Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 28, 2022

Why Washington Will Soon Dump Ukraine's President Zelensky

The U.S. has responded to the security demands Russia had laid out in two draft treaties. It has rejected all major ones and is only willing to negotiate on secondary issues. Russia will response to that within a few weeks.

Meanwhile the U.S. is still claiming that Russia intends to attack the Ukraine any moment now. But the Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky publicly disagrees with that false evaluation. He sees no war coming and wants to avoid one as much as possible. That might mean that he has to be removed before a war can be launched. 

Alastair Crooke sets this into the larger U.S. strategy:

The key to China’s security riposte to the U.S. is linked to two words that go unstated in U.S. formal policy documents, but whose silent presence nevertheless suffuses and colour-washes the text of the 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act.

The term ‘containment’ never appears, neither does the word ‘encirclement’. Yet, as Professor Michael Klare writes, the Act “provides a detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states. The goal is to enable Washington to barricade that country’s military inside its own territory; and potentially to cripple its economy in any future crisis”.

The current attempt to isolate Russia is part of the overall scheme:

The point here is that ‘encirclement’ and ‘containment’ effectively have become Biden’s default foreign policy. The attempt to cement-in this meta-doctrine currently is being enacted out via Russia (as the initial step). The essential buy-in by Europe is the ‘party-piece’ to Russia’s physical containment and encirclement.

The EU is coming under intense pressure from Washington to commit to sanctions – the financial ‘mode’ to encirclement – as EU officials negotiate what would be considered their ‘red line’. Jake Sullivan however, made the new doctrine and what he expects from Europe very clear last November, when he said: “we want the terms of the [international] system to be favourable to American interests and values: It is rather, a favourable disposition in which the U.S. and its allies can shape the international rules of the road on the sorts of issues that are fundamentally going to matter to the people of [America] …”.

The above is by now quite obvious and it makes it a joke that the U.S. is urging China to push Russia to agree with the U.S. Beijing would do that to then become the next target?

I have written that there is no threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Others have come to similar conclusions:

The notion that Russia is massing troops with an intent of attack doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. First, Russia not unreasonably has service members near its borders. Those who want to depict Russia as a a belligerent are throwing in units not stationed close enough to be part of a strike force. Moreover, while it’s hard to get good numbers, any increase has not been huge (on the order of 100,000 soldiers) and took place early in 2021, contrary to claims of aggressive increases in October and November. On top of that, Russia has not put in place the logistical support needed for combat, such as medical teams. By contrast, the first sign the US was serious about invading Iraq was that it started pre-positioning hospital ships nine months before the attack.

The U.S. wants to 'secure' Europe as a proxy force that can be used against Russia and China. The way to do that is by pushing Russia into an invasion of the Ukraine and to then proclaim that it is 'threatening Europe'. In consequence the Nord-Stream 2 pipeline, on which Germany's energy security depends, would never be used to provide gas from Russia. Europe's economy would falter and it would become more dependent on the United States. It would come under full NATO control and could then be pushed to help with the great isolation of China.

But how can the U.S. push Russia to invade the Ukraine? Events in the spring of last year demonstrated how it can be done:

Last March 24, the Ukrainian president decreed that Ukraine would take Crimea back from Russia, with “military measures” to achieve “de-occupation.” The U.S. and NATO voiced “unwavering” support.

In April NATO backed a Ukrainian offensive in its civil war against Russian-allied separatists in the eastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk. That is when Russia moved more troops to its borders with Ukraine, signaling it would defend its allies.

After seeing that Russia would response with force Zelensky backed off his plans.

The idea in Washington is that if the U.S. can instigate Ukraine to attack the Donbas region Russia would have to step in at least with extended suppliesto the Donbas rebels. With the help of the media the talk of a 'Russian invasion' would then become reality. It would trigger 'western' sanctions and Russia would be isolated.

However, the Ukrainian leadership knows what would happen should it attack Donbas and it currently has no interest in fighting for U.S. strategic purposes without any chances to win.

During a press conference in late December Ukraine's President Zelensky rejected plans to retake Donbas by force (machine translation):

Zelensky's direct speech: "The probability of escalation (at the border and in the ORDLO on the part of Russia - ed.)

I think that those political forces that say that we need to go (in the offensive - UE), go to war, it seems, do not imagine and do not think… More precisely, do not think about our army.

We will not go anywhere now. I believe that people come first. We cannot lose our entire army. She is powerful, she will take more than… But… It is impossible today. I think that's wrong today."

The White House however is urging Zelensky to launch a war. That he is pushing against that became obvious when the anti-Russia agitator Julia Ioffe was sent out to trash him:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 8:16 UTC · Jan 27, 2022

White House urges Zelensky to attack south-east rebels but he declined?

Quoted Tweet:

Julia Ioffe @juliaioffe · Jan 25
"The White House and its Democratic allies have just about had it with president Zelensky. According to three sources in the administration and on the Hill, the Ukrainian president is by turns annoying, infuriating, and downright counterproductive." Inside the Biden-Putin Chess Match

From Ioffe's smear piece:

As strongly as the Biden administration has been backing Ukraine, the White House as well as its Democratic allies have just about had it with president Zelensky. According to three sources in the administration and on Capitol Hill whom I’ve spoken to in the last couple months, the Ukrainian president is by turns annoying, infuriating, and downright counterproductive.
There’s a sense that Zelensky isn’t very good at navigating American politics and is stepping on all the wrong feet. Perhaps it’s because he is frantically trying to save his own country; perhaps it’s because the former TV star had no preparation for, or education in, geopolitics. It is also, unfortunately, the plight of a country that is caught between two behemoths fighting over its fate. Supplicating while maintaining your dignity is hard enough; doing so while not pissing off your geopolitical backer is harder still.

The U.S. talk of war in Ukraine is destroying its economy. Zelensky is trying to calm down any talk of war even while the U.S. is pushing it. Here is another sign that Zelensky is not willing to do what the U.S. is demanding from him:

A call between US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday "did not go well," a senior Ukrainian official told CNN, amid disagreements over the "risk levels" of a Russian attack.
Zelensky urged his American counterpart to "calm down the messaging," warning of the economic impact of panic, according to the official. He also said Ukrainian intelligence sees the threat differently.

The Ukrainian leader pointed to a recent breakthrough in negotiations with Russia in Paris, saying that he hoped a ceasefire agreement with rebels in eastern Ukraine would be maintained. He also said the talks between the US, Russia and NATO still had some distance to run before diplomatic efforts had been exhausted, the official said.

As Zelensky is not willing to do Washington's bidding he must be pushed out.

Zelensky is in a weak position. His poll numbers are way down. The U.S. has him by the balls over his offshore accounts and money laundering. His attempt to arrest former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who recently returned to the Ukraine, was stopped by the U.S. embassy. That the U.S. wanted Poroshenko back in the Ukraine in the first place may point to a replacement strategy.

Leonid Ragozin believes that to be the case:

[T]hroughout the year Zelenskiy has been forced to devote significant time and attention to an attempt by the radical part of the security community, close to Poroshenko, to launch an impeachment process through the so-called Wagnergate affair. They claimed that Zelenskiy committed an act of treason through a last-minute cancellation of a madcap plan, hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence, which envisaged the forced landing of a civilian Turkish plane carrying mercenaries from the infamous Russian Wagner group. The affair resulted in an open rebellion by the military intelligence chief, which Zelenskiy had to put down in September.

By the time the US went into red alert mode over “imminent” Russian aggression, Zelenskiy was clearly more preoccupied with domestic politics and the threat of a coup. His messaging became confused as he tried to link his foes, such as oligarch Rinat Akhmetov and ex-president Poroshenko to Russia, while it was clear that if any great power were behind them, then it would be the United States of America.

Akhmetov is one of the top sponsors of the Atlantic Council. The militant street movement, which backs Poroshenko and keeps the threat of a new Maidan alive, is run by Andriy Levus, an activist and former security official directly linked to diaspora organisations created by Nazi collaborators who found refuge in North America under the auspices of the CIA.

The Ukrainians have reasons to suspect that the United States and Britain, with their radical rhetoric unmatched by the real level of threat as well as their enthusiasm about “brave Ukrainians” fighting and dying for the Western cause, are prepared to throw Ukraine under the bus so as to get Russia bogged down in a devastating war. The vision of “a new Chechen war” was evoked by British PM Boris Johnson. Former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas went as far as calling for the US to form a new “coalition of the willing” and engage in a direct conflict with Russia over Ukraine.

Zelenskiy also has good reasons to believe that his allies see him as an impediment.

Then again Zelensky may not be needed:

A false-flag provocation against Russian-friendly rebels in Eastern Ukraine or even convincing US-aligned elements of that country’s military-intelligence communities to attack them without President Zelensky’s approval is all that it could take to trigger a regional war.
Zelensky, meanwhile, is still trying to give off an air of calm and control despite obviously becoming more anxious and increasingly losing control over the situation. The West’s recent reports that Russia is plotting a regime change against him might actually be meant to precondition the public into accepting his removal by one means or another, including through the US simply standing by and letting him either be overthrown by the opposition or even his own military. His sacrifice, up to and including in the most literal way, might be considered necessary to galvanize global opinion against Russia.

To get the war the U.S. wants started some provocation has to be launched in east Ukraine that is significant enough to lead to a wider war. Either that or Zelensky has to be replaced with someone who is willing to sacrifice the Ukraine by outright attacking Donbas.

My best guess is that Zelensky will soon be pushed out by a militant nazis coup and that a willing replacement will be found. He himself warned today that it might happen:

The president said he saw great unrest on the streets of Ukrainian cities. "There is no one person in the state, and calmness is returning on the streets, people are at the President's Office or blocked the parliament. And they do not care if there is COVID-19. They are engaged in daily opportunistic steps, the split of our state," the head of state said.

After a coup the war against Donbas could finally proceed. Russia will then be accused of fighting it and sanctions will be implemented to cut it off from Europe.

But there is still a part of the plan that is unlikely to work out. The U.S. hopes that Russia would response to a war on Donbas the way it threatened to respond last spring. That Russia would attack the Ukraine and could be seen as doing that. That plan however misjudges one of the main actors in the game. 

Russia does not want to play the part the U.S. has written for it in its script. At least not by the rules the U.S. tries to make up:

Andrey Kartapolov, Chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee:

The West is doing everything to force Zelensky to do another stupid thing. It is clear that they have already blamed Russia for everything. And they don't think differently.

But they will not understand one thing - the degree of pain they will experience will be adequate to the degree of stupidity that they are now doing.

They need a war, they need a sacred sacrifice in the form of Ukraine. So that later they could say: look, we stopped Putin.

The Anglo-Saxons understand the war in such a way that it should take place somewhere not with them, others will fight, and then they will come and skim off the cream.

Putin will never act according to their scenario. He will do everything as they do not expect. And I repeat once again - they will be very hurt.

I have no idea what Russian capability Kartapolov is alluding to.

The U.S. has responded to the Russia's ultimatum that had come in mid December in the form of two draft treaties. It has rejected all of Russia's primary demands - no Ukraine in Nato, no nukes nearby etc. The U.S. has offered talks on secondary issues. That however is insufficient for Russia. A response by Russia will come, but not today or tomorrow.

No one knows in what the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to its demands really mean.

However, this unconfirmed report says that Russia will soon deploy nearly all of its navy (vid, English sub):

In a matter of weeks, the berths of the main bases of the Northern, Pacific, Black Sea and Baltic fleets will be almost empty. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, at the end of January and in February, almost all combat-ready ships, submarines, boats and support vessels will simultaneously and obviously according to a single plan be simultaneously withdrawn to combat training grounds in the Mediterranean, North, Okhotsk Seas, in the northeast parts of the Atlantic and the Pacific.
What could be the intention of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces?

That is another good question for which I have no answer.

Posted by b on January 28, 2022 at 17:36 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"according to a single plan be simultaneously withdrawn to combat training grounds in the Mediterranean, North, Okhotsk Seas, in the northeast parts of the Atlantic and the Pacifc"

wow. it may be that the military technical demonstration, or attack, will involve multiple targets, issued from multiple theaters.

aside from ships in the Atlantic and Pacific directed at the US homeland, the 800 US bases abroad are all liabilities.

when I think of the Mediterranean I think of camp bondsteel in Kosovo. if that were a target, there would be a certain poetic justice in it, given that Russia had to watch as NATO balkanized Yugoslavia. would make a fitting bookend to that prior historical moment.

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 18:01 utc | 1

I think Volodymyr Zelenskyy has seen through the US ruse of making Ukraine lose a military war with Russia so the West can stop Nord Stream 2 and kick Russia off SWIFT through sanctions. The question is whether Zelenskyy can do what Kassym-Jomart Tokayev did in Kazakhstan and realign with Russia or not. If not, he is toast.

Posted by: Tiger | Jan 28 2022 18:02 utc | 2

He was not the USA's hand picked candidate to begin with as the USA's hand picked candidate got demolished by Zelensky. The relations with their largest trading partner were destroyed and I am sure everyone must be feeling that economic impact.

Maybe that is the chaos play by the West. More misery means they can get their boy in to create more misery with a very large blood sacrifice added in for good measure.

Posted by: circumspect | Jan 28 2022 18:10 utc | 3

b - wow! your write ups are very thorough.. thank you!

it is amazing to me how the usa and friends think they can keep on pushing and get the intended consequences they want... they are leaving out all the unforseen consequences of their own actions, while reaching for the gold ring... it is quite insane.... so, yeah - replace zelensky with porkoshenko or whoever, but that will do nothing here in the bigger picture.. the usa is like a cornered wild animal at this point with russia doing everything it can to lessen the angst of the cornered animal, while not getting hurt by the cornered animal... tricky situation...

on the previous thread a poster keith left a very good overview that i would like to share again -

Ukraine: Tragedy of a Nation Divided

let me quote hoyeru, as it is about putin.. it is all about that pussy putin, lololol!

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2022 18:11 utc | 4

a Russian attack on, say, US base infrastructure seems uncharacteristically extreme. yet the recent precedent for such a thing is Iran's missile attack on a US base in Iraq. the US left that attack unanswered even tho hawks were angling to war with Iran. that was Iran, while Russia is at another level.
such an operation would follow Iran's method of sending a warning, to let people evacuate first.
would NATO crumble if the US is shown to be a paper tiger?

in any case, as a courtesy the demo would be post Olympics

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 18:15 utc | 5

Thanks for putting this in context of the long plan to stop China's commercial success across Asia & to Europe & Africa. A Washington pathology is that Washington just has to be number one. Unfortunately Canada trots along obediently, our soldiers training Azov members, our special forces figuring out how to terrorize people of Donbass, and a war ship once again provoking in the Black Sea.

Posted by: dave | Jan 28 2022 18:20 utc | 6

I remember V.V.Putin saying recently that Russia would step up tensions in response to the provocations of the west. I get the feeling that Russia, with China, have planned this very comprehensively. I suspect that Moscow is going to ratchet up the pressure in calculated steps, some seemingly insignificant, others blatant until something breaks and I doubt very much it will be Russia.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jan 28 2022 18:20 utc | 7

Russia doesn't do invasion. She does, however, do assistance. Consider her not so recent actions in Syria and her very recent actions in Kazakhstan. What if, admittedly a big what if, Zelensky were to ask Russia for help?
The current Russian naval manoeuvres are interesting. Quite a lot of ships are reportedly heading for Syria. Is it time to finally clean up Idlib?
On the other side of the Eurasian landmass there's Taiwan. Let's not forget Taiwan. Sooner or later Xi will have to lance that boil, but not before his Olympic party.
The gauntlet has been thrown. The tension is exquisite.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jan 28 2022 18:23 utc | 8

Scott Ritter on possible scenarios and on the trap Russia has set up.

He only misses Russia's stand off capacities and lack of interest in actually owning the failed state of Ukraine.

Posted by: Prof | Jan 28 2022 18:24 utc | 9

I think this is right, that Zelensky will be denounced and replaced by Poroshenko if he doesn't do what he's told. It won't end well.

Posted by: Stephen T Johnson | Jan 28 2022 18:28 utc | 10

"Putin will never act according to their scenario. He will do everything as they do not expect. And I repeat once again - they will be very hurt."

I tried to suggest that in the last thread. The Us only sees the result according to its plans. It neglects the fact that another side may not follow the same plans.

I wonder what those six heavily laden Russian ships traveling to Syria contain?

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 28 2022 18:30 utc | 11

The situation's very fluid. As I wrote yesterday, there's zero chance the Outlaw US Empire's newest NDAA will meet its goals as neither Russia nor China can be encircled or contained. Plus, the "world" isn't the EU/NATO nations; they are actually a small minority of the total, real International Community, and they're well aware of the gross illegalities the Anglos have performed over the last 70 years and beyond. Currently, 1/3 of humanity is tied to China via several trade pacts, and the EAEU isn't that much smaller. When it retreated from Afghanistan, the Outlaw US Empire abandoned its one genuine firebase within Eurasia. All the nations listed above are on the periphery and aren't all completely in the Empire's pocket--and none want to engage in war. And it's not even the UK and USA that want to engage in war--their public's certainly don't--which means it's only the tiny cabals within their governments and stink tanks that want to push other people to die for goals that don't even correspond to their national interests. Within the Outlaw US Empire, the 2020 election cycle made it painfully clear the public is beyond extremely tired of the government's Forever Wars, and the same can be said about the UK.

Here's an outside-the-box speculation: Russian special forces save Zelensky from a coup and help him restore order, which motivates him to implement Minsk and negates the war threat.

As for the sorties by Russia's navy and the massive redeployment of troops for unplanned FTXs, the message IMO is plain as day--the tiny cabal that wants war will get it delivered to their doorsteps: The World shouldn't be held hostage in the manner now occurring by what amounts to a small handful of men--they should be considered personna non grata by humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 18:30 utc | 12

Thanks for this thought-provoking post b!

Western media has reached new levels of Orwellianism. They, of course, make no mention of Zelensky's and Ukraine's statements that contest the US-directed narrative of an "imminent invasion".

The West is Oceania (UKUSA, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Indo-Pacific, AUKUS) - run by a shadowy Big Brother security apparatus that controls the Ministry of Truth establishment media.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jan 28 2022 18:34 utc | 13

We are starting to see a wave of US propaganda attacking the German government about its refusal to cooperate with the plan to sanction Russia in the way B describes. I'd like to know more about what you think about whether Germany and France will really be compelled to obey US orders to isolate Russia, if and when the US manages to start some sort of war in the Ukraine. Would it really be impossible for them to publicly say that the war was the fault of the US or the Ukrainians, and therefore they were not going to sanction Russia in the way the US demanded?

Posted by: Fnord13 | Jan 28 2022 18:42 utc | 14

the usa is like a cornered wild animal at this point with russia doing everything it can to lessen the angst of the cornered animal, while not getting hurt by the cornered animal... tricky situation...

well put.

The link you provided doesn't work for me
getting error

Posted by: ld | Jan 28 2022 18:43 utc | 15

If Russia builds a naval or military base in Cuba or Venezuela, that would be a huge task, especially in a place that America has seen as its own back yard ever since the Munroe doctrine was established. The USA would do anything it can to stop that. Such a base would have to be reliably supplied with building material and other equipment and also be protected from attack until it's completed. That's what all those Russian ships could be used for.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 28 2022 18:49 utc | 16

Here’s one move: Russia is invited by Zelensky to help with a domestic Ukraine issue faced by both: the SS Galician Regiment celebrators. Russia launches missiles to destroy Azov and associated military headquarters.
Now that would be a surprise.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 28 2022 18:50 utc | 17

US or UK SF (already in place) dress up as Polite Green Men and assassinate Zelensky. They are caught in the act on camera but disappear without trace as they are sneaky Russians. A Ukrainian Neo-Nazi leader-in-waiting is put in place and hey presto, war.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Jan 28 2022 18:53 utc | 18

@ ld | Jan 28 2022 18:43 utc | 15.. thanks Id... see keiths link @ 19 in the previous thread.. that will work... cheers james

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2022 19:03 utc | 19

Zelensky is stuck between the obligations to the US, which come as part of his position as President, and his obligations to Ukraine business class (ie oligarchs), which also come as part of his position. The latter are threatened where it matters - in their profits. So I think it's even more than just balance of power between oligarchs.

I wouldn't be shocked if Zelensky attempted resign while it's still safe to do so. If the present and future sponsors of the UA Presidency come to a deal, the transfer of power is straightforward -- just call an election and ban all parties except the one who's supposed to win.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 28 2022 19:10 utc | 20

"No one knows what the military technical measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to the demands really means."

The analysis of Michael Kofman has been quite consistent and persuasive on this exact point.

He has asked continually what kind of military operation will give Russia lasting political gains and the actual capacity to enforce implementation.

He answer over the past 6 months (based on his sophisticated understanding of the nature of Russian military deployments around Ukraine and beyond) is that a most likely scenario could involve the use of artillery, precision fires, and air power. Then ground forces would conduct a multi-axis attack from Belarus, Russia, the Donbas and Crimea. A ground operation would entail the occupation of Ukrainian territory for some time to secure lines of communication and critical infrastructure, which would require follow on forces and potentially reserves

He has also argues that another increasingly likely scenario is that Moscow intends to install a pro-Russian government backed by its forces or alternatively a consideration of a partitioning of Ukraine. This would not include a total occupation of the country but might include most of the country without the Western regions.

He adds that this move would be terribly risky and costly but would make Putin the Russian leader who restored much of historical Russia and established a new buffer against NATO.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 28 2022 19:11 utc | 21

Zelensky needs to schedule a face to face meeting with VVP ASAP !!!

Posted by: Peter Milne | Jan 28 2022 19:11 utc | 22

If she is emphasizing on deploying 'Navy', there must be a meaning to it. To me, the strength will be deployed visibly/invisibly nearer to the Anglo-Saxon countries. We may need to look at the volcano eruption/tsunami event near Tonga in a new light. Did anyone do a radioactive test post that event ? If whole thing carries on(Zelensky deposed + sanctions enacted), we may expect more volcanoes in unusual places of the world.

Posted by: KD | Jan 28 2022 19:12 utc | 23

b says: 'Events in the spring of last year demonstrated how it can be done'

Yes, and I have no doubt that the events of last spring, which involved not only Ukraine, but Belarus, Moldova, etc. were in the planning for at least a couple of years. The urgency to launch this plan to contain Russia and encircle China, before it is too late, was a key reason why the Anglo-Atlanticist Deep State was so desperate to get rid of Trump that they would launch a Pandemic and all but destroy the U.S. electoral system to do it.

But, I don't think that Ukraine was the only party that got cold feet last spring. As I have said in previous comments, I think that there is also a faction in the White House, more nationalistic and not aligned with the Atlanticists, that pulled the plug when they saw how Russia would respond.

Mercouris, among others, now seems to be saying that the hysteria to start the war is being led from London. But I think that this time it is not well planned, rather improvised. Probably because Anglo-Atlanticists saw that Russia was about to close off the window on any further adventures of the sort, which is certainly what The Ultimatum is about.

I doubt that there will be a war, because the West is increasingly fractured. Now, in addition to the U.S. nationalist faction in the White House, the Europeans (i.e. France, Germany, Italy, others) also seem to be rebelling against the Anglo-Atlanticists. In the event that they do manage to start something, the improvisation and lack of planning, along with the fact that Russia has seen this coming for a long time, virtually guarantees that the results that will be achieved will be almost exactly the opposite of what is hoped for.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jan 28 2022 19:13 utc | 24

If what the Krasnaya Knopka report says can be confirmed, then the Russian Navy's planned movements should be a concern for the US. One might anticipate more reports of US navy subs hitting more undersea mountains or objects in locations where these features shouldn't exist. One other possibility is that the Russian Navy may have worked out the network of routes US navy ships and subs take to travel from the US to its overseas bases and back (and between bases) and are preparing to cut through these links.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 28 2022 19:18 utc | 25

The problem with Russia helping Zelenski is what to do about the oligarchs and the right sector militias. Zelensky does not control Ukraine, and neither does any other single power structure. Very messy. It would be a sweet outcome, but I don't see how it is possible to execute. Where is Ukraine's Putin? I don't see him anywhere. There was that buzz in the western media about Russian plans for a coup in Ukraine...

Regarding V. Nuland's (of all people!?!) request for Chinese help with Russia - what on earth are they smoking? The request was made public. I just can't fathom what is up with that.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:21 utc | 26

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:21 utc | 26

The key is that it was made public - probably for US and allied consumption. See, we tried!

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 28 2022 19:25 utc | 27

As for the naval exercise, it's prob. literally just that: readiness exercise and demo of military hardware for various audiences. Wild ass guess for location - Syria, which has unfortunately become a semi-permanent live-fire training ground for half a dozen countries. So all the random troops and mercenaries and terrorists from wherever would perhaps also be encouraged to back away from the target areas for a little while.

Posted by: ptb | Jan 28 2022 19:27 utc | 28

I was talking to a young student in China recently, on the spike in alcoholism in Russia after the collapse of the USSR. He rightly compared the "Opium Wars" against China to the "Vodka War" on the public health of Russia under Yeltsin.

How many times has the West invaded Russia, going back to Bonaparte?

where is Ukraine? in relation to Russia, and in relation to the US?

You can look at a map and know without a doubt the US interest in Ukraine is nothing but to plunder it. The dismemberment of Russia has been a longstanding goal of Western colonialism.

As long as Russia and China maintain their national unity, there's nothing any other nation or nations can do to defeat them.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 28 2022 19:29 utc | 29

Suppose they gave [another] war and nobody came, what then?

"Washington’s sofa samurais are playing with fire. The neocons’ latest effort to overthrow President Putin risks backfiring badly by drawing China into the fray and undermining US domination of the continent..."

Washington's ideological straightjacket and shallow talent pool:

Posted by: Paul | Jan 28 2022 19:32 utc | 30

the "drug wars" being waged in Western countries, by far above all in the US, demonstrates their social disunity and degeneracy. What a "drug war" is after all is the government dumping drugs, legal and illegal, on its populace.

whatever problems these countries have, Russia and China, it's not their governments' policy to create a nation of diseased addicted zombies dying in the streets.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jan 28 2022 19:34 utc | 31

@ Prof 9:
Scott Ritter wrote:
„ Normandy Format talks involving Russia, France, the UK and Ukraine over the ongoing crisis in Donbas.“
Right is Germany instead of UK. Who tells hin?

Posted by: Jan | Jan 28 2022 19:37 utc | 32

BD@27 - I don't see that as sufficient reason - who is an important enough audience who gives a flying f*ck?

For those thinking that the US won't now force a move without sufficient support from minions - if they don't move rather soon their jig is up as Russia has called their bluff. Perhaps Russia has chosen this time to force a showdown because of certain information they have that is not widely understood. Seems a rather delicate few months coming up.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:38 utc | 33

The navy is massively out to sea.
press cc for English

Posted by: nardami | Jan 28 2022 19:40 utc | 34

@ 26 - I think Ukraine's Putin is Viktor Medvedchuk. Or perhaps his wife, Oksana. I think they care about their country. Ukraine just needs another Nestor Makhno. Get some 21st century pachankas going, and Ukraine will be cool.

Nestor's biggest mistake was to not ally with Wrangel and then fight it out later.

Interesting article about Nestor Makhno from Spartacus (sounds kinda dodgy, but the article is good.)

Nestor Ivanovich

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 28 2022 19:40 utc | 35

@26 "Regarding V. Nuland's (of all people!?!) request for Chinese help with Russia ..."

She probably told Xi now would be a good time to grab Siberia while Putin is busy with Ukraine. She has lots of constructive ideas.

Posted by: dh | Jan 28 2022 19:42 utc | 36

Regarding V. Nuland's (of all people!?!) request for Chinese help with Russia - what on earth are they smoking? The request was made public. I just can't fathom what is up with that.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:21 utc | 26

US just passed that china containment bill. their thinking is always If they can ratchet up enough pressure and brandish sticks, the other side usually caves in. no negotiations, just escalation and steamroll. it didn't work in the trump era in the trade war with china but it's their go-to modus operandi with everyone. it's how they treat NATO and their other 'allies' too and it usually works. so it's not so crazy. but yeah, tone deaf and total incapacity for putting themselves in the others shoes. it's not just a moral failure but a strategic blindness. total clowns

Posted by: mastameta | Jan 28 2022 19:45 utc | 37

People forget that Russia has marched west repeatedly—1815-1830-1848-1860-1920-1945 (much of the time from the 1850’s to 1918 was spent fighting Turks). Every time they entered Europe they brought reactionaries back to power—Russophiles forget history as easily as any other imperialist. A bunch of cheerleaders for war—sickening. Putin and his plutocrat friends have much to learn from the CCP—It is the long game that prevails

Posted by: Wobblie | Jan 28 2022 19:46 utc | 38

>No one knows in what the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to its demands really mean.

it may not be so:


>NATO knows perfectly well which military-technical measures Russia may take if it turns down Russia’s security guarantees initiatives, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with the Kommersant daily that came out on Monday.

Doesn't make anything clearer to us mortals, but should mean something to NATO. Perhaps something told behind the closed doors.

Posted by: i | Jan 28 2022 19:46 utc | 39

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:38 utc | 33

It isn't what we see, it is what they think.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 28 2022 19:47 utc | 40

As Karlofi @ 12 mentioned, Russia (in addition to putting its entire fleet out to sea, including its subs) is moving large military forces from its Eastern District (by rail and air) to Belarus, to participate in a major military exercise with the Belarussian military Union Resolve-22. This movement of Russian forces and Union Resolve-22 is timed to coincide with the dispersal of the Russia fleet.

Note that Kiev is about 55 miles from the border of Belarus; maybe that is what Biden was freaking out about, with CNN reporting that Biden told Zelensky that an attack on Ukraine was "imminent" and that Kiev could be "sacked".

Dispersing the Russian fleet would be a logical move if a major attack was imminent. It could also be part of an offensive plan, such as in the scenarios described by Gulag @ 21, which would would protect the Russian fleet from a retaliatory strike against their ships still in port.

Or, as a commentator named Mr. Craker pointed out elsewhere on the net, the focus of the massive movement of the Russian fleet might actually be to converge upon Syria. Two of the large groups of Russian ships are making a planned stop in Tartus. 6 large fully-loaded Russian landing ships, which will be passing through the English Channel (each ship can carry 10 tanks and a brigade of marines), may also be heading for Tartus . “The cruiser guards “Varyag”, the large anti-submarine ship “Admiral Tributz”, and the large tanker “Boris Butoma” will soon sail from the Pacific to Syria through the Red Sea and Suez Canal.” (this is described in this video of Shoigu and Gerasimov). Perhaps it is time to remove the Americans from Syria?

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 28 2022 19:50 utc | 41

dh-mtl 24

Prior to the Afghanistan pullout, Biden was the savior of the world according to the media. But prior to Afghanistan his Strategic Posture Review was released which made it clear US interest was in taking down China and the military posture forces facing Russia would be drawn down and re-positioned for China. UK and the US Russia haters will be working together to ensure this does not occur.
Russia has named a number of places its naval forces will be exercising. One of those is a couple hundred kilometres south of Ireland, putting London well within range of zircon salvos.
Paris may also be within range, then there is Madrid which has sent a naval ship to the black sea. But whatever is out of reach for the Zircons is well within reach of Kalibre missiles.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 19:51 utc | 42

BD@40: "It isn't what we see, it is what they think."

and as I said - wtf are they smoking? Are they really that insulated and sequestered in their own thoughts? If so then maybe we are all f*cked...

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 19:52 utc | 43

combat training grounds in the Mediterranean, North, Okhotsk Seas, in the northeast parts of the Atlantic and the Pacific

Wow. I watched the video on the Saker yesterday, but I did not pick this up.

The Russian Navy is holding live-fire exercises off the south west coast of Ireland and in the North Sea.

I think things are about to warm up for Perfidious

Posted by: John Cleary | Jan 28 2022 19:53 utc | 44

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jan 28 2022 19:50 utc | 41

Yes, as I noted in #11, those landing ships are interesting. Glad someone else noticed.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jan 28 2022 19:54 utc | 45

@Prof | Jan 28 2022 18:24 utc | 9

I have thought that Russia was setting the trap too! It is not really about Russian wanting to re-consume the Ukraine - but is is their home turf and they have the advantage.

I would ponder the possibility that Russian is drawing the US into making a move in the Ukraine it cannot recover from - after a series of recent military failures (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria) the US is NOT mission capable and entering the Ukraine would create homeland chaos as the US is divided and NO ONE trusts FJB or the security establishment. They would be biting off more than they can chew and financial sanctions would add even more chaos to a manipulated and fragile western financial system. It would reduce the credibility of the global USD and would precipitate a major fin-crisis, as energy market chaos would take over.

So what would the US do with the Ukraine if it invaded? Add another divided, corrupt country to its' own. Leave a devastated orphan to the EU to sort out. This is madness!

Another reason I see a Russian trap is that they have stated clearly that the US is "not agreement capable" - it has just broken too many international agreements and actively negotiates in "less than good faith".

Can Russian regain any "trust" the US will stick to its word in any new agreement - I would say NO! I also believe that this may be to time to turn the table on US hegemony and exceptionalism.

Mr. Putin (who never publicly threatens anybody/anything) has publicly said that when it is obvious a fight cannot be avoided - it is always better to strike the first blow.

I think US Hegemonic Arrogance will be the thing that starts the collapse of the US house of cards they have built.

Posted by: James Cook | Jan 28 2022 19:58 utc | 46

I don't see this. Sure enough there is a considerable war party on the western side who would love this scenario. I just don't get that Biden would go along with it. Well not willingly. Trying to strangle China is not the same as blowing things up. You don't know where you end up then, it's too much of a gamble.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jan 28 2022 20:01 utc | 47


I heard a bit on BBC news yesterday abut the exercises off the Irish coast. A head of an Irish fisherman's association was interviewed and related how his folks had read about this in the press, had heard nothing from the Irish government, and so made a fuss of their own in the press voicing their concerns. The Russian ambassador to Ireland immediately reached out to them, listened carefully to their concerns, offered reassurances and promised to relay their issues to the Naval authorities in charge of that operation. They were told that the Russian ships would be careful to avoid their fishing grounds and assured that the planned exercises wouldn't have an impact on them or their livelihood. He was VERY appreciative of the Russian response.

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 20:08 utc | 48

Probably best not to over-think it, or over-read words. Except for the oblique but carefully selected and meaningful words of Russian diplomacy.

1. Russia will not be 'spineless' in precisely closing off any provocation that harms dual citizens, whether by USA via its puppet, or by UKR extreme 'white power' thugs.

2. Several years ago Russia via Pres. Putin clearly warned Ukraine that not resolving its issues with it's Eastern region may result in loss of part of UKR territory.

3. This means Russia would no longer stand in the way of those territories declaring themselves Republics (which was the 2 republics stated intention at the time of the US instigated coup against the UKR Govt).

4. Belarus is going thru the agonising creation of a 'Union State', harmonizing laws with RU to promote trade. It includes a Russia/Belarus bilateral defense agreement component - defensive, not at anyone else's expense.

5. Any new republics would necessarily - for their own defense - join RU and Belarus in a Union of States, united in defense, arrangement, as per the OSCE.

6. Russia, Germany & France & Ukraine are putting forth their many different 'interpretations' of the meaning and sequence of implementation of the Minsk agreement. The West has a very peculiar and distorted understanding of what words mean - like the red queen - not because the words are from Alice in Wonderland, but because they do not want to understand plain english. If they read it in its ordinary meaning, they would see that Ukraine has to implement the Agreement by first discussing with it's breakaway Eastern rebels, which Ukraine does not want to do.

Too bad, it's all that is left.

7. Even so, this is an agreement endorsed by a Security Council Resolution (And President Putin, a lawyer by training, largely drafted it, so he knows authoritatively what the words mean, and what the spirit of the words are.)It must be implemented.

8. USA is painted into a corner. Russia will not 'invade' Ukraine, or any nonsense like that, and US knows it. Yes, they may attempt the usual chemical weapons bullshit, but those scenarios are fully exposed. This is the internet era, eyes and cellphones everywhere.

9. Whether or not Ukraine changes government, by barrel of the gun, or elections, is immaterial to the power potential of Russia; and US and Ukraine know it.

10. Swift can't be cancelled for Russia, regardless of Russia's nascent bank message system being in place. Russia can and will offer gas for sale, but if US interferes in Swift, the customer simply cannot pay, at least in fiat dollars. Russia will stand ready for delivery on payment. Let Germany ship gold.

11. No one should doubt Russia has defensive capacity bilaterally with Venezuela.

12. No one should doubt that if US will not sign a defense bilat that fully reflects the OSCE requirement that security can never be at the expense of anyone else, then Russia will will place unstoppable missiles at exactly the same flight time to Washington as US places its missiles flight time to Moscow.

13. No one should doubt that any proxy attack on Russia, by any degree of 'plausibly deniable' separation will be responded to in line with the doctrine of killing the attacker, and killing those (non-diplomats) who ordered the attack.

14. No one should doubt that imposition of 'maximum pressure' sanctions on Russia will result in the end of diplomatic relations between Russia and the USA.

And that is dangerous for both USA and the world.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 28 2022 20:19 utc | 49

* in 8. 'they' refers to the USA, UK, and it's proxies, not Russia

Posted by: powerandpeople | Jan 28 2022 20:21 utc | 50

I agree with the commenters that posit Syria and its illegal occupation by empire is an obvious choice for escalation.

Give Syria the means to protect itself from Occupied Palestine and the backing to oust empire from its oil fields. This will make the house of cards crumble, IMO

Humanity is in a civilization war and most of us get to watch while others suffer the inhumanity of the killing/control efforts

It is nice to watch the shit show the West is living being called into question....thanks!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 28 2022 20:24 utc | 51

After reading b's analysis, I had the same thought as a couple of other commentators...what if Zelinsky turns to Russia for help? I don't think that he is either a fanatic or stupid, so to me he has three options at the moment:
1. Launch the attack that US/UK really want and have his troops and possibly his country destroyed by Russia;
2. Refuse to launch the attack and be arrested or assassinated, and then whoever is picked to launch it will force thousands of Ukrainians to die; or
3. Sign a CSTO type agreement with Russia and have Russian/Belarusian help to have the Nazis removed from power and NATO troops chased out of the country.

Posted by: Victor | Jan 28 2022 20:32 utc | 52

Washington will if it wans to ignite a conflict use proxy soldiers to attack the Eastern region that were once Ukrainian, and in the process force Putin to supply those regions with whatever they needed in equipment. Fake pictures will emerge claiming that Russian troops are in fighting Ukrainian soldiers and the Western media will be all over them, this will allow severe sanctions to be placed on Russia and allow Washington to pressurise Germany into rejecting Russian gas.

Further more Blinken will expect European countries to fall into line with the severe sanctions against Russia on the strength of the fake pictures, Nordstream II will be shunned due to Russian aggression, and Russia's economy will be further damaged.

I however, without much hope of it happening, hope that European nations wake up and realise that they are being used by the US, and if by chance major hostilities do break out between Russia and Ukraine, that the fighting could spill over into central Europe, whilst back in America where the plans were hatched no one need worry that they might face attack, or have their lives disrupted by the conflict raging in Europe.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 28 2022 20:36 utc | 53

@powerandpeople | Jan 28 2022 20:19 utc | 49

10. Swift can't be cancelled for Russia, regardless of Russia's nascent bank message system being in place. Russia can and will offer gas for sale, but if US interferes in Swift, the customer simply cannot pay, at least in fiat dollars. Russia will stand ready for delivery on payment. Let Germany ship gold.

Germany can pay with Euros. Blocking Russias ability to trade in USD only hastens the demise of the USD.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 28 2022 20:38 utc | 54

Re my (53) comment, I cite the downing of MH17, as a type of precedence that European countries can be duped (or maybe some want to believe) that Russia will attack Ukraine because its led by an evil belligerent tyrant, European countries quickly fell into line with that one.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Jan 28 2022 20:41 utc | 55

We know that the US needs a war in Ukraine and is prepared to sacrifice the Ukraine to achieve the greater objective of isolating Russia and building an Iron Curtain 2.0 between Russia and Europe (the real objective of this war (IMO).

However, it seems that the Ukrainians with half a brain realises that they will be destroyed by such a war and must realise that the US is prepared to sacrifice the country , especially after the US stated that they had no intention of sending “boots on the ground” when said war kicks off leading to what Ze rightly pointed out correctly We cannot lose our entire army. So they realise a catastrophic defeat awaits them should they attack the East.

So what is the probability that the Ukrainian Army itself launches a coup. to stop the “crazies in the basement” launching a war that will destroy Ukraine and lead to the annihilation of the Army?

Posted by: Down South | Jan 28 2022 20:41 utc | 56

‘No one knows in what the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to its demands really mean.’

Cuba and Venezuela?
I agree with @16

Posted by: Zwft | Jan 28 2022 20:44 utc | 57

Alastair Crooke: ‘containment’ . . .‘encirclement . .detailed blueprint for surrounding China with a potentially suffocating network of U.S. bases, military forces, and increasingly militarized partner states

That's baloney. There is no such thing, and no potential of it. The US shift (or rebalance) to the Indo-Pacific announced ten years ago has not resulted in any new bases, suffocating or otherwise. There has been no change in Navy ship stationing. The US frequently announced strategy is for a free and open Indo-Pacific, not containment. The Marines will be relocating out of Okinawa to bases more eastward. No new Army bases.

The US has had no luck in recruiting Asian countries to its cause in addition to the US-occupied South Korea and Japan. The Quad including Australia and India has been a big bust, with China not even mentioned.

In fact one could say that China is surrounding the US, with commercial (and possible military) interests over much of the planet, including the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Europe has not been left out, with over fifty freight trains a month from China.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28 2022 20:48 utc | 58

Don Bacon

I don't know about other places in the Asia pacific but over the last ten years the US has moved into northern Australia in a big way. Philippines - US has moved back there as well to what extent who knows. What the US has been looking for is missile bases, to ring China with medium range nuke missiles. Trump pulled out of the intermediate range missile treaty and immediately began production of them. Australia is in on that. Now with the AUKUS treaty US and UK nuke subs will no doubt be based here. US is building up around China even though UK is not letting it turn away from Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 20:58 utc | 59

No one knows in what the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy if the U.S. does not agree to its demands really mean.

Russia has already put into service all the weapons they need to defend themselves from NATO.

If I was Putin I would arm Iran to the teeth with sufficient advanced weaponry to threaten US dominance of the Middle East which in turn would threaten the very foundation of US economic strength, the petrodollar.

Now that would be an unexpected Judo move that would unbalance the US.

Imagine Iran with SU-35’s, S300/400 , hypersonic missiles etc. ?

The Neo-Cons would be apoplectic!

Posted by: Down South | Jan 28 2022 20:59 utc | 60

dh-mtl @ 24 -
I agree with you that there is an important faction in DC that wants to avoid this debacle-in-the-making. You call them the "nationalists", which works well enough, but I style them as the Merchants. This group includes retail, transportation, agriculture, domestic fuel and mineral extraction, and, of course, the banking/investment concerns that service/control this sector of the US oligopoly. They actually outnumber and out-own the MIC, but they have thought up until lately that US wars and proxy-wars would help them to obtain resources for cheap, plus increased market access. Turns out that blowing things and people up - and that is all that the MIC has accomplished - does not necessarily create the security needed to protect resource theft, nor does it make willing trading partners of the victims.

I take the Afghanistan withdrawal as one of the few victories for the trader faction thus far in the 21st century. They got some encouragement by Trump's somewhat unfocused mercantilism, which materialized in the original total withdrawal agreement set for May 2021. When it appeared that the MIC would be able to prolong the process, they somehow got Biden to perform. (The MIC was bought off by: 1) the 2022 'defense' budget, and 2) by the prospect that the political elite would work out retirement for Biden in favor of someone more adventurous.

I don't know what role the nationalists/merchants can play now, but I agree that they're working to derail the type of military adventure that the usual suspects in Congress and the MSM would like. Definitely getting some help in that effort from various quarters of Europe.

Posted by: PAUL SPENCER | Jan 28 2022 21:04 utc | 61

@ Steven Starr #41
Those six large Russian landing ships are now in the Mediterranean, so you could be right about Russia removing the Americans from Syria.

Now that the USA has rejected Russia's demands, Russia has to do something big, or else it would look weak by making vague empty threats. Could be in Cuba and Venezuela, but Syria is another place where it is friendly with the government and the effective battle-hardened army there. Russia could achieve quite a lot there if it no longer feels obliged to play nice with the American occupiers.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 28 2022 21:05 utc | 62

Posted by: the pessimist | Jan 28 2022 20:08 utc | 48

Thanks for that, the pessimist! Bravo, Russian Ambassador!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2022 21:10 utc | 63

Sanctions against Russia will impact world commodity and mineral resources and would amount to an own goal. Green energy and EV's depend on these minerals. Another unintended outcome is more inflation, higher food, fuel and fertilizer prices. The hubris of Washington's atavistic and tribal neocons will hasten their own destruction.

"Russia's share of global nickel exports is estimated to be about 49 per cent, palladium 42 per cent, aluminum 26 per cent, platinum 13 per cent, steel 7 per cent and copper 4 per cent..."

"Russia supplies about 30 percent of Europe's oil and 35 percent of its natural gas, which would be cut off in the event of conflict.

Rabobank's energy analysts believe that could push oil prices up from already-elevated levels of about $US90 a barrel to $US125, with gas prices following higher."


Russian Cobalt:

World Cobalt:

Platinum Group Minerals, PGM or PGE's:

Posted by: Paul | Jan 28 2022 21:30 utc | 65

Those who want this war, don't want to fight it or send their soldiers.
Those who will have to fight it don't want it.
Those who's economies will be seriously damaged, are urged to cry out for it.
Those who will not benefit from this war are urged to pay for it.
Those who watch a country sacrifice itself, are recommended to do it alike.

How screwed is this? They want to push a whole continent, that they declare as their strawman battlefield, to start a war in favor of their hegemony?

How successful must they have been in manipulating the world to believe that all nations are just puppets on their strings?

It won't work, their success has blinded them.

Posted by: Jan | Jan 28 2022 21:32 utc | 66

this situation gets more and more interestting and precarious by the day. thanks, b. I have wondered why Poro-chocolate had returned and risked his arrest, and who prevented it. that's one part of the puzzle that makes some sense now....

One of Russia's military-technical systems soon to be used? from an article Nov 7, 2020. Any opinions on this and the Russian EW capacity and capability? does the US or NATO have a response or similar capability, I would assume Russia has these regions and equipment heavily defended...
Russia Puts Whole Of Europe & Parts Of The US In A ‘Hit Zone’ With New Electronic Warfare System (EWS)

"....The Murmansk-BN is a long-range communications jamming system specially designed to take out NATO and United States (US) high-frequency military satellite communications. This system was developed as part of a Russian strategic electronic warfare system and operates as a network-centric capability. The primary target of the Murmansk-BN is the West’s High-Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS).

Other systems part of Russia’s radio-electronic warfare are Krasukha and Divnomorye systems which are reportedly able to jam satellite communications, GPS signals, and drone communication. When subjected to the jamming, the enemy finds himself blind, deaf and without speech, Russian military representatives have said in the past."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jan 28 2022 21:34 utc | 67

@ Peter 59
Big way? There is a Marine Corps "rotational force" in Darwin in the winter (I guess summer would be uncomfortable.) Darwin is nowhere near China, it is 3,000 miles from Darwin to Shanghai. There has been a US military presence in Philippines for a hundred years but no more. Nothing else but dreams and wishes and no significant "building up around China." No containment, no encirclement.
Hey, on a personal note I've actually been to Darwin. Not overly impressed. It was the end of a van tour from Adelaide. There was a lot of 'outback.' Mostly I remember the termite mounds.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28 2022 21:36 utc | 68

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2022 18:11 utc | 4
Link is dead "404 Error - Page Not Found"

Posted by: kral | Jan 28 2022 21:37 utc | 69

Great article, really a class of its own in this particular field!
I only had a very dim and vague feeling that Zelensky might be up against something coming from the Anglo-Americans. Now that I've read B make this case I'm convinced that's exactly the key to understand what's really going on and what to expect.

"Zelensky needs to schedule a face to face meeting with VVP ASAP" (Peter Milne | 22)

Agree, the Russian government should make an offer to Zelensky and those loyal to him. Substantial help, but with low-key communication to the public. Basic help for survival, nothing political. Ukraine doesn't need weapons, but really everything else - cash, energy, food, medications. And maybe vital intelligence bits for Zelensky to keep things under control. For free, no questions asked.

"a Russian attack on, say, US base infrastructure seems uncharacteristically extreme" (mastameta | 5)

Again, agree. There is so much else the Russian government could do, instead of a military confrontation or as a lead-up to a real military confrontation. They should be spurting out announcements on measures taken against the Anglo-Americans by now, otherwise they're not going to prevail in this. Little needle pricks, that are both unmistakably insulting and economically damaging.

Just 2 hypothetical examples.

The US Navy is constructing 10 brand-new supercarriers to replace their current 10 ones. Those will of course use nuclear propulsion. And believe it or not, where will the US get a huge chunk of all those tons of enriched uranium from? It’s ridiculous, from Mother Russia! This has to stop.

Then there’s air space. I realized during the Ryanair incident that nobody uses Ukrainian airspace anymore. I can only guess that it has been like this for quite some time before the incident. Airlines from near and far are avoiding Ukraine like the plague (except for Ryanair, interestingly). Now since the Ryanair incident many European carriers fly around Belarus too. That leaves only very limited options for a number of very important flight corridors between Europe and Asia. Suddenly, there’s already a huge gap on the map that they can’t fly over like they naturally would. Russia is the biggest country on earth, so it should surprise no one that all the remaining paths for air traffic between any European country and any East Asian country cross Russia’s vast territory. Russia should relentlessly use that advantage. Simply block any British airline from using Russian airspace. Give some phony pretext if necessary, why the Brits can’t do that anymore while everyone else is still allowed to. To get from Britain to China, Korea or Japan, the Brits would have to make huge and costly detours. In the same vein, Russia could also send a message by blocking its airspace not according to nationality of carrier, but according to the type of aircraft used. Block all Boeing flights, while Airbus flights will still be allowed. That should be fun.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 28 2022 21:40 utc | 70

mastameta@5 and psychohistorian@51
Combining the logic of your comments appears to be a viable way forward for Russia.
The Russians are now sending a fairly substantial naval contingent to supplement that which is already parked in Tartus. They already posses a large variety of offensive and defensive assets in Syria and are now aerial patrolling the Southwestern border area from which the Israelis are constantly assaulting Syria. No Israeli attacks have been registered for a few weeks thus far.
The US is by all international accounts squatting illegally on Syrian land and boasting of stealing resources. An action by Russia in Syria against the US criminals in AlTanf, analogous to that which Iran did in Iraq would affect none except the US, UK and Israel. Europe collectively would have no reason to complain or sanction Russia. Who would speak out in defense of criminal actions being forced to cease, desist and evacuate. I believe a warning offering a very brief window of evacuation would be sufficient to convince the Americans to pack up pronto and get the hell out of Dodge asap.
Who except the Criminal Empire and their accomplices would be justified in loudly protesting or taking any action whatsoever? Who at the UN would have a leg to stand on in support of the Criminals?
It would accomplish several things:
i) Throwing the Empire off kilter vis a vis their actions in Eastern Europe by deflecting attention to the Middle East.
ii) Emboldening those nations in the ME seeking rapproachment with Syria to continue thier efforts more intensively.
iii) Give the Kurd opportunists in Syria reason to reconsider their gambit and make a deal with the Syrian government.
iv) Diminish the clandestine support for ISIS in central Syria.
v) Embarrass and expose the Empire for both a shameful retreat fom Syria and a legacy of piracy thus diminishing their 'exceptional' status globally.
vi) Give Israel an example of what may await them in the Golan if they continue as they have been.
vii) Give the Iraqis an example of what needs to be done in their own situation regarding their unwelcome guests
viii) Completely re-balance the strategic balance of power in the ME - take note KSA and Turkey!
ix) Display Russian resolve when confronting the US directly thus sending a clear message of the potential for worse things to come.
x) etc...
I think we get the picture.

Posted by: Spinworthy | Jan 28 2022 21:59 utc | 71

@ kral | Jan 28 2022 21:37 utc | 69

see my message at 19.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2022 22:01 utc | 72

Yes to NS2, no to kicking Russia off Swift.
Too much collateral damage, even in the US.

Posted by: nwwoods | Jan 28 2022 22:04 utc | 73

3 hours ago Reuters reported that Russian's military build-up near Ukraine borders to include supplies of blood along with other medical materials that would allow it to treat casualties.

If this is true then we are starting to see another key indicator of Russian preparation for large scale military operations, casualties etc.

Also of note are reports of the 76 Air Assault Divisions T-72B3 tank battalion on the move. Prior to this we only had indications of only the 98th deploying in Belarus.

Posted by: Gulag | Jan 28 2022 22:06 utc | 74

The US will not directly participate in hot war with Russian forces. Even the Pentagon knows the US military would lose a war to 20,000 shepherds in Toyota pickups armed with 1970s kalashnikovs and some firecrackers

Posted by: nwwoods | Jan 28 2022 22:08 utc | 75

today, 28.01.2022, 19:00:
"Zelensky said he does not want to criticize the president, but he said Biden is not a ukrainian father, brother or uncle."

Posted by: Jan | Jan 28 2022 22:11 utc | 76

When Russia tells Zelensky that the US is plotting a coup against him, and will kill him, and provides the evidence, then this will change the dynamic. In fact, this may already have happened.

Posted by: cdvision | Jan 28 2022 22:12 utc | 77

No Peter is right. Too many on this site and particularly Saker are just so NATO focused that they ignore the China issue.

It has quietened a little, but the rhetoric for war with China was huge for the last year or so.

The change in US/Australian military relations started in 2010, with the decision by Julia Gillard to allow US forces to be stationed in Darwin. Previously we had hosted joint short term exercises and of course the controversial communications bases, but no permanent military. This has now made Darwin- and I guess the whole of the Torres Strait strategic targets in times of war. I guess the gas fields which we share (stole from) East Timor add to the strategic significance.

The Quad which is blatantly a China containment alliance also got going around 2010 and was a Hillary Clinton initiative. It is not surprising that the Biden administration has re-energised it.

Posted by: watcher | Jan 28 2022 22:12 utc | 78

@72 9 times out of 10 it's the extra backslash at the end of the URL. Easily fixed.

Posted by: dh | Jan 28 2022 22:15 utc | 79

Don Bacon

The word rotation is us to get around the negative public perception of permanent deployment. As one tour marches out, another marches in. Very little publicity on this but there's little snippets in the news from time to time. Very few are aware of the number and size of US bases in the top end. I talked to a bloke one time whose mate got a contract to put up security fencing around some of these bases. My brother had graded roads all through the territory and top end of Queensland so I asked him and he said their their. Locals will know about them butthey are not advertised to the wider public.

On the Philippines, I was thinking about this. For a period prior to 2014 US had very little presence in the philippines if any and no naval facilities.
" In 2014, in the wake of a new round of aggressive Chinese action in the South China Sea, during which it began building Mischief Reef and other Spratly Island features into fortified artificial islands, the VFA was supplemented by an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which permitted the U.S. to rotate conventional forces through Philippine military bases. At around the same time, navy ships started berthing again at Subic Bay."

I see the article has the title "An acceptable presence" That is what the rotation bullshit is about - perception management.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 22:26 utc | 80

Peter Lee has noticed that American nuclear strategy in the Asia-Pacific region appears to embrace a first-strike option if USA’s self-defined vital interests are threatened. This posture is also now articulated in a Congressional bill regarding Ukraine currently being sponsored by Republicans:

8  (13) continue the current United States nuclear
9  declaratory policy of ‘‘calculated ambiguity’’ and re-
10  ject changes to United States nuclear declaratory
11  policy of ‘‘calculated ambiguity’’ and reject changes
12  to United States nuclear declaratory policy that
13  would invite further Russian aggression and under-
14  mine NATO unity, and tempt nuclear proliferation,
15  such as ‘‘Sole Purpose,’’ ‘‘Fundamental Purpose,’’
16  or ‘‘No First Use’’. (p5)

The Act also demands the immediate canceling of Nordstream 2 and the potential official designation of the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of “terrorism”. Also calls for expansion of “intermediate-range missile launchers and systems to NATO allies.” Not a direct declaration of war but…

Posted by: jayc | Jan 28 2022 22:27 utc | 81

@ 79 dh... thanks.. you're correct! remove the backslash at the end and it works...

Posted by: james | Jan 28 2022 22:32 utc | 82

Obviously, this Caucaus-Slavic Khazar-Ashkenazi Jewish Tribal Inspired Scheme will Backfire like their Attempted Coup of 2014.

"Fπ¢% the EU" was UKRanian Tribal Nudelman-Khagan's Quote. Europe and UKR will be "Scortched-Earthed" according to their Plan.

Kiev+NATO tried their Invasion-Prep Exercises, which were countered by a Massively Superior Force by RUS, which left a good bulk of the Heavy Metal Gear in Position. Kiev+NATO Turned Tail.

The Tribals think they can drag the Donbass into an AFG situation; but RUS will make short order of Assailants, Kiev, and All Others Militarily Involved.

Zelensky the Clown may be replaced by Yatz/Poroshenko/Expendable-Maidan; but results are the same.

The Tribals don't want Minsk to be Enacted. RUS+CSTO+SCO+SilkRoad can acknowledge DNR+LNR and have them join in.

DEU+DNK are better off to #Replace-NATO-with-NordStream-and-SilkRoad.

Posted by: IronForge | Jan 28 2022 22:38 utc | 83

james 82

I just read some of that paper in your link. It had much the same as the conclusions I cme to in looking into the history of that area. One thing I was thinking about and I am not sure if that paper goes into, but what would the country have been like after independence if US/UK did not immediately move in to pull it away from Russian sphere of influence? I suspect their would have been very little of the west vs ethnic Russian east crap which really only kicked into full gear in 2014.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 22:45 utc | 84

When it comes to identifying the site from which much mischief and murderous jihadis are infiltrated in the world then one should consider Turkey and its preposterous sultan.

Erdogan and Co. clearly amount to the single most important base of mayhem to Russia and China after the Ukraine. Example: Kazakhstan. Azerbaijan. Etc.

I think clearing out the Syrian invaders and pushing the Kurds back to their homelands pre Iraq war and securing the Turkish borders will be a good cleansing move. Snuffing out a large part of middle east perverted meddling will be a blessing on the world plus the sight of UKUSA being expelled will be priceless.

Then aiding Iraq to assert its territorial integrity and thus enable the Iran to Mediterranean link will implement One Belt One Road prosperity.

Meanwhile sailing a few missile carrying corvettes down the coast of USA would be a spectacle.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2022 22:48 utc | 85

@Gulag | Jan 28 2022 22:06 utc | 74

I think you got a bit too excited with your moniker.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 28 2022 22:48 utc | 86

from G. Doctorow--Germany--
. . .an Open Letter signed by 40 top former diplomats, military officers and political scientists condemning U.S. belligerence and drumbeats of war. extract:

The authors of the Open Letter blame the United States for taking the initiative to exert pressure on the Russian Federation, and the United States for imposing its will on its allies. The text emphasizes that the Western policy of confrontation with Russia does not correspond to the German and European interests; rather it panders to the U.S. desire to keep Western Europe under its control: “The demand that Germany strengthen its pressure on Russia still further subordinates German foreign policy to American policy. The so-called conflict between the West/Europe and Russia was always a conflict between the USA and Russia.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28 2022 22:53 utc | 87

Gulag | Jan 28 2022 22:06 utc | 74
Steven Starr | Jan 28 2022 19:50 utc | 41
and others

Note also the buildup of S-300 and other air defenses around Rostov-on-Don. In the event of any trouble, The Donbas area and probably beyond will become a strict "no-fly" Zone.

Syria. Perhaps we should have noted that the Russian and Syrian airforce made a joint "round-trip" along the actual lines of contact a week or two ago. If there is a US "evacuation" effort then it will be joined with the Syrian forces already in place. (I don't know where Turkey would stand if Idlib became a target?)

Venezuela-Cuba-Nicaragua. No missile "base" is necessary. All that would be required are port facilities for stopovers of Submarines and missile carrying warships. Which would be better, as fixed bases are easier targets than moving ones.

Even if only a small military action happens in Ukraine, it is obvious that the Russians will have to anticipate that it could go badly wrong. Which might go in part to explain the total Naval deployment. But I reckon it is just "showing the flag" in ALL corners of the world. As the US relies on command of the sea (not land) then these exercises could be just a rude gesture in the right direction.

Although the "aims" mentioned in the dispatches from the front, all talk about the short-term, Putin is playing a much deeper and longer game.He is in the process of giving "opportunities" to the adversary to lead them deeper into the trap or direction he wants them to take. He commands the game, and the others follow without any basic idea of strategy. (thanks for whoever used the quotes from the chess masters for this image).

But for him to "win" he must deviate US "Plans", by driving a wedge between the US and Europe, but also between the EU and NATO. The opposite is also true, the US wants a break in relations between the EU and Russia. Commercial ties (the BRI) have given a head start for the cooler heads and more practical side of the west, who can see advantages in having good relations in the present, rather than the Zionist/UK/US ambition for spoilation. Which will it be; Oligarchs and thieves, or sense and sensibility? Pretty much the same problem normal citizens are having with endemic corruption (including big Pharma et al).

Posted by: Stonebird | Jan 28 2022 22:58 utc | 88

@ watcher 78
In my 58 I offered details on why and how US containment and encirclement of China doesn't exist. Your comment doesn't change that one iota.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 28 2022 22:58 utc | 89

I think Zelensky should be heading to Russia or somewhere safe. US will be implementing the new sanctions no matter what occurs. Ukraine president getting topped by nasty Russians would be good enough to force the sanctions onto Europe.

uncle tungsten 85 Erdo is a nuisance but there are limits to his ambitions. I think Putin knows this. I think Erdogan is limited to trying to carve out a Turkic sphere of influence in the coming unipolar world rather than an ottoman empire. His interest in Ukraine is the small Tatar population which are Turkic and have been there a long time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 23:01 utc | 90

… the 'military technical' measures that Russia had promised to deploy.

Useless to start a ground war in the Ukraine, for what goal? The trap Biden and NATO has set.

Military technical measures is what the Soviets did best during the Cold War … sabotage in the digital age, cyberwarfare, attack GPS systems, communication satellites, Internet cables. Massive asymmetric warfare from covert to open attacks on gas and oil transport systems, nuclear reactors, distribution network electricity. Intrusion made easy in the age of Internet of Things.

Russia has secured the alliance of Belarus and Kazakhstan. All of Central Asia is out of bounds for the US after the loss of Afghanistan. The Asean states must unite to fight any and all terror, also of extreme Islamist groups such as the Uyghurs and Islamic State.

The US and NATO allies are still following the same playbook initiated during George Bush era of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Richard Perle.

  • Ivo Daalder - Making Russia a Pariah State - from 2004 forward
  • Democracies of the World, Unite | The American Interest by Richard Perle - Jan. 2007 |
  • Is a League of Democracies a Good Idea? | Carnegie Endowment - May 2008 |

Key words | Unipolar power replacing the UN | Global NATO | New World Order | Delusion |

Deputy Secretary Wendy R. Sherman Remarks at Yalta European Strategy (YES) Event

We are honored to welcome Wendy R. Sherman, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, and the brilliant diplomat who led the most recent talks with the Russian Federation. Madam Deputy Secretary, welcome, and welcome also in the name of my fellow board members Victor Pinchuk, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Carl Bildt, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Stephane Fouks.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 28 2022 23:08 utc | 91

@Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 23:01 utc | 90

I think Zelensky should be heading to Russia or somewhere safe.

Zelensky may be busy eating his own tie now, considering his options.

If the Russians managed to get an agreement with Zelensky, it would be the kind of incredible surprise that few considered until now, and possible a peaceful but total knock out to US/NATO. It would make a lot of sense from a Russian point of view I think, and also for sensible Ukrainans.

I would not bet on it happening though. But if Zelensky thought he was he was being dumped by the US soon, the odds would obviously be increasing.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 28 2022 23:12 utc | 92

Quite the list of comments since I took a break. Russian transcript of Lavrov interview is now available in full, but I've yet to read it and only know what the news report I provided said.

Raisi just visited Moscow, so ejecting the Outlaw US Empire's illegal occupation forces in Syria seems logical and likely. IMO, the forces headed to Belarus are designed to make Poland shake, not Ukraine. There's also the so far unmentioned need to send Erdogan a message that his tricks won't be tolerated any longer, and clearing Idlib and all of Syria of illegally present foreign forces is long overdue.

As for Crooke, IMO he's commenting on what the NDAA proposes to do, not what he thinks is happening. And IMO, what we're now witnessing is the beginning of the military technical aspect Russia said would occur if a non-response response occurred: You (NATO) think that was a large troop build-up nearby Ukraine? Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet! As noted elsewhere, this is the largest mobilization by Russia/USSR since the 1970s.

Somewhat related, I linked to this article a few days ago but most barflies seem to have missed it, "US, China, Russia race for laser weapon cutting edge": "Airborne lasers aim to give jet fighters a dogfighting edge and potential defense against hypersonic weapons." I hoped Peter AU1 would see it and post it at Martyanov's blog as I don't use Disqus to see if it provoked a reaction from him.

Now to chew on the transcript.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 23:13 utc | 93

Don, the us military buildup is behind schedule but occurring. For the last seven years or so we have had a rabbidly anti china government that worship the US and UK and don't give a shit about our trade with China. India in about the same period has had a rabidly anti China government come to power that has signed a strategic military agreement with the US. They are nuclear armed and from what I've seen some are crazy enough to use them against China. Japan also started rearming about the time the rabidly anti China governments come to power in Australia and India.
Japan now seems to have a suitably anti China government US will be happy with.
Indonesia, I think Malaysia and a few others will stay determinedly neutral. Thailand seems neutral but has US bases. Philippines may well depend on elections as to which way it goes and US information warfare will be heavily involved in that
Actual US military buildup and repositioning may be behind schedule but the full scope of the containment certainly exists and is very real for China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 23:22 utc | 94

China's ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, today said that tensions over Taiwan are on the verge of "war."

This is likely a result of Ukraine tensions. In the same way, Russia's new demands on Israel regarding Syrian air strikes are likely a result of Ukraine tensions.

Putin said there would be "means" used, but did not say those means would be limited to Ukraine, much less limited to the easternmost slice of Ukraine.

This is escalation. We normally expect the other side's escalation will seek out our weaknesses, not run straight into our own strengths. Today, the over-extended US in its arrogant aggression has created a host of its own weaknesses. We should expect to see them threatened, exactly because we are over extending yet again in Ukraine.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jan 28 2022 23:24 utc | 95

If the Ukranazi coup regime is getting cold feet and is backing off from war, it will still be *extremely easy* for all the CIA saboteurs and NATO "advisors" to arrange false flag attacks on Donbass/Russian troops inside Russia/Ukrainian civilians to provoke a war. Washington is desperate for a war, even if the Ukranazi coup regime isn't.

Basically Ukranazistan is going to get a war whether it likes it or not.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jan 28 2022 23:24 utc | 96

@92 Norwegian - Ha! Finny stuff. @ 2:15 in is the tie footage. I guess there aren't many Thai restaurants in Tiblisi.

Tie food

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 28 2022 23:28 utc | 97

IMO, the first question is the most important, so I include it and its complete answer:

"Question: Will there be a war? We sent them our suggestions, waited for their response, we waited for their response. Their answer did not suit us, which was what we needed to prove. Before that, we said and made it clear through the mouths of various people that if their answer does not suit us, then we reserve the right to respond and protect our interests in the most stringent ways. Can you explain what you mean, what we're going to do? Aren't we going to ban McDonald's after all? If I may quote my followers, they pose this question in this way: 'When will we hit Washington?', 'Will there be a war?', 'How much snot will we chew?', 'Will there be a war?'

"Sergey Lavrov: If it depends on the Russian Federation, there will be no war. We do not want wars, but we will not allow our interests to be attacked rudely, to ignore them either. I cannot say that the negotiations are over. As you know, the Americans and NATO have been studying our extremely simple proposals concluded in the draft treaty with Washington and the agreement with the North Atlantic Alliance for more than a month. We received answers only the day before yesterday. They're in that Western style. In many ways, they 'cast a shadow over the weave,' but there are rational grains on secondary issues. For example, medium-range and shorter-range missiles (for us they were quite important at some stages). When the Americans destroyed the INF Treaty, we urged them to heed the voice of reason. President of Russia Vladimir Putin sent his message to all OSCE members, where he proposed to join our unilateral moratorium in agreeing on verification measures. This was ignored. This is now included in their proposals. Similarly, our initiatives by the General Staff of the Russian Federation to withdraw exercises away from the borders on both sides, to agree on a maximum distance for the rapprochement of combat aircraft and ships, and a number of other confidence-building measures, 'deconfliction' and de-escalation were ignored. All of this has been rejected for the past two or three years. Now it is proposed to discuss. That is, the constructive spirit contained in these proposals is, in fact, borrowed from Russian initiatives of recent times. I believe that, in Russian, it is 'at least something'. I repeat, the main thing for us is to understand the conceptual foundations on which European security is built.

"In 2010 in Astana, and before that in 1999 in Istanbul, all presidents and prime ministers of the OSCE countries signed a package that contained interrelated principles for ensuring the indivisibility of security. The West 'tears out' only one slogan from this package: each country has the right to choose its allies and military alliances. But there this right is stipulated by the condition and obligation of each country, to which the Westerners subscribed: not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others. The West, in its incantations that NATO's open door policy is sacred and no one can forbid Ukraine to join the Alliance, that it will be up to Ukraine to decide, deliberately and openly avoids even referring to the second part of the obligations. Moreover, when George Borrell, Blinken and many of our other colleagues talk about the need to follow the agreed principles in the context of the security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic region, none of them mentions either the Istanbul Declaration or the Astana Declaration. Reference is made to the Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe, which make no commitment not to strengthen one's security at the expense of others. In subsequent OSCE documents, Russia insisted on the inclusion of such a commitment.

"Today, as I warned, I am sending formal requests to all my colleagues with a direct appeal to explain how they are going to fulfill in the current historical conditions the obligations to which their countries have signed at the highest level. These are fundamental questions. Before discussing some practical aspects of European security, we want to look at how the West will dodge this time. I hope that they will honestly answer what they mean when they implement these agreements exclusively in a unilateral way, completely omitting, I emphasize once again, that the right to alliances is directly conditioned by the inadmissibility of strengthening the security of some states at the expense of others. We'll see what they say." [My Emphasis]

Much of the above Lavrov has already stated and he has now reiterated and clarified his request so there ought to be no question as to what he's asking them to explain. The following questions are also important, but here we have Lavrov again saying the Russia doesn't want or aim to initiate war. Lavrov was also positive about what's been agreed to discuss. Sure, they're secondary but still have great importance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2022 23:37 utc | 98

for a comment just put in username and email same as here, then the tick the box that says 'I would rather post as a guest'. that bypasses discus.

Had a look through the article and the linked articles within it. When it comes to laser and directed energy its worth keeping in mind the size and probable weight of the machine Russia has fielded.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 28 2022 23:41 utc | 99

Zelensky needs to schedule a face to face meeting with VVP ASAP !!! Peter Milne| 22
He’s asked to meet one on one with Putin before. Putin won’t agree, stating (paraphrase) Ze is a puppet in a puppet show and he Putin is a busy man, time is precious, so he will only speak to the puppet owner.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jan 28 2022 23:47 utc | 100

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