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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        • Wikikettle

          I mentioned the visit by Russian defence minister to Syria. That Israel has to be very careful. Well RT now reports that Israel is very concerned about the deteriorating situation between Russia and US. So it should. Its been bombing Syria with impunity, causing Russian plane to be shot down, violating Lebanese air space to bomb Syria. Well if US wants to play the constant pressure game on Russia, I think now Russia is going to respond in Syria to US occupation there, and Iran in Iraq and in Saudi Arabia and UAE. Mission to send the price of oil up and Russia to tell Israel, you went too far with your nuclear terrorism, assasinations and tell Saudi Arabia and UAE, they better sort it out with Iran and stop bombing Yemen. And we haven’t even mentioned what pressure China is now going to exert! As they say people in glass houses ….

          • Wikikettle

            “Freedom of Navigation ” Egypt and UK made a big mistake preventing Iran transiting the Suez Canal and Entering the Med via Gibraltar. Just on massive container ship breaking down in the canal, screwed up the whole world economy. Russias new Artic sea route and Chinese naval build up to keep open the straits of Mallaca are the result. Most people don’t know that US blockaded Japan prior to Pearl Harbour. China depends on its sea trade and “Freedom of Navigation”

        • Akos Horvath

          Unfortunately this is not the case. Hungary is a NATO vassal state at the end of the day.

        • Akos Horvath

          Orban’s government wants to do business with Russia and China. We have a couple of big projects going on with both. Just signed a 15-year gas deal with Gazprom and Russia is expanding our NPP in Paks. The Chinese are building the high speed rail between Belgrade and Budapest and also plan to open Fudan University’s campus in Budapest.

          But I am not surprised Orban backed down. The EU treats its periphery the same way Washington treats Western Europe, as vassals who have to follow orders.

          If the opposition wins in a few months, Hungary will be like the Baltic midgets and Poland, a hysterically anti-Russian paranoid state. The language the Hungarian greens are using about Russians and Chinese borders on overt racism. They are following in the footsteps of their heroes, the German greens.

    • Tatyana

      EU sanctions 350 Parlamentarians! Bravo! Ordinary citizens applause! Our hopes EU not to forget to sanction their spouses and other family as well.
      I better illustrate it with popular joke 🙂

      Lavrov calls Shoigu and says:
      – Listen, Kozhugetovich, do not hit New York please, my daughter lives there.
      Shoigu says:
      – Hey, Peskov asked me not to strike London and Paris, Medvedev asked not to hit Berlin. Others called me too, so the list is long. Listen, Lavrov, where do I strike then?
      – Well, I suggest Voronezh, there are definitely none of ours there.

  • Tatyana

    Yesterday I was asked if I would feel sorry for these sanctioned people. That’s what I think. The new sanctions look like a gift to Putin, who has long sought to nationalize Russian elites.
    The last time Britain sanctioned Rotenberg was in 2014 and then we could afford to build the Crimean Bridge, Rotenberg was the major investor. I hope that this year’s sanctions will also be fruitful, because a bridge near Yakutsk is very much needed to connect Siberia and ports in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.
    For common people like me – do you remember Navalny’s video about the luxurious palace, which he attributed to Putin, but turned out to be owned by Rotenberg? I saw that Italian furniture purchased at exorbitant prices. My point is that if I were in the furniture business, then selling only one sofa at only half the price he paid to the Italians, could probably secure my finance for years!
    Reading the news about the sanctions, I can’t help but think that we’re watching a show about a bad cop and a good cop.
    Mr. Borrell hinted at diamonds in Antwerp 🙂 apparently someone let him know that Russia is the largest diamond miner in the world, so Mr. Borrell should better shut his mouth. He deleted that tweet.
    What’s funny about all these new sanctions is that people are re-sanctioned. Apparently, the West has already introduced all possible sanctions, so now it goes around the second circle.

  • conjunction

    This thread seems to be fading but I thought I’d post anyway as I’ve just discovered something I find interesting.

    I have been struggling to understand the reasons for Putin’s actions. I know that he personally controls the Russian economy and is quite ruthless about it from reading ‘Putin’s People’ by Catherine Belton. He has integrated gangster capitalism in Russia in a way that can only be done in the West covertly and got it all under his personal control.

    Perhaps people on this blog including Craig will not agree with what I have said above nor with the excerpts below from an article printed in The Economist by Alexander Gabuev who is a senior fellow and chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Programme at the Carnegie Moscow Centre.

    That’s OK but some of you might want to read them anyway.

    A few days ago I read an interview with Kaja Kallas, President of Estonia in the Financial Times in which she said:

    ‘There seems to be a certain type of naivety towards Russia. I was trying to explain this to President Macron as well: you’re seeing this through the prism of a democratic country. You say that’s it’s going to be super-expensive for Russia to have a war . . . [Putin] doesn’t care. He’s not up for elections.’

    I felt this was a clue and this is what Gabuev has to say. I can’t link to the article because the Economist won’t let you read it.

    ‘ANYWHERE YOU turn in Moscow, it’s easy to find members of the Russian elite who wonder why the West thinks that war in Ukraine is the Kremlin’s preferred course of action. Even if the Russian army managed to force Kyiv into a swift and humiliating defeat without too many casualties, the damage to Russia’s national interests would surely outweigh any potential military gains.

    The problem is that the same logic was just as true eight years ago when the fateful decisions were made to annex Crimea and to stir conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region. The fact that Russia has been able to endure the international fallout for all these years helps to explain why the region finds itself again on the brink of war.

    When it comes to Ukraine, people in Moscow and the West can be forgiven for assuming that the Kremlin’s policy is informed by a dispassionate strategy derived from endless hours of interagency debate and the weighing of pros and cons. What actually drives the Kremlin are the tough ideas and interests of a small group of longtime lieutenants to President Vladimir Putin, as well as those of the Russian leader himself. Emboldened by perceptions of the West’s terminal decline, no one in this group loses much sleep about the prospect of an open-ended confrontation with America and Europe. In fact, the core members of this group would all be among the main beneficiaries of a deeper schism.

    Consider Mr Putin’s war cabinet, which is the locus of most decision-making. It consists of Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Security Council; Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB (the main successor agency of the KGB intelligence service); Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service; and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu. Their average age is 68 years old and they have a lot in common. The collapse of the Soviet Union, which Mr Putin famously described as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, was the defining episode of their adult lives. Four out of five have a KGB background, with three, including the president himself, coming from the ranks of counterintelligence. It is these hardened men, not polished diplomats like Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who run the country’s foreign policy.

    In recent years members of this group have become very vocal. Messrs Patrushev and Naryshkin frequently give lengthy interviews articulating their views on global developments and Russia’s international role. According to them, the American-led order is in deep crisis thanks to the failure of Western democracy and internal conflicts spurred by the promotion of tolerance, multiculturalism and respect for the rights of minorities. A new multipolar order is taking shape that reflects an unstoppable shift in power to authoritarian regimes that support traditional values. A feisty, resurgent Russia is a pioneering force behind the arrival of this new order, along with a rising China. Given the state of affairs in Western countries, the pair contend, it’s only natural that they seek to contain Russia and to install pro-Western regimes in former Soviet republics. The West’s ultimate goal of a colour revolution in Russia itself would lead to the country’s conclusive collapse.’

    Gabuev goes on to say sanctions will have very little effect for various reasons, as had been said on this thread.

    • JohnA

      Relying on Belton, the Economist, and the President of Estonia is not going to give you a very balanced, or likely, accurate picture. For a critique of Belton I suggest John Helmer’s blog Dances with Bears; she has already lost court cases for making things up. The Economist is reliably wrong about pretty much everything and the baltic states are going to end up depopulated thanks to eu membership and extreme neoliberalism.

    • Akos Horvath

      When you see the name of the president of Estonia, stop reading. The ultimate naïveté is to believe that anything objective and useful can come out of such a source. Criticism is fine, but these crusader Russophobes do nothing but rant about anything and everything Russian. A complete waste of time.

      • Wikikettle

        Columbia joins North Atlantic………Plate Techtonics……soon we will hear Venezuela is ” Invading ” Columbia…….Panama was part of Colombia till USA decided the Canal needed a new country they could recognise and control.

    • Jack

      Estonian lol,
      Sure one could or rather should question russian motives but dragging sources from baltics have no place in the debate.
      Their view on Russia is like 50% xenophobia and 50% conspiracy theories. On top of it, they are the most hawkish group of nations.

      It is very easy on the motive, Russia have been complaining about nato expansion last 15 or so years, in their view west did not listen to russian concerns so now Russia would act the same.
      Not to say that I agree with their latest moves, I do not, but that is their position and it is not hard to comprehend.

  • Tatyana

    Guardian News on YouTube published a video with Putin saying he is still open for diplomacy. People in comments were arguing about if there were ceasefire violations, so I replied with the link to the OSCE reports. My comment got deleted in a blink of an eye 🙂

      • Goose

        The BBC has once again been attacking Corbynite Young Labour today, for not being ‘patriotic’ and pro-war, demanding they endorse their criticisms of Russia. One presenter yesterday demanded aggressively, in a rhetorical question to YL’s Jess Barnard, “..are you going to defend a man [Putin] who released a biological weapon in Salisbury?” Wtf BBC? And… biological? This from the same BBC that shouts about the threats of misinformation.

        That’s how thin-skinned and paranoid these vile, vicious London media people are becoming; they’ll treat anyone not parroting their demonstrably BS narrative, as the enemy within. None of them will allow anyone to query what the people of Donetsk and Luhansk have endured for the last eight years; and why they greeted the Russians as liberators? Why would anyone there want to rejoin a Ukraine that has blockaded and shelled them since 2014?

        The US tweet of Ukraine civilisation a thousand years ago vs a pre-settlement, forested Moscow was amusing. A thousand years ago the only people in N.America were the native Americans, the Navajo. That’s before white settlers arrived from Europe to steal their lands, execute their leaders and slaughter their tribes.

      • Goose

        Moves to ban RT TV too.

        UK politicians claiming its a source of ‘Russian disinformation’. If that were true it’d gone the way of PressTV.

        ‘The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’
        — George Orwell

    • Goodwin

      My reply to this blog stating that a certain Mr Murray was in denial was also deleted so whose “stenography unit” is this then? I now see that Craig has been publishing his yesterday’s court report. Can we now, perhaps, look forward to his early condemnation of Russian agression?

      [ Mod: Your comment was deleted because it incorporated an email address.

      You can state that CM is in denial of the events in Ukraine if you like – but given that he had a critical court appearance yesterday, which he was writing up until after 2am, and has been in correspondence with lawyers this morning, it’s more likely that there are other urgent matters competing for his immediate attention. ]

  • Tatyana

    Ukrainian Ambassador invites Serbian President to condemn Russia’s recognition of Donbas’ independence 🙂

    President Vučić:

    “I invite Mr. Aleksandrovich to call the president of his country Mr. Zelenskyy and ask him to condemn as early as this evening on television the horrific and tragic aggression against Serbia by the US, the United Kingdom, Germany and other countries and I am sure that he will do so. As soon as he does this, I will gladly accept his invitation and answer his pleas”.

      • Goose

        Aaron is very good. Very calm and professional; he’s diligent and and sticks to the known facts / information to counter his many opponents.

        He’s bested the likes of Luke Harding(over the Collusion allegations) and Bellingcat, the latter on quite a few occasions. For this, he tends to get blocked by the various thin-skinned warmongers in propaganda organisations & think tanks. If we had a truly balanced media, he’d be a star, alas, he’s a bit of a fringe voice, like Craig. I always try to catch up on his tweets.

        • Wikikettle

          Goose. Max Blumenthal, Aaron’s colleague on The Grayzone is brilliant, brave, as is Anya Parampil. The world is fortunate in having young journalists following in the footsteps of the Great Robert Fisk.

          • Goose


            Some of the best journalists around in terms of producing well-researched, informative investigative pieces, and I’m not saying that because I agree with their ideological pro-transparency, anti-war, dovish leanings. By any objective measure their reports are rich in detail, detail that the MSM choose to ignore. They put the guardian’s ‘opinion from an office in London’ style journalism to shame. The guardian largely did away with investigative journalism and journalists under Viner.

    • Goose

      Ukraine to DPR and LPR : Come back, please, we want to blockade and shell you some more… eight years was just the start..

      How will DPR and LPR resist this most enticing offer from Kyiv?


  • Father Ted

    Has anybody seen any reliable videos of Russian military movements in Donbass? I have spent a while looking and only found a couple of very low quality videos on Twitter. I’m wondering if there really is any significant Russian military presence in Donbass right now (17:55 on 23.02.22).

    • Tatyana

      No. Putin recognised the L&DPR to let Ukraine know we can stand for their defence. He also clearly stated he has not ordered military force to go there.
      Our UN representative said at yesterday’s UN meeting, that the sides of the conflict as in the Minsk agreement are Ukraine and the republics. Ukrainian president should abide by the Minsk agreement and finally talk to the leaders of L&DPR.
      Today Zelensky commented mockingly ‘talk to whom? Who are they?’
      Ukraine is not going to negotiate and looks like were never going to. They tried to solve it by force in 2014, 2015 and now ask for military help again.
      What is truly scary is that Zelensky hinted to nuclear weapons at recent Munich Security Conference. That’s too serious, Putin commented that Ukraine has means to build her own nukes from what is left after USSR. I don’t doubt UK and US may facilitate this plan.
      If it comes true, we will have a monkey with a grenade just around the corner.

      • Akos Horvath

        I seriously doubt Ukraine will be allowed to have nukes. Not even the yanks have an interest in that. It just speaks to Ze’s desperation.

    • laguerre

      On that subject, I heard on BBC Radio 4 this morning, evidently not to be repeated later in their news bulletins, their correspondent on the border saying that no columns of tanks were crossing the border. It was a woman, Lyse Doucet, I think. It was I suppose, personal observation, and collecting local accounts, not merely what she was personally seeing. Yeah, I saw a twitter video of trucks and APCs, but I don’t remember who published it, or whether it was confirmed to be there at that time. There does seem to be a remarkable absence of actual information about this supposed invasion.

  • Tatyana

    I know it is in fact not related to the discussion, but I can’t help asking, sorry.
    Is there a chance that Mr. Mercouris reads comments here? I noticed that in his latest videos he says ‘red maroon button’

  • Tatyana

    Yesterday’s events, sanctions, made me do some research. It turns that we are the biggest diamonds miner in the world, India is the biggest importer. I wonder why we sell diamonds via Antwerp at all, regarding their unfriendly politics? Why can’t we just trade to India directly? We could also make some price dumping trick, simply to troll DeBeers 🙂

    Also, it turned out that Ukraine couldn’t afford buying expensive gas last year, so they bought more coal. Guess what? 65% of coal imported into Ukraine was from Russia. Why are we doing that?

    Next is the NordStream2. September 2020, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Pomerania Manuela Schleswig:

    “The fact that the United States is threatening the leadership and employees of the small port of Mukran … is monstrous. And I expect you to support the citizens of our country.”

    Germany established a fund to protect the project of US sanctions.
    July 2021, Erwin Zellering said on the deal between Washington and Berlin:

    “It strengthens Germany’s sovereignty because we don’t let us dictate whom to buy gas from. And it strengthens our rule of law, because now the rash talk that this pipeline that has received all the permissions can simply be banned at the behest of the United States will stop”.

    Oh, really? Today your protective fund declared you abandon your task, Herr Zellering. Do you abandon your sovereignty either? Thanks for letting us know, we’ll work with more reliable partner.
    Ukrainian pipeline is worn out. NordStream1 may also require maintenance soon.

  • Giyane

    I very much hope that when he has finished de-Nazifying the independent regions of Ukraine Vladimir Putin will have a pop at de-Nazifying arsehole in chief, Boris Johnson. I never heard such Stygian mountains of lies as the Western propaganda machine.

    Putin has an absolute right to defend Russians in Ukraine against continual and increasing genocide. The Nazis are only there as proxies of USUKIS and its illegal and wrong attempts to hegemonise the entire planet. Where Hitler left off, Biden and Johnson pick up the flag of Nazi World Domination.

    Vladimir the Supremir . My motto for the msm .

    • PearsMorgain

      ” Putin has an absolute right to defend Russians in Ukraine against continual and increasing genocide ” Except that it isn’t happening.

      So Putin’s latest excuse for invading Ukraine is regime change, as illegal now as it was in 2003 when Bush/Blair invaded Iraq. So why aren’t you out protesting about it?

      • Bayard

        “So Putin’s latest excuse for invading Ukraine is regime change,”

        Except it isn’t, either.

        • PearsMorgain

          He says he wants to ‘De-Nazify’ the country. How else would you interpret that? This is also the man who not so very long ago was assuring everyone that he had no intention of invading.

          • Bayard

            “How else would you interpret that? “

            “When someone makes a move,
            Of which we don’t approve,
            Who is it that always intervenes?
            UN and OAS,
            They have their place I guess,
            But, first, send the Marines!”

            Written in 1965 and the US foreign policy hasn’t changed much. That doesn’t, however, mean that every other country acts in the same way, although I do realise that Americans often find this hard to realise.

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “Putin has an absolute right to defend Russians in Ukraine against continual and increasing genocide ” Except that it isn’t happening.”

        So what do you think the people continually firing into the Donbass would do to the inhabitants if they had the chance?

        “He says he wants to ‘De-Nazify’ the country. How else would you interpret that?”

        Self defense, unlke the Iraq invasion.

      • pretzelattack

        for one thing, the U.S. and NATO are behind this decades long aggression against Russia, instigating a coup in Ukraine with a notable fascist element. how do you excuse that, or do you just prefer to ignore it?

  • Tatyana

    Too late. They are shooting all along the conflict contact line.
    Putin announced special military operation. He spoke of de-militarization and de-Nazification, and said we are not planning an occupation and we will not impose anything by force.
    Little consolation, honestly. I don’t want any shooting. I don’t want any wars.

    • Wikikettle

      NATO instead of disbanding just rolled on to Russian borders. Decades of sanctions and now the period of Humiliation is over. Russia asked for a deal and a European wide security structure. It was rejected. So now Russia has started the long road to push NATO back to Germany. Poland and Bulgaria better ask NATO to leave.

      • Tatyana

        I understand that trying to negotiate something with NATO is useless. They only understand power. I see that this shooting was not unfounded. But just on a human level, it is perceived as a disaster. Point of no return.
        Zelensky addressed the Russians, he says what I myself said – we can just live side by side as good neighbors.
        I really can’t understand why it suddenly became impossible. After all, we lived in good relations with Ukraine for many years.

        • SA

          My sympathies to you, to the Russian and Ukrainian people. Divisions between closely related and neighbouring people have become poisoned recently since the Balkan wars and sadly this was all instigated and supported through a campaign to enlarge both the EU and NATO. The unfortunate way in which the CCCP collapsed and dissolved and the subsequent humilition of Russia and stealth of its assets give the impression to Europeans and Americans that they can also dissolve Russia itself. It is a very sad day but I also understand the hurt and humiliation that had to be stopped.
          What would really be great is if Putin could now also turn to the oligarchs that have stolen from the Russian people and regain what they stole.

        • Bayard

          “I really can’t understand why it suddenly became impossible.”

          It suddenly became impossible because the US decided it should become impossible.

    • PearsMorgain

      “He spoke of de-militarization and de-Nazification, and said we are not planning an occupation and we will not impose anything by force.”

      But that’s just what he is doing. Totally without justification.

      “I don’t want any shooting. I don’t want any wars.”

      This won’t end well for anybody.

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “Totally without justification.”

        Persecution of. and violence against, russian speakers.

  • Jack

    The idiocy of Russia just keeps on coming, not only declaring these states the other day, but now also invading and pounding it’s neighbour, this is not pretty, it is totally illegal, makes no sense to begin with. Russia cannot win this game. Russia would end up totally isolated on all fronts, hatred of Russia would flare up worldwide.
    Whatever happens from now on is totally the responsibility of Russia and especially Putin.

    If one is against US wars, Israeli annexation and so on, one is of course against this action by Russia too.

    • Wikikettle

      The republics were only recognised after seven years of ignoring Minsk agreements, which US UK EU never pressured Ukraine to implement. Russia tried to have a peace deal to no avail. NATO just ignored Russian concerns and used Ukraine to get at Russia. Would UK accept Russian bases and missiles in Wales and Scotland? Now Russia will attempt to push NATO back back to Germany. This is just the beginning. Very dangerous for Europe. US half a world away stirring it up.

      • Wikikettle

        Everything Scott Ritter predicted has come to pass. He being a US Army weapons inspector. As has Col Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff. NATO US UK EU have in effect destroyed Ukraine. Russia will leave as soon as it has been disarmed. Poland and Bulgaria must now consider their hosting NATO US bases and missiles seriously.

    • laguerre

      “Russia cannot win this game.”

      Although I don’t agree with the operation that’s been launched, to say Putin won’t win isn’t based on experience. Putin’s judged his military operations quite well so far. Except the Chechen war.

      • Jack

        He cannot win anything from this move. Attacking another nation like this – on top of annexing parts of it! – is not something any other state is going to support, respect nor accept – thus isolation, harsh sanctions is the reality for years to come. Russia’s reputation is forever tarnished.

        Nord Stream 2 is dead also and probably soon gas/oil deliveries altogether as europe is now definitely going to pick american companies over russian companies in the coming years – that in turn would wreck the russian economy which has already been tanking over the past decade.

        • laguerre

          He’s not bothered about isolation; the problem was evidently considered more serious than that. The ‘problem’ possibly being the threats to re-nuclearise Ukraine.

          • Jack

            Renuclearization was not a serious proposal to begin with, just an idea that was picked up by the media past days, but this invasion has obviously been planned months in advance.
            The core motivation seems to be that he want to pull, or rather force Ukraine towards Russia, that won’t work, that will only sharpen the resistance in Ukraine, just like US was not welcomed to Iraq in their invasion or when they invaded Vietnam.
            Russia was better off strategically with their relations to Ukraine, US, Europe – well the whole world – just one week ago than compared to now.

          • Tatyana

            Oh, nukes! That’s the problem of having a clown for the president.
            He might think he performs another comedy show, when in fact he is the President of a country openly hostile to Russia, and supported by other great nuclear countries hostile to Russia, speaking these words at the security conference in Munich, Germany, and German Chancellor saying at the same stage that genocide in Donbass is something ridiculous.

        • Wikikettle

          Jack. Russia’s back is to the wall. It has taken a fateful decision it tried for years not to make. It doesn’t want to win anything. It just wanted to be respected and left to be independent. The history of the Great Patriot War is ingrained in its population. Europe has invaded Russia and Russia has repelled it before and will again. US Regime change in Ukraine and support for Neo-Nazis was done to a script repeated in Afghanistan when it armed the Mujhadeen against the pro-Soviet government who invited USSR in. This play book has been repeated with no consideration for the civilian populations of Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, it purports to support. They are sacrificed for the benefit of their Empire. Now they are up against the defenders of Stalingrad.

        • Akos Horvath

          Israel has been doing all the things you have said for decades and seem to be welcome in civilized Western circles. The US has also been doing all except formal annexation and yet is still considered the leader of the free world.

          Anyway, I hope this war will be over very soon. That’s the only thing I can do. Hungary must stay out of this.

          When the dust settles, which might be a long time, Europe and Russia have to come to a mutually acceptable security arrangement, without the malign interference of US/UK shouting from their faraway shores. We live in this continent, not the yanks.

          • Jo Dominich

            Akos so right about Israel and USA. Maybe now EU and USA can impose severe sanctions on Israel for their continued massacre of Palestinians and of invading their land and country.

        • Bayard

          “– that in turn would wreck the Russian economy which has already been tanking over the past decade.”

          Who have you been reading? According to The Daily Telegraph, a paper not noted for its Russophilic views, the Russian economy is doing just fine at the moment and the West needs Russia far more than Russia needs the West. How is making gas and oil a lot more expensive for the West going to hurt Russia?

        • Jo Dominich

          Let’s be clear he hasn’t ‘attacked’ another nation. He is protecting the security of the Russian Federation and its people which he has every right to do. Fact: NATO is deeply expanding into the East contravening agreements they made with Gorbachov and other States, they have refused to implement the Minks Agreements despite multiple diplomatic efforts to secure these and have blatantly, openly and unashamedly orchestrated the current situation all so that NS2 can be stopped to support the USA. The USA bombs and invades any sovereign nations who it deems to be a ‘threat to USA security or USA interests well, Putin has been very very patient and now, quite rightly, he has taken action to secure the security of the Russian Federation which is his absolute and inalienable right to do – in the same way that the USA thinks it is theirs also.

  • Tatyana

    It’s a disgusting feeling that I’m going through right now. Moral torture. I have never felt more shame and regret. I never thought that this is possible with Ukraine.
    The military infrastructure has been destroyed. Kharkov is taken. Kiev will be soon.
    Thanks they have some weapons, or it would be totally like beating an infant.

    Being a big and strong state is primarily a responsibility, not intimidating neighbors with military power!
    I believe that the root of the problem today is that no one listens to the concerns of the big and strong.

    You praised here the envoy from Kenya. Yes, he’s right in an abstract sense, out of touch with reality. Many good kind and right words for some faraway country. His words for the Russian ear sounded like this: “Dear Donbass, could you die in silence please, otherwise your screams may provoke a conflict that will affect everyone, and we really want to live in peace. We will give you our advice, but we will not take any action for another 8 years.” Of course, this is unacceptable.

    It feels like Ukraine is a teenager playing very dangerous games. It’s a pity that they don’t listen to wise words, so dangerous toys have to be taken away by force. Again, I feel like I’m a mom watching my husband punishing my kid. Some thing must be done, but it’s torture to see the event. I hope Putin won’t go beyond what is necessary. I hope he’ll take dangerous toys away, say proper words and give time to think about what happened.

    • Tatyana

      For those who have been lying all these years about the Russian army in Ukraine – you’re welcome, now you see what a real Russian Army invasion looks like.
      Military bases have been destroyed. Are these those 8 American and 1 British, where “instructors” have been sitting for years? Seems the British is ended. Ochakovo was mentioned.
      The most relevant stream from Anatoly Shariy, in Russian, and they check for fakes

      • Goose

        Yes, it’s sad it came to this. But Minsk was going nowhere due to Zelensky’s and Kyiv’s intransigence bolstered by the US and NATO.

        Ukraine has had shockingly bad leadership, and Russia clearly, right or wrongly, feels compelled to put down a marker showing it’s deadly serious about NATO expansionism.

        I’m sympathetic to the position expressed in this tweet by @anyaparampil:

        Ukraine’s sovereignty ended in 2014 when the US overthrew its democratically elected leader in an illegal coup and installed a puppet gov’t

        At least 13,000 people have died in fighting since then in a war fueled by US weapons and neo Nazi militias. This war did not begin tonight.

        Ukraine has been used as a proxy by the US/NATO and now they’re paying a horrible price.

        The western media seem to be revelling in Russia’s losses and showing the relatively few Ukrainian casualties. Absurdly, Zelensky is urging citizens to fight to the last man and woman standing à la Japan?

        Thus far, thankfully, Russia doesn’t seem to be following the US doctrine of ‘Shock and awe’ (technically known as rapid dominance). No Hiroshima and Nagasaki: “instant, nearly incomprehensible levels of massive destruction directed at influencing society writ large, meaning its leadership and public, rather than targeting directly against military or strategic objectives even with relatively few numbers or systems.”

        Of course Russia doesn’t have the ‘US exceptionalism’ excuse to fall back to justify such things.

    • Wikikettle

      Tatyana. After WW2 it was agreed that if USSR left Austria, it would remain Neutral and not join NATO. It is not a member of NATO to this day ! All the ex Soviet Republics were free to be pro western, yet NATO broke agreements and rolled right to Russian borders with US bases and missiles. NATO aggressions, growth and countless wars has now brought it to the doors of your Mother Russia.

      • Tatyana

        I have repeatedly said that no past historical events should cause actions for the sake of revenge. We must live for the future, and not revolve constantly in the past. The war ended long ago, there were agreements, it was not worth breaking them. It was not worth the West to expand NATO and it was not worth constantly using the scarecrow of the USSR, modern Russia is not at all like that.
        Putin shouldn’t have mentioned so much history when he addressed the nation on the situation in Ukraine. That was all in the far away past. He should better focus on current events, on our security proposals to NATO, their answer and the Ukrainian position.
        That NATO won’t listen to it is up to them, Putin should have kept talking about it again and again, everywhere.

        • Wikikettle

          Tatyana. Talking is good if both parties hear the other person’s concerns. When one party is ruling the world and used to domination, their hearing gets impaired. When one party can impose sanctions (which are an act of war) repeatedly strangling that country’s economy, seizing assets, controlling the world banking system, something is terribly wrong. This they call Democracy and the Rules-Based System.

        • Jack


          Yes the speech on Ukraine was not beneficial for Russia, Putin was bashing Ukraine on and off; I did not like that, that’s not how you create peace between nations.
          Yes, Putin should have kept talking with Nato. There were meetings planned with France, Ukraine, US but instead Russia chose this path.
          Now Nato announce more troops on their way.

          NATO ‘deploying’ more forces to its eastern flank (RT News, 24 Feb 2022)
          The alliance has announced that it would also increase the readiness of its forces ‘to respond to all contingencies’

          • Tatyana

            Wasn’t it NATO’s plan from the very beginning? I saw Stoltenberg’s speech, he has no idea what were the treaties. I saw Blinken, Sholz and the unforgettable Liz Truss. Whom of them should we talk with? Can you please offer us someone with brain and knowlege?

          • Goose

            Jens Stoltenberg , much like the near-invisible, mostly unknown, UN Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, is a US imposition. The US provides the bulk of NATO and UN funding so their politicians understandably they think they should get to choose. They’ve threatened to pull funding in the past, when decisions weren’t going their way.

            You need smart, neutral, independent-minded people in these roles if we are to avoid catastrophic future wars, not US stooges who can only view things from the US perspective.

            The US whole political class are too thin-skinned to handle international criticism, especially over its unquestioning support for Israel and its foreign policy more generally. So we have these ‘yes-men’ who quite frankly aren’t up to making intelligent decisions and here we are.

        • Goose

          Were it left to just Europe and Russia, I honestly believe we could resolve our differences respectfully and easily with no aggro or use of force.

          Macron and Scholz came close – without the wholly unhelpful US interference – pushing Zelensky into rejectionist and hardline positions. We could’ve reached agreement and Ukraine would’ve implemented Minsk. The silly sequencing issues (Donbas autonomy vote before or after border control) that bedevilled it, resolved. Maybe by use of neutral peacekeepers? There may still be a chance?

          The idea the US has manufactured this whole crisis, using Ukraine’s leaders, to damage Russia and thwart NS 2, is hard to escape.

          • Tatyana

            Macron, probably, definitely not Scholz. I’ve seen press-conference after their meeting. He was all arrogant, biting Putin with his every phrase, didn’t listen, was hostile and mocking, stated their common set of states and smiled. The only thing he said worth listening to was that Europe can’t build its safety system without Russia.
            Later, their German Ambassador to Ukraine, Anka Feldhusen, I’ve seen her visiting TV shows. She said on Minsk agreement and Ukrainian unwillingness to imply it, she said Germany stands with Ukraine.
            Reminded me of the unfamous Nazi representative of Ukraine in Germany Marushinets, I still wonder who in Germany baked a Hitler cake for him.

          • Goose


            The British people aren’t as gung-ho, or as blinkered as our press, ministers and opposition.
            Also, has anyone seen how Paul Mason is now urging people to follow and support the often obnoxious Oz Katerji?

            The mask is truly off.

  • Jack

    Russia Acting Like “Nazi Germany”: Ukraine President On Moscow’s Invasion (24 Feb 2022) – New Delhi TV News

    Unfortunately Zelensky is right, Russia acting like a madman, how on earth could they not realize how this war will be perceived by the world? How could they be so blind? Have the whole elite lost their mind?

    I read rumours(?) that russian forces are now attacking Ukraine; it is in turn a colossal escalation.
    I believe we are on the verge that the west is about to make their own move in terms on attacks on Russian forces and/or commiting cyberattacks against Russia army operating in Ukraine.

    I see photos from bombed apartments, people in fear. Today my sympathies are with the ukranian people.

    • Goose

      It’s dreadful, I agree, all war is always a failure of diplomacy. Where was UN Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, supporting Macron and urging Minsk to be implemented, as the best path out of this mess?

      Tbh I doubt anyone is enjoying it; well, except for arms manufacturers and greedy finance people; those short selling in the stock market volatility.

      Our media were embedded for the Iraq and Afghan invasions, presenting them as righteous crusades; our bombs and missiles liberated people apparently , brought freedom! The US remains in Iraq despite their parliament voting they should leave and they’ve set-up base in Syria after the attempted regime change.

      I wish we had the right to criticise.

      • Wikikettle

        Goose. Lavrov with all his intelligence, intellect and high-minded diplomacy over many years failed to persuade his moronic bloodthirsty counterparts to implement Minsk. Russia could not wait any longer while more and more Ukrainian forces got embedded with Nato “Structures”. When Russia mentioned that they had had enough and were going to take “Technical” and Military options (after an appeal to formulate a European Wide Security arrangement taking their concerns seriously failed). I think by ‘Technical’ they meant first recognising the Republics then getting an invitation from them to help? Now we have the military phase. Russia has no interest in occupation or ruling a failed state as the US did, and is doing, in Afghanistan and Iraq. After Ukraine it will try and persuade Poland, Bulgaria and Romania to reject being launchpads for US missiles with diplomacy “FIRST”.

        • PearsMorgain

          By ‘persuade’ I suppose you mean ‘threaten’. Disarm or you’ll get the same. Its bullying tactics are likely to have the reverse effect.

          Russia won’t leave Ukraine until it’s kicked out.

          • Tatyana

            Neither would NATO.
            I see you have no objection to surrounding Russia with NATO bases. Do you think this is not a threat for Russia? Do you think all this military activity is a holiday picnic?
            I’m not surprised; this is the logic that led to what we have today.

          • PearsMorgain

            No one forced these countries to join NATO. They asked to be members because they were afraid of Putin. Looks like they were right to be concerned.

          • Tatyana

            Yes, looks like this. Not very wise politics it is to always smear Russia appealing to the USSR. They’d better stop revolving in their historical fears and better find a good diplomat to build new relations with the new Russia. But no, they chose the way of hostilities.
            I do not justify war, I just point out to the facts, the reason and the consequence. Nobody likes to live side by side with an enemy. And Putin looks like truly concerned with the security. I wish so much there would never be nothing military in the world. Why did they fail to talk?

  • Tatyana

    It is reported that water from the Dnieper will go again to the Crimea! Cool if that’s true! People will have fresh water!

    They also say that the deputies turned to Zelensky with a request to start negotiations. Zelensky spoke on TV and it seems he is not going to negotiate. He called on people to get weapons, called on the Russians to rally against the war.
    Great call, but too late, I’m afraid. No rally of any use now. Go and talk to Putin, the only way to end the war.

    • Wikikettle

      Tatyana, I know the Ukrainians cut off water to Crimea. How was it turned on again? Did Russia blow up the dam?

      • Tatyana

        Don’t know how, Wiki. I’m watching live stream with Anatoliy. Other media lag behind for several hours. Ukrainian authorities tell nothing, people don’t know what to do. Shelters were closed, people couldn’t get inside. Kharkov, women and kids are sitting in trains in subway. No news from the authorities. Anatoliy tries to persuade everyone stay home and not go in the streets.

        Just someone sent him video with the channel full of water! The author of the video shouted ‘Death to Bandera’ 🙂
        Now pray Russian Army controls Chernobyl, please pray!

          • Tatyana

            Not a good moment for this sort of reminders 🙁
            What I mean is a desperate president, who has no background to be a competent head of state, but is inclined to make a show of his every move. Not to forget the ex-head of his office, who mentioned cocaine. And, not to forget that those who hold Zelensky’s balls live very far away, and perhaps don’t mind another disaster to smear Russia.
            You better pray Chernobyl is controlled by Russian Army.

          • Goose

            Boris Johnson today called for Russia to be kicked off of SWIFT, and apparently met with opposition.

            The likely result of doing it would be to drive the growing coalition of US-critical nations to adopt alternatives. It’s believed China’s economy is too large and too important to be booted from SWIFT.

            U.S. policy around SWIFT is supposedly guided by the threat(fear) of dedollarisation. SWIFT transactions are settled in U.S. dollars, which helps solidify the US dollar’s status as the global reserve currency. If the US $ loses that precious status – as the global reserve currency, it could be game over with a $26.70 trillion national debt.

          • Tatyana

            Another clown, your Johnson. Is he retarded? No one sanction worked. The latest package of sanctions for Russia was #101, please let him know.

  • victor

    if you’re going for a walk in the woods and you come across a bear and you pick up a stick and start poking the bear,what do you think is going to happen?

    • mark cutts

      NATO (the US) and Russia remind me of a game we used to play as kids:

      What Time is it Mr Wolf?

      NATO and the West “assured” Mr Glasnost “Gorbachov (not in writing) fell for the “re-assurances” of The West via Regan that NATO would not encroach on the soon to be ex Soviet Union and install nukes and military installations nearer to Russia.

      They did encroach and privatised the ex Soviet Union (including the Ukraine) which led to the War of the Oligarchs in Russia and The city of London.

      Yes Putin is one of the Oligarchs but the wrong type of Oligarchs.

      Meanwhile back at the Ranch. Biden (sod the UK which is a minor player) is quite rightly not wanting to get involved in a potential nuke face off with another nuclear power.

      Funnily enough Trump (trust me I am no fan) spoke out of the mouth on babes as his view was to trade with Russian and the all gang up on China.

      He or some other Trumpian may get their chance as Biden has already dis- appointed many in the US.

      Strange bedfellows can come from a crisis but Russia and China are being forced together when the Us wanted them to stay apart.

      When thieves fall out a lot of strange things can happen.

    • Tatyana

      The bear would politely ask you to get your stick further away. He would also politely suggest to discuss how you respect bear’s right to live in his forest unthreatened by your sticks. Perhaps he would also ask you to not urge other people to get sticks and go poking the bear.

      It’s only when you find this bear’s demand extremely ridiculous, and when you refuse to stop poking bear’s relatives, you will be surprised to find that it was not a bear, but a person who fully deserves simple human treatment.
      The problem is that you can’t tell a person from an animal until he picks up a stick himself.

      • victor

        A good answer Tatyana, Russia tried that but to no avail, they gave the West a lot of time to stop poking but no joy. I wonder if the West now regrets not backing off. Russia has shown first patience and now strength, hopefully the West will stop now.

    • Iain Stewart

      Christ almighty. I’m with you on the unreasoning savage beast analogy. Otherwise just fuck off, pal. My kid brother had to flee Kiev this morning with his sick wife and two young bairns, three years old and two weeks old) who are spending the night on the Polish border.

  • Goose

    Petty for UK journalists, like Mark Urban tonight on Newsnight, to scoff at Putin’s ‘genocide’ claims. No one disputes the claim Ukrainian forces were recklessly shelling civilian areas, the fact they didn’t kill more in these rebel held areas is not through want of trying.

    And do we remember NATO leaders citing the mere potential for Gaddafi’s forces to commit genocide in Benghazi, by going ‘door-to-door’? That was enough for NATO to launch the Libyan intervention in 2011 -Operation Unified Protector, which was neither lawful nor successful.

    Genocide is defined as : the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.

    “a campaign of genocide”

    The number of reported deaths in the Donbas has been put at around 13,000–14,000. In raw numbers the media often refer to the Srebrenica massacre as the Srebrenica genocide. In July 1995 a genocidal killing of more than 7,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys took place.

  • Wang Shui

    While you were asleep:

    Pepe Escobar on the “1 hour war”. went down for a few hours DDoS but is back up now 14.00 China time.

    Ukraine ready to discuss neutrality, Zelensky says:
    The Ukrainian president says Kiev has been left to fend for itself as NATO is “afraid” to give it any guarantees

    A new world is dawning.

    • Tatyana

      It was reported that hacker group Anonimus claimed they’d attack russian internet.

      Why, oh why didn’t they talk from the very beginning? We could easily make treaties and just live in peace, as we used to. I don’t know to which extent Lukashenko’s word may be trusted, but that’s what he says:
      Minsk claims that even before the start of hostilities, they talked with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine and advised him to call Moscow. But this did not work: “Listen, there were cases in history when Khrushchev called Kennedy at night and stopped the thermonuclear war. But here, you see, it was difficult to call, pick up the phone. Bastard!”

  • Tatyana

    Finally, some shift in minds. Hopefully, negotiations.

    The latest stream by Anatoliy
    and the most popular comment. I admit it was posted by a bot, nontheless, 6,400 likes

    “It took me a day (Kharkov) to understand the Donbass for 8 years … An absolute reassessment of values! I sincerely understand the people of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions ((( Forgive us! We must stop all this!”

    and 293 responces with thanks and hopes for peace

  • frankywiggles

    Millions of pounds in dodgy Russian donations in Tory party coffers.

    Vlad Putin’s personal friend Peter Mandelson directing Starmer’s Labour Party behind the scenes.

    But our beloved commentariat are telling us it’s the Stop the War peaceniks who are the Putin stooges!

  • DunGroanin

    At least one of the questions that has been bothering me has been answered – Who wants Chernobyl?
    The second is not clear as yet – What is happening with the 10,000 head-chopper nato proxies?

    So…to business.

    Let’s get this straight – Putin is now tarred with the same brush as the American, British and Europeans of the last 40 years – Bush’s (Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria), Clinton’s (Yugoslavia & everything else), Obama (Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen) and the recent POTUS, all overseeing mass deaths of peoples and ensuing massive refugee crises. Etc etc etc.

    I’ll say it again: Putin is not a saint, he has struck out a mighty sharp clawed paw that has eviscerated the little kid being egged on by the ‘Big Boys’.

    I’ll say it once more: Putin is not a Gandhi!
    He has shown that as a pacifist he lacks the moral courage to not retaliate against a perceived attack.

    But Putin is also not the Russian peoples, as Xi isn’t all of Chinese, not all of us in Britain are risible Johnsons etc.

    The Mahatma was not able to stop the Partition and was assassinated by his ‘own’ before he could repair that great division and thus left India/Pakistan in the demented state ever since. That pustulating boil too will see its inherent instability explode before the century is out to a stable state.

    Where are we and how did we get here?

    There are professors galore who will take one side or the other to argue about it forever more.
    I’ll point to a couple below.

    I’ll stick to my Dirty Harry thesis. After the new sheriffs rode into town and walked into the outlaws saloon and stared down the hegemons running the crooked games and murder and robbery – the riot act was read to them (December treaty demands).

    They still proceeded with their lazy cheating ways, goading a reaction, believing they would be safe from behind the very front lines and their hired proxies would not fail.
    They also believed the new Sheriff bears cuddly cousin panda was not ever going to hang around to be of any backup to this wild-eyed loon who wanted a clear law-based town, not a Rules based casino. And that he certainly wouldn’t be crazy enough to go ‘full tonto’!

    A final ultimatum was put by the nasty snake-eyed peacemaker, asking if they ‘felt lucky, punks?’

    As anyone who knows that film scene will say there was no doubt that there was a deadly bullet in Putin’s, sorry Harry’s, .45 that would blow the head clear off from a distance… the patter was the crucial bit to make the mad outlaw believe he had a chance – when he had NONE.

    Zelensky tried to back down, I thought, but then he went to Munich and got told it was just a bluff and they, the big boys, would never let him be punished for being their little drummer boy. He came back enthused and decided he didn’t need LUCK when he had such a massive gang ready to rush to his defence, and duly called Dirty Putin’s not-bluff.

    Hence we are where we are – entrails and blood and bullet cases and wailing and screaming and more refugees; and as Zalensky looks at the big boys behind him they shrug as Atlas did and the World that was known – falls.

    The Empire finally knows it’s dead.

    I will link two views – make up your own minds.
    Hopefully the horrors will be over soon – as was the Kazakh incursion:

    Timothy Snyder
    Gordon Hahn

    If anyone is interested the war against millions of civilians with massive western fire power continues to kill many in Yemen daily as does the illegal occupation by nato forces in Syria, Iraq, Libya infact in hundreds of bases all over the world. Is it just because it’s on our doorsteps and we can hear a distant rumble that we suddenly care about such carnage?
    And btw how is the great plague going?

    Stay sane and fight the fascists’ Narrative in the battlefield of our own minds – that’s the frontline we are all on everywhere – and do it like Gandhi.

  • Jack

    Zelensky call for talks with Russia and even renounce efforts to join Nato.
    While talks is great, the idea that Ukraine will renounce its sovereignty and decision on their defence (i.e joining Nato) in these times cannot be supported. You cannot have talks when there are literally rifles aimed at you.
    Russia have nothing to gain from the position it have put itself in now. I have no idea what they even thought all this invasion was good for.
    It is like a bad dream you just want to wake up from.

    • Iain Stewart

      Have you noticed Putin’s swivelling eyes? Like a cheap cartoon character. The guy is clearly nuts.

  • Goose

    Horrible, isn’t it.

    I detest war. I wrote to my MP before the Iraq invasion and remember being in tears when Blair went ahead anyway, huge public opposition making no difference,…I didn’t think Russia would do this and I think Putin has gone too far and might have bitten off too much; city street fighting while trying to limit civilian casualties is every army’s worst nightmare. And Ukrainians are tough people.

    But I can only think in taking such a drastic, risky step Russia really do see this as their Cuban missile crisis moment? A fight for survival with NATO intent on bringing a nuclear threat right to their door under a bellicose Ukrainian leadership?
    For Zelensky to shun the Minsk agreements as he did, the US must have been telling him they had his back. Otherwise this would’ve been done and dusted. Would Donbass autonomy within Ukraine have been upsetting for ultra-nationalists in Kyiv? Undoubtedly yes, but it’d have kept Ukraine whole.

    The fact pro-Russian parties and candidates were banned after 2014, means Ukraine isn’t quite the shining representative democracy some in the western media like to paint it as. I watched a reporter on Al Jazeera bluntly saying Zelensky got around 73% (73.22%) of the vote, but what he didn’t mention the turnout was 63% falling to around 50% if you exclude the 13% normally eligible, but excluded, voters in the East who didn’t take part.

    • Jack


      Yes the problem is that majority of westerners have no idea that millions of russians are living inside of Ukraine, they have no idea about how the russian language is getting more and more banned inside Ukraine, they have no idea about Donbas, they have no idea about the civil war and the constant shooting back and forth.
      If they knew, they would most likely support that a peace agreement was the solution. But the media have denied it and western politicians have turned a blind eye to the MInsk agreement altogether.
      That context is constantly lacking from the media coverage.

      • Tatyana

        Aren’t you thankful to Ms. Therese May and Mr. Johnson now? Such a huge effort they made to ban russian voice from your media. Ms. May also found it useful to expel diplomats and urged the whole world to do the same.
        So much money was paid to the army of brave disinformation fighters, to visit every discussion and call every Russian a Kremlin bot. Bravo, brigade 77. Well done! Here is your bonus
        Today in Donbass a school was bombed. Warning, dead bodies in the photos.
        Enjoy your salary, bastards.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          And today, Tatyana, both and the english version of the Kremlin Website are no longer available in the UK. They both were yesterday, so this is clearly the start of ‘no-one can access information that might contradict our propaganda and lies’.

          I’m starting to read Al Jazeera as it does still report on Russia in a way distinct from that of the West, even if again it is not easy to know when and where one might be getting deceived.

          Anyone know if there are any well-respected English language news site in India which aren’t toeing the US line?

          • jordan

            It seems to be sort of blocked, indeed.

            Just use the TOR browser (eg. from here I saw the news on RT but did not realise. All that has changed for me was that sometimes I need to solve these CAPTCA puzzles now.

          • Stevie Boy

            I use the opera browser with its built in vpn capability, not hugely secure but better than nothing ! I can still access RT and Sputnik from the UK.
            I read Al Jazeera for their perspective, but they are very MSM Oriented.

      • Goose

        Just stating the truth about Ukraine and its far-right ultra nationalist problem can get you labelled a ‘Putin apologist’ too.

        If Putin was assassinated today and Russian forces exited Ukraine , they’d still need something like Minsk to avoid civil war. Why can’t the guardian, BBC et al get off their high-moralising horse and admit that?

        They are trying to paint Russia as pure evil and as attacking civilians in Ukraine. But let’s face it, if Russia were attacking civilians, deaths wouldn’t be in the low hundreds they be in the hundreds of thousands. War is vile and it’s as if the brutal battles of Fallujah, the ‘road to Basra’ aka The highway of death(retreating Iraqi forces) , Mosul – US bombing killed an estimated 10,000 civilians never happened . We need better media.

        • Goose

          Found former CIA chief and army General D.Petraeus refreshingly honest on Newsnight last night.

          He was saying Russia could be getting bogged down and stuck in a quagmire, citing the airport recapture by Ukrainian forces, and supply line and logistical problems, precisely because they hadn’t pursued the US ‘shock and awe ‘ doctrine of overwhelming force. The ‘softening up’ process, people will remember waves of B-52s in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, flying approximately 1620 sorties they had so demoralised Iraqi forces they were literally begging to surrender when the full invasion came. Remember also the US were ready to do the same to Assad’s forces.

          Just don’t tell the whitewashing BBC and guardian.

          • DunGroanin

            I found Patreus and McChrystal to be the ultra violent arseholes of the History Maker neocons. They perpetuated war when there was no need and they did a lot worse too. To put it simply – they represent those who START wars, Russia FINISHES them, is my view of their history.
            Am I wrong?

    • Tatyana

      Pretty sure of that.
      On Novichok internet discussions I met here and there a patterned comment ‘if it quacks like a duck…’
      I say, if it quacks like a Russian it may as well be an Ukrainian or an Israeli.

    • Jo Dominich

      Stevie boy, most certainly the UK Novichock events were a collaboration between CIA, MI6, Mossad and bio weapons found to have been developed and originated in a lab in Ukraine (Novichock) and the good ole’ USofA gallantly chose to help them decommission the lab. Now, where did all that Novichock go I wonder. BTW what is being forgotten here is that both Russia and Syria have been comprehensively inspected by the OPCW year on year and have clearly, unequivocally and comprehensively stated both countries do not have any bioweapons. The only 2 countries who I see have are the USA and Israel. Nice of the USA to help the Ukraine ‘decomission’ the bio weapon lab wasn’t it?

        • Pigeon English

          I am sorry to tell you the bad news.

          London Mayor suggested to confiscate all Real Estates belonging to Russian Oligarchs. I expect you to be on the streets defending their rights.

      • Goose

        Who knows? It all sounds ludicrously ‘tin foil’ and you’d be labelled a ‘crank’ by the uninitiated, but such ‘spy games’ as Trump called them are nothing new.

        As the knowledgeable Clive Robinson posted on ‘Schneier on Security’ blog:

        It was US metal Corps through the CIA that put him (Pinochet) in charge and kept him there, not the first or the last time…

        For years the CIA at the behest of politically affiliated corporations tried to assassinate Castro in Cuba with increasingly ludicrous plots. On involved cyanide capsules smuggled in “face cream” such was the CIA competence that they failed to check if the capsules would dissolve in the face cream… To which the answer was “yes, easily so”
        Truth is often stranger than fiction.

      • Stevie Boy

        Sorry to disappointed you Jon, but reuters is definitely funded by the US and UK security services. Careful with what they feed you, it will be tainted.

  • DiggerUK

    The Soviet Empire collapsed 45 years after WW2 ended.
    The Cold War rhetoric was anti communist, anti socialist. The real aim, as far as I am concerned, was to give western capitalism control of markets to the east.

    When the Soviet Empire imploded the west did what it could to move east a.s.a.p. It was effective, Germany expanded and many other countries adopted market economies. Via NATO they became allies.
    The former Soviet apparatchiks became stinking rich. They did not need lessons from crooks in the west, they were naturals.

    Russia is now a real jewel to aim for as far as the west is concerned. Russia knows that and China ain’t stupid.
    Peace? don’t make me laugh. This is all about ‘expanding market share’ … ‘increasing dividends’ … blah, blah, blah.
    This is a fight between thieves, with us kleine mensch taking the part of cannon fodder…_

  • Angela Woolridge

    I find it hard to believe Putin is trying to rescue the people of Ukraine from a state that is filled with neo nazis that inflict unbearable cruelties on the population.

    • DiggerUK

      The infestation of neo nazis is a molehill, not a mountain. WMD at least had a semblance of plausibility…_

      • Stevie Boy

        Apart from protecting the peoples of the Donbas (and Crimea) from the very real threat of genocide from the renegade, western armed, Ukrainian forces, Putin is IMO trying to reinstate a safe buffer zone between Russia and the NATO puppet states.

  • Jack

    Even though I do not support what Russia have been doing past days, where were the same response by the interational community and condemnations when west have had their own military interventions all over the world past decades?
    This hypocrisy is dangerous.

    • Goose

      War should sicken all right-minded people. I feel sympathy for everyone the citizens and soldiers on both sides.

      I hope our MSM remember how appalled they and we all now feel now the next time the western ‘regime change’ merchants come knocking wanting to bomb some country hardly anyone can place on a map into oblivion.

      Harrowing footage from the exodus out of Kyiv; of mothers holding babies understandably expressing their fears for their future weren’t exactly common western media currency when the US/UK launched ‘shock and awe’ in recent historical interventions. All we got was nervous excitement of grinning ’embedded ‘ reporters and rah-rah attitudes.

      Declaring something a ‘freedom operation’ shouldn’t wash whichever leader is doing it.

  • Jack

    Russia banned from flying to europe in principle
    Russia banned from OECD
    Gazprom banned from deals with UEFA soccer assc.
    Personal sanctions against Putin, Lavrov
    Sanctions against Russian banks
    Talk about a SWIFT ban
    and so on, just today.

    Russia will have a hard time to survive, there will be a braindrain now. Terrible.

    • laguerre

      I doubt if it’s reached a damaging level yet. The personal and small bank sanctions are meaningless. There won’t be a SWIFT ban, I think – there’s a danger of bringing the whole system down. Iran has survived a similar level of sanctions. Sanctions are a wasting weapon – the punished learn to get round them. Sanctions are much less of a weapon today than some years ago when they became the major US weapon to punish countries they didn’t like (advantage of no dead Americans).

      • Goose

        Yes. The more they use them, the more countries falling foul of the US look to realistic alternatives.

        Russia may yet get this over with quickly by saying they’ve sufficiently degraded Ukraine’s military and with it their ability to wage war on the East – their stated intention – and simply leave, regrouping in the East.

        I can’t imagine it’s playing well in Russia with the public? Ukrainians are too closely related for comfort, it’s like declaring war on your own family.

        • Tatyana

          Donetsk, August 2014

          Their authority declared anti-terror operation on Donbass. Poroshenko said ‘our kids will go to kindergarten, and yours will sit in basement’.
          For 8 years the West didn’t pay attention to the deaths of russians. For 8 years Kiev said they are facing russian army. For 8 years Moscow believed we are working on Minsk agreement.
          Now the illusion is made reality, there IS the army, and there WILL BE an agreement.

        • laguerre

          I agree, but I have a slight suspicion tonight, perhaps fleeting, that the Ukrainians may collapse in the next day or so. It hasn’t been going well today. Having your capital surrounded in less than 48 hours doesn’t look good. The Ukrainian announcements have been panicky. Yes I suppose they may be able tomorrow to resume the “we will fight to the death” message. we’ll see in the next while.

          • Goose

            Can only hope combat operations cease as soon as possible.

            I’m, staggered and somewhat comforted by the low civilian death toll to date.

            Zelensky said around 137 people have been killed and 316 injured after Russia launched its invasion. In Israel’s 2008’s Gaza Operation Cast Lead, 1,391 Palestinians were killed, for some sort of perspective.

            Wish the Palestinians could get the same sympathetic western media coverage and international outrage..

          • laguerre

            Yes, I was somewhat stunned by a commenter on the main Indie web-page mocking the Russians for not having taken the principal Antonov airport because they landed soldiers from helicopters. Evidently the Russians wanted to damage the infra-structure as little as possible. The commenter would apparently have preferred smashing into small rubble by a US airstrike.

    • Bayard

      “Russia banned from flying to europe in principle”

      and European airlines banned from overflying Russia. Guess who that’s going to inconvenience most, now that everyone has to go to the Far East the long way round.

      “Russia banned from OECD”


      “Gazprom banned from deals with UEFA soccer assc.”

      which is going to hurt UEFA a lot more than it’s going to hurt Gazprom

      “Personal sanctions against Putin, Lavrov”

      which will have no effect inside Russia, where they will be staying for the forseeable future.

      “Sanctions against Russian banks”

      only on their dealings outside Russia, which is going to affect those they were dealing with as much as it will effect them.

      “Talk about a SWIFT ban”

      Unlikely to happen as it would just hasten the end of the US dollar as the international reserve currency.
      Russia’s economy is doing well, they have very little debt and almost no foreign debt. They don’t need the West, their economy is large enough that they can get by without it. Anything they can’t make themselves, they can get from China. Sanctions are not going to have any effect except on the counterparties, us.

    • Fat Jon


      Russia can make billions from trading with India and China.

      China and Russia can cut off gas and electrical equipment to the west.

      The brain dead masonic west do not have the mental capability to think beyond their own gteed.

    • laguerre

      Are Crimean Tatars pro-Ukraine? I didn’t know that. It’s not particularly in their interests.

      • Jack

        Crimean tatars were very much against Russia annexing it back in 2014 I remember, I do not know much about muslims in Ukraine so it was more a guess than anything else from my view. Maybe someone else could fill in.

    • Suhayl Saadi

      As I would have thought has been amply demonstrated through the sea of blood across the ‘Greater MENA’ region, the world’s 1.9 billion ‘Muslims’ are not a homogeneous group and most often fight one another.

      The regime in Chechnya is a pro-Russia regime, installed by Russia. There have been reports of Chechnya sending troops to support Russia – it is part of the Russian Federation, so why would one surprised? – right from 2014 onwards.

      In case one might forget, if one accepts the highly debatable concept of ‘Europe’ in the first place (it is not a geographical entity separate from ‘Asia’, if one glances at a map of the world one will see that they are joined at the fattest section of their waists), sorry to remind people that Chechnya too is in Europe.

      The Chechens who oppose the Chechnyan regime of course are anti-Russia.

      The Crimean Tatars tend to be pro-Russia, not pro-Ukraine.

      So it’s very complicated.

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