Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 06, 2022

How Russia Can (And Will?) De-NATO-size Europe

In a video published yesterday Gonzalo Lire, currently under house arrest in Karkov, is asking a very interesting question:

What Happens To Europe When Russia Wins? (vid)

Lira states, and I agree with him, that Russia will win the war in the Ukraine, take the south and east to likely create a new country and leave the rest of the cadaver for Poland, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania and others to feast on.

But then what?

The U.S. controlled NATO will still be there. It is practically guaranteed that the U.S. will use it to push for revenge for the loss of Ukraine. This will be done by a steady buildup of troops and long range missile capabilities along Russia's Nordic and Baltic borders and additional naval threats in the northern Arctic as well as the southern Black Sea. Some ten years from now the U.S. would be able to again try to wage a big (proxy) war against Russia. Then with a decent chance to win.

No negotiations or peace agreements will prevent that. The U.S. is famously non-agreement-capable (недоговороспособны). It has broken ALL promises and agreements it has ever made with Russia.

Dozens of U.S. and European luminaries had promised to Russia that NATO would expand 'not one inch' towards Russia. Look where its borders are now. The U.S. and the EU have confiscated huge amounts of Russian state owned money. They have even taken, in contradiction to their own constitutions, the properties of private Russian citizens just because those persons happen to be Russian.

In 2014 Germany and France signed on to guarantee elections for a peaceful regime change in Kiev. A day later the fascists stormed the Ukrainian parliament and those guarantees turned out to be totally worthless. The U.S. simply said fuck the EU. It does not give shit about European interests. Germany and France later negotiated and signed the Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements. They continued to feed billions of EU money into Ukraine even as the Ukrainian government, controlled by the U.S., did nothing to fulfill them. Yes, they were that stupid.

The U.S. has installed 'missile defense' systems in Poland and Romania which are in fact designed to lob Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM) onto Moscow. These are a serious danger to Russia.

Even after Ukraine is finished, NATO and its EU proxies will continue to be a danger to Russia. Both have proven to be unable to keep promises. Russia in consequence will have to rearrange them.

Russia could do that by force. But there will be no march towards Riga, Warsaw, Berlin or Paris. (Remember that Russia has been there and done that which every time has led to major changes in Europe.)

Russia has announced its strategic aims. In December 2021 Russia set forth two agreements which the U.S. and NATO. They included demands for a future arrangement in Europe that would guarantee indivisible security for all. On January 21 2022 the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was to meet Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Geneva to talk about Russia's proposals. Just minutes before that meeting the Foreign Ministry of Russia held a news conference to answer media questions:

Question: What will Russia’s demand that NATO return to the 1997 framework mean for Bulgaria and Romania? Will they have to leave NATO, remove US bases from their territory, or something else?

Answer: You mentioned one of the cornerstones of Russia’s initiatives. It was deliberately set forth with utmost clarity to avoid any ambiguity. We are talking about the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment, and weapons, as well as taking other steps to return to the set-up we had in 1997 in non-NATO countries. This includes Bulgaria and Romania.

Reuters reported:

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The security guarantees that Russia seeks from the West include provisions requiring NATO forces to leave Romania and Bulgaria, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.

Moscow has demanded legally binding guarantees from NATO that the bloc will stop its expansion and return to its 1997 borders.

Replying to a question about what that would mean for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined NATO after 1997, the ministry said Russia wanted all foreign troops, weapons and other military hardware withdrawn from those countries.

After more than 20 years of watching Lavrov and Putin everyone should know that they do not publicly set out aims if they have no way to achieve them. They always have well thought out plans before announcing their goals.

So how can Russia actually achieve a retreat of NATO back to its 1997 borders?

Sanctions. The U.S. has used its economic and military powers to sanction this or that country that did not do as it was told to do by Washington. Unless enacted by the UN Security Council such sanctions have no basis in international law. Despite that the U.S. even used secondary sanctions. It threatened sanctions against Europe, and everyone else, as it ordered them to not deal with Iran or Venezuela.

Alan MacLeod @AlanRMacLeod - 22:45 UTC · Jun 5, 2022

The US is thinking about "allowing" Europe and Venezuela to trade together. Think about what this story tells us about global power relations and who is in charge.

Bloomberg @business - 12:13 UTC · Jun 5, 2022

The US could allow Eni and Repsol to ship Venezuelan oil to Europe as soon as July to make up for Russian crude, Reuters reported trib.al/fQ10QlX

Russia can do similar. But as it always follows international law, it will have to do it in a slightly different way.

Russia is a superpower in that it produces all kinds of raw materials the world, and especially the 'west', needs. Europe, and especially Germany, is depending on natural gas and oil from Russia. Energy prices in Germany will at least triple if it is completely cut off from Russian supplies.

German industry leader have loudly announced that they will have to close shop if the current European policies of restricting Russian energy supplies continues. The chemical giants BASF and Bayer will have to move to some other country. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW will have to stop all production in Europe. Steel production would fall to zero. Lack of fertilizer would lead to dependency on foreign agriculture.

Mass unemployment would follow. Millions will be in the street to protest against rolling blackouts, freezing apartments and hyperinflation.

Russia can achieve this at any time. It simply has to stop supplying gas and oil to Europe.

Despite six European 'sanction packages' against Russia there has yet to be a reciprocal response from Russia. It may still hope that European leaders will recognized the deadly game the U.S. is playing with them.

Unfortunately the leaders of Europe are dumb and compromised. The 'olive green' German Minister for Economic Destruction Robert Habeck still dreams of bringing Russia's economy to its knees even as the ruble rises and Germany's economy is falling apart. Chancellor Olaf Scholz was never the brightest bulb in the room. He is deeply compromised through his involvement in the Wireguard scandal. He was the Minister of Finance when reports of the company's billion dollar fraud were suppressed by his ministry. And don't get me going about Ursula van der Leyen who has been proven to be corrupt and incompetent ever since she took her first public office. U.S. secret services will know of many other crimes these people have been involved in.

The current ideological leaders of Europe will have to be replaced by clean ones who follow the German tradition of Realpolitik:

Realpolitik (German: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtiːk]; from German real 'realistic, practical, actual', and Politik 'politics'), refers to enacting or engaging in diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly binding itself to explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises. In this respect, it shares aspects of its philosophical approach with those of realism and pragmatism. It is often simply referred to as "pragmatism" in politics, e.g. "pursuing pragmatic policies" or "realistic policies".

Only with new and decent leaders will Europe come to its senses.

Russia can help to achieve that while at the same time solving its NATO problem.

It can publicly declare that:

THERE WILL BE NO FURTHER RUSSIAN SUPPLIES OF ANY KIND TO EUROPE UNTIL IT BREAKS WITH WASHINGTON.

What would follow?

Millions of discussions under candlelight would be held in freezing and hungry European households. Political opinions would change. Governments would be replaced with more pragmatic ones.

France and Germany would either have to leave NATO or become impoverished and irrelevant. U.S. troops on European grounds would be asked to leave or be attacked and thrown out by an enraged public. Germany would prohibit the U.S. military from using its airspace. The U.S would lose its grip over the continent.

That can't happen? Well, Gonzalo Lira disagrees and so do I. In early February, before the Russian intervention in Ukraine, I had warned of the consequences of current 'western' policies:

The U.S. strategy to 'fix' Russia in Europe by imposing 'crushing sanctions' on it to then attack China is failing. That is because it was completely misconceived.

Russia is the most autarkic country in the world. It produces nearly everything it needs and has highly desirable products that are in global demand and are especially needed in Europe. Russia also has huge financial reserves. A sanctions strategy against Russia can not work.

The consequences for Europe were obvious:

The U.S. and its proxies in the EU and elsewhere have put up very harsh sanctions on Russia to damage its economy.

The final intent of this economic war is regime change in Russia.

The likely consequence will be regime change in many other countries.
...
All energy consumption in the U.S. and EU will now come at a premium price. This will push the EU and the U.S. into a recession. As Russia will increase the prices for exports of goods in which it has market power - gas, oil, wheat, potassium, titanium, aluminum, palladium, neon etc - the rise in inflation all around the world will become significant.
...
[Russia and China] have spent more brain time on the issue than the U.S. has.

The Europeans should have acknowledged that instead of helping the U.S. to keep up its self-image of a unipolar power.

It will take some time for the new economic realities to settle in. They will likely change the current view of Europe's real strategic interests. 

Europe is fortunate in that Russia, even before re-entering the Ukraine, has offered a very decent alternative to U.S. hegemony in Europe:

A man who has Putin's ear, Professor Sergey Karaganov who is the honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, has written an op-ed that points to an alternative.

The piece was requested by and supposed to be published in the Financial Times, which means that it is directed at the European leadership. But the FT has now rejected it for unstated reasons. It was then published in the Russia in Global Affairs journal and has now been re-published by RT.
...
[Karaganov] states:

The security system in Europe, built largely by the West after the 1990s, without a peace treaty having been signed after the end of the previous Cold War, is dangerously unsustainable.

There are a few ways to solve the narrow Ukrainian problem, such as its return to permanent neutrality, or legal guarantees from several key NATO countries not to ever vote for further expansion of the bloc. Diplomats, I assume, have a few others up their sleeves. We do not want to humiliate Brussels by insisting on repudiating its erroneous plea for the open-ended expansion of NATO. We all know the end of the Versailles humiliation. And, of course, the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

But the task is wider: to build a viable system on the ruins of the present. And without resorting to arms, of course. Probably in the wider Greater Eurasian framework. Russia needs a safe and friendly Western flank in the competition of the future. Europe without Russia or even against it has been rapidly losing its international clout. That was predicted by many people in the 1990s, when Russia offered to integrate with, not in, the continent’s systems. We are too big and proud to be absorbed. Our pitch was rejected then, but there is always a chance it won’t be this time.

That last paragraph is the gist of Russia's real strategic aims. They require to destroy the current system of U.S. hegemony over Europe. Europe will have to be de-NATO-sized. Regime changes in European countries will probably be necessary to see to that.

Russia's leaders now have a once in a century chance to achieve those aims. They will be condemned by their compatriots if the refrain from doing so. The U.S. has no way to prevent or counter a Russian sales boycott and its consequences.

When will European politicians, or those behind them, finally wake up to those facts?

Update (11:45 UTC):

A soundbite from a press conference Lavrov is currently holding:

Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy - 11:41 UTC · Jun 6, 2022

FM #Lavrov: To all appearances, no one is going to even reform #NATO. They are going to turn this “defensive alliance” into a global alliance claiming global military dominance. This is a dangerous path that is definitely doomed to failure.

Posted by b on June 6, 2022 at 11:24 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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What a dream!! Could we finally se the end of occupied Europe? Free the hostages? Lets all hope.

Posted by: c | Jun 6 2022 11:43 utc | 1

b, it may take a few election cycles to change the EU governments, hungry bellies, and watching gran freeze to death may be the catalyst..in the mean time, I expect a pain dial crank from the Russians.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jun 6 2022 11:47 utc | 2

Thanks for the analysis, b. I have one question: where do the European militaries figure in all this? If the path that you are describing (cold, huddled masses) is to transpire, then doesn’t that assume that each and every single European military will do exactly nothing as the citizenry is forced to descend into impoverished chaos? (… is this a variation of that humanitarian intervention vision of “destroying the village in order to save it”?) … And if that apathetic response is so… as a Canadian I have to ask: then who’s leaking all this intel into our English and French media? We’re sourcing all that ourselves, is that it? Wait, it’s probably Putin. Never mind.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 6 2022 11:52 utc | 3

Defeating the British military, which once ruled a worldwide empire, would be little more than a training exercise for either the Chinese and Indian armed forces today. Western Europe's centuries long global reign of terror and exploitation is in its death throes and they are in fervent denial...clinging to the US for relevance even as America is being forced to recognize the limits of its own power by Russia, China and even mid-level powers like Iran.
A Fair World Order beckons.

Posted by: Bilaal | Jun 6 2022 11:53 utc | 4

Perhaps, in ten years, an avatar of Hillary in coalition with an avatar of Donald will have the answer as to why the mighty U.S.was so comprehensively out-thought by a bunch of Russkies with few toilets.

Posted by: Merkin Scot | Jun 6 2022 11:54 utc | 5

@ 4

Whenever I hear statements like that, I say, ok, then why hasn’t it happened yet? If you are talking about an offensive attack against China or India being crushed that’s one thing. But if you are saying it would take no effort to militarily attack the homeland of Britain or another major European country and defeat it… well then what is China or India or whomever else waiting for? Why do those countries still have so much power?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 6 2022 12:00 utc | 6

Please explain me how "Gonzo" can sit in Charkov and spit poison and fire on Elinsky while - "generally known" - pro or russian friendly citizen in UA gets tortured and shot from SBU or Azov/Kraken entities. Doesnt round up and stinks since the "lost week in April"

Lira is and has always been a click baiter with distibuting conclusions everyone whos time is enough to follow up the news and whos mind is clear enough to conclude that puzzle in a rational way.

Some are able to contribute that conclusions by dilligence and contiunity (as you MOA ) and others repack it in sweety words and push it through mental marketing like "facing" the enemy through detention ( and win) , defacing experts on mistaken analytics and slander them, or request exploitation of british POW Aslin at the moment.

Bernhard, bitte lass nicht jeden Rattenfänger wegen einiger weniger gesüßter Worte Teil Deiner Plattform sein. Gibt schon genug neuen "BrosINT" sein Ende Februar.

Posted by: Bart Schuster | Jun 6 2022 12:00 utc | 7

The United States will keep pushing for war even as Russia takeover the Donbas and other areas.

One thing that has not received a lot attention is how Russia is trying to convince Ukrainian citizens that Zelensky is actually working against their best interest.

Kyiv and Azov utilized extreme torture in the Donbas for 8 years.

Many Ukrainians saw the surrender of Azov (And their Nazi tattoos) and have now warmed up to Russia

Here is an example of extreme Ukraine Torture and a torturer who broke down and cried when he saw the Russian, he thought he killed.

VIDEO https://youtu.be/bZj406KsRdA

Posted by: Dean Oneil | Jun 6 2022 12:04 utc | 8

When you do business with Russians you learn time and time again that the options listed above are the last resort options. This is why I am quite sure that Russia will go all the way to the Russian border, so that when Galicia and other areas are possibly/potentially offered, it is from a position of strength and from knowing that none of these regions can/will be allowed to be used as yet another platform from which military or covert action is launched at Russia or its allies. Why would you 'give away' when you can be paid for it? Why would Russia allow for the Bandera / Shukevich streets and statues to remain?
You are currently seeing the reactions in Europe change, the narrative in the US slowly ready to ease out of the Ukraine misfit situation, and this will only lead to exacerbation and further panic in Europe and the USA as inflation is not at its summit yet, the wrong choices for dealing with inflation are not yet being felt; and the vast difference between a victorious economic and military Russia vs a shaken-to-the-core Europe and USA is not yet beyond the Dnepr. Imagine when the Russians are at the Polish border.
The moving parts which are not being put into the mix here are the vast consequences of economic implosion of both US stock market and housing market; their inability to resolve it with printing money; their inability to resolve it by raising interest rates. Rationing, social unrest, riots, hatred of the newly welcomed Ukrainian migrants and the potential impact of a huge wave from Africa... Put all those moving parts in there by the end of the summer, fall, and then have Russia come back and be the savior with offering long-term cheap gas contracts. But, with conditions: Poland, if you're nice and behave and say goodbye to your American troop visitors, come and co-manage with us the Protectorate of Galicia. Hungary, how about you come help us with Transcarpathia....
In the process, politically and economically, Russia will hold all the cards and they will play them wisely.

Posted by: Jos André | Jun 6 2022 12:10 utc | 9

@ b

So how can Russia actually achieve a retreat of NATO back to its 1997 borders?

I think Russia already partially answered to this. Russia was stating that, when all this mess is finished to a peaceful standstill, it will deal with every EU country directly, bypassing EU.
They know that EU is an unstable political unity bound by NATO.
NATO has lost its purpose 20 or so years ago and the only argument to prolong its existence was an argument to protect EU from some Iran/Iraq missiles and such.
I think Putin mentioned that in his Muenchen 2007 speech.

By putting the pressure on individual countries, those countries will have to rethink very hard if it pays off to be in NATO or not. Soft power applied. Might also not work very well.

As for some 'regime changes' within EU – until we all go naked, poor and hungry - I do not see it happening otherwise. This takes a really long time to brew into mass revolts and chaos, bringing governments down.

EU is not ready for any kinetic conflict at all. Not its armies, not its citizens.
So to scare EU into booting off US out of Europe is not really an option as it would require even more US presence.
To offer security to Europe in some sort of way would be strange as for that, again, they need to talk to US.

Right now there is too much of a bad blood between EU/US and Russia, so I do not see how that can be mended so soon or in a good way.
The only way I see is to hurt US so much at some level that it'll go away by itself.
Russia cannot do it alone, maybe together with China, and maybe they might need India and others there to help as well.

But we cannot from any printed and known words know or understand what the real plan is.
We can only guess.

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 6 2022 12:10 utc | 10

"But then what?

The U.S. controlled NATO will still be there. It is practically guaranteed that the U.S. will use it to push for revenge for the loss of Ukraine."

Do everything possible to break the "unity" of the EU, and NATO would disintegrate. First the countries join the NATO, then the EU, so breaking down the EU is the solution. They were talking about two-speed EU few months ago, which for the moment is put aside from the MSM "reporting," but it won't go away.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 6 2022 12:13 utc | 11

Personally I anticipate a military coup in Ukraine and Zelensky being finished off much as Zhukhov brought troops into Moscow to kill of Beria's NKVD and cart the cadavers off to mass-graves outside the city in 1956.

Germany is unstable. There are unions demanding COLA wage increases and IG Metall and IG Chemie are the pacesetters - though both are dependent on Russian gas for jobs - but pay restraint will not ensure jobs since it is not a cost problem but a political {green} problem.

I expect German Chemicals to start plant shutdowns and Refineries in Northern Europe to start mothballing. Without Urals oil it is a 6-year investment program to reconfigure refineries for other gravity blends and the returns are not ensured in Green Europe.

Southern Germany depends on French nuclear electricity but 50% French capacity is idle. Europe cannot afford the US. With 700,000 Ukrainians expected in German social security system - 410,000 now - the deficits in both Social security and Krankenkassen will explode.

Both are only solvent because of huge taxpayer subsidies.

Biden will be gone in months - sidelined and a Regent will run the White House - much as Colonel House did for Woodrow Wilson.

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 6 2022 12:20 utc | 12

I think europe becomes home to raise of the new and improved Nazi supported by Amerika.

Posted by: jo6pac | Jun 6 2022 12:21 utc | 13

On the discussion of dismantling NATO… there was a time when the Canadian populace (with significant encouragement from American humanitarians) wanted to leave NATO (early 80’s? At the end of ‘Nam.) We’ll be neutral! Like Sweden! The military calmly explained to us that we were inviting European invasion by leaving NATO. So Europeans, if you leave/dismantle NATO how do you protect yourself from the threat across the Atlantic?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 6 2022 12:21 utc | 14

Russia and Germany have been trying to integrate in the current form since early 1980s - this is why Andropov pre-planned the retreat and 'implosion' of the Soviet empire. The USA has been fighting a rearguard action to prevent this by trying to stop Russian pipelines to Germany, by trying to provide alternative pipelines to Germany from Caspian and Persian Gulf, and by trying to achieve nuclear first-strike dominance over Russia with launchers placed extremely close to Moscow. The USA has failed in all its efforts, and Russia has succeeded. The US loss of its European empire will be catastrophic to the US financial elite and to the standard of living of many Americans, but not only was it inevitable, it was also necessary for the US to begin the process of rehabilitating and rebuilding its own society (one that has experienced a greater degree of social decay than any other in history).

Posted by: Pelayo | Jun 6 2022 12:22 utc | 15

Eastern and southern 1/3 to Russia control
Western 1/3 to Poland and Romania control.

Middle 1/3 becomes the Euro version of Lebanon. Always between two powers that periodically run through it to attack each other. Politicians come and go based on which side has a greater influence for a few years, then it swings back the other way.

Economically it will be one of the poorest countries in the world.

Posted by: BroncoBilly | Jun 6 2022 12:22 utc | 16

"Only with new and decent leaders will Europe come to its senses."

I've long since lost the reference but way back sometime, V. Putin made a cryptic comment on the public record that much of the problem (of the day, that has not chnaged much) was due to blackmail control certain 'usual suspects' have over their 'selected' political slaves. Perhaps he was talking about Epstein, but the same principle applies across the board. They simply do not get into office/power unless there is some good compromising dirt on their files.

Hate to say it, but you're dreaming mostly....

Posted by: imo | Jun 6 2022 12:23 utc | 17

Magisterial analysis.
Just hoping to see it unfold in the time I have left.

Posted by: Walt King | Jun 6 2022 12:25 utc | 18

If Gonzalo is really in Kharkiv, how long before he gets a bullet in the head?
I must say, he has some cohones to keep this up after his recent run-in, but i'm not so sure he will be so lucky next time.
Having said that, I enjoy his videos and think he makes some good points.

Posted by: Glasshopper | Jun 6 2022 12:28 utc | 19

It will be interesting to review its past actions and speculate what the satrapy of Norway will be doing vis-a-vis Russia, the EU and (most importantly) the US of North A, as it is the only European lapdog that has the capability to export oil end natural gas (presently supplying more than 15& of the sinking Atlantis section of the European market). Will Norway continue to act as the running dog of Atlanticist imperial monopoly capitalist system er not?
(Of course, having been ordered to never buy Swedish planes or weapons and buying the attack bomber plane F-35 instead says Norway's running dogs never wanted independence, and now Finland recently followed suit by ordering 64 machines: Twice as many as the far more wealthy Norway!)
Norway gets asked by The Ukraine to share some of its petro-dollar oil wealth, and other EU lands ask Norway to impose price controls. So they want us to sabotage the working of market forces?!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jun 6 2022 12:38 utc | 20

by trying to stop Russian pipelines to Germany, by trying to provide alternative pipelines to Germany

http://www.dw.com/en/russian-gas-in-germany-a-complicated-50-year-relationship/a-61057166

The first pipelines were arranged 1964..........

Even Kennedy had tried to block exports of German oil pipes to USSR to build pipelines - Thyssen had a big business producing pipes - nowadays it is EUROPIPE

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Jun 6 2022 12:38 utc | 21

Watched Lira and agree 100%.
He reckoned France, Germany, Italy and UK would have to break with the US.
An outcome devoutly to be wished.
Then he considered the first three further.
But he left the UK out of subsequent analysis. Presumably figures they are a lost cause?
I think he is probably right.

Posted by: Walt King | Jun 6 2022 12:49 utc | 22

https://thesaker.is/is-us-nato-with-wef-help-pushing-for-a-global-south-famine/

Michael Hudson on what the world might look like.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 6 2022 12:50 utc | 23

Thanks RS Hack on an earlier post, and thanks b for linking the compelling Gonzalo Lira videos. Wake up time.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 6 2022 12:55 utc | 24

The Powers-That-Should-Not-Be acknowledge that "The West" is suffering from "inflation".

They prefer the term inflation over the term "devaluation".

The dollar is being devalued, in part because they "print" so many trillions of them to give away to their friends and to themselves.

The crumbs and the devalued dollars remain for the rest of us.

Interesting that the ruble they tried to destroy is increasing in value.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Jun 6 2022 12:56 utc | 25

The whole of the Ukraine will be taken. Maybe some parts would be given to Hungary and Belarus, but nothing will be given to, or allowed to be taken by Poland. Poland, in its foolish way, the unquestioned vassal of the US, so cannot be trusted.

Anyway, the Lvov, Volyn, Zhytomyr, Rovne etc western oblasts have to be taken, so as to clean them from the Nazis. Well, if the Nazis run away to Poland, it is Poland's headache.

Once, the whole of the Ukraine is taken, Russia will demand the dismantling of the US bases in the countries of post-1997 NATO. If the US won't listen, some of these bases will be attacked. Maybe, even some bases in the mainland US.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 6 2022 13:00 utc | 26

Nuclear weapons and 40 tons of plutonium in Zaparozhia

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 6 2022 3:37 utc | 125

I watched the video by Gonzalo Lira. He does not fully understand the technical aspect, although he is spot on about the political signaling.

Mr. Grossi of the IAEA said in Davos something to the effect that there are 40 tons of plutonium and 40 tons of uranium-235 at the Zaparozhia nuclear power plant. Nothing in this information is secret or even new. None of this material should be "weapons grade" or usable in weapons.

A nuclear reactor operating at 1000 MW electric / 3000 MW thermal burns up about one ton of uranium-235 in a year. As the U-235 cannot be fully burnt, 40 tons might be enough to power the six reactor in Zaparozhia for one or two years.

Spent fuel rods cannot be immediately removed from the reactor site. Usually they are cooled in water tanks for a few years. We can assume that all the fuel rods from the last eight years are still in Zaparozhia.

Neutrons from the fission of uranium-235 turn some of the uranium-238 in the fuel into plutonium-239. Let's assume that burning up one ton of uranium-235 produces one ton of plutonium-239. (Approximately three neutrons are released in the fission of uranium-235. One neutron is needed to maintain the chain reaction. One or two might end up creating plutonium.) In eight years the plant, operating at a 100% utilization rate, would burn up about 8 x 6 x 1 = 48 tons of uranium-235 producing about 48 tons of plutonium.

Unfortunately for weapons builders the plutonium from water-cooled nuclear power plants cannot be used for nuclear weapons. Additional neutrons from fission will turn plutonium-239 into plutonium-240, which will cause a plutonium bomb to fizzle. Weapons-grade plutonium has less than 7% of plutonium-240. To produce plutonium for weapons, fuel rods have to be changed often. In a water-cooled reactor this means opening the pressure vessel which may take several weeks. Graphite-cooled reactors, like the RBMK reactor used in Chernobyl are better for plutonium production, as fuel rods can be removed without shutting down the reactor.

what if...

After 2014 Ukraine stopped using Russian fuel rods from Rosatom and instead received American fuel rods from Westinghouse. There have been constant complaints that the Westinghouse rods are poor quality and not suited for the Soviet reactors. What if one of the Westinghouse rods developed a "leak" after three weeks of operation. The reactor would need to be shut down, the pressure vessel opened and the "leaky" rod removed. There might be tens of these "leaky" rods at the Zaparozhia site.

In a comment on May 4 PavewayIV suggested that the Zaparozhia plant might have been secretly producing tritium for some undeclared nuclear state.

When Russian took over the Zaparozhia nuclear power plant only two of the six reactors were operating. Afterwards Russians informed that they are only operating the two reactors with Rosatom fuel rods, while the four reactors with Westinghouse fuel rods were shut down. This may be the same state that existed before the takeover.

Why were the Westinghouse-fueled reactors shut down?

  1. The Westinghouse fuel rods were crap and could never be operated reliably.
  2. Ukrainians shut down the reactors in panic when the invasion began and tried to remove any evidence of weapons production.
  3. Russia shut down the reactors because that were not sure of the safety of the Westinghouse rods.
  4. Russia shut down the reactors because they want to extract evidence of weapons production.
  5. Russia keeps the reactors shut down and is waiting for IAEA inspectors to arrive before they open up the reactors and extract the possible evidence of weapons production.

Whatever the case, Ukraine is actively blocking any IAEA inspection of the Zaparozhia nuclear power plant. They are still a sovereign state and the IAEA would need their approval to enter the site.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 6 2022 13:04 utc | 27

Fanto - on the "the narrow Ukrainian problem" in Karaganov's statement quoted above, that was a most valuable link you provided yesterday. Those oligarchs!


" An diesem Tag wurde Firtaschs ostukrainische Chemiefabrik „Stirol“ mit Raketenwerfern beschossen, die Geheimdienstinformationen zufolge ziemlich wahrscheinlich Kolomojskyjs Einheiten zuzuordnen sind."

https://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/wirtschaft/article131474811/Der-kalte-Krieg-der-Oligarchen.html.

And so it has been throughout. The Ukrainian oligarchs are a determining influence and unless they are tamed there's no great prospect of a stable future for whatever is left of Ukraine after the war ends.

This article is not reliable as historical record but does give a brief summary of how oligarchs such as Kolomoisky got their start:-

"The foundations of Kolomoisky’s business empire were laid in the wild days following the disintegration of the Former Soviet Union, when the soon-to-be oligarchs scrambled to snap up dilapidated state factories and entire industrial, mining and energy sectors at bargain-basement prices. His operations as governor are not just an act of patriotism to preserve Ukrainian independence, says a local economist, speaking anonymously. “It is also about preserving his and his partners’ business interests. If the separatists had taken the region, he would have lost most of his holdings.” In the wake of the revolution and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, the country is receiving billions in aid from Western powers, with Privat Group expected to be at the center of any financial action."

As for where he is now, certainly not in the States:-

"The United States on Friday banned the entry of controversial Ukrainian billionaire Igor Kolomoisky, accusing him of corruption and of undermining democracy.

https://archive.ph/V8BcL#selection-2539.1-2539.792


Seems to have been a key player in the murky political waters of post-Maidan Ukraine:-


"Kolomoisky is also believed to have spent $10 million to create the Dnipro Battalion,[81][82] and to have provided funds for the Aidar, Azov,and Donbas volunteer battalions."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihor_Kolomoyskyi#:~:text=In%20April%202014%20Kolomoyskyi%20offered,2%2C%20and%20Donbas%20volunteer%20battalions.

I can make neither head nor tail of the violent and largely secret world of Ukrainian business dealings. On Kolomoisky, his sponsorship of Zelensky is also something of a puzzle. Zelenski stood as a peace candidate. Until Zolote he might even have been one. And there are hints here and there that at one point Kolomoisky himself was meditating some sort of accommodation with Russia.

But whatever the truth of that, and no matter how obscure Ukrainian business dealings are, there's no doubt those dealings matter. Ukrainian politics since well before Maidan was largely determined by the struggles of these commercial titans.

As they strove to increase or maintain their fortunes and influence, and used as muscle for that whatever ultra-nationalist or separatist groups served their purpose, the country on which the oligarchs were feeding fell apart. Movgovoy saw it all. He saw the oligarchs as the root of the tragedy, rather than those the oligarchs used. At the height of the war, and talking of the fighters with whom he was engaged in bitter combat, he said of those fighters "If they knew who the real enemy was the fighting would stop tomorrow"

That real enemy's still there. Never mind the ultra-nationalists and all the rest of them. Karaganov's "narrow Ukrainian problem" isn't going to go away until the oligarchs, the source of Ukraine's problems, are somehow tamed.


Posted by: English Outsider | Jun 6 2022 13:05 utc | 28

FM Lavrov:
To all appearances, no one is going to even reform NATO.
They are going to turn this “defensive alliance” into a global alliance claiming global military dominance.
This is a dangerous path that is definitely doomed to failure.

So much for that.

Posted by: whirlX | Jun 6 2022 13:06 utc | 29

Apologies. References wrong on (28)

First extract is taken from here:

https://archive.ph/V8BcL#selection-2539.1-2539.792

and the second from here:-

https://www.timesofisrael.com/controversial-ukrainian-oligarch-igor-kolomoisky-banned-from-us/

Posted by: English Outsider | Jun 6 2022 13:12 utc | 30

It is almost as if the political chancers running NATO are determined to disabuse the foolish public, drunk on their propaganda, of any notion that NATO actually wants peace. At every step of the way, even as they stumble from defeat to defeat, they make it plain that, as George Kennan recalled from 1950, they will not be content until they have the Unconditional Surrender of the Russian state.

Those expecting diplomacy are kidding themselves.The ante is being upped again: the strategic situation for Moscow is becoming intolerable. It has no alternative but to fight. And, if the clowns in Washington are not careful that fight is going to start spreading to points which will test the US military to breaking/or drafting point: 800,000 men (and women) do not amount to much when you have 800, and counting, bases to garrison and defend.
As this article, from the WSWS shows, NATO isn't even pretending to wait for formal approval of the latest candidates for the State Suicide Club of Europe:

https://countercurrents.org/2022/06/nato-opens-northern-front-in-war-against-russia/

Posted by: bevin | Jun 6 2022 13:15 utc | 31

Reactor fuel is not good for making bombs. It will explode. Fukushima, TMI, Sellafield, Khyshtym.

Soviet era atomic weapons were manufactured in Ukraine SSR. Is there residual expertise? I will expect RF has a full roster of relevant personnel and tracks them continuously.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 6 2022 13:36 utc | 32

Germany is key in this situation.

re: Chancellor Olaf Scholz was never the brightest bulb in the room. . . .Realpolitik (German: [ʁeˈaːlpoliˌtiːk]; from German real 'realistic, practical, actual', and Politik 'politics'), refers to enacting or engaging in diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly binding itself to explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises

from Der Spiegel in a hit-piece:
Why Has Germany Been So Slow to Deliver Weapons?
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is exasperating. For months, the narrative has been that he would prefer not to deliver any weapons at all to Ukraine, and certainly not any heavy weaponry. The chancellor, according to the scuttlebutt, has had to be forced into every single concession and then he delays the deliveries. On Wednesday, Scholz had to listen in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, as opposition leader Friedrich Merz of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) lambasted him as a miserable friend to Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion. Scholz, Merz said, may even be pursuing a "hidden agenda."

Olaf Scholz has never satisfactorily explained his aversion to sending armored vehicles to Ukraine. In mid-May, he at least hinted at his reasoning in a meeting with the Defense Committee in parliament. Germany, he said during the roughly one-hour meeting, will continue its arms deliveries "for as long as it is necessary to support Ukraine in its defensive battle." When it comes to arms deliveries, he said, there are no "eternal principles." Germany continues to coordinate closely with its partners, he said, and to calculate "the risks and the military efficiency" of deliveries – adding that battle tanks remained a no-go. Still, he said, there were no "absolute principles," which is why he preferred to remain vague in his public comments. . .here

comment
Perhaps Scholz the foot-dragger is practicing Realpolitik, enacting or engaging in diplomatic or political policies based primarily on considerations of given circumstances and factors, rather than strictly binding itself to explicit ideological notions or moral and ethical premises?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 6 2022 13:37 utc | 33

There are a few major aspects never been taken as a basis of any assumption. First, Russia is the self sufficient, largest and richest country in the world and nothing will change that. No one country or alliance will conquer Russia!It will always remain a constant you have to adjust to if you want peace and prosperity. Geography of Russia is simply to large to swallow. Then is Russian peoples formidable resilience. The history stays witness on how many powers/empires wanted to conquer Russia and successfully failed but never learned anything from it. When you are the largest and richest country on the planet you also have a special kind of people built with conscience on what they belong to and what responsibility derived from this. Deep inside Russia the economy is working 24/7 to supply any threatening conflict. If civilization totally collapses Russia and Canada are the only 2 countries in the world capable to easily sustain life of their entire population only with their existing resources. And this also speaks volume! The only weakness of Russia is demographic. But they don't try to solve that with uncontrolled and rushed in immigration. Aggressive measures will be taken. In the meantime will compensate with specific unique security measures for deterrence of any attempts to their territory. Think Iskander, Kinzhal, Sarmat and probably other long range devices we have no idea they exists and no sane person should try to find them out. Whomever think Ukraine is capable on changing this is out of their mind and will soon find out. Does the cause worth the effects?

Posted by: Foggy | Jun 6 2022 13:40 utc | 34

During the Trump years , Trump appeared to give Europe a an oportunity to reset NATO . Although he wanted Europe to pay more , a deal to rethink NATO was perhaps a possibility . Marcon even stated NATO was brain dead . Instead of embracing or rethinking NATO the Europeans , doubled down and took umbrage at the crazy Trump . Prior to Trump ‘s election Hillary Clinton’s hostility to Russia was well reported and sky rocketed after she lost the election . Meanwhile during this period certain NATO countries were busy funding Ukraine’s armed forces to fight a Russian proxy war .Germany and Russia were engaged in building Nordstream 2 , entering greater economic union with each other . Trump was very put off with this arrangement of paying for European security ( from Russia I presume ) , while Europe ( Germany ) were depending on Russian energy .
When viewed from this perspective one might wonder what Europe was trying to achieve by playing this game . After flooding Europe with ME refugees , the Europeans failed to recognize the danger of taking the Americans for fools .

Posted by: Cheryl | Jun 6 2022 13:41 utc | 35

From a purely military perspective Russia's operation in Ukraine makes no sense. Both Medvedev and Lavrov have openly stated that when the operation in Ukraine is over the world order will have changed. Shoigu's job is to draw the Anglo/European economies into the Ukraine quagmire.
Europe will drown itself in the swamp of sanctions.
I haven't looked at Lira's video as yet but you pretty much covered it b.

Bruised Northener - European military? Gays dressed in furs armed with paintball guns?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 6 2022 13:49 utc | 36

I liken this dynamic to wrestling, where gains are made by applied force. Since it is clear that the USA is not agreement capable, pressure is being applied. It’s also clear that the SMO is the tip of a much broader phalanx, and Ukraine has been a staging ground since….well at least 1948. Russia is absorbing blow after blow (sanctions, etc.) while continue to gain ground and elevate their status globally. I assume that they have been planning this for over a decade and as such are prepared for whatever comes next. As per the above article, Russia has the leverage to “crank on the hold” they have most of the EU in but it seems they will use this advantage in measured way. No need to overdo it and expend the capital, so to speak.

What is fascinating at least to me is the possibility that the EU will get squeezed so hard that they will be forced to throw off the yoke of the occupier. I imagine that just about everyone knows the reality of the situation, but cannot come out and say it. It’s when the going gets tough that people “come out and say it” en masse! Given the current trajectory this is going to happen, how the populations of the various nations express it remains to be seen. As far as the US/NATO build up, well its been going on for decades and only now is the RF in position to make “requests” they can back up with actions. “Please to remove the missiles on our border or else.” Kind of thing. Slowly a pattern is being noticed, one would hope. Russia makes an observation, then a request. This is then repeated when the request is ignored or denied, but now as a warning. Then the final warning before the hammer comes down. Given that the RF and likely most of its citizenry know that the US & Friends are trying to destroy it, they have everything to loose by not acting. This is something that people here in the US simply have no idea about. Due to cultural and historical ignorance it never crosses their mind. Thus they are shocked and awed when their empty threats blow up their faces. This can been seen in the latest MSM “pivoting” re: The Situation in Ukraine.

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 6 2022 13:50 utc | 37

Gonzalo Lira - the self-promoting loudmouth bigot - providing anti-Ukraine commentary while under "arrest" in Kharkov? Give me a break.

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 6 2022 13:57 utc | 38

On February 2021, no one really imagined a massive Russian attack on the 2nd largest country with the largest army in Europe. By June 2022, ~25% of Ukraine is gone, and no one can safely go to work in any other major cities in the rest of the Ukraine, even though Russia doesn't attack civil infrastructure. No one is sure.

Even today, no one can really imagine, Russia's borders at Poland, even though Poland has borders with Russia in Kaliningrad. It is still hard to imagine, the US bases in Poland, Romania and the Baltics, or in Germany might get Kalibered. Why not? Even the Houthies attack Saudi with home grown missiles, but the Patriots can't see them. Russia is a big brother, after all.

There's no real UN anymore, with its general secretary goes about pushing the US agenda. The idea is to show the world that the US is not really needed for anyone's happiness. There are lot of countries in the world, who'd like Russia to be the chief power in the world. Russia, as a country never cheated any other country, especially in the Global South.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 6 2022 13:58 utc | 39

Unfortunately this post doesn't take into consideration the state of the USA in 10 years.

There are a number of predictions that give the USA until 2030 before it is a 4th world nation.

Looking at the state of the USA in 2022, it seems that it won't take until 2030 to crash and burn.

The grand plan is to destroy the USA.

That strategy has been published often enough as the multi-polar strategy of both RU, CN, eurasian and BRIC nations.

The braindead west is no match for the rest of the world at this time. I don't think that will change in the next ten years.

Posted by: bobert | Jun 6 2022 13:59 utc | 40

The immediate scene includes a slap in the face to the top Russian diplomat, to which Russia must - or might - respond.
from Tass

MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. No one will ruin the relations between Russia and Serbia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an online conference on essential issues of the international agenda on Monday.
"I know there will be plenty of explanations that we have not heard yet. The countries that refused to allow the Russian plane (to fly to Serbia - TASS), will say they were ordered by the European Union and NATO, which in their turn will say those countries took independent decisions, but you are perfectly aware of all this. The main thing is that no one will manage to ruin our relations with Serbia," Russia’s top diplomat said.
Lavrov was expected to make a visit to Serbia on June 6-7. Serbia’s Vecernje Novosti newspaper reported earlier that Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro had refused to open an air corridor for Lavrov’s aircraft. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Serbia’s neighboring countries had closed their airspace to the plane. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 6 2022 14:01 utc | 41

@b
I disagree with your concluding hypothetical.

Look backwards:
Russia at every stage has offered the EU the opportunity to build mutual economic and military security.

Putin has warned Europe that over-reliance on alternative energy could have destabilizing consequences for their economies.

Putin has warned that failure to sign long-term contracts for natural gas and other forms of Russian energy exports, would have destabilizing consequences for their economies.

Putin has warned that ongoing Orange Revolution and tolerance/encouragement of antagonistic-to-Russia governments in the Baltics and Uraine would have negative consequences.

Russia has no need to cut off anything - all it has to do is let the EU destroy itself. By doing so, Russia makes the strongest possible case that the EU policies are the causes for suffering in the EU and worldwide, not Russia's, and that Europe is hurting itself through its subservience to the US and to Atlanticist EU bureaucrats.

Stop punching yourself! - 3 stooges on youtube

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 6 2022 14:02 utc | 42

I beg to disagree.

Sanctions don't work. Look at Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea or Iran.

Sanctions are a kind of blackmail. When the sanctioned country gives in a bit it sees the number of sanctions sooner of later increased. The politicians in the sanctioning country concluded from the concessions that the sanctions worked. So they imposed a few more.

Sooner or later the EU will conclude that the higher energy prices are destroying its economy - and that other countries like Turkey now have a competitive advantage.

However, I don't see how Russia can force Romania, Bulgaria or Poland to leave NATO without starting World War III. I found those demands rather troubling and can only hope that they are just meant as change money for negotiations.

The center of the world economy is shifting towards Asia. Russia should focus on that. Time is on its side.

Posted by: Wim | Jun 6 2022 14:04 utc | 43

JMHO.
President Putin will take all of Ukraine and having killed or jailed all of those nazi people he will offer those Ukraine military men who surrendered a new opportunity to fight for what's left of their country.

The Donetsk and Luhansk will be annexed or free provinces like Crimea. The rest of Ukraine, what's left when the SMO is over will need to be protected from the empire of lies and so a standing army from to surrendered soldiers backed and trained by Russia on their home land again will remember the nazi's shooting their comrades in the back and the chance President Putin gave them to go home and defend their country once again.

When the empire of lies invaded Iraq and disbanded the soldiers is when the insurgency against them started.

Again just my humble opinion. Have a blessed day ya'll!!

Posted by: mark | Jun 6 2022 14:05 utc | 44

The US "has broken ALL promises and agreements it has ever made with Russia."

Not just with Russia/USSR. I was fortunate to study with Vine Deloria, Jr. who pointed out to me as a young college student in the 1990's that the US broke every treaty it signed with the Indigenous Nations of the Americas.

Par for the course I'd say.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 6 2022 14:07 utc | 45

Fascinating. But I find myself in very rare disagreement. Look at the pattern of Putin's behavior and treatment of the West, including the EU. Putin is a master at playing the waiting game without provoking the Empire of Lies and Europe, even in Syria, while he recovered Russia from the ravages of Yeltsin and Western carpet baggers after the collapse of the Soviet System. He waited until he had reformed, rebuilt and recreated a modern peer economy and military with the West. He has achieved that and more, and his responses to the latest escalation of the empire has been both proactive and defensive.

He also knows the economic flaws of the West and the massive incompetence of Washington and its corrupted vassal states in Europe. He also knows about monetary, economic and political declines of the West. I think he knows that the proper course is to wait once more for the policies in the West, now self destructive to further weaken the escalations we still see. He only needs to wait until Europe AND the United States can no longer maintain the military offensive abilities of NATO and the US military. This is now a well advanced process that has accelerated due to the war in Ukraine and Russia probably does not have to push back anymore. It can simply walk away and let matters already implemented take the course already well initiated.
FWIW,
L.

Posted by: Larry Paul Johnson | Jun 6 2022 14:07 utc | 46

"leave the rest of the cadaver for Poland, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania and others to feast on."

That's what he says some times. But he also says Russia won't leave the rest of Ukraine to be made into a threat against Russia. Which implies that leaving those countries to "feast on" Ukraine is contradictory to Russia's security interests.

How is leaving a rump state Ukraine infiltrated by NATO, as Lira says, or Ukraine oblasts under the control of NATO countries in any way conducive to Russia's "de-NATOization" of Europe?

I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer to that question, so it's probably stupid of me to bring it up, as I have suggested I wouldn't bother asking the question anymore.

As for the rest, if Russia cuts Europe off from its resources and throws the continent into economic chaos, how long will it be before the US and NATO decide to seize those resources by force of arms? Russia is likely to win that contest in conventional terms. But it is quite possible that it would go nuclear before the nutcases who run the West give up their efforts.

I am on record for my solution: Russia takes the "military-technical measures" it promised if its treaty proposals were ignored. It reproduces the "five minutes to Moscow" threat to the rest of Europe, as it promised to do. It does this by placing strategic weapons opposite the West's strategic weapons, thus recreating the MAD condition and insuring that the West can not afford to take on Russia.

Then and only then can Russia resort to threatening to cut off Europe entirely. To do otherwise puts the economic cart before the military horse.

I now bow out of this thread.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 6 2022 14:08 utc | 47

oldhippie | Jun 6 2022 13:36 utc | 32

Putin covered that when the coke snorting actor talked nukes. Ukraine does have the expertise.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 6 2022 14:10 utc | 48

German industry leader have loudly announced that they will have to close shop if the current European policies of restricting Russian energy supplies continues. The chemical giants BASF and Bayer will have to move to some other country. Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW will have to stop all production in Europe. Steel production would fall to zero. Lack of fertilizer would lead to dependency on foreign agriculture.

Mass unemployment would follow. Millions will be in the street to protest against rolling blackouts, freezing apartments and hyperinflation.

Russia can achieve this at any time. It simply has to stop supplying gas and oil to Europe.

According to Martyanov the Anglo-American end goal is the destruction of Europe. Your description in detail what happens when Russia shuts off the gas is precisely what the US wants Russia to do. That way it gets what it wants and also get to lay the blame at Russia’s door. When those companies leave the EU where do you think they will go ? Russia? China? Nope, To the US. It’s why the US was so adamant to shut down NS2 and make the EU buy their gas. . Make Europe uncompetitive and dependent on the US.

So Russia could but they won’t. Gas supplies will only stop (as we have seen already) when EU companies refuse to pay in roubles. Russia will keep its end of the contracts to ensure its hands stay clean and no blame can be laid at their door.

Posted by: Down South | Jun 6 2022 14:11 utc | 49

If the topic under discussion here is the Cold War, which never ends, this link will be of interest.
The filmmaker is an American living in Crimea, which is part of Russia. The story of the movie is about fascism sponsored by the United States.
https://dissidentvoice.org/2022/06/the-ghosts-of-jeju/

Posted by: bevin | Jun 6 2022 14:15 utc | 50

As I understand Michael Hudson's 'Super Imperialism', the US has obtained a "free lunch" from Europe and the rest of the world using its dollar dominance and its debt financing. The US can spend whatever it wants around the world in military adventures, for imports, and for acquiring foreign industries (mostly European), and then fund the current account deficits by selling Treasuries, without any need to lower taxes or impose austerity.
Hudson speculates that this scheme just might be over as it has been declining in power for some time, but the financial taking of Venezuela's gold and her Citgo oil company, and now the appropriation of Russia's reserves, not to speak of seizing Iranian tankers, etc, has precipitated a world crisis of confidence in the US system.
We cannot ignore the effect of world finance on America's economic strength and my sense is that if the US had to "go it alone" it would not do so well, would not be able to afford all its military adventures.

Posted by: Tedder | Jun 6 2022 14:16 utc | 51

Slavyangrad, [06/06/2022 14:59]

With respect to the ongoing shelling of Donetsk and its environs by the Ukrainian Terrorist Forces: The shelling is being conducted at the limits of the howitzer and MLRS artillery ranges.

What this means—from the standpoint of basic physics and artillery craft—is that there is no targeting whatsoever. Zilch. At range limits, artillery is guaranteed not to hit a particular target. Instead, the deviation is so severe, that the Ukrainians might as well be using stones fired from catapults, hoping they land generally in the right direction.

In other words, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Ukrainian artillery strikes are being conducted to terrorize the population—and for no reason other than this.

https://t.me/Slavyangrad/1258

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 6 2022 14:16 utc | 52

More from Slavangrad:

Slavyangrad, [06/06/2022 15:12]

[ Photo ]

Today, the first hearing of the Warcrimes Tribunal considering the crimes of foreign mercenaries will be held in DNR.

The first to be processed will be two British citizens taken prisoner in Mariupol. The third will be a mercenary from Morocco.

The investigation of their case took place during May and concluded at the end of the month, after which the case materials were submitted to the court.

According to previous statements, in the summer of this year, DNR plans to hold several stages of Tribunal hearings with respect to the conduct of the Ukrainian and foreign war criminals.

The first stage of the Tribunal is planned to be held in Mariupol and has already been informally designated as the Mariupol Tribunal.

Given the severity of the crimes committed, the defendants potentially face the death penalty in DNR. DNR has not used the death penalty since 2014.

PS. Both British mercs have claimed to be ordinary soldiers who "did not commit war crimes"—typical excuses from the "army of cooks and drivers".

https://t.me/Slavyangrad/1260

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 6 2022 14:18 utc | 53

The future of the Ukraine will be looking almost certainly like a return to the historic borders of Tsarist Russia (Odessa - Donbass - Kharkov). This predominantly Russian speaking 'Novorossiya' will own the industrialized part of the Ukraine apart from having the best part of the famous black earth (which is to be found around Kherson). The leftover, the Lvov - Kiev area, will consist of a predominantly Ukrainian speaking population and it will lack the industrialization of the extended Donbass south. But IMO this lack of industrialization doesn't mean anymore automatically a disadvantage. Also the future of this non-industrialized Lvov - Kiev area is looking bright, when its black earth is being exploited by means of the newest agricultural technology by (re-invented 'sovkhoz') super-farms. This will bring enough prosperity to this Lvov - Kiev area to the Ukrainians living there, who will then not need to be envious anymore of the industrialized Novorossyans living in the south. This agricultural future of the Lvov-Kiev area will ensure stability and peace for all involved.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jun 6 2022 14:23 utc | 54

Question: What will Russia’s demand that NATO return to the 1997 framework mean for Bulgaria and Romania? Will they have to leave NATO, remove US bases from their territory, or something else?

Answer: You mentioned one of the cornerstones of Russia’s initiatives. It was deliberately set forth with utmost clarity to avoid any ambiguity. We are talking about the withdrawal of foreign forces, equipment, and weapons, as well as taking other steps to return to the set-up we had in 1997 in non-NATO countries. This includes Bulgaria and Romania.
----------------------

Exactly!
That demand never changed!
The European "leaders" had sort of forgotten that, but that demand stays put!

Posted by: ostro | Jun 6 2022 14:23 utc | 55

Here is an example of extreme Ukraine Torture and a torturer who broke down and cried when he saw the Russian, he thought he killed.

VIDEO https://youtu.be/bZj406KsRdA

Posted by: Dean Oneil | Jun 6 2022 12:04 utc | 8

I see little "broke down". His tears (the little that could be seen) are unconvincing.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jun 6 2022 14:24 utc | 56

De-NATOificafion won’t happen without WWIII. That’s where the conflict could be going, quickly.

Russia’s demands for a NATO and U.S. military rollback around the world before the war were an offer to renegotiate the world order around multipolarity. The offer was refused, and so now Russia is pursuing politics by other means. I believe Russia’s hope is that military and economic pressure will force the U.S. to finally accept the invitation to a new modus vivendi. If Trump is elected again, it could happen.

Posted by: line islands | Jun 6 2022 14:27 utc | 57

I have serious doubts about Europe's ability to make wise decisions. They are infested by woke culture (irrationalism), they have incompetent leaders, the people are too timid and obedient (Covid), and the people are too ignorant to plot their own course without being told what to do by Schultz and Von Der Leyen (the corrupt blind leading the blind). Europe and America need to fall and go through a period of hardship and rediscovery of their Western heritage and values of virtue and reason. Liberal democracy and philosophy probably also needs to fall and give way to different governmental systems. I have my doubts though. People are willing to endure a lot of vice so long as they have some resources and comfort.

Posted by: Prometheus | Jun 6 2022 14:34 utc | 58

I’d like to add that Russia’s pre-war demands were in the form of a draft treaty with the United States — not with NATO, and the E.U. was bypassed. I think some people here may be overlooking that point, along with another point: the demands were for a comprehensive U.S. nuclear drawback around the globe so drastic that it made the demands for NATO reduction almost an afterthought.

I was shocked when the White House failed to recognize the Russian draft treaty for what it was: a signal that Russia regarded its encirclement as its own Cuban missile crisis, and that, absent exhaustive diplomacy at the highest level, Russia was going to war.

Diplomacy remains a way out. But the alternative is a Russia campaign, with China as silent partner, to dethrone the United States.

Posted by: line islands | Jun 6 2022 14:40 utc | 59

Bruised Northerner@14
You are right: I remember it well. It was NDP policy to leave NATO, for example. And the reasoning was to separate Canada from the US empire. The Vietnam war had had a peculiar effect on Canada, not least because of the large number of activist exiles who came into the country and preached the evils of imperialism.
As to the eighties I also remember that well. Again much of the revulsion against NATO was against Reagan's US and the unconscionable policies that were being followed in central america.
As it happens I was, for a month or so, very close to the NATO people. (One of the PR men for the Armed Forces in Germany was a Lt Commander who was also Max Headroom's older, smart brother.) And nobody even in the military thought for a moment that the USSR was a military threat to Canada or Europe. They knew where the real threat to both came from. And, confidentially, they were always ready to tell people what they thought of the US and its oil addicted, dilettante military.
This was the era of Bruce Cockburn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7vCww3j2-w wondering aloud and in rhyme what he would do if he had a rocket launcher in Nicaragua. And was attacked by the US sponsored contras.
Nobody, surely, ever took seriously the fear that any power in Europe might attack Canada? The reason that Canada is in NATO, and has been since Michael Ignatieff's White Russian dad drafted the treaty, is that it feels that it needs protection against the only state that has ever attacked it, the one that it has lived in fear of for two hundred and fifty years: the United States.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 6 2022 14:40 utc | 60

"When will European politicians, or those behind them, finally wake up to those facts?"

I too watched the latest Gonzalo Lire video yesterday and was struck by his assessment about the reality of "things that must come".

I am still unsure of Gonzalo Lire after his brush with the SBU and temporary detention then sudden release - many still unanswered questions about what exactly happened???? Very suspect IMHO.

But back to the reality of "things that must come":

Other than reducing natural gas supplies to make things noticeably colder in the EU, there must also be dissent in the US and UK.

The US/UK alliance (elite) will not let go of their current hold on the EU until unrest at home threatens their hold on their respective homelands.

Truly this will be a dangerous moment! Hopefully it will end like the fall of the Berlin Wall (only in reverse) - peacefully............., but I doubt it as the "masterminds" of the current strategy will need to be publicly "held to account" for the crimes they were commuting.

Ukraine was indeed a "trap" that both the US/UK and Russia had prepared for each other.

The end game is now playing out and it has yet to been seen if a peaceful "off ramp" is possible and if everyone can "save face" in the outcome.

Perhaps it is just me, but I do not (yet) see how everyone will be able to walk away from this fight still standing???????????????

Posted by: James Cook | Jun 6 2022 14:48 utc | 61

I generally agree with b's assumptions on the direction Amerikkka's Ukraine Fake War will take. However, there seems to be an intermediate step looming in Kazakhstan in the form of 'colour revolution' style protests reported in some International Media (cough cough). IF this is the case, the Yank-magnet would be Russia's Cosmodrome > a parallel to the Russian Naval base in Ukraine.

If this is Amerikka's Plan B, now that Ukraine is slipping from the grasp of the NATO Crusaders, then one assumes that Putin will stop pretending not to notice - before the end of June.

Posted by: Hoarsewhlsperer | Jun 6 2022 14:51 utc | 62

Yes, Bernhard, That is a fair conclusion that was actually clear since 1989-90. For those of us old enough to remember the Cold War and its aftermath, the "dismantling" of the Soviet Union was Phase I of Russia winning vassalage over Western Europe and its periphery. See this book published in 1997 and which, despite its far-seeing projections, never got traction because it went too much against the inebriation of the West with its Pyrrhic "victory". Claudiu A. Secara, https://www.algora.com/1/book/details.html/”>The New Commonwealth. Here’s an excerpt from the Intro.

I suggest that today's [n.Ed. 1992] troubles are not a result of a failed perestroika but are only Phase II of perestroika. From socialism to capitalism and back to a superior form of socialism is how the old Marxist dialecticians would phrase it. By compromising both models the old communist orthodoxy as well as the newer aspirant, casino capitalism, the power establishment makes it possible to bring the country safely back to socialist capitalism.

But if one accepts this hypothesis, then it becomes the premise of an unsettling line of reasoning. The elite of the second most powerful corporation in the world, the Soviet Union, must have had a self-serving reason to take such risks and must as well have had the opportunity to reformulate its modus operandi. If this is so, the further implication would be that the "collapse" was possible not in reaction to a stronger U.S. but precisely because the other superpower also showed every sign of weakness and crisis so that it could not mount any credible offensive, economically or militarily, while the Soviet Union went through its own version of the Great Depression en route toward economic restructuring and political modernization.

The most plausible interpretation of the series of international issues of the 1980s (the new economic assertiveness of Western Europe and Japan, the war in Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq craze, the Solidarity movement in Poland, the world debt crisis, etc.) is that they were already setting the framework for a future covenant "the new world order" between the former superpowers, to their mutual advantage. That presupposes an early, even pre-1980, agreed armistice and rethinking of the exhausting confrontation.

If Russia was in a position to let down its guard to the extent that we are witnessing today, it was only because it found itself not in a weak position but in the strongest military-strategic position in its history, free from imminent outside threat as enshrined at Helsinki in the 1975 Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Given its control of the world's richest reserves of oil, gas, nuclear material, and raw materials, together with its educated professionals, an unmatched nuclear arsenal*, space technology leadership, etc. all Russia needed was to repackage its system as a benevolent system, to make it into a soothing and attractive social and economic model, to launch a successful public relations scheme. To succeed at that would be worth the costs and the risks!

From such a strategic viewpoint one may infer that the dismantling of the Soviet Union was only the first step of the former Soviet elite's new policy of Soviet "market" outreach to the West as well as to the South. In the west, Western Europe today seems at its zenith, however, its fate may well have been determined by (1) its military emasculation (by the Treaty of European Conventional Arms Reduction, the 1988 Soviet-U.S. Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement and START II) and (2) its dependency on Russian controlled oil and gas. In the south, oil producing Iran and Iraq, isolated by United States' Middle East diplomacy, are quietly and slowly sliding further into the deadly embrace of the northern bear.**

The centuries long Russian-Anglo-American love-hate relationship has been evolving dramatically from late 1978 until today, for sure. However, one might notice that it is being redesigned in such a way as to accommodate in the long run a more assertive, more successful and more powerful Russia overlording its European and southern peripheries. A first sketch of such an analysis I presented in 1992 at the ISA conference in Atlanta. For a more detailed analysis of the historical background, of the economic, military and political circumstances of such a probable scenario, you are invited to read the following pages.

Posted by: Dacian | Jun 6 2022 14:51 utc | 63

Central European immigrants (mainly English, Germans and Dutch) made more than 3,000 treaties with the former inhabitants of North America. They broke e v e r y single one of them. Ditto in Africa. Ditto in Asia. They can't be trusted, even with each other. Never and forever.

They believe that having more money means God loves them more. So they will kill everyone to get more. They will kill the Earth to prove that God loves them more. And then they'll find they can't eat their money, but it will be too late for everyone and maybe everything.
They describe themselves as Christians when all they are is Mammonites.

Posted by: John V. Doe | Jun 6 2022 14:54 utc | 64

Wow!

I had the same thought yesterday.

Since Feb, both EU and Russia are in a race to find new fossil fuel sellers and buyers.

Can't say the winner, but Russia is in a clear lead today. With oil/gas sales to India, China spiking, Serbia making new gas deals behind EU's back and UK even lifting oil/gas sanctions quitely, Russia is now bold enough to cut off gas to Netherlands.

I may be wrong but I don't think EU's plan to reduce 2/3 of Russian gas by end of year has gotten off the drawing board. It's already June.

Russia should have a massive leverage in October.

Though I do think this plan could use better PR and optics. Putting it so menacingly and threateningly may not sit well with Europe. Carrot works better than sticks. Russia could gradually increase comodity prices till absurd levels and offer discounts for ever US military base removed.

Posted by: HereCozIHateMSM | Jun 6 2022 14:55 utc | 65

The US has more influence in Europe than in the Americas--news report. . .
Mexico's president López Obrador won't attend Summit of the Americas
The president said it's because not all of the region's countries were invited. The U.S. is not inviting Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to the summit.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 6 2022 14:57 utc | 66

Three, connected messages:

1.

Slavyangrad, [06/06/2022 15:19]

From @Rezident_UA, a Ukrainian “insider” source:

In one day, we first recaptured half of the city, and then lost it!
Our #inside turned out to be true again, and the authorities continue to engage in manipulations.

“The situation in Severodonetsk has worsened, the battles are very dynamic,” stated the head of the Ukrainian Luhansk administration Serhiy Gaidai.

"During the counteroffensive, half of the city was recaptured, but now we are holding positions in the industrial zone," he said.

It is worth clarifying that before that we simply left the entire city and now we are sending elite military units for street fighting, where they are being crushed by enemy infantry.

https://t.me/resident_ua/12646

2.

Slavyangrad, [06/06/2022 15:25]

All of the 👆 is true, except the part about recapturing half of the city. Once Ukrainians got pushed to the industrial zone of Severodonetsk (approximately 20-30% of the city), they never left it, despite throwing elite units (including, reportedly, units of the special operations forces of the Ministry of Defence military intelligence directorate!—as well as, of course, foreign mercs and other combat-ready units from the Kramatorsk garrison) at the task.

This indicates a severe deficit of battle-worthy Ukrainian infantry in this area. The Ukrainian units have been suffering exceedingly heavy losses. Frankly, a colossal disaster for the political wing of the Kiev’s administration, which pushed for this Tik-Tok failure despite the best advice of the military branch.

3.

Slavyangrad, [06/06/2022 15:29]

[Forwarded from Slavyangrad]

There was neither retreat, nor counterattack. The Allied forces have been steadily attacking the remaining positions of the Ukrainian forces in the industrial area of Severodonetsk. The Ukrainians never made it out of there. This feint/trap/retreat/counterattack narrative is part of Ukrainian propaganda mythology.

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 6 2022 15:03 utc | 67

Russia will win the war in the Ukraine, take the south and east to likely create a new country and leave the rest of the cadaver for Poland, Hungary, Romania, Lithuania and others to feast on.

Unlikely. Not at all in Russia's interests. Two possibilities that may be somewhat more plausible are:

(a) Use the Rump Ukraine as bait to lure Poland, Romania, Lithuania and others into a military trap to increase military pressure towards achieving her strategic aims to remove NATO to 1997 bondaries, if necessary using military (stand-off only) force;

and (probably in combination)

(b) Offer segments of Rump Ukraine as reward, under suitably controlled conditions, if the relevant countries withdraw from NATO, become neutral, and expel all foreign forces and military assets. Hungary I suspect Russia can negotiate with on adult terms.

Posted by: BM | Jun 6 2022 15:08 utc | 68

Dmitry Orlov at his best:
http://thesaker.is/how-blaming-putin-is-helping-putin/

Posted by: bevin | Jun 6 2022 15:09 utc | 69

@Richard Steven Hack #47
A rump Ukraine with a GDP that it at least 80% smaller; with no industry; with a population that is on par with one of the split offs of the former Czechoslovakia and with no more Soviet era weapons or trained soldiers: just how dangerous is it again?

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 6 2022 15:15 utc | 70

Prometheus @58:

"I have serious doubts about Europe's ability to make wise decisions. They are infested by woke culture (irrationalism), they have incompetent leaders, the people are too timid and obedient (Covid), and the people are too ignorant to plot their own course without being told what to do by Schultz and Von Der Leyen (the corrupt blind leading the blind). Europe and America need to fall and go through a period of hardship and rediscovery of their Western heritage and values of virtue and reason. Liberal democracy and philosophy probably also needs to fall and give way to different governmental systems. I have my doubts though. People are willing to endure a lot of vice so long as they have some resources and comfort."

I agree with this.

Why are people timid and ignorant?

The cognitive and intellectual abilities of EU citizens - and in the US - have seen massive declines with the introduction of social media and smartphones.

Not to mention mental health issues.

People do not seem to realise that unlike the world of the 1990s, the US now controls ALL communication infrastructures in the EU; and so they control all media and social media information flows. This developed initially via capitalist monopolisation and more recently the open intervention of the intelligence and 3LA agencies.

Want to find something out? Share some information with friends? Organise a protest? Engage in online commerce? Everything is completely controlled from Washington and San Francisco.

There is no independent EU communications infrastructure. So how do people develop critical thought and then organise politically? It is impossible, except at the local city/commune level via analog means.

Some small niche websites might be too much trouble to be bothered with but any serious dissenting voices - like RT et al. - can simply be banned and no-one will protest.

The torture of Julian Assange shows any would-be heroes what fate may await them in the free, civilised, West.

As long as EU citizens have their smartphones in their hands I see them willing to live under a totalitarian regime indefinitely, regardless of how relatively poor they become. After all, they have a long way to go before reaching 3rd world levels.

I would love to be proven wrong. After all, the Yellow Vests managed to organise despite all this. Independent EU governments like Hungary still exist on the margins.

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 6 2022 15:16 utc | 71

imo | Jun 6 2022 12:23 utc | 17

Hate to say it, but you're dreaming mostly....

Yeah, agreed. I mean, videos of your favorite overlords debauching little girls and boys is about the baddest insurance policy a psychopathic despot could invest in, and I'd suggest that the perps would do pretty much ANYTHING to avoid their disclosure.

The termination of all humanity might even seem a workable solution.

Posted by: john | Jun 6 2022 15:18 utc | 72

much as Zhukhov brought troops into Moscow to kill of Beria's NKVD
--a model the USA would be wise to follow, but of course won't.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 6 2022 15:19 utc | 73

Great analysis as usual but I question the conclusions the Lira and b make. First we need to understand that the structure of the US national security state (Deep State) demands war or warlike footing at all time. without war washington would gradually fade away and power devolve to the states where it belongs according to the US Constitution (which is no longer in force). The US citizenry has little need for a strong federal government as a practical matter. There is no need for "national security" since human society is (for the most part) long past the time when military conquest is a temptation for any state other than the USA.

Russia can inflict a certain amount of economic pain to Europe but I believe the European ruling elites believe their societies can weather any crisis because they know that most of their publics are even stupider and more gullible than the US public which gets a bum rap on stupidity, i.e., Americans are more book-igorant but more cynical about the "facts" they are being bombarded with than the European public. Europeans tend to be proud of their lack of religion and skeptical approaches to reality (so they think) but tend to be unable to understand that their ruling elites are largely minions of the Washington Deep State.

The Deep State has almost unlimited funds and strong allies in EVERY major sector of the Western economies from finance to organized crime and most "terror" networks. It uses these gargantuan funds (trillions are missing from the military budget because the CIA has been funneling funds from the Pentagon since the 1950s) to control through bribery and terror most contries on the planet. Washington can keep throwing money almost ad infinitum at any problem it may face. Even incompetence and massive systemic corruption has not yet quite put had much of an effect on the activities of the Deep State.

Finally, we have to remember that we have had well over a century of social science research on how to manipulate the public coupled with a project to map out public perceptions through massive data gathering and mining. People in the West are being manipulated with lies because the research shows that people prefer lies and false ideologies to ambiguity and that is being used by propagandists to make people believe in absurdities no matter how obvious they may be. Thus I doubt the West will be seriously weakened by Russian policies no matter how unhappy the citizenry may become through social or economic crises--these crises will be handled as they have for the past (at least) two and a half decades for the short and medium-term. In the long-term the Deep State is doomed as the level of corruption (due to its successes) rises as it has in recent years and the collapse of all authoritarian structures will take place as new structures will gradually assert themselves--I see the beginning of that happening in the USA.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Jun 6 2022 15:21 utc | 74

Petri Krohr #27

Thank you. "Mange tusen takk," many thousand thank you's. Isotope PU240 is the devil in the details making the production of weapons grade plutonium from standard electrical producing nuclear reactors. IIRC Richards Rhodes (Dark Sun, Los Alamos Primer) and others explained it for people with little knowledge of physics. It is a sub-section of the PU240 Wikipedia page. Reactors designed to produce PU239 burn hot and short and then off to the nitric acid bath and chemistry. There are side issues for other trans-uranics, but they pale in comparison to PU 240.

For the final enrichment - UR 235 vs 239 for uranium has a difference of 4 in atomic weight for the gaseous diffusion. For Plutonium 239 vs 240 the differential is only ONE - gaseous diffusion is extremely difficult, possibly non-linear, i.e possibly greater than 4 times more difficult.

I do not know the primary sources, but my friends at Nukewatch wrote for years about the poorly produced and poorly engineered Westinghouse replacement fuel.

Side issue, whatever your views are for boiling water with uranium to produce electricty, (I go with Hyman Rickovers geriatic opinions) the 2 most important words for 40 plus year reactors is "neutron embrittlement".

Posted by: paxmark1 | Jun 6 2022 15:26 utc | 75

Peter AU1 @ 48

I did not know Putin had addressed the point directly. Will take his and your word for it.

Possible there was substantial effort towards creating a Ukrainian atomic weapon in past year. What little remains of a functioning government is not working on it now, or if they were would be sending all sorts of thrashing in shallow water signals. If much was accomplished RF knows it.

To all those casting aspersion on Lira. He is ruling class. He is Hollywood. There is no good reason to trust him or to be fond of him. Does not mean he has nothing to say. In fact it means he has a bit of an Olympian perspective. At same time he oozes the misanthropy of your owners he sees many things clearly.

He gave one very short tweet to how and why SBU released him. "Political pressure" was brought to bear. MoA readers don't count for political pressure. His Twitter and youtube readers and auditors don't count for political pressure. The Carrera family does count, and we do know from his father's social media they were actively involved. It is also likely that from Dartmouth or Hollywood or from his father's work as a diplomat he would personally know CIA managers of SBU. SBU is making zero decisions without instructions from Langley. Does Lira have insiders at Langley running interference? Extremely likely. Does his family know insiders? Absolutely.

Karl Marx married a woman with 'von' as part of her name. Received wedding presents from Duke of Argyll. Are these reasons to not read him? I think not. Is it a good reason to read critically? Always.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 6 2022 15:27 utc | 76

Montenegro, a country with just 620 thousad population, and North Macedonia with a population of 1.8 million had refused airspace for Lavrov's plane today. What happens the next time Lavrov flies, a few Russian fighter planes fly with them? Even across Bulgaria or the Baltics?

Posted by: ostro | Jun 6 2022 15:32 utc | 77

In a video published yesterday Gonzalo Lire, currently under house arrest in Karkov

PLEASE!!!

Under house arrest by the Ukrainian SBU and churning out anti-Kiev videos? That is some covidian reality! Has the SBU suddenly become a soft and cuddly handler of detainees?

Lire appears most plausibly to be taking part in some kind of a controlled narrative, but that it is SBU-controlled is out of the question, because of the content of his videos. What if he is part of a Russian media operation? (Maybe he was all along, or maybe Russia managed to extract him from Kharkov; nevertheless even from the start of the SMO Gonzalo's asserted position broadcasting from the midst of the Nazi den was highly implausible).

If that were the case, that might give some hints about the direction Russia would like public opinion in Europe to move.

Posted by: BM | Jun 6 2022 15:34 utc | 78

Too uncertain, too uncontrolled.
Suggesting western countries will now choose to appoint compitent leaders pursuing interests of nation over selves.
Not going to happen for reasons too obvious to bother to discuss at this point except should be part of elementary education.

When time is right and as circumstances permit will need to circle back and declare war on US. Believe the west will crack open like an egg. Seems timing is fairly optimum.

Posted by: jared | Jun 6 2022 15:38 utc | 79

Thanks for the refocus on Russian objectives b!!!!


@ Chris Cosmos | Jun 6 2022 15:21 utc | 74 who wrote
"
People in the West are being manipulated with lies because the research shows that people prefer lies and false ideologies to ambiguity and that is being used by propagandists to make people believe in absurdities no matter how obvious they may be.
"

Do you have links to back up your "research shows" statement? Not that I don't believe your statement is for the most part true....but where are the limits/lines between getting along with others and being absolutists in the patriarchy/monotheism world?

I guess I don't buy the TINA aspect of the core structural tenets our society because I have read and seen enough to believe there have been, could be and are existing alternatives such as China's social structure and associated current form of governance.

Humanity is stuck in the cusp of potential evolution from barbarism as the core of social control to something else that has China's latest 70+ years of example as well as Cuba and Russia to draw from.....there can be stability along side ongoing ambiguity and some call it growth.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 6 2022 15:40 utc | 80

No one has pointed out this Jimmy Dore masterpiece?!

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI4YNiV_B4E

Posted by: librul | Jun 6 2022 15:41 utc | 81

@Chris Cosmos-74
You make some interesting points especially in regard to the “technological prowess” in the arts of deception and mass manipulation. It has been astounding to watch the process at work over the last few decades here in the USA. Seeing the once “peace loving” left turned into steeped dipped extremists who have literally sub contracted their critical thinking out to mass media, to say nothing of the hate filled rhetoric. It’s a feat of social engineering to be sure.

Whether or not the west (in this case the EU) will be weakened by Russian policy is another matter. It seems pretty clear that it could be, just by shutting of hydrocarbons. Keep in mind that all the crises being trumpeted about in the MSM are largely manufactured. Think “great reset”,covid lockdown strangulation, and choking the food supply through consolidation and sabotage. According to another poster above, the Russians may choose not to be ham-fisted about energy supply and simply let the EU sabotage itself so as to maintain as clean an image as possible. They certainly dont need much help.

Posted by: Chevrus | Jun 6 2022 15:45 utc | 82

I believe that when push comes to shove, the American public could rise against their oligarchs, but I don't have the same confidence in the European masses. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 6 2022 15:49 utc | 83

Thanks for this excellent piece b. In these dark times it has always been my hope, that Russia understands, that a friendly and prosperous Europe (and Africa of course) is in its fundamental long term strategic interests, not least to balance the power of its eastern partners. It is very assuring to get this confirmation from Professor Karaganov.
The Europeans in their majority are to brainwashed and ideologized to understand where their real friends and interests are. But eyes may be opened and sometimes some pain may be useful helping people to think straight. History may very well once declare the Russians the Saviors of Europe if this plan succeeds.
I found Gonzalo shortly after the special military operation started and follow him since. Another discovery of early March I would like to recommend is Richard Medhurst, a brave, smart and open minded young journalist.

Posted by: Sumari | Jun 6 2022 15:54 utc | 84

Gonzalo Lira - the self-promoting loudmouth bigot - providing anti-Ukraine commentary while under "arrest" in Kharkov? Give me a break.

Posted by: Trisha | Jun 6 2022 13:57 utc | 38

I agree, has any hard proof of Lira's exact geolocation ever been provided? Alleged "house arrest" is a convenient way of being able to broadcast from anywhere. Has he ever provided any new or unique insights into the conflict? Personally, I don't waste time on him.

The Astoval "evacuation" endgame was another head scratcher. I first learned of the maze of tunnels and the alleged presence of many foreign military advisors from Pepe Escobar. There was a phone call from Austin to Shoigu, quickly followed by an orderly surrender.

After surrender there was zero mention of the foreign military assets there by either side, leading one to conclude that "non-disclosure" was part of a negotiated side deal. Why does Escobar not use his "masters of the universe" connections to tell us what really happened? Who was captured? What Russia got, other than full control of Astoval with minimal effort, in return?

Because while the conflict on the ground is real, it is looking more and more that the information flow is all scripted, by all players. So which online celebrity analysts are not assets of their confidential sources? Not Gonzalo Lira, not Pepe Escobar. Martyanov?? Ritter??

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 6 2022 15:56 utc | 85

Chris Cosmos @74 - you make excellent points.

The silly story about Russian "Kompromat" on Donald Trump is a good example of projection. The majority of the senior EU politicians are likely to be the real targets of such strategies from the 3LAs.

The rest of the politicians know that - even if they are squeaky clean - the same agencies - can invent some fake scandal and have it publicised as long as is necessary. If they can do it to the sitting US President they can do it to anybody. Why stick your neck out? What are the voters going to do - elect some other guy who has exactly the same weakness?

In the past the Communist parties and militant workers movement in the EU functioned as an alternative infrastructure and cultural reference point. They have since been eliminated across the EU.

So what remains - inchoate populism on a regional basis - woke status signalling for the bourgeois left - or emigration for intellectuals to neutral or safe countries.

Expanding on the digital infrastructure being US owned, I should mention the cultural dimension - the US dominates the EU here as well. From TV shows to forms of social organisation. Example: most left-wing activist groups try to organise themselves via the method of "consensus based decision making" - a method imported, obscurely, from US Quaker groups in the 1970s. Wherever it is applied, it leads to total dysfunction of said group. Yet, it is culturally dominant. Many such cases...

Much depends on the results of the war. I am not so optimistic as some. Talk of seizing Odessa or Kharkov might have been realistic three months ago.

Meanwhile, Avdeeka - a small town of 30,000 on the outskirts of Donetsk - the main base of operations for the Ukrainians there - and its environs - remains in Ukrainian hands. Talk of only 10% of Russian forces being deployed in Ukraine I find unconvincing. I doubt the Russians prepared adequately for the war - the decision was probably taken in desperation by Putin following Zelenskys nuclear threat and imminent Donbass invasion plans. Alternative websites run by ageing Russian emigres are full of rah-rah talk - but I increasingly discount these. Massive NATO aid will not enable the UAF to win, but they will slow down the RF enough to get Putin - who is seen as weak by the West - to accept some compromise terms before General Winter arrives.

The US strategy on a higher level is to bog Russia down, eliminate EU as an independent actor, and then work on China. Not militarily, but to influence the next generation there. At some point Xi will be gone - so the key task of the US is to get a comprador group from Shanghai to take over after him and recreate the 19th Century. Will they succeed? Maybe, if Chinese socialists underestimate the deviousness of sociopaths in their midst.

We should never confuse what they we to see happening, with what is happening. The reflection of the stars for the stars themselves.

Posted by: moaobserver | Jun 6 2022 15:56 utc | 86

Suggesting western countries will now choose to appoint compitent leaders pursuing interests of nation over selves.
Not going to happen for reasons too obvious to bother to discuss at this point except should be part of elementary education.
Posted by: jared | Jun 6 2022 15:38 utc | 79

Perhaps the Russian plan is that after the controlled demolition of Western economies and of the reputation of western elites has proceeded to a sufficiently advanced stage and the population are in a sufficiently desperate struggle to survive, Russia will start releasing bombshell compromising information on all the elites that will start an unstopable rage against those in power.

a) Release of compromising infos shows the masses how the US controls the elites to act against European interests ...
b) Release of said information compromises US control over the targets ...
c) Elites start turning against each other ...
d) Those not yet exposed figure out their best option is to work with the Russians to remove the already scandalised from power and hope that they can escape exposure ...
e) ... etc ...

At the start of the SMO the Russians were supposedly comprehensively losing the propaganda war - but maybe that was just another Russian feint, designed to intensify the eventual political disintegration. Newton's law: What goes up must come down.

Posted by: BM | Jun 6 2022 16:00 utc | 87

It is quite clear that the 'leadership' in much of Europe is compromised by either brainwashing or ulterior incentives, possibly both (or different combinations for different persons).

They are persisting in making choices with severe and potentially disastrous negative consequences for their people. While it has become starker following Russia's SMO (with the self-harming sanctions, the profligate give-aways to Ukraine, and the risky strategic choices of aggressive provocation of Russia), the pattern was established years ago (with the destruction of Libya and accepting mass migration for example).

The cabal of these 'leaders' and the people who control them have over-reached and been placed into an existential crisis by the resistance of Russia leading a quiet majority of the world. This cabal has proven to have no limits to its depravity and inhumanity. Those of us living under it have been shielded from its psychopathic excesses by the need for our compliance, but as their ability to reward compliance shrinks under the resistance of the rest of the world we should be ready for them to turn their savagery inward (as we have already seen them do a little bit against, for example, COVID dissent and January 6 protesters in the United States).

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jun 6 2022 16:07 utc | 88

your first scenario is plausible if you assume the US - in its current form - still exists ten years from now. it's basically a failed state made of opioid bantustans and well armed ghettos with a few coastal islands of wealth where hunter biden types are the rule and not the exception. ten years from now a "mad max" or "purge" life might be reality for several million people. just ask the iraqis if it's possible.

as for the EU, though my reasons are different i have to agree with victoria nuland antoinette on one thing: f_ck the EU. i have CDs in my music collection older than that made up technocratic dogpile. ditto NATO - an organization ostensibly formed to fight evil pinko commies that didn't do sh_t until after the fall of the USSR. now it's a hammer in search of nails. europe survived several millennia without the EU or NATO; they can survive several more without them.

i agree with everyone who expects the masses of the continent to reject their current venal vermin leaders (hope canada does the same and puts a certain french whore out on the corner where he belongs) but i think even before that they will - right wing or otherwise - start to care about sovereignty and wonder why yuppies in belgium get a single damn scintilla of input into their daily lives.

Posted by: the pair | Jun 6 2022 16:12 utc | 89

Posted by: English Outsider | Jun 6 2022 13:05 utc | 28

I thought Kolomoisky was in Israel?

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 6 2022 16:18 utc | 90

I believe that when push comes to shove, the American public could rise against their oligarchs, but I don't have the same confidence in the European masses. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 6 2022 15:49 utc | 83


I suppose that under extreme circumstances the "American public" might start shooting . . . but not at oligarchs. I hold with Steinbeck: Americans regard themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires -- unless, of course, they happen to be millionaires themselves. Instead, think vigilante groups against those suspected of being in the country illegally, for instance.

No hope for the European masses, of course, because their entire political class, with the exception of the stray lonely genuine Trotskyist, is bought and paid for by the same folks who own the entire American political class. And much as Europeans, like Americans, love to compliment themselves on their ability to critically evaluate reports from their media, a few of us know that's utter bullshit.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 6 2022 16:20 utc | 91

Montenegro, a country with just 620 thousad population, and North Macedonia with a population of 1.8 million had refused airspace for Lavrov's plane today. What happens the next time Lavrov flies, a few Russian fighter planes fly with them? Even across Bulgaria or the Baltics?

These are all US satrapies, they have no independent foreign policies (or much of a domestic one either).

Posted by: Barofsky | Jun 6 2022 16:21 utc | 92

The transcript to Lavrov's presser is now available in Russian. Here are Lavrov's remarks prior to the Q&A session:

Dear colleagues,

Last night and this morning, there were many questions from the media about our reaction to the unprecedented decisions taken by some members of the North Atlantic Alliance. They prevented the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia to the Republic of Serbia.

The unthinkable happened. I understand the interest shown in our assessment of these outrageous actions. A sovereign state was deprived of the right to pursue foreign policy. At the moment, Serbia's international activities are blocked, at least in the Russian direction.

Let's not go "around and around". This is another clear and instructive demonstration of how far NATO and the European Union can go in using the most low-grade ways to influence those who are guided by national interests and are not ready to sacrifice their principles and dignity in favor of the "rules" imposed by the West instead of international law. If the visit of the Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry to Serbia is perceived in the West almost as a threat of a universal scale, then, apparently, things are very bad there.

Recently, there have been "cries" about the need for Serbia to "make the final choice". Yesterday, former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt loudly stated: the worst thing Serbia can do to promote its European prospects is to receive the Russian Foreign Minister in Belgrade. How do you like that? A few days ago (when my visit was announced), US Ambassador to Serbia Karl Hill published a long article entitled "There is no third way – East or West", where he spoke in such terms and logic about the prospects for Serbia's relations with the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation. Even an unsophisticated observer will understand that in Brussels there is no place not only for the sovereign equality of states enshrined in the UN Charter, but even for the notorious freedom of choice, which Brussels constantly repeats.

During our discussions last year, we proposed to the Americans and NATO members to conclude a treaty on European security. We were told that NATO would not accept any principles of the indivisibility of security, including the inadmissibility of strengthening its own security at the expense of others. Only the principle of freedom of choice of partners will be accepted. Now this principle, which the West put at the forefront, he himself trampled.

From the point of view of the West, Serbia should not have any freedom to choose partners. This cynicism hardly surprises us. The West makes it clear that it will "press" without shying away from low-grade means.

Such hypocrisy has been shown to us repeatedly, including during the tragic bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 by those who believed in their victory in the Cold War and in the right to build peace solely according to their own "patterns". It is this mentality that manifested itself in the event that we are now discussing.

I know there will be a lot of explanations (we haven't heard them yet). Countries that refused to fly over the Russian board will say that they were ordered in the European Union and in NATO. Those, in turn, will say that these states made an independent decision. You know all this very well. The main thing is not this, but the fact that no one will be able to destroy our relations with Serbia.

Important and timely meetings were planned with President Aleksandar Vucic, Foreign Minister Nicolas Selaković, Chairman of the National Assembly I. Dacic, and the clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. That would be very helpful. Through all other channels, these contacts are not disappearing. We have invited Mr Selakovich to pay a visit to Russia in the very near future. I hope that the plane on which he will fly (regular or special) will not be subjected to another shameful "punishment" by Brussels, which has lost all decency, and its "customers".

We planned to consider a broad agenda. We wanted to talk about the rapidly developing strategic partnership in bilateral relations and international affairs. Apparently, the Brussels "puppet masters" did not want to once again provide us with a platform for us to confirm Russia's position on the problems of Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the capital of Serbia. We did not want to express our support for Belgrade's initiative to implement the Open Balkans project in order to improve and strengthen relations among all the countries of the region.

Now it is obvious to us: Brussels (NATO and the European Union) wants to turn the Balkans into its own project called the "closed Balkans". It is difficult to draw other conclusions against the background of what we are now witnessing.

Also, Putin addressed the XXV St Petersburg International Economic Forum today. Yes, it's happening despite all the crap being flung about by the West. I'll post his words to the week-in-review thread, along with the Q&A from Lavrov's presser.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6 2022 16:24 utc | 93

bevin @ 60

(It’s unfortunate that all the media coverage of this is not available.) Because we’re the peanut butter in the superpower sandwich, remember? And everyone was genuinely mad about MAD at that time. So — the USSR and the US would sit out any confrontation on Canadian soil such that the world is not destroyed by simply rearranging who owns what a little. The aggression would come from Europe, anywhere could be the tip of the spear (and Europe still had plenty of power combined with elites who possessed volumes of pure and total hatred for the US of A). And (again lost media coverage) this was one reason given for Canada to participate in the NATO bombing of Sarajevo. For fear of the possible outcome of the creation of a European military superpower which would promptly head here. Or negotiate (without Canada) the concession of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Vancouver Island, Baffin Island, all and sundry. It’s remarkable that you see Europe as no threat when we are a former colony of Britain and France. The scenario you paint is more of the post-1995 situation.

Peter AU @ 36

Maybe it’s the gag reflex that keeps invaders at a distance? Although Austrian man from b’s link to YouTube was wearing a regular uniform. … He seemed like he could be kind of mean if the situation called for it.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jun 6 2022 16:30 utc | 94

When reading Lavrov's remarks, do recall the language he employed in the last interview regarding Collective West behavior: "This is the Western manner, their megalomania and habit of constantly lying in order to justify their own lawlessness."

I'm on record predicting Russia will need to physically evict NATO from its advances on the way to rolling it back to its 1997 status unless it collapses before that occurs. I'm also on record saying Russia will occupy every inch of Ukraine in order to fulfill its SMO goals which can't be done otherwise. Clearly, Russia is in no hurry as it watches EU nations drown in their own shit. There might be some Russian sympathy for the hoi polloi, but they had a hand in bringing the shit they now swim in upon themselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 6 2022 16:33 utc | 95

@ imo | Jun 6 2022 12:23 utc | 17

I agree with you.

The bankster's grip on the politics, finance and media of Europe is too great to be overthrown any time soon. The general public are more brainwashed and compliant than ever in my experience. Even otherwise intelligent individuals of my acquaintance are parroting astonishingly stupid anti-Russian garbage as if they have no critical faculties at all.

Posted by: MarkU | Jun 6 2022 16:35 utc | 96

Not so off-topic :
French upcoming parliementary elections aren't going as expected at all, and the french rulling class is starting to freaks out.

Melenchon's sudden unification of the left caught everyone by surprise, and french MSM is now in full demonization mode.

While searching for some article in english, i felt on that gem from a site called "the globalist" ( that title says it all ), It is grossly biased of course , but it tells a lot and sumarize pretty well what the french establishment think and why they have an unexpected problem :

https://www.theglobalist.com/melenchon-as-putins-useful-idiot/

Posted by: malamatias | Jun 6 2022 16:36 utc | 97

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Jun 6 2022 12:38 utc | 20

The first video I saw by Gonzalo was one where he was looking at images of a house that showed up in propaganda videos by UKR's. He was speaking to an audience about how there would be a "hot girl" (paraphrased) that would appear in the video a a later time. I think he spoke to his audience about settling down. Then when the girl showed up on camera he said something like; "wouldn't you like to jump her, mmm" I understood at the time that he was involved with men that were trying to learn to talk to girls. (am going on memory seeing it once several months ago.
I agree with you, how can he be in Kharkov and still get away with bashing the UKR government, army, discussing their demise? We know from reports of captured nationalists, that the nazi's have money in their pockets, of various types and including gold. They appear to be getting mercenary wages and perhaps that is what the UKR is all about ?
Did Gonzalo pay them off to leave him alone? Is he compromat?
And just out of curiosity, does he operate a mail order Ukrainian brides company for his paying clients discussed earlier?
There is never any mention of his other clients after that first video where he was addressing them.

Posted by: Tard | Jun 6 2022 16:37 utc | 98

NATO is a Multi-Trillion Dollar Fraud (Part 1)

https://dimitrilascaris.org/2022/06/05/nato-is-a-multi-trillion-dollar-fraud/

"For months, Western military analysts have sung a chorus of contempt for Russia's military performance in the Ukraine...Aside from grand larceny, there is one thing that NATO does do exceedingly well: it destroys states. Indeed, NATO is the destroyer of nations par excellence..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jun 6 2022 16:37 utc | 99

Editors here have been deleting my posts these past several days - I recall the Ideological/Ethnic Factions deeply involved in this Situation.

It's not just a problem of NATO vs Russia - NATO are simply the Vessel+Venue for the Plutarchy to enact their Will upon the World.

The Plutarchy, Vassal Corporate-Oligopoly, and Vassal SocioPolitical Ochlarchy of the Euro-American Masonic-Zionist-Christo-Catholic Hegemony have Tried but Failed to Completely Control the Entire World under their Reign - hopefully For Good this Time.

Codependencies of Cobelligerents.

The EU are pwnd/owned by Hegemon America; and nothing much can be done until DEU leave the Military Integration with NATO - or leave NATO entirely - as the CHN/SCO/SilkRoad Trade makes NATO involvement unnecessary for Die Deutschen.

Posted by: IronForge | Jun 6 2022 16:38 utc | 100

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