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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  • Richard Hunter

    I have been critical of Craig, and indeed everyone who were vehement that Russia would not invade Ukraine. I personally thought it unlikely, for the reasons that Craig gives, but I’ve been around long enough not to discount any plausible scenario, particularly when it’s the worse case one. Still now, I’m trying to game out what is going to happen in my head and it’s hard to work out, even now, what is going on in Putin’s head.
    What I do think is that this represents a watershed moment for the West. Putin cannot be allowed to get away with invading a peaceful democratic country, regardless of whether or not it’s in NATO or the EU. If he’s allowed to get away with this, why shouldn’t he go after Finland, or perhaps the Baltic countries? We’ve already established that he’s prepared to do things that people thought were unthinkable.
    This is why I advocate for a military solution. I’m sick of hearing the Western leaders trying to one up each other over sanctions. All of them are keen for sanctions that hurt their rivals more than themselves, and less keen on those that will cause their own countries pain. Regardless, I really don’t think that kicking Russia out of Swift is going to make a huge difference to Putin, at least in the short term, and by then Ukraine could be lost. I believe we should be supplying Ukraine with weapons, and if our leaders don’t want to commit their own militaries, the public should organise International Brigades to volunteer to fight.
    I was annoyed at Craig’s stance because I think it muddied the water and wasted time, but I understand how he reached his conclusion, and I’m glad he acknowledges his mistake. Fortunately though, there is still time to act, and I believe we should in order to save the Western values that we all hold so dear.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Mr Hunter – do you believe the rest of the world should have armed Libya? Iraq? Syria? Afghanistan??

      You simply can’t say that what Putin has done has to be completely punished whilst not stating that the USA should have been completely closed out of world trade long ago.

      I have zero tolerance for any American nowadays having any opinion on anything to do with foreign affairs. Their whole State Apparatus should have been shut down years ago and 90%+ of those resident on Capitol Hill put in prison if not facing the death sentence.

      But will you hear the self-righteous Gary Lineker say that the five US owners of EPL football clubs be thrown out forever due to the disgusting nature of the USA?? Of course you won’t. This has nothing to do with morality, it has everything to do with the UK being part of a criminal mafia headed by the USA.

        • Baalbek

          Seconded. The hypocrisy, incoherence and wilful ignorance on display is absolutely staggering. In Canada they are removing Russian spirits from government liquor stores “in protest”. I’ll accept this when they close down McDonald’s and remove American processed “foods” from supermarket shelves to express solidarity with the people of Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya….

          • andyoldlabour

            Baalbek – On a car forum yesterday, I was disgusted to witness several posters saying that the Russian F1 driver, Nikita Mazepin should be removed from the Haas team because his father was friends with Vladimir Putin.

          • Ripples

            Thirded, and to add to the list the propaganda blinded hypocrites fail to see the parallel between a Russian conductor getting kicked out of a job with an orchestra for now condeming openly Russia’s stance ….
            The USA should be the contained shunned state for the cause of so much murder and misery and chaos orchestrated in country after country for self gain and Uber Alles power madness by successive administrations deep state actors and corporations back by military assassins.

      • Jacomo

        You Putin apologists are on the wrong side of history here. Quite why you support the unjustified military invasion of another country by a kleptocracy is beyond me. I only hope you come to your senses.

        • Lantern Dude

          Only time will tell. However, even though ‘history’ seems to be personality driven, it is, in all probability, only ‘seemingly’ so. The writers of ‘history’ put ‘personalities’ into the ‘causation’ process for both convenience and profit. There have, of course, been instances of power mad aristocrats writing up their own legends such as Julius ‘I wanna be king’ Caesar, and that seems to just make for jealousy among their peers. Fortunately narcissists will fall out.

          However, more to the point, having a negative opinion of NATO and the American empire in general does not automatically suggest anyone is a Putin apologist. That does seem to be a ‘nudge’ that ignores the historical process of kleptocratic procedures used in the 400 year ‘Enclosure’ processs by our own rulers… Who was on the wrong side of history in that example?

    • ET

      Western “values” = America’s interests, for now. That is what needs to change. USA is 4-5% of the planet’s population. That is as much say as they ought to have. Is it ok for the “west” to relentlessly pursue its interest over and above that of Russia or any other country because we perceive our system of government to be superior? Our system of government that persistently legislates to concentrate wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people who use that wealth to further encourage such legislation and thus disenfranchising all?

      Was it Kissinger who said “We have no friends, America only has interests.”
      Charles De Gaulle “No nation has friends only interests.”
      Churchill “We have no lasting friends, no lasting enemies, only lasting interests.”
      What defines a nation’s “interests?” When was it that an executive administration clearly defined the nation’s “interests” in such a way that you and I could assess whether we agree. What are the criteria for a nation to justify subjugating another nation’s interests in favour of its own?
      I have no idea who expressed this concept first but it’s a shitty way to conduct politics now. It is considered a win for one country to further its own interests to the detriment of another’s. That is what fundamentally needs to change.

      So, I say to you Richard Hunter, fuck off with your “western” values. We don’t have any that our governments practice that are worthy of consideration as values. There are human values that many in the west hold to, and many other humans in the world also hold to.

      Personally, I am struggling to come to a view on this whole situation. It’s hard to argue with CM’s point that if you disagree with the blatantly illegal wars on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen etc then you cannot but condemn Russia’s Ukrainian invasion. On the other hand, the “west” has been poking Russia so hard and for so long it is also difficult not to see some mitigation for their actions.

      It is a work in progress for me.

      • Tom Welsh

        ‘So, I say to you Richard Hunter, fuck off with your “western” values’.

        Amen to that, and so say all of us.

        What, actually, are “Western” values? (Or British, American, etc.?)Apart from the fact that different nations and peoples are likely to have subtly, or substantially, different values. Some peoples in history – such as the Persians, Greeks, Romans, French and Germans, and even at some times the British have valued courage highly. But today, most people in the West have become snowflakes, ready to curl up in horror if they hear a word or phrase that offends their delicate sensibilities. No Jane Austen heroine could have been so vulnerable to “bad thoughts”.

        If I had to list some of the values which I was brought up to cherish, they might include:

        • Honesty, truthfulness, and the willingness to say clearly and openly what one thinks.
        • Tolerance: appreciating that other people may think in very different ways, and realising that they may be right and I may be wrong. Certainly believing that variety – or “diversity” as it is now called – is very important, but that it does not extend merely to skin colour, nose shape, hair, language, cuisine, dress, and sexual orientation, embracing also religion, philosophy, education, and politics. If a certain people chooses not to have a “democratic” constitution, that is entirely their business.
        • Courtesy, in the sense of always trying to see the other person’s point of view and to make them feel comfortable in every sense.
        • Freedom of the individual, who should be allowed to do anything he or she wants as long as it does not obviously harm others. (Where “harm” does not include offence or distaste).
        • Minimal government, because government always piles up bureaucracy, which grows like a cancer.
        • Kindness and charity towards all, insofar as compatible with the other values (which it almost always is).
        • Respect for excellence or simple goodness in others, whatever shape it takes.
        • Desire for excellence, motivating determined and persistent attempts to improve oneself in every feasible way.
        • Humility, seeing the good in others and one’s own weaknesses and fallibility.
        • Frugality; not desiring riches or excessive goods, being content with what one has, and refusing to envy those who have more.
        • Willingness to work long and hard to attain one’s goals and to repay what one owes to others.

        I am sure I have left out all sorts of important values, but this tentative list may given some impression of what I was taught to believe in and value.

        Now I ask: how many of those values are exemplified in “the West” today?

          • Tom Welsh

            Scottish, Tatyana. Born in Argentina of two Scottish parents. I was educated, which makes me feel rather isolated nowadays.

            And I find I do tend to like Russians. Perhaps they are educated too.

          • Tatyana

            I know you’re Scottish, it was a rhetorical question:-) Argentina must be a miracle place, you’re the second person I meet on the Internet who are connected with Argentina and both are getting close easily. I think it may be Argentina, that people start with being friendly first.

      • Tom Welsh

        It’s rather doubtful whether a “peaceful democratic country” is not an oxymoron. I would argue that few countries with political systems even approaching democracy have ever been peaceful. Athens, famously the West’s first fairly pure democracy, was also the biggest and most relentless warmonger in the Mediterranean. From the moment the people gained the power to make decisions of state, they voted for invasion after invasion, occupation after occupation. When the people of Melos wished to remain neutral, the Athenians gave them an ultimatum. The Melians refused, and the Athenians, having captured their city, killed all men of fighting age (in practice any male with hair on his chin) and enslaved all the women and children. Later they chose to attack Syracuse, the only other great democracy of the day; were shatteringly defeated; and ended up being occupied by the Spartans, their totalitarian antagonists.

        In today’s world, it is the so-called “democracies” (although they are really nothing of the kind) that have been guiltiest of perpetually stirring up dissension, terrorism and war.

        Ukraine was remade in the image of the USA, the nation that shrieks loudest about democracy, freedom, and “values” – and which is actually their deadly enemy. There is far more real democracy in Russia than in Ukraine, or for that matter in the UK, USA, France or Germany.

    • Bruce_H

      Russia has the right to security, they have held back for years as NATO worked steadily East despite engagements that they would not do this. I know people will say this is untrue but if you search a bit there is overwhelming evidence, written and also from people who were present at the time and are still alive, and quite compos mentis. So how can you expect the Russians to trust anybody but themselves to guarantee their security?

      Bloodletting and John Wayne style rhetoric is both childish and of no utility, what is required is for the Ukrainian government and their supporters to be put before their responsibilities, not armed so that even more will die. Until now there have been very few deaths, far less than the 14000 killed in the Donbas and by the present regime over eight years, th)s is not a Chechnya style campaign – the Russians have even gone to the trouble of securising the Chernobyl site to prevent any of the deaths head extremists using it as a bargaining method, something that they clearly had reason to fear. So what is required is to get negotiations going – this has been mentioned already this morning – to bring this to an end as quickly as possible and with the least number of casualties. In Kazakhstan this was done quickly and efficiently, CSTO troops were in and out in a matter of days despite what the West said would happen. Obviously a much smaller scale business but it does give the lie to the anti-Russian fanatics.

      What is behind this and many other problems is that the Western powers managed to bring the Soviet Union down, admittedly wit a little help from within, but there was never a global negotiation to consolidate the resulting chaos, so many loose ends and ambiguities resulted in a multiple time bomb that has been popping off ever since. Probably this was not accidental, white man speaks with forked tongue. The Russians were naive thinking that once they had abandoned Communism “we” would let them be and welcome them into a world of prosperity and peace. They even asked if they could join NATO more than once and were fobbed off like a father tricking a child because ultimately the USA wants to be the boss, the boss of the world and will not give up until… I don’t know until what, armageddon?

      PS. Sorry for the pretentious message but I feel quite strongly about this and the anti-Russian hysteria gets me down.

      • Kaiama

        I have a number of Russian friends who get quite depressed that they came to the west believing in a better future, only to find out that the propaganda is even worse than the USSR.

        • Tom Welsh

          There was a saying in the 1990s that what the Soviet authorities said about the USSR was untrue, but what they said about the West was entirely true.

    • Stevie Boy

      I admit I currently struggle to understand what these ‘Western values that we hold so dear’ are ?
      The values that permeate the West seem to be based on lies, corruption and crime. Maybe when we talk about western values we mean cowboy values: lots of guns, kill the natives and steal other peoples land ?

      • Baalbek

        I admit I currently struggle to understand what these ‘Western values that we hold so dear’ are ?

        The politics of identity.

        On Monday I’m a man, on Tuesday I’m a woman and on weekends I’m a little furry creature with a rhinoceros horn. I demand this be officially recognized and acknowledgement that my rights are more important than your rights. This is how we build a sane and functional society.

        • Jacomo

          Well, one value that I cherish is the possibility for society to develop, to progress.

          Issues around identity politics are complex, messy and frequently contradictory, but I am happy to live in a society where these issues are given room to breathe, rather than crushed under a jackboot.

          Why not move to Russia, where you can revel in your homophobia?

          Craig’s article today is intelligent, but he’s certainly attracting some nasty people!

          • Tom Welsh

            Your comment, Jacomo, reveals many of the things that are wrong in modern Western society.

            First of all, you take a general comment by Baalbek and turn it into a personal issue. “Why not move to Russia, where you can revel in your homophobia?” What a nasty, petty, cruel thing to say! He merely admitted to being confused by identity politics, or whatever it is called this week.

            Where did you get “… crushed under a jackboot”? A person who can react that way to Baalbek’s admission that (s)he is confused seems to be rather prone to exaggeration.

            And Craig’s article is “attracting some nasty people”. People with whose opinions you disagree, I presume.

            By the way “homophobia” is a ridiculous word, which on the face of it means “fearing the same”.

      • Tom Welsh

        There are good reasons why none of the people who prate about “Western values that we hold so dear” ever say what those values are.

        In practice, they are money, power, and celebrity – all of which are interchangeable.

        • A. Bourgeoisie

          What did Ukraine expect to happen when it wholeheartedly embraced being a NATO puppet. Not to mention the killing of >13,000 Russians in Donbass. Russia gave Ukraine every chance to avoid war with the MInsk agreements and Zelensky was elected on the promise of doing so. However, the west blocked him from doing that and the war is the result.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    I hope that the Ukraine government will eventually/soon see the sense of being neutral and kicking the Americans and NATO out. Restoring relations with Russia and Europe to me is win win. The comments of Mr Doctorov and others in the blog are very perceptive and I hope we hear from Tatyana soon. I don’t see Russia as being an aggressive neighbour to Ukraine or anyone for that matter, and although I understand the reason for the peacekeeping/denatzifying/invasion or whatever, I am sorry it came to this and I hope it will be soon over. The howling in the western media is overwhelming and sickening when one remembers other truly aggressive actions by the Americans and NATO where the fawning media was equally sickening. We are in the middle of a climate crisis which could destroy the planet and one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases are the worlds militaries and arms manufacturers.

  • zoot

    yes russia would be bled dry by an endless counterinsurgency war in ukraine.
    putin needs to climb down and go home, humiliating or not. as you say though the west needs to provide him with a ladder to climb down, something that is contrary the interests of the arms firms who own washington dc. a critically dangerous mess.

  • Tatyana

    still tortured with shame and pain because of what have happened, and I don’t expect it to slow down any soon. If someone is interesteded of my personal perspective, I wrote a lot in the previous topic. Amazing, just few days ago we discussed the Minsk agreements and OSCE reports. I was commenting a lot under that topic, so you can easily track the development of events – from negotiations on peace directly into the war

    Well, I thought I would never comment here, since I was mistaken so hugely on non-invasion. But, the recent days I understood the importance of being informed. I will write here from time to time (rather it will be commenting obsessively, I’m sorry, I hardly sleep or eat these days, just want it to stop as soon as possible).
    My country is at war. The understanding of this fact gives me a storm of emotions.
    We once discussed traditional hairstyles and a person argued that Russian girls couldn’t invent braids until they learned it from black people. I tried to explain it is no way so, with historical facts and logic, but got a slap in the face I’m just a typical white racist. The storm of emotions is similar.
    I turned to my black friends for please educate me what’s going on and they explained. In the end, we sorted everything and ended as with respect and apologies and they told me I’m a nice person and a sweetheart 🙂

    Thanks to that experience, I will rather continue sorting things out.

    • ET

      Tatyana, please don’t stop with your contributions. What you have to say is invaluable. I don’t always agree with you and when I don’t I will debate with you. Sometimes you will inform my opinion and other times maybe I will inform yours. I don’t think Russia has been treated fairly but neither do I think that what Russia is doing now is entirely fair either. As I said above, it is a work in progress. I think that the sensible place for now is I don’t know what to think right now.

      Often on these forums I have seen CM refer to Irish history and the “success” of Sinn Fein and the IRA in the early part of the last century in securing its independence, around about the time that Russia had its communist revolution. The American republic is based on it’s revolution to remove the brits. I am sure that at the time most “right thinking” people were appalled at the affrontery of such movements. History sees it differently. I am proud to be Irish but that pride is predicated on that revolution that involved killing and maiming to remove the brits. It comes down to when a war is justified, if ever. That is a really difficult place to go.

        • ET

          My point was, Dom, that war of any kind involves killing and maiming. I, like others, might see such killing and maiming events as justified and justifiable through the distance of history and a lens of, in my case, nationalism. All of them involved killing and maiming.
          Further down this thread Tatyana posted a link,, to a young russian lady and her child. There is a happy before picture of her smiling and playing with her child and a devastating yet compelling picture of both of them dead, maimed and the young lady with her thigh blown away. Fair warning, the photographs are grusome. Eerily, I have seen such a thing before in an A+E in N.Ireland when a young person, not affiliated to either “side” was brought in having sat in their car in which an IRA car bomb had been mistakenly placed. By “mistaken”, I mean they had targeted the wrong car and that victim, who also had their leg blown away in a similar fashion and died, was not their intended victim.
          We all here, including me, make comments on the various aspects of this whole situation. I still don’t know what to think. What you see in those photographs are the consequences of explosions on human flesh. We should all be careful to consider that. That young woman and her child lost their lives for geopolitics.

          • ET

            The lady and child were from Gorlovka city, Ukraine, so not russian and it happened two years ago after shelling from Ukranian security forces.

    • Coldish

      whether or not the current Russian action is shameful, it doesn’t compare with the shame that I have had to feel for my own country’s (that is England +/- Wales etc) participation in a series of unprovoked and vicious attacks, conquests and actual or attempted changes of regime on a series of far away countries which have posed no threat whatsoever to the UK or to any other European or American state.

    • jordan

      Thank you Tatyana. Please continue giving your perspective. Among all these well reasoned (or not so) explanations we need to stay open with our personal feelings about these events. And thank you Craig in a similar fashion.

    • Stevie Boy

      You have no need of shame. The fault lies entirely with politicians, MIC and the MSM. We are helpless observers of the predictable follies of mankind.
      Keep on blogging !

    • Clark

      Tatyana, I feel for you; you live so near to this.

      Nation states are evil. The more powerful they are the more evil they are capable of. We would never tolerate people around us behaving like nation states do. The US government was evil to interfere in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government was evil to promote Nazis and attack the separatist regions. The Russian government was evil to invade Ukraine. And the UK government was evil to try to send in more weapons. The people must take back the power. The people hate war.

      Dumb All Over, Frank Zappa – YouTube, 6 minutes 14.

  • Casey VanSise

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

    Actually, the most straightforward legal interpretation of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact to my mind (which even the US State Department acknowledges as a treaty still in force, then shrugs away) is that war is illegal for the states that have ratified it, especially interstate conflict for foreign regime change and not least preemptive wars of the Bethlehem Doctrine variety, but the great powers of the world (i.e., neo-imperial entities masquerading as Westphalian nation-states, chief among them the Five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council) ignore this prohibition in international law and do mental gymnastics using a muddled interpretation of the UN Charter as an intellectual workaround.

    • Tom Welsh

      In connection with the Kellogg-Briand Pact (which, of course, the US government claims it never ratified), please glance at

      “The U.S. Has Only Been At Peace For 17 Years Total Since Its Birth.

      “I have reproduced a year-by-year timeline of America’s wars, which reveals something quite interesting: since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 229 out of her 246 calendar years of existence as of 2022.

      “In other words, there were only 17 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars”.

      Supposedly, war is illegal; yet the USA has been at war for 229 years and at peace for 17. Despite being in almost sole possession of a huge continent insulated from military threats by two vast oceans. Apart from the War of 1812, every single on of those wars was an aggressive war of choice – usually launched to despoil foreigners.

      In this same world, Russia – the USA’s next target for plunder – is supposed to adhere rigidly to “international law” which the USA despises and ignores.

      It’s like a boxing match in which one fighter steps into the ring in shorts and boots, wearing boxing gloves and intending to fight strictly according to the Queensberry Rules; and the other draws a gun and shoots him dead.

      • Jarek Carnelian

        Ouch, There you go. It would be a great advance if we could collectively adopt genuine International Law – demanding the same standards of behaviour and the same penalties for transgression of ALL signatories. Unfortunately, as with democracy itself, these ideals have yet to be fully realised. Yet if you scratch the surface pretty much all human beings agree on the details. We have the same basic desires and want the same things for our familes. While we allow inhuman psychopaths to dictate our state policies, both regional and international … none of these things will ever be allowed to happen.

        • Tom Welsh

          Jareek, I fear you would find that the truth is: the only law is that of the Melian Dialogue.

          “The strong do what they wish, while the weak do what they must. Questions of right arise only between equals in strength”.

          International law has always been a masquerade, to make the doings of the strong seem respectable and moral. That is why it is enforced against the weak, but not against the strong.

          NATO’s problem is that it believes Russia is weak, whereas it is really strong. That is a recipe for broken teeth – on NATO’s part.

    • Casey VanSise

      I certainly agree with the respondents that adhering to the likes of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact is a personal idealistic aspiration rather than anything close to a reality at this stage. My view of how global geopolitics really tends to work in practice is informed by some synthesis of Goldstein’s (and Orwell’s) “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism”; Balibar and Wallerstein’s “Race, Nation, Class: Ambiguous Identities”; Burbank and Cooper’s “Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference”; and Antony C. Sutton’s “Wall Street” series.

      For more of my thoughts in this regard, see here:

  • Christoph

    For the time being, there have not been any reliable reports of russian attacks on civilian structures, but apparently the Asov batallion have done exactly that. Selensky has apparently distributed assault rifles to the population, which means he wants to use them as human shields.
    My guess is, that Russia will destroy the entire military infrastructure of the Ukraine and fight as many Banderas and Asov as he can.
    The purpose, in my view, is to show that deploying NATO weapons to the Ukraine will result in their destruction.
    Also i disagree with your simile of the US attacks on arab countries, since none of them were on their border and none openly threatend them with nuclear arms.
    Russia could not allow fighting on their own soil, which is exactly what was about to happen, reports of militias crossing the border had been circling for a while now and i, for one, can fully understand, that the prospect of Nazis or ultra-nationalists inside Russia was the proverbial straw.

      • Christoph

        Russia have set up a team of negotiators in Minsk (well played) for an open invite to negotiate.
        Selensky has objected to the place, proposing others. He is clearly trying to trick his way out of this and right now he openly shows exactly who is the real enemy of the Ukrainian people. Russia have been negotiating from an increasingly weak position for 8 years, now they offer to talk again (which of course you want learn from western media) and Selensky tries to weasel out of that.
        If Putin is smart, he will settle for neutrality of Ukraine and leave the current gouvernment as is, that way he can be true to his word and let Ukrainians settle the rest among themselves.

        • Jimmeh

          > negotiators in Minsk

          That would be Minsk, the capital of Belarus? So Ukrainian negotiators are being invited to negotiate in the capital of a country whose army is right now besieging Kiev?

          That simply isn’t a serious proposal. Withdrawal is a prerequisite to negotiations. Nobody can negotiate with a gun to their head, wherever the venue is. But negotiating in your enemy’s capital, while their troops are on your soil, is absurd.

    • Chops

      “Selensky has apparently distributed assault rifles to the population, which means he wants to use them as human shields”

      Is there a possible alternative interpretation, that he wants them to fight the invading army?

      • Christoph

        Untrained, ungeared, unorganized civilians against, welltrained, wellequiped professional soldiers?
        Yes they get told to “defend their country”, but in more practical terms, they would only become civilian casualties in this disgusting numbers game for western media.

        • Chops

          There’s a world of difference between using someone as a human shield, and equipping civilians with weapons. If you meant the latter, say the latter. A human shield is a person you put in the way, hoping that the other side won’t want to risk killing that human shield. Civilians choosing to take a rifle and fight is not a human shield.

          “welltrained, wellequiped professional soldiers”

          Russia does have those, but I note it also sent into Ukraine poorly trained, poorly supplied and misinformed conscripts who don’t want to be there. There is no training that makes a person immune to bullets; millions of armed civilians can do a lot of damage to a hundred thousand soldiers before they die.

        • Bohunk Pundit

          Many, if not most of those Ukrainian volunteers will have had previous military service. As for those who are untrained – so were most of the Guerillas during the Peninsular war, so were many of the Maquis and other resistance movements in Nazi-occupied Europe, and pretty much every other popular insurgency in history.

  • Alexander

    From my POW (I’m Russian) the idea for Putin war is approximately the same as for 8.8.8 war with Georgia.

    Quick and mostly non-military casuality-free war, with destruction of Ukrainian military infrastructure and significantly reduced nazi sympathizers population in Ukraine.

    You see, nazi sympathizers in Asov paramilitary unit are responsible for thousands of deaths of Russian in Donbas.
    It must be nailed into head of every nazi: take arms and kill Russians – you will die.

    My prediction is following: Donbass republics will be freed from ukrainian forces, at least in old administrative borders.
    Russian military will have permanent military bases in Donbass – but not in the rest of Ukraine.

    Something like “no-fly zone” will be permanently set up in Ukraine – so every civilian flight must be controlled by a Russian dispatcher, and all military flights (including USA drones/aviation) will be shot down.
    Moreover, every attempt to restore military infrastructure will be immediately bombed – just like Israel do in Syria.

    So, Ukraine will be neutral de-facto.

    One more thing. Why invade Ukraine now? Do you remember a lot of “Putin will invade Ukraine” in media in last months?

    As I understand, Kiev planned to attack in Donbas, prepared most of his actual military in the conflict zone.
    Ukrainian military did not get placed to fight with Russia on Russia-Ukrainian borders, nor to protect Kiev.

    If you really expect Russian land attack, you must:
    a) disperse
    b) change location of air defence units
    c) prepare small units with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapon on probable routes.

    Media company was started to prevent Russia (or slow down) help to Donbas.

    The western idea was: Ukraina start attacking Donbas region, mass shelling cities – and Russia will help Donbas – move military units masked as Donbas residents and volunteers, support with weapon and ammunition. Just like last time before Minsk-2.

    Results that don’t matter:
    If Ukraine move forward in Donbas – it’s good.
    If Ukrainian forces is surrounded and destroyed in Donbas – like it was done under Debaltsevo – it will not affect the rest of Ukraine, but always can be used for propaganda and more sanctions.

    In any case, attempting to clash with Ukrainian forces in prepared lines of defense (8 years of fortification) is difficult.

    Preventive attack using deep bypass movement is much more easy.
    Russian military remember how to perform blitzkrieg – we have good teachers.

    I think my idea is correct, because the Ukrainian air defence was taken by surprise.
    You can’t do it if the air defence really expect attack.

    • Fwl

      Interesting to read Alexander and Tatyana expressing their point of view as Russians, but I don’t appreciate reading British apologists.

      • Akos Horvath

        Interesting. The UK is participating in this war, with the rest of Europe, by providing weapons, but British citizens are not allowed to have opinions different from the government war mongering. Same applies to Germany and pretty much every NATO country. Is this the kind of democracy and ‘rules-based-world’ you claim is under threat?

        It’s scary how the most uninformed people are foaming at the mouth demanding escalation. Textbook example of how wars break out. Germany and the other clueless EU countries sending weapons is just oil to the fire.

        In the end there will be negotiations and no nukes in and a neutral status for Ukraine will be agreed upon in one way or another. The totally uncompromising attitude of the West bears half the responsibility for the bloodshed.

        Guaranteeing in a legal treaty that NATO won’t place nuclear missiles in Ukraine is not weakness or appeasement, it’s common sense.

        This is the Cuban missile crisis in reverse.

        And before you start tapping about Putin apologists. I as a EU citizen and taxpayer can only influence the actions of my own governments. In theory at least. And I have opposed a lot of their actions that showed zero flexibility and poured oil on the fire. Baerbock and Habeck don’t have the right to risk nuclear war for me and my children, because of their Atlanticist winner takes all attitude.

        BTW, I don’t appreciate people shouting from the shores of the La Manche or the US Atlantic coast and escalating the situation. When war and its spillover effects are right next door to you, we will see how brave you are in your armchair. We already saw the consequences of this utterly irresponsible Western warmongering during the Yugoslav wars. So maybe you should show more humility.

  • Jack

    “How will the war end” indeed, but also how will the relationship Russia/west be from now on? I mean we have western states now that pour arms over Ukraine that are meant to be used against Russia, to kill russian soldiers.
    Will west now manage a color revolution? Work openly for regime change in Russia? Because there will be no going back to normal after this that is for sure.

    • Bayard

      I predict that things will go back to normal very quickly if Russia withdraws from Ukraine, and even if it doesn’t. Business is business, western Europe needs Russian grain, gas and oil. Yes, there will be lots of little showy sanctions but they will have very little more effect on Russia than on the West. Sanctions are a stopping of commerce. Commerce happens to the mutual benefit of both parties, it is not a benevolent act by one party towards the other, so the stopping of commerce in the form of sanctions causes disbenefits to both parties. The parties in the West are not going to be happy about this. Once the fighting stops, Ukraine will be yesterday’s news and everyone can quietly go back to the status quo ante while the world’s attention is focused on the next Big Thing, whatever that may be.

  • alexey

    This has been doing the rounds in twitter John Mearsheimer analyses the situation in 2015 (really) and more or less explains what is happening right now. To paraphrase a short part of it, the west had lead Ukraine down the primrose path and its not going to end well. He sees the outcome – in fact what should have been the goal – is a neutral Ukraine.

    Certainly escalation of this is terrifying, and it seems presently the USA is not escalating – much.

    • Jack

      Indeed, the situation is very similar to what happend in Georgia 2008 when, in the pre-war period, west aided Georgia through and through which Georige believed was a sign that west would support Georgia in a war with Russia and thus attacked russian peacekeepers, but when the war started, west ran away.
      Basically western support have bolstered Ukraine (and Georgia) instead of making the parties create peace between them, i.e the Minsk agreement.

  • kermit

    A few months ago, the news were about afghan refugees being “weaponised” by Belarus. These poor refugees were trapped between Belarus and Poland and no European country wanted them. What happened to these refugees? Probably died of hypothermia by now, their bodies just buried quietly by border guards.

    Now there is war in Europe, everybody welcomes Ukrainian refugees. What’s the difference between the two examples?

    This is what really P****s me off, how the western public does not care about war or refugees caused by their governments but suddenly are all horrified when it happens in a “white” country.

    Same with the so called treatment of minorities in China. Native americans have been kept in concentration camps for the best part of what, 300 years? Same story with Australian aborigines, however European human rights groups care so much about the huygurs

    • jordan

      Compare that to the stance of the EU against Hungarian efforts to keep refugees out. There was even talk to send personnel (police, or troops) for supporting Poland. Not having a stance myself on the actual situation (I just do not know enough), the official EU/UK response seems rather inconsistent.

    • Hans Adler

      I am pretty sure the double standard is much less related to racism than it is to political expediency. The Uyghurs are a good example. They are being persecuted in China because they are Muslims. They are obviously not ‘supported’ by the West because they are Muslims; that would be reason enough for the West to persecute them as well. They are ‘supported’ because committing these atrocities is a weakness of China that can be used to score against the country.

      Similarly with Ukrainians. There is no planning to accept refugees from Ukraine. Nobody wants them. The Ukrainians are supposed to stay home and continue to vote for pro-NATO governments. (Not a big problem if they are fascist pro-NATO governments.) A Ukrainian refugee crisis doesn’t seem very likely at this point, but some of the most important reasons why it will likely end a bit better if it does happen have nothing to do with racism: Refugees from Ukraine would probably be better informed about conditions in the EU and would have better connections to people already living in EU countries. And it would be harder to let them disappear without trace.

  • Johnny Conspiranoid

    Russia is obviously pulling its punches with an eye on the political situation later. They are not likely to get a welcome from the western half of the country which is anti-russian Galicia, but the eastern russian speaking part will be glad to see them. It will probably end up with a split into two states on linguistic lines, something which the Ukraine would have been wiser to do themselves on day one of their independance.
    The resulting rump of Ukraine in the west will remain a russian hating beach head for western attempts to destabilize russia, but that could be manageable if the border was secure. The alternative would be to impose a ‘friendly’ government in the west, but that would lead to the quagmire situation which the western governments desire for destabilization of russia.
    This guy has it figured out.

    • andyoldlabour

      Tatyana, I haven’t posted on this forum for some time, but I wonder if you know what the situation is in the Donbass and also the refugee situation from Ukraine to Russia. The reason why I ask, is that there is a virtual media blackout by Western MSM on both these news stories and the only place which provides an insight is RT – but for how much longer.

      • jordan

        There is the German/Russian lady Alina Lipp with channels “neuesausrussland” on several social media, eg. TK (you might need a translator German into English). She has lived in the Donbass for a while and reports from there. Some of films contributions were shown on UKCOLUMN, AFAI remember.There is also an am. guy who lives there, well known among the few journalists reporting from there (forgot his name.) Alex Thomson’s channel “Eastern Approaches” on TK also has some news (Alex, also on UKCOLUMN was a brit. intelligence civil servant and is now Dutch live interpreter at EU parliament. He is quite versatile in languages.)

          • jordan

            Ahh, and there is Thomas Röper from, a German journalist living in St. Petersburg. Apart from TASS, he gets news also from Alina (and prob. Mark, the am. guy mentioned above.) He intended to go to the Donbass and report from there.

    • Chops

      I can’t help but feel that choosing a city in a client state of Russia, from which Russia launched the ongoing invasion, isn’t a great look. Were I the Ukrainian delegation, it would seem a much more honest offer of negotiations if it were to be held in a neutral place; perhaps a different country altogether where the security isn’t provided by the invader.

      Whoever chose Gomel knows this, and still chose Gomel. Still chose to invite the negotiators into the invading country (or at least, the client state from which the invasion was partly launched) to have a chat about it.

      • Tom Welsh

        Can you think of any truly neutral place? That would have to be somewhere that doesn’t love Russia and the Russians, and where no one likes money (which tends to prejudice in favour of Washington, the fount of unlimited fiat money).

        • Chops

          I can definitely think of more neutral places than Gomel, and so can whoever chose Gomel. If they really wanted negotiations that would work, picking Gomel seems like deliberately setting negotiations up for failure. Like they want to be able to say they tried, knowing full well that they didn’t try in good faith.

          • Chops

            If I can trust the source:

            “Any other city in a country from whose territory missiles do not fly would suit us,” Zelenskyy said.

            That’s a pretty wide set of places that unfortunately does not include Gomel.

      • DunGroanin

        How about Yalta?

        It has to be somewhere safe for Putin and co to travel to too. Don’t want anymore airliners being shot out of the sky do we?

  • St. Pogo

    I concur with people like Tatyana and ET. I have been very angry these last few days, my daughter said that pacifists have a rage running through them not meekness. Mostly my anger has been over the hypocrisy and willing blindness of so many in the west but it is also that Russia has lost the moral high ground, and definitely lost the information war. It’s hard enough or argue the moral truth to people but this has pushed some of us beyond the fringe and that is also hard enough especially when we thought there would be no invasion and proclaimed such. I’ve always argued against ‘The Greater Good’ take as so many evils can be done under its banner but I can’t help but feel if Russia succeeds in its goals, assuming that they are as they say and will leave quickly, that good may come of it in the long term. My first interest in politics was sparked by the great Nigel Tranter, he who gave so many Scots a taste of their history in the story of ‘The Master of Grey’ Working behind the scenes he manipulated ruthlessly anyone who would upset ‘the balance’ of Scottish politics all for ‘the greater good’. I think I have to continue my reading of ‘The Kingdom of God is within you’ and restore my aversion to force.

    • Tom Welsh

      “… Russia has lost the moral high ground…”

      Nice as it may be, the moral high ground really isn’t of much use when you have been shot in the back. Even the nicest of people sometimes have to defend themselves physically.

      I am reminded of the old saying among American policemen (in regard to doubtful shootings):

      “It is better to be tried by twelve than carried by six”.

  • Harry

    Stopped reading at “…since the annexation of Crimea”

    You really do talk a power of shite when it comes to Russia Craig. I have noticed it before.

  • Jams O'Donnell

    “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.”

    Given the unrelenting hostility of the US, and it’s goal of destroying all opposing centres of power in the world, what else could possibly be the answer. Craig, you know as well as anyone else the history of world wide US aggression since 1945.

  • St. Pogo

    A big worry for both Ukraine and Russia is the ‘Volkssturm’ in progress. When Russian tanks came into Prague in 68’ the authorities asked the civilians to be non violent which resulted in crowds protesting in the streets.
    Today the Ukrainian authorities are handing out thousands of weapons to any civilian who will take them, conscripting male reservists 18-60 years old and asking for foreign mercenaries. Surely there is resistance from the army brass over this.
    Unfortunately the Nazi examples in Ukraine keep happening.

  • Simon

    “It is simply illegal to wage a war for regime change…”.

    Putin has been very clear about Russia’s objectives and regime change is not one of them. They are, rather, to demilitarise and to de-nazify. Period. He repeated this yet again yesterday when he spoke to Zelensky about his cease-fire conditions – demilitarise and de-nazify. Zelensky hung up on him. If regime change was his objective, would he have even spoken with Zelensky? You are mounting a straw-man argument here Craig.

    “While labelling the entire nation and government as Nazi is just wrong.”

    Putin has never done this. Your are putting words in his mouth Craig.
    Putin has one problem and one problem only. Finding someone in Ukraine with enough authority to negotiate a cease-fire. If he can’t find that person, Russia itself will complete the job they have gone to do and then simply leave. But he would prefer the Ukrainians to clean their own house.

    • PearsMorgain

      ” Putin has been very clear about Russia’s objectives and regime change is not one of them. “

      How naive can one person be, it wasn’t so long ago that Putin was assuring the world that he wasn’t going to invade at all and yet some people still choose to believe him.

      He’ll install a compliant puppet government that’ll do what he tell it to. Like Kyiv and all the other Soviet satellite states once had.

      • Tom Welsh

        As the revered Winston Churchill said during WW2,

        “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”.

        And the Allies (British and Americans) certainly lived up to that statement.

        If you have any regard for law, the truth is that the USA has been waging war on Russia since about 2008 – when they realised that Mr Putin was not just “a sober Yeltsin”. Sanctions, unless ordered by the UN Security Council, are utterly illegal, and constitute an act of war.

        Russian statements that they were not going to invade were ruses of war. As Mr Putin has often said, he learned as a boy in the streets of Leningrad that if you are going to have to fight, you must strike first.

        Now if Russia’s enemies were always perfectly truthful and perfectly law-abiding, he might be criticised for saying there would be no invasion. Since they lie whenever they speak or write, however, and since they have utter contempt for all law, sometimes they must be fought with their own weapons.

        Examples abound of how such “tactical lies” can save immense amounts of death and suffering. Here is a slightly facetious cameo:

        Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969) – Butch is challenged to a knife fight by Harvey (YouTube, 2m 19s)

      • Simon

        Like Craig, you are putting words in Putin’s mouth. Putin never said “…that he wasn’t going to invade at all…”. What he consistently maintained was that Russia had no intention of invading Ukraine. I believe that was true up until a few weeks ago when the heavy shelling of Donbas recommenced and Scholz, a German of all people and in Moscow of all places, mocked the Russian references to genocide.

  • Jimmy Riddle

    I’m wondering if it is possible that Vladimir Putin is, in fact, a secret CIA agent. Neither Finland nor Sweden actually like NATO and both would much rather not join. They do understand the ugly war-mongering track record of NATO. But they’ll probably both end up joining reasonably soon, as a matter of urgency, out of what they perceive as urgent necessity. Also, while NATO are not sending troops to the Ukraine, the UK and USA have pledged to send weapons into the Ukraine. Russia says it wants negotiations about something, but I simply don’t see what these negotiations are supposed to be about – since clearly, following the invasion, the Ukrainians are much less likely to accept being a `neutral’ and demilitarised nation after this – in fact, the chances of this are now rigorously zero – and have given NATO every excuse they needed to fast-track Ukrainian membership of NATO.

    Irrespective of the rights and wrongs, I can’t understand the logic here. If Putin had really wanted to march into Kyiv, shouldn’t he have done this back in 2014, when the Ukrainian military was very weak? He has given them 7 years to train their military – and was therefore fully aware that an invasion at this stage wasn’t going to be easy.

    If he had marched into Kyiv back in 2014, he would have met very little resistance and the outside world would have accepted it as the wishes of the Ukrainian people. Clearly, it isn’t going to be accepted as such today.

      • Paul Greenwood

        It is simply a crib sheet for those who know no Russian history. Maybe one for the glories of British feats of arms would be sobering – the fact is that no military action is brilliant. Germans are militarily incompetent as Napoleon showed – it was the Russians at the Battle of Leipzig 1806. The only reason the British glorify German military in 20th century was because the need to excuse British incompetence which manifested itself in both world wars – and since.

        As for USA – with only 8 years of peace in its entire history, it has been remarkably inept and never won any victory without allies – even its Great War of Independence was a Franco-Spanish effort which bankrupted France.

        Military is usually for Survival. Only in recent decades has Media treated professional soldiers like Rentokil or Ghostbusters………only US bombs “kill with love”, those encountering British or US forces relish Depleted Uranium and cannot get enough White Phosphorus………..

        • Squeeth

          @Paul Greenwood The british state assembled a 2 million man army in two years to take on the Germans in mid-1916 and witht he Russians and French had the Germans hanging on by their fingernails by September. In 1918 the BEF was the principal power on the Western Front and had the biggest and most decisive run of vicctories in English and British history. In the Second World War, the main offensive weapon against Germany was Bomber Command but the smaller British army played a part in the victories aganst the Axis out of proportion to its size and with a parsimony in lives which saw it through to the end with a considerable military potential for the post war settlement.

          Those were the victories of the citizen armies, not the mercenary rabbles before 1914 and since 1963.

      • Tom Welsh

        While people who write for money like being able to pad their articles with endless reviews of history, almost all of that article is completely irrelevant. The Russia of 2022 is neither Tsarist Russia nor the USSR.

        If it were the latter, the present situation would not have arisen, because Ukraine and Belarus would be core republics of the USSR, and the Baltics, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the -stans would also belong to the USSR. Taking into account the additional buffer of the Warsaw Pact countries, the closest hostile territory to Moscow would be over 1,600 km away in West Germany.

        The Russia of the 21st century is free, independent, and somewhat democratic. (Probably more so than any of the NATO members, although that is saying very little). Mr Putin, with able help from Mr Shoigu and the Russian armed forces and defence industries, has worked very hard for 20 years to make Russia safe from attack as well as economically self-sufficient. Moreover, China has its back, and it can also count on support from Iran, and to a lesser extent India and Pakistan.

        Today’s Russian armed forces are among the very best – as well as most powerful – in the world, whereas those of NATO are among the worst.

        • Jimmeh

          > free, independent, and somewhat democratic

          Would that be the type of democracy where the most-prominent opposition leader is in prison, following a failed poisoning attempt?

  • Tatyana

    Fwl, for you

    I blame myself for being busy with my personal affairs on the Internet, instead of speaking for the people of Donbass and Lughansk.
    Real war was going on there. Dirty. That girl and her baby became a symbol. Donbassians commemorated her as Gorlovka Madonna.

    While the russians in L&DNR were put into a ghetto, blockaded, shelled. The opposite side, Ukraine, supported hugely by the West, was allowed to do things like that
    Watch them, Fwl, mimiking German accent and waving their banner signed ‘Maidan win’. You all supported Maidan as a fight for independence. It turned to be the victory of Nazis.

    Ukraine deny they have any Nazi problem, but what about the facts?
    That is what is written on these shells: ‘the best we have for kids’.

    How could we rely on any agreements for so long? How could we allow it last for so long?
    A girl occupying the next workshop fled that war long ago. Her mother stays there.
    Oh my! Oh my! Now I understand some of her gestures and facial expressions when we chat to each other on the situation in Donbass! I couldn’t make out earlier, what was standing behind

    We all were trapped in the moral trap. Donbass people were afraid to be a burden. Now I see Olya needed help, but hesitated if she could ask me for. She was happy already to escape the war.

    • Stevie Boy

      Isn’t it ironic ….
      Many people in the West have relatives who died fighting the nazis and German aggression in two world wars and yet here we are 70 odd years later funding and supporting actual nazis.

      • andyoldlabour

        Stevie Boy – I have said as much on three other forums over the past couple of days and been called a Putin sympathiser/shill.

      • Paul Greenwood

        14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) was quartered in Rimini and the only German unit allowed to retain weapons because it was needed for Operation Unthinkable. These are the men who received “legends” from U and UK and were sluiced into Australia, Canada, US, and UK to turn up as war criminals decades later in embarrassing “discoveries” for later generations.

        “Operation Paperclip” gave Nazis good jobs and pensions in the US MIC and the BND in Germany was an intelligence operation built around the fraud Reinhard Gehlen and his Wehrmacht group in Munich.

        The West was never really anti-Nazi. – Adenauer’s government was full of them as was Daimler-Benz (Hans-Martin Schleyer) and Hans Globke was Adenauer’s right hand even though he had written Nuremberg Race Laws.

        The West was anti-German but fashion now dictates it was only Nazis – though they were not really so objectionable as they were anti-Communist – Nazis pervaded German lawyers and judges and Medicine right up to their natural deaths – doctors from Buchenwald had nice practices postwar

        • jordan

          I went to primary school in western Bavaria, must be early or mid 60s when I kept asking my teacher where Poland was on the map (my parents had Silesian and Galician roots.) I could not find it because it was depicted as part of Germany under Polish administration. I still remember that too well and get a bad feeling. Not that there were any Nazis. Maybe, I doubt it but it was not talked about.

      • Tom Welsh

        Because it pays, Stevie. It makes me very sad because I hoped for more from human nature. But it really does not change from millennium to millennium.

  • Stephen C

    A lot of insightful comments here, based on knowledge and experience, and I can’t add anything like that.
    But I did not expect Putin to order an attack across the whole country, and with this action apparently turning the Ukrainians against him, then it is difficult to see what successes he is going to be able to achieve.
    I do appreciate your continued publishing of your views Craig.

  • Jen

    It seems to me that CM is blinded by his dislike for the Russian President and by stereotypes about the nature of Russian politics and society inherited perhaps from his time in the Foreign Office, to the extent that he appears unwilling to accept the possibility that in Ukraine, Russia could fight a war in a way very different from how the country has fought its wars in the past, and moreover fight this war in a way that preserves civilian life and lives while targeting the real enemy: a war that the West claims to be able to fight but never does and never can.

    It was only a few weeks ago, back in January, that Russian troops were called to assist Kazakhstan to rout “protesters” who had resorted to burning government buildings and attacking, even beheading, Kazakhstani police officers. The Russians helped secure airports in Alma Ata and other affected parts of Kazakhstan. They stayed for no more than a week or two weeks and were then gone. All without injuring or killing Kazakhstani civilians.

    Is it not possible for CM or commenters here to consider the possibility that old scenarios of Russia at war are just that – old and needing to be updated? The Russian armed forces have reformed their organisation and culture, and modernised their equipment and hardware (and become more cyber-technology savvy) since 2008 when their intervention in Georgia to wallop the Georgian armed forces for invading South Ossetia and killing a couple of Russian peace-keepers exposed shortcomings in aspects of their response.

    If we do not see massive civilian casualties in northern and northeast Ukraine and in southern Ukraine (Kherson region, near Crimea) of the scale of casualties in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya over the past 20 years, perhaps that is because the Russian attacks and operations have been designed to avoid such casualties with the approval of the Kremlin. If the Russians are not pounding the Ukrainians in the way the West has pounded the Middle East and other parts of the world, might that not be because the Russians never had any intention to attack Ukraine in that way but instead target particular installations, such as the 14 or 15 US-funded military biological weapons laboratories in various parts of the country that the Western MSM is so busily denying?

    • Tatyana

      If we try to stay true to the facts, please let me comment on ‘Georgian armed forces for invading South Ossetia and killing a couple of Russian peace-keepers’

      Strangely enough, Georgian president then was Saakashvili. The man who was Ukrainian politician in between the Ossetian war and his current imprisonment in Georgian jail.
      Saakashvili attacked Tshinval. Ossetians evacuated and asked for help. Saakashvili declared cease-fire, but the same night shelled the city heavily. In the morning he proceeded with aviation and land troops attacks on all Ossetian settlements.
      Russia urged UN meeting and got resolution to intervene.
      Still, in Western media that war is seen as illegal russian invasion of Georgia.
      In Russia we are happy to get a funny meme with Saakashvili chewing his necktie, thanks BBC for filming it for future generations 🙂

    • Simon

      And don’t forget Jen that Russia’s deliberate softly, softly approach in Ukraine will most certainly result in higher numbers of dead Russian soldiers. The Russians appear to have used almost no artillery as a ‘softening up’ precursor to infantry advances. Why? Because it would result in civilian casualties. And Ukrainians in Kiev and elsewhere are still happily talking to each other on phones and via the internet. Why didn’t the Russians close that down? Because they don’t want panic among the Ukrainian civilian population. Staying their own hand on these two things makes Russian soldiers much more vulnerable than they might otherwise be. The Russians are sacrificing some of their own for the long term goal of peace and stability in Ukraine.

  • Formerly T-Bear

    Craig: Not surprisingly you wrote this opinion given your CV. What is surprising is your wilful misinformation, disinformation and ignorance of events of the last several months and using those to support perfidious London, NATO (UTAN), Brussels and the Washington/Wall Street Mafia (and their owners in Zionist occupied Palestine). Maybe you will become exposed to alternative news sources containing information that illuminates the vacuums hollowing the credibility of corporate news; an event to be desired. Also, your use of ravaged civilian cities to elicit emotional support for your opinion is as unconscionable as that used by corporate press, but stripes and tigers naturally go together.

    I have one more donation to make towards your legal needs and will make it towards your ECHR efforts when those are made.

    • Dom

      You forgot to tell him what his opinion should be. Presumably unconditional support for a Russian takeover of Ukraine and a rousing salute to its genius and humanity?

      • Formerly T-Bear

        Since you seem to have reading comprehension difficulties, maybe it should be pointed out that Craig’s opinion as stated was erroneous, that another that had more inclusive information would reflect better on himself. Your comment also shows your limited reasoning skills – either/or. Sad.

        • Dom

          Why so coy about relaying the “correct” opinion? Are readers supposed to guess or just know intuitively what your super well informed conclusions are?

          • Lantern Dude

            It’s not so difficult to obtain alternative information in order to extend one’s perspective on the the ‘invasion’. There are so many ‘opinions’ in the world, perhaps you will tell us where your ‘super well informed conclusions are’?

          • Formerly T-Bear

            Craig Murray should leave propaganda and its dissemination to the experts on Madison Ave. and the NYT, Washington.comPost, CIA, MI6 and NSA complex, her is piss poor at it. What will result from Craig Murray’s ‘opinion’ will likely be the suspension of diplomacy altogether; refer to statements of former Russian President Medvedev that can be found on the internet and inform yourself that you avoid becoming an ignorant prat. Craig Murray’s “Casualty figures being given for the whole of the Ukraine so far are still in the hundreds” ignores some fifteen thousands(15,000) having died from Ukrainian shelling over the last eight (8) years which seem to be of little or no concern to Craig Murray. The balance of Craig Murray’s opinion piece can be torn to tatters but the effort is not worth the candle. Please inform yourself before making a greater fool of yourself.

          • Dom

            Perhaps you could enlightem me as to why you put inverted commas around the word invasion, or are you introducing another coy guessing game?

          • Lantern Dude

            Re the use of ‘invasion’ rather than invasion. If it had been NATO it would have been defined as a ‘police action’. Stillwaiting for your ‘super well informed conclusions’.

    • Jen

      “… In Grozny, [Putin] 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? …”

      The Second Chechen War was fought from late December 1999 to early February 2000. Most of Groznyy was destroyed by mid-January. Putin became Acting President on 31 December 1999 and became President in May 2000. How much responsibility should Putin have to shoulder for the destruction of Groznyy?

      I agree with Formerly T-Bear: using a photograph of Groznyy after its destruction, without reference to its context or checking what connection Putin may or may not have had to the city’s destruction at the time, to demonise Putin is unethical. There is enough deliberate disinformation as it is with the way the MSM use past photographs or film from other conflicts as propaganda in the current conflict in Ukraine without Craig Murray adding to it.

  • Paul Greenwood

    USSR took 118,000 casualties liberating Kiev in 1943 – USA and UK took zero.
    It seems bizarre to accept UK and USA pouring arms into a country which in 1991 declared itself Bloc-Free and Non-Nuclear.

    Zalenskii himself is a Russian-speaker whose films were banned in Ukraine because they were in Russian language. I do not know when UK will ban Polish or Urdu or Hindi but it has not occurred yet.

    Ukraine has been looted to prop up West end property prices and Private Banking departments of City law Firms and their Offshore Banking appendages.

    There comes a time when you know the direction of travel and you can only choose the date of your decision to fight. Chamberlain bought a year at Munich because of French refusal to commit to the Franco-Soviet or Franco-Czech Mutual Defence Treaties – and even then he declared war at 11am and the French waited until 5pm.

    So Putin was caught between a Foreign Ministry exasperated by Western dilettantism and a Military angered at US impudence in Syria and “Near Abroad”

    US and UK were quite content to watch Trudeau usurp Parliament since 2015 but seem to relish provoking Russia. When Blair and Bush go on trial for Iraq or Cameron for Libya or US stops stealing oil in Syria or Israel stops stealing land from Syria in the Golan or Palestinians in Jerusalem and West Bank…….then we can tub thumb about “morality” but in the meantime we are left with US and UK with a psychotic piratical tendency acting like Neo-Imperialists across the planet.

    Putin has shown the hypocrisy of the World Order set up by UK-US posturing and devoid of content. In this world you have to live with India, China, Russia and not think 400 million US-UK population represented by a narrow clique get to dictate to the other 8,000,000,000 on the planet

  • Ilya

    War’s been on for 8 years Craig. Glad you’re catching up – Russia has been pleading for a peaceful solution for those 8 years. No response.

    Should Russia just wait for 70 years like with Palestine whilst Ukraine slow drop genocides on ethnic Russians?

  • Fwl

    Thinking about how a colonial power allowed a colony to become independent only to then send in its troops to “protect” the coloniser’s remaining people, whilst manipulating for the Declaration of Independence of a puppet region. Probably many examples of this but the one I’m thinking of is Belgium, the Congo and Katanga. The other example is Ukraine and Russia in 2022.

    • Dom

      Thank God the good Russians invaded to keep Chernobyl safe. #Responsible. Now if only they can get this mad clown to stop thwarting peace.

      • Lantern Dude

        Don’t be so hard on Ze… he might be a clown… he might even be mad… but you are correct that he appears to have continously ‘thwarted’ the peace-process, while simultaneously failing to discourage his ‘banderist’ racial cleansers from indiscriminately bombarding civilians in Donbass for eight years – and I haven’t spent much time researching that. Dom Dom!

  • GFL

    Shock and awe this is not! I do hope Biben/Bojo don’t think, is this all he’s got, and start contemplating really stupid things like no-fly zones or even troops on the ground.

    • Squeeth

      They wouldn’t dare. As the zionist antisemites discovered in 2006, murdering babies is no preparation for fighting real soldiers like Ooh-aah Hezbollah.

    • Tom Welsh

      They may have blinded themselves with their own wall-to-wall lies, but they cannot command military action without consulting their own general and admirals. Who will tell them to forget it.

      Screaming insults at the bear from a safe distance is one thing. Going close to poke him with a stick is quite another, and unwise.

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