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June 30, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-100

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

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b on June 30, 2022 at 15:59 UTC | Permalink

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Appreciate the site. Lots of information and views one doesn't find elsewhere easily.

Posted by: jjb | Jun 30 2022 16:07 utc | 1

looking forward to more details on snake island, but i imagine very few know what's happening. scary, but i know that the russian military and command know what they're doing.

thanks for being here.

Posted by: polarbear4 | Jun 30 2022 16:32 utc | 2

Posted by: polarbear4 | Jun 30 2022 16:32 utc | 2

I think it was fairly well covered in the previous thread. I was one thinking that it would be kept under Russia's control, but, as they say, things change... I agree with the current logic for why it was let go of.

Posted by: Seer | Jun 30 2022 16:48 utc | 3

Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł: the NATO summit is to convince us that we will win the war with Russia if, or rather when, it breaks out

I am very concerned that the NATO summit in Madrid is going in the wrong direction. Instead of looking for ways to win peace, because this is the essence of the problem of the eastern flank, the summit is to convince us that we will win the future war if, or rather when, it happens - says Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł, former Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army.

First of all: NATO at the 2014 summit in Newport, by creating the Readiness Action Plan, increased the Response Force to 40,000. soldiers - including land, sea, air, space and cyber components. Now, in 2021-22 (because the Russians mobilized their forces for this war in October last year) we have a war. And what happened on NATO's eastern flank? US troops arrived, but importantly, the NATO Response Force did not arrive. And yet, if Russia's invasion of Ukraine close to our borders did not cause a reaction by the NATO Response Force, then it is necessary to ask the head of NATO whether the Alliance's crisis response procedures have been launched at all.

If the Pact triggered them, after the initiating phase (conflict detection), it would be necessary to move on to the next phase: strategic assessment by the commander of the combined NATO forces in Europe. Such an assessment should be presented by the commander at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC - NATO's most important decision-making body). After all, this assessment would be simple: Russia brought out over 150,000. soldiers and launched an invasion of Ukraine. It was therefore to be expected that the NAC would share the commander's assessment. The next step in NATO's crisis response should be to use Response Options Development. But nothing like that happened. We in Poland and the Baltic states understand the threat, but the approach of other NATO states is diametrically different.

Unfortunately, even those US troops now on the eastern flank have never been placed under NATO command. Thus, the Alliance's nerve, or command structure, has not been mobilized to coordinate the actions of the NATO Response Force, which also has not been deployed. So what if we have 40,000 in NATO? The Response Forces if they haven't moved?

And have you heard that the famous NATO Spearhead (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force - VJTF) appears in Poland or in the Baltic States? Also not. And yet it was created in 2014 - after Russia's war in the Donbas and the annexation of Crimea - and was supposed to react within 72 hours.

Since 40 thousand. did not move, it's 300,000 it won't move either. Since even the spearhead has not moved with the current state of leadership in the member states and NATO itself?

Yes. It is not a question of the number of declared forces, but of the lack of a decision. It is similar with our army - the key is not whether we have 100 or 300 thousand. soldiers, but what capabilities the military has and whether it has the ability to stop the Russian invasion. Let's forget about numbers. When humans flew with stone spears, the actual number was decisive. But not now.

You complain, and Jens Stoltenberg announces: "The NATO summit in Madrid will be groundbreaking. With a new strategic concept, we will make a fundamental change in NATO's deterrence and defense."

Before the NATO summit in Warsaw (2016), at the Pact's military committee, I asked Stoltenberg: what will be the guarantees for the eastern flank? He replied with a question: what else does Poland expect? I said straight: security and prosperity, which is what the rest of the sitting at table wants.

Just like then, I hear the same slogans today, such as "do more with less", and there are also other nice-sounding calls, but these are only political slogans calculated for a positive social perception and minimizing costs - but they do not really bring any political and military solutions.

No breakthrough in NATO, even if there is a real risk of a war with Russia?

If Stoltenberg says it will be a turning point, it is probably just for him. Because it will be the last summit with him as the head of the Pact. The summit will definitely not be a breakthrough, because - first of all - NATO does not want to take a big step forward.

What should happen for a breakthrough to become a reality?

Let's be honest: if there is to be a breakthrough, we should have 360 ​​degrees of security for the Alliance - on each of its borders. And let's also honestly answer the question: is the eastern flank safe - are Poland and the Baltic states safe? Well, we are not safe - NATO does not give us security now and the current summit in Madrid will not change that. And yet such slogans - of complete security - had already been spoken at the previous summits of the Pact in Brussels, Warsaw and Newport. It always ended up with security slogans. This time it will also be like that.

Now the tension between Russia and Lithuania is growing, because the sanctions are blocking the Kaliningrad Oblast more and more. Could this be a hotspot?

If Putin wanted to start the war further and decided to cut a corridor through the Balts to the Kaliningrad District at the Suwałki Isthmus, what forces could stop him? Could the forces of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland stop Putin? Well not. Putin will not be stopped by the Americans, who are present on the eastern flank only in small numbers. I repeat, Russia talks and counts only with strong countries and organizations. And NATO in our region is weak.

NATO is not strong on the eastern flank, but does it have enormous potential, which it does not want to transfer to our region?

NATO has military potential, but does not have the political potential to use it to build real security in our part of Europe. European leaders are not equal to the task. I don't want to criticize individual leaders, but the role of statesmen is to make difficult but necessary decisions.

These leaders do not seem to understand that the war in Ukraine has already caused hundreds of billions of euros in damage, and will still bring trillions of damage to the entire global world. It will also bring hunger and the millions of victims of hunger that Russia is blackmailing the world with. If the leaders thought seriously, they would very quickly make decisions about the forward and enhanced presence of NATO on the eastern flank, so that it could carry out specific operational tasks, which we are able to precisely define to ensure security. However, for this to be possible, a NATO division should be stationed in Poland.

After the NATO summit in Warsaw (2016), we formally created an international division in Poland - it should be linked to the chain of command and be subordinate to the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, which is a rapid reaction corps. And this corps should be subordinate to the Allied Command of NATO's Joint Forces in Brunssum, so that NATO would be responsible for the security of the eastern flank.

And what would result from this?

And the fact that the allied troops arriving on the eastern flank would be tied to the NATO chain of command. Today, after all, the battalion battle groups present in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as a result of the NATO summit in Warsaw are not even commanded by NATO, but by individual member states. Everything should be tense, but it isn't.

The Estonian prime minister says: "Estonia (in the event of an attack by Russia) would be wiped off the map of Europe and its capital razed to the ground", and NATO's strategy follows the principle of "lose and then liberate". And this is what it would be like in the event of the Russian invasion of the Baltic states?

This, unfortunately, is true.

But let's start with the basic thing: what is the definition of security? It is the freedom to choose the path of development of the country. After all, what we have today on the eastern flank - in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia - is a contradiction of security. There is no free development, there are a lot of restrictions, there is a huge pressure to increase defense spending. And if there is no security, it means that NATO is not meeting the goals set out in the Washington Treaty, so NATO is not a strategic concept today.

The gradation in the validity of the documents is clear: the Washington Treaty, NATO's strategic concept and MC400 (Military Implementation of the Alliance's Strategic Concept), i.e. the military implementation of the Alliance's strategic concept.

And in your opinion today is it fiction?

If Stoltengerg is reading correctly the Treaty and the Charter of the United Nations, to which the preamble to the Treaty refers, then he should be aware: NATO was not created to reflect NATO territory. And today it would be forced to do so, because it is not able to defend the territory of not only Estonia, but also Poland. It must be emphasized that NATO was created to defend NATO territory - to prevent the conflict from escalating and, as a result, from taking over at least part of NATO territory by the enemy.

However, there was already a lot of declarations that NATO would defend every scrap of the territory of a member state. In fact, it is impossible?

Today, NATO is actually saying that we will not give up any land to Russia. However, this is a story of fairy tales, and Putin probably laughs at it. Because what did NATO - apart from rhetoric and many Stoltenberg conferences - do about the war in Ukraine? NATO has a spearhead - did not send. NATO has a Response Force of 40,000. soldiers - they didn't move. NATO has a command system - it has not moved. And if NATO wants to increase its Response Force to 300,000 and whoever thinks it will be OK, it sounds like a joke, because 300,000 wouldn't move either.

One should also pay attention to the condition of our army, which would also have trouble moving. The operational units are stripped by the territorial defense forces, we have a shortage of officer cadres, problems with mobilization, and a broken crisis response system. We have announcements of huge purchases of weapons and the propaganda creation of a new division, but I dare to suspect that we are not able to deploy as many highly completed units as we declare for the NATO table of forces.

You paint a dramatic picture of the lack of determination and strength of NATO and the Polish army.

And the direction in which the NATO summit in Madrid is going will absolutely not ensure the security of the eastern flank. Even if there will be 300 thousand. Declared Response Forces, with 30-day supplies, ready to go to operational on the eastern flank, they will continue to be stationed where they are now stationed.

Is Poland and the Baltic states today - in a threatening situation - satisfied with the fact that somewhere in Spain or Italy there are units that are to arrive when Putin starts the war and enters our territories? After all, our waiting will be at least two weeks before the Forces take off, another two weeks before they sail or come, a week before they integrate. By then, it will be swept away, NATO will recapture the ruins and uncover the crimes of the Russians.

At the plenary session of the NATO military committee - before the summit in Warsaw - I argued to the Americans: if you want a NATO Response Force in Spain, they will sleep in their shoes and with rifles in their hands, and they will come to Poland too late anyway. I proposed: the forward presence of these troops on the eastern flanks is needed, so that the soldiers sleep in their pajamas, train and relax, but if there is a threat, they will get dressed in one day, have time to eat, get their equipment and go to the front.

It took Putin over a year to collect 150,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine - maybe this is the time to transfer NATO troops from Spain or Italy to the eastern flank?

I will answer, without violating the official secrecy. There used to be an incident in the Baltic Sea: over 30 Russian ships suddenly appeared on it. Total surprise. And yet ships at sea are not a tank that can be hidden in the forest. If more than 30 such ships went to sea and NATO knew nothing about it, will NATO be able to react quickly enough when Putin really wants to attack?

There were also the Zapad 2013 exercises. The Russians declared 12.5 soldiers, and gathered 140,000 soldiers. - the entire industrial and defense complex of Russia. Out of nowhere. What was the Alliance's response? In 2013, NATO organized exercises on the eastern flank - how many NATO soldiers exercised? 1.3 thousand soldiers from the French Rapid Reaction Corps from Lille trained in Drawsko.

So are NATO guarantees mostly on paper and little response capacity?

If anyone says that by increasing the declared number of soldiers of the NATO Response Force to 300,000 and also that we want to increase the size of our own army to 300,000, we will ensure our own safety, says nonsense. If someone says that the Polish army will be so strong that it will win the war with Russia, that is also gibberish. Well, with the same NATO forces on the eastern flank and our army, the Russians will demolish the country.

I am very concerned that the NATO summit in Madrid is going in the wrong direction. Instead of looking for ways to win peace, because this is the crux of the eastern flank problem, the summit is to convince us that we will win the future war if, or rather when, it occurs. This rhetoric ended as we see it in Ukraine.

However, it is to increase support for the eastern flank.

But it will only cement the status quo. And the status quo is that NATO has done nothing to prevent a future war between Russia and NATO on the eastern flank.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 30 2022 16:58 utc | 4

@polarbear4 #2
Snake island is only 35 km from the Ukrainian shore.
Regular artillery, MLRS, helicopter - there is a near infinite array of potential attacks on it.

It makes perfect sense to me to not bother trying to keep a Russian force on it.

The only strategic prerogative is to keep Ukrainians off of it.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 30 2022 17:00 utc | 5

Snake Island

Just yesterday, a prisoner swap 144:144 took place. Not all for all. But all Russians, I suppose. Surprisingly the Ukraine agreed to such a deal. Because the island must (IMHO) have been an undisclosed part of the deal on top of the 144. Bring the people back is much more important. And the Ukraine is obsessed with this island.

Posted by: BG13 | Jun 30 2022 17:07 utc | 6

The Snake Island copium is pathetic, and of the same order as the Ukrainians calling Azov's surrender at Azovstal an "evacuation".

Posted by: bjd | Jun 30 2022 17:11 utc | 7

Happy July morning to everyone.

Posted by: Craig | Jun 30 2022 17:12 utc | 8

I am looking for a good summary of the origin and background of the war in Ukraine to share with interested, but clueless, friends. Any suggestions (with links) will be much appreciated.

Posted by: Rob | Jun 30 2022 17:14 utc | 9

I think this article explains a lot backround of the ukraine conflict

Posted by: Kurki | Jun 30 2022 17:25 utc | 10

I love the Spanish sense of humour; "russian salad" on the menu at the nato summit. 😂

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Jun 30 2022 17:43 utc | 11

re: Snake Island
You win some, you lose some. You'll note that many of the telegrammers addressed the issue much more directly than the euphemistic statement from the RF MoD. Also, if you insist on making the comparison, Mariupol was a city of of over 400k, Snake Island had a garrison of about 15 people.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 17:44 utc | 12

Also just in case I might be unclear what you're saying - was assuming you were taking issue with the reporting of this. If not ignore what I said

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 17:45 utc | 13

Anyway, for some better news. Early reports that Zolotarivka is being taken - ie a move North of Lisichansk oil refinery. Also reports of Spirne, which is a move into the next valley, to the West, which will both protect the oil refinery / Verhnekamenka, and also will be the low-lying path parallel to the hill line in the direction of Artemovsk/Bakhmut.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 17:48 utc | 14

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Jun 30 2022 17:43 utc | 11

Ensaladilla Russa has been on the menu del dia forever ... at least since the "Spanish Civil War"

Posted by: Jimmy Flies By | Jun 30 2022 17:58 utc | 15

Is there any reliable information on what is happening in the south? There are reports that Ukraine is making progress towards Kherson and asking residents to leave. Any truth in any of this?

Posted by: Keith | Jun 30 2022 18:17 utc | 16

Loving this from Donbas Insider - The Chinese are buying Stavropol mineral water as a sign of solidarity with Russia - demand has increased 15 times

Producer of mineral water Essentuki № 4 and Essentuki № 17 "Holding Aqua" reports that the rush started this spring - more than 1 million units have been shipped to China in the last two months. The turnover is expected to increase several times more by the end of the year!


Posted by: Geraint ap Iorwerth | Jun 30 2022 18:22 utc | 17

Keith | Jun 30 2022 18:17 utc | 16

That's been going on virtually since the first day of Russia's SMO. Ukies are no doubt across the Kerch bridge by now and deep into Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2022 18:23 utc | 18

ptb | Jun 30 2022 17:48 utc | 14

I see the forces at the north (Izium) have stopped moving and the main effort put into taking all of Luhansk. Makes me think Russia has plans for Luhansk and Donetsk that will only be put into action once they are free of Ukraine forces.
Northern grouping resting up and resupplying and they make a move once Luhansk is cleared?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2022 18:30 utc | 19

Rob @9

i love this one, partly because jacques baud has worked with the un and nato and worked in ukraine when some of this started. people cannot claim bias. his facts are well cited or his personal experience. anyway,

good luck!

Posted by: polarbear4 | Jun 30 2022 18:38 utc | 20

That's been going on virtually since the first day of Russia's SMO. Ukies are no doubt across the Kerch bridge by now and deep into Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2022 18:23 utc | 18

Thanks for the sarcasm. Found some relevant info elsewhere

This would suggest it is pretty much a stalemate at the moment with no momentum for either side. Various sites seem to think there will be an attack on Kherson at some point though.

Posted by: Keith | Jun 30 2022 18:40 utc | 21

A most strange find on the "conservapedia" this site has an intersesting read on the Russian/Ukraine War ongoing since 2014. Also includes what appears to be a NATO slice and dice Appeasement map. Granting a big slice to Poland.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 30 2022 18:51 utc | 22

@19 Peter AU1

Yep that makes sense. Lugansk is going to be wrapped up soon, really it's turned out less awful than it could've been, since UA finally allowed a meaningful retreat.

Izyum leads to Slavyansk, but the pattern has been to try to have multiple directions of approach to anything "big". So my half assed guess is that RF might first like to get established on the other side of the Donets river along its length, basically all the way from Izyum to Lisichansk. And I suppose that has to be done before things get swampy again in the fall, I don't exactly know when that is. The only significant intermediate step there is Seversk, so that seems like a very easy timetable - though again with potential for really intense violence if UA chooses to make a stand there. All the commentators seem to think not.

Every time I try to make guesses about whether they take the direct or indirect route, I make a fool of myself, so I'll stop there.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 18:54 utc | 23

When is daytime in US timezone there is max number of trolls here.

Posted by: rk | Jun 30 2022 18:55 utc | 24

The Guardian has a neat headline regarding Snake Island:

“Ukraine pushes Russian forces from strategic landmass”

For UK readers:

The Isle of Wight is 384km2 in area.

Snake Island is 0.17m2.

It is a tiny islet far from anywhere.

“Strategic landmass” !

Posted by: Moaobserver | Jun 30 2022 18:59 utc | 25

Lisichansk is 50% today. A few days probably

Posted by: rk | Jun 30 2022 19:01 utc | 26

A few thoughts of mine:

"George Romero’s famous 1978 zombie flick Dawn of the Dead is a satirical depiction of capitalist consumer culture, showing hordes of zombified humans mindlessly wandering into a derelict shopping mall. NATO bloc news outlets are using the same trick as Romero did, but in reverse. Essentially, journalists are embracing the lifestyle and values that Romero was making fun of."

Posted by: Ian Kummer | Jun 30 2022 19:02 utc | 27

@14 @19 @23
Meanwhile, Rybar is reporting RF movement Westward from the oil refinery. Locations of Zolotarivka and Spirne, mentioned earlier, are shown in the map.

Rybar update --
English language map from within previous link --

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 19:05 utc | 28

👍 👍

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 19:06 utc | 29

Would have been funny if the nazis had refused to accept it/take it back :)

Skiffer made sense in a recent thread but there has got to be more to it in my opinion. Same about it being a sweetener in a prisoner exchange; it could well be true but falls short of being a full explanation because I doubt the Russians had to give it away no matter any of that or anything else.

Of course the nazi interest in the island is equally inexplicable from my point of view.

It doesn't even have any snakes... :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 30 2022 19:07 utc | 30

Moaobserver 25

But aljazeera says this:

“On June 30, as a gesture of goodwill, the Russian armed forces completed their tasks on Snake Island and withdrew a garrison stationed there,” the ministry said, in an announcement that came after Ukraine stepped up its attacks on the outpost.

The ministry’s statement added that the withdrawal was aimed at demonstrating the world that “Russia is not impeding UN efforts to organise a humanitarian corridor to ship agricultural products from Ukraine”.

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Jun 30 2022 19:12 utc | 31

A random pro-ukr twitter account has this from a couple of days ago:

Seems that HIMARS and other long range Western systems are hitting large RU munition dumps very far behind front lines?

According to some here I seem to remember a lot of talk about how the RuAF etc would obliterate all these Western weapons within a week.

I’ve said it before - against NATO intel and without ability to SEAD or to have proper recon the Russians will be stymied.

Posted by: Moaobserver | Jun 30 2022 19:27 utc | 32

It is of course entirely possible that Snake Island is a honeytrap. 404 swarms back, kaboom.... Wash, rinse, repeat...

Posted by: Waymad | Jun 30 2022 19:31 utc | 33

I’ve said it before - against NATO intel and without ability to SEAD or to have proper recon the Russians will be stymied.

Posted by: Moaobserver | Jun 30 2022 19:27 utc | 32
Russia has its own satellites. With the so-called NATO intelligence, Russia had taken more than 25% of the Ukraine. Himars would be crushed too.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 30 2022 19:32 utc | 34

They only removed troops. Didn't say won't kill visitors. Nazis are afraid to move on that rock

"We have to monitor their behavior (Russian Armed Forces - ed.) in terms of grouping ships and using other forces. It's too early for us to form an outpost on Zmeiny Island," Gumenyuk said

Posted by: rk | Jun 30 2022 19:33 utc | 35

Lisichansk oil refinery video clip

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 19:36 utc | 36


The best reference for the average person to understand the situation in Ukraine is professor John Mearsheimer. He is of the "Realist" school of international affairs.

Several videos out there on YouTube. Here is an older one that is pretty good.

Why is Ukraine the West's Fault? Featuring John Mearsheimer (September, 2015)

Posted by: Joe | Jun 30 2022 19:48 utc | 37

@32 re: SEAD (assuming UA gets gifted upgraded anti-air hardware, and people, at scale)

That's an issue near the border of NATO countries, when there is a chance to operate most of the integraded anti-air system from within NATO borders. So basically Odessa oblast', as far as this conflict is concerned. Everywhere else, it's a VIP skip-the-line ticket to the top spot on the target list.

Besides that, the systems are great vs drones and planes, but not against the rockets and guided-missiles that have been doing the damage.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 20:04 utc | 38

Turkey got all its demands delivered from NATO in order for US to get FI/SWE into NATO. Turkey got its f-16 parts, weapons deliveries and service deal back on track (despite buying Russian AA missiles), Turkish f-35 program is continued, free hands to handle Kurds/ysteal their oil together with US as they please, etc. People of FI/SWE lost whatever was left from their sovereignty. What is the funniest is that whoever ever applied political asylym in FI/SWE can never ever trust onto their status meaning anything ever again (which is against the constitution of both countries).

All previous weeks, MofA forum has cheered up how evil and idiot people of FI/SWE want to join but will never get into NATO, how Erdogan is making that impossible etc.

If one was trying to explain that actually people of Finland or Sweden where never allowed a referendum about their NATO membership, no one here could not care the less. Even that NATO rules say that referendum is required to join, here on this forum, nobody paid attention, as it was so much more fun to blame stupid and evil Nordic people. Theme was to blame FI/SWE of how stupid, evil and part of US Empire the people living there were, totally everyone just being nazis hating Russia all day and night. The theme of discussion was just all about how stupid FI/SWE morons are because they are willing to join NATO, and Erdogan being smart Russian ally, blocking it all. No one even cared the fact that Turkey actually already was part of NATO whereas stupid nazi Russia hating FI/SWE were just about applying to become part of it. Turkey was good because you claim they are Russian ally.

US and Russia are making all the money out of this Ukraine/NATO enlargement play (yes, you can ask me to specify, or to shut up, if you play dumb, but that would just prove that you are trying to kill open discussion). Europe, especially FI/SWE people are getting poorer every day, having no tools to change what is happening for them. Turkey is getting everything it wants out of the deal, so is US, NATO and Russia.

Do you seriously want to keep this one-sided talk going on and totally ignore the fact that European people have no say (like no Ukrainians had) about anything that you here blame them, and this game is played only to put Europe down?

If you follow the money, Russia and US are together in the game to put Europe down. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 2022 is ongoing.

If you sideline this post, character assassinate me, troll-blame or ask me to shut up, it just proves that this is not a real bar with bar flies but dark alley of CCP paid trolls playing german person on a first letter name basis? Lets take shots and get on this?

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 20:10 utc | 39

Re Snake Island,
Russia got tired of killing Keeeev's bomber pilots one at a time and has opted for the opportunity to kill whatever garrison Keeev sticks out there.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jun 30 2022 20:12 utc | 40

Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł: "the war in Ukraine has already caused hundreds of billions of euros in damage, and will still bring trillions of damage to the entire global world. It will also bring hunger and the millions of victims of hunger that Russia is blackmailing the world with."

This is an excellent exposure to Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł's dishonesty. He knows well that the sanctions against Russia are illegal; that the sanctions have caused hundreds of billions of euros in damage in the EU and endangered the lives of millions of people by disrupting the world trade -- which can lead to men-made hunger.

The exposure of Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł's dishonesty also cues why NATO is perceived as having no moral fiber left, and why there is no enthusiasm among Europeans for a fight against Russia. NATO showed itself once and again as an aggressor that is never shy to commit war crimes in the name of the Financial Squid and MIC. What decent people can trust NATO's war profiteers? NATO is in want of honorable and intelligent men and women. Gen. Mieczysław Gocuł belongs to a different cohort. Time to dissolve this gangster organization.

Posted by: Cerena | Jun 30 2022 20:17 utc | 41

Snake Island cannot be held effectively by Russia without control of the coastal areas. Ukraine cannot hold it without air domination - which they lack. It is important for many reasons - think about how upset the US got over China's development of those coral atolls in the South China Sea. Claim on territory means a great deal. Russia can take it back when they take Odessa - assuming they do. In the meantime any assets Ukraine moves there are just as vulnerable as the Russian presence was.

Here is the Indian Punchline article on the matter:

Posted by: the pessimist | Jun 30 2022 20:23 utc | 42

WSJ/NORC Ukraine Poll June 2022 ==>

Study Methodology This survey, funded by the Wall Street Journal, was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago. Staff from NORC at the University of Chicago and the Wall Street Journal collaborated on all aspects of the study. Data were collected in Ukraine by the local agency Info Sapiens using a random sample of 1,005 Ukrainians aged 18 and older who own a mobile phone number with one of Ukraine’s mobile service providers. Mobile numbers in Ukraine have ten digits. The first three digits are the mobile provider code. The last seven digits of the mobile number were generated randomly. Hence, the sample frame covered Ukrainian mobile numbers from the areas of the country under Ukrainian control prior to February 24th, and excluded Crimea and the separatist-controlled parts of Donbas where Ukrainian mobile providers are not used. Consequently, this nationwide sample frame ...

Posted by: too scents | Jun 30 2022 20:27 utc | 43

Turkey said today they still won't vote until sweden/finland do everything they request.
Also, no one sees Erdo as Russia's ally. He's more of a business man but crazy. Bayraktar is a family business too. Not going well after they were proven useless in Ukr, just like country's economy

But you are right, EU is going down in the most funny way. They do it themselves and people voted for these puppets that destroy them

Posted by: rk | Jun 30 2022 20:31 utc | 44

re: snake island

why you people won't accept the reason of Russia for giving it back? if, God forbid, in 6 months time millions of poor people would die of hunger due to the impossibility of grain exports from ukraine, would Russia want that blemish on herself?

Posted by: albagen | Jun 30 2022 20:32 utc | 45

After the Spanish Civil War, there was officially a russophobie near pathological. Someone proposed that the famous "ensaladilla rusa" name must be changed to "ensaladilla imperial". Nostalgic fascist dreams of empire and past glories. Were times of collaboration with III Reich and fascist Italy. Anything from Russia was bad and satanic. But russian classic literature or music never was prohibited.
Of course, few years later war, people in a restaurant was asking for "ensaladilla rusa".

Posted by: AM | Jun 30 2022 20:37 utc | 46

Ukr potential exports are small, few million. Russia's exports are many times bigger but sanctions prevent people that need it to receive it. Putin spoke about it again today, he gave full numbers

Us/eu want to hide the real cause of problems: sanctions

Posted by: rk | Jun 30 2022 20:39 utc | 47

There was a published story about getting the AA equipment onto snake island. It’s not easy. So holding it comes at great cost. It’s not really a necessity to man it. But the MoD statement is face saving. Or possibly an actual part of an attempt to get the Ukrainians to shut up about starving the world because the world depends on a few million tons of Ukrainian grain. Never mind that they derailed half a train loaded with grain yesterday. Probably face saving.

Fighting 1:1 as the attacker has costs. Losing the air defenses on snake island does create some risk for Sevastopol. It probably needs to be paired with massive barrages against the Odessa coast for at least a week.

Posted by: Lex | Jun 30 2022 20:41 utc | 48

By moving out of the Snake Island, the Russians took away the West's claim of the wheat blockade, but also put the Ukraine in trouble, as the ships cannot get out of Odessa without demining the port and most part of Odessa sea line. As no war ships of any kind will be allowed around Odessa, once the place gets demined, Odessa is open for invasion. Well, you can't eat the cake and have it.

Posted by: ostro | Jun 30 2022 20:42 utc | 49

Pulling back from Snake Island was a very smart move by Russia. They can just vaporise any Ukie troops that land there, but now have the advantage of letting Ukies shoot themselves in both feet over their whingeing that Russia was not letting any ships out of Odessa. It's also amusing (to me at least) that Ukr attempted to re-take it a couple of times in completely useless raids and lost most of their troops and equipment in doing so, then Russia goes "It's yours!" Kinda like saying "Up yours!"

Posted by: Ivanski | Jun 30 2022 20:53 utc | 50

Calm down, Tigger@39. And listen to what reasonable peolle are saying.
It was here that I learned, first that both the Finnish and Swedish governments- citing the sacred nature of representative democracy- were refusing to hold referenda in which their people would have a chance to discuss the implications of joining NATO and giving up neutrality. And then of deciding for themselves.
In recent years, from Ireland to France, to the Netherlands and I believe Denmark, plus the UK, holding referenda has proved to be a very dicey gamble for the governments of states. No doubt the Finnish and Swedish rulers were warned not to let the people decide, much better to surf through on the propaganda of Russia is dangerous, we must act quickly to protect ourselves from their tanks.
I suspect that you saw that, tigger. And so did most of this forum.
As to the tendency ".. to blame FI/SWE of how stupid, evil and part of US Empire the people living there were, totally everyone just being nazis hating Russia all day and night.." it was certainly pointed out that in both countries, as in most European countries, the Nazis had received great support from the ruling class and industry, in the 30s and during the war until Stalingrad opened eyes up.
But nobody blames the Finns or Swedes themselves for anything more than tolerating rulers who ought to be exiled to Devils Island. And we are all at least equally guilty of that.
You are wrong to worry about your views not being read or considered and this blog is famous for not censoring political views critical of those held by either the blogger b or anyone else.
As to trolling: those who act like trolls, for example, in vituperative language and provocations, are justifiably identified as such.
My advice: drop the paranoid suspicions and add your views to those of the rest here. In the end we will all benefit from any honest and sincere exchange.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 30 2022 20:59 utc | 51

Putin said:

“Nothing has changed, of course. I talked about it in the early morning on February 24. I talked about it directly and publicly for the entire country and the world to hear. I have nothing to add. Nothing has changed… I trust professionals. They are doing what they consider necessary to attain the overall goal. I have formulated the overall goal, which is to liberate Donbass, protect its people and create conditions that will guarantee the security of Russia itself. That is all. We are working calmly and steadily. As you can see, our forces are moving forward and attaining the objectives that have been set for the particular period of the engagement. We are proceeding according to plan.

“We are not speaking about any deadlines. I never speak about them, because this is life, this is reality. It would be wrong to make things fit any framework, because, as I have already said, the issue concerns combat intensity, which is directly connected with possible losses. And we must think above all about saving our guys’ lives.”

Catchline “create conditions that will guarantee the security of Russia itself.”

Posted by: ostro | Jun 30 2022 21:03 utc | 52

“This is the real world, muchachos, and you are in it.” – B. Traven

"Treasure of the Sierra Madre", I think it was, but could be wrong.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jun 30 2022 21:10 utc | 53

@Moaobserver #32
May be true, but even if it is: it isn't stopped squat.
Donbas cauldron cleanup has been faster than anyone imagined.
Severodonetsk taken, Lisichansk within days, if not hours of falling.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 30 2022 21:18 utc | 54

Regarding the 144:144 prisoners swap:
Psalm 144: "Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight..."
12*12=144, both numbers are often found in the bible and elsewhere, 12 apostles, 12 hours on the clock, 12 months, etc. lots of it already found in ancient Sumer.
While we're at at, take Gizeh's main pyramid: Double side divided by heigth equals pi. woot

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 30 2022 21:25 utc | 55

Game Changer?

Posted by: liveload | Jun 30 2022 21:36 utc | 56

Bevin @59

Well. Nice touch. Your opening sentence asking me to calm down, then talking about others as reasonable people (like I am not part of them). Pampering me adult-orientated, guiding like a naughty little one. Classic party-book style to kill argument without discussing anything related to the argument.

Next you write about my words as they were yours, finally adding nonsense about nazis and 30s to the mix which has nothing to do what I had written. That Nordics / nazi narrative is so funny that anyone know you never even visited any of those countries to claim such a nonsense. Maybe you should study who were parties in Molotov-Ribbentrop pact? Oh, that was USSR and Nazi Germany.

Its so funny that out of all bar flies, it is you again immediately getting to nullify my opening of discussion on new topic that does not fly parallel to the hosannah sung here? Is that your task on this theatre? You are talking about my paranoid suspicions, while once again killing my well founded argument by attacking my character, then using rest of your post to push your narrative that has nothing to do with the matter that I posted. Classic.

I made legitimate question of how it is correct that the tone on this discussion board for weeks was to laugh on FI/SWE on their application to join NATO while cheering up Turkey. Now Turkey got free hands to play in Syria and steal Kurds oil together with Americans. While Russia is watching. For that you failed to discuss entirely.

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 21:43 utc | 57

Next step: take the first 144 positions after decimal point of pi and take the sum of digits: Result = 666.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 30 2022 21:43 utc | 58

Sorry, my previous post @57 was aimed for bevin @51. Sorry for typo of aiming it for @59.

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 21:47 utc | 59

Exchanges POWs & retreat from Snake Island
Interesting timing.
Something smells fishy here......

Posted by: Chessmaster | Jun 30 2022 21:48 utc | 60


As a native FIN I don`t know anyone who supported joining NATO, there has always been general discussion ongoing with so called "nato-option" which actually do not mean anything else than to keep the discussion open and be able to buy new toys for our military.

But you have to understand that we as country have lived beside Russia peacefully after the WWII, trade with CCCP literally made our welfare state at 1970-80s after our industries paid the war compensation we traded huge amounts of goods with them and got cheap steel and energy in return, and when the CCCP fell in the early 1990s the effects were devastating to our economy. We picked up quite well in few years as we still had our own currency to de-valuate and push our imports.

Politicians were careful not to announce their opinion about NATO as it was largely regarded to be needed an nation wide vote, to have the peoples mandate.
Before february I think about 30% of the nation supported joining, in march there were increase to 40-50 % and now in last couple of months there has been a huge propaganda campaign drumming NATO on MSN, displaying polls with overwhelming support for joining consisting literally just about 1000 telephone interviews presenting the peoples mandate. Morning talk shows had interviews with pro-NATO youth student groups discussing should we have nato bases or even nuclear weapons stationed here, there were no real discussion presented about should we even join. About a last decade our whole MSN has been incorporated for few foreign companies and we do not have independent media anymore.

Regarding our parliament, last few elections has destroyed our democracy, as before our members were elected to represented people, now they just promise anything during elections and vote on how leading parties opinion, there is no consensus anymore. There is scandals every month and ministers resign or like they like to tell "rotate" them, there is blatant corruption. Well educated or career politicians do not even try run anymore because how crazy is has become, and as our elections system is, the parties decide who even are admitted to elections, you can run by your self but it is nearly impossible to be elected because of the proportional representation. It all culminated few weeks ago as Zelensky was invited to speak at our parliament via video, members were handed out cue cards when to stand up and clap, one member leaked the card to the press and was banned from the event, which was unconstitutional to block his access. Not before has ever been foreign country´s head ever been allowed to speak at our parliament. These members voted to join nato, not the people of Finland.

But regarding the current issue with Erdogan, I think there were some kind of contract agreed on FIN/SWE to amend their laws to be able to deport kurdi refugees back to Turkey, which immediately was denied by our president and swedish prime minister, they presented that it was kind of an suggestion but for Erdogan it was contract, that`s why I think He will demand it to be fulfilled or they dont ratify. It´s quite tricky situation as our laws do not allow people to be extradited to a country where they might face death penalty. We currently have around 15k kurdistan refugees which many of the are native finns now, and there is a kurdistan member on Swedish parliament with as swing vote. Don´t know how this will play out but the whole thing has been a mind bobbling farce and it seems we will have our own terrorist attacks here pretty soon...

Sorry for the bad english but wanted to give a opnion how all this NATO bullshit has happened here.

Posted by: Kurki | Jun 30 2022 21:48 utc | 61

Martyanov on Snake Island...

1. Snake Island: purely political decision to remove Ukie "argument" about grain "blockade". Now Ukies started to de-mine approaches to Odessa and it will be very difficult for them to use the silly argument of Snake Island as an excuse. Militarily, VSU will not be able to place there anything because it will be immediately annihilated. The distance between Snake Island and Sevastopol is 260 kilometers--peanuts for P-800 Onix or any of the Kalibrs. VSU knows it and already stated that they have no intent to place anything there. They can't, even if they wanted to. I will omit here purely operational issue of Snake Island affair, which weakened the Odessa grouping of VSU dramatically.

Which is correct. Russia simply decided the cost of maintaining a force there under constant attack from artillery, UAVs and missiles was simply not worth the effort when the island can be controlled remotely. In other words, potential or actual loss of Russian life was not worth it. Apparently the Ukrainians have decided that, too. They got their PR "win" and little else.

Of course, some here enjoy every "PR win" against Russia. You know who they are.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 30 2022 21:49 utc | 62

#Trigger 39.
This announcement of the acceptance of Finland and Sweden into NATO is certainly a bit of a headline, but is it not dependent on several conditionalities.
Like many other countries, Finland and Sweden both have their constitutions which require the approval of the citizens to change.
While their respective governments may wish to fast track the process, they may find many obstacles to their progress within their own constitutional and judicial systems.
Similarly with the condition that they will hand over asylum seekers to Turkey.
The procedural nightmare that other NATO countries face, like the US, Britain and France, in trying to expel or repatriate failed asylum seekers or merely unwanted visitors is legendary with the appeals process available, just look how long it took for Assange.
I would imagine the same is true of Finland and Sweden given how virtuous they proclaim their Liberal and democratic credentials to be.
Even if these handicaps were to be overcome, who's to say that Turkey will hold up it's side of the deal, especially if Erdoğan falls from power.
Could be a long journey yet.

Posted by: Orchard1 | Jun 30 2022 21:53 utc | 63

"Losing the air defenses on snake island does create some risk for Sevastopol."

No it doesnt. That is way off base. That is not how air defenses work.

Posted by: nook | Jun 30 2022 21:58 utc | 64

I pretty much agree with the replies and other comments regarding Snake Island, some of it is for certain and some of it could be true but despite it I'm still a bit puzzled.

For example the threat of sea mines in the area is unlikely to be removed any time soon and if they have to or feel like it and are able to then I'm sure the nazis will gladly "help" any outgoing marine grain deliveries explode in order to blame Russia..

Russia without doubt knows this.

For sure it could be that it simply wasn't worth any effort at all to keep it any longer, even if the effort might not have been especially large.

Anyway I'm not particularly worried about this; the Russian are the ones in charge and decided to do this for whatever reason, I'm just trying to understand it —and failing! My failure is not unusual and not necessarily meaningful :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jun 30 2022 22:05 utc | 65

Keep on taking the pills.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 30 2022 22:06 utc | 66

@45 albagen

Speaking for myself, it's because the UA argument, claiming they are unable to ship grain exports, is itself false. And so this "goodwill gesture" accepts this BS argument, validating it, and then proceeds to back down from that already inferior rhetorical position - Which there was never a need to take. Whereas nobody would have trouble understanding the logic that it's expensive to defend an tiny exposed island just 45km from both Ukrainian and Romanian land.

Posted by: ptb | Jun 30 2022 22:12 utc | 67

One of the most curious features in the propaganda surrounding the SMO is how insignificant issues are exploded into existential angst. Nothing illustrates this more than that miserable 50 acre rock. It's real military value is negligible. Yet the ukies have wasted lives and equipment they cant afford in launching futile attacks against it, all because of the butt hurt they suffered at the beginning of the operation. Remember the F you and the claim all the troops there were killed...but it was a lie (as usual for ukies). They would rather have eyes off the humiliating defeat at Mariupol and the meat grinder farther north, I get it. What I dont get is how anyone who understands what Russia is doing would fall for the propaganda uses ukraine has made of this place.

Posted by: nook | Jun 30 2022 22:13 utc | 68

Kurki @61

Thanks for your reply to my post. As native FIN there is nothing new to me on your post but its great that you wrote it as it might give some additional insight for other on this thread.

I would like to note that the classic political media statement in Finland, which especially President Niinistö is well know for is to reach agreements, whether with EU or NATO and then talk their importance down on media. The same happened with the Host Nation Support Agreement that was signed between NATO and Finland. Its more serious agreement than actually the membership agreement is, but it was explained to common people in media as nothing serious.

Here one can read the content of trilateral memorandum signed between Turkey, Sweden and Finland:
(Article in finnish, but scroll down to see photos of original english documents)

Memorandums as diplomatic docs are not considered straight-out agreement, which is true. However, the intentions expressed on the memorandums cannot be left without consideration by each respective ministries whose governance any subject matter on the memorandum belongs to. The memorandum clearly states that Turkey and FIN/SWE will act up on the security matters in the context of NATO. NATO operations are no lomger guided by the Finnish law as the operative matters of NATO de facto walk over the local laws. The scary part here is that if Turkey asks FI/SWE as host nation to support Turkey's "antiterrorism" operations on Finnish soil, in order to extradite persons under aforesaid reasons, that will happen, and there is no court hearings or any publicity on the matter.

My earlier post was not only about Turkey gaining this Kurd matter in terms of FI/SWE but it also received free hands to act in Kurd areas, as well as received many other victories like f-16 service and rearmament programs, f-35 program, Greek islands question, refugee matter with EU, etc. FI/SWE NATO membership question ruled huge lever to Turkey.

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 22:20 utc | 69

Rob@9: If you type "WSWS" into your browser you will get the World Socialist Web Site. They have a four part summary of the history of the Ukraine conflict, very specific. Just scroll down until you find it.

Posted by: Oakland Pete | Jun 30 2022 22:20 utc | 70

"If one was trying to explain that actually people of Finland or Sweden where never allowed a referendum about their NATO membership, no one here could not care the less. Even that NATO rules say that referendum is required to join, here on this forum, nobody paid attention, as it was so much more fun to blame stupid and evil Nordic people."

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 21:43 utc | 57

...the hell you raving about?

IIRC It's been repeatedly commented here in the past that Finland and Sweden were going to fast-track NATO integration and confirm themselves as captive regimes.

You're late to the party! 🥳

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 30 2022 22:23 utc | 71

This article, and seemingly most of you, have simply mocked NATO and some of its clownish spokespersons. Let us not make the mistake of underestimating evil and the strength of their hubris and ambition. Stolenberg may definitely be stupid, but he is not the one calling the shots. He is simply the front, and they don't need a thinking type for mouthing nonsense. The war planning and execution details are and will be controlled elsewhere, and I wouldn't casually write-off the military and economic might of the collective West. Worry and dark forebodings are to my mind more appropriate emotions at this juncture in human history. So what can happen if the collective West with newly added Sweden and Finland decide to attack Russia? Can a country of 140 million fight a gang of 700 million? Russia has long, long borders and too few men to guard it. Russia's industrial capacity is much smaller than the collective capacity of the West. What then? Will they cave-in or go nuclear? It is not a happy outcome either way.

Ignore fools like Stolenberg and Liz Truss. Ignore clowns like BoJo and Zelensky. The oafish German Chancellor (God did give him a fool's face) counts for nothing. Decisions are made elsewhere, and they are not all fools. If we grant ordinary intelligence and competence (and we should to avoid unpleasant surprises) to the military authorities of the West, Russia is up against huge odds and may have no options left other than the nuclear one. And there lies the huge risk to all of mankind.

Posted by: worried guest | Jun 30 2022 22:26 utc | 72

@ worried guest | Jun 30 2022 22:26 utc | 72
Ignore fools like Stolenberg and Liz Truss. Ignore clowns. . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 30 2022 22:42 utc | 73

I am drunk, so I will not write anything I have not already tweeted.)

Re: Finland

Kurki @61 & Tigger @69

Russians With Attitude asks on Twitter:

I still don't understand what Sweden & Finland get out of the whole NATO thing except being put on the WW3 nuke map. Does it come with free weapons or military-industrial investments or something? What am I missing?
Show more replies

Since I don't believe that literally everyone involved in these decisions has a medical condition limiting their cognitive functions, I assume that there must be *some* practical dimension to this. Do NATO bases boost the host economy somehow? Do NATO troops pay rent?

My response:

1) Finland is not an independent political actor. Power was grabbed by a "NATO Occupation Regime" consisting of @TKomitea (KGB) & @HybridCoE.
2) Desire to protect Baltic States in inevitable #Kaliningrad crisis.
3) Russophobia, #StandWithUkraineNOW! 🇺🇦

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 30 2022 22:42 utc | 74

Orchard1 @63

Thanks for your reply!

I discussed some of your remarks on my reply to Kurki @69.

On your note about Erdogan, I think that this FI/SWE/Turkey deal/memorandum was mostly just a nice media victory for Erdogan. I believe that the true importance on Erdogan's lever in regards to FI/SWE membership was that it allowed Erdogan to lay claims toward US on the matters that US was not agreeing with Turkey. For US, the FI/SWE NATO membership is so important that Erdogan will get his way. These demands were not on tabloids of course but they were the most important matters to Turkey.

1. US and Turkey have had disagreement over the Kurd areas, which Erdogan most probablly pocketed now, allowing free hands for Turkey in Kurd areas
2. US stopped delivering f-35 program after Turkey buying AA missiles from Russia. There is rumours that the program will now continue
3. US also had stopped f-16 parts, weapons and service, which now will continue
4. US did not support Turkeys views on the Greek/Turkish island dispute, its been told that the matter was on the table now in relation to FI/SWE membership

I truly wish that Erdogan, Croatia or Hungary still vetoes FI/SWE membership. There is even the chance that SWE was never truly going to join, but just played along to get Finland to join into NATO, SWE dropping out last minute by some excuse. FIN only recently informed that it wont join unless SWE joins. It could be that this was to close the gate from such play by SWE.

Anything that stops FIN NATO membership goes for me, as long as it wont happen. I still have a bit of hope left, but I would not bet on it.

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 22:53 utc | 75

@63 Good thinking. Some of those Kurds slated for extradition are well integrated into society in Sweden and Finland. Some even hold government positions. It will not be easy to get them out. It will depend on how much Turkey insists on getting them back and into Turkish prisons.

Posted by: dh | Jun 30 2022 23:11 utc | 76

Arganthonios @71

Actually, I was partying about my sentence that you left out from your quote :)

"The theme of discussion was just all about how stupid FI/SWE morons are because they are willing to join NATO, and Erdogan being smart Russian ally, blocking it all."

Since only yesterday it seems that Erdogan did not block anything but maybe took NATO closer to its expansion, I thought it was relevant to bring up here. Probably I was still late :)

Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 23:15 utc | 77

Those numbers are irrelevant and your assessment is wrong.

There maybe 100 intelligent people in a room but if the chief decides to take the advice from the fool its useless. In the current situation you have maybe a handfull of competent people in a room. All the others are there because they are gay, trans, party-affiliated, rich offspring, protegees of some oligarch or interest or whatever. If the french had listened to de gaulle in ww2 it would have been a different story. Or look at the incompetency the austrian aristocrat generals managed to achieve in ww1.

The matter of 700 million people vs 140 million. How many of those 700 million people are willing or ready or in any regards capable of fighting in a war?
Do you think portuguese people would happily join in to defend lithuania?

How much industrial power does the west really have? How much steel is produced in all of Europe? Espescially without german and italien factories. The US is an industrial waste land. In the meantime i have come to the conclussion that all of our economical power is a fata morgana. Its nothing. Do you sometimes wonder how in every town the russians capture in donbas there is a foctory for real stuff? Where is it in europe? How many of the famous german car industries cars are built in germany? Where will the tanks come from? Where the ammunition?

I dont see anything that could stop russia from roll over eastern and central europe once they take their gloves off. In such a scenarion of total escalation they would bomb cities into craters before sending men in. Other than in ukraine i dont see anybody in germany or france fighting for their "fatherland" which they have been tought to dismiss. Those who still believe in their nation would welcome russians since their own governments treat them like enemies of the state. What are europeans gonna fight for? The EU? Democracy? Freedom? Macron? Tell me what for? Who is gonna fight? Look around you, look at the 20y old boys and tell me that they are gonna fight a real war, against a real army with a 20 or 50 or 80% chance of dying? A ukrainian flag on twitter. Thats their war.

In an escalation like that and a russian army of a million or so men with more than sufficiant tanks, artillery etc.

This whole idea is rubbish in my view.

Posted by: Orgel | Jun 30 2022 23:21 utc | 78

Now Turkey got free hands to play in Syria and steal Kurds oil together with Americans. While Russia is watching. For that you failed to discuss entirely.
Posted by: Tigger | Jun 30 2022 21:43 utc | 57

Steal Kurds oil?? They move into Syria in the early 1900's and are now accomplices in the US theft of Syrian oil and grain. After giving Afrin to Turkey. Nobody will bother too much if Turkey cleans them up.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 30 2022 23:24 utc | 79

worried guest #72

Oh yes, nato are all fools.

Scott Ritter explains here. Ten minutes utoob.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 30 2022 23:34 utc | 80

Posted by: Kurki | Jun 30 2022 21:48 utc | 61

Thanks very much, Kurki. Welcome! You have a beautiful country.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 30 2022 23:41 utc | 81

Very important

According to the MoD of Russia, the RF forces will vacate Snake Island.

This is a grave mistake:

Ukraine will land on it and cede it to the UK who will receive it, occupy it
and gain a foothold in the Black Sea with all nasty consequences for the RF.

Posted by: CarlD | Jun 30 2022 23:41 utc | 82

I wrote and published this editorial on 19 January 2022, "Completely Outplayed by Russia's Diplomacy and Sabotaged by its Own Actions, The Outlaw US Empire is Now Having a Temper Tantrum". It's now about 5.5 months later and very little has changed except I would add Russia's military to its diplomacy in the title. The basic situation remains as it was when Russia issued its security proposals. I wrote the following as a comment on the previous thread that shows an exit, although it's not the one sought by the Outlaw US Empire:

It's very difficult for nations under high fiscal duress to properly equip a military when there's no ready existential threat visible. NATO nations when adhering to the several OSCE Security Treaties had nothing to fear, but they broke the treaties at the behest of the Outlaw US Empire and now face the consequences of their actions. Essentially, the situation remains the same as it was in December for those nations. The easy solution is for them to leave NATO and resign the treaties they broke; and Russia will say thank you and sign a reciprocal treaty. The Big Problem is too many have swallowed all the Lies and essentially have undying faith in what is actually a False God, or the Devil if you like. And that means it's up to the masses to exorcize then oust them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2022 23:43 utc | 83

CarlD @82--

IMO, your fears are unfounded. Evacuating the island doesn't mean ceding it. Here's the pertinent article. It's all about calling the food crisis bluff.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2022 23:50 utc | 84

Tigger #75

Anything that stops FIN NATO membership goes for me, as long as it wont happen. I still have a bit of hope left, but I would not bet on it.

Thank you for your thoughts. Can I add that Russia and the liberation forces of Donetsk and Lugansk have demonstrated that NATO forces and the nazi allies in Ukraine are not really a threat - more likely a target in a turkey shoot. What is a threat is when NATO lapdogs like Finland and Sweden install missile attack batteries on their land.

Clearly NATO is a defeated ground army. Today. It and its allied nazi home team in Ukraine are losing continuously and have immense difficulty with resupply. The mop up will continue for some time but expect it to be unrelenting.

The Russian treaty proposals are intended to achieve mutual / indivisible security so a missile treaty or moratorium is vital to that goal. Even if every western European nation were a member of NATO that would not threaten the capacity of Russia to defend its nation and a predatory attack from the west. Ideally that total NATO membership should never happen but Russia is threatened more by nuclear missile proliferation in close proximity to its borders and that is what NATO does everywhere it goes.

NATO has rejected Russia's proposals to denuclearise and remove missile capability as a means to extinguish threats and vitalise open trade and commerce capacity of the west with Russia. So the war will drag on until the Westies knock some sense into the heads of the attack dogs.

Soon Lithuania will be displayed as another exemplar of how Russia deals with village idiots that consume UK coolaid and then menace their populace. See my Ritter link earlier if in doubt.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 30 2022 23:53 utc | 85

Kurki | Jun 30 2022 21:48 utc | 61

Most unfortunate...Sounds quite like how it's done in the U.S.

Posted by: donten | Jul 1 2022 0:26 utc | 86

CarlD #82

Re snake island:

Ukraine will land on it and cede it to the UK who will receive it, occupy it
and gain a foothold in the Black Sea with all nasty consequences for the RF.

I very much doubt any UK or French navy vessel will get anywhere near the island.

Its a good move. Lets see Ukraine demine the Odessa approaches and harbour and export all that wheat. I doubt that will happen. If it does demine the approaches and harbour do the Ukes have sufficient store of mines to reinstall after the export operation? I don't think so. But if Russia is swift they could simply charge in immediately and voila! problem solved - wheat exports continue.

What could NATO do? mine the harbour to prevent wheat exports?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 1 2022 0:41 utc | 87

Alex and Alexander kick the Lithuanian rat around the room for a few minutes. The EU is getting a taste of eating its own sh!t.

Is the level of lead in the european drinking water unsafe for humans?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 1 2022 1:05 utc | 88

Snake Island

Posted by: BG13 | Jun 30 2022 17:07 utc | 6

This was part of a deal to ship this years 25 Million tonnes of couuntry 404 wheat yet to be harvested. From 'Odessa' yet to be demined by the neo-nazi's. Given the complete loss of the Kherson region contribution. The claimed target harvest figure is very questionable....

A cynic would say . Given the sheer volume of past fantasy fiction and propaganda issued by Country 404 . That which is too good to be true. Usually is !

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jul 1 2022 1:21 utc | 89

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 1 2022 0:41 utc | 87

Agree. Also Iran seems to be getting involved in this space. Unsafe for all western powers who want to encourage food insecurity.

Posted by: financial matters | Jul 1 2022 1:22 utc | 90

Biden, misunderestimated and misunderstood, has a nice technique of launching memes to be promptly denied by his staff and implemented "in the fullness of time". Most recently (unless video on YouTube was doctor), he launched an extremely cunning reduction of expectations: "We will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes to prevent it from being defeated by Ukraine".

Surely easier that to prevent Ukraine from being defeated by Russia! Although there are possibility of a coup d'etat, mutiny of teroborona (local defense units, shipped into the non-local meat grinder to their dismay), civil war between genuine fascists and artful imitators in Kiev etc. Still, the new goal is more realistic, and, worst come to worst, the defeat of Ukraine by Latvia can be prevented (Lithuania is an ambitious former overlord of Ukraine, so Latvia is safer here).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 1 2022 1:41 utc | 91

The definitive analysis of Snake Island is from The Duran guys today...

Russian military leaves Snake Island

They're right on all counts. The Russian MoD sucks at PR, whereas the Russian MoFA does a decent job with Zakharova and Lavrov. They suggest the MoD should call Zakharova before saying anything, since she knows how to use social media. I agree. They point out that the island is essentially useless to both sides, so Russia stopped bothering with it once the Ukrainians started making it too expensive for its value. The Ukrainians get a Hollywood movie out of it, and that's all they get - a distraction from their imminent loss of Lysychansk.

They do miss the point that if Russia leaves Snake Island, then Ukraine is on the hook to de-mine Odessa - which then opens the way for a Russian amphibious attack (not that I think the Russians would bother doing one, when they can take Odessa from the land easily enough.) So the Ukrainians have to keep the mines and thus no grain goes out. Of course, it won't matter - Russia will still be blamed for no grain going out.

They also miss the point that Ukraine wasted a lot of resources trying to recapture the island. How much impact that will have going forward is likely minimal, though, in the overall scheme of things.

Bottom line: The whole thing is an irrelevant side-show.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 1 2022 1:43 utc | 92

re: Lisichansk

Commander (colonel??) from Akhmat was asked - how long to assault the city? With what looks to me like some visible frustration at this quesiton, the answer is... Why the rush? Better to go slowly; Is it true that it's the most fortified city in LNR? ... It was before, but we worked on it methodically and reduced it to a less dangerous state.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 1 2022 2:16 utc | 93

Since the war started, German benchmark rate of electricity prices doubled, to ca. 280 euroes per MWh.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 1 2022 2:19 utc | 94

The Jackass Blues must be dedicated to Lithuania.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 1 2022 2:30 utc | 95

@uncle tungsten | Jul 1 2022 0:41 utc | 87
Lets see Ukraine demine the Odessa approaches and harbour and export all that wheat. I doubt that will happen

Planting sea mines is relatively easy, getting rid of them is not. The US lacks much ability to minesweep.

Aug 6, 2021 -- Two Sandown class minesweepers HSM “Ramsey” (M110) and HMS “Blyth” (M111) were withdrawn from the Royal Navy. These parts were handed over to the Babcock shipyard, which will renovate them before being transferred to the Ukrainian Navy. . .here

Assuming the Ukies have these ships, they must have judged that charging Russia with "blockading the ports" and not attempting a sweep was the way to go. If they don't have them (or others) then they are powerless.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 1 2022 2:36 utc | 96

Forgive if posted already, may have missed:

"12:02pm: Russia says it has over 6,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war
Russia says over 6,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been captured or surrendered, RIA news agency cited the defence ministry as saying on Thursday.

The ministry said the exchange of 144 prisoners of war with Ukraine, announced on Wednesday by Ukrainian intelligence, was organised by direct order of President Vladimir Putin, RIA cited the ministry as saying. "

via Scott Ritter Telegram feed

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 1 2022 2:47 utc | 97


Another good one from Scott R.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 1 2022 2:49 utc | 98

@ Scorpion | Jul 1 2022 2:49 utc | 98

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Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 1 2022 3:01 utc | 99

Re Snake Island

Thanks Karlof1 and Uncle tungsten for your attempts to calm my fears. I wonder why the Ukies made so many onerous attempts
at securing Snake Island if it were only to get a little morale boosting Rambo style narrative.

One thing is sure, the "international Community" would, like "un seul homme", immediately recognize the cession of the Snake Island
to England. Should I remind you of Kosovo?

Once this is done, Snake Island becomes Nato land and therefore would enjoy, until the official onset of WW3, a certain leeway
with its occupation of its island (intentional pleonasm)and the privilege this would confer upon them, via the Montreux Convention.
Turkiye would be hard pressed to refuse passage to its NATO colleague who would have become a Black Sea "riverain".

Good place to station a surveillance unit, an extension of the TB2 pilot station some cannons and rocket ramps all under the NATO umbrella.

I still see it as plausible and probable considering we are dealing here with the Perfidious Albion and the SBU.

Anyway, we shall see.

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 1 2022 3:05 utc | 100

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