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February 03, 2023

Ukraine SitRep: U.S.-Russia Talks, Bakhmut Retreat, Laughable Casualty Numbers

The Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung published a piece today (in German) which claimed that CIA boss William Burns had offered 20% of Ukraine to Russia in exchange for peace in Ukraine.

As Newsweek summarizes:

NZZ reported on Thursday, citing high-ranking German foreign politicians, that in mid-January, Burns presented Kyiv and Moscow with a peace plan that would put an end to the war, which began when Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

According to the newspaper, the proposal offered "around 20 percent of Ukraine's territory"—about the size of Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

The Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov, the White House and the CIA rejected the claim:

A CIA official told Newsweek that claims in the NZZ report that Burns took a secret trip to Moscow in January and that there was a peace proposal put forward by the director on behalf of the White House were "completely false."

Last month, Burns traveled in secret to meet and brief Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, the Washington Post reported.

The Neue Züricher says that Kiev as well as Moscow had rejected the U.S. plan.

That everyone is denying that this happened means that the Züricher claims are likely true.

We know that talks between Washington and Kiev are ongoing.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep: U.S.-Russia Talks, Bakhmut Retreat, Laughable Casualty Numbers

Posted by b at 17:09 UTC | Comments (357)

February 02, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-28

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 17:41 UTC | Comments (360)

On The Media Of 'Russiagate' And Related Fake Stories

Last week Matt Taibbi, with access to Twitter's internal papers, debunked the fake Hamilton 68 propaganda dashboard that was used to create many stories about alleged Russian disinformation. I had done similar five years earlier but had no access to the original data. There were enough secondary indications to conclude that the dashboard was a sham. Still, have the case made with primary data is a valuable addition.

There has been no Russian influence or disinformation campaign.

Two days later the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) published a five part longread from an 18 month long investigation into the 'Russigate' drama and on how the media had cooked it up.

CJR's editor wrote the intro:

No narrative did more to shape Trump’s relations with the press than Russiagate. The story, which included the Steele dossier and the Mueller report among other totemic moments, resulted in Pulitzer Prizes as well as embarrassing retractions and damaged careers. For Trump, the press’s pursuit of the Russia story convinced him that any sort of normal relationship with the press was impossible.

For the past year and a half, CJR has been examining the American media’s coverage of Trump and Russia in granular detail, and what it means as the country enters a new political cycle. Investigative reporter Jeff Gerth interviewed dozens of people at the center of the story—editors and reporters, Trump himself, and others in his orbit.

The result is an encyclopedic look at one of the most consequential moments in American media history.

Gerth's, who is 78, is a longtime mainstream investigative reporter who has written for major media outlets. The result of his investigation is indeed encyclopedic, detailed and very damaging.

The four parts are in chronological order and I recommend to read them all to grasp the real extend of the media's failures.

For those who do not have time to read the four lengthy pieces there is a Foxnews piece with a decent summary of their content.

Gerth ends his review with a personal afterword:

Cont. reading: On The Media Of 'Russiagate' And Related Fake Stories

Posted by b at 17:36 UTC | Comments (164)

February 01, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-27

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 15:52 UTC | Comments (360)

Open (Not Ukraine) Thread 2023-26

News & views (not related to the war in Ukraine) ...

Posted by b at 15:51 UTC | Comments (201)

January 31, 2023

NATO Continues Its Disarmament

NATO is continuing its disarmament mission.

France to send an extra 12 powerful Caesar howitzers to Ukraine

French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu's announcement that France will send 12 additional Caesar howitzers to Kyiv is "clearly important for the Ukrainians, particularly the Caesar artillery system", said FRANCE 24 Chief Foreign Editor Robert Parsons.
...
"They've been very successful in Ukraine, so the Ukrainians will be delighted, I am sure, to get another 12. I think that brings that total to over 40 now, closing on 50 Caesars in Ukraine.

France has only 77 Caesar howitzer left. Others though are worse off.

Estonia Sending All Its 155-mm Howitzers to Ukraine

Estonia will donate all its 155-millimeter howitzers to Ukraine as part of its most extensive military assistance yet.

The package, previously reported to be worth 113 million euros ($122 million), is expected to boost Kyiv’s defense capabilities amid continuing Russian aggression.

Estonia currently operates 24 NATO standard FH-70 towed howitzers.

Apart from the howitzers, Tallinn will send thousands of 155-mm artillery shells and hundreds of Karl-Gustaf anti-tank grenade launchers.

We know how all that artillery will end.

Cont. reading: NATO Continues Its Disarmament

Posted by b at 18:02 UTC | Comments (391)

January 30, 2023

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 losers' 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 owners of 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.

Cont. reading: Size Matters - On A U.S. Ground Intervention In Ukraine

Posted by b at 16:23 UTC | Comments (496)

January 29, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-25

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 15:01 UTC | Comments (345)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-24

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:

> Still, the evidence suggests Gonzalez acted alone, the judge wrote. He said the suspect's alleged actions showed his intent to alter the public peace and to give the impression they were carried out by people with ties with Russia as retribution for Spain's and the United States' support for Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the country.

"There is no indication that the person under investigation belongs to or collaborates with any terrorist gang or organised group," the statement said. <

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-24

Posted by b at 14:56 UTC | Comments (188)

January 28, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-23

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 10:49 UTC | Comments (446)