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September 25, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-157

News & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:40 UTC | Comments (358)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-156

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-156

Posted by b at 12:39 UTC | Comments (90)

September 24, 2022

Rekindling Its Iraq WMD Fiasco The New York Times Is Back At Printing 'Officials Said'

At first I wondered why the New York Times homepage editor would put a piece about Putin and his alleged involvement in war strategy under 'U.S. Politics'.


But after reading

As Russian Losses Mount in Ukraine, Putin Gets More Involved in War Strategy

I understand the qualification.

Some quotes:

Cont. reading: Rekindling Its Iraq WMD Fiasco The New York Times Is Back At Printing 'Officials Said'

Posted by b at 7:50 UTC | Comments (340)

September 23, 2022

Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine

Voting for membership in the Russian Federation has started in four oblast of Ukraine:

Russian proxy officials in four regions — Donetsk and Luhansk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizka in the south — earlier this week announced plans to hold referendums over four days beginning on Friday. Russia controls nearly all of two of the four regions, Luhansk and Kherson, but only a fraction of the other two, Zaporizka and Donetsk.

Ukrainian officials have dismissed the voting as grotesque theater — staging polls in cities laid to waste by Russian forces and abandoned by most residents.

President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Ukraine’s allies for their steadfast support and said “the farce” of “sham referenda” would do nothing to change his nation’s fight to drive Russia from Ukraine.

The Ukrainian regime has resorted to pure terrorism to prevent the votes from happening:

Ukrainian partisans, sometimes working with special operations forces, have blown up warehouses holding ballots and buildings where Russian proxy officials preparing for the vote held meetings. Ukrainian officials have acknowledged that they are engaged in a campaign to assassinate key Russian administration officials; more than a dozen have been blown up, shot and poisoned, according to Ukrainian and Russian officials.

Such behavior by the Zelenski regime against its still Ukrainian compatriots will only encourage the people in the four oblast to vote for an alignment with Russia.

The propaganda in the 'west' will declare that the vote is irregular and that the results, likely to be pro-Russian, will be fake.

But a view on historic election outcomes since Ukrainian independence in 1991 show clear geographic preferences in east and south Ukraine for pro-Russian policies:

Cont. reading: Historic Context Of The Referenda In Ukraine

Posted by b at 10:18 UTC | Comments (471)

September 22, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-155

News & views related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 10:34 UTC | Comments (436)

Open (NOT Ukraine) Thread 2022-154

News and views NOT related to the Ukraine conflict ...

Posted by b at 10:33 UTC | Comments (185)

September 21, 2022

Russia Announces Partial Mobilization

Updated below (8:45 UTC)

The expected TV speech by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, advertised for yesterday evening, did happen only this morning.

Putin announced a partial mobilization of military reserves:

Only citizens who are currently in the reserve and, above all, those who served in the ranks of the Armed Forces, have certain military specialties and relevant experience will be subject to conscription for military service.

Those called up for military service before being sent to the units will necessarily undergo additional military training taking into account the experience of a special military operation.

Additionally all military service contracts currently in force (usually 3 to 12 months) are extended indefinitely.

Putin said that the current conflict was instigated by the West, noting that the Western countries seek the destruction and disintegration of Russia. He said that the West had been supporting international terrorists, promoted the infrastructure of the NATO offensive close to Russia's borders and fostered Russophobia.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said (video, Sputnik report) that 300,000 reservist will be mobilized. Conscripts and people currently studying will not be send to Ukraine.

He also said that, so far, 5,937 Russian soldiers have died during the war in Ukraine. (This number does not include the militia of the DPR and LPR, or the Wagner group, who have done most of the frontline work and thus have had higher losses.) Shoigu puts Ukrainian losses at some 62,000 killed and some 50,000 wounded. (I regard this as a low estimate.)

Russia's total military reserve, people who have previously gone through military training, is 25 million. It also has the equipment to arm those forces.

Cont. reading: Russia Announces Partial Mobilization

Posted by b at 7:44 UTC | Comments (686)

September 20, 2022

On The Upcoming Putin Speech And Announcements

Moscow has made a decision how to proceed in the proxy war with NATO in the Ukraine.

We do not yet know what the decision is.

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will hold a TV speech at 8 pm Moscow time (17:00 UTC) followed by an announcement by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

In July Putin has held a press conference or speech where he said with regards to Ukraine something like: "We haven't even started yet."

It may be that Russia will do that now.

That a decision had been made was noticeable.

Yesterday the parliaments of the Luhansk and Donetz People's Republics suddenly requested their government to immediately launch referendums about the republics accession to the Russian Federation. Today Denis Pushilin, the head of of the DNR government, announced that a referendum will be held on September 23 to 27.

Also yesterday the Russian parliament introduced amendments to the Russian Criminal Code which will increase the prison penalties for 'voluntary surrender', 'looting', 'non-fulfillment of military orders' during a time of mobilization, martial law and war. Companies who reject to produce for the military will also be penalized. The amendments passed their second reading in parliament today and will become law after a third reading.

If the LNR and DPR vote to become part of Russia, and if Russia accepts it, any attack of them will be an act of war against Russia. The 'Special Military Operation', which Russia is currently proceeding with, would thus change into something way more serious. Russia could declare the conflict to be a war. It could then use conscripts in war functions, mobilize reserves and use its full arsenal against the Ukraine. Potentially also against those who support it with weapons and other war material.

I find this whole seemingly hasty process atypical for Putin's usual way.

My hunch is that Russia received information over some weapon systems the U.S. is secretly providing to the Ukraine. This could be missiles with several hundred kilometer range or other types of weapons that could seriously threaten Russia's towns and cities.

If so, Russia has to do something now to end the war before its becomes more than a nuisance for Russia and its people. Ending means of course by winning it.

Training up a mobilization force takes about three months. It would put it on the front in the mid of winter, a season during which Russian forces can operate quite well.

Posted by b at 16:32 UTC | Comments (338)

'Slamming' Moon of Alabama

Two weeks ago I received this unexpected email:

Subject: moonofalabama
From: Albert Liu <albert@china*******.org>
Date: 9/3/2022, 3:56 PM
To: moonofa <>

(If you are NOT CEO, please kindly forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent. If you believe this has been sent to you in error, please ignore it. Thanks)

Dear CEO, This email is from China domain name registration center, which mainly deal with the domain name registration in China. On September 3, 2022, we received an application from Hongfeng Ltd requested "moonofalabama" as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names (,,, But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it's necessary to send email to you and confirm whether this company is your business partner in China?

Best Regards
Albert Liu | Service & Operations Manager
China Registry (Head Office)

As I have been on the Internet for 30+ years I found this funny and was happy to play my role in it.

I wrote back to Mr. Liu, expressing my serious concern that some company would use Moon of Alabama domains to then possibly scrap off my content and to put advertisements around it:

Cont. reading: 'Slamming' Moon of Alabama

Posted by b at 15:44 UTC | Comments (56)

September 19, 2022

Putin's Press Conference On Ukraine, Terrorism, Fertilizer, Europe's Energy Crisis

Last week the Head of States Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization met in Samarkand. The meeting was not very remarkable. It was business as usual. Iran will soon join the organization and several other states want association agreements with it.

An important side event was a non-scripted press conference President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation held. There is a video with English subtitles that covers it and the Kremlin provides as usual an English language transcript. Putin made some important points that were not reflected in 'western' news coverage as they contradicted the propaganda positions the 'western' media have taken. Below I excerpted parts and added a few comments.

On the SCO:

Vladimir Putin: The most important thing always and everywhere is economic development. And the SCO, cooperation with the SCO countries, creates conditions for the development of the Russian economy, and thus for the social sphere and for resolving the tasks related to improving the living standards of our citizens.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation includes countries whose population, as has been said many times, comprises almost or even slightly more than half of humanity. It is 25 percent of world GDP. And, most importantly, the national economies in the region, those of the SCO member states, are developing much faster than others in the world.

The SCO markets are were global economic growth is happening. But the 'west' is excluding itself from those regions. 'Western' policies are hostile towards many of the big SCO members. Those policies build up barriers that hinder 'western' industries to profit from that growth. These are self-defeating measures.

There is a question about military strikes within Russia. Putin didn't seem bothered too much about those.

Cont. reading: Putin's Press Conference On Ukraine, Terrorism, Fertilizer, Europe's Energy Crisis

Posted by b at 17:10 UTC | Comments (288)