Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 29, 2014

Ukraine Lost A Battle - West Escalates With More Russia Sanctions

Throughout August the Ukrainian president and cabinet, likely following U.S. "advisers", pushed their army into a big attack on the insurgency held south east areas of the country. But the attack of bad equipped, half trained units ran into problems. Some of them reached their attack targets only to find themselves cut off from any resupply. Without ammunition, gas and food they were locked into place and easy targets for the insurgents artillery.

The attack was stretched too far. The "culmination point in the attack" Clausewitz wrote about was reached and crossed. The negative effects of the attack on its own troops became bigger then the positive effects and the government in Kiev, not recognizing the real situation, still pressed on. It now lost the initiative. The parts of the Ukrainian army not surrounded and caught up surrounded in "cauldrons" retreated to be reorganized.

Some of the "volunteer" territorial battalions are simply going home. There is even a revolt against the defense ministry.

By Aug. 27, the battalion had left the war zone and made its way to the city of Znamyanka in Kirovohrad Oblast. Romanyuk said they were in discussion with the Defense Ministry whether to continue home to their base in Ivano-Frankivsk region, or be sent back to the Anti-Terrorist Operation.

In what is becoming a repeated refrain, the apparent failure of the government to provide its soldiers with even the most basic supplies is undermining both the conduct of the war and the morale of those fighting it.

“They were dumped,” said Romanyuk. “And absolutely all the territorial defense battalions are in this position. So they are in revolt against the Ministry of Defense. No one wants to endure this idiotic command anymore, and this inadequate attitude to soldiers, to the needs of the army and the National Guard.”

The situation is not looking good for the coup government in Kiev. Some of the neo-nazi national guard battalions have even threatened to come to Kiev to "clean the house."

The loss of the battle is also the reason why Ukraine now really, really fast wants to join NATO. That is not going to happen. NATO has a simple rule that countries with internationally disputed areas can not join. Should Ukraine give up on Crimea its move would make sense. But as it can not yet do so the joining request is just helpless yapping. As a little consolidation price the IMF squandered another $1.4 billion by giving it to bancrupt Kiev as a part of a larger loan. Ukraine will probably use that to pay for the T-72 tanks it recently bought from Hungary. Officially the IMF is not allowed to give money to countries at war. That may be the reason why yesterday official talk of an "invasion" by Russia was later toned down to "incursion".

The military battle defeat was the reason why Russia was accused of an invasion even when the OECD observers says (in German) that they have "no objective information" to support such a claim. Such propaganda rushes as yesterday always follow when the shit hits the fan for the "western" side. They are also occasions to introduce new sanction which from the U.S. point of view, have the nice feature of solely hurting both Europe and Russia. The U.S. poodle in No. 10 now wants to kick Russia out of the SWIFT inter-banking systems:

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, is one of Russia’s main connections to the international financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels tomorrow, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

“Blocking Russia from the SWIFT system would be a very serious escalation in sanctions against Russia and would most certainly result in equally tough retaliatory actions by Russia,” said Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow-based consulting firm Macro Advisory. “An exclusion from SWIFT would not block major trade deals but would cause problems in cross-border banking and that would disrupt trade flows.”

"Trade flows" in this case are gas supplies from Russia needed in Europe throughout the winter. If the gas bill can not be paid because Russia gets kicked out of SWIFT the spice will not flow. Only the U.K., which does not need Russian gas supplies, could come up with such a lunatic idea.

On the other side it would probably be good for the world in the longer term should Russia be kicked out of SWIFT. The BRICS countries would of course immediately introduce an alternative under their control which would then lead to more preferential trade between them. Such an alternative would make SWIFT no longer indispensable and useless as a tool for "western" sanctions.

Also today the Iranian foreign minister Zarif visited Moscow for talks with Russia. The atmosphere was said to be quite positive. But someone in Washington took this visit as an insult and immediately slapped more sanctions on Iran:

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on more than 25 people and companies it accused of violating sanctions against Iran, including shipping firms, airlines, and six Iranian banks.

Why, in the mid of so far positive talks with Iran about its nuclear program, does the U.S. feel this need to escalate again? Iran and Russia see their national aspirations as just and can therefore not be moved by sanctions. Is that really so hard to understand?

Such sanctions and childish petty acts, like Poland's overflight blockage of a Russian Defense Minister flight, will only create more strife in the world and a stronger urge for many states to distance themselves from the "west" with its seemingly more and more crazy leaders.

Posted by b on August 29, 2014 at 17:01 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

@somebody #97:

Military bases per se do not necessarily translate into political influence.

You have made that claim before. I think it's preposterous. A foreign country having military bases in your country amounts to military occupation. Since when did being occupied not translate into being politically influenced by a foreign power, i.e., not being sovereign? There is endless speculation about what the US has over Merkel, to make her betray German interests so blatantly. If it's not the NSA having dirt on her, being the Chancellor of an occupied nation is a good backup explanation.

As for the task force, how do you know that England invited France and Germany to join it? In any case, the interesting question is not whether Germany and France will join the task force, but whether they will submit to pressure from their American masters to impose further sanctions on their fellow European nation, Russia.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30 2014 19:09 utc | 101

b, malooga, others

you are doing a solid work

this world cannot be lived without rigor

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Aug 30 2014 19:09 utc | 102

Have those that believed there were no Russians involved in the fighting given that fantasy up?

Posted by: Bill Smith | Aug 30 2014 19:29 utc | 103

i don't think poroshenko is a very good liar, or he is being misrepresented at teh rianovosti website.. i quote from this article "“I’m absolutely sure that if Ukrainians have a possibility by themselves to solve their problem, the war will not exist in Ukraine’s territory. That’s why only dialogue is very important for us,” Poroshenko said following the meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso."

previously he was mouthing the typical usa bs - 'we don't talk to terrorists' mantra.. the fact is, his under his leadership someone within his circle opted to militarily assualt the people of eastern ukraine.. for him to say "only dialogue is very important to us" is for him to be acting in direct conflict with what he is saying.. that's why i say he is a liar, or rianovosti is isolating words which make him look like one.

Posted by: james | Aug 30 2014 19:33 utc | 104

Bill Smith

Another bot, again show evidence that Russian state send soldiers or stop spamming with your fantasies.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 30 2014 19:48 utc | 105

et me be very, very frank. the last time europe was under threat it was the soviet union that saved it from fascism, alone

you can quibble, but every other attempt to fight fascism, was a farce, a fiasco, obscene (like the mass bombing) incompetent & finally a skirmish, a sideshow

today, nato is seducing europe into war with russia, it is not only morally scandalous it is an inversion of facts & history, so pornographic, it beggars belief

it does not take einstein to understand that what is happening in ukraine is an inter-ukrainian affair - a continuation of the very vast differences between east & west ukraine

nato make these threats just at the moment when the ragtag but disciplined armies of the east are holding the kiev fascists in a classic encirclement

i do not want nato to determine my life, they have already made the life of many millions of people, a misery, a complete misery - look at libya - it is a horror show - with the takfiri/salafists able to do what they want bleeding the arab world completely. the americans have made an abattoir & burial ground of ancient arab lands

this nato that creates criminal states of kosovo where the business of traffic organ traffic, heroin trafficking, prostitution into western europe - it is not a state it is the lair of gangsters

it would appear from an objectively historical method, that nato has only support mobsters, support the scum that live off the people yet who show no concern for the day to day existence of those people

nato uses the shield of human rights but i have not hears one word, not one word of the suffering of the libyan people, the people of iraq, the people of the congo, the people of east ukraine. not one word on the methodic barbarous murder of these people

i ask my historian camarades, can they tell me of one empire that was ever substantively concerned about human right. the country i come from, the real owners of that country have experienced genocide, gave experienced the most brutal forms of inequality, have lived in a culture that wants to seperate their souls from their skins - do not speak to me of human rights, when in fact you have not considered human rights, real human rights, ever

next week, nato is holding its meetings in cardiff, a city thatcher & austerity has torn to the ground as effective as any bomb & the people of cardiff live in a misery that would take people back to the 18th century. human fucking rights, don't fucking bend your words, jack

i do not want nato to touch a hair of the russian people's heads, they may not be my ideal but they are the most important element in a multipolar world

& the dumbest of us understand that a multipolar world is a guarantor for our safety

nato in this sense is doing what the nazis have done before them, overestimated their own capacities, & underestimated those of the east

i will not live in a world where people are treated as subhumans & that is exactly what nato is doing, if the russians are subhuman, then so am i, if the eastern ukrainians are subhuman, then so am i

nato, do not touch a hair on their heads


Posted by: remembererringgiap | Aug 30 2014 20:04 utc | 106


NATO/NAZI ... NAZI/NATO ... shocking, but it resonates and rings true.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 30 2014 20:20 utc | 107

@Parviziyi #76

You said: "One billion is enough to carry 75,000 soliders for a year at a cost of 14,000 per soldier. Three billion is enough to do it for three years."

The salary for a soldier is actually a tiny fraction of the actual cost. Equipment, food, training, resupply is generally a large multiple.

For American troops - the soldier's deployed overseas get paid in the $40K to $80K range for ground troops, but the actual cost of 1 soldier deployed overseas is well over $1M per year. Note that the above is vs. the actual salary for privates' being right around $20K.

Naturally, I wouldn't expect a deployment cost being anywhere close to US rates, but if the junta is sending out troops without training, resupply, or sufficient equipment - it would handily explain why their performance has been so poor. The old saying: An army travels on its stomache.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 30 2014 20:37 utc | 109

clue #108:

Parviziyi thinks like an economist, in terms of what is financially feasible. But this war will be decided on the basis of another constraint: how many lives of west Ukrainians are west Ukrainians willing to sacrifice for a Nazi/NATO project?

There is also the matter that the Novorossian army tries to take prisoners, and in the case of military Ukes as opposed to mercenary Ukes, it follows the unorthodox practice of letting them go back home, even though the war has not yet ended. When they return to their families, those Ukes coming from the front will contradict the Uke propaganda line of the fascist junta and Parviziyi.

@Parviziyi: Are you Ukrainian? If so, why aren't you in the eastern front killing terrorists?

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30 2014 21:00 utc | 110

It looks like Brussels couldn't reach agreement on imposing more sanctions, and has come up with a stalling tactic.

BBC: Poroshenko: Ukraine 'close to point of no return'

Mr Poroshenko said that new EU sanctions against Russia would be prepared and would be implemented depending on the success of a proposed peace plan.

It's funny how the government controlled BBC now takes Poroshenko to speak for the EU.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30 2014 21:19 utc | 111

So, I read four articles about the EU summit which for some reason had Poroshenko attend, even though Ukeland is not an EU member: The BBC, Telegraph, FAZ, and Spiegel. Bizarrely, only Der Spiegel mentioned Angela Merkel, and all it could come up with is this:

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel sprach mit Blick auf den Ukraine-Konflikt von einer "sehr ernsten Situation".

It looks like the Empire and Ukeland are going to have to run another false flag op to get Germany back on board.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30 2014 21:53 utc | 112

In his comments in Brussels:
Poroshenko added that a trilateral meeting on Monday involving representatives of Kiev, Moscow and the European Union could produce a ceasefire.

Will Poroshenko also be part of the NATO Summit in Wales next week?

Posted by: Oui | Aug 30 2014 22:49 utc | 113

The Netherlands Admits Existence MH17 Investigation Agreement

it is official: the main suspect, the Kiev junta, has a veto right in preventing sensitive information made public. This stinks to high heaven. It is like Al Capone being a member of the jury, burdened to sentence, well, Al Capone.

The Western political elite must be pretty desperate to engage in such an adventure with the internet around, as if the world is going to be fooled by this. The criminal US political elite wants to destroy Russia and does all it can to create a mega-conflict. The European elite is totally immersed in the Atlanticist Faith, so the leaderless and coward European bitch follows its US pimp, where ever he goes.

And it doesn't matter if the world isn't fooled by this, because reality doesn't matter. What matters is the official reality which is constructed by the mass media. This is how totalitarianism works. It wouldn't matter if everyone knew all the lies that the media presents, because that they are lies would never be publicly admitted by government officials or the media.

The blogosphere is the contemporary equivalent of Soviet dissidents' samizdat. The Soviet Union continued existing for several decades after samizdat appeared.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30 2014 23:48 utc | 114

@Demian #109
You said: "Parviziyi thinks like an economist, in terms of what is financially feasible. But this war will be decided on the basis of another constraint: how many lives of west Ukrainians are west Ukrainians willing to sacrifice for a Nazi/NATO project?"

Did you perhaps mean financier? It would be a poor economist indeed - even worse than the present state of the art - who does not total up the correct numbers behind a numerical assertion. Equally a financier is the type who thinks one soldier is much like any other: you pay them X to accomplish Y.

I do agree that massive losses are a huge negative endorsement of the present junta, but again, it is difficult to know just what Ukrainian reaction is going to be. I personally doubt that the people living under the junta now are willing to go as far as the Vietnamese did in pushing out all the foreign occupiers, but only time will tell for sure.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 31 2014 0:16 utc | 115

@ c1ue #108: GDP per capita in Ukraine is less than €3000 per annum (intentionally, that's not adjusted for PPP). This figure means the average wage in Ukraine must be less than €7000 per annum. Hence I think a cost of €14000 per soldier in Ukraine would be a roughly reasonable estimate, very roughly, and not too low. Your reference point of the cost US soldiers fighting overseas is inappropriate, naturally, as you said yourself.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 31 2014 1:25 utc | 116

Wonderful how the paper masquerading as The Guardian renders "polite men in green" as "little green men" as though they were aliens from Mars :)

Posted by: Cortes | Aug 31 2014 2:24 utc | 117

@20 shargash

"One wonders where the hatred of the Germans went."

I think that hatred was partially spent via the mass expulsion of ethnic Germans after WWII. The remainder may have been put in hock to the exigencies of the Cold War, and now its new incarnation.

But that doesn't mean that there aren't Poles who fear the Germans. Their leaders have them in the same organization as Germany (NATO), and the people may be lulled to sleep. It doesn't help, either, that Russia, then under auspices of the Stalinist USSR, engaged in terrible crimes in Poland as well. But then, terrible crimes occurred also under Poland's own fascistic-authoritarian regime in the mid-1920s and 1930s (incl. mass arrests and concentration camp).

No clean hands here. The only true revolutionists were long ago murdered, or shuffled off into the wilds of irrelevancy and isolation. The children of destruction are all grown up now, and they are going into tantrum.

Joyce was certainly right when he wrote, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Aug 31 2014 2:46 utc | 118

@demian - #113

Only the media state for a fact it's a non-disclosure pact with veto rights. Not in any official press release did I find such a clause. On Friday 29 August 2014, in a written statement, the Dutch cabinet declared there is no non-disclosure pact between these nations and it would be illegal to do so. International conventions in accident investigation prohibits such.

From the published document 19 pages Q&A to Dutch parliament

1 - l. Klopt het er een schriftelijke overeenkomst is tussen Oekraïne, België, Nederland en/of Australië over het openbaar maken van het onderzoek naar de toedracht? Klopt het dat elk land de openbaarmaking daarvan kan blokkeren door een non-disclosureovereenkomst?

Antwoord van het kabinet:

Neen. Op 24 juli jl. hebben Nederland en Oekraïne het hierboven genoemde MoU gesloten waarin Oekraïne de verantwoordelijkheid voor het onderzoek naar de ramp aan Nederland delegeert. In het MoU heeft Nederland zich verbonden de uitvoering van het onderzoek in overeenstemming met de bepalingen van hoofdstuk 5 van Annex 13 bij het Burgerluchtvaartverdrag (1944) Daarin is vastgelegd dat de onderzoekende staat het eindrapport van het onderzoek dient te sturen aan de ‘state of registry’, ‘state of operator’, ‘state of design’, ‘state of manufacture’, ‘state having interest because of fatalities’, ‘state providing information, significant facilities or experts’ en ICAO. Nederland heeft zich daaraan te houden en in het MoU is daarom vastgelegd dat het rapport en de bevindingen zullen worden toegezonden aan de betrokken landen.

Er is geen sprake van een non-disclosure overeenkomst. Dit zou ook strijdig zou zijn met de voorschriften over de rapportage zoals neergelegd in Deel 4 “Reporting” van de ‘Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation’ van ICAO (ICAO DOC 9756 part IV). De onderzoekende staat (in dit geval Nederland) dient de staten die betrokken zijn geweest bij het onderzoek en via hen ook de operator van het toestel en de producent van het toestel, het ontwerp van het eindrapport toe te zenden en hen uit te nodigen voor commentaar.

Indien binnen 60 dagen na toezending van het ontwerprapport commentaar wordt ontvangen, zal de onderzoekende staat het ontwerp eindrapport daarop aanpassen óf de commentaren toevoegen aan het eindrapport.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2014 3:12 utc | 119

@Oui #118:

Thanks for the correction. That blogger sometimes goes off on a limb. For example, he blogged as evidence that Kiev shot down MH17 the alleged discussion on Facebook of two Uke conspirators of how to go about downing it, whereas I think it's pretty clear that that was a fake (to use a Russian word lol) and black propaganda.

Both with respect to what is going to come out about MH17, and whether Merkel will go along with further sanctions, there is a lot of uncertainty right now. As some Germans commented on a thread at the Saker a while ago, nobody knows how the German government makes decisions.

As for the civil war, I think there is less uncertainty. A factor I haven't brought up before is that I'm under the impression that the Russian military is more adept at fighting this kind of war than the US military is. The US hasn't really fought a war involving gradually gaining territory from a more or less equal enemy since WW II. The Russians evidently have not forgotten how to do that, given that they periodically get invaded by West Europeans. Also, there is the factor that Russians and Novorossians share the same culture, so Russian military people are going to understand whom they are advising well, whereas I imagine the understanding between US military advisers and Ukes is not so good.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 31 2014 4:15 utc | 120

Merkel is compromised from her East German days I would guess.

Posted by: purple | Aug 31 2014 5:16 utc | 121

Russian Spring


Interview with Vice Premier of Donetsk Republic Andrey Purgin

Question: Negotiations in format of a contact group


The meeting scheduled for Monday in Minsk, Belarus

Question: The parties


From Donetsk Republic – I. From Ukraine – I think a delegation is going to be large. There will be ussue of containing their overwhelming number. Possibly some documents will be handed out for review.

Question: Prisoners


We try to persuade the Ukranian side to exchange “all for all”, but without success… We keep data of 300+ of prisoner and more than thousand missing in action. As an example, when we exchanged 20 for 20, six men from our list were “substituted” because they were neither in the MIA list nor in the list of imprisoned – but they were our people. This tells the numbers we know are number of times greater, if not in order of magnitude.
The Ukrainian side doges the answer why “all for all” can not be agreed.

Question: Mariupol`


There are battalions that work on punitive principle. Maximum 25% are such battalions. These are all sorts of National Guards registered by Ministry of Internal Affairs. The rest are free lancers, robbers, marauders and plan sadists, who for lack of money to hunt lions in Africa gun down people in Donbass. These will not fight to death in “caldrons”. The regular army is a forcible mobilization, third by today. These people fight because National Guard stands behind and induces them to do so. I do not see the forces worth to defend the city.

Russian Spring



In follow up of yesterday’s message, Semen Semenchenko, the commander of territorial battalion “Donbass” being eliminated under Ilovaysk, concluded:

“A crime was perpetrated today. The President’s mission to arrange a humanitarian convoy to evacuate troops under siege near settlement Chervonocel`sk was disobeyed. The troops, who more than 10 days with minimal reinforcement storm Ilovaysk, who were ambushed and cared for more than 80 wounded, were to be removed from 6 to 10 a.m. The transport did not arrive at all.”

Russian Spring


Summary from the Army of South-East


After unsuccessful attempt to break the siege, the general command of Ukrainian occupation-punitive troops during “cease of fire” regiment after 15:oo had evacuated its personnel along with wounded and killed. Fifty three autos were operating to remove the troops.


Units of Army of South-East reclaimed from the punitive troops settlements Privetnoye, Novosvetlovka and Lutugino (which leaves the only area south of Lugansk under opponent - the airport)

Russian Spring


Comment: Donetsk Republic claims full control over stretch of front between Donetsk and Mariupol`.

The combatants took control over regional center Volnovakha located between Donetsk and Mariupol`.

“This means a caldron – one more - to the south of Donetsk”

Posted by: Fete | Aug 31 2014 5:38 utc | 122


Not just this blogger but also the media carried the story about a signed non-disclosure pact. At first I thought there was some confusion because there are three separate investigation: revovery and identification bodies, the crash investigation by Dutch Safety Board and the criminal investigation coordinated via Eurojust setting up a JIT. The answer given by Dutch government covered all three investigations.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2014 7:05 utc | 123

As an aside, interesting to read the OSCE daily briefing. A few days ago it specified civilian unrest in Lviv, , Kherson, Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk. Protests initiated by "maidan" groups, Svoboda, football hooligans and Right Sektor.

○ Latest Ukraine Mission News @OSCE SMM twitter

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2014 7:06 utc | 124

Isnt it pretty obvious a false flag attack will become true after eu threats with sanctions if the situation doesnt get better within a week?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 31 2014 7:30 utc | 125

@Oui #122:

Following a link from that:

n Donetsk the SMM met with an interlocutor from the Donetsk Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to the interlocutor, on 30 July, a priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was verbally and physically assaulted by Ukrainian Army servicemen while passing through an army checkpoint located in the area of Amrosievka (75 km southeast of Donetsk). Reportedly, several servicemen stopped and surrounded the priest whom they asked about his church affiliation, namely to which Patriarchate he belonged. Reportedly, while the priest was about to answer, one of the servicemen fired shots in the air next to the priest’s ears. The servicemen then asked the priest to take off his necklace carrying a Christian Cross, but when the priest resisted they pulled it off violently, said the interlocutor. The servicemen searched the house of the priest, who was beaten and his family members threatened. The interlocutor could not specify which military unit was manning the checkpoint at the time of the alleged assault, but had later learnt the servicemen were newly-deployed in the area. Following the incident, the church produced a report which was sent to church’s head offices in Kyiv which in turn, on 1 August 2014, referred it to the office of the Ukrainian President. According to the interlocutor, there has been no reply to the complaint from the President’s office thus far.

By the way, the term "Ukrainian Orthodox Church" is very silly. I have never heard of such a thing as Ukrainian Orthodoxy. But even though it's called Ukrainian Orthodox, just because it has "Moscow" in its name, Ukes hate it.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 31 2014 7:37 utc | 126

@Demian - #124

Adding some fuel to inter-religious warfare …

Ukraine facing religious war as Moscow Patriarchate attacks Greek Catholics
Greek Catholics warn the time of martyrdom is upon their Church in Eastern Ukraine

Clarity in split between Nazi and Communist regions as fought during WWII.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2014 9:07 utc | 127

@Oui #125:

Gotta give VietnamVet credit here; he said that religion would also play a role in the divisiveness, but I thought that Ukraine was too secularized for that to happen. But then, I came of age in New England, so I essentially absorbed liberal Protestantism through the air, even though I was raised Russian Orthodox. I have only passed through Ukraine a couple of times, on the way from Russia to Slovakia, so I never got a chance to get any kind of feel for that "country".

God, when I thought that the Ukraine would not be consumed by civil war seems so long ago…

Posted by: Demian | Aug 31 2014 10:08 utc | 128

@114 demian.. is that a picture of a young merkel on the bottom of the link? - fwiw - the agreement, if it did exist, doesn't include malaysia in it. i don't believe the malaysia gov't is going to go happily into the night..

@120 demian quote "Also, there is the factor that Russians and Novorossians share the same culture, so Russian military people are going to understand whom they are advising well, whereas I imagine the understanding between US military advisers and Ukes is not so good."

this is what i was referring as a proxy war involving usa/russia.. i agree with your analysis of this very important consideration..

Posted by: james | Aug 31 2014 17:11 utc | 129

@Parviziyi #116

You said: "GDP per capita in Ukraine is less than €3000 per annum (intentionally, that's not adjusted for PPP). This figure means the average wage in Ukraine must be less than €7000 per annum. Hence I think a cost of €14000 per soldier in Ukraine would be a roughly reasonable estimate, very roughly, and not too low. Your reference point of the cost US soldiers fighting overseas is inappropriate, naturally, as you said yourself."

I think your assumptions are still seriously flawed. As I demonstrated - the actual salary of a private in the US army is a very, very tiny fraction of the overall cost. That overall cost - some is scalable (food), but much of it is not (bullets, heavy equipment). Let me put this another way: the cost of a 7.62mm bullet in the US is roughly $0.75 per round.

Unless the troops are all one-shot, one-kill types - it wouldn't surprise me to hear that a single soldier might shoot off $2000 in a single battle. The equivalent cost for artillery sheels, Grad rockets, parts/repair/fuel for tanks and BTRs, etc would be much, much higher.

Thus your estimate is *at least* 10 times too small.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 31 2014 17:34 utc | 130

good first hand article first hand article from a person from russia who went to donetsk and has returned to russia..

Posted by: james | Aug 31 2014 22:39 utc | 131

Russian Spring


From the Army of South-East:


During the day the combatants were waging the airport battle. Combatants’ artillery had blown two fortified field structures. As result of courageous and energetic actions of the defenders of Donbass, the remnants of punitive battalion “Aidar” as well as mercenaries of private military companies - mostly from Poland, Sweden and Baltic countries - endured large losses and were thrown off territory of the airport.

At the time of battle the English speech was heard over the ether (radio).


Combat activity intensified near Donetsk airport.

Russian Spring


Comment: The end of 3rd tactical group of 77 units of military equipment and parts of territorial battalions. The group tried to leave Ilovaysk caldron.

The first circle of Donetsk Army surrounding the caldron let the group through freely. However, while the group were approaching the second circle, it came to light that the command of Ukrainian army refused to leave heavy weapons and hardware behind, yet advanced reserves to meet units exiting the caldron. Therefore, the conditions of providing corridors were breached.

The fire was opened, and the group was practically eliminated: only few tens of troopes and one or so APC exited.

Russian Spring


Minister of Defense of Donetsk Republic Vladimir Kononov about exchange of prisoners:

I was informed by mothers of soldiers that their children are being retained by either Ukrainian Security Service or elsewhere. For ten days, the Ukrainian side does not let go five people requested by parents (?). Therefore, for the time being, I halted all POW exchanges.

Also, according to Kononov, all surrended conscripts 18-20 years old were let go:

Although these boys shelled our cities, our people, they acted as soldiers, according to orders. They were offered to lay down arms, they agreed and were let go.

Posted by: Fete | Sep 1 2014 5:05 utc | 132

Posted by: Demian | Aug 30, 2014 3:09:36 PM | 101

Merkel is not betraying German interests - German interests are transatlantic as they are Eastern.
Trade with Russia is small compared to inter-European/US trade. Energy independence would be in Germany's interest, energy dependency on Russia is not. It simply isn't.
If there is a trade war between Russia and the US Germany is going to lose no matter what.

Thinking about interests - like talking about transatlantic free trade zone - the lines are not between nations but people. Like the interests of European and US consumers align (ie. no power to companies to appeal consumer protective national legislation) versus the interests of multinational companies.

You are stuck in the 19th century but what you are saying was not true even then. But even if the interests of people were the interests of countries and there was a conflict between US and German interests - what difference would the military bases make. How could US soldiers stop legislation in the Bundestag - by occupying the building?

This here is the result of the huge US Baghdad Green Zone base in Iraq

The popularity of the Kurdish region, before the assaults from the IS, was increasing. The primary reason is that the Iraqi government has been difficult to deal with. Oil companies complain of the bureaucratic system, which frequently causes delays in essential oil infrastructure related projects. Another major reason is the Iraqi government’s terms for crude production sharing that are not very lucrative. As a result, Statoil ASA (STO) ended its operations in Iraq in 2012. On the other hand, KRG has been offering oil companies better conditions to operate, as well as relatively attractive production sharing terms.

The Iraqi government has warned oil companies like Exxon Mobil and Total SA of consequences from their dealings with the KRG, after the Texas-based company turned its back to a $50 billion stake in the West Qurna-1 field, one of Iraq’s largest.

Turkey’s role is pivotal as the country is planning the construction of another pipeline, which will connect Kurdistan to the Mediterranean export terminals.

There is no oil to rob in Germany. The country runs on know how. All bases in Germany are good for is spying. If German companies were really concerned about it they could protect themselves. They do not consider it worth it.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 1 2014 6:06 utc | 133


The person most responsible is Angela Merkel. Rather than risk an almighty row with the US and its European allies Britain, Poland, the Baltics and the Scandinavian states she went along with their policy of seeking all out military victory whilst trying to soothe German business opinion (her core constituency) by engaging in weeks of negotiations with the Russians to which it is now clear she was never really committed and which as a result led precisely nowhere. Someone has described her to me as a person who is trying to keep a footing on both the up and down escalators at the same time. In doing this she gambled that her threat of sanctions would deter the Russians from calling her out. Her bluff has now been well and truly called, she faces a brewing revolt within Europe led by the Slovaks and possibly the Hungarians who are now publicly questioning her policy and it is clear that she has no real idea what to do.

Seems Mercouris agrees with my assessment of three days ago about Merkel, though his metaphor is possibly less brutal.

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 1 2014 9:30 utc | 134

GRAPHIC Video of some destroyed vehicles and killed Ukrainian fighters.

The end shows the papers of the dead and ... a staple of fresh $100 notes from their pockets.

Posted by: b | Sep 1 2014 16:51 utc | 135

@ c1ue #130 : I will concede that my estimate may be too small, and I thank you for the correction. I'm not conceding that your "ten times" estimate is right, but you've convinced me that I don't know enough about what I'm talking about, and I should retract my estimate. Once again I appreciate that you took the time to correct me.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 1 2014 17:41 utc | 136

@b, demian:

Video from #135 at 5:32 in -- what's up with that 100 dollar bill? It has a Ukrainian/Russian line printed at the bottom. "In God We Trust is too blurry. Not a real bill. What does the cyrillic line say?

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 1 2014 20:19 utc | 137

@137 malooga. i noticed that too.. i was also curious about the passport with finger pointed at 4:47 in the video.. is it a visitors passport with some type of document pasted on top of it? unfortunately i can't read the language to know..

Posted by: james | Sep 1 2014 20:46 utc | 138

не является платежным средством

That what the text says, you can google it, theres a wiki for it, I dont really read into it.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 1 2014 21:07 utc | 139

"Is not a tender" is the translation from russian to english..

demian, i am still interested in the passport data at 4:47 on the video if you can give some thoughts on that.

Posted by: james | Sep 1 2014 22:31 utc | 140

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