Ukrainian Interior Minister Among 18 Killed in Helicopter Crash near Kiev

January 18, 2023

An aerial view of the helicopter crash in Ukraine’s Brovary (Wednesday, January 18, 2023).

Ukrainian interior minister and at least seventeen other people were killed in a helicopter crash near Kiev on Wednesday.

At least 29 people were injured in the incident on Wednesday in a residential area in the city of Brovary, on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration.

Kuleba wrote on Telegram that three children were among the victims. The helicopter crashed near a kindergarten and an apartment block in Brovary, a town of around 110,000 people, located about eight kilometers northeast of Kiev.

The remains of the helicopter were visible outside a residential building in Brovary.

After the crash a fire broke out close to the kindergarten and children and staff were moved from the building. Wreckage from the helicopter was visible outside a burning building.

Highest Profile Ukrainian Casualty

Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin and Secretary of State Yuriy Lubkovychis died in the crash, Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to the ministry, confirmed on social media.

Nine of those killed were aboard the helicopter, according to the head of Ukraine’s National Police Igor Klimenko. The ill-fated aircraft belonged to the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry, he added.

The Interior Ministry said it’s looking into several possible reasons for the crash, including malfunction of equipment, violation of security rules and sabotage.

Monastyrsky, the 42-year-old interior minister, was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky’s cabinet and played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022.

Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since Russia’s operation began, although there is no indication that the crash was anything more than an accident.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been en route to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.

Source: Agencies and Websites

The liquidation of the Ukrainian Interior Minister and Israel betray Russia

Revisiting Russian objectives in the Ukraine

January 17, 2023

Check out this list of headlines, all from one source only, RT and all from the past week or so:

Some are only “more of the same” (like the Ukronazis making the Aussies ban Russian flags at the Open), some are rather disgusting (like the Ukronazi blogger who wants to exterminate the Russian people), some are revolting (like the French warning 5000 Russian graves that “their concession is expiring”!), some are hilarious (like the idea of bust of “Ze” at the Capitol building), some are outright crazy (like the idea of a “Ukraine peace summit” without Russian participation).  Some are weird but encouraging (like the Kentucky gubernatorial candidate, a Democrat, calling for an impeachment of Biden for war crimes).  But some are very, very serious indeed (like the increase of the size of the Russian military to 1.5M or the fact that both the General Milley and Defense Minister Shoigu visiting their troops at the same time.

One could certainly say that these headlines are “signs of the time” (“but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matt 16:2-3), but what does this all mean?

First, these headlines are like a snapshot of the West’s collective insanity.  Please keep in mind that the past week was no more and no less rich in crazy ideas and statements than previous weeks.  This snapshot is what one could call the “West’s homeostasis” or, in other words, that is the norm, the stable mental condition in which the West operates.  Future historians, assuming the AngloZionists freaks in power allow us to have a future other than a nuclear apocalypse, will marvel at the collective insanity which overcame an entire continent.

Second, both the rabid #CancelRussia mass phenomenon and the discussions about sending NATO weapons, including MBTs, fighter aircraft, SAMs and the like are an expression of the same impotent rage felt by the leaders of the West.  And headlines like this one “Russian economy doing much better than expected (…)” The financial results for 2022 have exceeded many forecasts, the president [Putin] says” certainly do not help.

The obvious danger here is that frustrated, hate-filled people are typically not capable of rational decision-making.  Let’s, for example, take the “clever” idea of sending the Ukronazis (well, NATO, really) more tanks or aircraft.  If you look at the numbers discussed, they are so small as to make no difference.  But once you sent them to the Ukraine and they get destroyed by Russian missiles, what do you do next?  Send more?

It took the Russians about one month to basically destroy the (original) Ukrainian armed forces.

Then it has taken Russia about 9 months to destroy most of the hardware former Warsaw Treaty Organization (no, it is *not* called a “Pact” – that is pure propaganda and why not call NATO the Atlantic Pact by the same logic?).  The sad part here is that in the process of destroying all that WTO kit, Russia had not choice but to inflict horrendous casualties with Ukrainian KIA/MIA going well into the several hundred of thousands.  “Ze” sent wave after wave after wave of mobilized men straight into the Russian meat-grinder with no chance of prevail and very little chance of survival.

It might take Russia a year or more to fully destroy all the hardware (and “volunteers”) sent by NATO.  Russia is certainly making plans for a long and major war, hence the re-creation of the Moscow and Leningrad Military Districts (you can think of them as “fronts” once a war starts) or the massive increase in weapons procurement up to and including strategic deterrence forces (nuclear and conventional).

Right now, Russia seems to be focusing on destroying the (comparatively) better trained units of the mixed NATO-Ukronazi forces in the eastern Ukraine.  The Russian strategy is very simple: Russia can kill NATO soldiers and hardware faster than NATO can provide reinforcements.  Obviously, this is only a temporary situation, and there are three groupings of Russian forces (North, East, South) all along the frontlines which can intervene at any time and give Russia something she never had since the initiation of the SMO: a full combined arms offensive and a numerical superiority over the other side.

Most knowledgeable observers, such as Col Maggregor, believe that a Russian offensive is all but certain.  Wars can be very unpredictable, and Putin does have a genius ability to act in unpredictable ways, so I would not say that this offensive is absolutely certain, but I agree that it is highly likely.  However, such an offensive is not risk free.

In purely military terms, there is no force on the European continent which could take on the Russian forces currently aligned along the Ukrainian border.  In political terms, there is a major issue for Russia: any terrain that she liberates will have to be protected.

During the first phase of the SMO, the Russians sent in a comparatively small force, which did great in combat against the Ukronazis, but which did not hold ground (which you never do in economy of force and maneuver warfare), resulting into absolutely awful optics including:

  • The perception that Russia promises to come and protect the people she liberated only to then abandon them.
  • The perception that the Russian retreated because of Ukronazi military successes.

The fact that neither of these statements is quite true does not help as they are “close enough” to the truth to sound convincing.  As a result, the Russian side completely lost control of the narrative, for a while even inside Russia!  It took the appointment of Surovikin to reassure the Russian public that while mistakes were made (including in the early phase of the war or during the mobilization), those mistakes would be addressed and corrected.  Now with the Russian Chief of General Staff in final and personal control of the war, nobody doubts that the Kremlin does mean business.

There is also a small, but noticeable change, in the western propaganda with more and more voices dissenting from the official AngloZionist party line.  Of course,  the economic disaster facing the EU is most helpful in sobering up the Europeans: now that more and more EU citizens have to say “bye bye” to the comforts and jobs they used to enjoy (including first and foremost, dirt cheap energy costs), we can count on an increasingly loud rumble of protests.  Maybe not “pro-Russian” ones, no – most Europeans, especially northern Europeans, *do* hate Russia – but at least anti-Establishment ones.  Having silenced your conscience does not keep you warm or, for that matter, employed.  The EU will now discover the very real costs of rabid russophobia.  And sending tanks to the Ukraine obviously won’t help.  Hence the current strikes and protests in several EU countries.

So when the promised offensive materializes, there will be only two options left: ditch the Ukronazi regime “Kabul style” or full commit NATO (or a subset of NATO states) to invade the western Ukraine.  My money is on the latter option.

Actually, this is not one option, but two very different ones.

  • In the first case, NATO (or a subset) will move in unilaterally hoping that Russia will not strike the occupation force.
  • In the second case, the US and Russia could strike a deal and jointly agree to partition the rump-Ukraine.

Obviously, the second solution in infinitely safer and preferable, but just like Hitler and his goons did not want to negotiate with Russian subhumans, neither do the AngloZionists.

Still, here is a truism which must be always kept in mind:

==>>There is nothing in the Ukraine Russia wants or needs<<==

This was true of the Ukraine before the SMO, and it is even more true today.  Country 404 is basically deindustrialized and a prototypical failed state, while the population has been so brainwashed that it will take years to deprogram them.  Russia only wants two things:

  • Protect the Russian speaking population from genocide
  • Deny NATO the use the Ukraine territory to attack Russia

Notice that neither of these options necessarily requires making major territorial gains.  I would even argue that, with one exception (see below), it would be ideal for Russia to achieve these objectives by liberating as little as possible of the currently Nazi occupied land.  As I have said it many times, the Ukrainians need to clear their own house and not expect Russia to do it for them.  Alas, it will take another generation of Ukrainians to do that, assuming they ever will.  But as long as country 404 is sufficiently demilitarized, Russia can wait for the denazification to seep into the minds of millions of brainwashed Ukrainians.

The first consequence of this, is that the Russians are more than happy not to move forward and have the US push NATO forces into the Russian meat grinder.  True, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to demilitarize and denazify the Ukraine without a major offensive to finish up the Nazi forces.  However, the seizure of land is not the Russian goal, only the means to achieve it.

Then there is the issue of the Nikolaev-Odessa-PMR (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic).

While the Kremlin might have other plans, I personally don’t see any other option than to open a land corridor to PMR.  This would also have the immense benefit of cutting the rump-Banderastan from the Black Sea.  For NATO, however, the loss of Odessa and the Black Sea Coast would be a major setback, both politically and militarily.  There were some really dumb ideas circulated about this in the West,including sending in the 101st as a “tripwire” force.  Why is that dumb?  Simply because *IF* the Russians have concluded that the liberation of the entire Ukrainian coast is vital to the security of Russia, then no “tripwire” force will stop them.  And what will the US do if that tripwire force is attacked?  Launch a fullscale nuclear attack on Russia?

Are the US Neocons willing to lose Washington DC, New York, Miami or Los Angeles over Odessa?  I don’t know, but if they are the typical self-worshiping Nazis (which they are), then a nuclear holocaust might seem preferable to these hate-filled freaks.  Can somebody sane stop them?  I don’t know that either.

The headlines above suggest to me that no real decision has been made and that right now there is a tug of war inside the western ruling elites about what to do when the (almost certainly) inevitable Russian offensive happens.  By the way, this fact by itself might be a good reason for the Russians not to move in too soon.  Yes, it is unlikely that saner voices will prevail, but being a nuclear superpower Russian must act with utmost caution and not listen to the Russian turbopatriots and the western “friends of Russia” would have been advocating for total war for months, if not years.

Maybe the “Georgian model” is what might save the day?

Remember how during the three day war in 08.08.08 Russian forces were closing on Tbilissi with nobody left to defend the Georgian capital?  The Russians decided to call back their forces (no, Russia has no need for either the land or the people of Georgia.  Sounds familiar?) but Saakashvili reinterpreted this withdrawal as “our heroic and invincible forces stopped the Russians”.  And two years before that, Dubya who declared with a straight face that Israel defeated Hezbollah the “Divine Victory” war.  So maybe the AngloZionist can save face by declaring that they “prevented Russian from seizing Lvov or Ivano-Frankovsk”?  And if the Russians decide not to try to liberate Kiev, then NATO will be able to declared that “we stopped Russia from seizing Kiev”.  Yes, that would be a rather transparent lie, at least for those few still capable of critical thought, but I personally much prefer a lie, however, silly, to a fullscale war.

So maybe Russia needs to have a third, unspoken, objective: give the crazies in the West a face-saving “out”, no matter how thin or ridiculous.  In fact, I am pretty confident that there are folks in Russia working on this right now.

Andrei

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.

What would it take?

January 10, 2023

How NATO “celebrated” the Orthodox Nativity

NATO did “celebrate” the Orthodox Nativity, but in its own way. First, a few headlines:

Remember the truce offered by Russia?  It was rejected.  Instead we got this:

And, just to clarify, NATO uses Serbia as a defenseless victim to show Russia what it can do to its allies, the message being, as Stoble Talbott said, “after Serbia, you are next”, so the link here is strong.

NATO did not stop at that, it also continued its policy of persecutions, see these headlines:

Speaking of issues of freedom of religion, NATO is planning to completely ban the parishes which used to have an autonomous status under the Moscow Patriarchate, which then turned against Moscow and condemned the SMO.  But that was not enough, so, just like in NATO occupied Kosovo, the persecution of Orthodox clergy and faithful is both a “feel good” operation for Orthodoxy-haters and a “message” to Moscow.

NATO did not stop at that, it also announced yet another military aid package for Banderastan: (no translation needed I suppose)

None of that will be enough to make a difference, but there are many more such “aid” programs being discussed, so NATO wants to continue to draw out this war for as long as possible and fight the Russians down to the last Ukrainian.

Not that any of this did any good to “Ze” and his gang: having rejected the Russian truce, the Ukronazis are now loosing the towns of Soledar and Artemovsk (see here for details), which are not only tactical victories for the Russians, but this now threatens the operational defenses of the Ukronazis which will have to fall back on what we could call a “third line of defense” if they want to restabilize the front.

Russia has also continued with her strikes, including an absolutely huge explosion at the NATO base in Ochakovo and a retaliatory attack following the HIMARS strike which killed nearly 100 Russian soldiers.  The retaliatory attack was aimed at two barracks in Kramatorsk and, according to the Russian, it killed 600 Ukronazis soldiers.  Finally, it appears that 40% of the Ukrainian electrical grid is down forever, since nobody (except Russia) can replace the extremely heavy (and costly) transformers needed to reconnect that grid (now all electrical power is local, with no means to distribute it through the grid).

Feel the hatred

I think that it would be fair to say that what we are witnessing is possibly the most intense demonization of a political leader – Putin – and a country – Russia – in history.  And it is absolutely *not* only something coming from the West’s ruling class.  A few days ago my daughter and I were laughing because she accompanied some kids to an comics/action figures store and, to her dismay, most customers were adults (lots of infantiles in the USA).  Then I asked her, just for fun, “was there any Putin action figure on sale”?  There were none, obviously, but we decided to check on the Internet, again, just for fun and, we saw what was on offer on Etsy.  Here is the link, see for yourself: https://www.etsy.com/market/putin_action_figure

Now Etsy is not a front for the CIA, and items sold there are mostly made by individuals.  I suggest you go through a couple of page of items in the link above and see for yourself: Putin-hatred is certainly a very “popular” thing in the West.

Another example, check out this website: https://fightforua.org/.  This is about a worldwide recruitment operation to send mercenaries to the Ukraine.  The traffic on that site is modest, but the effort directly linked to the Ukie military “intelligence” service (it goes through their military attaches) and that means that it is run by NATO.

And then there are all the mantric statements from Western politicians expressing their total love and support of “Ze”, his policies and Banderastan.

Which begs the question:

What would it take for the West to see the true (Nazi) face of Banderastan?

So far, the narrative has not changed: Putin is a megalomaniacal dictator who wants to restore the Soviet Union (or the Russian Empire), Russia attacked the Ukraine because that is what Russians do – they attack others for no good reason.  Banderastan is a de facto NATO member state who fight in a “NATO operation” (as per the Ukie Minister of “Defense”) and it now protects all of Europe from the Russian hordes.  And since the heroic Ukrainian soldiers are shedding their blood, the very least NATO and the EU can do is to supply infinite amount of money and weapons to this freedom-loving beautiful and heroic country.  Listening to that nonsense one could be forgiven for assuming that Country 404 is as democratic as Iceland or San Marino.

It is even more amazing, at least at the first glance, to see how strong the Israeli and Jewish support for a clearly Nazi regime has been.  Of course, the Israelis/Jews have no love for the Nazis, but they hate Russia even more than they hate the Nazis (which is quite ironic, since all the anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire happened in the Ukraine and not in what is Russia today).  This is also true of all the doubleplusgoodthinking western politicians who ban Nazi symbols or “revisionist” books in their own countries, but who fully support the Nazis in NATO and Kiev.

[The topics of “Israel” deserves a separate article, as that country leaders go from bad, to worse to completely insane.  Their latest “brilliant idea”: call the Palestinian flag as a “terror flag” and then to ban its public display.  In Palestine.  Does that not sound Ukie to you?  It is not exactly the kind of batshit crazy action which both Banderastan and “Israel” are known for and which the freedom loving and doubleplusgoodthinking western politicans and media will never see, as their hate-filled eyes are only directed as Moscow.  In fact, I would argue that “Israel” is something of a precedent and even an “older brother” to Banderastan – infinitely ugly, infinitely evil, yet enthusiastically supported by the entire West.]

The Ukronazis can burn people alive, torture all their POWs, completely suppress the freedom of information, murder civilians by the many thousands, try to deprive entire regions of water and electricity (they never realized that karma can be a bitch!), persecute people for having the wrong photo on their cellphones, “disappear” many thousands of supposed political opponents, ban languages, close down churches, freely use a unambiguously racist terminology dehumanizing their own citizens, etc. etc. etc.  And for all that, they get a standing ovation (in Congress, literally), billions of dollars of “aid”, tons of weapons and thousands of “volunteers”.

And yet, far from being reviled, “Ze” and his gang are lionized by the West while “Ze’s” victims are demonized and Russia, as a civilization, “canceled” (and not only by authorities, most of that “canceling” is done spontaneously and quite voluntarily).

What is being ignored here is this: what does the West’s total support for the Albanian terrorists in Kosovo, the Israeli terrorists in Palestine and the Ukronazis in Banderastan say about the West itself?

Yes, I know, the Neocons who run the US don’t give a damn about what any “deplorables” might think about them as they see themselves as fundamentally superior and entitled to rule the world.  What they are completely missing in their narcissistic self-worship is that much of Zone B is absolutely disgusted with the AngloZionist Empire.  Just one example:

Are you aware that most of Latin America is taking an increasingly strong anti-US stance?  Following the attempted coup against President Lula in Brazil, all of the following countries immediately condemned that (obviously CIA run) coup including: Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and even Colombia (which is a tectonic change in Colombian politics)!  I got that list from this article, but I am confident that we can add Bolivia and Nicaragua to that list.  In fact, I wonder if there is any Latin American country who backed the coup (if yes, please post it in the comments).  Yes, even Colombia, which used to be Uncle Shmuel’s bitch for decades, now elected its first President who is not a US puppet.

Much of the same is happening in Africa where more and more countries are openly (and covertly) supporting Russia and ditching their colonial oppressors – like France in Mali – see here for details.

And, again, we observe the same in the Middle-East were countries such as the KSA, which used to be joined at the hip with the USA, are now seeking Russian support and through the Russians, a channel of communications with Iran.  Again, these are immense geostrategic shifts which the western free and democratic media tries very hard to ignore.

There is a well-known saying which goes “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are“.  Clearly, racist freaks like Bibi Netanyahu or “Ze” are not only the “friends” of the West, they are the West’s heroes, which deserve infinite support not matter what evil actions they commit, it all goes away under the “our son of a bitch” doctrine which makes is possible to support both Zionists in Palestine and Nazis in Banderastan.  As I wrote many times, both Zionism and National-Socialism are twin brothers, born from the same European nationalistic womb; and while they claim to hate each other, they mostly work together as we have seen in the example of, say, South Africa.  So yes, these two monsters do hate each other, but they hate Russia even more, hence their current alliance in Banderastan.

Conclusion: the true (Nazi) face of Banderastan is the true face of the West

The Ukronazis used to have a slogan “Україна – це Європа” (Ukraine is Europe).  The past eight years have shown us that the opposite is true – Europe is the Ukraine.  And since the original Ukie slogan very much includes the USA as part of being “European” (which I would very much dispute), we can basically conclude that “the West is the Ukraine”.

It would be stupid to expect Nazis to condemn other Nazis.  That is just not going to happen.  Not until Russia defeats NATO, at which point the European “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” (BoJo) will have to quickly rebrand themselves as peace loving “good neighbors” of Russia or live in terror (and poverty!), and not because Russia will attack any EU country, but because they will have lost even the illusion of US “protection” (aka colonization) of the EU.  And there will be A LOT of finger pointing, especially at the rabid Hyena of Europe and the UK (nobody will even notice the quite irrelevant Baltic statelets which nobody needs, including Russia).

It goes without saying that the West’s support for Banderastan and “Israel” is a wholesale and very public repudiation of the values which the West claimed to stand for.  I would argue that one of the biggest achievements of the SMO was to force the West to show it’s true (Nazi and Zionist) face.  Ironically, this is not unlike what happened in the Soviet Union where Marxist-Leninist propaganda was everywhere, but absolutely *nobody* took it seriously.  And here is the crucial factor to always keep in mind: every regime in history, no matter how brutal and oppressive, needs at least some degree of public support.  As Talleyrand, Bonaparte’s Foreign Minister, once said “My Lord, you can do anything you like with bayonets, except sit on them“, and this is quite true.  Furthermore, history shows that there is a critical moment when the rulers of a regime are seen has hypocrites the regime inevitably collapses.  Right now the ruling class which runs the West looks like a gang of meat-eating carnivores claiming to stand for “vegan values”, something nobody can take seriously (except maybe those truly too dull to be able to understand anything).

And then there is this: Russia is arguably the last Christian country in Europe (the other one would be Serbia).  The rest of the continent has now comprehensively caved to the “Woke” ideology, yet another reason for their hatred for Russia: compared to Russia, the post-Christian West looks idolatrous and even openly demonic!  Remove Russia, and that would be far less obvious (without any point of comparison).  Considering this state of affairs, I think that it is quite safe to assume that in the future it will be Islam, brought in by millions of emigrants, which play a much bigger role in European affairs than any remnants of pseudo-Christianity.  From a Russian point of view, this would be much preferable than to deal with Orthodoxy-hating pseudo-Christians.

But all that will only happen once NATO is defeated and the EU denazified and demilitarized.  Until then, the coven of witches which run NATO will continue to fully support Ukrainian Nazis and Israeli Zionists.

Andrei

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

Not a good strategy (Douglas Macgregor – MUST SEE!)

January 09, 2023

Why BRI is back with a bang in 2023

January 06 2023

As Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative enters its 10th year, a strong Sino-Russian geostrategic partnership has revitalized the BRI across the Global South.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

The year 2022 ended with a Zoom call to end all Zoom calls: Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussing all aspects of the Russia-China strategic partnership in an exclusive video call.

Putin told Xi how “Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade,” meaning “we will be able to reach our target of $200 billion by 2024 ahead of schedule.”

On their coordination to “form a just world order based on international law,” Putin emphasized how “we share the same views on the causes, course, and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape.”

Facing “unprecedented pressure and provocations from the west,” Putin noted how Russia-China are not only defending their own interests “but also all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny.”

Earlier, Xi had announced that Beijing will hold the 3rd Belt and Road Forum in 2023. This has been confirmed, off the record, by diplomatic sources. The forum was initially designed to be bi-annual, first held in 2017 and then 2019. 2021 didn’t happen because of Covid-19.

The return of the forum signals not only a renewed drive but an extremely significant landmark as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched in Astana and then Jakarta in 2013, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.

BRI version 2.0

That set the tone for 2023 across the whole geopolitical and geoeconomic spectrum. In parallel to its geoconomic breadth and reach, BRI has been conceived as China’s overarching foreign policy concept up to the mid-century. Now it’s time to tweak things. BRI 2.0 projects, along its several connectivity corridors, are bound to be re-dimensioned to adapt to the post-Covid environment, the reverberations of the war in Ukraine, and a deeply debt-distressed world.

Photo Credit: The Cradle
Map of BRI (Photo Credit: The Cradle)

And then there’s the interlocking of the connectivity drive via BRI with the connectivity drive via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), whose main players are Russia, Iran and India.

Expanding on the geoeconomic drive of the Russia-China partnership as discussed by Putin and Xi, the fact that Russia, China, Iran and India are developing interlocking trade partnerships should establish that BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran as one of the upcoming members of the expanded BRICS+, are the ‘Quad’ that really matter across Eurasia.

The new Politburo Standing Committee in Beijing, which are totally aligned with Xi’s priorities, will be keenly focused on solidifying concentric spheres of geoeconomic influence across the Global South.

How China plays ‘strategic ambiguity’

This has nothing to do with balance of power, which is a western concept that additionally does not connect with China’s five millennia of history. Neither is this another inflection of “unity of the center” – the geopolitical representation according to which no nation is able to threaten the center, China, as long as it is able to maintain order.

These cultural factors that in the past may have prevented China from accepting an alliance under the concept of parity have now vanished when it comes to the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Back in February 2022, days before the events that led to Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, Putin and Xi, in person, had announced that their partnership had “no limits” – even if they hold different approaches on how Moscow should deal with a Kiev lethally instrumentalized by the west to threaten Russia.

In a nutshell: Beijing will not “abandon” Moscow because of Ukraine – as much as it will not openly show support. The Chinese are playing their very own subtle interpretation of what Russians define as  “strategic ambiguity.”

Connectivity in West Asia

In West Asia, BRI projects will advance especially fast in Iran, as part of the 25-year deal signed between Beijing and Tehran and the definitive demise of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or Iran nuclear deal – which will translate into no European investment in the Iranian economy.

Iran is not only a BRI partner but also a full-fledged Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member. It has clinched a free trade agreement with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), which consists of post-Soviet states Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

And Iran is, today, arguably the key interconnector of the INSTC, opening up the Indian Ocean and beyond, interconnecting not only with Russia and India but also China, Southeast Asia, and even, potentially, Europe – assuming the EU leadership will one day see which way the wind is blowing.

Map of INSTC (Photo Credit: The Cradle)

So here we have heavily US-sanctioned Iran profiting simultaneously from BRI, INSTC and the EAEU free trade deal. The three critical BRICS members – India, China, Russia – will be particularly interested in the development of the trans-Iranian transit corridor – which happens to be the shortest route between most of the EU and South and Southeast Asia, and will provide faster, cheaper transportation.

Add to this the groundbreaking planned Russia-Transcaucasia-Iran electric power corridor, which could become the definitive connectivity link capable of smashing the antagonism between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

In the Arab world, Xi has already rearranged the chessboard. Xi’s December trip to Saudi Arabia should be the diplomatic blueprint on how to rapidly establish a post-modern quid pro quo between two ancient, proud civilizations to facilitate a New Silk Road revival.

Rise of the Petro-yuan

Beijing may have lost huge export markets within the collective west – so a replacement was needed. The Arab leaders who lined up in Riyadh to meet Xi saw ten thousand sharpened (western) knives suddenly approaching and calculated it was time to strike a new balance.

That means, among other things, that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) has adopted a more multipolar agenda: no more weaponizing of Salafi-Jihadism across Eurasia, and a door wide open to the Russia-China strategic partnership. Hubris strikes hard at the heart of the Hegemon.

Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, in two striking successive newsletters, titled War and Commodity Encumbrance (December 27) and War and Currency Statecraft (December 29), pointed out the writing on the wall.

Pozsar fully understood what Xi meant when he said China is “ready to work with the GCC” to set up a “new paradigm of all-dimensional energy cooperation” within a timeline of “three to five years.”

China will continue to import a lot of crude, long-term, from GCC nations, and way more Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Beijing will “strengthen our cooperation in the upstream sector, engineering services, as well as [downstream] storage, transportation, and refinery. The Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange platform will be fully utilized for RMB settlement in oil and gas trade…and we could start currency swap cooperation.”

Pozsar summed it all up, thus: “GCC oil flowing East + renminbi invoicing = the dawn of the petroyuan.”

And not only that. In parallel, the BRI gets a renewed drive, because the previous model – oil for weapons – will be replaced with oil for sustainable development (construction of factories, new job opportunities).

And that’s how BRI meets MbS’s Vision 2030.

Apart from Michael Hudson, Poszar may be the only western economic analyst who understands the global shift in power: “The multipolar world order,” he says,” is being built not by G7 heads of state but by the ‘G7 of the East’ (the BRICS heads of state), which is a G5 really.” Because of the move toward an expanded BRICS+, he took the liberty to round up the number.

And the rising global powers know how to balance their relations too. In West Asia, China is playing slightly different strands of the same BRI trade/connectivity strategy, one for Iran and another for the Persian Gulf monarchies.

China’s Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Iran is a 25-year deal under which China invests $400 billion into Iran’s economy in exchange for a steady supply of Iranian oil at a steep discount. While at his summit with the GCC, Xi emphasized “investments in downstream petrochemical projects, manufacturing, and infrastructure” in exchange for paying for energy in yuan.

How to play the New Great Game

BRI 2.0 was also already on a roll during a series of Southeast Asian summits in November. When Xi met with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit in Bangkok, they pledged to finally connect the up-and-running China-Laos high-speed railway to the Thai railway system. This is a 600km-long project, linking Bangkok to Nong Khai on the border with Laos, to be completed by 2028.

And in an extra BRI push, Beijing and Bangkok agreed to coordinate the development of China’s Shenzhen-Zhuhai-Hong Kong Greater Bay Area and the Yangtze River Delta with Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

In the long run, China essentially aims to replicate in West Asia its strategy across Southeast Asia. Beijing trades more with the ASEAN than with either Europe or the US. The ongoing, painful slow motion crash of the collective west may ruffle a few feathers in a civilization that has seen, from afar, the rise and fall of Greeks, Romans, Parthians, Arabs, Ottomans, Spanish, Dutch, British. The Hegemon after all is just the latest in a long list.

In practical terms, BRI 2.0 projects will now be subjected to more scrutiny: This will be the end of impractical proposals and sunk costs, with lifelines extended to an array of debt-distressed nations. BRI will be placed at the heart of BRICS+ expansion – building on a consultation panel in May 2022 attended by foreign ministers and representatives from South America, Africa and Asia that showed, in practice, the global range of possible candidate countries.

Implications for the Global South

Xi’s fresh mandate from the 20th Communist Party Congress has signaled the irreversible institutionalization of BRI, which happens to be his signature policy. The Global South is fast drawing serious conclusions, especially in contrast with the glaring politicization of the G20 that was visible at its November summit in Bali.

So Poszar is a rare gem: a western analyst who understands that the BRICS are the new G5 that matter, and that they’re leading the road towards BRICS+. He also gets that the Quad that really matters is the three main BRICS-plus-Iran.

Acute supply chain decoupling, the crescendo of western hysteria over Beijing’s position on the war in Ukraine, and serious setbacks on Chinese investments in the west all play on the development of BRI 2.0. Beijing will be focusing simultaneously on several nodes of the Global South, especially neighbors in ASEAN and across Eurasia.

Think, for instance, the Beijing-funded Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, Southeast Asia’s first: a BRI project opening this year as Indonesia hosts the rotating ASEAN chairmanship. China is also building the East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia and has renewed negotiations with the Philippines for three railway projects.

Then there are the superposed interconnections. The EAEU will clinch a free trade zone deal with Thailand. On the sidelines of the epic return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power in Brazil, this past Sunday, officials of Iran and Saudi Arabia met amid smiles to discuss – what else – BRICS+. Excellent choice of venue: Brazil is regarded by virtually every geopolitical player as prime neutral territory.

From Beijing’s point of view, the stakes could not be higher, as the drive behind BRI 2.0 across the Global South is not to allow China to be dependent on western markets. Evidence of this is in its combined approach towards Iran and the Arab world.

China losing both US and EU market demand, simultaneously, may end up being just a bump in the (multipolar) road, even as the crash of the collective west may seem suspiciously timed to take China down.

The year 2023 will proceed with China playing the New Great Game deep inside, crafting a globalization 2.0 that is institutionally supported by a network encompassing BRI, BRICS+, the SCO, and with the help of its Russian strategic partner, the EAEU and OPEC+ too. No wonder the usual suspects are dazed and confused.

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

Report: US Arms Sales to NATO Allies Almost Double in 2022

Dec 31, 2023 

By Staff, Agencies

The number and price of arms sales approved by Washington to its NATO allies almost doubled in 2022 as compared to 2021, a US magazine has reported.

The outlet noted that last year, the US government approved 14 possible major arms sales to its allies in the alliance, worth about $15.5 billion. In 2022, the figure soared to 24 potential major arms sales with price tag of around $28 billion, including $1.24 billion worth of arms sales to possible new NATO member Finland.

The magazine pointed out that the data indicates that the US remains “a major arms supplier for allies in Europe in the short term,” in the midst of European defense industries’ push to “meet wartime demands for conventional arms and ammunition.”

According to the media outlet, the increase took place as NATO members scrambled “to stock up on high-end weapons” amid the ongoing Russian special military operation in Ukraine.

The outlet reported that although some of arms sales deals were negotiated years beforehand, the Russian special operation sent NATO’s European members scrambling to bump up their military spending, and to replenish vehicles, weapons, and ammunition delivered to the Ukrainian military.

Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have all ordered HIMARS Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems [MLRS], while the US State Department authorized earlier this month the sale of 116 M1A1 Abrams tanks to Poland, after Warsaw sent its Soviet-era T-72 and domestically-made PT-91 tanks to Kiev’s forces.

The report comes after President Joe Biden signed a new $1.7 trillion federal spending bill into law, a document that includes $858 billion in defense spending.

According to a statement released on the website of the US Senate Committee on Budget Appropriations, the so-called National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] comprises “$44.9 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and our [America’s] NATO allies.” Since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine on February 24, the US and its allies have supplied more than $40 billion worth of arms to Kiev. Moscow has repeatedly warned that providing Kiev with arms prolongs the Ukraine conflict.

The signing of the NDAA followed a separate US media outlet reporting about a surge in the share prices of the four largest US defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, and Pratt & Whitney.

The outlet reported that Lockheed Martin “had booked more than $950 million worth of its own missile military orders from the Pentagon in part to refill stockpiles being used in Ukraine, while Raytheon Technologies was awarded with “more than $2 billion in contracts to deliver missile systems to expand or replenish weapons used to help Ukraine.”

Vladimir Putin Addresses the Russian Defense Ministry Board Dec 21, 2022 – English Subtitles

December 26, 2022

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

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Xi of Arabia and the petroyuan drive

Xi Jinping has made an offer difficult for the Arabian Peninsula to ignore: China will be guaranteed buyers of your oil and gas, but we will pay in yuan.

December 16 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Pepe Escobar

It would be so tempting to qualify Chinese President Xi Jinping landing in Riyadh a week ago, welcomed with royal pomp and circumstance, as Xi of Arabia proclaiming the dawn of the petroyuan era.

But it’s more complicated than that. As much as the seismic shift implied by the petroyuan move applies, Chinese diplomacy is way too sophisticated to engage in direct confrontation, especially with a wounded, ferocious Empire. So there’s way more going here than meets the (Eurasian) eye.

Xi of Arabia’s announcement was a prodigy of finesse: it was packaged as the internationalization of the yuan. From now on, Xi said, China will use the yuan for oil trade, through the Shanghai Petroleum and National Gas Exchange, and invited the Persian Gulf monarchies to get on board. Nearly 80 percent of trade in the global oil market continues to be priced in US dollars.

Ostensibly, Xi of Arabia, and his large Chinese delegation of officials and business leaders, met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to promote increased trade. Beijing promised to “import crude oil in a consistent manner and in large quantities from the GCC.” And the same goes for natural gas.

China has been the largest importer of crude on the planet for five years now – half of it from the Arabian peninsula, and more than a quarter from Saudi Arabia. So it’s no wonder that the prelude for Xi of Arabia’s lavish welcome in Riyadh was a special op-ed expanding the trading scope, and praising increased strategic/commercial partnerships across the GCC, complete with “5G communications, new energy, space and digital economy.”

Foreign Minister Wang Yi doubled down on the “strategic choice” of China and wider Arabia. Over $30 billion in trade deals were duly signed – quite a few significantly connected to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.

And that brings us to the two key connections established by Xi of Arabia: the BRI and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The Silk Roads of Arabia

BRI will get a serious boost by Beijing in 2023, with the return of the Belt and Road Forum. The first two bi-annual forums took place in 2017 and 2019. Nothing happened in 2021 because of China’s strict zero-Covid policy, now abandoned for all practical purposes.

The year 2023 is pregnant with meaning as BRI was first launched 10 years ago by Xi, first in Central Asia (Astana) and then Southeast Asia (Jakarta).

BRI not only embodies a complex, multi-track trans-Eurasian trade/connectivity drive but it is the overarching Chinese foreign policy concept at least until the mid-21st century. So the 2023 forum is expected to bring to the forefront a series of new and redesigned projects adapted to a post-Covid and debt-distressed world, and most of all to the loaded Atlanticism vs. Eurasianism geopolitical and geoeconomic sphere.

Also significantly, Xi of Arabia in December followed Xi of Samarkand in September – his first post-Covid overseas trip, for the SCO summit in which Iran officially joined as a full member. China and Iran in 2021 clinched a 25-year strategic partnership deal worth a potential $400 billion in investments. That’s the other node of China’s two-pronged West Asia strategy.

The nine permanent SCO members now represent 40 percent of the world’s population. One of their key decisions in Samarkand was to increase bilateral trade, and overall trade, in their own currencies.

And that further connects us to what has happening in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in full synchronicity with Riyadh: the meeting of the Supreme Eurasia Economic Council, the policy implementation arm of the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Kyrgyzstan, could not have been more straightforward: “The work has accelerated in the transition to national currencies in mutual settlements… The process of creating a common payment infrastructure and integrating national systems for the transmission of financial information has begun.”

The next Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will take place in Russia in May 2023, ahead of the Belt and Road Forum. Take them together and we have the lineaments of the geoeconomic road map ahead: the drive towards the petroyuan proceeding in parallel to the drive towards a “common paying infrastructure” and most of all, a new alternative currency bypassing the US dollar.

That’s exactly what the head of the EAEU’s macroeconomic policy, Sergey Glazyev, has been designing, side by side with Chinese specialists.

Total Financial War

The move towards the petroyuan will be fraught with immense peril.

In every serious geoeconomic gaming scenario, it’s a given that an enfeebled petrodollar translates as the end of the imperial free lunch in effect for over five decades.

Concisely, in 1971, then-US President Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon pulled the US from the gold standard; three years later, after the 1973 oil shock, Washington approached the Saudi oil minister, notorious Sheikh Yamani, with the proverbial offer-you-can’t-refuse: we buy your oil in US dollars and in return you buy our Treasury bonds, lots of weapons, and recycle whatever’s left in our banks.

Cue to Washington now suddenly able to dispense helicopter money – backed by nothing – ad infinitum, and the US dollar as the ultimate hegemonic weapon, complete with an array of sanctions over 30 nations who dare to disobey the unilaterally imposed “rules-based international order.”

Impulsively rocking this imperial boat is anathema. So Beijing and the GCC will adopt the petroyuan slowly but surely, and certainly with zero fanfare. The heart of the matter, once again, is their mutual exposure to the Western financial casino.

In the Chinese case, what to do, for instance, with those whopping $1 trillion in US Treasury bonds. In the Saudi case, it’s hard to think about “strategic autonomy” – such as what’s enjoyed by Iran – when the petrodollar is a staple of the Western financial system. The menu of possible imperial reactions includes everything from a soft coup/ regime change to Shock and Awe over Riyadh – followed by regime change.

Yet what the Chinese – and the Russians – are aiming at goes way beyond a Saudi (and Emirati) predicament. Beijing and Moscow have clearly identified how everything – the oil market, global commodities markets – is tied to the role of the US dollar as reserve currency.

And that’s exactly what the EAEU discussions; the SCO discussions; from now on the BRICS+ discussions; and Beijing’s two-pronged strategy across West Asia are focused to undermine.

Beijing and Moscow, within the BRICS framework, and further on within the SCO and the EAEU, have been closely coordinating their strategy since the first sanctions on Russia post-Maidan 2014, and the de facto trade war against China unleashed in 2018.

Now, after the February 2022 Special Military Operation launched by Moscow in Ukraine and NATO has devolved into, for all practical purposes, war against Russia, we have stepped beyond Hybrid War territory and are deep into Total Financial War.

SWIFTly drifting away

The whole Global South absorbed the “lesson” of the collective (institutional) west freezing, as in stealing, the foreign reserves of a G20 member, on top of it a nuclear superpower. If that happened to Russia, it could happen to anyone. There are no “rules” anymore.

Russia since 2014 has been improving its SPFS payment system, in parallel with China’s CIPS, both bypassing the western-led SWIFT banking messaging system, and increasingly used by Central Banks across Central Asia, Iran and India. All across Eurasia, more people are ditching Visa and Mastercard and using UnionPay and/or Mir cards, not to mention Alipay and WeChat Pay, both extremely popular across Southeast Asia.

Of course the petrodollar – and the US dollar, still representing under 60 percent of global foreign exchange reserves – will not ride into oblivion overnight. Xi of Arabia is just the latest chapter in a seismic shift now driven by a select group in the Global South, and not by the former “hyperpower.”

Trading in their own currencies and a new, global alternative currency is right at the top of the priorities of that long list of nations – from South America to Northern Africa and West Asia – eager to join BRICS+ or the SCO, and in quite a few cases, both.

The stakes could not be higher. And it’s all about subjugation or exercising full sovereignty. So let’s leave the last essential words to the foremost diplomat of our troubled times, Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, at the international interparty conference Eurasian Choice as a Basis for Strengthening Sovereignty:

“The main reason for today’s growing tensions is the stubborn striving of the collective West to maintain a historically diminishing domination in the international arena by any means it can… It is impossible to impede the strengthening of the independent centers of economic growth, financial might and political influence. They are emerging on our common continent of Eurasia, in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.”

All aboard…the Sovereign Train.

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

Dr Michael Vlahos interviews Col. Douglas Macgregor (MUST SEE!)

December 13, 2022

Fascism in the EU

December 10, 2022

Source

by Hans Vogel

“Wij zijn de zwarte soldaten, want wij strijden voor vrijheid en voor recht!”

(We are the black soldiers, ‘cause we fight for freedom and for justice)

Thus went a marching song of the NSB, the Dutch National Socialist party (1932-1945). Of course, black referred to the color of their uniforms, not the color of their skins.

In some weird way this old song, like the men who were singing it and the ideas behind it, shunned by decent society, has regained significance in Europe. Taking a closer look at the EU, it is striking that police uniforms generally are also black, perhaps not always those worn by officers on regular duty, but certainly those of the riot police. Riot police in full gear are literally black soldiers. As such, they have been brutally suppressing peaceful demonstrations for over a decade now. For instance, police brutality—worthy of any “Third World” Rogue State—against the Yellow Vest movement in France has been particularly shocking.

At the same time, another kind of black soldiers has also been taking over the streets of old Europe. Not dressed in black uniforms, but black of skin, less tightly organized and commanded, these black soldiers are also waging a war against the peaceful citizens of EU nations. They are targeting women especially, molesting them, raping them, killing them and intimidating their men and families. These latter black soldiers are sort of operating behind the lines, behind the riot police. In short, there is actually a real war going on against the EU population.

Supreme command is in the hands of EU governments. Even though in most EU nations, the separation of powers is enshrined in the constitution, in practice that separation is not evident. Thus, EU governments are able to use a combination of often overtly abusive police action and the judicial system (judges also being dressed in black!) to subdue the citizenry and to control public opinion and public debate. The media, or the so-called free press, both private and public (with the alleged guarantees to ensure its impartiality, like in Germany), also plays a key role in controlling public opinion. Expressed in military terms, EU governments enjoy “full-spectrum dominance” in the entire public domain.

Under these conditions, it was not difficult to ban Russian media from the EU a few days after the beginning of the Russian Special Military Operation in the Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The few voices raised in protest against this massive and unprecedented censorship were easily silenced and suppressed. It is perhaps no coincidence that EU censorship was decreed by a German, namely the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Germany is the European nation that has enjoyed the longest continuous censorship and strict media control anywhere: ever since Hitler ended press freedom in 1933, the Germans have been living with controlled media and the curtailment of speech. Free speech has now been banned in Germany for almost a century! Today, the very policies first applied by the nazis have become the norm and standard all over the EU.

An essential tool for managing and controlling public debate is to ridicule and frame the opposition. Thus anybody who does not buy into the official narrative is branded a “hater,” “denier” or “conspiracy theorist.” On that account alone, it is suggested such people are unfit to participate in the public debate. If they do so nonetheless, sharper weapons are produced. In that case, it is stated the culprit has “dangerous ideas” or that he is a “potential terrorist.” As such he needs to be taken care of, for instance thrown in jail or subjected to psychiatric treatment. Numerous EU journalists and others saying unwelcome truths have been indicted, thrown in jail or interned in a psychiatric ward. In case someone proves particularly difficult to deal with, he is eliminated by way of a car accident, a “lone wolf” or a suicide.

Fortunately, those violent methods rather rarely need to be applied. State censorship with the help of the police and kangaroo courts takes care of most cases. And even before that, the maintaining of “community standards” on social media such as Facebook, Apple (I-phone), Google, Youtube, Instagram, Amazon (until recently, Twitter as well) and other platforms filters out the vast majority of “crimethink.”

However, for the powers that be in the EU, it would be a bad thing if all citizens would join in the goose stepping march towards fascist heaven. Without a moderate, but controlled and directed level of crimethink, there would be little use for all those black soldiers, whose ranks are swelling daily by entire boatloads of “asylum seekers” brought in upon covert EU orders. The venerable adage of divide and rule has been dusted off and guides the policies of most EU governments and the European Commission.

Actually, the EU governments use shrewd tactics to increase social unrest and anxiety, thus furthering their agenda for total control of the population. This method is based on the criminalization of “hate speech” and the covert facilitation of all kinds of crime by the “black” soldiers from overseas. In Amsterdam, 80% of crime is committed by young Moroccans. Whenever the perpetrators are arrested, they are usually quickly released without charges. If charges are pressed and convictions ensue, these tend to be ridiculously light in comparison with the offense committed. All the while the media dutifully observe instructions never to mention the origin or nationality of perpetrators in their reports. These are therefore described as “youngsters” instead of “young Moroccans.” As a result, whenever the media refer to “youngsters” the public knows these are actually Moroccans. Nevertheless, whoever publicly dares to call a spade a spade, is immediately charged with “hate crime.” Surely, there is no better way to foment social division.

Native Europeans feel betrayed, insecure and angry but are forbidden to vent their feelings. A controllable level of tension can thus be maintained indefinitely, because at the same time the public is being cowed into submission by way of daily doses of fear porn: about nuclear war, holes in the ozone layer, acid rain, climate change, the rising level of the oceans, melting ice caps, carbon and nitrogen emissions and deadly pandemics. The media parade endless rows of “experts” to explain and illustrate the horrifying details of each threat, as they make an appeal to “follow the science.” Experts with conflicting views are never invited to reflect upon the lurking dangers. These latter experts are routinely branded as “deniers.” In the process, the governments and media are actually helping to destroy the last vestiges of academic integrity.

There is always only one way out, one solution to the problem at hand. That is to obey the government and to do precisely as you’re told. Thus, almost a year after the beginning of the Russian SMO in the Ukraine, now that the EU has been engaged in cutting off Europe’s energy supplies and destroying Europe’s industrial base, the citizens are told to limit their use of water and energy. Turn down the heater, they are instructed, drive less, shower less, wear an extra sweater, buy less, eat less meat and switch to insects!

In the meantime, the truly looming danger of a financial collapse is hardly being reported on in the media that uphold the system.

With EU governments exerting rigid full-scale censorship, terrorizing their citizens with SS-like squads of riot police and overseas immigrants (often illegal aliens) with criminal inclinations, throwing dissidents in jail, liquidating them when necessary, while at the same time supporting a regime in the Ukraine that openly glorifies nazi ideology, one is made to wonder about the never-ending and ubiquitous lamenting about how bad those nazis really were. Part and parcel with horror stories about the Second World War, Latin American military dictators, the horrors of communist regimes and any other enemies far away and long ago, these whinings are a cornerstone of PC ideology.

Another epithet the EU governments and their most fanatical supporters such as Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats, like to throw at anybody who disagrees with them is “fascist.” This may actually be a bit like a fossil, an old leftover from a century ago when the left used to be attacked by uniformed street gangs, such as the SA in Germany and the Fasci di combattimento in Italy. Indeed, one may call such people nazis or fascists, if only because that is what they called themselves. But in a more objective sense, what are the distinguishing features of fascism as a political system? These include ruthless oppression of the opposition, censorship and control of every aspect of the lives of the citizens. The EU nicely fits that description. But the most important characteristic is that under fascism, both state and society are subject to the dictates of monopoly capitalism, in other words, of big corporations, including banks. This also happens to be the case in the EU. Whereas in nazi Germany and fascist Italy these corporations were called Krupp, IG Farben, FIAT, Ansaldo and so on, today they are called Blackrock, Vanguard, Amazon and Microsoft.

For many years now, EU legislation, taking precedence over laws enacted by national parliaments, is being written and prepared for passing by a veritable army of lobbyists paid by the monopoly capitalists. These hired hands outnumber the civil servants in the EU capital of Brussels. Instead of resisting, the eurocrats and the Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission concentrate on giving themselves pay hike after pay hike, setting an example for their colleagues in EU member states. Thus one might conclude that not only are the EU and its member states ruled by fascists, but by corrupt fascists. At least, for all their evils and shortcomings, nazi Germany and fascist Italy had significantly lower levels of corruption.

The Russian SMO in the Ukraine has helped to make matters very clear. The truly fascist character of the EU and the “West” in general (basically the US empire), is becoming ever more apparent. That is because underlying truths usually emerge out in the open during crises and wars.

One of these truths is that the EU is fascist to the core.

The New Russia and a Prophetic Ballad

December 09, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

Introduction: The Traitors Run from the Birth of the New Russia

As the Saker has written, the New Russia was born on 24 February 2022, the first day of the SMO (Special Military Operation) to liberate the Ukraine of its militaristic Nazi demons. Almost at once, tens of thousands of hipster-type members of the Russian nouveau-riche upper class headed for Georgia, Kazakhstan, Finland, Serbia and elsewhere. They hate Putin, because now they can no longer go skiing in the French Alps in the winter, to Florida for summer vacations, or go to their villas and use their bank accounts in London, Nice, Malaga, Sofia, Nicosia and Podgorica, and get enough botox or original spare parts for their BMWs, like they used to.

The members of this ‘nomenklatura’ are all products of the imported Western consumerism of the 1990s: Money, money, money – parasites, thieves and traitors. However, the nomenklatura had already come into being by the 1970s. I can remember them then with their vulgar and amateur aping of bourgeois Western ways and clothes, shopping in Berjozka shops. In the 1980s they helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union, betraying the social justice that was its best legacy, fighting against the patriots who were centred in the KGB. Having lived in the USSR, I was not in principle against its fall, as it has persecuted the Church and also made the error of entering Afghanistan, but that fall could only be on condition that something better would first be put in its place. I follow the principle that you do not destruct until you first construct.

Post-Soviet Russia: 1992-2022

Tragically, instead of keeping the best of the old USSR, full employment, housing for all, free education, free health care, free culture and support for the exploited Third World, once the nouveau-riche nomenklatura had taken long-coveted power, they simply put in place a poor-quality imitation of the corrupt West, keeping only all that was worst in the old USSR, alcoholism, abortion and divorce on demand, corruption etc. It was the worst of both worlds. National assets were stolen (‘privatised’) by what were politely called ‘oligarchs’, tens of millions of abandoned Russians found they had become disliked minorities in new countries, Western companies made a killing inside Russia, tens of millions of people were robbed of their savings and pensions and millions died of poverty, despair, alcoholism and in nationalist wars in the Caucasus, which were directly provoked and supported by the West. It was one of the greatest thefts of resources and identity in the history of the world.

It is only since 2000 that Russian patriots have been able to develop something better to put in place of these monstrosities and despite them. This has been a generational project and could not be rushed. Only thirty years later, in 2022, was the project ready. The New Russia, purged of the parasites and traitors, is needed, but there are still institutions, like the Church, where the corrupt and infiltrators are present and so compromise them. These traitors are just like the aristocrats, generals, politicians and professionals who coveted power in 1917 and so brought the system down. Just like today’s aristocrats/oligarchs and bourgeois elite of traitors, they implemented the Western-planned February 1917 palace revolt and, once they had caused chaos, civil war and destruction, they irresponsibly ran away to the West.

The Fall of Imperial Russia

Having rejected the corrupt and failed post-Soviet Russia and the bankrupted Soviet Russia (1917-1991), the patriots who wanted to form the New Russia had two past models to consider: the brief Imperial Russia (1721-1917) and the long pre-Imperial Russia (988-1721), whose ideal was ‘Holy Rus’. Interestingly the last Tsar, Nicholas II, seeing the appalling decadence of the upper class in Saint Petersburg, had looked back with nostalgia precisely to that pre-Imperial Russia and especially to one of its last rulers, Tsar Alexis (1645-1676). He named his only son after him, reconciling those who used the Old Ritual with the Church, worked towards the restoration of the Patriarchate, building churches in the national style of the previous age and reforming church singing and iconography according to that age’s standards

Nicholas II was betrayed by those who disagreed with and evenly openly mocked his ideal of Holy Rus and laughed at the radical unity of peasant and Tsar. Those traitors had allied themselves with the West, with British spies and politics and French language and culture, which is why most of them ended up in Paris after 1917. The Tsar was left inside Russia, refusing to leave his homeland out of patriotism, and so was murdered with all his family. Imperial Russia had not at all been free of the West. That is why it fell. Compromised, it had contained the seeds of its own destruction, felled by its own internal contradictions, so well portrayed in nineteenth-century Russian literature, especially by Dostoyevsky in ‘The Demons’ or ‘The Brothers Karamazov’. The lesson here is that if the New Russia is to survive and thrive, the New Russia also has to be decompromised and cleansed of the post-Soviet westernised traitors. And, thank God, many of them have already voluntarily left!

Holy Rus

Thus, we come to that ideal of ‘Holy Rus’, which is free of the West. What is it? The word ‘Rus’ primarily means East Slavdom, the Slavs of Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus and Carpatho-Russia (‘Ruthenia’). ‘Holy’ refers to the models of sanctity provided by the Orthodox Christian Faith, which was officially adopted by the East Slavs in Kiev, ‘the Mother of Russian Cities’, in 988 at ‘The Baptism of Rus’. This Faith is the one thing that knits East Slavdom together. Whenever that Faith was weak or even denied as an ideal, the East Slavs quarrelled amongst each other, giving rise to civil wars between oligarchic princes, significantly in what is now the Ukraine in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. As a result, the Collective Mongol-Tartars invaded from the East. Invasions only happen when there is no internal unity. A house divided cannot stand. This is exactly the same case today, only now it is the demons of the Collective West that have replaced the demons of the Collective East.

Thus, we come to the question posed by the Saker: Are Ukrainians Russians? We can answer this by turning the question on its head: Are Russians Ukrainians? The answer to both questions is they are only each other, inasmuch as they share the same Faith and therefore share the same multinational ideal of Holy Rus. Otherwise, they are like a Venn diagram of two circles that never intersect. According to this definition, there are Russians/Ukrainians/Belarussians/Carpatho-Russians who do not belong to Holy Rus. Equally, there are those who have no East Slav ‘blood’ (whatever that is, (2)), but who are spiritually Russians/Ukrainians/Belarussians/Carpatho-Russians. Hence we can find flags with the Orthodox Christian double-headed eagle, symbolising the unity of East and West, overlaying German, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Swiss etc flags, showing the unity of representatives of the European nations within the Orthodox Faith.

A Prophetic Ballad

All of what is happening in the Ukraine today was foretold. Zhanna Bichevskaya is a well-known patriotic Russian Orthodox singer from the past, born in 1944. After fame in the Soviet period, she converted to the Faith and had a particularly prophetic moment in 2003, when she sang the following ballad, written by the composer and singer Gennadij Ponomariov. Below we give our translation into English (the first ever, as far as we know) of the ballad, ‘The Russian March’. Although we have taken a few minor liberties in translation to create rhymes and make the ballad singable in English, the translation is near literal. The Youtube reference gives the original song and one of the matching videos: https://www.liveinternet.ru/users/melona/post317352376/

The Russian March

Russians march through all the dark of every heathen age,
Russians march, laying low the foes and the wars they wage,
Russians march, so sets free all the peoples the Third Rome,
Russians march to the Heavenly Jerusalem home.

Refrain

March, march, march,
The Russian march, gathering to march
All who survived the war and now stand.
March, march, march,

The Russian march to end the demons’ farce
Of all who before would mock our land.
Russians march and so all the lights go on once again,
Russians march so to stop the depravity of men,
Russians march, reminding the Russians of who they are,
Russians march, defending all the peoples, near and far.

Refrain

March, march, march,
The Russian march, gathering to march
All who survived the war and now stand.
March, march, march,

The Russian march to end the demons’ farce
Of all who before would mock our land.

Russians march and darkness and gloom flee the Russian coasts,
Russians march so to help their beloved army’s hosts,
Russians ride on, noble hearts held high, feet in stirrup,

Russians despise the power of America and Europe.
Russians ride on, noble hearts held high, feet in stirrup,
Russians despise the power of America and Europe.

Refrain

March, march, march,
The Russian march, gathering to march
All who survived the war and now stand.
March, march, march,
The Russian march to end the demon’s farce
Of all who before would mock our land.

Russians march, with the fear of bullets and wounds behind,
Russians march so to summon the Slavs and all mankind,
Russians march, raising the standard of Christ at their head,
Russians march through Moscow, the heart of our home, Godsped.

Russians march, raising the standard of Christ at their head,
Russians march through Moscow, the heart of our home, Godsped.

Refrain (x 2)

March, march, march,
The Russian march, gathering to march
All who survived the war and now stand.
March, march, march,

The Russian march to end the demon’s farce
Of all who before would mock our land.

In relation to the war in the Ukraine, this ballad is prophetic. Thus, the words that the Western world is in a heathen age and that Russia is gathering others to march with them, strike home. But the whole verse,

Russians march and so all the lights go on once again,
Russians march so to stop the depravity of men,
Russians march, reminding the Russians of who they are,
Russians march, defending all the peoples, near and far

in the context of today’s situation strike home even more. All the lights will go on again in the Ukraine once the Russian mission is complete, they are marching to stop the depravity of the West and are reminding treacherous Russians of who they should be, not slaves of the West, but people with their own high Civilisation, who are called on to defend others. They are the people of the New Russia. And the words

Russians march so to help their beloved army’s hosts,
Russians despise the power of America and Europe

recall that at this moment Russians are helping their troops and, literally, spit on the illegal sanctions and NATO weapon supplies with which America and Europe support the Nazi regime.

Conclusion: Victory

Personally, I have never had the slightest doubt that Russia will emerge victorious from this SMO struggle. It is morally right and militarily and economically winnable, as Russia has been well-prepared. The present Kiev regime intention to completely close down the Church in the Ukraine shows the true nature of that regime. However, what will the Russian victory look like? Here there are many imponderables: How much of the Ukraine will pass back to Russia – all the south and east or just the four provinces taken so far?; how much of it will rejoin Poland, Hungary and Romania – just the five far western provinces?; what will the (landlocked?) remainder be called – the Kiev Protectorate?; how many Ukrainians will return from self-imposed exile in Western Europe – 50%?; what eventually will become of the three mini-Baltics and Moldova – becoming part of the Union State of the Russian Federation, Belarus and the rump Ukraine? We do not know. The main thing is that the former Anti-Russia of the Ukraine will be liberated, demilitarised and denazified.

In any case, there are much bigger questions than any of these. Firstly, how will Russia be cleansed of its traitors, still present in all Russian institutions, including in the Church? Secondly, will the New Russia really adopt the ideal of Holy Rus? Thirdly, what will the Russian-founded New World Order look like, as the new G20 is headed by Russia, China, India and Iran, together with a host of other participants, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia? And finally, how will the remains of Western Europe, after countries like Hungary have left it and countries like NATO-besieged Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia have allied themselves with the Union State of the East Slavs, cope with being in an impoverished and isolated ghetto? How soon will it be before NATO and the EU collapse? Can Russia free coup d’etat-prone Germany from US control – presuming it wants to be freed? When will the US elite realise that it must co-operate with other countries as equals, instead of trying to vassalise the whole world and so cause wars everywhere? Here there are even greater imponderables.

9 December 2022

Notes:

1. Apparently, 90% of Russian consumers have not even noticed the absence of Western brands, as they buy the cheapest products anyway. This says a lot about the nouveau-riche elite. See:

2. For instance, it has been calculated that Tsar Nicholas II was only 1/128 Russian by ‘blood’. Like his wife, he was mostly Germanic and his mother Danish, which language he spoke fluently, together with Russian, French, English and German. Yet, you could not find a greater Russian patriot.

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

Putin talks Ukraine, Merkel and nuclear war

9 Dec, 2022 22:14

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions from reporters after the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. ©  Sputnik / Pavel Bednyakov

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with reporters after the Eurasian Economic Union summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Friday. Among the topics he addressed were the latest revelations from former German chancellor Angela Merkel, the military operation in Ukraine, the threat of nuclear war, the high-profile prisoner swap with the US, and Russian relations with the EU and Africa.

Merkel’s comments vindicate Ukraine operation

Putin found German chancellor Angela Merkel’s confession – that the purpose of the Minsk agreements was to “buy time” for Ukraine – surprising and disappointing, but said it only means the decision to launch the special military operation was correct. “Their point was only to load up Ukraine with weapons and prepare it for hostilities. We see that. Honestly, we may have realized that too late, and maybe should have started all this sooner,” Putin said.
While he knew that Ukraine did not intend to implement the deal, “I thought other participants in that process were honest. Turns out they too were deceiving us,” said the Russian president.

How to negotiate with “trust at zero”

The deception about Minsk now raises a “question of trust,” said Putin, noting that it is currently “almost at zero.” The real question now is whether negotiations about anything with anyone are even possible, and what would guarantee any eventual deal, he added. “In the end, there will have to be talks. We are ready for them, I have said that many times. But it does make us think, who we’re dealing with.”

What he meant by Ukraine “taking a long time”

Asked about his earlier statement that the military operation might be a “long process,” Putin explained that he was actually referring to the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. “The special military operation is proceeding apace, everything is stable, there are no questions or problems with it today,” he said. Resolving the whole situation will “probably not be easy and will take some time, but one way or another, all participants in this process will have to agree with the realities that are taking shape on the ground.”

On launching a nuclear first strike

The US has long had a doctrine of a “disarming” attack against command and control systems, for which they developed cruise missiles the Soviet Union lacked, Putin said. Now Russia has hypersonic missiles that are “more modern and even more effective,” so “perhaps we should think about adopting the developments and ideas of our American partners when it comes to ensuring security.”
While the US doctrine envisions a pre-emptive nuclear strike, Russia’s doctrine is about retaliation, Putin explained. If the Russian early warning system detects a missile attack, “hundreds of our missiles will fly and it will be impossible to stop them.” While some attacking missiles will strike Russia, “nothing will remain of the enemy,” and that is how nuclear deterrence works, he explained.

More swaps like Bout-Griner are possible

Russia does not consider the success of talks to trade Brittney Griner for Viktor Bout as an opening to discuss other subjects with the US. While the negotiations “created a certain atmosphere,”no other issues were brought up within their framework, Putin said. 
He added that contacts between Russian and US security services “continue, and in fact never stopped,” but that this specific trade was initiated by US President Joe Biden.
“Are other exchanges possible? Yes, everything is possible. This is the result of negotiations and the search for compromise. In this case, a compromise was found,” the Russian president said.

On the need for another mobilization

There are “no considerations” of another call-up, Putin said when asked if more Russians will need to take up arms in 2023. Of the 300,000 that were called up, some 150,000 have been deployed, but only 77,000 in the fighting units, while others are engaged in other duties at the moment. The remaining 150,000 troops are not yet deployed, but undergoing additional training, he explained. 
“Half of those called up are a battle reserve, so why would anyone talk of an additional call-up?” Putin concluded. 

Answering Borrell’s Africa comment

Responding to the claim by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that many Africans perhaps don’t know where Donbass is or who Putin may be, the Russian president said that the continent knows all too well who helped their liberation from European colonialism.
EU politicians should “stop talking about their love for the African peoples and start helping these countries,” Putin said. “If the people you spoke about knew where Africa was and what condition the peoples of Africa were in, they would not interfere with the supply of Russian food and fertilizers to the African continent, on which the harvest in African countries ultimately depends and the salvation of hundreds of thousands of people in Africa from starvation.”

Are Ukrainians Russians?

December 06, 2022

Are Ukrainians Russians?

Seems like a simple question, but in reality it is immensely complex.  I will try to outline a few of the issues, assumptions and implications this question involves.

Well, for starters, we might want to ask “what is a Ukrainian?”  After all, no such nation or country can be found in history books.  But we should not stop here, and we also need to ask “what is a Russian?”.  Yes, there was a Russian nation and a Russian country recorded in history books, but does that really help us?

French history books used to begin with the sentence “our ancestors the Gauls” which even kids on the French colonies had to learn.  Some ridiculed the fact that sub-Saharan Africans or the children of Guadeloupe had to learn that and that was self-evidently ridiculous.

But what about metropolis French, those who lived in France proper?

Where their ancestors really Gauls and, if so, how much continuity, if any, is there between Vercingetorix and Macron or the people from ancient Gallic tribes to the modern French?

What we often overlook is that nationality is a very modern concept born out of the post 1789 ideology of nationalism.  In the more distant past, people built their identity around 1) their place of birth/residence 2) their religion and 3) their ruler.    Keeping all that in mind, let’s begin by asking the question “what is a Russian?”. But before we go there, I need to mention another pesky issue: the English word “Russian” can mean one of two things: a member of the Russian ethnic/cultural group, in which case the Russian term is русский (roosskii) or a citizen of the Russian Federation, in which case the Russian term would be россиянин (rossiianin).

[Sidebar: before 1917 you could be a “Russian Chechen” or “Russian German” because the distinction between rossiianin and roosskii did not exist then or, should we say, it was less common and used differently.  Russia being the cultural, political and spiritial heir to the East Roman Empire, it had multi-ethnicity built into her from the moment Russia appeared]

For the time being, let’s ignore the second meaning and focus on the ethnic/cultural русский (roosskii).  What is a русский (roosskii)?

To try to find a good definition, let’s being by spelling out what a Russian is not.

  • This is not somebody who speaks Russian.  There are plenty of folks out there who speak Russian and who are not Russian.
  • This is not somebody born in Russia, because there are plenty of non-Russians born in Russia.

How about somebody born from Russian parents?

Here we run into a logical problem: if we define as Russian somebody born of Russian parents without defining what Russian means in the first place, this is a completely circular definition.

Also, is Shoigu Russian?  This father is an ethnic Tuvan.  So 50% Russian max?

How about Czar Nicholas II?  His ancestry was mostly German and Danish.

How about Lenin? He had only 1/4 “Russian” blood (whatever that means)

Here we need to keep three crucial elements in mind:

  • Russia was always multi ethnic, even in the 10th century!
  • Russia has no natural borders
  • Russia was invaded by innumerable ethnic and religions groups and many of these groups acculturated into the Russian society adding their heritage to the common Russian one

Thus the “ethnic definition” does not work at all.

For countries like Japan or native people like the Mapuche ethnic categories might make sense, but for a country with a history and geography like Russia it is utterly meaningless (hence the reason why patriotism is a very positive force in Russia and nationalism a very toxic one).

But it only get even more complicated.

Just like, say, France or Italy, Russia went through very different moments in history and the Russia or, say, the 15th century and the Russia or the 19th century had very little in common.

Now this is highly subjective, but I would submit that at the very least, we can roughly break up the historical Russia into the following periods:

  • Russia before Peter I
  • Russia between Peter I and 1917
  • Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1991
  • US colonized Russia between 1991 and 2000
  • Putin’s Russia 2000-2021
  • Russia after 2022

And even this is a much simplified categorization, each period should also be further subdivided, but that would take too much space here.

Next I would also argue that how Russians defined themselves over these periods also changed, and this why pre-1917 Dostoevsky thought that one cannot be Russian unless one is Orthodox first (which might have make sense before 1917, but sure makes no sense at all in 2022).  My point here is not to discuss the best possible definition of “who/what is a Russian” but to show that this apparently simple question is also very complex and, at best, a moving target!

Now in the case of the Ukraine, it gets even more complex than that.

When I wrote above that there was no “Ukrainian nation” or “Ukrainian state” in history I did not mean to say that BECAUSE there were no such phenomena in history there is no such thing as a Ukrainian today.

To be clear, I do NOT believe that in order to consider yourself as belonging to an ethnic or cultural group you MUST have a historical basis for your claim.  Nations can be created, in fact, I would argue that all of them are created at some point in time.  Ethnogenesis is something we can observe on all continents, nations and ethnic groups: this is the emergence of a NEW and DISTINCT identity, usually followed by the creation of “founding myths” which might or might not have any real basis in history.

In the case of the Ukraine (I mean this term geographically here, the southwestern frontier/border lands of Russia), it is simply undeniable that these lands lived under Polish/Latin yoke for many centuries and that this occupation had two direct results:

  1. The people of the Ukraine had experiences with the rest of the Russian nation did not (such as being under Latin occupation or having Orthodox communities submitted the Greek and not the Russian Orthodox Church)
  2. The people of the Ukraine did not experience some of the most crucial events in Russian history (such as the Old Rite vs New Rite crisis which deeply shattered Russian society in the 17th century and after).

Such differences in experience left deep marks on the identity of the people it affected.  It would be foolish to deny this and it would be dangerous to deliberately ignore it!

So, to sum up what I have tried to show so far we could say that:

  1. History is not a useful tool to measure some supposed “legitimacy” of any one group’s claim of identity.
  2. Ethnic/cultural identities can arise both spontaneously and even artificially.

In the case of the Ukraine, it is a mix of both.  Primarily, the “Ukraine” is a creation of the Latin Papacy (see here for a discussion).  But, like it or not, the Latins did eventually trigger a Ukrainian ethnogenesis, albeit with varying degrees of success (roughly the further West, the longer the Polish yoke, the stronger that Ukrainian identity).

But even if none of that had happened, it would make no difference.

Even if we assume that there was absolutely NOTHING on our planet which could be called “Ukraine” or “Ukrainian”, and even if the people of the post-1991 Ukraine had ZERO historical basis for their claims, it is still a fundamental human right to choose your identity (or, more accurately, identities, plural).

If tomorrow the people of Japan decide that from now on their identity will not be Japanese but, say, Martian, we could laugh all we want, but we could not deny them that right or force them to give up their newly adopted “Martian” identity.

Furthermore, is it not silly to tell a person who absolutely hates Russia and all things Russian and who sincerely believes that he is from a totally different ethnic and cultural group, that this person has no right to his opinion that this person must accept that he is Russian?

That would create a “Russian russophobe”.

Actually, there are PLENTY of Russians russophobes out there.  Even if by any imaginable definition you are Russian (or any other nationality), you still have the free will to reject that heritage and choose another one (even a fictional one).

There is even a special term for these folks: вырусь (vyroos‘).  In my experience, most (but not all!) folks who voluntarily emigrated from Russia fall into this category.

This is why my first thesis here is this: those Ukrainians who chose to identify as Ukrainians and who reject any Russian heritage (whatever we may mean by that) have the moral right to do so and nobody has the moral right to deny them this choice.  And while historical arguments can be used to debunk the founding myths of the Ukronazi ideology, they still cannot be used to deny anybody what is a deeply personal choice.

[Sidebar: it is my personal belief that identities can be cumulative and that they don’t have to exclude each other.  While I personally consider myself culturally a “pre-1917 Russian”, I am 50% Dutch by DNA, I was born in German speaking Switzerland and lived most of my life in French speaking Geneva, and I also feel even more cultural identities inside me, including an Argentinian one.  I speak 5 languages well (albeit with many typos when I write, as you all know!) and another 2 reasonably.  I currently live in the USA (click here for an explanation why)  And just to add yet another element, I am a member of a Greek Orthodox Church, not a Russian one.  I also think of myself as a Jazz guitarist and freediver.  So even my hobbies form part of my identity.  Why should I have to limit myself to only one, “pure”, identity when I am so clearly a mongrel?  In fact, I embrace and enjoy all this diversity of influences which all have contributed to shape the person I am today.  And if I claim that right to cumulative identities, how could I deny it to anybody else?]

And then there is this undeniable fact: while about 80% of россиянин (rossiianin) are русский (roosskii), 20% are not.  In fact there are 193 ethnic groups in Russia and 35 languages which are considered official languages in various regions of Russia, along with Russian, plus are over 100 minority languages.  And while Chechens are not русский (roosskii) they are most definitely россиянин (rossiianin), that is to say that while Chechens are a distinct ethnic group, they are also part of what I call the “Russian civilizational realm”. One could reasonably argue that the Chechens of 2022 are the most patriotic of all Russians!

This makes a lot more sense to me that to dig into past clades, tribes or local native groups and seek some “biological identity”.

This is, by the way, one of the most striking and profound differences between the Russian and Ukronazi cultural models: Russians want and enjoy the immense diversity of their nations.  Ukronazi want a racially pure, russenrein, Ukraine (hence their constant talk about “subhumans”, “cockroaches” and “biomass”).

Let’s leave the idiotic concept of “pure race” to the Nazis, Zionists and their likes.

The first thing which I would immediately point out if that historically the lands which we now call the Ukraine were very much exposed to, or even part of, the Russian civilizational realm.  But that is absolutely NOT true of the current, Ukronazi/Banderista cultural identity which, in fact, was created as an anti-Orthodoxy and which nowadays sees itself as an anti-Russia.  I personally know that identity very, very well: not only have I met plenty of Ukronazis in my life, I also monitored the Ukronazi propaganda on VOA and RFE/RL for years and I know that Ukronazi nationalism has no positive content whatsoever, it is only a pure and total negation of everything Russian with a few truly ridiculous (and comical) claims about some “Ukrainian antiquity”.

In other words, even if you live in Odessa or Kharkov and you are (let’s simply assume that) from 100% pure ethnic Russian stock (no such thing, but bear with me), you STILL get to reject that identity and adopt any identity you want, including the Ukronazi/Banderistsa one.

At this point, I want to list all the criteria which are plainly not helpful to discuss identities:

  • Genetic makeup
  • Place of birth
  • Mother-tongue (or languages)
  • Religion
  • History in general and historical borders (which constantly shifted) specifically
  • Whether we personally approve of an ideology or cultural claim or not
  • Political ideologies
  • Identities embraced in the past
  • The difference between a language and a dialect
  • Similarities and differences with other identities

And yet, every time I hear people discuss whether the Russian are liberators or occupiers of the Ukraine, I see these criteria used, and by both sides!

This makes absolutely no sense to me.

In fact, I strongly believe that the choice of being Ukrainian, Russian or both (yes, that is a choice!) depends on each individual person.  Period.

But here I want to add something crucial: having to make such a personal choice is not specific or unique to the Ukrainians, all Russians also face the same question too!

I submit that, objectively, the “Russian” 5th column and the Atlantic Integrationists are, de facto, not Russians.  Why do I say that? Because 1) they serve foreign masters and 2) they seek to harm Russia.  And I don’t care how their actions are packaged (heck, Navalnyi tried really hard to impersonate a nationalist!).

Thus, to “be Russian” means, in my opinion, that you have made a deliberate choice by identify with, and become part of, the Russian civilizational realm.

Put simply: you cannot be Russia and hate Russia.

How many people in what is left of the Ukraine today consider themselves Russian?

I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else knows either.

But I think that it is fair to say that most people in Russia were shocked by the number of Ukrainians who chose to not only adopt a Ukrainian identity, but even fight and die for it! Many did, sincerely, think of Ukrainians are “brothers”.

Today this “brotherhood” looks increasingly like the “brotherhood” of Cain…

Even more amazingly, most of these Ukronazis don’t even speak Ukrainian properly and mostly speak to each other in Russian.  Some even consider themselves as Orthodox Christians.  Yup, these Russian speakers, many from the central and eastern Ukraine still sing “Батько наш — Бандера, Україна — мати, ми за Україну будем воювати!” (Our Father is Bandera, our mother the Ukraine, we are ready to wage war for the Ukraine).

I would note with some glee that if Bandera is their father, then the Ukraine was born no earlier than the mid-1920s (since Bandera was born in 1909!).  And I won’t even go into the Ukie hallucinations about being “pure Aryans” (as opposed to the Moskals whom they see as Finno-Ugric-Mongols), which is an ideology developed even later 🙂

So, 2163 words later, did we even being to answer the question of whether the Ukrainians are Russians?

No, not really.  And here is why:

Taken by themselves, the terms “Ukrainian” and “Russian” are highly ambiguous.

We know that in the past, many of those whom we call “Ukrainians” today had ancestors who lived and were part of the Russian civilizational realm.  But that does not AT ALL mean that modern Ukrainians want (or even could!) join the Russian civilizational realm, especially since what this realm was, is and will become is also highly complex and even controversial.

Furthermore, I think that we need to pay special attention to what is happening in Russia today: the SMO has had a HUGE impact on the Russian society and that society is quickly and profoundly changing.

That by itself begs the question of what kind of civilizational realm Russia is offering to the peoples of the Ukraine today?

One thing is certain, the Russia of, say 2023-2025 will be profoundly different from the Russia of 2000-2022.  First, the Russian ultimatum to the West of 2021 then the 2022 SMO have truly revolutionized (in a literal sense) Russia:  5th columnists and assorted liberals have fled by the thousands (mostly to Poland, Israel and the three Baltic statelets), the Atlantic Integrationist have either given up or are keeping a very low profile. Foreign agents (folks paid by foreign interest) must now register, are listed as such, and can be fined or even imprisoned for breaking Russian laws (finally!).

Russia has also completely and categorically rejected the entire Woke ideology promoted by the Hegemony worldwide.

Most importantly, the reality of a AngloZionist Empire which wants to subjugate, colonize, enslave and break-up Russia has now become pretty hard to ignore.  In fact, this war (against the collective West, not just a few Ukronazis!) is as much an existential war for Russia as WWII, so those Russians who complain about the lack of Spanish jamon serrano in Russia stores need to wake up and compare their current “hardships” with what their parents and grandparents suffered during WWII (besides, you can still find Spanish jamon serrano in Russia, just at a higher price than before; there are also superb local substitutes!).

Here I want to express my deepest thanks to the US Neocons, EU lemmings, NATO Nazis, the Latin Papists and all the other Russia-haters who have generated one of the biggest hate-wave in human history and who have now FORCED all Russians into a basic, yet vital, choice: resist or perish.

Unlike the folks in the West (until recently) and unlike the folks in the Ukraine (again, until recently), many Russian people have gradually switched their mode thinking from “peacetime” to “wartime”.  In fact, I would even argue that the so-called “Russian defeats” in Bucha, Kharkov or Kherson have only poured more fuel onto the raging fire of Russian anger: in February of this year very few Russians would have supported to switch off the lights in the entire Ukraine.  But by late summer, they were DEMANDING it!

So, the next time you hear about “Russian defeats” consider the following:

  1. the massive wake-up effect these “defeats” have had on a (rather spoiled) Russian society
  2. the comparatively minuscule price paid by Russia for these tactical retreats (economy of force maneuvers really)  and
  3. the huge costs of these “victories” for the NATO side

and decide for yourself if Putin is weak and indecisive or very smart and cunning 🙂

Nobody really knows what Russia will look like in 2023-2024-2025 etc.  So nobody really know what kind of “Russian civilizational realm” the SMO is “offering” to the people of the Ukraine.  It is therefore impossible to ascertain whether Ukrainians (which Ukrainians anyway, they are still a diverse group!) will ever become Russians again or not. Some probably will.  Many will probably won’t.

One thing for me is axiomatic: Russia should not occupy even a single square meter of “Ukrainian” land if that land is mostly populated by Ukronazis.  In fact, I see no need to “go to the Polish border” or any other such grand plans.  Yes, NATO might well not give Russia any choice (just as NATO forced the SMO upon Russia!), but then I hope for a swift “in and out”.  Russia should only free those who want to be freed.  Period.  The rest she can either ignore (if they leave Russia alone), or kill (if they threaten Russia).

Does Russia want/need millions of Ukronazis inside her borders?  Nope!

Can Russia afford to pay for the destruction of country 404?  Nope!

Do Russian authorities really want to be in charge of not only pensions and social programs, but also law and order in a land populated by (armed!) people who hate Russia with a passion?  Nope!

But I do agree, fully, that Banderastan needs to be fully demilitarized and denazified.

The former can be achieved without having to put forces on every square meter of the Ukraine while the latter will happen as a natural consequence of the former: if all you got if police and SWAT forces, what is the point of playing Nazi or talking about “liberating Crimea next year”?  And if some residual Ukronazis want to read Mein Kampf, and can stay awake while reading it, then let them.  Who cares?

And then there are population movements.  MILLIONS have left for the EU and MILLIONS have left for Russia.  MILLIONS have also “left” when Crimea and the LDNR joined Russia.  And now that the lights are out, MILLIONS more are leaving (and only 20% plan to return according to Ukrainian estimates).  Add to this the 100’000 KIA of Ursula von der Lugen, multiply it by a safe factor 2 and we probably already have 200’000 KIA and, therefore, about 300’000-400’000 wounded in action.  True, “Ze” & Co. can continue to mobilize wave after wave after wave of civilians, and NATO can even get most of them through some sort of basic training (including advanced training for some), but that is not a sustainable strategy: Russia has many more artillery shells than bodies the Ukrainians, Poles, Brits and all the other crazies can throw into the Russian meat grinder.

[Sidebar: you might wonder what the current US Neocon plan is.  Simple: to get as many Ukrainians killed as possible and then accused Russia of genocide and to ruin the EU economies to remove a competitor.  BTW – Plan A was to attack the LDNR, trigger an overthrow of Putin, place a puppet in power and dismember Russia.  That plan failed.  So what we see today is the USA’s Plan B, executed by NATO and a few megalomaniacal idiots with imperial phantom pains (UK+PL not to mention them).]

One more point: this all also applies to Belarus, Kazakhstan and all the other Russian limitrophes.  So far, not single one of them has shown the capability of being a viable, stable state.  ALL of them have chosen what some call “multi-vectorness”, that is: you beg Russia for protection and the USA for money.

Does Russia needs such “friends” or “allies”?

Are Iran, China or even Algeria not infinitely better friends and allies by any measure?

I say that they all these limitrophes get their act together and make a basic choice because if there is one thing which the Euromaidan has proven beyond reasonable doubt that is that the West will never allow any country to be a good neighbor or partner to both the West and Russia.

Now, especially following the wave of total hatred against all things Russian in the West, this obligation to chose one side or another has become a fact of life for at least as long as the (already dead) AngloZionist Empire maintains its (still very real) momentum and its ability to suborn the comprador elites ruling over countries with no sovereignty or agency (the entire EU for starters).  This is why both Russia and China seek a multi-polar world in which all countries are truly sovereign and the relations between these countries determined by the rule of international law.

Conclusion:

This is not about the Ukraine and Russia.  This is about a full reorganization of our entire planet, including the international trade and finance, political alliances and cultural/spiritual values.

The following two images sum it all up nicely I think.

Right now, both Russia and the Ukraine are moving targets undergoing tremendous changes.  And I am not saying that Russians and Ukrainians cannot be brothers or even be one nation again.  All I am saying is that making such an assumptions would be extremely dangerous and costly.

Somewhere, further down the road, there could be a Ukraine and a Russia living in a not too comfy relationship like, say, Pakistan and India today, but with a fully demilitarized Ukraine (nevermind one threatening Russia with nukes, which both Pakistan and India have, so that parallel only goes so far).  I am pretty sure that the Poles will bite off a chunk of the rump-Banderastan, and maybe the Hungarians too.  Finally, I consider it very likely that by one way or another, Russia will liberate the Ukrainian coast and lift the current blockade of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) were about half a million Russian citizens live.  So you can pretty much visualize what the Ukraine will look like when then Russian decide to stop.

But, when all is said and done, it will be for the people of the Ukraine to decide which civilizational realm they want to embrace.  Russia should not liberate those who embrace their slavery.

Andrei

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

Electric War

November 24, 2022

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

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon, Pepe Escobar writes.

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage – later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII – unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American “intelligence”.

Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not).

Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a “world crisis” against Russia. It’s been exposed – this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won’t try it again. Soon.

The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army – ready to hit the ground next month – while knocking out Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture.

Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops – and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov’s Chechens do most of the heavy lifting – are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military – perhaps as many as 1 million. The “miracle” of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision.

But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks – targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet – finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere “military operation”.

And that brings us to Electric War.

Paving the way to a DMZ

The Electric War is being handled essentially as a tactic – leading to the eventual imposition of Russia’s terms in a possible armistice (which neither Anglo-American intel and vassal NATO want).

Even if there was an armistice – widely touted for a few weeks now – that would not end the war. Because the deeper, tacit Russian terms – end of NATO expansion and “indivisibility of security” – were fully spelled out to both Washington and Brussels last December, and subsequently dismissed.

As nothing – conceptually – has changed since then, coupled with the Western weaponization of Ukraine reaching a frenzy, the Putin-era Stavka could not but expand the initial SMO mandate, which remains denazification and demilitarization. Yet now the mandate will have to encompass Kiev and Lviv.

And that starts with the current de-electrification campaign – which goes way beyond the east of the Dnieper and along the Black Sea coast towards Odessa.

That brings us to the key issue of reach and depth of Electric War, in terms of setting up what would be a DMZ – complete with no man’s land – west of the Dnieper to protect Russian areas from NATO artillery, HIMARS and missile attacks.

How deep? 100 km? Not enough. Rather 300 km – as Kiev has already requested artillery with that kind of range.

What’s crucial is that way back in July this was already being extensively discussed in Moscow at the highest Stavka levels.

In an extensive July interview, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov let the cat – diplomatically – out of the bag:

“This process continues, consistently and persistently. It will continue as long as the West, in its impotent rage, desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible, continues to flood Ukraine with more and more long-range weapons. Take the HIMARS. Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov boasts that they have already received 300-kilometre ammunition. This means our geographic objectives will move even further from the current line. We cannot allow the part of Ukraine that Vladimir Zelensky, or whoever replaces him, will control to have weapons that pose a direct threat to our territory or to the republics that have declared their independence and want to determine their own future.”

The implications are clear.

As much as Washington and NATO are even more “desperate to aggravate the situation as much as possible” (and that’s Plan A: there’s no Plan B), geoeconomically the Americans are intensifying the New Great Game: desperation here applies to trying to control energy corridors and setting their price.

Russia remains unfazed – as it continues to invest in Pipelineistan (towards Asia); solidify the multimodal International North South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), with key partners India and Iran; and is setting the price of energy via OPEC+.

A paradise for oligarchic looters

The Straussians/neo-cons and neoliberal-cons permeating the Anglo-American intel/security apparatus – de facto weaponized viruses – won’t relent. They simply cannot afford losing yet another NATO war – and on top of it against “existential threat” Russia.

As the news from the Ukraine battlefields promise to be even grimmer under General Winter, solace at least may be found in the cultural sphere. The Green transition racket, seasoned in a toxic mixed salad with the eugenist Silicon Valley ethos, continues to be a side dish offered with the main course: the Davos “Great Narrative”, former Great Reset, which reared its ugly head, once again, at the G20 in Bali.

That translates as everything going swell as far as the Destruction of Europe project is concerned. De-industrialize and be happy; rainbow-dance to every woke tune on the market; and freeze and burn wood while blessing “renewables” in the altar of European values.

A quick flashback to contextualize where we are is always helpful.

Ukraine was part of Russia for nearly four centuries. The very idea of its independence was invented in Austria during WWI for the purpose of undermining the Russian Army – and that certainly happened. The present “independence” was set up so local Trotskyite oligarchs could loot the nation as a Russia-aligned government was about to move against those oligarchs.

The 2014 Kiev coup was essentially set up by Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski to draw Russia into a new partisan war – as in Afghanistan – and was followed by orders to the Gulf oil haciendas to crash the oil price. Moscow had to protect Russophones in Crimea and Donbass – and that led to more Western sanctions. All of it was a setup.

For 8 years, Moscow refused to send its armies even to Donbass east of the Dnieper (historically part of Mother Russia). The reason: not to be bogged down in another partisan war. The rest of Ukraine, meanwhile, was being looted by oligarchs supported by the West, and plunged into a financial black hole.

The collective West deliberately chose not to finance the black hole. Most of the IMF injections were simply stolen by the oligarchs, and the loot transferred out of the country. These oligarchic looters were of course “protected” by the usual suspects.

It’s always crucial to remember that between 1991 and 1999 the equivalent of the present entire household wealth of Russia was stolen and transferred overseas, mostly to London. Now the same usual suspects are trying to ruin Russia with sanctions, as “new Hitler” Putin stopped the looting.

The difference is that the plan of using Ukraine as just a pawn in their game is not working.

On the ground, what has been going on so far are mostly skirmishes, and a few real battles. But with Moscow massing fresh troops for a winter offensive, the Ukrainian Army may end up completely routed.

Russia didn’t look so bad – considering the effectiveness of its mincing machine artillery strikes against Ukrainian fortified positions, and recent planned retreats or positional warfare, keeping casualties down while smashing Ukrainian withering firepower.

The collective West believes it holds the Ukraine proxy war card. Russia bets on reality, where economic cards are food, energy, resources, resource security and a stable economy.

Meanwhile, as if the energy-suicide EU did not have to face a pyramid of ordeals, they can surely expect to have knocking on their door at least 15 million desperate Ukrainians escaping from villages and cities with zero electrical power.

The railway station in – temporarily occupied – Kherson is a graphic example: people show up constantly to warm up and charge their smartphones. The city has no electricity, no heat, and no water.

Current Russian tactics are the absolute opposite of the military theory of concentrated force developed by Napoleon. That’s why Russia is accumulating serious advantages while “disturbing the dust in a bowl of rose-leaves”.

And of course, “we haven’t even started yet.”

The OUN-Russia war (no longer an SMO): What do the parties want and what does the future hold?

November 23, 2022

Source

By Eric Arthur Blair

During this current relative reduction of hostilities in Ukraine, the calm before the storm so to speak, it may be useful to reflect upon the goals of the various geopolitical players, whether stated overtly or intended covertly. This may enable us to make educated guesses as to how events may ultimately unfold.

WHAT DOES RUSSIA WANT?

The party whose openly stated goals appear to align most closely with their defacto goals seems to be Russia, who at the start of the special military operation stated that they wanted the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine, the cessation of hostilities against and the autonomy of Donbass (respecting the rights of Russian speakers) and the long term neutrality of Ukraine with no possibility of it being part of NATO, whether defacto (as it currently is) or dejure. Implicit in the latter is the indivisibility of security, the guarantee that US/NATO intermediate range missiles or so-called anti-ballistic missiles (which in reality can be fitted with nuclear warheads and function as INF) will never be stationed in Ukrainian territory. The Russian status of Crimea was never negotiable.

Current situation: having attempted peace negotiations many times but being repeatedly rebuffed by the Oligarchic States of America / Ukraine / NATO (henceforth termed OUN) regarding all the concerns above, and facing ongoing genocidal aggression by the OUN against Donbass, Russia was forced to occupy and denazify much of Eastern/Southeastern Ukraine to protect Russian speaking civilians and Russia’s own security, discovering along the way more than 30 bio-pathogen labs near the border of Russia which had been funded by the USA (as admitted by droolin’ Nuland herself):

https://russiaun.ru/en/news/271022_nb

Subsequent referenda conducted in the the four liberated oblasts (Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson) all overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. Hence ensuring the security of these territories in perpetuity is now a priority. It seems likely that the majority population in Russia will also demand the liberation of Odessa (which has a huge number of Russian speakers, constantly under violent threat by the UkroNazis. Please recall that 48 Russian speakers were killed by the firebombing of the trade union building in Odessa in 2014 by Ukronazis). Odessa was historically a Russian city. The return of Odessa to Russia will shrink the remaining territory of Ukraine to an impoverished land-bound “rump” state, if it continues to exist at all.

There was a time Ukraine had one of the greatest prospects of any European state, with large, fertile steppes producing massive quantities of grain for export, with the lucrative status as an energy hub to distribute Russian gas to Western Europe and a base for heavy industry in Donbass. All of this is now lost (as will likely be Ukraine’s remaining access to the Black Sea) because of a violent corrupt fascist puppet regime that was installed by the USA. The former bread basket of Europe is now the basket case of Europe.

Presently Russia is hammering the crap out of Ukraine, lobbing 3 times more missiles into Ukraine daily than Ukraine can muster (20,000 vs 7,000 according to Colonel Doug MacGregor). “Most missiles launched by Ukraine are ground to air anti-missile missiles” (many are outdated S-300s, one which supposedly went “astray” into Poland, killing two civilians). The OUN also continue to shell the Russian occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, even while insisting that the Russians are shelling themselves.

As far as the previous Russian “retreats” from Kharkov and Kherson were concerned, please see my footnote, to place these events in proper historical perspective.

Where to from here? The Russians only began to seriously target Ukrainian infrastructure (electricity, water etc) eight months into the SMO, after the OUN terrorist attacks against the Nordstream pipelines and Kerch bridge. When the OUN sent drones through the maritime corridor previously designated for peaceful grain export, in order to attack the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, the Russians then proceeded to demolish even more Ukrainian infrastructure. The big question is this: why has Russia not yet destroyed 100% of Ukrainian infrastructure, which it could easily have done months ago? To US analysts, this was a puzzle, because standard practice of the USA has always been to completely destroy vital civilian infrastructure from day one, as in the case of Yugoslavia or Iraq or Libya. Possible explanations for Russian reticence are:

  • Russia has far greater concern and respect for civilian lives than the USA has ever had, certainly much more so than the terrorist Ukronazis – who were deliberately bombing civilian areas in Donbass for the eight years prior.
  • Complete interruption of electrical and water supplies in Ukraine will inevitably lead to the abandonment of all western Ukrainian cities and a massive exodus of at least 8 million Ukrainians to the countries West. This, along with the economic and energy hardships now afflicting Western Europe (as a result of their sanctions against Russia backfiring), will lead to massive social unrest, possibly even the collapse of some Western European countries. This horrific prospect is a massive bargaining chip that Russia holds over the West and is a huge incentive for the OUN to sue for peace now, before the worst effects of Winter set in.
  • As shown above, it will be exceedingly easy for Russia to depopulate all of Ukraine all the way to Lviv, which will achieve the goal of the demilitarisation of Ukraine. This can be achieved right now, even without a single Russian soldier crossing West of the Dnieper river. However it appears that Russia’s preferred option is to achieve demilitarisation of Ukraine without depopulation, so as not to inflict excessive hardship on their cultural kin.

WHAT DO EUROPEANS WANT?

By “Europeans” we must distinguish between the so-called “leaders” of Europe and the ordinary people of Europe. The former are totally corrupt, bought-and-paid-for and in the pockets of the US neocons. The latter are largely clueless and brainwashed by their Mainstream media to adopt mindless anti-Russian hatred and bigotry. As far as can be seen right now, even if the European people could cobble together a vaguely coherent idea of what they may or may not want, their wishes are utterly irrelevant. They have no agency in how events are going to unfold, unless they can overthrow their US controlled puppet governments and install leaders who truly work in their interests. The solutions to the European problems are simple: reverse all sanctions against Russia, request that gas is delivered to them through Nordstream 2B and that the other 3 pipelines are repaired, and agree to total demilitarisation of Ukraine with removal of all Nazis and all NATO “advisers”. These are the best ways to prevent Russia from opening a floodgate of Ukro refugees into the West. Sanity is unlikely to prevail because the Germs in particular seem to be terminally stupid and spineless. So my advice to the Germs is this: get ready for a shitstorm of events: industrial and economic collapse and a massive influx of refugees who you will have to support with your dwindling tax base and rising inflation.

WHAT DO UKRAINIANS WANT?

This is no more relevant than the wishes of flotsam tossed about by a stormy sea .

WHAT DOES THE USA WANT?

There is a huge disconnect between the officially stated goals and covertly pursued goals of the USA, as befits a two faced “non agreement capable” imperialist oligarchy. The official line from the US is that they are engaging in a noble struggle to “free” Europe from being held to ransom by an “unreliable” energy provider, Russia, and that this is a global confrontation between Western “Democratic” and Eastern “Authoritarian” regimes for the future of the world. That is of course total bullshit. In reality, the exact opposites apply. All actions by the US with regard to Russia and Ukraine, dating back not just to 2014 but to 1991, were deceitfully ignoble, the US is utterly focused on the enslavement, not the liberation of Europe (to be permanently kept under the jackboot of US hegemony), Russia has always been a completely reliable provider of cheap energy to Europe and the Oligarchic States of America are completely undemocratic: they neglect the well being of their own citizens while donating hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars to the US MIC. “Authoritarian” Putin has always been careful to address the wishes of the Russian public (via the Duma) and the wishes of the majority populations of Crimea and Donbass (via referenda, which were much better conducted and more legitimate than the recent suspect and dodgy US mid-term elections https://podbay.fm/p/the-duran-podcast/e/1668956802 ).

Some short term goals of the US neocons, as far as sabotaging the sale of Russian energy to Europe and railroading the Europeans into buying very expensive fracked US LNG, seem to have been successful. However this will not work in the medium to long term because expensive fracked LNG can never generate industrial products economically competitive with products manufactured using much cheaper energy eg by China using piped Russian gas. Hence the medium and long term collapse of the German industrial economy is certain (hence they will eventually be unable to buy expensive US LNG) if the Germs continue down this foolish path. I previously devoted an article to the real motivations of the US neocons and oligarchs who have hijacked US policy.

The medium term US tactics and goals were these: to confiscate more than $300 billion of Russian foreign reserves and to impose economic sanctions (more than 10 thousand so far) which would turn the “Ruble to rubble” (as stated by sleepy Joe) and trigger Russian economic collapse. This would create public unrest in Russia which would enable a US sponsored colour revolution to depose Putin in favour of a US designated puppet (echoes of “Yats is our guy, fuck the EU” droolin’ Nuland). Astroturf revolutions are an old tactic taken directly from the CIA playbook, dating back to the antics of Kermit Roosevelt in Tehran. Embroiling Russia in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Ukraine, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies, was designed to weaken Russia as Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin so transparently admitted. Stinkin’ Blinken also admitted the Ukraine situation was a US/NATO proxy war with Russia, just as he had crowed about how the bombing of Nordstream represented a “tremendous opportunity” for the US to sell LNG to Europe.

The US long term goal would eventually be to fragment Russia into smaller states (just as the USSR had previously been broken up, following its embroilment in a lengthy resource-sapping war in Afghanistan, perpetrated by US terrorist proxies). Those smaller post Russian banana republics would each have puppet leaders appointed by the USA, who would then foil the “belt and road” initiative of China, the next target of the US neocons. All of this devious skulduggery has been outlined in many a Beltway think-tank document, especially that from the Rand corporation.

Not only have every single one of those US goals failed, they have backfired spectacularly. Especially laughable is smellin’ Yellin’s “oil price cap” policy, which is being ignored by everybody. The only sane strategy is to negotiate peace with Russia. Nevertheless the position of the US at present remains unchanged: any peaceful economic links between Germany and Russia must be sabotaged at all costs, because it would create an economic-industrial behemoth that, along with China, would sideline the USA into irrelevance on the world stage. The only excuse Germany has for “sanctioning” Russian gas today is the so-called “aggression” of Russia in Ukraine. If a peaceful outcome in Ukraine is achieved, there will no longer be any excuse for Germany to deny itself Russian gas. Hence, from the POV of the USA, peace in Ukraine must be avoided at all costs. The consequence of refusing to achieve a peaceful settlement, of obstinately continuing to lob missiles against the Russians, will be this: the complete and utter destruction of Ukraine by Russia, with massive out-flux of refugees into Western Europe. Does the US care if there are economic and humanitarian catastrophes in the making (and of their making) in Western Europe? Absolutely not. Not only is the USA happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, the USA is happy to fight Russia to the last European.

THE SPECIAL CASE OF TURKEY:

Turkey has been a long standing NATO member. Readers will remember from history that the stationing of US nuclear capable missiles in Turkey was the catalyst for the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Today, Turkey and the OUN are best described as “frenemies”, now leaning towards being enemies. The USA sees Turkey as an unreliable ally and was particularly miffed by the Turkish insistence on buying Russian energy in Rubles, of continuing to honour Mir transactions and its intention to become a Russian natural gas hub, supplying south eastern Europe via the Turkstream pipeline. Erdogan firmly believes that the attempted coup against him in 2016 was perpetrated by Gulenists sponsored by the USA. The recent terrorist bombing in Istanbul which killed 6 and injured 81 was traced to an individual that the Turks claimed was a Kurd from northern Syria who was a proxy of the AngloZionists. We do not know if this is true, but what matters is that the Turks believe this to be true and it is certainly consistent with the history of the US using terrorist proxies. Accordingly, when the US ambassador to Turkey offered his condolences for the bombing, the Turkish interior minister flatly rejected it, saying that Turkey knew who did it, expressing disgust for such US hypocrisy. All US interactions with Turkey in recent years have counter productively served to push it closer towards Russia and the BRICS+ countries.

CONCLUSION: The USA is the worst terrorist state in the world, they represent the greatest threat of global nuclear war to every one of us (USAnians included) – which could cause human extinction. Being an enemy of the USA is dangerous, but being an ally (especially if you are a Germ or a Ukie) is fatal. The Turks are discovering this to their chagrin and are wising up.

Footnote: The AngloEuroZionist mainstream media and their stooge pundits always crow loudly over every transient Pyrrhic victory “won” by the Ukie proxies, while demonstrating a profound ignorance of history and strategy and reality. General Surovikin is nothing if not rational. Given a choice between precariously holding on to Kherson city located on the “wrong” side of the river (which can and will later be recaptured) and preserving the lives of Russian soldiers, he chose his soldiers. All civilians who appreciated the protection of Russia were evacuated. Die hard Ukie ideologues who prefer to freeze and starve this winter in an eviscerated city were allowed to stay.

This echoes the much higher stakes situation of 1812 when General Kutuzov had to choose between Moscow and his army and he chose his army. He allowed Napoleon to march into Moscow which had been stripped of any and all resources that could support the French, who eventually had to withdraw, enabling Russian forces to recapture Moscow. The Russians slaughtered the French as they withdrew. Today’s Ukie/NATO forces are tactically and strategically far more stupid than Napoleon.

Remember the “massive victory” of Ukies advancing into Kharkov oblast empty cow paddocks not long ago? The Russians had staged a tactical withdrawal* and suffered almost no casualties, but enticed the Ukies into open territory where the Ukies were sitting ducks to Russian artillery and rockets. The Ukies lost around 8000 dead. With such a great “success”, it is just a matter of time before the Ukies suicide their way to moribund victory.

(*this was a classic Mongol tactical “withdrawal” which the Kievan Rus had learned from history to their great cost, and now inflicted upon the stupid Ukies to their great cost.)

BTW, Kiev was founded by the primordial Rus, it was the first capital city of the Russian people who were then known as the Kievan Rus. That is historical fact.

EAB is not Russian, knows no Russians and has never been to Russia. Inspired by Tolstoy, he is learning more about Russian history day by day.

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