NATO warns that Putin’s MASSIVE attack is happening now, send weapons | Redacted with Clayton Morris

February 03, 2023

القطار الروسي المدرّع والمظلة النووية الروسية فوق إيران

 الخميس 2 شباط 2023

محمد صادق الحسيني

يتجه التحالف الروسي الإيراني في المواجهة المشتركة ضدّ “الغرب الجماعي” الى مراحل متقدمة جداً في الصراع.
وفي هذا السياق، كان من اللافت جداً التحوّل النوعي في مسرح العمليات المشتعلة في أوكرانيا، المترافقة مع تصريحات رئيس الديبلوماسية الروسية اللافتة أيضاً…

فقد تناقلت وكالات الأنباء المختلفة، يوم 31/1/2023، إعلان القوات المسلحة الروسية عن نقل/ إرسال/ قطار عسكري مدرّع الى منطقة الدونباس، ايّ الى منطقة العملية العسكرية الروسية الخاصة في هذا الإقليم.

فما هو هذا القطار وما هي أهميته؟

قبل الدخول في الإضاءة على ماهية هذا القطار لا بدّ من التنويه او الإشارة الى تاريخ هذه القطارات، وطبيعة المهمات التي تقوم بها، عندما يصدر لها التكليف بذلك، من قبل هيئة الأركان العامة الروسية (السوڤياتية سابقاً).

ومن بين أهمّ عناصر التعرّف على هذه القطارات هي العناصر التالية:

أولاً: هي قطارات عسكرية مدرّعة/ مصفحة/ بطريقة تحميها من كلّ أنواع القذائف المضادة للدروع، بما في ذلك مدافع المدفعية الثقيلة.
وهي بالإضافة الى ذلك تدخل في عداد الأسلحة الاستراتيجية، وهو ما سنتطرّق إليه في النقاط التالية.

ثانياً: تقود قطارات كهذه قاطرتان عملاقتان، ذات محركات قوية جداً، ويتألف القطار الواحد من عشرات العربات المدرّعة، الأمر (عدد العربات) الذي تحدّده طبيعة المهمة التي يقوم بها هذا القطار او ذاك.
وهي مهمات متعددة، تبدأ بالاستطلاع العسكري بالنيران، مروراً بتطويق قوات العدو في قواطع معينة من قواطع الجبهة، وصولاً الى حمل أسلحة ذات طبيعة استراتيجية، قد تكون تقليدية وقد تكون نووية.

ثالثاً: هنا تكمن أهمية هذه القطارات، التي أعلنت القوات المسلحة الروسية عن إدخالها الخدمة، في منطقة الدونباس.
إذ انّ هذه القطارات، وعلى عكس ما تنشره وسائل الإعلام الأجنبية والعربية، غير المتخصصة، حول طبيعة مهمات هذه القطارات، والتي تختصرها هذه الوسائل بكون هذه القطارات عبارة عن ورشة إصلاح متنقلة، لإصلاح السكك الحديدية التي تتعرّض لأضرار، نتيجة لعمليات القصف المدفعي/ الصاروخي المعادي.

رابعاً: إلا انّ المهمة المذكورة أعلاه قد تكون مهمة جانبية جداً، لمثل هذه القطارات، التي استخدمتها الجيوش السوفياتية، خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، لاقتحام خطوط الدفاع الألمانية وإقامة رؤوس جسور للقوات المدرّعة والمشاة الميكانيكية السوفياتية، خلف خطوط الجيوش الألمانية.

خامساً: كما أنّ القوات المسلحة السوڤياتية قد واصلت استخدام هذه القطارات، وأدخلت عليها العديد من التعديلات والتقنيات العسكرية المتقدّمة جداً، الامر الذي جعلها تتحوّل الى مكوّن رئيسي من مكوّنات الردع النووي السوڤياتي والروسي لاحقاً.

سادساً: لكن كيف تحوّلت هذه القطارات من وسيلة نقل الى سلاح ردع استراتيجي لدى الاتحاد السوفياتي ومن ثم الدولة الروسية الاتحادية، الوريث القانوني للاتحاد السوفياتي؟
الجواب على هذا السؤال يكمن في انّ الجيوش السوڤياتية قد سلحت هذه القطارات بفئة الصواريخ الاستراتيجية النووية، من طراز في التسمية السوڤياتية/ حسب تسمية حلف شمال الاطلسي.

سابعاً: نختصر مواصفات هذا الصاروخ بما يلي:
ـ دخل الخدمة سنة 1987.
ـ يبلغ وزنه القتالي (عندما يكون مجهّزاً لتنفيذ عمليات قتالية ومحمّلاً بالرؤوس النووية) مائة واربعة أطنان.
ـ يبلغ مدى هذا الصاروخ أحد عشر ألف كيلومتر.
ـ يحمل هذا الصاروخ عشرة رؤوس حربية،
وهي رؤوس حربية قادرة على ضرب عشرة أهداف مختلفة.
ـ تبلغ القوة التدميرية لكلّ واحد من هذه الصواريخ النووية اربعمائة كيلو طن، علماً انّ كلّ كيلو طن يساوي ألف طن من المواد المتفجرة التقليدية، ايّ انّ القوة التدميرية لهذا الصاروخ تبلغ اربعمائة ألف طن من المواد المتفجرة.

ثامناً: تمتلك القوات المسلحة الروسية، في ترسانتها الاستراتيجية الحالية، ستة وثلاثين صاروخاً من هذا الطراز، وهي محمولةً على قطارات مدرعة ودائمة الحركة، على سكك الحديد الروسية، المنتشرة على مساحة الدولة الروسية، البالغة أكثر من سبعة عشر مليون كيلومتر مربع، ما يجعل اكتشاف مثل هذه القواعد الصاروخية الدائمة الحركة من سابع المستحيلات.

تاسعاً: كما يجب ان يتمّ تقييم هذه الخطوة العسكرية الروسية، بإرسال هذه القطارات المدرّعة الى مناطق الدونباس في هذا الوقت بالذات، في ضوء تصريحات وزير الخارجية الروسية، حول إيران ايضاً، والتي قال فيها انّ روسيا تنظر بقلق الى الوضع حول إيران والتصريحات الغربية، التي توحي بانّ الغرب يتجه الى إلغاء الاتفاق النووي مع إيران .

لا شك بأنّ إرسال هذه القطارات الى الدونباس في هذه اللحظة التاريخية من الصراع والحرب يحمل رسالة ردع روسي استراتيجي، تجاه الغرب الجماعي، واذا أضفنا الى هذه الرسالة كلام الوزير لاڤروف، والمتعلق بإيران، فانّ معاني وأبعاد إرسال هذه القطارات تأخذ حيّزاً كبيراً جداً، لا بل توسيعاً للمظلة النووية الروسية لتشمل إيران، التي يواصل الساسة الأميركيون والأوروبيون باطلاق التهديدات ضدها.

وفي ذلك معانٍ استراتيجية عظمى، تأخذ الصراع بين محور مقاومة الهيمنة الاميركية ومحور الغرب الجماعي العدواني، الى آفاق جديدة، تقول فيها روسيا إنها جاهزة للمضيّ قدُماً في عمليتها العسكرية الخاصة في أوكرانيا، بهدف تحقيق أهدافها المحلية المعلنة من قبل روسيا، إضافة الى جاهزية روسيا للوصول الى المستوى الاستراتيجي في هذا الصراع، مع الغرب الجماعي، وحتى إنهاء أحلام قدماء المستعمرين الغربيين، الحالمة بالحفاظ على هيمنتهم على مقدرات العالم .

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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A panicked Empire tries to make Russia an ‘offer it can’t refuse’

January 30 2023

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Does US Secretary of State Antony Blinken think a Washington Post op-ed will move Russian Armed Forces Chief Valery Gerasimov to postpone his planned military offensive on Ukraine?

Realizing NATO’s war with Russia will likely end unfavorably, the US is test-driving an exit offer. But why should Moscow take indirect proposals seriously, especially on the eve of its new military advance and while it is in the winning seat?

By Pepe Escobar

Those behind the Throne are never more dangerous than when they have their backs against the wall.

Their power is slipping away, fast: Militarily, via NATO’s progressive humiliation in Ukraine; Financially, sooner rather than later, most of the Global South will want nothing to do with the currency of a bankrupt rogue giant; Politically, the global majority is taking decisive steps to stop obeying a rapacious, discredited, de facto minority.

So now those behind the Throne are plotting to at least try to stall the incoming disaster on the military front.

As confirmed by a high-level US establishment source, a new directive on NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine was relayed to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken, in terms of actual power, is nothing but a messenger boy for the Straussian neocons and neoliberals who actually run US foreign policy.

The secretary of state was instructed to relay the new directive – a sort of message to the Kremlin – via mainstream print media, which was promptly published by the Washington Post.

In the elite US mainstream media division of labor, the New York Times is very close to the State Department. and the Washington Post to the CIA. In this case though the directive was too important, and needed to be relayed by the paper of record in the imperial capital. It was published as an Op-Ed (behind paywall).

The novelty here is that for the first time since the start of Russia’s February 2022 Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, the Americans are actually proposing a variation of the “offer you can’t refuse” classic, including some concessions which may satisfy Russia’s security imperatives.

Crucially, the US offer totally bypasses Kiev, once again certifying that this is a war against Russia conducted by Empire and its NATO minions – with the Ukrainians as mere expandable proxies.

‘Please don’t go on the offensive’

The Washington Post’s old school Moscow-based correspondent John Helmer has provided an important service, offering the full text of Blinken’s offer, of course extensively edited to include fantasist notions such as “US weapons help pulverize Putin’s invasion force” and a cringe-worthy explanation: “In other words, Russia should not be ready to rest, regroup and attack.”

The message from Washington may, at first glance, give the impression that the US would admit Russian control over Crimea, Donbass, Zaporozhye, and Kherson – “the land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia” – as a fait accompli.

Ukraine would have a demilitarized status, and the deployment of HIMARS missiles and Leopard and Abrams tanks would be confined to western Ukraine, kept as a “deterrent against further Russian attacks.”

What may have been offered, in quite hazy terms, is in fact a partition of Ukraine, demilitarized zone included, in exchange for the Russian General Staff cancelling its yet-unknown 2023 offensive, which may be as devastating as cutting off Kiev’s access to the Black Sea and/or cutting off the supply of NATO weapons across the Polish border.

The US offer defines itself as the path towards a “just and durable peace that upholds Ukraine’s territorial integrity.” Well, not really. It just won’t be a rump Ukraine, and Kiev might even retain those western lands that Poland is dying to gobble up.

The possibility of a direct Washington-Moscow deal on “an eventual postwar military balance” is also evoked, including no Ukraine membership of NATO. As for Ukraine itself, the Americans seem to believe it will be a “strong, non-corrupt economy with membership in the European Union.”

Whatever remains of value in Ukraine has already been swallowed not only by its monumentally corrupt oligarchy, but most of all, investors and speculators of the BlackRock variety. Assorted corporate vultures simply cannot afford to lose Ukraine’s grain export ports, as well as the trade deal terms agreed with the EU before the war. And they’re terrified that the Russian offensive may capture Odessa, the major seaport and transportation hub on the Black Sea – which would leave Ukraine landlocked.

There’s no evidence whatsoever that Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the entire Russian Security Council – including its Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev – have reason to believe anything coming from the US establishment, especially via mere minions such as Blinken and the Washington Post. After all the stavka – a moniker for the high command of the Russian armed forces – regard the Americans as “non-agreement capable,” even when an offer is in writing.

This walks and talks like a desperate US gambit to stall and present some carrots to Moscow in the hope of delaying or even cancelling the planned offensive of the next few months.

Even old school, dissident Washington operatives – not beholden to the Straussian neocon galaxy – bet that the gambit will be a nothing burger: in classic “strategic ambiguity” mode, the Russians will continue on their stated drive of demilitarization, denazification and de-electrification, and will “stop” anytime and anywhere they see fit east of the Dnieper. Or beyond.

What the Deep State really wants

Washington’s ambitions in this essentially NATO vs. Russia war go well beyond Ukraine. And we’re not even talking about preventing a Russia-China-Germany Eurasian union or a peer competitor nightmare; let’s stick with prosaic issues on the Ukrainian battleground.

The key “recommendations” – military, economic, political, diplomatic – were detailed in an Atlantic Council strategy paper late last year.

And in another one, under “War scenario 1: The war continues in its current tempo,” we find the Straussian neocon policy fully spelled out.

It’s all here: from “marshaling support and military-assistance transfers to Kyiv sufficient to enable it to win” to “increase the lethality of military assistance transferred to include fighter aircraft that would enable Ukraine to control its airspace and attack Russian forces therein; and missile technology with range sufficient to reach into Russian territory.”

From training the Ukrainian military “to use Western weapons, electronic warfare, and offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, and to seamlessly integrate new recruits in the service” to buttressing “defenses on the front lines, near the Donbass region,” including “combat training focusing on irregular warfare.”

Added to “imposing secondary sanctions on all entities doing business with the Kremlin,” we reach of course the Mother of All Plunders: “Confiscate the $300 billion that the Russian state holds in overseas accounts in the United States and EU and use seized monies to fund reconstruction.”

The reorganization of the SMO, with Putin, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, and General Armageddon in their new, enhanced roles is derailing all these elaborate plans.

The Straussians are now in deep panic. Even Blinken’s number two, Russophobic warmonger Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland, has admitted to the US Senate there will be no Abrams tanks on the battlefield before Spring (realistically, only in 2024). She also promised to “ease sanctions” if Moscow “returns to negotiations.” Those negotiations were scotched by the Americans themselves in Istanbul in the Spring of 2022.

Nuland also called the Russians to “withdraw their troops.” Well, that at least offers some comic relief compared with the panic oozing from Blinken’s “offer you can’t refuse.” Stay tuned for Russia’s non-response response.

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

Russia, now the South and East’s counterpoint to Israel

January 25, 2023

Source

by Ramin Mazaheri

There is no doubt that were Israel threatened with the forced implementation of even something as fundamentally just and decent as a two-state solution they would resort to using nuclear bombs. They are dead-set on waging war until they get all the Palestinians’ lands, and they have made it clear that there is no place for non-Jews (non-White Jews, actually) inside this land they have stolen as if human mores had not changed since the 19th century.

In the blink of a post-corona eye, Russia has become something quite similar.

As former Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev just reiterated, if the Russian nation is seriously threatened with defeat nuclear weapons will be used in self-defence. Other than North Korea, only Israel feels the need to use such language.

Russia and North Korea are genuine nations, ones whose existence was not entirely contrived by and for Western imperialism, but in many ways Russia has become a new Israel. To be more accurate – Russia is now the counterpoint and antithesis of Israel.

Just as Israel, the poisoned blade of Western capitalism and imperialism, faces and constantly thrusts east and south, now Russia is the South and East’s defensive rampart facing West.

Russia has gone from post-1991 kowtowing to Western liberal democracy – earnestly trying to join them – to realising that the West has declared total war against them. How can there be a reconciliation? War in the Donbass has been going on for nearly a decade – that’s not the blink of an eye. Anyway, the West simply does not remove sanctions once in place – look at decades of Western policy towards Iran, Cuba, North Korea, etc. – barring total capitulation. The West only removed sanctions on China because they absurdly thought that China had gone capitalist and that it had all just been Mao’s doing. Sanctions are now back in force, as Xi has reflected the broad persistence of socialism in China.

The alleged end of history was based on the idea that only one type of civilisation existed any more, but it’s clear that there is a false idolatry of a West which exists in only in theoretical words and not in practical deeds, and there is a tolerant and truly diverse non-West which insists on national sovereignty and the right to cultural differences.

The West’s outpost in Asia is well-known – Israel – and it is not just a rich colonialist’s whim and folly. Israel serves as an imperialist foothold to destabilise the entire Muslim world and Africa – training, funding and supporting all types of awful monarchies and puppet governments – and for these crimes they suffer internally from the awful, unstable Apartheid they have created.

The surprising development is that non-Western bloc’s frontier has shifted West: from 1979 onwards it was clearly Iran. Forty years of war on and around Iran failed to topple the revolution, and drained the West of vital tangible and moral resources. The non-Western frontier has now been pushed back to Russia.

Russia is the country that – for reasons which are diametrically and morally the opposite for the reasons of Israel’s existence – will now serve as the non-Western bloc’s frontier, a frontier which will be in long-term combat and instability.

This top Russian talk show just discussed this same idea, essentially: without a Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 – something that scares the West into backing down – this war has no end in sight. Russia will not be allowed to sue for peace – they are looking at a much longer war than in the Muslim World, as Russia is on the true frontier of the West and not merely surrounding a colonial outpost.

But it’s a new type of world: Russia is the frontier in a war which will accelerate the legal and practical formation of a new world order – that of West versus non-West; of NATO versus BRICS; of corporate domination versus the sovereignty of a nation united, and more.

This war is total – not in terms of forces used but in what it encompasses:

Economically, Russians – with all their history of state control of assets to direct them towards the people’s good – simply could not accept the idea that corporate CEOs should be above the people’s elected representatives. This, of course, is what Western liberal democracy is based upon: markets, prices, supplies, wages, jobs and stocks are exclusively controlled by billionaire elite – and they insist that this is the only political advance needed following the end of bloodline monarchy.

Politically, whereas the West looks at itself and sees the victory of liberal democracy, Russia and others look at places like the European Union and see a continent which has been roiled by constant turmoil since that project went fully online in 2009. And the EU is supposed to be the sophisticated one in the Western bloc! Russia has ended the one claim the EU could plausibly make – that the EU prevents war: Brussels did all it could to subvert the 2014 Minsk Accords and to reject peace efforts over the past year.

Monetarily, the idea that the dollar is as good as gold is no longer tenable, and this was true before record inflation. That the daily users of the once-mighty euro don’t grasp this only shows their lack of intelligence and the obvious subversion of their own leaders. Petroyuans, gold-backed rubles, Iranian state-backed cryptocurrency – these are the answers and the certain future.

Culturally, the West is fighting for things which the majority of their own people do not even want – some sort of open-air Amsterdam brothel or dreadful, drug-ravaged San Francisco commune. It has been written that this non-West/West debate is actually anthropological because the West is redefining what “man”, “woman” and “family” is. I prefer not to waste time on this, as it is so absurd and so obviously led by and for a tiny minority, but certainly for many Westerners upending “conservative” definitions seems to be their raison d’être – the class struggle, anti-imperialism, internationalism, the mass deaths of the Western war machine all apparently bore them. It’s also clear that the average Westerner is greatly shocked and often affected by this useless “war” and worries over its effects for future generations, but in the West such persons are silenced or self-censor.

Just as Israel is on the wrong side of all these issues, so Russia has become – justified or not – the standard-bearer of the other side. It is a good thing, because the West could never follow or accept a Muslim to carry this standard, like Iran has done. Unlike with Iran, when Western propagandists criticise the allegedly “arch-conservative” Russia they can’t resort to “anti-Brown” scaremongering, stereotypes and absurdities, because Westerners are far more familiar with and similar to Russian Slavs.

It is now a two-world world, and the frontier is the Eurasian borderlands – i.e. the definition of “Ukraine”.

There is no chance that Russia can be defeated and dismembered – not only do they have nukes of course, but their friends (China, Iran probably India and maybe even Turkey and Egypt) wouldn’t allow it. The same probably goes for Israel – their Western allies would force their own peoples to suffer anything to keep Israelis from sharing one olive farm, much less dividing the land in two. Anyway, as that talk show discussed, there’s just no way the West would personally engage in the WWII-sized conflict which it would take to achieve their desire of a dismembered Russia.

The conscience of Israelis surely allows them no true peace – they are always in an unwinnable settler war (the Anglosphere has combined genocide with isolation (reservations) for their indigenous peoples, but the isolation tactic cannot work long-term on Palestinians) – but Russians must grapple with the fact that they will be much like the Muslim World for the past 20 years: the focus of Western imperialist aggression, monstrosities and lies.

In this sense the world today is very much like it was from WWII until 1991, when Russians led the only empire where the center was bled for the benefit of the periphery.

Despite the fighting going on in eastern Ukraine it’s not World War III but clearly Cold War II, with Israel and Russia the unstable frontiers facing each other in ideological, philosophical, political and economic war.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His latest book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’.

Going, Going, Gone: Fiddling While the West Burns

January 19, 2023

Source

By Batiushka

So when is the Russian winter offensive going to begin? Some thought it would be in December, when the ground had frozen. Now we are nearing February.

However, just remember that the so-called Russian winter offensive was thought up by armchair generals. Of course, it may well exist as one of a number of scenarios among the Russian General Staff and may still happen and soon, but a winter offensive could also turn into a spring offensive, or even into a summer offensive. Planning needs to be flexible, given ever new ingredients in the mix. As long as the Kiev forces, unexpectedly, keep destroying themselves by throwing themselves into the artillery, missile and drone meat-grinder in the south-east of the Ukraine, between Soledar and Artemovsk, with minimal Russian losses, why hurry? There is no hurry. The only ones in a hurry are in the West. They need this conflict to finish and soon, because the West is on the verge of social, economic and political chaos.

Going, going, gone. In Moscow there are those who can fiddle while the West burns.

So a delay has occurred. Why take risks when Kiev wants to commit suicide? Just let them do it. Moreover, the latest events suggest more reasons for delay – internal splits.

First of all, on 17 January there was the resignation of Arestovich as advisor to the President’s Office, ostensibly because he told the truth, that the shattered apartment block in Dnipro was directly or indirectly destroyed by a badly-aimed Ukrainian missile (not for the first time…).

Then, the very next day, on 18 January, came the crash of the French Super Puma helicopter in Brovary (not Kiev). This killed several important figures, not least the Interior Minister and his deputy, as well as innocent children in a nursery school. A friend who lives nearby was able to provide me with facts and pictures soon later. Putting aside the suggestion that the Eurocopter was brought down by another misaimed Ukrainian missile, the crash seems to have occurred because the pilot was flying low in fog and hit a 14-storey apartment building. My friend says the skies above them are full of State helicopters every day, it is how the Zelensky regime travels. Too frightened to do it any other way. Sooner or later an accident was inevitable. Whatever the reason for the crash, it does mean that there are now convenient vacancies at the top. A power struggle is probably under way. And this is to be expected, because the Kiev forces have been chased out of the strategic town of Soledar, Artemovsk (Bakhmut) is about to fall and with it the rest of the Donbass. It is a rout because Ukrainian losses there are monumental, not to say suicidal.

As a result, the Kiev regime is pleading with certain countries in the West for more tanks. At best it may receive about 200 (in reality, probably fewer than 100) assorted obsolete tanks and armoured vehicles from various Western countries, and probably only in a few months’ time. Whereas it needs 2,000 tanks and armoured vehicles yesterday. But for the moment the divided West is reluctant to give the Ukraine anything, apart from sweet words. Promises, promises…they are so cheap, especially when you are so short of cash and you know the Russians will probably destroy most of your donated equipment before it even gets to the front. Moreover, all this comes against the background of a Ukrainian economy on short-term (no-one will give it anything long-term), monthly Western life support (otherwise no salaries or pensions can be paid). And this is from a West which is on the verge of social, economic and political chaos and against the background of a Ukrainian energy system which, for the moment, has been 50% destroyed and a military logistics system which has been severely disrupted, by Russian missiles.

Little wonder that the Kiev regime distrusts the West. The latter does not have bottomless pockets. Zelensky is probably coming to an end. He already got the cold shoulder in Washington before Christmas. Now he appears to be opposed by the Kiev Armed Forces commander, Zaluzhny, who seems to have had conversations with his US counterpart in Poland behind Zelensky’s back. Generally, speaking, military men hate wars; they are the work only of politicians. After all, politicians do not face the risk of freezing, getting maimed or dying in agony. Maybe we are coming to a reshuffle in Kiev. Whatever the American puppeteers order. But the problem here is do the American puppeteers know what they want to order? They seem to be divided among themselves.

While Washington and its NATO allies have no strategy to win the war in the Ukraine, let alone an exit strategy, the Russians do. In the four months since Russia ordered partial mobilisation, 300,000 additional reservists have joined their units in the east or along Ukraine’s northern border. Meanwhile in the south the Russian Black Sea Fleet patrols. So far Russian infantry have not really taken part in this war. So far most of the work has been done by local anti-Kiev Ukrainian (Donbass) freedom-fighters and the Wagner contract group. The stage is set for a ground war, either from the east, or from the north, or from the south, or maybe all together. Washington’s nightmare. For nobody in Washington, used to fighting ill-trained, suicidal fanatics armed only with kalashnikovs, ever foresaw this. 500,000 + armed Russians are waiting on the borders of Kiev-held territory to liberate their Ukrainian brothers and sisters from the US puppet regime in Kiev. And the only ill-trained, suicidal fanatics here are the Kiev forces.

Going, going, gone. In Moscow there are those who can fiddle while the West burns.

Let us not forget that the conflict in the Ukraine is about the struggle of the United States to maintain its dinosaur’s status as the world’s last superpower. More exactly, it is about America’s attempt to destroy China as a rival. For since China, allied with Russia, is unbeatable, China has to be attacked through Eurasian Russia. In this crazed neocon video-game fantasy, the USA has overlooked Western Europe. In one sense that is understandable, since its leaders are just a pack of mindless Pavlovian dogs, intent on copying their master in Washington – and a pile of dollars greatly helps their salivating capacity for imitation. However, the US mistake is as usual to look only at its puppets. This was the same mistake as in Baghdad and Kabul, or for that matter in Tehran and Saigon, not to mention in Manila and a host of capitals in Latin America. Appoint an English-speaking yes-man, give him a Swiss bank account full of dollars and a US passport, ensure he has control over the capital and its TV and radio station and then you will control the whole country. Only Hamid Karzai didn’t and you won’t either.

Western Europe, the EU and the UK, with a few other bits and pieces, is also inhabited by 500 million people (the other 50 odd million belong to the elite). Some, especially from the elites, live in the capitals. The vast majority do not live there and generally despise those who do live in the capitals. Ask a Frenchman what he thinks of ‘les sales parisiens’ (filthy Parisians), ask a Romanian what he thinks of the elite in Bucharest, a Pole what he thinks of those in Warsaw or an Englishman what he thinks of Londoners. If you don’t believe me, ask Macron in France. Alternatively, ask any Frenchman what he thinks of France’s real rulers – the grossly overpaid super-elite in Brussels. The English hated them so much, they had Brexit. A lot of Germans, who by a huge majority never wanted to give up the Deutschmark, got quite jealous of that, even though the incompetent and perfidious British elite totally mishandled the Brexit negotiation process.

If in Western Europe, the vast majority don’t like their leaders, they will eventually – even the passive British – get rid of them and they will appoint leaders whom Washington does not like, Le Pen, Farage etc. Remember Orban? He is already in power, as is Erdogan (though he is in Turkey). The Ukrainian conflict is already reshaping Europe’s totally outdated (1945) security architecture and forcing a reconfiguration. The realignment will not be in Washington’s favour. Demonstrations against NATO are already starting in various European countries. But what is more likely to topple the US puppet elite is strikes and protests. Europeans hate their elites. The spoilt elites may tell their peoples: ‘Let them eat cake’. But they have forgotten that what the people want is bread.

Once Western Europe, including even the UK, has gone, the end of the short unipolar era will be here. The domino effect, from Kiev to Dublin, is surely only a matter of time. Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989? Within twenty-five months the whole of the Soviet Eastern European Empire fell, one country after another, until in December 1991, the Soviet Union itself fell. Berlin to Vladivostok. Well, the time is now up for the American Empire in its turn. It will also fall, and for the same reasons. The SU (Soviet Union) went. So will its reverse, the US (United States). Red stars, white stars, they have both had their time. Keep your eyes on Western Europe.

Going, going, gone. In Moscow there are those who can fiddle while the West burns.

19 January 2023

Tanks for Nothing: NATO Keeps On Demilitarising Itself in Ukraine

January 17, 2023

Source

by James Tweedie

It has been said often over the past year, most recently by Emmanuel Todd, that the conflict in Ukraine is “existential” for Russia.

Certainly, the Great Bear cannot abide a NATO ballistic missile launchpad just 300 miles from Moscow in a country run my rabidly-Russophobic Nazis — not neo-Nazi skinhead cosplayers but the literal descendants of the real deal.

But others have argued that the Special Military Operation (SMO) is also a make-or-break roll of the dice for NATO and the US which dominates it. How else can we explain the latest mania for arming the regime in Kiev just as its ‘Siegfried Line’ in the Donbass starts to crumble?

How else can one explain cry-bully US National Security Spokesman John Kirby’s response to news that Russian Wagner ‘private military company’ had liberated the town of Soledar, a keystone of the Ukrainian defences? He simultaneously tried to cast doubt on the facts while claiming the town’s capture was strategically insignificant.

“We don’t know his it’s gonna go, so I’m not going to predict failure or success here,” Kirby said as Wagner were mopping up stranded Ukrainian conscripts. “But even if both Bakhmut and Soledar fall to the Russians, it’s not going to have a strategic impact on the war itself, and it certainly isn’t going to stop the Ukrainians or slow them down in terms of their efforts to regain their territory.”

To the contrary, reports indicate that several Ukrainian brigades being concentrated for a southward push on Melitopol, near the narrow isthmus to the Crimea, were redeployed to Donbass in a vain attempt to hold Soledar and Bakhmut, where they suffered huge casualties. Taking Bakhmut could allow the Russian forces to ‘roll up’ the Ukrainian line to the north and south and advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the last two major cities Ukraine holds in Donetsk.

Moscow has repeatedly said there can be no peace while the West keeps pumping arms into Ukraine. The most obvious interpretation of those statements is that NATO is only prolonging the suffering of the Ukrainian and Donbass peoples with its cornucopia of death. But another is, as blogger Andrei Martyanov said recently, that the ultimate end of the SMO is not just to de-militarise (and de-Nazify) the Ukraine, but all of NATO too.

Indeed, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in a January 6 TV interview that his country was already a “de facto” member of NATO, and that he had been thanked by unnamed Western politicians for fighting Russia on their behalf to defend their imperialist idea of exclusive “civilisation”.

I wrote last August that only NATO could de-militarise itself, and then asked in September if the Ukraine was doing the same. Now seems a good time to take stock of that.

A Farewell to (NATO) Arms

Western aid to the Ukraine since the start of the SMO — arms supplies and payments for fighting the war on NATO’s behalf — has long since exceeded Russia’s 2022 defence budget of around $75 billion, and even its projected 2023 spend of $84 billion. It’s widely recognised that the Russian arms industry gives you more ‘bang for your buck’, but the disparity has become stark.

On December 22, 2022, Russian Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov said: “Since the beginning of the special military operation, the West has delivered to Kiev a total of four aircraft, more than 30 helicopters, over 350 tanks, about 1,000 armoured combat vehicles, at least 800 armoured vehicles, up to 700 artillery systems, 100 MLRS [multiple-launch rocket systems], 130,000 anti-tank weapons, more than 5,300 MANPADs, and at least 5,000 UAVs for various purposes.”

Russia’s initial estimate of Ukrainian military strength included 2,416 armoured fighting vehicles — probably about 800 main battle tanks (MBTs) along with 1,600 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and armoured personnel carriers (APCs) — 152 fixed-wing combat aircraft and 149 helicopters, 180 medium- and long-rang surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, 1,509 artillery guns and 535 MLRS.

Various Western ‘military analysis’ sources say Ukraine had a lot more tanks and artillery to begin with, although those figures includes mothballed vehicles and guns that would have to be overhauled — while Russia continues to hit repair workshops with its long-range missiles.

In mid-June 2022, Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Denys Sharapov admitted that his army had lost around half its heavy equipment: 400 tanks, 1,300 IFVs and 700 artillery.

At the end of August, the Ukrainian army launched its counter-offensive in the Kherson region. Just three weeks in, on September 21, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said his forces on that front had destroyed “208 tanks and 245 infantry fighting vehicles, 186 other armoured vehicles, 15 aircraft and 4 helicopters.” Those losses continued to mount until Russia pulled back across the Dnieper river from the city of Kherson in November 2022. The final tally was around 1,200 armoured vehicles of all types, 40 artillery pieces, 38 aeroplanes and a dozen helicopters.

As of January 14 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) claims to have destroyed more than 7,500 armoured fighting vehicles of all types, 372 planes and 200 helicopters, 400 SAM systems, 982 MLRS, more than 3,800 self-propelled and towed artillery and 8,000 soft-skinned military vehicles, which include civilian-model trucks and cars.

More specifically, Russia says it has hit at least 31 of the 38 M142 HIMARS MLRS launchers pledged by the US, plus six of the 13 M270 tracked MLRS, of the same nine-inch calibre, donated by the UK, Norway, Germany and France. Also on the clobber list are 122 of the 152 US-made M777 howitzers supplied — 80 per cent of them.

The MoD claims may be exaggerated. But, as The Saker blog points out, even if you halve those numbers then the Ukrainian armed forces are still on the verge of being completely ‘de-militarised’.

The arsenals of NATO’s eastern and southern European members have been scoured for Soviet-made arms and vehicles that the Ukrainian forces already operate and for which they have ammunition and spare parts.

As it turns out, Poland has one of the biggest armies in Europe. It has already supplied, among other things, at least 230 MBTs to Kiev, all variants of the T-72. Warsaw has also sent about 40 IFVs, 72 self-propelled 155mm howitzers, 20 122mm SP howitzers and 20 MLRS.

If, as some suspect, the defence ministry in Warsaw actively encouraged the thousands of serving soldiers to have gone to fight in the Ukrainian ‘Foreign Legion’, Poland has lent its very flesh and blood to the Kiev government.

But the cherry on the cake, announced by Polish President Andrzej Duda on a visit to Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky in Lvov, the western Ukrainian city Warsaw still covets, was “a company of Leopard tanks” — 10 to 14 in layman’s terms — which he hoped would be just the start of a new wave of largesse from the “international coalition.”

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed on Monday January 16 that the UK was adding a squadron (company) of 14 Challenger 2 MBTs, 24 AS90 155mm SP guns plus an unspecified number of Bulldog APCs and “proected” (i.e. not really armoured) vehicles to the pile of chips on the Ukraine-shaped card table. Rumours of four AH-64 Apache helicopter gunships to follow had been swiftly denied over the weekend.

These tanks have been out of production since 2002 and the British army has just 227 of them. 148 of those are earmarked to be upgraded to the proposed ‘Challenger 3’ standard, although Wallace said that number could be increased — with the implication that there would be fewer to spare. The UK only had 117 AS90s in service as of 2015 and its replacement is still in development, so that pledge represents a fifth of the army’s tracked artillery.

In a leaked internal memo, British Chief of General Staff Sir Patrick Sanders admitted that “giving away these capabilities will leave us temporarily weaker as an army, there is no denying it.”

France has volunteered an unclear number (reportedly 30) of its AMX 10 RC wheeled, turreted vehicles. These have been variously described as “light tanks”, “tank destroyers” or “armoured recce vehicles”, he last reflecting how the French army actually use them. They’re certainly no match for a real MBT.

Marder, She Wrote

The Polish, British and French pledges of token numbers of tanks are explicitly a political move to pressure other countries, especially Germany, to hand over some — or many — of their own. US President Joe Biden already managed to twist German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ arm in the first week of January to give up 40 Marder IFVs by pledging 50 US M2 Bradley IFVs as well.

The ultimate humiliation for Berlin was that the White House announced the move before the German government did. Meanwhile, the new Puma IFV (named after a WWII Nazi armoured car) that is meant to replace the Marder has turned out to be a complete disaster that constantly breaks down. The German defence minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on January 16 — ostensibly for failing to fix the equipment shortage, but also, paradoxically, amid criticism that she has not handed over enough arms to Kiev.

Germany is the biggest European importer of Russian gas and has been reticent to antagonise Moscow too much. It is not lost on the Germans that the last time their tanks were in Ukraine was when the Wehrmacht was perpetrating the genocide of 21 million Soviets.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was in Berlin on Monday in a bid to unlock that Pandora’s box, arguing NATO should not let tanks “rust away in the warehouses.” Of course, Russia’s approach since WWII of stockpiling old equipment, rather than scrapping or selling it, has been key to its ability to sustain high-intensity combat operations this long.

London also pressed Berlin to grant other countries permission to re-export the tanks it has sold them in the past.

“It is hoped that the example set by the French and us will allow those countries holding Leopard tanks to donate as well. I would urge my German colleagues to do that,” Wallace said, then claimed: “These tanks are not offensive when they are used for defensive methods.”

The Leopard 2 also massively out-sells the much-vaunted US M1 Abrams and the Challenger 2 on the export market. 21 countries have bought the German tank, compared to just eight for the Abrams and only one, Oman, for the Challenger 2. Social media videos of burnt-out and turret-less Leopards strewn across the Ukrainian steppes will really mess up German heavy industry’s bottom line. After the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage and the US ‘Inflation Reduction Act’, this would be the third time Berlin has been screwed by its so-called allies.

German tank-maker Rheinmetall’s CEO Armin Papperger tried to head off that outcome on Sunday. He told reporters that Germany could only spare 22 Leopard 2s for Ukraine, and no earlier than 2024. “The vehicles must be completely dismantled and rebuilt,” Papperger stated. The fighting could very well be over by the time they’re fixed.

Scholtz tried to put the ball back in Washington’s court on January 17. “We are never going alone, because this is necessary in a very difficult situation like this,” he said, reiterating that he was anxious to avoid “escalating” the conflict to “a war between Russia and NATO.” Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck more explicit, telling a journalist at the World Economic Forum in Davos the same day: “If America will decide that they will bring battle tanks to Ukraine, that will make it easier for Germany.”

The Pentagon’s excuse for not giving some of its stock of more than 6,000 M1 tanks (compared to Germany’s 300-odd Leopards) to the Ukraine is that they are high-maintenance, voracious gas-guzzlers, even by tank standards, and are fitted with technology that they can’t afford to let fall into Russian hands. But the US has previously exported ‘Nerfed’ versions of the Abrams to several Middle-Eastern countries without the depleted uranium armour inserts and other top-tier systems. The problem is that they turned out to be quite vulnerable.

Many announcements of arms deliveries to the Kiev regime so far have been short on specific numbers. One might speculate that is either because they are embarrassingly small, or because they mean disarming the donor country. Both can be true at once.

For example, Italy’s latest mooted donation is a SAMP-T surface-to-air missile (SAM) battery. Given that the Ukraine started the conflict with 250 long-range S-300 SAMs systems and hundreds of other types, one more is not going to make any difference to the outcome — nor the two Patriot SAM batteries prmised by the US and Germany. But the Italian army only has five SAMP-T systems, and two of those have already been deployed abroad in Kuwait and Slovakia.

Sweden and Finland are not even in NATO yet, and may never be while they both continue to harbour hundreds of Kurdish separatist terrorists wanted in Turkey, which as an existing member has a veto on their entry. But Stockholm may send up to 12 of its 48 Archer self-propelled howitzers to the Ukraine, while Helsinki has already supplied ‘classified’ numbers of APCs, heavy mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

Little Slovakia made headlines last summer when promised Kiev 11 MiG-29 fighters, its entire combat jet fleet. It turns out they still haven’t been delivered, however, and in the meantime Russia has claimed far more aircraft shot down leaving the Ukrainian Air Force at a net loss.

Slovakia’s neighbour the Czech Republic has supplied up to 40 T-72 tanks, 60 IFVs, 50 to 70 SP guns, 20 to 30 MLRS and at least 10 Mi-24 attack helicopters — which have been replaced by either gifts or sales of old AH-1 Cobra choppers from the US.

Latvia donated four helicopters — half its fleet — and six M109 155mm tracked howitzers, which was one in nine of its stocks. Lithuania sent 52 M113 APCs, which is a quarter of its armoured infantry transports, and 10 of its 32 120mm self-propelled mortars based in the same vehicle. Estonia gave nine of its 42 122mm howitzers and what appears to be all seven of its Alvis Mamba light armoured cars. It is these three Baltic micro-states, along with their neighbour Poland, who shout the loudest about the threat of ‘Russian aggression’, yet they are disarming themselves for the sake of the lost cause in the Ukraine.

Logistics? Fiddlesticks!

Mark F. Cancian of the Centre for Strategic and international Studies (a Washington think-tank) has been warning those who will listen about the US military’s logistics problems almost since the start of the SMO.

His latest article, published on January 9, contains a helpful infographic of how many years it will take to replace the arms sent to Ukraine.

Even at the “surge rate” of accelerated production, it will take five years for the US to replenish its stocks of 155mm artillery shells after sending more than 1 million to the Maidan regime. Replacing the 38 HIMARS MLRS launchers sent will take two-and-a-half to three years, while for the Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger shoulder-launched SAMs the time frame could be as long as eight and 18 years respectively.

US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro appears to agree. Asked this week if the US Navy had reached the point of having to choose between arming itself and Ukraine, he said it was not their yet, but “if the conflict does go on for another six months, for another year, it certainly continues to stress the supply chain in ways that are challenging.”

This betrays a criminally-negligent lack of planning by NATO military staff. Why did the collective west start a fight it couldn’t finish? Did they really think they could bluff Russia into backing down with a few M777s and HIMARS launchers?

Too Little, Too Late

Retired German brigadier general Erich Vad warned last week that the latest round of arms was a “military escalation” even if the 40-plus-year-old Marders were “not a silver bullet.”

“We’re going down a slide. This could develop a momentum of its own that we can no longer control,” Vad said, questioning whether the NATO had a strategy at all. “Do you want to achieve a willingness to negotiate with the deliveries of the tanks? Do you want to reconquer Donbass or Crimea? Or do you want to defeat Russia completely? There is no realistic end state definition. And without an overall political and strategic concept, arms deliveries are pure militarism.”

Brian Berletic of The New Atlas has broken down the latest headline-grabbing pledges of heavy armour to Ukraine. He has explained cogently that nothing is indestructible, and most of the immensely-heavy Western MBTs have proven vulnerable in recent years by man-portable weapons.

Islamic State/DAESH wiped out about 10 Turkish army Leopard 2s when Ankara sent troops into northern Syrian four years ago, and destroyed or captured around Iraqi army 100 M1 Abrams during its sudden seizure of northern Iraq in 2014.

The US Bradley and German Marder IFVs are far more vulnerable. Both are about a third taller and half as heavy again as the Russian equivalent BMP series of vehicles, making them fat targets with the bonus of huge propaganda value when they are destroyed. Armour-wise, the Bradley is only fully protected against Russian 14.5mm heavy machine guns and the Marder against 20mm and 25 mm automatic cannon. The Russian BMPs and the newer wheeled BTRs carry a 30mm cannon, but more importantly anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), both quite capable of destroying any other IFV in service.

Berletic also puts the numbers to be supplied in context. Along with the 90 refurbished Czech T-72 tanks paid for by the US and Netherlands in the autumn, the new deliveries will only be enough to equip one armoured brigade with its attached mechanised infantry battalions.

Ukraine is now claiming that it will form up three whole new army corps of troops this year, each numbering 75,000 men, for a total of 225,000. That’s as large as the standing army Kiev commanded on February 24 last year. What will they be armed with and transported on, slingshots and bicycles?

Martyanov simply points to the commonly-used algebraic equations for force requirements and battle outcomes as proof that the latest ‘packages’ will make no difference.

General Lord Richard Dannatt agrees with Martyanov and Berletic that a dozen or so tanks is not going to be enough. While still claiming the Challenger is a wonder-weapon, he wrote for the Daily Mail that 50 would be needed to make a difference.

Kiev’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, combines NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s killer android stare with Zelensky’s shameless passive-aggressive panhandling.

He took the whole argument to its logical conclusion by demanding “hundreds” of tanks in an interview with LBC radio, then upped the stakes to “thousands” when he went on Sky News — in the process admitting that Russia was able to field that many itself despite Western claims it is running out of everything.

Prystaiko probably realises that he is talking about the entire arsenals of the European NATO members, and probably a large part of US military stocks.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said simply: “These tanks will burn like the rest. The goals of the special operation will be achieved.”

The whole world has been on tenterhooks for almost a year now, wondering whether the conflict between NATO’s proxy Ukraine and Russia will escalate into full-blown World War Three or just end up as World War Two-and-a-Half: the sequel only the psycho fans wanted.

But instead of weakening Russia militarily and economically, as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated is Washington’s goal, the conflict is destroying NATO’s ability to fight and only making Russia richer and stronger. Moscow may in no hurry to finish it.

In the mean time, let’s hope the West doesn’t throw a tantrum when Russia breaks its best war toys and drop the big one.

مثلث خلده الأوكراني والهزيمة المذلة للناتو في الدونباس

السبت 14 كانون الثاني 2023

محمد صادق الحسيني

تعتبر معركة السيطرة على البلدة الاستراتيجية المعروفة بإسم سوليدار، أشبه لنا بمعركة السيطرة على مثلث خلدة بما فيه بلدتا بشامون وعرمون اللتان يُعتبر أنّ مَن يسيطر عليهما يُسيطر عملياً بالنار على طريق الساحل الجنوبي كله حتى صيدا وكلّ منطقة بيروت المدينة من انطلياس حتى راس بيروت، بالإضافة الى المساحة البحرية التي تؤدّي الى عمق البحر، وكذلك كلّ الطرق التي تفتح على الجبل…

الفرق فقط هو انّ سوليدار ليست قريبة من البحر، وما يحيط بها ليس جبلاً، جبل ولكن مجموعة تلال شمال المدينة، تعتبر مهمة أيضاً، للسيطرة على المثلث، سوليدار.

انّ سقوط حصن مثلث سوليدار يعني سقوط سوليدار القلعة المهمة جداً والتي كان يسيطر عليها ويقود المعارك فيها جنرالات بريطانيين وألمان…
وما الغموض الذي اكتنف المعركة لمدة ٤٨ ساعة سوى انّ الروس تركوا ممراً غربياً مفتوحاً للجنرالات الغربيين بالخروج منه، منعاً من خلق ظروف معركة عسكرية مباشرة مع حلف الأطلسي، قد تؤدّي الى توسيع نطاق الحرب بما لا يتماشى مع الخطة الروسية…

ولكن ماذا يعني في الاستراتيجيا سقوط مثلث سوليدار:

اولا ـ يعني انّ التحصين والتدشيم الذي عمله الألمان والبريطانيون للقلعة قد انهار تماماً، وانّ الناتو بكلّ تكتيكاته العسكرية والعملياتة قد سقطت تحت أقدام الروس.
ثانيا ـ انّ مدينة كاملة أخرى تحت الأرض فيها أنفاق طولها ٢٠٠ كلم وعلى عمق ١٠٠ متر محصّنة تحصيناً كاملاً لحرب بديلة تحت الأرض قد سقطت أيضاً كانت مشيّدة بطريقة بحيث ان بإمكان السيارات والدبابات والمدافع ان تسير تحت الأرض وتقاتل الخصم منها.
ثالثا ـ انّ منجماً للملح بحجم ١٣ مليار طن من الملح كان يصدّر منه الى ٢٢ دولة في العالم منها دول عربية قد سقط أيضاً بيد الروس.
رابعا ـ انّ سقوط القلعة المحصنة هذه سيؤدي الى فتح الطريق جنوباً لتحرير مدينة باخموت الاستراتيجية الأخرى المهمة والتي تقع على بعد ١٢ كلم جنوب سوليدار.
خامسا ـ يعني انه لم بعد بإمكان الأوكران والناتو من قصف الدونيتسك بالمدفعية كما كانوا يعملون ليل نهار قبل هذه المعركة، لانّ كلّ هذه المعدات قد تمّ تدميرها.
سادسا ـ انّ سقوط هذه القلعة المدجّجة بالجند والعتاد يعني عملياً، انهيار الجبهة الأوكرانية في الدونباس، بشكل كامل، وانّ الاحتياط الاستراتيجي للأوكران والناتو هناك قد طار تماماً في المحرقة السوليدارية..

وحتى يتأكد المتابعون مما نقول يكفي ان نطلع على انّ حارس الناتو الجنوبي أردوغان كان قد تحدث خلال الساعات الماضية عن ضرورة تأمين ممرّ طويل ومهمّ لإخلاء الجرحى، والأخبار الميدانية تفيد بأنّ حجم القوات التي خرجت من المعركة نهائياً يبلغ نحو ٢٥ ألف مقاتل بين قتيل وجريح وهارب من الميدان…

وهذا يفضي عملياً الى انّ الروس سيتمكنون من السيطرة على كامل مساحة الدونباس خلال الأيام الـ 15 المقبلة.
وبعدها سيتوجه الروس الى منطقة شمال زاباروجيا وخيرسون ومن ثم الاندفاع غرباً باتجاه أوديسا التي هي في الواقع مدينة روسية تاريخية بُنيت على أيديهم من أيام حكم القياصرة والتي منها سيغلقون البحر الأسود على الأوكران.
هذا ما حققه عملياً تعيين رئيس الأركان العامة للقوات الروسية في أوكرانيا الجنرال زالاري غراسيموف، وهذا يُفهم منه استعداد كلّ صنوف الجيش الروسي في المعارك المقبلة، واذا ما أضفنا إليه تعيين قائد القوة الجو فضائية الروسية الجنرال سورفوتين، والذي كان مسؤولاً عن قوات بلاده في سورية، نائباً لرئيس الأركان، ومعاوناً لقائد العملية الخاصة الروسية الجديد في أوكرانيا، فإنّ ذلك يعني مزيداً من الرسائل المهمة التي يبعث بها للروس للأطلسيين.

روسيا تعدّ وتحضّر بعد ذلك كما تفيد المعلومات الميدانية الى معركة جديدة لا تقلّ أهمية عن معركة السيطرة على سوليدار ألا وهي معركة تحرير ممر سوالكي الشهير، وهو الممرّ الاستراتيجي الذي يقع شمال شرق أوكرانيا، والذي يقع في مثلث الحدود الأوكرانية البيلاروسية البولندية، والهدف المطلوب سيكون فتح الطريق البري الضروري بين الأراضي الروسية ومقاطعة كالينين غراد المحاصرة عملياً.
هذا كما سيكون هدفها الثاني مشاغلة القوات الأوكرانية وضباط الأطلسي شمالاً، بهدف تخفيف الضغط على الجبهة الجنوبية، وليس للعمل باتجاه كييف، كما يروّج الأطلسيون وإعلاميّو جبهة امبراطورية الكذب.

ختاماً يمكن القول بأنّ هزيمة الناتو المذلة في سوليدار، يمكن اعتبارها بداية العد العكسي لنهاية الحرب العسكرية الاطلسية على روسيا في أوكرانيا.
ولا ينبئُك مثل خبير.


بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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The Ukraine loses Soledar and Artemovsk

January 10, 2023

Machine translation of this article: https://m.vz.ru/society/2023/1/9/1194217.html

Having abandoned the Christmas truce, Kiev received painful breakthroughs in the defense line in the Donbass. The Russian Armed Forces have achieved decisive success in Soledar and Artemovsk-important strategic points that the Ukrainian command is trying to hold at any cost, including for political reasons.

As of January 9, fighting is already underway in the center of Soledar and in the area of five-story buildings in the north-east of the city. Two railway stations, a number of salt mines, and residential buildings in the south and southeast along Oktyabrskaya Street have come under the control of the Russian Armed Forces. The village of Bakhmutskoye in the south-west of Soledar has also been cleared. Units advancing from the east, from the village of Yakovlevka, went to the area behind the Transfiguration Church, and assault detachments – to Yurchina Gora, cutting the section of the highway to Blagodatnoye, that is, stopping the supply of the group in the strategically important Seversk.

According to the newspaper VZGLYAD, by midday fierce battles began for the building of the Soledar administration and for the neighboring House of Culture, in other words, for the city center. Satellite images show a large fire near the central square. The defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has become fragmented, it no longer has a single management and is divided into separate groups.

The day before, the withdrawal of the 128th separate mountain Assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine began, which quickly turned into a flight. The 61st Separate Mechanized Brigade also began to leave its positions, despite attempts to urgently strengthen it with reserve battalions. As a result, it abandoned its positions, which led to the flight of the 10th mountain assault brigade, as well as the 17th tank brigade-it was the last operational reserve that was supposed to hold Soledar and plug holes in the defense.

However, ideologically motivated units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the special forces “Karpaty” and separate units of mountain assault brigades, tried to hold observation posts in five-story buildings on Karpinski Street, so it was premature to talk about the occupation of Soledar. But on Monday, Ukrainian units (or rather, their remnants) retreated to the north-west of the city in the area of “Artemsoli” and the railway station “Sol”.

Theoretically, this can be called the third line of defense, which boils down to an attempt to stay on the outskirts until the reinforcements announced by Zelensky appear (it is assumed that we are talking about newly formed “numbered” brigades from those mobilized in the Chernihiv region, which have been undergoing combat coordination at the Goncharovsky training ground for the last month).

The second task of the AFU remnants in the city is to prevent Russian troops from quickly reaching the north of Soledar and cutting the road to Seversk. In fact, it has already failed, since the intersection of the road to Seversk (the corner of Oktyabrskaya and Pionerskaya streets) has already been put under fire control by the Russian Armed Forces.

The situation also changed dramatically near Artemovsk (in the Ukrainian manner – Bakhmut). By the morning of January 9, units of the Russian Armed Forces had dislodged the combined detachments of the 60th and 17th Separate Mechanized brigade from the village of Podgorodne, which opened up the possibility of encircling Artemovsk from the north. In the south and south-east of the city, the destruction of fortified areas in the villages of Opytne and Kleshcheyevka and the cleaning of the territory around the gypsum factory (KNAUF) on Patrice Lumumba Street took place.

The AFU constantly transferred reinforcements from the reserves of the 60th Separate mechanized brigade, as well as two armored groups of the 28th mechanized brigade, separate special forces companies and teroborona to Artemovsk. Presumably, the nearest reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be the 58th ompbr and 93rd ombr from the same Chernihiv region. A couple of numbered brigades, which are being hastily transferred from the Zaporozhye direction to Bakhmut, will not have time to go there.

The main form of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Soledar and Artemovsk was indiscriminate shelling by the artillery division of the 60th Separate Mechanized brigade and the 17th tank Brigade, which are located outside the contact combat zone. Five Su-25s and two MiG-29s were also connected from the Mirgorod airfield.

The comical fortifications built on the central streets of Soledar in the form of traditional anti-tank shafts made of welded rails turned out to be of no use to anyone.

According to some data, the active transfer of AFU reserves near Soledar and Artemovsk will be able to begin no earlier than January 20. Consequently, they will hold a new line of defense, west of the broken Artemovsk – Soledar – Seversk system.

In the middle of the day on January 9, reports began to arrive that assault detachments began clearing Opytne south of Artemovsk and entered the villages of Krasnaya Gora and Paraskoviyevka. The last two are small, even by local standards, settlements along the railway, but they are tactically important positions, as they close the encirclement of Artemovsk from the north, cutting off the local Ukrainian garrison from Soledar. When this success is consolidated, the entire area between Artemovsk and Soledar will come under the control of the Russian Armed Forces.

The clearing of small villages south and southwest of Artemovsk threatens the supply of the local garrison. The new line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be built, as in Soledar, along the western outskirts of the city, and then along the settlement of Chasov Yar, which over the past few months has been turned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine into the main stronghold of the entire Ukrainian group, as well as into a distribution point for incoming reserves.

Chasov Yar is a good position, historically located in this town are quarries of refractory clay (the factories themselves have not been working for a long time, but they are a convenient “promka”for defense). In addition, the Seversky Donets – Donbass canal flows right in front of Chasoviy Yar, which even in cold weather (on Monday in the Donbass minus 12-15 Celsius) is a defensive position.

The loss of the entire Artemovsk – Soledar – Seversk defensive line threatens the Ukrainian Armed Forces with far-reaching consequences.

First, the pressure on Kremennaya and Lysychansk will stop, and the entire flank of the Ukrainian front will sag in this direction.

Secondly, the creation of a new line of defense (approximately around Chasova Yar) will require special efforts from Kiev. Already, about six numbered brigades that made up the garrisons of Artemovsk and Soledar have been almost destroyed, and they need to be rotated and re-equipped with new recruits.

In recent weeks, these garrisons have been maintained at the expense of “veteran” units, including mountain assault units, highly motivated “svidomykh” and special forces. The new numbered brigades, made up entirely of ideologized sergeants and veteran officers mobilized with a small participation, show poor effectiveness.

At the moment, the line of defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is broken, and the Ukrainian command will not be able to return the situation back. However, it is still too early to talk about the full occupation of Artemovsk – Kiev will hold this locality until the last one for ideological reasons.

Even now, its further defense is meaningless, but there are no signs of withdrawal of the AFU units from the city. Moreover, there is evidence that in the center of Artemovsk, fortified areas are being created on the model of Soledar, and the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to insist on strengthening the grouping in the city, including at the expense of units from the southern direction.

On the other hand, there are reports that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are increasing their presence in Ugledar, which may also mean preparations for a counteroffensive in the southern direction. So far, the pace of the Russian Armed Forces ‘ advance in Soledar and around Artemovsk is quite high, but unpleasant surprises are still possible.

The Ukrainian crisis and Europe – the opinion of experts

January 10, 2023

Source

by Batko Milacic

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, we have been bombarded with mass information and opinions about the war and Europe’s attitude towards it. As someone who deals with geopolitics, I carefully followed the conferences and debates of European experts and politicians and their arguments. That is exactly why I would recommend the online conference and debate that was held on January 5th. The information presented in the debate is very interesting for anyone dealing with the Ukrainian crisis and European policy towards the crisis.

Hansjörg MÜLLER (former member of Bundestag from AfD): Training soldiers makes Germany participant of the war. A Bundestag council stated that Russia would be right if attacking Germany in the framework of international law, because Germany started participating in anti-Russian aggression. Treating Ukrainian soldiers in German hospitals is a good sign of humanity. Sending weapons and training soldiers has nothing to do with humanity. It is act of aggression of war. Regarding the peace opposition in Germany: about 40 percent of German citizens do not believe the media propaganda that Russia started the war. Every history has its prehistory. The war did not start 24.2.2022, but six days earlier, when Ukraine started to shell Donbass 10 times more than before. The prehistory for that is the illegal coup on Maidan, which was financed and operated by the Americans. In Bratislava conference NATO drew a red line where Baltic States, Ukraine and Belarus should be dragged into NATO. All this started in the beginning of the 20th century, when the Anglo-Saxons realised that if the German empire develops further, there will be a power independent of Anglo-Saxon control of seaways, which was the initial spark of the WWI. The ongoing crisis is nothing more than continuation of the ongoing Anglo-Saxon aggression against Germany and Russia for more than 120 years. Land-Lease of 1941 was renewed in 2022. Who provoked this war? It is the Anglo-American weapons industry. There will be no regime change in Russia. The main questions is: who has bigger warehouses and production of weapons. When Russia wins, it will be a change for the new financial system and a big blew for the US.

Patrick POPPEL (geopolitical expert from Austria): Austria is part of the West in this conflict and supporting the interest of NATO. NATO is supporting Ukraine. Austria is a neutral country by constitutional law but in practice not. Also during the pandemics, many politicians worked against the law and the constitution of Austria. People in our government and the media are not neutral. Neutrality is the special weapon of Austria. This neutrality was given to us by Russia, because SovietUnion liberated us. Austria was kept outside NATO and Warsaw Pact and given a constitution of neutrality. Supporting Ukraine is a big mistake because Austria is loosing the reputation of neutral country. When Russian special operation started, many people and political groups called for Austria joining NATO. This was cancelled after many people do not agree with this. There is very bad atmosphere against Russia in Austria. Even after the sanctions there was a big dialogue with Russia. We have to fight against propaganda. We have to show people the truth to have future with Russia. There are many criminals among the refugees and some of them are very rich. Refugee story from Ukraine is like all refugee stories: a big lie. Russia will win this war. But Austria is a looser in this war. Because we have joined the wrong side. Because our mission is to be neutral and a place of dialogue.

Gunnar LINDEMANN (Berlin regional parliament member from AfD): Since the Maidan Germany has not been a neutral country. German politicians were at the Maidan and talked to people at Maidan. There was a revolution from the outside, from NATO countries. This was the time when the war in Donbass started. Since than about 50 000 people were killed in Donbass. They made Minsk agreements with Germany and France, but in fact Ukraine did not keep Minsk agreements.

Because most of the population in Donbass is ethnic Russian, the Russian Federation is helping Donbass people in the conflict. The war did not start in 2022, the war started in 2014. Germany is taking part in the conflict. AfD is the only German party that does not want to send weapons to Ukraine. There are up to 1 million Ukrainians coming to Germany, and they are alowed to stay and get money from German government. Until November 2021, 85 000 people from Ukraine came to Berlin as refugees, only a thousand Ukrainians in Berlin are working. Germany has no place for more refugees. There are lots of Ukrainian men among the refugees as well. Lots of Roma people are coming as Ukrainian refugees but in reality they are from the Balkans. Also thousands of black people come from Ukraine as refugees calling themselves ”students”. EU is paying for the transportation of wounded soldiers to German hospitals. Treatment of Ukrainian soldiers is paid by the German health insurance. As long as these parties are in power, German will send more weapons, even for 20 years. If government changes in Ukraine, we will stop sending weapons. But more important is government change in the US. Maybe the USA loses the interest to fight war in Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine is possible to solve only in diplomatic way. We have to start diplomatic initiative. We need friendship with Russia.

The entire conference can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdxjHrkfsYU

Author: Batko Milacic – analyst and historian from Montenegro

Bye bye 1991-2022

January 10, 2023

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

2023 starts with collective NATO in Absolutely Freak Out Mode as Russian Defense Minister Shoigu announces that Russian Navy frigate Admiral Gorshkov is now on tour – complete with a set of Mr. Zircon’s hypersonic business cards.

The business tour will encompass the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, and of course include the Mediterranean, the Roman Empire’s former Mare Nostrum. Mr. Zircon on the prowl has absolutely nothing to do with the war in Ukraine: it’s a sign of what happens next when it comes to frying much bigger fishes than a bunch of Kiev psychos.

The end of 2022 did seal the frying of the Big Ukraine Negotiation Fish. It has now been served on a hot plate – and fully digested. Moscow has made it painfully clear there’s no reason whatsoever to trust the “non-agreement capable” declining superpower.

So even taxi drivers in Dacca are now betting on when the much- vaunted “winter offensive” starts, and how far will it go. General Armageddon’s path ahead is clear: all-out demilitarization and de-electrification on steroids, complete with grinding up masses of Ukrainians at the lowest possible cost to the Russian Armed Forces in Donbass until Kiev psychos beg for mercy. Or not.

Another big fried fish on a hot plate at the end of 2022 was the 2014 Minsk Agreement. The cook was no other than former chancellor Merkel (“an attempt to buy time for Ukraine”). Implied is the not exactly smokin’ gun: the strategy of the Straussian/neo-con and neoliberal-con combo in charge of US foreign policy, from the beginning, was to unleash a Forever War, by proxy, against Russia.

Merkel may have been up to something telling the Russians, in their face, that she lied like crypto-Soprano Mike Pompeo, then she lied again and again, for years. That’s not embarrassing for Moscow, but for Berlin: yet another graphic demonstration of total vassalage to the Empire.

The response by the contemporary embodiment of Mercury, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Maria Zakharova, was equally intriguing: Merkel’s confession could be used as a specific reason – and evidence – for a tribunal judging Western politicians responsible for provoking the Russia-Ukraine proxy war.

No one will obviously confirm it on the record. But all this could be part of an evolving, secret Russia-Germany deal in the making, leading to Germany restoring at least some of its sovereignty.

Time to fry NATO fish

Meanwhile, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, visibly relishing his totally unplugged incarnation, expanded on the Fried Negotiation Fish saga. “Last warning to all nations”, as he framed it: “there can be no business with the Anglo-Saxon world [because] it is a thief, a swindler, a card-sharp that could do anything….From now on we will do without them until a new generation of sensible politicians comes to power… There is nobody in the West we could deal with about anything for any reason.”

Medvedev, significantly, recited more or less the same script, in person, to Xi Jinping in Beijing, days before the zoom to end all zooms – between Xi and Putin – that worked as a sort of informal closure of 2022, with the Russia-China strategic partnership perfectly in synch.

On the war front, General Armageddon’s new – offensive – groove is bound to lead in the next few months to an undisputable fact on the ground: a partition between a dysfunctional black hole or rump Ukraine on the west, and Novorossiya in the east.

Even the IMF is now reluctant to throw extra funds into the black hole. Kiev’s 2023 budget has an – unrealistic – $36 billion deficit. Half of the budget is military-related. The real deficit in 2022 was running at about $5 billion a month – and will inevitably balloon.

Tymofiy Mylovanov, a professor at the Kiev School of Economics, came up with a howler: the IMF is worried about Ukraine’s “debt sustainability”. He added, “if even the IMF is worried, imagine what private investors are thinking”. There will be no “investment” in rump Ukraine. Multinational vultures will grab land for nothing and whatever puny productive assets may remain.

Arguably the biggest fish to be fried in 2023 is the myth of NATO. Every serious military analyst, few Americans included, knows that the Russian Army and military industrial complex represents a superior system than what existed at the end of the USSR, and far superior to that of the US and the rest of NATO today.

The Mackinder-style final blow to a possible alliance between Germany (EU), Russia and China – which is what is really behind the US proxy war in Ukraine – is not proceeding according to the Straussian wet dream.

Saddam Hussein, former imperial vassal, was regime-changed because he wanted to bypass the petrodollar. Now we have the inevitable rise of the petroyuan – “in three to five years”, as Xi Jinping announced in Riyadh: you just can’t prevent it with Shock’n Awe on Beijing.

In 2008, Russia embarked on a massive rebuilding of missile forces and a 14-year plan to modernize land-based armed forces. Mr. Zircon presenting his hypersonic business card across the Mare Nostrum is just a small part of the Big Picture.

The myth of US power

The CIA abandoned Afghanistan in a humiliating retreat – even ditching the heroin ratline – just to relocate to Ukraine and continue playing the same old broken records. The CIA is behind the ongoing sabotage of Russian infrastructure – in tandem with MI6 and others. Sooner or later there will be blowback.

Few people – including CIA operatives – may know that New York City, for instance, may be destroyed with a single move: blowing up the George Washington bridge. The city can’t be supplied with food and most of its requirements without the bridge. The New York City electrical grid can be destroyed by knocking out the central controls; putting it back together could take a year.

Even trespassed by infinite layers of fog of war, the current situation in Ukraine is still a skirmish. The real war has not even started yet. It might – soon.

Apart from Ukraine and Poland there is no NATO force worth mentioning. Germany has a risible two-day supply of ammunition. Turkey will not send a single soldier to fight Russians in Ukraine.

Out of 80,000 US troops stationed in Europe, only 10% are weaponized. Recently 20,000 were added, not a big deal. If the Americans activated their troops in Europe – something rather ridiculous in itself – they would not have any place to land supplies or reinforcements. All airports and seaports would be destroyed by Russian hypersonic missiles in a matter of minutes – in continental Europe as well as the UK.

In addition, all fuel centers such as Rotterdam for oil and natural gas would be destroyed, as well as all military installations, including top American bases in Europe: Grafenwoehr, Hohenfels, Ramstein, Baumholder, Vilseck, Spangdahlem, and Wiesbaden in Germany (for the Army and Air Force); Aviano Air Base in Italy; Lajes Air Base in Portugal’s Azores islands; Naval Station Rota in Spain; Incirlik Air Base in Turkey; and Royal Air Force stations Lakenheath and Mildenhall in the UK.

All fighter jets and bombers would be destroyed – after they land or while landed: there would be no place to land except on the autobahn, where they would be sitting ducks.

Patriot missiles are worthless – as the whole Global South saw in Saudi Arabia when they tried to knock out Houthi missiles coming from Yemen. Israel’s Iron Dome can’t even knock out all primitive missiles coming from Gaza.

US military power is the supreme myth of the fish to be fried variety. Essentially they hide behind proxies – as the Ukraine Armed Forces. US forces are worthless except in turkey shoots as in Iraq in 1991 and 2003, against a disabled opponent in the middle of the desert with no air cover. And never forget how NATO was completely humiliated by the Taliban.

The final breaking point

2022 ended an era: the final breaking point of the “rules-based international order” established after the fall of the USSR.

The Empire entered Desperation Row, throwing everything and the kitchen sink – proxy war on Ukraine, AUKUS, Taiwan hysteria – to dismantle the set-up they created way back in 1991.

Globalization’s rollback is being implemented by the Empire itself. That ranges from stealing the EU energy market from Russia so the hapless vassals buy ultra-expensive US energy to smashing the entire semiconductor supply chain, forcibly rebuilding it around itself to “isolate” China.

The NATO vs. Russia war in Ukraine is just a cog in the wheel of the New Great Game. For the Global South, what really matters is how Eurasia – and beyond – are coordinating their integration process, from BRI to the BRICS+ expansion, from the SCO to the INSTC, from Opec+ to the Greater Eurasia Partnership.

We’re back to what the world looked like in 1914, or before 1939, only in a limited sense. There’s a plethora of nations struggling to expand their influence, but all of them are betting on multipolarity, or “peaceful modernization”, as Xi Jinping coined it, and not Forever Wars: China, Russia, India, Iran, Indonesia and others.

So bye bye 1991-2022. The hard work starts now. Welcome to the New Great Game on crack.

People Power in the Donbass Republics

January 09, 2023

Source

by Francis Lee

It is an open question as to why Putin and the Russian government tolerated the 2014 coup which was blatantly funded and organized by internal and external actors followed by the war in the Donbass. The coup was bought and paid for by the usual suspects – The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) the ubiquitous Mr. Soros (The Open Society Foundation – OSF) and Human Rights Watch (HRW); this in addition to Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt adding their input into the Maidan during the stage-managed ‘revolution’. The shock troops of the coup were bussed in from all points in the west Ukraine to Lviv, then on to the battleground of Kiev and the Maidan. These rightwing ultras were to openly flaunt and use their improvised weapons – usually Molotov cocktails and medieval studded clubs, last used at the battle of Agincourt – against the riot police. The legitimate president, at the time Viktor Yanukovych – was ousted by this illegal show of force and forced to flee Kiev for other places outside the reach of the mob. Poroshenko – one time finance minister of Yanukovych – was thus ‘elected’ as the new President.

The first thing on Poroshenko’s agenda was the war against the Eastern provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. According to Poroshenko this was going to be a simple ‘police operation’ which would be over in a few hours. The initial phase of the conflict was a sortie by the Ukrainian Army which rolled into Mariupol and began to shoot up the place killing a number of Russian civilians. News of this Ukie incursion began to trickle through to Donetsk and Lugansk where hastily formed local militias began to be created.

However, the significance of the events in the Southeast extended far beyond Ukraine. No sooner than the Donetsk republic was proclaimed, official Moscow let it be understood, in no uncertain terms, that it made no claim to Ukraine’s rebellious provinces. This was neither diplomatic nor a concession to the West; the conflict was far greater than anything the Kremlin found convenient or manageable. Unlike Crimea – where the process was controlled and where, after two or three demonstrations, the transfer of power was carried out by the local elite. But the process in Donetsk and Lugansk had borne witness to the elemental force of a popular movement which simply could not be managed from outside. But this spontaneous political uprising did not go down too well inside the more conservative elements in the Russian political hierarchy and the financial clique whose interests largely lie outside of Russia.

The movement itself was decentralized and rapidly threw up hitherto unknown leaders (such as Alexander Zakharchenko – see below – a heroic figure and leader who was later assassinated in a restaurant off Lenin Square in Donetsk by an unknown assailant who set off the bomb. Born: June 26, 1976, Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. Died: August 31, 2018, Pushkin Boulevard, Donetsk, Donetsk People’s Republic/Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine). Zakharchenko had since May 2014 worked as a mine electrician in 2011 to manage the Donetsk branch of the martial arts club and eventually Pan-Slavic nationalist current and militia organization Oplot. And he had remained in situ during the war period 2014-15 and was heavily involved in the conflict.

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On the 14 August leadership changed hands in Lugansk, as skirmishes took place inside the city limits between the rebels and Ukrainian Army Units. Again, after a visit to Moscow ‘’Head of Republic’’ Valery Bolotov resigned due to war injuries. His replacement was former defence minister Igor Plonitsky. Locally born the 50-year-old Plonitsky had served as an officer in the Soviet Armed Forces before becoming a dealer in fuel and lubricants during the 1990s, and later, a consumer rights inspector for the provincial administration.

Another resignation at the same time was that of Igor Strelkov. As reported by TASS the DPR Council of Ministers avowed that the defence chief was leaving his post ‘’at his own request’’ and would take up another position. Strelkov, however, vanished from the Don Bass, only to reappear in Russia a few weeks later. His replacement as defence minister was Vladimir Kononov, a Donetsk-born judo instructor and mid-ranking militia commander described by the Interpretermag site ‘’as having a firm political position and organizational skills.’’ (1)

These organizational changes were seemingly made at the behest of Moscow. The goal was evidently to install leaders in the republics who were both more predictable and more attuned to the ways of Moscow officialdom than those they replaced. Whether or not these changes in organizational structures and practise made any difference to the eventual outcome of the war was of necessity a moot point.

It had formulated and developed its agenda as events became unfolded. Absorbing such an organized and active population at a time of growing crisis in Russia itself was hardly advisable. So, the rebel republics had to rely overwhelmingly on their own resources. To the extent permitted by popular support for their cause within Russia, increased by the governments own patriotic propaganda, official Russia surprisingly left them to their own fate – provisionally at least.

However, unofficial Russia had other ideas. Volunteers from Russia began to trickle into the rebel republics, as did arms and food were also smuggled into the two republics. Military training was becoming widespread among the population. It seems an open question as to whether Putin was behind the leadership of the rebel republics, but the ensuing events took on a momentum of their own. The Ukie army was stopped in its tracks at the airport and was then decisively halted at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo – this was 2015. But the shelling of the Donbass continued to this day.

See below: Ukrainian Prisoners of War (POWs) captured or surrendered at Debaltsevo 2015. They looked pretty miserable, but who wouldn’t? It’s better than being killed after all.

And so here we are in January 2023 at the present conjuncture. The local war has become global, but that was always going to be the final outcome. The half-finished job (farce) of the Minsk/Normandy format was ultimately to receive its demise from the German/French delegation and the final funeral rites when Frau Merkel spilled the beans. Now that chapter is over, the Republics have finally been brought into Russia proper, and have taken their legitimate position in Russia’s heroic struggle.

But things were not always as unified and expected between Moscow and Donetsk, at least in the early stages of the war. Russia was just emerging from the disastrous period of political, social, and economic collapse. This was due in large part to what was in fact a class struggle between – a fortiori – the domestic Russian globalist neo-liberal agenda which was just as pervasive as it was in the West, if not also more acute than in the western hinterland of the globalist elite. Following the usual period of class struggle the Russian and Liberal intelligentsia had only hatred and contempt for the protesting workers, deriding them as ‘lumpens’ ‘trash’ and ‘hooligans’ and worse of all – Vatniks.

These simple Russian folk were derided to suggest simpletons unswervingly loyal to the state authorities and completely taken in by government propaganda. However, in this sense of course it was the ‘intellectuals’ uncritically parroting even the most absurd Kiev propaganda who deserved to be most regarded as being – Vatnik. Whilst the propaganda services of both Kiev and Moscow lied, the latter did so more recklessly and inventively, showing not the slightest regard for the truth and not even whether the television they showed bore any relation to the commentary. Like all elites in a period of intensified class struggle they hung on to their money, property, political and social contacts.

It would appear that this social-political upheaval was taking on a political class structure – how could it have been otherwise? The open social and political anomalies had been fermenting and the dramatic deterioration of the conditions of life that followed the change of government in Kiev was the last straw. Steep increases in the price of gas and medicines followed the IMF agreement to become a member of the EU, and ultimately NATO, so much so that a political and economic explosion was inevitable. The use of nationalist rhetoric and anti-Russian propaganda in the West, had the reverse effect in the East. The pro-Russian sympathies of the local population nor even the Kiev’s intention to repeal the status of Russian as a ‘regional language’ triggered the revolt. These open social and political anomalies had been gradually fermenting and became dangerously unstable. The dye was caste: war was to follow.

Yegorov Voronov, a resident of Gorlovka wrote on the Ukrainian site: Liva – In English – ‘The Left’.

‘’I find it hard to believe the change in my compatriots. Only six months ago they were simple folk who watched TV and complained about the bad state of the roads and of the communal services. Now they are fighters. In several hours by the provincial administration building, I didn’t meet a single person who’d come from Russia. The people were from Mariupol, Gorlovka, Dzershinsk, Artemovsk, Krasnoarmeysk … those people with whom I ride every day on the bus, stand next to in the queues, and argue with when they leave the door to the stairwell open. They were not the supercilious Kiev middle-class, set aside from the people by their special circumstances but everyday workers. And there is no denying, there are plenty of unemployed in these parts. Here were all the people who for the past month and a half had been ’begged’ in the private offices and state enterprises to take a cut in their miserable wages. So here is another conclusion – the more the wages of the Donbass residents are cut or squeezed today, the more protesters would emerge in the East.’’ (Voronov 2014 translated from Russian)

It would appear that the Donbass peoples’ militias having taken up arms converted themselves into partisan units and actually put the Ukies to flight in 2015. But the war went on with Ukie artillery pounding the Donbass, a policy which was allowed to the present day. During this 8-year period the Donbass was mercilessly targeted by the ukie artillery and suffered some 14000 casualties during that period. It has to be said that Putin and his advisers were perhaps somewhat gradual and deliberative in terms of putting an end to what was basically a massacre from 2014 until 2022 ongoing. But the decision was finally made to enter the war which was forced upon Putin by external factors which needed urgent resolution. By April 2022 Putin had made his move and if the cosmopolitan conservative elements in the Moscow bureaucracy, as well as the financial oligarch high-rollers didn’t like it – well, hard cheese old chap, as we say in the UK.

As the whole drama of the Ukraine/Russia moves into its final stages it became apparent that Ukraine, under its present leadership, was desperately looking for an exit from the imbroglio that it had initially and unwisely set for itself. Ukrainian politicians were a pretty rum bunch: all kleptocrats that had imbibed the neo-liberal weltanschauung and the promise of a golden age to come. Alas it was not to be. Even the corrupt Yanukovych only really became an enemy of the West when he committed the unforgivable sin of refusing to implement an EU/US-counselled austerity programme. Had he acted more like the Romanian leader Nikolai Ceausescu in Romania (1980s) who unwisely eagerly implemented the dreaded IMF structural adjustment policies it seems likely that Yanukovych would have become one of the darlings of the West. Ukrainians looking to the EU for their salvation – even today – are looking back to what was and not what it has now become. What we are bearing witness to are the last remnants of a social model that has been sacrificed on the altar of neo-liberalism. It would appear that those who wished to hitch their horses to the EU cart are always in for a disappointment, not even to say passe.

‘’The aim of the EU and the United States is to transfer public wealth into the hands of private individuals who will be steered by the ‘invisible hand’ (presumably the hand behind the ‘color revolutions’) to seek their gains by selling what they have taken to western investors. Finance is the new mode of warfare, as Michael Hudson notes. We are seeing a grab for finance that in earlier times was just a military option.’’

NOTES

(1) Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism. Edited by Boris Kargalitsky, Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman. Passim.

(2) Seven Roads to Moscow – Lieutenant-Colonel – W.G.F.Jackson MC, BA, R.E. Instructor, Staff College, Camberley, 1948-50, Instructor, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, 1950-53

War in Ukraine: A conflict that will decide the global system’s fate

5 Jan 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen English

By Ali Jezzini 

With the war in Ukraine almost entering its second year, much more is at stake now, as both parties have invested immensely and the outcome might decide their fate, so what will happen in 2023?

Ukraine 2022, a Recap

The war in Ukraine could be the most significant geopolitical event in this century, as it represents an embodiment of the shift in the global balance of power. Such an action made by Russia, intervening to protect what it describes as its non-negotiables, and the actions of many countries taking the decision not to side with the collective West, could not have even been imagined two decades ago. It is safe to assume that the undeniable shifts in the global political and economic epicenter to the East permitted states seeking a more independent approach and autonomy from western hegemony to undertake risky political actions. Clausewitz had announced centuries ago that war is a mere continuation of political action with other means.

Plowing through the narratives of both sides regarding the factors that drove the event the way they went would take much more than this article can discuss, so we will try to stick to concrete events and numerical data in analyzing this conflict, its aspects, and the possible outcomes that the coming year might hold.

A hotter-than-usual February 

Despite Russia revealing the goals behind the actions it took, which are the “demilitarization” and “denazification” of Ukraine, it did not provide a timeframe nor the extent to which the situation might escalate. NATO, on the other hand, started ramping up its arms shipments to Kiev on the eve of the conflict, a trend that would continue throughout the war and would consume a hefty chunk of the alliance’s military equipment stockpiles. In addition, an assumption was spread by Western media that the war would only take three days, despite the lack of any Russian official statement backing such a claim. Consequently, when the war entered its 10th month, the assumption was used to bash Russia’s military capabilities.

Utilizing several axes of attack, the Russian forces and their allies in the Donbass advanced. A few months into the conflict, the initial advances seemed to be aimed at having a shock effect on the Ukrainian political and military leadership, consequently leading to their sudden collapse, rather than being a part of a military plan that involved the surrounding and destruction of enemy forces. The initial Kiev push failed to break the will of the Kiev authorities to continue the fight, and the lack of an initial Russian Western-style Shock & Awe strategy contributed to inflating Kiev’s hopes of victory, leading to a prolonged grinding conflict. 

In pursuing an initial strategy that intended to limit the damage to Ukraine’s civilian and military infrastructure and seeking a short conflict, Russia led to the exact opposite. When the initial offensive failed to collapse the Kiev authorities, the most logical decision at this point was to attempt a withdrawal and stabilize the frontlines while regrouping the retreating forces that sustained combat losses and damages. A static situation had developed during the months between Russia’s withdrawal from the Kiev district and the North of Ukraine, and the subsequent Ukrainian summer offensive that managed to push the Russians out of the Kherson and Kharkov districts. This period was characterized by an artillery duel, in which Russia had the upper hand, and a Ukrainian build-up that led to their consequent victory. 

The Ukraine build-up was fueled by nine waves of mobilization and an endless train of Western military equipment that Russia had little success in derailing. Despite Kiev’s heavy losses in manpower and equipment, it was still capable of conducting cohesive military actions that were sustained by NATO’s whole massive intelligence-gathering apparatus. Russia, on the other hand, was stuck with what it had at the beginning of the war; around 150-200 thousand regulars plus its Donbass allies defending a frontline stretching thousands of kilometers. The juridical limits of the use of force imposed by the nature of “the special military operation” hindered Russia’s efforts in increasing pressure on Kiev and slowing down its buildup. What happened next was Russia withdrawing from some areas it took at the beginning of the war in an attempt to avoid huge losses that could result in its units being cut off or surrounded. 

Shifting winds

Following the Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge and the appointment of a new commander to the Russian forces in the operations zone, Sergey Surovikin, Russia seemed as if it was starting to take the glove off. The start of this new phase of military operations was signaled by a mass strike against Ukraine’s dual-use infrastructure, such as various components of the electrical grid system using its arsenal of cruise and ballistic missiles that Western media and experts had claimed had been exhausted several times during the conflict. A newcomer also took its toll on Ukraine’s military and dual-use infrastructure, highlighting an important aspect of modern warfare: suicide drones, the Geran-2 or the Shahed-136. Western countries and Kiev have accused Iran of supplying Russia with an arsenal of such drones, a claim that both Russia and Iran have refuted. We won’t delve into the details of both statements, yet we must state that it highlights growing military cooperation between parties opposed to the unipolar global system, an occurrence that causes great concern to the collective West.

Russia also undertook a partial mobilization that involved calling around 300,000 of its reserves. Arming and retraining such numbers is not a simple task, and in fact, it is still taking place today, according to Russian sources. Scores of these soldiers started arriving at the frontlines and taking part in the ongoing combat, but turning the balance of numbers around is going to take a while. Russia also is mainly targeting anti-air defense systems and munitions now by making use of a dual-strategy: destroying them using anti-radiation missiles and miniature suicide drones such as the Zala drone on one hand, and depleting their costly ammunition using cheap but effective drones, such as the Geran-2, on the other. The cost ratio between an interception and that of the intercepted can be as big as ten-fold, since the drone costs around $20,000 and an AD missile could reach half a million USD easily, starting from around $150,000. A losing bargain in the long term to say the least.

The same artillery grind is also ongoing and taking a toll on Ukrainian losses, but this time Russia is making use of the shorter contact lines to fill the defenses with an inferior number of troops in comparison with their adversaries until it finishes training its reserves. Despite the arrival of troops to the frontline, Russia will still not have the numerical superiority, but such numbers will serve primarily to consolidate the current lines of contact, and to give the Russians more options if they want to utilize their fire superiority to level the playing field around the Donbass and in the held part Zaporozhye regions east the Dnieper River. 

Difficult situation, tough decisions

The political and military leaderships in the West and Kiev on one hand, and Moscow on the other, are faced with tough decisions with a tight timeline before them. These decisions will draw the outcomes of the conflict in the short and long term. The scale of the conflict is global, as the West sees Russia as a rogue state trying to undermine the Western-dominated so-called rules-based order, and it seems like it is willing to go above and beyond to guarantee another century of dominion over the planet. Russia has many reasons to fight in Ukraine that go beyond NATO expanding east and protecting the lives and rights of the Russian people in Ukraine. Russia is genuinely worried that the direction that Kiev was heading revealed a long-term plan to transform Ukraine into another “big Israel”, which the Ukrainian President hinted at in one of his speeches. A highly militarized society built around a fascist ideology that its raison d’etre is being anti-something, as in “Israel” being a “shield protecting the West from Eastern barbarism,” hinted by “Israel’s” fathers. Ukrainian leaders and media don’t waste an opportunity to remind the West that they are fighting the battle of the collective West, and thus they earned a blank check in exchange for providing the meat for the carnage.

If what some commentators say about Russia overestimating its military capabilities is true, then the West for sure overestimated its political and economic capabilities. Faced with an internal crisis and trapped in the loop of financing a state living off external aid, the West is facing the threat of a wedge forming between its components on both sides of the Atlantic as Europe, which is hit more by the effects of the crisis, sees that the US is trying to bail itself at its expense. This view has been expressed by various Western leaders.

Russia, faced with a nuclear bomb of Western sanctions, managed to surpass the worst, according to the head of its central bank. With hundreds of billions of dollars frozen abroad, the Russian economy is still holding. The Ruble has long stabilized, and alternative market opportunities have revealed themselves to the Western market. But will this be enough? Many countries across the globe refused to side with the West in its campaign, namely the Arab, African, and Latin countries, as well as India, China, Iran, and Turkey. Despite these countries not forming a cohesive block, their decisions gave Russia breathing space in this lengthy battle nevertheless.

A protracted conflict?

Both the West and Russia have invested so much in this conflict but still have not fully committed, as both parties still have many cards up their sleeve. For instance, even if NATO faces severe military equipment shortages, it can still provide Ukraine with new types of arms at the expense of its combat readiness, like tanks, warplanes, or maybe long-range precision munitions. Russia, on the other hand, has not undergone a full mobilization yet, both in the military and economic sense of the word, as it still spends only a small fraction of its GDP on the war, and its biggest “ally”, namely China, did not even start providing it with a significant amount of military hardware. China ramping up its aid to Russia is not so far-fetched since it benefits from a change in a global shift from the Western-dominated global system into a multipolar international system.

We are not dealing with isolated opposing parties, as any actions by one of them can trigger an escalation from the other as if we are witnessing the checkerboard of a chess game. Such security dilemmas imposed by the nature of the conflict taking place in Ukraine draw a gloomy scene of a protracted and bloody conflict that decides the outcome of the world. If Russia wins, we might actually witness the birth of a new multi-polar world where formerly dominated and exploited countries can have more options and thus a brighter future. If the West wins, however, it might add a century to the life of this global system that grants only a small portion of humanity, namely the collective West, the ability to impose the way of thinking, living, and governing on the rest of the world. A thermonuclear annihilation war is always a possibility too, but hopefully not.

So what will be the outcome?

Related Stories

Has The Battle For Kosovo Been Postponed?

2 Jan 2022 

By Darko Lazar

2022 will go down in history as the year that ushered in the Ukraine war and permanently changed the world. This seismic event accelerated and intensified the global geopolitical re-composition. It brought back the Cold War doctrine and redefined relations, not just between the collective West and Russia, but between the West and countries such as China and Saudi Arabia.

In addition to creating an energy crisis and pushing inflation to a 40-year high, the West’s commitment to prolonging and exacerbating the conflict has unsettled security across the European continent – and nowhere is this more evident than along the Serbia-Kosovo frontier.

The Western-backed authorities in Pristina led by Albin Kurti are trying to use the new conditions created by the conflict in Ukraine as an avenue for achieving their long-term objectives, which include the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from the territory of Kosovo. Meanwhile, the US-led NATO is using the rising tensions as an instrument to pressure Serbia into joining its ranks in the war against Russia.

Serbia has thus far managed to preserve its neutrality, but the coming year promises a great deal of uncertainty, and just like many other parts of the world, Serbia will face its share of existential challenges in 2023.

From Donbass to Kosovo

The latest flare-up in Kosovo began in early December when Pristina sent its special forces to the Serb-majority north in violation of an EU-facilitated agreement that specifically prohibits such deployments.

In the days that followed, the Kosovan police started arresting ethnic Serbs and local communities responded by erecting barricades and roadblocks.

Belgrade, which has refused to recognize Kosovo’s independence after the province was ripped away from Serbia following NATO’s aggression on the country in 1999, accused Pristina of “brutal terror.”

The Serbian government even went as far as to submit a formal request to the NATO-led forces in Kosovo for the return of up to 1,000 Serbian police and military personnel to the province in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, that request was snubbed, which eventually led to the Serbian army declaring the “highest level of combat readiness” as tensions reached a tipping point.

This time around, an all-out war was averted via a negotiated settlement, but in the absence of a broader deal, it would be foolish to assume that the long-running disputes in the Balkans have been resolved.

Pristina will not stop trying to establish a police presence in the Serb-majority municipalities of Kosovo or give up on its dream of an ethnically ‘clean’ state. As such, any de-escalation of tensions is only temporary, and the next standoff is expected in April when elections are due to be held for leadership positions in the Serbian municipalities.

According to Russia’s envoy to Belgrade, Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, “Pristina openly […] bets on hard power, and brute force,” which make it very difficult to reach a peaceful settlement.

Speaking to Rossiya 24 in mid-December as the most recent crisis unfolded, Botsan-Kharchenko made a direct connection between the situation in Kosovo and the one in Donbass.

“The whole situation, everything, including Pristina’s attitude towards the Kosovo Serbs, resembles, although on a smaller scale, what has happened and is still happening in Ukraine,” the Russian diplomat said.

Here it’s important to note that Russia’s fight in Ukraine is against NATO and not the Ukrainians themselves. In much the same way, it’s NATO that is keeping the proverbial boot on the neck of the Serbs in Kosovo, rather than the ethnic Albanians. This may be a somewhat oversimplified version of events, but at its core, it is fundamentally accurate.

It also enables one to put forward a truly genuine formula for permanent peace and stability in both the Ukraine and the Balkans: the revision of the existing borders, as well as the removal of NATO’s military infrastructure and its proxies.

It goes without saying that the Western military machine won’t leave on their own accord. How, when, and under what circumstances something like that unfolds in the Balkans depends largely on how successful the Russians are at fulfilling their key objectives in Ukraine.

Interview With Senator Richard Black on Ukraine’s War on the Donbass, Russia’s Reaction, NATO’s Drive to Nuclear War

 

Eva Bartlett

There is this element of madmen—some of the politicians, some of them military people, many of them in the US State Department, the CIA—who would be willing to do the most reckless and insane of actions to risk nuclear war or even to initiate it.”

On December 16, I spoke with Senator Richard Black about Ukraine’s long war against the civilians of the Donbass, Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine, and the Western warmongers behind it all and their drive for endless war.

Senator Black has had an extensive military, legal and political career, serving in the US marines, and after obtaining his law degree, serving in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and head of the Army’s Criminal Law Division in the Pentagon. He served eight years in the Virginia State Senate.

He is one of the few sane American voices loudly advocating for the end to Ukraine’s genocide of the Donbass people, and for an end to the West’s proxy war against Russia.

Follow him at:

http://www.senatorblack.com/

Related Links:

*Chronology of events: the war didn’t start in February 2022

*My Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics playlist

*My Syria writings

*The Referendum on Joining Russia

*Ukrainian war crimes I’ve experienced or documented

14 YEAR OLD IS ONE OF 87 DONBASS CIVILIANS MAIMED BY PETAL MINES FIRED BY UKRAINE

CARNAGE: UKRAINE’S TERRORISM ON DONETSK SEPTEMBER 19 KILLED 16 CIVILIANS, 9 IN ONE SPOT

UKRAINE SHELLED A COMPLETELY CIVILIAN AREA OF CENTRAL DONETSK, KILLING AT LEAST 5 CIVILIANS

UKRAINIAN TERRORISM OF CENTRAL DONETSK SEPTEMBER 17 KILLS 4, USING WESTERN WEAPONS

MORE UKRAINIAN WAR CRIMES: KILLING & MAIMING HEROIC DONBASS MEDICS & EMERGENCY WORKERS

DONBASS FRONTLINE VILLAGER: “UKRAINE DOESN’T CONSIDER US HUMAN”, WANTS TO “ANNIHILATE US”

USING AMERICAN HIMARS, UKRAINE BOMBED CENTRAL DONETSK BUILDING NOV 7

UKRAINE’S BOMBING OF CENTRAL DONETSK AUGUST 4: 2 BALLERINAS AMONG THE 6 MURDERED BY UKRAINE

UKRAINE BOMBED JUST OUTSIDE THE HOTEL I WAS IN. WAS UKRAINE TARGETING JOURNALISTS?

UKRAINIAN TERRORISM: FIRING MUNITIONS CONTAINING PETAL MINES ON DONBASS ORPHANAGE, ANOTHER WAR CRIME

More

Grasping at the last Straw (Andrei Martyanov)

December 20, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/ and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

Vladimir Putin Address to SCO and CIS Defense Ministers Dec 9, 2022 – English Subtitles

December 09, 2022

John Bolton Is Confused (Andrei Martyanov)

December 09, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/ and support him here: https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=60459185

The Goldilocks War

December 02, 2022

by Dmitry Orlov for the Saker blog

Are you happy with the way the war in the former Ukraine is going? Most people aren’t—for one reason or another. Some people hate the fact that there is a war there at all, while others love it but hate the fact that it hasn’t been won yet, by one side or the other. Bounteous quantities of both of these kinds of haters are found on both sides of the new Iron Curtain that is hastily being built across Eurasia between the collective West and the collective East. This seems reasonable; after all, hating war is standard procedure for most people (war is hell, don’t you know!) and by extension a small war is better than a big one and a short war is better than a long one. And also such reasoning is banal, trite, platitudinous, vapid, predictable, unimaginative and… bromidic (according to the English Thesaurus).

Seldom is to be found a war-watcher who is happy with the progress and the duration of the war. Luckily, Russian state television shows a very significant one these almost daily. It is Russia’s president, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Having paid attention to him for over twenty years now, I can confidently state that never has he been so imbued with calm, self-assured serenity leavened with droll humor. This is not the demeanor of someone who feels at any risk of losing a war. The brass at the Ministry of Defense appear dour and glum on camera—a demeanor befitting men who send other men to fight and possibly to be wounded or to die; but off-camera they flash each other quick Mona Lisa smiles. (Russian men don’t give stupid American-style fish-eyed toothy grins, rarely show their teeth when smiling, and never in the presence of wolves or bears).

Given that Putin’s approval rating stands firm at around 80% (a number beyond reach of any Western politician), it is reasonable to assume that he is just the visible tip of a gigantic, 100-million-strong iceberg of Russians who calmly await the successful conclusion of the special military operation to demilitarize and denazify the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (so please don’t even call it a war). These 100 million Russians are seldom heard from, and when they do make noise, it is to protest against bureaucratic dawdling and foot-dragging or to raise private funds with which to remedy a shortage of some specialty equipment requested by the troops: night vision goggles, quadrocopters, optical sights, and all sorts of fancy tactical gear.

A great deal more noise is being made by the one or two percent whose entire business plan has been wrecked by the sudden appearance of the New Iron Curtain. The silliest of these thought that fleeing west, or south (to Turkey, Kazakhstan or Georgia) would somehow magically fix their problem; it hasn’t, and it won’t. The people we would expect to scream the loudest are the LGBTQ+ activists, who thought that they were going to use Western grant money to build East Sodom and East Gomorrah. They’ve been hobbled and muzzled by new Russian laws that label them as foreign agents and prohibit their sort of propaganda. In fact, the very term LGBTQ+ is now illegal, and so, I suppose, they will have to use PPPPP+ instead (“P” is for “pídor”, which is the generic Russian term for any sort of sexual pervert, degenerate or deviant). But I digress.

It can be observed rather readily that those who are the least happy with the course of the Russian campaign are also the least likely to be Russian. Least happy of all are the good folks at the Center for Informational and Political Operations of the Ukrainian Security Service who are charged with creating and maintaining the Phantom of Ukrainian Victory. These are followed by people in and around Washington, who are quite infuriated by Russian dawdling and foot-dragging. They have also been hard-pressed to show that the Ukrainians are winning while the Russians are losing; to this end, they have portrayed every Russian tactical repositioning or tactical withdrawal as a huge, humiliating defeat personally for Putin and every relentless, suicidal Ukrainian attack on Russian positions as a great heroic victory. But this PR tactic has lost effectiveness over time and now the Ukraine has become a toxic topic in the US that most American politicians would prefer to forget about, or at least keep out of the news.

To be fair, the Russian tactical cat-and-mouse games in this conflict has been nothing short of infuriating. The Russians spent some time rolling around Kiev to draw Ukrainian troops away from the Donbass and prevent a Ukrainian attack on it; once that was done, they withdrew. Great Ukrainian victory! They also spent some time tooling around the Black Sea coastline near Odessa, threatening a sea invasion, to draw off Ukrainian forces in that direction, but never invaded. Another Ukrainian victory! The Russians occupied a large chunk of Kharkov region that the Ukrainians left largely undefended, then, when the Ukrainians finally paid attention to it, partially withdrew behind a river to conserve resources. Yet another Ukrainian victory! The Russians occupied/liberated the regional capital of Kherson, evacuated all the people who wanted to be evacuated, then withdrew to a defensible position behind a river. Victory again! With all these Ukrainian victories, it is truly a wonder that the Russians have managed to gain around 100km2 of the former Ukraine’s most valuable real estate, over 6 million in population, secured a land route to Crimea and opened up a vital canal that supplies irrigation water to it and which the Ukrainians had blocked some years ago. That doesn’t seem like s defeat at all; that looks like an excellent result from a single, limited summer campaign.

Russia has achieved several of its strategic objectives already; the rest can wait. How long should they wait? To answer this question, we need to look outside the limited scope of Russia’s special operation in the Ukraine. Russia has bigger fish to fry, and frying fish takes time because eating undercooked fish can give you nasty parasites such as tapeworm and liver fluke. And so, I would like to invite you to Mother Russia’s secret kitchen, to see what’s on the cutting board and to estimate how much thermal processing will be required to turn it all into a safe and nutritious meal.

Mixing our food metaphors, allow me to introduce Goldilocks with her three bears and her porridge not to hot and not too cold. What Russia seems to be doing is keeping their special military operation moving along at a steady pace—not to fast and not too slow. Going too fast would not allow enough time to cook the various fish; going too fast would also increase the cost of the campaign in casualties and resources. Going too slow would give the Ukrainians and NATO time to regroup and rearm and prevent the proper thermal processing of the various fish.

In an effort to find the optimal pace for the conflict, Russia initially committed only a tenth of its professional active-duty soldiers, then worked hard to minimize the casualty rate. It opted to start turning off the lights all over the former Ukraine only after the Kiev regime tried to blow up the Kerch Strait bridge that linked Crimea with the Russian mainland. Finally, it called up just 1% of reservists to relieve the pressure from the frontline troops and potentially prepare for the next stage, which is a winter campaign—for which the Russians are famous.

With this background information laid out, we can now enumerate and describe the various ancillary objectives which Russia plans to achieve over the course of this Goldilocks War. The first and perhaps most important set of problems that Russia has to solve in the course of the Goldilocks War is internal. The goal is to rearrange Russian society, economy and financial system so as to prepare it for a de-Westernized future. Since the collapse of the USSR, various Western agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US State Department, various Soros-owned foundations and a wide assortment of Western grants and exchange programs have made serious inroads into Russia. The overall goal was to weaken and eventually dismember and destroy Russia, turning it into a compliant servant of Western governments and transnational corporations that would supply them with cheap labor and raw materials. To help this process along, these Western organizations did whatever they could to drive the Russian people toward eventual biological extinction and replace them with a more docile and less adventurous race.

Starting well over 30 years ago, Western NGOs set to corrupting the minds of Russia’s young. No effort was spared to denigrate the value of Russian culture, to falsify Russian history and to replace them both with Western pop culture and propaganda narratives. These initiatives achieved limited success, and the USSR, and Soviet-era culture, has remained ever-popular even among those who were too young to have experienced life in the USSR firsthand. Where the damage has been most severe is in education. Excellent Soviet-era textbooks that taught students how to think independently were destroyed and replaced with imports. These were at best useful for training experts in narrowly defined fields who can follow previously defined procedures and recipes but can’t explain how these procedures and recipes were arrived at or to create new ones. Russian teachers, who saw their job not just in educating but in bringing up their students to be good Russians who love and cherish their country, were replaced by Western-trained educationalists who saw their mission as providing a competitive, market-based service in bringing up qualified, competent… consumers! Who are these people? Well, luckily, the Internet remembers everything, and there are plenty of other jobs for these people such as shoveling snow and stoking furnaces. But identifying and replacing them takes time, as does finding, updating and reproducing the older, excellent textbooks.

But what of the young people left behind by this wave of destruction? Luckily, not all is lost. The special military operation is providing them with some very valuable lessons that their ignorant educationalists left out: that Russia—a unique, miraculous agglomeration of many different nations, languages and religions—has been preserved and expanded over the centuries through the efforts of heroes whose names are not just remembered but venerated. What’s more, some of them are alive today, fighting and working in the Donbass. It is one thing to visit museums, read old books and hear stories about the great deeds of one’s grandfathers and great-grandfathers during the Great Patriotic War; it is quite another to watch history unfold through the eyes of your own father or brother. Give it another year or two, and Russia’s young people will learn to look with disdain on the products of Russia’s Western-oriented culture-mongers. Their elders do already: opinion polls show that a large majority of Russians see Western cultural influence as a negative.

And what of these Russian culture-mongers who have been worshiping all things Western for as long as they can remember? Here, a most curious thing happened. When the special military operation was first announced, they spoke out against it and in favor of the Ukrainian Nazis—a stupid thing to do, but they thought it good and proper to keep their political opinions harmonized with those of their Western patrons and idols so as to stay in their good graces. Some of them protested against the war (ignoring the fact that it had been going on for eight long years already). And then quite a few of them fled the country in unseemly haste.

Keep in mind that these are neither brain surgeons nor rocket scientists: these are people who prance around on stage while making noises with their hands and mouths; or they are people who sit there while makeup artists do things to their faces and hair, then endlessly repeat lines written for them by someone else. These are not people who have the capacity to analyze a tricky political situation and make the right choice. In an earlier, saner age their opinions would be steadfastly ignored, but such is the effect of the Internet, social media and all the rest, that any hysterical nincompoop can shoot a little video and millions of people, having nothing better to do with their time, will watch it on their phones and make comments.

The fact that these people are voluntarily cleansing the Russian media space of their presence is a positive development, but it takes time. If the special military operation were to end tomorrow, there is no doubt that they would attempt to come back and pretend that none of this ever happened. And then Russian popular culture would remain a Western-styled cesspool full of vacuous personae who seek to glorify every single deadly sin for the sake of personal notoriety and gain. Russia has plenty of talented people eager to take their place—if only they would keep out long enough for everyone to forget about them!

Particularly damaging to Russia’s future has been the emergence and preeminence of pro-Western economic and financial elites. Ever since the haphazard and in many cases criminal privatization of state resources in the 1990s, there was brought up an entire cohort of powerful economic agents who does not have Russia’s interests in mind. Instead, these are purely selfish economic actors who until quite recently thought that their ill-gotten gains would allow them to enter into posh Western society. These people usually have more than one passport, they try to keep their families in some wealthy enclave outside of Russia, they send their children to schools and universities in the West, and their only use for Russia is as a territory they can exploit in creating their wealth extraction schemes.

When in response to the start of Russia’s special military operation the West mounted a speculative attack on the ruble, forcing Russia’s central bank to impose strict currency controls, these members of the Russian elite were forced to start thinking about making a momentous choice. They could stay in Russia, but then they would have to cut their ties to the West; or they could move to the West and live off their savings, but then they would be cut off from the source of their wealth. Their choice was made easier by Western governments which worked hard to confiscate the property of rich Russian nationals, freeze their bank accounts and subject them to various other indignities and inconveniences.

Still, it’s a hard choice for them to make—realizing that, in spite of their sometimes fabulous wealth, for the collective West they are just some Russians that can be robbed. Many of them are mentally unprepared to throw in their lot with their own people, whom they have been taught to despise and to exploit for personal gain. A quick victory in Russia’s special military operation would allow them to think that their troubles were temporary in nature. Given enough time some of them will run away for good while others will decide to stay and work for the common good in Russia.

Next in line are various members of the Russian government who, having been schooled in Western economics, are incapable of understanding the economic transformation that is occurring in Russia, never mind helping it along. Most of what passes for economic thought in the West is just an elaborate smokescreen over this fundamental dictum: “The rich must be allowed to get richer, the poor must be kept poor and the government shouldn’t try to help them (much).” This worked while the West had colonies to exploit, be it through good old-fashioned imperial conquest, plunder and rapine, or through financial neocolonialism of Perkins’s “economic hit men,” or, as has recently been grudgingly admitted by several top EU officials, by taking advantage of cheap Russian energy.

That doesn’t work any more—not in the West, not in Russia or any place else, and mindsets have to adjust. There is a great deal of inertia in appointments to government positions, where there are many vested interests vying for power and influence. It takes time for such basic ideas to percolate through the system as the fact that the US Federal Reserve no longer has a planet-wide monopoly on printing money. Therefore, it is no longer necessary for Russia’s central bank to have dollars in reserve to cover their ruble emissions to defend it against speculative attack since it is no longer necessary for Russia’s central bank to allow foreign currency speculators to run rampant and stage speculative attacks.

But some results have already been achieved, and they are nothing short of spectacular: over the past few months, just a few well-chosen departures from Western economic orthodoxy have made the ruble the world’s strongest currency, have allowed Russia to earn more export revenue by exporting less oil, gas and coal, and have allowed it to drive inflation down to almost zero. Since the start of the special military operation, Russia has been able to reduce its national debt by a large amount and increase government revenues. A swift end to Russia’s special military operation may spell the end of such miracles and a most unwelcome return to the untenable status quo ante.

Beyond the intangible world of finance, equally significant changes have been occurring throughout the physical Russian economy. Previously, many economic sectors, including car sales, construction and home improvement, software development and many others, were foreign-owned and the profits from these activities left the country. And then a decision was made to block the expatriation of dividends. In response, foreign companies sold off their Russian assets, taking a huge loss and depriving themselves of access to the Russian market. The change has been quite stunning. For example, at the beginning of 2022, Western car companies owned a large share of the Russian auto market. Many of the cars that were sold had been assembled within Russia at foreign-owned plants and the profits from these sales were expatriated. Now, less than a year later, European and American automakers are pretty much gone from Russia, replaced by a swiftly reborn domestic auto industry. Chinese automakers have immediately grabbed a large market share for themselves, while South Korea continued to trade with Russia and has held on to its market share.

Equally stunning have been changes in the aircraft industry. Previously, Russian airlines were flying Airbuses and Boeings, most of them leased. After the start of the special operation Western politicians demanded that these leases be rescinded and the aircraft returned to their owners, neglecting to take into account the fact that this would be ruinous financially (glutting the market for used aircraft for years to come and destroying demand for new aircraft) and, furthermore, physically impossible, given that there was no way to effect the transfer of the aircraft. In response, the Russian airlines nationalized the aircraft registry, stopped flying to hostile destinations where their aircraft might be arrested, and started making lease payments in rubles to special accounts at the Russian central bank.

Then came the news that Aeroflot is panning to buy over 300 new passenger jets, all Russian МС-21s, SSJ-100s and Tu-214s, all before 2030, with the first deliveries slated for 2023. There has been a scramble to replace almost all Western-sourced components, such as composites for the carbon fiber wing of the MC-21 and jet engines, avionics and much else for all of the above. Over this period many of the previously leased Boeings and Airbuses will be phased out, but these companies’ market share in the largest country on Earth will be gone forever. Damage to Western aircraft manufacturers will be matched by the damage to Western airlines. At the outset of hostilities, the collective West closed its airspace to Russia, and Russia reciprocated. The problem is that Europe is small and easy to fly around while Russia is huge and flying around it takes a whole day. European airlines suddenly found that theу can’t compete on routes to Japan, China or Korea.

Following the closing of the airspace came other sanctions, from both the European Union and from the United States, all of them illegal, since the UN Security Council is the only body empowered to impose sanctions. Right now the European Union is working on the ninth packet of sanctions, all of which have been dubbed “sanctions from hell”. Speaking of hell, Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” there are nine circles of hell, so perhaps the sanctions juggernaut is about to run its course.

These sanctions were supposed to have swiftly destroyed the Russian economy and have caused so much social upheaval and suffering that the people would gather on Red Square and overthrow the dread dictator Putin (or so thought Western foreign policy experts). Clearly, nothing of the sort has happened and Putin’s approval rating is as high as ever. On the other hand, the good people of the European Union are indeed starting to suffer. They can no longer afford to heat their homes or to take regular hot showers, food has become outrageously expensive for them, and so much else is going wrong that huge crowds of protestors have been gathering all across Europe and demanding, among other things, an end to anti-Russian sanctions, normalization of relations with Russia and a return to business as usual. Their demands are unlikely to be met, since this would mean a major loss of face for the European leaders.

But there is a more important reason why the sanctions will stay: a return to business as usual would mean that Russia would once again provide energy and raw materials to Europe cheaply while allowing European companies to profit from the labor of Russians. This is quite unappealing and is therefore unlikely to happen. Russia is using the sanctions as an opportunity to rebuild its domestic industry and reorient its trade away from hostile nations and toward friendly nations that are fair and sympathetic in their dealings with Russia. It is also working hard to phase out the use of currencies that Dmitry Medvedev called “toxic”; namely, the US dollar and the euro.

Add to this list a wonderful new Russian innovation called “parallel import.” If some company, in complying with anti-Russian sanctions, refuses to sell its products to Russia or to service or upgrade its products in Russia, then Russia will buy these products and upgrades from a third or fourth or fifth party without permission from the US, the EU or the manufacturer. If a certain brand-name product becomes unavailable, the Russians simply rename the brand and make the same product themselves, or have the Chinese or another trade partner do it for them. And if the West refuses to license its intellectual property to Russia, then that intellectual property becomes free in Russia.

This works particularly well with software: free copies of brand-name software are just as good as the paid-for copies, and if tech support, training or other associated services become unavailable from the West, the Russians simply organize their own. Intellectual property of various sorts makes up a large portion Western notional wealth, and Western sanctions are having the effect of letting Russia make use of it free of charge. Thanks to modern digital technology, it works rather well with hardware too. Instead of painstakingly reverse-engineering products, now the same effect can be achieved by buying the 3D models on a thumb drive and 3D-printing them or automatically generating the mill and drill paths to create them on an NC mill. Putin likes to use the expression “tsap-tsarap” to describe this process. It is hard to translate directly but pertains to the act of a cat snatching its prey with its claws. The short of it is, what Russia previously had to pay for is now, thanks to sanctions, free to it.

Since the Goldilocks War is, after all, a sort of war, we need to briefly discuss its military aspects. Here, too, a steady-as-she-goes approach seems to be the most copacetic. The stated goal is to demilitarize and denazify the former Ukraine, and to some extent this has already been achieved: most of the armor and artillery that the Ukraine had inherited from the USSR has already been destroyed; most of the diehard Nazi battalions are either dead or a shadow of their former selves. Gone too are most of the volunteers that once fought on the Ukrainian side. After over 100000 Ukrainian soldiers “have been killed” since February 2022 (as forthrightly stated, then sheepishly denied, by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen), and after perhaps as many as half a million casualties, scores of service-age men bribing their way out of the country and several rounds of the draft, it is slim pickings. With well over a hundred Ukrainian casualties a day the pickings are bound to get even slimmer over time. Foreign mercenaries have been used to fill the gap—Anglos, Poles, Romanians—but there is a major problem with them: as Julius Caesar pointed out, lots of people are willing to kill for money but nobody wants to die for money—except an idiot, I would add. And on NATO’s Russian front an idiot and his life are soon parted. Up-to-date information on Russian casualties is a state secret and the only number divulged by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in late September 2022 was 5937 killed since the start of the campaign. Casualty rates are said to have been significantly lower since then.

At present, there is still no shortage of idiots on the Ukrainian side—yet—and neither is there a shortage of donated Western weaponry. First came used Soviet-era tanks and other weapons systems donated from all over Eastern Europe; then came actual Western weapons systems. And now throughout NATO one hears plaintive cries that they have nothing left that they can give to the Ukrainians: the cupboard is empty. Nor can they manufacture more weapons in a hurry. To start churning out weapons at the same rate as Russia is doing, these NATO members would first need to reindustrialize, and there are neither the human resources, nor the money to do so. And so the Russian army grinds away, demilitarizing the Ukraine, and the rest of NATO with it. In the process, it is perfecting the art of fighting a land war against NATO—not that a single NATO country would even entertain such an idea.

Perhaps this is mission creep, or perhaps this has been the plan all along, but what Russia is doing at this point is destroying NATO. You may recall that a year ago Russia demanded that the US honor certain security guarantees it made as a condition for allowing the peaceful reunification of Germany; namely, that NATO would not expand eastward. “Not an inch to the east” was how the official record of the meeting reads. Gorbachev and Shevardnadze failed to get this deal on paper and signed, but a verbal deal is a deal. A year ago Russia’s offer was quite moderate: that NATO withdraw to its pre-1997 borders, when it expanded to Eastern Europe.

But, as usually happens when negotiating with the Russians, their initial offer is usually the best. For all we know, based on how things are going in the Ukraine, Russia’s best and final offer may require NATO to disband altogether. After all, the Warsaw Pact disbanded 31 years ago but NATO is still around and bigger than ever; what for? To fight Russia? Well, then, what are they waiting for? Come and get it! This may not even take the form of a negotiation. For example, Russia could say, take a quick whack at Latvia (it richly deserves a whack or two for abusing its large native Russian population Nazi-style) and then stand back and say, “Come on, NATO, come and die heroically on our doorstep for poor little Latvia!” At this, NATO officials will stand united but very quiet, thoughtfully examining their own and each others’ shoes. Once it becomes clear that there will be no offers to launch World War III to avenge Latvia, NATO will quietly dry up and blow away.

Finally, we come to what is perhaps the least important reason for the Goldilocks War: the former Ukraine itself. In view of Russia’s other strategic goals, it seems more of the nature of a sacrificial piece in a chess gambit. Given what Russia has already achieved over the past nine months—four new Russian regions, six million new Russian citizens, a land bridge to Crimea, irrigation water supply to Crimea—there isn’t much left for Russia to achieve militarily before its military campaign reaches the stage of diminishing returns. The addition of Nikolaev and Odessa regions and full control of the Black Sea coastline would, of course, be most valuable; control of Kharkov and Kiev somewhat less so. Control of the entire Dniepr hydroelectric cascade is a definite nice-to-have. As for the rest, it could be left to languish for ages as a deindustrialized, depopulated wasteland, labeled “Mostly harmless.”

Let me divulge a personal detail or two. Two of my grandparents were from Zhitomir, my father was born in Kiev, my first romantic interest was a girl from Odessa, and over the years I’ve had as many friends from Odessa, Kharkov, Lvov, Kiev, Donetsk, Vinnitsa and elsewhere as anywhere else in Russia. Russia? You read that right: there is no way to convince me that so-called “Ukrainian territory” somehow isn’t Russia or that the people who live there somehow aren’t Russian—regardless of what some of them have been recently brainwashed to think. What’s more, none of these people I have known over the years ever thought of themselves as the least bit Ukrainian and they would probably view the very idea of a Ukrainian nationalist identity as symptomatic of a mental condition. The label “Ukrainian” was to them some Bolshevik nonse; since then, Ukrainianness has been turned into a Western method for exploiting minor ethnic variations in order to make one group of Russians fight another group of Russians.

In case you are doubtful, let’s apply the good old duck test: Do the people there walk, quack and look like Russians? All of that territory, with one minor exception in the far west, was part of Russia for anywhere between ten and three centuries; most of the people there, and virtually the entire urban population, speaks Russian as their native language; their religion is predominantly Russian Orthodox; they are genetically indistinguishable from the rest of the Russian population. So, what happened to them?

Unfortunately, a small piece of this Russian land spent three centuries in captivity to the Austro-Hungarian Empire or as part of Greater Poland, and this poisoned their minds with foreign ideas such as Catholicism and ethnic nationalism. Unlike Russia, which is a multinational, multi-ethnic, religiously diverse monolith, the West is a mosaic of ethnic nationalisms, and where there are nationalists there may be Nazis, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

As one drop of poison infects the whole tun of wine, these Western Ukrainians, with lots of help and funds from the German Nazis, then the Americans and the Canadians, managed to infect a large part of the formerly Ukrainian territory with a fake nationalism based on a forged history and a haphazardly concocted culture. Official bans on the teaching and, eventually, the use of Russian have brought up a generation of young people who are essentially illiterate in their native Russian. They are taught in Ukrainian, but Ukrainian literacy is close to an oxymoron, since nothing of any great consequence has ever been written or published in that language and the vast majority of Ukrainian literary works are, you guessed it, in Russian.

The Russian special military operation that’s been ongoing since February 2022 has polarized the entire population. Those who had decided to be with Russia back in 2014 were, obviously, overjoyed to finally get some help from Russia. The now Russian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson gladly voted to join Russia. But as far as the rest of the former Ukrainian territory, the polarization is mostly in the opposite direction. Those who wanted to be with Russia mostly voted with their feet and are now living somewhere in Russia.

This is something that time alone can fix. Eventually the population of the former Ukraine will be forced to make a choice: they can be Russian, or they can be refugees somewhere in Europe, or they can die fighting Russians at the front. Note that even Donetsk and Lugansk didn’t make this choice right away, the way Crimea did. At that time, only some 70% of their population was in favor of leaving the Ukraine and rejoining Russia. It took eight years of relentless Ukrainian bombing to convince them to make this choice.

Over these intervening years, the diehard “Ukrainians” filtered out, leaving behind a population that was close to 100% pro-Russian. It was only then that the Kremlin granted them official recognition, sent in troops to defend them from imminent invasion and, soon after, accepted them into the Russian Federation. And now the same sort of sorting operation has to take place throughout the rest of the former Ukraine. How long will it take? Only time will tell, but it is already clear that, as far as Russia is concerned, there is no compelling reason to rush.

Please download my books of essays:

Ready… Set… Bolt!, 2022
The Arctic Fox Cometh, 2021
The Meat Generation, 2020
Collapse and the Good Life, 2018
Collapse Chronicles, Volume V, 2017
Everything is Going According to Plan, 2016
Emergency Eyewash, 2015
Societies that Collapse, 2014
Absolutely Positive, 2012

Sergey Lavrov Interview for Film on Extremism in Europe – November 2022 – English Subtitles

November 28, 2022

Note from Michael Rossi Poli Sci who subtitled that video:

Dear Patreon Supporters,

First off, thank you once again for your pledged support and votes of confidence on my work.

Unfortunately, YouTube decided to remove the latest video I uploaded today (Sunday November 27) of Sergey Lavrov giving an interview on political extremism in Europe AS “hate speech”. How they came to that conclusion is beyond me, but I suppose it had to do with the video title having the word “extremism” in it, and “nazism” in the description.

Either way, YouTube removed the video and I have received my first Community Guideline strike, preventing me from upload, commenting, or interacting in any way on my channel for a week. I have appealed the strike, but I don’t know when I will hear back.

In the meantime, I have uploaded the video here and made it publicly accessible. Please feel free to share with those whom you think would benefit from it. For the next week, you’re my “ambassadors” of sorts 🙂

I hope to get this straightened out ASAP, because YouTube offers no prior warning or review of content before something gets flagged, and videos with direct “hate speech” get published all the time.

I may start moving more of the translated videos over here and making it Patrons Only.

Best wishes,

Mike Rossi

Apparently, YT reversed its decision.  Still, PLEASE SUPPORT MIKE ROSSI ON PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/MichaelRossiPoliSci

About Saving Face: Some Advice to Volodymyr Zelensky

November 28, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

It matters not how much you, gentlemen, bend down before them,
You will never gain Europe’s recognition:
You will always be for them,
Not servants, but serfs of their enlightened disposition.
F.I. Tyutchev, Russian diplomat and poet, May 1867

To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.
Henry Kissinger

Ditching the Ukraine

It is now dawning on the US elite that they totally underestimated Russia in all respects. For instance, on 25 March 2014 the arrogant Obama contemptuously called Russia ‘a regional power, threatening others out of weakness’ (sic!). (Clearly, he was talking about the USA). As a result, blinded by hubris, some in the US are now admitting that the Ukraine, the most corrupt country in Europe, is a dead duck, the game is simply no longer worth the candle. Apart from being a black hole for Western money and military equipment, the Ukraine is no longer the problem. It is a sideshow, a distraction, a mere symptom of something far more important. The real problem is what is now happening worldwide under Russian leadership – the ending of the unipolar world, of US global hegemony, camouflaged beneath the more innocent-sounding term ‘globalism’.

Following Russia’s decision and ability to stand up to the world’s bully, the whole Non-Western world is now also standing up to him. For example, at the recent G20 meeting in Indonesia, the debate was not about the Ukraine, but about whether or not to continue to accept American Fascist rule (‘the rules-based international order’). All the Latin American and African and four Asian countries said no, it’s finished, the world is now multipolar. Taiwan will inevitably be Chinese and soon – and wait till Chinese troops appear in Mesopotamia to take control of Iraqi oil and gas and rebuild that tragic country. Freedom beckons. Long-deluded Western elitists must be shocked: other ‘regional powers’ are now also standing up to the bully. Perhaps also out of weakness? Zelensky must have suspected that his boss, until now the self-imagined master of the universe, is going to get rid of him. He is a loser and the Yanks cannot stand losers.

As the US realises that the free nations of the world are turning against it, it will not hesitate to blame the Kiev regime. The US must save face. Kiev has been warned: it will have to start negotiating with Russia again. Zelensky had better plan his escape now, because Ukrainians will not forgive him for stringing them along with a pack of lies. Regardless of Zelensky’s delusional assertions that there will be no negotiations with Russia and that it will re-occupy Russian territories, including the Crimea, there are three reasons for him to throw in the towel now, before it all gets much, much worse.

Three Reasons To Surrender Now

Firstly, Russia has now reluctantly moved closer to the US ‘shock and awe’ strategy of destroying infrastructure, as the US did in Germany and Japan (World War II) and then Serbia and Iraq. Power stations and power networks, bridges and ‘decision centres’, such as certain government buildings in Kiev are being targeted. Russia is one or two mass missile strikes away from the knock-out blow which will disable the Ukrainian electricity, water and rail systems. With 50% of Ukrainian electricity infrastructure knocked out by the first three strikes on the electricity grid, demonstrations are starting against the deteriorating situation, with Zelensky sending in the hated and dreaded Ukrainian Secret Police, the SBU, to break them up. He is also banning coverage of them in his heavily-censored media. The electricity system has entered a stage of ‘arbitrary and uncontrolled imbalance’. Ukrainians have been told to leave the country for the winter. Where to? Who wants them anyway? And does this include the military too?

Secondly, once the infrastructure has been incapacitated, Russia’s 380,000 regular and newly mobilised troops will be fully incorporated into the Allied forces in eastern Ukraine. Even without them, Russian forces are continuing to advance in the Donbass. A winter offensive by some half a million troops will make huge gains on the whole front, advancing hundreds of kilometres and multiplying Kiev’s – and NATO’s – staggering losses. After success here, President Putin’s generals have the option of moving a serious force into the western Ukraine from Belarus in order to cut off NATO supply routes from Poland. This could easily lead to the total collapse of the already ravaged Ukrainian forces and their mercenaries. Now Russia is going all the way to Lvov and the Polish border. It has been forced to. The Kiev regime has brought it on itself. All Russia wanted was security for the Crimea and the Donbass and a neutral, non-nuclear Ukraine. It could all have been so simple.

Thirdly, Western countries, including even the brainless Stoltenberg, is suffering from Ukraine fatigue. The Ukrainian flags have nearly all come down in Europe. Support has waned as reality has dawned. NATO countries’ arms stocks have been seriously depleted and strikes and ensuing social chaos have appeared in Europe, This the result of double-digit inflation and economic recession, brought on by suicidal Western sanctions, yes, those ‘against Russia’ (!). ‘We are cold and hungry in our own country because you gave everything to that bunch of losers in Kiev and the Ukrainian freeloaders you invaded our country with’. The foul-mouthed thug Nuland has achieved her aim in Europe. All this makes Russia the strategic winner and is forcing the US/UK/EU to call on Zelensky to talk again. The British financier PM Sunak (who cares little for and knows even less about politics) used a modest British aid package, announced during his recent visit to Kiev, to tell Zelensky that bankrupt London can no longer pay. Kiev must negotiate with Moscow. Following this, there has been a delay in the fourth round of missile strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. President Putin is waiting to see if Zelensky will cave in and start realistic talks before Russia unleashes the last assault on Ukrainian infrastructure and the winter offensive.

Ditching Zelensky

At least some in the Biden regime are realising (though not Biden himself, he is in no fit state to realise anything – a clear case of elder abuse) that they are going to have to drop the Jewish billionaire as the fall-guy for the Ukraine’s defeat. Just as they have done to countless Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian tinpot dictators and gangsters in past decades, the US will also do the same to him in his Monsanto/Cargill banana republic. Can Zelensky still entertain any illusions about it? Of course, the US will deny that the war in the Ukraine was ever between the US and Russia and declare it was only ever ‘an internal conflict’ between the Ukraine and Russia. (Ukraine only supplied the cannon fodder for its transatlantic masters, who have controlled the country since their coup in 2014).

Ukraine’s former CIA asset, the actor Zelensky, has now acted up. The Ukrainian missile strike on Poland and the Ukrainian President’s insistence that it was a Russian strike, despite the clear evidence to the contrary, has hit Zelensky’s credibility. The intentional Ukrainian false flag strike on Polish/NATO territory, designed to provoke NATO or at least pathetic Poland into entering the war, is a pathetic embarrassment. Even compared to all of Zelensky’s other ridiculous staged false flags, like Bucha, which venal Western journalists were paid to report, this one has gone too far. The West is getting fed up with Zelensky’s antics. A bullet in the head is much cheaper than continuing to subsidise this clown.

Some are waking up to Zelensky, who is willing to unleash nuclear war in order to avoid negotiating. Some may now even understand that his crazy claims that President Putin always wanted to occupy all the Ukraine and restore the USSR, if not conquer all of Europe, are fairy-stories. These stories are told by Kiev to Western infants only in order to get military and financial aid and above all to draw NATO into the war. (The half-American Churchill spent all of 1941 trying to get the US into Britain’s war against Germany; unlike Zelensky, Churchill succeeded by emphasising his racial compatibility and dangling the Pacific Ocean carrot in front of the Yankees. Zelensky cannot offer either of those). President Putin has clearly stated on more than one occasion that: ‘He who does not regret the USSR has no heart, but he who wants to restore it has no brain’. A desire to restore the failed Soviet Union is a Western propaganda myth used by arms merchants and lying politicians to justify their greed and ambition.

Three Reasons To Run Now

Since NATO has categorically refused to send troops into the Ukraine and since there is no such thing as a ‘coalition of the willing’, apart from a few Polish and Baltic fanatics who are currently being wiped out as mercenaries in the Ukraine, what can Zelensky do? He could urge the Ukrainian commander-in-chief, General Zaluzhny, to open a last (yes, last) offensive in Donetsk or Zaporozhie in order to reboot support from the West. However, General Zaluzhny is fed up with sending his troops to commit suicide. He is, after all, a professional military man. Zelensky, on the other hand, is a White House court jester, who cares only about his own survival. Zaluzhny has other considerations. Here there is potential for a coup d’etat, a palace revolt in Kiev.

On the one hand, the self-deluded and murderous Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine who surround Zelensky and were all given power by the US, will not tolerate surrender. On the other hand, ordinary cold and hungry Ukrainians will ask why was not all of this avoided in the first place by agreeing to Ukrainian neutrality and fulfilling the Minsk 2 promises with their Russian brothers? (A good question, which should be asked of all the Western leaders who also rejected it). So Zelensky is stuck between the Neo-Nazis and the moderate Ukrainian people, between a rock and a hard place. It is lose-lose for him. Russians do not hate Ukrainians, they are brothers. But they do hate Nazis. They are enemies. The Nazis can expect no quarter from the Russians and they know it. The USSR cleared out its part of Germany of Nazis, liberating their German brothers. It is the same now in the Ukraine. With the Russian liberation of the whole of the Ukraine (not originally intended by Russia, but now necessary), a new wave of Ukrainian ‘refugees’ is going to hit Western Europe, maybe even before Christmas. This could be the last straw for a Europe full of refugees from other equally stupid and unnecessary wars of the US Empire: Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Libyans, Albanians and now Ukrainians. Europe cannot take it any more. It is collapsing in waves of social unrest and even Britannia cannot rule those waves.

The clueless Stoltenberg (him again) has declared that the defeat of the Ukraine means (yet another) defeat for NATO. Actually, the superfluous NATO was long ago defeated, but Stoltenberg is too clueless to have seen the writing on the wall and join the long queues of now unemployed ex-slaves of the US, Afghan and Iraqi interpreters among them. The US and its NATO vassals must now backtrack. Some statement like: ‘We were let down by those vodka-drinking surrender-monkey Ukrainians (what can you expect from those Slav subhumans?), but we have won the greatest victory in our history because we have triumphed in stopping the brutal Russian beast at the Polish border. Mission accomplished’. That would do the job. The US and its vassals cannot save face, but, since they only care about PR, they can at least pretend to save face – by blaming Zelensky. They could, conveniently, have him assassinated, so he does not tell the truth about what has really been happening behind the scenes over the last few years (he knows far too much), blaming it on ‘extremists’ and making him into a new Jewish martyr. If I were Zelensky, I would leave for Tel Aviv today. Does the Ukraine have any planes left?

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