Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 15, 2022

Various Points On Ukraine And Media

Let me start today's write up out with two reading recommendations.

Lambert Strether and Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism discuss a piece on the Russian operation in Ukraine that had been printed in the Marine Corps Gazette and of which facsimile pictures were published two weeks ago on Twitter and later in full at Reddit and by Southfront.

A Marine’s Assessment of Russia’s Military “Operation” in Ukraine (a “Profound Appreciation of All Three Realms in Which Wars Are Waged”)

I had read the Gazette piece when it first appeared some weeks ago and found it excellent. It realistically depicts the early Russian move towards Kiev as a feint. This is also my view. The feint, with too few troops to actually occupy Kiev, had a political and a military purpose.

Politically it put pressure on the Ukrainian government to quickly agree to Russian conditions for a ceasefire. This nearly worked when negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at the end of March in Turkey had promising results. The talks were then sabotaged by Boris Johnson's intervention in Kiev where he, speaking for Joe Biden, demanded a continuation of the war which Zelensky then promptly provided.

Militarily the feint had near prefect results. Some 100,000 Ukrainian troops were fixed around Kiev while Russian troops from Crimea moved nearly unopposed to connect the island via a land bridge to the Donbas and Russia and also grabbed a large foothold in Kherson on the west side of the Dnieper.

The hasty feint had a high price in the form of Russian casualties but helped to established front situations in the east and south that allowed for the mass destruction of Ukrainian forces with a minimum of casualties on the Russian side.

When the feint towards Kiev was no longer useful the Russian forces moved back to their starting positions without much fighting. The Ukrainian claimed that to be a victory but they had hardly anything to do with the well planned and executed retreat.

That the Gazette would print a piece that confirms this view is remarkable. Even more remarkable, as Lambert notes, is the lack of echo it has had in U.S. media:

This is August 14. “Marinus”‘s article in the August issue of MCG has been available since July 29 at the latest, the first hit at the Japanese source. The second hit appears on August 9, in a Russian-language aggregator. The third appears August 12, on Reddit. It’s been two weeks, and the media, collectively, have a ravenous news hole. So where is the coverage the Times? Where is the Washington Post? Where is Foreign Policy? Where is Foreign Affairs? Where is The Atlantic? Where is the Council on Foreign Relations? Where is the Institute for the Study of War? Where, further afield, is Defense One? The Drive? They are all silent. And yet what we have, as the quote in the headline to this post alone shows, is a significant break from orthodoxy on Ukraine and Russian capabilities generally in the professional magazine of the United States Marine Corps. Odd, very odd!

Indeed ...

Today I learned that the anonymous 'Marinus' author of the Marine Corps Gazette piece is allegedly the retired General Karl Van Riper who is well know for spoiling the Millennium Challenge war game by applying realistic conditions. The guy is hated by the chairborne divisions in the Pentagon. BTW - a facsimile of the first part of Marine Gazette piece is available here. Another excellent Gazette piece on the Russian way of fighting from January 2022 is here.

Still another excellent paper I found through a link at Naked Capitalism is by Myrmikan Research which looks at the historic context of the war through the centuries old British Russian rivalry: A World Gone MAD.

Now back to the daily business.

The New York Times continues its shameless pro-Ukrainian propaganda campaign that is deceiving its readers.

Wars are about geography and geography is depicted in maps.

Source: LiveUAmap - bigger
  • Kherson, the capital of Kherson oblast is at the bottom left and the northern side of the Dnieper river. It is like most of the Kherson oblast under Russian control.
  • Zaporizhzhia, the capital of the Zaporizhzhia oblast is on the upper right of the map. Most of the Zaporizhzhia oblast, south-east of the capitol, is under Russian control but Zaporizhzhia city continues to be under Ukrainian control.
  • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station (ZNPP) with its six reactors is next to the city Enerhodar on the south side of the large Dnieper reservoir. Since mid March it is under Russian control. Despite the common name its beeline distance to Zaporizhzhia city is 50 kilometers (30 miles). The distance by road marked with the arrows is about 110 kilometer (66 miles).

The NYT does not provide any maps to its readers. That leaves them uninformed about the geographical realities of the war and is abused to provide lies to them.

Shelling on a nearby town kills an employee of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Shelling near a nuclear power complex in southern Ukraine killed a foreman from the facility at his home in a neighboring town, Ukrainian officials said on Sunday.

The Ukrainian company that oversees the nation’s nuclear power plants, Energoatom, said that Russia had directed at least six shells at the town of Enerhodar, where most of the workers at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant live.

The town is under Russian occupation, and the Russians have blamed the Ukrainians for the shelling of the giant nuclear complex — Europe’s largest — and nearby residential areas, which has raised alarm around the world. However, the Ukrainians have said that it is the Russians who are firing on civilians, suggesting the intent is to discredit the Ukrainian Army.

The claim that Russians are firing at the NPP or the nearby town is delusional. The Ukrainian president Zelensky himself has said that Ukraine is firing at the ZNPP because Russian soldiers are there.

Ukraine will target Russian soldiers at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, says Zelenskiy – video

The NYT continues:

The United States and European Union have called for the establishment of a demilitarized zone, as the fighting in and around the plant and its active reactors and stored nuclear waste has sparked grave concern that an errant strike and resulting fire could cause a meltdown or release radiation.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in his nightly address on Saturday that Russia had resorted to “nuclear blackmail” at the complex, reiterating a Ukrainian analysis that Moscow was using it to slow a Ukrainian counteroffensive toward the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, where Russian conventional military defenses appear increasingly wobbly.

Look at the map. The whole area around the plant is under Russian control. How can there be any 'fighting in or around the ZNPP'? There is none. There are only Ukrainian artillery impacts fired from the northern side of the Dnieper reservoir at the ZNPP.

There is also no way anything happening at the ZNPP that could ever 'slow' a Ukrainian counteroffensive on Kherson. A counteroffensive that for very different reasons can and will not happen.

More NYT nonsense:

Contrary to the fears of some analysts when Moscow launched its invasion in February, the more urgent nuclear threat in the Ukraine war now appears to be Russia damaging the civilian plant, rather than deploying its own nuclear weapons.

Russia has no discernible interest in damaging the ZNPP. The plant is under its full control and provides useful electricity to areas under Russian control as well as to the Ukrainian side:

In fields near Enerhodar, long lines of cars carrying fleeing civilians formed on Saturday, according to social media posts and another former engineer at the plant who has remained in touch with local residents.

“Locals are abandoning the town,” said the former engineer, who asked to be identified by only his first name, Oleksiy, because of security concerns. Residents had been leaving for weeks, but the pace picked up after Saturday’s barrages and fires, he said.
Ukrainian employees are not fleeing but sending their families away, said Oleksiy, who left in June. Enerhodar was built for plant employees in the Soviet period and had a prewar population of about 50,000.

That alleged flight (observed by someone who isn't even there?) is also picked up in another recent NYT piece:

‘They are shooting day and night’: Civilians flee the contested region around a nuclear power complex.

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — Increasingly frequent explosions near a vast nuclear complex in southern Ukraine and the shelling of a nearby town where many of the complex’s workers reside have accelerated a civilian exodus from the area.

About a thousand cars were backed up at a crossing point over the front line between Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-controlled territory, according to people interviewed on the Ukrainian side Sunday morning.

The flow of people fleeing picked up over the past week as explosions near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant became more frequent, Dmytro Orlov, the exiled mayor of the town of Enerhodar, said in an interview. He said that Russian troops were firing grad rocket artillery from the town’s outskirts.

Russia has continued to blame the shelling on Ukrainian forces; Ukraine has said Russia is shelling territory Russia itself controls in a bid to discredit the Ukrainian Army.

The piece comes with three pictures.


The caption to the above picture says:

Natalia Lytvenenko decided it was time to leave Blagoveshenko, a Russian-occupied territory nine miles from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, on Wednesday with three daughters and their grandmother. People have been trying to leave for the past week. David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

What I find curious about that picture is that there is no baggage visible inside the car. 'That's in the trunk', you will say. Sure, but people fleeing from home usually take as much as possible with them - several sets of clothing, jackets, household items, memorabilia, books, duvets etc. The kids for example would take at least some of their toys. Nothing of such is visible here.


The caption to the above picture says:

Civilian cars lined up to try to reach a Ukrainian-controlled crossing into the city of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday. David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

If this is the 'crossing point over the front line between Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-controlled territory' described in the piece quoted above, then the picture must have been taken from the Russian controlled side. How did Mr Guttenfelder cross into that area?

But maybe it is a complete different checkpoint somewhere on the city limits of Zaporizhzhia and the people waiting to pass it are coming back from a weekend getaway. Notice again the lack of visible baggage.

Now here is the third and most interesting picture:


The caption to the above picture says:

A Ukrainian couple driving through a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city of Zaporizhzhia on Sunday, toward Russian-controlled territory. Checkpoint authorities said that some Ukrainians were trying to help bring out those seeking to leave the Russian-controlled area. David Guttenfelder for The New York Times

Notice the baggage and household items on the car's roof. Now that's what I would call people fleeing form home to live elsewhere. But the caption suggests that these people 'help bring out those seeking to leave the Russian-controlled area'. Why then did they load up their car with probably everything they had?

The NYT 'coverage' of the Ukraine conflict has stopped to make any sense.

Posted by b on August 15, 2022 at 16:57 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: rk | Aug 16 2022 16:57 utc | 201

This special military operation is as open-ended as the fighting that started in 2014. It could last for many years with different levels of intensity, frozen in some places, randomly moving in others. Meanwhile Nato has open ended supply of nazi's and stuff coming from the other Nato, "off-limit" areas.

The only way to win is, well continue killing nazi's and equipment. Sit back and watch what they throw at you, and where the stuff piles up. Boris Johnson sabotaged Kiev attempted settlement negotiations in the end of March and end up with this.

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 16 2022 17:06 utc | 201

rk | Aug 16 2022 16:57 utc | 201

Escalation within Ukraine is very possible, should the will be there. Which I am not sure it is, unfortunately.

They could hit Kiev and governmental offices, buildings. Make proper use of the Air Force, and go USA in Iraq on these people. Hit Odessa even.

Posted by: Night Tripper | Aug 16 2022 17:15 utc | 202

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Aug 16 2022 12:31 utc | 147
"Wallace guy is in charge, will he fair better than his ancestor Willy?"

Or as well as his more recent ancestor Barnes?

Posted by: Gt Stroller | Aug 16 2022 17:27 utc | 203

@unimperator | Aug 16 2022 17:06 utc | 202

True. However nato needs all their proxies in working condition, open borders, roads and railways and power to make them run. None of them can be controlled by nato. As soon as Russia decides to turn them off, nato will only be able to try some terrorism

Posted by: rk | Aug 16 2022 17:29 utc | 204

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 16:47 utc | 200

My best guess is that the war will end in a settlement with Russia taking territory in the Donbas but failing to achieve its key war aims of regime change ("denazification") and more importantly demilitarization of Ukraine.

You wish, Galicien?
Not only the Ukraine, but the EU/NATO too. Inside the EU, there's a massive dissatisfaction on Germany's alleged leadership. Some countries actually ask, why is Germany's economy is better than those countries Nazi Germany attacked in WW2. For now, Ruuso-hate had taken the upper hand, but most countries won't forget that the western Ukraine was allied with the Nazi Germany. The EU needs a little push to break down. NATO has no unity, with the biggest enemy being another NATO member, Türkiye.

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 17:31 utc | 205

Posted by: unimperator | Aug 16 2022 17:06 utc | 202

That's seems like the objective here. Let Ukrainian government send as much as possible of their fighting age men to East and destroy them there.
B observation is spot on in which Russia seek destruction of Ukrainian military by destroying their very army.

Once that's all done Whether they can pacify western Ukraine or not it becomes irrelevant since there'll be no more armed formation possible for the near future due to shortage of men.
Those flee to their sides or picked up by them would have the majority that can theoretically impose their 'democratic' will.

What I'm uncertain is how Russia would be able to deal with NATO backed terrorism elsewhere other than Ukraine.
We can see them coming, West creates precedent of missing shoulder fired AD missiles, ATGMs, or Suicide drones and they'll definitely act on it whenever opportunities presented to them.

Posted by: Lucci | Aug 16 2022 17:32 utc | 206

B observation is spot on in which Russia seek destruction of Ukrainian military by destroying their very army.
Posted by: Lucci | Aug 16 2022 17:32 utc | 207

Have you noticed that Russia is also destroying the European NATO countries' armies too? All of them are losing their military arsenal. If they think the US is going to defend them (Article 5) they are damned fools.

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 17:36 utc | 207

Posted by: CE | Aug 16 2022 11:24 utc | 144

A hint for a good search term. It returns ‘nothing found’ for me. Trying to use a date of the issue, part of the title etc.

Posted by: RB | Aug 16 2022 17:46 utc | 208

8 minute Russian TV news on the fighting. Fairly conventional TV news report. However, what's profound is the 8 minute report hammers over and over again that the Allies are fighting American 'weapons'. Ordinary Russians are getting the message big time that this is a existential struggle.

Posted by: exile | Aug 16 2022 17:59 utc | 209

@ Night Tripper | Aug 16 2022 16:30 utc | 197

i am not suggesting anything in particular... all of these types of actions can happen a number of different ways and speculation is of course 'rampant' too... could be any number of possibilities...

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2022 18:03 utc | 210

Posted by: exile | Aug 16 2022 17:59 utc | 210
Channel One - live,


You can get all other Russian TV, videos, films and so on on RuTube.

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 18:16 utc | 211

You can have a look at Russian military arsenal live in Zvezda. Also the military RoboDog shooting a machine gun, helicopter drones and so on.

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 18:30 utc | 212

@rp, RoboDog - is that the $4000 AliExpress dog robot draped in black cloth to disguise its provenance that everyone's been laughing themselves silly over on twitter?

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 18:33 utc | 213

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 18:33 utc | 214

Sure, you can laugh your balls off, who cares, eh Galicien?

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 18:46 utc | 214

Posted by: RB | Aug 16 2022 17:46 utc | 209

Empty search field will display all issues for the year. You have login to see the content.
(Referring to the Marine Corps magazine)

Posted by: RB | Aug 16 2022 18:49 utc | 215

There's a serious discussion going on on Zvezda. Alina Lipp is speaking

Posted by: rp | Aug 16 2022 18:50 utc | 216

"Neoliberal Totalitarianism"--a fancy term for plunder.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16 2022 15:24 utc | 183


"Neoliberal Totalitarianism" is a proper noun, a name of some type of ideology ("-ism") presumed to describe a form of government, prescribed and enforced by people. Prepending "neoliberal" to totaliarism is a pretentious flourish--a useless appositive regardless of connotations--perhaps intended by a speaker to divert attention from reckoning the total elements, tangible and intangible culture, produced by people that constitutes such form of government.

"Plunder" is a transitive verb. Rather than elide the predicate object, let's get in the habit of naming that which the SUBJECT steals from WHOM.

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 16 2022 19:03 utc | 217

@ Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 18:33 utc | 214

i would be more concerned with the ukrainian forces under zelensky - cia command) bombing the nuke site... do you have anything relevant to say about this, or is it just business as usual for you? here is the update for today..

“One of the guided missiles hit just 10 meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2022 19:07 utc | 218

Message 8:59
Ukrainian troops shelling Zaporozhye NPP’s cooling system from heavy weapons — authorities
As Vladimir Rogov said, any damage to the plant's cooling system may lead to a catastrophe
MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian troops are shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear plant’s cooling system from heavy weapons, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Zaporozhye region military-civilian administration’s council, said on Tuesday.

"The Zaporozhye NPP’s reactor needs to be cooled. <…> Several dozen shots were made from heavy weapons at the cooling system. It is not protected in a way the reactor is and our enemies do have a possibility to damage it and hamper proper cooling of the reactor," he said in an interview with the Solovyov Live television channel.

According to Rogov, Ukraine is targeting the plant’s cooling system. Any damage to it may lead to the reactor’s overheating, which is fraught with a catastrophe that can be worse than the Chernobyl accident.

Located in the city of Energodar, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is controlled by Russian troops. In recent days, Ukrainian forces delivered several strikes at its territory using unmanned aerial vehicles, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launch systems. In most cases, such attacks are repelled by air defense systems but several shells hit infrastructure facilities and the vicinity of the nuclear waste storage.

Military operation in Ukraine

Posted by: mac999 | Aug 16 2022 19:08 utc | 219

What exactly do you expect a trial of mostly long dead perpetrators to accomplish?

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 16 2022 16:20 utc | 196

Ah, I did not know that Bush, Obama, Trump, Cheney, Pompeo, Bolton, Nuland, Blinkend, Blair, May, Johnson, Sarkozy, Hollande, Macron are dead... My mistake.

Posted by: Olivier | Aug 16 2022 19:31 utc | 220

@ mac999 | Aug 16 2022 19:08 utc | 220 with the latest attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant...thanks

We don't know everything about what is going on but this sounds very desperate from a humanitarian risk management point of view.

Does the God of Mammon cult believe that they will not be impacted by a incident at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant? Do they have ongoing delusions that their efforts at bio-terrorism will be a Might-Makes-Right tool for them in the future?

I would hope that Russia will stop the bombing of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant ASAP or maybe we are at that nuclear escalation point.... and holding....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 16 2022 19:33 utc | 221

@james, I've been pretty clear that I think:

- Ukraine should refrain from attacking anywhere near the plant, no matter what Russia does
- Russia is clearly basing troops and armored vehicles at the plant, and should stop
- Both sides should agree to demilitarize an area around the plant and Russia should let in IAEA
- Ukraine is almost certainly lying about the attacks being false flags from Russia
- Russia is almost certainly lying about the extent of damage/risk
- Recent attacks are not as insanely reckless as Russia's original capture of the plant, with armored vehicles blasting autocannons into the administrative buildings directly across from the reactors (watch 3:11:00 and onward below)

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 19:42 utc | 222

@ Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 19:42 utc | 223

thanks... demilitarizing the area would be giving ukraine-nato a gift.. they don't deserve one for creating this shit storm since at least 2014 or further back..

we will have to disagree on this.. i don't agree or share your broad outline here... cheers..

Posted by: james | Aug 16 2022 19:51 utc | 223

My best guess...

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 16:47 utc | 200

Chi cazzo se ne frega!

Posted by: Olivier | Aug 16 2022 19:52 utc | 224

Note the weird logic of the imperial trolls: "Recent attacks are not as insanely reckless as Russia's original capture of the plant, with armored vehicles blasting autocannons into the administrative buildings"

Russians firing 30mm cannon at an administration building is "more insanely reckless" than the Ukrops targeting spent fuel casks, reactor cooling systems, and the reactor buildings themselves with 150mm+ heavy artillery.

You can tell the brainwashing has warped someone's mind when they lose all sense of proportion.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 16 2022 20:01 utc | 225

Road to War

The WaPo has released a review of events leading up to the present conflict in 404.

The entire review may be found at the following URL:

Full Title:
Road to war: U.S. struggled to convince allies, and Zelensky, of risk of invasion

On first reading I find no mention of:

1) American funding and direct control of multiple bio-weapons laboratories all of which appear to be in contravention of the Biological Weapons Convention (see ) of which Ukraine, the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada are all states parties. ( see )

2) No information with respect to US, UK and Canadian military assistance known to have been provided prior to the SMO with the intent to bring the UAF to a NATO standard of training.

3) No information with respect to the command centre established in the Mariopul steel works equipped with sophisticated communications gear to direct a UAF attack on the Donbass and the Crimea.

4) No mention of the increased shelling of Donbass undertaken by the UAF (and reported by the OSCE) commencing February 16th in preparation for the attack on Donbass.

5) No mention of the several thousand civilian victims of indiscriminate UAF shelling of a civilian population commencing in 2014.

6) No mention of the Nazi aligned hordes of UAF thugs, the repeated massacres of civilians, the deprivation of language rights and genocidal pronouncements on the part of the state.

7) No mention of the failure of Ukraine to even so much as attempt to meet the agreed provisions of the Minsk Accords.

8) No mention of the failure of the guarantors of the Minsk Accords (France, Germany) to take effective action to enforce the agreed provisions of the Accords.

9) No mention of RF security interests, the prior American agreement not to expand NATO to RF border, the repeated violation of this prior agreement, and the fact of NATO enlargement being used as a pretext for the positioning of US military assets in proximity to RF borders.

10) No mention of repeated US statements with respect to the use of military force to inhibit, prevent, or destroy, the rise of any potential competitor state.

11) No mention of the fact that the US mid-terms are fast approaching, the public statements with respect to 404 winning are beginning to look a little stale, and Team Big Guy desperately needs to smother the public with some aromatic spin if they are to avoid loosing both houses of Congress come November.

Posted by: Sushi | Aug 16 2022 21:04 utc | 226


Where ethnic russians live, it is going to be liberated from the ethnic cleansers no matter the cost.

Where there are missiles pointing to Moscow with 10 min flight time, they will be removed no matter the cost.

This has been spelled out from the Russian top, in these words also, as the reason they are doing this. If they actually achieve it, we shall see. Its a tough nut to crack but one of the biggest miscalculations of the West was the strength of commitment that we have seen in the Russian people.

I also dont agree with your assessment: Russia and the two republics are doing just fine considering they are fighting the “golden billion” in a real war and not some video game or Hollywood film. Reality is messy and there are ups and downs. But the commitment, the fight of the wills, is deciding the outcome. So far so good for the anti-West.

Posted by: alek_a | Aug 16 2022 21:56 utc | 227

Detailed battle reports and strategy discussions here at History Legends

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2022 0:23 utc | 228

@james #224, I appreciate the polite reply. Cheers to you too. It does sounds like we share a different perspective on the "broad outline", although I agree with you that the roots of current events date back to before 2014.

Specifically, to 2013, when Russia embargoed imports from Ukraine to pressure / give cover to Yanukovych to not sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine, which he had promised to sign as a presidential candidate, making him acceptable (if not favored) in the pro-western parts of the country. That rug-pull made Ukrainians who had been looking forward to a future that looked something like Poland face a future that looked more like Belarus, and they did not like that one bit - hence Maidan protests and everything that followed.

If Russia had simply allowed Ukraine to align itself *economically and culturally* more with Europe, or if Russia had backed off after Yanukovych fled in disgrace, there would be peace. But imperial Russia would not let Ukraine drift further from the "Russian world" and instead we got annexation, 8 years of proxy war and destabilization with Russian intelligence guys who had no connection to Donbas suddenly leading the separatist armies and Russian troops firing across the border and frequently "getting lost" and ending up in the warzone. Disappearances, torture and abuse of POWs, and all sorts of ugliness - yes, including shelling of cities by Ukraine - just to prevent Ukraine from aligning itself slightly more with the west. Cheer it if you like.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 17 2022 0:38 utc | 229

@ Yenwoda | Aug 17 2022 0:38 utc | 229

thanks... a book that was published in 2018 by kees van der pijl called '' flight mh17, ukraine and the new cold war - prism of disaster'' sheds a very different light on a number of events leading up to the 2014 coup d'etat... an important part is the role the usa in particular and europe to a lesser extent, played in creating the situation we have today in ukraine.. unfortunately i am unable to unwilling to go over the details that the book articulates so well, but i can assure you that the talking points we have heard from the western media doesn't reflect any of the important observations and conclusions made in this informative and insightful book..

i take it you are a citizen of one of the western countries.. i have stated openly, i live on vancouver island - canada... where do you live? what is the basis for your position on what is happening here in ukraine from which you clearly have a position that considers russia the only meddler here, with no mention of the extremely important role the west and nato have played in bringing us to this particular juncture in the long running history of ukraine?? i am truly curious..

i think you would benefit from getting outside the mainstream news feed which much of your commentary focuses on and explore some alternative viewpoints that are freely available - such as the book i mention at the beginning of my post.. without a broader appreciation of the history - both long and short, and of the roles played by both russia or nato, your viewpoints shared appear to lack balance and an honest appraisal of all that has been at play in ukraine... i will end by stating the obvious.. ukraine is a direct neighbor to russia.. the same can't be said for the usa, or uk - 2 of the prime belligerents pushing for more war in ukraine via the weapons supplied, advice and training given and etc. etc since further back then 2014.. of course it is all out in the open now and while the narrative given is 'russia invaded ukraine' , this couldn't be further from the truth if a closer examination was done by the west... of course this would require self reflection, a trait in very short supply in the west... some might say, there is no supply of any of this in the west! at least that is what a person would have to conclude only reading western msm views on this topic.... cheers..

Posted by: james | Aug 17 2022 1:26 utc | 230

@james, Vancouver Island seems lovely although I've never been. I live in the northeastern USA. I try to take a balanced view of issues and avoid information bubbles - after all, I'm here, right? On the issue of Ukraine specifically, my closest friends in the USA are Russian immigrants and I have a number of Russian immigrant coworkers that I'm friendly with. So we talk politics, and I get their perspective, which is generally not pro-invasion but also generally holds the west accountable for the situation.

But I've also worked closely with / managed a team of Ukrainians for the past 5-6 years and visited them on business trips to Kyiv a number of times. They're great people and nearly all of them were in the streets in 2014. I talk politics with them, too (admittedly we are often in a state of outrageous intoxication when this happens). And the reason they protested is not because John McCain swung by with some supportive words or because the US tossed some piddling sum toward "fostering independent journalism" or whatnot. They took to the streets for the simple reason that they wanted a better life for their kids and they saw economic integration with the EU as the path to achieve that. When Yanukovych folded to (or happily used the excuse of) Russia's economic embargo (on a quarter of Ukraine's exports) to violate his promise to sign the Association Agreement, they weren't going to take it sitting down. Seeing those smart and thoughtful people, whose politics would be fully mainstream in either of our countries, or anywhere in Europe, smeared around here as Nazis or dupes of the USA empire is quite frustrating. What they did was courageous and their motivations were good.

I don't quite get the issue of NATO training. They've done joint exercises, yeah. If a country feels that its hidebound military would benefit from learning new techniques and doctrines, they should feel free to seek out training. Russia is happy to send military trainers around the world and do joint exercises with friendly countries. Where this complaint seems to come from is the realpolitik notion of "spheres of influence" that you hint at with the comment that Ukraine is "a direct neighbor to Russia" (it's also a direct neighbor of Poland). That concept is typically used to argue that great powers should be allowed to interfere as much as and whenever they want with weaker neighbors. It's the logic of Kissinger etc. and I totally reject it, for what that's worth.

Ukraine is an independent country, as Russia affirmed in multiple treaties and instruments, and should be free to strengthen its military as it sees fit and make its own economic policy without interference. I do think the NATO declaration that someday Ukraine and Georgia would join was arrogant and ill-considered, although realistically, no one thought Ukraine was getting into NATO in the foreseeable future (can you imagine Germany signing onto that?). For Russia, I acknowledge that Ukraine drifting toward the west is a legitimate concern, like NATO's legitimate concern about Iskander missiles stationed in Kaliningrad, in the middle of Poland (permanently off the table for negotiations, per Russia). Or Israel's legitimate concerns about Iranian nukes or Palestinian rockets. A lot of countries have legitimate concerns about their security. Launching war because "someday, this might get dangerous for us" is how you get Iraq, Vietnam, etc.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 17 2022 2:52 utc | 231

Since 2014, the living standard of Ukrainians plummeted such that the once wealthiest region of the USSR is now the poorest country in Europe. Ukraine‘s people are now poorer than Albanians.

Since 2014, Ukrainians voted by the millions with their feet. Roughly 2/3s of working age Ukrainians fled overseas.

In 2019, Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for neutrality and respect for minority civil rights. The Kiev gov‘t refused and continued to escalate the conflict.

Posted by: Exile | Aug 17 2022 4:14 utc | 232

William Gruff #226

Imperial trolls are like golden staph - you get rid of one boil and other erupts.

And they are always identifiable and from the same despicable source.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2022 5:07 utc | 233

In response to
William Gruff #226

Imperial trolls are like golden staph - you get rid of one boil and other erupts.

And they are always identifiable and from the same despicable source.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 17 2022 5:07 utc | 233

Yeah, but today I feel like we need some of those trolls to provide us the opportunity to educate others about the fallacy of the troll arguments.


Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17 2022 5:19 utc | 234

@ yawn | Aug 16 2022 3:08 utc | 100

English reporter?

Posted by: John Kennard | Aug 17 2022 10:47 utc | 235

I am returning to reading the comments back to front to skip Yenwoda and anyone who replies to him. Why do so many reply to him? That is bound to win him points with his boss.

Posted by: Quanah | Aug 17 2022 12:02 utc | 236

Most Americans don’t know European history. You are clearly one of them.
Today’s Ukraine is the same as Soviet Republic of Ukraine, an artificial creation. Multinational. You’d think that a federal structure would be appropriate. But no. The nationalists after 2014 decided to created a new Ukrainian nation out of all the citizens. This is not a fault of Russia.

Regarding EU association agreement. It required military and political alignment. Economically open borders for trade with the EU and existing open border with Russia. Do you see a problem here? Russia offered a 3-way negotiation between EU, Ukraine and Russia. EU refused. Don’t you think that it was all planned? They admitted now that the Minsk accords were a ruse. Nobody planned to implement them.

You are dumb, regurgitating biased propaganda.

Posted by: RB | Aug 17 2022 12:39 utc | 237

Ah, I did not know that Bush, Obama, Trump, Cheney, Pompeo, Bolton, Nuland, Blinkend, Blair, May, Johnson, Sarkozy, Hollande, Macron are dead... My mistake.

Posted by: Olivier | Aug 16 2022 19:31 utc | 221

Your original post said 530 years of "of killings and genocides". Your names were politically active only in the last 30. So yes, 95% of the most serious perpetrators are long since dead.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 17 2022 15:25 utc | 238

@ Yenwoda | Aug 17 2022 2:52 utc | 231

thanks for your response and sharing a bit more on yourself.. my guess is you are fairly young- 40's or 50's max.. i am in my 60's, grew up meeting vietnam draft dodgers in vancouver as a teenager and took some university courses on the sociology of the media where i was encouraged to question narratives given in the msm... my observation is that many americans are particularly innoculated against questioning the mainstream narratives in the usa... only those who have traveled outside of the states, or lived in a different country seem more capable of questioning the info they are given regularly.. perhaps there are anti-authoritarian types like me who automatically question authority, but generally that doesn't seem to be the norm... at the same time the people in the usa have much in common with canucks..

have your ukrainian friends heard of stephan bandera? i don't believe all those telegram posts i have seen the past 5 or so months of men with swaztikas and tattoos of hitler on them is an accident.. the media has distanced itself from what they were concerned about - far right types - from the past 5 or more years ago for the obvious reasons... it doesn't change the fact there is an extreme right element to ukraine... you really do need to read and study more in order to get a clearer picture of the history of ukraine and the differences culturally between west and east ukraine...

nato's whole purpose is to keep germany down, russia isolated and the usa on top.... of course as an american you might not be able to see anything wrong with any of this!! perhaps you are the recipient of some of the financial largess too for all i know... the obvious winners are the military and wall st... i think if you thought about this more and did the reverse role playing of a military alliance on the usa's doorstep you would probably view it very differently...

i hope you stick around moa and listen and learn more... i am hopeful all the propaganda that you seem to operate from, will slowly fade away to be replaced by a more realistic and grounded perspective on this russia-nato conflict where ukraine is being used to further an agenda which is all wrong and primarily the responsibility and fault of nato and the west here... cheers..

Posted by: james | Aug 17 2022 15:28 utc | 239

"Unless you show us all your copy of the Russian Army's battle plan, no one here is going to give you the least bit of credibility."

Does b have a copy of the Russian Army's battle plan?

Posted by: evilsooty999 | Aug 15 2022 21:05 utc | 59

He doesn't need one, he has a brain

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Aug 17 2022 15:33 utc | 240

@Gehennah #94: No, this is crazy here, if you question the official narrative you are a Putin troll. I have a subscription to the most reputable daily newspaper here and I had to stop reading it: it's just lies, that Russia is losing the war, that Russia invaded Ukraine without being provoked, that Russia is bombing the Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporizhia... in other words, they only echo Ukraine's political propaganda and the most serious journalists are afraid to question this narrative. This is a real collective hysteria

Posted by: Luis Norberto | Aug 17 2022 18:35 utc | 241

Neoliberal Totalitarianism"--a fancy term for plunder.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 16 2022 15:24 utc | 183

"Plunder" is a transitive verb. Rather than elide the predicate object, let's get in the habit of naming that which the SUBJECT steals from WHOM. Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 16 2022 19:03 utc | 218

So easy to be pedantic and wrong. Plunder may occur in assorted situations, not all related to neoliberalism or totalitarianism. Consider this sequence in a nature movie:
1. In a snow covered forest, a rabbit moves around.
2. Wolverine spots the rabbit and climbs a tree.
3. A fox spots the rabbit, and a dramatic chase sequence ensues.
4. Fox kills the rabbit.
5. Wolverine climbs down from the tree, chases the fox away, and munches on the rabbit.
Wolverine is solitary, not social, so concepts necessitating a society, e.g. neoliberalism, do not apply. But it can plunder, and it does.

Concerning plunder, many types stem from war. Quoting imprecisely from memory, in the Chronicle of Frankish Kings the author wrote: "The high king proclaimed a campaign against the Ostrogoths, so count Fulko immediately started to loot his peasants." In those early Medieval times, count was a war leader, responsible to bring an armed AND PROVISIONED host to the royal army. Regular taxation or issuing debt was the method not applicable in 6-th century France. Nevertheless, looting your own population FIRST is the still prerequisite of a large scale war. Who would be looted NEXT depends, then and now, on circumstances.

Liberalism as conceived and practiced in Victorian Britain combined bestowing liberties, or rights, on the British (first, those worthy consideration, the gentlemen, but eventually also paupers, and to some extend, even the Irish, I am hazy on the chronology of Irish vs paupers here). Plus plenty of wars and "rent extraction" from colonies, enforcement of debt repayment with Royal Navy and imposing protectorates etc. In that sense, liberalism thrived until recently, and I would need to investigate what innovations are entailed in "Neo-".

However, in the last 20 years Neo- embraces the view that rights may be ABUSED, and a necessary function of the state is to punish, or even better, prevent such harmful excesses. While it started with rare cases, this doctrine is applied more and more, which is a Totalitarian direction (we seem to be still a bit away from the Totalitarian destination).

I wondered how self-aware are Neo-liberal Totalitarians. I notices that in recent years they started to use "rule based world order" as their goal, dropping "liberal..." from the phase. References to liberties and democracy remain, but the frequency is much reduced, and at occasion, these references are heavily garbled, like
"I said at a meeting earlier with the parliamentarian in our earliest days of our founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin presidency said, freedom and democracy. Freedom and democracy are one thing. Security here. If we don’t have. We can't have either if we don't have both. So security, economics, a secured economy, and again they're all related, and we want Taiwan to always have freedom with security and we're not backing down."

Where are the old times when a Speaker could speak, and liberties would allow you to do something and say something.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 18 2022 2:14 utc | 242

@james, yes, I think most Ukrainians have heard of Bandera. Extremism often arises in countries where people threatened or oppressed - see the IRA, Hamas and various Palestinian militant groups, etc. etc. But I think Irish republicanism was a worthy cause and I support Palestinian statehood and deplore Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. The oldest trick in the book is when the oppressor creates the conditions under which extremism flourish, and then points and says, "see, we were right all along - they deserved it". You see a lot of Telegram posts of fascist tattoos because that's what Russia wants you to be thinking of when you think about Ukraine. There are plenty of images of Russian soldiers sporting that nonsense, too - check out Dmitry Utkin's (founder of Wagner Group) ink.

But unlike Palestine or Ireland, the extremists have *virtually no political support* in Ukraine. Were you aware that in 2019 Azov, Right Sector and all the other crazies formed a bloc for parliamentary elections, and got 2% of the vote & zero seats? To the extent those groups are tolerated or appreciated, it's because they volunteered to fight for their country and were instrumental in blocking Russia's "Novorossiya" land grab.

I'll ignore your comments about age (and resist making the suggestion that you should read some Kissinger, who has 3 decades on you) and suggestion that I might receive some "financial largess" to post here, and just leave you with the gentle observation that heterodox/contrarian communities are every bit as susceptible to groupthink as the MSM. I hope you take your own advice and get out the bubble some.

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 18 2022 2:37 utc | 243

@ Yenwoda | Aug 18 2022 2:37 utc | 243

thanks..regardless of your age, your words reflect a particular level of experience and insight into human nature... reading or travel, or living in a different culture might have an impact on you, but then it might not... either way, thanks for the response.. it says more about you in more ways then you are capable of seeing.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Aug 18 2022 4:06 utc | 244

" unlike Palestine or Ireland, the extremists have *virtually no political support* in Ukraine. Were you aware that in 2019 Azov, Right Sector and all the other crazies formed a bloc for parliamentary elections, and got 2% of the vote & zero seats? To the extent those groups are tolerated or appreciated, it's because they volunteered to fight for their country and were instrumental in blocking Russia's "Novorossiya" land grab."

The guys with tattoos indeed did not get many votes. But the support of Banderism is much wider that that, basically, they penetrated most of major parties, European Solidarity and Servants of the People, and many key institutions, security, military, education, censorship, office of language oppressions (I do not recall the name), and prior to that, CIA and its equivalents in UK and Canada, and more recently, Facebook (Ukrainian), Wikipedia (Ukrainian) etc. Why Zelensky's party abolished education in Russian at all levels, and made a 180 degree switch on Minsk agreement? Pressure from the "street", murder threats and, probably, Western institutions that were penetrated.

Another issue is murders and less bloody mayhem committed with impunity by the "tattoo" folks. Yea, they were not seen as fit to govern, but cherished as "veterans", idolized, decorated with orders, kind of vanguard like settler activists in Israel. Israel policy on Arabs is as settlers wish, Ukrainian policy on Russian speakers and Russia is as Nazi wish. Who cares about percentage of the vote? They don't.o

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 18 2022 5:04 utc | 245

The nazis are responsible for Zelensky's reversal on the issue of peace in the Donbas. The campaign for his election was based on peace in the Donbas and he was given that mandate overwhelmingly.

The argument that the nazis don't have political support is disingenuous. If they can defy the will of the people as personified by Zelensky, then they de facto rule the country.

This bullshit insistence on morality is a red herring in order to cast Russia in a poor light. The Ukrainians have been, are and were going to kill thousands of people based on the fact that they wanted to preserve Russian. They were multiple attempts to prevent this and yet they refused. The consequences were inevitable.

Russia doesn't need anyone to think anything about Ukraine. We are not children here, not on this site.

Finally, we need to respond to the trolls because there are more lurkers than posters and some who are newly arrived might perceive the lack of response as some kind of validation of the manure spewed by Yenwoda and his ilk.

As psychohistorian said, "we need some of those trolls to provide us the opportunity to educate others about the fallacy of the troll arguments."

Posted by: eyeswideopen | Aug 18 2022 9:48 utc | 246

Posted by: Yenwoda | Aug 16 2022 16:47 utc | 200

Must be as tiring as it is discouraging pushing a massive turd like that up the entire hill only to watch it roll on down, day after day, after day.

Can't even cut it as a dung beetle, 'woda so do yourself a favour and ask your manager for another assignment. You just don't have it, kid.

Posted by: tom E | Aug 19 2022 8:06 utc | 247

@Yenwoda | Aug 18 2022 2:37 utc

> the extremists have *virtually no political support* in Ukraine.

Why not do homework by counting all the streets and monuments across the country to their hero and his numerous ideological associates, who all as one dreamed of a racist totalitarian state, and you will get the drift. Nowadays, you would not be able to rename a square and erect a monument to Joseph Goebbels in the center without a significant political support, whether express or tactically implicit (given the aspiration to join the European community).

Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist. Fascism, Genocide, and Cult
By Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe
670 pages / Columbia University Press, 2014.

Posted by: Nomad | Aug 20 2022 21:04 utc | 248

There seem to be few restrictions on Ukrainians travelling across the lines to 'help family members get out'. There was unrestricted movement of 'vacationing Russians ' fleeing newly-attacked Crimea. And there would appear to be relatively open access through third states by EUkrainians into Russia. Wonderful opportunities for Kyiv to be deploying its SF terrorism squads to raise havoc away from the front.

All that needs tightening up. Especially 'friendly' traffic into Russia from Crimea and Belarus.

Posted by: Kevin Quinn | Aug 24 2022 0:15 utc | 250

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