Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 23, 2022

Two Big Errors About Russia - By Helmholtz Smith

by Helmholtz Smith

American and Western policy towards Russia is founded on two serious errors. (A considerable understatement, of course – the past thirty years show that conventional Western ideas of Russia are almost completely wrong.)

But these two are endlessly repeated and, no matter how many times they are proven wrong, they remain the foundational assumptions of the West's attempts to change or control Russia.

First is the idea that the Russian economy is feeble, unbalanced and dependent on income from the West. The second is that Putin is the chief of a band of thieves who, who if made to feel pain, will get rid of him. Sanctions will collapse the first and bring the pain to cause the second. (Another delusion is that once Putin goes, everything will be to the West's liking – but I did say there was a multitude of misconceptions.)

First let's consider Russia's economy. Op-eds that say that the Russian economy is the size of Texas or Belgium or Luxembourg or whatever simply translate rubles into dollars and gallop to their preassigned conclusion. They never ask how big the space program of the country Russia is compared to is, or how many nuclear submarines it makes, or new subway stations, airports or bridges it opens, or whether that country makes all kinds of airplanes and trucks, or how much food it grows and exports or anything else that actually measures a real economy.

As soon as they did, of course, they would see that the Russian economy is much bigger than the puerile ruble-dollar comparison suggests. And, a slightly closer look would reveal that Russia's economy is almost self-sufficient. But the West carries on confident that Russia is a "gas station with nuclear weapons" and its feeble economy can be easily collapsed. RAND based a whole strategy on "Russia’s greatest vulnerability... is its economy, which is comparatively small and highly dependent on energy exports

They persist in the face of all experience to the contrary. The EU cut food exports to Russia to, I suppose, bring people out into the streets protesting the disappearance of exotic cheese (remember Masha Gessen's heartbreak about my little cheese?) Russia responded intelligently and is now self-sufficient in food and Europe has lost that market. Biden was going to reduce the ruble to rubble but Moscow effortlessly countered him and the ruble is now tied to energy – one of the strongest foundations a currency can have.

And still the sanctions pile on. But it's educational – now we know a lot more about what potash is used for and where it comes from. And neon – who knew that was important? Rare earths! Beer bottles! Moscow is only just now starting to counter-sanction and the world is discovering that Russia is a major producer of a lot of important things and if you sanction them, you will find yourself running short of lots of things you'd never heard of. (You'd think anyone who owned an atlas would be able to figure out that a country as large as Russia must be a big producer of most resources).

Biden can blame Putin all he likes, but sanctioning energy and potash is a certain way to drive up prices all round. Biden used to think that Russia had "nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else". Maybe the people running Russia are better at thinking things out and seeing reality than we thought they were. (Yet another mistaken Western assumption – what is there in the last twenty years that suggests we're smarter than they are?)

The idea that Russia is a big criminal conspiracy and Putin is the Boss of Bosses is the foundation of the personal sanctions strategy. So-and-so is deemed "close to Putin", whatever that means, and he's prevented from going to Paris to buy cheese and his yacht is stolen confiscated. Angry, he sits down with the other capos and decides it's time the Boss was found face down in a bowl of kasha and blood. The think tankers tell us that Putin is the Chief Thief holding onto power by spreading the loot around, fake elections and making critics disappear. (By the way, wasn't he supposed to have tried to kill Navalny, where's the oped savant explaining why he's still alive?)

All elections in Russia are fake, all opinion polls are fake, all media is controlled by the Kremlin, the underbosses are hurting so why is Putin still there? It surely couldn't be that he is the very popular and respected elected head of state – to suggest that would be to call into question three decades of US and EU think tankery. Therefore he must be just one more sanction away from being whacked out. And so more names – all "close to Putin" – are added to more lists. But nothing changes.

These two errors run on and on. Russia is now the most sanctioned country ever and Western politicians still think another round of "tough sanctions" will do the job. But the more sanctions it survives, the more sanction-proof Russia becomes.

Wars are irruptions of brutal reality into fantasy and the Ukraine war is laying bare the empty complacency at the root of the West's view of Russia. It's going to be a cold hungry winter in Europe and in parts of America. Can't blame Putin forever.

But the depressing truth is that minds are rarely changed, you have to change the man. How much longer will the West's leaders outlast their repeated failures?

Posted by b on June 23, 2022 at 14:06 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Where are the spooks today?

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 23 2022 14:12 utc | 1

Yeah. truly amazing how blinkered and stupid the collective west is. I was just on the Guardian in a spasm of masochism, reding an article on Ukraine. The level of delusive thinking is breathtaking. The only possible response is to repeat the old joke about the main difference between Russia and the 'west' "- the west actually believes it's own propaganda".

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Jun 23 2022 14:17 utc | 2

One of the deadly sins: believing your own bullshirt.

Posted by: Cabystander | Jun 23 2022 14:18 utc | 3

Allah willing, the shills got kalibrated

Posted by: kalton | Jun 23 2022 14:19 utc | 4

The US will continue to act on its "misinterpretations" until the very end. It is no longer capable of anything else.

I think Europe will eventually wake up before all is lost. I'm hardly sure of it, it's just a hunch.

Posted by: Fred III | Jun 23 2022 14:20 utc | 5

Supremacism inevitably leads to stupidity.

First it leads to overestimating oneself and understimating the enemy.

As judgement is compromised, stupid decisions are made.

The supremacists are unable to honestly and groundedly asess the stupid decisions they made, so they double down and deflect.

With each iteration of this cycle, stupidity grows more and more ingrained.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 23 2022 14:24 utc | 6

America is just a huuge fake Stawk Market churning out exotic financial instruments to conceal its Bankruptcy. It can all implode in their face any minute.. . . . . and is.

The curtain is falling causing the kind of mental anguish you saw in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jun 23 2022 14:31 utc | 7

thanks Helmholtz Smith..

i spoke of hubris the other day... @ jams and Cabystander mention believing your own propaganda or bullshit.... it is all a sign of how disconnected from reality the west has become.. i am not sure when it changes either... this is like trying to turn around the titanic when it is about to, or has already hit a very large iceberg.. oh well..

Posted by: james | Jun 23 2022 14:32 utc | 8

Will the Germans soon be huddled around a wood burning fire, in a field, beneath an electric light, powered by a windmill, while they wonder if they have misjudged the technological/political/financial situation?

Posted by: Ric G | Jun 23 2022 14:33 utc | 9

It seems Russia & Russians are being slandered in the same way Caucasians (esp men) are in US/Canada or participants/supporters of Trucker Convoy or those not accepting of official State narratives. Genocide always starts that way:
1. Classification: People divided into "us & them"
2. Symbolization: People FORCED to identify themselves
3. Discrimination: People begin to face systemic discrimination
4. Dehumanization: People are equated with animals, vermin or diseases
5. Organization: Gov't creates specific groups (police/military) to enforce policies
6. Polarization: Gov't creates propaganda to turn public against target group
7. Preparation: Official action to remove/relocate people
8. Persecution: Beginning of murders, theft of property, trial massacres
9. Extermination: Wholesale elimination of target group. It's not considered "extermination" or murder because target group are NOT considered human
10. Denial: Gov't denies it has committed any crime

IMHO we're at stage 6 at least, as steps 1-5 have already been played out over the last 2+ years

Don't agree? Well that's because you don't believe men can be that depraved. I hold no such delusion...

Posted by: ianMoone | Jun 23 2022 14:36 utc | 10

Russia has been misunderstood for centuries by so called western intellects and governments. Geographically, intellectually, militarily, spiritually, Russia is years ahead. Why is that? I believe that if you have the largest country on earth which has in abundance all the resources needed to survive, plus you have a ruling class that for centuries has always made long term plans of 20 tp 25 years,then you end up with a nation that is virtually indestructible.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Jun 23 2022 14:49 utc | 11

Ric G @9

If it gets too cold in the winter, Germany can always ask the U.S. for permission to open the Nord Stream 2 valve. If the answer is no, maybe people can stay warm by burning the Euro bills they are saving by not buying Russian gas.

Posted by: aquileia | Jun 23 2022 14:50 utc | 12

There was a claim made many years ago that the KGB had studied the concept of reaction in populations.

I often wonder if the findings are secretly at work today and the West doesn't realize it. Yes, there are abundant sanctions. However, there are also all sorts of odd moves by Russia that the West enthusiastically gathers to trigger thoughts that Russia is somehow losing. And the strange epidemic of delusion in Western nations makes Russia's long term goals easier.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 23 2022 14:56 utc | 13

Rebranded McDonald's reopens, has biggest day's sales ever

Vkusna y Tochka opens and has huge sales

Russia's rebranded McDonald's sells 120,000 burgers on its opening day - more than it ever sold before the US chain withdrew from the country due to Ukraine war

But McDonald's was never the juggernaut in Russia that it is in the US - again, all relatively since retail food-away-from-home is an extremely difficult business to dominate.

Family friendly places to stay and eat in Russia - from 2007

t of Broken Lights is one of the few places local residents frequent with the whole family, and servers are child-accommodating. For quick food at all hours, Russian fast-food restaurant Blindonald's has a child's corner and familiar fare, with a focus on pancakes and mini-pies stuffed with jam, meat, or potatoes.

A blin is a Russian pancake, they also sell chebureki (the above meat pies), soups etc.

Blin is also a "safe" form of a Russian curse word.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 23 2022 15:05 utc | 14

aquileia @ 14

Maybe they can come up with something like: "We must buy russian gas and oil, so the price will come down and Putin gets less money for his war" :-)

Posted by: daniel_s | Jun 23 2022 15:08 utc | 15

A slam on the Blob

Its Time To Talk About Peace In Ukraine

Consider this tweet from McFaul in February, a few days before the invasion: "Putin has gone to war 4 times already—Chechnya 1999, Georgia 2008, Ukraine 2014, and Syria 2015. Each time the West could not stop him and Putin felt like he won.”

There are actually four different kinds of wars here, but for our purposes the two to focus on are Ukraine 2014 and Syria 2015. Russia’s seizing of Crimea in 2014 was a classic violation of international law—the invasion of a sovereign state, to say nothing of the subsequent annexation of it. But Syria was different: Russia entered Syria at the request of the Syrian government, to help it fight ISIS and other jihadist enemies who were trying to overthrow it.

So Russia’s intervention in Syria in 2015 wasn’t illegal (and it shouldn’t have been surprising, given that Russia has a naval facility in Syria and thus a keen interest in whether the Syrian government gets overthrown). What was closer to being illegal in Syria was America’s infusion of arms, starting back around 2012, to support the jihadists who were trying to overthrow the government in the first place.

And what was more clearly illegal was (a) the subsequent introduction of US troops into Syria without the government’s approval; and (b) the shooting down of Syrian aircraft by US aircraft. (To this day, US troops occupy some of the most oil-rich territory in Syria and oversee what to the casual observer looks a lot like the theft of Syrian oil.)

One might infer from McFaul’s tweet that he’s not aware of this elementary distinction in international law between sending troops into a country at the invitation of its government and sending troops into a country in spite of the opposition of that government. But I doubt that’s the case. The problem, I think, isn’t that he doesn’t grasp this distinction but rather that his awareness of it and his emphasis on it are situation dependent.

If you asked him what the legal difference is between Russian troops in Ukraine and American troops in, say, Somalia, he’d presumably give the correct answer: The Somalian government welcomes the troops and the Ukrainian government doesn’t. If you asked him what the legal difference is between Russian troops in Ukraine and US troops in Syria, he’d… probably pause before answering, because this isn’t the kind of question he’s in the habit of pondering.

This is the problem with the Blob more broadly: Its awareness of international law comes and goes, depending on whether citing it works in favor of the Blob-approved American policy in question. Have you even once heard anyone in the US foreign policy establishment suggest that maybe US troops in Syria are there illegally?

Combine the above with "agreement incapable" - no surprise where we are at today.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 23 2022 15:09 utc | 16

Posted by: Ric G | Jun 23 2022 14:33 utc | 9

Two alternatives. Either the sit around the wood fire thinking "All Putin's fault", or they get over the propaganda and, well, revolution? What I actually see is an increasing number of people tired of the propaganda, not buying the stories, "People see through you"/Bruce Cockburn like. Revolution is something unthinkable, we are Germans after all.
Today, Habeck announced the 2nd state of energy emergency. Bavarian MP Söder:

If plants were to be shut down due to gas shortages, this would be "an absolute catastrophe. Thousands of jobs would be affected. So we are really marching toward a form of deindustrialization," Söder continued.

No shit, Sherlock. I really wonder if the gamed out just anything. And if, it just shows that Smith is completely right.
In my next life, I want to be born russian. Even if I am not smarter then, at least my politicians are.

Posted by: TomD | Jun 23 2022 15:27 utc | 17

Aquileia - 14
If Euros are cold this winter, instead of asking US embassy if they can reopen Nordstream 2, they could just as well burn the US embassy and feel the heat. By that, of course, I mean the whole thing, furniture, papers and US embassy staff as well. Depending on the country, US occupation forces as well as a bonus.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jun 23 2022 15:38 utc | 18

Shhhh! Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake (or series of mistakes).

Posted by: Andy V | Jun 23 2022 15:43 utc | 19

An excellent contribution which sums up most of geopolitics in a few paragraphs.

The problems come down to hubris- a thoughtless acceptance of notions of US invulnerability which survive every proof to the contrary (for example the successive failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen... ). And to projection: Biden thinks that Putin is a kleptomaniac who must have stolen billions of dollars because, By Golly, if Biden had had the chance he would have done so. In fact he made a few hundred thousand, for the family, in Ukraine.

The people who run the United States are full of admiration for gangsters and thieves. It is what they aspire to be. Look at them: worthless, dishonest, incapable of original thought, innocent of any knowledge of the world, hopelessly dependent on government contractors financially. And incapable of learning from experience.
That is why they are surrounded by "Think Tanks" which are composed of people who will-provided they are paid well enough out of the taxes-tell them what they ought to want to hear.
And then tell them what they want to hear.

And they always assume that the inhabitants of other countries are just like them: people who would sell their grandparents to organ traders rather than miss a meal or be reduced to buying clothing in a second hand store.
That is what is behind sanctions policy: they know that if the voters of their districts had to suffer the inconvenience of a military draft or were deprived of the right to pay their ways to the front of every queue in the economy ("Never mind about that kid's cancer treatment I need my face lifted before my Birthday Party!") they'd change regime quick enough. And they assume that Venezuelans think the same way.

And they know that if they stood on the steps of City Hall and howled out that the Jews or the Blacks or The Royal Family or the Reds or the Pedophiles should all be lynched, they'd soon have a mob ready to do it. So they expect that if they tell an Uighur that the Han hate him, or a Chechen that the infidel Russians should be wiped out or a Ukrainian that Hitler was his friend- their states will break apart in an orgy of mutual recrimination and violence.

The people who could put them right are the plain people of America, most of whom are as reasonable and honest and generous as any people living under the rules of rogue gangsters could be. But nobody asks the people. There hasn't been an honest election since... There has never been an honest election.
And that, basically, is why the normal checks and balances which add up to what China called "Heaven's Mandate" are ineffectual. And why the same dynasty -the Ker-Ching dynasty has been in power for almost 250 years.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 23 2022 15:48 utc | 20

the blob doesn't understand its own citizens; why would it understand foreigners?

i'm quite glad, though. trump was a great example of the US elite whether they like it or not. he would constantly do things for horrible reasons, it would turn into a complete cock up and result in an outcome almost opposite to what he and his handlers intended. if that trend continues - short of a stupid and/or accidental nuclear exchange - we'll be fine. imagine if they DID understand russia...there might not be a russia anymore.

luckily for now all they have is arrogance and projection. after declaring they want to "cancel" all things russian they've burned whatever bridges were left and "fifth columns" will be hard to come by.

Posted by: the pair | Jun 23 2022 16:02 utc | 21

After years of sanctioning Qatar, Exxon and Conoco are back in with
an interest in new LNG facilities. Not much in the MSM about the reversal of policy. They could do the same with Iran and have access to a huge gas field!

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 23 2022 16:14 utc | 22

i'm quite glad, though. trump was a great example of the US elite whether they like it or not. he would constantly do things for horrible reasons, it would turn into a complete cock up and result in an outcome almost opposite to what he and his handlers intended. if that trend continues - short of a stupid and/or accidental nuclear exchange - we'll be fine.

Posted by: the pair | Jun 23 2022 16:02 utc | 27

We must be fine then because it sure has continued!

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 23 2022 16:24 utc | 23

One should never poke an angry bear's posterior with a three inch western made stick...............

The USSA it seems is now willing to simultaneously poke both a bear and a reborn dragon with the same three inch USSA made wooden stick........

Send for the pop corn...........

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 23 2022 16:24 utc | 24

@ Bobolinski 19

Do your posts come with subtitles?

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 23 2022 16:29 utc | 25

Good essay. Reminds me of several Greek Dramatic Tragedies but I can't decide which one is most apt. As I just finished writing on the previous thread, reality is clashing with a long propaganda campaign and overwhelming that previous narrative. Yet, there remain many clinging to it for to admit reality is a step too far for their egos--they might as well pull their gun from their drawer, apply it to their head and pull the trigger like the Warden in The Shawshank Redemption, and they won't ever have to admit they were dead wrong.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 23 2022 16:43 utc | 26

I find this a very uplifting article. Helmholz Smith describes very clearly the misconceptions caused by the prejudices of the western elites about the Russian peoples and societies. Not to say their stupidities.
It is still in line with what the Nazies thought; they described the Russians as "Untermenschen".
22 of June 1941 the start of operation Barberossa.The ended badly for them... Russia won the WWII.
The wanted monopoly worldorder by the US/UK will finally come to an end. The beginning of peaceful
coexistence between nations of the earth.
I rejoice in to see that happening.

Posted by: DutchZ | Jun 23 2022 16:44 utc | 27

Abbe sine?

Posted by: Maracatu | Jun 23 2022 16:54 utc | 28

I recently heard in a private event a former top French diplomat (top jobs at UN, NATO and US ambassy, head of political affairs at foreign ministry).
I confirm that his views were very much biased by monetary nominalism ( vs purchasing power comparison), and idea that Poutine is an alone man, and only decision maker, so easy to fix.

I was amazed by the level of misinformation (including on history and military sides) he was using as basis for his presentation of current events.
Amazing, and explanatory for the current blocked western posture.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2022 18:10 utc | 29

Western propaganda is based on intimate, moral, ontological convictions. It will therefore be the last thing to be questioned, and only at the price of very violent shocks.

Argumentation will never convince someone who "knows" deep down that he is right.

Posted by: Marjorie | Jun 23 2022 18:16 utc | 30

A cogent article on American perceptions on Russia. I should rather have said West instead of America, for certainly most western Europeans are meandering in the same fog as Americans when come to what happens in the rest of the world, the fog stirred up and permeated by the so-called western MSM.

Needless to say, the same that Mr. Smith said about Western misunderstanding of Russia can be said about their misunderstanding of China. The laughable silliness of American perceptions of Russian economic frailty is matched by their perceptions of Chinese fallibility in just about everything: personal freedom; livelihood wellbeing; genocide of minorities; freedom of pursuit of religion; you name it, China is horribly deprived of it! And such perception is the norm of the western societies.

The West don't know themselves and don't know their enemies. According to a wise guy named Sun Tze, the West will lose the battles!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 23 2022 18:17 utc | 31

I asked this former French diplomat to tell the Minsk agreements story.
Basically he said : from day One, neither Ukraine nor Russia were willing to implement them. Not sure that’s very honest !
The only open and honest point was when he recognized that many opportunities were missed by the various parties

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2022 18:19 utc | 32

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 23 2022 18:19 utc | 32

Ask that diplomat if he ever bothered to read the MINSK Agreement. NOWHERE in it does it instruct Russia to do ANYTHING! The agreement is a set of instructions that apply ONLY/internally to Ukraine.

Posted by: Seer | Jun 23 2022 18:37 utc | 33

What a beautiful text! Thank you Mr. Helmholtz (hope I got that right) and thank you b for bringing this up here!

Posted by: pachinko | Jun 23 2022 18:38 utc | 34

Clueless Joe | Jun 23 2022 15:38 utc | 18

Just a thought. If Germany is going to be suffering from no natgas and restricted diesel, aviation fuel etc this autumn and winter there is another very large foreign user of those products in country.

Yup, the US military could be getting very cold this winter.

Imagine the scene if they try to bring in, by road tanker, their own supplies. Under armed guard in convoys perhaps?

The Law of Unintended Consequences often bites hard.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jun 23 2022 18:44 utc | 35

I can only confirm Mr Smith's discussion of bias against Russia after spending my entire 45 year career in Swedish universities and being instrumental for a period in trying to establish a useful Soviet/Russian and Eastern European research. But this was next to impossible as the so-called Soviet/Russian researchers had to be largely anti-Russian and based on an established anti-communist/Russian agenda in order to receive research grants or make a career. I suppose it has been the same in the rest of the Western world of which we are now reaping the effect of.

Posted by: Carlsson on the roof | Jun 23 2022 18:50 utc | 36

The US has been manipulating its economic statistics since the 1980s. If you look at the website, which uses the methodology of the 1980s to calculate inflation, you will see that the true rate of inflation in the US is 16.8%.

Likewise, the GDP calculation should be called "Gross Domestic Spending (GDS)", because it simply totals all the spending in the economy and equates that with the strength of the economy. That is, of course, bullshit. The US economy revolves around the spending from the FIRE sector (finance, insurance, and real estate). The US is highly de-industrialized. consider that manufacturing makes up only 11% of the calculated US GDP.

Compare US manufacturing to that of Russia and China to get a more realistic understanding of where the US stands in comparison.

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 23 2022 19:01 utc | 37

Danial#32, if I remember, Russia is not a signatory to either Minsk agreement. Thats why the Ukraine would not ratify it, the guarantors were France and Germany.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jun 23 2022 19:22 utc | 38

@ Bobolinski 19

Do your posts come with subtitles?

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 23 2022 16:29 utc | 25

No but they’re available in Braille and as a soft, mailable dough, intended to be squeezed through an extrusion-forming aperture.

Bobolinski believes and claims the dough to be edible, your mileage may vary!

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 23 2022 19:23 utc | 39

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jun 23 2022 19:22 utc | 38

if I remember, Russia is not a signatory to either Minsk agreement. Thats why the Ukraine would not ratify it, the guarantors were France and Germany.

Do you have any references? I think it would be instructive to have meeting notes to see what issues were brought up. As we currently know, Ukraine failed to address anything in the agreement AND it appears that they never intended to no matter what.

That said, IF Ukraine saw Russia as a threat then there should have been something put in the agreement to that effect, otherwise Ukraine should NOT have signed it! (when you sign you are in agreement- perhaps they learned from the US that agreements are meaningless?)

Posted by: Seer | Jun 23 2022 19:33 utc | 40

Speaking of the US government manipulating economic statistics, a cousin of mine who used to work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics told me that, whenever they were unable to come up with a statistic to meet a deadline, they would just make it up. I think this would have been in the 1980s.

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 23 2022 19:33 utc | 41

"Wars are irruptions of brutal reality into fantasy." Or, as Mike Tyson famously said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
A great and very necessary article. I remember hearing in amazement Tucker Carlson, who is an intelligent man, compare Russia to Burundi in a recent show. Wow. He should forced by a court to read this article out loud in his next show. That being said, he once applied for employment at the CIA, apparently, so maybe his "ideas" are just the right ones.

Posted by: Christophe DOUTE | Jun 23 2022 19:36 utc | 42

Another American delusion is not to understand that any leader who stands up to the Yankees will be instantly popular at home.

Its quite funny to watch. America constantly expects leaders who stand up to America to be overthrown, and is constantly surprised that the people in these countries support the leader who stands up to America and that the people want to see more of the same. Of course, the Oligarchs and Curveballs that the Americans talk to exclusively won't tell them this, so the Americans are constantly dazed and confused.

These days, I suspect most Americans never even hear the phrase "Yankee Go Home!". Most never leave The Fatherland, and the American news (of all flavors, from MSNBC to FOX) is far too censored to let such a sentiment be broadcast frequently.

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 19:36 utc | 43

@Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 23 2022 19:01 utc | 37

There is an old story about the "GDP".
To increase the GDP, a city should refuse to repair potholes. Not only does this free up money to be given to the Mayor's cousin, but it raises the GDP of the city. Because every time a car is damaged by hitting the #%$@%,#$*$%$ing pothole, they victim has to spend money getting the car either repaired of completely replaced. Thus, the GDP goes up if the city does not repair potholes, and actually goes down if the city puts a determined effort into having safe and well maintained streets.

Just an example to point out that raising the GDP is not the end all and be all, unless of course you are the Mayor's other cousin who owns a string of auto repair rip-off shops.

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 19:40 utc | 44

An agreement with the Ukrainians is not worth the paper it is written on. We know that. Russia certainly knows that. Only CNN or FOX viewers might not know that. The same goes for France and Germany. The history of the last eight years shows that getting them to 'guarantee' an agreement is worthless. And of course, America is the country that constantly tears up agreements and breaks them, and never negotiates with anyone about anything.

So, I wonder who exactly Russia is supposed to negotiate with? Is there anyone in this crowd who's word can be trusted? Is there anyone who Russia can trust to enforce and guarantee such an agreement? Russia seems to understand this. The liars and theives who rule in the west don't seem to understand that decades of lying and cheating and stealing means that their 'word' isn't worth a pile of warm dog doo-doo.

When you motto is that 'We Lie, We Cheat, and We Steal', you really shouldn't be terribly surprised to find that nobody trusts you.

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 19:48 utc | 45

America constantly expects leaders who stand up to America to be overthrown, and is constantly surprised that the people in these countries support the leader who stands up to America [snip]

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 19:36 utc | 43

Well, THIS American constantly expects leaders who stand up to America to be overthrown, but it isn't "the people" who overthrow them. It's the temporarily disaffected comprador elites, who want their privileges restored, and their School of the Americas-trained militaries who do the overthrowing.

In fact, that's what usually happens when someone who stands up to America somehow accedes to power, and it's much too early to say that the tide has turned in this regard.

Posted by: malenkov | Jun 23 2022 19:56 utc | 46

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 23 2022 19:23 utc | 39

Malleable, that should be. Curse these dough-encrusted fingers.

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 23 2022 19:58 utc | 47

Thank you b for an excellent report.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 23 2022 19:58 utc | 48

If you notice there is a lot of Confession Through Projection in these Think Tank analyses. The evil within can only live with itself when its projected upon others slated for destruction. The Western elites are worried, and have been worried for a awhile now, as evidenced by such public paranoid accusations.

It's their last divide & conquer attempt for internal population consumption so as to deflect their own people from calling them to account. 'Sad last days.' 'Walls closing in.' '(Insert accusations of mortal illnesses here.)'

Posted by: JR whenDallasdreamt | Jun 23 2022 20:03 utc | 49

There was a point in time when Trump was in charge, when things became quite absurd.

Trump was tearing up the JCPOA 'nuke deal' with Iran, while at the same time pressuring North Korea to give up their own security in order to get an agreement with the Americans. This must have sounded insane to the Koreans, because they were getting a first hand example of just how useless an agreement with America was by watching what was happening to the Iran 'nuke deal'.

Since America can not be trusted to live up to an agreement, it becomes insane for a country to give America anything to get an agreement. You know what you get will be worth nothing, so why pay for it?

Diplomacy used to be based on building trust, and diplomats used to like to represent themselves as trustworthy people. The Yankees have forgotten both lessons, and in fact, in both the State Dept and the EU foreign policy units, now view the 'diplomat' as a 'war leader'.

Even Hitler had a Ribbentrop. But the Americans do completely away with diplomats, and turn 'diplomacy' over to the equivalent of Himmler. Literally, as when we moved the head of the CIA to being the Chief Diplomat, we made the leader of one of America's torture organizations into our 'diplomat'. And its no better under Biden, where the State Dept spokesperson is also from that same torture organization.

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 20:06 utc | 50

Andrei has another update which is a good overview of the past month. In the comment section, the following tactical update from Lone Wolf:

The page:

The comment:
Lone Wolf on June 23, 2022 · at 2:58 pm EST/EDT
This are really good news to welcome the Saker!

The Lisichansk front collapsed!

The Lisichansk Oil Refinery is under reconnaissance!

Aidar nazis about to mass surrender in Severodonetsk!

UkroWerhmacht shelling positions toward Horlivka eliminated!

Mass surrender along the supply road for Severodonetsk/Lisichansk, the Artemisvk/Lisichansk road!

And more…

TOTAL DEFEAT OF THE Armed Forces of Ukraine in Lysychansk: VIDEO of throwing weapons and running away! Yuriy Podolyaka – the hottest evening on June 23 (19 videos)

Reconnaissance is underway at the Lisichansk Oil Refinery, the enemy’s defenses in the south of the city are collapsing before our eyes. The refinery is located far to the south of the city in the deep rear of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and is an industrial zone of three by three kilometers.

From Severodonetsk, it is reported that a mass surrender of aidar members who are blocked on the territory of the Azot enterprise in Severodonetsk is expected. According to the evening report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the allied units captured Nikolayevka – this is between Berestove and Volcheyarovka.
“Now along the entire front line in this area of the terrain, both locally and massively, there is a surrender. This also applies to the Lisichansk-Severodonetsk grouping, this also applies to the Gorsko-Zolotovsk grouping,” said Andrei Marochko.

In the morning, the Armed Forces of Ukraine attacked in the direction of Yegorovka with a reinforced company. The enemy column was timely identified by the OBTF UAV of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the DPR. A fire defeat was inflicted. The enemy infantry scattered over the “greens”, and a battle ensued. As it became known from the prisoners, today, by 8:30, today they were supposed to seize Yegorovka, but something went wrong. Judging by the radio interception, the infantry of the Armed Forces of Ukraine frankly sent their superiors away, saying that they did not want to become cannon fodder.

The village of Codema in the Artemovsky/Bakhmut district was liberated. This is extremely important news for Horlivka: from those positions, Ukrainian militants continuously shelled this frontline city in the DPR.

The situation in the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk direction as of 17.00 on June 23, 2022. Units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, having broken through the enemy’s defenses, completed the encirclement of the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Gorskoye – Zolote. ️The Allied forces are clearing the boiler: Katerynovka, Zolote-4, Zolote-3 (Stakhanov), Novoivanivka, the area of the Karbonit mine in Gorsky are occupied. In Gorsky, Zolotoye and the suburbs, at least 4 battalions of 24 ombr, 57 ombr and 10 ogshbr are surrounded.

Developing the offensive, the Allied forces reached the southern outskirts of Lisichansk. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, pursuing the retreating units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, occupied the southern part of Volcheyarivka and established fire control over the Lisichansk-Seversk highway. This is the last supply route for the Lisichansk-Severodonetsk group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Units of the Ukrainian army in Lysychansk and Severodonetsk are in operational encirclement. Fierce fighting unfolded in industrial zones on the southern outskirts of Lisichansk, where units of 24 Ombr, 80 Odshbr and 110 Brigades of Territorial Defense hold positions at the gelatin plant and the rubber products plant.

Some enemy units are trying to leave Lisichansk. There are both attempts at an organized exit from the city, and flight as part of columns with a civilian population. Columns with military equipment are hit by guns with rocket and barrel artillery. There is an intensive shelling of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in certain areas of Severodonetsk. Units of the 79th Brigade suffer heavy losses. (Rybar)

They write that the French SELF-propelled guns CAESAR, were in Uralvagonzavod. Either they abandoned them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, or they sold them. We won’t know.

The situation in the Kharkiv region as of 21.00 on June 23, 2022. ️In the north of the Kharkiv region, the Russian army has finally entrenched itself in Tsupovka and is fighting on the northern outskirts of Prudyanka, regaining lost positions. On another sector of the front, clashes continue in the vicinity of Upper Saltov. In addition, the Russian Armed Forces continued to strike at the facilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kharkiv itself, Chuhuiv and Zolochiv district.

In the Izyum direction, Ukrainian forces have not been able to cross the Seversky Donets and hold positions on the Chepel-Petrovskoye border. The Russian Armed Forces, in turn, were able to gain a foothold on the opposite bank of the river, occupying Nortsovka in the Nortsevsky Forest located north-west of Izyum. In the area of Slavyansk – Barvenkovo, the MiG-29 and Su-25 of the Ukrainian Air Force continue to fly. The Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed a field radar post near Kostiantynivka in the Kharkiv region.

Lone Wolf"


Looks like the anticipated buckling is now underway. Things might soon start to break down....

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 20:17 utc | 51

The western fascist regimes are incapable of judging Russia with anything else but their old racist stereotypes. Hence going for the same old Drang nach osten over and over again, but still expecting a different result... at least they're an enemy that is 100% predictable.

Posted by: mikhas | Jun 23 2022 20:20 utc | 52

Via "Russian Ministry of Defense" Telegram Channel in English:

> Russian Ministry of Defense:
⚡️ Summary of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the progress of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine (06/23/2022)

❗️ The enemy continues to suffer significant losses.

In the 34th battalion of the 57th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which was defeated near the settlement of Mirnaya Dolina of the Luhansk People's Republic, losses in two days amounted to more than 150 people killed and about 450 wounded.

In each of the companies of this battalion - no more than 15-20 soldiers. The junior command staff abandoned their subordinates and deserted from the combat area.

◽️ In the units of the 30th mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of the settlement of Klinove of the Donetsk People's Republic, as a result of the fire defeat by the Russian Armed Forces, less than 50% of the personnel remained. More than 170 soldiers and officers of the command were evacuated from the combat area with serious injuries.

The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to strike military targets on the territory of Ukraine.

On June 22, 49 tanks with fuel for military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as up to 50 multiple launch rocket systems placed in hangars of combat vehicles, including foreign-made, were destroyed by high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Nikolaev area.

During the day, the high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces also hit three armored vehicle repair bases in the Nikolaev area, four control points, manpower and military equipment in 18 districts.

Operational-tactical and army aviation destroyed manpower and military equipment in 96 districts and a field radar post in the Konstantinovka area of the Kharkiv region during the day.

Rocket troops and artillery hit 26 control points, manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 364 districts, as well as Ukrainian artillery units in 58 districts, including a platoon of 155-mm M-777 howitzers on Kubansky Island and a platoon of multiple rocket launchers "Smerch" in the Novopokrovskoye area of Donetsk People's Republic. Three mobile control points of unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the areas of the settlements of Zhovtnevaya, Kiselevka, Barmashovo of the Mykolaiv region.

As part of the counter-battery fight with high-precision weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces, rocket troops and artillery in the Donetsk direction, eight Ukrainian platoons of the Hurricane MLRS in the districts of Avdiivka, Veseloye, Dzerzhinsk, Novoluganskoye, Kurdyumovka were hit during the day, as well as 11 platoons of the AFU barrel artillery in firing positions in the districts of Novopokrovskoye, Galitsinovka, Artemovsk, Chas-Yar, Krutaya Balka, Avdiivka, Novoselovka and in the area of the Kleban-Byk reservoir, which shelled the city of Donetsk and other settlements of the Donetsk People's Republic.

As a result of air strikes, missile troops and artillery, more than 650 nationalists, 17 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, three Smerch multiple rocket launchers, as well as 17 special vehicles were destroyed during the day.

The Air Defense forces of the Russian Aerospace Forces destroyed 21 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the following areas during the day: Snake Island, Petropavlovsk, Strelechye, Malaya Kamyshevakha, Dementievka, Kharkiv region, Skadovsk, Kherson region, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Donetsk, Donetsk People's Republic, Gorskoye, Oknino, Luhansk People's Republic and Novaya Sburevka, Kherson region.

In addition, a Tochka-U ballistic missile was intercepted in the area of the Ratkovskie Sands of the Kharkiv region and 22 MLRS rockets in the districts of Donetsk, Makeyevka, Horlivka, Kamyshevakha of the Donetsk People's Republic, Chervonoye, Izyum, Sukhaya Kamenka of the Kharkiv region and over the island of Zmeiny.

In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 211 aircraft, 132 helicopters, 1,329 unmanned aerial vehicles, 349 anti-aircraft missile sy...."

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 20:21 utc | 53

Sanctions were always really a single-use weapon.

Once you deploy them, both your targets and the rest of the world adjust. So, they only really have impact once, or only a few times. Thus, if used, they should be used rarely and sparingly, because every time you use them they become a weaker tool.

The idiots who rule America have instead made Sanctions the big hammer for every problem and over-use it and over-use it till its now reaching the point where it is weakening the might Dollar and strengthening other countries and currencies.

Because even the people who are not sanctioned today have to look at America and wonder if America might suddenly decide to sanction them tomorrow, and for pretty much any reason under the sun, so perhaps it is wise not to put one's money into either investments in America nor hold it in Dollars. Who knows when the Yankees will decide to take the money and run?

Posted by: James Dean | Jun 23 2022 20:24 utc | 54

Don't buy food (or fertilizers or rocket engines) at gas stations.

Posted by: Бркоња Мргуд | Jun 23 2022 20:27 utc | 55

Fun exchange with Andrei in comments further down:

Charles Byatt on June 23, 2022 · at 3:28 pm EST/EDT

Jackson Hinkle on You Tube managed to get Z tee shirts made. Perhaps you could get in touch or find out how he did it. I think you can buy one via his website. However, he has recently been sabotaged on various financial platforms such as PayPal but there’s still a chance you might get one.


The Saker on June 23, 2022 · at 4:24 pm EST/EDT
Nope. I believe that his order was “cancelled” (what else?) by the printing shop (Represent). Here is what happened then:
First, I got the typical order confirmation. “Your order ID 5232811 will go to print when the campaign ends on April 22nd, 2022. You will be receiving another email from us once your order has shipped on May 9th, 2022.”
Then nothing, silence.
So I emailed them.
Here is the full exchange:
Dear Madam or Sir
Why have you canceled my order????
I never requested a cancellation.
Please let me know.
Andrei Raevsky
Hey Andrei,
Thanks for reaching out!
Unfortunately, the campaign you ordered from was taken down for legal reasons and will not go to print.
I am very sorry for the inconvenience, the money that you paid were refunded to your original form of payment.
Thank you for your understanding, and if there’s anything else we can assist you with, please let us know!
Take care,
Customer Experience Hero
What legal reasons?
Is the letter Z banned in the USA?
Please give me the law, statute or regulation which banned it
Hey Andrei,
Thank you for getting back to me and I apologize for any confusion! You are totally right and I listed the wrong reason for you, I am very sorry!
This campaign was taken down for violation of our terms and conditions. Represent reserves the right to make available or withdraw any content and items at any time in our sole discretion.
I hope this now makes it clear!
Have a great day :)
Take care,
Customer Experience Hero
So what made you start a campaign and then cancel it? At the very least, I think I deserve an honest answer, no?
Hey Andrei,
Thank you for getting back to me and once again I am sorry for my previous honest mistake!
The campaign has been taken down upon our first review due to the nature of what the merch was promoting. It is against our terms and conditions to promote aggression.
Hope this helps answer your question.
Take care,
Customer Experience Hero
Dear “customer experience hero”
“promote aggression”
So because you now “stand with the Ukraine” you have “canceled” the letter Z.
What you fail to realize is that in the process you, and the likes of you, have canceled what the USA used to stand for: free speech.
Your country is falling apart precisely due to people like you because you have betrayed your own principles and values.
You “stand” with nothing other than conformity and money. Don’t kid yourself.
Future generations of Americans will be ashamed of what has been done to this beautiful country and people.
Far from being a “hero”, you are a willing and obedient slave to the establishment’s ideological dogmas.
In my book this makes you dishonorable cowards.
Most sincerely

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 20:35 utc | 56

Posted by: ianMoone | Jun 23 2022 14:36 utc | 10

You think step 6. Let me tell you that we are step 10
I have no delusions about the evil of man. You only need to read some of Yatsenyuk's comments 8 years ago to understand where this is all going.

Posted by: Bluedog57 | Jun 23 2022 20:57 utc | 57

They write that the French SELF-propelled guns CAESAR, were in Uralvagonzavod. Either they abandoned them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, or they sold them.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 20:17 utc | 51

Please explain further.

Uralwagonzavod is a factory of railroad cars, tanks, and cannon near Sverdlovsk, 2500 km from Ukraine. You mean that the Ucrainians sold one of those French guns to the Russians, and now the Russians are reverse engineering the gun?

Posted by: Passerby | Jun 23 2022 21:19 utc | 58

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Jun 23 2022 19:22 utc | 38

Minsk I Protocol, 2014
Minsk II, 2015

Trilateral Contact Group
(Signed) Heidi Tagliavini, OSCE Ambassador
(Signed) L. D. Kuchma, Second President of Ukraine
(Signed) M. Y. Zurabov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Ukraine
(Signed) A. W. Zakharchenko (representative DPR)
(Signed) I. W. Plotnitski (representative LPR)

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 23 2022 21:24 utc | 59

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 23 2022 21:24 utc | 59

thanks, that comment sounded like bullshit when I read it. I mean, Russia protested that the Minsk Agreement weren't being carried out, stands to reason they would have signed them.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 23 2022 21:27 utc | 60

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 23 2022 14:12 utc | 1

getting their new talking points, probably.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 23 2022 21:29 utc | 61

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 23 2022 21:24 utc | 59

Russia was noted only in a footnote, and it wasn't any directive FOR/BY Russia:

Support by central government authorities of cross-border cooperation in certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions with districts of the Russian Federation

Posted by: Seer | Jun 23 2022 21:31 utc | 62

Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,”...

-Vizzini the Sicilian

Posted by: ctemple | Jun 23 2022 21:39 utc | 63

Posted by: Passerby | Jun 23 2022 21:19 utc | 58

"They write that the French SELF-propelled guns CAESAR, were in Uralvagonzavod. Either they abandoned them to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, or they sold them.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 20:17 utc | 51

Please explain further."

If you want me to explain further about the CAESAR, I cannot. That is a Russian official's statement. If you want me to explain further about my commentary viz things maybe getting soon to breaking point, elsewhere in that report:

"TOTAL DEFEAT OF THE Armed Forces of Ukraine in Lysychansk: VIDEO of throwing weapons and running away! Yuriy Podolyaka – the hottest evening on June 23 (19 videos)

Reconnaissance is underway at the Lisichansk Oil Refinery, the enemy’s defenses in the south of the city are collapsing before our eyes. The refinery is located far to the south of the city in the deep rear of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and is an industrial zone of three by three kilometers.

From Severodonetsk, it is reported that a mass surrender of aidar members who are blocked on the territory of the Azot enterprise in Severodonetsk is expected. "

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 21:51 utc | 64

These errors aren't the ones made by the architects of the current stance towards Russia, however. The neocons only flipped out after the intervention in Syria (Remember Hilary's 'Reset' button stunt with the Google translate fail and jibes at Romney for his Cold War attitudes?) and know full well what Russia is and is not, thus the need to antagonise them in order to make them react, get painted as purely aggressive and dangerous (Due to the Western MSM never giving context to any neocon shenanigans) and try to neuter them so they don't intervene in Syria or the broader ME again. They know Russia isn't what they pretend to Western audiences.

The question is, does the delusional 'Russiagate' style opinion of Russia shared by the upper middle classes and elites of the West (But curiously not very much by the poor of the West, the former Warsaw Pact countries are their own universe) matter very much. It seems like it only does inasmuch as it tends to amplify neocon policies. Even the Poles weren't about to take things further until the US State Department kept escalating since 2014.

The neocons are the core and root of all these problems if you can't name them, name their agenda, namely Israeli supremacy over the Levant and reasoning, being intense ethnic nationalists, then there is zero hope of any of this stopping. So much fear in making these things clear, meaning nothing will change. IF you can't name them, their donors, their institutions and their members, what will change?

Since the neocons never feel like they are playing with their own money (They don't care what it costs in US, European or Arab lives or treasure) they tend to act like a bull in a China shop and have failed to consider the full consequences of expelling Russia from the Western systems would entail (They're not Iran and doing that to Russia will make China wake up and help them and force them to construct a parallel system) or how disastrous this would be in terms of joining Russia and China up in a new Cold War.

The architects of this don't care that Germany's economy will implode. (It would have been reassuring if Germany cared but the leaders of Western Europe outside Denmark are committed to every policy that leads to greater national suicide as their attempts to add Ukraine and Moldova to the EU prove) They don't care that Ukraine will lose or how many will be displaced, their main intent was to either encircle Russia or provoke it into attacking and using that as the premise for more isolation and economic warfare on Russia. The ultimate bonus would be if Russia went all the way to the Dneiper and a long nasty insurgency could be fomented to fight their occupation but it seems the Russians simply don't have the manpower to ever entertain taking the bait anyway even if that trap wasn't obvious to them.

So whilst the delusions of Western leaders have made the situation worse (Particularly for themselves), they aren't the cause. (France's endemic Gaullist instincts that even Macron can't avoid didn't change anything nor would it if all of Europe had them, the US controlled Kiev and thus it controlled if negotiations happened or not) The US State Department controls this and it won't end until they give in and right now they have zero incentive to do so, that's why this is such a FUBAR situation.

Posted by: Altai | Jun 23 2022 21:56 utc | 65

sounded like bullshit when I read it
Posted by: pretzelattack | Jun 23 2022 21:27 utc | 60

Which is why I deliberately link to UN archive of the agreements.

European Leadership Network, for example, started lying for Poroshenko in 2016.

Despite the fact that Russia is not party to the Minsk II agreement, as a guarantor* of its implementation and a de facto supporter of the separatists, the Moscow administration can do more to facilitate the process. If Putin’s administration stands by its commitment to the successful conclusion of the crisis, it could also support the deployment of an international police mission.[3] Such a mission could increase security during local elections. However, the Russian representative and his counterparts from the separatist regions excluded this option.
*"guarantor": That got me thinking. Signatory RF has earnestly fulfilled its interest in and advocacy for ceasefire among parties to the agreement. OSCE (an agent of the UNGA) has not; at this late date, dereliction of its duties and representations in this particular instance probably has permanently discredited the organization usefulness to non-aligned NATO members of the UNGA.

So. Where is this MOU text,,, or national executive origin--which memorializes FR and DE "guarantor" obligations to facilitate implementation of Minsk II? GOOG offers no results, other than prejucial news corpse "opinion" pieces and tanky tracts. Were FR and DE diplomatic status and commitment to peaceful, political resolution to the conflict in UA, JCPOA, "interventions," and the rest wholly imaginary no longer surprises me. Their duplicitous aspiration to " geopolitical power" then is consistent with their position today.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 23 2022 22:11 utc | 66

@Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 21:51 utc | 64

I read a Twitter account of someone belonging (I believe) to the opposition to Macron shaming the French government and complaining about just that: a Caesar had been captured by the Russians and sent (to an undefined place) and now the Russians were reverse engineering.
I think I read it about 2 days ago, but I couldn't find the source.

Posted by: SCan | Jun 23 2022 22:17 utc | 67

With inflation rising, interest rates rising and falling consumer confidence, recession is looming. The Feds are awfully keen to rise interest rates despite the threat of recession. It is almost as if they want it. In my thinking recession is much worse than a year or two of inflation.
When recession does hit, commodity prices will fall. I suspect oil will be much cheaper in a year. This will hurt Russian income, maybe that is the plan.

Posted by: Mighty Drunken | Jun 23 2022 22:21 utc | 68

Truth is, their fond fantasies of Russia are true in every way...if we are talking about Ukraine.

Posted by: nook | Jun 23 2022 22:27 utc | 69

Posted by: Seer | Jun 23 2022 21:31 utc | 62

Does "signed" mean something different in your universe?

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 23 2022 22:29 utc | 70

I had a professor in grad school that was keen on economic cycles. One cycle he talked about was commodity prices. If the price of one is down, it's likely that the price of most others are also down. How the mechanism behind economic cycles work is a mystery according to my prof. But, if you look around, it appears that this may be the beginning of a major "up" swing in commodity prices. If you have anything other people want to eat or use in their economy prices are up now, and this is beyond simple inflation. When you consider that Russia is as close to autarky as any nation state in history, that's good news for Moscow, especially when you consider that Russia is very good friends with China, history's most imposing industrial state. And it strikes me that when Putin isn't listening to crooks he's listening to Elvira Nabiullina or some other very sharp technocrats. And who is Biden listening to? Blinken? Boris? Scholz? Actually, when you get down to it, it's humiliating for an American to compare speeches or interviews given by Biden or Blinken with Putin or Lavrov. Yea, the West has really screwed itself.

Posted by: Eric Bergerud | Jun 23 2022 22:50 utc | 71

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jun 23 2022 18:17 utc | 31

On "Know thyself" and human decisionability...

re: "The West don't know themselves and don't know their enemies. According to a wise guy named Sun Tze, the West will lose the battles! "

Thanks for clearly stating a workable way out of our advanced, human disease. The path of "Know thyself" is hard if it were made so deliberately to discourage progress. Sun Tzu and many others made some progress and tried to tell others about "the way"...but all eventually were stopped by death and their incomplete mapping of the way out was discredited by "life" into forgetfulness, AKA memory-holed.

Such is the nature of "life" which remains a key obstacle to progress and needs to be resolved..but how? I do not know the answer.

I do know, from serious study and trials and failures, along with my own lack of abilities, that uncontrollable attention is somehow a key part of "human" failure to understand itself, i.e. what "human" is.

What are the defining parts of "human"? Where are the research and development laboratories staffed with some "best and brightest" researchers to establish workable truths? There are none that I know of in the West not obsessed with entertainment and controlling attention in order to destroy individual decisionability.

Human decisionability... there is no other quality more basic to human nature... and more fundamental to "Know thyself". So let's get to work on it.

Posted by: chu teh | Jun 23 2022 23:03 utc | 72

It was apparent that Russia and Putin was preparing for these events, when a decade ago they began purchasing large amounts of gold, and selling treasuries.
The same with China, and it’s efforts to diversify mechanisms of trade.
Both countries saw this coming, and have been diligently working towards
solving any problems the empire might throw at them.
So far, it’s been a good plan.

The empire, on the other hand, just keeps pushing the red button over and over again.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jun 23 2022 23:04 utc | 73

BoBo the clown won’t ever fit in here with that tack.
Hell, even I understand what everyone’s drinking here at the bar.
While I’ve got my opinions and beliefs that stroke the cat the wrong way here,
I don’t argue them.
Because I like drinking here.

Drinks for the house!
On me!

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Jun 23 2022 23:14 utc | 74

@Altai #65

"The neocons are the core and root of all these problems if you can't name them, name their agenda... then there is zero hope of any of this stopping. So much fear in making these things clear, meaning nothing will change. IF you can't name them, their donors, their institutions and their members, what will change?"

I suspect there are more unnamed networks than only the so-called neocons but it's an important point. As was your mentioning how they use others' blood and treasure and so rarely have to pay for the harms their callous views and actions engender. Another important point.

We can all agree that having hidden power networks isn't good because the people become habituated to being ignorant which in turn makes them every more stupid and easy to fool whilst the instigators, being hidden, are not only not accountable but also tend to become inhumane, causing harm and dragging society downward into general heartlessness which at some point always ends up leading us all into various hot or cold hells.

The materialist value system exacerbates this type of dynamic because it tends to view life as biologically mechanistic, without soul or purpose. Meaning matters; family matters; integrity matters. Materialism alone isn't enough for a truly human society. One of the special natures of this time is the way in which very serious, even somewhat stodgy, leaders like Putin and Lavrov are regularly demonstrating to the entire world that one can respect law, manifest in a sober, traditional way, function within a clear hierarchy with rules, value human life, love their country and the world in general and be willing to fight for what is right whilst bringing others along in so doing. They are showing how there is more to life than the simple profit, loss and control that the neoconned West keeps insisting is the One Way for All.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 23 2022 23:51 utc | 75

"Can't blame Putin forever." Forever is a long time (tm) but they can continue to blame Putin as long as Putin is around. The managerial class has no choice. They must be in 100% compliance with all, and I mean all, the Narratives or they are heretics and no heresy is allowed if you want to keep your career and social network (both critically intertwined.

The Democratic party is becoming the party of women and women that join it will support whatever gives them status as defined by the GloboCap media.

As for the rest of us we don't matter. If we rebel at the voting station they can just rig the election and throw us in jail for rebelling or get us publicly banned for disputing the result.

Posted by: My Comment | Jun 24 2022 1:58 utc | 76

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 23 2022 15:05 utc | 14

In Australia we had the fight between Burger King, and Hungry Jacks. The later prevailed. In Russia, my youngest daughter only goes to Burger King. Their food is acceptable. She also buys a shashlik on the street. I encourage her not to buy fast food, but she is a teenager and goes with the flow. She will not buy McDonalds, and said that Vkusna y Tochka needs a better menu before she will try there "food".

Posted by: Cossack | Jun 24 2022 2:03 utc | 77

Posted by: Passerby | Jun 23 2022 21:19 utc | 58

UVZ is studying the weapon, not necessarily reverse engineering it. Russian mobile artillery is track based, so of course they will be interested in a truck based system. I know from a tour of UVZ many years ago, that they have a vast museum of Western equipment. They have British, French, German, US and Israeli tanks. How they received them, ask UVZ? Any good ideas go into their design bureau, as well as any defects. They study any weapon system.

Posted by: Cossack | Jun 24 2022 3:04 utc | 78

Thanks for Helmholst Smith's brief summary of Western self-deception, b. I particularly enjoyed his swipe at "think-tankery" and the self-absorbed bullshit believer, Masha Gessen, who should change its name to Just Guessin'.

I'm sure I'd recognise the real name of Helmholst Smith if he disclosed it, but I LOVED the irony of naming himself after an echo chamber when ripping into the loudest and most mendacious echo chamber on Earth...

Posted by: Hoarsewhlsperer | Jun 24 2022 3:34 utc | 79

It seems Russia & Russians are being slandered in the same way Caucasians (esp men) are in US/Canada
Posted by: ianMoone | Jun 23 2022 14:36 utc | 10

or participants/supporters of Trucker Convoy or those not accepting of official State narratives. Genocide always starts that way:
1. Classification: People divided into "us & them"

Posted by: ianMoone | Jun 23 2022 14:36 utc | 10

Caucasians without daggers
with daggers

go out from Canada back to Caucasus

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 24 2022 3:45 utc | 80

Thanks to b for this precise and concise essay by Helmholtz Smith.
The errors- total underestimation of the resilience and scale of the Russian economy and the elucidation of Putin's character as dictatorial, have stymied the ability of the
west to act with intelligence and collective self interest. It can only react. The narrative juggernaut is now impossible to control and that is a big problem for the west because a major geopolitical cleavage has occurred and the west is cast into perpetual self-referential isolation. Can you feel it yet? Will those "shared values of democracy and freedom" keep you warm and smug when things go cold? Are you sufficiently feminised to think deindustrialisation, aka chaos, will actually ensure a nicer, greener, future (like the Watchtower magazine centrefold)?
But before the errors came the racism. Slavophobia. It's an industry. John Helmer has made examinations of this horrible phenomenon (particularly in publishing) his journalistic niche. Slavs are white- kinda tricky, as the west has been inculcated with the belief that racism is the special preserve of the peoples of colour, and racial victimhood preeminence is reserved for the Jews. So Slav racism is not official. The stupid, brutish, miserable Russian is ....a given. Cancelling is a natural reaction. Because..."our values"
Hate is a very comfortable emotion for Americans.(Why is Bobolinski a recipient of such venom?) The vicious partisanship of Americans does not bode well. Who would the Russians regard as an American patriot?
Bevin@20 brings out all the worst of the American people. This is the first of bevin's post that I don't entirely agree with. I don't think Americans think nonAmericans are "just like them". Because nonAmericans are unexceptionally "other", I don't think they are worthy of any imaginative contemplation, let alone comparison, by Americans. (Stereotyping? Perhaps). Now western politics is all about retaining power, period. One can sense western regimes are not entirely at ease with the notion of "the people", but
"And they know that if they stood on the steps of City Hall and howled out that the Jews or the Blacks or the Royal Family or the Reds or the Pedophiles should all be lynched, they'd soon have a mob ready to do it".- bevin@20
I doubt it. People don't respect politicians that much, and western political rhetoric is flaccid to say the least - it's "our values", the hatred bit is the work of P.R., big tech and media. Also, you'd have to pay the mob, and train them, etc. It's the same principle in American foreign policy. Expensive, and it takes years of preparation. This is the trainwreck momentum of the state department.
I hope that this is not an oblique reference by bevin to January 6. The only hope that the west possesses, in the long run, is "the plain people of America". Bevin is ensconced with the left, as are most MoA commentators, and as I once was, until the whole Trump thing happened and revealed the intractable, authoritarian and, yes, hateful nature of much leftist ideology, in its present iteration. Can we discuss the merits of populism? (And not the confected Zelensky operation to appeal to the masses).
And if there is a Ukraine after the Russian SMO, it will be a Slav nation.
Here are two relevant articles:
On the GOP:
On Zelensky:

Posted by: Australian lady | Jun 24 2022 3:55 utc | 81

Posted by: Australian lady | Jun 24 2022 3:55 utc | 81

Thanks and very much agree.

Except that you are confusing "left" as in Bevin's postings with "fake left" or manufactured left as in Democrat and every other fake social party in the west.

This happens quite a bit here, posters confusing Marxist theory with modern liberal "leftism". I can't tell if it's a mistake or a deliberate obfuscation. I mean Bevin (and others) surely has explained marxism hundreds of times and never have I seen him state its the same as the US Dems.

Anyway my leftism is not in opposition to Trump or the GOP its in opposition to Neoliberal capitalism no matter if they wear red or blue ribbons.

Also I'm not a yank so could not give two shits about fake US politics, we have our own version here. You must be an Australian lady in the US?

Posted by: K | Jun 24 2022 4:33 utc | 82

Oriental Voice | Jun 23 2022 18:17 utc | 31 -- "The West don't know themselves and don't know their enemies. According to a wise guy named Sun Tze, the West will lose the [all?] battles!"

"If even we Westerners don't know ourselves, how can our enemies ever know us? And if even we don't know our enemies, how can our enemies even know they are our enemies? Thusly do I say we are safe." -- Brandon Tze

"p/s: But if all else fails, we can send Anchorage Blinkers to speak from his favourite position of strength. No enemy can stand before him. Laughing, they dissolve into jelly." -- Brandon Tze

Posted by: kiwiklown | Jun 24 2022 10:22 utc | 83

IMHO, collective West lost time to fight Russsia because of 2 events:
- Xi in China didn't leave his position to the globalist backed counterpart. The plan i think was to strenghten China and motivate for war with Russia. Probably the same fifth collon in China released the COVID from Wuhan lab (a coordinated with West globalist move). They ailmed to kill multiple birds with 1 covid stone - disrupt things in USA and throw Trump out of presidency using corrupted beaurocracy etc, lockdowns over the world introduce universal id, blame Xi for that and overthrow from current position, create economic crysis, and establish a safe heaven in the West thus reset the dozen trillions large debt of money printed out of thin air ... you name it.
- Hillary 2016 election lost resulted in Ukraine war delay.

Russia used this time to develop retaliation weapons, and unambiguously warned that no one will be left without revenge.

What West doesn't understand about Russia is - psychological mentality of Russian people and ruling traditions dictated by geography, country's natural resources, history ... Russia needs an enemy to be alive. That's actually quite common to empire countries, which are required to keep internal entropy high to prevent from decline. It can't live, and properly develop on its own if will be left to itself.
Being ruled by oligrachy not capable of developing proper idelogy, and preventing country from demographic catastrope, this war could be a life saving treatment to start a new page from scratch and improve internal dynamics in the country. At least this is what Krelin thinks in my understanding.
of course, without strong China support Putin can loose, or burn this world in nuclear war.
Note, that after this war Russia will learn a lesson it didn't study properly in Karabakh, and develop new modern war techniques, and test new weaponry after confronted wtih West warfare tech, with x00k of experienced military, ready to fight a new war.

USA, still has a chance for "circling back" by bringing Reps or whoever they represent into the power and establish a new agreement with Russia by dividing a world into sphere of influence aka cold war style. China's move will be interesting in this case. There are few critical tech they need to acquire before applying for a world throne, and they are working like ants for that. King is dead long live king.

btw, looks like Poland is eager to write its name into the anglosaxon's useful idiots list. God save them.

Posted by: asehi | Jun 24 2022 11:20 utc | 84

Yet, what West doesn't understand - the rest of the world (poor or/and suppressed) is tired from this meme politics clown idiots spreading rainbow and hoping to establish carbon tax aka modern ways of stealing, and colonial policy, and just wait a suitable time to turn their backs.
World is too tired of corruption and needs a new leader or fair agreement.

Posted by: asehi | Jun 24 2022 11:29 utc | 85

"How much longer will the West's leaders outlast their repeated failures?"

As long as Lord Rottenchild and his band of merry Zionist banksters sit on the throne behind the throne.

Posted by: Befree | Jun 24 2022 11:54 utc | 86

Posted by: Altai | Jun 23 2022 21:56 utc | 65

Interesting analysis, many thanks.

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 24 2022 13:12 utc | 87

Idem para Irán,Cuba,Venezuela,Siria, Corea del Norte... Occidente no cambia porque no sabe hacer otra cosa.

Posted by: Frasco | Jun 24 2022 14:27 utc | 88

Idem para Irán,Cuba,Venezuela,Siria, Corea del Norte... Occidente no cambia porque no sabe hacer otra cosa.

Posted by: Frasco | Jun 24 2022 14:27 utc | 88

Si. Claro. <-- Monolingual attempt at Spanish

I think that all the time. One-trick ponies, the NatSec people. It's all they know.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 24 2022 14:35 utc | 89

Greece, where MSM really takes care about people's problems. >_<

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 24 2022 15:31 utc | 90

@ kiwiklown | Jun 24 2022 10:22 utc | 83


Posted by: james | Jun 24 2022 16:29 utc | 91

"Helmholtz Smith" appears to be a pseudonym, given that my searches for this name mostly turned up "Smith–Helmholtz invariant," an optical term. Author! Author!

Thanks for being such an excellent channel for information.

Posted by: Martin Holsinger | Jun 24 2022 18:03 utc | 92

@ Altai 65 and Scorpion 75
very good, I think many people see the truth of these observations but are afraid to say it.

Posted by: fanto | Jun 24 2022 18:09 utc | 93

@ Jams O'Donnell 2

You are doing exactly what you are claiming The West is doing... "believing your own propaganda". There are many in the west that absolutely abhor the condition of the msm, military, and gov't. The prejudice (no longer bias) in the Fourth Estate is embarrassing as it is no longer reporting factual journalism. The newly coined oxymoron for this level of reporting is opinionated journalism. "Opinionated journalism" was always and solely available on the Editorial comment/page but today it is the defining position of many news organizations. The danger you make is to make it a collective agreement for their behavior and it is anything but that. Contrarians have proven that their actions deserve more absorption with reflection instead of being derided and pejoratively called Conspiracy Theorist.

Most of us Westerners are grappling with the realization that this type of influence started after WWII in earnest and has only gotten heavier as each day passes. So, don't paint with a broad brush there are plenty of enlightened persons who are intelligently bringing the goal posts back to a universally recognized position. Target your observations to those who deserve it as that will encourage others to move forward...even a crepe has two sides and there multiple factions attempting to apply reason sprinkled with critical thinking to our World's situation. Yes, the USA Politicians and elements of the military have created it's own Chamber of Horrors while unfortunately sowing those seeds in areas where we(Americans) should only be a humble tourist and not a strong-armed self-appointed vigilantly Enforcer.

Posted by: Wolfgang Flywheel | Jun 24 2022 20:55 utc | 94

Good morning K, thanks for your response .
I am currently living in Australia on the west coast, under the McGowan Labor party regime which prides itself on its mandatory approach to vaccination. Stifling. But we do have a 15% allocation of the bounteous natural gas extracted in this state set aside for the people, the result of excellent foresight from a previous Labor premier, Alan Carpenter. That was from a time when progressive leftist politics was actually practiced.
Husband and self have spent 6months in the U.S. during Obama's presidency. We sailed there and travelled on our boat down the amazing intracoastal waterway. Loved every minute! Wonderful country, nice people. We have travelled to many countries for over 12 years, always with an abiding interest in people and politics. We identify as "leftist".
I understand the distinction you are making with Marxist theory but it is, well, theory. Very interesting to study, of course. Trotskyists would disagree, but I would regard them as a variant of global-scale Utopianism. (Straussians-neocons are the most dangerous subset. And the perversion of Gramsci's theories is so evident in neoliberalism. This is the rich source of much of Tucker Carlson's relentless mockery).
I'm glad that we are in concert re. Trump. The personage of Trump has thrown "the left"-everywhere, and in all its permutations - into utter disarray. I really like that "spanner in the works" effect, but others abhor it, and it doesn't take much before they begin to abhor you too. I've experienced this.
I seldom comment on Australian politics. It is depressingly "managerial".
The exciting days are gone.( I am old enough to have cheered and stamped at Whitlam rallies). We are 5 eyes. Locked and loaded onto U.S.-U.K. suzerainty.
It is undeniable that the political situation in the U.S. effects the whole west. The leftism of the Dems ( that is what it is now) is a complete joke. Literally. Leaderless, rudderless, ruled by committees beholden to vested interests.
I'm warming to a populist approach. Ordinary people are generally pretty decent and still retain vestiges of commonsense.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jun 25 2022 1:17 utc | 95

The West keeps banging on about the 'war' in Crimea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Russians there legally already and they just decided that it's ours now, after NATO tried to set up shop in Sevastapol? No bloodshed as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 25 2022 8:25 utc | 96

Thanks for a real insight on Russia,Mr H.Smith.Oh hey- C1ue@16-when was this event / occurance of a Russian invasion of Crimea? Recall in December 1989 the collective west told us that the USSR (Russia) invaded Afghanistan.The soviets told us it was an 'intervention'.T'was a lie back then,the USA own state department documents and then the WikiLeaks diplomatic stash put that lie to rest forever.Same today,the Russians told us there was a referendum on Crime,so whose credibility,you'd take here! Greatful to you again b, nice work,thanks.

Posted by: qassem | Jun 25 2022 15:16 utc | 97

James Dean@43,seems to,that way too many Americans,are unwares that those leaders,like VVP,Xi,Ortega,Fidel,Hugo,Ayatollahs,etc-are not only supported by "their" people's but are supported and adored by people's of other countries the world over,and many wish their countries had such leaders in charge of the own countries.Which US president/s in the last five decades has such support worldwide.Salaam.

Posted by: qassem | Jun 25 2022 15:25 utc | 98

I do not believe the elites anywhere in the world give a rat’s ass about the non-elite.

As for the conflict in Ukraine, it is all about opposing elites wanting to get control of the trillions of euros worth of natural gas and oil in eastern Ukraine.

Follow the money. Generally political corruption is about money.

Money is power.

Posted by: Eddie | Jun 26 2022 3:03 utc | 99

Of much more importance is the vast amount of fertile arable land which is being sold off by the Zelensky government. This is some of the best grain growing land in the world and, constitutionally, not for sale to foreigners.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 26 2022 3:12 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.