Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 24, 2022

Flag Abuse And Other Bits On Ukraine

The Pentagon reports about the continuing efforts to sell new U.S. weapons to those nations which discard their old ones in Ukraine.

Austin Hosts Ukraine Defense Contact Group to Continue Support for Beleaguered Country

To express the seriousness of the situation in Ukraine the Pentagon decided to hoist Ukraine's blue-above-yellow flag upside down.


Hanging a flag upside down is a sign of either dire distress or cultural ignorance. Given that this was a Pentagon event the later is the more likely to be the case.


The Baltic nutters have a another great and of course completely impractical idea.

UK backs Lithuania’s plan to lift Russian blockade of Ukraine grain

Britain has backed in principle a proposal by Lithuania for a naval coalition “of the willing” to lift the Russian Black Sea blockade on Ukrainian grain exports.

The Lithuanian foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, proposed the plan during talks with the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, on Monday in London.

“Time is very very short. We are closing in on a new harvest and there is no other practical way of exporting the grain except through the Black Sea port of Odesa,” he told the Guardian. “There is no way of storing this grain and no other adequate alternative route. It is imperative that we show vulnerable countries we are prepared to take the steps that are needed to feed the world.”

Landsbergis proposed that a naval escort operation – not run by Nato – could protect the grain ships as they headed through the Black Sea and past Russian warships. He suggested that, apart from Britain, countries that were affected by the potential loss of grain such as Egypt could provide the necessary protection.
He said Ukraine needed to export 80m tonnes of wheat alone this year and the only option was through Odesa.

Let me help Mr. Landsbergis with some facts:

  • The port of Odesa is blocked by Ukraine, not by Russia.
  • Ukraine does not have 80 million tons of wheat to export. In a good year the total grain production in Ukraine is 80 million tons. Some 50% of that is corn and some 40% wheat. Only two-third of that will be exported.
  • The Ukraine is currently exporting 1.5 million tons of grains per month. Most of that is going through Romania.
  • Given that this years planting did not go as planned the Ukraine will hardly have any wheat to export later this year.

Still some know-nothing falls for Landsbergis' scheme:

After meeting Landsbergis, Truss said the UK would want British naval ships to join the escort if the practicalities could be sorted, including demining the harbour and providing Ukraine with longer-range weapons to defend the harbour from Russian attack. The UK is in discussions with allies about the plan and it would probably need US agreement to be activated.

Truss said: “What we need to do is deal with this global food security issue and the UK is working on an urgent solution to get the grain out of Ukraine”.

The Ukraine is only number 5 of the largest wheat exporters with some 8% market share. Russia, the global wheat exporter no. 1, will have a record crop this year. The global food security issue is thereby a question of price and accessibility, not of the globally available quantity.

I find Liz Truss' point of "providing Ukraine with longer-range weapons to defend the harbour" quite interesting. Didn't the Ukraine claim that it hit the Russian ship Moskva with two Ukrainian made cruise missiles? If it really did so it already has the longer-range weapons to hit Russian ships. Is Truss leaking that the Ukraine lied about those missile hits?

The whole idea of sending an armed escort convoy and long range weapons is just nuts. What Ukraine would need are not only missiles but targeting data and radar with which that can be acquired. Unfortunately radar does emit electromagnetic waves which makes it detectable and vulnerable. Russia has already knocked out several radars in and around Odessa. What is Truss' plan to avoid that?

And don't get me going about Russia's submarines which are completely sufficient to sink anything in the Black Sea that Russia does not like to be there.


Meanwhile the war is progressing in Russia's favor. I do not have time to show detailed maps of what is happening but there are two reasonable Youtube channels which provide good daily reports based on multiple sources. These are Military Summary and Defense Politics Aaaaasia.

In the north Lyman has fallen with reports of Ukrainian troops withdrawing after a short fight. In the east the Ukrainian held city Severodonetsk is mostly isolated and now under fierce attack. Several more towns around the Popasna bulge have been taken by the Russian side. South of it the city Svetlodarsk has fallen after the Ukrainian tried but failed to destroy a nearby dam. The Ukrainian troops retreated without a fight.

Instead of holding the lines by all means Ukrainian units now seem more interested in running away. That is more healthy for them and also solves their serious supply issues. Like other supply lines the Bakhmut-Lisichansk road is now under Russian fire control. This video shows what that means.

What we are seeing now are the effects of nearly three months of Russian artillery war. The Ukrainian troops at the frontline have been ground down and those who are left are moving out before being destroyed too. The front begins to move at several points. When those points merge we may next see the tactical deep battle phase of a classic Russian deep operation:

Deep battle envisaged the breaking of the enemy's forward defenses, or tactical zones, through combined arms assaults, which would be followed up by fresh uncommitted mobile operational reserves sent to exploit the strategic depth of an enemy front. The goal of a deep operation was to inflict a decisive strategic defeat on the enemy's logistical abilities and render the defence of their front more difficult, impossible, or indeed irrelevant. Unlike most other doctrines, deep battle stressed combined arms cooperation at all levels: strategic, operational, and tactical.

It feels insane when Henry Kissing er is the only sane man in the room.

Henry Kissinger: Ukraine must give Russia territory

Veteran US statesman Henry Kissinger has urged the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine, warning that it would have disastrous consequences for the long term stability of Europe.

The former US secretary of state and architect of the Cold War rapprochement between the US and China told a gathering in Davos that it would be fatal for the West to get swept up in the mood of the moment and forget the proper place of Russia in the European balance of power.

Dr Kissinger said the war must not be allowed to drag on for much longer, and came close to calling on the West to bully Ukraine into accepting negotiations on terms that fall very far short of its current war aims.
He told the World Economic Forum that Russia had been an essential part of Europe for 400 years and had been the guarantor of the European balance of power structure at critical times. European leaders should not lose sight of the longer term relationship, and nor should they risk pushing Russia into a permanent alliance with China.

It is likely too late to reverse the Russia-China alliance but I otherwise agree.

Posted by b on May 24, 2022 at 13:59 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 25 2022 9:38 utc | 281

Lol, do they purposefully train themselves to be this f**cking stupid?

Absent a strongly binding framework, the choice to accept a different way to settle a debt always rest with the creditor's goodwill.

The international framework for debt-servicing is not strongly binding, it is a function of power and reputation; reputation which the USA is gleefully tearing to shreds in a tantrum.

Absent a reliable mechanism to coerce the debtor, the creditor will always prefer a different way to settle a debt over getting, well, nothing and their ass flapping in the wind

Case 1:
Friendly country: You owe us dollars.
Russia: Can't pay in dollars, Pindos forbid.
Friendly country: Well, you owe us for this and this. We have to figure out a way to settle it, dollars or not.
Russia: Of course. Let's discuss which options we have and which one comes closer to the original obligations.

Case 2:
Unfriendly country: You owe us dollars.
Russia: Can't pay in dollars, Pindos forbid.
Unfriendly country: We don't care, interest accumulates.
Russia: иди нахуй
Unfriendly country: What?
Russia: BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP [telephone hung]


Creditor wants rubles? Very well, this creates ruble reserves.

Creditor wants their own currency? The same with extra steps.

Creditor wants a third-party currency? Maybe not so directly advantageous, but it looks good on the window, put a multipolarity ribbon on it.

Creditor wants resources? This can be arranged unless the desired rate is abusive, a new agreement is drawn up, old debt is written off.

Creditor wants dollars? This is simply impossible, unless done by a third party or mafia-style off the back of a van. If they insist, they can go ask the Pindos to loosen up seized russian assets. Which probably won't ever happen, since by the time they get to do it; it'll turn out that Pindos have already snorted it all up.


I fail to see in which way is the USA doing anything else than giving the RF one half of a dollar debt jubilee.

I fail to see in which way does this kind of measure do anything but artificially create demand for rubles, and artificially destroy demand for dollars even outside the RF. Directly strengthening ruble versus dollar and incidentally strengthening surrounding currencies; possibly even strengthening the material economy versus financial hocus-pocus (!).

USA "leaders" are stupid beyond belief.

Exceptionalism and supremacism lead first to stupid decisions, then to ingrained stupidity:

-First, they make you overestimate yourself.
-Second, they make you underestimate the enemy.
-Third, you do a stupid thing because your judgement of the situation was clouded and inadequate.
-Fourth, you have to justify to yourself what external factor made you do something stupid - it can't be your fault because you're exceptional and superior, further clouding your judgement.
-Fifth, rinse and repeat, except you're sensibly more stupid now; since you failed to take stock of the situation and then doubled down on an outlook that was already inadequate yesterday, not to speak of today.

In this way all the power, skill and material advantage that led to the illusion of exceptionalism and supremacism are squandered and the advantageous position steadily eroded; if not directly as a consequence of stupid decisions, then indirectly through overexerting them to forcefully compensate for stupid decisions already made. And every one of this exhausting contingencies has in itself ample potential to become yet another stupid decision fueled by exceptionalism and supremacism.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 25 2022 12:11 utc | 301

Posted by: NoOne | May 25 2022 9:48 utc | 284

Posted by: Anonymous | May 25 2022 12:21 utc | 302

From RT.

Russia to pay foreign debt in rubles
The announcement comes after the US blocked payments to American bondholders

Moscow plans to make foreign debt payments in rubles, Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Wednesday. This comes after the US blocked Russia from servicing its debt to American bondholders.

Volodin added that the country has all the necessary monetary resources for payments.

“The US and the satellites supporting Washington’s decisions should get used to the ruble,” Volodin said on his Telegram channel on Wednesday, citing Russia’s experience requiring ruble payments for gas shipments as an example of how settlements could work.

The US is scoring one own goal after the other...

Posted by: Norwegian | May 25 2022 12:47 utc | 303

I know that it's possible for ships to sail from Rotterdam to the Black Sea using a series of canals and then the Danube. I wonder what limit there is on the size of ships doing this.
Posted by: Lysias | May 24 2022 20:05 utc | 130

Russia also has canals and rivers by which boats can connect from the Caspian to the Black Sea - and if I remember correctly also connecting north to the Barents Sea. Size is limited - cruisers, which in the Russian navy are capable of some of the bigger missiles, can make it, but bigger ships cannot. I read one suggestion that efforts to enlarge the capacity of the canals to enable bigger ships might be feasible, which would reduce reliance on the Bosphorus.

Posted by: BM | May 25 2022 13:09 utc | 304

@254 So Jeremy Bowen is chosen to prepare the British public for defeat. Perfect man for the job. Who can forget his inspiring tutorial on how to throw Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks.

Posted by: dh | May 25 2022 13:13 utc | 305

- Recruits are being deceived, they think that they will be doing territorial defence and then end up at the front line
... etc
If the above is accurate, the Ukie armed forces are close to collapse
Posted by: Roger | May 24 2022 22:30 utc | 178

They obvously are close to collapse, but it is also possible they have already moved their better forces to the 2nd level line of defence and are using the territorial defences as throw-away canon fodder to delay the Russian advance (possible a war crime??). If so the advance would likely slow down once it gets to the 2nd level defence lines - but I doubt if it makes much difference in the long run, it will not change the outcome.

Posted by: BM | May 25 2022 13:15 utc | 306


Donau­dampfschifffahrts­elektrizitäten­hauptbetriebswerk­bauunterbeamten­gesellschaft look in wiki :D

Posted by: Macpott | May 25 2022 13:15 utc | 307

"...the Neoliberal West is destroying itself while Russia, China and the rest of the world watches in amazement."

karlof1 | May 24 2022 18:43 utc | 103

Amazement indeed. In a Saker article, Dmitry Orlov has satirically deduced, in Sherlock Holmes fashion, that US Neocons are actually the very Putin agents who are are otherwise universally canceled, censored, and blacklisted in Western society. The brilliant master chessmaster, Putin has thoroughly infiltrated US/NATO misleadership to orchestrate a highly successful MRGA campaign, "Make Russia Great Again".

Orlov details (only) ten achievements of this MRGA campaign as proof. "I urge you to follow Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous dictum that 'Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth'... there is a network of Kremlin’s agents ensconced deep within the bowels of the American Deep State and that they are all working in concert to advance Russia’s interests while meticulously maintaining plausible deniability all the while and at all levels of the operation." Therefore, US Neocons must be "Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep Stat". And I'm certain that b and his customers at the bar can add to Dmitry's incomplete proofs.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 25 2022 13:16 utc | 308

The SS Division Galicia used the Ukrainian Flag with colors upside down in WW2. When Zelensky visited Bucha in April the military guys who accompanied him also had the flag patch upside down on their shoulders. Later, in a video where Ukrainians and Georgian volunteers killed Russian POWs on a street, they also had the flag upside down on their uniforms.

Posted by: Max-Headroom | May 25 2022 9:38 utc | 282

So the upside down flags at that conference with US military leadership was most likely deliberate, not a mistake as some have surmised. (Still sends a mixed message but no matter.)

And it looks like perhaps Azov has succeeded in what may have been its secret mission all along, namely helping to bring about the destruction of Ukraine (for whatever reason known only to the US and Jewish Oligarch who sponsored them) making that choice of flag orientation entirely appropriate.

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 13:36 utc | 309

Could we all please refrain from any rehabilitation of Kissinger?

wagelaborer @ 205 --- Kissinger was Strangelove. Just google it. Or compare how Kissinger speaks to camera in early 60s with how Sellers speaks in the movie. And in case you never noticed Kissinger speaks in multiple accents and with no accent because it was always theatrical bullshit.

Detente was a word long before Kissinger.

Evil is evil. Just don't.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 25 2022 13:38 utc | 310

A flash drive belonging to Azov Battalion–connected journalist Oleg Volnov has been found in Mariupol, with some interesting photos on it: photo set 1 (the third photo shows a sticker with an inscription in Russian: “Kill Russian pigs! Glory to Ukraine! Russians are Samoyedic people who are sacrificially, unthinkingly destroying themselves, others and living nature”), photo set 2.

Posted by: S | May 25 2022 13:39 utc | 311

Followup to 304

Kissinger was ever and always a Rockefeller minion. At least since Krefeld and probably before. Only job he ever had. The only possible interest of his recent remarks is it shows that your masters are not united.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 25 2022 13:46 utc | 312

I may be too old to learn Chinese and Russian but with modern translation tools I guess I’ll get by when I move to the land of cheap gas , electric, real food but what am I going to do about my real 🍺 ?? Lager, Vodka and whatever Chinese prefer won’t be to my taste and will make me ill!
Yeah , ‘1st World problem’ 😆

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 25 2022 11:45 utc | 294

Now THAT'S a Grade AAA Rant! Muchas Gracias.
Tsing Tao is a fine beer in China. The Germans did it....

And Pacifico in Mexico ain't half bad either.

I suspect that Latin America is going to rise up soon and create their own bloc which will be Eurasia friendly whilst Mexico will still remain on good terms with neighbor US. If they can clean up the garbage and keep the black market crap in line it could end up being a really great, and neutral, country.

But if I were younger I'd think I'd like to get over to that Belt Road zone which is going to be booming for the next century....

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 13:47 utc | 313

@ 284


Ts, ts. Wrong spelling, and the umlauts are mostly missing. It has to be:


Posted by: Cherrycoke | May 25 2022 13:49 utc | 314

Wasn’t Strangelove a reference to Edward Teller, rather than Kissinger?

Posted by: anon2020 | May 25 2022 13:49 utc | 315

@BM #298:

Russia also has canals and rivers by which boats can connect from the Caspian to the Black Sea - and if I remember correctly also connecting north to the Barents Sea.

It’s called Unified Deep Water System of European Russia, and it connects the Baltic Sea, the White Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea. The English Wikipedia article is very short; if you’re interested in details, use machine translation to read the Russian Wikipedia article.

Posted by: S | May 25 2022 13:53 utc | 316

Kissinger was ever and always a Rockefeller minion. At least since Krefeld and probably before. Only job he ever had. The only possible interest of his recent remarks is it shows that your masters are not united.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 25 2022 13:46 utc | 306

All this grandees (like Soros, Zuckerberg, Gates etc.) are minions, as are major agencies like CIA (formed originally for City banksters I read somewhere). The idea that somewhere there is a room with one guy presiding over the other 8 ruling the world is (perhaps!) going too far, but clearly there are power networks behind the curtain and the ones we see on the public stage do others' bidding. And we can know this even without clear evidence because they are all protected and act as if they know they are protected. Like all those jokers who piled on the Russia Russia business none of whom will face any consequences and all of whom know they will not have to do so.

How do they know that?
There is another layer of authority above them who they work for (no doubt through minions) but we the people do not get to see.....

Or if I'm wrong then expect Zuckerberg to be jailed for life for putting out all those illegal drop boxes and expect all the people who destroyed the video evidence to be punished or ...... Nah. They are protected.

For whatever reason these jokers are breaking down the US right now. Don't know why but clearly that's what's happening. For all we know Putin and Xi are minions too. Impossible to tell. Doubt it but....

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 13:59 utc | 317

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 25 2022 13:16 utc | 302

There's no magical secret society that brings US to this state. Everyone that's aware how US operates would have come to the same conclusion back then, they would see that conclusions today that their model is unsustainable. The dollars would fall, and that's the end of the American empire.
Everyone knows about the breakups of the USSR, of that we weren't so sure that US and western empire could manage as graceful and as quiet fall as them.

Posted by: Lucci | May 25 2022 14:04 utc | 318

Doug Hillman | May 25 2022 13:16 utc | 302

And the zioists who run america report to their Russian bosses lol

Posted by: ld | May 25 2022 14:05 utc | 319

Scorpion @311


Posted by: oldhippie | May 25 2022 14:29 utc | 320

Posted by: Cherrycoke | May 25 2022 13:49 utc | 308

Can you use that in a sentence?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 25 2022 14:38 utc | 321

@Julian #47
You said:

If this is what Poland & Ukraine are trying to do - Has this "smart-alec" move been green-lit by the EU/UK/US/NATO hierachy?

I'd say it hasn't given how the Polish Government (Law & Justice) is regarded in the EU.

One can never discount too much stupidity, but generally I would say no to the idea that it has been green-lit by the full bureaucracy.

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned - and this type of end-run around their gatekeeping powers is precisely what they most dislike.

Even if "some" NATO/EU powers are ok with it - such an attempt will give all of the less rabid infinite excuses: Turkey, Hungary, etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | May 25 2022 14:44 utc | 322

Aleph_Null | May 25 2022 14:38 utc | 315
Sure. Like this:
"Das Donaudampfschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenknopfgenehmigungsbehördenmitarbeitergattinnenkaffeekränzchen trifft sich am Donnerstag um 17 Uhr im Cafe "Donaupanorama"."

Posted by: Hausmeister | May 25 2022 14:44 utc | 323

Talking about cultural ignorance - another fail from CNN. When frenzied propaganda does not even try to think about its content. The patterns are the same for different occasions, the work is mechanical, there is no understanding a priori.

Posted by: alaff | May 25 2022 14:47 utc | 324

An observation:
B4 Retire,Opp ESAB underwater cut Plasma Gantry/50 Ton remote control crane,- big steel cut for oil,nat/gas, process fabrication.
Components in the cut head are Ceramic composite*,
This is for high discharge.

In the Kings Dream....The Statue with Feet of clay & iron might equate to our Age which now lives in high EM discharge/electric universe reality.

So.....This age experiences a collapse.
WHO ( lol/pun) experiencing the collapse is anyone's guess.

Elon & the future techno world .....Fall.
that includes Gates & Schwab Nazi WEF. on.

Posted by: T_Bird | May 25 2022 14:51 utc | 325

Can you use that in a sentence?

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 25 2022 14:38 utc | 315

I replied with a nice long (playful) one using it several times and it got kicked out, so it seems - at least sometimes - that one cannot!!

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 14:52 utc | 326

The death penalty still exists in the Dontesk Peoples Republic, and it looks like the Azov Nazi's will stand trial there.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 25 2022 14:52 utc | 327

@wagelaborer #205
Kissinger wanted to ally with Russia against China, while Brzezinski wanted to ally with China against Russia.
The sheer incompetence and/or arrogance of the United States and its leadership has, instead, united Russia and China (and Iran and many others) against the US.

Posted by: c1ue | May 25 2022 14:52 utc | 328

The death penalty still exists in the Dontesk Peoples Republic, and it looks like the Azov Nazi's will stand trial there.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | May 25 2022 14:52 utc | 321

Great news. The first reports said they were going to RF (which doesn't have that penalty) and I suspected maybe a deal had been done or some such - like getting their 300 billion back!

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 15:02 utc | 329

Re funny money funding grift and players ...

Here is an estimate from Pepe Escobar of where the $40 billion usd fiat appropriation is headed:

“A quick breakdown of the $40 billion reveals $8.7 billion will go to replenish the US weapons stockpile (thus not going to Ukraine at all); $3.9 billion for USEUCOM (the ‘office’ that dictates military tactics to Kiev); $5 billion for a fuzzy, unspecified “global food supply chain”; $6 billion for actual weapons and “training” to Ukraine; $9 billion in “economic assistance” (which will disappear into selected pockets); and $0.9 billion for refugees.”
NATO vs Russia: what happens next
May 24 2022

Posted by: suzan | May 25 2022 15:10 utc | 330

Okay, I now see RepublicofScotland already posted that information. I am woefully behind in my reading — but the gardens look great.

Posted by: suzan | May 25 2022 15:14 utc | 331

Bologna? More like BALONEY!!

Not from Sputnik:

"🇷🇺Russian universities will teach in the old way.

The Ministry of Education and Science announced its withdrawal from the Bologna process.

"The future belongs to our own unique education system, which is based on the interests of the national economy and opportunities for every student," said Valery Falkov, head of the Ministry of Education and Science.

"The Bologna system does not bring good results and is not aimed at the quality of knowledge," said Mikhail Berulava, a State Duma deputy.

The Bologna system appeared in 1999 in Europe. It was supposed to unite educational standards, and make diplomas valid in all countries that signed the declaration.

Currently, students in 49 countries are studying under the Bologna programs.

▪️Training in the Bologna programs provides for a two-level system, including bachelor's and master's degrees.

Russia switched to new educational standards in September 2003, abandoning the classical Soviet higher education – specialty and postgraduate studies.

Over the years, all former Union republics joined the Bologna Process, except Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Since April 2022, Russia and Belarus have had a separate status – their membership has been suspended by the monitoring group due to the situation in Ukraine."


Posted by: Arganthonios | May 25 2022 15:39 utc | 332

@james #40
The link you pointed to has good and bad points.
Yes, it (more or less) accurately describes the existence of a "military" demographic in Russia. However, I do not agree at all that it is as powerful as the author seems to think.
Furthermore, the author's bent is clearly illustrated by his description of Strelkov.
Strelkov did heroic work in 2014 - but Strelkov and his ilk are utterly wrong with regards to what Russia "should" have done then, IMO.
They are classic "warriors" as opposed to "bean counters" in the military sense.

Warriors are the guys who fight and die and strive to win - but any military decays if it has too many warriors because they end up with insufficient supplies, intel and so forth.

Similarly, too many bean counters results in a military kind of like what you see in the US and Europe now.

My view is that Russia was not ready in 2014.

Even if a "blitzkrieg" could accomplish the goals stated (i.e. taking over of Ukraine) - which I actually do think it was possible - the resulting shitstorm would very possibly have destroyed Russia.

Among the many reasons:
1) Russia back then was not allied with China.
2) Germany still had many/most of its nuclear power plants running (Fukushima was 2011).
3) Russia still had a lot of GBP as reserves (which it fully divested out of by 2018? 2017?)
4) The price of oil in the beginning of 2014 was $98, but US shale was ramping up and was about to sink oil prices into the 40s by January 2015 - the fall was already starting by June 2014 (Maidan started November 2013, Odessa fire was May 2014). Nor was there a structural global shortfall of oil production vs. demand as there exists right now.
5) Russia had still not unveiled its hypersonic missiles, had not yet formed up the 1st Tank Guards army and the 20th Combined Arms army.
6) Russia had not yet undergone 8 years of "import substitution" due to sanctions starting in 2014.
7) The US had not yet acknowledged its strategic failure in Afghanistan, nor had the world seen the US failures in Syria and Iraq.

Posted by: c1ue | May 25 2022 15:46 utc | 333

Junk bonds.
Moody’s Downgrades Ukraine as Drawn Out War Raises Debt Risk

The Group of Seven's financial leaders agreed on $9.5 billion in new aid to Ukraine on Friday and promised enough money to keep the country's devastated economy afloat as long as it fights against Russia's invasion.
Try to act surprised.
US Treasury Set to Push Russia Closer to Default
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week she’s unlikely to extend an exemption expiring on Wednesday that allows Russia to make payments on its foreign-currency bonds to US investors.
most ignorant, litigious nation on planet REPORTS
Still, it’s not clear if the Treasury ban would close all routes for investors to get their money, and bondholders outside the US may still be able to receive the funds.

Posted by: sln2002 | May 25 2022 15:50 utc | 334

Where the hell did ZakuCommander Go??

Спецоперация Z would be totally in-character. But maybe not their thing.

Posted by: Arganthonios | May 25 2022 15:58 utc | 335

Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 13:59 utc | 311

"...For all we know Putin and Xi are minions too. Impossible to tell. Doubt it but...."

Putin and Xi (like Trump) have some serious "F*** You" cash set aside, in various forms and places; as well as serious private security resources, answerable ONLY to them. Unlike JFK who fatally relied, in good faith, upon federal security resources such as the Secret Service.

It would be very hard to come up with enough to buy or threaten any of them off, outright......

Posted by: Qtto | May 25 2022 16:05 utc | 336

@ c1ue | May 25 2022 15:46 utc | 333

i mostly agree with you... and i agree on 2014 russia was not ready to do what it is doing now... i am a subscriber to his substack dispatch... he might enjoy you telling him all that directly... you can comment on the site.. why don't you? cheers james

Posted by: james | May 25 2022 16:22 utc | 337

Chris Hedges, like everyone else, must be read critically, only more so these days, imho. All that said, his latest contains some valid observations of the rot at the core of Empire, in the good ol' US of A.

There is little hope, I fear, of rolling back or restraining the disasters being orchestrated on a national and global level. The neoconservatives and liberal interventionists chant in unison for war. Biden has appointed these war mongers, whose attitude to nuclear war is terrifyingly cavalier, to run the Pentagon, the National Security Council, and the State Department.

The snippet I selected, here, echoes the "no way out" of the headline. It feels like a global ratchet inevitably tightening, confining us to colossally kinetic confrontation. Tick tick tick and up it goes, with no way down.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | May 25 2022 16:30 utc | 338

@ 283 - Republic of Scotland - Nike pulls out of Russia. I doubt anyone in Russia will really care. All the gopniks wear Adidas. ;)
Since this is the end of a very informative thread, I will share a great song by one of my Russian favorites, DJ Blyatman, Motherland.

DJ Blyatman - Motherland

I love the Russian hardbass.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 25 2022 16:52 utc | 339

@james #337
I don't use substack, and I really don't need to be corresponding directly with Russians on the internet.
Professional, not personal or ethnic issue.

Posted by: c1ue | May 25 2022 17:39 utc | 340

G | May 24 2022 22:51 utc | 188

Muchisimas gracias for Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the Yevgeny Primakov School, Moscow, May 23, 2022. It's an excellent must-read for everyone, especially those who suspect Russia of WEF Reset sympathies. Your fears will evaporate like ether on Phoenix asphalt.

Until this year, I hadn't realized Lavrov speaks excellent English, although with a charming accent. Makes me want to learn Russian. Hah! If I only had a brain.

It's hard to extract key passages from his talk, so go read it.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | May 25 2022 17:58 utc | 341

Posted by: Qtto | May 25 2022 16:05 utc | 336

not everybody is a traitor, i think neither Putin nor Xi are, and if somebody assassinated Biden, i would not rule out the deep state, but i would be sure it was not because Biden was going to dismantle the deep state he has supported his whole life. same thing with JFK, the role model for Clinton and Obama. Trump was a warmonger in his own way, note the numerous aggressions against Russia. We have no way of knowing whether somebody who claims Xi and Putin are minions is a nazi or not, but i have my suspicions.

Posted by: pretzelattack | May 25 2022 18:23 utc | 342

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 25 2022 11:45 utc | 294
Posted by: Scorpion | May 25 2022 13:47 utc | 313

I can second the quaffability of Chinese beer. Drink the wine at your own risk, though...

Posted by: farm ecologist | May 25 2022 19:45 utc | 343

I find it hard to believe that Poland would send soldiers near the font in Ukraine without air cover.

Posted by: Feral Finster | May 25 2022 19:54 utc | 344

Oliver Stone is interviewed by Lex Fridman and keeps his cool and on message.

Fridman, a USA citizen of Ukrainian origins is out to get Putin so pathetically obvious that Stone uses the forum to lay out the facts. A 2 hour interview with the great Oliver Stone.

This is good just to hear Stone set out the case against Ukraine and the USA.
Fridman hardly gets a point. GOOD as he clearly isn't deserving of one.

Oliver Stone is a filmmaker with 3 Oscar wins and 11 Oscar nominations. His films include Platoon, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July, Scarface, JFK, Nixon, Alexander, W, Snowden, and documentaries where he has interviewed Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Vladimir Putin.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2022 21:55 utc | 345

@watcher 179
Do you remember at the beginning of Trump's presidency, Ivanka visited China with her daughter and the little girl sang a Chinese song for them? The press was big at the time and then, never ever mentioned again. It remember thinking that it was not the Trumps who opposed China at all but just the PTB who would not allow it.

Posted by: HelenB | May 25 2022 22:14 utc | 346

Posted by: HelenB | May 25 2022 22:14 utc | 346

"Do you remember at the beginning of Trump's presidency, Ivanka visited China with her daughter....."

Yes remember... it was beforeTrump was elected..... her granddaughter (Arabella) sing and even read in Putonghua famous Chinese poems and further.... lvanka's lawyers were busy copyright the names and shoes design... China should adopts US or Western Rule Base... and sanctions the MF Trump's families and all patents copyright no longer applicable in China and it territories.....

China must learn, copy and apply every China Rule Base.... and apply to every MF 5Eyes Americans...EU, Indians....Singaporean, and Japanese...

Posted by: JC | May 25 2022 22:55 utc | 347

HistoryLegend at utoob has a great update today.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 25 2022 23:33 utc | 348

"On the mishandling of flags: Last year my father-in-law passed. He was a 20-year vet and was accorded a flag draped coffin, taps, and the other military funeral benefits. However, the flag folding by the soldiers tasked with that duty was completely botched and done incorrectly, although no one interrupted the process at the time, but it was immediately remarked upon at the end of the service. The soldiers tasked with the funeral duty weren't first-timers, but they clearly were never properly trained in the correct manner to fold the flag, which is a fundamental basic for that ceremony. Even the widow noticed as did his children and kin.

So, when it comes to such ordinary rituals as proper flag etiquette and protocols, I'd say the staff tasked with arranging the flags didn't know any better aside from the need for the flags to all hang similarly. That the result didn't pass inspection IMO is par for the course with the Outlaw US Empire's military."

Posted by: karlof1 | May 24 2022 17:26 utc | 71

I'm sorry to hear that your father-in-law's honors were executed so poorly. I conducted funeral honors for a year and this really irritates me. I remember practicing for hours each week before funerals to make sure every movement was precise, synchronized, and committed to muscle memory. We did weapon drills and flag folding every day. We took our role seriously and made every effort to respect those who shared a uniform. I remember 6 of us standing on our tip-toes, in rain soaked dress shoes with no tread, with calves shaking to hold a casket level long enough for funeral staff to replace the scaffolding that had fallen into the grave. The attendees wouldn't have known it as we remained calm and composed even I as could see my own surprise and stress in the eyes of the soldier directly across from me. I doubt anyone would've blamed us for behaving otherwise, but we were professionals.

You're right about the decline of the military as I experience it firsthand. When I first joined, there were no $50k bonuses. Everyone was there for the same reason, which was a mission bigger than ourselves (even if naive and misled). After the surge in 2007, a different type of soldier materialized. The mission was irrelevant and they were just there to punch a clock. When out of the spotlight, they were selfish, lazy, and generally incompetent. By the time I left in 2013, the Army had morphed from a military organization with some internal politics to a political organization with military dressing. Merit didn't matter. Just what you could get away with and who you were close to.

Posted by: Dystopian | May 25 2022 23:37 utc | 349

Posted by: c1ue | May 25 2022 14:52 utc | 328
My knowledge of Indian international relations is inadequate, but certainly the lack of grand strategy in the US approach is remarkable. Maybe a China-Russia axis was inevitable, but by targeting Russia rather than China, it seems India has been moved closer to Russia-China and further away from the Quad. Beforehand, there was a focus on the actual military clash between India and China. Is a decrease in India's allegiance is the biggest loss to the US? This is all the better for the progressive peoples of the World, of course.

Posted by: Pete Jones | May 26 2022 0:47 utc | 350

Doug Hillman #308

Therefore, US Neocons must be "Putin’s agents toiling tirelessly deep within the Deep Stat". And I'm certain that b and his customers at the bar can add to Dmitry's incomplete proofs.

Thank you comrade.... I especially liked "Day Z" about 20 days hence when the Uke "army" is reduced to abject failure. Great post and barflies should charge their glasses and prepare for a good yarn.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 2:29 utc | 351

Dungroanin 299
You don't need to worry about language. Most people in China speak a fair amount of English, it being requires beginning in second grade and most college first year at least.
You don't need to worry about beer. They allow higher alcohol content/proof than the US.
And China doesn't want to integrate. They want to build and trade...for profit.

Posted by: HelenB | May 26 2022 4:22 utc | 352

Pete jones@ 350.
India was like China a slave to colonialism, but unlike China never formed a real sense of independence. They have an oligachial society where the money lies in the hands of a few "wannabe whites". The vast majority are impoverished.

The Hindus reign supreme and blatantly discriminate against Muslims and others; the exceptions being Jews and christians as they rank in the most preferred list.

In 1961, full of their heroic service to the allies and fully backed by them decided to attack China in a border war. China, reeling from taking on the Japanese and the nationalists as well as overthrowing the last dynasty was thought to be fair game.

The war lasted 7 days and China beat the living hell out of them, and as they went back home; gave the Indians back their captured weapons and said: negotiate!

The same thing happened to the Great Douglas McArthur who had a coalition of white supremacists in the Korean war. Now you want to take China on.

India used to be non-aligned, so during the cold war they always had good relations with Russia. They do have some very good thinkers in their government, unlike USA which has zero.

Their trade with China is very large but due to the West continued pressure and bullying, armed with the usual bribes; I do not know which way they will turn.

It is the same with Turkey who fancy themselves re-creating the Ottoman empire albeit with the help of the West.

Posted by: Karl luck | May 26 2022 4:51 utc | 353

Speaking of Day Z

The Dreizin Report considers the surrender snowball effect.

27 minute utoob. A really worthwhile report.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 7:54 utc | 354

Scott Ritter considers the NAZO discord, de-nazification procedures and sees Ukraine as a defacto nazi state. Russia is winning day after day etc etc.

Some general discussion in a 5 minute utoob. Scott remains direct, unfazed and on focus.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 9:02 utc | 355

Defense Politics Asia is running a report on missing plutonium in Ukraine.

"He said the use of nuclear weapons was “unthinkable” and explained that the IAEA’s focus was on avoiding nuclear accidents derived from an attack on a nuclear power plant or the release of radioactive material. Mr Grossi added that the IAEA is seeking to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, under occupation by Russian forces, to verify that the 30,000 kg of plutonium and 40,000 kg of enriched uranium stored there have not been deviated for other uses."

The Global Inventory of Separated Plutonium 2019 data does not even list Ukraine. There is 0.7 ton in the entire group of non nuclear weapons countries. This seems like a BS claim from the IAEA. Then the Institute for Science and International Security doesn't even mention Ukraine. Is this IAEA propaganda?

Perhaps this is the same IAEA that is blind on Israel, totally distrusted by Iran and scratching around looking for glory in tough budget times.

The next fake news cycle has begun as sure as the sun rises.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 9:39 utc | 357

Here is the IAEA press statement at DAVOS.

The key extract:

States of concern

Mr Grossi took part in a panel discussion moderated by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Distinguished Fellow, Moises Naim, titled ‘States of Concern’. Joined by Ukrainian Member of Parliament Alona Shkrum, Royal United Services Institute Director-General Karin von Hippel, and Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, Mr Grossi spoke on the nuclear risks from the conflict in Ukraine and the renewed interest in multilateralism globally. A recording of the event is available for replay.

“You have bystanders, abstainers, analysts and you have problem solvers. You must have people who look at problems practically,” Mr Grossi said, describing the IAEA as a problem solver. He said the use of nuclear weapons was “unthinkable” and explained that the IAEA’s focus was on avoiding nuclear accidents derived from an attack on a nuclear power plant or the release of radioactive material. Mr Grossi added that the IAEA is seeking to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, under occupation by Russian forces, to verify that the 30,000 kg of plutonium and 40,000 kg of enriched uranium stored there have not been deviated for other uses.

Hesitant to describe the conflict in Ukraine as having a silver lining, Mr Grossi did say that there is now, “a renewed conviction that working through international institutions, multilaterally, together will always be a solution — unilateralism doesn’t solve anything it aggravates everything.”

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 26 2022 9:47 utc | 358

@ Posted by: HelenB | May 26 2022 4:22 utc | 352

Thanks for the reassurance - I like hot weather and ‘warm’ real ale without added gas.
Don’t like the floral American Hops which have taken over most of the microbrewery modern pale ales being sold at extortionate prices to these who have no taste at all. Bitter that’s bitter ! God forbid.

I was thinking of doing a reverse Silk Road journey using the new train lines - from st Petersburg to Kunming or Shanghai through the de-CIA’d highTibet of plateau , it would be great to have a proper travelling carriage, with smoking and real ales! The further exploration of EurAsia and down through the mountains of Laos to the tropics of seasia to the tip of Malaysia appeals too.
(The talk of transporting grain by sea seems pointless when all the new track and trains has already wiped thousands of containers from the high sea)

Maybe 🤔 I should make a proposal to the Chinese Tourist Board.

There must be measures at De programming the poisoned minds of the ‘collective Waste’ before we disappear into the new dark age.

Posted by: DunGroanin | May 26 2022 10:31 utc | 359

@Pete Jones #350
I think it is a little early to say that India has moved to the Russia/China axis.
India, perhaps because of its very recent experiences with colonialism, has always tried hard to chart its own path.
While the Indian military has consistently had relations with Russian equipment, the Indian civilian sector has major linkages to the US.
Thus India not acceding to Western sanctions is much more likely due to need and this colonial legacy than necessarily any non-realpolitik related reasons.
India needs fertilizer, it needs food, it needs minerals and energy: India has a perpetual trade deficit and doesn't need to put more pressure on itself by agreeing to Western sanctions. I put up a link in a previous thread where the EU, in March 2022, went from a trade surplus to a deficit in a single year (i.e. vs. March 2021) - a change of -39 billion euros.
India has long had historical tensions with China - I don't see those going away any time soon and in fact - at least some part of India's military's interaction with the USSR was precisely to try and counterbalance against China.

Posted by: c1ue | May 26 2022 14:25 utc | 360

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