Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2023

The Buildup To War In Ukraine - Sunday, February 13, 2022

In early 2022 Ukraine had finished the preparations for an overwhelming attack on the renegade People Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR and LNR).

Half of the Ukrainian army, some 120,000 men recruited and trained during the last 7 years, were stationed near the ceasefire line and ready to go. On the opposing side only some 40,000 men were under arms. They would have little chance to withstand an onslaught.

Russia could not let a Ukrainian attack happen. If Ukraine could regain the renegade provinces it would have been able to join NATO. Russian public opinion was decisively on the side of the Russian speaking DNR and LPR. It would surely demand an intervention. Since the 2014 coup in Kiev some four million Ukrainians had already moved to Russia. There are lots of family ties between the two countries. In sight of this Russia had put some of its own forces on alert and had moved weapons and munition to assembling points near the Ukrainian border.

The U.S. had for months warned of an upcoming Russian attack on Ukraine. It could do that because it knew the Ukraine would attempt to regain the republics by force. It knew that Russia would have to respond. On January 12 2022 CIA director Bill Burns had secretly met Zelensky in Kiev. Burns often carries messages from President Joe Biden.

On Sunday February 13 2022, after a phone call with U.S. president Joe Biden, the Ukrainian president Zelensky gave the final order for the planned Ukrainian attack.

That the decision had been made was immediately leaked in London as well as in Kiev.

In its summary of the day the Guardian listed a lot of activities that were consistent with the imminent start of a conflict. Diplomats and foreign military were moving out of Ukraine. Weapons flew in.

Tipped off by its government the British insurance conglomerate Lloyd stopped reinsurance services for anything Ukraine:

Anatoliy Ivantsiv, head of Ukrainian insurance firm Expo, told Interfax that British reinsurance giant Lloyds announced it would temporarily cease all conflict risk insurance over Ukrainian airspace from Feb. 14.

When the news of the attack order leaked in Kiev, its 'elite' oligarchs and some parliament members were ready to leave. On February 13 and the following days they fled the country:

Ukraine’s richest men are fleeing the country with their families as the number of private jet charters jump after the possibility of war spiked in recent days, according to flight traffic information posted on social media on February 13.
Switzerland, Austria and the south of France were the most popular destinations for the charter flights.

Ukrainska Pravda stated that such an exodus on charter flights hasn’t been witnessed in six years of observations. The publication reported that planes belonging the country’s top oligarchs, including Rinat Akhmetov, Viktor Pinchuk, and Boris Kolesnikov, as having left the country. A private plane for 50 people was also ordered by Igor Abramovich, another top business figure.
bne IntelliNews sources confirm that two residential English tutors, both British citizens, working for an MP and a businessman respectively, will leave for the south of France this week. Neither confirmed that the flights had anything to do with increased fears over an invasion, as both families travel regularly with their staff for work holidays. Even last month, when the war drums began to beat more loudly for the first time, tutors and teachers working at private schools in Kyiv reported a large number of children absent, away on holidays.

Some members of the Ukrainian parliament were also bailing out. on February 14 Kiev Independent reported:

More than two dozen lawmakers out of a total 424 MPs, who are due to attend parliamentary sessions starting this week, are not currently in Ukraine. Almost half, or 12 deputies, are from the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform-for Life, five deputies are from the presidential Servant of the People party. Most of the lawmakers, or 20 people, left the country in February.

As part of the Minsk agreement the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) had a Special Observer Mission at the ceasefire line in east-Ukraine. Over the weekend of February 12 and 13 the front had been relatively quiet:

In Donetsk region, between the evenings of 11 and 13 February, the Mission recorded 261 ceasefire violations, including 50 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 114 ceasefire violations in the region.

In Luhansk region, between the evenings of 11 and 13 February, the SMM recorded 114 ceasefire violations, including 24 explosions. In the previous reporting period, it recorded 258 ceasefire violations in the region.

The observed numbers of explosion were less than the average of the last 7 and 30 day periods. Explosions occurred on both sides of the ceasefire line.


Posted by b on February 13, 2023 at 16:53 UTC | Permalink

next page »

thanks b.... this is critical information that has been and continues to be suppressed in the west, and for obvious reasons... it completely destroys the myth that russia invaded ukraine... thank you...

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2023 16:57 utc | 1

But...but...but...unprovoked Russian invasion..... MSM says so.... bahahahahaja

Posted by: Watzov | Feb 13 2023 16:59 utc | 2

Thanks for the posting b

This is good context for the coming BS from Biden when he comes to Poland on the 20th, if that happens.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 13 2023 17:13 utc | 3

You should look at 19/20 Feb for better shelling patterns.

Also note something critical, Putin engaged in one last deterrent on 21/2 - the RECOGNITION of independence of Donbass. On 24/2, he ordered SMO.

Posted by: Seth Ras | Feb 13 2023 17:15 utc | 4

The war would never have happened had Ukraine stopped attacking the two republics and implemented the Minsk agreements.

But as we now know they never had any intention of implementing the Minsk agreements. As both Poroshenko and Merkel have admitted it was simply a way for them to buy time so that Ukraine could re-arm.

Posted by: Down South | Feb 13 2023 17:23 utc | 5

this is critical indeed.

BUT: what conclusive pieces of evidence do we have on the planned attack?

This has been discussed since but everyone said, nah, it´s just rumours.

The phone call Z with Biden says what exactly?

There must be some incriminating evidence if a 120,000 men army is about to attack?

This would be very helpful for all kinds of discussions.


Zelensky gave an interview for German DER SPIEGEL last Thursday.

Apparently (not yet read just RT reporting) he stated there that he told Macron and Merkel (M&Ms) that he could not support Minsk.

No one in Germany has taken notice of this?!

And I spare you all the other crap they are throwing at us.

Sarah Wagenknecht with the latest peace memo - already nearly 400,000 signatures within less then 7 days.

Sign here:

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 17:26 utc | 6

While there is universal agreement that this is a proxy war between the West and Russia; using Ukraine as the proxy. One could argue that over time, Russia is becoming a proxy itself. And that this war is morphing into a conflict between the West and China. In this case, Ukraine is a proxy by force while Russia is a proxy by choice. The key fact is that USA has a $21 trillion GNP, China a $17, and Russia a $1.5 trillion GNP. The numbers therefore point to USA-China conflict.

An additional sign for this is the slow tempo and delayed major offensive. In fact, one could argue the entire war has been in slow-motion mode. These delays and slow progress have been of no great benefit to Russia, but have given the Chinese very valuable extra time to get prepared for war, or even better, to avoid a war altogether with the West. It is a fact that the Russians and Chinese work very closely together and it appears that there are all sorts of deals and agreements that we do not know about. But over time, one can start seeing a pattern.

If you know China, then you know that war is just not their thing. They want to sell you something rather than fire a bullet at you: China builds walls to keep people out. So behind the scenes, I could see that China would be very motivated to support Russia with everything that they need and that they would be telling them to keep things moving slow and drag this thing out to make the West bleed.

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2023 17:27 utc | 7

I even remember the US side saying: "the invasion will happen on the 16th!" and some Russian politician replying: "nah, wars in Europe rarely start on a Wednesday" and then, in the buildup to the 24th, shelling from the Ukrainian side intensified...

Posted by: Zet | Feb 13 2023 17:30 utc | 8

as to February 13th .

..because of course what I remember still vividly, the CIA argueing on all channels that Russia is about to attack.

Now, how do you prove to folks that the billionaires fleeing Ukraine did so not because RF forces were to attack but AFU?

Without any real proof?

How do I make myself heard? To be taken seriously? to get a paper to print my shit?

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 17:35 utc | 9

exciting! is there going to be a day to day countdown? i sure hope so.

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2023 17:37 utc | 10

@meshpal 7

proxy? of course. Clear from day 1.

But I see no West bleeding. Especially not the US who is only gaining so far.

But its good to hear you think China won´t adapt to US rules of the game.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 17:38 utc | 11

Running up to the conflict, I noticed two different positions in german media in regard to Minsk 2: One claimed that Z. COULDN‘T implement Minsk because otherwise Azov & cie. would remove him from power, and the other - the transatlanticist cheerleaders at FAZ and Springer - said that he SHOULDN‘T implement it, as it had been coerced in the first place…
Anyhow, looking at german media before the start if the SMO, it was quite obvious that Minsk 2 was dead in the water…

Posted by: Bockbaerchen | Feb 13 2023 17:41 utc | 12

my last question (hopefully):

If AFU attack was so clear, why not be smart let it happen and call in UN-SC as Russia?
Why attack first?

I will never get it.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 17:41 utc | 13

RT headline today --

"EU to target media in latest anti-Russian sanctions. . ."

Very Iron Curtain-esque.

Recall from those days a group traveling to Finland to deliver (wait for it) by balloons Western Bibles to godless Russia.

Today, this particular brick in the new Cyber Wall will target Russian journalists, by name, among many other Russian producers of media.

Much more precise than wind-blown deliveries of English language Bibles to Cyrillic Russia.

Censorship is progressing.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Feb 13 2023 17:42 utc | 14

Henceforth and forthwith I refer to all Americans who support this travesty as war criminals.

It's very curious that the US is telling all Americans in Russia to leave immediately.

Posted by: chunga | Feb 13 2023 17:46 utc | 15

"fighting a war against its own citizens" right

Posted by: Vikichka | Feb 13 2023 17:47 utc | 16

meshpal | Feb 13 2023 17:27 utc | 7
nobody's going to war over those phony numbers, are they?

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 13 2023 17:49 utc | 17

Very sad and funny series of events from Feb 13 - Feb 21 2022:

- Shelling across contact line increases dramatically
- US starts chanting that Russia will invade Ukraine
- Biden warns Putin about grave consequences if theres an invasion
- Ukranian PMs and olygarchs start escaping out of Ukraine
- News of massive Ukranian trooos moving along contact line
- Rebel Republics plead to Russia of imminent attack on them
- US doesnt wait and implements sactions as deterrent
- Kamala says the sanctions will deterr Putin from invading
- zelensky and his government publicly plead US to stop talking about imminent Russian invasion. Basically tell them to shut up
- US embassy in Kiev starts evacuating Saigon style
- Rebel Republics are recognized as Russian by Russia
- New republics request military assistance
- Russis starts SMO and invades
- Biden still calls it Not An Invasion for a few days more

Posted by: Comandante | Feb 13 2023 17:52 utc | 18

@ AG | Feb 13 2023 17:41 utc | 13

Sorry but what could Russia expect from UN SC after Ukraine would start the hostilities? What did Russia ever got from the UN SC except being barred from a vote because no majority would support a vote?

Posted by: scc | Feb 13 2023 17:54 utc | 19

I have been asked to write a "cybersecurity memo" for kids regarding "reliable media sources".

ok, 1st rule kids: if your water and food aren't secure, then your environment is also responsible for the pollution in your cyberenvironment. one doesn't need to look further than the tap water and the "food" on the fork to know where the threats come from.

it's the "rule of geography." if you don't know where you are, you are already up shit creek.

yeah, that's not what an American boss wants to hear though is it. They want me to explain why Newsweek and WaPo are reliable, unlike a Chinese gov't daily. why kids shouldn't just laugh at these cowardly fools blowing in the wind.

hey kids! how much evidence do you need the fools running this state are a bunch of pants-wetting little crybabies? none more so than the DOD/Intel brass? you wanna go be a docile little sheep hiding behind the rest of herd? the USM will give you plenty of examples!

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Feb 13 2023 17:54 utc | 20

AG | Feb 13 2023 17:26 utc | 6

BUT: what conclusive pieces of evidence do we have on the planned attack? This has been discussed since but everyone said, nah, it´s just rumours.

There were two leaks from Beregini Group with slides and the report they are based on.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 13 2023 17:55 utc | 21

t0TaLly uNpR0voKeD

The Empire of Lies

Posted by: nwwoods | Feb 13 2023 17:55 utc | 22

Seems like the post wasn't finished.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Feb 13 2023 18:03 utc | 23

The key fact is that USA has a $21 trillion GNP, China a $17, and Russia a $1.5 trillion GNP. The numbers therefore point to USA-China conflict.

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2023 17:27 utc | 7

GNP is primarily composed of internal transfer pricing. Imports and exports are the only items items where there is arms length bargaining to set real values. I would argue China's economy is much larger than that of the US. Furthermore, China produces lots of tangible goods like steel or home appliances while the US economy is primarily services like pornography and social media.

GNP numbers don't even close to telling the real story.

Posted by: First Time Poster | Feb 13 2023 18:04 utc | 24

I think MOA forgot to finish. He stopped 12 to 13 days ahead of the Russian counteroffensive. The rest of the story...OSCE saw the ceasefire violations increase into the thousands from the Ukrainian side. They had fortified the frontlines facing the Donbas rebel forces and brought in heavy artillery and began softening up the front lines for an invasion. This is what sparked the Russian response. It has been reported by others. Mike Whitney. Also a blogger by the name of Kanekoathegreat. Those were the first two spots I heard it. I have heard Lavrov state this and I think Putin just recently mentioned it.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Feb 13 2023 18:08 utc | 25

The U.S. had for months warned of an upcoming Russian attack on Ukraine.

One interesting detail I remember is that Zelensky claimed to not believe that an attack was coming. I would say he claimed this because if he had heeded the warnings, he would have had to move large parts of the army to the border with Russia, especially those units at the line of contact, or at least a significant part of those. The rest of the army would have to protect for example the capital.

If the ukrainian army had taken position at the U-RF-border, it would have not been able to attack the "renegade provinces" with enough force to conquer them fast enough I assume. And if they had taken a position to defend an incursion by russia, maybe the russian army might have not invaded, since the donbas republics would have not been threatened then. (I hope that makes sense :) )

Or the invasion would have commenced since the ukrainians would have been in a less fortified position, presumably.

So in order to make the invasion certain, which was the goal, the attack on the donbas republics had to be carried out no matter what.

Ukraine and Nato might have also been playing off the assumed unreliability of US-intelligence agencies and their public statements (e.g. wmd in Iraq)

Posted by: MM | Feb 13 2023 18:08 utc | 26

Thank you b for providing these specifics. Continuing my hypothesis on this global coup effort on individual sovereignty, Canada’s Prime Minister announced the implementation of the “Emergency Act” (the renamed War Measures Act) on February 14, 2022, after the citizens surrounded Parliament peacefully in minus 40 degree weather (same Celsius and Fahrenheit at that temperature). I cannot believe in the coincidence theory.

Around the globe copy cat convoys waving Canadian flags spontaneously, organically, had been erupting.

Posted by: MervRitchie | Feb 13 2023 18:09 utc | 27

21, thank you slothrop!

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2023 18:12 utc | 28

rjb1.5 | Feb 13 2023 | 17

Phony numbers or not, they do at least show that Russia is not a direct financial competitor to the USA. The real competition is China and they are also in the process of dethroning the USA. Of course western banking interests would love to get their hands on Russian resources, but the big conflict is still between the West and China. My point was just that as the conflict drags on and while the West was unable to break Russia with sanctions, that what was once a Russian thing, is slowly turning into a China thing. And that Russia becomes a proxy that is helping China. Why are Western think tanks talking so much about China now? This is why.

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2023 18:14 utc | 29

Not sure if this was reported before on MoA (impossible to read every post) but in an interview Prigozhin says: "We need 3 years to advance to Dnieper river,
to control all of Luhansk & Donetsk 1.5 - 2 years"

So slow and steady it is.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 13 2023 18:18 utc | 30

> Half of the Ukrainian army, some 120,000 men recruited and trained during the last 7 years

Shouldn't have been in the deconfliction area in the first place.

Poroshenko made clear his intent to ignore any agreement earlier when he announced his "anti smuggling" operation and effectively blockaded the separatist areas preventing them from accessing food, medicine and financial services like pension payments on 15 November 2014.

I'm sure b can dig up the troop maps from somewhere.

Posted by: S.O. | Feb 13 2023 18:20 utc | 31

@ First Time Poster | Feb 13 2023 18:04 utc | 24

Exactly. Thank you for correcting poster meshpal's mis-comprehension.

= = = = = =

@ AG Post 13

Under the Empire of Lies "Rules-Base Order" the R2P humans under shelling for 8 Looooong years

What's good for the goose....applies to the gander.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 13 2023 18:20 utc | 32

Be all that as it may, looking at how things have panned out since, one must wonder whether letting the Ukrainians attack first, and then counter attacking afterwards, once that close sequence of events was established, set the historical record, and the world had a clearer chance to see who the aggressor was, may have been the wiser option.

This may appear cynical, since many civilians in Donbass would have certainly died, but looking at the modest efforts poured into preventing the shelling of Donetsk, which is still going on 12 months after the start of the SMO, one can hardly be convinced that protecting the people of Donbass was its primary goal.

Allowing Ukraine to attack first could have avoided a lot of the anti Russian hysteria and perhaps saved Russia having to deal with all the Nato help that poured in, thanks to the perception in the West that Ukraine was a 'victim'. Allowing the Ukrainian army to invade the Donbass, and then encircling it from the rear perhaps, instead of attacking on too many axes which turned out to be a bit of a disaster.

There is also the issue of why is Russia somehow better off fighting Ukraine's army in its 8 year old established fortifications, instead of letting it advance in the open and then attacking it from the rear, wedged between Russia's borders and an unfortified fresh line of defence? Lastly, whether civilians are caught on one side of the line of contact or the other in the end, what is the big difference in terms of loss of life?

Even if the corrupt Western media would have done their best to ignore and distort an invasion of Ukraine's army in the Donbass, by acting preemptively Russia denied any chance it had of presenting itself as acting in defence of an aggressor to the eyes of an already hostile and propagandised Western public.

This in of itself had a compounding negative effect to Russia achieving its goals. Western perception of Russia being an aggressor provided the political support for every subsequent Nato action. Russia initially failed to gain a significant enough military advantage that would justify acting pre-emptively, and then also failed to mobilise in time to adequately deal with the influx of weapons and manpower. One could argue that the Kremlin needed that hostile West in order to garner domestic support and mobilise, but my point stands that another approach may had not even required a mobilisation to begin with.

We will never know of course and hindsight is always 20/20. I say this as objectively as possible and with great sympathy and compassion for Russia (and the Ukrainian people of course, too), but this SMO was ill conceived and badly executed from the very start for these simple reasons: by acting pre-emptively, Russia failed to gain the military advantage that choice should have given them, and then made its job infinitely harder by giving Nato the political domestic support to act in defence of what too many in the West still today perceive as 'Ukraine the victim'.

Allowing Ukraine to attack first may have negated the lying Western press to feed the anti Russian narrative, and at the very least, Russia was militarily strong enough already a year ago to act in ways that could have yielded less destruction and loss of life than has actually turned out, while still achieving its goals. Goals which are a long way from being achieved after 12 months, by the way.

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 18:22 utc | 33

For NATO the frontier had already been renamed the “Eastern Front” …

Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth @SecArmy

I had the pleasure of meeting with Polish Minister of Defense @MBlaszczak in Warsaw to reinforce our countries’ shared commitment to @NATO ’s defense and deterrence on the Eastern Front. #wearenato

As b had written in February last year,

The OSCE Mission endured to register the hostilities until 02-24, however the members from the warmongering nations UK and U.S. had left a fortnight earlier. The group left the region on 2 March.

A day-in-the-life of an SMM monitor in eastern Ukraine

Wars, Chaos Create more Violence and Hatred

The United States will evacuate all American staff from the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM), according to an internal US State Department document seen by the Kyiv Post on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

A US citizen currently working for the SMM confirmed to Kyiv Post he had received a copy of the order, and that his chain of command had instructed him to prepare to leave Ukraine by Tuesday 15 Feb.

The US State Department contractor PAE, a Virginia-headquartered contractor responsible for US government staffing in overseas missions worldwide, said in the evacuation order all 46 US citizens working for the SMM must evacuate. The order has “immediate effect.”

Posted by: Oui | Feb 13 2023 18:24 utc | 34

Looking forward to seeing the US claims of a "false flag" attack set up by Russia, with crisis actors and everything, fitting into this timeline of the lead up to war.

Had Russia waited for Ukraine to attack the US would have claimed it was all an invention and declared that Russia invaded unprovoked anyway.

Posted by: Guest777 | Feb 13 2023 18:25 utc | 35

This is an important topic today, I think. One must never forget the history of this conflict and must integrate it accordingly in the history of development. It is particularly important at a time when erasing culture and history has become part of a whole political program in the West, which in its simultaneity will not be accidental.

Russia was threatened with a question of "life and death" (Putin) in a double sense:
Nato, which wanted to use Kiev as a tool against Russia and a Kiev that was about to eliminate Russian minorities to make the first point possible.

Topoi such as an "unprovoked Russian attack" on Ukraine is supplemented by the concept of an "imperialist war of aggression" in order to erase the prehistory of the Ukraine conflict in the Western history of interpretation. It is part of a crime scene cleanup of Western aggression. Currently, the western media seem to have settled on the the term of an "imperial attack". Imperialism already implies aggressiveness whatever the conditions. That a huge country like Russia with a relatively small population has no imperialistic intentions is not questioned. Logic and reality are eliminated.

The self-confessed statements by Merkel, Hollande, Johnson and Zelensky in their handling of the Minsk II agreement also suggest, refering to an ahistorical post-ex argument, that Russia always aimed at an attack. What can be said, however, is that the western parties are the ones who are making a scam on MinskII public. Moscow never did them this favor.

On February 22-24 last year, the OECE documented the shelling between Ukrainian troops and the militias of the republics in Donbass. The ratio of the hits speaks clearly for an aggression from Kiev's troops. I do not recall any protests or warnings from the observer mission that a large number of Ukrainian troops were even piling up at the line of contact. Like the OPCW or IAEA, the OSCE is determined by western majorities and is thus becoming a NATO tool.

Many young historians will enjoy the easily accessible correction for a Western history of interpretation in the near future.The whole world is watching as a contemporary witness and recognizes the order of events. There are a number of destructive acts by the western side that fueled the conflict. I can think of another example from spring 2021:

The timeline between the promulgation of cultural minority laws in Kiev (the West would by no doubt refer to them as "racial laws") and a sudden statement by NATO countries at the UN accusing Russia of being an "aggressor in Ukraine" leads to the following conclusions:

1. The NATO states consciously protected Kiev's minority laws and distracted from them by proclaiming a "reversal of aggression".
2. The end of MinskII was made public at that moment. Russia's assigned status in the peace document is simple inconsistent with that of an "aggressor."

The West need not complain if Moscow believes that it is suddenly seeing ghosts of fascists from the past century in front of its inner eyes.

Posted by: Konrad | Feb 13 2023 18:27 utc | 36

"Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

Robert Kennedy
from a speech at the University of Kansas on March 18, 1968

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 13 2023 18:28 utc | 37

Posted by: annie | Feb 13 2023 17:37 utc | 10

Agreed! Important materials for the inevitable day-by-day history that must be written.

Happy Valentine's Day to all from Sydney!

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 18:30 utc | 38

The above post from AntiSpin was in response to
First Time Poster | Feb 13 2023 18:04 utc | 24, who wrote the following --

"GNP is primarily composed of internal transfer pricing. Imports and exports are the only items items where there is arms length bargaining to set real values. I would argue China's economy is much larger than that of the US. Furthermore, China produces lots of tangible goods like steel or home appliances while the US economy is primarily services like pornography and social media.

GNP numbers don't even close to telling the real story."

Posted by: AntiSpin | Feb 13 2023 18:32 utc | 39

Sy Hersh gave his first interview on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023:

Nord Stream blast story was ‘not hard to find’ – author
Media outlets like the NYT and WaPo “don’t seem to have anyone inside” among their sources,

Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed on Saturday that his latest bombshell report, which suggests the CIA was responsible for the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September, was not a hard story to find. It was obvious that there was more to the issue than was being reported by most media outlets, Hersh said. 

In his first interview since he published the story on Substack last Wednesday, the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist was asked by Radio War Nerd to comment on his source for the story, who still remains anonymous.

Hersh refused to expose any details about who he spoke to and noted that it was his job to protect his sources and take the heat when a story went live. But those within the media who criticize him for using anonymous sources should “understand the business a little better,”the journalist suggested.

“The problem is, it’s all been cheapened. Because now the New York Times and the Washington Post think an unnamed source can be a press guy, a press secretary, that whispers something to them on the side. I don’t know, they don’t seem to have anyone inside,” Hersh said.

He also noted that major news outlets are failing to report a lot of things about the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “The war I know about is not the war you’re reading about,” Hersh observed.
[emphasis added here]

“It’s amazing to me how they fall in line, my colleagues,” he added, lamenting that many outlets such as the NYT, WP, CNN and MSN have become a front for the White House and the Biden administration.

As for the Nord Stream expose, Hersh insisted it was “not a hard story to find” and that it was obvious that some NATO country was involved, especially after top US officials, including President Joe Biden, issued clear threats that the Russian-German project would be stopped “one way or another” if Moscow chose to send troops to Ukraine back in February 2022.

Hersh also pointed out that the entire international pipeline industry knew “who did what” and that this was a reality that “nobody thinks about.” “But I did, so there you are,” he concluded.[.] [Italics original]

And in the interim, Hersh is criticized for using ‘anonymous sources’ yet when WAPO/ NYT do; nothing to it. No problem.

Oh btw, Hersh says he has more in the queue. Too many know who did it.

Posted by: Likklemore | Feb 13 2023 18:44 utc | 40

There's also another reason, albeit it is derived from the fact that 120 000 ukies were ready to invade.

Some days, perhaps a week before, there were evacuations of population organized to Russia from Donbass and Lugansk, but everyone understands, over 2 million people simply can't be transferred in a short time under extreme threat of invasion. If they managed to infiltrate into the cities, it would have been much larger devastation. They could have decided either to limit the operation in Donbass and the rear of the frontline only, in the fortified zones, but then Ukraine would have been free to transfer all their forces into Donbass. Instead they opted the total de-militarization and de-nazification.

Nato was hoping they would run directly into the fortification complex in Donbass. If they had, USA would probably have garrisoned Odessa by now itself and UAF would be in a significantly better shape, most likely.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 13 2023 18:49 utc | 41

GNP posts

Correct Russia is not a direct financial competitor with US. They are a political competitor. They are a military competitor. They are a social competitor. They are a cultural competitor. And they are winning. With half the population of US and a very difficult history they are kicking butt.

Here in US General Motors just put the Sierra EV pickup on sale. Looks like production run sold out. Most buyers wanted the $108,000 version with 784 horsepower. To be green. US numbers mean less than nothing.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 13 2023 18:49 utc | 42

@scc 19

I am merely discussing political tactics from Russian side.

That is: not legitimacy but legality.

We as the anti-war movement aka the last sane people are having tremendous difficulties mainly because of the order of events.

Had the Russian, or should I say Putin, waited for a bellum iustum situation, much easier now - regardless of the realities of National Security Council. It´s only about cosmetics.

Beyond that, I of course agree. But I must think with the minds of those I have to convince yet.

And that as of now is very very very difficult...

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 18:51 utc | 43

This article seems to stop short. There is nothing in it showing the Ukraine started the war. It only shows that preparations were being made.

Posted by: TimmyB | Feb 13 2023 18:51 utc | 44

@scc 19

United Nations Security Council of course, sorry.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 18:53 utc | 45

You make an excellent addition to b's informative and important post.

Thank you for this excuse to repeat a point I have made twice recently: this is a war between the imperialists, led by the US, and those countries left which prize and defend their sovereignty. A war between those who want war and those who want peace.

It is a war between peaceful development and an evolving humanity, ready to face its future and solve the problems it has inherited, and imperialist wars to conquer and plunder. The Empire was born in war and cannot live in peace. Its only purpose is to conquer and steal, to kill and starve. And that has been the story it has imposed upon humanity since the 1490s.

Those ruling the United States have reached the conclusion that the only way in which they can perpetuate the power that they enjoy is by attacking any country or bloc which does not kow-tow to them.

As to the origins of the war, when it began Russia had taken every step it could to make plain to the imperialists that it was not going to challenge them militarily. It had run down all its military resources with the single exception of those related to delivering the nuclear deterrent, on which it was ready to rest the final defence of its sovereignty. Hence the enormous gap between the military expenditure of Russia-with its enormously long borders and basic defence needs- and NATO, under threat by nobody or thing, almost without borders with potential attackers, which was outspending Russia by almost incredible margins.

It was attacked, in the form of a decision by the imperialists to move the front lines of its aggressive alliance deep into historic Russia itself, and is now being subject to NATO attempts to immiserate its people and militarise its society simply in order to prevent it from being torn apart. Hitler's successors in the west were desperate to trigger another Barbarossa to weaken Russia as had the 1941 version.

The situation has become very simple: if Russia wins the war, breaks up the offensive alliance of NATO and integrates itself and the rest of europe into a real community, trading its resources with those of its neighbours, and integrating the continent with the rest of eurasia, Africa and Latin America into a peaceful multipolar settlement, the empire is finished.

And that will be no loss: it can collect its peace dividend, prosper in trade with the rest of the world and settle down to the business of dealing with the environmental hangover from centuries of war and unplanned growth. It can, like China abolish poverty, and mankind can then turn its attentions to matters of real import to most of us. Playing childish games over Ukraine, waving silly flags and breeding hatred amongst people not being among them.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 13 2023 18:54 utc | 46

@Likklemore 32

see my post 43 @scc 13

It´s about creating the legally best environment for a war situation.

Knowing that EU will give you a hard time precisely because you already know they have given a damn about Donbas shelling of 8 long years.

As Russia you might wanna appear as legal as is possible from the hypocrits´ POV.

Of course Putin then figured he might take out Kiev easier before AFU is in full war mode.
But that failed apparently.

And Plan B wasn´t good enough for this kind of surprise coup.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 18:59 utc | 47

No, Ukraine wasn't planning to invade on February. The increased shelling was probably because Russia recognized both dpr and lpr and the far right elements within Ukrainian were venting their frustration/ trying to start a total war between Russia and Ukraine believing a whole of nation efforts will actually lead to Ukrainian win.
If ur allies tell u an invasion is coming it is only natural for u to post ur troops alongside the would be invaders path.
Ukraine probably thought about taking the rebel territories by force earlier but Russian show of force put a stop to it. I don't remember the time line but it was probably just after Biden inauguration.
This invasion is a Russian blunder let's see if Russia can still win it because now it is probably an existential issue for Russia.

Posted by: A.z | Feb 13 2023 19:01 utc | 48

Considering that Emmanuel Todd thought in his latest -excellent btw-interview that the US did not really intend to get this war started , maybe he should read this article then.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Feb 13 2023 19:01 utc | 49

"The key fact is that USA has a $21 trillion GNP, China a $17, and Russia a $1.5 trillion GNP. The numbers therefore point to USA-China conflict."

If I pay my neighbor $100 to dig a hole in the ground, then he pays me $100 to fill it in, the GDP has increased by $200. As a statistic, the GDP has to be taken with a grain of salt. I would argue that a much higher percentage of China's GDP is actually accomplishing something useful - making stuff and selling it.

Posted by: ian | Feb 13 2023 19:06 utc | 50

"...Allowing Ukraine to attack first may have negated the lying Western press..."

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 18:22 utc | 33

For eight years, Russia had been 'allowing Ukraine to attack first'. Go back, Et Tu, to the point b makes, that these things, preparation and execution, were indeed happening even before the overthrow of the legitimately elected Ukrainian government! Such coordinating activities with the connivance of other nations (even Canada as one poster has noted) are of the same ilk as blowing up energy pipelines.

Where was the Western press then? And where was Russia? Russia was pursuing every possible diplomatic avenue against political chaos and against war in an effort to have Ukraine remain Ukraine under democratic leadership in accordance with international law.

Thanks, b. I found this very interesting:

on February 14 Kiev Independent reported:

More than two dozen lawmakers out of a total 424 MPs, who are due to attend parliamentary sessions starting this week, are not currently in Ukraine. Almost half, or 12 deputies, are from the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform-for Life, five deputies are from the presidential Servant of the People party. Most of the lawmakers, or 20 people, left the country in February.

There must be a record of what happened to the lawmakers who remained. in particular those from the eastern provinces who were still trying to represent their constituents in spite of the immediate attacks after the government had been overthrown.

And remember, Russia was still recovering from the devastating years of western 'help' after the USSR fell. It had come near to collapse itself. The predictions and incitements for it to respond aggressively when its neighboring provinces were attacked were loud even back when Maidan happened. And still, it came to the rescue of Syria and held off that overthrow to the best of its still recovering abilities; remember that!

Posted by: juliania | Feb 13 2023 19:11 utc | 51

@ TimmyB | Feb 13 2023 18:51 utc | 44


The story of how Ukraine started the war is illustrated in the tattoos that glorify Nazism branded on its soldiers.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 13 2023 19:11 utc | 52

Not mentioned in the Fakenomics of GDP discussion here is that the votes at globalist organizations like the World Bank and IMF are weighted according to GDP estimates.

So the US and allies are always playing games to inflate GDP to keep control. Like Italy adding estimates for hookers and drugs to their GDP.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Feb 13 2023 19:18 utc | 53

Posted by: A.z | Feb 13 2023 19:01 utc | 48
“rebel territories”?

How about “people discriminated against and oppressed by an illegitimate regime seeking to exercise their right of self-determination, as provided for by various UN charters, articles and resolutions”?

Yep, that looks much better, I fixed it for you...

Posted by: West of England Andy | Feb 13 2023 19:21 utc | 54

Response to Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 18:22 utc | 33

“Waiting for Ukraine to attack” presumes that we know all that RF MoD knew last February. Perhaps they had additional information, including regarding the US Biolabs in Ukraine.

Posted by: Ciaran | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 55

Posted by: goldhoarder | Feb 13 2023 18:08 utc | 25

b is obviously doing it day by day, each day in detail exactly one year ago... It's a great idea, why I love this site and why I get frustrated with posters who press post before thinking.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 56

Sarah Wagenknecht with the latest peace memo - already nearly 400,000 signatures within less then 7 days.

Sign here:

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 17:26 utc | 6


Not to demoralize anyone, but if petitions and voting worked, we would already be living in a much better world.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 57

Allowing Ukraine to attack first would only have resulted in the West supporting Ukraine in recovering its own territories and border, with total legitimacy.
Russia has been blackmailed since years and the only power that it keeps in the UN SC is the veto power… For how long I don’t know, when you see how the west is ready to steal the Russian state an Russian private citizen assets, it says a lot about the good faith and the compliance of the west with laws and international rules.

Posted by: scc | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 58

@ Posted by: juliania | Feb 13 2023 19:11 utc | 51

For eight years, Russia had been 'allowing Ukraine to attack first'

(First, as an aside, while i did not want to over labour the point above, this further supports my reservations on the 'protect the people of Donbass' narrative)

As far as i have understood, despite the regular shelling and the increased rate of shelling in February referenced in the article above, the line of contact was stable. This indicates that in order to advance, that line needed to be broken. The ones to break that line first were the Russians, and not Ukraine, so i am not sure what point you are trying to make in relation to my argument.

If an attack was indeed imminent, once again, i questioned the wisdom in the decision of pre-empting it, albeit with the benefit of hindsight and a 12 months after battle assessment of sorts, that is all.

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 19:35 utc | 59

As a courtesy, Bernard, I thought I should let you know I praised your site highly in this post of mine.

PS Your subscription button isn't working!

Posted by: Bruce O'Hara | Feb 13 2023 19:38 utc | 60

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 19:35 utc | 59

as christians do

you can punch me three times in the face but fear the valley of gods...

Posted by: Macpott | Feb 13 2023 19:40 utc | 61

Posted by: juliania | Feb 13 2023 19:11 utc | 51

Great post. Agree wholeheartedly.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 19:41 utc | 62

@LoveDonbass 57

didn´t say it´s easy
But what then?

Blow up something?
Shoot people?
Stay on my couch and watch Simpsons until the world goes up in flames. May be. But may be I´m lucky?

Kissinger and Nixon stopped their bombing campaigns among others because of massive public protest.

Vietnam was a combination of protest and Wall Street calling an end to it.

It´s a bit crazy - you tell me this, which is fine, but the next day some folks at my place around the corner will insult me as "peacenick Putler-fan" for the very same suggestion to sign.

What on Earth is going on?
You know...

German Green Anton Hofreiter, a major figure in environmental politics has learned to love war.

Sunday he gave an interview. He said how impressed he was about a Ukrainian unit who went into battle with rainbow-coloured unicorn buttons on their uniforms.

This by a high member of the German government.
So, yes I rather do something.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 19:45 utc | 63

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 57

We have to get a movement going. Now.

Unless you have a better plan stfu and sign the dammed petition!

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Feb 13 2023 19:45 utc | 64

I see that the MSM, especially CNN, constantly repeat that Russia is losing hundreds or ever thousands of troops a day. Total lies. The only place the Ukraine is winning is in the propaganda field. On the field of combat their conscripts are just showing up on the front line to die. Here are just some of the examples:

I'm happy to be here way south in Mexico. Although it is probably not far enough when the shit hits the fan in old USA

Posted by: Nilo Cruz | Feb 13 2023 19:50 utc | 65

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2023 17:27 utc | 7
«is morphing into a conflict between the West and China. In this case, Ukraine is a proxy by force while Russia is a proxy by choice. The key fact is that USA has a $21 trillion GNP, China a $17, and Russia a $1.5 trillion GNP. The numbers therefore point to USA-China conflict.»

It has *always* been an USA attack against the PRC: the RF is indeed, even at PPP, a small player, however tough and efficient they may be. The USA were keeping the RF around as a fake threat to boost military spending:

George Kennan "At a Century's Ending: Reflections 1982-1995" "Part II: Cold War in Full Bloom" page 118 (1997)
“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

But then they realized that the PRC was a real threat to their worldwide hegemony, and so started attacking the RF for real.

As I have been saying for a long time, but nobody takes notices, the objective of the proxy war against the RF is not the RF, but the PRC, standard "domino theory":

* Take Poland and Romania into NATO, build bases to threaten the RF.

* Regime-change Ukraine (and Finland and Georgia and ideally Belarus and Kazakhstan too) into NATO, build CIA/DOD bases and biolabs on the RF border to surround and isolate and destabilize the RF.

* Regime-change the RF, build CIA/DOD bases and biolabs on the extremely long PRC border to fund, train, arm bridges of "freedom fighters" inside the PRC.

The latter step is the real goal of the proxy war against the RF: the prize is to surround and isolate (and then break up) the PRC on their land side, not just their sea side.

The RF (and Kazakhstan) are the biggest buffer states that the PRC has, just as Finland, Belarus and Ukraine were the for the RF (and the RF has lost 2 out of 3). The PRC will really be in trouble if they lose those buffer states and they become USA vassals too.

Posted by: Blissex | Feb 13 2023 19:53 utc | 66

Beyound doubt Russia acted in self-defence not only regarding the SMO
but defending Russia itself from slow hostile encirclement, not least nucular and bio-warfare labs.
Self-defence is self-defence their is nothing to say that if you know beyound doubt your about to be attacked, you shouldn't get your 'punch in first, natural law and justice. I don't see US police waiting for the bad guy to fire first.

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 13 2023 19:54 utc | 67

@ Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 18:22 utc | 33 quote

"Allowing Ukraine to attack first could have avoided a lot of the anti Russian hysteria and perhaps saved Russia having to deal with all the Nato help "

nope... fail... the west was already in a ramped up anti russian hysteria thanks the mh 17, skripal, syria and etc. constant bullshit and lies.. it wouldn't have mattered one iota... i agree also with @ juliania | Feb 13 2023 19:11 utc | 51 and with @ Ciaran | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 55

@ LoveDonbass | Feb 13 2023 19:25 utc | 57

true, but you don't want to burst people's bubbles... and needs the money for reselling peoples information as it is a private for profit corporation based in san francisco and that is how things work in the world of protests today...

Posted by: james | Feb 13 2023 20:00 utc | 68

A nice Ukrainian person learning English via FaceTime on the 20th of February recorded inadvertently a massive preparatory artillery barrage from Ukrainian forces onto the line of contact....not sure if NATO controlled OSCE registered this officially..... China and U.S.A have massive from manufacturing mostly and the other from everything except manufacturing....but both bloated populations tied in heavily into U.S debt and both needing a State hoping to bolster is collapsing dollar dominance and the other needing resources and living space.... ultimately the Globalist West and Communist party of China are both striving for the same hyper centralized State and these mutual goals have Russia with a massive target on its's wealth coveted by the West and's nationalism at odds idealistically of its enemies. I believe Russia is aware of this fact and hence very little has been committed ultimately to the Western front

Posted by: Joe | Feb 13 2023 20:03 utc | 69

Russia is not a direct financial competitor to the USA #29

The dedolarisation effort is initiated and driven by Russia. Russia is the main force pulling the financial rug under the US feet. China just recently started to follow realising that US debt is a Damacles sword hanging from the US neck. Other central banks in the Global South started doing the same.

Posted by: Milos | Feb 13 2023 20:04 utc | 70

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 19:35 utc | 59
«the line of contact was stable. This indicates that in order to advance, that line needed to be broken. The ones to break that line first were the Russians, and not Ukraine»

That's a claim that rests on the peculiar fantasy that attacking civilian targets in the DPR and LDR, in complete violation of Minsk 2, with a storm of bombs, was not breaking the line of contact.

Note that initially after recognizing the DPR and LDR as independent and then signing a mutual defense "Article 51" treaty with them, the RF government waited several days to see if the fascist ukranian government would stop attacking the LDR and DPR, and the ukrainian military continued to attack them. Therefore the RF never invaded Ukraine, it was a counter-attack to defend the LPR and DPR.

The same happened when the 4 regions requested membership in the RF, something that the RF had refused to accept in 2014: first the RF accepted the request for membership, and then waited for several days for the fascist ukrainian government to stop attacking 4 regions that were at that point part of the RF, and the ukrainian fascist government continued attacking those region, thus attacking and attempting to invade the RF itself.

Posted by: Blissex | Feb 13 2023 20:04 utc | 71

S.O. 31

> Half of the Ukrainian army, some 120,000 men recruited and trained during the last 7 years
Shouldn't have been in the deconfliction area in the first place

Exactly. And they shouldn't have been building fortifications inside of Donbass either. All in violation of the Minsk agreement. Also, shelling civilian populations is a war crime, done by the Kiev government for 8+ years.

US/NATO used the abuse of ethnic minorities in Kosovo as a reason to bomb Yugoslavia. Ethnic Russians in Donbass were abused in same way and suddenly the West can't even acknowledge that the abuse exists. And if Russia had sat back and waited for the AFU to invade the separatist held piece of Donbass it would have been a bloodbath, particularly in Donetsk city.

Posted by: Mike R | Feb 13 2023 20:05 utc | 72

As pointed out by b and others, NATO/Outlaw US Empire was already attacking the ethnic Russians within Ukraine even before the coup was accomplished--Maidan was a shooting gallery where both sides were targeted by NATO terrorists; and as soon as the coup was finalized, open war was declared on Ethnic Russians as we saw in many instances. Those open attacks led directly to Crimea rejoining Russia and resistance in Donbas and elsewhere with Donbas becoming the main resistance enclave. Russia certainly aided Donbas in its resistance but not enough for it to accomplish a clear victory. The two Minsk agreements, the latter having the legal force of a UNSC Resolution, was supposed to provide the grounds for a certain sort of victory, but it was not to be because of NATO's Master: the Obama Crew. They gave the orders to their slaves not to implement the UNSC Mandate, and that policy was continued by Trump, as were many Obama criminal policies--talk about "controlled opposition;" that term suits Trump to a T.

The big question for Putin's crew is why the long wait when the need to perform an R2P was so clear? For me, that has yet to be properly asked and answered (unless I was asleep at the time along with everyone else). Finally in October 2021, facts were brought to a meeting of government members that provided outstanding evidence of Genocide in Donbas and that something MUST be done. Putin agreed it was Genocide as I chronicled at the time--no one else did, not even English language Russian media which I found amazing. Ater that meeting, the road to the R2P moved swiftly--making all the legal arrangements while allowing the Outlaw US Empire/NATO to paint itself into a corner. That corner was the non-response to Russia's accusations of NATO's breaking all OSCE security treaties and other lies, and Russia's insistence on a new formulation. Recall that Russia promised a "military technical operation" would commence if no suitable answer was timely provided.

The non-answer answer came and was deemed to be BS by Lavrov in his crucial, still classified, report to the Security Council, and that sealed the deal. The rapid-fire legal events of February are known by most. Once completed, Russia had its UN Charter Article 51 justification for its defense of the Donbas Republics which were now Russian and put forward its goals for what was termed a Special Military Operation. Those goals remain but have expanded politically because of NATO's response. Those who follow my commentary know what I now expect to occur and why. All the important pressers and meetings are documented at my VK for those curious, although not everything I post here ends up there.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 13 2023 20:05 utc | 73

As I have been saying for a long time, but nobody takes notices, the objective of the proxy war against the RF is not the RF, but the PRC, standard "domino theory":

Posted by: Blissex | Feb 13 2023 19:53 utc | 66

Um, I think quite a few here are quite clear about that. I wrote about it last year and they wouldn’t even need freedom fighters. If you’re in the RF you can simply block any energy getting into China and bleed them try (from land and sea side).

Posted by: Zet | Feb 13 2023 20:05 utc | 74

The key fact is that USA has a $21 trillion GNP, China a $17, and Russia a $1.5 trillion GNP. The numbers therefore point to USA-China conflict.

Posted by: meshpal | Feb 13 2023 17:27 utc | 7

Almost everyone knows that GNP and GDP numbers are meaningless, and that includes most Western politicians and professionals who, nevertheless, invoke these numbers every opportunity they have because there is no other "evidence" of the "superiority" of the West.
Oldhippie (42) already explained that Russia was a competitor to the West in many important aspects except in finance. And this important fact is the only reason that the US engineered this conflict. They knew that Ukraine's military was no match for Russian military, and possibly even Ukrainian leaders knew this but were reassured to go along with the plan thinking that Russia will not attack for fear of a conflict with NATO. But the US was counting on the Russian invasion so that they could unleash the only really powerful weapon in their arsenal the financial one, i.e. sanctions and financial strangulation.

Since this did not work, many in the West are now thinking that they should have attacked China instead, because the overwhelming perception in the West is that China is militarily weaker opponent for the collective West. This seems to me the delusion of the same kind that inspired the economic war against Russia in the first place.

Posted by: Pagan | Feb 13 2023 20:06 utc | 75

You forgot to add something. The US warned its citizens to leave due to an imminent invasion. All the talking heads in the administration were openly saying this in the week prior.
Biden warns Americans in Ukraine to leave, says sending troops to evacuate would be 'world war'

Many here, including myself, thought it was all bovine excrement for it to happen that early. Obviously we were wrong. That being said, the word was out.

Posted by: circumspect | Feb 13 2023 20:08 utc | 76

just a stupid question - are here also bigger guys watching? :D

Posted by: Macpott | Feb 13 2023 20:09 utc | 77

Posted by: Pagan | Feb 13 2023 20:06 utc | 75

you are right but now "major" and "junior" partners are arranged already :)

Posted by: Macpott | Feb 13 2023 20:11 utc | 78

Posted by: Et Tu | Feb 13 2023 19:35 utc | 59

Thanks for your response, Et Tu. The 'line of attack', I note, b has referenced as being breached in several places during the cease fire, if that is your point.

But really, I was looking further afield at the record of western aggression from the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US onward - such a sad thought for anyone born into this awful stretch of years! And I do take note also of a poster's thought about the bioweapons labs - time may have been of the essence with respect to those also. The Russians homed in on those, and that seems to have flustered US officials. We may have much to thank the Russian army for in their capturing those.

I always remember Putin's saying "Do you know what you have done?" way back when all these events were, as Shakespeare would say, 'following close upon.' Countries disassembled one after another. No, Virginia, it did not always happen this way. There used to be trust; there used to be sanity; there used to be peaceful times. It wasn't perfect, but there used to be a feeling of progress in these areas. It didn't last, but it was.

Seymour Hersh is just a few years older than me - it gives me comfort that his spirit is strong. Thank you so much, Mr. Hersh. Alan Paton wrote "Cry the Beloved Country" and his memoir tells that he worked to make life in South American prisons compassionate towards young offenders. I read his books as a teenager; there are young people now reading what you have written. And there are those who will tell the truth.

It will out.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 13 2023 20:12 utc | 79

Pretty much.

Posted by: Josh | Feb 13 2023 20:16 utc | 80

@ AG 13

Possession is 9/10 the of the law. For many years Russia resisted intervening in Eastern Ukraine because it was part of a sovereign country. Only when Eastern Ukraine saw that they were about to be ll.out genocide by superpower KickAss and its EU vassals did she agree to hand over a copy of the front door to Putin's Russian Federation.

It's common sense and international law not to intervene in other people's marriages or genocides , as the quarrellers often side together against the one trying to intervene. You are not trying to help, you are part of the problem.

Those who secretly support/ depend on KickAss 's Nato umbrella , ( caveat Emptor ) are exactly equivalent to those who join the Russian Federation ( caveat Emptor ).
Once you give a copy of yout front door keys to the superpower, their clout is a diplomatic shield in International Law.

Why can't you understand somebody else's behaviour when it isxexactly the same as your own? This is the REAL problem, a lack
of basic spiritual capability to recognise the rights of others. People are free to choose socialism or capitalism. Not just the AtlantaShit
I'm right , you're wrong. I'm big , you're small. You have to conform to my idea about how the wotld is run.

Posted by: Giyane | Feb 13 2023 20:16 utc | 81

Posted by: Nilo Cruz | Feb 13 2023 19:50 utc | 65
«Here are just some of the examples:»

Almost everything you see on Youtube or in press releases or on blogs must be assumed to be either unrepresentative, fake or pure speculation based on hearsay.

Only well audited figures from direct investigation can give a real idea of what's happening in a war, and even the sides involved often don't have much of that.

The general rule is that anything that a side reports can only be used to disprove the claims of that side, so what is somewhat reliable is what both sides agree on, which is not much:

* 20-25% of Ukraine has declared independence from it and requested becoming a member of the Russian Federation and has been accepted.

* The sides are fighting hard in various places and neither is making much progress.

* The RF has deployed a small expeditionary force that is being slowly increased in size, and had some difficulties with counter-battery fire, communications and training, as Putin said on 2022-12-21, but they have a huge superiority in artillery.

* The fascist ukrainian government is losing equipment and people at a huge rate, as they have claimed many times when doing mobilization rounds and asking for the USA and NATO for supplies or the the USA and NATO to fight a proxy-war against the RF on their behalf (which is a really delusional).

Posted by: Blissex | Feb 13 2023 20:17 utc | 82

Just about everyone has forgotten the two "reconnaisance" armed vehicles that were in Russian territory JUST before PUTIN declared the SMO. They were arrested somewhere near Rostov-on-Don. (Note; I think this was the area, the actual place was in Russian held territory)
Since this doesn't fit the wests' narrative, it has been deliberatly glossed over. "Ukraine" entered the fray first - even if the men captured were there by some sort of unfortunate coincidence.

Something to look forward to is b's viewpoint about the complex manoeuvres by the Russian forces and the "pre-placing" of armoured vehicles as a warning, and also the exercises of 50'000 troops at the other end of Russia. Both of which constituted a latent warning to NATO.
Then the key of finding the real date set for the Ukrainian advance.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 13 2023 20:18 utc | 83

@AG | Feb 13 2023 17:26 utc | 6

reposted from Ukraine thread:

Glenn Greenwald has an interview with German politician Sahra Wagenknecht posted on rumble which I believe is of some interest but it seems linking to it is verboten.

Posted by: the pessimist | Feb 13 2023 20:18 utc | 84

It appeals to my historical sensibilities that we telescope back and forth from the longue durée to histoire événementielle. While b expertly dissects the daily (his journalist's preferences kicking in) we can paint history in the comments with a big brush 'against the grain' as Walter Benjamin said.
* 1999-2007: Russia Resurgent under Putin, this time with (an Orthodox) God on its side. Wants to be part of the world order.
* 1999-2007: Anglosphere Russophobes not happy. Strong Russian state = no access to Conquista 2.0.
* 2007: Putin realizes they will never deal with a strong Russia or accept her being strong at all...what must be done? Begins to build ties with RoW.
* 2008-9: GFC—any serious historical thinker can see a deindustrialised and financialised West is in decadent decline. Germany seeks to shore up its industrial position in the EU by closer ties with Russian energy, a NATO red flag right there.
* 1991-2014: Ukraine is ideal site for massive black op, a lawless mafia-ridden corrupt shithole that makes Albania look like Hollywood Hills. A gigantic intelligence, money, sex-slave, marriage-scam laundromat. Location: perfect for a Yugoslav-collapse Balkan war on Russia's doorstep. Embroil Russia in a quagmire for 20 years...
* 2014: Nice little coup cooked up by Interagency folks now adds crucial secret herbs and spices: Nazis and ethnic cleansing land-grab in Donbass. 'Bosnian-Serbification' of ethnic Russians, now demonic in western eyes after MH17 sacrifice.
* 2014-2019: Minsk shadow-play manages to fool Russian diplomats who unfortunately still believed there was a code of ethics and good faith that held in diplomatic negotiations. Slow to realise Western leadership is a sociopathic moral vacuum. Merkel plays double game (fake Minsk vs. real Nordstream), doesn't realise MI6 have been better at this for a loooong time. NATO priorities will be reasserted: keep the Bosch down.
* 2019-2021: US corporate oligarchy knows the writing is on the wall for late capitalism. Two last big throws of the manufacturing dice—Big Pharma and Big Weapons. Flu vaccines and itty-bitty proxy wars ain't cuttin' it. Enter Wuhan bat SARS and ratchet up the pressure in Donbass. Problem: MSM still reporting the truth. Initiate media protocol, swapping out 'evil COVID' for 'evil Putin'.
2022: we were all there, so we know what's gone down. Ukraine wasn't supposed to hold out that long and the wild card turned out to be mediocre 100IQs running US/UK policy. Russia simply stayed true to its glorious history, took a year or so to acclimatise and now moves like the juggernaut we all know it is. The western world in a hysterical miasma of absurdist fantasy about how the world works.
2023: what will the west screw up next? Mmm. Let's address structural inflation by raising interest rates! It will ruin the western middle classes without addressing any of the underlying macroeconomic realities! Fuck it: let's just nuke the place from orbit and start a woke colony on Mars.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 20:20 utc | 85

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 13 2023 20:18 utc | 83

Now that you mentioned it, I actually remember the supposed GoPro videos of two Ukrainian BMP vehicles entering Russian side of border. The video must still exist somewhere. The story is they got destroyed by FSB troops or something similar. There was also the bombing of FSB border checkpoint a day or two before.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 13 2023 20:24 utc | 86

Just a heads up, Canada, France & Brazil are advising their citizens to get out of Belarus asap.

Posted by: Mary | Feb 13 2023 20:26 utc | 87

didn´t say it´s easy
But what then?

Blow up something?
Shoot people?
Stay on my couch and watch Simpsons until the world goes up in flames. May be. But may be I´m lucky?


So, yes I rather do something.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 19:45 utc | 63


There is doing "something" and then there is doing something that will get us closer to our goals. Voting and petitions are mechanisms of control. They are options you can take relatively easily because they are not a threat to the power structure.

As for what you should do instead, I would recommend that you engage your intellect and innate creativity. There are limitless options but if you can only see the ones that won't bear fruit, then I feel for you, my friend.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Feb 13 2023 20:28 utc | 88

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 13 2023 20:24 utc | 87

IIRC the BMPs were trying to stage themselves to some attack position north or NE of Lugansk but they could've "accidentally" get lost in Russia. They actually were intending to attack Lugansk from Russian side.

Posted by: unimperator | Feb 13 2023 20:28 utc | 89

Posted by: Milos | Feb 13 2023 20:04 utc | 70

China just recently started to follow realising that US debt is a Damacles sword hanging from the US neck.

For future reference a sword of Damocles (sp.) hangs over one's head. Unless of course you meant that the sword is hanging from the US neck about to drop on someone else? China? In which case it's not clear what you mean.

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 20:34 utc | 90

Good info, and wasn't the lend-lease between the US and Ukraine already agreed in January 2022, to me it looks like this war against Russia had been planned out years before, Nato have been desperate to show they have a purpose, Nato should've been disbanded years ago.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Feb 13 2023 20:36 utc | 91

@LoveDonbass 89.

"I would recommend that you engage your intellect and innate creativity"

I´m working as an artist, Darling.

So, I guess I can live very well without your empathy.
but thx.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 20:39 utc | 92

So, yes I rather do something.

Posted by: AG | Feb 13 2023 19:45 utc | 63

I would suggest to start reading „From Dictatorship to Democracy“ by Gene Sharp. That’s the book the CIA/NED is still handing out to movements like the one in Hong Kong etc. And yes, it’s talking about dictatorship but the tactics should work right now too :-)

Posted by: Zet | Feb 13 2023 20:39 utc | 93

just a stupid question - are here also bigger guys watching? :D

Posted by: Macpott | Feb 13 2023 20:09 utc | 77

Of course, every social media forum and all popular political forums. They need to assess how effective the controlled insidious releases of “news” and communiques infiltrate the conversations. Just like the toilet paper crises at the start of the plandemic. How to ensure their action to curtail and and all individual sovereignty is working. Today we se the results of an exit strategy. Focus today on balloons means the media has effectively implemented the first diversionary stage for an exit strategy on Ukraine. Something else to keep the masses preoccupied.

Posted by: MervRitchie | Feb 13 2023 20:40 utc | 94

China just recently

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 20:34 utc | 91


Chinese Diplomat Wang Yi will attend the upcoming Munich Security Conference. I suppose he will want to talk about the importance gas pipelines have to European security.

Posted by: too scents | Feb 13 2023 20:41 utc | 95

Posted by: A.z | Feb 13 2023 19:01 utc | 48
«No, Ukraine wasn't planning to invade on February. The increased shelling was probably because Russia recognized both dpr and lpr»

So if Poland started bombing cities in Belarus that would not be an attack on Belarus? Because bombing is a gentle gesture of friendship?

«Ukraine probably thought about taking the rebel territories»

The fascist ukrainian government does not regard them as "rebel territories" but as *terrorists*.

«by force earlier but Russian show of force put a stop to it.»

This has happened for several years: the ukrainian fascists would start preparing to attack the LPR and DPR starting with a period of preparatory bombing, the RF and the Belarussian army would gather for "exercises" on the borders with Ukraine, the USA and EU propaganda would keep entirely silent about the ukrainian bombing and denounce the "unprovoked" and "aggressive" presence of RF/Belarus troops on their own borders, the ukrainian fascists would think again.

What changed in 2022 is that the RF government was pretty sure that the preparatory attack by the ukrainian fascists would be followed by a bigger attack, and decided to counter-attack.

Posted by: Blissex | Feb 13 2023 20:43 utc | 96

Hind-site is a wonderfully thing.
And it was weponized fully by the western perpetrators of this conflict.
Rules based order, we make the rules that you have to follow, we don't have to follow our rules.
Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, Iran, Venezuela.
What kind of world would we live in if the US became the self declared global police ? Take a look at the brutality Zelensky rules over in Ukraine even against the population he says he's defending.
Just cannon fodder to him and the US.
Thanks but no thanks.

Posted by: Mark2 | Feb 13 2023 20:44 utc | 97

Posted by: bevin | Feb 13 2023 18:54 utc | 46
Thank you. My first post here.

In addition I think it is entirely possible or even likely, that the RF leaked its plan, or a plan, to invade Ukraine to the US intelligence complex, and probably to intelligence services of other members of NATO, while in public having its representatives say they have no plan to invade.
The latter to not to appear in public as an aggressor threatening a war and invite more sanctions and a negative reaction from potential allies or neutrals, the former to get a reaction out of the US-controlled Ukraine and the US. The US reacted by getting their official personnel out of the country, from the embassy for example, and maybe left the instructors etc. in the country but in safer locations. The US had to evacuate, because if they hadn't, and somebody from there died, it would have been neglicence or something similar, not evacuating while knowing the attack will come, which would have been a problem for the US administration at home.

Others evacuated their embassies, too, as far as I remember. Meanwhile others left their embassies open, but no Nato-aligned country, I think.

The Ukraine was not allowed to react logically by moving troops to defensive positions, otherwise the invasion might have been postponed or cancelled by the RF.

So, if the RF leaked their plans, and have evidence for leaking them, then its representatives have a good tool to convince other countries that the US had planned this war all along. But there should not be any country left on earth to think otherwise...

If the topic of amassing troops for an invasion from the RF had been brought up in a UNSC-meeting for example, then the amassing of troops by the Ukraine at the contact line would have been brought up, too. This was not an option since the latter could be considered a breach of Minsk 2.

In hindsight I think it is safe to assume the US were on a schedule with this war. It is required as a cover for a lot of things, for example the origins of COVID19, Hunters laptop, the 2020 elections and so on. And it is fitted into the presidential election cycle of the US.

Posted by: MM | Feb 13 2023 20:52 utc | 98

Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 13 2023 20:20 utc | 85

Thanks, great summary

Posted by: MervRitchie | Feb 13 2023 20:55 utc | 99

unimperator | Feb 13 2023 20:28 utc | 90

An attack through Russian territory, would have been the second part of the pincer movement. (Along the sea of Azov as the first) Of the two reconnaisance vehicles, one may have parted this earthly soil rapidly, but I think the second one was simply captured.

Putin actually may have waited till there was a physical footprint on Russian soil, but obviously this has since been hidden by the MsM.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 13 2023 20:57 utc | 100

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