Fake Reporting on the Blown-up Pipelines and Russia’s “Annexation

Open Letter to the New York Times

September 30, 2022

Global Research,

By Peter Koenig

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Dear Editor of the once-upon-a-time Famous-for-truth New York Times,

With headlines like this, Sabotaged Pipelines and a Mystery: Who Did It? (Was It Russia?), even suggesting that Russia may have blown up their own pipeline, the NYT is killing its last vestige of credibility.

You know exactly this is a lie.

The only force that has a vital interest in doing so is the US / NATO conglomerate – to make sure, there is no way Germany could change their mind and go back on their decision to let their people freeze to death this winter, and to economically destroy Germany, THE economic force and leader of Europe.

You, and your analysts know that.

Unfortunately, there is no common people’s influence on our reporting. There are stronger forces that have bought into your mind-bending journalism.

Still, once a supporter of the NYT, I feel I want to tell you.

The Same with this reporting

Enormous U.S. Military Spending, EU Dragged into Abyss of War against Russia. Italy Out of the War!

Russian Proxies in Ukraine Push Moscow to Annex Occupied Regions

and

Vladimir Putin will sign agreements on Friday to take over four Ukrainian regions, the Kremlin said, after votes widely denounced as a sham

Here too, these are not “proxy” Russians who signed a sham petition to be annexed to Russia. You know it very well.

These are real Russians, living in the far Eastern part of Ukraine, the Donbas area mostly, who have been discriminated ever since the US instigated the Maidan coup on 22 February 2014 – when a neo-Nazi government was installed that let the Nazi Asov Battalions literally slaughter Ukraine’s own people in Donbas — at least 14,000 were reported killed – about half of them children – in the eight years since the “Victoria Nuland” (“Fuck Europe”) coup. See this.

We are talking about the same Asov Battalions, that helped Hitler during WWII fight against Russia.

Already in 2014 / 2015 the Donbas districts wanted to join Russia. President Putin did not allow it, because at that time he still believed in the “Minsk” Agreements, sponsored by France and Germany.

These agreements were principally meant to protect the Donbas people, as well as to demilitarize – de-Nazify – Ukraine, and to keep NATO out of Ukraine. None of the conditions of the Minsk Agreements (September 2014 and April 2015) were ever adhered to.

If truth-seeking geopolitical analysts around the globe know the real background, you, Editor-in-chief of the NYT, and your journalists, know the real story too. Still, you report lies and half-truths to further influence and promote people’s opinion against Russia.

The New York Times has become weaponized against Russia and China, by your mere reporting.

Don’t you think that this will eventually backfire?

*

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Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he worked for over 30 years around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and  co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). He is also is a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Chongyang Institute of Renmin University, Beijing.

Featured image is from FAIR

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2022


Will The Ukraine De-Militarise Itself?

September 26, 2022

Source

by James Tweedie

Back in August 2022 I wrote that NATO was ‘demilitarising’ itself, sending such huge amounts of arms to the Ukraine before and during the Russian special military operation (SMO) that its armies had nothing left to fight with.

That process has continued, with Slovenia, the northernmost of the former federal republics of Yugoslavia, sending its entire armoured vehicle fleet to Kiev. The last scrapings of the barrel, just announced, are 28 M-55S tanks. These are modernised Soviet-designed T-55s with some Israeli explosive-reactive armour (ERA) blocks added. But underneath that they’re still a 1950s design, four generations behind the latest Russian tanks.

The question now is: can those arms sustain the Ukrainian military effort? And if the Ukraine, the buffed-up proxy for all NATO and the Five Eyes countries too, is losing the war, when will Russia and its Donbass republican allies achieve victory?

I was born in the mid-1970s, during the Cold War, and I grew up under he shadow of the mushroom cloud. So I must confess to being one of those who were anxious for this conflict to be over quickly, before the nuclear powers came to blows. But one can’t hurry history.

War of Attrition

In his bombshell speech on the morning of 21st September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained that the apparent slow progress of the SMO by the need to unpick the Gordian Knot of hardened defences the Ukrainian Nazi battalions built up on the front line over eight years.

“A head-on attack against them would have led to heavy losses,” Putin said, “which is why our units, as well as the forces of the Donbass republics, are acting competently and systematically, using military equipment and saving lives, moving step by step to liberate Donbass.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu gave a televised interview the same morning. He gave extremely specific figures for both Russian and Ukrainian military casualties. “Our losses to date are 5,937 dead,” he said, but added that 90 per cent of the wounded had recovered and returned to duty.

According to Shoigu, Ukraine has lost 61,207 killed and 49,368 wounded (a total of 110,575 casualties) from an initial military strength of 201-202 thousand. The caveat to that that the Ukraine has conscripted hundreds of thousands of men into territorial defence units since the start of the conflict. That’s greater than a ten-to-one ratio of Ukrainian to Russian casualties

Shoigu also said that over the previous three weeks — since the launch of Kiev’s counter-offensives in Kherson and Kharkov — the Ukrainians had lost more than 7,000 men and 970 pieces of heavy equipment, including 208 tanks, 245 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), 186 other armoured vehicles, 15 aircraft and four helicopters.

That amounts to about 60 per cent of the roughly 350 tanks, and three-quarters of the 328 IFVs, supplied by Western countries since February 24. If one lumps armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in with IFVs, Shoigu is still talking about 30 per cent losses of NATO-supplied heavy armour.

Kiev is preparing for or has already begun more counter-offensives towards Lisichansk in the LPR, Donetsk city, from Ugledar to the south to Mariupol and towards Berdyansk or Melitopol in Zaporozhye oblast. Russian aircraft, missiles and artillery are already hitting the groups of forces concentrated for that. If those offensives go the same way as the others, surely the Ukrainians will soon run out of both men and machines, right?

Blogger and YouTuber Andrei Martyanov, a Russian who served in the Soviet armed forces, is not worried about about how long it takes to get the SMO over and done with. He has argued that his countrymen can win simply by waiting for the Ukrainians to throw themselves onto their bayonets, until they run out of bodies.

With all due respect, allow me to sound a note of scepticism: that assumes that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his Western backers care how many die, or that the Ukrainian people (more than 8 million of whom are now scattered across Europe and even further afield) have the inclination and the opportunity to rise up against the fascist death-squad state.

The daily Russian Ministry of Defence body-count of hundreds of the miserable ‘territorial defence’ conscripts along the Donbass line — untrained and barely-armed middle-aged men press-ganged in the street — is not much of an indicator of progress.

It’s the territorial gains, no matter how slow, that matter. Russia cannot just count on the Ukrainians to suicidally ‘demilitarise’ themselves.

Putin’s announcement of a “partial mobilisation” of 300,000 army reservists was warmly welcomed by pro-Russian social media commentators. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this, coupled with the referenda in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson on reunification with Russia.

But there are caveats. State Duma Defence Committee chairman Andrey Kartapolov clarified that those troops would be deployed to defend the country’s borders and to create “operational depth” — in other words as a second defensive echelon. Martyanov argues that will free up regular front-line troops to conquer more territory. But it remains unclear how many of them were deployed to begin with.

Eyes on the Prize

So what is Russia trying to achieve in the Ukraine? Putin said in his Wednesday morning speech that the main task was to defend the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass. That implies capturing the whole of the oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk.

But some ‘stretch goals’ may be added, including forging a land corridor to the Crimea and maybe even Transnistria, the Russian protectorate in Moldova.

Russia’s other main aim was to stop the Ukraine from joining NATO. That would allow the US to base nuclear weapons just 300 miles from Moscow in a position to launch a first strike attack.

US President Joe Biden’s response to Putin at the UN General Assembly later that day included the comment that “a nuclear war cannot be won — and must never be fought.” While true, that observation was shamelessly hypocritical. It was likely only made out of fear after Putin’s warning that Russia takes national defence and nuclear deterrence seriously.

Securing the Ukraine’s neutrality is not just part of “demilitarisation”: it could also be called “de-Nazification”, since NATO and its shadow the European Union (EU) were behind the 2014 coup by the Azov battalion and their ilk.

But Russia needs a legitimately-elected head of state to sign up to that, and right now that man is Zelensky. A peace deal struck with any military junta which might depose the comedian-turned-president would only be denounced by the next elected leader.

Even if a new civilian government was elected on a pro-peace, non-alignment platform (as Zelensky was), it would only last as long as it took the US, UK and EU to organise a repeat of the 2004-05 ‘Orange Revolution’ and the 2014 ‘Euromaidan’ coups d’etat.

The crazy Ukro-Nazis and their enablers have to ‘own’ the peace and the agreement to cede the Donbass and Crimea — and thereby lose all credibility.

But the Ukraine had already lost the Crimea and effective control over the Donbass before the SMO even kicked off. Kiev won’t sign any peace deal unless it has something else to lose. If Moscow is also serious about readmitting Zaporozhye and Kherson to the Russian motherland following a ‘Yes’ vote in the coming referenda, then there’s nothing to bargain with there either. Russia may need to capture other territories to use as bargaining chips.

To do so, it would have to inflict a defeat on the Ukrainian armed forces that would force them to retreat — not only from Donetsk and Lugansk but from other areas, maybe all the way back to the Dnieper river that divides the country in two.

Such a victory can’t be won unless Russia regains the initiative and actively starts pushing the Ukrainian armed forces back.

The Great M.I.C. Cash-In

The Kiev regime’s aims are clearly to keep grifting off its Western sponsors as long as possible, before fleeing to the sunny tax havens where they have billions stashed. But what does the West really want out of this war?

The stated aims of Washington and friends are to defend Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty (code for invading the Donbass and Crimea and ethnically cleansing them), along with its non-existent “right” to become a NATO launchpad, to “weaken” Russia militarily (by causing as many casualties as possible) and to put “international pressure” on Putin (economic warfare with the goal of regime change).

One should avoid making predictions, but let’s say the US and its satellites fail in all of that (since they have done so far). What will they try to win as a consolation prize?

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, an unelected bureaucrat who made a huge mess of her previous job as German defence minister, has vowed that sanctions on Russia will continue for years to come. That the sanctions are crippling the economies of EU member states, especially her home country, doesn’t seem to bother UVDL. And seeing the EU and its appointed commissioners are increasingly imposing their foreign policy diktats on the 27 governments, she might get her way.

More importantly, NATO desperately needs to save face — now that it has exposed by Russia as a paper tiger. Hence the triumphant crowing over moves, far from complete, to grant existing de-facto allies Sweden and Finland formal membership.

The West may try to claim a kind of moral victory on the basis that it may take Russia more than a year to defeat ‘brave little Ukraine’, or be forced to wipe out most of its military-age male population to win. But whose idea was that? Zelensky, Biden and all other Western leaders have made that bed.

But NATO is really just a pyramid scheme to sell overpriced Western, especially US, arms to its vassals. And therein lies a contradiction, because the US military-industrial complex (MIC) has competition from those of the UK, Germany, France and even Sweden — a country with a smaller population than the city of Moscow.

The Ukraine has used the referenda on unification with Russia as the latest pretext to demand Germany donate its newest models of Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry fighting vehicles. But why doesn’t Kiev ask the US for some of its M1 Abrams and M2 Bradleys instead? The Pentagon has many more to spare.

The truth is that neither Germany nor the US can afford to have its supposedly-invincible wunderwaffen shown up, and blown up, in battle with Russian forces. Despite weighing only two-thirds as much as the US and German behemoths, the Russian tanks have about the same effective armour protection — thanks to state-of-the-art ERA technology — and guns of equal destructive power. And there are a lot more Russian tanks, anti-tank missiles, attack jets and helicopters on the battlefield in the Ukraine.

The US has only managed to sell the M1 to eight other countries, compared to 18 for the Leopard 2. The export model of the Abrams is ‘Nerfed’ by removing the depleted uranium rods from its composite armour, so countries like Australia and Saudi Arabia get sub-par tanks. The only overseas customer for the British Challenger 2 is Oman, while the French Leclerc tank has been exported to the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

By contrast, the Russian T-72 is currently in service in 40 countries, including both Russia and the Ukraine. Like the Russian intervention in Syria, the war in the Ukraine could prove to be a serious marketing tool for the Russian arms industry — eating the US MIC’s lunch.

Putin’s Address: West’s Anti-Russia Policies, Partial Mobilization & Referendums in Ukraine

Putin’s Address: West’s Anti-Russia Policies, Partial Mobilization & Referendums in Ukraine

September 21, 2022

By Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio

by Oleg Burunov – originally published by Sputnik News – All Links to Gospa News articles have been added after

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on a number of pressing issues related to the West’s stance on Russia and Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.

‘The West Wants to Destroy Russia’

Putin pointed out that the West’s current goal is to destroy Russia, as they say openly that they managed to make the USSR collapse and now it’s time for Russia.

“The purpose of this West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are already directly saying that in 1991 they were able to split the Soviet Union, and now the time has come for Russia itself, and that it should disintegrate into many mortally warring regions and regions,” the Russian president stressed.

According to him, such plans have been hatched in the West for a long time, as they encouraged gangs of international terrorists in the Caucasus, promoted the installation of NATO’s offensive infrastructure close to Russia’s borders and made total Russophobia their weapon.

Putin said that the Western elites are targeting Russia with their aggressive policy in order to maintain their dominance.

“[We talk] about the aggressive policy of a number of the Western elites, who are striving with all their might to maintain their dominance, and for this purpose they are trying to block or suppress any sovereign independent centers of development in order to further brutally impose their will on other countries and nations, to plant their fake values,” according to the Russian president.

West ‘Crossed Every Line’ in Its Anti-Russian Policy

Putin also said that the West “has crossed every line in its aggressive anti-Russian policy,” adding that “we constantly hear threats against our country and our people.”

“Some irresponsible politicians in the West talk about plans to organize the supply of long-range offensive weapons to Ukraine, systems that are capable of launching strikes against Crimea and other regions of Russia”.

According to the Russian president, such terrorist strikes, including those using Western weapons, are already being carried out on settlements in Russia’s Belgorod and Kursk regions.

“In real time, NATO conducts reconnaissance throughout Russia’s southern areas, using modern systems, aircraft, ships, satellites, and strategic drones,” Putin said.

Partial Mobilization in Russia

Putin announced that in light of the latest developments in Donbass, he had signed a decree on partial mobilization in Russia.

“In this situation, I consider it necessary to take the following decisions, they are fully adequate to the threats we face. Namely: to protect our Motherland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories, I consider it necessary to support the proposal of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff on conducting partial mobilization in Russia,” the Russian president said.

He added that mobilization will begin on Wednesday, noting that only reservists will be subject to conscription, first of all those who have relevant experience and military professions.

Russia to Help Maintain Security at Referendums in Donbass

The Russian president also said that Russia will do everything to ensure security at the upcoming self-determination referendums in Donbass and other Ukrainian regions which have appealed to Moscow, seeking its support.

“The parliaments of the people’s republics in Donbass as well as civil-military administrations of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions have decided to hold the referendums on the destiny of these territories and appealed to Russia, asking to support this step. I stress that we will do everything to ensure security at the referendums for people to express their will,” Putin underscored.

Putin also referred to “the policy of intimidation, terror, and violence” pursued by Kiev with respect to Donbass residents, a policy that Putin said becomes “more massive, terrible and barbaric.”He noted that Kiev’s regime of repressions against its own citizens established shortly after the 2014 armed coup had been strengthened across Ukraine.Putin emphasized that he knows that “the majority of people living in the territories liberated from neo-Nazis, including first of all the historical lands of Novorossiya, do not want to be under the yoke of the neo-Nazi regime.”

“In Zaporozhye, the Kherson region, as well as Lugansk and Donetsk, people have seen and are seeing the atrocities that neo-Nazis conduct in the occupied areas of the Kharkov region. The heirs of Bandera and Nazi punishers kill people, torture, throw them in prison, settle scores, crack down, abuse civilians”, the Russian president said.

He added that up to 7.5 million people lived in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR) and (LPR) as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions before the outbreak of hostilities.

“Many of them were forced to become refugees and leave their homes. Those who remained – about 5 million people – today are subjected to constant artillery and rocket fire from neo-Nazi militants, who hit hospitals and schools and organize terrorist attacks against civilians. We have no moral right to hand over people close to us to be torn to pieces by executioners, and we cannot but respond to their sincere desire to determine their own fate,” Putin underlined.

Russian Forces Act ‘Competently’ in Ukraine

Touching upon Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, Putin said that Russian forces are acting competently, liberating the territory step by step.He noted that the Lugansk People’s Republic had already been almost completely cleared of neo-Nazis, and that fighting in in the Donetsk People’s Republic is underway.

“The Kiev occupation regime has created a deeply echeloned line of long-term fortifications. Directly assaulting them would have resulted in heavy losses, which is why our units, as well as those of the Donbass republics, act competently and use the military in order to protect personnel. They, step by step, are liberating Donetsk land, clearing cities and towns from neo-Nazis, and helping people whom the Kiev regime has turned into hostages and a human shield,” Putin said.

He stressed that the main goal of the Russian special operation in Ukraine remains liberation of Donbass.

Putin announced the special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine on February 24 following the Donbass republics’ requests to protect them from Kiev attacks.

by Oleg Burunov

originally published by Sputnik News



Disclosure:  Sputnik is a Russian state-owned news agency, news website platform, and radio broadcast service. It was established by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya on 10 November 2014.

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The Kharkov game-changer

September 14, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Wars are not won by psyops. Ask Nazi Germany. Still, it’s been a howler to watch NATOstan media on Kharkov, gloating in unison about “the hammer blow that knocks out Putin”, “the Russians are in trouble”, and assorted inanities.

Facts: Russian forces withdrew from the territory of Kharkov to the left bank of the Oskol river, where they are now entrenched. A Kharkov-Donetsk-Luhansk line seems to be stable. Krasny Liman is threatened, besieged by superior Ukrainian forces, but not lethally.

No one – not even Maria Zakharova, the contemporary female equivalent of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods – knows what the Russian General Staff (RGS) plans, in this case and all others. If they say they do, they are lying.

As it stands, what may be inferred with a reasonable degree of certainty is that a line – Svyatogorsk-Krasny Liman-Yampol-Belogorovka – can hold out long enough with their current garrisons until fresh Russian forces are able to swoop in and force the Ukrainians back beyond the Seversky Donets line.

All hell broke loose – virtually – on why Kharkov happened. The people’s republics and Russia never had enough men to defend a 1,000 km-long frontline. NATO’s entire intel capabilities noticed – and profited from it.

There were no Russian Armed Forces in those settlements: only Rosgvardia, and these are not trained to fight military forces. Kiev attacked with an advantage of around 5 to 1. The allied forces retreated to avoid encirclement. There are no Russian troop losses because there were no Russian troops in the region.

Arguably this may have been a one-off. The NATO-run Kiev forces simply can’t do a replay anywhere in Donbass, or in Kherson, or in Mariupol. These are all protected by strong, regular Russian Army units.

It’s practically a given that if the Ukrainians remain around Kharkov and Izyum they will be pulverized by massive Russian artillery. Military analyst Konstantin Sivkov maintains that, “most combat-ready formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now being grounded (…) we managed to lure them into the open and are now systematically destroying them.”

The NATO-run Ukrainian forces, crammed with NATO mercenaries, had spent 6 months hoarding equipment and reserving trained assets exactly for this Kharkov moment – while dispatching disposables into a massive meat grinder. It will be very hard to sustain an assembly line of substantial prime assets to pull off something similar again.

The next days will show whether Kharkov and Izyum are connected to a much larger NATO push. The mood in NATO-controlled EU is approaching Desperation Row. There’s a strong possibility this counter-offensive signifies NATO entering the war for good, while displaying quite tenuous plausible deniability: their veil of – fake – secrecy cannot disguise the presence of “advisers” and mercenaries all across the spectrum.

Decommunization as de-energization

The Special Military Operation (SMO), conceptually, is not about conquering territory per se: it is, or it was, so far, about protection of Russophone citizens in occupied territories, thus demilitarization cum denazification.

That concept may be about to be tweaked. And that’s where the tortuous, tricky debate on Russia mobilization fits in. Yet even a partial mobilization may not be necessary: what’s needed are reserves to properly allow allied forces to cover rear/defensive lines. Hardcore fighters of the Kadyrov contingent kind would continue to play offense.

It’s undeniable that Russian troops lost a strategically important node in Izyum. Without it, the complete liberation of Donbass becomes significantly harder.

Yet for the collective West, whose carcass slouches inside a vast simulacra bubble, it’s the pysops that matters much more than a minor military advance: thus all that gloating on Ukraine being able to drive the Russians out of the whole of Kharkov in only four days – while they had 6 months to liberate Donbass, and didn’t.

So, across the West, the reigning perception – frantically fomented by psyops experts – is that the Russian military were hit by that “hammer blow” and will hardly recover.

Kharkov was preciously timed – as General Winter is around the corner; the Ukraine issue was already suffering from public opinion fatigue; and the propaganda machine needed a boost to turbo-lubricate the multi-billion dollar weaponizing rat line.

Yet Kharkov may have forced Moscow’s hand to increase the pain dial. That came via a few well-placed Mr. Khinzals leaving the Black Sea and the Caspian to present their business cards to the largest thermal power plants in northeast and central Ukraine (most of the energy infrastructure is in the southeast).

Half of Ukraine suddenly lost power and water. Trains came to a halt. If Moscow decides to take out all major Ukraine substations at once, all it takes is a few missiles to totally smash the Ukrainian energy grid – adding a new meaning to “decommunization”: de-energization.

According to an expert analysis, “if transformers of 110-330 kV are damaged, then it will almost never be possible to put it into operation (…) And if this happens at least at 5 substations at the same time, then everything is kaput. Stone age forever.”

Russian government official Marat Bashirov was way more colorful: “Ukraine is being plunged into the 19th century. If there is no energy system, there will be no Ukrainian army. The matter of fact is that General Volt came to the war, followed by General Moroz (“frost”).

And that’s how we might be finally entering “real war” territory – as in Putin’s notorious quip that “we haven’t even started anything yet.”

A definitive response will come from the RSG in the next few days.

Once again, a fiery debate rages on what Russia will do next (the RGS, after all, is inscrutable, except for Yoda Patrushev).

The RGS may opt for a serious strategic strike of the decapitating kind elsewhere – as in changing the subject for the worse (for NATO).

It may opt for sending more troops to protect the front line (without partial mobilization).

And most of all it may enlarge the SMO mandate – going to total destruction of Ukrainian transport/energy infrastructure, from gas fields to thermal power plants, substations, and shutting down nuclear power plants.

Well, it could always be a mix of all of the above: a Russian version of Shock and Awe – generating an unprecedented socio-economic catastrophe. That has already been telegraphed by Moscow: we can revert you to the Stone Age at any time and in a matter of hours (italics mine). Your cities will greet General Winter with zero heating, freezing water, power outages and no connectivity.

A counter-terrorist operation

All eyes are on whether “centers of decision” – as in Kiev – may soon get a Khinzal visit. This would signify Moscow has had enough. The siloviki certainly did. But we’re not there – yet. Because for an eminently diplomatic Putin the real game revolves around those gas supplies to the EU, that puny plaything of American foreign policy.

Putin is certainly aware that the internal front is under some pressure. He refuses even partial mobilization. A perfect indicator of what may happen in winter is the referenda in liberated territories. The limit date is November 4 – the Day of National Unity, a commemoration introduced in 2004 to replace the celebration of the October revolution (it already existed in imperial times).

With the accession of these territories to Russia, any Ukrainian counter-offensive would qualify as an act of war against regions incorporated into the Russian Federation. Everyone knows what that means.

It may now be painfully obvious that when the collective West is waging war – hybrid and kinetic, with everything from massive intel to satellite data and hordes of mercenaries – against you, and you insist on conducting a hazily-defined Special Military Operation (SMO), you may be up for some nasty surprises.

So the SMO status may be about to change: it’s bound to become a counter-terrorist operation.

This is an existential war. A do or die affair. The American geopolitical /geoeconomic goal, to put it bluntly, is to destroy Russian unity, impose regime change and plunder all those immense natural resources. Ukrainians are nothing but cannon fodder: in a sort of twisted History remake, the modern equivalents of the pyramid of skulls Timur cemented into 120 towers when he razed Baghdad in 1401.

If may take a “hammer blow” for the RSG to wake up. Sooner rather than later, gloves – velvet and otherwise – will be off. Exit SMO. Enter War.

A footnote

13 Sep 2022 16:32

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Bouthaina Shaaban 

Because they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

Professor John Mearsheimer said the war in Ukraine will be a footnote in the history books written about the world changes this war has triggered. This remark may provide the best explanation of the huge noise the NATO countries have made about providing Ukraine with more sophisticated armaments and with billions of dollars in order to prevent a Russian victory. It also explains the big media campaign led by the West about the so-called advance made by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in Kharkov area. The press conference by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the US Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, has to be seen and understood in light of the dire economic crisis which is biting into Europe. 

Despite the iron fist laid on Western media, it is an open secret today that the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia have backfired on the West itself, and it has become clear that Western people are the ones suffering because of these sanctions, and not the Russian people as the western governments planned. In addition, the Eastern rapprochement between China and Russia is treading fast steps toward an alliance, and the Shanghai organization is attracting more member states, which in a short while, will become one of the most important world alliances that NATO countries do not want to see at all. Both China and Russia have announced that their future dealings and trade are going to be in Yuans and Rubles, which will start to weaken the dollar and shake its world status. 

During the week and contrary to the expectations of Western media, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that he is going to Kazakhstan for a Shanghai meeting with the aim of meeting with President Putin. Every time these two leaders meet, they add another brick to the fortified base of their alliance whose grand announced aim is to change the world system into a multipolar system after getting rid of Western hegemony once and for all.

Of course, western experts and planners know all this and dread it, but instead of mentioning it or trying to address it in the real world, these jumped to the domain that they know best; i.e. the military claiming to their audiences that “Ukrainian forces have been able to stall Moscow offensive in the Donbass strike back behind Russian lines and retake territory.” On this narrative, they built the argument that NATO countries should send more support to Ukraine, with more billions of dollars and with the most sophisticated arms. Their imagination was set free to imagine that this is a very important moment for the Ukrainian people and army, and we should support them in order to prevent a Russian victory in Ukraine, as per their illusions.

First, there is no doubt that the press conference and all the media fever that came in its aftermath hailing progress made by Ukrainian forces against Russian forces was meant to change the focus of the Western people’s attention from the horrible consequences of the war on Ukraine on their daily lives and to stop the masses from taking to the streets to forcefully object to these policies, which proved to be disastrous to most of them.

Second, NATO countries have a history of supporting wars that have nothing to do with their geography or history. They now claim that they have to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to protect the Eastern borders of NATO. What about Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; are those also bordering NATO, or threatening its power? And what about Taiwan now; is it on the borders of NATO too?

The history of these countries proves without a shadow of a doubt that the military industry is at the core of its survival and continuity, and that is why they cannot survive and keep their hegemony over the world without this industry being well and prosperous, knowing that for this industry to be well and prosperous, it can only feed on wars. That is why they cannot stop igniting wars in one part of the globe or another, and that is the most pending danger NATO countries constitute to the welfare of human beings everywhere. 

What we have to remember is that we are dealing with two different worlds, two different systems of thinking, two different histories, and two very different objectives. The West, which has subjugated and colonized many countries across the world over centuries, has perfected the usage of media and psychological wars to keep people as its subject. Throughout history, Western colonial powers gave no thought to civilian casualties. A reminder of the answer of Madeleine Albright about millions of Iraqi children being killed; she said, “But it was worth it,” whereas Eastern powers represented by Russia in this war pay so much attention to avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian lives. They change their plans and their tactics if they can save lives in their military or on the adversary’s civilian lives. In fact, the Eastern attitude always believes in taking time. They are not in a hurry, and they do not rush to launch a media or psychological campaign because their objectives are far-reaching and by far nobler than those of the party whose main concern is to sell arms and accumulate more capital. 

For those reasons and many others unlisted here, we have to take the Hollywood postures made by the NATO Secretary-General and the US Secretary of State with a huge pinch of salt. Their major aim was to divert attention from the huge disaster they have created to their people through this uncalculated and misconceived adventure. It would have been much wiser and historically correct to review their decisions and decide whether they should continue in this futile endeavor or acknowledge the new realities on the ground born from the rise of the East and its determination, supported by the majority of people on Earth, to put an end to Western hegemony and remap the world on the basis of equal integrity and mutual respect. This may take a bit more time than what most people desire, but the train has left the station and it will undoubtedly reach its abode. The rest are insignificant details that no one will mention in the future.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Roger Waters’ open letter to “Ze”‘s wife

September 09, 2022

“Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?”
An Open letter to Mrs. Olena Zelenska from Roger Waters
Sunday 4th September 2022

Dear Mrs. Zelenska,

My heart bleeds for you and all the Ukrainian and Russian families, devastated by the terrible war in Ukraine. I’m in Kansas City, USA. I have just read a piece on BBC.com apparently taken from an interview you have already recorded for a program called ‘Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg’ which is to be broadcast on the BBC today, September 4th. BBC.com quotes you as saying that “If support for Ukraine is strong, the crisis will be shorter.” Hmmm? I guess that might depend on what you mean by “support for Ukraine”? If by “support for Ukraine” you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken. Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight, has never worked to shorten a war in the past, and it won’t work now, particularly because, in this case, most of the fuel is (a) being thrown into the fire from Washington DC, which is at a relatively safe distance from the conflagration, and (b) because the ‘fuel throwers’ have already declared an interest in the war going on for as long as possible. I fear that we, and by we I mean people like you and me who actually want peace in Ukraine, who don’t want the outcome to be that you have to fight to the last Ukrainian life, and possibly even, if the worst comes to the worst, to the last human life. If we, instead, wish to achieve a different outcome we may have to seek a different route and that route may lie in your husband’s previously stated good intentions.

Yes, I mean the platform upon which he so laudably ran for the office of President of Ukraine, the platform upon which he won his historic landslide victory in the democratic election in 2019. He stood on the election platform of the following promises.

1. To end the civil war in the East and bring peace to the Donbas and partial autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk.
2. And to ratify and implement the rest of the body of the Minsk 2 agreements.

One can only assume that your husband’s electoral policies didn’t sit well with certain political factions in Kiev and that those factions persuaded your husband to diametrically change course ignoring the peoples mandate. Sadly, your old man agreed to those totalitarian, anti-democratic dismissals of the will of the Ukrainian people, and the forces of extreme nationalism that had lurked, malevolent, in the shadows, have, since then, ruled the Ukraine. They have, also since then, crossed any number of red lines that had been set out quite clearly over a number of years by your neighbors the Russian Federation and in consequence they, the extreme nationalists, have set your country on the path to this disastrous war.

I won’t go on.

If I’m wrong, please help me to understand how?

If I’m not wrong, please help me in my honest endeavors to persuade our leaders to stop the slaughter, the slaughter which serves only the interests of the ruling classes and extreme nationalists both here in the West, and in your beautiful country, at the expense of the rest of us ordinary people both here in the West, and in the Ukraine, and in fact ordinary people everywhere all over the world.

Might it not be better to demand the implementation of your husband’s election promises and put an end to this deadly war?

Love
Roger Waters

source

Germany’s energy suicide: an autopsy

September 08, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

When Green fanatic Robert Habeck, posing as Germany’s Economy Minister, said earlier this week “we should expect the worst” in terms of energy security, he conveniently forgot to spell out how the whole farce is a Made in Germany cum Made in Brussels crisis.

Flickers of intelligence at least still glow in rare Western latitudes, as indispensable strategic analyst William Engdahl, author of A Century of Oil, released a sharp, concise summary revealing the skeletons in the glamour closet.

Everyone with a brain following the ghastly Eurocrat machinations in Brussels was aware of the main plot – yet hardly anyone among average EU citizens. Habeck, Chancellor “Liver Sausage” Scholz, the European Commission (EC) Green Energy VP Timmermans, EC dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, they are all involved.

In a nutshell: as Engdahl describes it, this is about “the EU plan to de-industrialize one of the most energy-efficient industrial concentrations on the planet.”

That’s a practical translation of the UN Green Agenda 2030 – which happens to be metastasized into crypto Bond villain Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset – now renamed “Great Narrative”.

The whole scam started way back in the early 2000s: I remember it vividly, as Brussels used to be my European base in the early “war on terror” years.

At the time, the talk of the town was the “European energy policy”. The dirty secret of such policy is that the EC, “ advised” by JP MorganChase as well as the usual mega speculative hedge funds, went all out into what Engdahl describes as “a complete deregulation of the European market for natural gas.”

That was sold to the Lugenpresse (“lying media”) as “liberalization”. In practice, that’s savage, unregulated casino capitalism, with the “free” market fixing prices while dumping long-term contracts – such as the ones struck with Gazprom.

How to decarbonize and destabilize

The process was turbo-charged in 2016, when the last gasp of the Obama administration encouraged massive export of LNG out of the US’s huge shale gas production.

For that one needs to build LNG terminals. Each terminal takes as much as 5 years to build. Within the EU, Poland and Holland went for it from the start.

As much as Wall Street in the past invented a “ paper oil” speculative market, this time they went for a speculative “paper gas” market.

Engdahl details how “the EU Commission and their Green Deal agenda to ‘decarbonize’ the economy by 2050, eliminating oil, gas and coal fuels, provided the ideal trap that has led to the explosive spike in EU gas prices since 2021.”

The creation of this “single” market control implied forcing illegal rule changes on Gazprom. In practice, Big Finance and Big Energy – which totally control anything that passes for “EU policy” in Brussels – invented a new pricing system parallel to the long-term, stable prices of Russian pipeline gas.

By 2019, an avalanche of Eurocrat energy “ directives” by the EC – the only thing these people do – had established a totally deregulated gas market trading, setting the prices for natural gas in the EU even as Gazprom remained the largest supplier.

As lots of virtual trading hubs in gas futures contracts started popping up across the EU, enter the Dutch TTF (Title Transfer Facility). By 2020 the TTF was established as the real EU gas benchmark.

As Engdahl points out, “TTF is a virtual platform of trades in futures gas contracts between banks and other financial investors. Outside, of course, of any regulated exchange.

So LNG prices soon started to be set by futures trades in the TTF hub, which crucially happens to be owned by the Dutch government – “the same government destroying its farms for a fraudulent nitrogen pollution claim.”

By any means necessary Big Finance had to get rid of Gazprom as a reliable source to allow powerful financial interests behind the Green Deal racket to dominate the LNG market.

Engdahl evokes a case very few know about across Europe: “On May 12, 2022 although Gazprom deliveries to the Soyuz gas pipeline through Ukraine were uninterrupted for almost three months of conflict, despite Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, the NATO-controlled Zelensky regime in Kiev closed a major Russian pipeline through Lugansk, that was bringing Russian gas both to his Ukraine as well as EU states, declaring it would remain closed until Kiev gets full control of its pipeline system that runs through the two Donbass republics. That section of the Ukraine Soyuz line cut one-third of gas via Soyuz to the EU. It certainly did not help the EU economy at a time Kiev was begging for more weapons from those same NATO countries. Soyuz opened in 1980 under the Soviet Union bringing gas from the Orenburg gas field.”

Hybrid War, the energy chapter

On the interminable soap opera involving the Nord Stream 1 turbine, the crucial fact is that Canada deliberately refused to deliver the repaired turbine to Gazprom – its owner – but instead sent it to Siemens Germany, where it is now. Siemens Germany is essentially under American control. Both the German and Canadian governments refuse to grant a legally binding sanction exemption for the transfer to Russia.

That was the straw that broke the (Gazprom) camel’s back. Gazprom and the Kremlin concluded that if sabotage was the name of the game, they couldn’t care less whether Germany received zero gas via Nord Stream 1 (with brand new Nord Stream 2, ready to go, blocked by strictly political reasons).

Kremlin spokesman Dmity Peskov took pains to stress

“problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries (…) There are no other reasons behind supply issues.”

Peskov had to remind anyone with a brain that it’s not Gazprom’s fault if “the Europeans (…) make a decision to refuse to service their equipment” which they are contractually obligated to do. The fact is the whole Nord Stream 1 operation hinges on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.”

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who knows one or two things about the energy business, cleared up the technicalities:

“The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment.”

All that is inscribed into what Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov describes as “a total war declared against us”, which is “being waged in hybrid forms, in all areas”, with “the degree of animosity of our opponents – of our enemies” being “enormous, extraordinary.”

So none of this has anything to do with “Putin weaponizing energy”. It was Berlin and Brussels – mere messengers of Big Finance – which weaponized the supply of European energy on behalf of a financial racket, and against the interests of European industry and consumers.

Beware of the toxic trio

Engdahl has summarized how, “by systematically sanctioning or closing gas deliveries from long-term, low cost pipelines to the EU, gas speculators via the Dutch TTP have been able to use every hiccup or energy shock in the world, whether a record drought in China or the conflict in Ukraine, to export restrictions in the USA, to bid the EU wholesale gas prices through all bounds.”

Translation: casino capitalism at its finest.

And it gets worse, when it comes to electricity. There is a so-called EU Electricity Market Reform in progress. According to it, producers of electricity – from solar or wind – automatically receive “the same price for their ‘renewable’ electricity they sell to the power companies for the grid as the highest cost, i.e. natural gas.” No wonder the cost of electricity in Germany for 2022 increased by 860% – and rising.

Baerbock incessantly parrots that German energy independence cannot be secured until the country is “liberated from fossil fuels.”

According to Green fanaticism, to build the Green Agenda it’s imperative to completely eliminate gas, oil and nuclear power, which happen to be the only reliable energy sources as it stands.

And it’s here that we see the toxic trio Habeck/Baerbock/von der Leyen ready for their close up. They pose as saviors of Europe preaching that the only way out is to invest fortunes in – unreliable – wind and solar power: the “answer” from Providence to a gas price debacle manufactured by none other than Big Finance, Green fanaticism and Eurocrat “leadership”.

Now tell that to struggling pan-European households whose bills will surge to a whopping, collective $2 trillion as General Winter knocks on the door.

Which crime syndicate murdered Darya Dugina?

September 01, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

The vile assassination of Darya Dugina, or terror at the gates of Moscow, is not really solved – as much as the FSB seems to have cracked the case in a little over 24 hours.

It’s now established that the main perpetrator, Azov batallion asset Natalia Vovk, did not act alone but had an Ukrainian sidekick, one Bogdan Tsyganenko, who provided false license plates for the Mini Cooper she was driving and helped to assemble a crude car bomb inside a rented garage in the southwest of Moscow.

According to the FSB, Vovk followed the Dugin family to the Tradition festival, and detonated the car bomb by remote control. The only missing pieces seem to be when the bomb was placed under Dugin’s SUV, and by whom; and whether such a sophisticated cross-border targeted assassination was aimed at both father and daughter.

As recalled by geopolitical analyst Manlio Dinucci, even the Los Angeles Times had made it public that “since 2015, the CIA has been training Ukrainian intelligence agents in a secret facility in the United States”.

Russian intel was more than aware of it. In fact, in an interview to Italian media in December 2021, Darya Dugina herself, based on FSB information, revealed, “they had identified 106 Ukrainian agents who were preparing attacks and massacres in 37 regions of Russia.”

Yet now a high-ranking member of Russian intel – who for obvious reasons must remain anonymous – has shed some information that, in his words, “will add the whole picture to this incident.”

It goes without saying that this is as much as he’s been allowed to reveal by his superiors. According to his analysis, “the tragedy was in the evening. In the next two days the FSB shared the whole data about SBU people who were involved with the incident. The majority of people think that it was a political kill. There are a lot of political kills in Ukraine but this tragedy has no political root. It is actually connected to organized crime money flow.”

The source asserts, “Darya was inside the patriotic movement and had connections in Moscow and Donetsk area. As you know there is a large money flow to the Donbas to restore the economy. This huge money flow provides an extreme incentive for criminal activity. Donetsk crime organizations are more dangerous than others because they operate in the war territory. Thus, someone was afraid that Darya was going to compromise money flow schemes by making this public.”

The source makes the important point that “Boris Nemtsov [a key actor in the liberal reforms imposed on post-Soviet Russia] was also killed by an organized crime group who was afraid that he might compromise some money flow schemes by making them public despite the fact that he was a quite powerful politician. Also [journalist] Anna Politkovkaya. She was given $900,000.00 in cash at Chubais election office during the election days for a political purpose. But some other guys knew it and grabbed the bag. She was slain.”

Cui bono?

Disclosure: I prize my friendship with Alexander Dugin – we met in person in Iran, Lebanon and Russia: a towering intellectual and extremely sensitive spirit, eons away from the crude stereotype of “Putin’s brain” or worse, “Putin’s Rasputin” slapped on him by Western media sub-zoology specimens. His vision of Eurasianism should be granted the merit of an ample intellectual discussion, a real dialogue of civilizations. But obviously the current woke incarnation of the collective West lacks the sophistication to engage in real debate. So he’s been demonized to Kingdom Come.

Darya, who I had the honor to meet in Moscow, was a young, shining star with an ebullient personality who graduated in History of Philosophy at Moscow University: her main research was on the political philosophy of late Neoplatonism. Obviously that had nothing to do with the profile of a ruthless operative capable of “compromising” money flows. She did not seem to understand finance, much less “dark” financial ops.  What she did understand is how the Ukrainian battlefield mirrored a larger than life clash of civilizations: globalism against Eurasianism.

Back to the assertions by the Russian intel agent, they cannot be simply dismissed. For instance, at the time he came up with the definitive version of the hit on the Moskva – the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet.

As he emailed to a select audience, “the destruction of the flagship of the fleet was planned as a strategic task. Therefore, the operation of delivering the PKR [anti-ship missile] to Odessa took place in strict secrecy and under the cover of electronic warfare. As the ‘killer’ of the cruiser, they chose the PKR, but not the Neptune, as spread by Ukrainian propaganda, but the fifth-generation NSM PKR (Naval Strike Missile, range of destruction 185 km, developed by Norway-USA). The NSM is able to reach the target along a programmed route thanks to the GPS-adjusted INS, independently find the target by flying up to it at an altitude of 3-5 meters. When reaching the target, the NSM maneuvers and puts electronic interference. A highly sensitive thermal imager is used as a homing system, which independently determines the most vulnerable places of the target ship. A stationary container installation secretly delivered to Ukraine was used as a launcher. Thus, after the damage to the cruiser Moskva, which led to its flooding (…) the Black Sea Fleet, unfortunately, no longer has a single ship with a long-range anti-aircraft missile system. But not everything is so bad. A three-band radar ‘Sky-M’ is located in Crimea, which is capable of tracking all air targets at a range of up to 600 km.”

So there you go. The hit on the Moskva was a NATO operation, ordered by the US. The Russian Ministry of Defense knows – and the Americans know they know. Retaliation will come – in the time and place of Moscow’s choosing.

The same will apply to the response for Darya Dugina’s assassination. As it stands, we may have 3 hypotheses.

1. The FSB official story, pointing to the SBU in Kiev. The FSB is obviously revealing only a fraction of what they know.

2. The high-level Russian intel agent pointing towards organized crime.

3. The usual Zionist suspects – who loathe Dugin for his fierce anti-globalism: and that would point to a Mossad operation, who in many aspects enjoys way more qualified local intel in Russia than the CIA and MI6.

A fourth hypothesis would point to a perfect storm: a confluence of interests of all the above organized crime syndicates. Once again, resorting to hegemonic American pop culture, and to borrow from Twin Peaks; “The owls are not what they seem”. Black ops can also reveal themselves as much darker than what they seem.

US economic decline and global instability Part 2: Rise of BRICS

September 01, 2022

Source

by Phillyguy

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s preeminent military and economic power. All of the pillars supporting US power are now threatened by decades of neoliberal economic policies, spending vast sums of taxpayer money propping up financial markets, the military and attainment of economic/military parity by the Russia-China-Iran axis. In this essay, I link the continuing economic and social decline in the US/EU (collectively referred to as the ‘west) to an increasingly reckless US foreign policy, the role corporate media serves in promoting these policies to the American/EU public and the rise of Russia, China and other countries in the global south.

Introduction

This is a continuation or my previous article, linking US economic decline and global instability [1]. Briefly, the US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time, US global power has rested on: 1) unrivaled military and economic power, 2) control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and 3) maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Following the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the US had the world’s largest economy and was the major ‘growth engine’ for western capitalism for the next 3 decades. In the mid-1970s, this began to change as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a direct consequence of spending large amounts of taxpayer money on wars on the Korean Peninsula (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1955-1975) and increased competition from rebuilt economies in Europe, primarily Germany (Marshall Plan) and Asia- Japan, South Korea (Korean and Vietnam wars) and more recently China. Starting in the early 1980s, the US financial elite began pressuring policy makers to pursue neoliberal economic policies, including multiple tax cuts for the wealthy, financial deregulation, austerity, attacks on the poor and labor and outsourcing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and other low-wage platforms. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on Dec 26, 1991. This was viewed by the US ruling elite as the removal of the major rival to US global power and would allow unrestrained actions of the American military to invade and occupy countries which are rich in natural resources and/or occupy geo-strategic locations and expand NATO into Eastern Europe up to the Russian border. Since 1991, US/NATO have been involved in conflicts in Yugoslavia, Persian Gulf/Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine [2].

Role of Corporate Media

First Amendment of the US constitution-

‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

It is commonly stated that the press (aka the proverbial ‘4th estate’) in the US is ‘free’ and ‘independent’ and ‘essential for the functioning of a free society’, serving as a ‘watchdog’ on government actions and policies and vital to protect the ‘liberty’ of American citizens. As is often the case, things are not always as they seem.

In a recent interview with Brian Berletic, Mark Sleboda commented that “Western media is in ‘lockstep’ with government on foreign policy to a degree that would make real dictators blush” [3]. While there is no doubt that Western (read corporate) media is indeed promoting US foreign policy, it is not the US government that formulates these polices, rather they are formulated and developed by the ruling elite, using corporate-funded foundations and ‘think tanks’, academic institutions and prominent politicians. These include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Rand Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, American Heritage Foundation, Atlantic Council, Brookings, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Academic institutions such as The Kennedy School (Harvard), Hoover Institution (Stanford), Walsh School of Foreign Service (Georgetown) and School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins) not only provide ‘experts’ and government officials, such as Wendy Sherman (Kennedy School) current US Deputy Secretary of State in the Biden Administration, they serve as training grounds for government officials and corporate management, some of whom are employed by above listed universities and foundations.

Once formulated, these policies are ‘sold’ to the American public by a compliant and well-disciplined media. Approximately 90% of US media is controlled by six large corporations- Comcast, Walt Disney, AT&T, Paramount Global, Sony, and Fox, with a combined market cap of circa $500 billion [4] [5]. Like other large corporations, media conglomerates have the same class interests as the financial elite, i.e., promoting policies which increase corporate power and profits and maintain US global hegemony. So called ‘public’ media, such as National Public Radio (NPR) and the BBC, in the UK, function in a similar manner. Corporate media is closely integrated with large financial interests and serves as a ‘cheerleader’ for the Pentagon and US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, major broadcasters, the paper of record (NYT), Wall St. Journal (WSJ), Washington Post, etc. are little more than a sounding board for the US ruling elite and thus, function primarily as the ‘ministry of propaganda’ for large financial interests. Any reporter, military analyst, aka ‘TV General’, etc. who ‘steps out of line’, such as telling the truth about the military debacle facing Ukraine will either be severely reprimanded or find themselves out of a job. Some examples-

1) CBS recently ran a documentary claiming that only 30% of ‘military aid’ sent to Ukraine actually arrived. The video was removed following complaints from the Ukrainian government. [6] [7].

2) David Sanger (Harvard graduate) is chief Washington correspondent for the NYT and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) [8], whose members include corporate executives, bankers, and other representatives of the ruling elite.

3) David Ignatius (Harvard graduate) is a foreign affairs columnist for the WaPo and has close ties to the intelligence community- CIA and Pentagon.

Sanger and Ignatius serve as pundits for US global power, promoting the use of military force to promote American interests.

When you do not toe the corporate line…………

4) Gary Webb was a journalist working for the San Jose Mercury News. In 1996, Webb published a series of articles, “Dark Alliance”, describing how Nicaraguan Contra rebels, working closely with the CIA, supplied crack cocaine to the Black community in Los Angeles and used proceeds from these sales to purchase weapons to overthrow the government of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front. Following publication of the Dark Alliance series, corporate media became hysterical, denouncing Webb, effectively ruining his career; he committed suicide in 2004 [9]

5) Julian Assange- In 2010, Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, published a series of leaks obtained from Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, documenting US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following publication of these leaks, the American government began a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks. In 2010, Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. To avoid extradition, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2019, Assange was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy and transferred to Belmarsh, a Category-A men’s prison in London. Up to this point, Julian Assange had not been formally charged. However, on May 23, 2019, the United States government charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and is currently awaiting potential extradition to the US [10].

The US has been almost continuously involved in overt and covert military conflicts since 1940 and as a result, war and associated violence has been normalized and institutionalized by corporate media to the point, where these policies are readily accepted by a relatively docile and ignorant American public. When foreign governments deemed hostile to US corporate interests limit press ‘freedom’, they are immediately labeled as repressive/terrorist regimes and potential candidates for direct attack and ‘regime’ change by the US State Department. Apparently, what is ‘good for the goose’ is ‘not good for the gander’. As pointed out above, any journalist that threatens the American empire risks losing their job, imprisonment and/or death.

Accelerating Decline of late-stage American Capitalism

Multiple factors have contributed to the decline of American economic power. These include economic policies, spending astronomical amounts of taxpayer money on the military and war, social instability and rise of China-Russia-Iran axis.

Economic policies

Since the mid-1970s, US policy makers have pursued neoliberal economic policies- financial deregulation, austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on labor and job-outsourcing, which has resulted in the massive growth of the FIRE sector of the economy composed of finance, insurance, and real estate. These polices precipitated the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 2007-2008, the largest financial shock since the Great Depression. Rather than resolve the severe structural problems confronting American capitalism which created this crisis, the FED used the Treasury as a de facto taxpayer-supported ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to prop up equity markets, bonds, over-priced real estate and [still] insolvent banks. To put this in perspective, since 2009, the FED has injected over $40 trillion into financial markets, increasing the wealth of the financial elite, the proverbial ‘1%’. Not surprisingly, over the last 5 years, US government deficits have increased circa $2 trillion annually, currently exceeding $30 trillion (Fig. 1); this figure does not include municipal, corporate or consumer debt. This begs the obvious question of how long can the FED continue this orgy or money printing and debt? Note- for comprehensive background information on the FED’s financial activities, see Wall Street on Parade [11].

Military Spending and War

Since its inception, the US has been built on theft and violence, justified by ‘Christian’ religion and ‘White man’s burden’. The first permanent British settlement in North America was established in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. A decade later, African slaves were introduced by Dutch slave traders. Over the next 250 years, the US government would continue stealing land and displace/murder circa 90% of the indigenous population. In the mid-19th century, the US had the world’s leading economy, largely built on cotton produced by Black slaves [12]. Fast forward 150 years, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940. 911 was a godsend for the military- US taxpayers have spent circa $21 trillion ($7.2 trillion going to military contractors) on post-911 militarization [13] [14]. The military appropriation for 2023 exceeds $760 billion. Despite this taxpayer largess, the Pentagon has not ‘won’ a war since 1945, was forced out of Afghanistan after spending $2 trillion, and confronts looming strategic debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine. This has vividly shown the rest of the world the limits of American military power. Unfortunately, after expending so much financial and human capital, the Pentagon appears incapable of extricating itself from these conflicts as doing so is an admission of failure and by extension military weakness. This was clearly seen following Joe Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan in 2021 and the push-back he received from corporate media and people in Congress.

Political Chaos and Social Instability

We frequently hear that US society has progressed to the point, where the country appears to be increasingly ungovernable. Indeed, American society is plagued by economic inequality, racism and ubiquitous violence. The American working class has watched their standard of living plummet- a result of decades of neoliberal economic policies, including job outsourcing, austerity, stagnant income growth and since the Covid 19 pandemic, high inflation, reflected by increasing costs for rent, transportation, energy, groceries, medical care and other necessities. To put this in perspective, 60% of Americans do not have $500 in savings and thus are one expensive car repair, medical emergency or job loss away from financial ruin. At the same time the wealth of American billionaires has increased circa $1 trillion during the Covid19 pandemic. Not surprisingly in 2016, Donald Trump skillfully exploited the justifiable anger and frustration of working people, stating that he would ‘Make American Great Again’, blaming American economic problems on immigrants from Mexico and Latin America and China’s economic rise.

Rise of BRICS/SCO and US/NATO debacle in Ukraine

We are seeing the continued rise in the global power and influence of Russia, China and allied nations, on multiple fronts, including organizational, economic and militarily. The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are expanding. Original BRICS members included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran and Argentina have applied for admission, while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey and Egypt are applying for entry next year. SCO is the largest regional economic institution in the world, covering 60% of Eurasia with a population > 3.2 billion and combined GDP of member states circa 25% of global total. Trade between BRICS and SCO member states is increasingly being carried out using local currencies.

The Mir payment system operated by the Russian National Card Payment System [15] is a direct competitor to Visa and Mastercard and now accepted throughout the Russian Federation and in 13 countries including India, Turkey and South Korea and will soon be used in Iran. BRICS nations are developing a global currency for international trade that will directly compete with the dollar [16]. Russia is developing a new international trading platform for precious metals: the Moscow World Standard (MWS) [17]. The Russian Finance Ministry believes this new independent international structure will ‘normalize the functioning of the precious metals industry” and serve as an alternative to the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA; https://www.lbma.org.uk), [18] which for years has been accused of systematically manipulating the price of precious metals markets to depress prices [19]. Collectively, these policies have been designed to significantly reduce the dependence of economies in Russia, China, India and other countries in the Global South on the US/EU and eliminate dependence on the US dollar and Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system [20] for international trade. No doubt this is being done in close collaboration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) whose goal is to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth [21] [22]. This trajectory has been accelerated following enactment of US/EU sanctions on Russia, Iran and China.

Over the last decade, the military power of Russia, China and Iran has greatly strengthened. The Russian military is a global leader in air-defense systems and hypersonic weapons, which are impermeable to any air-defense systems currently deployed by the US/NATO [23]. Over the last 25 years, China has modernized its military, focusing on People’s Liberation Navy and Army Air Force [24] [25]. China has developed a robust missile arsenal including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) [26]. The Pentagon now considers China a ‘formidable military force’ and a ‘major challenge’ to the US Navy in the Western Pacific. The Islamic Republic of Iran has also developed a formidable defensive military capability, which has positioned Iran as a major power broker in the region. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has concluded- ‘Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe.’ [27]. Iran has repeatedly warned the US/NATO that it can target US military bases in the region, including Al Udeid base in Qatar, the largest US base in the Middle East. We are seeing increased assertiveness from the Russia-China-Iran axis in Syria, Ukraine and Western Pacific. This was clearly articulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June, declaring an end of “the era of the unipolar world” [28]. The Pentagon is being increasingly challenged by the Russia-China-Iran axis in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Pacific.

Ukraine- another US/NATO debacle

For background and historical information covering Ukraine and her relationship with Russia, see [29]. Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia and occupies a strategic location in Eastern Europe, sharing a circa 2300 km (1227 mi) border with Russia [30] (Fig. 2). As of 2021, Ukraine had the second largest military (circa 200,000 military personnel), after the Russian Armed Forces, in Europe and has the dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world [31]. Historically, the predominantly Russian speaking population in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has maintained close ties with Russia.

In February 2014, the US- instigated Maidan coup took place, replacing the democratically-elected President Victor Yanukovych with a Russia-phobic and far-right politician/economist/lawyer, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian government was soon dominated by an alliance of far-right/fascistic organizations including the Right Sector and Svoboda and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. This was predictable, as these groups were the most virulently anti-Russian factions in Ukraine [32] and are still very active in the government and military [33] [34]. Soon after the coup took place, the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics declared their independence, initiating the war in the Donbas. Over the next 8 years, the US/NATO would train circa 100,000 Ukrainian troops and channel $ billions in military aid [35], which was used to equip Ukrainian army and fortify positions adjacent to the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics [30] (Fig. 3). This buildup was accompanied by increased shelling of residential areas in the Donbas region by the Ukrainian military [36] [37], setting up a potential invasion of this region [38]. In response to the escalating attacks by Ukrainian forces. Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics as sovereign states on Feb 21, 2022, just prior to the Russian invasion on Feb 24, 2022, describing this campaign as a Special Military Operation (SMO) [39]. For an excellent overview of why Russia made the decision to invade Ukraine, see [40].

Going up against a well-trained, well equipped and an entrenched Ukrainian army, Russian forces have managed to take control of circa 20% (~47,000 square miles) of southern Ukraine and are incrementally removing Ukrainian forces from this region [38] (Fig. 3). Significantly, this territory contains prime agricultural and resource-rich land. It appears that Russia is planning on annexing littoral territory extending from the Donetsk/Luhansk region to Odesa [41]. Once this happen, any future Ukrainian state will not only be land-locked and lack direct access to the Black Sea, it will also lose valuable land as well. Military analyst Andrei Martyanov [42] has pointed out the ‘combined West doesn’t have material and technological means of fighting Russia in Eastern Europe without losing catastrophically. Western weapons turned out to be nothing more than commercial items not designed to fight the modern war, plus–no Western economy, including the United States has the capability to produce them in needed quantities anyway.’

The collective west has responded to the Russian invasion by blocking the opening of the Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline, which would directly supply Russian natural gas to Germany, imposed sanctions on Russian energy exports and disconnected Russian banks from the SWIFT system. To the dismay of the US/NATO, these actions have led to large increases in EU energy costs while strengthening the Russian economy [43]. Indeed, the paper of record (NYT) published a recent OpEd bemoaning the fact that despite western sanctions, Russia is making more money than ever on energy exports to China, India and other countries [44]. Despite nonstop condemnation from the US and EU of Russia’s SMO in Ukraine, many nations have not criticized the war [45]; only 1/3 of UN members supported a new anti-Russia resolution this August [46]. Thus, dwindling international support for Ukraine, coupled with success of the Russian SMO indicates that the country will not exist in its current form.

Concluding Remarks

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has been ongoing since the mid-1970s, but has been accelerated by the GFC, Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and Russian SMO in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the ruling elite and their representatives in Washington have responded by shifting the costs of this decline onto the public, who have watched their living standard plummet, homelessness increase [47], imposed reactionary legislation such as the criminalization of pregnancy by the US Supreme Court, ratcheted up state violence against working people and people of color, while engaging in an astronomically expensive and reckless foreign policy. It appears the ruling elite view the Russia-China-Iran axis as an intolerable obstacle to US global power, reflected in the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is a de facto proxy war between the US and Russia. US-imposed sanctions on Russian energy have driven global energy prices higher; natural gas prices in the EU are 14-fold higher than the 10-year average. As a result, the UK/EU are at risk of not having sufficient quantities of natural gas for the winter, while EU industry will not be competitive with their rivals in Asia, who are being supplied with cheaper Russian energy. This is going to lead to increasing unemployment and social instability in the Eurozone.

The continued presence of US troops in Iraq and Syria is a desperate attempt to maintain control over Middle East energy reserves. The continued recklessness of this occupation can be seen from the constant Israeli attacks on Syrian and Iranian-allied forces by Israel/US, increasing the chances of a war with Iran, which can rapidly escalate, potentially incinerating the entire Persian Gulf region. It appears the US is abandoning the ‘one-China’ policy’ that has guided relations between the two countries for nearly 5 decades and is preparing to recognize Taiwan as an ‘independent’ state, a redline for the Peoples Republic of China. No doubt, this was one motivation for sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from ‘’liberal’ San Francisco, with a net worth exceeding $100 million, to visit Taiwan. The Pentagon is actively encouraging Japan, which is little more than a US stooge/vassal and still occupied by circa 50K US troops, to join in this effort [48]. This begs the obvious question- did Japan learn anything from their defeat in WWII? As Glen Ford has pointed out, hegemons do not have ‘allies’ they only have subordinates [49].

The decline of late-stage American capitalism has progressed to the point where the very survival of the American empire is now contingent upon endless money printing to prop up financial markets and the military. This is becoming increasingly tenuous as this orgy of money printing and debt has created gigantic bubbles in every asset class- ‘everything bubble’, increasing inflation and threatening to derail the dollar’s role as world reserve currency and viability of western capitalism. Considering the weak state of US/EU economies, what economic incentives does the US have to encourage countries in the Indo-Pacific to reduce trade with China? Obviously, this is a nonstarter [50]. The ruling oligarchy are well aware of US economic decline and in desperation, are attempting to directly confront the Russia-China-Iran axis, which has attained economic and military parity (superiority?) with US/NATO. Perilous times ahead.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. American Involvement in Wars from Colonial Times to the Present- Wars From 1675 to the Present Day By Martin Kelly Nov 4, 2020; https://www.thoughtco.com/american-involvement-wars-colonial-times-present-4059761

3. Ukraine’s Growing Dependency on Terrorism w/Mark Sleboda The New Atlas Aug 25, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgiRKbTYbZQ&t=1997s

4. The Big 6 Media Companies By Adam Levy Jun 10, 2022; https://www.fool.com/investing/stock-market/market-sectors/communication/media-stocks/big-6/

5. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic

6. Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines. By Adam Yamaguchi and Alex Pena CBS News Aug 7, 2022; https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ukraine-military-aid-weapons-front-lines/

7. CBS censors its own report on Ukraine weapons corruption Multipolarista Aug 14, 2022; https://soundcloud.com/multipolarista/cbs-ukraine-weapons-corruption

8. Council on Foreign Relations; https://www.cfr.org/

9. How Gary Webb Linked the CIA to the Crack Epidemic — and Paid the Ultimate Price by Marco Margaritoff Feb 18, 2022; https://allthatsinteresting.com/gary-webb

10. Julian Assange, Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Seth_Rich

11. Wall Street on Parade Pam Martens and Russ Martens; https://wallstreetonparade.com/

12. Half Has Never Been Told by Edward E. Baptist 2016 (Book)

13. State of Insecurity- The Cost of Militarization Since 9/11 by Lindsay Koshgarian, Ashik Siddique and Lorah Steichen Institute for Policy Studies; Link: https://ips-dc.org/report-state-of-insecurity-cost-militarization-since-9-11/

14. Costs of war; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

15. The exponential rise of Russia’s Mir payment system by James King The Banker

July 20, 2021; https://www.thebanker.com/Transactions-Technology/FX-Payments/The-exponential-rise-of-Russia-s-Mir-payment-system?ct=true

16. Russia and China are brewing up a challenge to dollar dominance by creating a new reserve currency by George Glover Markets Indiser Jun 24, 2022; https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/dollar-dominance-russia-china-rouble-yuan-brics-reserve-currency-imf-2022-6

17. Precious Metals: Russia Proposes New Standard to Compete with LBMA Goldbroker Aug 17, 2022; https://goldbroker.com/news/precious-metals-russia-proposes-new-standard-to-compete-with-lbma-2826

18. London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); https://www.lbma.org.uk

19. Rigged Gold Price Distorts Perception of Economic Reality by Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler Sept 22, 2014; https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/22/rigged-gold-price-distorts-perception-economic-reality-paul-craig-roberts-dave-kranzler/

20. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system; https://www.swift.com/

21. China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the global trade, investment and finance landscape 2018;

22. Belt and Road Initiative; https://www.beltroad-initiative.com/belt-and-road/

23. Trends in Russia’s Armed Forces- An Overview of Budgets and Capabilities by Keith Crane, Olga Oliker and Brian Nichiporuk Rand Corporation 2019; https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2573.html

24. China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress. Congressional Research Service Mar 8, 2022; https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

25. An Interactive Look at the U.S.-China Military Scorecard Rand https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html

26. China is building more than 100 new missile silos in its western desert, analysts say

Image without a caption By Joby Warrick Washington Post June 30, 2021; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/china-nuclear-missile-silos/2021/06/30/0fa8debc-d9c2-11eb-bb9e-70fda8c37057_story.html

27. Missile Defense Project, “Missiles of Iran,” Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran

28. President Putin’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum Speech, June 17, 2022. Defense Info; https://defense.info/global-dynamics/2022/06/president-putins-st-petersburg-international-economic-forum-speech-june-17-2022

29. Ray McGovern: Historical Context for Conflicts in Ukraine Consortium News Jul 10, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLzsQA3UGY

30. Map Explainer: Key Facts About Ukraine By Bruno Venditti, Graphics/Design: Nick Routley Feb 23, 2022; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/map-explainer-ukraine/

31. Welcome to Ukraine, the most corrupt nation in Europe by Oliver Bullough The Guardian Feb 6, 2015; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/04/welcome-to-the-most-corrupt-nation-in-europe-ukraine

32. How and why the U.S. Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine by Eric Zuesse Modern Diplomacy June 4, 2018; https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/04/how-and-why-the-u-s-government-perpetrated-the-2014-coup-in-ukraine/

33. Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are on the March in Ukraine- Five years after the Maidan uprising, anti-Semitism and fascist-inflected ultranationalism are rampant.

By Lev Golinkin The Nation Feb 22, 2019;

34. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies Fair Observer Mar 11, 2022; https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/medea-benjamin-nicolas-js-davies-ukraine-war-russia-ukranian-neo-nazi-fascists-azov-battalion-89292/

35. Ukraine- World Socialist Website; https://www.wsws.org/en/topics/country/ukraine

36. Ukrainian Army terror bombings By Laurent Brayard Jun 6, 2022; https://mronline.org/2022/06/06/ukrainian-army-terror-bombings/

37. Donbass Update: Ukraine Continues to Shell Residential Areas Telesur Feb 24, 2022; https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Donbass-Update-Ukraine-Continues-to-Shell-Residential-Areas-20220224-0004.html

38. Important — A Message for Americans Gonzalo Lira June 18, 2022; https://www.strategic-culture.org/video/2022/06/20/2022-06-18-important-a-message-for-americans/

39. Putin Announces Start to ‘Military Operation’ Against Ukraine by Anton Troianovski and Neil MacFarquhar NYT Feb. 23, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/world/europe/ukraine-russia-invasion.html

40. Why Russia Invaded Ukraine by Eric Zuesse The Duran Sept 1, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-russia-invaded-ukraine/

41. All the way to Odessa by Pepe Escobar The Unz Review Aug 26, 2022; https://www.unz.com/pescobar/all-the-way-to-odessa/

42. Reminiscence of the Future (Andrei Martyanov); http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

43. Europe’s Markets and Energy Security Disrupted by Russia Sanctions by Kenneth Rapoza Forbes Aug 23, 2022; https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2022/08/23/europes-markets-and-energy-security-disrupted-by-russia-sanctions/?sh=6d2312b45097

44. Russia Is Making Heaps of Money from Oil, but There is a Way to Stop That

July 29, 2022; https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/29/opinion/russia-oil-sanctions-biden.html

45. Why have many nations not condemned the war in Ukraine? by Bernd Debusmann News Decoder Apr 4, 2022; https://news-decoder.com/why-have-many-nations-not-condemned-the-war-in-ukraine/

46. Only one in three UN members back new anti-Russia resolution- International support for Ukraine has dropped dramatically since March RT Aug 26, 2022; https://www.rt.com/russia/561627-un-ukraine-resolution-support/

47. Census Bureau: 3.8 million renters will likely be evicted in the next two months — why the rental crisis keeps getting worse by Brian J. O’Connor Yahoo Sun, Aug 28, 2022; https://www.yahoo.com/video/census-bureau-3-8-million-100000978.html

48. U.S. presses Japan to cancel Constitution’s peace-clause. China and Japan must thus finally agree now, to avoid a war by Eric Zuesse The Duran Aug 25, 2022; https://theduran.com/why-a-deal-is-needed-now-between-china-and-japan/

49. Glen Ford’s Ukrainian Crystal Ball Black Agenda Report Jul 27, 2022; https://www.blackagendareport.com/glen-fords-ukrainian-crystal-ball

50. A New World Order is Looming and the West Doesn’t Like it by James ONeill Aug 24, 2022; https://journal-neo.org/2022/08/24/a-new-world-order-is-looming-and-the-west-doesn-t-like-it/

3 Figures

Figure 1: Total US Public Debt

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Figure 3. Military situation in Ukraine Aug 31, 2022

Figure 1. Total US public debt. Note that debt in Q1 2020 was $ 23.2 trillion while in Q2 2022 was $ 30.5 trillion, an increase of $7 trillion.

FRED Graph

Source: Total Public Debt; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEBTN

Figure 2. Map of Ukraine

Ukraine Map

Source: US Department of Defense

Figure 3. Military Situation in Ukraine for Aug 31, 2022. Areas in Red are controlled by the allied forces of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Militia and Russian military.

Source: Ukraine interactive map; https://liveuamap.com

Tons of thanks, a SMO update and some beautiful week-end music!

August 31, 2022

First, my deepest gratitude to you all!

I want to being today’s report by thanking all those of you who have reached out to help me and the blog.  In spite of the hard economic times, many of you have sent donations, offered to volunteer and, last but not least, said prayers for me.  Of course, your donations will help financially, but it is your moral support which most deeply touched me and which give me the courage and determination to keep on fighting this fight, in spite of the apparent futility of taking on an entire obscenely rich and powerful ruling classes which waging merciless warfare on all of mankind.  I wish I could thank each and every one of you personally, but I simply don’t have the material time to do so, so all I can do is thank you all here for your unwavering and kind support!  You are truly the best community any person can hope to have!

Now let’s turn to the latest news next.

The Ukrainian so-called “counter-offensive” in the south:

The biggest news out of the Ukraine is the failure if the much announced Ukrainian “counter-offensive”.  Here are the latest reports from the Russian MoD: (emphasis added)

The enemy suffered losses and was pushed back from Olginka, Thorn Ponds and Arkhangelsk.
A battalion of the 57th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was defeated near the settlement of Sukhoi Stavki. Currently, the destruction of its remains is being completed.
To unblock the AFU units, 12 tanks supplied to the Kiev regime by Poland were transported across the Ingulets River. Some of the tanks were destroyed by the powerful fire action of the Russian troops. Several tanks were blown up in their minefield during a disorderly withdrawal. Only five Ukrainian tanks were able to break back, deep into the territory controlled by the AFU. During two days of unsuccessful attacks on Mykolaiv-Krivoy Rog and other directions, Ukrainian troops lost four combat aircraft: two Su-25, one Su-24 and one MiG-29. Three Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters were shot down in the air. Russian troops also destroyed 63 Ukrainian tanks, 59 infantry fighting vehicles, 48 other armored combat vehicles, 14 pickups with heavy machine guns and more than 1,700 Ukrainian servicemen.

But this does not tell the full story.  1’700 KIAs might not sound like much, but in reality this is a huge deal for the following reasons:

  • These 1’700 soldiers were supported by armor, artillery and even some aviation and the USA/UK had huge hopes that this much announced “counter-offensive” would yield some good PR.  The Brandon administration is absolutely desperate to show at least something vaguely successful, yet this so-called “counter-offensive” resulted in only a few tactical attacks which brought no tangible results whatsoever.
  • The size of this force shows that this operation was mostly about PR (and not a real counter-offensive!).  The Ukrainians never had a chance, not on the tactical level and, even less so, to develop tactical attack into an operational counter-offensive.  Considering that it took them months to prepare this rather modest operation, this shows how much the Ukrainian armed forces have been degraded over the past months.
  • Even worse for the Nazis and their US patrons is the fact that now the entire southern front just lost a lot of its best soldiers and hardware.  Considering that the Russians are reinforcing their southern forces (see below), this is an especially dangerous development for the regime in Kiev.

Also, 1’700 KIA in one single maneuver is the biggest defeat for the Nazis since 2014, even bigger than the Ilovaisk “cauldron”!

I noticed with absolute dismay that, apparently, the Ukrainians tried one more time.  The result? Another  350 personnel, 31 tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 of other types of armored vehicles, eight armed pickup trucks, and 17 of other types of military vehicles destroyed by Russian artillery and airpower.

This is what is left of the Ukrainian “assault barge”

And today (Thursday) there are report that the Ukrainians tried to seize control of the ZNP.  First they fired over 100 artillery shells.  Then 2 diversionary groups totaling 60 soldiers on two crafts landed near the ZNP.  They were detected and destroyed by the Russian aviation.  Two hours later, the Ukrainians used two barges carrying an entire battalion (200-300 soldiers).  They were detected and sunk.

All that while the IAEA inspectors were already at the nuclear power plant!  (I wonder if they will have the courage to report what they must have seen).

Crucially, it showed, yet again, that all that nonsense coming out of Kiev and the other Nazi capitals in the West is just total, utter and terminal nonsense with no connection to the real world.  None whatsoever.  Hence the mass freakout of the western ruling classes.

And then there is this: CNN confirms that the USA helped the Ukrainians prepare this “counter-offensive”!  Oh wow! Who would have thought 😉  But then, what else could we expect from a US military busy with “increasing its lethality” by “embracing, promoting and unleashing the potential of diversity and inclusion“?

Now, just to clarify: did the Ukrainians take a few villages and positions?  Yes.  Absolutely.  Why?  Because the Russians had absolutely NO reason in the world to do what the Nazis do and “stand immobile to their last breath” in a static defensive line.  So they did the following:

  • Where the Ukrainian attack was weak, they used their infantry and armor to beat them back.
  • Where the Ukrainian attack was strong, they simply moved back, let the Ukrainians advance, and then wiped them off in what can only be called a “turkey shoot” (not to mention a useless butchery).

This is nothing new.  The Russians have done that since the beginning of the SMO.  In every case, the villages or positions the Ukrainians took (and triumphantly presented as a huge “peremoгa” or victory) saw the Ukrainian forces destroyed by Russian artillery, follow by a withdrawal (or total annihilation).

So next time when you hear that the Ukrainians took control of village/location X, always make sure to follow what happens in the next 48 hours and see for yourself if this Ukrainian “victory” then developed into anything meaningful.  As soon as you do that, everything becomes quite obvious.

Western weapon deliveries to the Ukraine

This is one of the biggest canards in this war.  Today, I will deal only with one aspect: the planned delivery of ex-Soviet aircraft to the Ukraine.  Basically, this is utter nonsense.  Like with ANY advanced weapons system, combat aircraft need all of the following things to be effective:

  • They need to be fully integrated into a combined arms operation.
  • They need to be operated by a highly trained crews.
  • They need to be used in sufficient numbers to achieve any meaningful effect, which in the case of the Ukraine means real military airfields, not dirt roads, highways or field refueling stations.
  • They need to be maintained/supported by a complex and advanced supply chain and qualified specialists.

Since none of that can happen, the deliveries of MiG-29s (or any other aircraft, really) to the Ukraine will make for semi-decent PR and that’s about it.  There are even rumors that the US is now training Afghan pilots to train them on ex-Soviet fighters…  Let’s see how many pilots the US and NATO actually can convince to fly these one way missions.

In reality, it takes MANY YEARS to form a capable military pilot, and there is no substitute for this.  So no, even if the US finds enough suicidal pilots to try to fly MiG-29s (or other aircraft) against Russian Su-35S, this will achieve exactly nothing other than marginally slowing down the Russians (who will have to deal with this new threat just like they dealt with all the others Wunderwaffen: HIMARS, M777, CAESARs, etc. etc. etc.).  Even the (so far hypothetical) delivery of, say, F-16s, will make very little difference.  There is no Wunderwaffe, least of all old Soviet kit (even when somewhat upgraded with NATO equipment).

Rumors of a major Russian offensive

Okay, as of right now, this is a rumor, but there is strong evidence of two things happening:

  • The Russians appear to have assembled one (some rumors say two) Army Corps composed of volunteers and equipped with modern weapons.
  • These forces seem to be deployed through and near the city of Rostov-on-the-Don.

Whether these forces were deployed as reserve force in case of a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive (however unlikely) or whether these forces will be used to attack the southern front is anyone’s guess.  In fact, it could be that these forces had and still might have both tasks.  And now that the Ukrainian counter-attack was defeated, they might well be used to move towards Nikolaev along the coast (supported by the BSF) which would put immense pressure on the over-extended and weakened Ukrainian forces.

In this context, I was recently sent a pretty interesting document:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17RsQ2GgAJVrJ0JqCHTeMOZyMCKHHh2iB/preview

This is a letter from the Mayor of the Siberian City of Omsk who announces that at three battalions of volunteers have been formed in this city alone.  It is reasonable to assume that similar things are happening in most other Russian cities.

Speaking of which, there is another canard which I have to debunk:

Will Russia declare a full mobilization?

The short answer is no.  Unless NATO moves forces into the Ukraine, then all bets are off (but even in that case I doubt that a full mobilization would be needed and, not to mention, rather hard to execute) Furthermore, this question is based on a flawed assumption: that Russia’s so-called “slow progress” is due to lack of manpower (about the “slow progress” see here).  That assumption, in turn,  is based on two major mistakes: the first it conflates overall manpower with manpower available at any specific moment in time on a specific sector of the line of contact.  What matters is not overall numerical superiority, but local superiority, superiority on your main axes of attack/defense.  This is how Ze’s MILLION solider army ended up being defeated with only 1700 KIAs: there never was a million soldiers army anywhere near Zaporozhie in the first place.

Second, the Russians have been fighting this entire SMO with less than 10% of the Russian military and with a 3:1 advantage for the Nazi forces almost everywhere.  You could say that the Ukrainians are fighting a positional war while the Russians are fighting a mobile war, counting on their qualitative superiority (in most fields, with a few exceptions – such as counter-battery radars and squad level need for commercial quad-copters similar to the famous DJI Mavic series, see below – and these limited disadvantages are now being quickly addressed).

Yes, I know, there are some LDNR officials who constantly whine about the fact that Russia is not fighting this war the way they would.  But with all due respect, it is one thing to be a deputy commander of an LDNR battalion and quite another a specialist in the Russian General Staff with several academies and years of command experience under your belt.  Furthermore, the LDNR forces, for all their undisputed heroism, courage and skills do not fight the same war as the Russians.  The LDNR forces are fighting to liberate the Donbass, and they have just recently acquired the kind of capabilities needed to even contemplate an operational level offensive.  In sharp contrast, the Russians are fighting a strategic war against NATO and the US, so it is no wonder that their notions of what ought to be done differ.  Here is just one example:

What about the supposed lack of UAV/drones/quadcopter?  Did/will Russia by UAV from Iran?

The problem here is that UAV/drones/quads come in all sort of sizes, from truly tiny one which you can fit in the palm of your hand, to large, strategic ones with advanced electronics/optoelectronics/EW/etc. and even weapons of various types.  So let’s separate the two.

Example one: a reconnaissance unit from the LDNR forces is tasked with finding out what is happening, or not, behind a small forest.  You can use a relatively cheap and simple, off the shelf, DJI Mavic (even a mini model!), which you can send a kilometer or two over the forest and to take a peek what might be hiding inside/behind the trees.  If you do not have that Mavic, you have to sent a reconnaissance patrol.  Going on such a mission is very dangerous, because not only can the Nazis plant all sorts of mines in the forest and under the leaves/grass, they can also set up an ambush (the Ukrainians are pretty good at that).  So if you are the commander of this reconnaissance unit, you are going to be absolutely furious that the lack of Mavics forces you to send you soldiers into a very dangerous situation, day after day after day.  And if you are young and inexperienced, you are going to blame the Russian military’s procurement system for not sending boxes of Mavics to the LDNR.

So to the question “did the LDNR forces have enough Mavic-type quads before the SMO began?” the answer is “no they did not”.  Once the LDNR officials and their supporters raised a big enough stink over that, volunteers from all over Russia began sending quads to the LDNR and things slowly (especially for those who had to risk their lives every day!) began to improve.  But this never was the “fault” or “lack of care” from the Russian armed forces whose job is very different.

Now the Russian military has exactly *zero* need for Mavic-type quads.  Not only that, but Russia has large stores of all sorts of advanced UAVs (see here for details).  As for the Russian military, it is not in the business of supplying LDNR forces with whatever they might need, it is in the business of fighting a war against the consolidated West, this requires a totally different kind of kit and training than the LDNR forces.

Example two: Russia needs long range UAVs to detect Ukrainian columns on the move, force concentrations, assembly position, battle formations, etc.  The good news is that Russia has plenty of those more advanced UAVs.  These advanced UAVs do not fly 1-8km in distance, but for hundreds of kilometers and their flight time is not counted in minutes, but in tens of hours.  In this kind of warfare, Mavics are totally useless.

Is it possible that Russia might buy some Iranian UAV?

I would say that it is not very likely, but quite possible.  Why?  First, Russia and Iran are (informal but strong) allies and the Iranians would probably love to test their gear in real, modern, warfare conditions (Syria, Iraq or Yemen do not qualify).  Second, the Iranians have superb UAVs, not necessarily better than Russian ones (it really depends on the mission and what the rest of the forces are doing), but very good ones indeed.  Since Russia is flush with cash thanks to the western sanctions, Russia could do worse than purchase an X number of Iranian UAV and use them (or even give them to the LDNR).  Again, I don’t think that this will happen because of a simple problem: the more primitive a UAV is, the more you can use commercial, off the shelf, equipment (this is what the (in)famous Bayraktars are – assembled off the shelf commercial hardware).  But the more advanced a UAV is, the more it needs to be able to “talk” to a lot of highly specialized networks and equipment, most of which are secret to begin with.

[Sidbar: I happen to personally fly both cinematic quads – a DJI Mavic mini – and first-person-view (FPV) acrobatic/freestyle quads and, as a result, even a private civilian like myself can have equipment which could used in a reconnaissance situation like the one I describe above.  This is not different than LDNR forces using family and consumer radios (FRS and GMRS) to communicate, or the purchase of commercial laser rangefinders, GPS/GLONASS/GNSS navigation equipment and the like.  Nowadays recreational and commercial microelectronics are so capable, that you can buy most of what a reconnaissance unit might need online and for relatively cheap.  And if your pockets are deep enough, you even purchase get all sorts of very good thermal imaging systems.  So what the LDNR forces needed the most, is simply money to get all that good stuff.  Some of this is already being built in Russia but, if needed, Russia can get it all from China directly or through Kazakhstan.  For the LDNR the issue was always money, and this is why the Mayor of Omsk is asking for donations at the end of this open letter above]

In sharp contrast to the LDNR forces, the Russian military has plenty of money and capabilities which the LDNR can only dream about, including a high tech military industrial base which dwarfs anything Iran might have.

Conclusion:

Initially, the Russians got absolutely destroyed in the propaganda war, at least that was true during the early months of the SMO.  Now this entire narrative is tanking (as evidenced, for example, this interview of Jeffrey Sachs on Democracy Now! or this video by Tucker Carlson).  Of course, the Neocons and the “extreme center” of the Uniparty (call them Republicrats or Demolicans – same difference) are still in deep denial and they are going through all the usual stages of grief (how is that headline: “German minister vows to back Ukraine ‘no matter what voters think’”?).  My biggest fear is that this hate-saturated narcissistic imbeciles will do something really dumb and trigger a much larger conflict.  The Kremlin is acutely aware of this riks, and this is why the Russians are only using about 10% of their current capabilities (that is before even a mobilization).

Most of the nonsense we now hear about the Ukraine (all the plain silly theories) is now quickly falling apart.  All the hysterics of the Russian 6th columnists (à la Girkin-Strelkov & Co.) have failed to force the Russian General Staff to fight the war like the 6th column would have preferred.  Instead of listening to these “allislosters”, Putin decided to listen to his generals.  What a surprise!

Furthermore, as Putin and others have repeated innumerable times, the SMO is going pretty much according to plan (besides the undeniable mistakes made in specific locations, like moving Russian forces in columns towards the Gostomel airfield without first suppressing the Ukrainian artillery and diversionary forces along the road; but the Kiev faint itself, however, was a total success and it achieved all its goals).  All the recent developments further show that Russia will methodically achieve all of her objectives in the coming months (though the denazification of Europe will, of course, take longer, not to mention the need to denazify the USA itself).

***

Finally, since this will be a long week-end, I leave you again with some beautiful music I love.

First, I want to introduce you to an Argentinian singer and guitarist whom I consider to be the most brilliant musician of traditional Argentinian (gaucho) music: Eduardo Falu.  Listen to this track, the song, entitled “Zamba de la Candelaria“, is absolutely beautiful (as are the lyrics for those who understand Spanish) and his guitar playing is nothing short of stellar (the other two songs in this video are also quite beautiful, I think)

Next, I want to introduce you to one of my absolutely favorite US Jazz/Improvised music group, named Oregon.  In this tune, entitled “Hand in Hand“, you will hear one of their most beautiful, yet understated, compositions.  The way the harmony “moves” here is so poignantly beautiful!  Also, listen to Ralph Towner‘s guitar solo and try to sing the melody over his improvisations, and you will discover a very beautiful “improvised contrapunctus”.   I had the privilege to once see Oregon at the Blues Alley in Washington DC and it was for sure one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen.

Next, a beautiful composition by Larry Coryell which he interprets here with the (always brilliant) Joe Beck and Joe Scofield entitled “Thurman Munson“.  This is also a very understated composition, but it gives ample opportunities for some truly beautiful and poignant improvisations (including some beautifully weaved through polytonalities).

Next, I want to introduce you to a French guitarist named Pierre Bensusan.  The guy is an absolute genius both as a composer and as in interpreter.  Today I want to share one of my favorite compositions by Bensusan entitled simply “4am“.  I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Lastly, I want to introduce you to a ridiculously talented group from, I think, New York: they are called the “Nation of Five“.  Here they play one of my favorite tunes, called “The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers” aka “Poem For No. 15.” composed by the Jazz pianist Steve Kuhn.  It is a most interesting Jazz waltz built around distinct keys (this is modal music at its best!) and which includes a very original use of something called a “hemiola“, that is “the articulation of two bars in triple time as if they were three bars in duple time” or, to quote Wikipedia’s fuller definition “a hemiola is the ratio 3:2. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats.  This makes the improvisation over this melody both very interesting and somewhat challenging.  I just love to explore all the possibilities this 1972 composition offers for improvisation and this is a fantastic performance by all these musicians!

MTV and and so-called “conservatories” have tried their best to stamp out real, improvised, music, and they failed.  What a joy for the rest of us, no?

Enjoy and have a wonderful week-end!

Ukraine: Somewhere between Afghanization and Syrianization

Ukraine is finished as a nation – neither side will rest in this war. The only question is whether it will be an Afghan or Syrian style finale.

August 30 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

One year after the astounding US humiliation in Kabul – and on the verge of another serious comeuppance in Donbass – there is reason to believe Moscow is wary of Washington seeking vengeance: in the form of the ‘Afghanization’ of Ukraine.

With no end in sight to western weapons and finance flowing into Kiev, it must be recognized that the Ukrainian battle is likely to disintegrate into yet another endless war. Like the Afghan jihad in the 1980s which employed US-armed and funded guerrillas to drag Russia into its depths, Ukraine’s backers will employ those war-tested methods to run a protracted battle that can spill into bordering Russian lands.

Yet this US attempt at crypto-Afghanization will at best accelerate the completion of what Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu describes as the “tasks” of its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. For Moscow right now, that road leads all the way to Odessa.

It didn’t have to be this way. Until the recent assassination of Darya Dugina at Moscow’s gates, the battlefield in Ukraine was in fact under a ‘Syrianization’ process.

Like the foreign proxy war in Syria this past decade, frontlines around significant Ukrainian cities had roughly stabilized. Losing on the larger battlefields, Kiev had increasingly moved to employ terrorist tactics. Neither side could completely master the immense war theater at hand. So the Russian military opted to keep minimal forces in battle – contrary to the strategy it employed in 1980s Afghanistan.

Let’s remind ourselves of a few Syrian facts: Palmyra was liberated in March 2016, then lost and retaken in 2017. Aleppo was liberated only in December 2016. Deir Ezzor in September 2017. A slice of northern Hama in December and January 2018. The outskirts of Damascus in the Spring of 2018. Idlib – and significantly, over 25 percent of Syrian territory – are still not liberated. That tells a lot about rhythm in a war theater.

The Russian military never made a conscious decision to interrupt the multi-channel flow of western weapons to Kiev. Methodically destroying those weapons once they’re in Ukrainian territory – with plenty of success – is another matter. The same applies to smashing mercenary networks.

Moscow is well aware that any negotiation with those pulling the strings in Washington – and dictating all terms to puppets in Brussels and Kiev – is futile. The fight in Donbass and beyond is a do or die affair.

So the battle will go on, destroying what’s left of Ukraine, just as it destroyed much of Syria. The difference is that economically, much more than in Syria, what’s left of Ukraine will plunge into a black void. Only territory under Russian control will be rebuilt, and that includes, significantly, the bulk of Ukraine’s industrial infrastructure.

What’s left – rump Ukraine – has already been plundered anyway, as Monsanto, Cargill and Dupont have already bagged 17 million hectares of prime, fertile arable land – over half of what Ukraine still possesses. That translates de facto as BlackRock, Blackstone and Vanguard, top agro-business shareholders, owning whatever lands that really matter in non-sovereign Ukraine.

Going forward, by next year the Russians will be applying themselves to cutting off Kiev from NATO weapons supplies. As that unfolds, the Anglo-Americans will eventually move whatever puppet regime remains to Lviv. And Kiev terrorism – conducted by Bandera worshippers – will continue to be the new normal in the capital.

The Kazakh double game

By now it’s abundantly clear this is not a mere war of territorial conquest. It’s certainly part of a War of Economic Corridors – as the US spares no effort to sabotage and smash the multiple connectivity channels of Eurasia’s integration projects, be they Chinese-led (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) or Russian-led (Eurasian Economic Union, EAEU).

Just like the proxy war in Syria remade large swathes of West Asia (witness, for instance, Erdogan about to meet Assad), the fight in Ukraine, in a microcosm, is a war for the reconfiguration of the current world order, where Europe is a mere self-inflicted victim in a minor subplot. The Big Picture is the emergence of multipolarity.

The proxy war in Syria lasted a decade, and it’s not over yet. The same may happen to the proxy war in Ukraine. As it stands, Russia has taken an area that is roughly equivalent to Hungary and Slovakia combined. That’s still far from “task” fulfillment – and it’s bound to go on until Russia has taken all the land right up to the Dnieper as well as Odessa, connecting it to the breakaway Republic of Transnistria.

It’s enlightening to see how important Eurasian actors are reacting to such geopolitical turbulence. And that brings us to the cases of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

The Telegram channel Rybar (with over 640k followers) and hacker group Beregini revealed in an investigation that Kazakhstan was selling weapons to Ukraine, which translates as de facto treason against their own Russian allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Consider too that Kazakhstan is also part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the EAEU, the two hubs of the Eurasian-led multipolar order.

As a consequence of the scandal, Kazakhstan was forced to officially announce the suspension of all weapons exports until the end of 2023.

It began with hackers unveiling how Technoexport – a Kazakh company – was selling armed personnel carriers, anti-tank systems and munitions to Kiev via Jordanian intermediaries, under the orders of the United Kingdom. The deal itself was supervised by the British military attaché in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital.

Nur-Sultan predictably tried to dismiss the allegations, arguing that Technoexport had not asked for export licenses. That was essentially false: the Rybar team discovered that Technoexport instead used Blue Water Supplies, a Jordanian firm, for those. And the story gets even juicier. All the contract documents ended up being found in the computers of Ukrainian intel.

Moreover, the hackers found out about another deal involving Kazspetsexport, via a Bulgarian buyer, for the sale of Kazakh Su-27s, airplane turbines and Mi-24 helicopters. These would have been delivered to the US, but their final destination was Ukraine.

The icing on this Central Asian cake is that Kazakhstan also sells significant amounts of Russian – not Kazakh – oil to Kiev.

So it seems that Nur-Sultan, perhaps unofficially, somehow contributes to the ‘Afghanization’ in the war in Ukraine. No diplomatic leaks confirm it, of course, but bets can be made Putin had a few things to say about that to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in their recent – cordial – meeting.

The Sultan’s balancing act

Turkey is a way more complex case. Ankara is not a member of the SCO, the CSTO or the EAEU. It is still hedging its bets, calculating on which terms it will join the high-speed rail of Eurasian integration. And yet, via several schemes, Ankara allows Moscow to evade the avalanche of western sanctions and embargoes.

Turkish businesses – literally all of them with close connections to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – are making a killing, and relishing their new role as crossroads warehouse between Russia and the west. It’s an open boast in Istanbul that what Russia cannot buy from Germany or France they buy “from us.” And in fact several EU companies are in on it.

Ankara’s balancing act is as sweet as a good baklava. It gathers    economic support from a very important partner right in the middle of the endless, very serious Turkish economic debacle. They agree on nearly everything: Russian gas, S-400 missile systems, the building of the Russian nuclear power plant, tourism – Istanbul is crammed with Russians – Turkish fruits and vegetables.

Ankara-Moscow employ sound textbook geopolitics. They play it openly, in full transparence. That does not mean they are allies. It’s just pragmatic business between states. For instance, an economic response may alleviate a geopolitical problem, and vice-versa.

Obviously the collective west has completely forgotten how that normal state-to-state behavior works. It’s pathetic. Turkey gets “denounced” by the west as traitorous – as much as China.

Of course Erdogan also needs to play to the galleries, so every once in a while he says that Crimea should be retaken by Kiev. After all, his companies also do business with Ukraine – Bayraktar drones and otherwise.

And then there’s proselytizing: Crimea remains theoretically ripe for Turkish influence, where Ankara may exploit the notions of pan-Islamism and mostly pan-Turkism, capitalizing on the historical relations between the peninsula and the Ottoman Empire.

Is Moscow worried? Not really. As for those Bayraktar TB2s sold to Kiev, they will continue to be relentlessly reduced to ashes. Nothing personal. Just business.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

All the way to Odessa

August 27, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Dmitry Medvedev, relishing his unplugged self, has laid down the law on the Special Military Operation (SMO). Bluntly, he affirmed there is a “one and a half” scenario: either to go all the way, or a military coup d’Etat in Ukraine followed by admitting the inevitable. No tertium applies.

That’s as stark as it gets: the leadership in Moscow is making it very clear, to internal and international audiences, the new deal consists in slow cooking the Kiev racket inside a massive cauldron while polishing its status of financial black hole for the collective West. Until we reach boiling point – which will be a revolution or a putsch.

In parallel, The Lords of (Proxy) War will continue with their own strategy, which is to pillage an enfeebled, fearful, Europe, then dressing it up as a perfumed colony to be ruthlessly exploited ad nauseam by the imperial oligarchy.

Europe is now a runaway TGV – minus the requisite Hollywood production values. Assuming it does not veer off track – a dicey proposition – it may eventually arrive at a railway station called Agenda 2030, The Great Narrative, or some other NATO/Davos denomination du jour.

As it stands, what’s remarkable is how the “marginal” Russian economy hardly broke a sweat to “end the abundance” of the wealthiest region on the planet.

Moscow does not even entertain the notion of negotiating with Brussels because there’s nothing to negotiate – considering puny Eurocrats will only be hurled away from their zombified state when the dire socio-economic consequences of “the end of abundance” will finally translate into peasants with pitchforks roaming the continent.

It may be eons away, but inevitably the average Italian, German or Frenchman will connect the dots and realize it is their own “leaders” – national nullities and mostly unelected Eurocrats – who are paving their road to poverty.

You will be poor. And you will like it. Because we are all supporting freedom for Ukrainian neo-nazis. That brings the concept of “multicultural Europe” to a whole new level.

The runaway train, of course, may veer off track and plunge into an Alpine abyss. In this case something might be saved from the wreckage – and “reconstruction” might be on the cards. But reconstruct what?

Europe could always reconstruct a new Reich (collapsed with a bang in 1945); a soft Reich (erected at the end of WWII); or break with its past failures, sing “I’m Free” – and connect with Eurasia. Don’t bet on it.

Get back those Taurian lands

The SMO may be about to radically change – something that will drive the already clueless denizens of US Think Tankland and their Euro vassals even more berserk.

President Putin and Defense Minister Shoigu have been giving serious hints the only way for the pain dial is up – considering the mounting evidence of terrorism inside Russian territory; the vile assassination of Darya Dugina; non-stop shelling of civilians in border regions; attacks on Crimea; the use of chemical weapons; and the shelling of Zaporizhzhya power plant raising the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.

This past Tuesday, one day before the SMO completing six months, Crimea’s permanent representative to the Kremlin, Georgy Muradov, all but spelled it out.

He stressed the necessity to “reintegrate all the Taurian lands” – Crimea, the Northern Black Sea and the Azov Sea – into a single entity as soon as “in the next few months”. He defined this process as “objective and demanded by the population of these regions.”

Muradov added, “given not only the strikes on Crimea, but also the continuous shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the dam of the Kakhovka reservoir, peaceful facilities on the territory of Russia, the DNR and LNR, there are all preconditions to qualify the actions of the Banderite regime as terrorist.”

The conclusion is inevitable: “the political issue of changing the format of the special military operation” enters the agenda. After all, Washington and Brussels “have already prepared new anti-Crimean provocations of the NATO-Bandera alliance”.

So when we examine what the “restoration of the Taurian lands” implies, we see not only the contours of Novorossiya but most of all that there won’t be any security for Crimea – and thus Russia – in the Black Sea without Odessa becoming Russian again. And that, on top of it, will solve the Transnistria dilemma.

Add to it Kharkov – the capital and top industrial center of Greater Donbass. And of course Dnipropetrovsk. They are all SMO objectives, the whole combo to be later protected by buffer zones in Chernihiv and Sumy oblasts.

Only then the “tasks” – as Shoigu calls them – of the SMO would be declared fulfilled. The timeline could be eight to ten months – after a lull under General Winter.

As the turbo-charged SMO rolls on, it’s a given the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder will continue to prop up and weaponize the Kiev racket till Kingdom Come – and that will apply especially after the Return of Odessa. What’s unclear is who and what gang will be left in Kiev posing as the ruling party and doing specials for Vogue while duly fulfilling the mass of imperial diktats.

It’s also a given the CIA/MI6 combo will be refining non-stop the contours of a massive guerrilla war against Russia in multiple fronts – crammed with terror attacks and all sorts of provocations.

Yet in the Bigger Picture it’s the inevitable Russian military victory in Donbass and then “all the Taurian lands” that will hit the collective West like a lethal asteroid. The geopolitical humiliation will be unbearable; not to mention the geoeconomic humiliation for vassalized Europe.

As Eurasian integration will become an even stronger vector, Russian diplomacy will be solidifying the new normal. Never forget that Moscow had no trouble normalizing relations, for instance, with China, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Israel. All these actors, in different ways, directly contributed to the fall of the USSR. Now – with one exception – they are all focused on The Dawn of the Eurasian Century.

Six months into Ukraine’s collapse, the world has changed forever

The inevitable transfer of power away from the west is leading to a surge in state-sponsored terrorism, but this will do little to reverse the trend

August 24 2022

By Pepe Escobar

Six months after the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO) by Russia in Ukraine, the geopolitical tectonic plates of the 21st century have been dislocated at astonishing speed and depth – with immense historical repercussions already at hand.

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way the (new) world begins, not with a whimper but a bang.

The cold-blooded assassination of Darya Dugina – terrorism at the gates of Moscow – may have fatefully coincided with the six-month intersection point, but will do nothing to change the dynamics of the current, work-in-progress, historical shift.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) appeared to have cracked the case in a little over 24 hours, designating the perpetrator as a neo-Nazi Azov operative instrumentalized by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) – itself a mere tool of the CIA/MI6 combo that de facto rules Kiev.

The Azov operative is just a patsy. The FSB will never reveal in public the intel it has amassed on those that issued the orders, and how they will be dealt with.

One Ilya Ponomaryov, an anti-Kremlin minor character granted Ukrainian citizenship, boasted he was in contact with the outfit that prepared the hit on the Dugin family. No one took him seriously.

What is manifestly serious, however, is how oligarchy-connected organized crime factions in Russia would have a motive to eliminate Alexander Dugin, the Christian Orthodox nationalist philosopher who, according to them, may have influenced the Kremlin’s pivot to Asia (he didn’t).

These organized crime factions blamed Dugin for a concerted Kremlin offensive against the disproportional power of Jewish oligarchs in Russia. So these actors would have both the motive and the local know-how to mount such a coup.

If that’s the case, it potentially spells out a Mossad-linked operation – especially given the serious schism in Moscow’s recent relations with Tel Aviv. What’s certain is that the FSB will keep their cards very close to their chest – and retribution will be swift, precise and invisible.

The straw that broke the camel’s back

Instead of delivering a serious blow to Russia’s psyche that could impact the dynamics of its operations in Ukraine, the assassination of Darya Dugina only exposed the perpetrators as tawdry killers who have exhausted their options.

An IED cannot kill a philosopher – or his daughter. In an essential essay, Dugin himself explained how the real war – Russia against the US-led collective west – is a war of ideas. An existential war.

Dugin correctly defines the US as a “thalassocracy,” heir to “Britannia rules the waves.” Yet now the geopolitical tectonic plates are spelling out a new order: The Return of the Heartland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin himself first spelled it out at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. China’s Xi Jinping put it into action by launching the New Silk Roads in 2013. The Empire struck back with Maidan in 2014. Russia counter-attacked by coming to the aid of Syria in 2015.

The Empire doubled down on Ukraine, with NATO weaponizing it non-stop for eight years. At the end of 2021, Moscow invited Washington for a serious dialogue on “indivisibility of security” in Europe. That was dismissed with a non-response response.

Moscow took no time to assess that a dangerous US-led trifecta was instead in the works: an imminent Kiev blitzkrieg against Donbass; Ukraine flirting with acquiring nuclear weapons; and the work of US bioweapon labs. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A consistent analysis of Putin’s public interventions these past few months reveals that the Kremlin – as well as Security Council Yoda Nikolai Patrushev – fully realize how the politico/media talking heads and shock troops of the collective west are directed by the rulers of Finance Capitalism.

As a direct consequence, they also realize how western public opinion is absolutely clueless, Plato cave-style, totally captive to the ruling financial class, who cannot tolerate any alternative narrative.

So Putin, Patrushev, and their peers will never presume that a senile teleprompter reader in the White House or a cokehead comedian in Kiev “rule” anything.

As the US rules global pop culture, it is fitting to borrow from what Walter White/Heisenberg, an average American channeling his inner bad, states in Breaking Bad: “I’m in the Empire business.” And the Empire business is to exercise raw power, maintained with ruthlessness, by all means necessary.

Russia broke that spell. But Moscow’s strategy is way more sophisticated than leveling Kiev with hypersonic weapons, something that could have been done at any moment, starting six months ago.

Instead, what Moscow is doing is talking to virtually the entire Global South, bilaterally or to groups of actors, explaining how the world-system is changing right before our eyes, with the key actors of the future configured as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), BRICS+, the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

And what we see is vast swathes of the Global South – or 85 percent of the world’s population – slowly but surely becoming ready to engage in expelling the finance capitalists from their national horizons, and ultimately taking them down: a long, tortuous battle that will imply multiple setbacks.

The facts on the ground

On the ground in soon-to-be rump Ukraine, Khinzal hypersonic weapons launched from Tu-22M3 bombers or Mig-31 interceptors  will continue to be employed.

Piles of HIMARS will continue to be captured. TOS 1A Heavy Flamethrowers will keep sending invitations to the gates of hell. Crimean Air Defense will continue to intercept all sorts of small drones with IEDs attached. Terrorism by local SBU cells will eventually be smashed.

Using essentially a phenomenal artillery barrage – cheap and mass-produced – Russia will annex Donbass, very valuable in terms of land, natural resources and industrial power. And then on to Nikolaev, Odessa, and Kharkov.

Geoeconomically, Russia can afford to sell its oil with fat discounts to any Global South customer, not to mention strategic partners China and India. Cost of extraction reaches a maximum of $15 per barrel, with a national budget based on $40-45 for a barrel of Urals, whose market value today is almost double that.

A new Russian benchmark is imminent, as well as oil in rubles following the wildly successful gas for rubles scheme.

The assassination of Darya Dugina provoked endless speculation about the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense finally breaking their discipline. That’s not going to happen. Russian advances along the enormous 1,800-mile battle front are relentless, highly systematic, and deeply invested in a Greater Strategic Picture.

A key vector is whether Russia stands a chance of winning the information war with the west. That will never happen inside NATO’s realm – even as success after success is unfolding across the Global South.

As Glenn Diesen has masterfully demonstrated in his latest book, Russophobia, the collective west is viscerally impervious to admitting any social, cultural, historical merits by Russia.

They have already catapulted themselves into the irrationality stratosphere: the grinding down and de facto demilitarization of the imperial proxy army in Ukraine is driving the Empire’s handlers and its vassals literally nuts.

But the Global South should never lose sight of the ‘Empire business.’ That industry excels in producing chaos and plunder, always supported by extortion, bribery of local elites, and assassinations on the cheap. Every trick in the Divide and Rule book should be expected at any moment. Never underestimate a bitter, wounded, deeply humiliated, declining Empire.

Fasten your seat belts for more of this tense dynamic for the remainder of the decade.

But before that, all along the watchtower, get ready for the arrival of General Winter, whose riders are fast approaching. When the winds begin to howl, Europe will be freezing in the dead of dark nights, lit up occasionally by its finance capitalists puffing on fat cigars.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

“SCORCHING SUNLIGHT”. RUSSIAN WAR DRAMA BRINGS LIGHT ON EVENTS IN DONBASS IN 2014

23.08.2022

SouthFront presents to your attention the Russian war drama ‘Scorching Sunlight’ (Burning Sun) with Englsih subtitles. The film released in 2021 tells the story about the conflict in the region of Donbass in 2014. The translation of the film is taken from Telegram channel ‘Juan Sinmiedo/Fearless John/Ukraine exposed‘.

Download video

Film description:

‘Lugansk region, May 2014. The Novozhilov family, by chance, finds itself in the thick of events in Lugansk. Vlad Novozhilov is a former participant in the war in Afghanistan. He knows firsthand what war is. Having seen enough of the horrors of war in his time, in principle he does not even want to touch a weapon. In a situation, he sees only one way out – to leave the country. But you can’t run away from the war, the border is already closed. To save his family, he will have to make difficult moral choices.’

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Headlines of Import for August 19 (Andrei Martyanov)

August 19, 2022

Yet another superb analysis by Andrei Martyanov!
Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Welcoming speech of the Russian Minister of Defence at the opening of 10th Moscow Conference on International Security

August 17, 2022

The opening of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security took place at Avangard Centre for Military and Patriotic Education of Youth within the framework of ARMY 2022 IMTF. The Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, addressed the participants of the event:

Ladies and gentlemen!

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security.

This conference comes at a time of radical change in global and regional security. The unconditional dominance of the US and its allies is a thing of the past. On February 24, 2022, the start of the special military operation in Ukraine marked the end of the unipolar world.

Multipolarity has become a reality. The poles of this world are clearly defined. The main difference between them is that some respect the interests of sovereign states and take into account the cultural and historical particularities of countries and peoples, while others disregard them. There have been numerous discussions on this topic during previous sessions of the Moscow conference.

In Europe, the security situation is worse than at the peak of the Cold War. The alliance’s military activities have become as aggressive and anti-Russian as possible. Significant US forces have been redeployed to the continent, and the number of coalition troops in Eastern and Central Europe has increased manifold.

It is important to note that the deployment of additional NATO Joint Force formations on the bloc’s “eastern flank” had already started before the start of the special military operation in Ukraine.

NATO has dropped its masks. The aggressive nature of the bloc was no longer concealed by the wording of the coalition’s purely defensive orientation. Today, the alliance’s strategic planning documents enshrine claims to global dominance. Alliance’s interests include Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

In the West’s view, the established system of international relations should be replaced by a so-called rules-based world order. The logic here is simple and ultimatumatic. Either the alliance’s “democratic partner” candidate loses sovereignty and becomes supposedly on the “right side of history”. Or it is relegated to the category of so-called authoritarian regimes, against which all kinds of measures, up to and including coercive pressure, can be used.

Given that the Conference is attended by heads of defence agencies and security experts from different regions of the world, I would like to highlight some aspects of the special military operation in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, the Russian military is being confronted by combined Western forces that run the leadership of that country in a hybrid war against Russia.

The supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine is being stepped up, and training of the Ukrainian army is being carried out. Huge financial resources are transferred to maintain the viability of the nationalist regime.

The actions of Ukraine’s armed forces are planned and coordinated by foreign military advisers. Reconnaissance data is supplied from all available NATO sources. The use of armaments is supervised by Western specialists.

NATO’s efforts are aimed at prolonging the agony of the Kiev regime. However, we know for a fact that no one in NATO has any doubt that the goals of the Russian leadership’s special military operation will be achieved, and that plans to strategically and economically weaken Russia are failing. The dollar has not reached the ceiling of 200 roubles, as predicted by the US president, the Russian economy has stood firm.

The special military operation has dispelled the myth of “super-weapons” supplied to Ukraine by the West, which are capable of fundamentally changing the situation on the front. Initially, they were talking about deliveries of Javelin anti-tank systems, some kind of “unique” drones. Lately, the Westerners have been promoting the role of super-weapons with HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and long-range howitzers. However, these weapons also grind to a halt in battle. They did not make a significant impact. The Russian weapons, for their part, have proved their best qualities in combat.

We are taking a close look at trophy weapons from the West. The features and their specific qualities are taken into account in order to improve the way combat operations are conducted and the effectiveness of Russian armaments.

The supply of NATO weapons to Kiev means that Western countries are responsible for their inhumane use and for the deaths of civilians in Donbass and in the liberated territories. Ukrainian armed forces operations are planned in Washington and London. Not only are the coordinates of the targets to be attacked provided by Western intelligence, but the input of this data into weapons systems is conducted under the full control of Western specialists.

Kiev’s role in the West’s combat approach has been reduced to supplying manpower, which is seen as expendable. This explains the huge loss of personnel in Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence formations.

So far, the real figures of dead soldiers and mobilised so-called territorial defence forces have been concealed by the Kiev leadership.

In time, however, this information will become public. The testimonies of POWs of AFU allow us to form a realistic picture of what is happening on the other side of the front. The dismissive attitude towards the loss of foreign soldiers reinforces the thesis that NATO has purely selfish interests in Ukraine. Clearly, Britain’s colonial experience as the main sponsor of the Kiev regime has come in very handy for London in dealing with the current leadership in Kiev.

Against this background, speculation is spreading in the media about the alleged use of Russian tactical nuclear weapons in the special military operation or the readiness to use chemical weapons. All of these information gibberish are lies.

From a military point of view, there is no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve its goals. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter a nuclear attack. Its use is limited to extraordinary circumstances as defined in the Russian guideline documents, which are open to public inspection.

The allegations about the possible use of chemical weapons in Ukraine are also absurd. Let me remind you that, unlike the US, such weapons were completely destroyed in our country back in 2017 as part of our international obligations. Meanwhile, poisoning provocations have become the hallmark of Western-sponsored so-called civil society organisations such as the White Helmets in Syria.

The information provocations are aimed at distracting attention from the facts discovered in Ukraine that US experts have conducted banned military and biological research.

Currently, a significant amount of data has been accumulated and is regularly made available to the general public. Work will continue in this direction.

US military-biological activities in Ukraine are not exceptional. Pentagon-controlled laboratories have been established and operate in many post-Soviet, Asian, African and Latin American countries. Local authorities generally have no control over research carried out on their premises that poses a lethal threat to the local population. The consequences of epidemics, I believe, were felt by all during the period of the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

I would like to focus separately on the humanitarian aspects of the special military operation. Compliance with the Geneva Conventions on the rules of war has always been and remains the focus of commanders at all levels. Since the beginning of the operation, orders have been issued stipulating the procedures to be followed by soldiers in dealing with civilians and enemy prisoners of war.

In the territories liberated from nationalists, the troops are actively involved in the delivery of humanitarian aid, the restoration of infrastructure and the maintenance of law and order. This was the case in Syria, in Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is also the case in Donbass.

On humanitarian issues, there has been fruitful cooperation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are grateful for the constructive, depoliticised cooperation of the leaders and staff of these organisations who interact with us. In particular, under the auspices of the UN and with Turkey’s active role, the difficult problem of grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports was resolved. The Red Cross specialists carry out an important mediation mission in relation to captured soldiers.

NATO has recently initiated a new phase of alliance enlargement, with Sweden and Finland joining the military bloc. The claim that the reason for this was the Russian special operation is untrue.

The practical rapprochement between these countries and the alliance has been ongoing for many years. In fact, the regional association NORDEFCO (Committee for Nordic Defence Cooperation) is a northern affiliate of NATO and serves as a cover for these countries’ participation in joint military training activities.

Of course, the official involvement of Helsinki and Stockholm in NATO’s strategic planning and the possible allocation of territory to these states for deployment of strike weapons will change the security environment in the Baltic region and the Arctic and will require a reconsideration of approaches to defence of Russian territory.

Certain conclusions have already been reached and are enshrined in the updated Maritime Doctrine approved by the President of the Russian Federation on July 31. Work will continue in this area.

The reinforcement of the NATO military grouping on the “eastern flank” completes the degradation of the trust and arms control mechanisms that emerged in Europe during the Cold War. A few years ago, experts proposed that the European experience should be used to build confidence-building measures, in particular in the Pacific Rim. Now, of all the “baggage” of the Euro-dialogue, only the idea of bloc confrontation is exported to Asia, which has not brought anything positive to security in Europe.

Today, no one remembers the US destruction of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Limitation Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty. Although previously these agreements were crucial for disarmament and confidence-building.

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was conceived as a platform for dialogue and consideration of different views, has become a generator of anti-Russian narratives.

Vienna Document 2011 remains formally in force, but there are no prospects for practical implementation. In the absence of trust between the parties, the verification mechanism effectively becomes a source of intelligence, which is not in the spirit of this agreement.

The situation with regard to the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty is also complicated. The agreement remains in force until 2026. On the Russian side the commitments are fulfilled, the declared levels of carriers and warheads are maintained within the established limits.

U.S. claims that Russia must earn the right to continue dialogue with the U.S. do not resist criticism. Arms control is a two-way street.

The result is only achievable if the interests and commitment of all participants are balanced. I believe that the Russian experience of interaction with the West in the field of disarmament shows that the so-called rules-based peace it promotes does not involve the implementation of treaty obligations in the traditional sense. This fact needs to be taken into account when entering into agreements, especially in the field of security and arms control.

Western opposition to the consolidation of a multipolar world, along with Europe, is most active in the Asia-Pacific region, where the US has begun to dismantle the existing ASEAN-based system of regional cooperation. This started with the announcement of the AUKUS initiative by the US, Australia and the UK. Plans to expand this partnership to include new regional partners have not been concealed. AUKUS is merging with NATO, which in turn claimed a dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region at the June summit. This is despite the fact that all NATO countries are thousands of miles away from the region.

On 2 August, the Russian Federation marked the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s entry into the war with Japan, the occasion for which was Tokyo’s militarist policy. The defeat of Japanese forces in the Far East effectively sealed the end of World War II and provided the start for the liberation of the peoples of Asia from colonial oppression. The assistance of the USSR was of key importance. We remember and are proud of the legacy of our ancestors, including those who laid the foundation for military cooperation between Russia and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Another dangerous regional trend is the AUKUS focus on developing a nuclear submarine fleet in Australia. The implementation of this plan would have a complex negative impact on global and regional security, creating the conditions for undermining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The US claims that nuclear-powered submarines are needed in Australia ostensibly to offset China’s growing naval capabilities. This logic in fact replicates the actions of the US in justifying its exit from the Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missile Treaty. The collapse of this agreement was also motivated by the need to offset Russian and Chinese efforts to develop missiles with a range allegedly prohibited by the treaty.

In the global context, the appearance of a nuclear-powered fleet in Australia will provide an excuse for other states to begin developing similar armaments. Pandora’s box will be opened, the global nuclear arms race will resume.

AUKUS has the potential to develop into a politico-military alliance. It cannot be excluded that NATO’s experience with joint nuclear planning and joint “allied” nuclear exercises will also be transferred to the region. The technical basis for this is already being laid by the active promotion of US-made aircraft. The participation of nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states in joint exercises on the use of nuclear weapons is contrary to obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Transferring nuclear training from Europe will blow up the region.

Although it can be assumed that this is precisely the purpose of the US. The provocative landing in Taiwan of a third person of the US bureaucratic hierarchy is another move to destabilise the situation.

Block-less, equal interaction in the region is an achievement that should not be lost due to externally imposed phobias and attempts to counter a multipolar world.

Mechanisms for interaction and dialogue with extra-regional partners are created and are proving their relevance and effectiveness. First and foremost is the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ and Partners’ Meeting, the so-called “ADMM-Plus” format. Its diverse activities focus on security issues of relevance to the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, there is positive experience of cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of implementing mutually beneficial projects on a bilateral basis.

As before, we are ready to share our experience of combat training, in particular during the Vostok-2022 strategic exercise to be held in the near future.

Despite significant successes in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East, the threat of international terrorist groups taking over the initiative remains. The Syrian military, in cooperation with allies and partners and with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces, continues to suppress spikes in terrorist activity. We see a particular danger in using the Kurdish factor to unsettle the situation in Syria.

The engagement of the guarantor countries in the Astana format remains virtually the only legal and effective mechanism to address security concerns in Syria. We welcome the increased engagement between the Syrian leadership and the Arab world. Overcoming contradictions created by outside forces is possible and necessary.

The role of the military in building trust between countries is an important element in the search for political solutions. We expect that the Moscow conference will be one of the rallying points for the stabilisation of the situation in the Near East.

After the rapid withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the situation in the Central Asian region remains extremely tense. Afghanistan’s new leadership faces serious military and economic challenges. The legacy of two decades of alliance troop presence is a disappointing one. As a result, there remains a high level of terrorist danger in the region.

The security problems of Central Asia can only be solved by coordinated action by all the countries and international organisations concerned. For our part, we will continue to support our Collective Security Treaty Organisation allies in enhancing the capabilities of national armed forces.

It is important to keep the topic of Afghanistan on the agenda of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation discussions. Russia, China, India, Iran and Pakistan together could make a significant contribution not only to stabilising the region, but also to preventing the threat from spreading beyond its borders.

The security of each region, despite the general trends of a multipolar world, has its own peculiarities.

For Africa, the specificity lies in the desire of the countries of the collective West to return to the order and rules of engagement typical of the colonial period. Neo-colonialism is imposed through military pressure on governments of sovereign countries and support for separatist and terrorist movements. A case in point is Libya, where statehood has still not been restored after the NATO invasion. Another example is the situation in West Africa, where European troops have been deployed on the pretext of combating terrorism. For decades, these EU missions had been fighting terrorists, training national security forces, until they recognised the utter failure of their own efforts.

I would like to point out that African governments and leaders are holding their own, as they call it, in the context of a multipolar world, to pursue their own agenda of independence, sovereignty, economic development and defence capabilities.

The Russian Ministry of Defence is seeking to expand cooperation with African countries in the field of military and military-technical cooperation. Interest in the participation of national teams and delegations from Africa in the Army International Games and the “ARMY 2022” IMTF has increased significantly. It is very encouraging that prominent military commanders from our friendly states – Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea, Mali, Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia and the Republic of South Africa – are present in this hall today. We appreciate your support and intend to increase cooperation on mutually beneficial projects.

Latin America today faces serious security challenges because of the American desire to maintain influence in the region under the provisions of the so-called Monroe Doctrine. Liberal values, whose adherence is seen by the US as agreeing to live in a world based on their rules, in fact mask the true objective – to build up a military presence by blocking the possibility of sovereign development of states.

U.S. policy focuses on deterring engagement by countries in the region with any other pole of power outside Washington’s control. The purpose of this policy is to involve the region in a confrontation with Russia and the PRC, to destroy traditional ties and to block new forms of cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres.

Anti-Russian information campaigns are launched in Latin America, hiding the truth about the causes and course of the special military operation in Ukraine. Analogies can be drawn to the British actions during the conflict in the Falkland Islands. What is happening in the Western media today with the coverage of the Russian special military operation was also happening when the media was chorally broadcasting only one point of view – that of London.

The question arises: are such policies in the fundamental interest of the countries of the region? The answer is clear – no. We hope that during the discussions at the conference we will hear assessments of the situation in Latin America from our partners from Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The Tenth Moscow Conference on International Security has a special importance for the Russian Ministry of Defence as organiser of the forum for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the conference is taking place during the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Despite attempts of the US and NATO to isolate Russia once again, your participation in the forum is a visible confirmation that these plans have collapsed. We appreciate your support.

Secondly, a multipolar world is the reality of today. The transition from dominance by a single global leader to several centres of gravity is not an easy one. However, this creates real conditions for the development of sovereign states.

Thirdly, the role of military agencies is changing in the new realities. The military not only guarantees a secure environment for economic development, but through military cooperation it builds predictability and trust between countries.

Finally, this is the tenth anniversary conference, which allows for a kind of review of what has been achieved over the years. It is important to observe how the priorities of the discussions have changed, and which conclusions and recommendations from the forum have been put into practice over the years. A short historical overview, prepared by Russian experts, can be viewed on the monitors between plenary sessions.

I wish you all good health and interesting contacts and discussions during your stay in Moscow.

Thank you for your attention.

source: https://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12433677@egNews (which is blocked by western freedom loving democracies, so you need a VPN to access it!)

Will the Ukraine be partitioned next and, if so, how?

August 16, 2022

Interesting info today.  First, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has, through the statement of a Colonel General, made the following statement (translated by my friend Andrei Martyanov on his blog): (emphasis added)

Translation: MOSCOW, August 16 – RIA Novosti. Western curators have practically written off the Kyiv regime and are already planning the partition of Ukraine, Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Colonel-General Volodymyr Matveev said at the Moscow Conference on International Security. “Obviously, the West is not concerned about the fate of the Kyiv regime. As can be seen from the information received by the SVR, Western curators have almost written it off and are in full swing developing plans for the division and occupation of at least part of the Ukrainian lands,” he said. However, according to the general, much more is at stake than Ukraine: for Washington and its allies, it is about the fate of the colonial system of world domination.

Just to clarify, the SVR rarely makes public statements and when they do, you can take them to the bank as the SVR is not in the business of “leaks” from “informed sources” and all the rest of the PR nonsense produced by the so-called western “intelligence” agencies (which have now been fully converted to highly politicized propaganda outlets).

The same day I see this article on the RT website: “Western countries waiting for ‘fall of Ukraine’ – Kiev” in which an interesting statement the Ukronazi Foreign Minister is mentioned:

Several countries in the West are waiting for Kiev to surrender and think their problems will immediately solve themselves, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in an interview published on Tuesday.  “I often get asked in interviews and while speaking to other foreign ministers: how long will you last? That’s instead of asking what else could be done to help us defeat Putin in the shortest time possible,” Kuleba said, noting that such questions suggest that everyone “is waiting for us to fall and for their problems to disappear on their own.

Finally, a while ago, Dmitri Medvedev post this “future map of the Ukraine after the war” on his Telegram account.  This maps shows a Ukraine partitioned between her neighbors and a tiny rump Ukraine left in the center.

Now, full disclosure, I have been a proponent of the breakup of the Ukraine into several successor states for a long while now: I gave my reasons for this in my article “The case for the breakup of the Ukraine” written in faraway 2016.

Now, six years later, what are the chances of this happening?

Without making predictions, which is close to impossible right now as there are way too many variables which can dramatically influence the outcome, I want to list a few arguments for and against the likelihood (as opposed to desirability) of such an outcome.

Arguments for the likelihood of this outcome:

  • First, most of the neighbors of the Ukraine would benefit from such an outcome.  Poland would not get the “intermarium” it always dreams about, but it would get back lands which historically belong to Poland and are populated by many Poles.  In this map, Romania would also get a good deal, albeit Moldavia would lose Transnistria, which it had no real chance to ever truly control anyway.  Romania might, therefore, even absorb all of Moldavia.  True, on this map, Hungary gets (almost) nothing, but that is an issue which Hungary must tackle with Poland and Romania, not Russia.
  • Russia might not even oppose such a development, simply because it makes the Ukronazi problem somebody else’s issue.  As long as what is the current Ukraine is fully demilitarized and denazified, Russia will be fine with such an outcome.
  • The rump ex-Banderastan would be so much reduced in size, population and ressources that it would present little to no threat to anybody.  Crucially, the Russians will never allow it to have anything more than a minimal police and internal security force (for at least as long as there remains even *traces* of the Ukronazi Banderista ideology anywhere near Russia).  The actual chances of this rump Banderastan to become a threat to anybody would be close to zero.  Not to mention that even if that rump Banderastan could become some kind of threat, it would be much easier to deal with it than the threat Russia faced in early 2022.
  • Objectively, the European countries would get the best possible “out” for them, as being in a constant state of total war by proxy is absolutely unsustainable for countries of Europe.
  • As for “Biden”, assuming he is still alive and in power (?), it would make it possible for “him” to remove the topic of this latest war lost (again!) by the USA from the headlines and deal with other issues.
  • The Ukraine has been such a waste of money, billions and billions, that it is essentially a black hole with an event horizon which lets nothing come back out and beyond which anything, money, equipment or men, simply disappear.  That is clearly an unsustainable drain on the economies of the West.
  • Yet, in theory, if a deal is made and all parties agree, then the EU could remove maybe not all, but at least the worst, self-damaging, sanctions it so stupidly implemented and which are now destroying the EU’s economy.
  • For the USA the biggest benefit from such an outcome could be, in theory, that it would “close” the “Russian front” and allow the US to focus its hatred and aggression against China.

There are, however, also many arguments against such an outcome.

  • First, the western ruling classes, drunk on total russophobia, would have to accept that Russia won this war (again) and defeated the combined powers of the West (again).  This would mean an immense loss of face and political credibility for all those involved in the political war against Russia.
  • Second, for NATO this would be a disaster.  Remember that NATO’s real goal is to “keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down“.  In this case, how would an even expanded NATO accept that it could do absolutely nothing to stop the Russians from achieving all their goals?
  • Next, while the people of the EU are suffering from the devastating economic policies of their rulers, the ruling elites (the EU 1%) are doing just fine, thank you, and don’t give a damn about the people they rule over.
  • Such an outcome would also directly challenge the US desire for a unipolar world, run by Uncle Shmuel as the World Hegemon.  The risk here is a political domino effect in which more and more countries would struggle to achieve true sovereignty, which would be a direct threat to the US economic model.
  • Such an outcome is almost certain to be unachievable while the Neocons run the USA.  And since there are NO signs of the weakening of the Neocons’ iron grip on all the levers of political powers in the USA, such an outcome could only happen if the Neocon crazies are sent back to the basement they crawled out from and where they belong.  Not likely in the foreseeable future.
  • This focus on the partition of the Ukraine overlooks the fact that the Ukraine is not the real enemy of Russia.  In fact, the Ukraine lost the war to Russia in the first 7-10 days after the beginning of the SMO.  Ever since, it is not the Ukraine per se which Russia has been fighting, but the consolidated West.  If the real enemy is the consolidated West, the it could be argued that *any* outcome limited to the Ukraine would not fix or solve anything.  At best, it might be an intermediate stage of a much larger and longer war in which Russia will have to demilitarize and denazify not just Banderastan but, at the very least, all of the EU/NATO countries.
  • While for some the Ukrainian war has been an economic disaster, it has been a fantastic windfall for the (terminally corrupt) US MIC.  And I won’t even go into the obvious corruption ties the Biden family has in Kiev.  If this “Medvedev solution” is ever realized, then all that easy money would disappear.
  • Furthermore, while amongst the argument for such an outcome I listed the ability of the USA to “close the Russian front” and focus on China, in reality such an arguments makes a very far-fetched assumption: that it is still possible to separate Russia and China and that Russia would allow the US to strike at China.  Simply put, Russia cannot allow China to be defeated any more than China can allow for a Russian defeat.  Thus the entire notion of “closing the Russian front” is illusory, in reality things have gone way too far for that and neither Russia nor China will allow the US to take them down one by one.
  • The EU is run by a comprador ruling class which is totally subservient to the interests of the US Neocons.  There are, already, many internal tensions inside the EU and such an outcome would be a disaster for those all those EU politicians who painted themselves into the corner of a total war against Russia, and even if, say, the Poles, Romanians or even Hungarians get some benefit from such an outcome, it would be unacceptable to the thugs currently running Germany, the UK or even France.

The arguments for and against such an outcome I listed above are just some examples, in reality there are many more arguments on both sides of this issue.  Besides, what made sense 6 years ago might not make sense today.

For example, this discussion focuses on the “what” but not on the “how”.  Let me explain.

I think that I was the first person in the West who noticed and translated a key Russian expression: “non agreement capable” (недоговороспособны).  This expression has been increasingly used by many Russian decision-makers, politicians, political commentators and others.  Eventually, even the folks in the West picked up on this.  So let’s revisit this issue again, keeping in mind that the Russians are now fully convinced that the West is simply “non agreement capable”.  I would argue that up until the Russian ultimatum to the USA and NATO, the Russians still left open the door to some kind of negotiations.  However, and as I predicted BEFORE the Russian ultimatum, Russia made the only possibly conclusion from the West’s stance: if our “partners” (sarcasm) are not agreement capable, then the time has come for Russian unilateralism.

True, ever since 2013, or even 2008, there were already signs that Russian decision making is gradually moving towards unilateralism.  But the Russian ultimatum and SMO are now the “pure” signs of the adoption by Russia of unilateralism, at least towards the consolidated West.

If that is correct, then I would suggest that most arguments above, on both sides of the issue, are have basically become obsolete and irrelevant.

Furthermore, I would like to add a small reminder here: most of the combat operations in the Ukraine are not even conducted by Russian forces, but by LDNR forces supported by Russian C4ISR and firepower.  But in terms of her real military potential, Russia has used less than 10% of her military and Putin was quite candid about this when he said “we have not even begun to act seriously“.

What do you think this war will look like if Russia decides to really unleash her full military power, that is the 90% of forces which are currently not participating in the SMO?

Here is a simple truth which most folks in the West cannot even imagine: Russia does not fear NATO at all.

If anything, the Russians have already understood that they have the means to impose whatever outcome they chose to unilaterally impose on their enemies.  The notion of a US/NATO attack on Russia is simply laughable.  Yes, the USA has a very powerful submarine force which can fire lots of Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles at Russian targets.  And yes, the US has a still robust nuclear triad.  But neither of these will help the USA win a land war against the Russian armed forces.

And no, sending a few thousands US soldiers to this or that NATO country to “reinforce NATO’s eastern flank” is pure PR, militarily, it is not even irrelevant, it’s laughable.  I won’t even comment on the sending of F-35s which is so utterly ridiculous and useless against the Russian Aerospace Forces and air defenses that I won’t even bother arguing with those who don’t understand how bad both the F-35s (and even the F-22s!) really are.

I won’t dignify the EU’s military capabilities with any comment other than this: countries who now seriously advocate taking less frequent showers to “show Putin!” have sunk to such a level of irrelevance and degeneracy that they cannot be taken seriously, most definitely not in Russia.

So where do we go from here?

As I said, I don’t know, there are too many variables.  But a few things seem clear to me:

  • Russia has decided to full unilateralism in her policies towards the Ukraine and the West.  Oh sure, if and when needed, Russians will still agree to talk to their western “partners”, but that is due to the long standing Russian policy of always talking to everybody and anybody, even Russia’s worst enemies.  Why?  Because neither warfare not political unilateralism are an end by themselves, they are only means to achieve a specific political goal.  Thus, it is always good to sit down with your enemy, especially if you have been gently but steadily increasing the pain dial on them for a few months!  The Europeans being the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” (to quite BoJo) they are might cave in quickly and suddenly or, at the very least, they will try to improve their lot by trying to bypass their own sanctions (Uncle Shmuel permitting, however reluctantly).
  • The only party with any real agency left with which Russia could seriously negotiate is the USA, of course.  However, as long as the USA under the total control of the Neocons, this is a futile exercise.
  • Should there ever be any kind of deal made, it would only be one which would be fully and totally verifiable.  Contrary to popular beliefs, a great many treaties and agreements can be crafted to be fully verifiable, that is not a technical problem by itself.  However, with the current ruling classes of the West, no such deal is likely to be hammered out and agreed by all parties involved.

So what is left?

There is a Russian saying which my grandmother taught me as a kid: “the borders of Russia are found at the end of a Cossack’s spear“.  This saying, born from 1000 years of existential warfare with no natural borders simply expresses a basic reality: the Russian armed forces are the ones who decide where Russia ends.  Or you can flip it this way: “the only natural border of Russia are the capabilities of the Russian armed forces”.  You can think of it has pre-1917 Russian unilateralism 🙂

Still, this begs the question of the moral and ethical foundation for such a stance.  After all, does it not suggest that Russia gives herself the right to invade any country it can just because she can?

Not at all!

While there were imperialist and expansionist wars in Russian history, compared to the West’s 1000 years of wall to wall imperialism, Russia is but a meek and gentle lamb!  Not that this excuses anything, it is simply a fact.  The rest of the Russian wars were, almost all, existential wars, for the survival and freedom of the Russian nation.  I cannot think of a more “just war” than one which 1) was imposed upon you and 2) one in which your sole goal is to survive as a free and sovereign nation, especially a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation as the Russian one has always been, in sharp contrast to the enemies of Russia which were always driven by religious, nationalist and even overtly racist fervor (which is what we can all observe again today, long after the end of WWII).

Is this just propaganda?  If you think so, then you can study Russian history or, better, study the current military doctrine of Russia and you will see that Russia’s force planning is entirely defensive, especially at the strategic level.  The best proof of that is that Russia put up with all the ugly racist and russophobic policies of the Ukraine or the three Baltic statelets for decades without taking any action.  But when the Ukraine became a de facto NATO proxy and directly threatened not only the Donbass, but Russia herself (does anybody still remember that days before the SMO, “Ze” declared that the Ukraine should get nuclear weapons?!), then Russia took action.  You have to be either blind or fantastically dishonest not to admit that self-evident fact.

[Sidebar: by the way, the three Baltic statelets, for which Russia has not use at all, are constantly trying to become a military threat to Russia, not only by hosting NATO forces, but also by truly idiotic plans to “lock” the Baltic with Finland.  Combine this was the Nazi anti-Russian Apartheid policies towards the Russian minorities and you would be forgiven for thinking that the Balts really want to be the next ones to be denazified and demilitarized.  But… but… – you will say  – “since they are members of NATO, they cannot be attacked!”.  Well, if you believe that 1) anybody in NATO will fight Russia over these statelets or 2) that NATO has the military means to protect them, then I have got plenty of great bridges to sell you.  Still, the most effective way to deal with the Balts is to let them commit economic suicide, which they basically have already done, and then promise them a few “economic carrots” for a change to a more civilized attitude.  A Russian saying says that “the refrigerator wins against the TV” (победа холодильника над телевизором) which means that when your refrigerator is empty, the propaganda on TV loses its power.  I think that the future of the 3 Baltic statelets will be defined by that aphorism]

So will the Ukraine be partitioned?

Yes, absolutely, it has already lost huge parts of its territory and it will only lose more.

Might the western neighbors decide to take a bite out off the western Ukraine?  Sure!  That is a real possibility.

But these will all be either unilateral actions or very unofficially coordinated understandings wrapped in plausible deniability (like the deployment Polish “peacekeepers” to “protect” the western Ukraine).  But mostly I predict two things will happen: 1) Russia will achieve all of her goals unilaterally without making any deals with anybody and 2) Russia will only allow the Ukraine’s western neighbors to bite off some chucks of the Ukraine if, and only if, those chunks to not represent any military threat to Russia.

Remember what Putin said about Finland and Sweden and Finland joining NATO?  He said that by itself, this is not a problem for Russia.  But he warned that should these countries host US/NATO forces and weapons systems threatening Russia, than Russia will have to take counter-measures.  I think that this is also the Kremlin’s position about the future of any rump-Banderastan and any moves by NATO countries (including Poland, Romania and Hungary) to reacquire territories which historically belonged to them or which have substantial Polish, Romanian and Hungarian minorities.

Right now, we are only in the second phase of the SMO (which centers of the Donbass) and Russia has not even initiated any operations to move deeper into the Ukraine.  As for the real war, the war between Russia and the combined West, it has been going on for no less than decade, or even more, and this war will last much longer than the SMO in the Ukraine.  Finally, the outcome of this war will see  tectonic and profound changes at least as damatic as the changes resulting from the outcomes of WWI and WWII.

The Russians understand that what they now really must do is to truly finish WWII and that the formal end of WWII in 1945 only marked the transition to a different type of warfare still imposed by a united, consolidated West, but now not by German Nazis but by (mostly) US Neocons (which, of course, are typical racist Nazis, except their racism is Anglo and Judaic/Zionist).

I will conclude with a short quote by Bertold Brecht which, I think, is deeply understood by Russia today:

Therefore learn how to see and not to gape.
To act instead of talking all day long.
The world was almost won by such an ape!
The nations put him where his kind belong.
But don’t rejoice too soon at your escape –
The womb he crawled from is still going strong.”

― Bertolt Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Russia slaughtered a lot of western apes in her history, now is the time to finally deal with the womb from which they crawled out from.

Andrei

PS: FYI – the Russian investigation has declared that the explosions in the airfield in Crimea was an act of sabotage/diversion.  Which was the most likely explanation to begin with.

An Alternative Open Letter to Western Politicians

August 15, 2022

Source

by Asia Teacher

Dear western politicians!

Leaving aside the usual sycophantic nonsense, which applauds your continuing efforts to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East with missile attacks, trying to change the earth’s climate using beliefs, promising an unknown source of ‘green’ energy whilst promoting vaccines to save us from certain death from a dose of flu, here’s an alternative open letter.

As a UK citizen now retired, having recently returned to the UK after over a decade of living and working in Asia and the Far East I’m stunned by the stupification around me. Have I inadvertently fallen down an alternative universe Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, or is there a hidden factory somewhere mass-producing stupid politicians?

As yet another British Prime Minister resigns following the resignations of two others before him producing a failing economy, soaring inflation, sky-high taxes, an energy crisis and a falling pound … The indoctrinated cheer on men with beards wearing dresses and it’s left to a dwindling minority to explain why carrots don’t grow on trees in a socially engineered ideological dystopia! The consequences of which you blame on the Russians, or the Chinese depending on who the US has currently fallen out with.

As you sit in your elitist tax payer funded ivory towers, let’s briefly detail the chaos and mayhem you’ve produced.

Did you think the outside world believed you were trying to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East and not trying to control the world’s major oil producers who just all happened to have abandoned the petrodollar? How many millions lost their lives in that failed adventure?

How many of you swooned over a 16-year-old autistic Swedish school drop out with Asperger’s syndrome, OCD and selective mutism whose mother said she had “special eyes” that could see carbon rising from a dying planet? As a self-inflicted energy crisis looms and both Britain and Germany re-open coal-fired power stations, are you still cheering for mentally ill Greta and her windmills?

How can you keep a straight face whilst telling millions that if they didn’t have the Covid vaccine they’d be passing on the flu they didn’t have onto others? How much of the vaccine scam profit disappeared into the pockets of pharmaceuticals, lobbyists and your own pockets? The whole country could hear the cash tills ringing as shares in the pharmaceuticals producing vaccines went through the roof amid crony contracts awarded to favoured companies. Are you listening former British Health Secretary Matt Hancock who resigned after being caught with his nose in the trough.

Predictably, as the manufactured hysteria wore off and attention spans waned, the advice from the British National Health Service was to open our windows and let the virus out. Apparently, it had been hiding in our homes the whole time? Moreover, the experiment of a “new normal” locked down muzzled population also failed, together with the attempt to introduce Covid passports as hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Britain and throughout Europe in mass demonstrations to protest against the implementation of virtual house arrest and freedom of movement. After this, what comes next, a climate change lock down?

Moving on, Russia, who just by coincidence is another major energy producer surrounded by NATO missile bases and sanctioned hoping its economy collapses and produces another “regime change.” Why does that produce a feeling of déjà vu? How long did you believe a nuclear power would tolerate an aggressive US led NATO advancing towards its border? The last time western armies gathered on Russian borders was in 1941 and that didn’t end well.

Oh the irony, as you cheer for the same Nazis your grandfathers fought against and vilify the Russians who are now having to fight them again. How many of you condemned the previous eight years of ethnic Russian murders in the Crimea and Donbass by Nazi militias who you helped arm and train, but turned a blind eye to the consequences. No crocodile tears and outraged comments from you when Russian civilians were being killed. Make no mistake, in another era the majority of you would be sitting in the same Nuremberg dock as the previous psychopaths!

For the last quarter century you are without doubt the most useless, corrupt and destructive political class in British history. In one generation you have dumbed down the British population to an idiocracy in your ‘Woke’ eagerness to remove the cultural traditions and values of centuries. As suicide statistics soar, mental health issues reach an all-time high and drugs become a lifestyle choice for many to block out the horror of reality, it’s not a diverse and equality multicultural utopia you’ve produced, it’s a nightmare!

And you, the US demagogues and liberal fascist European Commissioners; in two decades your ideologically warped quest for power has not only failed to make the world a safer place, you have brought us to the verge of a nuclear conflict. Between you, you’ve managed to wreck our economies, brought terrorism to our streets and created the worst energy crisis since the 1970s – whilst becoming fabulously wealthy yourselves. Yes, we have noticed. The sooner you’re removed from power, the sooner both we the western populations and the outside world can have a rest from your incompetence and murderous activities!

Meanwhile, as I write from England, outside my window another car with exhaust baffles removed and the window wound down emitting ear-splitting decibels of rap ‘music’ drives past, whilst on the pavement a silent E-scooter carrying a bald middle-aged man with expressionless eyes in short trousers and tattooed legs races by.

Asia Teacher is a UK citizen, retired teacher of English plus Social and Political Science.

What I’ve seen of Ukraine’s war crimes against civilians in the Donbass over the past few months

 

Eva Bartlett

I haven’t “blogged” consistently for many years, since my Gaza days really, and use this site as a place to re-post my writings and interviews, generally.

Today, because I’m strapped for time, still in the Donetsk People’s Republic, I’m doing a short blog post, to share this:

If you’re not on Twitter, the thread is also here on the Thread Reader

RELATED:

The West is silent as Ukraine targets civilians in Donetsk using banned ‘butterfly’ mines

Today, Ukraine bombed a Donetsk hotel full of journalists – here’s what it felt like to be inside at the time

Western media and politicians prefer to ignore the truth about civilians killed in Donetsk shelling [When Kiev’s guilt in attacks on a maternity hospital cannot be denied, it’s simply brushed under the carpet]

Who killed the POWs at Yelenovka? All signs on the ground point to a Ukrainian attack

Ukrainian strike on Donetsk market was a terrorist act

 EVA BARTLETTDONBASSDONETSKGORLOVKALUGANSKMAKEEVKAMARIUPOLMEDIA LIESUKRAINE

Why have I stopped posting maps of the situation in the Ukraine and a few other questions

August 10, 2022

A reader recently asked me why I have not posted any maps of the military situation in the Ukraine, and that is a fair question which I will answer below.

There are a few reasons for this, but the main and most obvious one is this: unlike the first month or two of the SMO, there are very few changes worth showing on a map.  That is NOT to say that there are no changes on the frontlines, there are, plenty, but they just don’t translate into nice looking maps.

recent post on Moon of Alabama quoted what appears to be a leak from the Ukrainian command and which I will repost here:

Ukrainian channels are discussing what might be a leaked data from AFU General Staff:

 The AFU are only at 43-48% strength
– medical workers at their limit
– small arms and armor are not enough
 191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)
– there is not enough hydraulics and liquid nitrogen for M777 howitzers
– no one cares about the missing – there are no statistics
– the equipment transferred by the West is running out
– western weapons are operated by amateurs, since there are no qualified specialists
– no way to repair weapons on the spot due to the lack of spares and specialists – everything is sent to Poland

BTW, even with this dire report, I would caution against predicting a decisive break in morale. As with Peski, the walking wounded are sent straight back into the trenches

I would just add here that Peski has been taken.

But the key factoids here are “The AFU are only at 43-48% strength” and “191 thousand soldiers were killed and wounded (only AFU, not including others)“.

Figures might change from country to country, and it all depends on the type of warfare which is being conducted, but the rule of thumb I was taught is that any unit which loses over 30% of its strength is not capable of fulfilling its theoretical combat missions.  Now, in history, there are plenty of examples of units with 30% or even more losses, but such units can only hold their ground, not operate an orderly withdrawal nevermind a counterattack.  The eventual outcome is always the same, eventually such units collapse and disappear (dead, prisoner or escape).

Put otherwise, at this current stage of the war, statistics such as the one above tell the story, maps don’t.

That being said,

The truth is that the Ukrainian forces in the Donbass have been in a de-facto operational cauldron since the first week of the SMO.  That is not the result of any special Russian military move, but a factor of geography.  Simply put, the eastern Ukraine is a gigantic cauldron.  True, it as not a locked cauldron, meaning that the Ukrainian side still could move forces into and out of the cauldron, but it was already “locked by fire” meaning that Russian forces could, and did, attack the forces moving in and out with devastating effectiveness.

Quick reminder: the Ukrainians, supported by billions of dollars from the combined West did have eight years to prepare very strong fortifications along the towns and cities they controlled before the SMO.  Maybe somebody expected the Russians to move in frontally, carpet bomb the Ukie-controlled Donbass (as the USA would do) and then frontally attack taking huge casualties in the process.  The Russians, wisely, did not oblige.  Instead, they chose to slowly grind down the Ukrainian defenses.

These tactics did, by the way, result in quite a few towns and villages being liberated by Russia (Izum, Peski and others), and quite a few tactical “cauldrons” which eventually were absorbed.  But, again, the maps did not reflect the nature of what was taking place.

One question I get a lot is: how come the Russian can’t even stop the shelling of Donetsk from, say, Avdeevka?  They have a much stronger and larger artillery force and they have very good counter-battery capabilities, so what is the problem here?

Simple, the Ukrainians position their artillery right next to buildings occupied by civilians.  So when a Ukrainian mortar, howitzer or MLRS fires at Donetsk or Makeevka, the Russians DO see where it fired from, but they cannot simply reply with a volley of their own, because that would be killing tens if not hundreds of innocent civilians.  That would also give the West the “Russian massacre” they so badly wanted in Bucha.  So, instead of firing back, the Russians then refine their firing data, which not only takes time, but also allows the Ukrainians to move, not necessarily by much, just a few tens or hundreds of meters, sometimes just on the other side of a building.

So the Russians decided that moving in slow makes much more sense than to frontally storm the Ukrainian fortifications.  This is better for both the LDNR and Russian forces and it is much better for the civilians.

Look, why do you think that the entire civilian infrastructure of, say, Kiev or Kharkov is fully functioning?  If you really sincerely believe that the Russians could not destroy it on day 1 of the SMO, you might as well stop reading and never revisit this blog again.  For the rest, here is the truism which really explains it all

==>>The Russians do not fight wars the way the USA does<<==

What do I mean by that?

Here is the basic US war plan:

  1. Attack a basically defenseless country
  2. Achieve air supremacy (in the absence of any modern air defenses)
  3. Fire a large amount of cruise missiles, followed by massive air strikes
  4. If that is not enough, deliberately target and destroy the entire civilian infrastructure
  5. Then send in ground forces whose basic tactic is this: advance and shoot defenseless people, and when meeting any resistance, call in an airstrike.  Then continue.
  6. Declare victory and leave (ideally while leaving a comprador puppet regime in control)

The result is well over a million dead in Iraq, the total devastation of Libya, the massive bombing of Serbian civilians in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo, etc. etc. etc.

The Russians simply reject that “logic” on moral and pragmatic grounds.  Remember the #6 above!  That is *not* a viable option for Russians.

Historically, genocide has ALWAYS been the western way of war, this is especially true of the British and the US Americans.  You don’t have to believe me, simply read this book: The First Way of War: American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814 by John Grenier, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2009 after a twenty year career in which he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and served two tours as a professor at the Air Force Academy. He currently serves as the senior professor in American military history for Norwich University’s on-line Masters of Art in Military History (MMH) program.  Really, I mean it, get his book, read it, and lose any naive illusions you might have about “western democracy” and how “liberals” wage war on others.

Another question I get is this: why do the Russian not bypass the Ukronazi towns and villages in the Donbass and push on deeper inside the Ukraine?  The answer is simple:  because that would place Russian forces in between the still existing Ukrainian positions which the Russians are slowly grinding down now and the Ukrainian forces in the Central Ukraine.  It is hardly surprising that the Russians do not want to have their forces fighting on two fronts, one to the West and one to the East.  So what about the famous “deep armor operations” or the use of battalion tactical group as a tactical-operational maneuver group? These are all parts of a regular, full-scale, combined arms operation, yes, but the SMO is NOT, repeat, NOT a regular combined arms operation.  One example, when the Russians initiated their SMO the Ukrainians had a pretty substantial numerical superiority over the Russians, combined with specific military technological elements (such as advanced secured communications) which the LDNR forces did not have at all, and which the Russian military did have, but not down to the same subunit levels as the Ukrainians.  What do we see today?  The numerical superiority is gone, and the advanced technologies given to the Ukronazis by the West have only made things more difficult for the Russians, but failed to affect the outcome.

And, of course, the “favorite” one: you (and others) have said many times that Russia could and would defeat the Ukraine in days, a few week max.  So now do you admit that you were totally wrong?

First, let’s begin with the assumption of that question, that is to say that Russia did not defeat the Ukraine in days or weeks.  Is that even true?

I would argue that is is not.  The Russians *DID* successfully basically disable the Ukrainian armed forces in the first few days and weeks of the war: almost the entire Ukrainian air force was destroyed and so were much of the Ukrainian air defenses.  As for the ground forces, they have failed to execute a single effective counter-attacks, at most they claimed that every Russian retreat was a result of their counter-attacks, but let me ask a simple question here: if those counter-attacks were successful, where is the result???  Nothing, well, other that the utterly fictitious fairy tales coming out of Kiev, of course.  And since Kiev has been wall-to-wall lying about everything from Day 1 of the SMO, how can anybody take their grandiose statements seriously?

So what really happened?

Number of foreign mercenaries in the Ukraine

What happened is that the untied West decided to throw its full military might behind the Nazi regime in Kiev.  Not only have BILLIONS of dollars worth of equipment been made available to the Ukrainian forces, there were also THOUSANDS of “volunteers” sent to the Ukraine to support the Ukronazi forces (see chart of the right, click here for higher resolution. Quick translation of the main terms: Страна: country; Прибыло: arrived; Уничтожено: destroyed; Убыло: departed; Всего: total).

Last, but most certainly not least, the US and NATO are making use of all their C4ISR capabilities in support of the Ukronazi forces.  In fact, it would be accurate to say that the US+NATO have now taken full control of all the military operations in the Ukraine (they have also presided over the total crackdown on any and all forms of internal Ukrainian opposition!).

Once this is understood, let me ask you three simple questions:

  • Have I or anybody else declared that Russia would militarily defeat the combined forces of the US+NATO in days or weeks?
  • How long would YOU estimate it would take the Russians to achieve such a goal?
  • Do you really not see that IN SPITE of that massive and total support of the West, Russia is well on her way to do just that, to defeat not only the best and biggest proxy force in US history, but also all the efforts of the combined West to defeat Russia militarily and economically?

If you did not see this, say, even one month or two ago, I could understand.  But if you STILL don’t smell the coffee, then I declare you hopeless, encourage you to stop reading this article and stay away from this blog 🙂

Seriously, if the combined West had left the Ukronazi regime in Kiev to its own devices “Ze” would have had to capitulate about 10 days into the SMO, if only to spare the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.

Did the Russians expect such a massive reaction from the West?  The term “expect” is very misleading.  That is not how these things work.  Operational and strategic plans are not based on a single scenario which you “hope” will materialize.  Here are also two things which we should always remember:

  • It is the job of the intelligence agencies and the operations planning departments to prepare and model for as many possible scenarios (or scenarii?) as reasonably imaginable.
  • Operational and strategic plans do not deal with tactical issues and they CONSTANTLY change depending on a feedback and decision making loop.

One example: Putin admitted during a TV interview that when the Russians moved into Crimea he had placed Russian nuclear forces on maximal alert.  Does that meant that anybody in the Kremlin or the General Staff “expected” the US to nuke Russia?  Of course not!  But they DID consider that possibility and took the needed action to try to prevent it.

Same here.  I am very confident that the Russians were fully prepared for the West’s insane and, frankly, suicidal reaction to the SMO.  In fact, that “maximal” response was one of the MANY contingencies which the Russians must have prepared for.  As a former intelligence analyst, I can tell you that military analysis does look at as many options as possible and then the operational planning folks make their own preparations for any contingency.

It is now abundantly clear that the West is determined to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  Hence the truly idiotic order given to the best and most capable Ukrainian forces to not engage in a mobile defense but to hold their ground in the Donbass until they are totally destroyed.

Furthermore, it is also abundantly clear that the western countries are willing to destroy not only its own economies, but the entire international financial system to try to hurt Russia (and China) as much as possible.

In other words, Russia is not engaged in a war against the Ukraine, but against the entire united and consolidated West.

==>>Have I not been saying just that since at least 2013?<<==

How long will this war last?

I cannot answer that because the answer depends entirely on: how suicidally stupid the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are?

The Ukrainian forces in the eastern Ukraine have no hopes for an orderly retreat anymore, so they will be destroyed.  How soon?  I don’t know, that depends on the folks in the trenches and how strong a grip the Nazis have over that force.

Will there be a Ukrainian counter-attack towards Kherson?  I sure hope not.

Why? Because currently the Ukrainian forces are dug in inside the city of Nikolaev, and if they decide to attack, they will not only have to get into their pre-battle order formation outside the protective confines of the city, but then they will also have then cross a mostly empty plain.  In other words, it will be a massacre.

Might they still try?  Sure!  ALL the orders given to the Ukrainian forces by the USA+NATO are de facto suicidal and make no military sense.  No Neocon will ever give a damn about more massacred Ukrainians.

What else could the Ukrainians do?

Mostly, what they have been doing so far, including:

  • Massacring as many civilians in the liberated areas as possible, including with the use of banned weapons (anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions).
  • Organize effective terrorist attacks not only in the liberated areas of the Donbass, but also inside Russia (that the Ukrainians have proven pretty good at)
  • They might conduct further attacks against Russia, Crimea and the Crimean bridge.  None of them will make any military difference or even have much of an impact, but it will be good PR, especially with the full support of the AngloZionist propaganda machine aka “the free press”.
  • They are trying hard to bomb the nuclear power station in Zaporozhie.  The power plant at Chernobyl might become a target again.  Finally, the Ukronazis still have access to plenty of spent nuclear waste which they could use as a “dirty bomb” against their own population and blame Russia (think of it as a “nuclear Bucha”).
  • The steady flow of fixed and rotary wing aircraft from Poland, Romania and other countries will continue, giving the Ukronazi propaganda the illusion that Russia does not have air superiority over the entire Ukraine.

There is also a very real possibility that Poland and Hungary might move into the western Ukraine to “protect” their nationals.  They have, so far, refrained from doing so, at least openly, probably because US/NATO commanders do not want to risk a Russian strike on NATO forces (even these idiots Biden and Stoltenberg have publicly said that!).  However, if done intelligently, Poland and Hungary might well obtain by entirely non-official channels, a Russian promise to “look away” and not take any action.  Why?  Because Russia has no need whatsoever for these territories and because Russia will be more than happy to let the Poles and Hungarians deal with the Ukronazi nutcases of the western Ukraine.

I hope that the above answers at least some questions you might have had.

I will mention one last thing: while the collapse of the international financial system is already well underway, its effects have, so far, not been fully felt, most definitely not in the USA and not even fully in the EU.  Once the magnitude of this self-inflicted disaster become absolutely undeniable, not even by the Neocon-run “free press” things in the West will began to change politically.  So now is the time to wait and see, not speculate.

Andrei

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