Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 13, 2022

The Failure Of This Week's US-NATO-Russia Meetings Make War More Likely

In the late 1990s the U.S. military-industrial-media complex lobbied the Clinton administration to extend NATO. The sole purpose was to win more customers for U.S. weapons. Russia protested. It had offered to integrate itself into a new European security architecture but on equal terms with the U.S. The U.S. rejected that. It wanted Russia to subordinate itself to U.S. whims.

Since then NATO has been extended five times and moved closer and closer to Russia's border. Leaving Russia, a large country with many resources, outside of Europe's security structure guaranteed that Russia would try to come back from the miserable 1990s and regain its former power.

In 2014 the U.S. sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia's neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO.

In 2018 the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty which had been created under the Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan to eliminate nuclear missiles in Europe. Now the U.S. made plans to station new nuclear missiles in Europe which would threaten Russia. These required a Russian response.

Meanwhile the U.S. and other NATO states have deployed significant 'training' units to the Ukraine and continue to send weapons to it. This is a sneaking integration of the Ukraine into NATO structures without the formal guarantees.

In late 2021 the U.S. started to make noise about alleged Russian military concentrations at its western border. There were groundless allegations that Russia was threatening to invade the Ukraine which was begging to enter NATO. The purpose was to justify a further extension of NATO and more NATO deployments near Russia.

Russia has had enough of such nonsense. It moved to press the U.S. for a new security architecture in Europe that would not threaten Russia. The rumors about Russian action in the Ukraine helped to press President Joe Biden into agreeing to talks.

After Russia had detailed its security demands towards the U.S. and NATO a series of talks were held.

I had warned that these would likely not be successful as the U.S. had shown no signs to move on core Russian demands. As expected the talks with the U.S. on Monday failed. The U.S. made some remarks that it would like to negotiate some side issues but not on the core of Russia's request to end the extension of NATO and to stop new missile deployments.

Wednesday's talks with NATO had similar results as had today's talks with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

As Russia had previously announced it will not consider further talks as there is nothing to expect from them:

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he saw “no grounds” to continue the talks, in a blow to the efforts to ease tensions. His comments came as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe met in Vienna in the latest attempt to avert a major European crisis as Russia masses troops on Ukraine’s border.

Speaking on Russian television, Ryabkov said the United States and its allies have rejected Russia’s key demands — including its call for an end to NATO’s open-door policy for new members — offering to negotiate only on topics of secondary interest to Moscow.

“There is, to a certain extent, a dead end or a difference in approaches,” he said. Without some sign of flexibility from the United States, “I do not see reasons to sit down in the coming days, to gather again and start these same discussions.”

Other Russian government officials made similar points:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who described the Western position as “arrogant, unyielding and uncompromising,” said that President Vladimir Putin would decide on further action after receiving written responses to Moscow’s demands next week.
In addition to calling the talks unsuccessful, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday highlighted a bill announced the day before by U.S. Democratic senators for tough new sanctions against Russians, including Putin, if there is military action against Ukraine.

Peskov called it “extremely negative, especially against the background of the ongoing series of negotiations, albeit unsuccessful, but negotiations.” Sanctioning a head of state “is an outrageous measure that is comparable to breaking off relations,” he said.

Peskov also accused the United States and NATO of escalating the conflict with efforts to “entice” new countries to join NATO.

Peskov's last remarks relate to recent noise from Finland and Sweden that they may consider to join NATO.

The U.S. had promised to send a written response to Russia's demands by next week. NATO has likewise said that it would dispatch a letter  within a week's time frame. If those letters do not include substantial concessions to Russia it will have to act.

The Washington Post piece quoted above is headlined Russia ratchets up pressure on Europe, says ‘no grounds’ for further talks on security amid heightened tensions. The Post tries to frame the issues as an European and NATO problem.

However, Russia does not even talk with Europe as it is no longer relevant. The security demands are made towards the U.S. and the issues can only be solved by the White House.

Russia has spoken of 'military-technical measures' it would have to take should all talks fail.

It has now started to hint at some of the possibilities:

Russia on Thursday sharply raised the stakes in its dispute with the West over Ukraine, with a top diplomat refusing to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States mount.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led the Russian delegation in Monday’s talks with the U.S. in Geneva, said in televised remarks that he would “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility that Russia could send military assets to Cuba and Venezuela if the talks fail and U.S. pressure on Russia mounts.

Russia does not need to station missiles in Cuba but it could request access for its navy to one or more decent harbors in the wider area:

While voicing concern that NATO could potentially use Ukrainian territory for the deployment of missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes, Putin noted that Russian warships armed with the latest Zircon hypersonic cruise missile would give Russia a similar capability if deployed in neutral waters.

The timing is interesting. As of today Zircon missiles were officially accepted for Russia's military services. Currently there are five Russian navy ships configured to carry these new hypersonic weapons with many more to come:

At this stage the carriers of Zirkon are FFGs pr. 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov-class), pr. 20385 Corvettes and modernized pr. 1155 FFGs, Udaloy-class (see Marshal Shaposhnikov). All in all we can see already at least 5 Zircon carriers afloat in Russia's surface fleet with the number growing to 11 by mid 2020s, which, by that time submarine carriers of Zircon also adding to the number of carriers. Welcome to the new era of the naval warfare. I assume that some of the Karakurts (pr. 22800) and pr. 21631 Buyan class will also be able to carry Zircon or its "smaller" 500 kilometer range version Zircon Llite. And, of course, once completed, Admiral Nakhimov nuclear battlecruiser will carry a shitload of Zircons. We can only guess how many, since among 174 VLS on Nakhimov, 80 will be loaded with anti-surface missiles.
Now, we expect new Vladimir Putin's address to Federal Assembly fairly soon (it was expected, quoting Peskov, "early in 2022"), so will see what other things Putin will be talking about.

That speech will be as interesting as the one in 2018 (vid) during which Putin announced a number of new weapon systems which the U.S. has no way to counter. Expect more of those.

Russia may also deploy new weapons aiming at Europe:

Russia said on Monday it may be forced to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe in response to what it sees as NATO's plans to do the same.

The warning from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov raised the risk of a new arms build-up on the continent, with East-West tensions at their worst since the Cold War ended three decades ago.

Ryabkov said Russia would be forced to act if the West declined to join it in a moratorium on intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe - part of a package of security guarantees it is seeking as the price for defusing the crisis over Ukraine.

Lack of progress towards a political and diplomatic solution would lead Russia to respond in a military way, with military technology, Ryabkov told Russia's RIA news agency.

"That is, it will be a confrontation, this will be the next round," he said, referring to the potential deployment of the missiles by Russia.

Intermediate-range nuclear weapons - those with a range of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles) - were banned in Europe under a 1987 treaty between then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in what was hailed at the time as a major easing of Cold War tensions. By 1991, the two sides had destroyed nearly 2,700 of them.

The U.S. is building new missile sites in Poland and Romania. It claims that these are missile defense installations with the same AEGIS combat system type as used on many U.S. warships. The new AEGIS ashore installations are claimed to defend the U.S. against Iranian and North Korean missiles. That is of course bollocks.

The AEGIS systems uses the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System to store and fire its missiles. Those new sides, the U.S. claims, will have air defense missiles in their launch containers. However the same containers can be used to fire nuclear armed Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAMs). It would be very easy for the U.S. to change out the missiles without anyone noticing it.

Tomahawks have a range of 1,550 miles (2.500 km). From Poland and Romania they can reach Moscow and other Russian centers in a short time. The U.S. Defense Department says that the system in Poland will become operational at the end of this year.

At the end of last year the U.S. also reactivated its 56th Artillery Command in Europe:

“It will further enable the synchronization of joint and multinational fires and effects and employment of future long-range surface to surface fires across the [U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa] area of responsibility,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian, the new unit’s commander, said before the Monday announcement in Wiesbaden, Germany.

The 56th Artillery Command traces its lineage to a Cold War-era unit, the 56th Field Artillery Command, which served as the headquarters for Pershing missile operations in Europe. It was inactivated in June 1991 following the signing four years earlier of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty curbing the use of midrange “tactical” nuclear weapons.

Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, called the decision to bring back the 56th Artillery Command, “extremely good news.”

It was clear that Russia would not leave that 'extremely good news' without a response.

It will likely deploy some of its 9M729 cruise missiles (NATO code SSC-8 Screwdriver), currently stationed behind the Ural mountain range, at its western border, in Belarus and in Kaliningrad. These can be nuclear armed and would cover most European capitals and NATO's headquarters.

The whole situation is a completely unnecessary mess. NATO has long lost its cold war capabilities. The European armies are just a shadow of their former selves and the U.S. military has again and again demonstrate its inability to fight. To reject Russia's demands under these circumstance is not only pure arrogance but also idiotic:

On January 12, 2022 — a date that will live in hypocrisy — NATO member states declared their heroic determination to fight to the last Ukrainian. They did this by in effect rejecting Russia’s conditions for agreement with the alliance, centered on the demand that NATO rule out further expansion to Ukraine, Georgia and other former Soviet republics.

The hypocrisy and idiocy — over which historians of the future are likely to shake their heads in bewilderment — lie in the fact that NATO has no real intention of admitting Ukraine, nor of fighting Russia in Ukraine. Both Washington and Brussels have openly ruled this out. Indeed, NATO could not do so even if it wanted to. U.S. forces in Europe are wholly inadequate to the purpose, as are what is left of the British and French armies.

Anatol Lieven, who wrote the above, see some possible compromises. Especially U.S. pressure on the Ukraine to finally make piece with its east:

The United States however now needs to move very fast to offer these compromises. If it does not, then a new war looks increasingly possible. This war would be a disaster for all parties concerned: for NATO, whose military impotence would be cruelly emphasized; for Russia, that would suffer severe economic damage and be forced into a position of dependency on China with grave implications for Russia’s future; and above all for the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who would lose their lives. In fact, the only country that would benefit unequivocally from such a war would be China —and I wasn’t aware that U.S. and NATO policies are designed to further the geopolitical aims of Beijing.

NATO's uselessness and lack of real purpose are well known:

The problem is that they have been ingested by two other ambitions that are not modest and rational at all. The first is the U.S. desire for universal hegemony, including the right to dictate other countries’ political systems and what influence they will be allowed to possess beyond their own borders.

The second is the European elites’ belief in the European Union of as a kind of moral superpower, expanding to embrace the whole of Europe (without Russia of course), and setting a liberal internationalist example to the world; but a militarily impotent superpower that relies for security on the United States, via NATO.

These projects have now manifestly failed.
If we can recognize this failure and return to a more modest view of ourselves and our role in the world, we can also abandon the empty and hypocritical false promise of further NATO expansion and seek a reasonably cooperative relationship with Russia. Or we can go on living in our world of make-believe, though make-believe worlds have a way of being shattered by harsh realities.

That is something no one should want.


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Posted by b on January 13, 2022 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

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Thanks for the write-up! Always appreciate your comments.

Posted by: Anyony | Jan 13 2022 17:37 utc | 1

"Especially U.S. pressure on the Ukraine to finally make piece with its east"

Breaking Ukraine into pieces? That is something I fully agree with.

Posted by: The Saker | Jan 13 2022 17:59 utc | 2

An excellent summary.

For more background reading, see Richard Sakwa's recent journal article on the unequal security architecture in Europe after the Cold War:

Sakwa looks closely at Russian foreign policy initiatives for a "greater Europe," which would have included Russia and been more polycentric. Sakwa then examines Putin's pivot toward Eurasia and China as a response to US intransigence. He doesn't look at the new weapons systems though.

Barflies might also enjoy Sakwa's book, Frontline Ukraine. In it he blends a realist analysis of the US attempt to revise the balance of power in Europe against Russia via NATO expansion, with an astute analysis of Ukraine's internal political coalitions: the Gold faction of oligarchs, the Orange faction of liberals and ultra-nationalists, and the Blue faction of ethnic and linguistic pluralists. The US/NATO problem thus intersected with the rise of the Orange faction inside Ukraine to create the earthquake called the Ukraine crisis.

Finally, it is worth rereading John Mearsheimer's essay, Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault, in Foreign Affairs.

Stephen Cohen also had an excellent chapter on the New Cold War in his book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives. RIP Stephen.

Posted by: Prof | Jan 13 2022 18:07 utc | 3

Thanks for the posting b.

As I continue to write, humanity is in a civilization war and this Russia/NATO part of it is interconnected with all the rest.

Which one is going to grow into a WAR? Hopefully none of them but the deaths are already occurring all over the world and just are not being counted as such.

And they are all proxy conflicts about who gets to run the world's lifeblood of the money system? Is the world going to stay controlled by the God of Mammon cult or will a multi-polar world of finance evolve?....that is the war that will determine what happens with the Russia/NATO conflict in the long run.....and the drums of Might-Makes-Right still echo in our bones in spite of the known consequences to our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 13 2022 18:13 utc | 4

I agree that war is now more likely. But I also think that it can only serve as a last resort, and Russia doesn't want it either. It does look like the ongoing negotiations can only, at best, polish the surface of the fundamental problems, and Russia is being very serious about its well known red lines.

B. certainly watched the German state TV channels, and I'm sure he's seen the war propaganda being pumped out. The current German government with the intellectually extremely limited former trampoline gymnast Baerbock as Foreign Minister is frightening. It is fully in line with the transatlantic doctrine and as such, a direct continuation of the Merkel government.

The next weeks will show how the world balance is being changed.
And it's not going to move to the side of the North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation.

Cheers to the many commentators who provide very useful additional links and information!

Posted by: Verdant | Jan 13 2022 18:19 utc | 5

Good summary of the situation.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 13 2022 18:28 utc | 6

From the Springer media:

Article in German, but should be possible to translate quickly, e.g:

According to a media report, there are fears within NATO that Russia could use its recently, in some cases massively, increased military presence to strike out on a broad front - also against member states. NATO would not be able to counter such an escalation in the near future.

Warnings are apparently circulating within NATO that Russian President Vladimir Putin could seek armed conflict with the West beyond Ukraine. Diplomats from several countries in the military alliance told Der Spiegel that there are fears that Russian forces could use their recently increased presence in the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic and the Arctic, some of which has been massive, to strike on a broad front - even against NATO states. In such a case, massive disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks could also be expected.

According to NATO, there are currently no concrete indications of preparations for such an attack. But Moscow's escalation options are real - and NATO would not be able to counter Russia quickly, either militarily or digitally.[/BLOCKQUOTE]

Posted by: Verdant | Jan 13 2022 18:29 utc | 7

Facts of Life:

The Khazari-Ashkenazi Tribals amongst the Plutarchy of the AngloMurican-ZioMasonic Hegemony have been at this Scheme of Immigrating, Migranvading, cornering Finance/Trade/HighValued Sectors of the Economy and Political Circles, and either Succeeding to Join the Plutarchy or Failing with Deportations.

There were roughly 200 or so Expulsions in Europe/MENA.

The Tribals have been at War with Russia for Centuries from the Khazar Kingdom Days. By Managing a Series of Rentier-Banking Schemes across Europe, the Tribals managed to Conquer the USA, GBR, FRA, DEU, and previously, the Old Russian Empire via Bolsheviks.

The Tribals will never quit their Wars, since Wars are Profitable.

The Tribals managed to obtain the Land of their Religious/Ethnic Forbearers. Their "Mainlander" Population are expected to Double by 2050. With prolific "Family Maker" Sects along Secular Women's average of 3 Children Born, ISR's Population may Double in 25-30 Year Intervals - possibly approaching 100+Million by 2100CE.

It would be prudent to say that should this Population Trend Continue, ISR may engage in Expansionist "Greater ISR Plans" more aggressively towards their Neighbors.

Posted by: IronForge | Jan 13 2022 18:34 utc | 8

Professor Michael Hudson, economist, has stated the US banking system is on the edge of crisis. That major banks with significant margin trade accounts where the bank loans money to the client to permit the client to purchase stock and the stock acting as collateral for the margin loan. Hudson asserts that these institutions have been using financial wizardry to recast these margin loans as derivatives:

And a derivative you can lend 50% against, instead of just 15% for margin loans. So the banks actually have been working around the whole spirit of the law to make much larger loans than they should have.

This use of derivatives is illegal as "the loans violated every element of the Dodd-Frank laws."

This, and the inflation resulting from the US being free to print as much money as it wants to fund everything under the sun including foreign arms purchases and colour revolutions, suggests the US economy is extremely vulnerable to any form of external shock.

Should there be any form of foreign conflict, or were suggestions of super-power conflict to be published and made widely known as occurred at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, I cannot see other than a market melt down, loans being called, increased demand for trillion dollar bailouts, and a cascading series of global repercussions that would shatter the status of the USD as the world reserve currency.

My read out of the situation (and it is likely I may be in error; I depend on the intelligence and wit of the other barflies to correct my errors) is that Blinken and Brandon and the medal chested boys down at the Pentagon are oblivious to the facts of economic life.

That should they continue to push toward a crisis and then follow that crisis with the range of sanctions they propose to levy, that it is likely they will bring down the entire western house of cards known as a neo-liberal war economy.

The outcome may be something similar to the crash of 1929. Likely worse.

The countries least likely to be affected will be China and the RF and related states already operating on the periphery of the present western economic structures.

See here for a relevant interview with Professor Hudson:

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 13 2022 18:35 utc | 9

I also suspect the Democrats in USA need some wins, badly, to influence their 2022 & 2024 elections.
We amaze me, though. The very real threat to life on this planet is climate & ocean conditions. Biggest green house gas emitters are our militaries. They pollute even more when they engage violently. So - what do we do, for finance & extraction industry control?

Posted by: dave | Jan 13 2022 18:49 utc | 10

I don't see any reason to alter the summation I published yesterday. I await Lavrov's presser. IMO, The Outlaw Anglo Empire's Neoliberal Fascists want to be consumed in the hellfire they're bringing upon themselves, as they will quite rightfully be the first to be targeted. A decapitation strike against them and only them might save the world as more sober people would remain to learn the lesson just served and alter course.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 18:51 utc | 11

Hi Prof @ 4 - Thank you for the Richard Sakwa link. He wrote Frontline Ukraine. I have a trailer load of respect for the man.
And you as well.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 13 2022 18:56 utc | 12

Sushi @10--

That interview with Ben Norton is as explosive as is the news that is its basis, although its basics were already known. I've been so focused on the road to war that I ignored other avenues; I saw this was posted at Hudson's website two days ago. It ought to be discussed further on the open thread, which I've yet to visit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 19:03 utc | 13

Prof @ 4 - Kees van der Pijl wrote a great book on Ukraine as well.

Here is a link to some other of his writings on Ukraine as well as MH17 I hadn't seen before. After all, he is from Holland and has a much closer connection to MH 17 than some stupid guy like me from California.

Kees van der Pijl

I am a bit more afraid than I usually an about the state of affairs in the world.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 13 2022 19:29 utc | 14

"In 2014 the U.S. sponsored a [fascist] coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine,"

Fixed that for you. What an insult to modern day Germany.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jan 13 2022 19:33 utc | 15

The one card the US holds is pathogens so I wouldn't be surprised if there are outbreaks of particularly nasty diseases in Russia and China in the coming months.
It would have been interesting to see what was happening at the bio lab in Kazakhstan over the last week. No doubt Russia would have some interest in it.
Bhadrakumar has a bit on it here

The U.S.-Kazakh partnership in this field dates back to 2003. Kazakhstan has been an interesting “hotspot” for infectious disease occurrence and surveillance due in part to its history, geography, and its diversity of host species. Kazakhstan has long maintained an infrastructure and tiered network for infectious disease surveillance since the time of the Tsars.

The U.S.-funded research projects centred on studies involving select agents including zoonoses: anthrax, plague, tularemia, highly pathogenic avian influenza, brucellosis, etc. These projects funded researchers in Kazakhstan, while project collaborators in the U.S. and UK mentored and guided these researchers to develop and test their hypotheses.

It has been a “win-win” arrangement. The Kazakh institute staff got trained in modern diagnostic and data management techniques, and did research work with lavish external funding, while the Pentagon obtained through such labs valuable inputs for U.S. covert biological weapon programs with military application specifically directed against ethnic groups in Russia and China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 19:37 utc | 16

Did Russia err in stating its position regarding Ukraine and NATO as ultimatums? ... In that important elections are scheduled for November in the US, it must have been apparent that any US politician could not even begin to consider the Russian demands without being branded as an appeaser, being 'weak on Russia' and therefore unelectable -- with his knowledge why were ultimatums pursued?

Posted by: chet380 | Jan 13 2022 19:59 utc | 17

There is a manifest failure to clearly define terms.
Will there be "war"?
If we use the broadest sense, war is possible: conflict between nations or between groups within a nation. Ukrainian idiots should never be underestimated - the solipsistic fantasies of the various SS-Galicia hagiographers are likely impressively stupid.

Will there be war between the US, and/or Europe, with Russia?

Hell no.

The US military, the US public - nobody has any appetite or capacity for the pain associated with outright war.

Russia in turn fully realizes the idiocy of outright armed conflict - every living Russian likely has a living relative who still remembers the horrors of World War 2.

There can be no war between 2 sides in which 1 side is clearly both incompetent and incapable and the other side realizes there is nothing positive to gain whatever its military advantages.

What will happen geopolitically is going to be very straightforward: Russia will continue to integrate and cooperate with its Eurasian Economic Community fellows, with China and its SCO fellows, with Iran, Afghanistan, and likely at least one of Pakistan and India. These are all still relatively poor regions by Western democracy per capita standards, but they continue to grow rapidly in both technological and economic capability. They are no longer limited by US dollar/IMF/World Bank/US+EU multinational fuckery; they are developing on their own paths with significant Chinese and Russian input and these nations collectively represent a majority of the population and resources of the entire planet.

As always, the question still remains: do the European elites understand or care that they continue to hitch their collective horses to a blundering and myopic, albeit still relatively powerful declining power? Are they just enjoying the fruits of being a satraps to a foreign power or do they actually understand how history is unfolding?

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 13 2022 20:04 utc | 18

I doubt Russia will launch a war over this unless it has absolutely no other choice. It's obvious that the US is on the brink financially and is itching for a war in Europe and Asia. It was World War Two that finally pulled it out of the Great Depression and many crazies are hoping for similar events now. Why would Russia humor them?

As for China, I think it will most likely just sit back pretty and grab some popcorns as time certainly is on its side. The US December CPI is off the roof to 7%, the highest in 4 decades. And that's allowing for more mellow inflation on the service side, most likely because of covid. If we just look at the goods inflation, then it's the highest since 1975. I should add that in the Chinese civil war, the CPC did not launch full scale attacks on the kmt until the later was completely wrecked by hyperinflation.

Posted by: Cindy6 | Jan 13 2022 20:07 utc | 19

@ 16 - I have been a little worried about that too.

from arms watch

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 13 2022 20:08 utc | 20

The US ist testing the Russians red lines. Their DNA fixed experience is that Russia does not escalate. But if he does not answer, Putin will loose even more respect. We do not know what he will do, that is part of the game. But he must escalate.

I suppose he will go to shock Europe. Nobody understands why Europe acts against its own interests. The answer is: because they think Russia depends on them. Putin will demonstrate Russia is free. Free to move to wherever it wants to go (until we read "better shut up Annalena" in a german newspaper). Fuck your sanctions, fuck your pipelines. Business is over.

The bullying of Russia as aggressive is based on the tacit assumption that the opposite is true!

Posted by: Jan | Jan 13 2022 20:21 utc | 21

c1ue @18--

You fail to explain how Russia will improve/solve its security issues, which is the whole point of this crisis. I see Putin met with Shoigu today, but they certainly discussed more than the CSTO operation that the transcript provides. I await to read what Lavrov said before I do any further analysis. So far, this is the only published Lavrov comment and deals with Germany's lack of energy sovereignty that exposes Sherman's Howler of a lie made yesterday.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 20:22 utc | 22

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 20:22 utc | 22

Both interviewers tried to pull his tongue concerning the reaction, the TV trick of tell us when WWIII is going to start, as if they did not know that it has been going on for long.

It was simple, like an elementary school teacher Lavrov explained that they are expecting an answer in writing, like do your homework or you won't get the cheerios. That's the level of the west diplomacy. He insisted a few times that the orders to put some order in the house come from above.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 13 2022 20:39 utc | 23

explain how Russia will improve/solve its security issues, which is the whole point of this crisis.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 20:22 utc | 22


In Mathematics there are a number of great conjectures that are posed as theorems yet to be proved. Their power lays in the fruitful line of inquiry they inspire.

Russia has given us a rigorous problem statement for its security that clearly illuminates a way forward for all to see.

A definitive proof that solves our generalized combined security problems has be ripe and reachable in the public mind, before it can be discovered.

Great credit can be given to Russia's diplomatic corps for explicating a succinct problem statement.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 13 2022 20:50 utc | 24

Lol at the Saker... pieces is the correct word!

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 13 2022 20:53 utc | 25

So the US will give Russia the guarantees it is looking for on NATO, and fuck the EU, as Nuland put it.

Russia will be brought more and more into the US orbit, and away from China ...

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jan 13 2022 20:56 utc | 26

Ray McGovern seems to go against the current and is more sanguine about the outcome.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 13 2022 21:00 utc | 27

Russia's origin position after the fall of the USSR was that Russia should be part of both the EU and NATO. This was the publicly stated position of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin, and Medvedev. In Putin's own words (no doubt inspired by De Gaulle), "a united Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

We are pretty far from that dream today.

Posted by: bob sykes | Jan 13 2022 21:14 utc | 28

Asymetrical ""supplyfare" instead of warfare?

Interesting sidelines. .... and if these are part of a Russian riposte? Hit the US in the only place that counts, in international commerce. The war of the empty shopping centres?

The Russians are quietly solidifying their allied interests. ie. Donbas is now fully capable and legally enabled to export directly to the Russian market. (This includes procuration). Logical, but this is not all; Donbas and Syria have had three meetings for increasing commerce between themselves. Note, Donbas can supply building materials and other necessities that Syria cannot get because of sanctions. Ukrainian sanctions have, as usual, had the effect of all sanctions. They make the "recipients" find other markets and ways round them.
China is opening up Syria to the BRI.
Kazakhstan and Afghanistan are also turning points as they have rare minerals and lots of other goodies needed for "modern" (ie. smartphone obsessed) civilisation.
Venzuela, Cuba and the S American side of the planet? Not as warriors but create an alternative "market" system?
Sanctions? Been there seen that, now send them back.
For me the "sanctions" that the EU and US impose on the world will start to be used against them. Again, today the Chinese suddenly have massive *supply* problems in their ports for their exports to the US. Ooops, sorry, pardon, if I tread upon your grasping fingers.

The EU relies on raw materials as it has none of it's own (except coal and a bit of steel). Russian or Chinese supplies suddenly cost more due to scarcity of supply? Why should either country worry as prices will rise, and compensate for reduced quantities. (As gas is now doing)

The "needs" of the US will have to be to be paid for in other currencies, and then, if delivery is also delayed? Empty shelves do not contented citizens make.

PS. How many other countries are subject to US sanctions, not including "allies" such as the EU? Once they are not obliged to fill the US or EU markets with junk, food and raw materials to survive themselves, then ...... a finger to brandon.
Maybe this is not what is thought of a normal "war", but the object of a World War is to eliminate the adversary's ability to MAKE war. (Ruin their industries and block supplies of raw materials.)

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 13 2022 21:18 utc | 29

After losing Afghanistan and Syria also not being able to dominate Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. The US empire is having a credibility problem. Looking at the results in Kazakhstan and reading Pepe's latest article it is hard not to notice that the empire has become a paper tiger. Russia seems to have laid out a path for them to follow to allow less embarrassment. In some regards Russian military action in Ukraine could allow the US more control over Europe. The Russians are coming makes for a good battle cry. For Africa, the middle east, and Asia respect for the empire is already on the wane. What will one more example do that the empire has no clothes? It will be catastrophic for its global ambitions. What will it do for Russia's security? After a successful military operation in Syria and Kazakhstan making mincemeat of Ukraine...destryong their military capabilities. Taking the Donbas and the shore of the Azov. Leaving the rest of the country a mess for Nato and the Europeans to deal with. If after all this time and all this hype Russia does this what does that say about the US empire and its ability to protect its client states? Yikes. What can the US do about it besides go nuclear? It may end any economic activity between Russia and Europe. It may make Russia more dependent on China. Russia has already been dealing with this though with all the sanctions. They have improved their domestic economy and sold more resources to Asia and China. I don't think Russia wants to break from Europe but I don't see that the empire has left them much choice. The US doesn't want to take the off ramp. The Ukro nazis have a failing government and need europe/USA to come in.. they are probably happy to sacrifice the Donbas. I don't think Russia is going to let them off the hook if they go to war. They will make it hurt. I can't imagine why they wouldn't. Once they intervene in Donbas they might as well pull no punches because the propaganda from the US in Europe will make sure all economic activity will stop with Russia as soon as they cross the border. No point in pulling their punches they should thoroughly rout the Ukrainian military and leave no doubt what they are capable of. They should kill any Western military advisors while they are at it. I'm sure they have the intelligence to target them. The US may gain a firmer hold over Europe but the rest of the world will take notice. Much like the first US invasion of Iraq. Wolfowitz commented to Wesley Clark at being disappointed by the withdrawl but happy that they were able to act and Russia couldn't do anything about it. My how the tables have turned.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jan 13 2022 21:27 utc | 30

@karlof1 (12) So-called "decapitation" attacks are a fantasy. Exactly what places would Russia target in order to teach all those nasty neocons a lesson? Would it be the American Enterprise Institute, the State Department, the offices of "Foreign Policy?" And in the unlikely case that such targeting would dispatch all the neocon leaders, others will quickly rise up to take their places--others who might be even more belligerent and agitate for nuclear war. If there is one thing that we should have learned from wars that have occurred since 1914, it is that bombing your enemy into submission is easier said than done.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 13 2022 21:28 utc | 31

lex talionis 20

Thanks for that link.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 21:29 utc | 32

Exactly what places would Russia target in order to teach all those nasty neocons a lesson?

Posted by: Rob | Jan 13 2022 21:28 utc | 31


The CBOE order matching system the day before op-ex.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 13 2022 21:33 utc | 33

The US is striking out on the diplomatic, military and financial fronts.

From the Hudson article on the financial front:

—So by holding your money in the US bank, the US bank does whatever the government tells it to, and it can drive any country bankrupt at any point.

If other countries pass a tariff against US goods that the US doesn't like, it can just essentially not pay them on whatever they hold in the United States, whether they hold reserves in American banks, or whether they hold reserves in the Treasury or the Fed, the United States can just grab their money.

And so the United States has broken every rule in the financial book, and it's a renegade; it's a pirate.

And other countries are freeing themselves from piracy by saying, “The dollar is a hot potato. There is no way that we can believe them. You can't make a contract with the American government.”

The winners are following a more productive path. Also from Hudson:

— And the plan is to have prosperity for the 99%, not the 1%. And just as China has been closing down the rent billionaires and the real estate billionaires, it's now moving to essentially cut the wealth of the 1% and promote the wealth of the 99%.—

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 13 2022 21:34 utc | 34

The Democrats face a 2022 mid-term waterloo. Biden's approval rating is in low 30s. Morale is in the toilet as more and more Democrats call it quits for reelection, knowing an electoral massacre is coming from the Democrats own failure to deliver anything meaningful for a desperate population. What to do? What hysteria can be invoked to a Covid fatigued population? The fear of WWIII.

The USA sanctions Putin. Russia breaks diplomatic relationship. Swift, Nordstream2, etc.

It's back to 1952.

Too bad it's 2022, and no one buys the shit anymore. Empire is a failed state. Collapse is coming.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 13 2022 21:43 utc | 35

If NATO impels Russia into a military conflict, I don't believe it will be confined to some sort of corrective measure in Ukraine alone. The consequences and the instability that would entail for Russia demand that it get more out of such a situation.

Russia will have to defang America and gain some substantial redress of its current insecurities. Anticipate:

-occupation and annexation of the entire south and east of Ukraine,
-same for the Baltic states to secure the Baltic coast and a land connection to Kaliningrad,
-eradication of any strike-threats in Europe,
-violent expulsion of U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq,
-interdiction of all NATO forces from the Black Sea, and
-probable destruction of the base at Diego Garcia.

These moves would probably be coupled with opportunistic actions by China and Iran who would, respectively, take Taiwan and Guam, and devastate Israel.

There might also be a wholesale destruction of exposed U.S. naval assets just to forestall response.

And that's just the first round. Any escalation by U.S./NATO would add more devastation (neutralization of Japan, and a convincing demonstration of the ability of Poseidon torpedoes to destroy coastal cities in North America).

America has painted itself into a corner with arrogance and stupidity. It can either play nice, or face the consequences.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 13 2022 21:49 utc | 36

I'm no expert, but based on my modest understanding, Russia is not going to attack anyone or start any conflicts. Russian interests and goals are well known and have been publicly stated. Russia wants peace so that it can attend to its development and the improvement of the lives of its people. Too simple and human to be believed by the western mind that no longer recognizes simple truths and desires but is blinded by projection - the lies, the crimes and the constant conspiracies that euro-atlantic "politics" consists of. Perhaps everyone should remember - Russia today is not Stalin's Russia or the Soviet Union.
With its proposals/requests Russia is acting to PREVENT conflict that is being pushed its way. As long as Putin is at the helm, Russia will act constructively on the international scene, and will not cause wars. Its response to the rejection of its proposals will be wise, but the problems we all face will be greater. In whose interest is that?

Posted by: JB | Jan 13 2022 22:02 utc | 37

Rob @31--

If you take the time to read what I write, you'll know that the neocons aren't in the crosshairs:

The Outlaw Anglo Empire's Neoliberal Fascists.

If you've read even more of my writings, then you'll know that it's those pukes behind the curtain controlling the Outlaw Anglo Empire that are the Neoliberal Fascists. The neocons aren't the entities that have ruined the USA; Neoliberal Fascists are, particularly since 1978 during Carter's reign.

At any rate, for the moment it looks like they're spared, although the massive crime perpetrated by the Fed and its colluders revealed by Martens and more properly explained by Hudson might find them in a court room soon unless Biden follows Obama's footsteps and fails to prosecute them.

Stonebird @29--

This Tom Fowdy article suggests something similar and builds on this essay, but I recall another essay being more specific.

The Russian transcript of Lavrov's Presser is here, and I'll take a timeout to read it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 22:07 utc | 38


Thanks for the link to the Hudson-Norton interview. (I actually got it off the recent Open Thread). Some important parts are reviewed in comments above, but I think anyone could benefit from a reading of the entire piece.

I thought I was pissed off about the trillions “stolen in broad daylight” under the guise of the CARES Act, and now this comes out...

Posted by: NotBob | Jan 13 2022 22:28 utc | 39

If Putin really wants to get the US leaders' attention, he should announce that Russia will begin deploying hypersonic missile-carrying warships, including submarines, in international waters off both US coasts. That, as much as anything, will bring home the point that the United States in no longer protected by the ocean waters. As for NATO stationing missiles close to Russia's borders, Russia should take them out kinetically before the installations are even complete. Give warning, and then do it. This will entail a risk of escalation, but I think that the Western alliance understands that they could be wiped out in the event.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 13 2022 22:30 utc | 40

@ 32- Peter AU1 - For sure, bro. Dilyana Gaytadzhieva is a great journalist. I sure hope the CSTO troops were all over those bio-warfare labs. Bats in the belfry. Crazy stuff. God help us all.

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 13 2022 22:30 utc | 41

JB 37

The conflict has long started. As Putin has said "we have nowhere now to retreat to". At one point, Stalin said "not another step back". US is now in the position of Napoleon and Hitlers nazi Germany. The Russian winter has arrived and they have not conquered Russia.
As Montgomery said "Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: Do not march on Moscow."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 22:34 utc | 42

My first reaction to Lavrov's statements is that he's invoking a higher law than NATO's. Lavrov had to say this twice!:

"They say that NATO has an order: only the member countries themselves decide who to accept and who not to accept if an appeal is received. But we persistently returned them not to NATO orders, but to the agreements worked out within the framework of the entire Euro-Atlantic community and within the framework of the OSCE. Indeed, they decipher the indivisibility of security as the freedom of each country to choose its allies. The same sentence states, without any semicolons, that states parties in this context 'will not enhance their security at the expense of the security of other States'. No country or alliance of countries has the right to claim a dominant position in the Euro-Atlantic area. All this was agreed in a package, finally confirmed in 1999 in Istanbul at the OSCE summit with the adoption of the Charter for European Security. The West takes only what is beneficial to it. We proceed from the premise that the freedom to choose alliances is an integral part of the inadmissibility of steps that will undermine the security of Russia and any other state." [My Emphasis]

And then in answer to Dimitri Simes:

"Indeed, NATO and the Americans categorically reject our right to seek non-expansion of NATO. I have already made arguments showing that our positions are based not on NATO documents (we have nothing to do with them, as they have with us), but on documents adopted at the highest level in the OSCE, including the Istanbul Summit of 1999, where the freedom to choose alliances is directly conditioned by the need to ensure the indivisibility of security, so that no one takes measures in their own interests to the detriment of the security of any other state." [My Emphasis]

The Charter is linked above to its English version.

Lavrov then targeted the Outlaw Anglo Empire's ability to be agreement capable by revisiting the broken promises from an angle not yet used:

"For those who say that no one promised anything to anyone, this was all described in the memoirs of the British ambassador to Russia at the turn of the 1990s, R. Braithwaite. They came out in 2002, and it's amazing that no one approached them. It says that all this happened, promises were made to Mikhail Gorbachev and our other leaders by people who were in a hurry and mainly focused on solving other more urgent tasks. In making such promises, they allegedly did not mean to mislead anyone. A stunning English explanation for the deception that occurred.

"We hope that the promises made now in Geneva and Brussels will be fulfilled. They concerned the fact that the United States and NATO would put their proposals 'on paper'. Clearly and repeatedly explained to them that we need to have an article-by-article response to our documents. If some provision does not fit, let them explain why and write 'on paper'. If it comes up with amendments, then let them also be made in writing. If they want to delete or add something, a similar request. We gave our views in writing a month ago. There was plenty of time in Washington and Brussels. Both of them promised that they would put their reaction 'on paper'."

People should now realize why Lavrov was held in reserve. I'm halfway through. More in next comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 22:36 utc | 43

America has Nuclear weapons in working order and can't be defanged.

Were I Russia I would state that all Foreign military "advisors" in the Ukraine have 24 hours to leave. That units like the Azov battalions have 24 hours to disband because in 24 hours all thier known bases will be craters.

Since Nato has no troops or bases there, article 5 won't be applicable.

And if Syria insists all foriegn military on it's soil without invitation do not leave. Do the same there.

Again, article 5 cannot be invoked.

Posted by: DaveGood | Jan 13 2022 23:01 utc | 44

karlof1 42
Although I am not american, your contributions here in relation to US law is invaluable. Is there any way I can contact you?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 23:05 utc | 45

Erm.. that should read, if Syria insists all military forces on it's soil leave, missile strike those that don't.

Posted by: DaveGood | Jan 13 2022 23:06 utc | 46

So the US will give Russia the guarantees it is looking for on NATO, and fuck the EU, as Nuland put it.

Russia will be brought more and more into the US orbit, and away from China ...

Posted by: Keith Granger | Jan 13 2022
Do you really believe this? Wow, you understanding of Russia & China must be on that Tucker-MSM-ZeroHedge-Crap-Blah-Blah-Propagana-Level of falling into certain i(de)llusions.

Out of the 'orbit' of 'evil communist' China, lol, good luck with that !!?? BTW there's no orbit, if anything it's rather a form of complement.
EVIL, the American edition:
Luna Oi!
12. Jan.
Today, there are more than 4 MILLIONS victim of agent orange in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

3rd and 4th generations of us are still being born with birth defect from the toxins spreaded by the USA.

On this day in 1962, Operation Ranch Hand, a US Air Force plan to spray South Vietnamese forests with Agent Orange & other defoliants to reduce cover for the Viet Cong began.

The Red Cross of Vietnam estimates 1 million were disabled or suffered health problems due to exposure.

And no trials, no apologies and absolutely no compensations or
recognition - WHATSOEVER !!
And that's just the tip of such a 'iceberg' called IGNORANCE.

Posted by: MD | Jan 13 2022 23:20 utc | 47

Posted by: JB | Jan 13 2022 22:02 utc | 37 says: 'With its proposals/requests Russia is acting to PREVENT conflict that is being pushed its way.'


I tend to agree with you. After the proposals and 'negotiations' Russia will have much more freedom to 'nip in the bud' any Anglo/NATO attempts to draw Russia and the U.S. into a direct military confrontation, such as they attempted last spring and again in December.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jan 13 2022 23:20 utc | 48

Simes then asks after explaining the recent very serious threats made against Russia, one of which lost in the Senate today, "What will Moscow do if once again Russian proposals are ignored with varying degrees of delicacy?"

Again, the Russian High Road:

"We will never act like the United States ... The culture of diplomacy and compromise is all but lost. The American line in the international arena is dictated by the awareness of its own exclusivity ... For world politics, this is absolutely unacceptable."

Every word Lavrov utters is filled with import. Too ignore a ny of it is to commit a grave error. And that goes quadruple for this next paragraph:

"Why did we make our proposals? We want to return to negotiation methods of solving problems. As President of Russia Vladimir Putin said, we have been 'cheated' and consistently deceived since the early 1990s. Now they ask what we will give them if we want to do something in our own interests. We've already given it all. Counting on some understanding in the West, since the 1990s we have not reacted harshly to gross violations of the agreements on nato's non-promotion to the East and many other things promised, including 'on paper'. I am referring to the non-deployment on a permanent basis of significant combat forces on the territory of new members. All this has long been 'moss overgrown'. Threats and sanctions are so arrogant that it is understandable for any person. The US Congress has made such absurd decisions more than once. I don't rule anything out. We will react. During his last telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden, President Vladimir Putin said that if they follow this path, they will destroy our relations. We do not want to scare anyone; we will make decisions based on the specific situation that will develop as a result of certain actions of the United States and its Western allies." [My Empasis]

"We don't want to scare anyone." Well, then you've taken them by the shoulders and given them a very rough shaking to awaken them from their superiority stupor. But even then, the West acts like Zombies or automatons. In the next paragraph, Lavrov points to one of several case histories that serve as examples of the deliberate obtuseness and duplicity of the Outlaw Anglo Empire. It's the long and sordid affair that cannot be broken and must be related in whole as follows:

"You mentioned intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. Among the proposals expressed to us so far orally, as examples of areas on which further negotiations can be conducted, the Americans and representatives of NATO member countries mentioned risk reduction, discussion of confidence-building measures, including in the space sphere, in cyberspace, as well as arms control, in particular the agreement on the limitation of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. A telling moment. More than two years ago, after the Americans 'broke' the Treaty on Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, we distributed president Vladimir Putin's initiative to almost all OSCE members. It proposed to join the unilateral moratorium that we have imposed on the deployment of ground-based intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles. It was due to the non-deployment of the same American-made systems. We proposed to make the moratorium joint. When we first announced this moratorium, the Americans, Europeans and NATO said that we were cunning: we had already deployed Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region, and now we want them not to have the same capability. In this initiative two years ago, President of Russia Vladimir Putin proposed to coordinate verification measures, which were later explained by our Defence Ministry. We were referring to the invitation to come to Kaliningrad, inspect the Iskander systems standing there and make sure (as we have offered them many times) that they do not fall under the prohibitions established by the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. In response, we will visit U.S. missile defense bases in Romania and Poland to see what the MK-41 launchers are. They are produced by Lockheed Martin and advertised on its website as dual-use installations: for missile defense and the launch of strike cruise missiles. Here's what was suggested. Then NATO said that it was 'not good.' Only French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his readiness to discuss, but not one-on-one with Russia. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg again with his suspicions said that this was an 'unscrupulous' proposal. No one said that the initiative was originally supposed to be verified." [My Emphasis]

Why the negative response by the Empire is an excellent question when it was given every reason to say Okay, we'll come and take a look. Oh, it was the completely false allegations known as Russiagate that forestalled the ability to say yes, not anything else--total Bullshit like every other Russophobic accusation. You'd think the USA/NATO had become the British Empire prior to its attack on Russia known as the Crimean War.

Lavrov then explains why the EU and OSCE weren't included in the documents related to the negotiations, which relates another sorry spectacle I won't reproduce. The remainder must await my next comment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 23:22 utc | 49

Peter AU1 @44--

My name is hyperlinked to my VK Space. If you find that doesn't work for you, then let me know and we'll find another way. Jen is a VK member as are several other barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 13 2022 23:27 utc | 50

I'm re-posting this MUST SEE/READ as it is, IMO, the best look at likely outcomes. Kudos to Aaron Mate for this great interview with Col Doug Magregor (Russia's only true position forward is to secure the protection of those in Eastern Ukraine- it's not offensive, so numbers of troops wouldn't be near what it would be if trying to engage in an offensive war):

Posted by: Seer | Jan 13 2022 23:27 utc | 51

I would just query this part of B's post:

"... In 2014 the U.S. sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia's neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO ..."

This would imply that Russian-speaking militants in eastern Ukraine and individual militants like Igor Girkin who stormed and took over SBU and other administrative buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk, and declared Donetsk and Lugansk regions to be self-governing, had the backing of the Russian government or Russian military when we do not really know for sure that was the case. For all we know, Girkin and his fellow militants who came over from Russia could have been acting off their own bat against orders or advice from Moscow. But if Girkin and Company did not break any laws in Russia in crossing into eastern Ukraine to fight there, there was probably not much Moscow could have done to stop them.

It may be true that once civil war broke out in eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk republics received arms, equipment and other supplies (like food and medicines) from groups, armed and non-armed, in Russia but again these groups may have acted independently and did not have approval from Moscow or their regional governments.

I think we should be very careful about saying "... Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine ..." with no links to evidence supporting that statement. That statement might be construed as saying Moscow actively assisted militants in eastern Ukraine and those who entered eastern Ukraine from Russian territory to fight with them, when perhaps nothing of the sort happened.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 13 2022 23:32 utc | 52

As long as Russia doesn't touch Nato territory it can go kinetic and watch NATO fall apart.

Were they too pound US and UK bases in Syria what is Norway or Italy or Spain going to do? Die in a war because US/UK people were somewhere they didn't belong and weren't wanted?

iran hit a US base in Iraq and seem to be ok.

Posted by: DaveGood | Jan 13 2022 23:34 utc | 53

@ 42
Lavrov's plaint that Russia doesn't deserve to be a victim from other countries gaining a dominant position reminds me of a quote from My Cousin Vinny when he stated that he was being wronged by the judge in a court case. Vinny gave some very cogent reasons why this was wrong, then this ensued:
Judge Chamberlain Haller : Mr. Gambini?
Vinny Gambini : Yes, sir?
Judge Chamberlain Haller : That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection.
Vinny Gambini : Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Chamberlain Haller : [firm tone] Overruled.

The fact is that the US and NATO see themselves as dominant keepers of what's right and what's wrong in the world. They have recently exercised their prerogatives in Afghanistan and ruined that country, and Russia is next. Nasty Russia must bow down and receive punishment for its aggressions in various countries, the story goes. It does not deserve security, it deserves punishment. The media is full of it, the Congress is all for it, and Europe's puppy dogs must submit to it too. . . .As in a quote from Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 13 2022 23:43 utc | 54

some other way

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 23:53 utc | 55

@53 Thanks for a dose of hard reality. But Russia will not bow down. I think the US has been hoping for some kind of internal turmoil to make Russia collapse. It's not happening. Their best hope now is to turn Russia into an international pariah. That won't work either.

Posted by: dh | Jan 13 2022 23:56 utc | 56

Senate voted down more sanctions Germany's Nord Stream 2 ... a promise made by Democrats forsaken.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 14 2022 0:05 utc | 57

And now for the last third of Lavrov's talk. Recall the howler emitted by Ms. Sherman about all nations having the sovereign right to pursue their own path as you read the following:

"Vladimir Nikonov: With the support of the US Administration, Mr Menendez has introduced a bill to the effect that sanctions will be imposed in the event of Russian aggression against Ukraine. They include personal sanctions against a number of persons, including the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia and others, against the largest Russian systemically important banks. How normal is it – pre-announced sanctions? And against the backdrop of negotiations on European security.

"Sergey Lavrov: This is a kind of nervous breakdown. In the endless affirmation of their own greatness, people have reached a psychological point that is difficult to explain. I am amazed to read all these initiatives. Like adults, serious politicians, not the first year in Congress.

"Such steps do absolutely no credit. There are proposals to impose sanctions regardless of whether there will be an 'attack' on Ukraine or not. Simply because we do not remove troops from our territory. At the same time, the American delegation in Geneva, insisting on this as a key to everything else, in response to our counter questions, stated that they would not move their armed forces and military equipment in Europe anywhere from our borders. I don't think it even requires any comment. Arrogance of the highest degree. Speaking about the prospects of our reaction, I will say again that we will never 'wave a baton' and demand at the talks that if they do not act in a certain way, we will 'beat' them. We will respond to real developments. The Americans are still 'foaming at the mouth' together with J. Stoltenberg 'shaking the air' that there can be no agreement, no obligation not to expand NATO, because we are talking about the freedom to choose alliances. Look at what the U.S. and the West are doing about countries that are not members of NATO. For example, the European Parliament recently adopted a resolution that demands to stop the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Seriously, there is such a document. The Americans are trying to prohibit many countries from carrying out military-technical cooperation with us: they threaten turkey, India, Indonesia, and Egypt with sanctions just because they openly and commercially conclude agreements with us. Nord Stream 2 is not even the freedom to choose unions, but simply the freedom to carry out ordinary commercial activities on world markets. There is no freedom, it turns out, for Germany to pursue its economic interests. This is where these 'double standards' are evident." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov again must tell Simes Russia obeys a higher power:

"Dimitri Simes: They say that Russia should start 'de-escalation' near the borders of Ukraine. Does Russia have a willingness to 'de-escalate'? Have any promises been made to NATO in this regard?

"Sergey Lavrov: Regarding the freedom to choose alliances, as you said and mentioned, that you understand this and that this is NATO's position. We cannot be guided by NATO's position. We are guided by the agreements signed at the highest level by all OSCE countries, including all NATO countries. The North Atlantic Alliance is now showing complete non-negotiability. This is not the first time that our Western partners have found themselves in this situation. Take the Minsk agreements, which are not being implemented, as well as the agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on the creation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo in 2013, reached with the mediation of the European Union. The EU has demonstrated its ability to help reach solutions to Kosovo's difficult situation, and Kosovo leaders in Pristina said they would not do so, even though it was all signed. Since then, impotence of the European Union has been manifested. Periodically we remind them. The creation of such a community could seriously help defuse tensions in this Serbian province. The community of Serbian municipalities of Kosovo assumed the granting of autonomous rights to the Serbs, significantly reminiscent of what is prescribed in the Minsk agreements for the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics. In both cases, the Eu has been decisively involved. In the case of Belgrade and Pristina, he was a mediator, in the case of the Minsk agreements, Germany and France acted on behalf of the EU. Both of these agreements concern the rights of Slavs, primarily Orthodox Christians. In both cases, the EU does not want to 'lift a finger' so that the party that blocks the implementation of these agreements fulfills its obligations.

"Let's not forget what E. Blinken said about Kazakhstan. He publicly demanded an explanation as to why the Republic had invited peacekeepers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization. How's that? So, Montenegro, for example, has the right to join NATO, and Kazakhstan, having joined the CSTO 30 years ago, does not have such a right? The secretary of state of a reputable state says such things...

"As for movements on their territory, they are already talking not only about the roads that the Americans recommend us to use, not only about 'withdrawing' troops from the border with Ukraine (as they put it), but also about the fact that these troops 'went' to the barracks. Sherman said exactly that, including publicly, at the press conference. I do not think that there is a need to explain the absolute unacceptability of such requirements. Let's not discuss them." [My Emphasis]

After reviewing the events in Kazakhstan, Lavrov is asked the closing question:

"Do you have any hope for the success of the negotiations?

"Sergey Lavrov: We always work on specific tasks. 'The hopes of young men are nourished', and we are already more mature people. We are used to starting from a cruel reality. It is that we are promised a written response. We will wait for it and then we will determine our next steps.

"About optimism, we have this proverb: 'Who is a pessimist? A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.'" [My Emphasis]

It took a long time and many words to finally get to what we all really wanted to know: What will happen next? As before, we get to wait and speculate. Lavrov did say Russia will not act like the Outlaw Anglo Empire, so that likely rules out something kinetic. Russia further decreased its dollar holdings today and Syria signed a MOU with China over BRI, and I'm sure other positives for the Multipolar World also occurred. Roscosmos and NASA agreed to extend joint ISS work to 2030, and it appears that the EC is at least in contact with Gazprom. And lastly, NATO doesn't want public negotiations on the very missile limits issue Lavrov dissected.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2022 0:11 utc | 58

Peter AU1 @54--

Okay. Type my moniker followed by at actionnet dot net into the address line of your email program, say heello and click send.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2022 0:17 utc | 59

It appears I forgot to include the URL of the Lavrov transcript,

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2022 0:31 utc | 60

I imagine while we await the Outlaw Anglo Empire's response that Putin will perform his annual address to the Federal Assembly, which is the governing body at which he introduced Russia's breakthrough weapons in 2018.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2022 0:43 utc | 61

Nothing is going through Karl. Take care. We live in troubled times.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 14 2022 0:46 utc | 62

@56 Oui

Re: US Senste vote to sanction w/in 15 days (ie prior to the imagined action it is claimed to retaliate against)... this actually had a majority, 55 votes. Dems lean on filibuster rule to keep from "prematurely using this option"

Posted by: ptb | Jan 14 2022 1:03 utc | 63

let me express my appreciation to you,karlof1, for your cogency in regard to the present situation.


Posted by: donten | Jan 14 2022 1:08 utc | 64

Found the R. Braithwaite mentioned by Lavrov--Rodric Braithwaite: "From 1988 to 1992 Braithwaite was ambassador in Moscow, first of all to the Soviet Union and then to the Russian Federation." Thanks to the National Security Archive for having this readily at hand. The book Lavrov mentions is here awaiting readers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2022 1:36 utc | 65

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 13 2022 20:04 utc | 18
"do the European elites understand or care"

I suggest it is important to recognize that a significant percentage of the European "elite" were appointed, ushered, assisted, and elevated to their positions by the American elite.

Such control over a foreign elite is fundamental to the operation of a satrapy. And this process has been in play since immediately following WWII.

The best evidence to support this is the contrast between the current state of superpower relations and those which existed during the Cuban missile crisis. I was a schoolboy at that time and we had daily "duck and cover drills." Looking up at the massive ceiling beams overhead, I was certain that hiding under my flimsy desk would not protect me when they collapsed while the window glass turned into micro-missile razor shards.

The MSM of the time printed front page graphics with circles of destruction showing all North American locations within range. Those deadly radii gave notice to me, to my parents, and to every other sentient being, that we were subject to incineration.

I see nothing of that today at a time when the risk is equally great. I argue today's risk is significantly greater. I would not trust Brandon to find his way out of his own office much less come to a rational perception of the current state of super-power relations.

So on one side we have a super-power under threat and on the other side we have a super-power unable to obtain any form of critique or insight from its "allies," a super-power driven by irrational apparatchiks and led by a man who thinks someone else is the President, a super-power with a subservient media and a public whose major concern is the latest 140 word tweet about nothing the least bit relevant.

Too bad Stanley Kubrick didn't write this script. Oh!! Wait!!

Posted by: Sushi | Jan 14 2022 1:54 utc | 66

@ Peter AU1 | Jan 13 2022 23:53 utc | 54 wanting Karlof1's email address

If karl's suggestion at #58 does not work you can contact me through my web site email address and I will pass along Karl's

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 14 2022 2:09 utc | 67

@karlof1 #22
Russia's security concerns will be addressed by military capability in place of the previous partial reliance on treaties.
I already think there will be some sort of Atlantic/Pacific test in international waters, with some minimal warning to the US, of hypersonic missile capability: close enough to trigger all the warning systems but clearly going in a non-threatening direction.
Cooperation treaties and/or ships basing in various Central/South American countries is another option, as are overt hypersonic missile installations in Kaliningrad etc.
The reality is that Russia's economy is almost entirely disconnected from the US - there is nothing from the US that Russia needs or can rely on. Russia does have ties with Western Europe, but those ties are clearly more important for Western Europe than they are for Russia these days. The rise of Asian demand - principally China but not only China - is a fundamental change.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 14 2022 2:35 utc | 68

Economic news:
Italian Socks Extend Gains (Trading Economies looks at Italian socks, but at stocks in different countries...)
Russian industrial production rose 7% on YtY basis

The latter is partially the rebound from COVID decline in 2020, but nevertheless higher than in 2019. I was also puzzled by a strong growth of consumption of natural gas in Russia, and clearly, energy intensive industries in Russia increased production to capitalize on the price increases of products like steel and fertilizers.

Fertilizers allow for an interesting conjecture. India, like other Asians, entered long term contracts for LNG with high prices, but before the prices doubled above the summer prices in Europe. One result of high NG prices was switching off fertilizer production to wait for NG prices going down and give priority to heating in Europe, hence increase in prices 3-4 times. It would make sense for Russia to offer the stockpile of fertilizers to India where it is critical for domestic food market and social stability in rural area (which is not so good to begin with), and indeed, (a) there was a terse news item on that (b) India reduced LNG consumption, allowing for redirection of LNG carriers to Europe.

This is a very precious gift (not free, but still) to India, perhaps helpful to a cordial outcome of Modi-Putin meeting. Add cementing Russian influence in Central Asia in the aftermath of Kazakh disturbances, unresolved conflict of USA+NATO with Iran, and good China-Pakistan cooperation. As USA endeavors to "encircle and isolate" Russia, China and Iran, we that countries cooperating with them include Central Asia and South Asia, with an elegant solution to keep BOTH India and Pakistan in this enormous (area, people) zone of cooperation. Talk about casting a wide net.

Further west, Africa is extremely open to Chinese investments and trade, and we should see interesting action in Latin America. USA + stooges dream of expansion but actually there is a contraction. France is loosing influence in Mali and getting conniptions because of that ...

One interesting action in Latin America is that Venezuela rebounded from the catastrophic drop in oil production fostered by devilishly designed sanction, a combination of import of condensate from Iran (necessary to dilute extremely heavy Venezuela oil) and Russian (and Chinese) engineering help. If this trend will continue, Venezuela will again project fuel largesse to Cuba and volunteering Central American nations (Nicaragua?). Expect more robust anti-norte-americano trends.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 14 2022 2:39 utc | 69

@Sushi #65
It isn't clear to me that the majority of or the actual leadership in the EU nations that matter: France, Germany, Netherlands - is as clownishly and slavishly US sock puppets like Jens Stoltenberg.
From my view, their actions have always been to try and take advantage both of US military protection while still availing themselves of opportunities not overtly against American interests.
The problem is that we are fast approaching the point where this is no longer possible. Cutoff of use of Russian gas, for example, would clearly hurt the Western European nations. They have gone along with the destruction of the non-energy trade with Russia via "sanctions" - but that was significantly because of the (correct) view that overall opportunities would be fine with the rise of the Chinese consumer.
However, the geopolitical situation is such that it is no longer clear that this situation will hold true.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 14 2022 2:41 utc | 70

thanks does look dim and dire.. thanks karlof1 for all the links and commentary which include lavrovs commentary as well... thanks others for the link to hudsons interview with norton..

@ jen 51...i agree with you... i saw that and wondered about that too.. thanks..

the situation continues to erode... like a dying corpse, but some folks are very slow to see who and what is dying.. oh well... i like the quote from lavrov - 'Who is a pessimist? A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.'" uh huh...

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2022 2:42 utc | 71

The US has a very simple message which everyone understands -- Blinken: "Russia has taken these actions of massing a hundred thousand military forces on Ukraine’s border and creating itself, by its actions, a crisis." . . .repeat, repeat, repeat.

On the other hand Russia, from Lavrov, has a very complex thousand-word message which is obtuse and difficult for anyone to understand. Sergey Lavrov: "We always work on specific tasks. The hopes of young men are nourished, and we are already more mature people. We are used to starting from a cruel reality. It is that we are promised a written response. We will wait for it and then we will determine our next steps." . . . etc etc etc

What is needed is a simple truthful Russian message that people could understand. In 2014 the US fomented a coup in Ukraine which removed a democratic leadership friendly to Russia and replaced it with neo-Nazis, which then attacked their own ethnic Russian citizens with thousands killed and injured. And they have persisted for years with this terrible human rights strategy while thumbing their nose at a 2015 UN Security Council resolution for some self-determination in eastern Ukraine, a common event in Europe. Why don't the US and the Europeans speak up about these atrocities instead of fixating on the present Russian troops in Russia? How about some answers from the US and Europe? . . .repeat, repeat, repeat

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2022 4:12 utc | 72

Maybe this is not what is thought of a normal "war", but the object of a World War is to eliminate the adversary's ability to MAKE war. (Ruin their industries and block supplies of raw materials.)

Finally, a thinker.... on to something...

Things to ponder....

1. All Titanium Sponge used by USA aircraft industries... Boeing... Lockheed.... Grumman...
comes from EurAsia

2. Most Aluminum ingot used by NATO countries.... comes from EurAsia

3. > 30% of NATO hydrocarbons come from EurAsia... including Aus... EU.... USA...

4. > 90% of NATO textiles... tents... backpacks... shoes... clothes... come from EurAsia

5. > 90% of NATO rare earths come from EurAsia

6. > 90% of NATO nuclear fuel comes from EurAsia

7. > 90% of SemiConductors... ICs... MPUs... come from EurAsia

EurAsia.... Russia/China/Iran/Pakistan/India/ASEAN...

This year...thanks to CPEC/BRI... Pakistan has sufficient Electrical power to run it's economy..

This year... Iran perfected a solid fueled SLV...and launched satellites with it

This past week the DPRK tested a Hypersonic glide vehiclular warhead for it's nuclear missiles.. successfully...

The USA has yet to put in service a hypersonic glide vehicle... much less a hypersonic missile..

So... where do we go from here...

Maskirovka.... deception.... obfuscation... Russian way of war... this is war... we outsiders will be the last to know...

Club-K missiles camouflaged in containers emplaced at ports in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, DR, West Indies... possible...

White Swans based in Venezuela... possible...

Nuclear bottom mines emplaced in all US port channels... possible... UK port channels....

Precision strikes against offending NATO assets... possible....

Enlargement... equipage of Novorossian Armed Forces.... possible...

Shutdown of gas flows to the EU... heavy oil to UK/USA... possible....

Stoppage of goods flowing from EurAsia to NATO.... possible...

Precision destruction of Fabs in Taiwan/ROK/Japan possible...

The possibilities boggle the imagination....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 14 2022 4:13 utc | 73

Thanks b. Your reporting on this has been excellent. I have been much concerned with the US rejection of the reasonable Russian demands. I know the Empire of Chaos does not do reasonableness. Most commenters who post here are well aware of this. I do not know what the military/kinetic or military/technical response from Russia will be.IMO however, VVP and his advisers will take the necessary and appropriate action at the appropriate time to bring the Deep State to their senses. IMO Russia will have escalation dominance in whatever phase of conventional war that might break out. IMO at some point in a use of force continuance the US would have no choice other than to sue for peace and agree to Russian demands and terms. I base this outcome on my hope that the faction of the Deep State that is non-suicidal will prevail over the faction that is suicidal.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Jan 14 2022 4:36 utc | 74

karlof1 | 57

Sergey Lavrov: "The Americans are still 'foaming at the mouth' together with J. Stoltenberg 'shaking the air' that there can be no agreement, no obligation not to expand NATO, because we are talking about the freedom to choose alliances. Look at what the U.S. and the West are doing about countries that are not members of NATO. For example, the European Parliament recently adopted a resolution that demands to stop the development of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Seriously, there is such a document. The Americans are trying to prohibit many countries from carrying out military-technical cooperation with us: they threaten turkey, India, Indonesia, and Egypt with sanctions just because they openly and commercially conclude agreements with us. Nord Stream 2 is not even the freedom to choose unions, but simply the freedom to carry out ordinary commercial activities on world markets. There is no freedom, it turns out, for Germany to pursue its economic interests. This is where these 'double standards' are evident."

It should be noted that at the same time as the US and NATO were asserting "the freedom to choose alliances", Antony Blinken was telling CNN about Kazakhstan that Washington had “real questions” about “why they felt compelled to call in this organization that Russia dominates,” insisting “we’re asking for clarification on that.”

So, countries are free to choose their alliances, but they have to justify their choices to the US.

The thing is, I honestly don't think Blinken (or, indeed, anyone else in Washington) is aware of the blatant hypocrisy on display.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 14 2022 4:51 utc | 75

Opps. A bit quick on the trigger. Larov makes the same point a bit further down in the interview.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 14 2022 4:58 utc | 76

Assymetrical military-technical riposte? Change the existing ROE in Syria and release the S-300 launch codes. That'll calm down a few..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 14 2022 5:23 utc | 77

RE: Posted by: The Saker | Jan 13 2022 17:59 utc | 3

“Breaking Ukraine into pieces? That is something I fully agree with. “

Effectively the albatross reproducing and migrating in emulation of The Treaty of Versailles where ethnic nationalism, under the clothes of “national freedom/independence”, was used by Mr. Wilson and others to attempt divide and rule Pandora's box.

A function of Mr. Brzezinsky adopting strategies of the Second Department of the Second Polish Republic and pretending they were his own to“sell” them to the strategically emotional/illiterate, increasing trajectories and velocities of lateral processes of absence makes the heart grow fonder whilst familiarity breeds contempt, as lands of opportunities for transcendence are enhanced.

As Mr. Gogol observed it is not wise to hold onto flying troikas too tightly, whilst Holland Dozier and Holland noted – It's the same old song, but with a different meaning, since you've been gone.

The “Ukrainians” will once more adopt Mr. Gogol as their own, dogs will write letters, and the king of Spain will have a wart on the end of his nose, all immersed in Mr. Pilsudski's belief that without Ukraine Russia is a land of forests and lakes.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 14 2022 5:43 utc | 78

karlof1@57. watching andrei rublev your translation of lavrov interview (which i've also been awaiting) was like reading shakespeare whilst watching the firing of the bell. thank you. so very few are fortunate enough to know when history is really being made & so very few of us get to read/hear the great players speak from their heart. thank you for this, i am fortunate indeed.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jan 14 2022 5:57 utc | 79

Piotr Berman | Jan 14 2022 2:39 utc | @68

Hopefully, the myopic elites of both India and Pakistan can be convinced to realize that getting along well would benefit the peaceful development of both countries. There are powerful entrenched forces in India that shill slavishly for the West..

Posted by: R | Jan 14 2022 7:19 utc | 80

I am new to this forum. Just a quick comment. I was wondering if Putins actions were carefully preplanned. Securing the western border with credible force convincing Ukrainians that it would be suicidal to attack Donbas. Security at southern border all cleared with swift action in Kazakhstan. I believe now the action will move to the US shores. I suspect there will be a demonstration of power in both Atlantic as well as Pacific waters. At the same time armada will sail towards Cuba with visible lethal armament. So Jack Sullivan said “US will act decisively” , how decisive I wonder if you have hypersonic weapons aiming at you? This is where I expect “checkmate” move to happen.

Posted by: Milos | Jan 14 2022 11:14 utc | 81

"most Ukrainians would settle for peace through neutrality"

As you are likely to be aware the Russian Federation made reference to the four power agreement on the creation of the Austrian Republic when to some degree the interlocutors understood that they both relied on coercive social relations internal and hence externally they required one another to facilitate mutual sustainability.

That situation changed for "The United States of America" by 1969 and they proposed to "counterparties" relationships of detente based on spheres of influence facilitating the alchemy of gold into paper and dances predicated there upon.

In parallel in 1969 some in "The Soviet Union" understood that this would be an accelerant for the non-sustainability of "The Soviet Union" there by catalysing the ongoing transcendence of "The Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation with the complicity of "The United States of America" in frustration to which "The United States of America" determined, partly as a function of limited strategic facility, once more that Ukraine would be a useful vector to exploit.

Both their dances of 2008 and 2014 of were understood in advance by their prospective "partners", and hence "The United States of America" gained an albatross whilst the Russian Federation gained a new member, making dispensers of plain bulkas from blue plastic bags on Indepependence Square even more "pissed" likely remembering a song from their youth by The Who - won't get fooled again - leading to other hopes which they mis-represent as "Strategies" such as:

RE: Posted by: The Saker | Jan 13 2022 17:59 utc | 3

“Breaking Ukraine into pieces? That is something I fully agree with. “

Effectively the albatross reproducing and migrating in emulation of The Treaty of Versailles where ethnic nationalism, under the clothes of “national freedom/independence”, was used by Mr. Wilson and others to attempt divide and rule Pandora's box.

A function of Mr. Brzezinsky adopting strategies of the Second Department of the Second Polish Republic and pretending they were his own to“sell” them to the strategically emotional/illiterate, increasing trajectories and velocities of lateral processes of absence makes the heart grow fonder whilst familiarity breeds contempt, as lands of opportunities for transcendence are enhanced.

As Mr. Gogol observed it is not wise to hold onto flying troikas too tightly, whilst Holland Dozier and Holland noted – It's the same old song, but with a different meaning, since you've been gone.

The “Ukrainians” will once more adopt Mr. Gogol as their own, dogs will write letters, and the King of Spain will have a wart on the end of his nose, all immersed in Mr. Pilsudski's belief that without Ukraine, Russia is a land of forests and lakes.

Ukraine was only ever a vector of convenience and in Operation Rollback's 1954 programme some wondered What ever happened to Stepan Bandera since it happened in Munich - who helped the set-up?

If you meet the Brooklyn princess and her friends, could you please remind them to bring the salt next time? A little drink would also help if the budget could still run to it. And since some on the square lodged a complaint, how about sernik with cinammon for desert - there used to be a good cake shop without long queues just across from "The Embassy", and from there it's all downhill to the square and Kreshatik if you are catching the metro to the Arsenal or Petchersky or walking to Podil.

Posted by: NotEuclid | Jan 14 2022 11:24 utc | 82

Strongly agree with Jens comment about "Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine". As though the people in the DonBas have no agency. The resistance started with very small scale blockades of Ukrainian authority and later forces. Russia could long ago have recognized their vote to secede and join the RF. An uprising was basically inevitable when the Rada banned the Russian language on their first day. The continuously used sophomoric "Russia backed rebels" or "pro-Russia rebels" is propaganda, like the Bosnian Serbs and the Serbian Croats etc. when you could hear the people themselves simply saying Turks and Cetniks. The day the Dayton accords were signed, years of double politically correct designations in the media evaporated. Do we refer to Dutchmen as pro-Dutch or Swiss as pro-Swiss? Most of the MSM reports about Russian support fell through on no evidence, and the exact form and level of support remains unclear from public information sources.

Posted by: Webej | Jan 14 2022 11:51 utc | 83

By the way, it should be noted that Russia tried to join NATO in 1954 and again in 2001.
They were rebuffed.
There is simply no European Security architecture which Russia could join.
There is only an implacable anti-Russia enemy on its borders.

Putin was told in 2000-2001 that he had to apply to join Nato; he retorted with something along the lines ... O, it's not like there is a line-up of important countries, is there?

Posted by: Webej | Jan 14 2022 11:55 utc | 84

I see no increased risk of war. The failure of the talks was totally predictable, and changed nothing.

The ultimatum wasn’t diplomacy, I was PR, and good PR at that — made the difference between USnato and Russia obvious. But stuff for a horse shoe shaped table? Nope.

Russia has the upper hand, no need to move on their part. USnato might have the will to fight, but lack the capacity. And they know it.

Sit back, relax and watch the decline of the west continue.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jan 14 2022 12:49 utc | 85

I see no increased risk of war. The failure of the talks was totally predictable, and changed nothing.

The ultimatum wasn’t diplomacy, I was PR, and good PR at that — made the difference between USnato and Russia obvious. But stuff for a horse shoe shaped table? Nope.

Russia has the upper hand, no need to move on their part. USnato might have the will to fight, but lack the capacity. And they know it.

Sit back, relax and watch the decline of the west continue.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jan 14 2022 12:49 utc | 86

Language is how imperialism molds perception. Russian imperialism—a product of 300 years of Russian expansionist wars and colonialism of the Siberian hinterlands was only stopped when it confronted Japanese Imperialism and had its ass handed to it in 1905–harbinger of the fall of the Romanov’s. B clearly has adopted the language of Imperial Russia through his constant reference to “the Ukraine”. We do not call the Russian Federation “the Russia”. B uses language as he does to deny Ukrainians the right to their own nation. “the ukraine” refers to the historic borderlands that separated orthodox and Catholic cultures. “the ukraine” ceased to exist over 200 years ago when the Cossack lords accepted the Czars privileges. “the ukraine” was incorporated into the empire and transformed into the Pale of Settlement. In addition to creating the rural Jewish ghetto- the Russians colonized the area reducing the native Ruthinians into serfs. There is a reason that the bulk of the revolutionaries in both 1905 and 1917 were among the oppressed minorities in the Russian Empire. The creation of a Ukrainian Peoples Republic was the ultimate result of that revolution. The constant reduction of that country and its peoples aspirations to “the borderlands” is indicative of Russia’s continued imperial ambitions. Putin would be better to provide “technical” assistance to the anti-imperialist forces in Poland, the Baltic Republics and Hungry and Romania. The indirect approach is always better than direct engagement. Winning hearts and minds are far more effective in achieving lasting political change than military action.

Posted by: Zargo | Jan 14 2022 13:30 utc | 87

Like I said, same strategy, same goals as during the Cuban Missile Crisis, same right wing warmongers pushing the same policies, with no strategic nuclear advantage this time. Just as during that time when Kennedy and others endlessly hyped the threat of the USSR, and lied with the infamous "duck and cover" drills which were supposedly to make nuclear war safer.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 14 2022 13:36 utc | 88

In English, we say "the Netherlands". In French, they say "la Suisse" and "le Liban".

Posted by: lysias | Jan 14 2022 13:40 utc | 89

@George W Oprisko #72
The semiconductors come from Taiwan; a lot of the semiconductor base materials (i.e. silicon) come from Japan. That doesn't qualify as Eurasia either geopolitically or geographically.
As for your other actions: the vast majority are outright declarations of war/commencement of hostilities.
Enactment of any one would guarantee loss of any possibility of neutrality or cooperation with Western Europe.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 14 2022 13:47 utc | 90

@Milos #80
You are making several presumptions which are suspect:
1) That the Ukrainians are rational. Ukrainians in general are rational, but multiple factions in power in Ukraine - particularly the SS Galicia worshippers, are not.
2) That the US is acting in a responsible or rational manner w/ respect to the above Ukrainian factions. The US is always very careful to not outright say that it will support its puppets - the Georgian conflict is an excellent example - even as it provides cash and munitions which are used for only warmaking capabilities.

My view is that Putin understands very well the difference between obvious defensive/defensible actions and childish overt acts of belligerence which will do nothing but sway the undecided (i.e. Western Europe) into thinking Russia is the aggressor.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 14 2022 13:53 utc | 91

U krayina. Prepositional. LOL

Posted by: Platero | Jan 14 2022 14:04 utc | 92

'Be afraid': Ukraine hit by cyberattack as Russia moves more troops

The above is the current big bold Main headline on the front page of Reuters.
Make that Reuters-TNI-CIA front page.

Can't ever have enough Fear of the Ruskies here in the West.

"Fear is good"

Posted by: librul | Jan 14 2022 15:13 utc | 93

Finian Cunningham has a solution:

Kick in the Baltics for Peace

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 14 2022 15:24 utc | 94

Just now CNN quoted an "American official" as saying that Russia was planning a false flag attack to justify an invasion of Ukraine.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 14 2022 15:33 utc | 95

Russia being forced into a position of dependency to China would most probably be a good thing. China is an unusual peaceful country. In fact, that could solve the tensions.

Posted by: m | Jan 14 2022 15:34 utc | 96

@spudski | Jan 14 2022 15:33 utc | 96

I thought it was their toy only, false flags?
Do you mean others than the US & their minions are allowed to play with them?

Funny how delusional empires end up thinking everyone wants to mimic their worst tricks.

Posted by: Francil | Jan 14 2022 15:43 utc | 97

“the ukraine” refers to the historic borderlands that separated orthodox and Catholic cultures. “the ukraine” ceased to exist over 200 years ago when the Cossack lords accepted the Czars privileges. “the ukraine” was incorporated into the empire and transformed into the Pale of Settlement.
Posted by: Zargo | Jan 14 2022 13:30 utc | 88

Where this rant came from? Ukrainians, like other non-Bulgarian Slavs, have no concept of "the". When needed, you use "this" or "that", but if you talk about a country, city, region etc. it is not needed.

Secondly, there is no "Catholic culture" in Ukraine, there are "Uniates" in a part of western Ukraine.

“the ukraine” ceased to exist over 200 years ago when the Cossack lords accepted the Czars privileges??? Perhaps, Wiki,
Pereyaslav Agreement, Pereyaslav also spelled PerejasŁaw, (Jan. 18 [Jan. 8, Old Style], 1654), act undertaken by the rada (council) of the Cossack army in Ukraine to submit Ukraine to Russian rule, and the acceptance of this act by emissaries of the Russian tsar Alexis; the agreement precipitated a war between Poland and Russia (1654–67). ... Only after the Cossacks had suffered a disastrous military defeat (December 1653), however, did the rada receive the Muscovite delegation at Pereyaslav and formally submit to “the tsar’s hand.”

"Pale of settlement" is something QUITE unrelated to the topic. After the partition of Polish-Lithuanian Commonweal and the conquest of the lands of Crimean Khanate, Jews were allow in inhabit those lands (where they were present already) but not elsewhere in the Empire, with a growing number of exceptions. Sen. Schumer is still bitter that his ancestors could not live in Moscow, so they had to stay in a hellhole that was Odessa (actually, a nice city).

The reason why Ukrainian nationalists started to object to "The Ukraine" (like "The Netherlands") is obscure. Complaining is something they do well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 14 2022 15:44 utc | 98

6 utc | 89

In English, we say "the Netherlands". In French, they say "la Suisse" and "le Liban".

Posted by: lysias | Jan 14 2022 13:40 utc | 90

And also in English we say The United States. "The" to my mind invokes importance as in 'The Church' as against simply 'church'. But to each his own - I've been saying simply 'Ukraine' for a while now, out of politeness, even though it doesn't have the majesty of 'the Ukraine'. Happy to give it more importance when it decides to include the unique qualities of the Donbass.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 14 2022 16:05 utc | 99

Francil @98

It struck me as projection too. Flailing indeed.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 14 2022 16:10 utc | 100

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