Monday, February 28, 2022

In The West's Calculus Ukrainians Don't Count...,

ianwalsh |   There’s a lot of nonsense going around including talk of Russia losing the war because less than 5 days into the war, they haven’t conquered Ukraine.

The German blitz of Poland took 5 weeks. The conquest of France 6 weeks, and people were astonished. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe except for Russia istself

The sources I respect say that Russia is taking losses, but the war is not in question and they are advancing about as fast as the US did into Iraq. Russia will win the war, though they may take more damage than they expected (but since we have no idea what they expected, who knows.) Ukraine is a modern equipped army: it isn’t Iraq with obsolete equipment, or Libya or Afghanistan.

The question is not whether Russia wins the war, it is who wins the peace.

What the US and Europe want is to turn Ukraine into a guerilla quagmire, like Afghanistan in the 80s, or Iraq and Afghanistan were for the US.

What Russia wants is to turn Ukraine into a guaranteed neutral state and withdraw its troops out of the country, minus Donbas and Luhansk.

The good result for the Ukraine, which most Westerners don’t seem to get, is what the Russians want. Austria was neutral in the Cold War and that was not horrid. A multi-year guerilla campaign will devastate Ukraine in ways that will take generations to recover from, because if the Russians have to fight an insurgency, they will be utterly brutal, as they were (successfully) in Chechnya.

Moralist yapping about right to choose is off the board. The only good result for Ukraine and Ukrainians is a negotiated settlement. The West egged them on and left them to swing, as the smart people said they would.

Has Putin Upended The "Reality-Based" Game Of Calvinball?

tomluongo |  Up until February 23rd, 2022, the powerful countries of the world played a very rarified game.

Too many people try to analyze geopolitics like it is a game of chess. Move, counter-move. Push a pawn? Threaten a knight, that type of thing. It’s easy to understand and makes for good copy.

In the past I’ve tried to liken it to a multi-player version of Go, with anywhere from four to 6 different colored stones on the board trying to take territory. It was a better metaphor but nearly impossible to describe adequately. In fact, at times, it was exhausting.

The reality is that neither of these metaphors are explanatory.

Because the only accurate model for geopolitics is actually Calvinball.

You know that game. That’s the one from Calvin & Hobbes.

Contrary to your memory of the legendary comic strip, there were rules to Calvinball that went something like this: Calvin got to make the rules up as he went along.

In geopolitics it pretty much comes down to whoever is the strongest player got that power.

Here’s the thing. Up until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and yes, it is an invasion, justifiable or otherwise) there was something called the ‘rules-based order’ promoted mainly by the US but also supported directly by the European Union and the Commonwealth.

The rules of the ‘rules-based order’ were simple. We make the rules, you follow them. We reserve the right to change the rules whenever we want to suit our purpose.

It was the geopolitical equivalent of Sam Francis’ idea of ‘anarcho-tyranny,’ which boils down to, “rules for thee, but not for me.”

We’ve heard the Russian diplomats complain about this for years. Why have these rules if they are not ever enforced?

As I point out all the time when talking about leftist ideologues purity spiraling towards self-destruction, we have these rules because only others’ hypocrisy counts. Sub-humans are not allowed to talk or even be a part of the conversation.

And in the world of diplomacy as practiced by the collective West, the Russians are definitely sub-human, just like the unvaxxed, anyone to the immediate right of Karl Marx and who isn’t a furry.

All that changed when Russian tanks crossed the border, stand off missiles hit anti-aircraft and artillery batteries, and marines came onshore in Ukraine.

Did Russia Call The Empire's Bluff Or March Into Its Trap?

consortiumnews  |   In the time of the first Queen Elizabeth, British royal circles enjoyed watching fierce dogs torment a captive bear for the fun of it.  The bear had done no harm to anyone, but the dogs were trained to provoke the imprisoned beast and goad it into fighting back.  Blood flowing from the excited animals delighted the spectators.

This cruel practice has long since been banned as inhumane.

And yet today, a version of bear baiting is being practiced every day against whole nations on a gigantic international scale.  It is called United States foreign policy. It has become the regular practice of the absurd international sports club called NATO.

United States leaders, secure in their arrogance as “the indispensable nation,” have no more respect for other countries than the Elizabethans had for the animals they tormented. The list is long of targets of U.S. bear baiting, but Russia stands out as prime example of constant harassment.  And this is no accident.  The baiting is deliberately and elaborately planned.

As evidence, I call attention to a 2019 report by the RAND corporation to the U.S. Army chief of staff entitled “Extending Russia.” Actually, the RAND study itself is fairly cautious in its recommendations and warns that many perfidious tricks might not work.  However, I consider the very existence of this report scandalous, not so much for its content as for the fact that this is what the Pentagon pays its top intellectuals to do: figure out ways to lure other nations into troubles U.S. leaders hope to exploit.

The official U.S. line is that the Kremlin threatens Europe by its aggressive expansionism, but when the strategists talk among themselves the story is very different.  Their goal is to use sanctions, propaganda and other measures to provokeRussia into taking the very sort of negative measures (“over-extension”) that the U.S. can exploit to Russia’s detriment.

The RAND study explains its goals:

“We examine a range of nonviolent measures that could exploit Russia’s actual vulnerabilities and anxieties as a way of stressing Russia’s military and economy and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. The steps we examine would not have either defense or deterrence as their prime purpose, although they might contribute to both. Rather, these steps are conceived of as elements in a campaign designed to unbalance the adversary, leading Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, and causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.”

Clearly, in U.S. ruling circles, this is considered “normal” behavior, just as teasing is normal behavior for the schoolyard bully, and sting operations are normal for corrupt FBI agents.

This description perfectly fits U.S. operations in Ukraine, intended to “exploit Russia’s vulnerabilities and anxieties” by advancing a hostile military alliance onto its doorstep, while describing Russia’s totally predictable reactions as gratuitous aggression.  Diplomacy involves understanding the position of the other party.  But verbal bear baiting requires total refusal to understand the other, and constant deliberate misinterpretation of whatever the other party says or does.

What is truly diabolical is that, while constantly accusing the Russian bear of plotting to expand, the whole policy is directed at goading it into expanding!  Because then we can issue punishing sanctions, raise the Pentagon budget a few notches higher and tighten the NATO Protection Racket noose tighter around our precious European “allies.”

Sunday, February 27, 2022

This Is Not Iraq Or Afghanistan - This Is A Civilized European City...,

 

The Empire Of Lies Refuses To Accept Its New Reality

themostimportantnews |  We now have a war that the vast majority of us never wanted.  All of our lives are going to be turned upside down, the global economy is going to be absolutely eviscerated, and countless numbers of people are going to die.  I am very angry with Vladimir Putin and the Russians for launching a full-blown invasion, because it didn’t need to happen.  And I am also very angry with the Biden administration because it would have been so easy to find a diplomatic solution to this crisis.  Unfortunately, the time for diplomacy is now over and World War III has begun.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Ned Price made a stunning admission regarding what this war is really all about.

According to Price, Russia and China “also want a world order”, but he warned that if they win their world order “would be profoundly illiberal”…

China has given “tacit approval” for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest invasion of Ukraine, in the judgment of U.S. officials, as part of a joint effort to undermine the institutions that American and allied leaders established to minimize conflict in the decades following World War II.

“Russia and the PRC also want a world order,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday. “But this is an order that is and would be profoundly illiberal. … It is an order that is, in many ways, destructive rather than additive.”

It would take an entire book to unpack everything that Price said there.

First of all, by stating that Russia and China “also want a world order”, he was tacitly admitting that the United States and other western nations desire to have a “world order” of their own.

And he implied that what we are witnessing is a battle over who will ultimately run the “world order”.

That should deeply alarm all of us.

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where nobody had global domination as their goal?

I also want to point out that Price used the term “profoundly illiberal” to describe a “world order” led by Russia and China, and that suggests that a “world order” led by the United States and other western nations would be “liberal”.

And that is actually quite an accurate statement.  In virtually every western nation today, even the political parties that are supposed to be “conservative” are extremely liberal.

If you Google the phrase “liberal world order”, you will find that it has been used by elitists for many years.  But I certainly don’t want a “liberal world order” and neither should you.

Of course I don’t want a “world order” run by Russia and China either.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that we get a vote in this.

Is Ongoing Financial Collapse A Plot Twist On The Road To Digital Currency/ID?

kunstler  |  The Ukraine blow-up is more a humiliation for “Joe Biden” and his faction than for the US per se, for the truth is that we have scant interest in that corner of the world and what goes on there is none of our business, and never was….

It is fair to say that the “Joe Biden” government dearly wanted a Russian invasion of Ukraine in order to divert attention from the “Joe Biden” government’s war on its own people in the United States. The table was nicely laid for it over many years, including, by the way, Mr. Trump’s vaunted gift of weaponry to Ukraine, which enabled and emboldened the Kiev regime to harass the Russian-speaking population of Donbas without relent. And the situation was aggravated by the deliberate negotiation-unworthiness (Russian term) of “Joe Biden” and Company, who refused to discuss the chief issue between the US and Russia, namely, the dishonest effort, in violation of written agreements dating from 1990, to enlist Ukraine in NATO, and thereby to place missiles on Russia’s border. The US disallowed something very similar in 1962, when the old USSR tried to put missiles in Cuba.

You are also seeing payback for the Maidan color revolution of 2014, engineered by John Kerry’s State Department and John Brennan’s CIA. We have been managing Ukraine backstage since then and, alas for that poor country, quite deceitfully. If you bother to read the recent statements of both “Joe Biden” and Mr. Putin, you will see exactly why and how the situation developed. You will also see an appalling difference in the quality of public utterance — as, say, the difference between Zippy the Pinhead and a Metternich.

I’ll get back to all that presently, but first let’s be clear about what “Joe Biden” & Co. seek to divert public attention from: the complete implosion of all the narratives that support the “Joe Biden” regime — and the campaign against Western Civ more generally by the sinister likes of Klaus Schwab and his global gang of Great Re-setters, including Bill Gates, George Soros, and many actors in America’s own Deep State.

The Covid-19 story is blowing up, and in a very ugly way for the American people. The news is finally wriggling free of our combined news media / social media censorship machine and that news is as follows: Covid-19 was a trip laid on the world to get rid of the irascible Mr. Trump and usher-in a system of digital social controls. The mRNA “vaccines” were all patented and ready to go before the virus even took off. The mRNA “vaccines” turned out to be ineffective and arguably more damaging than the Covid-19 virus. That last bit of news is now coming out in reports from the life insurance and funeral industries, which are showing an alarming increase in all-causes death, especially in people under 60 years of age.

It is also coming out that the CDC has wildly and recklessly falsified its own data throughout the Covid crisis, and that the “vaccine” safety trials were a complete fraud — which has led to the prospect of Moderna and Pfizer losing their liability shields, and, recently, to the crash of their share prices. The public is also learning that they were cruelly denied early treatments with well-proven off-label drugs that might have saved millions of lives. And yet, knowing all this, “Joe Biden” and his Democratic Party are to this day urging Americans to “go out and get vaccinated, get boosted,” in the words last week of the US president. You can’t be faulted if you suspect that they are deliberately trying to kill a lot of people.

The blow-up of the Covid-19 story will come to horrify even those Americans hypnotically locked into mass formation, and will lead to countless lawsuits and prosecutions. But in the meantime, we will be preoccupied with the blow-up of the financial system and the economy it is supposed to serve. The inflation horses are out of the barn and running wild. The Federal Reserve has finally succeeded in destroying the value of the dollar and, consequently, destroying the little that is left of middle-class life in the USA. At the same time, they have unleashed forces that will also destroy the fortunes of many upper-class people, too, as the stock and bond markets go south. Financial collapse is at hand, and “Joe Biden” doesn’t want you to pay attention to it. The Ukraine melodrama is a compelling distraction.

 

Pepe Escobar Sums Up What Just Happened So You Don't Have To

thesaker |  This is what happens when a bunch of ragged hyenas, jackals and tiny rodents poke The Bear: a new geopolitical order is born in breathtaking speed.

From a dramatic meeting of the Russian Security Council to a history lesson delivered by President Putin and the subsequent birth of the Baby Twins – the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk – all the way to their appeal to President Putin to intervene militarily to expel the NATO-backed Ukrainian bombing-and-shelling forces from Donbass, it was a seamless process.

The (nuclear) straw that (nearly) broke the Bear’s back – and forced its paws to pounce – was Zelensky the Comedian, back from the Russophobia-drenched Munich Security Conference where he was hailed like a Messiah, saying that the 1994 Budapest memorandum should be revised and Ukraine should be nuclear-rearmed.

That would be the equivalent of a nuclear Mexico south of the Hegemon.

Putin immediately turned Responsibility to Protect (R2P) upside down: an American concept invented to launch wars in MENA (remember Libya?) was retrofitted to stop a slow-motion genocide in Donbass.

First came the recognition of the Baby Twins – Putin’s most important foreign policy decision since going to Syria in 2015. That was the preamble for the next game-changer: a “special military operation (…) aimed at demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine”, as Putin defined it.

Up to the last minute, the Kremlin was trying to rely on diplomacy, explaining to Kiev the necessary imperatives to prevent heavy metal thunder: recognition of Crimea as Russian; abandon any plans to join NATO; negotiate directly with the Baby Twins – an anathema for the Americans since 2015; finally, demilitarize and declare Ukraine as neutral.

Kiev’s handlers, predictably, would never accept the package – as they didn’t accept the Master Package that really matters: the Russian demand for “indivisible security”.

The sequence, then, became inevitable. In a flash, all Ukrainian forces between the so-called line of contact and the original borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts were boxed in as the occupying force of territories of two Russian allies that Moscow had just sworn to protect.

So it was Get Out – Or Else. “Or else” came as rolling thunder: the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense were not bluffing. Timed to the end of Putin’s speech announcing the operation, the Russians decapitated with precision missiles everything that mattered in terms of the Ukrainian military in just one hour: Air Force, Navy, airfields, bridges, command and control centers, the whole Turkish Bayraktar drone fleet.

And it was not only Russian raw power. It was the artillery of one of the Baby Twins, the DPR, that hit the HQ of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Donbass, which actually housed the entire Ukrainian military command. This means that the Ukrainian General Staff instantly lost control of all its troops.

This was Shock and Awe against Iraq, 19 years ago, in reverse: not for conquest, not as a prelude for an invasion and occupation. The political-military leadership in Kiev did not even have time to declare war. They froze. Demoralized troops started deserting. Total defeat – in one hour.

The water supply to Crimea was instantly re-established. Humanitarian corridors were set up for the deserters. “Remnants” now include mostly surviving Azov batallion Nazis, mercenaries trained by the usual Blackwater/Academi suspects, and a bunch of Salafi-jihadis.

Predictably, Western corporate media has already gone totally berserk branding it as the much-awaited Russian “invasion”. A reminder: when Israel routinely bombs Syria and when the House of One Saudi routinely bombs Yemeni civilians, there is never any peep in NATOstan media.

As it stands, realpolitik spells out a possible endgame (see Donetsk’s head, Denis Pushilin: “The special operation in Donbass will soon be over and all the cities will be liberated.”)

We could soon witness the birth of an independent Novorossiya – east of the Dnieper, south along Sea of Azov/Black Sea, the way it was when attached to Ukraine by Lenin in 1922. But now totally aligned with Russia, and providing a land bridge to Transnistria.

Ukraine, of course, would lose any access to the Black Sea. History loves playing tricks: what was a “gift” to Ukraine in 1922 may become a parting gift a hundred years later.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

How Ukraine Fits Into The Great Game

goldmoney  |  Ukraine is part of a far bigger geopolitical picture. Russia and China want US hegemonic influence in the Eurasian continent marginalised. Following defeats for US foreign policy in Syria and Afghanistan and following Brexit, Putin is driving a wedge between America and the non-Anglo-Saxon EU.

Due to global monetary expansion, rising energy prices are benefiting Russia, which can afford to squeeze Germany and other EU states dependent on Russian natural gas. The squeeze will only stop when America backs off.

Being keenly aware that its dominant role in NATO is under threat, America has been trying to escalate the Ukraine crisis to suck Russia into an untenable occupation. Putin won’t fall for it.

The danger for us all is not a boots-on-the-ground war — that’s likely to only involve the pre-emptive attacks on military installations Putin initiated last night — but a financial war for which Russia is fully prepared.

Both sides probably do not know how fragile the Eurozone banking system is, with both the ECB and its national central bank shareholders already having liabilities greater than their assets. In other words, rising interest rates have broken the euro system and an economic and financial catastrophe on its eastern flank will probably trigger its collapse.

he developing tension over Ukraine is part of a bigger picture — a struggle between America and the two Eurasian hegemons, Russia and China. The prize is ultimate control over Mackinder’s World Island.

Halford Mackinder is acknowledged as the founder of geopolitics: the study of factors such as geography, geology, economics, demography, politics, and foreign policy and their interaction. His original paper was entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History”, presented at the Royal Geographical Society in 1905 in which he first formulated his Heartland Theory, which extended geopolitical analysis to encompass the entire globe.

In this and a subsequent paper (Democratic Ideals and Reality: A study in the Politics of Reconstruction, 1919) he built on his Heartland Theory, and from which his famous quote has been passed down to us: “Who rules East Europe commands the World Island [Eurasia]; Who rules the World Island rules the World”. Stalin was said to have been interested in this theory, and while it is not generally admitted, the leaders and administrations of Russia, China and America are almost certainly aware of Mackinder’s theory and its implications.

We cannot know if the Russian and Chinese leaders and administrations are avid Mackinder fans, but their partnership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is consistent with his World Island Theory. Since commencing as a post-Soviet, post-Mao security agreement between Russia and China founded in 2001 to suppress Islamic fundamentalism, the SCO has evolved into a political and economic intergovernmental organisation, which with its members, observer states, and dialog partners accounts for over 3.5 billion people, half the world’s population.

An Indictment Of The European Union

braveneweurope  |  Perry Anderson’s evisceration of the European Union’s past and present in three long articles in the London Review of Books is remarkable in at least three ways.  First, for its lucidity and intellectual richness: my summary can in no way substitute for reading the whole, which I strongly recommend.  If many of its arguments are broadly familiar to critics of the EU, they have rarely been so cogently expressed, or with such controlled anger and command of detail.  Second, because it comes from a leading Left-wing intellectual—though this will be no surprise to Left-inclined Leavers or to those who have followed some of Anderson’s earlier writings.  Third, because it appears in a journal whose overwhelming majority of readers must be archetypal metropolitan Remainers: so all credit to the LRB’s editors.  I look forward with anticipation to a flurry of Letters to the Editor attempting to reply to Anderson’s indictment.  But so far, not one.

The first article, ‘The European coup’ (17 December) is an extended discussion of the political history of European ‘integration’ (apparently an American term), focusing on a book by a Dutch philosopher-historian, Luuk van Middelaar, The Passage to Europe: How a Continent Became a Union (Yale, 2013).  The significance of this book is that it has been widely praised as the most intellectually penetrating and stimulating of the many (often deadly dull) histories of European integration.  Donald Tusk hailed it as ‘the most insightful book on European politics today’.  Sir Ivan Rogers described it as ‘brilliant’.  Its triumphalist vindication of the European project won its author plaudits and prestigious appointments as advisor to a succession of prominent EU politicians.

Anderson thus chooses to analyse the history of the EU, and its pre-history in the early 19th century Restoration, through the eyes of one of its most intelligent apologists.  But he turns Middelaar’s triumphant saga into a withering examination of the political means by which it was carried out.  Middelaar unashamedly presents the EU as created through a series of ‘coups’, through which powers were taken and changes made by short-circuiting or simply overriding legal and democratically sanctioned procedures in the name of political necessity—an idea, as Anderson shows, that draws on a strand of European political thought going back to Machiavelli.

One of the most crucial of these ‘coups’ was in Milan in 1985, when Bettino Craxi, as chairman of the European Council, ruled that an inter-governmental conference was not needed to change the Treaty of Rome, as this was merely a question of procedure, not of substance.  This for the first time overrode the opposition of a minority of member states, including Britain.  Middelaar hails it as a brilliant bluff, a ‘coup disguised as a procedural decision’.  What Middelaar typically ignores, but Anderson points out, is that Craxi was ‘the single most corrupt Italian politician of his time’, who had to flee into gilded exile in Tunisia to live off his ill-gotten gains.  Thanks to Craxi, ‘the gate was unbarred’ to a series of treaty changes decided by heads of government alone and which created the EU.  The article ends tellingly by quoting EU President Herman van Rumpuy (to whom Middelaar was a close advisor): ‘I believe the Union is over-democratised.’

The second article, ‘Ever Closer Union?’ (7 January) is a close examination of the history and functioning of the EU’s principal institutions: the Court, the Commission, the Council, the Parliament and the Central Bank.  The founding fathers of the Court, notes Anderson, included former Nazis, an Italian fascist, and a French collaborator: nearly all appointees were not lawyers but politicians, as they remain.  The Court has always been ‘the driving force of integration’ at the expense of the legal rights of nations and civil-society bodies such as trade unions.  It has brazenly ignored or distorted European treaties and laws, acting beyond its powers in more of Middelaar’s ‘coups’.  Most fundamental was its assertion that European law overrode national law—a theory first formulated by another former Nazi lawyer, Hans Peter Ipsen, but which had no basis in the European treaties.  Most significant of all, the Court is unique in the world in being entirely unaccountable to anyone.  Its decisions are secretive, final and effectively irreversible.  In short, powers ‘that no analogue in a democracy has ever possessed.’

Anderson subjects the other EU institutions to similar scrutiny.  Their common features are secretiveness, democratic unaccountability, and ‘consensus’—‘a façade of unanimity’ principally imposed by Germany and France.  The exception is the Parliament, but this ‘least consequential component of the Union’ merely provides ‘the appearance of a democratic assembly behind which oligarchic coteries are comfortably entrenched.’  The Central Bank, like the Court, is unique for being completely unaccountable to any outside authority, let alone any democratic institution, and so it is able to break the treaties which in theory empower it.

What has been created is a system of interlocking oligarchies on a pre-democratic pattern.  The horizontal relations between governments of ‘member-states’ (no longer independent sovereign states) are more important than the vertical relations between those governments and their citizens, to whom political decisions are presented as faits accomplis unconnected with, and sometimes clearly opposed to, popular mandates.

Who benefits?  Certain countries (principally Germany) and certain economic interests.  And of course, the oligarchy itself:

Friday, February 25, 2022

Valodya Confronts "The Empire Of Lies"

gilbertdoctorow  |  “The entire course of developments and analysis of the incoming information show that a clash between Russia and these forces is inevitable. It is only a question of time: they are getting ready, they are waiting for a suitable moment. Now they are also claiming the right to own nuclear weapons. We will not allow them to do this.

“As I said before, after the collapse of the USSR Russia accepted the new geopolitical realities. We have behaved respectfully and will continue to be respectful to all the newly formed countries in post-Soviet space. We respect and will respect their sovereignty and an example for that is the help we extended to Kazakhstan, which experienced tragic events that challenged its statehood and integrity.  But Russia cannot feel secure, develop, exist under a constant threat coming from the territory of contemporary Ukraine….

“They left us with no other possibility than to defend /Russia, our people than what we are compelled to do today. The circumstances demand of us decisive and immediate actions. The Peoples Republics of the Donbas turned to Russia asking for help. In this connection…I have taken the decision to carry out a special military operation.

“Its objective is to defend people who in  the course of eight years have been subjected to mockery, to genocide from the Kiev regime. And for this purpose we will strive to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, as well as to turn over to courts those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation.

“All the while we have no plans for an occupation of Ukrainian territories. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force. ..

“At the basis of our policy is freedom, freedom of choice for everyone to independently determine their future and the future of their children. And we consider it to be important that this right, the right of free choice, may be exercised  by all peoples living on the territory of present-day Ukraine, by all who so wish.”

As regards the Ukrainian armed forces, Putin issued the following appeal:

“Respected comrades. Your fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers did not fight against the Nazis and defend our common Motherland just to see today’s neo-Nazis seize power in Ukraine. You took an oath of loyalty to the Ukrainian people and not to a junta against the people which is robbing Ukraine and has only contempt for the people.

“Do not carry out criminal orders. I call upon you to immediately lay down your arms and to go home. Let me explain: all servicemen in the Ukrainian army who carry out this demand can freely leave the area of combat and go back to their families.”

As regards third party countries:

“Now several very important words for those who may be tempted to intervene in the events presently occurring. Whoever tries to hinder us, or still worse to create threats to our country, to our people, must know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences as you never experienced in your history. We are ready for any development of events. All necessary decisions in this regard have already been taken. I hope that I will be heard.”

The Larger Strategic Consequences And Objectives

Rabobank |  “…Chicago wholesale prices rose by 77% between June 1914 and February 1915, when prices peaked. Of that 77% rise, 22% occurred prior to the closing of the Dardanelles Strait in October 1914. The remaining 45% increase occurred once the Dardanelles Strait was closed…Russia and Ukraine account for ~30% of global wheat exports at present. Between 1905/6 and 1909/10 Russia accounted for only 22% of wheat exports. It can be argued that due to an increased global reliance on Black Sea wheat, a price rise could now be larger. Further, wheat stocks excluding Russia are currently lower compared to the average versus 1914/15.”

Putin sent the majority of his amphibious forces to the Mediterranean and Black Seas to accomplish two objectives:

 (1) to punish Odessa for the neo-Nazis’ 2014 genocide of Russian-speakers.

(2) to inflict costly but repairable damage to Odessa’s port facilities through which Ukraine’s wheat and corn is exported to MENA nations.

Europe will be left rescuing the MENA nations from starvation or facing another mass migration into its cities.

I am 100% serious. I was also optimistic. I believed Russia would not occupy Odessa but now I think it will.

Last November for the first time, food security appeared as a priority in China’s national security strategy.

Russia and Ukraine provide a quarter of the world’s exported wheat and corn. China will be first in line for those exports. The previous MENA recipients will be Europe’s burden to feed.

Similarly Russia has halted ammonium nitrate fertilizer exports until April. Its plans beyond that are not apparent.

For seafood, China has created a three prong fleet: hundreds of thousands of fishing ships; the world’s largest coast guard; and the world’s second largest navy. And it has developed, trained and demonstrated integrated coercive grayzone fishery operations with that fleet.

Putin and Xi deeply accept the ramifications of rapid climate change and are acting to protect their populations.

Brandon Shartypant's Tiny Little Dick On Display For All The World To See

SWIFT Banking Sanctions: Opposed by Austria, France, Germany and Italy.

Energy Embargo: Opposed by most NATO member states.

Luxury Goods Embargo: Opposed by France and Italy. France exposed directly and via Italy.

Diamond Embargo: Opposed by Belgium and the Netherlands.

Railway Infrastructure: Opposed by France and Italy.

1) The long-term Russian contracts to supply gas to western Europe end in 2024. The two pipelines to China being completed will add more than twice the capacity now used to send gas to Europe. That is not counting the Kamchatka gas going there already.

2) Russia has $630 billion in foreign reserves, equal to 30+ percent of GNP so it can ride-out sanctions.

3) The OSCE web page on shelling should be a first stop every morning, The shelling in both directions has been heavy. There is a bit of opera bouffe here. It takes serious effort on both sides to fire more than 1,000 rounds each day and in a heavily populated region and hit nobody. Good work guys.

4) The rights of Russian language speakers in the Ukraine is a very big issue. Type into Google “first language of people in the Ukraine map” and see for yourself what the problem looks like. The 2014 new Ukrainian government’s decree that Russian could not be the language of schools is what precipitated the Donbass breakaway. According to the Russian speech at the UN General Assembly, the 6 Russian language TV stations in the Ukraine were shut down months ago. Ukrainian government leaders have been quoted as saying “If they (Russian speakers) don’t like it they should leave”. If the line of contact stays “hot” then a Russian takeover of all parts of the two regions may be in the cards.

5) Every nation has a memory of trauma. The south has the civil war. Blacks have slavery. The Jews have the exterminations. The Ukrainians have the 1920s famine. The Russians have the great civilian evacuations and shelling of 1941. Yesterday was Fatherland Day in Russia. Mess with your adversaries traumatic memories at your own peril.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Frau Stumpfenfuhrer Freeland Ordered To Quickly Pull Her Hand Out Of Justin Trudeau

Tulsi's NOT What We Think She Is, But She IS Interesting To Look At!!!

 

Bankster Tops And Politician Bottoms...,

caitlinjohnstone |  "Canada strongly condemns Russia’s recognition of so-called 'independent states' in Ukraine," tweeted Justin Trudeau. "This is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law. Canada stands strong in its support for Ukraine – and we will impose economic sanctions for these actions."

"Tomorrow we will be announcing new sanctions on Russia in response to their breach of international law and attack on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," tweeted UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

"This further undermines Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, erodes efforts towards a resolution of the conflict, and violates the Minsk Agreements, to which Russia is a party," says NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

There are all kinds of criticisms that one can level against this move by Moscow, if one feels that the entire western political/media class screaming all of these criticisms in unison does not have enough amplification. For myself, I would just like to point out that the US-centralized empire is the very last institution on this planet who has any business babbling about the "sovereignty" of other nations. Absolute dead last.

I say this not out of any kind of fondness for Putin or support for his decisions, but because the absolute worst violator of national sovereignty in the entire world by a truly gargantuan margin complaining about violations of national sovereignty is bat shit insane.

Pointing out things the US empire has done while it shrieks about the actions of a foreign government will get you accused of "whataboutism", but it's not a whataboutism. It's pointing out that the US is the absolute least qualified government on earth to comment on the issue at hand, so it should shut the whole entire fuck up about it. If the US wants to legitimately complain about the transgressions of unaligned governments, then it must cease being the worst transgressor.

Some might say, "Two wrongs don't make a right." Okay. But inflicting ten thousand wrongs definitely means you should shut the fuck up about anyone doing one wrong.

This would after all be the same empire that has is currently circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and waging wars which have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century. Its sanctions and blockades are starving people to death en masse every single day. It works to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates by toppling their governments via CIA coups, proxy armies, partial and full-scale invasions, and the most egregious number of election interferences in the entire world, while threatening the entire species with nuclear brinkmanship on multiple fronts.

I'd Like To Know The Ukraine Hand Buried Elbow Deep In Brandon's Nasty Old Cornhole...,

CTH  |  Everyone knows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is an empty vessel.  He carries himself as a generally unintelligent fellow with a sub-par IQ and a childish demeanor that is often inappropriate.   However, recently due to the increased attention upon Canada as they descend into lunatic leftism, the role of Trudeau as a puppet has become more evident.

His Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, is well known to people here for her prior key role in the creation of the USMCA trade agreement, her busybody demeanor and her snarky ideological annoyances.  However, Chrystia is also the person who puts the words in Justin’s mouth, literally.

Watch a few seconds of this video from Trudeau’s statements about Ukraine yesterday and pay attention to the mannerisms of Freeland as the Canadian Prime Minister reads his prepared remarks.  Watch her closely and what you will notice is that Freeland wrote the remarks.  She is visibly saying them in her head while physically mirroring the exact cadence Trudeau uses as he delivers her script.

Where To Find The Truth Of What's Going On In The Ukraine

craigmurray  |  In the massive propaganda blitz over Ukraine, there is one place where you can find, in enormous detail, the truth about what is happening in the civil war conflict zone on a daily basis. That is in the daily reports of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Monitoring Mission.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is a brilliant organisation set up to monitor implementation of agreements on human rights and arms control during the Cold War period. It includes Russia, the UK and the USA among its 57 members as well as all EU states. It has been operating in conflict zones for over half a century.


Over 40 member states have monitors in the Ukraine monitoring mission. The head of the mission is Turkish, and almost all members have a military or diplomatic background. There are 700 monitors, and they have been in Ukraine since 2014. Their job is to patrol both sides of the civil war conflict zone and to record infringements of the ceasefire and de-escalation agreements, bringing these to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Their work is very comprehensive indeed, and their detailed daily reports are public. These provide the most fantastic journalistic resource for what is actually happening on the ground – which is why Western mainstream media never use this resource, because the truth is the opposite of the picture they wish to paint.

For example, three OSCE monitors attended the site of the famous “kindergarten missile” attack, to verify what kind of missile was used, where it came from, and then tally this against the OSCE’s detailed record of weapons on both sides in the area and their daily movements. This is, literally, the basic everyday job of the mission. The team of OSCE expert observers – two of whom were from European Union countries – were denied access by the Ukrainian government to the kindergarten when they arrived to determine what kind of missile it was and where it came from. This is in direct violation of the ceasefire accord.

For those of us who saw the kindergarten attack stunt as propaganda to begin with, this is powerful corroboration.

This is from the OSCE’s daily report of 18 February:

Damage to a working kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk region On 17 February, the Mission followed up on reports of damage to a working kindergarten in the north-western part of Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk), located about 4.5km north-west of the north-western edge of the disengagement areanear Stanytsia Luhanska.
At 22 Depovska Street, about 20m south-west of a two-storey kindergarten building, the SMM observed a crater in the kindergarten playground, as well as marks assessed as caused byshrapnel on the inner side of a concrete wall surrounding the building. Also, it observed a hole(about 1m in diameter), and one shattered window on the north-eastern facade of the same building, and two shattered windows on the building’s north-west facing wall (on its groundand first floor). The SMM assessed the damage as recent but was unable to determine the weapon used or thedirection of fire.
Staff from the Youth Affairs Department of the Stanytsia Luhanska Civil-Military Administration told the Mission that 20 children had been in the kindergarten at the time of theincident, but reported no injuries.
The SMM was only able to conduct its assessment from a distance of about 50m from the
north-eastern facade and of about 30m from the south-western facade of the damaged building,as a law enforcement officer did not allow the Mission to access the site saying that aninvestigation was ongoing.

That same report records numerous violations of the ceasefire agreement by the Ukrainian government in moving heavy weaponry in to menace separatist held areas and in keeping weaponry outside agreed storage facilities. It equally reports precisely the same kind of violations by separatist rebels. None of which balance has been recorded by the same western media which loves to give detailed accounts of troop movements within Russia.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

It's Almost As If Our Presidents And Politicians Are Being Blackmailed

The US and Germany agreed to no NATO expansion with Gorbachev. Then Clinton and Albright bombed Yugoslavia.  What to make of these neocon think tanks? Organized Grima Wormtongues chock full of grand children of middle European aristocratic refugees dreaming revenge fantasies including return to the family castle, ancestral titles, and estates destroyed by the Soviets.

These elderly buffoons are aided and abetted by financiers who see war as an opportunity to make a buck.


The neocons and neoliberals who have run both foreign and economic policy across administrations and Congresses of BOTH political parties – the nominal left and right – who have brought about the diminution of US strength and moral standing in world affairs and the offshoring and consequent dependence on other countries in our economic affairs.

Yet, not only do thet continue to dominate our ruling class - but they have in fact - consolidated their power to near absolute power.

As we are seeing now in Canada - dissent is not only being canceled but criminalized. We saw through their covidian policies not only in Democrat run states but even in some Republican run states. Authoritarian policies were enacted ostensibly for the “greater good” although they never did any of that. Instead they favored the laptop class and pummeled the working class and the poor and of course the kids who’ve been saddled with massive debt and denied an opportunity for an education to pay for all that debt.

It’s amazing how psychopaths are so good at keeping their subordinate politicians loyal to the overclass. It’s almost as if they are being blackmailed.

I Don't Care What Happens To The Ukraine One Way Or Another Either!

WaPo  |  Vance has taken a ton of heat recently for claiming, “I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other.” In that appearance, Vance added that “Mexican fentanyl” is a much bigger problem, describing the southern border as a “total war zone.”

Buried underneath this smarmy formulation is a real argument, and it’s a repulsive one. There’s a reason Vance and others keep linking our border to that of Ukraine: Drawing this connection treats immigration to the United States as a species of invasion on a par with what Russia is threatening.

Russia has just declared that two separatist regions in Ukraine are independent and sent in troops to them, a move that the United Nations has condemned as a violation of international law and Ukrainian sovereignty.

Yet Vance’s ugly suggestion is that immigration to the United States and this Russian invasion are somehow vaguely comparable threats to national sovereignty, and that only the former one should occupy our attention.

Of course, what Vance really objects to is that Biden has undone a few of Trump’s immigration policies. We’re now letting in migrant kids whereas Trump tried to keep them out, and Biden is trying to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

That has created serious logistical challenges with no easy answers, to be sure. But it’s hardly a severe blow to our national sovereignty, and at any rate, it’s better than Trump’s alternative, which produced a humanitarian catastrophe. Vance views that catastrophe as successful policy.

But the deeper point of Vance’s formulation connecting the U.S. and Ukrainian borders is this: In that version of populist nationalism, the United States should dramatically retreat on any and all international obligations, both in maintaining the liberal international order and in letting in legal immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

These are two sides of the same coin. David Rothkopf, a foreign policy expert, author and commentator, notes that both represent similar retreats on the very idea of having an international order at all.

“A central tenet of Trumpism was to seek the end of the international order,” Rothkopf told me. “But this isn’t just Trumpism. It’s also Putinism.”

 

Blaming Zelensky For The U.S. Foreign Policy Fail...,

NYTimes  |  It’s not hard to guess what President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine must be craving right now: one normal day.

The comic-turned-president surely never imagined the job would be quite so intense. First, he got tangled up in the impeachment of Donald Trump. Then he had to deal with the Covid pandemic. And now he’s facing the prospect of a full-scale invasion by Russia.

Russia, of course, has been waging a war in eastern Ukraine since 2014. But now the threat is total: Up to 190,000 Russian troops have amassed near Ukraine’s borders and in separatist regions, and an invasion, bringing devastation and disaster, could come at any time. It’s a gravely serious situation. And Mr. Zelensky, a comedian for most of his life, is in over his head.

When Mr. Zelensky took power in Ukraine in 2019, converting his TV fame into a stellar political career, no one knew what to expect. His opponents said he was so inexperienced, he was bound to be a disaster. His supporters thought that he would break away from the old ways and end corruption. His harshest critics claimed that Mr. Zelensky, a Russian-speaking man born in eastern Ukraine, would all but sell the country off to Russia. Others said he was an oligarch puppet.

Yet the truth is more prosaic. Mr. Zelensky, the showman and performer, has been unmasked by reality. And it has revealed him to be dispiritingly mediocre.

After his nearly three years in office, it’s clear what the problem is: Mr. Zelensky’s tendency to treat everything like a show. Gestures, for him, are more important than consequences. Strategic objectives are sacrificed for short-term benefits. The words he uses don’t matter, as long as they are entertaining. And when the reviews are bad, he stops listening and surrounds himself with fans.

He started brightly. Early in his tenure, Mr. Zelensky commanded more power than any of his predecessors had. His fame and anti-establishment allure landed him with a parliamentary majority, a handpicked cabinet and a mandate for reform. At first, it seemed to be working. His government opened up the farmland market and expanded digital services across the country. He began an enormous road construction program, proclaiming that he wanted to be remembered as the president who finally built good roads in Ukraine.

But the successes largely stopped there. Mr. Zelensky’s other major project, a campaign he calls “deoligarchization” that’s aimed at capping the influence of the very wealthy, looks more like a P.R. move than serious policy. Despite his campaign promises, no progress has been made in fighting corruption. According to Transparency International, Ukraine remains the third-most-corrupt country in Europe, after Russia and Azerbaijan. Anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies are either stalling or run by loyalists appointed by the president.

 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Read Putin's Speech - Has There Been A Comparable U.S. President In Your Lifetime?

kremlin.ru  |  President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

We are meeting today to discuss the current developments in Donbass.

I will briefly remind you how it all started and how the situation has developed even though you know this very well. But we need general background to help us make appropriate decisions.

So, after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, part of the population did not accept the outcome. Let me remind you that this was an anti-constitutional, blood-shedding coup that killed many innocent people. It was truly an armed coup. Nobody can argue that.

Some of the country’s citizens did not accept the coup. They were residents of Crimea and the people who currently live in Donbass.

Those people declared that they were establishing two independent republics, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic. This was the point when the confrontation started between the Kiev officials and the people living on that territory.

In this context, I would like to point out that Russia initially did everything it could to make sure these disagreements could be resolved by peaceful means. However, the Kiev officials have conducted two punitive operations on those territories and, apparently, we are witnessing a third escalation.

All these years – I want to stress this – all these years, the people living on those territories have been literally tortured by constant shelling and blockades. As you know, the people living on those territories, close to the front line, so to speak, were in fact forced to seek shelter in their basements – where they now live with their children.

A peace plan was drafted during the negotiating process called the Minsk Package of Measures because, as you recall, we met in the city of Minsk. But subsequent developments show that the Kiev authorities are not planning to implement it, and they have publicly said so many times at the top state level and at the level of Foreign Minister and Security Council Secretary. Overall, everyone understands that they are not planning to do anything with regard to this Minsk Package of Measures.

Nevertheless, Russia has exerted efforts and still continues to make efforts to resolve all the complicated aspects and tragic developments by peaceful means, but we have what we have.

Our goal, the goal of today’s meeting is to listen to our colleagues and to outline future steps in this direction, considering the appeals by the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic on recognising their sovereignty, as well as a resolution by the State Duma of the Russian Federation on the same subject. The latter document urges the President to recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic.

At the same time, I would like to note that these different matters are, nevertheless, closely linked with matters of maintaining international security, on the European continent in particular, because the use of Ukraine as a tool for confronting this country, Russia, of course, presents a major and serious threat to us.

This is why we have intensified our work with our main partners in Washington and NATO over the past few months and in late 2021, so as to reach an eventual agreement on these security measures and to ensure the country’s calm and successful development under peaceful conditions. We see this as our number one objective and a top priority; instead of confrontation, we need to maintain security and ensure conditions for our development.

But we must, of course, understand the reality we live in. And, as I have said many times before, if Russia faces the threat of Ukraine being accepted into the North Atlantic Alliance, NATO, the threat against our country will increase because of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty that clearly states that all countries in the alliance must fight on the side of their co-member in the event of an aggression against it. But since nobody recognises the will expressed by the people of Crimea and Sevastopol, and Ukraine continues to insist that it is Ukrainian territory, there is a real threat that they will try to take back the territory they believe is theirs using military force. And they do say this in their documents, obviously. Then the entire North Atlantic Alliance will have to get involved.

As you know, we have been told that some NATO countries are against Ukraine becoming a member. However, despite their objections, in 2008, they signed a memorandum in Bucharest that opened the doors for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO. I have not received an answer to my question as to why they did that. But if they took one step under pressure from the United States, who can guarantee that they will not take another step under pressure? There is no guarantee.

There are no guarantees whatsoever because the United States is known to easily discard any agreements and documents it signs. Still, at least something must be put on paper and formulated as an international legal act. At this point, we cannot even agree on this one thing.

Therefore, I would like to suggest that we proceed as follows: first, I will give the floor to Mr Lavrov who is directly involved in the attempts to reach an agreement with Washington and Brussels, and with NATO, on security guarantees. Then I would like Mr Kozak to report on his findings concerning the talks on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Then each of you will be able to speak. But at the end of the day, we must decide what we will do next and how we should proceed in view of the current situation and our assessment of these developments.

Mr Lavrov, please.

The Burden Of Proof Is ALWAYS On The One Making The Claim...,

caitlinjohnstone |  Well you’ll be shocked to learn that, while the Ukraine invasion we’ve been told for weeks was happening any day now still has not occurred, the US and UK have declared that Russia attacked Ukraine in an invisible and unverifiable way for which the evidence is secret.

“The White House blamed Russia on Friday for this week’s cyberattacks targeting Ukraine’s defense ministry and major banks and warned of the potential for more significant disruptions in the days ahead,” AP reports. “Anne Neuberger, the Biden administration’s deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, said the U.S. had rapidly linked Tuesday’s attacks to Russian military intelligence officers.”

“Technical information analysis shows the GRU was almost certainly involved in disruptive DDoS attacks,” adds a statement from the UK Foreign Office.

No evidence for this claim has been provided beyond the assertive tone with which American and British officials have uttered it, but that likely won’t stop arguments from western narrative managers that this “attack” justifies immediate economic sanctions.

You’ve probably also heard by now that President Biden announced at a press briefing that Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine and violently topple Kyiv “in the coming days,” citing only “intelligence”.

“What reason do you believe he’s considering that option at all?” a reporter asked Biden after his speech.

“We have a significant intelligence capability, thank you very much,” the president answered, and made his exit.

As we were reminded earlier this month in an interesting exchange between State Department spinmeister Ned Price and AP’s Matt Lee, US officials firmly believe that simply placing assertions next to the word “intelligence” should be considered rock solid proof that those assertions are true, and the press are expected to play along with this.

And indeed, a large percentage of the political/media class is responding to Biden’s unevidenced claim that Putin has decided to launch a full-scale ground invasion of Ukraine as though that invasion is actually happening.

 

Russia Is In Total Control Of The Narrative And The Timeline

consortiumnews  |  “I am here today,” Blinken said, trying to remove himself from Powell, “not to start a war, but to prevent one.”

But like Powell, Blinken produced no evidence at all to the U.N. to back up his assertion that Russia is “preparing to launch an attack against Ukraine in the coming days,” even though he could have. Rather than produce fake evidence, as Powell had, he just produced nothing at all.

Blinken only had words, blithely accusing Russia of seeking “to manufacture a pretext” for an invasion of Ukraine, whether by fabricating a terrorist bombing inside Russia; (a jab at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been accused of false-flag attacks of Moscow apartment buildings to generate support for the Second Chechen War in 1999); the discovery of a mass grave; staging a drone strike against civilians or the use of chemical weapons.

After such a “false flag,” Russian would call for a military response “to defend Russian citizens or ethnic Russians in Ukraine” and would then invade Ukraine, Blinken said.

In the past, when the U.S. took to the floor of the U.N. Security Council to hurl accusations of malfeasance at Russia, American diplomats would present incontrovertible intelligence to back up its claims.

This was done in October 1962, when Adlai Stevenson showed the world U-2 photographs proving the Russians had deployed missiles in Cuba. Again, in September 1983, Jeane Kirkpatrick played audio tapes of intercepted communications which proved Russian military aircraft shot down Korean Airlines flight 007.

Blinken brought no such proof. His was just a verbal assurance that this was not a repeat of Colin Powell’s performance. This time, the U.S. should just be trusted to tell the truth.

Valodya DeCommunizes 90% Russian Donetsk And Luhansk

WaPo |  Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees ordering military forces into two separatist regions of Ukraine for “peacekeeping” purposes as Moscow recognized the breakaway regions’ independence Monday.

Putin signed a decree recognizing the areas — a move that Russia could use to justify an attack in those locations — and an agreement of cooperation with the heads of the two regions: Denis Pushilin of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Leonid Pasechnik of the Luhansk People’s Republic. The separatists do not control the entirety of their regions, and it was not clear Monday evening whether a military incursion could occur.

The formal recognition prompted a chorus of condemnation from Western leaders, with some vowing sanctions.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden would issue an executive order prohibiting U.S. investment and trade in the breakaway regions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called Putin’s recognition of the breakaway territories a “blatant violation” of international law and said the bloc would “react with unity, firmness and with determination in solidarity with Ukraine.”

British Foreign Minister Liz Truss tweeted that the U.K. would announce “new sanctions on Russia in response to their breach of international law and attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Monday, February 21, 2022

There Is No ‘Russian Invasion’ Of Ukraine

johnhelmer |  In the Foreign Ministry’s new paper for the State Department, delivered on Thursday afternoon and then published on the Ministry website,   there is a restatement of the Russian proposals for security in Europe which the US refuses to address. There is also nothing new in the threat: “In the absence of the readiness of the American side to agree on firm, legally binding guarantees to ensure our security from the United States and its allies, Russia will be forced to respond, including through the implementation of military-technical measures.”

President Vladimir Putin said the same thing to the assembly of the Russian officer corps on December 21. “Is anyone unable to grasp this? This should be clear…I would like to emphasise again: we are not demanding any special exclusive terms for ourselves. Russia stands for equal and indivisible security in the whole of Eurasia. Naturally, as I have already noted, if our Western colleagues continue their obviously aggressive line, we will take appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures and will have a tough response to their unfriendly steps.”

Putin’s point was repeated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva on January 10, following his talks with his State Department counterpart, Wendy Sherman.  For more detail on those talks, read this.

What is meant by “military-technical measures” is Russia’s black box defence. This is not the place – it will not be the place – to read what this will be. Anglo-American think-tankers are paid by their governments to guess what is inside the box, as is the new source for analysis of Russia in the Anglo-American media, the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Three things are certain about what is inside the black box. The first is spelled out emphatically in yesterday’s Foreign Ministry paper: “There is no ‘Russian invasion’ of Ukraine, as the United States and its allies have been officially declaring since last autumn, and there are no plans for it.”  This rules out a land force invasion of Ukraine, as well as aerial bombing, missile and drone strikes launched from Russian territory.

The second sure thing about the black box defence is that it is black: it will be a surprise.

The third thing is, as Putin said last December, it will be “reciprocal”. This  means the Americans and their European allies are already using comparable measures in their attacks on Russia directly and in the Donbass. Reciprocal in this Russian vocabulary may mean comparable; it does not mean symmetrical along the Russian land border with the Ukraine; offshore, in the Black and Azov Seas; in the airspace above the Donbass or in the cyberspace .

The Russian paper was handed to US Ambassador John Sullivan at the Foreign Ministry and then posted publicly. The ministry website, mid.ru, was then incapacitated for more than an hour. The official English translation will follow during Friday.

“The package nature of Russian proposals has been ignored, from which ‘convenient’ topics have been deliberately chosen. They, in turn, have been ‘twisted’ in the direction of creating advantages for the United States and its allies. This approach, as well as the accompanying rhetoric of American officials, reinforces reason for doubt that Washington is really committed to correcting the situation in the field of Euro-security.”

The paper then itemizes the specific security measures and treaty articles which have been tabled by the Russian side since December, and which the US and NATO replies have so far ignored. For analysis of each of the booby traps contained in the US paper released in Spain a fortnight ago, read this.

Twice the new Foreign Ministry paper uses the term “concrete”. The first is to signal that this remains to be provided in the papers sent to Moscow by the US and NATO so far. “We expect concrete proposals from the members of the alliance on the content and forms of legal consolidation of the rejection of further expansion of NATO to the east.”

In the second application of the term “concrete”, the paper says: “the United States and its allies should abandon the policy of ‘containing’ Russia and take concrete practical measures to de-escalate the military-political situation, including in line with paragraph 2 of Article 4 of our draft treaty.”

Article 4 says, not only that NATO will not include Ukraine and Georgia as members, but that even if formal membership is ruled out, there will be no US military bases in non-member states, no military infrastructure (arms stockpiles, for example), and no “bilateral military cooperation” targeted at Russia.

Among other concrete issues required for negotiation, the Russian paper identifies “heavy” (nuclear) bomber flights close to Russian airspace, combat vessels in the Black and Baltic Seas, the Aegis Ashore missiles batteries in Romania and Poland, and intermediate and short-range nuclear missiles.

For a Russian analysis of Russia’s black box options, published at the end of January in Vzglyad, read this.

 

 

I Didn't Think This Would Happen Until Tomorrow...,

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