Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 10, 2022

The Russia-U.S. Talks In Geneva Are Likely To Fail

Like Scott Ritter I am deeply skeptical that today's talks between the U.S. and Russia in Geneva will have any results:

If ever a critical diplomatic negotiation was doomed to fail from the start, the discussions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine and Russian security guarantees is it.

The two sides can’t even agree on an agenda.

From the Russian perspective, the situation is clear: “The Russian side came here [to Geneva] with a clear position that contains a number of elements that, to my mind, are understandable and have been so clearly formulated—including at a high level—that deviating from our approaches simply is not possible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the press after a pre-meeting dinner on Sunday hosted by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. delegation.
...
All the U.S. has been willing to do, it seems, is to remind Russia of so-called “serious consequences” should Russia invade Ukraine, something the U.S. and NATO fear is imminent, given the scope and scale of recent Russian military exercises in the region involving tens of thousands of troops. This threat was made by Biden to Putin on several occasions, including a phone call initiated by Putin last week to help frame the upcoming talks.

The U.S. continues with its false claim that Russia is ready to invade the Ukraine:

In a move that has aggravated already tense relations between Washington and the Kremlin, Russia has mobilized more than 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine. The United States has disclosed intelligence showing that Russia has a war plan envisioning an invasion force of 175,000 troops that Ukraine’s military, despite U.S.-provided equipment and training, would have little ability to stop.

On Friday, the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, warned that “the risk of conflict is real.”

There are no 100,000 Russian troops near its border with Ukraine. In early December U.S. intelligence claimed only 70,000 troops:

While Ukrainian assessments have said Russia has approximately 94,000 troops near the border, the U.S. map puts the number at 70,000 — but it predicts a buildup to as many as 175,000 and describes extensive movement of battalion tactical groups to and from the border “to obfuscate intentions and to create uncertainty.”

The extra 100,000 the U.S. intelligence mentioned were supposed to come from a Russian reservist force (BARS) which does not yet exist but is only planned for. The number is thus fake. The U.S. intelligence numbers were published on December 3. Three weeks later Russia announced that 10,000 of those 70,000 troops were removed:

Ten thousand Russian military servicemen are reportedly returning to their "permanent deployment points" from field training on the border with neighboring Ukraine, according to Interfax news, which quoted statements from the Russian military.

It means that there are currently only 60,000 troops in Russia's west mostly stationed in their normal quarters with some units undergoing rotational training as all military do.

The media also claims that Russia has threatened to attack the Ukraine. Russia has no plans to do that unless the Ukraine tries to attack its rebellious eastern provinces of Luhanzk and Donetzk. The Ukrainian leadership knows that it can not do that.

However the Russian security demands are serious. Either the U.S. and NATO retreat from their anti-Russian posture or Russia will take 'military-technical measures' to counter them.

These MAY(!) include a sudden and swift neutralization of Ukrainian military capabilities:

Russia will not get involved in a military misadventure in Ukraine that has the potential of dragging on and on, like the U.S. experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia has studied an earlier U.S. military campaign—Operation Desert Storm, of Gulf War I—and has taken to heart the lessons of that conflict.

One does not need to occupy the territory of a foe in order to destroy it. A strategic air campaign designed to nullify specific aspects of a nations’ capability, whether it be economic, political, military, or all the above, coupled with a focused ground campaign designed to destroy an enemy’s army as opposed to occupy its territory, is the likely course of action.

Given the overwhelming supremacy Russia has both in terms of the ability to project air power backed by precision missile attacks, a strategic air campaign against Ukraine would accomplish in days what the U.S. took more than a month to do against Iraq in 1991.

My hunch is that Russia will not do even that but that the 'military-technical measures' it says it will take should the talks fail will create a new threat to the U.S. itself. A repeat of the Cuban missile crisis by other means.

The Cuban crisis led to the elimination of U.S. nuclear missiles stationed in Turkey and Italy and aimed at Moscow. A similar crisis today could likewise lead to a U.S. and NATO retreat from eastern Europe.

Russia has won real and hybrid wars in South Ossetia, Crimea, Syria, Armenia, Belarus and now in its soft underbelly Kazakhstan after those countries came under attack. Leaders of the last four countries, all multi-vector politicians who were trying to play with the 'west' and Russia, have found out that Russia is their best and only friend and have decisively moved into its camp:

Remember, the PSYOP narrative was that Putin is either stupid, or weak or sold out to the West, yet when we look at the “before and after” thingie, we see that while the West “almost” (or so they think) “got” Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and, now, Kazakhstan, the reality is that in each case it appears that the narcissistic megalomaniacs running the West have confidently waltzed into a carefully laid Russian trap which, far from giving the Empire the control of the countries it “almost” acquired, made them lose them for the foreseeable future.

Russia has done this with little cost and to great effect. Meanwhile the U.S. and NATO have lost their wars, most recently in Afghanistan.

It is time for the U.S. and NATO to acknowledge that.

Posted by b on January 10, 2022 at 14:17 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Having dealt with americans of this mindset for my life so far, and my working life with the “professional managerial class,” and observing what passes for life living in the US A, and the control that government, business, the MIC, and media have exerted on the people. Which is quite disheartening to say the least. And having observed foreign policy fairly attentively since the 80s, I’m not very confident there will be any kind of retreat. At best a set back? I wonder if the US and the ruling classes can accept this at all?

Posted by: Geoff | Jan 10 2022 14:38 utc | 1

Blinken works for Nuland. Ditto for Wendy Sherman. Biden has little to no room to stray from the neocon powers. Stay tuned for some bluster from Psaki while Russia moves to the action phase.
bottom line, the Empire is collapsing.

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 10 2022 14:40 utc | 2

Just out of the blue, one Russian state operated Tupolev 154 took off from Caracas this morning. If followed by a bigger an-124 transport, perhaps something "military-technical" in the works there?

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 10 2022 14:48 utc | 3

I don’t understand the strategy behind pushing for the talks in the first place

The Russians surely on the evidence of the past 30 years can’t suddenly think the Americans can be trusted?

I can’t work out what the end game is - what is the Russians real objective ?

All this noise from the Americans and Europeans about “Russian aggression” is just getting louder. They are doubling down - it creates a worse environment for conflict to occur.

Nothing positive will come out of these talks

Posted by: James2 | Jan 10 2022 14:58 utc | 4

Bet the talks last less than 4.1 hours.

Posted by: librul | Jan 10 2022 15:00 utc | 5

In his review of Beevor's 'Stalingrad' John Helmer explains why theAmericans cannot give up, must continue on the path of Russia's destruction, Helmer gets it 100% right, you should read it, even if there is an agreement of a sort at Geneva, the Americans will never stick to it, they cannot, it would only add to the cracks in their hegemony, which is already in a precarious state.

http://johnhelmer.net

Posted by: Baron | Jan 10 2022 15:03 utc | 6

A little metaphor or how 'merde' "Western Commitments" really are:
One of the exported Russians in Kazakhstan by CSTO's soldiers is also a French citizen, but, according to him, contacting the FRENCH and even the American(a chance out of desperation) consulate did not help him at all.
(1,461 Russians have been evacuated from Kazakhstan by military aircraft, the Ministry of Defense reports.)
ALSO:
In Alma-Ata, Nazanov, deputy head of the Turksib district police department, died of a heart attack at his workplace, local publications write.
Both topics
https://t.me/s/rian_ru?before=138946

Posted by: MD | Jan 10 2022 15:08 utc | 7

The US national security state with huge "defense" profits requires enemies. Russia and China have been selected to fill the major enemy requirements while lesser countries (Iran, North Korea, etc) play a supporting role. Russia is especially needed to support the US heed for a half-million person military ground force along with the continues US control of Europe, whereas China is entirely a navy scenario.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10 2022 15:15 utc | 8

For six months or more I have been exasperated that the Russians have not countered this “100,000 troops ON Ukraine’s border”.
Maria,Maria,Maria,…. Those troops are Russian troops INSIDE Russia and 150km? from Ukraine. Send out a barrage of your best tweets to counter this.
Every time someone stated “on the Ukraine” border, I wanted Maria to nominate a US base and said oooooohhhh…. Scary, there’s 50,000 troops on the MEXICAN border, maybe they’ll invade…..oooooohhhh scary, there’s 35,000 troops on the CANADIAN border…. Watch out Justin, they could invade ….. next decade……
Mockery….. that’s what was needed… not allowing this 100,000 troops trope to live.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 10 2022 15:16 utc | 9

I don’t understand the strategy behind pushing for the talks in the first place
I can’t work out what the end game is - what is the Russians real objective ?
Posted by: James2 | Jan 10 2022 14:58 utc | 4

I am quite sure the Russians knew the talks would fail from the start, but they view it as a strategic component of the process. Unlike the US, Russia believes in international law. Everything seems to me to be setting the groundwork for Russian attacks on NATO assets that will be legally qualified as responses to NATO aggression - i.e. the Russians will be acting in full conformity with international law - going to great lengths to exhaust efforts to resolve the problems diplomatically, and ensuring that the evidence is in the public domain that no stone was left unturned. They are dotting every legal "i" and crossing every legal "t" - the meeting in Geneva is just one of those "i"s being dotted.

Posted by: BM | Jan 10 2022 15:21 utc | 10

In all my dialogs and communications I'm stunned that my colleagues and acquaintances have no apprehension whatsoever of the economic impact of the approaching conflict.

Everyone seems absolutely desensitized by the media haze.

Maybe its just me though. I'm walking on eggshells.

Nothing seems priced in.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 10 2022 15:22 utc | 11

@ 11
The principal "economic impact" of conflict is the profits realized.
"War is a racket. . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." -- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1935

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10 2022 15:28 utc | 12

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5v7Rn9ivL80

This is a good overview of Putin's demands for USA and N.A.T.O.

Posted by: D0ng | Jan 10 2022 15:28 utc | 13

"Again, I can hear the hysterical and desperate wailing out of Langley and Mons. That’s what you get for believing your own stupid propaganda!"

Geo-political theatre!

A view from inside the rabbit hole..............which contributed to today's post:

https://thesaker.is/who-lost-kazakhstan-and-to-whom/

Posted by: James Cook | Jan 10 2022 15:29 utc | 14

The principal "economic impact" of conflict is the profits realized.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10 2022 15:28 utc | 12

===

I'm rather of the opinion that the principal impact will be write-downs.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 10 2022 15:33 utc | 15

I am always struck by the short-term view of US strategists. They only thought about sanctions and now they only have two options: Either they promise not to integrate Ukraine in NATO, showing the whole world their weakness, or Russia will take care of showing it.

Posted by: Marjorie | Jan 10 2022 15:34 utc | 16

Agreed, no chance of current US leadership willing to give up strategic position voluntarily. Even if there were, the upside has become sharply limited, now that life expectancy of agreements is no more than the term of the sitting US president.

With regards to NATO, it's probably a wasted performative action. The one silver lining is that it might reinforce something for some people and some oligarchs in Ukraine. Namely, that the western sponsors see the function of the Ukraine government as a human shield to be sacrificed, rather than an object to be defended for any length of time. What they do with this information, if anything, is unclear.

The next few years has potential to see US forced to accept reversal of gains of illegal and horrifically violent involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. Will US influence be reduced in Central Asia and the Caspian region too? Eventually, but the immediate future is up in the air. China bidding up all energy resources in sight adds to tensions. Ethnic tensions that are a permanent feature of the region. And there's no visible reason why the US would want to refrain from destabilizing wherever there is an opportunity. Another year . . .

Posted by: ptb | Jan 10 2022 15:38 utc | 17

Some 'experts' are writing that Europe prefers peace over the war that the US is aiming for. Russia will be looking for a European country which will 'cave.'. . .Does anybody have a potential cave country in mind? Or are they all US puppets?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10 2022 15:42 utc | 18

In my own country (Norway) a professor at the Royal College of Attack Planning ("Forsvarets høgskole) made the mistake of letting the cat (or paper tiger) out of the bag for all to see: He said the name of the city where tho main Russian force was situated. Turned out it was a town 320 kilometre (more than 200 miles) away from the Russo-Ukrainian border! And more than 400 kilometres away from the dewiding line between the regime forces of The Ukraina and the Donbass democratic area.

Posted by: JoveBove/區司/Áss | Jan 10 2022 15:48 utc | 19

I thought there already were 200,000 troops in Donbass, but the mighty Ukrainian putsch military (strongest in Europe!) was manfully holding them off. Poroshenko said so himself!

So confusing.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jan 10 2022 15:55 utc | 20

Thanks for the posting b.

While I agree with your assessment of failure of the talks, the process is moving the pieces in the correct direction.

Mr. Market is down but no claim because of geo-politics....grin

The shit show continues until it doesn't and I am smiling this morning as I watch the West, hopefully, melting into oblivion.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 10 2022 15:59 utc | 21

russia can attack nato space assets to start a good example. attack more if nato doesn't back off. no lives lost. then warn nato the next shooting will be against radar/missile installations in romania and poland.

Posted by: andreweed | Jan 10 2022 16:33 utc | 22

It looks like it is game set and match to the CSTO forces in Kazakhstan. I hope these forces are extremely cautious when they enter the bio-lab facility in Almaty.
Now on to Geneva and the US/Russian talks. The Russian demands seem to be quite clear - get off our doorstep. Will the US listen? Probably not.
There are many places in the world where I am glad not to be. On the front line between the Donbass and 401 leads the list.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jan 10 2022 16:37 utc | 23

France, Germany, Austria and Italy are ripe for color revolutions thanks to their govs’ pursuit of idiotic, ineffective and repressive C19 measures (yes the type B believes in).

If I was Russia I throw a little gas on those fires. It’s not going to take much especially in Italy and France.

Posted by: Alaric | Jan 10 2022 16:46 utc | 24

bottom line, the Empire is collapsing.

Posted by: migueljose | Jan 10 2022 14:40 utc | 2

As long as it's in a deflating wimper.
Not a blinding flash!
Reality disfunction is totally cemented in the ruling classes in the US.
Lethal for us all!

Posted by: JPC | Jan 10 2022 16:47 utc | 25

Mockery….. that’s what was needed… not allowing this 100,000 troops trope to live.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 10 2022 15:16 utc | 9

Most accurate comment on the whole poisonous situation!

Posted by: JPC | Jan 10 2022 16:54 utc | 26

I am quite sure the Russians knew the talks would fail from the start, but they view it as a strategic component of the process. Unlike the US, Russia believes in international law. Everything seems to me to be setting the groundwork for Russian attacks on NATO assets that will be legally qualified as responses to NATO aggression - i.e. the Russians will be acting in full conformity with international law - going to great lengths to exhaust efforts to resolve the problems diplomatically, and ensuring that the evidence is in the public domain that no stone was left unturned. They are dotting every legal "i" and crossing every legal "t" - the meeting in Geneva is just one of those "i"s being dotted.

I agree... it's for the purpose of breaking Article 5.... Ie: making it extremely difficult for nations like Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Italy, Greece, Turkey to invoke Article 5 in the event Russia chooses to destroy offending bases..

Once Article 5 becomes irrelevant, NATO becomes irrelevant...

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 10 2022 16:54 utc | 27

Two cents#11.
I am also amazed but beyond that, most americans have no idea! I am part of a group called Planet VS Pentagon and at the end of our meeting I brought up my concerns about what was going on with Russia and China. Ohhhh boy. Not one of the people had a clue! And everyone of them believes the Chinese are committing Genocide! How do you be apart of a group that should understand what the pentagon is up to, yet they still grab onto China bad Russia bad. Well I had to say no more and what i got was it is just a difference of opinion, this from a group that had no clue what was going on in Ukraine. The US supporting Nazis!

Posted by: Susan | Jan 10 2022 16:57 utc | 28

My favorite idea for a military/technical measure would be to send a baby hypersonic to Langley and Mons. Just to put a hole in the roofs and bring some disorder in their files and computers. that would be a nice wake-up call for the public.

Posted by: Outspoken | Jan 10 2022 16:59 utc | 29

In his press statement, Ryabkov just threatened that, if the US proceeds with building up weapons systems in Europe, Russia would respond with "military" matters, which would "damage" US and European security. He wasn't precise about which weapons systems must not be deployed, but presumably he was talking about INF- and ABM-prohibited systems and future hypersonic deployments, I think. But the "military" threat was clear.

He also said, "We have no intention to invade Ukraine," the upshot of which is that other military methods would be used, such as missiles and stand off weapons, etc.

He said it is "absolutely mandatory" that Ukraine and Georgia "never, ever" become a members of NATO.

"Iron-clad," "legally-binding" guarantees are required, he said. And they must happen ASAP.

But, ominously, he said that today produced "no progress" on the core issue of NATO expansion. So the US is refusing to discuss that file, which guarantees, it seems, the military counter-measures in the future.

Posted by: Prof | Jan 10 2022 17:15 utc | 30

@11,28

Agreed. I suggested to someone that something possibly Cuban missile crisis scale was going down, and she couldn’t figure out how it affected her. I said Russia w/China’s support publicly demanding a major us military stand down or threatening conflict is a BFD. With inflation high and logistics already shitting the pan I imagine China esp has big non-kinetic monkey wrenches - not to mention the risk of actual war. So maybe consider stocking up some food at least.

Why? Connect these negotiations with a possible need for food she said.

I said we may not always have had money, but the shelves have always had food our whole lives. Our whole parents’ lives. We are super soft. And that’s amazing continuity. I don’t know what causes that food-on-shelf continuity to end, but this thing with Russia and China supporting is a major discontinuity on the scale of nothing we’ve ever seem - so protect yourself I suggest with sole bulk rice and bean purchases at least, in case weird surprises come.

I don’t think it landed. Of course not. I looked at CNN and an article there showed no sign of interest in Russian perspectives or the gravity of the sitch.

Posted by: Hickory | Jan 10 2022 17:40 utc | 31

It's really hard to say what the Russians will do once the talks fail. My bet: They would try to avoid armed conflicts, and will instead permit the people of some regions of Eastern Ukraine secede. This is the one option that involves minimum risks and costs.

Posted by: Fiona Jenkins | Jan 10 2022 17:48 utc | 32

I don’t think it landed. Of course not.

Posted by: Hickory | Jan 10 2022 17:40 utc | 31

===

Wash your worries away worshiping at the temple of mammon or else be branded a conspiracy kook.

Posted by: too scents | Jan 10 2022 17:53 utc | 33

@BM | Jan 10 2022 15:21 utc | 10

I am quite sure the Russians knew the talks would fail from the start, but they view it as a strategic component of the process. Unlike the US, Russia believes in international law. Everything seems to me to be setting the groundwork for Russian attacks on NATO assets that will be legally qualified as responses to NATO aggression - i.e. the Russians will be acting in full conformity with international law - going to great lengths to exhaust efforts to resolve the problems diplomatically, and ensuring that the evidence is in the public domain that no stone was left unturned. They are dotting every legal "i" and crossing every legal "t" - the meeting in Geneva is just one of those "i"s being dotted.

For sure this is exactly what they are doing. If you want to defend international law, you must follow international law. The Russians have the upper hand morally, legally, politically and militarily.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 10 2022 17:53 utc | 34

Melaleuca | Jan 10 2022 15:16 utc | 9

Of course the Russians are not "countering" the idea that there are 100'000 men standing around in muddy fields near a border. They are probably having a good belly laugh, as they sit comfortably in their Barracks, sipping a delicious brew, or something.

It doesn't hurt to keep the "others" on the wrong foot all the time.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 10 2022 17:53 utc | 35

If you want to defend international law, you must follow international law.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 10 2022 17:53 utc | 34

===

Declare war on us so that we may attack you seems like an odd gambit.

What other legal pretense does the RF have?

Posted by: too scents | Jan 10 2022 18:01 utc | 36

@Outspoken | Jan 10 2022 16:59 utc | 29

My favorite idea for a military/technical measure would be to send a baby hypersonic to Langley and Mons. Just to put a hole in the roofs and bring some disorder in their files and computers. that would be a nice wake-up call for the public.

I think a better idea would be for the Russians to refer to this video that Putin showed in 2018 and say "an unarmed demonstration will be performed" following the same track, and then do it.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 10 2022 18:05 utc | 37

@too scents | Jan 10 2022 18:01 utc | 36

Declare war on us so that we may attack you seems like an odd gambit.

The US does not declare war, it just executes it covertly.
It has been going on for decades against Russia, and this may be where it stops.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 10 2022 18:12 utc | 38

As seen in Kazakhstan, the Russians prepare in advance then wait for the opportune moment. (CSTO rapid action as example).
So, in Geneva they will have certainly planned for the two possibilities. 1) The US does talk and then agrees to something, or more likely 2), The US does what it usually does, all talk and does nothing.

Which means that the Russians have already prepared for scenario 2. Exactly what, we will find out in due course. However, all the elements must be in place, so they can just sit back and wait for the right moment to reveal what they have in store.
*****

Ominously Zelensky has stated that they are planning to siphon off gas meant for Europe. (They are broke again). Force majeur to really cut all gas transit through Ukraine?

****
PS: Even I could see that Zelensky is a nut and thinks he is what the world has been waiting for. I reckon the EU, US and others don't know how to turn him off.
HE will start something - like attacking Donbas, as he is incapable of restraint, and thinks he is sooo photogenic in military camouflage.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 10 2022 18:24 utc | 39

The talks are to fail? How is that even possible? Didn`t Russia, with it`s most hypersonic military in the universe, force the US to negotiation table?

Something doesn`t add up.

Posted by: m | Jan 10 2022 18:30 utc | 40

In my own country (Norway) a professor at the Royal College of Attack Planning ("Forsvarets høgskole) ...
Posted by: JoveBove/區司/Áss | Jan 10 2022 15:48 utc | 1910 Jan 2022

Associated Press
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Conscripts in Norway have been ordered to return their underwear, bras and socks after the end of their military service so that the next group of recruits can use them.

The Norwegian military said Monday that it is struggling with dwindling supplies, in part due to the
pandemic.

The Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization said because of “a challenging stockpile situation, this move is necessary as it provides the Armed Forces with greater garment volumes available for new soldiers starting their initial service.
-----
I wonder how the professors at Royal College of Attack Planning view the combat readiness of NATO in general, and of Norway's component in particular. A valiant unit of Norwegians rises to attack, and the ancient rubber bands of their underwear give up.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 10 2022 18:52 utc | 41

Do you suppose that Reuters is trying to leak something(s)’through this headline?

“U.S. and Russia still poles apart on Ukraine after Geneva talks”

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/prospects-dim-us-russia-start-tense-talks-over-ukraine-crisis-2022-01-10/

It opens with a 3 point summary:

- No breakthrough in tense encounter
- U.S. seeks end to Russian troop buildup near Ukraine
- Ukrainians want to know why their country is absent

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jan 10 2022 18:54 utc | 42

At long last, Ukrainian anthem is available in English, with lyrics:

Can this version be adapted as the official NATO song?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 10 2022 19:04 utc | 43

thanks b...

@ James2 | Jan 10 2022 14:58 utc | 4.... ditto BM's response @ 10 to you.... russia is pursuing international law while dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.... unfortunately the same can't be said for the west, in spite of how the msm pitches the story line.. the msm is the exact opposite of an honest broker here..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2022 19:05 utc | 44

There's been no boasting, declarations, strong political statements or any sort of sanctions brag coming from the US side so far and the Russians haven't simply walked out.

In my books that's a good sign. It means they're listening a lot harder than Blinken's previous nonsense implied.

Posted by: S.O. | Jan 10 2022 19:06 utc | 45

Russia has no desire to humiliate America or NATO. The talks are about ironing out the messaging that will allow America and NATO to back down without the burn of shame.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 10 2022 19:12 utc | 46

S.O. 45
My guess is Russia has been offered some phony guarantees of no missiles in Europe but Nato continues to expand. I don't think that's going to fly in Russia. Ryabkov is the lead negotiator but the decisions will be made in Moscow. Moscow's worry is hypersonics which US will have perhaps not too far into the future and they want the US moved back from their borders before then.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 19:19 utc | 47

I expect the first move from the Russians will be to bring down the government of Ukraine which is as stable as an upside down pyramid.


@ Don Bacon #18

The new Grand Pubah of Germany has already flushed the new foreign minister from the green party who is a a mini Nikki Haley clone. The leader is calling for a reset with Russia. Seems the German people don't really want to sit shivering in the dark with their industries shut down.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Jan 10 2022 19:54 utc | 48

This looks to be the timeline

"Following Monday’s talks in Geneva, Ryabkov will meet with NATO representatives on Wednesday, and with the OSCE on January 13, after which Moscow will make a decision whether to continue the negotiations further." https://www.rt.com/russia/545616-ryabkov-geneva-talks-nato/

Looks like Ryabkov is going to go through the motions with the minions but the problem is the US which controls them.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 19:57 utc | 49

A reverse false flag might be best bet for Russia. Allow Ukraine/NATO to attack Donbas and allow a few (dozen?) Russian operatives to die. Folowed up by a swift response by Russia by either employing supersonic weapons and/or radar jamming to maybe take out the comedian puppet at the purple house in Kiev. Knowing that the Nato leaders themselves are not safe anywhere on earth would probably compell them back to the negotisting table.

Posted by: comandante | Jan 10 2022 20:10 utc | 50

I'm having flashbacks of the Cuban Missle Crisis

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 10 2022 20:11 utc | 51

of course they are. It's a feature, not a bug. US won't listen to Russia because it doesn't respect Russia because it (rightly) thinks Putin is a big giant pussy who waited 20 years and did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING while US/ via NATO expanded right next to Russia's borders. USA also places nuclear missiles claiming they were to protect against non-existent Iranian missiles and Putin once again did nothing. And the Americans are right.
Next, USA will push Ukraine to attack Donbass (or maybe even Crimea), Putin will HAVE to respond and US will kick Russia out of SWIFT, thus running Russia's economy and as a bonus Europe's economy too. Game theory. And Russia will have nobody to blame BUT Putin. Case closed

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jan 10 2022 20:24 utc | 52

Ryabkov presser, he'll be called a hard liner, standing his own as proposed by treaties, NATO back to 1997.

The presser is in Russian but this badly heard question in English he answers in it too, get the sense of demeanor and tone.

https://youtu.be/WihsNOI6xw0?t=1469

Posted by: Paco | Jan 10 2022 20:27 utc | 53

Oh yeah and the Olympic games are a-coming. And something ALWAYS happens during the Olympic games. As I said, putin the Pussy waited way too long.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jan 10 2022 20:28 utc | 54

Hoyeru 54

If you had taken note of What Russia and Putin have been doing the last 20 years, you probably would have realized Russia waited until it had overwhelming military superiority over the Americans.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 20:36 utc | 55

@ 55 peter au... it ain't worth it.. hoyeru is out to lunch - permanently..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2022 20:42 utc | 56

some people fought Hitler, and some "fought" Hitler from across a gigantic ocean, without consequence to themselves, home, family, income, etc.

the people directing the conflict on the West have never experienced any consequences for their decisions. war is a board or video game. the truth of war, for them, is the jets flying over the Superbowl. Blinken can't imagine Putin doesn't look at it exactly that way.

will anything change until either other countries in Europe start jumping the US ship and NATO dissolves? or Americans get off their asses and throw these criminals in prison for life?

and it's not an accident that, as the US healthcare system is about to collapse, there's a big upswing in foreign policy "action", like "troop movements".

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 10 2022 20:44 utc | 57

FWIW, Craig Murray does not believe that the CIA had any involvement in the Kazakhstan uprising.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2022/01/what-kazakhstan-isnt/

Posted by: Rob | Jan 10 2022 20:53 utc | 58

I am not convinced that Russia will invade Ukraine. In a way, Ukraine is family living next door, and you have to get on with family and neighbours, one way or another.
British and Americans, on the other hand, have been scheming against Russia the last hundred years or more. If Father Frost drops an extra heavy Christmas present in the chimney of a war room in Cheltenham or Langley, there is no love lost.
Every century or so Russia has to give the next would-be conqueror a bloody nose; perhaps the time has come.

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 10 2022 20:54 utc | 59

Posted by: Alaric | Jan 10 2022 16:46 utc | 24

France, Germany, Austria and Italy are ripe for color revolutions thanks to their govs’ pursuit of idiotic, ineffective and repressive C19 measures (yes the type B believes in).

If I was Russia I throw a little gas on those fires. It’s not going to take much especially in Italy and France.


Societal disruption, riots and targeted destruction, Hong-Kong 2019 style, are very real risks for Europe. However, I don't believe the threat is Russian.

Instead, I see the threat as coming from the usual suspect. A sharp shot across the bow of the European partner with a faltering team spirit.

This brings the interesting question raised by Don Bacon @ 18

Some 'experts' are writing that Europe prefers peace over the war that the US is aiming for. Russia will be looking for a European country which will 'cave.'. . .Does anybody have a potential cave country in mind? Or are they all US puppets?

Posted by: robin | Jan 10 2022 21:03 utc | 60

@BM (10) "I am quite sure the Russians knew the talks would fail from the start, but they view it as a strategic component of the process."

This is absolutely correct. Russia has issued a clear ultimatum along with an explanation of the necessity of its provisions. It has held a meeting with US emissaries and will repeat the process with the EU shortly. In so doing, Russia will have made clear to the world why it will be taking steps necessary to bolster its security from Western aggression, and the West will have shown its intransigence. Western pols and media scribes will portray Russia as the aggressor, but who, outside of the US and Western Europe, trusts what those people say anyhow?

Posted by: Rob | Jan 10 2022 21:11 utc | 61

My previous attempt timed out so I'm not formatting the HTML this time, but here it is:

As any good MoA patron knows, the USA makes a mockery of treaties and international law.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/10/the-u-s-makes-a-mockery-of-treaties-and-international-law/

An excerpt from the intro:

Oddly enough, whenever the United States asserts this “rules-based order” that China (and other “revisionist powers”/enemy states) are violating, the United States never seems to clarify which “rules” are being violated, but simply releases a miasma of generic accusation, leaving the stench of racism and xenophobia to do the rest.

This is because there is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the RBIO.

The RBIO isn’t “rules-based,” it isn’t “international,” and it confounds any sense of “order,” let alone justice. It is, at bottom, the naked exercise of U.S. imperial power and supremacy, dressed up in the invisible finery of an embroidered fiction. The RBIO is a fraudulent impersonation of international law and justice.

There are many layers to this misnomer, to be deconstructed piece by piece.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 10 2022 21:12 utc | 62

The Americans/NATO Satrapies feel that if they repeat Ukraine Invasion often and long enough, the Russians might feel compelled to do so.

For those of us who know their Playbook, they've came to these talks in their customary disingenuous manner.

In fact, 90-95% of The US Government/Congress/Senate will still be holding some hope that they can prize Crimea back.

Cordial Relations = Goodbye Mr CASH COW NATO (A lot of mouths to feed ).

Posted by: WTFUD | Jan 10 2022 21:14 utc | 63

I'm not so sure the talks will be an outright failure. Usually I would be, but not this time. This time it's different. Something seems to have burst among the political and military leaders in Russia. They really seem to be making a sincere effort to overcome their usual limitations when dealing with the West. You know, appealing, pleading, complaining, all that.

Today, I picked up a tiny but stunning bit of information over at Paul Craig Roberts' site which beautifully strengthens this new impression of mine. It's this: Mission-ready nuclear submarines of Russian Pacific Navy urgently leave port. Please note the "where?" and the "when?". The article's date is Nov 26, 2021. Means those boats may very well have reached their mission destinations in time for the talks, to support Russia's case. Commenters here very much floated the idea that Russia, with its submarines, might creep up on the coasts of the USA itself, via Cuba or Venezuela. Certainly not a bad idea. But it turns out going from Kamchatka directly towards Seattle, L.A. or San Diego, is not a bad idea either. Folks in the US Navy will know, and hopefully tell their (titular) Commander-in-Chief all about it.

Those "military-technical" measures Putin has pitched to audiences, they're real. No idea if they will be sufficient, but they will have been set in motion. I have no doubts about that.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 10 2022 21:23 utc | 64

The real question here is what will the US response be when it suddenly finds itself with a bloody nose?

It looks like we are going to find out sooner rather than later, because the greedy fools in charge are too stupid to understand the consequences of their own actions.

Posted by: Black Cloud | Jan 10 2022 21:30 utc | 65

This is absolutely correct. Russia has issued a clear ultimatum along with an explanation of the necessity of its provisions. It has held a meeting with US emissaries and will repeat the process with the EU shortly. In so doing, Russia will have made clear to the world why it will be taking steps necessary to bolster its security from Western aggression, and the West will have shown its intransigence. Western pols and media scribes will portray Russia as the aggressor, but who, outside of the US and Western Europe, trusts what those people say anyhow?

No one.....

The decision maker is the USA... esconced in North America.... on the opposite side of the planet from EurAsia...

What is likely.... an offer that cannot be refused.....

What comes to mind..... Economic integration of LatinoSocialist countries into EurAsia to enable them to resist US Hegemony... Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica for starters....

Emplacement of Club-K containerized missiles on the US southern quadrant....

Live Fire Exercises with missiles and aircraft just off shore...

Chinese Coast Guard / Russian Coast Guard vessels prowling just off shore... interdicting fishing vessels... particularly in the Bering Sea.... Caribbean...

Ie: lots of up close and personal harrassment... with teeth....

More risky.... using Novorossians, Abkhazians, Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Burmese, as swordsmen...

Most risky... destroying the offending stuff...

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 10 2022 21:36 utc | 66

Susan #28

Ohhhh boy. Not one of the people had a clue! And everyone of them believes the Chinese are committing Genocide! How do you be apart of a group that should understand what the pentagon is up to, yet they still grab onto China bad Russia bad. Well I had to say no more and what i got was it is just a difference of opinion, this from a group that had no clue what was going on in Ukraine. The US supporting Nazis!

Sigh and commiserations. It hasn't changed in a century. Most people talk in circles dominated by msm indoctrination points. Some (very few) attend meetings addressing peace studies and perhaps peace actions. But they are almost all entirely programed through msm reinforced over their coffee table chats with friends - perfectly well socialised beings.

I posted this video yesterday by Alex Krainer on the propagandising by the UK govt under Chamberlain in the 1930's. UK government was supporting Hitler and saying the opposite at home. Sounds familiar today with the UKUSA machinations.

Then there is the written piece by Krainer on contemporary evolution of the nazi support factory.

Most people don't want to see through the soma of our existence, let alone oppose it.

Enjoy the woods and the flowers and sing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 10 2022 21:38 utc | 67

Scotch Bingeington

I'm not so sure the talks will be an outright failure. Usually I would be, but not this time. This time it's different. Something seems to have burst among the political and military leaders in Russia. They really seem to be making a sincere effort to overcome their usual limitations when dealing with the West. You know, appealing, pleading, complaining, all that.

The Russians understand the nature of war and the Americans don't. I watched Putin talking not long back and For Russia the main issue is US developing hypersonics and deploying them on their borders. Russia have a small window of time in which they have a great deal of military Superiority over the US and in that small window of time they Must get a rock solid security guarantee, yet they understand the hillbilly nature of the people they are trying to deal with. I doubt they will get those guarantees at these talks so next step is hanging an axe over the heads of the US leadership - ie missiles on the US borders - and final step is decapitation strike before US deploys hypersonic missiles.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 21:41 utc | 68

Susan @28--

You need to educate your group. The first item on the list is to have them read the UN Charter followed by the US Constitution--specifically the Supremacy Clause that makes ALL treaties the Law of the Land. Next, you must point out that US policy since WW2's end has violated the UN Charter and thus the US Constitution on a daily basis by introducing your group to Operation Paperclip and its mates that directed terrorists into Eastern Europe, brought them to the USA, while other officials worked to exempt Nazis from their War Crimes or shorten their sentences, while also educating them about the Anglo War against the Greek Resistance which won their freedom from the Nazis but were never allowed to form their own government again in violation of the Charter and Constitution. From there I suggest proceeding to Korea and Southeast Asia and then to Guatemala, all of which were victims of the Outlaw US Empire prior to 1949. The site to go to for all the research you'll need to perform along with the actual documents you can provide to your group to bolster your credibility are at The National Security Archive. You might also want to look up and print out the planning papers for Operation Northwoods, which is the template for the 911 attacks. All of that will get you started, and there's much more available.

You don't need a PhD in History to make a difference. You just need to know where to look and what to look for. One of the best overall books you can find about the history and nature of what you need to know is Michael Hudson's Third Edition of Super Imperialism. You might also tell your group that Russia and China are founding members of an organization called Friends of the UN Charter while the Outlaw US Empire isn't. Lastly, there's the infamous Nuland "Fuck the EU" audio tape of her conversation telling who was going to be the newly installed Ukrainian PM after the Maidan Coup was finalized that you ought to find and play for your group since it completely negates the BigLie Establishment Narrative about that event and puts what followed into its proper context.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2022 21:45 utc | 69

George W Oprisko #66

Thanks for the laughter at that vivid scenario :))

But it is way to gauche for the Russkies. More like sneaking up on US naval base, take a photograph with date and time stamp and quietly drop it on Blinken's chair at the next talks. Maybe even a high res close up satellite image of the broken nose of the USS Connecticut as a large backdrop in some Russian presser.

I believe the Kazakhstan eviction is the message of our times though. To reinforce that China might agree to consume all that oil and gas production in Kazakhstan for the next decade leaving the Israelis to steal more from Syria until that too is turned off.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 10 2022 21:53 utc | 70

I tip my hat to Russia for having done what just happened--putting the West on the defensive, nervous, and unsure what next to expect. Since the USSR breakup, the West got hold of Russia and China's salami and started slicing them for 35 years. Unipolar world, they said. We'd do this, in freedom's name; we'd do that, democracy's name; we'd do this and that in moral high ground's name. Oh what a fun game, seeing Russia/China tip-toeing to avoid sanctions, to mitigate impacts, to placate!!!

Barflies here are second guessing what Russia has in mind. Truth is, Russia has nothing specific quantifiable in mind. Their goal is simple, reasonable, and achieveable. They just want the West to cut the unilateral behavioral bullshit. To do so Russia grab the West's salami, Ukraine's gas income; Ukraine/Georgia/Poland/Baltic States/Balkans/ security concerns; EU's gas prices; EU's security concerns; America's supply chain weakness; America's security concerns; UK's existential concerns; the whole ball of wax that the West consider sacred. They'll start slicing that salami for the next decade, knowing that their own salami that was in West's hand is about to be wholly spent and they'd have little more to lose. The West cry uncle? They wn. The West agonize on and take it all on the chin, they win. It's win-win for Russia, fellow barflies, and it's gonna play on for a decade at least from here on.

I wish China had done something like this when US passed the law to allow official contact with Taiwan. China had West's salami for a LONG time. They were just too timid to slice it.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 10 2022 22:12 utc | 71

Oriental Voice & all
It is well worth watching Putin speak and who he is speaking to. Video has English subtitles. It is what these meetings are all about and how critical they are.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yA0Y6CpYcI

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 22:30 utc | 72

All this Russian pussy-footing around.
Act, or stfu.
All this tough-talk with a non-entity (Nato) may be necessary for domestic audiences, but it largely misses the point and feeds the phantom.

If Moscow feels the need to draw non-negotiable redlines then simply write to the national entity concerned and advise them of the time and dates of surgical removal of offending infrastructure/systems etc. Nato is essentially irrelevant. It could be dissolved as a terrosit organisation on Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, to name just a few examples.

If the Europeans want energy (that could otherwise go to China) then simply demand payment in gold or the like (and buy shares in coal which will suddenly be back big time).

Here is what the real-world (banking) hegemon outlaw regime says: (ZeroHedge)

"Iran Hails Nuke Talk Progress, But Israel Warns: 'We Won't Be Bound By Any Deal'

Israel will continue to maintain full freedom of action anywhere, any time, with no constraints."

Posted by: imo | Jan 10 2022 22:41 utc | 73

@59 -- "The first item on the list is to have them read ..."

And therein is the first problem in an essentially illerate society.
They would only make headway if they get some Sesame Street muppets to act it out for them.

Posted by: imo | Jan 10 2022 22:46 utc | 74

As mentioned yesterday, the CSTO held a sitrep meeting today, the transcript of which is in Russian. Kazah President Kirill Tokayev called what occured a "terrorist attack":

"Having a complete picture of events, I can responsibly state that all events since the beginning of this year are links in one chain. They are subject to a single destructive plan, the preparation of which has been going on for a long time. How long this preparation has been going on – a year, two, three – will be shown by the investigation....

"The main goal became obvious – the undermining of the constitutional order, the destruction of governing institutions, and the seizure of power. We are talking about an attempted coup d'état. It is now obvious that all these hostilities were coordinated from one center, a carefully planned operation has entered a decisive phase.

"This is evidenced by the synchronous, I emphasize, synchronous attacks on the buildings of regional authorities, law enforcement agencies, on pre-trial detention centers, strategic facilities, banks, tv towers and TV channels. Airports were seized, roads and railways were blocked, the work of ambulances and firefighters was blocked....

"I speak with confidence about the direct participation of terrorists, including foreign militants, in the aggression against Kazakhstan. It is no coincidence that the bandits attacked morgues at night, took and took away the bodies of their dead accomplices. They also took the bodies of the militants directly from the battlefield. This is the practice of international terrorists of known origin: this is how they cover their tracks. There is a plan to form a zone of chaos on our territory with the subsequent seizure of power." [My Emphasis]

This short paragraph is aimed at the ultimate underwriter of the terrorist attack and was delivered by President Tokayev:

"Meanwhile, the Charter of the United Nations recognizes the inalienable right of every state to individual, I emphasize, or collective self-defense in the event of an armed attack from the outside." [My Emphasis Also]

Here's Lukashenko:

"Analysis of the events in Kazakhstan shows the presence, of course, of an external factor. Their scenario is recognizable, as the President of Kazakhstan just said. There is no need to look far for analogies: Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, not so long ago Belarus experienced a similar combined onslaught.

"Of course, these countries had their own characteristics, but the general handwriting is visible. Yes, we are talking a lot now about external interference, and the President of Kazakhstan is right: it will take a little time, the names, surnames, addresses, passwords, appearances of these figures will be named.

"But we must understand one thing: only the external factor will never be the only one – behind all external factors it is necessary to see the internal ones. This is the lesson we have learned from the events in Belarus. We must understand that too many people have accumulated around the people and the state of Kazakhstan close to us who want to blow up the situation around the Central Asian post-Soviet republics. More recently, Afghanistan has been added to this....

"As we see it, I am absolutely convinced of this, that the closest peoples of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan should jointly try to solve the serious problems that have been inherited and that we have already created in the post-Soviet period – namely Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The lessons that have been talked about here must be learned – forgive me for that – and above all by Uzbekistan. If these lessons are not learned, according to our information – and you can already see this there, on the ground – their views will also be cast on Uzbekistan.

"But the main thing is the lessons. The lessons that Kazakhstan's leadership is engaged in today: external ones, which have already been mentioned, will draw the appropriate conclusions in the near future, but also internal reasons. Analyzing the situation in Belarus, we proceed from the fact that in addition to external reasons – they were clearly visible in our country, but not so much in Kazakhstan now – the President of Kazakhstan is trying to get to the bottom of it. I'm sure he will. But we, based on what happened in Belarus, do not forget that there were internal reasons. It's the same in other republics. We need to clearly internalize this. If we do not understand this and blame only the external factor, then we can get a repetition of events." ​[My Emphasis]

Perhaps the most important point raised by Lukashenko:

"It is obvious that the introduction of the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces violated the plans of the customers and executors of the provoked conflict. This once again confirms the correctness of our decision."

Putin's words have bearing on the negotiations:

"We understand that the threat to Kazakhstan's statehood is caused not by spontaneous protests over fuel prices, but by the fact that destructive internal and external forces took advantage of the situation. Those people who spoke for the situation on the gas market are some people and they have the same goals, and those who took up arms and attacked the state are completely different people and they have different goals.

"At the same time, the elements of power and information support for the protests inherent in the 'Maidan' technologies were actively used. Well-organized and well-managed groups of militants were used, as President Tokayev has just said, including those who had obviously been trained in terrorist camps abroad, and, as Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich noted, their attack on Kazakhstan – and in fact this attack on the country, on Kazakhstan – was in fact an act of aggression. I completely agree with that....

"... we are witnessing the aggression of international terrorism: where did these gangs of armed people, trained in foreign centers and clearly having experience of combat operations in hot spots of the planet, come from?...

"Of course, we understand that the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt by the outside to interfere in the internal affairs of our states, I agree with Alexander Grigoryevich here. And the measures taken by the CSTO have clearly shown that we will not allow the situation to be destabilized at home and will not allow the scenarios of the so-called color revolutions to be implemented.

"And everyone knows that through the use of Internet communications and social networks, attempts continue to be made to involve our citizens in protest actions that are the forerunner and terrorist attacks, which was clearly and quite specifically described today by the President of Kazakhstan – this is a chronology of events that took place in Kazakhstan. It's obvious, we've all seen it. Moreover, the experience of recent events in Kazakhstan confirms that certain forces do not shy away from using cyberspace and social networks in recruiting extremists and terrorists, creating 'sleeper cells' of militants. [My Emphasis]

Of course, I omitted much, trying to touch on those points that relate to the current security negotiations. Do note the specific rhetoric used--act of aggressive war--for they are important. Also note the messages sent to the ultimate perpetrator, the Outlaw US Empire. Uzbekistan was mentioned above and by Martyanov, so a closer look there is warranted. Furthermore, the need to deploy a "security belt" around Afghanistan was noted. I look for the CSTO to be bolstered and add more members. Turkmenistan wasn't mentioned but I suspect it will be heavily lobbied to end its neutrality and become a CIS and CSTO member if it wants to partake of BRI and EAEU opportunities.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2022 22:50 utc | 75

The non-results of today's talks are here, leaving little for the media to report:

"On January 10, negotiations were held in the format of interdepartmental delegations of Russia and the United States on security guarantees.

"Two Russian draft fundamental documents submitted to the United States on December 15, 2021 – the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Security Assurances and the Agreement on Security Measures for the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Member States – were discussed in detail.

"The Russian side stressed the need to ensure the legal, legally binding nature of the relevant guarantees, primarily the inadmissibility of further expansion of NATO."

That obliged RT to repeat what it cited Ryabkov as saying earlier:

"The Americans came prepared to listen to Russian proposals, but have failed to understand the gravity of the situation or the key issues that need to be resolved, Ryabkov said. Without legally binding assurances on NATO, nothing else matters, he explained.

"As for Ukraine, it’s up to Kiev to abide by the terms of the Minsk Agreement and the UN resolution that endorsed it, and guarantee civil rights to Russian-speaking citizens in disputed eastern regions, Ryabkov added."

I'm not at all surprised. Russia's MFA announced Lavrov will hold a major presser on the 14th, reviewing "the results of Russian diplomacy in 2021." I'm certain the media will not want to hear about 2021 but about now.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2022 23:09 utc | 76

karlof1 76

Thanks for putting up those two posts. I had read much of your first post at the Kremlin site where it is also available in the en version.

As for the gravity of the situation, I have the feeling many or some commenting here have no understanding either. After watching Putin speaking on many occasions over the last month, noting the continuous and now very fast deployments of new next gen weapon systems that Russia has been preparing for war. A war that although they will do everything possible to avert may be inevitable. Russia will never allow an enemy build up on its borders as occurred in operation Barbarossa.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2022 23:21 utc | 77

The USA can hear nothing above the din of the $ press printing money to go anywhere but to the people. The USA has so many jobless because they have run out of imagination for the future of their nation. So overseas they make aggression and perhaps war.

Alastair Crooke proposes an analysis "The Double Helix of Entwined Pandemic and Economic Strategy"

War fear kabuki to distract its citizens from their thieving oligarchs and MIC and useless political institutions.

Financial analyst Mauro Bottarelli summarised the logic of this as follows: “A state of semi-permanent health emergency is preferable to a vertical market crash that would turn the memory of 2008 into a walk in the park.”

Professor of Critical Theory and Italian at Cardiff University, Fabio Vighi, has noted too the “Incurability” of what he calls “the Central Banker’s Long-Covid” condition” – that the injection of such a huge monetary stimulus as we have seen, was only possible by turning the engine of Main Street ‘off’, as such a cascade of liquidity ($6 Trillion) could not be allowed to flow willy-nilly into the Main Street economy (in the view of the Central Bankers), as this would cause an inflationary tsunami à la Weimar Republic. Rather, its’ main thrust has served to further inflate the virtual world of ever more complex financial instruments.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 10 2022 23:23 utc | 78

@peter AU1, #72:

Thank you for the video link. Yeah he's pissed like I though he was. Used to be circumstances required him to bite his tongue. No more! Time to give them piece of mind.

Common Xi Jinping. Cut in and sing the same tune.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 10 2022 23:29 utc | 79

Finnian Cunningham notes the surfacing of the A-word--Appeasement--from the mouths of Blinken and Stoltenberg:

"It’s quite clear that the US and its NATO allies are totally dominated by groupthink that is infested with chronic Russophobia. After a videoconference for NATO foreign ministers last Friday, Blinken gave a presser in which he accused Russia of a litany of transgressions, ranging from invading Ukraine in 2014 to poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, from interfering in US elections to complicity in war crimes in Syria.

"All of the allegations of malign Russian activity are dubious and unsubstantiated. Indeed, the claims are arguably unhinged, slanderous and offensively provocative. And yet Moscow is supposed to dialogue with such people?

"The abject thing is the absolute conviction with which these allegations are articulated and professed as truth. Blinken, as with other US politicians and media pundits, as well as NATO counterparts, seems to believe their own propaganda with regard to demonizing Russia. At no point is there the slightest cognizance of NATO’s own involvement in orchestrating the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine, an event that has created so much of the present tensions. All the other alleged Russian transgressions can be rebutted too with ample evidence. But there is no intelligent scope for a reasonable debate and argument based on facts.

"Russia is purportedly guilty of all charges because the charges are formulated on the basis of Russophobia. This is ideological bigotry that is premised on deeply hostile prejudice that can be traced back to the Cold War and before.

"The relentless groupthink and Russophobia as displayed by the US and its European vassals indicates that there is negligible chance of a diplomatic resolution to security tensions with Russia." [My Emphasis]

Most barflies will agree with Mr. Cunningham. As with the philosophical justifications for Takfiri behavior, Russophobia must be eradicated--100% vanquished from the face of the earth except for its being noted in history texts. That they share cells in a Venn Diagram is important when looking where the roots must be pulled from their sources--Anglo, Saudi, Zionist. There will be no possibility of World Peace until those ideologies and their kinsman Neoliberalism are erased and vanish into the sands of time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2022 23:36 utc | 80

@ BNW 48
The new Grand Pubah of Germany has already flushed the new foreign minister from the green party who is a a mini Nikki Haley clone. The leader is calling for a reset with Russia.

Thanks for that, and more from DW. . .

. . .If Germany doesn't want to weaken its position in its dealings with the Russian president, then it will have to develop and enforce a strategy that is closely coordinated between chancellery and Foreign Ministry.

However, Germany's influential mass circulation Bild newspaper isn't convinced that unity will prevail in government ranks. In a report, the traditionally well-connected paper suggested that Scholz sees relations with Moscow as something that should only be decided at the very highest level — and that means the chancellery.

There's also talk behind the scenes of what is being called a "qualified reset" in ties between Berlin and Moscow, and whispers of a January meeting between Scholz and Putin, although nothing has been confirmed. Few in Germany would be surprised to see the chancellor taking ties between Berlin and Moscow into his own remit. After all, that would be fully in accordance with the German constitution. . .here


So Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock the Russia-hater is still German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs but that might change, or she might just be relieved of the Russia portfolio. I suspect that Putin and Lavrov are working on it. If the US were to lose complete control of Germany through a reset, qualified or not, it's game over for Foggy Bottom.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11 2022 0:36 utc | 81

Melaleuca 9

I swallowed my distaste and listened to ABC Australia all yesterday (national broadcaster, govt funded, fact checkers, no opinions, balanced reporting, blah blah).
Every hour a journalist Ian someone reported that Russia invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea and has 100,000 troops on Ukraine border preparing to invade.

Posted by: Dadda | Jan 11 2022 0:39 utc | 82

Peter AU1 @77--

Few seem to understand that the military technical exhibition was just displayed for all to see in Kazakhstan. IMO, the entire affair from price rises and so forth served as bait for a very well designed trap. IMO, if I directly asked Putin if I'm correct, he'd wink as he spoke his denial. The rapidity, ferocity and decisiveness of the operation was very impressive as no NATO member is capable of such action. It was the epitome of a technical operation. That some eggs were broken to make the omelet is regrettable, but it is a war against International Terrorism; and it won't be lost on the world what group of nations that implies.

Blinken and fellow travelers are saying they won't appease Putin. Well, Putin has shoved that right back into their faces and said we are finished appeasing you.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2022 0:42 utc | 83

uncle tungsten @78--

Just finished reading Crooke and I'm reminded of what happened in the USA in 1890--the Frontier was declared closed; no more internal expansion to placate the masses. Today's macroeconomic situation is similar in that expansion can no longer be used as a tool since that was ceded to Eurasia and Africa. The authoritarian aspects Crooke outlines are real but will be pushed back against. Hopefully, more barflies will read and comment on Crooke's essay as there's more than one game afoot.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 11 2022 1:06 utc | 84

This really is the Devil's Chessboard.

USA/NATO are playing Russian roulette with life on earth knowing every chamber of the gun is loaded. They are clearly stating they are willing to end life on earth if Putin doesn't behave like Yeltsin and allow them to plunder the world's resources unhindered by taxes and wages.

They are telling Putin he must allow regime change wherever they project it, including ultimately in Russia, and that HE will be responsible for the death of life on earth if he responds to our first use of nuclear weapons.

They know they can't win a ground war in Eastern Europe. They are prepared for nuclear war only.

Our leadership is not stupid. They're evil. They care nothing for the people of Russia, Europe, the United States or anywhere else. They arm Nazis, head choppers, and glorified potentates who torture children to death by starvation. They're not stupid. They're evil.

Posted by: Linda Wood | Jan 11 2022 1:14 utc | 85

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11 2022 0:36 utc | 81

The new Grand Poobah of Germany...
----
can use the approach of the Grand Poobah of Mikado, not the incredible pride that may be mortified, but in keeping a wide variety of posts in the same time (and at a salary! Poobah working for a salary! it revolts me, but I do it), hence Chancellorship, Foreign Affairs (although only the important ones), Economy (only the important issues) etc. Those lovely Annalena would continue as a Minister of Less Important Foreign Affairs (surely these six English word will become a single word in German bureaucratese, I recall some inordinately long word that meant "compensation appropriate to the age group", I had to sign some document in which a word taking almost full line occurred a few times).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 11 2022 1:15 utc | 86

Some 'experts' are writing that Europe prefers peace over the war that the US is aiming for. Russia will be looking for a European country which will 'cave.'. . .Does anybody have a potential cave country in mind? Or are they all US puppets?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 10 2022 15:42 utc | 18

I suspect Romania will be the one to cave. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with Romania, but because that is the location of the operational NATO missile base aimed at Russia. Romania no doubt thought they had won the lottery when they were told by the Yanks they would host the missile base. But in reality they have a big fat x-shaped bulls eye painted on that place, watched day and night by Russia. If/when the talks fail, that will be the main recipient of the Russian military-technical response. Good or bad talks results, that place can put nukes on those rockets, and it has to go soon. The empire is too volatile (especially when the talks fail) and can't be trusted with that base. When it is destroyed, Romania will leave NATO. As for Poland, where a similar missile base is being constructed, I cannot imagine that being finished after Romania is hit. If the construction is continued I suspect it will be hit before it can be finished. I think a rapid response from Russia is essential after the talks fail; it cannot be delayed.

I know some think Russia can place subs offshore the US, but I think that is in no way a clear message to the US, as there can be endless "talks" around it, and Russia does not want to be the one to lob nukes into the US. Or at least I assume they would be nukes. Would anything be gained by defacing Mount Rushmore with a hypersonic conventional explosive? I don't think so.

The US aim is to draw out things with Russia and in doing so to discredit Russia to the world.


Posted by: Bringoutyourdead | Jan 11 2022 1:16 utc | 87

With regard to what Putin said at the CTSO, specifically:

"We know that the current threat to Kazakhstan’s statehood is not rooted in the spontaneous protests over fuel prices but in the fact that destructive internal and external forces made use of this situation...

"Actively used were ‘Maidan’ technologies of armed and information support for the protests. There were organised and controlled groups of fighters, as President Tokayev has pointed out just now, including people who had apparently received training in terrorist camps abroad..."

Where were these fighters from?

Foreign Militants From Afghanistan, Mideast Countries Took Part in Kazakhstan Riots, Tokayev Says

"Foreign militants from Afghanistan and the Middle East took part in the riots in Kazakhstan, the country's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said during a virtual meeting with President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

" "A well-organised and well-prepared act of aggression against Kazakhstan with the participation of foreign fighters mainly from Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan. There were also fighters from the Middle East. The idea was to form a zone of controlled chaos on our territory with the subsequent seizure of power. Therefore, an anti-terrorist operation was launched in Kazakhstan," Tokayev said."

But for the intervention of the CTSO, the attack may very well have succeeded as the scope of the attack was huge and the deployment of Kazakh forces was being hindered:

This is a conspiracy of internal and external forces

Yerlan Karin, Kazakh Secretary of State, is quoted:

"I have been dealing with the problem of terrorism for 20 years, but even I can hardly remember how several groups could attack cities like this, purposefully trying to seize buildings and institutions. This is a new phenomenon, which is a challenge not only for the special services, but also for experts and specialists. We will need to understand that we have entered a new period when such a cynical scenario can be unleashed against any other country, the main goal of which, I think, is to destroy the integrity of the state, the issue of protecting not only one city, attacks were carried out in several regions. The question at stake was whether we could save the state."

I understand that Nazarbayeh and his people were hindering the deployment of Kazakh forces. Tokayev removed Nazarbayeh, took control of the security forces and was able to deploy them. Also, all people associated with Nazarbaeh are currently being purged from the Kazakh government. (Source Alexander Mercouris)

It is also very telling that Turkey did not appear to offer any practical support to the Kazakh government during the crisis despite their interest and many years of involvement in Kazakhstan.

But, the planning and organisation for this attack must have been huge and I, now, don't see how anyone else other than the US could have facilitated this operation.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 11 2022 1:38 utc | 88

John Mearsheimer from Sept 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4

While I think he oversimplifies the events in Ukraine leading up to and following the 2014 coup and doesn't acknowledge the full role of the West in instigating the coup, besides ignoring some important facts/events that occurred at this time, I think this interview is quite interesting to listen to given where we are now. He very clearly understood the Russian view and articulates it plainly. A bit about China also.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 11 2022 1:42 utc | 89

I have wondered at least since the time of the Ukraine coup if it will be Germany - through trade not direct alliance - which gradually makes the moves necessary to realize a pan-European entity which includes Russia - as envisioned in the regional security discussions during 1990s, and which NATO enlargement scotched. On the way to the full Eurasian concepts related to the Belt & Road initiatives. The process would have to be handled quietly and incrementally, lest the promoters of such concept start having "accidents". I don't see the vassal tag as attractive to many in German political/ business circles outside the Greens, and I suspect the NSA's tapping of Merkl's cel phone created a serious rift even if it is not talked about. (conceded I could be way wrong on this)

Posted by: jayc | Jan 11 2022 1:45 utc | 90

I see that Pepe Escobar has tweeted:

"US intel is totally freaking out.

"The crack 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade has already cracked it: the Empire of Chaos/Daesh connection.

"US "intel" funneled their beheading assets from West Asia and Afghanistan to Kyrgyzstan.

"And then across the border to Almaty."

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 11 2022 1:59 utc | 91

@ jayc 90
Yes, the geographical position of Germany especially makes the BRI ties with China important, and China's main partner is Russia. That's pan-Eurasia trade ties, more important than any hyped Russia threat on Ukraine.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 11 2022 2:01 utc | 92

At least in some ways, Germany is a colony of empire like Japan. This is the result of WWII and effects the structure of the relationship within empire.

But it is the follow on from those initial structures that is putting the Russia/China axis at risk and it seems they now feel it is the right time to push for geo-political change in our world....good on Russia/China, IMO.

Other NGO infected nations of empire are going to experience an ousting similar to what we are seeing in Kazakhstan, IMO. I don't see Russia attacking anywhere because the global chess board lockup is the goal rather than responding to force with force, IMO.

What country is next? Still fringe countries being fought over, IMO...but pressure on Marcon and Italy with their "Let them eat vaccines....." positions

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11 2022 2:09 utc | 93

@ psychohistorian | Jan 11 2022 2:09 utc | 93 who wished he had wrote

"Make them eat vaccines....." positions

instead of

"Let them eat vaccines....." positions

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 11 2022 2:11 utc | 94

@75 karlof1

Yes, 21st century Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan already have several color revolutions and several more unsuccessful attempts at it. This winter's energy-inflationary crisis, plus Covid, plus spillover from Afghanistan make conditions ripe.

@83 karlof1

I don't really buy into the "it's all part of the secret master plan of Russian foreign policy" theory. For one thing, why on earth would it be planned to happen on the Russian Orthodox new year? Why complicate the efforts to explain the US/NATO negotiations to the global press? That's already a pretty counterintuitive spectacle. And by "letting it burn a little so the other guys can show their hand", the whole thing becomes that much more of a pain in the ass... Kazakhstan is impossible to police at a fine grained level, due to sheer size.

All the pieces that moved fast, both on the side of the abortive regime change effort, and on the side of the CSTO response, moved fast because they were pre-planned to have the ability to react quickly to unexpected situation. Not sure what else there is to conclude from that. I'm more inclined to go with those who think it was a genuine surprise crisis from the point of view of the Russian and CSTO response -- the pre-planned crisis-response simply did what it was supposed to. Unfortunately, they've had a fair amount of practice now.

Likewise, the timing was suboptimal for the US, because everyone here is so busy with the national trauma of 6th of January (9/11 times 100, they say), and the Omicron wave. Whole thing looks like an opportunistic destabilization effort.

Cheers!

Posted by: ptb | Jan 11 2022 2:30 utc | 95

Posted by: Bringoutyourdead | Jan 11 2022 1:16 utc | 87

Which EU country may veto new sanctions on Russia?
-------
Romania is unlikely. Sanctions or 'local' anti-Russian decisions are frequently economically painful, but the national leaders tend to justify them with "European solidarity", a code word for subsidies from EU. Romania is quite dependent on them, ergo, unlikely to break the rank. Italian leaders were vocally opposed to sanctions in the past, but Italy would bankrupt without favors from European central bank.

One candidate would be Hungary, because it is in the process of loosing the subsidies, together with Poland, on the account of deficient democracy. Unlike Poland, Hungarian government is very pragmatic and it cut some favorable deals with Russia, for natural gas and nuclear reactors. Slovakia has a deal for nuclear reactors.

Here is a rub: using coal is increasingly expensive in EU because of green rules, and the lesser countries already demand rule changes because they can hardly afford it: the price of "CO2 permit" skyrocketed because of "green free market". If they are deprived of nuclear reactors on top of that, and perhaps natural gas too, they will demand to drop the permit system altogether. But the green advocates will not want to agree.

In short, the most probable scenario would be a big quarrel how to compensate for losses and preserve the green policies AND impose super-sanctions on Russia. Something will have to give, and debates may take time. For timid sanction septics like Germany and Austria, the best approach would be to refuse compromises on the green side which indirectly would sabotage introduction of "truly punishing sanctions" that USA would wish.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 11 2022 2:45 utc | 96

@Piotr Berman

"timid sanction septics". I'm guessing that's a euphemism?

Posted by: Platero | Jan 11 2022 2:57 utc | 97

@84 karlof1 - Crooke's essay

Fascinating that he quotes Fabio Vighi at length, whom we discussed here over the last several weeks. What we discussed as theory, he stitches together as scenario.

I become increasingly sure that everyone is reading everyone else - and when we see that Joe Rogan has a viewership literally multiples larger than CNN and those other old platforms, it becomes equally clear that we have been forming the alternative to the rotten system, that replaces the rotten system, even as the rotten system continues simply to rot away into nothing.

Fascinating also that Crooke ties together the threads of the double-jabbed getting Omicron far more readily than the vaccine-free - and moves the conclusion all the way to the present by citing the move by Israel to accept the policy of herd immunity as a fact to be dealt with.

All the Covid science we've discussed here - and that some people have been deleted and banned for - comes together in an elegant and irrefutable scenario again, in the hands of Crooke.

And this is how we all are now: we hold hands and help each other cross the street.

~~

And in case it's not clear, I'm speaking of all of us, authors and commenters on several sites, tipping the balance together. Enough people are reading enough other people, and some authors are commenting and some commenters are authoring, and more and more commenters are commenting in all the interstices.

We are the new media.

~~

Crooke's illustration of the west and its unending march forward - now with a perfected method to claim the wealth of the world through derivatives - prompts an observation.

The march of the west only works until someone says NO.

We see this now with Russia, that has said no. China is saying no.

~~

The derivatives, as I understand, have first claim on their nominal asset, with the original holders further down the chain of claim. If I have the terms correct, the counter parties actually get paid first in an insolvency. This is kin to the method of allowing an insolvent bank to make itself whole by shaving the deposits of its customers.

The principles are all the same: "We will take what we claim and we will roll forward claiming ever more, and taking ever more."

Until the stakeholders say "NO".

The people of the world's societies have not yet learned to say no, nor to whom to address the refusal. This will come, as the banks increase their theft until ordinary people notice it.

And then - just as Crooke illustrates the fear of the thieves that social collapse might undermine even their authority, which, as he alludes, may well underpin the pandemic in the first place - the shit will hit the fan.

Just as we saw western aggression turned on Russia, and ultimately then saw Russia say no to the western march forward, so we have seen the western aggression turn on its domestic populations, and so we will see eventually the people say no.

And that will be the end of it.

psychohistorian's wish will come true.

~~

You did ask for people to riff on the Crooke piece, so I thought I would ;)

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 11 2022 3:01 utc | 98

More narrowly on topic, the matter of the talks of the US with Russia.

As with others, I too get the sense the the US is yielding in certain ways, as best it can in its befuddlement.

But I largely agree, and have held from the beginning, that Russia already has its moves gamed out, countless scenarios for all contingencies, and the talks are a part of this.

And I expect nothing with Ukraine. Ukraine is not a threat, why should Russia act? If Ukraine does act, the response is automatic and crushing. Everyone knows this. Zero threat there.

The threat is manifested through NATO, which Russia has called out as being nothing more than the US automaton. So the threat is the US. The technical actions must counter-threaten the US.

I expect elegance, symmetry, and perhaps even a sense of irony, in Russia's move to threaten the US homeland.

~~

Russia in the talks - and everywhere now, at any time - is following the Hopi 4-principle activity:

1. Show up.
2. Be present.
3. Tell the truth.
4. Don't be attached to the results.

And Russia is not attached to anything that results from these talks. Russia requires nothing from the talks, except for another data point to fall into place in the program, for the supercomputers to game out the next moves.

And if it goes all the way to what observers can call "war" then so be it, but we can remember that there are many slices of the raising of the stakes and the playing of the cards before anyone actually hits anyone. Or kills anyone. Or burns anyone's country. Or destroys anyone's entire planetary habitat.

Just as well, those slices.

~~

As I have often remarked, when I have no idea what Russia will do, I feel most comforted. I eagerly await the things she will do - and yes, Kazakhstan is part of it, but would have happened anyway, not just as a message.

Indeed, Russia is beyond messaging now. Russia is doing, and this is a wonderful thing to watch. It was never that Russia was timid to act, it was that Russia was sighted on the auspicious moment - which apparently has come.

The Kremlin's mind now takes to the field. And we shall see what will be.

And it has almost nothing to do with the US.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 11 2022 3:19 utc | 99

karlof1 #75

Furthermore, the need to deploy a "security belt" around Afghanistan was noted. I look for the CSTO to be bolstered and add more members. Turkmenistan wasn't mentioned but I suspect it will be heavily lobbied to end its neutrality and become a CIS and CSTO member if it wants to partake of BRI and EAEU opportunities.

I trust the CSTO will approach the Taliban with extreme caution as there is no certainty at all that they are not the western bitch on a short leash. Time will tell but China and Russia should be slow to invest any $$$ in an expensive pipeline only to find it destroyed or blockaded as is NS2. Marooned infrastructure on this scale and at major cost is never a good thing.

IMO the Taliban rise to supremacy was unusually rapid, almost entirely unmolested by the FUKUS invaders and given Kabul on a plate with 'total surprise'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 11 2022 3:43 utc | 100

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