When Are We Taking Action On Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Problem?

22 DECEMBER 2021

By Maria Heemskerk

Source

I do realize that unfortunately the international community feels like it cannot criticize anything Ukraine does since it is ‘fighting a war against Russia’ (in their eyes) and the enemy of your enemy is supposed to be your friend, but it would certainly boost the West’s credibility to draw a line.

On 16 December, the UN General Assembly voted on a resolution proposed by Russia and more than 30 other countries to condemn Nazism, neo-Nazism and all forms of racism. The resolution was passed with 130 votes in favor. Only two countries voted against: The United States and Ukraine. The US declared that such a resolution contradicted the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Ukraine did not explain anything. But, to be fair, they don’t have to. We know.

To give you a hint: over just the first week of November alone, Ukraine has had multiple incidents featuring far-right extremism. Now it is not exactly a secret that the country has some work to do in the area of lingering fascist sentiments, but when do we reach the point that the international community steps in?

The events of November followed one another so quickly that you could easily lose track. On Halloween, a group of Ukrainians was filmed marching in Kiev dressed as Ku Klux Klan. They wore the famous gown and headdress, carried signs reading ‘White power’ and ‘Yes, we are racists,’ and made the Nazi salute. A few days later, the former leader of the Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group Right Sector was appointed advisor to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army. Right Sector is famously known for its far-right views and antisemitism. And just two days later, president Zelensky himself was involved in a row with a Jewish MP after branding the Red Army generals who liberated Kiev from the Nazis as ‘soulless.’

All this has happened in just one week. It is telling that no one seems to have noticed, not in Ukraine but also not abroad. Incidents with far-right extremism have become so ordinary in Ukraine that we have reached a point where people will feel like something is off if they haven’t heard anything about Ukraine and Nazis for more than a week. The media do not even report on Ukraine’s vote against condemning Nazism at the UN.

The Ukrainian government is not helping either. In fact, as Zelensky’s recent fight with a Jewish MP showed, they are part of the problem. The authorities do not even make an attempt to prevent Nazis from openly marching the streets of Kiev. Just last month, thousands of people marched under the flags of Right Sector in the capital, carrying banners with racists slogans as ‘White Lives Matter.’ A few months earlier, a group of people marched in commemoration of the SS Galicia, a World War II Nazi division made up of Ukrainians. And, once again, no one batted an eye.

These are just a few examples – if I would list every incident of the past five years, this article would go on longer than a Zelensky speech – but the constant factor is that Ukrainians find all of this completely normal. There is no outrage. We don’t have to expect anything from the Ukrainian government or the Ukrainian people to stop this madness. However, the rest of the world does NOT tolerate antisemitism and fascism. Then why are we allowing it to happen in Ukraine? Why are we not protecting Ukrainian Jews and other minorities?

Because, if we ignore everything that has been happening in Ukraine, we send the signal that it all does not really matter, and that Nazism is excusable. But we simply cannot tolerate growing Nazi sentiments. And remember: we are not talking about a couple of lunatics in a small village, we are talking about large groups of Nazis openly marching the streets of the capital. And, even more mind-boggling, Ukraine’s vote against condemning Nazism at the UN. It is out in the open. I do realize that unfortunately the international community feels like it cannot criticize anything Ukraine does since it is ‘fighting a war against Russia’ (in their eyes) and the enemy of your enemy is supposed to be your friend, but it would certainly boost the West’s credibility to draw a line. After all, if we don’t, are we really any better?

Russia’s ultimatum to the West (IMPORTANT UPDATE)

December 19, 2021

To understand what just happened, we need to look at two things: how Russia chose to communicate her demands and then the contents of the demands themselves.  However, before I do that, I want to recommend two other points of view, both of which are, in my opinion, very helpful:

I recommend you read them before we continue.  This being said, let’s look in more detail at just what happened.

First, this was clearly an ultimatum.  Second, it was a public ultimatum.

This is absolutely crucial, as it marks, at the very least, a total break with normal Russian (and Soviet) diplomatic practice.

It is also pretty obvious that both the form and the substance of that ultimatum would be unacceptable to the USA and the US colonies in Europe.

Which begs the question: what are the Russians trying to achieve here?

Some will say that the Russians (or Putin personally) are simply stupid and that they are too arrogant to realize that their ultimatum would never be accepted.  Well, if the USA (the only part of the “West” which matters because it has actual agency) ignores that ultimatum and then merrily continues on the path it has been on since at least Bill Clinton, and if the Russians (or Putin personally) do nothing, then those who believe that the Russians are stupid will be proven right.

Now let’s look at what else might happen.

The first thing we need to understand is that Russia holds all the military cards (read Martyanov for details I won’t bother repeating it all here).  So let’s quickly worst case: “Biden” ignores Russia and Russia replies by deploying weapon systems, including hypersonic weapons, which will threaten the US not only in Russia, but in Belarus, the Arctic, and the mid-Atlantic.  Then the US will feel the same way Moscow does: 5 minutes away from annihilation.  Will that be good for “Biden”?

Let’s imagine that “Biden” decides to play tough and creates some kind of incident that will force the Russians to either sink a USN ship or shoot down a USAF aircraft.  That would mean war.  Here “Biden” would have two options: keep the war below the nuclear threshold and lose that war (the NATO military infrastructure would be gone) or go nuclear and risk a nuclear holocaust.  Will either one of these be good for “Biden”?

Now let’s say that “Biden” agrees to negotiate with Russia (while, of course, keeping up with all the pretenses about “consulting with partners and allies”) and the two sides come to some kind of deal.  How would that deal manifest itself?  Well, that is quite obvious – NATO would have to give up its expansion while Russia would have to provide verifiable guarantees that she will not attack any NATO country.  I know, I am skipping over a gazillion of details in which, as the expression goes, the devil lies, but for our purposes this is sufficient.  Then, again, I would ask the same question as above: would that be a good outcome for “Biden”?

We need to look at this possibility even further:

First, some of the US EU vassals would be incensed and they would do two things: verbally protest as loudly as possible and engage in whatever action they could come up with to force the situation and create a crisis.  And no, that would not be good for “Biden” at all.  But, consider this: first, “Biden” can tell the EU vassals to shut up and behave.  But even more importantly, that “bad option” will look “less bad” to “Biden” than either one of the two options mentioned above (place the entire USA 5min away from destruction or face a full-scale war).

Remember how I said that Russia holds all the military cards?

Russia also holds much stronger political and economic cards than the USA which has close to nothing.  Politically, Russia is now “more than an ally” to China, she is a close partner to India (to the fury of the White House) and politically, she is much less isolated than the USA!  Even the map on the right does not give the full measure of the situation.  Why?

Because most of the “international community” which “supports” (well, obeys) the USA is the EU, which itself is in a terminal crisis on too many levels to count here!

Compare the red and the grey zones on the map, and ask yourself these questions: which zone has the most powerful military? which zone has the most natural and human resources? which zone has the most promising trading routes? which zone has a real GDP, as opposed to a purely FIRE one?  Which one is literally dying spiritually under the trans-national “Woke” ideology and which one has retained the willingness and ability to fight for its spiritual, cultural, and civilizational values?  Finally, which zone has a viable vision of the future?

I could go on and on with many more such questions, but I think that you see my point: the USA is not only losing militarily, but it is also losing on all fronts!

Next question: what does the USA need most?

Well, there are plenty of things the USA need, but I would single out one: time.  Why? Because the truth is that the USA has only two options left: a “Kabul style” retreat from Europe or an orderly, negotiated “rearrangement” of the European collective security system (which, let’s not forget, the USA screwed up all by itself, a true disaster for which the USA is now totally responsible for).

[Sidebar: there is not such thing as unilateral security.  All real security is always collective.  That truism is now a dangerous political heresy in the West for which folks get (figuratively) burned at the stake for.  Unilateralism is just a trigger for insecurity and, eventually, war.]

If there is no war, then NATO will survive, at least politically. If there is no war, “Biden” will be able to say that the West’s “firm and united” stance forced Russia to make concessions: remember how the Cuban missile crisis was presented by the USA as a US victory when, in fact, it forced the USA to withdraw missiles from Turkey?  It has been many decades since the Cuban missile crisis, yet something like 99% of the people in the US and EU sincerely believes that the US “won”!  The AngloZionist propaganda machine can easily repeat that once more.  Except for a “small” problem: this time around, Russia presented her ultimatum first and made so very publicly.

Why did the Russians choose this method?

Well, I don’t know, I cannot read the Kremlin’s mind, but my guess is that Russia wants way more than just a “draw” (which is what the Cuban missile crisis was).  Russia wants a full victory which she would define as “defanging NATO“, at least in Europe.  Why?

Now let’s look at Russia’s options:

Do nothing aka “more of the same”: that means full surrender to the West, followed by a partition of Russia and a US attack on China.  To say that this is unacceptable to Russia would be an understatement.

Gradually step down from the demands of the ultimatum: that is a more interesting one and it is again a case of “the devil is in the details”.  For example, the existence of NATO by itself means nothing to Russia.  Ditto for the EU, by the way.  All these are in reality are irrelevant Kaffeeklatsch pretexts for politicians with no future, and countries with no agency.  The biggest mistake made by both the EU and NATO was its “glorious” expansion to the East only to find out that all this achieved was irreparably weaken both the EU NATO as the newcomers were, how shall I put it politely, quite terminally stupid, corrupt and infantile.  When I listen to EU and NATO politicians, I think of a Kindergarten on crack cocaine or something equally insane (see here for a perfect example).

So one option for Russia would be to “creatively revisit” the terms of her ultimatum and then keep the substance while jettisoning the hostile tone and giving the West some symbolic “concessions”.  Would that be a good option for Putin?  Well, it all will depend on the mentioned “devil in details”.  If at the end of the process NATO is defanged, then yes.  If NATO remains as aggressively hostile as it is today, then no.

Which begs the question: what will Russia do in such a case?

Here we need to at least consider one option: a Russian recognition of the LDNR justified by Kiev’s total rejection (de facto and de jure) of the Minsk Agreements and the constant Ukronazi provocations and attacks on the LDNR: remember two things Putin said recently.  He spoke of “not yet recognized republics” and he spoke of “genocide“.

Responsibility to protect” anyone?

Of course, the Ukronazis would have to attack (even at least symbolically), which would allow Russia to make a military move against the Ukraine, free the LDNR and deploy Russian forces inside these republics, fully backed by Belarus, of course, and, possibly, even China (politically).  Notice I did not say “invasion”.  Let’s imagine that Russia will use her standoff weapon systems to defang the Ukies, liberate the LDNR, and then will turn to the rest of Europe with a “smile” strongly suggesting the following “which of you guys wants to be next?”  This would result in a total panic in Europe, especially in Mons, Brussels, and Warsaw.

And here is the beauty of that option: Russia can easily strike Mons and Brussels (or Warsaw) with conventional weapons and leave most of these cities in mint shape.  And if the EU/NATO decides to strike back, then Russia will wage a full-scale war against the EU/NATO and she will win it.

What about the “Biden” administration in such a scenario?  The Pentagon knows what Russian missiles can do to it and any other military objective in the continental USA.  I very much doubt that the US deep state will be willing to commit mass suicide just to try (and fail!) to protect the EU.  Besides, the Russians have no intentions or capabilities, to invade the EU anyway, so why destroy the USA for a threat which does not even exist?!

Does “Biden” want to go down in history as “the President who lost Europe”?

Would “the President who triggered a nuclear holocaust” sound any better?

So by making her demands public, Russia has (for the first time and finally!!) also sent a message to the people of the West.  This message can be summarized like this: we don’t want war, but if you insist, we will oblige.

And, for the first time since 1991, Russia does have the objective means to achieve these goals.

So there, we have it, I think.

Now we also need to address the elephant in the room: the US War Party and, even more so, the EU infantiles on crack cocaine.  For them, defanging NATO would be utterly unacceptable…

… or would it?

The US War Party is just that, US-based.  And while some of the talking heads on the idiot tube do sound like real “hawks”, the military professionals in the US armed forces know the real score.  Not only that, but the “smart wing” of the War Party understands that the USA desperately needs time and an orderly draw-down, even if just a temporary one!  Their game is, as I said many times, a game of what I call “nuclear chicken” but, crucially, a game short of actual nuclear war which they don’t need at all (if only because they would likely die themselves).

Which leaves the EU infantiles on crack cocaine.  Here I am going to say something terrible, and I feel really bad for writing this, but I only see one method to get the Europeans back from la-la-land to the real world: Russia has to defeat them militarily, yet again, as she did over and over in her history.  Somehow, the narcissistic megalomaniacs who currently administer the European continent on behalf of the USA won’t read history and won’t rein in their deep sense of racial superiority over the subhuman Russian Asiatic hordes.  These modern wannabe Kulturtraegers and assorted Herrenvolk still hate Russia for defeating Hitler, Napoleon, and the rest of them, and for them, their phobia (in the sense of both hate and fear) of everything Russian is now part of their identity, something quite sacred to them and to hell with those who think otherwise!

This is what it took the last time around

The only effective way to bring the European Master Races back to reality is well-known (see picture).

I would argue that such an outcome goes directly against the interests of BOTH the USA and Russia.  And, most obviously, it goes totally against the interests of the people of Europe.

But if the latter does nothing to prevent such an outcome, then it is for the USA and Russia to prevent it.

And if the USA won’t prevent it, then Russia will deliver.

As for the notion that boycotts, sanctions (even from hell!), or the cancellation of NS2 will stop the Russians -it is truly beyond ridiculous.  Last time around, Russia lost 27 million people and then rebuilt her economy in a decade.

Conclusion:

This is no Russian bluff but a real ultimatum.  In fact, it is so real that it was made public for two reasons I believe: first, of course, to try to appeal to the people of the West and, second, to morally “untie the hands” of Russia should it come to full-scale war.

Analysts in the West always assume that public gestures are somehow exclusively aimed at them.  They are wrong.  This ultimatum is also addressed to the Russian people and Russian armed forces and says this to them: “people of Russia, we tried all we could to avoid this, we pleaded and begged for decades, and we retreated on many fronts, yet in spite of that, the West keeps pressing on.  We will never allow a June 22nd to happen again.  Prepare for war“.

I will end with three quotes by Putin himself:

“As a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?”

Fifty years ago, the streets of Leningrad taught me one thing: If a fight’s inevitable, you must strike first

“Any aggressor should know that retribution will be inevitable and he will be destroyed. And since we will be the victims of his aggression, we will be going to heaven as martyrs. They will simply drop dead, won’t even have time to repent,”

UPDATE: according to the Russian media citing “diplomatic sources”, China has given her full support to the Russian demands.  What that actually means or implies is unclear, but this is the first indication that the Russian ultimatum was coordinated with the Chinese and that China will have some kind of role to play in the next move of the Russians if the US rejects the Russian demands.

The Russian website GEOFOR interviews the Saker

December 18, 2021

PUTIN-BIDEN: THERE ARE THINGS THAT RUSSIA WILL NOT TOLERATE

Translated from Russian into English by Lilia Shumkova

source: https://geofor.ru/4769-putin-bajden-est-veshhi-kotorye-rossiya-terpet-ne-budet.html

GEOFOR: Dear Mr. Raevsky, I recall how after the Geneva meeting with President Vladimir Putin, his American colleague President Joe Biden, in response to a question about the continuation of high-level contacts between our countries, said that we should wait until the end of the year, and after that time make an appropriate decision. And now, six months after Geneva, a new dialogue, albeit in a video format. Moreover, this time the initiator was the American side. What do you think this means? What did the White House want to achieve, and to what extent did it succeed?

Raevsky: Under Biden, the United States turned to Russia five times with a request for negotiations – three times by phone, once in person and now via a video conference. Why did they need it? Here, you just need to look at the general context from the point of view of the United States and Biden himself. He has several “fronts,” not only the problem of Russia and Ukraine. I would even say that this is not the main “front” for him. There are two main ones. First of all, there is an internal “front”: he has a very low rating; The social, economic, and political crisis in the United States is now total and, in many ways, resembles the Soviet Union in the 1980s. American armed forces have already proved many times their total inability to conduct combat operations and achieve anything with them. Iraq is a disaster. They are afraid of Iran and do not even want to compete with it. You have seen the disgrace in Afghanistan. Now the mood is very depressed and angry. This internal “front” of President Biden is undoubtedly the most dangerous.

The second very dangerous “front” he has is the issue of China. The Americans say that in two years they will no longer be able to gain the upper hand in the war against China; something needs to be done urgently.

People who understand the principles and timing of the reform of the armed forces and the development of new weapons systems, the principles of tactics and military art in general, understand that nothing can be done in two years. It takes a decade, and maybe more than one.

China and the United States are moving towards a confrontation. Beijing definitely occupies the position of the stronger player. And the Americans are weak on all fronts.

Then they have the Middle East, where Iran is now, in fact, ruling the ball. Israel is trying to maintain the appearance that it is very strong and very dangerous, but in reality the United States is now losing the entire Middle East.

This was an open goal of the Iranians. This is a country that is an order of magnitude smaller or weaker than Russia or China, now – in general, successfully – expels the United States from the Middle East, or at least from many parts of the Middle East.

And, of course, another “front” is Ukraine and Russia plus Europe. And in Europe – and this needs to be pointed out – there is an economic crisis.

For all these reasons, Biden was in an extremely difficult situation.

Russia has been retreating on all fronts over the past 20 – if not 30 – years. And now the situation resembles the one when German tanks were near Moscow. The time is now to say, “Not a step further.”

I think that [Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Valery] Gerasimov and Putin conveyed exactly this to the Americans: “Say what you want, we will not practice the same belligerent rhetoric. But in reality we have the means to repel any provocation or strike from you, and we will have to do it if you don’t change course.”

I think that the realization of how dangerous the situation is today has reached the “collective Biden.”

Now about whether he achieved what he wanted in this video conference.

Sure. To some extent, yes. Because he will be able to say that it was he who stopped Russia in Ukraine, that it was he who stopped China, and no attack on Taiwan happened on his watch.

But this, of course, is fiction. Everyone understands perfectly well that neither China nor Russia need these wars. All these fears were fanned by the Americans themselves.

And, that’s where they really scared themselves, which was the right thing to do, because they are absolutely not tough enough to “butt heads” with Iran, China, and Russia at the same time.

But there is a certain specificity of American politics in this. Very often, American diplomats come to Moscow and say one thing, then when they come back, they are attacked by the media and Congress. Both the media and the Congress are totally in the hands of the “War Party” here. Accusations of weakness, softness, cowardice, etc. follow and here they need to show their “coolness”.

So, for example, Trump acted when he negotiated with the Russian side, and then declared: “There were no agreements.”

Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Biden will be able to withstand the onslaught of the “War Party” now. If he can do it, say, in the next 2-3 weeks, then I would say that for him this conversation was a clear and undoubted success.

And if the “War Party” breaks it, as Trump was very quickly broken, then everything will return to normal, and we will return to the same threshold where Russia and the United States will be on the verge of a full-scale war. This, in general, is not necessary for anyone, and maybe it has come to the American side that it is one thing to talk about world domination, to fight with weak incapacitated forces. And it’s quite another thing to wage war against a real military superpower.

GEOFOR: The meeting was preceded by a strong propaganda attack against Russia, during which Washington clearly tried to “raise the stakes.” President Biden even said that he does not see and does not accept any “red lines” outlined by Moscow. And yet, just before the meeting, Congress lifted a number of sanctions against Russia from the defense budget, including on the Nord Stream-2. Clearly under the influence of the administration. How do you explain such a metamorphosis?

Raevsky: Of course, firstly, it was necessary to “raise the stakes” in order not only, as they like to say in the West, “to negotiate from a position of strength,” but also to convince both public opinion and the “War Party” that we are in no way making concessions to Russia. And Biden said: “We will not recognize any red lines!” [NATO Secretary General] Stoltenberg said: “We do what we want and Russia does not order us!” and so on.

It’s all PR.

In reality – the fact that they have already asked for negotiations with Russia for the fifth time shows who is in a position of strength, and who is not.

And this lifting of the sanctions you are talking about from the defense budget is, in general, a small step, rather, a diplomatic step of goodwill. But, in fact, the issue with the Nord Stream-2 has already been resolved. The only thing that can close it is a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine – or something worse. They have already sanctioned Russia so that there is nowhere else to go – they say it themselves.

So, if you no longer have the opportunity to impose other sanctions, then you can “sell” this “non-imposition” of sanctions as a gesture of goodwill.

This is Realpolitik, and nothing more.

The Americans have never abandoned their strategic goals – containing and encircling Russia, forcing it to submissive obedience and surrender of its sovereignty, and this is their ultimate goal which the Americans have never agreed to abandon.

This is a strategic goal. And everything that is being done now, for Americans, is the level of tactics, not strategy.

They have not discussed the strategy yet, because to revise the strategy means to revise the entire ideology on which this country is built. They are not ready for this yet.

GEOFOR: Could Putin’s visit to Delhi have influenced the position of the American side, and if so, what kind? Recall that during this bilateral meeting with the Indian leadership, a number of documents were signed, including an agreement on military issues until 2030. Moreover, this document concerns not only military-technical cooperation.

Raevsky: Here you need to understand a very subtle game that the Indians are playing. They are friends with the United States, they will even go to this Summit of Democracies. But they are friends not against Russia, but against China, which for them is a regional enemy.

But in order to emphasize how friendly they are with the United States not against Russia, Putin’s trip to India was organized and giant contracts were signed there, including contracts for weapons, including S-400 air defense, which the Americans categorically forbade Indians to buy, and the Indians did not care about this ban.

In fact, India’s attitude towards Russia is a slap in the face of the United States. This shows that the Indians will look very selectively at what is beneficial to them and act in their own interests, and not be a submissive puppet in the hands of anyone, and certainly not the United States.

I would also like to add that, in my opinion, the confrontation between China and India is the main current problem of the Eurasian continent. I see only one side that can help these two countries to change relations and switch to a different quality. This is, of course, Russia.

And the strategic task of the Americans, on the contrary, is to incite further conflicts between China and India at any cost.

And it is clear that the parties will continue to bend their own line. Moscow stands for peace in Eurasia, and the United States – if not for war, then, in any case, for military tension and confrontation between these two great countries.

GEOFOR: One of the main priorities of Moscow in these negotiations was the issue of ensuring the security of the Russian Federation, which was stated long before the meeting. As it became known, the American side confirmed its readiness for dialogue on this issue. In particular, to discuss the issue of the deployment of offensive weapons along the Russian borders from Norway to Romania and possibly Turkey. This also automatically includes Ukraine. How does this relate to the belligerent and harsh statements on the eve of the meeting?

Raevsky: Officially, right before the meeting, the Americans said that they categorically refuse to recognize Moscow’s red lines. Stoltenberg also said that “Russia is not a law for us, let it behave correctly and keep quiet, and we will do whatever we want.”

But in reality, expert groups will meet. And what will they discuss? Yes, of course, just these red lines. This is the only subject of real bargaining that is possible between these two countries.

So, in fact, the United States says one thing and does another.

Yes, they are now making concessions to Moscow. The growing power of the Russian Armed Forces, and the forces of the Russian economy and political “soft power” forced the Americans to make concessions.

From the Americans’ point of view, Ukraine itself in its current state is a “404 country”, and I would say, in general, the whole of Europe turned out to be such a “suitcase without a handle.” And Americans are no longer able to drag around with them – neither economically nor politically.

So what can they do? If it has already been decided to leave the suitcase without a handle, then you can set it on fire and hope that this arson can achieve something.

And what to achieve? Yes, it’s very simple – the dream of Americans is for Russia to really grab as much Ukraine as possible. First, because this is a “black hole” that would become a headache for Russia, not America. Second, it will create ideal conditions to block the Nord Stream-2 and even other energy projects between Europe and Russia. And, third, it will create – finally! – the next “cold war,” without which the American and, in general, western politicians and generals are so sad.

Everyone understands that in the event of a war, Russia will win quickly and convincingly. But after that, a situation will arise that will resemble, perhaps, the “Berlin crisis” with a similar level of confrontation. And the “War Party” in the West wants this for a number of reasons.

For example, if the supply of energy carriers from Russia is cut off, then whose fuel and energy sector will be able to compensate for the outgoing resources? American, of course. Their liquefied gas.

The same is true in the sphere of political influence. If, say, an open war happens, and Russia liberates even just a part of Ukraine from Nazi rule, it will be presented as proof that only NATO can save Europe from Putin’s “mordor”.

It would be very beneficial for the Americans to have a full-scale war unleashed. This is the interpretation of the “War Party”. But there are other people – sane people – who understand that such a situation is fraught with a very rapid escalation and direct confrontation between the United States and Russia. And they don’t want that.

And so, on the one hand, we are seeing “cool” statements. On the other hand, there are a number of concessions that the Americans are ready to make so far.

And the offensive weapons systems that they have now deployed in other countries is a purely political, not military, issue. When Putin says that for a Western hypersonic missile from the territory of Ukraine, the approach time will be five minutes to Moscow, this is a fact. But, on the other hand, the time of approach of a preemptive strike by Russian hypersonic weapons will also, by definition, be five minutes. And in this area, Russia has overtaken the United States for a long time and very significantly. Russia also has the opportunity to place missiles in the Atlantic Ocean outside the zone of operation of possible anti-submarine means of the United States and “swoop” from there.

These offensive systems are dangerous for Russia not so much from a military point of view as from a political one, since this is really a political provocation. It shows what, as Americans like to say, “they send a message”.

This is the message: “We don’t care about you! We do what we want and where we want.” This means that Russia is not an equal party to the negotiations, that there is a great Hegemon and Suzerain of the whole planet, who does everything he wants and how he wants, and Russia is invited to shut up, sit quietly, and not slack off.

This political problem is very real for Russia. Therefore, the current situation will force Russia at some point to draw red lines and say that there are things that we will not tolerate.

Obviously, both Putin and General Gerasimov have very successfully brought these realities to the consciousness of the “collective Biden.”

GEOFOR: The information that comes to us after the meeting suggests that the tone of the conversation between the Russian and American presidents is similar to the tone of Biden’s remote talks with Comrade Xi, which also took place recently. For example, during a conversation with the Chinese leader, the US president stressed the need to refrain from seizing Taiwan by force, which essentially meant that Washington did not object to economic and political methods. As for the Russian-American negotiations, in part of Ukraine, for example, issues related to its territorial integrity, Crimea and the notorious “Russian aggression” were not discussed at all. And at the briefing following the conversation, Assistant to the President J. Sullivan called on Kiev to stop the escalation of tensions in the Donbas and referred the Ukrainian leadership to the Minsk agreements. What is the reason for this position: the desire to maintain the status quo for a while? Then – for what purpose and for how long?

Raevsky: In this area, the situation can be said to have turned completely upside down.

Russia needed these decades of concessions in order to strengthen the Russian society itself, strengthen the information sphere, the Russian economy, establish import substitution, create new ties with other countries and, most importantly, to develop the Armed Forces to such a level that they can cope with any threat to Russia.

The Americans’ situation is flipped. They have the deepest internal crisis – political and economic. The state of the American armed forces is very fraught.

Of course, the current status quo is beneficial to them. The alternative is to continue on the path of escalation, and then there is only one way – to military confrontation. There’s nothing else left. Everything below the level of military confrontation has already been done. And it is completely unprofitable for them to go to an open military confrontation with Russia.

For how long is such a status quo beneficial to them? It is necessary to clearly distinguish two sides. On the military side, the reform of the armed forces is a very long and difficult process, very complex, and the armed forces have a huge inertia, which is very difficult to deploy in another direction, considering that the American political calendar is two years ahead; one year ahead, well, four years ahead at most.

On the political side, Biden’s rating is now catastrophically low. The situation inside the country is very bad. Therefore, it is more profitable for him to maintain the status quo for a year or two rather than to have a direct confrontation with Russia during his presidency. Plus, it is still unknown what benefits the Chinese and Iranians could find for themselves in such a confrontation.

Thus, Americans need the status quo. On the political side, two years, even one year, is much better than a war.

In the long run, the current status quo, I think, is just a screen put up to hide the fact that they will continue to self-destruct. In my opinion – and I know this country quite well – it is absolutely impossible to rebuild it. Reforms are impossible here, because this country is based on imperialism, on the ideology of world domination, and it is simply impossible for it to abandon this. Speaking “in American language,” “it’s not American.” That is, to recognize, for example, just the possibility that the United States is “one of the countries of the world”, but not “the leader of all mankind”, is something that is literally unthinkable for most Americans, and certainly for American politicians. For them, this is simply unacceptable.

The whole “crazy kindergarten” – there is no other way to say it – that we hear now from a local congressman about Russia, about China, about others, is a reflection of this type of thinking and worldview.

Unfortunately, in the United States, being an open supporter of the “War Party” looks patriotic. And since this country did not have any real war in defense of its homeland, and they lost all the other wars after World War II, this is a country that simply cannot abandon its imperial ideology, and now it lacks the tools that it needs to impose its imperialist ideology on the entire planet.

Therefore, realistically speaking, they need the status quo for as long as possible. But it is impossible to define this “longer”.” There are too many variables, too many scenarios.

GEOFOR: About protocol problems in relations with the White House. In preparation for the meeting, it was widely announced that the conversation would be “one-on-one.” And now we see President Biden negotiating surrounded by four of his advisers. Does such a transformation of the format of the meeting contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere of trust in negotiations and, more broadly, in bilateral relations in general?

Raevsky: First of all, you need to understand that when it comes to Biden, of course, we are talking about “collective Biden.” Biden himself is not able to delve into all the problems facing him, nor to negotiate. And, certainly, not with a man like Putin, who can talk for four hours without a piece of paper and remember all the numbers on all topics.

Naturally, there should be advisers around him; there is nothing new here.

When George Bush’s son was interrogated about the events of September 11 [2001], he was not trusted to answer questions alone. Dick Cheney was sitting next to him, who had to make sure, as the “senior supervisor,” that Bush would not blurt out anything superfluous. It’s the same here.

These advisers surround him, naturally, to advise, but also to keep an eye on him. They are the watchers, and he is their official representative.

Moreover, I would even say that this is a very good sign – just as I welcomed the trip of Victoria Nuland and the CIA director to Moscow. This shows that “serious people” are talking to the Russian side. Now if they sent Kamala Harris to talk to someone, that would be a sign of total disregard. Or, say, how Blinken calls Zelensky to tell him what happened at the negotiations.

There is no such contempt here. On the contrary, there are serious people who know what they are talking about and who are able to make decisions. This shows that the negotiations were not symbolic and that there really was a shift. In my opinion, this can only be welcomed.

But! There can be no question of any atmosphere of trust. This is what journalists think: there is an atmosphere of trust in the negotiations between Russia and the United States.

Such negotiations only develop confidence-building measures – those that are verifiable.

There can be no question of any trust.

Most likely, in general terms, the parties agreed to some steps, and expert groups will work on specifics – who, how and when will check the measures mutually agreed during the negotiations.

Here we can recall President Ronald Reagan, who said: “Trust, but verify”.

This is exactly what we are seeing now: both sides will check to the maximum, because the stakes are very high. When there is a risk of military confrontation between two nuclear superpowers, there can be no trust. There can only be absolutely verifiable mutually obligatory steps of the two sides.

GEOFOR: And now a few words about the affairs of Washington. The further away, the more noticeable the discord in the White House foreign policy team. If the aggravation of the situation in bilateral relations, harsh criticism of Russia, etc. comes from the Secretary of State and his team, then a certain constructive approach comes from the national security assistant. This became especially noticeable after Mrs. Nuland, whose work results apparently did not satisfy the White House much, an experienced diplomat, a former ambassador to Russia, and now the director of the CIA, William J. Burns, whom a number of Russian analysts write down in the “Sullivan team,” arrived in Moscow. Will President Biden be able to continue to stay above the fray of his closest aides? How subjective is he in making and implementing his political decisions? After all, it is still impossible to ignore the opinions of both parties on Capitol Hill… In short, how much can Russia trust the agreements that were reached during the dialogue at the highest level? Will the decisions on joint study of issues of interest to both sides go beyond expert consultations and translate into concrete binding agreements? Or is it still an attempt to get a respite in time in order to settle their internal problems, reformat relations with allies, and then return to the period of confrontation?

Raevsky: There are undoubtedly two parties here. There is a very serious struggle going on within the ruling classes of the United States and in the so-called “deep state.”

Imagine some kind of gangster group – one of those organized criminal groups, each of which controls some part of the city. As long as things are going well, they sit quietly. But as soon as the crisis begins, then they start fighting among themselves.

And so the election of Trump four years ago brought such a split in the ruling American elites that now a very strong battle is going on at the top in different groups, clans of the American government. And the divide is not between Republicans and Democrats. Relatively speaking, on the one hand there is a “War Party,” and on the other hand there is a “Peace Party.” This is very conditional, but not wrong.

First, the “War Party” members are pure ideologists. Second, it is the fuel and energy sector of America, which is very interested in “cutting off” Europe from Russia. It would be very beneficial for the American economy as a whole if Europe were both weaker and more dependent on the United States. Any cooperation between Russia and the EU is a direct and clear threat to the economic and political interests of the United States. There are still those who retain nostalgia for the Cold War. There are so-called “Neocons,” there are “Neoliberals,” and there are various lobbies that are hostile to Russia for various reasons. The Israeli lobby, the Polish lobby, the Ukrainian lobby. All of these groups lumped together can be called the “War Party”.

And there is a “Peace Party”, which, I think, consists of those people who understand that, going further along this path, you can only come to one point – war. This party does not want to pay such a price. This party probably understands that it is simply too much for the United States to go into a total confrontation with Russia, Iran and China at the same time.

Even if they wanted war, they realize that in this position it is better for them to present themselves as a “Peace Party”.

This is probably what Biden wants to achieve. He wants to demonstrate that with his “coolness” and disregard for any demands of Russia and China, he has succeeded, stopped both “Russian aggression” against Ukraine and “Chinese aggression” against Taiwan.

That there is absolutely no reality under this rhetoric, it does not matter at all. This is all for domestic consumption and for domestic policy. And also to preserve the image of the World Hegemon, which, unfortunately, it is absolutely impossible for Americans to abandon, since this ideology is “embedded” in the national identity of many – if not all – Americans. In addition, all politicians, in order to show that they are patriots, must be supporters of the “War Party,” supporters of wars and “cool” unilateral measures. In this country – alas! – this is interpreted not as a sign of insanity or irresponsibility, but as a sign of “coolness”. And if the president demonstrates these qualities, then he is a strong and serious president.

How to reform such a country and give it the opportunity to become just a normal country, and not an Empire, I can’t imagine. I don’t see how this system can be reformed. The only way out, which I unfortunately see, is that it should collapse. Collapse either quickly during a military confrontation, or – God forbid! – through some kind of agreement to “hit the brakes.” This is the best we can all hope for.

GEOFOR: So, how do you see the future of relations between Moscow and Washington?

Raevsky: First of all, I have always believed and written that for at least seven years – if not more – the American Empire and Russia have been at war. This is an ideological war, this is an informational war, a political war,  and an economic war. And-thank God! – there have not been any major military actions yet.

But this does not negate the fact that, in fact, there can be only one winner in this war.

Russia, Iran, China and other countries want a multipolar world in which there would be a place for sovereign states that treat each other with respect and in accordance with the principles of international law.

The American vision of the future is world hegemony, “the USA is ahead of the whole planet,”  the USA governs everything and everyone, and there are no equals.

This is a very important point – “We have no equal.” It’s an idea that generations of Americans have been raised on.

But suddenly [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] General Milley said that, in general, from a military point of view, the world already has at least three poles – the United States, Russia and China. There are actually more of these poles. For example, in the Middle East, the strongest regional power is no longer Israel – it is Iran.

The situation is changing, and not to the benefit of the United States.

Russia plays for a long time. She has been yielding, stepping aside, and giving way for a long time, because it was necessary to create such Armed Forces that could really guarantee the security of Russia in any threats. Russia has finally achieved this.

For Russia, the idea of Anglo–Saxon domination over the planet, when everyone else should serve them, is fundamentally unacceptable – and I would even say civilizationally. Russia sees herself to be an equal player among the great of this world.

What will be the relations between Moscow and Washington? One side will lose the war, and the other will gain the upper hand in it.

Not necessarily, by the way, a war with military operations. This could be a purely political war only, God willing!

But only one of the two boxers in the ring will remain standing. The second one will have to accept a real defeat.

For Russia, such a defeat would mean the loss of sovereignty and destabilization. Which will once again put her in a dangerous position.

And for the United States, simply giving up world domination is already a total defeat, because it will force this country to completely reformat itself and recreate itself on a new basis. Which they are absolutely not capable of, at the moment. In order to reform the country, it takes decades – if there is no external force. And since Russian tanks will not appear on the streets of Washington, no purge like the one that was against the Nazis after World War II in Germany, here – alas! – it won’t happen.

It means that all this will take a long time, and this process will not only be long, but also dangerous for this country.

——-

Andrei Raevsky was born in Zurich, Switzerland, his father is Dutch, his mother is Russian from a family of White Russian immigrants.

In 1984, he entered active military service in the electronic warfare unit, and then was transferred to the military intelligence service as a language specialist, to work in the interests of the Swiss Air Force. Then he moved to the USA, where he received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) American University (American University) and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies (Strategic Studies) at the School of Advanced International Studies. Paul N. Nitze of Johns Hopkins University (Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University). Upon returning to Switzerland, he worked as a civilian consultant (in a position corresponding to the military rank of “major”) in the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service (SND), preparing strategic analytical materials, primarily about the Soviet/Russian armed forces. He worked as a specialist in “enemy operations” (“Red Team” in American military jargon) to train personnel at the operational level of the General Staff of the Swiss Armed Forces. Later he worked at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), where he specialized in peacekeeping tactics and operations. He wrote a book about psychological and intelligence operations in peacekeeping and four books of collected works “The Essential Saker” (The Essential Saker). Speaks Russian, English, French, Spanish and German.

Raevsky holds a Licentiate in Orthodox Theological Studies (PhD in Orthodox Theology) from the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies at the Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas in Etna, California (the “Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies” (CTOS) at the Saint Gregory Palamas monastery in Etna, California).

Swiss citizen.

Lives in the state of Florida.

The questions were asked by Sergey Dukhanov, an international journalist and an Americanist. He worked as his own correspondent for the NOVOSTI Press Agency in Canada (Ottawa, 1990-1992) and as the chief of the American Bureau (Washington, 1996-2001) of the newspapers Business MN, Delovoy Mir and Interfax-AiF.

Russia, China a Model of Inter-State Relations and Peace

December 17, 2021

Russia and China are proof that an alternative basis of international relations is possible. And fortunately, both are strong enough to prevail for the sake of peace.

For many observers around the world, the cordial and cooperative relations between Russia and China are inspiring, precisely at a time of mounting international tensions and belligerence.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hailed the bilateral relations between Russia and China as a model for inter-state cooperation in the 21st century.

In a videoconference this week with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the two leaders expressed warm greetings of friendship. Putin described the border between their countries as representing “a belt of eternal peace and good-neighborliness”.

President Xi said that both nations based their sound relations on principles of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. Both countries, too, he noted, were committed to advancing people-centered development as a genuine manifestation of democracy and human rights.

Referring to the United States and its Western allies, the Chinese leader adroitly remarked how “international forces” had appointed themselves the right to meddle in the affairs of China and Russia under the duplicitous guise of advocating democracy and human rights. In doing so, these foreign powers were “trampling” all over international law and stoking dangerous tensions.

It is hard to disagree with that assessment. Just in recent weeks, the United States and its allies in the G7, NATO and European Union have been amplifying accusations against Russia and China over alleged malign conduct. It’s all sound and fury signifying little in the way of substance. Step back from the shrill rhetoric and sensational claims and what is actually apparent is an attempt to manipulate public opinion into accepting Western aggression towards Russia and China. The poachers are making themselves the gamekeepers in an audacious inversion of reality.

The Western powers arrogantly assume the right to rebuke over a bewildering array of issues. There is a vast media campaign of public perception management going on. In short, propaganda and psychological gaslighting.

Russia and China are accused of “authoritarianism”; of abusing human rights; of threatening Ukraine on the one hand and Taiwan on the other. China is condemned for alleged “genocide” against its Uighur people and “as a result” the U.S. and its allies are conducting a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

The evidence for all these tendentious claims is flimsy if non-existent.

The United States and the European Union are relentless in their accusations of a Russian military build-up and threat to invade Ukraine. Sanctions are drawn up to potentially cripple the Russian economy. But where’s the evidence or even credible logic? The U.S. and European governments and Western media have not reported any substantive evidence to back up their claims against Russia. Moscow has consistently and categorically rejected these claims as “hysterical nonsense”.

Russian troops are on Russian territory. The supposed satellite images depicting military build-up “on Ukraine’s borders” are of Russian troops in established bases such as Yelnya in Smolensk Oblast hundreds of kilometers from the border. Meanwhile, American and NATO warplanes and warships are increasingly menacing Russia’s borders in unscheduled maneuvers thousands of kilometers from their bases.

This is all ludicrous and is hardly worthwhile rebutting every accusation since it is time-consuming to do so. Provocative narratives are distractions from reality.

The germane point is this: the U.S. and its Western allies are self-anointed to throw pejorative claims at Russia and China when the reality is they are hurling bricks in glasshouses. Washington and its European partners have run amok for decades, destroying nations with illegal foreign wars, killing en masse civilians from drone assassinations and indiscriminate bombings. These criminal governments have no shame in smearing others with accusations that resonate a thousand-fold with the appalling reality of their own heinous misconduct.

Just look at some events this week. Russia has called on the United States and its NATO allies to agree on a mutual basis for security in Europe pertaining to its borders. So far, the U.S.-led military bloc has rebuffed Moscow’s reasonable concerns. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg arrogantly dismissed Russia’s appeals for the bloc to cease its eastward expansion. (Somehow it seems fitting that this automaton is reportedly applying to become the next head of Norway’s central bank after he steps down from NATO. It’s all just careerism and payoffs for Stoltenberg, who, as the quip goes, is more secretary than general.)

Then we have the European Union’s unelected wooden president Ursula von Der Leyen announcing that the bloc has prepared sanctions that will have “massive consequences” on Russia’s economy “in the event of further military aggression on Ukraine”. Based on what? What aggression is she talking about? The one that the United States intelligence agencies have told her to mouth like a ventriloquist? She is certainly not referring to the aggression of the U.S. and NATO funneling billions of dollars of weapons into a Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev that is waging a war against a civilian population in Southeast Ukraine for the last nearly eight years. (Russian President Putin is correct to describe that siege as resembling genocide.)

Western media report breathlessly on how Russia and China have “seen their relations deteriorate with the West”. But such media don’t explain or investigate why such deterioration is happening.

It is essentially instructive that the United States and its European powers are self-evidently behaving as Neo-colonialists and imperialists. They presume to have the superior right to interfere in other nations based on self-righteous arrogance and self-serving machinations.

It is absurd that the United States is declaring a diplomatic boycott of China’s Olympic Games given its own legion of flagrant violations and crimes against humanity, past and present. Australia and Canada have living legacies of genocide and yet they too have the brass-necks to pontificate to China about unsubstantiated claims of human rights abuses.

Going down this cynical, hypocritical path is par for the course for Western states. It is their inherent modus operandi. But ultimately it is futile. It inevitably leads to conflict and war.

Western relations towards Russia and China are becoming crystal clear in their incorrigible belligerence. The United States and its capitalist-imperialist partners-in-crime simply cannot coexist with other nations in peace and cooperation. The principles of peace and lawful respect for others are anathemas.

The toxic, destructive behavior of Western powers is more and more a transparent disgrace in today’s world. By contrast, Russia and China are proof that an alternative basis of international relations is possible. And fortunately, both are strong enough to prevail for the sake of peace.

Biden to Russia: Don’t You Dare Eat This Moldy Bagel!

DECEMBER 10, 2021

By Dmitry Orlov, posted with permission from the author

I have received a flurry of emails from people concerned that World War III could erupt at any moment. Most of their concern has a single cause: the crazy stuff printed and broadcast by Western press. But I would like to suggest that it is Western press that is the problem, not any incipient military conflict involving the Ukraine. Western press is a joke: there were no weapons of mass destruction; freon does not poke holes in the ozone layer; Trump was not a Russian agent; Syria did not use chemical weapons against its own people; carbon dioxide emissions cause global cooling, not global warming (but not much of it in any case); there are no Russian troops in the Donbass; and… Russia is not going to invade and annex the Ukraine. Furthermore, no number of enticements or provocations can make Russia want to do so. It just plain doesn’t want to trouble itself with that miserable, blighted land.

Suppose you are in a tense negotiation with someone. And suppose that someone puts a plate on the table. On that plate is a bagel. It has green spots and white hair growing out, it is oozing brownish goo, it reeks of ammonia and even the flies are refusing to land on it. And suppose that certain someone then says: if you eat this bagel, it’s war! That’s a tough negotiating stance, isn’t it? After all, that’s really laying down the law, giving an ultimatum, no ifs ands or buts and all that. By adopting this stance, Biden gets to channel just the tiniest bit of John Wayne, with a swagger instead of his usual precarious stumble. For a brief, shining moment he gets to talk to a real world leader and look presidential rather than like a doddering fool who has a useless toxic bimbo for a sidekick.

That’s essentially what Biden did. He told Putin in no uncertain terms: If you invade the Ukraine, then there will be sanctions from Hell. (Begging the question of what sanctions from Heaven would be like, but, never mind, the US is Hell and the Russians seem OK with that.) Biden was careful to point out that the US would not come to the Ukraine’s rescue, because the Ukraine is not a NATO member and so the US is under no obligation to actually take any risks on its behalf, but rest assured that it would huff and it will puff and threaten to blow Putin’s house down should he invade. And should he not invade, then would be right back to “Hey, Vlad, it’s great to see you! It’s your pal Joe, remember me?”.

But would Putin ever be tempted to “eat that bagel”? No, certainly not! The Ukraine is looking most unsavory. Ever since its independence three decades ago it has been progressively dismantled by a rapacious oligarchy, its industry sold for scrap and its infrastructure decaying to truly dangerous levels.

Its major assets are as follows:

• 15 Soviet-era nuclear reactors which are being run flat out but there are rolling blackouts anyway, and which are due to be shut down for good, with no funds available to refurbish them

• Quite a lot of good farmland but a dire shortage of paved roads, locomotives or rolling stock to bring the harvest to the docks

• An aging and destitute population that has shrunk by about a third since independence since most able-bodied people have gone to work abroad, millions of them moving to Russia.

• A gas pipeline network that is technically obsolete, being five times less energy efficient than the newest Nord Stream 2, and that is having its redundant pieces cut up and sold for scrap even as some of it is still running.

Its liabilities include a very high level of external debt that is unlikely to ever be repaid using export revenues and a large crop of neo-Nazi meatheads with blood on their hands. Russia has already got almost everything it wanted from the Ukraine, which is Crimea and the Donbass.

The only thing Russia wants from the US regarding the Ukraine is a written security guarantee that the Ukraine will never be made part of NATO, or have NATO troops or weapons systems on its soil, or be allowed to enter into any other anti-Russian alliances that may crop up should NATO dry up and blow away. Putin asked the US to sign binding legal documents that will block any further encroachment on lands that border Russian territory. This would reduce the risk of an accidental war and allow Russia to focus less military strength on its western border.

However, such security guarantees are not something that Biden can provide without suffering a massive loss of face and destroying any sense of purpose that NATO has been struggling in vain to cultivate ever since the USSR collapsed three decades ago. But sometimes just making a demand is almost as good as having it acceded to. If the US fails to help Russia meet its perfectly reasonable security requirements, then that unties Russia’s hands to do so without US help, leaving the Americans free to simply ignore the situation (something they know how to do quite well) to avoid embarrassing themselves.

And that is a good option to have, since there is no shortage of embarrassments for the Biden administration as it is. Producer price inflation in the US is already running at 25%, and is likely to translate into 12-15% consumer price inflation by next summer, but any attempt to crush inflation by raising interest rates Paul Volcker-style would instantly collapse the entire financial pyramid scheme. As it is, the nation’s finances are in a state that will soon necessitate the Congress to pass a bill declaring the term “balanced budget” to be hate speech. Given the experience in Afghanistan, repatriating all the US troops stationed overseas before the money runs out, to avoid stranding them in faraway lands without any resupply, is going to be a bit of a doozy. The midterm elections next fall are likely to make Biden a lame duck for his remaining two years as the number of people willing to vote for his party is likely to be exceeded by the number of those wanting to give Biden another colonoscopy.

Against this backdrop, it becomes obvious why Biden was visibly eager to talk to Putin and even raised his hands in a teleconference hug, for here is a national leader whose biggest national problem of late is a certain rogue parliamentarian (Rashkin of the Communists) who shot a moose without first obtaining a hunting license. Never mind that Putin referred to his teleconference with Biden as a “protocol event” and spoke the words “Mr. Biden” with an even mixture of exasperation and resignation. It was all in a day’s work for Putin, and so you should probably find something else to worry about because World War III over the Ukraine is off the table. There is no grand finale for America to look forward to; just lots of pain, and then, of course… collapse.


Please support my efforts at https://patreon.com/orlov or https://subscribestar.com/orlov.

Sitrep: This morning in Maria’s office …

December 05, 2021

Posted by Amarynth

Maria Zakharova, I mean, or did I mean Maria Z Kalashnikov?

The NATOstan Clown Show

November 29, 2021

Flags wave ahead of a NATO Defence Ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol – RC28EQ9178EG

The charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Source

Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

By Pepe Escobar,

American hysteria over the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine has exploded every geopolitical Stupid-o-Meter in sight – and that’s quite an accomplishment.

What a mess. Sections of the U.S. Deep State are in open revolt against the combo that remote controls Crash Test Dummy, who impersonates POTUS. The neocon-neoliberal axis is itching for a war – but has no idea how to sell it to an immensely fractured public opinion.

UKUS, which de facto controls the Five Eyes spy scam, excels only in propaganda. So in the end it’s up to the CIA/MI6 intel axis and their vast network of media chihuahuas to accelerate Fear and Loathing ad infinitum.

Russophobic U.S. Think Tankland would very much cherish a Russian “invasion”, out of the blue, and could not give a damn about the inevitable trouncing of Ukraine. The problem is the White House – and the Pentagon – must “intervene”, forcefully; otherwise that will represent a catastrophic loss of “credibility” for the Empire.

So what do these people want? They want to provoke Moscow by all means available to exercise “Russian aggression”, resulting in a lightning fast war that will be a highway to hell for Ukraine, but with zero casualties for NATO and the Pentagon.

Then the Empire of Chaos will blame Russia; unleash a tsunami of fresh sanctions, especially financial; and try to shut off all economic links between Russia and NATOstan.

Reality dictates that none of the above is going to happen.

All exponents of Russian leadership, starting with President Putin, have already made it clear, over and over again, what happens if the Ukro-dementials start a blitzkrieg over Donbass: Ukraine will be mercilessly smashed – and that applies not only to the ethno-fascist gang in Kiev. Ukraine will cease to exist as a state.

Defense Minister Shoigu, for his part, has staged all manner of not exactly soft persuasion, featuring Tu-22M3 bombers or Tu-160 White Swan bombers.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has conclusively explained, over and over again, that “NATO doesn’t have forces not only to ‘counter-act’ anything Russia does but even if it wanted to it still has no means to fight a war with Russia.”

Martyanov notes, “there is nothing in the U.S. arsenal now and in the foreseeable future which can intercept Mach=9-10+, let alone M=20-27, targets. That’s the issue. Same analytical method applies to a situation in 404. The only thing U.S. (NATO) can hope for is to somehow provoke Russia into the invasion of this shithole of a country and then get all SIGINT it can once Russia’s C4ISR gets into full combat mode.”

Translation: anything the Empire of Chaos and its NATO subsidiary try in Donbass, directly or indirectly, the humiliation will make the Afghanistan “withdrawal” look like a House of Gucci dinner party.

No one should expect clueless NATO puppets – starting with secretary-general Stoltenberg – to understand the military stakes. After all, these are the same puppets who have been building up a situation which might ultimately leave Moscow with a single, stark choice: be ready to fight a full scale hot war in Europe – which could become nuclear in a flash. And ready they are.

It’s all about Minsk

In a parallel reality, “meddling in 404” – a delightful Martyanov reference to a hellhole that is little more than a computer error – is a totally different story. That perfectly fits American juvenilia ethos.

At least some of the adults in selected rooms are talking. The CIA’s Burns went to Moscow to try to extract some assurance that in the event NATO Special Forces were caught in the cauldrons – Debaltsevo 2015-style – that the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, with Russian help, will concoct, they would be allowed to escape.

His interlocutor, Patrushev, told Burns – diplomatically – to get lost.

Chief of the General Staff, Gen Valery Gerasimov, had a phone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, ostensibly to ensure, in Pentagonese, “risk-reduction and operational de-confliction”. No substantial details were leaked.

It remains to be seen how this “de-confliction” will happen in practice when Defense Minister Shoigu revealed U.S. nuclear-capable bombers have been practicing, in their sorties across Eastern Europe, “their ability to use nuclear weapons against Russia”. Shoigu discussed that in detail with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe: after all the Americans will certainly pull the same stunt against China.

The root cause of all this drama is stark: Kiev simply refuses to respect the February 2015 Minsk Agreement.

In a nutshell, the deal stipulated that Kiev should grant autonomy to Donbass via a constitutional amendment, referred to as “special status”; issue a general amnesty; and start a dialogue with the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Over the years, Kiev fulfilled exactly zero commitments – while the proverbial NATOstan media machine incessantly pounded global opinion with fake news, spinning that Russia was violating Minsk. Russia is not even mentioned in the agreement.

Moscow in fact always respected the Minsk Agreement – which translates as regarding Donbass as an integral, autonomous part of Ukraine. Moscow has zero interest in promoting regime change in Kiev.

This charade has come to a point that – diplomatically – is quite unprecedented: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lost his Taoist patience.

Lavrov was forced, under the circumstances, to publish 28 pages of correspondence between Moscow on one hand, and Berlin and Paris on the other, evolving around the preparation of a high-level meeting on Ukraine.

Moscow was in fact calling for one of the central points of the agreement to be implemented: a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donbass. Berlin and Paris said this was unacceptable. So yes: both, for all practical purposes, destroyed the Minsk Agreement. Public opinion across NATOstan has no idea whatsoever this actually happened.

Lavrov did not mince his words: “I am sure that you understand the necessity of this unconventional step, because it is a matter of conveying to the world community the truth about who is fulfilling, and how, the obligations under international law that have been agreed at the highest level.”

So it’s no wonder that the leadership in Moscow concluded it’s an absolute waste of time to talk to Berlin and Paris about Ukraine: they lied, cheated – and then blamed Russia. This “decision” at the EU level faithfully mirrors NATO’s campaign of stoking the flames of imminent “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Armchair warriors, unite!

Across NATOstan, the trademark stupidity of U.S. Think Tankland rules unabated, congregating countless acolytes spewing out the talking points of choice: “relentless Russian subversion”, “thug” Putin “intimidation” of Ukraine, Russians as “predators”, and everything now coupled with “power-hungry China’s war on Western values.”

Some Brit hack, in a twisted way, actually managed to sum up the overall impotence – and insignificance – by painting Europe as a victim, “a beleaguered democratic island in an anarchic world, which a rising tide of authoritarianism, impunity and international rule-breaking threatens to inundate”.

The answer by NATOstan Defense Ministers is to come up with a Strategic Compass – essentially an anti-Russia-China scam – complete with “rapid deployment forces”. Led by who, General Macron?

As it stands, poor NATOstan is uncontrollably sobbing, accusing those Russian hooligans – scary monsters, to quote David Bowie – of staging an anti-satellite missile test and thus “scorning European safety concerns”.

Something must have got lost in translation. So here’s what happened: Russia conclusively demonstrated it’s capable of obliterating each and every one of NATO’s satellites and blind “all their missiles, planes and ships, not to mention ground forces” in case they decide to materialize their warmongering ideas.

Obviously those deaf, dumb and blind NATOstan armchair warrior clowns – fresh from their Afghan “performance” – won’t get the message. But NATOstan anyway was never accused of being partial to reality.

Theater of Absurd… Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops on Russian Soil

November 19, 2021

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

The United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin this week performed impressive, albeit pathetic, mental gymnastics. In a press conference, the Pentagon chief called on Russia to be more transparent about troop movements “on the border with Ukraine”. In others words, on Russian soil.

Meanwhile, the absurd hypocrisy sees U.S. and NATO forces brazenly escalating their offensive presence on Russia’s borders, especially in the Black Sea region.

Here’s an Associated Press clip on the Pentagon press conference: “American officials are unsure why Russian President Vladimir Putin is building up military forces near the border with eastern Ukraine but view it as another example of troubling military moves that demand Moscow’s explanation, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Wednesday.”

The report quotes Austin as saying: “We’ll continue to call on Russia to act responsibly and be more transparent on the buildup of the forces around on the border of Ukraine… We’re not sure exactly what Mr Putin is up to.”

This dubious talent for mind-bending mental gymnastics and double-think is shared with other members of the Biden administration. Last week, America’s top diplomat Antony Blinken claimed that Russia was about to invade Ukraine yet at the same time the U.S. Secretary of State confessed similar ignorance about what “Putin is up to”.

How is it possible to engage in meaningful dialogue with such vacuous people who are supposed to be government leaders – and leaders too of the self-declared world’s most powerful, most brilliant nation? No undue offense intended, but it would probably be more productive to engage in a dialogue with the bewildering characters from Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot.

Russia has repeatedly dismissed all claims about it threatening Ukraine or any other country with invasion. Moscow also disputes “unreliable” information touted by the Biden administration and Western media of troop buildup near Ukraine on its western flank. Western media reports have relied on dodgy commercial satellite data purporting to show Russian military maneuvers. It is contemptible that senior U.S. government figures are basing grave allegations against Russia on such ropy sources. That in itself speaks volumes about the deterioration in Washington’s diplomatic professionalism and political intelligence.

Secondly, the salient fact being missed in all the hullabaloo is this: Russian troops and equipment are on Russia’s sovereign territory. It is the height of absurdity for U.S. officials to demand that Russia “explain” and be “more transparent” about its own national defenses. That speaks of a hyper-arrogance among American politicians that are deforming their ability to think reasonably.

There is an analogy here with the outcry this week over Russia’s successful missile test against a Soviet-era satellite in orbit. The Biden administration condemned Russia for creating “space junk” and weaponizing space while ignoring the fact that the U.S. previously carried out the same kind of missile strike and, arguably has been trying to weaponize space since the Reagan administration’s “star wars” program during the 1980s.

In any case, the U.S. charges of Russia’s military buildup on its own territory are made all the more ridiculous when we consider the actual increase in NATO forces in Ukraine and the Black Sea region – right on Russia’s western doorstep.

In a major speech this week delivered at the Russian foreign ministry, President Putin noted again how Western powers have continually failed to register Moscow’s national security concerns over the expansion of NATO forces along Russia’s borders. He described this inability for cognition of what should be an obvious grievance as “very peculiar”.

The Kremlin has suggested that the increasing NATO offensive presence near Russia’s borders is not due to stupidity, but rather is aimed at provoking a conflict. Russia is strenuously resisting the danger of an armed confrontation, and yet the provocations continue.

Nearly two weeks ago, William Burns, the head of the CIA made a high-profile visit to Moscow during which he held discussions with senior Kremlin figures, including President Putin. We can safely assume that Burns was told in no uncertain terms that the buildup of U.S. and NATO forces near Russia’s territory is a red line that will presage a response from Russia.

But these red lines continue to be skirted by Washington and its NATO allies.

More perplexing, too, are the moves by the U.S.-backed Kiev regime to escalate the conflict in Ukraine against the ethnic Russian population in the separatist Donbas region. The ultranationalist regime has been waging a low-intensity war against the Donbas since the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. The Americans and other NATO powers are increasing weapon supplies and military trainers to the regime, emboldening it to repudiate any peaceful settlement of the eight-year conflict.

Only last month, Pentagon chief Austin was in Kiev where he recklessly endorsed the joining of the NATO bloc by Ukraine. That is in spite of numerous warnings from Moscow that such a move would be an unacceptable destabilization.

The stepped-up war drills by NATO in the Black Sea region are inevitably leading the Kiev regime to resile from legally binding commitments to the Minsk Peace accord of 2015 – brokered by Russia, Germany and France. The release this week of diplomatic communications by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov clearly demonstrates that Germany and France are complicit in turning a blind eye to the Kiev regime’s systematic violation of the Minsk deal.

In this context, Russia is justifiably deeply wary of a confrontation exploding out of the tinderbox conditions in Ukraine and the Black Sea. Given the Russian nation’s tragic history of suffering from past military invasions, it is entirely understandable and indeed vitally prudent that the country’s formidable defenses are on high alert.

It is not for Russia to explain its troops. It is for the United States and its NATO partners to account for their wanton aggression and to desist.

There is something of the theater of absurd in American and European posturing. But it’s far from funny. It’s menacingly deranged.

Russian options in a world headed for war

November 18, 2021

Russian options in a world headed for war

The world is headed for war and has been headed that way for quite a while now.  Several times, just at the brink, the West decided to pull back, but each time it did that its ruling elites felt two things: first, the felt even more hatred for Russia for forcing them to back down and, second, they interpreted the fact that no shooting war happened (yet) as the evidence, at least in their minds, that standing on the brink of war is a pretty safe exercise.  And yet, a major shooting war is quite possible in any of the following locations, or even in several simultaneously: (in no specific order)

  1. US-China war over Taiwan
  2. AngloZionist attack on Iran
  3. A war involving the 3B+PU against Belarus
  4. A war between the Ukraine and the LDNR+Russia
  5. A NATO-Russian war in the Black Sea region
  6. A resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan

As we can see, all of these potential wars could potentially involve Russia, either directly (3,4,5) or indirectly (1,2,6).

Today, I want to look at Russian options in the direct involvement cluster of wars 3, 4 and 5.

The first thing which I think is important to note here is that while the Ukraine has no prospects of becoming a NATO member country, some NATO member states have already taken the following steps to turn the Ukraine into a de facto NATO protectorate:

  1. Full and unconditional political support for the Nazi regime in Kiev and any of its actions
  2. Minimal economic support, just enough to keep the Nazis in power
  3. Minimal delivery of weapons for the Ukronazi forces
  4. Deployment of small NATO contingents inside the Ukraine
  5. Lot’s of Kabuki theater about “we will stand with you forever and no matter what

I have already discussed the 5th point here, so I won’t repeat it all here.  The important point in the list above in #4, the deployment of a small force of UK, Swedish, French, US and other NATO units into the Ukraine.  Such small forward deployed forces are referred to “tripwire forces” whose mission is to heroically die thereby triggering an automatic (at least in theory) involvement of their country of origin into the war.

Before going any further, I think I want to share with you a list of axiomatic facts:

  1. Russia cannot be defeated militarily by any combination of forces.  For the first time in centuries, Russia is not playing “catching up” with her western foes, but is actually ahead with both her conventional and her nuclear forces.  The Russian advantage is especially striking in her conventional strategic deterrence capabilities.
  2. The West, whose leaders are quite aware of this fact, does not want an open shooting war with Russia.
  3. The 3B+PU block wants a war at all costs, both for internal and for external political reasons.
  4. In a war against the Ukraine, Russia will have several counter-strike options in which she would not need to drive even a single tank across the border

The first three are rather uncontroversial, so let’s look at the 4th point a little closer.  Let’s begin by looking at Russian counter-attack options against the Ukraine.  Roughly summarized, here are what I see as the main possible options for a Russian counter-attack against the Ukraine:

  1. Protecting the LDNR in its current borders (line of contact) by a combination of a no-fly zone, missile strikes against Ukie C3I, the use of EW to disorganize the Ukie forces and very targeted strikes (from inside Russia) against key HQs, ammo/POL dumps, etc.
  2. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
  3. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor towards the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area.
  4. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor in the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area and then the liberation of the Ukainian coast along the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa axis.
  5. The liberation of all the lands east left bank of the Dniepr river (including the cities of Kharkov, Poltava, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie and others).
  6. The liberation of the entire Ukraine

In purely military terms, these are all doable options.  But looking at this issue from a purely military point of view is highly misleading.  But first, about the NATO tripwire force.

US/NATO commanders are not too bright, but they are smart enough to understand that in case of a Russian counter attack these forces would be wiped out, thereby potentially involving all of NATO in what could potentially be a huge, continental war.  That is not what they want.

So the real purpose of this tripwire forces would be to create a powerful enough anti-Russian hysteria to transform the (currently disorganized and deeply dysfunctional) West into a single, united, anti-Russian block.  In other words, this tripwire force presents a political challenge to the Kremlin, not a military one.  This being said, we need to look a a number of absolutely crucial non-military factors.

  1. Whatever territory Russia liberates from the Nazi forces she will have to rebuilt economically, protect militarily and reorganize politically.  The more territory Russia liberates, the most acute these pressures will become.
  2. It has been 30 years already since the Ukraine set a course on becoming an anti-Russia, and there is now an entire generation of thoroughly brainwashed Ukrainians who really believe in what the Ukronazi media and “democracy” or “civil society” promoting propaganda outlets have been telling them.  The fact that many of them speak better Russian than Ukrainian does not change fact that in the least.  While the Ukies cannot stop the Russian military, they sure can organize and sustain an anti-Russian insurgency which Russia would have to suppress.
  3. Economically, the Ukraine is a black hole: you can throw whatever you want at it, in any amounts, and everything will simply disappear.  The notion of “economic aid to the Ukraine” is simply laughable.
  4. The Ukraine is an artificial entity which never was, and ever will be, viable, at least not in her current borders.

For these reasons I submit that it would be extremely dangerous for Russia to bite-off more than she can chew.  As the best (by far) political analyst of the Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko, said in an interview last week: “Putin cannot save the Ukraine, but he sure can ruin Russia [if he tries]” – and I totally concur with him.

Whatever legal pretense can be wrapped around a Russian liberation of the Ukraine, the reality is that whatever land Russia does liberate, she will then own and have to administer.

Why would Russia want to reimpose law and order inside a black hole?

Then there is this: while historically Ukrainian are nothing but “Russians under Polish occupation”, the past 30 years have created a new, very different nation.  In fact, I submit that we have witnessed a true ethnogenesis, the birth of a new nation whose very identity is russophobic at its core.  Yes, they speak Russian better than Ukrainian, but speaking the language of your enemy did not prevent the IRA, ETA or the Ustashe from hating that enemy and fighting him for decades.  In many ways, the modern Ukrainians are not only are non-Russians, they are anti-Russians par excellence: I think of them as Poles, with vyshivankas instead of feathers.

Crimea was solidly pro-Russian in all its history.  The Donbass was initially rather happy to form part of the Ukraine, even in the early post-Maidan period when protests were organized under Ukrainian flags.  Those flags were later traded for LDNR/Russian flags, but only after Kiev launched a military operation against the Donbass.  And the further you go west, the clearer this distinction is.  As one LDNR commander once put it, “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seeing as occupiers“.

The crucial point here is this: it does not matter what you, or I, or anybody else thinks about the constituent parts of the new Ukie national identity, we can laugh about it all we want, but as long as they take it seriously, and enough of them do, then this is a reality we cannot simply overlook or wish away.

The other point which is often overlooked is this: the Ukronazi Banderastan has already mostly collapsed.  Yes, in central Kiev things look more or less normal, but all the reports from the rest of the country point to the same reality: the Ukraine is already a failed state, totally de-industrialized, where chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are total.  The same is becoming true even for Kiev suburbs.

When I observe at how slow the Russian efforts to reorganize (really, fix) Crimea are, by no fault of the Russians, by the way, I recoil in horror at the thought of what it would take for Russia to re-civilize and re-develop ANY liberated part of the Ukraine.

Russia is typically compared to a bear, and that is a very good metaphor on many levels.  But in the case of the Ukraine, I see Russia like a snake and the Ukraine like a hog: the snake can easily kill that hog (by venom or by constriction), but that snake cannot absorb that dead hog, it is just too big for it.

But here is the single most important fact about this entire situation: the Ukie Banderastan is dying, most of its body is already necrotic, so there is absolutely no need for the Russian snake to do anything about it at all (other than retreating into a corner ready to strike, in a coiled position, and loudly hiss: “attack me and you are dead!“.  Putin already said that much.

Still, what if?  What if the Nazis, egged on by their “democratic” patrons, do launch an attack?  At that point Russia will have no other option but to strike, using her standoff weapons (missiles, artillery, long range cruise missiles, etc.).  Since we can safely assume that the Russians have been rehearsing exactly such a counter-strike we can expect it to be swift and devastating.  Targets list will include: advancing Ukie forces, airbases and any aircraft (manned or not) taking off, any Ukie boat approaching the area of operations, communication nodes, supply dumps, roads, bridges, fortified positions, etc.  That is a lot of targets to be hit at once, but hitting them at once is also the safest and most effective method to quickly achieve the immediate goal of stopping any possible Ukie advance on the LDNR.  This initial phase would last under 24 hours.

[Sidebar: modern warfare is not WWII, you won’t see thousands of tanks and a clear frontline but, rather, you will see strikes throughout the strategic depth of the enemy side, intense maneuver by fire and the use of battalion tactical groups]

Should that happen, it is likely that NATO forces would move into the western Ukraine, not to “protect” it from a Russian attack which will never come, but to break off as much of the Ukraine as possible and take it under control.  The pretext for such a NATO move would be the destruction (partial or full) of the tripwire force.  NATO might also declare its own no-fly zone over the western Ukraine, which the Russians will have no need to challenge.  Finally, the West will happily unite against Russia, and sever all economic, diplomatic and other ties to “isolate and punish Russia”.  Let’s not kid ourselves, this would hurt the Russian economy, but not in a manner sufficient to break the Russian will.

Then will come the big question: how far should Russia go?

I am confident that this has already been decided, and I am equally confident that Russia will not follow the options 4, 5 and 6 above.  Option 1 is a given, we can take that to the bank (unless the LDNR forces alone are enough to stop a Ukie attack).  Which leaves options 2 and 3 as “possibles”.

So here I want to suggest another option, what I would call the “southern route”: while the line of contact between the LDNR and Banderastan can be pushed somewhat further west, I do not think that Russian forces shuold liberate any of major cities in the central Ukraine (Kharkov, Poltava, Dneipropetrivsk, Zaporozhie, ).  Instead, I think that they ought to envelop these forces by a move along the coast as far as all of Crimea (up to Perekop) and maybe even up to, but not into, the city of Kherson.  Of course, in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to bring a large enough force into the Voronezh-Kursk-Belgorod triangle to force the Ukrainians to allocate forces to their northeast.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet could also conduct operations all along the Ukrainian coast, including near Nikolaev-Odessa to force the Ukies to allocate forces to coastal defenses, thereby easing the load on the Russian forces moving towards Kherson.

[Sidebar: let’s be clear here, the LDNR forces along cannot conduct such a deep operation without risking envelopment and destruction.  That operation can only be executed at a relatively low cost by the Russian armed forces, including the Black Sea Fleet]

In such a scenario, Belarus could turn into a “silent threat from the north” which would further forces the Ukies to allocate forces to their northern borders, making the latter feel like they are being enveloped in strategic pincers.

What about Odessa?

Odessa is a unique city in many ways, and is population is generally pro-Russian.  It is also a city which would have a tremendous economic potential if managed by sane people.  However, Odessa is also a symbolic city for the Nazis, and they have placed a great deal of effort into controlling it.  Thus, Odessa is one of the few cities in the Nazi occupied Ukraine which could rise up against their occupier, especially while the Russian forces move along the coast towards it.  Here is where Russia could, and should, get involved, but not by taking the city WWII style, but by backing and supporting pro-Russian organizations in Odessa (primarily by using her special forces and, when needed, the firepower of the Black Sea Fleet).

What would the outcome of such a war look like?

One the down side, the West would unite in its traditional hatred for Russia, and economically Russia would hurt.  That is not irrelevant but, I submit, this scenario is already in the making and even if Russia does absolutely nothing.  Hence, this inevitable reality ought to be accepted by Russia as a condition sine qua non for her survival as a sovereign nation.

In military terms, the Poles and their Anglo masters would probably “protectively liberate” the western Ukraine (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk).  So what?  Let them!  There is no penalty for Russia from this.  Besides, the hardcore Ukronazis will then have to deal with their former Polish masters now fully back in control – let them fully “enjoy” each other 🙂

What about the rump Banderastan (we are talking about the central Ukraine here)?? It would end up being in even a worse shape than it is today, but Russia would not have to pay the bills for this mess.  Sooner or later, an insurrection or civil war would take place, which would pit one brand of Ukies against another, and should either one of them turn towards Russia or the liberated parts of the Ukraine, Russia could simply use her standoff weapons to quickly discourage any such attempts.

So how close are we to war?

Short answer: very.  Just listen to this recent press conference by Lavrov.  And its not only Lavrov, a lot of savvy political commentators and analysts in Russia are basically saying that the issue is not “if” but “when” and, therefore, “how”.  I think that the straw that broke the Russia’s patience’s camel back is the suicidal way in which the real (historical) Europeans have allowed the 3B+PU to set the agenda for the UE and NATO.  Oh sure, if NS2 goes ahead, as it still probably will, the Russians will be happy to sell energy to Europe.  But in terms of agency, the only power Russia is willing to talk to is the United States, as witnessed by the recent visits of Nuland and Burns to Moscow.  Let’s make one thing very very clear here:

Russia does not want war.  In fact, Russia will do everything in her power to avoid a war.  If a war cannot be avoided, Russia will delay the onset of that war as far into the future as possible.  And if that means talking to folks like Nuland or Burns, then that is something the Russians will gladly do.  And they are absolutely right in that stance (not talking to the enemy is a western mental disorder, not a Russian one).

As I have been saying for almost 2 years now, the Empire is already dead.  The USA as we knew them died on January 6th.  But the post Jan 6th USA still exists and, unlike the Europeans, the US ruling classes still have agency.  Just look at clowns like Stoltenberg, Borrell, Morawiecki or Maas: these are all petty bureaucrats, office plankton of you wish, which might have the skills to run a car rental agency, maybe a motel, but not real leaders that anybody in the Kremlin will take seriously.  You can hate Nuland or Burns all you want, but these are serious, dangerous folks, and that is why Russia is willing talk to them, especially when the request for such negotiations have been made by the US side (the Russians can’t really talk to clowns like Biden or Austin, which are just PR figures).

One thing needs mentioning here: the people of the rump-Banderastan and what will happen to them.

Actually, I think that the Ukraine is totally and terminally unsalvageable and the only good plan for anybody still living there is to do what millions of Ukrainians have already done: pack and leave.  Since most of the unskilled Ukrainian labor force lived in the western regions of the Ukraine, they will naturally prefer moving to the EU to work as cabbies, plumbers, maids and prostitutes.  Likewise, since most of the skilled Ukrainian work force comes from the southern and the eastern Ukraine, they will either be content with being liberated by Russia or they will move to Russia to work as engineers, medical doctors, IT specialists or even construction workers.  Russia has a need for such culturally close and qualified work force and getting jobs (and passports) for them will be a no brainer for the Kremlin.  True, what will be left of this post-Banderastan Ukraine won’t be a pretty sight: a poor, corrupt, country whose people will struggle to survive with lots of silly political ideas floated around.  But that won’t be Russia’s problem anyway while the main threat to Russia, a united Banderastan becoming a NATO training polygon right across the Russian border, will simply evaporate, dying on its own toxic emissions.  And if more Ukrainians want to move to Russia (or the free Ukraine), then the LDNR and Russian authorities will be able to decide on a case by case “do we wants these folks here or not?“.  Those Ukrainians who have remain real Ukrainians will be welcome in Russia while the Ukronazis will be denied entry and arrested if they still try.

Addendum: the two powers with imperial phantom pains and dreams of war

I am, of course, talking about the UK and Poland, two minor actors who compensate for their very limited actual abilities with a never-ending flow of vociferous declarations.  Mostly, they are just “playing empire”.  Both of these countries know exactly that they once were real empires and why they are pretty irrelevant today – they blame much of their own decay on Russia and hence their dream is to see Russia, if not defeated, then at least given a bloody nose.  And, of course, standing on the shoulders of the USA, both of these countries think of themselves as giants: they sure act the part very great gravitas and pomp.

Finally, their leadership is degenerate enough (inferiority complex compensated by a narcissism run amok) to lack even the basic common sense of wondering whether poking the Russia bear is a good idea or not.  More than any other NATO members, these yapping countries need a good smackdown to bring them back to reality.  Whether this smackdown will come in the form of some incident in the Ukraine or whether that will happen elsewhere is impossible to predict, but one thing is sure: the UK and Poland are (yet again!) the two countries which want, I would even say, need, a war with Russia more than anybody else (example one, example two).  I find it therefore rather likely that, sooner or later, Russia will have to either sink a UK/Polish ship or shoot down a/several UK/Polish aircraft which will show to the world, including the Brits and the Poles, that neither the US, nor NATO nor anybody else is seriously going to go to war with Russia over the Empire’s underlings.  Yes, there will be tensions, possibly even local clashes, and tons and tons of threatening verbiage, but nobody wants to die for these two hyenas of Europe (Churchill forgot to mention one), and nobody ever will.

Conclusion: war on the horizon

Right now, we are already deep inside a pre-war period and, like a person skating on thin ice, we wonder if the ice will break and, if it does, where that will happen.  Simply put, the Russians have two options:

  • A verbal push back
  • A physical push back

They have been trying the former as best they can to do the first for at least 7 years if not more.  Putin did trade space for time, and that was the correct decision considering the state of the Russian armed forces before, roughly, 2018.  Trump’s election was also God-sent for Russia because while Orange Man did threaten the planet left and right, he did not start a full-scale war against Russia (or, for that matter, Iran, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK).  By late 2021, however, Russia has retreated as far as she could.  The good news now is that Russia has the most modern and capable military on the planet, while the West is very busy committing political, cultural and economic suicide.

According to US analysts, by 2025 the USA won’t be able to win a war against China.  Frankly, I think that this ship has already sailed a long time ago, but that semi-admission is a desperate attempt to create the political climate to circle the wagons before China officially becomes the second nation the USA cannot defeat, the first one being, obviously, Russia (I would even include Iran and the DPRK is that list).  Hence all the current Anglo posturing in the Black Sea (which is even far more dangerous for US/NATO ships than the China Seas) is just that: posturing.  The main risk here is that I am not at all convinced by the notion that “Biden” can rein in the Brits or the Poles, especially since the latter are both NATO members who would sincerely expect NATO to protect them (they should ask Erdogan about that).  But, of course, there really is no such thing as “NATO”: all there is the US and its vassal states in Europe.  Should the two wannabe empires trigger a real, shooting war, all it would take is a single Russian conventional missile strike somewhere deep inside the continental USA (even in a desert location) to convince the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA “get with the program” and seek a negotiated solution, leaving the Brits and the Poles utterly disgusted and looking foolish.  I don’t think anything else can bring those two countries back to a sense of reality.

So yes, the war is coming, and the only thing which can prevent it would be some kind of deal between Russia and the USA.  Will that happen?  Alas, I don’t see any US President making such a deal, since however is in power is accused by the other party of “weakness”, “being a Russian asset” and all the rest of the flagwaving claptrap coming out of all the US politicians, especially in Congress.  One possibly mitigating factor is that the US politicians are also dead set on confrontation with China, including during the upcoming Olympic games, and if these tensions continue to escalate, then the US will want Russia to at least not represent a direct threat to US interests in Europe and the Pacific.  So maybe Putin and Xi can play this one together, making sure that with each passing day Uncle Shmuel gets even weaker while Russia and China get even stronger.  Maybe that strategy could avoid a war, at least a big one.  But when listen to the verbiage coming out of the UK+3B+PU, I have very little hope that the nutcases in Europe can be talked down from the edge of the precipice.

Andrei

Why I see a war in the Donbass as (almost) inevitable

October 29, 2021

Why I see a war in the Donbass as (almost) inevitable

First, I want to present the parties to the conflict and describe their intermediate objectives and final goals

EntityIntermediate objectiveGoal
The USA+UK+3B+PForce Russia to openly interveneRecover total control of Europe
The EU (mostly northern)Force Russia to openly interveneDeflect blame from its own leaders and failures
The Nazi regime in KievForce Russia to openly interveneCut-off the disloyal eastern Ukraine and retain political control of the rest of the country
The LDNRSurvive until Russia intervenesIntegrate with Russia
RussiaPrevent any escalationPartition the Ukraine

The first thing we notice is that three of the main actors (USA+UK+3B+P+EU+U) want to force Russia to intervene.  Why? Because as I have written a million times already, the goal is not to defeat Russia militarily, the goal is to defeat Russia politically.  Any Russian intervention will be used by the Anglos to “prove” that “NATO is vital for European security” and for the 3B+PU gang to prove its utility to their Anglo masters.

As for the Nazi regime in Kiev, it main goal is to survive, blame the destruction of the Ukraine on Russia and to get rid of disloyal territories.  The fact that these eastern Ukrainian territories would be liberated and/or recognized by Russia would allow the Ukronazis to declare an eternal state of emergency, destroy whatever little is left from the opposition by calling them “traitors/collaborators” and to blame any internal problems on Russia.

For the LDNR things are much simpler, in a stark way: they need to be capable of surviving long enough until Russia is forced to intervene.

Now let’s look at what the outcomes the main parties want to avoid:

EntityWhat to avoidWhy
The USA+UK+3B+PAn open war with RussiaUnwinnable and potentially suicidal
The EU (mostly northern)An open war with RussiaUnwinnable and potentially suicidal
The Nazi regime in KievLDNR survival without a Russian interventionPolitically suicidal
The LDNRA quick Ukronazi breakthrough their linesIt would be a bloodbath
RussiaAn open war with the USTaking control over much/must of the UkraineUnwinnable and potentially suicidalEconomically suicidal

Now we can look at what “tools” each side has

Entity“Tools”Desired effect
The USA+UK+3B+PProvide weapons and PR supportEncourage the Ukronazis to escalate
The EU (mostly northern)Provide weapons and PR supportEncourage the Ukronazis to escalate
The Nazi regime in KievEscalateForce Russia to intervene
The LDNRSurvive until Russia intervenesIntegrate with Russia
RussiaDelay any open intervention for as long as possibleIntegrate with only the eastern Ukraine

It is absolutely crucial to keep the following things in mind:

  • Neither the Ukronazis nor their bosses in the West believe for even half a second that the Ukraine can win militarily.  They all *know* that the LDNR+Russia will win any military confrontation, and it is their goal to secure a bloody Ukrainian defeat.
  • The main target of the current strategic PSYOP are not the Russians, but the Ukrainian people: by telling them that a) you now have super dooper Wunderwaffen and b) we got your back, the West wants to convince the Ukrainians that they are safe from an outcome like 08.08.08.
  • The Russians *know* that this is a trap.  The problem is that with every passing month the Ukraine acquires more and more capabilities to, no, not defeat Russia, but to force Russia to take the bait.  Remember their idiotic attempt at forcing their way under the Crimean Bridge?  Well, this entire Bayraktar thing (whatever this really was) is exactly the same, but unlike the Ukie Navy which does not exist, there are between 6-12 (depending on sources) Bayraktars available to the Ukraine, with a range of 150km and a weapons range of 8km.  If and when future Bayraktars eventually fail, as they will, then the Ukies could use even outdated cruise of tactical-operational missiles.  In other word, and only in this sense, time is on the Ukie side: the more the West provides them with toys to provoke (as opposed to win), the worse the internal situation, the more incentive they have to do something really provocative.

In the last couple of days, I advocated for a no-fly zone over the LDNR.  I still do.  But I need to clarify the following:

Any Russian no-fly zone over the LDNR will be used by the West to send Ukies in harms way, thereby, again, to escalate the conflict.  Yes, a no-fly zone would buy Russia more time, but does she still need more time and, if yes, how much?

I don’t think so.  Yes, between 2013 and 2021 Russia vitally needed time to prepare for any contingency.  But now I think that any further delays would be counter-productive: it will make Russia look weak and hesitant and providing no objective benefits (not military not political).  Militarily, economically and politically, Russia is now stronger than she ever was in a very long time.

Frankly, the entire Ukrainian issue is just the tip of a much bigger political iceberg: it appears that, once again, the united West needs to get a brutal smackdown (political and military) from Russia.  I want to illustrate the Russian approach with the following personal recollection:

Many years ago, in 1993, I spent a entire night talking to two officers of a special forces unit whose main mission was to protect Russian nuclear weapons not by passive, static, defenses, but by proactive counter-infiltration methods: they would not stand guard around the weapons, but they would do what an attacker would do: hide in its proximity and try to detect any intruder even before he got anywhere near the Russian nukes.  They mentioned their training and one of them said this: “yes, sure, we study martial arts, but for us to run around a hot room in a Karategi or in shorts (he was referring to the typical outfit Karate or MMA fighters wear) makes no sense.  Our terrain is the Taiga, thus we need to train fight, even hand to hand, in full winter combat gear with backpack, weapons, ammo, food, radios and more (50kg easily).  In this terrain, which only we are truly trained to survive, we can run circles around any super dooper western special forces intruders, we can watch them slowly die without even engaging them and then, when they will be too weak, exhausted and desperate to even move, we will come out and just spit at them, without even having to fire one bullet“.

1000 years of existential warfare have taught the Russians to take their time, even a long time, to wait until their enemy is at its weakest and you are at your strongest before engaging him.  But that approach has its potentially negative aspect: it won’t work against an enemy who was not send in to win, but who was sent in to lose.

If your enemy is dead set on losing, then you really have no choice other than the choice of how/when to defeat him.

Furthermore, the Ukies are not the enemy, they have no agency, the real enemy is the West and it is this collective West which Russia must defeat, not its Ukrainian cannon-fodder.

Even if the Russian succeed in, somehow, getting the Ukie back from the brink (which already happened twice in the past), this only guarantees that the next time around the Ukies will come up with an even more “provocative provocation”.  So why wait any further?

So the real battle is not for the LDNR or the Ukraine, it is a battle for the future of the European continent.  Russia needs to do what she did to Georgia in 08.08.08 not “just” to the Ukronazis in Kiev, but even more so to their patrons in the US and EU.  Yes, the Ukie military must be de-fanged, but in such a way which would force the EU leaders to come back to their senses and give up their current war (80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic) against Russia.

Every century or so, the rulers of Europe like to unite to take on Russia.  The past teaches them nothing because they are too narcissistic and too ideological to see that they are the ideological heir of Napoleon and Hitler (and many others before these two).

I don’t see any options left for the Kremlin but to “remind” these western ruling elites of how their previous attempts ended, and they need to do so not by words, or even by military exercises inside Russia, but by action, clear, unambiguous and observable actions.  Nothing short of that kind of action will bring the western ruling classes back to reality.

Andrei

PS: I have been listening/reading the Russian corporate/social media and there is A LOT of talk about “enough is enough”.  Interestingly, talk show hosts are also expressing their frustration with what they see as a non-existing response from the Kremlin.  With each Ukie provocation, the percentage of Russians who say “now that’s enough!” rises.  Might this be the explanation for the Kremlin’s lack of action?  Are they waiting until the percentage of Russian in favor of direct action reaches a certain level?

PPS: so far there STILL is no evidence whatsoever that the Ukies conducted a Bayraktar strike in the LDNR.

PPPS: Just to clarify, when I mean that Russia needs to act, I am not talking hours or days, but weeks and months.  But no more than that.

PPPPS: The Pentagon is now asking all EU colonies to sell lethal weapon systems to the Ukraine.

Related

Dmitry Medvedev: Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaningless

October 13, 2021

Dmitry Medvedev: Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaningless

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev addressed Kommersant with his new article, titled:

Five short polemical theses

Kindly note that this is a machine translation and we may edit for nuance as is necessary.  

1. Ukraine is in search of its own identity and a special path, composing its own separate history (although the same history teaches that this takes centuries). But Ukrainian leaders, especially top officials, are people who do not have any stable self-identification. Unhappy people. Who are they, what country are they citizens of, where are their roots, what is their historical identity, ethnic background, and what gods do they pray to? Who do they feel like? Are they “schiria” Ukrainians? “Europeans”? The Russians? Jews? Tatars? Hungarians? Karaites?

The current president of this tortured country is a man with certain ethnic roots, who has spoken Russian all his life. Moreover, he worked in Russia and received significant funds from Russian sources. Nevertheless, at some point, when he became the head of state, out of fear of getting another “Maidan” directed against his personal power, he completely changed his political and moral orientation. And in fact-he gave up his identity. He began to fervently serve the most rabid nationalist forces in Ukraine (which, admittedly, were always there, but made up only 5-7% of the active population).

One can only imagine how disgusting it was for him to perform such a moral “somersault-mortale”. This is reminiscent of the crazy situation when representatives of the Jewish intelligentsia in Nazi Germany would have applied for service in the SS for ideological reasons.

Of course, this situation causes a daily “cognitive dissonance” in his soul and actions. Moreover, you can not be sure that at some point when the political situation changes, they will not come for you to sew a yellow star on your back. He must endlessly maneuver between various forces: radical nationalists (“Nazis”, as they are commonly called there), the Muslim part of the population, primarily Tatars, moderate apolitical Ukrainians and Russians, representatives of other ethnic groups— so that his neck does not break. That is why there are bastard documents like the “law” on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine. That is why he shows himself to be a greater nationalist than the most radical of them.

He had to integrate into the “pantheon of heroes” of this part of Ukrainian society. Shout along with them: “Glory to the heroes!” Accept the unconditional authority of such scoundrels as “great Ukrainians”. Pray for the blessed memory of the terrorists and Judeophobes Bandera and Shukhevych, whose followers today call themselves a significant part of the political elite of Ukraine.

Everyone knows the mournful calendar of Bandera and policemen of that period: the summer of 1941, when after the capture of the city of Lviv by German army units, about 6 thousand people died in two of the largest Jewish pogroms. This is the extermination of Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Poles in the Yanova Valley, Podkamna. These are the White Church, Babi Yar and Volyn massacre.

And here is a quote from previously unpublished materials…

“A gang of murderers broke down doors and windows, broke into apartments, shot, cut and killed people with axes and knives — including young children, old men and women, after which the corpses were loaded onto carts, taken away and buried in pits. In order to hide their crimes, some families were burned in barns and burned corpses were buried in pits. All these terrible atrocities were accompanied by massive looting of property belonging to tortured families.”

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Documents from the Archive of the Russian Ministery of Defense

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He is clearly disgusted to indulge in these sentiments, the whole history of his life, the life of his family, revolts against such an abomination. A normal, decent person just wouldn’t be able to do it. But, alas, it is necessary. Otherwise, they’ll smear their brains on the walls. He is very afraid and does not like these people, but he is forced to preach their ideologies, defend their views that are repugnant to him. A man turned inside out.

How can you negotiate and negotiate with them in this situation?

No way.

2. Ukrainian leaders of the current generation are completely independent people . Much has already been said and written about this, including in a well-known article by Vladimir Putin. The country is under direct foreign administration. Moreover, this management is much tougher than the interaction of the USSR with individual socialist countries in a certain period. The USSR gave its geopolitical allies sufficient scope to shape their domestic policy, realizing that otherwise it could end in tragic events such as the Hungarian demonstrations in 1956 or the Prague Spring of 1968. Simple pragmatic logic. In Ukraine, the dependence is complete-from cash injections into their economy (handouts from the United States and the EU) to direct leadership of the Ukrainian special services (from their American patrons). But if the USSR needed good relations with the countries of the socialist camp and the Warsaw Pact (including for joint “building socialism”), then the United States does not need anything from Ukraine, except for confrontation with Russia, total containment of our country and the creation of what was aptly called “Anti-Russia”. This means that such an alliance is extremely fragile and will eventually crumble to dust. Hopes for membership in NATO and the European Union are also ephemeral, for obvious reasons. Ukraine itself has no value on the line of direct confrontation between Western forces (including potentially military ones) and our country. There are no fools to fight for Ukraine. And it’s pointless for us to deal with vassals. Business must be conducted with the overlord.

3. At the head of Ukraine are weak people who strive only to fill their pockets. Moreover, it is desirable, just in case, to save money in a foreign offshore company. We know many of them quite well. There was no leader who could sacrifice himself for the sake of Ukraine, and not try to monetize his stay in power, and it seems that he will not be yet. On the contrary, when it comes to making a profit, hatred of Russia and the desire to join the EU and NATO give way to selfish motives, when a Muscovite with money is an enemy, but his money is more important than hostility. I recall the words of one of my colleagues in the well-known “pre-Maidan” period. To my question: “why does namesake participate in the elections, he has no chance?” – the answer followed, which surprised me very much at the time: “Don’t you understand, this is the last opportunity for him to raise money from the election campaign.” Comments are unnecessary. Nothing has changed since then. Contacts with such weak people are unproductive. They will sell at any time for five kopecks.

4. The senselessness and even harmfulness of relations with the current leaders of Ukraine also lies in the fact that ignorant and unnecessary people are at the head of this country. They are constantly changing their position to please their overseas masters and the political situation. This is how they understand the art of diplomacy. Homegrown talleyrands. They sign the Minsk agreements, negotiate in the “Normandy format”, and then — after internal turmoil in the Rada, on the square or the Central Office from across the ocean-they turn their position in a completely different direction. Yes, compromises are possible in politics, sometimes some deviations from the established line, but not to the extent that the agreed approach changes to the diametrically opposite one. And we and our partners are constantly being lied to and evaded from our decisions. And it’s not about the specific name of a particular manager. This is the position of all Ukrainian negotiators, their line of conduct, modus operandi. Such” partners ” in international relations, who compete in constant lies, do not and cannot be trusted. This means that negotiations with them are absolutely meaningless.

5. Then the eternal and main question arises: what to do in this situation? But nothing. Wait for the appearance of a sane leadership in Ukraine, which is aimed not at total confrontation with Russia on the verge of war, not at organizing moronic “Crimean platforms” created to fool the country’s population and pump up its muscles before the elections, but at building equal and mutually beneficial relations with Russia. That’s only with such a leadership of Ukraine and it is worth dealing with. Russia knows how to wait. We are a patient people.

The Neo-Nazi Threat From The East

22 SEPTEMBER 2021

By Slavisha Batko Milacic

Source

The Neo-Nazi Threat From The East

In the course of the seven years of Ukraine’s “pro-Western turn” the local right-wingers, who already represented an organized force, were reinforced by veterans of the Donbass war, members of the country’s military and security forces.

Late this summer, Estonia, in the person of its president, Kersti Kaljulaid, became the first EU country to declare that Ukraine remains as far away from EU membership as it was after the “Revolution of Dignity” – the events of 2013-14 in Kiev, which toppled Ukraine’s vacillating pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Shortly after, the ambassador of Estonia’s neighbor, Latvia, in Ukraine, echoed Kaljulaid’s statement, although in a slightly softer form. This came as unpleasant news for the current authorities of Kiev, especially amid the celebration of Ukraine’s 30th independence anniversary and the “Crimean Forum,” which, according to President Zelensky’s plan, was supposed to rally international support for the country in its confrontation with Russia. However, during the past seven years, Ukraine has been a serious problem for the EU, which is becoming increasingly hard to solve.

Back in 2014, the Kremlin’s response to the overthrow of its ally, Yanukovych, was just as harsh as to the coming to power in Kiev of pro-Western elites. Without firing a single shot, Russia annexed Crimea, a major base for the Russian Black Fleet, and populated by a Russian-speaking majority, many of whom sincerely welcomed the region’s reunification with Russia. Meanwhile, a civil war broke out in Ukraine’s also Russian-speaking southeast where the local separatists were actively supported by Moscow. Europe then realized that it was now necessary to ramp up pressure on Russia and support the budding democratic transformations in Ukraine. However, the country’s successive pro-Western presidents, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky, who shared European values, have since failed to achieve any significant results in European integration. Moreover, they became enmeshed in US electoral scandals and the war of compromising evidence, and they do not create the impression of being independent figures. Moreover, they were consistently making one mistake after another. In two major battles with separatists near Debaltsevo and Ilovaisk in 2014-15, the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered a crushing defeat, despite the upsurge of patriotism backed by US and European support. The closure of the borders with Russia has divided families and left tens of thousands of people without jobs. An inept language policy and rabid nationalism split the Ukrainian nation, which had just begun to shape up, with wholesale corruption plunging the country into poverty.

In their clumsy effort to prove their adherence to European values, Petro Poroshenko, and after him Volodymyr Zelensky, both made clumsy attempts to prove their adherence to Western values, starting to prioritize the interests of the country’s LGBT community. As a result, gay people were given prominent positions in the country’s leadership, and the square outside the presidential palace became the venue of almost weekly gay pride parades. This open disregard for the conservative values of the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians led to an even greater split between the ruling elites and the nationalists, who are now at loggerheads with the Zelensky administration on many issues – another gigantic problem hindering Ukraine’s European integration.

The fact is that Ukrainian nationalism has old and very controversial roots. Starting out as fighters for independence, the Ukrainian right-wingers quickly joined the camp of Hitler’s admirers and committed a number of serious war crimes not only in Ukraine proper, but on the territory of neighboring Poland as well. Their heirs now honor Hitler and Ukrainian collaborationists, deny many crimes of Nazism and espouse anti-Semitic views that are unacceptable for Europe. Moreover, they do not see Russia as their only enemy, actively provoking conflicts with the Poles and accusing them of the “genocide of the Ukrainians” during the 1930s in the territories that until 1939 were part of the Polish state.

In the course of the seven years of Ukraine’s “pro-Western turn” the local right-wingers, who already represented an organized force, were reinforced by veterans of the Donbass war, members of the country’s military and security forces. They were long regarded by Washington as important allies in the fight against Russia, failing to see real neo-Nazis hiding under patriotic slogans. Now it is exactly these people, who are breaking up gay parades in Kiev and crippling LGBT activists. They feel no need for European values because they take much closer to heart the legacy of the Third Reich. Thanks to visa-free travel to Europe, they have become regulars, and often the striking force of neo-Nazi gatherings from Germany to Spain. They are ready to kill refugees from the Middle East and burn synagogues. Moreover, some of them have retained ties with their Russian neo-Nazi brethren, who, although in deep opposition to Vladimir Putin, continue to propagate the idea of superiority of the Slavic race.

President Zelensky and his administration are smart enough to distance themselves from the local right-wingers. Moreover, they are detained, and sometimes their rallies are broken up by police (albeit without any consequences for the leaders). Even though the ultra-nationalist Right Sector lost their seats in parliament in the last elections, they retained their hard-core base and influence. De facto neo-Nazi leaders maintain good contacts with the outwardly liberal presidential administration and are thus immune from prosecution. They also go to Europe, where right-wing sentiments are very popular.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky continues to pointlessly lose soldiers along the “contact line” with separatists, unable to “be strong with his weakness” and establish a full-fledged truce in a war he does not yet want to win. As a result, more and more illegal arms are seeping into the country’s central regions from the frontlines and many soldiers, fed up with the war, are now joining the ranks of right-wing militants! These are by no means pro-European activists. They will be just as happy to beat up LGBT members and destroy a refugee camp as the Russian embassy. The authorities simply cannot fight them in earnest because the ultranationalists have too many supporters in the state apparatus and too many activists capable of plunging Kiev into chaos in a matter of hours. Small wonder that such post-Soviet countries as Estonia and Latvia, which themselves had problems with both nationalism and the justification of local collaborationists, were the first to raise their voices criticizing Kiev.

Well, Ukraine could and should be viewed as a potential new EU member. However, it must be forced to root out Nazism, instead of holding staged gay prides in downtown Kiev just for show to demonstrate the elites’ adherence to European values! Otherwise, we would have a faction of real neo-Nazis in the European Parliament, compared to whom any members of the European Far Right would look like moderate conservatives. In addition to stamping out corruption, President Zelensky needs to eradicate neo-fascism, which threatens Europe just as it does his own country. Only then can we talk about European integration. Meanwhile, we have to admit that, just as the Estonian president said, seven years of “European democracy” have not brought Ukraine one step closer to the United Europe…

The Ukraine claims to be ready for an imminent war, today or tomorrow :-)

September 10, 2021

The Ukraine claims to be ready for an imminent war, today or tomorrow :-)

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Well, we heard that, what, 10’000 times already?  Probably.

But is this a reason to simply ignore yet another tsunami of hysterics coming out of Kiev?

I mean, I get it: North Stream 2 has been completed today, all that’s left is a bunch of paperwork (which the Poles and Ukies are still trying to sabotage by offering to “participate” in the bureaucratic processes). Barring any last-minute “creative solutions” by the 3B+PU gang, the gas itself should start flowing on October first.  And since the “Turkish stream” is already working, it is true that Russia has successfully bypassed all the crazies and is now offering its energy to Europe directly.

As for the “West” and its values, well, let’s just say that greed is far more sacred to the West than its own propaganda.  How do we know that? Nobody offered the Ukies any “compensation” or, even less so, “security guarantees”.

The US/NATO/UK/EU have clearly shown that while they love to act like the infamous “civilized” “White Man” with his famous “burden”, they have no stomach for screwing around with Russia for real, not in the Black Sea, not in the Ukraine, not in the Baltic and not in the North or anywhere else.

In other words, the Ukronazis feel ditched and are watching the events in Afghanistan in utter horror.

Also, since the Ukronazis always said that Russia will attack the Ukraine as soon as NS2 is completed, so in a way, there is a logic here: since NS2 was completed today, therefore Russia must attack today.  Especially since the Zapad 2021 military maneuvers have started (and they are involving a bigger and much more capable military force than the entire military power of the 3B+PU countries).

In the Ukie logic, this all means that Russia will attack today or tomorrow at the latest, from both Belarus and Russia.  BTW – Lukashenko was in Moscow yesterday and the two countries signed 28 documents further integrating Russia and Belarus economically and militarily.  As for political integration, Putin and Lukashenko both said that first, the two countries must align their economies before going into stuff like a single currency or even a single Parliament.  So that is for the (not too far away) future.

Then there are the various statements from top Ukro officials.

Zelenskii declared that a war is now inevitable.  He also stated that the Ukronazi armed forces were now amongst the most formidable on the planet and that NATO would “lose” without the Ukraine and the EU would become very weak (he was not joking).

The head of the Ukronazi Security Council, Danilov, not only agreed, but he said that if the Ukies see an impending Russian attack, the Ukies would attack first and “liberate” the Donbass.  He got a standing ovation from the Ukronazi corner.

The head of the Ukrainian military admitted that he daydreamed about, listen to this, a Ukrainian military parade on the Red Square in Moscow, with Ukie flags and all (that old Polish wet dream again…).

Remember the other “NATO candidate” Saakashvili who lost a war against a small Russian military force in 3 days only?  He now declared that if Russia attacks the Ukraine, all the US would send, at best, is warm blankets and inflatable boats.  He is right.  Welcome to reality Ukies!

As for the official Ukie media (all non-regime-run TV channels have now been banned), let’s just say that they “further amplified” the feelings of Ukie politicians and leave it at that.

Foreign Minister Lavrov reacted to all that by saying that the folks in Kiev were “schizophrenics”.  Peskov also spoke of mental problems.

So, will we have a full-scale war in Europe today or tomorrow?

Probably not.  HOWEVER

First, never say never, especially when dealing with schizophrenics.  Normal deterrence theory assumes what is called “a rational actor” on all sides.  The one thing which the Ukronazis sure ain’t is “rational”!

Second, you have to stop thinking like you normally do and imagine yourself in, say, Ze’s skin.  Objectively, for them, a continuation of, well, maybe not “peace”, that has not happened since the Ukronazi coup, but at least “low simmering” war might well be WORSE than a full-scale war with Russia.  The kind of “non-full-war” which the Nazi-occupied Ukraine has been (barely) surviving is a surefire way to a final, total, collapse.  Not only that, but Ze & Co. probably do realize that even if Russia does openly intervene, it would at most be to liberate the rest of the Donbass and probably move towards the Mariupol direction.  Sure, the Russians would probably do to the Ukies something similar to what they did to Saakashvili and basically defang the Ukraine, but remember that in 08.08.08 the Russians were already advancing on Tbilissi and stopped not because the “invincible Georgian army” stopped the invader, but because the Russians have ZERO need for anything Georgian once their fangs have been removed, least of all any need to enter their capital.  In fact, the Russians quickly packed and left, leaving just enough forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to make darn sure that they would never be attacked again.  This is most likely what the Russians would do in case of a war with the Ukraine, only at a larger scale.  But now think like Ze: Saakashvili himself is not in power, but he is alive, got plenty of money and basically is living a good life (in their minds, at least).  He did not get lynched by angry Georgians (who did put him on an international wanted list for many of his crimes).  Ze would much rather be the future Saakashvili than the future Mussolini, and that goes for a lot of them.  Sure, the Ukronazi true believers will all be killed by Russians, but the top folks will do what ex-President Ashraf Ghani did and pack their money and run.

Third, dumb and desperate (D&D) rulers always see war as a solution to get the flag-waving kind to blindly support them.  I vividly remember how Argentinian General and dictator Galtieri pulled off exactly that with his ill-fated liberation of the Malvinas/Falklands from the Brits (which, of course, I support 110% on principle, but the execution was nothing short of terrible, by the fault of Argentinian politicians and Galtieri himself (and the local commander too, Mario Menendez).  And that is a trick which every President except Trump pulled at least once while in office (and he basically also did that with the murder of Soleimani which was an act of war).

The Neocons still seem to be dreaming of attacking somebody, anybody, but following the monumental faceplant in Afghanistan, there are very few nations out there that the US can seriously take on (Monaco?  Lichtenstein?  Costa Rica (which has no military to begin with)?  Grenada (no military either, but lots of very bad and even traumatic memories for the US)?  Not the Vatican, the ceremonial Swiss guard might do what it did during the insurrection of 1792 and declare “We are Swiss, the Swiss do not part with their arms but with their lives. We think that we do not merit such an insult. If the regiment is no longer wanted, let it be legally discharged. But we will not leave our post, nor will we let our arms be taken from us” (yes, tiny Switzerland had a proud and very interesting history, and she only became the Empire’s cheap prostitute in 1990).  And today’s Swiss guards at the Vatican could change their (rather silly) ceremonial uniforms, but on real fatigues and fight to the end.  I don’t see these genius super-warriors taking them on 🙂

So – war later today or tomorrow?

No, probably not.

But the fact is that the Ukies simply have no other choice than to try all they can to trigger a war sooner or later (but preferably sooner).  For these Nazi schizophrenics war is, REALLY, preferable to peace.  Remember for all the butthurt crazies on other websites who were going into hysterics every time I spoke of “Nazis” in the Ukie context, the fact remains that while Ze initially came to power as a total NON-Nazi (while Poroshenko’s gang was “the real deal”), the fact that Ze is, literally, a clown and has no real power base other than the pro-peace Ukrainians whom he totally betrayed, resulted into the Ukie Nazis taking de facto control of the Ze regime.

Just like the Neocons are a minority in the USA, but one which sets the agenda no matter who is in power in the White House, so are the Ukronazis: a minority, but one which sets the agenda.  And “their” Ukraine is, truly, an anti-Russia, something which Putin publicly declared a “red line” which Russia will never allow.

See any venues for compromise here?

Me neither.

Finally, a war would allow the Ukronazis to “consolidate” their power in the western regions of the (historically real) “Ukraine” which Russians will certainly stay away from (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk, etc.).  Most of the locals *truly* are non-Russians and have never been Russians in the past.  The Ukronazi ideology is still popular there, so the Ukronazis can create their little and landlocked “Nazi Taiwan” and give up a country they cannot control, if only because it is entirely artificial, and accept a smaller country, but once which makes more sense and which they can control.

So “something” is definitely coming.  It might be a stupid stunt like trying to pass under the bridge to Crimea or some major terrorist attack (that is the one thing which the SBU is actually pretty darn good at, we should not dismiss them too quickly!).  Or this, the Ukies are regularly flying all types of drones over the Donbass and even over Crimea.  What if they sent a manned aircraft of some kind?  It will be shot down for sure (even over the LDNR).  They can also set off a false flag very very easily (just like the Czechs recently did): blow up some major civilian infrastructure object which the cannot be maintained (no money, all the specialists gone) anyway and blame it on Putin and, of course, “Petrov and Boshirov”.

I think of that as a “home made MH-17” (the initial one was clearly a US operation like KAL007 many years ago).

We cannot predict what “it” will be, but we can be sure that will be 1) very visible 2) very ugly 3) very bloody.

Yes, the Russians are as ready as can one can be.  But the Ukies will have the advantage of choosing the time and place.  This means that the SVR/GRU must now carry the burden of making darn sure that the Ukronazis authorities are chock full with SVR/GRU agents and even officers: it is vital for Russia to make sure that the Kremlin gets any such Ukie plans even before they are finalized in Kiev.  Удачи вам, ребята! (good luck guys!).

Andrei

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

September 09, 2021

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

by Andrei for the Saker Blog

Most of you must have heard it: the Taliban will organize a major celebration on September 11th to mark the liberation of Afghanistan from the US occupation and the creation of the new Afghan government.  The Russians and the Chinese have been invited.  As are the Pakistanis.  Not sure about Iran (do you know?)?

The Afghan government could be called a “GITMO government” since 5 members are former GITMO hostages and one, the head of security/intel, is still on the FBI most wanted list.

Needless to say, the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.  As for Bin-Laden and al-Qaeda they were somewhat involved, but only as “patsies”.

But the US government declared that the Taliban guilty and invaded Afghanistan.

Twenty years later, the Taliban are in total control and the US has probably executed one of the dumbest, worst and generally immoral military operation in history.  And 20 years later, the US was totally defeated.  Not by Russia.  Not by China.  Not by Iran.  Not even by Venezuela.  By the Afghans, after 20 years of warfare and trillions spent.

I have to agree with a Russian analyst who recently declared that “no, this is not even a “regular/normal” imperial collapse, this is the worst and most shameful imperial collapse in history”.

I fully concur.

As for what the Taliban will do this Saturday, it can’t even be called “spitting in Uncle Shmuel’s face”.  It’s even more than that.  Maybe we could speak of “urinating into Uncle Shmuel’s face” or some other even ruder metaphor showing both the total and utter contempt in which the Taliban hold not only the USA but the entire AngloZionist Empire AND somehow express the magnitude of the humiliation inflicted upon the USA.

I lack the words to come up with a suitable metaphor.

Can somebody come up with something sufficiently powerful?

Also, and especially for the MAGA folks out there:

CNN has reported that the entire “Ukie plan” to kidnap Russian PMCs was organized by the CIA and botched by the Ukies.  The harcore Ukronazis are now accusing CNN of either being “duped by the FSB” or even for being used by Putin personally.  Or both.

Anyway, what this goes to prove that Trump approved a clear terrorist attack against Russia.  Either that, or he did not even know about it, which might be worse…

And you guys are seriously discussing his possible comeback?!?!

Get real!

I saw an interesting poll somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where exactly) which shows that 49% of US Americans feel safer than on 9/11 20 years ago and 41% feel less safe.

And that is the real outcome of this monumentally evil and stupid Neocon plan.

After 20 years of warfare, pompous self-aggrandizement, many thousands dead and maimed and trillions spent.

Nothing will ever wash off this shame from the awareness of folks in Zone B and even many in Zone A.

Finally, today the Ukronazis shelled the Donbass again, with howitzers and mortars.  They were aiming at a water pumping station, miss and wounded/killed a couple.  Either way, this is a warcrime.  The Russians have declared that they have the designation of the unit which fired and the name of the commander who gave the order.

Which is all very predictable, since 1) US officials just visited the Ukraine 2) the CNN story is a HUGE scandal in the Ukie Rada and 3) Zelenskii is desperate to show that he might still be useful to the USA.

As for the Poles, they are fearing Russian invasion, so they put bared wire (I kid you not!) along their eastern border.  Which remind me of a Russian joke: a man walks down the street minding his own business, when he sees a woman on a balcony screaming “help! he wants to rape me! help!!!” from the top of her lungs.  The man looks up and says, “ma’am, calm down, I have no interest in you whatsoever and you are on the balcony while I am in the street” to which the woman replies, “yeah, maybe, but I can come down!“.

The Russian military is engaged in some large and serious, not fake, military maneuvers: 200’000 soldiers in both Russia and Belarus.  Hence all the wet pampers in eastern Europe (especially in Poland – the “hyena of Europe” always was a cowardly animal).

The Poles have even predicted the date of the Russian invasion: tomorrow (not a joke)

I have terrible news for Poland, the Baltic statelets and the Ukraine: nobody in Russia has any need for you, or your land.  Nobody.  Oh, and, for your information: “defenses” like walls, barbed-wires or even trenches cannot stop a modern military, such crap would not even slow the Russians down.

Summary: both Biden and Zelenskii might get impeached or otherwise removed.  That’s won’t solve anything for the US or the Ukraine, but sheer magnitude of their incompetence and stupidity makes such an outcome quite possible.

Not even in my most wildest and craziest dreams could I ever have imagined such a quick and total collapse of the Empire and of the USA.  I have to pinch myself several times a day, each time I get the news 🙂

Cheers

Ukie terrorist group caught in Crimea

Ukie terrorist group caught in Crimea

September 07, 2021

Actually, there have been a lot of terrorist attacks on Crimea, but either they were caught, or the actual damage was minimal.  So it’s not something new.

This time, the Ukie SBU hired to guys to place explosives.  Everybody was caught.

Now here comes the important factoid: all these attacks were planned and coordinated by either the Ukie SBU or the Ukie military intelligence service GUR (yes, like GRU, just different order, the beautiful Ukrainian language is SO different from the ugly Moskal’ speech, right?).

Anyway, the Russians are now sitting on a big case full of evidence of state-planned Ukie terrorist attacks not only in the LDNR, which is de jure not Russian (yet), but Crimea which is Russian under Russian law.  This is worth repeating: there have been quite a few Ukronazi attacks on Crimea and Crimea is as Russian as Moscow or Riazan!

So what I am saying is this: under international law, the Ukraine has launched acts of aggression launched by the top levels of the Ukie state.  That means that Russia can choose to respond to these attacks in any manner she chooses from protests to sanctions, to direct attacks on the SBU/GUR facilities and/or individual commanders.

So far, neither the LDNR nor Russia has authorized cover sabotage/killing operations against the Ukraine.  The reasons for this are numerous, but this might change in the future and when that happens, the Russians will have a full dossier of evidence, not just vague (and not even credible!) “official suspicions” against “terrorist countries” or “counties which harbor terrorists” like the US pretends to have before striking (remember the WMD nonsense and Powell’s small vial of laundry soap at the UNSC??).

By the way, as we speak, there is a visit by senior Congress Officials in Kiev (such terrorist attacks always happen either right before or during the visit of US dignitaries).  These “Congresspeople” (they don’t deserve to be called “men”) expressed their love and support for the Ukronazi regime and promised all forms of aid.

The “oh so clever” Ukie plan is simple: become a NATO member de facto while legally speaking, only being a special ally/friend. This circumvents any and all formal obstacles and makes it possible for the US to impose this on NATO without any formal vote or big ceremonies.

Now, ain’t they smart?!

Back to reality, if NATO or the US still had relevant militaries this would be a real problem, but since Putin and the Kremlin know the real score (Kabul) and they are laughing!  And when US Congresspeople promise to even install Patriot missiles that laughter gets even more hysterical.

US Money?  In Afghanistan, only 10% of the trillions of dollars poured into that country reached its objective.  In other words, the local “heroes” (all US servicemen are, by definition, “heroes” who need to be “thanked” for their “service”) simply stole 90% of all the money.

I am confident that the Ukies can beat that record and steal, oh, say 95% or more of any money sent.  And, like in Afghanistan, the US/NATO commanders will get their cut too.  The weapons will be “lost” in explosions (blamed on Putin, Petrov and Boshirov personally!) and then sold to the highest bidder (LDNR included).

As for all the threats of fire and brimstone coming out of both parties, just ignore it – been there, done that.  20 years have passed and resulted in an abject failure.  If UncleShmuel wants to repeat this, by all means, the Taliban will love it (more weapons and money for them).

Speaking of the Taliban, looks like they successfully entered the Panjshir valley, but that the local forces took to the mountains and are hiding.  Ahmad Shah Massoud (father) did that once with the Soviet military.  Eventually, the Soviets left, but the Talibans might seriously try to stay and gradually take the place under control.  Yes, unlike the US-trained huge (300k iirc) official Afghan military, the Taliban are going from success to success and have not made too many mistakes (yet?).

Anyway, Afghanistan today is tomorrow’s Kosovo and tomorrow’s Ukraine.

And then, Palestine.

As for the Ukie terrorist attacks, they will all end up in one “final bill” which shall be paid in full in the not too distant future.

Andrei

Many interesting developments in Russia

THE SAKER • JULY 20, 2021

Su-75 “Checkmate”

The past week has been quite intense in Russia – lots of interesting developments took place, and today I will mention three:

  1. Putin wrote a very interesting essay on the history of Russia and the Ukraine, which he followed up with a very interesting interview.
  2. Russia just concluded final tests for truly formidable weapons systems like the S-500 and the Mach 8 hypersonic missile Zircon.
  3. In its yearly aviation salon MAKS, Russia has just presented a 5th generation, single engine light multi-functional fighter the Su-75 “Checkmate”

These are all truly huge developments for Russia which we need to look into separately.

Putin’s history of Russia and the Ukraine

First, I highly recommend that you take the time to read the full article here and the full interview here (there is no point for me to use the space here to pepper you with excerpts), especially if you are not well-acquainted with Russian history or live in Zone A. Furthermore, being the “Putin groupie and fanboy” which I so-notoriously am (guilty as charged!), I won’t surprise anybody by saying that I agree with almost every word Putin wrote or spoke. And, frankly, all the facts Putin lists are really common knowledge for most people (unless they have been brainwashed by US/Ukronazi propaganda) and there is really no point for me to repeat “yes, this is true” and “yes, he is right” over and over again.

So all I propose to do next is to just to add a few comments of mine about this article+interview (I will assume that readers will have read them both; if not, I suggest completely skipping this section),

  1. First, as I just said, there is absolutely nothing new in this article for educated people. But that is not Putin’s target audience anyway. Putin’s target audience are the younger generations (in the Ukraine, the West and even, alas, Russia proper!) who know very little, if anything, about history. And while this is also true of Russia, this is especially true in the Ukraine where people have been massively brainwashed since 1917 (as Putin explains this very well in his article).
  2. The real reason why this article caused such a stir in Russia and total hysterics amongst the Ukronazi nutcases (who, again, are now predicting an imminent Russian invasion, what else?) is that while these facts were known for decades, but considered very politically incorrect to mention them lest the Ukrainians get offended: from the late 80s and until now, the Ukronazis taught a very different version of history, which includes coming from the Sumerian civilization, building the pyramids in Egypt, digging the Black Sea, founding the ancient Aryan civilization, etc. Even more crucially, the official Ukronazi narrative claims that Russians and Ukrainians are completely different people (Ukies are true, pure, Aryans while Russians are Ugro-Altaic Mongols). So what Putin did with this article is simply to (finally!) proclaim that the emperor is naked and the clueless Ukies ignorant of their own history.
  3. This article also marks a rather dramatic change of tone from the Kremlin. In the past the Kremlin always tried to maintain a polite and respectful attitude towards the Ukies and their Wakanda-like delusions about history. Now this is over, Russia has finally and openly decided to declare to the Ukies (and the rest of the world!) that their founding myths are based on precious *nothing* and that Russia is done treating this utter nonsense as if it has any factual basis in the adult world.

I would like to offer one more commentary on Putin’s statements.

I believe that there has been a “war of words” waged by the Ukrainian nationalists against the Russians for many decades (I remember listening to the Ukie service of RL/RFE and I was always amazed at the completely open hatred – bordering on racist bigotry – of the Ukie propaganda; even when compared to all the other national minority services of RL/RFE which, I assure you, included a lot of bone fide nutcases in many of its services) and the Russian side was mostly quiet and demure lest the Ukies get offended. That is now over, in this war of words Russia will now use her verbal ammunition to debunk the Ukronazi pseudo-historical fairy tales. I very much welcome that!

Finally, I believe that the Kremlin is already working on “post-Ze” options. Frankly, this also comes not a second too soon! The Ukraine has been in free fall for years already, but even by Ukie standards the chaos and tensions which are taking place now have grown into full scale hysterics which is both truly amazing and very concerning (I will spare you all the details now, I have enough such articles already posted, but I will probably have to revisit this slow agony in the near future). I get the feeling that the Kremlin expects a truly bona fide Nazis leader to come to power by one way or another after “Ze” (Note: while “Ze” did end up catering to the Ukronazis, he himself is most definitely not “the real thing” – he only pretends). Maybe a “President Avakov” next (no Nazi either, by the way, just a man very skilled at using Nazis)?

The bottom line is this: the final collapse of the Ukraine is what the Kremlin is now openly waiting for next. And even if “Biden” wants to force “Ze” to abide by the Minsk Agreements, this will mean the end for “Ze” and a return to full/total power of the Ukronazis. Why? There are roughly three forces in the Ukraine right now, at least apparently:

  1. The regime in power (“Ze” and his gang)
  2. The opposition (mostly the OPZZh party)
  3. The real hardcore Nazis (you can think of them as the Ukie version of the Hutu “Interahamwe” in Rwanda

The regime is in deep agony and simply not viable.

The opposition is divided, often politically discredited and lacks both a clear leader and a clear vision.

In sharp contrast, the Ukronazis gang is small, but very well organized, very well funded and very well led (most of the “street level” Ukronazi leaders are imbeciles like Liashko or, better, Tiagnibok, but Avakov is no idiot, he is good at working with his US patrons and with the truly crazy folks like Andrei Biletskii or Aleksei Danilov.

True, in the long term the political prospects of the opposition look pretty good, as they have a few (very few?) pretty sharp leaders, and their program recommends better relations with Russia, something truly vital (literally!) for the Ukraine. But I don’t see the opposition having the strength to take on the Ukronazis just yet: first “Ze” needs to go, the Ukronazis need to seize full control of power again, and then come up with some truly crazy shit (that all Nazis are good for, as history has shown) which will break-up the Ukraine into various successor states. Only at that point will the current opposition have good political chances in the eastern and southern parts of the Ukraine. But the current situation is too complex and too fluid to take anybody’s guesses and predictions too seriously. Only time will truly show.

The S-500 and Zircon weapons systems have now been fully tested

The quick way to summarize this development is to say that both the S-500 and the Zircon have no comparable competitors anywhere in the world, not even vaguely comparable ones. Both the S-500 and the Zircon missiles are way, waaaay ahead of any other weapons system in their categories. Even better, the Empire has nothing, and really I mean absolutely nothing, it could oppose to either one of these weapons systems. And with not too much hyperbole, it would be fair to say that, once fully deployed, the S-500 will make most of the US/NATO aviation and tactical/operational and even some strategic missiles completely obsolete. As for the Zircon, it does the same thing to the USN’s surface fleet. To say that this is huge would be an understatement, especially since US/NATO force planners must now decide what to do about this, and that is no small task considering that is now becoming obvious that US/NATO force planners made some truly major mistakes in their assumptions about what the modern 21st century battlefield will really look like. Force planning deals with many immense technological and bureaucratic inertia and to “simply change course” is not “simple” at all: it typically takes decades!

I have no doubt that the US MIC propaganda machine will now talk a lot about US ‘hypersonic’ weapons and about 6th generation super-dooper aircraft. But let’s be honest here: the US hypersonic weapons program is in its infancy (at best) and is struggling. As for the USAF, it will take it many years to at least reduce the long list of major problems of the F-35, and even that is not a real solution: while I am sure that, given enough time, the USAF/USN will find a way to use this aircraft effectively (at least against non-peer adversaries), the only real solution to this ugly mess is to not only quickly revive the F-15 (in its F-15X form, which looks promising), but also to embark on the development of a 5++ generation aircraft while at the same time working on a real, truly 6th gen, successor (in the good sense of the word) for the F-35. This being said, if the F-35 proves anything, it is that the Pentagon and the US MIC are corrupt beyond what any words could express (from a purely corruption point of view the F-35 was a stunning success!) and this begs the question: can these guys even develop a halfway decent or even a good aircraft?! Or has the country which developed the superb F-16, A-10. 747 or the F-15 lost its ability to produce truly superb aircraft? I don’t know.

What do you think?

The brand new 5th generation single-engine Su-75 “Checkmate”

This is really THE news of the day! This is nothing short of earth-shattering. Let’s begin with a list of factoids I tried to collect from different sources: (since all this info was only unveiled a few hours ago, there might still be mistakes, so caveat emptor!)

  • Name: Sukhoi Su-75 “Checkmate”
  • High commonality with Su-57
  • Single engine (crucial!)
  • Top speed 2400 km/h (about 1500mph or 1300 knots or just under Mach 2)
  • Thrust vectoring engines
  • 30M dollars typical cost
  • 5,5 years development only (using supercomputers)
  • 1500km combat range
  • STOL (shorter than Su-57’s about 400m)
  • Max load: 7.5 tons
  • Service Ceiling just under 17km
  • Max load: 8+ G
  • Ferry range 3000km+ (on internal fuel)
  • Low RCS
  • Advanced avionics and all glass cockpit
  • The Belka N036 AFAR antenna with a detection range of 350-400km
  • Long, medium and short range weapons for any targets
  • Can engage 6 targets (in air, land, water and air defenses) simultaneously
  • Will feature the long-range 30P6 air to air missile (range: about 160km)
  • AI support and guidance
  • Five air-to-air missiles carried internally
  • Onboard advanced EW defenses
  • The Su-75 has a cannon carried inside its internal sections
  • There will be a pilotless version of the Su-75 (automated and remote-controlled)
  • The Su-75 has advanced datalinks allowing it to operate together with other aircraft or drones
  • Supercruise (not sure? Probably only in a future engine)
  • The aircraft is “open architecture” (so it can be adapted to specific needs)
  • Sukhoi expects to sell about 300 Su-75 in the next 15 years or so
  • The Su-75 can be adapted for naval carrier use
  • The target clients are the both the RAF and foreign clients (but only export versions for foreign clients).
  • Its first flight is scheduled for 2023 and adoption by the RAF is, assuming a contract is confirmed, set for 2025.
  • Price: 25-30 million dollars depending on specific requirements

What do I make of these characteristics? Here are some of my thoughts (keep in mind that while I did some work with the Swiss Air Force, I am not an aerospace engineer, so take all I say with at least a pound or two of salt and wait for real experts to pitch in!).

First, this is a much needed aircraft for Russia which currently does not have modern single engine combat aircraft. Currently, the “core” aircraft of the (RAF) are all big twin engines: Su-30SM, Su-35, Su-34, .etc. Even the much smaller “F-16 counterpart” has two engines. Even the (comparatively) smaller MiG-35 is a twin engine. These are all superb aircraft, but a single-engine aircraft would be much cheaper, not only to purchase, but even more so to maintain.

Second, Russia’s main weakness when compared to the US/NATO is primarily quantitative: while they are much inferior, US/NATO aircraft are produced in huge numbers the Russian industrial base and finances cannot match, at least not by producing very advanced but also very expensive aircraft a la Su-35S. The RAF needs many cheap but highly effective combat aircraft and the Su-75 might well be “the” dream machine for Russia.

Third, a single-engine 5th generation aircraft for about 30 million dollars is an extremely attractive option, especially with its open architecture. Especially when its only competitor is the truly pathetic F-35 (which is really not much of a 5th gen aircraft, at least for the foreseeable future (especially since it has fundamentally flawed core-design issues, read all about it here).

By the way, the Russians are officially denying that they wanted to make a “Russian response” to the F-35. They say that the F-35 and the Su-75 are in completely different categories and when you look at such parameters are speed, maneuverability, max load or, especially, price, you can see that the Russians are fundamentally correct: it’s not “just” that the Su-75 is a much superior aircraft, it is really in a completely different “punching weight” category.

Fourth, just like a truly effective air defense system requires different weapons systems all integrated into a single network and working together, so does tactical/operational aviation. These are the main categories the RAF needs to fill: CAS aircraft (Su-25M), strike aircraft (Su-24M and Su-34), air superiority and interceptors (Su-30SM, Su-35S), advanced long-range interceptors (MiG-31BM) and a cheap, ubiquitous and very capable “dogfighter” for the frontline aviation which can deal with enemy aircraft while also supporting the ground forces. Russian did built some very good single fighters in the past, including the MiG-23 (criticized in the West, but loved by Russian pilots) and, arguably, the most successful fighter ever built, the MiG-21. So Russians know how to do that, they just have not done that in way too many years and the appearance of the Su-75 comes “not a second too late” for the Russian military which will finally have a truly “full-spectrum” of modern, indigenously built, combat aircraft.

Here is a good image showing how similar the Su-75 and Su-57 are externally:

There were some speculations that the Russians were working on a successor for their Yak-141 VSTOL combat aircraft (which the US Americans tried to copy as a basis for their F-35 and miserably failed), but the Russians have appeared to be content with “only” STOL capabilities. Considering the catastrophic failure of the F-35B (and the non-deployment of the Yak-141) might be the wiser choice. If the Su-75 ever makes it on a carrier of some kind, short catapult-assisted take-offs is probably the wiser solution.

One last thing: for the first time in decades the Russians have (finally!) managed to keep things really hush-hush and there were almost zero leaks about the Su-75, and most of those which did happen were carefully orchestrated by the Russian authorities. I am not talking about the mass media like Argumenty i Fakty or Popular Mechanics. Even the specialized press had only a few good guesses about what this “soon to be unveiled and totally new 5th gen fighter” would look like. There were a few partial photos, some drawings, a few partial photos, all augmented by educated guesses. Not only that, but there is still a lot we don’t know, including on some really important topics like the Su-75 radar and longest range air-to-air missiles.

Conclusion:

This has been a long and important week for Russia which, I think, illustrates a few important things:

  • The Russians have clearly lost lost their very last illusions about the Nazi-occupied Ukraine and are now actively preparing the “post-Ze” period.
  • Putin feels the popular pressure and is embarking on a PR campaign in preparation for the next elections.
  • The Russian MIC is doing better than ever and the recent Russian high-tech successes show that Russia has gone into what they call a “high-quality separation” (качественный отрыв) from the West or Asia.

All in all, this is all good news.

Faina Savenkova appeal for the 2021 UN Children’s Day

Faina Savenkova appeal for the 2021 UN Children’s Day

May 31, 2021

Dear friends

Today I am sharing with you the video of the public appeal made by Faina Savenkova, from Lugansk, to the United Nations and the rest of the world reminding them that the children of the Donbass deserve to live in peace and security.  This video is posted at the same time it will go on display at the UN HQ in New York, courtesy of the Russian Mission to the UN.  For those who have missed it, here is an article written by Faina for the Saker blog in which I mention the possibility to ask Faina any question you want, please do check it out.  I now leave you with Fania’s appeal, please circulate it as much as possible!

Thank you

The Saker

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev Moscow, April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev Moscow, April 28, 2021

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We have available video in Russian and transcript in English.

Transcript:

Dmitry Kiselev: Our relations with the United States are really “hell”. Personally, I don’t recall them being at such a low ebb ever before. This is even worse than the Cold War times, in my opinion. Ambassadors have returned back to their home countries. What’s going to happen next? What is the possible scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: If it depended on us alone, we would gladly resume normal relations. The first possible step towards this, which I regard as obvious, is to zero out the measures restricting the work of Russian diplomats in the United States. It was as a response measure that we restricted the operations of American diplomats in Russia.

We proposed this to the Biden administration as soon as it had taken the oath and assumed office. I have mentioned the idea to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. I did not try to press it; I just said that an obvious way to normalise our relations would be to zero out the measures initiated by Barack Obama. Several weeks before leaving office, he was so annoyed he virtually slammed the door by seizing Russian property in violation of all the Vienna conventions and throwing Russian diplomats out. This has caused a chain reaction.

We patiently sat back for a long time, until the summer of 2017, before taking any response measures. The Trump administration asked us to disregard the excessive measures taken by the outgoing Obama administration. However, Donald Trump’s team failed to normalise the situation, and so we had to take reciprocal measures. But the Americans have not stopped there.

We can see that the Biden administration continues to go downhill, although US President Biden said during his conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin soon after his inauguration, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told me that they are thoroughly reviewing their relations with Russia, hoping that this would clarify many things. However, instead they adopted new sanctions, which triggered not simply a mirror response on our part. Our response was asymmetrical, just as we had warned them on numerous occasions. It has to do, in part, with a considerable disparity in the number of diplomats and other personnel of the US diplomatic missions in Russia, which is way above the number of Russian diplomats in the United States.

As for the strategic picture of our relations, I hope that Washington is aware, just as Moscow is, of our responsibility for global stability. There are not only the problems of Russia and the United States, which are complicating our citizens’ lives and their contacts, communications, businesses and humanitarian projects, but also differences that are posing a serious risk to international security in the broadest possible meaning of the word.

You remember how we responded to the outrage that took place during Joe Biden’s interview with ABC. You are also aware of how President Putin reacted to President Biden’s proposal of a meeting. We have taken a positive view of this, but we would like to understand all aspects of this initiative, which we are currently analysing.

Nothing good will come out of this, unless the United States stops acting as a sovereign, as President Putin said during his Address to the Federal Assembly, accepts the futility of any attempts to revive the unipolar world or to create an architecture where all Western countries would be subordinate to the United States and the Western camp would work together to “rally” other countries across the world against China and Russia, admits that it was for a purpose that the UN Charter sealed such principles as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and sovereign equality of states, and simply honours its commitments and starts talking with us, just as with any other country, on the basis of respect for each other and for a balance of interests, which must be established. President Putin said this clearly in his Address, pointing out that Russia is always open to broad international agreements if they suit our interests. But we will harshly respond to any attempts to cross the red line, which we ourselves will determine.

Dmitry Kiselev: Would it be realistic to expect them to become aware of this and stop acting as a sovereign? Hope is fine, but the reality is completely different.

Sergey Lavrov: I have not expressed any hope. I just mentioned the conditions on the basis of which we will be ready to talk.

Dmitry Kiselev: And what if they refuse?

Sergey Lavrov: It will be their choice. This means that we will be living in conditions of a Cold War, or even worse, as you have already mentioned. In my opinion, tension did run high during the Cold War and there were numerous high-risk conflict situations, but there was also mutual respect. I believe that this is lacking now.

There have been some schizophrenic notes in the statements made by some of the Washington officials. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said just a while ago that sanctions against Russia would be continued, that they are producing, by and large, a desired effect, and that their objective is not to “escalate” with Russia. Even I am at a loss about how to comment on this. I hope anyone can see that such statements are doing no credit to those who are upholding and promoting this policy.

Dmitry Kiselev: I had a chance to hear an opinion – perhaps even a commonplace opinion, to some extent, in certain circles – to the effect that diplomats are doing a poor job, that we are constantly digging in our heels, that our position is inflexible and non-elastic, and this is the reason why our relations are poor.

Sergey Lavrov: Are you alluding to circles inside this country?

Dmitry Kiselev: Yes, inside this country.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, I also read these things. Thankfully, this country protects freedom of speech much better than many Western countries, including the United States. I read the opposition’s online resources and newspapers, and I think that perhaps these people have a right to express their point of view that consists in the following: “If we refrained from disputing with the West, we’d have Parmesan cheese and lots more things that we are sincerely missing; but for some reason, they have cut short food purchases in the West [they do not even explain that this was done in response], they have stopped buying food and gone into import substitution, thus increasing the price of food.”

You know, this is a narrow, lopsided view taken entirely from the standpoint of creature comforts, a choice between a television set and a fridge. If they think it essential to accept US values, I would like to remind them about what US President John Kennedy, the greatest US President to my mind, once said: “Don’t think what your country can do for you. Think what you can do for your country.” This is a radical distinction from today’s liberal views, where personal wellbeing and personal feelings alone are the things that matter.

The promoters of these philosophical approaches, as I see it, are not just unaware of what our genetic code is all about, but are trying in every way to undermine it. For, apart from the desire to live well, to be well-fed, to be confident that one’s children, friends and relatives are well too, a feeling of national pride always played an equally important role in what we did throughout our one thousand years’ history. If someone thinks that these values are of no importance for him or her, as it is [politically] correct to say now, it is their choice, but I am certain that the overwhelming majority of our people have a different opinion.

Dmitry Kiselev: Are you counting on a meeting with Antony Blinken? When can this meeting be held, and will it take place at all in the foreseeable future?

Sergey Lavrov: When we were talking over the phone, I congratulated him in keeping with the diplomatic etiquette. We exchanged a few appraisals of the [current] situation. The talk was, I feel, well-meaning, calm and pragmatic. When our US colleagues have completed staffing their Department of State, we will be prepared to resume contacts – naturally, on the understanding that we will engage in a search for mutually acceptable arrangements on many problems, starting from the functioning of the diplomatic missions and ending with strategic stability and many other things. US and Russian business communities are concerned with expanding their cooperation, something that the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce has recently told us. We have concluded by stating that there will be some joint multilateral events, on whose sidelines we will be able, as chance offers, to talk. But no signals have come from the US so far. Speaking about the schedule of events, Russia will be taking over the Arctic Council chairmanship from Iceland three weeks from now. An Arctic Council ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Reykjavík on May 20-21. If Secretary Blinken leads the US delegation, I will, of course, be prepared to talk with him, if he is interested.  Given that we will chair the Arctic Council for the next two years, I have informed our Iceland colleagues that I will attend this ministerial meeting.

Dmitry Kiselev: Is there any certainty as to who will definitely join the list of unfriendly states?

Sergey Lavrov: The Government of Russia is attending to this on instructions from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We are participating in this work, as are other respective agencies.  I would not like to jump the gun right now.  We are reluctant to be indiscriminate and put on that list just any country that will say somewhere “something wrong” about Russia. Our decision will be based, of course, on a deep-going analysis of the situation and on whether we see opportunities to have a dialogue with that country in a different way. If we come to the conclusion that there is no chance of this, then, I think, the list will, of course, be periodically extended. But this is not a “dead” paper. As is only natural, it will be revised in tune with how our relations develop with this or that state.

Dmitry Kiselev: When will the public be able to read this list?

Sergey Lavrov: Soon, I think. The Russian Government has concrete assignments. We understand the criteria that are guiding us in this work. So, I think, the wait will not be very long now.

Dmitry Kiselev: Will the unfriendly states be banned from hiring local workforce?

Sergey Lavrov: There will be a ban on hiring any physical persons whether Russian or foreign.

Dmitry Kiselev: Is this the only measure with regard to unfriendly states or some others are in the offing?

Sergey Lavrov: At this stage, this is the concrete aim set in the executive order signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Kiselev: Donbass is another subject. Tensions have continued to escalate there since early 2021, and it appears that they have subsided a little since US President Joe Biden called President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In my show News of the Week, I noted that US military guarantees to Ukraine had turned out to be a bluff. Nevertheless, shootouts continue, and they are using banned large-calibre weapons. It seems like this peace is not very different from war, and that the balance is highly unstable. Over 500,000 Russian citizens now live in Donbass. Will there be a war?

Sergey Lavrov: War can and should be avoided, if this depends on us and on the self-defence fighters, as far as we understand their principled approaches. I cannot speak and make guesses on behalf of the Ukrainian party and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky because, by all indications, his main goal is to stay in power. He is ready to pay any price, such as pandering to neo-Nazis and ultra-radicals who continue to brand the Donbass self-defence fighters as terrorists. Our Western colleagues should reassess the developments that have taken place since February 2014.  None of these districts attacked the rest of Ukraine. They were branded as terrorists, and an anti-terrorist operation was launched against them and then another operation involving “joint forces.”. But we do know for sure that they have no desire to make war on representatives of the Kiev regime.

I have repeatedly told our Western colleagues, who are totally biased in their assessment of current developments, and who unconditionally defend Kiev’s actions, that Russian journalists and war correspondents working on the other side of the demarcation line show an objective picture. They work in trenches there almost without respite, and they provide daily news reports. These reports show the feelings of the people living in these territories that are cut off from the rest of Ukraine by an economic blockade, where children and civilians are being regularly killed, and where the civilian infrastructure, schools and kindergartens are being destroyed. I asked our Western colleagues why they don’t encourage their media outlets to organise the same work on the left side of the demarcation line, so that the scale of damage there can be assessed and to see which facilities have been the hardest hit.

As for the recent developments, when we openly announced the military exercises in the Southern and Western military districts – we made no secret of that, you remember the shouts about the alleged Russian build-up on the border with Ukraine. Just take a look at the terms used: we speak about drills in the Southern and Western military districts, while they say that Russia is amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. And when the drills ended and we made the relevant announcement, the West claimed maliciously that Russia had to back off, to withdraw. This is an example of wishful thinking.

This is reminiscent of the situation with the G7: every time they meet they announce that Russia will not be invited to the group. We have stated on numerous occasions that we will never re-join it, that there will not be any G8, and that this is a thing of the past. However, continued references to this subject, as well as claims that Russia has “rolled back” and has ordered its troops to “return to their barracks” shows, of course, that in this instance the West wants above all to take advantage of this situation to prove that it has the last word and the dominant place in modern international relations. This is regrettable.

The subject of a settlement in Ukraine has been discussed by President Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The other day President Putin spoke about it with President of France Emmanuel Macron. The issue was also raised during a recent conversation with US President Joe Biden. The situation is clear, as I see it. The patrons of President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team refuse to make him honour the Minsk Agreements, even though they are aware of the futility of trying to use military force; they have heard the signals sent from Donetsk and Lugansk about their readiness to defend their land, their homes and their people who refuse to live by the laws being enforced by neo-Nazis.

President Putin has said clearly that we will never abandon the people of Donbass, who are standing up to the openly radical neo-Nazi regime. President Zelensky keeps saying in his interviews that there are no problems with the Russian language or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and that he is willing to discuss all these subjects with President Putin. It is a shame perhaps that a person I have always regarded as clever says that the Russian language and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have no problems in Ukraine. I have no doubt that he is very well aware of the situation. Maybe nothing at all is being reported to him, but in that case he is living in a dream world. But the West has definitely sent its signals to Zelensky.

As you have mentioned, it would be senseless to pin hopes on US military assistance. This has always been clear to everyone. If anyone entertained such illusions, such advisers are good for nothing in any government, including the government of Mr Zelensky. Regrettably, the West continues to try to convince us that the Minsk Agreements should be mitigated and the sequence of the actions set out in them changed. Zelensky says he likes the agreements, but only if it is all the other way round, that they first take full control of these territories, including the border with Russia, and only then deal with the elections, amnesty and a special status for these territories. It is clear that if they did this, if they were allowed to do this, there would be a massacre. The West is unable or unwilling to force Zelensky to comply with the Minsk Agreements strictly in accordance with the sequence set out in them, which does not permit any double interpretation and has been formulated unambiguously from the first to the last step. Control of the border is the very last step to be taken after these territories receive a special status, which must be sealed in the Constitution of Ukraine, after free elections are held there and their results are recognised as such by the OSCE.

Of course, there must also be total amnesty. Not in the way envisaged by the Poroshenko government or the current regime, which only want to approve an  amnesty on an individual basis for those who are proved to have committed no crime. This is yet another misinterpretation. The Minsk Agreements stipulate an amnesty for those who took part in fighting on both sides, without any transitional justice process, which our Western colleagues are now beginning to discuss.

I believe that the brunt of responsibility lies with the West, because only the West can make President Zelensky honour the commitments which his predecessor signed and he himself signed in Paris in December 2019 when he, the presidents of Russia and France and the Chancellor of Germany reaffirmed the absence of any alternative to the strict observance of the Minsk Agreements, and he pledged to amend the legislation and the Ukrainian Constitution to formalise the special status of Donbass on a permanent basis.

Dmitry Kiselev: Many people are wondering why Russia fails to recognise Donbass. It did recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is an inner “lobby” in Russia, even among my fellow journalists, who are demanding that we recognise Donbass – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic. Why are we failing in this?

Sergey Lavrov: You are right that there is an analogy with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But there is just one exception: no agreements similar to the Minsk Package of Measures were signed in those countries, when Saakashvili’s aggression against Tskhinval and the positions of peacekeepers, including Russian peacekeepers, occurred. The Medvedev-Sarkozy document was discussed there, and it implied a number of steps. But it was not signed by Georgia. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, after reaching an agreement with us in Moscow, took a plane to Tbilisi to ensure Saakashvili’s support for the document. Saakashvili signed it, but he deleted all the key provisions.  Mr Sarkozy attempted to represent this as a compromise, but everyone understood everything. It had a preamble saying that the Russian Federation and the French Republic, desirous of normalising the situation in South Caucasus, propose to Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia the following:  a ceasefire. Saakashvili crossed out the heading, leaving just the first and subsequent items. Since then, the West has been demanding that we comply with these agreements. This is just an example.

In the case of Donbass, the situation was different. The 17-hour long negotiations in Minsk involving the Normandy format leaders (President Franсois  Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Petr Poroshenko of Ukraine, and President of Russia Vladimir Putin) produced a result, which was endorsed, two days later, by the UN Security Council without any amendments or doubts that it should be implemented.

Today, the moral and international legal truth is on our side and on the side of the Donbass militias.  I think that we must not let Mr Zelensky and his entire team “off the hook,” writhing as they might. Mr Zelensky’s statement is a fine specimen (made when he had all but given up hope of turning the Minsk Agreements upside down) to the effect that they are no good, albeit necessary, because the saving of the Minsk Agreements guarantees that the sanctions against Moscow will be preserved as well. We asked the West, what they think about this. They just look aside shamefacedly and say nothing.  I think it is a shame and a disgrace, when an international legal document is held up to mockery in this manner.  The West, which has co-authored this document and supported it at the UN Security Council, is demonstrating absolute helplessness.

Dmitry Kiselev: President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky cannot get a call through to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, who is not picking up the receiver. Your Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitry Kuleba, cannot get a call through to you. What does this mean? Why is this?

Sergey Lavrov: This means that they are seeking to revise the Minsk Agreements and represent Russia as a party to the conflict even in this area of their activities.

Requests that came in until recently both from my counterpart Kuleba and President Zelensky dealt with the topic of settlement in Donbass. We replied that this [topic] should be discussed not with us, but with Donetsk and Lugansk, as you agreed under the Minsk Agreements.   The agreements say in black and white that the key stages of settlement should be the subject of consultations and coordination with Donetsk and Lugansk. When they say that a “nasty situation is looming large” at the line of contact and want to talk to Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin, they are barking up the wrong tree. Meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in the Kremlin the other day, President Putin made it amply clear that if they wanted to talk about this, the address should be different.  If our colleagues, including President Zelensky, want to discuss how to normalise bilateral relations, they are welcome. We are always ready to talk about this.

Dmitry Kiselev: There is no reply or acceptance so far, is there?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that Mr Zelensky instructed the chief of his office, Andrey Yermak, to come to terms on the timeframes. The location is of no importance, because each day of delay means new deaths.

Incidentally, let us take the fact that people are dying and what is happening at the line of contact. Over the last couple of weeks, Kiev has been insisting quite aggressively on the need to reaffirm the ceasefire. All of its Western patrons have also been urging us to influence Donbass so that the ceasefire takes hold in earnest. Speaking on the phone with President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, President Putin reminded them of the facts. And the facts are as follows: In July 2020, the Contact Group reached what was perhaps the most serious and effective ceasefire agreement, because it contained a verification mechanism.  It implied a sequence of actions, primarily each side’s commitment not to return fire immediately on the spot but report the violation to the top command and wait for its order on how to act, to wit, whether to respond in kind or to negotiate an arrangement under the mechanisms created for commander-to-commander liaison on the ground.   This agreement, as it was implied, was translated into military orders issued by the DPR and the LPR. These orders were published. Kiev pledged to do the same, but did nothing. Instead it started fiddling with words again. Instead of performing the obligation to report each shelling attack to the top command and get orders from them, they began replacing this clear-cut arrangement with confused formulas, although they were blamed for this by Donetsk and Lugansk at all subsequent meetings, and Russian representatives in the Contact Group, too, repeatedly said as much. The same happened in the Normandy Format.  This is what Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak has been doing all these months in contacts with his French and German colleagues. The head of President Zelensky’s Office, Andrey Yermak, was representing Ukraine. I read transcripts of their talks. It was like talking to a brick wall. They were at cross purposes: the Ukrainian leaders had obviously decided that it was necessary to revive the ceasefire story. It was shameful and unseemly.

It was a great pleasure to watch the Servant of the People series, when no one suspected that its main character would follow this path in real life. But he took the wrong path. If Mr Zelensky watched the series again today and tried to fathom the convictions of the person he had impersonated so well on screen, and later compared those convictions with what he is doing now, he would, perhaps, have achieved one of the most effective transformations.  I do not know when he was himself and when he underwent a transformation. But the contrast is striking.

Dmitry Kiselev: Another subject is the Czech Republic. What was it? How are we to understand it?

Sergey Lavrov: I cannot speculate on this because I do not understand intellectually what they wanted. One can watch it like a not too elegant television series.

This story is full of schizophrenic components. Czech president Milos Zeman says it should be sorted out, not denying the possibility of a subversive act by foreign agents, but suggesting taking into account the story told by the Czech leadership, including the incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babis (the then Minister of Finance, in 2014), that it was the result of negligence by the depot owners. President Zeman only suggested that consideration should be given to the case that has never been disproven over the seven years. He is accused of high treason now. President of the Senate Milos Vystrcil said that by stating the need to investigate all the leads President Zeman had disclosed a state secret. Is this not schizophrenia? A pure case, I think.

There needs to be an investigation into what was stored in the depot. The German media said that they kept antipersonnel mines prohibited by the convention signed, inter alia, by the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. A lot of questions remain.

Dmitry Kiselev: Indeed, how could it happen that a certain Bulgarian citizen supplying antipersonnel mines (by all appearances they were found there), controlled a depot in the Czech Republic which was not then under the control of the government?

Sergey Lavrov: It so happens.

Dmitry Kiselev: Maybe the Czechs would be better to start with themselves?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably. Or follow the example of Ukraine where too a vast number of armed people, weapons and ammunition are controlled not by the Ukrainian armed forces, but by “volunteer battalions.” It is a trend where the state proves its inability to ensure, if you like, its monopoly over the use of force.

Dmitry Kiselev: Ukraine is one thing but the Czech Republic is a member of the EU. It is bound by other international commitments than those of Ukraine and presents itself differently.

Sergey Lavrov: Above all, in addition to the aforementioned conventions (Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and the so-called Arms Trade Treaty, they are all parties to it), the EU has its own quite strict rules that do not encourage but rather prohibit any actions like supplies and sending forces to regions where there are conflicts.

Dmitry Kiselev: What do you think about the so-called British files? This looks like an orchestrated information campaign against Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: As before, the British continue to play a very active, serious and subversive role in relations between Russia and Europe. Britain has withdrawn from the EU but it has not slackened its activities there. On the contrary, it has been trying to exert maximum influence on the EU countries’ positions towards Moscow. This is not surprising at all.

You don’t even need to go very far back in history. In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium. The inquest began in one way, and then the process was classified because it was necessary to analyse the materials of intelligence services. And then they announced the verdict, but the materials involved in the case have never been made public. As Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say, “Trust me.” I would rather side with Ronald Reagan’s “trust but verify.” But they don’t allow us to verify; they only demand that we trust them.

In 2014, the Malaysian Boeing was downed. They formed a team comprising a narrow group of four countries – the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine. They did not even invite Malaysia, the country that lost the plane. These four countries have agreed, as it has since transpired, that any information would only be revealed on the basis of consensus. Ukraine, where the disaster took place, was given the right of veto, while Malaysia was invited to join the group only six months later. The black boxes, which the self-defence forces provided to Malaysia, were analysed in London. I don’t recall them making the information public.

In 2018, there were the Skripals and the “highly likely.” Nobody knows to this day how the Skripals survived the alleged poisoning, why the police officer who worked with them did not display any symptoms of poisoning, and why the woman involved died while her partner did not get sick. There are very many questions.

In 2020, we had the case of Alexey Navalny. He was flying from Tomsk to Moscow, but the plane landed in Omsk. Nobody on board the plane or in the Omsk hospital got sick. A bottle of water [from his hotel room] was taken by Maria Pevchikh to Germany on the plane that transported Navalny – nobody knows anything. Doctors at the Charité hospital did not find any traces of poison, but they were found at the Bundeswehr. German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer demanded transparency in connection with our recent military drills in the southern and western regions of Russia. But we announced the drills beforehand, whereas the Bundeswehr, whose experts allegedly found traces of Navalny’s poisoning, is keeping information from us. Our request for the results of tests and biomaterials has been denied.

After that there was a long story involving the OPCW. It allegedly took part in collecting samples from Navalny. According to the remarkable information from Berlin, German experts were present during the collection of the samples, but OPCW experts are not mentioned at all. We are trying to sort this information out. Nobody wants to explain anything. Germany is directing us to the OPCW, which says that the request came from Germany and so we should ask them. It is a conspiracy of silence. We have seen this happen in crime movies about bandit groups operating all over the country after the war. This is regrettable.

Getting back to Britain, we can see that London is continuing its anti-Russia policy. Chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Richard Moore said a few days ago that Russia is “a declining power” whose allegedly “reckless behaviour” needs to be dealt with. This is inherent arrogance and a belief that they continue to rule the world. They are sending “signals” to us and propose establishing ties. In other words, they are not against communicating with us, but they are trying to discourage others from doing the same. This could be an aspiration for a monopoly of contacts and a desire to prove that they are superior to others.

Dmitry Kiselev: Speaking about decline, Britain is a perfect example of a declining empire “on which the sun never sets,” a small island in the North Sea with clouded prospects. To return to the Czech Republic, opinions within the country on the latest developments are totally inconsistent. There is no consensus, and nothing has yet been proven, but diplomats have been expelled. There has already been a result.

Sergey Lavrov: They claim that this is not the reason why our diplomats were expelled.  Two statements were made on the same day. They appeared to be interconnected. Prague is now trying to prove that there is no connection between them. They have announced that the explosions were organised by Petrov and Boshirov, the ubiquitous Russian suspects. It’s like blaming them for the sinking of the Titanic. The same day it was announced that 18 diplomats would have to leave the country. The majority of people accepted this as “punishment” for the 2014 explosions. After that, the Czech authorities said they would track down Petrov and Boshirov and issue an arrest warrant for them. As for the 18 diplomats, they identified them as spies. They expelled them because they turned out to be intelligence agents. No proof that any of these 18 diplomats are guilty of illegal activities has been provided. It is not surprising that former Czech President Vaclav Klaus said that the country’s authorities were like a tiny pooch barking at a huge dog, hoping that the big boys (the United States and Britain) would throw their weight behind them. Do you remember a time from your childhood when local bullies waited until dusk to demand 15 kopeks from a smaller kid, and if he refused they summoned the “big boys.” The logic is very similar. This is regrettable.

We never schemed against our Czech colleagues. Why would we need to blow up that warehouse? Some people say that the Russians were angry that the Bulgarian planned to send munitions to Ukraine. This is a completely schizophrenic view of the situation. This is impossible to imagine. But the machinery has been set in motion. I hope our Czech colleagues will come to their senses after all and will take a look at what they have done. If reason prevails, we will be ready to gradually rebuild the conditions for our diplomatic missions to function normally.  If not, we will make do. We know how we will be working. We don’t have to ingratiate ourselves with anyone.

Dmitry Kiselev: Working on what?

Sergey Lavrov: We know how we will be working in the Czech Republic and other countries. Pinpoint attacks are being made against Russia in the Baltics, Poland and, recently, Romania. Bucharest has added, though, that its decision was in no way connected to the EU’s position. This came as a surprise. They just decided to send that Russian diplomat back home. Why? They have not explained.

Dmitry Kiselev: It is notable that Germany has not supported the Czech Republic.

Sergey Lavrov: I have read the relevant statement by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. He spoke like a responsible politician. It is not always that the German Foreign Ministry takes such a balanced and astute position. Many of its other statements have indiscriminately supported injustice, for example when Ukraine adopted sanctions against the Opposition Platform – For Life political party, its leader Viktor Medvedchuk and several of his associates, all of them Ukrainian citizens.  The German Foreign Ministry expressed its approval, saying that this was fully in keeping with OSCE principles. This is absurd.

Therefore, what Heiko Maas said the other day is a responsible political statement. It has not smoothed over differences but pointed out the importance of maintaining dialogue and looking for agreements, since we live side by side.

Dmitry Kiselev: Recently in China, you said we needed to look for alternatives to the SWIFT international payment system, and Russia was preparing for this. Is there a specific timeframe, and what stage of the preparations are we at?

Sergey Lavrov: Many have already spoken about this. This is happening because in recent years, the West has been looking for more ways of infringing on Russia’s legitimate interests. Now they are openly mentioning the possibility of disconnecting our country from SWIFT. Responsible politicians just have to think of ways to play it safe.

In addition to these statements, the United States is increasingly abusing the role of the dollar in the international monetary system, using certain countries’ dependence on dollar settlements to limit their competitive opportunities – China and other states they dislike. China, Russia, and Turkey are now looking for opportunities to reduce their dependence on the dollar by switching to alternative currencies, or even better – by making settlements in their national currencies. The responsible agencies, including in our country, are thinking about how to prevent damage to the economy and the financial system if some hotheads actually disconnect us from SWIFT. Russia launched a national payment card system a few years ago; MIR cards have been in use in Russia since then. The system is already developing ties with its foreign counterparts, as similar cards are being issued in China and Japan. It is also building ties with the internationally accepted payment card Maestro.

As regards the SWIFT system, specifically, the Central Bank of Russia recently introduced and continued to develop a system for the transfer of financial messages. It is quite popular. I think we need to support and strengthen this in every possible way to ensure we do not depend on anyone. Let me emphasise that we are not trying to self-isolate. We want to be part of the international community. Part of a community where justice and democracy work. We have discussed the problems of democracy with the West. But once they are asked to come to an agreement, to declare that democracy should triumph in international relations, too, they lose their enthusiasm. They are full of lectures on internal democratic processes, but when it comes to the international arena, we get raised eyebrows. Here, allegedly, there are established ‘practices’ that ‘Russia and China are trying to implement’ (it’s about this). But in reality, Moscow and Beijing only want to preserve the principles of the UN Charter, according to which everyone is equal and must seek agreement.

One needs to have a safety net in terms of payment systems and transfer of financial messages. We have one. I hope it will grow stronger and be able to provide a guarantee if suddenly, contrary to our desire to cooperate with everyone, the West discriminates against Russia, abusing its current position in the international economic and monetary systems, in this situation, we really cannot afford to depend on anyone.

Dmitry Kiselev: So the Central Bank’s system for transfer of financial messages is the budding alternative to SWIFT?

Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert. I don’t know how reliably and effectively it provides a full warranty. But the groundwork is already there. I am confident that the Government and the Central Bank must do everything to make it reliable and guarantee us complete independence and protection from more damage that might be inflicted on us.

Dmitry Kiselev: In a conversation with your Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, you proposed an initiative to create a coalition of countries affected by illegal sanctions. To what extent has this project progressed? What countries could join it?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not put it like that. We have been working at the UN for a long time to end the practice of unilateral illegitimate sanctions such as embargoes, blockades and other restrictions. We have been working for a number of decades to lift the embargo the United States declared on Cuba. The respective resolution is supported by more than 190 votes annually, with only the United States and one small island nation voting against it.

However, since this practice of unilateral restrictions began to be widely used (started by Barack Obama, expanded by Donald Trump, and applied to this day), a large group of countries voted in the UN to establish the position of Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and their impact on the civilian population and the socioeconomic situation in a particular country. Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan is a citizen of Belarus. This institution, created by the UN General Assembly, is working and circulating reports. I think it is a very useful step.

Another specific course of action is now being developed in New York to the same end, as you mentioned, to counter illegal unilateral measures. It is a group in support of the UN Charter. Nothing revolutionary – just in response to our Western colleagues forming flagrantly non-universal groups.

US President Joe Biden has put forth the idea of ​​holding a Summit for Democracy. Naturally, the Americans will recruit the participants and will judge who is worthy to be called a democracy and who is not.

Also, in recent years, our French and German colleagues have being making calls to ensure freedom of the media through the Alliance for Multilateralism, a group they announced outside the framework of universal institutions. They rallied more than thirty states under its banners even though there is UNESCO, where the same topic is discussed by everyone.

Or, there was an appeal in support of international humanitarian law. Law is universal. It is the responsibility of the UN bodies. But again, they recruited about 50 states.

Such appeals have nothing to do with universal bodies, but they cover the agenda that is discussed at a universal level. They place that agenda into a framework where they are more comfortable negotiating with those who obey, and then they present it as the ultimate truth.

This movement against illegitimate unilateral actions is much broader than just sanctions.

Dmitry Kiselev: Can this movement be formalised by membership?

Sergey Lavrov: The membership is in the UN. This is the difference: we are not creating anything against anyone. In the Asia-Pacific region, we would like to leave everything as it is. ASEAN has its partners, while anyone else can join security discussions. The logic of the West acts against this. They are implementing the Indo-Pacific Strategy with its declared goal of containing China and isolating Russia.

The same is happening at the UN. They create various partnerships on topics that need to be discussed as part of the UN agenda. We insist that everyone must fulfil their obligations under the UN Charter, not scatter the global agenda across their compartments, only to present it later as the international community’s opinion.

Dmitry Kiselev: A recent update: the Americans confirmed they had made efforts to prevent Brazil from buying the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Brazil indeed refused, even though the coronavirus situation in that country is simply awful. What is your assessment?

Sergey Lavrov: This does not surprise me. The Americans are not even embarrassed to do things like that; they are not hiding it.

When former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Africa, he openly and publicly called on his colleagues at a press conference to cut off trade with Russia and China because these countries pursue selfish goals. Right, the United States trades with African states for the sole benefit of their peoples, of course.

As for the vaccine issue, a protest movement kicked off in Brazil against that decision. If the Americans have admitted they were behind it, that means they are true to their logic and believe everything is possible and permitted, and they can now openly dictate their will.

Not so long ago, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of a new type of world war, and that Russia and China were using vaccines as a weapon and means of propaganda. That rhetoric is now receding. Germany, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, is already seriously talking about the possibility of using the Russian vaccine.

We are not going to force anyone. I think life itself will set things straight. Vladimir Vysotsky said: “I always try to find the good in people. They will show the bad themselves.”

Dmitry Kiselev: A year ago, in an interview with our agency in the midst of the pandemic, you said you missed football. Are you back to sport yet?

Sergey Lavrov: In fact, I am. I did miss playing for a couple of weeks. We took a break and kept it low-key. But later, when we realised what precautions we could take, the games resumed. We play every Sunday.

What Just Happened in the Ukraine?

THE SAKER • APRIL 25, 2021 

Before we look into what just happened in the Ukraine, we need to first recall the sequence of events which lead to the current situation. I will try to make a short summary (skipping a lot of details) in the bullet-point style:

  1. Whether Ze initially intended to stop the war in the eastern Ukraine we don’t know, but what we do know is that he failed not only to stop it, in many ways his policies were even worse than Poroshenko’s. This might be the well-known phenomenon of a supposedly “pro-peace and happiness” politician being accused of being “weak” and thus not “presidential”; this politician has to show his “strength” is “patriotism”, that is acting recklessly on the external front. We see that from putatively “liberal” politicians such as the Dems in the USA and Labor in Israel. Historically, “liberals” are the most common war initiators. Ze showed his weakness almost from day 1, and the Ukronazis immediately seized this opportunity to engage in a massive multi-level campaign for war against Russia. This resulted in:
  2. A quasi-official repudiation of the Minsk Agreements and Steinmeier Formula by Kiev, followed by a sharp increase in bellicose statements and, most crucially a large scale move of forces (including tanks, heavy artillery, MLRS and even ballistic missiles!) towards the line of contact. At the same time Ukronazi politicians began making statements saying that a) the Ukrainian army was capable and willing to “liberate” all of the “Russian occupied” Ukrainian land thus, including both the Donbass and Crimea b) that Russia was going to attack the Ukraine anyway and c) that the consolidated West had to help the Ukraine because only the Ukrainian forces were keeping the asiatic drunken Russian hordes from over-running not only the Ukraine, but even the rest of Europe. Since the Ukraine simply has no agency, this begs the question of the US (and, to a lesser degree, the UK) rationale was for these moves. It is quite simple:
  3. Force Russia to openly intervene to protect the population of the Donbass from the inevitable genocide which the Ukronazis would have meeted out to the population of the LDNR.

How good was this plan? I would argue that it was a very solid plan which, for the USA, meant a win-win situation. Here is how it should have gone:

First, the Ukrainian forces would attack the LDNR, probably along three axes: one between the city of Gorlovka and Donetsk, one frontally attacking Donetsk proper, not to invade the city, but to tie down LDNR forces in protection of their capital, and one in the south with the aim of reaching the Russian border. This way, the LDNR defenders would have to defend their capital while, at the same time, risking envelopment on two axes. Remember that the LDNR has no strategic depth (Donetsk is practically on the frontline) and that the LDNR defenders could not trade space for time.

I have seen some “experts” saying that since the Ukrainians have laid down a very large number of mines they are clearly not going to attack since they would lose time – and possibly men – to cross these minefields. First, there is no way of knowing if these mines are real or fake (many mines also have a timer anyway) but, second, more crucially: an attacking force always wants to concentrate in one specific location of the line of contact, which means that the attacking forces has to not only attack, but also protect herself from enemy counter-attacks: minefields are very effective at providing this sort of protection. The “defensive” moves can, and do, in reality, form an integral part of any offensive plans.

Of course, The Big Question was this: could the LDNR forces stop the Ukronazis? There are those who say that yes, and those who say no. Rather than suggesting an answer, let’s look at both of these outcomes:

Option 1: the LDNR forces successfully stop the Ukrainian invasion:

That would be, by far, the best outcome for Russia, but for the LDNR this outcome, while better than a defeat, would probably result in a lot of deaths and destruction. We know that both the Ukrainian military and the LDNR forces have been profoundly reformed and restructured since 2014. Crucially, the LDNR forces went from being self-organized and disparate militias to a conventional military force capable of operational level combined arms operations. Would that be enough to stop a larger Ukrainian force? Possibly. But this is by no means certain, not only because war is an unpredictable thing to begin with, but also because we really have no way of knowing how well the Ukrainian military was reformed. If what they got was the same type of “training” as the Georgians in the years leading up to 08.08.08 then there is a good cause to doubt it. LDNR leaders, however, did not engage in bravado and silly flag-waving and they took the threat very seriously, which tells us that they were by no means certain of what might happen next. Now let’s look at option 2:

Option 2: the LDNR defenses eventually collapse in one or even several locations:

What if the LDNR forces failed to stop the Ukrainians? At this point, Russia would have absolutely no choice but to intervene to save the people of the Donbass (more than half a million of which already have Russian passports!). I won’t discuss here the options a LDNR+Russia counter-attack would have or how much Ukronazi-occupied land Russia could or should liberate (that is not the topic here). In this case, two things are absolutely certain:

  1. Russia would comprehensively defeat any combination of Ukrainian forces.
  2. The US/NATO would declare a state of quasi war with Russia and create something similar to the Berlin Wall along whatever line of contact would result from a Russian counter-attack.

In this scenario, the biggest loser would, of course, be the Ukraine. But the next loser would be Russia, because instead of “just” dealing with a nutcase Nazi regime next door, Russia would now face a hysterically paranoid and russophobic consolidated West. At the end of such a war, Russia would face something similar to what happened at the end of the Korean war: a ceasefire followed by decades of tensions.

The big winner would be the USA: its main instrument for the colonization of Europe (NATO) would finally find itself a purpose in life (stop the Russians, of course), NS2 and other cooperation between the EU and Russia would all but totally freeze, making the European economy non-competitive against the US, and the US MIC would have a great time selling very expensive, if not very effective, military hardware to all the the European countries. And that strategic US victory would not cost the US a single soldier! What’s there not to like about this?

Well, for Russia this would be a very bad outcome. Yes, Russia has the means to take on both the US and NATO militarily, but politically and economically, this would hurt Russian interests, not critically, but substantially.

Then, there is this: the Ukraine is a thoroughly deindustrialized failed state, worse than many African countries. While there was a lot of window-dressing going on both inside the Ukraine and in the West’s legacy media, the COVID pandemic and its horrible consequences inside the Ukraine became impossible to conceal or deny, especially to the Ukrainian people themselves. Right now, the entire Ukraine is like a vase in a store: if you break it, you own it and you must fix it. Even if we exclude an outcome where the Russian tanks stop at the western borders of the Ukraine and take a middle-of-the-road option where the Russians stop at the Dnieper river, this would have huge consequences for the Russians, including:

  1. The frontline between the Ukronazis and the LDNR+Russian forces would be massively stretched becoming much longer, yet every kilometer of that line of contact would have to be protected. This begs the question: protected by whom?
  2. The Russian side would suddenly inherit several large cities (Chernigov, Kharkov, Poltava, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhia, Mariupol, Berdiansk, etc.). Not only would the Russians have to clear these cities from Ukrainian insurgents and stay-behind forces, but Russia would also have to rebuild them and feed a population much larger than the current population of the LDNR.
  3. The Russian economy simply cannot bear the burden of what is currently a Nazi run Ukraine which has turned into a massive black hole sucking in huge ressoures and never letting anything leave (except emigrating Ukrainians). At best, Russia is currently investing billions of rubles to rebuild Crimea (which the Nazis always hated and neglected – except to build themselves mansions on the Black Sea) while barely keeping the LDNR afloat.

It is the consolidated West (US+UK+EU) which destroyed the Ukraine, and the Russians will capitalize on this by making the West responsible for fixing what it broke, and that won’t happen since the EU does not have the means to do it right now while the USA is not directly threatened by this situation and thus has no reasons to intervene beyond making sure that the regime in Kiev remains a) rabidly anti-Russian and b) totally under the control of the USA.

Thus, neither option 1 nor option 2 were desirable for Russia. So Putin created option three.

Putin’s option 3:

In response to the seemingly unstoppable escalation towards war was something nobody in the West expected: Putin used the pretext of regularly scheduled military exercises to quickly and dramatically increase the Russian capabilities near the Ukraine: Russia moved two Armies (58th and 41st) and three Airborne Divisions (7th76th and 98th) towards Russia’s western regions (including Crimea). The Russians also moved almost their entire Caspian Flotilla into the Black Sea. More Russian warships entered the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. Next, all six advanced 636.3 type diesel-electric submarines (possibly the quietest on the planet, at normal cruising speed they produce less noise than the surrounding environment, turning them into acoustic black holes) went on patrol. Finally, Russia deployed her coastal defense missile systems Bal and Bastion, turning the entire Black Sea into a Russian shooting range). And, crucially, Russia did all that very publicly, in broad daylight, officially announcing her military moves and not even bothering with any type of camouflage or deception.

To those ignorant of military realities this looked like Russia was “threatening the Ukraine”. This is absolute nonsense. All Russia needs to do to threaten the Ukraine is to remind the Ukrainians that Russian long range weapons are enough to obliterate the Ukrainian military and that Russia can use these standoff weapons without moving any forces at all. No, the real object of these Russian moves was not the Ukraine, but the West itself, especially any western force crazy enough to decide to enter the war and militarily help the Ukraine. Why? Here again, I will offer my view of how this situation might have evolved:

  1. First, the Ukrainians attack the LDNR. LDNR forces take the initial blow and try to contain the Ukrainian advance.
  2. The Russians declare a no-fly zone over the area of operations and strikes the advancing Ukrainian forces with her formidable firepower. The outcome here is not in doubt.
  3. NATO+EU nations decide to intervene, say by sending several Polish battalions into the Ukraine. US+UK forces conduct reconnaissance operations by flying near (or even over) the line of contact and by sending special forces. After a few warnings (or not), the Russians decide to shoot down one of these intelligence aircraft or drones. The West decides to “show solidarity” by engaging in cyber-attacks against Russia, imposing even more sanctions and by airlifting even more forces into the Western Ukraine.

At this point, the US+NATO+EU and Russia would be at the brink of a major war. But here is the crucial thing: by moving two armies and three airborne divisions (a huge force, way bigger and more capable than any combo of NATO forces!) so quickly Russia, proved to NATO that she can quickly achieve a huge numerical advantage anywhere any NATO force might decide to attack. Conversely, no NATO nation has the ability to concentrate its conventional forces so quickly and on any point along the frontline.

Comparing force sizes is engaging in “bean counting” and is useless. It really does not matter very much how big a force is, what matters is the force ratios along key sectors of the FEBA or the front (assuming there is a “front”, which sometimes does not really exist) and at a specific moment in time.

Also, keep in mind that, unlike most western airborne forces, Russian airborne forces are fully mechanized, they even have some tanks, plenty of armored vehicles, their own artillery and an ability to move very very quickly (remember the Rusbat in Bosnia going to Pristina almost overnight?). Western airborne forces are attack forces designed to enforce the western imperial hegemony worldwide, so they have to be much lighter. The Russians have no need to send airborne forces across the border, they need them to defend Russia and to be deployed within less than about 1000km from the main Russian forces. Thus, Russia “sacrificed” their strategic mobility of her airborne forces to give them a tactical and operational mobility and firepower which western airborne forces can’t even dream about. So what could these three divisions do in the context of a Ukrainian attack?

Well, they could do what they are mostly designed to do, deploy behind enemy lines, destroy (or hold) strategic targets (like bridges, power stations, missile bases, etc.) hold some strategic location or present a threat from the rear to the Ukrainains. But that overlooks the major reform the Russian AB forces have undergone. They are also really high mobility and high readiness forces which, for example, could be deployed to protect the Russian peacekeeping force in Transnistria (such a move would also be protected by the long range fire capabilities of both the Black Sea Fleet and the Russian Aerospace Forces). Russian AB units could also be deployed in the Ukrainian rear to create chaos and disrupt the Ukrainian supply lines. Finally, any Polish force threatening to intervene could be quickly attacked and destroyed. Again, that would enrage the Western politicians, and it is at this moment that the Russians could move her armies across the border to show that any combo of western forces would be annihilated. This would leave the West only two options: fold or go nuclear. And going nuclear does not seem to be an option the West wants to exercise, hence folding would be the only viable option. So far (things might change in the future, who knows how crazy NATO can act?).

Finally, Putin spoke directly to the West in his speech before the Federal Assembly when he said:

The meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves towards Russia have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling’s book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges. But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, they must know that Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

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

Putin very very rarely threatens, but when he does, people listen because they understand that his warnings are never a bluff and that when he promises something he has the means to realize his threat (in this case, 2 Combined Arms Armies and 3 Airborne Divisions, all backed by Russian long range and hypersonic weapons and, if all else fails, by the most modern and robust nuclear triad on the planet). As for what would be a Russian “red line”, Putin decided to deliberately leave this point ambiguous only saying that “I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.” The point of this strategic ambiguity is to leave the West guessing when it is safe to make a move and when not. This very simply maximizes the deterrent effect of the rest of his speech.

And, today, the Russians have “clarified” that the Kerch strait are not close to traffic, not even Ukrainian traffic. “All” that Russia did was to declare some exclusion zones for military exercises purposes, but traffic under the Crimean Bridge remains open. Right. And how long will it take Russia to (truly) re-close that strait? Minutes. This unspoken threat is primarily a threat to the Ukrainians, showing them how easy it would be for Russia to sever their lines of communications should they threaten Russia.

Yes, Putin did win this round quite elegantly, without a single Russian soldier dying. But the problem is that this undeniable Russian success really solves nothing. All the causes which led the Ukronazi regime to bring the entire region to the edge of the abyss are still present. Inside the Ukraine nothing has changed and, if anything, things are even worse: total censorships of opposition TV channels, political persecutions (including torture and kidnappings), the same warlike rhetoric. The economy in in shambles and Ukrainians are emigrating by the millions (both to Russia and to the EU), the Nazi deathsquads continue to enjoy total impunity, and, of course, the total COVID catastrophe (the West gives the Ukies lethal weapons to use against Russian, but no vaccine, and way more people are dying from COVID in the Ukraine than are dying at the frontlines! These are “European” and “Western” “values” at work…)

Sure, it does appear that a combination of European reservations and the risk of the members of the ruling elite in Kiev to be physically eliminated by Russian strikes, possibly combined with a realization by the “Biden” Administration that a total blow-up in the Ukraine would strain US-European relations (there will be plenty of blame to go around) resulted in the current perceived deescalation.

Sadly, and in spite of the current reprieve, some kind of war between Russia and the Ukraine is still probably inevitable. Right now, the bulk of the Russian forces are returning to their normal areas of deployment, with, probably, some staying. We can also be sure that the Russians will have a major after action review to find out what went wrong and what needs to be changed. As a result, next time around, the Russian will move their forces even faster.

But what about the US, it’s NATO proxies and the Ukronazi regime?

The US is still scrambling to try to retake control of an international situation which has clearly gone totally out of hand for the wannabe world Hegemon. Even more importantly, the internal situation of the USA is truly critical with many very serious crises occurring simultaneously. Yes, there is also a lot of window-dressing in the US media, but most people see and know what is really going on. Which means that the US is as weak as it is unstable. Finally, judging by the low intellectual abilities of US decision makers, we should always expect something silly or even dangerous, or both, from this Administration for and by Woke-freaks (especially since “diversity” has now completely replaced “competence”).

NATO and the EU are in a bind. While some countries go “totally insane” (the Czech Republic and the usual 3B+PU) others are desperately trying to keep things together (Germany). As for the regime in Kiev, it is barely holding on to power and has no other options left than doubling down over and over and over again. Crucially, the junta in Kiev will continue to blame Russia for absolutely everything and anything (about 99% of what the Ukie political class does nowadays is hate on Russia and threaten to defeat Russia militarily).

None of that qualifies as “peace” in any meaningful sense of the word (people die everyday, almost all of them civilians). Worst of all, the same causes can only lead to the same outcomes, and there is very little anybody can do to change this. Thus, at best, what we are seeing is only a reprieve. But as long as a gang of Neo-Nazi thugs continues to hold power in Kiev, war will be a quasi inevitability. True peace will only come when the Ukronazis are either dead, or jailed or back in Canada. Until then there shall be no peace, only degrees of war.

What about the deescalation in the Donbass? (OPEN THREAD #17)

What about the deescalation in the Donbass? (OPEN THREAD #17)

April 23, 2021

The Saker

There is, amongst some, a strong sense of relief: Defense Minister Shoigu has declared that the formations deployed by Russia to western Russia will now return to their regular bases.  Of course, the Ukrainians claim that they “deterred a Russian attack” while the Russians say that “the West got the message”.  Is that so and, if yes, who is right?

Well, I think that we can dismiss the Ukie nonsense out of hand.  Nobody out there, except the Ukrainians themselves, seriously believe that Russia “blinked”, if only because destroying the entire Ukrainian military would take Russia less than a week.  In fact, the Ukrainians know that very well, they just won’t admit it.

Notice that while the Ukrainians claim that they deterred Russia, Russia does not claim to have deterred the Ukrainians, instead Russia declared that the Russian bear roared loud enough to deter the united West.  Right there we have an important clue as to what has really happened.

I, however, submit that the causes which triggered the initial Ukrainian move to bring a large armored force right to the line of contact are still here.  In other words, nothing has been resolved.

What happened is this: in response to the threat from both the Ukrainians and US/NATO, Russia simply demonstrated her ability to quickly concentrate a truly huge force (2 Armies and 2 Airborne Divisions) along her border.  She also redeployed the Caspian Flotilla into the Black Sea, brought in large landing ships and, generally, “flexed her military muscles” in order to convey a clear message to the Ukrainians, the Europeans and the US:

  • To the Ukrainians: attack the Donbass and you will die, as for the Ukraine, it will break apart into several new successor states.
  • To the EU: if a war starts, you will even lose the very little agency you have left and your economy will not be competitive against the USA.
  • To the USA: if a war starts, you will face a stark choice: lose face or start a full-scale war against Russia.

Yes, so far, this strategy has proved very effective.  The Ukrainians were clearly terrified and the EU showed no enthusiasm for that war (except the UK, which risks very little, and the Poles who specialize in stupid historical decisions).  As for “Biden”, he realized that a full scale war against Russia was suicidal.

So are we now out of the danger zone?

Absolutely not.  There is still one thing the West is determined to achieve: to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  For the US Neocons, to see the two Slavic brothers kill each other is old dream come true.  Furthermore, the US still needs to bring the EU down to its economic knees to force it to buy energy, services and goods from the USA.  Last, but not least, the Ukraine has lost any appeal it might have had for the USA: the only thing which the Ukraine can still offer is to be a thorn in Russia’s side.

And then, there is the “Ze” regime in Kiev: not viable, not reformable, the Ukraine is has been comprehensively deindustrialized and now the Ukrainians are dying in huge numbers from the COVID pandemic: Banderastan is the ultimate failed state, worse than many African ones, in fact.

Yes, “Ze” was told by his masters to “cool it” and, so far, he has obeyed, but that solves exactly none of his problems.  Worse, there are a lot of well-armed Ukronazi deathsquads who still have the means to create some kind of incident which would reignite the whole thing again.  Also, it is worth remembering that the Brits and the Ukies both have a proven record of successful covert operations, which by definition include false flags.

In other words, nothing has really changed.  Yes, right now, Uncle Shmuel is trying to find out what his options are, and he will come up with a corrected plan (remember, Neocons are stupid, yes, but they are also clever in a short term, “horizontal” way).  Right now “Biden” is licking his wounds from the embarrassing faceplant with the attempt to kill Lukashenko and the (frankly silly) nonsense coming out of the Czech Republic.  There are some signs that at least the Germans realize what is really going on and who is truly trying to screw them over (while most of the German political class is corrupt to the bone, some German politicians are sensitive to the mood of the German business community).

Simply put: all we are observing today is a short term reprieve, nothing more.

The Russians know that, and it is safe to say that while some of their forces will demonstratively retreat, others will stay.  More importantly, now that this operational redeployment of key formations has been rehearsed, very publicly, the Russians have shown the US/NATO that Russia can deal with any military threat (in contrast, it would take NATO months to bring a big enough force to eastern Europe to represent a credible threat).

Finally, Ze has made a rather ridiculous speech telling Putin that they should meet.  Putin’s response was perfect: you want to meet with me to discuss our bilateral relations (which, incidentally, you have destroyed) – sure.  No problem.  But if you want to discuss the Donbass, you have to engage in direct talks with the LDNR, as the Minsk Agreement and the Steinmeier formula, which you have signed, stipulate.  In other words, back to square one.

This is a situation of not one, but two “thorns”: the Ukronazi Banderastan is definitely a thorn in the side of Russia, while the LDNR is a thorn in the side of Banderastan.  Make a guess, which side can put up with its thorn longer than the other side?

Many have forgotten it, but in a moment of anger, Poroshenko did tell Putin “take the Donbass if you want it!”, and Putin declined.  Since then, the Russians have shown over and over again that they do NOT want the Donbass.  At most, they might have to take it to save it from genocide, but even in this case the Russians have no intentions of invading the rest of the Ukraine only to have to deal with 1) Ukronazi insurgencies and 2) rebuilding this failed state from its current zero all the way back.  And that is the worst Russian threat not only for the Ukraine, but for all of Europe: Russia does NOT want, or need, the Ukraine and Russia won’t take it over, even in case of a full-scale war.  At most, Russia will repeat what she did in the 08.08.08 war: defang the Nazi regime by obliterating the Ukrainian military, and then let the regime naturally collapse.

Anyway, I will write a more detailed analysis of this situation next week, but right now I submit that all that is happened is a limited and temporary deescalation, not any kind of return to even semi-normality (and the Ukies are still murdering LDNR civilians every day, including with heavy weapons).

So, what do you think?  Back to sanity, or only a reprieve?

The Saker

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