Ukraine: Where to Find the Truth in Enormous Detail 553

In the massive propaganda blitz over Ukraine, there is one place where you can find, in enormous detail, the truth about what is happening in the civil war conflict zone on a daily basis. That is in the daily reports of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Monitoring Mission.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is a brilliant organisation set up to monitor implementation of agreements on human rights and arms control during the Cold War period. It includes Russia, the UK and the USA among its 57 members as well as all EU states. It has been operating in conflict zones for over half a century.

Over 40 member states have monitors in the Ukraine monitoring mission. The head of the mission is Turkish, and almost all members have a military or diplomatic background. There are 700 monitors, and they have been in Ukraine since 2014. Their job is to patrol both sides of the civil war conflict zone and to record infringements of the ceasefire and de-escalation agreements, bringing these to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Their work is very comprehensive indeed, and their detailed daily reports are public. These provide the most fantastic journalistic resource for what is actually happening on the ground – which is why Western mainstream media never use this resource, because the truth is the opposite of the picture they wish to paint.

For example, three OSCE monitors attended the site of the famous “kindergarten missile” attack, to verify what kind of missile was used, where it came from, and then tally this against the OSCE’s detailed record of weapons on both sides in the area and their daily movements. This is, literally, the basic everyday job of the mission. The team of OSCE expert observers – two of whom were from European Union countries – were denied access by the Ukrainian government to the kindergarten when they arrived to determine what kind of missile it was and where it came from. This is in direct violation of the ceasefire accord.

For those of us who saw the kindergarten attack stunt as propaganda to begin with, this is powerful corroboration.

This is from the OSCE’s daily report of 18 February:

Damage to a working kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk region
On 17 February, the Mission followed up on reports of damage to a working kindergarten in
the north-western part of Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of
Luhansk), located about 4.5km north-west of the north-western edge of the disengagement area
near Stanytsia Luhanska.
At 22 Depovska Street, about 20m south-west of a two-storey kindergarten building, the SMM
observed a crater in the kindergarten playground, as well as marks assessed as caused by
shrapnel on the inner side of a concrete wall surrounding the building. Also, it observed a hole
(about 1m in diameter), and one shattered window on the north-eastern facade of the same
building, and two shattered windows on the building’s north-west facing wall (on its ground
and first floor).
The SMM assessed the damage as recent but was unable to determine the weapon used or the
direction of fire.
Staff from the Youth Affairs Department of the Stanytsia Luhanska Civil-Military
Administration told the Mission that 20 children had been in the kindergarten at the time of the
incident, but reported no injuries.
The SMM was only able to conduct its assessment from a distance of about 50m from the
north-eastern facade and of about 30m from the south-western facade of the damaged building,
as a law enforcement officer did not allow the Mission to access the site saying that an
investigation was ongoing.

That same report records numerous violations of the ceasefire agreement by the Ukrainian government in moving heavy weaponry in to menace separatist held areas and in keeping weaponry outside agreed storage facilities. It equally reports precisely the same kind of violations by separatist rebels. None of which balance has been recorded by the same western media which loves to give detailed accounts of troop movements within Russia. Here is just one tiny example of hundreds of the OSCE information, from the same report of 18 February as the kindergarten visit:

The SMM continued to monitor the withdrawal of weapons in implementation of the
Memorandum and the Package of Measures and its Addendum.
In violation of withdrawal lines, the Mission observed a surface-to-air-missile system in a
government-controlled area of Donetsk region. It also spotted 21 howitzers, five anti-tank guns
(four of which probable) and one probable multiple launch-rocket system, in two training areas
in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region.
Beyond withdrawal lines but outside designated storage sites, the SMM saw ten towed
howitzers and two surface-to-air-missile systems in government-controlled areas of Donetsk
region, in two compounds (of which one near a residential area). It also spotted two surfaceto-air missile systems, 12 mortars and 41 tanks, in two training areas in non-governmentcontrolled areas of Luhansk region. (For further information, see the tables below.)
Indications of military and military-type presence in the security zone
In government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Mission saw seven
armoured combat vehicles. In residential areas in non-government controlled areas of Donetsk
and Luhansk regions, it also saw one anti-aircraft gun and two armoured combat vehicles
(including one probable). (For further information, see the table below.)
During the day, the SMM saw a minibus, three minivans, two cars and ten men (age unknown)
wearing military-style clothing and carrying assault rifles in a residential area of Oleksandrivka
(non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk).
The Mission also saw a convoy consisting of four trucks (three Ural and one Kamaz type) and
three cars carrying at least seven men in a residential area of Brianka (non-governmentcontrolled, 46km south-west of Luhansk) heading north-west. Later in the day, the SMM saw
the same convoy in Alchevsk (non-government-controlled, 40km west of Luhansk).

Three countries have now withdrawn their staff from the OSCE Monitoring Mission in preparation for a coming war – the UK, the USA and Canada. In my view, that speaks volumes about who is actually planning on starting a war here. Extraordinarily, having withdrawn their staff, the western powers are now briefing the media that the OSCE (which has for decades been a key tool of western security architecture) is a biased organisation.

Yet again the parallel to the Iraq War is striking to those of us who recall the rubbishing by the US/UK of the reports of the UN weapons inspection team, in favour of propaganda and outright lies in order to start a war.


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553 thoughts on “Ukraine: Where to Find the Truth in Enormous Detail

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  • Goose

    Explains Ukraine’s Deputy PM’s desperate pleas for Canada, US and Britain to return staff to the OSCE monitoring mission, and his wholly unsubstantiated claims that their recent reports are biased, and helpful to the Russians.

    Sadly the US and UK don’t have a good track record with international bodies; we spied on, and undermined the UN (Katharine Gun revelations), we corrupted the OPCW according to a growing list of whistleblowers. Our govts fiercely attacked Amnesty International over its recent report accusing the Israeli government of practicing the international crime of “apartheid” in its treatment of the Palestinians.

    Upholders of the international global rules-based order? …Well, it’s a nice soundbite.

  • Jon Musgrave

    Given the massive misbalance of troops (150000-190000 Russian and far fewer Ukrainian troops, why would Ukraine want to provoke war?
    If Putin is genuinely for oracle why has he massed 50-60% of his entire front-line troops around Ukraine?

      • Robert Dyson

        Exactly as I see it. Political trouble in the US, UK and Canada means they are looking to distract.

      • Tom Welsh

        More even than is usually the case, the truth of this proposition depends on what you mean by “Ukraine”. The majority of the citizens? The oligarchs, industrialists, merchants? The extremist militias? The parliamentarians – most of whom seem to have lost heart and run away? The “president”, ditto? Or the people who really own Ukraine and make the big decisions?

        The latter do very much wish to provoke war – indeed it is their fondest wish. Such ambitions reveal their enormous intellectual deficiencies, as war with Russia is the definition of a bad idea. Even if the denizens of Washington and London believe that “let’s you and him fight” would leave them unscathed and in profit, they are sadly deceived. Mr Putin has asked rhetorically, “Who would want to live in a world without Russia?” – a word to the wise. What it implies is that either Russia would win any war, or if lost catastrophically because its enemies used WMD, it would retaliate symmetrically.

    • bevin

      ” …why would Ukraine want to provoke war?”

      In order to draw in NATO forces to fight the war for them. In much the same way that Kosovo’s Albanians wanted war with the, much more powerful, Serbian state.
      Russia is bound to come to the defence of the large Russian population in eastern Ukraine which has been threatened with genocide by Russophobic forces, in Ukraine, which have a well known record of hating and killing Russians.
      Shelling kindergartens in Luhansk is a surefire way of forcing Russia, under the pressure of public opinion, to protect its beleaguered and ill-used fellows.
      The sad thing is that it is left up to Russia to defend these people, whose cause ought to gave the support of decent folk everywhere.

      • Goose

        As Aaron Maté points out , after ceasefire violations doubled on Friday the vast majority of impact sites (i.e. targeted areas), as reported by OSCE, were on the rebel-held side.

        Our media, even supposedly ‘serious’ media, are utterly woeful in not reporting the truth. It’s not like these so-called journalists don’t have access to this information.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Our media, even supposedly ‘serious’ media, are utterly woeful in not reporting the truth”.

          Only if you think that that is their job, in which case you are way out of date.

          They work for NATO governments, which actually pay them, so they write what their masters tell them to do. Measured on that basis they are doing a fine job.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Actually, Tom, we the UK license payors are forced upon pain of criminal prosecution to fund tens of thousands of BBC employees, many of whom are Security Service operatives in drag. The BBC has an ABSOLUTE duty to report in the interests of the general UK population and have absolutely nothing to do with what the USA/NATO orders them to report.

            It doesn’t matter what anyone outside the UK thinks, the BBC is paid for primarily by UK license payors under coercion, and they have an absolute right to access to reporting which is truthful and in the interests of the UK taxpayers, whose interests absolutely are NOT served by a war in Ukraine.

            No US citizen resident in the UK has the right to challenge that, indeed if they try to, they should be given 24hrs to leave the country.

          • Tom Welsh

            Sorry, Rhys – I agree with what you say, but I assert that it is just words. To borrow Jeremy Bentham’s inimitable expression, “rights” and “duties” are nonsense, and “absolute rights and duties” are nonsense upon stilts.

            They are certainly very nice ideas, and highly desirable. But so was belling the cat. As long as we have governments that acknowledge no rights or duties and do not even keep their own promises from one day to the next, such statements will remain purely theoretical.

          • Tom Welsh

            Essentially, it’s a “category” issue. One can talk about what “ought” to happen, but our rulers are able to enforce their will by force. What are we going to do about it? Appeal to our MPs? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

          • John O'Dowd


            If you really want to understand how the corporate media and the UK State Broadcaster actually operate and in whose interests, take a look at Media Lens:


            Specifically on the BBC read:


            Better still read the books by Media Lens brilliant team, David Edwards and David Cromwell:


            Propaganda Blitz: How the Corporate Media Distort Reality (20 Sep 2018)

            And their earlier

            Guardians of Power – the Myth of the Liberal Media (20 Dec 2005)

            Edwards and Cromwell draw heavily on the poineering work of Chomsky and Hernman – Manufacturing Consent – and the propaganda model in mainstream media.

            A useful except of that work can be found here:


            The BBC news operation is a state propaganda outfit – the most sophisticated of such in the globe (most people don’t even realise they are being subject to it).

            Although, as Rhys Jagger states here, we licence payers pay for the dubious privilege of being propagandised – the BBC nevertheless operates in support of the one-party -state that under Starmer Britain has become. That state is wholly owned by large corporations and financial interests.

            The idea of ‘democracy’ and ‘accountability’ is a sick joke – and Boris Johnson clearly knows that, whilst helpfully demonstrating its truth.

            The corporate media is easier to understand – it operates in the interests of its owners and the system that nurtures and supports their oligarchic power structure.

      • Bramble

        And the US/UK have already prepared a propaganda response. It’s a false flag, they claim, having previously signalled to the neo Nazis that they will do so and so given them a licence to commit atrocities at will. The deviousness is appalling, and our media organisations are complicit in it.

        • Tom Welsh

          It’s quite amusing – in a dry sort of way – that the kindergarten is actually in Ukrainian government held territory. So any “false flag” would be one staged by the Ukrainian authorities.

          Ambrose Bierce amusingly remarked that “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”. Since the 1860s, ignorance of basic geography has apparently spread like the Red Death. Western rulers can no longer distinguish Austria from Australia, the Baltic from the Black Sea, or Voronezh and Rostov from Ukrainian territory.

          This is not a good basis from which to conduct either diplomacy or war.

    • Michael Droy

      Those are the numbers in the western media. Many of these are training in N Belarus or at least in places 100km + from Ukraine. most of those near the border are near the Donbas border – fine for defending Donbas, not much good for an invasion of a country that spans 1000km west from there.
      There are actually 100-150k Ukrainian soldiers. All lined up against the Donbas border in the West. It seems both sides agree that the action will be in the Donbas (which Russia effectively controls at present )

      Craig: (Excellent piece btw) who is “Ukraine”? If you mean Zelensky he seems confused, crying wolf brought him some arms support, threatening to regain Donbas by force got him a lot more support. Ukraine is deeply corrupt and the only game left nowadays is to cream a cut off foreign supplies of arms.
      If you mean the men who are given the best weapons from the west, the best training by UK/US special forces and special introductions to the Times and others for PR (Granny Sniper 2 days ago), then that is AZOV. They are quite capable of creating enough damage to muddy the water and start a war (at least a war over the Donbas border).
      A mixture of the repulsive and the money grabbing, they are quite willing to start a war on behalf of the US, which is quite happy to ignore their Nazi insignia and murderous habits. They are the European ISIS equivalent. They’ll do it willingly.

    • Baron

      The built-up began last year in the Spring, it was Ukraine that started it, Baron gets the OSCE reports daily, often more than one, since then both sides move in and out, plenty of military exercises on both sides, in our MSM you never hear about NATO military games (say) the Defender Europe 21, a 28,000-troop exercise of EUCOM and NATO, from 26 countries, ranging from the Baltics to Morocco ended January this year, troops still at the ready.

      Ask yourself then why now, why do the Americans insist Putin will go in imminently or in a day or two? What else is there that wasn’t there before? The certification of the N-2 pipeline, it began as the ‘Russia is to invade Ukraine’ shouting began, it’s the last opportunity for the Americans to kill the N-2, it’s the Holy Grail of the crisis, now there’s even a suggestion from the EU that no pipeline should be operational between Russia and the West, all gas should come from the US – check it out, it’s a day or two old.

      Go to Unz Review blog, there’s an excellent write up arguing the crisis in not about Ukraine but Germany.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Ask yourself then why now, why do the Americans insist Putin will go in imminently or in a day or two?”

        Because they believe they have arranged matters so that Mr Putin will have no alternative. Either he can “stand idly by” (as the media would put it) while Russian-speaking civilians are slaughtered en masse – or he must intervene somehow. When he does, it will be portrayed as a vicious, unprovoked Russian invasion.

        Very much as FDR cleverly arranged for Japan to have no alternative but to attack Pearl Harbor 70 years ago – or else retreat to their islands and give up all imperial aspirations. FDR knew very well that the Japanese would never surrender in such a way, even if the alternative was certain defeat.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The EU should be required to hold a referendum on that suggestion to triple gas prices by cutting off Russian Gas. I guarantee they will lose such a referendum 4:1 or worse, which would require immediate resignation of the top 50 unelected EU officials starting with Ursula van der Leyen.

        This betrayal of all of Europe by US prostitutes masquerading as EU officials is pure treason.

        • Tom Welsh

          There you go again, Rhys, with the “should”. The reasons you give are exactly why no referendum or other consultation will be held.

          It’s not as if the EU were a democracy. Or the UK.

    • Crispa

      I was surprised to read in Wikipedia earlier today that Ukraine has the second largest military force in Europe with over 250,000 personnel, and is intent on increasing that number further. The build up has been going on since 2014 with the coup. Before, with its Russian ties, it was actually in the process of reducing its armed forces but has boosted them with of course American and NATO weapons and help. This does not indicate Ukraine to be the poor defenceless nation that it is portrayed to be. The Russian Federation has good cause to be worried.

      • Tom Welsh

        It’s hardly surprising, Crispa. The media are forever telling us that “Ukraine is the largest country in Europe” (because of course Russia is a barbaric Asian nation and not European at all).

        Ukraine still has quite a big population although it has been bleeding away for years as the most able go to Russia or the West. And of course it still has a lot of Soviet-era weapons, supplemented by thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition rushed in by NATO.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You should ask who is paying for it, because Ukrainian GDP has been collapsing since 2014.

        They must be being funded by the USA, Israel and other supporters of fascism. They cannot afford to maintain such an armed force from their own economic output.

      • Jen

        One has to ask though how well trained is that military force, how well equipped its soldiers are and how modern their weapons are. Do the soldiers also get adequate nourishment in their barracks and from their rations out in the field? What is the level of their morale? Are many of the units in the Ukrainian military actually neo-Nazi battalions? If that’s so, the level of discipline in these units might not be high and they may not be prepared to work together with regular units; indeed one of those battalions’ roles might be to spy on regular units and terrorise them, especially if those units consist of young conscripts. These factors may well matter much more than their actual numbers.

        I’ve heard that when Crimea returned to Russia in March 2014, entire units of Ukrainian soldiers stationed on the peninsula surrendered and defected to Russia. Most if not all naval squadrons also stationed in Crimea also defected to the Russian side.

    • Tom Welsh

      Authoritative sources count about 150,000 Ukrainian regulars facing the Donetsk and Lugansk republics along the “contact line” (which is actually no more than 10 km from Donetsk city centre). That count does not include the frankly Nazi irregulars or NATO forces.

      The count of Russian troops is exaggerated, as it includes forces permanently stationed in Crimea, Rostov, Voronezh and other nearby regions.

      With 150,000 troops, commanded by the violent fascist junta in Kiev, within a few kilometres of the border with Russia – and with the UK Foreign Secretary telling the world that she will never recognise Russian sovereignty over Voronezh and Rostov – is it surprising that the Russian government takes sober measures to protect its territory and citizens?

      • APOL

        “The government of Canada is an exemplary WEF force. Not only is Trudeau a Young Global Leader “by the world’s” economic forum, but there are many other important politicians, WEF members. Chrystia Freeland, for example, the Minister of Finance and the Trudeaus substitute. Or Katrina, Gold, family and social Affairs Minister. Also, Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, science and industry and Economic development.

        There is more: Canada’s Ambassador to the EU, Ailish Campbell is also a WEF member. As Renee Maria Tremblay, who is of counsel at the Supreme court of Canada act ”
        Food for thought.Since 2014, Canada

        • Jo Dominich

          Looks to me as though the good citizens of Canada now need to get United and take up arms before Mein Fuhrer Trudeau crowns himself the Fascist Emperor of Canada a la Napoleon. He clearly has no interest in listening to Canadian citizens. History is not only repeating itself but, my Grandparents and Great Grandparents fought in one if not 2 world wars the first to preserve our democracy and the 2nd to ensure Fascism never reared it’s ugly head again as a threat to it. Here we are though NATO is fully supporting Ismall to ethnic cleanse massacre and dehumanise the Palestinians. Now we know why. Fascism Rules OK.

    • Johnny Conspiranoid

      Ukraine doesn’t want to provoke a war. Ukraine’s ‘friends’ want to generate an excuse for ‘sanctioning’ Russia thus removing competition for US corporations in the EU. Putin won’t give them that excuse but the US will probably go ahead anyway. Either way the Ukranians don’t have a say in it.

    • Jimmeh

      According to Wikipedia, Ukraainian armed forces number 200,000. How’s that “far fewer” than 150,000 – 190,000?

      And isn’t it accepted military convention that you need 3:1 superiority for a successful attack on prepared defenses?

      • APOL

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

        Government of Canada, National Defence news release: Canada commits lethal weapons and ammunition in support of Ukraine (14 Feb 2022)

      • Ron Soak

        By this criteria the RF’s 190K would need to increase by a factor of 3 or more to around 600k to meet the requirements of the US’s so called ‘invasion intelligence’ .

        A concept sadly lacking in people who think it’s possible to send gunboats with a berth of more than 7 metres into the Sea of Azov.

    • Jeremn

      Some elements in Ukraine need the conflict. The nationalists in Ukraine want to kill the Minsk agreements as these will be a fatal blow to the hold they currently hold over Ukraine. They are the ones that want to provoke a conflict as such a conflict will perpetuate their grip on the country’s security services, parliament and the National Guard (the only motivated part of the armed forces). It will mean they can continue to impose their nationalistic vision on a very fractured country, and persecute the Russian minority as they can be seen as being allied to the aggressors just on account of their ethnicity. Thus Ukraine can be de-russified and made more like western Ukraine.

    • Michael

      You are mistaken. Ukraine has concentrated the same number of troops around the unrecognized republics (around 150k), while the number that the western reports is a total number from Crimea to Belarus. I won’t even go into the validity of those numbers.

  • Jen

    I wonder if this image (from The Sydney Morning Herald, sourced from The Washington Post) will be accessible to CM’s readers if I provide the JPEG link:$zoom_0.218%2C$multiply_1.0582%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/83210a4d4b280d5ab0cf1f6997b711be41be42ba

    If the link is not accessible, you can access it here:

    “‘Mass evacuation’ story brewed by Russian-backed leaders falls apart” (Robyn Dixon, Mary Ilyushina, The Sydney Morning Herald, February 20, 2022)

    It purports to show the interior of the classroom of the kindergarten in Stanytsia Luhanska that was hit by artillery shells from Russian-backed Donbass “separatists”.

    Anyone else think the whole set-up looks staged and too tidy? The picture on the wall looks untouched as does the white ceiling. Should the wooden cupboards not have collapsed from the rubble on top? Why are wooden bars covering the hole outside the wall – if this scene were a crime scene, should they be there?

    • Michael Droy

      Funny how WaPo get a cameraman in there and the OSCE are not allowed near 🙂
      The other picture of a shelled wall and a man pointing East looks like it happened months ago.

    • Jimmeh

      I’m puzzled by that kindergarten photo. We see a yard-wide hole in a wall; it could have been made by an artillery projectile, *but only if it didn’t explode*. If you hit a building’s wall with a live artilllery shell, you don’t see a hole in the wall; the wall will be gone, along with most of the rest of the building.

      • craig Post author

        Indeed, and apparently it penetrated right through without breaking any windows, or furniture on the inside. Must be one of those smart bombs.

      • Tom Welsh

        We have seen many such staged pictures from Syria and elsewhere. It’s easy, cheap, and probably convinces a large percentage of the naïve citizens who perfunctorily scan the story. Cost-effective.

        • Tatyana

          Yes, that gas cylinder in Douma, resting on a tidy bed, with its valve in its place after it supposedly penetrated through the concrete roof carefully squeezed itself through a unfitting hole, mystically producing no dust, killing women and kids with chlorine in no less surprising manner escaping via still closed valve. Physics, another science maybe not in the school schedule of those who produced it. Chlorine is heavier than air, so it would inevitably also kill chicken in the lower storey. But cheerful keereekookoo is distinct in the video of ‘the first arrived’ cameraman.

          • Tatyana

            Tom, I don’t know proper English word mimicking the sound of a male chicken. I also hesitate to use the English word for male chicken from the dictionary. When I used it then, and described it as a ‘crying cock’ … people made me aware it was both funny and not very decent.

    • DunGroanin

      That SMH link refers to :

      “the Netherlands-based Bellingcat investigative group. It found that metadata on both videos indicated they were recorded two days before Friday’s supposedly “urgent” evacuation of 700,000 people.“

      I must say that that kindergarten wall is impressive how many bricks thick is it? Are all walls in Ukraine built several feet thick?

      • Tom Welsh

        A helpful tip to save your valuable time: as soon as you see “Bellingcat” stop reading.

    • Wikikettle

      Scott Ritter is one of the few adults in US not in the pockets of MIC. As he states, Russia has made some demands and can’t back away from them now. “Technical and Military” response to refusal by West to take its security needs seriously and string out never-ending talks is now a real possibility.

      • Unphotogenic

        @Wikikettle. Indeed, Scott Ritter, Danny Sjursen and Ray McGovern are the few sane voices talking about reality on the other side of the Atlantic. Blustering Boris, with his rallying cries over the weekend, seems to have not got the brief about hypersonic missiles, or more likely ignored it. In less than a week you could be looking at 680-1600 dead British seaman, pilots and other ranks as the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier gets made an example of. A slim but now horribly plausible future event with the outright idiotic brinksmanship on display from downing street and the pentagon.

        • Tom Welsh

          If Boris continues to push his luck, he may get the opportunity to inspect a Burevestnik cruise missile close-up.

    • Laguerre

      The Ritter article is a bit confusing. It is not that the US does have the evidence of a build-up, which Blinken is then failing to put forward. The article is actually explaining the sort of evidence that the US would need to come up with to differentiate between an exercise and an attack build-up, mainly in the different logistical structures required. The US does not have this evidence, and Ritter thinks it does not exist at the moment.

      • Tom Welsh

        The whole idea of a Russian invasion is ridiculous to anyone with the faintest grasp of modern military science. In 1980 it was conceivable that the USSR (with twice Russia’s present population and a border 1,000 km further West) could have launched a traditional invasion. The Warsaw Pact forces would have provided huge armies, with the Soviets following up.

        Today no country has enough infantry to invade and occupy an enemy nation whose armed forces are reasonably modern. Russia has enough forces to defend itself and – to some extent – its allies. To invade Ukraine and occupy it would be hopeless.

        A war would look very different, and would be fought mainly with missiles and aircraft; to a lesser extent with mobile land forces and artillery. The Georgian war of 2008 might be a model; the Russians dashed in very quickly, routed the Georgian forces, established peace, and were back in Russia within a week.

  • Baron

    This is the picture of the kindergarten house, a big hole, yes, but how come the window glass didn’t shatter? The Ukrainians are not very smart staging false flag ops, anyone remembers Babachenko, dead in a pool of blood one day, fully functioning the next?

    The straw man of a Russian invasion is to bait Putin to start moving West, he isn’t that crazy to please the American warmongers, why would he move now when Ukraine is full of military hardware and NATO ‘advisors’ when he could have had he country for the asking any time before the Feb 2014 putsch, more to the point, does Russia need a country stripped naked of its assets by some 50 oligarchs whose businesses account for close to 80% of Ukraine’s GDP?

    The only danger is the Azov Battalion, these Neo-Nazi thugs are not fully controlled by the Ukrainian President, can try and stage an attack that will compel Putin to react, he cannot let Russian people to be slaughtered by them.

    • Tom Welsh

      True, Baron, but the false flag did not have to be convincing. The Western media were certain to cover it at face value, asking no questions. They know who pays them, and the likely fate of any journalist who breaks ranks. (Mr Murray can testify to the latter.)

    • Jimmeh

      > he cannot let Russian people to be slaughtered by them.

      To be fair, they’re Ukrainian people who speak the Russian language.

      • Akos Horvath

        How do you distinguish between a Russian and a Ukrainian who speaks Russian? Shouldn’t you leave it to them to self-identify?

        This kind of language reminds me of Ceaucescu and indeed the Ukrainian nationalist thugs. The former claimed that there are no Hungarians in Transylvania. There are 2 million Romanians there who just happen to speak Hungarian. Same song from Ukraine. There are no Hungarians in Zakarpattia, they are so-called Rusyns who for some reason speak Hungarian.

        • Jimmeh

          Well, it’s not that hard. a Russian is a citizen of Russia; a Ukrainian is a citizen of Ukraine. This isn’t identity politics, where you can self-identify as a hamster if you like; the reason I can’t self-identify as a Dane is because I’m just not Danish.

          The matter of Russia issuing Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens is another matter. If holders of Russian passports take up arms against the Ukrainian government, inside Ukraine, then they are in fact Russian armed forces; it’s hard to stand up the argument that you are being persecuted, if you hold a Russian passport and are shooting at Ukrainian soldiers.

          • pretzelattack

            you mean the ukrainians killing them aren’t persecuting them? I guess the Azov Battalion are innocent victims in your view?

          • Cynicus

            “…..the reason I can’t self-identify as a Dane is because I’m just not Danish.”

            You do not say, though, that you live in Schleswig-Holstein and your mother tongue is Danish. If neither is the case then what is your point?

          • Akos Horvath

            I think it’s up to people to define their own identity. I doubt many ethnic Hungarian citizens of Romania would call themselves Romanian. Similarly, Hungarians in Zakarpattia don’t call themselves Ukrainian. Especially, when Ukrainian nowadays means the neonazi Azov battalion.

            And when were the inhabitants of Donbass, all Soviet citizens before 1992, asked if they prefer to be ‘Ukrainians’ or ‘Russians’ when the USSR was dissolved by three unelected people?

        • Coldish

          Reply to Akos Horvath (08.38 and 13.02): in 2009, along with a group of university students from Budapest, I visited a Hungarian-speaking village of about 2000 people in Transylvania. I was told by one of our hosts, an English-speaking GP, that the locals considered themselves ‘under occupation’ (sic) by the Romanian authorities. I asked him how many Romanian-speakers lived in the village. The answer was ‘One – a policeman’. To pay for our accommodation we had brought a supply of Romanian currency but we found that the locals were not accustomed to using it and we had to agree on an exchange rate. Local transactions were normally in the weaker Hungarian currency – and this in a location more than 100km from the Hungarian border. So, yes, those people regarded themselves as Hungarian, not Romanian.

    • Jo Dominich

      Baron in the not so recent past I clearly remember international news outlets reporting that a Ukrainian Journalist was missing purportedly assassinated by Russia. Following clear information from Russia that said Journalist was alive and well in the Ukraine said Journalist materialised and stated he was trying to cause an incident with Russia. What a shitshow.

  • Crispa

    I was pleased to read this piece as I have been following the OSCE daily reports since Tatyana kindly provided the link. Moon of Alabama has a similar sceptical take on the situation based on the same latest reports. However it thought that OSCE was perhaps not as impartial as it should be (shades of the OPCW) but could not fault it on its professionalism. I too could only be impressed by the SMM diligence on this incident, which I think has been msm reported as a sign of an impending onslaught.

    “On 17 February, a woman (65 years old) told the SMM over the phone that she had been waiting at a bus stop in the centre of Marinka that same morning, near School No.2 at 4, Druzhby Avenue, about 1.5km west of the contact line. She said that she suddenly noticed
    nearby trees being hit by shrapnel and ran for shelter. Before she could make it to a nearby shop, she felt that her left hand had been hit by a piece of metal. She added that an ambulance brought her to a hospital in Kurakhove (government-controlled, 40km west of Donetsk).

    On the same day, a police officer in Kurakhove told the Mission over the phone that, on the morning of 17 February, a woman (in her sixties) had been waiting at a bus stop near School No.2 in Marinka, and had sustained injuries to her left hand from shrapnel.

    On the same day, medical staff at a hospital in Kurakhove told the SMM over the phone that, during the same morning, a woman (in her sixties) had been admitted with injuries to her left hand consistent with those caused by shrapnel”.

    From the reports too it is evident that there is quite a lot of random firing from both sides.

  • PearsMorgain

    The OSCE reports record thousands of ceasefire violations by both sides every week. This from their latest dated 15th February:-

    • Between 24 January and 6 February 2022, the SMM recorded a slight increase in the number of ceasefire violations – 3,323 compared with 3,049 in the previous two-week period.
    • The Mission’s freedom of movement was restricted 17 times, including 15 instances in non-government- controlled areas. Members of the armed formations twice denied the SMM passage near Stanytsia Luhanska, Luhansk region.
    • SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) experienced signal interference, assessed as caused by probable jamming and jamming on 84 occasions, while flying on both sides of the contact line. On four occasions, SMM UAVs were assessed as targeted by small-arms fire: once in non-government-controlled area and three times while flying between positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and positions of the armed formations. On one occasion, soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces threatened to shoot down an SMM mini-UAV.
    • The Mission continued to monitor the disengagement areas near Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Petrivske. It recorded no ceasefire violations inside the area of Stanytsia Luhanska, and 43 outside the area but within 5km of its periphery. It recorded one ceasefire violation inside the disengagement area near Zolote, and 390 outside the area but within 5km of its periphery, marking a significant decrease in ceasefire violations inside and near the area near Zolote between 24 and 30 January. The SMM recorded no ceasefire violations inside the disengagement area near Petrivske, and observed people inside the area between 31 January and 6 February.

    Sure, concentrate on just the one that might be made to look like a ‘false flag’, an excuse for one small country to launch an attack on a better equipped army four times its size.

    Incidentally Russia is distrustful of the OSCE and refused to send a representative to meet Ukraine and the other members on the 15th:-

    ” Ukraine triggered Chapter 3 of the OSCE Vienna Document on 11 February, calling on Russia to explain its unacceptable military activity along the Ukrainian border and in illegally-annexed Crimea. Russia had 48 hours to respond but did so 8 hours late and without engaging on the substance.

    Ukraine triggered the next step, a technical meeting with Russia and all OSCE States today (Tuesday 15 February) to ask Russia to address its concerns. No Russian representative attended. “

    No doubt the useful idiots will find a way to blame Ukraine.

    • Sean_Lamb

      You can read the OCSE summary of civilian casualties from Jan 2017 – Sept 2020 here page 10:

      “Twice as many civilian casualties occurred in nongovernment-controlled areas (657 civilian casualties) as compared with government-controlled areas (270 civilian casualties) (see Figure 5). A further 19 civilians were killed or injured in areas not controlled by either side.”

      Doubtless both sides are complicit, but the idea we are seeing separatists shelling Lugansk from the border-zone as Ukrainian propagandists are suggesting is absurd:

    • Tom Welsh

      The general pattern is consistent and what you would expect. The UAF fire, more or less randomly, into civilian areas. The defenders register the location of the batteries that are firing and return counter-battery fire. If they are quick enough, they might nail some of the culprits – but the UAF move their guns and rockets around nimbly to avoid retribution.

      What are the defenders supporters to do – let the UAF pound their civilians unremittingly without doing anything to protect them?

      Such a situation can then be portrayed as “both sides are firing, so the fault is shared”.

  • Tatyana

    Thank you so much for this blog, Mr. Murray! You’re my hero!

    At a time when we are all invited to choose a side to support, it is very important to keep a sober approach. We all know how biased media can be when they get paid for their stories. I believe that it is necessary to look for information in those resources that are responsible for their every word.

    I expect some geography info might be useful.
    Ukrainian-Russian agreed border is 320 kilometers by sea and 2000 kilometers by land. Plus, due to disputes over the Crimea, there are another 20 kilometers on land, 150 kilometers along marshy estuaries, and 600 kilometers along the water area.

    • Russian regions along the border are: Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, Krasnodar de jure, Crimea de facto
    • Ukrainian regions are: Chernigov, Sumy, Kharkov, Lughansk, Donetsk, Kherson de facto, Crimea de jure

    Hope it helps to understand the scale of the border line, and to avoid silly Truss-style remarks 🙂

    For fun, Chinese consul to Lebanon tweet

    • Tatyana

      ah, important. The last time Putin met Zelensky was in 2019.
      Monsieur Macron hosted them together with Frau Merkel in Elysee palace.
      They all agreed on immediate measures – ceasefire, exchange of detainees “all for all”; and political measures – to incorporate the ‘Steinmeier formula’ into the Ukrainian legislation, which obligates Zelensky to talk directly to the leaders of the rebel republics and to organise local elections.

      Nothing of that was fulfilled.

      • DunGroanin

        Yesterday the Macron card was played again. Apparently he phoned Putin again after this curious report in the Guardian – I pick out the phrases which show it is written by some fiction writer. Some snippets from the latest Narrative construction.

        I can’t figure if it actually helps Macrons re-election prospects.
        I’m sure, if he makes himself a useful scapegoat for the ‘West’ as the Guardian writers referred to it yesterday – he would be rewarded.

        So the following, note the evocative phrasing that is slipped in :

        “‘ a desperate last-minute effort to try to avoid Russia invading Ukraine

        ‘French president says he has persuaded Vladimir Putin to endorse discussions on possible leaders’ summit’

        Patrick Wintour and Jon Henley in Paris’

        ‘Macron claimed he had persuaded ..’

        “..during a 105-minute telephone call on Sunday..”

        ‘ ..The chink of diplomatic light came after Putin spoke on the phone with Macron, his favoured western interlocutor, ..’

        ‘ [putin] is instead involved in an elaborate deceit of the French.’

        ‘ [Macron] does know that he may fail, and probably will, but he is right to try, and deserves our support and understanding.’

        ‘An Élysée official confirmed ‘

        ‘The Kremlin said that in the phone call, Putin had expressed serious concern over the sharp deterioration of the situation on the line of contact in Donbas.
        ..saying he “reiterated the need for the United States and Nato to take Russian demands for security guarantees seriously and respond to them concretely and to the point”. It made no reference to Macron’s proposed leaders’ summit.’

        ‘The US and many European countries have alleged for months that Russia is trying to create pretexts to invade.’




      • Tatyana

        Peter M
        A lady on TikTok said it’s wrong to reply ‘You’re welcome’, though it was the phrase we were taught at my linguistic faculty. I was a student very long ago and I admit you may use something else now?

        If @Deepgreenpuddock by chance visits here, I found the original of Putin’s regret on the USSR collapse

        “… the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.
        Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country’s integrity. Oligarchic groups – possessing absolute control over information channels – served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere…”

        Out of these words some half-fucks invented the idea that Putin wants to restore the USSR.

        • JohnA

          Tatyana, “you’re welcome” is perfectly acceptable to say in reply to someone saying thank you.

          • Fuddledee

            “You’re welcome” tends to be a British response to being thanked for something.
            It can be used in an ironic sense with different intonation when someone forgets to say thank you.

            “Don’t mention it” is also used quite regularly in informal settings.

            American English tends to use “No Problem” or “De nada”
            Australia “No worries”

            Douglas Adams got it about right in his Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy where the speaking lifts always said “Glad to be of Service”

            To have a bit of fun you can get trapped in the German language with “Danke” and “Bitte”

          • Tatyana

            thank you hugely for the link!!!
            Mr. Armstrong makes great research, my respect! He mentions that such misquotation was repeated by Obama and by senators Ted Cruz, John McCain and Roger Wicker. I’m far from adding Mr. Obama to the list of f*ckwits, he is the man of class, though hostile to Russia, but I should pay due respect he is intelligent person. I rather blame this misquotation to their Special Adviser on Russia, any ideas who is it?

            Also, I noticed something in the translation that I personally don’t agree with. I’m not a Kremlin translator, never were I even working as a translator, so I don’t feel I have any right to criticise them. Nonetheless, in the piece

            “Sometimes you can hear that since the Russian people have been silent for centuries, they are not used to or do not need freedom. And for that reason, it is claimed our citizens need constant supervision. I would like to bring those who think this way back to reality, to the facts. To do so, I will recall once more Russia’s most recent history. Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century.”

            The phrase ‘Above all’ is wrong. It must be ‘Before that’ or ‘Firstly’. In Russian it is Прежде всего meaning is ‘before I proceed with my speech please let me give you some background’
            Semantically these are completely different meanings, compare “above all” and “earlier than”. Perhaps the superlative shadow of sense in the ‘above all’ was the reason to imply that Putin gives some grandeur to the catastrophe.

          • JohnA

            You are welcome Tatyana! I agree Obama is obviously intelligent, but he was a snakeoil salesman, protecting the interests of the financial backers of the Democrats rather than the electorate. Sadly, that is what ‘democracy’ is all about in the US and Britain.

        • Jimmeh

          > A lady on TikTok said it’s wrong to reply ‘You’re welcome’

          That lady is simply mistaken. Don’t believe everything you read on TikTok. “You’re welcome” is polite and restrained. If someone thanks you for something, it’s appropriate to acknowledge their thanks, and “You’re welcome” is probably the most common way of doing that.

        • Tom Welsh

          I disagree with the lady on Tik-Tok. As a 73-year-old Scot with a good education (both my parents were teachers, too) I think that “You’re welcome” is a polite and normal way to acknowledge thanks.

          Nowadays many people have the strangest ideas. Perhaps the lady on Tik-Tok is one of those who get angry when a man opens a door for them, or rises when they enter. Who knows?

  • Seersucket

    Russia has the entire line of control covered by an Iskander missile and drone umbrella, directed by overhead satellite if the polish ethnics/banderas advance into Donbass. After the carnage, Saakashvili’s Georgia retreat will be regarded as having been a picnic, and all done without even one Russian soldier entering Ukraine. But there is a reason why we have such a surfeit of dumb pPlish jokes, the Zelensky/Tymoshenkos may just con them into cannon fodder mode, their $6b gas transit and free siphoning scheme must be maintained, NORDSTREAM2 CANNOT BE ALLOWED.

    • WS

      What are you talking about? What Polish ethnics? Do you have any proof of Polish engagment in Donbas???

  • Per Terram

    Mr Murray,

    Your suggestion that the OSCE ’employees’ working on the LDNR/Ukraine Contact Line are a reputable source of reliable information on who is doing what to whom is ludicrous.

    As a former ’employee’ of HMG I am acquainted with several other former employees of HMG who have worked for the OSCE, both in the Ukraine & elsewhere. The entire organisation is constructed to ‘appear’ to create the façade of providing an impartial & reliable source of information & intelligence on what is the tactical situation on any given place where conflict or unrest occurs.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Having discussed their time in the OSCE with me my ‘acquaintances’ have reliably informed me that the ranks of the OSCE are full of NATO personnel on ‘sabbaticals’ & SIS types from the major political players within the EU.

    If you just for a second pause & look at the thousands of women, children & elderly who are fleeing their homelands in the LDNR to the EAST into Russia I think you might just be able to figure out who the aggressor is on the contact line.

    And just for the record. The Ukrainian ‘Regime’ – installed by the Obama/Biden Administration under the stewardship of Ms Nuland in 2014 have banned Ukrainians with Russian ethnicity living in the eastern Ukraine (LDNR) from speaking Russian, or Russian being taught to school children there amongst other racially motivated measures.

    Even the so called ‘Butcher of Syria’ “Assad” never did such a thing.

    I am with those people fleeing from Ukrainian aggression, I am with the Russians, I am with the democratically elected Govt of the Syrian Arab Republic & the People of Syria, I am with the people of Palestine.

    • Wikikettle

      Per Terram. Its not insignificant that the Russian defence minister visited Syria. The constant pressure on Russia by NGOs in all former Soviet Republics and the coup in Ukraine and decades of sanctions has not degraded Russia or its economy. Fareed Zakaria of CNN claims Russia is in decline ! He also tells his declining audience that night is day, they don’t believe him. By any objective standard Putin has brought his country and its dignity up. While USA now is thrashing around naked, trying to convince the world it has clothes on. Russia in my opinion will now exert its own pressure on USA in Syria and Iraq, with the help of Iran and China. Israel will have to be very careful from now on. Lavrovs diplomatic overtures, the Minsk agreements, NATOs assurances, Highly Likely ‘evidence are all a thing of the past. The chess game now moves to a new level and venue, whatever Macron tries. Pressure is not always one way, it blowback. Keep an eye on US occupation in Syria and Iraq. Keep an eye on Saudi Arabia and UAE. A new ” technical and military ” venue.

      • Per Terram

        I agree,

        Shoigu visiting Heimim AB last week was significant.

        Nothing would please me me more than seeing a rapid Ru Aviation/VDV Airborne reinforcement operation staged from behind the Urals using Iran as a forward mounting base to FIX the US Forces in eastern Syria, followed by an invitation to withdraw ASAP the closest NATO border.

        All under the cover of the Khinzal, Iksander & Avangard from as far afield as the Black Sea & the Caspian Sea.

    • Tom Welsh

      Per Terram, although I have no such background or sources as you, I have been following NATO wars since 1990, and I completely agree with what you say about OSCE. In 2014, when the UAF first tried to force their way into Donbas, it was notorious that OSCE turned a blind eye to the most outrageous violations.

      I can’t get a reponse from Fort Russ, but here is a copy of a news item from 2017. First the photograph that accompanied the story, showing OSCE people fraternising with UAF tank crews who were not allowed to be anywhere near the front line under the terms of the current agreement.

      “OSCE February 1, 2017. Tanks? Not here.”

      OSCE observers fraternize with Ukrainian tankers using residential Avdeevka as human shields
      February 2, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

      Christelle Neant in DONiPRESS, translated by Tom Winter –

      The Ukrainian army has redeployed heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers near the front line, as noted by international observers.

      Weapons that are used from children’s playgrounds, schools, or the Avdeyevka coke plant, allow the Ukrainian army to use the civilians who live there and work as human shields.

      Yesterday the residents of Avdeyevka shared photos and videos taken in the afternoon showing OSCE observers having a sympathetic discussion with Ukrainian soldiers near the Ukrainian army tanks that were in the middle of the residential area, at Number 20 Molodyozhnaya Street.

      While the deputy head of the OSCE mission, Alexander Hug, is trying to have the ceasefire respected (which allowed the repair work of the water treatment plant to take place and to restart), his subordinates in territory controlled by the Ukrainian army protect the Nazis who used artillery and tanks from the dwellings of Avdeyevka to fire on the cities of Donetsk, Makeyevka and Yasinovataya.

      All this gives the impression that some representatives of the OSCE are trying to aggravate the situation by informing the Ukrainian army of the best places and times to shoot, to reach vital infrastructures, or prevent repairs from taking place.

      In view of this new scandal, the authorities of the DNR have demanded that this flagrant violation of the OSCE mandate give rise to an investigation and that measures be taken for observers to objectively cover the situation — without concealing the crimes of the army against civilians.

      For his part, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the People’s Republic of Donetsk, has issued assurances, saying that these attacks are those of a regime in its agonies and that despite the civilian losses of the last few days, victory is, from now on, at hand.

    • Per Terram

      I could not give a single **** frankly; they can come & try if they want, having been at the ‘sharp end’ a few times spreading ‘freedom & democracy for the ‘5 eyes’ in the ‘sand box’ I’m not frightened in the least.

  • Michael K

    ‘Ukraine’ doesn’t want to get into a war with Russia or a bloody conflict with Ukrainians in the Donbas region. This would be a ghastly civil war involving two sets of Ukrainians fighting each other for no good reason. Like Lancashire going to war with Yorkshire, again.

    Zelenksy isn’t really a tiptop politician. He’s an actor who bizarrely was playing a politician and now finds himself occupying a real role he’s completely unsuited for. But he was elected with a mandate to solve the situation and not to start the civil war again. He was the peace candidate.

    London and Washington are dreaming of turning Ukraine into a new Afganistan for Russia. This time pouring weapons into an occupied Ukraine and supporting the ‘resistance’ this time using neo-Nazi armed forces as their new Islamic guerillas. That turned out so well in Afghanstan, didn’t it! Still, destroying Ukraine and creating a vicious war there, in the heart of Europe, is a small price to pay for damaging Russia.

    The Europeans, apart from Poland and the Baltic states, don’t want war in Ukraine. The damage to the German economy would be worse than to the Russian. But Germany is a rudderless ship at the moment. A country without the ability to even defend or pursue its clear, objective interests; virtually an American colony, like most of Europe. How this miserable state of affairs plays out in the longterm in Germany is anybody’s guess.

    Can the Europeans avoid war breaking out in Ukraine, if London and Washington want a war to break out in Ukraine? That would appear to be the central and bloody question. The fascist militias in Ukraine need conflict too. Without conflict they cease to be relevant and loose power and influence in Ukraine, because they have so little real support among the Ukrainian people. If they are pushed into attacking the Donbas, can the Russian-backed militias there hold the line on their own? If they can, then that’s a good thing. The offensive grinds to a halt and the civil war stops, for now. If they can’t resist the Asov battalions and are overwhelmed, then Russia will probably be forced to intervene to rescue them from total defeat and then London and Washington get the ‘Russian invasion’ they want and have groomed the public for. What happens then?

    • Akos Horvath

      I generally agree with you on rudderless Germany, except that I think the fake Greens of Baerbock and Habeck do want a war in the Donbass. The greens came a long way from their anti-war past represented by Joska Fischer. They are the most militant party in Germany today and almost overtly anti-Russian and anti-Chinese racists.

      They are ideological zealots who see a war in the Donbass as a golden opportunity to terminate NS2. Remember, NS2 carries gas not just for Germany but for the entire EU. They are blackmailing every country downstream to adopt the completely failed German Energiewende, whose end results so far have been increased CO2 emissions and the world’s highest electricity and energy prices.

  • Michael K

    I think the Big Picture relating to Ukraine is that a conflict there would kill two birds with one stone, or perhaps three birds!

    A conflict in Ukraine would damage/weaken both Russia and Europe far more than the United States. Germany would come under almost total US control and would never achieve full sovereignty or independence. Germany’s energy supplies, and Europe’s, would be reliant on American ‘goodwill’ for decades. Germany couldn’t move closer to Russia economically and this means moving closer to China at the same time. Germany couldn’t become part of the massive New Silk Road project, which links up all of Eurasia, all those resources, all those markets, all that potential wealth and power. Germany kept down and with it the rest of Europe. Germany forced in the role of a ‘loyal’ colony of Washington for the foreseeable future. There’s a lot at stake in Ukraine.

    • Tom Welsh

      “A conflict in Ukraine would damage/weaken both Russia and Europe far more than the United States”.

      Which is exactly why the US government wants it. Why politicians who are supposed to act in the interests of their own countries also do so is a question to be asked of Messrs Johnson, Macron, etc. (My guess is something that begins with “m” and ends with “y”).

  • Peter Mo

    I can see where the “kindergarten trick” is coming from. During 2000-2012 I was monitoring Israel’s publicity breakouts and found a consistent pattern. The “attacks” supposedly from HAMAS rockets that I researched mostly proved bogus leading to the conclusion all the kindergarten “hits” were false. The amazing coincidence was that there were never any children present. The other interesting discovery was that there actually was considerable disagreement between IDF and police.

  • S

    I can understand a theory that the US wants to be stubborn about keeping NATO membership options open. I can also understand that some people benefit from weapons sales, sanctions, and news distractions. But Craig seems to suggest that the US wants to provoke Russia to actually invade.

    Can anyone explain what the US would want to happen next? Do they want Russia to invade, and win? Do they want Russia to invade and lose? Both options seem quite catastrophic. Or do they want a never-ending messy invasion?

    • Wikikettle

      S if you read through Craig’s previous article and the comments, you will have your answer.

      • S

        Thanks, I do read the articles and comments. Now we see the outcome, at least the first part of it. It must have been foreseen by the US, but I’m still not sure how it’s such great news for the US.

    • Tom Welsh

      S, they want to make as much trouble as possible for Russia, for as long as possible. Their ideal goal would be to break Russia up into small, impotent sub-states that could easily be looted.

  • Squeeth

    The weapons that American Caesar has been running to the Ukrainian nazis; are the from the factory or hand-me-downs from the US head-chopping, heart-eating rapers and slavers in the middle east?

  • APOL

    “The government of Canada is an exemplary WEF force. Not only is Trudeau a Young Global Leader “by the world’s” economic forum, but there are many other important politicians, WEF members. Chrystia Freeland, for example, the Minister of Finance and the Trudeaus substitute. Or Katrina, Gold, family and social Affairs Minister. Also, Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, science and industry and Economic development.

    There is more: Canada’s Ambassador to the EU, Ailish Campbell is also a WEF member. As Renee Maria Tremblay, who is of counsel at the Supreme court of Canada act “

    Food for thought.

  • Alan Miller

    This is a typical UK action by a media owned
    Mainly by SKY news owned by the Murdoch empire
    along with the racking bias of the Times

    • Wikikettle

      Its very interesting how WION, an Indian outlet, expected to pump out anti China propaganda, is also now increasingly turning against an old ally of India in its coverage of Ukraine. Is it Murdoch owned ? I guess they are trying to get India into the Western camp ?

  • Jeremn

    OSCE can be professional, I’m sure, but I can’t forget Michael Bociurkiw the Canadian spokesperson of OSCE who was “first on the scene” of the MH17 crash and first to see shrapnel-like holes. Hmm. Now an author, journalist, TEDx speaker, CNN contributor and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

    Seems he did his job well enough at OSCE to get noticed by the right people.

  • David Bruce

    Craig, you are a beacon of light in these dark times. Your intelligent, informed analysis of the situation brings some clarity to this complex situation. Keep up the good work please!

  • joel

    It’s not only the long track record of NATO and US-UK governments in making false claims. It’s that liberal media for years now has had a doctrine that you can make any outrageous claim about Russia and experience no professional consequences when it proves completely false.

    100% guaranteed all the characters who parrot approved narratives here about the Kindergarten bombing or whatnot were saying for years that Donald Trump would be frogmarched out of the White House in chains and jailed for Russian collusion.

    All this Ukraine stuff confirms again they will never, ever reflect and learn. It is because they are never derided in their own circles for being continually wrong and being repeatedly, credulously misled about everything by MSM. There is never any embarrassment because they take their cues from all the shameless, unaccountable media and political figures they admire — people who they’ll continue to believe in with all their beings to the bitter end, no matter the stakes.

    • Tom Welsh

      “All this Ukraine stuff confirms again they will never, ever reflect and learn”.

      That’s not quite how it works, Joel. They don’t want to “learn”; they want to win. So they will go on trying everything they can think of, unless it blows up in their faces so violently that they regret it. Which has never yet happened. Until they win.

      Rather like those companies that continually “cold call” complete strangers from call centres in countries where labour is dirt cheap. They make millions of calls, and strike lucky perhaps once in a hundred or a thousand. But when they do sink their hooks into a sucker, they often get away with tens of thousands in pure profit. Since there is no downside and they make money at it, they keep trying. And my daydreams about their offices being hit by mysterious cruise missiles never come true.

  • RogerDodger

    “Yet again the parallel to the Iraq War is striking to those of us who recall the rubbishing by the US/UK of the reports of the UN weapons inspection team, in favour of propaganda and outright lies in order to start a war.”

    Quite so. I certainly remember the media blitz against Hans Blix…

  • iain

    There are no tricks Biden & co won’t stoop to at this point to generate a conflict no one wants except the arms merchants, western energy firms & the Azov lot. They have no qualms cos no matter how obvious the false flag the media will sell it hard.

  • Jack

    Great post Craig. I have wondered that myself why these reports are not used more… but as you say, media is not interested, it is only about propaganda, it is sickening how western media/politicians deny the ongoing attacks by Ukraine!

    Also, as one expected:

    Ukrainian Media Claims Zelenskyy Quietly Hoping Russia Will Recognise Donbass Breakaways (21 Feb 2022) – by Ilya Tsukanov (Sputnik News)

    1. Attack Donbas
    2. Provoke Russian response
    3. Bury the Minsk agreement
    4. Solve the Donbass issue by war with the backing of the west
    5. Surge in the approval of Zelensky before the election

    That is the goals Ukraine rules on.

  • El Dee

    When you refer to the ‘government troops’ etc I take it that none of these are the neo Nazi militias that have previously been referenced? I appreciate that you’re not there and it is only the reports that you can read but I wondered what role they played ie are they directed by the government as if they were part of the army or are they autonomous?

  • M.J.

    Germany and France have now advised their citizens to leave Ukraine. Correspondingly, Lufthansa and Air France have cancelled flights to Ukraine.
    The accumulating news adds to the likelihood of a comprehensive Russian invasion of Ukraine in the near future, not the opposite.

    Geh Raus! Sortez vite!

    • laguerre

      Your news doesn’t change anything. So, European states take excessive security precautions. So what’s new? There’s still no evidence of a prospective Russian attack.

    • Frank Hovis

      Thanks for that timely bulletin but I’m sure everyone reading this blog is just as capable of monitoring the media as you are.

      Va te faire foutre!

  • Goose

    With powerful US and EU backers, Ukraine’s fragile, far from wholesome govt and Zelensky are increasing adopting the spoilt brat tendencies of the Israeli govt when presented with information they don’t like.

    Report(s) from an international organisation renowned for its impartiality and too diverse in composition to conspire, you don’t like?

    Dismiss those producing said report(s) as being somehow biased against you, with the US and UK backing you up.

    The US and UK are systematically undermining everything about the rules-based order we claim we stand for. The Trump-esque tantrum-threatening behaviour isn’t new; previous administrations behaved exactly the same way. So sad to see two great countries reduced to this due to low grade representatives. I sincerely wish we were scrupulously impartial, and determined to protect and uphold the sanctity and independence of what should be and need to be highly respected international bodies if humanity is to have any future without major wars. The US+UK have around 5% of the world’s population. What example are we setting for the next hegemonic power?

    The Russians are far from angels, but Blinken may as well be US cyclist Lance Armstrong; admired across Europe, dominant, ruthless in achieving objectives and seemingly honest. But in reality, all is not what it seems.

  • Ralph

    Craig, no, no, no it is NOT: ‘[osce] a brilliant organisation’ – maybe one time, but NOT now, or since the start of the smm’s mission in the Donbass, it is utter SHIT. I have read something like 800(?) of its daily reports, and stopped (dunno why I read so many, but…). Go and ask the people in the Donbass republics what THEY think of them, & be prepared for swearing when you hear interviews from those living near the contact line. They are also called 3 blind mice, & live in the luxury park inn hotel in Donetsk, getting €10 000 pm, at least (last time I read, a few years ago, but would/should include an allowance for being in danger). But above all, the osce has the serial lying, warmongering usa in it, so all the other member’s opinions do NOT count for shit.

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