Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 13, 2021

Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume

Several Russia watchers - Patrick Armstrong, Andrei Martyanov and Andrei Raevsky - are musing about a renewed attack by the government of Ukraine on its eastern Donbass region. The Donbass separated in 2014 after the U.S. driven coup in Kiev installed an anti-Russian government which then waged a war on its ethnic Russian east.

There have been a number of reports about heavy Ukrainian equipment moving east and other hints of military preparations. Russia has seen enough such signs to issue a strong warning:

"I would like to warn the Kiev regime and the hotheads that are serving it or manipulating it against further de-escalation and attempts to implement a forceful scenario in Donbass," [Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova] said, commenting on the statement of head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group for settlement in Donbass Leonid Kravchuk on some "radical steps" of Kiev if Russia refuses to recognize itself as a conflict side in eastern Ukraine.
Zakharova recalled that the Minsk Agreements clearly outline the conflict sides in Donbass as Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk. "The unwillingness of Ukrainian negotiators to recognize this fact and their refusal to find agreements with Donbass is the reason that hinders the establishment of long-lasting peace in the region," the diplomat noted.

The main catalyst for such a war is the sorry state of the government in Kiev. The country is in in the midst of a constitutional crisis:

[T]he Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) recently plunged the country into one of its deepest crises in its 30-year history. Specifically, on October 27, 2020, the Court declared that the main elements of Ukraine’s anti-corruption legislation, adopted between 2014 and 2020, were unconstitutional. In response, President Zelensky introduced legislation calling for the early termination of all Constitutional Court judges. Later, in December, he suspended the chairman of the Court for two months.

The result was widespread chaos in Ukraine’s political system. Zelensky’s actions were of questionable legality and provoked harsh criticism from all political sides. The ramifications of the Court’s decision include the cancellation of over 100 pending corruption investigations, a development that potentially could endanger future EU-Ukraine trade and economic cooperation Ukraine under the 2014 Association Agreement.

After the 2014 Euromaidan coup an 'independent' National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was created to oversee the investigation and prosecution of corrupt state officials. The NABU has since been used by the U.S. embassy to bring criminal cases against those oligarchs it dislikes and to cover for those it likes. The constitutional court found that NABU is a criminal investigation agency outside the control of the executive branch which is a contradiction to the Ukrainian constitution.

The crisis has since escalated:

President Zelensky has now taken several provocative steps, including proposing legislation that voids the Constitutional Court's anti-corruption rulings and begins the process of dismissing and replacing those justices who supported that decision. None of these actions are supported under present-day Ukrainian law. The rhetoric between the president and the Constitutional Court is also escalating, with Constitutional Court Chairman Tupitskyi warning that the president’s actions threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Calls for impeachment proceedings are being raised in the Rada, and Zelensky yet again escalated the crisis on February 3, 2021 by blocking pro-Russian TV channels controlled by Victor Medvedchuk. The legality of the latter action was even questioned by the EU, who told Zelensky that while Ukraine possessed the right to protect itself from disinformation, it still had to comply with international standards and “fundamental rights and freedoms.”

The pressure on Zelensky is growing as he tries to navigate the fine line of obeying the law as written while simultaneously claiming that the very integrity of the country is at stake. And Zelensky’s problems are only mounting, with the Cabinet of Ministers recently calling for the dismissal of the head of NABU and the IMF delaying the next tranche of financial support, in part because of Ukraine’s failure to implement a comprehensive anti-corruption program.

Polling numbers for Zelensky have sharply declined. Right wing city councils call on Zelensky to outlaw the largest opposition party. Meanwhile the pandemic puts a record number of people into hospitals while a meager vaccination campaign is failing.

A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support.

But nothing will happen on the frontline without the consent or even encouragement from Washington DC. The Biden administration is filled with the same delusional people who managed the 2014 coup in Kiev. They may believe that the NATO training the Ukrainian army received and the weapons the U.S. delivered are sufficient to defeat the separatist. But the state of the Ukrainian military is worse than one might think and the separatist will have Russia's full backing. There is no question who would win in such a fight.

As a commentator at Turcopolier remarked:

If the US is not careful it is going to give the Russians another opportunity to show to the World their military prowess, the flexibility of their Military District system allowing multi front operation and their unfailing support for an ally. As well as potentially letting the Russians show to Europe that they have nothing to fear, if they stop at 30 miles or so and basically go back home. All whilst the US demonstrates the opposite, but then reinforcing DC may trump the World.

Posted by b on March 13, 2021 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

next page »

If Ukraine is not careful, they could easily lose all their territory up to the Dnieper River. With Russian support the separatists could launch offensives and gain massive territory west.

If pro-Russian separatists managed to capture that much territory, that would solve alot of problems for Russia.

1. A land bridge to Crimea.
2. No more water/power distribution problems to Crimea.
3. Less chances for the ongoing sabotage efforts against Crimea from the northern border.
4. Permanent exclusion of Ukraine from NATO unless Ukraine simply gives up and recognizes all the lost as sovereign independent republics. A win/win for Russia.

Posted by: Mar man | Mar 13 2021 17:49 utc | 1

"A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support."

It would be an odd way to 'regain national support', as he was elected on precisely the opposite platform, the peace platform.

Meh. Whatever the calculations - to suppress pro-peace opponents and compete against the pro-war parties for their electorate? - it seems unlikely to succeed. A case of totally fucked up attempt at populism, methinks.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 13 2021 17:57 utc | 2

The Saker also has an interesting article on this:

"Just a few weeks ago I wrote a column entitled “The Ukraine’s Many Ticking Time Bombs” in which I listed a number of developments presenting a major threat to the Ukraine and, in fact, to all the countries of the region. In this short time the situation has deteriorated rather dramatically. I will therefore begin with a short recap of what is happening.

First, the Ukrainian government and parliament have, for all practical purposes, declared the Minsk Agreements as dead. Truth be told, these agreements were stillborn, but as long as everybody pretended that there was still a chance for some kind of negotiated solution, they served as a “war retardant”. Now that this retardant has been removed, the situation becomes far more explosive than before.

Second, it is pretty obvious that the “Biden” administration is a who’s who of all the worst russophobes of the Obama era: Nuland, Psaki, and the rest of them are openly saying that they want to increase the confrontation with Russia. Even the newcomers, say like Ned Price, are clearly rabid russophobes. The folks in Kiev immediately understood that their bad old masters were back in the White House and they are now also adapting their language to this new (well, not really) reality.

Finally, and most ominously, there are clear signs that the Ukrainian military is moving heavy forces towards the line of contact. Here is an example of a video taken in the city of Mariupol:

Besides tanks, there are many reports of other heavy military equipment, including MLRS and tactical ballistic missiles, being moved east towards the line of contact. Needless to say, the Russian General Staff is tracking all these movements very carefully, as are the intelligence services of the LDNR."

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 13 2021 18:07 utc | 3

Microsoft News is probably an unbiased source regarding "covid" in the Ukraine, just ask Bill Gates.

Otherwise, good article on the dangerous build up that is motivated in the US. They desperately need a distraction from Biden.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 13 2021 18:08 utc | 4

@Bluedotterel | Mar 13 2021 18:07 utc | 3
Yes, that's why b linked to that article in this post

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 13 2021 18:10 utc | 5

"Why The War In Ukraine May Soon Resume"?

Because the establishment was successful at installing one of their own into the White House. In fact, the empire's need to secure total victory in Ukraine was part and parcel of why Biden had to "win" regardless of how blatant the scamming of the election ended up being.

Not only will the wars in Ukraine and Syria heat up to a boil again, but we will begin to see terrorist attacks in western China start up once more after several year hiatus. We all knew that this is what would come of a Biden win.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 13 2021 18:12 utc | 6

"Otherwise, good article on the dangerous build up that is motivated in the US."

Incidentally, I hear that Ukrainian officials are getting their orders from the UK embassy these days; the US has distanced itself.

Whether this is happening because it's still the transitional period, or this is a deliberate new M.O., god only knows.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 13 2021 18:16 utc | 7

Sorry, Ravsky is the saker

Posted by: Bluedotterel | Mar 13 2021 18:17 utc | 8

The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938.
Russia 2021 is the same as Germany 1938.
Today China is the Sovjet Union of 1930s.
Today EU is France & England of the 1930s.
Today US seems weak in comparison to the 1930s -
but this is only a trick/fake/hoax (to deceive Russia).

Posted by: Gerhard | Mar 13 2021 18:22 utc | 9

It was my interpretation before, and it continues to be so now: Ukraine doesn't exist anymore as a nation-state; it disintegrated after 2014.

This last neo-nazi charge may be just the inevitable end of whatever left of The Ukraine.

However, this is not the West's only Hail Mary for this next political cycle:

Quad cannot replicate NATO, given internal divergence and China’s economic clout

My opinion on the Quad is this: it would strike fear in 1998, but in 2021 it looks more like a desperate attempt of the USA to retain its hegemony than to expand it. The G7 is gone and NATO is more impotent than ever. To make things even worse, this last Quad summit wasn't even able to mention China by name - could you imagine such a situation when the American Empire was at its apex, during Bill Clinton? China would've already been reduced to smithereens by now after a swift UN resolution supporting its extinction as a nation-state.

On a side note: if you're an American, you can now look at how richer you got now after Biden's infinite generosity act! (courtesy from the Washington Post)

Calculate how much you would get from the $1,400 (or more) coronavirus checks: The third round of stimulus checks will be the largest so far.

Posted by: vk | Mar 13 2021 18:30 utc | 10

Ukraine still has a flotilla of functioning nuclear power plants. The Zaporozhye complex is the largest in Europe by far. Anything goes wrong and Chernobyl comes back, in spades.

So what if we have a little war and Russia stops at Donbass, the rump of Ukraine is in chaos?

An atomic bomb requires 3 kilos of fissile material. A reactor will have tons. Hundreds of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel. There is a lot to be said for stability. Lots of trouble with high stakes poker.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 11

Canada's Banderite lobby prepares...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 12

There are many knowledgable commentors here at MOA. I always wonder how the west gets these leaders to sacrifice their countries and people for a third countries agenda. But living in The US one sees the ignorance of society to these things. It is too much to lean or worry aboutwhen you are behind in your bills, havee no healthcare or on the other end are trying to build that career no matter who gets in the way. The US will let NATO fight to their death against any enemy while we remain esssentially on an island with no skin in the game.

Posted by: Ozz | Mar 13 2021 18:32 utc | 13

@ Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 13 2021 18:31 utc | 11

That's what Yeltsin and co. thought when they were on a lending spree from the IMF during the 1990s - they rationalized that, because the Russian Federation had a huge nuclear arsenal, the USA (IMF) would essentially keep feeding them forever. In 1998, after just a few months of crisis, they folded, Russia defaulting. The event ended the Yeltsinite era.

Posted by: vk | Mar 13 2021 18:38 utc | 14

Right. What could possibly go wrong?

When history repeats itself there are never any annoying transcription errors.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Mar 13 2021 18:51 utc | 15

Ukraine's relations with China might be about to deteriorate as well...

Ukraine Plans To Nationalize Jet Engine Producer Motor Sich From Chinese Investors

Posted by: ptb | Mar 13 2021 19:03 utc | 16

Mr. Mar man

I agree, and further to your points, I suspect Russians are engaged in a long term project of re-absorbing Ukraine minus the Catholic oblasts.

The tactic is intermittent episodes of limited war, in response to a Ukrainian provocation, real or manufactured, or imagined - followed by the loss of more territory by Ukraine.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 13 2021 19:21 utc | 17

The most interesting thing about this story is ... Myanmar.

Since the coup in that country began the Fake News (most MSM news) has given Myanmar saturation coverage. EVERY "news" broadcast in Oz AND the so-called International News has led with some tosh about Myanmar. It's an effing rowdy riot for Christ's sake. Guess how surprised I wouldn't be to hear that MI6 & CIA are behind Myanmar? It's a Boring, same every day, story and it's going nowhere.

Imo, Myanmar was always cover for prep for something more nefarious elsewhere. And anything with shooting involved would be MORE nefarious than Myanmar. Now the real stories are seeping out.
I hope they start with Ukraine. Putin is an asshole. But he's my kind of asshole and certain people, who don't listen, are going to wish they hadn't been born. And when VVP has finished with Ukraine, some of them may as well not have been born.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13 2021 19:30 utc | 18

What ever I read I never hear the views of the people of Ukraine - there country is at risk of being broken up by the actions of all governments since independence.

I bet the Hungarians and Poland are watching closely as they also have interests in Ukraine.

Posted by: James2 | Mar 13 2021 19:43 utc | 19

You people need to get your stories straight. If Biden is so senile, then manipulating him slows down the full-court press and makes all policies erratic, the product of the last person to whisper in the ear. (Which is why Dr. Jill would be Edith Wilson and Nancy Reagan.) Plus, saving the zombie corps are higher on his agenda. Most of all of course, the theory that Biden has already ordered the MSM to bury the bodies in Ukraine means he has zero need to do favors for anyone there. (There is zero evidence Hunter was selling real favors, instead of scamming crooked Ukrainians who thought they could buy influence. But it is an article of faith, a tenet of Trumpian theology, that Ukraine was something, something, something and therefore Biden is a traitor.)

It is in fact the transitional period that is apt to allow all unresolved disasters to boil over while no one (not literally) is watching. Only a fool ever thought Ukraine and Syria could continue indefinitely. (Putin may be that big of a fool, if he ever had an endgame he's never showed any sign of it.) The economic crisis and the epidemic and the US elections I think have tended to put people into a holding pattern to see how things develop. But now, the epidemic is starting to shake out---the end of the beginning is in sight!---and the world depression is entering a new phase with threatened mass bankruptcies and now is the time to present the new US administration with a fait accompli.

In Syria, Trump had four years to end things but deliberately committed to stealing the oil. Putin never had a plan I think to lever out the US and Turkey or even the Kurds, so he never had a hope of ending the war in Syria. It can't go on forever.

Kharkov province came within a hair of joining Lugansk and Donetsk in rebelling. But it is the only contiguous territory that can plausibly be joined. Odessa is majority Russian but it is isolated. Artificially dividing the westernmost provinces from the rest of Ukraine will not resolve the problem, not even if they were sacrificed to Poland. Poland's appetites include western Belarus and Kaliningrad and probably parts of Lithuania too. One problem with re-drawing borders in Europe is German revanchism for Silesia and Prussia. It may not be loud now, but it's astonishing how fast these ideas come back.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 13 2021 19:59 utc | 20

@6 Yep..

Cricket sounds coming from the Enchantress..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 13 2021 20:00 utc | 21

Some updates.
There is a battle in the area of #​​Donetsk airport. The #Ukrainian Armed Forces
are shelling DPR positions with heavy weapons.
Around 19.30 local time, a series of kicks took place in the direction of the DAP.

I would expect a False Flag to start thing off. (The shelling has been going on for months, but seems to be more serious this time round.)

The Russians are ready. 6 Divisions said to be on high alert. Structural subdivisions of electronic warfare (EW) of special forces of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation have been redeployed to the territory of the #DPR & #LPR

Electronic suppression & electronic protection goes to all points of contact with #Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The Ukranians started flying Bayraktar TB2 drones (As used against Armenia)
(Two drones "Rece" downed (?unconfirmed) and a US drone seen in the vicinity.)

An Inhabitant of Donbas thinks that this time the Ukrainians will go for city centers.
(Thinking about the mess they made by going through the rural areas and finishing in "cauldrons")
(26 minutes)

Turkey's deputy foreign minister [annexation of Crimea]:
"The situation in Crimea continues to threaten regional security."
"We adopt a clear, coherent policy. We strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We don't recognize illegal annexation."

The Ukes have slightly more then 100'000 men and the Donbas has about 30'000.

There are three (?) Nato force ships in Odessa. (Minesweepers, if my memory is correct - older report) The US destroyers have left. But. The US has a carrier in the Med, and the Charles de Gaulle (carrier) is also around.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 13 2021 20:09 utc | 22

I wonder who is pulling Ukrainian President Zelensky's strings as his actions as described by B in his post don't match what the fellow has been doing (basically faffing about and trying to please everybody since he was elected in 2019) up to now. There must be several puppetmasters pulling him this way and that: the CIA and SBU certainly, the US State Dept certainly, and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 13 2021 20:22 utc | 23

Re: Biden's "policies"

Biden does not have any policies.

At this point, it should be clear that the term "Biden" be used to designate the consortium of neocon and neoliberal technocrats, both veterans from the Obama-admin and neophytes who are operating in place of a failing POTUS.

Biden is a whimpering, pathetic character who should be left alone to handle his fleeting mind in dignity. But we all know this is not what he truly deserves.

They would not allow him to do this, however, and he was instrumental in being the most milktoast and boilerplate candidate where only pure hatred of the other (deplorables) would suffice to win 2020.

Biden was essential to win. Now he is the equivalent of a 6' ft+ doorstop or paperweight.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 13 2021 20:40 utc | 24

thanks b... and many good insights from the posters starting @ 1 and moving down, excepting little stevies comment on putin.. can't have everything...

@ Gerhard | Mar 13 2021 18:22 utc | 9.. uranus is on an 84 year cycle... thanks for the data..

@ 23 jen... i was wondering about that myself... who is pulling zelenskys strings?? if biden can get rid of the chief prosecutor as vp to help his son out, i suspect he can do a wee bit more now as president... i don't think he is that bright though, and others behind the scene are pulling the strings here...

Posted by: james | Mar 13 2021 20:45 utc | 25

24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict?

The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 26

24 comments and no mention of Nord Stream II

Isn't that the likely target of any Russian-Ukraine conflict?

The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2021 20:58 utc | 27

Trump: "I want our kids out of Syria."

Deep State Operator: "I'll have the staff start drawing up plans for that."

Trump: "I want them out NOW!"

Deep State Operator: "Ah... that's complicated. We can't just leave right away and leave all of our stuff there."

Trump: "OK, then make those plans! Tell me why these plans were not prepared yet? You knew that I wanted the troops home. That was one of my campaign promises."

Deep State Operator: "But you never asked us!"

[six months pass]

Trump: "So, how about those plans?"

Deep State Operator: "What plans?"

Trump: "The ones about withdrawing from Syria that I ordered you to have ready."

Deep State Operator: "Oh, those plans. We have our best people working on them. I'll find out their status and get back to you."

[three months later]

Trump: "The plans!"

Deep State Operator: "What plans?"

Trump: "Do you have brain damage or something? The ones about withdrawing from Syria! You said you would look into their status and get back to me!"

Deep State Operator: "We're doing the best that we can! There have been some complications, but we'll have them straightened out soon!"

[three more months pass]

Trump: "The plans."

Deep State Operator: "What plans?"

Trump: "To get out of Syria."

Deep State Operator: "Oh, those plans! You never filled out the necessary paperwork. We cannot proceed without the orders in writing. You have to be specific about what you mean by wanting the troops out. Which parts of Syria do you want them out of and which troops do you want the operation to apply to? Like I said before, this is really complicated."

[incredulous look from Trump]

[six months later]

Trump: "The plans."

Deep State Operator: "What plans?"

Trump: "To get out of Syria."

Deep State Operator: "Oh, those plans! You wouldn't believe this but a dog ate the orders that you gave us. We couldn't tell which troops to get out of where, so the plans have been developing rather slowly."

Trump: "You are right. I don't believe you. You're fired!"

Deep State Operator: "You can't fire me! I am a civil servant!"

Trump: "I can't? OK then, you're promoted to cleaning toilets at McMurdo Station. Bye."

[six months later]

Trump: "Those plan? Or do you want to join your predecessor at McMurdo Station?"

New Deep State Operator: "You ask too much! It takes time to learn the intricacies of this interdepartmental work! I've just started!"

[six months later]

Trump: "Plans!"

Deep State Operator: "Can I go to McMurdo Station?"

[and so on]

[after deep state/business elites frauded election]

Deep State Operator: "Welcome Mr President, and can I say how please I am at your victory?"

Biden: "You can say whatever the hell you want, whoever the hell you are."

Deep State Operator: "I am your Deep State interdepartmental facilitator and liaison."

Biden: "Ah, good. They want me to ask you to get the troops back in Syria."

Deep State Operator: "Right away sir. The plans are already prepared and troops will begin moving before the end of the hour."

Everyone knows the Deep State works this way. Infinite resistance against what the Deep State doesn't want and immediate action on what the Deep State desires.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 13 2021 21:11 utc | 28

Gerhardt @9:
"The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938."
You're going to invade Czechia?

Posted by: passerby | Mar 13 2021 21:14 utc | 29

@22 stonebird - I watched the linked video. The Texan said that the Ukrainians bought winter fuel from Belarus. Is Lukashenko still playing both sides? How sad. I wouldn't want to be on a commercial jet flying over Ukrainian territory right now. Especially one manufactured by Boeing.
God help the fine people of the DNR LNR.

RIP Givi, Motorola, Zharakansheko and all the patriots.

Posted by: lex talionis | Mar 13 2021 21:22 utc | 30

I am not sure if "the state of Ukrainian army" is properly illustrated by the link. The military is almost 300,000 strong and 60,000 is deployed on the Donbass frontline. They suffer quite a bit of losses, almost all "non-combat". For example, food poisoning, stepping or driving over mines laid by their colleagues, poisoning with improperly made samogon (moonshine), few killed when a samogon still exploded (strong alcohol has to be separated from propane flames, or it explodes, "still" as a noun is a device to distill alcohol), one soldier was so stoned that walked over the other side -- somehow not stepping on the mines, other stoned soldiers fight with each other etc. etc.

Somehow this war machine survives on 500 million dollars per month (a half what Polish military consumes).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 13 2021 21:27 utc | 31

President Zelensky -- Giewish. Why am I not surprised? Why is NO ONE SURPRISED?

Posted by: Phil Gayham | Mar 13 2021 21:30 utc | 32

I see no reference to this yet, "'How Dare They!' How 'Pro-Russia' Report Shattered Pillars of US Old Atlanticist Think Tank'":

"The row was triggered by a 5 March report written by the think tank's two senior members, Dr. Mathew Burrows and Dr. Emma Ashford, urging the Biden administration to 'avoid a human-rights-first approach' towards Moscow and warning that new anti-Russia sanctions would only 'further damage productive relations for the sake of an effort that is unlikely to succeed.'

"On 9 March, 22 think tank’s staffers and fellows issued a tough statement distancing themselves from Burrows and Ashford and arguing that the report in question "misses the mark." The statement was signed by individuals known for their longstanding criticism against Moscow, including Swedish economist Anders Aslund and former US ambassadors John E. Herbst, Alexander Vershbow, and Daniel Fried."

Each paper is linked at the original. There's much to chew on as the Pragmatists/Realists make their move. I'll be back later to stick my oar in, although it ought to be clear who're the sane and insane.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13 2021 21:30 utc | 33

@Jen: "and Zelensky must also be feeling some heat now Uncle Creepy Joe and son Hunter over Hunters past involvement with Burisma Holdings."

About a year ago (February 6, 2020) the investigating judge of the Pecherskyi district court of Kyiv city I.V. Lytvynova ordered to open a criminal investigation of "the big guy" Joe. Case number 62020000000000236.

The authorities tried to stall it for a while (see here: ), and when they figured out which way the wind blows, they came to their senses and closed the case.

But as far as I know, Mr Shokin, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general removed by "the big guy" Joe (Burisma's krysha), is still there, hasn't had a car accident or anything like that. So, for "the big guy" Joe (and The Family) Ukraine is still somewhat dangerous. To be handled with care.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 13 2021 21:38 utc | 34

I suspect Zelensky is owned and directed by the same forces and people that own and directed DJT, Clinton, Obama, and now Biden.

What happens next, will be up to them. Probably something, anything, that will keep the $ flow directed to the "right" class of people.

Pass the popcorn...

Posted by: vetinLA | Mar 13 2021 21:43 utc | 35

There will be no war between Ukraine and Russia. Russia is playing for time, knowing that the West is getting weaker and will be in worse position later. NS 2 is also not yet completed. Why would one want to start a war now if they will be in better position later?

What may happen though, in the case of provocation, is that the rebels may get newer, fancy weapons, inflicting heavy casualties on the Ukrainian Army.

Same with Taiwan. No one is going to attack it right now. It could still happen, but around 2050, when China is at peak power, and not today.

Posted by: Passer by | Mar 13 2021 22:02 utc | 36

@ Jackrabbit (26) Re: Nordstream 2

I agree but I also believe its going to be bigger than that.

@ Nemesis (24) & William Gruff (28)

Both right.

@ Stonebird (22)

The information is much appreciated.

Posted by: MarkU | Mar 13 2021 22:13 utc | 37

@Passer by,
that NS2 is not operational only means that Europe can't afford a long, serious crisis there.

Russia still could: being able to pump gas to Europe non-stop is hardly a critical factor. But of course the Putin administration repeated many times that it will not fight Ukraine. So, yes, it's unlikely.

The approach there appears to be 'wait and see'. "If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by."

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Mar 13 2021 22:19 utc | 38

Mao Cheng Ji @ 34

Perhaps you should have translated 'krysha' Russian, a roof, a term used for your "protector or protection".

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Mar 13 2021 22:23 utc | 39

William Gruff @Mar13 21:11 #28

That is pure fantasy.

Presidents are chosen by Deep State Empire-managers that serve monied interests. Everyone knows that USA has a money-driven political system. President's are chosen because they are willing to do what those interests wants. And honey-pot operations like Epstein's insure that none of those monied interests challenge EMPIRE priorities.

All Presidents after Kennedy have had CIA connections (except maybe Carter?), for example:

  • Ronald Reagan spied on his fellow actors;
  • The Bush family are well known as CIA;
  • Clinton allowed CIA drug flights to fund the Contras;
  • Obama's mother likely worked for CIA and her father is said to have been with OSS (predecessor to CIA);
  • Trump has a long connection to FBI and it appears that he hired Felix Sater for Mueller's FBI (as an informer for counterintelligence).

    Trump’s Long History With The FBI: In 1981, He Offered To “Fully Cooperate”


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2021 22:23 utc | 40

Bit of a surprise reading this thread and finding my words quoted in b's section, never expected that. Reward I suppose for the hundreds of hours I have spent online since early 2014 watching in horror and sadness at events unfolding in Ukraine from the safety of central England. I must be on a few databases here.

Mar man 1

If Ukraine attacks then Russia has to quickly respond and it will do so very differently to last time as its place in the World is very different now. It is much more confident, as can be seen from Lavrov's words, much stronger militarily. Almost certainly if it wanted it could be in force at Ukraine's western borders in a couple of days. But that won't be their plan. Now they have had a few years with someone else footing the bill they won't want it back, the West can fund Ukraine thanks, they just want to stop the running sore.

They should want to achieve two things, first, to scare the shit out of Europe by demonstrating that there is a 'shock and awe-ski' lurking in their Military Districts and second, to show that they have no intention of ever using it fully by, having gained a bit of strategic depth, say to the oblast borders, immediately pulling straight back into Russia, generating a sigh of relief across Europe. In Lavrov Russia has the man to exploit that scenario to the full with the mechanism already in place, the Normandy Format.

As I said in the quote above from Turcopolier, the US are skirting on thin ice here. There is a very real risk that Russia could come out of it with their reputation seriously enhanced around the World. Imagine the effect on Syria and the Arab world.

In its normal arrogant and aggressive ways it has set itself up in Ukraine without thinking it through. Its strategy of pulling Russia's tail here is going to explode in its face if not now then later. The only way to prevent it is to move a few thousand US military in and that will just preempt it.

The only bright side is that Obama's team, who started it all off, are back in power facing the fan.

Bluedotterel 3

The Saker article was written by who is writing this evening that he expects it to blow in the next 48 hours.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13 2021 22:44 utc | 41

@ Posted by: Passer by | Mar 13 2021 22:02 utc | 36

No doubt.

Modern warfare is highly automated. If a WWIII happened today, it would last some 50 minutes max. Soldiers are becoming more and more niche, used only for escalation purposes. But even then nation-states don't need nearly as much soldiers now as they needed in 1945, let alone 1914.

That's why the USA can afford to treat its war veterans like crap, without having to worry about losing their capacity of national security: they really don't need them, in the greater scheme of things. They are just that: a bonus, an optional.

Posted by: vk | Mar 13 2021 22:50 utc | 42

William Gruff@28 hits a new personal low for dishonesty and double standards, but a new high for long-winded but pointless stories.

Trump, when frustrated in the effort to call out the military (just in time to play a role in the elections, remarkable coincidence!) fairly rapidly started replacing senior officials. Thus by the time he was trying to overthrow the honestly-counted election, the Pentagon was part of the arrangements for permitting the invasion of the capitol. A Gen. Platt stalled, encouraged by Trump's flunkies. I am not hopeful for courts-martial to clean out the cryptofascists in the officer corps, especially since the usual suspects like to blame the masses, in this example, the ranks, rather than the rulers.

Nonetheless, even William Gruff knows perfectly well that if Trump wanted troops out of Syria, since there was no official state of war, he could have done it if he wanted to. He didn't. Everyone, including Gruff or the demented Bacevich, who pretends that Trump was ever an opponent of US imperialism is a bare-faced liar or a fool or a diseased combination of both.

After two months, the determination that Biden's administration has determined policy is preposterous, making Biden's fictional dialogue even dumber than the usual Gruff garbage.

Jackrabbit@40 membership in the CIA is not hereditary. Being a mere asset isn't hereditary either. Clinton stood up and covered for the CIA over what happened at Benghazi and they hung her out to dry, by the way, proving that being a CIA asset doesn't earn gratitude, much less the presidency. And a sense of proportion is needed too. Trump's "connections" to organized crime in NYC real estate are probably more significant to his career than connections to FBI, which is not the CIA after all, but a rival. (Ditto for Reagan the stool pigeon.) And Carter's naval career connected him to the military. (To be sure, Deep State theorists are so confused they don't know from one minute to the next if the military is part of the Deep State or the people they hope to take over the country and "save" us from the Deep State.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 13 2021 22:54 utc | 43

Stonebird | Mar 13 2021 20:09 utc | 22:

Carriers are barred from entering the Black Sea by treaty. IMO, the carriers are for Syria / Lebanon IF there is going to be any fighting.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 13 2021 23:01 utc | 44

Passer by 36

If this kicks off there is no time for that approach anymore. Kiev will have an objective, at least as important as the military strike, to destroy Donbass economically. This time there will be no mercy. It will have had a lot of US/NATO advice on the subject. The targets of the best mobile artillery (from 122mm shells and rockets to 300mm ballistic missiles) are already programmed in, the crews are good after a lot of NATO quality training. We have seen the results on Raqqa of US 155mm artillery, x that by 100.

The best Russian artillery will have to respond almost as the first rounds leave their barrels/tubes/launchers. If they don't in five minutes much of Donetsk and Luhansk cities will be smoking ruins. Only after that will those guns reduce range and go for the defenders front lines.

This will be a fight not seen in Europe since WW2 Eastern Front battles.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13 2021 23:11 utc | 45

Ian2 44

Indeed they are, no doubt much to their relieve in this case. You can bet that those minesweepers are on the next tide out of Odessa heading south at a prudent pace.

More interesting and secret as their transponders will be off, will be the locations of RC-135 Rivit Joint, Global Hawk and P-8 hoovering up as much data as they can.

As to the carriers, the timing is interesting, maybe the US plans to strike Syria at the same time, all those gas stories have reappeared.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13 2021 23:20 utc | 46

NATO believes that it can attack Russia by proxies and that Russia will only retaliate against the proxies. Are they right?

Posted by: Confused | Mar 13 2021 23:33 utc | 47

what a bunch of gangsters.

“Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin warned the German company that operates the port of Mukran, a key staging post for ships involved in the pipeline’s construction, that the company, its board members, corporate officers, shareholders, and employees were at imminent risk of “crushing legal and economic sanctions,” including visa bans and asset freezes, if they did not cease their cooperation with the project. “
-Foreign Policy

Posted by: jayc | Mar 13 2021 23:59 utc | 48

Confused 47

In my view yes, Russia will not attack a NATO state, only deal with the proxies. Possibly dealing with the first in such a way that other proxies might review their positions. Georgia didn't make the point strongly enough and is now forgotton.

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 14 2021 0:10 utc | 49

Stirring up the local forum's established champions of empire is quite satisfying! While unnecessary, it is still nice to be reassured that one's analysis is on target.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 14 2021 0:36 utc | 50

It appears that there are still people out there who are foolish enough to believe that the president of the US actually gets to make any important decisions. Even if it wasn't obvious before, surely the last few years have confirmed the fact that if the deep state doesn't want it, it doesn't happen. Trump appeared to believe that if he announced something on Twitter, he could paint them into a corner and he would get his way, he was clearly wrong.

The same sort of situation exists in the UK, once upon a time ministers were chosen because they had experience and knowledge related to their department, now they are empty suits, nothing but mouthpieces for the people that really make the decisions.

Posted by: MarkU | Mar 14 2021 0:42 utc | 51

@ jayc | Mar 13 2021 23:59 utc | 48 with the bullying from the out-of-majority US Senators..Hmmm

Does that mean that the gangsters on the "other side" are going to let it happen without further todo? I somehow doubt it but then I think both sides of the US political system are owned by the global private finance folk.

A commenter above asked about when Russia is going to stop fighting proxies. I personally like Russia fighting proxies because it gives Russia a chance to show it military superiority like it did in Syria and keep the heavy nuke folk from staring directly at each other. I am still of the belief that empire is dying of the good example of China and its lack of a Plan B to deal with the Debt laden West that is a house of cards in the process of many more record setting weeks on Wall Street before international folk stop believing the every-is-fine BS?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 14 2021 0:47 utc | 52

Gruffian nonsense continues @Mar14 0:36 #50.

So transparent what you are doing there. LOL.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 14 2021 1:15 utc | 53

@47 Confused

Two years ago, the Russian President gave a speech. He indicated that the "decision-making centers" would be targeted by Russian missiles if Russia is attacked. So, Brussels and Washington,DC will be destroyed.

"The Russian leader spoke Wednesday during his state-of-the-nation address in Moscow. He said Russia would answer any U.S. move to deploy new missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own new missiles closer to America or by deploying faster missiles.

Putin said Russia does not plan to be the first to deploy new intermediate-range nuclear missiles. But he warned of possible action against new U.S. nuclear missile deployments in Europe that would put the weapons much closer to Russia.

“They will only take 10-12 minutes to reach Moscow,” Putin said. “It’s a very serious threat to us, and we will have to respond.”

He said Russia could deploy new weapons of its own that would be designed to reach enemy targets just as quickly.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy new types of weapons that could be used not only against the territories where a direct threat to us comes from, but also against the territories where decision-making centers directing the use of missile systems threatening us are located,” he said."

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 14 2021 1:26 utc | 54

How would the war start? my prediction, Ukraine would just bombard and shell civilian areas in Donbas until it forced Donbas to attack well-fortified positions and then smash them. At least that would be their plan. No matter how many civilians died as a result of Ukrainian artillery, the Laura Ingraham's would shriek, 'UYGHURS!' and demand we do something to help Ukraine from Russian aggression.

Not saying it will play out like that, just thinking of why Ukraine would do something so insane and terrible. The answer, blind support from the U.S. for past aggression encourages more aggression.

- Ah it feels so good to be a citizen of the most moral country on earth.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 14 2021 1:47 utc | 55


Agreed that Russia is far more confident now than 2014. Before Syria, Russia merely suspected it possessed far superior military gear, tactics and troops. After defeating the US proxy terrorist army in Syria with only a handful of planes and advisors, it is now certain.

I hope you are correct. Russia should come from the shadows in Ukraine and support Donbass directly, openly and decisively with the Russian military crossing the border and proudly displaying the Russian flag on their uniforms and vehicles.

What does Russia have to lose? I doubt any Europeans are stupid/crazy enough to fight Russia when there is ZERO upside, no way to win and massive costs. Russia already sanctioned having been accused of invading Ukraine in 2014. They have been hysterically accused of invading for years and already paid the price. Might as well go ahead and do it.

Posted by: Mar man | Mar 14 2021 2:08 utc | 56

John Gilbert@12 makes a good point.
Canada is in the Ukraine up to its neck-any hostilities in the Donbass will almost certainly involve Canadian troops. They will certainly involve units trained by Canadian forces and very probably involve large numbers of Ukrainian Canadians spoiling for a fight to revenge their nazi forefathers chased by the Red Army into exile.
The Canadian presence in Ukraine is dangerous largely because it is not under any kind of control: the fascist tail is wagging the liberal dog.
In matters of foreign affairs Ottawa is LaLa land: last week it voted, without dissent, to affirm the dubious, borderline ludicrous, proposition that China is involved in genocide. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Canadian history will find that amazing, even the representatives of the remnants of the First Nations seem to have joined the lynch mob. Whoever realised that the Falun Gong show had such a large and varied audience?

Canada has little 'penny packets' of troops in all the Baltic countries as well- part of a geopolitical strategy aimed at ensuring that voters who self identify as Ukrainian, Polish or Baltic anti-communists
vote in local elections. This is dangerous on two levels, firstly because it involves NATO troops in anti Russian adventures and secondly, because it emboldens fascist gangs from all the western world to risk setting off the sort of hostilities which could easily lead to thermo-nuclear war.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 14 2021 2:25 utc | 57

steven t johnson is abusive

Posted by: Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | Mar 14 2021 2:29 utc | 58

As usual,Ukraine is just cannon fodder for the Russophobes. They may fear the EU is weakening towards Russia, as well as still trying to stop NordStream - so they need to start another war to galvanize the EU vassals. In addition, EU is getting tired of Ukraine debt and excuses about corruption.

The critical question is: are there forces in Ukraine that are willing and able to rebel and fend off the NeoNazis? Are there regional leaders or oligarchs willing to secede? I think you would need part of the Ukraine army to break off as a practical matter.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 14 2021 2:33 utc | 59

If AOC has her way the war will begin in Tibet.

Yasha Levine reports: "I mean, she did comically vote (along with Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio) for a law that would deploy earthly American sanctions to meddle in the heavenly reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. No joke!

“I was also proud to vote in support of the Tibet Policy and Support Act of 2019, which would establish as U.S. policy that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is a religious matter that should be decided solely by Tibetan Buddhists; specify that Chinese officials who interfere in the Dalai Lama’s succession process will be subject to Global Magnitsky sanctions; mandate that China cannot establish any new consulates in the U.S. until a U.S. consulate is established in Tibet; and authorize State Department programs for Tibetan cultural and environmental conservation,”

"she wrote in a statement released on the birthday of the Dalai Lama, a rent-a-saint who’ll work with and bless anyone — be they pathetic sex cults or oligarchic death lobbies — for a bit of cash."

I guess the fact that China provides medicare for all and has lifted millions of Tibetans out of poverty is just evidence of creepy communists out to fool the people. What are your constituents' priorities AOC?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 14 2021 2:49 utc | 60

@58 Seconded..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 14 2021 2:57 utc | 61

as usual, most of the posters somehow forget to mention that the whole thing is yet another Game Theory, designed to goat Russia into responding to a Ukrainian attack.

And once Russia responds, USA/NATO will begin screaming about aggressive Russia and twill immediately demand severe economic sanctions against Russia.
Those sanctions USA/NATO demand will be:
1 disconnecting from SWIFT,
2 sanctions on the national debt,
3 and an embargo on energy trade

So even if Russia wins in Ukraine, Russia will lose severely. USA knows hat very well, since it has played all the possible Game Theory outcomes. Same old Game Theory, being used by USA since the 1940s)
Why am I the only one who sees this?
So Putin the Pussy is stuck and he knows it and USA knows it. Fuck you Putin the Pussy for letting Ukraine fall into USA hands. You deserve everything you get.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Mar 14 2021 3:47 utc | 62

A fundamental error in this otherwise fine article is to ascribe Ukrainians increasing warlike moves on Zelensky’s problems.

Ukraine is not an independent country but a vassal of the United States. Under Biden it is much more tightly bound with the likes of Victoria Nuland who is back bigger and bolder, calling the shots.

Nuland and co could care less about what happens to Ukraine or Ukrainians any more than a chess grandmaster may have any sentimental attachment to a pawn. The question in chess is how to where and when to move a piece, sacrifice it etc in an effort to win (if one is aggressive).

Nuland is playing offense to win. Russia is playing defense to not to lose - a draw would be acceptable. So Nuland is going to keep pressing. Her worry would be if a wrong move will cause Ukrainians to rise up against their masters. So a first step would be to crush the opposition parties - cut off their channels; sanction their leaders. That’s been done.

What would be a favorable outcome to Nuland? Any situation where Russia comes out looking bad. If Kiev takes some or all of Donbass, Putin would look like a weakling to his people. Win! If Russia smashes the Ukrainian army, Russia would be made to look like a hyper aggressive force and more sanctions and arms on its borders would follow. Win!

The advantage is Nuland’s since no American lives are lost (not that she cares but US lives lost would mean blowback at home) in any scenario, just “worthless” Slavic ones. Russia has a disadvantage sinceit doesn’t desire either it or desperate Ukrainian lives lost. Zelensky of course has no options: he simply executes his marching orders delivered via the US Embassy.

Russia has to play very carefully to get away with a draw.

Posted by: JeffG | Mar 14 2021 3:53 utc | 63

Posted by: Hoyeru | Mar 14 2021 3:47 utc | 62

You invoke "Game Theory" as if it is an unquestionable oracle for outcomes when it is far from.

Game Theory is a very primitive tool for both truth determination and future prediction.

If the West is basing these actions on a Game Theoretic model, they're bound to achieve the same results they have until now - i.e lots of blowback, unpredictable outcomes, a more complex and unpredictable geopolitical landscape.

Might as well consult the magic 8 ball and be done with it ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Mar 14 2021 4:12 utc | 64

From the stalker zone - the prelude. Andrey Rudenko likens Ukraine forces to ISIS.

"What has changed? Now they started to use mobile groups with which they use these ‘Partisans’, 128 mm mortars. They don’t shell from positions, but come to the living quarters where people live, carry out the shelling from there and then leave, knowing that we will not shell in this direction because we don’t shell peaceful people. The changes in Ukraine’s tactics lie in this.”

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 14 2021 4:14 utc | 65

Mr. Hoyeru

All those machinations by the Mad King will not have any lasting strategic impact on Russia: she is in the process of re-orienting her economic activities to East and South, she is pretty much self-contained and self-sufficient in science and technology, and she, like Iran, has her own civilization and culture.

Also the effort to reclaim her lost territories is not viewed un-sympathetically by many other international actors. Then there is the little matter of her mobile hypersonic weapons platforms, which, I am sure, no one wishes to face.

A propaganda win by the Mad King will not alter any of this. Russians do not care what anyone else thinks about them, they want to restore and expand their national power.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 14 2021 4:20 utc | 66

Mr. JeffG

Russians can be in control of Kiev in less than 2_days.

But they are not in a hurry to dismember Ukraine, they will bid their time as she lurches, like a zombie, hither and thither, with each jerk losing some territory and vitality.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 14 2021 4:25 utc | 67

Shows the limits of "game theory" and how the "games" operate outside of reality instead of accurately representing it. Russia doesn't need SWIFT nor does it need to sell it's resources to Europe. Russia doesn't need the West, at all. That is the mistake in the game theory calculations.

The west needs Russia as the western economic system is a parasitic ponzi scheme that is in the early stages of cannibalizing itself. Since time is on Russia's side, playing for a draw is the logical strategy, as a draw is a win in the long run.

Posted by: Haassaan | Mar 14 2021 4:25 utc | 68

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 13 2021 22:54 utc | 43
(William Gruff@28 hits a new personal low...)

Do you ever wonder whether you sometimes take yourself a bit too seriously?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 14 2021 4:47 utc | 69

The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938.
Russia 2021 is the same as Germany 1938.
Today China is the Sovjet Union of 1930s.
Today EU is France & England of the 1930s.
Today US seems weak in comparison to the 1930s -
but this is only a trick/fake/hoax (to deceive Russia).

TIMET recently closed the last USA Titanium Sponge plant. Titanium Sponge is the first step in converting Ti02 into Titanium metal. No sponge.... no Ti alloys. F-35 is 25% Ti F-22 is 35% Ti.

Ti is used for the high strength forgings in the airframe and for the compressor blades in the engine.

No Ti ..... no jet fighters.... no gas turbine powered ships.... etc.

The USA is not where it was in the 1930s. Oil production is collapsing..... ICs now fabbed offshore.... Boeing now incompetent. Ditto Lockheed. Grumman only one still competent. Grid on it's last legs...

But USA has large inventory of 60 year old planes..... 40 year old ships... assault rifle prone to jamming... LGBT fighting force... Bedbugs in it's submarines....



Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 14 2021 4:52 utc | 70

"A war against the eastern separatist could be a Hail Mary attempt by Zelensky to regain some national and international support."

I don't know why the attempt to find deeper motive beyond the most obvious: the incoming administration in DC is hellfire bent on continuing their campaign to encircle and create pressure on Russia by any means possible, including border/proxy wars, color revolutions and naval confrontations in the region, et al.

If Zelensky's legal trouble has anything to do with it, then most likely that is being used by US operatives to pressure him into acting according to their will.

Posted by: Don Harder | Mar 14 2021 5:13 utc | 71

In purely military terms, what I love best about Russia is when I have no idea what she is going to do. Then I know it will be the very best move.

I can think of what the west would want most for an outcome in the Donbass, and know that Russia will achieve the very opposite.

This will cost the west. It will not cost Russia. The supercomputers, both Shoigu's and Lavrov's, are churning every possible scenario in these terms, of how to withhold triumph from the enemy, of how to further the frozen conflict with minimal loss of life, and of how to keep responsibility for the upkeep of Ukraine in the laps of Kiev and the US embassy. The US, if it thinks at all, thinks to push Russia into taking over the cost of the Ukraine. This will not happen.

So, I have preferred outcomes, but why state them? We are in one of those moments again where Russia will do what it chooses from scenarios that arise - acting before we even know the scenarios have arisen, to quench them.

Russia holds the commanding heights here, in every conceivable field. And Donbass knows that it is chosen by destiny to stand between the motherland and the abyss. The US is the punk, with the snot-nosed upstart play. The only question is how will Russia respond.

Strategically, Russia has already triumphed, when all the world can think is, "How will Russia dispose of this?" Everything else is tactics. Against a punk play. And every day that passes raises the cost for the west.

It's a good time for watching.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 14 2021 5:16 utc | 72

Posted by: Haassaan | Mar 14 2021 4:25 utc | 68

Russia has two primary objectives: First to survive as a nation. Second, to continue to engage economically with the west. It can survive without SWIFT, etc..., but the current administration doesn't want to. It continually holds out in hope that it can restore relations while maintaining its own sovereignty. Like or not. Disagree or not. This has been the longstanding trend.

Posted by: Don Harder | Mar 14 2021 5:19 utc | 73

The primary target of any eventual ukronazi aggression is not Russia or Putin but the growing contingent of disobedient Europeans, like some Germans (and probably a lot of French too) who are progressively getting fed up with the enduring occupation by the evermore declining USA.

Europe is still very much divided though and drumming up a fully controlled corporate media image of evil maniac dictator Putin trying to invade Europe will serve to entrench the empire's puppets, embolden the willful fascists and frighten the zombified masses glued to the trusty hypnobox into the right complacency.

Gotta buy more of those flying pianos. Nordstream 2 bye bye. Hello Freedom Gas.

Russia's best option would be to false flag a brutal artillery shelling of Donetsk Children's Hospital into a glamorously smoking crater. Nobody in Europe honestly doubts that the Ukraine crazies would be capable of such depravity. Then, in a fit of theatrical outrage, send a volley of kalibr's into the command and control bases staffed with NATO operators and ukronazi hotshots. I bet that the Russians have excellent intelligence and know exactly where the high value targets are. The more painfully accurate the hits are, the less likely the West is going to protest about getting its fingers shot off in the cookie jar.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 14 2021 5:19 utc | 74

Since time is on Russia's side, playing for a draw is the logical strategy, as a draw is a win in the long run.

You have probably summarised Russia, China and Iran's diplomatic strategy in 18 words.

We've been brainwashed into believing that there's a Military Solution to every problem - however benign.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 14 2021 5:26 utc | 75

As to the information war, regarding the opinion of the west, and the "optics" of whatever Russia does in Ukraine.

The world outside of the west sees the truth of what Russia is and the aggression from the west. And within the west, those who are propagandized, by definition have no opinion of any worth.

I think that Russia understands this.

What matters to Russia is support the rule of law globally, and the UN specifically, and to continue to hold the Minsk agreement over the frozen conflict.

So the issue is not one of optics. The issue is, what action can Russia take to neutralize the Ukie front line and still keep Minsk inviolate.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 14 2021 5:29 utc | 76

@Jackrabbit | Mar 13 2021 22:23 utc | 40

Why, everybody is CIA, but Trump is only an FBI asset? No way! You need to do some homework Jackrabbit.

What about the Mary Carter Paint Company?
What about Resorts International?
What about a funny company International Intelligence Inc., Colloquially named Intertel?

Wait what, could they all be CIA FRONTS, all related and all "OWNED" BY DONALD J. TRUMP?

Yes, that is where the most blatant mob affiliations of Trump come from, you see those are really the CIA's mob affiliations.

Do some reading, man.

Posted by: Lurk | Mar 14 2021 5:40 utc | 77

@58 Some bar patrons are bound to get obnoxious & surly. Alcohol affects some people that way...

Posted by: Jim | Mar 14 2021 5:45 utc | 78

Nah. The Ukrainians will eventually attack in order to recover their lost territory. But this will happen at the least convenient time for Russia, not now when they know they would lose.

There seem to be no non-Russian sources that agree into the assessment of an imminent Russian-Ukrainian war. IMHO this is just propaganda, most probably for a domestic target audience.

Posted by: m | Mar 14 2021 6:03 utc | 79

@ JeffG (63) Re: Russia has to play very carefully to get away with a draw.

Yes indeed.

It is a very dangerous game the US is playing and if the worst comes to the worst then we will all be dead as a result. I always seem to get flamed by both sides for saying this but the biggest danger is not Russia's strength but Russia's weakness. Outnumbered 5 -1 by NATO and militarily outspent 15 - 1 by NATO, Russia would have to resort to nuclear weapons to avoid defeat if attacked by NATO. Putin has already warned the west that they would have to do just that, they would have no choice. Given that the US is falling apart politically and economically and given that they are run by a bunch of psychopaths with nuclear shelters to hide in, I am surprised and dismayed that so few people see the danger.

Posted by: MarkU | Mar 14 2021 6:18 utc | 80

Hoyeru #62

Why am I the only one who sees this?
So Putin the Pussy is stuck and he knows it and USA knows it. Fuck you Putin the Pussy for letting Ukraine fall into USA hands. You deserve everything you get.

Perhaps you are the only one that sees this as there is only enough room in your orifice for one head ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 14 2021 6:25 utc | 81

Trends are trends until they are not trends. Of course Russia wants to stay involved economically, as does China. Why wouldn't they? With their resources and quality work force they come out nicely if allowed to compete fairly.

Posted by: Haassaan | Mar 14 2021 6:31 utc | 82

@Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | Mar 14 2021 2:29 utc | 58
I concur

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 14 2021 6:59 utc | 83

arkU @ 51 observes political systems are decoys allowing independent private parties to manage the nation state without taking any blame.. Hence news without the names of the persons behind the scene responsible for the narrative, decision and or action is not news but an "audience communications variable" to be manipulated by the privately owned MSM.

The fact that the governed recognize this independence outwardly, but cannot bring themselves to accept it <=inwardly, is the result of upbringing of those who are the governed. Its a from birth to death "mother knows best" psychological phenomena.

My question is how can "mother knows best" be overcome.? How can the idea that the political system is not in control be overcome? Private use and control exercised by the Oligarch of and over the public nation state is a fact of life, neither the politicians nor the political system have anything to do with actual events?

Red Rider @ 54.. There are between 128 and 256 or so different nation states. Collectively these jail cells(nation states) allow the oligarchs and their privately-owned monopoly-powered corporations (copyright and patents could not exist without the rule of law) to manage , manipulate, and exploit the 8 billion people who live on this planet. The problem the deplorable govern face is: that the political systems the governed rely on to maintain order and to keep things on track, in each nation state, are non functional as @51 explains.

Lurk @ 74 says it best "The primary target of any eventual ukronazi aggression is not Russia or Putin but the growing contingent of disobedient Europeans," <= that's because the primary reason for USA interest in the Ukraine<=at all; comes from certain private parties in the west who want to exploit the talent and extract the resources to be found in Ukraine and that cannot be done if Russia remains strong.
so the private interest, force the nation state, to stir up trouble for Russia.

Question to JeffG @ 63 which private entity is behind Nuland? Its not personal with her.. its economic I think..

Fyi @ 66 says Russians do not care what anyone else thinks about Russia. <= but believe me there are those in Russia who do not do business in Russia.. they operate outside of Russia. Crypto systems might be a system that makes where you live independent of where you work, invest or operate.

Posted by: snake | Mar 14 2021 7:12 utc | 84

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 14 2021 5:16 utc | 72

Strategically, Russia has already triumphed, when all the world can think is, "How will Russia dispose of this?" Everything else is tactics. Against a punk play. And every day that passes raises the cost for the west.

It's a good time for watching.

Unless of course you happen to live in the fire's path.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 14 2021 5:29 utc | 76

The world outside of the west sees the truth of what Russia is and the aggression from the west. And within the west, those who are propagandized, by definition have no opinion of any worth.

I don't agree with your assessment. Much of this very blog's content is about exposing the west's massive effort to shape public perception. This alone should be a clue as to how important the narrative is to western powers. They understand that the citizenry's full support is essential to their project.

Posted by: robin | Mar 14 2021 8:12 utc | 85

Probably relevant that Washington just “slapped” sanctions on Igor Kolomoisky, and his missus, and his son.

I was certainly under the impression that Zelensky is Kolomoisky’s man, indeed no more than his puppet.

I read that Kolomoisky had been musing aloud that Ukraine’s interests would probably be better served by repairing its relations with Moscow.

Posted by: Montreal | Mar 14 2021 8:22 utc | 86

Ian2 | Mar 13 2021 23:01 utc | 44
Carriers in the Med is near enough. Planes can overfly Turkey if necessary.

One aim of the US "bidenTulips" (ie. whoever) might be to provoke a "war" so that NATO could then claim it's presence was necessary to "stop the violence". Ukraine is NOT a NATO member, although there are NATO troops there. Would that stop violence or simply increase it? Getting Ukraine into NATO could be the aim of the present problem.

This has to be seen as an attempt to start a "localized" war, a system that could then be used in Kaligrad, etc. as noted by MarkU | Mar 14 2021 6:18 utc | 80. (assuming that we are not all dead!). It must be rank stupidity to try to find out when Doomsday cometh, by provoking it !

Long term, I feel that both the Chinese and the Russians have seen that the US is screwed. Both Financially and morally. BUT they do NOT want an overnight collapse. - Money worth nothing, inflation, starving population, etc. Now, imagine the Chaos if BLM, Antifa, a few Generals (who suddenly become unpaid and decide that they alone can run the country etc.), the CIA and FBI all storm the Capitol at the same time. (take over the Seat of Power). Which nut(s) will get their hands on the red button?

Russia and China were letting the air out of the balloon slowly.

Russia is now a net exporter of Food. The substitute organisations now exist. (Worthy of a new post is the takeover of existing International Organizations by Corporate interests, or new ones being created. These are no longer under Political oversight and respond uniquely to Oligarchs and vested interests.) It no longer needs Europe as a unique "partner".

Some Russians are already being accused of being in Donbas. ie a "sniper" shot a Uke soldier. No way of telling if this is true or false.

The Russians had planned an exercise (landing ships) in Crimea for next week (2'000 troops).


Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 14 2021 8:44 utc | 87

Posted by: Jen | Mar 14 2021 9:48 utc | 88

Posted by: Jen | Mar 14 2021 9:49 utc | 89

My replies @ 88 and 89 to Montreal @ 86 seem to be blocked. Perhaps if I remove the link to The Atlantic Council, the original reply will go through. Montreal, you will just have to confirm what I say in the first sentence for yourself because the link is blocking the comment.

Montreal @ 86:

And of course, The Atlantic Council, one of whose donors is Viktor Pinchuk, himself a Ukrainian billionaire oligarch, applauds the Biden administration's actions against Ihor Kolomoisky and members of his family.

Incidentally Kolomoisky was governor of Dnepropetrovsk region in 2014, at about the time the Malaysia Airlines MH17 aircraft crashed in eastern Ukraine. Air traffic controllers in the control tower in Dnepropetrovsk were the last people to have had contact with the flight crew of the passenger jet. If Kolomoisky had been thinking aloud about patching up Ukraine's relations with Moscow, someone must have been afraid that he would spill the beans on what transpired between the air traffic controllers and the flight crew. How much more might he know and have been prepared to tell Moscow?

Posted by: Jen | Mar 14 2021 9:52 utc | 90

Lurk #77

Do some reading, man.

Thank you Lurk, that was mighty good reading. You can drink at the bar for a week on my tab. Keep us posted.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 14 2021 10:34 utc | 91

@ Dr. George W Oprisko | Mar 14 2021 4:52 utc | 70

QUOTE: The USA [today] is not where it was in the 1930s. QUOTE END.

Please do not weep about deindustrialization of the US! The 1930s were very hard (dust, dry, great depression, New Deal not really working in the beginning). Opportunity for a new war was desired: and within three years the US were reborn as a superpower. 'They' can do it again!

Next please do not forget 'globalization': war and production of weapons can be 'outsourced' (or locally secured even within a country in state of civil war); and modern warfare has another face: vessels, tanks and fighters are no more necessary.

My introduction was the following (it holds; who not may believe or understand it may wait):

The Ukraine 2021 is the same as Poland 1938.
Russia 2021 is the same as Germany 1938.
Today China is the Sovjet Union of 1930s.
Today EU is France & England of the 1930s.
Today US seems weak in comparison to the 1930s -
but this is only a trick/fake/hoax (to deceive Russia).

to @passerby | Mar 13 2021 21:14 utc | 29
my answer is a quote from Mark Twain: history is not repeating but has rhymes.

and back to the geopolitical topic generally:

Real powers in the 1930s were the US and SU - or to say the were the real 'potential powers' of that time. We could say Germany was a 'potential power', too. But it made mistakes (when starting war) - and therefore lost its potential completely.

Russia attacking Ukraine would be in great danger to make similar mistakes - and to loose the potential it has gained over the last 20 years. Its unlikely that to happen as long as Putin has the decision.

Back to the industrial basis of war: did the US 'win' WWII? Not really. It was Russia. Instead the US have used or manipulated Russia/SU to win the war for the US.

And the same the US can today do with China. For, if Russia would engage in Ukraine, it would loose its partnership with China. China and US would start talks, and immediately the Chinese would deliver the Titanium which @Dr. Oprisko is missing ...

And in the end of such a story Russia will be divided (like Germany after 1945) in a chinese East Russia and a european West Russia. And we would have a bipolar world again: US+EU+1/2Russia = 1/2Russia+China. But better organized ...

For, this is only in the eyes of the folks (who now may also bring the nonsense argument 'but Russia has atomic bombs' ...).

In reality the true elites are resting far above such minor geopolitical structures and developments as I have them described above.

Posted by: Gerhard | Mar 14 2021 11:15 utc | 92

Could Ukraine be the US's Suez Moment?

Posted by: jiri | Mar 14 2021 11:52 utc | 93

Lurk | Mar 14 2021 5:40 utc | 77
I second Uncle Tungsten at @91.

Fascinating, Thanks.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 14 2021 12:13 utc | 94

The comments getting a little better. The one above about how the Russian Army can be at Ukraine’s border in 48 hours should win a prize. Um, they are at the border now and have been.

When it is over the score will be 1-0. Russia wins, US loses. The winner writes the story. The “narrative” dies.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 14 2021 12:50 utc | 95

With the Nimitz class carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Eastern Mediterranean, is the proposition that whatever Russia does to Ukraine's forces if they invade the Donbass, the US and Israel will do to Syria's army? I doubt if the US would actually follow through unless Syria made a move to retake Iblib, in which case the US would be "forced" to intervene on "humanitarian" grounds. This seems less likely albeit still very possible given the chilly reception to the Syria (Iraq) bombing a few weeks ago.

I agree with comments above that this about NS 2. Ukraine runs the risk that Russia could just decide to shutdown all gas through Ukraine,and let me them lose their $3.5b of transit fees and access to the gas for their domestic consumption. Power of Siberia (to China) will be fully operational by 2022 and I suspect replace a large % of lost revenue from what would have gone through Ukraine. I have not been able to determine how much revenue Russia gets from gas transiting through Ukraine, and it is hard to compute given the number of units natural gas is priced in v. how pipeline volumes are measured.

As for the comment above about SWIFT, I am not sure if that is totally viable as Russia is the world's biggest wheat exporter, second biggest oil exporter, and larger exporter of natural gas and LNG. That said, the crazies might try and Russia would feel massive pain even if it also crippled Germany's economy and leads to an even bigger oil price spike.

Posted by: schmoe | Mar 14 2021 12:53 utc | 96

A fundamental error in this otherwise fine article is to ascribe Ukrainians increasing warlike moves on Zelensky’s problems.

Ukraine is not an independent country but a vassal of the United States. Under Biden it is much more tightly bound with the likes of Victoria Nuland who is back bigger and bolder, calling the shots.

Posted by: JeffG | Mar 14 2021 3:53 utc | 63

I do not see a "fundamental error". The "problems of Zelensky" are problems of a vassal, so they cannot be separated from problems of USA. The problem is that the next election, given deep drop in the popularity of the government, may consolidate opposition in a large part of Ukraine, and split "pro-European" factions. The solution is to shut down all "pro-Russian" media and political parties. "Controlled democracy". That requires some war fever.

That said, a real war was attempted in the last days of Poroshenko, I guess with an "elegant" provocation with a suicide attack on Crimean Bridge, but Russian put a stop on Ukrainian military vessels approaching the bridge. The elegant part would be that rather than a big city with thousands of victims, it would destroy an "illegal object".

A barrage with thousands of victims would lead to Georgian scenario: a decisive military move by Russia with tepid Western reaction, there is a limit how far you can concoct reasons for "truly crippling sanctions" that some here are predicting. Sanctions that would hit Europeans, with possibility of wider repercussions: if you break the trade of Russia and the West, Russia will survive but it will loose inhibitions in cooperating with Iran etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14 2021 13:13 utc | 97

The idea of Russia taking over Ukraine is ridiculous. It would be like Russians trying to invade Detroit, Baltimore or LA as if they were valuable properties instead of being decaying armpits of the universe.

Ukraine has a negative value like North Korea. Nobody really wants them because they are full of hostile needy people.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 14 2021 13:44 utc | 98

Mr. Eightman

North Korea actually is a real, functioning, sovereign state.

Ukraine is on its way to become like Pakistan.

Posted by: Fyi | Mar 14 2021 13:59 utc | 99

Lurk @Mar14 5:40 #77

Thanks Lurk, I didn't mean to imply that Trump was only FBI. I didn't mention his connection to the Clintons either.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 14 2021 14:01 utc | 100

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