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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Putin phones Merkel Macron. Who in months prior said nothing re Minsk....and no word from them since the phonecall. Lavrov has already called them a waste of time back in Jan. They wiil.just shrug their shoulders. Z has already laid the ground earlier with the new Defence policies...over last couple years the reorganisation of ukraine military (check website) to align with Nato has been to arrive at this pointa....Z held a brainwashing propaganda G20 envoy meeting stating they will take back Crimea but still want a peaceful solution to occupied territories now declared an international armed conflict. Clearly lies but they will believe in this foolishness but most want the sanctions re Crimea Navalny anyways so pare part of the plot.Clearly all is planned and consolidated with USA Nato CIA Pentagon etc .Clearly these parties have no use for Merkel and Macron either. Maybe Putin has laid this all out to them.....they are worthless and pointless.

Posted by: Jo | Apr 2 2021 21:31 utc | 101

Presidential elections loom. Zelensky is swirling faster and faster around the white porcelain, the vortex drawing him closer to his malodorous karmic home...

This Kabuki was performed by Zelensky to inflame passions and fill the Ukrainian (and Western) media discourse.

To avert eyes from the real outrage.

To skate over Zelensky also signing an order allowing the privatisation of Ukrainian Government owned assets.

Shhh! Please....not a word. LOOk - over there => Russians! With guns!


Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 2 2021 21:36 utc | 102

@Lozion | Apr 2 2021 21:25 utc | 100

It is snowing in that video. I suspect it does not snow in Belarus now?

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:38 utc | 103

@86 Re: John Mearsheimer

Mearsheimer is an interesting cat. His whole conception of international relations seems to be that it is necessarily zero-sum, and that the general model is that of US regional hegemony, as in the Monroe Doctrine in the 19th century and the frankly neocolonial relationship that exists today. (and he makes no attempt to dress it up as anything other than the brute power relations). His thesis is that there must be a conflict, and that the US will successfully get all of China's neighbors to join the US in opposing the rise of China. Importantly, if you go back to look at talks he gave and how they've evolved in the last 15 years, Mearsheimer included Russia in his "anti-China balancing coalition" list, up until 2013-2014. More recent talks have him leaning essentially on Japan, Australia, and India, with South Korea and ASEAN determined to avoid picking sides as Mearsheimer would have it, and most of central Asia, plus Iran and Pakistan, already on the Chinese side.

I also take issue with Mearsheimer's singular focus on the regional-hegemony model, although I think it does provide good insights into the thinking behind US policy. But in reality, there have been long stretches of history, European history in particular, where there was in fact a balance of power on the regional level, not to mention on the global level.

Besides that, with significant numbers of nuclear weapons, the historical analogies of the first half of the 20th century pretty much go out the window. No decisive war between superpowers is possible, except by accident, and in that case it will not be decisive in the way he means. It's all proxy conflict from the 1950s on. And when it comes to proxy conflict, the clear imperative for third parties, from the history of the last 70 years, is to avoid becoming a proxy battleground.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 2 2021 21:40 utc | 104

(Update 1512ET): The Capitol Shooter (sic) has been identified as 25-year-old Noah Green, originally from Indiana but who may have moved to Virginia. He recently lost his job and posted to Facebook that he was 'seeking spirital help.' NBC's Pete Williams confirmed his identity.

NBC's Pete Williams reports on @MSNBC: The suspect in Capitol Police incident is a 25 year old Indiana man named Noah Green. May have lived in Virginia. On his Facebook page, he notes that he is a follower of the Nation of Islam. Suspect is now dead.
— Jesse Rodriguez (@JesseRodriguez) April 2, 2021

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 21:43 utc | 105

@librul | Apr 2 2021 21:43 utc | 105

Is this the local distraction away from events in Donbass?

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106

Meanwhile Biden’s son Hunter, the “smartest guy” his father knows, has his feet firmly in his mouth in excerpts from an interview this Sunday about his 💻 that was full of underage porn & business dealings involving his father when VPOTUS.

Will the media still try to bury this, or is it time to replace old Joe?

ZH does a good job tee Ukraine v Russia today:

Posted by: PJB | Apr 2 2021 21:50 utc | 107

Nato Hq Brussels....Stolten with Ukr Prime minister

And where we have been able to now, today, conduct a very constructive meeting discussing how we can further strengthen the partnership between NATO and Ukraine. Ukraine is already today one of NATO’s closest and most important partners. You have provided troops to NATO missions and operations. Including in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as for the NATO Response Force. We value these contributions, which demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic security. That is why Ukraine is now an Enhanced Opportunities Partner for NATO.  This status will further allow us to deepen our cooperation. ....
.....  NATO also continues to provide strong practical support to Ukraine. This includes more exercises, port visits, and information sharing on the Black Sea region. Just some days ago, the US Navy destroyer USS Porter trained with Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea. And Spanish aircraft are currently conducting NATO air policing in the region. NATO’s support for Ukraine also covers areas such as command and control, countering explosive devices and medical rehabilitation of service members. Including with a pledge of more than 40 million euros to different Trust Funds........

Posted by: Jo | Apr 2 2021 21:51 utc | 108

weather in minsk is around zero at night at present, so snow is entirely possible here and now..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2021 21:57 utc | 109

elephant #7

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

Except for the fact that the Ukraine is under the command of fascist lunatics with their SS insignia proud and loud on their uniforms.

The war with fascism never ended, it was postponed in 1945 while they colonised South and North America.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 2 2021 22:06 utc | 110


During a meeting with Defense Minister of Ukraine Andriy Taran and the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the defense attaches of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom assured Ukraine of the support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. “US, Canada’s, and UK Defense Attaches met with Minister of Defense [of Ukraine] Taran, Deputy Minister Petrenko, Deputy Minister Polishchuk, Joint Forces Commander Lieutenant General Naiev, and Colonel Budanov,” the U.S. Embassy posted on Twitter. The Embassy assured Ukraine of support in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity: “We stand with Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity and are watching the situation in Ukraine closely.”

Posted by: Jo | Apr 2 2021 22:07 utc | 111

@Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:49 utc | 106

Could be.

The story is number one or two all over the place (The Hill, Politico, Reuters, The Washington Times,...).

No mention of Ukraine except perhaps in minor side stories.

"Biden holds first call with Ukrainian president amid Russian buildup"


04/02/2021 09:39 AM EDT

Updated: 04/02/2021 11:24 AM EDT

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on Friday morning for the first time since Biden took office, amid reports of a Russian military buildup in eastern Ukraine that has alarmed U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The leaders spoke for 30 to 40 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of the call. A White House readout of the conversation said Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea.”

Posted by: librul | Apr 2 2021 22:08 utc | 112

Norwegian | Apr 2 2021 21:38 utc | 103

I don't see snow there but it has been cool and foggy in Minsk, you can see the historical weather. the question is, when was this video taken?

Posted by: dan of steele | Apr 2 2021 22:15 utc | 113

Thanks, b!
THIS is why I read here.
I can’t add any pithy commentary on this subject, but I very much appreciate your approach to education in regards to the propaganda associated.

Posted by: Cadencecalls | Apr 2 2021 22:52 utc | 114

3 different response to norwegians question on the weather.. we are a generous lot, lol... amazing how internet search engines work...

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2021 22:55 utc | 115

Unfortunately according to The Gaggle, it would seem there will be a military conflict in Ukraine. Despite the U.S/UK saying they will be behind Zelensky I have the feeling that they won’t be there when it all gets vicious. Russia has been biding it’s time and is now ready and resigned to a conflict. I have no doubt they have calculated stratergies should NATO forces get involved. Whether this involves sinking a few NATO ships, downing several aircraft, neutralising several satelites I cannot possibly say but IMO, Zelelnsky’s declaration to invade Ukraine will be his last stand as well as a very acute blow to NATO’s confidence.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Apr 2 2021 22:55 utc | 116

It's hard to believe that the western oligarchs are actually that stupid.
However, it seems that they are dead set to prove to their invisible friends that they actually are.
Really getting weird.

Posted by: Josh | Apr 2 2021 23:56 utc | 117

One thing I have not seen mentioned here or at The Saker is the economic blow Russia could bring by seizing more cropland. I suspect they could seize enough to make up for any lost revenue via the presumed cancellation of NS2, but this will make Ukraine even more of a failed state and put pressure on the US to raise the stakes via Swift or, as one retired general suggested, blockading the Black Sea. The latter is of course utter insanity and I'm not sure Egypt and northern Africa will not want to starve for want of wheat.
Zhelinsky has to know this as well.

Posted by: schmoe | Apr 2 2021 23:57 utc | 118

psychohistorian #73

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.

An equally solid question that Germany and other EU out of the closet fascists need to consider is whether they desire to end up in the same post 1945 smashed, impoverished state yet again and with their remote master too preoccupied and drained of human compassion to bother bailing them out.

I can see Xerxes Biden standing on a podium at the ring fenced Capitol Building (with Queen Elizabeth and Boris calmly seated behind) thanking Europe for its sterling effort to contain Russian aggression and promising to send inflatable hospitals and kitchens to Crete to care for their survivors.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 0:03 utc | 119

One thing I have not been able to get my head around is, what is the idea of lobbing shells into Donetsk neighbourhoods supposed to achieve?

Posted by: arby | Apr 3 2021 0:19 utc | 120

Excellent article by Christelle Néant:

"I would like to remind you for the 1000th time that you only need to read the Minsk Agreements to see and understand that these statements by Kiev are nonsense.

The Minsk Agreements clearly state that Ukraine must discuss with the representatives of certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, i.e. the representatives of the DPR and LPR, and at no time does it say that Kiev must negotiate with Moscow."

Ukraine is a resource-rich failed state in deep economic crisis.

It can't meet its World Bank loan repayment commitments.

It can't steal gas from Russia.

It's best and brightest have fled.

The money for weapons is paid by US taxpayers dupes (paid to the 1% who run America)

The Ukraine Govt. has agreed to privatise anything good currently owned by the Ukrainian people. The family silver, so to speak.

So who will be the ultimate beneficial owners of these valuable assets...?

Once sold out, there is no Putin to force the 1% to hand over 51% control of the 'former' State assets back to the State - even if that 1% were all Ukrainian.

The Western hyaenas want to tear the little remaining flesh off the economic bones of the Ukraine.

They want Russia to invade Ukraine, and so, as an occupying power, have to pay for everything in Ukraine.

Russia has politely refused the albatross, and politely pointed out that the West created the maggot infested rotting corpse, it is their 'prize'. To wear around their neck.

There is no solution beyond the Minsk agreement, still on the table, still signed by Ukraine and its 2 provinces.

Rebuilding a nation needs a leader, not a clown.

Even once the Minsk Agreement is finally implemented, in some form or other, Ukraine will need capital. Who will make such a risky loan?

Russia will, for one.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Apr 3 2021 0:28 utc | 121

The difference is that this time the Ukranazi coup regime and its Amerikastani owners are planning an attack on the Donbass - and exaggerated reports of "fighting Russian troops" are already being made - so this "build up" is to prepare the ground to bland Russia for another "invasion " and to block NordStream II. Jihadi Julian Röpcke of Bild is already full time ranting about it.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 3 2021 0:29 utc | 122

arby @120--

To keep up the pressure via random Terror; rather similar to the way the English elite attacked their own people after defeating Spain and getting a big leg-up in the Imperial Game, although there are no such winnings for Ukie puppets to collect. The sort of Capitalism the Outlaws engage in requires Terror, but few seem to know that salient fact since it's covered up so well. And this is most certainly an Imperial Conflict despite Russia wanting none of the Imperial madness.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2021 0:34 utc | 123

oldhippie #20
librul #22

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

Yes. I looked at the map and there is scope for Kyyiv to be liberated promptly as only 64km from the Belarus border (providing no stop in Chernobyl for piss). Plus some spot destruction of all Uke ammunition storage facilities as a simultaneous gesture of constraint.

Definitely snot all the Uke BUK launch systems on day one lest they attack civilian air traffic again.

A fast sweep east engulfing Kharkiv through to the Dnepr.

To the south, a swift roll to Kakhovka. Then hold that as the Uke SS forces are reduced to manageable rabble.

Is that likely in the next ten days? I guess it could happen in reverse order too.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 0:39 utc | 124

@arby (120)Re: "One thing I have not been able to get my head around is, what is the idea of lobbing shells into Donetsk neighbourhoods supposed to achieve?"

Provocation, they are trying to get the Russians to do something so they can scream about it. Notice that the shelling of Donetsk is not being widely reported, a response would be.

Obviously a conflict is intended, regardless of who initiates it, the press will try to blame the Russians. No they don't want to start WW3 (though they might) they want to make it politically impossible for Nordstream 2 to be completed and to further demonise the Russians. Obviously Europe will get screwed but most European leaders aren't really working for the European people anyway (if you hadn't noticed)

If Nordstream 2 is abandoned, uncompleted or unusable and gas transit through Ukraine is blocked because conflict then Uncle Sam has Europe by the balls (not that we have any) and Europe ends up dependent on overpriced fracked gas from the US and all that that entails. A conflict is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself in this case. Obviously a lot of European politicians understand the plot and don't approve but they have mostly been paying lip service to those shenanigans for years and can't do much about it now.

That is my take anyway, for what it is worth.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 3 2021 0:51 utc | 125


Cynthia Chung sources Prouty in a way no other writer I've read has to date. And the tactics he wrote about in the 1960s that took place in the 1950s are still used today:

"Any country that was observed to hold views that were not aligned with U.S. foreign policy could not simply be invaded in most scenarios, but rather, the ground would need to be prepared to create the justification for a direct military invasion.

"This is one of the roles of the CIA which abides by the motto 'fake it till you make it.'

"Don’t have an actual ‘enemy’ to fight and justify your meddling into another country’s affairs? Not a problem. Just split your paramilitary team into 'good guys' and 'bad guys' and have them pretend fight. Go village to village repeating this action-drama and you will see how quickly the word will spread that there are 'dangerous extremists' in the area that exist in 'great numbers.'

"Prouty described this paramilitary activity, which is called 'Fun and Games,' and how this tactic was also used in the Philippines, resulting in the election of Ramon Magsaysay who was declared a hero against a non-existing enemy. In fact, the Filipino elite units that were trained by the CIA during this period were then brought into Vietnam to enact the very same tactic." [My Emphasis]

How many different provocations have occurred since 2014? How many times has Russia taken the bait? What do you think will happen this time? Did you read Martyanov's blog post I linked to? How about Escobar's excellent essay that explains the table stakes? Where does the Outlaw US Empire have its Terrorist Foreign Legion deployed in Afghanistan? Next to Iran? No! They're as close to China as they can get. Who actually backed the Chechens? The Outlaws of course. And Putin knows quite well. And as Martyanov explains, he knows where the other side lives.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2021 0:57 utc | 126

Josh | Apr 2 2021 23:56 utc | 117

It's hard to believe that the western oligarchs are actually that stupid. However, it seems that they are dead set to prove to their invisible friends that they actually are. Really getting weird.

Not stupid. See Japan 1941. Japanese leaders and advisers knew Japan would lose against the US. Hadda do it anyway.

Posted by: pogohere | Apr 3 2021 0:59 utc | 127

MarkU @125--

Russian LNG already goes to the EU. Russian pipe gas will reach EU via Turk Stream. Nord Stream is financed by a consortium of Russian and EU companies; EU companies stand to take over 50% of the loss. And when you read Escobar's article I linked to way upthread, you'll recognize that Nord Stream in reality is small potatoes in the grand scheme.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2021 1:07 utc | 128

Russia grabbing Ukrainian territory?

I'm doubtful that Russia will take the bait.

Seems to me that USA would be only too happy to cede the money-pit called 'Ukraine' to Russia and to then attempt to make Ukraine into another Afghanistan for Russia by funding a Uki-nazi gorilla war.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 3 2021 1:55 utc | 129

Russia moving military assets Russia. How dare they? An obvious threat to the Fools Based System.
By this measure, as the brilliant parroting MSM bobbleheads would reason, the military bases near the borders of Canada and Mexico mean an invasion is impending.

Posted by: Plato | Apr 3 2021 2:31 utc | 130

@126 karlof1
great link, thanks!

Posted by: ptb | Apr 3 2021 2:50 utc | 131

personally, I'd have no problem whatsoever with Russia seizing at least an additional 1/3 of the Ukraine (in addition to the Crimea, that is, which of course voted to join the Russian Federation), preferably the very productive agricultural Eastern part of the Ukraine...


Just like the US and its proxy forces in Syria have seized 1/3 of the entire country... (and that's not counting the criminal seizes of several major areas in the northwest by the scoundrel Erdogan and his terrorist gangs)

tit for tat, darlings!

of course Russia is too astute to ever say that, but I fully expect that IF there is a war, Russia will easily demolish much of the Ukrainian military in the East, as I expect neither NATO nor the US to get militarily involved, in spite of all the chest thumping by Biden, Blinken, Sullivan and Austin.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 3 2021 2:57 utc | 132

I've been wondering at the hardening of Chinese and Russian diplomatic language lately. Is it possible that part of the coordinated action here is to prepare their populations for real military action against the US?

Certainly, patriotism and national confidence are surging in both countries, and the US assists by showing itself to those populations as being utterly contemptible.

I suppose the diplomats could themselves be caught up in the surge of patriotism, but this seems less likely. It seems more that diplomacy is going on a war footing. So what could be contemplated?

We often spoke of the slap that the US would one day take from someone, and then Iran gave it in January 2020. So what comes next? I often think this next thing is an actual military defeat of some kind, perhaps even involving the death of US soldiers. In some theater somewhere, the US itself needs to be turned back in military defeat, and perhaps even have to agree to terms for ceasefire.

All of this is speculation, but so was the slap until we saw it happen. And the US took it. If the action is well calculated - and it surely would be, by either Russia or China - the US would take this potential defeat also, I'm sure of it. And this would be the crux of all calculations, of course. The US would bluster up a mighty word storm, but not escalate or retaliate.

We can only guess at the future, although undoubtedly the Russian military above all others goes beyond guesswork and makes very serious plans for many contingencies.

I have no idea what will happen in Ukraine, or Syria either, for that matter. But I can't shake the feeling that sooner or later, someone is going to have to punch the bully with a real knockout blow, and leave him too stunned to reach for the nukes. This can be done. But who can say where or when or by whom?

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 3 2021 3:41 utc | 133

@ Grieved | Apr 3 2021 3:41 utc | 133 with the summary of what many of us are waiting for ....thanks for the good scenario

It certainly looks like the stage is being set for that to occur or it could escalate and then the human experiment becomes something else....pray for the aliens to save us if that occurs.

And I am not a good Buddhist, am tired of waiting, and want to see civilization evolve in my lets get it on!!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 3 2021 3:50 utc | 134

Grieved #133

WTF is Zelensky going to do with his massed tonka toys at the Dobass border? Will he really have control of that hyperventilate SS led gang of storm troopers? Would they even listen and obey if he dared to call it off?

Therein lies an immediate danger.

If he calls it off, the SS troopers from Western Ukraine will lynch him.
And no one will really care.
But they will exploit and exploit and pat the next stooge on the back and give him a big limo to ride in.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 3:52 utc | 135

Jackrabbit @129

Russia of course does not want to own a basketcase like Ukraine, but taking additional land as a "buffer" might be a viable response if the US tries to cut them off from Swift or take other radical economic measures, and more cropland gives Russia more leverage. It would be quite something if Russia contributed that extra wheat to Syria.
I do not view this as likely or even wise absent very bad circumstances, but wanted to throw it out as a risk factor that Ukraine needs to keep in mind.

Posted by: schmoe | Apr 3 2021 4:08 utc | 136

uncle tungsten @135--

Zelensky is performing the lone, one-pawn charge gambit that's always stalemated, just like Poroshenko, and he's still alive. They're all thieves at heart and want to live to enjoy their booty. How's the morale of the troops on the line, the canon fodder, who know well the previous results. Let the pawn move if it choses. It will violate a UNSC Resolution and deepen the crisis for itself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 3 2021 4:26 utc | 137

karlof1 #137

That UNSC resolution is exactly the Achilles heel for the USA gambit. Russia could cite that single point and move to restore order and de-escalate. Biden and his clown cart are the scary ugly clowns that do not win hearts and minds and are rapidly losing friends in European parliaments so they use NATO as their trigger mechanism. Truly amazing stuff.

If Zelensky loses control in the next while and the SS team go berserk (IMO highly likely) then Russia will hose it down. Germany and France should team up with Russia to restore order but that would be almost politically impossible for them. Maybe after the shooting dies Germany and France can look after Lviv region and its fascist occupants. They will be comfortable with the locals for sure. That at least might put a cork in it for now.

Trouble is that the belligerent nation on the opposite side of the planet will just keep on shooting, fomenting, triggering, abusing etc.

I am more inclined to think that there will be a simultaneous suite of events in Uke and Syria that will make it too difficult for the Biden team as they are incapable of multitasking. And yes it is one month to go in Afghanistan. So I am thinking that USA is staring at the 2021 Tet offensive over the coming weeks.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 4:44 utc | 138

“The lifting of all American sanctions is the first step to revive Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Araqchi said at the virtual session of the JCPOA Joint Commission on Friday, adding that, Iran will halt retaliatory steps only if it verifies the removal of sanctions by the US.

He made it clear that there is no need to any renegotiation, stressing, “The United States can return to the agreement and end lawbreaking just in the way that it pulled out of it and imposed illegal sanctions against Iran.”

Consistent message from Iran Deputy Foreign Minister bodes well for world order. You can rely on Iran to be certain of its rights and consistent in its message. That is why the JCPOA is such an important agreement to stick to. Tell that to the USA.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 5:10 utc | 139

I’ve been giving thought today about what Russia would do if this thing kicks off. Lots of analysts as well as some commenters here have made a good case that Russia goes in; destroys the ukie army, and leaves. It’s well reasoned and relies on precedent of the Georgia war example, as well as arguments put forward by people like saker that Russia doesn’t need the headache of running Ukraine nor paying for the mess that the west made there. Hang it all around the neck of the collective west. But there is one more element to all this beyond the ulcer that Ukraine has become; beyond atrocities and killings and endless provocations. And that element goes right back to the main motivations of why the US instigated the coup in the first place; to pull Ukraine into the NATO orbit and then place missiles and troops in Ukraine. That is an existential threat to Russia. And Russia can’t allow that.
So let’s say Russia goes in, kicks ass and takes names, and then leaves. A lot of blood spilled, more sanctions, polarized global community, huffing and puffing, and the US scores a propaganda victory in the part of the world still under its control; which is still most of it. Not a great outcome for the risk taken. Let’s say Russia goes in, kicks ass , secures the Donbas up to its proper borders or, better yet, up to the dniepr, and declares this is a new state or this is now part of Russia. Now this is where it gets interesting.
I could see Uncle Sam balefully smiling and saying “ok, you win” and “gee Ukraine, tough break. But, oh hey! You no longer have a territorial issue so here’s an invitation to join nato!” And then proceed to move in troops, place short range or medium range nuclear missiles, throw more sanctions, get ns2 cancelled, etc. Does it really make a measurable difference if those missiles and nato forces are in the Donbas or Kharkov, or just west of Kiev? No, it doesn’t. Russia must guarantee that the threat from that quarter is nullified.

And so I believe that if this kicks off, Russia has to go for broke and settle this entirely in its favor. It rolls up to the western border of Ukraine, and behind that shield, it gets rid of the orc govt, and let’s a friendly Ukraine settle it’s issues and rebuild under Russian auspices, with Chinese money. And hence Putin’s warning abuout the future of Ukrainian statehood. Nothing else makes sense. So there it is, imho; Russia takes it all.

Posted by: Skuppers | Apr 3 2021 5:12 utc | 140

Russian/China juggernaught is why the west is making war moves:

China has dramatically increased the shipment of goods to Europe using the railway infrastructure in Russia and Central Asia, with freight train transport doubling in the first two months of this year after seeing a similar surge in demand between 2019 and 2020, according to official data from China customs. Over 2,000 freight trains ran between China and Europe in January and February of 2021, about double the rate seen from last year.

Freight train shipping via Russia has increased by 50% in 2020 compared to 2019, and has climbed a massive 700 percent since 2016, amid the implementation of China’s Belt and Road initiative to expand trade and integrate Eurasia.

Shorter transit times offered by rail-based shipping, combined with a global container shortage, has made overland transport via Russia and the countries of Central Asia an increasingly attractive proposition for exporters in China, Europe and across Central Asia.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 5:19 utc | 141

@140 Scuppers
Interesting and plausible scenerio. I don't doubt China would love to invest in all that nice agricultural land.

On the flip-side, if NATO were smart they could cede Crimea and Donbas to Russia, cut it's losses, and then say, "Hey, no more internal conflict, the remainder of Ukraine is now NATO.

Since the west doesn't seem to be e able to accept anything other than getting things 100% their way, I doubt that happens.

Posted by: Haassaan | Apr 3 2021 5:37 utc | 142

@ Skuppers | Apr 3 2021 5:12 utc | 140 with the scenario about Russia dealing with the Ukraine that I like because it depicts the line being crossed as strategic and I think the MAD world is at the strategic places in many areas and this is evolving into another.

I see Russia helping kick empire out of Syria and Iraq soon as well.

Empire is continuing to be stymied to the edge of MAD instead of push back the other way.

If this stymy matrix of neutering empire war is successful then the next economic collapse may provide the opportunity for further exposure of why having private folk control the levers/risk management of finance is a bad idea for our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 3 2021 5:42 utc | 143

@haassan On the flip-side, if NATO were smart they could cede Crimea and Donbas to Russia, cut it's losses, and then say, "Hey, no more internal conflict, the remainder of Ukraine is now NATO.

They could but Russia doesn’t claim the dnr. Although they do own Crimea. If Russia does go in, Then there’s no longer any ambiguity of Russian involvement or “aggression” and Ukraine will need to be protected for sure. And if Russia makes it certain that Ukraine has lost half its country indefinitely then the world has it not just from the US perspective, but from the horses mouth, so to speak. This has been an evolving situation from the beginning, and I don’t believe that all options or possibilities were, or ever are, gamed out from the get go. Fog of war and all that. Or, do you believe that the US side is really that prescient, clever, competent, and forward thinking? For my part, I believe that they’re just opportunistic , and factoring in changes of administrations and personnel, theyre making it all up as they go.

Posted by: Skuppers | Apr 3 2021 6:04 utc | 144

I guess what I’m getting at is that we can speculate as to why the US / nato hasn’t done that already and I’d speculate that between different administrations, or kicking the can down the road, or the misguided hope that Russia would fold, the west hasn’t gone down that road. But if it was clear that Russia would never relinquish, and destroys the ukie army, and deprives Ukraine of even more territory, the US might throw in their cards and take what they can get., which would be effective enough.

Posted by: Skuppers | Apr 3 2021 6:17 utc | 145


Right, I should have been more precise and said...cut dnr loose from Ukraine...since it isn't part of Russia.

I think you are right, US side is just opportunistic...but extremely and relentlessly opportunistic...and they create opportunity thru relentlessly creating chaos.

The West is also archetypically speaking, "The Father of Lies". Neverending stream of fabrications and falsehoods spinning deceit and deception, which is partially how they create chaos.

But prescient, clever and competent... absolutely not. In my opinion the west's downfall is being hastened by the inability to see thru the webs of deceit it has woven for others and is now caught in their own hubris without the competency and foresight to see it's way thru the false reality it has spun.

My main concern with taking the whole of Ukraine is the potential to get bogged down in serious, long-term guerilla warfare. Leave the western 15-20% to the Polish Jackals and it would be a different story IMO.

Posted by: Haassaan | Apr 3 2021 6:28 utc | 146

@ Hassan
Absolutely agree.
“I think you are right, US side is just opportunistic...but extremely and relentlessly opportunistic...and they create opportunity thru relentlessly creating chaos. “
That’s so spot on!

“My main concern with taking the whole of Ukraine is the potential to get bogged down in serious, long-term guerilla warfare“
Yeah that’s a real risk. I think the ussr had problems with the OUN up into the 50s with that, right? On the other hand, that problem is less of a problem than nato nukes in Ukraine. I could see Russia leaving lvov and volhynia , Galicia (?) to Poland (god that sounds awful). Or some rump Ukraine that’s far enough west and non consequential. I’m just trying to look at what might be in the heads and the calculus of the Russian leadership and what might be their perception of NATO’s thinking. And I come up with; take no chances, settle this, and if we’re going to intervene, make the outcome meaningful.

Posted by: Skuppers | Apr 3 2021 7:04 utc | 147

One thing to consider. The thugs running things in Kiev are Nazi's. Nazi's like Wagner. Think Gotterdammerung. Think Hitler's bunker.

On a funnier note think this bunker. Take your pick.

Some in Kiev may like to go out like their hero. Question which one(s). The question I think is answered in the link provided at @59. The ones that want to live will do anything to live. Think vital info.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 3 2021 7:17 utc | 148

No wonder Netanyahu has been on edge lately, given the election and court cases. Did I miss anything. (joke). Now you can add this tar baby, Ukraine. They have a few "interests" in the Ukraine as well. Hope he doesn't get any ideas.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 3 2021 7:32 utc | 149

Zelensky thinks he is Hitler

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 8:22 utc | 150

Anatol Lieven has a good article out on the Ukraine issue. It perfectly fits in with my favorite subject of how events are being entirely read according to reputation alignments. Our side is always trustworthy and does not need verification, the other side untrustworthy and can only be accepted when a trustworthy source (our side) confirms it. The mainstream is much better defined by reputation frameworks than by descriptions of lying and manipulation: they trust the power centers. So all the links B. posts here about Russian aggression are generally not from people who 'know the truth but distort it with a clear agenda', it's merely people passing on partisan interpretations from their side.

Reputation frameworks are not limited to mainstream media: Lieven points out that the people in the Pentagon have the same partisan mindset. They also believe whatever our Ukrainian partners say. There is no clean room of people who think entirely in terms of their interests and have full knowledge of what is true and what is false.

We need much more skill in transgressing our reputation frameworks(however valid they are) but an effective improvement would already be to have more interaction between mainstream and 'skeptics' of all kinds. We're moving in the opposite direction in a dramatic manner.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Apr 3 2021 8:38 utc | 151

@ MarkU | Apr 3 2021 0:51 utc | 125

If Nordstream 2 is abandoned, uncompleted or unusable and gas transit through Ukraine is blocked because conflict then Uncle Sam has Europe by the balls (not that we have any) and Europe ends up dependent on overpriced fracked gas from the US and all that that entails. A conflict is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself in this case. Obviously a lot of European politicians understand the plot and don't approve but they have mostly been paying lip service to those shenanigans for years and can't do much about it now.

Yes, Ukrain+Poland is where US can cut Europe from Russia+Asia.
A few days ago, I posted on investments needed in order to delivrer US-LPG to EU. No primary rentability... but only a question of price. Supress competitor for 10 years!

I guess no one here is questioning Putin’s level of knowledge? Nor XI.
Even nor Merkel.
Because Germany will pay the Bill.

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 9:03 utc | 152

@ karlof1
NS1+2 aren't small potatoes.
The only direct link between Russia and Germany.
No "reliable partner"

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 9:27 utc | 153

@ Karlof1 (128)

In the scenario that I described Russian gas won't be getting to Europe by any route.

Posted by: MarkU | Apr 3 2021 9:34 utc | 154

Tom #148

My apologies you got there first. That was serendipity in its finest.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 10:15 utc | 155

Bernard F. #153

NS1+2 aren't small potatoes.
The only direct link between Russia and Germany.
No "reliable partner"

I am intrigued by that remark. Germany is ostensibly a reliable partner. Just when id the German navy going to defend its national, industrial and investor sector from the current round of Polish guerrilla attacks on the construction fleet. Are German households paying for this mismanaged energy crisis?

Its about time Germany stood up for its people and national interests and shoved Poland back in its box. And then ensured its national interest was met.

Has Merkel and the Bundestag got Quisling virus?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 10:24 utc | 156

I'm just ironic.
We [I moved from 🇨🇵 to 🇱🇹] don't need "reliable partner" as Turkey...or France.
France is now "voll Gas" pro Atlantic. Germany is not free but somewhat rational.

Industry and "national firms", with à lot of "not so big" ones [Mittelstand] is not completely swallowed by US. Need energy and Export market, got a lot jointventure in Asia. And play the big role in politics.

And not all germans looking at US with "les yeux de Chimène".

« Qu'il est joli garçon l'assassin de papa. »

Perhaps am I too optimistic. What's about, b.?

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 11:34 utc | 157

Without Russian gas Europe will freeze in the winter. There are no spare LPG tankers out there waiting for trade. It would take decades to build enough new capacity to replace Russian pipeline deliveries to Europe.

The price of LPG would go through the roof. Given the gradual collapse that is going on in US shale it is possible the the US would not be able to supply much of the demand. So who steps into the breach to fulfill demand? Obviously the country with the lowest transit costs, a large reservoir of gas and who is currently cranking up LPG compressor plants. Russia!

Yes, regardless of pipeline or tanker, Russia will inevitably be the main source of Europe's energy. Its just a case of whether they have the balls to say to the US that its non of their business.

This is interesting timing as well. After a harsh winter, Europe bought significantly more gas from Russia than normal for immediate use (pumping NS 1 at 110% of rated capacity) plus it's gas storage is at the lowest it has been for a long time. It now has to rebuild those stores, buying more gas than normal from now until next winter. If this is indeed the start of a period of global cooling, due to sun activity, then Europe is going to need all the gas it can get at the lowest possible price.

All we hear about is gas exports from Russian but it also exports a lot of oil. A major route is a pipeline through Ukraine (no discussion on that ever!) straight into the chemical plants in Germany. The other interesting Russian export customer is the US. Yup, Russia is now the third largest supplier of crude and other oil related products to the US, only beaten by Canada and Mexico and nearly back to 2011 levels.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 3 2021 11:52 utc | 158

Bernard F. #157

Well this is ALL ABOUT Germany is it not? Or is Ukraine and its 'Galicia' army really just wanting to avenge its capitulation to Russia in 1944.

I say that this is all about Germany and Nord Stream 2 and that country is behaving like a docile, occupied satrapy of the UKUSA and its HATE RUSSIA psychosis.

What is going on at home b? Give us some links and insight into the home discourse.

Are the German people incapable of defending their interests and their economy in the face of threats from the UKUSA? I find that hard to believe and it might be time to discuss the role of Germany in defusing this crisis and sitting down with Zelensky and the Polish idiot to enable them to get a clear understanding of what is at stake.

I have no doubt that the Galicia gangs can easily be decimated if that is what it takes but Germany is the nation that needs to assert its interest in peace in the heart of the EU. Germany is the nation that can demand these new 44th SS Grenadier Division 'Galicia' fascists stand down as clearly Zelensky can't. Germany is the nation that can tell the UKUSA to shove off and leave peace making to Europeans and Russians on their terms.

Just make sure that the current Pope refrains from doing the same absolution trick as the 1944 Pope.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 3 2021 12:07 utc | 159

Yes, this is all about Germany and US hegemony as I wrote previously in the Comments.

B needs to write about Germany. What are the key political-economic-military factions and what are the competing strategies of those factions with respect to EU expansion, NATO expansion, Russia, China and US hegemony?

Posted by: Prof | Apr 3 2021 13:08 utc | 160

@uncle tungsten
My opinion:
1) Germany is isolated in EU. Must buy time. As do Putin.
[interesting is Lavrov saying "we don't need to want anymore", something like. One week after US was "anchoraged", China-Iran agreement and his meeting with Chinese counterpart.]
2) Peoples in Germany openly speaking about "looking East" are nailed as far Right. All is underground.
NS2 Achievement or Abandonment will be the revelation.
3) about "Homeland" [France], really no HOPE. No brain, no muscle, no balls, no nothing. Remember Yellow Vests ? One full year in the street and... NOTHING

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 13:25 utc | 161

I look forward to Russian forces (preferably muslim Tartars from the Volga Bend) take Odessa and some good junks of the best soil in the World -- the black soil (chornozol), the real "Good Earth". Then retreating to allow peacekeepers from North Korea and the military farming colonies of Xīnjiāng to re-invigorate the place. Should also solve the food problems of Chosôn (Nrth Korea). Both should be paid in oil at current world prices.

Posted by: Tollef Ås اس طلف | Apr 3 2021 13:55 utc | 162

JohninMK @Apr3 11:52 #158: Given the gradual collapse that is going on in US shale

The "collapse" that has allowed the banks to take possession of fracking companies? LOL.


uncle tungsten @Apr3 12:07 #159: Well this is ALL ABOUT Germany is it not?

No. They have said all along that relying on Russia for energy is a security issue. As such NATO will subsidize LNG imports. All of Europe will be taxed.

It's for the children (no, not your children, the children of the power elite).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 3 2021 14:05 utc | 163

If Nordstream 2 is abandoned, uncompleted or unusable and gas transit through Ukraine is blocked because conflict then Uncle Sam has Europe by the balls (not that we have any) and Europe ends up dependent on overpriced fracked gas from the US and all that that entails. A conflict is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself in this case. Obviously a lot of European politicians understand the plot and don't approve but they have mostly been paying lip service to those shenanigans for years and can't do much about it now.

The EU dependent upon LNG, and renewables, is a high cost of production block no longer competitive in the world marketplace. The current Balance of payments surplus vis a vis the US would evaporate. This situation also applies to the UK because North Sea gas / oil resources are depleting rapidly, including those in Norway. Norway is currently attempting to develop a field located at a depth of 2000 meters in the North Sea. This entails 160 km of pipeline from sea bottom collection points to a shoreside processing plant. AllSeas is laying the pipeline.

No one goes to that effort given easier resources exist. West Europe is scraping the bottom of the barrel so to speak.

As for closure of the Dardenelles, that is between Turkey and Russia. Don't bet on it.

Were cooler heads prevailing in the EU, the last thing Germany in particular should want is termination of tne NordStream II project. The ships currently harassing the pipe laying vessels are Polish. They are operating in Danish waters and German waters. This happening says volumes WRT the actual power Merkel now has... zilch...

War was declared by Ukraine against Russia last week. Ukraine is being used to bring Russia into direct conflict with itself for NATO geo-political purposes. Things got to this point because Russia could not be more assertive due to it's being outclassed militarily by NATO. That ship sailed, Russia is now superior militarily to NATO, and has the PRC at it's back.

Nonetheless, it's a strategic mistake for Russia to directly intervene. They should have abandoned their quest for total control of Novorossia, and have armed it to the teeth for the purpose of pursuing a proxy war against Ukraine with the objective of pushing the putschists west and south of the Deniepr River.

Will the Russians slow down the Putchists long enough to use the Novorossians as proxies????

I don't know, and I don't believe they know either.

We live in interesting times....


Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Apr 3 2021 14:14 utc | 164

Oh: And I forgot to add: Outer Mongolian horseman (real cavalry) should be posted on the east side of the Dvina where it runs by Kiev: Ready to advance thru former Polish parts of the Ukraine though Transylvania to threaten the very rich Gates of Vienna...

Posted by: Tollef Ås اس طلف | Apr 3 2021 14:25 utc | 165

@104 Re: John Mearsheimer

an interesting cat indeed. thanks for your thoughts and analysis

Posted by: abee | Apr 3 2021 15:56 utc | 166

Posted by: Prof | Apr 3 2021 13:08 utc | 160

Yeah, I would also want to learn more about the living conditions of Germany. From I seen, rents has been rising and now eating up 40% of the after-tax income of the average German family.

Posted by: J W | Apr 3 2021 16:10 utc | 167

@ Tuyzentfloot | Apr 3 2021 8:38 utc | 151... thanks for the article.... i don't think the usa is a responsible player! one has to remove this from any consideration of what is happening here! let me use an analogy...

the usa is cheap drunk at this point... it is not about doing something healthy for the countries they focus on... it is about getting drunk on the revenue generated for wall st and the military industrial complex... they don't care about the final result, but are content to get drunk off any of these drunken scenarios... there is no other way to look at the usa's actions at this point... it is not about making a better world - not that it ever was!... it is about continuing on with drunken actions that are good for a short term high... they flail away with there neo con experts making one decisive mess after another... they never learn, but i think the rest of the world is figuring it out.. the usa doesn't care about failed states and in fact seem to like seeing this as the end result of their actions... they need to go into detox!! that is the last thing on the usa's mind, but it needs to be on everyone elses mind at this point... remove the usa's stimulus for getting drunk in the same way they have for the past 50 years or more... this is the reason some of us here at moa - psychohistorian and a few others - want to remove the punch bowl which is really financial in nature... the world will be a better place as a result...

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2021 16:13 utc | 168

Thank you Tollef @ 165 for that bit of satire. Some of the war plans I'm reading here sure sound optimistic. What is sorely missing is the question "what then"?

MarkU said it best when describing America's objective: war is not a means to an end but an end in itself. In other words, the scenario where Russian troops roll through Kiev by lunchtime, neutralize all the Nazis then promptly pull back to the Dnieper, securing all the prized land, industry, mines and blond braided hotties, is in fact a winning scenario for the Empire.

To the question "what then", the short answer would be: years and years of smoke and rubble.

Let's take take the Syrian example and consider the astounding narrative show of force. Here is a conflict which clearly involves worldwide players yet continues to be referred to as a civil war. And no matter the context, every single casualty is perceived as the sole responsibility of one Bashar al Assad. If marketers can turn literal Al Qaeda throat cutters into valiant militants with a worthy cause, I'm pretty confident they could work their magic with the belligerants of a Ukrainian 'civil war'. This is no trivial detail. Full support from the western electorate means that the Empire can stoke the fire for a very long time.

Posted by: robin | Apr 3 2021 16:14 utc | 169

@ Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 13:25 utc | 161

It's not that Germany is isolated. Germany genuinely has a strong portion of their population that believes in the Transatlanticist (Atlanticism) ideology/doctrine, as we can observe by the recent strong electoral results of its Green Party and by the stagnation of the previously ascending AfD (not to talk about the by now secular stagnation of The Left).

A good slice of the German population is genuinely happy living as an American protectorate. They genuinely support the continuous presence of the American NATO military bases in their country. They genuinely support a weak, largely ceremonial German Armed Forces. They're sincerely Anglophile. They're not naive or stupid - they just made their philosophical (existential) choice of life.

And, so far, they're winning and imposing their will in the German political (public) arena, which is fair game. It's up to the other side of the German isle to crush them and impose a new paradigm for the German foreign policy.

Posted by: vk | Apr 3 2021 16:15 utc | 170

James, that 'punch bowl' as you call it, is as we both know, the US$ as the World's reserve currency.

It the moment there is a small leak in the $ dam, barely noticeable, but like water in a dam the $ is a serious eroder. When it becomes obvious and the World in no longer prepared to trade real goods for a bit of US paper, the US is going to need a serious distraction to blame its loss of wealth on.

In a way it needs to keep a good distraction on the back burner ready for use when they pull the rip cord.

Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 3 2021 17:06 utc | 171

@ vk | Apr 3 2021 16:15 utc | 170

as we can observe by the recent strong electoral results of its Green Party and by the stagnation of the previously ascending AfD

Not 🇩🇪, 2 Ländern
The turnout for these elections is very low, 40% don't even vote . Mail in elections without any campaigning "because of Covid-19".
And the AfD is getting caught up in uninteresting issues. I assure you that if you see the election posters or the programs, you cry.
That's why I say everything is underground.
Pro NATO? Anglophile? The majority of the population has made its choice, yes. He's pro standard of living [BMW, exotic vacations...] but I don't think he's pro war, or even pro US.

The moment of truth is when you have to choose between comfort and confrontation.

Unfortunately, there is not really a political party or even an individual who has already LOUD AND CLEAR announced the ISSUES AS NEEDED

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 3 2021 17:10 utc | 172

How to win the hearts and minds of the people of Donetsk

Five-year-old killed in DPR in Ukrainian drone strike - militia

Posted by: arby | Apr 3 2021 18:23 utc | 173

@ JohninMK | Apr 3 2021 17:06 utc | 171... john - indeed! and that is what some of us are watching and waiting for... thanks...

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2021 18:53 utc | 174

Atlanticism is not strong in Germany. Indeed the majority of Germans outside geopolitical circles dont eve know what means the term.
What exist or existed was an Americanphilia pos wwII in west Germany but today theres a strong anti Americanism in Germany, especially after the Iraq war, crisis of 2008, crisis of refugees etc. A bulk part of German pop. usually see this as a consequence of American policies.

The Greens aren't that popular they will not have more than 15-20% of the votes, there is a media trend towards them but they will not have the power to impose their explicit policies on American families because a part of German elite have moved on the belive of US unitelarism hence their support to Nord Stream 2 since 2015. If the Greens come to power they will clash with the country's economic elite, judiciary and the armed forces.

Posted by: Nick | Apr 3 2021 20:01 utc | 175

Tollef As @ 162, 165:

The most effective weapons the cavalry units from Mongolia and Manchuria could carry into western Ukraine are marmots and all the other descendants of the rodents the Japanese experimented on (as carriers of biological weapons) in their Unit 731 laboratories during WW2.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 3 2021 20:42 utc | 176

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


Fear and Hatred are the keys to the 'success' of the Fake War On Terror. I recall that millions of people protested in the streets all over the world when the Neo-conned West's Mock Democracies decided to bomb Iraq back to the Stone-age for ridiculously Fake reasons.
And their protests were ignored.

If democracy ever truly existed anywhere outside books, hymns and poems, it Died the day the Yankees and their friends bombed Baghdad.
If your government stops listening to you and uses Cheap Tricks to justify its deafness, then its not your government.
It's time to start ignoring the bullshit and start getting very, very, very angry with governments which Don't Listen.
There is no excuse for it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 3 2021 21:14 utc | 177

'One thing I have not been able to get my head around is, what is the idea of lobbing shells into Donetsk neighbourhoods supposed to achieve?'

Posted by: arby | Apr 3 2021 0:19 utc | 120

Arby, there are very sick/criminal shits in the ukrainian military, and also in the ukrainian nationalist para-military. Some do it 'for fun', others are bored and don't care where they fire. They are infamous for torturing and murdering Donbass people, deliberately targetting civilians - like cowards do - and also have set fire to fields...and then the wind suddenly changed direction, and some got burned to death. In short, they are hate-filled/fucked in the head and utter scum; drug takers, drunks and thieves, stealing from, and taking over peoples' homes and other possessions, on their side of the contact line.

Posted by: Ralph | Apr 4 2021 0:04 utc | 178

since some people asked about the situation in germany, i'm more than happy to provide my point of view, which in no way should be considered as representative. i'm over 40 and live in the capital Berlin for more than 20 years now, which makes my everyday life experience as well as my political take on most things totally different from, say, someone living in Munich, or Cologne, or.... pretty much almost any other part of Germany, really.

the general political situation is this: for more than 15 years now, a coalition of two self acclaimed "peoples parties" - the "christian" conservatives with a majority and the social democrats. until 20-30 years ago the former undoubtedly were the conservative right, while the latter saw itself as moderate left. also about 30 years ago, the green party started slowly to gain some influence and momentum and even was in power as a junior partner together with the social democrats for a few years at the end of the 1990s. initially the green party was a mix of pacifists, late hippies, "tree huggers", christians who wanted to protect creation and so on. there was always a bellcurve-appropriate and more extreme left and right party, as well as a liberal one, but the "peoples parties" mostly called the shots in the last decades.

what happened? the moderate left moved to the right (or the center, as they call it) and started to promote neoliberal positions and agendas in the late 90ies, much like labour under tony blair in the UK. the "christians" moved to the center, somewhat, while also pushing neoliberal agendas. "real" conservatives say the moved to the left, but since no one seems to know and understand anymore what left and right means, you can file that under "bs (huge pile)". the treehuggers meanwhile turned out to be even more pro-neoliberal, much much less pacifist than ever expected, almost not left at all (even though people who hate them of course claim that they are) and most of all seem to hate russians and especially putin more than any party ever after WWII. and to make it even more complicated and boring, there is a relatively new party, calling themselves "the alternative for Germany", who embrace voters from the whole spectrum who are disappointed from their usual parties, mostly on the right and far right, but not exclusively. funnily enough, this party also has a neoliberal mindset, but they either hide it better or people just don't notice because they're either too busy calling them Nazis because they're right from the center, or they're too busy defending them and call all other people idiots and stupid ultra leftist and antifa. oh yeah, we also have a formerly genuine left party, which gets less significant by the day because instead of calling the system on its bs and being a real opposition, they mainly adopted to the pseudo-progressive, pseudo-liberal identity politics invented and aggressively pushed on the whole western world by the american pseudo left liberals - and try to push them here.

to sum it up: there are about 5-6 parties, each claiming to have an original program and agenda, while in reality there's only nuances distinguishing them from each other. ALL of them are or (will) act neoliberal in the end. while in the US people have no choice between 2 parties, we here have no choice between those 5-6 parties. and two dozen completely insignificant ones, just for appearances.

as i see it, a very, very, very huge part of all the politicians here are either involved in, part of, or at least indoctrinated by trans-atlantic networks and think tanks. and if they're not indoctrinated they still do their bidding because of career chances in active politics as well as after their active time, when they get offered a nice job on the board of directors of some multinational crime syndicate. see: it's not really corruption if no cash changes hands. only promises of career and huge cash in the future are made, if they behave correctly and act properly... and mostly, they do. and there's also a lot of real corruption taking place, don't you worry. Oh btw, almost the whole media is in it too, the private ones as well as the public ones. it's an open secret, or it would be, if anyone cared.

well, about two years ago when the whole fridays for future thing started, i was convinced that the green party will at least be part of the next government (which we will vote for in about 6 months). now i even think it's possible they'll become senior partner (and providing the chancellor, successor of Merkel), together with the "christian" conservatives as junior.
i think that because i'm convinced that was the plan for years all along anyway. the whole "great reset" idea is much older as it seems today. the idea of a "green capitalism" has been around at least since the 1990ies (remember Al Gore?), maybe even longer. the powers that be just needed time to adjust everything properly and wait until public opinion shifted their way, meanwhile setting and building up and installing the right people to become "the leaders of tomorrow".
while the "christian" conservatives have been the trans-atlantic teacher's pet for decades, they are the face of the old, fossil fueled capitalism. the greens are the new favourites because they promise a better world with much less carbondioxide and animal cruelty, more windmills and solarpanels and much much more money for EVERYONE! well everyone who has the money to invest in new green technologies anyway.
SOOOOO... to get back to the topic at hand: Russia, Ukraine, Biden, Nord Stream II
most of our politicians are super relieved that after that Trump-Nightmare finally there are "democrats" in power again, they are easier to sell as good people to the unwashed masses. the trans-atlantic channels are open again and our puppets are eager to do the bidding of their masters again.
since at least 6 years, probably longer, msm here are unleashing a massive and relentless campaign against russia and especially putin. and i know for a fact that it has seeped in. a lot of ppl who think they can think buy all that crap with malaysian airlines, skripal, novitschok, navalny and of course putin being the devil himself (figuratively). but even more dangerously: since most ppl today are paralyzed by neverending covid lockdowns and all the fearmongering and real existential threats, they dont have the time and/or strengths to think about stuff that happens outside their immediate frame of everyday experience.

oh yeah, did i mention that the green party is also the fiercest opponent of nord stream II? only problem is: since nuclear power and coal power have to go, we need gas to complement the "green" energy sources for a few decades at least. but nevermind that - russia is evil, putin is evil, therefore nsII is evil too and has to be stopped! the price: we have to buy the super clean american fracking gas, which smells like freedom, probably tastes like it too, gets delivered by a neat little armada of supertankers and only costs 30% more! well, at first at least. later, as soon as we're completely dependent on it, i'm sure the price knows no limits... sounds like quite the conundrum to a normal person, you'd think - but not for them, surprisingly. they really prefer the expensive dirty gas, contradicting everything their party allegedly stands for. while probably almost all politicians are dirty liars, they are the biggest ones, and the most bigotted.

to sum up once more: ppl here are paralyzed and dont think about political issues beyond covid atm. they are bored and disappointed by the government, which probably leads to a green-led coalition 6 months from now. IF a war would break out in the meantime, about 95% of the ppl here would be totally surprised. almost all politicians, ESPECIALLY the green party, would back up NATO and the US and support any of their moves. Nord Stream II would die immediately. the rift between EU and Russia(+China) would become so deep that it would take decades to repair it, if ever again.

oh, and since it came up somewhere: the german military is a sad joke, the minister of "defence" (some female carreer politician out of some german backwoods) is an even bigger and much, much sadder joke. as of now, the german military could never face any involvement in a conflict between russia and ukraine, and quite frankly it really shouldn't. After killing millions and millions of russians (mostly civilians) in the last century, germans should never ever again set foot on russian soil with a gun in their hand. if they ever do, i'm outta here.

PS: got to go sleep now, i'd be happy to read or answer comments 10+ hours from now.

Posted by: xototox | Apr 4 2021 0:37 utc | 179

xototox #179

Ok got it. I expected that bleak summary as it is what I see from the opposite side of the planet. Thank you. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 4 2021 1:05 utc | 180

The most effective weapons the cavalry units from Mongolia and Manchuria could carry into western Ukraine are marmots and all the other descendants of the rodents the Japanese experimented on (as carriers of biological weapons) in their Unit 731 laboratories during WW2.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 3 2021 20:42 utc | 176

Something happen to my neighbor marmot (woodchuck), so I did some web searches in his (her?) memory. Imagine that there is a region with marmot in its emblem. Namely -- tahdah! Lugansk Oblast. In other words, marmots are on the side of the separatists.

If you check the maps and history, Donbass region is where the Black Death started, with Tatars succumbing first, but passing it as a gift to Italians from Genoa.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 4 2021 1:42 utc | 181

Same NATO message as during the Cold War. Then western Europeans could not check the Truth of any build up in the East, only in the West. Internet has made it different now for both sides: the US and NATO are the aggressors. This hints at past lies of the US Mil-Complex.

Posted by: Antonym | Apr 4 2021 7:04 utc | 182

Posted by: Ralph | Apr 4 2021 0:04 utc | 178

Yes Ralph. That is how I see it as well.

Posted by: arby | Apr 4 2021 12:18 utc | 183

Posted by: xototox | Apr 4 2021 0:37 utc | 179

Excellent description, thanks for illustrating the situation in a country with such big influence in Europe. Keep it coming.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 4 2021 12:52 utc | 184

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