Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 02, 2014

Ukraine: War, For Now, Over And NATO Still In Decline

There is only little news of new developments out of east-Ukraine. The insurgents kicked the Ukrainian troops out of the airport in Lughansk and the Ukrainian troops at the Donetsk airport are said to be confined in a basement and will have to negotiate their surrender.

According to Spiegel NATO generals assess (in German) that Ukraine has lost the war. It is out of material in decent shape and out of enough soldiers with the moral to successfully fight for the oligarchs. But that does not mean the fighting is over. Obama may still decide to double down and that destroying Ukraine -like Afghanistan, Libya and Syria- by prolonging the conflict is in U.S. "interests".

The "western" financed Kyiv Post is lamenting that the Ukrainian president Porochenko did not keep the promises he made before he got elected. That snub may well be a sign that his time is already over. The current Ukrainian campaign of claiming that Russia has "invaded" Ukraine is making his position weaker. Apparently all those T-90 tanks only fly in by night and their cloaking devices prevent any picture of them appearing anywhere.

Putin said somewhere that if Russia would really invade Ukraine it would take 14 days to get Kiev. "Western" media claimed that was a "threat". It was rather a somewhat pessimistic statement of fact. Kiev would probably fall in four days though preparing the victory parade may indeed take a bit longer.

The United Nation has found that 1 million Ukrainians have fled from their homes, more than 800,000 of them to Russia. The Ukrainian "Anti-Terrorist-Operation" is apparently a campaign of ethnic cleansing. But as that campaign for now comes to an end the population movement may well reverse.

There will hopefully now be some negotiated solution which will likely end in a federalized Ukraine with great autonomy for the federal states. Ukraine as a nation, if that has ever existed at all, is over. Ukraine as a confederation of states is still a possibility.

The sad reality is that such a development was foreseeable and indeed in detail foreseen. The whole war was completely unnecessary.

NATO will get some temporary propaganda push out of the conflict but I do not expect any longterm change in its downward trajectory. Defense budgets will not increase and the newly announced rapid reaction force for east Europe is at least the third version of such an multinational emergency force concept. These never can work as their activation still depends on the the lengthy political process NATO needs to go to war. Such forces also depend on rotating "pledged" units by member states and, as experience has shown, many such units get "pledged" even when they are not available or incapable to fight.

After this conflict the loss of credibility of NATO will likely be greater than its leaders today anticipate. Showing off satellite pictures even a naive can recognize as irrelevant and propagandizing an "invasion" when obviously none happened will leave marks. Top that with the catastrophic results in Libya and the strategic loss in Afghanistan and there is little left of NATO that future taxpayers might want to support.

Posted by b on September 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

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The msm and USG is prepping the public with all the Putin is being aggressive chatter. The USG is gonna try and pass the belligerant Russian Aggression Prevention Act and keep the Ukraine tied up in a perpetual state of conflict to further deteriorate Russia- EU relations. Remember this conflict is about if the EU is gonna get its energy from Russia or the Middle East. The EU is gonna lose big time if it sides with the USG/NATO, it will be economic and geo-political suicide for the EU if it continues to support the USG/Nato course of action.

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 12:28:31 PM | 1

West again make a fool of themselves!
http://rt.com/news/184548-putin-barroso-conversation-kiev/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 2, 2014 12:36:09 PM | 2

Apparently all those T-90 tanks only fly in by night and their cloaking devices prevent any picture of them appearing anywhere.


Thanks b for LOL and sadly now the Ukraine waits to see what the west does next. I never see the neo-conns backing down only making small change in course.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 2, 2014 12:43:48 PM | 3

It would take two weeks for the RF to get to Kiev. Twelve days to fill out the paperwork and two days on the road.

Posted by: Anon E Mouse | Sep 2, 2014 12:53:27 PM | 4

From the German vineyardsaker :

""Alex
26 Minuten her
Da heute noch kaum Meldungen da sind, ein paar Zahlen, die heute veröffentlicht wurden
link
“In den vier Monaten der Kämpfe verloren die Strafaktionäre 43.027 Mann.
Davon sind 27.888 gefallen oder verletzt, 1649 wurden gefangenen genommen und 13.500 desertierten oder sind vermisst.
Die ukrainische Armee verlor 14.889 Angehörige
Große Verluste hatte der „Rechte Sektor“ mit mehr als 7000 Gefallenen und Verletzten, 1649 kamen in Gefangenschaft.
Die Söldnergruppen verloren 460 Kämpfer , davon 194 die polnischen ASBS Othago, 160 die amerikanischen Academi, 25 der amerikanische Geheimdienst.
Verluste der Strafaktionäre an Waffen:
43 Flugzeuge, 22 Hubschrauber, und sogar sechsDrohnen.
Den Milizen gelang es weiters, 448 Panzer, 827 Schützenpanzer, BMP und BMD, 37 “Grad”, 19 “Hurricane” und etwa 100 Einheiten anderer Artillerie zu zerstören. ”
(Leider ist mein Russisch nicht so gut und was die Abkürzungen bedeuten, weiß ich meist leider auch nicht)
antworten""

Posted by: Sufi | Sep 2, 2014 1:00:10 PM | 5

Every country that has tried to fight a war with Russian, even Japan that won in Tsushima eventually was brought low by the Russians.
The mongols,
Tatars,
Swedes,
Teutonic knights,
Poles,
Lithuanians,
Ottomans, Napoleon, Hitler all learned the lesson.
The Russians are tough and know how to get nasty. Why does Washington think it would've played out any differently?

The way Putin has handled the whole thing makes him deserving of Obama's nobel.

At the very least a doctrine or Putinology should develop after this.

The man has checked the US and the West everywhere and he still has more than enough chutzpah to keep it coming.

A lesser man would've crumbled, frozen and or capitulated.

The stress he must be under is great, however his grace under fire is indeed marvelous to behold.

Vaya con Dios, querido Putin.

Posted by: Fernando | Sep 2, 2014 1:07:09 PM | 6

@Sufi - those numbers are obviously nonsense.

Posted by: b | Sep 2, 2014 1:19:32 PM | 7

@Sufi - those numbers are obviously nonsense.

Posted by: b | Sep 2, 2014 1:19:32 PM | 7b

Might be, and no bad intention behind my post.
Where could we get an overview, rough estimates etc. , there should be a reliable source...

Posted by: Sufi | Sep 2, 2014 1:31:47 PM | 8

b, I second your comments in this post in each particular. Bullseye!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Sep 2, 2014 1:33:04 PM | 9

@4 The Russians are a real army. They won't advance the tanks without providing cover from antitank weaponry or at least an expectation they are safe.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 2, 2014 1:36:49 PM | 10

@10

You've hit on something else that should be obvious to any competent observer - why would Russian armor advance into Ukraine without close air support?

Posted by: Jon Lester | Sep 2, 2014 1:48:27 PM | 11

b always poses the optimistic view. I hope he is right on this one. I looked at that Kiev Post article on Poro's broken promises. Egad, the Ukrainians live in a fantasy world. They really do believe that they are the victims of a Russian invasion launched last week. If the US continues to encourage them in these fantasies and encourage them to believe that we will come to their rescue, it is hard to see them ever admitting they have lost this war. The UA army may have suffered a severe defeat but they can, and probably will, rebuild their units around the now battle tested veterans. If this war is to end, Obama is going to have to let Poro know in no uncertain terms that the gig is up. Somehow, I can't see that happening. Public statements by leaders in the Nato countries are just getting more and more strident.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 2, 2014 1:49:46 PM | 12

thanks b.. you were correct on syria, and i hope you are on ukraine here too.. as everyone will note, although you called it correctly on syria, syria isn't over - just changed the goal posts from gas attack, to assad created ISIS... i am sure the neo cons can change some goal posts for ukraine as well...

i agree with really @1 - the objective is to isolate eu from russia to see just how stupid or how much of a servant europe is on whether to go along with the us game here or not.. nato is becoming completely irrelevant which is a good thing.

Posted by: james | Sep 2, 2014 1:58:44 PM | 13

So, the destruction of Ukraine sovereignty by Putin is cause for "optimism"? Hooray for Russian irredentism!

A Hamburger who champions Russian empire. Pretty fucking weird.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 2, 2014 2:04:29 PM | 14

i find it odd that Germany says Russia - wants to establish a new order.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/russia-has-severed/1340912.html

Which is basically what the Saker said just yesterday. http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ca/2014/09/novorussia-independent-associated-or.html

"There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that both Russia and China want to create a New World Order, but one very different one from the one envisioned by Bush, Fukuyama, Obama and the rest of the AngloZionist 1%ers."

Posted by: TikTok | Sep 2, 2014 2:06:32 PM | 15

Dont forget that nato will hold a meeting for 3 days this week, prepare for more crazy talk and possibly ukraine membership or closer ties between Ukraine/nato.
This is unfortunately not over imo.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 2, 2014 2:07:44 PM | 16

@11 I assume the keyboard commandos would come up with an explanation, Putin is marching soldiers off to die which is why no Russian soldiers have returned.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 2, 2014 2:08:37 PM | 17

" you were correct on syria"

Hilarious. Now that Obama is decidedly "Assadist"

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 2, 2014 2:14:00 PM | 19

Some random thoughts:
- In a bizar twist in this situation the rebels should thank Janukovitsch for neglecting the ukrainian troops.
- I still believe NATO is right when they say that the rebels recieved help from Russia.
- Lavrov may be calling for a cease fire but I could imagine the rebels will now take Mariupol as well. It would provide the rebels an excellent bargaining chip.
- The europeans should have thought twice before trying to pry Ukraine away from Russia.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 2, 2014 2:14:08 PM | 20

I agree. Kiev would be wise to grab the federalization deal if it can. But nothing Kiev does has been wise. Plus, I think the garrisoning of former Warsaw Pact countries will proceed. This will lock in the New Cold War. Let's keep our eyes peeled on the Mistral deal. If France scraps it and then Merkel delivers on her tough talk of additional sanctions, then things are going to get worse.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 2, 2014 2:16:54 PM | 21

It will be interesting to see what Russia is going to do with the price of natural gas delivered to the Ukraine. My bet is that Russia won't lower the price to the level Ukraine had to pay in the Janukovitsch era.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 2, 2014 2:20:08 PM | 22

@ b

OT: Can we believe SITE (Rita Katz) and WaPO on this:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/isis-video-steven-sotloff-beheading

The Site Intel group said it had seen a video of Sotloff being killed, apparently by the same Islamic State fighter who murdered James Foley, also a journalist, in August. The killer then threatens to execute a British hostage. The Washington Post also said it had seen the video.

Posted by: Yul | Sep 2, 2014 2:21:51 PM | 23

NATO needs to be disbanded. Its not only obsolete its ineffective. The idea that NATO could fight a kind of war of the massive operational size that the "threat" of which justifies its existence is quite dubious, and apparently more so with every one of these US/EU created political/military disasters.

Posted by: Marc | Sep 2, 2014 2:23:08 PM | 24

@ NTG @ 17

Oh Christ your kind is persistent. I suppose insanity is persistent. You people are like fundamentalists arguing that "cavemen rode dinosaurs". Forget that the concept is problematic, nothing that nuanced for you guys, we would settle for single scrap of evidence of your loony assertions. Evidence ? Fuck that!

Posted by: Marc | Sep 2, 2014 2:28:04 PM | 25

Nothing will happen in a diplomatic sense for another week, when the NATO summit is over. NATO was pushing hard for something that could be described as a Russian invasion, so to bolster public relations efforts for the new reactive force to be based in Poland and to stoke the alliance with purpose at the summit and in the msm. All NATO got were rumours of troops and tanks, but they are going with that and it will continue all week.
Next week, the need for Russian gas in Europe will rise to the forefront and matters will be driven by practical concerns rather than ideology. The proxy war will shift to Syria.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 2, 2014 2:29:10 PM | 26

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 2, 2014 2:14:08 PM | 20

- the point is - is the help official state help or not - is it private and leaves a deniability to the state - this covert war is not Russia's invention it has been done to Syria via Turkey

- the media - Western politicians - must trust their readers suffer from a lack of memory putting the blame on Russia. This here is how the situation was seen in Poland - Tusk, Kwasnieski - in February, Yanukovic still in power

Former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski, who co-led a long-running European Parliament monitoring mission to Ukraine following the 2011 imprisonment of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has told Polish Radio that the Ukrainian authorities have got themselves into a trap. “Because after what's happened they have to defend their power,” he said. “It is not only a matter of politics and money, but also of their own safety,” he stressed. The former president warned that the troubles could spawn further conflicts. “Between the East and the West, the Crimea may want to gain independence, there may also be conflicts between the provinces, as well as in large cities, and also between rich and poor.

All inner Ukrainian conflict, Russia no part, Crimea independence attributed to Crimea ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 2, 2014 2:31:03 PM | 27

Apparently, Moscow set a deadline of 2 days for Barroso to clear things up, i.e. provide context for the "2 weeks til Kiev" quote, otherwise Moscow will provide context itself, in the form of publishing the whole conversation.

link on rt.com

Posted by: radiator | Sep 2, 2014 2:33:14 PM | 28

needless to say I'm laughing my ass off.

Posted by: radiator | Sep 2, 2014 2:34:06 PM | 29

Kiev goes full retard - yet again - and accuses Russia of threatening to use Nukes.

Posted by: Gwst | Sep 2, 2014 2:39:27 PM | 30

"...European utilities have been preparing for a supply cut by injecting as much gas as possible into storage and as a result the region's storage facilities are filled to 90 percent, or 70 billion cubic metres (bcm), equivalent to 15 percent of Europe's annual demand.

Whatever the bloc does, it will struggle to compensate fully if Russian gas stops coming to Europe, political and industry sources say. Gas prices have risen 35 percent since July due to this threat.

LIMITED ALTERNATIVES

Russia meets around a third of EU demand for oil, coal and natural gas, according to EU data. In return it receives some $250 billion a year, or around two-thirds of government revenue.

The problem with a potential cut is that continental Europe's pipeline infrastructure was built from East-to-West in order to import Russian gas.

Efforts to build more supplies going the other way, such as LNG from Atlantic terminals, are not sufficiently developed to meet this winter's demand in southeast Europe…"
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0GW2DX20140901?irpc=932

Looks like someone in the EU is gonna have to guarantee that Ukraine will not siphon off the gas. Russia said a week or so ago that they were gonna keep supplying gas to te EU. Regardless, the responsibility as to whether the EU has adequate supplies this winter for households and businesses is relative to how much influence the EU has in the EU/NATO/kiev/USG axis. Paging Angela Merkel...paging Angela Merkel...pick up on line 1...

I could not get this link to open, maybe someone else can...
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/energy-and-resources/eu-drafts-emergency-ban-on-gas-exports-1.1914590

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 2:50:22 PM | 31

@28 - that is good news. i look forward to another unraveling of the constant bs and lies that are being volleyed by the west against russia..

Posted by: james | Sep 2, 2014 2:52:45 PM | 32

@25 And reading comprehension still eludes so many in the 21st century...you might try following the little bit of conversation.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 2, 2014 3:00:06 PM | 33

"...Cutting industrial consumption would hurt an already shaky European economy, while banning utilities from selling iquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker cargoes overseas would hurt their revenues.

European utilities have been preparing for a supply cut by injecting as much gas as possible into storage and as a result the region's storage facilities are filled to 90 percent, or 70 billion cubic metres (bcm), equivalent to 15 percent of Europe's annual demand.

Whatever the bloc does, it will struggle to compensate fully if Russian gas stops coming to Europe, political and industry sources say. Gas prices have risen 35 percent since July due to this threat..."

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0GW2DX20140901?irpc=932

Well it looks like we are going to see how much sway the EU has within the EU/USG/NATO/Kiev axis. Russia stated that they will keep the gas flowing to the EU, but I think that will be dependent on Poroshenko not siphoning off the gas. Paging Merkel...paging Merkel...pick up on line 1...

Related article...would not open for me...
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/energy-and-resources/eu-drafts-emergency-ban-on-gas-exports-1.1914590

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 3:04:13 PM | 34

Colonel Cassad has put up a new report on the situation in Donbass. Not yet at the English site. Here's the wrap-up of the military situation (Yandex tr.):

Today, against the 29-33 thousand soldiers that Novorossia has, the junta, in light of its losses, can bring out no more than 40,000 soldiers (of not the best quality). Vehicles number at best for the junta not more than double or less. In aviation, the junta continues to suffer catastrophic losses. In general, in two months of the advance of the junta, it lost its overwhelming superiority in men and materiel, lost air supremacy, and the militia has almost achieved parity to the junta in the number of tube and rocket artillery.

At current trends, the collapse of the southern front and its consequences will lead to the liberation of the greater part of the Donetsk National Republic and deployment of hostilities on the territory of Zaporizhzhya Region. That is, one will gradually start talking about the transfer of combat operations to enemy territory, which was originally not under the control of the DPR and LPR.

As for negotiations, they are inevitable, but it is best for the resistance to stall them as long as possible, in order to capture more territory and hence get into a better bargaining position.

This is a big screw up by the US. Obviously, Russia had a contingency plan for the kind of stunt that Nuland pulled. And I wonder what American military advisers were telling the Ukes over at the Ukie Defense Ministry. The Ukie army and militias appear to have made the same mistakes over and over, such as getting themselves encircled, so that the rebels can gradually demolish them or take their equipment and ammunition. Also, I am under the impression that the Ukes have been losing aircraft pretty much every day of late. If the chances of losing your aircraft are considerable, why use air power at all?

I agree with b about the effect this is going to have on NATO credibility. And that is with the case of MH17 still being unresolved. As a blogger observed recently, when the Russian military held its press conference on the downing of MH17, it in effect announced that the downing was a false flag in which the US was complicit. That Russia would do that is unprecedented.

As for the junta, given that NATO says it has already lost the war, it should try to begin negotiations as soon as possible. But before it can do that, it has to mentally process what has happened. That will take some time, since it is inconceivable that the glorious Ukrainian race would not be victorious over the Russian Untermenschen, especially when it has the full backing of the advanced and civilized West.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 3:57:22 PM | 36

Interesting quote:

"The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come."

Source:
http://consortiumnews.com/2014/09/01/warning-merkel-on-russian-invasion-intel/

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 2, 2014 3:58:52 PM | 37

Colonel Cassad has put up a new report on the situation in Donbass. Not yet at the English site. Here's the wrap-up of the military situation (Yandex tr.; no link because of spam filter):

Today, against the 29-33 thousand soldiers that Novorossia has, the junta, in light of its losses, can bring out no more than 40,000 soldiers (of not the best quality). Vehicles number at best for the junta not more than double or less. In aviation, the junta continues to suffer catastrophic losses. In general, in two months of the advance of the junta, it lost its overwhelming superiority in men and materiel, lost air supremacy, and the militia has almost achieved parity to the junta in the number of tube and rocket artillery.

At current trends, the collapse of the southern front and its consequences will lead to the liberation of the greater part of the Donetsk National Republic and deployment of hostilities on the territory of Zaporizhzhya Region. That is, one will gradually start talking about the transfer of combat operations to enemy territory, which was originally not under the control of the DPR and LPR.

As for negotiations, they are inevitable, but it is best for the resistance to stall them as long as possible, in order to capture more territory and hence get into a better bargaining position.

This is a big screw up by the US. Obviously, Russia had a contingency plan for the kind of stunt that Nuland pulled. And I wonder what American military advisers were telling the Ukes over at the Ukie Defense Ministry. The Ukie army and militias appear to have made the same mistakes over and over, such as getting themselves encircled, so that the rebels can gradually demolish them or take their equipment and ammunition. Also, I am under the impression that the Ukes have been losing aircraft pretty much every day of late. If the chances of losing your aircraft are considerable, why use air power at all?

I agree with b about the effect this is going to have on NATO credibility. And that is with the case of MH17 still being unresolved. As a blogger observed recently, when the Russian military held its press conference on the downing of MH17, it in effect announced that the downing was a false flag in which the US was complicit. That Russia would do so is unprecedented.

As for the junta, given that NATO says it has already lost the war, it should try to begin negotiations as soon as possible. But before it can do that, it has to mentally process what has happened. That will take some time, since it is inconceivable that the glorious Ukrainian race would not be victorious over the Russian Untermenschen, especially when it has the full backing of the advanced and civilized West.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 4:01:18 PM | 38

#32 Many people seem oblivious to satire. It is called literalmindedness.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 2, 2014 4:11:08 PM | 39

@slothrop #14:

Given that you call b a Hamburger, I assume that you are German. A German who supports Nazis. That's not weird, that's scary.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 4:14:03 PM | 40

If the war is over US/NATO does not seem happy about it and continues to provoke:

Up to 1,000 NATO Servicemen to Take Part in Military Drills in Ukraine This Month | World | RIA Novosti

WASHINGTON, September 2 (RIA Novosti) – Despite the ongoing hostilities in southeastern Ukraine, the United States plans to go ahead with the Rapid Trident military exercise, scheduled to take place in western Ukraine later this month and expected to involve up to 1,000 servicemen from NATO countries and other US allies, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"At the moment, we are still planning for [the exercise] to go ahead," the agency quoted US Navy Captain Gregory Hicks, a spokesman for the US Army's European Command, as saying.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 2, 2014 4:28:45 PM | 41

@34 As to the advice of U.S. advisers, the CIA is evil but still follows universal constants. Without oversight and accountability, incompetence breeds. The military has more transparency, but the U.S. hasn't been engaged in a conflict without massive air support since the Battle of the Coral Sea and U.S. has fought opponents (this is when the chaff and the wheat are separated) who were religious fanatics, not as good disciplined but not insane fighters who know faith isn't bullet proof, and an Iraqi army which largely went home. Hussein would have died or been replaced in a few years anyway, so many of the smarter types didn't fight in 2003. In 1991, Iraq withdrew the bulk of its invasion force forgoing an opportunity for a major counter attack.

Given the way vets are treated by the government, the smart would-be advisers have found a way out.

My guess is there are memos flying around the Pentagon about how strategy X would have worked if the NAF would just stay in one place.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 2, 2014 4:32:49 PM | 42

@Fran #37:

That's like, crazy. How can you hold military exercises in a country in the middle of a civil war?

The annual exercise was initially scheduled to take place in July, at the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine's border with Poland, but was put off until September 16-26 due to the Kiev government’s ongoing military operation against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine.

NATO obviously believed that the junta would have won by mid-September. It should be disbanded, if for no other reason than incompetence.

I think that b meant that the war is "over" in the sense that the junta has already lost. NATO realizes that, but the junta doesn't seem to.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 4:38:40 PM | 43

If NATO escalates sanctions! Russia can reduce or terminate supply routes for US forces in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 2, 2014 4:47:32 PM | 44

@26

"...European utilities have been preparing for a supply cut by injecting as much gas as possible into storage and as a result the region's storage facilities are filled to 90 percent, or 70 billion cubic metres (bcm), equivalent to 15 percent of Europe's annual demand.

Whatever the bloc does, it will struggle to compensate fully if Russian gas stops coming to Europe, political and industry sources say. Gas prices have risen 35 percent since July due to this threat...

...Again however, the problem is infrastructure: large parts of central and eastern Europe rely on district gas heating which means burning coal to generate electricity will not help keep households warm this winter..."

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0GW2DX20140901?irpc=932

I wonder how much sway the EU is going to have within the USG/EU/NATO/Kiev axis. If the EU is going to be forced to limit gas supplies to businesses so that homes have heat, talk about a rock and a hard place politically and economically.

The EU politicians have to insure that Kiev will not be siphoning gas off for it own needs. Russia seems to be committed to supplying the gas, so the potential problem of a lack of supply will not be because of them.

This is a big test for Germany and France, what will they do? How much power do they have to guarantee to Russia that the transit lines will not be tampered with by Kiev? Will the USG/NATO brow beat Germany and France and force them to make a move that will most certainly damage their economies at some degree? Will this gas issue fracture the USG/NATO/EU/Kiev axis?

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 5:26:06 PM | 45

"Mariupol encircled" (????)
http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/79880.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 2, 2014 5:43:12 PM | 46

@23

In the past, the zionist SITE Institute has somehow been able to obtain and release al-Qaeda propaganda videos even before al-Qaeda was able to do so themselves. How clever.

September 12, 2007 -
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/11/AR2007091102465.html

More on SITE founder Rita Katz:

http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/author_infiltrates_islamic_terror_cells_20030829

Posted by: skoalbrother | Sep 2, 2014 5:46:48 PM | 47

Ukraine make a of fool of themselves again. Now on live television!
http://rt.com/news/184604-ukraine-today-trolling-rt/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 2, 2014 6:00:40 PM | 48

On a Ukie TV channel, there is a report that 150 dead Ukie belligerents were taken to a morgue in three trucks.

The Yukies are a very strange people. Instead of considering whether their military might be doing something wrong, they have convinced themselves that their combatants are fighting against Russian soldiers and Russian tanks. Since I guess to them Russia is like a malevolent force of nature, the result will probably be that they will conclude. that nothing can be done about their men being killed in large numbers, instead of deciding that it is time to end this senseless killing.

The ratio of Yukie to rebel casualties is at least 10:1. Given that according to Colonel Cassad, the ratio of the sizes of the Novorossian and Ukie armies/militias is now roughly 3:4, it really does not make much sense for Ukieland to continue the war.

The Saker posted a video made for the occasion of the day of Ukie independence, in which a young Yukie man mutilated his body, to create scars representing the pattern ubiquitous in Ukie peasant dress. So self-destruction is affirmed as a positive aspect of Ukie identity. With an attitude like that, the Ukies might put up with the senseless death of their men for months longer.

This is not to say that some wives and mothers do not get upset when they find out that their husband/son has died on the front. But they don't seem to care about their army deliberately killing peaceful civilians in Donbass.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 6:19:49 PM | 49

On a Ukie TV channel, there is a report that 150 dead Ukie belligerents were taken to a morgue in three trucks. (The post gets blocked if I give a link to Russian Spring.)

The Yukies are a very strange people. Instead of considering whether their military might be doing something wrong, they have convinced themselves that their combatants are fighting against Russian soldiers and Russian tanks. Since I guess to them Russia is like a malevolent force of nature, the result will probably be that they will conclude. that nothing can be done about their men being killed in large numbers, instead of deciding that it is time to end this senseless killing.

The ratio of Yukie to rebel casualties is at least 10:1. Given that according to Colonel Cassad, the ratio of the sizes of the Novorossian and Ukie armies/militias is now roughly 3:4, it really does not make much sense for Ukieland to continue the war.

The Saker posted a video made for the occasion of the day of Ukie independence, in which a young Yukie man mutilated his body, to create scars representing the pattern ubiquitous in Ukie peasant dress. So self-destruction is affirmed as a positive aspect of Ukie identity. With an attitude like that, the Ukies might put up with the senseless death of their men for months longer.

This is not to say that some wives and mothers do not get upset when they find out that their husband/son has died on the front. But they don't seem to care about their army deliberately killing peaceful civilians in Donbass.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 6:25:31 PM | 50

A deputy was asked to kneel in ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Counsil) after she spoke against military operation in Donbass
http://novorossia.today/novorossia-news/a-deputy-was-asked-to-kneel-in-ukrainian.html

"...The things Bondarenko said next were followed by a completely different reaction. “The government, that is present here, divides people of the state into “ukrainians” and “non government, that is present here, divides people of the state into “ukrainians” and “non- ukrainians”. Government that sends an army to bomb peaceful cities is a government of ukrainians”. Government that sends an army to bomb peaceful cities is a government of criminals. Government that takes away the right for education…” that was all she had been able to say before speaker Alexander Turchinov turned off her microphone.Turchinov demanded to stop “provocations and pro-russian propaganda” and claimed that kneel before the ukrainian army” were the words that Turchinov addressed to Bondarenko. After that a quarrel started among deputies, obscene words could be heard.

Send to the front line and shoot

Well-known for his odious actions deputy Oleg Lyashko, leader of the radical faction pushed the issue even farther than Turchinov did. He proposed to deprive of mandates those deputies who stand in support of the point of view that differs from official Kiev ‘s“party line”. Lyashko called such deputies “traitors”. “Traitors must be sent to the front line and shot” — he declared. Lyashko ended his speech with the words “glory to Ukraine!”...

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 6:38:40 PM | 51

Pepe is on a roll:

Asia Times Online :: Obama's 'stupid stuff' legacy

So "protect" Yazidis, yes. Protect Gazans, no. "Protect" Kiev's bunch of neo-Nazis, fascists and shady oligarchs, yes. Protect Russophones in Eastern Ukraine, no.

It all started with protecting Irbil - already protected by Sumerian goddess Ishtar for millennia. Then protecting Irbil and Baghdad. Then protecting all "strategic" sites in Iraq.

Retired General Carter Ham of AFRICOM/"We came, we saw, he died" fame, was adamant that it will be "very difficult" to pull off so much protecting with only a few fighter jets. So drones will be needed. And troops on the ground.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 2, 2014 6:39:47 PM | 52

Making fools of themselves indeed. I couldn't have found Ukraine on a map of the world this time last year. But this fiasco.... It makes me want to stand up and shout Glory to Ukraine!

Слава Украине!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhHZ4MEW2c8

Posted by: Anon | Sep 2, 2014 6:40:15 PM | 53

"There will hopefully now be some negotiated solution which will likely end in a federalized Ukraine with great autonomy for the federal states. Ukraine as a nation, if that has ever existed at all, is over. Ukraine as a confederation of states is still a possibility".
A federalized Ukraine is what the insurgents have always wanted, just like the federal system in the US and Germany, indeed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a four Nation State with limited autonomy for its constituent parts. I am sure some negotiated solution can be found, and will be found when the military solution will clearly fail.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 2, 2014 6:57:26 PM | 54

@Fran #46:

I don't see why Pepe calls it a "de facto coup". John Mearsheimer – who is all for American power, he just looks at it from a realist perspective – calls it a coup, plain and simple.

For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president -- which he rightly labeled a “coup” -- was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West. …

Although the full extent of U.S. involvement has not yet come to light, it is clear that Washington backed the coup.

Here are a couple of other interesting passages from that essay:

Putin’s actions should be easy to comprehend. A huge expanse of flat land that Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed to strike at Russia itself, Ukraine serves as a buffer state of enormous strategic importance to Russia. No Russian leader would tolerate a military alliance that was Moscow’s mortal enemy until recently moving into Ukraine. Nor would any Russian leader stand idly by while the West helped install a government there that was determined to integrate Ukraine into the West.

Washington may not like Moscow’s position, but it should understand the logic behind it. This is Geopolitics 101: great powers are always sensitive to potential threats near their home territory. …

One also hears the claim that Ukraine has the right to determine whom it wants to ally with and the Russians have no right to prevent Kiev from joining the West. This is a dangerous way for Ukraine to think about its foreign policy choices. The sad truth is that might often makes right when great-power politics are at play. Abstract rights such as self-determination are largely meaningless when powerful states get into brawls with weaker states.

The main mistake Mearsheimer makes in his analysis is that he claims that Russia is in decline. Actually, it is the US that is in decline, and that explains its crazy behavior, which Pepe describes better than anyone else.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 7:14:20 PM | 55

@harry law #48:

Did you mean to suggest that it is not yet clear that Kiev's "military solution" (a euphemism for launching a war against its own people) has failed? Because both NATO and Colonel Cassad, who represent the two sides, think that it's fairly clear by now that Novorossia will emerge victorious.

The op-ed from last Sunday's NY Times which has come up here before argues the only thing that can make Kiev hold on to the Donbass at this point is military intervention by NATO. But that's out of the question, since it carries the risk of escalating to a nuclear war.

@really #45:

That member of the Ukrainian parliament belongs to the Party of Regions, so she probably represents an area in eastern Ukraine. Who knows, depending on how far the rebels advance beyond Donetsk and Lugansk, the people she represents may end up in Novorrosia.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 7:30:59 PM | 56

@23

Isn't it amazing that this so-called "intelligence" continues to originate from SITE (aka biased hasbara propaganda) rather than government sources such as CIA, MI5, NSA, etc. B, it's time you devote an article to SITE, Rita Katz, and their "mission" in manipulating Western public opinion in favor of the zionist entity.

Posted by: easy e | Sep 2, 2014 7:46:17 PM | 57

Don't know if anyone else posted this:

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/09/02/whos-telling-the-big-lie-on-ukraine/

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Sep 2, 2014 7:51:14 PM | 58

Russia needs a landline to Crimea for logistic support, water and electricity supplies. I imagine the front will move far enough west to include this and the majority Russia speaking provinces. Taking Kiev would push to many buttons on the wrong people. NATO and western personalities apparently believe their own lies or they are simply psychotic; but this is a dangerous time. A NATO intervention will escalate into a nuclear war. “Dr. Strangelove” clips replay in my mind. Senator McCain fits in perfectly. This is the time to end the war.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 2, 2014 8:17:19 PM | 59

The Myth of Russian Aggression
http://journal-neo.org/2014/08/03/the-myth-of-russian-aggression/

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 8:33:09 PM | 60

"...Ukraine is the EU Tar Baby big time now..."

Posted by: really | Sep 2, 2014 8:53:57 PM | 61

The following are two recent speeches by Sergey Lavrov, including answering questions after the speeches. Both speeches were delivered to audiences of university students. Translated to English by the Russian ministry of foreign affairs.

Lavrov speech on 27 Aug 2014: http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/B3B8FB125EDCD9D744257D42003464CD (mentions the word "Ukraine" or "Ukrainian" 87 times).

Lavrov speech on 1 Sep 2014 (translation incomplete):
http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/230F8294D26AA03844257D47001B539E (mentions word Ukraine 19 times, Kiev 5 times)

I read the one dated 27 Aug and found it educational, though it is too longwinded in some parts. One of the questions he was asked was "Why isn’t Russia trying to defend the independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics?" Another question he was asked was "Why did Russia accept the legality of this year's Crimea referendum but not the referendums in Donetsk and Lughansk?"

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 2, 2014 9:15:28 PM | 62

Although pure speculation I've been wondering why it is taking so long to take back Donetsk airport. It is one of the first things to have been taken by Kiev who's motives for thinking about airports being strategic has more to do with miscalculating success of their invasion than anything else.
But then it is something they still "hold". While I see the lack of priority for the rebels to take it back, I wonder if it is not just for preservation of infrastructure but rather that they want the occupants captured and not killed. I'm particularly curious as to whether the occupants consist of a large proportion of foreign mercenaries/advisors/intelligence/(command).

Posted by: YY | Sep 2, 2014 9:29:31 PM | 63

@VietnamVet #53:

Russia needs a landline to Crimea for logistic support, water and electricity supplies.

I suspect that was the plan all along. Given the well known US penchant for launching coups, Russia had to plan for one in Kiev. The strategy we are seeing unfold was probably developed before Euromaidan even started.

Putin's publicly asking the DPR and LPR not to hold referendums was just theater. That much I could tell at the time.

If USG had any sense, it would tell Kiev to immediately start negotiations with the rebels, before they capture that landline and destroy what's left of Ukraine's army. The Western press is saying that Putin might want that landline, so it's not as if its capture would be unexpected.

USG doesn't seem to have a strategy about how to respond to recent developments in the former Ukraine.

@really #54:

Thanks. Nice article.

The West does marketing. Russia does strategy.

France, England, and Germany have tried to destroy Russia, so I guess it was only to be expected that in its twilight years, the indispensable nation would try it, too.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 9:37:00 PM | 64

@Demian"If the chances of losing your aircraft are considerable, why use air power at all?"

They're probably spurred on by their "advisors". After all, the less MiG-29s the Ukrainians have, the more used F-16s they have to buy from NATO eventually (just steal a few more pensions, sell off a few more industries - Yats the rat will find the money in some poor Ukrainian's pocket...)

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 2, 2014 9:46:35 PM | 65

@YY " I'm particularly curious as to whether the occupants consist of a large proportion of foreign mercenaries/advisors/intelligence/(command)."

This sounds like a very reasonable speculation.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 2, 2014 9:49:42 PM | 66

I would think that the Ukrainian people probably have the wool pulled less over their eyes than we imagine. I wouldn't be surprised if a great many are against this war - though I imagine it is difficult to take a stand facing Nazi repression.

What that MP did in speaking out against the war right in the face of that nazi dog Turchinov is unimaginably brave - truly incredible.

Every member of that junta deserves to be strung up - to the last of them. That the United States is supporting such vile scumbags is, I suppose, no surprise. But it is to our eternal shame.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 2, 2014 9:57:44 PM | 67

I agree that NATO expansion has been needlessly provocative. And the Democrats, in the effort to out-John Wayne the Republicans, are flirting with war.

It's the Putin-love here that's really disgusting.

Posted by: slothrop | Sep 2, 2014 10:02:44 PM | 68

Germany and Canada don't seem to give a shite about having their countries reputations dragged through the NATO hdqtrs 'chatter' re their commitments.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/canada-germany-derail-nato-bid-to-raise-military-spending-targets

Posted by: TikTok | Sep 2, 2014 10:15:19 PM | 69

the jim willie interview linked above claims french militia soldiers in Novorossiya have captured Blackwater mercenaries

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Sep 2, 2014 10:16:51 PM | 70

@slothrop #62:

It's the Putin-love here that's really disgusting.

That's so Russophobic, it's racism. (Disgust is a highly emotive term. I think Obamabots are extremely deluded, but it would not occur to me to say that still being delusional about Obama is disgusting. To do that, you would have to hate Obama at a visceral level.)

Oh, but I forgot: Germans were taught by their American occupiers that the only crimes of the Nazis that they still need to be feel shame, remorse, or even regret over are crimes against Jews.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 10:43:15 PM | 71

@65- damn that was a zinger. Well said.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Sep 2, 2014 10:59:42 PM | 72

'b' said above: "The whole war [in east Ukraine] was completely unnecessary." I wholeheartedly agree with that sentence. But from my point of view the rebel side is the side that started the unnecessary war. The government and political establishment in Ukraine committed itself to major decentralization in April, before the war started. At the time, the rebels were only talking about their goal as one of major decentralization. Therefore the rebels should've followed Russia's advice to engage in civil processes only. Now, it's looking to me that there isn't a basis for a negotiated peace, and neither side is of a mind to compromise, and neither side can defeat the other militarily in the timeframe of year 2014, and the unnecessary war is probably going to go on for a long time.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 2, 2014 11:04:09 PM | 73

slothrop, big fan of Louis Proyect - "the unrepentant Marxist" who seems to have avoided learning of both capitalism andimperialism.

Slothrop here showed up (I believe a few months ago) to say "what could be more cartoonishly right-wing than Putin" as if he has never heard of the entire western world and its long list of satrapys. As if he has never heard of Israel.

I mean, Russia has universal healthcare, rising living standards, and a rational military budget - and yet slothproyect here can't *imagine* a regime more right wing? Not in Indonesia? Not in Nigeria? Not in the USA where you most certainly park your ignorant ass?

I mean, I can think of at least a few things more disgusting than "Putin-love", the first of which would be willful blindness to the world around you, the second being pushing an utterly phony version of what it means to be "of the left", and third to be a propagandist for the world's number one capitalist military superpower all while thinking that you're some kind of Marxist.

Please mr. slothrowup. Go back to Pee Wee Proyects Playhouse.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 2, 2014 11:25:35 PM | 74

Kot (Cat) Ivanov

09/02/2014-14:09

Comment: A map of the military campaign at above link is updated daily. Today’s caption states:

P.S. Today is “a day of non-confirmation”

1. “Reclaiming Volnovakha” occurs daily for the last 4 days. Yet, every time the Ukranian Military Forces re-appear there
2. Area west of Mariupol` is probably not controlled by anyone. Reportedly, driving from Volnovakha to Mariupol` and to the west is unrestricted
3. In area of city Schast`e (north to Veselaya Gora – north to Lugansk) the fight persists. Veselaya Gora (Merry Mount) remains contentious territory.


Posted by: Fete | Sep 2, 2014 11:29:37 PM | 75

@67 Parviziyi

" The government and political establishment in Ukraine committed itself to major decentralization in April, before the war started."

Huh? The ATO started on April 13th when people were still seizing buildings and marching in the Donbass. The referendum wasn't until May.

Posted by: shargash | Sep 2, 2014 11:31:41 PM | 76

Notice that borotba - the Ukrainian leftist party active in Ukraine who had their leaders assaulted by Right Sektor goons - is no longer found on the page when searching their name on Google: Instead we have "Wikipedia" at top, followed by a proclaimed "leftist" group (probably of the Proyect/slothrop variety) laying out some spurious attack on them.

No time to lay out an attack on the fascists who have taken over their government, I suppose. Not to mention their "genuine Ukrainian left movement" site is generally devoid of comments of any type. But their spurious attack on the people actually fighing the fascists did make it to the top slot of Google. Seems legit to me...

So while their country and their brothers and sisters are facing the fascist threat, they're making spurious attacks on good people. It's becoming a common enough disease....

Google bullshit

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 2, 2014 11:49:12 PM | 77

If NATO escalates sanctions! Russia can reduce or terminate supply routes for US forces in Afghanistan.
Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 2, 2014 4:47:32 PM | 40

Putin has had that option since Day 1 of the agreement to assist the US military which, I understand, involved lots of money. It's more likely than not that Putin couldn't resist the idea of being paid to help the (dumbass) Yankees make fools of themselves in AfPak. In order to rescind that agreement he probably has to wait for them to breach it, or give them a refund if he rescinds it. But I've given up trying to predict the way Russia assembles its unique, and tailor-made blends of Humour & Diplomacy...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2014 11:51:21 PM | 78

@shargash #70:

Also, the junta has repeatedly not followed through on its commitments (as Lavrov said in the first speech linked to above), so the junta "committing" itself to something is meaningless. They didn't put anything in writing, and they insisted that there was not going to be federalization, only "decentralization". What does decentralization even mean without federalization? Everyone knows what a federal system of government is, and it never occurs to Western journalists to ask why the junta started a war in order not to have a federal system of government.

@guest #68:

Speaking of Marxism, I've seen it suggested that in regions that the rebels might try to expand their control to beyond DNR and LNR, the Novorossian political leadership might use the local Communist Party to gain legitimacy, because Russia-oriented people are in a minority in some of those regions, while the Communist Party is popular. But that was speculation by a non-Russian blogger; I haven't heard anyone from Novorossia raise that possibility.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 12:04:27 AM | 79

slothrop, I appreciate you acknowledging the needless provocation of NATO expansionism. I also appreciate that after all these years you still read and comment. isn't great the barkeep persists despite all the troll activity?

Posted by: lizard | Sep 3, 2014 12:35:16 AM | 80

@guest77 #71:

Wikipedia articles about organizations usually give their Web site if they have one. The Web site of Borotba produces a "No such domain" error (i.e, a DNS error).

The group you mention is called Autonomous Workers' Union. As JSorrentine would say, no, that doesn't sound like a name the CIA made up. It has this to say about Borotba:

On January 24th, the region council deputy and “Borotba” representative Oleksiy Albu participated in the protection of Odesa region administration building against “Nazis”, accompanied by Russian Cossacks and nationalists (“Slavic Unity”) and the members of ruling Party of Regions and Communist Party. In his later interview, he admitted his cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine.

On March 1st, “Borotba” activists together with pro-Putin organizations took part in the assault on Kharkiv region state administration, which resulted in raising of a Russian flag and severe beating of many Kharkiv Maidan activists, including a leftist poet Serhiy Zhadan. The members of “Borotba” call all of this “an antifascist action” and claim that these violent actions were aimed against radical rightists.

Some of the most intense repression the junta has engaged in has been in Karkov. It's likely that Boratba activists have been murdered or are in the basement of the SBU in Kiev. The junta was successful in stopping in Kharkov what occurred in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Hm, the Google cache of borotba.org doesn't even exist. That's pretty suspicious.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 12:40:03 AM | 81

@guest77 #71:

I hadn't heard of Borotba, but that self-proclaimed leftist group has this to say about them:

On January 24th, the region council deputy and “Borotba” representative Oleksiy Albu participated in the protection of Odesa region administration building against “Nazis”, accompanied by Russian Cossacks and nationalists (“Slavic Unity”) and the members of ruling Party of Regions and Communist Party. In his later interview, he admitted his cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine.

On March 1st, “Borotba” activists together with pro-Putin organizations took part in the assault on Kharkiv region state administration, which resulted in raising of a Russian flag and severe beating of many Kharkiv Maidan activists, including a leftist poet Serhiy Zhadan. The members of “Borotba” call all of this “an antifascist action” and claim that these violent actions were aimed against radical rightists.

Some of the most intense repression by the junta was in Kharkov. Members of Boratba might well have been murdered, or at least in SBU prisons. Isn't that what the Nazis did with (real) leftists? The junta was able to stop in Kharkov what happened in Donetsk and Lugansk. The same goes for Odessa, which is where the junta first fully showed its Nazi nature.

The reason the organization's Web site no longer appears in Google search is that its domain name does not get resolved. If you search "www.borotba.org", the Web site does show up in Google, but the page is not cached, which is suspicious. It looks like the junta smashed Borotba. The Wikipedia article has a lot of Ukie nationalist POV (point of view; Wikipedia jargon).

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 12:56:05 AM | 82

Ah, from the Wikipedia article:

A detailed eyewitness account of the human tragedy that occurred in and around the Trade Union Building in Odessa during the right-wing march "For unity of Ukraine" was published on Borotba's website.[20][21] Following the Odessa Trade Union building massacre and other attacks on Borotba's members and offices, Borotba was forced underground.[22][23]

The leader of the Odessian regional organisation of Borotba, Aleksey Albu, fled to Russian-annexed Crimea, where he founded a "Committee for the Liberation of Odessa" on the 24th of May 2014 together with a representative of the pro-Russian party Rodina ("Homeland"), Aleksandr Vasilyev, and a representative of the organization "Slavic Unity", Dmitry Odninov.[24][25]

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 1:04:50 AM | 83

@slothrop #62:
Posted by: Demian | Sep 2, 2014 10:43:15 PM | 65

I don't think he is German. The German derogatory term is "understanding Putin".

But what Slothrop says explains what Russia does - if you like Putin or not.

I agree that NATO expansion has been needlessly provocative. And the Democrats, in the effort to out-John Wayne the Republicans, are flirting with war.

It was not so much a provocation but a regime change strategy by a liberal/ fascist/football club alliance And interested parties have been trying the same regime change mix in Russia, too.

This here is from the New York Times on attempts to unite Russian liberals with Russian Nationalists - from 2012.

But in the effort to drive out Mr. Putin, the opposition, driven by liberal and middle-class Russians, has nonetheless reached out to nationalists, seeing them as a vital bulwark at a critical moment.

“Without cooperation with the nationalists, this movement would not be possible,” said Anatoli Baranov, a longtime leftist activist and a leading voice in the new protest movement. He credited the nationalists’ long experience in opposition politics, adding that cooperation with groups of all political stripes was paramount at this early stage.

“I understand that there are risks,” Mr. Baranov said. “Certainly, among nationalists, there are those I would not work with for hygienic reasons. But many are reasonable.”

How much influence nationalists will come to exert on the new protest movement is unclear. In their balaclavas and combat boots, they were clearly the black sheep at two huge anti-Kremlin protests in December, where their vocal denunciations of immigrants and calls for ethnic purity were often drowned out by chants of “Fascism will not pass!”

But it is clear that they have become a force in Russia that is politically perilous to ignore. Long before protests became fashionable among members of Russia’s urban middle class, who turned out in droves for the December demonstrations, nationalists had the monopoly on street theater, organizing protests that drew thousands.

These regime change strategies in Ukraine where Western politicians got themselves photographed with Fascist "ultranationalist" politicians on Maidan combinded with Western supported regime change strategies in Russia more or less forced Putin to cover the right, nationalist flank of Russian politics.

If "the West" stops doing what they are doing, Russia can stop doing what they are doing.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2014 1:43:12 AM | 84

Demian at 49 I must admit your question goes beyond my English skills. :-( I was not aware that there is a difference between a coup and a de facto coup. I am also not aware if that kind of differenciation is also used in German.

My guess would have been that Pepe used the de facto version for drama and satire.

And to you response at 39 - yes it is crazy and that makes it so dangerous.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 3, 2014 1:57:45 AM | 85

TikTok at 63 I don't know about Harper, but I think Merkel just can not afford to go along with the military spending increase. Not if she considers the mood of the citizens who are already frustrated with her about Ukraina and the spending coming on Germany through the EU. Already Moldova is also demanding money from the EU too - so NATO has to take a back seat, because even for Germany there is a limit to spending money and respecting that is just something that is incrained in the Germans, at least to a bigger degree than many other European countries.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 3, 2014 2:05:33 AM | 86

@somebody #77:

That's a bit of a relief, actually.

The term Putin-Versteher is funny. Is its use meant to be self-ironic. How can das Verstehen des Anderen be a bad thing?

The reason I thought that slothrop is German is because he referred to b as a "Hamburger". I don't see why anyone who is not from the Germanosphere would use that instead of simply "German".

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 2:06:56 AM | 87

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 2:06:56 AM | 80

As always with language you are free to associate whatever you want. "Hamburger" shows slothrop at least knows some German, knows where b. comes from, and jokes on the English meaning of the term.

The "Versteher" first started with Frauen-Versteher. You go from there.

I think making a noun of "verstehen", something you would not usually do, makes it a kind of permanent occupation or sport, so a Putin-Versteher is someone who always understands Putin no matter what he does.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2014 2:33:17 AM | 88

By the way, this here according to the New York Times from 2012 is the Putin of 2012

But recently, Mr. Putin has taken a different tack, most likely seeing a chance to hurt the protest movement. In an essay about the nationalist question published last week, Mr. Putin assailed “provocateurs and enemies” who he said were trying to “rip out Russia’s core with false talk of the rights of ethnic Russians to self-determination and racial purity.”

“I am deeply convinced that attempts to propagate the idea of building a Russian ‘national’ mono-ethnic state contradict all of our thousand-year history,” Mr. Putin wrote in the essay, which was published on his Web site.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2014 2:38:13 AM | 89

Ukraine is a basket case:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.nl/2014/09/ukraine-to-need-another-19-billion-from.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 3, 2014 2:52:34 AM | 90

@somebody #81:

Ah, thanks. That makes sense. I couldn't figure that out on my own.

I think making a pun out of "hamburger" is in very bad taste, especially given that with the high casualty rate of Ukrainian forces, there is a lot of talk of meat grinders.

#82:

By quoting that, I take it you are implying that Putin has changed from that position. But finding that ethnic Russians have no preferred or special status inside the Russian Federation and being concerned about the welfare of ethnic Russians who are citizens of other countries raises no contradiction at all. The reason there is a problem is that unlike the RF, Ukraine and the Baltic statelets do not give equal rights to all ethnicities. In each, there is one preferred ethnicity. That is not the case with the RF.

I think you should try to understand this. Russia has centuries of experience with accepting people of different ethinicites; those new countries have no such experience.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 2:58:14 AM | 91

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 2:58:14 AM | 84

Putin is a politician. Of course he says different things to different people. What do you expect?

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2014 3:13:13 AM | 92

The Guardian sinks ever lower with its Russia bashing:

Crimea does not need gay people, says top official

The article starts with this:

Crimea’s most senior official has said sexual minorities “have no chance” on the peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

"Have no chance" sounded funny to me, so I followed the link to the story that the Guardian says is the basis of the Guardian story, and found that that phrase does not appear in the original Intarfax story. So apparently, the Guardian just made that up. And the Interfax story is in English, so anyone can check this. "Gay people have no chance in Crimea" is simply not something any Russian official would say. Guardian anti-Russian propaganda has gotten as primitive in its methods as Ukrainian propganda.

Britain, France, and Germany all tried to destroy Russia, but it's funny that whereas the French and Germans are not Russophobic, the English have never lost the Russophobia they developed when they became obsessed with Russia as an obstacle to British imperialism.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 3:14:19 AM | 93

slothrop has been around as the resident troll since the beginning of this blog. This place was quite different in those days.

That Jim Willie interview was very interesting. I don't know who this guy is, and a cursory exploration shows that he and his interviewer could not be more different from me. But he sounded very knowledgeable, and it fits with what all the other "large picture" people are saying. Anyway, his main point is that Germany has flipped towards Russia, and NATO and the EU are kaput. I'm doubtful of the EU part, Merkel would never give that up, but I am hopeful on the rest. In any event, we will find out next week.

I'd be interested in hearing what others think of this, esp. b and Noirette.

youtube.com/watch?v=tgOUazLGdhc&list=UUx-BKQDYIzUveyfi9nd6ZlQ

Also, another libertarian businessman type has some intersting words on Ukrainian banks and loss of capital from Crimea and non-performing loans (40%).

sovereignman.com/podcast/podcast-014-dulce-et-decorum-est-pro-patria-mori-14818/

Posted by: Malooga | Sep 3, 2014 3:48:10 AM | 94

Yes, the Guardian article is obviously bogus - the issue are gay parades in Crimea - that is what Aksyonow is talking about.

That is not just a problem in Crimea but also in Kyiv - the Guardian does not mention this.

Well, January 2014's Guardian still has fond memories of the Crimean war Britain once won.

Tennyson's poem is not, of course, a fantasy: it's a largely accurate account of an actual, and very dreadful, historical event which took place during the Battle of Balaclava. To its admirers, the poem's a tribute to the Light Brigade's selfless courage: to its attackers, it's the sentimental glorification of war and empire.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 3, 2014 3:52:20 AM | 95

I like to predict what Washington is going to do by reading NY Times articles about a given foreign policy crisis. The following one makes me think that Washington is not going to escalate the Ukrainian crisis.

U.S. and Europe Are Struggling With Response to a Bold Russia

while NATO plans to form a rapid-response force to protect its eastern borders, it became ever clearer that the United States and Europe do not view Ukraine in the same light as they do alliance members like Estonia. …

“The center of gravity in Europe will be to recognize that Ukraine lives in the shadow of the bear,” said Nick Witney, former chief executive of the European Defense Agency and a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “We want to stabilize the situation in Ukraine and the Russians want to destabilize it, which is always much easier.”

It may be “deeply unappetizing,” Mr. Witney said, but Europe favors “some form of cease-fire and some degree of negotiation that will give eastern Ukraine more autonomy than Kiev wants and a clear sign that Ukraine won’t join NATO.”

As I've said before, it's pretty sad that whereas the NY Times manages to put out sober articles about Russia every once in a while, the Guardian has become hysterically Russophobic. The NY Times is not entirely out of Judith Miller mode, however, given this: "The frustration at the inability to deter Moscow follows a shift on the battlefield, where Russian troops have turned the tide in favor of Ukrainian separatists." Nobody has ever been able to give any evidence that there are Russian troops in the former Ukraine (other than those nine who got lost and went back to Russia through a prisoner exchange).

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 3:52:56 AM | 96

Ah, finally there is some movement in the right direction.

Kiev: Poroshenko Announces Ceasefire in East Ukraine After Conversation With Putin | World | RIA Novosti

KIEV, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The Ukrainian president’s press service said Wednesday after a telephone conversation between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin that Poroshenko announced a permanent ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

Will be interessting to see how the NATO in Wales will be reacting on this.

Posted by: Fran | Sep 3, 2014 4:27:53 AM | 97

I read that the MH plane report will be released within a week, they said they have not all answers, which of course mean they will say people in east ukraine did it but lack proof for it if the junta wasnt part of the report then maybe another report would have been done.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 3, 2014 4:28:22 AM | 98

@Fran #90:

Putin could just be playing a cat and mouse game with Poroshenko. A ceasefire would require an agreement between the junta and the rebels, yet no rebel representatives are mentioned in that news report. Also the junta has agreed to ceasefires before, but never observed them.

Yes, Russia is going to make every effort to get a ceasefire as quickly as possible. But Putin cannot speak for Novorossia or its army.

@Anonymous # 91:

The report which will be released this month will only be about the causes of the crash; this is a technical investigation. If the plane was shot down, it is up to a separate, criminal investigation to determine who did the shooting.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 3, 2014 4:47:53 AM | 99

Whatever this means: Russia/Ukraine agree on steps to end conflict:
http://rt.com/news/184716-poroshenko-ceasefire-ukraine-putin/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 3, 2014 5:16:33 AM | 100

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