Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 18, 2022

Ukraine - The West's Response As It Meets With Reality

This morning I watched an hour long discussion (vid) by 'experts' at the Center for Strategic & International Studies about assessing Russia's war in Ukraine. I have to say that these folks know nothing that is relevant. They seem to have never heard of Sun Tsu's dictum 'Know your enemy':

Sun Tzu says, “To know your enemy, you must become your enemy,” but how do you become your enemy? You need to put yourself in the place of your enemy so you can predict his actions.

Not once did the CSIS people consider the view of Russia or its real intent. They talk about this or that U.S. option but do not even once consider how the other side would react to it.

One of the CSIS 'experts' says that Russia had planned to take Kiev but failed. Take Kiev with what? There were some 20-30.000 Russian soldiers near Kiev which has some 3 million inhabitants. Historically one needs one soldier for every 40 civilians to occupy a city or country after the fighting is mostly over. Russia would have needed more than two and a half times the number of troops it had around Kiev to take and hold the city.

Several of the CSIS 'experts' have previously held high government positions in the security state. With folks like them it is no wonder to see how badly the U.S. plan to drag Russia into a long war in Ukraine is playing out.

As Daniel Larson correctly writes: We should’ve known sanctions on Russia wouldn’t work as intended

The other side of the game is much more conscious of the real situation and it does consider and correctly predicts U.S. reactions.

On Thursday the Foreign Minister of the Russian federation Sergey Lavrov gave three interviews to different news outlets.

The first one with TASS was quite short.
 Transcript: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with TASS news agency, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

The second one with BBC shows an acerbic Lavrov who several times reminds the interviewer that many cruel things had happened in Ukraine before the "Special Military Operation" started on February 24, that negotiations had failed and that Ukrainian duties under the Minsk agreements were not carried out. The interviewer tries again and again to neglect that historical context and to put the blame for the war on Russia. Lavrov calls that a form of 'chancel culture'.
 BBC: Video with English subtitles
 Transcript: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the BBC TV channel, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

Question: But the situation changed four months ago …

Sergey Lavrov: The situation has not changed. We are going back to what the Minsk agreements were coordinated for: protecting Russians in Donbass, who have been betrayed by the French and Germans. The British also played a leading role. All our Western colleagues kept saying they were unable to make Kiev honour the Minsk agreements.
Question: In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for these people. Do you think the death sentence …

Sergey Lavrov: I am not interested in the “eyes of the West” at all. I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants. So nothing in your eyes matters.

The last Lavrov interview is with a Russian TV station. It is the longest but also the best. It explains Russia's position quite well and is easy to understand.
 Transcript: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the NTV network, St Petersburg, June 16, 2022

A day after Lavrov's interviews president Vladimir Putin held a speech at the 25th St.Petersburg economic forum. The transcript is here:
 Full text of Vladimir Putin’s speech at SPIEF June 17, 2022

The speech is long but the second part is about domestic economic measures in Russia and not of much interest. I recommend to read the fist part in full but here are a few bits:

A direct result of the European politicians’ actions and events this year will be the further growth of inequality in these countries, which will, in turn, split their societies still more, and the point at issue is not only the well-being but also the value orientation of various groups in these societies.

Indeed, these differences are being suppressed and swept under the rug. Frankly, the democratic procedures and elections in Europe and the forces that come to power look like a front, because almost identical political parties come and go, while deep down things remain the same. The real interests of people and national businesses are being pushed further and further to the periphery.

Such a disconnect from reality and the demands of society will inevitably lead to a surge in populism and extremist and radical movements, major socioeconomic changes, degradation and a change of elites in the short term. As you can see, traditional parties lose all the time. New entities are coming to the surface, but they have little chance for survival if they are not much different from the existing ones.
Incidentally, the Americans have adopted sanctions on our fertilisers, and the Europeans followed suit. Later, the Americans lifted them because they saw what this could lead to. But the Europeans have not backed off. Their bureaucracy is as slow as a flour mill in the 18th century. In other words, everyone knows that they have done a stupid thing, but they find it difficult to retrace their steps for bureaucratic reasons.
The very structure of Western sanctions rested on the false premise that economically Russia is not sovereign and is critically vulnerable. They got so carried away spreading the myth of Russia’s backwardness and its weak positions in the global economy and trade that apparently, they started believing it themselves.

While planning their economic blitzkrieg, they did not notice, simply ignored the real facts of how much our country had changed in the past few years.



National Defense Magazine had an interview with the logistic commander of the Ukrainian land forces which includes some revealing details.

BREAKING: Ukraine to U.S. Defense Industry: We Need Long-Range, Precision Weapons (UPDATED)

First, you have to understand that the frontline is 2,500 kilometers long. The frontline where there is active combat in more than 1,000 kilometers long. That’s like from Kyiv to Berlin.
Think about this: one brigade occupies around 40 kilometers of the fence line. That means that to cover the active combat conflict we need 40 brigades. Every brigade is 100 infantry fighting vehicles, 30 tanks, 54 artillery systems — just for one brigade, and we have 40 of them.

I'm not going to talk about the anti-tank guided missiles or anti-tank guided weapons for now. I’m just talking about heavy weapons. As of today,we have approximately 30 to 40, sometimes up to 50 percent of losses of equipment as a result of active combat. So, we have lost approximately 50 percent. … Approximately 1,300 infantry fighting vehicles have been lost, 400 tanks, 700 artillery systems.

I believe that those loss numbers are too low. The daily Russian clobber list counts more than double of those numbers as destroyed. While that list is very likely off (as any such lists inevitably are) I doubt that it is off by that much.

Colonel Markus Reisner of the military academy of Austria provides a presentation (vid) about the 'heavy metal' the Ukraine has lost and for which some replacement is now coming from the 'west'.

According to him Ukraine started the war with 2416 tanks and other armored vehicles, 1509 field artillery and mortars, 535 MRLS and so on. (Ukraine like had additional depots with more rusty weapons in various states of (dis)repair.) It has additionally receive 250 tanks and other armored vehicles, and some 200 field artillery pieces and 50 MLRS.

It had in total 21 active brigades with 14 more in reserve plus various support units. That is less than the 40 the Ukrainian commander says are needed to cover the frontline and no reserves. The newly delivered stuff could provide for one or two more brigades. But with a 50% loss rate at least half of all that is likely already gone.

The Ukraine is not building reserves that could launch a counterattack but seems to send anything that comes from the 'west' directly to the frontline. It is in total far too little to replace the daily losses and certainly not enough to create forces for counterattacks.

The Ukrainian logistic commander also mentions that the U.S. delivered howitzer are very vulnerable:

Unfortunately, we don't have an opportunity today to have foreign supplied equipment sent back to a restoration facility simply because of time constraints. That is why we are discussing spare parts here so that we can maintain and repair that equipment right in the field.

For example, the M777 artillery systems are really prone to being damaged by enemy artillery. For every battery of M777, there are six pieces.

After every artillery contact, we have to take two artillery pieces and take them back to the rear to maintain them because some of the subsystems are damaged by shrapnel. This happens every day.

I bet that Soviet era equipment is much less prone to break under fire.


Last but not least let me point you to a fine essay by Aurelian about the future of the 'west' as the new reality sets in.

The Hinges of History Creak.
The future will develop not necessarily to the West’s advantage

However, western nations continue to act as though they were economically and militarily superior, and to try to coerce nations on which they are economically dependent, as well as fighting a proxy war against a nation which has more combat capability in Europe than they have.
In this sense, Ukraine is a test to destruction of both NATO and the EU, and the wider, western-dominated multilateral system they are both part of. NATO, in particular, has just been confronted by exactly the kind of situation that its founders expected—the exercise of Russian military power—and it did effectively nothing. No amount of hand-waving, no amount of sanctions or arms deliveries, can change that fact, which in turn changes everything. NATO and the EU can prolong the war, cause more suffering, and destroy many economies, including their own. But they can’t fundamentally affect the result, and the nature of their responses, beneath the surface posturing, demonstrates that they know this.
There is another new normal now: a Europe in which Russia is the largest military power, and where the West as a whole is dependent on Russia, China and India for its economic prosperity. This is not new, of course, but it’s a shame that nobody noticed it before.

And the reason for that is that the 'west' in its arrogance has for far too long listened to fake 'experts' like those at the CSIS.

Posted by b on June 18, 2022 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink

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@MacPott #83
Air superiority, as I understand it, means one side largely dominates the air but that the other side still contests it.
The post Battle of Britain situation in Europe is a good example: while Allied air fleets could bomb Germany, these missions were contested and planes were getting shot down on both sides.
Air supremacy is what occurred in Iraq and Libya, but not in Syria.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 18 2022 21:49 utc | 101

Posted by: Leuk | Jun 18 2022 21:31 utc | 92

« ... the predictions of experts »: the relevance of predictions, etc. Sorry.

Posted by: Leuk | Jun 18 2022 21:50 utc | 102

Given Macron's behavior, he's 100% untrustworthy, and I doubt such a meeting will occur.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:25 utc | 91

Given his background, it's possible he is serving as the senior Ambassador of the Upper Echelon Banking Establishment. But if Eurasia is determined to move on from under their wing, then there is little point in meeting. If, on the other hand, the west is trying to come to a new accommodation, say accepting something genuinely multipolar, meaning that the West is finally accepting they cannot rule the East any more and new arrangements must be made, then there is a point in meeting. Macron and Putin can probably make more progress on that front one on one than any gaggle-group gab-fest.

That said, I very much doubt the West is ready for anything substantive. They haven't destroyed their old polity yet to create conditions on the ground conducive for the pet Reset project. That's going to take 6-36 months longer.

Which leaves a cynical possibility: Macron has an upper level private meeting (not on phone) to coordinate timing issues involving the kinetic operations and finance shenanigans in the next 3-12 months....

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 21:53 utc | 103

@Kauai John #89
I do sympathize with Ritter's disgust over Lira.
The reality is that Lira has zero background or experience with anything military period much less what is going on in Ukraine - it is very legit for Ritter to consider Lira's attack on him to be unhinged.

Lira can surf the sea of OSINT on Ukraine as much as anyone, but his own admitted failure to speak Russian or Ukrainian plus his lack of background tells me that he is not an original source or is capable of accessing original source data; his (largely now, but entirely before) failure to credit the sources of his information were a 2nd strike particularly since it is highly unlikely he has any secret sources to protect.

But whatever, he was reasonably accurate on the ground situation before the above problems led me to stop listening - because he has nothing original to offer after Russia stopped threatening Kharkov.

But he is entertaining.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 104

In response to karlof1@81,

Putin probably disagrees with his own optimism, or at the very least leaves significant caveats unsaid, but being up front about it limits room for maneuver. I thought he appeared rather irritated, and it's not surprising considering the venue and the international situation. There's no shortage on hyenas among the representatives of big business in Russia, all dutifully present at the forum, some of which may yet attempt to cause serious mischief if the opportunity presents itself. Putin told them what they could expect from the government, placated them with a bit of market liberalization, gave them fair warning against seeking refuge abroad and off they went to their hotel rooms, some for hookers and blow, others to plot and scheme. Russia has its own share of dysfunctional elites, but at least they're being kept on a short leash and away from the helm.

Richard Steven Hack@82,

People, myself included, generally respond only where they have something to add to a topic or dispute the contents of it, and your take-down of Ritter is essentially exhaustive. I salute your tenacity in shutting down his defenders across every thread, but I think you have your work cut out for you. Ritter is a typical specimen of the American alternative commentariat, like Dore, with a pleasant personality and a heart seemingly in the right place, but up to half the stuff that comes out of his mouth at any given time is likely to be inaccurate in some way or other, from trivial details to defining characteristics.

I remember seeing his entry-level explanation of the situation in Ukraine at the start of the SMO, which I rated as fiction inspired by historic events, and tuning him out from then on. But, if he can get through to Hollywood-addled brains in the US, he's still an improvement over MSM.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 105

ostro @74--

IMO, Lithuania will become NATO's next sacrificial lamb in its war with Russia. It's part of the overall Outlaw US Empire policy to first fight Russia to the last Ukrainian and then to the last European. I thought the Poles would volunteer to be first, but it appears Lithuania was prodded after its attempt to rile China. Lithuania risks losing a sizable portion of its territory.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:58 utc | 106

I'm sorry but I don't see any serious discussion of what Russia has to do next.

If they don't mobilize a huge number of troops to finish the job, then some one needs to explain how they get control of huge cities and get to Odessa/Transnistria.

If you think that the Ukraine army simply walks away, we need some historical evidence of that. As it is, it is easy to think that local troops could hold off control of cities, even if Kiev loses national control. Even Nazis held out in pockets when Berlin was taken - and attacking Kiev would be an enormous task, by analogy. Please gimme a believable scenario here, I don't see how this works out.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 18 2022 21:59 utc | 107

Ultimately it doesn't matter what anti-Russia western "analysts" say, other than it resulting in more dead Ukrainians. Doubtless it hurts the Russians' feelings, but killing off all of the delusional fools in the Ukraine who buy into the fascist western Russophobia narratives is certainly one way to accomplish denazification. Survival of the fittest, with fitness for survival being rejection of the Russophobia delusions. It's not an elegant or preferred solution to Nazis but it works.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 18 2022 22:03 utc | 108

I reckon they’re setting up to throw FJB under the bus so that they can change the narrative.

Timing is right on all fronts.

Quite apart from the daughter diary media attention.

Today he fell off his bike. I thought they were just being stupid letting him even ride until I noticed they had him in toe clips. Neither his wife or the security detail were using toe clips and you wouldn’t usually have them fitted to that type of mountain / slow road bike

That thing he’s on is for driving miss daisy, not racing.

You don’t use them unless you need the power - racing. If you don’t need them then you’d not attach them because they’re a pain in the arse.

Definitely not used for a slow weekend ride.

So the options are he is either so decrepit that his feet will slip off the pedals if they’re not clipped on so they had to clip them on,


he was being stitched up to fall off because he couldn’t co ordinate his feet. Even experienced cyclists take a bit of time to get used to them.

Plus I think she was in on it. She pulled off to the right and was a long way away from him when he pulled into the crowd of “supporters” and fell off. If she’d been beside him to his right, likely he’d have taken her out with him.

TL;DR - his handlers should not have had him on a bike unless an accident was the desired outcome.

Posted by: PalmaSailor | Jun 18 2022 22:05 utc | 109

I more and more appreciate Mr. EarlGrey picking and commenting western statements while walking through St. Petersburg. A new format that combines real time video with an overview to western blockheads:

And I of course love his accent. Where in the UK is he from? Native speakers asked.

Posted by: njet | Jun 18 2022 22:07 utc | 110

Kauai John #89

I want to note that (I felt) Johnson and Ritter mostly worked out their differences in the podcast offered from ustourofduty. It is Ritter's tendency to take offense (which I totally forgive him for) over repeated slurs against him that work against him. When I shut that out, he and Johnson are very, very congruent.

Thank you. Ritter is so loud and emphatic at times that I guess his audience might suffer a tad but he is mostly credible. He could be more fulsome in elaborating on his meanings but then he is military and blunt to the point of leaving too much up to the imagination/prejudice of listeners.

One thing is certain that the broad frontline has been a powerful nazi and armaments magnet enabling Russia to establish position and turkey shoot the target. That was Russia's expressed intention - to de-nazify and demilitarise Ukraine and Ritter gets it mostly.

It takes a while to suck in all those global glory loving nazis into the target zone but it sure is proceeding well. Ritter gets another thing right - the adventurers/mercenaries should all swing on a rope if caught. The Azot chemical plant trap was brilliantly executed by the liberation team and I guess there will be a lot of sobered up westies in UK, USA, Poland, even Chile mourning their passing soon.

The west needs to hear the blunt language from Russia and informed observers such as Ritter, clearly reasoned words are treated with contempt in the west as it is today. Sad.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 22:13 utc | 111


How long are pockets of Nazis with no central command supposed to hold out, and what would be their end-game? Think Azovstahl on a bigger scale -- what are these "defenders" supposed to do in order to turn their lot around? Revitalize the industrial economy under their control and try to reform into independent statelets? Well no, there's still a war on. Take the fight to the allied forces? They stand no chance. Meanwhile, even while defenses hold, their situation becomes unsustainable.

I think the general strategy has been amply demonstrated.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 18 2022 22:14 utc | 112

@ c1ue | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 106

I recognize that Lira is sometimes wrong, sometimes very, very wrong.
But I give credence to nearly everything he posts.

I have yet to see anyone (other than Brandon) say anything that would cause me to think them such fools I should never listen to them again.

I think you get where I'm coming from.

There is no one who knows everything. I'll listen to anyone who has a "clue". Lira and Ritter and "the new Atlas" and others certainly "have a clue", but they could all be wrong. Even when they all agree with one another -- or when they disagree with one another.

I'm a separate "computer" analyzing events. You (and others) are also. I have no reason to believe that I'm always right. But when "computers" like RSH declare themselves to be infallible --- well....

I object to being called a fool.

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 18 2022 22:18 utc | 113

Military Summary has just posted an update.

The northern frontline around Kharkiv seems to be moving south under broad Russian pressure. My guess is to disperse the new artillery across a wider range rather than it all end up shelling Donetsk. Maybe Kharkiv is about to be the payback for Donetsk destruction.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 22:19 utc | 114

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 18 2022 21:46 utc | 101
"How often does Lira present figures?"

Which is relevant how?

"he is also clearly focusing on more than just the front line reports. Being ex-Marine and international weapons inspection, he likely has contacts all over Western militaries."

And he has repeatedly stated that he doesn't have any better information sources than anyone else. More importantly, no one outside of those with access to either Ukrainian or Russian military staff - and possibly the Pentagon and the US National Reconnaissance Office - have any detailed intelligence on losses on either side. Ritter has never claimed any such sources. Speculation that he does, in the absence of cites, is hand-waving.

"very possibly because some of these sources cannot be identified without endangering them."

Are you seriously suggesting the "sources and methods" argument applies here? That's risible.

"In any case, I have made it clear that you are either not paying close attention to what he said or you are allowing your antipathy for his views on one position to color your view on everything he says."

And I have repeatedly made it clear that the only argument I have with Ritter's statements is his assessment of the "game changing" aspects of Western supplied weapons. Almost all the rest of what he says I agree with and have repeatedly over the last three months, as I've cited his videos many times here.

I also repeat that I have given direct quotes from him with which I disagree, so I can hardly accused of not paying close attention to what he says.

"Neither is productive."

Neither is hand-waving. You haven't refuted a single thing I said.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:19 utc | 115

Scorpion @96--

Years ago, well before the 2016 election, Grieved, myself and others had a running discourse on that question with one of the tactics being the emulation of the 1880s Prairie Populists who almost took over the nation in 1896. They used a similar incrementalist strategy (this was before the direct election of Senators) to first capture state legislatures then governorships followed by Congressional delegations then the White House. The reasons for their failure are well known--fusion with the corrupt and racist D-Party being primary. A similar movement arose during the Depression but was unable to transcend WW2. Of course, both occurred prior to the swamp's construction and capture of both parties by Wall Street and its allies. Hudson is only willing to say a big, tenacious political fight is required to wrest control and won't elaborate. I understand his unstated reasons as he's got a lot left to accomplish at 82 with an unknown amount of time remaining. Note the Clintons are now trying their best to preempt Trump; but IMO, what they're actually aiming at are the populist forces that back Trump.

The vital ingredient to change is on the horizon--an economic crisis whose severity is hard to predict. IMO, it will occur in concert with international events. My Crystal Ball is cloudy and all I see in it is bigtime trouble, but no when. You're better off in Mexico.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 22:21 utc | 116

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 18 2022 21:47 utc | 102
"There is NOTHING from Ritter suggesting he wants to declare a "winner"."

You just can't read English, can you?

What I said was that Ritter subconsciously doesn't want Russia to "win". I never said anything about Ritter wanting to DECLARE a winner. The two are not identical. At best Ritter has declared that he expects a "stalemate" - when he isn't then contradicting himself by saying Russia is winning. Which I have repeatedly pointed out and you've repeatedly ignored. Talk about people making things up in their head.

"you've pretty much made it clear that you think you're so much smarter than the rest of us that if we don't agree with you, we're morons. Guys like you tend to recruit vocal imbeciles to their side, IOW, the ridiculous condemnations of Ritter."

So now who's doing the insulting?

"I have no desire for either side to win -- just like I think Ritter feels. But I do recognize that it was the US/NATO that made this happen. Ritter knows it was NATO. Any suggestion he doesn't is silly."

Never made any suggestion that he didn't. Once again, you clearly can't read English and are making your impressions of my statements up in your head.

"IMHO, there is no "win" to be had here, just a new cold war between the East and the West."

Tell Zelenskyy there's going to be no "win."

"A betrayal by the Oligarchy. Is that who you support?"

Once again, where have I ever said that? You really a fucking moron. You've proven my point here over and over by a moronic inability to read English.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:26 utc | 117

Posted by: juliania | Jun 18 2022 19:01 utc | 32

I think you may discover much of Daniel Larison's stuff on analysis, leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by: Lbanu | Jun 18 2022 22:31 utc | 118

It seems as though a major narrative of late (that UA units are depleted, out of ammo, loosing 1000 soldiers per day, etc.) conflicts with the lack of progression of Allied Forces against these 'hollow units'. ... Perhaps I can suggest a theory that may explain why?

The 'Roach Motel' Strategy

It seems as though the UA has recently been desperately feeding these depleted units with Territorial Army, National Guard, Reserves, and anyone else they can drag off the street, to try and beef them up to make a viable defensive stance. ... But, what if that is what the Russian MOD wants them to do? ... That is, keep feeding soldiers into the Donbas killing fields until there are no more fighters left in the entire country.

Like the Roach Motel, once they go in they never come out alive. ... That makes sense in the longer picture because once all of these Ukrainian nationalists are destroyed in Donbas, seizing the rest of the country should be plausible in that there will be few forces left to defend.

Right now, it is not so much about 'gaining territory' as it is for destroying (completely) Ukraine's military capability. ... The 'Roach Motel' Strategy does that very efficiently (and politically savvy as persecuted Donbas is considered a 'liberation territory'). ... The wider territorial gains can be had later.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 18 2022 22:35 utc | 119

William Gruff #110

It's not an elegant or preferred solution to Nazis but it works.

Thank you. I liked that post and I doubt there is any elegant solution to the destruction of nazism - it takes brutality. All the more so when they have been feted for 70+years inveigling their way into the upper echelons of power in FUKUSA and everywhere else. The equivalent amount of brutal expose and destruction of the western cbw laboratories is urgently needed as well. Nazism is sociopathic extremism all carefully bundled up into a cult of supremacy and 'personal achievement' and hatred. There is no therapy for psychopathic haters and killers afaik.

To consider that this death cult is in the power position directing the military run biolabs throughout the world is far more alarming than the conjecture of this war becoming nuclear. This is the biggest security issue of our day and the west is utterly responsible,

Is there no power in the USA to reign this in?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 22:36 utc | 120

Skiffer @107--

Thanks for your reply. Seems you read the entire transcript as you alluded to the portion where Russia's semi-Deep State was discussed. The problem's due to the remaining oligarchs seeking excess profits that harm the nation. Putin's method of clipping their wings is erecting state-owned corporations in emerging technological fields while extolling youth on the virtues of work and life promoting Russia whereby Russia supports your efforts. IMO, one of the behind-the-scenes discussions at EAEU and SCO relate to the prevention of oligarchs and sequestration of those that exist. You could see that between the lines in Tokayev's contributions. If Lukashenko were present, we'd read more about that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 22:37 utc | 121

I vaguely recall reading Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance and the polarity of world views expressed in that book seem to be at play here.

Brian Berletic (New Atlas) made a video regarding the British offer to train 10,000 Ukr. every 120 days. Let's halve that and say that the wunderschule can produce 10,000 soldiers every 60 days, Ukr. is suffering a casualty rate of 500 (low estimate) daily. So in 60 days, Ukr needs 30,000 soldiers to maintain current force levels.

If they start now, Russia will have eliminated upto 60,000 Ukr. nationalists by the end of August, with the numbers spiking dramatically unless the soldiers in the current cauldrons surrender.

My (admittedly) basic math skills suggest that unless the Russians run out of artillery, any suggestion that Ukraine can keep this going indefinitely should go beyond naked assertions.

Russia is establishing facts on the ground and the argument against those facts needs to be rock solid IMO.

Posted by: eyeswideopen | Jun 18 2022 22:40 utc | 122

@Merkin Scot | Jun 18 2022 17:33 utc | 2

Boris wants Ukraine to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year. Respect! What a game changer.

Sure, with the two clowns Bojo and Elensky as drag queens.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 18 2022 22:41 utc | 123

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 106

I agree completely about Lira. He's a second-hand source of information, if that. I only listen to him when he comes up with speculations about how things might go. He's imaginative and logical and smart. But he's no primary source for anything other than local conditions in Kharkiv.

As an aside, I don't understand The Duran guys fascination with Jacob Dreizin. I see no evidence of a military background (other than a reference to being a "veteran") with him, either, and his analysis is no more in-depth than following Colonel Cassad or Rybar would allow for along with some general ability to look up weapons capabilities. In other words, no better than me. Plus he's way too flippant.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:44 utc | 124

"This video isn't available anymore"
It must have been good.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 22:45 utc | 125

@ PalmaSailor | Jun 18 2022 22:05 utc | 111

Good Catch!

In my 10 years of mountain bike riding I NEVER used toe clips. I recognize them for the trap they were.
Yeah, if you're in a competition of some kind and you don't care about falling down and breaking your hip, use them.

But for a recreational trip through the park? No way!

Either he was set up or his staff is stupid.

Posted by: Kauai Johm | Jun 18 2022 22:47 utc | 126

The dying state babbles away:
"The Russian language will be restricted in the schools of the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolayev, City Council Executive Committee member Ekaterina Stokolias said on Saturday.

In a Facebook post, she stated that the decision was made by the committee on Friday.

“From September 1, no clubs, courses, junior classes or educational designs with the Russian language. Finally! Thank you to all my colleagues!” Stokolias wrote.

She added a drawing depicting a cat holding a heart in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The captions to the picture are “Language matters” and “Everything matters.”

"The announcement in Nikolayev came as Ukrainian Deputy Education and Science Minister Andrey Vitrenko revealed earlier this month that the authorities plan to change the school curriculum in several subjects, including foreign literature, world history and the history of Ukraine. In particular, the world-famous novel ‘War and Peace’ by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, which chronicles Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, will be dropped.

“Such things will not be studied in Ukraine. Everything that glorifies the orc troops will disappear from the program of foreign literature,” Vitrenko explained...

It is what fascists do..

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 22:48 utc | 127

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 107
"I think you have your work cut out for you."

Got that absolutely right!

"Ritter is a typical specimen of the American alternative commentariat, like Dore, with a pleasant personality and a heart seemingly in the right place, but up to half the stuff that comes out of his mouth at any given time is likely to be inaccurate in some way or other, from trivial details to defining characteristics."

I agree, including about Dore. I wouldn't say "half", but I don't agree with a certain percentage of what Dore says, and perhaps less so with Ritter. As I've said, my main complaint with Ritter is simply his recent assessment of NATO support for Ukraine as a "game-changer". Everything else he says I pretty much agree with, with minor quibbles. It's simply a matter of being internally inconsistent, illogical and a lot of hand-waving with no real evidence.

"But, if he can get through to Hollywood-addled brains in the US, he's still an improvement over MSM."'


Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:49 utc | 128

Kauai John #115

But when "computers"" like RSH declare themselves to be infallible --- well....

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 22:49 utc | 129

Here are the e-mail addies of the brain-dead assholes they call a gov't in Lithuania. Bomb them with letters decrying their outlandish stupidity.

Posted by: Berndt Braincell | Jun 18 2022 22:50 utc | 130

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:58 utc | 108

Who do you trust? LiraTalk S1 E169 or
RT and Reuters?
Baltics won’t get NATO divisions – Reuters

The three Baltic states have called on NATO to send more troops into the region amid fears of a Russian attack, urging the US-led bloc to bolster its presence as much as tenfold, but officials from other member nations say it’s doubtful the requests will be fulfilled.
The organization [NATO] remains skeptical over new deployments in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing seven diplomats and senior officials from leading NATO allies. While the region hosted around 5,000 multinational troops prior to Russia’s assault on Ukraine in February, the three countries have asked for between 15,000 and 50,000 soldiers in total.
notwithstanding creepy Joe Tzu's no-boots-on-ground 8K+ USA drop to US permanent bases alone since 24 Feb
The [Baltic] bloc is set for a major meeting in Madrid at the end of June, where Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are expected to raise the issue again. However, NATO’s other 27 members are more favorable to a lighter presence, instead proposing additional intelligence assets in the Baltics to help prepare for a potential Russian invasion, the officials said.
a 100 here, two hundred there, pretty soon you're talkin a real battalion
Washington and London, meanwhile, remain opposed to new permanent bases in the region due to the high costs associated with such projects. An alternative idea floated last month by chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley would see new bases created, but manned by “rotational” troops who would periodically cycle through deployments. That could avoid the need to construct family housing LOL!, schools and other expensive infrastructure typically needed for soldiers stationed abroad long-term.

“I believe that a lot of our European allies… they are very, very willing to establish permanent bases,” Milley told lawmakers during a hearing in May. “They’ll build them, they’ll pay for them.”

eh, then maybe we will become ... settler colonists? stimulatin' the local economy
An adviser to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told Reuters that the country would continue to “insist” on new NATO deployments in the lead-up to the Madrid summit, while the office of Estonia’s prime minister said it is hammering out details with partners for “how to strengthen the allied presence.” Latvian officials declined to comment.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jun 18 2022 22:52 utc | 131

Posted by: Eighthman | Jun 18 2022 21:59 utc | 109
"If they don't mobilize a huge number of troops to finish the job, then some one needs to explain how they get control of huge cities and get to Odessa/Transnistria."

Suggest you read my posts earlier in the thread. You could start with b's post at the top of this thread which clearly explains how many troops are needed to take Kiev, which I followed up on page one of this thread.

Alternatively, you might try explaining how many Russian forces YOU think are needed, and based on what historic and current military facts.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:54 utc | 132

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 18 2022 22:18 utc | 115
"But when "computers" like RSH declare themselves to be infallible --- well...."

Cite me saying that ever. Unless you do, you are a fool - and a moron - and a liar.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:57 utc | 133

Oh, and a troll on top it.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:58 utc | 134

Guys like you tend to recruit vocal imbeciles to their side, IOW, the ridiculous condemnations of Ritter.

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 18 2022 21:47 utc | 102

So... I am a vocal imbecile. For I prefer to read B. and Richard than to listen to Ritter or Lira. First, reading takes less time than listening. Second, those two have nothing to tell me I do not know already through Telegram channels. Listening to those two is time losing. Happy you, you have time to lose!

Moreover those two are self-promoting themselves. Kind of spectacle. Good if you cannot think by yourself.

Posted by: Olivier | Jun 18 2022 22:58 utc | 135

The French president also defended his earlier statement that it is vital that Russia is not humiliated over its actions in Ukraine.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:25 utc | 91

This was obviously nothing more than an attempt to get under Putin's skin. I doubt that it had the desired effect. Anymore than quips about marrying his mother bother Macron.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 18 2022 22:58 utc | 136

@Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:25 utc | 91

Macron wants this meeting with Putin, as he does his multiple long telephone hours with President of Russia, for to look more stateman in face of the second round of French elections where he ended in stalmate with the leftist Mèlenchon.

When he talks of the need to not humiliate President Putin and Russia, he is just projecting, he means just the opposite, that Putin leaves him outside its rightful adjusting of accounts, due his rol in the Ukrainian war, nad allows him to renoivate his mandate in France.

I´ll bet Putin has have already enough of this lying despicable clown and will receive him on the opposite end of a much longer table than the last time.

Posted by: Ghost of Mozgovoy | Jun 18 2022 23:01 utc | 137

@ c1ue 99

To me it is laughable that here you are defending the "attempts" at world government/law.

What is all of that bullshit if it has gotten us to the place we are right this second?

Has world government benefitted humanity one iota? I would say it could easily be argued that it hasn't and indeed has put us in a far more dire position.

Consider this point: the veto power in the UNSC, which is a negative force, has been the only good thing about this global arrangement. And even where China or Russia has abstained or used their veto power, grave damage to world security has occurred (Iraq and Libya) regardless of the mission statement of said organization (global "stability").

All of these international organizations are the propaganda arm of empire, full-stop.

Paradoxically, the way forward goes back. ~ Tao Te Ching

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 18 2022 23:03 utc | 138

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 22:21 utc | 118

"The vital ingredient to change is on the horizon--an economic crisis whose severity is hard to predict. IMO, it will occur in concert with international events. My Crystal Ball is cloudy and all I see in it is bigtime trouble, but no when. You're better off in Mexico."

Thank you for your reply. It IS a pickle, an no mistake. One way or another there has to be a revolution. Am not a historian like you so am not aware of any bona fide revolution with a happy ending. Are you? Perhaps it has something to teach. The only two I have a little knowledge of were in France and Russia and all I know about them is that they were instigated by dark money elites for nefarious purposes. Presumably they engendered genuine popular support out of pre-existing grievances, but they were not organic bottom-up movements, put it that way.

In any case, just this hour I stumbled onto one of the best overview articles I've read on this whole thing for a while came out today on Saker site:

Lots of very good points, but here is the ending:
"What to do

The Great Reset of the world economy is the direct cause of World War 3 – assuming that is what is going on. What can be done about this? From inside the West, little can be done. The only way is to somehow remove Davos from the equation, but that is most likely not going to happen for two reasons: The first one is that the Davos great resetters are too entwined in the western economy and politics. Davos is like an octopus with its arms and suckers inside every country’s elite circles, media, and government. They are too entrenched to be easily removed. The second reason is that the western population is too brainwashed and ignorant. The level of their brainwashing is such that a large part of them actually want to become poor – although they use the word ‘green’ for ‘poor’ because it sounds better. There are, however, some indications that there may be divisions within western elites. Some of them, particularly within the US, may be resisting the primarily Europe-designed Great Reset – but whether this opposition is real or effective remains to be seen.

However, outside the West, there are certain measures that can be taken and must be taken. Some of those measures are drastic and some of them are being done as we speak. Among the measures are the following:

The Independents, led by Russia, China, and India, must create a block to isolate themselves from the radioactive West. This isolation must not only be economic, but also political and social. Their economic systems must be divorced from the West and made autonomous. Their cultures and history must be defended against western influences and revisionism. This process appears to be underway.
The Independents must immediately ban all western sponsored institutions and NGOs in their countries, regardless of whether they are sponsored by western states or individuals. Furthermore, they must ban all media receiving western sponsorship and strip every school and university of western sponsorship and influence.
They must leave all international institutions up to and possibly including the United Nations because all international bodies are controlled by the West. They must then replace them with new institutions within their block.
They must, at some point, declare the dollar and the euro currencies non grata. That means that they should declare default on all debts denominated in these currencies, but not other debts. This will most likely come at a later stage but is inevitable.
This will create a situation where the West will descend into darkness without pulling others down with it – if we manage to escape the nuclear fire."

One of his interesting points in the middle is that the Great Reset crowd is working towards a complete financial collapse however it must be gradual with controlled populations who cannot revolt after which they can seize all properties and change the system to a totalitarian techno-fascist brave new world. The problem with Russia, China et alia is that they are not now owned/indebted and thus their collapse cannot be synchronized which is needed - hence war which is designed to weaken and destabilize them. Fair enough and it seems they can handle themselves.

But how people within the Empire of Lies can handle themselves is another thing. I hesitate to say it but part of the answer is spiritual in the sense that it is very important not to lose a sense of basic goodness viz oneself and all others. Life is basically good not basically bad. The news is ghastly, the mentality promoted by the leadership classes is low, lewd, anxiety-ridden, materialist, humourless but frivolously distracting and so on... in short ugly and brutish. Part of our job is to not buy into such ugliness. I believe there is a power in people especially when they are attuned. The bad guys know this and act accordingly otherwise they would just wade in and take everything and execute all in their way. No, they want to appear like honorable people with hearts even though they are always undermining such qualities. Nature of evil, perhaps one can say. But if we the people resist such spiritual darkness, that is worth more, I believe, than most of us tend to appreciate. Much more.

If a general atmosphere of positivity and goodness can still be aroused despite the seeming negative storms abounding, then ways will be found. First comes atmosphere with vision, then come ways and means.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 23:03 utc | 139

Posted by: Robert | Jun 18 2022 22:35 utc | 121

And very probably a correct thought. It's clear Russia is not about seizing and holding, let alone "occupying", territory - except in the case of Donbass. It's all about "de-militarization", which means reducing Ukraine's military into something which is not a threat to Donbass or Russia and unconnected to NATO.

Russia has repeatedly said they have no intention to "occupy" Ukraine. But in my view they do intend to "control" Ukraine, at least in regards to having a pro-Russian government in place after everything is done. They clearly can't afford to leave the present regime in place. Even Ritter agrees with that and always has.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 23:04 utc | 140

eyeswideopen #124

Russia is establishing facts on the ground and the argument against those facts needs to be rock solid IMO.

Thank you for that reference to Brian Berletic and his analysis of the idiot nonsense in the British proposal.

As I get the strategy there is no rush. There is the patience of the hunter manipulating the prey when necessary and waiting calmly for a clear shot. In this case there will come a point when panic can be unleashed and the Ukrainian forces will stampede out of their fortified trenches west of Donetsk and other cities of significance. Perhaps that point will arrive when the nazi leadership corps is eliminated. There is no rush.

The westies governments are in a rush as they know that peak propaganda barrages have a limited durability. Plus the westies governments can see a domestic upheaval rising and they are to blame because of their financial mismanagement, sanctions blunders and their hubris. It will be a cold winter perhaps.

There is no rush to re-establish the old nato borders of 1997. If nato still exists of course.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 23:04 utc | 141

NATO, in particular, has just been confronted by exactly the kind of situation that its founders expected—the exercise of Russian military power—and it did effectively nothing. No amount of hand-waving, no amount of sanctions or arms deliveries, can change that fact, which in turn changes everything. NATO and the EU can prolong the war, cause more suffering, and destroy many economies, including their own. But they can’t fundamentally affect the result, and the nature of their responses, beneath the surface posturing, demonstrates that they know this.

I'd disagree with this. NATO could wreck the Russian invasion but it would come back to the same problem, Russia has nukes and would be backed into a corner. They'd be back to the issue that it would at a macro level be obviously a war of aggression.

That's the essence of all of this. By the simple action of invading itself and not drawing any NATO response Russia has demonstrated that Ukraine is actually in it's sphere of influence and that what the neocons and their coerced government heads in the US and the rest of NATO meant to imply was false because nobody feels threatened, they feel outraged. That's partly why the sanctions went so wrong. This was not a strategic imperative response, this was a response of moral outrage, there was never a pretense that it would end the war. Russia wasn't really strategically sanctioned, it was cancelled.

But not even that fait accompli and show of force and show of a lack of any will to move their forces into a shooting war with Russia hasn't led to any hope of the West recognising this, quite the opposite which leads it into an existential quandary. It's like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

Obama actually was prompted to say this out loud once by the turbo neocon Jeffrey Goldberg when interviewed in the Atlantic about why he wasn't even more belligerent towards Russia via Ukraine. He explained that since the status of Ukraine was seen (Correctly) as existential to Russia and was of absolutely no existential concern to the US, they'd always lose to Russia in a war of escalation, eventually leading to Russia going to war against Ukraine and the US being left with the choice of having to then intervene or look weak and relying on the other guy not to take it nuclear. And all so Israel could more thoroughly destroy Syria and Lebanon. It's a lot like the Cod War between Iceland and Britain. By the end Iceland wound up with a totally excessive EEZ because to Iceland it was existential and one of the few concerns for their government. Meanwhile for the UK, it wasn't and had to compete with a million other priorities.

What the West hasn't been able to do is admit that this has happened yet, which makes Western governments, taking orders from Washington who are taking orders from the neocons, insanely dangerous. Because what they are trying do is totally irrational. They want to not start a shooting war with Russia but still have them not win in Ukraine. They want to sanction Russia to death but end up exposing (Both to Europe and Russia itself, it's one thing to know something intellectually but to know it emotionally is another) central and Western continental Europe's dependence on Russian gas and other exports. They're going to lose on so many fronts simultaneously it's shocking to think about.

So far we've learned that they've taken up offers with Israel to bomb a major civilian airport, this time with Israel not even bothering to give a justification. (And why should they even bother, it's always an obvious lie nobody believes and the it never seems to matter) What is going to be next?

Posted by: Altai | Jun 18 2022 23:04 utc | 142

“Such things will not be studied in Ukraine. Everything that glorifies the orc troops will disappear from the program of foreign literature,” Vitrenko explained...

It is what fascists do..

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18 2022 22:48 utc | 129

One can also look at it from another angle. Government officials will have no future in the new Ukraine. So when the time comes for asking for a political asylum in the West one better have a solid anti-Russian resume.

Posted by: Pagan | Jun 18 2022 23:09 utc | 143

@ karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 21:25 utc | 91
Don't care about Macron
Nobody cares.
Putin doesn't care, doesn't wait for a phone call from this loser

A new world order is still emerging but it’s clear that its rules will be created by those "who aren’t moving along a path set out by others." "Only strong and sovereign states can have a say in this emerging world order or they will have to become or remain colonies with no rights," Putin noted.
"Russia is entering the new era as a powerful and sovereign country. We will make sure to take advantage of the new tremendous opportunities that this era is opening for us and will grow even stronger."

Macron is just good for lips service [and not even a good French one, (French joke)].
EU Politburo need him to get a lame majority tomorrow, election day. Malamatias doesn't like to read it, but the "fake left" will help him tomorrow to secure it, letting a few seats "in defense of european democracy". In their eyes, only LePen and Putin are "marching fascists".

As Lavrov said
So, nothing in your eyes matters

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 18 2022 23:09 utc | 144

Ritter is a typical specimen of the American alternative commentariat, like Dore, with a pleasant personality and a heart seemingly in the right place, but up to half the stuff that comes out of his mouth at any given time is likely to be inaccurate in some way or other, from trivial details to defining characteristics....

...But, if he can get through to Hollywood-addled brains in the US, he's still an improvement over MSM.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 18 2022 21:57 utc | 107

Possibly, like Seymour Hersh, Ritter is a second level CIA disinformation agent. His role is to misdirect those of us who insist on going around the MSM gatekeepers. Hersh was a master at that game.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 18 2022 23:11 utc | 145

Zakharova on Ukraine's future dimensions, "Ukraine in its previous borders no longer possible":

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said it was no longer possible for Ukraine to return to its previous borders.

"The Ukraine that you and I had known, within the borders that used to be, no longer exists, and will never exist again. This is evident," the diplomat said in an interview to Sky News - Arabia, published in her Telegram channel on Friday.

The head of the Lugansk People’s Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, said the country may hold a referendum on accession to Russia. The head of another Donbass republic, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said the issue on joining Russia will "become the number one issue" once the republic restores its constitutional borders.

Besides, officials of the military-civilian administration of the Kherson Region, an area that has been under Russia’s control since mid-March, have repeatedly stressed that the region was seeking to join Russia as well.

Also, a senior official with the military-civilian administration of another region, Zaporozhye, said the territory hopes to join Russia and become a part of its Southern Federal District.

sln2002 @133--

I don't actually "trust" Lira or Reuters. RT is better, but there's no way of knowing which of what you provided was from RT. Clearly, Lithuania is following orders from Washington, not Brussels. Just as clearly is the realization that Russia has long planned for just such an occurrence and will act. And as I've written since December, NATO will be leaving the Baltics, peacefully or otherwise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 23:11 utc | 146

I find it a tragic farce . Concerning the complete lack of situational awareness. By all the leading Republican Senators.

Now these Yankee pirates are demanding that the Chinese owned and operated very popular "TikTok" . Ban all pro Russia media. Report only the Yankee propaganda.

Little do these delusional Republican clowns masquerading as Senators for life and world rulers, Do not understand that Chinese social media has a very active lively discussion concerning Yankee /Country 404 fiction and propaganda .

Well it is written in simplified Chinese. A language that most Yankees will never understand. As it is not written in butchered Yankee English. Using 'google translate' is well beyond the ancient should have been retired four decades ago sole one thought a time corrupted by money mononeuron.

Here is a thought. To drain the DC foggy bottom swamp. Impose a very strict age limit to all candidates to a maximum of 65 years of age......... All free lunches above $10-00 USSA air dollars. Must be fully listed on the rep/senators website . Along with a complete list of all names (no paks/companies/corporations allowed). Ban all think tanks and evict/jail all influence peddlers for tax fraud.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jun 18 2022 23:11 utc | 147

One a side tangent, and forgive me if this has been discussed recently because I'm way behind reading Moon, but Lt Gen. Roger Coultier has actually showed up in public in the U.S. I sent this local news channel story I found on the web to my retired Colonel friend, along with some opinions that the new retro U.S. Army dress uniforms are sad looking and that Jolly Roger 3-star was a bit of a fat boy or at least a barrel-chested sort of guy. The Colonel's response: "agree new/old is ugly.....gained some weight in captivity.....guess there was no gym available"...

Posted by: DakotaRog | Jun 18 2022 23:11 utc | 148

Posted by: eyeswideopen | Jun 18 2022 22:40 utc | 124

Correct. In fact, I believe Ukraine is losing a minimum of 15,000 troops per month, with a possible maximum of 30,000. I think the Russian counts of 250-300 "destroyed" (presumably means killed, but does not likely include wounded) are conservative. Adding the wounded jumps the figure to 500-1,000 depending on the ratio of killed to wounded (at least 1:1 and more likely 1:2 or 1:3 but it can be as high as 1:13 historically). Since by far the Ukrainian casualties are the result mostly of Russian artillery, missile and air strikes, meaning heavier weapons than small arms, the wounded to killed ratio is likely at least 2.5-3.

So in the first 100 days, I would guess Ukraine has lost a minimum of 45,000 troops and more likely 60,000 with an easily possible maximum of 90-100,000.
This is why we see mostly reserves and Territorial forces in interviews and in videos.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 23:19 utc | 149

In response to karlof1@123,

No, thank you for your tireless work as a news aggregator in the comment section, and I mean that sincerely.

I actually watched a live broadcast of the event, so I probably missed a lot of the substance of what was said, but on the plus side I got to read the room and see some of the faces in the audience. Which is why I came away with a somewhat ominous impression of the event, that it had the smell of preventive measures about it.

Simonyan also asked a few stupid questions in a panicked sort of way, and Tokayev managed to snare himself in a contemplation of the relation between territorial integrity and right of self determination, ultimately choosing the former as a principled stance, thereby undermining the legitimacy of the foundation of the state of Kazakhstan.

Again, this is just my impression, but it did feel like all the naughty kids had been brought to the principal's office after class for a serious talk and televised it to give other schools something to think about. With guest appearances by the most prestigious universities, in this analogy, in support -- like, this is what you'll miss out on if you act up.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jun 18 2022 23:22 utc | 150

The Great Reset of the world economy is the direct cause of World War 3

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 18 2022 23:03 utc | 141

I am tired of that "Great Reset", for there is nothing "great" and there is no "reset". The ressources are diminishing and what the yankee gangsters want is only to keep their power and hegemony on the world to go on plundering it. The PNAC is no "reset" at all, quite the contrary, and it is the direct cause of WW3. Any reset will come from Russia and China. Political analysis in the West is close to zero.

Posted by: Olivier | Jun 18 2022 23:25 utc | 151

@97 lightyears

Oh no. You misunderstood me if you think I want American-exceptionalism to continue into perpetuity.

I want America to act just like any other functioning country. Strong protectionism, manufacturing build-up, strong borders and immigration laws, harsh penalties for white-collar criminals, etc., etc.. For this to happen, what has been alluded to as western rules-based order has to collapse. Fine, perfect. No complaints there.

However, what we will all find soon enough is that once America dies as it is now, Europe will likely also suffer the same fate, though to be aided by Russia with cheap energy in the future (I would say ironically enough, but we all know this will no doubt be the case).

Now when this reckoning happens, do you think that countries that have seen the most cultural invasionary forces via immigration/migration will simply put up with these people when they most certainly do not fit at all, and when these countries are newly thrusted into economic calamity and have difficulties where the formerly affluent are now floundering?

Certainly not. It is quite natural to kick Goldilocks out of your house when you come back from whatever hibernation you stupidly put yourself into.

It will get ugly. Believe me.

Now will Russia, being the beacon of "international law" be forced to tell these people in Sweden or England or where have you, that they must put up with these unwanted guests because...because..."International Law!!!"

Russia could certainly try. But I don't think that is what is going to happen. No, to make the situation "right" after this terrible trip into globalism in the last 50 years, shit is going to get ugly.

Like, really ugly. And my money us on Russia saying, "Do what you must do to regain homogeneity and sovereignty."

To me, that doesn't smack of "international law" so much as basic trade relationships with other countries meanwhile allowing the country to exist in the manner it so desires without the threat of forced coercion.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 18 2022 23:30 utc | 152

karlof1 #91

"He did not specify what exactly he wants Russia to do, but added that he would engage with Putin in a 'transparent way' and only when it is 'useful.' The French president also defended his earlier statement that it is vital that Russia is not humiliated over its actions in Ukraine.

"France made this mistake with Germany after WWI, and it led to a situation in which the peace was lost when WWII broke out, he noted." [My Emphasis]

I rather doubt Putin will agree to any preconditions for a meeting as they can easily communicate via telephone. Given Macron's behavior, he's 100% untrustworthy, and I doubt such a meeting will occur.

Agreed and that stupid little french fop clearly does not get it that Russia has won the game here and is not backing down. It is in the laborious stage of cleaning up and demilitarising. There is no comparison with the treaty of Versailles.

It is NATO that is humiliated. NATO has inadvertently created a graveyard for all those lovely fascist lads and lasses they were training. NATO has demonstrated that its chance of a pacific franchise including Australia and Japan is a dead fish. NATO has revealed that it is a nazi front with the military capability of Estonia or Romania or Moldova.

NATO, like Macron has demonstrated that it has the intelligence and reliability of a village idiot on a watchtower.

Macron is unlikely to get an audience with Putin anytime soon imo.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 18 2022 23:33 utc | 153

Thanks for the replies about Macron's hopes for a meeting with Putin. IMO, Putin has no time for him in Moscow; but via telephone, yes. Aside from pulling France from EU and NATO, Macron has nothing he can offer. The current situation isn't a replay of 1918 Versailles, and as far as I can tell, Putin isn't being humiliated by anyone--Tabloid Twaddle is what it amounts to, which he probably laughs at.

Scorpion @141--

Thanks for your reply and tip about the article at Saker's. As for a revolution with a happy ending, that's a toughie since there's always a losing side which is of course unhappy. But IMO the Mexican Revolution did well for awhile afterwards; Diaz and his crew certainly needed to go. You might look into Carlos Fuentes's canon since much of his writing looks into Mexico's troubled soul.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 23:39 utc | 154

Putin has stated that he will only respect the will of the people, when it comes to self-determination of the Ukrainian Regions themselves. ... However, he must ensure of a mechanism to maintain 'control' over the entirety of Ukraine. ... Here is a suggestion:

Assuming the Allied Forces seize all of the territory of Ukraine to the Polish Border, it would be difficult to imagine any of these Western Regions voting to permit 'Russian control' over their affairs. ... However, before there could be any referendum, what if Russia opens up those Western Regions to say, massive 'Chinese immigration'? ... Under the guise of 'Business Development' and 'Global Partnership' a few hundred thousand (perhaps millions) be moved into those regions. ... Hence, there would then be a voting plurality to 'Join the Russian Federation'.

Problem solved. ... All of Ukraine goes under Russia (by referendum). ... Western Ukraine gets De-Nazified in a REAL way (now they have a significant Asian mix). ... Everyone is happy.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 18 2022 23:39 utc | 155


If this is true then the question arises of the role of France and Germany in this process. Did they understand that they were not involved in serious negotiations? Did they know that they were assisting Ukraine by arranging a truce during which it could strengthen itself and prepare for an attack on the two Peoples Republics?
@bevin #59

At the time of Minsk, the French "président" Hollande was very busy driving his moped to date Julie Gayet
France remains the same...
Not very involved in his task, subcontracting Minsk supervising to Le Drian, a friend of "moderate terrorist" in Syria, Nato asset in Socialist Party.

For Merkel's Germany, no love story, I suppose.
I hope you, German barflies, can better explain .

Posted by: La Bastille | Jun 18 2022 23:41 utc | 156

@ Posted by: PalmaSailor | Jun 18 2022 22:05 utc | 111 with the Biden bike pratfall observations

Thanks for that. I stumbled across a video of Biden's fall and it has been grinding away in my brain all day. I am an experienced cyclist and have fallen like that on my road bike but have traps on my town bike because clipless pedals (don't get me started) are dangerous for most on in town group he was in.

If not on purpose then Biden is in need of a seatbelt as well as clipless pedals riding in a trike. If on purpose then they are really digging for narrative control events....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 18 2022 23:42 utc | 157

@ Kauai John 115

You are assuming that you are debating someone with a full deck. Unfortunately, this microorganism is like a virus, and vitriol one at that. If you don't agree with it you are a fool, moron and etc. This shows total lack of education, integrity and honesty in someone who is obviously in some trailer park sitting in front of a computer with nothing else to do all day and post long winded drivel, and somehow considers itself an analyst who wants to go to toe to one with the likes of Scott Ritter. Ritter might be wrong from time to time, as he admits it freely, but his integrity and background is beyond question.

Back to the virus, we have to learn to live with it and contain it. That’s best you can do. Even if you try to ban it, it will múltate back with a new IP address, name and email. Typical viral behavior. Plus, when someone is trying hard to dig their own grave, you don’t go trying to stop them.

The best response to ignorance is silence.

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 18 2022 23:45 utc | 158


You could leave out the morbid language and just say it openly.

"I want EU society to collapse so we can kick out all those inferior races who shouldn't be here"

Well, I'm sure they will all be very happy to oblige.

I watched the debate from a couple of years ago between BHL and Dugin - it's on YouTube.

Now, everyone in the West thinks he is Rasputin to VVP - a massive exaggeration. But he reflects some attitudes amongst the Siloviki in terms of geopolitical strategy.

Of course they talked past each other in a disingenuous manner. As they are both pseudo-intellectuals they appropriate vague academic concepts with no relation to the real world to "debate" each other. In their case, "modernism".

BHL was by far the more narcissistic and morally outraged on our behalf. Well, that's not a surprise.

There's a (not very good) summary of the debate here to get an idea of it:

It occurred to me that these two opposites need each other, or rather the caricatures of each other.

Better for Dugin types to prattle on about "Traditionalist" soft-fascism than to suggest the possibility of a socialist democratic state without oligarchs. From the Putinist perspective.

Better for NGO windbags to promote vacuous neo-liberal self-righteousness about Western Modernity than to suggest the possibility of a socialist democratic state without oligarchs. From the Washington perspective.

What was that phrase from the start of the century again?

"Un autre monde est possible"?

Posted by: moabeobachter | Jun 18 2022 23:50 utc | 159

Re: >>One of the CSIS 'experts' says that Russia had planned to take Kiev but failed<<
The amazing thing about that statement isn't just how wrong it is. I would ask the CSIS expert exactly how he knew the intentions of the Russian General staff. One public statement was Putin's declaration that the first goal of the SMO was the denazification of the Ukraine. And from the very beginning, it was clear to many (outside the hopium of the Beltway) that the purpose of the feint toward Kiev was to keep Ukrainian forces away from the eastern portion of Ukraine, the Donbass. The CSIS mentality was shaped by the previous U.S. shock-and-awe attacks on inept armies of nomads.
This feint helped shape the battlefield in favor of the SMO allied forces. Russia had the intelligence on the Azov Battalion members that hey wanted to denazify, and those AB personnel were at the Donbass. Now they are being ground down and getting to meet Bandera.

The really amazing thing about that statement is that today, in mid-June, someone could still mouth the inane idea that the Russians 'failed to take Kiev.'
The allied SMO forced might just drive on Lviv for the purpose of bringing down the statue to Stepan Bandera before they consider Kiev. And by then, the 'siege' of Kiev might resemble the 'siege' of Azovstal, just a 'wait-'em-out-they-will-get-hungry' period with no offensive actions, just watching until the perps crawl out and surrender.

Posted by: Richard Whitney | Jun 18 2022 23:54 utc | 160

Skiffer @152--

Thanks again for your reply and kudos. Yes, the video will reveal the body language that's censored by transcripts. I try to also watch, but finding time is a big issue for me and I'm out of it for today.

uncle tungsten @155--

YES!! NATO and by extension the Outlaw US Empire are the humiliated entities for the reasons you gave and more. Today Putin took part in a videoconference on the occasion of the opening of new healthcare facilities in a number of regions of the Russian Federation, which was certainly a change from yesterday. I post that info because it's yet another piece of evidence related to Russia's ongoing development. It's just as important as this discussion about Russia's domestic auto industry--all of it, not just manufacturers. Much can be learned from both. The group think people need to read such info, but I doubt they do and justify their resulting ignorance by saying that info isn't important.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 23:55 utc | 161

Thanks for the links too, I had to fuss a bit but they eventually went through.

Posted by: Josh | Jun 18 2022 23:58 utc | 162

Posted by: Robert | Jun 18 2022 23:39 utc | 157

Heh, clever idea. I don't see it happening, though.

What I do see possible is the mass deportation of everyone with far-right Ukrainian nationalist views. Not an "ethnic cleansing" but an "ideological cleansing". Given social media and good intelligence work, it shouldn't be hard for Russian intelligence - SVR/FSB - to identify the existing right-wing and neo-Nazi "social influencers", then arrest and deport them. Combine that with banning and deporting far-right political parties, militias and movements in the Constitution, and that goes a long way to remove far-right nationalist influence on the central government. Which is really all Russia needs to do - fix it so that only pro-Russian governments get into power.

The alternative to that is: take all of Ukraine into the Russian Federation by one "legal" means or the other. Like Chechnya.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 0:02 utc | 163

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 18 2022 23:45 utc | 160
"The best response to ignorance is silence."

Take your own advice.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 0:03 utc | 164

@ karlof1 with the various comments about Marcon trying to play mediator with Putin

Marcon is a known Rothschild banker tool and as some other commenter mentioned , may be the puppet conduit to the God of Mammon cult. As such, some of Macron's comments and actions take on a different light.

Take the "don't want to humiliate Putin..." one. That sounds to me more like something Trump would say, correct? If you are Putin and know that Macron speaks for the cult then, what is the message?

At the latest meeting with Z, Macron was seen "bringing" Z and Draghi of Italy to shake hands which both seemed uncomfortable with.

Barlies here keep writing about the goals of the SMO and I think that the goal is to neuter the God of Mammon Cult of which Ukraine is the latest proxy area of focus. Russia does not want to destroy any more than is necessary to achieve that goal, but they are being relentless at winning the ground action and the global economic action, so far.

Earlier karlof1 asked what us Westerners could do to change the system and I think the answer is going to be the same as what Russia and China will demand...eliminate private finance entirely by sovereign finance that is coordinated by a law based multi-polar organization controlled by sovereign nations.....Occupy Wall Street, IMO, was not focused enough on the required structural change necessary to eliminate the social cancer that the God of Mammon represents to humanity.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 19 2022 0:04 utc | 165

Just to note that I have watched at least half a dozen vids in which UAF soldiers say they have not been paid. At all.

I have to accept the given translations.

Does this affect soldiers thinking, soldiers morale? They say so themselves.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 19 2022 0:04 utc | 166

That is not what I'm criticizing Ritter about. I'm criticizing what he says about Russia having to mobilize to complete the Ukraine operation under current conditions. There's simply no evidence for that assertion.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 20:24 utc | 63

I watched Ritter but once, but "Ukrainians in Russian exile, moderate Communist perspective" that I have watched (now some trouble in both YouTube and Telegram that I have to upgrade, I hate upgrading) said the same thing. Being outside decision centers, we can only observe and guess, and in this case, I am quite convinced.

The most logical explanation of the initial attacks that semi-surrounded Kiev and covered terrain of three oblasts east of Kiev was that Russian command tested in the control of the territory would be sufficiently easy to operate with the small forced pencilled for the "special operation". Once the answer was negative, they retreated. By the way of contrast, the population seems very cooperative in the other areas that were taken over. While Putin's government prepared for long medium-intensity action, they checked if a faster solution could work.

But can the current mode of war solve the problem? From what you wrote, Ritter does not think so, and according to anti-Kiev Ukrainians, Ritter is right. For myself, I just not see how it could be possible -- not intuitive in the least!

My observations of Putin suggests that he believes in planning, in experts, and in husbanding resources of all necessary kinds like ammunition or political capital. That said, he may be decisive, but only in a vary calculated way. And he is not stupid. The counter-intuitive method of committing limited resources and extending the duration of the war has to have SOME reason.

RSH seems to imply that that reason is that those resources are sufficient, so why should Russia commit more. Extrapolation of the "progress on the fronts" definitely does not suggest that. The positive progress may be in the balance of resources, manpower and material. Can this alone win a war? While the Ukrainian ability to produce or even repair weapons was crippled, the supply channels from the West are not closed, and the stream of weapons and ammunition has tendency to increase, at least enough to prevent a collapse for very long time.

Other reasons seem more plausible to me. First, political capital. Limited operation had a wide support in Russia, mobilization and conscription, perhaps much less so. Politically, it may be better to wait for the West to escalate before responding in kind, and then, at a much larger scale. Putin maintains his political capital, something that cannot be said about, say, Biden or Boris Johnson.

Second, a failed or failing war with large manpower losses tends to weaken the government. WWI is perhaps the best example. Russia forces Ukraine to fight WWI style, so it may be realistic to expect similar consequences.

Third, much more speculative, is that Russia is still not technologically capable to fully exploit the quantitative edge in weaponry, but in reasonable time it will overcome it, so it is sensible to play slow for now. The most cited issue is drone technology that could exponentially increase the effectiveness of "counter-battery fire" (and perhaps other technologies that could be cheaper and faster to produce). For now, Russia is making up for it with high rates of fire, but with well preposition enemies next to Donetsk it is manifestly ineffective, and it other places, at best so-so effective. And there are optimistic reports that new, much better models of observation and attack drones will soon enter mass production. Which may be "information fog" but it could be true.

Whatever the reason, I think that this war can finish only with maneuver phase, which is how it started, but with Ukrainians being more-or-less properly positioned, that will require a much larger commitment in arms and manpower.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 19 2022 0:08 utc | 167

FYI--There's a new Hudson interview posted here. It's rather scattered, and I've only skimmed it. But here's this gem that shouldn't need much explaining:

"The fight against classical economics and its concept of rent as unearned income

Michael Hudson 28:55

"Needless to say, the fight for the kind of democracy that will free economies from economic rent was not easy. By the late 1880s, and especially the 1890s, you had the rentiers fighting back. In America the fight was led by John Bates Clark. There was a movement, which today is called neoliberalism, to deny the entire thrust of classical economics. Clarke said that there is no such thing is unearned income. That meant that economic rent does not exist. Whatever a businessman makes, he is said to earn. Whatever a landlord makes, he earns – so there was no unearned income.

"This came to a head around 1890 the Journal of Ethics. Clark wrote the first essay, and it was refuted by Simon Patton. There was a fight against the concept of economic rent by academic economics, especially in New York City at Columbia University, where Clark ended up, This is really the dividing line: You recognise that much of the economy is unearned income and you want to get rid of it. To do that, you have to pass laws that will tax away the unearned income, or better yet, you put land and other natural resources and natural monopolies in the public domain where the public sector directly sets prices. That was what Teddy Roosevelt did with his trust busting." [My Emphasis]

The bolded part is the overhead that Hudson and I refer to when talking about genuine GDP being far less than what's announced; that it's been declining for decades; that the Outlaw US Empire's been in a recession since the bubble burst in 1998; that today's inflation is a result of all the helicopter money dispensed since then; and the grim fact that there's not enough real economy to do what Russia and China are now doing. MAGA was a great slogan but nothing was done to even begin to right the ship. And for those and other reasons, the Outlaw US Empire/NATO will lose its war against Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 19 2022 0:13 utc | 168

@161 moabaobachter

That was a great interview. Thx.

Dugin has my deepest respect.

The racism that he may be accused of is not racism but a desire to return to the Tao, "to go back."

As a Christian, this idea to me means to abhor any reconstruction of the Tower of Babel, the purpose of which was to usurp God through global harmony, under one language. It doesn't work, and through what we are seeing today via the death throes of this globalist "internationalist law," we can again say that God is with us.

Another thing about the interview was the the idea that Dugin thinks countries should have as little to do with other countries as possible. YES! HELL YES!

There is another great verse in the Tao Te Ching though poorly translated by my memory below:

"Harmony dwells in the empire when the people are happy in their toil, barely caring to look up at the neighboring country."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jun 19 2022 0:13 utc | 169

@ Richard Steven Hack | Jun 18 2022 22:26 utc | 119

Nice try to extract yourself from the deceitful hole you've crawled into.

I recognize you for the conceited, self-centered "prophet" you pretend to be.

You declared that no one needs to "refute" anything here.
We're all guessing as best we can at what the future might be.
That is all but the all-knowing you.
You the self-declared judge of any opinions anyone else might offer.
No one can read "english" but you and you never miss-state your meanings.

That you have different opinions doesn't bother me at all.

But the fact that you declare yourself to be the one and only arbiter of facts;
that only you can be right;
and that you use that position to condemn anyone else who might slightly vary from your catechism ...

Well, GFY.

Ritter might be right.
Ritter might be wrong,
but you
... are a dick. Period.

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 19 2022 0:16 utc | 170

Very clever.

Both BHL and Dugin are, in their own unique ways, bullshitters and imbeciles.

Posted by: Moabeobachter | Jun 19 2022 0:21 utc | 171

Possibly, like Seymour Hersh, Ritter is a second level CIA disinformation agent. His role is to misdirect those of us who insist on going around the MSM gatekeepers. Hersh was a master at that game.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jun 18 2022 23:11 utc | 147

Good take. I feel the same about Lira. I watch neither very often but every once in a while Lira has a short one with a provocative title and I watch the first few minutes. I told him I hope he lands a good gig as a professor somewhere, maybe Jordan Peterson's new university in the Carolinas (?). I don't understand these long debates about whether or not what they say is good/bad/stupid/misleading. Text is much more interesting than talking heads unless there is narrative and emotion at play for good reason.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:23 utc | 172

@ NemesisCalling | Jun 18 2022 20:48 utc | 79

I think you overlook an important distinction -- that (international) law can only be insufficiently enforced does not mean that it doesn't exist. When Russia and China say they want the world to operate under international law, they are referring to and objective standard that actually exists not merely something imaginary.

Posted by: Figleaf23 | Jun 19 2022 0:27 utc | 173

I am tired of that "Great Reset", for there is nothing "great" and there is no "reset".
Posted by: Olivier | Jun 18 2022 23:25 utc | 153

Did you not read or skim the article? Honestly, I found it the best overview of the entire 'Reset' concept that I've ever read. It's not long but covers a lot of ground including premise, conundrum, solution. Worth reading...

If you did read and just disagree... fair enough.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:27 utc | 174

How do we the people drain the swamp so genuine, absolutely required change can occur?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 20:50 utc | 81

Thanks karlof1 for the final question and Putin's answer. Also, for your final question. I for one am very glad that Putin is an optimist. I would say that we the people must, as Russia did, be patient as long as those in power have that power. And as Putin would have expected in having to bide his own time, we ought to have hope that time passing would change the circumstances that don't look promising at present. If not for us, for our children and grandchildren. One thing we know; it is not a stable situation. The can that has been kicked time and again may be getting very near the end of the road.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2022 0:27 utc | 175

Latest from Colonel Douglas Macgregor, referenced by Martyanov, who respects Macgregor, in his latest blog post.

When the Lies Come Home
After lying for months, the media are preparing the public for Ukraine’s military collapse.

The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers.

Russian errors were exaggerated out of all proportion to their significance. Russian losses and the true extent of Ukraine’s own losses were distorted, fabricated, or simply ignored. But conditions on the battlefield changed little over time. Once Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves in static defensive positions inside urban areas and the central Donbas, the Ukrainian position was hopeless. But this development was portrayed as failure by the Russians to gain “their objectives.”

Ground-combat forces that immobilize soldiers in prepared defenses will be identified, targeted, and destroyed from a distance. When persistent overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, whether manned or unmanned, are linked to precision guided-strike weapons or modern artillery systems informed by accurate targeting data, “holding ground” is fatal to any ground force. This is all the more true in Ukraine, because it was apparent from the first action that Moscow focused on the destruction of Ukrainian forces, not on the occupation of cities or the capture of Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper River.

The result has been the piecemeal annihilation of Ukrainian forces. Only the episodic infusion of U.S. and allied weapons kept Kiev’s battered legions in the field; legions that are now dying in great numbers thanks to Washington’s proxy war.

Kiev’s war with Moscow is lost. Ukrainian forces are being bled white. Trained replacements do not exist in sufficient numbers to influence the battle, and the situation grows more desperate by the hour. No amount of U.S. and allied military aid or assistance short of direct military intervention by U.S. and NATO ground forces can change this harsh reality.

The problem today is not ceding territory and population to Moscow in Eastern Ukraine that Moscow already controls. The future of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions along with the Donbas is decided. Moscow is also likely to secure Kharkov and Odessa, two cities that are historically Russian and Russian-speaking, as well as the territory that adjoins them. These operations will extend the conflict through the summer. The problem now is how to stop the fighting.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 0:30 utc | 176

Posted by: juliania | Jun 19 2022 0:27 utc | 177

"I would say that we the people must, as Russia did, be patient as long as those in power have that power. And as Putin would have expected in having to bide his own time, we ought to have hope that time passing would change the circumstances that don't look promising at present. ... One thing we know; it is not a stable situation. The can that has been kicked time and again may be getting very near the end of the road."

Your comment well evidences the conundrum: yes, we must be patient (from pateor, to suffer as in long-suffering) but also yes: things are coming to a head and are 'very near the end of the road.' Patience the virtue is always called for but time might now be something in short supply. I suspect the sort of patience soon needed will be that to help one endure chaos and hardship without losing faith in our inherent worth as living, human beings.

But what do I know?!

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:40 utc | 177

MOA has probably already seen this, but anyhow:

Posted by: MallardB | Jun 19 2022 0:40 utc | 178

OMG, so much angst over Scott Ritter here; even more than over Gonzalo Lira. Not everyone gets everything about an ongoing war correctly. Everyone has their own existing biases. I don't see the point in all these arguments over how Ritter should be interpreted or whether what he's said is exactly right or exactly wrong or somewhere in-between. He's not calling the shots for anyone in this operation and he's not the only source of information or analysis available.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 19 2022 0:40 utc | 179

@Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 18 2022 20:19 utc | 60

A good chunk of those imperial overseers used their talents to set up the island network and a City of London focused on tax evasion, money laundering and generally hiding ill-gotten gains. Excellent documentary on this that you may have already seen is The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire

All those British toffs had to find some way of paying the bills now that the subalterns were no longer paying them tribute!

Posted by: Roger | Jun 19 2022 0:41 utc | 180

@ Alpi | Jun 18 2022 23:45 utc | 160

The best response to ignorance is silence.

Until when?

Silence brought us Joe Biden as President.

the general consensus here seems to have been that Ritter sold out -- which is interesting because who he sold out to is left unsaid.

@ Piotr Berman | Jun 19 2022 0:08 utc | 169
I agree with you. We won't know until we know.

@ Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:23 utc | 174
OMG! Seriously?

Well, at this point, we've reached the ability of MoA to satisfactorily follow discussions. So, I'll bow out here.

Except to say, I do not find those who condemn Ritter to be credible. Ritter might be wrong, but he's no "traitor".

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 19 2022 0:45 utc | 181

A great article. Thxs for heads up.

I wonder what the country would be like if he were President. I'd like to see a Coalition (or Union) government for emergency purposes with people like Colonel MacGregor and RFK Jr as POTUS and VP. The emergency is the Deep State having captured the Republic. The mission is to cleanse them completely or dissolve the USG completely and go without for 10 years before starting again after intense due diligence.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:52 utc | 182

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 19 2022 0:08 utc | 169
"RSH seems to imply that that reason is that those resources are sufficient, so why should Russia commit more. Extrapolation of the "progress on the fronts" definitely does not suggest that."

That has been answered already: Russia has chosen this pace to minimize its own casualties and expenditure of resources. Yes, Russia could do this faster by the commitment of its entire army. Why should it if it's not necessary? If speed is the criteria, why not commit nuclear weapons and annihilate Ukraine?

Let me ask YOU: what would YOU do? How many military forces do YOU want Russia to commit to this operation right now - and why is whatever you suggest the correct number in your view?

Anyone can come in here and say "Russia can do better", just like people come in to sites like and say, "Russia should have done...something else" instead of invading. Except they don't know what, they don't know how many, they don't know the budget for the operation, and they don't know the operational plan.

Which is why I dismiss this stuff.

"the stream of weapons and ammunition has tendency to increase, at least enough to prevent a collapse for very long time."

And your evidence for this is? What are the figures?

"Limited operation had a wide support in Russia, mobilization and conscription, perhaps much less so. Politically, it may be better to wait for the West to escalate before responding in kind, and then, at a much larger scale. Putin maintains his political capital, something that cannot be said about, say, Biden or Boris Johnson."

You may be correct. In which case, why expand the SMO at this stage? Why criticize the pace of the war if that pace is intended? As I've said repeatedly here, if the situation changes, I have no doubt Russia will change its operation. But that hasn't happened and there is no evidence it's going to happen. The vaunted Polish invasion of a month ago hasn't materialized.

"Second, a failed or failing war with large manpower losses tends to weaken the government. WWI is perhaps the best example. Russia forces Ukraine to fight WWI style, so it may be realistic to expect similar consequences."

Indeed. Again, so why criticize the pace of the war? If everything is going along swimmingly, why should Russia change and why should Russia change NOW? Ritter and others here are saying the war will last "forever". Well, if the Ukraine government falls, I guess it won't. If it doesn't, there still is no evidence presented that Russia can't take the rest of Ukraine with the forces it has.

"For now, Russia is making up for it with high rates of fire, but with well preposition enemies next to Donetsk it is manifestly ineffective, and it other places, at best so-so effective."

Evidence, please. From my view, Russia is pursuing its objectives according to its operational plan. That plan evidently does not concern itself with the shelling in Donetsk. Maybe no one likes that, but it is what it is. Most of the people of Donetsk were offered to relocate into Russia before the operation, and quite a few have done so. Maybe Russia expected more would, but is unwilling to change the operational plan to accommodate them now. Maybe they should. Who knows?

"Whatever the reason, I think that this war can finish only with maneuver phase, which is how it started, but with Ukrainians being more-or-less properly positioned, that will require a much larger commitment in arms and manpower."

Manuever can only be done if the enemy is maneuvering. Ukraine is not doing so. They are holed up in cities and behind echeloned fortifications. Only when they are forced out of their fortifications into open ground can maneuver war be conducted. The alternative is what the Russians are doing now. And the Russians are demonstrating that they don't need any larger force to achieve advances and the elimination of the Ukrainian forces, as proven by the rates of loss of the Ukrainians. They can continue doing what they're doing until the cows come home. If and when the Ukrainians are forced out of the east into central Ukraine steppes and plateaus, then Russia will do maneuver warfare. And since at that time, they will heavily outnumber the remaining Ukrainian units, and they will have the ability to use air power more effectively, the results will be further decimation of Ukrainian forces.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 0:53 utc | 183

Posted by: Kauai John | Jun 19 2022 0:16 utc | 172

Guess what? I don't give a shit that you're butt hurt that you can't rationally respond to an argument.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 0:55 utc | 184

Posted by: MallardB | Jun 19 2022 0:40 utc | 180

Same stuff we've seen a hundred times. The Ukraine military is a disorganized mob with no leadership and crap capability now that they've lost most of their best trained forces, most of their heavy assets and logistics and are forced into an immobile operation as Macgregor says. There's no fixing this.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 1:00 utc | 185

@ Kauai John 183

You cannot lump the presidency with an insignificant being. Where the future of this country is concerned, I am in agreement with you. Silence is fatal. But we are talking about a mere nuisance from an unimportant organism. No matter how long-winded and vitriol its’ posts are, they still can’t hide the empty shell.

Scoring a post every other comment doesn’t mean one is particularly knows what they are talking about. Most here post more significant opinions in a small paragraph than the organism in question does in a book like chapter length.

Stick around. There are plenty of educated and smart barflies here. And they are a joy to engage with.

Posted by: Alpi | Jun 19 2022 1:05 utc | 186

on the matter of experts, these tweets from sophia

Replying to
After reading this section of #Putin's speech, I am convinced that there was a confluence of two different things that led to the special Russian military operation in #Ukraine...1/
A #Biden ignorant of the economy thought he could corner Russia on #Ukraine by allowing #Zelensky to launch a quick special military operation to retake the Donbas in March 2022, thus allowing #Ukraine to apply to join #NATO in June 2022...2/
And a #Putin, profoundly knowledgeable about the economy in general and the economies of western countries, especially the #US and the EU, sensed this was the moment to launch the special operation because any sanctions from western countries on #Russia would boomerang. 3/
Most western leaders rely exclusively on experts because they do not possess knowledge on most subject matters over which they have to take decisions. Experts give fragmented knowledge. It is up to political leaders to grasp this knowledge and put it into a systemic perspective.
Unfortunately, not many political leaders can put expert knowledge into a larger and more complex perspective. They also tend to leave decisions to experts, this is what they did during Covid. But this is a recipe for disaster.
French Kantian philosopher Alain Renault discusses the difference between the politician who relies solely on expertise and the politician who relies solely on his gut...
Renault sees each as an extreme of what an ideal political leader should be, someone who listens to experts but can integrate expertise in a more complex thinking and makes decisions his own. #Putin is such a leader

Posted by: brian | Jun 19 2022 1:06 utc | 187

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 19 2022 0:40 utc | 181
"He's not calling the shots for anyone in this operation and he's not the only source of information or analysis available."

Correct. But every time he gets criticized for being illogical, people come out of the woodwork to defend him. I'd prefer to ignore him completely, but even that is treated as some sort of sacrilege.

I was ignoring him for a while, but then I heard he was citing Ukraine's claim of 700,000 men and I didn't believe it. So I looked at another video and yup, he was. Then I heard Johnson was going to argue him, since Martyanov doesn't bother. So I watched that video and said nothing has changed, and repeated why. Then everyone jumps on me for "misinterpreting" him, despite the fact that everything he says is perfectly clear and unambiguous.

I repeat, these people have some kind of cognitive dissonance that can't accept that Russia is doing exactly what it wants to do.

From now on, I'll just quote Martyanov like his post today on Mearsheimer:

I can easily answer his question about "where it all stops"--it is stopping now and those deliveries from NATO (and the US) make no difference whatsoever for the outcome and many in Washington begin to get it. But it is not what really makes it funny, no, it is the fact that he still uses beaten to death BS about "democracy". The fact that he doesn't understand how risible those statements about "democracy" and America's "desire to spread it" testifies to his lucid moments and grains of the common sense appearing periodically in his talking being merely sporadic, if not accidental altogether, touches with reality. The United States spreads not "democracy" but chaos and puppet regimes serving US' interests. He also needs to accept a simple fact of which I speak for many years now--NATO cannot fight the conventional war in Russia's geographic vicinity and hope to avoid catastrophic losses. Because of that the US will escalate to nuclear threshold because it is incapable of sustaining such losses on the battlefield and war effort economically. Mearsheimer doesn't understand that, as he doesn't understand the nature of escalation dominance.

And the same applies to all these concern trolls - which unfortunately now appears to include Ritter. I say unfortunately in Ritter's case because I never expected him to go down this road.

I might as well quit again. I have other things to do than spend the entire afternoon responding to concern trolls.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 1:09 utc | 188


"Become your own enemy" Joe Tsu

Posted by: Dadda | Jun 19 2022 1:12 utc | 189

@ 178, 187, etc.
The Ukraine military is a disorganized mob with no leadership and crap capability

Yes, there has been too much palaver about weapons IMO, by the US and its puppets, when it's humans that win or lose wars. Can't take bodies off the street and expect them to operate lethal combat systems, just can't.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 19 2022 1:17 utc | 190

RT has interviewed the two captured US mercenaries. The mercenaries now admit that they were brainwashed by Western propaganda about the conflict. They warn other potential mercenaries to stay far away from the conflict zone.

Here is the interview video:

Posted by: Nate | Jun 19 2022 1:19 utc | 191

@Richard Steven Hack #126
Dreizin is ex-military (maybe not even extremely ex), speaks Russian and has made a number of pretty good calls.
I have found his military analysis to be pretty decent.
However, he also likes to talk about a bunch of other stuff in which he is clearly not competent - including economics.
His personality is such that he won't take hints or perform any type of self-introspection as to remedy that.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 19 2022 1:20 utc | 192

If I was Russia, I wouldn't even consider any sort of negotiation before December. Let everyone stew in their own juices. Wait, that wasn't an apt phrase. In order to make stew, you would need some form of heat. These so called leaders of the "free world" haven't the sense God gave a turkey. Let them rot.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Jun 19 2022 1:21 utc | 193


"I'm sorry but I don't see any serious discussion of what Russia has to do next."

By next I am going to assume you mean on the tactical level and into operational level concerns. Time scale starting today and perhaps ending at the end of the year?

Using those parameters I'd say Russia is going to capture Lysychansk/Severodonetsk and push the Ukrainian defenses back to a line running roughly from Bakhmut-Kostyantynivja-Kramatorsk-Slovyansk.

On the Donetsk Front I expect Russia to take Avdiivka, Orlivka and Tonen'Ke putting a big group of entrenched Ukrainuans into a kettle where they will retreat or be destroyed. That will put the Russian led forces in a good position to move the Donetsk front back to Zoryane-Selydove-Pokrovsk in early 2023.

While doing that I expect Russia/DPR to continue fending off counter-attacks towards Kherson, Izyum, possibly something around Melitopol with a little back and forth going on around Kharkiv.

So far Ukrainian counter-attacks have zero pop, no zing, pretty weak and not threatening, I expect that to continue.

I also see no signs of the Ukrainian army folding, they are still fighting a solid defense, falling back in an orderly and well organized fashion. Besides the Popasna Flower, no Russian/DPR breakthroughs have led to rapid gains.

Posted by: Haassaan | Jun 19 2022 1:28 utc | 194

@NemesisCalling #140
You are conflating several things - all incorrectly:

1) International law is not world government. It is democratically (in the sovereign nations serving as the demos sense) agreed upon laws and behavior.

2) Iraq and Libya - Russia and Putin then were still of the mistaken belief that they could gain entree into the West for Iraq; Libya was an epic mistake by Medvedev. But the UN Security Council has been skewed Western since the beginning due to the presence of 3 Western powers and the ridiculous presence of Taiwan as "representing China".

But in the big boy world - you don't need to throw out everything in order to change something. You can adjust on a framework that is already there.

3) Benefit to humanity of international law (NOT world government). Well, among other things, having truly international law as noted above (nation-state demos) as opposed to British gunboat diplomacy or US aircraft carrier diplomacy or Spanish galleon treasure ship diplomacy - how could it be worse? Certainly we have not had any actual form of "international law" other than "your rights end where my cannons start".

It is also clear you have not paid any attention to how Russia and China are working together (and not). They aren't vassal/patron, they aren't ideologically lockstep, they aren't even cooperating in all areas - but they have stated what their respective interests are up front and support/not support each other in ways that are clear to everyone else.

The alternative to international law is not a benign chaos, but the push-pull of empires and wannabe empires.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 19 2022 1:29 utc | 195

@karlof1 #170
The latest Hudson interview by Jonathan Brown (one of a series) is a must read.
I disagree that it is scattered - it expands into more detail, the broad outlines of what Hudson has talked about before.
In particular, Hudson goes into detail about the fights between socialists and Georgists - and George himself.
I have always wondered about the dichotomy and Hudson's overview puts all of that in perspective: long story short, George is the pseudo-socialist equivalent of Reagan's trickle down theory.
As for US/Western GDP being exaggerated - don't overegg: Hudson's estimate was that the incorrect classifications for building depreciation impacted GDP by 8%, with things like credit card fees etc presumably adding a significantly smaller number.
It doesn't mean Western/US GDPs are overstated by double, but maybe 10% to 15%. Significant but it does not offset purchasing power parity discrepancies between economies today.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 19 2022 1:38 utc | 196

The alternative to international law is not a benign chaos, but the push-pull of empires and wannabe empires.

Posted by: c1ue | Jun 19 2022 1:29 utc | 197

Agreed and it's so damn simple a concept and easy to understand - one demonstrated historically as you've laid out - that I can't wrap my head around why someone wouldn't get it.

The former colonial powers (and France and UK who still operate shadow colonies) hated the concept inasmuch as anyone other than themselves had a say in it. The USA has tried to replace it with a "rules based order" that is self-serving and hypocritical; and which has led us to the current situation not just in Ukraine, but elsewhere.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jun 19 2022 1:43 utc | 197

In response to
I might as well quit again. I have other things to do than spend the entire afternoon responding to concern trolls.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 19 2022 1:09 utc | 190

So just don't respond and we will all be better off with less noise and I will (and perhaps others) appreciate your contributions more!

Please and thank you

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 19 2022 1:43 utc | 198

You are quite correct. There is no doubt whatever of the existence of a body of international law. That is undeniable. The problem has always been that the strong ignore the law when they can and twist it-see Yugoslavia- to suit their convenience, but in neither of these cases is the law itself tested before anything resembling a judicial body or a jury.
"Covenants without the sword" Hobbes wrote "are mere words." And so they are but they are covenants for all that, and the shame of breaking them is a stain that cannot be washed out.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 19 2022 1:48 utc | 199

Posted by: Scorpion | Jun 19 2022 0:27 utc | 176

I read it. I stand by what I wrote. Comments on this non existing reset make people stupid, for it is absolutely not necessary to reply to something stupid. It gives importance to something not important. They want to change everything so that nothing will change. Said otherwise:

If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.

Thus I do not agree with the premise. The rest follows.

- Please, look at that one (1 minute 33):

Is it necessary to comment?

The only real reset would be a nuclear war which I think is unavoidable IF the yankees want to keep their hegemony.

The rest - the wef for instance - is to entertain people like SF. I do not fall for it. Sorry.

Posted by: Olivier | Jun 19 2022 1:50 utc | 200

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