The Universal Boosting of Putin 1818

Back in the days when I was one of the British state’s more efficient functionaries, I spoke with British officers who had been in Russia during the Yeltsin period, when they had been able to get up close and effectively inventory the Russian armed forces. (For those who don’t know, I was First Secretary at the British Embassy in Warsaw, I was British Ambassador in Tashkent, and I was taught to be fluent in both Polish and Russian, which included living in St Petersburg as a language student while Ambassador designate).

What we (as I was then a cog in this machine) found was that the strength of the Soviet Union’s Red Army had been massively exaggerated in all our intelligence estimates, on which defence strategy had been based for decades. We had over-estimated the numbers, the mobility and above all the capability of Soviet weapons systems. Much of it was barely functional; the problems with both quality and maintenance were not just the product of the disintegration of the Soviet system, they evidently went back decades.

One interesting thing – and I recall discussing this with a British Brigadier General at the Polish exercise area in Drawsko – was that years of military planning had involved scenarios which revolved around successive defensive lines in Western Europe and eschewed any kind of counter-attacking strategy. That conversation had started because, when the British Army first started exercising on the former Warsaw pact training area at Drawsko, we had to strengthen bridges in Eastern Germany and Western Poland in order to get our tanks there.

We were musing that this had never been considered a problem in cold war strategy, because it was presumed our tanks would never go forward. We now knew they could have, which was interesting the analysts.

The truth, of course, was that it had always been in the interest of MI6, the Defence Intelligence Service, the British armed forces, of their American counterparts, and of all their NATO counterparts, massively to exaggerate the strength of the Red Army. Because the greater the perceived enemy, the more we needed to throw money at MI6, the Defence Intelligence Service, the British armed forces, their American counterparts, and at all their NATO counterparts.

Nothing has changed. Exaggerating the strength of the nominated enemy is still very much in their interest.

It is also, of course, massively in the interest of the arms industry. This is the classic operation of the military industrial complex, which does not just need an enemy, it needs a massive, terrifying, ultra-powerful enemy. Or why would you and I keep feeding the military industrial complex huge sums of money?

We see this operating today. The war profiteers have already made billions from the war in Ukraine. Look at this surge in defence stocks.

The German chancellor has already announced $200 billion of extra defence spending. The market expects to see similar boosts, totalling trillions of dollars across NATO, of money into the arms manufacturers and dealers, as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yet this is an irrational response. What the Russian invasion of Ukraine has actually revealed is the limitations of Russian power. Those limitations consist both of the capacity of its armed forces, and the desire of its people to be a part of European civilisation, not to destroy European civilisation.

You can pretty well stand inside Russia and throw stones into Kharkiv, where Russian is an everyday language (and locals call the place Kharkov), yet Russia has not yet managed to subdue it. Yet we are supposed to be terrified that the mighty Russian army could roll across Western Europe and its tanks could fight their way through Kiev, Warsaw, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London? It is plainly an utter nonsense (I address nuclear war later, a quite different proposition).

It says something very interesting about mass psychology that our political and media classes are able to convince the population, both that Russia is an incredible threat to us in our homes, and that the gallant Ukrainians can hold the Russians off. The western political and media class, almost universally, are managing both to crow that Russia is militarily weak, and to claim that we need to throw yet more money at the military industrial complex. As nicely observed by Moon of Alabama.

There are however, even in “respectable” media, a few voices pointing out that what is happening in Ukraine shows NATO defence spending to be already disproportionate. I was very surprised to read this eminently sensible article in Newsweek:

In the longer term, the recognition of Russian military weakness represents a fundamental challenge to U.S. strategy, spending priorities and even its firm hold on the world. It questions Washington’s obsession with a supposed “peer” adversary and the U.S. emphasis on a larger military and ever-increasing defense spending to deal with Russia. Changing the narrative on the Russian military also fundamentally challenges NATO and its European members. Though there might be heightened awareness and even fear of Moscow’s willingness to resort to extreme and even reckless behavior, the reality is that there doesn’t need to be increased defense spending or a renewal of European ground forces….

For Washington, this display of Russian military weakness should be comforting in terms of Moscow’s true military threat to Europe. At the same time though, it exposes the need for a different national security strategy, one that doesn’t imagine Russia as a military equal, and one that doesn’t push Vladimir Putin’s back against a wall.

This war in Ukraine should represent such a moment of epiphany in western political thought.

According to the Russians themselves, Russian military spending is just 5% of NATO military spending. That is about right.

Total NATO spending is over 1 trillion dollars a year. Russian defence spending in 2019 was $65.1 billion a year, just higher than the UK. So nominally Russian spending is a little over 6% of NATO spending a year. Of course, purchasing power in the defence industry makes nominal calculations not entirely helpful. Here is a short link from an excellent discussion from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute of the factors that might make Russian real resources put into defence greater than the nominal total:

Nonetheless, there are strong indications that military goods and services cost less in Russia than in the USA or most of Europe and, therefore, that Russian military spending has a higher purchasing power. For example, unlike the USA and other large European states, Russia still relies on conscription. In addition, Russian career soldiers have lower salaries: for example, in 2019 a Russian lieutenant colonel received approximately $1330 per month, whereas a (lower-ranked) captain in the British Army received more than $4000 monthly. Adequate data to make a similar comparison of the cost of acquiring military equipment is not available.

Converting Russian military expenditure using GDP-based PPP rates (based on data from the International Monetary Fund) gives spending of $166 billion in 2019 (instead of $65.1 billion using market exchange rates). This is still less than one-quarter of US spending of $732 billion. A similar calculation gives Chinese military spending of over $500 billion (instead of $261 billion using market exchange rates).

I would argue that while paying and feeding troops may be indeed be much cheaper in Russia, military hardware costs are much dependent on metals, processors and other internationally traded commodities and an overall comparison to the simple relative cost of living PPP index for Russia is not appropriate. But even using the general IMF PPP calculator, Russian defence spending is, at the very most, 12% of NATO spending.

The idea that NATO has to spend more to match the threat to NATO of Russia is plainly a nonsense.

So those of us who have always opposed NATO’s militarism, NATO’s involvement in illegal wars and NATO’s massive propaganda operation aimed at boosting the funds fed in to the arms manufacturers, the security services and the military, should welcome the opportunity for growing understanding that a large portion of this defence expenditure is not necessary.

The Russian economy is about the size of the Spanish economy. Russian defence spending is, at the highest, 12% of NATO defence spending. Russia is not the great threat to Western Europe. The limit of Russian power has been shown up in its inability quickly to defeat Ukraine, a militarily third rate European power.

But a large section of the western left – including many regular readers of this blog – is not shouting this out. A section of the western left chooses to boost the propaganda of western arms manufacturers by talking up Russian power, claiming the Russian military is massively capable, putting a good gloss on the performance of the Russian military in Ukraine, and insisting that Putin is a strategic genius.

That “left” narrative is music to the ears of NATO and the military industrial complex. So how has the left been manoeuvred into the position of being the amplifiers of the argument of their natural enemies?

The answer, strangely enough, is not intellectual but emotional.

It is rather lonely being a dissident voice in the West, arguing against the consensus of the media and political elite. Even where that political elite completely screws up, as in the invasion of Iraq, where they launched an illegal war, caused the deaths of millions of people, destroyed the infrastructure of a country, yet still lost the war, there are no deleterious consequences for the political elite.

The International Criminal Court is investigating Russian war crimes in Ukraine. It has done nothing effective about western crimes in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of civilians died.

This level of injustice is hard to stomach. There is a natural yearning for an alternative, for a good power in the world to match the bad power in the world, and to give at least some hope of justice or balance. Thus many on the left have come to idolise Vladimir Putin as the balance to outweigh and thwart the corrupt, warmongering, neo-imperialist Western states.

Syria gave some comfort to this viewpoint. In the war for hegemony that the West has waged all over the Middle East, the contradictions of allying with a country as anathematical to supposed Western values as Saudi Arabia reached their apotheosis. The American-led West was providing arms, finance and logistical and air support to ISIS and closely allied jihadist groups in an effort to overthrow the Assad regime. The western sponsored civil war had already caused devastation and huge refugee flows. Had the western backed jihadists succeeded, the results would have been unthinkable.

Putin saved the world from that, by a small but timely Russian military intervention, and I for one am glad he did. I say that as absolutely no fan of the Assad regime.

So I can sympathise with those who see Putin as the answer to their desire for the West to be counterbalanced. The problem is it is unrealistic. Russia is just not that strong. It has an economy the size of Spain or another second tier Western European state. Any military intervention by Russia that seriously crosses the West is ultimately dependent on nuclear brinkmanship.

The more fundamental point is that Putin is no more a “good guy” than Western leaders. Russia is a massively kleptocratic state where the gap between the extremely wealthy and the exploited general populace is every bit as big as the gap in the West, and until recently was inarguably much bigger. The human rights situation in Russia is poor. In fact in both those respects, the West is moving increasingly to looking like Russia, which is a very bad thing.

Putin’s Russia is no kind of socialist model.

Putin’s image as the strong man of Eurasia is boosted out of all proportion by those on the right who benefit from portraying a powerful enemy: and by those on the left who yearn for a powerful friend. This is the universal boosting of Putin. But in real life he is a much smaller figure, controlling a waning power of very limited resources. He has just made his largest miscalculation. In the last hour the UN General Assembly has condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. The UN General Assembly is a forum where the US and its allies can normally muster between 2 and 12 votes. They had 141. Russia mustered 5, the kind of position the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands frequently find themselves in. That is the extent of Putin’s diplomatic blunder.

History teaches us it is a huge mistake to attack Russia. The Russian people have an enormous capacity for wartime resilience when attacked. But the plain truth is NATO has never attacked Russia, and though I intensely dislike NATO’s pushing of weapons systems closer to Russia, NATO doctrine has never included plans to initiate war with Russia.

Just as I have frequently stated Russia has never had any intent to attack the UK; to persuade the population otherwise is the everyday job of the military industrial complex.

But the Russian military industrial complex is just as powerful within Russia as the western military industrial complex is here, and the Russian people are just as exploited by their elites as we are in the West. On either side, the offices of heads of government are not the right place to search for the good guys. Everybody gets lied into war.

It is of course a truism that Russian security concerns were made neuralgic by the ever tightening encroachment of NATO and its missiles. It is a valid point. But it is an equally valid point that NATO has never attacked Russia and none of those missiles has ever been fired at Russia. The point of the missiles was never to fire them at Russia. The point of the missiles was to manufacture and sell them at enormous profit margins and provide large salaries and cash funds for politicians, with endless revolving door jobs for ex-military and civilian defence personnel, who all keep the contracts flowing.

We are now in a position where only a severe Russian military setback can reduce the political momentum for more arms spending, more militarism and more censorship of dissenting opinion in the west – and yet many on the left are hoping for a Russian victory. That despite the fact that not only is Putin’s attack on Ukraine illegal, it is an aggressive war with precisely the same spurious justification as the US-led destruction of Iraq; pre-emptive disarmament to prevent possible attack.

To make matters worse, Putin’s attack is popularly seen as justification of the appalling Russophobia that has formed a fundamental part of the Establishment political narrative in recent years. Putin has appeared to justify years of lies by Russophobes.

I first became fully aware of the untruth of the mainstream Russophobic narrative when it was claimed that Wikileaks had published the Clinton material on the rigging of the primaries against Bernie Sanders, in collaboration with Russia. I knew that was definitely untrue. We then saw an expansion of this narrative, including aspects of the official Skripal story that made no sense whatsoever.

As a result of the invasion of Ukraine, popular opinion holds as validated any lunatic suggestion of evil Russian influence ever to emerge from the disorganised brain of Carole Cadwalladr. “Putin has invaded Ukraine. I told you he fixed the 2016 election” is not a proposition that holds up to a millisecond of logical analysis, but logical analysis is the first casualty of war.

Finally, a couple of thoughts on nuclear weapons. Putin has put his nuclear forces at some kind of initial alert level. In a rational world, this would lead to an increased demand for genuine attempts at nuclear disarmament negotiations, but again I fear that is not in the interest of the elites who control governments. NATO’s insistence on pushing missile systems ever closer to a nuclear-armed Russia and continually ratcheting up Russia’s fear of aggressive encirclement, will make it extremely unlikely that Russia will have any interest in disarmament. Which is so obvious, it proves NATO has absolutely no interest in disarmament either.

I have said much which is highly critical of Russia, and rightly so because Russia had started an illegal war. But that in no way reduces the very large amount of blame that attaches to NATO for its absurd militarism and territorial triumphalism, and the complete lack of interest NATO has shown towards finding a less confrontational approach to Russia.

NATO does not defend the interests of the people of Europe. It embodies the interests of the global elite, who benefit from feeding the military industrial complex. NATO is an instrument of the military and the weapons manufacturers. To exist, it needs an enemy. NATO’s role will always be to secure its own existence and its controllers’ cashflow, by creating enemies.

The only good guys in this are the common people of Ukraine, and the unfortunate conscripts in the Russian army. Let us all pray, hope or think on them tonight.


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1,818 thoughts on “The Universal Boosting of Putin

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  • Karl

    “The more fundamental point is that Putin is no more a “good guy” than Western leaders. Russia is a massively kleptocratic state where the gap between the extremely wealthy and the exploited general populace is every bit as big as the gap in the West, and until recently was inarguably much bigger. The human rights situation in Russia is poor. In fact, in both those respects, the West is moving increasingly to looking like Russia, which is a very bad thing.”

    Firstly, I never comment on blogs and am not on social media, but do look at Craig’s tweets. Craig is an heroic figure for the sacrifices he has made in the interests of justice, transparency and saving the life of Julian Assange. I am proud to have been able to support him financially and morally and will continue to do so as should any right thinking person.
    I agree with most of the content of this latest piece and given that others have already pointed out some of the fallacies therein such as NATO has no aggressive intent towards Russia I won’t belabour those points.
    Instead, I would like to make another point. I have noticed, to my disappointment, that Craig favours promulgating the Putin is evil narrative. In his recent tweets he mentions a Russian billionaire who allegedly holds money for Putin abroad (I’ve heard this accusation levelled against many individuals but never seen any evidence but it’s not material to my point either way) and that he tried to have this billionaire investigated but the UK authorities were uninterested. This comes across as naive or myopic or both. Craig, better than anyone, should understand that the UK only targets uber wealthy individuals when it is politically expedient and certainly justice/criminal behaviour is never part of the calculus. It is also somewhat ironic to appeal to an empire responsible for 10s of millions of deaths, the devastation, rape and pillage of great swathes of the planet, up to the present day, to exact justice against anyone. It’s hard not to conclude that Craig has not quite been able to completely rid himself of the indoctrination in the existence of something called British justice and the putative superiority of Western Europeans vis-a-vis Slavs.
    Given the current “hate-in” on Russians I think it highly inappropriate to pile in now especially that it adds to the general climate of hate and hysteria and will embolden some idiots to attack Russians and support a war against it. One only has to consider how one would feel as a British citizen during the Iraq invasion if one found oneself being held responsible for the actions of one’s country’s political leadership.
    But my main point is this. Above and beyond the truth or propaganda around the Putin is evil, is an enabler of the kleptocracy in Russia, etc. narrative is this simply fact; the western imperialists attack on Putin has nothing whatsoever to do with his moral or ethical failings whether real or a product of propaganda. It is simply because they view him as an obstacle to their plans to return to the good old days of the 90s when they were able to rape and pillage Russia’s resources with impunity. And further it is axiomatic that were they able to coup or otherwise remove him, whatever would replace him would likely be much much worse as we have seen in the case of every country targeted for regime change by the West. Therefore, I believe it inappropriate for an honourable figure such as Craig to join the chorus of Putin haters at this time because it only serves the greater evil of Western imperialism.
    Finally, it is important to recognise that the Western imperialists created a lose-lose situation for Putin/Russia. Were Putin to have done nothing the West would continue to arm the Ukrainian nationalists and Nazis, they would continue their daily shelling and murder of the civilians in the Donbas, continue their attacks on ethnic Russians and Russian speakers within Ukraine. And Ukraine would continue on the path to NATO membership notwithstanding any guff from the western leaders about it not being on the cards anytime soon. Ukraine is clearly the battering ram they have chosen to bring down the Russian government.
    Moreover, Russia has been attempting to achieve a peaceful settlement for 8 years but the Western imperialists have emboldened Ukraine to defy the Minsk accords and ramp up military attacks along the line of control while instigating a vicious attack on all things ethnically Russian within Ukraine. The recent Russian initiative to obtain security guarantees and to pressure Ukraine to fulfil the Minsk accords was the end of an 8 year attempt to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
    Now, Craig suggested a limited military operation to support the Donbas separatists. Such an operation would never have stopped the Ukrainian attacks, would have triggered most or all of the current sanctions, and would have done nothing to resolve the situation.
    Contrary to what Craig said, NATO and Ukraine’s potential membership of it, are very much an existential threat to Russia. Imagine a scenario where, for example, NATO developed a 100% effective missile defence system. How long would it be before they attacked Russia ?

    • Tatyana

      Craig says NATO has no intention to attack Russia because they didn’t do it before 🙂 I meet this argument often and it always make me smile!
      In December Russia asked NATO for security guarantees. NATO refused! What do people don’t understand here?
      Russia asked for peaceful solution on Donbass, aka Minsk agreement, Ukraine refused to implement it. What do people find here that can be debated?

      Refusal to stop killing russians in Donbass, refusal to guarantee NATO in Ukraine is not targeting Russia. Refusal.
      This operation is to make people negotiate again.

      • Jacomo

        The “left” in inverted commas is correct.

        This isn’t about left vs right. There is nothing socialist or progressive about Putin’s regime, nothing admirable. It is a kleptocracy.

        We have our own democratic deficit in the West, perhaps a crisis of democracy, that needs to be addressed.

        Russophobia has a different meaning in Ukraine. There are deep family ties that stretch across Russia, Ukraine, Poland and beyond. This is a connected people. But if you ask if they should be scared of Russia, they will say yes, of course. Just look at what the Russian state does.

      • PearsMorgain

        Russia’s demands were unacceptable and they knew it.

        So to enforce a peaceful solution they’ve started a war… Does the expression ‘f*cking for virginity’ sound familiar?

        • Tatyana

          Your double standarts admire me 🙂 you should educate yourself on Russia – NATO treaty.
          NATO stance is unacceptable long before Russia put demands. And I cannot see why on Earth Russia’s demands are unacceptable.

          • terence callachan

            I agree Tatyana
            Russia and other ex USSR countries will be split in public opinion to a degree , the older folk and the younger folk will have differing opinions of Russia government and government of the west and the USA .
            That’s normal
            The English speaking media is despicable and dishonest whats worse than that is it’s allowed free rein by governments to say whatever it likes unchallenged and sometimes later , weeks later it apologises for the untruths which were known by them to be untrue when they issued them.Its really just privatised propaganda.

          • Jimmeh

            > long before Russia put demands.

            Russia demands that Ukraine be demilitarised. Um, is Russia proposing to demilitarise? Doesn’t seem that way.

      • Jacomo

        So you invade, terrorise and flatten a country in order to negotiate?

        Russia has been actively involved in an insurgency in Eastern Ukraine for 8 years and refused to pull back.

        How do you negotiate with Putin? He is a liar.

        Those ‘leaders’ of the breakaway regions are Putin puppets. No wonder Ukraine found the implementation of Minsk agreement so hard to swallow.

        • terence callachan

          Oh dear Jacomo , such naivety , i can see in my mind the newspapers and tv channels you get your information from .USA six thousand miles away can’t even bring itself to spend money on covid vaccinations for its own population and yet you think they will come that distance to help Ukraine just because what ? because USA is the policeman of the world ? Haha you think USA believe an injustice has taken place and want to serve justice for Ukrainian people ? Haha

          Get real , waken up

          USA have one aim only and that is to make money for USA at the expense of everyone else

        • Tatyana

          Not Ukrainian, but good attempt to fake it. Failure in phonetics and grammar. Maybe genuine speaker in Russia-Ukraine border, though, as I am one of, again wrong.
          I currently busy with cooking dinner, Bayard, so I’ll return later with more of my opinion. Though I hesitate if it worthy to spend time, the source itself is biased, google for the owner. I recall I did it once and rejected as unreliable

          • Bayard

            My reply has appeared further down the page, sorry, my computer couldn’t keep up.

      • Alec Lomax

        This operation is to make people negotiate again.

        Yeah by bombing civilian areas !
        You will have noticed Ukrainian refugees fleeing WESTWARD ?

      • Athanasius

        Perhaps NATO doesn’t give those guarantees because it considers them pointless. The Communists ruled Russia as absolutely as the tsars for seventy years without any real complaints from Russians. I know they would have ended up in the gulag had they done so, but Siberia was always the dumping ground of Russia’s problems, even in tsarist days. The Russian Civil War was really just a fight about which form of absolute dictatorship you wanted. It doesn’t ever seem to occur to Russians NOT to want some form of dictator ruling them, be it a tsar, a First Secretary or Putin. The entire history of Russia is one of paranoia. It became the biggest country in the world because it perceived some threat, real or imagined, on the other side of its border, it expanded to contain it, then perceived a new threat on the enlarged border. What good are guarantees and treaties to people with that mindset?

    • D. Brand

      It may well be that Putin maintains a corrupt kleptocracy that is detrimental to Russia’s development. But that is a question for the Russian people to decide on. If Putin can keep the Russian Federation together and keep it from descending into chaos and civil war, that is certainly beneficial to the Russian people, even if some oligarchs siphon of a share.

      For the West to use that narrative in order to destabilize the Russian government, effect regime change and possibly dissolution of the federation is an act of aggression.

      Thus, for the sake of intellectual honesty, we have to be able to talk of corruption while at the same rejecting the West’s strategy of regime change. Sweeping it under the carpet will destroy credibility.

      Regarding the current invasion of Ukraine, it’s a high risk venture with very uncertain outcome. Seeing the gradual arming of Ukraine by Nato members, Putin may well feel that now is the last moment to prevent Ukraine’s Nato membership. Nobody in this forum has the necessary information to speculate on what other route Putin may have taken to achieve his objective. The successful missions Putin has pulled off in Georgia, Crimea and Syria may well have made him overconfident. Hubris could well end in disaster in Ukraine.

      It would be ironic that at a time in with US imperialism has sunk to an all-time low following the humiliating disasters it has suffered in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and with Trump, Putin should shoot himself in the foot in Ukraine.

  • Harry Law

    The United States has the Monroe doctrine by which in 1823 U.S. President James Monroe proclaimed the U.S. protector of the Western Hemisphere by forbidding European powers from colonizing additional territories in the Americas. In return, Monroe committed to not interfere in the affairs, conflicts, and extant colonial enterprises of European states. No don’t laugh.
    During the Cold War era, President John F. Kennedy invoked the Monroe Doctrine during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when he ordered a naval and air quarantine of Cuba after the Soviet Union began building missile-launching sites there. Ronald Regan was the last President to Use it.
    Now we have the Masters of the Universe saying their sphere of influence covers the whole of the Western hemisphere from the tip of South America Tierro del Fuego to the United States which is well over 6,000 miles away and anywhere North, East and West of the United states including the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and that European powers or any peer nation who challengers that doctrine [as Biden’s National Security advisor said recently] will be dealt with decisively.
    In view of the above, the United States insist on the right of Ukraine to join NATO, Ukraine has a large border with Russia and historically has been the gateway for hostile armies to attack Russia, Nazi Germany was the latest to try and in defending themselves the Soviet Union lost 10.s of millions of citizens.
    But it is worse than that NATO would put in bases with Nuclear tipped missiles as they have done with Poland and Romania with a flight time of just 5 minutes to Moscow, just recently President Zelensky has mooted the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
    George Kennan US statesman foresaw the dangers when he said in 1998 the expansion of NATO would be an ‘epic fateful mistake’ and a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions” he was right.
    Quite clearly and rightly Russia views all this as an existential threat to its existence, a threat the United States has taken no heed of and ignores with contempt, this is a red line which Russians say will not be crossed and as a nation with huge self respect are prepared to fight anyone who threatens its existence.

    • terence callachan

      I agree Harry Law.
      I live in Scotland , if some other country decided to install missiles , nuclear weapons etc on the border of Scotland and England i would be extremely frightened for safety of my life , I think NATO is cajoled by USA into aggressive behaviour towards Russia which is facilitated by countries bordering Russia who allow NATO to site missiles on their land that are aimed at Russia I am sure that USA also offers trade and cash to those countries bordering Russia it would be no surprise to me if the likes of Zellensky received large sums of money from USA for their cooperation .
      Ukraine and others are not made safer by allowing NATO to site missiles on their land that are aimed at Russia far from it , it puts them at greater risk , that is obvious to any fool so how come the people in these countries don’t see it ? i think the reason is that their governments and media convince them with propaganda .
      USA cause trouble and wars across the world , have done for a long time , yes it increases military spending obviously but what is more sinister is the global economic effects with food , fuel and other materials costs rising as a result of these wars, as we already know if you have advance knowledge of price rises you can make a lot of money by buying up stocks in advance and that is what USA do , the shortage of gas from Russia to Europe caused by this invasion profits USA who are selling liquid gas to Europe diverting ships from as far away as the China sea and Indian Ocean to take their liquid gas to Europe and sell it for twice the price.
      We now have USA threatening Russia India and China , im certain that Russia India and China combined will be too big a challenge for USA so we can expect USA to try and concoct some troubling incidents between those three.
      Meanwhile U.K. the minnow in the pond do as they are told by USA , Russia don’t want war with Europe or U.K. but its worth keeping in mind that U.K. would not stand a chance if it ever did go to war with Russia.

      As for the EU I would say that it can be a big player in all this.It wants good relations with Russia it wants trade with Russia it wants to grow too , more members but Ukraine Turkey and others in the east will not be peaceful additions as long as USA and NATO threaten Russia and the Middle East .

      • D. Brand

        “Ukraine and others are not made safer by allowing NATO to site missiles on their land that are aimed at Russia far from it , it puts them at greater risk , that is obvious to any fool so how come the people in these countries don’t see it ? “

        It’s called nationalism. Polish and Ukrainian nationalists hate Russian nationalists. Washington can easily use Poland to try and direct EU policy towards Ukraine and away from Russia. Just like Washington (see Victoria Nuland) used Ukrainian nationalists in Kyiv against Russian nationalists in the Donbass. Thus, triggering a Ukrainian nationalist uprising in the Maidan against the Russian nationalists in the Donbass. Ukrainians and Russians who had lived next to each other for centuries suddenly start to kill each other when the empire calls. Just like Sunnis and Shiites who had lived next to each other for centuries suddenly started killing each other in Syria when the empire triggered a conflict. The empire can only thrive by divide and conquer. It’s a game as old as humanity. One might think that people get wise to avoid falling for that game. No chance, no chance whatsoever! Zelensky thinks he can screw the Russians with the help of the US/Nato. It never works, in the end, the empire always screws its proxies just like the bank always wins.

    • Tom Welsh

      The Monroe Doctrine has never had the slightest legal basis or effect. It is nothing but an expression of the US government’s aspirations. Any effect it has ever had was purely due to the implicit threat of violence to enforce it. Thus the Doctrine itself, like so many laws and treaties, is meaningless except insofar as it serves to cloak a unilateral decree backed up only by military force.

      If it wished, the Russian or Chinese government might proclaim some similar “doctrine” insisting that the USA keep right out of Europe and Asia. (After all, Europe is nothing but a minor excrescence on the body of Asia. Excluding Russia, it is hardly bigger than India – which is rarely counted as a continent).

    • ET

      Just one clear problem with this argument. Russia ALREADY HAS nuclear weapons that are 5 minutes from Ukraine. What you are arguing is that it’s ok for some countries to have nukes but not others. All the nuclear countries don’t want anyone else in the club because it would grant new comers a place at the nuclear table and enforce greater negotiation rights for them as well as leaving them less vulnerable to conventional attack. If Saddam or Syria had nuclear weapons do you think they would have been attacked so easily?

  • Jack

    Russian billionare warns that the economic downfall in Russia would be multiple times that of the russian economic downfall during the 90s.

    “The harsh international sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine will plunge the country into a never-before-seen economic crisis, billionaire Oleg Deripaska has warned.”

    In other news
    Russia said it’s pushing ahead with building a massive natural-gas pipeline to China as Western sanctions rock its economy

    • Tatyana

      Jack, I see you focused on the hardships for the Russians 🙂 Bringing it everyday more and more, I wonder is it your genuine interest, or your job?

        • Tatyana

          Just that I found it strange that your postings are themed, but if you find it interesting…
          No problem, absolutely. It’s a Scottish site, so I believe you’re on a noble mission. To let Scottish people know of hardships, which their government is doing on the ordinary Russians. Perhaps many will want to act accordingly, so, thank you Jack 🙂

          • Jack


            My posts are not “themed”, you do not seem to agree with me that the russian economy will see a huge downfall because all of the sanctions now being imposed, correct?

          • Bayard

            Thanks for that, Tatyana. Yes “Radio Free Europe” is usually pretty unbelievable, I think it was them that did the “Russian attack on nuclear power station” video, too. I just wanted to know if it was completely staged, or based on a genuine piece of video.

          • Tatyana

            Jack, I hoped you’ve seen that my plea
            this part

            “I get sick to see so many here speculating on how much worse it will be now to live in Russia. Folks, stay human. There’s war there. We are all in it and some of us are more involved emotionally, than you, outside observers.
            Things never get better with a war, do you think you’re alone who knows it? Or, do you think we had referendum here on if sending troops to Ukraine? Or, you think we here were dreaming of conquering Ukraine? Please, stop casting silly smearing remarks.
            Everyone would be happy if it all was possible to settle in a peaceful way.”

          • Jack


            It is not so much speculation but reality, if you remove a majority of your trade, you will lose.

            That is the thing, one need to be prepared for whats to come, one should not live in denial of problems that very likely arise.

            I hope this debate is done now and we can move on.

        • Natasha

          @Jack: […] the russian economy will see a huge downfall because all of the sanctions now being imposed […]”

          No. The bigger point is that Russia has huge untapped resources – fossil fuels and minerals – its own currency, and strong links with China and Muslim countries (see recent UN vote). The ‘West’ is entirely dependant on globally dwindling fossil fuel imports. So no. The ‘West’ is already in tightening energy supply causing de-growth, and whilst inconvenient, sanctions by the ‘West’ will accelerate its own trajectory down the de-growth slope.

          • Jack


            The whole russian economy is dependent on the western world trade, of course there will be a downfall, the russian stock market MOEX have a record low marking now.

          • Bayard

            “The whole russian economy is dependent on the western world trade,”
            Perhaps you would like to quote a source for this. Why should a country that can make everything it needs and is a net exporter of two of the most basic resources, food and energy, be dependent on foreign trade?

    • Tom Welsh

      Deripaska enriched himself by illegal means during Russia’s near-death experience at the hands of the USA, in the 1990s. He does not live in Russia, for some reason.

      Could he possibly have an interest in talking down his home country, from which he fled to escape punishment?

          • Bayard

            Because western sources, who would love it to be true, are nevertheless saying it is not true. Also because it is pretty evident that a country that can make everything it needs and is a net exporter of energy and food is not going to be dependent on western trade, not to mention that they still have a trading partner in China, the country that is the new “Workshop of the World”.

        • terence callachan

          Hey Jack , how come you do not allow reply to your comments ?
          FAird ?
          If you want to put your opinion forward do so in a proper manner allowing people to respond to it

          • Clark

            Terence callachan:

            “Hey Jack , how come you do not allow reply to your comments ?”

            I’m not sure what you mean here; Jack has no control over who replies; no commenter does.

            If you mean the lack of a “Reply” button on some of Jack’s comments (eg. 11:51, 15:22, 14:38 and 14:39), that is the behaviour of the blog software; four nestings of replies is the maximum, at which point the “Reply” button is no longer added to the comment.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Deripaska was Long banned from USA as a gangster though friend of Osborne and Mandelson
          He was son in law of Boris Yeltsin

  • Harry Law

    I have to laugh when I hear some action is illegal under International law, that is so quaint, don’t they know it is now the US formulated ‘Rules based order’. This is when the US unilaterally take an action outside the UNSC and usually with a coalition of the willing i.e. Iraq. But both are not right, for instance the US and whoever they support, be it Saudi Arabia or Israel are above international law for all time. If the US take action which is blatantly in breach of international law and is opposed by all other members of the Security council, and another veto wielding member puts forward a resolution condemning that action, that resolution will stopped by the US veto and then put down the memory hole.

    • Tom Welsh

      As I saw it explained this morning, “the rules-based order” means “We make the rules, and you obey our orders”.

      Sounds about right.

    • Tom Welsh

      Er, remind me how many times the UN has sternly ordered Israel to vacate the Golan Heights? And how many times Israel has so much as acknowledged the order?

  • Jacomo

    The “left” in inverted commas is correct.

    This isn’t about left vs right. There is nothing socialist or progressive about Putin’s regime, nothing admirable. It is a kleptocracy.

    We have our own democratic deficit in the West, perhaps a crisis of democracy, that needs to be addressed.

    Russophobia has a different meaning in Ukraine. There are deep family ties that stretch across Russia, Ukraine, Poland and beyond. This is a connected people. But if you ask if they should be scared of Russia, they will say yes, of course. Just look at what the Russian state does.

  • DiggerUK

    There is very little consideration of how China sees this ‘event’ panning out.

    Bending Russian territory to western business expansion, by resurrecting their unhindered rape of Russian resources, a la Yeltsin era, is receiving scant mention. Does anybody not contemplate how China, which BORDERS Russia, will take to Western/NATO occupation or control of Russia? I’m sure the future possibility of such a scenario is not being dismissed out of hand by the Chinese.

    The history since the end of the Soviet Empire cannot be altered. The dice fell as they fell. But the mistake of western capitalist expansion east, led by US inspired NATO foreign policy, was and remains, a correctable mistake.
    Western free markets must allow both Ukraine, Russia and those countries who are under the umbrella of the equivalent of NATO, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to participate as equals on the world stage.

    At the end of the day, negotiations are about the economy, stupid…_

  • Akos Horvath

    Up until this morning, I could access both the RT and Sputniknews websites in Germany. No more. Let’s celebrate freedom of speech and information. EU values indeed.

    However, when I unzipped a data file on my Mac with the unarchiver app, I got a ‘We stand with Ukraine’ pop-up window. Unbelievable propaganda. Suffice it to say, unarchiver never ever stood with any country attacked by NATO or its satraps.

    • Tatyana

      If I got a pop-up with “We stand with Ukraine” I’d smile and say to myself “Thanks for letting me know”.
      Genuine question, anyone knows what they mean? What’s the sense of “standing’. I cannot see what is Ukrainian position. Do they urge people to do… what? Hate Russians? Refuse negotiations? Keep NATO in Ukraine? Kill Donbassians?
      I really would like to know, what is the sense of the message.

        • MI0

          It pains me to say I believe in most cases you are right.

          Such is the mind-control ‘our’ western leaders and legacy media have over the majority.

          Shameful and appalling corruption of what are supposedly ‘western values.’

          As someone remarked, Orwell’s 1984 was intended as a warning, not an instruction manual.

      • Stevie Boy

        The question to ask these virtue signaling fools is to please define the Ukraine they are standing with.
        Is it the people in the West of Ukraine, is it the people in the Donbass regions, the LPR and DPR, the Azov supporters ?
        I suspect most of these fools have no idea of the geography or recent history.
        This is just another example of a social media campaign instigated by a corrupt government and MSM.
        People are basically brain dead, stupid, give them bracelets to wear or flags to display and they’ll be happy, but don’t ever ask them to think, that’s too hard.

        • Jimmeh

          Calling people fools, brain-dead, stupid isn’t exactly Cicero-grade debating tactics!

          I don’t know who the “Azov supporters” are, unless they are the members of the Azov Battalion. From what I hear and read, the people in the Donbas do *not* uniformly support the invasion. It’s hard to tell, though; here in the UK we’re getting no reporting from Donbas at all.

          My guess is that they’re pretty pissed-off that the Azov brigades have been trying to force Russian speakers out of the region for the last 8 years. It’s shameful that they haven’t been dispersed, instead being incorporated into the National Guard.

      • terence callachan

        Tatyana , the message is trying to encourage readers to go against Russia typical U.K. method of you are either for us or against us you cannot be both.
        British media is bombarding us with “hate Russia stories” a petition website is full of people asking us to sign petitions for this that and the next thing to do with Ukraine but the fact is none of us really know what is going on in Ukraine , the media reporting is controlled so we do not get unbiased straightforward reporting.

        An example today is a report on China sending war planes over Ukraine giving people the impression China is getting militarily involved ,there was an accompanying photo of jet fighter planes but if you took the time to read the whole story , tucked away in a corner was an excerpt saying that the photo of the jet fighters was from 2014 when a Chinese acrobat flying team flew over Ukraine when invited to do so for a celebration of some sort.
        This is how English speaking media behave , they are untrustworthy .

        Use of common sense is essential

        Russia will not go to war with EU or U.K. or USA or China or India unless one of them attacks Russia first.
        EU will not attack Russia it wants to trade with Russia
        U.K. left EU to side up to USA and will do whatever USA tells it to do but could never win a war with Russia on its own
        USA has attacked how many countries in recent years ? many !!!
        It will continue to do so
        USA will try the same trick as it did in WWII , get involved only if you will be on the winning side and and get involved late on when other allies have spent all their resources then bail them out and offer rebuilding and lending with strings attached such as trade deals and military bases on your land.

    • Akos Horvath

      The atmosphere in Germany, even or perhaps especially in academia, is truly McCarthyiate now. Universities are cutting all ties with Russian universities, research projects and trips are cancelled, people are advised not to share any information with Russian colleagues, even having simple email contact with Russians is deemed suspicious.

      The goal is obvious, scaring people into self-censorship or silence. Nothing is tolerated but marching to the tune of state-sponsored hysteria. It truly is frightening. There will be book burnings again.

      • Blissex

        «The atmosphere in Germany, even or perhaps especially in academia, is truly McCarthyiate now»

        Please consider that the “Washington Consensus” media have loudly applauded the somewhat indelicate decision of the german government to send arms to the heirs of Bandera so like their grandfathers they can kill with german weapons many russian soldiers. No surprise that the same german government is very keen to control the narrative.

  • isa

    There is an information war happening in Europe. It saddens me after that after so many years of fascism in some EU countries we now allowed the EU to ban Russian media broadcast.

    Regional offices of Communist party have been defaced in EU states, media is banned in breach of national constitutions , artists forced to declare allegiance or fired, athletes removed from sports competitions, Russian shops attacked, Russian students expelled, writers work taken out of university courses, exhibitions cancelled, a spanish journalist detained in Poland on espionage charges when he was on his way to cover the conflict because “he is pro Russian” aka he had the temerity to write about the neo nazis and what has happened in Donbass for 8 years.

    Have the USA reactivated Operation Gladio in Europe. Because never in democracy have I been this afraid to speak my mind or being arrested for political views as now, never has the right to be informaed and the right to inform been under this pressure. I think they have reactivated Gladio or maybe it never really went away.

    I am sorry to sound so callous but this situation worries me as much as the active invasion of the Ukraine as its long term implications are extremely dangerous.

    • Peter

      @ isa

      ” … this situation worries me as much as the active invasion of the Ukraine … “

      Rest assured there are many who feel exactly the same way.

      It would be interesting to know what the reaction of the wider public is to this because I’m sure there must be many who are disturbed by the wall to wall, one sided propaganda blitz, but at this moment you certainly couldn’t trust an opinion poll even if one was carried out.

      • isa

        At this moment, I trust very little of what I read or listen to in the media , from all sides – which in itself distresses me as it is not a good place for Europe to be in.

        Europe and the EU should have played a part of old style diplomacy with a view to protect their citizens and instead they act by putting more gasoline on the fire.

        It is astounding.

        • D. Brand

          I have been very strongly in favor of European integration for my entire adult life. Now at age 71, I despair about the direction the EU is forced into. Without a strong central decision making body, the EU has the structure to be an anti-imperialist alliance of small and medium-sized countries that unite their forces to defend against the big powers.

          But since the center is empty, it has been hijacked by nationalist interests at its periphery and by imperialist interests abroad. In my eyes, the Ukraine crisis spells the end of the EU. If I were younger, I would once again go into exile. As it is, I can only go into internal exile.

          Without the foreign policy competences of an imperial power (the EU doesn’t even have an intelligence agency to inform its decisions) the EU has stumbled into the Ukraine crisis like a spastic into a porcelain shop.

          In 2013, the EU forced bankrupted Ukraine into a choice between a partnership with the EU or a partnership with Russia. Yanukovich chose Russia because Putin offered more money and less strings. That resulted in the Maidan protests. In Feb 21, 2014, three EU foreign ministers negotiated a transition of power with president Yanukovich, representatives of the Maidan protesters and a representative of Russia. One day after they signed the deal, the protesters tore up the agreement and toppled the elected president to elect a PM previously chosen by the US and pass legislation discriminating Russian Ukrainians. To Putin’s disappointment, the EU did not object to the violation of the agreement since it brought into power a pro-Western government. Now, in Feb 2022, after years of fruitless Minsk II peace talks in which Ukraine categorically refused to fulfill the terms of the peace agreement and during which time Ukraine was armed by Nato members, the EU is pouring massive amounts of weapons into a war everybody knows Ukraine cannot win. What is the use of adding fuel to that bloodbath? The totally incompetent EU commissioner for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, was even babbling about sending fighter planes from the EU to Ukraine as if he wanted to start WW3 just for fun.

          The imperial powers are vicious and bloodthirsty, but the EU is more dangerous because of its total incompetence in geopolitics.

          • Blissex

            «One day after they signed the deal, the protesters tore up the agreement and toppled the elected president to elect a PM previously chosen by the US and pass legislation discriminating Russian Ukrainians.»

            That was actually ethnic cleansing legislation, because it aimed to deprive the people of the Donbas of their ethnicity or to drive them to exile.

            «To Putin’s disappointment, the EU did not object to the violation of the agreement»

            I suspect that at the time V. Putin was still deluded that “the west” was willing to reach some accommodation with what they regard as a minor (yet useful) player, and did not understand the concept of “realpolitik” well.

            «Ukraine categorically refused to fulfill the terms of the peace agreement»

            From the point of view of “realpolitik” the purpose of the Minsk II agreement was not to reach peace, but to a temporary truce to have the time to fund, train, arm the ukrainian army to retake the Donbas by force.

            «the EU is pouring massive amounts of weapons into a war everybody knows Ukraine cannot win. What is the use of adding fuel to that bloodbath?»

            I guess to push harder into making it into a failed state in a state of gang warfare like Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, so that it be a permanent quagmire and danger for Belarus and the Russian Federation. And for Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania too, but too bad for them, they don’t matter.

      • Jo Dominich

        Peter, also,on the back of this, anybody donating to the Ukraine as a result of this most heinous, biased, destructive propaganda will regret it when the truth is revealed about the situation Russia will put the truth out there, it already is. BTW, I have just had notification on Sputnik that Zelensky has apparently ‘fled’ or left the Ukraine and is currently in Poland hiding in the USA Embassy there. This has been confirmed by a Russian MoD official but the USA have not made any comment. In a relatively short space of time of course, Zelensky, just like the Skripals will ‘disappear’. He is becoming a huge liability now and they don’t seem to be able to manage him appropriately any more.

        • Peter

          @ Jo Dominich

          ” … anybody donating to the Ukraine as a result of this most heinous, biased, destructive propaganda will regret it when the truth is revealed … “

          Not to mention those who have gone out their to fight for the Ukrainians.

          Someone somewhere should be preparing a legal case against the BBC.

          I hadn’t heard the Zelensky reports but it wouldn’t surprise me one little bit. He’s way out of his depth like none before him. On the one hand his country is facing devastation, otoh he has neo-nazis and America on his back telling him to keep going. Very few politicians would be qualified to handle that, but a non-politician professional comedian … ?

          He appeared drunk in an interview yesterday and responding to the incident at the nuclear plant this morning he sounded truly dreadful.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Regional offices of Communist party have been defaced in EU states…”

      No doubt by ignorant cretins whose political knowledge is 30 years out of date.

  • np

    This guy claims the US has told Zelensky it will back him if he agrees a neutrality deal with Russia (covering what is now western Ukraine, which Putin has no interest in occupying, in a permanent division of the country).

    Sounds unlikely or at least premature. But he seems knowledgeable and makes some other interesting points which you won’t hear on the BBC etc.

    The clip is from several days ago (Sunday, Feb. 27) but still worth listening to.

  • Xavi

    Thought provoking piece Craig, thanks. Seems economic collapse is highly likely in Russia. A good deep dive here by Eric Draitser of Counterpunch.
    20 min video

    Never has this level of economic warfare /pain been inflicted on a nuclear power. Seens like hysterical knee jerking and circle jerking that is unlikely to end well.

    • terence callachan

      Xavi , nonsense , Russia economy will not collapse it will simple redirect trade to China and India away from EU USA U.K.
      Brexit redirected U.K. trade away from China and EU and it had been diabolical how much is no longer available to U.K. public , U.K. public lost out through brexit there was no gain whatsoever

      Likewise EU will lose out when trade with Russia stops
      Where will EU get gas to power it’s electricity plants ? LPG isn’t enough , USA can’t supply over winter so something had to give by September 2022

      • Xavi

        Take 20 mins to listen to the actual facts and figures about who Russia trades with in 2022. If you regard Britain’s post Brexit situation as diabolical, despite continuing to trade with all its main partners, what sort of cognitive dissonance has you believing Russia won’t be impacted by being cut adrift by all its main trading partners? ‘Simple redirect’ to China and India? Just watch the video.

  • Harry Law

    The US imports heavy crude oil from Russia, to fuel certain refineries built for the purpose. Is this oil sanctioned, no, Biden is afraid that to ban it would increase prices and increase inflation. What a hypocrite he can stand next to the German Chancellor and brag about the US stopping NS2 which German industry needs and German citizens need to heat their homes with not a peep out of the vassal standing next to him. The Germans have no self respect. The Russians should refuse to sell this oil to the US, Blend it with a lighter crude and sell it to China as they should with NS2 gas.

    • Wikikettle

      The European populations have been gorged in foods from all over the world, their minds unable to think for themselves for the surfeit of entertainment and consumerism. Yes, other less ‘fortunate’ people wish for the same ‘living standards’ and toys. They just can’t comprehend how the Russian population recall all the privatisations of WW2 as if it was yesterday. Under this tradition I am sure the vast majority support their governments action.

      • joel

        If they do (massive if) it could only be down to the same degree of relentless one-sided propaganda and mindless partisanship that exists on the other side. More likely I’d say than some willingness to be beggared for no good reason. (BTW didn’t the privatisations occur in the 1990s, implemented in St Petersburg specifically by ol Vlad himself?)

      • Jimmeh

        > the Russian population recall all the privatisations of WW2 as if it was yesterday.,

        That’ll be the rather small percentage of the Russian population alive today that experienced those WW2 “privatisations”?

        (I guess you meant “privations”)

    • Akos Horvath

      Ok, I have finally downloaded a VPN app and now I can access RT and other Russia-related material. Depending on the material, one might have to change the country. I can read RT through Hungary, but certain YouTube postings of Russian government agencies were blocked. But selecting Mexico worked for the moment.

  • DunGroanin

    Ah – I love the smell of the fug of war in the morning.
    (I know it’s afternoon but have been busy on mundane daily existence)

    First of all I would wish CM to take it easy- refrain from the deadly rocket fuel he is partial to (for lent?) and please please recover his health.

    Secondly thank you for the tremendous effort of this article – surely a great heffalump trap of our times – it certainly allowed reactivation of a squadron of the flying blue monkey troll bots , some who have been very coy for most of the last year!

    Bravo little bears of little brain for your sudden reappearances in the light.

    I like that Cadwalladr is being called out for what she is and the rest of the media stooges who ply the ii scripts without ever acknowledging its existence!

    Some points.
    Nothing can happen without Chinese agreement;
    The UN vote count is as misleading as most of these Nations created as proxies – in human terms less than half the world human populations representatives voted for nato. More than half voted against nato;

    The western populations are being subjected to a lockdown and brainwashing that will see our opportunities to travel , earn and live freely massively curtailed.
    No more globetrotting with impunity; we are clearly being frogmarched into the fascist state as much as the Germans were after the Reichstag false flag;

    The authors and agents of the Western Oligarchy are known as much as all these poor ordinary Russians and their foreign trade partners. Who are being subjected to intense pressure by our financial services authorities.
    Some idiots have even suggested we don’t sell Vodka at the bar!!!
    Can’t wait to see the personal sanctions they find themselves subjected to as they try and enjoy their millionaire lifestyles for their efforts now;

    There is no light/heavy brigade ready to do or die – but there are plenty of mercenaries and headchoppers that need their comeuppance!

    I have seen absolutely no coverage of the daily doom on Yemen or the journo chopping Saudis or the Palestinian children and families daily being brutalised.

    I have seen no coverage of the return stand-off in the Mediterranean. Which Russia’s navy clearly won last decade.

    I have thus not seen any reports of the modern weapons and over the horizon systems but it does seem that air control is firmly in place!

    Oh and here is my bit of hate – death to the great traitor Putin many he rot in hell when he gets there! Grrr! ?

  • Harry Law

    Lindsey Graham advocates the murder of Putin. Isn’t there a law in the US against such terrorism, the Russian Embassy need to prosecute this scumbag.

    Mar 4, 2022
    Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.

    • DiggerUK

      Christine Hamilton said she wished somebody would kill Putin on GB News. Then repeated it a few times, seemed very anxious not to be misunderstood. Defenders of democracy, dontcha just love ’em…_

  • Tatyana

    the original link I shared on some of the previous pages, and just look – ria is blocked 🙂
    I wonder, if I have a my personal spy, or they are different every time? I’d prefer one personal, as a decent woman 🙂

    Here are some of that article:

    “…A number of Western politicians and newspapers now pronounce the slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” as if they are unaware of its connection with Bandera and other Nazi collaborators. And if someone doubts the essence of this slogan, it is enough to recall that it was introduced into the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists ( OUN *) in the 1920s by an association with the characteristic name – Union of Ukrainian Fascists. Interestingly, does anyone doubt that an organization with that name is related to fascism? Now – and this must be emphasized constantly – the slogan of the Ukrainian Nazis is the slogan of the Ukrainian armed forces, that is, on the official level …

    … the neo-Nazi “Azov” has long been an official unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, which in turn is part of the structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. And the stylized swastika, known in the world under the name “wolf hook” and banned in a number of European countries as a neo-Nazi symbol, also officially flaunts on the standards of this structure, with which Zelensky has repeatedly participated in joint events.

    … no one was embarrassed by the presentation of the highest Ukrainian award personally by the President in the hall of the Verkhovna Rada to Dmitry Kotsyubaylo, a militant of another neo-Nazi structure – the ” Right Sector ”

    … One of the oldest active parties in Ukraine is Svoboda, which back in 1991 was registered as the Social-National Party. Moreover, initially they were going to call it the National Social, but because of the too obvious tracing-paper from the name of the Nazi NSDAP, there was a threat of denial of registration.

    … The leaders of this organization never concealed that they copied slogans, ideas, symbols from Hitler. Its main ideologue, Yuri Mikhalchishin, admitted that from the age of 16, his “guiding book” (“book-road order”) was “Mein Kampf”. And he devoted his dissertation to a comparative analysis of the methods of political struggle of the NSDAP and the Italian Fascist Party. Actually, Svoboda openly copied the methods and symbols of the Nazi party. That is, it is even more correct to consider her ideas as classical Nazism, without the prefix “neo”.

    … You can, of course, attribute all this to the same “two percent” of the marginalized. Only now, after the seemingly “democratic”, “pro-European” Maidan, Mikhalchyshyn was officially hired by the Security Service of Ukraine, where he began to form an ideology. Interestingly, historians, foaming at the mouth, proving that Nazism has nothing to do with the Ukrainian state, know about this? Hardly. As they do not know that then the Mein Kampf fan went to serve in the same Azov regiment. From which, right now, the DPR units are clearing Mariupol , that is, they are literally engaged in denazification.

    … And the same Mikhalchishin in 2011 said that two “centers of power – Moscow and Donetsk” were fighting against Ukraine, promising that “Bandera’s army would cross the Dnieper and Donets”, occupying the capital of Donbass. Which, in fact, since 2014, already being in the ranks of the SBU or Azov, he tried to realize by destroying his ideological enemies , which he directly called the Russians. Note that he called them that, already being in the public service. And someone else proves to us that the term “genocide” in relation to the events in the Donbass has no basis and is even “ridiculous”!

    … Residents of the settlements that were under the control of “Azov” speak directly about the attitude of the Nazis towards them: “We were not considered people. Because we are Donbass.” But for some reason, these shots are not shown on any Western TV channel.

    … decrees on glorification began to be issued at the presidential level.leaders of Nazi collaborationism. After the 2014 coup d’etat, these processes not only accelerated, they acquired the scale of an avalanche, accompanied by outright Russophobia. Back then, the slogans “Moskals to the knives!” became commonplace Bandera torchlight processions. And now they have been replaced by calls to “cut Rusnya.”
    But even these open calls for genocide on ethnic grounds, the Western community tries not to notice, despite the fact that our representatives quote them from the UN rostrum .

    … When the operation in Donbass is over, a difficult process will begin – the exhumation and identification of bodies in mass graves in those places where Azov and Right Sector were based for eight years…”

    • terence callachan

      Thank you Tatyana for this history , I figured out some of this before but it’s very helpful of you to put names to the people and groups involved.
      Crimea and the Black Sea have long been a target of the West I am always amazed at how many sensible people are taken in and fooled with the idea that USA ravage the world for good causes and freedom by bombing civilians around the world.
      Isnt it obvious that USA is the most troublesome country of all

      • Peter

        @ Pigeon English

        Back then even BBC Newsnight’s Gabriel Gatehouse acknowledged that the shooting may not have come from government sources.

        I assume he’s been brought back into line since then.

      • Tatyana

        Cannot believe someone dared to speak! So, Turkey, Poland, Britain and Ukraine? I have no words!
        Biden himself shaking hands with Tyagnibok??

        I understand now why the blackout for Russian news outlets 🙂 Interested to know, how they intend to cover it?
        Your queen, there was a mention she catched Covid, just before the war began. I think, maybe royal funeral may distract people of Ukraine.

  • Tatyana

    Anderson Cooper CNN voiced a fake about burning Zaporozhie nuclear power station. MSNBC too.
    Ours showed original video. Lightning firecracker falling from up to down, and tracer shots from ground to up. Operator took ‘right’ angle to video it, picture was cropped accordingly, to add to all those excited TV hosts 🙂

  • Pigeon English

    While ago I read Umberto Eco essay on Ur Fascism and realized that most Countries I associate with thick all the boxes and I ignored the test as to harsh. As things in the world were happening I kept revisiting and getting more and more convinced that we are sleepwalking into Fascism. 8th point is the following: “The enemy is both weak and strong. “[…] the followers must be convinced that they can overwhelm the enemies. Thus, by a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.

  • Anna

    “The only good guys in this are the common people of Ukraine, and the unfortunate conscripts in the Russian army.”
    99.9% of the common people of all countries are the good guys (and gals). Most people don’t want war, any war. War always serves the interests of capitalism, and its own interests. It matters little that it hasn’t been NATO policy to attack Russia, it is the current world order that NATO could, with impunity, that is the threat surely perceived by Russia. A good analogy is the fact that any man can rape a woman in patriarchal society, it is irrelevant whether or not that he actually intends to. Now we have the same reverse psychology being played out, in the narrative saying: let’s admire the heroism and macho persona of the Ukrainian president, just as we admire the brave #metoo women. Neither changes the world order. I couldn’t possibly take a side in this war, it really wouldn’t be helpful to take sides, only escalating things further. Why had diplomacy been such an abject failure here, no common (ideological) language?

    • Pigeon English

      ” I couldn’t possibly take a side in this war, it really wouldn’t be helpful to take sides, only escalating things further. Why had diplomacy been such an abject failure here, no common (ideological) language? “

      Apart from Pope everyone is adding oil to the fire.

      • Anna

        The world really will be broken if we see the Pope as the new representative of the people or of peace! Half of the people maybe, peace for men perhaps, but an enemy to women everywhere. God help us!

        • Pigeon English


          World is broken and I can not believe I am mentioning the Pope for second time in my life in last couple of days!

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Actually, behind the scenes they are more than the Pope trying to get negotations moving forward. Certainly the Chinese were offering, Macron is doing it for his own electoral reasons of course.

        You could of course get the Tanzanians to explain to the world how they integrated Christians and Muslims so successfully into their post-colonial nation – maybe there are some lessons there in encouraging Ukrainians and ethnic Russians to get along better?

        Strange how it is small countries that don’t go around the world killing people might have more credibility than those who have been arming terrorists for decades. Odd that….

      • Peter

        @ Pigeon English

        “Why had diplomacy been such an abject failure here … “

        Almost certainly because America stretched every sinew to ensure it didn’t succeed.

        As I understand it, implementation by Kiev of Minsk 2 would have precluded this disaster but they refused to do so and instead kept bombing Donbass – almost certainly at the behest of the Americans.

        • Tom Welsh

          Because you cannot negotiate with people who have no intention of reaching an agreement, but who want to destroy you utterly. They will talk and talk, it is true; but only to gain time and distract their victim’s attention.

          To get some idea of how the Washinton elites think, you must engage in what is a very difficult exercise for any normal human. Imagine, if you can, that you are playing a game for an enormous prize – a prize you crave more than anything else. To win the prize, you must overcome the largest and most powerfully armed country in the world and force it to submit to your will.

          How could you do this? For normal humans, it is a most challenging task – and probably impossible.

          Now imagine that, under the rules of this game, all laws, religions, morality, decency and conscience have disappeared. Everything is permitted.

          That is how Washington is playing this “game”.

          But Moscow, hampered by laws, religion, morality, decency, and conscience, has to hold out somehow. It tries everything short of armed force, but is always forced back… and back… and back, until its heels are on the edge of a precipice. At that point, it must fight or die.

          Or it could just die quietly, with the satisfaction of knowing that it was in the right and the aggressors were in the wrong.

          • Anna

            “an enormous prize – a prize you crave more than anything else”

            Presumably you mean death?

  • Roger

    An outstanding article, thank you, Craig. Clear and mostly convincing.

    However, I question your view that NATO doesn’t want to attack Russia. Sure it hasn’t until now, but it hadn’t attacked Serbia until it did, hadn’t attacked Libya until it did, and so on. NATO expansion up to the Russian border is a prelude to “regime change”. Stationing cruise missiles right on the Russian border – with the capability of obliterating Moscow before Russia could respond – would be massively de-stabilizing as well as intimidating.

    Americans are already blathering about bringing “democracy” to Russia. You know what that means: a puppet government selected by someone like Victoria Nuland on behalf of the current administration and large American corporations.

    • Pigeon English

      Sarcasm alert!
      They were all humanitarian bombings. NATO is defensive alliance. Preemptive strikes are just defensive actions. Some animal are more equal

    • Tom Welsh

      Mr Murray’s argument that NATO (or, more correctly, Washington) doesn’t plan to attack Russia is charming in its innocent naivete. One wonders where he has spent his life.

      A gazelle might reason thus, seeing a lion stealthily crawling nearer. “Well, it hasn’t hurt me yet. It is probably quite harmless; I expect it likes to eat tofu”.

      Or, as the old joke has it, a man jumps off the top of the Empire State building; as he passes the tenth floor on the way down he say to himself, “Everything’s fine so far”.

      It’s not as though the USA has ever attacked a sovereign nation before, with no reason other than greed for wealth and power. It’s not as if it has spent itself into depths of debt that make bankruptcy look like riches, to build up by far the most massive armed forces in the world. (Although by its geographical position the USA is almost immune to attack). It’s not as though its “NATO” alter ego has been steadily advancing eastwards towards Russia for 30 years. It’s not as though it has repeatedly imposed “sanctions” on Russia that amount to acts of war.

      Oh, no. The USA is always kind, benevolent, and self-sacrificing. Mr Putin (and all the rest of Russia’s political and military leaders) are jumping at shadows.

      Nervous Nellies!

  • Reza

    This war has given the US everything it’s been waiting for: an excuse to sanction Russia’s economy into the stone age, further bleed it dry with a 40 year guerrilla way, renew support for NATO and faith in intelligence agencies, bloated military budgets etc. How has this “struck a blow against the west” in any way?

  • Lapsed Agnostic

    (Apologies if anyone has made one or more of these points before – I haven’t had time to read all the comments)

    I’ve felt reluctant to chime in about recent geopolitical events, mainly because I have been completely discombobulated by them. I have no idea what is going on in Putin’s head at the moment – he seems to be engaged in largely destroying what he’s spent the last 20 years building for a quixotic pipe-dream about establishing some latter-day version of the 18th century Russian empire.

    In the past, he’s always been fairly pragmatic when it comes to war. Rather than getting engaged in debacles like those in Afghanistan and Iraq a la Bush, Dick & Colon (not forgetting Blair), his small wars, like that in South Ossetia in 2008, were fairly easy to win and played well to his base. However, the Second Chechen War, involving only around one million people in Chechnya, still dragged on for nearly nine years and killed over 6000 Russians (plus probably over 30,000 Chechen civilians), with victory only being achieved by bringing Kadyrov over to his side.

    Then there’s Syria, where even after six or seven years of Russian bombing, including the levelling of Aleppo, the Islamists of al-Nusra front (or HTS as they like to be called these days) are still plugging away against Assad’s forces in Idlib, despite only having only 20-30,000 fighters, some internal squabbles, and relatively few anti-tank weapons (as compared to the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army).

    Now, taking all that into consideration, Putin apparently believes he can subdue a nation of some 45 million people, the majority of which are not pro-Russian, with less than 200,000 troops, de-Nazify it, and then just install a puppet regime which will rule over Ukraine without any significant problems, when the democratically-elected former president Victor Yanukovich, who tried to plot a middle course between Russia and the West, had to flee for his life from an armed nationalist mob in 2014.

    Even if the Western powers had initially declined to get involved – i.e. imposed only token sanctions on Russia and not provided any weapons to Ukraine – that situation would unlikely have persisted when you consider that most of the population have a smartphone with which to record war crimes *happening to white people* and can upload the footage to web (a smartphone being, of course, the reason why George Floyd’s death had US cities set ablaze – and still has Premiership footballers taking the knee before matches nearly two years later – rather than just being chalked up as another fentanyl casualty).

    So far, it’s likely that over 5000 Russian soldiers have died in just *one week*. Compare this to the 14,000 Soviet soldiers that died in nine years of the Afghan War, which eventually led them to consider the situation untenable and call it a day – though not before having killed around a tenth of the entire Afghan population.

    Surely the take-home point of the last 50 years of military adventurism has to be that, whilst it may be reasonably easy for superpowers to invade/liberate smaller countries, they cannot defeat protracted insurgencies – even ones supported by only a small minority of the local population. See: Vietnam, Afghanistan I, Iraq, Afghanistan II…

    There’s talk that he may be suffering from Parkinson’s disease, possibly caused or exacerbated by Covid, or may be on high doses of steroids (possibly anabolic), either of which may be affecting his mental state. In any event, he must have increased his chances of either being defenestrated or dying in prison by at least an order of magnitude. Maybe he’ll have a heart attack instead. These things happen – poor Warnie was only 52 (and, like fellow Aussie Rod Marsh who also died of a heart attack today, fully vaxxed I’d imagine).

    Where will this all end? I have no idea. Apparently, plenty of Radio 4 listeners have been writing/emailing in saying that they’re deeply worried about nuclear war. I’m not surprised – can’t imagine what that will do to house prices. London mayor Sadiq Khan says the capital is “well-prepared” for a nuclear attack – I’ve still advised my brother and his young (part-Ukrainian) family to take an extended break in South America, carrying as much cash and gold as they’re allowed to take on the plane.

    Anyway now I’ve got all that off my chest and, since the way things are unfolding, it’s possible that this might be my last Friday night on Earth, I’m going to treat myself to a couple of Foxy Knoxys* before hitting the danceries. Good evening and good luck.

    (* 5 parts Talisker, 1 part Creme de Framboise, sugar to taste. Generally known as a ‘Seattle Seducer’ after the Hotel Seattle in Brighton where it was invented. I think my name is better.)

    • Akos Horvath

      Oh, yet another Putin the madman theorist. I would recommend you read a few articles from Jonathan Cook, ex-Guardian now independent journalist. Just to get a different perspective.

      I live in the EU and I am much more worried of the incompetent fools running this institution escalating this into a nuclear conflict. Way before the current invasion, Merkel’s defense minister, who went by the acronym AKK, was already threatening/suggesting NATO bomber patrols near the Russian borders with nukes loaded. Stoltenberg has also said some hair raising stuff. And the list is long. The mood in Germany is just frightening. It’s pure uncontrolled uncritical Russophobia. What is even more frightening is how quickly the entire country became hysterical. There isn’t a single person of some stature calling for pausing and reflecting on where things are going.

      I tell you it’s ugly and very scary. I guess I will hear your madman theory applied to German politicians, right? Thought not. The EU’s most responsible leader is Hungary’s Orban, who refuses to participate in escalation.

      • Curiouslittleman

        I remember z Michael Foot advocating unilateral disarmament. It was Western leaders who got us to this point but finally they are waking up to what Rusią is and always was including USSR interlude.

        • Akos Horvath

          The world’s main purveyor of violence, NATO, waking up to what Russia is? What is Russia? Seem to justify xenophobic attacks on Russians.

        • Tom Welsh

          You wouldn’t be a died-in-the-wool racist, would you? I say that only because you sound like one. “What Russia is and always was…”; so you maintain that all Russians are intrinsically bad.

          That is the definition of racism. But if you are English, it’s normal.

          • Bayard

            “That is the definition of racism. But if you are English, it’s normal.”

            It’s so normal that even the Russophiles and those who like other nationalities and ethnicities unconsciously indulge in it. It’s part of our memetic inheritance.

          • Tom Welsh

            Actually, Bayard, I reject your claim. I despise and hate the monsters who control many nations and corporations. But I cannot think of a single people whom I hate, despise, or even dislike as a whole.

            I have visited and even lived in some other countries, it’s true, and realise that they are peopled with mostly kind, decent, honest human beings. And read a lot of books written by “foreigners”, from the Tao Te Ching to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Borges, Spengler, Sartre, etc.

            But none of that would necessarily prejudice me in favour of Russia, China, or Iran. My only prejudice in their direction is a perhaps excessive admiration and liking, caused by overreaction to the absolute swine who are trying to do them down.

          • curiouslittleman

            You mentioned Russians, I said RUSSIA – maybe learn to read English. And no I am not English and as always when there are no arguments then the race card comes out.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Thanks for your reply Akos. I’m an occasional reader of Jonathan Cook’s output and, on your recommendation, I read his latest article. I’m more inclined to trust his version of what is happening in the West Bank than that of the Israeli government. However, as far as I’m aware, he isn’t a trained psychiatrist.

        I’m not sure where you get the idea that most senior German politicians – both current and former – are Russophobic. Compared to former Chancellors Merkel and Schroder, as well as Chancellorship contender Armin Laschet, Olaf Schloz was lukewarm on Nordstream 2, but even he only decided to suspend its licensing after the Russians started attacking civilian areas of Ukraine with rockets and shells. Annegret Kramp-Kannenbauer is no longer defence minister, being replaced in December last year by Christine Lambrecht of the SPD who are against nukes on German soil.

        From what I can make out, it’s the western media that are rather hysterical e.g. calling for a no-fly zone because *something must be done* and it’s what hero-of-the-hour Zelensky wants, whereas senior politicians are not heeding their call, and have now decided against supplying the Ukrainians with fighter jets.

        I’d imagine that the vast majority of Russian nukes are aimed at targets in the US, UK and France, rather than Germany or Hungary, so in the event of full-scale nuclear exchange you might not be that badly off (compared to some), especially if you have several months of food reserves stored in safe places. The nuclear winter hypothesis has largely been discredited.

      • Jimmeh

        > Stoltenberg has also said some hair raising stuff.

        Stoltenberg has gone way beyond his authority. He seems to be quite the warmonger. Of course, he’s the head of a military organisation, so I suppose that’s not surprising.

    • Tom Welsh

      It’s very simple, Lapsed Agnostic: Mr Putin is doing his duty as usual. After two decades of trying to engage the West in any kind of constructive dialogue, he has finally – with great reluctance – been forced to do what he must to prevent Russia from being murdered in its bed.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Thanks for your reply Tom. Why does the West want to ‘murder Russia in its bed’? What does Russia have that the West can’t get more easily elsewhere? Oil & gas? Why doesn’t it just invade Qatar and the Ghawar oil field of Saudi Arabia? Cobalt for electric car batteries? Why doesn’t it just invade the Katanga region of the DRC? Etc.

  • mark golding

    Seeing the situation of fluid CIA conjured terror in Syria and after talking to a well-informed buddy I am bothered that Russia might have to face and endure, as well as fight, risk and suffer, a major stall in Ukraine.

    As I suspected in a ‘The Reichstag Fire’ moment Britain is not only involved in the transfer of foreign fighters from Syria to Ukraine, more seriously a plot to simulate a strike on a nuclear plant In Ukraine was executed by trained foreign fighters and our intelligence services are fully aware that ex and serving SAS dressed as Russians are in Ukraine. Why? We witnessed this in Iraq on a odd occasion when the British army fucked up Operation Hathor and an Iraq policeman in Basra was murdered. Later the MOD said the police force was infiltrated by illegal militia groups. Illegal militia group is code for foreign terrorist or lethal Operation Tango ex SAS British mercenaries, ex Bosnia


  • mark golding

    Craig said brilliantly “This war in Ukraine should represent such a moment of epiphany in western political thought.” Great words. I would add this war in Ukraine is a moment of discovery; revelation embraced by epiphany. By saying that I mean we understand how reality can be conjured, how a spell can be created by plans,iniquitous plots that trigger mass media paroxysm twisting trusting minds. Trust, faith, hope is the root of humanity.

    How better to advance that trust, to invoke emotion in the minds of many that form waves of intention that will affect a so called enemy country such as Russia, yet in my universe a compatriot country who fought Germany in WW2.

    So the epiphany here is trust, faith and hope are all at a pivotal, cardinal moment of time…

  • Tatyana

    Hope you all enjoy a very good morning 🙂
    As we find ourself among the information war, and many news are quite scary, I’ll update for you on the latest rumors with the reference to the responsible sources.

    Well, some fakes are exposed. Russian representative to UN spoke on Zaporozhye nuclear plant
    Russian troops took control of it on 28 February. The work of Ukrainian operators is not disrupted, electricity supplies continue. Nebenzya reports, with reference to the MoD: on the territory adjacent to the station, outside it, there is a training building. On March 4, a Russian patrol was fired at, from the windows of that building. The Russians fired back. The Ukrainians set fire to the building as they retreated. The firemen put out the fire. None of the station operators were there (here Nebenzya reproachfully addresses the US representative, who earlier said that the employees were injured).

    IAEA confirms normal background
    “… The Director General said there had been no release of radiation from the Zaporizhhzhya NPP as a result of a fire there that was later extinguished…”

    Shame on US for instigating hysteria, shame on Zelensky, who told said that the Russians were shelling the station with tanks.

    • Tatyana

      The end of Nebenzya’s speech draws attention. He reads a message from Kramatorsk, where Ukrainian nationalists have commandeered UN vehicles. He quotes the message: “I’m sorry, but the end justifies the means. We’ve commandeered UN vehicles because we need them now.” he also quotes: “There is full understanding on the part of the UN. There have been no official statements or protests from the UN.” Nebenzia expresses concern that the vehicles could be used for terrorist purposes, asks the secretariat if they are aware of this event, and if they are aware, then why the member countries have not been notified.

      On other rumors, this source is not responsible, so it may be true or false, still entertaining 🙂

      The State Department has told all US embassies to urgently delete the post from the diplomatic mission in Kiev accusing Russia of shelling the plant and calling it a war crime.
      “If you have retweeted it – un-retweet it ASAP” in an urgent message seen by CNN.

      Bloomberg halts the work of its journalists in Russia after Putin signed legislation criminalizing fake stories about Russian army.

      The UN believes it’s important to avoid extreme rhetorics over the crisis, Stephane Dujarric commented on Senator Lindsey Graham’s calls to assassinate Putin.
      The White House said that Graham’s statement “is not the position of the US government and certainly not a statement you’d hear come from the mouth of anybody working in this administration”

      • Tom Welsh

        Thus they hope to get “coming and going”, as we used to say in Scotland. Everyone around the world will believe “the Russians did it”, while the original tweets will have disappeared.

        Par for Washington.

        The US government would be disgraced by the company it is keeping with Ukrainian Nazis – except that it taught them all they know to begin with. Just as it did with Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

        “Plausible deniability” is their watchword.

  • Jack

    Russia trade banned from another asian nation:

    Singapore Bans Its Financial Institutions From Transactions Allowing Fundraising by Russian Central Bank, Government

    “Financial institutions in Singapore will be prohibited from the following: … entering into transactions or arrangements, or providing financial services that facilitate fund raising by: the Russian government; the Central Bank of the Russian Federation; any entity owned or controlled by them or acting on their direction or behalf. The prohibitions apply to buying and selling new securities, providing financial services that facilitate new fund raising by, and making or participate in the making of any new loan to the above entities,” the ministry said in a statement.”—ex-ukrainian-pm–1093577850.html

    The idea that Russia will just turn to asia from the west: that will not work easily.

    • Bayard

      Russia is running a budget surplus. Why does it need to borrow any money through Singapore? Yet another fart in a thunderstorm, like the rest of the sanctions.

  • Tatyana

    More on nukes.
    Rogozin, the head of Roskosmos, states that in Ukrainian plant YuzhMush ballistic missiles were developed.
    Naryshkin says they have proof that Ukraine were heading to having nukes of its own, and US facilitated this hoping to aim the nukes on Russia.

    “According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, Ukraine has retained the technical capability to build nuclear weapons, and these capabilities are much higher than those of Iran or North Korea. Moreover, according to the intelligence data received by the SVR, work in this direction was carried out in Ukraine.”

    • mark golding

      Much as I suspected Tatyana after I became aware of tactical cruise missiles stationed in Poland. I have said many times the West must destroy Russia at any cost because the Sino-Russian pragmatic, opportunistic, cynical strategic alliance aimed at destabilising the liberal, rules-based world order cannot be tolerated by the West esp. Britain, America and their war machine coffers Already sanctions are threatened to hit India for abstaining at the UNSC and purchasing Russian detection equipment.

  • David G Crowther

    You described Russia as a third rate European military power.

    For your consideration.
    The Ukraine Crisis with Dan Cohen and Scott Ritter

    US Marine Major and UN Weapons inspector Scott Ritter just described the Russian military as “one of the most premier combined force military’s” in the world. He describes the US Military and NATO as having changed their military structure to exclusively fight “low intensity conflicts” against small military powers. In the interview he also points out that Russia is not advancing under massive preparatory fire as it would in an all out war specifically to cut down on civilian casualties.

    Russia hasn’t captured a major city yet because …. from Moon of Alabama ….

    “Patrick Armstrong continues to be the best military intelligence analyst on Russia:

    So far the Russian military operation in Ukraine has been a reconnaissance in force preceded by the destruction of the supplies and headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by standoff weapons. The object being to suss out where the Ukrainian forces are, to surround them, to check existing Russian intelligence against reality and, at the same time, destroy known headquarters, air and naval assets, supplies and ammunition depots. And, perhaps, there was the hope that the speed and success (Russian/LDPR forces dominated an area of Ukraine about the size of the United Kingdom in the first week) would force an early end (aka recognition of reality).

    At the moment they are readying for the next phase. The long column that so obsessed the “experts” on CNN is the preparation for the next phase.

    As far as I can see they’ve created three cauldrons (encirclements). Probably the most important one is the one around Mariupol where the main concentration of Azov, the principal nazi force, is. Another is being established around the main concentration of the Ukrainian Armed Forces facing LDPR. And there appears to be another developing to the east of Kiev. A super cauldron of all three is visible. The nazis will be exterminated; the ordinary Ukrainian soldier will be allowed to go home. The nightmare question is how many ordinary Ukrainians will be free to choose.”

    Don’t get me wrong, as usual you wrote a very good article and personally I abhor war. Contracting war related post traumatic stress disorder kind of put me off it.

    I just thought you might be interested in a different perspective from a military annalist who had the integrity to stand up and tell the truth about WMD’s in Iraq, who with his experience and knowledge believes the current Russian military to be quite effective and being very successful in this conflict.

    • Tatyana

      I abhor war too.

      Humanitarian aims were achieved during the second round of the negotiations.
      Russia declares ceasefire in Ukraine starting at 7:00 GMT, opens humanitarian corridors for civilians to evacuate.
      Kiev, Kharkov, Sumy, Chernigov, Mariupol – local authorities face difficulties to forward civilians via corridors, because nationalists urge them to keep folk inside.
      Giving weapons to civilians and order to defend their country made evacuation more difficult. They truly believe that Russia want to conquer Ukraine. Releasing criminals from prisons makes it worse too.

      The situation looks like there are different powers operating in Ukraine, and I’m afraid Zelensky is not the strongest. Looks like his role is smth like a showman.

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