Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 20, 2022

Ukraine SitRep - Lysichansk Cauldron - Sinking Morale - More Provocations

The former CIA and intelligence bigwig Graham Fuller predicts a gloomy outcome of the U.S-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. Gloomy for Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe:

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors”of the US.

Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end.

Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.

All the above had already been said on this website in late February and March. But it is good to see that seasoned intelligence people are now coming to similar conclusions.

Two weeks ago I wrote that the Ukrainians will soon reach a breaking point. Today's 'clobber list' by the Russia Ministry of Defense has an additional part about Ukrainian troop loses that supports that take:

Since May 19, during the month, only the 14th Mechanised Brigade of the AFU has lost 2,100 persons who resulted dead and wounded. Due to low moral and psychological conditions, 800 persons destined for replenishing the losses of this unit, refused to go to the operational area and accused officers of incompetence, bribery and cronyism in paying money allowance.

About 100 servicemen of a reconnaissance unit of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade have been relieved of combat duty and transported to Kremenchug for investigation.

A considerable part of the commanders of the 30th Mechanised Brigade of the AFU have abstracted themselves from managing their units and refuse to fulfil combat tasks. All kinds of pretexts are used for simulating illness. The majority of units have already been left without any officers.

A mechanized brigade has about 3,500 soldiers. In one month the Ukrainian 14th lost two third of its people. The replacements are not trained on mechanized equipment (tanks, APCs) that likely no longer exists and can only be used as unprotected infantry. It is no wonder that they reject to be send into a hopeless situation.

The Ukrainian leadership is still sending new units into the Lysichansk cauldron in the east. The Russians do not mind that. Their job is to "demilitarize" Ukraine. To enclose more troops in one swoop makes that easier.


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The distance between the red Russian held area at the the top to the one at the bottom at the most narrow gap is a mere 15 kilometer or some 9 miles. There is only one open road running through it from west to east which is used for pushing resupplies to the Ukrainian troops in Lysichansk.


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Currently fighting is taking place over Mykolaivka at the bottom of this detail map. Five kilometer north of it is the Lysichansk refinery. It will be the next target. The last road to Lysichansk runs directly north of it. When that road comes under direct Russian fire the cauldron will be closed and the boiling will start for those who are in it. For the ~20,000 soldiers in the cauldron it will mean surrender or die.

If that is still possible it will further lower the morale of other Ukrainian troops.

Ananke Group @AnankeGroup - 15:01 UTC · Jun 20, 2022

"We, soldiers of the 8th battalion of the 10th brigade, based near the city of Seversk. We appeal to you, Mr. President, Mr. Zaluzhny, and to the Ukrainian people [...] We demand the immediate rotation of our remaining troops, physically and mentally there are no more forces.
Embedded video


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It is interesting that the troops also appeal to General Zaluzhny, the top commander of the Armed Forces of Ukrainian (AFU). It is the first time I hear that. The idea to fight in Lysichansk until the end came from Zelensky and his civilian advisors. Zaluzhny has reportedly been against that. He wanted those and other troops to retreat and wage a more mobile campaign. That would have shortened the front line and given a chance to create reserves that can rest and prepare for a later counterattack. There are rumors that Zelensky's advisors are now lobbying to replace Zaluzhny as he has increased his media presence. They probably fear a coup.

The Russian side reported yesterday that it had killed 50 generals and higher officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a missile strike. The group was meeting to plan the further fight in the southern region of Odessa and Kherson. This now seems to have been confirmed:

Management Impact Solutions Consulting, LP - @MiExecSearch - 15:10 UTC · Jun 20, 2022

Russian Armed Forces beat out AFU generals, who were holed up in the rear. The military-civilian administration of Zaporozhye region confirmed results of a missile strike on AFU command post near the village of Shirokaya Dacha, 57 top-level officers were killed.

Last night, probably in response to the strike on the officers, the Ukrainians fired a missile against a gas and oil production platform in the waters near Crimea. The installation was damaged. Russia considers that to be a direct attack on valuable infrastructure within Russian territory and will likely give a strong response.

Yesterday Lithuania announced that it would immediately prohibit Russian goods under EU sanctions to cross from Belarus to the Kaliningrad enclave at the Baltic seas which is Russian territory. That is in breach of several international agreements which guarantee unhindered Russian access to the city. Russia has yet to announce a response to this new provocation.

Posted by b on June 20, 2022 at 16:47 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Is Lithuania able to be sued anymore, or are all old courts off limits for Russia now?

"I see many people speculating that European elites have been bribed or threatened to go along with America on Russian sanctions since they are so damaging to European businesses and economies. That isn’t necessary, they are friends and family, and they plan these big moves and agree on them before they then clue-in the big politicians and powerful business people not in their social class. That is what the famous forums like The Bilderberg meetings, The Aspen Institute meetings, The World Economic Forum at Davos, The Trilateral Commission meetings, and many others are for, to tell the politicians and business people not in their social group what to do.

Big institutions like banks and retirement funds have been moving their money out of the Euro and British Pound into dollars recently because they have been losing a lot of value against the dollar since the sanctions started. It is expected to continue. Economist Michael Hudson said that this is part of an agenda to wall off all of European business from the Russia-China-Iran economic sphere of influence to force them to move into relying on the more expensive America. The elites in control of Europe and America and elsewhere don’t need to be bribed or threatened to enact policies which hurt their own nations. They have already been doing that all the time by outsourcing and others forms of predatory finance capitalism which causes all sorts of harm to national economies and people while increasing the wealth and power of elites.No More Omerta or: The Power Elite Says The Quiet Part Out Loud

Posted by: Kana | Jun 20 2022 16:52 utc | 1

Thanks b for the update

Posted by: jo6pac | Jun 20 2022 16:53 utc | 2

I cant really help myself but I see a Troll Face in the first map :)

Posted by: Macpott | Jun 20 2022 16:53 utc | 3

thanks b....

i agree with the overview and the fellow graham fuller's observations and conclusions.. it seems insane for the ukrainians to continue on this way.. but i suspect zelensky is being guided by the usa-uk and this is why they continue on... i am not sure what they envision as the end point in all this... i still think zelensky is on track to be taken out and replaced.. General Zaluzhny sounds like a possible candidate, but i can't see usa-uk letting something like this happen... zelensky is their useful idiot and they will be sticking with him..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2022 16:55 utc | 4

the issue of the Lithuania announcement and its after effects will be interesting to watch.. obviously it is all speculation at this point...

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2022 17:03 utc | 5

Pro-Ukrainian twitterati are crowing about an attack last night on Snake Island using MLRS recently supplied by USA. No confirmation. No pictures.
Also reported shells fired on civilians in Donetz to be of Norwegian manufacture.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 20 2022 17:05 utc | 6

On the subject of provocation.
This is taking things to a very dangerous level.
We are in sudden move then disaster territory.
And one side populated with idiots in the West.
Russia Demands Lithuania Lift "Openly Hostile" Blockade; Panic Buying Ensues

Posted by: Jpc | Jun 20 2022 17:07 utc | 7

Graham Fuller was quoted as saying
"
Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.
"

I would posit that this proxy war could grow to include fighting down to the last European and then down to the last American because the God of Mammon cult has no national allegiance....well, maybe Switzerland where the BIS is located...grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2022 17:12 utc | 8

There must be some sane people at the Pentagon who are horrified to witness the systematic destruction of Ukraine military unabated. Worse, if Zelensky pushes Zalunzhny away from power, it gets uglier with more grinding and deaths - not stopped by reason and dominated by the Nazis.

They don't even call for a ceasefire - to give them more time (like Minsk II). Not that Russia would agree...

They are playing into Russia's hands as to preventing a long war that drains them by continuing the slaughter of Ukraine soldiers.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 20 2022 17:26 utc | 9

Zelenskiy couldn't care less about the lives of ordinary Ukrainians. He is high on drugs and, as a stage professional, the eyes of the world. His foreign accounts are no doubt being generously padded, and when all is said and done, he will retire as a $100 millionaire in some posh EU capital with frequent trips to his Israeli "homeland".

As to Lithuania, many commentators are exaggerating this as a "blockade". It's not a blockade since, first, only sanctioned goods are being prohibited, and, second, Russia has an easy land and sea route to Kalingrad. Indeed, for years, before completion of the Kerch Bridge, Russia supplied all of Crimea's needs by sea. Moreover, the treaty between Lithuania and Russia requires permits for transport of goods, these permits are simply being denied. No country has the inherent right to use another country's railway for trade - indeed, we can see by the air closures throughout EU and RF that one doesn't even have a right under international law to fly 8 miles over a country. While a hostile act from Lithuania, it is but one in a long series of them - the Lithuanians profoundly loathe Russia, and have for a long time. The exceptionally rude part about it was the lack of notice, which prevented Russia from preparing a sea fleet to transport the goods in lieu of the land corridor, but then again Russia should have anticipated this move if their government has the slightest intelligence.

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:26 utc | 10

Am kind of perplexed that UKES are still fighting, How are they still getting Food, Gasoline Munitions and Water . Russia has complete air control. Why not shut all down. Supplying 20 to 40 thousand men requires much supply daily .

Posted by: sigmund | Jun 20 2022 17:27 utc | 11

There must be some sane people at the Pentagon ...
Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 20 2022 17:26 utc | 9

Any sane people there who haven't already fled have no doubt been driven mad by all the lunatics in charge of their own military now protecting and defending what has become the world's first official Pathocracy.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 20 2022 17:33 utc | 12

@sigmund #11

Why not shut all down. Supplying 20 to 40 thousand men requires much supply daily.

It has been observed that Russia is fighting this war with "white gloves" because it is "liberating" Donbass from Ukrainian occupation. The entire concept of "liberation" implies you care about the people being liberated and want to save them, certainly not to harm them. Cutting off their food, gasoline and water - which would have to be done since it's not possible to determine the destination of shipments - would run contrary to their stated goals. Cutting off munitions in particular is difficult since the Ukrainians aren't transparent enough to paint large targets on the roofs of those delivery trucks.

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:34 utc | 13

"Russia considers that to be a direct attack on valuable infrastructure within Russian territory and will likely give a strong response."

Nothing will happen. Belgorod region was hit so many times I can't remember the exact count, other regions too. Shoigu did absolutely nothing. That's why they're shelling Donbass and Russia again and again, stronger each time. Putin's advisors are pure crap and, like I've said many times, this is terrorism and you can't find any other country that allows its cities to be shelled. They are so weak that today Germany started to threathen nuclear war against Russia. How cool is that!

Posted by: rk | Jun 20 2022 17:34 utc | 14

What the Russians are doing in Ukraine Have similarities in the tactics used on the Eastern front.. WWII. (Push, encircle, wear down with patience, capture, followed by a pause, then repeat.)
Neat little timeline https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CqGeAmVu1I. The Germans were already in "retreat" almost 2 full years before D-Day. D-Day.. launched for the West was worried of a " Russian controlled Europe?"

Posted by: Heavymetal101 | Jun 20 2022 17:35 utc | 15

You would think Ukraine would prefer to use vast reserves of patriots in order to steadily weaken Russia, instead of pitched battles with artillery that they don't have. But the problem is that even the best morale evaporates under bombardment, and Ukraine throws away advantages against situations almost designed to erode them.

The only sense in it would be from Zelensky deliberately driving up Ukrainian casualties.

Posted by: They Call Me MisterT | Jun 20 2022 17:40 utc | 16

Belgorod region was hit so many times
But Ukrainians were hitting military targets there, including oil depots but if those aren't military targets, given that Russia has destroyed 100s of them in Ukraine, Russia would be guilty of all kinds of terrorism and war crimes.

they're shelling Donbass and Russia again and again, stronger each time
Are you sure the UAF is responsible for that? Do you think they have complete control over all the nationalist, territorial, foreign and other militants operating in the area? Do you know how many civilian areas Russian forces have destroyed, whether or not UAF forces were believed to be ensconced there?

you can't find any other country that allows its cities to be shelled
Well, there's Syria - also under the "protection" of Russian forces :).

But to be fair they did do something - the targeting of the officers' meeting ("decision making center") in Shirokaya Dacha, which Russia had largely avoided to date, seems to be a direct response to the shelling of Donetsk.

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:41 utc | 17

@CalDre
Russia doesn't have complete freedom to fly without being shot at.
Particular over heavily defended areas.
(As I understand it).
NATO trained UKR has been preparing its defences for this for many years.
Russia is not disregarding its own casualties in its strategy - as I understand it.

Posted by: Binra | Jun 20 2022 17:44 utc | 18

... The elites in control of Europe and America and elsewhere don’t need to be bribed or threatened to enact policies which hurt their own nations. ....

Posted by: Kana | Jun 20 2022 16:52 utc | 1

Agreed, but with the slightest of qualifications.

The “elite” is not a monoculture, cutting Europe off from Eurasia and especially from cheap Russian energy and other commodities is going to burn some elite industrialist empires to the ground and there’s no amount of Davos glad handling or taboo sex can offset that level of ruination.

There was an interesting window of time when Yankee intelligence sources were screaming that RF troops were going to enter Donbas and when the SMO actually started.

In that window, two big things happened:

1. The Felicity Ace transporter caught fire and sank, putting VW group on the hook for a massive insurance claim with City of London insurers (because, hey, what are friends for, right?). Paul Greenwood might be along to downplay this angle =)

2. Credit Suisse high level account data leak (if we’ve got those accounts, we’ve got them all?).

Germany’s gone along with the Yankee-directed response to SMO, in the face of all apparent logic. Switzerland’s violated its long-standing neutrality to do the same.

I think those are state-level threats, right there in the open.

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 20 2022 17:45 utc | 19

@CalDre retard
They were ALL civilian targets

Posted by: rk | Jun 20 2022 17:50 utc | 20

CalDre @10:” No country has the inherent right...”

There is no such thing as “inherent rights”. We can come to agreement about “rights” that we will respect, but that is only possible when all parties are “agreement-capable”. That condition does not currently exist in the anglosphere and its satrapies. What “rights” exist now are the ones you are capable of defending. I think Lithuania will discover that they lack the capability to defend their “right” to phuque with Russia.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2022 17:50 utc | 21

Storm Front | Kyev attaced Russian drillin grigs near Crimea. Casualties reported. ‘Chernomorneftegaz’ (Chornomorneftegaz) in the Black Sea, 20 June 8:00 local time.

There were 12 people in the place of the attack, head of Crimea Sergey Aksenov said. Five people were rescued (three of them were injured). The rest is missing. The rescue operation is underway.

Pro-Kyiv sources reported explosions in the countryside of Odessa city. Reports claim that the Russian Armed Forces launched strikes on military infrastructure deployed there in response to attack on drilling platforms near Crimea.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 20 2022 17:52 utc | 22

The problem for the Ukrainians is that they shorten the front if they retreat from Severodonetsk and Lysychansk. In which case, the Russians can redeploy up to 40,000 troops from there to, say, Kharkov or Dniepropetrovsk or maybe even Odessa. It's just maths.

Posted by: Sarcophilus | Jun 20 2022 17:54 utc | 23

15 Re D-Day: That should be called 'The long delayed D-Day'

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Jun 20 2022 17:55 utc | 24

One of Germany's excuses for attacking Poland and starting World War Two was that Poland refused to allow them to have extraterritorial transit rights between the rest of Germany and East Prussia, whose capital was Koenigsberg, which is now Kaliningrad.

By the way, is Kaliningrad the only city in Russia to retain the name of a Soviet leader?

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 20 2022 17:55 utc | 25

cutting Europe off from Eurasia and especially from cheap Russian energy and other commodities is going to burn some elite industrialist empires to the ground and there’s no amount of Davos glad handling or taboo sex can offset that level of ruination
The elite of the elite - the global hereditary oligarchs - are all for this. The "Green Deal", "Agenda 2030" and the "Great Reset" are all about de-industrialization and de-energizing the sheep to "save the planet" - or, more correctly, to impoverish the vast majority of humanity that this elite doesn't care about. They only want to retain a cadre of technical elite to ensure their own luxuries are entirely preserved and indeed continue to be advanced.

In short, the "suicide" of the "West" is by design, it's not an "unexpected result" or "undesirable". The elites always use the dialectic to achieve their objectives - problem, reaction, solution. They want to impoverish the bulk of humanity, including the middle class, but how to do so when those people number in the billions and the elite rulers number in the thousands? Well, that's where the dialectic comes into play - start a war in Ukraine, use it as an excuse to cut energy imports (claiming it "has to be done" to "advance our values" <-- the sheep actually believe that garbage, frankly it is hard to feel sorry for them given what massive fools they are), and voila, objective achieved! With the full support of the victims! Hoorah for "democracy"!

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:56 utc | 26

@rk #20

They were ALL civilian targets
In Belgorod, no, they weren't, you are a liar. You calling me "retard" to the mix shows the rest of your character. Unfortunately the site does not allow to block useless, malicious trolls like you.

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:58 utc | 27

Interesting read, but I’d take a Fuller perspective with a little more than a grain of salt. For sure he is/ was deeply involved in the Gulen movement in Turkey… a fact I randomly stumbled over while browsing one of my daughters poli-sci text books years ago. Subsequent to that I seem to recall he was some how tangled up with the Boston Marathon alleged bombing. I make no claim as to the veracity if any of what I’ve brought up here, but since narrative control is a stated goal of the spooks a bit of scepticism is probably advised.

Posted by: Simon Wagstaff | Jun 20 2022 18:01 utc | 28

rk @#14

Germany threaten Nuclear war? How are they going to do that? You think the end of civilisation is cool?

Abraham Lincoln, 16 th President of the U.S.A.

“ It is better to be thought of as a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt “.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Jun 20 2022 18:03 utc | 29

https://www.rt.com/russia/557475-kremlin-comments-lithuania-rail-transit-ban/

From the article, Peskov's statement in reaction to Lithuanian blockade:

“The situation is more than serious and calls for deep analysis before any measures and decisions are formulated,”

Deep Analysis?? Is he seriously suggesting no one in the Kremlin gamed this out already? Seems like a pretty predictable scenario, especially when NATO and EU have all but declared war on Russia since February.

It seems Russia's escalation dominance is dwindling by the day and since its major trump cards for leverage are its resources and European dependence on them, one wonders why they didn't just think of a way to use that to begin with to resolve the Ukraine issue and avoid the whole mess they created for themselves (and everyone else) with this ill conceived not so special operation.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jun 20 2022 18:03 utc | 30

Lithuania's blockade of Kaliningrad, assuming it holds, apparently leads straight to direct military engagement: NATO versus Russia -- and soon. Look at what Russian authorities are saying -- they're nearly speechless. We may have already heard the extent of their verbal response, prior to the onset of military counter-measures.

Not fortuitous: a bold toss of thermonuclear dice -- someone desperate feeling cornered.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jun 20 2022 18:04 utc | 31

” They want to impoverish the bulk of humanity, including the middle class...

What boring nonsense. “They” need the global working class to manufacture their toys and “they” need the middle class to insulate and protect them from the working class. Destroying that is the precise same thing as destroying their own wealth. That’s not something “they” want. “They” are not deliberately destroying the world. That is just the natural end state that capitalism always culminates in, exacerbated in this case by stupidity and incompetence.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2022 18:10 utc | 32

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 20 2022 17:55 utc | 25

Leningrad Oblast (not a city but pretty close). Some names refer to Stalingrad. Like Stalingrad metro in Paris.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 18:16 utc | 34

Simon Wagstaff @ 28

Fuller married his daughter to the chief of the Tsarnaev clan. Basically traded her as meat in pursuit of high casualties in the Chechen wars. Sponsored the Tsarnaevs of Boston when they immigrated. First year they were in country they lived in his home. You wonder why the Tsarnaev kid smirked chuckled and laughed all through his trial? He outranked prosecutor judge and jury. He is not in custody.

Fuller is also 85 years old. And Bernhard is right to quote him. America does not have anyone less slimy and Fuller seems to be smarter than the usual slime.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 20 2022 18:20 utc | 35

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 17:56 utc | 26

"In short, the "suicide" of the "West" is by design, it's not an "unexpected result" or "undesirable". The elites always use the dialectic to achieve their objectives - problem, reaction, solution. They want to impoverish the bulk of humanity, including the middle class, but how to do so when those people number in the billions and the elite rulers number in the thousands? "

I think they might want a bit more than general impoverishment of others but basically I think you are right. This is why I often view all this a 'managed conflict' and am still not sure if the seeming suicide being promoted by the western elites is not somehow coordinated as part of some globalist 'one world order' cabal. Of course that could be way too fanciful an oversimplification but it does seem strange how the western elites keep doing pretty much exactly what most benefits the relative rise of Eurasia by ensuring the relative decline of their own jurisdictions.

Now many might argue it's just that the West is been outfoxed; quite possible. But to my mind that doesn't explain the extraordinary consistency of pretty much all decisions, including the social wedge issue inanities, all going in the same direction, namely undermining western civilization.

Can such huge moves happening over extended periods of time happen purely by chance or blundering? I don't think so. We would see more contradiction, less consistency.

In any case, Putin was right: the old normal is gone forever. Whether this is by accident or design makes very little difference.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 20 2022 18:22 utc | 36

Fukuyama was right: the end of the Cold War was the End of History. He was premature, however, to declare the West as the winner. The Soviet Union collapsed, but the West has now joined it in the wastebasket of history, while Russia has emerged as the ultimate winner.

Posted by: James J. O'Meara | Jun 20 2022 18:22 utc | 37

Beibdnn. @29:

Here is something I don’t understand: nuclear war is absolutely a possibility in the near term. Why is it that stupid people think discussing that possibility is the same as advocating for it?

My guess is that such people are philosophical “Idealists” who believe forming the image of a thing in one’s mind causes that thing to become real. That is a sad statement about contemporary perception if it is so.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 20 2022 18:23 utc | 38

The Swiss not only gave up the neutrality
they have maintained since the 1600's they
actually signed up to buy 6 Billion in junk
F-35's. A form of tribute I guess.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 20 2022 18:25 utc | 39

Yes we are seeing desperation here

The economy of Europe is grinding to a halt without steady flow of energy and expectation of same.

We continue to see the West trying to get "its war on" before the God of Mammon house of private cards falls apart for lack of any individual nations support. It is a strange way to challenge and change forms of social organization for someone like me that wants to talk about social structures and social contracts directly and clearly.

Instead, we are fed the history of God of Mammon obfuscation through global pot stirring of countries trust issues toward each other that have and continue to be manipulated by the global money mafia. As a species we pride ourselves on the level of abstraction that humans can understand but clarity about the social order we live under seems to be too hard yet for many to get a grip on.

This civilization war is going to be fought down to the last faith breather in the God of Mammon (and associated) religion

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2022 18:26 utc | 40

@Lysias #25

One of Germany's excuses for attacking Poland and starting World War Two
The "excuse", as you call it, or more accurately, the causus belli, wasn't about transit rights but the fact that East Prussia, including the Danzing/Polish Corridor, was stolen from Germany after WW I (and, closely related, that Poland was viciously persecuting ethnic Germans).

And not to nitpick, but this is actually important: Germany attacking Poland did not start WW II - it was the British Barbarians who along with the French declared war on Germany, that started the second world war. Not in small part because the British and French, violent imperialistic/colonial savages that they have been for centuries, controlled almost the entire world. The Empire, of course, used Poland to antagonize Germany, much more so even than the Empire is/was using Ukraine to antagonize Russia: Polish persecution of Germans, on German lands seized from Germany at the end of WW I despite promises to the contrary, was vastly greater than Ukraine's persecution of the Donbass; and Germany's attack on Poland was vastly more warranted than Russia's war on Ukraine (not to mention that pre-WW II the laws of war were completely different).

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 18:32 utc | 41

"The Soviet Union collapsed, but the West has now joined it in the wastebasket of history, while Russia has emerged as the ultimate winner."

Posted by: James J. O'Meara | Jun 20 2022 18:22 utc | 37

Indeed, Russia now seems to be by far the best, if not perhaps the only, exemplar of Western Civilization, Europe and the US having become pathocratic basket cases.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 20 2022 18:32 utc | 42

@#30 "It seems Russia's escalation dominance is dwindling"

It seems to you probably..the aims of the SMO are going to be accomplished..maybe for someone it's difficult to accept this reality..and then about the mess created ask your question to whoever created this mess and that is the Outlaw straussian empire..don't blame Russia for that please..it's just false.

Posted by: LuBa | Jun 20 2022 18:34 utc | 43

There is one important narrative that does not seem to get much play in the wider Ukraine Conflict discussion. ... That is:

NATO is a tool of White Supremacism

While this may seem 'off topic', it certainly is not. NATO is at war with Russia and their activities must be seen from this essential historical and contemporary aspect.

Historically, the NATO nations were the ones who colonized non-whites around the world. NATO nations were the ones who conducted the barbaric Trans-Atlantic slave trade. ... On the other hand, Russia never enslaved Africa.

In more contemporary times, NATO countries have conducted the brutal bombing of non-white countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, and Federal Yugoslavia (whom, by their Aryan doctrine are considered 'mixed blood' sub-humans). ... Moreover, NATO countries are always siding with 'racial superiority' ideologues and promoting this poison upon unsuspecting populations. AZOV, AIDAR, etc. in Ukraine. Right wing death squads in Latin America. The list can go on with each 'Color Revolution'. ... This is a clear pattern of global White Supremacism.

Interestingly, it was Russians who spearheaded the effort for De-Colonialization from these NATO predators. Russia supported the movements against Apartheid in South Africa, and the liberations of Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, for example.

The European idea of colonialization was pure racial greed. It was a one-way benefit policy of 'Extraction & Exploitation'. ... On the other hand, we see the opposite from BRICS and China's BRI in the form of 'Construction & Commitment' to actually improve African countries and the people who live there. ... Again, NATO is clearly racist.

So, my recommendation is to make this reality a common point of discussion (in chat rooms, twitter, telegram, etc.) in the world, when it comes to Ukraine Conflict. ... NATO is a tool of White Supremacism, and its goals and motivations must be seen first and foremost in this light.

Perhaps I can suggest a 'Theme Song' for the struggles of this wider conflict, and NATO's racist oppression of the world. ... I would select Bob Marley & the Wailers' classic, "War". I think it captures the spirit of what Russia and the Rising Global East & South are trying to accomplish. It is perfect. ... Check it out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JwL3lPBQ5E

Let everyone know that this is a War against NATO White Supremacy. Those people-of-color within NATO nations must rise up against this cancer too. ... Let me know if you dig the vibe.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 20 2022 18:36 utc | 44

@William Gruff #32

What boring nonsense. “They” need the global working class to manufacture their toys and “they” need the middle class to insulate and protect them from the working class.
Actually the top elite don't consume that much (certainly far, far greater than their pro rata share, but given what a tiny minority they constitute, a small percentage of global production), some workers are needed but only a tiny percent of the current global workforce, esp. as robots continue to improve.
Destroying that is the precise same thing as destroying their own wealth.
Actually, not at all. It's like arguing that US can't be rich so long as Africa is poor. The facts are quite to the contrary.
That is just the natural end state that capitalism always culminates in, exacerbated in this case by stupidity and incompetence.
Oh, I get it, you subscribe to the oligarchs' malicious communist doctrine which is designed to accomplish the very goals I previously posted. Boring nonsense, indeed.

Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 18:38 utc | 45

This proxy war could grow to include fighting down to the last European and then down to the last American because the God of Mammon cult has no national allegiance....well, maybe Switzerland where the BIS is located...grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2022 17:12 utc | 8

11 "perplexed that UKES are still fighting"
Posted by: sigmund | Jun 20 2022 17:27 utc |

I think Psychohistorian hit on why the UKES are still fighting.. this war is not about economics! Economic damages are collateral to the real reason to extend the fight to the last whomever; this is war over currency dominance.

I believe the Russians may have won that ..too.

The Russian system is designed to facilitate exchanges between parties in nations foreign to each other.. based on the value of two things at once, neither of which is currency.. For example, the Russian system seems to define one barrel of oil t/b/e equivalent of 1 oz of gold.

The market price of gold controls not the internationally controlled price of the underlying commodity. The value of the exchange in two different currency occurs simultaneously and instantaneously, but the value exchanged is gold.

In seller nation Russia the seller wants 500 rubles for a barrel of his or her oil. Since the exchange is oil for gold the exchange price of gold (1 oz = 500 rubles) <=the buyer in buyer nation must buy 1 oz of gold to acquire the sellers oil. In buyers currency, lets say,
it takes $250 USD, @ transaction time, to buy 1 oz of gold.. so the buyer gets 1 bbl of oil for $250 USD and seller gets 500 rubles/bbl for his or her oil.. or each get the appropriate credit in gold or the buyer delivers 500 Rubles directly to seller.

The buyer remits to the central bank, central bank delivers either 500 ruble to seller or 1 oz to seller's bank and seller bank distributes 500 rubles to the seller. In this system the seller sets the price in local to seller currency, but the exchanged value is in gold or gold equivalents.
the question is who will sell gold to buyers with paper doll money? I think Rubles and Yuan are backed by gold?

Seems to me this eliminates two things at once the exchange rate concern and the need for government regulation of international transactions, as real gold or proper domestic currencies are equivalent in value to the gold standard defined by quantity /unit of Au, not by value.

Already I have seen announced that Russia goes live with its digital [ruble] currency in March 2023.

If this is as I see it, the war will continue until the last hold out in the west EU, NATO and everyone else, have exchanged their local domestic currency and credits for $USD. I think the war from the West point of view, is about forcing paper backed currency to be more valuable than Gold backed currencies. Seems to me the war is about transaction exchange in real gold or gold equivalents or faith backed paper.

I would love to hear barflies discuss gold less currency vs gold itself, or the advantage gold backed currencies might have as the reason for this war?

Posted by: snake | Jun 20 2022 18:39 utc | 46

The Russians may consider a sea blockade of Lithuanian harbours. Especially blocking LNG freighters would hurt.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 20 2022 18:44 utc | 47

From Intel Slava Z and other sources.....
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the army of the LPR are fighting for Belaya Gora and Mirnaya Valley. This means that the resistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of ​​​​Toshkovka is completely broken.

The LPR army reports that the AFU grouping defending Gorskoye and Zolote is in operational encirclement. After the capture of Vrubovka and the advance of our troops in Chekhirovo (20 km from Lisichansk), it was a matter of time.

Now the enemy can formally supply the encircled group through Rai Aleksandrovka, but this road is already under fire from the RF Armed Forces and the LPR army.
Accordingly, when Mirnaya Dolina and Rai Aleksandrovka are taken, the cauldron will turn from an operational cauldron into a mere cauldron, where, according to various estimates, from 1,500 to 2,500 people will sit.

They kicked out the APU from Popasnaya. God willing, and the allied troops will reach Yaremche. They will take revenge on all the unfinished.

Fighting continues in the vicinity of Vrubovka : Allied forces storm the approaches to Nikolaevka and expand the security zone around the village .

▪️The center of Kamyshevakhi has already become the near rear of the advancing troops: military correspondents were allowed there, numerous reports and interviews went from the village.

To the east of Kamyshevakhi , an offensive is developing towards the coal mine . The forces of the People's Militia of the LPR and detachments from the Chechen Republic are advancing from the side of Zolotoy-3 to the coal mine. From the south, the mine was approached from Pervomaisky .

In the case of taking control of the coal mine, it will be possible to surround the APU grouping in Zolote-3 (Stakhanov) and Katerynivka .

▪️The remnants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine retreated from the Toshkovka region to the outskirts of Gorsky . The forces of the People's Militia of the LPR are conducting artillery preparation on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the areas of Ustinovka and Mirnaya Dolina .

▪️On the lines of Berestovoye - Belogorovka - Yakovlevka and Klinovoye - Pokrovskoye , fierce rifle and artillery battles are going on.

▪️Detachments of "PMC Wagner" entered Klinovoye and are fixed on the highway Bakhmut - Svetlodarsk .

Allied forces are approaching Kraznoyarsk from the South West...

Game over...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Jun 20 2022 18:45 utc | 48

@Aleph_Null#31 - Lithuania's blockade of Kaliningrad, assuming it holds, apparently leads straight to direct military engagement: NATO versus Russia

Not really since Russia can send in supplies by ship. Kaliningrad is not landlocked.

Posted by: Zenith | Jun 20 2022 18:48 utc | 49

b quoting Graham Fuller:

...Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

I disagree. This is an American - Eurasian war.

I see this as another chapter from the grand scheme for UKUS to cushion the impact of its decline by undermining the rise of its principal competitor. So far, the strategy is working well insofar as said competitor is actively pursuing the impoverishment of its economies and severing all relations.

Posted by: robin | Jun 20 2022 18:49 utc | 50

Thoughts

1)… The Ukrainian leadership is still sending new units into the Lysichansk cauldron in the east.…. This is the very definition of senseless slaughter. BTW the Kiev military is commanded by NATO officers. I am disgusted.

2) the 4 brigades mentioned in the MOD briefing are first line regulars trained by NATO and have been on numerous overseas missions serving Washington.

3) My original timeline for phase 2 was wrapping up sometime late June - mid July. This was the entire Donbass, so might be slightly taking more time than I expected.

4) Phase 3 - liberation of Odesssa ? Might start end August

Posted by: Exile | Jun 20 2022 18:51 utc | 51

Oh, I get it, you subscribe to the oligarchs' malicious communist doctrine which is designed to accomplish the very goals I previously posted. Boring nonsense, indeed.
Posted by: CalDre | Jun 20 2022 18:38 utc | 45

SSsshhh. Quit the bullshit.

Took you 10 comments approx but you lapsed back into it.

Oligarchs cannot have any communist doctrine, because it is diametrically opposed to their interests.

Actual communist doctrine calls for removing them from any sort of power via any means available and necessary.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 20 2022 18:53 utc | 52

Posted by: James J. O'Meara | Jun 20 2022 18:22 utc | 37

Lol, no.

There are two ways human history can end:

1) Humans disappear
2) All extant human societies lose the ability to create, access and maintain written records.

As long as none of those two possibilities obtain, history hasn't "ended", whether you enjoy its developments or not is an entirely different -and subjective- concern.

As long as humans exist and can keep records of their activity and access at least some of the existing records, human history continues. Point 2 sometimes happens locally (see the ancient Greek Dark Age) and even then it can be partially recovered from.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jun 20 2022 19:02 utc | 53

The Lithuanian move cuts 50% of the goods transport, apparently mostly steel and building materials. Passengers and the other 50% of goods can still go by rail.

All decisions are made in Washington so it will be interesting to see if Russia's response only affects Lithuania or if it is aimed at hastening the demise of EU and NATO.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 20 2022 19:14 utc | 54

According to Military Summary, there is speculation the Lithuanian "blockade" may have something to do with maneuvring Russia to open Nord Stream 2 (now that Nord Stream 1 is having trouble). In any case, Kaliningrad seems to be cut off from energy delivered by pipelines. He does not know whether oil can be brought to the area by sea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYX0v75kcpg

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 55

Things are not going as the aggressors planned

1 USD = 55 RUB
https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=RUB

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 56

Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 20.06.2022 21 minute video that covers much, including some of the concerns and discussion above..

Posted by: james | Jun 20 2022 19:28 utc | 57

Here is a superb interview with the always interesting, knowledgable, fun and engaging Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvVC1VBiWKM

Posted by: Rodrigo | Jun 20 2022 19:33 utc | 58

NATO began with the Berlin Airlift that was a response to a Soviet blockade of West Berlin. Looks as if NATO may well end with a NATO blockade of Kaliningrad.

Posted by: Lysias | Jun 20 2022 19:36 utc | 59

b quoting Graham Fuller:

...Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

I disagree. This is an American - Eurasian war.

Posted by: robin | Jun 20 2022 18:49 utc | 50

Pepe Escobar and The Saker crowd would disagree with you. It is Zone A vs Zone B, which is roughly the same as the map of which countries have joined sanctions and which have not.

https://external-preview.redd.it/RgSTm4MHtKknLogvp_Svlk1EnBlGzF0CuExLB65XSi0.png?auto=webp&s=f81ba113a64b454c744c8a4546578fd30a451ff1

Naturally Graham Fuller is going to take an American centric view. Clearly Russia, China and Iran want to move the EU into their BRI economic orbit and away from the USA.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 20 2022 19:37 utc | 60

Such a lot of tosh!

I see maybe three people commenting here with the rest of you yapping about fully fixed and totally wrong assumptions about the intentions of this or that group of people. Twaddle. Admit that you have zero understanding of group dynamics and that you are simply projecting your own bullshit onto the rest of us.

If you think any group is monolithic, that all intentions of actors in any cohort are perfectly aligned or that you can see outcomes of exceedingly complicated geo-political conflicts, then I ask that you please remain quiet and let the interesting folks have the page space. Thank you.

Posted by: New Guy | Jun 20 2022 19:39 utc | 61

Do you have a scroll button?

Suggest you use it.

Posted by: crone | Jun 20 2022 19:43 utc | 62

New Guy@61
"Such a lot of tosh!"

Posted by: bevin | Jun 20 2022 19:44 utc | 63

https://www.rt.com/news/557504-lithuania-kaliningrad-transit-ban-explanation/

LOL, is the Kaliningrad embargo to be another EU move for the headlines but ultimately of little substance?

I have a feeling this will be resolved with a few bribes or doctoring of forms for goods being shipped, meaning there will be many manifests listing food or medical supplies that will instead be for coal, metals, construction materials, advanced technology and other banned items. Maybe they won't want to look and check every single one. Maybe a few will be stopped from time to time, just to keep Ursula and Josep happy..

Posted by: Et Tu | Jun 20 2022 19:46 utc | 64

I cant really help myself but I see a Troll Face in the first map :)

Posted by: Macpott | Jun 20 2022 16:53 utc | 3

That's the face of Joe Tzu ;-)

Posted by: Helmuth von Moltke | Jun 20 2022 19:55 utc | 65

William Gruff @ # 38.

I was too short in my reply. My point was that Germany, as I am sure you are aware, has no nuclear weapons of it’s own and although they may be sited by the U.S. on their territory, the govt. is well aware of what awaits them, despite the usual west to east wind currents, capable of blowing fallout over Russia should they be utilised in Ukraine.
Germany has no say in any use of tactical nuclear weapons and it was this I was referring to in my rebuke. I accept I may well have misunderstood the nub of the issue the poster was trying to make.
Whilst I agree that there is a great danger of a Nuclear exchange, I also think that the unconsolidated factions in Washington and the E.U. make their use less likely as it seems each week the Biden administration changes it’s mind from seeking a diplomatic solution to escalation the next. The latest example is the lituanian govts. decision to blockade Russian trains to Kalingrad. I note that commentators here seem put out that Moscow doesn’t seem to have prepared for this but remember, Russian politik is not in the same ‘ desperate ‘ ( as in losing on all fronts for the first time in several centuries ) reality as the west and therefore, the western elites have no concept of how to behave in anything but an infantile, spiteful and risible manner. I do believe behind the wailing and ‘ brave ‘ words covering up the panic setting in, wiser heads will prevail. The west is being taught a sharp and painful lesson which requires it to mature at a pace it isn’t capable of. Result, lots of metaphorical foot stamping, spitting out of dummies and general pathetic attempts at making threats

Posted by: Beibdnn | Jun 20 2022 19:56 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 55

NS2 is blocked by Germany, not Russia.

If they wanted to, they could open it and use it tomorrow, and don't need to risk starting WW3 by blockading Kaliningrad. They just need to make some phonecalls and approve it for operation, something which was taking months already before it was halted indefinitely, but is de facto just a bureaucratic and political obstacle that just needs the right signatures.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jun 20 2022 20:02 utc | 67

I am suspicious of any American spook's outlook on anything, especially if they were a career spook. A glancing association with the agency, likely avoided infection. A career there, mind and heart irretrievably bent, unless by a Road to Emmaus shock to the system one recognizably reverses course, spends years in a state of contrition, then starts singing an entirely new song whilst remaining in a confessional state.

I know nothing about this Fuller person. His first point disgusts me for its lack of contrition and typically agency assertion of authority over a nation's sovereign decisions: "Putin is to be condemned for launching this war– as is virtually any leader who launches any war. Putin can be termed a war criminal–in good company with George W. Bush who has killed vastly greater numbers than Putin." Says who? Says the agency. Dharma has other ideas.

Fuller's first point is recognizable agency signaling: "Hey, I'm a good guy, please read the rest of what I have to say." In other words, he's still a diddle everyone because you can agency spook.

Posted by: The Rev. David R. Gr | Jun 20 2022 20:03 utc | 68

Telegram reporting has said that there is a major offensive along the Luhansk front. This includes air attacks (of unspecified type) all along the whole front line from Odessa to Kharkiv.

I don't know how much credit is to be given to these reports, but they are backed up by previous reports about troop movements towards the part of the frontline between Kherson and Zaporizhia. (or both)
ie. The area that would have been under the command of the recently eliminated 50 Senior officers. (THe southern command?)

It might not yet be "game over" as Indy says, but it may be heating up rapidly.
***

Which makes Lithuania into a distraction to tempt the Russians to increase troop levels around the area, and take them out of Ukraine (?)
**

Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 55
The LNG terminal for Lithuania is at Klaipedia, not far from Kalingrad. I don't know about the Oil lines.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jun 20 2022 20:08 utc | 69

I’m seeing less and less 404 flags and posts about Ukraine on the neo lib forums I lurk at.
Some haven’t had a post in 3 weeks under the “Russia Bad” subs.
It’s not funny, but it is interesting.

So many smartest guys in the room have nothing to say any more about the SMO.
I take that as materialistic moth brains being distracted, and being wrong.

Regardless, I still come here for the some of the best comments and links.
Keep up the good work, b (and the commentariat).

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jun 20 2022 20:09 utc | 70

About the loss of 2100 lives in the UAF. Is there anything known about the way how the UAF mobilizes the male population of UA, where most of the soldiers come from, supposing that these soldiers do not originate from the Russian speaking Odessa-Donetsk-Kharkov arch...? With the present carnage continuing it will mean that cities like Lvov and Kiev will for many future generations remain critically underpopulated by male citizens. Is the use of Russian language within the UAF absolutely prohibited or does the Ukranian language propaganda merely exist as an official ideology that in daily practice is not heeded at all within the Ukranian army? From our own observations among Ukranian 'refugees' in Europe we can tell that they all speak Russian among each other, not Ukranian.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jun 20 2022 20:10 utc | 71

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 20 2022 17:33 utc | 12

Indeed, we're fast approaching Dr. Strangelove territory. Lord help us all.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 20 2022 20:14 utc | 72

@scorpion
“Pathocracy”
Never seen that before.
Very appropriate.
Thanks for your recent contributions.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Jun 20 2022 20:21 utc | 73

Et Tu | Jun 20 2022 18:03 utc | 30

"Deep Analysis?? Is he seriously suggesting no one in the Kremlin gamed this out already? Seems like a pretty predictable scenario, especially when NATO and EU have all but declared war on Russia since February."

Sounds like pesky Peskov as we all know him.
Seems like they gamed this out as much as they gamed out Ukraine NOT surrendering after 4 weeks, or having their foreign reserves stolen, or having their entire airliner fleet decertified.

"Deep analysis" means they're going to do sh*t about it except for the obvious reaction, organising for sea transports. Until the next stunt by the 3 Baltic sandbanks.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jun 20 2022 20:25 utc | 74

Stonebird | Jun 20 2022 20:08 utc | 69

According to Ukraine government, a major Russian offensive around the frontlines within Luhansk region.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 20 2022 20:25 utc | 75

CalDre | Jun 20 2022 18:32 utc | 41

Do you actually wish for this to be true? I wonder why. Anyway, there must have been a reason for you to post this, and that reason can't have been to just state facts of history.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jun 20 2022 20:31 utc | 76

From our own observations among Ukranian 'refugees' in Europe we can tell that they all speak Russian among each other, not Ukranian.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jun 20 2022 20:10 utc | 71

Apparently, in Poland you hear both languages (no counting Polish). About the use of Russian within UAF, it is surely necessary in reports to higher command, otherwise this is "flexible". There was some discussion why the commander of Azov in Mariupol taped his messages in Russian, was it a "signal"? Most probably, it was just easier. Russian speaking Ukrainians are, as a rule, bilingual, although they may lack some vocabulary, and similar Slavic languages offer many tongue twisters to brothers Slavs and other pitfalls.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 20 2022 20:32 utc | 77

Fuller's first point is recognizable agency signaling: "Hey, I'm a good guy, please read the rest of what I have to say." In other words, he's still a diddle everyone because you can agency spook.

Posted by: The Rev. David R. Gr | Jun 20 2022 20:03 utc | 68

The better half (one third?) of articles in Consortium News is like that too. To me, it is not "agency signaling" (which it may be), but similar to "constructive criticism" that was allowed in Communist states (to a varying degree, I recognize more and more behaviors I observed as "a wee lad").

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 20 2022 20:40 utc | 78

I'll just leave this here without further comment for now.

https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/ukraine-war-shifts-world-order-makes-socialism-more-necessary-than-ever/

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 20 2022 20:40 utc | 79

The Swiss not only gave up the neutrality they have maintained since the 1600's they actually signed up to buy 6 Billion in junk F-35's. A form of tribute I guess.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jun 20 2022 18:25 utc | 39

Finland, too, $9.4bn, will they also get nukes to go with them? The whole thing’s as weird as hell, which begs the question of what motives are going unspoken.

They’re unlikely to admit the truth, so we’re reduced to speculation!

Posted by: anon2020 | Jun 20 2022 20:41 utc | 80

“Pathocracy”
Never seen that before.
Posted by: Cadence calls | Jun 20 2022 20:21 utc | 73

Several times I advocated "hypocracy" to be used in that sense, "hypo" is low or under, e.g. hypodermic injection should inject just under the skin. The combination of hypo- and -cracy may be explain as the reign of low-lifes, thieves, morons etc. Usually it is used because of a "typo", but in most cases the meaning I advocate would fit.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 20 2022 20:45 utc | 81

Thanks b

Its good to see more support for Scott Ritter and Ray McGovern emerging from the swamp.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2022 20:47 utc | 82

I believe that Consortium News is victim to some sort of DDoS attacks today. Their site has been intermittently up and down all day. I suppose it could be other technical issues, but that would be too a huge coincidence IMO.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 20 2022 20:48 utc | 83

The United States is approaching full 'Idiocracy' which was explained in a Mike Judge documentary of the same name earlier this century.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 20 2022 20:51 utc | 84

The spectre of the Baltic and Nordic countries flexing their muscles from underneath uncle Sam's kilt feels like some opening scene of a tragicomedy. The accession to NATO and the nuclear capability of the F-35's mean it's going to get mighty interesting if/when they finally arrive. They are slated for 2025, last I heard.

Posted by: eyeswideopen | Jun 20 2022 20:52 utc | 85

Et Tu?| Jun 20 2022 18:03 utc | 30

"It seems Russia's escalation dominance is dwindling by the day"

Even most of the West's MSM has sheepishly acknowledged Russian dominance. What planet are you from?

"...and since its major trump cards for leverage are its resources and European dependence on them, one wonders why they didn't just think of a way to use that to begin with to resolve the Ukraine issue and avoid the whole mess they created for themselves (and everyone else) with this ill conceived not so special operation."

Well at least you've dropped your figleaf of good-faith concern.

One wonders if Russian leadership just doesn't possess your level of strategic insight. This never occurred to them? So how, with your brilliant hindsight, would you have advised Russia's bumbling leaders to leverage their resources to avoid military. Should they have threatened breach of long-term contracts? Imposed illegal unilateral sanctions? How would doing exactly what NATO preemptively inflicted on itself have had any deterrent effect? Please explain.


Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jun 20 2022 20:52 utc | 86

I don't engage in much military thought but if Russia knew enough to take out those generals then they also know who the troops are and where located under their command (past tense). It makes obvious sense to me to target those troops in areas that don't have good leadership and I expect we will see more troops surrender.

Chain-of-command leadership is essential to military effectiveness. How many of those generals were part of NATO?

This certainly moves up the need for NATO boots on the ground if Russian is to be challenged...will NATO come out of the closet they have been hiding their involvement in and get smacked down worse then they already are as tools of empire?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 20 2022 20:54 utc | 87

For those, who know Russian, and for those who don't (you can use subtitles) about the war situation in the Ukraine today, from an Ukrainian. About the kettle in Donbass, about the language problem created by the Werchovna Rada of the Ukraine and some real hard words. https://youtu.be/zUVpqD2m4_Q

Posted by: ostro | Jun 20 2022 20:59 utc | 88

The Rev. David R. Gr | Jun 20 2022 20:03 utc | 68
_____

Thanks for your important critical perspective.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jun 20 2022 21:00 utc | 89

Norwegian @ 56

Russia would prefer the ruble not be stronger than 60 to the dollar and is intervening in markets to try to keep it somewhere nearby. I have seen street quotes of 35 to 40.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 20 2022 21:03 utc | 90

RE Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 55

Kaliningrad Energy

Kaliningrad has an oil product import terminal and In the last few years the Russians have installed a floating LNG regassification facility and have shipped LNG cargoes there this year - so this is an inconvenience rather than a large problem

Kaliningrad has several thermal power plants to generate electricity - a nuclear power plant is also under construction

Posted by: Aslangeo | Jun 20 2022 21:04 utc | 91

From yesterday, Lavrov answers a question posed by the programme Moscow. Kremlin. Putin:

Question: Yesterday the United States announced another supply of weapons to Ukraine. What are they trying to achieve?

Sergey Lavrov: They are trying to achieve what they have been announcing a long time ago: "Russia must know its place. It is not entitled to its own voice in international affairs and must abide by the 'rules' that the US has invented." That's it.

I think it's perfectly clear that they won't be able to do that.

Lavrov's answer also makes clear Russia's overall aim--to be free to conduct its policies within the constraints of international law. Pretty simple I'd say. That's what the Outlaw US Empire is "sacrificing" tens of thousands of lives to prevent--going against the very thing it proclaimed it fought WW2 to attain: Freedom.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2022 21:06 utc | 92

Tom_Q_Collins @ 84

We joke in our family that the world is moving towards a reality that is 1984+Brave New World+Idiocracy.

Thanks for mentioning that excellent satire cum prediction of the future.

Posted by: Objective Observer | Jun 20 2022 21:06 utc | 93

There may not be that great a mystery about what is happening in Kaliningrad if we reconfigure what b has been saying over the past few weeks. Most recently, he said that the war must go on and suggested it would happen in Syria. Others have suggested (I thing the guys of The Duran) that Syria is not sexy enough. So we have Lithuania, which - according to b - would play a role alongside Poland, which were to reconquer a chunk of Ukraine. And then b has also talked about NATO reinforcing the eastern border of NATO in the Nordic countries and the Baltic States.

What we did not anticipate that all these three scenarios could be rolled up into one and everything would unravel a lot faster than we expected. So what we have here is: another front is opening up in the Baltic Sea. If indeed Russia has to ferry oil to Kaliningrad by sea (supposing Lithuania cut off the pipeline oil), the militarization of the Baltic Sea is a foregone conclusion. This will give NATO an excuse to step up the fortification of the eastern border of "its" space and attack St. Petersburg.

The UK and the US have some kind of make-believe agreements with Finland and Sweden but they are no NATO members and can thus be fed to the Russian forces like Ukraine before them ("primrose path" revisited). What America may have up its sleeve is anybody's guess but the answer may be: nothing. Which is why it has to keep bluffing. And lying. And waiting for a miracle.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 21:10 utc | 94

@ Posted by: Rodrigo | Jun 20 2022 19:33 utc | 58

Scott Ritter for the second time mentions Taiwan war coming. This time he even said BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.

Big call. Can't say that would do the already shaky chip industry any good, let alone the whole world economy, but maybe that's exactly the plan? Who knows, let's really hope not.

Posted by: Et Tu | Jun 20 2022 21:16 utc | 95

Thanks to those that linked and recommended the McGovern & Ritter video. It goes very much into the bigger picture, the picture spelled out in the Russia China joint statement.

The link again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvVC1VBiWKM

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 20 2022 21:19 utc | 96

Regarding Kaliningrad, for the Russians it's a matter of going through the necessary procedures before declaring the intent to act in self-defense in the UNSC. The foreign ministry is on a timer to resolve the situation diplomatically.

The Russians consider it a blockade, they've given fair warning that they would, and interpretation to the contrary does nothing to dissuade them from their interpretation.

It's not an island exclave, so sea access isn't a matter for consideration -- you can't restrict land access and then point to sea and air as some alleviating factor.

The stated EU support for these restrictions is an attempt to dilute responsibility, but it doesn't legitimize the act itself; EU sanctions are not UN approved. However, any potential application of force will legally be restricted to lifting the blockade and will only be expanded in response to further escalation.

Furthermore, bilateral agreements between Russia and Lithuania, in which Russia recognizes Lithuanian independence, stipulate that Lithuania has no right to interfere with land transit between Russia and its exclave. The very same terms are repeated once more in its accession agreement with the EU. In legal terms, goods going to Russia from Russia through the territory of Lithuania never actually touch Lithuanian jurisdiction.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 20 2022 21:20 utc | 97

According to Military Summary, there is speculation the Lithuanian "blockade" may have something to do with maneuvring Russia to open Nord Stream 2 (now that Nord Stream 1 is having trouble). In any case, Kaliningrad seems to be cut off from energy delivered by pipelines. He does not know whether oil can be brought to the area by sea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYX0v75kcpg

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jun 20 2022 19:25 utc | 55

I think Russia anticipated this sort of trouble. They relocated an LNG tanker to the Kaliningrad region, as a gas storage facility. They also opened a ferry connection - currently 2 ferrys go between Kaliningrad and Ust Luga in mainland Russia. These are recent developments, only starting this year. I would be very surprised if Russia cannot send oil by ship - or any of the goods that can no longer pass through Lithuania.

So I don't think we'll see a large Russian escalation - unless our leaders decide to go for a full naval blockade of Kaliningrad. In which case Russia will hit us hard.

If all we want is NS2 operational, I guess we'll have to ask the Russians to turn it on. Politely. After all it wasn't Russia that blocked NS2. That was Germany (and of course EU and US). I don't think this has to do with NS2. I could see the West trying to blackmail Russia into deblocking Odessa by blocking Kaliningrad. I don't think it would work, though.

Posted by: Martina | Jun 20 2022 21:22 utc | 98

Robert #44

I dig the vibe.

Plus Russia has consistently supported Cuba and held the beacon of freedom I the Caribbean. Hence Bob Marley's music.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 20 2022 21:26 utc | 99

Report about what an important member of Russia's Upper House said about Lithuania's action:

NATO member state Lithuania is now effectively engaged in “direct aggression” against Russia, senator Andrey Klimov argued in his Telegram post on Monday, citing Vilnius’ decision to stop the transit of sanctioned goods to Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad.

According to the Russian politician, who heads a commission for the defense of state sovereignty, by refusing to let certain goods pass through its territory to the Russian region, Lithuania has violated a treaty signed between Moscow and Brussels 20 years ago.

Unless the EU brings its member state to heel and forces it to respect the accord, a huge question mark would be hanging over the legal basis for Lithuania’s membership in the bloc, Klimov argued. The senator stressed that in this case, Moscow would have a free hand to “solve the problem of the Kaliningrad transit created by Lithuania by ANY means chosen by us.”

Lithuania's diplomatic presence in Moscow was degraded to Charge d' Affairs and he was summoned to the MFA. Here's the media read out of that encounter:

On June 20, Chargé d'Affaires of Lithuania V. Umbrasenė was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The head of the diplomatic mission expressed a strong protest in connection with the ban imposed by Vilnius without prior notification of the Russian side on the railway transit of a large range of goods through the territory of Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region. They demanded the immediate lifting of these restrictions.

We pointed out that we regard the provocative measures of the Lithuanian side that violate Lithuania's international legal obligations, primarily the Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the European Union on Transit between the Kaliningrad Region and the Rest of the Territory of the Russian Federation of 2002, as openly hostile.

In this regard, they stated that if in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take action to protect its national interests.

The latest on this shows Lithuania trying to tap-dance its way out of the situation by saying it broke the treaty to obey illegal sanctions. Here's the text of the note delivered to Russia's Lithuanian rep:

“Lithuania has not imposed any unilateral, individual, or additional restrictions on the transit. Lithuania has consistently implemented EU sanctions, which have different transition periods and deadlines for entry into force.”

No, it broke the treaty plain and simple but doesn't have the courage to admit what it did. This will not end well for Lithuania or the Baltics as a whole.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 20 2022 21:26 utc | 100

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