Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2022

There Is Still No 'Russian Invasion' But The Sanctions Proceeded Anyway

The information war about the current U.S.-Russia standoff continues. That is why the New York Times is again pushing fake Russian invasion claims:

Russia faced mounting pressure and economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis on Wednesday as the United States and allies coordinated punishments and denounced the beginning of an “invasion of Ukraine.”
The global response began early Tuesday, just hours after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia recognized the self-declared separatist states in eastern Ukraine and Russian forces started rolling into their territory, according to NATO, European Union and White House officials. It was the first major deployment of Russian troops across the internationally recognized border since the current crisis began.

No Russian forces have recently been seen in Donbas or have been noticed rolling in. Moreover the Ukraine has made no claims that an invasion is happening. 

The alleged invasion is again a claim without any evidence. It is part of the information war the U.S. is waging against Russia. All the anonymous intelligence-lacking officials who make such claims are simply lying. They have no sources or evidence to support such claims.

Just ask how many of them have predicted that Russia would officially recognize the Donbas republics? There is not one I am aware of.

As Patrick Cockburn notes:

Information wars are always a component of military conflicts, potential and actual. Usually, security services play a large role in orchestrating them. But these propaganda wars are dangerous because they tend to fly out of control and demonising an opponent hinders negotiations. Political leaders, for their part, tend to believe an unhealthy amount of their own propaganda and often act as if it was all true.

The last part is the real danger and it is happening right now. Biden, Blinken and others have for months falsely predicted a 'Russian invasion' and threatened to issue sanctions if it would come.

There is currently no 'Russian invasion' of Ukrainian or Donbas republics territory but the sanctioning has proceeded anyway without any further reasoning.

In a press conference yesterday the Russian president Vladimir Putin explicitly said that no Russian troops were yet to go in:

Regarding the use of the Armed Forces abroad. Well, of course. By all means. We signed treaties yesterday, and these treaties with the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic contain relevant clauses that say that we will provide these republics with appropriate assistance, including military. Since there is an ongoing conflict there, we make it clear by this decision that, if need be, we plan to fulfill our obligations.
Vladimir Putin: First, I did not say our troops would enter right away, after our meeting here. That is first. Second, it is absolutely impossible to predict the detailed path of possible actions. It depends on the concrete situation that is unfolding on the ground, as they say.

Russia is not interested in going to war. It wants do avoid an attack of Ukrainian forces on the Donbas republics. That is why it gave the security guarantees to them. It hopes that this will be sufficient to deter an Ukrainian attack.

This is what Russia wants to stop:


The cutout above is from a map by the OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine and depicts the number of explosion the OSCE observers registered on Monday, February 21 2022. The majority of the explosions are again by far on the Donbas republics side and have, after a lull on Sunday, again increased.

This imbalance has been the case for a long time. A UN report about civilian casualties in Ukraine (h/t Aaron Maté) shows that in recent years more than 80% of the civilians killed in the conflict were on the Donbas side.


The artillery impacts show that the Ukrainian military is currently preparing the ground for an attack towards Donetzk and Luhansk. It has also brought up air defense systems which it will need to cover the attack.

If the Ukrainian military stops its bombardment and retreats from the border there is no need for any Russian soldier to roll into Ukraine.

There are claims that Russia will invade anyway because it has recognized the DNR and LNR republics within their constitutional borders. These are the original administrative regions borders and exceed the currently held grounds. However Putin says that this should be negotiated:

With regard to the borders within which we will recognise these republics, we did recognise them, which means we recognised their foundational documents, including the Constitution, and the Constitution stipulates their borders within the Donetsk and Lugansk regions at the time when they were part of Ukraine. But we expect, and I want to emphasise this, that all disputes will be resolved during talks between the current Kiev authorities and the leaders of these republics. Unfortunately, at this point in time, we realise that it is impossible to do so, since hostilities are still ongoing and, moreover, they are showing signs of escalating. But I hope this is how it will turn out in the future.

Putin has also shown a clear way out of the conflict:

The situation around Ukraine could be resolved with demilitarization of the republic and its rejection of accession to NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, answering reporters’ questions in the wake of the talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

The head of state underscored that Russia will provide military aid to Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), adding the deployment of forces in Donbass will not be announced right now.

In order to settle the situation, democratic states must first and foremost recognize the will of the residents of the Crimean Peninsula on reconciliation with Russia.

"The first thing that everybody must do is to recognize the will of the people who live in Sevastopol and in Crimea," he said.

Next, Moscow offers Ukraine to voluntarily drop its plans to join NATO.

"We act out of what many people are saying, including in the Western capitals: that the best resolution of this issue for our colleagues to preserve their faces would be Kiev authorities’ voluntary rejection of accession to NATO. Effectively, they would implement the concept of neutrality."

Russia demands that the West "stopped pumping the current Kiev authorities with modern weapons."

"Therefore, the main point - is demilitarization of the modern Ukraine to a certain degree, because this is the only objectively controllable factor, which could be supervised and which could be reacted to."

Moscow cannot allow restoration of Ukraine’s nuclear power status, which Ukrainian authorities talk about.

"Even acquisition of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine means a strategic threat for us," he said.

'Western' media seem confused why Putin made that last point. It was in reply to a threat the Ukrainian president Zelensky had made during the Munich security conference:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference that he would initiate consultations within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum.

If the summit of the countries participating in the Budapest Memorandum does not take place or does not provide Ukraine with security guarantees, the document will be recognized by Ukraine as invalid along with the points that were signed in 1994, the Ukrainian President said.
The Budapest Memorandum, signed on December 5, 1994, by Britain, Russia, the United States and Ukraine, provided guarantees of Ukraine's security and territorial integrity in exchange for Kyiv's surrendering of nuclear weapons. The document entered into force after Ukraine signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Ukraine has the materials and knowledge to build nuclear weapons if it wants to do that. It also has the missiles needed to deliver them.

No Russian leader will condone such a threat right next to its border.

If the 'western' and Ukrainian officials really wanted to prevent a 'Russian invasion' they would now take steps to deescalate the situation.

Unfortunately they are doing the opposite. 

Posted by b on February 23, 2022 at 14:49 UTC | Permalink

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Trudeau is an embarrassment to The West - and Chrystia Freeland cannot strut her stuff on Ukraine because she is too busy being The Gaoler in Canada.

Western "leaders" look pathetic and incapable. Whether Truss is more stupid than Baerbock is unclear, and Ben Wallace shows the mental retardation common in Scots Guards where he only made it to Captain.

It is a real case of the higher the monkey climbs the more you see his bottom. It is degrading to watch the absolute dross of Western salaries in Media and Politics show themselves as posturing fools and blustering idiots. Russia and China look rational and composed whereas Western society is disintegrating and its political systems are corrupted and rotten.

I believe we are seeing the twilight of Western "civilisation" which has deconstructed and is flailing. Politicians are rummaging in the historical costumes cupboard looking for suitable costumes for portentous reenactments forgetting the society that had such costumes long ago collapsed as a result of those exertions.

The West is like a pensioners' ball reflecting on past glories

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Feb 23 2022 15:00 utc | 1

Has anyone noticed that because of this the Western media doesn’t have talk about the increasing domestic turmoil. Given what’s happened in Canada and what is about to happen in the states. This takes the pressure off in a significant way, is this not worth exploring? It appears kayfabish no.?

At this point I am a both and guy here. Can’t shake the ugly spectre of collusion.

Help WEF been infiltrated.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Feb 23 2022 15:09 utc | 2

The alleged invasion is again a claim without any evidence. It is part of the information war the U.S. is waging against Russia. All the anonymous intelligence-lacking officials who make such claims are simply lying. They have no sources or evidence to support such claims.

Fair enough, but entirely predictable. The BBC has been reporting an “invasion” and tanks rolling into Ukraine since yesterday. They have reporters on the ground who interview local people, and both talk about bombs landing and general activities of war. The BBC does not bother to ask those people - nor venture a suggestion about - who is actually doing the bombing. The underlying assumption is that it all Russia. Even our lying, cheating Prime Minister has re-invented himself as a statesman standing up to aggression. As I said, it is all too predictable.

This was the reason I felt that the early recognition of these two areas was a mistake. It was early in the sense that Russia had not clearly demonstrated to the world the original actions against which it is reacting. However, I am starting to recognise that Russia had no real alternatives given the likelihood of violence against its nationals. I suppose I am more comfortable today with what has happened.

Posted by: echelon | Feb 23 2022 15:12 utc | 3

Thanks b, solid assessment of where we are now.

Also, the following:

Political leaders, for their part, tend to believe an unhealthy amount of their own propaganda and often act as if it was all true.

This is a very important observation. The drinking of one's own kool aid is even more of an issue now, thanks to the desire to conform combined with the wonders of Twitter. On the one hand, everything has to be reduced to a couple of sentence fragments, which puts meaningful deliberation at a disadvantage; On the other hand, popularity-contest format, combined with fast reinforcement of popular opinions.

The result: badly thought out arguments snowballing in popularity, often simply due to a junior media lackey retweeting them in the name of their high ranking boss, who doesn't even look at the stuff. Meanwhile elected officials come to believe this feedback loop represents the public.

Posted by: ptb | Feb 23 2022 15:18 utc | 4

@echelon (!!) 3

P.S. There is an element of groupthink in this place. Contributors may put forward all sorts of reasonable arguments backed up with evidence and fine tune these arguments in enlightened debate. I personally have learned many things here. The fact remains that 99.99% of the population anywhere does not receive these arguments nor related evidence. They receive only the blanket corporate media propaganda and end up regurgitating that in conversations with their neighbours and friends.

Posted by: echelon | Feb 23 2022 15:20 utc | 5

The UK Defence Secretary has accused Vladimir Putin of going “full tonto” over Ukraine and compared him to Tsar Nicholas I during the Crimean War.

In off-camera comments Ben Wallace said his old regiment, the Scots Guards, had “kicked the backside” of the tsar in the Crimea and “we can always do it again”.
Any Briton to explain the meaning of "full tonto"? Also, is Wallace's condition congenital, or acquired?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 15:25 utc | 6

@5 echelon - re: 99% regurgitate corporate propaganda

The true believers will always regurgitate on cue. But those who have reason to doubt the story have other options now. In the early days of the internet there was some hope that universal access to the world's knowledge would really tip the scales, and I'd say it came close, somewhat, for a while. The early 2000's reprise of the Gulf-of-Tonkin scam was debunked faster than in previous times. That's not to say there isn't a degree of BS here too, people are people, and it would or course be naive to think the "alt-media" is without propaganda of the opposite polarity. But there is plenty that is verifiable, like really basic stuff if you look at what passes for news on TV. So when evaluating that, which we ought to do all the time, I'm also forced to ask - "compared to what?"

As for messages going unheard, unfortunately through diligent pollution of the information space, we're back to the pre-internet baseline quality of public information. That's today, world still turns, who knows if tomorrow brings something better!

Posted by: ptb | Feb 23 2022 15:34 utc | 7

I don't get it. They say Russia ordered troops into Donbas, and there's footage of the troops and tanks? Look at the wiki article. What's that then?

Posted by: Cesare | Feb 23 2022 15:38 utc | 8

A simple internet search finds that going "full tonto? means taken lunacy to a new level. Was that so hard?

Posted by: Peter Williams | Feb 23 2022 15:38 utc | 9

We're a short step away from support of Putin being declared terrorist activity. The USA says anything that questions the word of the US Government is terrorism. The US/UK media headlines blare panic-stricken, headless-chicken running around a barnyard memes of Putin as Hitler etc. And sadly, far too many still believe all that they hear from the CIA infiltrated 'news' media.

One imagines it's all been gamed out, and Russia/China knows western aggression won't stop until they inflict a knockout blow against it. Expect it.

Posted by: gottlieb | Feb 23 2022 15:39 utc | 10

@ Piotr Berman, the only Tonto I aware of is the Lone Ranger's sidekick, who is ironically most represented by the quote "What do you mean "we", Kemo Sabe?"

Tonto is also Spanish for "dummy".

Methinks the speaker's argument folds back into itself. The real Tonto here is the UKUSEUR coalition who responds to the invasion by withholding a handful of candy from Russia while allowing the Ukrainian armed forces set themselves up for the meat grinder.

Posted by: Stumpy | Feb 23 2022 15:40 utc | 11

Also, is Wallace's condition congenital, or acquired?
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 15:25 utc | 6

Usually results from too many intra-marriages within close family, cousins marrying cousins etc.

Posted by: BM | Feb 23 2022 15:43 utc | 12

Well Trump thinks Putin is a genius. He thinks recognizing Donbass independence was a great move. That shook shake things up.

Posted by: dh | Feb 23 2022 15:45 utc | 13

Just published by Newsweek

Exclusive: US Warns Ukraine of Full-Scale Russian Invasion Within 48 Hours

"The President of Ukraine has been warned Russia will highly likely begin an invasion within 48 hours based on U.S. intelligence," the U.S. official with direct knowledge told Newsweek.

"Additionally," the U.S. official added, "reporting from aircraft observers indicates Russia violated Ukrainian airspace earlier today, flying possible reconnaissance aircraft for a short period over Ukraine."

A source close to Zelenskyy's government also confirmed to Newsweek that such a warning was received.

Get ready for another happy Russian invasion day.

Posted by: b | Feb 23 2022 15:55 utc | 14

Posted by: Stumpy | Feb 23 2022 15:40 utc | 11

Actually, I am less interested if Tonto or Tintin is mentioned, but how and why HM Minister Wallace wants to fight Crimean War again, if nobody can coherently explain why that war was fought the first time around?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 15:58 utc | 15

Patrick Lancaster is reporting recent IED attacks in Donetsk. The first video focuses on a car that was blown up on the highway outside of town, and the second shows the results of an attack on a building in the city where television journalists were working.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Feb 23 2022 15:58 utc | 16

When has the West ever required proof?

Not one Western country has suffered any consequences for turning Libya into a failed state: not France, not the UK, not Canada, not Italy and not the US. So long as they continue to suffer no consequences, they will continue to do what they do.

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | Feb 23 2022 16:02 utc | 17

Looking at history, if I were the Russian leadership, I would welcome maximum sanctions from the West.

Back in the very early 2000s, Russia really was just a frozen Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons. The Russian elite was content with making very easy natural resource money and dissipating it living the high life in Western Europe. It is the sanctions (and government initiatives) which helped drag the Russian business class, kicking and screaming, into developing the economy to the point where it is now. Further sanctions, if handled well by the government, will drag a business class which I would describe as still having creaky joints, into creating a full-spectrum industrial and consumer product economy.

If you look at Japan and S Korea during their high growth phases, they effectively put “sanctions” on themselves and closed off their economies to imports in order to develop their own industries. This import substitution worked in Japan/S Korea where it failed in Argentina or India because Japan/S Korea worked to insure competitive domestic markets (the magic of capitalism is the competition) without monopoly producers, and with an export focus as a way of disciplining domestic companies to become world-class. If Russia ensures domestic competition with a robust anti-monopoly policy, sanctions could be the best thing that ever happened to it. Russia can always sell to the enormous Chinese market, not to mention the other BRICs as well as the entire developing world.

Another thing Russia could do, and I have no idea why it hasn’t already done so, is insist on using the ruble or gold as the settlement currency for its exports. Coupled with an alternative to SWIFT, this would 1) force many countries to hold ruble reserves, boosting the value of a currency that is currently under American threat, 2) establish the ruble as a reserve currency on par with say the Swiss Franc within a year or two, and 3) be a huge shot across the bow of the USA. China doesn’t want the yuan to be a settlement currency. Why not use the ruble?

Posted by: Sean | Feb 23 2022 16:11 utc | 18

Keep America( and England - Owned by GreaterISR) In;

Germany( owned by Murica and GreaterISR) Down;

and Russia( and Trade Titan China) Out...

The New Normal - Anglo-Murican-ZioMason Hegemony.

With DEU+FRA owned by the Murica/GreaterISR/Davos-Soros Factions of the ZioMasons, the EU will never be able to enable their " Self Determination" as a Collective GeoPolitical Block.

Posted by: IronForge | Feb 23 2022 16:12 utc | 19

@Piotr Berman

The "full Tonto" is an Americanism derived from "The Lone Ranger" series. From Wikipedia's article, "The radio series identified Tonto as a chief's son in the Potawatomi nation. The Potawatomi originated in the Great Lakes region, but in the 19th century, most had been relocated to the midwestern states. The choice to make Tonto a Potawatomi seems to come from station owner George Trendle's youth in Mullett Lake, Michigan. Located in the northern part of the Midwest, Michigan is the traditional territory of the Potawatomi, and many local institutions use Potawatomi names. Trendle gained the name "Tonto" from the local Potawatomi, who told him it meant "wild one" in their language."

Britain has long been habituated to Idiocracy, with the congenitally retarded, depraved and vicious repeatedly leading them into self-destructive behaviors and ever-pointless wars. Having decided to abandon 50 years of negotiated advantage in Europe, and instead hitching themselves as poor relatives to the failing and flailing USA, their aggressive stance is intended, not only to distract from their self-inflicted wounds, but, as at the time of the Anglo-Crimean war, for bombastic and belligerent British politicians to capitalize on anti-Russian accusations and alarms to distract from their faults and promote the careers. The British public, like the Americans, ill-educated and ignorant of history, but overflowing with patriotic fervor and convinced by the incessant drumming of the OMM (oligarch managed media) media that the Russian bogeyman is responsible for their many troubles and tribulations.

Posted by: Hermit | Feb 23 2022 16:15 utc | 20

Sean | Feb 23 2022 16:11 utc | 18

The RMB became an in international currency in 2016

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2022 16:18 utc | 21

At Prime Minsters Questions in the UK today, there was a feeding frenzy among its politicians to put as many and as far reaching sanctions on Russia as possible, RT is broadcast in the UK and calls have been made to stop that. RT aside there's far too much Russian (mainly Oligarch) money floating around for England's Prime Minister to actually take the calls seriously without damaging his party's own interests and that of his party's donors, so I suspect the sanctions will be limited and specific so as not to damage any real interests.

Meanwhile Ukraine's president Zelensky gave a speech today where he lauded Poland for its support of Ukraine, Poland has taken over the Chair of the OSCE, so I think it wouldn't to be too far a stretch of the imagination to say that OSCE reports of hostilities in the Donbas could be skewed in Ukraine's favour.

Also Ukraine has called up at least 36,0000 reserve troops as the country reports a massive cyber attack underway right now.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 16:19 utc | 22

The fact that a UK minister is suggesting his former regiment can kick Russian butt, because they did this 170 odd years ago is seriously disturbing.

British Military performance has not been great since 1982, Failure in Iraq (bailed out by Americans) and Afghanistan (ditto) - see Frank Ledwidge book- Losing Small Wars
Significant equipment and personnel shortages - no realistic air defence, no ground based precision strike (Iskander). not enough armour or artillery

Oh and have not faced premier league military since umm err err 1945?

Oh and getting into a war with somebody who has over 6000 nuclear warheads is normally a pretty Tonto Idea old chap , particularly as it would take about 100 odd nuclear warheads to wipe out your homeland - yes you may retaliate with nukes yourself but your home is still destroyed

Posted by: Aslangeo | Feb 23 2022 16:21 utc | 23

I think the Russian marching in at this point is playing into the 3LAs hands.

From the Russian point of view, it would make more sense to do something like sabotage with, using the 3LAs verbiage, "plausible deniability" the hydrocarbon fuel terminals/pipelines/processing facilities throughout Europe. But before they do that, they may want to check the long term weather patterns over northern I sure the 3LAs did before going through with their attack on Russian civilians.

That said; the US/Western-Elites war crime of raining down of 1,200 artillery shells a day upon civilian areas, all within a days drive from Moscow is, an incredibly provocative act of war.

All you never-Trumpers, those always-everytime-NoMatterWhat-D's finally got their sweetest wish...war! It took the Biden-admin D's just over a year. The post Nov 1963 Ds suck as much as the pre-FDR Ds or, if you prefer, the Cheney Rs.

Posted by: S Brennan | Feb 23 2022 16:22 utc | 24

Posted by: b | Feb 23 2022 15:55 utc | 14

Get ready for another happy Russian invasion day.

I think this means the CIA finally got their false flag guy to show up.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 23 2022 16:24 utc | 25

For the past two weeks the US press was gushing about how many American troops and arms were being sent to the borders of Russia at its NATO colonies. Not one of these journalists asked or cared about how Russia would respond to these provocations but instead instigated more hostility by urging a more aggressive response to the defense of the peoples of the Donbas.

Posted by: Wilikens | Feb 23 2022 16:30 utc | 26

Aslangeo (23).

British military mite is now small and limited, the Empires mite, began declining when the Japanese routed the Brits at Singapore, and from then on it has slowly lost its clout. England has two new aircraft carriers, but aircraft carriers in my opinion are easy targets in modern day warfare, the UK has about eighty-thousands standing troops, its only real threat is its nuclear subs.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 16:31 utc | 27

I think I've heard it all now, and of all places, Counterpunch:

On 2 August 1990, Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi army to invade and occupy Kuwait in an operation that led to Iraq’s defeat in war, rebellions crushed in blood, 13 years of UN sanctions, defeat in a second war, foreign occupation, and two decades of civil conflict that is only now drawing to an end.

More than thirty years later, Vladimir Putin sent his tanks and soldiers into the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, enclaves whose independence he recognised, provoking a furious response and threats of retaliation from NATO states.

Yep. Putin is the new "Saddam" is the new "Gaddafi" is the new "Hitler". There has to be one, always.

I've had my doubts about Patrick Cockburn in the past but this makes my mind up:

In his rambling speech on Monday, Putin said that he considered that Minsk-2 had become “a sterile process”.

Note the use of the same magic keywords used to describe Putin's speech in almost all the Western controlled mainstream media: "rambling", "deranged", "angry", "emotional", "insane" ... as if all these outlets are reading from the same memos, or consuming the same regurge.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 23 2022 16:42 utc | 28

Global Times has published an article with one of the most important political cartoons of our current Era at its header. I copy/saved it and will soon pin it to the top of my VK space for it graphicly displays my description of the USA as the Outlaw US Empire. IMO, the cartoon ought to go viral. And it could be easily modified to include the Ukrainian context. So, do please click the link and send it all over the planet!

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 16:45 utc | 29

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres makes allegiance known.

Russia's foreign minister replied to it.

"Lavrov went on to say that Moscow had analyzed statements made by Guterres and his predecessors and never before had a UN secretary-general made such remarks about any other previous armed conflict."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 16:46 utc | 30

Posted by: echelon | Feb 23 2022 15:20 utc: The fact remains that 99.99% of the population anywhere does not receive these arguments nor related evidence.

I think the lack of compassion for the Ukrainian Russian civilians of Donbas reflects the failure of Freire's hypothesis that the oppressed teach humanity to the oppressors. Capital's ability to produce subjects is much more powerful than the humanitarian response to others suffering from oppression. Very few in the West, and no one with political power, are concerned about the people of the Donbas. Certainly not the Democratic liberals who have betrayed anyone to the aggression of capital to expand its power and reach.

Posted by: Wilikens | Feb 23 2022 16:47 utc | 31

My YouTube app (Home section) is showing me some pretty hardcore Russian military porn (to use a term I heard from Andrei Martyanov.

Like this: “Don’t fight the Russians! Be afraid to wake up Russia” (posted Dec.31)

I got myself into some heated speculative debate, a year or more back,by suggesting that this video (below) from the Mexican Defensa Nacionale suggested that something happened? Like something that required a military response??

??? So, ergo, thusly??

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Feb 23 2022 16:47 utc | 32

Arch Bungle 25

Now that Russian invasion is established fact in the media narrative, US can go ahead with its Russian attack on Kiev. After that, the Europeans will happily shoot themselves in both feet to punish the Russians, then shoot themselves in both knees just to be sure.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2022 16:50 utc | 33

Another thing Russia could do, and I have no idea why it hasn’t already done so, is insist on using the ruble or gold as the settlement currency for its exports.

Posted by: Sean | Feb 23 2022 16:11 utc | 18

I'm no expert, but afaik Russia produces/pays wages etc in rubles internally, and sells in international market in dollars/euros. High exchange rates only benefit it (the more ruble is undervalued the higher the profits on sales, more salaries are paid etc.).

For reserves, Russia exchanges currency to tangibles (gold) so it doesn't cares about rates. ATM, low ruble rate benefits Russia internal growth greatly, and any sanctions or threats about being cut of of SWIFT just keep it low.

Posted by: Abe | Feb 23 2022 16:59 utc | 34

Russian troops need to get video proof of Ukies firing weaponry, because the media is all over the justification for military engagement like white on rice. The more documented proof there is, the less the media and hysterical political hyenas and guest armchair generals have to manufacture.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 23 2022 17:15 utc | 35

thanks b.... i would put emphasis on these words of putins.. - "Russia demands that the West "stopped pumping the current Kiev authorities with modern weapons."

"Therefore, the main point - is demilitarization of the modern Ukraine to a certain degree, because this is the only objectively controllable factor, which could be supervised and which could be reacted to."

as i see it the west will be unwilling to do any of this.. the west is intent on a war and will have its war no matter what...

@ echelon | Feb 23 2022 15:20 utc | 5.... there are 2 wars going on.. info war and real war... the west will always win the info war, but it is the war on the ground that matters the most... reflect back to the war on syria... what was more important? that assad was a ruthless dictator who gassed his people, or that russia basically stopped the usa-west-turkey from turning syria into another failed state like libya and etc?? it is true the west can still inflict damage and ruin to a good degree, as they are doing in the ukraine at present, but ultimately for me it is about the details on the ground that matter the most... people can be convinced of all sorts of bullshit.. we see this regularly... it matters not in the bigger scheme of things as i see it...

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2022 17:15 utc | 36

@ Circe | Feb 23 2022 17:15 utc | 36... i would say that fighting the western media narrative is a waste of time.. i see this morning the uk is thinking of banning rt news... this isn't about facts, truth or anything like that when it comes to the media... forget about the media.. its a side show next to the reality that is going on at present..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2022 17:17 utc | 37

Remember the wise saying: Truth is the first casualty of War.

So document!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 23 2022 17:24 utc | 38

Arch Bungle @28--

The presstitutes are doing their darndest to keep western people from reading that magisterial speech that conveys so much correct historical context and sins of the Outlaws. Note the accusations AND supporting evidence within Russia's recent declarations: Serial treaty violations and outright breakage, illegal invasions, War Crimes, Genocide, trashing UN Charter and most basic tenets of International Law, much of which predates the UN, all topped by continual prevarications since 1989 that now greatly threaten global security for ALL nations.

To hell with the West's BigLie Media! What's being published and reported on TV in the 130+ other nations that what to develop and prosper via the BRI/EAEU and have a stable global order based on the Law enshrined in the UN Charter? Those would be the nations that vote with Russia and China yearly in the UNGA for the Anti-Nazi Resolution. In other words, the 5.75 Billion other people on the planet.

Once upon a time, it was deemed the responsible, ethical, moral duty to inform the world why what might be seen as radical steps are being taken. Such was done in 1776 by the Continental Congress of the 13 English Colonies's Declaration of Independence in its Introduction:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." [My Emphasis]

Putin's speech performed the same as the bolded text above and as such cannot be denied, just as England couldn't refute the Colonies's Declaration. Instead, The Outlaw US Empire is acting very much like King George III as it further breaks International Law in its vain hope to regain its fleeting international dominance that in reality is now gone forever. And it's that Truth that's generating the outrageous hysteria from the Beltway and BigLie Media.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 17:24 utc | 39

Piotr Berman 6
Yeah, as if the Crimean War is anything to be proud of. It was already on its own one of the most disgusting wars ever fought by Western powers. But actually it should at long last be made absolutely clear that the Crimean War is the first cause of the ensuing genocides by the Ottoman Empire, the millions of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians that were killed in the next 70 years. It made the Ottomans even more paranoid about their Christian subjects' loyalty and it prevented a well-deserved collapse of the Ottoman Empire, allowing to exterminate its Christian minorities over the next decades, just to be sure they wouldn't revolt or help the enemy in the next war.
So, frankly, any fucking shit praising the Crimean War and the actions of France and UK is basically human scum proud of enabling a genocidal regime. Nice to see such people now accusing others of being evil dictators ready to launch wars of aggression.
Then, of course, the bloody Brits had to act disgustingly once again in 1878, when threatening Russia once again, when its army was destined to at long last come to Constantinople. Letting the rotting corpse of the Ottoman empire survive a few decades more instead of freeing its enslaved peoples was the most direct cause of the genocides.

Posted by: CLueless Joe | Feb 23 2022 17:26 utc | 40

"No invasion yet"?

Because moving troops into Luhansk and Donetsk does not count, right?

Because recognized international borders are there to be erased and moved unilaterally.

Ich verstehe

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Feb 23 2022 17:33 utc | 41

If Ukraine attacks the DNR and LNR to the extent that the Russian Army needs to intervene, that is the point the size of the DNR and LNR will be decided. Is Washington intelligent enough to not let that happen. No. Will the Azov Brigade succumb to temptation? Probably. So, short sharp war that sees DNR and LNR with the territory of their respective oblasts. Will other areas of Ukraine follow? Don't know.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 23 2022 17:41 utc | 42

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 15:25 utc | 6

Tonto and more:

Posted by: Sushi | Feb 23 2022 17:45 utc | 43

The elephant in the room is that Putin is right. Outside of the Soviet system, which made modern Ukraine and resolved such national questions, Ukraine is an arbitrarily multi-national state. But unlike the differences between Latin American countries, for example, or between Germany and Austria, the project of Ukraine among Ukraine's ethnic Russians and Russian speakers is failing to take as a regionalism separate from Russia.

The root problem is Ukrainian nationalism, backed by imperialism. Under such conditions, Ukraine as it exists makes as little sense as Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Cesare | Feb 23 2022 17:54 utc | 44

Ghost Ship @43,

Zelensky has just announced the decision to strengthen the security of Mariupol, Donetsk region. Things are as you suspect. The Ukrainian shelling will continue until Russia intervenes militarily, pushing the Ukrainian forces outside the constitutional territories of the LDNR.

The US does not want the situation to deescalate without an all-out kinetic war. I suspect the US is even aiming to have Russia decapitate Kiev, which is way all US personnel and Ukraine leadership has left for Lviv and now, I hear, Poland. I am not sure if things will go that far, but they certainly might.

This would confirm prior US intelligence about Russian invasion plans, ensure that no European country dares dissent from planned US policy toward Russia, and make Europe even more dependent on constant US military presence.

Is the US willing to sacrifice what remains of a barely functioning Ukraine state to prove these points to a domestic and international audience? Of course it is. John Mearshimer predicted this outcome eight years ago.

Many Ukrainians will needlessly die, many further Ukrainian people will be harmed, threatened, made to suffer the fallout of war, all for the sake of the image of tyrannical Russia the US empire needs desperately to project to its domestic base and international poodles.

I believe Russia foresaw that this is what would perforce happen as soon as they decided to recognize LDNR. It is a needless and tragic outcome for all involved.

Posted by: WJ | Feb 23 2022 18:02 utc | 45

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Feb 23 2022 16:42 utc | 28

It's also a shame that 'rambling' has such a bad name. I've requested 'Ramble on' played at my funeral party. But seriously, folks... all one has to do is turn everything the right way up, and read the opposite. When the MSM says Putin is incoherent while Bojo is decisive just switch the adjectives and hey presto! My own patented truthifimicator.

On Tonto, full or only half-full, I am reminded of the classic joke about when the Lone Ranger is bitten on the wang by a rattlesnake. When Tonto finally reaches the doctor the medical advice is "to suck out the poison". He makes it back to a dying LR who asks "what did the doc say?"

"Him say you gonna die"

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 23 2022 18:03 utc | 46

yes you may retaliate with nukes yourself but your home is still destroyed

Posted by: Aslangeo | Feb 23 2022 16:21 utc | 23

No problemo. They will relocate to the Malvinas and breed sheep.

Posted by: Olivier | Feb 23 2022 18:09 utc | 47

Wallace's comment about the Crimean War has suffered an outstanding rebuttal by a Russian general that ought to make Wallace cringe and turn redder than a beet:

"The Battle of Balaklava in October 1854 entered the history books, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday, but 'not at all thanks to the stubbornness of the Scottish 93rd regiment, about which Wallace spoke so drunkenly.' The unit’s only heroic deed was that they didn’t run away from the Russian cavalry like everyone else, he added. They suffered bloody losses, but didn’t secure any victories, Konashenkov said, referring to an episode that became known as the Thin Red Line on account of the Scots Guards’ scarlet uniforms.

"Konashenkov added that the reason the battle was memorable was instead down to 'the legendary destruction on the same day by Russian artillerymen in just 20 minutes of an entire aristocratic English brigade of light cavalry under the command of Lord Cardigan' – the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade.

"The concept of 'cannon fodder' entered the lexicons and military textbooks of the world thanks to the British military that day, the Russian general said.

"The suicidal frontal assault on Russian artillery positions by some 600 cavalrymen, which began with a misinterpreted order, resulted in 110 dead and another 161 wounded. Alfred Lord Tennyson memorialized the charge in a poem just six weeks later, and it went down in history as one of the worst blunders of the British military prior to the First World War....

"'We recommend that British military personnel study closely not only the geography of Russia but also its history, in order not to enrich our common military history with their lives for the sake of poorly educated British politicians,' Konashenkov concluded." [My Emphasis]

Indeed, Konashenkov should have added all other English speakers to his recommendation as the vast majority are illiterate when it comes to history generally and Russian history specifically.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:10 utc | 48

Malchik Ralf | Feb 23 2022 17:33 utc | 42

Pretty dumb post. Even Russophobic outlets like the BBC admit that no Russian troops have yet been seen in the two entities.

And as for the borders. What about Yugoslavia? Who was the first to recognise Slovenia? And why was that legitimate, while the current thing is a breach of international law?

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 23 2022 18:13 utc | 49

While Russia is interested in military security, the US is interested in economic security. Because of this Russia is playing into the US's hands because Russia is using its military power instead of its growing economic power to influence its partners and win new friends. I think the analogy is Russia is playing chess, while the US is playing poker.

Russian modernization of its agriculture production, oil and gas fields and the infrastructure to bring those products to the market is what the US fears but hides that behind military security for Ukraine. Ukraine offers two things for the US, another trading partner and an excuse to block Russian goods. Similar to how the British East India company would play different groups off each other to benefit itself. Eventually it merged into the British Empire when other countries began to impinge on its trading territory.

While Russia threatens Ukraine militarily, it needs to learn how to use its newly created economic power to threaten US economic interests, by using financial incentives to attract trading partners. And by creating its own system for financials transactions so that it can sell its cheaper products on the open market.

Posted by: 10 to 1 | Feb 23 2022 18:23 utc | 50

More lies about energy situation, "Gas price spikes in Europe as Berlin halts Nord Stream 2: European futures soar above $1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters."

You just can't make this stuff up:

"On Wednesday, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said Germany’s decision to halt the turning-on of the controversial pipeline would not affect EU gas prices.

"'There is no gas in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. What has been stopped is the approval … it needs in order to get into operation, which means stopping the approval process can have no effect on gas prices,' Vestager told a news conference." [My Emphasis]

All the bolded text are lies. Furthermore, the NS2 lines were primed with gas in anticipation of approval being granted to begin shipment last December. So, the puke doesn't know shit as usual. IMO, the situation is so bad the West ought to be called the Dolts, although a few exceptions do exist.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:23 utc | 51

Because moving troops into Luhansk and Donetsk does not count, right?

Because recognized international borders are there to be erased and moved unilaterally.

Ich verstehe

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Feb 23 2022 17:33 utc | 42

What do you understand? The only troops which are occupying Donetsk and Lugansk are the nazi-ukrainian ones. Russia is not invading, Russia will liberate, exactly like during WW2.

What about the borders of California, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Israel, Cyprus, Yougoslavia, Syria, not to speak of Guyana, New Caledonia, Malvinas, etc.?

Posted by: Olivier | Feb 23 2022 18:24 utc | 52

Caitlin Johnstone went off the other day about how "the US-centralized empire is the very last institution on this planet who has any business babbling about the “sovereignty” of other nations. Absolute dead last." Caitlin then goes on to say, "the US empire criticizing Russia for violating another nation’s sovereignty is like Jeffrey Dahmer criticizing someone else’s eating habits." The essay finishes saying, "it is clear to anyone with open eyes that this is the very last institution we should want negotiating a power struggle that could quite literally end our world."

Someone wrote in reply, "The US will do what it always does against a true adversary… posture, shout, stomp its feet, throw a tantrum, sulk, whimper, cry, and complain." Russia reluctantly took this bold step in the face of unrelenting threats from the U.S. and the rest of its NATO allies and so-called partners around the globe. I feel the U.S. position right now is in a very bad way of its own making, being entirely dependent on the cohesion of its "allies and partners" in confronting Russia. These are the same allies and partners that are heavily dependent on Russia for supply of natural gas to their countries.

Things don't add up and I have a hard time visualizing how the U.S. is going to enforce keeping a united front.

A final note. Someone wrote about how Iran will provide a huge market for China once U.S. sanctions are lifted (post renewal of the JCPOA). If for that reason alone, the U.S. will never lift sanctions against Iran. Why would it? Iran will just use that newfound economic freedom to do more business with China. That same person also wrote that Iran is not going to wait 60 years like Cuba has for sanctions to end. These developments are far from over. If one stops to think about it, it's highly likely that things are about to get a step or two hotter. And if you listen to folks much smarter than me that are featured and discussed on this blog and elsewhere, you will learn that a great many of them have no faith at all in the ability of the current flock of leadership of western nations to diplomatically settle this.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Feb 23 2022 18:25 utc | 53

re: echelon @5 & ptb @7

There is also another phenomenon or reality that surely I'm not the only one to have noticed or be aware of. Regarding the democratizing effects of information and the birth and growth of internet information sites, forums, etc., so long as a particular contrarian outlet remains small, relatively unknown and mostly non-influential in the main(stream) it is ignored and left alone. Should any site become more generally popular, visited, and therefor influential it will become a target for infiltration, disruption, and subversion or a reversal of what it had been.

Remember during the GWB administration the christening of the TIA (Total Information Awareness) program? Absolutely such efforts were underway long before TIA as many here would probably well document.

One such example of information/influence subversion was not even internet related but was the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the US. The neocons in the GWB administration openly complained about the "liberal bias" of PBS, and before the end of that administration PBS' funding architecture, its tenor and tone had become much more "conservative" and supportive of US exceptionalism. This is not to say that PBS was leftist or radical before the purposeful subversion, but it was at least more inquiring and critical of the official narrative.

Should MoA or CN (Consortium News) gain a wider audience and begin to greater influence opinion both would be targeted for neutralization.

More generally speaking, I've come to regard this US - my home - as that place in time where any and every good idea, promising project, or uplifting endeavor can be run into the ground and perverted - usually for profit.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 23 2022 18:25 utc | 54

Debka reporting a rwal doozy on the Med:

Russian missile cruisers on battle alert face NATO carriers in Mediterranean

Posted by: comandante | Feb 23 2022 18:33 utc | 55

Vinnieoh @ 55

Be assured they are here. The site has sufficient traffic. Even if it did not the odds would be high for an occasional visit. Many posters here would be considered high profile and would be followed wherever they go. Budget and staffing is sufficient.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 23 2022 18:37 utc | 56

Please, b, this Patrick Cockburn is today posting an article which has embedded a link into the following text "Vladimir Putin sent his tanks and soldiers". The link refers to a page which talks of the government of Russia as "regime", and adds "Putin continues to silence the free press and crack down on critics". That's what Cockburn promotes. This Cockburn is either an idiot or a russophobe. If this is infowars (as Cockburn said), we won't win it unless we are aware of the infomines ahead of us set in place by this kind of journalists.

Posted by: Moners | Feb 23 2022 18:38 utc | 57

Karlof1 (49)

I look back and rue my fellow countrymen's participation is what can only be described as English led wars.

Even the 1707 union between Scotland and England was a farce, as many Scottish politicians were bought and paid for, and the union document was signed in the basement of a corner shop in Edinburgh while in the streets above the people who had no vote rioted and rebelled against the union.

In 2014 Scots did vote for independence, but other Scots did not, no won due to EU citizens and other residents from elsewhere in the UK who had moved to live in Scotland also voted no which swung the vote for the remain camp.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 18:41 utc | 58

@10 to 1 #51
I disagree categorically with your assertion that Russia is only focused on military security.

First: there is no differentiation between "military security" and "national security". If there is anything to learn from the last 2 decades, it is that economic warfare is as much a threat to national security as tanks, planes and missiles.

Secondly: Russia has become the largest wheat exporter in the world. Russia has successfully enacted import substitution. Russia has built up its sovereign wealth fund - i.e. financial reserves. And Russia has expanded its export customers south via TurkStream and East via Power of Siberia.

I believe you are mistaking the financial-based power moves by the US with the real world commodity moves by Russia.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 23 2022 18:41 utc | 59

Mones @58

If you look back a few years, you will find that Counterpunch got on the bandwagon when it came to Syria as well. Counterpunch is one of those "leftish outlets" (Democracy Now! is another) that is allowed a certain amount of freedom to criticize US government operations--those that are deemed in the moment non-critical. But at certain points, such as the US invasion of Syria and now in the case of Ukraine, these outlets must be brought to heel and spout the desired CIA narrative, so as to ensure that there is relative narrative uniformity across all right leaning and left leaning Anglo publications. THis is an old strategy of US intelligence and has become very apparent (perhaps too apparent to work any longer?) in recent years.

Posted by: WJ | Feb 23 2022 18:43 utc | 60

oldhippie | Feb 23 2022 18:37 utc | 57

I take that as a given, was going to say something along those lines also. MoA does still remain relatively unknown in the mainstream, thus not largely influential, and therefor a threat not yet worthy of a take-down.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Feb 23 2022 18:43 utc | 61

b, sometimes gives the West undeserved benefits of the doubt. I remember his insistence that Brexit would not happen until it happened. He was also confident that Germany and the EU would not cave in to the US pressure over NS2. Although the jury on that is still somehow out, but whatever happens the US has browbeaten Germany in the first round of the contest. Likewise the tone of this article sounds like he believes that the collective West was just making unwilling mistakes. Nothing could be far from that conclusion. The West is fighting to bring Russia down by any means possible. It is a determined fight in which the powers that be in the West are ready to sacrifice the welfare of their citizens. As long as their citizens could be kept down by propaganda that everything is going to be alright. And perhaps prepping some children of proleterians to go and die for a country they cannot pick out on the map.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 23 2022 18:44 utc | 62

COVID or another "military technical" move?

Russia Delays Coal Exports - Oilprice

JSC Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU), asked customers to postpone initially planned deliveries of coal for the first and second quarter of 2022 by one quarter, in a letter to clients dated February 18 and seen by Bloomberg News.

“Without prejudice to our rights and obligations we kindly ask you to consider postponing the deliveries previously planned,” Roman Ershov, director of Cyprus-based KRU Overseas, wrote in the letter cited by Bloomberg.

There are “critical staff shortages” at Russian Railways due to the Omicron wave, KRU said in the letter, adding that the “situation is the same for all coal producers in Russia.”

Kuzbassrazrezugol (KRU) is the largest producer of high-quality coal in the Kuzbass region of Russia, with an annual production of about 50 million tons, according to KRU Overseas’ website.

Russia accounts for some 20 percent of global trade in coal, and COVID-related supply disruptions in the logistics of getting coal to foreign markets further tighten the global coal market, which had just gone through a month-long export ban by Indonesia.


Apart from Russia and Indonesia, coal supply is not at full capacity in major exporters Australia and Colombia, too, due to staff shortages in the Omicron COVD wave.

On Wednesday, European coal prices jumped to their highest level in four months amid global supply constraints and the crisis in Ukraine.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 23 2022 18:44 utc | 63

PeterAU1 @34

"Or a little higher" as Pres. Putting once said.

Posted by: Powerandpeople | Feb 23 2022 18:45 utc | 64


It's sad how Counterpunch has changed, or is it just me? They've always been biased for the Demos against the Repubs, but they seem to have gone over the edge with support for anything anti-Russian, the vaccine fascism, and hate on anyone not aligned with Democratic talking points. It's getting painful to read most of their articles anymore.

Posted by: Guy from US | Feb 23 2022 18:46 utc | 65

10 to 1 @51--

IMO, you interpret the geoeconomic realities incorrectly as the Outlaw US Empire is already dependent on Russian commodities and manufactures. I discussed this on yesterday's thread. Reading Putin's comments about sanctions--those in place and those to come--show the armored nature of Russia's economy and financial system. Indeed, the past and current sanctions have caused massive blowback onto the sanctioning nations, the Outlaw US Empire particularly as dedollarization is now causing additional inflation that's destabilizing its economy. And it will get worse.

For an outline of what's to come, I suggest reading the Joint Declaration issued by Russia and China on 4 February. The current Eurasian Economic Bloc has a market populated by about 4 Billion people, while the NATO Bloc has just .8 Billion and is already geoeconomically dependent on the Eurasian Bloc. I suggest reading the writings of Glenn Diesen, his Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia is available for free in PDF if you search for it as are several of his other essays. He also occasionally writes for RT, which has an archive of his op/eds that can be found using its search function.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:47 utc | 66

Putin. Autocorrect idiocy.

Posted by: Powerandpeople | Feb 23 2022 18:48 utc | 67

The EU begins to sanction Russian politicians.

"The European Union has introduced sanctions against 351 MPs of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) and 27 legal entities and individuals, who voted in favor of Moscow’s decision to recognize the independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, the Council of the EU said in a statement published on Wednesday."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 18:51 utc | 68

Re my (69) comment, a link would be nice to all the sanctions.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 18:53 utc | 69

@61 WJ
I noticed that too, a while back now. Still some productive takes on domestic policy, I filter out anything to do with foreign policy coming form there

Posted by: ptb | Feb 23 2022 18:57 utc | 70

Republicofscotland @59--

Thanks for your reply. I view the Union as forcible incorporation via war with Ireland being the best known historical example, IMO. It was never, ever to Scotland or Wale's benefit, and certainly not to Ireland. The Commonwealth arrangement was merely Union via other means. But the Outlaw US Empire is no better and arguably much worse.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:58 utc | 71

What's good for the Goose is also good for the Gander as they say, as Moscow decides to slap sanctions on Washington.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 19:00 utc | 72

The violent break-up of Yugoslavia was a long and very complex process. The recognition of the federal republics that made up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia came after attempts by Europeans and the UN to get the republics to agree to a new state organisation that would preserve the country.All the republics accepted, Serbia rejected it. As the Serb chauvinists led by Slobodan Milosevic had already started a war that would end up destroying the country, recognition of the individual republics was seen as a way to protect them from further attack and from the spread of war. It didn't. Germany was first with the recognitions, and there is a lot of controversy about that. It does not, however, change the fact that the recognitions were meant to have a positive effect on what was already a full blown conflict.
The recognition of the two break-away republics in Ukraine may, or may not be legal in international law, depending on the intepretation, which is nothing unusual in law. Recognition is a political act, and in that sense no one can complain.
Only the totally uninformed or the totally biased can deny that Russia was fully justified in requesting legally binding security guarantees from the US and NATO (War Inc, as Pepe Escobar calls them). No one can deny that Russia's proposals for the solution of the conflict within Ukraine were sound, fair and would preserve the integrity of the country. No one can deny that Russia had enormous patients and endured numerous forms of prevarication, trickery and deceit in the process. But, whether the recognition was the right move, I am not certain.The implications are multifold,far-reaching and grave. For one, they will bring hightened uncertainty and instability in Europe which has complex problems in a certain number of countries, not to mention global spots that may be affected.

Posted by: JB | Feb 23 2022 19:02 utc | 73

Repost here just in case your guys missed it:

For Peter AU1 and those who couldn't read twitter's posts due to its log-in restriction and pop-up blocking, I've found a few tips to get around it:

- When you go the twitte account(s) you like to read, you should use your mouse/arrow to pull down the bar on the right side of your computer as quickly as posssible instead of reading first, which allow you to get access to more posts from the past;

-Once you click/open one post and you'll see this, for example:, you need to delete the postfix/suffix pAAAA and then you can read the post and replies without any the annoying blockings.

Posted by: lulu | Feb 23 2022 19:06 utc | 74

@ 36 Circe

Documented proof didn't help in Georga or Syria. Won't help here. It's help historians 50 years from now, but I doubt it... hasn't helped public understanding of wars from WW 1 to the present.

As @17 Sid noted above, since when does the west need proof?

Posted by: Les7 | Feb 23 2022 19:09 utc | 75

Putin responded to accusations of imperialism:

It is precisely this attitude that has made me consider his speech on Ukraine and Donbass very mediocre. Instead of going on the offensive, he keeps protesting Russia's innocence to the criminal representatives of the globalist Anglo-American empire and their lickspittles. The impression of "Methinks you doth protest too much" is easily given, even when he may be right.

In fact, he could have used the definition of imperialism, but his reflexive hostility to anything Lenin/the Soviets said or did would make it impossible. And this is a great disservice to Russia and all those opposing the Anglo-American empire and its vassals. This isn't trivial, since there is a set of characteristics for the governments and countries targeted by the neo-colonialists. It is important to give the proper context for all that in order to galvanize support, foreign and domestic.

This same language, defensive and legalistic, is often used by Lavrov or Nebenzia in the UN. The idea that courtesy can be used to communicate with depraved, decadent neoliberals has been invalidated by now. What the world needs - and I mean precisely that, the actual international community - is the merciless exposure of the sociopathic criminals who have drenched the planet in blood, ruinedf unctioning societies and threaten the future of mankind.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 23 2022 19:09 utc | 76

lulu @75,

I believe that if you view Twitter from a Private window in Safari or FIrefox, you can navigate the app without the pop-up blockage. It works on my ipad and iphone even when I am not logged into twitter.

Posted by: WJ | Feb 23 2022 19:09 utc | 77

"The European Union has introduced sanctions against 351 MPs of Russia’s State Duma (lower house) and 27 legal entities and individuals, who voted in favor of Moscow’s decision to recognize the independence of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, the Council of the EU said in a statement published on Wednesday."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 23 2022 18:51 utc | 69

What?! Incredible! The eu is recognizing that Russia is a democracy by targeting the Duma?! By the way the bill to recognize the two PRs was introduced by the Communist Party, the main force of the opposition. A positive, constructive opposition it seems.

Posted by: Olivier | Feb 23 2022 19:11 utc | 78

lulu 75

Thanks for the tips. Tried that trick of pulling the bar down fast and no probs.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2022 19:18 utc | 79

Because moving troops into Luhansk and Donetsk does not count, right?

Because recognized international borders are there to be erased and moved unilaterally.

Ich verstehe

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Feb 23 2022 17:33 utc | 42

Homework for our Little Boy Ralf. What are the differences between moving American troops into Syria and moving Russian troops (in bear future? a bit of fog there) to Lugansk and Donetsk (as with Arabic, English spelling of Slavic Cyrillic varies, one count justify Kyyyv as a capital city in the region, or Kyyiv, and even Kiyiv). Benefits and demerits for the people hosting the troops, the "host" countries and the world peace.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 19:20 utc | 80

lofl at Ralf "recognized international borders"

Posted by: pretzelattack | Feb 23 2022 19:25 utc | 81

JB | Feb 23 2022 19:02 utc | 74
"But, whether the recognition was the right move, I am not certain.The implications are multifold,far-reaching and grave. For one, they will bring hightened uncertainty and instability in Europe which has complex problems in a certain number of countries, not to mention global spots that may be affected."

If protecting the ethnic Russians of Ukraine (something the UN should have been doing) from the non genocide of being pushed out of the country or killed cause uncertainty and instability amongst the whimpering wussies US butt lickers of Europe then that is not Russia's problem.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 23 2022 19:27 utc | 82

After a short check on the Counterpunch today, the impression is some hedging on the Russia/Ukraine. Even Patrick Cockburn.

The headline article, dire predictions of consequences for Russia, has clever passages that signal some intelligence, each with a conclusion that is quite stupid -- or, at the very least, totally lacking justification in the "clever" passages. The mood is like that

We cannot allow our planet to be destroyed. (You do not want it, do you?)
Exponentially increasing pollution will eventually poison the planet. (Simple calculus!).
Therefore you should drink organic sugar free CoolAid that will be distributed during our next meeting. Do not forget bring your credit/debit card. (Aaah, sure, where can I find driving directions?!)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 19:30 utc | 83

karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:10 utc | 49

the origins of these events brought us the term ''cannon fodder''... i thought that was interesting.. read it on rt news..

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2022 19:32 utc | 84

The onslaught of the Dolts continues. "German Economy Minister Says Country May Completely Abandon Russian Gas":

"'Yes, it is possible,' Habeck told the Deutschlandfunk radio station, adding that 'Germany has opportunities to receive enough gas and raw materials apart from Russian imports, and they should be boosted.'"

Doesn't the Dolt know Germany has zero regassification terminals at present and only three planned!!!! What's he gonna do, eat lots of beans, bend over, attach a pipe to his rectum, and supply gas to Germany?!?

I'll bet a whole bunch of German voters are wondering why they voted for the crew that's now in charge.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 19:33 utc | 85

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 19:33 utc | 88

Probably wouldn't matter if they had voted in anyone else, sad to say.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 23 2022 19:47 utc | 86

After the recognition of the two republics, the Western leaders rejected it in concert as a "blatant violation of international law".

Leaving aside that similar incidents in the past (i.e. Kosovo) were not denounced as such, since they were convenient to the West, I wonder really what international law says about such events.

Looking it up, I couldn't find clarity. It seems that such actions lie within a "grey area" of international law, since remedial secession has been accepted internationally in some cases, but those had to do mostly with past colonies and self-determination.

Can someone perhaps point me to sources on why what took place now falls (or not) within international law?

I think that's an important point, given Russia's careful strategy to work within the framework of international law in the past decades.

Posted by: Greek | Feb 23 2022 19:48 utc | 87

As predicted Biden signs order forbidding Europe from using NS2.

This after signing more deals locking in diversion of US LNG from EU to China. Both US and EU's main industrial competitor thereby placed in the driver's seat of energy prices outside of exporting nations. EU-optimist experts take note, same will happen with other commodities.

This won't cause an acute shortage, but it will make the ramp-up in medium-term global natgas prices stick. (chart is TTF natgas, as of this morning, for winter 2023-2024 futures).

Posted by: ptb | Feb 23 2022 19:50 utc | 88

For ppl who want to circumvent the twitter log in block: Use the Firefox browser and then search for the addon "Breakthrough Twitter Login Wall". This will automatically remove the pop up and you can keep browsing twitter without being logged in.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Feb 23 2022 19:50 utc | 89

Cesare | Feb 23 2022 15:38 utc | 8

I don't get it. They say Russia ordered troops into Donbas, and there's footage of the troops and tanks? Look at the wiki article. What's that then?

"They say" Who says? "and there's footage" What pictures? Where were they taken and when? I remember in 2014, the BBC showing pictures of riots that they said were taken in Kiev and curiously enough, all the shops' names were written in Greek!
" Look at the wiki article." Yes! Look very carefully at anything you read in Wikipedia.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 23 2022 19:55 utc | 90


I am the ben with the little b. Ben with the big b is correct that none should be rooting for meeting the new boss because he's the same as the old boss. Duh. Aligning one's identity with the State -- any State -- is, well, a pathetic thing to do isn't it? Humans evolved to identify with family, kin, and their local ecologies: that's the KISS principle at work; everything else is lies and childish fantasy.


Whoever it was that mentioned the Limits to Growth being the reason for this geopolitical theater was of course correct. Anybody who does not realize this elephant in the room cannot hope to even begin to understand the nature of this straightforward realpolitik handover of the Ukraine.

If you don't stand for something (the reality that peak total global oil liquids occured in 2018), then you will fall for anything (this here War Theater Production.)

Circe, what IS naive is preferring Russia (despite your claiming to do so under no illusions) AT ALL. Sure, Russia is cooler. But so what? We're not in high school anymore.

How about (almost) everybody here quits playing politics, so that we can have a real clear-minded conversation about the who whats when wheres and whys of the coordinated (on the non-public level) restructuring (perestroika) of resource allocation, so as to better deal with the terminal collapse of global industrial output.

Why people insist on talking about the theatrics in front of the curtain instead of the real, productive world behind the curtain is beyond me...

For starters, the Ukraine is returning to Russia for two simple reasons: it is no longer generating for the West a profitable return on investment, and it will generate a profitable return on investment for Russia, because it's right next door, and Russia is one of the only countries running a true and stable current accounts surplus.

Posted by: reante | Feb 23 2022 19:58 utc | 91

This same language, defensive and legalistic, is often used by Lavrov or Nebenzia in the UN. The idea that courtesy can be used to communicate with depraved, decadent neoliberals has been invalidated by now. What the world needs - and I mean precisely that, the actual international community - is the merciless exposure of the sociopathic criminals who have drenched the planet in blood, ruinedf unctioning societies and threaten the future of mankind.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 23 2022 19:09 utc | 77

To be published on RT that is, or will be, forbidden to broadcast to the feeble minded Western residents. Russia is doing OK with her own people, and others who have access to both version, Russian and Western. Brazil and India are showing keen interest with what Russia can offer on much better conditions than the West -- various antics of Modi and Bolsonaro notwithstanding, these leaders are attuned to actual needs of their countries, unlike British, French or German (at least, agriculture and military, Germans and French think about their industry too, but in a mode "Perhaps there is a better way [....] Naaaay", see this).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 23 2022 20:02 utc | 92

@ 92 Arne Hartmann - Thank you for that Twitter tip! I really appreciate it, as I'm sure others here will as well!

Posted by: lex talionis | Feb 23 2022 20:02 utc | 93

Patroklos @47

Posted by: bevin | Feb 23 2022 20:04 utc | 94

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 23 2022 18:10 utc | 49

Can one believe what an abject dickhead Ben Wallace must be? God, what a depressing epoch we live in. It's almost as though sanity, intellectual rigour and ethics were only Russian attributes now. How we squandered our moral credibility in the West (we only had a tiny bit to begin with...)

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 23 2022 20:09 utc | 95

Russian military will only enter Ukraine's Donbass if separatists ask - official

The Reuters reporter saw about five tanks in a column on the edge of the city [Donetsk] and two more in another part of town. No insignia were visible.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Feb 23 2022 20:11 utc | 96

Until this week the DPR and LPR did not exist in the Western disinformation bubble. They did not even exist on Wikipedia's "List of unrecognized states".

The West is mad because Russia forced them to face reality. Russia has "invaded" their minds

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Feb 23 2022 20:14 utc | 97

Cesare | Feb 23 2022 15:38 utc | 8
There are tons of related wiki articles. Give a link, at least (but please check wiki's sources first).

Posted by: Keith McClary | Feb 23 2022 20:16 utc | 98

Posted by: bevin | Feb 23 2022 20:04 utc | 97

Thanks dude. We need a Woody again. And a press that kills Fascists!

The epoch of hardship that gave the US at that time a solemn respectability. Sallust argued that Rome fell apart morally and politically once Carthage was gone. Ironically 1989, a year when everyone thought the US had 'won' and Russia had 'lost', increasingly looks like it will date the beginning of Niedergang der Abendland.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 23 2022 20:17 utc | 99

@Arne Hartmann | Feb 23 2022 19:50 utc | 92

For ppl who want to circumvent the twitter log in block: Use the Firefox browser and then search for the addon "Breakthrough Twitter Login Wall". This will automatically remove the pop up and you can keep browsing twitter without being logged in.

Thanks for that tip! I use the Brave browser and there is an extension for Brave with the same name that seems to work fine to remove the twitter pop up. I tried it under Win10 and Linux Kubuntu and it works in Brave after a couple of tries after installing, and then it seems to work consistently. Thanks again!

Posted by: Norwegian | Feb 23 2022 20:19 utc | 100

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