Cry “Havoc!” and Let Slip the Dogs of War 872

The mainstream media is, without exception, repeating the unevidenced claim from the Biden administration that Russia is about to invade Ukraine. They do this with no proper journalistic questioning or scepticism. They do this despite the fact that, in the last month, not only have we had repeated cries that invasion is “imminent”, we have had specific secret intelligence sourced claims from the Americans, that a Russian staged false flag attack was about to happen, and from the British, that there was about to be a coup in Kiev led by very minor figures. Both claims turned out to be nonsense.

Perhaps more pertinently, the media do this as though the invasion of Iraq had never happened and they had never before been misled by US and UK governments, citing intelligence sources.

Last night I watched the Press Review of today’s papers on both Sky and BBC News. They showed all of today’s front pages, all of which repeated, without qualification, the warning that Russia will invade in the next few days. The discussion, like the news output all day, took the accuracy of this as certain.

Wars are of course good for the media; wars bring news viewers and sell newspapers. They are also very good for the arms industry. Pity the poor arms manufacturers and arms dealers, who haven’t had a really full-throated NATO military action since Libya. Massacring women and children in Yemen and through drone strikes throughout Middle East and Asia is a nice little business, but nothing like as profitable as proper all out war.

It’s An Ill Wind – BAE Share Price

A BBC reporter on Radio 4 this morning stated that the USA was sending troops to the Baltic States and elsewhere in Eastern Europe “to deter Russian aggression”. What a stupid thing to say. The “aggressive” Russian forces are inside Russia. The American troops are 5,000 miles from home.

One swallow doth not a summer make; I was hopeful that this reporter’s following example might lead others to engage their brains, but that was fanciful:

It is interesting that a number of people lost their jobs for not supporting the Iraq War, both in the media and civil service. Greg Dyke lost the leadership of the BBC, because the BBC had questioned the non-existence of the Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. David Kelly was murdered for giving them information.

But not one single person suffered any career detriment at all for supporting the Iraq War and for spreading the lying narrative of the Iraqi WMD. In the UK, Blair, Campbell and Straw are treated as gurus by the media. The journalists who now shill for war with Russia are precisely the same journalists who shilled for war with Iraq. Why would they not push fake intelligence now, when pushing fake intelligence then boosted their careers, as they enabled so many of the powerful to get richer still from war?

The UK’s “Dirty dossier” on Iraqi WMD consisted more or less entirely, where it used intelligence sources, of declassified human intelligence rather than signals intelligence. “Human intelligence” simply means something an informant told us, usually for large sums of cash. The “intelligence” on Iraqi WMD did exist – there was no shortage at all of Iraqi colonels willing to make up stories about WMD in return for briefcases full of dollars or krugerrands. What Blair and Straw did, with the practical help of fellow war criminals like Sir Richard Dearlove and Sir John Scarlett, was to ignore the filters that assess such “intelligence” for credibility, in favour of presenting the picture the government wished to show to the world to justify war.

Signals intelligence, by contrast, is communications intercept, and is generally more accurate (though of course there can be planted misleading communications). I can tell you that the NSA have shared with GCHQ no communications intelligence that indicates an imminent Russian attack. As those two deeply integrated agencies share everything, this “imminent attack” knowledge is therefore human intelligence, like the Iraq dossier. Alternatively it issimply a surmise from satellite and other monitoring of the movement of Russian assets.

Biden and Johnson both have an interest in stoking the fires of conflict to try to improve (well deserved) terrible poll ratings at home. NATO has an interest in promoting Cold War, its traditional raison d’etre. The disastrous results of NATO’s attempts to expand its role in Afghanistan and Libya have led to the organisation needing an apparent success.

For all these western political interests, they see a win-win over Ukraine, because when Putin does not invade, they can claim it is a victory and that they forced Putin to back down.

There is a real problem here. By taunting Putin with the position that Johnson and Biden will claim Putin lost if he does not invade, they are effectively daring him to invade.

This is terrible diplomacy, unless the USA and UK actually want a war – and that takes us back again to the interests of the military and security services and the arms industry.

I maintain the view that Putin is far too wily to be pushed into an invasion. If Putin really wished to escalate matters, he would be much more likely to cut gas supplies than to invade Ukraine. There are two points to make on this.

Firstly, Ukraine is said to be less dependent now on Russian gas because, rather than buy direct from Russia, it buys from third countries. But it is still Russian gas, which is being sold on by another state merely on paper. The multi-invoicing may provide some diplomatic cover and some protection against price sanction, but not against the tap being turned off.

Secondly, it is argued that if Russia cut gas to Ukraine, Ukraine could cut off transit supplies to much of the rest of Europe, reducing Russian income. But that would almost certainly happen more seriously if Putin did indeed invade Ukraine, which would almost certainly trigger Ukrainian destruction of transit infrastructure.

There remains much else Putin can do before invading. NATO’s ultra-aggressive attitude to Russia, insisting on encircling it with missile systems ever creeping closer, is unlikely to be changed in the short term. But Russia has already achieved the exodus of many NATO “trainers”, diplomats and nationals from Ukraine in the last few days.

While the West was looking the wrong way, Putin has also, with a tiny use of troops, greatly increased Russian influence in Kazakhstan, a massively resource rich country. That may well prove to be the most important diplomatic move of the year.

As for Ukraine itself, I annoyed some Putin fans when I posited that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was a pyrrhic victory for Putin. After 30 years of contention, it swung Kiev much more firmly into the Western diplomatic orbit and made the coup of 2014 irreversible, when it had been shaky.

The Minsk Agreements appear to be a very sensible way forward in Ukraine; in fact the principles embodied in the Minsk agreements appear to be essential to a settlement. They are really very simple, covering Ukraine gaining control of its borders, devolution and a high degree of autonomy for the Russian speaking areas in the East, disarmament and the withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Ukraine, release of prisoners and an amnesty.

The western media ignores or dismisses the Minsk agreements. But these were negotiated by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which both the UK and the USA are members, together with Russia and Ukraine. They were lodged with the United Nations as a binding international agreement.

The First Minsk Agreement is very short:

Upon consideration and discussion of the proposals put forward by the
participants of the consultations in Minsk on 1 September 2014, the Trilateral
Contact Group, consisting of representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reached an
understanding with respect to the need to implement the following steps:
1. Ensure the immediate bilateral cessation of the use of weapons.
2. Ensure monitoring and verification by OSCE of the regime of non-use of
3. Implement decentralization of power, including by enacting the Law of
Ukraine on the interim status of local self-government in certain areas of the
Donetsk and Luhansk regions (Law on Special Status).
4. Ensure permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian State border and
verification by OSCE, along with the establishment of a security area in the border
regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
5. Immediately release all hostages and unlawfully detained persons.
6. Enact a law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in
connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and
Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
7. Continue an inclusive national dialogue.
8. Adopt measures aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in
9. Ensure the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Law of
Ukraine on the interim status of local self-government in certain areas of the
Donetsk and Luhansk regions (Law on Special Status).
10. Remove unlawful military formations and military hardware, as well as
militants and mercenaries, from the territory of Ukraine.
11. Adopt a programme for the economic revival of Donbass and the
resumption of vital activity in the region.
12. Provide personal security guarantees for the participants of the

The second Minsk Agreement fleshes this out a little

Package of measures for the Implementation of the Minsk agreements
1. Immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions
of Ukraine and its strict implementation starting from 00.00 AM (Kiev time) on the 15th of
February, 2015.
2. Withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides on equal distances in order to create a security
zone at least 50 km wide from each other for the artillery systems with caliber greater than
100mm and more, a security zone of 70 km wide for MLRS and 140 km wide for MLRS
“Tornado-C”, “Uragan”, “Smerch” and Tactical missile systems “Tochka” (“Tochka U”):
– for the Ukrainian troops: from the de facto line of contact;
– for the armed formations from certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk oblast of Ukraine
from the line of contact according to the Minsk memorandum of September 19, 2014.
The withdrawal of the heavy weapons as specified above is to start on day 2 of the ceasefire at
the latest and to be completed within 14 days.
The process shall be facilitated by the OSCE and supported by the Trilateral Contact Group.
3. Ensure effective monitoring and verification of the ceasefire regime and the withdrawal of
heavy weapons by the OSCE from the day 1 of the withdrawal, using all technical equipment
necessary, including satellites, drones, radar equipment, etc.
4. Launch a dialogue, on day 1 of the withdrawal on modalities of local elections in accordance
with Ukrainian legislation and the Law of Ukraine “On interim local self-government order in
certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” as well as on the future regime of these
areas based on this Law.
Adopt promptly, by no later than 30 days after the date of signing of the document a
resolution of the Parliament of Ukraine specifying the area enjoying the special regime, under
the Law of Ukraine On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the Donetsk and
Lugansk regions”, based on the line of the Minsk Memorandum of September 19, 2014.
5. Ensure pardon and amnesty by enacting the law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment
of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and
Lugansk regions of Ukraine.
6. Ensure release and exchange of all hostages and unlawfully detained persons, based on the
principle “all for all”. This process is to be finished on the day 5 after the withdrawal at the
7. Ensure safe access, delivery, storage, and distribution of humanitarian assistance to those in
need, on the basis of an international mechanism.
8. Definition of modalities of full resumption of socio-economic ties, including social transfers,
such as pension, payments and other payments (incomes and revenues, timely payments of all
utility bills, reinstating taxation within the legal framework of Ukraine).
To this end, Ukraine shall reinstate control of the segment of its banking system in the conflict
affected areas and possibly an international mechanism to facilitate such transfers shall be
9. Reinstatement of full control of the state border by the government of Ukraine throughout the
conflict area, starting on day 1 after the local elections and ending after the comprehensive
political settlement (local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on the
basis of the Law of Ukraine and constitutional reform) to be finalized by the end of 2015,
provided that paragraph 11 has been implemented in consultation with and upon agreement
by representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the framework of
the Trilateral Contact Group.
10. Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from
the territory of Ukraine under monitoring of the OSCE. Disarmament of all illegal groups.
11. Carrying out constitutional reform in Ukraine with a new Constitution entering into force by
the end of 2015, providing for decentralization as a key element (including a reference to the
specificities of certain areas in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, agreed with the
representatives of these areas), as well as adopting permanent legislation on the special status
of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in line with measures as set out in the
footnote until the end of 2015
12. Based on the Law of Ukraine “On interim local self-government order in certain areas of the
Donetsk and Lugansk regions”, questions related to local elections will be discussed and
agreed upon with representatives of certain areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in the
framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant
OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.
13. Intensify the work of the Trilateral Contact Group including through the establishment of
working groups on the implementation of relevant aspects of the Minsk agreements. They will
reflect the composition of the Trilateral Contact Group.

The Minsk Agreements were endorsed by the UN Security Council. The UK and USA are therefore obliged in law to support them. Yet they have abandoned them in favour of the highly intransigent position of the government of Ukraine in refusing to accept any devolution to administrations in Eastern Ukraine. Instead the Ukrainian government insists on on a highly centralised Ukrainian nationalist state.

I choked on my tea two days ago when a BBC correspondent reported that Ukraine could never implement the Minsk Agreements, because it could result in some pro-Putin MPs being elected to the Ukrainian parliament from the Eastern areas. Remember that when they tell you they are starting a war for democracy.

Western warmongering is always disgusting, but still the more so when it involves abandonment of an entirely sensible framework for peace which they themselves initiated. The press and politicians all want a war. We have been here before, and we know that neither the people nor the truth can stop them.


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872 thoughts on “Cry “Havoc!” and Let Slip the Dogs of War

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  • Republicofscotland

    The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had better think carefully on what he does next with regards to Ukraine and Russia, for two-thirds of Germans support the Russian Nordstream II project and the supply of Russian gas.

    Meanwhile the UK media has continued its frenzied state, on Russia, salivating more than Pavlov’s Dog hoping that Russia invades Ukraine.

    • Goose

      It’s the EU’s unelected officialdom.

      They too have a form of Trump Derangement Syndrome – believing Russia exerts control far beyond that which it actually does. They never pause to think, If Russia is so meddling and influential why is it so few parliamentarians speak in support? The truth is, the US has a 1000x the influence over Europe’s politics and politicians than the Russians do, judging by their unquestioning support for NATO.

      Germany could tell the US to get lost and mind its own business with regards to NS 2. And the EU could retaliate with sanctions if the US imposes them over NS 2. But they won’t.

      Who in Europe wants to pay for US LNG which is nearly four times as much as Russian gas wholesale, and requires different storage infrastructure etc?

      If the UK and US get their way and impose heavy sanctions on Russia, Europe has to live with huge, snarling neighbour with est. 6,400 nuclear weapons pointing right at us, and very little to lose. Sensible for Europe? What good can come from such a tense stand off? Surely better to respect, engage and trade with Russia while raising human rights concerns?

      • Republicofscotland


        I could understand Eastern European countries being a wee bit wary of Russia, given their past history, I think Macron of France isn’t too keen on pushing the US narrative right now, whether that’s to do with France getting stiffed on the US/UK/AUs sub deals I’m not sure though Macron has previously called for a European fighting force.

        AS for Germany, in all honesty I think its still an occupied country, and politically it finds itself hamstrung by the US/Nato on the Ukraine/ Russia situation, a situation created by the US, and pushed heavily by its UK minion. The USA has far too much influence in Europe, and of course the US is pushing its own interests at the expense of not just Ukraine but Europe in general.

        I’ve read that Macron and Scholz of Germany wanted a sitdown with Putin, but it was kicked into the long grass by a Nato vote, and that the main voice in Europe on Russia and Ukraine is coming from the US. If war does breakout and I hope it doesn’t, it could quickly escalate and central Europe could find itself (Romania and Bulgaria to support Ukraine logistically) in the middle of a war, whilst as usual in the USA life carries on without skipping a beat.

        Europe needs to embrace Russia, whilst at the same time keeping the US at arms length.

        • Goose

          I think Macron knows Europe won’t be free until it removes the US menace.

          He follows a long line of French leaders in that opinion. The US were late to join the WW 2 and now we can’t get rid of them

        • laguerre

          The French have a long tradition of close relations with the Russians. That’s one reason why Macron is so active. Most of the Whites fled to Paris after the revolution. Napoleon’s invasion of 1812 doesn’t seem to have discouraged them. It’s the post-communist oligarchs who’ve gone to London, as the money-laundering is better.

      • Goose

        Now Scholz is joining the talk of “War is coming to Europe” nonsense, as if there is no alternative. Minsk is the alternative if only the US/UK would stop rubbishing it.

        Let’s be clear. If war comes, this is what happens when you delegate your foreign and defence policy to Washington, with its decision makers safely thousands of miles away eating popcorn watching the fireworks.

        Do these politicians have a ‘rapture seeking’ deathwish? We had Defence Minister Ben Wallace talking about the eve of war and comparing it to 1941. Some useless, pretentious politicians clearly want their ‘great man of history’ moment.

        I sincerely hope there is no major conflict. But why do the unpopular elite think they’ll be safe from their own populations if it comes?

        • Tom Welsh

          As always, it is essential to distinguish between a nation, its people, and the privileged handful who rule it. They do not necessarily have the slightest loyalty to the nation or the people. Instead, as Paul Craig Roberts has pointed out, many European leaders as long ago as the 1960s sold themselves to the USA in return for – literally – bags full of money. So, of course, they obey their owners’ orders just like any other employee.

          What puzzles me is why the laws of treason have apparently become dead letters in Europe and the UK. In the past, such “leaders” would have been tried fo treason and, if found guilty, executed.

          As for your final question, Goose, I believe the answer is “helicopters”. They hope to be scooped up by their American masters and spirited away to their mansions in New Zealand, Argentina, etc.

    • Tatyana

      Scholz, during the Munich security conference commented on Putin’s words. He said that idea of genocide in Donbass is ridiculous.
      This caused indignation of our Foreign Ministry. Some sharp words were answered. Also, Maria Zakharova said they will forward to Germany the same papers that Washington received, witnessing massive civilians graves.
      I visited Maria’s Telegram channel
      and there were also 2 public links there on the topic

      • Goose

        You’d think Germany’s proximity to Kaliningrad would change their outlook and the peace / war equation.

        The US doesn’t need good future relations with Russia, and a Cold War revival suits US arms manufacturers just fine. But Europeans don’t want to live like that again, not in the age of hypersonic missiles and warnings reduced to minutes.

        • Tatyana

          I’m tired already of all these military talks. Everyone looks like they are choosing a side most likely to win, or, a side they agree with, or, ‘our common values’ side…

          Rare are voices to stop madness, no voices at all telling Zelensky to shut up and to get down to Minsk. And this is exactly the position that Russia holds in this crisis. Nobody listens, everyone is figuring up Russia’s missiles.

          Zelensky himself is a smartass, just stated in Munich that Western countries should give Ukraine new weapons, incorporate them into European energy logistics and, to create a fund for Ukraine’s wellbeing. Nice. Together with Timoshenko’s initiative to appeal to IMF to dismiss Ukraine’s 52 billion state debt.
          So, Ukraine is sort of show business. They posted sensational content, gained lots of subscribers and now want to monetize their channel.

          • Goose

            I’m amazed Russia allows any gas to flow through Ukraine.

            I know it’s bound for other customers and the European energy market, but why have anything to do with Ukraine – a country calling for Russia to be crippled with sanctions? In Kyiv, politicians literally seem to hate Russia.

            Reported November 2021: Russian gas flows into Ukraine through the Sudzha and Sokhranivka interconnection points have been running around the 110 million cu m/d mark since the Nov. 10 gas day.

      • Giyane


        Saddam Hussain killed many Kurdish people on account of USUKIS training Kurdish rebels to annoying Saddam.
        USUKIS simultaneously supported Saddam against the Kurdish. Eventually USUKIS caught him in the trap they had laid for him and secured the oil for themselves.

        There are no sides in modern war, just one criminal mafia USUKIS dividing and ruling different ethnicities, and scooping up the casino winnings.

      • Tom Welsh

        “He said that idea of genocide in Donbass is ridiculous”.\\\\\\\\,/p\.

        By saying that, Herr Scholz ruled himself out as a serious participant in diplomacy. If some of Russia’s artillery were fired at his home town, he would certainly call it attempted genocide.

  • CY

    Theatre of War.
    Both cheeks of the same arse.
    Putin went through the WEF’s Young Global Leaders Programme (as did Merkel, Macron, Ursula the Lion, Jacinda the Mason, Trudeau the Castro etc)
    None won any roles acting, just went into the real leadership thing, although the Ukraine leader needed to practice his part in a TV series first.
    It’s showtime folks.

  • Paul Greenwood

    “But it is still Russian gas, which is being sold on by another state merely on paper.”

    Yes but instead of being sold on long-term contract it is reverse-flowed from Western Europe at spot-prices with a hefty margin for the re-importer which no doubt has a Cyprus bank account. It is always Oligarchs who make money whether in Ukraine or Western Europe and that is how Pinchuk buys the Atlantic Council and US Congressional rent-boys.

    The game is to use pawns profitably to protect kings and queens and enrich knights

  • Jon Stubley

    As a sarcastic cynic, I can’t help but smile at how the weather (a simple non-evil natural event) has dominated the MSM headlines over the last 48 hours in the UK; and pushed the carefully planned NATO propaganda to the back burner of news.

    Maybe there is a moral there for the evil psychopaths, and their security service sycophants? Don’t try and compete with Mother Nature (aka fate). She will sting you in the arse.

    • Wikikettle

      It’s ok the the Russians carry on as normal in snow and ice. The West will have its new sanctions whatever the Russians do or not do. German MP said everything is in place in Ukraine to instigate Russia to protect the Donbas, from Private French contractors, jihadists, Ukrainian nazizs from home and abroad. This time the US is doubling down and will succeed in getting its way with Europe by isolating Russia, but Russia is no longer a broken drunken Yeltsin. US has set the precedents in Kosovo and Russia is prepared for the worst. The West isn’t.

      • Goose

        In BBC and guardian land everything the Russians and Donbas residents say is dismissed as disinformation, and everything western leaders and Zelensky says is the incontestable truth.

        What the hell have we done to deserve media like this? What happened to trying to verify information? They say the first casualty of war is truth, but the BBC and guardian surrendered white flag in hand, ages ago.

        • Wikikettle

          Goose. The truth would help the old and new empires save themselves and join the international community in common cause with a peace dividend to work together to solve all our problems. Yet the fools choose lies which will not break their fall but only accelerate it.

          • Goose

            If things go as many expect: Russia will somehow be goaded into responding to provocation in the East -> followed by heavy sanctions.

            The only people who emerge smiling in that scenario are in the US; arms manufacturers and LNG suppliers and some at the State dept officials who want to settle old scores.

            As for Europe, countries that have trading relations tend not to go to war with each other. By that token would it not be better for Europe to trade with Russia? Europe needs to decide whether it wants to be a tool for furthering US global hegemony, or whether it wants a strong, secure relationship with Russia? Because the two things are mutually exclusive.

        • Jack


          It is so sad, the level of ignorance is tragic, it is like people have no critical thinking, and if you try to lecture them a bit, well then you are a russian stooge. But this is what what hatred (against Russia) lead to. Ignorance.

          While the reporting has been like this since time immemorial I believe that the anti-russian hysteria that was trigged almost daily during Trump (russian hackers, russsian plots, russian trolls everywhere, putin everwhere, mueller investigation etc) have a huge part of what is going on now.
          During Trump all these neocon lunatics that rule now, had no power.

          Bush-era neocons put their weight behind Biden. And that can mean only one thing.

          The obvious solution is for the west to demand Ukraine to solve the conflict through Minsk agreements. It would be so easy for them to do that. Instead they chose conflict.

          • Goose

            And ironically, Trump wasn’t even good for Russia. It was obvious to anyone with a brain Trump would’ve made a terrible intelligence asset. The guy blurts out what he’s thinking and is totally unpredictable. If a country were grooming an asset, then braggadocious Trump would be the very last person on the list.

            The Russian collusion allegations were utterly absurd. And I think everyone secretly knew it, which makes that whole pantomime investigation that played out look even worse.

            Sure, he didn’t manufacture a crisis over Ukraine like this for Russia, but that’s probably only because the US military top brass didn’t trust his unpredictable ‘nuke-em’ impulses.

            I don’t comment on Russia much and that’s perceived as support. I don’t comment because we can’t change what goes on in Russia. but the west could respect Russia, if only as a powerful country, and stop trying to humiliate the country. It won’t end well.

          • John Cleary

            Goose, to the extent that there are any low motives, Biden must give his State of the Union address to Congress on 1st March. How silly will he look if Putin still has not invaded?

          • Goose

            As for your point about online abuse and trolling.

            Yeah, there are gangs of digital Brownshirts everywhere harassing anyone who proffers a differing view from the official narrative. I don’t know if they are the 77th Brigade(?) but if they are, they’re a disgrace with their ad hominem attacks, false slanderous accusations and generally puerile behaviour.

            Why certain people thought it a good idea to get the army involved in policing internet dissent under the guise of preventing misinformation and disinformation, I don’t know? The whole thing looks like a solution in search of a problem.

            Ask them what values they are defending if not free speech?

    • M.J.

      This is no propaganda. The American embassy has moved from Kyiv to Lviv. The British embassy has also moved to Lviv. NATO is also doing so. Go figure.

      Civilians from the West in Kyiv, put your exit plans into action now – pack up and and move West, before the Russian forces move South and it’s too late!

      • John Cleary

        Still waving your little Union flag, eh?

        And to where has the American embassy in Moscow moved? After all, it is the same dastardly evil ruskies in both places. They must be terrified, poor things.

        • M.J.

          There’s no possibility of Russian soldiers attacking their own capital, but shells could well hit Western embassies in Kyiv as part of a bombardment.
          Latest BBC report: “Russia launched a criminal investigation into reports, denied by Ukraine, that shells exploded on Russian territory in the Rostov region, about 1km (0.6 mile) from the Ukrainian border. ”
          There’s your false flag op. Get Russian separatists to fire missiles from Ukraine into Russian areas, well-chosen, as a pretext for invasion.

          • Neville

            A polite suggestion. Do not rely or base your opinions on what the BBC or daily mail are telling you. You will get a more balanced view from consortium news, moon of Alabama and this blog. Be sceptical, don’t believe what you’ve been told and question everything.

          • Giyane


            Was the USUKIS Training and Transportation of Islamic State from near Israel to Mosul through Nato Turkey not a false flag Operation?

            USUKIS are using Neo nazis in Ukraine. What’s the difference? USUKIS is the maestro in false flaggery we are witnessing a masterclass of political deceit unfold in Ukraine, using liar extraordinaire Bruce Johnson.

          • M.J.

            According to the Guardian joint military exercises by Russia and Belarus close to the Belarusian border with Ukraine were due to end today but the Belarusian defense ministry has announced that they will continue. Clearly so that the forces involved will be useful in an invasion.
            I consider the BBC and the Gurdian more reliable than the other sources recommended. After all, they are qualified and experienced journalists in a democraic country.

          • Robert Wursthaus


            “I consider the BBC and the Gurdian more reliable than the other sources recommended. After all, they are qualified and experienced journalists in a democraic country.”

            Why do you come here repeating the MSM disinformation ?
            If you recall Craig Murray was jailed for not being a “qualified and experienced (MSM) journalist”.

          • SA

            Funny that the BBC and the Guardian were also cheerleaders for other war adventures including Iraq, Libya, Balkans. Afghanistan etc… We have heard it all before, we have been there. Why should we continue to believe anyone with such an unreliable history?

          • M.J.

            A Ukrainian MP, Dymtro Hurin, provided an excellent motive for Russia to want to invade:

            “Russia’s reason to invade us is not about language, or economy or protecting Russian speakers. It’s because they know a free, democratic and economically successful Ukraine is a dangerous model for the Russian people. It shows them there are other possibilities.”

            It’s also a dangerous model for corrupt dictator Lukashenko, which is why he enthusiastically supports the Russian forces.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “I consider the BBC and the Gurdian more reliable than the other sources recommended. After all, they are qualified and experienced journalists in a democraic country.”

            This is clearly a wind-up.

      • bevin

        If Lviv lives up to past form, half of the population of Kiev would not be safe there. Lviv-Lemburg has been the centre of fascism in Ukraine for more than 90 years.

        • nevermind

          Yes Bevin and the western Nazi supporters in Canada America and the rest of the planet are protected by an out of touch and out of Ideas NATO.

  • Goose

    Britain warns of Russian cyber attacks as companies urged to take defensive action – Telegraph headline tonight

    Ask any network professional and they’ll tell you misattribution and false flags are a major risk too. At State level it’s almost impossible to attribute. FVEYs have so many ORBs (Operational relay boxes) active, in so many countries ; in 2014 it was revealed GCHQ under a programme called HACIENDA had port scanned 27 countries – they port scan entire countries to discover vulnerable severs etc to exploit for this very purpose.. It’d be very easy to proxy attacks and show politicians routing information that pins the blame squarely on country X. information that would pass as seemingly legit, but in reality isn’t the truth at all.

    Cyberattacks escalating to real world military action is a genuine threat. I hate the way cyberspace gives the ‘false flag’ unscrupulous types new options to start wars with or cyber tit-for-tat exchanges.

    • Goose


      That isn’t a criticism of any particular agency. It’s just that cyber-attacks, involving any remote actor(s) can’t be safely attributed. It’s not hard for even amateur hackers to proxy-chain servers and then use quite sophisticated open source tools to look for vulnerabilities, then use other methods to gain credentials and access.

      The professional state-level players have unknown zero-day exploits at their disposal and multiple secure routing options. Literally any western State could make it look like an attack came from a building near the Kremlin itself, if they found and successfully compromised some server. On site attacks via for eg., usb on air-gapped military/defence systems, are a different matter, they could justify escalation, but any attribution based on remote access, unless caught in the act, is inherently suspect..

    • Tom Welsh

      Quite right, Goose. And because it is virtually impossible to attribute a given attack to anyone in particular, what are we to make of companies and government agencies that firmly and unreservedly attribute certain attacks to “Russian hackers” or “the Chinese state”?

      Clearly they are deliberately lying. Follow the money.


  • Clark

    Why should Ukraine not split? Craig asked this question in February 2014:

    Final paragraph:

    Ukraine is an accidental state and its future will be much brighter if it is a willing union. It needs not just Presidential and Parliamentary elections, but also a federal constitution and a referendum on whether any of its provinces would prefer to join Russia. That can give an agreed way forward to which Russia might also subscribe, and defuse the current crisis. It would suit the long term interest of both the Ukraine and the West. I fear however that the politicians will be too macho to see it.

  • DunGroanin

    The Narrative According to the Angels of Disinformation of The Guardian

    “Patrick Wintour in Munich, Luke Harding in Kyiv and Shaun Walker in Stanytsia Luhansk
    Secret discussions are under way between western allies over how to arm what they expect to be fierce Ukrainian resistance in the event of a Russian invasion that topples the Kyiv government.”

    Secret? But THEY know!

    Lol, remember how well their great Afghan trained army survived with First Contact without such Nato ‘help’.

    There are these who start fights and there are these who finish them.

    • Goose

      All the European media are behaving like this. An almost bloodlust for war among those who won’t have to fight it.

      Die Welt in Germany, which is owned by the publishing house Axel Springer SE, the largest media publishing firm in Europe; they own BILD Zeitung, Die Welt, Fakt, BusinessInsider and others. Welt are behaving exactly the same. So much so many of the readers’ comments express disgust with its pro-war headlines and bellicosity and failure to urge peaceful resolution in its editorials and opinion pieces. They have an interesting history quote from Wikispooks:

      ‘During the Third Reich, Axel Springer worked as a journalist for the newspaper Altonaer Nachrichten, spreading amongst other things antisemitic propaganda.

      In 1946, the British military government gave him a press license for two light entertainment magazines. This was a huge deal, as the Brits regulated everything from sales areas, numbers printed, sales price and advertising rates. Under these circumstances, the ones with a licence were able to amass small fortunes, and in Springer’s case, set him on the trajectory to become West German press czar.
      [ … ]
      With millions of dollars from the CIA, financed through cutouts like the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, Axel Springer bought more media outlets, before he launched the centerpiece in his media empire, BILD, in 1952. Axel Springer surrounded himself with high-ranking journalists from the Nazi era. The most important was Paul Schmidt, propaganda chief for the NS Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Schmidt started using the pseudonym Paul Carrell after 1945, and became Springer’s security chief and speechwriter.

      The Springer Press went for a rabid anti-communist and anti-leftist line, with strong support for Zionism and US foreign policy. With its large circulation and deep state connections, it dominated public opinion in the whole country for decades. The Springer Press had “a stranglehold” on the W. German media and “Springer uses this influence to the full. The paper consistently attacked those government ministers who do not conform to Springer’s ideals and many have since found themselves out of office.”

      There’s also the Bertelsmann Group/ Bertelsmann Foundation (German: Bertelsmann Stiftung) it’s one of the most influential neoliberal think tanks in Germany and sponsor of the Atlantic Council. Bertelsmann Group owns Penguin Random house, Craig knows all about them.

      This is what happens with media consolidation(concentration). This isn’t happening by chance.

      • Stevie Boy

        The corruption of the free press is very insidious and is not limited to the big boys. I have noticed in recent years how many local papers have become echo Chambers for the state narrative and how many of them have embedded BBC journalists within their ranks. Coincidence ? I think not.

      • DunGroanin

        G that’s brilliant ‘remembering’ thanks.

        Very interesting to understand how the monopolies and cartels in the majority of media has been around for most of the last and this century.

        In the U.K. there used to be local newspapers, mostly published weekly , which were generally the most actually independent. They ended up being bought up by the regional press barons and consolidated under Aristo fronted investors – mostly for the benefit of advertising revenues.

        In recent decades most have capitulated any editorial freedom, there is the occasional sign of real journalism from the remaining outliers (Dorset Eye from example)

        The history of how the nazis and fascists were handed their monopolies immediately postwar shows that they were also part of the team pre-war.

        Which also ignores real journalists who stood up against the rise of the nazis – because they knew where it was being coordinated from and why – hence they were fraternally genocided and Axl Springer reinstated.

        ‘The voices that fought against Adolf Hitler were among the most courageous and most daring of all time. These voices were loud and passionate; they continued to fight for democracy and freedom even as the shadow of fascism loomed over their nation.
        These individuals included Martin Gruber, Erhard Auer, Edmund Goldschagg, Julius Zerfass and others. They were the reporters and editors of the Munich Post.

        The journalists of the Munich Post faced – and, later, met – imprisonment, concentration camps, and systematic genocide. In the process, they embodied the very essence of journalistic responsibility. These individuals never stopped fighting for what they believed in. They never stopped fighting fascism and bigotry.’

        Lest we forget.

        • Goose

          It’s incredible how so many former Nazis became ardent supporters of US foreign policy and Zionism, isn’t it?

          Wonder what attracted them?

          This (below) is from the Axel Springer SE publishing group’s corporate constitution which all employees must uphold:

          1. We stand up for freedom, the rule of law, democracy and a united Europe.
          2. We support the Jewish people and the right of existence of the State of Israel.
          3. We demonstrate solidarity with the free values of the United States of America.
          4. We uphold the principles of a free market economy and its social responsibility.
          5. We reject political and religious extremism.

          Of course, on face value, they don’t seem too onerous in terms of obligations, but it depends how such rules are applied by those in senior editorial roles. Any self-respecting journalist would be concerned about falling foul, and that surely makes journos self-censor?

      • Clark

        Goose, February 20, 2022 at 01:59:

        “Die Welt in Germany, which is owned by the publishing house Axel Springer SE, the largest media publishing firm in Europe…”

        It goes even further than that. Die Welt was also a founding member of the European Dailies Alliance. These are very powerful papers; each a “newspaper of record” in its country. To prevent link-rot I have linked to the most recent revisions at Wikipedia rather than the corresponding Wiki pages themselves:

        – The modern paper takes a self-described “liberal cosmopolitan” position in editing, but it is generally considered to be conservative. […] Die Welt was a founding member of the European Dailies Alliance, and has a longstanding co-operation with comparable daily newspapers from other countries, including The Daily Telegraph (UK), Le Figaro (France), and ABC (Spain).

        – European Dailies Alliance (EDA) is an alliance formed by like-minded Conservative newspapers in Europe, namely ABC in Spain, The Daily Telegraph in United Kingdom, Le Figaro in France and Die Welt in Germany.

        – In 2001, the four newspapers, each of which is a newspaper of record in their country, agreed to form an alliance to enhance the co-operation between them and their respective websites. The agreement of the alliance included:

        • to extend the international coverage of individual newspaper through editorial co-operation
        • to have renowned foreign writers in the newspaper
        • to offer privileged access to the database of other newspapers in the alliance
        • to have links to other newspaper in the alliance on their own website
        • to have exchange of editors
        • to be benefited from the enhanced co-operation in the area of journalistic education and advertising business

        – The chairperson of the alliance is rotated among the chief editor of the member newspapers.

        Newspaper of Record.

  • Tatyana

    Kiev uses prohibited weapons. Mines were fired at Petrovsky. A 84 year old man is shell-shocked in Kominternovo.
    Ukraine fired at the Donetsk water filtration station, power plants were broken, oil leaked. During the repair work, the station was again fired at from machine guns.
    The Vasilyevsky pumping station also stopped, the transformer is on fire.

    About 40,000 refugees arrived by today to 92 accomodation points in Rostov. People are also leaving for Voronezh and Kursk by railway.

    Herr Scholz finds it ridiculous to call it genocide. I’d like Herr Scholz to offer his own version of the name for what is happening, but he preferred to argue about the appropriateness of the term. Undoubtedly, Herr Scholz certainly knows what real genocide is. Does he propose to wait until huge casualties appear? Well, just in case, so that the word genocide doesn’t look ridiculous.

    • Akos Horvath

      You have to realize that non-Western lives don’t matter in Western political circles. Period. This wouldn’t change even if Russia surrendered and were run by Navalny and Pussy Riot on behalf of NATO.

      Western capitalism has been pillaging the world using genocidal violence ever since Columbus. Centuries of colonialism has corrupted Western societies too. That’s why they keep electing and re-electing war criminals and serially invade other countries. They simply are incapable of peaceful coexistence with the rest of the planet.

      The few people who post here represent the insignificant minority of Western folks whose minds are not completely warped by 24/7 propaganda called the ‘free’ press.

      • Dom

        They don’t care about non-Western lives, but just as obviously they don’t care about Western lives either, outside those of the top 1-10%. Witness the UK Labour party’s abandonment of pledges to nationalize energy and rail companies, etc — policies supported even by most Tory voters. In the corrupt, non-choice oligarchies of the UK and US only the top 1-10% get what they want. France the same now too with all three Presidential candidates proposing Thatcherite economic programmes that would benefit only the richest. Only halfwits argue Putin is any better but he is not the one going round the world talking utter crap about democracy.

        • Akos Horvath

          I can agree with that. The so-called social democrat and labour parties are total failures everywhere in Europe. From Syriza through Podemos to Hungary’s opposition, which wants to implement a dog-eat-dog free-market system. Germany’s SPD is not much better either. Left wing has turned into the synonym of wokism and identity politics. As we know from Starmer, it’s wrong to say that only women have a cervix. So much for following the science.

          BTW, one of the main real beefs the EU has with Orban is his renationalization of our energy industry, which was sold to mainly German companies (RWE, E.ON) in the 90s. He also introduced price control on household gas, electricity, and now gasoline, which is also anathema for the EU’s neocons.

          From a Russian perspective Putin in fact is a vast improvement over the utterly incompetent Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He consolidated the state, improved the economy, started a modernization program, and increased people’s wellbeing. Hence his demonization. The Western establishment cannot tolerate successful independent development. Same goes for China, who pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty but all it gets is a new Cold War.

    • Tom Welsh

      A technical question, Tatyana, if I may. When you write “Mines were fired at Petrovsky”, do you really mean “mines” in the usual English sense? Or some kind of artillery shells, or mortar bombs?

      n noun

      2.      a type of bomb placed on or in the ground or water, which detonates on contact.

    • Tatyana

      Rostislav Goldstein, the governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region writes on Instagram:

      “JAR treats with empathy and sympathy the misfortune of the inhabitants of the DPR and LPR. They had to leave their homes and seek refuge in Russia.
      Our region is ready to accept and accommodate refugees from these republics, to provide them with all kinds of support. I instructed to prepare six points of temporary accommodation for citizens and draw up a list of vacancies in the region.”

  • JohnA

    The New York Times has now reported that the EU ‘allies’ are complaining that the US has not shared its ‘intelligence’ about the so-called certain Russian invasion. Yet Britain remains gung-ho that the US is right. Clearly the entire scenario is being engineered by US-GB propaganda for which there is no evidence, let alone intelligence. It seems the US is forcing Zelensky to keep shelling DNR & LNR until Russian finally says enough, and fires back. At which point the US will say ‘told you so!’.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ukrainian president saying that Ukraine may become a nuclear power again to protect itself.

    “Today Ukraine will do it for the fourth time,” he said, stressing that he had ordered his Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba to request the consultations but that it would be the last attempt from Ukraine’s side.

    “If they do not take place or there are no concrete decisions regarding the security guarantees for our state, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all package decisions of 1994 have been put under question,” Zelensky said.

    It sounds like Zelensky is urging the West to become more proactive in the Ukrainian situation, which we all know could lead to war.

      • DunGroanin

        Well if they need to evacuate the current Israel of invaders than it seems a nice empty Ukraine would welcome them and they already have their own nukes! And submarines but how they could have a Navy without access to a sea port would be interesting.

    • Akos Horvath

      Smacks of desperation. Ukraine would lose much of its Western support by trying to go nuclear. The country is behaving increasingly like North Korea. Making outlandish claims to up the ante and garner Western attention.

      The EU has already got what it wanted, unfettered access to the Ukrainian market by Western companies. In return, aka a Faustian bargain, Ukrainians can leave the country in droves and settle in Western Europe without a visa. Visa free travel was the cheapest option for Europe compared to granting Ukraine EU membership and thus access to development funds.

      Ukraine will be even more deindustrialized as Western companies come in, buy up the few still existing factories and drive them in the ground, in order to fully capture the market. We in the Eastern periphery of the EU have had 30 years of experience in this. There will also be considerable loss of population, both by emigration and due to drop in life expectancy and fertility. But a very narrow stratum of society will become very rich by genuflecting to the West.

      As a result, Ukraine has nothing else left to sell the West other than being a constant irritant to Russia. Expect ever more hysterical claims from the clowns in Kyev. This of course is an unviable strategy to build a healthy and successful country.

      • PearsMorgain

        Ukraine going nuclear would breach a 1992 treaty with Russia by which it surrendered its nuclear arsenal in return for guarantees regarding its sovereignty….

        Oh wait.

  • Tatyana

    Mr. Alexander Mercouris makes good analysis of what’s going on

    Mr. Mercouris talks in simple language and his speech manner is clear. I’m grateful he bothers to bring the facts and his opinions.
    Also, he gained my heart saying “please subscribe by clicking the maroon button”. Maroon! Hey, for many men it’s simply a button, or maybe a Red button. And, he invited to visit their merchandise shop, saying they offer “sweaters, hoodies and T-shirts”. 🙂 For most men it would be simply ‘clothes’.
    Oh, Alexander, what are you doing to me! 🙂

  • Republicofscotland

    Canada’s Justin Trudeau, to flood Ukraine with deadly weapons, though Canada has been sending military equipment in one form or another to Ukraine since 2015. Since 2014, Canada has provided Ukraine with more than $890 million in multifaceted assistance to support Ukraine’s security, prosperity, and reform objectives. Canadian troops have conducted more than 700 courses, training more than 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel in battlefield tactics, maneuver, and other advanced military skills.

    Of course these weapons will be used on the people of Lugansk and Donetsk, if they cannot be evacuated in time to Rostov.

      • Tatyana

        Check out ‘controversy’ para of the Wiki entry
        And this

        “The Oakville monument commemorates deceased fighters from the Ukrainian Galicia Division of the SS, the military arm of Germany’s Nazi government during the Second World War. The Edmonton monument is a bust of Roman Shukhevych, the leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army or UPA, an independence militia. Before taking up that mantle he commanded a Ukrainian battalion responsible for murdering thousands of Jewish people.”

        Shukhevich is Ukrainian hero. His son is a politician and Ukrainian parliamentary, with a very ‘nice’ initiative to exclude the word ‘Jew’ and to substitute it with diminutive ‘Zhid’.

      • jrkrideau

        The Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, is the granddaughter of a Ukrainian war criminal. She is also very competent and, I believe, fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, certainly Ukrainian. Unfortunately our Prime Minister is not particularly interested or informed on international affairs as the Huawei Affair, (long and complicated story) has illustrated. She seems to be dictating policy on Eastern Europe and Ukraine.

        allowing monuments to Nazis

        Yes, a lot of us were not impressed but most Canadians do not know enough history to understand the issue. IIRC the monuments speaks of people who are described as freedom fighters and anti-Nazi!

        The Ukrainian diaspora, post-WWII in Canada does not seem to be a voting bloke but has fairly small and competent pressure groups. We must distinguish between the Ukrainian & Russian immigrants in the early 1900’s who left the Russian Empire and those Ukrainians who arrived after WWII who seem to be the Russian haters.

        Canada tends to celebrate all sorts of cultural/national things without taking them too seriously in a political sense. In a normal year I can attend a Mexican Cinco de Mayo celebration, Chinese New Year’s Parties, the Ukrainian Festival, the Viva L’Italia, Diwali–Indian Festival of Lights, St Patrick’s Day, and a few others. The problem comes when we get a few very dangerous groups such as Sikh terrorists or the Ukrainian post-WWII idiots.

        Come to think of it , there is a small Ukrainian Catholic Church about a kilometre from me. I live in Eastern Ontario. Not where most Russian and Ukrainian people settled. Maybe they sponsor the Ukrainian Festival?

        Here is a Doukabor choir in Western Canada. Their ancestors arrived before WWI.
        Evening is approaching.

        On the other hand, I once heard a Doukabor male choir singing a Russian hymn with English-Canadian accents as bad or worse than mine. It was hilarious.

        • Akos Horvath

          I think Russia should donate a whole bunch of ground penetrating radars to Canada, so that it can find and dig up more of those First Nation children who were murdered in residential schools. One would think that with all the recent revelations about this horrid affair Trudeau would be less keen on lecturing others. But then one would be wrong.

        • Tatyana

          I welcome cultural diversity, the more the better. Our world is big and full of wonderful things.
          What I cannot accept is celebrating something without understanding the sense of it.
          More, I cannot see how being a granddaughter of a war criminal may make Ms. Freeland guilty of something as dirty as nazism.

          • Jen

            “… More, I cannot see how being a granddaughter of a war criminal may make Ms. Freeland guilty of something as dirty as nazism.”

            Before Chrystia Freeland became a politician, she was a journalist. She had an opportunity to learn about her grandfather Myhailo Chomiak’s past in the mid to late 1990s when her uncle John-Paul Himka (married to her mother’s sister and thus Myhailo Chomiak’s son-in-law) undertook research on Chomiak and the newspaper Chomiak edited, “Krakivs’ki Visti” for an article Himka later published in 1996. Freeland assisted Himka in that research and edited the 1996 article. She must have known then about her grandfather’s past but for reasons best known to her has chosen to deny his Nazi connections and to claim that the information about her grandfather’s activities during World War II is Russian disinformation.

          • Jen


            Freeland was a journalist before she became a politician. Back in the mid to late 1990s she assisted her uncle Jean-Paul Himka on research for an article he wrote and had published in 1996 (and which Freeland also edited) on Ukrainian activities in Galicia during World War II. He did research on Myhailo Chomiak (Freeland’s grandfather and Himka’s father-in-law) and the newspaper Chomiak edited “Krakivski Visti”. Himka uncovered evidence that Chomiak worked quite closely with the Nazi German government and published what amounted to anti-Semitic propaganda. Freeland has to be at least aware of her grandfather’s apparent willingness to work with the Nazi Germans. At the very least she could have acknowledged her family links to him and the fact that he worked for the German government of the time. Instead she seems to have chosen to deny these links and to claim that he and his family were refugees fleeing Europe when they were actually given safe haven in Bavaria from Poland by the Nazis.

            While Freeland cannot be blamed for her family’s past, she certainly has a personal stake in what is currently going on between NATO and Russia over Ukraine and as Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister / Finance Minister she should admit to having a personal conflict of interest. Especially if Ottawa is indeed sending money and resources to Kiev and at the same time has frozen the bank accounts of people who are known to have assisted the truckers’ convoy in Ottawa.

  • Jack

    To be honest I do not understand these statements by Russia that they wont intervene in Ukraine.

    Instead Russia would probably intervene if Ukraine keep pounding the rebel territories in Ukraine and Russia should make clear that, as a red line, like: if Ukraine threaten or kill people, we will intervene.

    If Russia keep claiming they wont invade, they will look stupid if they sooner or later will intervene. Not because they want but because of what other parties are doing causing a response by Russia.

    • Republicofscotland


      This is an interesting article in which Putin has much sympathy for the peoples of Luhansk and Donetsk, and the Duma, including its opposition parties backed a resolution calling for the president to recognise the sovereignty of both peoples republic, it was a non binding vote and the article suggests that Putin won’t recognise them as sovereign. It could be that the bill’s passage could be used to frighten Ukraine into thinking that Russia could abandon the Minsk Accords.


      “Under the Minsk Agreements, the Donbas People’s Republics are to return to Ukrainian control with extensive autonomy as part of an eventual political settlement. However, neither Ukraine nor Russia have implemented their obligations under Minsk, and negotiations on the accords have stalled.”

      And the majority of Russians support the Donbas region’s independence from Ukraine.

      • Tatyana

        Unlike Crimea, the Donetsk and Lughansk regions are not going to join Russia. They want autonomy within Ukraine.

        And, last time I checked, the Minsk agreement names Ukraine and breakaway regions as parties.
        The role of Russia is the same as Germany’s and France’s – consultations and influence to bring those parties to peace.

          • Tatyana

            I have no idea. My guess is they are both large regions with their specific economy, population, leaders etc. They were not allowed to vote in the recent presidential election, so hardly they recognise this pianist clown as their president, and, hardly they would support his desire to get to nukes.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I think the arguments are about ‘invasion for imperialistic purposes’ i.e. to conquer foreign territory and take it over.

      The red line is whether they need to enter the country to stop Ukrainian fascists killing Russian-speaking people in the Donbass.

      Everyone with a brain knows that that is an act of war according to Joe Biden, whereas Biden, Johnson, Trudeau et al arming the Ukrainians to commit murder in the Donbass is apparently not.

      That’s what Russia’s problem is: nothing Ukraine does is an act of war, whereas anything they do IS an act of war.

      Presumably, if they have to commit an act of war, they want it to be on their terms, not those imposed by Biden et al?

      • Goose

        The US/UK are poised to drop the sanctions hammer for any such incursion, painting it as invasion, however limited and temporary. People forget how the US has planted itself and remains in Eastern Syria with no legal basis for being there whatsoever. Strange selective outrage and pure hypocrisy.

        Meanwhile, Johnson paints a nightmarish picture of young Russian soldiers returning home in body bags were Russia to invade. I obviously hope Russia doesn’t invade, but if they did, and they acted anything like US/UK backed Israel does in putting down rebellions in the occupied territories, esp. Gaza, it wouldn’t be Russians in body bags, would it?

        • Jack


          Exactly, no one talks about Nato/US/EU interventions past decades to protect minorities all over the world, why are suddenly Russia shamed for hinting doing the same type of intervention? The double standard is absurd.

          • Goose

            On Johnson.

            Amusing how a man most of the MSM were dismissing as a serial liar who can’t be trusted on anything, as recently as last week, are now parroting his every word over the situation in Ukraine as if it’s the gospel truth spoken by some paragon of truthfulness.

            But, but… US intelligence reports say… yeah, the same US intelligence former CIA chief Pompeo stated in a rare moment of honesty, lie, cheat and steal all the time if it’s in perceived US national interests to do so?

          • Tom Welsh

            Goose, it’s rather like the Cretan liar. When all members of the media lie, and all politicians lie, what do you believe when the media say a politician is a liar? (Or not).

            It doesn’t bother me, because I ignore the media.

        • Akos Horvath

          The sanctions hammer will be dropped no matter what. If not for Ukraine then for some other made up reason.

          Without intervening in the Donbass, Russia will get a tightened NATO noose with gung-ho Ukronazis on its border AND sanctions, which will happen anyway. Russia is better off drawing real red lines in the sand and seriously degrading the Ukronazi military if they attack. Similar to Georgia 2008.

      • Tom Welsh

        IMHO Georgia set a precedent for such situations. When a doubtfully legitimate government, egged on and funded by the West, starts a campaign of murder and destruction against its own citizens, it is reasonable for another nation to intervene forcibly. Having put the murderers back in their box, it should then retire promptly behind its own borders.

        How short a haircut it gives the murderers will depend on circumstances.

  • Beata

    The German weekly Der Spiegel published an article which states that in fact Nato promised not to expand to the east. The author Klaus Wiegrefe is drawing attention to British documents from 1990-1991 showing senior Western diplomats believed they had indeed made a NATO non-enlargement pledge. Apparently, the document was discovered by political science professor at Boston University Joshua Shifrinson who collaborated with Wiegrefe on the article. It is behind the paywall. For those who speak German, here is the link:

    The description is also available on RT. There are actually two articles there, quoting the past president of OSCE Willy Wimmer and confirming that the promise was made:

  • Lapsed Agnostic

    It being the Sabbath, Peter Hitchens has delivered his weekly sermon, which I think is worth a read and, if nothing else, means that a million-plus Hate-on-Sunday readers will at least be getting the other side of the story:

    (I’ve also learnt a new word: ‘burp gun’ is American slang for a sub-machine gun apparently – though an AK is hardly one of them. Other than that, I think his column is bang on.)

    • Fwl

      Peter Hitchens. Should be Professor Peter Hitchens. He has the confidence of a tenured professor. In these gig role days others are more nervous.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Thanks for your reply, Fwl. Glad you appreciated his column. He spent a couple years in the former Soviet Union in the days when the Express had a Moscow correspondent rather than a Princess Diana one (or three).

        Even though it’s the day of rest, he’s currently having to deal with various trolls on Twitter who insist that the Azov battalion emblem isn’t a Nazi one. I take it they’d have no issue with people flying swastika flags from townhouses in Stamford Hill and insisting that it was just an ancient Hindu sun symbol.

        That said, the old SNP logo looks uncannily like an inverted odal rune, the symbol of the SS Prinz Eugen division. I don’t think the SNP are quite neo-Nazi, though its top brass may from time to time borrow some of their methods for dealing with (perceived) threats.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I note the comment in the guardian attributed to Truss, that Putin ‘s agenda is trying to re-assemble the Soviet Union. Does that include the Warsaw pact? One’s mind can only gast and flabber at such inanity, even for Truss. So a return to the cold war and to the binary world of the US and Soviets? Apparently China has evaporated in Trussworld, never mind India, Indonesia, Japan – apparently, mere ornaments on the world stage. Heck, it seems like no time has passed since the Trumpian performative rear-guard action in relation to North Korea and its nuclear strike capability, when there was a lively fear that Japan would be nuked again.

    I don’t think it is news to most readers here that what passes for news of world affairs is a strange fiction, drummed up and shaped in the deeper recesses of Parliament/BBC/Downing street/Press Baron offices, plus all the connecting labyrinths such as the security services and the myriad international connections. How is it at all possible for an outsider to fathom why someone with such an intellectual deficit as Truss has been elevated to one of the key roles of government? But then we can all rest easy that the Classics scholar and well-known stoic, Johnson, has her under his calm, guiding hand. This country, let there be no mistake, has entered the reverend Mr Dodgson’s fantasy world populated by magic thinkers.

    I have found the contribution by Goose and Tatyana to be helpful and informative. So thanks for that.
    However, a striking observation for me is that the main protagonists here are both in the grip of economic conditions dictated in varying ways by dependency on fossil fuels. Russia, by the heavy reliance on its export capacity; Ukraine a fossil fuel co-dependent; Germany, a manufacturing powerhouse without much internal sources of power. Without fossil fuel imports, how long can Germany prosper? China and India are likewise in positions of dependency with a need for fuels to drive their economies. The US is possibly the most dependent of all, its main source of power and influence dictated by its military advantage, which is itself (never mind the wider economy) utterly dependent on fossil fuel in abundance to fly/move its military assets around.

    It seems to me that what we are seeing here is the attempt to secure the future. It is, in effect, a fight for survival in a rapidly changing world. Within 30 years we, as a species, will have sure and certain knowledge of continued survival or imminent societal collapse. The current conditions/technology are not a source of optimism. The current incipient hostility around Ukraine are, metaphorically speaking, the rats in the bottom of the oil barrel. Some rats are big and sleek and some are scrawny, with sharper teeth. If anyone wishes to check, it is clear that renewables technology at the moment can only sustain a much smaller global population than the one we will have in 30 years. Transformative technology such as nuclear fusion is sill tantalisingly out of reach. The transformations in our ‘modus economicus’ required to achieve any kind of stable arrangement or strategy for an equitable distribution of essential life resources, simply do not exist. That kind of brings me full circle to my starting point of deploring the calibre of our current crop of ‘statespeople’. Can anyone see the likes of Truss or ‘neither gentleman nor scholar’ Johnson taking a leading role (or even a subordinate role) in the incredibly difficult and intricate deployments of ‘chess pieces’ which will be required over the next 30 years to create a world peaceable, equable and productive enough to have a chance of our species and our great majestic natural world, surviving in some way that isn’t ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ or a degraded barren waste of sun-baked sand.

    • Tatyana

      Putin ‘s agenda is trying to re-assemble the Soviet Union 🙂

      This shit was launched by some of your *excuse my French* fuckwits.

      There’s saying here in Russia: ‘Those who celebrate the collapse of the USSR don’t have a heart. Those who want to revive the USSR don’t have a brain.’
      The first phrase refers to the hardships of that period of time. I described it somewhere here in the discussion forum. The second reflects real attitude of russians to the reality.

      Putin once said that the collapse of the USSR was the biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the century, because millions of people found themselves abroad overnight.
      The f*ckwits either cannot read or unable to understand the sense. Here is Bryan McDonald arguing with the New York Times on the meaning and context

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You don’t have to excuse your French, Tatyana, I referred to Liz Truss, in a letter to the UK national newspaper The Daily Telegraph as ‘an ignorant fuckwit’ less than a fortnight ago.

        What’s good for English native speakers is perfectly acceptable for you, Tatyana….

    • DunGroanin

      DGP you say

      “ If anyone wishes to check, it is clear that renewables technology at the moment can only sustain a much smaller global population than the one we will have in 30 years. Transformative technology such as nuclear fusion is sill tantalisingly out of reach. ”

      I have checked.
      It is pure bollocks about over population.
      Being a Anglo Aryan Euro Centric based philosophy ‘overpopulation’ strawman is code for too many non-white people.

      A ides and worry developed from the easily discredited Malthus from couple of centuries ago who was a cheer leader of the Anglo supremacist of that era and were subverting Darwinian study and recognition of Evolution with a bollocks survival of the fittest.

      For you and others who may not believe me start with the late Professor Hans Rosling’ GapMinder lectures.

      There are for the record many new technologies that can be implemented within a few years and have been for some time. Most are subject to patent capture by the Old Industrialists and Owners of such infrastructure that have stopped the new tech threatening their profit streams.

  • Republicofscotland

    Dare I say it a sign of hope on the horizon. Biden won’t like this especially with his poll rating in decline.

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have agreed to take urgent measures to halt escalation of conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

    During their Sunday phone conversation requested by Paris, the leaders agreed to resume work within the framework of the Normandy format, which consists of French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian leadership. It was also decided that a meeting of the trilateral contact group would be held “in the next few hours” in order to “obtain a commitment from all the stakeholders” to cease fire on the line of contact.”

    • J Galt

      Bizarre to say Macron is emerging as one of the sanest adults in the room – if he pulls this off we might have to forgive his previous transgressions!

      • Wikikettle

        Macron has elections coming up. He knows his population is fed up with him. If he plays the strong France is Independent card he will get votes. The EU is very unpopular, the new Soviet Union, unelected Council members deciding issues and appointing each other. NATO is there as Lord Ismay said to keep America in, Russia out and Germany down. General Hastings Lionel “Pug” Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay. While the toffs play geo politics with countries as if playing chess, the Chinese build high speed trains, roads and bridges connecting countries with commerce. Russia is no longer struggling under decades of western sanctions and is now ready and prepared to exert its legitimate interests. NATO can bomb Libya, let’s see what it can do the the sons of the Red Army.

        • Akos Horvath

          Guess who is building and financing the new high speed rail line between Belgrade and Budapest? The Chinese. And who is against it? The so-called ‘left wing’ opposition, heavily favored by the EU.

        • Laguerre

          “He knows his population is fed up with him.”

          Quite wrong. Macron is going to win, as there’s really nobody of equivalent stature. The fact that some moan is neither here nor there; the French are a nation of moaners (râleurs).

      • Peter

        @ J Galt

        Not so bizarre when the others in the room are the American neo-con war hawks and their pathetic British lickspittle sidekicks.

      • Bruce_H

        Unfortunately the main thing that Macron is really interested in is being re-elected, He is not very popular in France but like in Britain overall the quality of the political “class” is dismal at present to say the least. The traditional parties are in a very poor state, left and traditional right, only the extreme right has the wind in its sails, although even they have managed an own goal as there are now two main candidates, Le Pen and Zemmour (a new one who popped out from out of the blue) which under the French electoral system reduces the chance of either of them getting through to the second round where only the two candidates with the most votes can maintain their presence. Clearly one who will remain is Macron, despite having no real political party or local government structure to support him, and until Zemmour came along it was most likely Le Pen… assuring Macron of victory as however much he is hated by traditional left and right voters they would still not want an extreme right president, and one whose party cannot really boast of many technically competent members either.

        Funnily amongst the supporters of Zemmour, and one supposes his financial backers, there are some people who come from the same sphere as those who chose, groomed and helped to power none other than Mr Macron… All this to say in France there are wheels within wheels too and Macron is probably more interested in the election in a few weeks than saving the world, although maybe he thinks the two could go together.

    • DunGroanin

      I just posted on the new article about the Macron sideshow.

      Has he declared his candidacy yet?

      He hadn’t last week and was abusing his position in sly electioneering as accused by some of his opponents.

      There may yet be a surprise candidate for the presidency that the French voters will choose easily over Manny.

    • Wikikettle

      Zelensky is a dead man walking. At the Munich Security Conference he is totally incoherent, demanding a date when he can join NATO, wanting new sanctions imposed on Russia immediately, saying he doesn’t know what Russia wants, reconsider Budapest Memorandum, wants to meet Putin, he knows he’s been hung out to dry by EU, NATO and US.

      • Tatyana

        Zelensky also said that all is quiet in Donbass, people there may have themselves shooted at each other.

        After what he did to the poor piano as a joke, God forbid he ever be entrusted with the nuclear control panel.

        • Wikikettle

          Zelensky is a nobody, a pawn, blown hither and dither by his dangerous neo fascists at home and neo liberals abroad in EU and US and UK. They will replace him when they decide.

        • Goose

          Zelensky has reportedly joined calls for a ceasefire. Does Zelensky even have any real control over the Ukrainian armed forces?

          Meanwhile, the OSCE reported violations(2000+) continue. Ukraine’s Deputy PM concerned by honest reporting of their violations, has asked Canada, US and Britain to return staff to OSCE monitoring mission, saying recent report biased and helpful to Russian disinformation efforts.

          “We need to have a straight record of these situations.”

          In other words without the US/UK’s own bias and OPCW type influence on other OSCE staff, a truer picture of events is emerging, one that isn’t casting Ukrainian forces in a good light.

  • St. Pogo

    The French and Germans have come out with all kinds of contradictory statements.
    Are they going to fold under US pressure or are they just playing their own game, secretly talking to each other and Russia whilst placating the Atlantic master in words only? The US was not happy with Scholtz talking to Putin and as Rep. of Scot. mentioned they won’t be happy with Macron and the Normandy 4 talking.
    Has Scholz known all along what he will do with NS2?

    • Tom Welsh

      “Has Scholz known all along what he will do with NS2?”

      Clutch it to his bosom with both hands, I should think.

      • Wikikettle

        There is in general a total disconect between the people and governments of the Collective West. Their governments work for a handful of powerful elites while the people are divided and sanctioned with a police state. Canada and Australia leading the way. Bank accounts of demonstrators frozen and pensions stopped being the latest inquisition. Reports of US war planes over Germany…is the unthinkable actually happening ? The solidarity and hope on the anti war marches throughout the world against the Iraq war was soon dashed. The same neo liberal war criminals are now risking nuclear with Russia.

  • Ingwe

    If Macron and the Germans are seeking a diplomatic way out against the wishes of the USA, then it’ll be the best example of a dish served cold for revenge. France was shafted by the USA and the Ozzies over the submarine deal and Germany and its economy can benefit from Nordstream 2. I really would love to see the USA becoming more and more isolated!

    • ET

      “I really would love to see the USA becoming more and more isolated!”

      Hear Hear. What can folk like you and I do to isolate the USA? If it says “made in the USA” don’t buy it. If it’s a movie made in USA don’t watch it. Don’t use google, facebook and all the rest of them. There are a multitude of other options. Don’t trade with the USA.
      Boycott USA.

      Before you all have a go at me, that is what is needed. Isolate USA.

  • St. Pogo

    Putin to recognise Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk?

    Duma, security council, Shoigu and Lavrov all recommend it.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    Looking at the dates of comment on this post, I’d say a lot of the comments have been deleted. What’s going on?

    [ Mod: That’s an invalid inference.

    This article is dated 12 Feb 2022. Craig posted new articles on 20 Feb, 21 Feb and 23 Feb, so it would appear that the focus of readers’ attention switched to those. ]

  • Jacomo

    Well, I suppose we have a choice to make – were the warnings of imminent invasion totally wrong (or even, just propaganda) because they got the date wrong, or were they fundamentally correct?

    I think you can draw a line back to the Iraq War in 2003, as Craig is so keen to do. The tragedy of that war was not only that it inflicted awful consequences on the Iraqi people, but that it opened the gates for any state to justify any invasion on spurious grounds of ‘threat’.

    Putin’s words are chilling. He describes Ukraine as an ‘anti-Russia in our historic lands’. This, right here, is the new fascism – the imposition of regime change through military force.

    There will be self-described ‘leftists’ who will twist and turn in trying to justify this, somehow… but there is nothing socialist or progressive about the billionaire dictator from St Petersburg. These are very dark times indeed.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      If you are right, a big if, then you will explain how it is that Moscow prevented the implementation of Minsk II over the past 7 years, since that would involve Putin sacrificing ‘his own Russian people’ in Donbass through inactivity, callous depiction of them as ‘acceptable collateral damage’ etc.

      Putin has acted after waiting 7 years for the West to ensure that Ukraine implemented Minsk II. The West did nothing to ensure that, indeed they supported the openly racist Kiev government in turning Russian speakers into second rate citizens.

      Do you approve of that racism?

  • Oscar

    [ Mod: Sockpuppet – aka ‘Jack Diamond‘. ]

    Makes me wonder what else you are wrong about:

    “I maintain the view that Putin is far too wily to be pushed into an invasion. If Putin really wished to escalate matters, he would be much more likely to cut gas supplies than to invade Ukraine.”

  • thepilgrim

    Reading all this today is really something.
    Socialists should all have abandoned Russia in the 30s, but for some even the fall of the Soviet state and the advent of a capitalist kleptocracy has done little to cool their ardour.
    Probably the invasion of Ukraine (Oh yes he did!) also won’t make any difference.

    • Lantern Dude

      That’s a confusing conglomoration of phrases on a par with the notion that the BLM movement is ‘Marxist’! I realise that the Tories’ education reforms reduced the national reading age by three years by following the Yankee education policies since the mid-1980s; but at least try and cobble some educated common sense to your philosophical world-view. Pehaps then you might make some ‘progress’ ;o)

    • ASC

      I get your point but I suspect some/many/most of those you’re describing as socialist here are nothing of the sort, even if they delude themselves otherwise (and probably most don’t). Rather they’re part of the new right-wing nationalism who see Putin as some kind of global leader.
      Quite telling the blog owner has had nothing to say now that the warnings of the US administration did prove true, Russia has indeed invaded and is now waging war in a country that – RT kool aid propaganda aside – has a lower number of far-right activists than France and voted democratically for a Jewish leader wanting closer links to what the population perceives, rightly or wrongly – their choice remember? – as a freer and better lifestyle in Western Europe.

  • Bayard

    I’ve only noticed a few trolls and none of the seem to be supposing the Russians, unless by “trollski” you mean ” anyone who disagrees with me”.

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