Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:04 am

Ukraine SitRep - No Southern Push Yet, Kiev Government Trouble, Tanks And Escalation

Last week, following two days of heavy fighting along the southern front in Ukraine, I concluded that the expected push from the south into the back of the Ukrainian forces at the Donetzk frontline, was finally happening.

Ukraine - Russian Army Activates Southern Front

I was wrong. I, and other analysts following the war, had been deceived by the sudden rush of news from that frontline. It said that Russian forces made progress in a large number of towns. But nearly as soon as I had published my peace that news died down. In the following days nothing happened but the usual exchange of artillery fire and minor local clashes.

I am not sure what happened. But the Ukrainian army also seemed to have believed that something big was coming as it had rushed an additional mechanized brigade to that line.

While the big one has not happened yet there are several probing attacks in the area with some successes around Vuhledar.


Dima of the Military Summary channel noted (vid) a Russian report which said that two Ukrainian officers had crossed the southern frontline and surrendered to Russian forces. He speculates that the whole fluff up in the news was created as a diversion to allow for a secure extraction of those officers. We have no evidence for that but it may well have happened that way.

It is interesting that this was followed by additional government turmoil in Kiev as another senior advisor of president Zelensky, the deputy head of his office Kyrylo Tymoshenko, resigned. Additionally several deputy ministers and oblast governors were fired:

eputy Defence Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov also resigned, following reports he oversaw the purchase of military food supplies at inflated prices from a relatively unknown firm. The department called this a "technical mistake" and claimed no money had changed hands.
The defence minister himself - Oleksii Reznikov - has been under scrutiny for the same reason.

A host of other top officials were dismissed on Tuesday, including:

Deputy Prosecutor General Oleskiy Symonenko
Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Ivan Lukerya
Deputy Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Vyacheslav Negoda
Deputy Minister for Social Policy Vitaliy Muzychenko
And the regional governors of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Sumy and Kherson

I urge people to be careful with corruption allegations in Ukraine. These often come from the extralegal National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). The bureau was setup in 2014, after the Maidan coup. It was created and controlled by the U.S. embassy. NABU was used in various power plays to remove people who the embassy disliked.

In 2020 the supreme court of Ukraine ruled that NABU was outside of the law and should not have the investigative powers it assumed. This came after NABU had investigated several supreme court judges in anti-corruption cases. That fight between two camps of power in Ukraine led to a constitutional crisis.

A year later Zelensky fired the leading supreme court judge who had written the opinion on NABU. The judge appealed the decision and the court took his side. The conflict remains unresolved. The judge fled to Austria where he is now threatened with arrest under a Ukrainian warrant.

There are many of such little reported power plays in Kiev with Zelensky moving more and more into a dictatorial role. Over time his position will become very lonely.

But in the east the battle continues and Ukraine keeps losing the war. The Telegram channel Intel Slava Z notes:

Prigozhin on the objectives of the actions of PMC "Wagner" in the Artemovsk region.
“The task of taking Bakhmut is to destroy the Ukrainian army in the vicinity of the city and prevent any offensive actions in any direction of the front. All of their combat-ready units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are sent to Bakhmut. And PMC "Wagner" destroys them, opening up operational opportunities in other areas"


This confirms my previous observation:

I count the equivalent of some 27 brigade size formations in that area. The usual size of a brigade is some 3,000 to 4,000 men with hundreds of all kinds of vehicles. If all brigades had their full strength that force would count as 97,500 men. In a recent interview the Ukrainian military commander Zaluzhny said that his army has 200,000 men trained to fight with 500,000 more having other functions or currently being trained. The forces which are currently getting mauled in the Bakhmut area constitute 50% of Ukraine's battle ready forces.

There are still Pentagon officials who deny the real situation:

Russian forces took control of the city of Bakhmut almost a year ago after Moscow opened a phase of the war that focused on territories in the Donbas, the far eastern corner of Ukraine comprised of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
Recent successes by Ukrainian fighters in the Bakhmut area have prompted Moscow to send in reinforcements, said the senior U.S. military official who spoke on condition of anonymity. U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said Ukrainian troops are presently in control of Bakhmut, though Moscow claimed this week that its forces have taken control of a nearby salt-mining town, Soledar.

“Ukraine forces continue to successfully hold and defend Bakhmut,” the U.S. military official said, adding the new Russian troops are being “rushed” to the battlefield “ill trained” and “ill equipped.”

To read such nonsense in the Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for the U.S. military, is quite revealing. Can these people even read a map?

Bakhmut has never been under the Russian forces control. This was the situation near Bakhmut 6 months ago. The Russian held territory is red.


This is the current situation around Bakhmut. The city is nearly encircled. All major roads leading in and out are under Russian artillery control.


It is a big meat grinder. The German intelligence service BND says that the Ukrainian forces lose hundreds of soldiers per day in that city alone. The Russian defense ministry does not report on Bakhmut as that is Wagner's territory. But it daily reports if additional hundreds of losses on the Ukrainian side.

In a useless attempt to stop the steady drain of Ukrainian forces the 'west' is moving additional weapons into Ukraine. The U.S. wants to unlock the transfer of tanks by other countries to Ukraine by delivering parts of its own tank reserves:

The Biden administration is leaning toward sending a significant number of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine and an announcement of the deliveries could come this week, U.S. officials said.
The announcement would be part of a broader diplomatic understanding with Germany in which Berlin would agree to send a smaller number of its own Leopard 2 tanks and would also approve the delivery of more of the German-made tanks by Poland and other nations. It would settle a trans-Atlantic disagreement over the tanks that had threatened to open fissures as the war drags into the end of its first year.

The White House declined to comment.
The shift in the U.S. position follows a call on Jan. 17 between President Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in which Mr. Biden agreed to look into providing the Abrams tanks against the judgment of the Pentagon. A senior German official said that the issue had been the subject of intense negotiation between Washington and Berlin for more than a week and appeared to be on the way to resolution.
Previously, the Pentagon had ruled out providing the tanks to Ukraine, saying they were too complicated for the Ukrainians to maintain and operate. But White House and State Department officials were described as being more open to providing Abrams to break the diplomatic logjam holding up Leopard deliveries.

U.S. Joint Chiefs Chair Milley and Defense Secretary Austin have been against any tank delivery. They are afraid of the consequences of this steady mission creep. The Biden administration steadily blows through each of its own red lines. Biden had started out by declaring that the U.S. would only deliver defensive weapons. Then came HIMARS and other longer range weapons that hit targets in Russia. Delivering tanks was a red line. What will come next? Fighter planes that have no chance to defeat superior Russian air defenses?

They military are not alone in their fear. The Science and Security Board Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock:

The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.

Biden is in a bind. He started a war that he is not allowed to lose because losing in Ukraine will come with the loss of U.S. financial hegemony:

The Biden Team cannot withdraw its fantastical narrative of Russia’s imminent humiliation; they have bet the House on it. Yet it has become an existential issue for the U.S. precisely because of this egregious initial miscalculation that has been subsequently levered-up into a preposterous narrative of a floundering, at any moment ‘collapsing’ Russia.
This evolving New Order existentially threatens dollar hegemony – the U.S. created its hegemony through demanding that oil (and other commodities) be priced in dollars, and by facilitating a frenetic financialisation of asset markets in the U.S. It is this demand for dollars which alone has allowed the U.S. to fund its government deficit (and its defence budget) for nothing.

Team Biden thus has painted the U.S. into a tight Ukraine ‘corner’. But at this stage – realistically – what can the White House do? It cannot withdraw the narrative of Russia’s ‘coming humiliation’ and defeat. They cannot let the narrative go because it has become an existential component to save what it can of the ‘Ponzi’. To admit that Russia ‘has won’ would be akin to saying that the ‘Ponzi’ will have to ‘close the fund’ to further withdrawals (just as Nixon did in 1971, when he shut withdrawals from the Gold window).
Commentator Yves Smith has provocatively argued, ‘What if Russia decisively wins – yet the western press is directed to not notice?’ Presumably, in such a situation, the economic confrontation between the West and New Global Order states must escalate into a wider, longer war.

And escalating it is. With ever increasing speed.

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Posted by b on January 24, 2023 at 17:05 UTC | Permalink ... .html#more


On the increase in the French military budget
January 24, 20:16


On the increase in the French military budget

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an address to the army last Friday at the Mont-de-Marsan air base.

The main message was the president's intention to increase ) military budget for 2024-2030 from 295 to 413 billion euros.

It is expected that the plan to finance the French army will be presented in the spring as part of the "Law on military programming".

Rybar's team managed to communicate with one of the parliamentarians who are directly involved in the development of the law. He shared so far confidential budget provisions.

President Macron no longer sees the economic point of maintaining a French military presence in Africa, given the increased activity of Russia, Turkey, China and local nationalist movements.

France is considering the possibility of a gradual complete withdrawal not only from the Sahel, but also from other regions of French influence.

The new French foreign policy in Africa will no longer include a military component - only the maintenance of embassies and consulates, as well as the promotion of economic interests.

The budget will be largely reallocated in favor of the Air Force and air reconnaissance, as well as in favor of the nuclear program and the Navy.

The military intelligence budget is planned to be increased by 60%.

CBO analysis and failing preparation ( for the ORION military exercises convinced the French leadership that the national army was not ready for large-scale military conflicts. In this regard, Paris is betting on nuclear deterrence.

The situation with the combat readiness of the French troops was also significantly aggravated by assistance to Ukraine - some units lost ( ) a significant part of the military equipment required by the state.

Given that the French army is increasingly relying ( ) on private contractors for air and space intelligence, it is not hard to guess that the main beneficiaries of the revision of the military budget will be the intelligence community and PMCs.

In the context of the reduction in funding for the ground forces, the functions of operational activities in the conflict zone will also gradually go to private traders. - zinc

Google Translator

That final bit of speculation is interesting. The obvious motivation for all the (capitalist) players is to keep down the number of body-bags returned home under government auspices. No real concern for the lives of their citizens rather concern for political stability,"ain't no time to be fighting a war on the home front too.' The contractors will hire many foreign nationals and can do much to obfuscate their losses with a bit of lax government oversight. Good for 'stability' and recruitment too.

The use of mercenaries is as about old as history. The Thirty Years war was fought almost entirely with mercenaries, with prominent generals acting as contractors. The historically bad outcome of that conflict put mercs in bad light, though of course ultimate responsibility belongs to the politicians. The rise of the nation state largely put a end to the practice by states, though not by corporations. Plenty of willing cannon fodder to be found in the new masses of 'patriots' created by the 'Age of Revolutions'.

As the US Army found in Vietnam armies of conscripts are unsuitable for overseas occupations, especially as causalities mount. So they went to the all volunteer army("cause those folks have no room to complain"...) but as the army advertised itself as a job training program there developed a paucity of grunts.(It's also been noted that people of color shy away from that role, statistically. How about that...the incidence of racist atrocities committed by US forces against other than white people is a constant.) Enter the mercenary.

Citizens of nominal democracies these days are not keen on dying or being maimed for non-existential reasons. And to be honest urbanites might not be as suitable for military service as persons accustomed to more physical lifestyles. The use of 'savage'proxies(a gross generality)also has precedent in that usual role model, the Roman Empire. Ostrogoths, ISIS, no great difference. And the heads of these so-called Islamic terrorist organization are actually contractors in the Thirty Years War mode. The paymaster these days US/NATO not the Hapsburgs but little difference.


“Several Ukrainian Officials Are Fired as Corruption Scandal Balloons”

This is the headline in the latest online edition of The New York Times.

The article goes on to say:

“The dismissals included governors of several regions in the biggest upheaval in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government since the Russian invasion began.”

For its part, ‘The Financial Tiimes’ also has a front page report on the same entitled “Ukraine officials resign as Volodymyr Zelensky moves to ease corruption concerns.” The subtitle goes on to inform us: “Deputy ministers, officials and regional governors among those replaced as president seeks to clean up public life.”

So what is going on?

To their credit, the FT do offer an explanation for the purge, telling us that “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy..sought to defuse concerns over corruption at a time when he is requesting more western weaponry to repel Russian forces.” We are told the resignations and firings are all about “misuse of state and military funds.”

One of the officials forced out was publicly accused of concluding deals to procure food supplies to the army at inflated prices. Can you imagine that? Others were said to have traveled abroad at the expense of foreign donors. Gosh!

The FT concludes its article with an upbeat comment from the President of the Kyiv School of Economics: “it’s a good sign that the system responded to public pressure. It’s also a sign that democracy here works.”

So much for mainstream spin. Now I take pleasure in offering another analysis of what is going on which does not differ from the link of causality buried in the FT article but takes it several steps further into how the real world works.

My source for this alternative news is the Russian talk show “Time Will Tell (Vremy Pokazhet) which by chance I found when flipping channels on the statellite television in my hotel located on the remote and colonial ambiance island La Digue in the Seychelles.

For a more precise geographical positioning, I am now 500 meters from the Plantation House build in 1818, now a national museum-park, where the soft porn movie “Return of Emmanuel” was filmed, and where some Bacardi rum adverts were also filmed. Population of the island – 2,613. Sole industry – tourism.

This is not a bad place to sit out a full-blown NATO -Russia war. Maybe the Russian tourists here know something. In any case my hotel subscribes to Russia’s state broadcaster Pervy Kanal, the hosts to “Time Will Tell.”

This particular show I know well as a legitimate competitor to the ” Evening with Solovyov” programs that I have cited in my reporting of the past couple of years. The European ban on Russian satellite television has prevented me from following Pervy Kanal. But here we are together again on La Digue.

Today’s show dealt with a number of issues, starting with Polish ambitions to seize the Lvov region of Western Ukraine and to establish ‘colonial control’ over a rump state of Ukraine reaching as far east as the Dnepr. The presenter also informed the audience about the request Polish officials are now quietly passing along to the European Union that they be reimbursed for the cost of the Leopard tanks that Warsaw is about to gift to Kiev.

Then the show moved on to the issue before us, the purge of high officials in the Zelensky regime. The presenter gave us the missing link on a platter, a link that our Western media giants just seem to have overlooked: namely the connection between the ongoing purge and the visit of CIA director William Burns to Kiev last week for talks with Zelensky.

That unexpected visit had been described on CNN as serving to reassure Zelensky of steadfast U.S. support, as well as to share U.S. intelligence on likely Russian military action in the foreseeable future. Of course, there are other U.S. officials who could do this as well or better than Burns, particularly those wearing military uniforms.How much more logical that a CIA Director would be briefing Zelensky on what he must do to clean the stables, to publicly throw out his corrupt buddies if he is to have any chance of getting further funding from the now Republican controlled House. It would not be inappropriate to call this ‘regime change’.

Panelists on the talk show identified leading members of Zelensky’s Servant of the People party who have been forced from office as folks who were aligned with Boris Johnson. Their replacements are expected to be people more closely aligned with the United States.

So much for democracy at work in Ukraine, Messrs “Financial Times..”

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023 ... -balloons/


The economics of war - how much does it cost to train Ukrainians to fight on the Abrams
January 24, 23:15


The economics of war - how much does it cost to train Ukrainians to fight on the Abrams

Let's say right away: for a number of completely objective reasons, it is impossible to accurately assess either the cost of a tank or the cost of training crews. The most important of them is that the accounting of the modern army is incredibly complex. In 2021, the average American soldier cost the US $136,000 a year, a small cost by the standards of the country.

How much the equipment removed from storage costs is a rather philosophical question, and the answer to it depends on the point of view. A similar story is with staff training - we doubt that insurance and a relative support program will be included in this amount. In the case of training Ukrainian tank crews, it is even difficult to predict the program: for an American tank crew member, it takes 22 weeks (about six months), for a repairman - about 13 weeks (3 months), and equipment for various combat vehicle systems - from 22 to 34 weeks. The commander needs more time, but there are huge doubts that the Ukrainians will be trained for so long.

According to rough estimates, a two-month course for one Ukrainian tanker will cost $50,000-200,000, including live firing and work with equipment and simulators. The training of 100 crews will cost $100 million. But maybe more - we don't know how many combat firing and operating hours are included, and one real shot from a cannon costs from $1 to $10 thousand, depending on the projectile. So even $100 million can easily turn into a billion, especially considering the retraining of technical staff.

The supply of modern combat vehicles, at least from storage, is a serious expense. Even for fantastically wealthy America, an extra couple of billion in aid is not as easy as it sounds. And we are not talking about aviation - that's where every plane really becomes golden. - zinc

PS. Regarding the question raised of the cost of training Ukrainian cannon fodder to drive American tanks. Here it is worth understanding the following things.

1. Training is carried out at the expense of already allocated funds.
2. The money goes to Pentagon defense contractors, it doesn't go to Ukraine.
3. Any corruption component remains an internal affair of the American public-private defense partnership.
4. From the point of view of the total costs of the war in Ukraine, the cost of training cannon fodder is insignificant.

Of course, 'money is no object'....But time is, and a two month course is probably just enough to get that tanker killed. Using experienced Ukrainian personnel won't help much as US and Soviet design and operation are strikingly different.

On the situation around Artemovsk
January 24, 21:56


About talk about the operational environment of Artemovsk.

It is still too early to talk about the operational environment of the Artemov group. After taking Kleshcheevka and advancing towards Krasnoe, our heavy artillery began to cover the Chasov Yar - Artemovsk road going through Krasnoe, but it is still possible to drive along the road, although now this is fraught with the risk of coverage. Nevertheless, this is not yet complete fire control, which can be established in the event of successful assault operations in Krasny and further advance to Chasov Yar.

In the case of another road that goes to Artemovsk from the same Chasov Yar, but to the north, it is not yet actively covered by our artillery and is relatively safe for traffic. Now our troops are fighting street battles in Krasnaya Gora and today they have caught hold of Paraskoveevka, establishing control over which will allow them to bring up artillery and begin to cover this road from the northwest, increasing the pressure of assault groups and DRGs in the direction of this road.

Thus, the operational encirclement of the Artemovskaya grouping can be the result of successful operations in these two areas, and even now our troops have come close enough to solving these problems. The enemy command understands this, and even more so understands the Pentagon, therefore, in the past few days, talk has intensified about the need to retreat from Artemovsk, which the Americans are already talking about as inevitable, trying to sweeten the pill of defeat with talk about the unimportance of Artemovsk.

Broadcast of hostilities in Ukraine as usual in the telegram - if you are interested, subscribe

PS. And yes, we will see Western tanks on the battlefields in the spring. It was pretty expected.

Google Translator


Ukraine War’s First Anniversary and Beyond
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 24, 2023

Russian T-90M Proryv (Breakthrough) main battle tank in action on the Donbass front lines recently

The first anniversary of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine falls on February 24. The Russian strategy of attrition war has not yet produced the desired political outcome but has been a success nonetheless.

The delusional “westernist” notions of the Moscow elite that Russia can be a dialogue partner of the West have dissipated thoroughly, with ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stunning disclosure recently that the West’s negotiations with Russia regarding the Minsk Agreement were an “attempt to give Ukraine time” and that Kiev had used it “to become stronger.”

Moscow reacted with bitterness and a sense of humiliation that the Russian ruling elite were taken for a ride. This awareness impacts the Ukraine conflict as it enters the second year. Thus, the annexation of the four regions of Ukraine — Donetsk and Lugansk [Donbass], Zaporozhye, Kherson oblasts — and Crimea, accounting for around one-fifth of Ukrainian territory, is a fait accompli now, and Kiev’s recognition of it is a pre-requisite for any future peace talks.

Moscow’s initial optimism in February-March that “the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” (Sun Tzu) has also given way to the realism that the Biden Administration will not allow the war to end anytime soon until Russia is bled white and weakened. This led to the Russian withdrawal from Kharkhov and Kherson regions with a view to create a well-fortified defence line and dig in.

Putin finally accepted the army commanders’ demand for a partial mobilisation. The ensuing big deployment in Ukraine, alongside the build-up in Belarus, has put Russia for the first time in a commanding position militarily as the war enters the second year.

The Kremlin has put necessary mechanisms in place to galvanise the defence industry and the economy to meet the needs of the military operations in Ukraine. From a long-term perspective, one historic outcome of the conflict is going to be Russia’s emergence as an unassailable military power that draws comparison with the Soviet Red Army, which the West will never again dare to confront. This is yet to sink in.

Today, the Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov stated in an extraordinary interview with the journal Argumenti i Fakti that the newly approved Armed Forces development plan will guarantee the protection of Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and “create conditions for progress in the country’s social and economic development.

Under the plan approved by Putin, the Moscow and the Leningrad military districts will be created, three motorised rifle divisions will be formed in the Kherson and the Zaporozhye oblasts (that have been annexed in September) and an army corps will be built in the northwestern region of Karelia bordering Finland.

The internal western assessment is that the war is going badly for Ukraine. Spiegel reported last week that Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) “informed security politicians of the Bundestag in a secret meeting this week that the Ukrainian army is currently losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day in battles.”

The BND told the German MPs that it is particularly “alarmed by the high losses of the Ukrainian army in the battle for the strategically important city of Bakhmut” (in Donetsk) and warned that “the Russians’ capture of Bakhmut would have significant consequences, as it would allow Russia to make further forays into the interior of the country.”

Again, a Reuters report quoted a senior Biden Administration official who was speaking to a small group of reporters in Washington on Friday that there is “a high possibility” that the Russians will push the Ukrainians out of Bakhmut, which western military experts have called the “lynchpin” of the entire Ukrainian defence line in Donbass.

On the other hand, the Biden Administration is hoping to buy time till spring to revamp the pulverised Ukrainian military and equip it with advanced weaponry. The old stocks of Soviet-era weaponry have been exhausted and future supplies to Ukraine will have to be from hardware in service with NATO countries. That is easier said than done, and western defence industry will need time to restart production.

All the bravado that Kiev is preparing for an offensive to drive the Russians out of Ukraine has vanished. The signs are that a Russian offensive may have begun on the southern front, which is steadily advancing toward Zaporozhye city, a major industrial hub in Ukraine.

This offensive would have profound implications. Capture of the remaining 25% of the territory in Zaporozhye oblast, which is still under Kiev’s control, will make the land bridge between Crimea and the Russian hinterland impregnable to Ukrainian counter-offensive as well as strengthen the Russian control of the Azov Sea ports (which connect the Caspian Sea with the Black Sea and the Volga–Don Shipping Canal leading to St.Petersburg), apart from dramatically weakening the entire Ukrainian military deployment in Donbass and in the steppes on the eastern side of Dnieper River.

The big picture, therefore, as the war enters the second year is that the West is working feverishly on plans, with the Biden Administration leading from the rear, to deliver heavy armour to the Ukrainian military by spring, including German Leopard tanks. If that happens, Russia is sure to retaliate with strikes on supply routes and warehouses in western Ukraine.

On Thursday, Dmitry Medvedev, the outspoken former Russian president who is close to Putin and serves as deputy chairman of the powerful security council, explicitly warned, “Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends.”

However, there are mitigating factors. First, the results of Davos 2023 and the meeting of NATO defence ministers in Ramstein on Friday as well as the inter-party disputes in Washington over the budget and the US debt ceiling, etc. are pushing the Biden Administration to make a choice between a risky continuation of confrontation with Russia or slowing down the gravy train running through Ukraine, fixing their profits with the withdrawal from the project. For the Zelensky regime, this will mean that the good things in life may be coming to an end.

Last week, the influential Russian daily Izvestia featured an incisive essay authored by Viktor Medvedchuk, the veteran Ukrainian MP and oligarch-politician (based in Moscow currently) to the effect that “the process has started” in the unraveling of the regime in Kiev.

Medvedchuk reminds us of “an interesting trend” in Ukrainian politics. President Poroshenko had promised peace with Russia in one week but once in power did not fulfil the Minsk agreements, and “miserably lost the next election.” He was replaced by Vladimir Zelensky, who also promised a settlement with Russia in Donbass, but instead became “the personification of war. That is, the Ukrainian people are promised peace, and then they are deceived.” The western press has shoved under the carpet the reality that Zelensky’s support base is small and there is a silent majority that pines for peace.

The death of interior minister Denys Monastyrsky, a longtime aide to Zelensky, and his first deputy Yevgeny Enin in a helicopter crash in Kiev week ago in mysterious circumstances raises eyebrows, since the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militias operate out of his ministry. Only a day earlier came the surprise development of the resignation of Zelensky’s top adviser Alexey Arestovich for allegedly casting aspersions on the Ukrainian military.

In TV interviews since then, Arestovich has been voicing his misgivings about the conduct of the war. Then, there has been the murder of Denis Kireev, who was an important participant in the March peace talks with Russia. A major personnel shakeup today, following corruption claims, involved a deputy prosecutor general, the deputy head of the president’s office, the deputy defence minister and five regional governors so far.

Over and above this fluidity in Kiev, there is the ‘X’ factor — US domestic politics as it approaches the 2024 election year. The Republicans are insisting on an auditing of the tens of billions of dollars spent on Ukraine — $110 billion in military aid alone — making the Biden Administration accountable. The CIA chief William Burns paid an unpublicised visit to Kiev, reportedly to transmit the message that US arms supplies beyond July may become problematic.

On the other hand, revelations are growing on President Biden’s handling of classified documents, which may include sensitive materials on Ukraine. These are early days, but the 13-hour FBI search of his personal residence in Delaware on Friday is generating new questions about White House transparency on the issue. New developments in the document scandal could cut into Biden’s support as he prepares to announce a reelection bid.

All things taken into account, therefore, one tends to agree with Medvedchuk’s prognosis that the Ukraine conflict, as it enters the second year, “will either grow further, spreading to Europe and other countries, or it will be localised and resolved.” ... nd-beyond/
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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 25, 2023 3:07 pm

corruption and war
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/25/2023


Corruption and especially the fight against it have been constantly recurring themes in Ukrainian discourse since the moment of independence. With a rhetoric that included Chinese nationalist and anti-oligarchic proclamations -false, taking into account that some of the important names were Petro Poroshenko or Ihor Kolomoisky-, Maidan also wanted to give an image of a break with the previous corrupt period, which was inevitably linked to the evil Soviet heritage, to make way for a "European" country free of corruption. In these eight years, even organizations less prone to criticizing Western protégés have called Ukraine one of the most corrupt countries on the planet,

Although there are many elements that could be included in the definition, which must undoubtedly include aspects such as influence peddling or direct bribery, perhaps the clearest case of both corruption itself and its political use has been the issue of charcoal. Donbass. Key for the country in years of clear economic crisis and in which raw materials from other countries represented an unaffordable cost, Ukraine only renounced coal from the DPR and the RPL on paper. The war divided Donbass in two in the summer of 2014, a line of contact that was consolidated in 2015 with the signing of the Minsk agreements, according to which kyiv undertook to resume economic relations with the territories that it continued to consider its own.

Although Donetsk and Lugansk, and surely also Moscow, hoped that this point would translate into the resumption of pension payments and the reactivation of the banking system in Donbass, none of this came about, although the need for the People's Republics to maintain at all costs any possible income made the coal trade not stop even in retaliation for the collective punishment of the Ukrainian blockade. At the behest of radical nationalist groups, in early 2017, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko finally decreed a complete blockade that not only violated the letter and spirit of the peace accords and institutionalized a measure demanded by the nationalist minority, but also condemned all trade with the region to dark plots, that have continued over the years as an open secret. Those were the years in which the United States and the countries of the European Union promoted the anti-corruption agency, an institution whose real objective was to form part of the external control circuit in the hands of a whole series of networks of non-governmental organizations generously financed by those same countries.

As has also happened on the other side of the front, corruption has been used as an element of real or unfounded accusation in an effort to eliminate rival political families. Thus, after Zelensky's victory, the question of the Donbass coal trade reappeared, which actually continued after the change of government as well. Eager to politically discredit the few real rivals in Ukrainian politics, Zelensky brought back the case to implicate both Viktor Medvedchuk, then head of the party that was leading the polls for voting intentions for the legislative elections and who had allegedly mediated in the trade, and former President Poroshenko, who would have participated in a process that violated the decree that he himself had signed. Implicated in the same case, the two politicians got blatantly different treatment, with only Medvedchuk placed under house arrest, while Poroshenko moved freely around Ukraine and Europe. Poroshenko, whose electoral prospects had not greatly improved since his electoral defeat, now had no way of eclipsing Zelensky politically.

With the start of the Russian intervention, the issue of corruption had been raised primarily as a tool to discredit the Ukrainian government. Numerous media, generally without offering much evidence, have mentioned, for example, that large amounts of weapons sent by Western countries never reach the front and are diverted through corrupt schemes to the lucrative black market. The war, as the war in Donbass has already shown, favors this type of action, although the intensity of the battle and the enormous amounts of weapons used make it unlikely that significant percentages of equipment are being diverted from the front.

In recent days, the media, and especially the Telegram channels critical of Zelensky, had published all kinds of rumors pointing to two people: Kiril Timoshenko, Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, and Vyacheslav Shapovalov, Deputy Minister defense. The first had already been questioned after the forced resignation of Oleskiy Arestovich and the second, in charge of logistics for the armed forces, was accused of purchasing food for the troops well above its real price. Shapovalov's clear allegation of involvement in a classic corruption scheme contrasts with the more limited allegation of using a vehicle that a large US company had donated for humanitarian use as his own. The Deputy Prosecutor of the General Prosecutor's Office, Oleksiy Symonenko, is also accused of something similar, forced to resign after it was learned that he had used a high-end vehicle owned by a second-rate oligarch in the cigarette production sector, whom he protected against accusations. penalties. The fourth political figure whose fall from grace was known yesterday was the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Vasyl Lozinsky, accused of appropriating 400,000 planned for humanitarian aid and essential goods such as generators.

Part of a political game in which politicians from Petro Poroshenko's circle as well as the Odessa deputy Goncharenko have been lobbying for several weeks, the resignations represent a moment of humiliation for Zelensky. Any case of corruption in the Ministry of Defense, the only one that is really working in its field under the current conditions, can become a problem for the Ukrainian president when it comes to justifying the need for more aid and more financing to his foreign partners. More important still is, to this day, the Office of the President, firmly in the hands of Andriy Ermak, arguably the most powerful political figure since the beginning of the Russian intervention. The fall of two high-ranking figures from these two institutions is a blow to the circle closest to the Ukrainian president, who has achieved,

Despite the fact that what happened was caused by power struggles -Tymoshenko's fall has meant the dismissal of the regional governors who were part of his political family-, both Zelensky and his spokesmen have repeated a message that, of course, The Western press, always ready to present the statements of the circle of Ukrainian power as facts, has reported: what happened yesterday is proof that, even in war, the will of the Ukrainian president is to eliminate a ballast he has inherited from his predecessors. With the ease of someone who has eliminated the critical press and has the entire communication machinery of the Western press on his side, Zelensky has had no problem imposing that version. And despite the gravity of the facts, In both the case of bribery and influence peddling, neither his right-hand man Ermak, who controls the President's Office, nor his left-hand man Reznikov, head of Defense, will be seriously targeted. As has been commissioned to emphasizeThe New York Times , none of the uncovered corruption cases involves Western weapons, the only element that could make the circle closest to Volodymyr Zelensky tremble. ... more-26496

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The U.S. Empire’s Ukraine Miscalculation Could Bring Revolution
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 24, 2023
Rainer Shea


In The Myth of Capitalism, Michael Parenti said:

No ruling class rules nakedly…they take strenuous efforts to justify their rule. I tell students when they say, ‘Oh they don’t care what we think. They ignore us’, and all that, and I say, ‘Oh no, no. That’s the only thing they care about you. The only thing they care about you is what you’re thinking. They don’t care if you eat correctly, they don’t care how your living conditions are, they don’t care that they’ve built up an inhuman and irrational traffic system that’s strangulating us and polluting our air, they don’t care about anything. What they… the only thing about you they care about is what you’re thinking. In the morning, they start, “What’s going to be the story today? How do we manipulate, how do we control, how do we contain, how do we influence, how do we act upon what it is that they have in their minds?”

This potential that the narrative battle has to change history is known by both sides in today’s geopolitical competition between the imperial powers, and the powers challenging U.S. hegemony. The Communist Party of China stated in 2021 that “the Central Committee has made it clear that failure in the cyberspace domain will spell disaster for the Party’s long-term governance. The Party therefore attaches great importance to the internet as the main arena, battleground, and front line of the ideological struggle.” This risk that online anti-Chinese disinformation has to undo the revolution’s gains is why the imperialists have put so much effort into propagating these lies, and into trying to get anti-communist content to bypass the Great Chinese Firewall.

The vulnerability goes two ways. The imperialist governments are also in potential peril due to the power that the internet has to sway public sentiment. With Washington’s strategic gamble in Ukraine, this informational threat towards imperialism has been magnified.

U.S. imperialism has created an unprecedented danger for its global strategic success, and therefore for the survival of its core’s state, by making the perceived credibility of NATO dependent on three factors: Ukraine’s victory, the success of the sanctions to the degree that Russia gets destabilized, and the victory of the narrative that Russia’s intervention was “unprovoked.” Those committed to pro-imperialist ideology will never recognize that Russia was in fact provoked, or that its intervention is being carried out foremost to advance anti-fascism. But to the observers who aren’t biased in favor of the empire, it became common knowledge months ago that victory for the Ukrainians is now logistically impossible.

By the fall of last year, when Russia had used only around a fifth of its potential military capacity in contrast to a Ukraine so desperate for manpower that it was freeing sexual predators to fight, Russia had already made inevitable the fulfillment of its strategic objective: the demilitarization of Ukraine. It made this inevitable by rendering Kiev utterly dependent on foreign aid in order to keep fighting, and the longer the war continues, the more thorough Kiev’s exhaustion becomes.

The imperialists knew from the start that such an outcome would come if Russia decided to take on Ukraine. Washington’s provoking Moscow was foremost about weakening Russia enough that it would collapse, and become able to be broken up like Yugoslavia, so that China could then be subdued. If Washington had won the economic war, and brought about this scenario of Eurasian collapse, it would be able to claim victory in the war despite Ukraine having been successfully demilitarized. That’s what the imperialist media has been trying to do by putting out headlines proclaiming that Russia has already lost the war, with the argument being that no matter what, Russia will still be recolonized by the empire. But it won’t be recolonized, so that argument will never be proven right by tangible reality.

The imperialists will have to invent an alternate reality where they’ve won, which many won’t be willing to believe. When actual events so obviously contradict what the imperialists have said, there’s inevitably a consciousness shift towards distrust of the empire. That’s what happened when the Americans were exposed as war crimes perpetrators in Vietnam, and when the promise of a “cakewalk” intervention in Iraq was followed by a decades-long war.

This isn’t the first time imperialism’s propaganda has been discredited. From the Spanish-American War, to the Gulf War, to Libya, to Syria, there have been moments when Washington’s assertions get shown to lack substantiation. Being an empire, and therefore by definition a power which wages wars for profit rather than defense or humanitarian need, it’s inevitable that it gets routinely caught in these lies. The strategy the empire has used to prevent these lies from bringing revolution in the core, fatally extensive international loss of support for the USA, or both is the standard public relations model of making society forget about the damaging information. Imperialism’s narrative managers have censored the facts revealing the lies, while creating new accusations against the targeted countries to distract from how the previous accusations were debunked.

There’s a limit to the effectiveness of this diversionary practice. Those most willing to forget about Washington’s lies and atrocities are the ones who have a material stake in maintaining imperial extraction, and that means most of the world has always been perpetually on the verge of turning against the empire. It was unavoidable that at some point, the balance that U.S. hegemony depends on would be lost, and an unprecedented global trend towards anti-Americanism would appear.

This irrecoverable decline in international respect for Washington started with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and has accelerated with Washington’s Ukraine proxy war. Most of the world responded to Bush’s crimes by coming to no longer view the U.S. as a worthy global leader, and that’s been shown in the last year when almost no peripheral countries have participated in the Russia sanctions. Bitter U.S. officials have signaled they interpret this as these countries siding against Washington, and they’re right. Like was the case in 2019, when Washington tried to isolate Venezuela by asking the world to recognize its fictitious new coup government, Washington has instead isolated itself.The only countries which are usually willing to aid U.S. imperial schemes are the other countries that benefit from neo-colonialism. And even they are increasingly threatening to break from Washington’s “rules-based international order,” simply out of practical self-interest. The costs of the sanctions are so severe that even after the unification and expansion which the Ukraine conflict has brought to NATO, the European countries are being newly divided due to how much destruction this economic war is bringing upon them. This increasingly threatens to turn into a new inter-imperial rivalry, which as Stalin observed inevitably leads to the mutual weakening of the imperialists, the heightening of capitalist contradictions as war harms working people’s interests, and the practical necessity of proletarian revolution.

Due to the decision by most of the world to challenge imperialism, it’s now inevitable that multipolarity will continue to emerge, and that the U.S. empire will continue to weaken. Yet this on its own doesn’t guarantee revolution in the imperial center. This is because whereas the empire’s psyops are in the process of failing across the peripheral countries, to the consequence that the imperial powers are isolated in fighting the new cold war, the psyops haven’t experienced this failure within the core itself. At least not yet.

If we work to expose the lies behind the Ukraine psyop, and behind the other psyops used to justify Washington’s geopolitical maneuvers, the state within the core will be the one which experiences a fatal disruption in its task of maintaining social control. At the same time the PRC, and the other countries challenging Washington, will keep becoming more fortified against imperialism’s desperate destabilization schemes. ... evolution/


Germany will supply tanks to Ukraine
January 25, 14:01


Now officially.

Germany will supply 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine to form a tank company.
Germany will supply the necessary equipment and ammunition to ensure the operation of these tanks in Ukraine.
Germany will start training crews from Ukraine to use these tanks.
Germany will allow the re-export of Leopard tanks to Ukraine by other countries.

According to NATO plans, at the first stage, they plan to scrape together up to 80-100 machines of this type throughout Europe.
As expected, by May they can already be expected on the battlefield.

All masks are off
January 25, 7:59 am


All masks are off

Motivated after the Davos meetings, the Euro-Atlantic elites realized that there was no longer any need to hide their true intentions with hypocritical calls to "save the young Ukrainian democracy for the sake of world peace." More and more representatives of the so-called "golden billion" of the West recognize the real goals of the militant policy that they have been conducting against Russia for decades, namely the destruction of the integrity of the Russian Federation and the deprivation of the Russian people of statehood in order to gain control over huge resources that allegedly "for some reason then historical injustice went to the Russian barbarians. The fate of the state of Ukraine and the lives of its population are of little interest to anyone, because in case of victory, this fertile territory will become a pleasant bonus.

The Euro-Atlantic elites have unleashed and are waging an aggressive war against the Russian Federation in their personal interests. At the same time, the development of the military conflict on the European continent, the lack of political will of the West to resolve it, and the strengthening of militant rhetoric with the recognition of the true goals of the war indicate that these elites are ready to escalate the conflict up to a global war, despite the nuclear threat.

On January 20, at a ceremony in Madrid, Josep Borrell recalled the great victories of Russia in the past, from which he concluded that it was necessary to continue to increase military pressure on her.
With his statement, the Head of EU Diplomacy put the modern collective West on a par with the “collective West created by Hitler” and “the collective West of Napoleon”, both of which were defeated by Russia.

“Russia is a big country, she is used to fighting to the end, she is used to almost losing and then rebuilding everything. She did it with Napoleon, she did it with Hitler. It would be absurd to think that Russia lost the war or that its military is incompetent. Therefore it is necessary to continue arming Ukraine." Borrell said.

Borrell's statements did not become a sensation. He was not the first to express such threats against Russia. However, the recent statement was one of the most outspoken. He voiced the real goal of the military company of the West - the destruction of Russia and the seizure of its territories, as Hitler and Napoleon had already tried to do.

Against the backdrop of Western leaders' revelations, the words of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland sounded especially interesting at the forum in Davos. She also supported the position taken by Mr. Borrell, specifying that the defeat of Russia would be "a powerful impetus for the world economy." Freeland, whose grandfather was a member of Andriy Melnyk's OUN-UPA nationalist group, has come into the spotlight several times over the past few years, speaking out in support of Ukrainian Nazis and making Russophobic statements.
"The Struggle for the Resources of the 21st Century." - Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova commented simply and directly

Against the backdrop of tougher rhetoric from the West and continued large-scale defeats of the Ukrainian Army on the battlefield, the beginning of 2023 also marked an increase in military support for the puppet Kyiv regime.
While Europe is stockpiling tanks for Ukrainian soldiers, Washington has already announced a new $2.5 billion military aid package.
NATO and Washington no longer hide the fact that they not only support the Ukrainian army, but also provide the necessary intelligence information, command Ukrainian troops on the battlefield and take control over military decision-making.

Leading U.S. media claims that “the U.S. allegedly recommended that the Ukrainian military withdraw from Bakhmut” or that “the U.S. is helping plan counter-offensive operations in Ukraine.”
The U.S. will reportedly help Ukraine plan counter-offensives to retake "the occupied territories, including Crimea." The commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will work out offensive plans and compare them with the weapons that Ukraine has and that the allies will provide.

“Russia did not seek to escalate the conflict, but the Western countries, persecuted by the United States, crossed red lines and began to pose a threat to our national interests. Now in the United States they are talking about supporting Ukrainian aggression against Crimea and new Russian territories. But the Kyiv regime must realize that support "Western countries will play a cruel joke with him and Ukraine. The more Western countries interfere in the affairs of Ukraine, the further the border of our special operation will spread in order to create a buffer zone and protect our country from enemy neighborhood." Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from the Crimean region Mikhail Sheremet.

The actions of the United States and its European allies are leading the world to a global catastrophe. If the offensive weapons supplied by Washington and NATO countries are used to attack civilian cities in Russia, this will inevitably lead to retaliatory measures from the Russian military command. In this case, another, more powerful weapon will be used, and the geography of Russian strikes will expand significantly. The US and NATO will force Russia to change tactics, and strikes will not only be carried out on military and strategic infrastructure facilities used by the Kyiv regime.

Attempts to convince themselves and their own population that "Putin will not press the red button because he has not yet pressed it" are a failure. The argument that there is no nuclear threat, since the nuclear powers have never used strategic nuclear weapons in local conflicts, is untenable. The nuclear powers have not previously faced the threat to civilian security and territorial integrity that NATO threatens Russia today.

The sharp tightening of the rhetoric of the West, up to the outright threats of war and the dismemberment of the Russian state, was clearly heard in Moscow.
Russian political leaders, who to the last tried to maintain a dialogue with "Western partners" based on the principles of realpolitik and adhering to the basic principles of public international law, seem to have finally changed their position. After a year of military conflict, it became clear that today's confrontation was orchestrated by the collective West not even in the last 8 years, but decades ago, when already in 2004 it became obvious that Russia was trying to break out of the neo-colonial shackles of the post-Soviet period.
As a result, Moscow has finally accepted the rules of the game imposed by the West, and makes it clear that, for its part, it no longer sees ways to peacefully resolve the conflict of accumulated contradictions with NATO countries and is ready to enter into a full-scale war.

In confirmation of this, the press conference of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, which summed up the results of Russian diplomacy in 2022, was noteworthy. The Russian Minister gave an extremely harsh description of the current state of affairs in the international arena:
“What is happening now in Ukraine is the result of many years of preparation by the United States and its satellites for the start of a global hybrid war against the Russian Federation. Nobody hides it. If you read unbiased Western figures, including political scientists, scientists, politicians, you can be sure of this. Just the other day there was an article by Columbia University professor J. Bremmer. He wrote: “We are not in a cold war with Russia. We are in a "hot war" with Russia. NATO is not fighting it directly. We are fighting through Ukraine.” Quite a frank confession. This conclusion lies on the surface. It is strange that they are trying to somehow refute it. Recently, Croatian President Z. Milanovic said that this is a NATO war. Frankly, honestly. A few weeks ago G. Kissinger (before as in the last article he called for Ukraine to be accepted into NATO) clearly wrote that what is happening in Ukraine is a clash, a rivalry between two nuclear powers for control of this territory. It's pretty clear what's going on."

“Our Western partners are cunning when they deny it and “with foam at the mouth” prove that they are not at war with Russia, but only help Ukraine cope with “aggression”, restore territorial integrity. The volume of support clearly indicates that the West has staked a lot on its war against Russia. This is clear."
“The events around Ukraine revealed the implicitly maturing desire of the United States to stop striving to strengthen its position in the world by legitimate means and switch to illegitimate methods to ensure its dominance. Everything is in motion. Destroyed (far from what we see in Ukraine) are the mechanisms created by the West, led by the United States, and considered sacred. The free market, fair competition, free enterprise, the inviolability of property, the presumption of innocence - everything on which the Western model of globalization was based collapsed overnight. Sanctions are applied against Russia and against other "objectionable" countries that contradict these postulates and mechanisms. It is clear that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow they can be used against any state that, one way or another, will not recklessly carry out American orders.”

“The European Union has completely submitted to American dictatorship (no need to talk about this at length). ...”

“Just as Napoleon mobilized almost all of Europe against the Russian Empire, as A. Hitler captured, put “under arms” most European countries and threw them against the Soviet Union, the United States formed a coalition of almost all Europeans that are members of NATO and the EU , and through Ukraine "by proxy" they are waging war against our country with the same task - the final solution of the "Russian question". Hitler wanted to finally solve the “Jewish question.”

Recently, reports have begun to appear in the public space about personnel changes in the Russian political and military administration. In particular, there are changes in top positions in key political bodies such as the Presidential Administration, the Security Council, special services, etc. Checks have been initiated on the subject of official compliance with the positions held in relation to several high-ranking persons, their connections with foreign states and possible corrupt actions are being checked.
Changes also took place in the Ministry of Defense. Army General Valery Gerasimov has been appointed commander of the Russian grouping of troops in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine, thereby shortening the chain of command. It was he who at the head of the army fought against Chechen fighters, organized the operation in Syria, and since November 2012 has been head of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.

Also, new generals were appointed to a number of key positions in the Ministry of Defense.
In January, the Russian military began defiantly strengthening the air defense system in the capital. In recent days, videos of the installation of air defense systems in decision-making centers, for example, near the Moscow Kremlin and the building of the Ministry of Defense, have appeared on the network.
All of this reflects the Kremlin's changing vision of ongoing processes and its readiness to respond to the challenge from the West. The persistence of the Euro-Atlantic elites was finally appreciated by Russia and received a worthy response. Unfortunately, the position of the West means that the world can no longer hope for a speedy end to the war in Europe. Moreover, the conflict is likely to escalate. - zinc (translated from English)

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DPR Head on Kiev's Proposal to Belarus for Non-aggression Pact

Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin. Jan. 24, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@Marianna9110

Published 24 January 2023 (14 hours 56 minutes ago)

Ukraine proposed Belarus to sign a non-aggression pact, said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday that Ukraine's non-aggression pact proposal to Belarus is aimed at buying time.

"Naturally, Kiev is trying to present its initiative to sign a non-aggression pact with Belarus as a peaceful idea," Pushilin said via his Telegram channel.

In this regard, the DPR acting head made a comparison with the 2014 Minsk agreements. Pushilin said the Minsk accords "were signed not to implement them, but to gain time and flood Ukraine with weapons."

"Lying is the name of the current quasi-state strategy of Ukraine," Pushilin said, pointing to the maneuvers of the "Ukrainian regime" to "pass off the immorality and double face of its policy as heroism and humanism in the eyes of the national public opinion."

Ukraine has proposed signing a non-aggression pact, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday. The president said Kiev's move comes as it continues to train militants who pose a potential threat to Belarus' national security.

"On the one hand, they ask us not to fight against Ukraine under any circumstances, not to move our forces there. They offer us to sign a non-aggression pact. On the other hand, they cook this explosive mixture and arm them," Lukashenko said as quoted by the state news agency Belta. ... -0017.html

Sweden Suffers Setback in Bid for NATO Accession

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Swedish Prime MinistUlf Kristersson attend a joint press conference in Ankara, Türkiye, on Nov. 8, 2022. | Photo: Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua

Published 24 January 2023 (16 hours 6 minutes ago)

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned Sweden that it should not expect Ankara's backing to join the NATO after a copy of the Quran was burned in a Stockholm protest.

Sweden suffered a major setback in its bid for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership as Türkiye, a NATO member, has said it will not support it.

At Ankara's request, a meeting between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland planned for February has been postponed indefinitely, Turkish TV channel TRT Haber reported on Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned Sweden that it should not expect Ankara's backing to join NATO after a copy of the Quran was burned in a Stockholm protest.

"Those who allow such disgraceful acts in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm can't expect good news from us on NATO membership," Erdogan said, adding that no individual has the freedom to insult the faith of Muslims or other religions.

The burning of a copy of the Quran on Saturday by Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right political party Hard Line, came at a time when Sweden, along with Finland, was seeking Türkiye's backing to join NATO.

The bid has been blocked by the Turkish government, which accuses Sweden and Finland of supporting the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Syria's Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Türkiye considers terrorist groups.

Earlier this month, supporters of PKK and YPG hung Erdogan's effigy by the feet in Stockholm and shared its video footage on social media affiliated with the PKK, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.

Türkiye's Foreign Ministry later condemned this "heinous act" and summoned Sweden's ambassador to protest the "terror propaganda" against the Turkish president.

On Tuesday, Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that his country might have to reconsider promoting a joint, simultaneous entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO if Sweden's application is delayed much longer.

Haavisto said that recent protests in Sweden had delayed the processing of the two countries' NATO applications until at least Türkiye's parliamentary and presidential elections in mid-May.

"Sweden's horror scenario will become a reality should Finland decide to go first into NATO. In that case, Sweden would be the only Nordic country that is not a member of NATO. This would leave Sweden in a situation where it has renounced non-alignment, while at the same time being without NATO's security guarantees," SVT's political commentator Mats Knutson said on Tuesday.

Sweden and Finland simultaneously submitted their formal requests to join NATO in May 2022. In June, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) before Ankara lifted its veto ahead of NATO's Madrid summit.

In the MoU, Finland and Sweden pledged to support Türkiye's fight against terrorism, agreeing to address Ankara's "pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly."

The Turkish parliament has not ratified the Nordic countries' NATO bids yet, arguing that they have yet to meet Türkiye's request for extraditing anti-Turkish "terrorists," including members of PKK and YPG. ... -0016.html
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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Wed Jan 25, 2023 11:18 pm



By John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

Even Leonardo da Vinci didn’t think it was possible.

A perpetual motion machine, that is, whose construction had been attempted by Indian fakirs for five hundred years before a handful of medieval European conmen got the idea. Then Leonardo tried knocking it on its head: “O ye seekers after perpetual motion,” he scribbled in his notebook, “how many vain chimeras have you pursued? Go and take your place with the alchemists.”

Old Lenny hadn’t met an inventor of artillery and a banker financing the warmakers’ market of his day. For those fellows had invented the perpetual money-making machine. All they needed to kick it off was a war – a long one, thirty years or one hundred years, was best for their balance-sheets.

Losing wars, however, is very bad for the business.

Right now American, British, German, and French gunmakers are fighting among themselves for the profitability of the Ukrainian battlefield. Re-sellers and smugglers from Kiev and Lvov, too.

At the same time they have managed to drive the bad news of diminishing profit margins off the pages of the financial press. The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Der Spiegel and Die Zeit haven’t reported, for example, that the Russian Army has perfected the technology for targeting NATO artillery and rocket radars, killing their accompanying firing crews, and blinding the electronic reconnaissance systems flying above so that the Ukrainians don’t know what’s coming next in their direction, and what has hit them after it has.

One of the consequences is that the best of NATO anti-missile technology is being fired haplessly into the air and then coming down to destroy Ukrainian domestic buildings, kindergartens, etc. US and European gunmakers make the same profit from friendly fire; the friends don’t appreciate this. Another consequence is that the Ukrainian regime in Kiev is at war with itself – civilians versus generals – over acknowledging how blind they have become.

Facing the Russian military, the US and NATO general staffs are re-learning Old Lenny’s advice not to confuse their Russian-enemy wishful thinking, circa 2014-2021, with the reality of losing the war on Russian-enemy terms — now and into the foreseeable future. The US military industrial complex may believe it can afford to keep selling its alchemy for as long as the war can be prolonged on the Ukrainian battlefield. They and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington generals are calling this a “stalemate”. The German generals are not so sure American stalemate won’t amount to German rout in due course. Privately, they are trying to warn their friends and employers in the German military industrial complex. For a Swiss press report of these private talks, read this.

In public, the outcome is a display of German generals struggling to balance their 1939-45 mindset towards Russia with the prospect of losing, not only the war on the Ukrainian battlefield, but the escalation of Russian strategy against German and US-made weapons, forward NATO commands and US bases in Germany – and the future balance-sheets of the German gunmakers – that’s Kraus-Maffei, Rheinmetall, Thyssen-Krupp.

Gorilla Radio opens the discussion on what the good Germans are afraid of — and what the bad Americans behind them are risking in this war.

Four points of fact opened in the discussion can be amplified here.

The first is the role played in deciding the war against Russia by the general-flag officers – generals, admirals, and air marshals – of the US, UK, Germany, Canada (GOFO, general and flag officers), and Australia. These officers have turned into a military caste when grandfathers have been succeeded in the military academies, unit commands, and general staffs by their sons, and when this line of succession continues to their sons in the present lineup.

Australia is identified because it leads the war allies against Russia for having more generals commanding fewer troops. In military practice, if an Australian general had experience facing hostile fire, he would be the equivalent of a British, American or German captain. Such inexperienced and untested generals can afford to be more aggressive on the Ukrainian battlefield because they have far less to risk – of rank, pay, life and limb — than their North American and European counterparts.



The second point is the money shot. This is the profitability to the top-5 US arms manufacturers in the Ukraine war to date; and the double jump in their share prices in the first days after the start of the special military operation on February 24, and then in the October-November period.



Black=total sales; blue=total arms sales.


Key: black=Lockheed Martin; orange=Raytheon; brown=Boeing; yellow=Northrop Grumman; and green=General Dynamics.

With the exception of Boeing, each of the four leaders saw the tripling or greater increases in their share prices on the New York Stock Exchange between February and April; and then a second price advance between September and November, as the US escalated deliveries of US-made weapons to the Ukrainian battlefield, as well as to NATO allies in replacement of or substitution for their own arms deliveries to the Ukraine.

For Lockheed Martin, for example, the market capitalization at the February 23 share price of $4.17 amounted to $1.093 billion; on April 13, the corporation’s market cap had jumped to $6.730 billion with the share price at $25.68 – this is a sixfold gain worth more than $5.6 billion. There was a second, even more valuable increase in Lockheed Martin’s share price and market cap between September 30 and November 8, when the share rocketed from $3.47 to $32.59 and the market cap from $909.4 million to $8.5 billion. This gain was more than ninefold. The reason? The decision by the Biden Administration to supply the Ukrainians with the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system built by Lockheed Martin. The corporation’s share price has not been higher in the past thirty years.

However, as Russian anti-rocket weapons have proved successful in intercepting the HIMARS rockets after launch and destroying radars, launchers, crews, and stocks, Lockheed Martin has been losing value.

The third point in the Gorilla discussion is the failure of the alternative internet media to report the war without propagandizing in favour of the Ukraine and against Russia. The British alt-media, for example, have been displaying the symptoms of what on the dairy farms of Scotland and England used to be called wooden tongue. When cattle catch it (actinobacillosis) they can’t swallow; if left untreated, they choke to death. On the topic of the war in the Ukraine, Craig Murray, The Canary, Tribune, Left Foot Forward, and the Daily Skeptic have already succumbed.

The fourth point is the first national test of an anti-war movement in the US next month. This will be the “Rage Against the War Machine Rally” at the Lincoln Memorial on February 19. Here is the 10-point programme of the rally; and these are the scheduled speakers. ... are-machi/


The Ukrainian Solidarity Network: The Highest Stage of White Western Social Imperialism
​​​​​​​ Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and columnist 25 Jan 2023

Volodomyr Zelensky smirks at December 2019 meeting in Paris as Vladimir Putin discusses the Minsk Agreement (Image: Telegram Zarubin Reporter)

The Ukraine conflict was caused by the U.S. backed right wing coup in 2014 and the duplicity of Europeans who claimed to be working for peace. Anyone who supports these actions but claims leftist credentials must be challenged.

“It is urgent to end this war as soon as possible. This can only be achieved through the success of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion. Ukraine is fighting a legitimate war of self-defense, indeed a war for its survival as a nation. Calling for “peace” in the abstract is meaningless in these circumstances.”(Ukrainian Solidarity Network )

“Social-imperialists,’ that is, socialists in words and imperialists in deeds ( V.I. Lenin)

“The Western social-imperialist left that is still addicted to its material privileges and illusions of being a part of something called the “West” has a choice that it must make: either you abandon privilege and whiteness and join as class combatants against your bourgeoisie, or you will be considered part of the enemy.” (A.Baraka, The Western Imperial Left’s Collaboration with the Western Bourgeoisie )

The clear implication from this statement issued by the newly formed Ukrainian Solidarity Network is that military victory is the only solution for resolving the conflict in Ukraine. The fact that many of the individuals supporting this network self-identify as leftists, represents a new, perhaps higher form of collaboration with Western and U.S. imperialism that may have ever developed since the end of the second imperialist war in 1945. I issued an excerpt of my statement in response to the emergence of this network that caused a stir. Here is my statement in full.

One of the most positive things to emerge from the Collective West's war in Ukraine is that it helped to expose elements of the U.S. left that have always had a soft, sentimental spot for the West. The arrogance of these Westerners who signed on to this call for more war (see below) is reflected in the fact that they don't even feel compelled to explain how their morally superior commitment to Ukrainian self-determination against "Putin's" war is reconciled with the various statements from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President Francois Hollande and before them, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko revealing that the Minsk agreement was just a delaying tactic to prepare for war.

We ask the Network as we have been asking Zelensky and Biden, the co-coordinators of the White Lives Matter More Movement, how this phase of the conflict that started in 2014 became Putin’s war? Do we just dismiss as Kremlin propaganda that the Russian Federation felt threatened by what appeared to be the de-facto incorporation of Ukraine into NATO as the Ukrainian army was built into the most formidable fighting force in Europe outside of Russia?

Did the Russians not have any legitimate security concerns with NATO missiles facing them from Romania and Poland, a mere six minutes away from Moscow, and that Ukraine was also making a pitch for “defensive” missiles in Ukraine? And how does the Network characterize the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that started in 2014 and produced over 14,000 deaths when the Ukrainian coup government attacked its own citizens, if the current conflict started in February 2022? What happened to the fascist issue in Ukraine that was written about for years but with even more urgency after the coup in 2014? Did the Kremlin plant those stories in the Western press?

We understand that these are questions that the organizers of the Ukrainian Network will never answer because they do not have to. As Westerners they can just postulate an assertion and it is accepted. The Network and the Western bourgeoisie declare that the war in Ukraine is Putin’s war and it becomes objective truth - because that is what the West can do and can get away with. It’s called power – white power perhaps?

The Ukrainian Solidarity Network is the ultimate expression of social imperialism that has become so normalized in the U.S. and Western Europe that it is no longer even recognized. An example from the statement makes the argument that Ukraine has the “right to determine the means and objectives of its own struggle.” That is a recognized left position. But the social imperialists of the West do not extend that principle and right to nations in the global South. In fact, we ask the signers of this call to explain when the coup government of Ukraine became the representatives of the Ukrainian nation and recognized the sovereign will of the people?

Therefore, it is not a mere coincidence that the main signatories of this Network statement pledging undying support to Ukraine and its project, are also some of the same “left” forces in the forefront of giving left legitimacy to the charge leveled by Western imperialism that the struggling socialist oriented national liberationist states like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia are nothing more than “authoritarian” states more interested in power than socialist construction. Some of those forces also cheered on the NATO attack against Libya, passionately defended Western intervention in Syria and have been silent on Western plans to violently invade Haiti.

For the contemporary neocons in the leadership of the Ukrainian network, their commitment to abstract principles, and certainty that they know more than everyone else, objectively place them in the same ideological camp with Obama, Biden, NATO strategists, the Zelensky clown, and Boris Johnson. But they will argue that their positions are different, since they represent something they call the left.

For a number of individuals who signed on to this pro-Western, pro-war letter, they are in a familiar place. However, I suspect a few of the individuals on that list were probably confused or not paying attention, not thinking about who they would be affiliated with when they signed on.

That of course, is not the case for some of the key supporters of this initiative. Individuals like the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins, Eric Draitser of Counterpunch, and Bill Fletcher who normally I would not name specifically but because these individuals and the tendency they represent embody the worst of the arrogant, Western left that in so many cases (not all) objectively provides ideological cover ( rightism with left phraseology) for the imperialist program of Western capital - they should not be allowed continued left respectability without challenge.

These individuals certainly have not hesitated in offering criticisms of those of us who never wavered from our strategic priority to defeat our primary enemy - the Western white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchy. For us everything else represents secondary contradictions at this specific historical moment. And is why we reject the arguments these forces advance about fighting dual imperialisms as anti-dialectical nonsense and a political cover.

History has demonstrated that it would be a complete disaster if the "collective West" secured a military victory in its proxy war with Russia. For the U.S. empire it would validate their doctrine of "Full spectrum dominance" and the wisdom of their commitment to a military-first strategy to support that doctrine. It would mean that war with China was a certainty.

The commitment to global hegemony by the Western colonial/capitalist elite by any means necessary is why the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination represents an existential threat to the vast majority of humanity. A "left" position on Ukraine should at best be to support a negotiated settlement to end the war before the Dr. Strangeloves making policy in the U.S. create the circumstances that will lead to a nuclear confrontation with either Russia or China.

The position of support for more war guided by the white-boy fantasy of military victory in Ukraine is madness. For Africans/Black folks, we ask, what self-respecting African would consciously place themselves on the same side with NATO, Europe, and the U.S. settler-state in any conflict? The fact that some continue to end up on the same side with our enemies only affirms that they have made a choice, and that choice is to collaborate with our enemies – which sadly, also makes them the enemy. ... mperialism


Colombian president rejects delivery of Russian weapons to Ukraine

The head of state stressed that no Russian equipment in Colombian territory will be used for the conflict in Ukraine. | Photo: Presidency
Published 25 January 2023

The president pointed out that "our Constitution has peace as an order in the international arena."

The President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced on Tuesday that the United States Government proposed that he deliver to Ukraine the previously acquired Russian-made military equipment, which was rejected.

Within the framework of the Celac Summit, the president explained that the war materiel was not purchased by his government, before "Russian military materiel was purchased: helicopters, etc., for their own purposes within the country. This materiel is there It has maintenance problems”.

In this sense, he pointed out that the head of the US Southern Command, Laura Richardson, as well as other government representatives "told me that given the impossibility of maintaining it in an active state, they would do it and send it to Ukraine."

Based on this, the head of state specified that the offer was rejected while expressing that “our Constitution has peace as an order in the international arena. It will remain as scrap metal in Colombia.”

“We are not on anyone's side. We are for peace. For this reason, not one unit of Russian military equipment, regardless of the conditions it is in on our territory, will be used in this conflict," Petro said.

Last week, Richardson affirmed during a conference of the so-called Atlantic Council think tank that Washington maintains contact with several Latin American countries with the aim of exchanging Russian weapons for American ones.

For his part, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, emphasized that Moscow is closely following these interventionist attempts by the US, meanwhile, he stressed the legal and legal restrictions on any supply to third countries. ... -0007.html

Russia refuses to send US and NATO tanks to Ukraine

This Wednesday, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, declared before the Council of Ministers that he approved the shipment of 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. | Photo: EFE

Posted 25 January 2023 (3 hours 29 minutes ago)

Moscow representatives stress that the Russian military will destroy this and other equipment supplied by the West.

The Russian government on Wednesday rejected the shipment of German and possibly American tanks to Ukraine, and made it clear that these will be destroyed by its armed forces involved in the special military operation to protect the population of Donbas.

During his daily press conference, the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, assessed that the plan to send Leopard 2 tanks (German) and eventually Abrams (American) will not give the Ukrainian Army the strategic advantage longed for by the West.

Peskov stressed that Western tanks will burn in Ukraine, just as other weapons supplied to the country have done. He added that European and American taxpayers will bear the cost of the political decision to hand them over to kyiv.

He admitted that “the situation as a whole is really alarming”, since taking into account the line chosen by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US leadership, there is no prospect of any element of détente”.

For his part, the Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoli Antonov, also opposed the delivery of offensive weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The diplomatic representative told Russian media that the West overestimates the practical effect of this decision in the field of war and stressed that the Russian military will neutralize these and other weapons delivered by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to kyiv.

He considered that “if the US decides to supply tanks, then justifying such a step with arguments about defensive weapons will definitely not work. This would be another blatant provocation against Russia."

This Wednesday, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, declared before the Council of Ministers that he approved the shipment of 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, which was confirmed in a statement by the German Cabinet spokesman, Steffen Hebestreit.

According to the statement, first a company will be created with these tanks and then it is planned to form two more battalions. According to the plan, Berlin will prepare the Ukrainian crews. In addition, other European countries will deliver to Ukraine another Leopard 2 tanks from their reserves.

Likewise, the US media reported that the Joe Biden Administration is finalizing plans to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine and that it could make the announcement this week. ... -0010.html

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Ukrainian, Finnish presidents meet on security issues | Updated: 2023-01-25 06:55

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hold their news briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine January 24, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

KIEV - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his visiting Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto discussed security issues during their meeting in Kiev on Tuesday.

Zelensky and Niinisto talked about regional security, the issues that directly affect the security of Ukraine and Finland, and bilateral defense cooperation, said a statement on the Ukrainian presidential website.

Zelensky thanked Finland for providing 12 defense assistance packages for Ukraine and helping in restoring Ukraine's energy sector after the Russian strikes.

The Ukrainian president informed his Finnish counterpart about the current situation at the frontline of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"We also discussed Finland's participation in the coalition of countries aimed to provide Ukraine with modern Western tanks," Zelensky said.

For his part, Niinisto informed that Finland has provided assistance worth almost 600 million euros (about 653 million U.S. dollars) for Ukraine and has sheltered about 50,000 Ukrainian citizens.

During their talks, the parties also touched upon the issues of Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic integration and exchanged their views on the Ukrainian Peace Formula proposed by Zelensky in November 2022.

Niinisto arrived in Ukraine earlier in the day for his first visit since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. ... ab2d9.html


The doctrine of neoconservatism in the United States: Coexistence with Russia is impossible
January 25, 17:22


The doctrine of neoconservatism in the United States: Coexistence with Russia is impossible

Dear Sergei Glaziev pointed ( ) to an article by French anti-globalist Thierry Meyssan about neoconservatives, an American ideological and political "sect" of followers of the philosopher Leo Strauss.

These people, who penetrated the US establishment even under Reagan and today are cementing the American Deep State, are believed to be behind many of Washington's geopolitical projects, right up to the war in Ukraine. They, as Glazyev notes (

) following Meisan , developed the concept of a new type of war. What is important in it is not victory, but continuous duration, which allows you to randomize the enemy for years and, ultimately, "utilize" him. Following the call to "know the enemy by sight",

The political practice of the Straussians cannot be separated from their philosophical and messianic attitudes. That is, from everything that Russia refused for many years under the slogan "Let us have pragmatism, as in the West!"

Under this pretext, any attempts at ideological construction were swept aside in the Russian Federation. As a result, we were not fully prepared for the confrontation with the enemy, who himself is very far from vulgar pragmatism.

The "inglorious flight" of neocons from power in the mid-2000s should not be misleading. Yes, they then moved from bureaucratic offices to academic departments and boards of directors - so what? The return of the "Straussians" to the US power hierarchy with the advent of Biden only confirmed the well-known maxim: in American politics, as well as in the special services, "former"

It is not necessary that "people from the cage" occupy high-profile posts. It is enough that important decisions are not made without them. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clark in America Alone: ​​The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order called it an "institutional failure" - an imbalance in US decision-making centers.

The sectarianism of neocons is manifested not only in the planting of the "mycelium of the elect", but also in their denial of their own belonging to any ideology in general. All in the spirit of the noble lie tradition. That is, let's say, deception in negotiations or in the media is the doctrinal setting of Straussianism.

In rare cases of self-positioning, these people prefer the terms "conviction", "predisposition". Their best definition is Irving Kristol's phrase "A neocon is a liberal,

There are four allusions here at once: to a left-liberal, often Trotskyist genesis; on evolution towards rigid conservatism; on the ability to intellectual metamorphoses, when any ideals are temporary; and finally, the rejection of reality as such - it is required to "collect a debt" from it.

This is echoed by the neoconian absolutization of the struggle between Good and Evil, which does not allow any compromises. Here, not only "Good must be with fists", but also "Evil must be defeated at any cost."

The latter is taken literally. The enemy is conceived, in the spirit of Carl Schmitt, not as a competitor, but as a stranger, with which coexistence itself is impossible. Russia, in particular, is considered such an enemy, a guise of absolute evil. More precisely, Russia, endowed with an ideological identity.

A special role in Straussianism is given to endless war as the only means of nation-building and the restoration of the very essence of humanity. Preemptive strikes, like lies, are justified. A friend is always right and must be supported by virtue of one status. The truth is always the same, and it is exclusively "American truth".

Hence the complete rejection of the authority of the UN, the multipolar world and other "balances of interests." American values ​​are self-evident and therefore worthy of promotion around the world, neocons teach. If any "dictatorship" resists, it must be destroyed without regret.

This is the enemy we are facing.

It is wrong to consider it as something alien to America. On the contrary, there is a deep syndrome in the neocons that goes back to the very history of the United States. These people have been able to capture the essence of the unspoken American aspirations and notions of due - and now embody them with inhuman fanaticism. - zinc

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Neoconservatism, neoliberalism...whatever the fuck, old wine in new bottles. Let's just talk about capitalism and imperialism and leave the terms invented by capitalist apologists for their intramural jousting to them and stick to the heart of the matter.


Ukraine Claims Orderly Retreat From City It Lost Days Ago

This is currently at the top of the Yahoo homepage.


Ukraine forces pull back from Donbas town after onslaught

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian forces have conducted an organized retreat from a town in the eastern region of the Donbas, an official said Wednesday, in what is a rare but modest battlefield triumph for the Kremlin after a series of setbacks in its invasion that began almost 11 months ago.

Reading the headline I was surprised. Did the Ukrainian command suddenly get sense and ordered the retreat from Bakhmut, which the U.S. has asked for? It would make sense because Bakhmut is where half of the Ukrainian army currently gets ground into bloody dust.

But alas. The second paragraph provides that it is just another fake news story.

The Ukrainian army retreated from the salt-mining town of Soledar to “preserve the lives of the personnel,” Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s forces in the east, told The Associated Press.
The soldiers pulled back to previously prepared defensive positions, he said.

Moscow has portrayed the battle for Soledar, which lies near the city of Bakhmut, as key to capturing the entire Donbas.
Russia claimed almost two weeks ago that it had taken Soledar, but Ukraine denied it.

It is easy to test who was or is lying here.

It was on January 13, 12 days and not two weeks ago, that Russia publicly claimed to have taken the center of Soledar.

Live UA Map provides a map of Ukraine that shows the daily progress and allows one to look back in time. It is Ukraine friendly in that it does only register Russian claimed progress when it can confirm it through additional sources. Here is its map from January 13. At that time the city center of Soladar was in Russian hand.


And here is the map of January 15. Across the railway line there are two small villages on the outskirts of Bakhmut that technically are part of the city.


But those were taken by January 19 after the railway had been crossed.


There has been further progress made by Russian forces which the LiveUAMap still not reflects. But the likewise Ukraine friendly MilitaryLand site is another sources with independently made reasonable current maps. It shows more progress southwest and northwest of Soledar where the town of Karsnopolivka was additionally taken.


To claim that Ukraine has now 'conducted an organized retreat' is simply bullshit. Its troops in Soledar were overrun more than a week ago. Many of them lost their lives.

Two days ago Larry Johnson had a post on another fake news piece about the fight in Soledar. It spoke of huge losses in the Wagner group that had stormed the city. But videos I saw but will not link showed dozens of dead Ukrainians and no dead Wagner in and around the city.

The fight was expensive but not so much for the Russian side.

I can recommend the PMC Wagner video Best In Hell especially for those who have no military experience. Warning: It is a realistic depiction of brutal combined arms fighting in upbuild areas. It also explains what is happening on the command level. The 1 hour 50 minutes long video has English subtitles. It depicts Russian and Ukrainian soldiers as equally decent men in equal trouble differentiated only by the white and yellow sides they are fighting on.

I also recommend M.K. Bhadrakumar's recent piece that summarizes the war so far and looks into its future: Ukraine war’s first anniversary and beyond. As he is 'neutral' between the 'West' and Russia and has rich diplomatic experience his view is always of interest.

Posted by b on January 25, 2023 at 17:00 UTC | Permalink ... .html#more


Biden announces he's sending 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine
From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein

President Biden announced Wednesday that he plans to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, reversing the administration’s longstanding resistance to requests from Kyiv for the highly sophisticated but maintenance-heavy vehicles.

Biden said US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recommended this move because it will strengthen Ukraine's capacity to "defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives."

"The Abrams tanks are the most capable tanks in the world. They're also extremely complex to operate and maintain, so we're also giving Ukraine the parts and equipment necessary to effectively sustain these tanks on the battlefield. We'll begin to train the Ukrainian troops on these issues of sustainment, logistics and maintenance as soon as possible," Biden said in remarks from the White House.

The Abrams will take months to arrive, senior administration officials said, and will require extensive training for Ukrainian troops on how to operate and service them. The US must navigate complicated supply chains for the components required for the tanks.

"Delivering these tanks to the field is going to take time. Time that we'll see and we'll use to make sure the Ukrainians are fully prepared to integrate the Abrams tanks into their defenses," Biden added.
As recently as last week, top US officials cited those obstacles as barriers to providing the vehicles to Ukraine. Yet after an intensive bout of diplomacy with Germany, who had made clear it would only send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if the United States offered up the Abrams, Biden has given the sign-off on sending the vehicles. The 31 Abrams will form a complete Ukrainian tank battalion.

“This is a tremendous new capability that Ukraine will be getting to boost its long term defenses," a senior administration official said, noting that the tanks will be procured through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding.


Biden: US support for Ukraine is "not an offensive threat" to Russia
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden speaks about Ukraine from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday. (Susan Walsh/AP)
President Joe Biden said that the United States' support for Ukraine is "not an offensive threat" to Russia as he announced the US would send 31 tanks to Ukraine.

Biden said that this US support is about helping Ukraine "defend its sovereignty."

"That's what this is about. Helping Ukraine defend and protect Ukrainian land. It is not an offensive threat to Russia. There is no offensive threat," Biden said,
The President added that he thought Russian troops should return to "where they belong" in Russia.

"This war would be over today. That's what we all want, an end to this war," Biden said. ... index.html

No of course not... Even as The Actor yammers on about 'recovering' Crimea, not that this pittance will get him there.
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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:13 pm

More war to "shorten the war"
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/26/2023


Less than 24 hours after the Government had to deal with serious accusations of corruption that have caused the dismissal or resignation of two deputy ministers, the deputy prosecutor of the General Prosecutor's Office and the second in command of Andriy Ermak, right-hand man of Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine was able to celebrate his long-awaited victory yesterday. As the media had already anticipated and after a brief but intense international political and media campaign to force him to make the right decision , Chancellor Olaf Sholz overcame his reluctance and finally announced that Germany will not only approve the delivery of Leopard- 2 from allied countries, but will also send fourteen of their precious battle tanks.

For weeks now, the German Leopard-2 and American M1 Abrams tanks have been presented as the guarantee of success for the spring offensive that both NATO and Ukraine have already announced and whose objective will, foreseeably, be the Zaporozhye front and specifically the city ​​of Melitopol, considered the gate of Crimea. With this advance, kyiv would split Russian territory in southern Ukraine in two and would force Moscow to make serious decisions when finding itself, nine years after the peaceful annexation of the peninsula, faced with the need to defend it militarily. That seems to be Ukraine's strategy in reclaiming its territory along internationally recognized borders.

As Russia fights meter by meter to advance on its priority front, Donbass, Ukraine seems to have put forward the strategy of endangering Crimea, the only way in which Russia would be forced to accept the diktat of Ukraine's international partners. Hence, now, twelve days after Russia officially announced the capture of Soledar, an announcement that came two days after their positions were consolidated on the ground, Ukraine has finally accepted its withdrawal from the city. Throughout these two weeks of evident loss of the city - Denis Pushilin was even filmed in the center of the city - the press has continued to accept false Ukrainian information as true. Two weeks after the events, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed to AP the Ukrainian withdrawal claiming to seek to "defend lives", a version that contradicts the massive shipment of reinforcements that Ukraine has made to the area since the battle intensified several weeks ago. Faced with the will of the military commanders to withdraw in an orderly manner to the second line of defense, the political authorities, led by Zelensky, have sought at this time to give the fight for Artyomovsk-Soledar an epic that required its defense by All coast. However, with the invaluable collaboration of the press, Ukraine has managed to install the idea that both Arytomovsk and Soledar are unimportant. They may not have it for Ukraine, but breaking down that line of defense wall is key to Russia's attempted breakthrough on their priority front.

The announcement of the shipment of German Leopards, which was coupled with Joe Biden's confirmation that the United States will send 31 Abrams tanks, has managed to eclipse all information about corruption, the casualties Ukraine is suffering at the front and also the fact that kyiv has not known to exploit Russian weaknesses at their most vulnerable moments. Ukraine has not been able to attack the most vulnerable point in Donbass and break through the Luhansk front, a region it reached after the collapse of the Kharkiv front last September, when Russia had not yet incorporated the mobilized soldiers. Ukrainian triumphalism on the media front does not always correspond to the realities on the military front, and early announcements of victory can easily become an example. The announced counteroffensive, which will have to take place in the open, it implies an attempt to break into Russian territory, an advance in which tanks, Russian or Western, will be vulnerable if they lack the air cover that, to this day, it is questionable that Ukraine can offer. Not surprisingly, figures such as kyiv's deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to Germany, Andrej Melnjik, have already begun the campaign to get NATO countries to send combat aircraft. Always ready to demand more from its partners, Ukraine is no longer satisfied with the German "Tornado" about to be retired, but is looking for American F16s, whose handling would require an instruction even longer than the already important training period that they require the western tanks that are now promised to kyiv.

In his announcement of the dispatch of the first Leopards, which, taking into account the intensity of the war, will not be the last, the German chancellor, aware of the vulnerability in which his country and his figure find themselves, once again fell into a of its habitual contradictions. Although the gesture can only be understood as an escalation in the war, one more step towards total war, and it will be understood in Moscow as a hostile act and a direct threat, Olaf Scholz called for not escalating the war in Ukraine, a message that not only contradicts his actions, but also the words of his Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the beginning of the Russian intervention, the description of proxy war to define the conflict in Ukraine as a subsidiary fight between NATO and Russia was considered a propaganda speech coming from Moscow. However, and in perfect English so that her international audience could understand it, Annalena Baerbock now justifies the need to act jointly and without pressure among the countries allied to Ukraine because "we are fighting a war against Russia." Her message surpasses even that of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who still insists that the Alliance is not participating in the war.

Apart from the excessive triumphalism that is automatically caused by any announcement of Western weapons - which is generally accompanied by the delivery of weapons of Russian or Soviet origin, as is also the case now with a batch of tanks that Morocco acquired from Belarus - and the time that this material will take By being available to the Ukrainian offensive, the announcement sends a clear message: NATO is committed to a war that is getting closer to being total and leaves no room for diplomacy. This has already been understood by a handful of countries, which have rushed to join this "coalition of tanks" to which Spain also wants to join. On the lips of Minister Robles, Spain offered yesterday to send Leopard-2 tanks, although they require "tuning up". In August 2022,

Faced with the position of the European countries, the response of Latin America has been silence or rejection. Despite the US offer to replace Russian weapons sent to Ukraine with US weapons, a proposal that shows the importance of weapons of Russian or Soviet origin, presidents like Gustavo Petro have been much more forceful than their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic. To those who allege that the massive shipment of increasingly heavy weapons seeks to “shorten the war”, the Latin American refusal to get involved in a foreign and distant war seeks precisely to avoid worsening an already very serious situation. Ratifying with deeds his words of seeking complete peace and rejecting the use of arms,

Germany's change of course, expected after the internal and external campaign to which Chancellor Scholz has been subjected, condemns Europe to an ever-increasing risk. Little by little, representatives of diplomacy make the situation clear: a proxy war in which Ukraine puts its own blood and that of others, while the West puts up arms and financing. Baerbock's words are nothing more than the officialization of what was stated a few days ago by the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who offered Ukraine as a European army in the common war against Russia.

Without apparently causing any concern, this million-dollar assistance, unlimited weapons and practically unconditional political, diplomatic and media support for Ukraine reaches a government in which one of its main spokesmen, Mikhailo Podoliak, openly writes that "supporting the Russian Federation or Standing aside in this war against civilization is becoming totally unacceptable. A world without the Russian Federation”. Podoliak, who a few days ago announced attacks in Moscow or Yekaterinburg, to later affirm that they will not be Ukrainians but internal ones - a tactic usually used in cases in which Ukraine has committed attacks on Russian territory - wrote on his Telegram channel that Russia will suffer between two and four military defeats,

The fantasy of Podoliak, official representative of the Office of the President of Ukraine, continues with violent internal riots, the independence of the “ethnic subjects” from the Russian Federation, the seizure of power by a provisional government that will negotiate the demilitarization of the border, the punishment of war criminals and, of course, large war reparations. Podoliak ends his message by claiming that the time needed to achieve this scenario depends exclusively on Ukraine's western partners delivering, within the required periods, the weapons requested by Ukraine. That is the idea of ​​“shortening the war” put forward by the NATO proxy army in Ukraine. ... more-26500

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The Ramstein Effect: The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 25, 2023
Scott Ritter

Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, West Berlin. (Mike Peel, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

On Tuesday the White House decided that it would send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which was seen as political cover for Germany, which decided to ship 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev.

Early on the morning of May 2, 1945, General Vasily Chuikov, the commander of the Soviet 8thGuards Army, accepted the surrender of the German garrison of Berlin.

Two days prior, soldiers from the 150th Rifle Division, part of the Soviet 5th Shock Army, had raised the victory banner of the Red Army over the Reichstag. An hour after the banner went up, Adolf Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, committed suicide in his study inside the Furhrerbunker.

Chuikov, the hero of Stalingrad whose battered 62nd Army was renamed the 8th Guards Army in honor of their victory in holding that city in the face of a massive German onslaught, had led his troops into the heart of the Nazi capital, battling stubborn Nazi resistance in the Tiergarten district of Berlin, where the den of the Nazi beast was located. The Soviet general was rewarded for the courage and sacrifice of his soldiers by being in position to accept the German surrender.

“Raising a flag over the Reichstag” photo by Yevgeny Khaldei. (Russian Defense Ministry)

In honor of this accomplishment, and the sacrifice it entailed, the Soviet Army inaugurated, in November 1945, a commemorative monument along the Tiergarten. Constructed from red marble and granite stripped away from the ruins of Adolf Hitler’s Neue Reichskanzlei (New Imperial Chancellery), the monument, consisting of a concave colonnade of six joined axes flanked by Red Army artillery and a pair of T-34 tanks, with a giant bronze statue of a victorious Red Army soldier standing watch from the center pylon.

From 1945 until 1993, when the Russian Army withdrew from Berlin, Soviet guards stood guard over the monument. Since that time, the monument has been maintained according to the terms of the German Reunification Treaty of 1990, which brought West and East Germany together in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Carved into the granite of the monument, in Cyrillic letters, is an inscription that reads “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battle with the German fascist occupiers for the freedom and independence of the Soviet Union.”

In a turn of events which must have Vasily Chuikov and the Soviet heroes to whom the Tiergarten war memorial was dedicated turning in their graves, the forces of fascism have once again reared their odious heads, this time manifested in a Ukrainian government motivated by the neo-Nazi ultra-nationalistic ideology of Stepan Bandera and his ilk.

Soviet military commander Vasily Chuikov, second from left, at the 62nd Army command post in Stalingrad in December 1942. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Bandera and his murderous movement had been physically defeated by Soviet forces in the decade following the end of the Second World War. However, its ideology survived in a western Ukrainian diaspora formed from the survivors of that movement who found safe haven in West Germany (where Bandera himself settled until assassinated by the Soviet KGB in 1959); Canada (where Chrystia Freeland, the granddaughter of a former publisher of pro-Bandera propaganda, currently serves as deputy prime minister), and the United States (where the followers of Stepan Bandera have constructed a “heroes park” outside Ellenville, New York, including a bust of Bandera and other neo-Nazi Ukrainian ultra-nationalists.)

The ideology also survived in the shadows of the western Ukrainian districts that had been absorbed by the Soviet Union following the dismemberment of Poland in 1939, and later, after the reoccupation of these territories by Soviet forces in 1945.

CIA-Funded Political Underground

Here, beginning in 1956, (following the de-Stalinization policies instituted by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in the aftermath of his “secret speech” to members of the Communist Party), thousands of members of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)/Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Bandera (OUN-B), who had been arrested and convicted by Soviet authorities, were released from the Gulag and returned to their homes, ostensibly to be reintegrated into Soviet society. This reintegration never materialized, however.

Instead, Ukrainian fascists, funded by the C.I.A., operated as a political underground, running sabotage operations and fomenting anti-Soviet/anti-Russian ideology amongst a population where the precepts of Ukrainian nationalist ideology ran strong.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, at the end of 1991, these Ukrainian nationalists emerged from the shadows and began organizing into political parties backed by gangs of violence-prone extremists who promulgated, through physical intimidation, a cult of personality built around the person of Stepan Bandera.

Protesters with OUN-B’s red and black flag among Maidan Square protesters in Kiev, December 2013. (Nessa Gnatoush, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Political parties such as Svoboda (“Freedom”) and the Right Sector came into being. Although lacking support among the majority of the Ukrainian population, these groups were able to leverage their penchant for organization and violence into a dominant role in the riots that broke out in Maidan Square in Kiev, in early 2014, that led to the ouster of democratically-elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych and his replacement by a government of people hand-picked by the United States, including the future prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

An intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, which took place in the days prior to the ouster of Yanukovych in February 2014, had Nuland positioning Yatsenyuk as the future leader of Ukraine and, in this context, was actively encouraging Yatsenyuk to coordinate with Oleh Tyahnybok, the head of Svoboda, who was being openly backed by armed radicals from the Right Sector.

May 16, 2015: Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (left) at the police patrol training site in Kiev, Ukraine. (U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Flickr)

The close coordination between the new post-Maidan government of Ukraine and the pro-Bandera Svoboda and Right Sector political parties manifested in these organizations having an oversized role in Ukrainian security affairs.

By way of example, Dmytro Yarosh, the former head of Right Sector, became an adviser to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi. In that role, Yarosh oversaw the incorporation of numerous volunteer units of the Right Sector into the regular armed forces of Ukraine.

One of the units created because of this reorganization is the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade, which since November 2022 has been undergoing training in the United Kingdom.

The fact that NATO members, such as the United Kingdom, are actively involved in the training of Ukrainian forces is well-established. In July 2022 the British Defense Ministry announced that it would begin training approximately 10,000 Ukrainian troops every four months.

That they are playing an active role in providing combat training to ardent neo-Nazi military formations is something Western media outlets appear to eschew.

Ukraine Defense Contact Group

The issue, however, is far more complex — and controversial — than simply providing basic military training to a few thousand adherents of Stepan Bandera’s hate-filled ideology.

The 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade is likely to be one of three Ukrainian brigade-sized formations that will be trained and equipped using billions of dollars of military assistance recently approved during the eighth session of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group.

The contact group was first convened at the sprawling U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, in April 2022, and has served as the primary mechanism of coordination between the armed forces of Ukraine and NATO regarding the provision of training and material support to the Ukrainian military.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks via video at the eighth Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Jan. 20. (DoD, Jack Sanders)

The most recent convocation of the Ramstein Contact Group took place in the shadow of an interview given by the commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, to The Economist, in December 2022. According to Zaluzhnyi, the primary problem facing Ukraine was the need “to hold this line [i.e., the Soledar-Bakhmut defensive belt] and not lose any more ground.”

Since that interview, Soledar has fallen to the Russians, and Bakhmut is threatened with being surrounded. Moreover, Russian forces are on the offensive north and south of the Bakhmut front, in some instances advancing up to seven kilometers per day.

Zaluzhnyi also stated that the second priority for Ukraine was

“to get ready for this war which can happen in February [2023]. To be able to wage a war with fresh forces and reserves. Our troops are all tied up in battles now, they are bleeding. They are bleeding and are being held together solely by courage, heroism, and the ability of their commanders to keep the situation under control.”

The Ukrainian commander noted that the February “war” would have Ukraine resuming the attack:

“We have made all the calculations — how many tanks, artillery we need and so on and so on. This is what everyone needs to concentrate on right now. May the soldiers in the trenches forgive me, it’s more important to focus on the accumulation of resources right now for the more protracted and heavier battles that may begin next year.”

The goal of this offensive, Zaluzhnyi said, was to push Russia back to the borders that existed on Feb. 23, 2022, the start of the Russian invasion. He also indicated that the liberation of Crimea was an objective.

“In order to reach the borders of Crimea, as of today we need to cover a distance of 84 km to Melitopol [a strategic city in the south of the Donetsk Republic]. By the way, this is enough for us, because Melitopol would give us a full fire control of the land corridor, because from Melitopol we can already fire at the Crimean Isthmus.”

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, right, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi during the Battle of Kiev, March 2022. (Commander in Chief of Ukraine, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Zaluzhnyi exuded confidence. “I know that I can beat this enemy,” he said. “But I need resources. I need 300 tanks, 600-700 IFV’s [infantry fighting vehicles], 500 Howitzers. Then, I think it is completely realistic to get to the lines of February 23rd.”

Zaluzhnyi spoke of an upcoming meeting with U.S. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “I will tell him [Milley] how much it is worth, how much it costs. If we don’t get it, of course we will fight to the end. But as a movie character said, ‘I don’t vouch for the consequences.’ The consequences are not hard to foresee. This is what we have to do.”

In short, Zaluzhnyi was saying he could win the war with Russia if he received the requested amount of military equipment. Otherwise, Ukraine would likely lose the conflict.

The Eighth Session

The eighth session of the Ramstein Contact Group convened on Jan. 20 and the Ukrainians pressed hard for their Western allies to provide the material support Zaluzhnyi had requested.

Defense ministers from more than 50 countries participated, including Ukraine’s Oleksii Reznikov who, speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum a few days before the Ramstein meeting, declared that “We [Ukraine] are carrying out NATO’s mission today. They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons.”

Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, right, with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during a Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 8, 2022. (DoD, Chad J. McNeeley)

The Contact Group took the Ukrainian demand for material support under consideration, and by the end of the meeting had committed to providing Ukraine with a multi-billion dollar support package, including air defense weapons, artillery ammunition, support vehicle, and (perhaps most importantly) approximately 240 of the 500 infantry fighting vehicles it had requested, broken down roughly into one battalion (59 vehicles) of U.S.-made M-2 Bradleys, two battalions (90 vehicles) of M-1126s, one battalion (40 vehicles) of German Marders and one battalion (approximately 50 vehicles) of Swedish-made CV90s.

The Ramstein Contact Group also promised delivery of four self-propelled artillery battalions, consisting of 19 Swedish-made Archer’s, 18 British-made AS-90’s, 18 U.S.-made M-109 Paladin’s, and a dozen French-made CEASAR’s. When added to the 24 towed FH-70 pieces, the total of artillery pieces being sent to Ukraine amounts to just under 100 artillery pieces, a far cry from the 500 requested by Zaluzhnyi.

Missing from the Ramstein Contact Group list was anything remotely resembling the 300 tanks Zaluzhnyi had requested; the best Ukraine’s European allies could muster [until Tuesday] was a promise from the United Kingdom to supply a company’s worth (14) of Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

Ukrainian trenchline at the Battle of Bakhmut, November 2022. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Zaluzhnyi, in his interview with The Economist, had indicated that he could not accomplish his planned offensive with anything less than the three armored and three mechanized brigade-equivalents he had requested.

The collective West had responded with barely two brigade’s worth of equipment.

These two, when added to a third mechanized brigade that had previously been formed and was undergoing training in Poland, gave the Ukrainian general half of what he claimed he needed to launch a successful offensive against Russia.

For U.S. General Milley, the equipment shortfall wasn’t the issue — training was. Prior to arriving at Ramstein, Milley toured the sprawling Grafenwoehr training grounds in Germany. There the U.S. Army is in the process of training some 600 Ukrainian soldiers to effectively move and coordinate their company-and battalion-size units in battle, using combined artillery, armor and ground forces.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at podium during a press briefing after a Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Jan. 20. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin on left. (DoD, Jack Sanders)

Speaking to reporters, General Milley said such training was critical in helping Ukraine recapture territory lost to Russia last year. The goal of this training, Milley said, is for incoming weapons and equipment to be delivered to Ukraine so the newly trained forces will be able to use it “sometime before the spring rains show up. That would be ideal.”

What the West is Giving

Operational training, no matter how competently delivered and absorbed, does not paint an accurate picture of the true combat capability being turned over to Ukraine by the West. The reality is most of this equipment won’t last a month under combat conditions; even if the Russians don’t destroy them, maintenance issues will.

Take, for instance, the 59 M-2 Bradley vehicles being supplied by the United States. According to anecdotal information obtained from Reddit, the Bradley is, to quote, “a maintenance NIGHTMARE.”

“I can’t even begin to commiserate how f***ing awful maintenance on a Bradley is,” the author, a self-described U.S. Army veteran who served in a Bradley unit in Iraq, declared.

“Two experienced crews MIGHT be able to change one Brad’s track in 3 or 4 hours, if nothing goes wrong (something always goes wrong). Then you got the track adjuster arms, the shock arms, the roadwheels, the sprocket itself, that all need maintained and replaced as needed. I haven’t even started talking about the engine/transmission pack yet. When you do services on that, it’s not like you just raise the engine deck lid. You got to take the armor OFF the Bradley so an M88 Wrecker vehicle can use its crane to LIFT the engine/tranny out of the hull.”

The Stryker isn’t any better. According to a recent article in Responsible Statecraft, U.S. soldiers who used the vehicle in both Iraq and Afghanistan called the Stryker “a very good combat vehicle, so long as it traveled on roads, it wasn’t raining — and didn’t have to fight.”

Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle, M1126. (U.S. Army, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

The Stryker is also a difficult system to maintain properly. One of the critical features of the Stryker is the “height management system,” or HMS. In short, it is what keeps the hull from riding on the tires. A failure to constantly maintain and monitor the HMS system will result in the hull rubbing up against the tires, causing tire failure and a non-operable vehicle.

The HMS is complex, and a failure to maintain or operate one component will result in the failure of the entire system. The likelihood of the future Ukrainian operators of the Stryker properly maintaining the HMS under combat conditions is near-zero — they will lack the training as well as the “logistical support” necessary (such as spare parts).

The German Marder IFV appears to represent a similar maintenance headache for the Ukrainians: according to a 2021 article in The National Interest, “The vehicle was considered unreliable from the outset: Tracks rapidly wore out, transmissions often failed, and soldiers could not easily remove the vehicle’s engine for field maintenance.”

While Germany is preparing to invest a significant amount of money to upgrade the Marder, this hasn’t yet been done. Ukraine is inheriting an old weapons system that brings with it a considerable maintenance problem Ukraine is not prepared to properly handle.

The Swedish CV 90 saw some limited combat in Afghanistan when deployed with the Norwegian Army. While there is not enough publicly available data about the maintainability of this system, one only needs to note that even if the SV 90 proves easy to maintain, it represents a completely different maintenance problem from that of the Bradly, Stryker, or Marder.

In short, to properly operate the five battalion-equivalents of infantry fighting vehicles being supplied their NATO partners, Ukraine will need to train its maintenance troops on four completely different systems, each with its own unique set of problems and separate logistical/spare part support requirements.

It is, literally, a logistical nightmare that will ultimately prove to be the Achilles heel of the Ramstein tranche of heavy equipment.

But even here, neither NATO nor Ukraine seems able to see the forest for the trees. Rather than acknowledging that the material being provided is inadequate to the task of empowering Ukraine to carry out large-scale offensive operations against Russia, the two sides began haranguing each other over the issue of tanks, namely the failure of Germany to step up to the plate in Ramstein and clear the way for the provision to Ukraine of hundreds of modern Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

German History & Optics

The Ramstein meeting was hampered by concern within the German Parliament over the optics associated with Germany providing tanks which would be used to fight Russians in Ukraine.

This angst was perhaps best captured by Petr Bystron of the right-wing Alternative for Germany party. “German tanks [fighting] against Russia in Ukraine,” Bystron challenged his colleagues, “remember, your grandfathers tried to do the same trick, together with [Ukrainian nationalists] Melnik, Bandera and their supporters.

“The result was immense suffering, millions of casualties on both sides and, eventually, Russian tanks came here, to Berlin. Two of those tanks remain on permanent display nearby, and you must keep this in mind when you pass them by every morning,” Bystron said, referring to the two Soviet T-34 tanks at the Tiergarten memorial to fallen Soviet soldiers.

Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten, West Berlin. (Klearchos Kapoutsis, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The issue of Leopard tanks, however, was more political than technical, with Poland threatening to ignore Germany’s refusal to allow the tanks to be sent to Ukraine, announcing that it was prepared to dispatch 14 of its own Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in the near future. When combined with the 14 Challenger 2 tanks being promised by the British, Ukraine was getting 28 of the 300 tanks it said it needed for any future offensive. [Now roughly 58 with the U.S. Abrams.]

The numerical disparities and maintenance difficulties aside, NATO politicians seem quite pleased with what was accomplished at Ramstein. According to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, in an address to Parliament,

“The international community recognizes that equipping Ukraine to push Russia out of its territory is as important as equipping them to defend what they already have. Today’s package is an important increase in Ukraine’s capabilities. It means they can go from resisting to expelling Russian forces from Ukrainian soil.”

Wallace seems to ignore that by empowering Ukraine to expel Russian troops from what are — following the annexation of the four former Ukrainian territories (Lugansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia and Kherson) last September — permanently part of the Russian Federation, NATO would be potentially creating the conditions under which Russia would be able to doctrinally employ nuclear weapons. Those conditions would be to defend against the accumulation of conventional military power capable of threatening the existential survival of Russia.

Russia, however, has not ignored this. Speaking after the Ramstein Contact Group finished its meeting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters “Potentially, this is extremely dangerous, it will mean bringing the conflict to a whole new level, which, of course, will not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security.”

Senior Russian officials chimed in on social media. Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, declared on his Telegram channel that:

“It should be clear for everyone — we will destroy any weapons supplied to the Zelensky’s regime by either the United States or NATO. That is true now as it was true during the Great Patriotic War. The emergence of tanks, bearing Nazi insignia, on the former Soviet soil unequivocally makes us aim at toppling the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine and creating normal conditions so that the neighboring peoples in the region could live peacefully like in the old days.”

Dmitri Medvedev, a former Russian president and close adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, added on Twitter that those who promote a Russian defeat risk unleashing global ruin. “None of them gets it that a nuclear power’s loss of a conventional war can lead to a nuclear one. Nuclear powers haven’t been defeated in major conflicts crucial for their destiny.”

The Consequences for Ukraine

The reality is, however, that the consequences of the Ramstein Contact Group’s work will be far more detrimental to Ukraine than Russia.

Under pressure from the West to carry out a major offensive designed to expel Russian forces from the territories captured last year, General Zaluzhnyi will be compelled to sacrifice whatever reserves he would be able to assemble in the aftermath of Ramstein for the purpose of engaging in fruitless attacks against a Russian opponent that is far different from the one Ukraine faced in September and October of last year.

Then, a reconstituted Ukrainian army, bolstered by tens of billions of dollars of NATO equipment, training and operational support, was able to take advantage of over-extended Russian forces to recapture large swaths of territory in Kharkov and Kherson.

Today, Russia’s military presence in Ukraine is a far cry from what it was in the autumn of 2022. In the aftermath of Putin’s September 2022 decision to mobilize 300,000 reservists, Russia has not only consolidated the frontline in eastern Ukraine, assuming a more defensible posture, but also reinforced its forces with some 80,000 mobilized troops, allowing for Russia to sustain offensive operations in the Donetsk regions while solidifying its defenses in Kherson and Lugansk.

From Feb. 24 through the autumn of 2022, Russia deviated significantly from how it doctrinally prosecutes armed conflict. Moving forward, Russia will be waging war by the book. Defensive positions will be laid in a manner designed to defeat concerted NATO attack, both in terms of troop density along the frontline, but also in depth (something lacking in the Kharkov offensive in September 2022) and with sufficient dedicated fire support (again, lacking in September 2022).

By General Zaluzhnyi’s own admission, Ukraine has insufficient forces for the task. Even if Ukraine were able to concentrate all three brigades’ worth of men and material that are in the pipeline following the Ramstein Contact Group meeting at one place at the same time, the 20,000 or so troops this represents would be unable to breach a Russian defensive position laid out in doctrinal fashion.

Ukraine and NATO should heed the history lesson that Petr Bystron presented to his fellow German parliamentarians — German tanks do not historically fare well against Russian tanks on Ukrainian soil.

And Ben Wallace and Mark Milley should pay attention to the order of battle of the Russian forces opposing the Ukrainian Army, especially around the critical battlefields in and around the strategic city of Bakhmut. There, Russian soldiers belonging to the 8th Guards Army are poised to continue in the tradition of Vasily Chuikov’s heroes of Stalingrad and Berlin, destroying the forces of fascism on the field of battle.

While the modern-day soldiers of the 8th Guards Army may not be mounting a new generation of tanks on display in the Berlin Tiergarten, rest assured they know fully well their historical legacy and what is expected of them.

This, more than anything else, is the true expression of the Ramstein effect, a cause-effect relationship that the West does not seem either able or willing to discern before it is too late for the tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers whose lives are about to be sacrificed on an altar of national hubris and ignorance. ... o-ukraine/


From Cassad's Telegram account:

forwarded from
Operation Z: Military Correspondents of the Russian Spring
‼️💥Right now the enemy launched an attack , trying to force the Dnieper
▪️The militants tried to covertly break through to our shore from the area of ​​the islands near Kakhovka.
▪️They were met by landing fire, reconnaissance detected the movement of the enemy in time, transmitted the coordinates of the artillery and opened fire.
▪️The fight continues.
▪️Also, the enemy raised aircraft into the sky.
Operation Z: Military Correspondents of the Russian Spring
‼️🇬🇧🇺🇦The enemy began to cross the Dnieper in the area of ​​Nova Kakhovka, during the battle up to 100 fighters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed

▪️In the morning in the area of ​​N. p. Korsunka and Dnepryans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine made an attempt to cross the river. On the opposite bank, our reconnaissance uncovered an accumulation of infantry fighting vehicles ...


🔹Chronicle of the special military operation
for January 25, 2023

🔻Kursk region:

◾️Ukrainian formations fired at the Otruba farm in the Glushkovsky district. Power lines were damaged, power supply was temporarily interrupted in nearby settlements. There are no victims or injured.

🔻Starobelsk direction:


▪️In the Kupyansky sector, the situation has not changed significantly: artillery duels continue along the line of contact. Target designation is provided by drone crews and mobile reconnaissance groups.

▪️In the Svatovsky sector, the Ukrainian command, in preparation for the offensive on Kuzemovka , is transferring manpower and armored vehicles to the advanced.

▪️Mutual shelling continues in the Limansky sector. All enemy attempts to gain a foothold in the gray zone from Makeevka to Dibrova are thwarted by accurate artillery fire.

🔻Soledar direction:

▪️To the north of Bakhmut , fierce clashes continue in the vicinity of Krasnaya Gora and Paraskovievka .

▪️In Bakhmut , assault detachments of the PMC "Wagner" are fighting with the enemy in the area of ​​​​the meat processing plant in the north-east of the city.
➖The Ukrainian command is deploying additional units to the site to strengthen the defense.

▪️To the southwest, Russian forces are advancing on positions of Ukrainian formations in Krasnoe . The capture of the settlement will allow taking Bakhmut into the operational environment .

🔻Lugansk People's Republic:

▪️The Armed Forces of Ukraine fired rockets from the HIMARS MLRS at the civilian infrastructure of the LPR.
➖In Rubezhnoye , residential buildings, a boiler house, a hotel, a cafe and administrative buildings were damaged.
➖In Kremennaya , educational institutions and the district administration building were hit. Among the civilians there are dead and wounded.

🔻Donetsk direction :


▪️In the Ugledar sector, Russian troops took control of a dacha settlement in the southeast of Vugledar .
➖Fighters of the 7th operational-combat tactical formation broke through the enemy defenses and entrenched themselves in a residential area on the outskirts of the city.

▪️Ukrainian formations continue to randomly shell the settlements of the Donetsk agglomeration : residential buildings, a substation and power lines in Horlivka were also hit . Two women were hurt.

🔻Zaporozhye direction:

▪️Artillery duels and positional battles continue at the Novoandreevka-Novodanilovka line in the Orekhovsky sector .

▪️At the Pologovsky sector, Russian troops carried out reconnaissance in force in the direction of Gulyai- Polye . The Ukrainian command is pulling additional forces to the line of contact to strengthen the defense.

🔻Southern front. Kherson direction:

▪️Russian artillery hit enemy concentrations in Berislav , Gavrilovka , Dudchany , Kachkarovka , and around Kherson .

In turn, Ukrainian formations shelled civilian infrastructure and residential buildings in Nova Kakhovka , Aleshki , Hola Prystan and Radensk .





Vugledarsky section
situation by the end of January 25, 2023

🔻The fighters of the assault battalion entrenched themselves in a dacha area in the southeast of Vugledar . At the moment, fighting is underway on the outskirts, where units of the 72nd OMB of the Armed Forces of Ukraine tried to go to the rear, using a fortified stronghold in several private houses.

▪️Part of the formations of the 72nd brigade holds positions in Vugledar itself, and the rest - at the South Donbass mine #1 . Despite the heavy losses, it is too early to talk about the breakthrough of the defense of Ugledar and the battles within the city .

▪️The settlement is located on a dominant height, the approaches to which are completely shot through by artillery. And Ugledar itself is pitted with underground communications used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine for defense.

▪️Now the marines of the Pacific Fleet, together with the OBTF fighters, with the support of artillerymen, are attacking from the direction of Pavlovka to the western outskirts of Vugledar, trying to enter the flank of the defending Ukrainian group.


By tanks for the evening.

1. Germany announced that about 80 Leopard 2 tanks would be delivered to Ukraine in the near future.
2. Germany expects to complete its deliveries within 3-4 months, that is, by May 2023.
3. The US also announced that deliveries of the Abrams would require many months of crew training and technical maintenance.
4. Slovakia clarified that it is ready to transfer 30 T-72 tanks to Ukraine only if it receives other vehicles instead of them in a circular exchange. In fact, they want to upgrade the tank fleet for free, having received the Leopard 2A6 from the Germans.
5. Sweden is still considering the issue of providing Ukraine with Swedish modifications of the Leopard 2A5.
6. The United States does not see any actions from Russia threatening NATO in response to the supply of tanks to Ukraine. The spring will not see "any action" on the supply of aircraft. The issue of supplying fighter jets to Ukraine is being actively promoted. The red lines of the Russian Federation do not make any impression on the United States today due to the absence of any intelligible reactions to the intersection of the previous red lines.

Google Translator


Rocket attacks on Ukraine. 01/26/2023
January 26, 10:42 am


After a nighttime prelude with "Geraniums" (several successful hits, especially bright in Dnepropetrovsk), in the morning the Russian Aerospace Forces began delivering planned missile strikes on the energy structure of Ukraine.
At 10-30 there are hits on the Kyiv PSP, a substation in Usatovo (Odessa), as well as explosions in Vinnitsa, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Poltava, Nikolaev regions.
There is an air raid throughout Ukraine, air defense works in a number of regions, and the lights were switched off in some regions. The SBU continues to intimidate citizens, demanding not to publish footage of arrivals and air defense operations, as well as not to discuss and analyze missile strikes.
For now, the attack continues.

Broadcast as usual in TG (if you are interested, subscribe)

Google Translator


More Weapons to Kiev From Berlin Against German People's Wishes

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Jan. 25, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@enteratee24

Published 25 January 2023

"Against the wishes of the German population, or the majority of Germans, the government decided to send more weapons to Ukraine," the Mexican President said.

On Wednesday, during his regular press conference, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the German government's decision to supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks was encouraged by media pressure.

"Media power is used by oligarchies around the world to subdue governments. Germany, for example, did not want to get too involved in the war with Ukraine," said AMLO regretting that finally the European nation's government gave in to pressure from the press.

The German government approved the supply of 14 Leopard 2 battle tanks to the Ukrainian Armed Forces as part of a new aid package, the government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in a statement.

Berlin will also train Ukrainian officers on how to use the tanks, also providing logistics, ammunition and system maintenance.

The country's Prime Minister Olaf Scholz told the Council of Ministers that Germany will continue to increase its military support for Ukraine. "We are acting in a closely coordinated and concerted manner at the international level," Scholz said.

Since February 24 last year, when Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, Western countries have spent large sums of money on huge arms supplies to Kiev.

Russia has condemned these military aid shipments, warning that this will only escalate the ongoing conflict, far from ending it. ... -0013.html
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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 27, 2023 1:18 pm

A speech based on falsehoods
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/27/2023


Last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, insisted on something that Russia has repeated on numerous occasions in the last three months: there are no conditions for dialogue with Ukraine in the search for a resolution of the conflict between Both countries. As usual, the press published the comments by the leader of Russian diplomacy as further proof of Russia's refusal to negotiate and not as a statement of the facts. It was not Russia, which began peace negotiations just weeks after the start of its military intervention, that broke up the Istanbul negotiations by trying to use social media to rewrite the principle of agreement that Moscow mistakenly believed it had reached. Nor was it Russia that prohibited by decree all political negotiations with the president of the other country. What's more, in these months, even after the withdrawal from Kherson, Russia, through its Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, has made attempts to resume talks, denying that Moscow had closed that door. And above all, in recent months Russia has accepted agreements, such as the Ukrainian grain export protocol, which have openly benefited Ukraine without unblocking Russian exports.

However, with the Ukrainian story installed as absolute truth in the establishment media and diplomatic, each finding of these facts is presented as a Russian rejection of a negotiation that, had it been promoted by Ukraine's partners last March, would have avoided much of the death and destruction that has occurred since then. It was at that moment, when both the Ukrainian representatives and their allies rejected negotiations that implied the acceptance of the loss of Crimea and part of Donbass, when NATO and the EU opted to finance the war until the end, an option that closed Definitely the diplomatic way. Over the months, Volodymyr Zelensky has added new red lines that made impossible a negotiation that no longer existed: missile attacks, referendums, annexations, etc. All this was presented as a reaction to Russian actions, oblivious that it was Ukraine that in the first place rejected the path of diplomacy in favor of what is gradually turning into all-out war. To do this, Ukraine is in the process of obtaining permission from its partners to attack Crimea and obtaining the weapons it considers necessary to reconquer the entire territory.

Ukraine no longer hides its objectives, which it proclaims to the four winds both on social networks and in interviews with the Western press. With a little more subtlety than his adviser Mikhailo Podoliak, who on social networks advocated "a world without the Russian Federation", the Ukrainian president has manifested himself in an interview with Sky News on similar lines. A few days ago, Volodymyr Zelensky surprised people with some curious statements in which he claimed not to know if Vladimir Putin is alive or who runs Russia and yesterday he insisted on that line, rejecting any possibility of dialogue. On the crest of the wave that has been the announcements by its partners of the next shipments of Western tanks - more propaganda than fact at the moment, since that material will take weeks to arrive and Russia now has time to act before that occurs -, the Ukrainian president reaffirms his maximalist vision. In his idyllic version - which makes no mention of the amount of destruction it would require - Ukraine will return to its 1991 borders, war criminals, solely Russian, of course, will be punished and then, only then, with a new government in place. Russia,

Beyond the fantastic version of the war that the Ukrainian representatives want to impose as an official and globally accepted discourse and with which they seek both to create instability in Russia and to present themselves as the reliable army that the West must arm without limits, Zelensky's own argumentation it lacks coherence and falls into all kinds of contradictions with reality. However, the absolute lack of interest in the development of the Minsk process makes it possible for the Ukrainian president, the representatives of the European Union and the Western press to present Ukraine as the innocent party in a process in which Russia has always played dirty.

Despite the seven years in which Russia sought a negotiation format in which the conflict in Donbass could be resolved, the political part of a conflict that also has a geopolitical aspect that Ukraine's allies refused to negotiate, Moscow is presented as the intransigent party that always used negotiation to buy time. The objective of this type of discourse is to draw a direct line between what happened in 2014, the annexation of Crimea and the rebellion in Donbass, with what happened in 2022. That link exists, but not in the way that the former president recently explained. French François Hollande, who presented the Minsk agreements as a Western move to prevent Russia from gaining ground and to give Ukraine time to prepare for a subsequent invasion. Hollande's vision which does not agree with the one given by Angela Merkel, who did get involved in the process, is exactly what Ukraine wants to impose, a partial vision in which Russia is always guilty. Russia is especially to blame for the civil war that began in April 2014, when the Ukrainian provisional government sent tanks and artillery to Donbass instead of the dialogue that could have managed to resolve a problem that, at the time, was political.

In the months that followed, Russia detained the militias and promoted ceasefire agreements, which were to be converted through dialogue into peace agreements and the return of Donbass to Ukraine. It did so twice, in September 2014 and February 2015, two key moments in the war when the Ukrainian Armed Forces were in retreat and the DPR and RPL militias were advancing on Ukrainian territory. Throughout the seven years that followed, it was Russia and not Ukraine, which from almost the beginning openly stated that it was not willing to comply with several of the political points, which remained determined to continue with a peace process in which neither the partners kyiv lobbied for compliance with agreements that did not imply unacceptable political concessions. Ukraine has sought since 2015 to reverse the terms of the agreement to convert local self-government for Donbass into administrative decentralization for the whole country, to eliminate the idea of ​​a general amnesty by offering it only to those who had fought on the side of kyiv and to impose the return of the control of the border, the final step according to the agreements, as a prerequisite to proceed to a political dialogue that could not be with Donetsk and Lugansk but with Moscow. Under both Poroshenko and Zelensky, Ukraine actively sought to replace the Minsk format with the Normandy format, where the People's Republics were not represented, possibly considering that Russia would accept less painful concessions for kyiv. A face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin was Zelensky's main demand for months,

The unconditional political and diplomatic support that Ukraine enjoyed then has now been added to an equally unconditional military support, which has encouraged Ukraine to also reject what it sought for years. “I can't figure it out, is this your decision or is it someone else's? So meet, for what, for a handshake? I'm not interested. Speak? I really don't understand who makes the decisions in Russia, ”said Zelensky when asked about the possibility of having a dialogue with his Russian counterpart, of whom he insisted that“ for me, he is nobody ”.

In his argument, Zelensky appealed to a past that he openly manipulates to fit his current discourse. “It is not interesting to meet, it is not interesting to talk. Why? Because we had a meeting with him in the Normandy Format, it was before the full-scale invasion. I saw a man who said one thing and did another." Zelensky is referring here to the Paris summit of December 2019, the only one in which he participated and for which he even had to face the soldiers of the Azov regiment. The result of that summit of heads of state and government was a communiqué of commitment to the Minsk agreements and the promise of a great exchange of prisoners of war that took place shortly after. However, there were no steps on the part of Ukraine in the direction of compliance with Minsk other than demands on Russia, Frontal rejection of any dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and allegations that kyiv had already fulfilled its part. Without any intention of even partially complying with those agreements negotiated with the mediation of Angela Merkel in February 2015, the Zelensky administration continued, as had already happened in Poroshenko's time, using the bombings against Donbass as a tool of political pressure in search of concessions for part of Moscow and a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin. The euphoria of war with Russia has allowed Zelensky not only to twist the vision of the present and an idyllic future, but also to manipulate the past to accuse Vladimir Putin of doing exactly what he and his predecessor did for seven years. long. ... more-26505

Google Translator




By John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

David Ignatius (lead image, left) has been a career-long mouthpiece for the US State Department. He has just been called in by the current Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) to convey an urgent new message to President Vladimir Putin, the Security Council, and the General Staff in Moscow.

For the first time since the special military operation began last year, the war party in Washington is offering terms of concession to Russia’s security objectives explicitly and directly, without the Ukrainians in the way.

The terms Blinken has told Ignatius to print appeared in the January 25 edition of the Washington Post. The paywall can be avoided by reading on.

The territorial concessions Blinken is tabling include Crimea, the Donbass, and the Zaporozhe, Kherson “land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia”. West of the Dnieper River, north around Kharkov, and south around Odessa and Nikolaev, Blinken has tabled for the first time US acceptance of “a demilitarized status” for the Ukraine. Also, US agreement to restrict the deployment of HIMARS, US and NATO infantry fighting vehicles, and the Abrams and Leopard tanks to a point in western Ukraine from which they can “manoeuvre…as a deterrent against future Russian attacks.”

This is an offer for a tradeoff – partition through a demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the east of the Ukraine in exchange for a halt to the planned Russian offensive destroying the fortifications, rail hubs, troop cantonments, and airfields in the west, between the Polish and Romanian borders, Kiev and Lvov, and an outcome Blinken proposes for both sides to call “a just and durable peace that upholds Ukraine’s territorial integrity”.

Also in the proposed Blinken deal there is the offer of a direct US-Russian agreement on “an eventual postwar military balance”; “no World War III”; and no Ukrainian membership of NATO with “security guarantees similar to NATO’s Article 5.”

Blinken has also told the Washington Post to announce the US will respect “Putin’s tripwire for nuclear escalation”, and accept the Russian “reserve force includ[ing] strategic bombers, certain precision-guided weapons and, of course, tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.”

President Putin has offered a hint of the Russian reply he discussed with the Stavka and the Security Council last week.

Putin told a meeting with university students on Wednesday, hours after Blinken’s publication. “I think that people like you,” the president said, “most clearly and most accurately understand the need for what Russia is now doing to support our citizens in these territories, including Lugansk, Donetsk, the Donbass area as a whole, and Kherson and Zaporozhye. The goal, as I have explained many times, is primarily to protect the people and Russia from the threats that they are trying to create for us in our own historical territories that are adjacent to us. We cannot allow this. So, it is extremely important when young people like you defend the interests of their small and large Motherland with arms in their hands and do so consciously.”

Read on, very carefully, understanding that nothing a US official says, least of all through the mouths of Blinken, Ignatius, and the Washington Post is trusted by the Russians; and understanding that what Putin and the Stavka say they mean by Russia’s “adjacent historical territories” and the “small and large Motherland” has been quite clear.

Follow what Blinken told Ignatius to print, before Putin issued his reply. The propaganda terms have been highlighted in bold to mean the opposite — the public positions from which Blinken is trying to retreat and keep face.

January 25, 2023
Blinken ponders the post-Ukraine-war order
By David Ignatius

The Biden administration, convinced that Vladimir Putin has failed in his attempt to erase Ukraine, has begun planning for an eventual postwar military balance that will help Kyiv deter any repetition of Russia’s brutal invasion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined his strategy for the Ukrainian endgame and postwar deterrence during an interview on Monday at the State Department. The conversation offered an unusual exploration of some of the trickiest issues surrounding resolution of a Ukraine conflict that has threatened the global order.

Blinken explicitly commended Germany’s military backing for Ukraine at a time when Berlin is getting hammered by some other NATO allies for not providing Leopard tanks quickly to Kyiv. “Nobody would have predicted the extent of Germany’s military support” when the war began, Blinken said. “This is a sea change we should recognize.”

He also underlined President Biden’s determination to avoid direct military conflict with Russia, even as U.S. weapons help pulverize Putin’s invasion force. “Biden has always been emphatic that one of his requirements in Ukraine is that there be no World War III,” Blinken said.

Russia’s colossal failure to achieve its military goals, Blinken believes, should now spur the United States and its allies to begin thinking about the shape of postwar Ukraine — and how to create a just and durable peace that upholds Ukraine’s territorial integrity and allows it to deter and, if necessary, defend against any future aggression. In other words, Russia should not be able to rest, regroup and reattack.

Blinken’s deterrence framework is somewhat different from last year’s discussions with Kyiv about security guarantees similar to NATO’s Article 5.
Rather than such a formal treaty pledge, some U.S. officials increasingly believe the key is to give Ukraine the tools it needs to defend itself. Security will be ensured by potent weapons systems — especially armor and air defense — along with a strong, noncorrupt economy and membership in the European Union.

The Pentagon’s current stress on providing Kyiv with weapons and training for maneuver warfare reflects this long-term goal of deterrence. “The importance of maneuver weapons isn’t just to give Ukraine strength now to regain territory but as a deterrent against future Russian attacks,” explained a State Department official familiar with Blinken’s thinking. “Maneuver is the future.”

The conversation with Blinken offered some hints about the intense discussions that have gone on for months within the administration about how the war in Ukraine can be ended and future peace maintained. The administration’s standard formula is that all decisions must ultimately be made by Ukraine, and Blinken reiterated that line. He also backs Ukraine’s desire for significant battlefield gains this year. But the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council are also thinking ahead.

Crimea is a particular point of discussion. There is a widespread view in Washington and Kyiv that regaining Crimea by military force may be impossible. Any Ukrainian military advances this year in Zaporizhzhia oblast, the land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia, could threaten Russian control. But an all-out Ukrainian campaign to seize the Crimean Peninsula is unrealistic, many U.S. and Ukrainian officials believe. That’s partly because Putin has indicated that an assault on Crimea would be a tripwire for nuclear escalation.

The administration shares Ukraine’s insistence that Crimea, which was seized by Russia in 2014, must eventually be returned. But in the short run, what’s crucial for Kyiv is that Crimea no longer serve as a base for attacks against Ukraine. One formula that interests me would be a demilitarized status, with questions of final political control deferred. Ukrainian officials told me last year that they had discussed such possibilities with the administration.

As Blinken weighs options in Ukraine, he has been less worried about escalation risks than some observers. That’s partly because he believes Russia is checked by NATO’s overwhelming power. “Putin continues to hold some things in reserve because of his misplaced fear that NATO might attack Russia,” explained the official familiar with Blinken’s thinking. This Russian reserve force includes strategic bombers, certain precision-guided weapons and, of course, tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.

Blinken’s refusal to criticize Germany on the issue of releasing Leopard tanks illustrates what has been more than a year of alliance management to keep the pro-Ukraine coalition from fracturing. Blinken has logged hundreds of hours — on the phone, in video meetings and in trips abroad — to keep this coalition intact.

This cohesiveness will become even more important as the Ukraine war moves toward an endgame. This year, Ukraine and its allies will keep fighting to expel Russian invaders. But as in the final years of World War II, planning has already begun for the postwar order — and construction of a system of military and political alliances that can restore and maintain the peace that Russia shattered.

Highlighted in bold type in Blinken’s text is the phrase, “a strong, noncorrupt economy and membership in the European Union”. This is Blinken’s message to the Kremlin that the US wants to preserve Ukraine’s agricultural economy, its grain export ports, and the trade terms agreed with the European Union before the war. It is also Blinken’s acknowledgement that Vladimir Zelensky’s move early this week to force the resignations and dismissals of senior officials means the US is calling the shots in Kiev and Lvov.


Nothing is revealed in Blinken’s offer “for the Ukrainian endgame and postwar deterrence” of how, and who on the US and Russian sides, to negotiate directly on the particulars. Instead, there is the hint that if the Russians agree to trust the Americans and delay the planned offensive, and if they allow the rail lines to remain open between Poland and Lvov, the Americans will reciprocate by keeping the Abrams and Leopard tank deliveries in verifiable laagers west of Kiev.

As Russian officials have been making clear for months, no US terms of agreement can be trusted on paper, and nothing at all which Blinken says. A well-informed independent military analyst comments on the Russian options: “The best response is continue the special military operation, destroy the Ukrainian military in their present pockets, complete de-electrification and destruction of the logistics, then either take everything east of the Dnieper or establish a de facto DMZ, including Kharkov. Blinken and the others cannot be trusted to follow through if they think they have a chance to stall for time. The Ukrainian Nazis are conspicuously absent from this proposal – and they remain to be dealt with. We know there will be no end to trouble if the Russian de-nazification objective against them stops now.” ... more-70567

If there's one thing for sure it's that you can trust US negotiations are far as you can throw them. They might be prodded towards truthfulness with definitive strength in the field.


From Cassad's Telegram account:

💡Massive missile attack of the Russian Armed Forces on infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine on January 26 - what is known by 14:00

Russian troops again attacked various infrastructure facilities on the territory of Ukraine.

The missile attack the previous night was preceded by the active operation of Russian Geran-2 kamikaze drones . Apparently, the RF Armed Forces, in addition to direct strikes, similarly identified enemy air defense position areas.

To date, we have managed to collect the following information about the results of the fire damage:

▪️Odessa : substations Novoodesskaya 330 and Usatovo 330 were hit again near the city . In Odessa, there is a partial lack of water and electricity supply, and local authorities have announced long periods of power cuts.

▪️Kiev: The Russian Armed Forces hit an unnamed object in the Goloseevsky district of the city. Some representatives of the Ukrainian authorities believe that the strikes were carried out by ballistic missiles.

▪️Kiev region : information was actively disseminated on the Web, according to which the Kiev pumped-storage power plant could have been hit, but there is no confirmation of this. At the same time, the local administration confirmed a hit in one of the energy facilities in the region.

▪️Vinnytsia: several explosions have thundered on the outskirts of the city itself and in the region today. The Ladyzhinskaya TPP could have been hit .

▪️Zaporozhye: The Russian Armed Forces launched a powerful missile attack on one of the industrial enterprises in the suburban Volnyansk.

▪️Kramatorsk : A shell hit one of the medical facilities in Ivanovka near Kramatorsk, where Ukrainian soldiers were stationed.

▪️Lvov: local sources reported a strike on one of the infrastructure facilities, but later it turned out that this information was false.

▪️In the Dnepropetrovsk, Zhytomyr and Nikolaev regions , air defense systems worked.

Shortly before the missile attack in Kherson, Cherkasy, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and other regions of the country, the authorities carried out preventive emergency power outages.

🔻This time, the Russian attack was smaller in terms of the number of launches and targets hit than the previous ones. However, she also achieved her goal. Now the Usatovo and Novoodesskaya substations in the south of the country cannot receive electricity.

However, this is not enough to disable the enemy's energy system, if the Russian command still sets itself such a goal .





The situation in the Donetsk-Zaporozhye direction
as of 11.00 January 26, 2023

🔻At the Orekhovsky sector , Russian troops are conducting fire training before conducting an assault on Ukrainian positions near Orekhov . According to the Ukrainian grouping of troops "Zaporozhye", separate assault detachments of the RF Armed Forces conduct attacks on the strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Shcherbaki , Novodanilovka , Novopokrovka .

▪️In addition, the forces of the 2nd battalion of the 9th special forces regiment "Gepard" of the National Guard of Ukraine were put on full combat readiness in anticipation of the resumption of the offensive on the Kamenskoye-Stepovoye line .

🔻At the moment, mutual shelling is underway in the Pologovsky sector , there are no significant changes in the front line.

🔻In the area of ​​​​the Vremyevka ledge, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are strengthening their positions at the turn of Vremyevka - Bolshaya Novoselka . Reinforcements arrived at the strongholds of the 108th brigade of the defense.

▪️Mobile fire groups armed with large-caliber mortars are actively operating along the site. Mortar shells were placed on the front lines in Olgovsky and Novoselka .

🔻In the Ugledar sector , assault groups of marines are cleaning up summer cottages in the southeast of Vugledar . As of 10:00 am, shooting continued in the area of ​​some houses.

▪️At night, Russian troops were able to break through the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the outskirts of the city and entered the territory of the pumping station, having managed to gain a foothold in one of the quarters on 13 paratroopers street . The fighting still doesn't stop.

🔻In Marinka , the assault on the western outskirts of the city continues. The Armed Forces of Ukraine transferred reserves to hold the line and were able to repulse several attacks. However, the number of casualties in this zone is growing, according to some reports, one of the units of the 79th airborne brigade refused to perform tasks.

🔻In the Toretsk sector , as a result of an accurate hit on the deployment point of the 5th assault regiment in Toretsk and New York , 48 people were liquidated and wounded .

Google Translator


NATO: 90 Seconds to Midnight?
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 26, 2023
Scott Ritter


The Russian guided missile frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, ostensibly heading toward the east coast of the United States, part of a planned journey which began on 4 January 2023 and is expected to transit the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. The Admiral Gorshkov is outfitted with 16 vertical launch tubes, each of which, in theory, could be armed with nuclear-capable Zircon hypersonic missiles capable of covering 1,000 kilometers in less than 10 minutes.

To put it bluntly, soon Russia will be in a position where a single ship could, in a matter of minutes, fire 16 nuclear armed hypersonic missiles at the United States which not only cannot be intercepted by anything in the US arsenal, but also would impact their respective targets before any meaningful evacuation could be conducted. It is, literally, a decapitation weapon.

Current Russian nuclear doctrine does not allow for a nuclear first strike; indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that Russia would not be the first nation to use nuclear weapons in any future nuclear conflict. But he also emphasized that Russia would not be the second, either, meaning that Russia would release its nuclear arsenal without waiting for any US first strike to impact Russian soil.

The Admiral Gorshkov is sending a clear signal to the US leadership that there will be no survivors in any nuclear exchange between the US and Russia.

Amid this muscle flexing, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a disarmament advocacy group founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, and which currently maintains what is known as the “Doomsday Clock” that reflects the risk of nuclear conflict, decided to move the hands of the clock ten seconds forward from the current 100 seconds to midnight. In a statement announcing this decision, “A time of unprecedented danger: It is 90 seconds to midnight,” the board declared the following:

“The war in Ukraine may enter a second horrifying year, with both sides convinced they can win. Ukraine’s sovereignty and broader European security arrangements that have largely held since the end of World War II are at stake. Also, Russia’s war on Ukraine has raised profound questions about how states interact, eroding norms of international conduct that underpin successful responses to a variety of global risks.

“And worst of all, Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict—by accident, intention, or miscalculation—is a terrible risk. The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.”

The ignorance of this statement is manifest. What the Board calls “Russia’s war on Ukraine” ignores the fact-based historical truth that the Ukraine conflict was, and is, solely the byproduct of a concerted plan by the United States and NATO to use Ukraine as a foil to generate conflict designed to bring down the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This plan has been in place since at least 2008, when the former US Ambassador to Russia (and current Director of the CIA), William Burns, warned that any effort by NATO to bring Ukraine into its ranks would precipitate an eventual Russian military intervention. Despite this stark warning, NATO extended an invitation to Ukraine in November 2008, clearly initiating a known cause-effect relationship that defined NATO’s policy toward Russia as being one which sought a proxy conflict using Ukraine as a stand-in for NATO.

This policy as furthered by the US, EU and NATO all acting in concert to precipitate a coup in Ukraine in February 2014 designed to oust the constitutionally elected president, Victor Yanukovych, and replace him with a new, ultra-nationalist government dominated by adherents of the odious ideology of Stepan Bandera. The coup succeeded, and in April the new Ukrainian government declared war on the ethnic Russian population of the Donbas. This action triggered the Russian annexation of Crimea and the provision of military support by Russia to the Donbas, triggering the very military intervention William Burns had warned about six years prior.

Ukraine and its NATO allies then sued for peace, initiating negotiations that led to the adoption of the Minsk Agreement, which put in place a ceasefire in exchange for guarantees regarding Ukrainian sovereignty over the Donbas as well as relative autonomy for the ethnic Russians of the Donbas, protecting their language, religion, culture, and traditions.

The Minsk Accords floundered for eight years, with Ukraine failing to implement the required constitutional changes necessary to secure the rights of the ethnic Russians of the Donbas. The reasons for this delay are today well known, thanks to the public confessions of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and former French President Francois Hollande, all three signatories to the accords. These three national leaders have acknowledged that the Minsk Accords were simply a sham designed by Ukraine to buy time to build a NATO proxy military capable of reclaiming both the Donbas and Crimea.

Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022 was not an unprovoked act of aggression, but rather a legitimate exercise of its right, together with the newly independent republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, of preemptive collective self-defense in the face of the imminent threat of aggression by Ukraine’s newly trained army which was, by design, little more than a NATO proxy.

The fact that the esteemed members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – which includes among its ranks ten Nobel laureates – seem ignorant of this history, colors their ability to comprehend the true nature of the threat facing the world today, and from whence that threat comes.

The United States, having deliberately provoked a pre-meditated conflict with Russia, is now trying to implement a two-tracked policy designed to trigger a Maidan-like moment in Moscow (named after Maidan Square, in Kiev, where US-backed neo-Nazi’s staged a violent coup against former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych) where the Russian population would rise up against the government of President Vadimir Putin, overthrowing him and installing a pro-western leader who would return Russia to the colonial-like existence of the 1990’s, when Boris Yeltsin allowed the collective west to rape Russia economically and dominate Russia politically.

The two-tracks of this policy involve the imposition of economic sanctions linked to Russia’s decision to militarily intervene in Ukraine, and the prosecution of a proxy conflict in Ukraine designed to bleed Russia white. The goal of this policy is to engender massive unrest among a demoralized Russian population which would in turn rise and remove President Putin from power.

The insanity of such a plan is incomprehensible. Imagine for a moment that Russia embarked on a plan of action designed to strip away Mexico from the US sphere of influence and, in doing so, promulgated a conflict the goal of which was to have Mexico re-take by force the territory encompassing the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The idea that the United States would sit idly in the face of such a threat is ludicrous. So, too, is any concept that Russia should do the same.

A quick history lesson for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

*It was the US, not Russia, that withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile and Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaties.
*It is the US, not Russia, that has frozen talks on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Treaty.
*It is the US, not Russia, that has recently promulgated a nuclear posture policy which allows for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in a non-nuclear scenario.
*It is the US, not Russia, that has deployed a low-yield (i.e., “usable) nuclear warhead (the W-76-2) on Trident submarine launched ballistic missiles, and conducted war games where the Secretary of Defense has practiced the communications procedures necessary to launch this weapon where Russia was the named target of the missile.

It is the US, not Russia, that is building a Ukrainian proxy army designed by intent to be able to capture territory Russia claims as its own (the four former Ukrainian provinces annexed by Russia in September 2022, and Crimea), knowing full well that one of the triggers for release of Russian nuclear weapons is any conventional military force that threatens the existential survival of Russia.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to know these underlying facts, and not to see them as truth.

Which means they are complicit in the nuclear terror being perpetrated by the United States, and indifferent to the consequences thereof.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is therefore fundamentally wrong in its assessment of it being 90 seconds until midnight.

The truth is the world is one second to midnight, and the clock can strike at any time, something the presence of the Admiral Gorshkov off the coast of the United States proves only too well. ... -midnight/

US to Send M1 Abrams to Ukraine. US-Backed Terror Targets Myanmar’s Upcoming Elections.
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 26, 2023

Update for January 25, 2023: West pledges main battle tanks to Ukraine

– Western media reports resignation of several high-level Ukrainian officials;

– The US and Germany have pledged the M1 Abrams and Leopard 2 main battle tanks;

– Western military experts explain that Western main battle tanks require large logistical support, years of training for a foreign army to adopt them, and have intense maintenance requirements;

– ATACMS exist in much small numbers;

– Ukraine admits Russia has adapted to HIMARS GMLRS rockets, making it likely that Russia will adapt to ATACMS;

– Conversely, Russia has effectively forced Ukraine’s rear areas into neighboring countries with its missile forces;

– The US has announced increase artillery shell production to 90k shells/month in 2 years a month, roughly half of what Ukraine uses in 15 days;

– As the US wages proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, it does so in Myanmar against China;

– US-backed opposition is using terrorism to impede elections in Myanmar;

References at link. ... elections/


Russian news from Praslin Island, the Seychelles

When I checked into my hotel on Praslin Island yesterday, there was a copy of the Seychelles’ daily newspaper The Nation in the lobby that I picked up and flipped through in the afternoon. News was thin, but the classified ads section was thick, including several pages of ‘help wanted’ announcements. Among them, the following:

Russian Translater [sic]

1.Prepare quotations for Russian market partners
2.Translate tours information and collateral materials in Russian language
3.Assist Russian speaking guests during their stay
4.Ensure translated content conveys original meaning and tone

Given that the Seychelles are as close to Paradise as I have ever been, I felt a pang of regret that my time at a work desk is long past. However, if there are any of you interested in the contact phone and email of the employer, just send me a message.

Apart from that item, which attests to the growing Russian presence in Seychelles, there is a more important Russian news item which motivates me to put pen to paper. Like my last essay, it relates to a Russian state television broadcast on Pervy Kanal that I watched on the satellite television of my hotel last night.

The program in question was the latest installment of The Great Game, a high level talk show moderated by Vyacheslav Nikonov, grandson of the Communist leader Molotov, long time head of Russian World (Russky Mir), a state funded organization to support Russian culture in the diaspora abroad. He is today Deputy Chair of the Committee on International Affairs in the State Duma.

The program focused on the announcements coming from the United States and from Germany with regard to dispatch of Abrams and Leopard-2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Nikonov put up on the screen extensive video clips from the speeches by Biden, by Scholz and by Western television commentators about the decision to send these most modern offensive weapons to Kiev. He also presented a remarkable minute from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe session in Strasbourg during which Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock says: “..we are at war with Russia.”

Though he made the round of his panelists, Nikonov himself delivered the most important comments on these developments. If I may cut to the quick, he said that the numbers of tanks pledged to Kiev by the various NATO countries, approximately 100, make for painful news because they will certainly kill Russian soldiers as intended. And yet, in terms of the outcome of the ongoing war, they will have no importance whatsoever because, for its part, Russia has ready on its side between 12,000 and 13,000 tanks to deploy when and if necessary. The U.S. and German tanks will simply be destroyed.

Nikonov also raised the question of possible supply of jet fighters to Ukraine,with reference to a lengthy statement yesterday by former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, present deputy Foreign Minister Melnyk calling upon the West to provide Kiev with F-16s and other advanced fighters. The problem with this demand, said Nikonov, is that Ukraine no longer has any military pilots: they have all been “grounded” in the literal sense of the word. Western planes to Ukraine could only be piloted by mercenaries, incurring unacceptable risks of being identified as cobelligerents by Moscow. This explains why The Netherlands withdrew their rumored offer to send figher jets to Ukraine.

Per Nikonov, the importance of the decisions announced by Germany and the United States lay in the political domain, signifying as they do the formation of a broad and deep war coalition that cannot be undone. It spells the complete subordination of Germany to its American occupiers and the casting aside of decades of work with Germans to achieve some rapprochement and put the denouement of WWII, and in particular the memory of the Soviet flag being hoisted over Berlin in 1945. As for Annalena’s indiscretion, Nikonov asked whether the Kremlin should not take this as a declaration of war and proceed accordingly.

Nikonov’s remarks about the United States also bear repeating here. He gives no weight to Joe Biden and his administration as leaders. The strings are being pulled by the Deep State which absolutely requires that the U.S. be at war. The six months following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan were too long for the Deep State to live with. They set the stage for a war in Ukraine and they now are reveling in their success. They have no wish to see an early end to the conflict.

I close with a comment on the unusually pained, strained look on Nikonov’s face during the entire program. From watching The Great Game over the past several years, I was used to his energetic and positive personality. Not last night. There was weary resignation in Russia’s carrying on with a fight that is inescapable, that will be victorious but at great cost.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023 ... eychelles/


West's tank shipments to Ukraine ratchet up global war risk
By HENG WEILI in New York | | Updated: 2023-01-27 09:55

Members of the military walk on a tank, as Germany delivers its first Leopard tanks to Slovakia as part of a deal after Slovakia donated fighting vehicles to Ukraine, in Bratislava, Slovakia, December 19, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

The supplying of tanks by the US and Germany to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia has raised the stakes in a war scenario that could become increasingly perilous for the world.

Ted Galen Carpenter, in a post Thursday on, wrote: "A dramatic escalation of US and NATO involvement in the Ukraine war is taking place — and that move is yet another reckless provocation toward Russia.

"The Biden administration and NATO are playing a very dangerous game by engaging in such an escalation of its assistance to one side in an increasingly emotional and destructive conflict," wrote Carpenter, who is a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute in Washington.

"Washington's approach is to use Ukraine as a pawn (a proxy) … without NATO ending up in a direct war with Russia. It is a replication of the strategy Washington used in Afghanistan, providing military aid to the rebel mujahidin to harass, bleed, and eventually force the Soviet Union to execute a humiliating withdrawal."

Carpenter wrote, however, that "using the same strategy in Ukraine is vastly more dangerous. By virtue of its greater size and more important location, Ukraine is a crucial strategic stake for Moscow in ways that Afghanistan never was.

"Washington and its allies have sought to maintain such an impossibly precarious status, but they are now careening toward becoming full-fledged belligerents, regardless of attempts to preserve the legal fiction to the contrary," Carpenter wrote. "One cannot overstate the danger of that strategy."

Former US president Donald Trump, in a post Thursday on his Truth Social site, wrote: "FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!"

Americans also took to Twitter to express concern over a seeming escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

US Representative Eli Crane, a newly elected Republican from Arizona and a former US Navy SEAL, wrote on Wednesday: "This is so foolish. We are over 31 Trillion in debt, escalating a war that could quickly turn nuclear, and depleting our own weapon stockpiles."

Clint Ehrlich, a foreign-policy analyst and lawyer, wrote on Thursday: "The American people have no idea that the White House is gambling with their lives. Sending M1 tanks to Ukraine puts us on a path towards fighting a nuclear war with Russia."

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of US peace group CODEPINK, wrote on Wednesday: "If you think sending tanks is going to give Ukraine the ability to take back all of Donbas and Crimea, you are unrealistic. The escalation makes nuclear war--not victory--more likely. And that is a lose-lose for all of humanity."

Journalist Michael Tracey posted on Tuesday: "If deploying a huge squadron of the US military's main battle tanks to Ukraine doesn't constitute an act of war, would the deployment of *any* armament constitute an act of war? How about nuclear warheads? Anything?"

In a statement Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "There are constant statements from European capitals, from Washington, that the sending of various weapons systems, including tanks, to Ukraine in no way means the involvement of these countries or the alliance [NATO] in the hostilities that are taking place in Ukraine.

"We categorically disagree with this ... everything that the alliance I mentioned and the capital (Washington) does is perceived as direct involvement in the conflict, and we see that it is growing," Peskov said.
Meanwhile, any countries that are prepared to provide Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets would face no shortage of supply, US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin has said, adding that it is able to meet new demand.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Wednesday, Chief Operating Officer Frank St. John said there is "a lot of conversation about third party transfer of F-16s".

Although Lockheed, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, is not directly involved in any talks regarding potential deliveries of military aircraft to Kyiv, St. John said that the company plans to increase production so it will be able to "backfill pretty capably any countries that choose to do third-party transfers to help with the current conflict", the FT reported.

Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet told investors in a Wednesday earnings call that a backlog of weapons contracts grew to $150 billion from $135 billion in 2021, "driven by all-time record orders".

General Dynamics, based in Reston, Virginia, makes the tanks that Ukraine will be getting from the US. Its backlog of contracts has reached an all-time high of $91.1 billion, reported

The missile and defense sector for Raytheon Technologies, which is based in Arlington, Virginia, had a record backlog of $34 billion in 2022, the website reported.

Germany and the United States made the announcement Wednesday that they will send advanced battle tanks to Ukraine to help Kyiv break combat stalemates as the conflict approaches the one-year mark.

US President Joe Biden said the US will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks, following
Germany's agreement to send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks from its own stocks.
"There is no offensive threat to Russia (itself)," Biden said.

Germany had refused to send the Leopards unless the US offered the Abrams tanks, not wanting to anger Russia without the United States making a similar commitment.

Biden said European allies have agreed to send enough tanks to equip two Ukrainian tank battalions, or a total of 62 tanks.

"Simply because of technological aspects, this is a rather disastrous plan," Peskov said, citing "a completely obvious overestimation of the potential" the tanks would add to the Ukrainian military. "It is yet another fallacy, a rather profound one."

Peskov predicted that the tanks "will burn down just like all the other ones. ... Except they cost a lot, and this will fall on the shoulders of European taxpayers."

Senior US officials said it would take months for the tanks to be delivered.
Anatoly Antonov, Russia's ambassador in Washington, said delivery of the tanks would be "another blatant provocation."

And on Thursday, Canada said it will send four Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, Defense Minister Anita Anand said, after Germany this week allowed other countries to re-export the German-built tank.

Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, in a piece on the institute's website Thursday, wrote: "Supposing the United States were fighting a war close to its own borders, with stakes that many members of the US government and political elites believed — right or wrong — were existential for America's survival as a great power or even as a united country; and supposing a hostile great power were massively and increasingly arming America's enemy, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of American troops and the risk of complete defeat.

"Would Washington refrain permanently from some form of harsh retaliation? Perhaps it would — but I really would not like to bet on it, least of all if the stakes risked being raised and raised until in the end human civilization itself were on the table. ... ab580.html


The West Is Incentivizing Russia To Hit Back


Well the omnicidal war sluts won the debate over sending tanks to Ukraine, so now it’s time to start arguing for sending F-16s.

In an article titled “Ukraine sets sights on fighter jets after securing tank supplies,” Reuters reports the following:

“Ukraine will now push for Western fourth generation fighter jets such as the U.S. F-16 after securing supplies of main battle tanks, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister said on Wednesday.

Ukraine won a huge boost for its troops as Germany announced plans to provide heavy tanks for Kyiv on Wednesday, ending weeks of diplomatic deadlock on the issue. The United States is poised to make a similar announcement.

Just in time for the good news, Lockheed Martin has announced that the arms manufacturing giant happens to be all set to ramp up production of F-16s should they be needed for shipment to Ukraine.

“Lockheed Martin has said that it’s ready to meet demands for F-16 fighter jets if the US and its allies choose to ship them to Ukraine,” Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp reports. “So far, the US and its allies have been hesitant to send fighter jets to Ukraine due to concerns that they could be used to target Russian territory. But the Western powers seem less and less concerned about escalation as the US and Germany have now pledged to send their main battle tanks.”

The New York Times has a new article out titled “How Biden Reluctantly Agreed to Send Tanks to Ukraine,” subtitled “The decision unlocked a flow of heavy arms from Europe and inched the United States and its NATO allies closer to direct conflict with Russia.” It’s authors David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper write:

President Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he would send M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine came after weeks of tense back-channel negotiations with the chancellor of Germany and other European leaders, who insisted that the only way to unlock a flow of heavy European arms was for the United States to send tanks of its own.

His decision, however reluctant, now paves the way for German-made Leopard 2 tanks to be delivered to Ukraine in two or three months, provided by several European nations. While it is unclear whether it will make a decisive difference in the spring offensive that President Volodymyr Zelensky is now planning to take back territory seized by Russia, it is the latest in a series of gradual escalations that has inched the United States and its NATO allies closer to direct conflict with Russia.

When even the myopic empire simps at The New York Times are acknowledging that western powers are escalating aggressions in a very dangerous direction, you should probably sit up and pay attention.

In a recent article for Responsible Statecraft titled “Mission Creep? How the US role in Ukraine has slowly escalated,” Branko Marcetic outlines the ways the US empire has “serially blown past their own self-imposed lines over arms transfers,” over and over again relenting to war hawks and requests from Ukrainian officials to supply weapons which it had previously refrained from supplying for fear that they would be too escalatory and lead to hot warfare between nuclear superpowers. Marcetic notes the way previously unthinkable aggressions like NATO spy agencies conducting sabotage operations on Russian infrastructure are now accepted, with more escalations being called for as soon as the previous one was made.

Toward the end of his article, Marcetic drives home a very important point which needs more attention: that the western alliance has established a policy of continually escalating every time Russia doesn’t react forcefully to a previous western escalation, which necessarily means Russia is being actively incentivized to react forcefully to those escalations.

“By escalating their support for Ukraine’s military, the U.S. and NATO have created an incentive structure for Moscow to take a drastic, aggressive step to show the seriousness of its own red lines,” Marcetic writes. “This would be dangerous at the best of times, but particularly so when Russian officials are making clear they increasingly view the war as one against NATO as a whole, not merely Ukraine, while threatening nuclear response to the alliance’s escalation in weapons deliveries.”

“Moscow keeps saying escalatory arms transfers are unacceptable and could mean wider war; US officials say since Moscow hasn’t acted on those threats, they can freely escalate. Russia is effectively told it has to escalate to show it’s serious about lines,” Marcetic added on Twitter.

A good recent example of this dynamic is the recent New York Times report that the Biden administration is considering backing a Ukrainian offensive on Crimea, which many experts agree is one of the most likely ways this conflict could lead to nuclear warfare. The article reports that the Biden administration has assessed that Russia is unlikely to reciprocate an escalatory aggression, but the basis for that assessment apparently comes from nothing other than the fact that Russia hasn’t done so yet.

“Crimea has already been hit many times without a massive escalation from the Kremlin,” the Times quotes a RAND Corporation think tanker as saying in explanation for the Biden administration’s belief that it can get away with backing a Crimea offensive. But as Dave DeCamp explained at the time, that’s not even true; Russia did significantly escalate its aggressions in response to strikes on Crimea, beginning to target critical Ukrainian infrastructure in ways it previously had not.

So Russia has in fact been escalating its aggressions in response to attacks on Crimea; it just hasn’t been escalating them against NATO powers. As long as Russia is only escalating in ways that hurt Ukrainians, the US-centralized power structure does not regard them as real escalations. The take-home message to Moscow being that they’re going to get squeezed harder and harder until they attack NATO itself.

And of course that won’t de-escalate things either; it will be seized on and spun as evidence that Putin is a reckless madman who is attacking the free world completely unprovoked and must be stopped at all cost, even if it means risking nuclear armageddon. Russia would of course be aware of this obvious reality, so the only way it takes the bait is if the pain of not reacting gets to a point where it is perceived as outweighing the pain of reacting. But judging by its actions the empire seems determined to push them to that point.

It really is spooky how much de-escalation and detente have been disappeared from public discourse about Russia. People genuinely don’t seem to know it’s an option. They really do think the only option is continually escalating nuclear brinkmanship, and that anything else is obsequious appeasement. They think that because that’s the message they are being fed by the imperial propaganda machine, and they’re being fed that message because that is the empire’s actual position.

I’ve been warning about the increasing risk of nuclear armageddon for as long as I’ve been publicly engaged in political commentary, and people have been calling me a hysterical idiot and a Putin puppet the entire time even as we’ve moved closer and closer to the exact point I’ve been screaming about at the top of my lungs all these years. Now there’s not a whole lot closer it can get without being directly upon us. I deeply, deeply hope we turn this thing around before it’s too late. ... -hit-back/

All of the blather about a relative handful of tanks and maybe(probably, if this goes on..) F-16s ignores the transport, training, supply and maintenance of these tools of war. Two months of training(standard minimal six...) for Uke tankers on quite different, complex machines will just make easy targets for the Rus. Similar for the aircraft. And I imagine the Russians will be hurrying along their offensive in order to make these deliveries moot. Honest to gawd, the head games.....
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 27, 2023 11:54 pm

Ukraine - RAND Study Sees Risks In Prolonged War

RAND Corp is a government and industry financed large research institute. Founded shortly after the end of the second world war it mostly works for the Pentagon by developing policies and strategies.

In April 2019 RAND published a report about Extending Russia (pdf). ... RR3063.pdf


The report summary explained its purpose:

As the 2018 National Defense Strategy recognized, the United States is currently locked in a great-power competition with Russia. This report seeks to define areas where the United States can compete to its own advantage. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from Western and Russian sources, this report examines Russia's economic, political, and military vulnerabilities and anxieties. It then analyzes potential policy options to exploit them — ideologically, economically, geopolitically, and militarily (including air and space, maritime, land, and multidomain options).
RAND developed policy options in those four fields. It then evaluated their benefit, cost and risks as well as their likelihood of success.

Here is their summary table for economic measures:


The first three measures were implemented when the war in Ukraine was launched.

The geopolitical measures included an option of providing lethal aid to Ukraine. This would create the risk that Russia would respond militarily and eventually take more of Ukraine than the two Donbas republics:

Taking more of Ukraine might only increase the burden [for Russia], albeit at the expense of the Ukrainian people. However, such a move might also come at a significant cost to Ukraine and to U.S. prestige and credibility. This could produce disproportionately large Ukrainian casualties, territorial losses, and refugee flows. It might even lead Ukraine into a disadvantageous peace.

While they at times underestimate Russia's capabilities RAND people are not dumb. They knew of the likely outcome of a war.

Other geopolitical measure RAND evaluated included more support for 'Syrian rebels', regime change per color revolution in Belarus, to exploit tensions in the southern Caucasus and to reduce Russian influence in Central Asia.

RAND's summary for geopolitical measures:


The Trump and Biden administrations both implemented the measures that seemed to have high benefits as well as high risks.

The use of ideological measures against Russia was seen as having rather low benefits.


There follow more options, mostly in military categories, that the RAND report developed and evaluated. They emphasize industry pork.

The Trump administration took some of the measures RAND provided but seemed not too enthusiastic about them. Its regime change attempt in Belarus failed. The Biden administration changed tact. He endorsed Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the color revolution candidate that had failed the elections in Belarus. Biden also allowed for the delivery of more offensive weapons to Ukraine. The regime in Kiev was encouraged to retake the rebellions Donbas republics. The green light for that was given in early 2022 even as the White House knew that Russia would respond militarily. The consequences for Ukraine that RAND had predicted in 2019 ensued.

The U.S. aim for the war is, as Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in April 2022, to 'weaken Russia':

A National Security Council spokesperson said that Austin’s comments were consistent with what the US’ goals have been for months – namely, “to make this invasion a strategic failure for Russia.”
“We want Ukraine to win,” the spokesperson added. “One of our goals has been to limit Russia’s ability to do something like this again, as Secretary Austin said. That’s why we are arming the Ukrainians with weapons and equipment to defend themselves from Russian attacks, and it’s why we are using sanctions and export controls that are directly targeted at Russia’s defense industry to undercut Russia’s economic and military power to threaten and attack its neighbors.”

That, however, will take a very long time.

Letting the conflict extend longer, concludes a newly released RAND report, is itself a danger. The U.S. must avoid a long war:

The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, U.S. interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict. The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States. Although Washington cannot by itself determine the war's duration, it can take steps that make an eventual negotiated end to the conflict more likely.

The study (pdf) argues that Ukraine's retaking of territory Russia controls should not be relevant for U.S. plans. It has little benefits but high costs. Prolonging the war, while having some benefits for the U.S., has even more risk and costs attached to it.


Especially important to RAND seems to be that the war in Ukraine diverts the U.S. from starting a war with China:

Beyond the potential for Russian gains and the economic consequences for Ukraine, Europe, and the world, a long war would also have on sequences for U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. ability to focus on its other global priorities —particularly, competition with China— will remain constrained as long as the war is absorbing senior policymakers’ time and U.S. military resources.
And although Russia will be more dependent on China regardless of when the war ends, Washington does have a long-term interest in ensuring that Moscow does not become completely subordinated to Beijing. A longer war that increases Russia’s dependence could provide China advantages in its competition with the United States.

The U.S., says RAND, can take measures that make a quick end of the war possible. It can press Ukraine to start negotiations and to accept a bad outcome by threatening to stop financing the war. It can encourage Russia to enter into negotiations by offering substantial sanctions relief.

The reports final policy advice concludes:

A dramatic, overnight shift in U.S. policy is politically impossible—both domestically and with allies—and would be unwise in any case. But developing these instruments now and socializing them with Ukraine and with U.S. allies might help catalyze the eventual start of a process that could bring this war to a negotiated end in a time frame that would serve U.S. interests. The alternative is a long war that poses major challenges for the United States, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.

Start working on this now, says Rand.

It is likely not by chance that the previous call for an immediate start of negotiations to end the war came from the U.S. Chief of Staff Mark Milley. That he did so publicly was a sign that he had lost the internal White House debate on that issue. He probably asked for the RAND study to bolster his argument.

But the neocons, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, State Secretary Anthony Blinken and his deputy Victoria Nuland, who together wage their war against Russia, have Joe Biden's ears and can control the information he gets. Milley and other realist will have a difficult stand.

Steady Russian progress in its campaign will be the best argument for them to win the internal war in Washington DC.

Posted by b on January 27, 2023 at 16:57 UTC | Permalink ... .html#more


The Kiev Purge: Turmoil in the Capital
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 26, 2023
Petr Lavrenin


On January 23, in the course of his customary evening video address, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced major personnel changes in his government. The decision is linked both to his wish to demonstrate anti-corruption measures to the West and a rise in domestic political conflicts.

The resignations affected not only representatives of the Ukrainian elite, such as the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Kirill Tymoshenko, but also governors of regions near the front line. RT explores what led to the scandal, and the consequences of Ukraine’s domestic policy changes in the middle of an armed conflict.

On the way out

The Kiev government has once again been shaken by staffing dramas. On January 24, three high-ranking officials resigned in one day: Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kirill Tymoshenko, Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, and Deputy Prosecutor General Alexey Symonenko.

Four bosses of regional administrations were also dismissed — in Dnepropetrovsk (Valentin Reznichenko), Zaporozhye (Alexander Starukh), Kherson (Yaroslav Yanushevich) and Sumy (Dmitry Zhivitsky). It’s worth noting that all these areas are in close proximity to the front and the Russian border, which may indicate that the Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a new stage of hostilities.

According to local media, the list is not limited to the above-mentioned names. Resignations may affect other senior officials, including Prime Minister Denis Shmigal.

The personnel changes were preceded by a series of corruption scandals involving senior officials. This led to a sharp escalation of conflict in Ukraine’s domestic politics and talk of major reform in the leadership of the Office of the President of Ukraine, the government, and certain law enforcement agencies.

Accused of purchasing food supplies for the army at allegedly inflated prices (the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine called these claims manipulative), Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov resigned. The situation also threatened the current Minister of Defense Alexei Reznikov, but for now, the profile committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has decided to keep him in office.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) also conducted raids, detaining Vasiliy Lozinsky, Deputy Minister for the Development of Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure (a protege of Shmigal), while another colleague of Lozinsky’s, Ivan Lukerya, resigned.

Meanwhile, another political scandal resounded across Ukraine. Pavel Khalimon, a deputy from the President’s Servant of the People party was accused of buying an estate worth 10 million Grivna ($273,000) in the center of Kiev during wartime and will be dismissed from his post as the deputy head of the parliamentary faction. The situation was made public by journalists from “Ukrainska Pravda.” The outlet, according to experts at the Ukrainian Institute of Politics, is under the patronage of Americans and the team of former president Pyotr Poroshenko.

Another scandal centers on former Zelensky adviser Aleksey Arestovich, who has become a popular blogger since the beginning of the armed conflict. Arestovich claimed a missile which fell on a residential building in Dnepropetrovsk (Dnepr), earlier this month, had been shot down by Ukrainian air defense. This caused a major political scandal, and he was fired. The dispute was used to discredit the popular Arestovich and lower his political rating, a favorable turn of events for certain members of Zelensky’s team and Ukraine’s political system.

These aren’t the first scandals and corruption accusations that Ukraine has dealt with since Russia’s military operation began, but up to now, they have not led to resignations. On the contrary, government opponents and corruption whistleblowers were instead said to “work for the enemy”, sowing confusion among the people in difficult times. Now, the situation has changed dramatically. In his recent address, President Vladimir Zelensky stressed that any evidence of corruption will elicit “a powerful response”.

The front is getting closer

The anti-graft stories are being driven by media outlets connected with Ukraine’s Western partners and Poroshenko, who has become Zelensky’s main competitor, since the latter had opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk jailed. For example, on January 23, a number of pro-Western journalists launched a direct attack on Andrey Yermak – the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and a key player in the system.

The Bihus.Info project published an investigation into his ties with “pro-Russian” deputies Vadim Stolar and Medvedchuk from the Opposition Bloc – For Life party. Popular Ukrainska Pravda journalist, Mikhail Tkach, appealed to President Vladimir Zelensky to dismiss and punish the politicians.

There are suggestions that Washington and its allies want to limit Zelensky’s power. Western media occasionally expresses dissatisfaction with his dominant position in domestic politics, and it follows that, as the Ukrainian outlet ‘’ [banned by Zelenksy] claims, limiting Zelensky thus demonstrates that the US and EU intend to retain control over how the multibillion-dollar aid that goes to Ukraine (presently, about 50% of the national budget) is spent. Under such circumstances, the Kiev authorities would be forced to respond to accusations of corruption under pressure from the West.

The US was able to convince the Office of the President of Ukraine to fill the post of the director of NABU, according to the chairman of the Servant of the People party, David Arahamiya. This means that Ukraine could soon establish a power structure independent of the decision-making center.

For his part, Zelensky is trying to ease the pressure from his Western backers by dismissing a number of deputies. However, he likely plans on keeping the main figures in office – at least the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andrei Yermak and Defense Minister Alexei Reznikov. Any damage to their reputations would seriously weaken the position of the President.

At the same time, Zelensky has already dismissed an important member of his team, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Kirill Timoshenko. Authorities reportedly received information that NABU considers him a suspect in a number of corruption cases. For example, he met with a wave of criticism for personally using an American SUV which General Motors provided for humanitarian missions to rescue Ukrainian citizens from combat zones. Timoshenko claims he used the vehicle for official trips.

An alternative version of events also exists. Ukraine’s corruption scandals are not favorable for the Biden Administration. They fuel Republican criticism of the Democrats over uncontrolled assistance to Ukraine and support accusations that the plundering of funds allocated to Ukraine is ongoing.

According to this version, the scandals are highlighted by activists and journalists for their own purposes, such as gaining additional influence over the decision-making process in Kiev. Amidst the military hostilities, such scandals may cause a rise in distrust of the authorities. Political struggles create tension in society and open a second, internal front. Put together, these factors may lead to a severe internal political crisis in Ukraine.

What’s next?

Against the background of Ukraine’s high-profile political scandals, staff changes in the government are being actively discussed. Among the officials considered next in line for dismissal are Minister of Energy German Galushchenko, Minister of Youth and Sports Vadim Gutzeit (who recently headed the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine), as well as Minister of Strategic Industries Pavel Ryabikin. However, none of these officials have been involved in corruption scandals, so these resignations, should they happen, would likely be for different reasons.

All of this leads some journalists to ponder possible large-scale shifts in the government. Lozinsky and Shmigal worked together in the Department of Economic Development in the Lviv Regional State Administration. After Shmigal was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in February 2020, he appointed Lozinsky as his first deputy.

The Prime Minister’s resignation, which would entail the resignation of the entire government, would indeed look like a powerful Zelensky response to corruption scandals. However, this course of events carries serious risks for the authorities, and their are enough to ruin such an intention.

For one, the resignation of the government amid corruption scandals creates risks of a political split in the Verkhovna Rada. Furthermore, if the government were to resign, Western countries could set strict conditions on coordinating candidates for the new government. This happened in 2014, when US citizen Natalia Yaresko was appointed Finance Minister to Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s government, and Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius was made Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

All this can shake up the system of power and lead to the President’s administration having much less influence over political processes. The current political system is clearly biased towards a single structure: the Office of the President of Ukraine. Following the early parliamentary elections in 2019 and the formation of a majority in the Verkhovna Rada, the entire vertical alignment of power was structured around Zelensky and Yermak, the influence of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine was eliminated, and the information space cleared.

The combat operations in Ukraine merely accelerated these processes. In fact, only three powers can now speak out against the Zelensky-Yermak team— Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko and his cabinet, the army led by Valery Zaluzhny, and US-controlled structures such as NABU and media affiliated with them. At the same time, decisions regarding resignations are made exclusively by Zelensky and Yermak, who by all means wish to hush up the scandals.

Changes are imminent. The Ukrainian President is being pushed towards structural reform from several sides, including his own officials, the government, the power structures, and particularly, foreign benefactors. Major corruption scandals may lead to fall in the Western public’s support of Kiev.

After all, Ukraine is a very expensive project, regardless of its geopolitical value. In addition to risky investments and painful costs, its financiers need clarity in terms of internal management control. The US government regularly says that it will finance Ukraine until its victory, but it also has to account for the money it’s splurging.

Of course, the quality of work is evaluated by the employer, not the employee, and this case the Americans are the undoubted bosses. ... e-capital/




By John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

Not since James Forrestal jumped off the sixteenth floor of a US Navy hospital in 1949, has a US cabinet secretary displayed more psychopathological symptoms than Antony Blinken, the current Secretary of State. Can Blinken’s announcement this week of terms for ending the Ukraine war be believed in a US military psychiatric clinic, let alone in the Kremlin in Moscow?

And what can be believed when, the day after Blinken’s remarks, Victoria Nuland, the most psychopathological Under Secretary of State in the record of the office, announced to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that she and Blinken are ready “in the context of Russia’s decision to negotiate seriously and withdraw its troops from Ukraine and return territories, I would certainly support that [easing of sanctions].”

What Nuland meant by the Ukraine and the territories to be “returned”, Blinken had disclosed the day before. Crimea, Zaporozhe and “the land bridge that connects Crimea and Russia”, meaning Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk, will remain Russian and will not be negotiated or “returned” because, said Blinken, “an assault on Crimea would be a tripwire for nuclear escalation.”

For the time being there has been no Russian acknowledgement of either Blinken’s or Nuland’s statements.

Listen now to the TNT Radio discussion of what is happening behind the scenes in Washington and Moscow – a breaking news story which has blindsided the mainstream media and also the alternative media.

Read the Blinken statement of Wednesday morning, January 25, and President Vladimir Putin’s response in the afternoon.

Here is the TNT discussion led by Jeremy Beck at 10 in the Moscow morning, January 26.


Follow the map of the Russian missile targets during the morning of January 26, noting that the far west of the Ukraine, the Galician region around Lvov, was not struck.


Late on Thursday evening, there were additional drone strikes in the west, which included Khmelnitsky and Ladizhin.

Here is the official text of Nuland’s opening statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 26; and here is what Nuland replied in answer to a question from Republican Senator Rand Paul on Russian sanctions. Rand then told Nuland the sanctions are a form of race war: “If we’re going to sanction people for their belief and, you know, their sort of nationalist version of the world, then we won’t have any, we won’t have any discussion between people or any legislative exchange. That would be about 90 percent of the people. I would venture to say that every member of the Duma probably supports Crimea. This is their perspective.”

Steve Hook asks the questions, and here is TNT Radio’s explainer, starting at Minute 17. ... uary-2023/


As we were speaking, the US Treasury announced it is issuing new sanctions against the Russian special operations military group, Wagner. This was the Treasury announcement. Wagner is far from being the largest mercenary and paramilitary force in operation across the world. The biggest of them is the British headquartered military contractor called G4S. The US mercenary force known as Blackwater, then Xe, and now Academi and Constellis is also larger than Wagner, and is operating in US Government- backed proxy wars in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. For a list of the leading state-financed ... more-70580

Red = 'Nominated for best gd lead of the month'!


Sweden's Tensions With Türkiye Could Compromise Its NATO Bid

A leaflet reading "Sweden will never be in NATO” on the streets of Istanbul, Jan. 26, 2023 | Photo: Twitter/ @Sprinter00000

Published 27 January 2023 (2 hours 31 minutes ago)

Many observers believe that Türkiye, a majority Muslim country, has shut the door to ratify the Nordic bid for a foreseeable future, at least not until the next general elections in June.

The latest tensions between Türkiye and Sweden over recent protests in Stockholm, including the burning of a copy of the Quran, could compromise Sweden's NATO bid.

Sweden should not expect Türkiye's support for its NATO membership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday, two days after a copy of the Muslim holy book was burned by far-right demonstrators in Stockholm, an act that has angered Ankara.

"Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their NATO membership," Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting.

Sweden and Finland applied last year to join the military alliance in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Their accession to NATO needs the approval of all member states of the military alliance.

Türkiye, a NATO member, obstructed their bid and urged Sweden in particular to take a clear stance against groups it views as terrorists, mainly Kurdish militants whom Türkiye claims have found a safe haven in Sweden.

Many Turkish observers believe that Türkiye, a majority Muslim country, has shut the door to ratify the Nordic bid for a foreseeable future, at least not until the next general elections in Türkiye planned for June.

Serkan Demirtas, a foreign policy analyst and Ankara bureau chief of Hurriyet Daily News, said that the ratification document of the Nordic states would be processed by the new Turkish government after the elections, and not before.

"As far as we can see, the ratification process will not be dealt with by the current government. There are question marks on when and how it will be presented in front of lawmakers after the elections," he said, adding that Ankara was favorable to Finland's bid, but "there are major problems regarding Sweden's membership," and that the Turkish leadership is likely to hold a hard line on the issue until the elections.

"Ankara sees the Quran burning act, considered by Swedish authorities within the freedom of expression, as an insult to Türkiye and to Muslims. Therefore, Ankara considers that Sweden has not met with the necessary conditions to join NATO," the analyst said.

Sweden, Finland and Türkiye signed an agreement last summer that aimed at overcoming Türkiye's objections to the Nordic countries' NATO membership. Yet Ankara repeatedly criticised Sweden for not doing enough to distance itself from suspected Kurdish militants and address pending extradition requests.

Meanwhile, at Ankara's request, a meeting between the three countries planned for early February has been postponed indefinitely, Turkish public broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Tuesday.

Yusuf Erim, an independent foreign policy expert, said that while the Turkish public opinion and lawmakers are not strongly against Finland's bid, the two Scandinavian states' bid is a joint one.

"If there was a vote in Turkish Parliament today to ratify Sweden and Finland's NATO bids separately, my best guess would be that Sweden would get rejected with an overwhelming 90-95 percent while Finland would probably get approval," he said.

"It's in Türkiye's national security interests for Sweden to become a NATO member. But Türkiye wants allies it can trust," the analyst stressed, adding that the Quran burning was the "last straw" for Ankara.

In a Twitter survey by semi-official Anadolu agency, 92.5 percent of respondents said no to Türkiye approval of Sweden's NATO bid. Numan Kurtulmus, deputy chairman of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party, said Sunday that "if it goes on like this, Sweden's entry into NATO will never be approved by Türkiye."

It's now been eight months since Sweden and Finland declared their intent to join NATO and experts argue that the delay for their official membership is growing into a credibility test for the military alliance.

"The West wanted to deliver a strong message to Russia for its operation in Ukraine by accepting the two Scandinavian states as members, but now the strength and the meaning of this message have lost momentum," Demirtas said. ... -0004.html

Fascists saving the liberals from their own folly?


File this one under 'hysterical hysteria'.

Tokyo to Ban Exports of Radioactive Material to Russia

File photo taken on Nov. 12, 2011 shows the exterior of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 26 January 2023 (13 hours 28 minutes ago)

The Japanese government will ban exports to Russia of radioactive materials, vaccines and medical equipment, and robots as part of a new package of sanctions against Moscow over Russia's military operation in Ukraine, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday.

The ban will also include equipment for nuclear facilities, oil and natural gas exploration, and various chemicals, including tear gas and fingerprint powder.

The measures will take effect on February 3.

In turn, the Japanese Foreign Ministry added that Japan is imposing export restrictions on 49 Russian companies and organizations.

In addition, Tokyo is freezing the assets of 22 individuals "involved in the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and directly related to the destabilization of Ukraine."

Specifically, the list of sanctioned individuals includes Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, Deputy Prime Ministers Andrei Belousov and Dmitry Chernyshenko, Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko, and Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission Ela Pamfilova.

The list also includes Russian truck, bus and engine manufacturer KAMAZ, aircraft manufacturer Irkut, and Moscow-based missile manufacturer and supplier Avangard. ... -0021.html

As though Russia has any need for Japan's nukes...Of course, they got no prob dumping Fukishima waste into the Sea of Japan.

Perhaps the Japanese PM could suck Biden's ass live on TV too.....



B61-12: new U.S. nuclear warheads coming to Europe in December
Originally published: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on December 22, 2022 by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) (more by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)) | (Posted Jan 27, 2023)

Boeing designed the bomb’s new guided-tailkit, giving it additional maneuverability and the appearance of more precision. But, it’s a nuclear weapon, and has different yields, from 0.3kt to 50kt. These bombs can detonate beneath the Earth’s surface, increasing their destructiveness against underground targets to the equivalent of a surface-burst weapon with a yield of 1,250 kilotons–the equivalent of 83 Hiroshima bombs.

These nuclear weapons are coming to Europe in a time of heightened nuclear tension on the continent, and even as the majority of people in European host countries want to remove nuclear weapons and join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Combined with the lack of transparency around nuclear sharing, this moment raises questions about whether citizens in the host states would agree to be complicit if these weapons are ever used. Even if the bombs are American and the U.S. retains launch authority, they would most likely be dropped by Europeans. If the U.S. decides to use its nuclear weapons located in Germany, the warheads are loaded onto German planes and a German pilot drops them.

Share this video to spread the word about these new nuclear weapons and join the movement to eliminate them. ... -december/

It will take "many months" for Abrams tanks to be on the ground in Ukraine, White House spokesperson says
From CNN's DJ Judd and Kaitlan Collins

A US Army M1 Abrams tank drives across a road during a multinational exercise at the Hohenfels training area in Bavaria, Germany, on June 8, 2022. (Nicolas Armer/picture alliance/Getty Images)

John Kirby, a White House national security spokesperson, told CNN Friday the newly announced tranche of Abrams tanks announced by the US as part of this week’s aid to Ukraine “will take many months before they can get on the ground.”

Despite this timeline, Kirby said the Biden administration is “not going to waste time” in providing training and shoring up supply chains to ensure Ukrainian forces are best equipped to use them when they eventually arrive in Ukraine.

Pressed by CNN's Kaitlan Collins, however, Kirby declined to say if he believes they’ll arrive by the end of 2023.

“I don't want to get too specific, because we're still working the plans out, but it'll be many months,” Kirby told Kaitlan, but that in the meantime, a shipment of Leopard tanks courtesy of Germany will arrive on the ground in Ukraine “in short order.”

Kirby also wouldn’t say whether US President Joe Biden is considering a trip to the region to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, but told CNN Biden is “in close contact with President Zelensky — they speak quite frequently, quite often.”

“I think that, you know, the President would certainly, at whatever appropriate time, would be willing to do [travel] to Ukraine. But we're not at that point right now,” he said. ... index.html


RAND report. Long war
January 27, 18:21


Concise retelling of the RAND report on the prospects for a long war in Ukraine

RAND report. Long war

In a new report, the RAND Corporation examines the course of the war in Ukraine. The report came out with the title "How to avoid a long war."

Rand in their report make a note that they consider the war in Ukraine only in the context of US interests in it.

The authors of the report consider 5 important, from their point of view, aspects that can determine the trajectory of the conflict:

• possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia

• possible escalation of the conflict between Russia and NATO

• territorial control

• duration

• form of ending the war.

The use of nuclear weapons by Russia

On the first aspect of RAND, they could not say the essence. They just wrote that in the case of the use of nuclear weapons by the Russian Federation, the response from the West should be immediate.

Possible escalation of the conflict to NATO/RF

The second aspect is of great concern to RAND, as they believe that NATO's involvement in the conflict (ie, apparently, the entry of troops) could happen due to an unintentional incident. As it was after the fall of the Ukrainian rocket in Poland.

Territorial control

But with the third aspect (territorial control), everything is very ambiguous. While RAND acknowledges that it is in the interests of the United States to transfer the territories returned by Russia to Ukrainian control, they do understand that this provides absolutely no guarantees for the end of the conflict. From their point of view, if crests seize the former regions, then Russia will in any case react to this with a new round of escalation. If Ukraine accepts the borders of December 2022, then there are no guarantees that the Russian Federation will not go further to return the territories. At the same time, RAND emphasizes that the territories recently included by the Russian Federation into its composition should not be recognized at the international level as part of Russia.
RAND point out that no matter who controls the territories, this in any case leads to economic costs for the United States: if the crests conquer the territories, then the United States bears the costs in the form of funds for the restoration of the Pig economy, and if the territories remain under the control of the Russian Federation, then the costs will go to military aid Khokhols. At the same time, the longer the conflict is, the more costs the United States will incur.

The duration of the conflict

The duration of the conflict also plays an important role for the US. The main advantages of a long war for the pendos include: the weakening of the Russian Federation, while it is occupied by Ukraine, the reduction of Europe's dependence on energy from Russia.

However, prolonged conflict entails far more risks than benefits. These risks include: a

war between the Russian Federation and NATO (the highest risk);
new territorial acquisitions of Russia;
The US will be too busy with the war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, therefore, it will be less able to control the rest of the world;
an increase in the cost of keeping crests;
the growth of ties between the Russian Federation and China;
slowdown in global economic growth;
decrease in support for the war among the inhabitants of Ukraine due to mobilization and human losses.

Ending the War The

RAND consider 3 scenarios for ending the war:

absolute victory;
political settlement.
Absolute victory as an option to end the war, assuming that one of the parties will gain complete control over the enemy's territories and eliminate his political leadership, the authors of RAND do not consider as possible. Such a conclusion was made by them on the basis of the following factors:

For the Russian Federation:
the public rhetoric of the Russian Federation: the transition from the rhetoric of the overthrow of the Kiev regime to the rhetoric of non-repudiation of negotiations;
the absence of obvious successes at the front of the Russian Federation;
the total amount of resources spent;
the stability of the Zelensky regime and the refusal of the pro-Russian population of Ukraine to support the Russian Federation;

2. For Ukraine:

stagnation of the front;
lack of guarantees that the war will end if crests take all the territories returned to the Russian Federation;
lack of opportunities to destroy the political regime in Moscow;
there is no guarantee that, as a result of the unlikely change of leader in the Russian Federation, the position of the new president on Ukraine will be aimed at ending the conflict.
Thus, RAND concludes that there is no intention on both sides for an absolute victory.


This option, according to the authors, does not imply a full-fledged solution to the conflict, since it will retain the general tension on the borders and will not resolve political contradictions. Nevertheless, this option will be bad for the Russian Federation, since it involves the creation of demilitarized zones and the payment of reparations.

Political settlement

A variant somewhat similar to the previous one, but involving the regulation of a much larger number of political issues. Despite the fact that the parties may not agree on the length of the borders and control over the territories, this option, according to RAND, will allow the parties to determine other areas of interest, as well as make Ukraine a non-bloc state, as was originally intended in the speech of the Russian authorities.

The authors of RAND see the option of a political settlement as the most beneficial for the United States, since it will allow the Pendos to maintain the status quo on the geopolitical map. However, it is less likely than the option of a truce, since it is not clear that the parties are striving for a final settlement of the conflict. RAND stress that the United States should put regular pressure on the Russian Federation and give Ukrainians as much help as necessary to force Russia into a peace treaty.

Obstacles to Ending the Conflict

In general, the main obstacle to the end of the conflict, according to RAND, is that the parties are optimistic in their favor about its further course. At the same time, for the United States, it would be more beneficial if both sides were optimistic about the end of the war, and not its escalation. An important factor here is that, unlike the Russian Federation, proposals for negotiations are not beneficial to Ukraine at all, since this entails too many political risks within the country.

RAND also notes that both sides perceive each other as an aggressor, which means they do not trust that the enemy will abide by the peace treaty.

It is also important for the Russian Federation that Ukraine does not join NATO, and that sanctions against Russia itself be lifted. But the bottom line is that no peace treaty will give such guarantees.

What the States Should Do

According to RAND, the US should adhere to the following policy in order to achieve a political settlement of the war:

Draw up a clear schedule for the supply of Western aid to the Khokhols, and also set the need to de-escalate the conflict as a condition for its provision. Such a technique, according to RAND, will make it possible for the Russian Federation to think that support for Ukraine has weakened;
Provide more assistance in the post-war period with the message of "compliance with the terms of the peace treaty";
To force the European allies to commit themselves to military intervention in the event of a repeat of the war after the peace treaty;
Try to provide Ukraine with a neutral non-bloc status. This option involves risks not only in terms of compliance with obligations between the parties, but within NATO itself. Since not all members will be ready to follow this approach.
But the option of action with the mitigation of sanctions after the RAND war is almost completely swept aside, since it carries not only political costs, but economic ones (after all, as long as there are sanctions, Europe's dependence on energy from the Russian Federation is decreasing). - zinc

Google Translator

Like I said months ago, no sane planner plans for a long war and all of the bluster is aimed at the enemy's leadership and populace. If there is a 'sanity differential' then the Russians lead. As noted above the sanity of some US wonks is questionable.

"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 28, 2023 1:47 pm

no nuances
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/28/2023


In the last year, the Ukrainian discourse has undergone changes equivalent to the military escalation that has been experienced in the country. The Ukrainian government, with extensive experience in the field of communication, has taken advantage of the qualitative change in the development of a war that had already lasted eight years to transform the facts to its advantage. The phenomenon is not new, but just one more step in the Ukrainian tactic of always accusing the other side of the war without admitting any mistake or bad intention of its own, an attitude that has only been possible thanks to the protection offered to it for years by its European partners, mainly France and Germany. kyiv, which even when the war was limited to Donbass used the war to achieve its political objectives, mainly economic and financial support and Euro-Atlantic integration, has effortlessly succeeded in embedding the idea of ​​unprovoked war in public discourse. Hence, despite how the events occurred, a part of the Ukrainian discourse starts from the false idea of ​​a war that coincides with the Russian discourse that the war began in 2014, but alleges that it did so because of a "Russian invasion". .

This simplistic discourse that seeks to blame Russia for everything that has happened in Ukraine since 2014 is not new either, and the years of the Minsk process have all kinds of examples. At that time, in which Ukraine admitted for its internal consumption that it was not willing to implement what was provided for in the signed agreements while, abroad, it sought to install the story that it was Russia that did not comply with its commitments, kyiv had the support of its most faithful partners, willing to maintain an equidistance discourse to avoid admitting who was blocking the agreements. France, and especially Germany, played a particularly important part in these years in guaranteeing the extension, which at that time seemed unlimited, of peace .of Minsk, which for seven years implied the de facto separation of Donbass, split in two by a front line in which the ceasefire was never complete and the bombings were a tool for political pressure.

In a recent interview that has been widely misunderstood, Angela Merkel welcomed the time Ukraine had bought with the Minsk process, although she also lamented its failure. The German chancellor was possibly the most involved Western authority in the Minsk process. With a visit to Moscow -accompanied, almost as a protocol, by François Hollande to make the visit something common and not just a German issue- he gave the impetus to what would be the negotiation for the second Minsk agreements and even sponsored, giving the name of whoever was his Minister of Foreign Affairs to the formula that was to relaunch the process after years of blockade.

However, despite the obvious involvement of the German chancellor in a process of which she was one of its public faces, not even Germany, the country most interested in resolving the situation in order to proceed with the partial lifting of sanctions against Russia, had any intention of putting pressure on the Ukrainian government to honor its commitments. That unconditional German support cemented Minsk's "neither war nor peace" status quo , a situation of war on the front line to which Kiev added in 2017 an economic blockade that further increased economic, political and cultural separation from Ukraine. and Donbass.

At war and under an economic blockade that openly sought to destroy the economy in order to achieve what the military route had failed to achieve, the population of Donbass looked to Russia not only for protection, but also for integration. Many experts appeal to pre-war polls, which did not show separatism or an intention to seek reunification with Russia in the population of Donbass, to allege that it was Russia that instigated the rebellion, but this discourse hides how Ukraine's actions forced the population to take sides. When a negotiated solution was still possible, Ukraine opted for a military solution, which ignited the war in the summer of 2014. Since then, whenever Ukraine had the option of de-escalation, kyiv opted for the maximalist path of denying any dialogue or minimal political concessions. Ukraine not only refused, for example, to grant amnesty to those who had fought on the side of the People's Republics in the war, but also always bragged about the treatment it would give to “collaborators”, among which teachers stood out.

For a brief period in February 2022, Western representatives who had never sought kyiv to honor its commitments, accused Russia of unilaterally breaking the Minsk process and demanded that Moscow return to that format that neither kyiv nor much of his partners had never taken him seriously. That phase was brief and the war favored the positions of the hawks who always considered any peace process an obstacle to achieving their objectives. Some of them are in the Ukrainian government, although representatives or ex-representatives of the West are, on occasions, just as or more radical. This is the case of the representatives of the United States and the United Kingdom,

This is what emerges from a recent interview given to a Ukrainian media by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the man who boasted of having derailed the Istanbul peace negotiations last April. The interview shows the different points of view of Ukraine's allies, divided between those, like Germany, who wanted to put pressure on Russia via Minsk in search of a resolution that would justify the resumption of economic relations with Moscow, and those who had a goal that went much further. “In France and Germany they had this tradition of the Normandy process and the Minsk agreements,” Johnson said. “They were used to engaging with Russia, trying to persuade Russia and Ukraine to negotiate after Russia had already invaded in 2014. So they were in some kind of negotiation logic and trying to get a deal. And if you remember, Emmanuel [Macron] at one point said that Putin must not be humiliated. We started from a very different position. We thought there was only one way out. Ukraine must succeed and Putin must fail," said the former British prime minister, who described not only the British position after February 24, but also that of previous years.

“Every time my colleagues from other European capitals started thinking about some kind of negotiation or some peace plan or some deal, some land in exchange for peace, the idea immediately faltered in the discussions because they can't negotiate with Putin because is so patiently unreliable. That argument never worked," Johnson boasted, highlighting a quality, patience, that contrasts with the crazy image that Ukraine wants to project of Vladimir Putin. For Ukraine and Germany, that patience implied for seven years the Russian refusal to reduce the concessions that Minsk implied for kyiv. And for countries like the United Kingdom, it meant a consolidation of the status quo .that especially affected Crimea, of much more strategic interest than the industrial region of Donbass. And in the last year, that position championed by Boris Johnson implies the complete closure of all diplomatic options, even those that could have exempted the country from the death and destruction that has occurred since March. As has been previously stated, this requires a military action that endangers the Crimea, in order to force Russia to accept Ukrainian orders.

The objective, according to Boris Johnson, must be, above all, to return to the situation prior to February 24. “First of all, we are going to help you retake Melitopol, Mariupol, Berdiansk and that's the whole land corridor [to Crimea]. That's what has to happen first. I frankly believe that once that happens, the geostrategic position will be very different. Ukraine will be in an immensely stronger position. The Kremlin, with Putin, will be much, much weaker," insisted Johnson, who is not worried about a scenario of more radical positions coming to power in Russia, since, according to the man who boasted of preventing peace negotiations , "it's hard to think of someone who could behave worse." The goal, which can only be achieved at the cost of more destruction and death in the Ukraine, is to use the Crimea to weaken Russia.

However, at the insistence of the Ukrainian journalist on the need to recover Crimea, Boris Johnson diverts the conversation to another issue, NATO, claiming that this possibility, closed before February 24, 2022, is now open. Johnson refers to the "international border enforcement failure" as "the disaster of 2014." The disaster of 2014 was not the catastrophic war in Donbass, without which the current scenario would have been unthinkable, but the loss of Crimea. “The West was weak and we didn't stand up for Ukraine in 2014. We launched the useless Normandy process, which went nowhere,” lamented Johnson, deliberately forgetting that those processes could never go forward because of a conscious Ukrainian choice. For kyiv, Minsk made impossible the imposition of a unitary and centralist Ukraine that would spread the Ukrainian nationalist discourse as a national discourse throughout the country. For its British and American partners, Minsk did not return to Ukraine control of Crimea, a strategic point on the Black Sea, in Russian hands.

The insistence on Crimea shows several aspects, not only the verification of its importance and the difficulty of recovering it militarily -hence why Johnson does not want to commit to talking about it-, but also the willingness to punish Russia for those acts. Otherwise, Johnson's insistence on a return to the February 24 borders by the man who traveled to kyiv to prevent Ukraine from accepting an agreement involving Russian withdrawal from virtually all the territories captured since the 24th would be completely illogical. February. It is the other side of the proxy war. While Ukraine boasts of being the NATO army in a common war against Russia, the use of war for a political objective that goes beyond the result of the military front is made clear from the West. All this from the extreme simplification of a war that has divided a country and in which a part of the population has fought for more than eight years against the Ukrainian Armed Forces. None of this seems to have been recorded by Boris Johnson, who boasts of knowing the country and having visited it since 2016. “It really was on a different path from Russia. It was clearly a country that had a totally different vocation, a destiny, a different sense of its sovereignty," Johnson said, referring to the Ukraine of 2016, the one that, already divided, bombarded the other side, and was about to impose a commercial blockade to economically defeat that part of the population that had rejected the unconstitutional change of government that took place in kyiv in 2014.

In that version, which is also the one that kyiv has successfully imposed on the collective consciousness, everything is clear and no nuances are needed. “I have not seen anything so clear in foreign policy in the last 50 years. I have never seen anything so clearly black or white, good and evil, right or wrong. The right thing is on the side of Ukraine," Johnson said. In this fight between good and evil, what is right is on the side of those who used the war to their advantage, reneged on their international commitments, tried to use a military solution to solve a political problem and preferred to risk the war spreading instead of looking for the commitment that they promised and signed.

Google Translator


Russia Open to Discuss Arms Control with US but Seeks ‘Understanding about the Parameters and Principles of Coexistence’
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 27, 2023
M. K. Bhadrakumar

Russian soldier keeping vigil to prevent attempts by Ukrainian military to cross Dnieper River in Kherson area

Bang in the middle of the brouhaha over the decision by the US and its European allies to supply Abram and Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov messaged to Washington on Thursday that arms control “cannot exist in isolation from military-political and geo-strategic realities” and, therefore, an understanding over “the parameters and principles of coexistence that would minimise the conflict potential” between Russia and the West is an absolute prerequisite of the situation.

Ryabkov said Moscow does not reject to discuss arms control with Washington, but the US complicates a constructive dialogue. In a significant overture, peppered with caveats, he proposed that “The off-charts aggression of the US, who bid on inflicting a ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia in the total hybrid war, initiated against us, has made constructive and fruitful business ‘as usual’ on arms control with Washington almost impossible in principle. Of course, it does not mean that we refuse arms control itself. But this area cannot exist separately from military-political and geo-strategic reality.”

Ryabkov said it is necessary to achieve an understanding with the West [read Washington] to make “viable” decision in these areas. Ryabkov is Russian FO’s point person for relations with the US. His interview with Kommersant newspaper [in Russian] coincided with the arrival of the new American ambassador Lynne Tracy in Moscow on Thursday.

Customarily in diplomacy, a new envoy augurs a new beginning. And the Russian side is hoping that a productive conversation would be possible with the new envoy, the first lady ambassador to the Kremlin from America, on problematic aspects within Russian-US relations.

On the other hand, Ambassador Tracy begins her tour soon after the announcements that the Western powers led by the US would be sending tanks to equip Ukrainian military, signifying a serious escalation of US-Russia tensions.

In the western media narrative, the 31 Abram tanks and the Leopard tanks (totalling a hundred or so) are going to be a game changer in the Ukraine conflict. But Moscow has sized up the western move as more of an astute political manoeuvring, necessitated by the recent military setbacks that Kiev suffered and the growing fears of a crushing defeat if Russia launches a major offensive in the coming months.

Quite obviously, Moscow has taken note that it will take several months for the tanks to actually reach Ukraine and be deployed and several months of intensive training will be necessary for the Ukrainian personnel to be ready to handle the tanks. Tass news agency produced a handful of reports [here, here and here] citing authoritative opinion by Russian military experts to the effect that Moscow has the capability to “burn” these western tanks. But Kremlin has refrained from making any threat of retaliation.

In military terms, of course, 100-130 tanks make hardly any difference to the military balance in Ukraine, which is in Russia’s favour. The high probability is that Ukrainian military’s recent defeats may snowball into a rout once Moscow launches its expected grand offensive and give a knockout blow to the Ukrainian military.

The recent visit to Kiev by senior officials of the White House National Security Council and the US State Department, followed by a secret mission by the CIA chief William Burns, highlighted the criticality of the situation. Meanwhile, the long-standing power struggle between the Ukrainian security agencies and the intelligence has burst into the open in the recent weeks causing a purge of top officials who are closely associated with Zelensky.

Moscow no longer trusts any promises from the Americans, given the long history — starting from former Secretary of State Jim Baker’s promise to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 not to expand the NATO eastward “by an inch” — of western betrayals and broken promises.

The influential head of the Russian security council Nikolai Patrushev repeated yesterday that even if the active combat in Ukraine ceases, Moscow doesn’t think that there is going to be any let-up in the US’ proxy war against Russia.

To quote Patrushev, “Progress in the special military operation in Ukraine indicates that the United States and NATO intend to go ahead with efforts to prolong this military conflict and that they have already become participants in it.” Patrushev underscored that “even with the end of the hot phase of the conflict in Ukraine, the Anglo-Saxon world will not stop their proxy war against Russia and its allies.”

Patrushev said, “Today’s events in Ukraine are a result of years-long preparations by the US for a hybrid war against Russia and an attempt to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world.”

Patrushev is one of Putin’s closest aides with an association that harks back to their career in the Soviet KGB. Clearly, just when its strategy of “grinding” the Ukrainian forces is succeeding, why should Moscow dither on its tracks?

This is where DFM Ryabkov’s interview yesterday with Kommersant become a useful signpost. Ryabkov in effect signals that the door is still open for negotiations with the US. Interestingly, he pointed out that “most successful decisions in the field of arms control coincided or were associated with periods of detente or specific political projects” and were characterised historically by “fairly balanced attitude of the parties to each other’s obvious ‘red lines’ in the field of security.”

Indeed, Ryabkov ruled out any “unilateral concessions” by Russia in matters of national security and stressed that the fundamental contradictions will need to be addressed first.

The good part is that there is growing realisation among sections of the elite in Washington also that the US cannot win the proxy war in Ukraine. Coupled with this are the complexities of the US domestic politics, the latest being the issue of classified documents that creates uncertainty for Biden’s re-election bid.

Arguably, the spectre that is haunting the Biden Administration is that the military defeat combined with the political tensions within the Ukrainian government could very well lead to the collapse of the Zelensky regime and a meltdown of the country’s state apparatus. And all this while the Russian forces, estimated to be in the region of 600,000, are gathering at the gates.

Conceivably, the Biden Administration’s top priority at this juncture will be to prevent Moscow from launching the big military offensive so as to gain some respite to revamp the battered Ukrainian military, equip it with advanced weaponry and restore a modicum of military balance in order for the fighting to resume after a pause.

But, just when its strategy of “grinding” the Ukrainian forces is succeeding, why should Moscow dither on its tracks? In fact, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier today that “tensions are really escalating” following Washington’s decision regarding tanks and the reported ongoing discussions in western capitals regarding supply of F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. ... existence/

How NATO Exploits the Crises it Creates
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 27, 2023
Rainer Shea


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization represents the stage of capitalism where the imperialists, after making nuclear annihilation a possibility, have taken advantage of this horrific reality that they themselves engineered. The equivalent has happened with Covid-19, in which the IMF has used the pandemic as a pretext for imposing further austerity measures onto 81 countries. As the climate crisis intensifies, the same pattern is appearing, with the U.S. empire making plans for future wars predicated on responding to climatic disasters. It’s already invaded Haiti using climate-related emergencies as an excuse. This is what capitalism as a whole does as its unsustainable social model leads to ever more catastrophes: portray these catastrophes as only solvable through the same system that produced them, and seize power so that it can inflict even more profit-motivated violence.

NATO’s role in this vicious cycle was to be the “solution” to how capitalism, as shown by the first and second world wars, necessarily leads to conflicts. So long as world workers revolution is delayed, there’s no way to avoid war, because states as they exist under bourgeois rule depend on war’s perpetuation. Even when there’s “peace” under capitalism, that peace only represents a period where the imperial powers are preparing for new wars.

This situation is the inevitable conclusion of the colonial project. After the imperialists finished their theft of territories, and their division of the world’s new borders, the only thing they could do next was go to war with each other. Capital needs perpetual expansion in order to survive. It must keep growing into new markets, or it won’t be able to displace its inevitable crises and the bourgeois system will collapse. So the imperial powers, the “core” countries which developed according to this principle of requiring always-growing extraction from the “peripheries,” could only respond to the reaching of colonialism’s territorial limits by competing with one another.

This was the real reason for World War I, not an assassination of one European leader like bourgeois education teaches. When the imperial powers were finished with their initial great clash, Germany happened to be the one that mainly lost its imperial holdings. The fascists were then able to exploit the capitalist crisis which consequently ravaged the country, blaming the people’s suffering not on the bourgeois system but on the Jews, the Russians, the Romanis, the Freemasons, the communists, and other substitutes for the true culprits. The Nazis, along with the fascists of the other imperialist countries who had won by exploiting imperialism’s crisis, then reproduced the first world war. Except in a form even more destructive, and infused with a program for exterminating capitalism’s scapegoats. As the Nazis murdered 11 million in the Holocaust, murdered 27 million Russians in its eastern land grab attempt, and turned most of Europe into a de facto colony, fascist Italy invaded Abyssinia—the only African country that hadn’t been colonized—using mustard gas. Spain, after undergoing its own imperial collapse and fascist takeover, carried out the equivalent by intensifying exploitation of Spain’s rural areas, amounting to an internal colonialism facilitated by brutal dictatorship.

When this latest horror was finished, the imperialists who took over for the early 20th century’s fascists as the chief arbiters of violence devised yet another way to exploit this destructive pattern. Taking advantage of the fears about European countries again going to war with one another, they formed NATO, an arrangement for unifying the imperialists in their efforts to expand exploitation of the peripheries. They employed former Nazi officials to run the organization, and let Germany become one of the world’s richest countries by giving it a great share of the neo-colonial profits. They got all of the imperialist countries, including Japan, to support the U.S. as it assumed the role of the foremost purveyor of bloodshed for capital. Washington murdered tens of millions over the next several generations, invading dozens of countries and installing genocidal dictatorships in dozens more. NATO acted as a tool for preventing the inter-imperialist conflicts that had in the past hindered the imperialists in fighting revolutionary movements.

When the Cold War ended, NATO couldn’t be disbanded, because it still had to be there to uphold American hegemony. As soon as one of the organization’s major justifications for existing vanished, it began to manufacture a fresh crisis that could ensure its political survival. After British intelligence predicted in 1992 that Ukraine and Russia were likely to eventually go to war now that they weren’t unified, NATO did everything it could to bring about such a scenario. It broke its vow to Russia not to expand, it refused Putin’s offers for cooperation, then in 2014 its principal power the USA perpetrated the act of political meddling that ensured this war would come. The State Department instigated reactionary riots that brought down the democratically elected government, then in defiance of even the EU, Obama’s team maneuvered to ensure that an anti-Russian regime came to power. Even if this regime was a fascist one that sought to ethnically cleanse the Russian speakers in Ukraine’s east.

When Russia inevitably intervened to demilitarize this regime, and ensure its own security while rescuing the eastern separatist republics from invasion by fascist Kiev, NATO used this to unite its members and fully expand into the Nordic states. NATO used the same tactic that worked in Yugoslavia: perpetrate atrocities, then blame a designated target for the violence, then intervene. Once Operation Z started and war became no longer theoretical, the empire’s foremost goal was to exhaust Russia with a war of attrition. This is indicated by how from the way imperialist leaders have talked about their decisions prior to the conflict, it’s clear that they at the least knew war could easily come about from the ways they were provoking Russia. They engaged in a gamble by making all of these decisions that increased the likelihood of Russian action. Their hope was that imperialism would be strengthened.

In macro terms, this wish has not come true, and imperialism has instead been weakened. NATO has become stronger only as an institutional presence within the imperial sphere, not as a driver of geopolitics. Most of the globe beyond the imperial countries has not participated in the sanctions, forcing Washington to coerce Europe into taking on most of the costs from this economic war. Consequently, the process of imperial decay has accelerated. The capitalist contradictions in these countries have intensified, the livelihoods of their working classes being sacrificed for the sake of a geopolitical maneuver that hasn’t even succeeded. The sanctions weren’t enough to destabilize Russia and broader Eurasia, as the imperialists hoped.

Because of this strategic failure by NATO, and because of the war crimes by Kiev so obvious that even Amnesty has reported on them, the Ukraine psyop isn’t effective enough to prevent the people from rising up. Unrest has again erupted in France, and the U.S. population only needs another major provocation to revolt like it did in 2020. This is in part because of NATO’s own past crimes. Because of the 2011 bombing of Libya, the country’s oil supplies are now cut off from Europe due to being controlled by an anti-imperialist faction in the civil war. So Europeans are now left with a historic energy crisis as neoliberal austerity intensifies. The imperialists continue to steal oil from Syria because in this dire situation, such primitive accumulation is the only way it can delay its own collapse.

NATO is not just evil, it’s a failure. The latest failure by capital to maintain the extractive dynamic that the bourgeoisie depend on to keep profits up. It’s failed because of the nature of the system to produce wars. When wars between the imperial powers ended, they then had to be started in other areas. When the U.S. empire applied this principle to catastrophic effect by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington lost its international respect, and the empire unraveled amid a Chinese rise and Russia’s breakaway from client state status.

NATO reacted to this imperial unraveling by instigating the war in Ukraine, then hoped this would reverse the transition to multipolarity by making Eurasia collapse. This hasn’t happened, and ultimately all the imperial powers are left with are the tremendous economic costs. Given the last century’s history of how capitalism reacts when it’s desperate, we’ll keep seeing a resurgence of fascism across the imperialist countries prior to imperialism’s final defeat. ... t-creates/


27 Jan 2023 , 1:14 pm .

The American Patriot system will be part of the new arsenal destined for Ukraine (Photo: John Hamilton / US Department of Defense)

The United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) plan to mobilize a large new arms contingent to Ukraine.

Since World War II there was no record of a war deployment of this magnitude in Eastern Europe. The type of weaponry that could be delivered to the kyiv regime in the coming weeks is of a diverse nature, both defensive and offensive.

This movement of arms and the political crisis that it worsens is promoted by the United States through a strategy that could mean a disfigurement of international security, not only in the Slavic world and Europe; the implications may be global in scope.

This is explained by the nature of the scheme, the impacts it brings to the relationship between the United States and Russia and the purposes of the Atlanticists in the development and prolongation of their proxy war against the Russian Federation.

According to various sources , the governments of the United States and some NATO countries, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Poland, plan to make a new delivery of weapons to Ukraine, which, according to the Americans, will serve to repel Russia.

Weapon systems and equipment include:

*In the defensive realm, an undisclosed number of additional anti-aircraft missiles for NASAMS man-portable systems. About eight units of US-made AN/TWQ-1 Avenger short-range air defense systems.
*In December 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the military aid package to Ukraine included the provision of the Patriot system .
*In the field of infantry, where the supply will be more voluminous, President Joe Biden has announced the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks.
*The delivery of 59 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 590 TOW anti-tank missiles is stipulated. Delivery of 90 Stryker armored personnel carriers is estimated. Additionally, and for personnel transport and logistics tasks, the delivery of 53 MRAP class armored vehicles and 350 HMMWV (Humvee) armored vehicles is expected.
*Delivery of around 600 high-precision 155mm M982 Excalibur rounds is estimated.
*The supply of 95,000 105-mm artillery shells and 11,800 120-mm mortar mines has been considered, among other supplies, such as 2,000 Javelin-type anti-tank missiles, which have already been used in Ukraine since February 2022.

This reviewed infantry material corresponds only to the delivery provided by the United States, but the other NATO countries will make additional contributions.

*French President Emmanuel Macron indicated that his country would deliver an unspecified number of French-made AMX 10-RC light combat vehicles to Ukraine.
*Germany, for its part, decided to send 14 units of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Although the country had refused the shipment, they have now accepted it under pressure from NATO members. The Leopard 2, the flagship tank of the German infantry, is deployed in more than 2,000 units. The German country has about 550 in its arsenal, between operational and stored units.
*Poland, a country that owns units of the Leopard 2 tank, awaits authorization from Germany to deliver an as yet undisclosed number of these tanks to Ukraine.
*UK announced the delivery of 14 units of Challenger 2 tanks.
*In addition, a new supply of additional munitions is planned for HIMARS, a US-made, medium-range, high-mobility missile system (already delivered to Ukraine). The maximum attack range of this system is 300 kilometers and it is the weapon that could strike key targets on the Russian west bank.

When the HIMARS system was deployed in mid-2022 , there was supposed to be a significant turn of the conflict in favor of Ukraine. Despite some impacts of this system on the front line of the Russian army, there has not been a relevant change in the correlation of the results of the war.

Now the same argument has appeared with the new infantry arming for the benefit of Ukraine.

Roderich Kiesewetter, a political actor and defense expert for the German Christian Democratic Party (CDU), commented in an interview with DW:

"Western models protect soldiers much better and thus increase combat morale. In addition, they are technically far superior to Soviet models. Thus, offensive operations can become realistic again, larger areas can be liberated from Russian occupation and prevent war crimes.

However, in 2018, long before the current conflict, American experts admitted the superiority of Russian tanks compared to the American M1 Abrams in combat operations in Iraq.

Due to the characteristics of the mechanized and heavy infantry to be delivered to Ukraine, a slowdown of the Russian troops could be estimated , but it does not guarantee an absolute change in the correlation, given that Russia continues to preserve large infantry capabilities and continues to destroy heavy artillery weapons through attacks with very low-cost artillery drones.

Vladimir Zelensky has asked Western countries for at least 300 war tanks and 500 armored vehicles. The final figure of the new provision of the equipment that Ukraine will receive has not yet been confirmed in the absence of a decision by the countries. In some cases, deliveries and training of troops for their use can take months.

Russia, on the other hand, still has an estimated number of 4,000 active war tanks and some 7,000 tanks in reserve, of which a significant part of them can return to service with minimal investment.


In 2019, the US government headed by Donald Trump formalized its withdrawal from the Intermediate Weapons Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, identified by the acronym "INF"). This agreement was signed in 1987 between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and implied the end of the placement (in the vicinity of the borders of the USSR, NATO and the United States) of "short-term" nuclear weapons. and medium range", whose operating radius was between 500 and 5 thousand 500 kilometers.

The factor of disposition of weapons in the areas of influence of these powers was the key to the so-called "missile crisis" in October 1962, when the United States placed short-range missiles in Turkey (Turkiye) and then the USSR did the same. own in Cuba.

At the time, the INF was an agreement that helped to compose the balances and strategic distances necessary between the powers to sustain deterrence and nuclear peace. The unilateral break of the United States from the INF in 2018 implied a new turning point in the rivalry between NATO and Russia that has increased tensions since then.

The active incorporation of NATO, through support for Kiev since the beginning of the OME in 2022, increased the hostilities between the North Americans and the Federation, to the point that the talks for the advancement of the START III treaty, an agreement based on in reducing the number of strategic nuclear weapons between the two powers.

START III was signed by the then presidents of the United States, Barack Obama, and Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, in 2010. This agreement, which in theory implied the true "end of the Cold War", meant a reduction of the nuclear warheads by each country in a ratio of two thirds.

In November 2022, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, warned that freezing the dialogue with the United States on this matter multiplies the risks.

"We note with regret that at this time the strategic dialogue between Russia and the United States, owners of the largest nuclear arsenals (...) is being frozen by Washington, " Lavrov said in a video message to the participants in the Moscow Conference on the No Nuclear Proliferation.

The head of Russian diplomacy recalled that the latest tangible result of the joint efforts of Russia and the United States has been the agreement to extend the START III or New START Treaty, for the reduction of nuclear weapons, for five years until February 5, 2026:

"It is clear that, due to the absence of negotiating work to maintain strategic stability, the existing problems will accumulate. This may entail a multiplication of risks."

"It is evident that this can lead to a direct conflict between nuclear powers with catastrophic consequences," he stressed. The minister assured that Moscow is forced to periodically send "warning signals" about this situation.

"But instead of heeding these, the West maliciously misrepresents them and accuses us of using threatening rhetoric," he said.

The United States suspended the dialogue on arms control. Subsequently, Moscow informed Washington in August 2022 of its decision to prohibit US on-site inspections of its arsenal of nuclear weapons, alleging difficulties in doing the same in the United States due to sanctions related to overflight permits and granting of nuclear weapons. visas to Russian officials by the White House.

Later, Russia unilaterally postponed the meetings of the bilateral consultative commission on the treaty. At the time, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov explained this decision by the US "unwillingness" to take Russian priorities into account and by focusing solely on its desire to resume inspection of the Russian arsenal. There was no reciprocity, according to the official.

The halt in the discussion of these political agreements between the Russian Federation and the United States is a result of the increasingly recurrent large deliveries of arms to Ukraine, especially sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

This is due to the fact that this type of weaponry constitutes the construction of a shield on the Ukrainian flank of the Federation, with the intention of disabling the range and maneuver capabilities of its conventional strategic attack systems.

Next, the presence of the US HIMARS system on Ukrainian soil implies the projection of NATO weapons with a greater range in the vicinity of Russia, which imposes new tensions.

Before the start of the OME in February 2022, Vladimir Zelenski raised the possibility that his country would abandon the Budapest Memorandum , which is a treaty between Ukraine, the United States and Russia, in which Kiev renounced the nuclear arsenal inherited from the end of the USSR.

This factor was decisive in Vladimir Putin's decision to deploy the OME and his demilitarization purposes. Ukraine could acquire nuclear weapons by having uranium enrichment capabilities and technical personnel capable of developing such weapons.

Hence, the suspension of the agreements between the powers, coupled with the belligerence of NATO through the dangerous, uncontrolled and disproportionate delivery of weapons to Ukraine, implies a serious threat to nuclear peace, once a breach of the legal framework that has allowed it.

In addition, there is a real threat that US long-range artillery systems and ballistic missile launch systems could be used by kyiv to attack the Zaporozhi nuclear power plant, which could lead to a catastrophe with greater consequences than Chernobyl.

Skirmishes around this plant led to attacks by Ukrainian forces on the facility. These attacks were verified in August 2022 by inspectors from the United Nations (UN) atomic verification agency.

Additionally, the large-scale delivery of weapons to Ukraine has meant a deterioration of security conditions in Eastern Europe and other countries, through the proliferation of Western weapons that have been diverted to the black market.

In November 2022, it was announced that US military inspectors were investigating the fate of weapons and equipment sent to Ukrainian forces, following allegations that some of that material may have ended up on the black market.

Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder told a news briefing that the United States has "small teams made up of embassy personnel," including soldiers who are conducting "some inspections on the delivery of security assistance in a series of locations.

Jordan Cohen, a foreign policy and defense analyst at the CATO Institute who focuses on arms sales, told CNN that the biggest danger surrounding the flood of arms being funneled into Ukraine is what happens when the war ends, or when transitions occur in some kind of prolonged stalemate.

Almost a year after the OME, several NATO countries that possessed weapons inherited from the Soviet era , such as Poland, have dispatched them to Ukraine, emptying their arsenals or diminishing their own defensive capabilities.

But countries like Germany and Poland have also sent Western weapons of various kinds to the Ukrainian theater of operations, compromising their defensive and offensive capabilities.

In this way, the US government has offered to replace these teams with their US equivalents.

In December 2022, Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union (EU), pointed out that European military reserves are "exhausted" due to arms shipments in Ukraine.

The EU "lacks the necessary defense capabilities" to face future threats, indicated Borrell himself, who stressed that the war on Ukrainian territory has revealed "the insufficiency of our military stocks" and "the fragility of our supply chains". Something that is very alarming, according to Borrell, in case other dangers appear in the future that supposedly threaten community security.

In January 2023, the head of the US Southern Command, Laura Richardson, called on Latin American countries to hand over their Russian military equipment to Ukraine, highlighting the growing influence of powers like Russia and China in a region of particular importance to Washington.

The general announced that they offer to replace the weapons shipped from Moscow with American equipment. She specifically alluded to Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, but without mentioning them, and to other countries that today possess Russian weapons.

According to information from the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI), which was revealed in a Sputnik publication , from 2000 to 2021, eight Latin American countries have acquired weapons of origin Russian.

*According to the same source, Venezuela is the Latin American country that has acquired the most Russian weapons. It has from Air Defense Systems to combat helicopters and guided bombs.
*In second place is Nicaragua, a country that, according to SIPRI data, bought at least one helicopter and 50 T-72B tanks, among other weapons.
*From the year 2000 to 2021, Peru acquired more than 32 helicopters, of which a couple are combat. In addition, the Andean country bought more than two hundred missiles from the Russian factory.
*Mexico acquired at least 30 Air Defense Systems and nine helicopters, while Cuba bought a MiG-29 fighter.
*For its part, Uruguay acquired 48 Vodniks, a high-mobility multipurpose military vehicle.
*Argentina, according to SIPRI, also bought a pair of Mi-8MT/Mi-17 model helicopters.
*Colombia acquired six Mi-8MT/Mi-17 model helicopters. It should be noted that Colombian President Gustavo Petro declared that his country would not deliver those weapons to Ukraine.
*Bolivia also has Russian-made helicopters and other weapons.

In the light of these data and announcements, it is evident that NATO's proxy war against Russia has acquired a long-term mode of projection. Simultaneously with the supply of arms, Ukraine is being blocked from all powers of dialogue and negotiation to create détente or put an end to the war, which only facilitates the prolongation.

The Slavic country has blatantly surrendered its sovereignty and become a NATO protectorate, waging a protracted war despite catastrophic losses in military personnel, weapons and infrastructure.

Ukraine asks Western countries to replace its army, demand mercenaries and new weapons systems in all branches, due to the degradation of its military capabilities that have reached minimal proportions since mid-2022. This situation reaffirms its subsidiary and lacking position of self determination.

The projection of the conflict and its prolongation in time, not by chance, is changing the configuration of the weapons parks in the armies of several countries, firstly in Europe, and they want this to be extensive to the Latin American region . On both continents, considered part of the US "area of ​​influence", Washington intends to expel Russia and consolidate itself as the sole supplier of weapons.

This could be the largest gun replacement process in living memory. A summary that is clearly designed in favor of the United States and its military-industrial complex, mainly by offering to exchange European weapons already delivered to Ukraine for US-made weapons.

Josep Borrell's admission about the depletion of the European arsenal implies a call to increase the procurement processes for NATO weapons from European countries, either by their own manufacture, but also by the acquisition of the largest supplier: the United States. Borrell's statement should be seen as a public relations act in favor of the arms manufacturers. The business of war as an end.

Weapon systems replacement processes are a complex matter for the armies of any country. It implies the development of contracts, not only for the supply of weapons; also the provision of additional services, such as the training of troops for the operation of weapons, the exchange of information on the use of weapons, the request for authorization to deliver them to a third country and also the maintenance and repair services of the teams.

In this way, the US military industry would obtain a clear advantage by acquiring contracts that, by default, will control the response capabilities and arsenal of the countries that participate in this process of changing their weapons fleet.

The rearrangement of weapons systems on a large scale and in favor of the United States is much more than economic, since it entails other elements typical of strategic security. In the event that a country delivers weapons from the Soviet era or the Russian Federation to Ukraine and relies on the United States as the sole supplier of weapons, it could create a vulnerability to its defense systems.

In the scenario of a change in its government policies or disaffiliation with the United States, a country may be subject to a formal or undeclared arms embargo. American companies could do without the supply of services and parts.

The most emblematic example of this in the Latin American region took place in Venezuela, specifically in 2006 when President Hugo Chávez publicly reiterated that the US government, without any justification, refused to provide services and spare parts to the F-16 fighters of the Air Force of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB), significantly violating its military capabilities. Chávez denounced the embargo that had not been declared for years. The American F-16 was then the elite aircraft of Venezuela and for this reason the government decided since then to acquire 24 units of the Russian-made Sukhoi-30 multi-role strategic fighters.


Ukraine is right now the epicenter of a large financial-arms operation. The prolongation of the war is the largest large-scale contract for the supply of arms to the Slavic country, but the great beneficiary will be the United States.

In November 2022, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the 25th package of US military support for Ukraine to "help its courageous defenders protect their country from Russian aggression."

"This delivery will bring total US military assistance to Ukraine to a record level of nearly $19.3 billion since the start of this administration," Blinken said.

The twenty-sixth package to be delivered to Ukraine at the beginning of 2023 will exceed this figure, taking it to an unparalleled level.

But the nature of this type of agreement, far from "helping" Ukraine, implies the convergence of multiple economic interests, which were openly stated by Ukrainian President Zelenski.

In an online presentation before the National Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the United States, which brings together the financial, industrial and military complexes of the United States, the Ukrainian president indicated :

"We have already managed to attract attention and cooperate with such giants of the international financial and investment world as BlackRock, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Brands such as Starlink or Westinghouse have already become part of our Ukrainian track.

“Your brilliant defense systems like the HIMARS or the Bradley [armored personnel carrier] already link our history of freedom with your companies. We are waiting for the Patriot [systems]. We are looking closely at the Abrams [tanks]. Thousands of such examples are possible! Anyone can do a big business working with Ukraine," Zelensky emphasized.

In his statement, the president proposes profit as an incentive for financial firms and companies of the military-industrial complex in favor of continuing the war, regardless of the human and economic cost that this entails.

The possibility of increasing benefits for the financial and military complex includes the formation of conditions to give a new breath to the already weakened US hegemony as the main military power in the world, strengthening it against strategic enemies such as Russia and the People's Republic of China, considered by the United States as its main rival.

The reconfiguration of the structure of the distribution and use of arms that the United States is imposing points to the creation of a new matrix of the arms race. Although Moscow continues to lead Washington in areas of military development, such as in the field of hypersonic technologies, the intention of the Atlanticists is to slow down these capacities for advancement, investment and innovation.

It must be considered that the pretense of completely removing the Russian military industry from Europe (and now from Latin America), as well as prolonging the war against Ukraine, goes directly to the heart of the Federation's military industry to try to reduce its capabilities in the long term. .

They want the weakening (by attrition) of Russia's capabilities, the increase in the benefits of US industry, and a race for absolute military superiority between the US and China is taking shape, countries that could find themselves directly confronted in possible hostilities in the Taiwan Strait. ... as-ucrania


US Arms Sales Increase in 2022 Mainly Due to Ukraine Conflict

Photo posted by the U.S. Department of Defense on Aug. 23, 2022 shows munition packages bound for Ukraine are loaded at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, the United States. | Photo: Twitter account of the U.S. Department of Defense

Published 27 January 2023

The total value of State Department-authorized government-to-government foreign military sales was 51.9 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal 2022, the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2022, up 49.1 percent from the previous fiscal year's 34.8 billion dollars, the data showed.

U.S. foreign arms sales grew significantly in fiscal year 2022, according to data released by the Department of State, which attributed the increase mainly to U.S. military support for Ukraine during the latter's conflict with Russia.

The total value of State Department-authorized government-to-government foreign military sales was 51.9 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal 2022, the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2022, up 49.1 percent from the previous fiscal year's 34.8 billion dollars, the data showed.

The so-called direct commercial sales, or sales of weapons and military equipment to foreign governments by U.S. defense contractors, also ticked up in fiscal 2022, increasing 48.6 percent to 153.7 billion dollars, compared to 103.4 billion dollars in fiscal 2021.

At the end of fiscal 2022, 14,445 entities were registered with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls to conduct defense trade activities, which is a slight increase from fiscal 2021, the department said in a press release dated Wednesday.

The State Department attributed the spike to continuous U.S. provision of military assistance to Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, while claiming that "arms transfers and defense trade are important tools of U.S. foreign policy."

According to the Defense Department's latest update released Wednesday, the United States has more than 27.1 billion dollars in security assistance for Ukraine since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out on Feb. 24, 2022.

The 2022 arms sales numbers are potential deals the State Department has notified Congress, not the final sales, meaning some of the transactions may be refused by Congress, thus forcing the administration to engage in further negotiations.

As far as the destinations of those sales are concerned, they cover U.S. allies and partners in Europe, as demands for U.S. weapons soared especially in NATO countries, and in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions. ... -0018.html


From Cassad's Telegram account:



Soledar direction
situation as of 13.00 January 28, 2023

🔻In the Soledar sector , Russian units advanced in the direction of Razdolovka , establishing control over two company posts of the 10th Guards Rifle Brigade.

▪️The Ukrainian command expects an intensification of the offensive at the Berestovoye-Belogorovka line along with increased pressure on Blagodatnoye . To the north of the village of Sol , the assault detachments of the PMC "Wagner" knocked out the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the firing position.

🔻In Paraskovievka and Krasnaya Gora , the assault on the fortified area continues. APU tried to counterattack, but the attack bogged down. Russian fighters established control over a company stronghold west of the Bakhmutka River .

🔻In Bakhmut , the "Wagnerites" are gradually advancing in the industrial zone on the eastern outskirts of the city. During the past day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine retreated from 17 firing positions.

🔻At Kleshcheevka, assault detachments, supported by artillery, pushed back the forces of the 3rd assault brigade and the tactical group "Adam" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to the north to Krasnoe . In addition, Russian fighters knocked out the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the direction of Stupochka and advanced towards Belaya Gora from the side of the Seversky Donets-Donbass canal .

▪️At the same time, Ukrainian formations have increased the activity of using cannon and rocket artillery in areas where Russian troops are advancing. Target designation is provided by UAV crews, as well as the Bayraktar drone from the airport in Dnepropetrovsk .


forwarded from
= 14,910 criminal cases were opened against Ukrainians who did not want to fight in 2022. This is 6 times more per 1,000 military than in Russia

In 2022, 14,910 criminal cases were filed in Ukraine on crimes against military service and draft evasion. This is 4.3 times more than in 2021, when 3,440 cases were filed. In 2013 (before the coup d'état) there were only 404 of them, or 37 times less, Equality calculated according to the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine.

The number of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2022 was about 0.7 million people, that is, 21 cases were opened per 1,000 military personnel.

In Russia, together with the mobilized and the National Guard, there are about 1.65 million military. 3047 cases were opened on military crimes (in 2021 - 1514), follows from the dataProsecutor General's Office. There were, estimated, about 3,200 more cases against the deviators ( “As we considered” - see the 1st comment) . As a result, there were 3.8 cases per 1,000 military in the Russian Federation, or almost 6 times less than in Ukraine.

Not all refuseniks are prosecuted , and not all of them go to court. Of the 14,910 materials in 2022, charges were filed on 3,152, and 2,662 were sent to court. There, they mainly gave disbat or suspended sentences, it follows from the database of court decisions.

But the situation will worsen with tougher penalties, amendments to which Volodymyr Zelensky signed on January 25. "Now the judicial practice will be unanimous - all the military will be given real and long sentences", - says the analyst of the movement "Honestly" Victoria Oleinik. The petition against the amendments, which received more than 25,500 votes on December 15, was ignored.

👁‍🗨Opinion. 15,000 cases is not much for an army of 700,000 people, given that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have already lost more than 100,000 people killed. Stronger than the fear of criminal prosecution is sometimes the terror of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, who were actively appointed commanders and political officers or organized detachments of them , say those who were taken prisoner. They relied on ideological Russophobes in NATO to maintain discipline. After all, the Alliance's investment in the war against Russia must be protected from the unwillingness of Ukrainians to be cannon fodder.

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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Sun Jan 29, 2023 1:38 pm

What does Russia think?
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/29/2023


Throughout the last week, in the final phase of the international pressure campaign to achieve something that sooner or later was going to be achieved, the delivery of Western tanks to Ukraine, it has been possible to hear, actively and passively, the change qualitative that these supplies are going to suppose for the war. One part of that campaign sought to present the shipments as a sure path to victory for Ukraine. However, as soon as the formation of this "coalition of tanks" was confirmed, the same press that for weeks has demanded the shipments has begun to publish articles about the logistical challenge that the supply of all kinds of tanks from different manufacturers and that would require different maintenance that kyiv is possibly not in a position to perform. And of course,

Original article: Alexander Kots / Komsomolskaya Pravda

The YouGov research center, close to the British government, has published the survey "How do you rate the fact that the United Kingdom could supply combat aircraft to Ukraine?" It is a way of testing public opinion and judging by the responses, the majority of the British population does not see anything wrong with these deliveries. A quarter of the population does not care at all and 50% support or do not oppose it. For the past week, we have followed the dramatic theater “on the difficult relations between the United States and Germany”. They have been presented as a battle of the titans: "You first, let's go with the tanks." In fact, it is nothing more than a way of preparing the ground that has been represented for the hearing. Everything was predetermined from the beginning. All these supplies are intended for the offensive plan of the Ukrainian spring-summer campaign. Such a plan, of course, is not prepared in kyiv.

In my opinion, in the line of supplies of Western equipment to the Ukraine, the main concern is not tanks, but the amount of artillery. It's a whole artillery corps, three brigades: Paladin self-propelled howitzers, an excellent weapon; the Archer is somewhat worse, but still serious; AS-30, Ceasar, which have already been tested in the war. The tanks are likely to add spice to all those supplies: the US will supply 31 Abrams; Germany promises 14 Leopards; the UK will send 14 Challenger-2s and Poland says it will deliver 14 Leopards. In addition, although it is not yet decided when they will be delivered, Portugal has decided to send four tanks, the same as the Netherlands and Norway, Finland and Denmark will send up to eight.

It has been announced that the first batch of Leopards will arrive in Ukraine within three months, but those times are likely to come sooner. There is a race to be the one who sends the first tank to the front line. Let's assume that Ukraine's stock of Soviet equipment has already run out and there is a hunger for shells. In Russia we solve these problems at the expense of the military industry, but kyiv does not have that option, so it is forced to appeal to Western “donors”. But the reliance on NATO manufacturers may be a hindrance at some point. However, the degree of supplies cannot not be a danger. What should be done before them? The simplest answer is to hit the opponent in the rear, before they cross on the Dnieper, and destroy the bridges connecting the two banks. But, as the last eleven months show, the opponent does not experience major logistical problems as a result of the Russian attacks. And all the deliveries have been made more or less covertly and using civilian vehicles such as trucks. What can be done to destroy those bridges? It is something that strategic aviation can do. What is needed for strategic aviation to be able to act on Ukraine? It is necessary to suppress the means of air defense. But Russia has to take into account the option that they will still be able to reach the contact line, so it is also very important to know how they will be dealt with.

In the Persian Gulf, during the 1990-1991 war, 23 Abrams were destroyed. During the first two damages of the 2003-2011 Iraq war, more than a hundred were put out of service. The Houthis have destroyed around 45 Saudi Abrams. The Abrams are no wunderwaffe that will give Ukraine an easy advantage to calmly push through territories controlled by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, but one cannot patronize these supplies. They are serious, high-tech weapons. Sooner or later, Russia will have to deal with them and also with the large amounts of new artillery.

And this means that Russia must improve counter-battery fire in these two months, which, of course, is a difficult task. It is impossible to transfer trained artillery and anti-tank divisions to the infantry. After all, they will be the ones who will have to burn the American, British, German tanks and other equipment in two or three months.

Russia has now imposed the initiative against the enemy. There are several points where the opponent is uncomfortable. The first place is Zaporozhye. Interesting things are happening in the Orejov area right now. The opponent is forced to send reserves there, for example, from the Donetsk area. At the moment, taking advantage of this situation, there is an offensive south of Donetsk, in the direction of Ugledar. Russia has already taken over the first dachas and virtually all supply routes have been cut off. Of the relatively safe ones, only one remains: the Kurajovo road, but it is also under the control of Russian artillery fire, which controls a large part of Marinka and from there you can see the supply routes [Marinka's strategic position is that stands tall,Ed ]. There is an operation underway to capture Artyomovsk, the most important knot in the enemy's defense. To the north, there are battles in the direction of Seversk. Ukrainian troops do not have the possibility of concentrating large forces in one direction.

They are forced to send "fire brigades" here and there. I think that the former commander, Sergey Surovikin, made preparations for this before handing over command to the chief of the General Staff Gerasimov, who is now responsible for everything: both successes and defeats, if any. But this may be the expansion of the special operation format that, together with the supply of tanks, the Ministry of Defense spoke of when explaining the change in personnel.

Yes, during this conflict, the problems of the Russian military machine have also become apparent, but it is good that they have been observed now. There are those who may think that "it is likely that the Supreme Command does not have all the information." They have it, I know it from a good hand. People who are not young and who have been living in the country for years know perfectly well that it is useless to expect drastic personnel decisions from Vladimir Putin. In general, solutions are expected. Some may expect heads to roll and chevrons to retire, but those are not the president's ways. There is a list of things that are missing. It is also necessary to understand where those needs are. It is necessary to see how the industry and the authorities of the Ministry of Defense deal with it.

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By John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with

The Russian Foreign Ministry has dismissed proposals issued this week in Washington by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Under Secretary, Victoria Nuland. Zakharova has confirmed that Russia’s military plan for the Ukraine will not be interrupted or delayed.

“It is not necessary to talk about what will happen if someone does something [in the Ukraine],” Zakharova said. “There is a situation on the ground that we are solving. Everything. This is not a question of guesswork, but of our assessment of what is happening. This is based on the situation on the ground and direct political statements by Western politicians. Given that all negotiations have been terminated by Ukraine, this issue will be resolved on the ground. Under pressure or on its own, Kiev has banned any negotiations with Russia at the government level. So that’s it. The rest is for the military experts.”

Russia has also dismissed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as the successor of the Nazi Wehrmacht and the puppet of the US Government. Scholz, according to Zakharova, is one of the Germans who “lack[s] the spirit to make the right choice, not to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors, for which the people of Germany, among others, paid a huge price… We remember well what German tanks are. These are machines which have become a symbol, not just of death and deadly ideology, but of hatred of humanity — a global, existential threat to the entire planet… What do they expect in Germany? That armoured vehicles in camouflage cover with iron crosses – symbols of the German armed forces both then and now will pass through our cities and villages? We remember how it ended then. Do they remember in Berlin?.. The day of the decision on the supply of Leopards to Ukraine…is also historic because [it is] the total loss of Germany’s sovereignty. [Olaf] Scholz has forever signed the rejection of an independent German foreign policy. He has abandoned everything that his predecessors had built decades after the Second World War.”

The verbatim Foreign Ministry briefing transcript, including reporters’ questions and the official’s answers, can be read here. The Ministry’s official translation into English is lagging in time and has not been completed as we go to press.

Without naming Blinken or Nuland, Zakharova has dismissed the Blinken’s proposals of January 25 which were reported here; and the sanctions proposal which followed on January 26 by Nuland in testimony to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee; for that text, click to read.

Zakharova’s remarks to follow have been compressed and excerpted from answers to several questions in the briefing. The English translation is an unofficial one.

“For its part, Russia has always remained open to the possibility of using diplomatic and negotiation tools. This has been talked about repeatedly. All this has been applied, and all this is blocked by the Kiev regime under the dictation of the West. The ‘collective West’, NATO, the EU have long abandoned diplomacy, chosen a different path, and began to create security threats, setting fire, inciting, pushing, and simply driving the European continent to a global catastrophe. What is happening now is not a question of Ukraine, Russia or even the European continent. This is a much bigger and global thing.

“You asked about the US decision to supply American tanks. Why highlight this in particular? It is clear that this position applies to all countries. Only one country stands apart. This is Germany. This is a special story. We remember well what German tanks are. These are machines that have become a symbol not just of death and deadly ideology, but of hatred of humanity– a global, existential threat to the entire planet.

“When you read about fascism, Nazism, and the times of the Second World War, I think it is obvious that the SS uniform, German tanks with the symbols of the Third Reich have become a global symbol of humanity’s fall into the abyss of hatred, horror, and murder. From this abyss, all of us — and those who were alive then and those born later — were extricated by the fighters of the Red Army and the anti-Hitler coalition. These were young people who fought at the front and all those who were in the rear, connected to them. It was the German tanks which became the anti-symbol that was forever imprinted in the memory of mankind. Now these tanks, as [the Germans] are assuming, will again move on to our land. At least, that’s the task they have been given.

“What do they expect in Germany? That armoured vehicles in camouflage cover with iron crosses – symbols of the German armed forces both then and now — will pass through our cities and villages? We remember how it ended then. Do they remember in Berlin… Everyone has written their names into history in different ways. Germany itself understands perfectly well that Berlin has no moral, legal, or ethical right to supply armoured vehicles and tanks to kill Russians.”

Zakharova went on to remind the Germans of their planned murder of more than 3 million Russian prisoners of war between 1941 and 1945. “I want to remind [Olaf] Scholz,” Zakharova said, “I’m not referring to [Foreign Minister Annalena] Baerbock, that seems to me to be pointless — and tell him maybe because he doesn’t know: when German prisoners were on the territory of the Soviet Union after our victory, they were not tortured, they were not mistreated in the same way as the Germans did with our soldiers and civilians in German concentration camps. They were fed by those [Russians] who had not had enough for many years, had nothing to eat for themselves. (I speak softly. In everyday life I would say this differently)… I remember well how in 2015, as part of an official delegation, the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany [Frank-Walter] Steinmeier arrived in Volgograd. He repented and bowed his head before the graves of both Soviet and German soldiers who have remained on our land. And he said it should never happen again. You [Scholz] are repeating it now.”

Left: May 7, 2015 -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier bowing before a memorial to those killed in Stalingrad. Right: German historian Christian Gerlach’s history of German plans to kill Russians and Jews. “I estimate the total number of deaths anmong Soviet POWs at about 3 million (52-53% of 5.7 million in total). The bulk of these perished in eastern Europe: possibly 1.3 million in Ukraine, 700,000 in Belarus and 400,000-600,000 in Poland.” According to Gerlach’s published research, the German plan to kill Russians preceded the German plan to kill Jews; that the plan was for 30 million Russians to die; and that the German General Staff intended to murder Russians long before they implemented the plan to kill Jews. According to Gerlach, “/as with Jews, the murder of Soviet POWs was carried out with hatred and brutality…The mistreatment of Soviet POWs is hardly known today.” Read these pages 223-34 of Gerlach’s history by clicking on the book.

“The day of the decision on the supply of Leopards to Ukraine,” Zakharova continued, “is also historic because [it has] concretised what we have been talking about for a long time – the total loss of Germany’s sovereignty. O. Scholz has forever signed the rejection of an independent German foreign policy. He has abandoned everything that his predecessors had built over decades after the Second World War. And in what, by the way, they succeeded.”

Zakharova then turned to the Washington proposals revealed earlier this week, dismissing them as “minor statements”.

“I don’t know who needs all these degrees of stating what is an obvious fact. It seems to me that everyone has long understood what we are talking about – the confrontation with our country, the strategy of isolating it. Previously, this was not possible by any means, neither economic, nor political, nor financial. Even with calls to end lucrative contracts between private companies. That didn’t work out. So they imposed sanctions and lists, and stop-lists, and threatened the entire international community, but nothing came of it. We moved on to the next phase. What else can you call it? Therefore, the ‘development of relations’ will proceed from all of this, from the statement of the real situation ‘on the ground’ – and not from some minor statements.

“Today I heard that Washington said that if Russia does something like this or that, maybe some sanctions or something else will be lifted. Who is listening to this at all? Who needs it? Who pays attention to this at all? Someone said something, some sanctions. That’s not the issue.

Against the background of the fact that heavy weapons are being supplied, it is not necessary to talk about what will happen if someone does something there. There is a situation on the ground that we are solving. Everything.

“Question: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that Berlin would not object if Poland handed over Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine. Do you think that the delivery of these tanks will somehow change the situation on the ground?”

“Answer: I have said everything I could. This is not a question of guesswork, but of our assessment of what is happening. It is based on the situation on the ground and direct political statements by Western politicians. Given that all negotiations have been terminated by Ukraine, this issue will be resolved on the ground. Under pressure or on its own, Kiev has banned any negotiations with Russia at the government level. So that’s it. The rest is for the military experts.” ... more-70590


Presidents of Mexico and Colombia Criticize Arms Shipments to Ukraine
JANUARY 26, 2023

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, during the reception ceremony for the Colombian president at the National Palace of Mexico. Photo: La Jornada Hidalgo.

On Wednesday, January 25, the president of México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), referred to the German government’s decision to send more weapons to Ukraine as “lamentable.” Germany has given in to pressure manufactured by the media, opined AMLO.

The Mexican president said that the German government decided to send tanks to Ukraine against the will of the majority of the Germans. He stressed that Germany did not intend to “get too involved” in the Ukraine–Russia war, but instead has given in to the media’s power to influence and subdue governments.

Petro joins the condemnation

Meanwhile, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, refused a US request to hand over Russian weapons acquired by previous Colombian governments. He added that he will not be a collaborator in a war. “They will remain as a scrap in Colombia,” President Petro said. “We will not deliver these weapons to continue a war.”

President Petro stated, during his participation in the 7th CELAC Summit in Argentina, that the “Russian weaponry [acquired by Colombia] is for use inside the country.” The promoter of total peace in Colombia declared his neutrality in the Ukraine war. “We are not on anyone’s side, we are on the side of peace,” Petro added,

Recently, the German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit announced the delivery of ammunition and 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine to support the Ukrainian armed forces.

The German government further announced the training of Ukrainian officers for the use and maintenance of the Leopard 2A6s. “This decision follows our well-known line of supporting Ukraine to the best of our ability,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “We are acting in a closely coordinated and concerted manner on an international scale.” ... o-ukraine/


UK and Canada say they will send heavy tanks to Ukraine

The material in this 8-minute interview that I gave to Iran’s Press TV last night largely repeats the analysis of the prospective heavy arms delivery that I posted a day ago. It will appeal to those who prefer to take their news on the screen rather than as text.

To be sure, there are in this broadcast some new reflections on the symbolism of the Western commitment to send offensive weapons to Kiev at the very moment when it appears that the Ukrainians have lost the war and may be facing capitulation in a matter of weeks.

This apparent illogic may well have an explanation in line with what some “dissident” commentators have suggested, namely that the United States is about to reach out to the Russians and propose an immediate cease-fire and Korean-type settlement that would be highly advantageous to the Russians given the present disposition of forces on the ground and yet would save for the Ukrainians some kind of rump state that could be called sovereign and could receive the future Western arms deliveries under conditions of its remaining neutral and outside of NATO. We shall see very soon whether these dissident optimists are correct or whether, as appears to be the case, the leaders of the Western world have taken leave of their senses and totally abandoned realism in their pursuit of ideological warfare and preservation of the U.S. global hegemony..

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023 ... o-ukraine/


The American Left Has Been Fully Assimilated into Neocon Ideology
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 27, 2023
Rainer Shea


Russiagate, and the Ukraine psyop that succeeded it, have done fatal damage to the integrity and effectiveness of the communist movement in the United States. Because that damage is fatal, the left must be replaced by the communist movement as the vehicle through which our liberation movements are represented.

This is because using a combination of propaganda and political pressure, the U.S. empire has assimilated the American left into neoconservative ideology. And because the U.S. communist movement hasn’t yet fully separated itself from the opportunistic big tent category which calls itself “the left” in this country, this ideological influence has also come to impact the predominant currents within American communism. The only way communists can win is by fully getting rid of the Democratic Party’s influence over our movement.

The way that Russiagate had this corrosive effect on the left, and thereby turned the left opportunistic to such an extent that I can now broadly characterize it as such, was by manufacturing a new divide within America’s partisan polarization dichotomy. This divide was designed to shift the left far to the right on foreign policy, because it created the perception that if somebody doesn’t go along with U.S. imperialism’s cold war maneuvers against Russia, then they’re necessarily a reactionary. This idea was predicated on the assertion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, and on the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump’s campaign had colluded with Russia to win. When the 2019 Mueller report failed to produce evidence for the latter claim, the media pivoted towards a new era of demonizing China, no longer seeing it as worthwhile to continue promoting the debunked story that Russia had hacked into the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

The DNC hacking story was a lie invented out of desperation. The empire’s psyop machine fabricated it in reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of emails which revealed that top Democratic officials had shared intent to exclude Bernie Sanders from the electoral process. With the anti-democratic nature of the bourgeois political system exposed, and the discontent of the younger generation over America’s oligarchy vindicated for all to see, the ruling class needed to find a way to regain narrative control. The solution they came to was to divert attention from the actual content of the DNC leaks, and towards the source that WikiLeaks had supposedly gotten the information from. This “source” was decided to be Russia, which is the secondary country that Washington’s new cold war strategy is directed at (the primary one being China), but at that moment was America’s most familiar foreign villain due to the Crimea annexation from two years prior.

Because Russia was now seen as waging war against American “democracy,” and Trump was seen as Russia’s instrument for inflicting damage within this strange conspiratorial mythology, the left was faced with a choice. The choice was to accept the hacking accounts and the Russiagate conspiracy, and thereby cede control to the Democratic Party establishment it had just been challenging; or to reject these narratives, and instead embrace the antiwar and Free Assange movements. The boundary of demarcation on this was clear, because accepting the Russian hacking claim meant also accepting the state’s attempt to discredit Assange by portraying him and WikiLeaks as Russian assets. Many on the left chose the latter option of starting on the path to revolutionary politics, but more of them chose the former option of embracing the Democratic Party.

The consequence of this opportunistic decision by most of the left was that after Biden won, he was enabled to continue provoking Russia without enough resistance for these provocations to be prevented from reaching their logical conclusion: a scenario where Russia was forced to intervene in Ukraine.

The vindication of the Russiagate skeptics in 2019 did damage towards the new cold war’s narratives, but not enough that the narrative managers couldn’t redirect their propaganda towards China without substantial success. The 2019 Hong Kong protests politically failed, yet they acted as an opportunity for the imperialists to propagate their fabricated accounts of a “Uyghur genocide.” Like how the atrocity stories about Assad had been internalized by the left’s opportunistic elements during the initial propaganda campaigns against Russia, the Xinjiang narrative was absorbed by these types of leftists as well. Going into the Ukraine proxy war, these two issues in particular represented dividing barriers in the left’s ideological conflict, able to predetermine who would support aid to Ukraine and who would resist the aid effort.

We’re now in a situation where the Democratic Party’s leadership, as well as the Democratic voters who remain loyal towards this leadership or even towards Sanders and the “Squad,” have been decisively brought into neoconservatism. This was partly true by 2019, when a survey showed that more Democrats than Republicans now supported military involvement in Afghanistan. Those pro-war Democrats were the Clintonites who made up the traditional petty-bourgeois Democrat voters, and the petty-bourgeois former Republican voters who the DNC decided to pivot towards in 2016. Four years later, this category of neocon Democrats has expanded to include the Berniecrats as well, because at this point Sanders and the other social democrat leaders, as well as the DSA, have made it abundantly clear that they align with the Democrats and their foreign policy. The Democratic Party, and the broader parts of the left that it controls by default, have been fully assimilated into the neocon orthodoxy. These forces collectively have a vested interest in defending the Ukraine psyop’s narratives from all who may challenge them.

In this situation, tailing the Democrats as a communist is especially opportunistic and self-sabotaging. A communist should never engage in tailism, or act like only one demographic (in this case liberals) is valuable to appeal to. But now that the Democrats have been entirely brought towards the neocon stance, exclusively trying to appeal to them can lead to only one thing: softening one’s anti-imperialism out of fear of alienating even one liberal, no matter how pro-war they are. Doing this limits the extent to which one can advance revolutionary politics. On the Ukraine question, it compels one to take the softly liberal stance of “I support neither NATO nor Russia.” Rather than the revolutionary stance of “I support Russia’s anti-fascist war, as it’s rescuing the Donbass people and advancing multipolarity.”

The rebuttal which these types of communists have made to this argument is that multipolarity is not the end goal of Marxists, since we seek revolution in the imperial center and the end of the USA as a global power. But because they point out this fact to justify not backing Operation Z, they’re telling the truth for the wrong reason. It’s possible for Marxists to support a military action that brings global workers revolution closer while pointing to the contradictions of the state behind this action, there is precedent for this. The opponents of Soviet revisionism largely took such a stance in regards to the USSR’s Afghanistan intervention, recognizing both the progressive impact of the military action and the ways in which the USSR wasn’t committed to class struggle. U.S. Marxists can do the same with the effort by Russia’s bourgeois state to defeat Ukrainian fascism and U.S. hegemony. In turn, we can be pro-Z without compromising the principles of class struggle which are instrumental for achieving revolution in the core.

And so long as we abandon the dogma that only liberals are worth reaching, we can build an effective movement while fully challenging imperialism’s narratives. If you have to abandon serious anti-imperialism to reach all of the people you want, your priorities are fundamentally flawed. Our goal should not be pleasing those who will never believe in class struggle or anti-imperialism. It should be to build an anti-imperialist coalition that’s ideologically broad, and therefore effective at damaging the U.S. empire. The stronger this coalition becomes, the weaker the structure of U.S. capital gets, and the more opportunities we have to win victory for the workers. ... -ideology/


West to deliver 321 tanks to Ukraine, says diplomat, as North Korea accuses US of ‘crossing the red line’
By Pierre Meilhan and Heather Chen, CNN
Updated 8:53 AM EST, Sat January 28, 2023

Western countries will deliver more than 300 tanks to Ukraine, Kyiv’s ambassador to France said Friday.

“As of today, numerous countries have officially confirmed their agreement to deliver 321 heavy tanks to Ukraine,” Vadym Omelchenko told French TV station and CNN affiliate BFM television.

He did not specify which countries would provide the tanks or provide a breakdown of which models.

The figure from Omelchenko comes after the US this week pledged to provide 31 M1 Abrams tanks and Germany agreed to send 14 Leopard 2 A6s. Previously the United Kingdom has pledged 14 Challenger 2 tanks, while Poland has asked for approval from Germany to transfer some of its own German-made Leopard 2s to Ukraine.

Omelchenko’s interview came as North Korea accused the United States and its allies of “further crossing the red line” by sending tanks to Ukraine.

The US has a “sinister intention to realize its hegemonic aim by further expanding the proxy war for destroying Russia,” said Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in a statement run by North Korean media on Friday.

She accused the US and other Western countries of “wrecking the global peace and the regional security while handing military hardware running into astronomical sums of money over to Ukraine in total disregard of Russia’s concern about security” – and vowed North Koreans would “always stand in the same trench” as the people of Russia.

When the tanks will arrive in Ukraine remains unclear. Omelchenko said delivery dates would vary depending on the type of tank and the country of origin, and the timing would be adjusted during the next round of consultations between Ukraine and Western countries.

Ukraine's ambassador to France, Vadym Omelchenko.Adrien Fillon/NurPhoto/Getty Images

However, echoing the words of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who had previously urged the West to provide what some experts see as game-changing military hardware, Omelchenko said Ukraine needed the assistance “as fast as possible”.

“If it had to wait until the month of August or September, it would be too late,” he said.

Ukraine's new tanks won't be the instant game-changer some expect
Ukrainian forces have warned they are in a race against time. The country fears that a second Russian offensive may begin within two months and is bracing for the coming weeks.

Previous military aid, like the American HIMARS rocket system, has been vital in helping Ukraine disrupt Russian advances and make a series of successful counter-offensives in recent months.

But tanks represent the most powerful direct offensive weapon provided to Ukraine so far, military experts said.

This week, several Western nations led by Germany and the United States said they would send contingents of tanks to Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden said he would be providing 31 M1 Abrams tanks to “enhance Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives” in both the near and long terms.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in parliament on Wednesday said that his government would send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, wrapping up months of deliberation and several days of tense negotiations with NATO partners.

“This is the result of intensive consultations that took place with Germany’s closest European and international partners,” a German government statement read.

Ukraine hopes that Berlin’s announcement will encourage other European nations who own Leopard tanks to re-export some of their vehicles. ... index.html


Tanks for Kiev, Trench Warfare: Decisions of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 28, 2023
Yoselina Guevara

German Leopard 2 tank.

Finally the German government gave in to pressure from the United States and its allies and will send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, announced it in a speech before the Bundestag: “We must make it clear that we are doing everything necessary and possible to support Ukraine” adding paradoxically, “but at the same time we want to prevent the war from degenerating into a confrontation between Russia and NATO countries”. The decision marks a change of course from the caution of recent weeks and is inextricably linked to the U.S. initiative to consign M1 Abrams tanks to Kiev.

The tank deployment, long called for by Zelensky supposedly to turn the tide of a conflict now in its eleventh month, has been the subject of an impasse that has risked undermining the cohesion of the Atlantic Alliance. However, it remains to be seen whether its deployment can constitute a real turning point in the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

US M1 Abrams tank.

More political than military decision

For its part, the Pentagon has been decidedly opposed to sending Abrams tanks on the grounds that they would not be suitable for the theater of operations, given their high fuel consumption and the related logistical difficulties for their deployments. This leads us to think that the decision was more political than military in the sense of having been an agreement between Washington and Berlin, so as not to expose Germany directly and in the front line against Russia. It is clear that the United States is achieving the geopolitical goals it has been working on for years, one of which George Friedman described in 2015: to break the relationship between Germany and Russia.

Likewise the dispatch of the tanks will conclude the reigning disagreement among NATO allies that threatened to create fractures within NATO. The pressure from some Eastern European states, in particular Poland, which threatened to send its inventory of Leopard tanks to Kiev as part of its army even without Berlin’s consent, was a major contributory factor. Although Germany’s sales contracts as a manufacturer include a veto right from Berlin if a country that has bought them wants to cede them to a third state.

A hospital destroyed by Ukrainian troops using the US-supplied multiple rocket launcher HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System)in Novoaidar, Luhansk People’s Republic, killing 14 people and injuring 24 others, the Russian Defence Ministry said on January 28.

Dialogue off the horizon

What there is no doubt about is that the dialogue between Russia and the United States has completely deteriorated, and we are referring to Washington as the interlocutor recognized by Moscow. According to different analysts, before Christmas 2022 there was a chance that the Americans would reach an agreement with the Russians. But for the Kremlin both Crimea and the territories annexed under referendum, are a purely security issue on which they do not intend to yield. On this point, US President Joe Biden has also had a substantial change and has gone from advising the Ukrainians not to attack the Russian territories, to affirming that Crimea will sooner or later have to return to Kiev, and therefore may come within the radius of action of military attacks by Ukraine.

As things stand, any prediction is uncertain, the only thing we can say is that it will obviously be a long conflict, comparable to the First World War. In the latter, in a first phase, the “war of positions or trenches” was formed, as in Ukraine, establishing fronts and immobilizing the troops in wide trench lines, which even included populated territories; in the case of the world war conflict, the war fronts extended for hundreds of kilometers, from the North Sea to Switzerland. From there one passes to a phase of “war of attrition”, when remaining so long in deplorable conditions inside trenches, the armies are weakened physically and morally, the logistic operations become difficult, the human losses under the action of the artillery can be considerable.

Pax vobiscum

On the other hand, the emissaries, Emmanuel Macron and Recep Tayyp Erdogan, seem to be giving up their pacifying intentions. Paris is facing a very difficult situation with the main trade unions for the first time united against the pension reform proposed by the Macron government, which is announcing new demonstrations all over France by the end of January. Erdogan must prepare for complex electoral elections in May 2023 that will decide his permanence in the presidential chair in which he has been sitting for more than two decades and to whose elections he arrives with 85% inflation and a notable decline in his popularity.

This leads us to think of China, the Asian giant could be an interlocutor that could lead to peace, but in the eleven months of the conflict it has not shown any intention of entering into negotiations; perhaps because geopolitically the weakening of the United States and Russia could be favorable for Beijing. The hope for world peace may pass into the hands of Xi Jinping, so far the rulers of the West have shown that they have lost their sense of sanity, leading their nations into the abyss of economic and social crises, allowing themselves to be commanded by the stars and stripes on the other side of the Atlantic. ... -conflict/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 30, 2023 12:56 pm

A demanding proxy
POSTED BY @NSANZO ⋅ 01/30/2023


As it had been announced even before that "tank coalition" was confirmed for the shipment of Western material in preparation for the Ukrainian spring offensive, it has already moved on to the next phase: the attempt to obtain, in an accelerated manner, aviation western. Ukraine hopes that it will follow the same course as the previous ones, achieving shipments that just a few months ago were considered a dangerous escalation practically equivalent to direct participation in the war. Last February, NATO refused to “close the skies”, that is to say, to bomb Russian military bases and shoot down the aircraft of the Russian Federation over Ukraine. Aware of the NATO countries' refusal to intervene directly, kyiv temporarily made do with constant funding and materiel supplies.

A demanding proxy and one that over the last nine years has openly exaggerated its importance for Europe and the world as the “last barrier” of European civilization, Ukraine has not hesitated to demand more and more from its Western creditors and suppliers. She did it in the Donbass war that she started and she does it now that she is facing the Russian army. And as Zelensky's statements show after confirming that NATO countries will send more than a hundred tanks as the start of a delivery operation that will undoubtedly continue in the future, what is promised is never enough. In an interview with Sky News, a rueful Zelensky lamented that if the US-promised 31 Abrams tanks arrive in August, as is currently claimed, it will be “too late”. Ukraine is once again trying to balance its imminent victory speech with the victimization of a possible massive Russian offensive that would blow up all plans.

The current information front does not require special coherence and although the experience of this last year shows a slow development of events, Ukraine needs to speed up the times. Faced with what was theorized in the initial months, in which it was alleged that a long war would benefit Ukraine, which is more motivated to fight, entrenched and with constant external support, important voices have begun to propose the opposite version: the Russian economy has Withstood the pressure of sanctions and war is becoming a status quo which has not provoked major protests and to which Russian society is progressively getting used to. At this moment, when Ukrainian and Western representatives have already officially announced the spring-summer campaign to recover the lost territories in southern Ukraine, shortening the time frame is even more important for kyiv. Since last September, the partial mobilization decreed after the collapse of the Kharkov front seeks to balance the forces in numerical terms. During this time, as journalists on the ground have verified, Russian troops have fortified their defense positions. Currently, they are already working on the weak points of the western tanks that they will soon have to face.

However, with shipments of the first hundred Western tanks already announced (to which tanks of Russian or Soviet origin will also be added, which, although with less prestige, will be easier to include in the Ukrainian Armed Forces), the same media that They demanded that they have begun to clarify the certain victory that they were going to achieve. In recent days, media such as Foreign Policy They have referred to the challenge that the maintenance and repair of a fleet of tanks made up of British, American, Polish and German vehicles, all kinds of models and different demands and needs, will entail for Ukraine. It is likely that, given the impossibility of carrying out this maintenance entirely in Ukraine, kyiv will again depend on its foreign partners, mainly Poland, the most powerful militarily country in the region. Moreover, Warsaw, which is using the war as a tool to pressure Germany in its attempt to shift the European Union's axis of power to the east, is carrying out a rearmament effort that will make the country even more powerful with respect to its neighbors.

It is foreseeable that Poland will also be an important country as the idea of ​​sending Western aviation to Ukraine takes hold. "The tanks by themselves are not going to change the sign of war," wrote The New York Times in an article that qualified the importance of Western tanks, which will require instruction in their use, tactics, doctrine, and the accompaniment of another equipment, among which the medium highlights the artillery. However, and despite the fact that It has been like this in the past, Ukraine currently does not insist on heavy artillery deliveries but instead focuses on another key aspect when it comes to covering those tanks that intend to break through the Russian defenses in Zaporozhie: aviation. “In the context of the psychological success of the upcoming Abrams and Leopards installments, the issue of dispatching combat aircraft for the Ukrainian Armed Forces is gaining traction,” The New York Times wrote.. As was the case with the shipment of tanks, last March considered an unacceptable escalation and a step "towards the third world war", kyiv has opted for the strategy, not only of presenting the American F-16, French Rafalle, German Tornado or Swedish Gripen as synonymous with certain victory, but practically as a natural right. It is no longer a question of requesting or demanding, but of assuming that these shipments will not only be approved, but that it will be done so immediately that their delivery is already being negotiated. Yuri Ignat, representative of the Ukrainian Air Force, has even specified the number of aircraft, 24, that Ukraine will receive from its Western partners.

Mijailo Podoliak has expressed himself in similar terms, stating that kyiv is already negotiating the delivery of long-range missiles and aviation. And against what was stated by Volodymyr Zelensky, who tries to convince the audience that Ukraine is only looking for these Western aircraft to defend its airspace, Podoliak, always more daring and provocative, openly presented the requests for long-range missiles and aviation for attacks. in Crimea, the main target of Ukrainian action for several months.

Assuming that those deliveries will take place soon, the media have begun to speculate about how the United States would send the material to Ukraine. Lockhead Martin, maker of the coveted F-16s, has already announced increased production. Other countries, such as the Netherlands, have already expressed their willingness to deliver F-16s from their arsenals, something that the United States would have to approve and that is handled as the easiest way for this type of delivery. As you remember Politico, the moment is more than opportune: in a few months, dozens of F-16s will be available to be replaced by the brand new F-35s, so these deliveries would be nothing more than the vital circle of the war, a way of renewing the material for the benefit of Lockhead Martin and the United States and at the cost of further worsening the situation for the Ukrainian population.

It is also to be hoped that Poland's 2022 proposal to deliver its Mig-29s to Ukraine if they are replaced by American F-16s will be revived. In March of last year, after the proposal was leaked as a pressure tool, the United States rejected the Polish offer, considering it excessively provocative. Almost a year later, and without any interest in avoiding an escalation that would mean an even greater catastrophe for the territory and the Ukrainian population, all these proposals are now not only taken into account, but are presented as the way to "shorten the war ”.

Ukraine, as a proxy prepared and able to fulfill the tasks set by its bosses, remains ready to sacrifice its population and its infrastructures for the common war against Russia, but demands to be treated as a NATO army. Hence, their wish list is not a request or a demand, but a moral obligation of the countries that finance this war and that have announced that they will finance it until the end. Ukraine is aware that, if the West has opted for total war, for the attempt to put the Crimea in danger to put Russia on the ropes, it will have to send aviation -Soviet or Western- to provide cover for those tanks that will send soon. For it, ... more-26525

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Recruitment of American citizens in PMC "Wagner"
January 30, 14:28


Recruitment of American citizens in PMC "Wagner"\

A commercial calling for US citizens to join the PMC "Wagner". So to speak, an appendix to Prigozhin's recent letter to Janet Yellen calling for assistance in opening a branch of the company in the United States.
It is worth noting that during the war, Wagner did not particularly hide the fact that they were recruiting people, including in NATO countries. Not so long ago, it was officially announced that several dozen people were fighting in Wagner from the same Norway.

(Video at link. Holy shit, you must watch this. Holy Shit!)

Of course, here, of course, not only the recruitment of new attack aircraft, but also the trolling of the Americans, who recently recognized the Wagner PMC as a transnational criminal organization.

The founder of UNA-UNSO was destroyed near Soledar
January 30, 10:46


News of denazification of Ukraine. One of the founders of UNA-UNSO was liquidated near Soledar.

In the vicinity of Soledar, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation destroyed the first leader of the UNSO extremist group, Nazi Valery Palchik. The militant has been actively helping terrorist organizations that opposed Russia for more than 30 years.
Finger was seen during the conflict in Georgia, and also fought together with radical Islamists during the first and second Chechen campaigns.
On the Soledar direction of the front, Palchik served in the 116th Territorial Defense Brigade (TRO).




Image - zinc


US Public Opinion Shifting Sides About Ukraine
JANUARY 28, 2023

Small crowd of pro-Zelensky/NATO/war protesters in front of the White House demanding more weapons for Ukraine. Photo: Gallup News/File photo.

Caracas, January 27, 2023 (—The US/NATO war on Russia via its proxy Ukraine has awakened significant opposition here in the US. For example, over 90 different actions against the US government, its wars, and imperialism were held last week under the initiative of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC). Activists agree on the need to build up larger and stronger opposition to this war from an anti-imperialist standpoint.
It is helpful to know there is an expanding base among the working class people for the building up a stronger and more organized opposition to US imperialist war than we have now. One way UNAC activists know this is from the positive responses seen while sloganeering and leafleting against the US government war on Russia; calling for the US government to open peace negotiations with Russia.

Polling by various specialized organizations, that are far from being progressive or socialist, also shows there is a good basis for building up the majority of the population against US government war.

To this point, last November, a survey conducted by conservative think tank Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed that 35% of Americans oppose sending more arms to Ukraine, and 34% oppose sending more economic aid. These numbers grew from their previous survey.

Furthermore, people in the US are now closely divided on whether Washington should support Ukraine “as long as it takes” (48%, down from 58% in July 2022), or whether Washington should urge Ukraine to settle for peace as soon as possible (47%, up from 38% in July).

A late July Harvard/Harris poll of registered voters found that 47% said the US has “donated enough [to Ukraine] and should stop.”

According to a poll conducted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Data for Progress in September, 57% of likely voters strongly or somewhat support the US pursuing diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible to end the war in Ukraine, even if it requires Ukraine making compromises with Russia.

Likewise, according to 49% of likely voters, the Biden administration and Congress need to do more diplomatically to help end the war; 61% said they believe the war has impacted them financially on some level. ... t-ukraine/


Sweden's NATO process paused, says FM
Xinhua | Updated: 2023-01-29 02:18

Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. [Photo/Agencies]

STOCKHOLM - Sweden's Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom said on Saturday that the country's North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) process has paused, local media reported.

"The events of the last few weeks have temporarily caused the process to a pause," Billstrom told Expressen newspaper, adding that the Swedish government was now investing energy and time to try to push forward the process.

Billstrom told Swedish Television on Saturday that the ministry of foreign affairs had put a lot of work into the recent weeks' anger against Sweden, and that it might take a while for it (anti-Sweden sentiment) to subside after such a big event. Sweden suffered a major setback in its bid for NATO membership after events earlier this month that saw protests against the Turkish president and the burning of a copy of the Quran in Stockholm.

Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned Sweden that it should not expect Ankara's backing to join the NATO after the events. And a meeting between Türkiye, Sweden and Finland planned for February had also been postponed indefinitely.

In a recent survey by the semi-official Anadolu agency, 92.5 percent of the respondents in Türkiye said no to Türkiye approval of Sweden's NATO bid, the news agency reported. ... ab976.html

From Cassad's Telegram account:



Soledarsky section
situation as of 17.00 January 29, 2023

🔻In the Soledar sector, the assault detachments of the Wagner PMC liberated the village of Blagodatnoye to the west of Soledar , thereby establishing full control over the settlements adjacent to the city.

▪️In addition, the liberation of Blagodatny opens the prospect for further pressure on the northeastern suburbs of Bakhmut - Krasnaya Gora and Paraskovievka , where fierce fighting has now unfolded.

Russian units are currently advancing from the northern outskirts of Krasnaya Gora and from the Bakhmutka River in the southeast of Paraskovievka. Ukrainian formations are moving significant reserves to hold two important settlements.

▪️Also, control over Blagodatny will increase the pace of advance on the Vasyukovka-Razdolovka-Veseloye line both from Soledar and from the Yakovlevka-Berestovoe-Belogorovka line .

Advancement in this direction is more promising, unlike the assault on equipped strongholds on the hills west of Blagodatny - the Armed Forces of Ukraine dug trenches and prepared positions for defense.

The attack on Razdolovka and Vasyukovka will make it possible to get closer to the Seversk agglomeration and bypass the members of the Ukrainian formations who have dug in on the dominant heights from the north, without resorting to a frontal attack.


Overview summary for January 29, 2023. The

initiative last week remained in the hands of the Russian Armed Forces . The exceptions were the Svatovo-Kremennaya and Kherson regions . In the first case, the enemy threw personnel into the attack in waves, but this did not bring him success: the line of defense built and the terrain shot down by the artillerymen made it possible to destroy the enemy on the way. Also in the Kherson direction, the enemy command tried several times to organize landings on the left bank, which were destroyed by dense artillery fire. It is significant that territorial defense units were sent to storm our coast.

On the Zaporozhye directionafter a breakthrough in the direction of Orekhov and Gulyaipol, the Russian Armed Forces moved on to strengthening their positions and throwing DRGs into the gray zone.

Heavy fighting is going on in Vugledar , having gained a foothold in one of the eastern districts of the city, the Russian Armed Forces delivered massive artillery strikes against the enemy. When occupying Ugledar, our troops will create a threat of entering the rear of Maryinka, the western part of which is still under the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Artemovsk (Bakhmut) PMC Wagner is surrounded from the south, advancing from Kleshcheevka, at the same time waging heavy battles in the suburbs and trying to cut the road to Chasov Yar.

To the north and south of Soledar , the "musicians" are also expanding the zone of control, yesterday there were reports of the release of the settlement. Gracious.

The pace and nature of the offensive of the Russian Armed Forces indicates thatthe main breakthrough forces have not yet entered the battle . Exercises continue in Belarus, as well as massive missile strikes on enemy territory. The other day, targets were industrial facilities in Zaporozhye, where enemy forces were hiding.

There are several days left before Shoigu's report to the Supreme Commander; it should reflect the issues of supplying the active troops. At the same time, the supply of parts with the same copters, generators, sights, uniforms is still mostly carried out by volunteer organizations, regional authorities, and businessmen. The rear management bodies of the Russian Ministry of Defense are not able to optimize this system.

On the information frontGerasimov spoke and said in his article that "The system of mobilization training in our country was not fully adapted to the new modern economic relations. Therefore, everything had to be corrected on the go," which actually admitted the mess during the mobilization of the population, which many military channels wrote about.

A new element was the participation of the head of the Rybar channel team on the air of Soloviev Life jointly by Vladlen Tatarsky, but this has not yet changed the general state of affairs on the information front.

At the same time, the citizens of Russia have studied the stamped approaches of the IPSO Centers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and independently identify provocateurs and false stuffing into the Russian information field. Requires activity and assertivenessactions against the Ukrainian audience, which can be especially effective against the background of the total mobilization actually carried out by Kyiv.

The enemy is clearly experiencing problems with the personnel: territorial defense units, mercenaries from Belarus (previously they were protected as a media resource), as well as units of central subordination, rush into the attack. The western regions of the enemy also fell under mass and harsh mobilization, which led to the indignation of the Hungarian press regarding the capture of ethnic Hungarians in one of the regions of Ukraine.

Against the backdrop of Russia's successes and objective difficulties in Ukraine, the West is increasing the supply of weapons and equipment in order to delay as much as possibleconflict and the depletion of Russia's internal resources to further destabilize the situation inside our country.

The coming period will be characterized by pushing through the enemy's fortified areas, as well as the expectation that the main breakthrough forces of the Russian Armed Forces will be brought into battle.


forwarded from
Turned on the Z war🇬🇧
In the Kuzemovsky direction, the enemy attempted to conduct a counterattack with the forces of assault groups, numbering up to 45 personnel, 3 tanks and 4 AFVs, with the task of advancing 1200 meters deep and capturing the railway station. During the advance, the enemy came under heavy fire, lost up to 7 soldiers and 2 tanks, as a result of which he was forced to retreat to the starting line.

In the Liman direction, the enemy continues to intensively build up combat potential, introduces reserve units in order to hold positions in the Torsk sector.

On Soledaro-Bakhmutskydirection, in the course of the offensive operations of our troops, units of the 24th Motorized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine suffered heavy losses and were withdrawn from the front line to restore combat capability.

In the Ugledar direction, the enemy is trying to maintain the defensive capacity of the units in the Dobrovolye-Ugledar directions, for this he is preparing to launch a counterattack with the task of restoring lost positions.

In the Primorsky direction, the enemy is preparing to carry out a landing on the Kinburn Spit with the aim of capturing and securing a bridgehead for bringing in his main forces. To this end, the enemy is preparing up to 60 soldiers and 2 DRGs for reconnaissance and deceptive maneuvers in the area of ​​Zabic Island.

On Berislavskydirection, the enemy conducts active aerial reconnaissance in order to search for weak points and reveal the location of units of the RF Armed Forces.

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Alexander Mercouris: Ukraine Facing Crisis as Russian Offensive Begins
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 29, 2023

Alexander Mercouris REACTS to Russia’s advances on Zaporizhzhia and its implications for Ukraine’s deteriorating situation on the battlefield. ... ve-begins/

Western Volunteer in Bakhmut Admits Ukraine is Losing. Is the Western Tank Card a Bluff?
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on JANUARY 29, 2023

Update on Russian military operations in Ukraine for January 29, 2023:

– Russian forces continue encircling Bakhmut in the east and pushing toward Vugladar in the south;

– pro-Ukrainian Western volunteers admit the bleak situation Ukraine faces overall and specifically in Bakhmut;

– one volunteer admits that Wagner is better trained, better equipped, better organized and lead than Ukrainian forces fighting in Bakhmut;

– this volunteers admits Wagner is surrounding and may possibly cut of Bakhmut like in Mariupol;

– this volunteer admits Ukraine suffers from immense corruption and incompetence coupled with Western sponsors indifferent to their growing crisis;

– this volunteer admits that tanks are a “secret acknowledgement that things aren’t going well;”

–the volunteer would like to see more Western advisors leading Ukrainian units in battle, a slippery slope toward direct NATO intervention;

– growing skepticism continues to surround pledged Western main battle tanks;

– US policy makers appear to suggest this strategy may be essentially a bluff to convince Russia it is more prepared than Moscow for a long-term conflict;


Willy OAM (YouTube) – Untold Reality Of Wagner Group In Bakhmut Ukraine | First Hand Account, What The Media Wont Tell You:

CNN – Ukraine’s new tanks won’t be the instant game-changer some expect:

New York Times – Tanks Alone Won’t Turn the Tide of the War in Ukraine:

RAND Corporation – Avoiding a Long War, U.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict (2023):

RAND Corporation – Extending Russia, Competing from Advantageous Ground (2019): ... d-a-bluff/
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Re: Footnotes from the Ukrainian "Crisis"; New High-Points in Cynicism Part IV

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 30, 2023 11:11 pm

Size Matters - On A U.S. Ground Intervention In Ukraine

A European financial research company has sent me one of their quarterly research letters. It is a 'contrarian review of political and military ramifications' of the war in Ukraine. It analyzes 'winners and looser' of the war.

It is contrarian only in the sense that it counters the false views of 'western' mainstream media with reality. The losers of the war are all on the 'western' side with the only two winners being the U.S. defense industry and Russia.

I was sent the courtesy copy because, as the company writes, the discussions at Moon of Alabama were "immensely helpful" in forming their view.

Note to the authors: You are welcome.

I will not quote from the paper as it seems to be a somewhat confidential business product. But I will steal two graphics from it that will help to understand the size of the war in Ukraine and how it will NOT end.

There have been theories that Poland or some U.S. led coalition force would intervene with their troops on the ground in Ukraine to 'kick the Russians out'.

The two graphics though dispel any hope for such an operation.

The following is an operational map of Desert Storm. The U.S. led operation in spring 1991 to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.


It took the U.S. some nine month to assemble a forces of some 700,000 U.S. and 250,000 allied troops with all their equipment. Iraq had an estimated 650,000 troops in the theater. The U.S. first created total air superiority by destroying Iraq's fighter aircraft and air defense forces. With that done it took only 100 hours of ground operation to destroy a third of the Iraqi forces. The rest of the Iraqi army retreated under fire towards Baghdad.

There are some 550,000 Russian troops in and around Ukraine. A hypothetical operation to 'kick Russia out' would thereby have about the same size as Desert Storm. But the geographic dimensions differ drastically.

The following is an operational map of Desert Storm from above overlaid in scale on the map of Ukraine.


The map was turned to the left by 90 degree. North is to the left, east at the top and Crimea in the south to the right.

Russia occupies some 87,000 square kilometer of Ukraine. The Desert Storm theater around Kuwait was five times smaller.

A hypothetical U.S. coalition of the size of Desert Storm could probably cross the Dnieper and cut of Crimea. But it could do little more than that. The Donetz and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea itself would still be in Russian hands.

But there are many reasons why no such operation will ever be planned and executed.

*The U.S. no longer has a force of the size it committed to Desert Storm. Nor do its allies.
*The U.S. was able to create air superiority in Iraq because it could fly from nearby Saudi airfields and from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf. Air superiority in eastern Ukraine could only be achieved with the destruction of long range air-defenses within Russia. The next safe air fields the U.S. could use are in Poland and Romania. No U.S. aircraft carrier will dare to enter the Black Sea. U.S. fighter planes to not have the necessary reach for combat missions in eastern Ukraine.
*The Ukrainian rail system is by now a mess. It is incapable of moving a large force from the west into east Ukraine.
*Any attempt to move a large force through Ukraine would be subject to deep battle interdiction by Russian and Belorussian forces.
*Iraqi equipment was badly maintained and Iraqi forces were barely trained. Russia has a well trained high tech army.

I could go on but you can certainly see the point.

No U.S. ground troops will move into Ukraine. It is ludicrous to think otherwise.

Posted by b on January 30, 2023 at 16:23 UTC | Permalink ... .html#more


Russia Calls Ukrainian Shelling of Hospitals a “War Crime”

Russian Foreign Ministry added that the absence of a reaction from the West "once again confirms its direct involvement in the conflict". Jan. 29, 2023. | Photo: TASS: Alexander Reka

Published 29 January 2023 (17 hours 51 minutes ago)

Ukrainian Armed Forces, using Himars multiple launch rocket systems, attacked a hospital in Novoaidar, located in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) on January 28.

The Ukrainian shelling of hospitals in the cities of Novoaidar and Novaya Kakhovka is a war crime of Kiev "and its Western masters", and its perpetrators will be punished, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Ukrainian Armed Forces, using Himars multiple launch rocket systems, attacked a hospital in Novoaidar, located in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) on January 28.

As a result of this attack, 14 people lost their lives and 24 others were wounded of varying severity. Later, Ukrainian forces fired 17 rockets at Novaya Kakhovka in Kherson region, a third of which exploded on the territory of the local hospital.

"The deliberate shelling of civilian medical facilities, as well as the intentional killing of civilians are serious war crimes of the Kiev regime and its Western puppeteers," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website.

Russian Foreign Ministry added that the absence of a reaction from the West "once again confirms its direct involvement in the conflict".

They further noted that the lack of response from the United States and other NATO countries to this latest "monstrous outrage" of international humanitarian law by Kiev "once again confirms their direct involvement in the conflict and their participation in the crimes being committed."

"The international structures intended to provide an impartial assessment of such acts are also silent," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. ... -0003.html.

Why the ""? You don't see them when the Western propagandists cover Russia with shit...


Argentina refuses to send weapons to Ukraine

Fernández and Scholz underlined their wish that the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur be finalized "soon". | Photo: @alferdez
Published 29 January 2023

The Argentine president highlighted his concern about the conflict in Europe, which he acknowledged "brings negative economic consequences throughout the world."

The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, affirmed on Saturday that neither his country nor Latin America intends to send weapons "neither to Ukraine nor to any other place in conflict."

In a joint press conference with the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, the Argentine president highlighted his concern about the conflict that exists in Europe, which he acknowledged "brings negative economic consequences throughout the world and presents new challenges."

"I raised my concern and my desire to the chancellor about how to approach a solution to the conflict. I cannot comment on decisions that other countries make. What is certain is that the chancellor and I, what we most want is peace recover as soon as possible," said the Argentine head of state.

"Argentina and Latin America are not thinking of sending weapons to Ukraine or to any other place in conflict," the president stressed.

The German head of government, for his part, expressed his desire to materialize commercial integration with the block of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).

"It is important that we have a constructive spirit, we must work side by side to find a way and for the negotiations to come to fruition," he commented.

Both rulers stressed their desire that the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur be finalized "soon".

"Our wish is that we do not continue dragging out the discussion and we can quickly reach an agreement and put it into operation. That will do good for the EU economy and Mercosur, we are convinced," said Fernández. ... -0005.html

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CP of the Workers of Spain, On the Confirmation of the Delivery of Heavy Weaponry to Ukraine by the Spanish Government
1/30/23 2:30 PM

On the Confirmation of the Delivery of Heavy Weaponry to Ukraine by the Spanish Government

After the authorization by the German Government to deliver Leopard armored car models to the Ukrainian Army, the Spanish Government has immediately announced that our country will collaborate in the delivery of some dozens of its own A4. To the delivery of this expensive equipment and its training, it should be added its reshaping as they are in a poor state of maintenance. Millions of Euros will be delivered to war while the life standards of the Spanish people are drastically worsening.

We denounce the role of the coalition government, and especially the Unidas Podemos forces as war collaborators. The speeches for peace have been left behind long ago and now there is only a frantic race towards generalized war. The Spanish, Ukrainian, and Russian peoples are going to pay this arm escalation and monopolies are later going to privately distribute the spoils. The PCTE calls on the people to mobilize against this government and its criminal decisions. The defense of peace between the peoples of the world is not an outdated slogan, but an imperative need when the bourgeoisie is again embarking on a war to make its capital more profitable.

January 27 th , 2023, Madrid ... overnment/


C-17As of the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle have been cleared to transport new B61-12 nuclear bomb.

The C-17A has been cleared to transport B61-12 nuclear bomb to Europe
Originally published: Federation of American Scientists (FAS) on January 9, 2023 by Hans Kristensen (more by Federation of American Scientists (FAS)) | (Posted Jan 30, 2023)

In November 2022, the Air Force updated its safety rules for airlift of nuclear weapons to allow the C-17A Globemaster III aircraft to transport the new B61-12 nuclear bomb.

The update, accompanied by training and certification of the aircraft and crews, cleared the C-17A to transport the newest U.S. nuclear weapon to bases in the United States and Europe.


The C-17As of the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord serve as the Prime Nuclear Airlift Force (PNAF), the only airlift wing that is authorized to transport the Air Force’s nuclear warheads.

The updated Air Force instruction does not, as inaccurately suggested by some, confirm that shipping of the weapons began in December. But it documents some of the preparations needed to do so.

Politico reported in October last year that the U.S. had accelerated deployment of the B61-12 from Spring 2023 to December 2022. Two unnamed U.S. officials said the U.S. told NATO about the schedule in October.

But a senior Pentagon official subsequently dismissed the Politico report, saying “nothing has changed on the timeline. There is no speeding up because of any Ukraine crisis, the B61-12 is on the same schedule it’s always been on.”

Although the DOD official denied there had been a change in the schedule, he did not deny that transport would begin in December.

The B61-12 production scheduled had slipped repeatedly. Initially, the plan was to begin full-scale production in early-2019. By September 2022, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) was still awaiting approval to begin full-scale production. Finally, in October 2022, NNSA confirmed to FAS that the B61-12 was in full-scale production.

Two unarmed B61-12 trainers are loaded on a C-17A during an exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord AFB in April 2021. (Image: U.S. Air Force.)

The B61-12 is intended as an upgrade and eventual replacement for all current nuclear gravity bombs, including the B61-3, -4, -7, and probably eventually also the B61-11 and B83-1. To that end, it combines and improves upon various aspects of existing bombs: it uses a modified version of the B61-4 warhead with several lower- and medium-yield options (0.3-50 kilotons). It compensates for its smaller explosive yield (relative to the maximum yields of the B61-7 and -11) by including a guided tail-kit to increase accuracy, as well as a limited earth-penetration capability.

At this point in time, it is unknown if B61-12 shipments to Europe have begun. If not, it appears to be imminent. That said, deployment will probably not happen in one move but gradually spread to more and more bases depending on certification and construction at each base.

There are currently six active bases in five European countries with about 100 B61 bombs present in underground Weapons Storage and Security Systems (WS3) inside aircraft shelters. A seventh site in Germany (Ramstein Air Base) is active without weapons present and an eighth site—RAF Lakenheath—has recently been added to the list of WS3 sites being modernized. The revitalization of Lakenheath’s nuclear storage bunkers does not necessarily indicate that U.S. nuclear weapons will return to UK soil, especially since as recently as December 2021, NATO’s Secretary General stated that “we have no plans of stationing any nuclear weapons in any other countries than we already have . . . ” However, the upgrade could be intended to increase NATO’s ability to redistribute the B61 bombs in times of heightened tensions, or to potentially move them out of Turkey in the future. In addition, four other sites have inactive (possibly mothballed) vaults (see map below).


This research was carried out with generous contributions from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the New-Land Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, the Prospect Hill Foundation, the FTX Future Fund and Longview Philanthropy, the Stewart R. Mott Foundation, the Future of Life Institute, Open Philanthropy, and individual donors. ... to-europe/

Protest against war funding at the office of Representative McCollum. St. Paul, Minnesota. May 18, 2010 (Photo: Fibonacci Blue)

Right & Left to join in D.C. protest: “Not one more penny for war in Ukraine”
By John V. Walsh (Posted Jan 30, 2023)

On February 19, Washington, DC, will witness a protest against the war in Ukraine that marks a sharp departure from past demonstrations. The lead demand is simple and direct, “Not One More Penny for war in Ukraine.” It is a demand that emphasizes what we in the U.S. can do to end the war, not what others can do. After all, the only government we have the power to influence is our own.

Above and beyond that demand, the potential power of this unique and promising movement arises from the nature of the sponsoring organizations—The Peoples Party, a progressive new Party, and the Libertarian Party. It is in fact what much of the press would term a “right-left” Coalition, spanning a spectrum broad enough to actually bring the proxy war in Ukraine to an end. Fittingly, the organizers are calling the protest “Rage Against the War Machine.” With the war in Ukraine putting us the precipice of nuclear Armageddon, “rage” might be considered a mild reaction.

A New Right-Left Coalition to Oppose the War
The Peoples Party is probably the lesser known of the two sponsoring organizations, because it’s newer. Its founder and National Chair is Nick Brana, a lead organizer of the protest. Brana was National Coordinator of the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, but has turned his back on the Democrats in disgust over the failure progressive Democratic pols to fight for the promises they made. Among the speakers at the Party’s founding convention in 2020 were Cornel West, Chris Hedges, Jimmy Dore and Nina Turner (co-chair of the Sanders 2020 campaign).

The Libertarian Party is better known. It has been around longer and, though small, is the third largest political party in the U.S. by voter registration. The present National Chair, Angela McCardle, is the other lead organizer of the DC protest. In American political life, probably, the best known representative of libertarian values, most notably a principled anti-interventionist stance in foreign policy, is Ron Paul.

A call for ending U.S. support for the proxy war in Ukraine is realistic; a substantial and growing segment of the American people support this demand
The lead demand “Not one more penny for war in Ukraine” is finding ever more support among Americans. A survey in November by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs showed that 35% of Americans oppose sending more arms to Ukraine and 34% oppose sending more economic aid. (When it comes to sending U.S. troops, 68% are opposed!) These numbers in grew from the previous survey in July, revealing a growing anti-interventionist sentiment. While this is not a majority, over one third of the populace is a base substantial enough to build an antiwar majority. Only 16% more needs to be won over to reach a majority. The number one demand of the February demonstration is not utopian -it is realistic!

The Demands of the Demonstration
It is worthwhile to look at all ten of the demands of the February protest which are found here. But the first four deserve special attention because they spell out the spirit and leading ideas of the movement. Here they are as worded on the website for the protest:

Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine.
The Democrats and Republicans have armed Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars in weapons and military aid. The war has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions, and is pushing us toward a nuclear WW3. Stop funding the war.

Negotiate Peace
The U.S. government instigated the war in Ukraine with a coup of its democratically elected government in 2014, and then sabotaged a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine in March. Pursue an immediate ceasefire and diplomacy to end the war.

Stop the War Inflation
The war is accelerating inflation and increasing food, gas and energy prices. The U.S. blew up Russian gas pipelines to Europe, starving them of energy and deindustrializing their countries. End the war and stop increasing prices.

Disband NATO
NATO expansion to Russia’s border provoked the war in Ukraine. NATO is a warmongering relic of the Cold War. Disband it like the Warsaw Pact.

The other six demands are: Global Nuclear De-Escalation; Slash the Pentagon Budget;

Abolish the CIA and Military-Industrial Deep State; Abolish War and Empire; Restore Civil Liberties; and Free Julian Assange.

Make plans now to get to Washington on February 19. Lend your presence to this potent new coalition of forces. The demonstration will gather at the Washington Monument and then march to the White House. Watch for more details, and sign up for updates here in the coming weeks.

Let’s do this. Time is running out as the threat of nuclear war grows with each day and each new escalation in Ukraine. A broad coalition can end it. Enough of the forever wars! ... n-ukraine/


London protest exposes Ukraine’s crimes against political prisoners
January 30, 2023 Theo Russell

Photo: Theo Russell

A protest was held in London Jan. 28 opposite the residence of the prime minister to bring the crimes of the Ukrainian government to the attention of the British people.

A spokesperson for International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity said: “We want the people of Britain to know that the regime in Ukraine, to which the British government has given billions of pounds in financial and military support, has been committing horrific crimes against its own people, including Russian speakers, opposition activists and campaigners, journalists and Roma people, under the cover of accusing them of treason.

“Several mayors and local elected civilian officials in eastern Ukraine have been summarily executed for ‘crimes’ such as negotiating humanitarian corridors with the Russian military. They should have been entitled to a due process of law, instead of being tortured, shot, and then dumped in the street.

“Hundreds of journalists, bloggers, politicians, elected representatives, activists, priests, sportspeople, and even Ukrainian negotiators and military officers have been arrested and beaten, and some tortured or murdered. Most were charged with treason simply for opposing Kiev’s policies and not brought to trial after many months.

“Alexander Matyushenko, one of dozens of leftists arrested in Dnipro, central Ukraine, was an activist with the Livizta (Left) organization, which campaigned against social spending cuts and right-wing propaganda. He was arrested by Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Azov Brigade members, tortured, and forced to shout the nationalist salute, ‘Slava Ukraini,’ while his wife’s hair was cut off with a knife.

“One of Ukraine’s most prominent human-rights activists, Elena Berezhnaya, director of the Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection, who has spoken before the U.N. Security Council, was arrested in March 2022 in Kiev. There has been no news of her since.

“We know about these crimes because Ukrainian ultra-rightists and even regular soldiers have bragged in social media posts, including posting a Russian soldier who had one of his eyes gouged before he was killed, with the caption ‘One-eyed captured Russian pig.’

“We think it is essential to speak out about the actions of a regime for whom the British government seems to have unlimited resources to support, at a time when millions here in Britain are facing a grim and uncertain future and our basic public services are chronically underfunded and understaffed.”

During the protest, a Lithuanian supporter was attacked by a Georgian rightist, but he was dragged away by police and an Iranian from another nearby protest. Later, a small group of Ukrainian and English supporters of the Nazi-infested regime in Kiev launched an aggressive verbal assault. They were confronted by the protestors before the police intervened to warn them about their behavior.

Members of the parties joined the protest including the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist), Socialist Fight, the Socialist Labour Party, Consistent Democrats, the New Communist Party, the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist), the Labour Party and the Posadists in Britain.

Solidarity messages were received from Chris Williamson, former Labour Party MP and now a leading member of the Socialist Labour Party, Phil Wilayto of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign in Richmond, USA, and Leonid Ilderkin from the Union of Political Refugees and Political Prisoners of Ukraine, who recently moved back to Ukraine. ... prisoners/


Russia's deputy foreign minister says talks with Ukraine are "pointless" after US agreed to send tanks
From CNN's Josh Pennington and Jake Kwon

The decision by the United States and NATO allies to send tanks to Ukraine has made it "pointless" for Moscow to engage in any talks with Kyiv, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told state news agency RIA Novosti in an interview released Monday.

"Under the current conditions, when Washington announced the decision to supply tanks, and its vassals, including Ottawa, are competing over who will supply armored vehicles, especially old ones, to Ukraine, and how many of them... it's pointless to talk," Ryabkov said, accusing Washington of using Ukraine as a "testing ground" for its weapons.
"We are willing to consider any serious initiatives to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, but so far no one has articulated them properly," he added.

Ukraine received a boost last week when Germany said it would send 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, while also permitting other countries that possess the Leopards, including Norway, to supply them.

In addition to the Leopards, Ukraine is set to receive heavy armor from both the United States, which is sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks, and the United Kingdom, which has pledged 14 Challenger tanks.

Prisoner swaps: Ryabkov also said Russia and the US will continue negotiations on the exchange of prisoners, but such an ultra-sensitive issue "loves silence," he said, adding there are few realistic options for an "all for all" prisoner exchange, RIA reported. ... 3659eb7e71


The dismemberment of Russia lies at the heart of Polish policy in the East
January 30, 18:56


The dismemberment of Russia lies at the heart of Polish policy in the East

“The dismemberment of Russia lies at the heart of Polish policy in the East... Therefore, our possible position will be reduced to the following formula: who will take part in the division. Poland must not remain passive at this remarkable historical moment. The task is to prepare well in advance physically and spiritually ... The main goal is the weakening and defeat of Russia. (c) from the report of the intelligence department of the Polish General Staff. 1938

Z dziejow stosunkow polsko-radzieckich. studio i materialy. T.III. Warszawa, 1968. S.262, 287

* * *

“As an existential threat to humanity and the international order, the Russian Federation must undergo dramatic changes. It is naive to think that the Russian Federation, having suffered a final defeat, will remain within the same constitutional and territorial framework. The victims of Russian imperialism must be able to restore their statehood, exercise their right to glorify their heritage and determine their future.
There are no such things as Russian gas, oil, coal, diamonds, grain, gold, timber, uranium and so on in the world.
All such resources are Tatar, Bashkir, Siberian, Karelian, Oirat, Circassian, Buryat, Sakha, Ural and so on (c) from the speech of the former Polish Foreign Minister Anna Fotyga in the European Parliament

This is so as not to be too surprised by statements from Poland about the need to dismember Russia. Modern Poland, in its content, copies Pilsudski's sanation regime and openly plans to expand to the East in the hope that another "European coalition" with a brown odor will be able to tear something away from Russia.

Accordingly, in the current realities, those who have been crying over the destruction of Poland in 1939 look even more cretins.

Ageless Bidstrup
January 30, 17:35


Ageless Bidstrup.

Google Translator


Kremlin says Boris Johnson's claim about Putin missile strike threat "is a lie"
From CNN's Anna Chernova

Former British prime minister Boris Johnson meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (not pictured) in Kyiv, Ukraine, on January 22. (Ukrainian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Kremlin said Monday former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claim about Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening him with a missile in a phone call ahead of Russia's invasion of Ukraine “is a lie.”

“What Mr. Johnson said is not true. More precisely, it is a lie,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a regular conference call.
Peskov said he's aware of what was discussed during that conversation, but stressed “there were no missile threats.”

According to Peskov, “Speaking about the security challenges for the Russian Federation, Putin noted that in the event of Ukraine joining NATO, the potential deployment of NATO or American missiles near our borders would mean that any missile would reach Moscow in a matter of minutes.”

“If this passage was understood in this way, it is a very awkward situation,” he added.

Johnson told the BBC earlier Monday that Putin threatened him with a missile that “would only take a minute.” The exchange was released as a preview to the documentary "Putin vs the West," scheduled to release later Monday, which examines Putin's interactions with world leaders. ... 524d34b2ef

Time and again the Brits go the extra mile in supporting their hegemon. Anyone else would be too embarrassed to spew such obvious nonsense. In the future, if there is one, the abject grovelling and shameless train of lies will be remembered in socialist Britain with as much 'fondness' as their defunct royal house.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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