Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2021

Experts: British HMS Defender Stunt Near Crimea Was Patently Illegal

On Wednesday the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender staged a provocation by sailing through territorial waters of Crimea. The British government, which had explicitly instructed the destroyer to do so, insists that the move was legal:

The British government signed off on a plan to sail a battleship through disputed waters off the coast of Crimea, over the objections of its foreign policy chief, according to bombshell new claims in London's Telegraph newspaper.

In a report released on Thursday night, the outlet – known to be close to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – alleged that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had "raised concerns" about the mission, proposed by defense chiefs, in advance. He was reportedly worried that the move could hand a potential victory to Moscow.

The account of events claims that Johnson was ultimately called in to settle the dispute. The Type-45 destroyer HMS Defender was given its orders on Monday, ahead of a clash with the Russian navy and air force two days later.

The British government then lied about the incident insisting that no warning shots had been fired when the destroyer was in the relevant area. However, video material from the BBC, which had embedded with the destroyer, as well as footage from the Russian coastguard proved that to be false. The ship was warned to leave the area and warning shots were fired.

Russia insist that the 'innocent passage' of the warship through the relevant territorial waters was illegal.

Craig Murray, a former British diplomat who himself has negotiated several sea treaties, concurs with Russia's position:

The presence of a BBC correspondent is more than a political point. In fact it has important legal consequences. One thing that is plain is that the Defender cannot possible claim it was engaged in “innocent passage” through territorial waters, between Odessa and Georgia. Let me for now leave aside the fact that there is absolutely no necessity to pass within 12 miles of Cape Fiolent on such passage, and the designated sea lane (originally designated by Ukraine) stays just out of the territorial sea. Look at the definition of innocent passage in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea:
...
Very plainly this was not innocent passage. It was certainly 2 (d) an act of propaganda, and equally certainly 2 (c), an exercise in collecting information on military defences. I would argue it is also 2 (a), a threat of force.

So far as I can establish, the British are not claiming they were engaged in innocent passage, which is plainly nonsense, but that they were entering territorial waters off Crimea at the invitation of the government of Ukraine, and that they regard Crimea as the territory of Ukraine and Crimean territorial waters as Ukrainian territorial waters.

Murray goes on to explain why that is an unsound argument but he misses an important legal point.

During the Ukrainian-Russian standoff in April this year both sides amassed troops near their border. Russia then introduced special restrictions on navigation of warships in parts of the Black Sea. In a Notice to Mariners Russia designated the areas around Crimea depicted below as forbidden for any foreign warship. No 'innocent passage' through these is allowed. The restrictions will be valid until October this year but may be extended.


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It was through one of these zones, which are next to sensitive military sites on land, that the British destroyer passed.

The British government insists that Crimea still belongs to the Ukraine and that the Ukraine had allowed it to pass through its territorial waters. It calls Russia's presence on Crimea an occupation. It supports the view of the Ukrainian government which insist that it alone can regulate the water areas around Crimea.

That view is wrong.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Talmon LL.M. M.A is the Director at the Institute of Public International Law at the University of Bonn. On May 4 he had published a legal opinion on the legality of the zones Russia had declared. On the above point he noted (emph. added):

Ukraine protested the Russian announcement, inter alia, on the ground that Russia was not the “coastal State” with regard to the territorial sea surrounding the “temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.” According to the Ukrainian Government:
“These actions of the Russian Federation constitute another attempt to usurp Ukraine’s sovereign rights of a coastal state in violation of the norms and principles of international law, as Ukraine is in fact endowed with the right to regulate the navigation in these water areas of the Black Sea.”
The UN General Assembly condemned “the ongoing temporary occupation” of Crimea and urged the Russian Federation to “uphold all of its obligations under applicable international law as an occupying Power”. This raises the question of whether as an “occupying Power” the Russian Federation could temporarily suspend the innocent passage of foreign ships in the territorial sea of the occupied Crimean Peninsula. Occupation also extends to the occupied State’s territorial waters (internal waters and territorial sea) to the extent that effective control is established over the adjacent land territory. Under the law of armed conflict, the occupant may take measures to ensure “public order and safety” in the occupied territory, including its territorial waters. In particular, the occupying Power may take measures “to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of the members and property of the occupying forces or administration, and likewise of the establishments and lines of communication used by them.” Under the laws of armed conflict, the occupying power has the right to suspend in all or in parts of the territorial sea of the occupied territory the innocent passage of foreign ships, if it considers it necessary for imperative reasons of security.

In determining whether such suspension is necessary, the occupying power enjoys a wide margin of discretion.

Even if Britain does not recognize that Crimea is Russian it still has to recognize that Russia, as the 'occupying power,' can regulate the traffic in the territorial waters of Crimea:

During the ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine the law of the sea is at least partly supplanted by the law of armed conflict and, in particular, the law of occupation. Germany and other States cannot consider Russia to be an occupying Power in Crimea and, at the same time, deny it the rights that come with that status.

There is precedence for Russia's move of which the British government is likely well aware of:

[O]n 2 May 2004, the United States, acting as an occupying Power in Iraq, issued a notice to mariners establishing with immediate effect a 2,000-metre exclusion zone around the Khawr Al’Amaya and Al Basra oil terminals in the Persian Gulf and temporarily suspended “the right of innocent passage […] in accordance with international law around [these] oil terminals within Iraqi territorial waters.”

That zone was continued until at least February 2006.

Prof. Talmon discusses various other arguments against Russia's declared zones. He finds that the zones are legal under all aspects of international law.

Ukraine has no right to interfere in the restrictions that Russia, which in the Ukrainian and British view is an occupying power, has posed on the territorial waters of Crimea. Russia has suspended the 'right of innocent passage' in those zones and the British destroyer acted illegally when it passed through them.

Professor Talmon published his legal analysis seven weeks before the HMS Defender incident. It is thus free from any undue influence.

Moreover Talmon is also a Supernumerary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford, where he previously taught, and practices as a Barrister from Twenty Essex, London.

The British government would be well advised to consult with him.

It otherwise might quite legally lose a warship to Russian missiles when it orders a repetition of Wednesday's patently illegal stunt.

Posted by b on June 25, 2021 at 14:29 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I guess the US would prefer to lose a British ship rather than an American one.

Posted by: RZ | Jun 25 2021 14:55 utc | 1

Craig Murray is honest enough but somewhat disappointing he share the anglo cultural hatred of Russia. He ignores the referendum and says Russia invaded and occupied Crimea. The way Putin is a stickler for Russian and international law, I doubt there was ever more that 20,000 Russian troops stationed on Crimea as per the agreement with Ukraine for the naval base. There was also the violent coup that had just taken place. Perhaps nothing to do with international law, but ethnic Russians were at great risk from the coup plotters and nazi's not to mention the US embassy in Ukraine had an add for contractors to erect building at the naval base on Crimea.
There was a few writers, Crooke, Martyanov took it up and another I forget who now, thought it was the Russian jews behind this blind hatred of Russia. The Brits/Anglo's are the main driver and the rest of the scum like the the nazi's Russian jews and whoever are all welcome to join in as fellow travelers..
Level headed and calls bullshit on most propaganda but shares the British hatred of Russia??

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 15:04 utc | 2

If a US ship is sunk, it might be hard to avoid a world war. If a UK ship is sunk, not so much.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 25 2021 15:08 utc | 3

Shoutout to commenter Yeah, Right who made the same argument based on Russian control of Crimea in the previous thread on this subject.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2021 15:13 utc | 4

Something from the US Naval War College on territorial sea by an occupying power:

. . .Here, I conclude that Article 42 [of the Hague Regulations] properly interpreted relevant State practice, and the rationale behind the historical development of the law of occupation illustrate that nothing precludes the definition of occupied territory from encompassing portions of the sea. . . .Several official State publications concerning international humanitarian law support this conclusion. These include the U.S. Law of War Manual, which states that “‘territory’ is used to describe the land, waters, and airspace subject to the sovereignty of a state,” and the U.K. Manual on the Law of Armed Conflict, according to which,“internal waters and the territorial sea. . .together with the land territories constitute the territory of a belligerent. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 15:17 utc | 5

Crazier and crazier attempts by Europeans ( both EU and UK) to derail nascent US - Russia bonhomie should be expected. Normalization of Russo-American relations is a grave threat to the whole Atlanticist architecture and an existential risk to Europe, so one can’t blame them for trying. The hysteria engulfing Old Continent should soon turn from scary to funny, however, once Euro elite realizes that frontrunning Washington and making own pilgrimage to Moscow is the only remaining rational course to secure its future.

Posted by: Venom | Jun 25 2021 15:28 utc | 6

It all starts over again on Monday with Exercise Sea Breeze. Given the revealed attitude and thought processes of USUK and the mob of 32 statelets in attendance, well, next week shall be interesting.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 25 2021 15:29 utc | 7

i wonder if britian will go after Professor Talmon as they have craig murray and as they continue with julian assange?? can't be letting any truth out.. it's so very un -british...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 15:37 utc | 8

Thanks for the follow up b

Are we in that civilization war I keep writing about yet?

Do the global financial elite give a shit about whether it is the UK or US swinging their dick around for show? I posit no. They just want to continue their rules based top/bottom society and are offended to be challenged, just like those in Occupied Palestine.

The shit show continues until it doesn't...

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2021 15:39 utc | 9

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 15:04 utc | 2

A year or so ago Craig Murray proposed to give Crimea back to "its rightful inhabitants- the Tatars".

LOL.

Posted by: v | Jun 25 2021 15:40 utc | 10

RZ 1

The Americans want to focus on China. The Brits want them to focus on Russia. This isn't some stunt were the Brits think they can take on Russia or the US ordering them to do it. It is the Brits trying to keep the US entangled on the Russian front. The cultural hatred of Russia runs deep in the anglo's.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 15:41 utc | 11

Why the bartender would post on this trivial pursuit of nuclear saber rattling rather than more existential matters like Britney Spears great escape; freedom yea!

On the other hand - good report. IMO, and a short time will tell, this is about poking the bear until she roars. The combination of propaganda, and imperial aggression is begging for war. A new Iron Curtain right at Russia's border. Sugar Plum fairies are dancing in the NeoCon wet dream begun so long ago. Empire in its 'last throes'? Or just revving up for its Fourth Industrial Turning?

Posted by: gottlieb | Jun 25 2021 15:47 utc | 12

Just surfing the Intertubes and noting that the BBC does not have this story anywhere on its World main page......snicker, snicker

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 25 2021 15:48 utc | 13

Russia should send a military cruise around the Chagos Islands.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Jun 25 2021 15:49 utc | 14

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/06/25/660852/Russia-foreign-ministry-Maria-Zakharova-British-warship-Black-Sea-US-blessings

Arby posted this link on previous thread. Zakharova has it completely correct. US special forces on the ship, ship there in first place in prep for US led exercises. UK was not freelancing.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 25 2021 15:56 utc | 15

@ Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 15:41 utc | 11:

The Americans want to focus on China. The Brits want them to focus on Russia. This isn't some stunt were the Brits think they can take on Russia or the US ordering them to do it. It is the Brits trying to keep the US entangled on the Russian front. The cultural hatred of Russia runs deep in the anglo's.

True, true, but there's no shortage of Americans in high places who believe they can and should take on both China and Russia.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 25 2021 16:00 utc | 16

Ah well. Getting to know Murray better now after reading some of his crap in the comments.

Murray - "The Kosovans are a people with the right of self-determination. That status in Crimea belongs to the Tartars, not the colonisers."

"Having a referendum or not having a referendum is not relevant in international law. You have no idea what you are talking about."

"It should self evidently be joined to Kazan in an independent Tatarstan. Not difficult to understand at all. High time the Russian Empire decolonised."

Comment "Russia did NOT annex Crimea, Crimea asked to become part of Russia ..."
Murray "You do realise that is PRECISELY what Hitler said about the Sudetenland?"

"Rhys. yes those things you mention are contrary to international law.
I am thinking of a new policy of permanent lifetime bans for the scores of fuckwits on this blog who argue that because the West does things that are wrong, Russia is perfect and never does anything wrong."

"Don’t be tendentious Peter. Large numbers of Russian troops annexed Crimea before the referendum. In practice the annexation was successful. I cannot see how it will be reversed, and in practice the international community is likely to have to adapt to facts on the ground. This process takes decades in general."

That's the run of Murray's comments under his piece on the incident. I used to have a bit of respect for him, but he can't get past his cultyural hatred of Russia. No different to nazi's or any of the other pommie clowns.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 16:06 utc | 17

Keith McClary | Jun 25 2021 15:49 utc | 14

back when the shrub was president it was popular to use "IOKIYAR" -- It's OK if You're a Republican, meaning simply if the Republicans do it all is well but the Democrats were not allowed to.

that is exactly what would happen if the Russians sailed up to Diego Garcia to check on the B1 bombers....all hell would break loose.

seems there is nothing to do, we are almost certainly headed toward a Thucydides trap with eyes tightly shut.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jun 25 2021 16:08 utc | 18

I think the bigger story is the one b linked to in the earlier post, namely the UK signing an agreement with Ukraine to build a new naval base on the Sea of Azov (signed on the very ship that is at the centre of all this).

The area of said planned naval base is home to the infamous Azov Battalion.

And why the UK and not the USA is doing this, well "U.S. Congress blocked military aid to Azov on the grounds of its white supremacist ideology" (a quote from wiki page on the "Azov Battalion").

And what with the uk being America's little bitch i'm sure they were only too happy to help out, to help build a naval base for neo nazis on Russia's doorstep.

Surely every effort is being made to persuade/force Russia to step aside in any coming war on China.


Posted by: Keith Granger | Jun 25 2021 16:15 utc | 19

As for the issue of Crimea, it ought to obvious to everyone that no way in hell, not in a million years, was Russia going to simply allow even the possibility that an enemy would reoccupy Crimea again.

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jun 25 2021 16:22 utc | 20

I should have added something about the crossing of the Kerch Straight and just how quickly Russia built that bridge, but it's too late now.

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jun 25 2021 16:25 utc | 21

For the most part, the NATO Bloc ignores International Law unless it serves its interests, and in this case it clearly doesn't. In his orders to open fire, the Russian Captain emphasizes NOT to hit the Brit ship twice and asks for confirmation of his orders. This incident also raises again who it was that began this threat to world peace--the NATO Bloc with its Ukrainian armed coup and the results it brought. IMO, the genuine International Community can recognize blatant aggressive Imperialism when it occurs as most of that Community have suffered from it before. So, yes, Raab was correct. And the fact that the Brits are now lying about the incident won't be lost on observers either. Perhaps now the message Russia's been sending since 2014 that it's very serious about its territorial integrity will be absorbed by NATO. Put into a different context, imagine a Syrian vessel going inside 12 miles off the coast of Gaza--the Zionists after sinking it would scream that they have the right of self-defense.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 16:28 utc | 22

@ 16 peter.. i concur.. craig murray seems blinded by some type of hatred for russia.. i can't figure it out rationally... it defies logic..

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 16:32 utc | 23

Isn't this precisely the current status of the waters of the Gaza strip - Israel exercises its control as an occupying legal entity, which has extended to the murder of solidarity protesters trying to break this siege?

"Israeli officials described the expedition as a “provocation”, and said the maritime blockade was a legal measure, endorsed by the UN Palmer report, introduced to stop weapons reaching Gaza militants."

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/israeli-navy-poised-to-intercept-gaza-boats-1.7136

https://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/control_on_air_space_and_territorial_waters

https://www.france24.com/en/20100605-thousands-protest-europe-pro-palestinians-deadly-israeli-raid-aid-flotilla

Posted by: Russell Stephens | Jun 25 2021 16:36 utc | 24

james
I noticed the Brit establishment had a cultural hatred of Russia quite some time ago, but was very surprised that Murray had also soaked that up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 16:42 utc | 25

@ Russell Stephens | Jun 25 2021 16:36 utc | 23

Isn't this precisely the current status of the waters of the Gaza strip - Israel exercises its control as an occupying legal entity, which has extended to the murder of solidarity protesters trying to break this siege?

Given Israel's strenuous and repeated denials that it no longer occupies Gaza, this is a textbook case of having one's cake and eating it too.

Posted by: corvo | Jun 25 2021 16:48 utc | 26

Peter AU 1 @24--

It appears Brit hatred of Russia is linked to the conduct of their Class System--the higher up the pecking order, the more entrenched the hatred of Others.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 16:58 utc | 27

The British actions show how unrelenting and even insanely arrogant the Empire and its accomplices and vassals can be when trying to subdue a sovereign nation. If they do this to Russia, perhaps the planet's most formidably armed nation, a nuclear superpower, you can see what a horrid battle little states in the global south will have when assaulted by the neocolonialist hegemon?

Posted by: Veros Imilitude | Jun 25 2021 17:06 utc | 28

Montgomery...
"Rule 1, on page I 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..."

Montgomery's lordships know very well they cannot mach on Russia which is why they want the dumb Americans to march on Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 17:17 utc | 29

karlof1
I have been trying to figure out where it originates from. The only thing I can think of is that Britannia has never been able to control or take a chunk out of Russia. Kissinger speaks of the Westphalia system which Russia never was a part of so that could play into it too.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 17:33 utc | 30

Predictable:

Kremlin "Regrets" EU Rejection Of Putin Summit, Blasts Poland & Baltics' "Groundless" Fearmongering

Yet some initially thought that Macron-Merkle's teasing was promising.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2021 17:47 utc | 31

One odd thing about this incident: here (MoA) is the only place I've seen/heard anything about it. My normal sources for Breaking News these days have dwindled to just MS Edge and Yahoo standard News Feeds, which usually include whatever anti-Russian news they can find each day. (Since Biden's election, those Feeds seem to include much higher content from GOP/Right-wing sources like Fox, Washington Examiner, but those sources are typically as anti-Russian as most center-left US sources)

Did this propaganda stunt get more attention in UK than it did here in USA?

Bottom line: this provocation seems to have failed, even as a propaganda stunt.

Posted by: elkern | Jun 25 2021 17:57 utc | 32

It will get deleted but I put in comment in reply to this from the brit "That status in Crimea belongs to the Tartars, not the colonisers."

Tartar is the Russian term for Mongol. The Tartars of Crimea are the remnants of Genghis Khans Empire. By that standard, the descendants of the Romans have full right to call Britain home. Just as the Hebrew tribe who had a city state in that area a couple of thousand years ago have the full right to call Palestine home.
That British hatred of Russia Craig is very similar to the Nazi hatred of Russians. In fact, as in Ukraine, the Brits work hand in hand with the remnants of the nazi’s of WWII.

I am pissed with the Brits. A mate I've known all my life has become a flag waver. He's first gen Australian. Will have to tell him who he must swear allegiance to by flying that flag. Been thinking of getting a black flag, a silhouette of Ned Kelly in his armor in white and something written on it in Arabic script, now that we have crossed the rubicon, something like such is life, flying it high, just to stir a bit of crap.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 17:58 utc | 33

Only the enforcement of a legal system is what truly matters.

If one nation is able to openly flout international law, it is because that law is not currently being enforced. The ultimate response to this must be some sort of material conflict, or else those emboldened to break international law will continue to push the envelope of aggression until they are made to back down.

I am not suggesting Russia needs to commit some tit for tat exchange in retaliation for this.

If the global hegemony shifts away from the West, we should start to see some reverse effects in which nation is pushing the envelope of (legal) aggression. If I had to guess, I would imagine an international crackdown on illegal drug dealing will be a strong sign that Russia and China are finally exerting their legal interpretations against the West.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | Jun 25 2021 18:00 utc | 34

John Helmer with more details about this incident and earlier incidents:

THE BRITISH NAVY’S CRIMEAN CAPE CAPER ENDS UP LIKE THE BORNHOLM BASH, BALTIC BLUFF, BLINKEN BLINK

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2021 18:08 utc | 35

16, 22, 24, 26, Craig Murray’s view of Russia. I am English and have been following Craig’s blog since I read his excellent book “Death in Samarkand” 8 years ago. I too have been puzzled by what looks like visceral hatred of Russia and Putin. My conclusion from regular reading is that he tries to be honest, fair and even handed. It is fair to say that Putin and Russia know how to exercise real politik better than anyone and badness is a tool in their kit. Murray recognises this and knows that to be taken seriously by the British establishment he has to show he is not a Russia fan. All the more so given his harsh treatment of the British establishments ludicrous Skripal provocation. His view of Crimea has to be viewed in the context of his position on Scotland’s right to self determination. All I can say is don’t throw the baby out of the bath water. Craig is his own man and his heart is in the right place. No one is right 100% of the time. I especially appreciate that he blogs under his own name on civil liberties and has to walk the tightrope of being perceived as a maverick and Russian dupe. The security services of a number of countries would silence him if they could including all those involved in the grotesque attempts to silence Julian Assange.

Posted by: Phil Espin | Jun 25 2021 18:09 utc | 36

Jackrabbit 30

All the pissant nazi's of eastern Europe, in coordination with the Brits , had to do was say boo and the long defeated Germans and the Frogs dropped back down to their hands and knees.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 18:10 utc | 37

Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has already stated Russia has no doubts the USA is behind the UK's stunt in the Black Sea:

Impossible to imagine British destroyer’s actions weren’t agreed with US - Zakharova

There's no "cultural hatred for Russia" in the UK government (Crown), Craig Murray doesn't represent the official position of Her Majesty's Government.

If you rescue Anthony Blinken's recent speeches during his trips through the European Peninsula, you can clearly see that POTUS Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a new modus operandi in low intensity warfare against Russia-China: the USA is now "falling back" on the borderlands of these two countries' spheres of influence and calling for its provinces to hold the position while they do so. This may or may not translate into a permanent (i.e. offensive) tactic, that is, the USA could be entering in a phase where, depleted of financial resources and desperately needing to rebuild social cohesion at home (fix crumbling infrastructure, rising inequality etc. etc.), it will start to force its borderland provinces to serve as battering rams against Russia and possibly even China.

Either way, the reason Biden chose this change of tactics right now is obvious:

1) color revolutions have depleted themselves out of their potential. Arms race secured the target governments developed methods of defense against them, as we can observe in Belarus, Russia, China (HK) and even in the resurgence of the Left in Latin America;

2) the USA is low-key realizing it cannot hold its present position anymore. It is evacuating some of its most advanced - and precarious - provinces (Afghanistan, Ukraine, HK) so that it can consolidate/strengthen the provinces it already has (South Korea-Japan and the European Peninsula; Latin America).

Biden clearly sees himself as Aurelian evacuating Dacia, or even as Hadrian evacuating Mesopotamia. Thing is: he could well be Valens in Hadrianopolis.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2021 18:11 utc | 38

Phil Espin "Russia know how to exercise real politik better than anyone and badness is a tool in their kit."

Well... as you said you are a Brit. Piss of and join the Azov brigade if you couldn't be bothered with a bit of research.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 18:16 utc | 39

@29:

Apart from the usual English inferiority complex and phantom pains of a long lost empire. England has a deep historical, racist even, hatred of Russia but not only that its a blind obsession they just can't help themselves and its most recent form originates from after the dissolution of soviet Union.

Then the English invested a lot and i mean a lot in the oligarchy that was running things in Russia khodorkowsky f.ex many of them ended up in London, invited there, after Putin cleaned up the house.

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 18:18 utc | 40

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 17:33 utc | 29

Possibly he got some of his bias from a former posting to Poland. I gather the poles are not very fond of the Russians, or the Germans for that matter.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 25 2021 18:23 utc | 41

b

The reason Murray misses your important legal point is because he agrees with the British and Ukrainian Governments that Crimea has not been returned to Russia legitimately under international law.

Posted by: Sarcophilus | Jun 25 2021 18:26 utc | 42

Excellent article!

I do remember that the Russians, at the height of the Ukraine tensions a few weeks back, had declared the closing of the Kerch Strait to foreign warships. [In fact, I think it was temporarily closed to all traffic, if I recall correctly].

But I did not know about these other exclusion zones, nor the legal issues about 'occupying powers' etc. This website always delivers important info that most would probably not be aware of!

I will note that the Canadian Paul Robinson, who has a regular column in RT, wrote a ridiculous oped the other day where he supports the 'innocent passage' claim. RT has really gone downhill---almost worthless at this point. A lot of right-wing US commentators and columnists that talk about 'Cultural Marxism' and such completely illiterate nonsense.

It is a magnet for extreme-rightists and even white supremacists. Even the articles about Russia's WW2 horrors draw hordes of pro-Nazi commenters. I think they literally believe the 'leftist' CNN and other MSM nonsense about Putin being a new 'Hitler', which they obviously take to be a big plus, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 25 2021 18:35 utc | 43

How many times has the British administration harassed Russia in the last decade & century? What has Russia done to stop its abuse by Britain? What are Russia’s red lines?

One is known by what they STAND UP for. If one doesn’t stand up to bullies then they shouldn’t complain. No noise, please.

In present composition of Russia’s foreign currency holdings the British pound’s share was slightly down – by 0.2 percentage points, to 6.3% of $588 billion ($37 billion). Why such large holdings of British Pound? Russia is funding its adversaries?

British’s balance of trade has been negative since 1955, reaching around $200 Billion in 2020. Who are providing free lunch to the British administration ? What is enabling its aggressive foreign policy? FYI, know about the order of the garter, now focused more on the mechanism.

Posted by: Max | Jun 25 2021 18:35 utc | 44

Posted by: Sarcophilus | Jun 25 2021 18:26 utc | 40

I believe the legal point is that the UK regard Russia as an occupying power, so the UK position in violating Russia's earlier restrictions in the zone must be considered illegal

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 25 2021 18:36 utc | 45

Even if you buy that Russia is an "occupying power" it can still according to int.laws and regulations impose restrictions on the maritime boundaries as the US indeed did in Iraq.

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 18:43 utc | 46

@21 & @26, i too have been trying to disentangle that snarl. the first encounter i had with it was as child reading the history of the russian revolution & struggled to understand why the brit crown refused to rescue their russian cousin. knowing full well what the refusal meant.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jun 25 2021 18:47 utc | 47

@ Phil Espin | Jun 25 2021 18:09 utc | 35... no one is perfect - craig murray included... he falls down with his attitude towards russia... i think the thing is, you need to state a position clearly in order to command respect... on many issues i admire cm, but on the topic of russia he clearly falls down.. i see this as a real problem... but if he was trying to please the british powers that be, i would see that as an even bigger problem! stand up for what you believe in, or don't bother standing up for anything would be my advice to him, not that he is looking for my advice! i think you are basically making excuses for him.. i can't buy them.. i will continue to support cm, but on the topic of russia he gets no support from me as i don't agree with his characterizations....

@ 42 max... i have heard it said russia is playing a long game and like a game of chess, one doesn't have to react to every move on the board... think long term, not short term, especially when the dynamics call for the long view, not the short one..

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 19:01 utc | 48

In defence of Craig Murray:
He is an honest analyst who stands by his principles and for that reason deserves respect.
You do not have to agree with every one of his opinions. That is too harsh a standard.
Everyone has biases and blind spots and hot buttons. That is simply human.

Craig has put his personal liberty at risk by standing up for free speech, for Assange, and for his friends when he feels they are attacked unfairly by the security state. He is currently sentenced to years in prison for that reason, and as a warning to others not to support free speech or resist evil. He is unwell, and if imprisoned, he will probably die.

I do not have the courage that Craig has displayed, and if a commenter has also done as much for others from a sense of duty and selflessness and the highest principles, and put himself at risk of imprisonment, then I would refrain from objecting to that commenter's criticism.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Jun 25 2021 19:04 utc | 49

I am trying to find the Goebbels quote in which he says that nobody will care that Germany attacked Poland on the basis of lies, as long as Germany wins.

Biden, Trump, Johnson, etc. share Goebbels' sociopathic mentality. Of course what the British Navy did was illegal. Unless someone makes them stop, they don't care. All the NATO talk of Muh Rules Based International Order is so much hot air.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jun 25 2021 19:08 utc | 50

[Posted this in the wrong thread by accident]

Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has already stated Russia has no doubts the USA is behind the UK's stunt in the Black Sea:

Impossible to imagine British destroyer’s actions weren’t agreed with US - Zakharova

There's no "cultural hatred for Russia" in the UK government (Crown), Craig Murray doesn't represent the official position of Her Majesty's Government.

If you rescue Anthony Blinken's recent speeches during his trips through the European Peninsula, you can clearly see that POTUS Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a new modus operandi in low intensity warfare against Russia-China: the USA is now "falling back" on the borderlands of these two countries' spheres of influence and calling for its provinces to hold the position while they do so. This may or may not translate into a permanent (i.e. offensive) tactic, that is, the USA could be entering in a phase where, depleted of financial resources and desperately needing to rebuild social cohesion at home (fix crumbling infrastructure, rising inequality etc. etc.), it will start to force its borderland provinces to serve as battering rams against Russia and possibly even China.

Either way, the reason Biden chose this change of tactics right now is obvious:

1) color revolutions have depleted themselves out of their potential. Arms race secured the target governments developed methods of defense against them, as we can observe in Belarus, Russia, China (HK) and even in the resurgence of the Left in Latin America;

2) the USA is low-key realizing it cannot hold its present position anymore. It is evacuating some of its most advanced - and precarious - provinces (Afghanistan, Ukraine, HK) so that it can consolidate/strengthen the provinces it already has (South Korea-Japan and the European Peninsula; Latin America).

Biden clearly sees himself as Aurelian evacuating Dacia, or even as Hadrian evacuating Mesopotamia. Thing is: he could well be Valens in Hadrianopolis.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2021 19:09 utc | 51

@ Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 16:06 utc | 16

The Honourable Craig Murray of Scottish persuasion is still a British toff, his status as ambassador one could hardly be toffee-er (sic - you wrangle with spellcheck). This blindspot in his world view likely comes from what reality was allowed during his formative years and will persist without some major crisis over the point reverses those perspectives. Otherwise Murray has shown profound ethical standards, also from his formative years; something he has and is now paying a great price for possessing. His current state shows the depth the current social cancer has rotted both Scottish and British political power and total absence of judicial integrity in both constituencies. The British public is genetically apathetic to their state. YMMV

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 25 2021 19:10 utc | 52

I notice that Craig's rabid defence league is alive and kicking....

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:10 utc | 53

.... and its getting Hasbaraesque

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:11 utc | 54

Russia insists on its sovereign rights to defend its territory.

The Anglo-American warmongers think and act as if the globe is their property.

My money is on Russia.

Encroaching on Sevastopol is like attacking a Grizzly Bear. The base of the Black Sea Fleet, the focus of the Southern Military District, the historic Federal city for hundreds of years, prior battleground for legendary wars against Russia.

Every weapon of offense and defense is in the region.

Whoever thinks they can transgress Crimea is doomed.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jun 25 2021 19:14 utc | 55

Peter AU1 @ 32

The correct spelling is Tatar and not Tartar, they are a group of Turkic speaking inhabitants of Russia, and not tooth plaque. And they are not in any way Mongols, though they formed part of the Mongol Army. There were several Tatar Khanates conquered by the Russians - Kazan, Astrakhan, Siber and finally Crimea. The three main dialects - Tatar of Tatarstan, Crimean Tatar and Siberian Tatar are not mutually intelligible, as Crimean and Siberian Tatar derive from Kipchak languages.

Posted by: Peter Williams | Jun 25 2021 19:18 utc | 56

Britain and the USSA have no use for international law. They hae never abided by it unless it suited their interests and they have never recognized it when it suited the enemy du jour's interests.

I do find it interesting that all references to high explosive fragmentation bombs being dropped "in the British ship's path" have disappeared from both sides of the story. That sounded odd to me when the story first broke and there was no evidence presented for the claim from the British, the Russians or anyone else who might have been observing the area (perhaps seismic monitoring, etc.).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 25 2021 19:25 utc | 57

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:10 utc | 51, 52

Drive-by ad hominem doesn't sway anyone here.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 25 2021 19:28 utc | 58

... anyway, if this provocation was ordered by Washington and not attention seeking yapping from the English, there will be a lot of pant shitting during the next provocation when the US and NATO hold wargames in the Black Sea at the end of the month.

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:29 utc | 59

Posted by: gottlieb | Jun 25 2021 15:47 utc | 12

IMO, and a short time will tell, this is about poking the bear until she roars. The combination of propaganda, and imperial aggression is begging for war. A new Iron Curtain right at Russia's border.

This is an interesting subject that certainly deserves more than just a cursory mention as the implications are much wider than would appear at first glance.

I, for one, do not believe the empire will have the will nor the means to impose an Iron Curtain on its Eastern edge, wherever that line may lie. Certainly not in the long term. A sharp, razor wire border is what you would expect when at least one of the parties wishes to isolate. This, however, is not the natural evolution for the continent. As we are witnessing with the latest theatrics on the Black Sea, the Empire is expending much energy to promote ill will and antagonism. Down to the the individual level, however, it makes no sense to hate on Russia. Hell, let's buy their gas and they can buy our fruits and what not. Maybe ski at our resorts and we can all get along, right?

But of course, the Axis of Senescence does not look favourably on such an outcome. Its options, short term, are to keep a death grip on the narrative and sell the hate.

Long term plans, however, call more for a more durable solution. I envision something closer to a Ring of Fire than an Iron Curtain. Easier and safer to pilot from a distance, cheaper, and much more durable.

Posted by: robin | Jun 25 2021 19:33 utc | 60

Whatever Murray's anti-Russia beliefs may be, it didn't prevent him from saying that the British were wrong to send a warship through Crimean waters.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 25 2021 19:34 utc | 61

I think Murray just suspects, not unreasonbly, any great power, even Russia and China, of imperialist tendencies.

Whereas, I might give Russia and China a pass for their concern with Crimea and the South China Sea, as a necessary reaction to US and NATO threats and provocations, Murray may look at their actions from a more legalistic point of view. He brings his diplomatic experience to the table. And he presents reliable evidence and clear arguments to support his positions/observations. He is always worth reading, even should you occasionally disagree with him.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 25 2021 19:35 utc | 62

@55:

Nothing has changed at the Russian MODs site. The story remains the same and it's fact- based. It's the English that keep coming up with ridiculous different versions and now they're even try to smooth things over but that didn't work out well with lavrov.

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:37 utc | 63

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 16:06 utc | 16

Agree with this and the rest of the concern about Murray's stance on Russia with respect to her ability to ensure safety and order on the periphery of her territory. Very odd and seemingly out of sort and character with his takes on Assange and the USSA/UK empires which extend well beyond any of their borders/shores. That said, I have to respect him for his principled reporting and protest over the Julian Assange affair. He puts his money where his mouth is at risk to his personal safety and welfare. Maybe some of the others are correct in that he has to try to maintain a modicum of false authenticity to the British elites, but it's still puzzling, especially after reading the comments and replies you transcribed. I guess nobody's right all the time, but he seems very rabid about Russia on that front.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 25 2021 19:38 utc | 64

@ karlof1 (#21 ) & james (#46),

The International Community genuinely recognize blatant aggressive Imperialism when it occurs but do the abused nations recognize and stand up?

In early 2013, in a conversation I said Russia made a big mistake by letting Libya and Syria be attacked. A Russian responded, “they want to stay out of these conflicts as they’re not in their neighborhood.” I told them, “the Empire hasn’t given up on Russia and will comeback.” Russian said, “no, the Empire won’t be back as they taught it a lesson in Georgia.” Similarly, I told an U$A’en in 2013 not to mess in Ukraine, as Russia will confront the Empire. The U$A’en responded, “Russia is week, and won’t mess around when the UK, U$A and EU are together.” My prediction of 2013, the Empire will challenge Russia in the countries where its military bases are located. What happened at the end of 2013? Why? What are the Financial Empire’s GOALS & plan for Russia?

The Empire keeps on challenging Russia in the administration, currency, trade, energy, and information warfare arenas. It has betrayed Russia in 1917, 1947, 1991, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2020,... How long is Russia’s “long term,” and what is its” long view”?

“It appears Brit hatred of Russia is linked to the conduct of their Class System--the higher up the pecking order, the more entrenched the hatred of Others.” Is it about the Class in the global hierarchy or Russia’s resources? The Financial Empire’s plan calls for it to control the resource rich countries through their administration, so they provide resources at a price as it defines them in its currency. “POWER” is the capacity to alter the behavior of other actors, including the policies of other states.

According to the NATO Bloc now, “The alliance now seems to have taken Putin up on his favorite game: seeing who blinks first.” Has Russia’s challenge finally arrived?

Posted by: Max | Jun 25 2021 19:38 utc | 65

@ Sarcophilus 40
Crimea has not been returned to Russia legitimately under international law
What "international law" is that?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 19:39 utc | 66

https://tass.com/russia/1307053

I guess I was wrong about the warning bombs. Russia still says it happened. I'd like to see some video of that if only because it might look pretty cool. But I still have my doubts that it happened until such video surfaces.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 25 2021 19:41 utc | 67

#16 I wonder how many of the people who are suddenly so concerned about Crimean Tatars have any idea of who they are and where they came from?

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Jun 25 2021 19:44 utc | 68

@65:
Not that i really care but you come across as both confused, contradicting and dishonest. Try to educate yourself before bull shitting here.

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:49 utc | 69

37, my comment was generic. If you don’t believe that virtually all big governments have badness as part of their toolkit you are naive. I support both Crimea in their self determination and Donetsk and Lugansk. Why anyone would wish to join the Azov battalion is beyond me.

46, I don’t think Craig has ever tried to please the establishment. His experience means he knows how they could come after him, witness the results of Alex Salmond’s involvement with RT. He is astute enough not to leave himself open to attack without compromising his unique viewpoint.

I don’t understand the real reasons why the British Government display such antipathy to Russia but I suspect their must be a few quid in it for someone somewhere.

Posted by: Phil Espin | Jun 25 2021 19:52 utc | 70

Patrick Armstrong
I have read about it and after a few comments here rechecked. Seems Tartars were declared indigenous people of Ukraine in 2014.
Wikipedia gives the game away though. They should have their pages better coordinated. Cumans fleeing mongol invasion... though everything I've read might be wrong. Would like to hear your take.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 19:56 utc | 71

@ Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 25 2021 19:35 utc | 60

That's the distortion of reality that comes from taking Geopolitics as a science.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2021 20:02 utc | 72

@66 Tartars were slave traders. Nice of Craig Murray to care but I don't think Slavic people have much sympathy for them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean%E2%80%93Nogai_slave_raids_in_Eastern_Europe

Posted by: dh | Jun 25 2021 20:04 utc | 73

Russia may be "taking precautions" discretely, and I think we should also.

The Belgorod, it's gigantic submarine (mothership?), with 6 autonomous nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed torpedos has sailed for the first time. (Hi-Sutton)

At least the kilo class subs in Svastepol are in the process of going to sea or have already left. (One already, another seen arming with torpedos)

Arrivals at Khmeimim: 2 Russian MiG-31K interceptors which are equipped with Kinzhal missiles (could be real or inert, no way of knowing) , 3 Tu-22M3 bombers (some equipped with Kh-22 anti-ship missiles), on the lengthened airstrip. (The UK Q.Elizabeth Aircraft carrier group is in the E. Med.

****

It will depend on what happens in the Black sea from monday on.

*****

One "newbie" fun fact is that Protasevich and his girl friend Sapega are now only under house arrest in Minsk. I saw for all of an hour, an article in the FT, before it was relegated to the back somewhere. The ICAO preliminary report is due, and this article was to front run it. The EU NOW wants 500 hundred other prisoners released and the holding of "elections" before the new sanctions are removed. - if ever, as "once in place they are very difficult to remove", according to an (anonymous) diplomat.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 25 2021 20:07 utc | 74

Phil Espin
I was a bit quick off the mark here, though depending on if you mean bad as in nasty conniving, or as in totally ruthless when their country is attacked?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 20:08 utc | 75

The UK antipathy towards the Russians may be a class thing. The FO and like institutions are all products of "Eton and Harrow", in which case the Marxist revolution was a visceral threat to their class privileges. ANY Chinese or New Russian political viewpoint which gives more than lip service to equality within a country, is a danger to a hereditary autocracy- oops - aristocracy.

The education system in the UK is still dominated by private "feeder" Schools for top positions and Universities. E and H only being the tip of the iceberg, as they specialise in politicians and high level civil servants.

The idea of equal chances in education were dealt with several years ago, as the nobs couldn't stand the competition. (Nobs => "nobility" as they like to refer to themselves. "Knobs" if you are being impolite)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 25 2021 20:21 utc | 76

. . .more to come next week...
US Navy: U.S. Sixth Fleet announces Sea Breeze 2021 participation

The exercise is taking place from June 28 to July 10 in the Black Sea region and will focus on multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations.
This year’s iteration has the largest number of participating nations in the exercise’s history with 32 countries from six continents providing 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams scheduled to participate.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. . .here

There's all we need to know: ". . .in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe . . ."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 20:22 utc | 77

@ 59 jackrabbit and @ 60 blue dotterel.. true! and i agree bd's first sentence! i do appreciate and respect the guy in all instances, although his quirk with russia is weird and i have a hard time with that... i am not throwing the baby out with the bath water..

@ 63 max... i think putin and russia were not quite ready for what happened in libya... in fact, i think the response russia gave in syria was partly coming out of the fact they didn't do what they needed to for libya.. so i think russia is a different country now then it was 5 or 10 years ago... i continue to believe they are playing a long game, but i appreciate how some in the community always perceive russia's response as never enough... i admire russias approach myself..

@ 72 stonebird.. the eu are such hypocrites...nary a word on julian assange but they want belarus to bend over backwards... the sanctions are a type of warfare on smaller nations who don''t cow to the usa-uk agenda... eu is such a hypocrite in all of this... canada, australia and other countries are in the same boat as well..

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 20:23 utc | 78

dh 71.
The indigenous people of Crimea seem to have evacuated the place for the Mongols. If the Crimean tatars are Turkic then most likely from the Kazakhs. Something I read quite awhile ago and checking the official Mongolian page, the Kazakhs were the main group of Turkic peoples in the Horde. https://www.discovermongolia.mn/about-mongolia/people-society/mongolian-ethnic

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 20:39 utc | 79

trigger warning for our more sensitive audience members:

lame.

skripal, navalny, novichok, nordstream, ryanair, USS/HMS Defender...will those Rooskies never stop???

it'll be so awesome if, not for the 1st time in human history, some kind of "divine wind" blew up on Monday. not likely, but there's some bloody infernal wind round these parts, so who knows?

baby goats bleating out back. hope our electronica survives the heat bubble.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jun 25 2021 20:41 utc | 80

@ Posted by: dh | Jun 25 2021 20:04 utc | 71

The Soviets tried to make Crimea a Tatar SSR, but the problem was that, even then (early 1920s) the Tatar population was a minority and they weren't even interested in founding a republic either way (this wasn't a unique case: many tribes and peoples from Asian Russia voluntarily gave up their right of founding an autonomous republic for the simple fact the concept didn't make any sense to their lifestyle - that's why the RSFSR never "balkanized", as opposed to the Western peoples of the USSR, e.g. Transcaucasia, which divided itself into Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). The idea never got out of the paper, and Crimea was simply absorbed by the RSFSR until general-secretary Nikita S. Krushchev - for reasons that are until nowadays a mystery - transferred it to the Ukrainian SSR.

Posted by: vk | Jun 25 2021 20:50 utc | 81

james | Jun 25 2021 20:23 utc | 76

In fact, "sanctions" are a cowards way of warfare. They don't put skin in the game, but try to have a undeserved "moral" superiority. Actually it is the bullies way out.

Although, although.... I wonder how long they can keep this up?. Re; the EU is following the US, but this could also be seen as Borrell using his position. (I don't think much of him, rather mean and nasty). Present day sanctions have got brutal, particularly when linked to theft. (Syrian oil and wheat). There does seem to be a sort of kickback coming. Again this is discrete, as the countries do not want to provoke the US directly. ie Iran and Venezuela. (The two Iranian ships are now heading for the Med). The Cubans, who have been "exporting" their medical knowhow, have built up a solid respect and friendship with others, which may pay off in the future.

Israel, is just a nasty piece of work in the eyes of any reasonably independent country. The key word being "independent". It is noticable that the agreements they have made are with Monarchic and Autocratic Governments, who need protection from their own citizens.

*****
Todays good idea; Minsk offers Prota-type and his girl friend in exchange for Assange. (Don't bother betting, its a no go)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 25 2021 20:51 utc | 82

Stonebird 72 "It will depend on what happens in the Black sea from monday on."

The black sea reminds me of a valley in Vietnam. Can't remember the name of it or the US base. The US in their supreme confidence decided to set up a big base in a valley in the middle of enemy territory and let the enemy come to them. The cheeky Vietnamese, instead of full on infantry charges as the US expected spent some time wheeling in some guns in the hills around the base. Once they were set, it was like shooting fish in a barrel.
The black sea is very like that valley.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 20:54 utc | 83

Mr. Armstrong, you are correct. Even having been born in Crimea, I did not know about the nasty history of Tatars in Krym - first, as occupiers, following the Mongol invasion (mid-13th cent.), then as relentless raiders and slave traders. W-pedia has a page on Tatar incursions into the mainland - for centuries! They raided towns and villages, grabbed people (obviously, young and healthy ones), and then sold them to the ottomans (Istanbul is full of blond, blue-eyed folk even today). Feodosia was the site of a slave market! The raids would have been in the area that is today's Ukraina (and/or Novorossia). The fierce Russian czarina (of Teutonic blood) Catherine the Great finally put a stop to the adventurism and destruction in 1783.
Not to mention that when nazis came through, Tatars betrayed the locals' groups, organised to fight them. So, they were kicked out of Krym - deservedly so. I would not shed a tear for Tatars, Craig M. knows not what he speaks of.
Today, relations in Krym are more peaceful; Putin even built them a giant new mosque in Simferopol. And obviously, not all are bad. But even a few bad apples can spoil things.
Peter Turchin proposed that it was, in fact, the battle against Tatar raids over decades, and even centuries,that gave rise to Russia's focus on building defenses.

Posted by: GoraKoshka | Jun 25 2021 21:01 utc | 84

I am struggling with all my might to not be just one of those people who just interject 'Great Work b'.

Now this is posing a real challenge. Makin' it jus' too damn hard.

Posted by: blues | Jun 25 2021 21:03 utc | 85

@ Peter 80
. . .The US in their supreme confidence decided to set up a big base in a valley. . . some guns [arty] in the hills around the base
You're dating yourself. That was the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. (I remember it too.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 21:05 utc | 86

@ Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 20:54 utc | 80

Think this is what you're after:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dien_Bien_Phu_order_of_battle

It was the French exit from Viet Nam and the U.S. opportunity to win after Korea.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 25 2021 21:09 utc | 87

@Blue Dotterel #60:

I think Murray just suspects, not unreasonbly, any great power, even Russia and China, of imperialist tendencies.

Whereas, I might give Russia and China a pass for their concern with Crimea and the South China Sea, as a necessary reaction to US and NATO threats and provocations, Murray may look at their actions from a more legalistic point of view.

As of 2014, the ethnic makeup of Crimea was 76% Russian, 14% Ukrainian, and 10% Crimean Tatar. In what world is it “imperialist” for a 76% ethnically Russian territory to want to return to Russia it was a part of for 208 years (1783–1991) after spending mere 23 years (1991–2014) as part of the Ukraine?

After Ukrainians illegally arrested Crimean President Yuriy Meshkov in the 90s. After pro-West Ukrainians held an illegal “third round” of voting in 2004 to steal the Presidency from Yanukovich. After pro-West Ukrainians illegally deposed President Yanukovich in 2014 in a foreign-orchestrated coup and, as their first law, removed the status of Russian as a regional language in southeast Ukraine regions.

If Murray is such a stickler for legalities, he should look into the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Crimea from RSFSR to Ukrainian SSR in 1954 (some legal experts think it broke Soviet laws; there was no referendum; Crimeans didn’t want to be separated from RSFSR) or even the break-up of the Soviet Union, for that matter.

Posted by: S | Jun 25 2021 21:12 utc | 88

Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 20:54 utc | 80

Dien Bien Phu ? French blunder. But they all make them. Nowadays they call them Embassies?

But you could also have mentioned Singapore in WII. Where all the artillery was facing the sea and the Japanese came through the Jungle.
******

One thing about the Black Sea and the Exercise to come is/are the number of non-involved ships, while the Main carrier task force (in command) is still in the Med. Obviously in the minds of the US, the Arena will have many "christian ships" in the Black Sea being eaten by a hungry Russian Bear, to get the whole world "upset" and on the side of the US.

Even the Carrier is from the UK (with US F-35's).

The second item to watch is the arming of the Azov nazis in Ukraine by the importation of modernized arms, which are "left" behind after the exercise is finished.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 25 2021 21:13 utc | 89

Don Bacon
Nope. They done it to the yanks as well. A lot of Vietnamese footage of it. Wheeling the guns through the hills setting up the guns and firing them, the great view from the hills overlooking the airbase. Pounded them constantly with the guns, and while that was going on doge trenches across the plain instead of running across it as the the Americans expected. Took the airfield first, dug a tench straight through the middle of it. From then on in, with no more supplies coming in, it was game over for the yanks. Plenty of footage through the base after game over. I don't think many Americans survived.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 21:14 utc | 90

No doubt Craig Murray's views regarding Crimea and how it returned to Russia - he dismisses the Crimean referendum and ignores the fact that the 23,000 Russian troops stationed there were part of a deal signed in 1997 by Russia and Ukraine - are influenced by his time working for the UK Foreign Office (itself a rogue agency) as ambassador to Uzbekistan among other things. Murray probably assumes the political corruption he observed in Tashkent under President Karimov was a consequence of having been part of the Soviet Union and inheriting Soviet political thinking; likewise the way in which Karimov dealt with his political opposition and the punishments he meted out must also have been a consequence of oppressive Soviet political culture. It seems not to have occurred to Murray to consider that the Central Asian nations might have preferred to stick with leaders who started their political careers in the Soviet system for much longer than they might otherwise have tolerated had their big Russian neighbour not fallen into political and economic chaos under President Yeltsin. On top of that, the Central Asian states were being feted by Turkey, itself a nation having known military coups, and were being pressured by the US to accept military bases. There was unrest and violence between Uzbeks and Tajiks in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well with some of the violence in Tajikistan also being a flow-on of violence from Afghanistan.

As a historian though whose specialty is British activity in Central Asia and western Asia to India in the 19th century, Murray might reasonably be expected also to know the history of Central Asia of earlier centuries and to know its connections to the Mongol empire and its successor states which include the Crimean khanate. As Patrick Armstrong notes, the Crimean khanate was active in the white slave trade in eastern Europe; it was a major reason for much of the region now part of Ukraine being thinly populated until the mid-1700s (When Russia conquered the area) despite its rich black soils. Peasant communities subject to constant plundering of their female children for the Ottoman sultan's harem moved to safer places. Murray's ignorance of the origins of the Crimean Tatars - they may have deep roots in Crimea as they assimilated previous residents before them but they are still a "new" ethnic group - is all the more puzzling.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25 2021 21:17 utc | 91

Don, was thinking about it some more and you might be right on it being the French. Awhile since I last saw it and couldn't find it again.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 21:20 utc | 92

Thanks all. The french it was.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 21:25 utc | 93

@88 You may be thinking of Khe Sanh.

Posted by: dh | Jun 25 2021 21:25 utc | 94

What to make of this very aggressive provocation by Britain?

On the one hand, we just had the Putin-Biden summit that set a much-needed tone of respectful dialog and expectations of further consultation and even cooperation in some areas, notably 'strategic stability'.

Then we have this slap in the face by titmouse Britain!

I think the reason we saw Biden pursuing Putin for a meeting ['stalking' as Martyanov puts it], is because somebody with half a brain in Washington saw the massive Russian forces and how quickly they deployed them to the Ukraine frontier, and decided that the bluffing game is no longer a viable option.

As Martyanov puts it, the only reason Washington now wants to talk about strategic stability is 'because the Russians invented some shit which is really bad for US exceptionals.'

Those inventions being the astonishing advances in fundamental aerospace technologies as embodied in the hypersonic, intercontinental Avangard missile, which literally skips across the top of the atmosphere at Mach 25 [17,000 mph], like a flat pebble over a still pond. This is essentially a fully MANEUVERING ICBM, over its entire flightpath, and is not stoppable by any conceivable means. It was deployed already in ICBM silos, with American weapons inspectors present as per the arms treaties, back in 2019.

That is just one of several such hypersonic wonder-weapons that are either already in service or soon to enter initial operating capability. These were at first mocked as fantasy or bluff, but the reality has long since sunk in [see Five Stages of Grief]. The US defense intel has been gathering all kinds of actual flight test info, as these various missile systems are put through their qualification paces.

The US possesses ZERO such technology. And is not close to fielding even hypersonics of low to moderate range and capabilities, much less intercontinental.

Speaking as an aeronautical engineer, this is a Russian technology lead of at least a decade, perhaps more. The US are not going to close this gap. Not least of all because of a lack of engineering talent, and a badly broken and completely corrupt weapons procurement system. As in space technologies, where the US also lags, as I have talked about in previous posts here, there is no coherent direction from the top. Everything is left to self-serving corporate grifters.

One technology that I will briefly highlight here, which may be of interest to some. That is the scramjet engine technology of the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, that is to be carried by Russian warships and subs.

In the 1990s, the Russians developed the world's first flying scramjet engine. This is a type of engine that is air-breathing [like a jet, and unlike a rocket], but allows for reaching very high speeds, in excess of Mach 5 [well above 3,000 mph].

A turbojet engine as used on aircraft can only fly reliably to about Mach 2, twice the speed of sound. A ramjet engine, which has no moving parts, and relies on the speed of the vehicle to compress the air it ingests [thereby obviating the need for a jet engine's turbomachinery like compressors and turbines] can reliably fly at speeds of Mach 3 to 4.

The Russians have long made use of ramjet technology for their missiles, for instance the Oniks cruise missile that is carried by ships, subs and aircraft. A version with shorter range was built for India, with India providing some development on the guidance software and electronics, but not the basic ramjet technology. This is the Brahmos missile. [India does now manufacture most of the missile under license, as with the advanced Sukhoi fighter jets it obtains from Russia.]

The US still doesn't have any ramjet-powered , supersonic cruise missiles. All of its cruise missiles are strictly subsonic.

Incidentally, the coast of Crimea is protected by the ground-launched version of the Oniks missile, called the Bastion, carried on all-terrain heavy truck chassis for mobility and with a striking range of about 500 km. A ship like the HMS Defender, which is classed as an 'air-defense' destroyer, would have no chance of stopping even a small salvo of Bastions, or air or ship-launched Onikses, as they skim the sea surface and are thus not detected by ship's radar until they come over the radar horizon of about 12 nautical miles. That leaves a reaction time of just seconds at the missile's Mach 3 flight speed.

Sea-skimming missiles were used to astonishing effect in the Falklands War of 1982. The Argentines only had five total French-made Exocet sea-skimmers, which are subsonic and with a range of only about 100 km.

Still they sunk the then state-of-the-art Royal Navy Destroyer, HMS Sheffield [the forerunner to today's Defender type]. Her sister destroyer, HMS Coventry was sunk by ordinary gravity bombs launched by a pair of Argentine Douglas A4 Skyhawks, the two pilots displaying remarkable elan and fighting spirit.

Two other Exocets struck a large 15,000 ton transport ship, and another struck the older HMS Glamorgan destroyer.

To say that a Mach 3 sea-skimmer like the Oniks-Bastion, with its 500 plus kilometer range, is far more dangerous than subsonic sea-skimmers is a vast understatement. Today's ships have better defenses, but a salvo of even four to six such missiles will almost certainly send any ship to the bottom.

And now we are entering the era of the mcuh faster scramjet.

The Tsirkon, which will be carried in the same missile launch tubes as the Oniks and the subsonic Kalibr [the anti-ship Kalibr version does have a terminal supersonic sprint], flies at an incredible Mach 8 to 10. That is well over 5,000 mph. The US Navy admits its ship defenses cannot stop anything flying faster than Mach 3.

The scramjet engine is almost a holy grail in propulsion technology. Because it is air-breathing, like turbojets, it could one day find its place in civil aviation. At Mach 6, a nearly 14 hour flight from New York to Beijing becomes just a little over two hours.

By the 1990s the Russians had accumulated some quite remarkable aerospace technology, about which the world would only find out much later [and not much of that would ever be admitted in the lying western media]. I have already talked elsewhere about how both China and the US snagged massive space technology goodies during the Russian firesale of the 1990s.

Something similar was happening in the much less-known advanced aviation propulsion field. The Russians flew the world's first scramjet engine in 1991, at a test range in Kazakhstan, having developed the basic technology already starting in the 1970s. Remarkably, the Central Institute of Aviation Motors, CIAM, strapped for cash, invited Nasa to participate in a series of further flight tests [at the Sary Shagan test range, Kazakhstan] of the world's first flying scramjet engine, called Kholod, which means 'cold' in Russian.

A series of flight tests during the 1990s saw the Kholod reach a speed of Mach 6.5, well over 4,000 mph. The Russians even published several remarkable papers [co-written with the Nasa team] in the professional literature:

Future Flight Test Plans of an Axisymmetric Hydrogen-fueled Scramjet Engine On the Hypersonic Flying Laboratory

---published in the AIAA [American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics]

Recent Flight Test Results of the Joint CIAM-NASA Mach 6.5 Scramjet Flight Program

---Published by NASA

Despite this huge gift of advanced scramjet technology, the US has not progressed beyond a mixed record of various experiments, and is nowhere near fielding an actual production article. [Although much media noise has been generated about prototypes like the Boeing X51 Waverider].

Just to put into perspective how challenging this technology is, a speed of even Mach 6 is equal to over 6,000 feet per SECOND. In a scramjet the air being ingested at the front is slowed down to just over Mach 1 inside the combustion chamber [unlike a ramjet which slows the flow down to subsonic, which also limits its top speed].

That is why it is called a SCramjet, for supersonic combustion. It means the flow of air through the combustion chamber is over 1,000 ft/s. If the chamber is even three feet long, it means that ignition and full combustion of the fuel must be achieved in one three hundredth of a second---an almost impossible task, given the chemical thermodynamic properties of fuel.

The key to the Russian success seems to be in the fuel chemistry, which the Russians call 'Detsilin'. Of course, this fuel chemistry is a closely guarded secret.

So yes, Martyanov is absolutely right. The Russians have 'invented some shit'. And in fact some of that 'shit' scares the 'shit' out of some people, who know enough to know that fear is a healthy part of self-preservation.

I think Peter AU in another thread mentioned that the US would launch a nuclear first strike on Russia if they thought they could get away with it.

I absolutely agree with that. In fact it is quite easy to find various statements from various US think tanks and such calling for such a first-strike capability. This is not in any doubt, and the entire missile defense project is aimed at that eventual goal.

But we have also seen that the so-called US 'missile defense' may be nothing more than wishful thinking. We recall that Kim Jong Un was not too impressed as he sailed missile after missile over the heads of The US Pacific Fleet, which consists of no less than 17 Arleigh-Burke class Aegis missile defense ships, plus four such Japanese ships.

Not a single intercept was attempted with the highly touted Aegis BMD [ballistic missile defense] system! Surely a successful intercept of these DPRK missiles, most of which were actually only intermediate-range missiles [IRBM] that fly at much slower speeds than ICBMs, would have sent a huge message to the entire world, especially Russia. In fact such a message of intercepting even an IRBM would be similar to the shock and awe of Hiroshima and Nagasaki!

But it seems that when it comes to US weapons capabilities, there is a big gap between the walk and the talk!

Weapons technology is the ultimate decider in world politics. Many peoples and empires have been crushed or even wiped out throughout history by stronger opponents possessing more powerful weapons. The age of European global conquest was based almost entirely on superior weapons technology.

Now, Putin publicly says: 'Russia is ahead of the US for the first time.'

This is not debatable. And it is the beginning of a downward trajectory of the US and its hangers-on that encompasses many civilizational aspects, besides advanced aerospace and nuclear technologies.

There will come a day, when such provocations as with HMS Defender will be unthinkable. And it may not be that far off.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 25 2021 21:26 utc | 95

Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 21:20 utc | 88

Where you may be right is that this defeat fitted in with American plans. The French were forced to leave (in spite of french being one of the current languages and many french Institutions and schools remaining).

I can no longer remember the details either, but I think that there was a question of US military "aid" that never came (in time?).

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 25 2021 21:29 utc | 96

Peter AU 1 @ 2:

There was also an incident in early 2014 in which three busloads of passengers returning to Crimea from Kiev (where they were protesting against the Maidan Revolution) were ambushed by Nazi thugs (who'd been tipped off by others) who beat them up. A number of passengers died from their injuries. The survivors fled back to Crimea and notified the authorities there who then scrambled quickly to organise the referendum.

I keep forgetting the name of the place near where the ambush occurred but the name may have been Khorsun.

_____

It was the US Navy that issued tenders to private companies for the renovation of a school for officers' children in Crimea. The website featuring the tender may still be available online. (I'm typing on my smartphone at present.)

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25 2021 21:34 utc | 97

@ Max | Jun 25 2021 19:38 utc | 63 Re:-

"In early 2013, in a conversation I said Russia made a big mistake by letting Libya and Syria be attacked."

Using a veto on the proposed 'No fly zone' might have seemed excessive at the time, the Russians probably didn't imagine it would be used as a pretext for active ground support to the Libyan 'rebels'. Once the situation became clear, the logistical difficulties alone would have been a huge deterrent to Russian intervention.

In the case of Syria the Russians didn't intervene until they absolutely had to, and I don't blame them one bit.

A surprisingly large number of people seem to be over-estimating the amount of force the Russians have at their disposal. The Russian federation has only 1/3 of the population of the EU, they spend less on the military than the UK, France or Germany. In a full scale war with NATO they would be forced to go nuclear to avoid defeat because of the sheer quantity of material lined up against them. The Russian Federation is NOT the USSR. Given that the Russians cannot hope to win a conventional war and that a nuclear war would end civilisation as we know it, it is probably just as well that they are reluctant to get involved.

I have tried to make this point dozens of times, many times on this website alone. One more time, the Russian Federation is NOT the USSR, OK? Got that?

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 25 2021 21:39 utc | 98

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 25 2021 19:49 utc | 67

Apparently you cared enough to respond to a comment that wasn't addressed to you.

Look, I understand that you're triggered by the fact that some people still hold a bit of respect for Craig Murray based on his coverage of the Julian Assange trial. We get it. He doesn't pass your purity test. Now if you have anything substantive to say on this matter, I'm all ears.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 25 2021 21:41 utc | 99

Let's not forget that Boris doesn't stir it up in the Black Sea. He's got a brand new 'Carrier Strike Force' headed for Taiwan. To show support for democracy no doubt.

Posted by: dh | Jun 25 2021 21:41 utc | 100

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