Ukraine: How Can the War End? 1323

I could not believe Putin really would invade Ukraine, because I could see no sensible outcome for him. I still cannot. Initiating a war on this scale has no legal justification, and no moral justification either. Russian troops are in areas which have no wish to be ruled by Russia.

Those of us who opposed the illegal invasion of Iraq must also oppose the illegal invasion of Ukraine. Whether the Ukrainian government is obnoxious or not is as irrelevant now, as the obnoxiousness of Saddam Hussein was irrelevant then. I am as fed up now with being asked if I support Ukrainian Nazis as I was then with being asked if I supported Saddam Hussein.

It is simply illegal to wage a war for regime change, without the endorsement of the UN security council.

I have great sympathy for Russian security concerns about encirclement by NATO and forward missile deployments. But seeking regime change by invasion in Ukraine could not possibly be the answer. I still have not the slightest idea what Putin seeks to achieve. It is simply impossible – and has been since the annexation of Crimea – that a democratic Ukraine is voluntarily going to elect a pro-Russian government. After this invasion, the only way a pro-Putin regime could be maintained in Ukraine would be by extreme authoritarianism, going well beyond the prevailing system in Russia itself.

Let me put it starkly. This can only finish with a government in Kiev which absolutely hates Putin as now do the Ukrainian people, or with Russia maintaining a puppet regime by extreme repression. There isn’t a way out with a peaceful, neutral Ukraine. Once you try to resolve matters by pure force, you lose that option. If I were Ukrainian, there is no way now I would be agreeing to the demilitarisation of my country.

As for denazification – which certainly is needed in Ukraine – Putin has given the “heroic anti-Russian nationalist” meme of the Ukrainian nazi groups a massive boost. While labelling the entire nation and government as Nazi is just wrong.

I did not think Putin would invade, for all those reasons. I did not even think he would acknowledge moving troops into the Donbass. I was unsure what to argue about that if he did. The Kosovo parallel with the newly acknowledged Donetsk and Lughansk republics is arguable. As a supporter of Scottish Independence, I am open to arguments from self-determination, and you can read Murder in Samarkand on the capriciousness of former internal Soviet borders. But this has gone far beyond that.

Yet we have seen nothing like the simply massive civilian casualties the West inflicted on Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. Not anything like the same order of magnitude. In the town of Sirte, Libya alone NATO bombing killed 15,000 people. Casualty figures being given for the whole of the Ukraine so far are still in the hundreds, and thank God for that.

Sirte, Libya, after NATO bombing

Either Putin has not entirely willed the means, or his armed forces are resisting obeying his wishes. Russia has not unleashed anything like the kind of firepower that would need to be unleashed to subdue Ukraine. Western media has gone into full war porn mode, but the extent of real fighting is uncertain. There seems to be a great deal of shadow boxing.

I do not know the explanation for this. It seems very possible Putin has underestimated Ukrainian morale, and really believed Ukraine would crumble. In fact, Zelensky is playing a blinder in terms of maintaining morale, however staged his photo-ops. The more pressing question is whether Putin overestimated the willingness of his own military to kill Ukrainians, or whether Putin himself lacks the will. In Grozny, he was directly responsible for civilian casualties on a truly terrible scale, but is he like the West in putting much less value on Muslim lives?

Grozny Destroyed by Russia

To date, Kiev has faced nothing like what Sirte faced from NATO or Grozny faced from Russia – but not because Russia lacks the capacity to do it.

If Putin is himself ready for massive Ukrainian deaths, is his military pulling its punches? I am reminded of the War of Slovenian Independence, where the soldiers of the massively superior Yugoslav army just refused to kill Slovenes. In that case, many of the Yugoslav troops were initially told it was just a live fire exercise, which lends credibility to the idea the same is happening with Russian troops here.

Putin has not improved his negotiating position. My own friends and allies on the left are suggesting that the answer is for there to be a ceasefire and Western agreement to no further expansion of NATO, and a new arms control treaty governing missile deployments. That would certainly be ideal but it is not going to happen.

You have to understand the realpolitik of the Western elite. They will never damage their own interests. That is why the sanctions that would really hurt Putin, targeting companies like BP and Shell over their Russian interests or the real oligarchs like Usmanov, Deripaska and Abramovic, will never happen because they would damage the interests of the British elite. It is why the UK government fly Ukrainian flags but will not let Ukrainians come without visas. They don’t really care about the ordinary people at all.

The NATO leadership now see Putin in a position where he either has to back down and retreat, or inflict massive casualties on the Ukraine and get bogged down there for decades. If they wanted to save the Ukrainian people, this would indeed be the time for West to negotiate. But the lives of ordinary Ukrainians mean nothing to them.

So rather than find Putin a ladder to climb down, they will strike heroic poses, wave Ukrainian flags and send more weapons. I fear Putin will go for the mass deaths scenario. Macho is his entire brand, and his speech last Sunday was worryingly fundamentalist. I do wonder if he is losing the room at home – he spoke of the end of the Soviet Union as a calamity, but Russians under forty cannot even remember the Soviet Union at all. Nobody under 50 can remember it in any kind of functioning order.

One final thought for now. I applaud those brave people in Russia who have demonstrated for peace. Almost 2,000 have been arrested. But remember this – under the Tory government’s new policing bill, taking part in a demonstration in England and Wales not approved in advance by the police could bring up to ten years in prison. Just one example of the rife hypocrisy submerging us all at present.


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1,323 thoughts on “Ukraine: How Can the War End?

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  • Jack

    While I dont agree with the invasion the hypocrisy by west is really something, news cycle around the clock, condemnations, hysteria, panic, anger, warmongering, arming, sanctions. It is a uncalled for response that will only make things worse.

    Where were these angry people when Nato and US made their own multiple interventions past decades? We all know, they supported these wars and interventions. Why the hysteria now? Sickening.

    • Wikikettle

      ET. Thanks for the link to Consortium News and Scott Ritters contributions. I can why many are wringing their hands, worried that Russia will get bogged down in Ukraine and face an insurgency. From the massive hype of our media trying to portray the Russian invasion and its attacks on the cities and its civilians taking hold. Scott Ritter above all the experts, is not a sit at home behind a keyboard warrior ! He is the real deal. His manner is different because he is frustrated listening to the crap from msm and from many on new media who are getting cold feet about the “legality” of the Invasion. I cannot see how Russia could carry on for any longer with years of talks. Its actions as Scott said are well planned and a step by step carried out taking into consideration International Law. As Scott said Putin has openly for years said what the Russian concerns are, what they want negotiated, and what they will do if a security structure taking into account Russian interests is rejected. A technical and military response is now taking place. Just as the media and Nato engineered a coup and egged on Its proxy leadership in Ukraine, the Russians, as Scott says, knew all along, every move, every name, every outcome, the stupid, politicised, corrupt idiots would make. This is not another Afghanistan for Russia as it was for USSR. Scott predicts the objectives will be achieved within days and the Ukrainian population will blame more the US than their “kith and kin” !

      • mikjall

        Hello Wikikettle and all of Craig’s saner and more perspicuous readers. I certainly hope that Scott Ritter is right. Neutrality, demilitarization, and denazification would be the best outcome for the Ukrainian people and their best option for real independence and transition to a non-failed state. I’m sorry to say that I think it a slim hope, because I think that the Ukrainian people have been too long steeped in fear-mongering to be able to seize the opportunity; but let’s see. For all the folks here who have their eye on the ball, I recommend looking at today’s post by John Helmer: It’s an excellent reminder of the situation that the Russians have been facing ever since they saved themselves and most of Europe from the Nazis of yore (not the Galicians of then-and-now) in 1945. I think that Craig Murray might benefit from it as well, because he’s gone off the rails on this one, in my opinion, blinded as he is by his hatred for Vladimir Putin.

    • andyoldlabour

      Hi Jack, I have been saying the same thing on a couple of other forums and simply faced a barrage of comments calling me a Putin shill. I have been accused of “whataboutery” for pointing out facts.
      This is tribalism at its very worst.

    • DunGroanin

      In Yemen – The immense destruction and death has escalated yet again by the western nato forces who supply and train the Saudi-funded forces and more evilly man, maintain the high-tech killing machines and maybe also fly and control the deadly weapons (how many Saudi pilots are there – how many of these princes actually do the dirty?)

      Under cover of the Ukraine invasion. The destruction of Yemen international airport and many many more civilians continues – and no crocodile tears are spared for them. Is it cause they are Blue haired and blonde eyed?

      Craig and others may wonder what on earth is going on? It seems clear to me that this is not about just Ukraine – this is an old, old ancient knowledge of how to keep the bad monkeys invading your house and causing regular mayhem.

      You slaughter the chicken to scare the Monkey.

      It is that simple.

  • Joe Mellon

    I am disappointed and think that Russia made a bad choice… That said I also think that it was the US that caused this situation: the ultimate cause, not the proximate cause.
    *All* US ‘interventions’ seem to end the same way: chaos, war, collapsed societies… and in the end grave embarrassment and with the US’s own interests compromised. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran (from 1953 to present), Syria, Libya, Yemen are only the most recent ones. Previously Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, … The list is endless.
    The US interventions always end the same way because they follow the same meta schema:
    – a region or country is to be tamed to follow US interests and not its own.
    – the people willing to follow that line are the worst in the country: narco bosses (e.g. Karzai, various Middle American countries); religious nuts (Saudi); psycopathic generals (Libya, Chile); general criminals (Cuba); Jihadis (Iraq, Syria); Nazis (Ukraine).; generally venal and corrupt people
    – the US builds them up and supports them logistically, militarily, …
    – short term the country may be brought under US control…
    – long term there is *always’ a total breakdown of society, massacres, war, … because that is what happens when you put the dregs of society into power.


    I agree it is very hard to imagine what Putin is trying to achieve. He is either very stupid or very clever. He may also be more desperate to cling to power than we know and more threatened at home. This may be a last attempt to regain popularity at home.

    I do not fully trust the reports coming out of Ukraine. They are liable to being spun or outright fakes. Bad things are happening and worse things to come. But we will have to wait and see.

    Meanwhile, the UK and US are probably at their weakest geopolitically and Putin owns the UK Tory party so feels he can do as he likes.

    Very worrying times and hundreds if not thousands will be dead, wounded, displaced and traumatised before we see any resolution to this. And for what? Damned if I can see any reason for this. I really thought Putin, a nasty piece of work without doubt, was cleverer than this.

    • Jimmeh

      > He may also be more desperate to cling to power than we know

      In his long speech on Wednesday, he referred obliquely to semi-mystical nationalist writings that invoke the ideas of a “Russian spirit” and a return to the 18th C borders of imperial Russia. He also spoke of Ukraine being made-up, not a real country; and of Western attempts to balkanise Russia itself.

      His view seems to be that he has to act now, otherwise it will be too late. So yes, there does seem to be desperation in his thinking.

      Ukraine is flat, so it’s great tank country, and Russia has a huge number of tanks. I’m surprised he hasn’t rolled in with a huge tank army. I’m also surprised that his air operations seem to be mainly troop transports, helicopters and missiles; he has a lot of jets, and doesn’t seem to be using them. Perhaps he’s afraid of provoking a no-fly zone, and having his airforce destroyed.

      At any rate, he’s not going to get a negotiated settlement now he’s invaded; people don’t tend to negotiate when there is a gun to their head. So now he will face a long insurgency, like Afghanistan, supported with lots of arms from the West. That will deplete his coffers, the morale of his (largely conscript) army, and his domestic support. NATO will welcome that outcome – much better than facing a major nuclear power on the battlefield.

      Of course that’s a bad outcome for Ukrainians; they’re expected to fight NATO’s battle without any overt NATO support, and it could last a long time (the longer it lasts, the better for NATO, and the worse for Russia).

      I can’t see him withdrawing with his tail between his legs, unless his army mutinies (I don’t think that’s beyond possibility). Withdrawal would be the end of him.

      I suspect the attack on Kiev is a feint, to tie-up Ukrainian forces in the West, while he occupies Kharchiv, the largest city in the government-controlled part of Donbas. That would enable him to expand the breakaway republics, which may be his secondary military goal. But I suspect that even that goal is now doomed.

      He also needs a land-bridge to Crimea; AFAICS the Azov Bridge is currently broken, and it’s a large, vulnerable target. He seems to be doing OK in the south, militarily. So he might get a land-bridge, but it would be hard to defend.

      Talk about burning one’s bridges!

    • Jon Musgrave

      The videos and reports of large numbers of tanks heading into Ukraine suggest that Putin may have decided to destroy the country completely in order to control it.
      However the country is vast and is largely covered in forest – ideal for partisan warfare, plus the tower blocks so favoured in Soviet cities are perfect for sniping…
      I predict a long drawn out bloody conflict that is finally stopped by Putin being deposed by the Russian elite (business, military, political) who decide he is too much of a threat to their personal fortunes.

      • Igor P.P.

        There are few forests in Ukraine, except the most Western parts. If there’s someone who understands partisan warfare, it is Putin and his military with their Chechnya and North Caucasus experience.

    • George Porter

      “He argues Russia has deliberately gone in soft deliberately to avoid alienating the Ukranian people.”

      That won’t stand up to reality.

      • Bohunk Pundit

        I think a better explanation is that his plan was to capture Hostomel Airport, air lift in a light, rapid strike force, dash into Kyiv and decapitate the entire Ukrainian Government. This would demoralize the Ukrainian military and he would then negotiate their surrender.

  • ASC

    It’s something of relief to read your response, which I agree with virtually in its entirety and certainly with no significant disagreement. Aside from wishing to see a peaceful, negotiated solution as rapidly as possible, my main concern is also how far continuing war or even a rapid withdrawal of Russian forces will allow western (and, who knows, Russian) elites to continue entrenching their power and corrupting our political and economic systems. The point about repression of dissent in the UK is also well-made. What should have been made apparent by this conflict and by how it has exposed the weakness of western countries when it comes to ‘sanctions’ is just how much oligarchical money of all provenances controls our governments, just how much political freedom is under threat in the west and indeed has already been lost in many areas, and just how dependent some European countries have become on fossil fuels when they should be transiting to renewable energy. I’m not too hopeful.

  • Jon Musgrave

    I suspect that Putin has done a Grozny – send in a weak force that gets forced back, then go in with overwhelming force with orders to destroy anything and everything in its path, with one aim – get control of Kyiv.
    Whether this will work long term is doubtful – it will just make the Ukrainian people, who have been looking west for many years now, hate him more than before. With great justification.

    • Squeeth

      International law was a dead letter all along, the confrontation between the US empire of terror and a resurgent Russia was always going to be decided “Not by speeches and votes of the majority are the great questions of the time decided — that was the error of 1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.” (Bismarck)

      If Russia wins then we will be safer than since the end of the USSR.

      As for your ad hominem about Putin (“I fear Putin will go for the mass deaths scenario. Macho is his entire brand”), that’s your anti-Russian bias popping out. Compare the mound of corpses he has built with those of the western filth, there is no comparison.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Yes maybe, but what were the punishments for the USA, the UK and NATO for what they did in Iraq, Libya and Syria?

          Anything, Mr Murray? Any bans from sporting tournaments? Removal of the USA’s right to host the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics? Well?

          Any bans on US weapons companies from selling all over the globe? Why not??

          Any bans on US oil companies gaining drilling licenses anywhere outside the USA? Why not??

          War crimes tribunals for Cheney, Blair, plenty more? Why not??

          Cleaning out of all the US banks riddled with CIA infiltration and laundering of drug money?? Why not??

          You need to removal the moral equivalence or you need to demand equivalence of punishment.

          Otherwise you will find it difficult to argue that your judges in Scottish courts should treat you like the USA rather than like Russia…..

        • Stevie Boy

          And the chechen rebels received support and funding from the West (US, CIA, etc). Another blatant attempt by the West to destroy Russia. And, let’s not forget Afghanistan, the US yet again funding terror groups to undermine Russia. Constantly under attack, why ?

        • Bea

          I do think you miss possibilities as to why the low casualties and what might really be going on. Gilbert Doctorow’s last couple of posts are worth a read on that. I’m not confident things will stay that way of course, or end well for anyone, but I do think the soft approach seems the most likely explanation of what has been going on until now, and that that is coming from the top.

        • francesca

          But then it astounds me how loyal Ramzan Kadyrov is .
          I think this is a do or die scenario, in the same way Japan broke out of the US imposed embargo and bombed Pearl Harbour.
          I don’t think you can insult and act with malice and hostility against a proud country like Russia with endless impunity.

          • Tatyana

            Looks like we just sorted out the thing between Russia and Chechnya. That is what is possible when people are inclined to sort the things out.
            Russia recognised our fault, re-built the cities and compensated, restored Stalin’s mistreatment of Chechen people, fixed historical unjustice and returned WW2 heroism status to heroes and cities. They are now republic, with their unique language, culture, religion and the leader they want, living the life they want.
            Kadyrov on his side says they faced foreign ultra-religious terrorist ideology powers recruiting ordinary people to fight. All for nice ideals, but it’s years and decades of war and terrorism. One cannot want such a future for their land, as a constant war. I’m grateful Kadyrov is seeing us friends and forget hostilities and move on.

        • Jams O'Donnell

          What happened in Chechnya was similar to what happened in Kenya and Malaya under British rule. Amazes me when people forget that too. Not a justification, but a comparison worth remembering. You’re the ‘realpolitik’ guy, surely?

  • Kermit

    Putin is not interested in controlling Ukraine. The Russian troops in Kiev are only a side show, designed to humiliate Zelenski.

    What Putin wants is a land corridor between Transnistria and Russia, to stop NATO from controlling the Black sea. Once that’s been achieved, who cares who the net president is? It will be for the west to sort out and support economically.

    • FD

      This is insightful.

      I never thought Putin would invade either. And I think it’s a strategic blunder, as he has gone from having been wronged to in the wrong. Just because he did something Hillary Clinton did in Libya and Syria does not mean it will look as nice on his resume.

      On the other hand I disagree with Craig on the exit strategy. Craig assumes Ukraine continues to exist pretty much as-is. That is not what I anticipate.

      Putin, who has already recognized the independence of the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine, will annex them (and possibly indeed some additional territories he sees as needed to ensure a corridor).

      Then I think he will cut his losses and attempt to negotiate some sort of agreement to withdraw from the remaining, Ukrainian speaking parts and live with the likely consequences: hatred, some amount of ongoing border tension, and possibly the remaining Ukrainian nation joining NATO.

      That’s the only possible outcome I can foresee.

      • Gerald

        Yes, I believe this to be the plan too. Russia will drop back to the Dnieper, a natural border, so ‘Novorossiya’ will include Mariupol and Odessa and all the way north to the Donbass. Zelensky can still keep power in the West if he is so inclined but it will be by written agreement as a neutral state with no NATO ever. Russia will leave the west to pay for the mess it created. Games can be played after that vis a vis opposition/regime change etc. De-nazification is a must though and whilst that may be vicious and final for the likes of the Azov I find it hard to believe it is possible with the wider public and the likes of Right Sector and the Zvboda Party. Far right nationalism is like a small cancer at the heart of Ukrainian culture and society, how does an outside force expunge that.
        As for Putins reasons, there is some talk that people in the background were forcing his hand, not sure on the validity of that, this has been going on for 8 years non stop and I bet he rues the day he didn’t let Strelkov go all the way to Kiev when he had the chance in 2014/15.
        Anyway a lot of persuasion is going on between the Russians and the Ukraines and off/on talks about surrender, negotiations etc. The US are still advising zelensky and I believe there will still be US spec forces on the ground assisting him. We have seen heavy artillery and GRADs being moved into city centers in the hope that the Russians will attack them and cause large civilian casualties, a trick the CIA learnt in the middle east. The whole country is covered by Russian EW so not much is getting in or out at the moment in terms of comms, most of that space is being filled in the media with full on domestic psyops.

    • St. Pogo

      I think that myself Kermit. Novorussya is coming in the east and south which will be Russia’s buffer, and with no ports Ukraine will be severely disadvantaged

      • kermit

        I suspect Putin sees danger not in a NATO-controlled Ukraine, but a NATO-controlled Black Sea. NATO is trying to encircle Russia, with the Baltic states at one end and Turkey at the other end. The recent attempt to regime change in Belarus shows that encircling Russia is the objective.
        With Belarus and the Black sea under Russian control, any attempt by the west to encircle Russia will be unsuccessful and sending more troops to the Baltic states or adding Finland to NATO will make no difference. A bit like those drag nets used for fishing, you can reinforce the edge of the net as much as you like, but if there is a hole in the middle you will not catch any fish.
        There is also the added bonus or isolating Turkey. With Russian vessels all along the black sea and Russian military bases in Syria, Mr Erdogan might feel very vulnerable indeed.

        • Bohunk Pundit

          NATO controls the Black Sea and will continue to do so as long as Turkey is a member. And Turkey is hardly threatened by Russian bases in Syria for the simple reason that they cannot be resupplied without access to NATO-controlled airspace or sea routes.

    • Eric F

      I also agree with Craig, and nearly everyone else, that the invasion was a very risky move, without obvious motive or chance for success.
      But, it is possible that part of the calculation has been that this will show how entirely useless the US and NATO are as allies. Small arms shipments and money laundering mean almost nothing when what one wants from their big ally is real military backup. I see a little bit of talk here and there that this might kill NATO.

      I don’t know how the Russians can be assured of embarrassing NATO, but NATO is pretty embarrassing to begin with, so maybe they figured this was the only way to get any lasting relief.

    • terence callachan

      I agree Kermit, the route by sea to the mediterranean is crucial to Russia trade. Ukraine talk of joining NATO, which would allow USA to send warships to both Russia and Ukraine coastlines in the Sea of Azov, Russia will not allow that. China tolerates USA warships along its coastline, but for how much longer? USA cannot defeat Russia and China at the same time; if they try to, we will see WWIII.

  • Michael Droy

    Is this an invasion? Strategic adventures obviously and you can argue they are illegal. But this doesn’t seem to be an invasion.

    Step one for an invasion is to control every airport and to build new ones.
    Step one for Russia was to destroy every airport except one.
    We have a few tens of thousands of troops (and 30 odd thousand separatists) in a country of 35m or so. This is not an invasion.

    Casualties: the casualties are low because Russia has strategic goals only.
    They offer Ukrainian soldiers the chance to lay down weapons and walk away (unless they are Azov). It appears many are doing so. Of course Azov gets the best weapons, and the quality of most troops is very poor.

    Gilbert Doctorow is good on this (a very good blog to follow this week).

    Protesters in Russia. I recall a BBC news program with the Moscow reporter on camera. “These protesters being arrested are very brave, I mean they could be spending a long long time in prison now” said the newscaster. “Er no, unless they have done something violent they will be out in 3 hours”.

    • Jon Musgrave

      I think sending in many thousands of troops into another country IS an invasion. Not sure how you can see it any other way, or do you have other motives?

      • Tom Welsh

        So, Jon, you agree that the USA has invaded Germany, the UK, Japan, Poland and the Baltics – as well as the more obvious cases of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

        • Stevie Boy

          Let’s not forget the hundreds of US bases throughout the world, including the UK, where local law forces have no jurisdiction, and the US can do what they like. Isn’t that an invasion ?

          • terence callachan

            Good point Stevie Boy, there are seven hundred USA bases in the mediterranean area alone

  • laguerre

    I entirely agree with the post. It is impossible to see how Russia could have a satisfactory exit from the intervention.

    “Either Putin has not entirely willed the means, or his armed forces are resisting obeying his wishes.”

    I am certain that they have deliberately gone in soft. There was a case on the first day where they attempted to take one or other of the airports by landing paratroopers from helicopters. In that sort of situation the Americans would have bombed the hell out of the airport and reduced it to rubble. The Yanks don’t care. But the Russians went in softly leaving the infrastructure intact. That’s a deliberate choice by the command, not the troops failing to obey orders and doing less than they were supposed to.

  • Fwl

    Putin has become overly concerned with isolating himself and isolating Russia. Since Covid he requires an exaggerated amount of space between himself and everyone else. In the US and the UK the politicians told us to wear masks and self-isolate, keep 1m or 2m; we have stopped doing that and our leaders never did it off camera. With Putin it is the opposite. He wants to be out of touch. It is likely to have cut him off and created an unhelpful feedback loop. Now he wants space everywhere.

    I have seen the pictures of the Chechen Russian forces in the forrest. is that a psy ops mesage, which says 1st you get your Russian cousins in tanks, but perhaps some of them might be conscientious about killing too many of their Ukrainian cousins in which case the Chechens will follow.

    It is all bonkers. People and states try to observe ostensibly civilised rules of conduct. Of course people and states covertly engage in uncivilised conduct, but the point is we know to try and keep it out of view (or we message to try and persuade everyone it is somehow civilised / exempt). But if a person or a state just says sod it I’m just stepping out of the civilisation box then we start to see that the civilisation box is actually a Pandora’s Box. Putin is probably hoping he can signal that Russia’s invasion is somehow exempt and that he hasn’t yet lifted the lid. He may have persuaded the Governments in India and China that it’s all a bit of a ruse, but he has miscalculated how his actions are being perceived in the West and he may have miscalculated how it will run in Russia.

    It looks like an old school Soviet intervention.

    Out of touch.

    • Fwl

      From the Chinese and Indian perspective depending how things work out Putin may have become their useful idiot. Russia takes all the heat. If Russia is kicked out of Swift then this could be a pivot moment with a tilt to Chinese and Indian alternatives, which in the long term will harm the West (because we want people to play in our casino with our chips).

      • Wikikettle

        ET. Thanks for the link to Consortium News and Scott Ritters contributions. I can why many are wringing their hands, worried that Russia will get bogged down in Ukraine and face an insurgency. From the massive hype of our media trying to portray the Russian invasion and its attacks on the cities and its civilians taking hold. Scott Ritter above all the experts, is not a sit at home behind a keyboard warrior ! He is the real deal. His manner is different because he is frustrated listening to the crap from msm and from many on new media who are getting cold feet about the “legality” of the Invasion. I cannot see how Russia could carry on for any longer with years of talks. Its actions as Scott said are well planned and a step by step carried out taking into consideration International Law. As Scott said Putin has openly for years said what the Russian concerns are, what they want negotiated, and what they will do if a security structure taking into account Russian interests is rejected. A technical and military response is now taking place. Just as the media and Nato engineered a coup and egged on Its proxy leadership in Ukraine, the Russians, as Scott says, knew all along, every move, every name, every outcome, the stupid, politicised, corrupt idiots would make. This is not another Afghanistan for Russia as it was for USSR. Scott predicts the objectives will be achieved within days and the Ukrainian population will blame more the US than their “kith and kin” !

        • Andrew H

          Good grief. Scott is clearly not very bright. The reality of free speech. I’m guessing Scott was also towing the Russian party line and saying Russia was not going to invade until it happened. How many days do I have to wait until Russian objectives are achieved? How many days to I have to wait until the Ukrainian population blames US? Can I have an actual number? (like 10 days? 30 days, 300000 days?). Or is this going to be another never ending Skripal tail where conclusions are entirely elusive amongst the fairy tales. I predict in 7 days this is not over, there are many more deaths and Craig will have some nice photos to add to his growing collection.

          This is not another Afghanistan – that part you got right – nobody cared about Afghanistan – it was just a toy to test technology and proxy war. It was and remains a s**hole country that was always going to be a s**hole country (to quote Trump). Did the USSR lose? Did the USA lose? Or did they both achieve their objectives ? These questions have no answers and nobody really cares. Ukraine is different – it is part of Europe on the dividing line between east and west and the stakes are so much higher.

          • Wikikettle

            Andrew H. Wrong. Scott predicted invasion all the way along coast way past the republics before everyone.

          • Andrew H

            If he predicted it, then my respect for Scott goes up. (because there were many people saying this was all just training exercises and invented hysteria). And if he is correct that this will be over in a few days then my hat goes off to him. (I suppose we have to be fair and wait 3-4 days on that; in reality I have no better predictive powers than anyone else; except those that got the first part wrong – I just tow a more pessimistic line).

          • Jams O'Donnell

            So bombing and occupying ‘s***hole countries in the third world is fine, but just not good enough for ‘civilised’ places like Europe? Well, at least you’re making your double standards quite plain.

          • andyoldlabour

            Andrew H, referring to s**hole countries, when they have been invaded and destroyed by Western countries for hundreds of years, is a pretty horrible take on things. You should be ashamed.

          • Isabelle

            There is no need to insult Afghanistan and, by association, its suffering populace. That country has been damaged by outside forces for so many years and yet the people including the Pathans have a dignified and ancient culture that is worthy of respect.

          • Fat Jon

            @ Andrew H “Nobody cared about Afghanistan” ??

            I care about Afghanistan. All those women and children denied any kind of freedom, education and equality; simply because a bunch of sexually inadequate men want to macho their way through life using knives, guns and other physical violence to feed their egos and get their own way.

            Remember that all life is a privilege, not a self appointed right.

  • JS Mills

    The US has much more experience than Russia in putting a Hollywood gloss on regime change invasion. They’re still in Iraq and still occupying a big chunk of Syria (primarily to steal their oil to fund Jihadis in Idlib). I disagree with your assumption that Russia’s objective is to seize all of Ukraine. It makes more sense to think their objective is a security buffer in the East along the lines of the 1922 borders. It also seems to me that Russia cannot be unilaterally blamed for initiating this tragic mess when it played little part in instigating it. How hard would it have been for Ukraine to actually implement Minsk II? But perhaps you’re right and it will turn into another Bay of Pigs. Nobody wins. But unless the US can wean itself off the Monroe Doctrine, little will be resolved globally.

    • Johnny Conspiranoid

      “But perhaps you’re right and it will turn into another Bay of Pigs. Nobody wins.”

      Cuba won the Bay of Pigs.

      ” But unless the US can wean itself off the Monroe Doctrine, little will be resolved globally.”

      The Monroe Doctrine is the US elite’s entire character so weaning it of means revolution.

  • Steve Hinton

    Good analysis around options. I wonder if the end game is the breakaway republics getting their independence and a stark signal to all wannabe NATO members that you are on your own and better to develop buffer status. However it ends (with Ukraine going for truce or being occupied) this will be Putin putting his foot down or going down fighting.

  • Robyn

    No mention of the 13,000+ Donbass Russians who have been killed since 2014 or the unknown numbers who have fled. How many Donbass Russian deaths should Putin have ignored before stepping in to protect the rest? His stated goal of demilitarising and denazifying Ukraine is another matter but I see his reasoning – put an end to this once and for all. After all, he has repeatedly called for negotiations and upholding the Minsk Agreement but his overtures have been ignored.

    • Tom Welsh

      As far as I can understand it, Mr Murray’s reasoning is that nations like Russia should tolerate unlimited amounts of law-breaking and illegal violence by the USA and NATO, without ever retaliating or defending themselves.

      The USA’s (and its poodles’) attacks on Russia have amounted for many years to acts of war. But because the USA and others have nuclear weapons, Russia is constrained from responding with unlimited force – as is usual in war.

      The West thus wages war on Russia in every way, short of bringing about uncontrolled escalation the destruction of humanity. And, rather than break international law, Russia is supposed to sit still and just take it.

      When would Mr Murray give Russia the right to use armed force? When NATO installs nuclear missiles in Northern Ukraine, 500 miles from Moscow? Or perhaps when those missiles are fired?

      “If you kill me I’ll sue”.

      • Jimmeh

        > When would Mr Murray give Russia the right to use armed force? When NATO installs nuclear missiles in Northern Ukraine, 500 miles from Moscow?

        Ukraine is not part of Russia; Ukraine inviting NATO to install missiles (which hasn’t happened) doesn’t justify a military invasion. Of course, Putin’s view is that Ukraine *is* part of Russia, and doesn’t exist as a distinct state.

        Recognising rebel regions of foreign countries as “independent republics” is itself a kind of territorial aggression. It would be like Britain recognising Burgundy as an “independent republic”, and infiltrating British expats from the Dordogne to establish a British-backed government.

        Perhaps if Russia didn’t have a mile-long record of invading its neighbours, they wouldn’t be queueing up for NATO membership?

    • andyoldlabour

      Robyn, The constant, eight year war aimed at the Lugansk and Donetsk by Kiev has been totally ignored by our Western media, which has also ignored the hundreds of thousands of refugees from that area entering Russia. As you correctly point out, Kiev has not attempted to adhere to the Minsk agreement.

      • Lantern Dude

        …which, of course, means the well-intentioned public are happy to support the Ukrainian people in their hour of need, but not the peoples of the Donbass or in Yemen – perhaps a boycott of the world cup, sanction Manchester city FC and Newcastle FC?

  • El Dee

    Thanks for the article Craig, I’d been wondering what Putin had hoped to gain from this and your article makes the same point. I find this ever more worrying. Also – is your site under attack? There was a strange message before it let me on to the site and I know there have been attacks on all sorts of sites these past few days..

  • Andrew H

    So at last we acknowledge that the observation that large number of troops in the neighborhood of Ukraine had no other possible outcome except invasion. Lets chalk that one up to armchair journalism and excessive optimism.

    The problem Putin faces is the the same as that of every other dictator. He has access to unlimited wealth, yet no possibility to retire, relax or use that wealth. In the end there is no escape good or bad. He cannot win in Ukraine, but he also cannot lose, so in the end it does not matter to Putin.

    At this point really the only outcome is that Ukraine will be incorporated into Russia and will simply cease to exist as a country. Putin pretty much said as much. It will be hard to install a friendly provincial government after all this is done. (Ukraine is not Prague 68). Russian police enforcing peaceful civilian life will not be easy with so many guns floating around.

    It is easy to blame media for stirring the flames of war, but here you are doing the same. No doubt intense media interest and speculation creates conditions from which it is impossible to climb down, but really whether we speculate or not, Putin has no face saving way to climb down and even if he did, would not take it. (you assume he thinks like you, and has the same goals as you, but nothing is further from the truth). Of coarse the Ukrainian will suffer – but that was a foregone conclusion months ago when the first planks of this escapade were laid down.

    • FD

      I do not agree with your first paragraph.

      First, large number of troops: 100,000. Ukraine as five times more. The US amassed a large number to invade Iraq: 700,000. In military terms, 100,000 is not a large amount.

      Second, these troops were pawns on a chess board. They were part of the game but having them there in no way equated to them getting into action.

      Third, we are not in Putin’s head. He may have planned and locked the invasion 3 months ago; or he may have decided on it 3 days ago. Just because the troops were there does not prove that the invasion was decided when we were told of the “intelligence”. It’s naive to jump to that conclusion.

  • Igor P.P.

    Putin is a realist. He must have accepted that most Ukrainians will hate him as well as Russia, at least in the short term. Perhaps the plan is to write his demands into the new constitution that is difficult or impossible to change, and not to care too much what the new goverment does. Whether Ukrainians accept their demilitarisation or not is as relevant as it was for the Japanese after WWII – when you lose, you lose.

    Still, I did not expect it too. Nobody I know did. This is a tragedy. Perhaps it will avert a bigger tragedy. But a tragedy still.

    • Jo Dominich

      Michael you talk excellent sense and you are right. Putin has already outlined his 3 key objectives. To denazify the area, to protect the people of Dongask and Lughansk and to push NATO back to its original territories. Good obectives for any Leader of a Nation.

      • PearsMorgain

        None of which constitute grounds for invasion and as far as the latter is concerned his actions may have the precise opposite effect.

        Anyway, this is someone who not so long ago was denying that he had any intention of invading. You’d be daft to believe anything he said now.

        • Jams O'Donnell

          He had no intention of invading when he still had hopes that negotiation with the west was an option. Negotiation failed, entirely due to US/NATO intransigence. He warned that if negotiations failed other measures would follow. They have. He has been entirely truthful.

      • Jimmeh

        > To denazify the area

        It would be silly to argue that Ukraine has no nazis (I don’t like using that word for something other than the National Socialist Party, so let’s substitute “authoritarian zealots”). But the way I understand it, Ukrainians welcomed the German occupation in WWII not because they sympathised with Nazism, but because they rejected Soviet domination. “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”, as they say.

        > and to push NATO back to its original territories

        Oh, which territories are those? Does that exclude the former East Germany? Poland? Who else has to be invaded for that objective to be achieved?

        As far as I’m aware, NATO doesn’t hold territories. NATO member states hold their own territories.

        • Bruce_H

          Nazi is the correct term concerning the Ukraine as they originate from real nazi movements during WW2. Many Ukrainians fought alongside German nazis in Russia and others were notorious for their work as guards in concentration camps, so in this particular case nazi is the right word.

          • Bruce_H

            > and to push NATO back to its original territories

            This refers to the the Eastern frontier of East Germany after unification. This was the limit that the USSR was promised would be then permanent East limit of NATO. They were lying, of course.

          • Jimmeh

            That’s 80 years ago, at a time when Ukraine was under the Soviet thumb. My understanding is that the Azov Corps originated with gangs of football hooligans (that’s what Wikipedia says; I know Wikipedia is unreliable on politically-disputed historical facts).

  • jjc

    I am of mixed feelings. Dismayed by the incursion of Russian troops into Ukraine proper, with the faint hope that the stated intentions are rapidly realized and the troops withdraw as in Georgia August 2008. I had thought the proponents of the multi-polar world were committed to international law under the umbrella of the UNSC. However, also recognize that the UNSC meeting on Feb 16 – whereby all participants pledged support to the Minsk Accord process – was followed the next day by a massive artillery barrage and other ceasefire violations instigated, it appears, by the Ukraine military. And that this is occurring in context of broader regional security demands made by Russia in response to the undeniable encroachment by NATO. Simply type “NATO war games Eastern Europe” into a search engine and see what comes up.

    By the letter of international law, the Cubans in 1962 were sovereign and could make their own decisions regarding defence and defence partners, but I cannot even retrospectively condemn the Americans for responding with extreme alarm at the prospect of Soviet nuclear missiles 90 miles off their coast. They were prepared to go to war to prevent that based on the principle that one country’s security should not result in creating insecurity for its neighbour. It is my understanding that there are numerous European security treaties – signed by Russia and its NATO adversaries alike – which feature that language and this is the basis for Russia’s concerns. So there is a dialectic in international law between sovereign security and regional security, just as there is a dialectic between sovereignty of nations and self-determination.

    • Andrew H

      Mixed feelings? What’s the undismayed part? The USA didn’t invade Cuba (if you don’t count bay of pigs). They just blockaded delivery of missiles. Also today’s war probably isn’t like the 60’s/wwii when things were comparatively civilized (if you don’t count Vietnam and every other war of that era). Today it is more like ww1 where there are no limits to achieve victory (take a hard look at the pictures posted by Craig). Craig suggests the Russians will go easy because they are European and certainly it is easier to watch a foreigner suffer than that of a Caucasian – I am less sure – in the end war is war and its usually not over until there is little left worth having.

      • Baalbek

        Craig suggests the Russians will go easy because they are European

        It’s not because they are European, it’s because they see them as basically Russian (Orthodox Slavs). From the Russian perspective, the Ukraine situation is like Texas or New England going rogue would be for Americans. You don’t want to start by carpet bombing and raining artillery down on people you consider your close kin.

        It might, unfortunately, come to that of course depending on how the conflict develops and what Russia’s ultimate objectives are. But from a strategic perspective if you want to prevent maximum animosity, going in with a light initial touch makes sense.

      • mikjall

        That’s right; and Germany didn’t invade Russia (if you don’t count operation Barbarossa). And they weren’t dedicated to Rassenkampf; you know, every country has a few racist nuts, and all you have to do is sit down to tea with them and it will just be honky-dory.

  • Jo Dominich

    Sorry Craig, I cannot agree with you. NATO, UK, Canada and the USA pushed Putin to the limit and he had to act to defend the security of the Russian Federation. It is understood that the amount of NATO arms and artillery and encroachment into the Ukraine has been seriously underestimated. If the Russians heavily armed Mexico, sent troops to their borders and and decided to ignore repeated requests for diplomacy and dialogue to take place (which NATO has done with Putin at every turn) what would the USA do? They wouldn’t be as low key as the invasion of the Ukraine would they? I’m with Putin on this. He has to do what he has to do to protect and defend the security of his country and its citizens – after all – the USA and UK use this defense every time they bomb nations and kill millions of civilians and that with far less provocation than Putin has had to deal with. Putin is a highly intelligent man. His speech to the Russian Federation was historic and delivered by a true international statesman. His second speech this week was not only truthful but historic too. The world has to stop demonising Russia they way they have done for the past 30 years. Russia hasn’t invaded sovereign nations. Zelenzky comes across as the Comedian that he truly is. He is completely out of his depth. The West is going to suffer greatly for their actions. From everything I have read, China, Russia and the SCO will not be so badly damaged as they have been planning for such a scenario for years.

    • Tom Welsh

      “If the Russians heavily armed Mexico, sent troops to their borders and and decided to ignore repeated requests for diplomacy and dialogue to take place (which NATO has done with Putin at every turn) what would the USA do?”

      While I completely agree with the analogy and your conclusions, I think the analogy is incomplete. We should imagine that, as well as Mexico, the same thing happens in Canada (including Quebec) and Cuba, with massive armed forces within a few hundred miles of Washington and New York.

      But what’s to worry about? They haven’t fired the missiles yet…

      • terence callachan

        Well said, Tom Welsh – but bring it closer to home.

        Imagine it happened in France. If Ireland were about to allow Russia to locate missiles on its coast aimed at London in exchange for Gas, would USA government condemn the U.K. government if it sent the military in to stop it happening?

        I don’t think so.

    • FD

      I think you are aggregating explanation and justification.

      There is absolutely no doubt the events you mention, and many more, are historical explanation for the string of events.

      However, in geopolitics, each event has to also be looked at in terms of an individual decision with its own string of consequences. In purely utilitarian terms that is the justification of the action.

      While I agree with you, Jo, on the past string, I struggle with this one pivotal decision on its own right and in light of its consequences. At the very least it’s a high risk maneuver for Putin. I think it may be a historical blunder.

      Justification can also be looked at (literally) from the moral angle. I think that is the plane on which Craig’s article is based. It’s sadly rather irrelevant from a pure geopolitical point of view but should matter to us. And Craig is right from that point of view. Putin’s move was immoral.

      Bottom line: Putin may get red carded for a head butt following ongoing harassment and insults through the entire game, just as happened to Zidane against Matterazzi in the finals of the 2006 world cup 😉

  • John Monro

    Thank you Craig, you write very well, better than I could, but I would be expressing almost all the same sentiments as you. For instance, when the US was screaming, Putin’s going to invade Ukraine, I didn’t believe this. Not because Putin couldn’t but because it made no military, strategic or political sense. For instance, the supposed 170,000 troops on the border. Even a brief examination of military history would tell you this is no-where near enough numbers to give a reasonable assurance of securing a short-term victory, with a population of Ukraine of over 40 million and a country 10% bigger than France. Something like a minimum of 400,000 would be nearer the mark. So that was my first reason, that an invasion wouldn’t work, the resistance will be much higher than anticipated, the supply lies stretched and vulnerable etc. I seriously overestimated Putin’s cleverness, and as soon as I heard this was a proper invasion, I wrote “Putin has blown it”. Strategically morally and politically,

    For instance folk like Craig and myself, who have been following the “diplomacy” with wonder at its awfulness. The aggressive expansion of NATO, the neocon delusional hatred of Russia. Who whilst not sympathetic to Putin in any way, sympathetic to the Russian people. The demonisation of Putin is part of the propaganda war, but it’s destructive, whether we like it or not, Putin does in his twisted way represent the Russian people, and ignoring Putin, demeaning him, is doing the same to 140 million citizens of that proud, historic country. This has brought us here. Much as WW2 was started by Hitler, John Maynard Keynes had warned that the ruinous punitive sanctions placed on German with the Versailles Treaty were dangerous and would lead to further European chaos

    “The treaty includes no provisions for the economic rehabilitation of Europe – nothing to make the defeated central empires into good neighbours, nothing to stabilise the new states of Europe, nothing to reclaim Russia; nor does it promote a compact of economic solidarity among the allies themselves; no arrangement was reached at Paris for restoring the disordered finances of France and Italy, or to adjust the systems of the old world and the new.” We truly do not learn even when the precedent is staring us in the face, when no reasonably well read citizen or politician would be unaware of it.

    So this ignorant madness isn’t confined to Putin. It’s Boris Johnson, and his defence minister, Ben Wallace, who would “kick Putin’s arse”, like his old regiment the Scots Guards did to Tsar Nicholas 1st in Crimea. Forgetting perhaps that Russians had mown down the British cavalry at Balaclava, and that our cavalry is now seriously depleted. It’s a hysterical media. It’s neocons in US. It’s cowardice in the face of US pressure in Germany and France. It’s as if Iraq had never taken place, but this time the adversary is rather better armed, there’s no question that Russia has or has not got WMD. In the face of that reality the stupidity of the US, NATO, UK, is unforgivable and massively dangerous.

    Since around 2005 I have been writing on my prior blog and in emails as to how the first years of this century bear worrying parallels to the first years of last , leading up to WW1. My thesis being the cause of WW1 was powerful geopolitical players losing control in the face of social, economic, political and scientific change – acting irrational and flailing around in the face of this failure. Isn’t this the case now, neoliberalism, globalism, environmental damage, affecting the citizenry of the US, Europe, UK, Russia and I include China, because its “success” is illusory. The only difference this time appears to be that we’ve had our pandemic first, before the fighting.

    I don’t know how this will end, but if Russia gets “stuck” which I think it will, that could be the worst thing of all. The resulting destruction would be appalling. The only thing that might then save us all is some sort of coup in the Kremlin, and Putin’s exit. A military taking a hammering, planes full of body bags, might precipitate some sort of military disobedience in Russia? Who knows. Will any of us still be here in a year’s time to find out?

    • Tom Welsh

      “The only thing that might then save us all is some sort of coup in the Kremlin, and Putin’s exit”.

      It seems you don’t know anything about Russian politics. Any conceivable replacement for Mr Putin would be far harder on the West, and far more likely to employ massive military force.

      The main reason for Mr Putin’s unpopularity in some quarters – small as it is – has always been that he is seen as too weak and too ready to fall in with Western plans.

        • mikjall

          Also read:
          Craig, for all of his many virtues, is blinded by Putin derangement syndrome, whereas you seem merely anxious to keep on the right side of political correctness. So you can’t say “whether we like it or not, Putin does represent the Russian people”, you have to say “whether we like it or not, Putin does IN HIS TWISTED WAY represent the Russian people”. How much do you really know about Putin? Lest you think that I am defending Putin as a good guy, please disabuse yourself of that thought. Putin has CERTIFIABLY (not merely by paranoid “inference”) done some truly awful things and should be called to account for them. But it’s one thing to be properly condemnatory and another thing just to lose it, as Craig does. You should not follow along. The late, great Stephen F. Cohen—no lover of Putin—used often to point that out.

  • Stevie Boy

    For Russia it’s the same scenario as with Scottish independence, if you think you can achieve it when your enemies make the rules you are sadly deluded. The UN and it’s associated bodies have shown themselves to be under the influence of nefarious forces. Kosova, Iraq, gaza, Yemen and many others suffering due to the inaction or hypocrisy of the UN. The UN was never going to be allowed to sanction Ukraine for its war crimes and genocidal actions. Whatever Russia did it was going to be sanctioned. NATO and the EU, under America’s control, were always going to cut off and encircle Russia – unless stopped. Russia could not win if it played by the west’s rules.
    It’s slightly disturbing that this blog appears to be regurgitating some of the fake ideas currently being spread by the rabid, lying MSM.
    The West is trying to destroy Russia, and China. IMO, Putin had little choice. War is always a sign of the failure of diplomacy but it takes two. I’m sure all options and outcomes have been considered. We will have to wait and see.

    • Lantern Dude

      “It’s slightly disturbing that this blog appears to be regurgitating some of the fake ideas currently being spread by the rabid, lying MSM.”

      It’s all in the training. However, as ‘an histiorian’ one might expect a more objective/considered opinion. As to the new process of accessing the site – maybe just a ‘processing’ procedure compliments of GCHQ vis-a-vis ‘the usual suspects’. Remember diplomats are not chosen ‘to act’; their skills involve ‘double-speak’. Very much like the M$M and our clowns in government – this what it’s like living as an imperial ally/conscript nation. Puppets and propaganda.

      • Lantern Dude

        However, a point made later on in this discussion forum, the article has facilitated a discussion, which provides some relief from the 24/7 propaganda machine. It’s a relief to be able to express and read opinions that are not merely a regurgitation of the current narrative. The background noise of school playground politics based on some notion of popularity and the need to be ‘liked’ or ‘popular’ needs an infantalised public consciousness and we’ve got that in spades.

        • Stanislaw

          Yes, I have often wondered why there is no ‘like’ button, ‘reaction’ buttons or an ability to ‘downvote’ or ‘upvote’ comments on these comments pages.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Mr Murray – of course this is a very difficult situation to argue about, but there are a few things which need clarifying:

    1. Why the US removed pdf documents describing up to 14 bioweapons labs the US was funding in Ukraine. As the USA claimed that weapons analagous in danger to those were the (as it turned out) fallacious reasons for invading Iraq, if they actually DO exist (and might be expected to be supplying Bill Gates et al with their next set of leaks to justify a ‘global pandemic treaty’), they certainly need to be wiped out.
    2. If you wanted things resolved peacefully, you need to have arguments as what further things Putin could have done to ensure that the Minsk II agreements were enforced after 7 years of prevarications and continued removal of all things Russian in Ukraine.
    3. You also need to take the view that whilst you personally have the right to excoriate Putin, the UK, US and NATO officials certainly do NOT. Their conduct in Iraq, Syria and Libya is to date infinitely worse than Putin’s actions in Ukraine. They were always based on absolute lies, those nations never represented existential threats to any NATO country, much less the USA and all were carried out exclusively to assert US hegemony, maintain the petrodollar as the world’s reserve currency and generally treat any independently run nation as a malignant tumour to be destroyed.

    I also want you to start asking what has been the effect of 30 years of appeasement of US hegemony. I don’t want to hear any nonsense about Russia being the threat to world peace, every sane person on earth knows that it is the USA that has been the murderous psychopath on earth since 1991. Nothing anyone has done has had any effect on that bunch of psychotic mass murderers and it is more than time for a great deal to be done about them. When the US refused to condemn the glorification of nazi behaviour at the UN, I think that was the final straw for Russia.

    I went to a Quaker school growing up, whose philosophy is always non-violent. I worked as a 25 year old for 7 months at Friends Book Centre, the bookshop at Quaker Head office opposite Euston mainline station. One of the employees, a very genuine, caring and peaceful man who happened to be an Anglican, not a Quaker, had a very reasoned discussion with me about the limits of peaceful non-cooperation. We both had come to the same conclusion: if the aggressors maintained a semblance of conscience, peaceful protest could work. But when you had an Adolf Hitler to contend with, all the peaceful protest, subsequently called appeasement, led to was an emboldened psychopath thinking that they could get away with more and more.

    So the test for peaceful non-cooperation always comes when you have to say: ‘how many have to die over how many years before we can be rid of these psychopaths?’ If the answer is much greater for peaceful protest than it is for limited, targeted, focussed warfare, then you have to ask whether you are prepared to let those extra people die just to maintain your moral purity.

    I am not saying that everyone will answer that in the same way, indeed the essence of freedom is that everyone should be able to draw their own conclusion.

    But what you have to ask yourself is this: what is it going to take to bring the USA’s out of control war economy to heel?

    And is it going to be quadrupling of gas prices before Europe realises that the USA are not their friends, they are in fact prepared to completely crush the entire European economy just to not lose face backing down to Russia??

    • Andrew H

      You appear to be arguing this “limited” war is justified.

      Problem 1. This doesn’t look very limited.

      Problem 2. Every democracy has nationalists, racists, nazis (France UK Hungary Poland, even USA). It is a fundamental problem of free speech. The only way to counter this is by dialogue amongst citizens. The purging of all things Russians in Ukraine is simply a sign of the times and is fundamentally no different to people here chucking a few statues of slave traders into the river. Rewriting and denial of history is common – and best tackled by Wikipedia rather than bombs. Invasion cannot solve these types of internal issue.

      Problem 3. The European/Scottish economy isn’t going be crushed (that is absurd wishful thinking).

      • Baalbek

        Ukraine is hardly a democracy, sorry. It’s a broke mafia state run by a handful of very wealthy people who run it like their personal fiefdom. Elections do not a democracy make.

      • Lantern Dude

        You appear to be arguing for arguments sake, especially about the justification of ‘this’ limited war. Your morality seems disproportionately directed at those pesky ruskies and their ‘crazy/mad dog’ president who you have already labelled ‘a dictator’.
        Unpleasant as any armed conflict is – an understatement – some reasons seem more justified than others. The murder of an archduke, false flag WMDs, economic ideology/empire building… seem to trump the protection of one’s nation’s borders and integrity. In both war and diplomacy it takes two to tango…

      • Rhys Jaggar

        I am sorry, you are speaking like an uneducated cretin here.

        There is ZERO correlation between ethnic Russians in the Donbass having been murdered in their thousands and a few woke protestors throwing Colston into the Bristol docks. Zero. What that involves is people dead two hundred years having their historical relevance revisited. It does not involve criminalising their lingua franca of daily life.

        Nothing is best tackled by Wikipedia – it is notorious as a CIA version of history, and anyone who who sees it as an honest repository is an absolute idiot. When non-controversial facts are being retrieved, it can be reasonably accurate; but as soon as political controversy exists, ‘history is being written not by the moral winners, but by the most highly funded psychos in the USA’.

        • mikjall

          Rhys, I think that you should have said, “You are speaking here AS an uneducated cretin”. Thank you for your many excellent, and informed, comments.

      • Giyane


        Well I agree with all of it, every word, except for telling CM what to do. I didn’t havecto go to a Quaker school in order to detest war. My father was conscripted as an engineer after the war and his view was that going to war indicated failure, which I think is what Craig is saying too.

        I am very happy indeed that the boil of USUKIS proxies has been lanced. Far too many Muslims delude themselves that fighting the population is fighting the oppressor, who is in fact never the dictator, but always the same USUKIS that divides and rules by installing dictators and then employing proxies to fight them.
        The spoils of war always go to Usukis, I’m afraid.

        • Jimmeh

          > going to war indicated failure

          All great military strategists have said that, from Sun Tsu to Clausewitz. The goal should be to win without a fight.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Reply posted here.

          [ Mod: Rhys, you’ve been duplicating some entries today – as a reply and a standalone comment. It may be related to the Cloudflare interruption, but can you check that you don’t submit the same comment twice. ]

    • Baalbek

      Yet CM takes a page from the depraved MSM and (on Twitter) cheers on Ukrainian grannies facing an invasion force with Molotov cocktails and bolt-action rifles. Encouraging an escalation of a war that has just begun is madness unless you want to see massive bloodshed and a prolonged conflict. Very strange reasoning coming from an ex-diplomat. Shouldn’t he be encouraging diplomacy and a negotiated end to the fighting?

      It’s a good idea not to get too emotional about difficult topics and to keep in mind what geopolitics is actually about. I too am very dismayed that this invasion happened and disappointed that the Russian leadership chose this course of actions. But in the current global context this is what countries that are encircled by forces they consider hostile tend to do if they have the required capabilities.

      And it’s not like the US/NATO didn’t know war was a very real possibility. Invasions aren’t planned overnight. They’ve been screaming about an “imminent invasion” for months yet they thwarted Russia’s efforts to negotiate a peaceful solution at every turn.

      And now they are pouring weapons into Ukraine and encouraging civilians to “resist” on day zero a heavily armed invasion force with slingshots and household paraphernalia. It’s depraved and monstrous.

      Craig let his emotions overrule his critical faculties and didn’t think this through.

      • Clark

        ” CM takes a page from the depraved MSM and (on Twitter) cheers on Ukrainian grannies facing an invasion force with Molotov cocktails and bolt-action rifles.”

        I doubt it. Craig isn’t like that so I expect you have misinterpreted or maybe Craig got over agitated, either of which is easy to do in the heated environment of truncated communication which is Twitter. But as Twitter now requires an account even to read it, I won’t be attempting to check.

  • Pnyx

    Unfortunately, I have to agree to a large extent. However disgusting I find the now unleashed Western propaganda. Wars of aggression are always to be condemned, whoever wages them.

    Indeed, the conduct of the war so far has been relatively considerate. The very fact that electricity plants and other civilian infrastructure have not been bombed as yet is proof of this. In Baghdad, the electricity plant was one of the targets on the first night of bombing.

    I don’t think Russian soldiers refuse to do what they are ordered to do. Probably the resistance was underestimated. But it’s hard to say after such a short time. In the case of u.s. aggression, bombing lasts for weeks.

    The economic war, aka sanctions, threatened ad nauseam by the West and now unleashed, harbours the danger of an expansion of the war. It could lead to a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia. It can be said that this danger was conjured up in a joint effort by all those involved.

    • JS Mills

      And yet, the condemnation always seems to be directed away from US and NATO, no matter how many thousands they kill, how many countries they invade. The West has been waging a successful hybrid war against Russia for decades including broken promises and endless encroachments. No comment, no condemnation. There simply is no parity. We ondemn the mote in Russia’s eye while overlooking the beam in our own. We condemn while actively occupying countries without their permission. We torture and steal resources and land without legal accountability. Is any major Western power pushing for ceasefire and negotiations even now? No.They’re all howling for blood and sending in more popguns. This is a tragedy, a disaster, and all the more so for lluminating the extent to which the West has become addicted to war. Peace seems to have become unfashionable in the corridors of power.

      • nevermind

        thank you JS Mills, I have been in vain looking for a call for a cease fire, maybe a renegotiated Minsk agreement or an ongoing drive to change the war which is being escalated.
        Today our foreign minster said that she could and would not warn UK people wanting to go and fight for Ukraine, throwing civilians mercenaries and easy misled minds into a war she herself is fuelling with inaccurate inappropriate actions and words of her own.

        Putin’s wet dream of reawakening a Russian empire as once flourished in Victorian times, by any means and with threats of a mutual nuclear annihilation will not be achieved by increasing animosity at home and in the Ukraine.

        Im missing the call for a cease fire, I’m missing our open arms to receive Ukrainian refugees and I am/was missing our western resolve and support for Minsk1/2 during the last 8 years.

        Shall pack up my undies and iodine tablets, ready to line up behind Nuland, Truss, and the other hotheads goading Putin into tougher actions?

  • Clark

    Craig wrote:

    “So rather than find Putin a ladder to climb down, they will strike heroic poses, wave Ukrainian flags and send more weapons.”

    Isn’t sending more weapons exactly what Starmer urged Johnson to do just days ago? I cannot express my disgust strongly enough. Corbyn would be saving countless lives right now, by negotiating.

    • Giyane


      Isn’t that precisely the reason they didn’t let Corbyn in. We don’t know how much of the Red wall swing to Tory was Muslim swing to achieve precisely this blow to Putin.
      What we would then have is not USUKIS but USUKISRISL all doing war by deception in unison.

      It stands to reason that any genuinely principled person would count this failure of Putin to win the argument by truth and reason will automatically fail when faced with a wall.of lies and deception. The footballer that fouls gets red carded and fined. This type of failure is definitely not failure in my eyes. It is moral victory, that the side that lied had to cheat in order to win.

      Even if Vladimir Putin scuttles back to Russia in humiliation, he can be extremely proud of having made his stand against the USUKISRISL liars. Patience is its own reward.

      • Clark

        “Isn’t that precisely the reason they didn’t let Corbyn in[?]”

        Yes, I thought of that immediately after posting that comment. The establishment is the pro-war contingent. Pro-competition, pro-escalation, pro-violence, and so ultimately pro-mass-murder. The current politico-economic system selects such minds, elevates them. We have to change that system.

        “We don’t know how much of the Red wall swing…”

        There was barely any swing; there never is, just a few percent. Another reason to change the system; this one’s as twitchy as fcuk.

    • Jimmeh

      > Corbyn would be saving countless lives right now, by negotiating.

      Negotiating with whom? Would he be negotiating the withdrawal of British troops from Ukraine? Oh, wait, there aren’t any to withdraw. So why would anyone want to negotiate with the UK government?

  • Clark

    This, this is the man that the establishment is doing everything it can get away with to silence – Craig Murray. And what is his first thought on this war? “How can it be stopped?”

    Love and rage, Craig.

    • FD

      Well, it’s not exactly like the establishment wants to stop it, right? Feeding weapons to Kiev is not the fastest way to stop it?

      I have some disagreements with Craig’s post, but they are not about stopping the war. They are about how much blame he rains on Putin. I agree that his action is illegal (by definition). Just as much as most US wars have been over the past 20 years. And just as much as the sanctions were and are. It’s the lack of balance in Craig’s post that I am uncomfortable with.

      Stopping the war, on the other hand, I am all for. And I believe Putin would want nothing more. We all know what is needed, and it’s not complicated. It’s to go back to Minsk and to affirming no more Eastward expansion of NATO. We all know that’s not happening.

      • Clark

        “Stopping the war, on the other hand, I am all for. And I believe Putin would want nothing more.”

        Then he shouldn’t have bloody started it, should he? As Craig points out, there is no decent exit strategy.

        Sorry, but there is simply no excuse. Imbalance of power is the norm among nation states. The Chagossians wouldn’t be justified in murdering UK citizens because the UK gave their home to the US.

      • Jimmeh

        > And I believe Putin would want nothing more.

        Oh, really. Putin *started* the war; He’ll stop either when he’s achieved his objectives, or when he’s defeated.

        Incidentally, I don’t subscribe to the “Great Man” theory of history. I don’t even think Putin is a Great Man; he’s a product of circumstances (and a shortass). I’m sure his personality and views have contributed to this war breaking out; but it’s not obvious that under a different Russian leader, things would have been different.

      • Bohunk Pundit

        I don’t thing the post rains blame on Putin, it’s trying to make sense of why he chose to do something seemingly so counter productive to his own interests and those he rules over.

  • FD

    I have a reasonably good understanding of military capabilities and tactics. I do not believe Craig’s interpretations are accurate on that point.

    1) By design, this is structured from the start as a small, tactical intervention; the number of forces engaged (a few tens of thousands plus possibly the same in local Russophone militias, with a total of maybe 120,000 available immediately) is small both in absolute terms, in relative terms to the Ukrainian forces, and in historical terms for an invasion of a country of that magnitude. As a comparison, the US forces in play for the Iraq invasion were 700,000 plus. Obviously this means the goals are local rather than country wide occupation, and probably limited in time.

    2) The targets reported appear to be primarily military in nature, equipment vs people, and especially those that were funded by NATO. It does not appear that Russia has done any broad targeting of civilians or civilian installations. This indicate “surgical” rather than mass operation, and a desire to avoid a blood bath.

    3) With the exception of Kiev, the geographical areas that appear to be the primary focus of physical Russian presence are primarily the Russian speaking areas and their proximity – from which attacks on these areas were launched.

    4) There are the exceptions of Kiev and of the attacks on the Azov brigade. I do not fully understand the rationales but I see them as marginal and headfakes. It’s possible the Kiev situation is envisioned as a token to give back later as part of negotiations in exchange for annexation of the North and Eastern corridor.

    In any case, I believe this is entirely planned. In my opinion, Craig’s questioning on the loyalty of Russian troops is entirely mistaken. These are obviously elite Russian troops and they are doing 100% as told. Nor is resistance likely to be that much of a challenge to them.

    What is happening is entirely deliberate on the part of the Russians. It’s also a powerful signaling in the continued messaging through escalation that is sent by the Kremlin. They are not attacking with all their might or to destroy everything. Even in war, they send a signal of measure. It is still, first and foremost, a balanced message sent out to the West. A little like a dog that has been annoyed may growl or nip without really biting. The military people in Washington and elsewhere see that and understand it. Whereas the diplomats and politicians do is now dubious since Craig missed it. That is pity as (as much as I believe it is a blunder on Putin’s part) he is still “playing the game”, signaling, and not going all out. The message is clear (to me): “step back, you are pushing me and next time I’ll bite for real”.

    One more thought here, on nuclear dissuasion.

    As we all know, at the core of this conflict is nuclear balance, or unbalance. NATO is breaking it by putting nuclear capable launch sites 5 minutes away from Moscow when Moscow’s launch capability is 30 minutes away from Washington. That is a criminal move on NATO’s part in my opinion (and in any person’s opinion who does not blindly trust the US to never attack first, or the Russian operator to never panic. It comes to sense that Putin cannot accept it.

    In that context, in his logic of signaling, this incident is a strong signal that he would be serious about launching nuclear missiles if attacked. He continues to shows that he will go up each step of the ladder if pushed to do so.

    Any rational actor in NATO should take notice and de-escalate. Are there rational actors in NATO?

    • Andrew H

      Another Russian war-monger.

      There is plenty of nuclear balance. Prague, Paris, Berlin, London are no further from Russian nukes than Moscow is from NATO nukes. The USA is on the other side of the planet so that is reality. But my understanding is that a good proportion of nukes are located in submarines, so Washington isn’t exactly safe. The places best able to survive nuclear war: a) Canada – there are just not enough nukes to go around b) Russia (any ditch but Moscow/St Petersburg) c) USA, (but not the eastern seaboard or LA) has got a few empty spots not worth bombing d) Some parts of S America are also pretty remote e) May be even Scotland/Norway/Sweden f) Afghanistan. Central Europe and Southern England are probably close to the worst places to be.

      • FD

        You are prone to rapid insults, I shall think that’s because you feel you have little less to offer.

        And indeed, that is the case.

        First, do you really think the US care about European capitals if it comes to a nuclear war with Russia? Do you think the decision will be made in Paris or Berlin?
        And next, a lot has changed in technology and the ability to detect and track submarines since the 1960ies, and/or make it very difficult for them to be effectively contacted in minutes in order to launch. If all decision targets in Russia are gone in minutes, the submarines will effectively be offline. Some shots may be fired, but in a proportion that is minuscule compared to what Russia would receive. There are thousands and thousands of heads on the ground. Maybe a hundred under the sea. No longer proportional deterrence.

        • Andrew H

          Absolutely the US cares about Europe. To demonize the US is no different than to demonize Russia. Russia is a big-place, and there is no possibility with all the nukes available to the USA of doing significant damage outside of a few major cities. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which the Russian state is immediately incapacitated (that would be bad planning).

          I only call you a Russian warmonger because you try to justify this war as surgical and a tactical intervention. (You also have a few grammar errors, that suggest you might not be a native English speaker, although it is certainly possible those are just typos.) Anyone who is justifying this war is a warmonger. I am sorry if you feel that is an insult. Trust me, in a couple of days/weeks this is not going to look like a tactical intervention (but I suppose there will be some still pushing that point until the end of the universe, or blame the west for the escalation because they provided arms to a bunch of drug addicts). My fears are this has no good end…. neither for Europe, for Russia and certainly not for the Ukrainian people. There is little room at this point for de-escalation. How do you see this de-escalating? Russia replacing the elected Ukraine government? Ukraine ceasing to be a sovereign nation?

          • FD

            Andrew, you don’t get it. I have stated it time and time again.

            “Explaining” is a logical and unbiased process. That is what I did.

            “Justifying” is a moral argument and judgment. I am not in that business.

            You keep confusing the two and that makes your posts a holy mess.

          • Lantern Dude

            Perhaps ‘fear’ is the key, that and ‘blame’. With so many blameless Yanks in the military industrial complex; who seemingly ‘love us’ colonial lackeys in Europe; it must be a crazy power-mad russkie who is the cause of this ‘rocking of the boat’ (read ship of fools). Having grown up with the threat of nuclear war I can only say that one gets used to the BS. Oh and it soon became obvious that those lovable wascals over there in the US of A are the only ‘lovable wascals’ to have used such weapons on domestic populations. AH you may well be the only warmonger here – hope my grammar is acceptable – I’m not aware of being ineligible to make a comment in English in a discussion forum. Although I supposee I may have been ‘got at’ and unable to form sympathetic thoughts toward NATO and the corrupt clowns in London and Washington anymore due to fiendish ‘mind control’ emanating out of Beijing or Moscow. …

          • Frank Hovis

            “(You also have a few grammar errors, that suggest you might not be a native English speaker, although it is certainly possible those are just typos.)”

            Says the man who was merrily “towing” the line further up this thread.

        • andyoldlabour

          FD, I totally agree with you, the US simply sees us (European military bases) as an “aircraft carrier” that they can use without risking US soil and lives. They do not care about us, we are simply an expendable resource.

      • Igor P.P.

        I am not a nuclear planner, but I’ve read just about everything authoritative and unclassified one can find on this subject. Which is not much, but enough to realise that popular view of ICBMs as counter-value retaliatory weapon is obsolete. Modern warheads have high precision and relatively low yeilds, so they are not used against cities as such. They are used to eleminate key enemy capacities – such as stategic aviation bases, or shipping ports. In case of NATO, many such would be in the US, so the balance cannot be maintained by keeping only European targets within reach. There are other issues, but I’ll keep it short.

        • FD

          Not only is your comment accurate on its face. In addition, I think American decision makers attribute entirely different utilities to Paris and Boston for example. The value of European targets is much lower both from the point of view of military strategy and emotional value.

          The “balance” of mutual threat of assured destruction is broken and this is the most worrisome part of all of this.

          In practice, if Moscow is 5 min from launch sites that target it, the Kremlin must have their nukes ready to launch at any time, within a few minutes – a lot of operational steps that are in effect safety steps have to be predone and pretty much the gun is loaded and ready to shoot at will. In addition, there must be automated orders place in case (for example) Putin gets obliterated prior to being able to enter a manual order. All of this makes a mistake much more likely to occur. It’s very, very dangerous.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You of course have campaigned for 20 years to have the entire US economy cut off from the rest of the globe due to its 80 year campaign of global genocide, regime change, anti-democratic ousting of regimes it doesn’t want etc etc?

        Stop your self-righteous racism and show me that you think the USA has no right to trade anywhere in the world….

      • Tom Welsh

        “Another Russian war-monger”.

        When you begin with such an unpleasant ad hominem, it is hard to continue reading. However, let me point out that any conceivable war involving Russia would be conventional. A nuclear war would simply be the end of everything – and don’t think for a moment that Canada would be safe. Australia might be the last to succumb – have you ever read “On the Beach”? If not, I suggest you do so.

        Kiev is less than 800 km (500 miles) from Moscow. So a subsonic cruise missile could travel that distance in less than an hour. A ballistic missile might take only a few minutes.

        From Prague to the nearest Russian border is about 1,230 km; but Prague doesn’t really matter. The Czech Republic is a very minor player.

        From Russia to Paris is about 2,100 km – probably a good deal further to actual Russian missile launching sites.

        From Russia to London is about 2,000 km.

        So Moscow and other Western Russian cities are much closer to potential NATO launch sites than NATO capitals are to Russia. That is the whole point of NATO’s attempt to colonise, and later possibly recruit, Ukraine. On a map or a globe, Ukraine looks like a huge salient sticking deep into Southern Russia and uncomfortably close to Moscow. Missiles launched from there – or from Poland, Romania, or the Baltics – would reach vital Russian command centres and cities within minutes. No nation could possibly tolerate such threats, especially as NATO has never shown the slightest sign of not being in deadly earnest.

        Your statement that “Prague, Paris, Berlin, London are no further from Russian nukes than Moscow is from NATO nukes” may be true, but is beside the point. Because, as I have already said, any nuclear attack would speel the end of the human species.

    • Giyane


      100% agree with everything you say. Don’t forget that Craig Murray has tasted the forbidden fruit of Great Game Russophobia when in high diplomatic office in the Ministry of silly walks. And the muscular strength that it gave to my jaw (rhyming with law ) has lasted the rest of my life. That’s not a criticism, it’s just life.

      • andyoldlabour

        Jimmeh, I think there are certainly NATO (US and UK) logistical forces plus special forces on the ground in Ukraine. In the war against Iran, Saddam Hussein had logistical help from the US when he used chemical weapons. In the current Saudi onslaught against Yemen, the Saudis are using US/UK military advisors.

        • FD

          The CIA has been there forever, fostering revolutions and coups. Recently, NATO money has built a bunch of missile launch sites and artillery batteries and other weapons aimed at both the Russian speaking regions of Ukraine and directly at Russia. If there is NATO money to build sites, you can bet there are a lot of NATO specialists too.
          Whether there are special forces or not is unclear. They clearly were in Syria enabling fight against government forces enabled by Russians. I suspect that was the same in Ukraine but it’s not been reported AFAIK.

    • Baalbek

      It’s also interesting that when you watch footage of Ukrainian civilians they are by and large quite calm even when things are being blown up around them. It’s quite different than a family cowering in fear knowing that the invasion force ( e.g. a group like ISIS) wants their heads on a pike.

      They are like Canadians might react to an American invasion – maybe not happy about it but not (yet) terrified for their lives.

  • Sean_Lamb

    Melanesia (and New Zealand) gives Europe and America a lesson in how its done.

    The Lincoln Agreement

    The Arawa Peace Treaty

    4. On the basis of shared acceptance of the sovereignty of Papua New Guinea, the
    agreed autonomy arrangements are intended to:

    (a) facilitate the expression and development of Bougainville identity
    and the relationship between Bougainville and the rest of Papua
    New Guinea;

    (b) empower Bougainvilleans to solve their own problems, manage
    their own affairs and work to realize their aspirations within the
    framework of the Papua New Guinea Constitution;

    (c) promote the unity of Papua New Guinea;

    (d) provide for a democratic and accountable system of government
    for Bougainville that meets internationally accepted standards of
    good governance, including protection of human rights;

    (e) ensure respect for the international obligations of Papua New
    Guinea, as well as the interests of Bougainville when Papua New
    Guinea enters into new international obligations;

    (f) enable the National Government and the autonomous Bougainville
    Government to exercise their constitutional roles effectively and

    (g) provide sufficient personnel and financial resources for the
    autonomous Bougainville Government to exercise its powers and
    functions effectively;

    (h) maintain a mutually acceptable balance of interests between the
    interests of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea as a whole,
    including equity between different parts of the country.

  • Ralph

    If you want to understand the political or geopolitical situation in ukraine, what you have to do is a 180 degree turn on what the serial liars the Western msm & govts etc say.

    The background to what has been going on in ukraine since at least late 2013 can be understood if one reads the original yank wolfowitz (neocon) doctrine, as revealed in the nyt in 1992 of containment etc of Russia, together with PNAC (yes I expect you to look both up), and ukraine is being used as a thorn in the flesh/proxy attack of Russia by the usg.

    What tipped things over the edge was that lunatic ze’s demand to be given nukes; & the fact that the lying ukrainian govt had NO intention of ever honouring the Minsk Agreements. It could not anyway, how could it when even Germany had to bow down before dc regarding NS2? Also the impending threat of nato membership for ukraine. So Putin had NO choice to REact to essentially Western – in particular usg – provocation.

    For – only – 3 days, the ukrainians have experienced the war they had inflicted on the 2 independent republics of the former Eastern ukraine. Karma is a biatch! The images of suffering and damage you see about ukraine, has been going on in those 2 long-suffering republics for nearly EIGHT YEARS!!!

    The bloody SHIT DM showed that injured woman with a bandage around her head, making it a big deal…when I tried to inform it of the following, it was banned/not published: In the 2nd largest city of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Gorlovka (Horlivka), 2 teachers were KILLED in SCHOOL by the cowardly ukrainian military deliberately firing at a CIVILIAN area, as they so often have done. On February 25, as a result of an attack by the ukrainian military on School No. 50 located in the Kalininsky district of Gorlovka, 2 Gorlovka teachers were tragically killed by a direct shell hit: Kudrik Elena Pavlovna, born in 1969, a geography teacher, and Ivanova Elena Viktorovna, born in 1977, deputy Director for educational work.Those satanic ukrainian shits have NO regard for killing civilians – they consider them “Untermensch” & Colorado beetles i.e. dehumanise them, then you can more easily kill or rather murder them, & that’s OK, because then they are not really human, but sub-human, & it’s ok to the hate-filled demon infested ukrainians, who also target kindergartens, hospitals, ambulances and water supply infrastructure etc, i.e. committing war crimes.

    So how much longer did you expect those innocent peoples’ blood to cry out to God for justice? And you say no, to THAT, Craig?

    I could go on for hours, as there are so many examples, but just remember, what you see on tv etc has happened before in the Donbass, & mostly ignored by the West or far far worse, DELIBERATELY ignored/censored. Think Yugoslavia too, & Iraq etc etc.

    So stuff your ‘legal’ justification BS, Craig this is a completely MORAL justification – which trumps ALL ‘legal’ laws contrary to it – by Putin.

    And the clincher is something you are ignorant of, the fact that FJB was so much in kiev giving ORDERS, as vp, after his dumbfuck cookie sidekick jewland admitted that the usg had ‘invested’ (at least) $5 bn on ukraine, ‘midwifing’ it, saying ‘fuck the eu’ etc, in yet another CURSED yank ‘color revolution’. obummer also admitted it to cnn in an interview in early 2015.

    And a major, major factor is the fact that the USSR lost 27 MILLION people killed in WW2, and they vowed never again.

    There is obviously much more, but where do I stop?

    • George

      Ralph, I agree with your points. not many folk understand or do not understand the basic principals of Putin.

      When Putin took over from Yeltsin, Russia was a basket case and had been raped by the US. All the US wanted was the natural resources to grab. They still want today. Nato membership is all about buyingUS Arms. Where is the British aircraft industry today, during the 1950’s – 1960’s it was far superior to the USA. Th Harrier jet that dis so well in the Falklands war, the UK government gave the technology away to the USA. Anyway another area I have so much knowledge and experience about.
      I can remember being at Domodedovo Airport with my Russian Interpreter. We were on our way to Omsk to conclude a deal with our local russian partners. The year was 1992. At the airport I watched with great amusement an US gentlemen putting his luggage through the antiquated x-ray machine for luggage and getting angry with the staff. Shouting at them, screaming at them, trying to be the big man.
      His luggage had loads of stickers on them like US Marine Corp, US Navy etc….. To me he just looked like a slob, don’t know what point he was trying to prove, but I watched and laughted to myself. My interpreter asked should we intervene and I said No he does not need my help, if he cannot be polite to the russian’s and we left him struggling and went off to board our flight. Those were the days went I used to buy cartons of Marlboro in duty free and use as currency or for tipping taxi drivers or anyone else who gave me service. Great days and days I enjoyed. I can tell you some great stories about the British Embassies and the crap service they provide. Not interested in helping UK business men. Another time I sat on a BA aircraft and it was delayed at LHR for 45 minutes whilst waiting for Prince Michael of Kent to arrive. When he got on the plane he was booed and jeered by the passengers. There’s plenty of other stories but alas for another day.

      • George

        Also I find it interesting to look at photographs of destroyed Russian Tanks and truck photographs in the media with no hand pained “Z” logo painted on them. The “Z” logo was to identify them as Russian to other Russian air assets military, to avoid friendly fire. So again I question the honesty of the media. Friendly Fire is quite common when British and American forces are working on the battlefield together, It always happens with Americans. Just like the one sided extradition Act with the USA over Julian Assange.
        Harry Dunn’s killer Anne Sacoolas CIA Spy could not be extradited to UK because the USA (Trump) said No.

    • Tom Welsh

      “What tipped things over the edge was that lunatic ze’s demand to be given nukes…”

      Probably so. At least that would have been ample provocation even in the absence of others, such as the imminent threat of a breakthrough in Donbass followed by “ethnic cleansing” of everyone with any kind of Russian ancestry, culture, or sympathies.

      And here we come to the core of the matter. Ukraine, of course, is absolutely forbidden to obtain – or even seek – nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. So, by Mr Murray’s logic, Russia should feel perfectly safe. For Ukraine to acuire nuclear weapons would be against international law, therefore it could never happen.

      Now let’s look at Israel, which has had nuclear weapons since, perhaps, the 1960s, without ever admitting the fact. It has used those missiles to threaten and bully its neighbours, spitting on the NPF. What have the USA, the UK, NATO, or the UN ever done about Israel’s illegal nuclear weapons? Nothing at all. Indeed, they all go out of their way to suppress any mention of the subject.

      So how does Moscow’s immunity from Ukrainian nuclear weapons look in that light?

      The truth is that, when living in a world where many powerful antagonists have utter contempt for all law, custom, morality, and religion, it is not possible for those threatened with attack or conquest to stick to the letter of international law. And only someone who doesn’t really care what happens to Russia and Russians could suggest that they are culpable for taking military-technical measures to preserve their lives and freedom from – let’s not mince words – bandit states.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    A couple of snippets that seem significant,
    I have information from St.Pete that support for /against war is about 30/70.
    the central areas where protest might occur are ringed by a large police presence.
    ok popularity is not a requirement for war (Iraq) but this seems like a crazy blunder.

  • U Watt

    Thanks Craig for this clear-sighted analysis. Putin must be off in a dreamworld if he believed Ukrainians would settle down and live peacefully under direct or proxy Russian rule. Most of them were already hostile to Moscow. This has put the cap on it. Whatever the provocations that prompted Putin to invade I can only see it having disastrous consequences for Russia for decades to come. Ukrainians are never going to reconcile themselves to Russian rule.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      U Watt – it’s not totally clear that that was Putin’s intention. His intention was to protect the Russian-speaking minority, primarily in the East of the country. He spent 7 years trying to protect their interests via the Minsk II protocols, which the USA pressurised Ukraine not to implement, with France and Germany being too effete to give the USA seven barrels in the UN. During that time, there has been relentless shelling of the Donbass by Ukrainian forces, which constitutes civil war by any other name.

      Why do you think all Russian speakers in Ukraine should be forced to speak Ukrainian, have all their Russian culture eliminated?

      They didn’t want to eliminate Ukrainian culture, they just wanted to be allowed to retain their own within Ukraine.

      Explain why you were not an appeaser of racism and murdering….

      • andyoldlabour

        Rhys, our Western press totally ignore what is happening in the Donbass, there is a kind of news blackout about it. This is obviously deliberate.

    • Lantern Dude

      U Watt? Dreaming dummy in charge? Is this comparable to the process sometimes witnessed in psychological treatment called ‘transference’! It seems to me that Ralph and George, who appear to be taking an historical perspective of the current situation rather than a knee-jerk M$M narrative-mongering perspective, provide all the ‘justification’ needed to understand the rationale of Russia’s actions in the Ukraine. The rest is a matter of opinion. We all know that war is shit – well we should.

    • FD

      Ukraine as we have known it no longer exists. It’s gone the way Yugoslavia is gone.

      Now there are breakaway republic which Russia may annex, and a much smaller, ethnically homogeneous, future Ukraine. The former are not hostile to Moscow. The latter already were and will be even more so going forward. Not much of a loss for Putin on that front.

      The only question is what Russia will do with that future Ukraine, whether they will keep a tight lid for a long time, or let them off reasonably quick. I think they really want the latter, but not if it will be part of NATO.

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