Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 02, 2021

The 'Russian Military Build-Up'

There is some concern about a 'Russian military buildup' near Ukraine.

But before we all panic we probably should take a look at previous similar headlines.

Since the 2014 U.S. led coup in the Ukraine the 'Russian military buildup' has happened during spring, summer, fall and winter each and every year.

It is not just near the Ukraine where a 'Russian military buildup' is happening. The same can be said about the Arctic.

It is also in Syria where a Russian military buildup happens and let's not forget the Far East.

In fact, there is a 'Russian military buildup' wherever one looks and at all times.

h/t Malinka

Posted by b on April 2, 2021 at 7:18 UTC | Permalink

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Cute /funny, but for me this points to the script that the "west" has laid out before hand: Washington has dialed up an attack by Ukraine, has been concentrating ukrop forces along the line of contact, and has kept its media muzzled, total media blackout, until the Russians respond. Then let loose with the media to make it appear that the Russians are threatening Ukraine. And per the 08/08/08 Georgia attack, if they push the button and attack donbass, and the Russians respond, blame it on Russian aggression. Russia attacks!! Russian aggression!! Who's to know it isn't so? They'll all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Not like in '08 when the EU was still semi autonomous. If Washington doesn't order an attack, then they can still point to Russia massing troops and score a propaganda victory as Russia is intimidating poor Ukraine. Russian aggression!! And "sell" more weapons to Ukraine and move more "advisors" in. The cost? Who cares? They'll just keep the printing press rolling.

Posted by: Skuppers | Apr 2 2021 7:44 utc | 1

April 1, 2021

"Vyacheslav Nikonov: ...How dangerous is the situation in Ukraine in light of the ongoing US arms deliveries, the decisions adopted in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, and the statements made by the Ukrainian military, who are openly speaking about a war? Where do we stand on the Ukrainian front?

Sergey Lavrov: There is much speculation about the documents that the Rada passed and that President Zelensky signed. To what extent does this reflect real politics? Is it consistent with the objective of resolving President Zelensky’s domestic problem of declining ratings?

I’m not sure what this is: a bluff or concrete plans.

According to the information published in the media, the military, for the most part, is aware of the damage that any action to unleash a hot conflict might bring.

I very much hope this will not be fomented by the politicians, who, in turn, will be fomented by the US-led West. ...

Like President Vladimir Putin said not long ago; but these words are still relevant, – those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass will destroy Ukraine."

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4662534

Not much more to be said.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 2 2021 7:58 utc | 2

Yesterday (Ist April) the Russians stopped sending Gas via Ukraine.

The day before Zelensky "invited" NATO into Ukraine for military exercises.
In the face of the amassing of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, setting up joint exercises involving Ukraine Army and Allied forces, including joint air patrols with NATO aviation in Ukraine's airspace, will help stabilize the security situation in the region, Mashovets has told his counterpart.
UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/politics/donbas-kyiv-invites-nato-to-hold-joint-military-drills-11374195.html
(Disclaimer; I don't know much about this site)

(The day before that there was a top level meeting of NATO "to discuss the situation in Ukraine, which might have provoked/told Zelnsky to do the former).

Talking of provocation; here is a "twit" showing a Polish, it looks like fishing vessel, ramming a supply ship to NordStream II pipe layers. Gangster warfare?
https://twitter.com/I30mki/status/1377821400325480451

Although b says that the "Russian threat" is overdone, this buildup is certainly part of the problem as the US wants NATO in Ukraine. Therefore the more the threat is hyped the more they can use it to "justify" changing the facts on the ground.

One side observation is that Biden is totally absent. This situation is being run by the US High Command (Milley et al) and others who always want moar war for the cash it brings in.
The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Chairman of the JCS, and National Security Advisor have all had phone calls with their Ukrainian counterparts over the past three days, and General Milley spoke with General Gerasimov.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 2 2021 8:19 utc | 3

Ukraine - and the West's - main problem with Russia over the Donbass is that Russia is NOT a party to the Minsk agreement. With both France and Germany, it is a guarantor.

The signatures on the Minsk document are that of Ukraine and the so-called republics.

Ukraine can create as many laws stating it is in an 'International armed conflict' with Russia as it likes, it does not alter the fact that no such conflict exists, nor has it been brought to the Security Council.

But the Minsk accord HAS been approved by the Security Council.

"On March 29, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopted a draft of so-called resolution on the situation in Donbass. It seems that there is noting new in such a document, however, it puts at stake Kiev’s obligation on implementation of the Minsk Agreement...

Such a document is not the first to be adopted in Ukraine in the last years. However, this draft has a specific feature. It is for the first time that Ukrainian Rada adopted the draft statement, which says that the war in Eastern Ukraine is a Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

Previously, the phrase “aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine” was used in Kiev’s official documents. Today, the war in Donbass was designated as an international armed conflict, that is, war.

Such a definition has significant juridical impact. This statement completely blocks Kiev’s implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures clearly defines that the parties to the conflict are Kiev on the one hand, Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic (LDPR) on the other.

Today the Ukrainian Parliament officially declared, at the highest level, that the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia.

The resolution ensures the immediate forwarding of the text of this statement to the national governments and parliaments of foreign states, international organizations and their parliamentary assemblies."

https://southfront.org/kiev-builds-up-legal-conditions-to-justify-its-upcoming-aggression-in-donbass/

Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 2 2021 8:30 utc | 4

A few more...
US general calls Ukrainian, Russian counterparts over reported Russian troop movements
https://americanmilitarynews.com/2021/03/us-general-calls-ukrainian-russian-counterparts-over-reported-russian-troop-movements/

Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40016/russian-armor-floods-toward-border-with-ukraine-amid-fears-of-an-imminent-crisis

Posted by: Dogon Priest | Apr 2 2021 9:39 utc | 5

The propaganda may never change but that doesn’t mean the events can’t be different this time. There’s video of large amounts of heavy weapons heading to the border.

A few weeks ago the US sent 350 tonnes of armoured humvees etc to Odessa. Then On 23rd March video shows Ukraine sending trainloads of tanks etc. On 24th March Kiev passed a decree claiming a right to retake Crimea. It’s always said so but this seemed to really ratchet up the rhetoric as it virtually commits the government to trying to retake Crimea by force.

Several videos from 29th March show different Russian trains with scores of tanks etc heading across the Kerch bridge to Crimea, and to the Donbas border. Plus other videos of numerous helicopters & endlessly long lines of tanks & armoured vehicles on roads as well.

This is a buildup not seen since the hit war days of 2014.

Meanwhile a NATO Fleet enters the Black Sea for exercises with Ukraine.

Posted by: PJB | Apr 2 2021 9:41 utc | 6

A hot war in eastern Ukraine/Crimea appears unlikely. Ukraine no doubt perceives that such a conflict means almost certain defeat. Military defeat would likely raise existential issues for Ukraine and its leadership, given the present adverse economic conditions. The Ukrainian leadership has very little to gain by waging a war and has much to lose.

Assuming the truth of reports of a Russian military buildup along its relevant borders, such a buildup appears to be more of a warning to Kiev - and to the U.S. - not to make any rash moves.

True, there is a possibility of war. Hot heads in Kiev and Washington appear always to want war. But insofar as Washington is concerned, its domestic agenda presently appears to hold far greater sway than does a failing outpost on the periphery of Washington's influence.

At this juncture, then, the possibility of a significant conflict seems low by comparison.

Posted by: elephant | Apr 2 2021 9:44 utc | 7

Lol. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that Russian media worried about a Ukrainian military build-up?

Posted by: m | Apr 2 2021 10:10 utc | 8

@ elephant (7)

You are completely ignoring the overall picture. The US wants to stop Nordstream 2 and roping NATO into a war situation with NATO would make it almost impossible to continue. Already physical provocation is being used against the pipe-laying ships (see Stonebird's post (2))

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 2 2021 10:14 utc | 9

Personally I blame all this shit on the Nazi scum moved to the United States by Washington after World War 2 and "weaponised". Desperate to destroy Russia and no doubt keen to acquire Lebensraum, these Hitler fanboys and their handlers in Washington are doing everything they can to apply Hitler's racial beliefs to Russia and make them seem like others when Russians are as European as Hungarians, the British and the Irish and certainly more European than Americans, Canadians and Australians. This is to make war with Russia more acceptable among Europeans. Perhaps the Hitler fanboys in Washington need to work to improve their understand of the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2.
As Field Marshall Montgomery (a decent but fallible and somewhat egotistical British general) said in 1959:

Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.

A few years later he repeated his Rules of War and even claimed ownership for himself:
The United States has broken the second rule of war. That is: don't go fighting with your land army on the mainland in Asia. Rule One is, don't march on Moscow. I developed those two rules myself.

They are rules that the Hitler Fanboys and "Lost China" morons in Washington should have tattooed on their foreheads along with a free prefrontal lobotomy.
BTW, who are the more civilised:
The use of the procedure increased dramatically from the early 1940s and into the 1950s; by 1951, almost 20,000 lobotomies had been performed in the United States and proportionally more in the United Kingdom. The majority of lobotomies were performed on women; a 1951 study of American hospitals found nearly 60% of lobotomy patients were women; limited data shows 74% of lobotomies in Ontario from 1948–1952 were performed on women. From the 1950s onward, lobotomy began to be abandoned, first in the Soviet Union and Europe.
.
The idea of "weaponized immigration" in the sense of bringing in immigrant hostile to their source state and using them to overthrow their source state was applied by Washington and largely publicized by Yasha Levine.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 2 2021 10:27 utc | 10

Ghostship

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

Posted by: johnf | Apr 2 2021 10:56 utc | 11

As some of us are superannuated, it is good to know the views of younger generation. Top general of Ukraine addressed the deputies of Verkhovna Rada (parliament), declared readiness of Ukrainian army to attack with the aim of "re-integrating the temporarily not-under-control territories", but then he somberly added the perspective of huge civilian casualties, and then started to described Russian forces currently to the north, east and the south of Ukraine. That was taking some time, so Anna Kolesnik, at 26 one of the youngest deputies of the ruling party, texted "We are listening to Khomchak. We need to get out from this country."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2021 11:12 utc | 12

Looks like Zelensky signed a document or Decree No. 117/2021 the other day, to recapture the Donbas and Crimea which could also be seen as a declaration of war towards Russia, more in the link below:

As Russian Tanks Move Toward Ukraine, The Globe Braces For World War 3

I expected for something to happen in the Ukraine once Biden become President, but I am surprised by the speed.

Posted by: Fran | Apr 2 2021 11:41 utc | 13

Look at the videos of massive troop build ups. Also the conscription in both the Donbas republics & Ukraine Donetsk & Lugansk militia veterans of 2014/15 returning from Russia to region.

To say nothing is going to happen this time seems wishful thinking.

https://mobile.twitter.com/colonelhomsi

https://mobile.twitter.com/ASBMilitary

Posted by: PJB | Apr 2 2021 11:43 utc | 14

Of course US and European concern about Russian military build-up along Russia's borders with European nations serves a purpose: justifying even more NATO military build-up along the other side of the Russian border which in turn generates profit for US, British and EU arms corporations and their shareholders in the banking and finance industries (and politics as well), and helps NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg to think he is important.

Several nations that have borders with Russia probably need the money that NATO soldiers might spend (mostly on entertainment like watching pole-dancing performers) while stationed on their territories. Latvia and Lithuania among others haven't done too well since joining the EU with something like 18 - 20% of their people living in poverty and many families dependent on remittances sent by their relatives working overseas. Instead of their resident Russian-speaking population being a bridge between their economies and the Russian economy, these countries prefer to deny their Russian-speaking minorities social welfare benefits and the right to vote, unless they can speak and read their host nations' languages at postgraduate level, and to harass them in various petty ways.

As for Ukraine, the Zelensky govt has its work cut out trying to get Crimea back so the US military can take over the base at Sevastopol and turn the Black Sea into a US lake, and to clear out the Donbass region of those pesky Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and make it secure for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation. The Bidens depend on Zelensky to get those oil and natural gas resources so they can get their cut.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 2 2021 12:25 utc | 15

Anna Kolesnik, cited by Piotr Berman @ 12 has it exactly. The emigres are already arriving. Ukraine is and has been entirely a failed state. The Uke army is a joke. So they have a new boatload of Humvees. Probably already sold. Humvees were going to stop T72 and up. Right. High probability Ukraine simply vanishes, local residents invite stability and the Russian army.

The normalcy bias expressed by host and commenters is extreme. Start believing in defeat. Defeat is going to change your outlook.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 12:29 utc | 16

Decree No. 117/2021


Translation etc here as-russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine--

Also on ZH


"So what made the Russians suddenly move a massive invasion force toward Ukraine?
Well, it turns out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won’t read anything about it in the corporate media.

I really had to dig to find Decree No. 117/2021, but eventually I found it. I took several of the paragraphs at the beginning of the document and I ran them through Google translate…

In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:
1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 “On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” (attached).

2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication
.
President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
March 24, 2021


Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia. Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force."

Posted by: imo | Apr 2 2021 12:40 utc | 17

WAR DECLARED!

WAR DECLARED!

WAR DECLARED!

Ukraine has declared war against Russia!

I knew if you fucks voted to let the Deep State (Biden) imperialists take the reigns again we have more and more wars.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine-globe-braces-world-war-3


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky essentially signed a declaration of war against Russia on March 24th. The document that he signed is known as Decree No. 117/2021, and you won’t read anything about it in the corporate media.
(continues)

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:10 utc | 18

Russia, France & Germany had a call on Tuesday 3/30 & they asked Putin to address the situation in Ukraine - Russia is doing them a favor....

 "Russia to act resolutely to secure a cease-fire in the east that has been routinely violated."

https://apnews.com/article/europe-ukraine-angela-merkel-moscow-coronavirus-pandemic-665012871c56b339ebc262d1140c9d57

Posted by: abee | Apr 2 2021 13:29 utc | 19

Librul @ 18

That was more than a week ago. See how much Ukraine has done about it so far? That is as much as they are able to do. Also quoted in #17 by imo, Mike Whitney/ZH “I really had to dig to find Decree 117”... That would be because you have been trained to look away. That decree was well reported, just not in the house organs of the idiots.

Martyanov has a new post up. Worth reading. He cites Michael Hudson on the overwhelming influence Russian Jews have had on US policy. I would add Polish Jews. Zbig Brezinski gets mentioned. Ever taken a look at his pamphlet, The Grand Chessboard? It has been required reading for all students at Thomas Pickering School (State Department) for a generation. Theme is Ukraine is center of universe. And this is because Zbig is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all. Any in US policy establishment who should have known better were blinded by Russophobia. (Just a note, spellcheck on this box changed my spelling to ‘Lviv’ multiple times before allowing old spelling. The thought control is total.)

The deployed Russian forces are not about overwhelming the Uke army. It is an occupation force. They will be taking territory.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

I don't see mention of Ukrainian build up and increased aggression on the border of Donbass. That's why Russian troops are building up. They are posturing defensively. It's US-backed Zelensky that is taking the aggressive position here.

Posted by: Don Harder | Apr 2 2021 13:46 utc | 21

@Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

Are you one of the fucks that voted for Biden?

And what does your last sentence mean? "They will be taking territory."

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

77 millions that voted for Biden are not all "f....s". Everyone has some priorities, imperfect choices etc.

That of course applies to countries, something that "responsible media" never considers, but this is not a good role model for us.

Russia has to rely on her resources, so defending them from military and/or financial takeover or even nuclear blackmail is a vital interest. While there are no perfect choices, they try to choose the better ones. And not leaving people who speak Russian to repressions and even massacres is another vital interest.

In the current situation, Russia clearly needs a deterrence for any possible blitzkrieg type of plan by Ukraine. But pre-emption would not be the best choice.

In turn, Ukrainian government/elite has to bet on a patron and at least make some appearance of diligently following what the patron wants. And for that, they need to raise/maintain tensions with Russia (and China? hard is our fate now that we are underlings).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2021 14:13 utc | 23

The nerve of Russia to be a country near all the american bases

https://www.basenation.us/uploads/5/7/1/7/57170837/9242863.jpg

Posted by: Gazza | Apr 2 2021 14:21 utc | 24

@22

Why is who one voted for even important? No, I didn’t vote for Biden. Or Trump. Am accused of both regularly. That is the lens Americans use. So dysfunctional, so useless.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 14:23 utc | 25

@22

If you want a previous point clarified refrain from personal attacks based on your imagination.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 14:30 utc | 26

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 2 2021 15:03 utc | 27

@22

The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out.

The US elites all went to the same schools (or military academy) where they were inculcated with "American Exceptionalism" and the need for "America to be the Global Policeman", ending up with mediocrities such as Blinken and Pompeo that thrash around as the world moves to multipolarity and the US becomes just another important nation. It will take at least decades for the US elite to get their heads around this, the British still haven't as seen by their wasting of resources on showy projects such as the two useless aircraft carriers (know as "targets" by submariners and missile batteries) to assuage its "size" envy.

Posted by: Roger | Apr 2 2021 15:07 utc | 28

Granted I am just an armchair observer but I have been watching since before the Maidan coup. Something feels different this time, as if the positions of the players involved have changed somehow. I realize that the multipolar world has been incubating for some time now and that Russia, China et.al. have been waiting patiently for USA to collapse from exhaustion, but I rather doubt that it will do so with a wimper. There may come a time when the RF armed forces may opt to use a quick bone crushing response to say 'enough'. While this is never an great option to have to take due to potential reprecussions, it can sometimes be better than being slowly swallowed by the serpeant of Mission Creep.....

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 2 2021 15:13 utc | 29

Russia's official position, as of today morning:

Kremlin says situation along engagement line in Donbass frightening

"Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive," Peskov said in reply to a question. "We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them."

Ukraine's economy is collapsing. Even the IMF (USA) is getting tired of giving it free money:

The IMF is in a panic: Ukraine has been doing without its money for ten months

Prospects for Ukraine this year to receive even the second tranche of the IMF under the $ 5 billion credit line, which Kiev agreed with the Fund last June, remain vague. Although according to the schedule, Ukraine should have already mastered the second and third tranches for a total of $ 1.35 billion and is about to receive the fourth tranche in the amount of $ 0.55 billion, in fact, the first June tranche of 2.1 billion is still the only one.

Commenting on this situation on television, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said this week: "The IMF does not give money, because, unfortunately, as a country, we have crumpled up some obligations and must renew them."

[...]

So far, budget holes have been bridged by historically record borrowings in December last year (over $ 6 billion) and an increase in interest rates on domestic borrowings this year. But last year's reserves and domestic borrowing are insufficient either to cover the $ 9 billion budget deficit or to service the external public debt, which will cost at least $ 8.1 billion this year (excluding the cost of securing new loans).

The IMF, by the way, is not interested in getting its money back - they already knew the black hole they were entering into when the coup happened in 2014 - but in social engineering: the American Empire wants a brand new province:

According to the aforementioned Sergei Marchenko, the IMF puts forward five main conditions for returning to consideration of the issue of allocating the second tranche of the loan.

First, the Fund requires the restoration of liability, including criminal liability, for the declaration of false information by officials and other persons for whom such is provided in the framework of anti-corruption procedures. This type of responsibility was actually abolished by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) in October last year as part of the recognition of a number of provisions of the anti-corruption law as unconstitutional. Although almost the entire so-called anti-corruption infrastructure in a format imposed by the West contradicts the Constitution, the judges are concerned about this problem mainly because of the infringement of their rights. Since then, Zelenskiy has effectively blocked the work of the KSU, making a number of decisions that clearly go beyond his constitutional powers. And last December, the Verkhovna Radaeven restored responsibility for declaring inaccurate data. But within the framework of the struggle for control over the anti-corruption infrastructure, the "seven-embassy" (the ambassadors of the G7 countries) did not even think that responsibility had been restored.

Secondly, we are talking about the restoration of the so-called independence of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), that is, the accountability of the body to Western curators, their actual appointment and accountability of the head of NABU, etc. and imply the legal consolidation of the full control of the West over the entire anti-corruption infrastructure, which in its essence is a parallel structure of government in the state. After amending the law on NABU and recognizing as unconstitutional the appointment of Artem Sytnik, a protege of the West, by the head of NABU Zelenskiy never dared to fire him. But even such a manifestation of loyalty to the "seven-embassy" seemed not enough.

Thirdly, the Fund demands urgently to "reform" the High Council of Justice, that is, to transfer the judicial branch of power under the control of the West - by analogy with anti-corruption bodies. In this issue, Ukraine is showing the greatest resistance so far. Moreover, it comes both from the judges themselves and from representatives of other branches of government. For obvious reasons: the surrender of the judicial system will destroy even the miserable remnants of sovereignty, and most importantly, it will carry serious risks both for judges and for various top-level officials.

Fourth and fifth - issues of the gas market and the electricity market. In the context of these markets, the Fund is interested in the abolition of tariffs [n.t. - probably it means here "subsidies"] for the population with a corresponding increase in prices. The Ukrainian, let's say, elites just do not care about the problems of the population - that is why the refusal to regulate gas prices for the population last year became one of the first fulfilled requirements of the IMF. However, when winter came, gas prices skyrocketed and social protests broke out across the country , and gas price regulation had to be urgently returned. Of course, only for a while - first until April, now until May. But the Fund did not like this either: just the other day, the head of the IMF office in Ukraine, Jost Lyngman, called a return to gas price control in an ineffective way of subsidizing households. Exactly the same applies to electricity prices - the tariff for the population was raised in winter, but the Fund wants the regulated tariff to disappear altogether. The Ukrainian authorities are, of course, ready to meet the IMF halfway on these issues. But so that social protests do not completely reset her ratings.

The article also mentions that Ukraine effectively cannot borrow elsewhere in the "free market" because its bonds are rated "junk" (this we already knew, since it's been so for some years now) and that its "borrowing rates" (interest rates) are at 12% (bonds) and 6.5% (central bank's). In other words, Ukraine will disappear as a sovereign country, one way (outright loss of the Eastern regions, reduction to a impoverished para-Polish rump state) or the other (become a proto-colony of the USA a la Puerto Rico). My guess is Zelensky is calculating an all-out war to reconquer the richer eastern regions, followed by a triumphal accession to NATO, to be the only way out for Ukraine as a nation-state.

Posted by: vk | Apr 2 2021 15:19 utc | 30

If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious.

But Ukraine is just a puppet for America, which will use, abuse and even lose Ukraine for *other purposes*.

Those other purposes are fortifying European subordination to NATO, cancelling Nord Stream 2 and breaking any German and French rapprochement with Moscow. US hegemony is in fact conditional on a climate of hostility between Europe and Russia in general, and between Germany and Moscow in particular. Hence the need to provoke Germany to cancel NS2. The Navalny operation didn't work, and the sanctions didn't work either. So it's on to Plan C, which might sacrifice Ukraine for the greater project of US empire.

In the bigger picture, the strategy is to globalize NATO against China. This is the Biden regime's specific strategy of provoking minor conflicts to fortify alliances and bloc politics for taking on China and Russia. Ukraine is just disposable trash in this game.

Posted by: Prof | Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31

That Merkel and Macron just met with Putin is further evidence of the unlikeliness of war. Frau Merkel in particular has an interest in preventing a war because it is Germany who needs the Nordstream pipeline (to Washington's displeasure); the Russians can just as easily sell their natural gas to China if Nordstream falters. Thus the Germans are more likely to exert pressure on Ukraine to forebear than they are to let Ukraine loose the dogs of war.

Posted by: elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

Excelente información con un alto rigor para sustentar evidencias.

Posted by: IVAN DARIO MARIN | Apr 2 2021 15:29 utc | 33

Posted by: johnf 11

Afghanistan would be too raw for a British General to mention, it would be taken as a criticism of his predecessors. The other rules had nothing to do with us.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 34

I agree with you, oldhippie @ 20. And thanks to b and other posters here who have kept us well apprised of the events in Ukraine as the buildup commenced on the Ukrainian side, supported by US munitions.

Actually, as far as I can understand it, if the Russians do enter Ukraine it will be at the behest of the Ukrainians themselves, just as it was in Crimea. They will be as supportive as possible of the Donbass, which is already back in the Russian Federation in every way except the formal declaration.

But Russia wants the country of Ukraine to remain whole. That's a big ask, but it surely must include all areas like Odessa in order to be viable as a member of the Federation. I don't know if that is possible yet, but rule by force has existed for so long under such duress there, that I do believe the entire civilian population would be happy to have this happen. And in will come the Russian aid, pouring in on tanks if need be, to a population weary of hardship.

Russia certainly doesn't want to be on a war footing with Ukraine, since it considers the citizenry to be its own people historically speaking, as Putin has said many times. It will not force the issue; it can be patient. But if its troops do enter, they will only do so if they are welcome; and I think that welcome mat is fast being woven, as fast as Penelopes in the Donbass can weave it. And as for the rest of Ukraine, plenty of Penelopes there as well.

It may not be Ukraine will enter the Federation immediately - there will have to be talks and so much restructuring politically speaking before that can happen. But if the hand of Russia is still extended in friendship to places like the US, it most certainly would be to a sane and peaceful Ukrainian government.

Let it be!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 2 2021 15:34 utc | 35

This time the buildup is very real. But NATO has no reason to be "concerned", as it is they who have the initiative. Russia will only move in response to a Ukrainian attack on Donbass. Ukraine will only attack after it gets approval or direct orders from Washington.

Work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is progressing fast. I estimate that pipelaying may be finished by the end of May. To prevent it from happening, Ukraine has to attack in April. Rumors claim that the planned date of the attack is April 15, 2021. The problem on the Ukrainian side is that there is no sensible war plan, apart from attacking Donbass and then immediately withdrawing to defensive position on the western shore of the Dnieper River.

Christelle Néant from Donetsk published this on March 16th, citing Ukrainian sources.

IF RUSSIA INTERVENES, THE UKRAINIAN ARMY WILL HAVE TO ABANDON ITS OFFENSIVE IN THE DONBASS

In an enlightening article, the Ukrainian media outlet Strana revealed that not only is the Ukrainian army preparing for an offensive in the Donbass, but that there is an emergency plan to stop the attack if Russia were to send its own army in. This information is nothing less than a debunking of seven years of Ukrainian propaganda, which claims that Ukraine is fighting Russia in the Donbass.

The article is based on sources in the Ukrainian army and the Defence Ministry, and begins by questioning the reality of Kiev’s preparation for an offensive against the Donbass.

Strana’s sources on the front line confirm that there is no longer a ceasefire, nor a withdrawal of troops and equipment. The source even makes it clear that it was Ukraine that first violated this provision of the Minsk package of measures, and that the DPR and LPR (Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) did so only afterwards, in response to the violation by the Ukrainian army.

...

BUT, because there is a but in this kind of rather too pretty plan, if Russia sends its army to intervene then the Ukrainian army will have to give up its offensive against the Donbass and withdraw.

“In this case, the AFU offensive will be stopped. With a high degree of probability, the troops will then have to withdraw, so as not to fall again into cauldrons,” says the Strana source in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

In other words, for the Ukrainian army’s offensive in the Donbass to work, Russia must not intervene. The problem for Kiev is that Russia has no intention of letting several hundred thousand of its citizens die on its border without reacting. A problem that Strana’s source is well aware of.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 2 2021 15:35 utc | 36

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 13:51 utc | 22

re:"fucks that voted for Biden?"
Full disclosure or, coming clean, I admit that I look at who is posting before I read the post, probably around 75 to 80% I read and the rest I skip. Librul, you and Old hippie are two posters I read as soon as I see your names. I despise Biden and his ilk, would never vote for him and have been challenged and partially shunned by friends and family who are "Blue". I also despise Trump and just got into a pretty major verbal scuffle with my local Rotary people regarding the "red team".
My wife voted for Biden. I wrote in Gabbard. I still love her and I think she still loves me.My old friends are blue, my neighbors are mostly red, my family is split. I don't fit with them. Regarding the posters here, I depend on you now. I hope you keep pushing and digging and advocating your view while at the same time showing respect. James, Jen are good role models for me in that area.

Posted by: migueljose | Apr 2 2021 15:40 utc | 37

@ Chevrus 29

I think you are precisely correct, and it makes me think. For much of the last 10 or 15 years, Russia (and China) has been using patience as its main weapon, biting its tongue and allowing the West in general, and the US in particular, to continue on its exhibition tour of "How to Screw Up Everything and Make Enemies Everywhere." They knew they were becoming stronger every day, and the US was becoming weaker. But I think about a year ago the calculus began to change, as they both decided that they were sufficiently strong to absorb anything the West could throw at them, and you could hear it in the tone of their statements. Much more firm in their condemnation of the West and assertive on their own positions. And I think both realized that the West wasn't going to go broke soon enough to prevent it from continuing to stir mischief for the foreseeable future.

So as much as we tend to focus on the US, and what they may be game planning, we shouldn't fail to recognize that Russia, and China, game plan too, and may well have decided that the time is here to actually bring it to a head, to punch that yapping dog in the nose before it does something totally rash, yet to do it in such a way as to not bring about the ultimate escalation that they have been trying to avoid these last couple of decades. Perhaps Russia has calculated that if the Yanks and Ukes are stupid enough to push it in Ukraine, maybe that is the best place to hit back. Sure, Russia could get more confrontational in Syria, and perhaps even use proxies to turn up the heat on the illegal US occupation there, but that might be more difficult to keep from spinning out of control. In the Ukraine, Russia has absolute escalation dominance, and even the EU puppets don't want a full scale war on their doorstep, so Russia may have decided this will be a red line they are prepared to defend, even if it means downing US planes or warships that are stupid enough to get involved. Until the US feels real pain of loss, they may never stop this nonsense around the globe. The hard part is to find a way to inflict that pain without undue escalation. Maybe they've decided the Ukraine is the best place to do that. Anyway, it's something to think about.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 2 2021 15:44 utc | 38

@ Posted by: elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

Well, it's easy to be anti-war when you know you're gonna lose.

The only reasons Russia doesn't enforce the independence of the LPR and DPR is because it simply dislocate the problem, not solve it. A hypothetical Western Ukraine, even if a failed state on the African level, would still be a piece of land with NATO troops in it (because it would inevitably become a NATO member). NATO would still advance East (outflanking Belarus, which would become a pocket, and further isolating the Crimea, which would become a Kaliningrad to the south) and thus advance on its strategic objective. Russia would win the battle only to lose the war. That's why Russia's preferred scenario would be the federalization of the Ukraine, with the LPR and DPR enjoying semi-autonomous status.

Another tactical option for the Russians would be to keep the stasis situation of the Ukraine going, letting its neonazi government bleed itself out, until it finally collapses both politically and as a literal nation-state, with a horde of Ukrainian refugees in the Polish and Hungarian gates, threatening Western Europe and making the creation of a NATO province in Western Ukraine economically unfeasible. I think that's the Kremlin plan A at this point, given aggressiveness of NATO on the issue.

Posted by: vk | Apr 2 2021 15:53 utc | 40

I always thought the 3rd rule of war was not to invade Afghanistan.

If it isn't, it should be.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Apr 2 2021 15:56 utc | 41

Chevrus 29

I too have been watching since then and have to agree with you, it is different. This time it is unlikely the Russians will hold back like they did in 2014/15 when they limited their support and actions to the direct area being fought over. Also new this time, Ukraine seems to be threatening Crimea, which is a big mistake but politically, in their relations with the US, they probably have to.

They have seen that they have been publicly attacked for being a wolf when in reality they were more lamb like. So now due to the Law of Unintended Consequences they know, because the US has shown them, that they will get the same approbation regardless of what they do so have nothing to lose. I suspect this will be a Russian Shock and Awe operation. Showing the world what they are really capable of and what they can do with the best tube and missile artillery there is. In and out before anyone has caught their breath. Maybe even with non of their ground or air forces leaving Russian territory. They will have to react within seconds of any Ukrainian strike to minimise the damage the Ukrainians will otherwise do to the Donbas infrastructure.

So expect every site related to the military/intel anywhere in the country, from the MoD building in Kiev down to a gun emplacement to be a potential target, but no civilian sites or probably infrastructure (depending on the damage UKops do in Donbas, maybe like for like). Keeping well away from hospitals at all costs!

This time they will probably aim to put the Ukrainian military back to the stone age whilst giving Europe a demonstration that even if they upped their defence spending to 10% of GDP they wouldn't stand a chance if Russia really wanted to move west. Then by immediately pulling back behind their border, leaving both sides in Ukraine to sort it out (probably with the new border along the current oblast border, recovering a lot of land) they would demonstrate to Europe that they were safe, Russia just isn't interested in Europe anymore. Its future, along with a growing number of other countries, lies in the south and east.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 2 2021 16:16 utc | 43

well, i am panicking! it is either that or i am going to conclude i don't need to read these repeat headlines as the story is fairly clear for all to see... read @ 15 jens post...that is a good summation... or do as oldhippie suggested and read smoothies thread with michael hudson quotes and etc...

i think @10 ghostships comments have a lot of merit as well.. there might be a few reasons to want separate russia from europe, or to treat a previous part of russia - ukraine - as more ''european'', or however you want to spin this, but it seems obvious the universal strategy of divide and conquer has never stopped... russia just hasn't rolled over.. that is an unforgivable sin according to chicken hawks running the usa at this point! man the msm and fire all the torpedoes! for all i know they want get install hunter biden for ukraine president like they've unsuccessfully tried with guaido in venezuala.. fact is this kind of crazy insane shit can only go on for so long before a chicken hawk has to come down a notch, or the mandarins on wall st and in washington have to take a pay cut.. if i am going to pay for my childs education at harvard i need those lockheed martin stocks to keep moving up! i can't see anyway around a conflict given all of these pressing considerations! and the fact that killer putin is still in power is the icing on the cake, or whatever that president librul voted for -biden... tells me!

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2021 16:16 utc | 44

J.Swift#38
Nice riff on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'!
Excellent take on the situation as it has unfolded. I agree with your observations re: a change in tone coming Russia and China in regard to their criticizms of the USA. It's likely that they have indeed run the numbers on both how much damage they can absorb and what their counter move would be as compare to the long drawn out decline that seems to be atking forever.

The line (or really one of the several) is when the USA get more directly involved and sustains losses at the hands of Russian forces. Nobody really wants to find out what happens when the The Darkness behind the might of the Pentagram has a hissy fit. The yapping dog might just beable to run the numbers itself and see the outcome as being very disadventageous to itself and it's minions. Who am I kidding, the USA doesn't care a whit about it's minions....

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 2 2021 16:18 utc | 45

Voting for either imperialist party in the US will make little difference in policy toward Ukraine or in most any foreign policy situation. Only the timing of a given aggression is changed. I didn't vote at all in the last election because it is just obvious that we are screwed now. The menagerie of imperialist monkeys in Biden's government is bound to do something in the spirit of maximum hubris. It will require only one more chest-swelling act of bellicose madness, something "kinetic" and terminally stupid.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 2 2021 16:34 utc | 47

I forgot to add at 43 and great comment James.

Russia has the forces in place from Belarus to Crimea that would probably enable it to complete all it needs to do in a couple of hours, leaving the ruins of the Ukrainian forces to the Donbas forces, who are apparently better trained and certainly more motivated, as per the Houtis, to actually do any fighting needed on the ground. This is not about and was never about Russia gaining more territory, just removing the threat of NATO short range missiles targeting Moscow.

So we could see Russia in the Security Council, before many people realised what was going on, declaring that it had no forces in the Ukraine and demanding that the Resolution covering the Minsk Agreement be enforced.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 2 2021 16:35 utc | 48

Ghost Ship @10--

Nice to read a comment from you! However, the Nazi Scum were already present within the USA well before the war even began, particularly within the State and War Departments.

////

Russia has made clear that in no way does it want to "own" the mess the Outlaw US Empire created in Ukraine. Russia is unlikely to intervene unless Donbass is threatened to be overrun, which is rather unlikely. Freedom for heavy vehicle movement won't become possible until May or later, which means if an attack were to begin soon, defense will be even easier due to the channelization of approaches that will make tank killing easy--Knock out the lead two vehicles in a column and nothing can bypass due to the soft ground and the remainder become easy pickings. Oh sure, they can try, but they won't succeed.

NATO also has "hostages" in Syria and Afghanistan, the latter being dependent on Russia for a large portion of their supply chain. On his weekend trip with Shoigu, Putin will have discussed the situation and determined Russia's response. As with Georgia, Ukraine must fire first, and that will be very well documented.

And then there's the domestic situation within the Outlaw US Empire that needs to be factored into the equation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 16:38 utc | 49


Amerika is back!


The US — which contributes millions in both non-military and military aid to Ukraine every year — and its NATO allies do not recognize Russia’s annexation of the peninsula.

So, build up?

Amerika is
BACK ON THE BLOCK...


For those that don't know how God blessed us
Because man messed up, the media dressed up
Lies perpetrated as truth, and it left us
Confused, but I've seen it all before

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 2 2021 16:41 utc | 50

@Posted by: migueljose | Apr 2 2021 15:40 utc | 37

"I wrote in Gabbard."

Odds are extremely high that they shredded your ballot.
Many people aren't aware of that. I don't know the voter laws
for each state (!) but that is my experience. I used to live
in a blue state with a powerful Democratic-machine and they
never allowed the Green Party onto the ballot. They would
count write-in ballots as "used" just so their balance sheet
was reconciled. They would not record the specific candidate
that was voted for, just that your ballot was used. Then they
would shred the write-ins. I have moved to a red state with a
growing blue population. Green Party was allowed on the ballot.
In 2016 it had to be a write-in but the Green Party was "certified"
so the write-ins were (at least according to the law) counted.
In 2020 the Green Party was actually on the ballot so I just
checked a box, no write-in.

I am not saying that my red state is any better than the blue state,
in the red state they would *want* the blue candidates to lose
votes to the Green Party.

By the way, migueljose, how is your experience with the J&J vaccine going?
We ***finally*** found available J&J and have an appointment for next week.

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 16:49 utc | 51

Chevrus @29, J Swift @38 JohninMK @48.. nice exchange! i happen to share a similar view as well... this time the response might be quite different..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2021 16:51 utc | 52

i see i am again banned at pats site, lol.. as the stomach turns....

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2021 16:53 utc | 53

@elephant | Apr 2 2021 15:28 utc | 32

I believe you are right. A war is unlikely, but with madmen in Washington you never know. Some of them would like to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 55

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2021 15:46 utc | 39

Looks to me like some spoiled young kids trying to have a feast.

@2:39 undressing yourself to virtue-signal resistance doesn't prevent you from getting hit by a horse I guess.

Posted by: v | Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 56

But, Russia is moving substantial troops and equipment to the Ukrainian border to deter the Kiev authorities from invading the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) - so this is real not a made-up story (it is not what 'normal' troop movements as the b's article implies). Russia is drawing a red line and it should be seen as such!

Russia's actions will probably be enough to dissuade Kiev but what have they got to lose? The Kiev regime is failing, its economy is in freefall, disaster beckons - a glorious military defeat might be considered preferable to inevitable social and economic collapse.

Kiev may also have well-founded belief that the US/West will be forced to support them militarily to keep the secrets of western involvement in the downng of MH17 out of Russian hands.

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 2 2021 17:08 utc | 57

Thank you for all the compliments. I am not and will not be angry with librul for more than one moment, in the past. Same Biden/Trump barbs are tossed daily on a face to face basis. It has become how Americans are.

Ghostship does make some good points. Not theoretical to me. Here in Chicago FuhrerTag is still celebrated at many bars. Large group sings of Horst Wessex song occur for a variety of occasions. When at University of Illinois (70s) there was a sizable contingent of OUN children in the History Department. They freely Indulged in Sieg Heil and Slava Ukraina to greet each other publicly. There was also an Ustache contingent who did return to Croatia, not to fight but to govern. Shall we say that these groups were insane. Some did go to military careers.Some did go to State Department. Some did go to think tanks. If the subject is Russia clinical insanity is not a career impediment in America.

For two days I owned the Rainbow, Bugsy Siegel’s old joint 1900 N. Damen. . That was Ukrainian Village. My money was refunded. The alternative was death. Yes, they put guns in my face. Yes, they could do that. No, I do not like these people.

None of us predicts future with any accuracy. Will keep pointing out that downsides for Russia will vanish with victory. They have a lot of choices in how they could construct that victory. Every choice US/NATO has available is nothing but a defeat.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 17:15 utc | 58

Oldhippie@20:

Thanks for that note.

It is a very important reminder as to how insane and mindless the neo con hatred is of Russia and Putin. It is indeed alarming that this rabid hatred controls the neo cons and what passes for us foreign policy. How can on expect rational policy when the people in charge are completely irrational.

Link to the article:
http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/04/they-neocons-may-have-anger-issues.html#disqus_thread

If nothing else, just note the quote in the article from Hudson-it is beyond alarming as to the description by hudson of the mindless and controlling irrationality of the neo cons in the dimo biden admin!

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Apr 2 2021 17:17 utc | 59

@Mina | Apr 2 2021 15:46 utc | 39

Shocking. I am glad to see such brave people! The police are brutal fascists. Shocking.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 17:19 utc | 60

Nukes

"If Ukraine attacks the eastern provinces, there will be a repeat of Georgia 2008. The Russian counter will be ferocious."
- Prof ( @Posted by: Prof | Apr 2 2021 15:27 utc | 31 )


Nukes - in Georgia 2008 Russia warned that:
if Georgia (Israel/US of MIC) used smart weapons against Russian troops
then
Russia would use tactical nukes against Georgia (Israel/US of MIC) troops.

**During** the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics
Georgia had invaded South Ossetia.

The US and Israel had trainers and support personnel in the thousands present
in Georgia at that moment. Georgia had to fight with both hands tied behind it's
back because the battle plan was now null-and-void. The US chickened out and
didn't want it's personnel turned to saw dust. No smart weapons, no workable battle plan.

Nukes

The US of MIC puppet in Georgia had started it.
None of that stopped the US from crying "foul" and whining for years to come.
Just like the 2014 coup in Kiev ( "the most blatant coup in history" )
the US (plus all the attendant EU jellyfish) pointed the finger at Russia as the aggressor.
No matter how things play out in Ukraine the message from the US and EU is already predicted.


**During** the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics
the Israeli led and supplied Georgian army invaded South Ossetia (the US had a similar investment).


War in Georgia
April 3, 2011
Israeli media discoveries about Israeli involvement
by Wolfgang Freisleben
For the last seven years Israeli companies have prepared Georgia for the war against Russia – by arms deliveries, training of troops and the creation of elite units. Israeli media already disclosed Israel’s involvement in the preparations of Georgia’s attack on Russia, while the war was still going on. For the first time the number one and number four weapon exporting nations in the world openly joined forces in the military invasion of a third country. “We have two Israeli ministers in our gouvernment. All questions of war and peace are decided on by Israeli Jews”, that is how Georgian President Mikheil Saaka­shvili was cited by the Israeli daily newspaper “Haaretz” on 15th August. He referred to Minister of Defence David Kezerashvili and Minister for Territorial Integration Temur Yakobashvili. Both of them speak Hebrew fluently and apparently arranged the close military co-operation between Georgia and Israel. Largely due to arms sales Israel became the main investor in Georgian economy.
At the beginning of the war on 7th August Israel was eager to point out that at least two private Israeli mercenary and security firms, Defensive Shield and Global CST, had completed their contracts for training the Georgian army and that their personnel consisting of several hundred advisors had left the country together with their subcontractors at the end of July, just in time before the Georgian attack was launched a couple of days later.
The owner of Defensive Shield is Reservist Brigade General Gal Hirsch. Reservist Major General Israel Ziv serves as manager of Global CST. Gal Hirsch gave advice to the Georgian military about the formation of elite units modelled on the Israeli Sayeret Matkal Units, as well as about rearmament.

Note that General Gal Hirsch mentioned above was in charge of the border between Israel and Lebanon in 2006 where the false-flag by Israel
was sprung. The false-flag set off the 2006 invasion of Lebanon by Israel.

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 61

I watched a video by Alexander Mercouris China Warns Ukraine on Crimea Ties which shows how coordinated this present crisis may be, as Washington may be maneuvering its Ukrainian proxy into nationalizing a corporation there that manufactures a variety of turbine engines, built to power both warships and aircraft. Zelensky is applying pressure on both China and Russia at once. The Russians have overcome some manufacturing problems and have had to build up their own stocks of turbines for military use. Responding to Zelensky's seizure of their assets and investments in Ukraine, the Chinese have sent an economic mission that involves serious investments in Crimea .

A coordinated threat to the culturally Russian Donbas and Lugansk region and the nationalizing of Chinese assets will place China and Russia again on the same path in their diplomatic response. It would not be a surprise if China officially recognizes Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 2 2021 17:25 utc | 62

@59 etc

To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone - they embrace the role of paranoid imperialist because that's a relatively accessible way to get funded in the DC policy world. The striking thing is the hubris - they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

Gun powder smell and war porn, but don't you worry, it just won't happen.

To cheer up the mood a bit, Butina went to see Navalny in prison and compares the detention center in Pokrov, Vladimir Region, to her stay in a US Federal Prison. Like a scout camp she says. Plus Montecristo does not look that bad, actually he looks just fine..

https://www.rt.com/russia/519977-butina-prison-visit-navalny/

Posted by: Paco | Apr 2 2021 17:38 utc | 64

@Posted by: ptb | Apr 2 2021 17:35 utc | 63

"To be fair, the neocon's feel that way about everyone"

Did you consider the article linked to @59?

Michael Hudson quote from the article, for your consideration.
(take it or leave it)


The Americans want war. The people that Biden has appointed have an emotional hatred of Russia. I’ve spoken to government people who are close to the Democratic Party, and they’ve told me that there’s a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from the fact that the Tzars were anti-Semitic and there’s still the hatred about their ancestors: “Look what they did to my great-grandfather.” And so they’re willing to back the Nazis, back the anti-Semites in Ukraine. They’re willing to back today’s anti-Semites all over the world as long as they’re getting back at this emotional focus on a kind of post 19th-century economy.

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 17:44 utc | 65

Just to add to my post @57.

Russia doesn't need "troops" to defend Donetz and Luhansk; Russian can destroy Ukrainian forces using stand-off weapons and then DNR and LNR forces can easily cope with what remains. Russian doesn't need forces to "occupy" Donetz and Luhansk because these areas will remain under the control of the republics. What Russia needs "troops" for is to advance and capture Kiev and this is what Russia's troop deployments threaten. If the conflict starts in Ukraine then Russia will demonstrate its ability to do whatever it wants in all areas of Ukraine; then Russia will withdraw and leave what is left for the West/EU and US to deal with.

Rationally, nothing will happen because Kiev will be deterred. But, many elements in the Kiev regime may desire war because they believe the West will (because they "have to") support them (or, as I already said, glorious defeat may seem preferable to the slow-burn collapse of their regime). The US/West may encourage Kiev because they are posturing for war and the plandemic is envisaged as the best time for such an event (I feel the likelihood of this is underestimated), or compelling a demonstration of Russian "aggression" may have overriding propaganda value (regardless of the outcome for the Kiev regime) for their own populations (everyone can really hate on Russia for the next 10 years - hate is a great unifier).

Posted by: ADKC | Apr 2 2021 17:51 utc | 66

Pity poor Ukraine if they or their U.S. sponsors induce Russia to engage in hot warfare. There may be nothing left in the country worth having. It is very unlikely that the U.S. itself will get sucked into what would certainly be a military humiliation. The Ukrainian people will pay the full price on their own, while the military-industrial complex will rub their hands in glee at the prospect of new weapons sales.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 2 2021 18:02 utc | 67

oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 13:40 utc | 20

"...And this is because Zbig [Brezinski] is a Polish aristocrat with lost family estate on outskirts of Lvov. Any fool knows emigre info is useless and emigre aristocrat most useless of all."

Brezinski's keyboard was hacked before age 3; its output foreordained by unknown sources he mis-owned as "self". A well-oiled robot producing brilliant compositions of high-quality, effective communication promoting madness and contagious ruin of non-aristos.

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 2 2021 18:09 utc | 68

Ukrainian observers think that perhaps Zelensky concocted a fake escalation to force Biden to call him. Because not getting a phone call from the new boss for 2+ months into the new administration was getting embarrassing, internally.

Apparently Poroshenko did something similar in 2017.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Apr 2 2021 18:15 utc | 69

So Alfie, What's it all about?

Geoeconomics and Market Weight and it's not behind a paywall. Escobar intones:

"As it stands, Russia is very much focused on limitless possibilities in Southwest Asia, as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made it clear in the 10th Middle East conference at the Valdai club [Link at Original]. The Hegemon’s treats on multiple fronts – Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Nord Stream 2 – pale in comparison."

Awhile ago, I posted the following acutely correct adage: The USA treats business as war, while treating war as business. I added what Coolidge was misquoted as saying in 1925--The business of America is business (He actually said, “the chief business of the American people is business.”) So when the POTUS says its just business, you should prepare for war.

Back to the linked article. While reading it ought to be easy to see why the BRI interconnectivity is seen as a huge threat to the two Outlaw Maritime Empires--UK/US--who initially set forth the parameters of the Great Game. (BTW, Lavrov's Great Game program interview English transcript is now complete.) They have no seat at the table whatsoever. You'll also see why the Outlaw US Empire will try to remain in Afghanistan forever as well as the reason why it can't admit the real reason for being there--to interdict the BRI and the development boom it promises to bring to a great many impoverished people throughout Eurasia. Talk about Human Rights!

But it looks like all the Empire's efforts will amount to little more than a mosquito attacking an elephant for there's no way it can stop BRI or Eurasian integration; at best, it can merely delay it and earn the enmity of the planet, including its own people. Clearly, India will cease its role in the Quad as staying locks it out from what it needs most--development that uplifts its impoverished tens of millions. And the loss of India means the certain loss of the Great Game for the Outlaw Empire.

In the grand scheme of things, Ukraine is merely a tsetse fly as is NATO ultimately. The real prize lies with the geoeconomic riches BRI and Eurasian Integration will generate and being a partner with it, not an adversary.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 70

Ghost Ship: That same Nazi scum that the OSS/CIA brought into the US after WW2 was also involved in the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, and probably Malcolm X.

In the last several years the CIA and other intel agencies have cemented their control of the US that is now a fascist rogue state that is marching the American people into a war with peer powers. As usual the American people will believe US elites telling them the war is started by a foreign power. Americans around me are blind as bats. And they think I'm dumb for not taking experimental mRNA vaccines.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Apr 2 2021 18:16 utc | 71

@ptb (63) "...they're just going to fight everyone all at the same time and it will somehow be okay in the end, no cost to them."

Correct, there will be no personal physical cost to them, as in getting maimed or killed in a war. But on the other side of the ledger, the profits that flow to the MIC are massive, and many, if not most of the neocons are in some way connected to it, either by consultancy, think-tank positions, corporate board positions, TV sinecures, etc. In other words, they are cashing in big-time on their political views and policy recommendations.

Posted by: Rob | Apr 2 2021 18:17 utc | 72

I think it is clear that this military buildup is in response to moves by failing empire to have a proxy war in Ukraine.

Will it result in an actual conflict or just be more posturing like bullying but without Trump's teeth?

What I want to know is the tell from the Iran meeting today to the US to remove sanctions first...is that really going to happen and how will US respond?

Are we at the cusp of the fast portion of this shit show? I certainly hope so. Lets watch all those spinning plates of jackboot empire come crashing down around the world. That would be a good Easter gift, eh juliania?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 2 2021 18:31 utc | 73

All of this is to be expected after weeks and weeks of UAF buildup along the Donbass border. In fact, they've been shelling villages in the Donbass for some time now since they re-instigated aggression in February. Even today they were shelling the infamous Donetsk airport. On top of that you've got US aerial vehicles flying around the Black Sea right underneath Crimea and next to Krasnodar. Kiev's posturing has signaled their supposed willingness to attack the Donbass and attempt to retake Crimea, so Russia's reaction to protect Russian citizens would be entirely reasonable.

The defense ministers of Ukraine and the United States held their second conversation in a month and a half on the situation in Donbass. According to Andriy Taran, the Americans promised Kiev "support measures" in the event of a direct military conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The US will not come to the aid of Ukraine. That is a pipe dream, pun intended.

Posted by: Kapusta | Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 74

@JohninMK et al:
On the surface this seems to be a continuation of the provocation game, which has been the tactic since the beginning. The Ukies are definitely upping the ante by threatening Crimea. I can only assume that they are deep into thinking wishfully that the USA will "come to rescue" when they poke the bear. But in both their cases I have to wonder: with WHAT? The Ukies dont have an effective army as demonstrated by mass defection and surrender last bout. Other than "punishment battallions" there do not seem to be many troops willing to fight. As for the USA, they are not shock troops, they are an occupation force. So then is it to be some sort aerial ballet of stand-off weapons over the skies of the Donbass??

As stated above, the Western MSM is going to shriek like flock of terrified Karens no matter what Russia does so they may as well earn it. My mind wanders over the demonstration of the Iskander in Syria most recently. Ten or so of those simultaneously in the right places would bring a Ukrops offensive to sudden halt if there were the will to do so.....

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 2 2021 18:38 utc | 75

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 16:49 utc | 51
re: j&j vaccine after 3 and a half weeks we are feeling good. no known side effects. Best of luck librul.

Posted by: migueljose | Apr 2 2021 18:39 utc | 76

No military solution, but is it the purpose?

Eurasian is Europe+Asia.
Really basic.
In order to be connected [Belt&Road], need to cross Poland or Ukrain.

Any even limited "war" will involve [even if France & Germany not really volonteer],... Poland.
Russia don't need any Pyrrhic victory


If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.

According to Plutarch

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 2 2021 19:09 utc | 77

Today's Martyanov Blog is really good and incorporates some of Hudson's views, this being most prescient:

"But behind all of that is a systemic and irresolvable crisis of financial predatory capitalism, which goes under different monikers, but remains the same, as Michael Hudson astutely put it--the parasite finally ate the host. In this case, the neocon insanity in the US is merely a private symptom of a larger ailment."

The earlier longer excerpt he includes is also worth experiencing--it was from the latest discussion with Escobar. I suggest reading it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 19:10 utc | 78

Bernard F. @77--

Did you bother to consult the maps within Escobar's article I linked @70? I suggest you do so!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 19:13 utc | 79

"Zelensky recent declaration of intent to interdict in Crimea"


doc

Posted by: Per/Norway | Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 80

@karloff
Ok for South Road Alternative, but Afghanistan + Türkei.

The efficient train track cross Poland.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 2 2021 19:24 utc | 81

OT (We need an open thread...)
Brussels, ongoing situation today and calls for more such gatherings elsewhere in Europe
NB: check the stats to see how many -25 y old ppl died of covid...Is it better they die from suicide? drugs?
The place is big enough, and IN OPEN AIR.
https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/detail_covid-et-tension-a-bruxelles-la-police-securise-les-entrees-du-bois-de-la-cambre-et-du-au-parc-du-cinquantenaire?id=10733589

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2021 19:27 utc | 82

To the degree that “who did you vote for?” is still important to this discussion (and I realize I am late to that particular party, old hippie/librul/others) I have learned to answer one of two ways.

If feeling obstinate, I inform the questioner that, so far, we still have the tradition of secret balloting in this country.
If feeling more informative, I respond that I proudly voted against Kamala Harris.

It is no longer surprising that no matter which reply I give, the questioner tends to assume I voted for the alternate to their favorite.

Posted by: NotBob | Apr 2 2021 19:30 utc | 83

Today's Strategic-Culture Editorial speaks for me, and I'd bold it all:

"What Washington and its allies are doing is trampling over international law and kicking it to the curb. Their conduct is that of rogue states who perceive themselves to be above the law, entitled to act in whatever way they please with no accountability.

"Ironically, and sickeningly, the Americans, Europeans, Canadians, Australians and other partners, talk loftily about respecting "values' and 'rules-based international order'. They are the ones who are trashing any semblance of order. It is these NATO powers that have launched numerous criminal wars of aggression without any mandate from the UN Security Council. They have carried out covert regime-change operations which have unleashed mayhem and terrorism. They impose unilateral sanctions on nations suffering from NATO’s intrigues, such as Syria and Venezuela. They run assassination programs and torture-renditions to black sites around the world. Their troops kill Afghan civilians in cold blood after kicking down their doors in the middle of the night. The United States rips up nuclear arms control treaties with Russia, while sailing warships into Chinese territory."

So, under the tenets of International Law, both Russia and China have the right to counter-attack and have. But the initial law breaking by the Outlaws must be stopped, and it appears they must be forced to do so. And since two of the Outlaws sit on the UNSC, using that organizations Article 7 powers won't do the job as the Veto will be invoked. IMO, the only alternative is to turn to the UNGA and ask it to override the deadlocked UNSC and warrant the arrest of the Outlaws by all UN member states wherever they may be.

I hope barflies take the time to read the editorial as it ends with an excellent news item that's more than apt for our times.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 19:32 utc | 84

@31 Prof. Well said sir..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2021 19:35 utc | 85

John Mearsheimer explains it all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4

Posted by: abee | Apr 2 2021 19:42 utc | 86

There is a digital build-up going on in Russia, probably as important as the military one, rutube.ru has been launched and it looks good even though for the time being looks like Russian only. At the same time a new and higher fine for Twitter but birdie does not notice, at all, so there are rumors of a definite block out in mid April. Decoupling, that's the way to avoid infection.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 2 2021 19:54 utc | 87

@ karlof1 | Apr 2 2021 19:32 utc | 84 with the confirmation of my shit show name to the American circus we are watching. I read somewhere that one of Biden's dogs bit someone which is a bit worse than shitting on the White House carpet....but I digress

It is grand to watch these geo-political developments after watching this shit show for 50+ years. I never thought I would live to see the day that global private finance owners were challenged like we are seeing and it warms my heart.

And to those writing that this wouldn't be happening under Trump's watch I call a hearty BULL SHIT! The folks operating the levers behind the world curtain have not changed and Trump bullying did not work out as well as hoped for so we are back to whatever one calls this Blinken, Winkin (Harris) and Nod (Biden) team

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 2 2021 19:59 utc | 88

Zelensky is making de-escalation noises. Bit late for that. Should this all ratchet down it will be the end of Zelensky. Bear in mind he is there only because there is no one else. As an actor and a comedian he has been impersonating a President. He did that for the sitcom cameras and then he did it in real life.

It will also be the last time Ukraine ever pretends to field an army. Conscripts will make their way home somehow, they won’t be played again. Heavy equipment and ammo will be auctioned off cheap to any who can arrange transport. Transport will be questionable, arms will be sold very cheap.

Ukraine army is heavily larded with mercs and Wahabi jihadis from all over the planet. Idiots could still start something big even if the “leadership” calls it off. Shelling has been happening all day up and down the line. Artillery is mostly mercs. Russia is holding fire so far, one shell chances to fall on a concentration of Russian troops and it is on.

Poles and other idiots could also blow this up. Way too many moving pieces and no one in charge, either in Kiev or Washington.

If this excitement just ends Ukraine will go from a comic opera government to no government at all. Russia will move in for humanitarian reasons. Western Ukraine will die or flood to Europe.

Posted by: oldhippie | Apr 2 2021 20:08 utc | 89

I see we are back to the "fog of war".
There has been artillery/mortar fire around Horlivka and elsewhere. (50 shells) These mortar attacks were conducted by the 58th motorised rifle brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the areas of Avdeevka and Pervomaisky.
A Global Hawk is presumed to have flown over both Donetsk and Luhansk - various altitudes to test the Russian radars. This is the same type that was shot down by Iran. Maybe the US wants to order a few more replacements?
One vid that is supposed to show a train full of Tor systems of the 56 airborne has already been debunked as filmed a long way away on the other side of Russia, (The 56th do not have Tors)

It is clear that there is a definite push to provoke a Russian reaction. The threats about Crimea mean that any movement in that area will be taken seriously, as "several" high ranking Russian Generals have arrived there. Russian Generals lead from the front, not the back as do the UK or US versions. (see Syria)

It is the details that are showing that this will escalate (Burning houses and villages) and civilians in bunkers. I was going to show you the picture of an old man still in the firing area, because he has nowhere else to go. Someday the human cost must be counted.

***

Interesting tie ups with the BRI and Afghanistan from Karlof1's post @70. One mention of a canal between the Sea of Azof and the Caspian, via Russsia. The "anything but Suez" canal?

More than that, I realised that the Saudi Arabian NOEM (Straight Line road) across the Gulf of Aqaba to Sharm el-Sheik, will eventually give it access to the Med via Egypt and Africa, without going through Israel. (Or Lebanon, Syria or Turkey)

Syria is in a mess because of lack of fuel. Their stolen fuel is/was bought by Israel cheaply. Are you sure that the EverGiven WAS an accident?

*****

Biden has Zelenskys back - if he is thinking of his back pocket there is nothing left in it.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 90

Russia should parachute drop bottles of booze all up and down the forward lines of the Ukes.
And keep the rounds coming day and night.

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 91

The idiocy, the hubris, the arrogance. Russia a buildup on its own territory is the worry of some stupid clueless fuck in Washington or Brussels.
In other news, Mexico is worried by US buildup of armed forces in Texas, Russia by a buildup of US forces all around its vast perimeter.

Posted by: bjd | Apr 2 2021 20:16 utc | 92

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 2 2021 19:59 utc | 88

whatever one calls this Blinken, Winkin (Harris) and Nod (Biden) team. Can't resist adding a bit to it;

Blinkin, "Kalamity" (Harris) and Noddy.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 2 2021 20:24 utc | 93

I'm sure oldhippie means that if the Ukies are subservient enough to the US to actually attack, this will almost certainly be reminiscent of Georgia (rather than just some cruise missile strikes, as some had speculated). The buildup means Russia is prepared to sweep into the Ukraine, and probably make a special point of killing as many Nazi battalions as possible, along with any Ukie troops who don't surrender quickly enough. I don't see them entering Kiev, just like they didn't try to take Tblisi, but I imagine they will try to take most of the pro-Russian territory in the East and possibly even South, until Kiev begs for a cease-fire (just like last time), but this time the conditions of cease fire will likely be much more strongly enforced, and then I would imagine Russia will try to establish some assemblage of peace-keeping troops from countries they can trust (maybe Shanghi Coalition?) so that they can withdraw their troops as soon as possible, for political reasons. Not that it will help, but then again, I think Russia sees they'll be damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they might as well do it. But they damn sure don't want to take ownership of the Ukraine, just like they didn't want to own Georgia.

A fair and balanced analysis, as far as it goes.

We must remember the Stavka is in charge....

What makes the most sense to them??? Where should the cease fire line be??? The best place to put it is the midline of the Denieper River. It is a natural boundary. It is wide enough so anything less than 155 mm artillery can't reach across. It resolves permanently water supply to Crimea.

NATO will use this action to censure, villify, and sanction Russia. She might as well get something for that.

Will this happen?? Last year, I'd say no.... but now.... anything goes...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Apr 2 2021 20:26 utc | 94

@Arius Armenian, 71

The experimental mRNA injections are not vaccines. They do not give immunity or prevent transmission. Their purpose is to mitigate symptoms so that the sick person does not get sick enough to require hospitalisation and emergency approval was given on that basis.

Posted by: cirsium | Apr 2 2021 20:58 utc | 95

More bloodletting at the US Capitol. Shouldn't the US settle the war at home before launching another one or two wars abroad?

Posted by: Jay-Ottawa | Apr 2 2021 21:06 utc | 96

I thought Biden would not start a war until next year to save the 2022 mid-term elections. My speculation is that Merkel is standing firm on Nord Stream 2 so the Biden administration is going to use the Ukrainians to start up a war against Russia to physically shut down the construction of the pipeline and introduce sanctions like against SWIFT, Aeroflot, etc.

Posted by: Erelis | Apr 2 2021 21:07 utc | 97

Reports of use of Bayraktars TB2 in Donbass:

https://twitter.com/theragex/status/1378091551671398406?s=21

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2021 21:20 utc | 98

Roger @28 said;"The Dems and Republicans are two heads of the same hydra, voting for one or the other is a charade played on the American people and is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The US is a state run for the benefit of the economic elite that owns the media and from which the political elite is chosen/sponsored and which is aligned with the military elite. Presidents will come and go, policy pretty much stays the same, its the same as CEOs of corporations - if they don't follow profit maximization they will be booted out."

Absolutely.

@ 22 should read the above, and check out Gazza @ 24, to see who has who surrounded...

Oh, and quit dreaming about Trump, liberal, him and Biden work for the same people..

Posted by: vetinLA | Apr 2 2021 21:21 utc | 99

Belarus armoured column towards Ukraine border:

https://twitter.com/neccamc1/status/1378094360873594885?s=21

Are things escalating fast??

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2021 21:25 utc | 100

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