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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  • Peter

    “Ukraine: How Can the War End?”

    And where will this national hysteria lead and when and where will it end? No good can come of it.

    Biassed Broadcasting for Conflict is barely watchable at the moment as it’s pretty much just one long stream of relentless demonisation of Putin and Russia. It’s extremely reminiscent of the scene in Orwell’s 1984 (book and film) where the public go to the cinema for their daily ‘Two Minute Hate’ against perceived national enemies.

    In the meantime Youtube has banned RT and Sputnik from its platform.

    Please don’t report me to (Sir) Keir Staliner as I wish my departure from the (former) Labour Party to be at a time of my own choosing.

    • Goose

      The BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4 – the four horsemen of the apocalypse?

      They shouldn’t sugarcoat war, war is hideous and should be shown as such. But this is like an obsession – a major push for WW3 or Putin’s downfall – like someone’s warped agenda playing out?

      And yes, they are sensationalising and emotionalising this in a way that would be unthinkable were the west, or Israel doing the bombing in Syria or Gaza.

      • Tom Welsh

        “The BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4 – the four horsemen of the apocalypse?”

        Don’t flatter them. More like the Teletubbies.

        • Goose

          It can only be described as an emotional battering what they are subjecting viewers to. It’s like when the footage from Syria was on a loop. Are these independent broadcasters, as they boast, or State propagandists?

          I repeat… ONLY 22% of the UK public want direct UK armed forces intervention in Ukraine war according to a poll, so why are they trying to bludgeon the UK public into outrage?

          It’s not as though there isn’t suffering elsewhere in the world. It’s reported that millions in Afghanistan are on the brink of starvation that’s to our military escapade. Yemen is hardly paradise either.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            The BBC is infested with spooks – just look at Mark Urban. I bet he’s loving it at the moment….

          • Clark

            Goose, 15:17

            “Are these independent broadcasters, as they boast, or State propagandists?”

            They’re corporate propagandists.

            “why are they trying to bludgeon the UK public into outrage?”

            To influence the politicians – well, those who they think need influencing.

    • Peter

      By way of illustration here’s the Youtube clip, check it while you can:

      1984 Movie CLIP – Two Minutes Hate (1984) HDMovieClips (youTube, 2m 24s)

      The current level of the mania in UK media must be something new in post-war British life. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything quite like this, it even goes beyond the outrageous anti-Corbynism.

      Beware the savage roar of 1984, indeed.

    • Peter N

      Peter said:

      “In the meantime Youtube has banned RT and Sputnik from its platform.”

      I’ve tried using TOR Bowser and have without difficulty found that with exit nodes in Greece and Germany I can still get the RT on-air live video-cast. So would seem that, at least for now, the trumpeted YouTube-block is specific to the UK and certainly not Europe wide. Suggests to me that the UK government is behind this.

      • Wikikettle

        A news blackout for Western populations does not bother Russia one toss. It will have ejected Nato from Ukraine, which was already there ! The harshest economic blockade and siege will hurt Russia but eventually lead to the collapse of the Dollar as world trading currency. Chapter five of Nato and even chapter four will soon lead some Nato members to members to realise US wants a nuclear war in Europe. Populations in European countries have no say in what their leaders are doing and the implications nuclear. I really believe Russia after Ukraine has planned to eject Nato back to 1997 and Germany. What could possibly go wrong ?

    • Goose

      The whole lot are in total agreement. Starmer calls criticism of NATO ‘an attack’ and threatens to expel anyone doing so. What is the point of a political party that isn’t allowed to debate policy, including foreign policy?

      How out of touch with reality are UK Politicians, cheering on the plucky Ukrainian resistance and urging a ‘Dad’s army’ of UK volunteers to go out there and stand toe-to-toe with the Russian tank divisions?

      Paradoxically, I fear, the more Ukraine frustrates Russia’s objectives with small successes, the more Ukrainians will suffer and die as a result; as the Russians escalate to heavier weapons chasing total victory.

      It’s my own view that Zelensky should have implemented Minsk and taken neutral country status. He was after all elected on a peace ticket. The Pravyi sektor (right sector), Svoboda and Azov Battalion ultranationalists, who wouldn’t allow Zelensky to move an inch in terms of compromise, calling Minsk treason. Could well end up dead for their intransigence.

      • Tom Welsh

        Ironically, the Russians have been taking incredible precautions to avoid or minimise casulties even among the UAF. They have been avoiding towns and cities altogether, to avoid street fighting.

        Meanwhile one gets the unavoidable impression that, to the West, the more Ukrainians and Russians die the better.

        • Ripples

          Even the hit in a communication tower where alleged 5 killed and 5 injured were peopld walking past below hit my debris nobody was in the building and the Russians have been a certain amount giving forwarning .It wasnt deliberate attack on civilians as the buidling was emptied days ago. Yet same radio news here are talking about change of the narrative within half an hour

          • Tatyana

            Most probably I drove you to the wrong direction pointing to Budapest Memorandum. I shouldn’t have mentioned the name of the paper before making my own research. I’m sorry. Unfortunately, my ability to make research is restricted now.

            Definitely there is a paper on Ukraine not joining any blocks. I’ll look in russian sources available. Sorry again, hate lies, this Budapest paper was discussed actively after 2014 and just stuck on my head apparently.

      • Francesca

        That Dad’s army, Goose, is going to include a fair number of white supremacists that the Azov Battallion has been actively recruiting. I see blowback
        Here in NZ, we had the mosque massacre in my home town of Christchurch. More than 50 killed by a white supremacist (Aussie) who was part of a neo-nazi movement. He’d gone to Ukraine, and quite probably trained there.

        In the wake of the New Zealand mosque attacks, links have emerged between the shooter, Brenton Tarrant, and a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist, white supremacist paramilitary organization called the Azov Battalion. Tarrant’s manifesto alleges that he visited the country during his many travels abroad, and the flak jacket that Tarrant wore during the assault featured a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion. Tarrant’s transnational ties go beyond Ukraine, however. Tarrant claimed that he was in touch with Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist, and he took trips throughout Europe, including the Balkans, visiting sites that symbolized historical battles between Christians and Muslims. During the video of his attack he could be heard listening to a song that glorified Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic, and his gun featured racial messages and names of white supremacists from around the world.

        The Azov Battallion is embedded in the Ukrainian army
        This war has now become the crucible for a surge in battle hardened and trained white supremacists who will eventually return to their home countries and commit atrocities

    • Tom Welsh

      “…a deal was signed for the building of warships among other arms deals between the UK and Ukraine”.

      The British swindlers better get paid double quick. When this war is over, in a bout a week, Ukraine will have as much use for warships as Switzerland or Mongolia.

      • Ripples

        UK Gov is dead against letting whats left of the Scots ship building industry keep or create jobs, they will probably landing the debt in whatever Far East ship yard got the contract.

    • Tatyana

      UK built a base in Ukraine, that one that hosted HM Defender sailing to show the might of empire to ruskies 🙂 now it’s destroyed. UK also allocated some billions to build one more base in Azov sea, near US base #9 on the picture. The most fighting on ground now is going near it. Region of Mariupol, near Donetsk region.

        • Tatyana

          Not sure whom to believe, but I heard Ochakov base destroyed. Please, understand me right, I hate lies and I personally don’t want to be a source of lies, I recall it was said by Konashenkov. On our Defence Ministry website they publish briefings.
          I keep to the point it’s better rely on those who are responsible for their words, unlike journalists, especially from state-controlled media.

      • Phil Espin

        Tatyana, that US flag at number 8 on your linked map is marked on Google maps as “Bile”. It is also known as Snake Island and was the subject of a Russian takeover on Day 1/2. The local garrison are now POWs. No mention was made in the western media that I saw, of there being an American base there or of any Americans arrested when it was taken. I would have expected a massive out pouring of US bile but remarkably they have said nothing that I’ve seen apart from the false news about the garrison being wiped out. Makes me wonder what they were up to there. Do you have any further information from Russian media?

        Irrespective of the wrongs and rights of the parties involved my thoughts are with all you innocent people who are suffering in your region at the moment.

        • Tatyana

          Zmeiniy the name of the island, russian word for Snake. I don’t think there are any americans in Ukraine. US stated they are not sending soldiers. I think maybe some instructors in safe places. Ah! US drones were reported in that battle. I think US recognised the seriousness of Russian report on drones, supported by putting nukes on high level alert.

          Looks like the worst ever thing for me personally, Saakashvili option. Over-incouraged by the West, ukrainians face to face with russians. Disgusting. I refuse to accept it. I understand Ukrainian language because both my grannies spoke a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian.

  • kashmiri

    Wrong again. BP forced to sell its stake in Russian oil companies. There are sometimes more important interests at stake than the revenue of some corporation.

    • Wikikettle

      Kashmiri. BP, formally Anglo Iranian. Of course in Iran not for mere revenue, or overthrow Mosaddegh in 1953 and install the “King of Kings”. High principles indeed !

      • Ripples

        The British Govt as was is still owe Iran the money they have gained from oil extracted since 1911, they swindled the Iranian people and have never coughed up. When Iran thought enough is enough give it back they were overthrown by the famous coup. Of course those super wealthy involved keep getting elected so we get their poverty policies as well forever too.

    • Tom Welsh

      Oooraa! Another win for Russia.

      Keep biting away, West – some of your face is still intact. Care for an eye next?

      • Wikikettle

        US Nato already had bases built in Ukraine but called them “miisions”. Ukrainian soldiers trained as Nato troops and fighting along side Nato in Afghanistan and Iraq. Semantics of Nato being a defensive organisation and not allowing Ukraine in for now !?

  • DunGroanin

    Points that are interesting me right now:

    The traitor of the students and co-instigator of Austerity hence BrexShit – Nick Clegg now rewarded with a major role at Zuckerberg and fathers. Is now happily advocating and implementing mass censorship of the media they don’t control.

    So it seems we are in the Thatcherism territory of ‘Enemy Within’ and cutting the ‘Oxygen of Publicity’ – it seems that even Tokyo Rose and Lord HawHaw would be banned now and only the virginal bbc world service allowed (or its social media participants that aren’t tongue ripped.

    When the Establishment screams ‘not fair’ and blames opposing views upsetting their full spectrum Narrative Control – we can see they were always just a load of bluff and puppet wizards with snide and sneaky little kids caught lying.

    There are a mass of videos and photos which can only have come out of the bellends camp which have magical been doctored to supposedly show they are current and from Ukraine- including the little girl shouting at a soldier and the old lady with a bandage and vehicles with the Z added on … an endless amount which are just as quickly being debunked – ‘snot fair boohoo ban them..’

    – there is a lie about easternEuropean nations supplying weapons. That is a matter for these peoples as to which of their politicians are in the pockets of the MIC and want to push them into a folly.

    Talking of which – it hasn’t taken too long for the mutti cats departure that the meeces are jumping to the tune she avoided dancing to.
    $200 billion? To spend on armaments? That’s about 3 times what Russia’s annual spend is!!!
    Jeez what are they going to do? get some Hitler youth type movements going and blitzkrieg them across Poland and into Ukraine and onto Moscow … a sign of madness to repeat the same old shit expecting a different result every time!

    Wheat futures have doubled. Airline prices have halved..

    ah the rollercoaster of buying and selling – there is plenty of money being made on the daily ride.

    I see that this war is over with just some loose ends to tie up now.

    The main one being the CIA/nato proxy mercenaries and ‘everyone hating’ azov and Islamic state headchoppers being brothers in arms in that lovely ‘kettle’ Mariopul – which i discerned was going to be the point where it would start and end, as soon as the Angel of Fools – Luke ‘the Farce’ Harding – landed there some weeks ago! I really hope he is there in the trenches with these fluent English speaking , whoever they are, having assured them of his full support.

    Civilian deaths are limited , I’ve seen postings of Tanks and armoured vehicles avoiding damaging people as I have seen some very horrible explosions going off – poor bastards killing and being killed. Whilst our politicians and media propagandists dress up in fatigues on the champs elysee to talk up resistance , sacrifice and escalation just because Russia refuses to lay down and join the big bankers club! As it has been refusing for centuries!

    Why bother arranging a peace meeting and then going back to get some orders from the White House!!

    Peace will soon be with the Ukrainians if they want it and they can join the fecund future rather than lust after the poxy whoreish past.

    Fingers crossed.

    • Tatyana

      I cannot understand the position of EU countries sending weapons, when we just yesterday had talks in Belarus, productive talks Lukashenko said. They agreed to break for consultation and re-start.
      What is the point of sending weapons now?
      Why? Is there any coverage of negotiations in your media?

      • Goose

        I don’t understand the assumption from our politicians that such weapons can be imported, stored and distributed safely within Ukraine? Clearly they aren’t being flown in so presumably it’s road or rail.

        Surely Russian intelligence have people on the ground noting storage depots and locations of key figures? It’s not exactly hard for Russians to blend in, or even employ spies in a country with over 8 million Russian speakers.

        • Feral Finster

          Way more than eight million. I don’t know who compiles Ukrainian language statistics, but in the years that I lived there, people who spoke Russian and not Ukrainian were plentiful, to the point where “how do you say that in Ukrainian?” was a common question in the office for when we needed to fill out official forms.

          For that matter, I recall being at the signing of a PPP agreement between a Kiev businessman and a representative of the Yushchneko government. As per Ukrainian law, the agreement was written in Ukrainain.

          The signatories read the agreement and several times had to ask me the meaning of various common Ukrainian words. I answered them, in Russian. Surreal.

          • CasualObserver

            What is the degree of mutual intelligibility between the Russian and Ukrainian languages ?

            I had the impression it was something like the difference between Middle English, and Early Modern English.

          • Tom Welsh

            CasualObserver, from what I have gleaned it is like standard English and lowland Scots. Back in 2014, after the coup d’etat, I remember an amusing anecdote. The new cabinet – illegal as it was – met to discuss some measures, and issued a decree that in future Russian was never to be used in official business or documents. An insider leaked that, as soon as the media left and the door was closed, the cabinet members immediately began speaking to one another in Russian.

          • Feral Finster

            I can’t reply to some posts for some reason.

            [ Mod: Reply buttons don’t appear on comments that have reached the maximum indentation for a comment branch. In such cases, click the reply button on the first comment above it which has one, to keep the conversation intact. ]

            There actually are several dialects that call themselves “Ukrainian”, which can range from basically Russian with an accent to a language that to my ears sounds like really redneck Polish to something that nobody outside of Zacarpathia can understand.

            Pretty much all Ukrainians speak and understand Russian. Relatively few Russians can understand full-on Ukrainian. That said, a lot of Ukrainians, especially but not limited to the less educated flavor, speak “surzhyk”, which is a mish-mash of Ukrainian and Russian.

            That help?

        • Goose

          I think the US/UK want Putin out. As part of their geopolitical grand hegemonic strategy to prevent closer Russia-China ties creating a viable genuine rival power block. Once each is isolated, they are easier to defeat and in Russia’s case dismember into new countries.

          If Putin falls, so too will Lukashenko and Assad. So lots at stake for the US, Israel and the EU.

          And they’ll probably get that outcome, as Russians take to the street understandably infuriated by sinking Rouble, crippling sanctions and sporting bans etc.

          • IMcK

            ‘If Putin falls, so too will Lukashenko and Assad. So lots at stake for the US, Israel and the EU.’

            …and China. No doubt its watching carefully.

          • Giyane

            And you my father, there on the sad height
            Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
            Do not go gentle into that good night.
            Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

      • Wikikettle

        Tatyana. Russia has negotiated in good faith for years. It even denied recognition of Donbass and agreed for Ukraine to have Sovereignty over it in exchange for scrapping racist laws and giving limited autonomy. Ukrainian people know how people were burnt to death in Odessa and who ordered and who carried out that atrocity. So do the Russians, every name…I see people in Poland are desecrating World War Two memorials for the millions who fought Nazis. George Soros funding “Human Rights Watch” as a tool to use against Russia. The list is endless and catastrophic for all of us. We for decades have inflicted war and misery on the Global South…now coming to a country near you….

      • Ingwe

        Tatyana, it is important to understand that the UK, US, EU and NATO don’t want this war to end. They bust a gut (English expression) to get Russia to take military action; it serves a number of purposes including providing the necessary new investment for their moribund economies at a rate that only warfare can match, it is a massive distraction following the convenient pandemic tailing off and it provides the perfect opportunity for morally bankrupt politicians to wrap themselves in nationalist flags, the last refuge of scoundrels.

        The staggering hypocrisy of NATO, US, the EU and the dubious legality of the EU funding weapons and troops to Ukraine goes unchallenged by any institution especially the UN which, when it comes to speaking out against the above parties’ aggression is silent or toothless. The same body that oversaw and tolerated the breaking up and bombing of Yugoslavia, recognition of Kosovo etc etc.

        One has to keep focussed on the fact that there is probably a majority of the world’s population that doesn’t support the UK, USA, EU, NATO and hangers on’s positions, you just never hear about it. The US is quite clear that it doesn’t want peace talks to succeed and if it looks like Zelensky might be heading that way, he’ll have the life expectancy of a fruit fly, measured in hours.

      • jordan

        There was the Roeper article listing all the weapons donated by countries — and being reimbursed by the EU administration. Just instead of dumping them on the tip.

    • David

      Interesting about the paint. IT is being said that this is because The Ukraine and Russia use the same vehicles and the are indistinguishable. This cannot be true because bellend said he could distinguish Russian anti-aircraft missile launchers and I believe him, for he is an honourable man.

  • Fuddledee

    Sorry, this is a long post. It is unusual for me but I think I can make a small contribution to the overall knowledge base using my European perspective.
    There is so much discussion based on subtle reactions to blatant propaganda that arguments are becoming heated, and issues clouded.
    I hope this post outlines the issues and why now.

    It is quite harrowing to bear witness to what could be the largest conflict in our brief lifetime.
    I am not ashamed by the side-lining of the UK as a major power broker in the main due to its political incompetence, kompromat, and inability to adhere to the rule of law. It appears their own laws contain major flaws that should have been addressed before reading of the Bill.
    The EU has been ineffective due to numerous issues mostly political but there are two issues that probably can be used as stress points in the current Ukraine/Russia conflict (after today’s agreement I guess I should be referring to the Europe/Russia conflict).

    1. The European Power Grid Project, which is a very long running programme to integrate EU member states with sufficient power generation with a European-wide super-grid electricity transmission system and a European-wide gas pipeline.
    2. European Global Heating policy reluctantly agreed to a vague timetable with even vaguer goals set out at COP26.
    3. Germany’s firm commitment to phase out coal-powered electricity generation

    European member states would therefore become interdependent upon power generation and distribution. It is worth noting that Ukraine expressed interest in joining the Super-Grid.
    The forecast growth of the European economy, led by Germany, showed a shortfall in power generation requirements that could not be met by solar or wind even with France retaining its nuclear electricity generation capability.
    The energy shortfall could not be addressed by improving Nordstream1 as it was beyond its end of life and with Belarus effective turning away from European integration it would have been a politically indiscreet move. Particularly as the current Belarus government and their cronies took all the EU Levelling-Up funds for themselves (a warning to the UK and its levelling-up fund).
    It was deemed cheaper and politically astute to agree to a brand spanking new shiny pipeline direct from Russia through the Baltic into Germany.
    Meantime the USA/NATO are continue developing its missile shield across European countries (which started off as protection against an Iranian attack).
    Russia seeing that Ukraine as being politically weak and prevaricating over membership of Eu and NATO take their only chance to seize Crimea with a couple of European coups.
    European fringes end up with two stooges in place one in Belarus and another in Ukraine.

    Thus was the die cast.
    Russia has a set of problems (bad and good).

    1. Crimea is dying for fresh water. The only source coming from the Dnieper through the North Crimean Canal.
    2. NATO/British try to assert rites of passage across the Black Sea and Sea of Azov
    3. Unrest in its Oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk
    4. NATO missile system established across Ukraine.
    5. NATO/Europe unwilling to commit forces in the defence of Ukraine
    6. Kompromat and forthcoming investigations in Europe

    The solution is simple and comes from the realisation that Russia will not have another chance for many generations, that is to use the weakness of Ukraine and Europe against the strength of Belarus and Russia to split Ukraine at the Dnieper.
    At first, I though Putin’s move would be to protect the Sea of Azov coast which would have seen the seizure of the Zaporizhian Oblast along with Luhansk and Donetsk.
    Once I heard the locks at Chernobyl had been seized things started to take shape.
    It rather looks as if the overall plan is to seize Ukraine East of the Dnieper with the negotiated settlement agreeing on Crimea and Sea of Azov Oblasts with restoration of fresh water for Crimea.
    NATO armament and European membership being distractions.

      • Fuddledee

        It looks rather if decisions have been taken already as both sides have an eye in the eventual outcome.
        We are seeiing the theatrics with the so-called talks in Belarus. Quite why Belarus, when it is an aggressor, I don’t know.

        To show the EU is doing something the Council have offered membership to Ukraine. Note though that the wording is something vague like “work towards possible candidacy sometime in the future sometime at some point perhaps, maybe”. This really shows it is not a priority, but makes good copy for propagandists and war rhetoric on both sides.

        Without a firm commitment to EU membership (i.e. an agreement) NATO will not place its “shield” in western Ukraine, for it should be sufficient in Poland and Romania ……. I can assure you defensive umbrellas do not work so the word “shield” is misleading

        Both topics could have been part of the negotiated agreement, but the EU Council rather blew that one by releasing such a wishywashy (vague) commitment today. Putin and Lavrov are far from dumb and would have noted the wording and EU stance and therefore will no doubt take the opportunity to tighten the noose a little more over the next few days as more TV, Radio and communication towers are destroyed. It won’t be long before the locations of the Starlink terminals are located and signals jammed.

        I forgot to mention in my earlier post that Russia would have noted the inexperience of Chancellor Scholz. Also gave them a stronger opportunity to make their move as they would have realised the difficulties the new German administration has with NordStream 2.

        A number of people have referred to the Great Game; well, this is a Grand Chess Game we are seeing. Putin’s opening gambit and middle game have wrong-footed USA/NATO and Europe.
        Writing this I realised that Donetsk and Zaporozhye have quite large mineral wealth (Copper, Manganese and Titanium) so another tick in the box to reclaim them. If the Oil and Gas reserves were not depleted then there really would be a problem.

        Tonight I am feeling disheartened. The UK Government is preparing to pass a Parliamentary Bill preventing protesting, so the Ukraine provides a good distraction.

    • CasualObserver

      Interesting concept to split the Ukraine.

      Of course, were that to occur it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine that Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania might express a wish to get the bits in the west of the Ukraine that were pinched from them back ?

      This whole business is going to drag on for the next few years, and our woefully inadequate political leadership dont as yet show any signs of handling it realistically, other than gingering up unrealistic expectations in the public, and shining blue and yellow lights on public buildings.

  • DiggerUK

    If anybody needed an example of the dangerous ambitions of the EU, you could do no worse than consider exactly what the consequences would be if Ukraine were allowed to join the EU.

    EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said at the weekend “Ukraine belongs to us. They are one of us and we want them in.”

    This prompted Ukrainian President Zelensky to demand Ukraine’s immediate accession to the EU and signed the country’s official application to join the bloc. Now I’m guessing it takes a while to get from application to membership being granted, but… what the hell is now happening?

    If they gain membership they could claim protection from the EU under Article 42(7) of the Lisbon EU Treaty.
    That treaty is a Mutual Defence Clause which would do a bit more than simply take shove to push, especially when you realise that France is nuclear power.

    Whatever anybody says, wherever peoples sympathies lie, this could all go wrong in a flash if cool heads don’t prevail.
    Keep calm and somebody make peace…_

    • Tatyana

      Nice. Just one nice perspective.
      Ok, there’s something positive about it, we all can save on visiting a fitness club to slim up by summer, because we expect a nuclear winter.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Well, EU functionaries like von der Leyen, never elected in their lives and with a visceral contempt for democratic mandates, presumably will never hold a referendum in Ukraine on accession to the EU, allowing regions that wish to join to join and regions which don’t to remain more closely aligned to Russia?

      There were only ever two options on the table for Ukraine:

      1. Neutrality as a single entity.
      2. Balkanisation with each Balkan statelet choosing how to align.

      There’s no prospect of a peaceful transition of the entirety of Ukraine, including Lugansk and Donetsk, into the EU.

      • ET

        “Well, EU functionaries like von der Leyen, never elected in their lives ………..”

        Do yourself a favour Rhys and familiarise yourself with how the EU works, before you blather on about stuff you clearly don’t want to have a clue about. Seriously, whilst I agree with you that what she currently expresses relating to the Ukraine situation is BS, she has been an ELECTED member of the German parliament and minister for years before being the German appointee to the commission and was subsequently proposed by the European Council as the candidate for President of the European Commission and said proposal requiring approval by majority vote in the EU parliament consisting of the ELECTED MEPs from all member states. The European Council consists of the ELECTED heads of state of the member states. The commission being made up of candidates proposed by the ELECTED governments of the member states.
        Go and read it up FFS.

        • DiggerUK

          MEP’S at least get to the parliament after being elected by the franchise.
          Members of the Council are the elected head of state from member countries.
          The Commisioners get there by appointment, not the popular franchise. In a similar way to how members of the House of Lords are selected.
          Yet the parliament can’t propose legislation, can’t propose amendments to existing legislation, or repeal existing legislation without approval of the Commission.

          It is the equivalent of the House of Lords telling the House of Commons what they can or can’t do…_

          • ET

            Digger, if the European parliament could propose legislation, and that legislation supercedes national legislation in the areas of competence it was given, then effectively national parliaments would be obselete as would be national politics and small countries like Ireland with only 11 out of 705 MEPs would effectively have zero representation. If the commissioners were elected the same thing would ensue except it would be the very much smaller commission obseleting national parliaments and politics.

            The commissioners are appointed by member states elected governments, first democratic check, and their appointment to roles have to be approved by vote in EU parliament. second democratic check, by MEP’s elected in member states by the franchise, third democratic check.

            It cannot be any other way.

            The House of Lords is a second scrutinising body similar in many ways to other such bodies in other countries save for the hereditary element. It is probably a good thing to have a non-elected secondary scrutinising body, or at least partly unelected. If it were elected then it is open to the same partisanship and capture by money as the elctions process. One only has to look at the USA to see how all elections to either house have been captured by vested interests. I am not saying that the House of Lords is a great institution but things are a little more subtle and nuanced when it comes to what is democratic and what isn’t. It certainly isn’t perfect.
            I challange you to come up with a better way for the EU to be organised that keeps member states’ governments at the top of the policy tree.

          • DiggerUK

            @ ET,
            The EU is a supranational organisation. If it were an organ run on intergovernmental lines I believe I could support it.

            As it stands it is un-reformable. Your example of Ireland shows how a nation’s sovereignty is destroyed and its citizens disenfranchised.

            ‘The Project’ is as seductive as Dracula to me. That’s why I refer to the EU Commission as a cabal of tyrants with dictatorial powers. A neat deceit…_

          • Giyane


            ” If it were elected it is open to the same partisanship and capture by money as the elections process.”

            Thank you for answering a question I asked this morning about why Mr Putin retains Assad in Syria. The answer is that the West has gained full control over all the electoral processes so that if a free election was held in Syria and Assad was replaced, the West could easily manipulate the democracy and stick their own stooge in power like Zelensky.

            Better to have a tame dictator ruling by fear through the charade if an electoral system where non compliance can be punished, than lose the country and its resources to the far Greater Satans USUKIS.


          • ET

            Any such organisation is by definition supranational as is any bilateral trade agreement also. Any bilateral trade agreement will have some agreed on arbitration body outside the jurisdiction of both states to make decisions about disputes that arise, such decisions ultimately based on the trade agreement not on the laws of either state. Disputes may have to go through national processes first before they get there but every bilateral trade agreement has such a body.

            I really CBA going through how all the various bodies of the EU are composed, and all the checks and balances. I would urge you to go read up on how it all hangs together, it’s not nearly as undemocratic as people think. Neither is it perfect and there are deficiencies but it isn’t some ghostly spectre of ghouls. Hail Hydra.

            Also, the EU parliament can propose amendments to legislation, it cannot initiate legislation. That “cabal” of tyrants you equate the commissioners to are selected by the elected governments of the member states of the day, one to each member state, and usually come from former ministers/politicians.

            Think about the consequences to the authority of member state governments if commissioners were elected or EU parliament could propose its own legislation. The commissioner would become more important than the Priime Minister and the bigger states would own the legislation process. The whole focus of politics in a member state would shift from local to Europe.

      • Coldish

        Rhys (16.47): while she was appointed rather than elected to her present EU position, von der Leyen was elected on the CDU party list to the German federal parliament in 2009, 2013 and 2017.

    • Goose

      I fear the lack of any sort of context or balance in western media – reporting and political rhetoric – is driving us to disaster.

      Nowhere will you hear it explained that since 2014 the Ukrainian government has persisted in an exclusionary form of politics that is exacerbating internal divisions in Ukrainian society.

      Ukraine didn’t deserve to be invaded, Russia is wrong on all levels in doing so. But those in our media lionising Zelensky as some sort of perfect democratic leader, leading a happy Ukraine are presenting such a distorted picture.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    More from Thomas Roper You can translate it into English with the translate button. Jordan says that to hear Thomas speaking if you can understand German is more informative. This is how to end the conflict and basically what Russia is concerned about and wants and which has been widely diseminated to the West and Nato and completely ignored – Believe it can be translated back into Russia for those interested. Yes, Tatyana, I also find the Chinese persepective wholly acceptable, peaceful and humane.

    • Rosemary MacKenzie

      What Thomas Roper is saying is basically similar to Alice Weidel’s AfD speech in the Bundestag. Somebody already pointed out her speech earlier today in this blog.

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        I’ll try to copy/paste the article – hope Craig and Mod don’t mind. Hope you can get into the site eventually. I find it slow loading up.

        What does Russia want?
        In mid-December, Russia submitted written treaty proposals for mutual security guarantees to the West, which basically contained only three core demands:

        Ukraine must remain a neutral state, without Russian or NATO weapons and troops
        NATO is once again adhering to the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, which, by the way, is still valid
        All nuclear weapons of the US and Russia will be withdrawn from Europe
        All these points should be subject to checks and balances. That may only be my opinion, but I think these demands are reasonable.

        As you know, the West has refused to even negotiate on these issues. The US response to the Russian proposals can be found here, NATO’s response can be found here, and Russia’s response to these responses can be found here.
        Russia feels threatened
        Instead, the US and NATO have rebuilt Ukraine’s airports and ports to NATO standards in recent years, stationing thousands of NATO troops in Ukraine. This was done under the guise of training the Ukrainian army, but Ukrainian soldiers could also have been trained in NATO countries. These were already covert NATO bases in Ukraine. Incidentally, this was also a violation of the Minsk Agreement, because point 10 of the Minsk Agreement states unequivocally:

        “Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations, military equipment and also mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine under the observation of the OSCE.”

        This also applies to NATO soldiers.

        If the U.S. deploys missiles in Ukraine, it can reach Moscow in five minutes. As a result, Russia feels threatened. Even if the US did not intend to deploy missiles in Ukraine today, it has not even offered to promise in a legally binding manner that it will not do so in the future. They have deliberately kept open the possibility of stationing nuclear missiles in Ukraine.

        It must be remembered that the US risked a nuclear war in Cuba because of Soviet missiles. So the US does not deny the danger posed by enemy nuclear missiles not far from its own border. But why don’t they acknowledge that what they don’t want from themselves, others on their doorstep don’t want either? That is the key issue that has led to the conflict we are currently experiencing.

        You may think of NATO as an angel of peace, but you also have to accept that others might see it differently. Wars have often erupted throughout history because one country has not taken security concerns of another country seriously. And that’s exactly what has happened now: NATO and the US have ignored Russia’s concerns, and Russia saw no other option but to secure its security by force.

        One can, of course, condemn this, but it could have been prevented if the West had wanted to prevent it, after all, since December, when it submitted its proposals, Russia has openly stated that ignoring Russia’s concerns would result in a “military-technical response.”

        What the West could do now
        If the West were really interested in peace, it could still immediately respond to at least one Russian demand to end hostilities immediately: the West could officially announce and guarantee in writing that it will not include Ukraine in the EU and NATO, that Ukraine will become a neutral country, and that the West will cease all arms deliveries to Ukraine. Under these circumstances, the West could sit down at the negotiating table and make it clear to Kiev that further fighting is pointless and guarantee Russia that the Donbass will no longer be shelled by Kiev and that Ukraine will remain a neutral country.

        That would end the fighting immediately, Putin has even told the French president.

        But the West doesn’t.

        And the Balts?
        Many ask why Russia is now reacting so violently to Ukraine, while the Baltic states are already NATO members. They would pose the same potential danger as Ukraine.

        That’s right, but you can’t turn back time, because they’re already in NATO. Russia accepts these realities, but does not want to accept any more such cases.

        But there is something else: it is no coincidence that Russia is demanding compliance with the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The treaty states that NATO does not permanently station troops in the members that joined NATO after German reunification. This also includes (nuclear) missiles. If NATO were to abide by this (still valid) treaty, there would be no problem, but NATO has openly broken the treaty by stationing NATO troops in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, which is why Russia explicitly demands its compliance.

        I also quoted that the Russians have demanded as a third demand the withdrawal of all American and Russian nuclear weapons from Europe. The exact wording was that Russia demanded that no state should deploy nuclear weapons outside its own territory. Russia has also agreed – de facto unilaterally – to withdraw all its nuclear weapons behind the Urals, without wanting to dictate to other states where they can deploy their nuclear weapons on their own territory.

        Russia wants a nuclear-weapon-free Europe, a demand that I personally find very reasonable.

        If the West wanted it, hostilities in Ukraine could be over tonight. He would just have to take a little account of Russia’s security concerns.

        But the West is doing the opposite, cheering on Kiev to continue the resistance and supplying more weapons than Ukrainians can take into their hands.

        • Tatyana

          Thank you very much!
          It coincides with everything I heard on our Russia-NATO talks and treaties. Also, from December US started making it not about nukes, but about Ukraine and its right to choose alliance. In this sense, EU is conditioned to fight for freedom, that is pretty noble. And Russia is to fight for existence, which gives Europe absolutely no chance. I dare say, it may leave no chance to anyone.
          I wish EU realised the reality and start talking finally. The problem is to find someone to talk.

  • joel

    The most extreme variant of the hypocrisy, double standards and sheer bad faith of British media has to be Paul Mason, a fake-left NATO and Starmer supporting new Statesman journo and perhaps the most prolific online Bear-bater. Over the past few weeks he has issued a ceaseless stream of shrill, moralising tweets demonizing and delegitimizing the anti-war Left. Their number must now be up in the high hundreds. However in the seven years of the UK-US supported war on Yemen this great humanitarian and foreign policy commentator has mentioned Yemen in just 3 tweets and has *never* condemned Britain’s role in creating the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster.

    It is noteworthy because Mason’s role in his regular TV and radio appearances is the highly informed, authentically outraged left-wing moralist — the thinking liberal’s Bob Geldof, let loose to shame and silence any querying of Establishment foreign-policy narratives. Whether a freelancer or salaried I.I.-77th “Official” I don’t know, but there is little doubt he is a key node in the operation to whitewash NATO’s responsibility for this mess and police the boundary of public debate.

  • Paul Mc

    On a lighter note, I came across a NYT story called “The Potentially Grim Fate of a Ukrainian Town Called ‘Happiness’”, link The author is listed as Andrew E. Kramer, a Moscow-based NYT journalist.

    (FYI “Happiness” is a town in a portion of Lugansk oblast that was, until recently, occupied by the Ukranian government instead of the LPR “separatists.”)

    Mr. Kramer introduces the town of “Happiness” as “one of the saddest places on earth” complete with a “swaying” drunk and scurrying “older women, bundled against a biting wind…clutching plastic bags.” (He doesn’t mention the two coffee shop-bars and sushi bar in or close by the town that Google maps displays,)

    Reading between the lines, it becomes obvious that the majority of the townsfolk support the “separatists” and it’s amusing how the author tries to massage these inconvenient facts into something that will be acceptable to the NYT. Thus, we have the following details: a mayor who “was appointed to his current position as military-civilian administrator because the townspeople had kept on electing Russian sympathizers as mayor”, that “Pro-Russian views have declined over the years, due in part to the efforts of countless Ukrainian nongovernmental groups…” (one wonders what kind of nongovernmental groups), and a mayor and and his staff members who “make a point of speaking only in Ukrainian with the Russian-speaking local population, stirring some resentment [by] speaking in Ukrainian to perplexed residents who turned up at city hall with complaints of broken water mains and homes without electricity…” The author, to his credit, does mention that the “former mayor” (who was not interviewed) “switched sides (did he really “switch”) and now lives in the Luhansk People’s Republic, across the river.”

    The town of Happiness was reported to have been taken over by the “separatists” within the past couple of days. I wonder if Mr. Kramer will be doing a follow up story.

    • Feral Finster

      I’ve actually been to Schastye, and from what I understand, the persuasive efforts of pro-Ukraine forces and non-governmental groups have often been very, well, persuasive.

      As in beatings and death threats.

  • Mist001

    NATO = North Atlantic Terrorist Organisation.

    Oh, and I noticed that Coronavirus eliminates flu and war eliminates Coronavirus.

    Who knew?

    • Clark

      Mist001, 16:58

      “war eliminates Coronavirus.”

      That is yet to be determined; this war has started in what may well be merely a lull. For instance, recombination combining the transmissiblity of Omicron with the virulence of Delta is just one of the very nasty possibilities.

      • andic

        I would be interested to know the mechanism for this “recombination” of which ye speake.

        I don’t think quite the same as breeding tulips or labradoodles

    • Tom Welsh

      That’s because of an interesting phenomenon that I have noticed. No matter how many departments a government has, no matter how many millions of employees, it apparently can focus on only one thing at a time.

      That’s why, in the UK, everything has stopped dead since March 2020 except “Covid” – and now, that has been replaced by the “war”. The next scheduled event is, of course, “climate change”.

      And so it goes.

      • Mochyn69

        Actually Tom I think you’ll find UKGov has been paralysed and unable to focus on anything since the lunacy of the 2016 EU referendum

        Brexit has consumed and drained the energy of the govt and its departments ever since

        And so it goes

  • Bob (not OG)

    An Evil Empire (the US + Europe) is at war with Russia – who, after years of fruitless negotiations with the UN, finally ran out of patience at Nato expansionism and seeing fellow Russians being murdered by Nazis and decided they had to step in.

    Meanwhile the Empire wages an all-out psyop on its people, with blanket lies and propaganda across all TV, ‘news’paper and radio outlets. As with ‘covid’, any dissenting voices are crushed or ridiculed. What we are witnessing is a total inversion of the truth.

    While all this plays out, Yemenis are being mass murdered by another evil regime, Saudi Arabia (using British weapons and trained by the British). The situation in Yemen is far worse than in Ukraine but, in stark contrast, is nowhere to be seen in the MSM. The lying bastards only show what their masters want. How can all those ‘journalists’ sleep at night? They must know they’re lying. Are they all psychopaths? Knowingly broadcasting lies to serve the interests of an Evil Emipre? It’s hard to reach any other conclusion. (Of course, it almost goes without saying that the Palestinians are still being brutally oppressed – in fact, best not to say it in case you get labelled ‘antisemitic’.)
    Edward Bernays and Goebbels really were onto something with their pioneering evil propaganda mind control. The Empire now has it off to a fine art. Not least the UK government, with its Behavioural Insights Team aka ‘Nudge unit’. It’s absolutely sickening.

    • Wikikettle

      Bob (not OG) the use of proxies, extremists to do our dirty work and flout International Law in favour of our Rules based Order….has late in the day, finally hit Russia in the face. We will now get a taste of our own medicine. People in glass houses throwing stones. Our media and elites are scrambling to blackout all information from our populations. The information is not going to be pleasant.

      • Bob (not OG)

        Yes, it feels different this time somehow. There seems to be panic – the level of propaganda is off the scale, even compared with previous crimes like the Iraq invasion. Literally no dissenting opinion is allowed on the MSM.
        The question is, was this all calculated or are our leaders so incompetent they’ve been caught off guard by Russia? It could be that the Americans kind of planned it and the Europeans haven’t got a clue and are being played.

          • Bob (not OG)

            Yes, that would explain it to a large extent. Also, since last time, the media has evolved even further down its inevitable pathway to end up being no more than stenographers for the Establishment.
            The same process pervades most aspects of people’s employment now, sadly. The ones who get on are, almost without exception, back-stabbing arse lickers (and in the NHS, there are quite a few back-licking arse stabbers).

          • Giyane

            Bob (not OG)

            Are the back licking arse stabbers doing the same job as the boot clicking elbow saluters, or different?

  • DiggerUK

    The EU President who was so enamoured with Ukraine because “they are one of us” needs to do a little research before shooting her mouth off.

    Ukrainian President Zelensky got a special mention in The Panama Papers awhile back. Guess what? He’s as bent as they come and so are others in his comedy club circle. OK, no surprises there then.

    Also when it comes to being ‘one of hers’ perhaps it would be best if the President of the Central Commitee of the unelected EU Commisioners checked out Transparency Internationals 2020 report which found Ukraine to be trailing just behind Russia in the world league of corruption.

    If this is what counts as making a country ‘one of us’ certified, it is easy to understand how Greece got accepted as an EU member state.

    The stench of high state corruption has moved on somewhat from Samarkand. Somebody needs to start talking peace and shut the war mongers up before shove goes beyond push…_

    • DiggerUK

      Update: The European ? (Commision? sic)* passed its resolution at a special session this afternoon, calling for EU institutions “to work towards granting EU candidate status to Ukraine, in line with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union and on the basis of merit.” The European Commission is expected to issue an opinion on granting candidate status to Ukraine as a result of the motion; European Council President Charles Michel said the Council must “seriously analyse the symbolic, political, strong and, I believe, legitimate request that has been made”.

      Courtesy of UnHerd (with my amendment)* …..last paragraph…_

      • fonso

        No chance. Eurocrats have already been expressing regret about admitting Hungary and Poland, because of their authoritarian governments and Romania and Bulgaria because of their corruption. They accept now all those countries were admitted decades too early. Ukraine is not only corrupt (endemically so), it is the only European country where Nazis are openly embraced, armed and utilised by the government.

        • DiggerUK

          fonso, I don’t believe that eurocrats regret admitting anybody.
          Their one real regret is ever putting pen to paper and allowing Article 50 to exist.
          Tough, too late…_

      • nevermind

        Yes indeed, we are now opening the door to ultra nationalists from Ukraine by accepting members of Svoboda and others in the Asov brigade to come here as refugees, surprise, with the help of our Government and that of the EU.
        Covid must have attacked millions of brains and I hope nobody will be astonished to see marches here on the 4th. April and on Stephan Banderas birthday.
        I regard those who are sending arms to a country that worships the murderers of over 130.000 Jews, during operation Barbarossa and before, as fascists.
        Goebbels could not have chosen a better moment to spread third Reich ideas and continuity, than what the west is achieving with their arms showers to Ukraine and Eastern Europe at present. A ruthless murderous right wing organisation neatly spread all over Europe, visa free and supplied with help from us all.
        We do not know what we are asking for.

        NOBODY from Svoboda or Asov should be admitted/invited/or entertained in the UK!

        • Tatyana

          You opened it long ago. I appeared on this site first time when looking info on Skripal. I remember good I watched what Mr. Murray does and brought here my own concern about Nazis in Ukraine.

  • Kuhnberg

    The Ukrainians have been gulled (by the west, by the myth of masculinity) into putting up a show of resistance. There is a reason why casualties and damage in the first two days were minimal: Putin was giving Ukraine the opportunity to surrender. Since they have opted to fight the onslaught will be brutal, many will die and much of the infrastructure will be destroyed, and they will still end up having to surrender. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to surrender earlier and wage a guerilla war of resistance once Putin’s puppet government was in place?

    • Tatyana

      As far as I’m aware, nobody asked Ukraine to surrender. Nobody. If you could kindly support it with a proof?
      Disarmament goal claimed by Russia I see. De-nazification I don’t know what is the plan, how will it be performed, who knows. Putin said ‘we know who they are’
      I guess Russia may want to bring them to court, maybe to UN. I recall we did it once, bringing Hassan from Syria to the UN, to prove fake about Douma chemical attack.

      Perhaps all this media hysteria preconditions you to not believe what will be exposed soon.

      • Tom Welsh

        Tatyana, as an amateur student of military history I don’t think it is usual for the winning side to offer the losing side a chance to surrender. It’s up to the losing side to offer its surrender.

        There is nothing stopping the Kiev junta from doing so at any time. As, indeed, many of its soldiers have already done.

  • Tony Pringle

    If I was Ukranian Pres, I deffo be very canny. Be independent and neutral of all, get own house in order, say I think it over, sleep on it, don’t be played by any, in fact do opposite, don’t want your guns, just your money, so we become Shangri La (Chinese welcome). Ten years down the line look at us, what a bridge we are across Eurasia.
    But I’ve just watched his video link in front of EU suits not looking a happy bunny. Is anyone helping him? They can’t be the right sort.

    • Blissex

      «If I was Ukranian Pres, I deffo be very canny. Be independent and neutral of all, get own house in order, say I think it over, sleep on it, don’t be played by any, in fact do opposite»

      That is ridiculous: you would need to be a Ukrainian Pres without any desire to become very rich and without any very rich sponsors who would feel they wealth would be “protected”, like the Emir of Kuwait or the Sultan of Brunei, by the USA and the UK. The USA (and much less so the UK) can spend billions per year sponsoring ukrainian politicians and providing them with “security”, that is a virtually irresistible pressure.

  • Jack

    In a way it is a rerun of the Maidan Ukaine hysteria of 2014, where as western blindness and intereference in Ukraine caused the coup which in turn caused the annexation of Crimea.
    Same idiocy again 2022, west push on on the border of Russia refusing to back down and sign any security agreement while turning a blind eye to Donbas, that in turn caused a (excessive) Russian response.

    • Tatyana

      That voting against UN resolution on Nazis

      Did someone notice, that the resolution also included racism and other discriminative ideas?
      It coincides with what I learned from Robin DiAngelo (I mentioned earlier my ‘technical note’ on using the word ‘whites’ and also instrumentary on which I disagree)
      People in the West unable to recognise when they are xenophobic. Their common approach is Might is Right. They refuse to see stepping on eggshells, untill they are punched.

      With this approach we are today where we are today. Russia’s concerns were not heard, but arrogantly rejected. I understand why they see Ukraine as ‘theirs’, because Ukraine won European hearts by showing the same shared despiteful attitude towards what they see as subhumans.

      The weak point is people love feeling privileged, because they believe they are safe then. No, it’s wrong. You are safe, when people around don’t want to kill you, regardless of your privileged / unprivileged status. Simple philosophy, make friends and live in peace.

      • Blissex

        “Russia’s concerns were not heard, but arrogantly rejected.”

        That is so charmingly innocent: there is no question of hearing or not, or being arrogant or not: the standard aim of the English Empire before and of the USA Empire now is to isolate, surround and breakup potential rivals, be those Spain or England or Germany or Japan in the past, Russia or China now, India or even Brazil or Indonesia in the future. Nothing personal or arrogant. Just a job, and one that they will never stop doing. V. Putin and the chinese elites had for a couple of decades a delusion that Russia and China could achieve peaceful coexistence, or even alliance, with the USA Empire, but they had to give it up.

        In the meantime having a public enemy is wonderful for business, as written by George Kennan in “At a Century’s Ending: Reflections 1982-1995” “Part II: Cold War in Full Bloom” in 1997:
        Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.

    • Republicofscotland


      Journalists Martin Summers from Bristol appeared on RT and said that it had been proven in a court case that Nato death squads carried out the atrocities at Maidan square (Ukraine) in 2014. I had a wee search and can’t find anything on it.

      • Blue Dotterel

        This from Consortium News deals with the topic of the snipers.
        The Buried Maidan Massacre and Its Misrepresentation by the West (22 Apr 2019) – Consortium News (3,820 words)

        “Testimonies by five Georgian ex-military members in Italian, Israeli, Macedonian and Russian media and their published depositions to Berkut lawyers for the Maidan massacre trial have also been ignored. They stated that their groups received weapons, payments, and orders to massacre both police and protesters from specific Maidan and Georgian politicians.

        They also said that they received instructions from a far-right linked ex-U.S. Army sniper and then saw Georgian, Baltic States, and Right Sector-linked snipers shooting from specific Maidan-controlled buildings.

        Western media silence also greeted a recent statement by Anatolii Hrytsenko, one of the top Ukrainian presidential candidates, who was also a Maidan politician and minister of defense, that the investigation of the massacre has been stonewalled because of the involvement of someone from the current leadership of Ukraine in this mass killing.”

  • Tatyana

    I told you I respect my government’s head Mikhail Mishustin!

    “In the current sanctions situation, foreign entrepreneurs are forced to be guided not by economic factors, but by making decisions under political pressure. To enable businesses to make informed decisions, a draft presidential decree has been prepared to introduce temporary restrictions on exiting Russian assets. We hope that those who have invested in our country will be able to work in it further”

    Bravo! I knew you’re my kind of politician! Misha, I love you!

  • Roger

    “In the town of Sirte, Libya alone NATO bombing killed 15,000 people” Do you have a reference/link for this?

    I don’t doubt you, but according to the Wikipedia entry, civilian deaths from NATO bombing were less than 100. That needs to be corrected but we need a reference to change it.

    • Tom Welsh

      You won’t get any fact that the US government dislikes to “stick” in Wikipedia. It’s well established that an army of full-time trolls (“editors”) works continually – day and night – to erase any statements that contradict the establishment line.

      Ask Mr Murray, who has experienced how it works.

      • Blissex

        «It’s well established that an army of full-time trolls (“editors”) works continually – day and night – to erase any statements that contradict the establishment line.»

        Sometime they miss some “details”, so accounts of the horrible effects of Ukraine’s war of aggression against the Donbas are still there:

        • 3,393 civilians killed (349 in 2016–2021)
        • 13,100–13,300 killed; 29,500–33,500 wounded overall
        • 414,798 Ukrainians internally displaced; 925,500 fled abroad

        Compare those terrible results of Ukrainian aggression with those in Crimea: both Donbas and Crimea declared independence when the Ukrainian government started to ethnically cleanse them, but then Crimea asked to become a member state of the Russian Federation, and that saved the crimeans from hundreds of thousands of refugees and thousands or dozens of thousands of death caused by ukrainian aggression.

        For much less in Kosovo NATO bombed Belgrade for months; instead of bombing Kiev most NATO countries funded, trained and armed the ukrainian aggressors to help them to kill more people in the Donbas.

  • TonyT12

    How long do you think it will take before the EU works out finally that it has been taken for a bunch of mugs by this U.S.-engineered op? How long before the public work it out as they watch inflation skyrocket and energy bills become unaffordable. The war-porn and let’s-hate-Russia season will not go on indefinitely. The hangover will follow – then the realisation.

    Washington and Langley have their war against Russia – on a next-to-zero budget and next-to-zero risk. Quite an achievement. Sales of Krug champagne in Langley must have boomed. Bearbaiting is a cruel and cheap barbaric sport.

    No US servicemen in bodybags – only Ukrainians and Russians, neither of which they care about at all. The EU has picked up the bill in having to buy its natural gas from the USA at twice the price. Couldn’t be better news for US energy companies. The EU is having to cope with yet another layer of incoming refugees consequent again to US foreign war policy. The EU is picking up the bill buying weapons from the usual US suppliers. The EU is busy burning bridges with Russia semi-permanently with all the sanctions and badmouthing. You couldn’t make up this scale of gullibility.

    How long will it take for the EU to work out that this US strategy is also primarily a rehearsal for wrecking China, which will be still more dangerous and expensive? That is a bigger question.

    Henry Kissinger told UA allies two things: “America has no friends or enemies – only interests” and “To be an enemy of America is difficult. To be a friend of America is lethal”.

    • Roger

      “How long do you think it will take before the EU works out finally that it has been taken for a bunch of mugs by this U.S.-engineered op?”

      I think most EU leaders know it already – it’s obvious, and they’re not stupid. Especially the latest move by Germany – blocking Nordstream 2, hence damaging German consumers but hugely benefiting US suppliers of LNG.

      The more interesting question is: why are EU leaders damaging Europe to benefit the USA?
      There must be reasons. We just don’t know what they are.

      The war in Ukraine will greatly damage Europe, possibly destroy Russia’s independence, and increase the wealth and power of the United States. The biggest danger to Europe is Stoltenberg, current boss of NATO. He seems almost eager for all-out war against Russia, and doesn’t seem to care that it might go nuclear. Presumably, US thinking is that as long as thermonuclear war is confined to Europe, it can only benefit them – by eliminating competition in the “western world”.

      • Tom Welsh

        “The more interesting question is: why are EU leaders damaging Europe to benefit the USA?
        There must be reasons. We just don’t know what they are”.

        Actually we do. Money.

        • Bayard

          I have heard that the US have actually admitted that many European politicians are bought and paid for to act in the interests of the US, not their own country, but I no longer remember the source. It’s not exactly unlikely, given the venality of the European political class and the fact that unimaginable riches to a European politician is fiddling small change to a state, especially one the size of the US. I mean, how did Tony Blair or Maggie Thatcher suddenly become so rich, they can’t have embezzled all that money from the UK state?

          • Bayard

            Apparently, it was someone on MoA who says he worked for the CIA in the ’70s, he said his boss told him that, when he asked why the Yurpean leaders did what the US wanted, even when against their own countries’ interest. Not much of a source, I would admit, but it sounds plausible and, when no information source is to be trusted, there is always the possibility, even the probability, that they are either lying or deluded, that’s all you can go on.

    • Tom Welsh

      “How long do you think it will take before the EU works out finally that it has been taken for a bunch of mugs by this U.S.-engineered op?”

      Longer than it will take many of the commenters here.

  • John Davies

    Craig you may not always get it right but most of the time you are correct. I know no one has all the answers but I trust your opinion and knowledge more than any news media. This is my ‘go to’ site for information that does not have a hidden agenda or scripted narrative. There may be some trolls in the comments but on the whole they are intelligent and thought provoking. We need more like you more than ever at this worrying time.

  • Goose

    Wish our MSM had this level of empathy and concern for populations in all war zones. Alas, it appears it won’t be extended to Iran, Where the US is still talking of a ‘military option’ should current ongoing JCPOA talks fail.

    Worth remembering for some historical perspective that ‘between 1965 and 1973, the U.S. dropped 2.7 million tons of explosives – more than the Allies dropped in the entirety of World War II – on Cambodia, whose population was then smaller than New York City’s. Estimates of the number of people killed begin in the low hundreds of thousands and range up from there.

    • Goose

      “I want everything that can fly to go in there and crack the hell out of them,” then-U.S. President Richard Nixon told National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger

      And Henry Kissinger is treated like a revered elder statesman in the US and UK.

      • Bob (not OG)

        Exactly. People need to wake up from the illusion that the ‘West’ is some sort of force for good, just because we can buy heavily marketed products, mostly shit we don’t need. We are animals – after food and shelter, what else is there, really? Only stuff that propaganda makes us want. The same methods used to sell us products are used to sell us bullshit narratives about what is actually happening in the world.
        The truth is that we are being ruled by an Empire of complete evil. Many of the conspiracy theorists (itself a derogatory term introduced by the CIA to discourage criticism of the state) were right all along, hard as this may be for some to admit.
        Yes, JFK really was assassinated by the CIA – the worst terrorist organization in history.

      • Wikikettle

        All the US poodles walk out and turn their backs on the speech given by Foreign Minister Lavrov, as he explains to empty chairs at the UN his countries efforts at dialogue and peace prior to the invasion. Hi country now under siege and real threat of destabilisation. I hope the Russian people stand firmly behind their government and don’t allow the circling vultures to again land and pick their country clean as they did under the traitor Veltsin.

        • Goose

          Everything has been infected with a kind of performative TikTok culture; virtue-signalling with a sprinkling of cancel culture mixed in here. No wonder Putin has that long table, he probably thinks ‘woke’ could be transmissible.

          It would have been better to listen to Lavrov then constructively debunk/dismiss his points, than to simply walk out. Why are they even there at the centre of diplomacy, if not to hear stuff that they don’t like?

        • Bob (not OG)

          To be fair to Yeltsin, he was getting done by the Empire but when the carve up happened he gave it to Russian spivs instead of foreign ones. That meant the US got none of the spoils. Ok, he was still a crap leader but so are >99% of them worldwide.
          Lavrov seems like a good bloke. The fact they walked out on him does make the EU’s idiotic position seem pre-planned.

          • Goose

            It must be worrying for Putin that the Kremlin clearly has a ‘inner circle’ mole.

            Biden was unshakeable in his statements that Putin had decided on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, when it seemed anything but certain, when it was a closely guarded secret.

            Also, there are new reports from US intelligence of Putin’s angry outbursts at defence meetings discussing military progress.

          • Goose

            Either that or a nanobot fly on the Kremlin wall. /S

            With miniaturisation down to nanoscale can any leader be sure they aren’t being secretly recorded? If anyone can master the tech, it’s the US. They’ve probably got all sorts of secret technological advantages over Russia.

            Thealmost blasé attitude about nuclear conflict may be a sign the US has some advanced defence system, therefore feels more confident asserting themselves against Russia? Pure conjecture mind, but the US outspends everyone, it’d be surprising if ‘Star Wars’ etc that Reagan was talking about as far back as March 1983, hadn’t resulted in something better.

          • Bob (not OG)

            (Actually replying to Goose @22:13, but the ‘Reply’ button was not on their comment.)
            Biden kept saying Russia was going to invade, but in reality he had no idea what would happen. Russia would look bad either way though – weak, if they did nothing, and ‘Hitler’ if they invaded. It doesn’t necessarily mean there was a mole in the Kremlin.
            All I know is I’m disgusted by Europe’s response at this point. What a shower of shite our ‘leaders’ really are.

            [ Mod: If there isn’t a reply button on a comment, it’s because the branch has reached its maximum indentation. Please click the reply button on the first comment above it which has one, to keep the conversation intact. ]

          • Rhys Jaggar

            The EU’s position was merely taking orders like slaves from the USA. That’s the sole reason that NS II was cancelled – it’s entirely against the interests of Europe and totally in the sole interests of the USA.

            It really is time for Europe to wake up and realise that the USA is no longer its ally, it is its abusive husband.

          • Phil Espin

            Goose, on your concern for Putin being worried about having a mole. I’ve read that Putin shared the invasion plan with Biden at the point that the diplomatic “two treaty” process, to roll back NATO to 1997 borders was begun back in November. He did not share the exact timetable to keep Biden guessing. It would not surprise me if they have agreed some kind of stitch up between them with EU losing out.

  • Fwl

    How can any of you have any confidence, have any loyalty in a leader so frightened of Covid that he can’t sit within 10 yards of his own generals, his own oligarchs, his own political advisers.

    If you put these funny long table scenes in a film it would have to be a very unsophisticated comedy. “Kill them kill them. Don’t breathe on me. Don’t breathe on me.” Something like Putin Acadamey 13.

    • Wikikettle

      Yes, we have full confidence in our brave gallant honest Boris to win a war against Russia. He will no doubt do what Hitler was unable to !

      • fwl

        Boris is not proposing a war against Russia. it is Russia that is making war.

        When it comes to not being afraid of Covid then we know BoJo is not afraid to party.

        • Wikikettle

          fwl, so you consider blockading a country with sanctions, not allowing them to buy and sell, not an act of war ?! Well Russia ain’t no Iran. We have declared war on Russia, you better believe it.

          • Fwl

            A bully hits you; that is a little war. You kick him back; now you are both at war. A classmate who is neither the bully nor the victim who says to the bully “you are a bully and I’m not trading or talking with you anymore” is not at war.

        • Tatyana

          Your cartoon lacks some more faces 🙂 Sweden was especially active.

          A popular saying on our side says:
          Europeans have a habit. Once in a hundred years they come to Russia for punches.

          • Tom Welsh

            Very true, Tatyana. Maybe the cartoonist included only the most recognisable and “iconic” faces. I don’t suppose many modern Westerners would recognise Gustavus Adolphus or Charles XII…

            Still, I think it makes the point rather strikingly.

        • Andrew H

          Actually Tom its you that knows zero about how the internet works. Denying Russia access to all internet services based in EU/US is simply a matter of configuring the top level routing tables for Russia’s ip-address blocks to be sent else where / dropped. Without the routing table entries ip-packets cannot find their way from sites in the EU/US back to Russia. Of-coarse Russians could still access their Face-book, Instagram and other accounts by going through a vpn service in a neutral territory (say Saudi-Arabia). This would add some significant inconvenience and also takes away Russia’s ability to block specific sites. (of-coarse Russia could block access to all the vpn sites still accessible, but that would be its decision). I hope that clarifies things for you. You should get a degree in engineering before talking beyond your sphere are knowledge.

          • Bayard

            So what you are saying is that it’s easy to block Russia’s access to the wider internet, but that the way you suggest doesn’t actually block it.

          • Andrew H

            Bayard, blocking Russia’s ip-address’s to the US/EU would cause significant disruption to the daily lives of many. Most people would struggle to get a vpn installed on their phone. It would be an interesting experiment to see if WhatsApp would even work. (my guess is there are enough smart people in Russia, that someone would figure out the steps but it would be many months before technically challenged people were able to find help to sort their phone out). Even finding ‘free’ vpn servers in other countries will be a challenge (most of the ones that are free are terribly slow, and probably most of those are currently hosted in rich countries so would also be inaccessible. If you use a vpn to illegally download movies you probably know what I mean – most people commit to paying $5 a month for a faster service). Just as sanctioning Russian banks and throwing a few banks off switch doesn’t stop Russians transferring money abroad – it just gets more complicated, particularly in the short term – and will be source of constant irritation. Most people I suspect would just migrate to use Russian-built apps operating within Russia – why connect to Craig Murray’s blog when there are many blogs in Russia? – why use Twitter/Facebook/Whatsapp/Instagram/Google when there is some RozChat equivalent? Probably this is why this idea isn’t being pushed too hard (but my point was that it is technically easy to block Russia from the wider internet).

      • Sumita

        I’m so glad you’re OK Tatyana, that your wedding went well & your family is OK. Am in London & my neighbour has a nurse mum in Kiev. I’m appalled by all of this, but mainly because of the lies in our MSM. Mostly nobody here finds facts & pushes them because they’re “forced” via media to believe lies. I hope this is resolved soon.. The facts, imo, favour Russia. Xxx

    • Goose

      That table is comically amusing.

      If someone sneezes at the other end of the table maybe the Kremlin moves to the Russian equivalent of DEFCON 1?

      Zelensky’s meant to be the comedian isn’t he.

  • Tatyana

    Isn’t it funny? Hackers of Killnet hacked site of hackers of Anonymous. Cheering video posted, saying “Russians, don’t be afraid. Peace will come soon.”
    Thank you! Much appreciated!

    I didn’t know hackers wage wars. I thought they are intellectual guys, all about coding.

    • Wikikettle

      Tatyana, the West has got fat and plays computer-keyboard killing games. It uses proxies (Ukrainians) to fight its wars as returning body bags of our own sons no longer win elections. That’s why Biden said he won’t send US troops to Ukraine. The idiot buffoon doesn’t realise there a hundreds of unintended incidents which can escalate into a fight, at sea, land and in the air, that neither will want to be seen to retreat from. Yes, we have declared war on Russia.

  • Sam

    Putin said that he went into Ukraine to rescue the ethnic Russians from being killed by Ukrainian troops in the Donbass region for the last 8 years. Ukraine did not abide by the Minsk Agreement 2015 and give the region a vote on independence and for a ceasefire.
    RT TV showed a documentary on the region. A captured Ukrainian soldier said they were told they were firing at Russian troops in the region when there were no Russian troops, only villagers.
    NATO has been encroaching towards Russia’s boders.
    Putin talked about Syria, Iraq and Libya and clearly thinks Russia is also on the hit list so understandably they feel threatened.
    The West with NATO is clearly hostile to Russia and lies about Russia to its people. The West under its current deep state rulers will never be a friend of Russia.
    It is also about gas pipelines. Those that flow under Ukraine yield $$$ to Ukraine. Follow the money.

    The only way to avoid World War III is to listen to both sides. The refusal to listen ensures that we will move into World War III

  • Tatyana

    What’s going on? Now it’s Medvedev in Twitter

    “Some French minister said today that they have declared an economic war on us. Watch your speech, gentlemen! And do not forget that economic wars in the history of mankind often turned into real ones”

    I like the advice to watch speech, to consume the rest I can not.

  • St. Pogo

    Thanks to whoever posted the ‘Roses Have Thorns (Part 6) The Odessa Massacre’ documentary (16 Jul 2014, Watchdog Media – YouTube, 1h 18m 39s). [‘Arfur Mo’ 28/2/22@7:06pm, ‘Ron Soak’ 1/3/22@1:21pm] Absolutely brutal.
    There’s something very powerful not having a narrator and letting the footage do the talking. ‘Burnt alive in Odessa’ was powerful too but I think this affected me more. You can be told something that happened and believe it, but to actually see it leaves a lasting imprint. Will now have to watch all the other parts.

    • Wikikettle

      Poking the Bear wasn’t enough for us. There are very old cartoons we drew of the Russian Bear kept in chains, made to dance. It amazes me that despite WW2 and its outcome, we just won’t stop humiliating the Bear and the Dragon. Not looking good folks !

      • Blissex

        «There are very old cartoons we drew of the Russian Bear kept in chains, made to dance»

        New and old:

        As to old, here is a popular song in the UK at the time when the English Empire started a war of aggression invading Crimea:

        The dogs of war are loose, and the ragged Russian Bear,
        Full bent on blood and robbery, has crawl’d out of his lair;
        It seems a thrashing now and then, will never help to tame
        That brute, and so he’s out upon the “same old game.”
        The Lion did his best to find him some excuse
        To crawl back to his den again, all efforts were no use;
        He hunger’d for his victim, he’s pleased when blood is shed,
        But let us hope his crimes may all recoil on his own head.
        We don’t want to fight but by jingo if we do,
        We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and got the money too!
        We’ve fought the Bear before and while we’re Britons true
        The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

        Constantinople, Donetsk, … very little has changed over the centuries, except “and got the money too!”.

  • mark golding

    I noticed the heading: ‘The shock and awe of sanctions on Russia’ in the Financial Times which is of course parallelism to the murders of families in the illegal Iraq war in 2003, a conflict based on lies. Again based on lies today we witness the slow deaths of many Russian folk, the old, the ill, the frail, the kids, the disabled, all trying to live with some money to buy: food, medicines, fuel, toiletries, nappies, and much more all essential to live habitually.

    Instead of incinerating Iraq children, we are starving Russian children to death or freezing them to death or prolonging their agony and pain, or halting their recovery. That is the ‘Shock & Awe’ to the Russian people, that is a the crippling, death dealing punishment.

    Is that British? And I am talking to you, young intelligence graduate who passed the ‘lying game’ section of ‘the services’ interview. No it is not British, it is British compliance to US rule, a duty to a lying despot that feeds our coffers. We did not even acquiesce. even as we viewed the CIA communication – The Ukraine Moment. a banquet of lies. It is a British sickness that must be regressed.

    • Bayard

      How are Russians going to be starving in a country that is a net exporter of food and those exports are going to be stopped by sanctions, or freeze to death in a country that is a net exporter of oil and gas, or suffer from disease more in a country that produces its own pharmaceuticals? There is no “Shock and Awe”; it is all theatre. Russia is not Iraq.

      • mark golding

        The Russian economy is under seige Bayard. Russians are queuing to get cash. The sanctions were aimed at Russians in the hope of fermenting regime change. The sanctions have been calculated in cold blood to cause misery to ordinary Russians, to cause hardship, scarcity, starvation and deaths. A longed out pogrom exactly like starving the occupants of a medieval castle

        • Bayard

          You lay siege to a castle or a city to cut off its supplies from outside. How can you lay siege to a country that doesn’t need anything from outside?

          “The sanctions have been calculated in cold blood to cause misery to ordinary Russians, to cause hardship, scarcity, starvation and deaths”

          I’m sure they have, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are going to succeed in doing it.

  • Blissex

    Some points that are rarely made:

    • The war of aggression by the Ukraine against the Donbas since 2014 created dozens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of refugees, even if the Donbas just wanted autonomy within a devolved Ukraine.
    • The Minsk treaty between Ukraine and Donbas has been rejected by the Ukrainian government after signing it, and various semi-official sources like “The Economist” and “Chatham House” have argued that it is invalid because the Ukrainian government was bullied by the russian government, even if the treaty was also endorsed by Germany and France.
    • There aren’t that many nazis in the Ukraine, even if many believe themselves nazis. What really happened is that the wannabe restorers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or some other ahistorical tendency allied themselves with the Nazis in WW2 just because they had a common enemy. Still some of them, and many of their descendants, mistook that alliance of opportunity with ideological alignment.
    • The Russian government is obviously aware that its enemies want to goad it into a long painful sinking in a quagmire in the Ukraine.
    • There is a large pro-Russian element in the Ukrainian population, and among its politicians and armed forces officers.
    • Squonk


      Are you sure Putin is not currently psychotic and may end the world in a nuclear holocaust? What’s the reason of meeting his own senior politicians and military at the end of a 30 foot table?

      Note: Nothing in the above supports previous actions by “The West” which I also saw as insane.

      • Andrew H

        I’ve wondered about that too – perhaps not psychotic, may be diagnosed with some terminal illness like cancer – and he feels there is some business he needs to sort out while he still can.

        • Igor P.P.

          That’s what Valery Solovey claims – an ex-professor who built a large following by sharing purported insider Kremlin knowledge. According to him, Putin will have to retire this year for medical reasons.

          • Andrew H

            If he retires the west will almost certainly be obliged to reset relations with his successor – lifting all sanctions, to try to get off to a good start. Perhaps its all part of the plan.

      • Wikikettle

        Squonk. Its very simple. We in west want to have regime change in Russia. We have sanctioned them for decades, supported terrorists on their borders, turned nearly all of the former Soviet repubics into neo liberal ‘democracies’ with the help of NGOs financed to the tune of billions. We’ve put so much effort into this long project, which is essential to keep our top dog position while our former colonies catch up, heaven forbid. We control most of the middle east oil from our wars but we still need to control Russian energy resources. Just think of all the wealth for our companies ! We are nearly there, just a few countries left, Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine. There is ofcourse a slight risk that we might start a nuclear war because Russia has an annoying history of being independent and resisting invasions and being very strong in conventional forces. It was easy for us to have many wars of aggression for resources and kill millions of darker skinned folk. Russia being European and white is being a bit problematic. We are however supporting the idea that Slavs are not real Europeans and our Nazis friends are helping in this matter. Sustaining the pressure with lots of weapons and printed money is key. Don’t worry about our fiat casino economy, we have all the laws in place to keep the sheep in control.

      • mark golding

        Long table discussion Squonk. You must be silent except for “Yes sir” but I heard you were allowed to write a message on the tablecloth, if one exists. Nuclear holocaust. No, only some commanders at Northwoods think we could survive a nuclear winter and are willing to take that gamble.

    • Andrew H

      When you are under attack, it is not surprising that Zelensky is freeing criminals and giving any who will fight a gun. I’m sure when Leningrad was under siege by the Nazis, the people did whatever they could to resist.

      The real question for me, is what are you doing to protest this war in your country (other than trying to cash out your Roubles). So far the protests in Moscow have been pretty muted compared with elsewhere. Even when Blaire wanted to go war in Irag there were substantial anti-war protests in London (it didn’t stop him, but people did protest). When the US wanted to base its nukes in Britain there were many women who camped outside Greenham Common for over 10 years and most were arrested numerous times. (10 years is a long time to give of your life to an antiwar protest)

      I guess Russians are not used to protesting – otherwise one might assume they approved of this senseless war. Being arrested is part of protesting, so fear of arrest/imprisonment is not excuse (they can’t put 50,000 in jail anyhow). Instead of posting nonsense to this site, you should try speaking out against your leader – otherwise you must accept responsibility for the effects of sanctions.

      • glenn_nl

        A friend in Moscow told me about a group of around 200 she personally knew of who did protest. They were promptly arrested, along with around 600 others elsewhere. The leaders of these protesters can expect something fairly severe, as you might expect from an authoritarian regime in time of war.

        2,000,000 of us marched in London in 2003 and it made no difference whatsoever. That’s in a supposedly liberal democracy. How much sway do you suppose protesters would have on the Kremlin’s policies?

        Just saying, “Make it so!” during winter, where the temperature won’t get above zero this week, and expecting ordinary Russian people to pay a heck of a price for a futile gesture is very big of you, but do note that the authorities would quite happily arrest 50,000 of them. Even if they lack jail space, they will certainly be detained, most likely in less than ideal conditions.

        • Andrew H

          Yes, its very unfortunate for the 2000 or so Russians who have stood up. My heart goes out to them – because it is easy to imprison 2000 people – and I am sure many of those who have been been arrested for merely voicing the opinion that war is wrong will pay a high price for their belief. I’m not saying if 200000 marched in Moscow it would stop the war – as you rightly point out, politicians are all but deaf, but it is much more difficult to imprison that kind of number. (and I’m guessing if many in the security forces were also of the opinion that this war were wrong, the arrests might be a little less brutal than we have seen). It appears to be a very small minority of Russians who actually oppose this war (and I don’t necessarily blame them for that anymore than one can blame all the Germans that fought under Hitler)

        • Bayard

          “The leaders of these protesters can expect something fairly severe, as you might expect from an authoritarian regime in time of war.”

          So you don’t actually know and are just guessing.

          • glenn_nl

            You appear to be criticising for its own sake.

            Perhaps you think Putin has a benevolent attitude towards those protesting against him in time of war? My informed “guess” is more reliable than your child-like trust.

          • Bayard

            Thanks for admitting it was just a guess, but pulling you up on implying on the basis of no evidence that the demonstrators will be treated fairly severely cannot be by any stretch of the imagination be thought to be “having a childlike trust” in anything. I would have pulled you up on that tactic whatever you had said.

      • bevin

        I am sure that most Russians do approve of this war. It has been a long time coming but the refusal to implement the Minsk Agreements made it the only alternative to looking the other way as New Russia- the Donbas provinces- were subjected to murderous artillery barrages.
        The real question is why there were not more protests in Russia at the government’s failure to protect the people in the Bandera fascists sights, and its apparently endless patience in the face of US provocations, insults, injuries and aggressions.

      • Bruce_H

        The only protest that we should all try is against NATO and the USA and all those governments and organisations that have kept the world in near perpetual war for decades. Russia has the right to defend itself, it has a duty to humanity in fact. The oppressive tidal wave of Western propaganda is so colossal that it’s hard to see what an individual can do, but maybe just at a personal level it is possible to discuss and convince a few people.

        The question I would ask is why apparently normal, intelligent people can allow themselves to be taken in by all this crude propaganda?

      • Bayard

        “When you are under attack, it is not surprising that Zelensky is freeing criminals and giving any who will fight a gun.”

        “Doing something” is not the same as “doing something constructive”, or are you agreeing that Zelensky has completely lost it?

      • mark golding

        Exactly, Andrew H, closing on 2 million walked with deliberation against the Iraq war (in fact a woman holding one end of an anti-war banner was in her day a resident of the Greenham Common peace camp) – and we were ignored; an important fact to boot – Our lives are controlled in a monolithic tyranny, totalistic – and one party in fact represents us. Look closer Andrew.

    • Sumita

      Yes. Saw this reported a while ago but wasn’t confirmed re prisoners… Unbelievable showing any non-military folks making idiotic ‘molotovs’… Almost funny but it so isn’t… So hey ho, the wind & the rain… This shouldn’t take too long imo.

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