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.


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

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Khe Sanh looks a similar layout but it was the French at Dien Bien Phu I was thinking. I have read about Dien Bien Phu in the past, but I now watch a lot of different doco's and messed that one up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 21:41 utc | 101

Stonebird @ 74:

It's to be noted as well that many in Britain's political elites and the media are graduates of Oxford University's Politics, Philosophy and Economics course. Former Brit PM David Cameron was one such graduate.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25 2021 21:43 utc | 102

Somehow, I doubt the "civilized Western world," including Craig Murray, would be more approving of Crimean reunification with Russia if such an effort was spearheaded and initiated exclusively by Crimean Tatars. Thus, I'm operating on the assumption that this particular choice is off-limits, supposed right to self-determination enshrined in international law not withstanding, and is always to be seen as illegal no matter the possible permutations and circumstances surrounding it. Would critics of the reunification consider a second referendum illegal, if the results came out in favor of rejoining the Ukraine, on the basis that the polls were conducted under Russian occupation and represented the desires of relatives to so-called "colonizing" ethnic groups? This question is obviously rhetorical.

Meanwhile, having a 250,000 people's minority carve out an ethnostate for themselves, no matter the opinion of a 2,5 million population caught up in this effort, is somehow presented as desirable. Even if such a project was theoretically possible, it would clearly provoke a similar reaction among the local populace as that of the Maidan coup, but stronger. The newly formed republic of Crimean Tatarstan would quickly turn into a burning dumpsterfire that would make the Donbass look peaceful and prosperous, only with sea-access and a pilfered navy ripe for plunder and power projection. Then, we're asked to imagine Kazan joining the fray -- with it's 50/50 ethnic make-up (with one half being a different kind of Tatar) and being completely landlocked and far away from its protectorate -- and the picture isn't of a successful state formation at all, but a Chechnya on steroids with the accompanying humanitarian catastrophe and potential reach of the entire European continent.

On the upside, this would be well within international law. No, of course not. No way in hell that this situation would be accepted as the status quo -- only as a transitional phase for further restructuring of power balance and redrawing of borders. Every nation worth their salt, and even those that aren't, would get involved in the conflict to eke out whatever benefit they could from the situation, and people would suffer and die for decades in this alternate reality. Craig is either making a ridiculous joke, showing himself to be an imbecile or a mad-man or whoever made those comments in his name isn't actually him. It's not that it's Russophobic or any similarly emotional response that gets me, since I've had enough practice on scientific racists in discussions that I've learned to consider even vile logic in a calm and collected manner. It's the shock of hearing the musings of a brash and short-sighted teenager come out of, presumably, a seasoned diplomat.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 25 2021 21:45 utc | 103

@97 You mentioned a US base in #80. No big deal. The Yanks were repeating the French mistake at Dien Bien Phu.

Posted by: dh | Jun 25 2021 21:45 utc | 104

Isn't Mr Murray an ardent Scottish nationalist who has been campaigning for Scotland to vote in a second referendum to leave the United Kingdom? Does he wish Scotland to become the country of the Picts and Gaels? Or of all its current inhabitants? Given his stance on Crimea, I think he should state his position on this.

Posted by: dynkyd | Jun 25 2021 21:52 utc | 105

@Peter 80/86

you bear likely the land attack on Laos (cutting Vietnam supply lines) in mind ( There is a good book on this operation in German, by East German military reporter and writer Harry Thürk "Strasse zur Hölle". As an East German author, he is, of course, not mentioned even in the German version of wikipedia about this event.

Posted by: BG13 | Jun 25 2021 21:57 utc | 106

Peter AU 1 @86--

Try this on your memory: Khe Sanh, and other related actions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 22:01 utc | 107

Just looked up his history quickly but very much into freedom house style human rights which explains the seeming contradictions.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 22:15 utc | 108

It seems that China is retaliating on his critics and buggers:

China Reiterates Support for Argentinian Claim Over Disputed ... › china-supports-argentinia...
4 hours ago — What's new: China continues to support Argentina's sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands, also known as the Falklands, said Geng ...

There it is. the best defense is attack.

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 25 2021 22:21 utc | 109

@ 79 stonebird.. thanks.. we see this much the same way!

@ 91 gordog.. thanks... great overview! here is a link to smoothies most recent article too for anyone interested..

Now Real Professionals Talk...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 22:30 utc | 110

For a better understanding of the man, part of Murrays speech to freedom house.
"It is also a great pleasure to see such a gathering of those promoting human rights in Uzbekistan, both from outside and inside the country, and from both governmental and non-governmental sectors. I am also pleased to see representatives of the media here today – I trust I will see these proceedings fully and openly reported.

Let us have no illusions about the size of the challenge we face. We must all agree that independent Uzbekistan had a great handicap to overcome in the very poor legacy on issues of freedom from the Soviet Union. But nonetheless this country has made very disappointing progress in moving away from the dictatorship of the Soviet period.

Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy, nor does it appear to be moving in the direction of democracy. The major political parties are banned; parliament is not subject to democratic election and checks and balances on the authority of the executive are lacking.

There is worse: we believe there to be between seven and ten thousand people in detention whom we would consider as political and/or religious prisoners. In many cases they have been falsely convicted of crimes with which there appears to be no credible evidence they had any connection. Reputable Human Rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty international have brought to our attention specific instances where the same crime is used serially to convict a number of people. There appears to be a belief that such persecution of an individual can be justified by labelling them as an “Islamic extremist”."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 22:31 utc | 111

@ MarkU (#94),

Who is asking Russia to go to war? Russia capturing Crimea didn’t result in a war. Russia making a stand in Syria didn’t result in war. Making a strong STAND will not result in a war. Please stop this nonsense about war.

In 2009, at Davos, Vladimir Putin gave a big lecture to Michael Dell and bragged about Russian programmers. A colleague remarked that Russia might develop its software platforms to compete with ours. It was all talk. It is 2021, Russia hasn’t launched its operating system or any great consumer products. Yandex is good and listed on Wall Street. China in the same time has launched many products (smartphones...), industrial products... Russia could have done well with its software talent, but hasn’t. It could have built a payment platform long time ago (Putin started complaining about the US$ and payments around 2006), but didn’t. Maybe it is taking a long view over a long term. Maybe they’re slow...

Russia was sleeping from 2009 until 2013, fooled by the reset theatrics. Also, Putin wasn’t leading Russia during that term. It couldn’t comprehend that the Empire will challenge the nations where its military bases are located. It was so obvious to many of us. It is only after capturing Crimea that Putin COMPREHENDED the threat and made a stand in Syria around 2015. Please comprehend clearly the crux of the situation.

What are the Financial Empire’s GOALS & plan for Russia?

Posted by: Max | Jun 25 2021 22:42 utc | 112

Before this incident, both Putin and Lavrov have been officially mentioning more forcefully responses. Not long back Putin stated there would be no mercy shown to whoever attacked Russia. Sea Breeze coming up and the Brits scooting in to stir the pot... be interesting to see what the brits get up to during sea breeze.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 22:47 utc | 113

@ MarkU #94 who claims: Given that the Russians cannot hope to win a conventional war...

This is completely delusional. Obviously you have zero actual knowledge of the subject. Much less any type of professional expertise.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 25 2021 22:48 utc | 114

Thanks James @ 106.

Your link to Martyanov didn't seem to work. Try this.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 25 2021 22:52 utc | 115

Mir I think its called has been in use for sometime.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 25 2021 22:54 utc | 116

@ Stonebird 85
the Main carrier task force (in command) is still in the Med
Carriers aren't allowed in the Black Sea -- Montreux Convention.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 22:54 utc | 117

Hi Jen, here's a Russian documentary with English subtitles detailing their side of the story of Crimea, Ukraine and Russia in 2014. There are re-enactments with original participants as well as interviews with principals including an extensive discussion by Vladimir Putin.

If you follow it closely, it clarifies not only the details, but the legal aspects (Russia is allowed troops in Crimea through a treaty signed with Ukraine) and the very careful handling of the entire situation (no shots fired, no deaths) while a slaughter of civilians was going on in the Eastern part of the country.

In fact a majority of the Ukrainian troops sent to Crimea were welcomed into the Russian Forces, for higher pay and equal rank. This occurred peacefully after Crimean volunteer militia armed with sticks went to confront the Ukrainian forces at the border, and were finally reinforced by a small but decisive group of Russian military.

I usually avoid videos but this is succinct and compelling, with statements by the people who actively participated.

Crimea: The Way Home
Andrey Kondrashev 2015, 02:25

YouTube tells me "This video may not be appropriate for some viewers"

Posted by: jonku | Jun 25 2021 22:57 utc | 118

@ Max 108
What are the Financial Empire’s GOALS & plan for Russia?
The goal is to make hay while the sun shines, i.e. max profits via continuing instability. So Russia will always be an enemy, contrived, and mix in China, Iran and North Korea with continued hostility, financial and military. Supposedly the empire has given up regime-change wars in backward countries -- we'll see.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 23:00 utc | 119

@111 gordog... thanks... i have that slash at the end of the html again and it seems to interfere with me posting links...

Posted by: james | Jun 25 2021 23:01 utc | 120

Gordog @91--

Thanks for that excellent review and especially this point I've emphasized. And it was I who mused about Russia taking out the UK's sub base on the Clyde:

"Weapons technology is the ultimate decider in world politics."

That emphasis is also aimed at Max and my further point that Russia has firewalled itself almost as perfectly as can be done in an imperfect world. At this moment, I see no Achilles Heel the Outlaw US Empire can attack without risking its own desolation--desolation being worse than destruction.

Long before we got to this point when Xi announced the BRI initiative I stated that the best move for the Empire was to stop fighting and join the parade as it was beaten at that point. Eight years later, my point's more than valid. At this point, there are no more political tools or methods short of war the Empire can employ to further its hegemony. Think of Napoleon outside Moscow--so close yet so far--but the only choice was to retreat. The recent UNGA vote on the illegal Cuban Blockade furthers the point that the Empire in reality has no friends as Occupied Palestine is merely a Parasite. Like the British before them, the Americans are now hated by the vast majority of the planet, and only deeds can save the American People's reputation and prove them better than sheep.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 23:07 utc | 121

@Peter 107
Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy
What country(ies) in the world is(are) a functioning democracy, i.e. governance by the people via elected representatives?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 23:10 utc | 122

@ Peter AU1 (#112),

I know about “Mir” and it was launched in 2017. It should have been launched around 2010. One of its key driver was World Bank (don’t they want a cashless society, why?). What is its market adoption compared to China’s UnionPay & CIPS (based on banks & countries)? “As of February 2021 89.4 million cards have been issued, by around 80+ banks.” Market adoption is slow. Fyi, I know about most of Russia developments. Reality is in details and deeds.

@ Don Bacon, thanks. Has Russia finally come to terms with those goals?

Posted by: Max | Jun 25 2021 23:15 utc | 123

@ Max 119
Has Russia finally come to terms with those goals?
Yes, Russia has said that there is no remedy for the poor US-RF relations and so Moscow will look eastward, where the growth is, vice the West where it isn't.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2021 23:27 utc | 124

Thanks Karlof, glad you and James and possibly others found the somewhat technical info useful!

About this: ' was I who mused about Russia taking out the UK's sub base on the Clyde.'

Indeed! Putin has said, SPECIFICALLY, that any acts of kinetic aggression will be countered by strikes against the command and control centers of the aggressor.

The hypersonic Tsirkon, launched from Russian cruise missile subs would be a big part of that. Other weapon options too---but that's for a later discussion.

This is hitting the adversary right in the breadbasket---without going nuclear. But the kinetic devastation of hypersonic weapons does in fact approach the destructive power of low-yield tactical nukes, due to their sheer speed.

Yes. This technology is a gamechanger. Think bows and arrows versus repeating rifles.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 25 2021 23:28 utc | 125

Max @108--

Russia was sleeping from 2009 until 2013, fooled by the reset theatrics. Also, Putin wasn’t leading Russia during that term.

Putin was head of the government--the Prime Minister. Also, Russia continued the policies he employed that he said at Munich in 2007 would make the West listen. Look at a globe to see just how small a portion is occupied by North America minus Mexico and Europe from Ukraine westward and compare that with Eurasia minus that little European peninsula, then add Africa. For argument, you could even delete India from Eurasia. The majority of the planet is NOT with the NATO Bloc; it's either non-aligned or with the Eurasian Bloc. The vast majority of educated minds are located within the Eurasian Bloc as are the majority of essential resources. There's an equation known as the Balance of Power, and those scales are heavily tipped in the Eurasian Bloc's favor. Also, don't forget much of what's considered wealth by Neoliberalism are merely key strokes on a computer keyboard and aren't tangible. What fills a bubble? What are the most important components of a balance sheet? Capital consisting of Land, infrastructure, machine tools, and highly educated, motivated and competitive Human Capital. Note I didn't include cash or securities. Why? Because those vehicles are essentially debt. There's also another well known term--Paper Tiger. And that's precisely what the Neoliberal West has become.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 23:29 utc | 126

Jen #87

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.

Thank you. Murray is a 'Hate Russia' man from way back and you nailed his blind spot perfectly. Mostly he is a creature of Her Majesties establishment except on things scottish. He is a vigorous affirmer of all minorities and won't let larger ideological/political forces trouble his mind. He is no socialist and he has a visceral distaste for Bolsheviks. He is an unliberated product of his propaganda schooling and family background. Maybe a bleeding heart liberal? However he writes well on many subjects and is aligned with many causes for freedom.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 25 2021 23:32 utc | 127

Thanks Jonku @ 114 for your kind suggestion. I've seen another documentary on the attack on the Crimean bus passengers some years ago, I will try to find that one again.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25 2021 23:32 utc | 128

as soon as the US gives back Guantanamo Bay to Cuba (and closes the torture center I mean the prison there), then I might personally consider calling for Russia to Crimea, but not as long as the US stands to gain as the Imperialist power in the entire world. And Not after the 2014 coup in Kiev, not for a single moment.

I am glad that France and Germany aren't getting entrapped by this British bullshit and antagonism of Russia, and I doubt if it will stand in their way for a second in their attempts, however incremental, to re-establish more normalized relations aka detente with Russia. Any other strategy just keeps the entire world very close to the precipice of an armed confrontation and a nuclear war....Even a conventional war between the UK and Russia would be most devastating to London

I mean, what the hell did Johnson think he could gain by doing this stunt? It's clearly an irrational choice - their russia-phobia has gotten the better of them for a bit over 100 years.... Furthermore, the military in the US and in the UK is totally out of control, or should I say almost totally in the driver's seat in 'international affairs'. I realize with these imperialist and neo-colonial powers it's difficult to think outside the box of military means and confrontation, but still.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jun 25 2021 23:34 utc | 129

@ karlof1 (#122),

Vladimir Putin’s 2007 Munich speech was refreshing and a great one! It woke up the Empire to attack Russia. Was Russia prepared as the speech was given? NO. When did it start De-Dollarization?

An entity can have all the land, talent, commodities, tools,... As long as they’re priced in other’s currency, that other is their MASTER. China’s Didi wants to be listed on Wall Street.

Britain has been running trade deficit since 1955, reaching around $200 billion in 2020. How much wealth from Russia has moved to Britain? Why is Russia’s foreign currency holding “paper tiger”, the British pound’s share was 6.3% of $588 billion ($37 billion).? Russia is funding its adversaries?

Posted by: Max | Jun 25 2021 23:53 utc | 130

Craig Murray:

"I would argue it is also 2 (a), a threat of force."

What absolute nonsense and sensationalism! The Brits send one destroyer to waters off the coast of Crimea, and we should view that as a threat of force?! I'm sure that the British are familiar with at least SOME of the military assets that Russia possesses in that particular theater. Let's suffice it to say that ANY sign of force by the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender would have resulted in its sinking. This would have pleased the (((neocons))) greatly, as it would give the media a chance to gin up more hatred of Russia and force a military buildup by NATO and perhaps confrontation with Russia. In my view, NATO would end up on the losing end of such a confrontation.

Posted by: frankie p | Jun 26 2021 0:17 utc | 132

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 know how, have built up a solid respect and friendship with others, which may pay off in the future.

The black sea reminds me of a valley in Vietnam. Dien Bien Phu. The French 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 was expected, spent some time wheeling in many 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.

Yes, it is..... But the Russians will establish missile superiority over the entire Med.... also....

As for the sanctions.... two can play that game....

Eur-Asia will create markets for Belarusian Products, much larger than those lost in NATO countries....

BTW.... exactly where will NATO get it's Potash??? Rare Earths??? Memory Chips???

Exactly what will NATO do when both Russia/China/Iran declare their airspace(s) closed to Boeing 737 MAX planes for "safety's sake".... Fly over the pole to Anchorage again???....

Escalation Dominance belongs to EurAsia....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jun 26 2021 0:21 utc | 133

@michaelj72 #125:

…then I might personally consider calling for Russia to Crimea…

Calling for Russia to do what with Crimea? “Return” it to the Ukraine? Does the opinion of 2.4 million people living in Crimea matter at all? Even Crimean Tatars, who were initially against reunifying with Russia and abstained from participating in the referendum on the advice of the Ukraine, Turkey and the West, have changed their opinions after 7 years.

Posted by: S | Jun 26 2021 0:21 utc | 134

@ dh, PeterAU1, et al.
Dien Bien Phu, where French Arrogance Failed
A good Asian work...

After 56 days and nights from March 13 to May 7, 1954, Vietnamese troops smashed the Dien Bien Phu stronghold, killed or captured 16,200 French soldiers, shot down 62 aircraft, and seized all enemy weapons and military equipment.

President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, leaders of Dien Bien Phu Campaign.
Sun Tzu: "The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."

Walk and Talk.
Arrogance talks too much.

Posted by: Rêver | Jun 26 2021 0:27 utc | 135

Thanks. Nicely timed (co-ordinated?) action. The direct link...

Posted by: Dim sim | Jun 26 2021 0:28 utc | 136

The people of Crimea weep for joy to have returned to their motherland, while the people of Novorossiya weep from grief that they too cannot return, at least, not yet. And they understand why, and bear it.

I suspect that there is very little calculation left in the Russians at this point. Their military knows what to do in every contingency, and is schooled to operate independently if the situation admits of no other option.

Russia is now a live wire that can be left alone or touched, but if any fool touches it, that fool will be fried, essentially as an automatic and irretrievable consequence.

And if that thing should happen, we would then see that the propaganda words of the west are worth precisely nothing, and that international law is all there is, and that the UN will achieve whatever it can achieve in the midst of all its compromises and conflicts of interest, but it will remain as the main forum of resolution - no matter if anything is resolved or not - and Russia will carry on with her life.

When the shock comes, it will wipe out decades of legacy stage-props of power, and they will never return. The west will take several flights of stairs down, all in one awkward, almost quaint, little run, jump and fall.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 26 2021 0:48 utc | 137

I imagine this mussel flexing exercise in the Black Sea will come to an end at some point. Not that anyone who will contribute children for the body bags in the US cares much at this point. Most of them probably think the Black Sea is a ride in Disneyland.

Warfare has changed drastically. Littoral navies are useless in a real battle with the current missile technology. The land force has the advantage and probably would take care not to sink a nuclear powered ship in the backyard. As some have pointed out, the Back sea would be nothing more than a shooting gallery advantage Russia if it came down to that.

Will the goons in the Pentagram and Britain's establishment fight a WWII style naval battle in the 21st century? Probably at some point in the future.

I am presuming all this has to do with killing Nordstream. If they can just get Russia to take out one craft then they can beat their chests, act like peace nicks, and demand Germany cut off the pipeline so the oil majors can ship LNG from the good old US of A at much higher prices.

There are some large LNG plants built in the USA to that end recently. Others are in planning stages.

Posted by: circumspect | Jun 26 2021 0:55 utc | 138

Thanks to Jen and jonku for the facts about the rapidly changing conditions in Crimea as Maidan was being analyzed here and elsewhere, as finally the documentary was released and I believe promoted on RT.

Up to that point fragmentary reports and videos were coming out concerning the Odessa horrors, the assaults on the eastern regions of Ukraine, and those of us searching out such amateur work by the citizens themselves could only be amazed and saddened by what we were seeing. Jeeps hurtling through streets and firing on people, shells falling on others, and the woman with the baby who marched up to a guy with a microphone, snatched it out of his hands and threw it away.

The Crimea video was one of the earliest coherent narratives of a population moving to organize after the bus incident, to prevent the same atrocities from happening to them. And I do remember Putin actually thanking the Ukrainians, (some irony in that) that it concluded peacefully. Sadly it hasn't elsewhere, and that is still ongoing. How the Brits can be planning warship-building efforts in Odessa of all places boggles my mind.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 26 2021 1:07 utc | 139

Max @ 119

MIR was launched on a trial basis in late 2015 and 89 million cards in a country of 146 million is nothing to sneer at. Add in Yandex and QIWI Wallets and bank debit cards and the ability to pay tax, bills etc. via your mobile phone, and compare that to primitive countries that still use cheques. As for software, Yandex,, VK and OK replace Western programs. Astra Linux is used by Government and State companies and is being introduced into schools. Government and State companies, and of course the military use domestic CPUs.

Posted by: Peter Williams | Jun 26 2021 1:22 utc | 140

Crimea has been a part of Russia about the same length of time that the USA has been a country.
9 out of 10 occupants are Russian in most parts of the country, and Russian is often the spoken language.
Giving back the country to the original occupants could be an option, but the USA should also give back to the original occupants.
Ready to leave, my fellow USA citizens?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 26 2021 2:06 utc | 141

(Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine The Great in 1783)

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 26 2021 2:10 utc | 142

Gordog, you are a breath of fresh air on this stale forum. Thanks.

Posted by: Norb | Jun 26 2021 3:04 utc | 143

@ Peter Williams (# 136)

Thank you for validating my assumptions and hypothesis. I anticipated a response similar to you from someone who missed the forest for the trees, and mentioning 2015.

Remember, it is 89 million cards not individuals. I have three Russian friends and they in total have 11 cards (5+3+3). One can assume there are 2 cards or 1.5 cards per individual in Russia. So the total number of individuals with a card is around 44.5 to 60 million. This is 30% to 41% penetration based on the 146 million people. Which year you want to pick 2015 or 2017 to size up the market adoption in 4 to 6 years? The number of smartphones users is around 110 million in Russia (based on search results). Mir’s Russian market penetration number was around 20% in 2019. One can safely say the adoption of the MIR cards in Russia is SLOW.

Please compare this adoption with China’s UnionPay cards launched in 2002. Why was Russia so late in introducing in 2015? In some places in the U$A they accept the UnionPay card and not Amex. Why? Also, China is targeting many nations with its cards. It will be great if Russia would offer MIR cards to people in its economic union such as Belarus, or Donbass where it is offering passports. They are extending it to 12+ countries. The market opportunity will be larger than the 146 million potential customers.

Completely familiar with the Russian technology market. No business model innovation. I will be happy to learn about unique innovative business models.

Let’s look at Russia’s central bank interest rate of 5.5%. Why is it charging interest on the money created out of thin air? Isn’t that USURY? In summary, Russia is a NEOLIBERAL state looting its own people and businesses.

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 3:39 utc | 144

Thanks for your kind words, Norb. 🙂

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 3:40 utc | 145

Well at least there is no need for the new song about it...
Both the original and the cover are awesome!

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 3:50 utc | 146

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 3:39 utc | 140
Let’s look at Russia’s central bank interest rate of 5.5%. Why is it charging interest on the money created out of thin air? Isn’t that USURY?
Russia's inflation rate is 4.5% so 5.5% interest looks more like an attempt to lower the inflation a bit by slightly increasing the cost of borrowing.

In summary, Russia is a NEOLIBERAL state looting its own people and businesses.
Maybe, but the bank interest rate does not illustrate that.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 4:22 utc | 147

I wish the British would enforce the navigation rights of the Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza or follow through on the UN order to return the Chagos Islands to its indigenous people.
If that happened I might consider them something other than the hypocritical posers they clearly are.

Posted by: Ike | Jun 26 2021 4:25 utc | 148

@ hopehely (#143),

No BS please. Anyone that tells you the central bank’s interest rate is defined by the inflation rate, they’re fooling you. This is a MSM mantra to hide the looting. Have you had a real conversation with a central banker? No need to rationalize wrongdoings.

What is the real inflation rate in the U$A? What is the interest rate? So what happened to your cockamamie theory.

What causes inflation? What are the various ways to manage the inflation? This statement, “bit by slightly increasing the cost of borrowing,” is absurd. It is a lot of money on a multi million loan. Who gets that extra money? Please don’t peddle neoliberal orthodoxy.

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 4:52 utc | 149

Max @ 140

Some places in Australia accept UnionPay where there is a large Chinese population or large numbers of Chinese tourists, elsewhere "What's that card? We don't accept it." Similarly, Turkey which has a large number of Russian tourist frequently accept MIR cards. Your anecdotal evidence based on three friends is meaningless. I can offer similar anecdotal evidence based on my daughters having one card each.

Sberbank issues both MIR and non-MIR cards, both of which use the Russian National Card Payment System. A similar system operates in Australia, where my credit card is issued in conjunction with Visa, but my debit card is issued by the bank alone.

A smartphone rate of 75% is not far behind Australia's rate of 80%. The Russian internet rate is 81% not far behind Australia's rate of 88%.

Posted by: Peter Williams | Jun 26 2021 5:20 utc | 150

Norb @139, Gordog @91

I'll second that, great to have another fan of Russian Rocket-Space Technology here. I've been following the development of Tsirkon with interest, can you suggest any good links in English? For such a cutting edge secret program informed speculation is the best we can hope for I guess, if the Russians really have deployed a scramjet powered missile with an advanced fuel that overcomes the operational limitations of liquid hydrogen (low density, low temperature etc) that is incredibly exciting (or terrifying if you are a Western imperialist).

There has been some speculation that Tsirkon works on the same principle as tbe antiship Kalibr, using an advanced ramjet to cruise to its target at Mach 4 and then launching a Mach 7-8 rocket powered second stage when it nears its target. I think most of this speculation is emanating from unsettled Western observers, and selective leaks about the advanced scramjet fuel is the Russian response. I certainly hope that Russia has made a breakthrough with scramjet propulsion as this has implications for space launch. It would be great to see a 21st century version of the Spiral system, with a scramjet powered carrier aircraft boosting a small spaceplane to hypersonic speeds before the spaceplane's rockets take over for the boost to orbit!

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jun 26 2021 5:24 utc | 151

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 4:52 utc | 145

Have you had a real conversation with a central banker?
Hell no. I am a worker class guy.
But, I had a conversation with my local banker, and he offered me prime minus 0.2 for a variable rate mortgage. Is that a good deal, or he is looting me?

It is a lot of money on a multi million loan.
Well, then take a smaller loan. Maybe just a few millions.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 5:44 utc | 152

@ Peter Williams (#146),

In the U$A there are on average 4 cards per son and initially the adoption is driven by high income groups. Some are still unbanked in the U$A. This is not just anecdotal evidence but corroborated with market research from Russia of 20% market penetration in 2019. What is the current market penetration? However, this service was launched more than a decade after China’s launch. I know the global payment space very well.

China is excelling in the innovation arena because it is making the best of its monetary system. It is enabling startup clusters with subsidized rent, tax-free status, and rebates to cover worker salaries.

“Premier Li Keqiang gave a speech in which he called for “mass entrepreneurship and mass innovation,” giving explicit approval for people to start companies and make their fortunes. More than 1,200 startups have raised venture money since that speech.” Chinese officials tend to be more forceful in supporting new technologies than their American counterparts—what Lee calls “techno-utilitarianism.”

“If you set up new R&D facilities in Nanjing, we will award you up to 5 million yuan each year. We will give up to 15 million yuan for those who set up angel capital or VC firms. If you invest in Nanjing-based startups, we will reward up to 5 million yuan. If the investment fails, you can get up to 6 million in compensation.”

Please share examples of any such funding in Russia or other places in the world. Nation that invests in enabling its innovation is a great nation!

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 6:00 utc | 153

Hi Korolev.

I'm pretty sure the Tsirkon is a legit scramjet. There have been several long range flight tests as part of state trials that have publicized numbers about range to target and flight time. So it is flying at over Mach 6 based on those numbers, over a flight distance of about 500 km [maybe an even higher speed, depending on flight altitude, since Mach number is a function of temperature, which, in turn, varies by altitude---getting colder as you go higher, which means Mach number increases at high altitude, even though you are physically going the exact same speed]

I don't think they would fudge those range and flight time numbers since US over-the-horizon radar [for instance the one in UK] can track an object of that size and speed. Those radars can see for thousands of miles. Not to mention space sensors of various kinds.

There are some very big engineering difficulties with what you suggest.

Every ramjet or scramjet needs to be launched by an aft-mounted solid-fuel rocket booster, which brings it up to the speed where the ram effect can drive the engine [compression of the air]. Even a subsonic, turbojet-powered cruise missile needs a rocket launch, since its wings fold and it is launched out of a canister.

A second rocket stage for a terminal velocity sprint at hypersonic speed would have to then be located FORWARD of the scramjet engine, and that entire body, fuselage included, would have to fall off, just like the launch rocket falls off.

This would present a huge center-of-gravity problem, not to mention a huge aerodynamic problem of the biggest part of the body falling off. These vehicles are lifting bodies. They are designed to ride on the shockwave that is formed in front of the nose of the vehicle. This aerodynamics is incredibly tricky. And I will tell you straight off, that such a drastic change in the body's shape would be aerodynamically impossible to maintain flight.

As an aeronautical engineer, I would say this is an impossible configuration.

Here is my information on how Tsirkon works. After the launch and acceleration to about Mach 1.5 to 2 with the solid booster on the aft end that falls off, the vehicle goes into ramjet mode. Here the incoming airflow is slowed down in the inlet duct to a typical ramjet combustion velocity of about M 0.5 [similar to a supersonic turbojet].

I'll use a couple of illustrations here to show the challenges of that approach. Here is first the side-view section of a supersonic inlet duct, called a convergent-divergent geometry.

Here the flow enters at left at supersonic [greater than M1] and is slowed down as the duct cross-section area decreases. At the middle is the sonic throat, where Mach equals exactly 1.

After that the physics of the airflow completely reverses and a diverging duct now slows the air further to the required combustion chamber entry speed of about M 0.5. [notice that at supersonic the air slows down in a CONVERGING duct, like the one in front.

[The same behavior is of course manifested at the exit of the engine, at the thrust nozzle, which is why you have the bell-shaped rocket nozzles, which are first converging, then diverging into the big bell].

So this is all well and good and an airplane that needs to fly supersonically must be able to adjust that inlet geometry on the fly, in order to be able to take off and fly subsonically, and then to raise that bump in the middle so it becomes a C-D duct for supersonic flight.

A similar transition happens then from supersonic ramjet to hypersonic scramjet, where the air is slowed down, but never to Mach 1 or below, which causes a very large shockwave which eats up much of the ram pressure and turns it into heat. That is why ramjets are limited to about M3 to 4.

So a variable geometry inlet is needed. These are the finer points of designing a ramjet-scramjet engine---although it is conceptually similar to designing a variable-geometry duct for a subsonic-supersonic turbojet.

Btw, the scramjet first has to start as a ramjet, since a rocket that would blast it up to Mach 5, where the scram could take over would be too big and heavy.

So this variable geometry is one of the biggest design problems. The fuel itself is a big deal too, but I don't really know if that is the key to success with the Tsirkon.

Here is another illustration of an inlet with the shockwaves.

You can see the inlet Mach is greater than sonic, it could even be Mach 9 or 10. But you see also how the area of the inlet actually doesn't change [it's a straight box], but simply the way it is tilted in respect of the airflow means the area is decreasing as the flow enters on that straight horizontal line. This is shown by the dashed lines getting shorter and shorter.

Those dashed lines are the so-called 'oblique' shockwaves. Except for the last one, which you can see is perpendicular to the duct wall. This is final shock that reduces the flow to exactly sonic velocity, M1. It's called the 'normal' shock, because it is always at a perpendicular [ie normal] angle.

So now imagine that if this geometry is for a scramjet, then we want to have it tilted in such a way that that bottom 'floor' goes down a little so we never get to that smallest cross section where the line is the shortest and the shockwave is perpendicular. That way we keep the flow above Mach 1 [about Mach 1.5 in a scramjet, maybe even higher [Mach 2?] if we want it to go faster].

The less oblique shocks we have, the less energy we lose, and the higher the compression ratio of the air. Remember, each shock wave reduces compression by turning it into heat. And PRESSURE is the energy we have to work with and which we turn into kinetic [speed] energy in the exhaust nozzle, which gives us thrust. [Only pressure energy can be converted into WORK energy in any heat engine, be it a car or an air conditioning engine, or a rocket or whatever---which is why EVERY engine must have COMPRESSION.]

So a lot of tricky challenges there involving all kinds of physics. You need to make that inlet into some kind of shape-shifter that is first going to be a ramjet, and then a scramjet.

The fuel may even be the least important of the whole thing, as you suggest. We just don't know.

But this thing is one hundred percent for real. No faking possible at this level. The science is well known, just making it work is the trick

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 6:52 utc | 154

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

I have been arguing this very point in many different venues i.e. Britain's own argument amounts to a noose around its own neck.

This is something that EVERYONE agrees to: Russia has "effective control" over Crimea and the waters that surround it.

Everybody accepts that, including both the Ukrainian government and the British government.

Therefore British and Ukrainian refusal to recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea means that as far as they are concerned Russia is an occupying power (in the absence of Russian sovereignty then her "effective control" of Crimea is the very dictionary-definition of a belligerent occupation).

Well, shucks, guys, that has consequences.

For one, Russia's "authority" over that territory and its waters derive from the provisions of International Humanitarian Law i.e. The Laws Of War. It does not derive from the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Therefore pointing to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is merely an exercise in rank hypocrisy, because during a belligerent occupation the relevant laws are not to be found in UNCOLS but are to be found in the "Hague Regulations 1907", the "Geneva Conventions 1949" and the "San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea".

The UK has to get its story right: is this a belligerent occupation, or is it not?

Because if it *is* an occupation then HMS Defender does *not* possess a "right of innocent passage" through those waters and, furthermore, attempting to assert such a "right" can only be regarded as an Act of War against that occupying power.

Or, put another way: Britain either does its crap or it gets off the crapper.

Because as it stands now Boris Johnson is refusing to do either.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 26 2021 7:29 utc | 155

The armchair warrior contingent on here dogpiling on journalists who consistently do good work, e.g. Craig Murray, for the “crime” of not always mirroring their own opinions 100% of the time is really pathetic.

Who do you people think you are?

Do you honestly believe your opinions about everything are objectively correct and beyond reproach?

At least people like Murray have the courage to act on their principled convictions even when it puts their life or liberty at risk. What have you lot done besides talking big behind your keyboards from the comfort of your living rooms?

Most MoA commentators are not like this, but a vocal minority are real pieces of sh!t with no sense of integrity, consistency or personal honour.

Pull your heads out of your fundaments and get some fresh air before your brain cells atrophy even further.

Posted by: Antibody | Jun 26 2021 8:37 utc | 156

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 23:07 utc | 117

Eight years later, my point's more than valid. At this point, there are no more political tools or methods short of war the Empire can employ to further its hegemony.

I believe there are quite a few options for an undeterred Empire to prolong the system a bit longer.

At this point, it becomes urgent for the West to force nations to choose sides and then bind them to that choice. Ambivalence towards the East must be discouraged and any hint of overture must be reprimanded. Defection will be severely punished.

A well fought narrative battle can achieve much of that goal. Many folks will readily buy a shit sandwich if the pitch is right. The Ryanair incident and the Skripal affair are high profile, artillery barrage operations while the regular hail of smaller incidents such as this latest operation off the Crimean coast create an omnipresent soundtrack.

The next level can include diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions. Hesitant fence-sitters and non compliant third parties are very vulnerable to such coercive measures and will certainly have to weigh the costs and benefits of opting out of the game.

For those who have made the wrong choice and are lost to the cause, the goal will be to ensure they remain a liability to the competitor for as long as possible. From petty vandalism to social unrest, there are are countless opportunities for an unscrupulous belligerent. Acts of sabotage that plague Iran and that we have also seen in Syria and Venezuela are bound to extend to many more countries. I'm also convinced that the Hong-Kong, out of the box model of riots could be applied just about anywhere.

TLDR: The Empire is looking at a grim future but certainly won't be giving up lying down.

Posted by: robin | Jun 26 2021 8:59 utc | 157

Max @ 149

Perhaps you'll finally get around to give citations for your claims? I won't hold my breath. Anecdotes and bold claims, but never a researchable citation. Giving multiple credit cards without financial ability to repay is illegal in Australia, and any financial institution willing to try this unethical behaviour will wear the losses. Not sure about Russia, but I'd suspect it is similar.

Posted by: Peter Williams | Jun 26 2021 9:01 utc | 158

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 23:07 utc | 117

The recent UNGA vote on the illegal Cuban Blockade furthers the point that the Empire in reality has no friends as Occupied Palestine is merely a Parasite.

They've got a new friend, Ukraine abstained, the nazis sided with the empire and forgot about the 20K children treated for radiation sickness in Cuba, for free. That's how they said "thanks" to Cuba, how low can they go...

Posted by: Paco | Jun 26 2021 9:53 utc | 159

@Antibody #152:

Most MoA commentators are not like this, but a vocal minority are real pieces of sh!t with no sense of integrity, consistency or personal honour.

Funny you say that, because it’s actually Mr. Murray who has no sense of integrity, consistency, or personal honour when it comes to the issue of Crimea and the rights of people who live there. The complete inconsistency, irrationality, and historical ignorance of his statements on Crimea were pointed out to Mr. Murray many times by many commenters, including by me—always in respectful, fact-based manner. All this feedback is simply ignored by Mr. Murray, which is hardly an honourable thing to do.

Having said that, I respect Mr. Murray for his fight for Julian Assange and Alex Salmond.

Posted by: S | Jun 26 2021 9:56 utc | 160

In response to Antibody@152,

The "crime," as you've presented it, is a strawman. Nobody is taking issue over Craig's preference of Coke over Pepsi or undermining the good work done by Craig within that context. Disagreement is not even a secondary issue, whereas the implications of the expressed opinion or understanding are paramount. If Craig is ever rewarded for all his hard work, with even a modicum of influence over the future development of the Crimean situation, it follows from his comments on this issue that his presence would be a harmful one. This doesn't change by the virtue of good deeds in other fields, nor does the issue stem from a personal dispute to be resolved by taking one's ego out of the equation.

There are people who act on their principled convictions serving in Ukrainian neo-nazi "death squads," who I would much rather see talking big behind a keyboard and subsequently don't endorse, despite our very few, in human terms, but pivotal disagreements. It's not a fair comparison to Mr. Murray as an individual, but it's an appropriate analogy in dispelling the unreasonable demands you've made of Murray's critics. They're entitled to their own opinions of the man, just as you are, and any attempt of depriving them of that by your insinuations and with insults is actually pathetic. Why not instead defend Murray's stated opinion and argue its merit, if you are so inclined?

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 26 2021 10:02 utc | 161

I'd been thinking about this stupid stunt seemingly ordered directly from the PM Johnson and a few hypotheses came in mind.
Case A) BoJo's an idiot and the Admiralty's composed by idiots like him or worse. (Plenty of proof for this, from his handling of both Brexit and Covid19, to the billions wasted on a useless carrier and worthless F35's)
Case B) BoJo's an idiot, the Admiralty's not but it's too spineless to say no.
Case C) Neither BoJo nor the Admiralty are idiots, they needed some fracas to cover up their failures, this stunt is entirely for domestic consumption.
Case D) Neither BoJo nor the Admiralty intended to pull such a stunt, but they got an order they can't refuse from someone else (currently represented by a former senator from Delaware with brain damage) who needs plausible deniability to break the promises he just made to Russia a few days ago.
Case E) BoJo's an idiot, the Admiralty's composed by idiots, they got ordered by Someone Else, and they enthusiastically agreed like the worthless little bootlickers they are. (By far the most plausible, in my opinion)

Posted by: SumGuy | Jun 26 2021 11:57 utc | 162

Gordog @150

Thanks for taking the time to provide such an in depth reply and pointing out numerous aspects I had not considered (my background is in social science so it's great to pick the brain of a aeronautical engineer!). I guess staging a waverider lifting body deep inside the atmosphere is the definition of a 'non-trivial problem'. I won't claim to understand hyoersonic flows and variable geometry inlet designs (although thanks to your reply I now understand a little more) , but from reading T.A. Heppinheimer's 'Facing The Heat Barrier' about US hypersonic research I gather the US made very little progress in creating a working scramjet despite the billions poured into Reagan's National Aerospaceplane and the X-43 and X-51 programs produced nothing close to an operational wealons system. It seems Russia has left these efforts in the dust, interesting times!

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jun 26 2021 12:04 utc | 163

@158 SumGuy Another possibility is that Boris Johnson is simply too lazy to read his briefing notes, and so glibly assumes that he can successfully keep a handle on two mutually-exclusive propositions.

Which, as Stefan Talmon says above, are these: "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."

Boris is shouting long and loud that Russia is an occupying power.
Boris is also shouting that Russia has no authority to deny his warships passage through that occupied territory.

Both claims can not be correct.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 26 2021 12:50 utc | 164

The UK on Malvinas:
"Britain says Argentina should respect the islanders’ right to self-determination after 99.7 per cent voted in favour of remaining a British overseas territory in a 2013 referendum, which had a turnout of over 90 per cent."

Doesn't that sound similar to some other current situation, I forgot which one...

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 13:33 utc | 165

So what this provocation boils down to is that its either little insignificant rump England, obsessed with their blind hatred of Russia and phantom pains of a long lost empire based on global genocide and theft, acting on their own accord. Or in accordance with the US who ordered the provocation.

Rememember (and everybody seems to have forgotten this) that after the US chickened out and got second thoughts from a planned provocative tour with 2 of their vessels during the ukraine stand off the English immediately yapped something about sending their entire 2-ship navy, in order to "stick it to the russians" in the black sea. The English media triumphantly parroted that our "boys" will show the Russians their place", nothing happened however and under total media silence the English sent a small patrol boat in and out of the bosporous instead. Imagine the disappointment in the Nazi camp in Kiev.

Bearing in mind this incident, next provocation in the black sea involving NATO's "sea breeze" wargames could lead to actual war and if so black sea will be the absolute worst place for them to be in....

Posted by: Mikhas | Jun 26 2021 13:42 utc | 166

Max @ 140:

I hate to get all economist on you, but if you have an inflation rate of about five percent, and you charge five percent on the loan, you're actually not charging interest at all. The loan is index-linked, ie the debtor pays back what he or she borrowed, not more or less.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 13:56 utc | 167

Wysłane przez: Peter AU1 | 25 czerwca 2021 17:33 utc | 29

Być może zaczerpnął część swoich uprzedzeń z byłego delegowania do Polski. Rozumiem, że Polacy nie przepadają za Rosjanami, a nawet Niemcami.

Wysłane przez: Blue Dotterel | 25 czerwca 2021 18:23 utc | 39

//Polacy lubią Rosjan, nie lubią bolszewików, ukraińców i oszukańczych żydow. Stosunek do Niemcow nacechowany jest dualizmem.

Posted by: Andrzej | Jun 26 2021 14:00 utc | 168

@Antibody #152:

'Most MoA commentators are not like this, but a vocal minority are real pieces of sh!t with no sense of integrity, consistency or personal honour.

Wow! Antisocial much?

First you diss everyone for being a keyboard warrior---which I guess makes YOU the biggest keyboard warrior of them all. Hail to the CHIEF, lol!

Personally I found the Murray discussion helpful, especially Peter AU's extensive citations from the man, which shed a lot of new light for me, and which I had no idea about. So thanks to those folks.

Nobody condemned the man. Everybody supports his work on Assange and the Skripals, which has been excellent. And he even did good work on this latest issue, if I understand correctly.

It's human nature to pick at people's faults, real or perceived---everybody does it, especially in a social setting [like a bar, real or online].

Obviously you've had one too many, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 14:09 utc | 169

robin @153

It is interesting how many westerners dismiss the centrality of economics and relegate it to subordinate roles in geopolitics. I can only figure this is because most westerners don't actually do anything economically significant anymore and so they assume that since they are not producing anything then production is unimportant. Whether this assumption is caused by western delusion and exceptionalism or that narcissistic perspective arises from being divorced from the production process would be an interesting discussion.

Of course, we are talking productive economic activities here; manufacturing and agriculture. Many in the West think of finance when they think of economics, and that is understandable considering how useless they have become from the standpoint of economic productivity. Shuffling digital representations of currency from one ledger to another doesn't produce food or smartphones, no matter how crucial those doing the shuffling imagine their part in the production process to be.

"At this point, it becomes urgent for the West to force nations to choose sides and then bind them to that choice."

Sure, but how is that "binding" accomplished? karlof1 says war. That poster is absolutely correct. Europe cannot economically shut out China any more than they can just stop eating. Economic imperatives always trump propaganda and jingoism. Despite nearly half a decade of anti-China jingoist hysteria the United States trade deficit with China still dwarfs its trade with any other country or even region. The US is demanding everyone else shut out China and the US cannot even do that itself! Economics has its own internal imperatives, like gravity or being born with XX or XY as one's 23rd chromosome pair. You can rail at the unfairness of it and try to pretend that it isn't so, but you cannot change reality.

America's poodles in Europe can pretend to go on economic hunger strike in support of American imperialism, but when economic dinner time rolls around they will line up to buy from China and Russia. The US doesn't have the industrial capacity to keep them supplied. All American can do is print more dollars, and you cannot eat or wear dollars.

The only way that America has left to enforce its hegemony (and give its role in global finance teeth) is war. karlof1 is right about this.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 26 2021 14:24 utc | 170

adding to
@ robin 153
A well fought narrative battle can achieve much of that goal. Many folks will readily buy a shit sandwich if the pitch is right.
in response to
Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 25 2021 23:07 utc | 117
Eight years later, my point's more than valid. At this point, there are no more political tools or methods short of war the Empire can employ to further its hegemony.

Yes, the US DOD is shifting to more emphasis on information warfare i.e. propaganda as a weapon, even for special forces which has specialized in assassinations but will now prioritize information warfare. Of course the MSM media will go along with the fabricated news, as b often illustrates. The truth will be what they claim it is, and there will be no deviation allowed. . . .Iran will have a "hardline president" and every news source better say it.

There are four psychological operations units in the U.S. Army:
2nd Psychological Operations Group
4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne)
7th Psychological Operations Group
8th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) Psychological operations (PSYOP) are operations to convey selected information and indicators to audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.
The goal of United States psychological operations is to induce or reinforce behavior favorable to U.S. objectives. They are an important part of the range of diplomatic, informational, military and economic activities available to the U.S. They can be utilized during both peacetime and conflict. There are three main types: strategic, operational and tactical. Strategic PSYOP include informational activities conducted by the U.S. government agencies outside of the military arena, though many utilize Department of Defense (DOD) assets. Operational PSYOP are conducted across the range of military operations, including during peacetime, in a defined operational area to promote the effectiveness of the joint force commander's (JFC) campaigns and strategies. Tactical PSYOP are conducted in the area assigned to a tactical commander across the range of military operations to support the tactical mission against opposing forces.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2021 14:37 utc | 171

Another new area of warfare will be cyber
. . .from Stripes
Russia steps up efforts to sow confusion and fear of conflict ahead of naval exercise, analysts say

NAPLES, Italy – Spoofing the location of NATO ships, spreading disinformation on social media and threatening military repercussions are typical ploys from a well-worn Moscow playbook, analysts said ahead of an international naval exercise in the Black Sea co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine.
The annual Exercise Sea Breeze comes ahead of Russian threats to potentially fire on participants if they intrude in their territorial waters, and following a heated dispute over the passage of a British destroyer through the Black Sea on Wednesday.
. . .In addition to the incident with HMS Defender, Russia has stepped up efforts to spread confusion and fear of military conflict on social media in order to hamper Sea Breeze and protect its disputed claim to territorial waters around the Crimean Peninsula.
. . .“Russians have put a premium on deception at least since Soviet days – they call it maskirovka – and they still excel at it,” said James R. Holmes, the J.C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I. “Cellphones, social media, and on and on allow an opponent to reach directly into U.S. or allied military units to sow confusion or dissension, much as people are always trying to trick you with spam calls or email.” . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2021 14:57 utc | 172


Ukraine's shameful abstaining vote on the Cuban sanctions is a fitting summation of everything blighting modern politics and diplomacy. Given the support that Cuba has provided to 20,000 children and their families suffering from radiation sickness it is beyond contempt but not the cynical decision making of the politician.

Posted by: Reggie | Jun 26 2021 15:17 utc | 173

@Gordog | Jun 25 2021 23:28 utc | 121

Thanks Karlof, glad you and James and possibly others found the somewhat technical info useful!

Please put me on the list of those who read your posts with interest. Please keep such technical info coming!

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 26 2021 15:29 utc | 174

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2021 14:57 utc | 168

To paraphrase Mike Tyson:

"Everyone has a narrative, until they get punched in the face."

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 26 2021 15:42 utc | 175

To be fair, i should elaborate~

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2021 14:57 utc | 168

"Psych-groups" are only useful in swaying public support for things that are marginally supportable.

When families start receiving mass notifications that loved-ones and their friends have perished, there is only so much that "Psych-groups" can do to hide the facts of the losses.

Repeated losses lead to mass demoralization--and that will be an inevitable consequence of military losses.

That's the point where The Powers That Be must intervene, and refrain from nuclear annihilation.

I think you and I agree that there is no indication that "The Powers That Be" (Western European "Nobility," Corporate Financiers, Banking Elites, etc) will be supple enough to curtail their subordinates from reacting in the most immoral fashion imaginable.

I'm thinking "Salo", except with military people in the role of the kidnapped kids.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Jun 26 2021 15:50 utc | 176

Gruff @ 166:

You are right. If you want to know why I would like to cite your post: 'Many in the West think of finance when they think of economics'. That's why most westerners 'don't understand' economics and the role it plays. A prime example of complete and utter confusion would be that BTC is a storer of value, as if you could just make something up and then it magically obtain real value in the real world.

A Marxist wouldn't confuse finance (the dealings in fictitious capital) whit the real economy (the production of goods and services, including means of production and circulation.)

In 'the West' since the 1970-ties the economy has been dominated to a larger and larger extent by the financial parasite, sucking money out of the real economy and diverting it to pointless speculation.

Reaganomics, Thatcherism, monetarism, neo liberalism, neo classical economics... They have all been ways to divert attention from what's happening in reality by pointing to fictitious things like 'the reaction of the market' and the enormous 'wealth' represented by stocks and derivatives.

The failure to take the economy into account is the visible sign of success of a four decades long massive propaganda campaign. What we are witnessing now is the parasite killing the host.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 16:02 utc | 177

@ jorgen hassler - good analogy! thank you.. it's worth repeating..

The UK on Malvinas:
"Britain says Argentina should respect the islanders’ right to self-determination after 99.7 per cent voted in favour of remaining a British overseas territory in a 2013 referendum, which had a turnout of over 90 per cent."

Doesn't that sound similar to some other current situation, I forgot which one...

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 13:33 utc | 161"

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2021 16:12 utc | 178

Wiliam Gruff @ 166

Well that's just the point, is it not? Burn as many bridges now while you still can. Tomorrow will be too late.

A smaller scale, yet literal example, is the West's methodical destruction of all bridges across the Euphrates in areas set to be liberated by government forces.

This type of strategic thinking can be applied figuratively to the entire rimland. Take as much down as you can to make it that much harder to line up to buy from China or Russia, as you suggest.

My point is that ultimately, for a rump Empire, the target will no longer be China and Russia. They will be out of reach.

The target will be what lies between YOU and Russia.

Posted by: robin | Jun 26 2021 16:14 utc | 179

thanks to those responding to antibody and articulating it much better then i... you folks get it...

Posted by: james | Jun 26 2021 16:15 utc | 180

Why do Brits hate Russians?

Because Russia defeated Germany and saved the UK from invasion and occupation. When I was a kid, the narrative was that the UK and US (in that order) had defeated Germany. But research in the last thirty years and books written by John Erickson, David M Glantz, etc. have made it very clear that the war on the Eastern Front was the main event in Europe, it was the Red Army that defeated Nazi Germany and the rest were sideshows. The Little Englanders couldn't accept that and sadly they still can't. I'd even go as far as suggesting that a substantial number of them would have been happy for Hitler to defeat the Soviet Union and then invade and occupy the UK just so the Soviet Union lost.

That and more than 75 years of relentless anti-communist propaganda driven by all the European Nazi who ended up in the United States or Canada in positions of authority because they were anti-communists like Chrystia Freeland's ancestors.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 26 2021 16:29 utc | 181

Psh, 12 miles from the border (unclos bs)… The Iranian ships merely entered the Atlantic, and, caused so much concern. Rubio wants a “forceful” response.
Did the Iranians learn from the Brits? Where does this leave the Monroe Doctrine?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Jun 26 2021 16:38 utc | 182

Jörgen Hassler @ 173, Gruff and karlof1, yes definitely.

I think many people in politics understand the deficit but just like to play theatrics with it.
Pretending it only matters when it comes to social problems/useful projects. (constructive)

Not for war, or bailing out the banks and stock markets which keeps their corporate payouts coming. (financial)

One person who understands it well and has written a very compelling book on it is Stephanie Kelton

Posted by: financial matters | Jun 26 2021 16:38 utc | 183

Thank, b for letting comment on the post with less relevance to the subject. This is my last comment on this post.

@ Jörgen Hassler (#163), “The annual inflation rate for the United States is 5.0% for the 12 months ended May 2021 after rising 4.2% previously, according to U.S. Labor Department data published June 10.” What is the U$A interest rate? This should DEBUNK your opinion.

Many Russian and developing countries businesses borrow from the Western banks due to their low rates and fall into a trap. These oligarchs then become dependent on exports to earn dollars and need a bailout during a financial crisis. When will these nations break the chains of Monetary Imperialism? How?

I completely agree with your comment (#173), “In 'the West' since the 1970-ties the economy has been dominated to a larger and larger extent by the financial parasite, sucking money out of the real economy and diverting it to pointless speculation.”

Most nations have a central bank no matter what “ism” they follow, and neoliberal states like Russia, U$A, UK, Switzerland,... have a central-private banking system based on fractional reserve banking. However, to keep the fraud going not all nations have the same nomenclature and they don’t teach the subject of money in their schools.

Russian central bank’s 5.5% interest is on the reserve money or base money. This is the money that private banks need to have against their loans (credit money). The Central bank only get interest on the reserve money and not the total loan money.

In reality, money comes out of nothing. Private Banks create money. Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it. In essence, their business model is to use public’s credit for private gains. An administration that enables LOOTING of its populace is called?

CREDIT MONEY – Credit Creation Theory
When a bank gives a loan (credit money, deposit,...) they create money and allocate an amount equivalent to 10% of loan in the reserve. This is fractional reserve banking. These reserve requirements vary by nations from 0 to 30%. Productive credit is good and speculative-consumer credits are bad for the economy. The bank generally have a markup of 3% over the central bank rate on their loans.

Assume a private bank borrows $1 million from a central bank, then it will pay 5.5% interest per year on that amount, totaling $55,000. At the low end it will issue $9 million in loans against this reserve amount charging around minimum 8%. So the private bank will make around $720,000 per year on that amount. This is free money for the private bank enabled by the central bank, its PROFITS.

A Russian business who needs a million dollar might borrow from abroad in the UK or other nation at less than 5%. Russia will see inflation in this case too but its central banks gets nothing. Inflation is a monetary phenomena.

VEIL of Deception
The Global Financial Syndicate decided the structure of the world’s economy and developed the global control financial system to eliminate economic nationalism and achieve world dominance for its lust for power through monetary imperialism.

This paper clearly explains that we are being intentionally and systematically misled about the nature of money and about the role of central banks and commercial banks in the monetary system. In reality, the central banks’ historical origin and role had more to do with the desire of private bankers to control and coordinate the process of private sector money creation. That most money is created in the private sector is something that central bankers like to gloss over and explain in a distorted and unnecessarily convoluted way. Central bankers do so by avoiding any mention of private money creation or credit creation, and by pretending instead that central banks have a monopoly to create money. Textbook authors distort the process of money creation, using the rhetoric of the inappropriate loanable funds model. Their account of the role and legal status of central banks is highly selective and biased.

The veil of deception over money: how textbooks distort the nature of banking and central banking

The Global Financial Syndicate controls the West through its financial system. What FRACTAL emerges when you analyze the WESTERN PRIVATE PLANTATION?

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 16:40 utc | 184

Antibody 152

There was a large inconsistency in Craig Murray. His absolute honesty and knowledge of law, and experience as an ambassador verses his cultural hatred of Russia and I have noticed in the past as referring to various leaders as dictators and so forth.
His speech, part of which I quoted earlier gives a much better understanding of the man. He has been taken in by the green/amnesty international/woke version of humanitarian. He can still be read for his knowledge of international law and also his experience as ambassador but on the understanding of his brainwashing in that area. The tatars of Crimea is a part of history that he should know well but his brainwashing makes it impossible to see things that contradict his woke humanitarian cult beliefs.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 16:56 utc | 185

Thanks for that book reference, Korolev. Haven't come across it, but it sounds like a good historical overview of hypersonic research over the decades, at least in the US.

How much technical meat and potatoes is in that book [ie actual math]? I find that many books for a general audience don't generally get into the technical weeds, besides simplifying complicated physics for the layman---and sometimes they do a really bad job of this.

It does seem to cover the hypersonic spectrum, which consists of many vastly different vehicle categories.

Yes this work has been ongoing for decades. For instance, the Avangard concept goes back to world war 2 and Austrian aerospace engineer Eugen Sänger, who developed a concept for a suborbital bomber [!] that could reach the United States.

It would be launched by a rocket [the Germans had the world's most powerful rocket at the time, V2, although a much more powerful one yet would be needed]. The 'spaceplane' would then skip across the top of the atmosphere like the Avangard. Here is an illustration showing its bounces as it flies half way around the world. notice how the bounces get progressively smaller, until it finally just glides at high speed.

In the history of controlled [atmospheric] re-entries there is a startling plan for utilizing the enormous kinetic energy embodied in a rocket returning into the atmosphere from a ballistic high flight. In 1944 fairly little was known of the re-entry problem. Thus it seemed that the enormous kinetic energy in a rocket descending in a ballistic trajectory could be put to use to gain substantial increases in range.

Among several schemes the most ambitious was the one on a Rocket Glider with Antipodal Reach, put forward in 1944 by scientist Eugen Sänger and matematician Irene Bredt. After World War II both the Western Powers and the leadership in the Soviet Union showed a marked interest in the projected Sänger-Bredt Antipodal Glider".

Both sides worked on this scheme for all of these decades. The Avangard has finally achieved Sänger's vision!

Now this is a completely different hypersonic flight vehicle than a cruise missile like Tsirkon that has an airbreathing engine and certainly never leaves the atmosphere. Those are the two major branches of hypersonics---the boost-glide vehicle, and the scramjet cruise missile.

It seems that the US has abandoned its efforts to develop a scramjet, according to the blurb on the Heppenheimer book [although it is working on a shorter range glide vehicle].

This reminds me of another engineering problem that the US abandoned because it was deemed 'impossible.' That is the closed-cycle rocket engine developed in Russia in the 1960s. This is also known as the staged-combustion cycle, and results in a more powerful and efficient engine. The first such engine was actually developed by 1960! The S1.5400.

One of the big challenges here is metallurgy. The turbopump that pressurizes the propellants [remember, every engine needs compression] burns a portion of the fuel and oxidizer in an oxygen-rich mixture. This is necessary because after that burned gas drives the turbines, which, in turn, drive the fuel and oxydizer pumps [basically the turbopump works like a jturbojet engine], the spent gases are then routed to the main combustion chamber, instead of being dumped wastefully overboard, as on the simple 'gas-generator' engine.

This requires that spent gas exiting the turbopump to still have lots of oxygen in it, so it can combust in the main combustion chamber. But that oxygen-rich mixture is like an oxy-acetylene cutting torch. If you've ever used one in your garage or workshop, you know what happens when you press the lever for extra oxygen---thick steel plate just turns to candle wax instantly.

That's why it was deemed 'impossible' and the US just ave up on it. It wasn't until the early nineties, after the Soviet collapse, that the US was given a sample of such an engine to take home and test on their own. This was the NK33 engine, designed by aircraft engine designer Nikolai Kuznetsov for Korolev's N1 moonshot rocket. Korolev had secretly mothballed sozens of these engines after the program was canceled [after four failed launches].

But the engine itself was excellent [But there were 33 of them on this rocket and that created a lot of complexity in terms of plumbing and controls and a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong].

You probably know this history, but the American engineers were quite disbelieving until the un-mothballed NK33 actually delivered as promised on the test stand. They bough a bunch of them and used them on the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket for years, although now using the more modern RD191. Some version of Soyuz were still using the leftover NK33s until quite recently.

SpaceX is now working on a staged combustion engine, the Raptor. So is Blue Origin with BE4. I think these episodes of giving up show some of the weaknesses of the US system where too much is left to private enterprise. The Soviet system looked under every rock and explored every possible avenue. And it was recognized that some problems would take years, if not decades to solve. That's what has resulted in Avnagard and Tsirkon.

Now just to tie up another loose end. Earlier you said this:

'There has been some speculation that Tsirkon works on the same principle as tbe antiship Kalibr, using an advanced ramjet to cruise to its target at Mach 4 and then launching a Mach 7-8 rocket powered second stage when it nears its target.'

A couple of things here. The Kalibr is actually subsonic and turbojet powered, not ramjet. It only cruises at M 0.8, like the US Tomahawk. The anti-ship version is the 3M54, which supposedly accelerates to M2.9 in its last 10 nautical miles or so [18.5 km]. Note this is not very much flight distance at all.

Just how this is accomplished is also a secret. I have heard speculation in the English language media that the warhead has its own little rocket engine, and that the entire missile body aft of the warhead drops off in that terminal stage---like you described earlier as a possibility for the Tsirkon.

Now again, this kind of 'tranformer-like' stuff sounds sketchy to me from an engineering perspective.

Maybe the Russians are saying this too, I don't know---but nobody really knows the details of these things because these are very powerful weapons and thus details are kept under wraps. The US has been EXTREMELY worried about the 3M54 for years, not least because Russia also exports these to China and possibly others.

For instance this in Bloomberg from 2007: Navy Lacks Plan to Defend Against `Sizzler' Missile.

Quite a bit of panic there. Various admirals and other experts describe it as a carrier-killer and scream about China taking out carriers and waltzing into Taiwan, etc. Pretty good read for comic relief, lol.

The plan was for the US weapons-makers to build their own version so that they could develop ship defenses against it. But this has never happened, despite many such intentions over the years.

Just to underline again that sea-skimming missiles are a real problem for surface ships. The right kind of missile [the faster the better; and the more maneuverable the better] could make any ship a sitting duck.

Now there is other information, apparently sourced to Jane's, that says one version of the 3M54 flies for up to 220 km at M2.9!

That is much different than some kind of warhead popping out, sprouting wings and control fins and lighting a rocket to fly for ten miles. [Even though this scenario sounds very improbable to me, so I would say Bloomberg's description has nothing to do with how this missile actually works].

Now here is how I think the supersonic sprint works in the terminal phase of flight: it's simply an afterburner on the back of the subsonic turbojet engine!

Here is a cutaway of the Kalibr missile turbojet engine, called the TRD50. This is a small jet engine obviously that makes about 1,000 pounds of thrust. This doesn't have an afterburner and would be used in the 'regular' Kalibr, not the anti-ship one.

Incidentally, you can see that this is actually a 'bypass turbojet' [aka turbofan]. You can see the fan at the front, and then after the fan the airflow is split up, with that top passage bypassing the engine altogether. The second passage goes to the compressor and then on to the combustion chamber, then the turbines, and then out the nozzle, where the two streams merge again.

To make this an afterburning engine, you would just add the afterburner on the back, like any other afterburning turbojet engine used in fighters, the Concorde etc. Here is an illustration of an afterburner.

Btw, a ramjet, and even a scramjet combustion chamber works just like that afterburner.

With afterburner [aka 'reheat'] such a missile could certainly reach close to M3. There are turbojet-powered interceptors that get close to that, and the missile is a more aerodynamic body with very small wings and hence less drag.

This certainly makes more sense than a rocket-powered warhead popping out the front. Like I said, this would need wings and fins for control, since terminal phase maneuvering is a big part of this missile's operating mode. So you can't have just a warhead and a rocket engine. And adding all of those things brings all kinds of crazy challenges.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 16:56 utc | 186

Meanwhile Russia engaged in their largest naval exercises since the cold war in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii .
Seems some practice missiles fire where not, or unable to be intercepted by the USA.Which drew concern.
MSM, and others, have have refrained from reporting or commenting for the most part.

Posted by: Fíréan | Jun 26 2021 16:57 utc | 187

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 26 2021 16:29 utc | 177
Why do Brits hate Russians?

Brits dislike everybody except WASPs overseas.
For example, they dislike Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians but since those guys are weak Brits are not afraid of them, just annoyed. That is why they left the EU, they do not want to hang out with them.
However, Russians are strong and can whoop their ass so they are afraid.
When you combine dislike and fear you get hatred.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 17:03 utc | 188

@ Norwegian, thanks man!

I'm kind of mindful that I may be cluttering things up---but then anyone not interested can always just skip over. I know I do.

Be glad to elaborate on any thoughts or questions folks might have. Again, provided I'm not being a nuisance, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 17:09 utc | 189

The Russian anti ship missile - It has a number of engines depending on if it is ground or deck launched or air launched. A ground launched version will have a rocket motor for launch, blown off by explosive bolts, turbojet for cruise at very low altitude - sea skimming staying below the horizon, tubojet blown off for terminal run on rocket motor. At the beginning of the terminal run on the rocket motor, it climbs fast, evasive maneuvering all the way and comes in on the ship from the top.
Air launched doesn't require the launch rocket motor.
At least that is my understanding of it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 17:13 utc | 190

@184 They love Gurkhas and Kurds. It's always struck me as strange that the British working class should be so anti-Russian. I know Brits who complain all the time about the upper classes but they have nothing good to say about communism.

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 17:14 utc | 191

Max @ 180:

You're one of the utterly confused, i gather.

FEDs interest rate can be found in many places, one is this one:

It's 0,25 %. Which does not debunk (please don't shout, it's rude) what was not an opinion but a statement of a very basic mathematical fact. (1,05x-1,05x=0)

With an average inflation rate of about 2 percent the last 10 years, does that mean the FED is paying debtors to take their money? It does. Lucky bastards!

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 17:24 utc | 192

The discussions of Russian hypersonics sound as if the engineering philosophy has changed completely from Soviet times, to imitate instead the US preference for extremely sophisticated (on paper) weapons systems that are inordinately expensive, have extremely slow production, have exceedingly high maintenance issue, do not perform well in the field and frequently do not even have the potential to be decisive, especially given the lack of tactical doctrine. Weapon systems are not really trumps that just get played. Consider the difficulties of turning machine guns (French Mitrailleuse in the Franco-Prussian war is a notable example) or tanks (WWI) or poison gas (WWI) or even aircraft (consider how strategic bombing has never worked as advertised.)

But then I have a powerful conviction that officers pushing "their" program and the contractors profiting from them sell their goods shamelessly. And get away with a lot. That, in short, a lot of this is like Elizabeth Holmes selling Theranos.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 26 2021 17:29 utc | 193

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 17:14 utc | 187

They love Gurkhas and Kurds.
They love obedient servants who know their place in the divine order of thingies? Well, you may call that a love I guess, a farmer loves his horses and oxen and dogs.
It's always struck me as strange that the British working class should be so anti-Russian. I know Brits who complain all the time about the upper classes but they have nothing good to say about communism.
That bastard Eric Blair did a really good job, right?

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 17:38 utc | 194

steven t johnson
Later soviet, and now Russian missile tech is far in advance of the US. They only field stuff that works. The USSR conducted a huge amount scientific research, some of it into areas the US never explore or thought was impossible. The soviets were far in advance of the US in metallurgy - the metallurgy required for the closed cycle rocket engines mentioned by Gordog is still a difficult field for the US. That is why the US military have been buying closed cycle engines from Russia. For the Russians, that is sixty year old technology. That gives an idea of how far in advance Russia is.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 17:51 utc | 195

@ Jörgen Hassler (#192),

“With an average inflation rate of about 2 percent the last 10 years,” What a BS. You’re peddling fake numbers.

Fake data is no fact. What is the real inflation rate in the U$A?

What is the real inflation rate in the U$A?

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 18:02 utc | 196

Peter, I'm pretty sure that the turbojet engine doesn't drop off on the 'Sizzler' [aka 3M54].

Yes, I have seen this description in many places on the internet---and lots of the information on these sites very often just plain wrong, and often silly.

Yes, they all use a launch rocket that falls off after they are shot out of the tube. [Unless they are air-launched, which is a different category of cruise missile altogether.]

This is a so-called 'two-stage' missile, and the Tomahawk is also the same way.

Now my problem is the claim with the so-called 'third stage'---which is supposed to be yet another rocket motor for the terminal sprint.

Frankly, I don't see how this is practicable from an engineering standpoint.

Maybe you're familiar with the site Ausairpower. This is one of the few legit sites on the internet. It's run by Karlo Kopp, who is a PhD, and Peter Goon who is an aeronautical engineer, graduate of the US Naval Test Pilot School, and former RAAF pilot.

Their material is pretty solid. About the only site on the whole internet that I would give that checkmark.

Now here is what they say about the Sizzler:

Like its subsonic sibling, it approaches from under the radar horizon using the same radar seeker to detect its target. Once locked on, it discards the cruise airframe, fires its rocket motor, and accelerates to Mach 2.9 at a sea skimming altitude of 15 feet.

Novator claim the missile follows a zig-zag flightpath to defeat defences.

---3M54 Missile, Ausairpower

So a couple of major points. Yes, this sounds like a THREE-STAGE system. But, the entire airframe is discarded, as I already speculated.

Which means that the nose portion that emerges absolutely must have wings and control fins, if it is going to zigzag on its final path and flying just a few feet above the water. Plus its own little rocket motor out back.

Notice that this is not what you describe of a sudden high climb in the terminal area, and then coming straight down at the target. Other Russian anti-ship missiles have this behavior, I think off the top of my head the ship and sub-launched P700 Granit, and perhaps the air-launched KH22.

Here is the accompanying illustration from the Ausairpower website.

We see there is definitely something going on at the nose end that looks like it is designed to separate from that entire fuselage. But this is also an artist's rendering.

This is probably where all this is coming from. There is another short piece [such as the Bloomberg piece that I mentioned earlier]. And here is another such little piece in Wired, using the exact same illustration as above.

The idea of that nose piece somehow sprouting pop-out wings and control fins just doesn't sound realistic to me [But I could be wrong of course, lol; wouldn't be the first time].

Still, it is a huge engineering project to make something like that. Nothing short of a 'transformer.'

Bottom line is nobody actually knows for sure. These are kept inside closed launch tubes and I have never come across an actual photo of one. If you have one, then please share.

This is not uncommon for these high-tech aerospace weapons. The actual shape is the secret sauce. That's why you are never going to see actual photos of this stuff.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 18:37 utc | 197

Max @196:

If you use that data (finance gives f*ck 0 about consumer price so I used the red line) even luckier bastards.

Still doesn't change the maths. Maybe it easier to understand ig I put it in this format: 1x+0,05x-0,05x=1. See? Start with one, end with one. The answer to your question about where the money goes is nowhere. There is none.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 26 2021 18:40 utc | 198

@194 "They love obedient servants who know their place in the divine order of thingies?"

Maybe partly that. I see it as a romantic crosses all classes.....much the way they feel about native Americans.

1984 you mean? Orwell was talking about the power of propaganda. After his stint at the BBC he knew a thing or two about it.

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 18:40 utc | 199

@Ghost Ship | Jun 26 2021 16:29 utc | 177

The UK's hatred of Russia goes back to the defeat of Napoleon's Grand Armee at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which propelled Russia into being major power - before then UK-Russia relations had been good for centuries. As the offshore balancer the UK quickly rearranged things, including its propaganda, to create an entente with France against Russia - leading to the Crimean War of UK/France against Russia. The communist victory in 1917 just added an extra bit of ideological hatred.

If Putin had rolled over and let his Timmy be rubbed by the Western oligarchs while Russia was turned into a resource and manpower colonial possession of the West I am sure that the UK would suddenly flip to a very favourable view of Russia - as they did for a few years during WW2

An excellent resource on the West's historical Othering of Russia, and Eastern Europe in general are:
- Mettan, G. (2017). Creating Russophobia From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria. Clarity Press.
- Bailey, H. L. (2020). The Public Image of Eastern Orthodoxy: France and Russia, 1848-1970. Cornell University Press.
- Gleason, J. H. (1950). The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain. Harvard University Press.
- McNally, R. T, (1958). The Origins of Russophobia in France: 1812-1830. The American Slavic and East European Review 17(2), 173-189.

Posted by: Roger | Jun 26 2021 18:44 utc | 200

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