Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2022

As Things Fall Apart Biden May Want To Escalate

Is reality setting in? Is that why a Washington Post reporter, who has been on the frontline in Ukraine, was allowed to write this?

Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned

[A]fter three months of war, this company of 120 men is down to 54 because of deaths, injuries and desertions.

The volunteers were civilians before Russia invaded on Feb. 24, and they never expected to be dispatched to one of the most dangerous front lines in eastern Ukraine. They quickly found themselves in the crosshairs of war, feeling abandoned by their military superiors and struggling to survive.

In mid February these people were still civilians in some town in west Ukraine. They then 'volunteered', to avoid a draft into the army, for the territorial defense forces with the hope to serve near their homes:

Lapko, built like a wrestler, was made a company commander in the 5th Separate Rifle Battalion, in charge of 120 men. The similarly burly Khrus became a platoon commander under Lapko. All of their comrades were from western Ukraine. They were handed AK-47 rifles and given training that lasted less than a half-hour.

“We shot 30 bullets and then they said, ‘You can’t get more; too expensive,’ ” Lapko said.

They were given orders to head to the western city of Lviv. When they got there, they were ordered to go south and then east into Luhansk province in Donbas, portions of which were already under the control of Moscow-backed separatists and are now occupied by Russian forces.

The men were put into a frontline ditch and have since been shelled again and again without any ability to respond. They then disregarded the orders from above and left. They have now be arrested.

The military values of such units was zero to begin with. Untrained men under command of an inexperienced civilian and with no real weapons have no chance to hold out against a professional military force like the Russian army.

That 60 or so of them got killed or wounded for no good reason is the responsibility of the servant of the corrupt (recommended), President Vlodomir Zelenski, and those 'western' politicians, like Boris Johnson, who egg him on.

But the biggest part of the responsibility for the life of those men falls to the Biden administration. It tried to push Zelensky to invade Donbas in early 2021. Back then Russia started large scale maneuvers and made clear that they would intervene. Zelensky got cold feet and pulled back. As the Carnegie Endowment's Dmitri Tretin reported at that time:

In February [2021], Zelensky ordered troops (as part of the rotation process) and heavy weapons (as a show of force) to go near to the conflict zone in Donbas. He did not venture out as far as Poroshenko, who dispatched small Ukrainian naval vessels through the Russian-controlled waters near the Kerch Strait in late 2018, but it was enough to get him noticed in Moscow. The fact of the matter is that even if Ukraine cannot seriously hope to win the war in Donbas, it can successfully provoke Russia into action. This, in turn, would produce a knee-jerk reaction from Ukraine’s Western supporters and further aggravate Moscow’s relations, particularly with Europe. One way or another, the fate of Nord Stream II will directly affect Ukraine’s interests. Being seen as a victim of Russian aggression and presenting itself as a frontline state checking Russia’s further advance toward Europe is a major asset of Kyiv’s foreign policy.

When the 2021 attempt had failed the Biden administration did not change its general plan as it is part of a larger strategy to push the 'west' into a new cold war with Russia and China. After the 2021 attempt on Donbas had failed the U.S. immediately prepared for a new attempt to provoke Russia in Ukraine in spring 2022.

The first instruction that Secretary of State Antony Blinken got from President Biden was to “reset” America’s alliances and partnerships abroad so that the United States could deal with the challenges ahead. That strategy would prove decisive in combating Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Blinken and other officials gave me new details this week, describing a series of behind-the-scenes meetings over the past year that helped forge the U.S.-led coalition to support Ukraine.
The Biden administration’s secret planning began in April 2021 when Russia massed about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. The buildup turned out to be a feint, but Blinken and other officials discussed U.S. intelligence about Russia’s actions with leaders of Britain, France and Germany at a NATO meeting in Brussels that month. Their message was, “We need to get ourselves prepared,” a senior State Department official said.
The Ukraine threat got red-hot in October, when the United States gathered intelligence about a renewed Russian buildup on the border, along with “some detail about what Russian plans for those forces actually were,” Blinken said. This operational detail “was really the eye opener.” The Group of 20 nations were meeting at the end of October in Rome, and Biden pulled aside the leaders of Britain, France and Germany and gave them a detailed readout on the top-secret evidence.

“It was galvanizing enough that there was an agreement … to fleshing out the consequences for Russia if it went ahead with the aggression,” Blinken said.
Threatening sanctions can be an empty diplomatic ritual. But in December, Blinken and his colleagues began seriously discussing with allies what steps they would take. The initial venue was a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in Liverpool, England, on Dec. 11. The attendees publicly committed that there would be “massive consequences and severe costs,” Blinken remembered. As a result, he said, “when the aggression actually happened, we were able to move immediately.”

NATO military planning accelerated along with the diplomacy. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, the NATO commander, told me that his colleagues began preparing in December and January the “ground lines of communication” that would allow rapid shipment of arms into Ukraine. They studied entry points for supplies and other practical details. This weapons pipeline delivered Stinger and Javelin missiles before the invasion began Feb. 24 and has transferred huge numbers of heavier weapons since then.

That narrative is of course deeply misleading. The U.S. did not know of a 'Russian invasion'. What it knew was that Zelensky, pushed by the U.S., would make another attempt to invade the Donbas republics with overwhelming force and that Russia's leadership would have to react to such an assault on its compatriots.

The Ukrainian assault began on February 16 when over several days Ukrainian artillery increased its bombardment of Donbas by a factor of 40. Russia reacted to that and on February 24 preempted the planned ground assault.

The above part of Biden's plan to provoke Russia into a war as a means to strengthen the U.S. position in Europe has worked well.

But how long will the coalition of the 'west' hold when inflation, energy scarcity and hunger set in? European unity is already falling apart with each country scrambling to fulfill its own energy needs.

Everyone can now see that the Ukraine, and with it the U.S., is losing the war. Meanwhile Russia is doing much better than anyone had expected.

What is Biden's plan now as things fall apart? Escalating towards a wider war is an option but the risk of it is much higher than potential gains.

Still, for Biden it may be the only way he is willing to go.

Posted by b on May 27, 2022 at 15:36 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

More likely is that US foreign policy is currently like a rudderless ship.

Posted by: Comandante | May 27 2022 18:31 utc | 65

US foreign and domestic policy is run by capital or the false creation of it. Anything or anyone who dares to stand in the way is summarily crushed. That's why our "leftist" politics are now all about faux corporate wokeism.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 27 2022 20:37 utc | 101

"food for powder, food for powder," Falstaff's reply when someone mocks his little band of troops as "ragamuffins and scarecrows."

powder, pulverize. feeding on the dust. warriors sprout from the blood spilled.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | May 27 2022 20:38 utc | 102

Devoted reader/lurker for several months, finding B's posts and the many comments informative about Ukraine conflict, in contrast to relentless and near universal propaganda/war-mongering/cheer-leading by western media. However, I look at one US military 'buff' website regularly bc it is informative and authoritative about US weapons-- despite biased perspective.

Much talk about M142 HIMARS and M270 multiple launch rockets systems as possible 'game changers' if supplied to the Ukraine, but this article suggests otherwise, and here are some excerpts:

[subtitle] American rocket launchers are not a ‘silver bullet’ and they come with different levels of capabilities depending on the ammo provided.

The maximum range of either of these systems is dependent on what type of munition they're firing. The longest range artillery rockets currently available for the system are the M30 (submunition warhead) and M31 (unitary warhead) precision-guided types, which are GPS/INS guided and can hit targets out to around 43 miles (70 kilometers). The far larger ATACMS missiles can engage threats out to 186 miles (300 kilometers) depending on the variant.

For instance, precision-guided 227mm rockets and ATACMS missiles are not ideally employed in mass volleys against broad area targets, such as the enemy armor or artillery formations that Ukrainian forces are staring down in the Donbas region. Any stocks of guided munitions that get sent along with the launchers could very well be small in quantity, at least initially, anyway. It is not hard to imagine that they would be employed very selectively in instances where the extended range and ability to hit pinpoint targets could be best exploited, with more traditional rockets still providing massed fires against hostile forces. In a pinch, the M30/31s can be used against massed targets, and less rockets are needed to accomplish the intended effects due to their precision, but the precious nature of these weapons would likely only see them used in that manner during dire circumstances.

It's also not clear from CNN's report or any other sources how willing or able the U.S. government would be to send guided 227mm rockets or ATACMS missiles, to begin with. The technology inside those weapons, as well as the highly-automated launcher itself, could prompt concerns about operational security risks in the event they might be captured by Russian forces. The War Zone has itself already highlighted how Russia's materiel losses in the conflict have almost certainly translated into major intelligence gains for the West.

The U.S. military has notably transferred a number of 155mm M777A2 towed howitzers to Ukrainian forces already, but without the networked digital fire control system that is present on those weapons in American service. This also means that those howitzers cannot employ precision-guided shells and limits how quickly and accurately they can engage a target or shift focus to another.

Video footage did emerge this week that reportedly shows additional M777A2s being trucked into Ukraine from Poland that do feature the fire control system, which could indicate a shift in policy in this regard.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR), a voluntary international arms control pact that the United States and Ukraine are parties to, presents potential hurdles for the transfer of ATACMS missiles at all. The MTCR is particularly focused on curtailing exports of missiles with ranges of 300 kilometers (186 miles) or more and/or with payloads weighing 500 pounds or more, which includes all ATACMS variants with the exception of the MGM-140B. In addition, in U.S. military service, MGM-140Bs were also often loaded with lighter warheads to increase their maximum range to 300 kilometers.

It's also worth noting that there are, at least presently, the only unguided rockets available for the MLRS and HIMARS are loaded with cluster munitions warheads. The submunitions in these warheads, M77 or M85 Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) depending on the exact variant, have a long history of questionable reliability. Unexploded submunitions can present serious hazards to the safe movement of friendly forces, as well as enemy units, not to mention innocent bystanders.

U.S.-supplied rockets loaded with cluster munitions might raise political, as well as pragmatic issues for Ukraine. The Russian military has been actively criticized for its often indiscriminate employment of cluster munitions, as well as other weapons, in the conflict so far. At the same time, Ukrainian forces have reportedly used their own cluster munitions in the fighting. To date, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States remain among the countries that have declined to sign an international agreement that prohibits the production, stockpiling, and employment of certain cluster munitions.

Questions of the political optics aside, without precision-guided rockets, let alone ATACMS missiles, MLRS and HIMARS would not necessarily offer the Ukrainian military significant new artillery capabilities over the MRLs it has in service now. Unguided M26-series 227mm rockets would certainly offer improved accuracy and range over the 122mm systems, versions of the Soviet-era BM-21 Grad and the more recently acquired RM-70s, that the Ukrainian armed forces currently possess.

However, the longest-range variants of the M26 do not offer dramatically greater capability in terms of reach than the 220mm types fired from larger Ukrainian BM-27 Uragans and cannot reach the same distances that their existing 300mm ones their BM-30 Smerchs employ can. The rockets available for the BM-27 can generally hit targets out to almost 22 miles (35 kilometers), while most of the types that the BM-30 fires can engage threats up to 43 miles (70 kilometers) away. The extended-range M26A1/A2 rocket types have a maximum range of just under 28 miles (45 kilometers).

Russia has BM-27 and BM-30 MRLs and has been using them in Ukraine. The U.S. military itself has previously cited the range of the BM-30, among other Russian artillery systems, as one of the driving factors behind efforts to develop new extend-range rockets for HIMARS and the M270.

Precision-guided 233mm M30 and M31 rockets for HIMARS and MLRS, on the other hand, offer ranges that can compete with BM-30 Smerch and can do so with pinpoint accuracy, which the Smerch cannot. In some cases, this can come in very handy, especially when hitting critical or time-sensitive targets, such as enemy command posts, or as a last resort for taking out or degrading Russia's longest-range artillery systems. The guided rockets can also act as close fire support for troops downrange, which would be very helpful in danger-close situations, especially considering Ukraine has very limited close air support options and especially those of a precision nature.

ATACMS is a whole other animal. It would give Ukraine the ability to make long-range pinpoint strikes even against hardened targets over nearly 200 miles. Arming the Ukrainian Army with this capability would be the biggest escalation in arms transfers since the start of the war and would allow Ukraine to make precision strikes deep into Russian territory. While a week ago, the idea of arming Ukraine with ATACMs seemed highly remote, the fact that NATO is now supplying Ukraine with RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles sets a new precedent. Still, ATACMs — a land attack ballistic missile — would be a major step beyond that.

Finally, we must underscore again that the precision rockets these systems can fire are expensive, potentially sensitive in terms of technological risk, and would only be available in limited numbers, if at all. This would limit their impact on the battlefield. But even supplying Ukraine with MLRS or HIMARS and unguided rockets would provide a more accurate capability and an assured supply chain via being able to draw down ammunition from U.S. stocks.

---sorry for long post (the nerve of this newby!), but article is even longer, with many great pix, so look for yourselves!

Posted by: newby | May 27 2022 20:43 utc | 103

re: "Biden May Want To Escalate"
CNN: The Biden administration is preparing to step up the kind of weaponry it is offering Ukraine by sending advanced, long-range rocket systems that are now the top request from Ukrainian officials, multiple officials say. The administration is leaning toward sending the systems as part of a larger package of military and security assistance to Ukraine, which could be announced as soon as next week.

The Biden administration waivered for weeks, however, on whether to send the systems, amid concerns raised within the National Security Council that Ukraine could use the new weapons to carry out offensive attacks inside Russia, officials said.

Ukraine is already believed to have carried out numerous cross-border strikes inside Russia, which Ukrainian officials neither confirm nor deny. Russian officials have said publicly that any threat to their homeland would constitute a major escalation and have said that western countries are making themselves a legitimate target in the war by continuing to arm the Ukrainians. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 27 2022 20:44 utc | 104

Well someone's pivoting to Asia. Putin just held a virtual conference with his Eurasia club, i.e. neighboring trade partners, the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). His speech held hope and promise, but them’s not just words. Putin is a man of progressive Eastern action incentivizing not only substitution initiatives to blunt the bite of sanctions, but advancing innovation as well with government support and funding. He's arranging the economic future of Russia. He's all over it and on top of it.

When Henry Kissinger becomes Ukraine's persona non grata for concluding a posteriori that the pragmatic arrangement for seating peace at any table is for Ukraine to cede the confirmed facts on the ground, then you know Putin is winning on all fronts; military, economic and geopolitical, and shutting down the exits. The writing is on the wall, and only Ukraine needs spectacles.

Putin is not the erratic, crazy micro-manager the West paints him to be. Okay, maybe just a little crazy. Hey, he's got brass facing down the Empire with an SMO on Ukraine!

I'll admit, the SMO didn't ignite like a house on fire, but you sure notice the difference when Putin takes charge. The momentum is all with Russia now.

If I were a world leader facing Putin at this moment I'd have no option left, but this: Take me to your shack; lead the way. Let's talk and make things right.

Make peace happen.

Posted by: Circe | May 27 2022 20:44 utc | 105

Everyone is making the same mistake that the USA had tricked Russia to attack Ukraine. No, it is not that easy to trick the Russia of today. It might have been easy to trick Yeltsin or Gorbaczow, but not Putin, and his team. Russia knew about what's happening in the Ukraine. Russia also knew about what was Ukraine, who are the Ukrainians. It was easy for Hitler to attack USSR through Ukraine, rather than through Belarus.

Moscow knew about what's happening in the Ukraine for the last 8 years. It couldn't stop the Maidan happening in 2014, but could get ready. The Russian Army became the best in the world. It could help Syria and test all kinds of armament. Also, Russia became richer and richer, in practically all areas.

The West tried a colour revolution in Belarus, which failed. It, then tried another coup in Kazachstan, which too failed.

Then, the joint war games with Belarus. And, all kinds of "leaked" info about imminent Russian attack on Ukraine, which didn't happen for nearly 5 months. In the meantime, there were Russia's ultimatums on NATO, but sent to Washington. And, those refusals and sabre rattling by Biden, Blinken and Stoltenberg. But, still no one in the West really didn't know what Russia would do.

Then, things happened within 3 days -- the invitation of heads of DPR and LNR to Moscow, the calling of the Russian Duma to recognise the two republics, and Putin recognising them and signing the security agreements of those two republics with the RF. Then the next day, committing Russian forces to defend those two republics. So, in the morning within an hour or so, Ukraine was hit early in the morning. The rest is history.

No, Biden or the USA didn't trick Russia to attack the Ukraine. It was planned, and much, much earlier. The world woke up surprised, especially the Ukraine, USA and NATO.

Posted by: ostro | May 27 2022 20:48 utc | 106

Posted by: La Bastille | May 27 2022 20:36 utc | 99

13-day Live blog with press clippings and links to Congressional Record (daily transcript)
US Congress impeaches self

Posted by: sln2002 | May 27 2022 20:49 utc | 107

There are guided rounds for the smerch rocket system. There is a cluster round with 5 guided anti tank sub munitions.

Posted by: nook | May 27 2022 20:55 utc | 108

Observers have tied the Russian SMO in Ukraine to concluding, finally, WWII. I concur with that observation. Humanity are ridding themselves of Fascism. This may be compared with ridding the body of a very nasty virus. It is hard work that has to be done.

As is known, Fascists survived WWII in large numbers and became controlling parties in Europe (EU) and USA (CIA). Communists also survived WWII. They became controlling parties in Europe and Latin America (schools, churches, NGOs) and USA (schools, churches, NGOs, D-R UniParty) and Canada (virtually all GOs and NGOs).

Communists were defeated first by Russians. That was in 1991, although Poles and others had been chipping away at Communist rule in their countries since 1989. Russians flat threw the Communists out.

Starting about that time, Communists in Europe and the Americas sought refuge and common cause with Fascists in their countries (origins of World Economic Forum) and by 2009 Fascists and Communists in Europe and North America wear the same clothes, use the same hairdresser, and take their wives and children to the same country club.

Fascists and Communists today share the same objective: raise hell, cause chaos, eliminate populations, and steal as much as you can of everything you can because you can.

Russians, meanwhile, labored to excise both Fascists and Communists from their midst, and battlefield results demonstrate that they have succeeded. From her throwing out of Fascists and Communists, Russia has ability to defeat the combined Fascist-Communist force (Nuland-NATO-WEF) in both domestic and foreign affairs.

The Gay Pride Flag is today's iteration, in one flag, of the combined Nazi German and Bolshevik Soviet flags. Russians have the proper response to the likes of Pussy Riot. It makes them strong in all three areas of physical, mental, spiritual capabilities.

Fascism and Communism, today conveniently present in combination as almost all GOs and NGOs -- making for extraordinary clarity in strategics, operations, and tactics -- must be shown the door to the dry regions of moral and social acceptability.

Posted by: The Rev. David R. Gr | May 27 2022 20:59 utc | 109

As the dollar slips on a daily basis, now below even 57 to the rouble for the first time since 2015, some Western bankers are beginning to panic.

That's Batiuschka, meditating on NATO expansion at the Saker. So many ways it could go:
(1) Finland & Sweden
(2) Poland "the Kiev regime has basically renounced its own sovereignty"
(3) the Baltics "threatening to ban the hostage Russian Orthodox Church"
(4) Romania -> Moldova
(5) Bulgaria & Greece.

In the wake of Azovstal's cushioned fall (hardly making a sound), and the aggressive return of recurrent domestic nightmares, Ukraine has fallen way off the front page, here in USA -- to the point we even scored an up-week on Wall Street. Uh oh...

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 27 2022 21:07 utc | 110

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 27 2022 16:27 utc | 13

Draghi calls for EU treaties change amid 'ideal' and 'pragmatic' federalism, 4 May

Speaking before European lawmakers in Strasbourg on Tuesday (3 May), Draghi said that both the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine forced EU institutions to take on UNPRECEDENTED levels of responsibility.

For this reason, he called for a change in the EU treaties for an effective ["]decision-making mechanism["] to get over the principle of unanimity, "which leads to a logic of intergovernmental decision," and move towards decisions taken based on a qualified majority.

The integration process would benefit from this new mechanism, according to Draghi. "To fully integrate countries that have European aspirations is not a threat to the European project. This is part of its implementation," he said.
Italy's prime minister said the country is in favour of "opening up of accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia", boosting negotiations "with Serbia and Montenegro" and "supporting the legitimate expectations of Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina."

What do we know about Macron's idea for a two-tier Europe?, 12 May
He laid out his vision of a broader community of European democracies that would allow for deeper cooperation between the 27-member bloc and non-EU countries. Within this new political union, nations like Ukraine, and even a post-Brexit Britain, could forge deeper ties without officially joining the EU.
"The EU, given the level of its integration and ambition, cannot be in the short-term the only means of structuring the European continent," Macron told MEPs."It's our historic obligation to respond to that today and to create what I would call a 'European political community'. This new European organisation would allow European democratic nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for cooperation on politics, security, energy, transport, infrastructure investments and the movement of people, especially the young."

Posted by: sln2002 | May 27 2022 21:15 utc | 111

Pepe Escobar's latest focuses on the recently completed EAEU Forum and Putin's speech which he does a good job of unpacking. Pepe then links to this paper by Yaroslav Lissovolik at the Valdai Club is one of the top analysts tracking how this convergence may profit the whole Global South:

"The regional integration projects of the Global South have advanced notably in the past several years with AfCFTA [The African Continental Free Trade Area] and RCEP among the most significant achievements. At the same time, there is tremendous scope for a far greater variability and diversity in the platforms that may be launched by Global South economies, the most sizeable and comprehensive of which could include the aggregation of CELAC (Latin America), African Union (Africa), SCO (Eurasia). A more diverse set of regional blocs that targets deeper integration could feature a BRICS+ platform that comprises the South African Development Community (SADC), MERCOSUR, BIMSTEC, China-ASEAN FTA, Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Other possible variations of South-South platforms could include pragmatic platforms that bring together the national and regional development institutions of the Global South, smart platforms that target greater digital connectivity through digital economic alliances (DEAs) as well as sustainable platforms that are focused on green development."

Meanwhile he also notes:

"In some ways China has already demonstrated the possibilities of leading and outpacing the advanced economies in building platforms that target greater outreach to the Global South and the broader global economy[. I]ts Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted criticism from the West but also efforts to emulate the outreach to the developing world in the sphere of connectivity via such projects as B3W and the EUs Global Gateway. The problem with the latter two projects is that at the start they are presented as competitive substitutes to the BRI, without due provisions for linking up with other such connectivity projects emanating from the Global South." [My Emphasis]

In other words, the West's counters are merely that, have no depth, and thus aren't really serious proposals at all. And here's what those substitutes are actually trying to forestall:

"The formation of the platforms of the Global South will raise the potential for the use of national currencies and the de-dollarization of trade and investment across the developing world. At this stage there are hardly any numerical estimates of the effects of the use of national and regional currencies in the Global South[. I]f these are to emerge from the academia one may expect to observe non-trivial dividends on the back of lower currency mismatches (amid at times high levels of debt) and lower transaction costs." [My Emphasis]

Bottom line: It's time for Global South nations to step to the plate and make a difference that favors them.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 21:24 utc | 112

The Rev. David R. Gr @109--

Interesting hypothesis:

Fascists and Communists today share the same objective: raise hell, cause chaos, eliminate populations, and steal as much as you can of everything you can because you can.

But can you back it without using your own conjecture?

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 21:31 utc | 113

@ karlof1 | May 27 2022 18:56 utc | 79

The reasons for Obama to chicken-out have never been properly explained.

Might it be because the UK Parliament did not approve PM Cameron's proposal to join the US attack on Syria so the US would have been acting without the cover of a coalition?

Posted by: cirsium | May 27 2022 21:33 utc | 114

The Rev. David R. Gr @109--

Interesting hypothesis:
Fascists and Communists today share the same objective: raise hell, cause chaos, eliminate populations, and steal as much as you can of everything you can because you can.
But can you back it without using your own conjecture?
Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 21:31 utc | 113

What pray tell is interesting about a hypothesis that conveniently equates Fascism and Communism?
Interesting to whom?
its a garbage "hypothesis" that people here usually call trolling.
Sure why not open the door again to a Nazi apologists posing as pro russian, orthodox clergy?
Give him one point for origninality though and a very pretty ecclesiastical website

Posted by: K | May 27 2022 21:46 utc | 115

Macron told MEPs."It's our historic obligation to respond to that today and to create what I would call a 'European political community'. This new European organisation would allow European democratic nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for cooperation on politics, security, energy, transport, infrastructure investments and the movement of people, especially the young."

Posted by: sln2002 | May 27 2022 21:15 utc | 111

There you have it!! With almost all of the world outside of Africa in demographic decline, the plan for growth is to poach the bright young people from other countries. A fresh generation of gratefully exploited consumers and tax donkeys

Ethics aside, at least it is a better thought out plan than importing from sub-Saharan Africa

Posted by: Opport Knocks | May 27 2022 21:48 utc | 116

@32 @karlof1

I just saw an excerpt of the interview with Lavrov on RT and, as I speak German, immediately downloaded the concept of the planned documentation center of the second world war to take a look myself. While Lavrov's statement

"The structure of the planned center is planned in such a way as not only to belittle the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union and all the peoples of the USSR to the defeat of German fascism, but also to obscure the crimes of the Third Reich aimed at the peoples of the USSR. In the planned expositions, these topics are not indicated."

is confirmed in the document (though it is of course somewhat subjective, as it will ever be when comparing committed atrocities of this scale - but let's not start this kind of discussion), I nowhere find any proof backing this claim:

"The concept also includes formulas aimed at equating German criminals and liberators of Europe. This is another step within the framework of the line taken by modern Berlin to rewrite the history of the Second World War and to rehabilitate the Third Reich."

not even remotely. Do you have more insights you could share?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Lavrov made this up, but to be honest it raises my suspicion a bit. As this page seems to be one of the last strongholds of truly open discussions, I think we should call out propaganda on both sides when we see it.

PS: The planned center was not reported on (at least not prominently) in German MSM. Until today, I never heard about it.

Posted by: NedF | May 27 2022 21:49 utc | 117

Here's the latest bombshell from the Russian MoD regarding the US/Ukraine biolabs.
27.05.2022 (17:25)
Briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the military biological activities of the United States on the territory of Ukraine
Analysis of the materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States on the territory of Ukraine

The Russian Defence Ministry continues to study materials on the implementation of military biological programs of the United States and its NATO allies on the territory of Ukraine.

Under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons, each State Party submits an annual report in the form of a declaration of compliance with the requirements of the convention. It is currently the only reporting document on the implementation of the Convention in the framework of the Confidence Building Measures.

Due to the investigation of US military and biological activities on the territory of Ukraine, we have analysed the documents sent by these states to the UN.

It should be noted that neither Ukraine nor the United States provided information on cooperative biological research and development in the area of biological protection in the said submissions (in Form A, Part 2 "i"). Also, Poland and Germany have not declared engagement with Ukraine in their reports.

In addition, in these reports (Form F) for the period from 2016 to 2020, Ukraine states that: "The Government of Ukraine has not conducted and is not conducting any offensive or defensive activities in the framework of biological research and development programmes. The Government of Ukraine does not have any information on such activities of the former USSR on the territory of Ukraine since January 1, 1946".

This contradicts a May 20, 2022 statement by Lewis Gitter, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the OSCE, that assistance to Kiev is aimed at "...reducing biological and veterinary risks, as well as securing the illegal stockpiles of biological weapons left behind by the USSR...".

In addition, there are numerous inconsistencies in Ukraine's reporting. Thus, the Confidence Building Measures form A for 2020 declares the complete absence of national biosecurity programmes. The Research Institute of Microbial Strain Biotechnology in Kiev, as a participant in the biological defence programme, is listed in part 2 "i" of this form.

In addition, the characteristics of the facility (area of laboratory facilities, number of staff) do not match the information previously submitted by Ukraine.

The question arises: Why did the US and Ukraine's reporting documents to the UN not include work under the joint military-biological projects codenamed UP? Such secrecy is another reason to think about the true goals of the Pentagon in Ukraine.

The official documents before you confirm that the Pentagon, represented by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), is organising work with a clear military-biological focus.

Note the memorandum prepared by the Office of the US Secretary of Defense regarding the UP-2 project to map highly dangerous pathogens in Ukraine.

The document notes that the main objective of this project is to collect information on the molecular composition of pathogens specific to Ukraine and to transfer samples of strains.

Separately, it is emphasised that this work should be in line with the main guidelines for the Ukraine Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme on Preventing the Spread of Biological Weapons on November 29, 2005.

A similar memorandum was prepared as part of the UP-1 project to study rickettsia and other diseases spread by arthropods. The document notes the need to transfer all collections of highly dangerous pathogens to a central reference laboratory in order to facilitate their orderly export to the USA.

As part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Programme, an extensive UP-4 project was carried out to investigate the possibility of spreading highly dangerous infections through migratory birds. Documents received show that 991 biological samples were collected between November 2019 and January 2020 alone.

A total of ten such projects (including UP-3, UP-6, UP-8, UP-10) have been reported to have involved work with pathogens of particularly dangerous and economically important infections - Congo-Crimean fever, leptospirosis, tick-borne encephalitis and African swine fever.

Today, we would also like to draw attention to the numerous breaches of safety requirements in Ukrainian laboratories.

For example, work with dangerous pathogens under Pentagon control in Kharkov, Kiev and a number of other cities was carried out in laboratories with insufficient staff protection. However, according to official data, only three laboratories with a BSL-3 biosafety level are authorised to conduct such tests. These are the Odessa Anti-Plague Institute, the Lvov Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene and the Public Health Centre in Kiev.

The Security Service of Ukraine noted the preconditions for the emergence of biological threats due to systematic violations and poor quality of work in the reconstruction of biolaboratories.

Black & Veatch, for example, declared that it spent UAH 37.8m on upgrading three veterinary laboratories in 2013. An independent expert review found that the actual cost of the work was overstated compared to the reported costs by UAH 17.7 millions.

This difference was reportedly sent to the accounts of fictitious companies such as Golden Ukraine, BK Profbudinvest and Capital Trade Agency, which further confirms the use of "grey" financial schemes in the personal interests of US and Ukrainian officials.

It is noteworthy that the US handlers demanded that the reference laboratory in Merefa be given a higher level of biosecurity. The Kharkovproject organisation said that this was not possible under the prevailing conditions and refused to approve the project. However, the regional administration decided to go ahead with the reconstruction. The facility was commissioned in circumvention of biosafety regulations and requirements. In doing so, the Pentagon's total cost for its modernisation was around $15 million. But where the funds really went is unknown.

Note the report of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the results of an inspection of the strain collection of the Ukrainian anti-plague institute in Odessa, which totalled 654 samples. There were 32 strains of anthrax, 189 of tularemia, 11 of brucellosis and 422 of cholera in storage at the facility.

The report shows gross violations of storage conditions for micro-organisms, lack of access control and management systems and inadequate ventilation systems.

In April 2017, there was a case of internal laboratory infection with tick-borne encephalitis in one of the institute's laboratories as a result of a safety violation.

According to eyewitness accounts of an incident that took place in 2021, an employee of a biolaboratory removed several vials containing dangerous microorganisms from the institution's premises. The consequences of such cases can only be guessed at.

It should be noted that all violations occurred during the period of the US bio-threat reduction programme. This demonstrates that Washington's officially declared goals are merely a screen for the implementation of illegal military-biological activities in Ukraine.

The neglect of pathogens, the unprofessionalism and corruption of the executive branch, and the destructive influence of US handlers pose a direct threat to Ukrainian and European civilians.

Russian Defence Ministry experts have confirmed that Ukrainian biolaboratories are connected to the global communicable disease surveillance system.

The backbone of this network, which has been formed by the Pentagon since 1997, is the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maryland). It includes land and naval laboratories as well as military bases around the world.

It should be noted that the deployment of such a network follows a typical scenario.

The Americans are initially concerned about the state of the epidemic in the region. The next step is to ensure that officials, particularly those in the health ministries, have an interest and a financial incentive to work together, and to enter into intergovernmental agreements. As a result, a biocontainment facility is erected and connected to the single biomonitoring system. All of the country's biological developments become the US domain. Moreover, restrictions are placed on local professionals' access to a range of tests, as well as on their results.

Meanwhile, the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is actively implementing automated disease monitoring hardware and software, as well as systems to control access and movement of pathogenic biological agents in storage and research facilities.

Equipping biological facilities with these information systems as part of the Biological Threat Reduction Program allows the U.S. to secure its military contingents in deployment areas, remotely monitor biolaboratories outside national jurisdiction and influence the global biological environment.

As part of the special military operation, materials of US instructors training Ukrainian specialists in emergency response to smallpox outbreaks were discovered in biolaboratories in Ukraine.

The Pentagon's interest in this infection is far from accidental: the return of the smallpox pathogen would be a global catastrophe for all mankind.

Thus, compared to COVID-19, this pathogen is just as contagious (infectious), but its lethality is 10 times higher.

As early as 2003, the US Department of Defense established the Smallpox Vaccination Programme, which requires all US military personnel to be vaccinated. Vaccination in the United States is compulsory for diplomatic and medical personnel. This demonstrates that the US considers smallpox as a priority pathogenic biological agent for combat use, and that vaccine prophylaxis activities are aimed at protecting its own military contingents.

Lack of proper controls and biosecurity breaches in the US could lead to the use of this pathogen for terrorist purposes. Between 2014 and 2021, unaccounted-for vials of the virus were repeatedly found in laboratories at the Federal Drug Administration and the US Army Infectious Disease Research Institute (Maryland) and the Vaccine Research Centre (Pennsylvania).

Work at these organisations was in violation of World Health Assembly Resolution 49.10 of 1996, which stipulated that only one US laboratory, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, could store smallpox pathogen.

It should be noted that smallpox vaccination, which is not currently available in many countries, provides protection against monkeypox.

The World Health Organization has announced an emergency meeting of Member States on the outbreak of this dangerous infectious disease in May 2022.

We know that by now 98% of those affected are men over the age of 20 of non-traditional orientation. Earlier, Dr David Hermann, who heads WHO's emergency department, told the American press that sexual transmission was the main cause of the spread of the disease.

According to a WHO report, the West African strain of monkeypox originated in Nigeria, another state in which the US has deployed its biological infrastructure.

According to available information, there are at least four Washington-controlled biolaboratories operating in Nigeria.

In this connection, it is worth recalling a strange coincidence that needs further specialist verification. For example, according to European and US media reports, the Munich Security Conference 2021, i.e. against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a scenario for dealing with an outbreak caused by a new strain of the monkeypox virus.

Against the backdrop of multiple US biosafety violations and the negligent storage of pathogenic biomaterials, we call on the World Health Organisation leadership to investigate the US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria, Lagos and inform the global community of the results

Posted by: pasha | May 27 2022 21:53 utc | 118

There is a nice history lesson posted over at RT but it seems a direct link cannot be posted here:


Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 22:05 utc | 119

NedF | May 27 2022 21:49 utc | 117

I cannot use machine translate with the pdf but in your post I see these two sections.

"is planned in such a way as not only to belittle the decisive contribution of the Soviet Union and all the peoples of the USSR to the defeat of German fascism"

"equating German criminals and liberators of Europe."

In the west we now see the equating of the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany - both as bad as each other. 75% of Germanys war/military expenditure went towards defeating the Soviet Union but instead, the Soviet Union destroyed the German war machine. I guess there were parts of Europe that did not want to be liberated from fascism.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 27 2022 22:06 utc | 120

"Escalating towards a wider war is an option but the risk of it is much higher than potential gains"

... in an election year?

Posted by: Willie | May 27 2022 22:06 utc | 121

Yesterday, Putin participated in the Plenary Session of the Eurasian Economic Forum. Today, he met with the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council via video link. Here's the list of documents adopted by the Council today. Of the dozen items listed, the first IMO is most significant:

"1. Decision 'On the beginning of negotiations with the Republic of Indonesia on the conclusion of a free trade agreement'."

It's difficult for Putin and others not to be upbeat about the EAEU's performance and its future prospects as all members work together as a team to become sanctions resilient/resistant and vastly improve the state-of-affairs prior to 1989. Amongst other highlights, Putin noted:

"We are also working to increase the availability of financing for replenishment of working capital and maintaining bank liquidity. To this end, we are expanding the practice of settlements in national currencies in trade with those countries that have proved in practice that they are reliable partners of Russia. By the way, the share of payments in national currencies in the mutual settlements of the EAEU countries has already reached 75 percent."

And that volume of trade "amounted to $72.6 billion," or roughly 1/3 higher than in 2020. Yes, much room for improvement which will take place as the program of import substitution expands beyond Russia.

Putin also noted that along with Indonesia, other nations beyond what's geographically considered Eurasia want to join, Egypt and the UAE specifically. And as Escobar noted, "Lavrov this week said that Argentina and Saudi Arabia want to join BRICS." IMO, the more the Global South stands up, the more will also stand up.

The attempt to bleed Russia is instead bleeding the former Colonial West as its pedestal is now shattered beyond repair.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:06 utc | 122

@116 Plus it has the added bonus of a whole new level of bureaucracy. New offices to fill with bright young people.

Posted by: dh | May 27 2022 22:09 utc | 123

K @115--

I see you're not well acquainted with the methods of my intellectual challenges. Yes, it is a "garbage" hypothesis that's merely conjecture and not factual. It's a different way to call a troll a liar.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:11 utc | 124

cirsium @114--

Yes, thanks for that reminder. Perhaps that's the real reason for evicting Corbyn from politics.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:17 utc | 125

dh | May 27 2022 17:46 utc | 49

hey - i appreciate your perspective on this.. i still think wall st. is cleaning up, but i don't follow the market like you do..

@ Chevrus | May 27 2022 17:55 utc | 54

glad you enjoyed it!!

@ Ian2 | May 27 2022 19:46 utc | 88

thanks...putting a specific name to the villains who are behind this is important.. in as much as we can do this, we will do this..

Posted by: james | May 27 2022 22:29 utc | 126

NedF @117--

Thanks for your reply. Like you, I hadn't heard of such a "center" until Lavrov mentioned it. I've always trusted Lavrov's word and rarely follow up on his credibility. Given the great efforts already made to alter WW2's history, cancel the entire Soviet involvement and attempt to conflate its actions with those of Hitler's, I have no reasons to doubt that further efforts will/are being made. It's possible Lavrov has further information about this proposed center that influenced his conclusion. It also has yet to be constructed and it might become something different in the end. However, given the ancestral background of many in power positions within EU/NATO, I wouldn't be very surprised at such a development.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:30 utc | 127

I think Lavrov is tired of the insults and disrespect. The idea that someone like Zelensky is feted and fawned over by the West must be both heartbreaking and infuriating. Perhaps he is becoming a curmudgeon - can't say as I'd blame him.

The full title of the history piece at RT: "Egor Kholmogorov: The intertwined roots of history explain why Russia can't let go of Ukraine "

Worth the time to read.

Posted by: the pessimist | May 27 2022 22:39 utc | 128

@ newby | May 27 2022 20:43 utc | 103

thanks for your comment... i am going to wait and hope that richard steven hack or peter au responds to your post!

ostro | May 27 2022 20:48 utc | 106

i agree with you..

@ pasha | May 27 2022 21:53 utc | 118

thanks for this... i appreciate the update..

Posted by: james | May 27 2022 22:42 utc | 129

pasha @118--

Thanks for posting that informational. IMO, what must occur is a complete shutdown of all such biolabs and the deepest possible investigation by non-Western agents.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:45 utc | 130

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 16:23 utc | 11

Spot on, as usual. Yet 9 out of 10 people commenting here are still stuck on the usual "partition of Ukraine" and "Russia stops at the Dnieper." Zero imagination.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 22:52 utc | 131

@Henry Moon Pie #96

Thanks for the link!

Yes, a college, not just of corporations but the micimatt. It is very impressive how many different interests come together in great crimes like 911. But is there a chair? An executive? Who writes the agenda? Or are decisions made by a show of hands?

Posted by: Tim | May 27 2022 22:53 utc | 132


The Anglo European response to first Russia's recognition of the D&L republics then Russia's SMO operation has been like a catalyst to the many non anglo/European initiatives that have existed for some time, but also to cause new ones to germinate.

The multi polar world is starting to take shape - I guess I am not much good at painting a picture with words... The anglo/European globalization of the last three decades has been heading towards a world of homogenized zombies.
The new world that is emerging is one of interlinked groupings - a network. Culture groupings, geo location groupings, trade groupings, economic groupings, security groupings... but all with the underlying theme of peace and prosperity.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 27 2022 22:55 utc | 133

Posted by: Duran | May 27 2022 16:37 utc | 17

Most people dismiss Strelkov as a disgruntled loser. Martyanov certainly does and I've heard it from others. YMMV.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 22:55 utc | 134

elsewhere, from the tit-for-tat department:

IRGC seizes Greek oil tankers in response to US/Greek theft of Iranian oil

Posted by: ptb | May 27 2022 17:23 utc | 35

This is a stroke of genius. Biden Administration may feel like they have nothing to loose, given that midterms seem a lost cause. Nothing will work out, so why not have some fun while there is still fun to do it?

OTH, there used to be a Greek lobby in USA, it will b

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 27 2022 22:56 utc | 135

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 21:24 utc | 112

Escobar isn't bringing any news to the table. RU doesn't need assistance to inform anglophone fans. The deals are done. US, EU poisoned all the wells decades ago. I'm pretty sure the so-called Third World has all the bases covered with layers of skepticism and experience negotiating FDI through China's extensive underwriting operations. vdL's "Global Gateway" is a dead letter. IPEF is a ridiculously redundant project (see below) presented perhaps in part to flatter American egos as well as press the weakest links in existing FTA networks. Most likely tweeked by equivocating Indian and Australian FMs who are in no position to commit US, EU overtures of ahh inclusivity. Commentary entertaining political inducements and realignment that reinforces "global NATO" domination of capital investment in neglected regions is no substitute for perpetual threats of force d/b/a "exercises".

CSIS | Regional Perspectives on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Apr 22
Centralizing coordination four “pillars” of work:(1) fair and resilient trade (encompassing seven subtopics, including labor, environmental, and digital standards); (2) supply chain resilience; (3) infrastructure, clean energy, and decarbonization; and (4) tax and anti-corruption
(1a) USTR (2-4b) Commerce + State, Treasury, USDA: commitments to U.S.-preferred rules and standards; "perception of an anti-China"; "The U.S. government has explicitly stated that the IPEF will not be a multilateral trade agreement akin to the CPTPP."

FACT SHEET: In Asia, President Biden and a Dozen Indo-Pacific Partners Launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, 23 May 22

APEC: PH, ID, SG, VN, CN, CN-hk, CN-tw, RU, TH, MX, PE, CL, BN, PG, MY; US, AU, JP, NZ, CA, KR


Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership , Mar 2018
2020 GDP 52.3T; AUD trade $570B

EAS (East Asia Summit: AU, CN, IN, JP, NZ, KR, RU, US + ASEAN

Posted by: sln2002 | May 27 2022 23:05 utc | 136

I see you're not well acquainted with the methods of my intellectual challenges. Yes, it is a "garbage" hypothesis that's merely conjecture and not factual. It's a different way to call a troll a liar.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 22:11 utc | 124

Fair enough, no harm intended, this type of post just doesn't deserve any air. My bad for even drawing attention to it.

Posted by: K | May 27 2022 23:11 utc | 137

@126 The brokers will always find a way to make money if the market is up or down. What they don't like is when people pull their money out and sit on it. That's what is happening lately. People are nervous and waiting for this 'war' to be resolved one way or another.

I realize most MOA commenters aren't interested in the market but millions of Americans have been watching their savings disappear. If those people get angry enough politicians will take notice.

Posted by: dh | May 27 2022 23:12 utc | 138

Re pasha posting the latest Russian mod bio weapon research. Thanks for posting that pasha.

The immediate future and until the US ceases to exist, as far as I can see, will be famine and bio warfare for many parts of the world to try and keep down what I see in my comment @133.
US will always step back from the brink of nuclear war with Russia but it will use bio and everything else.
Hopefully implosion (economic) and disintegration will hit the US in the not too distant future, but if not, Russian and Chinese mil tech will I think in the next decade annul nukes.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 27 2022 23:15 utc | 139

Karl1 @79 asking why Obama was thwarted in his desire to attack Syria in the fall of 2013.
As I recall he got some pushback from Congress on that one, but more importantly was that the UK Mini-Me refused to go along with it, as circisum pointed out.
Not to be daunted, in spring of 2014 ISIS was rolled out to great fanfare!
Such flashy terrorists, with matching uniforms, flags and Toyota trucks, and a great PR department that included producing glossy magazines in multiple countries with multiple languages, and horrific beheadings filmed professionally and spread on social media platforms that will ban you for using the wrong pronoun, but were fine with ISIS atrocities.
That worked.

Posted by: wagelaborer | May 27 2022 23:19 utc | 140

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 18:56 utc | 79
"why did Obama's Outlaw US Empire submit to the deal brokered by Putin to decommission Syria's chemical weapons and not directly attack Syria as he surely wanted?"

My understanding was that Obama was within hours of ordering an attack on Syria, but he allegedly got some push back from Congress and then Putin got Assad to agree to eliminating his chemical weapons. The combination I think scared Obama that he might be blamed for starting the war unilaterally, which a narcissist like him can't tolerate.

But you're correct Obama wanted to attack Syria. He tried SIX times - 3 times to get Chapter 7 language in a UNSC Resolution, like he did with Libya, which Russia and China vetoed, having been burned on Libya, and 3 times he threatened a no-fly zone. The first time is when Putin outwitted him on chemical weapons. the second time was in 2015 which is when Putin decided to go into Syria, and the third time was in 2016 when Obama was going to discuss a no-fly zone on a Friday and that Tuesday or Wednesday the Russian MoD announced that anyone attacking the Syrian military would be shot down by Russia, after which Obama decided against a no-fly zone.

So Putin beat him six times. And yeah, "Peace President" Obama really wanted a war in Syria. He just didn't want to be blamed for starting it unilaterally which is why he used the alleged "chemical attacks" as an excuse.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 23:22 utc | 141

dh | May 27 2022 23:12 utc | 138

The market - Wall Street. When 'investors' start jumping out windows that are far from the ground we can all cheer. When the too big to fail fail, then its time for a victory parade as US will have been defeated.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 27 2022 23:23 utc | 142

Blinken's speech generated numerous counters with perhaps the most curious one being this op/ed published by Sputnik that has the following premise:

China’s growing economic and military power and political and diplomatic clout have sparked serious concerns among US policymakers in recent years. On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the US plans to use the bloc of nations it has cobbled together to confront Russia over Ukraine to challenge China as well.

Beijing’s new ‘Global Security Initiative’ concept poses a direct challenge to the US-dominated world order of a kind “unusual” for the People’s Republic, which has previously focused its global ventures on issues like development and trade, the Financial Times has reported, citing international relations experts who have studied the idea.

Xi introduced his GSI at the Boao Summit last April in this speech, which was met with the usual catcalls from the usual Western suspects. Xi has since discussed GSI with BRICS FMs which attracted the interest of many non-BRICS members. Such global interest frightens the Outlaw US Empire as its status as global hegemon rapidly slips through its fingers, which is causing the "panic" described by William Gruff @63. Something that panics/scares those running the Outlaw US Empire so much begs closer examination. And here it is in these two paragraphs which those who read February's Russia/China Joint Declaration ought to recognize:

"It is important that we stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one's own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. 

"— We need to work together to tackle global governance challenges. Countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny. For the ship to navigate the storm and sail toward a bright future, all passengers must pull together. The thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable. In this day and age, the international community has evolved so much that it has become a sophisticated and integrated apparatus. Acts to remove any single part will cause serious problems to its operation. When that happens, both the victims and the initiators of such acts will stand to lose. In today's world, unilateralism and excessive pursuit of self-interest are doomed to fail; so are the practices of decoupling, supply disruption and maximum pressure; so are the attempts to forge “small circles” or to stoke conflict and confrontation along ideological lines. Instead, we need to embrace a global governance philosophy that emphasizes extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, promote the common values of humanity, and advocate exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. We need to uphold true multilateralism, and firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. It is particularly important for major countries to lead by example in honoring equality, cooperation, good faith and the rule of law, and act in a way befitting their status." [Emphasis Original]

It ought to be clear why the Outlaw US Empire would fear such an arrangement as it's the one it suborned in 1945 that aimed at preventing its subsequent behavior.

Peace or War World. Those are the choices. Multipolarity will bring Peace. Continued Unipolarity will bring continued War.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 27 2022 23:25 utc | 143

Posted by: newby | May 27 2022 20:43 utc | 103

Correct. Thanks for the link. There are no "game changers" in this war (short of tactical nukes). Idiots keep rolling out this stuff in every thread, not having any comprehension of the difference between tactical, operational and strategic weapons, let alone tactical, operational and strategic levels of planning. Weapons never override planning.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 23:31 utc | 144

Posted by: ostro | May 27 2022 20:48 utc | 106

Precisely. I said many times that the contingency plan started at least back in 2014 and was undoubtedly updated every year. In spring, 2021, it undoubtedly turned into an operational plan, and the subsequent Russian draft treaties were developed in parallel. Russia offered the US and NATO a way out in order to "obey the forms", and when, as they knew it would, the US and NATO rejected them, the operational plan was given the go-ahead. Then all it needed was for Ukraine to provide the immediate casus belli, which they obligingly did at the Munich Security Conference and then by shelling Donbass to prepare for the offensive. Then it was just a matter of a few days for Putin to recognize the republics, sign an agreement, and have them ask for help. Article 51 satisfied, the plan was activated.

Only people not living in the real world dispute that sequence of events.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 23:36 utc | 145

"Yet 9 out of 10 people commenting here are still stuck on the usual "partition of Ukraine" and "Russia stops at the Dnieper." Zero imagination."

A subjugation of Western Ukraine was never in the cards and is highly unlikely now. I understand the way you feel about the whole wretched ukie state, but feelings are one thing and real politic is another. Taking the West of Ukraine would be an unmanageable economic and political burden with no end in sight and little reward. Very soon the Ukies will have to give up that Monty Python routine of "it's just a flesh wound". The last rags of their military will either be destroyed or expelled shoe-less from the East. Then I foresee civil war in the Western Ukraine as fingers get pointed over the collapse of their ambitions. The far Right will attempt to seize power from the oligarch/CIA cabal that rules in Kiev now. A Polish intervention there is a distinct possibility. Whatever happens, the Ukrainian economy will be dead for a generation. All the bluster about a million man army and a counter attack will fade away as reality takes hold. Western rump Ukraine will become a political, economic and security albatross around the West's neck. Every effort will be used to "erase" it from public conscious. This will happen.

Posted by: nook | May 27 2022 23:42 utc | 146

@142 If it's just brokers doing the jumping I won't complain. But be careful what you wish for. There were breadlines in the Great Depression.

Posted by: dh | May 27 2022 23:48 utc | 147

"Meanwhile Russia is doing much better than anyone had expected."

We can't say that.

NATO seems to have expected the Ukrainians to collapse, much as Russia hoped when it tried is sudden rush. NATO prepared to turn Ukraine into an insurgency, an Afghanistan in Europe.

NATO appears to have been as surprised by the turn of events as was Russia.

However, the Russian machine has now settled down to chew up the Ukraine forces and take the country slice by slice. There is no reason to think the Russians will stop at any line, much less by a line defined as only their latest slice.

This is turning into a disaster for the US, in slow motion. No nation seeing what happens to Ukraine will want this sort of "help." Being turned into Afghanistan or Iraq in Europe is not attractive.

Worse, the sanctions are backfiring. NATO is realizing the cost to itself. The rest of the world is realizing the cost NATO is shifting onto them. The Russian economy is not collapsing despite the hype.

Right now, China is wary. As this develops, China may be encouraged, which would be the ultimate blow back.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | May 27 2022 23:50 utc | 148

"NATO seems to have expected the Ukrainians to collapse, much as Russia hoped when it tried is sudden rush. "

There is no evidence for that at all. It comes from poorly informed and very often politically motivated "spectators" online who were (and many still are) clueless about the realities on the ground.

Posted by: nook | May 27 2022 23:55 utc | 149

Posted by: nook | May 27 2022 23:42 utc | 146
"I understand the way you feel about the whole wretched ukie state, but feelings are one thing and real politic is another."

Which is precisely why Putin should do it. Russia has security needs in Ukraine and taking all of Ukraine is the only way to satisfy them. You have to get away from this notion of "feeling". Putin is not "feeling" anything. He is a coldly pragmatic man who understands what Russia needs to do.

"Taking the West of Ukraine would be an unmanageable economic and political burden with no end in sight and little reward."

I disagree. Nothing is unmanageable if the management has a brain - which Russia does. Only your lack of imagination is unable to see how it can be done.

"Then I foresee civil war in the Western Ukraine as fingers get pointed over the collapse of their ambitions."

Certainly possible, as Lira has argued, but irrelevant to Russia's security needs.

"The far Right will attempt to seize power from the oligarch/CIA cabal that rules in Kiev now."

And this is better for Russia how?

"A Polish intervention there is a distinct possibility."

And that is better for Russia's security needs how? Bringing NATO hundreds of miles close to Russia?

"Whatever happens, the Ukrainian economy will be dead for a generation."

Only if it's partitioned - which is apparently what you approve of. I'm not sure Putin agrees. Neither are you.

"All the bluster about a million man army and a counter attack will fade away as reality takes hold."

Of course. Has nothing to do with the outcome.

"This will happen.

And if it doesn't, you be here to admit you were wrong, right? I will.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 23:57 utc | 150

Enjoy the Ukies being toasted. An unsettling but beautiful night view of their positions being hit.

Posted by: nook | May 27 2022 23:59 utc | 151

@14 John.

You are 'almost' right, but the people you mention don't really have any ideology except greed. They use the words they spout as excuses to accumulate more. They are preying on the ignorant just as a Christian Tent Revival preys on the lost.

Posted by: Fiji Refugee | May 27 2022 23:59 utc | 152

nook | May 27 2022 23:55 utc | 149

I think you are wrong on both points. Nato intended to take east Ukraine and did not expect a preemptive strike.
Russia's fast move into Ukraine preempted nato's move, secured Russia's intel objectives, plus Crimea's water supply and land bridge to Crimea. Denazification will be Sun Tzu with Putin characteristics.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 28 2022 0:06 utc | 153

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 27 2022 23:57 utc | 150

I am not doing that cut and paste thing because it is annoying, so I will answer in one go. I didnt say Putin was "feeling" anything. Not sure how you got that. I said people of your mindset were "feeling ways about stuff". The Russian government has to look at all contingencies, and the long term occupation of western Ukraine is a loser all around. Simply saying it can been done if you have "brains" does nothing to change the cost/benefit issue, neither does it make it the right thing to do. Can this "imagination" replace the "cold hard logic" you spoke of? Of course not. Here is the cold hard reality. Eastern Ukraine does not need to be occupied. They want free from Kiev. Western Ukraine? No! See, when the country is divided, Eastern Ukraine will rebuild and it's economy will thrive as part of Russia, either in the Federation or as an independent state economically integrated with it. Most of what wealth remains in the country goes with the east. The Western Ukraine descends into poverty and chaos. Doesn't matter about the nazi's when they are starving to death. The new republics in the east will be able to defend themselves easily against what is left. I am sorry, Ukraine is not pulling some hat trick out of this and come back stronger than ever. Same goes for Nato. The reality is, Russia is in the drivers seat right now, and they are unlikely to wreck that position. To be honest, if you feel Russia must occupy Western Ukraine for its security, I cant see how that doesn't apply equally as well to Poland. And it's not like I haven't heard that suggested before. Of course the Baltic states need de nazifying...and then there is Finland...

Posted by: nook | May 28 2022 0:25 utc | 154

RSH. When it comes to looking at Ukraine denazification from the military perspective, you are right up there with what was Ritter's purely military viewpoint. Most events are a learning curve as things evolve but most critical I think in the current eight years of Putin vs US is trying to understand Putin. Sun Tzu with Putin characteristics or vice versa, there is more to Putin than blowing away baddies with the biggest cannon. He has proved good at skinning cats in many different ways.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 28 2022 0:31 utc | 155

"I think you are wrong on both points. Nato intended to take east Ukraine and did not expect a preemptive strike.
Russia's fast move into Ukraine preempted nato's move, secured Russia's intel objectives, plus Crimea's water supply and land bridge to Crimea. Denazification will be Sun Tzu with Putin characteristics."

That wasnt my meaning. I was talking about those who claim Russia thought Ukrainian resistance would collapse quickly. That is simply not true. Russia knew exactly how huge and entrenched the Ukie force was and they knew there were only two types of Ukie soldier...a committed nazi and those who were afraid of being shot in the back by a committed nazi. They never expected mass surrenders. Quite a few online pundits didnt understand what was going on, and underestimated how long it would take. Ritter is one.

Posted by: nook | May 28 2022 0:31 utc | 156

nook | May 28 2022 0:31 utc | 156

Russia having a full understanding of what they were going into is also my thoughts. Thanks for clarifying that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 28 2022 0:43 utc | 157

pasha #118

Russian Defence Ministry experts have confirmed that Ukrainian biolaboratories are connected to the global communicable disease surveillance system.

The backbone of this network, which has been formed by the Pentagon since 1997, is the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maryland).

It includes land and naval laboratories as well as military bases around the world.

It should be noted that the deployment of such a network follows a typical scenario.

The Americans are initially concerned about the state of the epidemic in the region. The next step is to ensure that officials, particularly those in the health ministries, have an interest and a financial incentive to work together, and to enter into intergovernmental agreements. As a result, a biocontainment facility is erected and connected to the single biomonitoring system. All of the country's biological developments become the US domain. Moreover, restrictions are placed on local professionals' access to a range of tests, as well as on their results.

Thank you for that informative post. I guess the USA has some specialist laboratories afloat the world oceans and, whether benign or otherwise, these vessels now represent a serious unregulated threat to human welfare until proven otherwise. I doubt we will see a global inspections regime aboard these vessels with 'naval laboratories' even if they be identified.

Perhaps all usa military vessels will need to have navigation restrictions to limit their approach to other states. I suggest 500 nautical miles, just to be safe ;))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 0:47 utc | 158

Posted by: NedF | May 27 2022 21:49 utc | 117

Hmmm, just one recent example of rewriting history, the "Europe day" (to replace the Victory day, the 9th of May) followed by a Day of memorial of the victims of ALL totalitarian regimes (or something similar) - a recent EU thing, which only includes the two usual suspects, fascism and nazism, that were now added - communism (you wont need a loot of tries to guess where that idea came from) but missed a couple of other candidates of isms... Just one way of white-washing history, through "victims" - its easy to assign dead people into groups - they cant argue...

Posted by: c | May 28 2022 0:49 utc | 159

I feel for the poor buggers being sent into the meat grinder, imagine how their families feel? It's a human tragedy. One wonders how those that order and plan this for personal power or profit could be so devoid of any humanity.

Posted by: Organic | May 28 2022 1:09 utc | 160

Posted by: nook | May 28 2022 0:25 utc | 154
"I said people of your mindset were "feeling ways about stuff"."

I am not. My point about Russia's security needs is precisely because it does not involve anyone "feeling" anything about Ukraine. It's an objective assessment of what Russia logically needs to do to insure its security.

"the long term occupation of western Ukraine is a loser all around.

Restating your position is not an argument. Also, no one is talking about a "long-term occupation". We are talking about "shaping Ukraine", similar to "shaping the battlefield."

"Simply saying it can been done if you have "brains" does nothing to change the cost/benefit issue, neither does it make it the right thing to do."

If it can be done, it definitely changes the cost/benefit equation. Again reiterating your position is not an argument. I have stated here in the past how it can be done.

"Can this "imagination" replace the "cold hard logic" you spoke of? Of course not."

Again, reiteration, no argument.

"Eastern Ukraine does not need to be occupied. They want free from Kiev."

They want free from Kiev as it is now. They were happy to not be free of Kiev when it was under Yanukovich. They helped elect Yanukovich. This is the point. Change the government of Ukraine, eliminate the neo-Nazis and extreme nationalists and Ukraine has a different character.

"Eastern Ukraine will rebuild and it's economy will thrive as part of Russia"

Yes, it will. So can the rest of Ukraine if the government and economic policies are shifted properly. Which means getting rid of the oligarchs and integrating Ukraine with Russia. This is preferable to having a "rump" nationalist Ukraine which will only cause more problems for eastern Ukraine.

"The Western Ukraine descends into poverty and chaos."

Yeah, like that's going to help Russia's security interests.

"if you feel Russia must occupy Western Ukraine for its security, I cant see how that doesn't apply equally as well to Poland."

Not at all. Russia merely needs to counter the Aegis Ashore installations in Poland and Romania with its own strategic weapons installations in Ukraine and Belarus.

"the Baltic states need de nazifying...and then there is Finland..."

Same as Poland - counter the threat. That's all Russia needs to do.

You haven't thought this through. You're merely echoing what everyone else says who can't conceive of a more comprehensive solution to the problems.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2022 1:16 utc | 161

As I have mostly said before, the plans and objectives change over time and both Russia and NATO have had some losses and gains.

The initial phase which I will call the prequel Diplomatic Phase aimed at:
1. Securing the Russian ownership of Crimea diplomatically
2. Implementation of the Mink agreement
3. No more shelling in the Donbass
4. Ukraine saying no to NATO
5. Genuine neutrality of Ukraine
6. NATO accepting that further eastward expansion was not a good idea.

Not a single one of these objectives was reached so Russia moved to a new phase the SMO.

Without inside information it is hard to be sure exactly what Russian goals were in February but these are my assumptions

Strategic goals in rough order of priority
1. Securing access to Crimea and water/goods supply
2. Destroying the capacity of NATO to launch an attack on the Donbass and or Crimea
3. Destroying Ukrainian capacity to seriously attack Russia
4. Securing the nuclear materials
5. Making biolabs safe and investigating purpose and risk
6. Control over the Sea of Azov
7. Mariupol
8. Removal of the threat to Luhansk republic
9. Removal of threat to Donetsk Republic.
10. Rest of Kherson
11. Kharkov control
12. Odessa/Nikoleyev

Of these goals the first 6 were achieved via the SMO, but the last 6 were harder to achieve.

Diplomatic goals of the SMO. These were much the same as in the prequel phase but some changes

1. Securing the Russian ownership of Crimea diplomatically
2. Accepting Russian control of the Kherson region so essential for Crimea
3. International recognition of the two breakaway republics
4. The Mink treaty or something like it for parts of remaining russian speaking regions ie autonomy
5. No more shelling in the Donbass
6. Ukraine coming to the negotiating table to ensure saying no to NATO
7. Genuine neutrality of Ukraine
8. Willing capitulation of Kharkov, either into an independent republic or perhaps Russia (by vote preferably0
9. NATO accepting that further eastward expansion was not a good idea.
10. Return of good relations with Europe, especially Germany and France and Italy.
11. Expanding international support amongst non NATO countries.

Now clearly none of the diplomatic goals (except perhaps 11) were achieved via the SMO, which essentially has led to Phase 2, still called an SMO, but I think it is now a little beyond that

Now what do we know of this second Phase of the SMO.

In terms of diplomacy nothing much changes although I guess we can add determination to demonstrate they are strong, but fair and reliable both economically and militarily. we can probably delete 9 and 10 as no achievable.

Strategic objectives seem now to be acheiving militarily that which could not be more easily achieved diplomatically. So assuming the first 6 objectives of Phase 1 were achieved we have

2.1 Mariupol
2.2 Control over the entire Luhansk oblast
2.3 Control over the entire Donetsk Oblast.
2.4 Control over the Rest of Kherson
2.5 Control over Zaporizhzhia_Oblast
2.6 Destroying NATO resupply lines
2.7 Kharkov control
2.8 Odessa
2.9 Nikoleyev
2.10 Securing Transnistra

The first 6 of these goals are either completed or well in hand. The last 4 are a little harder. I think it will be the response of NATO that determines what Phase 3 will be.

Posted by: watcher | May 28 2022 1:34 utc | 162

USA will supply long range missiles to Ukraine. Russia should not have any illusions about it. Take it as a given.

When that happens Russia must respond with a Kinzhal nuclear tipped missile attack on the comedian's manhole hideout. That should force Ukraine to surrender and teach a memorable lesson to others who want to be US cannon fodder. Increase the cost of being a US cat's paw.

Otherwise USA will make use of Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland and Sweden next to target Russia. A preventive nuclear strike on Ukraine will force these cannon fodder suppliers to think again.

Posted by: Jason | May 28 2022 1:38 utc | 163

File this news under "America being America."

The United Pirates of America has just stolen... er "confiscated" 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil that Greece seized in the Mediterranean Sea about a month ago.

US Justice Department confiscates Iranian oil cargo: Report

Stealing Iraqi Oil.

Stealing Syrian oil and wheat.

Stealing European Covid-19 medical supplies.

Stealing Russian foreign reserves.

And now stealing Iranian oil.

There is no limit to the crimes that America perpetrates, even as its self-righteously masquerades as a World Policeman selflessly defending a Rules-Based International Order.

The United States of America is a criminal disguised as a cop.

Posted by: ak74 | May 28 2022 1:39 utc | 164

"Is reality setting in?"


And I can prove it

Posted by: Yashuo | May 28 2022 1:50 utc | 165

"..A subjugation of Western Ukraine was never in the cards and is highly unlikely now."
What alternative is there?
Ukraine is an entirely fictional state, a creation of the Soviet Union which did not believe in nation states.
Ukraine in its current(phantom) form was put together in the light of Yalta in order to produce a state which would vote with the USSR at the UN and other international bodies projected for the post war period.
The USSR regarded the UN membership of countries under US and British colonial rule (The Philippines and India, for example) as justifying its creation of Belarus and Ukraine as credible member states.
The borders, which included prime pieces of Rumania and Hungary as well as Poland, also took in large and important Russian regions. It was certainly never contemplated that the Russians hived off into "Ukraine" were leaving Russia in anything other than a formal and narrow legal sense. Nor was it supposed that the Soviet Republics retained any sovereign rights, or acquired any in the Soviet Union.
The "west" knows all this, just as it knows that Crimea was never a part of any Ukrainian state differentiated from the government in Moscow. What they have been doing in Ukraine is playing games, trying to cause trouble, trying to weaken Russia and Eurasia. Anyone who believes that the US, or the UK or any of their allies has the tiniest interest in the welfare of the peolle of Ukraine has not been paying attention.

And Ukrainians must know this- those speaking the Ukrainian language just as well as those who speak ordinary Russian.
They know that since its 'independence' the country has been in the hands of oligarchs and their foreign sponsors, including the sponsor of sponsors, the United States. And now they know that the oligarchs have been pushed aside politically in favour of the direct dictatorship of the US through its chosen agents the neo-nazis.
Previously the US had tried other agents, including emigres and oligarchs but none of them proved very efficient, on the one hand they looted the country, on the other they failed to prevent the seeds of popular revolt from germinating. So the US took power directly and, relying on the tried and true methods of the Empire around the world employed death squads and terrorist militias to suppress any protests against a regime which, in the process of setting up bases to conduct wars against Russia, had lowered living standards while putting an end to any idea that better days lay ahead.

Ukraine was being turned into the Guatemala of Europe, a military dictatorship.
How can such a country survive? Rumania, Hungary and Poland not only have historical claims on large parts of the country but they cannot but offer the people living in them better government, higher living standards and greater respect.
What is going to happen is that, starting in the east, and probably this year a series of plebiscites are going to be conducted and they will all end up with large majorities calling for an end to their inclusion in Ukraine, as it is now constituted. In much of the country this will lead to alliance with Belarus or Russia, perhaps even voluntary annexation.
Elsewhere, in Galicia for example, it will probably lead to majorities choosing other options. It will depend on what is offered.

Will there be a rump state called Ukraine? I doubt it because I cannot see any population wanting it. There has not been a pro fascist population in Ukraine since the war. And it is extremely doubtful that there was one then, except in the fevered brains of the OUN and its ambitious cadres. Which is why they all ended up thousands of miles to the west, on the other side of a wide ocean.
The only place where there is a majority in favour of the kind of Ukraine run by Nazis that we now see in Kiev is in Canada. And that is a sentiment founded on the narrow and fragile basis of crumbling russophobic and anti-communist ideologies.

The "totalitarian' analysis which teaches that Nazism and Communism are similar and that liberalism is distinctly different might have had a certain temporary purchase in the Cold War but it no longer convinces anyone least of all those who see- the reality liberals have been at such pains to obscure in the last century- that fascism, death squads, torture, terrorism and racist ideologies were not the invention of Mussolini or Hitler but the received wisdom, the political conclusions of liberal imperialism. Of liberal capitalism. Of liberalism which is the real totalitarian ideology and always was, even when Bentham's disciples were commanding the Opium wars and John Stuart Mill was fighting against the Indian "Mutiny" or war of liberation.

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2022 1:53 utc | 166

ak74 @164
File this under "They are not going to take it anymore" :
'Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Friday seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations, days after an Iranian oil tanker was captured by Greece in its territorial waters followed by transfer of the oil to the US..."

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2022 1:57 utc | 167

uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 0:47 utc | 158
Zircon and Kinzal with thermobaric warheads deleting US pathogens in a hypersonic jiffy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 28 2022 2:09 utc | 168

nook #146

....Very soon the Ukies will have to give up that Monty Python routine of "it's just a flesh wound". The last rags of their military will either be destroyed or expelled shoe-less from the East. Then I foresee civil war in the Western Ukraine as fingers get pointed over the collapse of their ambitions. The far Right will attempt to seize power from the oligarch/CIA cabal that rules in Kiev now. A Polish intervention there is a distinct possibility. Whatever happens, the Ukrainian economy will be dead for a generation. All the bluster about a million man army and a counter attack will fade away as reality takes hold. Western rump Ukraine will become a political, economic and security albatross around the West's neck. Every effort will be used to "erase" it from public conscious. This will happen.

Yes that is a high probability but given the devastation of the westies after the battles in the east, the rapid emigration at the thought of the Russians stampeding west and the gutted economy. I suspect there can be a rough return to civil society over a short time. All the more so if Russia keeps a low profile and the west is presented with a policing/security force comprised of those lucky Uke soldiers that survived the trenches plus the people in the west that avoided the pressgang into army.

Combine that with war crimes trials against all perpetrators both local to the east and those westies that 'conquered' the east then I suspect the refugee nazis and their fellow travelers will simply stay away. My guess is there will be a long list of 'persons of interest' to said trials.

Russia has embarked on a road of change and if they can subdue Ukraine for a decade or two while some improved world functionality emerges throughout western europe, then that will serve their needs for today. I do not believe for one minute that Russia will tolerate any colonising nonsense and imagined territory plays that it perceives as a NATO trick, except on their terms.

If a sliver of Ukraine remains as a barking dog it will become another baltic bleater and aggravating tool of the UKUSA, bristling with missiles. I know its a long shot but if europe grew a pair and stood alone then it could negotiate a mutual indivisible security arrangement with Russia. Otherwise there is a high probability of Russian victory without immediate stability - something like the north of Ireland in 'the troubles'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 2:20 utc | 169

How many times has the weather changed the course of a conflict and of world history? who even knows, though I'm sure lots of the MoA crew could name some.

"lots of if's and what have you's, lots of strands to keep in the old Duder's head."

one strand with lots of if's is GUILT. two people, Aleph Null and Karlof1 I believe, mentioned the Indian Wars, California in particular, a thread or two back. the whole nation is an Indian burial ground, and vengeful ghosts are on the prowl. lots of people sitting in graveyards rattling their chains with Legions of demons and Gadarene pigs rushing over cliffs.

guilty people are liars. the danger of discovery drives people further into deception, and self-deception, on into the full blown, openly expressed "death drive," which in the "healthy, successful" people of society is externalized, becoming the murder/war drive. lots of shell games, trickery, deception, blame, slander, a lot of it not exactly sleight of hand, like the constant battering ram of the terrorist threat for over 20 years.

the guilty are not in control of this process of moral insanity, thus perhaps the origins of the language of "possession" and "evil and/or vengeful spirits", a fairly common notion in world history.

"California is the end of the world." somebody said. "Apocalypse Soon", since there's nowhere else to go after sunny CA. no "east of eden" to run to. the earth is a big circle, karma's a bitch, and we in the US are likely about to reap what our leaders and our nation have sown around here and around the world. as the methods exported around the world fail, they will be reimported back home. they really never left of course, but get ready for more Gitmo, Holman Sq, Abu Ghraib, Bagram AFB, etc. here in the "homeland." it's already happening.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | May 28 2022 2:25 utc | 170

@ dh and others about the US market/economy.

A bit OT but wanted to point out that investors moving into cash is a fools move because FDIC is a joke both as a percentage of the amount available in relation to cash positions and derivatives have superior position to FDIC funds in relation to the public.

Will the derivative holders get away with their societal theft if/when the time comes?

Stay tuned.....that day may be coming soon.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2022 2:28 utc | 171

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2022 1:53 utc | 166

The possibility of ALL of Ukraine being partitioned and then deciding not to join NATO or be involved with the West is a possibility. It's even possible that Russia can negotiate a deal with enough of them to allow stationing strategic weapons somewhere in the western portion of Ukraine. This would satisfy Russia's security needs to some extent.

But I think Russia would prefer Ukraine to remain a unified state - just one that is compliant with Russia's security needs, which means a pro-Russian government and treaties that allow Russian military bases in western Ukraine.

But your scenario is possible. But a "rump Ukraine" controlled by NATO (which includes being controlled by Poland, since NATO will take advantage of that), as others have envisaged, is not acceptable to Russia in my view.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2022 2:30 utc | 172

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 2:20 utc | 169


Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2022 2:31 utc | 173

Posted by: Peter AU1 | May 28 2022 2:09 utc | 168

Peter please do not be so silly. You are a very, smart guy so do not let emotion take control.

First nuclear war heads of any kind should be reserved for 12 year old kid's computer games

Second any sort of bomb near a bioweapons site is incredibly dangerous because the chances of killing all the pathogens is practically nil and release into the environment almost guaranteed.

Posted by: watcher | May 28 2022 2:40 utc | 174

So I was going back to find an article by Dr. Nafeez Ahmed at his Medium blog and it's been shut down for "investigation" or violating some rule (yeah right, kinda like PayPal and Consortium News I'm sure). Google is also allowing Medium to block views of the cached articles and WayBack Machine only ever took captures of the main page.

I was able to find one article at from 2018 and it's pretty interesting considering the subject. Wonder if this one had anything to do with it being taken down.

Intro (I haven't had a chance to cross check it yet):

The document remains staunchly critical of Russia and Putin, but finds that Russian belligerence cannot be understood without accounting for the context of ongoing US interference in what Russia perceives to be its legitimate 'sphere of influence.'

Comment: No 'perception'. The neighboring countries around Russia (many of which used to be part of the old USSR) are a legitimate sphere of influence. The problem is that encroaches on what the US considers its sphere of influence: the entire globe.

Simultaneously, the document admits that far from the US being some innocently hapless victim of Russian interference, the US has at various times run covert "information, economic and diplomatic" campaigns to either "dethrone Putin", or at least undermine his rule.

An irony of the document is that despite repeatedly recognizing NATO's own role in provoking Russian militarism, the US Army study refuses to contemplate a fundamental change of course with respect to NATO policies and interests.

Comment: Wow. Someone actually said it, but still takes no heed.

The document contains the usual caveat included with these sorts of internal US military studies, noting that its findings represent the views "of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense." Yet in its foreword, Major General John S. Kem, Commandant of the US Army War College in Carlisle, notes that the volume's insights "are important for Army professionals who lead Soldiers in a variety of missions across the globe", and should be considered "by planners and policymakers alike."

Titled Cultural Perspectives, Geopolitics & Energy Security of Eurasia: Is the Next Global Conflict Imminent?, the study - which was published in March 2017 and has not been reported publicly until now - pinpoints the roles of competing US, European and Russian energy interests in driving growing tensions which could convert regional flashpoints into the next world war.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 2:51 utc | 175

Broke this up into two posts to make it less a wall of text.

And what is driving NATO expansionism? While the US Army study highlights concerns about Russian authoritarianism, it remains surprisingly candid in flagging up US energy interests as the primary issue:

"Perhaps the most important reality and rationale for US/Eurasia policy at the time [1990s], however, was the increasing global interdependence in energy and trade," writes Ibrahimov.
"Vast reserves of oil and natural gas in and around the Caspian Sea were the primary source of the US's initial interest in the region. That interest could provide the foundation for stronger ties between the US and regional states, with the US providing protection to ensure regional stability and the political independence of the littoral countries." (p. 8)
Humanitarian intervention and military peacekeeping operations in the region, then, have always had a broader geostrategic agenda related to the "protection" of US access to Caspian oil and gas.

The study points out that US efforts to resolve the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, for instance, were less about concerns for peace and human rights than "US and Western countries' economic and strategic interests in Azerbaijan."

Ibrahimov notes that "a consortium of Western oil companies, five of which were American, signed a $7.5 billion oil contract with Azerbaijan", proving the latter's welcome "commitment to a market-oriented economy, and its firm intention to join the international economic system."

Equally, Azerbaijani oil was a key motivating factor behind Russia's invasion of Chechnya. While US and Western companies, the study reports, "had been considering several possible routes for the future pipeline," Russia wanted the pipeline to run though its own and Chechen territory, undermining "American and Western commercial interests in this region... Russia already had such a policy in the case of Kazakhstan, where American oil companies were also involved (i.e., Chevron)," adds Ibrahimov. (p. 10)

The geopolitical pipeline competition was ultimately won by the United States.

In a section titled, 'Pipeline Politics and its Regional and Global Implications', the US Army study notes that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline - running from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku through Georgia toward the Turkish port of Ceyhan - "was the first major pipeline to bypass Russian territory."

So far I can recommend this article and wouldn't be surprised if b may have posted it in an O/T one day back then, but I don't specifically recall seeing it.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 2:53 utc | 176

Russia would need to be bat sh*t bonkers to try to take control of western Ukraine. They would need to be a colonial occupying force, which never, ever works out well.

Russia can and should take control of areas of Ukraine where the population is genuinely friendly and where there will be enough good will to rebuild, become prosperous and ensure that rebellion does not fester. So yes the East and the South should be possible. As for the far west- forget it. Let Poland have it BUT make clear that it is NOT Poland for the purposes of NATO and that any missile infrastructure, or serious military build up in the area will be khinzalled.

I am not sure what to do about the North and centre of Ukraine. My best guess would be a neutral Kiev based government and again no NATO forces in the country. Over time it may be denazified

Posted by: watcher | May 28 2022 2:53 utc | 177

@171 I'm not sure exactly what the FDIC covers. Is the coverage limited to a certain amount?

The main problem it seems to me is that there is no cap on the money supply.

Posted by: dh | May 28 2022 2:55 utc | 178

Some more here and I'll leave it alone. This from 2018 and it's looking pretty prescient.

NATO provocation heightening threat of global nuclear war

There has been much coverage recently of how Putin poses a grave nuclear threat to the US and the world.

Yet this has ignored the context of Russia nuclear saber-rattling in persistent NATO provocations, as highlighted in a separate chapter in the US Army study exploring how Russian militarism is consistently a response to NATO nuclear expansion.

The section is authored by Colonel Lee G. Gentile, Jr., Vice Commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. He was previously lead operational planner at the Air Forces Central Command Combined Air Operations Center, and went on to serve in Iraq.

According to Col. Gentile, a co-editor of the US Army study, the origin of Russian paranoia about Western intentions goes back to the early 1950s, when the US adopted the 'First Offset' strategy by which it "threatened a nuclear strike in order to 'convince' the Kremlin that fighting another world war was not beneficial to the Soviet Union."

In other words, it was the US that initially threatened the Kremlin with a nuclear first strike policy.

The US Army study acknowledges, however, that:
"Recently declassified Soviet papers, articles, and meeting minutes indicate that the Soviet leadership had no intention of invading Europe."
That is contrary, it should be remembered, to the official state propaganda at the time, parroted dutifully by the Western press.

After the experience of the world wars, Russia feared that the West would invade if the USSR was too militarily weak, fears compounded by Western advancements in nuclear weapons technology:
"Therefore, the Soviets developed and tested a nuclear device in 1949 in order to counter the West's advantage."
The West then upgraded its nuclear weapons policy. In 1954, the Eisenhower Administration adopted the 'New Look Policy' to maintain "a smaller, more-capable, forward-deployed, conventional force that was reinforced by the massive retaliatory power of nuclear weapons."

Unsurprisingly, this in turn "furthered Soviet fears of Western aggression... Soviet leaders believed that Western deterrent actions were offensive not defensive, and were designed to 'compel' Soviet leaders to accept Western political demands."

In more recent times, US and NATO military expansion is similarly a principal factor in Russian nuclear saber rattling, according to the document.

The US now possesses "global precision-strike capability". Faced further with "a combined 1.4 million-man NATO military force to the west and a 2.3 million-man Chinese army to the south," if the Kremlin was to try to "counter the threat conventionally", its defense spending would reach "unsustainable levels."

This "helps to explain why the Kremlin is using its nuclear arsenal as a strategic reserve to protect its smaller conventional force while relying on unconventional and asymmetric methods to secure national interests."

To that extent, Russian belligerence is in some ways a rational strategic response to the perception of NATO imperialism:
"Simply put, Russian leaders want to limit the expansion and influence of NATO, create a buffer between Russia and NATO, re-establish its influence in former Soviet states, and return to being a regional and global power."
Russia is also "paranoid about a surprise attack from NATO or the US", a fear which stems from "the German invasion of western Russia during Operation Barbarossa" as well as "US and NATO operations in the Caucuses and the Middle East."

"When viewed from the Russian standpoint, these fears are understandable," observes the US Army study, noting that relentless NATO encroachment along Russia's borders has pushed Russia into a corner in which playing the nuclear card to attempt to deter NATO is its only option:
"Considering that NATO was created to counter the expansion of the Soviet Union, it is not surprising that the Kremlin views expansion as a threat. Every time a former Soviet state is incorporated into NATO, the buffer shrinks. Without that physical buffer, Western military forces move closer to Moscow, eliminating the Kremlin's ability to trade space for time. Similarly, missile defense erodes the Kremlin's most powerful strategic and political weapons, its nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. From the Kremlin's perspective, the West is willing to attack any 'disruptive' country that lacks nuclear capability in order to 'force its political will' on international and regional affairs. Therefore, the Russian leadership views its nuclear weapons as its most important political tool because they would have limited to no ability to affect regional and international affairs without them."
The document goes on to compare NATO policy to co-opt former Soviet states to an imagined Russian effort to incorporate Mexico or Canada into the Warsaw Pact, or deploy ballistic missile defences to the Americas - such actions have never been contemplated by Russia, and would of course never be acceptable to the United States. But, the document says, their equivalence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is already being carried out by NATO to weaken Russia. This is why the incorporation of Georgia into NATO "triggered the 2008 Russian invasion of South Ossetia and the Kremlin's first use of nuclear coercion." (p. 87)

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 2:57 utc | 179

Sergei Lavrov has given a long interview to RT. You can find it by searching for "Lavrov interview" and then look under "shows"

Posted by: the pessimist | May 28 2022 2:58 utc | 180


Ah, I see your "Spotless Victim" in the Soviets get yet another eternal pass.

You "Holodomor-Denier"!!! Lol.

When the Ukranians get full control of the media, flood us with pornography, undermine us with their banking, and teach our children from the earliest age about their sacred victim status, you, sir, will be thrown in prison for your thought crimes!

C'mon, Zelensky! Survive!!! I wanna see these Communist-Supremacist bullies rot in prison!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 28 2022 2:58 utc | 181

@ uncle tungsten 169
If a sliver of Ukraine remains as a barking dog it will become another baltic bleater and aggravating tool of the UKUSA, bristling with missiles.
Love your mixed metaphor!

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28 2022 3:15 utc | 182

Things would be falling apart under Trump as well, the Ukraine lobby was relentless and I do not believe that Trumps administration would not include V. Nuland, I have not proof for this, only a hunch.

Posted by: fanto | May 28 2022 3:20 utc | 183

Just watched Mercouris' video from today. He says he read a Russian media report that Russia can produce 35-50 Kalibrs a day, or roughly 1K-1.5K per month.

Now imagine that they're been doing that since at least last spring of last year, if not before. (Kalibrs of one variant or another have been in service since 1994.) That's 12K-18K Kalibrs available for this operation just from the past year (minus whatever was expended in Syria or elsewhere.)

Now consider all the other missiles being used, the production capacity of which we don't know.

Russia is not running out of anything. And they wouldn't because as Martyanov points out logistics planning would go hand in hand with operational planning. This is why a few weeks ago Russia on several days launched around 1,000 missiles strikes per day.

So how many missiles does Ukraine have? How many can the US actually realistically supply of any kind? It's a joke.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | May 28 2022 3:21 utc | 184

watcher #174

any sort of bomb near a bioweapons site is incredibly dangerous because the chances of killing all the pathogens is practically nil and release into the environment almost guaranteed.

Yes it does appear to be a stupid activity but then if the site is a store of a small volume of refrigerated seed biopathogens then the outcome may well be different. Perhaps many pathogens are really vulnerable to environmental hazards and can only sustain their life when closely associated with live, warm mammals or birds or a humid petrie dish.

I don't have that knowledge but it seems unlikely they would just float about in the dust for some time waiting for a host to come along, even with a white helmet.

If these biopathogens were capable of robust survival to be open air transmissable then they would be isolated to the type that is sprayed as aerosol from a drone. We would need to know just what that type is, the status of the store in Ukraine today and the accompanying technology to deliver them alive to the intended target. I would think that Russia and its allies have a pretty good idea of the risks/strategies and consequences. From reading the briefings above I get the impression that Russia has been eavesdropping on this pentagon crime in the making since 2014.

Likely there is no Novichok to use given its crap performance.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 3:21 utc | 185

Posted by: NemesisCalling | May 28 2022 2:58 utc | 181

Wait what? Please elaborate on which portion of bevin's historically accurate post amounts to saying that the USSR was a "Spotless Victim" (why capitalized)?

I can't find anything in his telling that isn't true. Do you think the USA is a "spotless victim" and a source of freedom and democracy for all the world's countries?

Equally interested in your answers to both of those questions.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 3:24 utc | 186

nook@151 - "Enjoy the Ukies being toasted. An unsettling but beautiful night view of their positions being hit."

Enjoy... Ukies... toasted... Unsettling but beautiful? FFS. You realize there are live soldiers and/or smoldering pieces of what's left of them in those positions, right?

The video is relevant and topical, but your comments prefacing it are... well, you didn't by any chance torture small injured animals for fun when you were a kid, did you?

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 28 2022 3:30 utc | 187

@Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 3:24 utc | 186

Nemesis Calling is an undisguised Nazi. He posts here hoping to find gullible, suggestible lurkers whom he may recruit.

Debunking his lies is always a service to humanity. Thank you for your service.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 28 2022 3:34 utc | 188

Don Bacon #182

"Love your mixed metaphor!"

Thank you ;)

I work on them sometimes and even when incongruous, they must roll off the tongue easier eg., it tried 'baltic yapper' but 'bleater' seemed more apt. Life must contain levity.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 3:37 utc | 189

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | May 28 2022 3:34 utc | 188

Jesus H. Christ how did I not catch those references and subtle allusions to the greatness of the Ukra-Nazis. I thought and still do that this person might be joking.

I was picking up more of a religious bent, perhaps Southern Baptist, than a Nazi one. But I always want to hear the other side, so I'm hoping he/she/them will reply.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 3:51 utc | 190

In between intelligent comments, always always how much America can do to other countries. Everyday, the threats, bravado and ignorance uttered by Western masters give some inspiration to talk as if you are winning, when most clearly it is that you are losing.

Then the fallback plan entails that Biden is to blame, yet not ever accepting that all American Presidents are in the pockets of the people that rule you. I live in Canada and seen the decay of America over decades, and yet some still believe that you possess some God given power.

If Israel/ USA could have destroyed Iran decades ago; they would have. Instead 30+ years of crippling sanctions on people who do not want to succumb to Zionist rule. Even sanction to death Venezuela you would not attack, for when the guerillas go into the jungle, where you cannot possibly live; they will attack you relentlessly until you have to leave.

In Lebanon 300 of your WWF fighting force was bombed and you left. That was under your hero Regan, who took you into Grenada, where you managed to kill 26 cuban worker's and lost 16 of your superb WWF. You will never ever take on Russia so get it through your heads.

So now you switch your never ending war to China. The Chinese don't have to think about all the coloured people that make up your armed forces. All they have to do is blow ever single NATO warship into oblivion. But they are prepared for America to launch nuclear missiles.

I have learnt through their COVID 19 policy that China mobilized millions of people in their fight against this disease. But I also learnt that they also went through training for a war, including nuclear. They also have thousands of deep bunkers.

Now tell me apart from the individual Americans buying ridiculous bunkers and shelters; just what has your great leaders been doing to protect you?

Posted by: Karl luck | May 28 2022 3:55 utc | 191

Has it been established what the purpose was of the Russian buildups in 2021?

Posted by: Ivan | May 27 2022 16:25 utc | 12

In March 24, 2021, Zelensky signed a decree to re-take Crimea. Russia mobilized troops to the border the next day.

Posted by: Lulu | May 28 2022 4:07 utc | 192

Re Sweden and Finland joining NATO

Swedes are going to Istanbul to convince Erdogan they may give in to his demands. I really don't know what he will extract from Finland but it seems guaranteed that he will get all he wants from Finland and even more.

A friend of mine is married to a Finn and while speaking about the eventual adhesion of Finland to NATO, I mentioned the purchase of 68 F-35 that Sanna Marin is expected to purchase from the States.

I said:"There is Sanna's motive to join the Organization: 135000000 per unit means a juicy commission, kickback, whatever you call it. even if only 5% it is over 450000000USD!

He protested that the US has laws to prevent this type of stuff so I had to ask if he believes in Santa Claus?
He also argued that Finns are very honest and not corrupt at al.

But it so happens, Marin has been using state funds to bankroll her family's expensive breakfast.

So if she is willing to jeopardize her reputation for a mere thousand euros a month, think about her feelings about 450,000,000.00USD!

Anyway, if she deigned look at a map of the waterway to St Petersburg where part of the Russian Atlantic fleet is based she would understand that her joining NATO cannot be accepted by Russia.

This is the same situation as the Cuba crisis but even worse as Russia cannot afford any hostility until her ships pass the Swedish coast.

Russia will have to move its fleet to its northern coat where ice is a major inconvenience, But
in fact it puts the baltic states at risk of being nuked at the first spark of hostilities.
Or a full scale invasion of Finland and the Baltic states becomes a necessity.

Meanwhile, Sanna and family will be enjoying her breakfasts on the Miami beaches...

Posted by: CarlD | May 28 2022 4:13 utc | 193

B takes one article everyday and it somehow is the best, along with his great assessment. I look forward to it. The rest of the boys do a great job.

We have no say in fighting for the truth, reality, peace and kindness, but at least until now we can express views that call out for justice, decency and respect for all mankind.

Posted by: Karl luck | May 28 2022 4:14 utc | 194

@Pagan | May 27 2022 18:07 utc | 58

You've raised one of the most interesting questions arising from the present crisis. What form, if any, will New Ukraine have?

Yes, an interesting question. I doubt I can see the future better. But notice that each time Ukraine pokes the Bear, the country loses an important part of itself. First it lost Crimea (and Sevastopol) and therefore control of the Black Sea. Now it will lose Donbass, its most heavily industrialized region. Other bits of the Ukraine may fall to Poland and Romania. Next time, what else? I see that Putin has eased Russian citizenship requirements for Zaporozhye and Kherson. And perhaps Odessa too, eventually?

Posted by: Cyril | May 28 2022 4:14 utc | 195

Posted by: CarlD | May 28 2022 4:13 utc | 193

I'm guessing what Erdogan will demand is that the Finns take in and house as many refugees currently in his country and on his borders that he wishes. Also to be quiet and support his war against Greece.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | May 28 2022 4:17 utc | 196

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 28 2022 3:21 utc | 185

The problem is that it could be all sorts of different things. Take smallpox for example. Very, very relevant given the "monkey pox" now circulating. This is generally a respiratory disease but also can survive on clothes and blankets (it is rumoured that this method of giving indigenous people blankets contaminated by smallpox was a form of genocide). Probably the most likely to escape a biolab after any kind of attack would be any pathogen that used rats or rabbits, mosquitoes or other insects as their hosts. Cockroaches are radiation proof largely.

Pathogens come in many forms. Smallpox was probably the most feared (still is) but there are lots of others. Variants of measles could be devastating. Then there are crop diseases (these could be viruses, fungi, parasites or bacteria). The range is endless.

I have a suspicion (it really is just a suspicion not a statement) that the Hendra virus that killed a few people in Australia might have been an escape from a biolab. It was another bat story, which somehow I doubt.

My spidey sense is twitching regarding Monkey pox, newly emerging. It is obviously a variant (close relative) of smallpox and its recent emergence just after biolabs are hastily dismantled, has me curious. At least we do have a vaccine for this (or should have) and most of us oldies are probably protected. If I were Xi or Putin or Kim or the Ayotollah in Iran, I would be ramping up the production of smallpox vaccine. I would like it here in Australia too for my kids and grandkids.

Posted by: watcher | May 28 2022 4:31 utc | 197

@ CarlD 193
F-35. . .135000000 per unit
1. The F-35 is still in development, after twenty years, with full production not allowed. After more than twenty years in development it has not passed operational test and evaluation.
2. The currently available F-35 prototype from limited production is a crappy poor performing expensive aircraft with 61% availability. Its publicized low purchase cost of less than 100 million comes from Lockheed, with no government audit permitted. A recent Air Force report on a totally destroyed F-35 put the value at $175,983,949. They are over $200 million each with initial spares, simulator, helmet etc. . . Five for a billion, and maybe three of them will fly!
3. The F-35 hourly operating cost is about $36,000 which is almost 50 percent more than what an F-16 costs to fly. It's too expensive to fly for routine training even when it does get off the ground. So pilots spend more time in a simulator rather than in the cockpit which affects pilot morale and contributes to an Air Force critical shortage of 2,000 pilots.
4 . A $14 billion Pentagon software upgrade for F-35 jets is being installed on these 'flying computer' planes that are already deployed even though it’s “immature, deficient and insufficiently tested,” according to a new assessment by the Pentagon's testing office; in total there are more than 800 unresolved software and hardware deficiencies of varying severity that could undercut readiness, missions or maintenance. The exact nature of these problems will remain unknown to the public, even when the deficiency itself is not classified.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 28 2022 5:05 utc | 198

"NATO military planning accelerated along with the diplomacy."

What diplomacy is that reporter going on about? NATO's "diplomacy" was to take Russia's list of demands about a neutral Ukraine spit on them and hand them back. Who couldn't see this coming when you had HMS Aggressor...Defender causing tension around Crimea? NATO's diplomacy was obey or else and left Russia cornered to respond like they did. After the failure of the West and Ukraine to uphold the Minsk agreements and other agreements outside of the Ukrainian context, how can Russia and China or anyone for that matter trust NATO countries and America? The only European leader with any good sense is Orban of Hungary and the other incompetent European states in their infinite wisdom are black listing him. America and Europe are just going to have to suffer along with Ukraine who is to ignorant to realize they are being played by the West and too prideful to save what good future they could have by preserving their men.

Posted by: Prometheus | May 28 2022 5:12 utc | 199
David P Goldman, writing as Spengler at Asia Times, has conjured the spirit of Cardinal Richelieu to answer the question: will Russia prevail in Ukraine?

Posted by: Waymad | May 28 2022 5:15 utc | 200

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