Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 22, 2024

Russia. Is. At. War.

Due to a flurry of western support for Ukraine, now escalating to ground troop insertions, Russia had to move its special military operation in Ukraine into the bigger scope of a full fledged war.

Over the last month the Ukrainian military intelligence directorate GUR and its civilian secret service SBU have attempted to disturb the recent presidential election in Russia. They did this by:

  1. sending forces, with U.S. made equipment (Bradleys), to attack Russian border villages in the direction of Belgorod (Belgograd),
  2. by launching missiles from Czech Vampire (RM-70) multiple launch rocket systems towards Belgorod,
  3. by launching somewhat successful drone strike against Russian oil refineries.

The election in Russia saw a record turnout. As expected President Putin did win by a very large margin. His legitimacy is a geopolitical reality:

If Nato expansion is about the perpetuation of US hegemony and de-dollarisation is about the burial of the western financial system that underpins that hegemony, Putin is playing a pivotal role in that historical process. If Putin remains in power till 2030 and fulfils even one half of the ambitious blueprint of social and economic programme for Russia that he outlined in his landmark speech at the Federal Assembly of the parliament, the global strategic balance will have shifted irrevocably and cemented a multipolar world order as the anchor sheet of 21st century politics.

The West knows it, the Russian people know it, the vast majority of nations realise it. That said, it must be understood as well that this is not only Putin’s victory personally but also a consolidation of Russian society around him. And that accounts for the last week’s election turning into such a high-stakes affair.

With the election out of the way Russia was free to hit back.

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA - 13:24 UTC · Mar 20, 2024

Ru Ministry of Defense claims 1725 Ukrainian casualties over the last day (650 in Belgograd direction alone)
https://function.mil.ru/news_page/...

Over the last six days the Russian MoD reports claimed no less than nine hits on the Czech Vampire systems which targeted Belgorod.

The Ukrainian incursion towards Belgorod has thus been defeated.

On Wednesday Jake Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Advisor, had visited Kiev. He was noticed for what he did not say:

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, has said that Ukraine will win if it comes out of the war as a sovereign, democratic and free country. At the same time, he did not mention restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity among the conditions of victory.

It is believed that Sullivan delivered a warning to Kiev. As the Financial Times reported (archived):

The US has urged Ukraine to halt attacks on Russia’s energy infrastructure, warning the drone strikes risk driving up global oil prices and provoking retaliation, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The repeated warnings from Washington were delivered to senior officials at Ukraine’s state security service, the SBU, and its military intelligence directorate, known as the GUR, the people told the Financial Times.

Both intelligence units have steadily expanded their own drone programmes to strike Russian targets on land, sea and in the air since the start of the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The U.S. concern is not about Ukraine but about Biden's chance for reelection:

Russia remains one of the world’s most important energy exporters despite western sanctions on its oil and gas sector. Oil prices have risen about 15 per cent this year, to $85 a barrel, pushing up fuel costs just as US President Joe Biden begins his campaign for re-election.
...
The US objections come as Biden faces a tough re-election battle this year with petrol prices on the rise, increasing almost 15 per cent this year to around $3.50 a gallon.

“Nothing terrifies a sitting American president more than a surge in pump prices during an election year,” said Bob McNally, president of consultancy Rapidan Energy and a former White House energy adviser.

The Ukrainian government denied and confirmed the FT report (machine translation):

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanashina actually confirmed the information to the Financial Times , saying that "we understand the calls of American partners," but Ukraine responded to such calls by "achieving its goals" and "very successful operations" on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Sullivan's warning about provoking retaliation was too late.

Yesterday, for the first time in 44 day, Russia launched a missile attack against Kiev (archived):

The Ukrainian Air Force said that air defense systems had intercepted all 31 of the Russian missiles that targeted Kyiv. Still, debris from the downed missiles fell in various parts of the city, causing the injuries and damage. No deaths have been reported so far.
...
In the Podilskyi district, which is home to industrial facilities that Russia has targeted in the past, a plume of black smoke was rising early in the morning, suggesting a hit. Mr. Klitschko said a fire had broken out at a power substation in the area. Ukrainian officials rarely confirm strikes on strategic industrial and military targets.
...
Thursday’s attack on Kyiv echoed a strategy used by Russia during air assaults in late December that consisted of overwhelming Ukraine’s air defenses with multiple launches of various types of missiles, including ballistic and hypersonic ones.

Russia has launched relatively few large-scale missile attacks in recent months, despite a capacity to produce more than 115 long-range missiles per month, according to Ukrainian officials.

Yesterday's Russian MoD report said:

Last night, the Russian Aerospace Forces delivered a strike by long-range precision weaponry including Kinzhal hypersonic missiles at AFU decision-making centres, logistic bases, temporary deployment areas of special operations forces and foreign mercenaries.

The goal of the strike has been achieved. All the targets have been engaged.

Such Russian strikes are complex. Drones are send first to reveal Ukrainian air defense systems. Then follows a wave of attacks against those system. A third strike is then launched against the real targets of the attack. In this case those were a drone factory in Kiev as well as a headquarter of the military intelligence service GUR.

Another large scale strike followed today. The primary targets were elements of the electricity infrastructure:

Large areas of Ukraine are suffering blackouts after Russian missiles targeted energy infrastructure.

There is no electricity in the second-largest city of Kharkiv, says regional head Oleg Synehubov.

Fifteen blasts were reported in Kharkiv, while more than 53,000 households in Odesa were without power.

Ukraine's energy minister, German Galushchenko, accused Russia of trying to provoke "a large-scale failure of the country's energy system".

A power line feeding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant had been cut, he added.

Regional head Ivan Fedorov said the power station was "on the verge of a blackout", adding that seven buildings in the region had been destroyed and 35 others damaged.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had launched more than 60 Shahed drones and about 90 missiles into Ukraine during the wave of overnight attacks.

Internet access in Ukraine has dropped significantly.

This was again a complex attack:

Lord Bebo @MyLordBebo - 9:42 UTC · Mar 22, 2024

🇺🇦🇷🇺🚨‼️ Russian missile attack on Ukraine during March 22nd, 2024.

-> Notice the flight patterns of the missiles.

Aviation:
At 01:12, the takeoff of 3⨯ Tu-95ms from the Olenya air base was noted.
At 02:30, information on the movement of 13 Tu-95ms to the launch lines was clarified.
At 03:34, the launch of the KRPB Kh-101/555/55 was carried out from the Volgograd region.
At 04:18, the takeoff of 5 Tu-22m3s from the Mozdok air base was noted.
During the attack, a total of 10 MiG-31Ks were raised (7 were used before the attack).

Armament:
55/63x "Shahed-136/131" Type Shock Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
0/12x OTR "Iskander-M";
35/40 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles;
0/5x NKR Kh-22;
0/7x ARPB Kh-47M2 "Dagger";
2/2x CAR X-59;
0/22x ZKR S-300/S-400.

The targeted air attack vector during today's day is marked on the map.


bigger

bigger

The Ukrainian air defense claimed to have shut down 55 of 63 Shahid drones. But the Iskander, Dagger and S-300 fired against it all came through.

The Russian MoD reports (machine translation):

Today, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation delivered a massive strike with high-precision long-range weapons of air, sea, land-based and unmanned aerial vehicles against energy facilities, military-industrial complex, railway junctions, arsenals, places of deployment of formations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and foreign mercenaries.

As a result of the strike, the functioning of industrial enterprises for the production and repair of weapons, military equipment and ammunition was disorganized.

In addition, foreign military equipment and weapons delivered to Ukraine from NATO countries were destroyed, transfers to the front line of enemy reserves were disrupted, and units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and mercenaries in the areas of restoring combat capability were hit.

All the goals of the massive strike have been achieved.

Some European politicians are eager to join the fight.


bigger

As demonstrated today, Russia is ready for it. But unlike a still training Macron Russia has taken its gloves off (machine translation):

Peskov: Russia is in a state of war, everyone should understand this

Russia will continue to act in such a way that the military potential of Ukraine could not threaten the security of its citizens and its territory, he said in a conversation with reporters.

"What is the president talking about? We have four new regions of the Russian Federation. And the main thing for us is to protect people in these regions and liberate the territory of these regions, which is currently de facto occupied by the Kiev regime," Peskov said.

According to the presidential press secretary, Russia cannot allow the existence of a state on its borders that has documented the intention to use any methods to take Crimea from it, not to mention the territory of new regions.

"We are at war. Yes, it started out as a special military operation, but as soon as this little group was formed there, when the collective West became a participant in this on the side of Ukraine, it already became a war for us. I am convinced of this. And everyone should understand this for their internal mobilization," Peskov added.

In parallel to Peskov's declaration of war talk, Russias announced the mass production of the three ton heavy FAB-3.000 aerial bombs with 1,400 kg of explosives. These will be fitted, like the currently used FAB 500 and FAB 1.500, with the universal planning and correction module (UMPC) which allows the bombs to glide some 40 miles after being launched to then hit its planned target with high precision. There is little that can survive such a strike.

In his (highly recommendable) book "The Russian Art of War", the former Swiss military intelligence officer Jacques Baud described the reason why the current fighting in Ukraine started out as a "Special Military Operation" within a larger context:

The use of the word "war" would imply a different structure of conduct than that envisioned by the Russians in Ukraine, and would have other structural implications in Russia itself. Moreover - and this is a central point - as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg himself acknowledges,"the war began in 2014" and should have been ended by the Minsk Agreements. The SMO is therefore a "military operation" and not a new "war", as many Western "experts" claim.

That was then. Now Russia is at war.

This will have, as Baud says, a different structure of conduct and other structural implications in Russia and beyond.

Those 'western' politicians who are dreaming of fighting Russia have no idea of what will hit their troops the moment they try to join the war.

NATO however, and especially the United States, will not go to war. At least not yet.

President Biden has his hands full with the genocidal war the Zionists are waging against the Palestinian population. There is also a chance for a war to suddenly start in Asia. (Could North Korea be asked to flex its muscles?)

Neither the U.S. nor Europe are in the shape of winning a multi-front war of global dimensions. The military leaders in the relevant countries know this well.

In consequence 'Western' politicians will have to bite the bitter pill of a decisive strategic defeat.

Posted by b on March 22, 2024 at 13:10 UTC | Permalink

Comments
next page »

After this reading of B's latest production, it feels like B too has cranked up his reporting quality a notch :-) I'm impressed. Thanks B !

Posted by: Stephane | Mar 22 2024 13:21 utc | 1

Long overdue but the intelligentsia in the West are in complete denial about the reality of what is going on and the inevitable defeat for Ukraine. That, combined with the return of Trump is going to lead to levels of hysteria that are off the charts.

Posted by: Gonzo | Mar 22 2024 13:21 utc | 2

I may be channeling a certain poster here, but in reading about these strikes, why would Russia wait so long to do this?

That Motor Sich plant should have been turned into rubble a long, long, time ago. It's not like its location was some great mystery. You could probably bring in up on Google maps.

Silly stupid Ukrainians were boasting about their grain corridor. Why not hit all the grain elevators? Or better yet, figure out where the ships are loading and just sink them. It would take months to get them off the bottom, probably a piece-by-piece salvage operation.

I know that playing armchair warlord is stupid, but still, I find it puzzling why this took so long.

Posted by: Ghost of Zanon | Mar 22 2024 13:23 utc | 3

'Western' politicians will have to bite bitter pill.
From my conversations with a few MIC adjacent folks, that idea is still foreign to them. Total denial. I told one I they were as cock sure of themselves as Robert Macnamara in 1963, and got a blank stare.

Posted by: horatio | Mar 22 2024 13:24 utc | 4

[email protected] Ukraine ain't defeated.....yet, and Trump's running down the road....steady as she goes....after what the chump did last time around in Occupied Palestine. Fuck that Guy .....great Mike Campbell tune btw.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Mar 22 2024 13:31 utc | 5

Too soon for Western leaders taking any bitter pills, but the reality check is necessary.

Whichever Western intel agency greenlighted Budanov's excursion into Belgorod, and the dozens of terror acts against civilians that came before, they knew this would happen. At the end of the day, it only takes one side to escalate. Good that Russian gov is responding.

Posted by: pxx | Mar 22 2024 13:32 utc | 6

shadowbanned & all armchairgenerals....it is WAR now against NATO forces in the 404 country...and war will be win on Russian terms....

Posted by: sejmon | Mar 22 2024 13:35 utc | 7

@seantheleprechaun

Not yet but it is inevitable. They sure won't win, all that is left is to decide how much they lose.

I don't care for who sits in the Oval Office. The US Empire will continue to terrorise the planet.

The Democrats and the GOP are two cheeks of the same insane ass.

Posted by: Gonzo | Mar 22 2024 13:37 utc | 8

The text from Lord Bebo's tweet is just not believable in any way. RF is not using S-300/S-400 air defense missiles as attack missiles. That 404 has any significant ability to shoot down anything is dubious. They might get a Geran/Shahed or two purely as a matter of luck. Beyond that only fantasy.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 22 2024 13:42 utc | 9

I feel 'western' elite (ruling class) are composed by total morons now.

All they can do is shouting "China is dictatorship!(i don't believe though)" "Russia is dictatorship!(ofcourse i don't believe though)".
Anyway describing "eastern" elite as Dictator Devil.
it is all the tactics they western ruling class have today.
And they never have a slightest bit of capability to repair their own country.

ok, If Chinese Xi Jinping is dictator like they said.
but at least I feel he better grab his country and coping with multi problems of his own country.
Same thing can say about Putin. Anyway he managed Russia well.


then West...
I want say WEST morons ...
"if you say "East" as dictatorship and We west is democracy. if so. Democracy means "morons rule their country"?
I really disappoint our society status thesedays.
so I am really agree with multi polar world that said nearly coming. I rather cheer the South stay away from West and toward East(Russia, China).
Because No Citizen Want Rule His Country By Morons If He Has Sanity Mind.
Western Psuedo Democracy System Is Total BullShit!"

Posted by: Nokaz | Mar 22 2024 13:47 utc | 10

Ghost of Zanon@3.... puzzled, we non combatant Generals have been aware of the slimy games played by both sides for years now. Commercial money always took president over military expediency. Otherwise 404 would have brought to a standstill. As for destroying grain elevators.....that's so Zionist.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Mar 22 2024 13:50 utc | 11

Precedent, not President f'n auto correct ....gotta love it....

Cheers

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Mar 22 2024 13:52 utc | 12

Mark the date! The official beginning of World War Three is March 22, 2024. We in the west are led by what could easily be argued is the most incapable group of people in all of human history, A group so bad that it makes the people who blundered into World War One appear as towering statesman or who make Nero fiddling while Rome burns look visionary. Who will be fiddling as Brussels and Paris burns? NO ONE because everyone will be dead!

Posted by: Rex Dillon | Mar 22 2024 13:55 utc | 13

Well, it's a start. If they do take the gloves off Russia may have a chance of getting somewhere, achieving something significant and longer lasting now. We'll see. Such a shift in rhetoric is significant in itself.

Posted by: Lavrov's Dog | Mar 22 2024 13:56 utc | 14

@Sean the Leprechaun

Bombing grain elevators I’d say is maybe 1/4 Zionist.

To go full Zionist you’d have to intentionally kill children with snipers, deliberately starve the people, and target aid workers.

Anyhoo, that grain will be supplied from somewhere else , to the detriment of what little organic GDP Ukraine can still generate. Taking away what’s left of Ukraines economy means that the West has to make the printer go brrrrrr even faster, and speeds up dedollarisation.

Posted by: Ghost of Zanon | Mar 22 2024 13:56 utc | 15

A tour de force essay marking a significant shift in overall tenor.

One wonders: is the RF finally gunning for outright military victory soon on the ground in Ukraine or is this just ratcheting attrition war up to a new level.

Feels like if West cannot muster significant aid, including personnel, Ukraine cannot long resist. If the West joins in, they will take losses and yet still be unable to wage Russia-style war in a 1,000 mile front.

Militarily, the West is toast unless it goes Full Metal Samson Option which will be the end of most coastal cities in North America.

Meanwhile, perhaps and hopefully some nations in the Western bloc will start breaking away....

2024. Dragon Year indeed.

Posted by: Scorpion | Mar 22 2024 13:58 utc | 16

Terrific piece. We are watching the accelerating decline of late-stage American capitalism, whose very survival is contingent on continuous debt-monetization (aka money printing). For perspective, since 2009, the FED has used the US Treasury as a taxpayer-funded ‘piggy bank’ (the FED cannot print money) to pump circa $50 trillion of cheap money to prop up equity markets (stocks), bonds, [still] insolvent banks and over-priced real estate, creating the ‘everything bubble’. The result of this taxpayer largess- US govt debt exceeds $34.5 trillion and increasing $1 trillion every 100 days (https://www.usdebtclock.org/). It should be noted this figure does not include consumer (mortgage, auto loan, student loan & credit card), corporate and municipal debt; all at record levels. On the international front, the US/NATO are facing a catastrophic defeat in Ukraine, far worse than the 2 decade- long/$2 trillion debacle in Afghanistan; the denouement being the departure of US forces (Aug, 2021), highlighted by the abrupt exit of President Ashraf Ghani in a helicopter with suitcases stuffed with money and front-page pictures of desperate Afghans clinging to the wheels and wings of US military transport aircraft departing Kabul airport. Bottom line- the Biden Administration/US ruling elite are desperate to avoid an encore performance of the Afghan debacle in Ukraine, vividly demonstrating the limitations of US military power to the global community. This is also eroding the role of the dollar was global reserve currency, a key pillar of post-WWII US power. Unfortunately, declining empires do not always behave rationally.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 22 2024 13:58 utc | 17

Magnificent post 'b'-one of your best!

Posted by: canuck | Mar 22 2024 13:59 utc | 18

As we can see by the election results, Russia is fully behind Putin. This has untied his hands.

Posted by: Down South | Mar 22 2024 14:02 utc | 19

"'Western' politicians will have to bite bitter pill.
From my conversations with a few MIC adjacent folks, that idea is still foreign to them. Total denial. I told one I they were as cock sure of themselves as Robert McNamara in 1963, and got a blank stare."

Posted by: horatio | Mar 22 2024 13:24 utc | 4

McNamara was one of the 'whiz kids' from Ford; he was foolish, but I have to give him credit he repented years later:

"The long-deferred retrospective by Robert McNamara -- "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam" -- must be judged on two different levels. Unfortunately for him and the country, the two levels are badly conflicted and this envelops the enterprise in sadness and futility.

First and foremost, the book seems an act of personal exorcism, and no one can or should deny the right of anyone to repent, no matter how late the hour. This is the proven path, in Christianity and psychiatry, to release oneself from a burden of guilt and doubt that has too long tormented the mind and the soul.

But this valid personal act is adulterated and contradicted by the inevitable commercialization involved in the selling of the book. In the course of trotting around to all those talk shows, the author is inevitably being asked hard questions to which he can give no convincing or useful answer -- whatsoever. It is reported, for example, that he was finally impelled to cry mea culpa by the disheartening, undeniable erosion of public confidence in government institutions and leaders during the past 20 years. But can anyone possibly believe that the revelations in this honorably intended book, or his variations upon them in the course of exposure to millions of television viewers, will arrest or reverse that depressing trend? On the contrary, they are more likely to deepen public cynicism." (1)

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1995/04/27/robert-mcnamaras-mea-culpa/9192e92a-5783-476b-a0b8-c8a1bd8068a5/

Posted by: canuck | Mar 22 2024 14:02 utc | 20

Based on my information the US / NATO started to "insert" military advisors into Ukraine already in the 1990s. Can't remember what the source was that information.

Posted by: WMG | Mar 22 2024 14:02 utc | 21

I don't believe that the strikes over the past two days were "retaliatory" but were planned strategically. I think there might be a day or two more of them and then they will be followed by action on the ground. Now that it is late march civilian impact will be less than in winter and lack of energy will hamper transportation as well as industrial production on any larger scale. Should also feed general unrest in the country which is struggling to pay bills.

Dima is probably right that Russia would prefer that remaing AD capability be pulled back from the front so that the destruction of defenders can continue more easily.

There is a window of time before the west can organize plan D within which Russia can attempt to collapse defense in the east and demoralize remaining resistence. Preparations along the front have been taking place for a couple of months now following the fall of Avdeevka.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 14:11 utc | 22

I second Stephane’s compliments to the “chef”.

Posted by: Phlogiston_Warrior | Mar 22 2024 14:13 utc | 23

Over at ASIF (Arctic Sea Ice Forum) they have some in depth discussion about electrical distribution systems in one chat. I did not think the RF was going to work at severely degrading the electrical distribution during the winter, people freezing and all, but for a possible major push this Spring Summer, that would be fair game. Was it just the 350 KV transformers (if they were hitting transformers) or also 750KV? Sounds like they also hit some other sorts of distribution equipment. I will be keeping any eye out elsewhere for details.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Mar 22 2024 14:17 utc | 24

Great overview, b.
I would also note that I would be awfully nervous if I were South Korean.
I'm not saying that the NKs will attack, but if they were - right after the November election this year would be the time to do it.
The US is heavily overcommitted already in Gaza and Ukraine; I cannot imagine China nor Russia would be urging peace as they would in the past and South Korea is significantly demilitarizing itself via arms sales to Poland and through the US, to Ukraine.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2024 14:20 utc | 25

In a phone conversation with journalists later in the day, Peskov explained that despite the conflict “de facto turning into a war,” legally it remains classified in Russia as a special military operation and that nothing has changed in that regard.

RT

Posted by: Lavrov's Dog | Mar 22 2024 14:37 utc | 26

B's view is increasingly regarded as realistic. As this excerpt from Philip Roddis' Steel City Scribblings indicates.
One argument that calls for greater examination is that Russia is by far the least indebted of major states. Despite having been thoroughly looted when the USSR crumbled, the state has emerged from a period of revitalisation without having incurred a massive debt burden: the contrast with the USA is dramatic.
Part of the explanation of this is that US power has come to depend, increasingly, on its ability to borrow. It has long since reached the point at which there is no possibility that it can repay that debt without a penny in the dollar devaluation- something that explains the current rise in mineral prices, notably gold, silver and copper.
De-dollarisation, which even quite recently had a radical ring about it, is a simple matter of prudence.

"...It is a fallacious belief that current Russian economic vitality is solely due to its massive ramp up in war production. Production for domestic consumption has also grown rapidly in recent years, and its pace has not slackened over the course of the current war. Agricultural production has exploded. Technological innovation and high-tech manufacturing has advanced by leaps and bounds.

"More importantly, Russia has forged strong economic ties with China, India, and many others of the Asian manufacturing juggernauts. The rapidly developing Eurasian currency and trade bloc represents the single most vibrant and potent economic force on the planet at this point in time. Russia possesses the largest repository of natural resources on the planet — a productive giant not only in terms of energy, but all manner of strategic commodities.

"...Russia is also the least indebted of all the great powers — by a huge margin. This is a factor that simply cannot be underestimated. The hyper-financialized western powers are doomed to a major debt-fueled economic calamity in coming years, whereas Russia is well-positioned to avoid that disaster altogether. And while, like all the major powers on the planet, it has significant demographic challenges, it is also focused on those issues, and is now offering extremely generous incentives to address the problem — incentives that will, of course, require many years to come to full fruition.

"That said, one of the significant results of the Ukraine war will be the reassimilation of all the Russian-speaking areas east of the Dnieper, as well as the entire Black Sea coast to the Danube (including Transnistria). This represents an augmentation of the Russian Federation’s population by about ten million inhabitants, along with the most fertile and most productive manufacturing regions of the former Ukraine. 2 whose this was a war aim of this does not me Additionally, one of the typical outcomes of victory in a major war is a pronounced boost in fertility. How pronounced that will be and how long it will last remains to be seen, but it must be kept in mind that demographic challenges exist throughout the developed world, and even a modest boost in Russian fertility will at least stem the tide of a major demographic collapse such as will engulf much of Europe, Japan, and even the United States if current trends continue unabated. 3

"Very few people in the west appreciate the degree to which Vladimir Putin has set in motion a major cultural reawakening in Russia. Russians have rediscovered themselves and are brimming with more national vitality and self-confidence than at any time over the past few centuries. I expect that Putin’s influence will persist in Russia for multiple generations following his eventual passing from the human scene. Russia will absolutely NOT resume a trajectory of increasing weakness following this war. Russia is now ascendant, and will continue to be so into the foreseeable future...."
https://steelcityscribblings.uk/wp/2024/03/22/russias-triumph-goes-beyond-ukraine/

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 14:38 utc | 27

Our host is in full agreement with Russian assessment.
I have seen this from the day of February 24, 2022.

https://www.rt.com/russia/594669-ukraine-war-russia-kremlin/

Posted by: fanto | Mar 22 2024 14:40 utc | 28

Bhadrakumar today:

The Russian presidential election has vividly brought out the fault lines in international politics in a way that seldom happens. That is because the political personality of President Vladimir Putin fills the global stage today like a Colossus. The extent to which the West has gone to demonise him shows what a morbid obsession this has become for them.

In retrospect, the single point western agenda was quintessentially about Putin whose historical role to regenerate and resurrect ‘post-Soviet’ Russia and bring it back to the centre stage of global affairs as a world class power remains an unforgivable turn in current history.

If Nato expansion is about the perpetuation of US hegemony and de-dollarisation is about the burial of the western financial system that underpins that hegemony, Putin is playing a pivotal role in that historical process. If Putin remains in power till 2030 and fulfils even one half of the ambitious blueprint of social and economic programme for Russia that he outlined in his landmark speech at the Federal Assembly of the parliament, the global strategic balance will have shifted irrevocably and cemented a multipolar world order as the anchor sheet of 21st century politics.

Indian Punchline

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 22 2024 14:41 utc | 29

A German of my acquaintance once remarked that Brussels was a dumping ground for domestic political incompetents.
Somewhere to send them without admission of their uselessness.
Not a good idea in interesting times.

Posted by: jpc | Mar 22 2024 14:46 utc | 30

I see that b has linked to the William Schryver -The Bitter Pill of Decisive Strategic Defeat- article that Roddis cites, and I quote. It is the last hyperlink of today's piece-above.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 14:48 utc | 31

jpc@30

Absolutely agree with this.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 14:48 utc | 32

Thank you 'b' for an excellent essay.

Posted by: Siddhartha | Mar 22 2024 14:50 utc | 33

Ukraine Weekly Update, 22nd March 2024: May be Useful to some: https://robcampbell.substack.com/p/ukraine-weekly-update-bff

Thanks for the article b.

Posted by: Dr. Rob Campbell | Mar 22 2024 14:51 utc | 34

Paul 17, Late Stage American Capitalism, isn't capitalism, it's financialization. Capital is a depreciable asset, and refers to actual production. Reaganomics ended American Capitalism, we've had the cart of finance in front of the horse of Capital intensive production ever since. Finance is a con game, truth is a threat. Real capital cherishes truth and real production and sees hype as the threat.

Posted by: Scottindallas | Mar 22 2024 14:52 utc | 35

@the pessimist #22
I disagree with Dima’s view completely.
Ukrainian movement of AD close to the front lines is a terrible idea (for Ukraine) that every Russian strategist hopes continues as long as possible.
Those platforms, safe in the rear lines, would be a perpetual threat but those same platforms, at the front and therefore exposed to attack by drones, missiles, hell even artillery are removed as threats forever once destroyed. Reduction of overall Ukrainian AD threat accelerated the timetable for any Russian offensive - something Putin was clearly waiting for this election to determine whether the Russian people wanted or not.
Dima’s focus is extreme short term; any larger or longer term focus would clearly view Ukrainian AD tactics as beneficial.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2024 14:53 utc | 36

Quoted by anon2020 in the Ukraine open thread: "...our army lost fewer soldiers than civilians died during the barbaric shelling of Belgorod."

As best I can tell, there were fewer than a couple dozen civilian deaths so far in Belgorod, though I stand to be corrected. In any case, whatever the total is, Russian military casualties are presumed to be lower.

And then there is this: "Ru Ministry of Defense claims 1725 Ukrainian casualties over the last day (650 in Belgograd direction alone)"

As much as the NAFO puppies and ChatNSDAP bot operators might like to gloat and spew FUD about Putin being "weak", their "team" is getting slaughtered like pigs in an abattoir.

For the record, I've never said Putin is weak. That is objectively false. My claim is and has been that Putin's preferred ideology is liberalism. This leaves him ill-prepared to understand why the West is attacking Russia, and thus less able to take the initiative in the conflict.

Of course, this doesn't mean Russia is at risk of losing the war, but rather that they are taking hits that could be avoided. With solid, old-school Marxist analysis the Russian leadership wouldn't be confused and wondering "Why are the beautiful and civilized garden-dwellers committing such horrible atrocities? Why are the knights of the shining city on the hill fighting with no honor or dignity?"

Fortunately, the bear is tough and can take a few punches while it works through the confusion resulting from having adopted a crappy ideology.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

swedens foreign minister tobias billstrom:

“It is not Sweden and NATO that constitutes a problem,” he told the broadcaster. “It is Russia that is behaving irresponsibly and recklessly.”

and there it is again, after a long while, the "behaviour" word that those in the west love to use against anyone not dancing to their tunes.

Posted by: Justpassinby | Mar 22 2024 14:55 utc | 38

Posted by: Rex Dillon | Mar 22 2024 13:55 utc | 13

It won't happen. It's all a collective waste narrative to push the eu into increasing their military nato budget to 2% as a minimum, to enrich the pockets of the psycopaths at the MIC.

Posted by: AI | Mar 22 2024 14:57 utc | 39

AFU sending another batch of women to the front.

https://twitter.com/colonelhomsi/status/1771187946818814063

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 22 2024 15:02 utc | 40

We in the west are led by what could easily be argued is the most incapable group of people in all of human history, A group so bad that it makes the people who blundered into World War One appear as towering statesman or who make Nero fiddling while Rome burns look visionary. Who will be fiddling as Brussels and Paris burns? NO ONE because everyone will be dead!

Posted by: Rex Dillon | Mar 22 2024 13:55 utc | 13

Don't put the actions of the imperial ruling class on yourself or the other good people of the west.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:03 utc | 41

Thanks for the posting b.

It is still a SMO but the pace of military engagement by Russia has increased significantly. I see one of the reasons being the completion of the Russian election process and the other being the NATO escalation talked about if not happening under the covers.

I expect to see more of this push to end the SMO before NATO can stupidly escalate further.....I see a moment of opportunity here. The unknown is how the bully of empire will react......no nukes so far which is the bottom line for me but I know we have others here that want to see more aggression and nuke usage in a MAD world they are sadly ignorant of.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 42

There is currently some noise about the creation of a flotilla of shallow water craft by the Russians. Subject of today's post on Awful avalanche. Usually such leakage to social media post dates the actuality, and if this is really part of a strategic plan one would hope so.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 43

Scottindallas | Mar 22 2024 14:52 utc | 35

"Late Stage American Capitalism, isn't capitalism, it's financialization. "
_________________________________

I agree. Capitalism is a wealth based economic strategy; whereas, financialism is a monetary based economic strategy.

Posted by: Jerr | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 44

c1ue@36

We will see. They were moved close to the front to mitigate the threat from guided bombs, and there have been (generally unverified) reports of aircraft losses. I believe Russia is preparing a stronger push along the front to follow this round of missile strikes in hopes of pushing through the remaining defense belts.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 15:15 utc | 45

@Scorpion, #16

This is Attrition 2.0, aimed at debilitating and outright destruction of Banderastan's power supply & communication systems.

Hard to produce ANYTHING, even propaganda, without electricity and internet connection, ain't it? It's also a way for the "peaceful nazis" in Galicia/Western Banderastan to feel some hardship, partly like their former compatriots in Donetsk once did (though, without the residential-blocks-shelling part) once did, and put some internal pressure on the Quisling chihuahuas in Kiev.

Yesterday was Slavic/Pelasgian New Year, it's oficially spring and the bears have awoken! :)

Posted by: ThirdWorldDude | Mar 22 2024 15:18 utc | 46

Russia has been at war since 2022. It was always cowardly newspeak to call it a "special military operation"; I was disappointed that some people here actually took up the "SMO" nonsense. Didn't the US try to call the Vietnam War a "limited police action"?

Posted by: Inka | Mar 22 2024 15:19 utc | 47

For the record, I've never said Putin is weak. That is objectively false. My claim is and has been that Putin's preferred ideology is liberalism. This leaves him ill-prepared to understand why the West is attacking Russia, and thus less able to take the initiative in the conflict.

Of course, this doesn't mean Russia is at risk of losing the war, but rather that they are taking hits that could be avoided. With solid, old-school Marxist analysis the Russian leadership wouldn't be confused and wondering "Why are the beautiful and civilized garden-dwellers committing such horrible atrocities? Why are the knights of the shining city on the hill fighting with no honor or dignity?"

Fortunately, the bear is tough and can take a few punches while it works through the confusion resulting from having adopted a crappy ideology.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Absolutely agree.

I'd go a step further and say that in addition to the advantage of it's location and natural resources, what really makes the bear tough today is it's collective, Soviet historical experience. Without that historical experience there would be no mass industrial military infrastructure, no clear strategic thinking and no Putin. Putin is a product of Soviet society whether he accepts that or not.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:19 utc | 48

Based on my information the US / NATO started to "insert" military advisors into Ukraine already in the 1990s. Can't remember what the source was that information.

Posted by: WMG | Mar 22 2024 14:02 utc | 21

Due to death of dear friend in January, was cleaning out his decades old stash of articles. Of particular note was a 1997 article from Retired Officer magazine which was about a Govt. of France/George Soros financed program to train unemployed Ukrainian military....subtitle of article 'A special training program in Ukraine means increased job prospects for former military personnel'..

Posted by: PassionateProgressiv | Mar 22 2024 15:24 utc | 49

Ahenobarbus@49

The ability to mobilize a population behind a set of common goals is key to achieving significant results in short order. The recent election in Russia shows that this has largely been achieved.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 15:25 utc | 50

One wonders: is the RF finally gunning for outright military victory soon on the ground in Ukraine or is this just ratcheting attrition war up to a new level.
Posted by: Scorpion | Mar 22 2024 13:58 utc | 16

Like you I don't know if this is ... the RF finally gunning for outright military victory ... or is this just ratcheting [the] attrition war up to a new level ... but it does seem as if the defensive attrition phase is over, especially coming so soon after elections which does seem to have had some bearing on the matter.

Russian forces pound Ukrainian troops, equipment in 121 areas over past day - TASS

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian forces inflicted damage on the Ukrainian army’s manpower and military hardware in 121 areas and destroyed an enemy fuel depot over the past day in the special military operation in Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

"Operational-tactical aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, missile troops and artillery of the Russian groupings of forces destroyed a depot storing fuel for Ukrainian military equipment, a combat vehicle and a transporter-loader of a Grad multiple launch rocket system and inflicted damage on the Ukrainian army’s manpower and materiel in 121 areas," the ministry said in a statement.

https://tass.com/politics/1762729

Naftogaz company facilities damaged in Ukraine - TASS

MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Naftogaz facilities in Ukraine have been damaged and have no power after being bombed, company head Alexey Chernyshev reported.

"Gas pipelines have been damaged and facilities have lost power," he wrote on his Facebook (banned in Russia; owned by Meta Corporation, deemed extremist in Russia).

https://tass.com/world/1763939

This has to be viewed (to my mind) in conjunction with the Ukrainian apparent move from offensive to defensive actions.

‘Active defence’: how Ukraine plans to survive 2024 - Financial Review - archived

After its summer counteroffensive ended in failure, Kyiv is shifting to a new strategy as it prepares itself for a third year of war ... I’m going to tell you the truth,” says Vanya, a Ukrainian soldier serving in a reconnaissance unit fighting alongside marines on the east bank of the Dnipro river in southern Ukraine. “The situation is deplorable.”

His damning assessment follows months of daring raids into enemy territory by Ukrainian forces last autumn to establish a tenuous bridgehead deep in the southern Kherson region. Under the cover of darkness, troops zipped across the river to inflict damage on Russian units and provide one of few bright spots since Ukraine’s much-vaunted summer counteroffensive ended in failure.

https://tinyurl.com/2vhxx968

With the Ukrainians short of funds, short of arms and short of manpower and looking at a potential collapse, the upshot would seem to me to be that this war is in it's closing stages and could well be over (bar the shouting and some covert actions on Russian Territory) before (or around) the November US elections. That is of course if the Neocons (who are fully aware of their failure) don't take their failed gambit to the nth degree.

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 22 2024 15:32 utc | 51

Navalny was for Russia what Guaido was for Venezuela.
Both failed. How one notices Gene Sharp is no more.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 22 2024 15:32 utc | 52

Navalny was for Russia what Guaido was for Venezuela.
Both failed. How one notices Gene Sharp is no more.

Posted by: Passerby | Mar 22 2024

that wouldnt be necessary if they would just stop interfering in US elections.

Posted by: Not Ewe | Mar 22 2024 15:35 utc | 53

Posted by: unimperator | Mar 22 2024 15:02 utc | 41

So old ukrops tired of eating Western greasy rations in the mud while waiting for their hopefully non-fatal wound will get some freshly cooked pilminy in the mud while waiting for their hopefully non-fatal wound.

Posted by: Johan Kaspar | Mar 22 2024 15:35 utc | 54

@the pessimist #46
Even presuming actual Russian losses of aircraft- for which there have been neither video evidence, nor MOD statements nor even Russian mil blogger consensus, the reality is that Russia would gladly trade Su planes if the trade off was the accelerated destruction of most/all Ukrainian air defense platforms.
I discount any real impact though because there is no evidence whatsoever in a letup of glide bombs dropped or pressure all across the front.
Note that I am not saying that this tactic is all bad: doing it once or twice to try and catch a fighter/bomber kill is legit but to adopt this as a common tactic, is the mark of idiots. Or Budanov and his like, as if there is a difference.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2024 15:38 utc | 55

"Why are the beautiful and civilized garden-dwellers committing such horrible atrocities? Why are the knights of the shining city on the hill fighting with no honor or dignity?"

@Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Putin smelled the coffee at least a couple of years ago, probably more.

'Your Vampire Ball is Over' - Putin to Western Elites

https://www.sott.net/article/489750-Your-Vampire-Ball-is-Over-Putin-to-Western-Elites


Posted by: librul | Mar 22 2024 15:38 utc | 56

Posted by: Jerr | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 45

This is good food-for-thought.

Posted by: Johan Kaspar | Mar 22 2024 15:39 utc | 57

Thanks b., very astute.
Yes, but no. Russia is not yet at the "real" war. My deepest bow to herr Baude, for understanding the RF modalities of scaling the conflict in a smart way. It is a still the SMO rules, a bit more focused on foreigners roaming around Kiev and about. Russians will hunt them all down. So we are safe to say it is SMO with recently added an accent of cleansing the foreign influence out.
The real War 3.0 is when conscripts and professional Army go together. That was exercised in Belorussian training grounds, just before the start of the SMO. Even some conscripts went over the border, but were quickly retreated. There are about 850k conscripts out of pool of about 5 million maxed possible ones. Than the Army reserve usually with the officer status, meaning another 2 mil people. So in the case of the war all those people will be called upon and conscript pool also ready in no time to participate. So Russia will never be short of the people. Also weapons abundance is not a joke. RF will not lose innovation and sophistication in warring equipment any time soon, not to mention production and a China's industrial backing.
So, in some Western corners of media and even political scene, we might see some easing off, but I understand that it is also as a bit too late, now. The West is always free to try its all options, all of them being very bad.
A 10 years old multilevel war that Russia is in now almost there, slowly uncovering its tentacles surrounding the whole battlespace and had built a momentum. With still sometime left, it'll be a real challenge for Putin's administration to control it, but I am sure they are up to a task. Russians, luckily, are always open for talk. Failing to talk, puts them on a map elsewhere, in the mean time. So it is a reality on the ground crunch and that is, oh, so 93 Harbi all over again.

Posted by: whirlX | Mar 22 2024 15:50 utc | 58

Geran-2. Interesting to see the scale of one.
https://t.me/Slavyangrad/92067

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 22 2024 15:53 utc | 59

Ahenobarbus@49

The ability to mobilize a population behind a set of common goals is key to achieving significant results in short order. The recent election in Russia shows that this has largely been achieved.

Posted by: the pessimist | Mar 22 2024 15:25 utc | 51

But why is Russian society able to do such things and other countries are not? Since WW2 only the USSR was able to truly confront western imperialism. Today only post Soviet Russia seems to have this ability. The soviet experience is a critical factor in it's success past and present. Every country should have had such an experience at this stage of history.

The west and the US are overripe for just such a revolutionary experience.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:55 utc | 60

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 14:38 utc | 27

################

All of the Abrahamic holy texts advise against interest and perpetual debt.

The ancients had received revelation about and had experience with the destructive nature of debt.

The modern secular West worships at the altar of debt financing—the Ponzi scheme with global consequences.

Being free from debt as an individual opens up opportunities and creates flexibility. I can see how this is multiplied when applied at the level of nation states.

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Mar 22 2024 15:56 utc | 61

and there it is again, after a long while, the "behaviour" word that those in the west love to use against anyone not dancing to their tunes.

Posted by: Justpassinby | Mar 22 2024 14:55 utc | 38

Why are the beautiful and civilized garden-dwellers committing such horrible atrocities? Why are the knights of the shining city on the hill fighting with no honor or dignity?"

@Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Putin smelled the coffee at least a couple of years ago, probably more.

'Your Vampire Ball is Over' - Putin to Western Elites

https://www.sott.net/article/489750-Your-Vampire-Ball-is-Over-Putin-to-Western-Elites


Posted by: librul | Mar 22 2024 15:38 utc | 57

The condescending arrogance would be amusing except hundreds of thousands have died and will continue to die because of the rules based sociopaths and their tidy gardens.

Posted by: jpc | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 62

I very much enjoyed Mearsheimer's full-length interview with Maté and Halper today (90 min). They really get him to let loose on his thinking. I didn't much like what he was saying in the early stages of the Ukraine conflict, but he's pretty much got it right now. Same with Gaza (of course I'm a realist too, so maybe that's why I like it).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0_CReHGOKM

Posted by: laguerre | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 63

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:19 utc | 49

I think that it's truly bizarre to examine Putin's political history and call him a liberal. First- he's a spy. His training is all about Maskirovka. Second, he's part of team that is deeply immersed in historical analysis- marxist historical analysis. Third, his actions in office have been consistently directed to de-liberalizing the state and the economy, but doing so in a way that would fly under the west's radar for as long as possible. When they finally caught on, the west escalated rapidly vs Russia, but they were too late.

What has Putin done? He quashed the oligarchs (they are still there, but have no power), he rebuilt the foundation of Russian industry, he established a network of good-faith economic dealings with China and the global south, he stood up to the west militarily in Syria, preventing the west from taking control, he built important economic and security structures in Russia's southern neighborhoods, quashed western color revolutions there, and built the most modern military in the world to confront the western powers. He built a relationship with China that has no limits. What do these things tell you?

It's like 'tell me you're a communist without telling me you're a communist.' We're witnessing the gradual birth of Soviet Union 2.0. The USSR came to be dominated by a mix of extreme ideologues like the American Neocons, on the one hand, and on the other, a bunch of apparatchiks that were focused on building a system of individual privilege on the backs of the workers, and were hence very susceptible to western influence, direct or indirect. Gorby and Yeltsin demonstrated the dangers of this very clearly, and the Russians learn from history. 2.0 has a good chance of actually working.

Now that the conflict between Russia and the west is out in the open, I expect to see overt support for socialism develop rapidly in anticipation of the post-Putin era soon to come.

Posted by: Honzo | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 64

Posted by: Jerr | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 45

#################

What is the greater issue for Zionist America?

Capitalism or Secularism?

Is it possible to construct an enduring secular civilization?

Without a consistent narrative of origin, values, and objectives, what binds a nation together? Ease of access to printable tax return forms? Anyone's daughter can become an entrepreneur on OnlyFans? Stock ownership in the military congressional complex?

Posted by: LoveDonbass | Mar 22 2024 16:03 utc | 65

@oldhippie

The text from Lord Bebo's tweet is just not believable in any way. RF is not using S-300/S-400 air defense missiles as attack missiles. That 404 has any significant ability to shoot down anything is dubious. They might get a Geran/Shahed or two purely as a matter of luck. Beyond that only fantasy.

404 did receive quite a number of modern air defense systems. The Shahed can be shut down with simple machine guns.
S-300 have, like all large air defense missiles, a ground attack mode*. Russia is retiring S-300 for new S-400 systems. To use its very considerable stores of old S-300 missiles in ground attack mode makes a lot of sense.

*The old U.S. Nike-Hercules systems even had nuclear warheads usable in ground attack mode.

Posted by: b | Mar 22 2024 16:04 utc | 66

Yeah it's still an SMO

Peskov's "slip up" was very carefully pre planned and coordinated to wake the Western media up to what's coming.

500k new troops for Russia, FAB 3000s and destroying energy structures is coming. Yes real war is coming. Soon

Posted by: Comandante | Mar 22 2024 16:05 utc | 67

That, combined with the return of Trump is going to lead to levels of hysteria that are off the charts.

Posted by: Gonzo | Mar 22 2024 13:21 utc | 2

I've got my popcorn ready. Things are going to get really "interesting" in about August/September. I can only imagine what levers the DC establishment elite and their media mouthpieces have in store to keep Trump from being re-elected. It won't be pretty.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 14:38 utc | 27

That's exactly why Bumblin' Genocide Joe said "Putin cannot remain in power!" which he later kind of tried to walk back. Putin is the personification of the razor wire topped barrier that the Russian state has erected to protect itself from the depredations of Western Finance Capital and accompanying imperialism (not necessarily in that order), having seen the havoc and poverty it has wrought throughout the world over the past 70 years, but really on steroids since the Reagan-Bush-Clinton years.

-----------------------------------------------------
Finance is a con game, truth is a threat. Real capital cherishes truth and real production and sees hype as the threat.

Posted by: Scottindallas | Mar 22 2024 14:52 utc | 35

One hopes, as I did above, that it's exactly that con game that Putin and Russia see for what it is. I'm sure there are prominent elements among Russia's western-yearning liberal upper PMC echelons who are also salivating at the fall of what is being built so that, like they did in the 90s, they can glom onto the scraps of the Russian state with the "help" of their new American and European "friends."

Truth is a threat, indeed. It's "treason in the Empire of Lies" as has been said by someone (Ron Paul?). We in the USA and EU are living in a simulacrum of our financial masters' creation.

The only thing that worries me about Russia is something I read in an article the other day. Many of the Russians who lived through that miserable time are growing old and passing away; younger Russians are susceptible to the constant stream of propaganda emanating from the West. I believe that author noted Russia's tepid (at best) response to the ongoing Zionist genocide in Gaza as but one example. Does DC/the Pentagon/Wall Street/The City have a fifth column ready to mobilize within the RF?

I'll try to find it again and post it here if I can.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 22 2024 16:08 utc | 68

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:19 utc | 49

I think that it's truly bizarre to examine Putin's political history and call him a liberal. First- he's a spy. His training is all about Maskirovka. Second, he's part of team that is deeply immersed in historical analysis- marxist historical analysis. Third, his actions in office have been consistently directed to de-liberalizing the state and the economy, but doing so in a way that would fly under the west's radar for as long as possible. When they finally caught on, the west escalated rapidly vs Russia, but they were too late.

What has Putin done? He quashed the oligarchs (they are still there, but have no power), he rebuilt the foundation of Russian industry, he established a network of good-faith economic dealings with China and the global south, he stood up to the west militarily in Syria, preventing the west from taking control, he built important economic and security structures in Russia's southern neighborhoods, quashed western color revolutions there, and built the most modern military in the world to confront the western powers. He built a relationship with China that has no limits. What do these things tell you?

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2024 14:54 utc | 37

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:19 utc | 49

"It's like 'tell me you're a communist without telling me you're a communist.' We're witnessing the gradual birth of Soviet Union 2.0. The USSR came to be dominated by a mix of extreme ideologues like the American Neocons, on the one hand, and on the other, a bunch of apparatchiks that were focused on building a system of individual privilege on the backs of the workers, and were hence very susceptible to western influence, direct or indirect. Gorby and Yeltsin demonstrated the dangers of this very clearly, and the Russians learn from history. 2.0 has a good chance of actually working.

Now that the conflict between Russia and the west is out in the open, I expect to see overt support for socialism develop rapidly in anticipation of the post-Putin era soon to come."

Posted by: Honzo | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 65

One of your best posts, at least, that I have read.

Totally agree with your analysis

Posted by: canuck | Mar 22 2024 16:09 utc | 69

I think the 'software' or the filtering system (or something on an even lower level like a blacklist managed by the likes of the people running "NewsGuard"?) has my IP address flagged. I am able to post from my usual proxy server, but not my home IP.

Sigh. Just had a long comment auto-flushed.

If b sees it, I hope it can be restored.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 22 2024 16:11 utc | 70

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:55 utc | 61

North Korea, China, Vietnam have all 'truly confronted' western imperialism after WWII. Did they pursue unlimited war to the death? No. Russia is not pursuing that either.

Those successful confrontations are rooted in a shared Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist base manifested with great attention to the practical details of the place and time of their individual national situations. China's 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' overtly shows this. The process has taken a long time in Russia because of the success of the first socialist revolution and the hostile actions of the west to destroy it. China made its own errors, but being able to observe Russia, and having its protection at a critical phase of development, adapted MLS theory to local practice faster. DPRK made extreme adaptations very early on, having little or no choice, being in a state of war with the US for its entire existence. Russia now has the opportunity to learn from China and DPRK, and the failures of the Soviets, and apply the lessons to its own situation, which, quite frankly, it seems to be doing very rapidly.

Posted by: Honzo | Mar 22 2024 16:12 utc | 71

A superb piece. Many thanks.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 22 2024 16:12 utc | 72

"If Nato expansion is about the perpetuation of US hegemony and de-dollarisation is about the burial of the western financial system that underpins that hegemony" ??

But Alas, it isn't because as per usual it has been over hyped. Over hyped by all the usual players who don't understand money.

Let's just take Karlof's substack as an example.

Which article should I pick as most are ideological nonsense. From a gold standard fixed exchange world.

I'll pick this beauty...

Dedollarization Update: BRICS+ & EAEU


https://karlof1.substack.com/p/dedollarization-update-brics-and

These nuggets of wisdom he chooses to charge for. Fools and their money are easily parted.

"This meeting follows the BRICS+ Finance Ministers Summit at the end of February in Rio that was reported about at the Gym. The hints then were trials coming soon. IMO, they’re farther along than we know. The really big deal is what this will do for development financing. Debt and deficit spending can still be used as tools in prudent amounts as we’re seeing in Russia and China. Another bonus is the system will be public as in nationalized within its participants, although there’ll be opportunities for private capital to use the system. I’m sure many will want to know how the oversight process will be performed. Future meetings ought to give us further glimpses of how this project’s progressing."

" Debt and Deficit spending can still be used in prudent amounts"

What does that even mean debt and deficit spending it's just drivel. Prudent amounts lol what like no deficit above 3% of GDP pmsl. What size can the debt be ?? The amount people save , what is considered prudent? Can people save or not and save as much as they like ??

It gets worse .

" as we’re seeing in Russia and China. "

Well that's bull shit and a figment of immagination. Putin is a conservative statist and the communist party certainly isn't. No " sound money " bullshit ever came out of China they same way it pours out of Putin's mouth.

" Another bonus is the system will be public as in nationalized within its participants"

With no proof of that whatsoever that's just Karlof's wishful thinking.

" It’s more in-line with International Law and a tool for people to advance themselves. IMO, this whole project makes great social & business sense, which makes it good political sense. "

That's not true either. Karlof is certainly on a role on the lying front. Of course he has no concrete facts to back up anything he says. Charges fools to pay for this wishful thinking.

Case in point using facts not fiction. That left Michael Hudson way out of his depth as he got caught out the same way Karlof will be caught out in any debate.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6QyyF_p_dBU&pp=ygUubWljaGFlbCBodWRzb24gZWNvbm9taXN0IENoaW5hIGluIFNvdXRoIGFmcmljYQ%3D%3D

It really is a terrific debate about China in South Aftica. Patrick Bond really exposed Hudson about China.

Way, way, way overhyped. The exact same way Karlof way, way, way over hypes Russia's economy, BRICS and de-dollarisation.

Along with Denise of the West being way, way, way over hyped due to de-dollarisation.

Hudson had no answers when challenged by Patrick Bond and Karlof will have no answers when challenged in any debate for all the same reasons. Hudson's over exaggeration of China and Karlof's over exaggeration of Russia.


Stories about greater economic cooperation between the BRICS countries — particularly Russia and China — make some sense. However, such a possibility needs to pass the “So What?” test.

A diversion of trade flows to occur between the BRICS bloc is by itself meaningless. To a certain extent, trade flows are fungible: if Russia and China divert production towards each other, other countries will reallocate their exports towards the countries that used to receive their goods. (For example, if Russia sends more oil to China, the countries that used to supply China with oil would send their oil to countries that used to buy Russian oil.) The only reason for an outsider to care is if the BRICS bloc attempts to cut off exports to outside countries, or charge excessive amounts for outputs they control. However, the only country within the grouping that might have economic leverage is China. Russia is a major commodity exporter, but it does not have a dominant position in their global production. The Russian capacity to take commodities off the global market is constrained by the need to earn foreign currency to finance its war-related imports.

Attempting to force outside countries to use a new “BRICS currency” runs into the problem that the only credible “BRICS currency” would be the Chinese renminbi (or something that is a close proxy for the renminbi). It would be difficult for the Chinese to get foreigners to hold the renminbi with the current capital controls regime. Invoking stories about “commodity-backed currencies” runs into the problem of how the currency is redeemed for the commodity in question. Who would trust the Putin regime to hand over gold in exchange for rubles? In what sense can a major commodity importer like China back its currency with commodities?

“Reserve Currency Status”

Anyone discussing “reserve currency status” in relations to countries after the demise of Bretton Woods does not know what they are talking about. Every semi-liquid developed country government bond market is seeing reserve asset allocations.Reserve asset managers are large bond fund managers, and as long as the market is big enough to support them, they are going to buy the bonds. In other words, almost all the developed economy currencies are “reserve currencies.

The USD dominance of reserve asset allocations is going to mirrored by allocations by private sector developed bond managers. No sensible investor wants to put a lot of money into a market dominated by a cabal of local investors who would just love to squeeze foreign bond investors who have not done their due diligence. The bond market has to be deep enough that shenanigans are difficult to coordinate.

The euro is a serious currency. The yen is also tied to a strong economy, although I see limited domestic appetite to absorb foreign reserve inflows. The United Kingdom would punch above its GDP weight in attracting financial inflows if the toffs were not so busy dismantling the economy. Other developed bond markets are tied to solid economies, but the depth of the bond markets are limited.

Finally, the USD credit markets are overweighted in allocations because of network effects. A major driver is that exporters to the USD want to issue in USD to hedge their revenues. However, market size also matters for issuance. For example, there was no CAD high yield market — issuers and buyers operated in USD so that they would be part of a diversified market. (Currency swaps can easily allow movement between CAD and USD.) The rise of other currencies should lead to diversification, but that would take time.

Only fools think de-dollarisation are going to hurt the West in any big way. It is over exaggeration by both Hudson and Karlof. Who clearly, if you read his substack hasn't the first clue about money.

In short ideological drivel.

We are better waiting to see what happens. Then use the facts and the truth and discuss what it looks like. Rather than projecting wishful thinking and swimming knee deep in denial.


Posted by: Echo Chamber | Mar 22 2024 16:12 utc | 73

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 22 2024 15:32 utc | 52

With the Ukrainians short of funds, short of arms and short of manpower and looking at a potential collapse, the upshot would seem to me to be that this war is in it's closing stages and could well be over (bar the shouting and some covert actions on Russian Territory) before (or around) the November US elections.

I understand the rush to get to Berlin in 1945, but in this case, there is no other force closing in on the poor target and life in Russia is pretty much normal, so why not just keep destroying Ukraine slowly for a few more years?

The Second Chechen War (CW2) lasted almost 10 yr (Aug. 1999 to Apr. 2009), large scale military operations lasted nearly 2 yr (Aug. 1999 to May 2001), and the most intensive phase lasted 6 yr (1999 to 2006), then the whole thing ended in 2009, with the complete and thorough transformation of Chechnya into a Russian ally.

The same guy that managed the rhythm and tempo of the CW2 is managing this war, and now he is way more experienced and rules over a much stronger and stable Russia. His objective might well be the same as in Chechnya, complete subjugation of the whole Ukrainian territory and transformation of its leadership into a reliable ally.

Posted by: Johan Kaspar | Mar 22 2024 16:15 utc | 74

I think that it's truly bizarre to examine Putin's political history and call him a liberal. First- he's a spy. His training is all about Maskirovka. Second, he's part of team that is deeply immersed in historical analysis- marxist historical analysis. Third, his actions in office have been consistently directed to de-liberalizing the state and the economy, but doing so in a way that would fly under the west's radar for as long as possible. When they finally caught on, the west escalated rapidly vs Russia, but they were too late.

===

Posted by: Honzo | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 64

Thank you. Drinking your own Koolaid has consequences too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 22 2024 16:16 utc | 75

Posted by: Down South | Mar 22 2024 14:02 utc | 19

About Capitalism and Election.
I feel there are hidden (at least not teach at school) function of this ideology, It deprive state control power from delegations of normal people , then Money Mafia, Paid actor, Military-industrial complex hijacking the state.

Then now Collective West fall into control of these bandits(might call them "Capitalist Core").
So I suspect one of the reason those hijacker hate Russia so much is look like Putin, Russians still have their delegations.
People of Russia behind Putin from the heart.
we Capitalism West dont.
Many feel "Who support this shit? he is not my president at least" .
It looks Ordinary American dont like Biden, Ordinary French dont like Macron , Ordinary Japanese dont like Kishida, UK PM already gone twice.
why we west citizen cant love our leader.
Isn't it because they are just clowns guise of leadership and we feel it somehow.

From this perspective, the confrontation between Collective West and Multi Polars appears to be gradually becoming a composition of a country taken over by money mafia bandits versus a country that has not yet done so.

Posted by: Nokaz | Mar 22 2024 16:16 utc | 76

@ b | Mar 22 2024 16:04 utc | 66

There have been no corroborated evidence that RAF uses S-300 system missiles in ground attack mode, nor is there a good reason to, due to their low range and inherently lower precision. All reports of their use come from what-is-still-called-Ukraine's Air Force statements, mostly likely to fortify claims blaming Russia for collateral damage caused by UAF's own failing air defense intercepts. Besides, Russia does not throw away perfectly good weapon systems just because new versions are being installed.

Posted by: boneless | Mar 22 2024 16:18 utc | 77

Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 15:55 utc | 61
I think the answer is that Russia is in a process of national liberation. At this stage Nationalism is a potent, democratic and unifying force, as the Chinese Revolution showed.
The problem is that Nationalism, which is based on class to the extent that the great mass of any nation is a working class, in an imperialist world degenerates into comprador capitalism.
But the world is changing: imperialism is in retreat, the slow movement of anti-colonialism has developed a momentum which has made the defeat of empire inevitable and will leave the real nature of class relations unmasked.
When that happens the question of internationalism and socialism will have to be addressed, because the final stage of national liberation involves liberation from the divisiveness of nationalism.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 16:21 utc | 78

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Mar 22 2024 16:12 utc | 73

The anti Karlof! I hope the counter thrust is not also book length.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 16:23 utc | 79

Victor vicktop55
@vicktop55
Viktor Orban: "It's a strange feeling when you come from Hungary to Brussels.

Hungary looks like a completely normal country. We have a calm and rational mindset, and if you come to Brussels and talk to politicians, you will be surprised.

There is a military mood, military language, military logic. The leaders talk as if they are waging their own war against Russia. And now they are saying that soldiers should be stationed in Ukraine.

It is not clear exactly what they mean, where they should be stationed, with what weapons and for what purposes.

But they have already begun to prepare for the fact that in this situation it will be quite natural if Western European countries deploy military posts on the territory of Ukraine, which shocks Hungarians.

Therefore, I felt as if I had entered another galaxy, and we must be careful not to fall into the psychosis of these twenty or so state leaders.
[How far are Western leaders willing to go in terms of supporting Ukraine? The most disturbing thing about this whole story is that two or three months ago it was unthinkable, now, two or three months later, it becomes an ordinary event."

That's what I said - the worse, the better. Ukraine attacked the Belgorod region. Where is Ukraine's energy sector now? Russia has always needed a good kick in the ass for it to act. So, let NATO troops enter Ukraine. The war will end much faster then. And the West will get a lesson for memory that it is bad to fight with Russia.
https://twitter.com/vicktop55/status/1771136022841032893

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 22 2024 16:24 utc | 80

Useful idiots has a very discussion with John Mearsheimer today. They talk about Ukraine and Gaza. It is worth watching in it's entirety.

https://youtu.be/i0_CReHGOKM?si=rcipz127knsuFhy6

I am glad to know that b follows the William Shryver site.

Posted by: Morongobill | Mar 22 2024 16:25 utc | 81

The following article is from The Telegraph (UK).

'NATO is “ready” for direct conflict with Russia, Admiral Rob Bauer (of the Royal Netherlands Navy),
chairman of the NATO Military Committee, has said.

“Are we ready? Answer: Yes! Our primary task is to be prepared,” Admiral Bauer told ArmyInform, the
information branch of Ukraine’s ministry of defence. “If this happens today, you must fight with what you
have. It is always a combination of being ready for today and improving opportunities for the future.”

Addressing NATO’s readiness on its eastern flank, he recalled how the alliance has increased its presence
in the Baltic states since 2016, as well as in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria since the outbreak
of the full-scale war in Ukraine.

“We now have eight such combat groups, each with a battalion, and they can be combined to form a brigade
if necessary,” he said.

His comments come as Russia admitted it was in a “a state of war” with Ukraine amid reports Moscow is
building up a force of more than 100,000 soldiers in preparation for a major offensive this summer.'

Eight battalion sized combat groups - Wow, Putin must be shaking in his boots!

Posted by: Siddhartha | Mar 22 2024 16:31 utc | 82

The problem is that Nationalism, which is based on class to the extent that the great mass of any nation is a working class, in an imperialist world degenerates into comprador capitalism.

But the world is changing: imperialism is in retreat, the slow movement of anti-colonialism has developed a momentum which has made the defeat of empire inevitable and will leave the real nature of class relations unmasked.
When that happens the question of internationalism and socialism will have to be addressed, because the final stage of national liberation involves liberation from the divisiveness of nationalism.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 16:21 utc | 78

Cuidado Bevin. That first paragraph is getting dangerously close to the arguments for nation socialism. By this logic the Catholic Church could be considered a workers organization because the majority of parishioners are always working class.

Nations long ago became nothing but vehicles for their ruling class. Within every nation exists a sharp class divide and what is described as the national interest is almost always exclusively the interest of it's ruling class.

The national ruling class in Russia and China are the only ones that seem to put some value on their workers and grant them a modicum of respect and dignity. I think that's because both have at least passed through a revolution based to some extent on Marx and class consciousness.

Posted by: Ahenobarbus | Mar 22 2024 16:35 utc | 83

We are going to have prudent debt and deficit spending whatever that fooking is lol.

Conservative or neoliberal or gold bug prudent ?

How much are people allowed to save ?

We are going to export our way to growth, as we are a bunch of exporting countries coming together. Who give our real resources away to other countries to improve the other countries standards of living. In return We get loads of foreign coins we can't use. Have Rupees coming out of our ears.

Sounds like the EU treaties and protocols. Exactly the same infact. Exactly the same as the NATO charters rules. You might as well move to using the Euro.

This is supposed to destroy the West ?

Over egged hyperbole - period. US treasuries have never been more in demand.

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp

Oh, isn't interest rates of 16% super and inflation of nearly 8% marvellous ?

There's so many people in complete denial. The truth is wishful thinking has clearly taken over from rational debate.

Some Americans simply can't wait for de- dollarisation. To be finally free of the $ zombies. To improve the strength of the $.

Substack is full to the brim with ideological dreamers. That Patrick Bond would have a field day with.

I suppose wait and see is far more boring than getting paid for writing mythical bed time stories for children.

Karlof should be wearing a mask charging for that gold standard, fixed exchange rate guff.

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Mar 22 2024 16:41 utc | 84

This is what will happen to Finland the moment they try anything beyond the current cowardly backstabbing.

In fifteen minutes Finland's electricity will be down, main roads and railroads broken, every army concentration and airfield in craters. One could hope for the parliament to be blown up first, but there are so many tunnels and bunkers underneath it that it's better to just cut off their escape from the country and later give them a proper Nurnberg trial.

If they're there that is. Last time Finland went to war against Russia under a jew (Erkko), the jew escaped to Sweden the first day of the war. The current jew in power (Stubb) is Swedish, so we can expect a repeat of the same.

Posted by: Michael A | Mar 22 2024 16:42 utc | 85

Not sure of the reason why, but at some point over the past two months the west's description of the Russian operation, used in official statements and media reporting, has changed from "unprovoked" to "full-scale".

Posted by: jayc | Mar 22 2024 16:43 utc | 86

"...real war is coming. Soon"
Comandante | Mar 22 2024 16:05 utc | 68

Let us hope not. Real war in 2024 involves nuclear weapons. And when that starts all bets are off, except the certainty that humanity and other species will be so close to extinction that it will be palpable.
Personally I prefer the slow dismantling of the suicide pact which is Imperialism.

".. younger Russians are susceptible to the constant stream of propaganda emanating from the West. I believe that author noted Russia's tepid (at best) response to the ongoing Zionist genocide in Gaza as but one example...."
Tom_Q_Collins | Mar 22 2024 16:08 utc | 68

The days when the West had a monopoly on 'soft power' are surely over. I suspect that the 'young' Russians who look admiringly at the US and EU are now in their fifties- much like the same demographic in our countries which is reactionary. Surely the election, and the failure of the Navalny card playing by the West, show that young Russians are supporters of Putin's nationalism and inclined to regard the West as their enemy?
As to Russian (and Chinese) views of Zionism's atrocities. Is it not the case that they regard them from a distance, as part and parcel of the Imperialist system? A symptom of the great evil which it represents.
The truth is that, since the fifties, Zionism has been tied to US Imperialism by an umbilical cord. As to the atrocities- all that is new about these is that they can be viewed on mobile phones which makes it difficult for the capitalist media to pretend that they don't exist. Nobody knows better than the Chinese what atrocities the US is capable of inflicting on its critics, while there cannot be a sentient soul in Russia who does not understand the extreme indifference with which the West regards the suffering of the masses- having seen life expectancy plummet by a decade or more after the 'failure' of the Soviet Union and the embrace of America, they would have to be part of Pussy Riot sucking at the NED's nipples to believe otherwise.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 22 2024 16:43 utc | 87

SMO is local. Borderlands cleared of Nazis.

War. Is by definition- EVERYWHERE.

Just as WOT was. Hence The Levant, Syria, MENA, South America.. AFRICA.

No one should be surprised. Macaroon wanted a deployment that could then be declared as officially having killed and maimed the thousands of French ‘volunteers’. They can get medals and pensions… and be a reminder of the ‘unprovoked’ RF WAR.

Can’t say we weren’t warned. It’s depressing.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Mar 22 2024 16:45 utc | 88

Honzo | Mar 22 2024 15:59 utc | 64--

Quite correct. I wrote a few days ago that Putin is turning Russia into one giant soviet. Today he had a meeting with the Security Council that featured two special speakers but just who is unknown from the very short read-out. I'd like to share with the bar this item I mirrored from Global South that was published by Andre Vitchek in 2018, "Why the West Cannot Stomach Russians".

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2024 16:54 utc | 89

Is China’s Trade Predatory or for Mutual Benefit? - Hudson and Bond

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=khzqxwBJ0js&pp=ygUaUGFyaWNrIGJvbmQgbWljaGFlbCBodWRzb24%3D

Posted by: Echo Chamber | Mar 22 2024 16:56 utc | 90

Ghost of Zanon @3
Until being nationalised (expropriated) in 2022, Motor Sich was partially (over 40%) Chinese owned. Perhaps Russia went easy on it tp protect Chinese investment, in similar manner to the American avoidance of bombing Ford factories in Koeln during WW2.

Posted by: AJ | Mar 22 2024 16:59 utc | 91

Scottindallas | Mar 22 2024 14:52 utc | 35

"Late Stage American Capitalism, isn't capitalism, it's financialization. "
_________________________________

I agree. Capitalism is a wealth based economic strategy; whereas, financialism is a monetary based economic strategy.

Posted by: Jerr | Mar 22 2024 15:07 utc | 44
---------------------------------------------------------------

Capitalism in all its stages was / is an exploitive economic class system, just as slavery and feudalism was / is wherever and whenever it exists, regardless of the form (or stage) of its development. Enough said.

Posted by: Ed | Mar 22 2024 17:02 utc | 92

Furter misrepresentation of me by the Chamberpot--my substack is free although I do accept contributions. The pot's lying that it's a pay-site.

Dear b, I've never requested you to ban an obvious troll, but this one spams threads continuously and lies constantly. It needs to go, and I believe many will support my request.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2024 17:03 utc | 93

Russia has the US in checkmate . The distance between the US island of Little Diomede and the Russian Island of Big Diomede is 2.5 km and is walkable in winter. The closest distance between the Russian mainland and US mainland is 88 km or 55 miles. This is not lost on Alaskans who during a recent poll in February indicate that 36% of the population favours an independent country. By the way the Americans purchased Alaska from the Russians in 1867.
The Bearing Sea Crossing ( rail line , tunnels , old British nightmare and favoured by Trump ) was first proposed near the end of the 19 century to join Alaska to the Russian far east by way of the Diomede Islands.
The vast expanse of Canada stands between US and Alaska . The US also claims a large swath of the Arctic Ocean off Alaska that Canada has long thought belongs to them.
Ukraine, Gaza, the Red sea, the southern border and trouble in Haiti , its lose lose all around for the Biden Administration.
The American people need to realize that Russia is not a country somewhere over the ocean but a close neighbour and has the ability to hit where it really hurts.


Posted by: Cheryl | Mar 22 2024 17:08 utc | 94

Over the past 2 years of the SMO NATO has had the opportunity to map the Russian military in all domains ... positions, movements and signals. They are ideally set up for an air war against Russia.

By contrast the Russians have had 2 years to train a cadre of battle hardened NCO's and officers as well they've had 2 years for the Chinese to build factories, modernize and network the MIC. I read a report yesterday that the Russians are building factories in China. I work in industrial construction and the timeline fits the construction and commissioning of factories of that type. Now they are potentially at war with Ukraine with a war economy in place and brand new / modernized factories coming online.

Meanwhile the French have volunteered to be tethered goats while the Americans were seen deploying a large number of tanks to Romania yesterday. This is what we see ... who knows what else they are bringing in. Two years of a dripping tap amounts to a flood.

It's going to be a very tense / interesting spring.

Posted by: HB_Norica | Mar 22 2024 17:12 utc | 95

"Further misrepresentation of me by the Chamberpot--my substack is free although I do accept contributions. The pot's lying that it's a pay-site.

Dear b, I've never requested you to ban an obvious troll, but this one spams threads continuously and lies constantly. It needs to go, and I believe many will support my request."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2024 17:03 utc | 93

I don't like censorship but I do support libel claims when warranted : I have witnessed Echo Chamberpot's libels to karlof1.

Posted by: canuck | Mar 22 2024 17:14 utc | 96

Meanwhile, FED is printing (at least) 200 million USD per day without backing. This is down from 350 million USD it was printing per day from Sep-2022 to Feb-2024. https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/ Table 5; https://fredblog.stlouisfed.org/2023/11/federal-reserve-remittances-to-the-us-treasury/

The clock is ticking.

Posted by: rert | Mar 22 2024 17:16 utc | 97

My claim is and has been that Putin's preferred ideology is liberalism.

Putin is White Russian. Kind of hard to call the Orthodox liberal.

This war is between the White Russians and the Bolsheviks in the Former West. Many of these Bolshevik families fled from Odessa with Trotsky after their failed 1905 revolution.

Posted by: JackG | Mar 22 2024 17:17 utc | 98

Yes, the election is linked to the escalation. In conversations with Putin, many have said the turnout plus the percentage of votes allows Putin to do a great many things beyond what's already been suggested in his Federal Assembly Address. What that means with regard to the SMO is making a bold strike that will incur higher casualties because of its risk and the nature of the target, which IMO will aim at Odessa, but that could also be Kharkov. The EAB-3000's will be used to hit underground command bunkers instead of using the more expensive hypersonics. They'll also make a rather massive crater in runways. The Tu-22m3's can carry three at a time. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near their impact zone. Imagine three hitting the same spot on a bunker one after the other.

IMO, Russia's escalation is also timed to impact the political crisis in Kiev related to Zelensky no longer being legitimate (of course, he never actually was).

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2024 17:18 utc | 99

I understand the rush to get to Berlin in 1945, but in this case ... why not just keep destroying Ukraine slowly for a few more years?

The Second Chechen War (CW2) lasted almost 10 yr ...

The same guy that managed the rhythm and tempo of the CW2 is managing this war ... His objective might well be the same as in Chechnya, complete subjugation of the whole Ukrainian territory and transformation of its leadership into a reliable ally

Posted by: Johan Kaspar | Mar 22 2024 16:15 utc | 74

Many thanks for the response Johan Kaspar. I certainly won't argue against your position as it does seem probable. I also agree that the Russians would definitely be more than willing to go slowly, not only to destroy Ukraine for a few more years but also to deplete Western arms inventories whilst they do it, thus reducing the ability of the West to maintain their aggressive posture, not only against Russia but also against Global South countries trying to shake off the shackles of the West.

The problem seems to me to be that there doesn't seem to be a Ukrainian military of the type needed left for full offensive actions against the Russians. What is left (I would argue) is a shadow of the army that entered the conflict in Feb 2022. It has been enhanced and then whittled down at least 3 times over in the last 2 years. Its benefactors have been sending less and less until it is now effectively a trickle. Wonder weapons on which so much was promised lay burnt, twisted and ruined on the battle field. Any eagerness that these weapons would have engendered will have fallen with them and morale can only be at rock bottom to my mind.

It might be that Russia's push toward hastily constructed Ukrainian defensive positions (which are in no way comparable to the strength and depth of the Russian defenses that the Ukrainians failed to breech in their summer offensive), result in a collapse of Ukrainian resistance and therefore the final act may well be in the hands of the Ukrainians themselves.

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Mar 22 2024 17:18 utc | 100

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