Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 18, 2023

Urging Ukraine To Sue For Peace

Larry Johnson has spotted one of the many signs that "the West" is giving up on its war in Ukraine:

This week’s “No Shit Analysis” award goes to Eugene B. Rumer for his Wall Street Journal op-ed, It’s Time to End Magical Thinking About Russia’s Defeat. Only took him 22 months to figure this out. He may be a slow learner but give him some credit, he finally awakened from his dream world and is beginning to grasp that the Ukraine project is swirling down the toilet.

Eugene B. Rumer is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington DC. Previously, he served at the State Department, on the staff of the National Security Council and at RAND.

Despite his pedigree, he is struggling to acknowledge reality and still feels the need to spin nonsense. Here is an example:

Putin has reason to believe that time is on his side. At the front line, there are no indications that Russia is losing what has become a war of attrition. The Russian economy has been buffeted, but it is not in tatters. Putin’s hold on power was, paradoxically, strengthened following Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed rebellion in June. Popular support for the war remains solid, and elite backing for Putin has not fractured.

Yep. Russia’s economy is so battered that it is headed toward 4% growth, its defense industry is out producing Europe and the United States combined, it is manufacturing new, more deadly drones and the stores across Russia are filled to the brim. If that is “battered” give me some.

More signs that the official foreign policy establishment is throwing the towel can be found in the current edition of Foreign Affairs. There the former head of the Council of Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, is urging the Biden administration to push the Ukraine towards negotiations:

Redefining Success in Ukraine - A New Strategy Must Balance Means and Ends - Foreign Affairs - Nov 17 2023

Well, yes, the U.S., NATO and the Ukraine have lost their war on Russia. Let's redefine that as victory and forget about the rest:

Ukraine’s counteroffensive appears to have stalled, just as wet and cold weather brings to a close the second fighting season in Kyiv’s effort to reverse Russian aggression. At the same time, the political willingness to continue providing military and economic support to Ukraine has begun to erode in both the United States and Europe. These circumstances necessitate a comprehensive reappraisal of the current strategy that Ukraine and its partners are pursuing.

Such a reassessment reveals an uncomfortable truth: namely, that Ukraine and the West are on an unsustainable trajectory, one characterized by a glaring mismatch between ends and the available means. Kyiv’s war aims—the expulsion of Russian forces from Ukrainian land and the full restoration of its territorial integrity, including Crimea—remain legally and politically unassailable. But strategically they are out of reach, certainly for the near future and quite possibly beyond.

The time has come for Washington to lead efforts to forge a new policy that sets attainable goals and brings means and ends into alignment. The United States should begin consultations with Ukraine and its European partners on a strategy centered on Ukraine’s readiness to negotiate a cease-fire with Russia and to simultaneously switch its military emphasis from offense to defense.

Defense like offense needs a certain balance of power. With a ten to one Russian superiority in artillery and air attack capability there is no way for Ukraine to hold onto any defense line. The following is thus mere fantasy:

Russia may well reject Ukraine’s offer of a cease-fire. But even if the Kremlin proves intransigent, Ukraine’s shift from offense to defense would limit the continuing loss of its soldiers, enable it to direct more resources to long-term defense and reconstruction, and shore up Western support by demonstrating that Kyiv has a workable strategy aimed at attainable goals. Over the longer term, this strategic pivot would make it clear to Russia that it cannot simply hope to outlast Ukraine and the West’s willingness to support it. That realization may eventually convince Moscow to move from the battlefield to the negotiating table—a move that would be to Ukraine’s ultimate advantage, since diplomacy offers the most realistic path for ending not only the war but also, over the long term, Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territory.

That seems to presume that Russia will be done after completely taking the four oblast it has already integrated. That's not so:

In remarks at a recent meeting on November 3 on the eve of the National Unity Day with members of the federal and regional heads of civic chambers at the Victory Museum in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin repeated once again that Russia is “defending our moral values, our history, our culture, our language, including by helping our brothers and sisters in Donbass and Novorossiya to do the same. This is the key to today’s events.”

A noted political figure from Ukraine, Vladimir Rogov who used to be a lawmaker in Kiev reminded Putin with passionate intensity, “Believe me, we, people living in the southern part of Russia, which was cut off from its roots for 30 years, are, in fact, a storehouse of the Russian people’s historical forces, which was mothballed and could not make any efforts to regenerate our great Russia.”

Putin responded by underscoring the historical fact that Novorossiya constituted “the South Russian lands – all the Black Sea region and so on” that were founded by Catherine the Great after a series of wars with the Ottoman Empire.

Those Russian lands, which the Soviets - for no good reason- submitted to Soviet Ukrainian administration, will be repatriated.

The Biden administration knows that there is nothing it can do about that and that there is only little chance to provide Ukraine with the $30 billion it will need to finance next years deficit:

Penny Pritzker, US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Recovery, has suggested that officials imagine how the country could survive economically without US aid during her first visit to Ukraine.
...
Pritzker met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the prime minister and government officials, the chairman of the parliament and American businesses. In addition, she even attended a congress of regional authorities together with Andrii Yermak, Head of the President's Office.

Ukrainska Pravda stated that her first visit to Ukraine had left "a rather disturbing aftertaste in many government offices" here.

One of the sources, familiar with the course of Pritzker's meetings, said that she tried to "lead [them] to the idea" of how Ukraine could survive economically without American aid.

With no more money coming in to be looted from, the corrupt officials of Ukraine will lose the ability to feed their greed. They will ask why they should fight a war, and endure the resulting hyper inflation (in Russian), when there is no way left to profit from it? (machine translation):

The [growth of the dollar exchange] rate will strongly depend on the volume and timeliness of international aid arriving in Ukraine. If indeed, as the financial authorities warn, the amount of external aid will be significantly less than planned in the budget (the Ministry of Finance says that at the moment the hole is $ 29 billion), then one of the most likely ways to solve the problem may be to devalue the hryvnia - so that the budget receives more hryvnia for incoming dollars and euros of international aid.

There will come a point in time for Russia to make on offer that the Ukrainian officialdom and people can not resist. Cheap gas, lots of trade in exchange for Ukrainian official acceptance of new Russian borderlines around Novorossiya as well as political and military neutrality.

This was inevitable.

Here is what I wrote on February 24, 2022, the day Russian troops first crossed the border to Ukraine:

Looking at this map I believe that the most advantageous end state for Russia would be the creation of a new independent country, call it Novorussiya, on the land east of the Dnieper and south along the coast that holds a majority ethnic Russian population and that, in 1922, had been attached to the Ukraine by Lenin. That state would be politically, culturally and militarily aligned with Russia.


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This would eliminate Ukrainian access to the Black Sea and create a land bridge towards the Moldavian breakaway Transnistria which is under Russian protection.

Novorossiya, the red and yellow parts, will not be, like I assumed, an independent country, but will become full fledged parts of the Russian Federation. Otherwise my prediction about the end-state of this war is holding up. What's left of Ukraine, poor as it is, will have to agree to it.

Without ever increasing amounts of new money and weapons flowing into Ukraine the "West" has nothing left to counter a Russian offer. It is good to see that it is finally acknowledging that.

Posted by b on November 18, 2023 at 11:00 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The reason they now pushing for it is they will lose most of Ukraine and won't be able to " try again ". They have not had a change of heart or suddenly seen the light. They knew They were lying from the get go.

They are trying to freeze the conflict in order to pause re-arm and try again later. Because right now they are facing defeat.

So ALL eyes will ultimately end up being on Russia. What they accept as a peace settlement. Because it is two sets of the upper class elites who will come up with the compramise. I'm convinced billions of normal lower class folk will be very disappointed.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 11:13 utc | 1

If there are negotiations at all when Ukraine runs out of money, weapons, and soldiers, I believe Russia will demand more territory than the Black Sea region. Maybe not as part of Russia proper, but a separate demilitarized zone. Lets not forget the original demands in the draft treaty of December 2021. Get rid of MK 41 launchers in Poland and Romania, and NATO back to 1997 borders. Sooner or later, NATO will capitulate.

Posted by: Chicago Bob | Nov 18 2023 11:17 utc | 2

The article of the WSJ denoucing the "magical thinking" is in itself full of magical thinking. Proof: it advocates the "containment strategy" of the cold war which is quite impossible now, and is still on the final goal to eventually defeat Russia on the ground - in a few years after reloading and preparing.

So it's a step toward the ineluctable outcome - decisive Russian victory - but not the last one.

Posted by: w | Nov 18 2023 11:31 utc | 3

Posted by: Chicago Bob | Nov 18 2023 11:17 utc | 2

I've convinced myself to doubt it. All of Eastern Ukraine up to the river and Odessa to have a bridge to transnistria should be how it ends.

I've convinced myself it won't and will look more like the original peace plan agreed in Istanbul before America, the UK and Germany scuppered it.

All that matters is business and money and like any gangster movie it was nothing personal just business. No matter how many were killed during the family feud business is all that matters. It's simply the far right world we all now live in.

At least all the killing will be stopped on both sides. However, nothing fundamental will change as voters are recklessly sleep walking from one con trick to another. Convincing themselves they have found their new billionaire class saviour and that "THIS" member of the billionaire class will save them.

History is littered and graffitied with such folly.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 11:32 utc | 4

https://news.sky.com/story/italys-pm-giorgia-meloni-talks-of-ukraine-war-fatigue-after-falling-victim-to-prank-call-by-russian-comedians-12998945

You only have to hear the sigh, when ‘Putin’ mentions Ukraine, to tell you all you need to know about the West’s view of their dead proxy walking.

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 11:33 utc | 5

"Here is what I wrote on February 24, 2022, the day Russian troops first crossed the border to Ukraine:"

There were many people writing about this well before Feb 24, 2022. I wrote about it myself in 2014 and that was well after reading about it elsewhere.

Posted by: Bluedog57 | Nov 18 2023 11:47 utc | 6

b, you are neither a historian of Russian history nor of the Russian Revolution, nor do you know anything about the socio-cultural & the historical interrelations of the Black Sea region.
Comments like: "Those Russian lands, which the Soviets - for no good reason- submitted to Soviet Ukrainian administration, will be repatriated." make you look like an ignorantus.

It's a bit more complicated than a biased Rogov implies.

Posted by: v | Nov 18 2023 11:55 utc | 7

b- you should include most of the green area as well as part of the expanded RF.

Those Galicians and Volhynians who hate Russia can move west and live in Poland.

Remember, Kiev is the foundational city of the Russian State. Remember also that it was Kievan Rus that defeated the Khazars. And after Putin, who? Medvedev?

Also, a land connection is needed to Kaliningrad. Sorry, Lithuania. You will reap what you’ve sown.

Jetzt, mein Deutscher kamerad, what will y’all do to save your nation from its submission to the USA?

Think fast, because America’s time is running short, and when we’re broke, we’ll throw you and the rest of NATO away like a used Kleenex. Perhaps you can make arrangements with Poland, Czechia, and Austria.

Posted by: OldFart | Nov 18 2023 12:01 utc | 8

@7, its spelt "ignoramus". Freudian slip?

Posted by: Chairman Meow | Nov 18 2023 12:15 utc | 9

Ukraine Weekly Update: May be useful to some: https://robcampbell.substack.com/p/ukraine-weekly-update-be8

Posted by: Robert Hamilton Camp | Nov 18 2023 12:17 utc | 10

Judging by this map, it seems most of the mineral deposits (and most valuable mineral deposits, including titanium) are about within 100km of Kirovograd. The titanium . The least goal would probably be to deny the use of titanium to the west. One of the chief aims should be at least to deny the west of using mineral deposits in Ukraine, but that would occur automatically with the buffer state + Novorrossiya plan.

We have seen more signals from Ukraine authorities, including Zelensky himself imposing questions. If on the basis that Ukraine is "rented" to fight the war for the west, if the west can't deliver, the rent will go unpaid and suddenly you will see the country fragmenting.

I think it would be a huge win to get China on board to develop Donbass. I believe they already have reopened steel production. Getting China in will help sway more of remnant Ukraine toward the east later on. The west will not rebuild the western part, they will plunder and loot it.

Posted by: unimperator | Nov 18 2023 12:21 utc | 11

There will come a point in time for Russia to make on offer that the Ukrainian officialdom and people can not resist. Cheap gas, lots of trade in exchange for Ukrainian official acceptance of new Russian borderlines around Novorossiya as well as political and military neutrality.

That deal was there all along.

The problem is that Ukrainian nationalism is not a rational thing.

We are talking about people who almost all have literal biological cousins in Russia, and on occasions brothers, sisters and fathers/sons too (as a famous example, the commander of the Joint Forces of the AFU is Sergey Nayev, and his brother is on the Russian side in Crimea), but are calling Russians orcs, subhumans, etc. and are claiming genetic racial superiority over them. Complete, total insanity.

Of course the West cannot offer Ukrainians anything tangible -- it has been essentially bankrupt since the 1970s when the really cheap oil in Texas peaked; it has been all papering over the cracks by sucking resources out from the rest of the world through a combination of brute force and covert means. And of course Russia can because it has the real tangible resources. Plus the deep historical integration of the economies. And Russia is the only side interested in actually developing Ukraine -- the West will take over and suck it dry, as it already did to most of Eastern Europe.

But Ukrainian elites are better off as vassals of the West, and at this point the mass of truly brainwashed regular nationalists is very large too. A second generation is now growing in that detached from historical reality bubble.

Maybe there are still residual pro-Russian forces that can somehow take over but this is not getting resolved without military occupation deep to the west of Kiev.

And after this war there can never be such a thing as friendly towards Russia consciously Ukrainian Ukrainians. You have to do de-Ukrainization or this will be a festering and ever worsening wound forever.

If the Kremlin leaves it here, the West has won a decisive, though not total victory.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 12:24 utc | 12


Penny Pritzker, US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Recovery, has suggested that officials imagine how the country could survive economically without US aid during her first visit to Ukraine.
...
Pritzker met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the prime minister and government officials, the chairman of the parliament and American businesses. In addition, she even attended a congress of regional authorities together with Andrii Yermak, Head of the President's Office.

Is there anyone in this cast of characters that is not a Jew????

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 12:28 utc | 13

Those Galicians and Volhynians who hate Russia can move west and live in Poland.

Posted by: OldFart | Nov 18 2023 12:01 utc | 8

There was this report from yesterday:

https://twitter.com/defnotfsb/status/1725577007193293238

"I'm Russian... I won't shoot my own people"

Resident of Volyn oblast refused to enlist after receiving summons. There're millions more like him in the Ukraine who've resisted decades of brainwashing and aren't afraid to admit who and what they are. Moscow must liberate them.

There are still pro-Russian people well to the west of Kiev. In fact the major cities there were still Russian speaking until fairly recently except core Banderistan (which does not include Volhynia).

They are a shrinking minority, but they exist, and it is not impossible to rebuild around them.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 12:31 utc | 14

If the Kremlin leaves it here, the West has won a decisive, though not total victory.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 12:24 utc | 12

Regardless of where the Kremlin leaves it, if the four primary objectives of the SMO have been accomplished, Putin has won.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 12:31 utc | 15

Comments like: "Those Russian lands, which the Soviets - for no good reason- submitted to Soviet Ukrainian administration, will be repatriated." make you look like an ignorantus.

It's a bit more complicated than a biased Rogov implies.

Posted by: v | Nov 18 2023 11:55 utc | 7

It is a bit more complicated indeed, but it is also true that if they wanted to, the Soviets could have drawn the borders differently. Brest-Litovsk (which plays a major but underappreciated role here) was in retrospective an unforced own goal too, but even with it, things could have been very different.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 12:37 utc | 16

I've convinced myself to doubt it. All of Eastern Ukraine up to the river and Odessa to have a bridge to transnistria should be how it ends.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 11:32 utc | 4

As has been discussed countless times, this actually does not resolve the major reason the war started -- missiles. The threat was to have those in Kharkov and Sumy, with 5 minutes flight time.

"all of Eastern Ukraine up to the river and Odessa" means they will now have a flight time of 6 minutes, not 5. No real difference.

It also does not achieve the openly stated goals of the SMO:

Regardless of where the Kremlin leaves it, if the four primary objectives of the SMO have been accomplished, Putin has won.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 12:31 utc | 15

And what about denazification? How is that possibly going to be done without ending Ukrainian statehood and eradicating the very idea of Ukraine as a separate ethnicity? At the moment there is absolutely no possibility of non-Nazi Ukrainian nationalism, because every single Ukrainian nationalist of note to have ever lived has been a Nazi (some even before the Nazis in Germany were Nazis), and the connection between these things has only grown stronger over time.

Leaving that cancer to fester guarantees another war down the line.

But back to missiles -- the real goal of the SMO is achieved only when the possibility of situating missiles is pushed back not just beyond the Dnieper but to the Atlantic. That means getting the US out of Poland, Romania, and now Scandinavia too. How far away are we from that after what has happened the last 20 months?

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 12:43 utc | 17

#layout

Zelensky realized that his rating is going down, there will be no victories, but there will be a “retreat”, the economy is in a coma, social services will have to be cut, tariffs and prices will have to be raised, the hryvnia will be devalued, illegal mobilization will continue, and a couple of dozen other problems (corruption , crime, redistribution of elites, conflict with the military, political repression, language scandals, destroyed healthcare and education systems, drug dominance, fuel and energy crisis, etc.).
This is all great for the Maidan/coup.

Zelensky understands this, and as usual, he accused that it was the Russians who were preparing Maidan-3. I immediately remembered how Poroshenko, also in agony, tried to save his power and invented all sorts of Russian operations to destabilize Ukraine, such as the “Shatun” plan.

We have been writing for a long time that there will be a Maidan in Ukraine if the conflict enters the “smoldering/frozen” stage.
This is indicated by many factors, and the “ground” is already ready, especially since the Maidan can be organized by Western structures that are fed up with Zelensky, who is interfering with them in the global game.

In November , we insided that two external factors would provoke the Maidan in Kiev.
1. The war in Israel will drag on
2. Ukraine will not receive new loans in the required quantity.

We are watching.
@Legitimny

Posted by: unimperator | Nov 18 2023 12:55 utc | 18

Is there anyone in this cast of characters that is not a Jew????

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 12:28 utc | 13

tsk tsk Mr Bungle


according to all the AntiImperialist/Marxist interlekchewals that comment at this site, thats just a coincidence.

No conclusion other than "It's a coincidence!" can be ever allowed to be uttered.

Ignore the fact that for decades when WASP's were at the forefront these people were more than happy to point out at every opportunity that the show was being rigged to exclusively benefit WASPs and maintain their corrupt power structures.

Now its all just a coincidence and any other conclusion you may be tempted to reach, regarding certain groups rigging the game exclusively for their benefit and everyone else's detriment, means you must be a filthy racist/antiSemite.

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 12:57 utc | 19

-B-

In reading thoroughly the cited articles, I disagree with your analysis that “reality” or “reassessment” and resetting of goals.

There’s nothing here but a bunch of doublespeak & divergence of narrative. The articles themselves reflect Russia will not agree to any form of a ceasefire that would allow Ukraine an opportunity to rearm, reorganize (appears US/UK want to install new governance & new military body).
This should not be mistaken for any realm of “burying” or “walking away” from Ukraine.

On the contrary, I see this situation more dangerous than ever, up to and including the coming use of biological, chemical & even dirty bombs coming, either in Ukraine or directl terror on a major scale deep inside Russia territory.

Regardless of these “article” or “business/banking leaders”wishes, the NATO/US is far from a “walk away” …
The scorn and revenge as well as the ever increasing “scorch earth” policies of the Empire… we can all expect a major campaign in both Ukraine & Russia soon.
The U.S. /NATO have plenty, plenty of weapons at their disposal of varying devastating weapons regardless of not having 155 mm ammo.

Anyways, I’m not believing any of these “reasonable” arguments for “reality” acceptance… as the US/UK/NATO are neither “reasonable “ or “really based” and absolutely nothing in position of the EU/UK/EU has changed. These nation states love 20 year long wars. And $$$ is hardly a consideration ever before and none now. There are way too many people that want to believe US is some “weakened” Empire status and its BS.

Posted by: Trubind1 | Nov 18 2023 13:01 utc | 20

@Echo Chamber #1,4
There are no parts of your so-called analysis which are credible in my view.
Among the more egregious errors: confusing Putin with Western "leaders".
Perhaps you have forgotten that Putin has enormous approval ratings in Russia - they rise and fall but have always been strong, and are pretty much historically strong now.
Perhaps you have forgotten that Putin has been at the helm in Russia for almost the entire period since 2000. He has no need or interest in grifting in order to enjoy a hedonistic lifestyle a la Obama; he clearly enjoys doing what he has been doing: being Russia's leader.
Perhaps you are ignorant of the reality that Putin brought the Russian oligarchs to heel - not the other way around. He made them an offer they could not refuse and the offer was accepted by most - with the remainder getting broken with Khodorkovski as object lesson. Even Fridman and Aven just recently admitted that it was a mistake investing heavily in the West.

From my view: I don't see Putin or Russia having any specific objectives set in stone.
The reality is that the Ukraine situation has demilitarized the West and destabilized Western economies, with the economic effects in turn upsetting Western politics.
So long as the US and/or Europe continues to dump money and equipment into Ukraine, and the Ukrainians continue to allow its manifestly incompetent military and political leadership to remain, Russia has no need to terminate the situation.
If the Ukraine situation persists long enough, the European security situation will be resolved via Europe deindustrializing to the point of global irrelevance.
I further posit that the only ways that a negotiated agreement of any kind with Ukraine will be accepted by Russia are:
1) unconditional Ukraine surrender followed by 1945 style dictates by Russia to Ukraine
2) Chinese peacekeepers enforcing demilitarization and buffer zones because the West has repeatedly shown that it is agreement-incapable.
The latter is extremely unlikely simply because the anti-China faction in the US would never accept the resulting turbocharging of China into the role of international peacekeeper - the role which the US pretends to fill.
Outright conquest won't be necessary unless Russia decides it wants a land corridor linking to Hungary and from Hungary, to Serbia. Such an action would be as a result of a decision to completely destroy Ukraine as it would also mean taking full control over the Soviet era natural gas pipelines into Europe, thus removing the only other source of foreign income for Ukraine besides GMO food crops. It is not clear to me that this is necessary, in Russia's view, given Europe's fierce desire to deindustrialize itself.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 13:03 utc | 21

@v #7
The victors write the maps and history books.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 13:05 utc | 22

If Russia is so overwhelmingly offensively powerful, why aren't they taking territory? Why did it take 9 months for Bakhmut? Several for Avdiivka? Why did they wait for the U advance instead of mounting their own? Why did they get kicked out of Kherson and the Kharkiv area? Why did the have to build massive defensive fortifications?

It's a long way to Odessa. And Russia is not even taking the initiative at Kherson.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 18 2023 13:12 utc | 23

Now its all just a coincidence and any other conclusion you may be tempted to reach, regarding certain groups rigging the game exclusively for their benefit and everyone else's detriment, means you must be a filthy racist/antiSemite.

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 12:57 utc | 19

You mean you tell me if I labelled one side of a dice "Jew" and it came up "Jew" 7 out of ten rolls nobody would cry foul because it's anti semitism?

I'll buy those odds!

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 13:16 utc | 24

Insider reports (Rezident_UA) say Zelensky has no intention to negotiate on anything regardless of western pressure. Guess that solves the problem of potential risk for Minsk III.

It seems increasingly likely that no one will ever announce a definite end of the Ukraine conflict. Remember, a lot of neoliberal and neocon outlets in the west are expecting some sort of Korea scenario, or agreement after which they could announce "the west won".

It will never come. The combat intensity will simply trend downwards, while increasing and decreasing around the baseline, until it fades away completely during next year. It lasts until it doesn't, as long as someone still shows up on the front. This seems more likely, but incomprehensible to most people.

Also:

The “hunt” for citizens of military age continues in Ukraine. Military commissars are rowing everyone, including sick and crippled citizens, trying to fulfill the plan, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot say that they are very happy with this state of affairs. The fact is that the “volunteers” in Ukraine have long been transferred (some died, some became disabled due to injury, and some received mental injuries), and now the commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine receive poorly motivated and undertrained civilians, not only those unable to carry out combat missions, but also endangering their comrades in arms.

At the same time, the mobilization resource in Ukraine is actually running out—there are not enough military personnel in the country for long-term military operations. Ukrainian experts note that the total mobilization resource in the country is about 1.8 million people (with a specific total mobilization). At the same time, there are already about a million people in the Ukrainian army and another 500 thousand in various state power structures, which are also mobilized in their own way - the police, the SBU, civil servants, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and so on. That is, Ukraine’s mobilization resource may be exhausted already in early/mid 2024.

Posted by: unimperator | Nov 18 2023 13:19 utc | 25

Even if Putin could keep the conquered territory, the SMO wouldn't be a success with NATO at the border. To make it a success that Putin can sell and that the sacrifices are worth it, the east of Ukraine must become and remain neutral.

Posted by: Oliver Krug | Nov 18 2023 13:34 utc | 26

With 10-1 artillery advantage Russia can safely stand back and pulverise the Ukies into the mud and slush. Then walk in unresisted.

Posted by: Surferket | Nov 18 2023 13:50 utc | 27

25 - That would mean any movement on the issue depends on removing Zelensky. However, he already bears quite a resemblance to Diem in Vietnam and may share the same ultimate fate.

Posted by: Waldorf | Nov 18 2023 13:58 utc | 28

@Anonymous #23

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 14:00 utc | 29

The fact that Nazis like UptoEleven (# 19) still cling to such a discredited and puerile piece of propaganda as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, seeing a conspiration from a "certain ethnicity" to rule the world, shows how little culture and knowledge have to do with their gutter analysis.

Contrary to what you assume, of course for Marxists there is no "coincidence" in the fact that Jews are over-represented in certain professions and classes. This is the result of history, a history shaped by non-Jews, by the way. For millennia Jews were barred from owning real estate, tilling fields & re. They were allowed finance (just to circumvent the prohibition of interests for Christians), and some intellectual professions. In the Ottoman Empire, they were allowed to be merchants. Not being allowed to invest in real estate, they heavily invested in instruction and culture: something no king can seize from you when expelling you.
Furthermore, in Catholic Europe they were forced to live in towns, in enclosed spaces called "ghettos", so they became an urban part of the population. They became, all of them, bourgeoisie.
When urban bourgeoisie took power, Jews were highly advantaged from their position. So, no, there is no "coincidencec, just mere consequences of political decisions taken by us" Gentiles"

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc | 30

@Anonymous #23

If Russia is so overwhelmingly offensively powerful, why aren't they taking territory?

Because the publicly announced Russian military strategy is attrition, not the taking of territory.

Why did it take 9 months for Bakhmut? Several for Avdiivka?
Because both of those areas are extremely heavily fortified. Literally the most heavily fortified areas in all of Ukraine.
Why did they wait for the U advance instead of mounting their own?
See above: attrition.
Why did they get kicked out of Kherson and the Kharkiv area?
The Russian military left Kherson because they accurately assessed that Ukraine would destroy the upstream Khakovka dam. They didn't get kicked out - they left on their own terms and inflicted massive casualties on Ukrainian forces in the process.

Kharkiv was taken before the Russian military grew by several hundred thousand troops plus many hundreds of thousands of volunteers/contract soldiers - and like Kherson, the AFU gains were made at the expense of massive losses

Why did the have to build massive defensive fortifications?
Because that's what competent militaries do. Warfare is about both offense and defense. Building fortifications allow a military to defend with fewer troops than otherwise, thus freeing up said troops for greater area of defense and/or offense.

Incompetent militaries, on the other hand, go all-in on magical thinking offensives to the Sea of Azov that fail miserably.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 14:07 utc | 31

Slightly OT:

http://avia.pro/news/ssha-peredadut-yaponii-400-krylatyh-raket-tomagavk

How to get profitably rid of obsolete junk :)

Posted by: Catilina | Nov 18 2023 14:11 utc | 32

Posted by: v | Nov 18 2023 11:55 utc

You care to enlighten us with your version of it all ?

Posted by: Stephane | Nov 18 2023 14:19 utc | 33

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc | 30

That was well summed up !

Posted by: Stephane | Nov 18 2023 14:21 utc | 34

Penny Pritzker? This is so laughable. Next up is her 400 pound brother/sister Jennifer. Penny's experience is real estate scams with Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 18 2023 14:21 utc | 35

The Russian military left Kherson because they accurately assessed that Ukraine would destroy the upstream Khakovka dam. They didn't get kicked out - they left on their own terms and inflicted massive casualties on Ukrainian forces in the process.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 14:07 utc | 31

Sure, when one puts it like that, the decision seemingly makes sense.

But in the broader context it is a shocking development.

Blowing up dams is the kind of thing for which nukes fly. That dam was fully within Russian constitutional territory and Kherson city is a regional capital.

What happened:

1) The Kremlin was not able to deter NATO from blowing up a major infrastructural object
2) Then it surrendered a regional capital without a fight.

How is that even possible?

Sure, the other side could threaten to blow up the dam all the want, but Russia is the largest nuclear power in the world, and such blackmail should simply not be possible -- there should be consequences for those who try such things that would make them not even think of trying them in the first place. And we know that the Kremlin has the technical means to swiftly hand out justice if it wants to.

So how did that situation ever develop and what does that say about the Kremlin's conduct in all this?

And why has the Kremlin never mentioned Kherson as something that will eventually be recovered ever since? It has been a whole year. Not a word.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 14:26 utc | 36

It will never come. The combat intensity will simply trend downwards, while increasing and decreasing around the baseline, until it fades away completely during next year. It lasts until it doesn't, as long as someone still shows up on the front. This seems more likely, but incomprehensible to most people.

Posted by: unimperator | Nov 18 2023 13:19 utc | 25

Russia has, by my count, around 80 cities bigger than Avdeevka that must be taken before a satisfactory outcome of the war is achieved, of them 25 bigger than Severodonetsk and Lisichansk (the last major properly successful offensive operations), and 7 bigger than Mariupol (the largest city taken)

How is that going to happen with "downwards trending combat intensity"?

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 14:32 utc | 37

Arch Bungle @ 13

Not quite. Not all Jews, all Ukrainian Jews.

And I am a bit off in my #35. Jennifer is not a brother/sister but a cousin.

Fortunately my personal business dealing with Jennifer did not go far. Have two old friends who were in J.B. Pritzker's bed (and paid for that service), the family is scum of the earth.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 18 2023 14:33 utc | 38

Shadowbanned here to deliver you your daily dose of Empire propaganda. Tell me more about your concerns shadowbanned. It's an effective window into the thinking of the dipshits planning the war against Russia. Wishful thinking, distortions, celebrations of terrorist actions as victories.

The fact is Maerica and her hangers-on have comprehensively lost they're just too stupid to realize it yet.

Posted by: Doctor Eleven | Nov 18 2023 14:36 utc | 39

>> "Novorossiya, the red and yellow parts, will not be, like I assumed, an independent country, but will become full fledged parts of the Russian Federation. Otherwise my prediction about the end-state of this war is holding up. What's left of Ukraine, poor as it is, will have to agree to it."


Quite possible. This will create massive problems for both Ukraine, and its Western backers: 90 % of the value created in Ukraine, both industrial and agriculture, is created in the red zone, with its fertile soil and its natural resources. And the access to the Black Sea.

How is the green part of Ukraine going to earn its living? And who is going to live there? Anybody young and healthy enough to work will either have left the country, or died in the war.

Sooner or later, Ms. von der Leyen and Mr. Stoltenberg are going to understand this as well, and they'll be considerably less enthusiastic about welcoming Ukraine in NATO and EU.


And once the good people of Ukraine realise that soon, they'll be without agriculture, without an economy and without Europe and America sending them all the money the ask for - they might find the perspective of the old Ukraine, green and yellow and red and possibly even grey, with a neutral or even pro-Russian government, not such a bad alternative.

Selensky may be right fearing Maidan 3.0. Especially now that a lot of his Nazi-friends have died at the front, and his own army is beginning to realise they might be better off without him.

Posted by: Marvin | Nov 18 2023 14:38 utc | 40

Shadowbanned here to deliver you your daily dose of Empire propaganda.

Posted by: Doctor Eleven | Nov 18 2023 14:36 utc | 39

He's been at this two years straight and can't admit Putin was right from the start on almost every detail and decision of the SMO.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 14:45 utc | 41

now the us will enter it's "withdrawing from Afghanistan phase". can't wait for the predictions that "we have supplied Urkaine with enough weapons and trained their personnel so they should be able to handle the Taliban without any trouble. whoops, meant the obviously weak Russian military---anyway, it's all good. It's off to Gaza and Taiwan now!"

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2023 14:57 utc | 42

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 14:32 utc | 37

but are those 80 cities as well fortified as Avdeevka? i don't think so.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2023 15:04 utc | 43

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 18 2023 13:12 utc | 23

‘Overwhelmingly offensively powerful’ means just that, you have the capability to pick which strategies your opponent is forced to respond to. Russia’s High Command for reasons that are only known to herself, and outsiders can only attempt to divine, has decided to go for a slo-mo SMO. Whilst controlling the battle space is a vital component for this option, one area of Russian supremacy is the main enabler, controlling the clock Russia therefore has the luxury of dictating the pace, with little that her enemies can do about the chosen tempo.

So the question really should be reframed, with all the cards in her hand why shouldn’t they take months to reduce heavily fortified cities, why shouldn’t they relinquish ground that is strategically indefensible? Accelerating the tempo when it’s not a necessity, is playing into the hands of your enemy, why do that. Russia’s economy has improved both in its resilience and power, as has its armed forces and industries and ministries involved in the conflict, whilst correspondingly weakening those of the West. Why change now?

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 15:13 utc | 44

but are those 80 cities as well fortified as Avdeevka? i don't think so.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2023 15:04 utc | 43

The river alone is a gigantic fortification.

Look at what is happening in Krynki now with the higher right bank.

Now imagine trying to take Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Kremenchuk, or Kiev itself with AFU firing from the other side of the river and no major axis of attack from Belaurs down the right bank (which there are no signs of in the coming at least six months).

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 15:13 utc | 45

Neocons scums said that Russia is just a Gas Station.

Posted by: Andrrew | Nov 18 2023 15:16 utc | 46

@unimperator #25

The combat intensity will simply trend downwards, while increasing and decreasing around the baseline, until it fades away completely during next year. It lasts until it doesn't, as long as someone still shows up on the front. This seems more likely, but incomprehensible to most people.

Do you actually follow what is happening in Ukraine?
The combat intensity, in the form of Ukrainian offensives, has declined to zero on that side but the Russians are pushing along the entire line of contact...and more importantly, making clear progress.
All this without giant groups of troops or grand announcements.
It seems that your analysis is based on the assumption that Ukraine can defend despite its artillery, air defense, drone, manpower and other deficiencies.
BigSerge quoted a non-Sun-Tzu general in his latest Substack publication:

In military affairs there are five essential points. If able to attack, you must attack. If not able to attack, you must defend. If not able to defend, you must flee. The remaining two points entail only surrender or death.

Ukraine is working its way down the list. The events of the summer demonstrated that it cannot successfully attack strongly held Russian positions. Events in Avdivvka and elsewhere now test whether they can defend their position in the Donbas against rising Russian force generation. If they fail this test, it will be time to flee, surrender, or die. Such is the way of things when the time for reckoning comes.

I agree with this 100%.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 15:18 utc | 47

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 14:32 utc | 37

You know this isn’t a game of Command & Conquer? You realise the capture of Avdivka unhinges the entire Ukrainian defence in the East and threatens the South. You do know that Russian military planners will only directly assault a city if, and only if, they think its capture will lead to immediate operational and strategic consequences, both in military and political terms. You do know that?

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 15:22 utc | 48

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 15:13 utc | 44

Another reason for going slow: the cities along the line of contact are reduced to rubble. Better to contain the damage along this line while bleeding the AFU to combat incapability than a moving line of contact that destroys every city in its path. These are Russian speaking cities.

Posted by: Mike R | Nov 18 2023 15:24 utc | 49

@30 g

If you have ever encountered gypsies who interact with businesses in the west, you would immediately notice something about them: they do not identify with the host culture, in actuality disdain it, and will exploit it for materialistic gain without a shred of conscience. They are a people who choose to "dwell alone." Does this mean we need to kill them? No. Through the virtue of the west, we have a live and let live MO, with exceptions throughout the years, of course, including civil war and displacement of native peoples.

The idea, therefore, that it is unreasonableto point out those among us who have not pulled their weight and have, as a matter of fact, worked towards a spirit of degeneracy through nepotism, tribal identity (rejection of the universal), and pushing harmful practices of usury, pornography, and infiltrating politics for insidious ends is counterproductive. The great work of Ron Unz and many writers/thinkers over there who have done scholarly work there to raise the question should be encouraged. Just as in the BDS movement, we should be allowed as Christians to withhold consent from hostile interlopers that seek to undo the accomplishments of the west tempered by Christianity.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 18 2023 15:27 utc | 50

If Russia is so overwhelmingly offensively powerful, why aren't they taking territory?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 18 2023 13:12 utc | 23

To put this in perspective it took CJTF–OIR 9 months and a force of 110,000 soldiers to liberate Mosul which was defended by 10,000 ISIS militants in 2015.

This was with the full force of USAF air power and artillery and those ISIS militants weren't getting NATO ISR, NATO training and leadership or tens of billions of arms and ammunition a month.

Consider that the Russian military's primary task is to defend Russia from NATO. They have to keep enough air defences, air force, ground forces and navy to do that task before sending anything to Ukraine. Very much like the situation the USA faced when they fought in Vietnam.

Now consider that the Soviets took Kiev in 10 days in 1943 so the Russians know exactly what it takes to take a Ukrainian city fast however it took a force of 750,000 and 600 tanks to do it and cost 120,000 casualties and I suspect Russia is not willing to pay such a price ... just like how CJTF–OIR decided to go slow in Mosul and preserve the lives of their fighters.

So I gave you my assessment of why the Russians are taking their time in Ukraine ... please explain to me how the USA fought in Vietnam for 10 years with a force of up to half a million and didn't manage to take ANY ground from North Vietnam or a single North Vietnamese city?

Posted by: HB_Norica | Nov 18 2023 15:29 utc | 51

Crimea was added in 1954 as part of Kruzhev's bid to be picked as the new dictator.

As Alex Mercouris points out on YouTube: The "no signs of Russia losing" is a way to avoid writing that Russia is winning. They can't say that, it sounds too positive and PRO-RUSSIAN, so they have to change it to "no signs of Russia losing," which signs like a negative.

This is how the media manipulate people. They do it all the time. When Blacks loot and burn stores and kill 40 people it's called "Black Lives Matter" and "protests," as if the criminals are victims. But Whites who object to being discriminated against by law, and attacked, are called "supremacists," as if we want to control other people, when we are the ones being controlled and exploited.

By the way, Moon of Alabama, it's Ukraine, not "the Ukraine". In a certain period in the past U.S. journos added "the" to various countries: the Ukraine, the Albania, the Congo, the Brazil. To make it sound more scientific and intellectual. But no one does that anymore.

Posted by: Hegar | Nov 18 2023 15:33 utc | 52

Posted by: Hegar | Nov 18 2023 15:33 utc | 52

you started off good except the "dictator" part. then you segued into bootlicker territory, pretending the jackbooted thugs who execute people aren't the cause of the riots. i was encouraged when Ammon Bundy recognized a common cause with blacks fighting the police thugs, don't know what happened with that.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2023 15:51 utc | 53

I'd never listen to any urge coming from "Son of the American Revolution". Think of all the people who would've died if they listened to that website's insanity about vaccines. And Marvel needs to sue them for stealing the Punisher's logo.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Nov 18 2023 15:55 utc | 54

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc

you really have to be a gullible fool to swallow the farcical explanation of why the Biden, Trump and Obama admins were so stuffed to the gills with one particular massively over represented group is because some pope back in Europe hundreds of years ago wouldn't let their poor downtrodden ancestors own land

and you really have to be of subnormal intelligence to swallow the fiction that being granted a near monopoly on the ability to charge interest on loans was some sort of punishment :-D

the stupidity and gullibility of some people really is astounding

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 16:03 utc | 55

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc

I did however admire your ability to answer any and every query with the reply "Its all the fault of White Europeans" no matter how ridiculously tenuous the connection

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 16:05 utc | 56

Re: Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 14:32 utc | 37

Russia has, by my count, around 80 cities bigger than Avdeevka that must be taken before a satisfactory outcome of the war is achieved, of them 25 bigger than Severodonetsk and Lisichansk (the last major properly successful offensive operations), and 7 bigger than Mariupol (the largest city taken)

How is that going to happen with "downwards trending combat intensity"?

Interesting post because there are actually 8 cities bigger than Mariupol in the territory held by Ukraine.

1. Kyiv (3.0 million).
2. Kharkiv (1.4 million).
3. Odesa (1 million).
4. Dnipro (980,000).
(n/a) Donetsk (900,000).
5. Zaporizhzhia (720,000).
6. Lviv (720,000).
7. Kryvhi Rih (610,000).
8. Mykolaiv (480,000).
(n/a) Sevastopol (460,000).
(n/a) Mariupol (430,000).


I assume you have concluded the Russians don't need to take Lviv to achieve all their aims - including the hardest task of all - a land-bridge to Hungary & Slovakia.

I happen to agree - but there's no way these aims are achieved before 2025 - and perhaps never.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 18 2023 16:09 utc | 57

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc

thanks though for confirming my prediction that, for a pseudo -interlekchewal like yourself, the mere acting of noticing "the coincidence" is itself a crime

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 16:12 utc | 58

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Nov 18 2023 15:55 utc | 54

You are really, really, really going to hate 2024.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2023 15:51 utc | 53

‘jackbooted thugs who execute people’ given they annually shoot more unarmed white people than blacks, they at least can’t be accused of racism! As for Buy Larger Mansions, just another grifter group preying on dumb liberals with daddy issues, but one whose constituency they supposedly represent are some of the strongest critics of defund the police initiatives. Odd, one would have thought they’d have been against having jackbooted thugs racially profiling and executing them.

I do love this sites ability to remind me of the nonsense one has to buy into to wave the People’s flag, next think you’ll be telling me Bernie’s a revolutionary icon and not the usual socialist grifter who allows himself to be bought off, it’s five luxury houses he owns, isn’t it?

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 16:18 utc | 59

@ Hegar | Nov 18 2023 15:33 utc | 52

We’ve had the Ukraine-vs.-the-Ukraine discussion here a couple of dozen times already.

I suggest we go back to calling it “Little Russia.”

Posted by: malenkov | Nov 18 2023 16:20 utc | 60

I assume you have concluded the Russians don't need to take Lviv to achieve all their aims - including the hardest task of all - a land-bridge to Hungary & Slovakia.

I happen to agree - but there's no way these aims are achieved before 2025 - and perhaps never.
Posted by: Julian | Nov 18 2023 16:09 utc | 57

Correct. The three Galician oblasts are not 100% required, but Volhynia is an absolute must -- there is an NPP absolutely must be recovered.

Note that personally I am against leaving any rump Ukraine, in the long run it must be ended for good, but if Poland agrees to take Galicia, that is how that can be accomplished without Russia taking it.

Still not a good outcome because Russia needs a land connection to Hungary, but that can be done with a corridor through the southern portions of Galicia without taking the big cities.

Posted by: shаdοwbanned | Nov 18 2023 16:23 utc | 61

Posted by: Milites | Nov 18 2023 16:18 utc | 59

Whose panties are perpetually in a bunch over the evil socialists and commies hiding under his bed. Literally every comment must involve a childish dig.

‘jackbooted thugs who execute people’ given they annually shoot more unarmed white people than blacks, they at least can’t be accused of racism!

And the grievance politics. Every. Other. Post.

next think you’ll be telling me Bernie’s a revolutionary icon and not the usual socialist grifter who allows himself to be bought off, it’s five luxury houses he owns, isn’t it...

Hardly anyone here would tell you that, if anyone. A grifter. LMFAO. He's like 80 years old, has a townhouse in D.C. which he probably took out the mortgage on back when it was valued at $30K. They have a family house in Vermont. Ever been to Vermont? Real estate isn't exactly up there with San Francisco or Miami. Even the morons at Politico dedicated a whole article to Bernie (and his wife's joint) NET worth and this sentence captures it all:

"is the product of years of middle-class striving, replete with credit card debt, real estate upgrades and an array of investment funds and retirement accounts."

He donated the profits of his book to charity and allegedly has a net worth of between $2M and $3M including his, his wife's retirement accounts (again, they're old as dirt), the three properties (not all "houses") accumulated and improved over many years, and he's still ONLY worth $3M max. LOL, my 32 year old cousin in California inherited a house his mom bought in 1973 and his net worth is higher than Bernie's. LOL. Stop being so disingenuous.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Nov 18 2023 16:39 utc | 62

Your prediction of a new state from day one is something to be proud of and no doubt is testament to your wisdom and knowledge of reality, geopolitics and history.
My own prediction on day one of the smo was that Russia should not be messed with and my thinking came from a pretty basic knowledge of world affairs and history.
What strikes me as frightening is the fact that many thousands of specialists in the USUK and Europe believed the reverse was true and that Russia would be crushed.
However, I have a feeling that the true power behind the Ukrainian war knew, like us, that Ukraine did not have a hope in hell of winning. The specialists were then obviously compromised into going along with the mantra that Russia would easily be defeated.
What then are the strategic benefits for the powerful puppet masters after this defeat?
Then of course I might be wrong and the powerful puppet masters did actually believe the west could win and the specialists weren't compromised after all. If this is the case then one can safely assume that the west is not far off total collapse.
So it boils down to total destruction of the west because our elites are so out of touch with reality or there is a second phase to the western war on Russia that we and the Russians are not privy to. Either way, predictability is going out the window from here on in.

Posted by: Eoin Clancy | Nov 18 2023 16:49 utc | 63

That wily Sultan did it again, he tricked and beclowned NATO by essentially tabling Sweden's NATO bid in Turkish parliament.

Borrell must be livid, he looks like a sissy panty-wearer.

Posted by: Ghost of Zanon | Nov 18 2023 16:50 utc | 64

Posted by: Bluedog57 | Nov 18 2023 11:47 utc | 6
----------------------------------------------------------------
Well, aren't you special?

Posted by: Ed | Nov 18 2023 17:01 utc | 65

@ Milites 48The reasons for the slo-mo are for 2 large reasons. The smaller one is that a war of attrition costs Russia less and helpe her prepare against any escalation by the West. The bigger reason is that the Ukraine is only one front in a global struggle. The global struggle will take much longer than disassembling "404", because parts of the Global South are not yet fully on-board, we are waiting for Taiwan's elections, etc. New economic and financial arrangements take their own sweet time. Hast makes waste and good CHristians and Muslims want people to wake up before it's too late.

Benefits like a thinner line of contact, a thinner gray zone and fewer destroyed villages, are a smaller reason, but still considerable.

Posted by: JessDTruth | Nov 18 2023 17:01 utc | 66

This was bound to happen. The biggest questions as part of the negotiations:
- Recognition of all the territories gained by Russia as part of Russian federation
(Crimea+4 oblasts + any new territory Russia will gain/demand)
- Ukraine's NATO neutrality and possibility de-militarization of Ukraine.
- Moving missile bases back to eastern German line (pre-1999) but this sounds ridiculous because Finland is now a NATO member. They can very well place them anywhere on the Russian border.
- About Caucus region. Just like Ukraine, they can also demand non-inclusion of Georgia into NATO.

I don't think Russian will be bothered about economic sanctions, nord-stream pipeline etc. Also, they may want to normalize relations with US but they will definitely avoid with Europe. Russia has already found new markets for their products.

Posted by: Ankit Khandelwal | Nov 18 2023 17:02 utc | 67

Giovanni Dall'Orto@30 not only explains the forces which shaped Jewish communities as being historical. Which is to say that the nature of Jewish communal culture is the result of a dialectic between policies imposed upon them and their responses to such policies, which, of course, in turn gave rise to novel twists on the original measures and indeed intentions.

It might be helpful to recall that in London in the C18th it was not Jews but Scotsman who were viewed as favourites wielding power. In Persia centuries earlier it was Armenians and Christians who weree thought to be the puppet masters. In Indian civilisation there are several regionally based castes, I believe, who specialise in commerce and money lending and are the objects of jealousy and anger by toilers in the villages. No doubt the same is true within China, just as Chinese are, in much of south east asia, traditionally dominant in trade and finance- and the first victims of massacres in popular uprisings. British strategy in Malaya in the 1950s was to play off the muslim Malays against the Chinese, who were castigated as both billionaires and communists threatening wealth.

(Sorry for the interruption but this thoughtless anti-semitism not only discredits the forum but obscures many layers and shades of truth- it is like a tire fire on a summer afternoon.)

As to Ukraine's borders they do, indeed, have their present origins in the imposed Brest Litovsk diktat and the Civil War that followed it. But they also go back to the related Bolshevik strategy of dismantling the imperial aspect of the polity that they revolutionised and replacing it with something more than the sub national chaos that the capitalists wanted then, have pursued ever since and persist in working for in their constant waves of subversion and 'colour revolution.'

It was a policy that worked, triumphantly on two levels.
Firstly as a means of retaining the socio economic weight of the empire, strength vital to the long struggle to retain power against the combined efforts of the entire imperialist world, it succeeded in building out of all the minorities, colonies, classes and religions across ten time zones a Soviet citizenry capable of the accomplishments in war and peace of dramatic decades of progress.

Secondly as a way of mobilising all the latent genius of the peoples of dozens of nations, with different cultures, histories and languages- turning villages deep in the past into feeders for technical schools and universities, transforming the muzhiks into whatever they wanted to be (provided it was not slave driving) , re-mobilising women into important partners economically and culturally, rediscovering the vast depth of the Central Asian societies, which were engaged in leading edge science fourteen hundred years ago, and reaching out to the edges of the Indo Chinese worlds. Bringing health care to the poor and literacy and power to the masses.

It is often forgotten that, in 1991, a reliable poll showed that more than 80% of the Ukrainian population did not want to leave the Soviet Union. Their fate was determined by a coup at the top- a coup, like the Maidan in 2014, in which the CIA and the enemies of Ukrainians played an important role by assuring the former communist apparachiki who saw an opportunbity to become oligarchs that they would be looked after in any event.

The situation in many of the Soviet Republics was similar- the first object of the newly established state governments, after securing their power, was to develop ultra nationalist propaganda as ex post facto rationales for the folly of breaking up a system that was not only successful but very popular.
It is no accident that the Ukraianians had to scrape the bottoms of the diaspora barrels to buttress the shallow rooted expedition into bankruptcy that the Kiev state has been for thirty plus years.

It is only from the understanding that the internal borders of the Soviet Union were never designed to be those of nation states but had purposes which included both social and military-strategic objects and were always subordinated to the interests of the Union as a whole that the dishonesty of the 1991 dissolution of the USSR becomes clear.
The people of Crimea were never consulted- despite making it clear that they wished to be. But neither were the peoples of the various other regions cobbled together into the equivalent of the Wilsonian states of western europe-in all their glory.
What "Ukraine" was intended to be and has come close to becoming is a completely independent sovereign state with its own proud history of struggle and longing for freedom (I am being sarcastic here) like Rumania, Slovenia or Belgium that in reality is desperate to replace one Empire's milky teats with another.

It is no secret that Ukraine wants to be sovereign and independent so that it can join the EU and NATO, with the clear purpose of ridding itself of sovereignty- the maidenhead of states. It is not rule from Kiev that worries the people of Luhansk or Donetsk or even of Crimea. Their fear is that they will be ruled by Brussells which is ruled by Berlin (on a good day Paris) which is ruled by Washington which does what Wall Street tells it. And all that concerns Wall St-all that can concern it in law- is the amount of money that the next quarter will bring in.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18 2023 17:04 utc | 68

Just imagine what Ukraine would be like today if the US & UK had not told Ukraine to turn down the very just Russian ideas in April 2022.

Posted by: Bill | Nov 18 2023 17:04 utc | 69

There are at least two inaccuracies in the map so presented, over and over. The Budjak in South was taken in 1945 from Romania. It was part of Basarabia (R of Moldova) and it was given to Ukraine after WWII.

Also Northern Bucovina was taken in 1939 and again in 1945 from Romania. They were never a Russian territory up to that point.

Posted by: Kouros | Nov 18 2023 17:05 utc | 70

Majority of Ukrainians still believe Ukraine is winning, because the line of combat hasn't moved, similar to that anonymous simpleton above. I predict Russia's next move after Avdiivka will be to push the LOC forwards anywhere that is easy, precisely so the simpleton majority will finally understand Ukraine is in trouble.

At that point, economics becames the big issue because Ukraine is entirely dependent on external funding. Key is to manage perceptions so that EU/USA do not get alarmed and resume funding Ukraine to avoid disaster. There are many ways to accomplish this perception management but insincere negotiations is usually best. Dangle the hope that Russian is willing to make a deal of some sort that gives the west enough valuable land to justify its investment. Drag the process out.

Meanwhile, there is no money to pay soldiers, no money to pay pensions, Hrivnia at 100:1 or less to dollar, no electricity, prices for imported fuel skyrocketing. All this leads to another refugee crisis and internal disorder.

Russia can then negotiate will heads of various oblasts to become independent autonomous regions, similar to Transdnistria in Moldova and Abkhazia in Georgia, provided they guarantee local security and allow uncontested movement of Russia military through oblast, in exchange for which Russia will provide some money plus gas. Given the economic crisis, someone in each oblast will accept the offer. So one by one, the oblasts fold.

Remaining Ukrainian military will retreat to the Carpathians. No rush to make this happen, since Ukraine is good training for the Russian military. Without live training against latest NATO weapons, Russian military gets lazy again and unable to cope with war with NATO.

The Ukrainians in the Carpathians will likely be more trouble for EU than Russia, because Russia has a blank slate to impose harsh rules on internal movement in Ukraine, whereas EU countries must rethink all their assumptions. Also Russia can always saturation bomb Lviv as retaliation for terrorism (Israel provides the legal precedent) whereas Russia will not allow NATO to pursue terrorists hiding in Ukrainian territory.

I expect this process to play out between now and 2030. EU, NATO and USA will all be much weaker by then. At that point, the battle hardened Russians can finally deal with the last Banderite holdouts in the Carpathians, much to the relief of the EU, which will be thoroughly sick of their terrorism and drug and weapons muggling and other trouble-making, plus Russia can finally deal with the Baltic states and Finland.

Posted by: anonposter | Nov 18 2023 17:05 utc | 71

Now that it is clear to all on all sides that the predictions and prognostications of Feb 2022 were wrong we have a new set emerging, all based upon inadequate information in key areas, and ignoring the fact that the future generally takes shape using unforeseen paths regardless. It is human nature to predict and imagine the future, and it is an important survival skill, but accurate predictions involving a multitude of complex variables are generally limited to crystal balls and prophets. We can't even agree on what has happened and why....

The west and the Ukrainians are now publicly admitting that their predictions were wrong, and their initial hopes and designs will not be achieved. Doesn't mean that their new prognostications will be born out or their desires achieved, and their track record is poor in this regard.

We don't know what Russian strategic plans are for the battlefield, only what their broad objectives are. Most likely their strategic thinking involves flexibility in dealing with circumstances as they develop, as there are many important aspects of the conflict beyond their control. Past behavior suggests that flexibility is a key component, and this makes specific predictions necessarily problematic. What will happen? Well, it depends.

@Mike R | Nov 18 2023 15:24 utc | 49 makes a good and important point - the current configuration of the conflict limits damage to territory and infrastructure. Urban assaults, artillery bombardment, and mining operations are both initially destructive and have long-term consequences. Best to minimize that, especially when fighting in your own back yard.

Russia has never deployed sufficient forces to conquer and occupy large portions of Ukrainian territory that contain a semi hostile population. They had forces just adequate to occupy and defend portions of two new (strategically important) regions plus the Donbass, and this only with large contributions of the local militias (Donbass army) and Wagner PMC.

Taking large new territories by force doesn't seem to be in the cards based on available evidence. It could still happen, but I rate the probability as very low, and only the entry of NATO forces into the conflict could trigger this IMO. This doesn't necessarily mean that Russia won't end up controlling Odessa and the remaining Black Sea coast, but there may be other paths to achieve this than direct conquest. It is well possible that some other solution will be found that is acceptable to Russia regarding this strategically important region.

Ukraine seems to be in some stage of cannibalizing itself in order to maintain the conflict without surrendering, and this behavior is clearly not sustainable. What will this lead to? We don't know, but some kind of accommodation to Russia is in the cards, perhaps even capitulation and surrender of sovereignty, but this is only one possibility.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 18 2023 17:06 utc | 72

Posted by: v | Nov 18 2023 11:55 utc | 7
----------------------------------
v, meet Bluedog (who was born in 1957 is suspect). You are both special, and so well informed. Please remind me where we can read your blogs? I would like to comment.

Posted by: Ed | Nov 18 2023 17:09 utc | 73

"...In a certain period in the past U.S. journos added "the" to various countries: the Ukraine, the Albania, the Congo, the Brazil. To make it sound more scientific and intellectual. But no one does that anymore..." Hegar@52

Making it up as you go along. Is that how you get through life too?

The etymology of the employment of the article in this and other cases (but not Albania or Brazil) was recently explained here. It's not complicated but it sure as hell didn't begin in the practice of American journalists.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 18 2023 17:14 utc | 74

NATO did achieve a major war aim by the destruction of the NordStream pipeline. It also pushed Russia into a war on its border, with the attendant domestic political issues most states would prefer not to have. And the military-industrial segment of the economies of particularly USA gets a major boost, with popular support for the diversion of these resources.

The big downsides will be mostly borne by Ukraine, including a socio-economic meltdown. While ideologues such as Haas can spin on a dime to new rationalizations of bad policy, statements such as: "diplomacy offers the most realistic path for ending not only the war but also, over the long term, Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territory" appear foolish when considered against the rejected Minsk formulas.

Posted by: jayc | Nov 18 2023 17:25 utc | 75

Posted by: Hegar | Nov 18 2023 15:33 utc | 52

People talk about "The Balkans" and "The Baltics", "The UAE" etc. It seems to be the custom when referring to a region composed of different countries, like the Ukraine.

Posted by: Tim | Nov 18 2023 17:31 utc | 76

@68 bevin

Of course you would explain the how and neglect to mention the why.

But what comes first, bevin? The chicken or the egg?

Why were supposed "Jews" singled-out so many times by so many host countries?

In some respects I agree that human beings outside of their Dasein have no intrinsic nature and that they are merely propelled by historical forces.

But there comes a time when we must take stock as to what works and what doesn't. Who wins the argument in the end?

I would take those that struggle with the universal in all that it entails over those that identify merely tribally and with an historic chip on their shoulder.

Would you?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 18 2023 17:36 utc | 77

Is there anyone in this cast of characters that is not a Jew????

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Nov 18 2023 12:28 utc | 13

Well, there is Zaluzhny, but of course, they're trying to kill him.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 18 2023 17:41 utc | 78

It's a long way to Odessa. And Russia is not even taking the initiative at Kherson.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 18 2023 13:12 utc | 23
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My response to your comment is this: War of attrition.

Posted by: Ed | Nov 18 2023 17:44 utc | 79

Majority of Ukrainians still believe Ukraine is winning..

Posted by: anonposter | Nov 18 2023 17:05 utc | 71

Somehow, I really doubt that.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 18 2023 17:44 utc | 80

Our source reports that the Main Intelligence Directorate and the SBU are recording the activity of international decision-makers (intermediaries, lobbyists, political strategists), who have begun to visit Ukraine and local elites (mayors and large regional businesses), military officers, politicians, and are even establishing contact with Zelensky’s inner circle.

There is a possibility that the Russians are financing this through third countries. According to information from security forces who report to the President. Processes of agreements are underway, luring to the “other side”, secret cooperation through foreign third parties, bribery for sabotage of Zelensky’s decisions, gratitude for leaking information and compromising evidence on Zelensky’s entourage. Shaking up the situation using a variety of mechanisms and tools.

That’s why Ze and the GUR started talking about Maidan-3 in Ukraine. After all, the “shuttles” always appear before the big “nifty” and drain, since they have insider information.

As the source explained. There will be no Maidan-3 in Ukraine, but there may be the first military coup in modern history or an “office conspiracy” against Ze.

Ukraine is entering a political, internal storm.


https://t.me/legitimniy/16726

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2023 17:48 utc | 81

The “hunt” for citizens of military age continues in Ukraine. Military commissars are rowing everyone, including sick and crippled citizens, trying to fulfill the plan, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot say that they are very happy with this state of affairs.

The fact is that the “volunteers” in Ukraine have long been transferred (some died, some became disabled due to injury, and some received mental injuries), and now the commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine receive poorly motivated and undertrained civilians, not only those unable to carry out combat missions, but also endangering their comrades in arms.

At the same time, the mobilization resource in Ukraine is actually running out—there are not enough military personnel in the country for long-term military operations. Ukrainian experts note that the total mobilization resource in the country is about 1.8 million people (with a specific total mobilization).

At the same time, there are already about a million people in the Ukrainian army and another 500 thousand in various state power structures, which are also mobilized in their own way - the police, the SBU, civil servants, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and so on. That is, Ukraine’s mobilization resource may be exhausted already in early/mid 2024.


https://t.me/rezident_ua/20520

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2023 17:49 utc | 82

They were allowed finance (just to circumvent the prohibition of interests for Christians), and some intellectual professions. In the Ottoman Empire, they were allowed to be merchants. Not being allowed to invest in real estate, they heavily invested in instruction and culture: something no king can seize from you when expelling you.
Furthermore, in Catholic Europe they were forced to live in towns, in enclosed spaces called "ghettos", so they became an urban part of the population. They became, all of them, bourgeoisie.
When urban bourgeoisie took power, Jews were highly advantaged from their position. So, no, there is no "coincidencec, just mere consequences of political decisions taken by us" Gentiles"

Posted by: Giovanni Dall'Orto | Nov 18 2023 14:03 utc | 30

Not enough time and space to offer a complete rebuttal. But, the Chosen kept portable wealth and that wealth was used in lending. Then lending became Banking, Banking became Fractional Reserve Banking, when the Bank's Capital and the Deposits of Others could be loaned out at a rate of up to 10 times the actual risk capital of the Bank's Owners.
Such a scheme is inherently unstable, hence the need of portability. Get out of town before the House of Cards collapses. Europe and the U.S. are reaping the folly of that very scheme today.
Paper wealth, few resources, few industrious fools to keep the wobbling top spinning/stable.

"The Ukraine" over there. Ukraine as a country is a cobbled Soviet rat's nest.

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 18 2023 17:55 utc | 83

Regarding the advance of the Russian Armed Forces in Avdeevka, you need to understand the following.

With the entry of units of the RF Armed Forces into the industrial zone in the southeast of the city, it is just beginning, since both the city itself and the territory of the Avdeevka coke plant have not yet been cleared of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The area of ​​the industrial zone next to SNT “Vinogradniki” is 260 thousand square meters (less than a square kilometer). This is not much, but there is an extensive communications network of the Armed Forces of Ukraine nearby, which makes it difficult to storm and clear it when moving from the Yasinovatskaya junction, but easier to hold and further advance.

The area of ​​Avdeevka itself, including coke and not counting the waste heap, is 16 square kilometers. This is approximately 10-12 times more than what has been released in the industrial zone at the moment. Even though the position of the Ukrainian Armed Forces inside Avdeevka and at the coke plant can hardly be called stable, these fortifications have been preparing for battle for many years, and the work of clearing them will definitely not be easy.

In parallel, powerful combat work is underway to destroy arriving reinforcements and supply lines that have worked here without problems for the past few years. Both offensive operations are interconnected and directly affect the weakening of the combat potential of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Avdeevka region. However, the most active phase of hostilities, including in the area of ​​the “Tsar’s Hunt,” the coking plant, and other areas, will begin a little later.


https://t.me/Slavyangrad/74360

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2023 17:58 utc | 84

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 13:03 utc | 21

A very thoughtful and thorough response. I guess we will have to wait and see how it pans out. I don't hold out much hope but you do which isn't a bad thing.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 17:59 utc | 85

Such a scheme is inherently unstable, hence the need of portability.

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 18 2023 17:55 utc | 83

and its all the fault of Pope Whatshisface, hundreds of years ago in Rome, cos as we all know Jewish people are simply incapable of personal or group agency, (especially since they moved to the US :-D )

...... the poor little perpetual victims

Posted by: UpToEleven | Nov 18 2023 18:04 utc | 86

"Fractional Reserve Banking, when the Bank's Capital and the Deposits of Others could be loaned out at a rate of up to 10 times the actual risk capital of the Bank's Owners."

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 18 2023 17:55 utc | 83

Not how it works just another old myth. This is how it works today.

https://gimms.org.uk/2022/06/05/mmt-banking-primer/

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 18:04 utc | 87

Demilitarization and denazification. But just as important, weakening the West and buttressing multipolarity. These latter two goals require a longer conflict (e.g. Shoigu - 2025), which was I think the most likely and favoured scenario for Russian planners.

But, the Palestinian conflict changed the speed of things and is making the West abandon the project sooner than expected. It would be interesting to see how Russia plays this out.

Knowing/guessing Putin, he will err on the side of peace. He utterly regrets, as he has often said, that the West and its ideology has "succeeded" in entrenching enmity between brother peoples, Ukrainians and Russians.

Posted by: Sal | Nov 18 2023 18:08 utc | 88

Hegar | Nov 18 2023 15:33 utc | 52

The Ukraine was simply a geographical area on the eastern edge of the Holy Roman Empire. The eastern slav area that came withing the Polish empire, taken from the collapse of Kievan Rus. As its borders stood prior to 2014, it was still nothing more than a geographic area rather than a nation. Catholic Nazi Galicia in the west, orthodox ethnic Russian in the east which are polar opposites.

So as nothing more than a geographical area that is about to be divided between its neighbors.
What is likely to be left is at the moment termed rump Ukraine, is the area that will consist of what are now termed Ukraine. That is the area of Kievan Rus that came under polish rule. Galicia spent 150 years or so under Austrian rule. which sets it about from what we term Ukrainian. Belarus came under Lithuanian rule for some centuries which is the difference between Belorussians and Ukrainians.

The CIA map for areas of possible subversive activities against the soviet Union show all this well. Galicia is shaded black ie 100% nazi. Ukraine/Polish Rus was shaded gray as partially nazi. I say Nazi as it was Nazis the US and Britain were feeding back into that area to try and create insurgent/guerrilla forces.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 18 2023 18:14 utc | 89

At the same time, the mobilization resource in Ukraine is actually running out—there are not enough military personnel in the country for long-term military operations. Ukrainian experts note that the total mobilization resource in the country is about 1.8 million people (with a specific total mobilization).

At the same time, there are already about a million people in the Ukrainian army and another 500 thousand in various state power structures, which are also mobilized in their own way - the police, the SBU, civil servants, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and so on. That is, Ukraine’s mobilization resource may be exhausted already in early/mid 2024.


https://t.me/rezident_ua/20520

Posted by: Down South | Nov 18 2023 17:49 utc | 82

I would say roughly double those 1.8, around maybe as much as 3.7

Otherwise it would already be game over with more than a million permanently out of combat the AFU would already be running on fumes.

Interesting that RF just budgeted 3 years of war, which apparently goes against what I had read of budgeting enough kia pensions to finish things now. Trying to confuse the west?

Anyway, as it is not 1.8 if this goes beyond january fresh meat will be once again thrown to the slaughter.


Posted by: newbie | Nov 18 2023 18:15 utc | 90

Somehow, I really doubt that.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Nov 18 2023 17:44 utc | 80
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I agree Ahenobarbus, we really don't know very much about what the Ukrainians think about anything. The censorship wall is far too high to determine what is truth in Ukraine, which is so typical of a fascist state.

Posted by: Ed | Nov 18 2023 18:19 utc | 91

@shаdοwbanned #36

Blowing up dams is the kind of thing for which nukes fly. That dam was fully within Russian constitutional territory and Kherson city is a regional capital.

I don't really understand what your confusion is.
Ukraine has attacked the Kerch bridge, they have bombarded civilians in Donetsk for 8+ years, they have attacked Moscow and towns in Russia.
Why would the Kakhovka dam be any different?

It is childish to cry that Russia is not willing to launch World War 3 because Ukraine decides to destroy what Ukraine itself believes to be its own infrastructure.

And why has the Kremlin never mentioned Kherson as something that will eventually be recovered ever since? It has been a whole year. Not a word.

Russia has zero responsibility to inform you and all the other civilians what its plans are.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2023 18:27 utc | 92

Posted by: kupkee | Nov 18 2023 17:55 utc | 83

One option would be ...

The job of a bank is to promote the capital development of the economy. That is its public purpose; the job it is licensed to do. All other activities that conflicts with that purpose must be prevented.

For banking to be effective it must be boring — bowler hat boring. The job of a bank is to provide capital development loans to the economy based solely upon credit analysis. All other activities deflecting from that purpose are Ultra Vires.

That means:

Banks can only lend directly to borrowers for capital development purposes (i.e. business credit lines and household loans), and the banks keep those loans on their books until cleared.

Banks must operate on a single balance sheet. No hiving things off into ‘off balance sheet’ subsidiaries to try and hide them.

Banks cannot accept collateral. Collateral is a fixed charge over an asset as an insurance policy and aligns the incentives of banks with those possessing assets, not ideas. It stops banks being capital developers and turns them into pawn shops. That is the wrong alignment of incentives. We want loan officers with skin in the game. Their success should depend upon the success of the borrower. Banks should line up in insolvency with the other unsecured creditors (and importantly behind the remaining preferential creditors — employees).

Depositors are protected 100% at all amounts. A depositor in a commercial bank is holding nothing more than an outsourced central bank account. They are not investors in the bank and should never be treated as such.

Regulation is provided by the bank resolution agency, which is a public body funded entirely by government. There is no charge or levy to the banks for the operation. The job of the bank resolution agency is to ensure the banks are properly capitalised given their loan book and declare them solvent.
If they are not, they take the bank over and resolve it with any excess losses absorbed by government. This aligns the incentives of the regulator. If they get the solvency calculation wrong and the capital buffers exhaust, the regulator stands the cost.

The Central Bank provides unlimited, unsecured lending to regulated banks at zero interest rates. Collateral serves no purpose since the bank has been declared solvent (and therefore there is no reason for it to be illiquid), and collateralised Central Bank lending just shifts the losses to depositors who are protected 100% anyway.

Once you get rid of interbank collateral and funding requirements, you get rid of one of the final excuses for keeping Government Bonds. National Savings annuities for pensions (allowing retiring individuals to receive a secure lifetime income) would get rid of the final one. Granny bonds just given to domestic households.

Transferable instruments that confer government welfare on the owners do not serve the public purpose. Government welfare receipt is a social decision, not a market driven one.

As the asset side is heavily regulated, you want the liability side to be as cheap as possible. Unlimited central bank access ensures liquidity for depositors and allows lending-only banks to arise. It gets rid of the Interbank overnight market and replaces it with central bank overnight accounts. It puts the Central Bank ‘in the bank’ as a major investor — with open access to the commercial bank’s loan book via the work of the solvency regulator.

All levies, liquidity ratios, reserve requirements and the like are eliminated. The cost of maintaining the collateral system is eliminated. The result is loans at a low price with the quantity restricted solely by credit quality. As an economy heats up, credit quality declines and loans become restricted — systemically preventing the Ponzi stages of finance that lead to a Minsky Moment.

Proscribed banks, forced to rely on credit analysis for profit, help prevent a boom by issuing less credit as project quality declines.

You get a natural and steady withdrawal of funding that is far more surgically targeted and responsive to local conditions, than the carpet bombing approach of interest rate targeting.

This leaves the payment system, which should be as costless as cash and clear just as instantly to eliminate transaction frictions. Whether that should be publicly provided, or remain outsourced to the banks is an open question.

Depositors are a cost to the bank and would effectively be a tax, but leaving them with the banks would give them an incentive to get the cost of clearing provision down. It may boil down to a political question that depends upon your view of the effectiveness of public and private provision. I’d lean towards an Open clearing system created by the state (or even states) and available to all on an open licence. We want one good clearing system.

Banks are currently too complicated, too large, too impersonal, too intertwined and systemically dangerous. They need to be simpler, smaller, more local and relationship oriented in scope.

However, what we have are ideologues and idiots sitting in left wing and right wing trenches. Lobbing grenades at each other and shouting slogans and waving placards at each other from either a gold standard environment or fixed exchange rate environment that no longer applies. Fight over myths between themselves. Shouting Marxist and Fascist at each other so nothing changes. Meaning different options never get tried and the status quo remains and the one party nation state blob wins.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Nov 18 2023 18:30 utc | 93

Trubind1 @20
'In reading thoroughly the cited articles, I disagree with your analysis that “reality” or “reassessment” and resetting of goals.

There’s nothing here but a bunch of doublespeak & divergence of narrative.'

So much of blogspace, including here, is a back-and-forth about what the MSM is writing. That's a total waste of time to try to parse small truths and hints from amidst the lies and propaganda. The WAPO article is typical BS.

Go back to known facts, not lies.

Russia is coming into a position to insure its own security and future and that is what they will do, whatever it means to them. It doesn't matter what West, what MSM wants. Who, after all, is that WAPO article aimed at? Don't pretend it's someone with any agency. There is no one in the West to negotiate with; Russia has no choice but to dictate terms. My guess is same is true for China; they are realizing there is no one to negotiate with in the West.

It's not even like a parent with a child throwing a temper tantrum; a parent expects the child to learn and that seems not true in this case. Russia and China know the West is going to continue attacking them. Russia and China have to lock in their successes.

The quicker the West comes to terms with that, the better, but no one should be holding their breath. This is, actually, one of the old Peak Oil scenarios, where as resources diminish, world balkanizes, war becomes endemic; grey goo. The only way the West prospers under current order is to steal and plunder. Once Russia and China prevent it from continuing abroad, that theft and plunder will come home - even more so than it already is.

Posted by: oracle | Nov 18 2023 18:41 utc | 94

oracle | Nov 18 2023 18:41 utc | 94

The best way to pick which way the US west is headed is to note the direction of the the propaganda and note changes of direction in it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Nov 18 2023 18:46 utc | 95

Thank you b for this thread.

Eugene B. Rumer is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington DC. Previously, he served at the State Department, on the staff of the National Security Council and at RAND.

You're right about Rumer being a slow learner. But what else is new? Majority of so-called experts on political matters in the Empire's academia/media/think-tanks are brown-nosed experts who climbed their way into high-profile (and sometimes high income) positions by careful nurturing of relationships (meaning brown-nosing of course) and team-playing. So, this Rumer guy likely played well at State, NSC, RAND, et al. Senior Fellow at INSS, puuh, big deal! I suspect he speaks no Russian nor Chinese, two important language skills needed for any serious students of the two major rivals of the Empire in order to gain first hand insight into the rivals' inner workings rather than relying on 'he said, she said'. This kind of resume padding (and flashing) are common place in all Empire's ruling circles: Economists; defense analysts; academia; politics.....

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 18 2023 19:16 utc | 96

b has been a pathfinder before and through the SMO.
I have appreciated his frequent analysis as and when needed.
He has been right almost all the time. Because he looks at facts and gives an unvarnished opinion.

I have no reason to doubt that he is just as correct now.

I guess the only variation of the end game I can venture is, that ‘Elensky instead of declaring a ceasefire hoping to stop the total defeat is, to actually lift the bans on political parties and hold not just a general election but referendums in each discernible region that is still extant.

Let every area decide if they want to stay in the borderlands of Russia or be part of Russia.

Let the People Decide! Let them decide who they want as their representatives to deliver their choice.

Russia ought to respect their choices and expect only for the starting Red lines and goals. There has to be denazification and demilitarisation. A stop to the xenophobia against Russians and Russian Culture within the regions choosing to not be part of the greater Russia as well.

And of course Neutrality and no Natzio membership or weapons.

Should that be agreed I can’t see why Russia would want to step any further west into the shit covered garden to risk stepping into something noxious.

Then it would be live and let live for the locals in the choice they make.

The Collective Waste can withdraw and finally give up their Great Gaming. Us Brits ought to be able to hold our Deep State accountable for the undeclared war we undertook.
We are owed justice too.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Nov 18 2023 19:18 utc | 97

The article Johnson quotes from says the Russian economy was "buffeted" by the sanctions which is evidently true despite its speedy recovery. But Johnson misquotes as "battered" and makes a sarcastic point of this. Such dishonesty leads one to question the value of the whole article.

Posted by: Shane Mage | Nov 18 2023 19:21 utc | 98

Those Russian lands, which the Soviets - for no good reason- submitted to Soviet Ukrainian administration, will be repatriated.

I wonder if 'the no good reason' had to do with giving the Jews a zone of their own outside core Russian space. Many had been living there already for a very long time. I read that Odessa some time in the 1800s was almost 50% Jewish for a while after they had displaced Greek grain merchants who had been there for centuries.

As to your prediction, it seems spot on. I would add that if Ukraine refuses to surrender and demilitarize - i.e. does NOT follow the upcoming Western recommendations to switch from offense to defense as a still militarized belligerent - then Russia might want to take back Kiev, a core Russian city going back to Viking Rus times. Then what's left of Ukraine can go to the West of the Dneiper in the North (green part of your map) making the rump a sort of Galician enclave which will probably be a source of trouble for another century or so.

Posted by: Scorpion | Nov 18 2023 19:28 utc | 99

Regarding hyperinflation, if it comes, and without a steady influx of dollars it is, I see it likely that some are considering that now is the time to covertly flood the world with Ukraine's currency, turn on the printing presses or at least go on a spending spree, and also get whatever currency in exchange for it that is available to soak up. The window for being able to get away with that is probably rapidly closing.

An additional way to do that is to start buying up, or ordering, goods that will retain their value. Fill your warehouse with Apple phones and Sony televisions, fill your lots with Toyota all wheel drive vehicles.

Following right on the heels with that would be the opportunity to make a fortune by selling short Ukraine's currency. Those printing the money, and their friends, would be ideally situated to use cutouts to do the trading. Once that happened, it would be game over for the Ukrainian economy, they'd maybe have to switch to a new currency, and make it digital, just to survive until Washington stepped up and imposed a new government, and gave it a credit line.

Imo, at such a point, anyone asked to give credit to such a new government would either want it guaranteed by America/the West, or at least know that Russia had come to terms and signed a peace treaty.

Posted by: Babel-17 | Nov 18 2023 19:33 utc | 100

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