Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2015

The "West's" Dilema After Debaltseve: What To Do About Poroshenko?

Despite the best that has been done by everyone — the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State, and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people — the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
Emperor Hirohito acknowledging Japan's defeat

The Ukrainian puppet president Poroshenko should have delivered a similar speech. Indeed the war situation in Ukraine has developed not necessarily to his governments advantage. But the speech Proshenko gave (see below) was even more delusional than Hirohito's whitewashing.

Since six days ago several thousand Ukrainian government troops were surrounded in the Debaltsevo pocket. The only road out towards friendly lines was mined and under direct and indirect opposition fire. Several attempts to break out and also into the pocket were defeated with lots of lives and material lost.

Since yesterday and after severe artillery preparations the federalist troops are storming the city. They claim that some 3,000 government troops died there and some 1,000 capitulated (vid) and went into captivity. A few hundred sneaked out at night mostly by foot and today reached the government controlled Artemivsk some 30 kilometers to the north of Debaltsevo. Others fled south away from their own lines and deeper into the pocket. They will be mopped up in due time. Huge amounts of weapons and ammunition was left behind for the federalists to pic up. Reporters in Artemivsk observed some 40-50 dead and some 200 wounded arriving. These were, reporters said, mostly casualties of the escape under fire, not of the earlier fights in Debaltseve. Those who made it out alive are in seriously angry about their higher-ups.

The Minsk-2 meeting was urgently arranged by the German chancellor Merkel when the situation around Debaltsevo deteriorated. But during the negotiations in Minsk Poroshenko insisted that there was no pocket and that his troops were in total control of the situation. The French president Hollande tried to explain the real situation to him but to no avail.

The ceasefire was arranged but the Debaltsevo pocket was not mentioned in the protocols. The federalists reasonably concluded that the pocket was within their acknowledged lines and could be eliminated without breaking the general agreed upon ceasefire. Over the last days we have heard very little protest against this move from the "western" side. Was there a silent agreement to make Poroshenko eat his necktie over the issue like his new adviser Saakashvili once did?

Now the above is the reality. And here is Proshenko's delusional version delivered in a speech today:

I can inform now that this morning the Armed Forces of Ukraine together with the National Guard completed the operation on the planned and organized withdrawal of a part of units from Debaltseve. We can say that 80% of troops have been already withdrawn. We are waiting for two more columns. Warriors of the 128th brigade, parts of units of the 30th brigade, the rest of the 25th and the 40th battalions, Special Forces, the National Guard and the police have already left the area.
We were asserting and proved: Debaltseve was under our control, there was no encirclement, and our troops left the area in a planned and organized manner with all the heavy weaponry: tanks, APCs, self-propelled artillery and vehicles.
It is a strong evidence of combat readiness of the Armed Forces and efficiency of the military command. I can say that despite tough artillery and MLRS shelling, according to the recent data, we have 30 wounded out of more than 2,000 warriors.

Many "western" journalist are no streaming into Debaltsevo and their will soon be reports about the real disaster and the real losses the Ukrainian government troops had there. Those will be hard to hide.

It will then be difficult for the "west" to continue working with Poroshenko. He has now been shown to be completely off his rockers. He can no longer be sold to the public as the bearer of the truth, the sincere white knight against the dark forces of Russia.

How will the "west", Obama and his neoconned State Department react to that? Will they prepare a coup against Poroshenko or do they have other means to get rid of their useless puppet or to save the situation?

Posted by b on February 18, 2015 at 15:51 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Maybe I am missing something, but isnt Poroshenko right on this? The separatists let his troops go back? (which is idiotic).

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 18 2015 16:10 utc | 1

Well, they might say that Donetsk and Lugansk armies are bloodlusty terrorists close to the cruelty of IS and that the Ukrainian army (if anyone left) needs all the Western support they might get.

The interesting thing is that most of the media are not saying that. But some are coming close.

German state television suddenly finds Neo Nazis in the ranks of the Ukrainian army - English subtitles.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 18, 2015 11:10:35 AM | 1

no, it is not idiotic. As to feed that many POW's is quite a logistical challenge and, see above, to kill them is just not done.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2015 16:32 utc | 2

Parasha (suitable Russian word) is just repeating what US is telling him, and since US never cared about their or their puppets truthfulness, why would US need to arrange coup now? (Not like US lost any sleep with Al Qaedas glorification as righteous freedom fighters -> demonization -> glorification -> demonization etc. etc). If Parasha outlives his usefulness - sure, soft coup (or even hard one) is very much possible, but I dont think we are there yet. Yatseniuk wouldnt be any different in Parasho's position, except even weaker - Parasha at least has his oligarch-gangster style influence too.

Posted by: Harry | Feb 18 2015 16:37 utc | 3

Ha. Poroshenko and his Our Ukraine have been "assets" for some time now, as demonstrated by cables exposed on wikileaks. There have been reports that his family has been airlifted to the US. Like so many others -- Gulen(PA) and Sakaashvili(NY) come immed to mind -- he will soon have a nice house in Northern Virginia, is my cynical guess.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 18 2015 16:47 utc | 4

Hey - Anonymous - Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers - Especially those that run a lot of stories that begin "anonymous sources in the White House report today .."

Posted by: gersen | Feb 18 2015 17:36 utc | 5

i read the past few days that poroshenkos family was ferried out of kiev.. how long before he takes a one way plane trip to some usa friendly place too?

poky is just doing his job lying like that..

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2015 17:42 utc | 6

Don't count on "western" media to bring out the ugly truth regarding Debaltsevo. At least, not from the US media. My TV station brings pictures of ukrainian troops leaving the city in an "orderly manner", no signs of panic, etc. Poroshenko stated on TV, there was an "orderly retreat". Sure.

I think the US won't stop arming the Ukraine because a number of people are jockying for positions if/when Hillary Clinton will get elected.

"The most compelling explanation of why the Obama administration seemed to be shifting towards a more hawkish policy (arming the Kiev government now) is that key players in the administration have begun maneuvering for jobs in a future Hillary Clinton administration. Reflexive (but not shrill) hawkishness a necessary form of careerism in the foreign policy bureaucracy set. As an explanation for important events, it’s a close cousin to Hannah Arendt’s observation that Eichman was a banal and mediocre figure. Personally, I would prefer that the Chomskyite monopoly capitalism explanation was more credible."


The article gives a number of good reasons wht the US won't back down. And it's all domestic policy related. They don't care if 1000s of Iraqi, Afghan or other people die. The people in DC want war for other reasons.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 18 2015 17:50 utc | 7

Come on b,

Poroshenko has got his apologist in the name of that $--t disturber, self-promoted Humanist:

Check the pictures here:

Yeah , BHL ( whom I believed never did his military service ) is like Ike consulting with his generals.

Posted by: Yul | Feb 18 2015 17:55 utc | 8

Poroshenko needs to be seen to be in control. Admitting defeat, IMO, would mean that the US or the Neo-nazis in Kiev to depose him from power like Janukovich was.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 18 2015 17:56 utc | 9

The "separatists" ignored the prize from keeping 1000s soldiers, this is idiotic because soon all these 1000s will soon attack "separatists" again.

Also I still dont see how Poroshenko is wrong, what hes saying is true - "separatists" released the soldiers so they could go back. Cant get away from that was what have happend.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 18 2015 17:57 utc | 10

Also think of the $ 17 billion IMF loan.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 18 2015 18:00 utc | 11

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 18, 2015 12:57:11 PM | 10

Just as likely they will march on Kyiv.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2015 18:15 utc | 12

Yesterday, either from NPR news, the news anchor was interviewing a reporter located near but not in Dxxxxx and introduced the topic by talking about the "separatists." I did a double take, thinking that NPR was talking about some area within Russia where separatists were fighting. Who and where were these "Russian separatists???

The reporter actually had to introduce the idea of Ukrainian separatists and labeled them as Ukrainian separatists, possibly fighters.

The topic was ended without the NPR anchor using her original terminology.

Sheesh. Googling just now for "NPR + Russian separatists," it seems NPR has been using the term for many months.

Good little mouthpieces for the administration....

Posted by: jawbone | Feb 18 2015 18:36 utc | 13

I saw a s snippet on Debaltsevo this morning at the gym. Don't know whether it was CNN or CBC, but by westernmedia standards it seemed pretty accurate. They showed retreating or captured troops and conceded that it is a disasyer for the regime. That's the first time I've seen reporting onthe Ukraine that isn't pure propaganda. Something's up.

Posted by: Knut | Feb 18 2015 18:54 utc | 14

The feds did not let the government soldiers just go. Their convoys were attacked and they had some serious casualties and lost lots of materials.

But it is good that some got out. Their stories will increase the ant-war sentiment in the country and they will not be a logistic burden for the federalists. Moping them up would have just cost more lives with nothing gained.

Posted by: b | Feb 18 2015 18:55 utc | 15

oh - well

A Western diplomat from a country that supports new sanctions said Kiev’s constant denials about Debaltseve being surrounded – in the face of all evidence – made it difficult to win over other countries. “You spend all your time telling the other member states that the Ukrainians are the good guys and the Russians are the bad guys, and then they go and do idiotic things like this,” the diplomat told BuzzFeed News, speaking anonymously in line with protocol.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 18 2015 19:11 utc | 16


There is no sign at all that these 1000s will just "resign", contrary since Ukraine force its people to fight in the east.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 18 2015 19:19 utc | 17

@b: I'm not sure that US is at odds with Poroshenko. The seeming cluelessness may have been intentional/purposeful.

US/Western leaders and media are protraying rebel action against the Debaltseve pocket as a breach of Minsk 2.0.

For example: Ukraine crisis: US warns Russia as UN backs ceasefire deal

. . . Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine's troops there to surrender. [Putin's direct involvement - a big 'win' for US/West propaganda which depicts Putin as the evil, unbalanced mastermind]
. . .
After speaking to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Mr Biden said he "strongly condemned the violation of the ceasefire by separatist forces acting in concert with Russian forces, in and around the town of Debaltseve".He added: "If Russia continues to violate the Minsk agreements... the costs to Russia will rise."

Mr Poroshenko described rebel attempts to take the town as a "cynical attack" on the ceasefire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 18 2015 19:38 utc | 18

@Jackrabbit #16:

The BBC is a notorious propaganda outlet. It always blames Russia for everything, as does Biden. Interestingly, Obama dooesn't seem to have commented on Debaltsevo.

The Buzzfeed story somebody linked to at #14 is much more balanced.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 18 2015 20:19 utc | 19

BBC is not that bad if you read the news like denizens of late Warsaw Pact read their news. SURELY, the entire blame is on the Russian side and so-called rebels and ... but still, still ...

So there is an interview with one of the peaceful protesters at the time of Maidan, whom someone gave a choice of two firearms, he picked one, and later made some shot at the police "without killing anyone". Furiously making logical deductions, BBC journalists concluded that at least some shots were from the side of protesters, so initial reports should be amended with that new knowledge.

There is also a blog (I did not find it today) informing that SURELY the Russian version that the "junta of Kiev" is run by fascists is false, but NEVERTHELESS, some fascists ARE there. ONLY one (unnamed) ministry is controlled by fascists, and a well known fascists was recently nominated as the city commander of police in Kiev. And out of twenty or so volunteer battalions only one or two are fascist. It is left to the reader to conclude that the unnamed ministry is Interior, as this ministry is responsible for police. So perhaps it is true that it is only one ministry of many, but it has control of police, and a large part of armed forces. Imagine a fascist in charge of 35 thousands of New York City finest, recruiting fascists to command them, and using donations of friendly and patriotic business folks to equip them with such indispensable tools of law enforcers like multiple missile launchers. And going around the country pulling down monuments to Jefferson Davis and beating up folks (if the latter are lucky, you can be burned alive on a bad day).

And BBC also informed about grave recent sanctions issued by EU against key persons engaged in the rebellion, including an aged crooner from Donetsk, Iosif Kobzon (who apparently has a substantial following among 50+ public in the region, his specialty seems to be romantic tango, but indeed, he also sings more martial songs like very timely "Bloody snow"). I admit that while I remain a proud citizen of EU, my pride is somewhat dented.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 18 2015 20:43 utc | 20

I told you, Obama's out-to-lunch on the Ukraine conflict. Nothing resolute will happen under his watch. The Puppet Masters are waiting to use the Ukraine conflict as a platform for the next Republican president who will more than likely, meaning a 99% chance, be Jeb Bush. What will happen when Jeb takes office is anyone's guess, but I'm betting Vlad and Jeb come to a gentleman's agreement of some sort and Ukraine gets split up in some way with the Western most regions obeisant to The West and the Eastern most regions obeisant to Russia and the perpetual potential for border clashes and strife for the next two hundred years between East and West Ukraine. I'm betting Jeb, like his brother, will be able to look into Putin's eyes and see his spleen and by virtue of that he will know, even though Dubya already told him, Volodya is a good, decent and honest man — a man of solid character and unwavering integrity. A man you can sit down and have a vodka with, or a tequila. A man like this man.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 18 2015 20:53 utc | 21

"a gentleman's agreement of some sort" sheesh that sounds kinda wishy-washy. Not much better than Obama. No NATO base in Crimea? Shouldn't we be kicking the crap outta the goddam Commies.

Posted by: dh | Feb 18 2015 21:03 utc | 22

I've heard that somehow Bush learned that during Putin's annual physicals pieces of guys like Bush were routinely found in his stool samples, and that when Bush looked into Putin's eyes he pissed ice-water.

Don't know if there's any truth to that.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Feb 18 2015 21:19 utc | 23

Nebosja Malic (gray falcon blog):

- Was the ukrainian attack meant to fail ? In order to convince the US that it should send more weapons ?

- "Western Reports out of Ukraine Are Outright Lies"

(Nebosja Malic is regularly interviewed by Scott Horton (former and has a good take on events in Eastern Europe)

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 18 2015 21:27 utc | 24

Nebosja Malic's website:

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 18 2015 21:29 utc | 25

Hirohito's statement of acknowledging defeat in 1945 was a masterful statement. It helped save his office. It seems obvious that the Ukrainian Junta forces had suffered a horrific defeat at Debaltsevo two weeks ago, Poroshenko's statement today may actually save his office. He is feeding pablum to his followers. The Ukrainian troops there fought valiantly. They were overwhelmed by Russian aggression. Today, they withdraw intact with honor in the face of superior forces. All Ukrainian patriots realize that they, alone, cannot withstand the Russian superpower.

This retreat will be accepted by the Ukrainian nationalists as part of a gallant but failed effort to stop Putin's aggression against western civilization. Today their job is to convince the public's of western nations that they have been abandoned by the appeasement politicians in Europe and inside the Obama administration. This defeat will be blamed on those officials that sold out the heroic Ukrainians in the Minsk 2 deal. What we are seeing right now is an effort to create another stab in the back myth. Most fools in Central and Western Ukraine will grab onto that myth with gusto. That certainly will be easier for them to believe than to accept their fantasies of Ukrainian nationalism are nothing more than, well, fantasies.

I guess for those us in the US and western Europe is whether or not these fantasies take root in our political cultures. Hopefully not. Politically it seems that the best we can hope for is that a clear majority of people in the west are not interested in going into WWIII over Ukraine. Even if many of them believe the bullshit coming out of Kiev.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 18 2015 21:43 utc | 26

@Demian and others...

I didn't point to the BBC article as a news source but as illustration of how Debaltseve was being used by US/Western propaganda.

Short(er) version: rebel action at Debaltseve is being called a breach of Minsk 2.0, and fingers are being pointed at Putin.

This leads to the question of whether Poroshenko (in concert with others) hoped to use rebel action in Debaltseve for propaganda purposes. If Poroshenko's stubborn ignorance during Minsk 2.0 negotiations (even when others tried to explain it to him) was intentional 'gaming' - which was likely approved by other 'partners' - that would imply that the US/Obama is not as frustrated with Poroshenko as b suggests in his post.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 18 2015 21:57 utc | 27

Just read that poroshenko want eu troops in ukraine! Obviously ukrainain regime is about to lose big!

Posted by: reporter | Feb 18 2015 22:04 utc | 28

@25 This will sit well. First, they impose austerity, then they send money to oligarchs in Kiev, then those oligarchs demand Euro troops for protection while Islamic militants are running amok in the Mediterranean. And then the PIIGS are still out there.

This might be Poroshenko's most ludicrous request.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Feb 18 2015 22:21 utc | 29

@TovioS #23:

The Russian blog Antifascist reports that the Ukie blogosphere quickly became skeptical of Poroshenko's account of what went on at Debaltsevo. And judging by comments to a Youtube video of a Ukie report about Ukie "volunteer" battalion leaders forming their own general staff (something disastrous for the UAF, since, unlike the NAF, they have failed at creating a unified command), Ukie nationalists are inclined to blame Ukie generals for the Debaltsevo disaster,

I think Western publics are tired of Ukraine. No Ukrainian fantasies will take root in the West.

Alexander Mercouris wrote a very interesting piece in which he analyzes Der Spiegel's long article about Merkel's negotiations in Berlin and Minsk. According to Der Spiegel, Merk initiated the negotiations, because she was afraid that the NAF would get routed in Debaltsevo. Of course, that happened anyway, because Poroshenko kept on denying that the Debaltsevo cauldron existed, so Debaltsevo could not be mentioned in the written Minsk 2 agreement.

Mercouris also speculates that Putin got just about everything out of Merkel that he wanted, including Ukieland staying out of NATO and the EU, although that agreement is verbal. Mercouris makes much of the fact that advisers were not present at the meeting between Merkel, Holland, and Putin, which suggests that secrecy was a major concern. Keeping secrets from whom, one may ask.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 18 2015 22:22 utc | 30

Funny discovery here

Posted by: PeteCaroll | Feb 18 2015 22:24 utc | 31

@TovioS #23:

A Russian Russian blog reports that the Ukie blogosphere quickly became skeptical of Poroshenko's account of what went on at Debaltsevo. And judging by comments to a Youtube video of a Ukie report about Ukie "volunteer" battalion leaders forming their own general staff (something disastrous for the UAF, since, unlike the NAF, they have failed at creating a unified command), Ukie nationalists are inclined to blame Ukie generals for the Debaltsevo disaster,

I think Western publics are tired of Ukraine. No Ukrainian fantasies will take root in the West.

Alexander Mercouris wrote a very interesting piece in which he analyzes Der Spiegel's long article about Merkel's negotiations in Berlin and Minsk. According to Der Spiegel, Merk initiated the negotiations, because she was afraid that the NAF would get routed in Debaltsevo. Of course, that happened anyway, because Poroshenko kept on denying that the Debaltsevo cauldron existed, so Debaltsevo could not be mentioned in the written Minsk 2 agreement.

Mercouris also speculates that Putin got just about everything out of Merkel that he wanted, including Ukieland staying out of NATO and the EU, although that agreement is verbal. Mercouris makes much of the fact that advisers were not present at the meeting between Merkel, Holland, and Putin, which suggests that secrecy was a major concern. Keeping secrets from whom, one may ask.

@Jackrabbit #24:

I don't think that letting your armed forces get routed is good for propaganda purposes.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 18 2015 22:35 utc | 32


They were routed BEFORE Minsk 2.0. Minsk 2.0 probably wouldn't have happened otherwise (i.e. if the Ukies were having success).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 18 2015 22:54 utc | 33

P.S. The comments to Mercouris' piece at Russia Insider are also worth reading, especially the first one, which says in part:

the majority owner of Der Spiegel (Jakob Augstein) has his weekly column inside the Magazine as well as on Spiegel Online. In the same week his column made it clear to all readers that Merkel has lost on two major fronts: Greece and Ukraine. Der Spiegel (in its opinion section) considers Merkel to be a failure and a tragedy for Germany and for Europe. No praise to be seen anywhere!

However, it is clear to me now, that "official" Germany has changed its position altogether in the Ukraine question. It became clear to me when on Sunday night at 9:45pm in Günther Jauch's ARD talk (Germany's foremost prime time political talk show) the representative of the German Government (Norbert Röttgen) presented a very differntiated picture to the viewing public. Not one negative word on President Putin. Lots of criticism on the Kiew Government.Present where also the Ukrainian Ambassador to Berlin as well as the Russian Ambassador to Berlin. Whenever the Ukrainian Ambassador was allowed to give his side of the story, the Russian Ambassador was given ample time to rebutt and put across his point of view. Unheard of, in the past Months.

The German online media and printed press has largely abstained from overt Putin bashing since end of last week. Suddenly Putin is no longer a villain, but a partner one can negotiate with. Obviously this is not a straight line, but it is quite clear: German media is in retreat, together with the Ukrainian Army, one might say.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 18 2015 22:59 utc | 34

Here my two cents with more poetry from the stargazers window:

Mars and Venus, attack and resources, had their full passage through Pisces = re- or dissolution. On Friday they enter the realm of Mars = Aries for 4 resp. 6 weeks.
Mars then in full strength with lot of resources.
Sea-change this week in the sky:

Posted by: mundanomaniac | Feb 18 2015 23:10 utc | 35

CNN reports from Debaltsevo, shows abandoned armor and lots of abandoned artillery rounds. One federalist smiles: "On to Kiev and then Berlin. Merkel can make us tea." Small miracle, the CNN reporter _does_ report that he is joking.

Posted by: fairleft | Feb 19 2015 1:08 utc | 37

@fairleft #33:

I never heard republicans make that joke before. (That's the politically correct to call them now.) The obvious meaning is that as in WW II, the Russians have to save Europe from fascism again.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 2:32 utc | 38

The obvious meaning is that as in WW II, the Russians have to save Europe from fascism again.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 19 2015 2:37 utc | 39


How will the "west", Obama and his neoconned State Department react to that? Will they prepare a coup against Poroshenko or do they have other means to get rid of their useless puppet or to save the situation?

The US/Eurostan could take the same beaten path they have walked for centuries with tin-pot dictators, "Porky is a liar sob but he's ours." It would be difficult at this point to orchestrate yet another CIA/MI5/Eurostan shock & awe therapy to Ukraine with one too many coup d'etat. Given the devastating reverse Debaltseve means for the "west," the need to retain the status quo might prevail over other tendencies, except, Ukraine is in tatters, with many unpredictable elements struggling to dominate the body polity. Porky could be hit from many sides, by isolated actors or an alliance, backed or not by the "west," even in opposition to Porky's backers. Act III of the Donbass cauldrons is still unfolding at Debaltseve and surroundings, and with it, the faith of Porky and the destiny of Ukraine for the foreseeable (or not) future.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Feb 19 2015 2:39 utc | 40

Phase I of the plan now completed. The Kyiv Post has Poroshenko's statement from earlier today. He is shocked, shocked to find a cease-fire violation.

I can inform now that this morning the armed forces of Ukraine together with the National Guard completed the operation on the planned and organized withdrawal of a part of units from Debaltseve. We can say that 80 percent of troops have been already withdrawn....

We can assert that the armed forces of Ukraine have fulfilled their tasks completely....

We were asserting and proved: Debaltseve was under our control, there was no encirclement, and our troops left the area in a planned and organized manner with all the heavy weaponry: tanks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and vehicles....

As I promised, they repelled those who tried to encircle them and left Debaltseve pursuant to my command, which I gave yesterday....

We are holding the new defense lines. In the course of my negotiations with leaders of the United States and the EU, I demanded a firm reaction from the world to Russia's brutal violation of the Minsk agreements, the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry. We will prepare organized and coordinated actions together.

Mind you, KP has a link on this page to Escape from Debaltseve: Ukraine's soldiers tell how they got out alive. Photo caption sums it up: "Ukrainian soldiers retreat from Debaltseve on Feb. 18. President Petro Poroshenko said he gave the order to retreat on Feb. 17, but soldiers on the ground claim they were simply left in a trap under the fire of Russian troops."

Sounds like Poroshenko has a plan, perhaps one conveniently provided to him by his patrons. "Firm reaction... coordinated actions together."

Phase II -- Washington reacts. Round up the usual suspects. Excoriation by the hired help, aka, journalists & policy wonks. Money thrown at friends, cronies, contractors. Has a red line been crossed? Well, time to "raise the cost" for Russia. Training is already in the pipeline, fresh arms would complement that nicely, no?

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 19 2015 2:41 utc | 41
Why There’s Too Much Hope Over Minsk-II
Wed, Feb 18, 2015


The Minsk II accords are nothing more than a tenuous ceasefire in a tense regional neighborhood, and the sincerity of France and Germany’s intentions is dubious, at best. While the US has yet to formally commit to arming Ukraine, it still holds the option open and can unilaterally do so with or without EU support or ongoing hostilities.

Unravelling The Layers Of EU Thought

While much has been made of France and Germany’s ‘natural’ interests in having peace in Ukraine and the prospects of a major ‘split’ with the US on the issue, scarcely anything has been written about the enormous benefits each gets from their privileged relationship with the US. Let’s take a brief look at both:

While Paris competes with Germany ‘domestically’ within the EU, it complements it in terms of regional foreign policy in order to piggyback off of Berlin and acquire an increased profile and some residual prestige. Be that as it may, France closely cooperates with the US in West/Central Africa, and this relationship is not worth abandoning in order to all-out reject American designs in Ukraine, which Paris sees as being more within Germany’s sphere of influence/responsibility anyhow.

Most observers are already aware of Germany’s enormous trade ties with Russia, so it’s not necessary to rehash them at this point. Instead, attention should be drawn to Merkel’s rumored personal ambitions to be the next UN Secretary General, which could help explain her near-useless, albeit symbolic, merry-go-round diplomacy to Kiev, Moscow, Munich, and Washington. Aside from that, Berlin cynically appreciates the US’ anti-Russian fear mongering that has resulted in devastating counter-sanctions against eastern/southeastern EU member states, since it makes their economies more dependent on Germany and thus entrenches its power even deeper in the union’s poorer and more peripheral states.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 19 2015 2:43 utc | 42

That CNN piece at 33, the reporter said, "the withdrawal was any thing but orderly as the President claimed".

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 19 2015 2:52 utc | 43

"Imagine a fascist in charge of 35 thousands of New York City finest"

Yes. Imagine that.

The Bill Bratton in this article, who was present in Caracas during the 2002 coup against the Chavez administration, is now the NYPD head. He was in Caracas when (similar to Maidan - funny coincidence) snipers were used to fire on the public so the opposition could make claims of government violence. Unlike Maidan, the man responsible for those snipers - a man close to Bratton, if I read this correctly - is now in prison for that heinous crime.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 19 2015 3:02 utc | 44

@rufus magister@37

Sounds like Poroshenko has a plan, perhaps one conveniently provided to him by his patrons. "Firm reaction... coordinated actions together."

Sounds like part of the plan is to surpass Goebbels mastery of lies and misinformation, with the creation of an alternative reality trapped in a time warp.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Feb 19 2015 3:08 utc | 45

Was there a silent agreement to make Poroshenko eat his necktie over the issue like his new adviser Saakashvili once did?

Porky is actually paying Saakashvili for his advice on winning against Russia?

Isn't that a little bit of like hiring John Wayne Gacy as your babysitter?

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 19 2015 3:16 utc | 46

@32 cu chuliann.. that person has some informative videos up. thanks. here is another one i just watched..

Posted by: james | Feb 19 2015 3:35 utc | 47

This is a beautiful example the corruption in Kiev -

UK Supplies Saxon APCs to Ukraine...Which Promptly Sells Them!
monday february 16, 2015
There are times when even Jonathan Swift's sense of satire would be silenced by reality. After a lot of huffing and puffing by the "Arms for Ukraine Now!" neocons like General Sir Richard "Helmand" Dannatt over the weekend ridiculing Britain for only supplying Saxon Armoured Vehicles, a Kiev-based company is already offering them for sale!


Posted by: guest77 | Feb 19 2015 3:37 utc | 48

From I have read about Saxons today, if there was indeed a decision to sell them, it was very sensible. On the link they are offered as "a tactical police vehicle". As a military vehicle they are allegedly worthless, good for the opponent with feeble shooting skills because they have such a large top. Note that true military vehicles are quite flat. As police vehicles for times of violent demonstrations they seem ok, as long as the unruly mob is not using Molotov cocktails but only sticks, stones etc.

Poroshenko as a story teller is a disappointment because it is hard to figure out how his stories could possibly make sense. UAF troops withdrew, very orderly, from a cauldron that never was, using a road that was completely under their control but under the cover of a night and strafed. Polite Western news services illustrate the story with maps provided by Ukrainian military, alas those maps do not make the story comprehensible at all -- very small problem, given that map reading skills of the general public are meager. But the precise reasons for withdrawal are very mysterious. And details: what the 20% of troops left behind is doing? Was it the case of realizing that there is no need of keeping so many troops in Devaltseve if mere 20% can manage? But if they cannot manage, why leave them there? And do not think that they are corpses -- the losses were about 50 (or was it 60?).

The stories from NAF do not make full sense to me either. It is not totally clear why they let UAF go, but it actually makes sense. Apparently, after the Ukrainian campaign last summer the line of control had plenty of salients making life in Donbas a nightmare, as they were used for shelling, and made it hard to move around. Now all those salients are gone, and the line of control is pretty straight. Debaltseve was just the largest and best defended. However, a salient is either used for an offensive, or it is a liability, as one can figure from various bloody battles in the past, some in this very region. However, "mopping up" could be a hard, bloody work, so the trick was to enable the retreat while preventing the retreating troops to capture any territory, hence just enough shelling to make them disinclined to stop anywhere. But are there any resisting Ukrainian troops left in the area or not? And will UAF stage a counterattack elsewhere?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 19 2015 4:14 utc | 49

There's a very interesting piece by Nicolai Starikov about geopolics and what the US is trying to do to Russia and why over at the Saker: Global Politics – a war of meanings. Starikov's analysis is similar to that of Joaquin Flores. Here is the crux of it:

Russian society has overcome the virus of liberalism and is not ready to become infected with it again, and that is exactly why instead of the “liberal scenario of voluntary dissolution” they are being offered the “patriotic scenario” that instills in their minds an arrogant faith in success. In practice, this translates into certain public figures, who are consistently viewed as being patriotic, persistently offering… scenarios which require use of force in future developments in Eurasia. They are also interpreting past events using assumptions that every event was dealt with from the position of force, position of power. These interpretations are exactly what US needs.
This is what the Saker and Col. Cassad, IIRC, call the Russian sixth column.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 4:23 utc | 50

De-Dollarization Accelerates: Russia Launches SWIFT-Alternative Linking 91 Entities

Those pesky Russians are SWIFT, I expected in May, 2015.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Feb 19 2015 4:24 utc | 51

De-Dollarization Accelerates: Russia Launches SWIFT-Alternative Linking 91 Entities

Those pesky Russians are SWIFT, I expected it in May 2015.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Feb 19 2015 4:34 utc | 52

This might lessen one's pessimism, from Fort Russ. Blogger Russkiy Malchik ("Russian Kid") reports that Poroshenko asks for peacekeeping troops. Prelude to the partition of Ukraine?.

Poroshenko immediately after his “victory” at Debaltsevo came out with the following initiative: to invite an EU police mission to Ukraine with a UN peacekeeping mandate, and to conduct multinational military exercises. He immediately warned that he discussed these decisions in Minsk with Russia, France, and Germany....

This is unquestionably a big deal, because it can mean only one thing: Russia together with Europe and Poroshenko agreed to a de-facto partitioning of Ukraine into spheres of influence which will be controlled by military personnel with peacekeeping functions [Russian and Belarusan in Novorossiya, the EU's EUROFOR and not NATO, he explains].... This is an important consideration, because Poroshenko and Washington may try to pull a fast one, so one needs to be careful.

The translator J. Hawk agreed that the fix is probably in on a division. "No way it took 16 hours to hammer out the 'packet of measures' that everyone promptly ignored!... What Poroshenko thinks is immaterial — Russia, Germany, and France collectively hold Ukraine’s future in their hands, whereas Washington does not.... Should they [peacekeepers] be deployed, one wonders what their experience with the Right Sector and the "volunteer battalions" is going to be, seeing that the West had 'betrayed' Ukraine in its 'civilizational struggle' against Russia..."

And to Lone Wolf at 41 -- I've thought ChocoKing was out there since he insisted on 9K invisible Russian troops were in the Ukraine. A victory and retreat in good order? He can't really be that clueless, can he? It's all for public consumption, right?

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 19 2015 4:48 utc | 53

@48 Guys like Poroshenko are at the nexus of narcissism, yes men, and stress. Who knows what he thinks at this point? Fascists are irrational anyway. They are shining beacons of invincibility who are also under constant threat fighting back stabbers and innumerable hordes and one step away from defeat.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Feb 19 2015 5:00 utc | 54

Russian Spring


Donetsk Republic army officer “Podpal” told about operative situation in Debal`tsevo region:

“All settlements to the south of Debal`tsevo are abandoned by the opponent and secured by the combatants. Despite Ukrainian intent to liquidate inventories of equipment and ammo, the trophies are very generous.

The list of settlements is following. Yelenovka, Aleksandrovskiy, Grozniy, Krasniy Pakhar` (the one on the south), Savel`evka, Bulavinka, Ol`khovatka are ours (all to the south of Debal`tsevo). Garrisons of combatants reside here.

Kamenka and Chernukhino (two other settlements south of Debal`tsevo) are investigated. All Orlovkas (Maloorlovka, Novoorlovka) are ours as well as Mogila-Ostraya tumulus (very bottom of the caldron).

Fighting is still going on in Debal`tsevo.

By the way, the Ukrainians blew the bridge on Artemovsk-Debal`tsevo route (north of Debal`tsevo). The remaining road is through Mironovskiy (the neck of the caldron). And the attitude there is to leave.”

Russian Spring


Donetsk Republic army officer “Podpal” told that the Ukrainians were able to wrest out of the caldron on about 40 units of armored hardware with clinging troops. Majority of those trying to exit on automobiles fell.

“In my opinion, the latter were used to “preserve” the armored hardware – while the combatants were crashing easy targets, the armor was tearing through.”

“From words of beholders in Artemovsk, the survived vehicles arriverd fairly battered”, told the combatant.

Posted by: Fete | Feb 19 2015 5:04 utc | 55

Maybe Poroshenko should invite EU troops into Kiev to prevent Maidan II from happening to him? I'm sure the average citizens in both East and West welcome a de-escalation of the conflict, but I'm sure those wacky Nazis are looking to stir up trouble. Then again, anyone who tries it may end up like loudmouth whats-his-name who got a bullet in his head. Rough times overthere... I hope the ceasefire holds.

Posted by: Almand | Feb 19 2015 5:08 utc | 56

They'll keep him. He's useful, from the empire's perspective. A nobody with no real indigenous support, a cabinet staffed with foreigners from imperialist conquered places like Georgia, and he can be pressured by the fascist rabble that the West keeps in its pocket. Poroshenko does what he is told. We know from Nuland's tapped phone call that Yatsenyuk is their real man, but they won't want him compromised by this losing war. The Nazis of "Euromaidan" can be called back any time Poroshenko weakens, and when this conflict is behind us "Yats" can run the rump Ukraine into NATO's arms. They can't lose with the deck they have, so why shuffle?

Posted by: An Ony Mouse | Feb 19 2015 5:12 utc | 57

Poro's comments may sound delusional to us but he laying down a propaganda line that is being taken up by powerful forces inside the American news industry. I just watched PBS news and they seem to be echoing him. This was delivered by one of lead talking heads. She described a successful withdrawal of UA forces and mentioned the military activity there was an egregious violation of Minsk 2 by the Donbas forces. They described the "few hundred" UA soldiers that surrendered as being taken "hostage" by the rebels. POWs as hostages? Poro's fantasies are likely to be the official line to protect him from the anger of the Ukrainian people and possibility will be used by those factors in the west that want to weaken Russia. It seems incomprehensible that the Ukrainian people will buy this story but they have seem to fully blinded by their national myths.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 19 2015 5:25 utc | 58

Saakashvili is earning his salary, conveying CIA orders to Porky.

Ukraine’s Security and Defence Council decides to set up military cabinet of defence

Also, he said the Council had endorsed a plan of multinational exercises in 2015. In his words, these drills would involve "NATO countries and Ukraine’ strategic partners

The proposal to set up such a cabinet came from President Petro Poroshenko... anytime anything comes out of Porky's mouth as his onw initiative, he will be voicing orders from the CIA via Saakashvili.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Feb 19 2015 5:47 utc | 59

Actively rewriting reality to fit their needs. Rove was right.

Posted by: Almand | Feb 19 2015 5:51 utc | 60

@rufus magister #48, TovioS #53:

Joaquin Flores thinks that Poroshenko pretended the Debaltsevo cauldrin didn't exist ecause he was told it was not a problem by his American handlers. Some relevant snippets:

There are certain definite pressures acting upon Poroshenko which explain his general behavior from the start as well as his public denial of the Debaltsevo Cauldron reality at Minsk. For one his denial of the Cauldron would have been true if those in the US who assured him it would be were right. Poroshenko has gone through a long process of being assured by his US handlers of things which consistently have turned out to be grossly in error.

8.) Putin proved to Merkel and Hollande that the real negative influence on Poroshenko is the US, and in the course of the meeting it was proved that Poroshenko has no agency. He probably was unable to speak at the secured meeting beyond general phrases and public relation type statements, which revealed that he is unable to make policy for Ukraine.

What to expect: Poroshenko is already trying to spin this major defeat as either a victory, a moral victory, or an orderly movement which relates somehow to the ceasefire. Western media, especially in the US and UK, which has an increasingly smaller audience in the world and in the west, will push the line that the Novorossiyan side is violating the ceasefire.

Ukraine violated the ceasefire unilaterally last time, which is how the occupation of the Debaltsevo area came under Ukraine control after the September agreement which placed it in Novorossiyan hands. That is the critical fact to remember when looking at how these brokered agreements are later trounced on.

We know that the Novorossiyan’s had a justification for maintaining the cauldron at Debaltsevo given that history

@Piotr Berman #45:

But are there any resisting Ukrainian troops left in the area or not? And will UAF stage a counterattack elsewhere?

I read that there are still some Ukie troops outside of the city, but that the NAF will not flush them out, but will wait until they get hungry. I doubt there will be any significant Ukie counterattacks until after the next wave of mobilization. Also, the Debaltsevo cauldron was itself a counterattack, as Flores explains.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 5:54 utc | 61

@ fairleft #33

Looks like the dam is starting to break as far as western media doing some actual on-the-ground reporting and finding things that risk their narrative, such as "we survived the junta." Interesting shot of "their better missiles" at 1:38. Wonder if that's NATO stock.

@Piotr #45

Yes, there are resisting Ukrainian troops near the main junction and in a small portion of Debaltsevo. Their position is hopeless. There hasn't even been another breakout attempt over the last day.

* * *

If Porky can keep the junta coalition from fracturing (admittedly a big if) he's still useful to the west. Problem is, it looks like he'll need to make some big concessions to the hard core Nazis to do so. They're demanding things that would shred the last vestiges of the Minsk agreement, which at this point is Kiev's last best hope for preventing collapse along a huge swath of the front. Kiev is already stepping over the line on compliance outside of Donetsk. Yatsenyuk and Turchinov might be in a stronger position to keep the coalition together without endangering the Minsk agreement if they throw the Right Sector a bone by getting rid of Porky.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 19 2015 5:59 utc | 62

Posted by: Almand | Feb 19, 2015 12:08:42 AM | 51

He just did. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung he asked for a UN EU "police force".

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 6:41 utc | 63

@somebody #57

Can you give a link to the Süddeutsche story? And the story I did find lies, because it says that the republicans broke the ceasefire with respect to Debaltsevo, when it was actually the junta that did, as I explained in my post #55. Se you should find better sources.

Anyway, what Almand wrote was Maybe Poroshenko should invite EU troops into Kiev to prevent Maidan II from happening to him? What I read was that Poroshenko sent up a trial balloon after the Debaltsevo debacle about the UN sending peacekeepers to east Ukraine. That's something completely different. (And the UN couldn't do that unless the republicans and Moscow agreed.) I doubt that the junta wants a UN/EU police force in Kiev: that would make Ukraine an obviously and undeniably occupied state, reducing it to the level of Kosovo.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 7:16 utc | 64

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19, 2015 2:16:38 AM | 58

Here - it is the main story on the frontpage

"Das beste Format wäre eine von den UN beauftragte Polizeimission der EU."

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 7:38 utc | 65

Slightly off-topic. An article in Fort Russ begins this way:

Are Ukrainian-American children brought up to be Bandera followers? If the children of all the Eastern European and Baltic emigre populations bring their children up in American this way, will it have an effect on non-emigre children in the US? With a combined population of 20 million career age emigre ultra nationalists according to their own estimates in the United States alone, you had better find out.
As a first generation (Russian) American, I would say (1) yes, the children of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Baltic states are brought up to be Nazis; (2) that will not have a significant impact on the rest of the American population.

I don't think that Nazism can take in the US. (White supremacism is another matter, but it is always going to be marginal, if for no other reason than that the mass media will never take it seriously.) I even get bothered when Eric Zuesse of Washington's Blog calls the US Nazi. Despite all that Bush II and Obama have done to destroy America as we knew it, it has not become Nazi. The correct term for the present American system is inverted totalitarianism.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 7:43 utc | 66

It is a real policy shift/clarification in Germany. In this Ash Wednesday video - a traditional day for talking to the "Stammtisch" in German politics - Merkel states that the EU/Germany will support Ukraine but with Russia as a partner not against Russia.

Something happened.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 7:46 utc | 67

@somebody #59:

Thanks. I use RSS feeds for most of my news sources and blogs, and that story didn't show up.

Anyway, the comments I made still stand. And obviously, "eine von den UN beauftragte Polizeimission der Europäischen Union" would be unacceptable to the republicans and Moscow, who would want the mission to consist not just of citizens of EU countries but also of citizens of Russia and perhaps other non-EU countries. What Poroshenko is in effect asking for is a NATO police mission. That is a non-starter.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 7:55 utc | 68

@somebody #61:

Well, what Joaquin Flores said what happened in the piece I linked to at #55 was that: (1) Germany and France were fine with a US-run Ukrainian Blitzkrieg, but that is not what they got, and they don't want a protracted war in the middle of Europe; (2) Merkel and Hollande have finally understood that what USG wants in Ukraine is chaos; that is not what Europe wants; (3) they finally understood from the Minsk II meeting that Poroshenko is nothing more than a a US puppet.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 8:06 utc | 69

This New York Times article gives some numbers that presage Porky's next collision with reality. The "orderly, planned retreat" started with a convoy carrying about 2000 soldiers. According to one of the survivors, a third, at best, arrived at Luganske, mostly on foot. Now here's where Porky's math gets him into trouble. Even if the convoy had survived intact, Porky's 80% estimate implies about 2500 total in the cauldron when it departed. That's well under half, and possibly as little as a third, of the force that most estimates had in the cauldron. In essence, Kiev's "official" estimate of the forces remaining is about 500, while a conservative estimate of those killed, taken prisoner, or presently trapped, would be about 4000. The experience of the last group of escape artists has shown some really bad odds for those who are still fighting. Things are going to get weird when the body and prisoner counts start coming in. Porky needs a lot more than 700-800 survivors of an "orderly retreat" to keep his story even remotely plausible.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 19 2015 8:14 utc | 70

Preliminary NAF estimate of the UAF killed at Debaltsevo is 3000 - 3500.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Feb 19 2015 10:14 utc | 71

1st week in june

Posted by: mcohen | Feb 19 2015 10:44 utc | 72

Western media has become incredibly critical -

So far, the new cease-fire has been mostly observed elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, but events in Debaltseve may lead to renewed fighting. “Ukrainian volunteer forces are already questioning the cease-fire, the war is going poorly, and reforms are stalling in Kiev,” Oliker said. “Keeping the fight going in eastern Ukraine might become a political necessity for Poroshenko.”

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 10:49 utc | 73

This is all old news, a new front will be opening soon, Armenia and Azerbaijan. NATO infantry tactics is more hype then reality, we have seen it being trounced in Syria, the rats being guided by NATO handlers, even in Libya it took air sorties to really break the army down.

Posted by: papa | Feb 19 2015 10:49 utc | 74

@somebody #67:

Speaking of Foreign Policy, Stephen Walt thinks that Nicaragua is the US's neighbor, just like the former Ukraine is Russia's neighbor:

Sound familiar? Of course it does, but the great power in this story isn’t Russia, the tough-minded leader isn’t Putin, and the troubled weak neighbor isn’t Ukraine. The great power in this story was the United States, the leader was Ronald Reagan, and unfortunate neighbor was Nicaragua. …

Reagan and the United States acted wrongly then, and Putin and Russia are acting wrongly today. But the parallels between the two cases tell you something often forgotten when high-minded moralists start complaining about “foreign aggression.” However much we may dislike it, great powers are always sensitive to political conditions on their borders and are usually willing to play hardball to protect vital interests.

As far as I know, the US does not have a common border with Venezuela.

American realists like Walt and Mearsheimer studiously avoid the fact that, as VintageRed pointed out in the previous Ukraine thread, "the US is against Russia for Mackinderian geopolitical reasons. This is the case even though the USG clearly spelled out its geostrategy towards Russia in its Defense Planning Guidance document, which Vintage Red also helpfully linked to. That actually predates PNAC by five years.

When Foreign Policy publishes articles by Nikolay Starikov and Joaquim Flores, I will be impressed. Not before.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 11:56 utc | 75

Reaction continues. Local MSM hardcopy says this morning that "peacekeepers" might be needed to prevent Novorossiya from driving on to Kiev, questioning the now-depleted fighting strength of the junta. They are dismissive of Poroshenko's claim of an orderly withdrawal. But they do support the notion that the junta is outgunned and needs arms. They also state that NAF is now beginning to move heavy weapons out of the ceasefire zone.

I've seen it argued that subordinates were not keeping Poroshenko fully informed about operations. Personally, I think it's a PR performance, he knows what's up and says what he has to for domestic consumption. If he believes it and other delusions, his survival is open to question.

Still no word that I've seen on how the far right is taking this. I expect a sold thud when that shoe drops. Or should I say jackboot?

So far, DC's "Debaltsevo gambit" is unfolding according to plan.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 19 2015 12:35 utc | 76

D @ 69 --

Don't forget though, no border, but Venezuela has a very hot commodity -- oil. Hence a vital US interest.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 19 2015 12:38 utc | 77

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19, 2015 6:56:01 AM | 69
You understand the word backyard? That is what they are talking about. Nothing to do with borders.

More on something happend - areas of Russia Saudi cooperation


Russia might join Egypt fighting ISIS in Libya

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 12:39 utc | 78

Demian @69 the mackinder business is so fundamental they probably assume there is no need to refer to it.

Posted by: rjj | Feb 19 2015 12:48 utc | 79

@somebody #72:

You understand the word backyard? That is what they are talking about.

France, Germany, and Poland are in Russia's backyard. Yett Russia doesn't claim the right to support insurgencies in those countries, unlike the case of the US and Venezuela. So the equating that Walt made between Reagan supporting right-wing terrorists in Venezuela and Putin supporting anti-fascists in the former Ukraine is a false analogy.

@rjj #73:

Well, I had never heard of Mackinder until Vintage Red brought him up, and I have read books on (mostly leftist) international relations and took a course called "International Economic Relations" or "International Political Economy" (can't remember which now) in college. So no, that polisci geeks might know about Mackinder is not an excuse for Walt and Mearsheimer not to bring him up any time they discuss US policy towards Russia.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 19 2015 13:28 utc | 80

Nebosja Malic posted an interesting article on

Bosnia/Yugoslavia in the early 1990s equals Ukraine in 2014 & 2015. Ouch.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 19 2015 13:44 utc | 81

Rudolf Hess translated Mackinder's Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919) into German for Hitler to read in prison. It was a trade book.

Posted by: rjj | Feb 19 2015 13:49 utc | 82

Posted by: rjj | Feb 19 2015 13:52 utc | 83

@ Damien #55

I'm glad that you finally see the propaganda value of Debalseve as I wrote about in #16 and #24.

Some (see #64) are still taking Poroshenko's words at face value. But the use of rebel action at Debatlseve (as described in #16,24 and #53, as well as #21, #37, and #52) to attack Russia for Minsk 2.0 violations seems planned.

While underhanded, one might almost admire the way that the US/Ukies have thus snatched some sort of 'victory' from defeat.

Also note: Minsk 2.0 serves another purpose. The lull in fighting is necessary to conclude an IMF deal. After Ukraine secures IMF money, will they get US arms (based on Minsk 2.0 violations)? We shall see.


PS I must admit to some confusion over talk of peacekeepers. This would be counter to US desire to maintain pressure on Putin and Ukie NEED for a foreign enemy to keep the lid on domestic unrest.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2015 14:02 utc | 84

About "Russo-Saudi cooperation": it is just a normal relationship of major state, with elements of cooperation and backstabbing, but they are on the opposite sides on most issues.

Exceptions include purchases of Russian stuff with Gulf money, and this may be important. Lebanon is rumored to order a billion dollars worth of weapons from Russia using a grant from Saudi Arabia administered by a reliable Saudi stooge, Hariri junior. Lebanon actually need better arms quite badly, Saudis need to improve their influence, and Russia probably offers most bang for the buck. Likewise, Egypt needs more electricity, and Russians may be a most competitive supplier of nuclear power stations at this moment, especially given low exchange rate of the rubble.

As I wrote, the most clear and very practical danger of supplying good weapons to Ukraine (or to Azerbaijan) is to bolster the prestige of Russia as producer of arms. So far, it is "cheeper, quality OK but not as good", but some stuff, like anti-tank missiles, seems to represent top standard. "Ah, but it was tested only against obsolete Soviet and Israeli tanks". I mentioned that there was a riff between India and Russia, the reason was that India does not want Russia to sell any weapons to Pakistan.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 19 2015 14:11 utc | 85

Nebosja Malic: "South Stream Blues".

Anyone who knows where all those gas pipelines run knows that russian control over Eastern Ukraine is essential.

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 19 2015 14:14 utc | 86

What will happen to Poroshenko?

He will be ousted. Overthrown. Another coup.

Posted by: Penny | Feb 19 2015 14:24 utc | 87

Poro’s statement was in a way to be expected.

The Kiev coupists are a bunch of oligarch types, grafters, paid up stooges, locked up in personal rivalries and rages. Their business is not Governement, not war, or even international negotiations/relations. They are crassly incompetent. They are also lunatics, gripped in a very primitive group-think, which specifies a collective delusion that is not cohesive (vs. in a love-Jesus sect), i.e. that power-plays, domination of rivals, and stating your own reality (in this case making up BS) can win the day. In this way, they offer a servile copy some of the USA’s moves, those that suited them, but are not adjusted to their situation, which was supposed to deliver ‘a unitary Ukraine’ …

Lunatics are sometimes determined, efficient, and effective. Incompetence often merely leads to mess and muddle. Amazing to see the two married in this way.

The cauldron being wiped out (more or less) is a repeat scenario. The first time it was ignored by the W. Now the MSM are (as far as I can see) starting to mutter about Nazis in Kiev, Corruption in the Ukraine, Incompetence in the Army, or army not supported properly, IMF breaking its own rules, Ukraine economy on the brink of collapse, Donbass citizens being shelled, etc.

For ex. on Corruption in the Medical Sector.

Below, author doesn’t question that Russia is the agressor in Ukr. and she herself once worked for Soros. But ??? New Yorker! Feb 12 2015.

The Guardian ran a long piece on the same topic on 6 Feb 2015.

These are actually interesting to read though certainly superficial. Wouldn’t have been published a year ago in the ‘worthy’, ‘caring’ MSM imho.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 19 2015 15:38 utc | 88


Yes, it is very cult-like.

But there is a method to this madness. Credit is taken for any progress and blame is heaped on any opponent or nay-sayer.

Optimistically ignoring reality also best sets people up for the SHOCK(er) of Putin's betrayal of Minsk 2.0. (Note: Putin's calling for Ukrainian troops to surrender has only served to link him personally to what is being portrayed as a ceasefire violation.)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 19 2015 16:00 utc | 89

PORNOshenko is hystory .. Obama will forget him in a few days.

Posted by: Georg | Feb 19 2015 16:14 utc | 90

@84 That's my thinking too. Poroshenko is a loser.

Posted by: dh | Feb 19 2015 16:19 utc | 91


It's a shame that all Russia has to offer the world is instruments of death and dirty Nukes to drive their economy.

The Russian-Lebanon arms deal seems to be stalled while a 3 Billion dollar deal with France is closer to completion.

The Islamic State will eventually end up with most of these arms so commenters will soon claim they are supported by France and possibly Russia.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 19 2015 16:43 utc | 92

There seems to be a lot of wishful thinking and muddled logic about Poroshenko and the ruling cabal in Kiev. The US and its Eurotrash minions do not abandon their programs easily especially after years of plotting and manipulation to install their satraps.

Money and arms are flowing into Ukraine and the recent setbacks are nothing more than reinforcing rationales for more involvement and support, not less.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 19 2015 16:53 utc | 93


"The US and its Eurotrash minions do not abandon their programs easily especially after years of plotting and manipulation to install their satraps'

Who said that anyone is abandoning their program?
Getting rid of Poroshenko doesn't suggest an end to the agenda- look at it as fresh curtains on the same window.
The window is still the same, only the dressing of them has changed

Posted by: Penny | Feb 19 2015 16:58 utc | 94


I agree, dont know where are all this "poroshenko have now lost", "MSM have finally changed" etcera.
Saying such things show that one doesnt know about the reality at all. In fact I dont think we have seen even the beginning of this conflict yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 19 2015 17:02 utc | 95

Money isn't exactly 'flowing in' In fact the private bondholders are very unhappy with the way the new debt is being structured. Arms aren't 'flowing in' either. The only kind of arms that will help the UAF is some kind of airforce.

Posted by: dh | Feb 19 2015 17:09 utc | 97

Posted by: dh | Feb 19, 2015 12:09:38 PM | 91

There is a no fly zone.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 19 2015 17:18 utc | 98

@92 Darn right there's a no fly zone. Anything the Ukies put up gets shot down.

Posted by: dh | Feb 19 2015 17:20 utc | 99

What to do with Poro? Light :), where else to go?

Mockery is a relief for angst.

A bit like US parents of a wayward loopy daughter, she marries a dubious character, the parents pay 100K for the wedding + to buy them a house or at least show up with a huge down-payment. Love, hope, support, acceptance, will be positive.

Divorce soon ensues, and daughter re-marries, now the true love of her life after a naive, young person mistake, the parents pay 50K for the wedding and a honeymoon in Hawaii, but refuse to shell out for another house (there are multiple legal actions ongoing re. the old house), and lo and behold, the new hubby is another scammer, and unfaithful to boot - with cam girls and whores! Completely out of left field!

Another divorce. Costly.

And then, she marries for the third time.

By now the parents only pay for the wedding gown. The 3rd time bride request 20K for the dress. The parents pay it.

True story…bowlerized.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 19 2015 17:20 utc | 100

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