Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 21, 2022

U.S. - Russian Talks Show Signs Of Progress

It feels weird to watch the delusional talk of the United States towards Russia.

How can people who are as wrong as Biden and Blinken be at the top of a state?

President Biden said on Wednesday that he now expected President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would order an invasion of Ukraine, delivering a grim assessment that the diplomacy and threat of sanctions issued by the United States and its European allies were unlikely to stop the Russian leader from sending troops across the border.

“Do I think he’ll test the West, test the United States and NATO, as significantly as he can? Yes, I think he will,” Mr. Biden told reporters during a nearly two-hour news conference in the East Room of the White House. He added, almost with an air of fatalism: “But I think he will pay a serious and dear price for it that he doesn’t think now will cost him what it’s going to cost him. And I think he will regret having done it.”

Asked to clarify whether he was accepting that an invasion was coming, Mr. Biden said: “My guess is he will move in. He has to do something.”

Has Biden even once asked the very simple question: "Why would Russia want to do that?"

Retired ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar points out that even U.S. allies do not believe Biden's bullshit:

It is an open secret that in October and November, France, Germany and some others in the EU questioned Washington’s warnings that Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine could signal an imminent invasion. France and Germany even opposed activating NATO’s crisis response planning system and had to be persuaded to relent.

Above all, Europeans have no desire to bankroll Ukraine which is a black hole and failing state. It doesn’t make sense to them when the US intelligence brags in the media that they’d bleed Russian troops in a guerrilla war in the middle of Europe. Fundamentally, all this dovetails into a pervasive scepticism among the European elite regarding the Biden administration.

In a recent interview Sergej Karaganov, who heads the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, explained why invading the Ukraine is very dumb idea:

[O]f course, we absolutely do not need to fight for Ukraine to the last Ukrainian, we certainly do not want to fight there. All this squealing about the fact that we are going to capture Kiev, it is about nothing. Yes, our military is standing at the Ukrainian border, but only so that on the other side it does not occur to anyone to break into the Donbass. And the capture of Ukraine in our military plans, I'm sure, is not included. If only for the reason that capturing a country that is castrated economically, morally and intellectually, a country with a destroyed infrastructure and an embittered population is the worst-case scenario. The worst thing America can do for us is to give us Ukraine in the form they brought it to.

So is that what Biden and Blinken are trying to do? Give the Ukraine to Russia to create more problems for it? No, I don't think they are smart enough to strategize that far.

Russia is not at all concerned about the Ukraine. It is concerned about NATO in Ukraine. This is not only about the Ukraine becoming a NATO member. The chances of that are low. But it is about NATO and the U.S. determining Ukrainian policies, sending 'trainers' and weapon systems and enticing fascist to attack Russia.

Pepe Escobar @RealPepeEscobar - 8:14 UTC · Jan 21, 2022
What NATOstan sent to 404:
Empire: Javelins + $300 million.
Turkey - Bayraktar drones.
Brits - NLAW complexes.
Baltics - MANPADS.
Czechs - artillery shells.
Canada - SWAT + frigate.
Wait and see what happens when Russia launches the first Iskander.

That has to stop. But invading Ukraine is not the way to do that.

It requires direct pressure on the United States to move away from its confrontational course. Karaganov already senses that Russia is on its way to achieve that:

Even from recent conversations, it is noticeable that our Western partners have begun to retreat. They are already proposing dialogues between the military, negotiations on arms limitation - something that until recently was categorically rejected. So maybe we can agree on something.

Today's talks in Geneva between Blinken and Lavrov seem to have moved into the right direction:

Russia's foreign minister and his US counterpart have held what they called "frank" talks to try to reduce the chance of a wider conflict in Ukraine.

Sergei Lavrov repeated denials that a huge Russian force assembled near Ukraine's borders would be used to invade Ukraine.

Antony Blinken said America would respond severely to any invasion.
For Mr Blinken, the talks were "frank and substantive" while for Mr Lavrov, they were also "frank" with an agreement to "have a reasonable dialogue".

"I hope emotions will decrease," Mr Lavrov added.

Mr Blinken warned his Russian counterpart of a "united, swift and severe" response if Russia invaded.

Speaking after the talks, he said the US was prepared to pursue possible means of addressing Russian concerns in the spirit of reciprocity.
For his part, Mr Lavrov described the talks as open and useful but he accused Nato of working against Russia. He reiterated Moscow's position that it had "never threatened the Ukrainian people" and had no plans to attack Ukraine.

He also accused the Ukrainian government of using "state terrorism" against the rebels in the east and "sabotaging" the Minsk peace agreements on the conflict there.

Russia's foreign minister said the US would send "written responses" to all of Russia's proposals next week but Mr Blinken only said America hoped to share its "concerns and ideas in more detail in writing next week".

The talks between the two diplomats came just a day after Russia unveiled plans for naval drills involving more than 140 warships and more than 60 aircraft, seen as a show of strength.

Russia also moved some of its army brigades and airforce elements from eastern Siberia to Belarus where they will take part in exercises until February 20. This will complicate any plans Kiev might have for attacks on Donbass while Putin is in Beijing to watch the Olympics. The military authorities in Donbass today reported of new signs for such a move under the pretext of a false flag event (video - click CC for English translations).

While Russia moves its forces and fleets Blinken tried to impress Lavrov with some stupid stunts.

The U.S. Treasury sanctioned two sitting members of Ukraine's parliament for pursuing opposition policies. The State Department called that Taking Action to Expose and Disrupt Russia’s Destabilization Campaign in Ukraine. It also published two laughable new sections on its websites. One is about Russia's alleged Top Five Persistent Disinformation Narratives in which the U.S. denies to be behind the various 'color revolutions' of the last decades. I bet Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland came up with that stupidity. The other is United with Ukraine, a collection of nonsensical and empty Blinken quotes and Ukrainian nationalist photography.

Lavrov was not amused about either:

The Russian foreign ministry mocked those statements, saying they must have been prepared by an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth,” and Lavrov caustically dismissed them in his remarks to Blinken, saying he hoped the State Department had also spent time drafting responses to Russia’s demands.

“I do hope that not everyone in the State Department was working on those materials and there were some who were working on the essence of our proposals and their substance,” he said.

That nicely sets out the contrast.

Blinken is all about show, Lavrov is all about substance.

Blinken also felt a need to correct his boss:

Blinken took pains to stress U.S. unity with its allies in opposition to a possible Russian invasion, something that took an apparent hit earlier this week when U.S. President Joe Biden drew widespread criticism for saying retaliation for Russian aggression in Ukraine would depend on the details and that a “minor incursion” could prompt discord among Western allies.

On Thursday, Biden sought to clarify his comments by cautioning that any Russian troop movements across Ukraine’s border would constitute an invasion and that Moscow would “pay a heavy price” for such an action.

“I’ve been absolutely clear with President Putin,” Biden said. “He has no misunderstanding: Any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion.”

Russia has denied it is planning an invasion and instead accused the West on Thursday of plotting “provocations” in Ukraine, citing the delivery of weapons to the country by British military transport planes in recent days.

There will be no 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. Should Donbass be attacked, Russian missile artillery, stationed in Russia, will demonstrate sufficient reach to destroy any Ukrainian units near the frontline.

The U.S. president should be more concerned about Cuban invitations for harbor visits of Russian missile submarines than about some wreak of a country on Russia's border.

However, the U.S. and Russia are talking, which is good, and it seems that Russia has already achieved some of its aims. The process will continue.

We will have to wait for the written U.S. response to Russia's demands to see in which direction it will develop.

Posted by b on January 21, 2022 at 18:08 UTC | Permalink

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@ my 197
I'm having fun with this foreign affairs incompetency thing --
news report
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke yesterday with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Joly spoke about our shared concerns regarding the threat Russia poses to Ukraine and efforts to encourage Russia to choose diplomacy and de-escalation. . .here
. . .Recent positions (chronological):
>Minister of Canadian Heritage
>Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
>Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
>Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
>now, from Oct 26, 2021: Minister of Foreign Affairs

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 18:52 utc | 201

Peter AU1 @200--

From what I read, Russia's military will be active in some manner throughout the Olympics, but it's unclear as to what level its strategic forces will be elevated--I'd expect the NATO equivalent of DEFCON-3. The Outlaw US Empire is trying very hard to show it's negotiating from a position of strength when in reality it's deficient. But we still must await the response. As many have noted, key EU nations are getting rather nervous, with Germany showing a backbone for a change. Currently, I have no more to add to what I've already written, which I turned into consolidated articles at my VK Space making the disjointed commentary and discourse easier to read and digest. It's quite Summer-like here today, so for a change we'll be out for a drive instead of roosting.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2022 18:54 utc | 202

The Ukrainian? language.
Ukrainian (native name: украї́нська мо́ва, romanized: ukrainska mova, IPA: [ʊkrɐˈjinʲsʲkɐ ˈmɔwɐ]), historically also called Ruthenian,[9] is an East Slavic language of the Indo-European language family, and is one of the Slavic languages, which are part of a larger Balto-Slavic branch. It is the native language of Ukrainians and the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic script
Ruthenians and Ruthenes (Latin: Rutheni) are exonyms of Latin origin, formerly used in eastern and Central Europe as common designations for East Slavs, particularly during the late medieval and early modern periods. Latin term Rutheni was found in medieval sources to describe the Slavic inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as an exonymic designation for people of the former Kievan Rus', thus including ancestors of the modern Ukrainians, Rusyns, and the most of Belarusians.[1][2] The use of Ruthenian designations was continued throughout the early modern period, acquiring several distinctive meanings, both in terms of their regional scopes and additional religious connotations
The word Ruthenia originated as a Latin designation of the region whose people originally called themselves the Rus'. During the Middle Ages, writers in English and other Western European languages applied the term to lands inhabited by Eastern Slavs.[4][5] Russia itself was called Great Ruthenia or White Ruthenia until the end of the 17th century

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 18:54 utc | 203

@Stonebird #189
I have been saying for a long time that the "real" governments in the EU countries that matter: France, Germany, Netherlands - are not clearly sold out to the US.
For example: Germany has gone ahead with NS2 - and the largest political party that pushed for it is now the base of the present German coalition.
This doesn't mean there aren't individuals in those governments which are sold out - the German defense minister is one example - but it isn't clear to me at all that they are representative or in power.
Stoltenberg and Borrell are thus exceptions, or at best representatives of factions, than they are leaders.
If this is an accurate understanding - and Putin certainly knows - it would be an immense mistake to "go cowboy" and invade Ukraine. This is why I have never given the tiniest bit of credence to the idea that Russia is going to invade Ukraine, Russia wants Ukraine back etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 22 2022 18:55 utc | 204

Oh, so many great comments on this thread so far already (and I've only read about 20).

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 21 2022 19:07 utc | 16:
Olympics begin in about a week and a half. Martyanov and Orlov have suggested the possibility military alliance between Russia and China being signed in the meetings that will occur then.

I doubt any formal documents of military alliance will be signed between Russia and China. Both nations have repeated time and again they will not put such inflexible straitjackets onto themselves. But both nations also emphasized in the past that word of mouth is as relevant as written documents. So, when both have professed de facto military alliances between them time and again, you can bet on this de facto alliance to exist. Russia's security demand DID NOT start rather high. It was what was understood to be back in the early 90's. The west started encroaching against RF's security status quo during a time RF was weak and in disarray was a travesty. The present demand is the least to correct this travesty. To be high would involve the inclusion of a penalty against the west for having done what they did. Russia did not demand that, as yet. When their demand is denied, and they started acting in ways to ensure their security as they see fit, these actions will then include penalties against either the west collectively, or just the minions who abetted the west to have gotten away with murders so far.

I don't know what Russia will do when their demand is denied, but I can see so many things they can do to make lives uncomfortable (at minimal costs to themselves, btw) for the west and their lackeys. I am betting that the Baltic States, Poland, Romania/Bulgaria/Slovenia/Slovaks/Czech/ will regret that they fell into west's embrace in 10-15 years. You will also see Japan (and likely Korea also) being squeezed and contorted on the Asia stage. Russia/China Alliance (in spirit :-)) will take time to execute their strategies at their preferred pace and their own conveniences. During that time, they have little to rely on the west for their own progress in technologies, economies, and soft power. We'll just see a slower version of the changing of guards on the world stage.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 22 2022 19:13 utc | 205

@ c1ue
France, Germany, Netherlands - are not clearly sold out to the US.
Of those three, during this critical time period in Europe, besides Russia, SecState Blinken has only spoken to German Foreign Minister Baerbock and German Chancellor Scholz . . .here . . .and no other European leaders. That's weird, especially omitting France, considering that the US is doing all this in Europe's supposed interest.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 19:15 utc | 206

US moving carrier group in Med means US doesn't expects things to get hot. Navy brass is more competent than average and know that CBG in tight space like that is sitting duck, even before Zircon/Kindzal came into service.

Same logic applies for Persian Gulf. When things get hot CBG steams full speed out of there.

And for those crying how Russia occupied Crimea, there is a saying:

Reporter: Why are you bombing Donbass?
Ukie: Because Russians are there!
Reporter: Why don't you bomb Criea too then?
Ukie: Because Russians are really there!

Posted by: Abe | Jan 22 2022 19:17 utc | 207

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 21 2022 19:18 utc | 20

To mollify the borg, he has to show that he can stand tall, bait the bear, and “prove” that through his mighty testosterone, he was able to keep Russia from invading Ukraine.

And you think the Borg is stupid enough to fall for that mirage?

No, I rather think it is Brandon himself wo is really stupid and thought that doing what he has been doing would improve his standing with the Borg. So far, what Brandon and the minions around him have been doing really convinced me that the USA is run by idiots and the governance machine is beyond repair. A sad state of affair.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 22 2022 19:31 utc | 208

Posted by: Michael.j | Jan 21 2022 19:22 utc | 22

The numbers show that there are only 18 days of gas left in Europe, so all the Russians have to do is nothing but watch the Eurozone collapse economically. I suspect troops are in place to deal with European and Ukrainian craziness when the sh*t hits the fan. I'm just curious if they will allow the Ukrainians to freeze.

Yup! That's one of the things Russia can do and see what happens next.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 22 2022 19:36 utc | 209

of some interest I believe

Germany Blocks NATO Ally From Transferring Weapons to Ukraine
Refusal to permit Estonia to transfer artillery that originated in Germany points to strains in Western alliance over Ukraine

"....Germany is one of the world’s largest arms exporters and ships weapons to non-allied countries such as Egypt or Pakistan. German officials have said however, that exporting arms to Ukraine is out of question due to the current tensions and because of Germany’s role in starting World War II and the Nazi atrocities committed in the region.

“Our restrictive position is well known and is rooted in history,” Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, said Monday in Kyiv as she stood beside her Ukrainian counterpart...."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 22 2022 19:40 utc | 210

Peter AU 1 @ 201:

There's another aspect to the history of the area that became modern-day Ukraine, and that is the area was also a frontier between the two competing forms of Christisnity (Orthodox and Catholic) on the one hand and Islam on the other.

After the Mongol invasions and the Golden Horde, the Crimean peninsula was ruled by a Turkic-speaking khanate that was Muslim in religion and which relied on the Ottomans for protection. The Crimean khanate was required to supply tribute to Istanbul as payment for this protection, and supplying slaves was part of this tribute. Crimean slave raiding groups became a regular terror among peasant communities in the areas around Crimea and over time people moved away and deeper into Poland-Lithuania or Russia. The slave raiders were sometimes able to travel as far north as Moscow and were even able to go into Finland, depending on how much resistance they met.

The slaves captured were often girls intended for the sultan's harem. The woman Roxelana who became wife of Suleyman the Magnificent (ruled 1520 - 1566) was originally from Ukraine; she may have been the daughter of an Orthodox priest in Poland. This means of course that all sultans after Suleyman had some Ukrainian or Polish ancestry.

One paradox is that as slaves in the harem, the girls had better lives than what they would have had living as peasants if they had not been captured: they learned to read and write, to play musical instruments and to dance, and if later on they had the chance to sleep with the sultan and bear him a son (many if not most women in the harem never actually met the sultan), they also had a chance of becoming the queen mother and a shot at becoming de facto ruler of the Ottoman empire through the son. There is a period in Ottoman history (1566 - late 1600s?) known as the Sultanate of Women when the empire was ruled by wives or mothers of weak sultans or child sultans.

For 3 or 4 centuries after the 1300s, what we now call Ukraine became almost desolate. When the Russians captured Crimea in the mid-1700s and ended the slave raids, they repopulated central and eastern Ukraine with settlers from Russia and parts of central and eastern Europe.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 22 2022 19:48 utc | 211

Oriental Voice 206

Since somebody early in this thread commented on fractures appearing, I have been thinking along very similar lines. In working out their strategy, Russia would no doubt have taken fracturing of the so called allies into account.
I am also doubtful Russian and China would sign a formal military allegiance for the same reasons you have stated.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 19:55 utc | 212

I trust that Russian signals intelligence monitors every move that a handful of top ukrops actors make....and that spetsnaz snatch squads materialise out of nowhere and take them back to Moscow for
a War Crimes Tribunal.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Jan 22 2022 20:05 utc | 213

US Navy and hot wars, especially well versed in false flags to initiate a war …

Just a bit from memory, Bay of Pigs invasion, Gulf of Tonkin incident, cruise missile attack towards Latakia intercepted by Russia … or just a rumor? The downing of Iranian civilian aircraft by USS Vincennes … indeed some close encounters in the Strait of Hormuz were handled professionally by both sides. The attack on USS Cole in 2000 off the coast of Yemen was most stupid. When I heard of it, my first reaction was: “WTF are they doing in such a dangerous spot.” US Navy quite often take the first bite.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2022 20:07 utc | 214

“The problem for Biden is that their [Russia & China] view is that they should test him at all times, and they are. And he has so far not really passed those tests with any distinction,” Danielle Pletka, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
re: more tests for Biden.
China owes Russia for its quick action to save Kazakhstan. How to help Russia? This would be a great time for China to attack and occupy one or more of Taiwan's remote islands, say Pratas. The Pratas Islands are strategically located near the gateway to the South China Sea and is a waypoint for oil tankers and Chinese vessels en route to the Pacific Ocean.
Lying roughly between southern Taiwan and Hong Kong, Pratas Islands are only lightly defended by Taiwan, vulnerable to Chinese attack due to their distance - more than 400 km (250 miles) - from mainland Taiwan.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 20:11 utc | 215

… and of course most crucial on the verge of nuclear devastation, the stand off at sea off the Atlantic coast between a Navy Commander and the Soviet submarine captain in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Mirrors the incident with Ukraine today … National Security interest of Russia.

?? A Russian Perspective on the 1973 Naval Standoff in the Mediterranean

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2022 20:16 utc | 216

Creating an opportunity …

HMS Defender: AIS spoofing is opening up a new front in the war on reality

The Dutch have been in cybersecurity warfare with Russia since December 2014. Moscow intelligence network, MIVD penetrated the Cozy Bear computer servers. Interesting tangent to the DNC “hack” in 2016. The Dutch (and GCHQ, NSA) were watching live.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2022 20:24 utc | 217

@ lex talionis... thanks for your posts and enthusiasm!

@ 201 peter au on language and ukraine etc - thanks.. jen @ 212 - fascinating.. thank you both..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2022 20:26 utc | 218

"Has Biden even once asked the very simple question: "Why would Russia want to do that?""

After watching his press conference.
And his responses.
I think you are asking for an awful lot Bernard!

Posted by: Jpc | Jan 22 2022 20:28 utc | 219

Much of the discussion on the Ukraine over the past 2 weeks has been premised on the seriousness of the Russian demands--which may be accurate.

But it might also be worthwhile to look at the situation in Ukraine from the perspective that the initial Russian demands (no more NATO expansion toward Russian border, no strike system that will target Moscow will be deployed etc,) was a diplomatic initiative that the Russians never expected anyone in the West to accept.

It may be the case that from the Russian perspective that the strategic move that best meets these demands is some type of military attack on Ukraine--which if successful would actually halt NATO expansion, stop/delay any attempt to deploy strike systems against Moscow, etc

If this latter assumption has any link with reality than the belief that Russia will not attack Ukraine or only reluctantly respond to Ukrainian military initiatives would have to be reconsidered--with the entire situation being much more dangerous than b has assumed, along with a much higher probability of military conflict.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 22 2022 20:29 utc | 220

Policeman of the world …

If a hot war is started in Ukraine, the US and UK will be involved. The Persian Guif would be missing a US Naval aircraft carrier … attack on Iran postponed? Unless Israel and its Arab allies smell an opportunity. What about China and the province of Taiwan … a great nuisance.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2022 20:35 utc | 221


I had read a little about Crimean Tatars and the slave raids in the past though you have added a bit more. A lot of changes, changing of borders, changing of peoples in that part of the world through history.
The main split in todays Ukraine I suspect is due to historical Polish influence in the West and historical Russian influence in the east.

The original borderlands? Perhaps the area marked on this map as Ukraine Territory 1654.

I did a little reseach on the cossacks again and that is roughly the area of the Dnieper or Zaporozhian Sich cossacks They were mostly from the polish lands whereas the Don cossacks to the east on the Don river were more from the Russian lands. Both groups included Tartars perhaps more so in the Don Cossaks.
A map showing the Dnieper Cossacks.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 20:41 utc | 222

Head of the German navy speaks the truth about Ukraine and has to go.

The head of the German navy Kay-Achim Schönbach accidently had some reasonable ideas during a visit in India. He had such revolutionary insights as "Putin just wants some respect, so why don't we show some respect, it costs us nothing."
He had the realistic view that the Crimean peninsula is lost to Ukraine and will not come back.

Then he upended the whole western propaganda story by reasoning that it is bullshit that Russia would want to conquer Ukraine as it would make no sense.

Apparently his remarks made some waves as Ukraine immidiately summoned the German ambassador, the German defense ministry distanced itself from those insights of its navy head and then admiral Schönbach apologized and ultimately just a few minutes ago stepped down (or was made to step down).

Source (german):

Posted by: someone other | Jan 22 2022 20:54 utc | 223


Oriental voice has a good comment @206. Judging by how nervous the Europeans are (as in fractures already appearing) constant and steadily increasing pressure but Russia may well cause some large falling outs within NATO. The pressure will be increased considerably if Russia does put US under reciprocal threat, and perhaps ensure it is publicly known all US bases in Europe are under the same threat.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 21:00 utc | 224

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 20:41 utc | 223

A map showing the Dnieper Cossacks.

Down left from there it says 'Dzikie Pola' which I guess means 'Wild Fields'
That tells you pretty much what kind of territories were there. Wild Wild West meets Crocodile Dundee.

Posted by: hopehely | Jan 22 2022 21:00 utc | 225

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jan 21 2022 18:40 utc | 6

The Bidet administration's hysteria over the Ukraine is a political contrivance. They are facing electoral disaster and so their strategy is to make up a "Russian threat" that Bidet can 'steadfastly oppose' and claim a moral victory when no invasion occurs. It's theatre of the most irresponsible and dishonest kind.
One has to wonder why the generated hysteria in the Western media right now. To save Biden and the democrats in Nov. elections? Make Biden look like some sort of war president? Justify great military budgets for all NHATO countries? Will have to see when Russia does not invade.

Posted by: Erelis |

Posted by: Erelis | Jan 22 2022 21:03 utc | 226

German navy chief Schönbach resigns over comments on Putin, Crimea

I found an english article about the navy chief at MSN and his comments were apparently made in english, so I repeat them here instead of my re-translated version from a german news source.

"What he really wants is respect," the vice admiral said, speaking in English in remarks that were posted on a video on YouTube.

"And, my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. ... It is easy to give him the respect he really demands — and probably also deserves," Schönbach said, calling Russia an old and important country.

Schönbach said Russia's actions in Ukraine needed to be addressed, but added that "the Crimea Peninsula is gone: It will never come back — this is a fact."

His apology read like this:

"My defense policy remarks during a talk session at a think tank in India reflected my personal opinion in that moment. They in no way reflect the official position of the defense ministry," he wrote.

Posted by: someone other | Jan 22 2022 21:15 utc | 227

This business of Ruthenian which only a tiny minority in Ukraine speak being made into the official language of Ukraine, I wouldn't mind betting that was dreampt up in Washington rather than originating with neo-nazi's from the borderlands.
US creating a fictional national identity where there is none but that fictional identity is required to use it against Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 21:18 utc | 228

Here's a map from Germany of the relatively small area that is calling out for protection, under UN Security Council Resolution 2202(2015) here with its solution for the mess, but supposedly mature people can't address the problem properly and don't even try. The UN Security Council "Decides to remain seized of the matter" but the US is seized by war fever.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 21:35 utc | 229

Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 21:18 utc | 229
It is more likely to have been dreamed up in Toronto by "Ukrainians" like Chrystia Freeland who make a good living out of Russophobia of the sort learned in the Waffen SS.
As the Banderablogger explains Galician 'nationalism' has been subsidised by the Canadian taxpayer since before the Cold War started. Canada is by far the biggest contributor to the arming and financing of the Azov Battalion and other SS Tribute bands.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 22 2022 21:50 utc | 230

Stonebird #142

Thank you, that was an excellent post and I was not surprised that the US wants its written word kept secret. I see Alexander Mercouris is reporting well on this.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 22 2022 22:09 utc | 231

@Oriental Voice #206
I generally agree with your reasoning.
I would, however, not lump all of Eastern Europe into a single category.
The Baltics, in particular, are basically somewhat more functional versions of the Ukraine now mostly because they're small (and getting smaller every year).
Poland and at least one of the former Czechoslovakia, however, seem to be doing ok.
As such, what isn't clear to me any type of policy which could affect an economically self sufficient Eastern European nation, but even the Baltics are so small that the ECB can support them without even breaking a sweat.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 22 2022 22:33 utc | 232

After this circus, the chances of Ukraine receiving billions from Russia for gas transit must be slim.

Posted by: Passerby | Jan 22 2022 22:40 utc | 233

Peter & Jen, 201 & 212

Real good summary. Better than I’ve ever seen in so few words.

Regarding what Jen terms “repopulation”. Yes, the land had supported small populations at different times. The intermission was long, everything was done da capo. The tsars did do some intentional population transfers. Catherine absolutely built and sponsored Odessa (a tiny fishing village in 18th century). Much of the new populace was completely ad hoc. Runaway serfs. People in trouble. Every misfit person and group in Russia. And German farmers. Polish and Lithuanian lords assuming a few thousand more acres. Polish and Lithuanian Jews finding far more opportunity than merely being estate managers for absentee Polish lords. It was much like the American Wild West. In US even the Wild West had certain civic principles and definitely organizing Capital. Ukraine had none of that and multiple competing religions. Which is why Ukie nationalism was created in Vienna and Chicago.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 22 2022 22:43 utc | 234

@Gulag #221
Let's think through what you propose: that Russia can benefit from a overt attack on Ukraine.

And let's assume that Russia has both the military capability to do whatever it wants to Ukraine and is on par or superior to the EU and US.

Scenario 1: An "unprovoked" attack on Ukraine. Yes there is shelling on Donetsk etc, but clearly the EU does not consider this sufficient reason.

Such an attack would be construed as a validation of the "Russia is an aggressive and bad neighbor" theme being constantly pushed by media and US elites to the rest of the world.

Is this a strategic benefit?

In particular, would Germans, French, Dutch etc think that Russia is entitled to said overt attack and be fine with it?

As noted by myself (and others) - it is not at all clear that the actual leaders in the EU believe the US chicken hawk line at the moment

Scenario 2: Russia does the attack because it has superior military capability and knows full well the EU and US could do nothing to stop it.

Again, would this validate the Russian demonization?
Would this make EU leaders more or less uneasy with Russia?

To me, the answers for both scenarios is: EU switches from being relatively neutral to drawing closer to the US to offset risk from Russia.

Scenario 3: Russia's military advantage now is fleeting. So it is a use it or lose it situation.

Would using it accomplish the goal of improving Russia's security situation? Short, medium or long term?

Doesn't seem the least bit clear to me.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 22 2022 22:45 utc | 235

Oriental Voice #209

No, I rather think it is Brandon himself wo is really stupid and thought that doing what he has been doing would improve his standing with the Borg. So far, what Brandon and the minions around him have been doing really convinced me that the USA is run by idiots and the governance machine is beyond repair. A sad state of affair.

More likely Brandon and team are rat cunning enough to distract US citizens from the fact that Brandon and company have FAILED to deliver a social financial package to assist US citizens in an hour of acute need.

Trillions pumped into the banksters and zilch for the people and their children.

Trillions delivered to the MIC and zilch for eradicating student debt or better health care in the hour of need.

Biden has always operated this way and so too his friends - Republicans. The Democrats too are expert in lying deceiving and never delivering. Of course Bernie Sanders and his fraudsquad are also capitulating to 'their friends'.

Capitulation is deep within the US leadership psyche. The alternative is to have your gray matter splattered on the sidewalk (US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords courtesy Sarah Palin's venomous advertising) or rear seat of your car (JF Kennedy courtesy CIA).

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 22 2022 22:47 utc | 236

Kukulkan | Jan 22 2022 7:21 utc | 127 "Why are the Americans doing this?"
Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 13:16 utc | 155 "Much of what is happening on the Russian front now is I think
due to the UK."
dh | Jan 22 2022 16:11 utc | 173 "the upper crust hate Russia."
bevin | Jan 22 2022 21:50 utc | 231 re speaking of "Ukrainians" like Chrystia Freeland

John Helmer's analysis:


Interview embedded there: @ 29:41 Count-Down to Apocalypse: Are the US and Russia finally on course toward World War 3?>


Interview embedded there: first ~30 min: Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Molly Murphy, Dr. Jen Gobby January 20th, 2022

The inference, if Helmer's framing is correct, is that the Blinkin, Nuland, Freeland (current Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, former Canadian deputy secy of foreign affairs) gang is a racist anti-Russian Ukrainian cabal-- (they or their families are from the Ukraine) that has the mike at the moment.

Posted by: pogohere | Jan 22 2022 22:53 utc | 237

Looks like we have a new Russian plot to deal with. The BBC is on the case.....

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: "The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking.

"Russia must de-escalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy.

"As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs."

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2022 23:00 utc | 238

Important video by Alexander Mercouris.

US Admin Faced with Debacle as Germany's Scholz Declines Meeting with Biden over Ukraine/Russia

The "Russian invasion" is a fake crisis. CIA director William J. Burns has been crisscrossing Europe promoting the hoax. The CIA plan is to get Germany to agree on preemptive sanctions, and then ask the Ukrainians to provoke Russia so that sanctions come into effect.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 22 2022 23:05 utc | 239

oldhippie 235

Somewhere in my reading on this I read that it was Russian jews that first settled the Novorossiya area, building towns and farming. I am still trying to track down the Ukrainian language a bit better. It seems Ukrainian Belorussian and Russian originated from the original Ruthenian language. There is also and area called modern Ruthenia

Also found a map showing the borderlands or Ukraine on the border of Tsardom of Moscovy and The Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 22 2022 23:07 utc | 240

Chief of the German Navy, Kay-Achim Schönbach, resigns amidst controversy over his remarks made during a meeting in India that "Putin deserves respect" and that "Ukraine will never get Crimea back".

Posted by: Leif Sachs | Jan 22 2022 23:24 utc | 241

It seems to me that too many people are trying to make sense of the US propaganda blitz.
There is no point in that. The US Mighty Wurlitzer plays its own song and the words are muddled and confused, much like a Joe Biden press conference.
Just because the US says that "Putin is going to attack" doesn't mean you should spend any time wondering why, because it is a lie, invented by the US.
Why has the US ramped up the volume? It is almost Olympics time, that time of international peace and cooperation that is the traditional time for the US to kill Russians and make trouble.
Also Nordstream 2 is finished and ready to open.
This entire hoopla is about stopping Nordstream 2, imo, and the US will either goad Kiev into attacking Donbass at Olympics time, or it will simply do a Wag The Dog (or Tonkin Gulf or "chemical attack") and invent a war. Reality doesn't matter, as Karl Rove pointed out. The US is fully capable of inventing a war out of whole cloth and the media is fully capable of convincing the public that it is real.
Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine. Their demands have been ignored by the Mockingbird Media, but they are still out there waiting to be addressed.
If the US refuses to respond properly, Russia can simply remove those US troops occupying Syria and stealing Syrian oil.
That would get their attention (as Bill and Melinda would say).

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 22 2022 23:44 utc | 242

It's fucking hilarious. She's having a full blown meltdown.
And they are all bailing on her!

The Foreign Office has said that it had exposed evidence of a plot to install a pro-Moscow government in Ukraine, and Boris Johnson promised to “ramp up pressure on Russia”, as his own domestic political troubles deepened.

Saturday’s rare reference to intelligence-gathering went into almost no detail about a conspiracy that, if accurate, could mean a serious escalation in the threat to Ukraine. Politicians there were sceptical that the government could be replaced without a full-blown invasion of the capital, Kyiv.

The Foreign Office also said it had information on former Ukrainian politicians who had links with Russian intelligence services, and listed five men. “Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack,” the statement added.

However four of the five men live in exile in Moscow, making their ties to Russia’s leadership less a matter of subterfuge than public record.

The Foreign Office’s claims were thrown into further confusion when the man it named as a “potential candidate” as Moscow’s presidential pick told the Observer he would make an unlikely candidate to head a puppet government for Moscow.

“You’ve made my evening. The British Foreign Office seems confused,” said former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev, laughing. “It isn’t very logical. I’m banned from Russia. Not only that but money from my father’s firm there has been confiscated.”

The Foreign Office statement was followed by an intervention from No 10 that Johnson “has pushed for a gear change on the Ukraine situation”, after a period when his government appeared to take a back seat on international diplomacy around this issue, while battling heavy political challenges over lockdown-busting parties.

It continues in the same vein.

As an aside, as I said to Blair

It is my conviction and belief that, like Malcolm Wall, you are deliberately defective in your appointment; that you exercise your powers because everyone “knows” you are Prime Minister, but that in law you are acting ultra vires; and that you can be disowned by the Sovereign as she uses and discards so many others. All the way back to Crawfie.

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 22 2022 23:58 utc | 243

Sorry. That last link is broken.

It's here

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 13 2022 14:16 utc | 4

Open Thread 004

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 23 2022 0:03 utc | 244

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 22 2022 16:49 utc | 183

Gorbachev was a Soviet Super-Prototype.

Only now are we reaching the point that mass-produced Gorbachevs are widely available to the general western public.

Posted by: Misotheist | Jan 23 2022 0:21 utc | 245

Lots of comments to read.
It makes it easier when people speculate about "elections" as motives for any US moves.
As if! The "elections" in the US are a farce, a circus that mean nothing, since the elections themselves are rigged, and the ruling class makes the choice of what clown puppet to put into office.
I simply scroll on by any "analysis" that involves the pretense that our ruling overlords care about public opinion and/or "voting".

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 23 2022 0:25 utc | 246

@ ut 237
More likely Brandon and team are rat cunning enough to distract US citizens from the fact that Brandon and company have FAILED to deliver a social financial package
For years, US polls have concluded that endless wars should be ended and the government should focus on domestic issues here. But what US citizens want is never an issue whether they're distracted or not.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 23 2022 0:40 utc | 247

I so wish I had time to spend on this site.

I found this posted on all the usual criminals outlets...
Russia wants NATO forces out of ex-Warsaw Pact states: Lavrov

I also found this site which claims that F-35's are being jammed hard when they approach Russian borders...

Russian electronic warfare systems brought down the systems of American F-35 fighters in Europe

Martin Armstrong posted this and it has to be bullshit. It makes no sense
Russia May Have Shot Down US Cargo Plane

Posted by: circumspect | Jan 23 2022 0:49 utc | 248

There will be no 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. Should Donbass be attacked, Russian missile artillery, stationed in Russia, will demonstrate sufficient reach to destroy any Ukrainian units near the frontline.

Posted by b on January 21, 2022 at 18:08 UTC

This is statement is too expansive. Russia clearly prepared a capability to swiftly engage in a much larger operation. Recall Biden's word about "small incursion". A small Ukrainian incursion could be treated "proportionally", hitting the units that perpetrated it. But Russia has larger plans for two reasons. One in to prevent calculations of the kind "this much we can afford". The cost of an attack on Donbass is hard to estimate, very hard, this gives a much stronger dis-incentive. The second reason is a weird Ukrainian plan to cut off water from "free Donbass", cities and industries of Donbass rely on water from a river under Ukrainian control, to the north of Lugansk. It would make a lot of sense to enlarge Donetsk and Lugansk republics to the full territories of their regions, oblast's. The most pro-Russian (purely Russian-speaking, voting for opposition in largest percentages) population, line of control would be much straighter, the area would be self-sufficient in water, etc.

There may be another reason, there were plans of another Maidan, against Zelensky who only pretends to be a zealous Ukrainian patriot, by Poroshenko types. Now it does not look likely, but for all those reasons, it helps to have more permanently stationed troops in south-west Russia and less in Siberia. But there are no plans to reduce troops in the Arctic, so there are still destinations for manly man and girly girls who want to serve the Motherland.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 23 2022 1:00 utc | 249

Personally I think the objective there for US/Ukraine was to prevent the commissioning of the NS2 gas pipeline, and as a possible extended objective of slowing Russian industrialization, particularly oil/gas production rampup, by blocking companies like Siemens, Linde, and a handful of other specialty firms. It would be huge win for US LNG exporters, and as far as Ukraine is concerned, they would remain "strategically relevant" a bit longer, thus more likely to get another round of financial support from NATO.

The intent was to de-industrialize Ukraine.... at that time, builder of Russia's marine engines, aircraft engines, transport aircraft, machine tools.... to emasculate Russia.
To make Sebastopol into a USN base... depriving Russia of a window on the Black Sea....


Strelkov, etal. intervened.... stopped the giveaway of the DonBas....
Putin woke up... intervened.... accepted independence of the Crimea.... accepted the Crimean Referendum.... brought Crimea back into Russia.....


After much angst...Zacharchenko, etal. boiled the UkroNazis in cauldrons, to the point the whole enterprise was on life support, and their army was on the verge of annhilation


Merkel went to Moscow begging Vlad to stop the carnage, offering the NS2 pipeline as compensation


Was implemented... via the Minsk agreements.... designed to tie the whole edifice in a Gordian Knot...


Has kept the status quo.... into the present....

Infuriating.... Blinken, Nuland, etal....


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jan 23 2022 1:01 utc | 250

Petri Krohn #240

The "Russian invasion" is a fake crisis. CIA director William J. Burns has been crisscrossing Europe promoting the hoax. The CIA plan is to get Germany to agree on preemptive sanctions, and then ask the Ukrainians to provoke Russia so that sanctions come into effect.

Thank you and I too enjoyed Alexander's report and assessment. The UKUSA perpetual trick of sham alarm and BS toward europe and its other unfortunate allies is transparent to many observers.

So how does the USA come back from its place of absolute ridicule. It has been defeated in the land of the stans and where not 'defeated' has been blocked. It has one or two baltic states (poland included) that desperately want to be bought by the USA and have as many UKUSA bases as possible. Australia slavishly emulates the UKUSA base here please wailing.

So where does testosterone Sam go next? Back to China to get its rs whipped? Invade Haiti?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 23 2022 1:09 utc | 251

UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss and Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace are in Australia for the AUKMIN talks at Admiralty House in Sydney.

Truss was preaching to the converted speaking at the Neocon hasbara talkshop, the Lowy Institute. It should be noted, Lowy was a former Hagana terrorist in Palestine. The Hagana participated in many massacres and atrocities against both British servicemen and Palestinian civilians.

In gratitude, the British government knighted Lowy who now lives in the Bandit State. Australia abolished imperial honors long ago.

Former PM, Paul Keating observed, "Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation."

Admiralty House, the GG's Sydney bolthole, conveniently located next door to Kirribilli House, the PM' 'official' Sydney pad, that's when he isn't staying at his Sylvania home, which costs the taxpayer thousands in additional security. All so Pastor Morrison can be close to his flock of redneck crackpots.

The Airbrushing of Frank Lowy:

Posted by: Paul | Jan 23 2022 1:35 utc | 252

The Brutish Vampire isn't betting that the talks will produce any progress, so is moving on to the next stage:

BTW, "Kremlin choice" Murayev is blacklisted in Russia.

In any case, if Russia had wanted to install a "Pro Moscow leader" in Kiev, it could just have invaded Ukraine in 2024 (as, repeating myself, it totally and absolutelyshould have, and not doing so was criminal dereliction of duty by Putin), and reinstated Yanukovych or someone else acceptable to Moscow. Even the Brutish should be aware that their claim is a bit silly to anyone but brain dead Russiahaters.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 23 2022 1:38 utc | 253

*2014 not 24

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 23 2022 1:39 utc | 254

An interesting history of US Russia relations.
Until the Bolsheviks came to power in 1933, US was on good terms with Russia and not so good terms with Britain.

From the time of Cecil Rhodes, a faction in Britain wanted to return America to the anglo fold.
I think US was cemented back in when Britain detonated its first hydrogen bomb and US/UK created a nuclear allegiance.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 1:48 utc | 255

This is all about getting some kind of 'win' for Biden. Russia isn't going to invade Ukraine. When they don't, the administration will crow about how their diplomacy saved the day. It's a manufactured, non-existent crisis.

Posted by: ian | Jan 23 2022 1:49 utc | 256

@252 "So how does the USA come back from its place of absolute ridicule."

Obviously they must make more blockbuster movies, create more cell-phone features and improve the fast-food options.

Posted by: dh | Jan 23 2022 2:16 utc | 257

Also, let's not pretend the Minsk Agreement still viable. Even if the Ukranazi coup regime could be arm twisted into implementing it, trying to force the LPR and DPR to dissolve themselves and subjugate their fate to Kiev would cause an immediate rebellion in Lugansk and Donetsk, not to mention huge public anger in Russia itself.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 23 2022 2:22 utc | 258

Perfidious Albion the midget riding on the dumb giants back.
"UK’s statement about Russia's plans for Ukraine raises concern - White House"

MH17 was the same. Brit media within hours had Putin's missile Putin's missile headlines. Took the yanks a day or two to read and rehearse the narrative.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 2:57 utc | 259

i made a reply to your post at 255 peter.... hopefully it shows up in this spot later... cheers james

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 2:58 utc | 260

With regard to the, what do other languages that have the definite article do as far labelling the State 404?

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2022 3:00 utc | 261

not taking my link.... interesting.. search american rifleman under the headline - Cold Front: American Troops in Russia 1918-1919

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 3:01 utc | 262

ciue at 236:

Strategically just as likely that Europe (in particular Germany) might shift to a more neutral stance toward Russia if it attacks Ukraine.

If the Russians get what they need by a military move against Ukraine so what if they are demonized.

It should also be kept in mind that Russia (particularly Putin) might pay a cost both internally and externally if at this point they don't act militarily. For Putin to back down now and not invade, would now reinforce the perception that NATO can deter
Russia. Internally, if Russia was not to invade now it might also create political instability among the Russian elites who could accuse him of erratic behavior or incompetence.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 23 2022 3:07 utc | 263

Scott Ritter says the US has no options -- it can't deploy meaningful forces, and it can't impose sanctions which would hurt European economies and fracture NATO. Biden and Blinken know this, and are already aware of divisions in Europe. But the US also can't allow any perception of impotence and failure. Russia, by contrast, is clear: NATO must retreat or Russia will do it military. Russia is going to win this stand off.

Posted by: Prof | Jan 23 2022 3:50 utc | 264

Peter AU1 255

The Bolsheviks came to power in 1917 and relations withe the US were normalized in 1933 by Roosevelt.

1917 to 1933 can be seen as the little Cold War.

Posted by: Roger | Jan 23 2022 4:11 utc | 265

Roger 265
When was that book Bezos is selling first published. I could not find that date in the amazon link.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 4:24 utc | 266

Gulag #263

For Putin to back down now and not invade, would now reinforce the perception that NATO can deter
Russia. Internally, if Russia was not to invade now it might also create political instability among the Russian elites who could accuse him of erratic behavior or incompetence.

There is absolutely no need for Russia to invade ANYONE. The Russian elites are likely very satisfied and supportive of the cool hand played by the entire Russian leadership team. Consider: Ukraine has an extensive and well protected Russian population in the eastern states with solid support for and from Russia. They are effective in keeping the western Ukenazis stymied and effective at keeping Zelensky totally in focus as an inept 'leader' by the rest of the non-nazi Ukrainian people.

As things stand Zelensky is not 'warmly' welcome in the EU these days and certainly not a valued prize in their fold. Zelensky had a very good opportunity to deliver some benefits for the Ukrainians that elected him but has stupidly allowed his crappy military to siphon it all off in their futile confrontation in the east. He is a loser.

That is good. Plus by the good grace of Russia, Ukraine people get the gas to keep warm and make capital for their economy from transit fees. Russia can play this for some time (decade?) and the balance of Ukrainian westies will perhaps relent and elect a statesperson. The extreme nationalist/nazi sympathisers can secede and continue as a persistent nuisance.

I see no evidence that the Russian elite are divergent from Putin and team. Their current approach to national security issues seems very well received after the 90's humiliation. If you have a source for the proposition of the elite being angry and alienated then please link it here for us to consider. The last Russian election seemed to indicate that the people were mostly supportive.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 23 2022 4:27 utc | 267

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2022 3:00 utc | 261
"With regard to the, what do other languages that have the definite article do as far labelling the State 404?"

How about The Lebanon, The Sudan, The Gambia, The Congo.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 23 2022 4:32 utc | 268

james, I think I found what you were reading because my comment with the link did not appear.

Something I said in that comment was that although I was a latecomer to the internet, it was still the information highway. Traffic demographics on that highway changed around 2013/14 until now it is the propaganda highway. Genuine traffic is still there but hard to find, many revised histories and so forth to suite current geo-politics. American riflemen. Patriotic Americans. NRA. NRA is a also gun rights lobby group in the US. Patriotic red necks?
Hard to tell in this American Orwellian world.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 4:44 utc | 269

You may be wrong about Russia not invading Ukraine. The West wouldn't be in such an unseemly frenzy about it if there was no valid intelligence about it. Particularly as it exposes American weakness in such sharp detail. Now, sure enough, Russia denies any plans to invade, but that's just a matter of semantics. They'll call it "liberation", "reclaiming of Russian land " (can't invade own land, after all), etc. And Russia absolutely should invade and put that dying joke of a country out of its misery. Most of Ukraine's territory consists of Russian transfers, which were realized on the basis of Ukraine being a brotherly country. Once that assumption was proven to be inaccurate, Ukraine has forfeited its right to own that real estate, and Russia has a moral - if not legal - right to take it all back. It's that simple.
Will Russia own Ukraine if it breaks it? No, it won't. It'll bring back Black/Azov Sea coast and bulk of Eastern Ukraine. Those are mostly Russia-friendly and economically viable and can be rehabilitated with their own cash flow. But Kiev and western Ukraine can be quarantined and left to rot forever. Chunks of it will soon enough be sliced away by Poles, Hungarians and Romanians, and whatever is left will become a pray for western financial institutions seeking debt repayments from "legitimate Ukrainian authorities".

Posted by: Venom | Jan 23 2022 4:49 utc | 270

as an american, i really wish my country had the strong and smart leadership of a lavrov. i don’t like him, but i respect how he cuts ice.

it’s easy to imagine a president and state department who have a command of the situation, confidence as well as flexibility in negotiations, a clear view of the neo-nazi state ukraine has become and the reality of an autonomous eastern ukraine, and a blueprint for better relations with russia. alas, it’s only imagination.

Posted by: line islands | Jan 23 2022 4:53 utc | 271

. . .from Indian Punchline. . .
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov underscored that a moratorium on NATO expansion for a limited time span would be unacceptable for Russia. He said, “No, this scenario is unacceptable. We need legally binding guarantees of NATO’s non-expansion in a form of treaties: a bilateral agreement with the US and a multilateral agreement with NATO.”//

The problem is that the US doesn't do treaties, that is some lasting document initiated by the Executive Branch and finalized with the advice and consent of the Senate, according to the Constitution. There have been no such "treaties" recently, only "agreements " between the president and another country, easy to do and easily terminated, like Bush-43's Iraq withdrawal agreement and Obama's JCPOA with Iran.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 23 2022 4:58 utc | 272

line islands 271 "i don’t like him, but i respect how he cuts ice."

I am not Russian nor am I American. Look up the transcripts at the Russian foreign ministry website and also look up the president of Russia website for transcripts. Russia insight channel on youtube- more Putin than Lavrov but you can watch both speak there which is often better than transcripts in judging if they are bullshitting or not.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 5:12 utc | 273

Interesting post by Hal Turner:

1. Apparently a US-NATO military transport plane after delivering tons of ammo to Kiev, took off the next day and flew straight over Belarus, turned east and over Russia and ended up disappearing over Kazakhstan!

2. Then a Russian fighter jet appears out of nowhere over Kiev and disappears again off radar.

Turner shows the alleged flight paths picked up by radar.
Perhaps some fake news, but Hal Turner stakes his reputation on getting accurate intelligence through his contacts.

If accurate, it suggests the Russians showing off some top secret plane hacking and stealth technology to up the ante in the negotiations.

Any other reports of these alleged incidents?

Posted by: PJB | Jan 23 2022 5:15 utc | 274

Uncle Tungsten at 267

What causes me the greatest worry is the nature of the military deployments quite visible around Ukraine. You may be correct that from your perspective there is no need to invade Ukraine--but simply looking at deployments tells me a possibly different story about potential Russian intentions.

It seems like we may be standing in the middle of the street and we see an oncoming truck coming right toward us but we don't yet hear it. What do we trust--what we see that the Russians are actually doing on the ground in and around Ukraine or your perception that there is no need for Russia to invade anyone.

I do hope that you are correct and I am wrong--but I don't think that you can rule out the possibility that the Russians could soon use their military power to attain their political aims in Ukraine.

I don't have any empirical evidence of what is going on with the Russian elites concerning Ukraine but I do know that prior to their support/intervention in Syria sentiment was quite split yet turned around quite dramatically once their intervention proved successful.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 23 2022 5:28 utc | 275


You may be right about Russia planning a limited invasion of Ukraine.
Russia might be setting up a casus belli - which has been the case for the past 8 years in Donbas, if they formally announced a R2P right to protect the citizens (Donetsk and Lugansk republic citizens have been issued Russian Federation passports some years ago) from being shot at, or formally recognise Donbas independence or incorporate the republics into the Russian Federation.
Basically any further UAF shelling or sniping that kills the locals is now an act of war according to Russian official statement.

Posted by: PJB | Jan 23 2022 5:28 utc | 276

PJB So what is his background? Looks to be be just another american stoked on exceptionalism and fantasy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 5:30 utc | 277

Gulag | 263

For Putin to back down now and not invade, would now reinforce the perception that NATO can deter Russia.

Putin never threatened to invade Ukraine. In fact, he and the Russian leadership have repeatedly said they had no intention of invading Ukraine. So, for them not to invade is just Russia keeping it's word and showing it was being honest in stating their intentions.

The whole Russia-is-about-to-invade-the-Ukraine is some weird fantasy cooked up by western media.

Venom | 270

You may be wrong about Russia not invading Ukraine. The West wouldn't be in such an unseemly frenzy about it if there was no valid intelligence about it.

You mean like the frenzy about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? I don't know if western intelligence is just incompetent, or if it just reports whatever it believes its masters want to hear, but either way, it's credibility is not as solid as you seem to think it is.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 23 2022 5:37 utc | 278

@ Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 4:44 utc | 269.. your conclusion is true... i suppose i was going on what i learned from the book paris 1919 by margarat macmillan more then any internet link.. but i tried to find an internet link that conformed to how i understood it.. as i understand it, the west - uk, france and usa - in the treaty of Versailles agreement reached in 1919 was all about keeping russia isolated and out of the inner circle... that's all i am saying.. it predates what the usa state dept suggests in your previous link...

@ line islands | Jan 23 2022 4:53 utc | 271... the problem as i see it is karma and fate is catching up with the usa... unfortunately the leadership of the usa has been on a steep decline for more then just this last presidency... stay tuned for the next episode.... the usa has a lot more then just lavrov and putin to worry about.. other chunks of the world have moved on and not into taking shit from the usa-uk at this point in time...

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2022 5:40 utc | 279

Don Bacon @272
Not only that such a treaty would never be accepted by the Senate and the Russians are smart enough to know that fact. All of that has been assured by the rampant anti Russian propaganda propagated by the governments controlled private media outlets.

It must be some sort of bargaining throw away point by Russians. Ask for the moon and take a little less.

Posted by: circumspect | Jan 23 2022 5:42 utc | 280

james 279
This age of smoke and mirrors.. Who is right and who is wrong on this sort of thing...seems to change with the times and whatever is the current western version of history. It's like a mouse finding its way out of a maze.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 6:13 utc | 281

Of course, what is really happening is a push by the US/NATO for a war in the Ukraine drawing Russia in:

Resignation of German Navy Chief

Cutting out the internal opposition. The neocon/neoliberals are winning the internal war, so an attack on Donbass is likely forthcoming, probably on Feb 4th or thereabouts. This means there wil be no serious written response to Russia's treaty efforts.

Russia will not likely do anything until after the olympics, unless a major Ukraine attack on Donbass, or perhaps, even Crimea.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 6:18 utc | 282

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 6:18 utc | 282
I will add this quote from the SC article linked above

"For those willing to see and think with an open mind it is obvious what is going on. Historically, the U.S. and its NATO accomplices are the political inheritors of the Western-backed Nazi regime that tried to destroy Russia for the sake of imperial hegemony of Western capital. Washington and its Western lackeys need to prevent the normalization of relations within Europe whereby the continent’s largest country, Russia, is able to develop peacefully along with European neighbors. The U.S. – the lead Western hegemonic power – must prevent this geopolitical outcome at all costs. In the past, Nazi Germany and fascism were used as bludgeon. Today, it is NATO expansionism in the “defense of democracy and peace”."

Obviously, a Georgia/Abkhazia scenario is being set up. The Western propaganda machine is ready to do its duty. The results, of course, will be much worse

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 6:30 utc | 283

I think its funny and appropriate that NATO spelled in the cyrillic alphabet is HATO.

Posted by: HappyMotorist | Jan 23 2022 6:41 utc | 284

@scuppers 110
Excellent analogy.
“Show me the receipts”
And the imperial Japan add on is also appropriate.
We may never know the full extent of the differing groups within
The US imperial playground, as we have come to learn of what
Was happening in the Japanese higher circles during WW2
But it sure loooks like there are factions of “Bidens Administration”
That are grappling for the upper hand, resulting in
Total dumb fuckery and failure.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jan 23 2022 7:04 utc | 285

Kukulkan @278

Nobody is accusing western intelligence of being honest. But with regard to Russian military deployment they are generally pretty good. They reported of Russian preparations to enter Syria when Moscow was still issuing denials, for example. Also, it seems unlikely that they would make it all up, because this whole situation betrays glaring western weakness where Blinken is constantly begging Russians for talks and basically openly surrendering Ukraine without much of a fight.
Russians, on the other hand, have clear interest in denying everything until they have all of their ducks lined in a row. And as six of their large landing ships are still traversing Mediterranean, they will prefer to keep rhetoric down until those vessels enter the Black Sea and dock at Russian bases.

Posted by: Venom | Jan 23 2022 7:33 utc | 286

How come that the only people the USA can find to head their country tend to, in the main, be intellectually and physically challenged geriatrics ? Are these, so called leaders, the best that a country of over 300 million people can produce. It's embarrassing, the country that produced JFK in the 1960's is unable since then to find candidates that are a little better than care centre patients. Leaders of the free world, I think not.
Henry Smith | Jan 22 2022 12:09 utc | 147:

To be brief, America does have competent people. Unfortunately, they're prevented from entering politics in any meaningful way.

Don Bacon | Jan 22 2022 20:11 utc | 216:   If the PRC is serious in using it's military, it would concentrate on Taiwan, not some insignificant airfield on a small remote island. A barrage of missiles can take care of that.

So where does testosterone Sam go next? Back to China to get its rs whipped? Invade Haiti?
uncle tungsten | Jan 23 2022 1:09 utc | 252:   Grenada

Now, sure enough, Russia denies any plans to invade, but that's just a matter of semantics. They'll call it "liberation", "reclaiming of Russian land " (can't invade own land, after all), etc.
Venom | Jan 23 2022 4:49 utc | 270:

Russia should use the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine in stopping the genocide in Ukraine. After all, Western nations established it as the international norm.

Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 5:30 utc | 277:   re: Hal Turner. Not worth your time. Ignore him.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jan 23 2022 7:49 utc | 287

Venom | 286

Also, it seems unlikely that they would make it all up, because this whole situation betrays glaring western weakness where Blinken is constantly begging Russians for talks and basically openly surrendering Ukraine without much of a fight.

I guess I'm just reading things differently to you.

Biden asked for a summit with Putin on 7 December 2021.

The Russians then published their draft treaties on 15 December and asked for talks to discuss the terms. Since then, it seems to me that the Russians are the ones driving the agenda.

The US initially didn't want to discuss the treaties — describing them as a "non-starter". They seemed to only reluctantly agree, sending Wendy Sherman to talk with Sergei Ryabkov in Geneva on 10 January 2022.

After that the US was required to give the Russians a written response to the proposed treaties by 19 January 2022. They didn't.

Instead Blinken agreed to meet with Larov on 21 January 2022, partially to explain why the US has yet to deliver its written response and to try and divert the discussion to other issues.

Blinken does not seem to be begging the Russians. If anything, he and the rest of the US establishment and NATO see to want to avoid the whole thing and to focus on the Russia-is-about-to-invade-Ukraine narrative.

If the west seems to showing a glaring weakness I think it's because Russia publishing the draft treaties and pushing for talks to discuss the terms of those treaties has caught them on the back foot and they have no good response.

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 23 2022 7:59 utc | 288

The West wouldn't be in such an unseemly frenzy about it if there was no valid intelligence about it.

>Posted by: Venom | Jan 23 2022 4:49 utc | 270

You say that like NATO and the US weren't completely hooked to false flags, manufacturing consent and waging war for shits and giggles.

What a load of bullshit.

Posted by: Misotheist | Jan 23 2022 8:41 utc | 289

With regard to the, what do other languages that have the definite article do as far labelling the State 404?

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2022 3:00 utc | 261
For example, how does French (Spanish, German etc) label the Ukraine space?

Posted by: tucenz | Jan 23 2022 9:06 utc | 290

@Peter AU1 | Jan 23 2022 2:57 utc | 259

MH17 was the same. Brit media within hours had Putin's missile Putin's missile headlines. Took the yanks a day or two to read and rehearse the narrative.
Within hours, then US Secretary of State said on TV about MH17: "We saw the takeoff. We saw the trajectory. We saw the hit.". It was a blunt lie.

He further said in an NBC interview

"I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here. But even more importantly, we picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar."
Needless to say, no such evidence has ever been presented, because it does not show what he claimed, Kerry was lying.

Any US claims about a "Russian invasion of the Ukraine" must be judged from this perspective.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 9:24 utc | 291

Posted by: Kukulkan | Jan 23 2022 7:59 utc | 288

The US may simply be delaying until they can set up the Ukrainian army for its false-flag based, or otherwise, attack on Donbass. If they draw in Russia, even with it using stand off missles, then the treaties are toast. The Western propaganda ministies will work overtime making Russia the aggressor and decreasing Russia's international political standing. R2P? What's that? No one will hear about it. Hypocrisy is bliss.

Remember, many still believe Russia was the aggressor in Georgia. The idea is to keep the pressure up on Russia's periphery: Ukraine, Kazakistan, Caucasus, in the Black Sea, wherever. This is the idea, apparently. How well it works is another matter.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 23 2022 9:30 utc | 292

@George W Oprisko | Jan 23 2022 1:01 utc | 251

Merkel went to Moscow begging Vlad to stop the carnage, offering the NS2 pipeline as compensation
What happened was that Merkel had to persuade Putin (not "Vlad") to go along with Germany's idea of the North Stream 2 that Germany needed because she had foolishly decided to close down all nuclear energy plants in Germany after Fukushima (there is room for speculation as to why), and the fake "greens" were also attacking energy production (at the same time being very "atlanticist"). It is Germany who needs North Stream 2, not Russia. Russia can sell the same gas to China soon, and the cost of building NS2 has already been recuperated by sky-rocketing gas prices of gas sales through the existing pipelines.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 9:34 utc | 293

Don Bacon #272

The problem is that the US doesn't do treaties, that is some lasting document initiated by the Executive Branch and finalized with the advice and consent of the Senate, according to the Constitution. There have been no such "treaties" recently, only "agreements " between the president and another country, easy to do and easily terminated, like Bush-43's Iraq withdrawal agreement and Obama's JCPOA with Iran.

Agreed and I assume the Russian leadership is aware of that.

The rest of the world does treaties and generally sticks to them. The EU enjoys peace because of treaties after WWII. They know the value of them and the cost without them. My guess is that there is sufficient wisdom and persistence and intention in the EU to craft a treaty with Russia right now.

I doubt that the UKUS and its running dogs have the wit, the will or the endurance to do likewise.

I assume the Russian leadership is aware of that too.

The people of the world value treaties as they not only constrain their leaders but also give some certainty in constraining adversaries. The world prospers with certainty in life's journey and investments are made with confidence.

This is not the case in UKUSA and they are being trained in the value of binding treaties and the conduct of calm international relations as we speak. It will take some time and I expect there will be much shock and wailing when the west discovers the persuasive ways of the Russian (and likely the Chinese) technological capacity. This can be done without a shot being fired in anger.

This will take some time and I see that the Queen of the englanders has sent forth her saboteurs to derail any chance of treaty by the dimwitted US 'leadership'. The world deserves better than these geriatric warmongers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 23 2022 9:47 utc | 294

@Gulag | Jan 23 2022 3:07 utc | 263

It should also be kept in mind that Russia (particularly Putin) might pay a cost both internally and externally if at this point they don't act militarily. For Putin to back down now and not invade, would now reinforce the perception that NATO can deter
Russia. Internally, if Russia was not to invade now it might also create political instability among the Russian elites who could accuse him of erratic behavior or incompetence.

I am sorry, but this is complete bs. The opposite would be true. Russia has repeatedly emphasized, internally and externally, to the degree it is becoming silly to claim otherwise, that Russia has no interest in and no intention of invading Ukraine. This is a US manufactured idea that the US tries to sell, but nobody believes it.

The "old Europe" consisting of countries like Germany, France and Italy are all indicating they are unconvinced by the US claims. No wonder because we get flashbacks to similar US tactics regarding MH17 in 2014, Killing of Gadaffi in 2011, 2003 invasion of Iraq (remember Colin Powell lying in the UN Security Council?) or the "Babies taken out of incubators" in Kuwait in 1991. This silly game does not work anymore.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 9:47 utc | 295

PJB | Jan 23 2022 5:15 utc | 274

The two planes.
I saw the first on flightradar24.
There is no way a cargo plane is going to openly overfly such a sensitive area unless it had permission. So the end point (Kazhakstan) was probably to recover "elements" that would be embarassing to both the US and Russia if found. (or Embassy personnel?)
On Flightradar24 the line into Kazakhstan seemed to be more direct before they shut their transponders off. (Probabaly not shot down - too dramatic.) This would also allow them to take a different route on leaving. (Dubai?)

It is a regular occurance to see US Refueling tankers circling around in Kurdish held Iraq, for no apparent purpose, as we cannot see who they are waiting for.

The second overfly - potentially an S-57, could be - why not, but you have to take into consideration that "spoofing" (Things not being what they seem or where they seem to be) is an upcoming "art". Re; the UK Destroyer going across territorial waters outside Crimea and another one still in harbour.


The next "point" of public Panic, will be the quantity of trains with Military hardware going to Belarus. In spite of a railwayman claiming that 200 trains are "expected", they are not there yet. There has been a slight increase over the number seen during Zapad-21, but the MSM are looking for things to panic about, so I prefer to wait and see.
Could stress Truss, and Wallace, (but not of Wallace and Gromit fame). Who will meet Shoigu.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 23 2022 9:56 utc | 296

"German Navy Chief resigns over remarks in India on Ukraine, Russia. Following an unprecedented controversy in Germany and a diplomatic incident with Ukraine, German Navy Chief Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach tended his resignation late on Saturday over his comments in New Delhi that Ukraine can never get back Crimea and Russian President Vladimir Putin “probably” deserved"

Once out of the NATO echo chamber some speak their own logical the co$t of their career.

"Russia is an old country, Russia is an important country. Even we India, Germany, need Russia. we need Russia against China…”

That will cost him brownie points here..

Posted by: Antonym | Jan 23 2022 9:58 utc | 297

@tucenz | Jan 23 2022 3:00 utc | 261

With regard to the, what do other languages that have the definite article do as far labelling the State 404?

Take German as an example
Die Ukraine-Krise – Eine Zusammenfassung
Seit Anbeginn der Ukraine-Krise hat sich das weltpolitische Klima stark abgekühlt: In der Ukraine tobt ein Bürgerkrieg, USA und EU überziehen Russland mit Sanktionen während Moskau seine Beziehungen in Richtung Asien intensiviert.

Zunächst war unter dem seit 2004 amtierenden Präsidenten Wiktor Janukowytsch eine Annäherung der Ukraine an die EU zu spüren. Es wurde über ein Abkommen verhandelt, das einerseits die rechtlichen und wirtschaftlichen Grundlagen der Ukraine an die EU angleichen sollte und andererseits die Vertiefung des Handels und der wirtschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit anstrebt.


Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 9:59 utc | 298

@PJB | Jan 23 2022 5:15 utc | 274

More likely, someone is playing games with the website, a PR stunt. Who has the interest to do that?

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 10:10 utc | 299

@Norwegian | Jan 23 2022 9:24 utc | 291

"Needless to say, no such evidence has ever been presented, because ... Any US claims about a "Russian invasion of the Ukraine" must be judged from this perspective."

Precisely. And I note in the current round of deadly-entertainment (mass distraction) that Putin/Russia have pull another diplomatic masterstroke chess move on these criminal types infesting the US/Nato policy rooms.

These plutocrats (and those behind then in the "Davos Crowd) want -- but can't quite order -- the Russians to keep their (USA) miserable little scribblings private and confidential etc. The Russians (Lavrov) appear to have played along and turned it around into a chockehold. They said they would "ask permission" first -- presumably before it all gets 'leaked' in any case. We won't even need Assange free to read it within hours on social media, imo.

What at first might look like a Russian softening and compliant step towards 'negotiating' with the USA "Border-land Bandits" is on closer inspection a possible two-for-the-price-of-one geopolitic meal-deal.

We can note that Lavrov made no committment (in that statement) to abiding either way by some such "approval/rejection" from the US side. On the contrary, assuming the "usual suspects" policy exceptionals can come up with something half coherent about an actual "reality-based community" set of defensive Russian red-lines backed with razor sharp, fast and accurate teeth, then (a) if nothing leaks we (the public) can be confident that the USA/Nato folded their hands and things will go Russia's way. The incentive pressure is on the US/Nato to comply with Russian demands and hope for plutocratic secrecy. However, the public will know the color of their white-flag and the game moves to the next step which will be dictated by the happy/unhappy Russians.

If this is not the case then (b) it is a Russian "ef-you" with a Zircon finger salute at a convenient time for Russia (read post 20 Feb, or possibly after the Democrat-sinking US mid-terms are too far advanced for a "war president" narrative).

Any post-Olympic bold move by Mr USA & Mrs Nato will likey cost them Taiwan, and with likely S400's in Iran's back pocket, a blocked energy shipping artery in a Persian Gulf region.

Posted by: imo | Jan 23 2022 10:13 utc | 300

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