Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 18, 2022

Three Other Writers With Thoughts On Ukraine

Today I will point to three other writers with current thoughts around the war in Ukraine.

Yelensis of Awful Avalanche has fun with the current news from Kiev:

Ukraine War Day #145: Zelensky Surrounded By Traitors And Spies

The big news coming out of the Ukraine this past weekend: Zelensky has fired his Prosecutor-General Irina Venediktova, and also the head of the SBU (Security Agency, successor to Soviet KGB), a man named Ivan Bakanov. Both of whom used to be tight members of Zelensky’s inner circle, especially the latter.
I love the way Zel just casually tossed that out, about Ukie security forces routinely chatting with Russian military intelligence. Russophile blogosphere having a field day, natch! Maria Zakharova trolled Zelensky on Twitter, calling these dismissals “effective de-Nazification” on Zelensky’s part. Other bloggers have compared Zelensky to Stalin, in his paranoia starting to turn against his inner circle. However, to me it doesn’t even seem like paranoia, I think these Ukrainian agencies probably are riddled with Russian spies. Ukrainian government officials are so corrupt, they would do literally anything for money.

With some 35,000 people on staff the SBU is as big as the FBI but controls a 90% smaller population. Next to internal security it is also tasked with fighting economic crimes. It is brutal, utterly corrupt and filled with Russian spies and has been so since the Ukraine became on independent nation. The only correct but dangerous move would be to dissolve it.

With Zel's inner circle falling apart the clock for his own demise is only ticking faster.


Yves Smith is not impressed with the Ukraine's 'success' in the war.

Russia’s Campaign in Ukraine: Nearing an Inflection Point?

She reviews the current situation and suggest how the war will continue:

Speculation among Western sources that read Russian or have good Russian contacts (see the Larry Johnson-Andrei Martyanov-Alexander Mercouris roundtable, hosted by Gonzalo Lira, as an example) is that Russia will pause after it has secured Donbass and will deliver its conditions for a peace to Ukraine. These are certain to be unacceptable since the bare minimum ask will be conceding the loss of Donbass and Crimea (and let us not forget neutrality and denazification too). The West of course will flatly reject it. That’s fine by Russia since it would not trust any deal with Ukraine or the West as far as it could throw it.

The point of this offer at the point of securing the first objective of the Special Military Operation is to play to China, India, the global South, and secondarily to the more cautious and war-averse members of the Russian citizenry, that Russia going beyond the narrowest implementation of the SMO was not due to Russia wanting to take more territory, but being forced to do so to achieve its additional goals of demilitarization and denazificaition. If Ukraine and its allies won’t do so voluntarily, Russia will by force.

It was actually the Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić, who has good relations with Russia and was surely told to transmit this message, who said that Russia will make a peace offer and that the west will likely reject it:

“I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin finishes business in Sieversk, Bakhmut and Soledar, and then on the second line Sloviansk - Kramatorsk - Avdeevka, his proposal will follow. If they don’t accept it, and they don’t intend to, we will go to hell,” Russian news service Izvestia quotes the Serbian leader as saying on July 14.

So Russia will continue. Yves Smith concludes:

My belief is still that Russia will give priority to taking Odessa unless there are logistical considerations that argue against that. The Ukraine military is so close to collapse that Russian forces going to Odessa sooner rather than later is a real possibility. It’s the psychologically most important target for the Russian people, and economically more valuable than Kiev. The West would recognize that Russia getting control of what was Ukraine’s entire Black Sea coast as an enormous loss.

I suspect what Russia decides to do with or about Ukraine to the west of the Dnieper is event dependent. However, the West has decided to tie itself even more tightly to the Ukraine albatross. I had said to Lambert that it was not impossible for Russia to have decisively won (as in taken Odessa) by sometime in October, but even with the Western forces clearly unable to rout Russia, that Europe and the US would keep its citizens cold and hungry this winter just to spite Russia.

West of the Dnieper lies Kryvyi_Rih the mineral wealth of which was developed under Russian and then Soviet control. It has always had a symbiotic relationships with the heavy industry in the Donbas region. It is probably even more valuable than Odessa.

Except for the last 30 some years Kryvyi Rih had been under Russian control since 1775. It is about 100 kilometer north-east of Nikolayev and only 40 kilometer from the current frontline. This map may reflect the Russian thinking of a future borderline in southern Ukraine.


The last point Smith makes is important. Yes, the 'west' is likely to continue its suicidal sanctions even when Russia stops the war and offers peace. It is U.S. pressure on the Europeans that will keep the sanctions going.

On February 7, before the war started, Michael Hudson pointed out that the real target of the U.S. instigation of a war in Ukraine is Germany:

The threat to U.S. dominance is that China, Russia and Mackinder’s Eurasian World Island heartland are offering better trade and investment opportunities than are available from the United States with its increasingly desperate demand for sacrifices from its NATO and other allies.

The most glaring example is the U.S. drive to block Germany from authorizing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to obtain Russian gas for the coming cold weather. Angela Merkel agreed with Donald Trump to spend $1 billion building a new LNG port to become more dependent on highly priced U.S. LNG. (The plan was cancelled after the U.S. and German elections changed both leaders.) But Germany has no other way of heating many of its houses and office buildings (or supplying its fertilizer companies) than with Russian gas.

The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest. As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.” The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor.

The current German government is more or less under U.S. control. I will need to be changed before the sanction nonsense can stop. A 'winter of discontent' (see below) will probably do that.


At Larry Johnson's site Helmholtz Smith looks at the sanction disaster the 'west' has caused for itself and explains why Russia has no inventive to change its current way:


One of Napoleon’s observations is that you should never interrupt your enemies when they are making a mistake. Russians know this, not least because they were careful not to interrupt Napoleon himself in 1812. Putin and his team have had plenty of opportunities to meet NATO’s leaders, observe them, negotiate with them and assess them. It’s unlikely they’re very impressed. But when they started their “special military operation” in Ukraine they could never have dreamed how self-destructive NATO would be.

What mistakes? First, the West has not shot itself in the foot with its economic sanctions – Hungary’s Viktor Orban is right when he observes that it has put a slug into its lungs. One can still limp along with a broken foot, but a shot to the lungs is pretty serious. Second, who in Moscow could have imagined that NATO would shovel its ammunition and weapons stockpiles into the Ukrainian black hole in the expectation that if they can get the latest wonderwaffe to General Steiner they’ll be in Moscow by Christmas.

A good reason for Moscow to take it slowly – let the mistakes develop, compound and metastasize. It’s happening by itself. Naturally, inevitably, logically. No outside effort required. An unexpected bonus.

Don’t interrupt.
Even The Economist has noticed – Europe’s winter of discontent. (Still thinks that it’s Putin that put the double-tap into the lung though. But it is The Economist which has done its bit to bring us to this point.)

Why would Moscow want this to end any time soon? Time is working and the enemy is making lots of mistakes.

Don’t interrupt.

Posted by b on July 18, 2022 at 16:20 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Never thought Germany would find another way to commit national suicide but it looks like it is happening. I never bought the "Germany is the target line" but that appears to be the case. The Anglo American NATO death cult needs to find a way to extract both its feet out of its collective mouth.

Russia’s Gazprom declares force majeure on some gas supplies to Europe

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 18 2022 16:48 utc | 1

Agreed that phase 3 is likely liberation of Odessa. But…..that’s likely a part of the 2023 campaigns.

This war will last years at least until 2024/5

Posted by: Exile | Jul 18 2022 16:52 utc | 2

Well, that sounds dire for Zelensky. Having Secret services ran by one of your buddies is usually one of the safest ways of ensuring the leader's survival, their head would be loyal and would usually not try to grab the absolute power for himself. Now, he's stuck with picking a guy he can't trust near as much as the previous one. It's high time he phones Putin directly, otherwise he won't make it out alive, the way things are going.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 18 2022 16:53 utc | 3

NATO - Keep the US IN, the Russians OUT and Germany DOWN

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 18 2022 16:55 utc | 4

I suspect that the German people will arrange a change of government, in Germany, even if it takes ropes and lampposts. If NS1 is shutdown, and NS2 certification is still refused, and Fritz and Ingrid are half frozen in their apartment, then there will be change at the top, despite the US protests. What is the old saying, 'a nation is never more than nine meals away from anarchy'!

The US bases will probably be evacuated, at the speed of Afghanistan! It will be 'f&ck Nuland', not 'f&ck the EU'! And then perhaps sanity will return to Europe!

Posted by: Ric G | Jul 18 2022 16:57 utc | 5

Rough draft on a Ukraine article I was cobbleing together.


Wanna know how bad things are in Ukraine?

Just a few pertinent activities in Ukraine:

Hunter Biden owns a company, a biological company that hires scientists to bring to Ukraine a dozen of the most deadly pathogens the US Government has in its inventory. These bio weapons laboratories collect ethnicly "Russian" blood samples by paying the local poor folks for it. Hunter Biden has his scientists trying to concoct a deadly pathogen that expressly targets ethnicly Russian DNA.

As a side gig, he is giving worms to migratory birds so the birds shit the eggs onto Russian grain crops as they migrate, the eggs turning to worms that destroy the crop.

And their doing a lot of other things, like ones involving "cord blood" and whatnot that maybe kinda nasty and I don't wanna talk about.

The US Government is working with Hunter Bidens bio weapons companies, and this has been confirmed by the White House Press Secretary, probably because the documented evidence of this is irrefutable.

Hunter Biden himself has no interest in any of this, he's just a regular guy who wants to sow his oats with the help of plenty of Columbian Marching Powder. Hunter has them bio labs because some one told him to, and helps him. Who is doing that is unlikely to be the real top dog in the big picture.

Them bio labs, there are 46 of them. Local deaths have been attributed to some of them.

And then there is Zelenski announcing that if NATO will not send troops Ukraine will build a bomb. Ukraine built bombs for the Soviets, has the fissionable material and could build a bomb in weeks not months or years, until that Russian Army lunge towards Kiev took the bomb fuel away.

And then theirs the US Nuke missiles that were to be placed in Ukraine that give a "first strike" ability that reduces the Russian retaliatory strike decision making time to about 5 seconds.

It is for more than "democracy" the already financially stressed Western Europe and US governments are throwing money and weapons at Ukraine like it's going out of style.

And as for them Rooskies

Putin is duty bound to have this war, he tried to avoid it, delay it as long as possible, when any rational National leader would have done something a long time ago. The Russians are doing so badly in Ukraine because Putin sat on his hands for too long.

But never the less, Russia is Russia and half of Ukraine is Russia, and there is no chance that Russia loses in the Russian half of Ukraine. The only question is, how many Ukrainians and Russians have to suffer.

What's the bottom line for Russia and NATO

After Soviet days, Russia had no money for its military. Then Russia adopted Western styled defense industry that was rather small. But today Russia has nationalized all the weapons manufacturing, and Russia has huge money reserves to pour into it. Laws passed, the missile and bullet builders are required by law to work 3 shifts 24/7 and now those arms productions are intended to outstrip Western arms production 100 to 1. And these are the new stuff like drones and electronic warfare systems for a type of war never fought before. But the bottom line for Russia is, this doesn't cost anything, because it's paid for by the higher energy revenue. The Russian currency is the best preforming currency this year. Heck, even the Saudis are paying Russia and importing 100,000 + barrels of Russian crude a day, something that seems totally ludicrous, but it's true.


NATO nations would like to get Russian resources and the money paid for them sit in an account, denominatedin USD, preferably in their friends name, forever, and never benefit the locals. Breaking Russia up into smaller sections, and even having the sections fight amongst themselves is optimal.

Every NATO nation is bankrupt, in debt, and the interest on their debt is compounding exponentially. Printing more money is the only logical thing to do, as opposed to reducing expenses. If NATO Nations want Western Polish Ukraine to win over Russia in Eastern Russian Ukraine, their gonna need a bigger force, and that ain't cheep. I don't think those governments can print enough money to both sustain their current overspending, and match the 100 to 1 ratio the Rooskies are aiming at, to anything like parody. And while 80% of the world pays no attention to the sanctions NATO nations have on Russia, the NATO nations, because of their sanctions they squirm so to themselves get around, now must pay a 50% premium on all the sweet Rooskie resources. India is making a killing importing Rooskie crude, refining to fuel and selling to US at a 50% mark up, but them Rooskies still sold their oil at about what it would be without any sanctions. Remember that 80% of the world that pays no mind to the sanctions? They have ramped up efforts to use things other than the US Dollar to do trade amongst themselves. Back in the 1990's 80% of all international trade was with US Dollars as half of those transactions. Today the Dollar is down to 56% and falling fast. The more Dollars they don't use, the more find their way back to the US and cause more inflation. Might I mention to those non US folks still holding Dollars, last one out is a rotten egg.

NATO/Dollar/Euro nations want to get Russian resources under their control to be sold for Dollars/Euros only and soke up all that inflation. The way things are supposed to work is, the US Government writes "bond" on a paper, sells it to the folks who own the Federal Reserve Banks for dollars in an account, uses account to buy titanium from Russia, Russia holds the dollars in an account as "foreign reserves" and that account accumulates but doesn't get spent. The US can make a jet fighter with the titanium, and has real stuff, the Russian get nothing but digits in an unspendable account. Russia had 600 Billion, but sold some off down to 300 Billion that is now "frozen" just like a dozen other nations who now have unspendable "frozen" foreign reserves. And you can be sure the 3 Trillian in foreign reserves held by Japan and China will not be allowed to be spent in do time. Every Dollar held as a countries "reserves" is a dollars worth of real world stuff handed over, the Dollar paid for it put into an account, never to get spent. When you add all the "reserves", and think about all the real world stuff they were traded for, that's a lot of stuff handed over! And, if the West doesn't inflate their arse off, before those that can, who traded their stuff for Dollars, decide to trade their Dollars back into stuff again. Do you know how much "foreign reserves" the US has? About negative 10 Trillian.

Posted by: Carl | Jul 18 2022 17:02 utc | 6

Do we have on record what all the Tory Leadership contenders think of the Ukraine mess?

Posted by: Julian | Jul 18 2022 17:07 utc | 7

I am still not clear about Russia's real strategy. It seems to me that Russia had, and still has, a much easier, less costly (financially and in human terms), and more effective possibility at its disposal: close off the oil/gas taps to Europe, 100% and with immediate effect.

Europe would be on its knees within days, prepared to negotiate. russia would then be able to get anything it would demand: the lifting of all sanctions, the recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent republics, the recognition of Crimea as part of Russia, the military neutralization of what would be left of the Ukraine, whatever else.

The war would be over within days: by say March 1st that could have been a fait accompli.

Instead, Russia is giving ample time to Europe to develop alternative hydrocarbon suppliers, while European public opinion turns more and more anti-Russian by the day. Plus, it now has a direct border with Nato via Finland.

I do not understand Russia's thinking, but there must be more subtle, overarching considerations in the Kremlin which a little guy like me cannot see.

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jul 18 2022 17:07 utc | 8

The core of US Policy all my life (75yrs) has been DEPOPULATION. Everything is about getting rid of as many of "them" as possible,
don't think Americans are exempt from this policy, Covid proves
most of us are on the list too. Add up the numbers killed in my lifetime and it is an impressive record!

Posted by: Quanah | Jul 18 2022 17:09 utc | 9

Recall that after the 2014 coup it was revealed that the top floor of the SBU building in Kyiv was occupied by the CIA and SBU staff were not allowed to go there.

Any changes to top personnel at the SBU were for show and initiated from Langley. There is no way Zelensky's childhood buddy ran the show.

Of the alleged 35,000 staff there will be as many affiliated with the CIA as FSB and some likely playing for both teams, plus Poland, Turkey, Belarus...

All sabotaging and snitching on each other. What a clusterfork.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 18 2022 17:12 utc | 10

I said the same at NC, but I don’t see the pause. Serious negotiations would require a pause which would be used by NATO to regroup and rearm. And any significant pause could see nato forces stationed in Odessa. While I agree the Krivoi Rog is important, Odessa is the key. The US/UK will abandon Ukraine as soon as Odessa is effectively off the table. They need a naval base there because the Turks aren’t reliable enough, a serious base there could threaten the whole Crimean land bridge and Black Sea fleet basing, but more than that, it becomes theoretically possible to blockade the Black Sea fleet from inside.

My gut is telling me that Phase III may start before phase II (Donbas liberation) ends. Weapons being given are getting close to having the capacity to hit crimea. It’s clear that the west won’t negotiate and the path to just Donbas is closed. The war can’t go on for two years. That will test Chinese patience and delay important work. Plus a serious southern front would put a lot of pressure on the AFU. Odessa now and think about negotiations in October because Russia probably needs to go into those negotiations in a position where its comfortable stopping. And since the sanctions won’t be lifted, Russia should take her primary geopolitical needs now.

Posted by: Lex | Jul 18 2022 17:16 utc | 11

Well, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba aka the Dork (looks at his picture) says, “I tell all partners a simple thing: ‘Russia should sit down at the negotiating table after defeat on the battlefield. Otherwise, it will be the language of ultimatums again.’”

With such a realistic pre-condition for peaceful negotiations, assuming he means the defeat of the Russians on the battlefield and not the other way around, I'd say give the on-going war, oops I mean SMO a chance!

I wonder what "hell" the Serbian President is referring to? Anyone?

“I know what awaits us. As soon as Vladimir Putin finishes business in Sieversk, Bakhmut and Soledar, and then on the second line Sloviansk - Kramatorsk - Avdeevka, his proposal will follow. If they don’t accept it, and they don’t intend to, we will go to hell."

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 18 2022 17:17 utc | 12

Could it be that the 35,000 member SBU is connected to the million man army?

Posted by: Rob | Jul 18 2022 17:29 utc | 13

Z should dissolve the SBU and send them all to the Russian Front as punishment. But RT has this article:

"Ukraine walks back firing of top security officials: Ukraine’s prosecutor general and the head of national security agency have been suspended, but not fired....

"[T]he office of President Volodymyr Zelensky clarified on Monday."

And that would be the office in Washinton, not Kiev.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 17:31 utc | 14

Opport Knocks, #10:

Clusterfork prob does not go far enough: do not forget the israelis/Mossad working their magic and contributions to the cluster.

As i understand, they have long been involved in Ukraine, even prior to 2014 criminal coup. Do not have links but based upon prior commentary.

They were also seriously involved in the Georgian fiasco when Sak and his neo cons decided to test the Russians and it met with utter failure.

Posted by: Taras 77 | Jul 18 2022 17:35 utc | 15

If Germany was America's target then O'laugh Scholz , Smoked Haddock and Lena Bareback are 3 treasonous bastards complicit to/in their success.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 18 2022 17:47 utc | 16

@7 I watched the Tory leadership 'debate' and I got the impression none of them said what they really think about Ukraine (or anything else) only what they think might get them elected.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 17:47 utc | 17

Speculation that Russia wants to be able to announce the taking of all of Donbas by September 1. No one really knows what the third phase will entail and in what order. A lot depends on whether the present deployment level stays or Russia surges another 100k troops into Ukraine. That would allow them to focus on multiple fronts at once. It could be Nikolaev/Mykolaiv and Kharkov/Kharkiv simultaneously.

Posted by: Cesare | Jul 18 2022 17:49 utc | 18

@13 The SBU is a key component of the Million Man Army. They will be supplying the informers.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 17:50 utc | 19

Zelenski's home town is Kryvyi Rih. His cronies whom constitue most of his administration are insider pals from Kryvyi Rih and from his TV production company Kvartal 95 Studio. Most of them have no background in politics, the military or diplomacy, including Zelenski - they were all TV entertainment producers. While much is made of Zelenski's acting/comedic background, he went to law school and ran a pretty big media business - a perennially corrupt industry in a hopelessly corrupt country. This explains a lot of what we see of him (at least to me).

Unless I'm reading the reports wrong, he dismissed his SBU buddy (Kvartal 95 - no background in intel or Gestapo works) and the Prosecutor General not because of any kind of treason on their part, but because of their utter incompetence to manage the security of their underlings and organizations. Their subordinates were supposedly the treasonous/corrupt people. Tossing out the SBU head will do nothing for Zelenski's ultimate ousting - the SBU Gestapo ultra-nationalist/Nazi types are simply biding their time. Zelenski's Nazi replacement will be far, far worse.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 18 2022 17:50 utc | 20

"The closer you are to Caesar, the greater the fear." also true of the "little Caesars" and "wannabe Augustuli Romuli" out there.

when will Russia and/or China announce their concern that the coronavirus may have been a bioweapon?

answer: never. cuz it's bullshit.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Jul 18 2022 18:04 utc | 21

With millions of the poor set to die in Germany this winter, and with German industrial might to be castrated in the same time frame, I wonder if Olaf Scholz is getting nervous about his security detail. If I were him, I'd be on edge. All it will take is one bodyguard with a compassionate streak for the German people.

Posted by: Karsten | Jul 18 2022 18:06 utc | 22

Spent time last week looking at NS1 supply and EU storage.. At end 2020 NS1 was delivering about 12 Bcm/month. This was contract volume which was closely matched to needs for consumption and storage. LNG imports began early 2021 with about 2-3 Bcm/mo. NS1 delivery declined similarly, and again in late 2021 LNG climbed to about 4-5 Bcm/mo and NS1 dropping to 7 Bcm/mo. It does not seem possible to increase LNG over 4-5 Bcm/mo as it requires facilities that won’t be ready for a year or more. Even if additional re-gasification plants were available the market is already very tight. So bottom line on supply, with NS1 shut, there is a net deficit of some 7 Bcm/mo!! Looking at storage, currently it is about 48 Bcm which is less than half of annual target.
With no significant added supply available that is 6-7 months to empty!!
Reducing the demand side by 3-4 Bcm/mo might get them thru winter, but I might guess that a cut of that magnitude would be brutal!

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 18 2022 18:09 utc | 23

@PavewayIV #20

Good clues. Thanks.

Posted by: Richard L | Jul 18 2022 18:11 utc | 24

Ernesto Che #8

Russia's ties with the pro-national forces of commercial and industrial capital in Europe have been going on since the days of the USSR. It was together with these forces that the first oil and gas pipelines stretched to Europe, and after the collapse of the USSR and Putin came to power, Nord Stream 1 and 2. These forces in politics represent the AfD in Germany, the Northern League 5 stars Italy, Fidesz with Orban in Hungary.
If these ties and trade relations are cut off at one blow, if they are not given the opportunity to reorganize their activities in relation to new conditions, this will greatly weaken their positions.

Posted by: Nebo Sinee | Jul 18 2022 18:12 utc | 25

@Karsten | Jul 18 2022 18:06 utc | 22

All it will take is one bodyguard with a compassionate streak for the German people.

A Stauffenberg with more success.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 18 2022 18:17 utc | 26


Posted by: Jpc | Jul 18 2022 18:17 utc | 27

So Hudson wrote this on the 7th February:-

"The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest.

"As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

"The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor."

This is what happened. Unexpected by many of us, who were convinced that Scholz would push through at least the start of Minsk 2 and avoid war. But Scholz had, without any public announcement, already assented to the sanctions war well before February 21st:-

1. The German coalition talks occurred from October to late November 2021. At those talks Scholz agreed to the plan moving to the remilitarisation of Germany, though the plans were not announced until after the SMO had started.

2. Talks between Washington and Brussels on the subject of imposing heavy sanctions on Russia were conducted before February 2022. Scholz could not have been unaware of those talks - as Juncker remarked a while back, nothing gets past Brussels unless it gets past Berlin and Paris first.

So all was in place for the sanctions war and for German re-militarisation well before February 21st.

Yet at the pre-war press conference with Putin Scholz is still telling us that Minsk must be observed.

(set to 29 mins)

It fooled most. Certainly fooled me. 100%. Scholz was seen at the time as the man working for peace, though ineffectually as it turned out.

But the conclusion now must be that Scholz was not an inexperienced Chancellor rushed into the sanctions war by Washington. He was working towards a sanctions war together with Washington, a sanctions war that both Berlin/Brussels and Washington genuinely believed would result in a quick kill of the Russian economy.

Posted by: English Outsider | Jul 18 2022 18:20 utc | 28

Sorry having problems attaching link's.
Any opinions on this story.
A genuine observation on the rotten state of Ukraine government by someone who actually knows what she is talking about.
Or a beginning of a narrative shift.

Republicans Freak As Ukrainian-Born GOP Colleague Trash Talks

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 18 2022 18:21 utc | 29

@7-during the”debate” on ITV (the UK’s bottom feeder commercial channel) all of the would-be prime ministers of this septic isle said that, with regards to Ukraine, that none of them would even meet with Putin never mind engage in a dialogue for peace. Indeed, the little turd Tugendhat had been clamouring for war long before February 2022 and nearly shat his pants when Germany looked like it was going to certify Nord stream 2.

Posted by: Vragtes | Jul 18 2022 18:21 utc | 30

Did the west fall into Russia's trap?

Posted by: Sam B | Jul 18 2022 18:21 utc | 31

Summary of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the progress of a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine (18072022)

High-precision air-launched missiles in the village of Konstantinovka of the Donetsk People's Republic hit the temporary deployment point of mercenaries of the so-called Ukrainian "foreign legion". Up to 250 foreign fighters, seven armored vehicles, as well as 12 special vehicles were destroyed.

As a result of a strike with high-precision long-range air-based weapons at the temporary deployment point of the battalion of the 118th Brigade of the Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the village of Vitovo, Cherkasy region, up to 60 nationalists, two multiple rocket launcher combat vehicles and four artillery pieces were destroyed.

In the area of the Udachnoye railway station of the Donetsk People's Republic, more than 10 Ukrainian installations of multiple rocket launchers "Grad", as well as eight units of armored vehicles, were destroyed by a strike at the place of unloading echelons with military equipment.

Also, in the area of the settlement of New Donbass of the Donetsk People's Republic, as a result of a rocket artillery strike on the AFU field airfield, two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters located there were destroyed and two more helicopters received significant damage.

As part of the counter-battery struggle, two batteries of multiple launch rocket systems "Hurricane" in the Predtechino area, three platoons of MLRS "Grad", 14 artillery platoons of howitzers "Hyacinth-B" and D-30 guns in the areas of the settlements of Seversk, Verkhnekamenskoye, Serebryanka, Dronovka and Zvanovka of the Donetsk People's Republic were hit.

Operational-tactical and army aviation, rocket troops and artillery hit 14 control points during the day, including the 28th mechanized Brigade in the area of Nikolaev, the 60th Infantry Brigade in the area of Novoaleksandrovka, Zaporozhye region and the 15th battalion of the 58th Motorized Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the village of Pokrovskoye, Donetsk People's Republic, as well as manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 286 districts.

Destroyed: a Buk-M1 self-propelled firing installation in the Kramatorsk area of the Donetsk People's Republic, three warehouses with rocket and artillery weapons and a fuel depot in the Novoaleksandrovka area of the Zaporozhye region.

Six Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down by Russian air defense means during the day in the areas of the settlements of Peschanoe, Chervonyi Oskol, Liptsy, Kharkiv region, Korsun, Donetsk People's Republic and Novokamenka, Kherson region. Two shells of the Hurricane multiple launch rocket system were also intercepted in the area of the settlement of Stakhanov of the Luhansk People's Republic.

In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 257 aircraft, 142 helicopters, 1564 unmanned aerial vehicles, 356 anti-aircraft missile systems, 4099 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 759 multiple rocket launchers, 3157 field artillery and mortars, as well as 4392 units of special military vehicles have been destroyed.

Posted by: Summary18072022 | Jul 18 2022 18:22 utc | 32

Ernesto Che #8

In addition, Russia itself needs time to reorient oil and gas flows to the East.

Posted by: Nebo Sinee | Jul 18 2022 18:23 utc | 33

A fourth writer ought to be added to the mix. Alastair Crooke's latest at SCF is now out, "Reading the Runes of War", which wasn't foreshadowed by his Al-Mayadeen column as I thought it might.

Many barflies anticipated what Crooke writes in his opening:

Of course, the conflict, to all intents, is settled – though is far from over. It is clear that Russia will prevail in the military war – and the political war too – by which is meant that whatever emerges in Ukraine after the military action is complete will be dictated by Moscow on its terms.

Plainly, on the one hand, the regime in Kiev would collapse were it to have terms dictated to it by Moscow. And, on the other hand, the entire western agenda behind the Maidan coup d’état in 2014 would implode, too. (This is why an off-ramp, short of a Ukrainian rout, is next to impossible.)

This moment thus marks a crucial point of inflection. One American choice might be to end the conflict – and there are many voices calling for a deal, or a ceasefire, with the understandably humane intent of ending the pointless slaughter of Ukrainian young men sent to ‘the front’ to defend indefensible positions, only to be cynically killed for no military gain, merely to keep the war going.

Though rational, the argument for an off-ramp misses the bigger geopolitical point: The West is so heavily invested in its fantastical narrative of imminent Russian collapse and humiliation that it finds itself ‘stuck fast’. It cannot move forward for fear that NATO might not be up to the task of confronting Russian forces (Putin has made the point that Russia had not even begun to use its full force). And yet, to cut a deal, to move back, would be to lose face.

And ‘losing face’ roughly translates to the liberal west losing.

The West thus has made itself hostage to its unrestrained triumphalism, posing as info-war. It chose this unrestrained jingoism. Biden advisers however, reading the runes of the war – of relentless Russian gains – have begun to scent another foreign policy débacle fast heading their way.

They see events, far from reaffirming the ‘rules-based Order’, rather the stark laying bare before the world of the limits to U.S. power – giving front of stage to not just a resurgent Russia, but one carrying a revolutionary message for the rest of the world (albeit a fact to which the West has yet to awaken). [My Emphasis]

And it's the coming debacle that becomes the essay's focus. And a big part of Crooke's examination of that debacle rests of Dr. Hudson's historical political-economy research and analysis of the current situation, which we've been discussing here for months/years. After a long paraphrasal of Dr. Hudson's thesis, Crooke concludes:

"Here is the point: Adam Smith economics plus individualism is ingrained in the western zeitgeist. It will not change. However, President Putin’s new policy of cleansing the Augean Stables of ‘predatory western capital’ and the example set by Russia of its metamophose toward a largely self-supporting economy, immune to dollar hegemony, is music to the ears of the Global South and to much of the Rest of the World.

"Taken together with Russia and China’s lead in challenging the West’s ‘right’ to set rules; to monopolise the means (the dollar) as the basis for settling inter-state trade; and with BRICS and SCO steadily acquiring ‘bottom’, Putin’s speeches reveal their revolutionary agenda." [My Emphasis]

Thank you Mr. Crooke for seconding what I've been commenting about for the last several years.

Yet there remains a big problem: How to keep the current conflict from going beyond Ukraine, which has also been an ongoing topic at our bar. Crooke anticipates that issue as he closes his essay:

One aspect remains: How to bring about a ‘revolutionary’ metamorphosis, without incurring war with the West. The U.S. and Europe are stuck. They are unable to renew themselves, as the structural political and economic contradictions have locked their paradigm solid. How then to ‘unstick’ the situation, short of war?

The key, paradoxically, may lie with Russia and China’s deep understanding of the flaws to the western economic model. The West is in need of Catharsis to ‘unstick itself’. Catharsis can be defined as the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed, emotions attached to beliefs.

To avoid military catharsis, it seems that the Russian and Chinese leadership – understanding the flaws to the western economic model – must then visit the West with an economic catharsis.

For those who can't get SCF, I've provided the most important parts of Crooke's essay, although it will hopefully be mirrored somewhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 18:32 utc | 34

@29 I guess you are referring to Victoria Startz. She caused a bit of a flurry but she did manage to cover herself.

"I am not saying that the support of your president is not there," she told the Ukrainian publication. "I am saying that some of your country's actions are troubling us. And if problems are not voiced, it does not mean that they do not exist."

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 18:35 utc | 35

@30 Not one of those people is going to say that Russia might have a case. They wouldn't even have got to the 'debate' stage.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 18:40 utc | 36

I just saw an item on a large Dutch news site where it says that the EU will ask members next week to immediately start saving gas. That is not the surprise. The most reacted to comments are:

#1 with 104 thumbs up
And so it becomes increasingly clear that we have mainly introduced sanctions against ourselves. Russia still earns a lot from oil and gas exports, because of the huge price increases, the US is double laughing, because they see their exports only increase and the EU is paying the price for this mismanagement.

#2 with 44 thumbs up
We are in conflict with Putin. Ukraine is fighting the real fight and we in the rest of Europe can make our limited contribution by using less gas and thereby reducing Putin's war funding. It won't be easy for us either, but we will help turn this conflict in the right direction.

Thats a 70:30 like ratio. There is hope!

Posted by: alek_a | Jul 18 2022 18:41 utc | 37

Germany's authorities have finally found a green alternative to Russian gas to heat their homes next winter: Trees.
They are literally green!

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 18 2022 18:42 utc | 38

Many people working for Zelenskyy are probably beginning to question why they are expected to sacrifice tens of thousands of their countrymen in a proxy war that they cannot win.

Posted by: Grrr | Jul 18 2022 18:43 utc | 39

Posted by: Sam B | Jul 18 2022 18:21 utc | 31

Nice to see someone saying the same thing I was saying all the time here -- it is the collective West in Bear's grip than other way around...and having no way out of it, other than if/when the Bear let you go...😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 18:44 utc | 40


lets see wether the heatwave will let enough for that :/

Posted by: Macpott | Jul 18 2022 18:44 utc | 41

@Ric G - I am skeptical about this; the anti-Russia propaganda is too intense. Since there is no opposition that publicly opposes the published opinion of the government, there are no alternatives. Even if there is unrest, nothing will change; only state terrorist measures will be resorted to. The Germans have never been further away from their own will and thinking after World War II, not least because of the Corvid 19 discipline.

Translated with (free version)

Posted by: Peter | Jul 18 2022 18:47 utc | 42

@ernesto che

Europe can not develope alternative suppliers. There are none.

There is no alternative infrastructure. You will never be able to supply 500 million people with lng tankers even if somebody would ramp up production.

I think the russians were playing the game because they somehow thought that the europeans would come to their sences or alternatively that the european public would recognize that its their own governments which are cutting of the supplies that keep the continent alive.

But the european leaders are living in a cult and the european public is more interested in enjoying its last summer.

The longer it lasts the weaker europe gets. For russia it doesnt matter.

Actually the slow approach works very much in russias favour. Each and every government outside the western cult can watch the western insanity on a daily basis.

I mean even if you dont speak english, just compare how calm and rational lavrov and putin react to anything that comes along with a g7 or nato meeting.

Scholtz came out today saying that even if the war ended europe would not give up on its sanctions.

Its over here in the west. Nobody will rescue europe, if not the europeans themselves. Given the cultish mindset of the leadership and technocrazy i doubt that a peacefull uprising can do away with the powers being. Sorry but i cant see rescue for europe short of a reesteblishment of the guillotine.

Posted by: Orgel | Jul 18 2022 18:49 utc | 43


The Western sense of identity is essentially rooted in being richer, more advanced, more powerful, more "progressive," than the rest of the world. The reason westerners cannot come to grips with the new order of the world is that it is a challenge to their identity itself. If Americans aren't number one, then what are they? If Europeans don't have the highest quality of life, then what do they have? The reaction we are seeing from the West is the fear response to this blow to their identity.

Posted by: Grrr | Jul 18 2022 18:52 utc | 44

Jpc @29--

Thanks for that news item. It's from this Politico item picked up by Zero Hedge and showcases the Ukrainian born Republican rep from Indiana, Victoria Spartz, that I've commented on before, who is more virtuous than her fellows by far and defended herself:

"'Growing up in Ukraine and visiting six times since the war started, I have a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground,' Spartz said. 'The stakes are too high to be reactive without deliberation — as intended for our institution.'"

Imagine, a small-d politician from Ukraine having greater values and morals than those in Congress causing great discomfort for the Duopoly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 18:53 utc | 45

@Ernesto Che - Russia needed a lot of time and energy to develop and implement a new strategy after the failed run to Kiev, which was triggered by false intelligence analyses.
Meanwhile, Russia is running out of time. The longer it takes, the more weapons and training for the soldiers Ukraine receives, so then with increasing time a turn around becomes possible. Accordingly, the strategy of the Urkaine, especially since there the number of own dead is completely indifferent.
Russia must control a land connection to Modavia, i.e. the entire Black Sea coast. This can only be done with a massive and far-reaching air offensive, so that the supply lines are also destroyed.
The Russian hope that the West would sooner or later be willing to negotiate has proved illusory.
It is therefore possible that the restraint Russia has exercised so far in order to avoid civilian casualties will have to be abandoned at a certain point. That would be what Putin called "hell.

Translated with (free version)

Posted by: Peter | Jul 18 2022 18:58 utc | 46

Time for the bouquet of Lillies. The palace coup in..............

Ye reap what you sow.....

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jul 18 2022 19:00 utc | 47

"She"? Yves is a man's name, not a woman's.

Posted by: traducteur | Jul 18 2022 19:00 utc | 48

@Sam Smith - pure propaganda. They can't talk, both US and EU do forbit that. They want the was. Ukraine is no autonom state.

Posted by: peter | Jul 18 2022 19:03 utc | 49

It is Venediktova and Bakanov and 649 others. Clear as mud who is arrested, who is being investigated, who might be investigating. Supposedly these are all senior people and the charge is collaboration and treason. With that many out of action and/or under a cloud nothing is getting done. Any who still show up to the office are keeping their heads down and going through the motions. This is a death knell.

If it were possible to credit that Zelensky makes any decisions my first guess would be cocaine paranoia. Perhaps the US minders have cocaine paranoia? If there really are 651 traitors at work we should ask who is left that has any loyalty to this failed state.

The wheels fell off the clown car.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 18 2022 19:04 utc | 50

If Germany was America's target then O'laugh Scholz , Smoked Haddock and Lena Bareback are 3 treasonous bastards complicit to/in their success.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 18 2022 17:47 utc | 16

Migration of remaining German Industry and Wealth to China will be seen as some glorious dawn in France and prolly England ... Dream of it impoverished Germany producing only sausages and beer ...

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Jul 18 2022 19:13 utc | 51

A recent Gallup Poll reveals that in Eastern Europe, a compelling majority of the citizens think that life was better under Soviet Communism. ... See the breakdown here:

In analyzing these results, there are several key deductions that may be inferred from this poll:

a) Even in the supposedly 'Anti-Russian' strongholds, the Soviet System is preferred to the current 'Western' system by a significant majority of the populace (ie. almost 2/3rds in Lithuania, almost 3/4ths in Ukraine, well more than half of all Croats, etc.).

b) Even in the most militaristic pro-NATO states, the Soviet System is preferred amongst a good segment of the population (ie. nearly half of all Poles and Romanians).

c) Eastern Europeans firmly reject the outright Aristocratic attitudes of the West. ... Inflation-debt corporatism, Uncontrolled migration, Degenerate attacks on the traditional family, etc. are not Slavic Values at all. They are arrogant and demented concoctions of the West.

d) Eastern Europeans have clearly been treated as second and third class citizens by the West. ... The West uses them for their political gain and economic advantage, but spits them out like a pariah and kicks them to the curb when they are done using them. ... Under the Soviet System, they were treated more (but not in all cases, unfortunately) as equals.

e) And perhaps the most interesting point is the question: ... What did Paul McCartney and Beatles see 50 years ago, that the people did not wake up and realize until today? ... Listen here:

Let me know if you dig the vibe.

Posted by: Robert | Jul 18 2022 19:14 utc | 52

@Sam B - The wish is the father of the thought. look to Taiwan, the US is pushing the same thing there that they did with Ukraine.
Both are used to intercept the domestic political problems in the USA, the USA is on the verge of disintegrating and having a civil war on a bie seen scale.
With something like that, only a (big) war abroad helps, because in peacetime the country would disintegrate.

Posted by: Peter | Jul 18 2022 19:15 utc | 53

The Russians should not let the Ukes have another winter to develop a built up defense of Odessa. They at least need to cut off its supply routes to the north. The Russians will have gas for their tanks this winter. I doubt the Ukrainians will.

Posted by: quackyquackysteve | Jul 18 2022 19:19 utc | 54

@English Outsider | Jul 18 2022 18:20 utc | 28

I don't suspect any of the Greens of brain. Schlitz probably was either tricked but most likely paid to turn Germany's economy off.
He is very angry these days. He said the veto right for EU members must be changed, so only some decide for everyone. Borell's idea from a month ago. His budget for weapons can be any number he wants to say, everything Germany had was linked to the very cheap energy from Russia which is gone. If these EU "leaders" honestly believed Russia will run out of missiles or money ,they really need to lower the cocaine intake.
At the current rate of collapse and messages like removal of veto rights, I don't think EU will last in this shape 2 years.

Posted by: rk | Jul 18 2022 19:19 utc | 55

Posted by: traducteur | Jul 18 2022 19:00 utc | 48

Yves is female (-ish). They/their/them confirmed this many, many years ago. Also a McKinsey alum.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 18 2022 19:20 utc | 56

Re: Victoria Spartz

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 18:53 utc | 45

It is common knowledge here that Ukraine and China are the top 2 money laundering destinations of the extended Biden family, and her criticisms are directed at the lack of oversight of weapons and aid, not that the US should not be involved.

The "10% for the Big Guy" has no doubt increased after Biden's selection, and it is my belief that it was not just for the family, but also distributed to key members of Congress.

In any case, if past pattern holds, Victoria Spartz will be targeted by both sides of the uni-party in the next election.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 18 2022 19:20 utc | 57

@45 I'm not quite sure what Startz' position is. She accuses Biden and Zelensky of playing politics and not taking the war seriously enough. So she isn't against the war per se. She seems concerned about weapons and money being wasted in Ukraine but it's not clear how exactly she wants the weapons and money used.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 19:23 utc | 58

Kvyri Rog is being defended by a Volksturm brigade that’s been getting hammered for the last 3 weeks.

The 17.Tank was usually stationed in Keri Rog but was sent by NATO to be part of the attack force against the LPR. This elite unit appears to have been annihilated in the cauldron battle liberating the LPR.

Net Net - the Allies could liberate Kvryri Rog PDQ from the south. All that stand in the way is a battered Volksturm brigade.

Posted by: Exile | Jul 18 2022 19:23 utc | 59

@58 Spartz not Startz. Sorry.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 19:25 utc | 60

Better get that Wim Hof Method sorted in Germany for all those ice baths this winter. Wow. Never thought zee Germans would be this hara-Kiri-ish.

Posted by: Rastus | Jul 18 2022 19:27 utc | 61

"Yves Smith" was apparently born as "Susan Webber". So why did she choose the man's name " Yves"?

Posted by: Lysias | Jul 18 2022 19:29 utc | 62

Lysias @ 62

Adam and Eve Smith.

Webber as in Paine-Webber.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 18 2022 19:32 utc | 63

It's a lot easier to remember the Russian place name Krivoy Rog than the Ukrainian Kryviy Rih.

Posted by: Lysias | Jul 18 2022 19:38 utc | 64

Aleksandar Vučić: If the West does not accept Putin's offer for Ukraine - we will go to hell

Second half: Vučić believes the regional conflict will spread to a global war … M.A.D.

Posted by: Oui | Jul 18 2022 19:47 utc | 65

The EU is a rule making shop run by time serving incompetents.
You wonder what the founders of the EEC Monnet, Adenauer would make of these pampered idiots?

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 18 2022 19:50 utc | 66

Did the west fall into Russia's trap?

Posted by: Sam B | Jul 18 2022 18:21 utc | 31

An interesting read. Just enough money to permanently destroy the USSA as go-to country to buy government bonds for pension funds. Also to completely destroy the USSA heavily rigged finance bond rating system. At the same time.

I read one under-informed person by self-choice comment. One who cannot and is completely unwilling to face the truth. "I’m sjure many of your readers could offer comparatively well-grounded analyses! Better to shut down and take a real vacation."

So funny!

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Jul 18 2022 19:52 utc | 67

Posted by: Exile | Jul 18 2022 19:23 utc | 59

You're living proof of a great achievement by the malicious idiots in charge at the US state dept. -like McFaul to mention one poisonous idiot- trying to impose a minority language in Ukraine and Belarus, Krivoy Rog, Crooked Horn, that simple, but you managed to mention it a half dozen times each one of them differently, congrats.

By the way, that toponym could be somewhere in Alberta or North Dakota, Moose Jaw came to my mind. You gringos really fucked it up, you had so much in common with the Russkies but no, it had to be your way, now you’ll have to deal on your own with the Chinese, and if you had a hard time writing Crooked Horn wait till you have to translate it into Mandarin.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 18 2022 19:54 utc | 68

I am still not clear about Russia's real strategy. It seems to me that Russia had, and still has, a much easier, less costly (financially and in human terms), and more effective possibility at its disposal: close off the oil/gas taps to Europe, 100% and with immediate effect.
Posted by: Ernesto Che | Jul 18 2022 17:07 utc | 8

The thought has occurred to many, and confused me for a while, but I think it speaks to the core difference between approaches. A zero-sum approach favours escalation while a win-win approach favours harm minimisation (even for current enemies).

In a possibly over-reductive way it comes down to whether you think genocide is ok. If you don’t, then you are always going to end up living with your current enemies.

Posted by: Rae | Jul 18 2022 19:55 utc | 69

While western "democracies" use woke and liberal propaganda to distract and attract votes, they manage o destroy cultures and national interests on behalf of Atlanticist globalist interests from Washington and London.
Of course a weak Europe is a goal to limit the growth of the Eurasian economy led by BRICS. The key objective is to stall the European economic engine: Germany.
Like Nuland said: "#uck the EU"

Posted by: J | Jul 18 2022 19:56 utc | 70

Volodya, time to play the great rook: Korosten, Jitomir, Vinnitsia, Tiraspol.

Cut 'em off!
The Blues Brothers (1980) - Rawhide Scene (5/9) | Movieclips

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Jul 18 2022 20:02 utc | 71

"My belief is still that Russia will give priority to taking Odessa unless there are logistical considerations that argue against that. The Ukraine military is so close to collapse that Russian forces going to Odessa sooner rather than later is a real possibility. It’s the psychologically most important target for the Russian people "

Why do I get the feeling something very nasty will be engineered to happen in Odessa or the lead up to it's occupation but Russian force's?

Posted by: Jpc | Jul 18 2022 20:02 utc | 72

thanks, karlof1, for this link to Alastair Crooke's latest on SCF / #34
Especially this one is a new point to me:

"To avoid military catharsis, it seems that the Russian and Chinese leadership – understanding the flaws to the western economic model – must then visit the West with an economic catharsis."

In other words, the total economic breakthrough of the western world as an act of liberation or emancipation from its own false narratives, as a result of the Eurasian powers' will to avoid nuclear war.

Anyone who didn't know what catarsis means now knows. Let's get this over with quickly.

Posted by: njet | Jul 18 2022 20:02 utc | 73

dh @58--

First and foremost, Spartz is doing what a member of Congress is supposed to do--defend the interests of her constituents--and do recall that she had to pass the very difficult citizenship test to become naturalized and thus a Congresscritter. Second, it's clear she's being fooled by the BigLie Propaganda, but not completely as she's very well aware of the fact that Ukraine is losing. Otherwise, I have no further info on her positions or knowledge aside from the fact that she's a pariah for the Duopoly. It's possible she chose the Rs because they're closer to traditional Slavic values than the Ds. Her demanding accountability for weapons shipments that Z's government protested and the latter's known corruption is what every member of Congress ought to be demanding as that's in their constituent's interests.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 20:02 utc | 74

Helping to keep Western Europe prosperous is of no use to Russia. Europe is in need of Russian energy products, metals and all kinds of other products, and Belarussian products. In a multi-polar world, Europe has nothing (much) to offer. The wealthy countries, resource-wise, production-wise is in the East and South. The so-called developing world is really developing at a much higher rate, has the resources, produce the goods that can be used to pay with as in barter. In a multi-polar world, countries respect each other equally, pay for goods and services in their own currency, which in turn give respect to the country, its people and the currency.

Europe is like an old man with stiff joints, has paper money or money as a entry in the bank account, but without enough resources to back the currency. Also has lazy people, used to get cheaply produced goods and services from the East and the South. "You didn't want our gas, fuel and you want us to wait till 2023 to shut us off. No, we shut you off now, why should we wait until you hit us later? To show you the other cheek? No, that won't work."

So, it'd would be much nicer/easier for Russia (and the Global South) to let Europe deteriorate economically, even openly help it to achieve that. The Global South has to forget the word "West." And, stop producing for the West, but for themselves and other friendly countries. The expression "unfriendly countries" is now fixed. There can't be "unfriendly countries" today, and "friendly countries" tomorrow.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:08 utc | 75

On February 7, before the war started, Michael Hudson pointed out that the real target of the U.S. instigation of a war in Ukraine is Germany:

The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest... The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor.

Nothing new here. This is what I wrote exactly eight years earlier.

On the situation in Ukraine (February 7, 2014)

From the point of view of Western geopolitical strategy it would be very desirable to see Soviet tanks in the streets of Kiev. In the absence of Soviet tanks Russian tanks will do – if not in Kiev, then at the very least in the Crimea. Western strategy is the same as that in Afghanistan, get Russia tied up to its own Vietnam. Russia must be internationally condemned and isolated from the "international community."

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jul 18 2022 20:09 utc | 76

@75 Well good for her, and a handful of others, for demanding accountability for weapons shipments. I don't see any major change in the Ukraine narrative however.

Posted by: dh | Jul 18 2022 20:13 utc | 77

Borell's idea from a month ago.
Posted by: rk | Jul 18 2022 19:19 utc | 55

The end of unanmnity in de European Council? Oh, right. (the several consituencies of the Council of the European already adopted simple majority in most instance.)
yeah, I spotted that brilliant PR launch 4 May 2022

Draghi calls for EU treaties change amid 'ideal' and 'pragmatic' federalism

Speaking before European lawmakers in Strasbourg on Tuesday (3 May), Draghi said that both the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine forced EU institutions to take on UNPRECEDENTED levels of responsibility.
For this reason, he called for a change in the EU treaties for an effective ["]decision-making mechanism["] to get over the principle of unanimity, "which leads to a logic of intergovernmental decision," and move towards decisions taken based on a qualified majority.

The ["]integration process["] would benefit from this new mechanism, according to Draghi. "To fully integrate countries that have ["]European aspirations["] is not a threat to the European project. This is part of its implementation," he said.
Italy's prime minister said the country is in favour of "opening up of accession negotiations with Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia", boosting negotiations "with Serbia and Montenegro" and "supporting the legitimate expectations of Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Comical celebrity council endorsements--eg. Macron, Michel, and Madame EC vdL-- followed suit. For instance,

Germany pushes to tie together enlargement and EU reform

OpEd | Without qualified majority voting EU enlargement has no future

Naturally, I, too, presumed the PR supporting um pragmatic "democracy" was to handicap any veto of EU applicants rushing for NATO shelter. But this thing--e pluribus wot wot-- has a life of its own. The EP immediately endorsed the ideer, going so far as to threaten invoke a supra-national EU "constitution" (that does not exist) and a threat to sue the European Council, if that flank of the Consillium "ignores" its call for "a Convention".

MEPs could sue EU leaders if they ignore call for treaty reform

MEPs backed a resolution earlier this month demanding that EU leaders agree to amend the treaties through a Convention. According to its treaty obligations, the European Council must now vote with a simple majority on whether it wants to examine it.

“On 9 August [the EU] Parliament can formally call on the Council to act. On 9 October, [it] should sue the Council in the Court of Justice [ECJ] for failure to act on its resolution” former liberal MEP Andrew Duff, one of the leading experts on EU treaty and constitutional reform, told EURACTIV.

possibly referring to TITLE VI, FINAL PROVISIONS, pp 29, Article 47, Article 48 § 1-7
However, a meeting of EU general affairs [Council in the Council of the European Union] on Tuesday (21 June), and the draft conclusions of this week's [European Council] summit on Thursday [and] Friday do not mention the Convention or the prospect of opening up the treaties.
some ironing to come ...
The current and full-fledged iteration of the EU treaties dates [waaaaaaaay] back to 2009 [worldwide financial panic, GDIV], several years after a round of aggressive eastward expansion that saw 12 new members join.

The treaties are essentially the EU's constitution, ["]sketching out["] the bloc's institutions, ["]clarifying the breakdown["] of powers between the [European Council and Council of the] and EU members [27 states + NEW! Croatia and 4 EFTA "partners"] and ["]outlining["] how decisions are made. Since the EU's founding in the 1950s, they have been revised several times as ["]the body["] morphs and grows....

The SMO will likely be done by the time this story gets agenda space.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 18 2022 20:14 utc | 78

Regarding the firing of head of the SBU in Ukraine. This is massive and shows the real state of affairs. It is amiss a mutiny by the people that the Zelensky regime relies on for control.

Posted by: Wlodek | Jul 18 2022 20:20 utc | 79

On 24th February 2022, the world changed. It won't be the same again. Unfriendly countries is a fixed, and they will always be unfriendly countries. Not exactly enemies, but not to be trusted, and to be defeated, in a few weeks, months or years, but thoroughly defeated.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:22 utc | 80

Fun fact: Krivoi Rog is Zelensky's place of birth

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jul 18 2022 20:25 utc | 81

Germany is turning out to be the weakest point in the EU at the moment, but this is partly due to the financial situation it finds itself in vs the Euro.

The article below goes a long way into it, but one of the salient points is that through "tricky finger" accounting by the ECB, it has been supporting the vast debt overhangs of the PIGS through TARGET2. If they cannot repay the Bundesbank is Bankrupt several times over. If there is not enough gas to continue the "virtuous" industrial base in Germany and the savings, then the rest of the EU will be naked to the cold winds of financial realism. We will all freeze together.

Germany is relying on getting it's hands on Russian assets, as are most of the EU countries, to cover their massive debts. (The US might want to take over the EU first, as the Euro will be the first to fall, but it won't help the finalé).

This is one way Germany’s national savings are being redistributed to the PIGS. At end-May, Germany’s Bundesbank was “owed” €1,160bn.
At the same time, the greatest debtors, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal have combined TARGET2 debts of €1,255bn. But the most rapid deterioration for its size is in Greece’s negative balance, more than tripling from €25.7bn at end-2019 to €106bn in April. Spain’s deficit is also increasing at a worrying pace, up from €392.4bn to €505bn, and Italy’s from €439.4bn to €597bn.
Along with Luxembourg, Germany is the biggest loser in the arrangement. Germany’s equity ownership in the ECB is 21.44% of its capital.[i] If TARGET2 collapsed, the Bundesbank would lose over a trillion euros owed to it by the others and the ECB itself, and pay up to €387bn of the net losses, based on current imbalances. It would wipe out the Bundesbank’s own balance sheet many times over.
The sheer scale of a TARGET2 failure makes a resolution appear impossible. Current imbalances over the whole system total €1.736 trillion. As mentioned above, according to the capital keys, in a systemic failure the Bundesbank’s net TARGET2 assets of €1.160 trillion would be replaced by liabilities up to €387bn, the rest of the losses being spread around the other national banks in the EU

It is probably not necessary to read all of the article, and the author is a "Goldbug", so his solution after the collapse of the Euro and Germany would be the restart of a Gold backed Deutschmark.

Note that the "Ex-Bundesbank Chief Wiedeman" went to great lengths to flush out the truth of the system, and then resigned, or was resigned.

“… the Target issue hit political headlines when the new President of the German Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, voiced his concerns over the Bundesbank’s target claims in a letter to ECB president Mario Draghi. In the letter Weidmann not only demanded higher credit rating criteria for collateral submitted against refinancing loans, but also called for collateralisation of the Bundesbank’s soaring Target claims. Weidmann wrote his Target letter after several months of silence on the part of the Bundesbank, during which it conducted extensive internal analysis of the Target issue. This letter marked a departure by Weidmann from the Bundesbank’s earlier position that Target balances represent irrelevant balances and a normal by-product of money creation in the European currency system.”
So Weidmann, who has since resigned from the Bundesbank, knew precisely the danger described in this article, wanting better quality collateral standards to prevent the dumping of non-performing loans into the TARGET2 system. There must be a strong suspicion that he was powerless to change things, forcing him to resign on this vital issue.

The question is when, not if.

Putin has said that; "They don't want to buy our gas? They want to burn wood? We have vast forests in Siberia that they could buy"

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 18 2022 20:25 utc | 82

Europe's biggest coal producing country, Poland, one of the unfriendlies, is searching for coal everywhere in the world, worried stiff about the coming heating period. As most of the electricity in Poland is made from burning, there's real chance of blackouts in the near future. The price of electricity is already gone up, and would rise sharply by October-November 2022. Its hard to predict what would be the price of electricity in 2023.

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:27 utc | 83

On 21st July, the routine maintenance of both lines of Nord Stream is planned to come an end, but most probably Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not start on that day, and the maintenance might drag on. For example, as the turbine (a pretext) had not come in time, few months earlier, there's not enough time to check it, so a force majeure. 😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:32 utc | 84

Interventions to Provoke the Bear in Afghanistan

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser

Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

B: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

The same scenario was implemented by the Pentagon and Joe Biden in the White House for Putin, Russia and the Ukraine. War thugs … the Blob.

Carter’s directive:">"> [cached archive]

Posted by: Oui | Jul 18 2022 20:33 utc | 85

@ Carl

"These bio weapons laboratories collect ethnicly "Russian" blood samples by paying the local poor folks for it. Hunter Biden has his scientists trying to concoct a deadly pathogen that expressly targets ethnicly Russian DNA."

Good luck with that. Take a look at this and tell me how many ethnically pure Russian people you see:

Russians are among the most genetically diverse people on the planet, the result of centuries of foreign invasions, migration and assimilation of over 200 different ethnic groups. A bioweapon that targets Russians would probably kill us all, with the possible exception of Africa.

That's a Ukrainian folk song they're singing BTW.

Posted by: e | Jul 18 2022 20:36 utc | 86

njet @74--

Thanks for your reply. The blind-spot of most analysts is they fail to see Russia and China acting in tandem or worse, seeing them as enemies. Few know what really happened from 1945 to 1991 and why there would never be a Peace Dividend. Even more were blinded by 911, but the few that remained unblinded kept on watching and refining their analysis as they had faith reality would eventually breech the surface like the Great White Whale. And as more now note, we're at that historical moment known as an inflection point, when there's no returning to the old ways as the new paradigm rises and finds its footing. How long the Epilog lasts after the curtain drops on the Ukraine Drama's Last Act will remain an unknown until its end comes into view. But it's not impossible to make out its visage at this juncture.

There's a great deal of work to do globally so most humans are at the same modest level of development and perhaps only two decades to accomplish most of the heavy work with the current remaining energy and other scarce but vital resources. China's focused on 2049. The key is that future technology be capable of powering what gets built between now and 2050. I don't expect the Neoliberal Parasites to be magnanimous in defeat, but I don't expect them to be ultra-sore losers either. History tells us that we won't have seen the last of them, for they're a feature not a bug within Humanity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 20:41 utc | 87

Germany's industrial might has been running on cheap energy from Russia, and that could soon dry up. Then what? High inflation, declining unstable currency, high unemployment? Germany sanctioned itself!

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:42 utc | 88

e @88--

Your comment's been buzzing like a fly in my brain for weeks but I never composed it into a comment like yours that bears repeating:

Russians are among the most genetically diverse people on the planet, the result of centuries of foreign invasions, migration and assimilation of over 200 different ethnic groups. A bioweapon that targets Russians would probably kill us all, with the possible exception of Africa.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 18 2022 20:48 utc | 89

English Outsider | Jul 18 2022 18:20 utc | 28

"He was working towards a sanctions war together with Washington, a sanctions war that both Berlin/Brussels and Washington genuinely believed would result in a quick kill of the Russian economy".

I would put it as a quick seizure of all the Russian economy and industrial base., not just sanctions. The "original" NATO plan probably involved an attack North of Rostov-on-Don, into Russia proper, and then a shoreline pincer movement along the Black and Azov seas. Presumably taking Crimea on the way. (All as per plans found by the Russians later).
They also seized Russian financial assets, and if they could get their hands on the gold they would have.

After all, sanctions are just a brutal way of getting "parts of the market", excluding competitors and imposing monopolies. Of which the Europeans, and the UK are also victims -ie. LNG as an example.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 18 2022 20:56 utc | 90

I appreciate that you express that clear your understanding of German politic now. I can’t really imagine how it will unroll, the turn over of this government, but it will happen, because is only way out left. I think in one stage Putin will adress German public directly in german. He already influenced personally the 89 revolution in East Germany while being KGB resident in Dresden. He for sure made it possible that it became a peaceful revolution, by suppressing an violent reaction. A lot of Germans would listen to him carefully and without prejudice.

Posted by: rico rose | Jul 18 2022 21:00 utc | 91

@Robert | Jul 18 2022 19:14 utc |

That is a very interesting graphic. Thank you.

I recalled a friend of mine who told me one of is immigrant relatives returned to Yugoslavia (under Tito) in the 80s, due to the fact that the standard of living, in terms of health care, education, etc was better than the States. I'm sure our social support was also a factor.

It's fascinating what a "free press" can provide. ;-)

Posted by: Michael.j | Jul 18 2022 21:07 utc | 92

O'laugh Scholz , Smoked Haddock and Lena Bareback are 3 treasonous bastards complicit to/in their success.

Posted by: WTFUD | Jul 18 2022 17:47 utc | 16

Ampelregierung: "sur la bonne voie"

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 18 2022 21:08 utc | 93

English Outsiderd @28

"The only way left for U.S. diplomats to block European purchases is to goad Russia into a military response and then claim that avenging this response outweighs any purely national economic interest.

"As hawkish Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, explained in a State Department press briefing on January 27: “If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

"The problem is to create a suitably offensive incident and depict Russia as the aggressor."

any chance i could get a link for this? i am saving things to explain to my old blog friends when this is all over. this is sooo important. either way, thanks!

Posted by: polarbear4 | Jul 18 2022 21:09 utc | 94

Posted by: Robert | Jul 18 2022 19:14 utc | 52
Gallup Poll

a) Don't confuse critical view of the West with sympathy for Russia or Soviet Union. The fact Western system is corrupt and is being intentionally derailed does not make communism any better.
b) Delusions. No #***ing way. However "free market" and "democracy" are not taken at face value anymore by a large part of the population.
c) Indeed, but Russians are considered as much arrogant.
d) Empire treats province as Empire does. No matter East or West.

The problem with western people is when they discover their side is lying they believe everyone else because they still have faulty BS detector.

Posted by: Oui | Jul 18 2022 20:33 utc | 87
knowingly increased the probability

That puts a huge question mark at Russian territorial gains in Ukraine. IMHO it's according to the plan.
Also IMHO anything less than Russians in Berlin while the Cold War is restarted is "mission accomplished".

Then, putting a question mark on a question mark, what did the West know/plan when they intentionally began to demolish their own populations and economies with Covid and other stuff, while provoking the war in Ukraine? That demolition seems counterproductive in the Cold War 2.0 scenario. Or maybe I am wrong and it's a good thing to have slim economy and population ready to accept hardships during a Cold War. So where is the catch ?

Posted by: pppp | Jul 18 2022 21:11 utc | 95

On 21st July, the routine maintenance of both lines of Nord Stream is planned to come an end, but most probably Nord Stream 1 pipeline will not start on that day, and the maintenance might drag on. For example, as the turbine (a pretext) had not come in time, few months earlier, there's not enough time to check it, so a force majeure. 😏

Posted by: ostro | Jul 18 2022 20:32 utc | 86

The repaired turbine will be delivered to Germany by airfreight, then to Russia through Finland [no Idee for the transit Germany to Finland....]
Awaited in Russia 24th of july, to be installed first week in August.
I think there will be no or fewer Natgas delivery before mid August.

Germany and Netherlands are poor on winter's storage for one week.

Next to come: energy limitations in order to buy time, for example diesel for agricultural use and natgas for fertilizer. First to be hit: farmers.
"hasard ou nécessité ?"

Posted by: La Bastille | Jul 18 2022 21:27 utc | 96

Not super important in the cosmic scheme of things but I'm a bit curious about Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism. I used to occasionally read NC and I distinctly remember a Canadian "Yves Engler" as a frequent writer who appeared to be chief editor. After a long absence I started again reading NC when the Ukraine conflict stated. I noticed that the chief editor was now "Yves Smith". I had taken "Yves" to be a male name but I thought that perhaps I had been wrong and that this person had gotten married and hence changed their surname. After it was mentioned here I looked up both names. Apparently Yves Engler is a Canadian anti-capitalist activist while Yves Smith is the pseudonym of Susan Webber, an American financial advisor. NC is anti-capitalist but seems oriented to the financial community.

Posted by: Kate Frey | Jul 18 2022 21:30 utc | 97

Once you look at maps of Ukraine biological weapons sites and maps of the first days of the SMO that show lines of advance rather than painting swathes of Ukraine in Russian red, it becomes clear that the targets were bio and nuke sites. They pushed in hard and fast, only halting when leading armored columns were destroyed in artillery ambushes. I put up some maps here.

In this second phase, Russia has all the time in the world. on the frontlines it has moved closer to shooting fish n a barrel rather than war. Ukraine's losses are exceptional high, Russia's losses exceptionally low.
Europe - do em slow or do em fast, it doesn't matter they are toast. Russia has them by the energy balls. LPG at three times the price of Russian pipe - after several years of creating the necessary infrastructure - even if that infrastructure was in place now, tripling their energy cost would destroy the economies of many European countries.

US is the big fish. What is coming I think will be a classic for the history books. It is only possible to see what Putin is doing in hindsight. He always uses a many edged sword but only one edge is ever visible at the time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 18 2022 21:36 utc | 98

i noticed years ago - and it became extremely pronounced during the trump years - that the best thing to do is let the US do its inevitable dumb shit and watch it all go tits up. sadly it usually involves a mountain of dead civilians but then everything the west does has that result anyway. sometimes an idiot does the wrong thing for the wrong reason and something halfway decent happens. and even if they accidentally succeeds there's still the comfort in knowing anyone with a brain hates them. most of the US plans that historically worked out have been met with a widespread response of "good for you, assholes. your bitch mothers must be so proud."

as for the next SMO move i've assumed odessa for the simple, non-technical reason that it's a giant pain in everyone's ass. from what i recall it's also got a significant pro-russian population that has been infested with azov vermin for several years. once it's taken, the coast is cut off along with the ports and everyone can stop obsessing over snake island. in a perfect world, they'd keep going through to moldova and add it to the collection.

i liked AA's take on zelensky and his "purge". the Sons of Beria in Ukraine (probably not what it stands for but i'm still "not wrong") need to be included in the "de-nazification" or at least put on a leash and choked every now and then. also, if zel wants people to quit accusing him of being a coke fiend he should probably tone down the paranoia and insane decision making.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 18 2022 21:40 utc | 99

PavewayIV @ 20
Zelenski's ultimate ousting - the SBU Gestapo ultra-nationalist/Nazi types are simply biding their time. Zelenski's Nazi replacement will be far, far worse.

The Nazis need to consider that Putins replacement will be 10 times harder on them as well.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 18 2022 21:41 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.