Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 06, 2014

Ukraine: Retreat From Slaviansk Far From End Game

The Saker is somewhat depressed that the insurgents in east Ukraine retreated from Slaviansk. But that retreat was in good order and with few losses despite being surrounded by enemy forces. As their commander Strelkov explains there was no way Slaviansk could be defended against superior artillery and air superiority with little means to counter those.

Strelkov is now setting up defenses in Donetsk which is a nuch bigger city with more resources and likely easier to defend. As the Ukrainian army and the National Guard stormtroopers from the Right Sektor now move forward they may soon find that they have some "left behind" enemies in their back who can seriously influence their operations.

Supporters of the insurgents seem to blame Russia's President Putin for lack of (visible) support. But that is, in my view, thinking too small. It is far too early to have any idea of who has won or lost in Ukraine. What Putin is currently trying to do, with growing success, is to separate the Europeans from the ever meddling United States. Last Thursday a new agreement on a ceasefire was negotiated and agreed upon with Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine at the table. When the German chancellor Merkel informed U.S. President Obama about it it was the U.S. which again threatened Russia and urged the Ukrainian President Poroshenko to continue his "Anti-Terrorist Operation". The Germans and French will have taken note of this and will again move a bit more further towards the Russian side.

In judging the current situation I agree with Anatol Karlin who finds that Putin is playing a clever but cynical game:

[T]he lack of *direct* [Russian] intervention is more likely just the product of a series of cold calculations that show it more likely to be effective in a few months than today, when:

a) The Ukrainian Army has become weaker and more demoralized;

b) Photos of bisected, bloodied, and burnt corpses have been filling the Russian and international airwaves for a few months;

c) The resolve of the West and its unity are weaker;

d) The Russian economy is more prepared for any sanctions that are forthcoming; and

e) Austerity is biting Ukraine hard, and (gas-less) winter is coming.

Too bad that it is the residents of Donetsk who will be playing the blood price for this.

The Twisted Genius (TTG), who is former Green Beret trained in creating and directing local insurgencies, has a somewhat similar take on the situation:

[Putin] he is another hard hearted empath. He knows that Novorossiya must be forged from fire if it is to survive. They must want it and be willing to fight for it themselves.
Additionally, Putin disdains the West’s penchant for R2P and aggressive interference in the affairs of others. He will move if he thinks it is necessary and when he thinks it is necessary. For now, I believe he is content to provide covert support as necessary, push for a real ceasefire and political solution, and bide his time as a new nation that intends to span from Kharkov to Oddessa and Transnistria births itself.

Posted by b on July 6, 2014 at 14:58 UTC | Permalink

next page »

What Putin is currently trying to do, with growing success, is to separate the Europeans from the ever meddling United States.

And his goal is to replace a "meddling United States" with a meddling resurgent Russia. There is a loser in all of this — it's not too early to call one; The Ukrainians.

So, let me ask, does the Arctic belong to Russia as Putin and Artur N. Chilingarov claim? I don't think so. So far, this potential touch point has been avoided and issues related to the Arctic have been cooperative and collaborative, but that may change. I will say this — Russia cannot effectively develop those resources without Western expertise and know how. In fact, Russia cannot realize its full, or even close to full, petrol potential without Western abilities.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 6 2014 15:15 utc | 1

"I will say this — Russia cannot effectively develop those resources without Western expertise and know how...."

Things are getting desperate when the imperialists are reduced to boasting about US "know how".

The fact is that European and Asian technology is quite equal to the task of developing Russian resources. Whether the planet is up to the challenge of surviving ice free polar regions and poisoned oceans and aquifers is another matter.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2014 15:27 utc | 2

Thanks b for the links

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 6 2014 15:44 utc | 3

I agree, b. I think Russia has already won because Germany is clearly off the U.S. reservation when it comes to further sanctions; also, something that has not been widely commented on, Europe is actually talking to Russia about the implementation of the Ukraine's association agreement, something it was unwilling to do earlier.

The citizens of Novorossiya are, as you say, the ones who must bear the burden of Russia's strategic victory.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 6 2014 15:51 utc | 4

the next masturbation of a would-be general and military strategist - keep in mind, it's always only for some minutes!!!

Posted by: thomas | Jul 6 2014 15:53 utc | 5

"I will say this — Russia cannot effectively develop those resources without Western expertise and know how...."

Then why, pray tell, are the western experts not rushing to the arctic to develop all those resources themselves? What would they need Russia for? Because regardless of whoever claims what, the arctic will belong to whoever gets their first.

"And his goal is to replace a "meddling United States" with a meddling resurgent Russia."

Since there is no scenario where I envision Russian bases in Germany, Italy, Greece, etc. and no scenario where a Russian dominated bureaucratic superstructure akin to NATO could exist, I'm going to guess the anticipated Russian meddling will be far more mild an unobtrusive than the current American meddling. Western Europe managed to live with Russia for centuries before the US arrived. They will manage to do it again, and much more cordially than before.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 6 2014 15:53 utc | 6

"Too bad that it is the residents of Donetsk who will be playing the blood price for this."

The whole of Ukraine is a sacrificial pawn - the real target of the US machinations is and always has been Russia. The US seeks to destroy Russia's independence and reduce it to a vassal state so the US control its energy. That is why the US wants to prevent South Stream starting. Startup of South Stream would totally bypass Ukraine, removing the US control of gas flow and the potential to control the Russian and EU economies it allows. Remember Putin is the President of Russia so his responsibility lies there.

The trolls may well start up their 'Putin betrayal', 'Putin needs to grow a pair' etc, but the people who need to 'grow a pair' are the EU politicians. They need to recognize that a rabid Nazi regime in Ukraine is a threat to them as well as Russia. My understanding is that Putin is working on this. France has seen treatment the of BNP and the demands to sacrifice its economy by cancelling Mistral. Germany has found the alleged spy, and DB is facing similar threats of fines from the US. My impression is that Putin wants certainly France and Germany to agree to some kind of peace force to protect the citizens in the south east of Ukraine.

If that fails and direct intervention becomes necessary, it will be at a time of his choosing, when he has full support of the Russian people (as with Chechnya 2) and when his military are happy the they have clear military targets (where, how many, what form etc) and a clear political political end game (what's the exit plan?).

The Ukranian Right Sektor have ambitions to gain nuclear weapons (remember the control defense and energy (incl. nuclear) ministries. They have openly stated they would use such weapons pre-emptively. Thanks to the US, there are a number of loosely regulated bio-weapons plants in Ukraine (near Kharkiv, Odessa for certain). The Ukraine situation is a real tinderbox and the massacre of the poor citizens in the east is just the start.

Armchair generals, please feel free to provide us with any evidence that answers these questions, particularly how to deal effectively with the RS Nazi problem. Otherwise feel free to leave town on the rocking horse you rode in on.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 6 2014 16:19 utc | 7

The Original Nazis®, Bonoparte, the Whites won the first few rounds, too.

Posted by: ruralito | Jul 6 2014 16:24 utc | 8

At its simplest, US involvement in Ukraine has more to do with Russian pipelines than anyone or anything in Ukraine. The US is trying to put a cork into Russia's delivery system to Europe. The tell has been the US meddling in the South Stream pipeline. It's quite simply a business maneuver to put western-controlled petroleum in prominence in Europe and to break the Russian connections with the west. All the neo-Nazi street fighters who are puffing their chests and thinking great thoughts about destiny and the will of the pure Ukrainian race are all going to be disappointed. Actually, if they look around they should be figuring it out already, but most will soon enough.

Let us say for a moment that the US is meddling in Ukraine for purely "honorable" reasons. Allowing the South Stream to go ahead would relieve Moscow of its biggest worries (at least economic) with Ukraine. Ukraine could go forward with its austerity program and the EU/IMF/US could have the remains. But it's all about the control of energy. That's what Afghanistan was about, a means to project itself into Central Asia and that big pool of petroleum there. Crimea would have been a wonderful jumping off point to dismantle Russian control of all that.

It's very possible that once Crimea was taken by Russia this grand strategy was shattered and everything else now is just spite. It won't end well for the Ukrainians, east and west.

Also, Germany seems to be making a lot of noises about the US and its NSA spying. Since the BND and CIA (and their antecedents) have been working together since WWII, the fact that the US spies on Germany is absolutely no surprise to them. I'm sure they do the same. For as much indignity as Merkel has shown I wouldn't doubt that she has access to the menu from the White House kitchen every night and whether Obama sleeps on his back or side.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Jul 6 2014 16:27 utc | 9

nothing else than a paraphrase of statements and self-adulation of a war criminal by a couch-potatoe; not a single own thought added by b.

"Too bad that it is the residents of Donetsk who will be playing the blood price for this." - did you ask them if they like to pay? you are playing in the same asshole ligue as Strelkov.

Posted by: thomas | Jul 6 2014 16:34 utc | 10

Posted by b on July 6, 2014 at 10:58 AM

"In judging the current situation I agree with Anatol Karlin who finds that Putin is playing a clever but cynical game...Too bad that it is the residents of Donetsk who will be playing the blood price for this."

That's a clever way of making "Putin" out to be the "bad guy" for not following western plans to get Russia involved in the Ukraine. The obvious undertone in what "b" and Karlin say is that it is up to "Putin" (1) to intervene and stop the western crimes there. Hence, it's now "his" fault the people in Novorossya are suffering.

What about the "cynical" west who are responsible for all the violence in the Ukraine? What about "b's" German regime who have done squat to prevent to war, even though they easily could have stopped it cold, and have been behind the western coup from the very beginning, and subsequent repression and attacks on the people there? What about the other EU regimes playing along with the criminal western attack? What about the people of the EU and the USA who sit idly by as their countries promote war after war, coup after coup, and literally do nothing to stop them?

Karlin starts out reasonably in the first paragraph, but after that, one can see he is mostly cleverly applying western propaganda. He uses the western disinformation that Russia (using the "Putin" western propaganda meme) is driving the rebellion in the SW, when Russia is not, and had even requested the rebels to hold off running their separatism vote. He falsely claims it is Russia's plan to get many 1000's killed, and then use that as an excuse to enter and take over, when Russia never wanted a separate Novorossya to begin with.

He makes false claims about the militia and troop casualty ratio that makes it clear he is relying upon the false figures put out by the bandera nazi junta.

Karlin leaves out the western intervention in the Ukraine and the fact it is the driving force there. The west supplies the money, leadership, tech support. It is the "head" of the Ukraine now. The war crimes there are western war crimes. Karlin ignores this completely, and reinforces the western propaganda meme of Ukraine vs "Putin". With that, he is able to ignore all the other geopolitical factors and make the conflict appear to be a cynical "Putin" plan for taking over the Ukraine.

The west engineered their bandera nazi coup in the Ukraine as part of a renewed assault on Russia. They have been trying to get the Russians to intervene by every means possible. The latest ploy now is the "guilt trip" tactic. They keep increasing the provocation level, killing more people, to that end. The west knows public opinion in Russia is in favor of intervention to stop these western nazi war crimes, so they push the "Putin must intervene" meme to discredit him in the eyes of Russian people, as a cynical way to try and force a Russian intervention.

What Karlin (and "b") is doing in that piece is reinforce that propaganda strategy. Basically, if their war crimes are not getting their desired reaction from the Russian government, they work to get the Russian people outraged enough, public opinion will force the result they want on the Russian government.

This was a successful strategy used by the west in their Pussy Riot operation. They had Pussy Riot stage increasingly provocative actions, trying to force the Russians to arrest them. When arrest was not forthcoming after the church "act", they pushed their "5th elements" (2) in the media to whip up outrage and force the government to act. When they finally arrested the plugs, then the rest of the western plan was implemented, with the results we all saw. This, in effect, is the same strategy the western fascists are applying in the Ukraine to manipulate the Russians into following the western script for Russia's isolation, eventual regime change and break-up.

Incidentally, propagandist Karlin got thrashed in the comments after his piece. It's good to see that people are seeing through this cynical western PR strategy to entice Russia to follow the western fascist "Great Game" plan.

(1) not Russia, you notice, got to keep with that western propaganda meme of "personalities", easier to use to demonize, and manipulate the masses by reducing geopolitics to simple minded soap opera themes. Dovetails right in with their daily television indoctrination.

(2) obviously not all are "5th element", but enough to influence. With their Ukraine op, the outrage is enough that there is a significant push for intervention naturally, without need to really to artificially hype it in the Russian media. The western PR manipulators know that.

Posted by: scalawag | Jul 6 2014 16:46 utc | 11

scalawag, you can't be serious. b is going to entice Russia into an intervention? Please.

Russia has NATO knocking on their back door and has for two decades now. We now know that Ukraine has been on the radar for decades too. The popularity of Putin's govt has gotten a huge boost of late. They're not stupid. They see what's happening next door.

Posted by: gemini33 | Jul 6 2014 16:58 utc | 12

b's post, @6 Lysander, @7 Yonatan and bob in portland @9. thanks! yonatan, i especially enjoyed what you had to say too..

Posted by: james | Jul 6 2014 17:08 utc | 13

"Strelkov is now setting up defenses in Donetsk which is a nuch bigger city with more resources and likely easier to defend. As the Ukrainian army and the National Guard stormtroopers from the Right Sektor now move forward they may soon find that they have some "left behind" enemies in their back who can seriously influence their operations."

It was a major Yankee-style blunder, by Kiev, that the separatists were able to melt away with their manpower intact. Fortunately for the separatists, the Yankees are determining Kiev's (hardware-intensive) strategy so there will always be gaps in their cordons and an over-emphasis on impromptu vandalism.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 6 2014 17:11 utc | 14

Merkel is playing a dirty double game, but that's par for the course, with the Christian Democrats NAZI heritage. Related to this, there is a lot of Ukrainian life force to be drained to the benefit of the Germans

What's amazing to me is, the Ukrainian naiveté. One would think they'd have wised up by now, they are used as stooges and discarded like subhuman slav morons (I tend to agree with the moron part)

Posted by: Ronald Thomas West | Jul 6 2014 17:13 utc | 15

Karlin's analysis is reasonably solid as is usual for him. I take exception with one of his points: a) The Ukrainian Army has become weaker and more demoralized. This is very hard to predict for those who are not inside that army. I can make some arguments that that army is stronger today.

The Ukrainian army has been seriously demoralized since this civil war began. Many of the pre-coup soldiers had no stomach for killing their fellow citizens. Many of those have voted with their feet and left the war. Any half competent commanders would take these soldiers out of the front lines and put them in units that occupy rear area regions, guard convoys, etc. Those units that display the killing instincts needed for military victory will provide the shock troops in future operations. In addition those troops have and are gaining much much needed combat experience -- combat experience is, for the survivors, more important than any amount of peace time training.

I suspect that what might be slowly developing is that the national guard is emerging as the new shock force units -- much like the German SS divisions were in WWII. Ideological commitment to the war aims provides the motivation for these guys to willingly risk their lives.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 6 2014 17:15 utc | 16

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 6, 2014 1:15:33 PM | 16

We'll know pretty soon. Having obliged the Ukrainian Army to follow/chase them, the separatists MUST ensure that the Army can't make a move in any direction (except toward Kiev) without being ambushed.
It's very bad for morale.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 6 2014 17:33 utc | 17

@16 The SS were supplied and had achieved victories delivered by their leader. Losing in East Ukraine means they go home, but it's unlikely separatists will march on Kiev. The USSR was huge, and defeat didn't mean being driven out of Russia, it meant Soviets in Berlin. The officers understood the war plan because it was the war plan since Bismarck (France and Denmark) which was to stun with initial victories and destroy the old government's ability to lead, usually through surrender.

The whole war plan was to knock out the Soviet government and prevent regrouping for a counter offensive. The SS and Wehmarcht understood this when they first entered, and controlling bad pr was easier especially with legions of battle hardened victors. The Kiev forces won't have the material support, the opportunity for victories, or a credible fear that withdrawal means a counter offensive.

Poroshenko bought his job and turned off the gas. Hitler brought the Olympics, building programs, and new defense industry jobs, not to mention the free stuff from the jews. All these things won loyalty. Washington led from the front. British soldiers wrote about reaching out to touch the enemy general's horse. Has Poroshenko even given out candy? Shock troops take time.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jul 6 2014 18:28 utc | 18

Concerning the Twisted Genius' point about a country having to be birthed in fire, the French foreign minister in the 1770's, Vergennes, didn't move to support the colonial rebels until Washington was a tactical blunder away from having liberated Philadelphia and destroying Howe's army in the same month as the Battle of Saratoga which was fought by different armies. To the French, the rebels demonstrated the war was winnable without it being a French war. Yes, it mostly French forces at Yorktown, but Cornwallis was there because he was fleeing a Continental Army and a guerrilla war, he could no longer win.

If the French just fought a war on the behalf of a side incapable of winning, they would have likely solidified British control and created a nation of enemies as well as strengthening British ties to the continent. For modern examples of ignoring Vergennes see Libya and Syria. Iraq was even more deranged.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jul 6 2014 19:17 utc | 19

I have a differnt take than b, and I think anyone in this thread. Ukraine forces are are mostly attacking civilan population; avoiding the pro-Russian militias - essentially trying to drive ethnic Russians into to Russia, or as Stelkov says, "committing genocide". There are reports of 100,000 to 140,000 ethnic Russians fleeing to Russia and 40,000 internally displaced.

I think that Putin is happy to have Crimea, but I think he's not going to intervene in any physical way. He warned the two SE oblasts not to do the referendum. He's not doing much in the way of support for the pro-Russians in the east, he's trying to negoiate with Poroshenko, he's trying to negoiate with France and Germany. If he's a cynical empath he's not betting on the pro-Russians in the SE to win. He's betting on the EU waking up in time to get to some kind of cease fire, saving Russia's delivery of gas to Europe, and at this point not caring if NATO moves one country closer. He knows one country closer doesn't mean much in the whole scheme of things - he's already surrounded on the west, soon to be on the south with Georgia. I'm cynical in other words; I think Putin is trying to avoid a regional war for sure, but I think he has much more limited goals re: Ukraine.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jul 6 2014 19:23 utc | 20

@Cold N. Holefield #1:

Don't worry, Israel and Russia will outlive the United States. The USSR was a country based on a false ideology; so is the USA. Thus both were/are doomed to disintegrate.

@Ronald Thomas West #15:

What's amazing to me is, the Ukrainian naiveté.

Ukrainian culture exists only on a children's storybook level. Ukrainian nationalists are essentially crazy Nazis, not even rational in the sense of knowing how to effectively pursue given ends/goals. (Higher rationality involves knowing how to determine what goals should be pursued.)

Also, there is no such thing as the Ukraine: it is a Western imperialist fabrication, adopted by the Soviets. As an article I quoted before indicated, there are three types of "Ukrainians": (1) the crazy racist Banderites, whose identity is based on hating Russians (10-20% of the population); (2) Russians who have been brainwashed into thinking that they are Ukrainian (30-40%); (3) Russians who still know that they are Russian (30-40%).

Posted by: Demian | Jul 6 2014 19:30 utc | 21

I've been around here so long that I remember b frying brain synapses defending the view that the Iraqi opposition was essentially nationalist. I also recall that MoA theology included the unassailable eschatology of Iraq's unification following the removal of US troops (or rather, as b insisted, the entire army of the US would be surrounded and destroy by, well, who knows?)

Oh, how times change.

And now, with respect to all things Ukrainian, Vladimir Putin is the incarnation of Alexander Hamilton, defending the interests of Ukrainian "Federalists."

I suppose if this was 1986, b would be blogging from somewhere in the Eden of russified east Germany, writing poems in praise of Erich Honecker.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 6 2014 19:48 utc | 22

Remember this is Petro Dollar-shenko and Obamas big punishing offensive that was going to wipe out resistance in a "few hours. The dreaded "plan B". Expect plan C to be more of the same, but with circumstances becoming a little less favorable for Kiev every week. Winter is not far off.

Posted by: Marc | Jul 6 2014 19:53 utc | 23

Is weird how this blog morphed into a reactionary, right-wing love letter to klepto-capitalism and revanchist Russian occupation.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 6 2014 19:57 utc | 24

writing poems in praise of Erich Honecker.

Soviet men weren't afraid to show real, honest, passionate affection for one another in formal public settings.

Doris Day and Rock Hudson didn't do it any better than this.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 6 2014 20:02 utc | 25

To be clear, Russia does not want a civil war on its border; this is being forced on it by outsiders; multi-national neoliberal financiers who want to loot Russia again, assorted arms dealers and neo-conservatives who now control the West. On the other hand, Russia does not want a Ukraine to join NATO so it has not sealed its borders. If history is a guide, a committed insurgency with a safe haven is impossible to eradicate if technologically equivalent unless overwhelming force, ethnic cleansing and resettlement are used. At some point Russia will be forced to intervene if the civil war continues to escalate as it has to date.

The USA is supporting Ukrainian Nazis and refuses to reach a negotiated settlement to end the civil war, It cannot be a coincidence that the Islamic State (IS) is up and running at the same time that Russia is threatened by a civil war next door. Topping the US news is the Hispanic children’s migration that is overwhelming the Southern border. This all is not going to end well.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 6 2014 20:18 utc | 26

@ sloth @ 24

This blog as long as I've been aware of it is Anti Imperialist, very consistently.

Posted by: Marc | Jul 6 2014 20:22 utc | 27

.. disagree in some measure.

In the sense that Putin is swept up in events not of his own making and is in prudent reactionary mode.

He probably ‘annexed’ Crimea somewhat to his own surprise, it was not a pre-calculated move, but an opportunistic, obligatory leap in the situation. He will not enter E Ukraine, this bait he will continue to ignore. He could have done in fact without this whole mess.

Now that is a pov that sees events as shocks and reactions as pretty ad-hoc and not planned in function of some long-term road-map with a number of systemic branches all over, like a chess game.

Putin will indeed continue to push for pol. and diplomatic solutions, cease-fire, etc. (as does France, Germany..) though he and the others realise this is a superficial authoritarian move and a vain hope, as events on the ground are not commandeered by international overlords. (e.g. Donbass.) Nobody can really control the Ukrainian nuts .. or don’t wish to for now. (That is why they keep yelling at Putin in the hope he can DO something. Amongst other reasons.)

Note though that all the guff about diplomatic solutions etc. has no content whatsoever: there are no positions, demands, proposals, deals, schemes of governance, principles, outside help, under discussion, it is a *void.* Incompetence or cynical posturing?

Putin is not looking to expand Russia or R. Federation territory or create a ‘new nation’ holding more land. He has enough on his plate as is, and all is already extremely difficult and compromised in various ways. Reminds me of the days when my Papa was into Kreminology…:)

slothrop! yeah weird things going on here.

Cheers from the back room in the bar.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 6 2014 20:26 utc | 28

Something that hasn't been mentioned here of late is the Russian intelligence advantage over the US and the Ukies. TheRussian defense and intelligence probably have close to perfect information about Poroschenko's prospective moves to the point they probably know when he is going to take his next pee. The same holds for American and NATO agents operating out of Kiev. The Ukrainians probably understand that, too, as it isn't rocket science. If we are going to speculate, and just about everybody here does, we ought to game out Russian strategy conditional on the assumption they know exactly what the Ukies are up to, not just in general, but in detail. Putin probably has a lot more room to manoeuvre than many people give him credit for. He knows the Ukie order of battle.

Posted by: Knut | Jul 6 2014 20:27 utc | 29

Specific propaganda efforts in context to the global stage are are often limited to smaller spheres of intellect that exclude the larger propaganda narrative and thus derail good will and intentions. Specific discussions are hijacked and often channel by another's narrative.

Often discussions focus only on the slaughter of the innocence like a laser beam. This is easy to do as we have empathy for the victims. However, in such a mental state reason is overshadowed by emotions. Under such a state of mind, a clever propagandists will direct the cause onto the victim. “Putin is to blame”, “Putin betrayed them”, etc.

This has the effect of limiting the field of understanding and forgetting that Putin told them to wait on the referendum. That fact has vanished down the memory hole.

What is often absent from such discussions are solid analysis of that actual perpetrators for what is transpiring. Intellectual tractor beam focus on issues is great, but what is needed is the view from aloft --less intellectual and more analytical.

Everyone seems to just want to take a single pill to make all the pain go away. Putin is viewed in that narrow scope. He is the intellectual single pill that can solve all of the world's problems. However, we all know that there is always an web of events that build and weave their way to a snare.

How does this happen? Clever propagandists seed blogs in such a way as to co-opt your good will and corral hearts then their minds into their narrative. You need to forget the heart, use your head.

For example, let us look at the environmental movement. During the Crimea referendum environmentalist were given global coverage. They came out and attacked Putin for bad environmental policies. This may be true, however, the environmentalists were activated during the Crimea referendum. In effect, the good will of the environmentalists were harnessed to discredit Russia, the Crimean referendum and Putin. They were used as useful, but well intentioned idiots.

This is what is happening when the focus is all about Putin. Let us talk about how to notice this clever propaganda technique and how to recognize who, how and when it occurs. Let us talk instead about the EU sitting on the fence vacillating between Russia and NATO looking for the BBD (Bigger Better Deal). Let attack the issue of the Hatfield and McCoys in Ukraine and what are their grievances and how are they so easily manipulated? What can be done to bring a dialogue to the region?

Think about the timing of events, comments and opinions in a larger context than how they are framed. And above all, use your head, forget your heart –this is the way wars are justified!

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 6 2014 20:39 utc | 30

@ Noirette @ 28

The Liberal opines. Anything that happens east of Poland is a conversation about Putin. What he's doing, what he thinks, what he might think or do next month, etc., and anti Imperialism is "weird". Like paranormal activity or UFO's for the American liberal.

Posted by: Marc | Jul 6 2014 20:44 utc | 31

I agree. Putin is not going to invade East of Ukraine to find itself entangled in a long civil war. The US has done all it could so that happens, and Putin was clever no to have fallen in that trap. Of course it is sad that the pro-russians are suffering but Russia never promised to defend them and was never in favor of the referendum for secession.
Ukraine may become a big financial burden for Europe and the austerity measures imposed by the IMF will surely create permanent instability.
Putin got the Crimea he wanted and he seems to prefer letting Ukraine soak in its long mess that would discourage any other of the ex-soviet countries to do the same.

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 6 2014 20:46 utc | 32

@VietnamVet #26:

Russia does not want a Ukraine to join NATO so it has not sealed its borders.

I think that the two main reasons Russia has not sealed its borders is that it wants the refugees from ethnic cleansing to have safe haven and that it wants to give the pro-democracy forces a chance to defend themselves.

As for the Ukraine, there was talk about it breaking apart when this whole thing started, but such talk has dwindled. But nobody suggested that the Ukraine would break apart immediately. I personally think that the Russian government thinking is at this point is that it would be better for everyone if the Ukraine just broke up and ceased to exist, with various parts of it being absorbed by neighboring countries. Perhaps a rump Banderistan would remain that would still be called "Ukraine", but it would be a completely hopeless state, like Kosovo. I have never seen any Russian official say this, but when it comes to this crisis, I have generally been on the same wavelength as the Russian government.

It is a completely natural Russian point of view that the existence of the Ukraine is an absurdity. With the breakup of the USSR, Russians bore the Ukraine no ill will and were willing to give it a chance, but now that people who identify strongly as Ukrainian have shown that they cannot be anything other than racist fascists, the experiment of turning the Ukraine into a state has clearly failed.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 6 2014 20:48 utc | 33

To an emblematic video, my pick of the week.

Ukrainian TV, via Agora Vox (french subs) Schuster talk show. (v. popular mainstream) 18 or 19 June.

A journalist from the Sunday Times, Mark Franchetti, tells what he saw / experienced in the Donbass.

He stresses that most of the ‘rebels’ are ordinary ppl, he did not see / meet many Russians, etc.

He is mocked and attacked. I guess they didn’t expect that from a MSM brit or did know and it was a set up to knock him down.

An under minister says this poor man was the victim of Russian propaganda and fooled, see how sneaky and clever the Russians are! And then some guy completely camouflaged in army gear using code name Odessa calls him a liar! And talks about the ‘degenerates, drug addicts’ in the East. (Remember Yats' subhumans..)

The ‘new power’ guests etc. on the platform at the show…after pretending to listen with by turns grave, sceptical mien, start to giggle and laugh. (Like, this dumb journalist is now debunked.)

Note also the lady who pops in and her behaviour.

This is scary stuff, the undercurrent is spine-chilling.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 6 2014 20:49 utc | 34

@ Noirette @ 32

This is what Western, read US Imperialism looks like when the PR veneer of democracyhumanrightselectionsgaynationalistinterventionism is removed - ugly, paranoid and violent. When really challenged its quite feral. As long as most everyone is onboard for the "democracy freedom" cruise they can pretend to be Nobel laureate humanitarians

Posted by: Marc | Jul 6 2014 21:00 utc | 35

@31 The smart ones are usually terrified by governments falling (not like Belgium or Italy). They know especially early on forces can't be controlled. When the French moved to support the American colonists against the British, the Continental forces were a bad tactical decision away from destroying 2 of the 3 British armies in the same month before the winter lull in 1777. The French bet on the winning side. The majority of the population was under 18, and English migration had stopped by 1700. The immigrants post-1700 were from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Europe. The Continental Army would reform in a few years if disaster struck. The French weren't interested in a real war of heavy lifting they might lose.

Even a broken up Ukraine would create the conditions for a Somalia-like situation in Eastern Europe. There could easily be a Bandarist reign of terror if the Kiev junta can't win that goes after people and pipelines outside of greater Kiev. Putin probably fears this situation too. He would have to deal with that kind of problem. The U.S. is reckless because ISIS can't come here. Consequences have no meaning to the U.S. In many ways.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jul 6 2014 21:15 utc | 36

"As the Ukrainian army and the National Guard stormtroopers from the Right Sektor now move forward they may soon find that they have some "left behind" enemies in their back who can seriously influence their operations.'

This is no doubt true. Equally true is the fact that the "National Guard" is very likely to be setting up a system whereby potential opponents, even critics, are eliminated. This will be justified on the grounds that they are potential "terrorists." This death squad system is not only one in which the CIA specialise but precisely what the RAND corporation is advising the Kiev junta to do.
They will not have needed this prompting but must be heartened to learn the the US government will back them to the hilt. No doubt the NSA has information on just about every cell phone and computer user in Slavyansk, with names and current addresses so that they can be checked and liquidated. The CIA itself will supply all the equipment, money and media cover needed to ensure that Operation Phoenix in Ukraine is carried out far from the eyes of objective reporters and in a fog of anti-Russian propaganda.
Much in the way of personnel, established torture facilities, training and NCO cadres can be supplied by Baltic and other NATO allies.
Already it is said that contingents of Swedish Nazis are in the Ukraine. My guess is that the place is becoming a magnet-a Spain in reverse- for Nazis and fascists from all over Europe.
My view is that the situation is very bad and unless-as I say repeatedly- there is a political response to the fascists, an attempt to mobilise the victims of the EU agreement and the tension with Russia and raise the standard of revolt in the Ukraine as a whole, the fascists, with NATO support will be able to advance systematically into the Donbass.
The cities, no doubt, are difficult to conquer, cities always were, which is why most armies chose to besiege them, cutting off their supplies and starving them into surrender.

If the Donbass "federalists" were waiting for Russian intervention they miscalculated, and they missed great opportunities to start political fires in the junta's rear. They seem to be running out of time and the junta have plenty of that, not least because they don't give a damn whether the people of Ukraine freeze to death, or starve for want of employment. Fascists like that. It is all part of the plan. What they fear is a rising in their rear.
Orthodoxy, miracles and ikons won't work, neither will bleeding to death on You Tube. Nations do not win independence or workers liberate themselves by watching handfuls of volunteers fight for them.
Hammer or Anvil? That is what history wants to know from the people of the Donbass.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 6 2014 21:19 utc | 37

Nazis, Commies, Hillbillies, please, the operative word here is the IMF. It is the the banks stupid. And whom again are the key shareholders of the IMF/World Bank?

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 6 2014 21:31 utc | 38

There's a very interesting piece by a German woman over at the Saker:

The German government is acting on it´s own accord as an accomplice, not a vassal of US strategy

The reason I take it seriously is that I am perplexed as to why the German media gives no more coverage to the genocide in the Ukraine than the US media does. As I said before, if Germany really wants to uncouple itself from the US, a good place to start would be to report that Nazis are once more in control of a European country, doing what Nazis do.

The piece concludes:

I might be wrong. I would love to be wrong. But Russian strategy at the moment seems to be aimed at a split between Germany and the US, and if I´m right, this strategy is completely futile. I see no plan B. Not even a serious attempt to reach German public. It preoccupies me profoundly.

German governments like to talk of peace. Until 5:44 in the morning.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 6 2014 22:12 utc | 39

Time is on Putin's side so long as he doesn't take the bait and directly intervene. This winter will likely crack the Kiev regime wide open. The combination of austerity, an already depressed economy, and the lack of cheap Russian gas (or perhaps any gas at all), and unfulfilled promises from the new regime are a recipe for societal upheaval. Likewise the demographics in east Ukraine don't change at all even if the cities fall to Kiev. At most Kiev gains an active insurgency in the east which can bleed it over time even more effectively than conventional fighting now. Or another way to put it, time is against Kiev irrespective of what Russia does. Ukraine "chose" to side with the west at the very moment it's falling off a cliff. They, like the polish who also chose the west, are shackled to a corpse.

Posted by: Thepanzer | Jul 6 2014 22:50 utc | 40

"e) Austerity is biting Ukraine hard, and (gas-less) winter is coming."

I'm sure a gas-less winter will be quite an inconvenience in Kiev, but in a besieged Donbass it's going to be genocide. With minimal supplies of food, fuel and clothing coming in, people will starve and freeze to death in horrific numbers. And it will create a refugee problem of massive proportions as hundreds of thousands of cold and hungry people head towards Russia. I'm curious what the plan is for addressing this problem. I hope it is more than just "Russians are tough and can endure."

I'm not really an advocate of Russian intervention, but if this becomes a massive ethnic cleansing, then Russia will be faced with problems far worse than sanctions and western opprobrium.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 6 2014 23:00 utc | 41

@24 ...right-wing love letter to klepto-capitalism and revanchist Russian occupation.

Aah, I see slops is as wrong as always...!

Btw b, it's Green Beret, not Barret...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 6 2014 23:03 utc | 42

@36... It is the the banks stupid. And whom again are the key shareholders of the IMF/World Bank?

Exactly, Follow the money through all the Interlocking Directorates of the Transnational Corps/Central Banks...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 6 2014 23:22 utc | 43

Bevin, HAHA, and Demian's German writer have got it right imho. Unless Russia intervenes or finds a way to insert 'private' forces of much greater magnitude, the eastern Ukraine rebellion will be destroyed, probably before winter. Bad news, but realists need to deal with reality.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 6 2014 23:24 utc | 44

Bevin at 35: "Nations do not win independence or workers liberate themselves by watching handfuls of volunteers fight for them."

This is part of what's wrong with the fight in eastern Ukraine. Most of the people in the east identify as Ukrainians. A minority are Russians. Very few before the coup were 'Russian nationalists' pushing for unity with Russia. There were no 'Donbass nationalists' at all before the coup. The vast majority want or would be satisfied with a healthy federalism.

So, there is no tradition at all of 'a nation to be formed'. Novorossiya was a provisional idea for most people, a temporary solution to the fact that the Kiev coupsters were 'Nazis' from western Ukraine or were and are willing to let those ethnic Ukrainian nationalist extremists have their way in the east.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 6 2014 23:33 utc | 45

fairleft@42 The Balkanization of Ukraine has begun in earnest, and, Putie is wise to wait it out...! Nuland and the Right Sector Cabal are rabidly frothing at the mouth, and, it will be a cold hard Winter for Ukrainians, of all stripes...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 6 2014 23:43 utc | 46

Read this blog regularly. The quality of the comments seems to have dropped. Miss the insights of Alexno and Claudio among others.

I seem to have missed a big piece on Ukraine. When this whole thing started I remember reading b saying that Ukraine forces will not fight with the people in East U. And the initial actions (or lack thereof) seemed to support that. Then there was something about fascists groups fighting. But now for some time it seems the Ukraine military IS fighting in East Ukraine. What changed?

Posted by: Khalid Shah | Jul 6 2014 23:46 utc | 47

Kiev's forces will prevail in every battle, there is no doubt about that. However, Kiev is fighting a war it will never win and will eventually bring down NATO, the IMF and the entire enchilada ... irregular warfare will follow with a vengeance. Shell will not be able to sink a single well in the Donetsk region --they are Fracked!

I saw a video where the Ukkkrainians came to a town that they subjected their bombing style of liberation on, expecting flowers and candy, instead they were berated by an angry mob. They had to saddle up and leave the premises pronto!

Read this short article by Tony Cartalucci, titled,Ukraine: Kiev’s Ticking Time Bomb

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 6 2014 23:59 utc | 48

Of course another reason that the US promotes war in the Ukraine is that it is a marvellous live experiment, sort of like El Salvador only bigger and with Europeans
This Glen Ford piece now at ICH is good

BY the way I disagree that "Kiev's forces will prevail in every battle..." I think that they were very weak and are liable, at the first defeat, to fall apart. I just don't see that defeat coming until everyone if the Donbass is either armed or looking for arms and ammunition.
And there are militias drilling and training in every town. Up to now it seems to me that the vast majority of Ukrainians, on both sides, see politics as something for bureaucrats and oligarchs, which it is in their interests to avoid.
The exceptions seem to be the fascists from the west, the gangs of thugs working for oligarchs and the idealists in the east who seem to fighting for Nicholas II or maybe Nicholas I. As to the army it will fight if it is less dangerous to do so than not fighting and not fight if it is safer than fighting.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 7 2014 0:21 utc | 49

@47 bevin,

I hope you are right. It does seem that every time the Ukkrainians have to actually engage in combat they are routed. This is why they bomb from afar.

Dressing up Elmer fracking Fudd in fatigues and calling the ethnic cleansing of a region a “Military Op” is an insult to professional soldiers. What these peckerwoods are doing is called a war crime.

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 7 2014 0:29 utc | 50

Khalid @45 ...But now for some time it seems the Ukraine military IS fighting in East Ukraine. What changed?

as-salaam 'alaykum...! Uncle $cam upped the ante, Khalid, now we're all in with CIA/JSOC 'trainers' on the ground, bringing the remnants up to speed on basic combat tactics and rigid discipline...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 0:39 utc | 51

'that the insurgents'

propaganda 101: get the public to identify with your allies/clients

'insurgents' are those who rebel against or attack a legitimate government...The Kiev junta is not legitimate govt . US refers to anyone who attacks their puppets as 'insurgents',while US media always calls those who attack the syrian govt as 'rebels'

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:03 utc | 52

bevin @47 The exceptions seem to be the fascists from the west, the gangs of thugs working for oligarchs and the idealists in the east who seem to fighting for Nicholas II or maybe Nicholas I. As to the army it will fight if it is less dangerous to do so than not fighting and not fight if it is safer than fighting.

The Path of Least Resistance and/or sheer self-preservation, is usually the preferred methodology employed, except by the actual sociopaths(or true believers) that profligate the ranks of Fascist Rightwingers...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 1:05 utc | 53

dont blame president Putin or russia....when the europeans and (ESP) americans are the ones who should be acting, by descending en masse on washington and brussels (NATO HQ) and demanding they stop supporting the fascist junta...they can expose their own 'representatives' to a public ordeal that can embarrass them and cause them top defend their actions thus further embroiling them

that way fewer people die

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:07 utc | 54

nothing has changed with
Posted by: slothrop | Jul 6, 2014 3:48:18 PM | 22

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:13 utc | 55

the video linked at 32 above should interest all readers of this site

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jul 7 2014 1:16 utc | 56

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 6, 2014 11:15:27 AM | 1

do Falkland islands ...belong to britain? does Japan belong to US?

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:16 utc | 57

@49. Salam and thanks for the response. So the Ukraine troops (or atleast some of them) are now fighting in East Ukraine? This just seems quite contrary to what b wrote a few weeks ago and I am not understanding what changed for the troops that now they are ok fighting in East Ukraine.

As I said I do follow this blog daily and do like the detailed analysis. In this case something seems to be missing or atleast it is not clear to me at all.

Posted by: Khalid Shah | Jul 7 2014 1:24 utc | 58

'Additionally, Putin disdains the West’s penchant for R2P and aggressive interference in the affairs of others. He will move if he thinks it is necessary and when he thinks it is necessary. For now, I believe he is content to provide covert support as necessary, push for a real ceasefire and political solution, and bide his time as a new nation that intends to span from Kharkov to Oddessa and Transnistria births itself'

oh really? its nice he explains R2P is 'aggressive interference in the affairs of others' but why use the word disdain? isnt the idea of 'aggressive interference in the affairs of others' a violation of international law? and hasnt russia unlike FUKUS tried to adhere to International law? maybe Green 'Barrets' disdain sneerfully such weakness

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:26 utc | 59

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 6, 2014 4:49:36 PM | 32

'under minister'...snigger...a fitting appelation..most 'ministers' are party politicians apponted to the posts by their fuhrers

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 1:29 utc | 60

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 6, 2014 11:15:27 AM | 1

I will say this — Russia cannot effectively develop those resources without Western expertise and know how. In fact, Russia cannot realize its full, or even close to full, petrol potential without Western abilities.

Wow. What profound ignorance. It's exactly the other way around. Why do you think the US is trying to capture Donetsk? The US wants access to Russian technology.

The Dneiper-Donetsk Basin was brought in with Russia's abiotic oil technology The Dneiper-Donetsk Basin oil field is the size of the North Slope of Alaska. That technology was what Khodorkovsky was going to sell to Cheney with the sale of Yukos in 2003 that Putin stopped. That's why Putin put Khodorkovsky in jail, although not before Khodorkovsky gave his shares to Jacob de Rothschild to protect for him.

After the breakup of the USSR, some Russian geologists tried to sell the technology to the Clinton admin, and our oil czar laughed in the Russians' faces as an impossibility.

Read F William Engdahl's report about it here. It's fascinating, and makes Holefield's assertions a laughing stock.

Dr. J. F. Kenney is one of the only few Western geophysicists who has taught and worked in Russia, studying under Vladilen Krayushkin, who developed the huge Dnieper-Donets Basin. Kenney told me in a recent interview that “alone to have produced the amount of oil to date that (Saudi Arabia’s) Ghawar field has produced would have required a cube of fossilized dinosaur detritus, assuming 100% conversion efficiency, measuring 19 miles deep, wide and high.” In short, an absurdity.

Western geologists do not bother to offer hard scientific proof of fossil origins. They merely assert as a holy truth. The Russians have produced volumes of scientific papers, most in Russian. The dominant Western journals have no interest in publishing such a revolutionary view. Careers, entire academic professions are at stake after all.

Closing the door

The 2003 arrest of Russian Mikhail Khodorkovsky, of Yukos Oil, took place just before he could sell a dominant stake in Yukos to ExxonMobil after a private meeting with Dick Cheney. Had Exxon got the stake they would have control of the world’s largest resource of geologists and engineers trained in the a-biotic techniques of deep drilling.

The J.F. Kenney, et al paper in PNAS, 2002: The evolution of multicomponent systems at high pressures: VI. The thermodynamic stability of the hydrogen–carbon system: The genesis of hydrocarbons and the origin of petroleum

J.F. Kenney on NPR Science Friday back then. This was, typically, about the only press coverage of this during the ramp up to the Iraq War, and again, typically, our journalists had no clue how to judge it, just as they were incapable of assessing the value of going off the gold standard internationally in 1971:">">

Posted by: MRW | Jul 7 2014 1:39 utc | 61

Posted by: Khalid Shah | Jul 6, 2014 9:24:15 PM | 56

You've pinpointed exactly where wishful thinking replaced realism at this blog. I felt something missing in the real-time analysis too, but couldn't articulate exactly what it was.

The Ukraine military has been fighting, at a distance and without enthusiasm but still effective because of its overwhelming numbers and arms/equipment superiority. It will be especially for the ultimate goal, blockading and starving out Donetsk.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 1:40 utc | 62

I screwed up that webarchive link. This is the correct one:">">

Posted by: MRW | Jul 7 2014 1:41 utc | 63

Posted by: Khalid Shah | Jul 6, 2014 9:24:15 PM | 56

The other side of wishful thinking coin is the non-recognition of the limited numbers of fighters on the rebel side. The three oblasts of eastern Ukraine have a population of nearly 10 million, so why are rebel forces so few, vastly outnumbered in Slavyansk?

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 2:01 utc | 64

I will say this — Russia cannot effectively develop those resources without Western expertise and know how. In fact, Russia cannot realize its full, or even close to full, petrol potential without Western abilities.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 6, 2014 11:15:27 AM | 1

1st class arrogance

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 2:01 utc | 65

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 6, 2014 9:40:29 PM | 60

FUKUSA regime likes to plead the cause and aid the 'syrian rebels' (mostly foreign jihadis); while real rebels in Ukraine are ignored by the US, which demands the junta crush them

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 2:03 utc | 66

(@60) Russian Airlift Command with fighter escorts will drop food, medicine, and supplies that can even be inspected by OSCE! I do not think that Russia will permit Donetsk to be subject to starvation! That is a definite red line.

Moreover, if Donetsk is as valuable as suggested (@59), then the liberation by bombardment from afar is "off the table". Therefore, the Ukkkrainians will actually have to do the nasty, street to street and house to house, which they have shown no stomach for.

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 7 2014 2:09 utc | 67

Whoa! Huge, if true.

Posted by: ess emm | Jul 7 2014 2:13 utc | 68

HAHA @65 ... I do not think that Russia will permit Donetsk to be subject to starvation! That is a definite red line.

I think Putie will treat it like the 'Berlin Airlift' scenario of days of yore...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 2:18 utc | 69

@fairleft #60:

You've pinpointed exactly where wishful thinking replaced realism at this blog.

It's not just this blog that is engaged in wishful thinking. So is that ex-Green Beret that b quoted, for example, who takes seriously the notion that Novorossia might span "from Kharkov to Oddessa". There is also this person, whom b could have quoted as well.

I would say that rather than wishful thinking, what is making many observers think that the rebels will be victorious are two considerations, among others. (1) The intuition – call it "wishful thinking" if you will – that a fascist regime in the middle of Europe is unsustainable in this day and age. Yes, history has moved backward tremendously, with neoliberalism involving the forgetting of all the lessons about capitalism that were learned in the 19th century: but outright racist fascism becoming acceptable again? (2) The Ukrainian crisis is the result of the West trying to destroy Russia. But it has tried to do that several times before, and it has always failed. Russians know very well both those things. Why should it be any different this time? (3) The Ukie nationalists are clearly crazy: as one can see from that video that Noirette linked to, they appear to believe in their own propaganda. Russians are not crazy. Being crazy didn't help the Nazis; it's hard to see how it could help the Ukies.

So instead of "wishful thinking", I would call it not willing to give in to utter despair.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 7 2014 2:31 utc | 70

Advancing on Donetsk without scruples

An imperfect corrective (in German) to the lack of realism about the guys who are, really, fighting the good fight against the IMF/EU/US ethnic Ukrainian nationalist regime. Anyway, Dagmar Henn recommends it for the parts that recognize the criminal way the advance is being conducted.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 2:31 utc | 71

The Russian people are merely displaying a feeling that is so alien to modern western culture as to be unidentifiable to most: they are displaying solidarity with those under threat.

It seems a natural reaction of people who know exactly what the West means for them - wether is was World War 2 or the excruciating aftermath of the Cold War surrender/defeat/betrayal - the Russian people are under no illusions of what awaits the people of the Donbas.

The people of the Donbas: another of the growing millions under threat, faced with total exploitation if not extermination, thrown into a civil war so that the plundering Western oligarchs can claim another colony? And who who sees this happening - except for those whose comfortable lifestyle in the world's capitalist capitals has left them totally heartless (Cold N. Hated, thomas, Proyect, slothrop - fair weather friends of humanity if they ever were friends to anyone at all) - could deny that resistance to it is a worthy goal?

Posted by: guest77 | Jul 7 2014 2:34 utc | 72

ess emm @66 Ironically, I reported the Iraqi reporting, here late on the Fourth, and at Col. Lang's...! Not a nibble from anyone...! It was even well-prior to the 'purported' al-Baghdadi sermon on Friday...! Funny tho, how none of the Western MSM will absolutely confirm that it was in fact, the 'new' Caliph delivering that sermon from on high...!

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 2:41 utc | 73

@66 It would be another deft geo-strategic maneuver by the Russians if they are able to use the ISIS/Iraq situation to get their air force directly involved in the conflict against the CIA/Saudi Takfiri armies.

What would have been unthinkable just a month ago - the Russian air force striking directly at the CIA's proxy armies in the Middle East - is now a reality.


Posted by: guest77 | Jul 7 2014 2:42 utc | 74

guest77 #70

amen to that

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jul 7 2014 2:47 utc | 75

Yeah, as if the death of imaginary characters in CIA operations have really put a damper on any of the murder and mayhem over the last 10+ years.

Fuck, I mean which one of the OBL's did we finally "kill" a couple of years ago - the fat one, the skinny one, the cute one or the smart one? - and how many Al-CIAda #2's did the US supposedly smoke over the years - often a couple times a piece - like a hundred?

The US should just go full-frontal Spectacle retard and offer at-home contestants the chance to be the next American ISdol. Yup, one lucky winner each week will - at least in name/image - be the leader of ISIS/ISIL/IS/I? until he/she is smoked out of their "spider-hole" by the ever-capable CIA and the sweepstakes begin anew.

Don't forget to Like your new ISdol on Facebook, retards!!!

Why fuck around waiting for domestics to get all uppity about their shitty ass lives when you could just cut to the chase and have Mary Lundgren of 5424 East Lansing Avenue, Marlborough, MA be the leader of the fucking super-scary and sweet Caliphate of Doom?

Fucking shit.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jul 7 2014 3:00 utc | 76

Posted by: Demian | Jul 6, 2014 10:31:32 PM | 68

I wouldn't call it despair. What we're realistically contemplating is the re-absorbtion into Ukraine of the two rebelling oblasts. They would suffer together with the rest of Ukraine the soon-coming horrific IMF impoverishment, from an already very low base. In one or two years perhaps all of Ukraine except the loons in the western oblasts will rebel and install an anti-IMF and common-sense pro-federalist regime. Things are moving quickly economically and in a downward direction. Despair comes from a long-term sense that things will 'never' get better.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 3:03 utc | 77

guest 77 @72 ...What would have been unthinkable just a month ago - the Russian air force striking directly at the CIA's proxy armies in the Middle East - is now a reality.


Yes, and kudos to Maliki for demanding his $40 Billion back...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 3:13 utc | 78

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 07/06/2014-00:50

Comment: Strelkov was not online today. Below is one day old Strelkov, and the video at the link is already blocked


Last night, a break out of “Slavyansk” encircled by Ukrainian army was accomplished. As a ruse, a coinciding attack on opponent positions was implemented. The attack was executed by our armored group. Most of it died. This had to do with an error of the commander of the group.

Between 80-90% of personal and 90% of weapons had been rescued from the city. Families of combatants and those who sympathized were evacuated, for it would be deadly dangerous if they stay in the city.

Before the break out, as a masquerading measure, a part of combatants conducted active fire to demonstrate the opponent we remain on the positions.

On July 7, I intend to issue an order of creating a Central Military Council consisting of all prominent commanders. The Council will co-ordinate defense issues of Donetsk People Republic and, probably, a part of Lugansk People Republic. In addition, before a military commandant of Donetsk is appointed, I plan to perform these duties as well as take a role of the garrison commander.

Already, the National Guard exacts the retribution on civilians of “Slavyansk”, “Kramatorsk” and “Artemovsk as a pay for their multitude of losses. Once more this proves a grave mistake of those who think if combatants leave without a fight, it spares people from repressions.

Posted by: Fete | Jul 7 2014 3:20 utc | 79


Demian, thank you so much for that link... I feel much, much better about the situation. namaste

Posted by: crone | Jul 7 2014 4:00 utc | 80

Dagmar Henn makes the key point about Germany as NOT a potential ally of Russia in her first sentence:

The EU-association contracts the Kiew Junta signed binds the Ukrainian economy to the zone of German hegemony (the EU is now completely submitted to German interests).

We all understand that the EU benefits Germany and harms most of its other members. And it is EU imperialism (along with US/IMF/NATO imperialism) that has advanced into Ukraine.

It's good to know who your enemies are. When it comes to corporate globalization imperialism, surely the US is number 1 but (because it polices the Eurozone and EU) Germany is not far behind at number 2, and then there is the UK as a distant number 3 if not 4 or 5.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 4:06 utc | 81

@fairleft #79, 80:

The comments by Germans in that thread are interesting, too.

There's little doubt that Germany, not the US, initiated the breakup of Yugoslavia, as Henn observes. That alone makes it very conceivable that Germany has malign intentions with regard to the former Ukraine. (I, like some Russian Russians, have tended to blame the EU's anti-Russian stance on Poland, with Germany and France coming to realize that things cannot go on this way, but I could be wrong about that.)

On the other hand, that Germany acts as a predator in its own right does not imply that it, like all EU countries, is not a colony of the US.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 7 2014 4:45 utc | 83

Posted by: Demian | Jul 7, 2014 12:45:02 AM | 81

Yeah, the comment section there is super-interesting, and largely depressing. The take away might be 'the empire of finance', which Germany and the ECB are on the inside of. The headquarters are only ostensibly in Wall Street in the virtual world; Berlin and London and Brussels are all part of the small ruling committee. I think the potential 'empire of manufacturing' is sold out and bought out in the West. Its soldiers may spring back to life if the China/Russia alliance shows promise.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 5:03 utc | 84

fairleft @82 I think the potential 'empire of manufacturing' is sold out and bought out in the West. Its soldiers may spring back to life if the China/Russia alliance shows promise.

I believe 'the people' are looking for political intestinal fortitude, where ever they can find it...! 8-(

Posted by: CTuttle | Jul 7 2014 6:09 utc | 85

Good news for civilians in east of Ukraine: the fascist and biggest asshole Igor Strelkov fled the city of Slowjansk on Saturday morning obviously with the whole bunch of his robber compatriots. Even some months ago this macho was still drowning out loud about his absolute power, claiming openly that he would not kill doctors and academics who refused to support the so-called rebels but would force them to dig trenches in forward fighting lines.

So called fighters with self-given names like "Pinochet" do not deserve anything else than total defeat. The people in the eastern Ukraine need to learn that it makes no sense to fight the Kiev nationalist and some fascist groups with the same ideology, imported from the most backward right wing and fascist groups from imperial Russia. I hope that the consequence they take is to resist open military pressure from whose side whatsoever by civilian disobedience and actively barrickading troops (ukrainian and so-called rebels) with their own corpses as they did succesfully in March already. But why didn't they follow up this strategy, not with hundreds but with hundreds of thousands?

Also very happy that the assholes and fascist commenters here and exsp. on Saker got what is deserved to them: total defeat, crawl back into your holes!!!

"Against the regime in Kyiv and the junta in the East! AWU-Kyiv statement on the conflict in the Eastern regions"

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 6:43 utc | 86

War against war!
Statement of leftists and anarchists on the confrontation in Ukraine

In the ongoing conflict, we support neither Ukrainian government nor pro-Russian factions that established their authority on the portion of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The working class (i.e. everyone who has neither power nor capital) is equally alien both to the concept of ​​unitary Ukraine and to the ideas of ​​”federalization” or creation of new states — these are merely the games of politicians, drawing blood from ordinary people. We, the left and the anarchists, should primarily adhere to the needs of the working class in the war-torn regions of Ukraine, protect their rights and freedoms.

Against LPR and DPR!

Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” are a collection of warring right-wing juntas. Rights and freedoms, which are granted to the rest of Ukraine, are not available in the territories under their control. Public manifestation of political dissent is not possible there; worker rights activists who criticized DPR were kidnapped and tortured. Upon preservation of these regimes the working class will be completely deprived of any opportunity to defend their legal rights. The only possible form of the “left” activity in DPR and LPR is the ritual worship of Soviet symbols, which has nothing to do with the workers’ interests.

The reactionary regimes of DPR and LPR are not interested in peaceful solution, they aim at escalating the conflict even further, which is confirmed by the promises of their leaders to “get to Kharkov”, “to Kiev” and “to Lviv”.

Against the Ukrainian government!

Ukrainian authorities profit from war contracts, send war reservists and untrained conscripts to to the frontline of the civil war, and attempt to use the protracted military conflict to strengthen their positions. Contrary to the forced rhetorics of the unity between the government and people, we must resist all attempts to curtail social guarantees, political rights and freedoms, all manifestations of police and military violence, all the incitement of nationalist and religious prejudice among soldiers and common people. For the ruling class, war is the opportunity of a crackdown in political and social spheres. In struggle against the aggression of Putin’s regime and his satellites, Ukrainians should not neglect the danger of a “Putin” who can emerge in their own country.

After their victory over the “separatists”, whose position is doomed without the external military support, the strengthened Kiev regime will once again become a major threat to the working class. If the oppressed unite with the ruling class under the patriotic banners, the crackdown on human rights and freedoms, which was to be avoided by the Maidan, is inevitable under the new government. Parliament is comprised of the representatives of conservative and far-right parties (“Batkivshyna”, “Svoboda”), which had repeatedly sponsored obscurantist bills – in particular, the restitution of death penalty, restriction of reproductive rights, preventive arrests on political motives; the charters of these parties contain appeals to ban political strikes. In many of the initiatives they mimic such of the Putin’s regime, of the Party of Regions or of the Communist Party. Despite their plummeting ratings, such rhetorics are perceived as a legitimate part of the political field.

Against fascists on both sides of the frontline!

We unhesitatingly oppose the legitimization of ultra-nationalist and criminal groups as members of the “anti-terrorist operation”. However, we should note that among those fighting on the other side are the volunteers from European fascist organizations and the ultra-reactionaries from Russia, and pro-Kremlin propaganda only portrays them as “anti-fascist warriors”.

Against war incitement under the guise of pacifism!

We are equally disgusted by saber rattling and cheering the killing of enemies, on the one side, and by pseudo-pacifist speculations of the people directly responsible for the escalation of violence, on the other. Pacifism is neither compatible with the backing of the “New Russia” regimes or expressing any kind of sympathy towards them, nor with the support of Ukrainian militarism.

Against lies and propaganda from all sides!

Information space and the media have become a genuine battlefield, the people of Ukraine and Russia are being fed opposite in content but equally spurious propaganda that strengthens militancy on both sides of the conflict and sets workers on against other; this allows governments to channel social discontent into a safe direction. Therefore, it is important not to follow the crowd, which is pleased to receive the news it wants to hear, but to keep a sober mind and stay true to our principles. Only time will help to reconstruct the events truthfully.

For the development of the labor movement!

The working class in Ukraine is still in its infancy and is does not take part in the conflict as a subject. We need to formulate and defend the social agenda and help the development of organizations that express the interests of workers. Only a strong labor movement that realizes its interests will be able to establish peace in Ukraine.

We oppose involuntary military service, and demand to end the conscription and release all soldiers who do not want to fight.

We support the campaign of aiding internally displaced persons from the war-torn regions, and we are ready to support deserters and conscripts who evade service on ethical and political grounds. AWU-Kharkiv already runs a campaign to support the internally displaced people in its area – we urge all libertarians and left to join in or do the same in their areas.

We express our support and solidarity with the workers’ and trade union initiatives that fight for their labor rights; we are ready to actively support those who are struggling against DPR and LPR from the class standpoint. They are in a much more serious danger today than activists from Central and Western Ukraine.

No war but the class war!

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 6:45 utc | 87

The victors of WWII created the Yugoslav state as a means to limit German influence in the Balkans (either Austrian or German) In 1992 Genscher saw his opportunity to reverse what he considered a historic crime and it was very simple. He encouraged Slovenia to declare independence and then promptly recognized her sovereignty. This caught Baker and Bush by surprise as they were in the middle of efforts to negotiate a settlement. Once that domino was pushed the whole nation disappeared after a two year civil war. Obviously the US did not protest loudly and after Clinton and Blair came in they encouraged further war and bloodshed. I always considered James Baker as one of good guys because of this, but there was not much he could do once the Germans acted. Dagmar Henn's article is certainly interesting but I am not sure how relevant Yugoslavia is to what is happening in Ukraine. Also, what has Germany actually gained from the breakup of Yugoslavia? A few more failed economies to add to Greece and Cypress. Why would they want Ukraine?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 7 2014 6:51 utc | 88

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7, 2014 2:45:16 AM | 85

"The working class in Ukraine is still in its infancy ..." No insults please.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 6:51 utc | 89

Machos who think in penis-weapon terms and believe in the power of guns instead in the power of self-consciousness and democracy are self-responsible for every massacre inflicted on them.

They deserve total defeat. I don`t release a bunch of robbers, rightwingers and fascists from responsibility of inflicting a bloody rule on most of the unwilling people in eastern ukraine at gunpoint. They are no better than the ISIS gangs in Syria and Iraq.

Use your own brain, it's an armed fight between two assholes - the Kiev junta and the Donbass robber gangs. To call one side "genocide" is an insult against every historical genocide and is only used by these special commenters here to masturbate themselves into some state of mind they can never reach otherwise anymore

there are innocent people being killed on both sides of the assholes trenches, exsp. children; but please spare me with these one-sided hysterical and unhistorical rantings

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 6:51 utc | 90

@fairleft #87:

In comparison with the slimy slug thomas, Cold is a cuddly old teddy bear.

With Cold, the impression I get is that he just has a different point of view than I do, and also, that a lot of what he writes is just in good fun. thomas, on the other hand is a hollowed out entity residing in a human body, exactly the kind of German that the US occupiers had been aiming for, as guest77 noted.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 7 2014 7:04 utc | 91

Dagmar Henn is a lonesome lunatic and not a political analyst at all. She left her party "Die Linke" in January with no public explanation except that her ego obviously couldn't get that a party is comprised of different people, not just a leader.

That she sides with a lunatic religiously obsessed right wing like Saker now comes to no surprise. But it makes it much easier to judge what she regards as an "analysis".

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 7:10 utc | 92

Oh Thomas the perfect liberal, a pox on both sides of every conflict. Supports neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis: why can't they just get along? The Vietcong and the Americans -- again both are guilty.

The US and EU provoked a conflict in Ukraine with predictable results, the coup set off a rebellion in the east. Thomas hates them for doing what people have done for centuries by going into rebellion when their culture is suppressed. Personally, I would not have gone to war, I would just flee. But I do know that there are people who will fight back. It is human nature. It is predictable. The US and EU should be held responsible. But Thomas holds no one responsible because he holds everyone responsible. Except himself, of course, because his cause is pure. What a bunch of crap.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 7 2014 7:26 utc | 93

Posted by: Demian | Jul 7, 2014 3:04:14 AM | 89

I completely agree. Anyone that can write that one side in a civil war is "self-responsible for every massacre inflicted on them" is a Nazi-level beast.

Posted by: fairleft | Jul 7 2014 7:30 utc | 94

I suppose if this was 1986, b would be blogging from somewhere in the Eden of russified east Germany, writing poems in praise of Erich Honecker...
Posted by: slothrop | Jul 6, 2014 3:48:18 PM | 22

...and slothrop would be -13 years old.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 7 2014 7:32 utc | 95

Most likely ukraine army is led by nato/us leaders because of their success lately.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 7 2014 7:40 utc | 96

I don't care what you couche-potatoe "political analysists" say. The discussion on Strelkov fleeing the scene already took place in the "Germany getting ready" blog over the weekend. b. was much too late with his horrible statements like:

"Too bad that it is the residents of Donetsk who will be paying the blood price for this."

did anybody (b., you, the differnet armed assholes) asked them if they like to pay? possibly with their lifes? or has anybody asked the people in the cities they had to leave now???

Contrary to you (maybe there are some exceptions) I know my history of fighting wars and weapon-carrying assholes: we organised flight trails for US Vietnam war resisters from Germany to Sweden in the 60's and 70's, I spent 9 months in jail for refusing to go to the german army, we destroyed an army armoured vehicle during a public exhibition, we pissed on flags and burned them in front of regional NATO headquarter, disturbing public army "oath taking" ceremonies at all places etc.pp

Today the german army is incapable of doing anything aggressive on its own; they can only mildly follow US steps. So there will be nothing in Ukraine with any german military involvement

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 7:53 utc | 97

"He knows that Novorossiya must be forged from fire if it is to survive. They must want it and be willing to fight for it themselves."

I agree, I also say this all the time - ten mio. people should be able to produce a strong standing army within a week. If they won't, then they don't want to be free.

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 7 2014 8:01 utc | 98

and, btw, fighting b. on the other side of the barricades. He often talks about his "military experience with tanks in the Bundeswehr". Maybe he is just sour and mad that we destroyed his toys???

Posted by: thomas | Jul 7 2014 8:08 utc | 99

americans are notoriously bad on geography, so with CNN...or is this deliberate?

Posted by: brian | Jul 7 2014 8:38 utc | 100

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