Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 10, 2021

After The Bear Showed Its Teeth The Ukraine Filed For Peace?

First the Ukraine said it would use force to recover the renegade Donbass region as well as Crimea. It then moved heavy troops towards the contact lines. The ceasefire at the contact line was broken multiple times per day. Several Ukrainian soldiers died while attempting to remove a minefield in preparation of an attack.

It became clear that a war in Ukraine's east was likely to soon braek out. A successful war would help Ukraine's president Zelensky with the ever increasing domestic crises. A war would also give the U.S. more influence in Europe. The U.S. and NATO promised "unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

Russia gave several verbal warnings that any Ukrainian attack on the renegade provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk or Crimea would cause a serious Russian intervention. There was never a chance that the U.S. or NATO would intervene in such a war. But it was only after Russia started to move some of its troops around that sanity set in. It dawned on the Ukrainian leadership that the idea of waging war against a nuclear armed superpower was not a good one.

Late yesterday it suddenly decided to file for peace (machine translation):

The Armed Forces ruled out the use of force to "liberate" Donbass

KIEV, April 9 - RIA Novosti. "Liberation" of Donbass by force will lead to mass deaths of civilians and servicemen, and this is unacceptable for Kiev, said Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak.

"Being devoted to universal human values ​​and norms of international humanitarian law, our state puts the lives of its citizens in the first place," the General Staff's press center quoted him as saying.

According to Khomchak, the Ukrainian authorities consider the political and diplomatic way to resolve the situation in Donbass a priority. At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for an adequate response both to the escalation of the conflict and to "the complication of the military-political and military-strategic situation around the country."

Zelensky himself chipped in (machine translated):

Zelensky spoke for a truce in Donbass

MOSCOW, April 9 - RIA Novosti. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the need for a new truce in Donbass after visiting the contact line.

The head of state wrote on Facebook that shooting at the front lines had become "a dangerous routine." "After several months of observing a complete and general ceasefire, we returned to the need to establish a truce," Zelensky said.

As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak emphasized earlier, the use of force to "liberate" Donbass is unacceptable for Kiev, as it is fraught with casualties among the civilian population and military personnel. At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Posted by b on April 10, 2021 at 14:44 UTC | Permalink

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It would be so beneficial to Russia in so many ways to fix the ukraine problem once and for all, that america is now backpedalling fast and hoping the Russians do not get their fix. They want this to continue to be a set of problems for Russia. Avoiding a war would be great for all, but if the West thinks they can resume this contentious scenario, they will find they are wrong. I am willing to bet that most common citizens of ukraine are sick of all this vitriol and tension, crashing economy, and other hardships. Maybe the majority will finally speak up and get their say.

Posted by: Jamesp | Apr 10 2021 14:58 utc | 1

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

because this is what bullies do. and when they sense they are about to lose in a fight, they ask for peace.

Posted by: andreweed | Apr 10 2021 15:04 utc | 2

So, Alexander Mercouris was likely right!

Posted by: Maracatu | Apr 10 2021 15:05 utc | 3

The armchair warriors lost that round.

Posted by: John Merryman. | Apr 10 2021 15:05 utc | 4

Once again, the World is saved. Pure West-emitted Goodness stopped The Dark Lord Putin in his tracks.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 15:25 utc | 5

It is a ruse, no doubt about it.

Both sides continue to transport men and material towards the front. The US probably wants to have its destroyers near the Ukrainian Black Sea coast to deter any possible Russian action in that area.

That said, I feel from the posturing and buildup that if nothing happens in the next week, nothing will likely happen during this bout of brinkmanship.

Posted by: MapleLeaf | Apr 10 2021 15:36 utc | 6

At the same time, last week he said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will strengthen the grouping of troops in the Donbass and in the Crimean direction - in response to the "build-up" of Russian forces on the border with Ukraine.

If war is really unacceptable to Ukraine why aren't they pulling back their forces?

1) Because the "Russian aggression' propaganda must continue until Nord Stream 2 is terminated.

2) Because the threat of a war with NATO-supported Ukraine must be sustained to deter Russia in Idlib and elsewhere.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 10 2021 15:38 utc | 7


The only deterrent US ships provide is the type that Russia wants to avoid engaging the US directly for fear of an eventual nuclear exchange. Otherwise, those ships provide no challenge to their military capabilities.

I submit the ships are there to encourage Zelensky to take a risk thinking the US has his back. But it appears even he isn't this dumb and this whole thing is going to blow over as I predicted a week or two ago.

Posted by: Don | Apr 10 2021 15:42 utc | 8

So, was it always about bluff, theater and optics? ... Or did they simply lose their will to die young? I guess Zelensky is a bad-joke comedian after all. He gets the local nazis off his neck (for a while) by being a bold bad-ass boy and passing ideological laws (far from reality); and then goes listen to the frontline generals as they explain the suicidal meaning of his comic bluster. Being an actor, it's all just a stage for a gig, it seems. So, now he tells his pet nazi thugs that Ruslan Khomchak has their phone numbers. Perhaps now that Phil-the-(UK)Greek has died the Nato biolabs will be working on the next 'Plan B' reincarnation-virus pandemic mix. Sputnik-V 2.0 better be ready soon.

Posted by: imo | Apr 10 2021 15:44 utc | 9

Perhaps they're waiting for the ground to dry.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 10 2021 15:56 utc | 10

@Don #8

You are absolutely correct, the ships would play that exact roll. Of course the 100s of anti-ship missiles stationed in Crimea would make short work if they were employed against such assets.

I still think there is a much greater chance of Russia taking an initiative now, than at any time in the past seven years, due to the fact of the legislative changes Zelensky signed into law, and the constant chatter of joining NATO. If Russia is going to be forced to deal with a new NATO member on its border, it might find it worthy to deprive said member of coastal access, some nuclear power plants, shipping yards, and a significant portion of its MiC.

Sure, the NATO agreement seems to prevent admission as long as the aspirant does not have complete control over their territories. But there is nothing to stop some 2nd-tier membership level from effectively being created, and deploying enough advisors and assets to ensure that article 5 is triggered if hostilities do resume.

Posted by: MapleLeaf | Apr 10 2021 16:11 utc | 11

@b ...
minor english language corrections:

"brake out" should be "break out"
"it daunted on" should be "it dawned on"

Posted by: ptb | Apr 10 2021 16:17 utc | 12

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

"Sluha Narodu (“Servant of the People”), the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky, having won more than 43% of the votes countrywide, will now command majorities of both the party-list and the single-constituency seats in the new parliament; 253 seats altogether out of 422, or a “mono-coalition” as the party is calling the result, or as the hostile Ukrainian media term it, “a landslide [which] has never occurred in the contemporary history of Ukraine and it is more typical for post-Soviet Asian dictatorships...”

"...This beats earlier pollster predictions that Zelensky would be forced into a coalition with Holos (“The Voice”), a US-invented spoiler organization of Lvov region (Galicia) led by pop singer, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. He ended up with less than 6% of the national votes, fewer than forecast. Holos has proved to be neither the voice of youth, nor an organization without oligarch support (it was backed by Victor Pinchuk), nor a political party at all.

"Polling better than predicted was the Donbass (Donetsk, Lugansk regions) party, Opposition Platform led by Victor Medvedchuk, which ended up with 13% nationally; 48% in Lugansk; 42% in Donetsk; 24% in Odessa; and 19% in Nikolaev. If the additional votes of the eastern Opposition Bloc of Boris Kolesnikov and Vadim Novinsky are counted with Medvedchuk’s aggregate, together they have drawn majorities of 53% to 54%, putting Zelensky’s party in the east in a minority.

"This is the first time democracy has defeated a US Government-installed putsch and junta in Europe since the election of Andreas Papandreou’s Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in 1982."

According to John Helmer "President Volodomyr Zelensky (right) is suffering from memory failure, mood swings, and other neurological disorders after his hospitalisation for Covid-19 five months ago..." The obvious theory is that Zelensky was playing for time while giving the ultra fascists and their Canadian sponsors free rein until the elections gave the Ukrainian people- powerless political flotsam and jetsam, tossed around by Ottawa Nazis, Anglo imperialism and a corrupt oligarchy which has been robbing everyone in sight, blind since time immemorial a chance to indicate that it would be an extremely dumb move to attack Russia. Amongst other reasons, because the average Ukrainian would very likely side with the Russians against their ancient persecutors the Poles and Balts.

For Helmer:

Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

b wrote
It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now. U.S. reconnaissance flights near Russia's border continue. One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse.

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

Good question. It fits with the characterization of late empire flailing at trying to exert/maintain control over global narratives. Empire keeps hoping that Russia and China back down because they have no other options than bullying. This is just the latest example of the bully being faced up to.....thank you Mr. Putin!....we just hope the bully goes down without taking all the rest of us with it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 14

And yet Ukraine is reportedly moving Tochka missiles to the Russian border.

The huge build up of forces is not about to be turned around and sent home because somebody changed their mind.

Whether or not war breaks out, the world slipped another cog closer to a global conflict.

This is far bigger than Ukraine, as you must realise.

Posted by: JH | Apr 10 2021 16:37 utc | 15

I suspect that the US and its NATO lapdogs are playing a distraction game. And I think that the Russian government knows this; but also realizes that the Western nations are cirrently in the grips of madcap rulers. Thus Russia is not taking any chance. One can bet that, as the whole empire crashes, it would like to bring down as much of humanity down with it as it can. The future of the earth is not bright.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 10 2021 16:44 utc | 16

I still believe there was never a real danger of war. Right now Ukraine just can't win against Russia. Also, in the case of an attack the Ukrainians would surely have tried to retain the element of surprise. The moment one could read in the news about "troop movements" and was clear that nothing serious would happen.

The question: Why now? is indeed a good one. It might have been just a test of Russian resolve.

But my guess is that this, too, is fallout from the Borrell-Lavrov-meeting. The European-Russian relations had deteriorated and both Kiev and Washington wanted to know how far. The crisis forced all relevant parties to publicly reveal their position.

Posted by: m | Apr 10 2021 16:49 utc | 17

@ 7 jackrabbit.. i agree with you.. the war propaganda will not stop, regardless..

@ 13 bevin... thanks... gives more perspective here..

@ 16 steve... with leadership in the west such as it is, in combo with the relentless propaganda demonizing those who don't fall into line, i see it similar...

lets wait and see what it looks like in early may when it has been said the ukraine weather is more conducive for going a step further... if not here, where does the bully get punched in the head?

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2021 16:54 utc | 18

If Ukraine doesn't start their self-destruction by launching war before end of June then I will believe the danger has passed this year and only because the crazies in the US are hesitating to push the final button.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 10 2021 16:58 utc | 19

Meanwhile the New York Times, which always claims to know everything about Russian intentions, is left clueless!

Posted by: JohnH | Apr 10 2021 16:59 utc | 20

Can provocations in one area be used to force an opponent to divert forces from defending the actual target?

We’ll only know in retrospect what this was about, if ever. Maybe a week from now. Maybe a year from now. Maybe never.

Posted by: oglalla | Apr 10 2021 17:00 utc | 21

But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?

The only plausible explanation is that time isn't in favor of the Ukraine (and maybe the USA). Time is running up.

We should stop seeing capitalism as this unmovable, eternal and indestructible system, and the USA as this eternal and indestructible empire with endless resources. Both presuppositions are entirely false: capitalism and the USA are historically specific phenomena, and they will - 100% certainty - collapse and disappear eventually.

In politics, time is always relative. You know you won't last forever, but you know you don't need to: you just need to last longer than your political enemy. The fact that USA outlived the USSR gave it almost 17 years of incontestable supremacy, even though, analyzing the numbers, we know that the economic apex of the American Empire (its "golden age") was between Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson. The absence of its geopolitical rival resulted in the fact that the American Empire reached its pinnacle during Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, not at the time its people was the most happy, during 1945-1969.

But geopolitical apex doesn't always translate automatically to economic apex. The USA also suffered a lot with the Oil Crisis of 1974, after which it quickly started to financialize and deindustrialize, in a process that was best symbolized by the Nixon Reforms (the creation of the Petrodollar in 1971 with the secret talks with the Saudi royal family and the deal with China in 1972). This crisis was masked solely by the fact that the USSR suffered even more with the Oil Crisis than the USA, resulting into a relative ascension. This relative ascension can be verified by the fact that Ronald Reagan was the most popular POTUS of the post-war USA: his reign was, by all economic metrics, a monumental failure, but it was during his watch that the USSR started to collapse.

Signs of cracks in the USA were already evident when George H. W. Bush wasn't re-elected because of a tax revolt by the electorate. During Bill Clinton, the American Empire gained a lot of breathing space thanks to the absorption of the vital space left by the ex-USSR countries, which were ransacked by the American and, to a lesser extent, German, capitalists (Victoria Nuland's husband, for example, got extremely rich with the privatization of the communications services in ex-Yugoslavia, hence her particular interest in Eastern Europe affairs). But even during Bill Clinton we could already see some dark clouds, e.g. the infamous "twin deficits" increase. Bill Clinton also governed long enough to see the crisis of the Asian Tigers (1997) and the Dotcom Crisis (2000). The dark clouds that would result in the storm of September 2008 were already there, gathering.

Analyzing the economic data, we can clearly see that the USSR wasn't the only one in an age of stagnation: since 1990, only China and SE Asia genuinely grew. If the 21st Century is to be consolidated as the "Asian Century", then a historian of the 22nd Century will have to go back to that year (or even earlier, to the mid-1980s) to try to understand the Asian rise. Growth elsewhere (when it happened) was either vegetative or fruit of a relocation (i.e. rise in inequality, bankruptcy of some sectors in favor of others) of wealth. During the 2000s, almost all the economic growth can be exclusively traced back to China (Russia's and Brazil's commodity booms, SE Asia's continued dynamism due to China's outsourcing or financing of American debt).

The 2008 crisis ended Neoliberalism as a hegemonic ideology. Today's world is still very much neoliberal, but only because the global elites don't know what to do and, either way, it's being implemented in a very distorted way, very far from its ideological purity of the 1990s. No one takes neoliberalism seriously anymore, even among the high echelons of the economics priesthood. Some remnants of neoliberal thought are still alive in the form of some living fossils in Latin America, but its end if fait accompli.

It is in this world that the Ukraine chose to align with the American Empire. To put it simply, it chose the wrong side at the wrong time: it chose the West in an era that's shifting to the East. The euphoria of the fall of socialism masked the degeneration of capitalism that was started at the same time and it particularly impacted the Warsaw Pact (Comecon) and the Western ex-USSR nations.

The Ukraine debacle has two aspects. First of all: the Maidan color revolutionaries clearly envisioned a neonazi, pro-Western Ukraine in its territorial integrity, i.e. with Crimea, Luhansk and Donbas. They didn't see the pro-Russians being well-organized enough to be able to quickly fall back to Russia (Crimea being the most spectacular case, rapidly organizing a referendum and fully integrating with Russia). Those losses are big: without Crimea, Ukraine essentially lost any significant Black Sea influence, and without Donbas + Luhansk, it practically lost all its industry and economy. Donbas specifically was a huge blow to the Ukrainians: since the Tsarist era, it was the most industrialized and advanced region of the Russian Empire (even more than Moscow and St. Petersburg) and it continued to be so during the Soviet Era - three of the main Soviet General-Secretaries of the post-war era came from the region (Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev).

Secondly, Ukraine, by choosing capitalism, has put itself withing the capitalist metabolic clock. The era of the Marshall Plan is gone. The USA needs wealth and it needs now. It will have to pay tributes to its new metropolis, and the price is high. The USA will settle for nothing less than the entire Ukraine - including the rich regions of the Donbas basin, plus the Crimea (over which its powerful Navy will be able to project into Russian territory). It also won't settle for anything less than a fully NATO-integrated, IMF-controlled Ukraine. That's the price for a full accession to the capitalist club post-2008.

In this sense, Ukraine's time is very short, as it is sucking the IMF dry (financial black hole) and it will collapse soon. The patience of the Empire is short and is getting shorter. As is common with capitalist societies, the Ukraine is also starting to devour itself as it collapses with the lack of vital space: the liberal elites governing it are having to ask themselves how can they get out of this mess without being murdered by the neonazi base that sustains it; at this point, they're more worried about avoiding another Night of the Long Knives than in reconquering the Donbas and Crimea.

The only good aspect I see in the dissolution and extinction of the Ukraine is that it can finally put to rest the myth that Nazism is a brutal, but highly efficient, "system": there's not such a thing - and never was - as a "Nazi system". Germany already was the second industrial superpower by the time Hitler rose to power; he never elaborated any kind of economic theory or even policy, instead delegating it to the already existing (Weimarian) industrial elite. Hitler was just a very powerful cheerleader who dreamed in being an epic movie. There was never such a thing called "national socialism" - it was just the name of the Bavarian party that already existed when Hitler crossed the border; it was by mere chance of destiny that he came from Austria (Southern border) and not Denmark (Northern border), France/Alsace-Lorraine (Western border) or Poland-Sudentenland (Eastern border). Nazism is not a system, it is just crazy liberalism, and I hope the white supremacists and traditionalists in the West take note of that - if they don't want to be crushed.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 17:05 utc | 22

Timing is everything. Perhaps the US is the Keystone Kops with WMDs, but what does that make Zelensky? If the US wanted to de-escalate the situation they'd not continue with the provocation in the Black Sea, and NATO would announce a suspension/postponement of its exercises with Ukraine.

Posted by: gottlieb | Apr 10 2021 17:11 utc | 23

"But if it is not why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

Probably the wrong question, as it simply presumes that everything in Ukraine is done at the behest of the US. The only indisputable action by the US is sending two ships into the Black Sea. This is 1)routine policy of constantly trying the patience of governments the US is hostile to, in the guise of protecting "freedom of navigation." This is 2)largely a symbolic gesture, as the utility of two surface vessels against a power with missiles and drones is moot at best. Sending surface ships against such a power may even be like asking for them to be sunk. Such vessels are still best for force projection against much inferior opponents far from North America, which has been their main function for decades now.

The Ukrainian actions are just as likely to be the product of domestic politics and their resolution due largely to Zelensky's electoral victory. But it is possible that the US has acted behind the scenes to stop Zelensky's drive, told him to cease and desist.

The assumption that the US must be calling all the shots and that it is warmongering is largely driven by the determination to portray Biden as senile/incompetent/crazy/vicious, in stark contrast to the God Trump. Pretty much everyone spouting the senility angle is completely insincere, as if Biden is losing it, Dr. Jill is taking charge...but not a single one of them asks what Dr. ill's policy is, because they don't even believe themselves. (One must concede this is a sign of some small claim to good sense on their part, they aren't high on their own supply, as the cliche goes.) Three months of a Biden presidency must mean there is a catastrophe that God Trump had save "US" from for at least four years. Thus Biden must be personally responsible (especially in the eyes of the senility theorists,) for everything which is much worse than the paradise on Earth the God Trump made. Biden, as anti-MAGA, has Made America Terrible Again, is the talking point.

The alternative theory, that this is just a delay until the ground is dry, is not quite out of the running. It may be Zelensky's victory that has decided there will be war, if that's what Zelensky has decided all along. One clarification, though: The Ukrainians most certainly can defeat Luhansk and Donetsk, and it is not certain that Russia/Putin (if there's a difference any more?) wouldn't sacrifice them for an agreement over Crimea. It's not like Putin is an opponent of fascism. And I think he would be overconfident about Russia's ability to see any pact carried out.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 10 2021 17:22 utc | 24

To bevin's comment 13 - there was no election last Sunday. The article you quote describes an election from July 2019

Posted by: boo | Apr 10 2021 17:23 utc | 25

I am Canadian. Given our pro-nazi FP, including arming them,we are on the wrong side of history. We are with the fascists. Again.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Apr 10 2021 17:25 utc | 26

Since it is already pre-ordained that the Russians are going to be framed as the aggressors, it is also necessary that the Ukrainians posture as peace lovers. Ignore the cheap insincere words and watch what they actually do in terms of troop and weapon movements.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 10 2021 17:28 utc | 27

The Oil Shock only added to the 1973-75 recession. The Oil Shock was political in nature, and somewhat coordinated with the USG itself. The deeper causes of the early 70s economic crisis, and of the end of Bretton Woods, was declining profitability across all advanced capitalist states. See Robert Brenner's book, The Economics of Global Turbulence.

Posted by: Prof | Apr 10 2021 17:33 utc | 28

It is more than 24 hours since the initial announcement of a stand down and it would be nice to see some confirmation. Troops withdrawing would be confirmation. If it is happening in is not reported. What we get tends to be like the NYT item cited by John H @ 20. Nothing in that article but fantasy and delusion. The ongoing narrative crowds out facts until nothing is left. No one is as bad as NYT, still it is hard to trust anything we read.

Keeping an army in the field indefinitely is difficult. At minimum the troops must be fed and must be kept busy. Does Ukraine have the wherewithal to do that? I tend to doubt that, and yes, I am speculating. We will find out much later how bad desertion has been. We will find out much later how the hodgepodge of conscripts, mercs, Special Forces, and NATO got along. Reporting from 2014 had it that 600 NATO of every flavor were captured in the Debaltsevo cauldron. If you believe that. I can’t see how Ukraine musters and fields another army after this if it is in fact over. More likely future armies will resemble what US manipulates in Syria — Turks, Uighurs, jihadis from whole planet, mercs.

Domestic politics in Uke have to be crazy. No one can possibly know what is happening except the US Embassy. And they have their brains fogged by a lifetime of NYT fiction. No good locals for them to work with. If there was anyone good we would have seen them by now.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 10 2021 17:35 utc | 29

@ Posted by: Prof | Apr 10 2021 17:33 utc | 27

The Oil Crisis wasn't political. It was made to look like it was political by the MSM, but it wasn't. The crisis of capitalism was already brewing since 1969.


@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 10 2021 17:22 utc | 24

This is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of "trading" the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 17:39 utc | 30

'It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now.'

Yes, it seems that, again, the professionals in the U.S. military explained to their 'Globalist' overseers that they would not carry out a suicidal attack against Russia.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 10 2021 17:43 utc | 31

One must be awestruck with the talent the neo cons have for nation destruction. What they created in Ukraine is a virtual post nuclear war. Neither the EU or Russia want this basket-case-failed-Nazi state. Like the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, it has fortified its enemy whom it intended to weaken. Now, Putin has a Hezbollah type ally in the Donetsk and Lugansk region, and it has Russian Crimean back to the Motherland.

Posted by: El Cid | Apr 10 2021 17:49 utc | 32

bevin@13 - John Helmer's piece was a reminder about the 2019 election

I'll believe the Ukrainians will stand down when the parliament revokes the order to retake crimea and donbass/lugansk by force. Until then, the military option is on the table. The Ukrainian government is in a desperate situation which is unlikely to improve, and desperation makes for bad decisions.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Apr 10 2021 17:53 utc | 33

Rick Rozoff, writing for the Antiwar website, has taken note of other activity - not least next week's scheduled appearances at NATO hdq of both the US Sec State and US Defence sec with Ukraine discussions on agenda.

Rozoff also notes that the CC of Ukraine armed forces continues with bluster about Ukraine's "territorial integrity" and invoking NATo Article 5.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 10 2021 18:02 utc | 34

Nuland et al may be trying to show themselves loyal agents of Israel, testing whether Russia can be distracted from Syria, or pretending to raise the cost of NS2. Russia and China could make balanced moves in the Caribbean to tame the bullies, but may see no advantage in counterthreats.

Such an utter humiliation of the US to pursue such foolish and racist FP, admitting its complete control by money power in all federal branches and mass media.

Posted by: Sam F | Apr 10 2021 18:10 utc | 35

As others here suggest, it's possible to read this as a success for the neocons. Ukrainian gov't troop movements set off Russian troop movements, which are then portrayed as aggressive, justifying whatever. It is very hard to believe that they seriously contemplated an attack on Russia's doorstep, or in its antechamber. But the question remains as to how far Zelensky's can has been kicked down the road.

Posted by: dadooronron | Apr 10 2021 18:21 utc | 36

Timing it is not .. VK @ <=nor can it be attributed to cracks in the military capacity to take on Russia, but failure it is, of the Wall Street Dependant Oligarchs; they failed to attract to the their war for profit, sufficient military support.

IMO, there is no war, because Wall street failed to attract military support.

by: steven t johnson @ 24 "The Ukrainian actions are just as likely to be the product of domestic politics and their resolution due largely to Zelensky's electoral victory. But it is possible that the US has acted behind the scenes to stop Zelensky's drive, told him to cease and desist."
<= Zelensky is a puppet of wall street dependent monopoly powered entities, IMO? I do not believe Zelensky has the support of many at the USA (out side of a single department), virtually none from USA governed Americans in America, none from UK governed British citizens in England, and even less from the governed French or the governed Indian citizens.

Posted by: snake | Apr 10 2021 18:26 utc | 37

Some snippets from Zakharova’s latest press conference, detailed and extensive as usual. It has not been fully translated yet, the questions and answers part might be the most interesting.

The links to the Russian and English versions:

Russian full

English incomplete

The Foreign Ministry opens a Rutube account

We are tired of the internet monopolies’ censorship. This must be countered not only with statements and demands, but concrete actions as well, which we did.

Censorship and sanctions have consequences

United States’ biological warfare

In this context, there have been truly indicative cases of American laboratories ending up in the centre of major international scandals. For example, an investigation into the 2001 terrorist attacks, when anthrax spores were put into letters, revealed that the scientist who mailed the poisoned envelopes through the US postal system was employed at Fort Detrick, the Pentagon’s top biodefence facility.

Refreshing our short memory with the anthrax scare.

The Hague Court of Appeal once again confirms the legality of the decision to reject the return of Dutch citizens from Syria

Obviously, the repatriation of such citizens is a headache for many Western countries. However, the Dutch approach stands out even in this context. The leading propagandists of “democratic values” are closing their eyes to glaring human rights violations as regards their own citizens.

The Dutch, masters of human rights preaching

Inmate abuse in the United States

On March 20, at the Washington, D.C. Central Detention Centre, inmate Ryan Samsel, who was taken into custody as a suspect and handcuffed, was severely beaten by two prison guards. They smashed his face, broke his nose, knocked out his jaw, injured his eye and brought the man to a state of mental disorder. He spent the night following the beating in a cell unconscious, without medical help.

A little reminder of Montecristo Navalny's pains in the dungeon

Posted by: Paco | Apr 10 2021 18:32 utc | 38

@22 vk interesting turn your comment took in the conclusion. Little errata, the name of the party was Deutsche Arbeiter Partei DAP. They added the prefix National Sozialistisch. Which is a buzzword of this time. It combined the booth most flourishing movement of that revolution environment. The whole thing is the contemporary form of colour revolution now. It was a setup of German elites executed by secret service. You are very right in your description of Hitler. Also with rest of comment.

Posted by: rico rose | Apr 10 2021 18:53 utc | 39

@ Posted by: rico rose | Apr 10 2021 18:53 utc | 38

It lasted for one year with that name (much before Hitler). Hitler had nothing to do with the name change.

Just remembering: the German Revolution of 1918 was victorious in Munich, where a commune was founded, and it had to be crushed by the Freikorps (led by a high-level Social-Democrat) to be extinguished. It was the first full-fledged military campaign by the Freikorps - and it was, irony of ironies, led by the SPD. It is not surprising that the word "socialism" was too popular in Germany at the time to be ignored or fought against.

The destruction of the Munich commune was the culmination of the process of the transformation of the German Social-Democracy into what became to be known today as "Social-Fascism" (Nazi-SPD de facto alliance), which lasted until Hitler himself rose to State power, in 1933.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 19:17 utc | 40

vk@29 writes "[My comment@24] is nonsense: if Ukraine takes back the Donbas basin, it will have full control over Crimea. The option of
'trading' the Donbas for Crimea doesn't exist."

It's hard to know how seriously this is meant. Luhansk and Donetsk are not *the* Donbas. Kharkiv is culturally and economically as much Donbas, for a start. And Odessa is a major center of Russian population, too, even if not part of the Donbas. At any rate, insofar as the "Donbas" is essential to control Crimea, though, it is Kherson and Zaporizhye provinces that control the water supply. And it is Mariupol's port that contests the Sea of Azov. That's the part of Donbas that vk implies to be essential for full control of Crimea. But if Mariupol is essential for full control, then Putin neither has full control now, nor does he want it, because it is apparently Putin who pressured the rebels into leaving Mariupol in Ukrainian hands. By the criteria vk uses here, Putin doesn't have full control of Crimea now. This could be understood to show that in the long run Luhansk/Donetsk are untenable too, trapped in a race to collapse with Kyiv. And it would show too that Putin needs a genuine peace in Crimea, needs to do something, because in the long run, time is not on his/Russia's side. The thing is of course, is that either vk doesn't mean what is actually written, or vk won't draw the conclusions vk's own premises require.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 41

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 10 2021 19:21 utc | 40

Nothing of what you wrote in your comment matters. In war, what draws the maps are armies, not cultural or economic affinity.

And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia. Russia would have a second Kaliningrad, i.e. another territory that NATO could dream of attacking and conquering (even if the probability of success being low).

The situation of Crimea is already sensible because Ukraine can cut it off from water supplies. It would become even more precarious without the buffer zone given by the existence of the DPR and LPR.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 19:38 utc | 42

MarkU @26 got it right. It is a head fake.

Ukraine's leadership doesn't care about their civilians and soldiers. US and NATO leadership care even less for them. In the current context actions speak far louder than words.

Even the dimmest and most senile leaders can figure out some of the following:
• Russia is not bluffing. Bluffing is not their style.
• Neither the US nor NATO will put boots on the ground of Donbass or Crimea.
• Against Russia the US surface ships in the Black Sea are floating targets, as they are anywhere else in the world.
• There won't be a Minsk3 agreement.
• Nord Stream 2 will be completed no matter what. For the respect, Russia doesn't need the revenue so much.

If in fact Ukraine backs down, it will be a Biden continuation of Trump's off-repeated stunt of walking to the edge and then backing off. You can't expect innovation from senile players.

Posted by: SingingSam | Apr 10 2021 19:46 utc | 43

"why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

A little too much vodka in the Galician contingent would be my guess.

Posted by: dh | Apr 10 2021 19:51 utc | 44

@vk #41 - The objective truth is that you should change your information source and as soon as possible make a trip to the region...
The water was cut back in 2014, since then, work has been carried out (drilling, new reserves, etc.) and the situation has improved.
The development of Crimea is completely independent of the future of the DNR/LNR Republics.
Apart from the double bridge (road/rail) Crimea can receive ships from the ports of Novorossiysk, Taman, Rostov...

Posted by: Kristof | Apr 10 2021 20:11 utc | 45

#44 - Some videos with the ongoing work regarding the water situation in Crimea:

Posted by: Kristof | Apr 10 2021 20:23 utc | 46

The Fortuna better keep laying that pipeline. If Russia delivers and the Germans have spine, the argument for sacrificing the Ukraine to US military and fracking interests becomes moot.

Posted by: fx | Apr 10 2021 20:28 utc | 47

Water, water, in the air but not a drop to drink.

Crimea needs water badly with summer coming on.
Any Ukrainian or Russian advance cannot happen across bogs and mud. Wait until the rain stops, or sink.

I saw somewhere that Zelensky actually thought of opening the canal sometime ago but was "stopped". It was never made clear WHO ordered him not to, or who ordered him to start an anti-Russian drive, or.....etc.

b's post undelines that the previous lines of cultural/liguistic division have not gone away, and have probably hardened. The Nasty brigade are actually in lands that probably do not appreciate them being there. (ie, the Russian speaking areas under Ukie control are probably not overjoyed to become "permanent collateral damage")


Anyone else notice the large movement of Chinese ships in the South China Sea? Doubled trouble for the Empire? They hardly get the time to concentrate on claiming "rights of passage" through Indian territoral waters, or in the Black sea, or in the Artic, without someone stirring the pot. Whatever next?

A diversion or just taking advantage of the limited scope of the attention span of whoever is in command in the US ?

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 10 2021 20:31 utc | 48

-// Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. //- -- Henry Kissinger

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy

Posted by: blues | Apr 10 2021 20:37 utc | 49

@ Posted by: Kristof | Apr 10 2021 20:11 utc | 44

False dichotomy. It doesn't change the fact that neither Russia nor the Ukraine are presented with the option of "trading" Crimea for LPR-DPR (because, whoever side gets the second is in full condition to take the first - in this case it is Russia, but in, theoretically, it could be Ukraine); and that Russia's task of reintegrating Crimea to its territory is made easier - not harder and not indifferent - with the existence of the LPR and DPR (specially the DPR). The question presented by Psychohistorian is, therefore, absurd by logic - he forged it in order to bring up the conspiracy theory that Putin is some kind of closeted Nazi, who would be capable of selling out the peoples of the DPR and the LPR if it meant full ownership of Crimea.

The only thing that the water issue serves in this discussion is that not only the deduction that the existence of the LPR and the DPR beneficial to Russia on the Crimean question - but that it would be even better for Russia if it could extend the concept of pro-Russian independent popular republics up to the Dnieper. In other words, not only Russia doesn't intend the DPR and the LPR to cease existing - it wants the polar opposite of that, i.e. that they expand westwards and prosper.

The situation, however, is not that simple for Russia. Even a Western Ukraine rump state would still be a huge blow to its defenses, as it would certainly be converted into a full NATO member overnight. This would expose Belarus' "soft underbelly" in the south and hurt the Union State. Zelensky knows that and that's why he chose stasis over an offensive war. Russia also knows that and that's why it doesn't conquer Eastern Ukraine, hence the persistent ambiguous status of the DPR and the LPR (as neither Russia, nor Ukraine).

In other words, Russia doesn't retake Russian (Eastern) Ukraine because the extinction and the consequent partition of the Ukraine would result in NATO's expansion to the east, thus fulfilling the USA's long-term strategic objectives for the region.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 20:42 utc | 50

Is Zelensky an obstruction for the neocons?

They couped Yanukovych in 2014 why not Zelensky?
Maybe find a Donbass patsy to create outrage in Ukraine.

Nah...the neocons will change their stripes.

Posted by: librul | Apr 10 2021 20:57 utc | 51

@vk "And that's the objective truth: if the Ukraine conquers the DPR and LPR, it will essentially cut off Crimea from Russia."

How so? It doesn't seem to me that a hypothetical merger of DPR, LPR, and Ukraine would have any effect on Crimea.

In fact, if DPR and LPR join according to the Minsk2 conditions, it could help, as they would (theoretically) become a significant political factor on the national level. Which is why Kiev is not interested in a peaceful unification.

And even a military conquest (which is what you're talking about) would create problems for Kiev, as disenfranchising (or expelling) most of the population there might be somewhat problematic.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 52

"One should therefore consider that the sudden call for a renewed ceasefire might be a ruse." --our host

Precisely. The US prefers to start its conflicts with a sucker punch, but that is only possible if the target is unprepared and looking the other way. Russia only needs to let its guard down and look away for a moment for the empire to take advantage of it. Notice how the ukrops are not moving their attack forces back? They will attack while the US ships are in the Black Sea to monitor the fighting and provide direction.

Donbass does not have strategic depth. The plan is to hit the republics with a suicide bum-rush. America doesn't care how many of the ukrop aggressors are exterminated in the attack so long as some units survive to take up positions in the city centers. The empire's strategists figure that with a sudden enough and massive enough assault, and given at least some element of surprise, this can be accomplished overnight. The ukrop cannon fodder will be given orders to not bother securing any areas they overrun and instead continue to charge forward.

Suicidal? Absolutely, because any Novorossiya troops that are overrun will regroup behind the ukrop aggressors and pull back, cutting off the units that penetrated into the cities. That's when those advance ukrop units will go all "Shock & Awe™" on the urban civilians to draw the Novorossiya units away from their established positions and demoralize them.

So long as the Russians are not caught with their pants down they should be able to easily repel the ukrop assault. If they are thinking this through clearly then the Novorossiya troops, with the Russians at their backs, should push for the Dniper in order to acquire that much needed strategic depth. At the same time the Black Sea should be completely cleared of any hostile vessels, and obviously that means the American ships.

Posted by: William R Henry | Apr 10 2021 21:31 utc | 53

Interesting interview. Apparently, Yuri Andropov had a contingency plan on the event of the disintegration of the USSR - and yes, it included the partition of the Ukraine into two ("east bank Ukraine" and "west bank Ukraine" - probably West of the Dnieper, East of the Dnieper). It's in Russian, so maybe inconsistencies with automatic translation may exist:

Петр Авен: «У Гайдара было вполне имперское сознание»

The interview is with Russian neoliberal banker (of the circle of Yeltsin and Gaidar, St. Petersburg intelligentsia) Viktor Loshak, from "Alfa-Bank group" (machine translation). He was a working under Shatalin in the 1980s, so he's allegedly an eye witness (primary source) of the alleged plans.

He also claims that the St. Petersburg neoliberals never intended to end the Union, and that what really happened in the 1990s wasn't intended. Smells like revisionism to me, but ok, the St. Petersburg circle was never known for their intellectual prowess, so it's possible.


@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 10 2021 21:07 utc | 51

It has in the sense that the Ukraine wants to restore its entire territory, not just some part of it. There is no scenario where, it being able to reconquer LPR-DPR, it would leave Crimea with Russia.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 21:41 utc | 54

I disagree about DNR and LNR are of importance for Russia to keep hold on Crimea. Crimea secession was prior to the insurrection in eastern Ukraine, they tried to copy Crimean secession (even held referenda in 2014) To the frustration of DNR/LNR activists as well as many russian nationalists, the russian government has rejected all pleas to incorporate the breakaway regions or Ukraine into Russia. On contrary, it has repeatedly tried to broker a compromise, and the Minsk accords are part of. Putin even ostensibly bound his hands by forcing a Duma decree in 2015, revoking the "Medvedyev doctrine" from 2008 Georgian conflict which authorized use of force when ethnic Russians were threatened, Anyway, the russian government could not abandon the insurgency in Donbas without risking to be toppled by nationalists.

One should keep this in mind: Russia does not want the ethnically russian parts of Ukraine which would comprise of most of it. It was not Russia who escalated the inner ukrainian divide. And militarily, LNR and DNR are in no way helpful for Crimea. Normal relations between the RF and Ukraine would be in Russia's interest, would belp both countries. But that is what the West prevents at any cost, to the last Ukrainian. Only the dumb ukronazis don't realize that.

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:44 utc | 55

@53 vk Ukraine will never get back DNR and LNR by military means, but, if at all, only via a compromise alongside the Minsk accords. And if you speak to realistic Ukrainians (there are not few, even in the nazi infested galicia and volyn), they all realize that Crimea is gone, and that it always only grudgingly agreed to be an autonomous republic inside Ukraine until 2014.

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 56

ERRATA: @ 53, I said the interviewed was Viktor Loshak. Loshak is the interviewer. The interviewee (the Alfa-Bank banker) is Petr Aven.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10 2021 22:22 utc | 57

MarkU gets it: it is all about controlling the narrative

Posted by: PVC | Apr 10 2021 22:41 utc | 58

fx @ 46

Its not just the Fortuna laying pipe now, the Akadamik Cherskiy has been on the job for about 10 day and she can lay pipe faster. According to the plans submitted to the Danes, in whose waters they are laying, Fortuna is expected to finish in May whilst the AC has permission until September but is expected to finish early.

As to the USN ships (Black sea regular USS Ross passed Gib inbound Med today) are not due in until the start of next week and will leave early May. What their role, apart from being a gesture of support for Ukraine, is is not clear. An obvious job of one, if not both, could be to be tied up at a berth in Odessa harbour as a poison pill to try to make sure that Russia does not attack that part of the coast. Were there to be an attack of course.

Seems to be a big mistake by the US to me. I can understand what they are trying to do but, given the option above, if they stay at sea it will be a clear statement that they don't want to get that involved. I'm sure it is not their intention to be so open in showing their true objective.

Another possible reason for a delay until May is that the Orthodox Church celebrates its Eater Sunday on the 2nd May.

William R Henry 52

There is no need to go to the Dneiper to gain sufficient strategic depth, not only would that be a political nightmare but just stopping at the oblast borders should be sufficient. Included in that would be Mariupol, the only Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov. That would make Donbass economically viable.

No need to clear the Black Sea, Russia totally dominates over, on and under it.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 10 2021 22:43 utc | 59

Ooops Easter Sunday of course.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 10 2021 22:45 utc | 60

@ Posted by: bevin | Apr 10 2021 16:25 utc | 13

Wouldnt this be the second time that Zelinski used thread of conflict to help himself in election?

It seems an important point. Why would B over look it, I wonder.

Declaring war and then declaring peace. I guess one cannot chose ones neighbors.

I thought Russia stood to benefit from war. They should keep pressure on Zelinski - training, preparations and support of Donbass. Seems Russia is very measured with assistance.

Posted by: jared | Apr 10 2021 22:52 utc | 61

they all realize that Crimea is gone

It has been gone for 200+ years.
9 out of 10 people are Russian, and Russian is the spoken language.
We could return it to the original inhabits, as we should return the US to its original habitants (same time frame).
I guess I need to leave----

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 10 2021 22:56 utc | 62

b. :
"It seems that order has come from Washington to stand down - at least for now."

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to return to Brussels next week for more meetings with NATO and European officials, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. grows increasingly concerned about Russian troop movements near Ukraine.

The meetings will take up most of the week,[...]
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Brussels at the same time, for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"Frank muses that just as the postman always rings a second time to make sure people receive their mail, fate has made sure that he and Cora have both finally paid the price for their crime.

"Schöne Wochenende".
Next week will be interesting as last 3 were.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 10 2021 22:58 utc | 63

A majority of people in every area in Crimea identify Russian as their native tongue:

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 10 2021 23:17 utc | 64

Maybe I missed it but there were elections in Ukraine last Sunday and
"The new Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the Ukraine, elected on Sunday, will have an overwhelming national mandate to negotiate peace terms to end the five-year civil war.

You misssed it....

Those elections were in 2019....

Zelenski has been compromised since then... most notably via loss of his plutocrat mentor...

The CIA/NSA/RightSector are firmly in charge, because Zelenski did not use his mandate to throttle them.

The best he could have done, was to invite Russia in for the purpose of "stabilizing" ukraine.

That, of course, did not happen.


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Apr 10 2021 23:19 utc | 65

Turkey just STAB Russia in the back. Google Hal Its DISGUSTING.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 10 2021 23:22 utc | 66

I was skeptical myself if WAR with Ukraine / Russia breaks out. Now what Turkey has done. Its DEFINATELY on Baby. As Hal Turner .com says TURKEY STAB RUSSIA IN THE FACE. If I was PUTIN I would ATTACK them all as soon as possible. Besides cutting off the water to Crimea PUTIN has NO CHOICE now. Putin has a PRETTY NASTY ARSENAL WEAPONS the HYPERSONIC KIND. Some one once said JUSA has 900 bases around the world. Russia has hardly any PUTINS reply Russia don't need 900 bases ARE MISSILES CAN REACH ALL THOSE BASES. Putin is a SMART CUNNING INTELLIGENT STATESMAN probably the only true statesman on the planet. My MONEY is on PUTIN. He don't make any bad moves every thing calculated hes a GENIUS. God Bless PUTIN. I LOVE him

Posted by: Brian | Apr 10 2021 23:31 utc | 67

vk@41 "The situation of Crimea is already sensible because Ukraine can cut it off from water supplies. It would become even more precarious without the buffer zone given by the existence of the DPR and LPR." Not only has reason fled, but grammar. The use of the word "sensible" here is, well, senseless. And the geography is mad too, Kherson would be a buffer, even Zaporizhye. A insoluble war in Luhansk and Donetsk simply does not help Russia find a resolution to Crimea, which needs reliable water supplies, for one thing, to be fully controlled. The cost of creating reliable water for Crimea would be easier if the money wasn't going to fund stasis in Luhansk and Donetsk.

vk@49 is also badly confused, refuting psychohistorian who didn't make the comment at all. The charge of a "conspiracy" theory is nuts too. Saying that Putin is not an anti-fascist is *not* claiming he's a closet Nazi. Worse, unlike most opinions of Putin around here, it is based on the historical fact (I repeat, *fact*) that Putin blithely supported the Maidan takeover. The dude could have offered diplomatic support for Yanukovich, but instead legitimized fascists on across the Dniepr. There is no sense in which Putin is the legitimate heir to the Soviet victors of the war with the fascists. It merely seems as though any acknowledgement of this is so offensive as to stop all rational thought. For instance, there is even more nonsense, about Russia wanting to extend Luhansk and Donetsk westward. But more historical fact, Putin has blocked advancing even to Mariupol! Again, Putin is not an opponent of the fascists, hoping for a reunification of Luhansk and Donetsk under the Minsk accords. So much for vk's claim that Luhansk and Donetsk are key to full control of Crimea!

vk@53 is briefer, but still off. The notion that fascist Ukraine isn't a threat but a formally NATO allied Ukraine would be is remarkable. Aside from being a tacit concession that Putin is not an opponent of fascism (but he is an opponent of socialism) somehow omits that Ukraine is in a tacit alliance with NATO/US etc. where NATO/US etc. are not formally bound and can easily wash their hands of any failed ventures. Military adventures from fascist Ukraine wouldn't commit the whole of NATO/US, which in my opinion makes adventures more, not less, probable. That makes the supposed independence of Ukraine more of a threat than actual NATO members like Poland, I think. Also, the soft underbelly of Belarus is largely fictional. The soft underbelly would be to the east, towards Putin/Russia, which rather dislikes the survivals of socialism in Belarus. Lastly, although Luhansk and Donetsk, squeezed by the Russian vise on their militaries, could be beaten by Ukraine. But the costs would be so high that moving on to Crimea would be prohibitive, not inevitable. The Russian military support for Luhansk and Donetsk is not the actual Russian army. But the Ukrainians would be taking on the actual Russian army in Crimea. That Ukraine cannot take by force. You've really lost the plot when Mao Cheng Ji is posting more sensible comments than you are!

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 10 2021 23:43 utc | 68

Fx@46 Hal Turner says those 2 USA ships in the Black Sea are there for HUMANITARIAN purpose. That's what USA is saying.. I can NOT SEE NATO ships all 28 of them and No matter how many US Naval ships in the Black Sea.. Its suicidal for ALL Vessels in the BLACK SEA. The Black Sea is Russia sand box. Russia will VAPORIZE them all. Example if Russia had ships in the Gulf of Mexico My money would be on USA its there sand Box. USA is LOST No morals, No ethics Broke FINANCIALLY MORALLY and Definitely POLITICALLY.. They are a CRUMBING Empire THAT MAKES THEM DANGEROUS NOTHING TO LOSE. From Homelessness, WOKE mentality, Libtard Commy way of thinking Its a Godless society. Its finish like a ship with out a rudder. Like TRUMP or HATE trump he was ROB. The Neocon ZIONISTS don't care the DEEP STATE Yeah so what?? They have all 17 branches corrupted Judicial Executive branches MEDIA spewing HATED about RUSSIA. Look at USA youth?? he he he he Its hopeless it truly is. Civil rights civil liberties are gone I never thought the USSR would collapse and I never thought the USA would go BANKRUPT.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 10 2021 23:44 utc | 69

"Europe" ask Russia to negociate

Western nations chided Russia for failing to turn up at talks in Vienna on Saturday aimed at defusing tension over Ukraine, where a Russian troop buildup close to the border between the two countries has sparked fears of renewed conflict.

Don't you remember?

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference Friday following talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"Therefore, we organize our life coming from the premise that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at this stage,"

"I hope that the strategic review which is coming will finally pay attention to vital interests of the European Union in its closest vicinity" Lavrov stressed.

"I hope that today’s talks will help us reach a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for it."

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 10 2021 23:48 utc | 70

I don't think the U$ is that deep. There was snark around town that W went after Saddam for thinking his father was an inbred idiot. Like father like son. Did Zelensky cooperate with Trump's phone call to dish dirt on O'Biden?Any (insert C word here) in office is willing to bury anyone to get ahead or, in this case, to cover his behind.

Posted by: Bruce Lee Marvin Gay | Apr 11 2021 0:03 utc | 71

If Hal Turner says something, you can count on the opposite to be true. Do you know who Hal Turner is?

Posted by: Carl | Apr 11 2021 0:26 utc | 72

vk @Apr10 17:05 #22

Some observations:

We should stop seeing capitalism as this unmovable, eternal and indestructible system ...

Yes, in fact USA has adjusted capitalism as needed/wanted with socialism (the "welfare state") and neoliberalism (crony-capitalism).

... capitalism and the USA are historically specific phenomena, and they will - 100% certainty - collapse and disappear eventually.

Still, a collapse can take many forms and affect the world's people in different ways. We can't just expect that capitalism will die of natural causes and the world will inevitably be a better place for it. We are right to be wary of the worst outcomes.

... you just need to last longer than your political enemy. The fact that USA outlived the USSR gave it almost 17 years of incontestable supremacy ...

You make "outlasting" seem like a random thing. USSR didn't just lose the roll of the dice.

No one takes neoliberalism seriously anymore, even among the high echelons of the economics priesthood.


It is in this world that the Ukraine chose to align with the American Empire. To put it simply, it chose the wrong side at the wrong time: it chose the West in an era that's shifting to the East.

But their "choice" wasn't a free and knowledgeable one, was it? The West was pushing for that change for 10 years and Nuland bragged of spending $5 billion to achieve it.

And the "choice" was for the entirety of Ukraine to move into the West. Ukraine suffers greatly from not having Crimea and Donbas. For example, the West had planned gas fracking in eastern Ukraine (by Burisma). That, of course, never happened.

The euphoria of the fall of socialism masked the degeneration of capitalism that was started at the same time and it particularly impacted the Warsaw Pact (Comecon) and the Western ex-USSR nations.

Ukraine was already an oligarchic nightmare when Maidan happened.

Nazism is not a system, it is just crazy liberalism, and I hope the white supremacists and traditionalists in the West take note of that - if they don't want to be crushed.

Nazism lives on in the form of the combination of: neoliberalism, neoconservativism, and neocolonialism (aka Zionism). And those who adhere to these ideologies don't seem to have any concern about being crushed. AFAICT the beatings will continue until morale improves.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 11 2021 0:30 utc | 73

@70 It's what happens when you see the world in terms of good guys and bad guys. People who can't get their minds around grey areas tend to have limited vision.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11 2021 0:32 utc | 74

@b - "...why was all of this allowed to happen in the first place?"

J Swift offered a good clue in his comment in the previous thread:

"the Nuland crowd have played right into Russia's hands, because the Ukraine is definitely a place where Russia has escalation dominance. I suspect that when some of those famous military channels began chatting, the Russians were not so friendly, and made it clear that an offensive by the Ukies would not only free Russia's hand toward the Nazis and provide a perfect excuse to rid the East and South of them, but that Russia would be specifically targeting US/NATO "advisers," command centers, resupply aircraft or any aircraft entering Ukrainian airspace, and would be just waiting for any US ship in the Black Sea to do something remotely involving it in the conflict, such that it would be on the bottom in minutes."

We know from Pepe Escobar's latest article, presenting highlights from the recent important interview with Nikolai Patrushev (Secretary of the RF Security Council), that Patrushev, a very dangerous and serious man, enjoys undiminished communications with Washington, including a March phone discussion with Jake Sullivan, White House security advisor. If his interview is anything to go by, his candid discussions with US leadership could have scared them totally awake.

Once again, it could well be that the neocons talked up a blazing firestorm that the generals and security professionals ultimately had to pour water on.

Patrick Armstrong in his latest article gives us ample evidence that Victoria Nuland, back in power and riding high, is also vastly ignorant and imperceptive, incapable of learning or reflection, and mediocre in her intelligence. The neocons, as Armstrong points out, have always failed. And they have led the US down a path of loss.

If in fact this Ukraine adventure is over for the moment (if in fact it ever was real in the first place), then it bears total resemblance to every other neocon stupid idea, that goes as far down the path to ruin as it can, sometimes being stopped by wiser heads, sometimes simply charging over the edge, into the abyss.

If Russia gets to choose, one assumes Russia would prefer no military activity in Ukraine. And if Russia is forced into military action, one also assumes as best guess that Russia will reshape the map to a better end for all. It could just be that Russia managed to communicate this to the US, and that the US managed to hear.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 11 2021 0:45 utc | 75

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 11 2021 0:30 utc | 72

It's hard to track neoliberalism because the neoliberals don't consider themselves "neoliberal": they're just "normal" or simply "liberal". They are the Hadean ideology par excellence, the ideology that disguise itself as a-ideological, the invisible ideology.

But we can infer the death of neoliberalism as codified in the Washington Consensus list from 2008 onward by the set of policies enforced in the USA, the UK, Japan and other developed European countries (where neoliberalism are expected to be hegemonic), and here I'm specifically asking you to focus on the so-called "austerity" (which is a more regressive form of neoliberalism, but is not technically neoliberalism) and the rise of MMT through money printing or, in the case of Japan, more T-bond issuance, in a complete disregard to national (sovereign) debt after the pandemic (and, in the USA's case, even before that). Also pay attention to the list of Economy "Nobel" (Riksbank) Prize winners post-2008 - none of them being neoliberals in the academic sense of the word, nor having a neoliberal past (apparently).

The only place left where neoliberalism is still alive and well, albeit weakened, is in Latin America and the so-called "emerging economies" (Turkey, South Africa and Russia). But those are not the dominant part of the world in the capitalist sense, it would be akin to the Roman Empire surviving only as a remnant in pieces of Hispania or Gallia.

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:13 utc | 76

@74 Yes but that doesn't really address b's question. Why was this allowed to happen in the first place? We know all about Nuland and her cookies and encouragement from Washington. But why was the Minsk agreement broken? Why do the Ukies keep lobbing shells into Donbass?

Those troops are bored. I'm sticking with my vodka theory.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11 2021 1:14 utc | 77

@ Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 10 2021 21:53 utc | 55

Just to clarify: Russia has already officially stated (many years ago) that it doesn't want any other piece of the Ukraine (i.e. any other piece beyond Crimea). It wants the Ukraine to survive in the form of a federalized State with the DPR and LPR enjoying high levels of autonomy (a la Spain).

Ukraine is not profitable to Russia. It would drain its coffers were it to have to conquer and absorb it entirely.

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, and they gave it some relief from its chronic negative population problem - all of that without having to advance one inch over continental Ukraine.

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 78

Germany vetoed any more provocations by the US or nato against the Donbass/Crimea that would clearly call in massive Russian support. Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation; an end of that part of the story - and there are several hundred thousand people in the Donbass that now have Russian passports. Russia won't stand for any of it. No matter how much the dumb Ukrainians or the lackey Poles or their US/nato masters huff and puff and bellow.....

it is also not in the slightest German interests for a war to break out right in the middle of Europe that might escalate into a nuclear confrontation, nor is it in their national interest to lose the Nord Stream 2 project... at all.

I don't know about France's position in all this but either France or Germany could/would exercise veto over any nato troops/intervention in the Ukraine.

time to return to the Minsk agreements. in spite of the incredible stupidity of the US foreign policy Establishment and those jackass war-mongers Blinken, Nuland and Austin et. al.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 11 2021 1:39 utc | 79

NYT doing its best to fill the void that was sadly left by the demise of "Mad" magazine: "Another possible motive has been found closer to home: The very public military buildup — trains bearing armored vehicles have been rolling into the border region in broad daylight — has shifted attention from the imprisonment and failing health of President Vladimir V. Putin’s chief political opponent, Aleksei A. Navalny."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 11 2021 2:07 utc | 80

Do you really expect the Amerikastani Empire's puppet Ukranazi coup regime to say "we will attack"? Instead it will attack and then claim Russia attacked it. Just like Hitler's Gleiwitz radio station false flag attack that started WWII.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 11 2021 2:17 utc | 81

Zelensky in Istanbul. Erdogan to refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian territory..
Saw a tweet today saying something along the lines of Russia preventing flights to Turkey this summer for "Covid" reasons, read between the lines..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 82

Time is in Russia's favor: let the Ukraine continue to serve as a financial black hole to the IMF. Let the Western Ukrainians continue to emigrate en masse to Poland and then to the rest of the EU and the UK. Russia has already received some 1 million Eastern Ukrainian; those are probably the more well-educated, more productive Ukrainians, ...

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 1:20 utc | 77

This is rather sketchily related to reality.

1. Ukraine is not a "black hole for the IMF". They got a smallish credit, and now they are being denied extensions on rather preposterous grounds, and Ukraine is charged for the unused credit line. Contrary to Nulands boasting, the West keeps Ukraine on a leash with a rather skimpy budget.

2. There is no clear distinction between migration patterns. The one time I was in Russia, the tourist guide on a one-day bus trip was from Rivne -- in Poland in years 1918-39. And as Polish medical workers go to Spain etc., Ukrainian once fill the vacant positions, and they may come from any place. Ditto with the "quality of workers". Poland has more of seasonal jobs in picking crops (while Poles do it further West) than Russia, Russia perennially seeks workers ready to accept extra pay in less than benign climes. The closest to truth is scooping engineers and highly qualified workers from factories that before worked for Russian market, including military, replaced with Russian factories and, when needed, Ukrainian know-how. That is pretty much accomplished -- predominantly from the Eastern Ukraine. As a result, the remaining workforce is so-so from east to west.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 83

It's been made clear that a Ukrainian attack on the D & L republics would be met with a direct Russian intervention into the conflict and likely would result in the loss of the whole of the disputed oblasts to the separatist republics. Russia has no intention of eliminating Ukraine or occupying Kyiv, but that kind of defeat in the east would spell the end of what political stability remains in Ukraine and likely lead to a new Maidan against Zelensky and possibly further secessions. That's the real downside of this for Russia. Ukraine is threatening to immolate itself as a form of brinksmanship.

Failing that death wish, only if Moscow somehow agrees to stay out of the war does this have the remotest possibility of achieving what the Kyiv government needs. Otherwise it will not attack.

Posted by: Cesare | Apr 11 2021 2:29 utc | 84

@ Lozion | Apr 11 2021 2:18 utc | 81 with the link about the Ukraine/Turkey meeting today..thanks

Interesting position by Erdogan and I would think it would effect Turkey's purchase of Russian defense equipment but who knows where the complexity balance resides in the ME.

Lots of tinder just waiting for a spark to point the blame at for world conflagration. I will believe this situation is cooling when I read about the US ships turning around and not going into the Black Sea.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 11 2021 2:31 utc | 85

Erdoğan has several goals in Ukraine. Show Russia that he is strong and important for Russia as he has influence on Ukraine. Show the USA that he is an active participant of NATo. Sell his military drones to whoever wants them as well as other turkish products.
He appears as a king maker and gets business and approval from russia,the EU and the Usa to avoid a war. A very successful move needed to rehabilitate Erdoğan seriously in trouble with both the usa and the EU...

Posted by: Virgile | Apr 11 2021 2:56 utc | 86

The western press is portraying the events of the past few weeks as representing an unmotivated unilateral Russian troop buildup.

Canada’s Globe and Mail yet again deliberately deceives its readers with omission-plagued reporting which the author must know is wrong. This includes describing the Minsk agreements as “the Kremlin’s version of how to make peace” which are being utilized in an “enforcement operation” featuring a “coercive use of force” meant to “induce Kyiv, Berlin and Paris” to accept “Moscow’s terms.” Awful reporting by any objective measure.

Meanwhile, a Heritage Foundation flunky describes “spontaneous” Russian deployments designed to “keep Ukraine out of organizations such as the EU or NATO”.

Russia should be opposed because: “Modern Ukraine represents the idea in Europe that each country has the sovereign ability to determine its own path, to decide with whom it has relations, and how and by whom it is governed.”

Both reporters make the same observation in opening paragraphs, supporting the notion that these pieces are derived from a distributed script or collection of talking points:

1) “For weeks, Russian social media accounts have been flooded with videos showing long convoys of tanks, troop trucks and artillery pieces…”

2) “Dozens of videos in social media posts show hundreds of Russian tanks and armored vehicles pouring into the region.”

Posted by: jayc | Apr 11 2021 3:18 utc | 87

Carl Well Carl So you say Hal is a sham?? Better READ RToday buddy. It says the same thing Hal. did.

Posted by: Brian | Apr 11 2021 3:20 utc | 88

That fading sound (the doppler effect) one is hearing is time passing by the Robert Kagan's Project for a New American Century PNAC. That other little known effect, the doper effect, where dumb ideas coming at you seem smart is still having an effect on those running the western geopolitical policy. For how much longer will this go on and when will the penny hit the floor? The increased pitch of the vitriol emanating from the PNAC leads me to believe that this too shall pass, and soon.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 11 2021 3:25 utc | 89

Grieved #74

Mighty good material and comment, thank you.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 11 2021 3:33 utc | 90

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 11 2021 2:23 utc | 82

By statute, the limit of lending by the IMF to any single nation-state is USD 20 billion. Right out of the bat, after the Maidan Revolution was victorious, the Ukraine begun to absorb USD 16 billion consecutive (monthly) IMF packages, no questions added (i.e. because the US Treasury Secretary probably ordered them to do so).

Funnily enough, this wasn't even the largest lending of the IMF at the time: it was lending USD 30 billion (albeit not monthtly, as in the Ukraine) in a desperate American attempt to save the Macri government (Argentina). The packages given to Argentina - in record time, without any resistance - blatantly violated the IMF statute, and put it in the open the simple fact that the IMF is, deep down, merely a department of the US Treasury.

So, yes, the IMF has been hemorrhaging money since at least 2014. Its statute or army of Ivy League economists are just glorified and overpaid clerks right now (Washington D.C. high priests/high bureaucrats).

Undoubtedly, in the long term, the American capitalist class will certainly profit from Maidan, as the Ukraine had to privatize its State-owned infrastructure to the American oligarchic families (gas, electricity, communications, transport etc.). But this money won't necessarily go back to the American people: it will stay in private hands, in the hands of the American elite. IMF money is, essentially, taxpayer money, as it is entirely funded by the central governments of the nation-states around the world (mainly the USA). None of that money will revert back to the Ukrainian people, that's for sure - but then, the original intention of the Maidan coupers were never to stay in the Ukraine to begin with, they're all probably in some concentration camp in Poland or cleaning some toilets in the UK or Germany by now (Ukrainian Dream).

Nowadays, the IMF tranches to the Ukraine - de facto allowances, as the US Treasury will guarantee it will never have to pay back to the IMF - lowered to around USD 5 billion per quarter or trimester, but they're still constant, and it doesn't erase the fact that the money borrowed before will never be paid (well, it actually was paid in secret in the form of privatizations; I mean officially paid back). Couple that with the fact that the USA doesn't have the same vitality as before in 2014 (it is now having to straight up having to print money, a la the Bolshevik government in the desperate times of 1918-1920), and you have to face the fact that those USD 5

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 3:38 utc | 91

[continuation of #90]

... billion may be weighting as much - if not more - than the USD 16 billion that were being spent in 2014, because the IMF money is having to keep the real economy of the Ukraine afloat (i.e. translate itself into the real economy, not just circulating into the financial sphere).

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 3:40 utc | 92

Lozion #81

Erdogan is such a pathetic treacherous dog that I would not like to be nearby when his 'brothers in arms' Russians drop a reward on him.

He is likely trying to sell drones to Zelensky to kill Donbass patriots.

I guess the year ahead will bring ample opportunities for pay back.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 11 2021 3:54 utc | 93

This I think is the nuts and bolts of what's happening plus Syria and any other shit the yank/anglsphere fuckers can stir up.

Everything coming at once for Russia and china outbreaks of small and large hostilities but Taiwan and Ukraine are the big ones. They are red lines for Russia and China. Taiwan declares independence will be great anti china propaganda and nobody cares about the dead Taiwan clowns because they are just cannon fodder. Similar Ukraine - Yanks will most likely talk the Nazies into attacking Donbass or Russia and when Russia destroys the Ukraine cannon fodder it will make great propaganda - Russian aggression.
The fuckwits may go nuclear, but I think this is all about create the new east and west, the new cold war. Only this time it's quite likely people will be dodging the bullets to get to the free east.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 11 2021 3:57 utc | 94

FDI plummets in the Ukraine, reaches negative territory:

Киев поставил экономический рекорд: такого не было даже в войну

It's simply not working.

Posted by: vk | Apr 11 2021 4:34 utc | 95

Patrick Armstrong "Sunbeams From Cucumbers: The View From the Khanate of Kaganstan" showcases the lack of wit and wisdom of those running the Ukrainian program. Truly scary.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 11 2021 4:36 utc | 96

For those that think the shit show has stopped....

MOSCOW, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A Russian MiG-31 fighter intercepted a U.S. reconnaissance plane above the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian airspace control systems detected an air target approaching the Russian state border and a MiG-31 of the Eastern Military District took off in response, the ministry said.

The crew of the Russian jet identified the air target as an RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force and escorted it over the Pacific Ocean.

After the U.S. aircraft flew away from the Russian border, the MiG-31 returned safely to its home airfield.

The Russian fighter strictly complied with international rules for the use of airspace during its flight, the center added.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 11 2021 4:47 utc | 97

Lozion @81, psychohistorian @84

Erdogan/Zelensky meeting also referenced an agreement to provide Ukrainian engines for Turkish drones. It will be interesting to see if they are able to replace the European engines blocked over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, or merely provide confirmation that the Ukrainian aircraft industry is a hollow shell.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Apr 11 2021 5:38 utc | 98

Piotr Berman #79

President Vladimir V. Putin’s chief political opponent, Aleksei A. Navalny."

Love that reference to MAD magazine. It was a favorite.

Putin: what, me worry?

Navalny: here

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 11 2021 5:57 utc | 99

Peter AU1 #93

Thank you for that post. I suspect that there are numerous other localities for Russia and China to reciprocate. China is forging across the globe with all manner of developmental programs that are exclusive of US participation and that will drive the USA pirate empire mad. Especially those in South America.

The Taiwan torment may push China into a bristling stance but it won't necessarily phase them.

Russia is fielding USA belligerence in Syria and elsewhere but in Syria there is every likelihood of actions to restore the legitimate Syrian Government control over territory that has been invaded by illegal occupiers. That could be disconcerting to the USA but it is an illegal occupier and has limits on its response.

And there is much happening in Libya and Africa so I expect tit for tat idiocy to be the name of the game. Do rad Tom #95 link to cucumbers.

Time will tell.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 11 2021 6:11 utc | 100

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