Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 02, 2022

Disarming Ukraine - Day 7

The crisis, and especially the reaction of the 'west' to it, is much worse than I had feared.

The U.S. government and 'western' media claim that the World condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That is however far from reality. It is only true if true if you believe 'the world' solely exists of the 5-eye spying cooperation (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), the European Union, Switzerland, Japan and Singapore.

The view differs when you zoom out.


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The much bigger 'rest of the world' has not condemned Russia but understands how the conflict came about. They blame, like political scientist John Mearsheimer, the U.S. for causing the crisis. This includes, as far as I can tell, all of Africa (54 states), South America, Central America, the Middle East, and all of Asia ex Japan and Singapore.

This rest of the world that did not condemn Russia includes several notable U.S. allies and 'partners' like Turkey (Nato's second biggest army!), India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel.

The case shows how much the standing of the once unilateral superpower has been diminished.

Since 2014 the war in east Ukraine against the people of the Donbas regions has cost more than 14,000 lives. Some 10,000 of those were civilians on the Donbas side. The dying there continues as the Ukrainian army and its nazi battalions continue to shell the cities of Donetzk and Luhansk:

At least 136 civilians have been killed, including 13 children, and 400 have been injured since Russia invaded Ukraine last week, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday.

"The real toll is likely to be much higher," Liz Throssell, a spokesperson for the U.N. human rights office (OHCHR), told a briefing, adding that 253 of the casualties were in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Over the last days I also read several commentators claiming that that the Russian 'regime change' incursion into Ukraine would not have the support of the Russian people and would set them up against their president. Here is news for them:

Maxim A. Suchkov @m_suchkov - 19:14 UTC · Mar 1, 2022
Meanwhile #Putin's approval rating has raised from 60% to 71% (survey by FOM)

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The sanctions put up against Russia will hurt its people. But due to global price increases they will be probably felt stronger in Europe and the United States and they may even cause mass starvation and revolutions in poorer countries of the 'third world'.

Mark Sleboda has served as nuclear engineer in the U.S. Navy. He has studied at the London School of Economics. He has married a woman from Crimea and now lives in Moscow as a Russian citizen. He is a frequent commentator in Russian media. Sleboda has previously criticized president Putin for being too soft with the 'west'.

His analyses and predictions are more dire than mine but he is probably right (thread edited for readability):

Mark Sleboda @MarkSleboda1 - 8:53 UTC · Mar 2, 2022

This is #theGreatDecoupling between the West and Russia. Economic linkages will be cut down to only energy and a few other commodities & chemicals that Europe is dependent on Russia for. The West controls and has weaponized their entire economy in their war to break Russia. 

Political, social and cultural linkages will also be severed to a high degree. Weaning Russia off this dependence will be hard and immiserating. But with Chinese and some other Eurasian support, Russia may just weather it. The entire global economy will suffer as well.

But once the dust has settled and new domestic and import substitution formed - Russia will at least be economically & financially independent from the West. They will never again be able to weaponize their economic hegemony to coerce, blackmail, or wage war on Russia.

The same weaponized economic war too will also soon be turned on China and the Rest of the world's holdouts from US-led Western Hegemony. The Unipolar world will truly be over, but the Multipolar world will be stillborn by US attempts to hang on to their hegemony. Instead US/Western pressure will directly result in the formation of an anti-Western bloc led by China and Russia for survival and independence. Neutrality will be difficult to maintain. A new Bipolar world is coming into being, just decades after the last ended.

The Golden Age of the Global Internet is also now over resulting not from Russia closing itself off, but by censorship and exclusion by Western and the social media platforms and the internet fixtures they control - because they don't trust their own people to hear alternative perspectives and narratives and judge on their own. The world's internet will now break down into regional spheres with limited connectivity. It will be a new, much smaller, less connected, more localized and divisive world.

We are of course already seeing the physical connections around the world break down - with closures of entire swathes of the globe's surface to each others' airlines and global shipping connections being severed one by one as we speak. Global distribution networks will be disrupted & chaos result for months. Because Russia & Ukraine are primary sources of so many of the world's commodities - energy & food costs around the world will skyrocket. In the First world prices will go up, in the Third - starvation.

Ultimately the cause was the US-led West trying to maintain and extend their Hegemony, while they can and Russia resisting it. NATO expansion east in waves, US meddling and hybrid warfare to bring into power pro-Western/anti-Russian governments in formerly neutral, unaligned, national identity-divided post Soviet states was the endgame of this NATO expansion to geopolitically consolidate all of Europe under US-led Western Hegemony up to Russia's borders.

Russia resisted this geopolitical flipping by color revolution in Georgia, Belarus & Ukraine. And now the ultimate target of this economic war on Russia is forcing regime change in Russia itself for having the temerity to resist the Hegemon's geopolitical expansion right on her very borders.

The great Realist IR scholar Mearsheimer foresaw all of this. As did Kissinger, George Kennan, US Ambassador John Matlock and many others. They tried to warn what the consequences of the US trying to geopolitically flip Ukraine would be, but to no avail.

For Russia the only path forward, the goal to survive is, must be - separation, autarky (self-sufficiency), and independence from US-led Western Hegemony.


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Posted by b on March 2, 2022 at 14:46 UTC | Permalink

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Under the philosophy that a short war is much better than a long war, and that this is true of an economic war, also, then shouldn't Russia bring things to a head by cutting off all oil, gas, mineral and wheat exports to the hostile nations, until their sanctions against Russia are lifted?

Posted by: metamars | Mar 2 2022 14:55 utc | 2

In India the "liberal" media and sundry "liberals" on Twitter - for example @ajay43 - who never even mentioned Russia before have suddenly, as though a switch was turned on, begun parroting Amerikastani Empire propaganda nonstop. This is especially interesting because none of these people even attempt to reply to criticism of their stand, implying that they have no counter arguments but are just repeating what they're told. Obviously this is a paid campaign and one doesn't need to be a genius to know who's doing the paying.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Mar 2 2022 14:56 utc | 3

Emergency statement of the official representative of the People's Militia of the DPR at 15.30 02.03.2022

According to operational information received in the city of Mariupol, on the territory of the Azov-Stal plant, the commander of a separate special forces detachment "Azov" of 12 armored units of the National Guard of Ukraine is preparing for a mass provocation with the death of civilians. For this purpose, the civilian population is brought into the territory of the Azov-Steel plant, which is placed in mined workshops and office premises. Military equipment is placed in the courtyard of the enterprise. In the event of a breakthrough in the defense of the city of Mariupol by units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the nationalists plan to blow up the plant's buildings, with further accusation of the Russian side of destroying civilians and civilian infrastructure with artillery fire.

In the basement and premises of school No. 34 on 17 Gastelo Street, more than 60 civilians are forcibly detained, of which more than half are women and children. All civilians who tried to leave the city through the provided humanitarian corridors are forcibly brought to the school. According to information from the teachers of the Priazov State Technical University, located along Universitetskaya Street, 7, militants from the Azov unit began to mine the building, as well as the approaches to it with controlled explosive devices.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 2 2022 14:57 utc | 4

B,pleas skim through the German news and post about the car industry:

BWM stops production, same for Porsche and VW due to missing small parts from Ukraine. Gas price hits record high. If BMW, VW and Porsche stop production, all small parts suppliers will reduces their production as well. The car industry is Germany's backbone.

https://www.mdr.de/nachrichten/sachsen/leipzig/leipzig-leipzig-land/porsche-produktion-stopp-leipzig-ukraine-krieg-100.html

If you live in Germany, brace yourself.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 2 2022 14:58 utc | 5

Announcement:

In solidarity with the Ukrainian “democracy” and against Russian “operation”, we, the Crown Virus, will be ceasing all mutating activity effective immediately. It has been an enriching two year tour! But fear not, a/the show will go one.

We would also like to give our special thanks to “fringe” forums for your unquestioning and consistent support of our campaign. We could have never done it without you!

Posted by: TheVirus | Mar 2 2022 14:58 utc | 6

Russia won the battle and it is most likely to win the economic war with US driven NATO as well.
Why you may ask? The propaganda news around the world is so loud explaining the Putin is a madman and does not make progress in Ukraine story?
Pls. see Falsehood In War Time by Arthur Ponsonby
This is all bullshit. Almost no proofable news are coming from the Ukraine. That is because the russians are able to keep strict communication restrictions and USA is not interested to share satellite intel.
If Putin really does what he has announced he will not throw all his army into the Ukraine. He will destroy all military assets, punish the „Ukra-Nazis“ and make Ukraine neutral. It is not neccesseary to play the US shock and awe game since the russians see the ukraine as „brother“ state and I assume most of the ukrainians do it vice versa.
Maripol is trapped with 30 to 60.000 well armed and motivated ukranian troops, most likely what people call „Ukra-Nazis“ that have limited to no support in ethical russian areas in Ukraine like Mariopol. If they do not surrender today or tomorrow the russian army will destroy them quick to save the normal people. Selensky will want to negotiate but it is not likely that Putin will let them go.Remember Putin announced to punish all „Uka-Nazis“ responsible for the 7 year bombing of east ukraine and not following the Minsk treaties.
Krimea has a good demilitarised area in the ukrainian mainland around them and we will see if the russians are taking the whole area on the seaside to keep Ukraine away from own access to the ports. They will not face much resistance.
I am not sure if they will take Kiew since it is not neccessary and I do not expect that they want to humilate the ukraine more than neccessary.
Coming to the real war.
The US is trying to be master of the universe. They will not reach that goal.
The US has a strong wich to keep control over Europe and keep russia down. And most of all keep russia and Europe separated (pls see Sir Halford John Mackinder)
There are a lot of actions that were taken since WW2 to reach this goal.
Their main asset is the NATO. Remember that they did not allow russia to participate. NATO implies that all armies are knitted very tightly to US army. They managed to infiltrate more or less all politicians with atlantic council and other NGO groups with the same agenda. The agenda is very simple: do what we told you.
But not only politics is corrupted, its press and media as whole as well. All deviating media is restricted, under surveillance or will be banned and therefore all our ideas, convictions and persuations regarding US and russia are more or less biased in one way - as you can see today in the reactions of the people in europe and western counties. Compare that to the reactions in the rest of the world that have seen the us club before.
And most of all compare it to the reactions on the killing, wounding, hunger, displacement and all the suffering 10ths of millions ordinary people had to suffer in the name of the „humanitarian“ fight for western values like democracy and gender rights in other countries.
They as well where not legitimated by the UN - with a good reason!

So what will they (we) do?
We will use a method formerly known as siege.
It will not work because first we strongly need the goods only the besieged can deliver and we most likely can not buy them elsewhere in quantities needed and in prices we can pay.
That means we have to pay them in rubles, yuan or most likewise in gold. Whereas they can buy and sell everything they need on the world market (even paying with gas, coal, wheat, rare earth or whatever). Remember, China, India and the countries that felt the US club before or saw what us friendship and western values in real means wont be part of the siege.
If you follow that to an end it leads to an end of the USD as world currency that every country had to accept that wants to be part of the worldwide economy. And this means that us is not able to print as much money as they want without producing goods in the same range. This will lead most likely to a massive US inflation and given the inner splitting of the us to massive problems on their own continent.
The second action is another great risk to the us as well. If we start to confiscate russian assets we can lay hand on, Putin will do likewise. That does of course not only mean houses, money, companies.
Most likely it will be patents. If russia can give a shit on patents and other assets held by „The Free Democratic West“ tm he can for example start the production of BMW in Kaliningrad on his own and sell them in the world as BMW by himself. Or he could produce any drug and sell it very cheap in the whole world - big pharma would really like that. There are billions of possibles he could do completely legal.
Why hold on contracts or agreements when „The Free Democratic West“ tm is not doing likewise as anybody could see. Ask the people in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Irak, Vietnam, Syria, Yemen or Northern Korea or yugoslavia and many others how they see this. This list is uncomplete but even if you do not live in a country that was affected directly, everybody could see what this friendship and democracy is in reality. As you can see it in Ukraine right now. The US is absolutely willing to shed every drop of blood of every ukranian soldier and the blood of the common people as well - just to reach their goals.

The foundation of any trade and economy is trust, and that is what we are losing in the world right now

There is an arabic saying:
Peace makes wealth
Wealth makes arrogance
arrogance makes war
War makes poverty
Poverty makes humility
Humility makes peace

I do not like to see the US loosing its power. In history any imperia loosing its power lead to a long lasting dark age.
We will see…

Posted by: mac | Mar 2 2022 14:59 utc | 7

Sorry for the highlighted text - my fault

Posted by: mac | Mar 2 2022 15:00 utc | 8

The U.S. government and 'western' media claim that the World condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That is however far from reality. It is only true if true if you believe 'the world' solely exists of the 5-eye spying cooperation (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), the European Union, Switzerland, Japan and Singapore.

The view differs when you zoom out.

I think we need to be more realistic here.

I do understand that the USA first initiated and is now executing a war against Russia on many fronts. This war started many years ago and has been carefully planned to inflict maximum damage on Russian economic and geo-strategic interests with the minimum effort from the so-called western alliance. For the past year or so, Russia held the high moral ground even though the people who most needed to hear were not listening. It resisted the siren calls to war and retained some level of support in the rest of the world.

Russia has already lost (a) the information war mentioned by b and james, and I note that some commentators here claim they don’t care about that. Nonetheless, it is frustrating to see how incompetent they are at it (Russia, I mean). If there is so much support for them all over the world, why have they not managed to drag it out into the open? If they need a new “YouTube” or whatever, then create one.

In the end, Russia succumbed to the pressure and put their soldiers’ boots firmly on Ukrainian soil. I had serious reservations about this from the start. Now we wait to see if they can win (b) the kinetic and (c) the diplomatic wars that follow. Perhaps “win” is not the correct word in the circumstances; “survive” might be more apposite.

Regular barflies probably don’t care about public opinion in the UK, but I can tell them that it is impossible to get people to look past the blanket propaganda put out by the western media including our own BBC. My friends are generally liberals politically-speaking, well-educated and open to new ideas. Nonetheless, they are all fully convinced that Russia is the unprovoked aggressor here and that Putin is a tyrant verging on madness. They resist my efforts to redefine the terms of the debate to such an extent that I have stopped discussing Ukraine at all. It is difficult to analyse complicated geo-political issues while the TV reports yet another wave of bombs falling on women and small children.

In the meanwhile, it seems to me that most if not all of the defined US goals have been achieved:

1. Russia has been re-established as the ever-present danger to world peace
2. NATO has been re-established as an absolutely necessary bulwark against it
3. The endless money flow has been maintained from the paying public to the war machine
4. The EU has been weakened with different countries aligning in different camps

I despise the Americans for their war-mongering ways. (Of course, they don’t actually need to win any of their wars; they just need to keep the money flowing.) But I also feel hugely disappointed by the Russians who have fallen (yet again) for the same old tricks that have been used many times before. I have stopped listening to the news not only because the torrent of propaganda is unbearable but also because the pictures of destruction inflicted on innocent citizens are unbearable too.

They say that truth is the first casualty of war. Russia is (almost) as capable of misleading us as any of the other players in this terrible game. It remains to be seen if any good will come out of all this, despite the high expectations of some of the posters here. I really hope there is a silver lining to these dark, stormy clouds.

Posted by: echelon | Mar 2 2022 15:00 utc | 9

In conversation I keep it simple, Sam.

The UN approved of a peace plan years ago.
Instead of urging Ukraine to implement the plan
the US loaded Ukraine up with weaapons.
(Optional: Zelensky began to implement the plan in 2019
but the neo-Nazis rioted and set fires, so
Zelensky backed off. ((Optional: the role of the CIA
and US State Dept in supporting the rioters is unknown))

Peace was thwarted by Washington and Kiev and that has brought us to today.

Posted by: librul | Mar 2 2022 15:02 utc | 10

https://thesaker.is/has-putin-miscalculated-with-pepe-escobar-part-1-2/

Escobar claims to have a good map (18:34) that shows the Donetsk cauldron in place ( finally)

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 2 2022 15:02 utc | 11

When they focus on a 15-year old ice skater Kamila Valieva or the SPD politician in Munich cancels the great Anna Netrebko's performances at Munich Opera House unless she conforms to his demands to denounce Vladimir Putin - we know the world is psychotic.

Arts and Sports are not political unless the performers (like Hollywood) make political statements - forcing political statements destroys their ability to perform as artists

The politicisation of everything in The Decadent West is symptomatic of Oligarchic Suffocation of Liberty and the Corporate-Politics-Nexus is Fascism in its traditional form.

How easily Motivated Minorities stole Western Liberty in a quest to seek "One Ring to bind them All" in corrupting imperialism.

It is time to look at the family histories of those pursuing these agendas and their obsessional neuroses

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Mar 2 2022 15:04 utc | 12

The UK propaganda machine (or factory of lies, or ministry of truth) says you are wrong in your world geographic assessment of global support for Russia.

Geography of Truth

Posted by: James Cook | Mar 2 2022 15:05 utc | 13

Russians haven't lost their jobs over this, and they all have a roof over the heads, still go to the markets and buy what they want/can. Russian Federal economy looks a bit less because of all the infrastructure projects going on. That takes a lot of money. Things will get tighter in this respect.
The loss of life is the worse thing happening in Russia today . America/EU means nothing to Russians because they know who is responsible for all of this death and destruction. Russians haven't figured out how the Americans and Europeans , themselves, can't see the whole picture going on - since it has been so obvious since 2014.

Posted by: GMC | Mar 2 2022 15:11 utc | 14

Danger, fear has indeed surfaced.

China said they will work with Russia

China Will Not Join Sanctions Against Russia, Banking Authority Says

China will not join the unilateral sanctions against Russia, and will continue to maintain normal financial cooperation with all parties, Guo Shuqing, the head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Committee (CBIRC), said on Wednesday.

Source: Sputniknews.com Updates

Wading into deep quicksand

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has told Al Jazeera that if unleashed, a Third World War would be waged with the use of nuclear weapons and it would be disastrous.

Touching upon the situation in Ukraine, Lavrov said that Moscow is preparing for the second round of talks with Kiev, but that the Ukrainian side is dragging its feet at the behest of Washington.

Russian MFA: No Guarantees There Won't Be Incidents With NATO in Light of Arms Supplies to Ukraine

Russian Ambassador: There are Calls in British Parliament to Expel All Russians From UK

ONEWEB?

Oh, dear Bojo has a March 4th ultimatum. Deploying sanctions without exploring consequences, always not a good idea.


The OneWeb orbital constellation will not work without replenishment of adding new communication satellites.
Roscosmos: OneWeb System to Be Non-Functional Without New Satellites Launched


"There are no other means of launching the OneWeb orbital constellation in the near future, and without replenishment of the constellation, the full functioning of the system is impossible. At the same time, the Russian side is ready to fulfill its obligations if the foreign customer provides appropriate legal guarantees," Roscosmos said in a statement.
Earlier on Wednesday, Roscosmos urged OneWeb to provide a guarantee of non-use of its satellites for military purposes and to remove the British government from the company's shareholders before the evening of March 4 or the launch of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with new OneWeb satellites will be halted.

Factoids:
Blocking Uranium shipments from Russia will impact the USA. Ditto the oil from Urals.

The Swissy government has abandoned centuries of neutrality and no longer seen as a safe financial haven.


Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 2 2022 15:16 utc | 15

France once was much more independent of the US cabal, how low has it fallen! The EU project of Washington was not only to tie down Germany but also France.

Posted by: Antonym | Mar 2 2022 15:19 utc | 16

Japan and Australia, the bookends of the western Pacific, staunch US supporters, are totally getting on the bad side of Russia as well as China seen here. As the US weakens they become even more vulnerable. The US will leave them hanging.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 2 2022 15:20 utc | 17

b, it would be great if you could moderate out the atrocious antisemitic link that a certain commenter posts here every. single. day. Thanks

Posted by: Teebol | Mar 2 2022 15:21 utc | 18

The nuclear balance of power may be shifting. The US has a lot of bombs and is allied with Britain , with a few bombs, and maybe France but not necessarily Isreal. A large part of world nuclear wea[ons sit in countries supporting or leaning to a new alignment. Russia, China, India, Korea and Pakistan together have a bunch of bombs.

Posted by: John McManus | Mar 2 2022 15:23 utc | 19

Statement from Russia Today
Saker
https://thesaker.is/latest-comments-from-the-russian-mfa/

Posted by: ld | Mar 2 2022 15:27 utc | 20

This morning’s auction price for 1000 cubic meters of natural gas in western Europe is 2200 euro. Here in Chicago the high price, which everyone is complaining about, is 10% of that. Turning away from Russian natgas is suicide. Many more economic reasons a separation from Russia is suicide. US/NATO is attempting something that is flat impossible.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 2 2022 15:28 utc | 21

After the US and EU "freezing" assets of the Russian Central Bank, who will now trust us with their money? Every central bank has to be thinking of gold as alternative to the dollar.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 2 2022 15:31 utc | 22

I read National Interest for a view of mainstream/mostly conservative experts and see where their thinking is going.

Mostly a push in the direction of nuclear war. However, there was one complaining about 'hyper emotional juvenile' thinking in regard to starting WW3 with open pleas to attack Russia ( !!). There could be some emerging thought about fixing EU security by diplomacy rather than confrontation.

I regret that (IMHO) there is only one way forward and that is that it is the US that must be ( sadly) broken and defanged in the context of China's rise. The US will never stop pushing for more hostility ( instead of negotiation) unless dollar hegemony is finished and it can't bully the rest of the globe.

Posted by: Eighthman | Mar 2 2022 15:32 utc | 23

Thank you,b, for this far reaching analysis!

"...But once the dust has settled and new domestic and import substitution formed - Russia will at least be economically & financially independent from the West. They will never again be able to weaponize their economic hegemony to coerce, blackmail, or wage war on Russia..."

Sometimes dust stayes high in the stratosphere and changes our climate, as I suspect volcanoes will be doing more freuently as the Pacific gains more and more unfrozen weight of water. (I know my roof suffers; I use hose siphons to drain it when it sags.) But also, that will help cool the climate, and "once the dust has settled"...that is what we must focus on. It's what this is all about. I probably won't be here when it does (getting long in the tooth) but climate change for the better is forseeable. Isolation is good for the planet.

Russia is doing what it must; we need to look ahead and plan accordingly.

Some are intent on their vegetable gardens. I do not have a lot of success in that area because of local conditions, but I try. You never know when conditions will favor this or that vegetable, and if you save most of your seeds (tomatoes are easy) try different ways to let them grow. Experiment!

Because of aridity and heat, I doubled up on large sunflower seed packets this year - those need protection from mice and birds when you plant - netting or a seedflat over the bed if you remember to remove that once seedlings are up and thriving. Sunflower seeds are a good source of nutrition, easy to store as well. I plan to have plenty of seed left over for planting in future. A lot will fit in my tiny garden around the border, provide needed shade too.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 2 2022 15:33 utc | 24

as to our being digitally cantonized, any critic of Israel knows has been a reality for a long, long time. Though a few were able to scream about it, sounding like crazies shouting on the street corner; the issues never got any press; no real traction. We've been "divided" for a long time. If you support progressive taxes, we've been shut out for too long. This is more of the same; but the scope of influence of the US will be the smallest it's been in 150 years.

For 25 years or so I've felt like we're '50s England, having to give up our empire, and holding on only out of an intertial denial. Like the gropey, blanketing affections of an adolescent we were wearing out our welcome fast. Like the popping of every economic bubble, it's taken much longer than one would ever imagine, so bloated, so fragile, impossibly bigger--you KNOW you're gonna get wet when this bubble pops. Anyway, here we are.

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 2 2022 15:34 utc | 25

When it comes to crimes against humanity and mass murder, the USA is completely bi-partisan in its approach. It is a little, but only a little surprising that with Democrats headed for a bi-election Waterloo this November, that Republicans have not staked out an easily justifiable counter-narrative to 'Putin is Hitler' which in one form or another is the 'western' narrative. Early-on Tucker Carlson made an effort at this, but was quickly turned to march goose-step with the main narrative - Russia bad/USA good.

Democrats were down for the count, and Republicans are not only reviving them but handing them new gloves with which to fight.

Perhaps it is the reality of the Mighty Wurlitzer, a bull-dozer of truth that wipes away anyone who resists the Big Lie.

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 2 2022 15:40 utc | 26

I hate to say it..I really do but, the real conversation in DC circles is..."Wow...getting this bloody war started is really going to help OUR election...SERVER..bring more caviar and champagne I wish to toast our good fortune".

"Everybody..[sounds of a knife clinking a glass three times]..Everybody..a toast; to all the Ukrainian soldiers dying at DC's behest, we applaud your death [gentle clapping of hands], we salute your willingness to sacrifice yourselves and impoverish your country..all to benefit tiny enclaves of sociopathic elitists worldwide...your deaths will bring meaning to your otherwise meaningless existence".

Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 2 2022 15:40 utc | 27

The west still thinks russia is stupid. And they are somehow "Exceptional". Well, i would say, exceptionally clueless.

In a three way poker game, if you do not know who the sucker is, you are the sucker. Russia and china know they are not the sucker. So much for the west.

https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/central-bank-of-russia-launches-swift-replacement-with-399-users-918266

Posted by: Franz Beckenbauer | Mar 2 2022 15:41 utc | 28

Perhaps it is the reality of the Mighty Wurlitzer, a bull-dozer of truth that wipes away anyone who resists the Big Lie.
Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 2 2022 15:40 utc | 25

---

Hunger speaks louder than the Mightiest Wurlitzer.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 2 2022 15:46 utc | 29

To any trolls who talk about 'losing the information war' I will reply, for many of us that war was lost by mainstream media long ago. I never go to them, and if, as b suggests the internet becomes parochial and infected - I will leave it to those who don't care about their blood pressure.

I once compared watching, listening to, or reading mainstream 'news' to taking a walk over heated rocks. Some like to do that; I have better things to do.

JUST SAY NO THANKS. Believe me, you will feel calm and collected; it's your choice, so make the right one. Protect your intellect; it's worth saving ;)

Posted by: juliania | Mar 2 2022 15:47 utc | 30

A Trump voter went to bed last night worried Putin was going to kill thousands of Kiev civilians. He was not concerned about the over 10,000 civilians killed in the Donbas over the past eight years nor even aware of the US destruction of Fallujah during the US rape of Iraq. Hopefully Russians will not target Ukrainians like Americans did Iraqis and Afghans, but the hypocrisy of American subjects is the result of their hypnosis by mass media, which is more aggressive than most of the political apparatchiks.

Posted by: Wilikens | Mar 2 2022 15:51 utc | 31

I hope your analysis ist not too much hope-driven.
Let's wait and see what the UNGA result will be.
Yesterday nearly 100 % (besides China and Nicaragua) left the Hall when Lawrow spoke.
There was no force to do that.

Posted by: njet | Mar 2 2022 15:51 utc | 32

@echelon #10

As a fellow Brit, I agree with your assessment. The frustration, the disappointment. I will not celebrate this war simply because I support the Russian people in their struggle for a multi-polar world and against US dominance.

Coupled with the unbearable hypocrisy, I have entirely zoned out of Western media. But is it really a surprise that the Russians have lost in the English speaking media war? I can't read Arabic, or Chinese, or French, or Spanish. I can not accurately gauge the opinions of those in the Middle-east, Africa, South America and the world around me. But the UNGA is due to vote today. Let's see the outcome of this. Admitedly, the wording has been watered down to avoid the US and its allies' moniker of "the international community" or "the entire world" being shown up to be the hollow shell it is.

Ultimately, I am still none the wiser of what the Russian Government's true intentions are; a demilitarised zone up to the Dneiper river, which will form a 2000km moat up against Russia's Western flank? Or possibly simply to exert enough pressure on Ukraine to achieve favourable outcomes from negotiations? But not so much pressure that the outcome of negotiations are labelled as illegitimate.

It is a difficult situation.


Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 2 2022 15:52 utc | 33

A black woman speaking on behalf of the US in front of the entire UN.

And she's, ultimately, defending the cause of Nazi remnants and Neonazis.

Disgusting doesn't begin to describe it.

Posted by: Misotheist | Mar 2 2022 15:57 utc | 34

Gas price rocketing

Sohbet Karbuz@sohbetkarbuz·6hDutch TTF Gas Futures

wow! a new record: €193.95/MWh
▶️$63.4/MMBtu
▶️$ 2114 per 1000 cubic meters

Posted by: Down South | Mar 2 2022 15:57 utc | 35

From IntelSlava

🇷🇺🇺🇲 It has become known that the US nuclear industry is lobbying to continue importing enriched uranium from Russia at low prices despite the situation in Ukraine, as it is seen as a key element in keeping US electricity prices low.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 2 2022 16:00 utc | 36

@TheVirus | Mar 2 2022 14:58 utc | 7

Thanks, you tell the truth. Those who don't see now it will never learn.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 2 2022 16:02 utc | 37

@echelon #9
"Information War" doesn't matter once actual war starts.

"Information War" isn't going to make Ukraine win its conflict with Russian troops.

"Information War" isn't persuading the rest of the world to accept US/EU sanctions on Russia.

"Information War" isn't making the Russian people support Putin less.

So what exactly is the "Information War" doing? Not a lot, even in the US and EU.

It seems more likely to me that the "Information War" is primarily US & EU PMCs trying to keep their self-image up - said image being that these PMCs know what is going on and what is good for the rest of the populations they rule over.

We will see how successful this "Information War" is as energy costs ratchet up yet again in the US and EU.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 16:05 utc | 38

Tested it myself right now: I can access RT's youtube channel with VPN, but without VPN, I cant find the RT's youtube channel. Never had I thought, I would live in a world where the free flow of information becomes a threat. Born in the FRG, I remember how Westen media made fun of "Sudel Ede" and the poor ppl living in the GDR behind the Iron Curtain without access to Western media. How times have changed. I am now living behind an Iron Curtain as well.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 2 2022 16:07 utc | 39

alaff 5;

I was afraid I would hear of such insanity. Very few know where the phrase "drink the kool-aid" comes from. It was when cult leader Jim Jones forced his followers, turned captives, to drink poisoned kool-aid rather than surrender his power over them.

With all due respect, Putin should have STFU'd about "denazification" and just done it, the Nazi are known for this kinda shit.

In fairness to those on the other side of the wire, JimJonesing is exactly what the western elitist are doing to their respective populations, forcing them into an encampment that they can not escape from. Ordinary peoples fate rests on the fortunes of their captors, if things go wrong they will, no doubt, be forced to drink the "kool-aid".

Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 2 2022 16:08 utc | 40

@Posted by: KillWallStreet | Mar 2 2022 14:50 utc | 1

Thx for that link.
Within your linked article is a link to a 2019 Rand report.
The report is full of meat. I strongly suggest people download (pdf)
the report for themselves (I scanned the pdf with two different
security software - but, of course, you have to access Rand.org to get it).

b had a blog post about the
2019 Rand report in late April of 2019.
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/04/russia-think-tank-study-shows-how-to-overextend-and-unbalance-the-us-of-a.html
And, yes, he linked to Rand.org.

Here is one nibble from the 2019 Rand report.
It demonstrates that the US is following the Rand game plan today
as set down in 2019.


Deepening existing sanctions could also involve extending the bank-related
penalties to a larger set of Russian banks. This would make access to
dollars more difficult for a larger share of businesses and could weaken
the Russian banking sector.

Broadening sanctions could involve punishing any Russian entity
that deals with any entity in Donbass or Luhansk. A narrower version
would be to sanction any Russian entity that deals with the reported
46 Ukrainian-registered companies that the so-called Luhansk People’s
Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic have nationalized.
A second way to broaden sanctions would be to cover more traded
goods.

Posted by: librul | Mar 2 2022 16:09 utc | 41

I found this entry more nuanced and having more 'meat' than your previous posts b for offering more big picture analysis and outlook. I used to be a fan of Putin and considered him as a 'steady' and 'chestmaster-like' nationalist conservative leader who would always find ways to find opportunity in the mistakes of western leaders than anything else. The current power hungry and crocodile-tears western leaders are now elevated in their popularity and status among their peoples which is due to this unnecessary and miscalculated move by Putin. Had Russia waited a bit more, several good developments would have automatically happened without the need for massive 19th century invasion of its neighbor and outright violation international law. Why couldn't Putin wait long enough to see and take advantage (like he is/was used to be known for!) of the downfall of Macron in the upcoming April, the humiliation of Democrats in America this fall in the mid-term elections, the natural acceleration of Biden-led Democrats, the empowerment of right-wing populism in Europe and the steady completion of the B&R by China to be ready by the time the shit would hit the fan? The nuke-talk flirtations by Zelensky was surely nothing but hot air which many are using (in a sloppy way) to justify the current invasion of Ukraine. Putin fell right into the trap of NATO/EU/US by uniting them against the hatred of Putin, Russia and everything in-between. Georgy Arbatov once said a rather chilling thing to an American audience in the 1980s to the effect of "we are going to do something horrible to you by depriving you of an existential adversary!". Now the west which had been struggling in its own dirt like a junky and a degenerate has suddenly found a raison d'etre and is reconstituting itself and going back to its feet once again, all because of this terrible move by Putin. Instead of remaining smart and using the soft-power of Russia in empowering right-wing populist energies, undermining the spirit of the liberals, Putin just flipped the desk and ruined everything. Look at China and look at how she is 'competing' with the West and sometimes even setting victories (e.g. the control of the Covid-19 pandemic, rapid economic recovery, everyday tech innovation, growing diplomatic expansion by using its hard-work and shrewdness instead of brute power and 19th century mindset. And by the way who the hell does he think he is to threaten the entire world with nukes? Only a weak-minded and cornered person would do such primitive actions.

Posted by: Russell Kirk | Mar 2 2022 16:12 utc | 42

So what exactly is the "Information War" doing? Not a lot, even in the US and EU.
Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 16:05 utc | 35

---

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus-eaters

Two aphorisms come to mind. "Its all fun and games until someone loses an eye" ... and ... "In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king".

I suppose we will see how much sawdust can be put into the bread before the proles notice.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 2 2022 16:12 utc | 43

In the previous thread a Passer by posted a comment:

"Observation from a chat I'm in: Western Whites are by far the most Russia-hating demographic on the planet."

"The administrator of the Vladimir Putin Fan Club on Facebook: Today we have received about one thousand posts. We also received a lot of hate mail. All the hate comes from North European Westerners, while the support comes from the third world and Southern Europe, the Global South."

I am the admin that stated this somewhere. The enormous support came in the form of simple statement, like "I am from Bangladesh and support Russia". Unfortunately we have now been forced to pause the group and make it private. Personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin may cause Facebook to remove it completely.

***

This same Western disinformation bubble was seen in the last presidential elections. Russian expatriates supported Vladimir Putin everywhere, except in the extended Anglosphere.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 2 2022 16:13 utc | 44

https://twitter.com/spriter99880/status/1499041268319543303

If anyone could translate the essence of what's being said in the video at that link, I would appreciate it. Appears to be a Ukrainian mob in civilian clothes, some armed, detaining people. One person is tied to a tree, another is being beaten and stomped on. Others sitting on a bench with hoods on their heads.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 2 2022 16:14 utc | 45

On the NATO wanted a war between Russia and Ukraine. Yes thats probably right. But NATO did not expect Russia to go all in for all the marbles from day 1. NATO was obviously taken by surprise. Thus the collective meltdown.

On the Great Decoupling. Id say its more like Great Divorce. No going back. My concern is what happens in say 6 months from now. Im sure West will force nations in South America, Africa and Asia to pick a side. "You are either with us or without us" Id think poor nations will most likely be forced to choose West. And once that falls into place. Im sure there will be lots of conflicts for natural resources between these 2 or 3 great powers.

The poor will always suffer. No matter what.

Posted by: comandante | Mar 2 2022 16:22 utc | 46

I still can't believe Ukraine is still bombing two republics? It should be the first thing to stop? Russia went to war to protect them, or maybe not? This police operation have no chance of success. Russia is acting on the platform of "brotherhood and unity", which is called "bratstvo i jedinstvo" in former Yugoslavia. We know how it ended up.

Did anyone think, let's say Croatia, could be denazified and suddenly found its lost love for Serbs. They are still proud of its Nazi past. Ukraine can't be denazified, that ship is sailed. If you went to war every person with a gun is enemy, hugs and kisses is for romantic movies.

Posted by: denazi | Mar 2 2022 16:24 utc | 47

Prince Harry was ahead of the curve when donning on a Nazi costume. Since Nazism is now recognized as a “good thing” by the UK Parliament, it is time to decorate Westminster with the Swastika. Before the decoration begins, Westminster should contact the self-proclaimed Nazi Azov Battalion protecting the Ukrainian government since 2014.

Posted by: Cerena | Mar 2 2022 16:24 utc | 48

If this doesn't tell you something as to the Russian intentions, and that they are not what is portrayed by Western media, nothing will.
https://twitter.com/1013thom/status/1498901600114380804

Posted by: C_A | Mar 2 2022 16:25 utc | 49

I can't find any reports about results of the UN General Assembly debate. Has anyone seen anything on it?

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Mar 2 2022 16:27 utc | 50

Posted by: Down South | Mar 2 2022 15:57 utc | 32

Gas price rocketing

Dutch TTF Gas Futures
wow! a new record:
▶️€193.95/MWh
▶️$63.4/MMBtu
▶️$ 2114 per 1000 cubic meters

I have been following electricity prices all winter. The normal hourly average spot price for electricity is about 5¢/kWh or 50€/MWh. This is how much I pay (+ transmission) in my two-year fixed-price contract in Finland.

The price of electricity in Central Europe are determined by the price of natural gas, as the most expensive production to come online determines the price of all electricity. This winter the spot prices have been around 200€/MWh.

The quoted price 193.95€/MWh refers to the thermal energy of the natural gas. If it were converted to electricity at 40% efficiency, then the energy cost alone would amount to 485€/MWh (48¢/kWh).

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 2 2022 16:29 utc | 51

There seems to be a lot of nail biting and hair pulling over the 'wests' information war success and dominance. This reaction I believe is unwarranted and driven by latent/residual psychological pressure, i.e. varying degrees of panic and fear due to a sense of urgency typically associated with high pressure sales tactics.
Relax, this is a narrative war and the one thing I have learned by observing the propaganda/information space and people's reactions to it over the years, is that they have to constantly keep applying the pressure, which means continually repeating the message and further doubling down.
If the supposed cause of the stress has no direct or obvious connection to the recipients lives (Ukraine in this case) then this internal stress will eventually become diminished and irrelevant as time progresses. This can only go for so long until burnout starts to set in and then the recipients become increasingly numb and indifferent. Real traumas have real causes and effects. Virtual traumas have virtual causes and therefore virtual effects. When one goes on vacation for a while and escapes many of the virtual traumas of our lives we very often quickly forget and shed the effects of such traumas (one of the main reasons we all need vacations - to 'de-stress').
Whether through burnout or vacation we can only take so much trauma for so long before we check out willingly or unwillingly.
The information war works until it becomes too much. The 'west' used to be good at masking it's overt methods but now as we are all witnessing it is descending into a parody of every totalitarian regime that has ever waged a heavy handed propaganda campaign on its subjects. The subjects eventually become desensitized, indifferent, resigned etc. This is all without any alternative narrative factored in. If there is even a drop of alternative narrative that is available then the subjects can become confused and even angry with the causes and effects of their virtual trauma. This is to be avoided by the regime at all costs. Which explains the fear and absolute censoring of counter narratives.

Posted by: Spinworthy | Mar 2 2022 16:29 utc | 52

Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov Battalion who is known to his comrades-in-arms as the “White Führer,” makes no secret of his views – in his 2014 program declaration “Ukrainian racial social nationalism is the core of ideology of ‘Patriot of Ukraine’ organization” he expressed himself quite bluntly:
Our nation’s historical mission at this critical juncture is to lead the global White Race in its final crusade for its survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.
Nuland-Kagan has mentioned $5 billion dedicated to the 2014 regime change in Ukraine. Perhaps, this can explain the pliability of the “White Führers.” Though to sell Ukraine and Ukrainians for $5 billion was rather cheap.

Posted by: Cerena | Mar 2 2022 16:30 utc | 53

Im sure West will force nations in South America, Africa and Asia to pick a side.
Posted by: comandante | Mar 2 2022 16:22 utc | 43

---

LOL. They'll force them to pick fruit.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 2 2022 16:30 utc | 54

Russell, Putin is a steady chess-master and a judo master as well. He needed to act against NATO expansion, he's got a submission move; and will get the negotiations Ukraine and NATO have refused. When you're pinned in a submission hold, you will finally listen. Putin has reasonable concerns; doesn't matter if you don't know what they are, doesn't matter if US/NATO warmongers don't wanna hear it. Either they turn their backs on Ukrainians, leaving them to die; or they come to the table. Either way, Ukrainians will know, NATO will not protect you; doesn't care about you and only seeks to exploit you as fodder. Wise chess moves may look silly to a checkers player; but I'd hold judgment if you don't see what they see. Can you name his grievances? Do you think Biden and Blinken can? What about the Media? (we know the consumers of US Media can't)

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 2 2022 16:31 utc | 55

Wilikens #28

I voted for Trump, and never once dream about war for Ukraine. I prefer neutrality with respect to Russia vs Ukraine and would love some American border security for a change. I don't watch Fox or any cable news. This whole stereotyping of political opponents makes the people like our Congress critters who profit off of war quite happy.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Mar 2 2022 16:38 utc | 56

Serbia did not condemn Russia and rejected to impose sanctions, also.

Posted by: Бојан | Mar 2 2022 16:42 utc | 57

@c1ue #35

It seems clear that the "Information War" is directed internally, in order to solidify support for the US and its allies.

Posted by: Cynica | Mar 2 2022 16:43 utc | 58

Just in on CNN (I only watch sporadically to see what they're up to). Get this: The U.S. is accusing Russia of war crimes in Ukraine.

After all the war crimes the U.S. committed in Al-Anbar, Iraq, and elsewhere (too many to mention), where scores of children were killed and those civilians including children who survived were afflicted with cancer, including Americans who were fighting on the ground; they're hypocritical enough to already accuse Russia of war crimes.

The U.S. is an Empire of lies, hypocrisy and most of all an Empire of Destruction.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 2 2022 16:47 utc | 59

thanks b....
---------------
@ echelon | Mar 2 2022 15:00 utc | 10... let me ask you a question, given you live in the uk... did you accept the skripal- novichok story?? what difference does it make who is winning the pr war? oh, i know it would be nice to win the info war, but the reality is different.. some of us acknowledge this and know this.. some don't... i am sure this will never change..

@ Russell Kirk | Mar 2 2022 16:12 utc | 42... there was always going to come a breaking point... apparently according to putin that breaking point has been reached... i suspect russia felt it was do or die time and they are acting in accordance with this view... it is possible they have miscalculated.. but there has never been any question going as far back as the Bolshevik revolution that russia was on a different course negated from the onset... read margarat macmilliams book 'paris 1919' for an insight into this... all of it was baked into the treaty of Versailles.. fast forward to after the 2nd world war and the beginning of the cold war - many in power in the west being guided by this same ideology and nato being an outgrowth of same, or fast forward to the fall of the berlin wall and the raping and pillaging of the former ussr in the 90's until putin and company decided to call a halt to it... the west has been at war with russia for a very long time!! ordinary westerners, especially those ignorant of history, fall to see any of this!!! instead - they mouth the info war talking points, which are - russia is bad and putin is a dictator... unfortunately people have great difficulty putting the shoe on the other foot...

i am not happy what is happening here.. i do see it some as @ denazi | Mar 2 2022 16:24 utc | 47 articulates, but it is so much more then this.. to go back to one of the regular posters ongoing diatribe - psychohistorian - this is very much about finance - who gets to control it and who gets shut out of it... this is a very big feature of what is happening here, in case anyone missed that....

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2022 16:48 utc | 60

and russell, as for who is playing the nuclear option card - that is all on the west... zelensky is a cia puppet who will say whatever they want him to say... and remember it is nato on russias doorstep - a cold war artifact that should have been dead and gone a long time ago if we lived in a fair and multipolar world...we don't..

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2022 16:51 utc | 61

#BREAKING Ex-Soviet republic Georgia to 'immediately' apply for EU membership: ruling party

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1499063032575574024

Georgian membership in EU makes a war between Russia and EU states very likely. Art. 42 (7) Eu treaty has this clause:

"If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter."

It seems like nobody learns from events on the ground.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 2 2022 16:53 utc | 62

Lavrov interviewed by AlJazeera, on AlJazeera English site there is an excerpt, Zakharova has posted in Telegram the full interview but no transcript yet.

I extract by ear this statement:

We knew what was going to be the European reaction, especially when the future of NS2 was clear, even if it is ever put to work, decision that is not up to us, but now it is clear what was the historical role of NS2, and that role was to show exactly the place that Europe, including Germany, occupies on the international arena, an absolutely subordinate and dependent role.

That subordination and lack of independence is going to cost us dear, but all the clowns at the wheel are Atlanticist captives, Borrell, Von derLeyen, Baerbock, and a log list of despicable and ridiculous losers.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 2 2022 16:53 utc | 63

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2022 4:12 utc | 413

Thanks for the GDP stats. I think we would all agree that votes may be bartered and vote buying and selling may not always reflect state interests, or the interests of the affected citizen.

If we focus on key tangibles we may gain a better sense of where global power lies. Energy is the lifeblood of any modern industrial state. Services and electrons mean little if you are unable to fulfil basic energy needs at reasonable cost.

The following rank ordered lists are based on C1ue's data found in the post referenced above. C1ue tabulated the PRO SANCTION nations and the NO SANCTION nations. Using C1ue's data I then tabulated the oil imports in bbls per year for the PRO SANCTION nations and the oil exports in bbls per year for the NO SANCTION nations.

If you live in a country unable to fulfil national energy needs then you are dependent on the tangible products produced by those nations with a surplus of energy.

The focus is on crude. While NG is becoming increasingly important crude remains as a primary need for most forms of transportation. In the US the transport sector represents approximately 40% of FF use. Any increase in the cost of a barrel quickly translates into upward pressure on the cost of all transported goods. This is of particular relevance with respect to food distribution.


As such, Goldman reiterates its view - discussed here yesterday - that only demand destruction - through even higher prices - is now likely the only sufficient rebalancing mechanism, with supply elasticity no longer relevant in the face of such a potential large and immediate supply shock.

This leaves risk to our one-month $115/bbl Brent price forecast still skewed to the upside, with today's $105/bbl spot prices only at the level we believed was required to balance the oil market prior to any escalation in Ukraine.

A decision by RF to halt energy exports to adversary nations would have severe economic impact and greatly curtail the ability of importing nations to wage war. The 1973 Arab Oil Embargo drove crude prices up by 300%. See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis

OIL EXPORTERS NO SANCTIONS
1 Saudi Arabia, 2,430,404,330
2 Russia, 1,698,527,500
3 Iraq, 1,251,358,335
4 United Arab Emirates 882,711,620
5 Kazakhstan, 514,984,705
6 Brazil, 474,956,250
7 Mexico, 437,456,515
8 Azerbaijan, 204,126,250
9 Colombia, 197,450,035
10 Qatar, 183,522,365
11 Venezuela, 177,679,080
12 Iran, 147,638,485

TOTAL NO SANCTIONS bbls exported oil per Year = 8,600,815,470
TOTAL PRO SANCTIONS bbls imported oil per year = 7,808,992,500

OIL IMPORTERS PRO SANCTIONS
1 United States - G7 2,908,685,000
2 Japan - G7 1,170,920,000
3 Germany - G7 670,140,000
4 Italy - G7 489,465,000
5 Spain 483,625,000
6 France - G7 418,655,000
7 Netherlands 399,310,000
8 United Kingdom - G7 331,091,500
9 Canada - G7 294,445,500
10 Singapore 285,904,500
11 Poland 179,981,500
12 Greece 176,769,500

As Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2022 13:03 utc | 507


The economic and financial balance of power is totally in favour of the European Union, which is discovering its economic power. (...)

The United States and Europe together are the most powerful economic and financial continent on the planet and have considerable power to act," the minister warned.


Given the EU dependency on a declared adversary the above minister is delusional.

Posted by: Sushi | Mar 2 2022 16:56 utc | 64

The Nazification of Europe by the US Ziocons has begun with the destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999. At the same time, the Ziocons have been nurturing the Ukrainian community of “Banderites” in Canada. The community consists of the progeny of Nazi collaborators (such as Chistya Freeland, a current de-facto ruler of Canada). Under the protective eye of the Jewish Lobby, the Ukrainian community has constructed several Nazi memorials and run regular Nazi parades. The Canadian government was sending the Canadian army to train the self-proclaimed Nazi Azov battalion in Ukraine. The battalion has also received Israel-made rifles from the Jewish State.

Posted by: Cerena | Mar 2 2022 16:56 utc | 65

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 2 2022 16:53 utc | 62

That piece of news has another reading, Ukraine is going to be deprived of all its Black Sea coast, so now Georgia is on the line as replacement. I think they're going to think about it twice, depending of course on the final Ukrainian outcome.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 2 2022 17:01 utc | 66

Commenters lamenting Putin's "lack of restraint" are invested in the opinions of the West, they tacitly believe in the supremacist ideology of the US Empire and its vassals. As b mentions in his post, look at the announcements/actions of "rest of the world" towards Russia's actions (Brazil, India, China, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Pakistan, Iran, DPRK etc etc). They are all clear-eyed in blaming NATO expansion as the driving factor of the conflict. But to the "West" these are just "uncivilized barbarian hordes" whose opinions do not matter, they may claim otherwise but deep down they have not let go of the belief.

War is the continuation of politics by other means. US backed by NATO/IMF/World Bank has unleashed war on Global South since 1945 to extract wealth and enrich elites. If a country does not bow to financial domination they are destroyed by military action. Just wishing this will stop is not going to make it so. China is laying economic foundations to help build a new world (BRI). Russia and Iran have taken ACTION militarily (see: Syria, Ukraine). The latter is absolutely necessary to protect the former. As a great man once said, "For non-violence to work your opponent has to have a conscience". There will be pain ahead but there is no turning back.

Posted by: altruisticpunisher | Mar 2 2022 17:03 utc | 67

pepe escobar
https://thesaker.is/has-putin-miscalculated-with-pepe-escobar-part-1-2/

Posted by: ld | Mar 2 2022 17:08 utc | 68

İf Zelinkski accepts some of the Russia demands and prevents the USA from achieving their aim of weakening Russia and detach it from Europe, he will be eliminated and the blame will be put on Russia.
Headline:
"The Russians poisoned Zelinkski like they did with the Skripal because he refused to bow to Putin"

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 2 2022 17:09 utc | 69

Posted by: Paco | Mar 2 2022 16:53 utc | 63

The transcript is now available in Russian, today the FM site is loading fine.

https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1802485/

Posted by: Paco | Mar 2 2022 17:11 utc | 70

@ Virgile | Mar 2 2022 17:09 utc | 68... ditto that absolutely.. it goes without saying..

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2022 17:11 utc | 71

The big issue remains that the US cannot get at Russia without provoking a mutually-catastrophic nuclear exchange. It does not matter which side has a few more nuclear warheads or whether other nations get involved; the US and Russia each have enough to completely annihilate the human race. In the words of Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane, "There will be no survivors, my friend." It is not possible that the proponents of direct US/NATO military intervention are really aware of the effects of nuclear war, or they imagine that their brinksmanship won't bring such a war about. But there is a good chance that it will, in which case all concerns about nation-states, territories, boundaries, and nationalism will be rendered moot.

Posted by: Cabe | Mar 2 2022 17:13 utc | 72

On American Wunderwaffen.

During the battle, a Russian tank was attacked by an American Javelin ATGM. The crew received a shell shock, but did not leave the battle.

As aggregated by https://t.me/s/boris_rozhin

The battlefield is searching for the truth.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 2 2022 17:15 utc | 73

Likely of interest to only a very small percentage of barflies but I’ll post anyway.

Here is that 2 minute video from Canada’s Global News that I posted a comment about yesterday:
https://youtu.be/FF3hiicQaMQ

(My comment for reference @264 on Day 6 thread)

And here is Global National from March 1 (about 20 mins), when I had trouble loading (well I couldn’t do it) their website for a few minutes:
https://globalnews.ca/news/1148831/watch-global-national/

About that missile strike in Freedom Square. Initially this was horrible to watch, just an explosion like that in the middle of a city. However - after the shock wears off, I notice the absence of people in that area. There must have been a warning? Then I watch footage of emergency services pulling bodies out from deep in the rubble and I ask myself, why didn’t those people leave the area like everybody else?? What were they doing in there exactly?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 2 2022 17:17 utc | 74


https://thesaker.is/latest-comments-from-the-russian-mfa/

"Foreign Ministry statement on the EU’s role in the developments in Ukraine

☝️ For many years, the European Union, posing as a peacemaker, lavishly financed the Kiev regime, which came to power in an anti-constitutional coup. The EU stood in silence while the population of Donbass was being exterminated and the Russian language was being strangled in Ukraine. It disregarded our endless calls to take notice of the predominance of Nazis in the Ukrainian authorities, and the socioeconomic blockade and murder of innocent civilians in the southeast of Ukraine. The EU conditioned its future relations with Russia on the implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures but has done nothing to encourage Kiev to start implementing its main provisions. At the same time, the EU gave Kiev money and visa-free travel and extended anti-Russia sanctions under far-fetched pretexts. The EU took part in Kiev’s performances, which put in question the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

Masks have now come off. The February 27 decision to send lethal weapons to the Ukrainian militarists is self-exposing. It has marked the end of Euro-integration as a “pacifist” project allegedly launched to reconcile European nations after WWII. The EU has irrevocably taken the side of the Kiev regime, which waged a policy of genocide against part of its own population.

Unbeknownst to themselves, the Brussels officials started using Orwell’s newspeak. They have announced the intention to “invest” in the war launched in Ukraine in 2014 through a mechanism with a self-explanatory name, the Europe Peace Foundation. The EU leadership unashamedly describes missiles, small arms, munitions and even combat aircraft as “defensive” systems.

<…>

The EU citizens and agencies involved in the delivery of lethal weapons, fuel and lubricants to the Ukrainian Armed Forces will be held responsible for any consequences of these actions during the ongoing special military operation. They should be aware of the severity of these consequences.

Another myth that has been exposed is the EU’s claim that its unilateral restrictions, which are incompatible with international law, are not directed against the Russian people. The Brussels officials, who only recently posed as a “strategic partner” of Russia, are saying openly that they intend to inflict the maximum possible damage on Russia, hit its weak spots, batter the Russian economy and “suppress Russia’s economic growth.”

❗️ We are sure that this is not going to work. We will provide a tough response to the EU’s actions. Russia will continue to ensure the implementation of its vital national interests, notwithstanding the sanctions or threats of sanctions. The Western countries should wake up to the fact that the days of their undivided rule in the global economy are long gone."

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 2 2022 17:17 utc | 75

@30 juliana

To any trolls who talk about 'losing the information war' I will reply ...

Making sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations is also a type of trolling. If you must use this potentially abusive term, I suggest you are more specific about the intended target(s).

On your broader point, I agree with you. I have found that switching off the mainstream news has done wonders for my stress levels. And the sky did not fall in! However, it does mean that the list of improper topics for discussion has just got longer: Brexit, the use of VAR in the Premier League, Ukraine, ...

@38 c1ue

Are you saying that "information" or "war" doesn't matter, or both? Saying that some information is untrustworthy can migrate towards saying all information is untrustworthy. For a forum built on the exchange of such information, this seems to me to be a dangerous step. How else will we know whether or not the Russian people still support Putin? How will we ever know what are his precise objectives in Ukraine, as Pat Bateman reasonably asks?

Information feeds into public opinion and public opinion feeds into what politicians say and do. Not always, of course, but are we saying a world built on – what, random decision making, throw of the dice – would be an improvement?

Posted by: echelon | Mar 2 2022 17:18 utc | 76

"...we know the world is psychotic."
Rather, the scope of the cabal's (Bankers-MIC-supranational corporations') plans had reached its natural limit when the "personhood" of corporations (fascism) amalgamated with the MIC-Bankers' murderous mindset on a global level. The ongoing Nazification of Europe by the US Straussian group (almost all are Jewish) is just another sign of the aggressive destruction of western civilization. They cannot help themselves. They are Scorpions and Squids set on destroying humanity for the price of world dominance.

Posted by: Cerena | Mar 2 2022 17:18 utc | 77

Are we just supposed to forget about the decades of anti-lgbtq actions by Russia against its citizens? Or was that all western lies too?

Posted by: noNazis_noCommunists | Mar 2 2022 17:19 utc | 78

Funny place: https://www.reddit.com/r/GenZedong/comments/t4xn50/title/

But don't try to write there - they instaban anyone who is "subscribed to anticommunist subreddits" no matter if what you wrote there and if at all

----

Rumours "mininistry of digitla" of Russia unofficially urges IT companies and specialists to download from internet anything they might ever need and stop considering western internet resources like Google or Microsoft GitHub as something always existing.

Putin sets goal to support Russian IT industry, though specific clauses are somewhat strange.
http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/67893

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 2 2022 17:20 utc | 79

If Russia tries to punch it's way into Kyiv & capture the seat of the UA Gov't, civilian casualties will skyrocket & Russia will completely lose the propaganda war. I really hope Russia chooses to stay out of the big cities.

Posted by: elkern | Mar 2 2022 17:20 utc | 80

Add to the list of those who warned about roping in Ukraine into NATO no other than the current director of the CIA.

Biden’s CIA Director Doesn’t Believe Biden’s Story about Ukraine:

https://peterbeinart.substack.com/p/bidens-cia-director-doesnt-believe?s=r

Posted by: Choderlos de Laclos | Mar 2 2022 17:20 utc | 81

Why couldn't Putin wait long enough to see and take advantage (like he is/was used to be known for!) of the downfall of Macron in the upcoming April,

Macron was, and is, going to win the election. Both Zemmour and Le Pen are unable to gain the necessary signatures by politicians to be admitted to run, neutralizing each other, and the establishment candidates other than Macron have no chance against him. Even if Zemmour or Le Pen or both manage to get the necessary signatures, polls still show Macron in the lead against either of them.
Even disregarding French election machinations, Russia cannot stake its security on the off chance that someone like Zemmour gets the presidency. He would be completely isolated within French power circles. He does not have any mass movement behind him either. Le Pen, for her part, is a disaster. She has sold out to the establishment with her acceptance of the Euro and EU membership.

the humiliation of Democrats in America this fall in the mid-term elections,

Republicans will always be happy to go to war with humiliated Democrats at their back.

the natural acceleration of Biden-led Democrats,

Huh?

the empowerment of right-wing populism in Europe...

... is not happening. Right-wind populist parties have been shut out of power or neutered everywhere. Once the invasion had begun, they fell in line, too, issuing anti-Russian declarations like it was done the AfD in Germany.

and the steady completion of the B&R by China to be ready by the time the shit would hit the fan?

How precisely does the B&R affect the security issues posed by NATO and a nazified Ukraine at Russia's doorstep?

The nuke-talk flirtations by Zelensky was surely nothing but hot air

No Western politician objected when Zelensky made these remarks repeatedly at the Munich security conference. A dirty bomb mentioned by Zelensky could be built by Ukraine very quickly. Ukraine is not so backward as to not being able to build a proper nuclear bomb relatively quickly either.

Putin fell right into the trap of NATO/EU/US

He chose to fight when he couldn't avoid it anymore. The present point of time is advantageous because Russia has gained temporary superiority in several fields of military technology, in particular hypersonic missiles and EW, while having propped up and modernized its traditional, Soviet-style warfighting capabilities. The West is in deep economic and financial crisis post-Covid, Europe has no alternatives to Russian energy and large re-armament programmes are not yet in full swing. Ukraine is being re-armed but not to a high degree yet. The point of time is just right.

by uniting them against the hatred of Putin, Russia and everything in-between. Georgy Arbatov once said a rather chilling thing to an American audience in the 1980s to the effect of "we are going to do something horrible to you by depriving you of an existential adversary!". Now the west which had been struggling in its own dirt like a junky and a degenerate has suddenly found a raison d'etre and is reconstituting itself and going back to its feet once again, all because of this terrible move by Putin. Instead of remaining smart and using the soft-power of Russia in empowering right-wing populist energies, undermining the spirit of the liberals, Putin just flipped the desk and ruined everything.

This soft approach has not worked. Right-wing populist energies are over-hyped, constantly neutered and also absorbed by ongoing mass immigration.

Look at China and look at how she is 'competing' with the West and sometimes even setting victories (e.g. the control of the Covid-19 pandemic, rapid economic recovery, everyday tech innovation, growing diplomatic expansion by using its hard-work and shrewdness instead of brute power and 19th century mindset

China is in a much more secure strategic position than Russia, mostly because of Russia. Without Russia at its back, China wouldn't be much less able to throw its weight around like it does. Just imagine a NATO-ized Russia sitting across Chinas northern border. It would absorb so much of Chinas energies that there would be little left for anything else. Russia's security is as crucial for China as it is for Russia itself.

And by the way who the hell does he think he is to threaten the entire world with nukes? Only a weak-minded and cornered person would do such primitive actions.

Russia has never used nuclear weapons (unlike the US, which needlessly nuked two Japanese cities at the end of WWII) and a no-first use policy. If Russia feels compelled to remind the West that nuclear weapons exist, then that's entirely due to the constant barrage of Western escalatory rhetoric.

Posted by: Calamity Jake | Mar 2 2022 17:21 utc | 82

I concur with Old and Grumpy - 56 response to the W @ 28 highly partisan attempt to tie Obama/Biden's war in Ukraine to Trump voters, the majority of whom, ironically, wanted better relations with Russia.

"I voted for Trump, and never once dreamed about war for Ukraine...prefer neutrality w/respect to Russia vs Ukraine...don't watch Fox or any cable news. This whole stereotyping of political opponents makes Congress critters who profit off of war quite happy." - Old and Grumpy - 56

In fact, it's the neoD's passionate coitus with the 3LAs that has led us to this place. The party of FDR is long dead, the rotted corpse of Woodrow Wilson is now the titular head of the Democratic party and honest populists need not apply!

Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 2 2022 17:28 utc | 84

Major doings in the energy field.

First and most important. OPEC+ is standing tall. Nobody is sure if it is politically based or simply that nobody can pump more oil.

OPEC+ Sticks To Production Plan Despite $111 Oil
https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/OPEC-Sticks-To-Production-Plan-Despite-111-Oil.html

Next up is as everyone knew, the price of energy is going way up. As stated in the article, in the EU, the price is now in the demand destruction phase.

Europe’s Gas Prices Soar 60% To Record High As Buyers Shun Russia
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Gas-Prices/Europes-Gas-Prices-Soar-60-To-Record-High-As-Buyers-Shun-Russia.html

And Russia is still pumping gas and oil to Europe. We haven't seen anything yet. Are you prepared for a Recession/Depression?

Posted by: Douglas Houck | Mar 2 2022 17:28 utc | 85

“253 of these casualties were in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”
They would probably say though that that is the whole region, so Russia would be at fault for the majority not just whet the LDNR hold now

Posted by: St Pogo | Mar 2 2022 17:28 utc | 86

The Ukraine conflict in a nutshell: "For many years, the European Union, posing as a peacemaker, lavishly financed the Kiev regime, which came to power in an anti-constitutional coup [thank you, Nuland-Kagan and the Kagans'clan of warmongers]. The EU stood in silence while the population of Donbass was being exterminated and the Russian language was being strangled in Ukraine. It disregarded our endless calls to take notice of the predominance of Nazis in the Ukrainian authorities, and the socioeconomic blockade and murder of innocent civilians in the southeast of Ukraine [by the self-proclaimed Nazi Azov Battalion]. ...

Unbeknownst to themselves, the Brussels officials started using Orwell’s newspeak. They have announced the intention to “invest” in the war launched in Ukraine in 2014 through a mechanism with a self-explanatory name, the Europe Peace Foundation. The EU leadership unashamedly describes missiles, small arms, munitions, and even combat aircraft as “defensive” systems." https://thesaker.is/latest-comments-from-the-russian-mfa/

Posted by: Cerena | Mar 2 2022 17:35 utc | 87

From Lavrov's interview:

Of course, we are now witnessing an information war, I would say, information terrorism.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 2 2022 17:35 utc | 88

James "the west has been at war with russia for a very long time!! ordinary westerners, especially those ignorant of history, fall to see any of this!!!"

I am not a historian, but I am an avid reader of russian literature, and knowing a little history, I came to this conclusion 20 years or more ago. The west has been at war with russia for over a hundred years.

Why? Is it really as simple as capitalism vs communalism? (or some variation thereof, i.e. the supremacy of the individual vs the supremacy of the group).

Some very progressive/liberal ideas originated in russia 100-200 hundred years before they did in the west.

Posted by: David F | Mar 2 2022 17:39 utc | 89

Soon the Islamic state in Ukraine...

https://www.asianews.it/news-en/Syrian-and-Turkish-militiamen-heading-for-Ukraine-in-revenge-move-on-Russians-55261.html

Fighters and militiamen from northern Syria and Turkey are attempting to get to Ukraine to fight against the Russians, in revenge on Moscow, whose support for President Assad has proved crucial in the conflict. For many it is also a way to continue their fight, because of the ceasefire in place in Syria and which seems to be holding.

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 2 2022 17:40 utc | 90

Wonderful, Putin won 4 other votes in the UN GA in favor of his aggression against Ukraine.

Even Cuba, China, India, Brasil, South Africa and 29 other countries abstained.

141 out of 193 against the aggression - but that only a very small part of b's world, negligible...

Posted by: thomas | Mar 2 2022 17:41 utc | 91

Soon the Islamic state in Ukraine...
Posted by: Virgile | Mar 2 2022 17:40 utc | 87

---

Lets see what happens at the Sultan Suleiman Mosque in Mariupol ==> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan_Suleiman_Mosque

Posted by: too scents | Mar 2 2022 17:43 utc | 92

The news:

" 181 nations voting, 141 voted in favour, five against, and 35 abstentions."

Older news (7 Mar, 2018),

https://www.rt.com/news/420715-putin-world-russia-nuclear/

"President Vladimir Putin, who recently startled the world by unveiling Russia’s advanced nuclear arsenal, has again spoken of nuclear arms, clarifying the circumstances in which Moscow is prepared to enter a nuclear war."

“Certainly, it would be a global disaster for humanity; a disaster for the entire world,” Putin said, in an interview for a Russian documentary “The World Order 2018,” adding that “as a citizen of Russia and the head of the Russian state I must ask myself: Why would we want a world without Russia?”

--

Indeed why should the Human species (and the rest of the critters) exist if Russia[n state] is gone? Is it even meaningful to talk about "the" Humanity without Russia?

ALL of these 19th century (read: pale skinned humans who think they are more "civilized" than the rest of us) nations need to be disarmed. Certainly, their nukes need to be taken away from them. They have a consistent, centuries long, record of thinking they own this planet. None are innocents. None are truthful.

Posted by: TheNews | Mar 2 2022 17:44 utc | 93

Virgile, 87; ah, the CIA Southern mercenary army coming on contract...er time; as contracted...to the rescue

Posted by: ScottinDallas | Mar 2 2022 17:44 utc | 94

@echlon #9

In the meanwhile, it seems to me that most if not all of the defined US goals have been achieved:

1. Russia has been re-established as the ever-present danger to world peace
2. NATO has been re-established as an absolutely necessary bulwark against it
3. The endless money flow has been maintained from the paying public to the war machine
4. The EU has been weakened with different countries aligning in different camps

You summarize my views exactly. I think this was a massive strategic blunder by Russia. I've always defended Russia's actions (and China for that matter) to my friends and try to educate them on the larger picture. But I really can't defend this action. They're just like, "see? you were wrong all along"
It's so fucking depressing.

Posted by: bachac | Mar 2 2022 17:44 utc | 95

> the Russian 'regime change' incursion into Ukraine would not have the support of the Russian people and would set them up against their president

I do not believe regime-changing Ukraine would achieve something good for Russia. We do not have resource to feed 30M population, who would neve be satisfied in any life less rich than Germany has (and that in their dreams not in mundane reality). Russia can not support such luxury even for her citizens, less so for anti-Russian foreigners.

So whatever Putin meant by de-nazification and even one without occupatio nis a big mistery for me.

However... The Rubicon is crossed and there is no going back, except for national suicide. And that is well-understood. An example (in Russian) - especially for those with exposure to Russian good enough to be able to infer intonations from the words): https://aftershock.news/?q=blog/826 - the guy is openly trolling kind, and he is pro-buisiness anti-Kremlin trolling. Checking his posts bottom to top would reveal how his intonations - and his inner idea how much of smugness is harmless - were shifting. Then, there is still a chance his account was hi-jacked ans his latest post is not his at all.

Also, exceprt from Lavrov's inteview to Al Jazeera, in Russian: https://aftershock.news/?q=node/1072795

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 2 2022 17:45 utc | 96

Posted by: Russell Kirk | Mar 2 2022 16:12 utc | 42

You may have missed the Russian opinion polls on Putin. Please compare the approval ratings he has there to those of BoJo and Empty Suit Biden in their respective countries.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 2 2022 17:46 utc | 97

Nobody seems to mention how in retrospect, the failed coup in Belarus turns out to be a gigantic own goal for the West. Without Belarus forced into Russia's arms, it'd have taken much longer to surround Kiev.

About the narrative war: if Russia manages to install a friendly regime in Kiev, then as far as the West is concerned, Ukraine will immediately become the enemy and subjected to sanctions. It's all becoming a bit psychotic, as others are also noticing.

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Mar 2 2022 17:47 utc | 98

Posted by: Douglas Houck | Mar 2 2022 17:28 utc | 83

gas, oil... they said even EU charcoal prices are in "uncontrollable soar" now :-)

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 2 2022 17:47 utc | 99

the US propaganda, disengaged from reality and history, prevents it from having an exit ramp from which to reach an agreement with Russia, to end hostilities and in effect accept it has 'lost' Ukraine. that is the strangest and most alarming tbing to me. the koolaid Americans and vassals will not accept 'appeasing' Putin. so what is the endooint of all this?

whatever it will be, i can't imagine it will come fast even if the reality on the ground in Ukraine is such that no lies can cover Russian success, victory and dominant leverage over the possible negotiations with the US.

so the situation will drag on indefinitely and the only way for Russia to not get bogged down is if SCO contributed peacekeepers and china steps in with an economic way forward for Ukraine in the belt and road. if that happens, NATO would not accept the legitimacy of whatever fledgling govt emerges in Ukraine. it will be like as it is witb the Taliban in Afghanistan.

no diplomacy. no negotiations. not agreement capable. so we have to think thru the endpoint with these assumptions about the US as the starting pt

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 2 2022 17:47 utc | 100

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