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March 16, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-28

Only news & views related to the Ukraine conflict ...

Posted by b on March 16, 2022 at 14:30 UTC | Permalink

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Comments can be found at The Saker.

Posted by: Z | Mar 16 2022 14:47 utc | 1

Western Values:

'(Vladimir Putin) had only been in office for a year and a half when he addressed the German parliament on Sept. 25, 2001.

The Russian leader invoked the "ideas of democracy and freedom" and said that, "Russia is a friendly country. We are making our joint contribution to the construction of the European house," adding that peace on the Continent is the goal....

His speech would be interrupted 16 times by applause, and in several instances, the protocol even notes "merriment." When he finished at 3:47 p.m., the German parliamentarians rose from their seats. From the Left Party to the center-right Christian Democrats, they applauded Putin for several minutes, this new hope bearer for Russia.'

Perhaps the TV comedian who currently obeys orders from the Americans in Ukraine remembers that when the 'West' applauds you, it always and invariably means you are obeying orders, and when they hate you, it means you are standing up for yourself.

Posted by: Hidari | Mar 16 2022 14:55 utc | 2

Russia preempted this expulsion, and left the Nato friendly platform.

"The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted on Tuesday evening to expel Russia from the organization in the wake of the country’s offensive in Ukraine"

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 14:57 utc | 3

Plan A: Fund bio-research in Wuhan & blame the Chinese for the leak.
Plan B: Fund bio-research in Ukraine & blame the Russians for the leak.

Posted by: Matteo | Mar 16 2022 15:08 utc | 4

U24, for when NATO isn't working.

Posted by: too scents | Mar 16 2022 15:13 utc | 5

Putin: The presence of Russian troops near Kiev and other cities of Ukraine doesn't mean we are intentioned to occupy the country. We don't have such a goal. As for the tactics of combat operations developed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, our guys, soldiers and officers show courage and heroism, do everything possible to avoid losses among the civilian population of Ukrainian cities. I want to say this for the first time, at the very beginning of the operation in the Donbass, Kiev authorities were asked through various channels not to engage in hostilities, but simply to withdraw their troops from the region, in order to avoid a senseless bloodshed.
They didn't want to. Well, that's their decision. The operation is progressing successfully, in strict accordance with pre-approved plans.

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 15:17 utc | 6

This crackpot has far too much time on his hands, and he definitely has more money than sense if you ask me.

"While the Kremlin has yet to respond to Elon Musk’s “single combat” challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, the Tesla and SpaceX mogul has changed his name to “Elona” "

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 15:20 utc | 7

The german politico Sahra Wagenknecht:
“Every day people are dying in Ukraine. There is endless suffering and the country is being destroyed further and further. Neither sanctions nor arms deliveries will stop this horror. If you want to end it, you have to negotiate,” said the diplomat in an interview with Welt.
Referring to Russia’s demands for peace, Wagenknecht suggested that these were a good point of departure for negotiations:
“The military says Ukraine cannot win this war. Anyone who wants Russian troops to withdraw must therefore offer something to Russia. Guaranteed neutrality would be reasonable for many reasons. What demilitarization means is something that must be negotiated,” Wagenknecht said.

Posted by: Mikkael | Mar 16 2022 15:25 utc | 8

Mikkael at @8

Isn't that the same reasoning that, for example, the US uses to justify the nuclear bombings of Japan: They should've negotiated a surrender since at that point Japan could no longer win the war (if they ever could). Because they didn't, it's their fault that Hiroshima and Nagasaki wound up so destroyed with their populaces left to suffer endlessly from the fallouts.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Mar 16 2022 15:29 utc | 9

no it isnt the same reasoning. Russia is not using wmd's to destroy a civilian population and a city; it is instead trying to minimize civilian casualties, for one thing. for another, there wasn't a superpower that took over Japan and was using it to threaten the U.S. you people keep trying to pretend it is just a case of a small helpless Ukraine which is defending itself against a completely unjustified attack. you know that's bs.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 15:33 utc | 10

His CIA/M16 handlers had Zelensky say, in his speech to the Congress: “You are the leader of the nation. I wish you be the leader of the world,” he sad “Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.”
Having caused a major war in Europe by sticking it to Russia is Biden qualified to be the leader of the world, the leader of peace? . . .Um , no.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 16 2022 15:34 utc | 11

Sahra Wagenknecht is NOT a diplomat.
She is one of the few sane MPs in the German Bundestag

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Mar 16 2022 15:35 utc | 12

Elona. That's hilarious. You are right on

Posted by: Dangling Participle | Mar 16 2022 15:35 utc | 13

Russian forces take out the Nazi stronghold of Avdeevka, which was used to shell the civilians with cluster bombs in the Dontesk region, for the first time in almost nine years the civilians of the region can breathe a sign of relief.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 15:37 utc | 14

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opined that the latest rounds of unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its allies over the Kremlin’s military campaign in Ukraine, mark the end of an era. According to Putin, from now on the West will be losing its “global dominance” both politically and economically.

Speaking on Wednesday, the Russian head of state proclaimed that the “myth of the Western welfare state, of the so-called golden billion, is crumbling.” Moreover, it is the “whole planet that is having to pay the price for the West’s ambitions, and its attempts to retain its vanishing dominance at any cost,” Putin said.

West’s global political and economic dominance ends – Putin

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 15:37 utc | 15

B>Text → Text
Text → Text
Text → Text


Link to Wikileaks

This video is very interesting because the Brazilian junior mercenary makes a complete confession about the event that took place in Yavoriv, especially the complete involvement of Poland and the accuracy of the information provided by RFA. It speaks in portuguese but can be easily subtitled and translated with youtube tools. He says:

“There were special forces soldiers from all over the world there. The information we have is that everyone dies. They ended it all. You don't understand, it's over, it's over. The Legion was eliminated from the competition at once. I had no idea what a war was”, he declares in the video.

Posted by: argos | Mar 16 2022 15:38 utc | 16

in the U.S. a massive publicity campaign would immediately commence to label Wagenknecht a traitor and a tool of Putin. I hope things are slightly better in Germany.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 15:39 utc | 17

Isn't that the same reasoning that, for example, the US uses to justify the nuclear bombings of Japan: They should've negotiated a surrender since at that point Japan could no longer win the war (if they ever could).

The situation with Japan is different. Japan did try to negotiate. The US wanted an unconditional surrender. Japan wanted an assurance that the Emperor would not be harmed. The US then went ahead and dropped the atomic bombs. Ultimately, unconditional surrender was given, and the Emperor got by unscathed anyway, but it's not like they just refused to negotiate. Russia isn't asking for unconditional surrender and regime change, only for Ukrainian neutrality and demilitarization.

The notion, which I'm sure will be brought up, that demilitarization would make Ukraine Russia's puppet, is absurd. Mexico and Cuba have notoriously weak armed forces in comparison to the US, but they regularly resist US foreign policy maneuvers (one more than the other) such that neither could be called "puppets". Finland, likewise: not a NATO member, militarily inferior to Russia, borders Russia, still not a puppet of Russia.

There's one similarity between Japan and Ukraine though: relentless, suicidal, nationalism.

Posted by: fnord | Mar 16 2022 15:40 utc | 18

Comment section is enormous these days. Sorry if this has been already posted.

Alexey Arestovich is a military expert currently (March 2022) serving as an advisor to President Zelensky. This interview is from March 19, 2019

Here is translation


When he [Zelensky] wins, he must begin the process of joining NATO. Nothing else matters. War is more important than anything else. Economy, social reforms - all that garbage. All of it is sacrificed in favor of war. Always. If we lose the war all other questions are moot. Putin and Kadyrov will be implementing our social policies if we lose the war

• So if Ukraine starts the process of joining NATO then we can starting talking about the schedule for ending the war [in Donbas]?

There will be no talking about any schedule for ending the war in Donbas.
On the contrary, this will likely cause Russia to invade Ukraine. Russia will have to destroy our infrastructure. They'll have to turn Ukraine into rubble to make Ukraine not very interesting to NATO

• So Russia will be ready for a direct confrontation with NATO?

No, not NATO. Russia must do this before we're accepted. This way we [Ukraine] will be of no interest to NATO. A country turned to rubble is not very interesting to NATO
With 99.9% certainty, our price for joining NATO is a full-scale war with Russia
If we don't join NATO, Russia will absorb Ukraine within 10-12 years. That's our situation at the moment.
Now let's get Zelensky elected

• What's better, war with Russia or getting absorbed by it?

Undoubtedly a full-scale war with Russia is better and NATO membership as the result of winning the war

• What do you mean by a full-scale war with Russia?

Air offensives. The invasion by the four armies they've formed on our border. The siege of Kyiv. An attempt to surround our forces in the east [Donbas] region. Invasion from Crimea to destroy the dam that's blocking Crimean water supply. To release water to Crimea. Invasion from Belarus. The creation of new people's republics. False flag operations. Destruction of critical infrastructure and so on.
Airborn assault. That's what a full-scale war with Russia looks like
The probability that this war will happen is 99%.

• When?

Some time in 2020, 2021, or 2022. Next critical period is 2024-2026 followed by 2028-2030. There could be three wars with Russia

Posted by: Vajezatha | Mar 16 2022 15:40 utc | 19

The link is not from wikileaks - I used the example from MoA in the wrong way. Sorry . The link is for the Thiagho Rossi, "brazilian baby mercenary" video,

Posted by: argos | Mar 16 2022 15:41 utc | 20

It has already been posted. Arestovich is a self styled military expert, and a blogger, and an actor, and somebody who organizes psychological seminars for the military, and charity events, oh and a presidential advisor when he has the time.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 15:44 utc | 21

Nato/EU weapons captured and used against the Nazi's by the persecuted people of Donbas.

"The US and its allies have reportedly delivered as many as 17,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Washington approved over $13.6 billion in additional assistance to Kiev on Tuesday, on top of over $3 billion in weapons aid sent earlier.
The Russian military has released footage showing Donbass troops training using captured Javelin and NLAW anti-tank missile systems."

“The captured Ukrainian military equipment and the weapons of Western countries is being transferred to the units of the People’s Militia of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics for use in hostilities against Ukrainian nationalists,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Wednesday."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 15:47 utc | 22

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 15:17 utc | 6

Unfortunately the site is no longer available here, Putin's conference today is available in Russian, but the text I've not been able to find, it should be available with this link if it works in your location:

The video is posted at site and is available here, so we'll listen to it but no text:

I installed Opera to take advantage of their free VPN but it has not been of any use, it does not work.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 16 2022 15:56 utc | 23

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 16 2022 15:34 utc | 11

on Zelensky calling the US Congress to be "the leader of peace.”

of course what he really means by this is: impose a no-fly zone, which means start a war with Russia.

So we are now at the point where, literally, PEACE=WAR.

If the US or Zelensky were really interested in peace and/or in the good of Ukrainian civilians, they would be doing everything possible to negotiate a cease fire. But in fact they are interested neither in peace nor in the good of Ukraine. They are interested only in destroying Russia.

Posted by: WJ | Mar 16 2022 16:00 utc | 24

@ : WJ | Mar 16 2022 16:00 utc | 23... your last sentence is so true...

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:01 utc | 25

Naked Capitalism warns, that the world is facing a critical diesel shortage:
"...diesel fuel stocks in Europe are at their lowest since 2008, and 8 percent—or 35 million barrels—lower than the five-year average for this time of the year.

In the United States, the situation is graver still. There, diesel fuel inventories are 21 percent lower than the pre-pandemic five-year seasonal average, which translates into 30 million barrels. [- -]

What is perhaps worse, however, is that over the past 12 months, the combined diesel fuel inventories in the U.S., Europe, and Singapore, have shed a combined 110 million barrels that have yet to be replaced, Kemp noted.

On top of all this, Russia is a major supplier of diesel, meaning Western sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine are affecting these supplies too. With the market increasingly tight, Shell and BP have shied away from offering any diesel fuel cargos on the German market for two weeks, Reuters reported last week, for fear of shortages.

In the UK, meanwhile, the Daily Mail cited analysts as warning that the government may need to resort to diesel fuel rationing from next month because of the state of the market and the ban on Russian oil imports, which include diesel fuel. Russia supplied a third of the UK’s imported diesel before the ban.

“Risks of energy rationing and ultimately a recession are growing by the day – something most policymakers seem to be ignoring or not grasping right now."

Posted by: Mikkael | Mar 16 2022 16:01 utc | 26

Zelensky is either stalling for time or Washington is calling the shots.

"Kiev has rejected Russia’s proposal for a neutral status as part of a peace agreement to end three weeks of conflict in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday its negotiators had proposed that Kiev adopt a neutral status comparable to that of Austria or Sweden.

“This is an option that is being discussed now and that can be considered as a compromise,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

But Kiev immediately rejected the proposal, calling for a legally binding security agreement signed by international partners who would “not stand aside in the event of an attack on Ukraine, as they do today.”"

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:02 utc | 27

Posted by: fnord | Mar 16 2022 15:40 utc | 17

Plus the reason why we dropped the atomic bombs on Japan was really to scare the USSR.

Posted by: WJ | Mar 16 2022 16:03 utc | 28

@ Paco | Mar 16 2022 15:56 utc | 22

thanks paco... i rely on the translations as my russian is non existent, unlike yours! keep us posted..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:07 utc | 29

@ Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:02 utc | 26...

the usa and nato leadership is most definitely calling the shots.. their ass is on the line here.. zelensky is a puppet and has been given the acting life of his career... if he fucks up here, he is toast.. he might be toast regardless... i am thinking of that juan guiado guy who was given the world stage via our msm... where is he now?? it will be the same for zelensky soon enough... he is toast, maybe with some peanut butter and jam on it - but toast regardless..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:10 utc | 30

Republic of Scotland @ 21

Ukraine is completely awash in this stuff. Every selfie posted by neighborhood watch committees and block clubs - aka Territorial Defence - shows an array of shoulder fired missiles. Multiple Russian Army videos show captured munitions dumps where thousands of these weapons are piled like cordwood. Were the Ukrainian Army still even moderately functional they would be busy auctioning off this junk to arms merchants. But they are not functional and arranging delivery would be difficult. DPR would want some of these weapons available, all indications are they have enough already for generations to come.

The 13.6 billion might as well be direct deposited to the arms makers. And probably will be with or without delivery of product.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 16 2022 16:11 utc | 31

interesting position from military expert Igor Korotchenko.. i can't see ukraine ( ie - usa/nato) accepting this..

“Neither the Austrian nor the Swedish models of the neutral status of Ukraine suit Russia. These countries have their own armed forces, but Ukraine should not have them,” military expert Igor Korotchenko told the VZGLYAD newspaper. Earlier it was reported about the Austrian or Swedish version proposed by Kiev for Ukraine.

According to Korotchenko, the Russian position should be as follows:

▪️ Ukraine should never have its own armed forces, neither the army nor the navy, as well as enterprises of the defense complex — only the police and the National Guard;
▪️ Ukraine should be prohibited from purchasing weapons abroad;

▪️ Kyiv must recognize Crimea as Russian, and the DPR and LPR as sovereign states;

▪️ The non-bloc status of Ukraine should be ensured not only by legal documents, but also by the deployment of Russian military bases on a permanent basis on Ukrainian territory. “Otherwise, in 10, 20 or 50 years, we will be back to where we are now.”

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:14 utc | 32

Yes James I agree, did you ever notice the striking resemblance between Barack Obama and Juan Guiado, they must've thought because they fooled the US public with Obama as they gave him two-terms as POTUS that the Venezuelan folk would fall into the same trap with Guiado.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:18 utc | 33

Oldhippie (30) Expect more to hit the streets of Ukraine.

"US President Joe Biden is reportedly set to announce an additional $800 million in aid for Ukraine, bringing the total amount of US aid to over $1 billion amid Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

An unnamed senior White House official told reporters on Tuesday that an additional $800 million in aid would soon be announced which would bring “the total announced in the last week alone to $1 billion.”"

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:20 utc | 34

It's interesting that before the war Zelensky's domestic popularity was at an all time low due to his failure to solve any of the pressing domestic economic issues and now he has become the new 'hero of Ukraine'.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 16 2022 16:21 utc | 35

Based on eyewitness reports, it is clear the missile strike on the foreign mercenary facilities in western Ukraine was extremely precise and devastating. On top of the destruction, the effort to administer a foreign legion and funnel armaments and supplies into the country suffered a massive psychological setback.

For western publics solely digesting the MSM narrative, the proposed “no-fly zone” is simply a policy debate. They have no understanding that NATO cannot materially successfully establish such a zone.

It’s fascinating, if vaguely comical, that Zelensky, as noted here a few weeks ago, was an object of scorn and derision by western opinion makers but quickly rehabilitated into the “brave leader”. His performing arts background is coming to the fore now. His speeches to western parliaments are scripted similar to the SOU speeches since Reagan: bombast mixed with sentimentality and appeals to simplistic historical constructions. These speeches are also directly tailored to the audience - I.e. to Canada’s lawmakers, who have no military influence, he pleads for no-fly zone, while to the Americans, who have taken no-fly “off the table”, the topic doesn’t come up. Fairly certain he is in Poland and most of the western pols praising him know this.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 16 2022 16:23 utc | 36

@ Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:18 utc | 32... funny you mention that! i never thought of it before, but yes - obama and guiado have some similar looks!

The Russian Ministry of Defense showed a video showing the destruction of a depot of rocket and artillery ammunition of the armed forces of Ukraine.

The video was published by the Russian military department on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

“Personnel of objective control over the destruction of missile and artillery depots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The strike on the missile and artillery warehouses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was inflicted by a high-precision missile system of the RF Armed Forces. As a result of a precise hit and detonation of ammunition stored in ground and underground hangars, the warehouse was completely destroyed, ”the video explanation says.

video in this link -link

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:24 utc | 37

Paco @22--

That meeting was held in February. The text of the decree and associated meeting I'll post to the other open thread since it's OT here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2022 16:24 utc | 38

Regarding the influx of foreign armaments, to wit, Stingers, Javelins and NLAWs (for starters)....just where have we seen this scenario before?

I, too, have seen the RF videos wherein they display their "trophies" stacked up neatly. Now they have moved past the collection stage and are actively being trained how to use them, particularly in the DPR.

And now with the introduction of varies foreign mercenaries, particularly those of the ME extraction with a bone to pick with groups back home, how much of these materials are already being negotiated by some Syrian or Iraqi pipeline with captive Ukrainian officers (or even grunts)? "Want to go home with 3 years salary in your pocket or be shot in the back of the head and thrown in a ditch?". This stuff is absolutely going to make its way into the DPR/LHR depots or otherwise be deployed in the ME and probably against US assets there.

Some lessons are never learned.

Posted by: WastelandChic | Mar 16 2022 16:26 utc | 39

17 MAR, 04:57
Western "empire of lies" has resources, but it cannot defeat truth and justice — Putin

NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 16. /TASS/. Russia is aware of the resources the Western "empire of lies" has at its disposal, but it also knows that this empire is doomed to fail in a clash with truth and justice, President Vladimir Putin said in his opening remarks at a conference on socio-economic support for Russia’s regions on Wednesday.

"We are well aware of the resources this "empire of lies" has at its disposal, but it is impotent against truth and justice. Russia will be consistently explaining its position to the whole world. Our position is honest and open. Ever more people begin to hear, understand and share it," he said.

Putin pointed out that Russia was a target of a massive attack in the cyberspace and of an "unprecedented information campaign" involving global networks and all Western mass media, whose "impartiality and independence has turned out to be a myth."

"Access to information is restricted, people are being forced to swallow a tremendous amount of fakes and propaganda falsehoods," Putin said. "One US social network has openly permitted public calls for killing Russian citizens."

Posted by: Kim | Mar 16 2022 16:26 utc | 40

@ jayc | Mar 16 2022 16:23 utc | 35.... the cia and usa state dept is zelenskys agent and getting all the bookings lined up.. it's impressive!

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:26 utc | 41

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Mar 16 2022 16:20 utc | 33

naw, Obama was a plant, but he wasn't "installed" in the same sense that Zelensky was. Clinton was probably favored more by TPTB, those were legitimate game of thrones style struggles. TPTB would have been fine with Clinton, or Romney, or McCain, and Obama benefited from being such an obvious contrast (initially) with Bush Jr--he had a lot of public support precisely because he didn't have much of a record. Guaido has virtually no support outside of US support.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 16:32 utc | 42

@ Mikkael | Mar 16 2022 16:01 utc | 25

Thanks for the link, as it is very important. Planting season is coming up, and most tractors in the US run on diesel. Unless the US makes nice with Iran or Russia, pretty quick we, as in collective West, could be very hungry by winter.

Posted by: Michael.j | Mar 16 2022 16:38 utc | 43

Those clever Thailand 'pro democracy' terrorists are off to save Ukraine.

That will end well for all and maybe Thailand will be saved from USA imperial idiocy. The Ukronazis will assemble them all in one site for sure.

The next week will likely see the uke army reduced significantly. The cauldrons are being reduced to ash.

I notice utoob has an increasing number of USA military channels shrieking abut Russia losing and poorly eqipped gettig hungry and all that BS. Desperadoes lying incessantly.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2022 16:39 utc | 44

Re Sarah Wagenknecht as one of Germany’s sensible MPs… in Canada, the Green party’s Elizabeth May wears that banner often (and not just the pro-Ukraine scarf she’s worn lately.)

Similarly, she spoke in Parliament yesterday after Zelensky’s speech.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 16:45 utc | 45

Posted by: Mikkael | Mar 16 2022 15:25 utc | 8

Better an end with horror
Than horror without end.

Posted by: Berndt Braincell | Mar 16 2022 16:48 utc | 46

no it isnt the same reasoning. Russia is not using wmd's to destroy a civilian population and a city;

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 15:33 utc | 10

I won't argue that USA did not care much about "aborygynes", and they probably used bio-weapons against Japanese rice to incite 1945 famine.

However on nuclear bombing, we abhor it retroactively, after learning about both local and global consequences that may happen of nuclear war.

1. Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were significant military and/or logistic centers, and that is why they were targeted. It was not hunt of civilians.

2. Tokyo Fire and Dresden Fire probably had more victims than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We abhor the latter while mostly forgetting the former. Means, we were programmed to abhor anything nuclear, not human casualties, we were programmed to abhor potential future events, not specific events of the past.

3. Reading how both determined and lackadaiscal were world best (thus, unique) sceintists personally assembling those nukes (remember Demon Core?) i can only think back then people (lacking retroactive knowledge) thought about nuclear weapons much differently than we do. Cruelty of morality of that decision to nuke those Japanese cities should not be evaliated from our today knowledge and mindset.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 16 2022 16:48 utc | 47

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2022 16:24 utc | 37

I see you have access to the kremlin site, I picked that link on a yandex search and thought it was today's. Any ideas on a VPN or a way to access to blocked sites?

Posted by: Paco | Mar 16 2022 16:53 utc | 48

A few months back, before the war, some commenters here (including myself) asked why the Russians weren’t doing in Cuba what the Americans were doing in Ukraine, that is, cutting the salami, sending armaments progressively. Yesterday, it hit me. Would the Russians ever do to the Cubans what the Americans are doing to the Ukies? Make them fight to the last Ukie while standing aside and pouring oil into the fire? Of course not. If the Russians had armed the Cubans and Cuba had been attacked as a consequence, they would have felt obligated to go fight side by side with the Cubans, which means nuclear WW3 guaranteed. It is a cruel irony that it is because the Russians have a sense of Honor that they now look like the baddies, having done the only thing they could do. Why has it taken me so long to understand that? Is it because I was raised in a culture where Honor is just a quaint old-fashioned word?

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Mar 16 2022 16:54 utc | 49

We'll have to agree to disagree Arioch, I think civilians were the main target. it's the doctrine of strategic bombing, which is just terrorism. Dresden was another example of the use of this doctrine. I think there were 2 main reasons--to slaughter lots of civilians, and to intimidate the USSR. The latter reason may have been the most important.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 16:55 utc | 50

This is bordering on an official declaration of World War lll

a dangerous expansion being mulled.

Pepe Escobar tweeted March 15, 2022

“The Moronic Inferno's Treasury Dept. is even considering a full trade embargo and blocking Russia's access to international waters. As if they could embargo trans-Eurasia trade. And Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Zircon will ensure international waters are Russian waters.”


US Senators Unveil Bipartisan Bill Proposing Seizure, Sale of Russian Assets in Support of Ukraine
A bipartisan group of US senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would grant the federal government authority to seize multimillion-dollar assets of sanctioned Russians and others, in an effort to help raise funds for the defense of Ukraine.
H.R.6930, dubbed the ‘Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act,’ was co-sponsored by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Blumenthal(D-CT).
“Any serious attempt to punish [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for his unprovoked attack on Ukraine requires seizing the illicit funds of Russian oligarchs,” Sen. Wicker said.

= = = =
Western companies joined the sanctions. Russians are lucky to be rid of junk MacFoods and Starbucks’ 2 cent cup of coffee going for $6.

BUT then there is, get this non-essential medicines. Now where did we hear that term before? “Non-essential businesses.”

Big Pharma Eli Lilly Becomes First US Pharma Group to Partly Suspend Sales to Russia

The US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has become the first US company which announced a partial suspension of sales of its products to Russia, the company said on Tuesday.

"We also have suspended all investments, promotional activities, and new clinical trials in Russia, as well as the exportation of non-essential medicines to that country," the company said.

Now the operations in Russia of the group is focused on the sales of the drugs for those suffering from diseases like cancer and diabetes.

"Should we generate any profits from our sales in Russia, we will donate them to organizations dedicated to humanitarian relief," it added.

RT CrossTalk, March 15, 2022 ‘Ukraine’s Uncertain Future’ 
guests Patrick Henningsen and Dmitry Babich. Watch:

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has entered its third week and still no sign that hostilities will be winding down anytime soon. Ukraine’s President Zelensky and his NATO member state backers are vowing to “fight to the end,” signaling that they will not accept any of Russia’s demands, and nothing short of an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory. But that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. 
As a result, Ukraine’s fate is in the balance. No matter what happens, Europe’s security calculus has been changed forever.

“Ukraine is but a footnote.”

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 17:02 utc | 51

This takes the biscuit. A hobby company stops selling fantasy miniatures to Russians. Just wonder if the Department for Trade in the UK is contacting all large companies "encouraging" this kind of bullshit?

Posted by: Mongo | Mar 16 2022 17:04 utc | 52

Taking my daily anti depression pill with Gonzalo:

Posted by: njet | Mar 16 2022 17:04 utc | 53


This is the good one Karl, painfully slow but I got it.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 16 2022 17:05 utc | 54

Former top Pentagon advisor Col. Doug Macgregor on Russia-Ukraine war (The Grayzone YouTube channel, March 15, 2022)

Posted by: S | Mar 16 2022 17:08 utc | 55

I think putin has a valid point here.

17 MAR, 05:43
Deficit due to conversion of reserves may occur on world markets — Putin

NOVO-OGAREVO, March 16. /TASS/. Many countries will convert their resources into various goods and this will increase the deficit on markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"A serious blow was made against the entire global economy and trade, against confidence in the US dollar as the main reserve currency," the head of state said. "Illegitimate actions of freezing a portion of currency reserves of the Bank of Russia draw a line under reliability of the so-called ‘first-class’ assets," Putin said.

"The US and the EU actually announced the real default on their commitments to Russia. Now everybody knows that financial reserves can be simply stolen and having seen that, many countries can in the near future start - and I am confident it will be so - convert their paper and digital deposits into real reserves in the form of commodities, land, foods, gold, other real assets, which will make deficit on these markets even higher," the Russian leader added.

Posted by: Kim | Mar 16 2022 17:09 utc | 56

@jayc | Mar 16 2022 16:23 utc | 35

Based on eyewitness reports, it is clear the missile strike on the foreign mercenary facilities in western Ukraine was extremely precise and devastating.
I forgot who it was (Petri Krohn?), but someone mentioned that one of the missiles hit exactly the spot where a 3d camera was located in Google Maps. Clearly, it was a message showing the extreme precision of the Kalibr missile, presumably launched from hundreds of kilometers away.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 16 2022 17:10 utc | 57

I am much impressed by the diesel shortages reports. The West is in such a pathetic mindless state that every rational observer must be looking east. Can someone keep a list of the names of these sanctions advocates, for posterity that is. We sure dont want them harmed right now.

Net all those citizens with diesel cars will be refused supply just to keep foog in the stores. That will not go well.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2022 17:11 utc | 58

Food in the stores...

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2022 17:12 utc | 59

@Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 16:45 utc | 44

I didn't think that I could hate Ms. May much more after what she did to the BDS motion at the Green Party Conference a few years ago, and then what she did to the Party to stop Lascaris. But this sends her to new depths, what a war mongering propagandist piece of garbage.

Posted by: Roger | Mar 16 2022 17:15 utc | 60

At the Saker is a good Explainer on Russia's ForEx Reserves, where are they located?

What happened to Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves? Will there be a default?

Part of our gold and currency reserves was frozen in other countries, mainly the US and EU member states, due to sanctions imposed against Russia’s Central Bank (RCB).

Therefore, Russians are naturally asking why are our strategic reserves NOT stored on Russia’s territory but on the territory of our economic adversaries?

We’ll try to explain how much was stored where, how much is left, can it be returned, how the freeze will affect the economy and ordinary Russians, and also who’s to blame.[.]

RCB publishes an annual report on its assets and a weekly one on its volume. It stopped publishing on March 4. As of that date reserves consisted of $643 billion, but the data on the structure go back to June 30, 2021.[.]

A reminder – this represents the allocation as of the end of June, 2021. After the publication of that report, the RCB reported it was moving part of the reserves from western countries to eastern ones, therefore the geographic distribution might not be accurate, but is a guide, since there have been no radical changes.

Thus, Russia is home to only 1/5 of the reserves, 13% are in China, 5% in IMF, and the rest are in Europe and United States. China is apparently friendly, some of the ‘other’ countries are as well, IMF is not about to block the reserves, but Western countries have decided to recall their “raider” past, therefore only half of the reserves proved resilient to arrest or potential arrest, and the rest we have no access to. The Minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, named the figure of $300 million which is approximately the same as my calculations.

According to one explanation I’ve seen earlier, RCB transferred some of the reserves from the West to Eastern countries, in secrecy from the IMF, giving IMF a false report and therefore Western powers expected they’d be able to freeze a far larger sum than it turned out. But I have not seen any official confirmation (or refutation) of that explanation. One can only guess whether they thought this through or it came out the way it did by accident.

Nevertheless, some of our money was blocked, and that’s a fact. It’s remains our money, only RCB account transactions are blocked (it’s possible it’s our money for now, but one wants to believe they will release the funds).

If $300 billion were arrested, about $340 billion remain free, out of which $132 billion is monetary gold in the form of bullion. It is not known how much of the remaining money is cash, and how much is invested in securities.[.]

The Central Bank began withdrawing money from dollar assets after 2017, when the United States froze about 40% of Kazakhstan’s reserves on far-fetched pretexts. Yes, regardless whatever pretexts there may be, no one has the right to prohibit the use of reserves accumulated by a sovereign country. This created a dangerous precedent, and our financial authorities reacted correctly to it, not just hoping that somehow, we would not be affected.

So, why are our reserves stored abroad?


Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 17:18 utc | 61

@50 The senators probably have their eye on Putin's yacht.....which may not actually be Putin's.
Anybody who objects to the proposed bill is obviously a 'Putin lover'.

Posted by: dh | Mar 16 2022 17:31 utc | 62

Regarding all the captured missiles....

I hope the LDNR is careful on choosing which ones to use.

I think up to this point it's pretty safe to use the ones captured from live (or until recently, live) oppositions. But soon enough there'll be spiked ones sprinkled into honey trap armouries and depots.

Best just to scrap them all or give the low risk / clean ones to the Syrians, Iranians or hez.

Posted by: A.L. | Mar 16 2022 17:42 utc | 63

Paco @53--

Thanks for your reply. The transcript of that speech I'm posting on the other thread as I thought is was going to be about Russia's economy. Well, it seems that the second half will be about the economy while the first half is all about Ukraine and the war being waged by the Outlaw US Empire on Russia--a war that would've occurred regardless Russia's actions in Ukraine. Putin specifically addresses the people of the West, to inform them about the truth of what their governments are doing to Russia and to them. Yes, there's a video, but you know I prefer the transcript, which I hope will soon be complete.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2022 17:42 utc | 64

While I’m on YouTube… here’s four and a half minutes of CBC’s coverage of BoJo arriving in the UAE a few hours ago.

Roger @59, yep she did take a stance, as party leader, against the grassroots-green wishes for official party support of BDS. The tension at times between the global political Green movement and the desires of the local Canadian Green party are very visible. I do think she contributes in the House of Commons though and I’m glad she’s there. How many times has she been voted hardest working parliamentarian now??

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 17:43 utc | 65

dh @61--

In his speech today, Putin denounces the trampling of property rights and outright theft by the West and said the same won't happen in Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2022 17:45 utc | 66

@65 Trouble is the senators won't see it as theft. They call it 'asset seizure' and the proceeds will go towards 'humanitarian assistance'. But they can't fool us.

Posted by: dh | Mar 16 2022 17:57 utc | 67

Posted by: dh | Mar 16 2022 17:57 utc | 66

just like the cops in the U.S. with their "civil asset forfeiture" bs. they take your money, you have to prove it was legitimately yours. the burden of proof is on you. just another example of parallels between US foreign policy and US domestic policy.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 18:01 utc | 68

@njet | Mar 16 2022 17:04 utc | 52

Taking my daily anti depression pill with Gonzalo:

Really, really interesting. He has a great point regarding the missiles that were launched from Russian territory all across Ukraine, but NATO didn't see them and no warning was issued. That is an added twist to the extreme precision.

Also, the fact that Saudi Arabia is de-dollarizing (or at least seriously considering) us huge. What the US will do in that regard we can only imagine, and Gonzalo does some of that...

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 16 2022 18:02 utc | 69

17 MAR, 06:36
Ukraine’s secret service is plotting chemical provocation — Russian Defense Ministry
Combat documents seized from Ukraine’s 4th national guard brigade contained a detailed map of the country's territory showing storages of toxic chemicals and the types of substances kept there, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov noted

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Ukraine’s security service SBU, acting with support from the Western countries, is plotting a chemical provocation against civilians with the aim of eventually blaming it on Russia, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"We have reliable evidence that with support from the Western countries the SBU is plotting a chemical provocation against civilians. The purpose of the provocation is to blame Russia for using chemical weapons against Ukraine’s population," Konashenkov said.

He stressed that the Russian forces involved in the special military operation in Ukraine could not have chemical weapons by definition.

"In contrast to the United States Russia has long complied with its international commitments to eliminate all chemical weapons stockpiles," Konashenkov said.

He explained that combat documents seized from Ukraine’s 4th national guard brigade contained a detailed map of the country's territory showing storages of toxic chemicals and the types of substances kept there.

"Any SBU attempt to use poisonous chemicals for a provocation will be inevitably exposed," Konashenkov said.

He stressed that "for preventing any provocations by Ukrainian nationalists involving toxic chemicals the Russian forces instantly put all high-risk facilities in the liberated territories under control and ensure their security."

Posted by: Kim | Mar 16 2022 18:03 utc | 70

So in the last two days, Zelensky has addressed the Canadian parliament, the US Congress and met with three visiting PMs from bordering nations.

It seems like he is entirely focused on serving western PR agendas while doing nothing to reach a settlement to end the conflict.

I hope average Ukrainians get a chance to give him their 'input' on his performance.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Mar 16 2022 18:05 utc | 71

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 16 2022 18:02 utc | 68

the Karl Rove types who think they create reality are in for a very rude awakening. I think conditions in the U.S. are going to rival those during the depression. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 18:11 utc | 72

More insight from Putin.

17 MAR, 06:06
West does not need strong Russia, it tries to dismember it or make it weak — Putin
Today’s "hypocritical rhetoric and actions by the so-called collective West" are concealing hostile geopolitical aims, the Russian President pointed out

NOVO-OGARYOVO, March 16. /TASS/. What the West really needs is not a strong and sovereign Russia, but a weak and dependent backyard, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his opening remarks at a conference on socio-economic support for the country’s regions on Wednesday.

"They do not need a strong and sovereign Russia. They will not forgive us our independent policy or the determination to safeguard our national interests. We remember well enough their support for terrorism, separatism and brigandage in the North Caucasus. Just as it was the case in the 1990s and the early 2000s, they are trying to do away with us, to drive into the position of a backyard, to turn us into a weak and dependent country and upset its territorial integrity or, if possible, to dismember Russia," Putin said.

"They failed then and they will fail again," he promised, adding that today’s "hypocritical rhetoric and actions by the so-called collective West" were concealing hostile geopolitical aims.

Putin warned that the West would be relying heavily on what he described as the "fifth column," traitors of national interests, those who make money in Russia, but whose "servile mentality in fact exists in the West."

"I am far from criticizing those who may own villas in Miami or in the French Riviera, who cannot do without foie gras or oysters or without so-called gender freedoms. This is not a problem. The problem is many such people are mentally elsewhere, and not here, not with our people, not with Russia," he said.

"In their scheme of things this is an attribute of affiliation with the highest caste," Putin said. "Such people will not hesitate to sell their own mother for permission to take a seat in the antechamber of that highest caste. They wish to look like it and mimic it in very possible way. But they either forget or do not realize at all that the highest caste needs them in the sole capacity of a disposable tool that can be used for causing the maximum harm to our people."

Posted by: Kim | Mar 16 2022 18:15 utc | 73

@ dh 61

Morals and deceny have been canceled. I agree with Scott Ritter's tweet:

Scott Ritter
March 15
Watching the US Congress debase itself by providing a platform for a man who arrests his political opponents, closes opposition media, and openly colluded with Nazis is a low point in my life. Nancy Pelosi parroting the Bandera slogan is disturbing. We are not a serious country."

Ritter now sees the potential for a NATO-Russian clash under Article iV Trap in Ukraine...
That's right Article lV the flow of refugees and not Article 5.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 18:17 utc | 74

How many times has she been voted hardest working parliamentarian now??
Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 17:43 utc | 64

That is a very low bar to clear. I was among the early members of the Green Party movement in Guelph, Ontario the mid 1970s and left them a long time ago.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 16 2022 18:19 utc | 75

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 16:55 utc | 49

The targetting at Nagasaki suggests that the goal was military damage. Civic victims were not the goal themselves, albeit no evasion of minimization of them was tried either.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 16 2022 18:24 utc | 76

@pretzelattack | Mar 16 2022 18:11 utc | 71

the Karl Rove types who think they create reality are in for a very rude awakening.

I agree with that.

One issue that Gonzalo was talking about was the Russian foreign reserves that was seized stolen by the US. Clearly, the Russians had considered such a possibility. Was it a bait for the US to swallow?

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 16 2022 18:26 utc | 77

From todays rt
Ukraine would renounce its ambitions to join NATO – a move that would require changing the country’s constitution – and refusing to host any foreign military bases or weapons in exchange for security guarantees from the US, UK, and Turkey.

So Russia is giving up on denazification?

Posted by: Calgary Guy | Mar 16 2022 18:28 utc | 78

Russia should pass legislation that lets it pay its bond coupons with calling rights against its assets held in foreign banks.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Mar 16 2022 18:29 utc | 79

(And how are things going with working out those remaining kinks in the UK-EU divorce, anyhow?)

@ 74 Opport Knocks — it does seem sometimes like the hard-working parliamentarians are the ones you’d wish would just do nothing but stand up, sit down, raise their hand, etc. when required. Still, I find myself, begrudgingly at times, appreciating those who get stuff done in Parliament. I mean, Pierre Poilievre taking on WE charity’s Kielburger brothers was worth it for me.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 18:49 utc | 80

If someday your surviving children ask you, what did you do to try to prevent World War 3, what will you tell them?

Posted by: Bruce O'Hara | Mar 16 2022 18:51 utc | 81

Scott Ritter discusses NATO's Article IV, and what he thinks might happen when the volume of refugees exceeds the ability of countries to which they're going to accomodate them - in particular, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia in particular.

If that's not concerning enough, consider what happens in a few weeks or months, after whatever ceasefire agreement may be reached, is reached. Much of Ukraine will remain smashed, EU-RF trade will remain smashed, the medium term effects of the commodity crisis will be upon the world. These refugees will still be refugees, and EU politics has in the past resulted in less-than-graceful reactions to this kind of situation.

It might be time to start asking whether blowback in the form of further boosting nationalist politics in Eastern Europe, is a possible consequence of the present situation. An unintentional duplication of the ultra-right political radicalization that took place in Ukraine (with Western complicity) is not impossible. I'm not saying it's the base case, but if it does happen, it happens in an environment into which we are also dumping tens of thousands of handheld missiles. A nearly ideal weapon for any nationalist militia, who may have a bone to pick with their government, and wishes to engage in 'violent persuasion' (otherwise known as terrorism, when done by one's enemies). The ingredients for a nasty political situation are starting to accumulate.

Posted by: ptb | Mar 16 2022 18:53 utc | 82

oh here's the actual Scott Ritter link

Posted by: ptb | Mar 16 2022 18:54 utc | 83

I mean, Pierre Poilievre taking on WE charity’s Kielburger brothers was worth it for me.
Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Mar 16 2022 18:49 utc | 79

It is obvious to anyone who looks that corruption rules the day in Ottawa. The legacy media will not touch it because they are dependent on both big pharma and government for funding. Not just the absurd levels of Covid and other program advertising but now direct government grants to media companies.

I am still waiting on my freedom of information request to find out how the government determined that we needed 400 million vaccine doses for only 38 million people. It is by far the highest ratio of doses per person in the world. Get Pierre working on that.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Mar 16 2022 18:59 utc | 84

Poland is completely overwhelmed with refugees. Not sure where that will lead.

There was a huge swell of domestic support for Zelensky when the war started - people terrified and looking for a savior. Now at least some who were "ra ra Ukraine" initially have decided that they have been abandoned by their government and the west and are becoming bitter and cynical. Since 2000 the urban population, especially in Kiev, has been looking about for a knight on a white horse to fix Ukraine's problems with corruption and lack of economic opportunity. Popular support for both maidans was based on this sentiment, with Euromaidan having the added carrot of visa-free travel to Europe and EU membership seeming to promise all things good and grand - and then taken away by Yanukovitch when he refused to sign the agreement. They had decided, after voting Zelensky in in a landslide, that he was going to be their 'white knight', but by late last year had given up to cynicism again. What is needed is for them, collectively, to realize that they themselves must take responsibility and work together to solve Ukraine's myriad problems - however looking here at the US doesn't give one much hope that such a thing will happen. That said, the crisis caused by the war does provide an opportunity.

While I have no doubt that Russia can prevail militarily, war is a bitter and tragic endeavor and it's not at all clear to me that Russia's action will engender much thankfulness within Ukraine - outside of the DPR/LDNR and Crimea. Such feelings may arise after some period of time - depending on how the fight is eventually resolved. It is also not clear to me that the Russian aid and support to communities within the areas they have captured is sufficiently well thought out and tailored to help win 'hearts and minds'. For all the similarities between these respective populations Ukraine is not Russia. Perhaps 25 years ago the difference was not so important, but now it is. Such a task is not easy to carry out effectively in any case - looking at the US experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. One could say that the Americans were set up to fail because that had no clue about middle eastern culture and this is not the case here. However, I think that is exactly this overt cultural similarity that may lead to the mistaken idea that Ukraine is just like Russia so what we think is good and helpful the Ukrainians will appreciate as well. I hope the people in charge of this aspect of the operation have the ability to listen well to the local people.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 16 2022 19:01 utc | 85

@ Calgary Guy 77

that FT report should be taken with a elephant-sized block of salt.
The takeaway: There will not a be deal if the Kiev regime does not recognize (a) Crimea is Russia's territory never to be returned and (b) the Donbass [the twin baby bears] are independent republics.

Ze's uncle will veto until the last Ukie goes to eternal rest.

And No, from my readings VVP has not given up on de-nazification. Some days ago he is reported to have said. "Neo-Nazis and nukes are a bad mix...a severe threat to Russia." VVP is not bluffing.

Today March 16, 2022
Putin: "Pro-Nazi Regime in Kiev Could Get Nuclear Weapons in Foreseeable Future to Target Russia"

[.]Ukraine's apparent desire to create a nuclear weapon constitutes a severe threat to Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said.

"Statements were made by Kiev authorities about their intention to create nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. This was a real threat. Already in the foreseeable future, with foreign technical assistance, the pro-Nazi regime in Kiev could get its hands on weapons of mass destruction. And the targets of such weapons would of course be Russia," Putin said at a briefing devoted to the economy on Wednesday.[.]

(emphasis added)

Keyword: foreseable future
Every last neo-Nazi will meet RF's janitorial service.
RF will not be meeting its goal not to occupy the residue of what is left --- mini Banderastan.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 19:10 utc | 86

GoogleTranslate - beginning of long interview of RF finance minister:

Russia has the money to pay off its foreign debt, but the payment may not reach the final recipients because the West has blocked the country's foreign exchange reserves. The Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov spoke about this in an exclusive interview with RT. According to him, in the current conditions, the fulfillment of obligations no longer depends on Moscow, and now "the ball is on the side of the American authorities." At the same time, Russia has prepared a backup plan, according to which all payments on external debt will be made in rubles.
According to the minister, Western sanctions have a negative effect on global trade and global GDP. However, the Russian government has already prepared a set of anti-crisis measures for more than 1 trillion rubles and plans to fulfill all social obligations. And Washington's actions undermine the international community's confidence in the dollar, Siluanov is sure.
According to the minister, Western sanctions have a negative effect on global trade and global GDP. However, the Russian government has already prepared a set of anti-crisis measures for more than 1 trillion rubles and plans to fulfill all social obligations. And Washington's actions undermine the international community's confidence in the dollar, Siluanov is sure.
full interview:

Posted by: JB | Mar 16 2022 19:14 utc | 87

Putin has delivered a speech to Russia enlisting one and all into the greatest Challege Russia has faced since the Great Patriotic War. I posted the speech as its transcript slowly emerged onto today's other thread, but it can also be read here without those breaks with my emphasis and short intro about its gravity. For those able to access the Kremlin's website, here's the link to the Russian transcript and video.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2022 19:27 utc | 88

German electric utility reveals Nord Stream 2 plans
E.ON won’t pull out of Russian gas pipeline project

“We are not considering withdrawing from Nord Stream. This is an asset that cannot be sold. We could give it to the main Russian shareholder for free [Gazprom – Ed.], but this would be unprofitable,” E.ON Chief Executive Leonhard Birnbaum said, adding, “If we abandon our management rights, then we would give the majority shareholder from Russia the right to make decisions alone.”

E.ON has opposed Poland’s calls to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which has been transporting Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea since 2011, as a possible sanction measure.
The head of the German utility also said it would be extremely difficult for Europe to significantly reduce dependence on energy supplies from Russia, at least in the next three years.

Not to be overlooked….sanctions are for domestic consumption on main street. Many ways to work-around or outright, ignore.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 19:37 utc | 90

Still getting up to speed here. Went through the Saker's stuff, followed a bunch of links, etc.

Still not seeing how the invasion ultimately will help Russia, but that's why I'm being schooled, eh? For those who see it, can you share the end game with those of us still in the dark? It seems to me Russia fell into a western trap here, but I could be wrong of course. Rather than securing a larger place for Russia on the world stage the opposite seems to be happening now, no?

Is the idea the successful military campaign will be followed up by an equally successful return to commerce with the west? Or is the idea Russia will now pivot entirely to the east? I'm finding it difficult to see how this ends. As the Saker said, and I agree with him, Russia has won the military campaign and completely lost the psyops campaign.

Seems to me the power remains with the west at this point, and will remain that way, but I think at least some of you feel otherwise. There are already 87 Comments on this thread, so its hard to keep pace (I still have to work, ya know).

It'd be super helpful if b or one of the other folks could create a "for further reading" section where the latest links and analysis could be covered topically. I think this is a Wordpress site, so not too sure on that, but it would be really helpful. Trying to slog through over 500 comments in two days on three threads is daunting.

Posted by: Tom Herrera | Mar 16 2022 19:42 utc | 91

Posted by: Vajezatha | Mar 16 2022 15:40 utc | 18
"Undoubtedly a full-scale war with Russia is better and NATO membership as the result of winning the war"

As I mentioned in the last thread, this sentence proves he's an idiot. How does he expect to win a war against Russia? How does he expect to get into NATO if Russia wins the war?

He's a babbling idiot like most Ukrainian officials. Ignore him.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2022 19:43 utc | 92

Posted by: Calgary Guy | Mar 16 2022

So Russia is giving up on denazification?

I very much doubt that,
Russian objectives are incomplete,and they know sanctions will never be lifted if they withdraw.
With Zelensky still pleading for S-300 air defense systems,USA granting $1 Billion in military equipment.Russia returning to gold standard,Saudi mulling yuan for oil,Aramco building massive refinery in northern China.
More likely to hear of another dead Ukrainian negotiator,than a peace deal imo.

I have also seen video footage of 1 train load of Abraham tanks heading from Ramstein to Poland and another 1 carrying Bradley's to Poland.

Posted by: Kim | Mar 16 2022 19:45 utc | 93

Tigray war has seen up to half a million dead from violence and starvation
OK, now back to fretting about the plight of White Christians.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Mar 16 2022 19:51 utc | 94

I think about all people calling Selensky a puppet. He is - but then again, he is not.

No doubt he has done, and does, what other people tell him to do. But he also has agency of his own. As long as people tell him to do what he intends to do, there is no problem. As long as he thought that Ukraine's and NATO's interests aligned, he had no issue doing what NATO wanted him to do. But NATO has let him down.

Whatever NATO promised him, they left Ukraine to fend for itself. They send declarations of support, and weapons. But the No-Fly-Zone over Ukraine is of Russian make. And the Ukrainian Army once again sits in cauldrons. The Western propaganda blitz, sanctions, and condemnation of Russia does nothing to change that. That is what everybody in Ukraine can see.

I see people claiming that Zelensky cannot compromise / give up because NATO, or the Nazis, don't let him. Isn't it possible that Zelensky would refuse even if NATO tried to push him in that direction, because that is a direction he doesn't want to go?

I read abot the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine considers becoming neutral - like Austria. Or maybe rather liek Sweden (which would allow it to keep its own arms industries running). Up comes Zelensky, demanding that a nuclear capable country like Great Britain guarantee Ukraine's safety. That is not neutrality, is it? He wants Ukraine to become a NATO member - and if NATO won't help, he wants a NATO of his own.

And what could his western puppeteers do? If he is currently not in a place they control. e.g. the US Embassy in Warsaw? What can they do to save face at this stage? If Russia doesn't just collapse on its own, as they are so fervently hoping? If they don't want to go for World War 3?

The best the puppeteers can then hope for is another peace agreement like Minsk I and II - but I doubt Russia would just leave, and wait for Kiev to implement the agreed upon steps. And most certainly Russia will not leave before they discuss further steps, as Zelensky demands. This time, Ukraine will officially have to give up any claims to Crimea, the LNR and DNR.

There are even western voices that no longer rule out a neutral Ukraine, so I guess some would like to go in that direction. Then they could start climbing down from their sanctions. Zelensky doesn't want to go there - and his puppeteers cannot simply drop him after what they started in his name.

Posted by: Martina | Mar 16 2022 19:57 utc | 95

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2022 16:14 utc | 31
"Igor Korotchenko.. i can't see ukraine ( ie - usa/nato) accepting this.."

They don't have to - Russia will insure it.

However, I disagree with Korotchenko. I think Russia will allow Ukraine to have a military - just not one that can threaten Russia. No country, except maybe the tiniest, can get by without a military. The only thing Russia cares about is that a future Ukrainian military is not integrated with NATO or have the option for NATO membership. In essence, Ukraine will become like Belarus - a compliant partner hosting Russian military assets and integrated with the Russian military and the CSTO.

"Ukraine should be prohibited from purchasing weapons abroad;"

I think that will be true. Russia will supply whatever weapons the new Ukrainian army requires.

"Kyiv must recognize Crimea as Russian, and the DPR and LPR as sovereign states;"

Obviously. This will be no problem once Russia replaces the Ukrainian government.

"The non-bloc status of Ukraine should be ensured not only by legal documents, but also by the deployment of Russian military bases on a permanent basis on Ukrainian territory. “Otherwise, in 10, 20 or 50 years, we will be back to where we are now.”

He's right about that. And Scott Ritter says that's the goal - to station Russian strategic weapons in Ukraine and Belarus to counter US weapons in Poland and Romania. This is part of the "military-technical measures" Russia talked about imposing if the treaty proposals were ignored.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2022 20:01 utc | 96

I know that there is no interest here in the legal aspects of the Russian action in Ukraine, which are very important and interesting, but it is necessary to know that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued an order that Russia stop its military operation.
The order (provisional measures) was issued at the request of Ukraine, after the public hearing on 7 March. Russia decided not to participate (it did when Georgia also took it court).
From the decision on provisional measures we learn that Russia asked the Court to set the case aside as it lacks jurisdiction. The Court found that it does have jurisdiction to decide on the request for provisional measures. Whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case on the merits (Genocide Convention) is to be decided later.
For those maybe interested, the decision:

Posted by: JB | Mar 16 2022 20:02 utc | 97

"Azov" reportedly hoarded what hostages they still had into Mariupol City Theatre and blasted it on air.

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 16 2022 20:06 utc | 98

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 16 2022 17:02 utc | 50

"Pepe Escobar tweeted March 15, 2022 “The Moronic Inferno's Treasury Dept. is even considering a full trade embargo and blocking Russia's access to international waters."

I read the interview where the Treasury Department guy was asked that question. He dodged it and just said they were doing things that "were consistent with what Zelensky asked for." So I don't think they're seriously considering it.

At least not at the moment. But who knows when that will change as it becomes apparent the sanctions aren't working. They threatened Iran with a naval oil embargo as well. Of course, Russia is not Iran. But even Iran threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz and nothing came of the naval blockade. Still, anything is possible.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2022 20:09 utc | 99

someone pls explain what it means for Biden to send onr billion in 'aid' to Ukraine. does that mean sending old weapons, after which the Pentagon is restocked with new weapons, in which case the aid is just a new purchase of weapons from the MIC?

or is aid the funding of special military operations, intelligence assets, bribes and so on? what the hell does aid mean?

Posted by: mastameta | Mar 16 2022 20:16 utc | 100

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