! Yes, its the Poles once again.

IMO, it's sad b omitted mentioning the newly formed Friends of the UN Charter Group in his article since it aims at drowning the "Unilateral, rules based international order" once and for all time. My promotion of it isn't going to be enough. If all but the Neoliberal nations become members, then they can jointly aver that there's only one system of international Law and its based on the UN Charter and all relevant treaties thus shutting up the Outlaw US Empire regardless its protests. Of course, a movement within the Empire that says the same as the Friends would go a long ways to getting us where we as humans want to go to--a peaceful planet that's concerned about the wellbeing of humans and all they need for support instead of making the rich ever richer through the terror of unremitting Class War.

And if you don't think that War isn't based on Terror, then you haven't seen migrant families busted up with the little kids being kidnapped and all put into concentration camps. ( China is beginning to bark up that very inhuman tree watered so well by the Outlaw US Empire.)

Nick , Apr 2 2021 0:16 utc | 71

Dumb Polacks are getting desparate

[Apr 02, 2021] Tentions in Ukraine are about stopping North Stream: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business

Apr 02, 2021 |

karlof1 , Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 70

So Alfie, What's it all about?

Geoeconomics and Market Weight and it's not behind a paywall. Escobar intones:

"As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club [Link at Original]. The Hegemon's treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison."

Awhile ago, I posted the following acutely correct adage: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business. I added what Coolidge was misquoted as saying in 1925--The business of America is business (He actually said, "the chief business of the American people is business.") So when the POTUS says its just business, you should prepare for war.

Back to the linked article. While reading it ought to be easy to see why the BRI interconnectivity is seen as a huge threat to the two Outlaw Maritime Empires--UK/US--who initially set forth the parameters of the Great Game. (BTW, Lavrov's Great Game program interview English transcript is now complete.) They have no seat at the table whatsoever. You'll also see why the Outlaw US Empire will try to remain in Afghanistan forever as well as the reason why it can't admit the real reason for being there--to interdict the BRI and the development boom it promises to bring to a great many impoverished people throughout Eurasia. Talk about Human Rights!

But it looks like all the Empire's efforts will amount to little more than a mosquito attacking an elephant for there's no way it can stop BRI or Eurasian integration; at best, it can merely delay it and earn the enmity of the planet, including its own people. Clearly, India will cease its role in the Quad as staying locks it out from what it needs most--development that uplifts its impoverished tens of millions. And the loss of India means the certain loss of the Great Game for the Outlaw Empire.

In the grand scheme of things, Ukraine is merely a tsetse fly as is NATO ultimately. The real prize lies with the geoeconomic riches BRI and Eurasian Integration will generate and being a partner with it, not an adversary.

[Mar 31, 2021] The US-China meeting in Anchorage took place 75 years almost to the day of the Winston Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri

Blinken is no Churchill
Mar 31, 2021 |
Baron , Mar 31 2021 21:40 utc | 27

The US-China meeting in Anchorage took place 75 years almost to the day of the Winston Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri. Just as the latter signalled a break point in the uneasy, war forced cohabit of the West with the communist Soviet Union, so too the Anchorage will enter the history as the break point in the US hegemony threatening collaboration of the West and China.

Since WW2, no other nation, not even Russia, has confronted the US so firmly and so publicly as did Yang Jiechi, one of the ruling member of the Chinese Politburo when he said that "the United States does not have the qualification to speak to China from a position of strength'.

That was a slap in the face the Americans will have to respond to, and it's in the nature of the response one will find whether the American Governing elite is prepared to share power or go for a confrontation.

[Mar 30, 2021] Blinken calls warmonger Madelaine Albright his "role model"

Mar 30, 2021 |

Channel profile picture @Dwaine.Castle852 2 hours ago

I hope that someone sends her a pair of the Nike Satan sneakers. Perhaps with the blood of a few children inside. Channel profile picture @Tsigantes 2 hours ago

'role model' ?
We are warned....for what "it's worth" !

[Mar 30, 2021] Delusions of neocon Blinken

The real question is not about his neocon delusions, which are pretty predictable, but about the ability for the USA project global dominance in the decade to come.
Blinken is a marionette. And pretty much second rate even in that.
Notable quotes:
"... Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order." Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article: "'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years , and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis] ..."
Mar 30, 2021 |
karlof1 , Mar 30 2021 17:08 utc | 28

Let's consider this headline for a moment: "Blinken Accuses China of Trying to Undermine US-Dominated World Order." Blinken provides us with a definition of that "world order" in his own words cited in the article: "'... preserve the rules-based international order, in which we have all invested so much over the past 75 years , and which has served our interests and values well'." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, he's referring to the rules put in place by the UN Charter. But as we at this bar all know, it's the Outlaw US Empire for whom Blinken works that's the #1 criminal when it comes to violating the UN Charter which is why it's "served our interests and values well."

Now when we turn to reality, it become very clear that China seeks to uphold the UN Charter--it's one of the foundational members of the newly established Friends of the UN Charter Group that the Outlaw US Empire will certainly snub because of the reality of its actual relations to that Act and Organization .

Indeed, what is being said by the very formation of that Group is a big NO!! to the Outlaw US Empire's attempt to say it abides by the system it's continuously violated for the past 75+ years. Yet, it's also clear that NO!! isn't being shouted out by global media enough, particularly when Outlaw US Empire officials give such an excellent opportunity to be rebuffed and ridiculed for their lies.

We have many good writers here who could take Blinken's words and turn them into an indictment of himself and the nation he represents. That implies that writers for global publications are just as good but need to examine the framing of their articles. Peace won't come to our planet unless the Outlaw Bully Nation is daily accused for what it is and does.

NATO is a distinct minority yet it holds the world captive in a terroristic manner. It's well past time to stop groveling and kow-towing and to stand-up and call out the bullshitters for what they are since being nice isn't getting us anywhere.

[Mar 30, 2021] Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of "al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

Mar 30, 2021 |

librul , Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".
The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.
An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace
ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.
The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.
Hillary Clinton, by the way, committed her own act of cover up.
Covering her butt by backdating a memo.
The designation of a organization as a FTO (Foreign Terrorist Organization)
is not official nor legal until it is published in the Federal Register.
An oversight? Obama attacked Yemen before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had done the paperwork to make the killing legal?
The designation was not published until a month later, January 19, 2010.
Hillary Clinton back dated the memo she published in the Register with the date of
December 14, 2009, to somewhat cover her butt.
Obama's acceptance speech in Oslo for the Nobel Peace Prize was December 10th.
Yemen leaders agreed to participate in Obama's coverup saying it was their
own Yemen forces that had accidentally shredded dozens of women and children.
Obama was grateful to the Yemen leaders. The Yemen leaders were not
honored in Oslo. But, ironically, Obama ended his speech honoring women
and children, days before he ordered their slaughter.
Obama in Oslo, December 10, 2009:
"Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty
still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what
few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she
believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's
Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will
always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the
intractability of deprivation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed,
we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace.
We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the
of all the world; and at this moment of challenge,
that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you very much.
One week later Obama shredded dozens of women and children in Yemen
and covered it up.
Here is ABC's Brian Ross using his most masculine voice to boast about Obama's attack:
Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)
Actual cable at Wikileaks:
More at ABC [12/18/2009]: ">"> ">">

Norwegian , Mar 30 2021 15:09 utc | 10

@librul | Mar 30 2021 13:04 utc | 1

You can thank Thorbjørn Jagland for the Obama Nobel Price. He and Stoltenberg were buddies in the same party.

[Mar 30, 2021] Russian gas meets only a fraction of Germany's needs - Germany's Scholz

Mar 30, 2021 |

More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below More content below

BERLIN, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gas contributes only a fraction of Germany's energy consumption, and Russian gas only a fraction of that, so it is wrong to say that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline will make Germany dependent on Russian energy, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said.

Asked about the flagship Kremlin project, which has been heavily criticised by the United States and some European countries, Scholz on Monday restated the German government's position that the pipeline was a private investment and should not be the target of U.S. sanctions.

The poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, blamed by most Western governments on Russian state actors, has led to renewed calls for the nearly complete pipeline, built by state-owned Gazprom, to be cancelled.

Critics of the pipeline say it increases Germany's reliance on Russian energy and deprives transit countries Poland and Ukraine of crucial leverage over the giant country to their east. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

[Mar 28, 2021] Bidens missteps so early on are a very worrying indicator that his foreign policy team is worse than just being malign. They are incompetent. Thats a very dangerous combination.

Mar 28, 2021 |

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 8:25 am

To go back to a previous BTL discussion on Patrick Cockburns recent article in Counterpunch, Bidens missteps so early on are a very worrying indicator that his foreign policy team is worse than just being malign. They are incompetent. Thats a very dangerous combination.

I don't think the Russians, Chinese, or most other major countries (apart from Europe) had a fundamental problem with Trumps approach. They understood him, and were quite happy to ignore his bombast and threats and focus instead on what was happening in the real world. But things are different for someone like Biden, and I'm very surprised nobody in his team seem to realise this. When he talks on the record, its assumed that it is a reflection of a real policy. At first, I thought maybe he was just doing the usual new guy in power thing of talking tough to set the ground for later compromises (the opposite of Obama, who appeared very weak to other leaders, and then just looked indecisive when his policies turned more hardline). But that does not seem to be the case so far.

I've no idea what the final outcome will be, but I do think that this is one of those points in history where things take a very sharp and irreparable change in direction. Obviously, things have been brewing for years, but the ineptness of US foreign policy seems to have created a strategic Russian/China alliance which will force many countries to make some very hard choices about which side of the fence they are on.

On a related note, I woke up this morning to find that a speech by Lawrence P. Wilkerson, who is associated with the conservative paleoconservatives is getting very wide circulation in China (you know this has to be officially approved otherwise it disappears very rapidly on WeChat. He makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP. The notion that the Uigurs are a sort of third force within China, and as such need to be destroyed now seems to be very deeply embedded in Chinese thinking, and the interference by 'official' western NGO's are undoubtedly making things much worse for them.

pjay , March 27, 2021 at 9:41 am

"[Wilkerson] makes a claim that the CIA back in the early '00's intended to use the Uigurs as a sort of proxy army to destabilise China. For all sorts of reasons, I would doubt that, but it is now widely believed among Chinese people, even those who have no liking for the CCP."

Just curious as to what your reasons would be for doubting this. The CIA has been doing precisely this all over the world for over 70 years. There is a clear pipeline between the Uighurs in China and the CIA-supported "rebels" in Syria. The expatriate Uighur organizations that are integral to the Western propaganda apparatus is supported and amplified by the NED and other CIA fronts, as your last sentence implies. This is not to deny the historical Uighur desire for autonomy in Western China, nor to defend Chinese policies toward them. Rather, it is to acknowledge the CIA's use of ethnic tensions to sow chaos and division in non-conforming nations *everywhere*.

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 10:32 am

Its unlikely because:

1. The US has had little to no success in its many attempts to establish an intelligence foothold in China. There is zero evidence, direct or indirect, that it has had any successful contact with Uigur groups directly, although contacts via others, such as the Pakistani or Turkish intelligence agencies are possible. If there was even the tiniest amount of evidence of such a link, the Chinese would be broadcasting it from the skies, and not just re-messaging out tired CT stuff. Chinese intelligence is far ahead of the US in that region, so they would certainly know if something like that was happening.

2. Uigur groups in general such as we know about them tend to be as virulently anti Western as anti Han Chinese. All evidence suggests that the brand of Islam that has been belatedly introduced into those regions is essentially second hand Wahhabism (traditionally, they were never all that religious).

3. Any such attempt could be easily countered by China – simply by dumping Uigur radicals into Afghanistan to bolster the Taliban, or anywhere else that would create trouble. The fact that they haven't done this strongly suggests that the Chinese themselves see no link.

4. US military intelligence is often a misnomer, but even the CIA can't be stupid enough to think that fostering another islamic state on the borders of Afghanistan is anything but a terrible idea.

Of course, no doubt some mid ranking CIA officer may have circulated some report saying more or less 'hey, maybe we can use those Uighurs or whatever they are called'. But thats an entirely different thing from suggesting that there have been active links and a strategy for using them to destabilise the borders of China. The reality is that the US has been entirely unsuccessful in any attempts (when they've been made) to undermine China via internal Chinese ethnic or religious groups.

Incidentally, the reliability of Wilkerson (who I actually quite like and who says some interesting things), on that topic can be measured by his statement that the invasion of Afghanistan was motivated by an attempt to stop the Belt and Road Initiative. It's quite impressive intelligence if that was the case as the invasion predated the Belt and Road Initiative by more than a decade.

David , March 27, 2021 at 10:57 am

Yes, I think the important point is your last one. It's not out of the question that on a rainy afternoon in Virginia some junior CIA analyst amused himself by sketching out such an idea, and one day the product may leak and be presented as "proof." But for the reasons you give, the political leaders who would have to approve the scheme would turn it down, even if it were physically possible. I doubt it would be, actually: from what little information is publicly available, the US seems to be having little or no luck penetrating that area.

pjay , March 27, 2021 at 11:48 am

Thanks for the systematic reply. I appreciate each of your points, and pretty much agree with the first one – including your comment about Turkish intelligence. But regarding the others, the fact that we are talking about anti-Western Wahabist radicals does not mean the CIA (or elements of the CIA or other military/intelligence operations) would hesitate to weaponize them if possible. We did this in Afghanistan, Bosina, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Chechnya etc. Indeed, we seemed to *welcome* the fostering of an Islamic State in Eastern Syria, because the various jihadists were a means to destroy the Syrian government. When the goal is to foster chaos and destruction in order to *undermine* an existing state, the calculus of unleashing the head-choppers is different than if we were actually interested in fostering stability in the region. I admit that such a strategy might sound insane to *us*, but Einstein's definition of insanity seems to rule our National Security Establishment.

David , March 27, 2021 at 1:28 pm

Not PK, but I would suggest these cases are not only different from each other, but also different from the Uigurs. Essentially, there was a war going on in all of these cases, and the US (and they were scarcely the only ones) decided to try to get a bit of influence by arming one or more of the factions. This is a tactic which is as old as arms themselves, and has a pretty spotty record of success, if that. Its advantage is that it is low-key and doesn't require a massive presence (the classic case is the Soviet Union and the Chinese flooding Africa with AK-47s and copies in the 1960s and 1970s). But the cases you mention are very disparate. In Bosnia there do seem to have been some (illegal) CIA deliveries to the Muslims in violation of the embargo, but these were very small scale and in any event the Muslims were one of the major parties to the conflict, as well as constituting the de facto government in Sarajevo, because the other ethnicities had withdrawn. Likewise, and in spite of preening memoirs and films, the US influence in Afghanistan was quite small : the mujahideen were already forming in the 1970s, and the only contribution the US really made was to supply anti-aircraft missiles, which complicated the Russians' existence quite a bit. But actually fomenting and arming an insurgency next to one of the three or four major powers on the planet, with highly skilled intelligence services? There is stupidity and there's downright insanity.

upstater , March 27, 2021 at 7:33 pm

I the 1950s, the CIA and MI6 trained and armed the "Forest Brothers" in the Baltics. Neutral Sweden and Finland were across hundreds of km of water. Land access was through Soviet territory or satellites. There was no significant international trade or commerce in the area at the time. Yet they had tens of thousands of well supplied (for that era) resistance fighters that took a decade for the USSR to stomp out.

To suggest that today's CIA is incapable of stirring things up in a well-connected Xinjiang when thousands of foreigners travel there, tons of business shipments and international flights and road transport is a mystifying statement. Particularly after CIA's decades of experience managing jihadis all across North Africa, Mideast and Central Asia, more than a few being Uigurs.

And suggesting that the only thing the US supplied the Afghan jihadis were Stinger missiles is far off the mark. It was a multi-billion dollar per year operation conducted by the US with collaboration of the ISI and Saudis. All those tens of thousands of jihadis didn't arrive by camels and make slingshots.

I agree "There is stupidity and there's downright insanity" in fomenting troubles in Xinjiang. The US has already passed that test. Many times.

Yves Smith , March 27, 2021 at 10:06 pm


We are three generations past the 1950s. Not a relevant example.

The US is not even remotely as good as you'd have to believe to accept this theory. For starters, we don't begin to have enough people with native level language competence, much the less willing to live there long enough to be trusted. They'll take our arms, but our directives?

It is in the interest of the CIA to take credit for all sorts of things where their role was non-existent to marginal because funding.

PlutoniumKun , March 27, 2021 at 2:20 pm

David put it so much better than I could.

I can't claim any great knowledge or insight into the region, but the notion that the Uighurs were part of a grand CIA strategy, or that they have had sufficient influence in the region to manipulate them into opposing China, just doesn't pass the smell test. Unfortunately, like the notion that Covid is spread on frozen food, so far as I can tell it is now considered 'a fact' by most Chinese, inside and outside the country. As a result, even Chinese who strongly dislike their government are not at all bothered by reports coming out of the region.

For what its worth, I knew an English guy who lived for a few years in Urumqi with his Chinese wife about 15 years ago. He was virulently anti-muslim and didn't much like the non-Chinese locals he met, but I remember at the time that said that what he saw around him convinced him that things were going to end very badly for the Uighurs, the Chinese were just waiting for the opportunity to wipe them out. I was in Tibet at that period (I was fortunate to get a visa on the last year solo traveller were allowed in) and witnessed the way Tibetans were openly abused on the street by Chinese soldiers. Even Tibetans said that the Uighurs got it worse.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm

The US government and privately motivated US citizens have no credibility on this issue. That means if anyone is going to raise it, it will have to be someone other than America or Americans.

That doesn't change the fact of Great Han Lebensraum genocide-policy against the Uighurs on the part of the Chinese Communazi Party. And Chinese statements about their Lebensraum genocide against Uighuria are just as much hasbara as Israeli statements about antiPalestinianitic persecution in the Occupied West Bank.

And if that purely-private opinion of a mere U S citizen makes any Great Han hasbarists ( or might I say . . . Hansbarists) on this thread mad, then that makes me happy.

Fern , March 27, 2021 at 6:14 pm

Your friend was English; I have not seen this attitude on the part of Chinese friends or Chinese I've talked with. I was traveling on a domestic flight in China a number of years ago and found myself sitting on a plane next to a random Chinese soldier -- a memorably tall, handsome young man. He spoke English well enough to have a discussion (the relaxed atmosphere and the need to pass the time does wonders when it comes to breaking down language barriers). Major Uighur terror attacks and unrest had been in the news (around 2009), so I asked him what he thought about it. He said that he grew up in Xinjiang. His parents were Han Chinese who had first come to Xinjiang during the cultural revolution to build some local infrastructure/improvement project (he described it to me but I don't remember the details). They saw their goal as improving conditions in the region. Of course, the government wanted to solidify Chinese presence in that region of their country, but I heard no hint of anger or derision toward the Uighur. He said he was very concerned that the Uighur people were happy and he hoped China could find a way to mend the relationship. He said that growing up, there were many mixed Chinese/Han marriages and that "people say" that mixed Han/Uighur marriages produced the most physically beautiful children. I didn't see any evidence of the malignant racism you describe on the part of your English friend.

Strong central governments vs violent separatist movements tend to create lasting problems. Growing up in a border state over 100 years after our own civil war, I grew up with the fact that many people had still not let go of that resentment. Southerners still maintained a sense of grievance back then. The Maryland state song that I learned as a child is only now being decommissioned by the state legislature. One stanza refers to the "Northern scum".

This week's WaPo headline: "Maryland poised to say goodbye to state song that celebrates the Confederacy".

drumlin woodchuckles , March 27, 2021 at 10:40 pm

If your Han Chinese interlocutor's feelings are widely shared among the ruled-over rather than ruling-over ordinary majority of Han citizens, then it would appear that it is the MonoParty RegimeGovernment ruling over China which is Communazi, not the people as such.

Regardless, it will be up to countrygovs which have moral standing in this area to comment or not, not the US anymore. At least for now.

Probably the Uighurs have it even worse than Tibetans because Uighuria is very inhabitable by Han settlers whereas Tibet is high and dry enough that ( I have read), that lowland-adapted Hans have trouble physically coping over time with the lower oxygen levels at Tibet altitude.
If that is so, then the High Tibetan Plateau at least would not provide Lebensraum for millions of Han Settlers in any case, so why clear the Tibetans off the plateau and out of existence? Not so much need, in Tibet's case.

Keith Newman , March 27, 2021 at 2:43 pm

I have no knowledge about points 1 to 3, but totally disagree with point 4.
The hubris and desire of the US alphabet agencies to meddle is remarkable. A current example is the CIA support of jihadis in Syria that the US military itself is fighting against.
Interesting caution re Wilkerson – do you have a link?

The Rev Kev , March 27, 2021 at 10:03 am

Here is a link to an article talking about that talk PK. Having a coupla thousand Uygurs in Syria gaining combat experience for use later who knows where was probably proof enough for China of western intentions. Just think of the other Jihadists who have been used in places like Libya and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the Chinese would be drawing their own conclusions-

[Mar 28, 2021] The Brewing Conflict In Ukraine - ZeroHedge

Mar 28, 2021 |

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Enter The Putinator

When Biden called Russian President a soulless "killer" on ABC News, Putin responded with the most deft bit of diplomacy I've seen in quite a while, openly challenging Fungal Joe to a publicly broadcast debate of substantive issues, which Biden, of course, declined.

For those that don't remember the context, here's the article from Zerohedge on the subject .

There can be no question now that all the disparate interests within The Davos Crowd are aligned at this point (see this month's Newsletter for more discussion on this). All guns point at Russia.

Putin tried to defuse the situation with an offer that was at once an epic troll of Biden, who is clearly no match for his Russian counterpart cognitively, and a warning to Americans that this situation has gotten far more dangerous than they are being told.

And sometimes you win simply by taking the high road. Make no mistake the fact that Putin went here this early in Biden's presidency is a bad sign. It tells us things are horrific between the world's most prominent nuclear powers and that there's been zero diplomatic effort put forth by the Biden administration since the election.

The problem is rapidly becoming that indiscriminate use of all weapons all the time -- diplomatic, economic, military, propaganda -- creates a kind of dopamine addiction. In order to keep the public interest in the threat they have to keep raising the stakes and the rhetoric to eventually absurd levels.

As I like to say all the time, it's the first rule of screenwriting : Be forever raising the stakes lest the audience gets bored.

But there comes a point where people begin to realize that they are being asked to back a war where the existential threat to the elite's power is transferred onto them. Remember folks, government's fight and spend billions propagandizing you into believing their wars are for your own good.

It's rarely the case, if ever. More often than not the war being ginned up in the media and by government officials is one that either feathers their own nest directly, supports the goals of other powerful folks indirectly, or covers up past corruption.

The brewing conflict in Ukraine is all of these and more. The project to add Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. It's an important cog in the World Economic Forum's desire to expand the EU to both encircle Russia thereby disrupting any dreams of Eurasian integration which could form a bulwark against their brave new world.

What's got Biden's Depends in a bunch is that he's neck-deep in the corruption in Ukraine. In Obama's own words, Ukraine is Joe's project. And Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky is not fully subsumed into the morass of Biden's (and the rest of the usual suspects') problems.

Putin's deft and cordial handling of Biden's indiscriminate use of language was masterful here. Biden's initial remarks are, at best, him trying to hold onto the Amy Poehler demographic (see reruns of Parks and Recreation for her slavish obsession with him as Vice-President) as a vibrant, macho man, while he implements every bad idea that that same demographic rejected from all the other Democrats during primary season.

But we can all see he's nothing of the sort. He's a barely coherent, rapidly fading bully with no discernible achievements in life other than being available to be a placeholder for someone else's plans.

So, it was never a question as to whether Biden would ever talk to Putin under those conditions. They can't even get him to talk with reporters for real, having to green screen him into backgrounds to make it look like he's out in the world, doing stuff.

And don't get me started on that embarrassment of a press conference held the other day. Running for re-election in 2024? This guy's not going to be alive in 2024. Then again, since he didn't run in 2020, what does it actually matter?

Elections are just Hollywood productions anymore anyway.

Biden's counter is to now invite Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping the big Climate Summit in late April where the WEF controls the agenda and Biden's anti-diplomatic corps led by the completely over-matched Secretary of State Antony Blinken can further embarrass the U.S. on the world stage.

Since both Putin and Xi told the WEF to go scratch on both Climate Change, Agenda 2030 and, most notably from Putin, the Fourth Industrial Revolution , I don't see how this summit ends any better than virtual Davos did earlier this year.

In fact, with Biden's approach to both China and Russia so far, this summit is shaping up to be a colossal waste of time while also threatening everyone the world over with what they can expect policy-wise from the West until someone finally puts these insane people out of our misery.

With each day that passes the U.K., for example, under tyrant Boris Johnson sinks further into a complete totalitarian nightmare (see here , here , here , and here from the last 24 hours) thanks to COVID-19, while ramping up the anti-Russian rhetoric to eleven.

But, back to Ukraine, because it's tied directly to all this climate change nonsense. Putin understands as well that Biden will allow every escalation in Ukraine because he's shackled by it and they need to complete the job started with the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.

That means we'll see something far worse than Victoria Nuland's latest Cookie Campaign for freedom. We're going to see a war for the Donbass soon, likely right after Orthodox Easter and the end of the snow melt.

Putin tried to go directly to the people to end this destructive spiral to the bottom, because he knows where this ends.

It will be a confrontation that one side will have to commit to completely or allow it's bluff to be called. The game Biden's handlers have played to this point has been a massive escalation of rhetoric while continually moving real pieces into position for a real conflict. I just don't see cooler heads prevailing here because there is no upside for the U.S., the EU and the WEF if China and Russia stand their ground and Biden back down.

Russia has to be destroyed or subjugated if the Great Reset is to happen and Europe is to remain a relevant global player. That means control of the Black Sea, which means taking back Crimea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently reiterated publicly that Russia has had zero diplomatic contact with the European Union since the 2014 vote by Crimea to rejoin Russia.

Diplomacy is nearly over between the major powers. Biden's simple refusal to talk to Putin publicly is a major event.

In the end everything we've lived through since COVID-19 began boils down to the need to destroy the global economy built on oil and coal, otherwise all major energy production stays under Eurasian control as it strengthens not Atlanticist as it peaks in global power and their grand dreams wither.

Time is getting short for this to happen. Public opposition to this program is rising. It happens now or not at all.

If there is a war in the Donbass this spring it won't be a happy ending which extends U.S. primacy into the future but the moment when we realized its acceleration into irrelevancy.

* * *

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Alice-the-dog 3 hours ago

In both the current major conflicts between Russia and the US Psychopaths In Charge, Russia holds the moral high ground. In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. When the citizens of Crimea exercised their natural right of self determination and voted to return to being a part of Russia, the US called it a coup. In Syria, the US has illegally invaded a sovereign nation without that nation's sovereign government's permission or request. Russia got both. Not only does Russia hold the moral high ground, but the legal high ground as well.

vic and blood PREMIUM 3 hours ago

Well stated.

The role reversal is complete. We are now the Evil Empire.

gmrpeabody 1 hour ago

" . In Ukraine the US promoted, financed, helped organize, and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically elected government. "

They did the very same thing here...

Clint Liquor 1 hour ago

Putin understands the Hegemon's Achilles Heel.

muldoon55 2 hours ago

Have been for quite some time.

Marine General Smedley Butler knew his forces were being used back in the thirties to enforce American bankster interests in central and South America.

eyewillcomply 1 hour ago (Edited)

"We are now the Evil Empire."

As soon as we allowed the cousins of the same Bolsheviks who made Russia into a communist basket case to control our currency and thus, government, we became an "Evil Empire". It has been a slow process and hard to recognize early on. The founding principles of the United States are moral and admirable. What we have morphed into at the behest of this satanic cabal is the exact opposite of that ethos.

chunga 3 hours ago

Many people hate the US and have many very valid reasons to fight and kill all of us.

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago (Edited)

A large swath of Americans just want to live life as a people. They harbor no ill will to other people's, we just want our space in the world respected. Of these, they also have a beef with the insane people that have got us to this point.

jeff montanye 2 hours ago

the u.s. government has not been mine since vietnam.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited)

Funny, but look at the big picture. How could all these foreign horrors be contemplated if only a few people voted for Biden? Agree the election was stolen, but it still took a massive number of Libtards and Woketards to provide enough actual votes to make the fake votes count.

We are seeing what happens when a massive amount of Accumulated Stupid runs daily life in the US. No amount of talk will make a difference and most people don't read. Combined, this makes them impervious to common sense. Things will get worse, then much worse, before they get better. This is a big deal. Democrats are going all in at 110% effort because they know they will fail and and never get another chance if they don't take over now. Expect outrageous takeovers followed by more outrageous takeovers. We haven't seen anything yet. Expect to be Amazed.

chunga 2 hours ago

I'm afraid those people will not be exempt from the harmful, malicious actions of the US govt and do not deserve to be. I put myself in this category.

Sandmann 23 minutes ago

Most Americans are great and generous people but so were most people in the Soviet Union

Lordflin 2 hours ago

You don't seriously believe we would sit on the sidelines of such a conflict...

When was the last time that happened...?

Deep State wants war... and they are now firmly in charge in a capital protected by armed troops and razor wire...

JPHR 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This article seems mistaken in treating Biden as somehow being in charge nor is this Harris.

The most concerning aspect of this fake presidency is that non-elected and not accountable people behind the scenes are running this farce.

The US always selects weak corrupt leaders as front men for their color revolutions abroad and it should not be a surprise that the color revolution at home now follows exactly that very same pattern.

Carlin was RIGHT 2 hours ago (Edited)

It is not just the author of this article that is mistaken, it is also 95% of the murican public. What you see on your tee veee and read in media is 100% pure theatre - all agenda driven, of course.

Dumfknation will begrudgingly go along with ANYTHING tptb dictates - that has been proven beyond any doubt over the last year. So expect nothing but misery and quite possibly death for the foreseeable future, because (((they))) most certainly have NO CONCERN WHATSOEVER for you happiness and prosperity, and only seek to make the world a better place for (((them))).

Sandmann 4 hours ago

Much of the Hitler-Stalin War was fought in Ukraine. Ukraine was always the centre for Soviet weapons production to ensure The West stayed away.

Brzezinski set up a cat's paw which he hoped would ensnare Russia but it will destroy USA. The West kept Bandera groups funded and armed in Ukraine into 1950s. Poland wants to seize Gailicia. The simple fact is Ukrainians are emigrating for work to Poland and Turkey and Western Europe if they can get forged papers. Ukraine is dead - US wants to force West Europeans to pay transport levies to Ukraine for Russian gas instead of North Stream so Europeans fund Ukraine corruption and backfunding to US Democrats.

Russia will fight when it is ready as will China. Seems stupid to risk Atlanta or Dallas or LA or Chicago for Kiev

Craven Moorehead 3 hours ago

The Soviet Union economically collapsed trying to match NATO military strength, too much of their resources and productivity were directed to military, the West effectively outspent them.

Now the tables have turned, The US may be on the road to the same fate, and the current government of morons may just bring it about

BlindMonkey 2 hours ago remove link

The Ukraine war might be kept under wraps solely because Russia has clearly signaled they will enter it. An attack is a suicide play for Ukraine. I don't expect this to stop the warhawks from trying but Zelensky must know this is a death trap for him. If this kicks off, expect Poland to be sacrificed to try to take Kaliningrad in retribution.

SwmngwShrks 1 hour ago remove link

I remember being in school in 2014, in a UN class specifically, learning about how the US backed coup in the Ukraine led to them wanting to join the EU. However, as part of the treaty during the dissolution of the USSR, if any of the barrier states went to join the EU, Russia would annex Crimea, as its only warm-water port.

This is what happened, and what was executed, however it was propagandized here in the US that Russia had "invaded" Crimea. It explains why reporters on scene found the locals welcoming the Russians.

The thing is, I remember so explicitly finding this on the web, because I was surprised it was true. I read the actual treaty, and can no longer find it online, anywhere. Sigh, down the memory hole, thanks Brave New World.

Savvy 24 minutes ago

It's hard to believe the Americans could be so short sighted, but Ukraine was 'liberated' to control Russia's access to the EU market. Pretty stupid if so because that's when construction on NS2 began and Ukraine is a US quagmire now. Another shining example of US intervenyionism.

SoDamnMad 2 hours ago remove link

Search for the "March of the Immortal Regiment" on Youtube and understand that if you attack either the Crimea or the Donbass you will fight seasoned soldiers as well as civilians ready to smash your face in with a shovel. Unlike the US woke crowd those that chose Russia are not willing to lay down for the corrupt private Nazi militias of Ukraine. The shipment of up-armored humvess are worthless in this fight. Half the stuff will be stolen and wind up on the black market. No more mister nice guy. "Remember, you asked for it."

deep-state-retired 3 hours ago remove link

With the successful Biden Coup and full media / tech blackout of election fraud the Globalists are ready to take on one of the last few nation states. They think like Napoleon and Hitler just kick in the door and the house will collapse. We will see.

de tocqueville's ghost 1 hour ago (Edited)

the industrialized military complex and deep state stole our vote and election...they need war to survive. Biden was always their "boy"...he voted yay for every war in the last 42 years. They had to get rid of Trump...he wasn't starting any wars.
We knew Biden would start beating the war drums soon after being in the WH, and he is.

JackOliver5 3 hours ago (Edited)

Luongo is not too sharp - THIS is about the energy future - NATURAL GAS !

So was the deal between Iran and China today !

Russia already has over over 1000 CNG service stations - Iran will provide CNG pipelines to China - the Rothschilds will have NO place in this NEW world !

THAT is why we are seeing what we are seeing NOW !

Time will prove that I am right !

Five_Black_Eyes_Intel_Agency 4 hours ago (Edited)

The psychopathic cabal loves creating frozen conflicts that they can "switch on" - such as the one in Ukraine. The only problem is that they always keep choosing losers as their friends.

The CIA and MI6 are working hard on "switching on" the Ukraine conflict, because peddling conflict is all they know. Russia will wipe the floor with them.

The world is waking up fast to the US-UK-israeli racket of depravity. The world except those pitiful vassals still stuck in the honeymoon ph