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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  • SA

    “Everone Loses”

    “Moving past the negative some game
    The cold war was brought to a peaceful conclusion by statesmen impelled by a sense of urgency, a feeling that they are ‘running against the clock’ and that the window of opportunity for decisive action might soon close. The regnant mood in the current crisis is one of resolve to maintain entrenched positions, not urgency to finding a solution”.

    These prophetic words were written in a book published in 2017 by Charap and Colton from the institute of strategic studies with a lot of insight and advice as to how the festering crisis could have been better handled. Maybe all politicians should be presented a copy to read.

  • Jack

    Some headlines from past hours:

    South Korea to cut transactions with Russia’s central bank
    Two big-name accounting firms (KPMG and PricewaterhouseCooper) to leave Russia
    Netflix halts service in Russia
    US mulls possible ban on oil imports from Russia

    It almost look like a conspiracy against Russia to weaken it to the max, no one seems to think about what all these measures against 1 nation might develop into.

  • DiggerUK

    Russia is a rich jewel to have and hold. Mineral rich and an agricultural paradise.
    West/NATO deceit re promises not to expand east is simple to understand, parallels with how the aboriginal population in North America were crushed and lied to are easy to see.

    This war has been a long time coming, it follows a long history of failed dreams to exploit the wealth of Russia. Many have tried and failed, I am beginning to fear that this is one genie that won’t be put back in the bottle.

    Keep this thought in your mind, the only force that subdued the lands that constitute modern Russia came from the lands that are now modern China. And the original silk roads did not last for ever.

    I am desperately looking for the cool heads who will negotiate a ceasefire and end the Civil War in Ukraine. But in my heart I believe that won’t be the end of the matter, there’s simply too much loot for the victors…_

      • Wang Shui

        Yes, the Mongols invaded China too, of course, the Great Wall didn’t keep them out. They came through here in 1279, reached the southern tip. The last Song Emperor, a boy, Zhao Bing, clutched his guardian and they leapt into the Pearl River estuary. The remaining Song navy across the water was sacked, it was said that 10,000 bodies floated in the sea, The Yuan dynasty was then in full control of China.
        The body which purports to be the remains of the emperor was unearthed in the 1960s and a tomb built, which is currently being restored as a tourist attraction at Chiwan. There is also a fort, a link to the Opium War, and the biggest Tianhou temple in Guangdong province. An interesting day out should you be in the neighbourhood.

    • John Kinsella

      Oh come on.

      “Civil War” in Ukraine?

      Absolute BS.

      Russia invaded Ukraine and is now bogged down and bleeding.

      Tough tits.

    • Jimmeh

      > end the Civil War in Ukraine

      Um, it’s not a “civil war”. When one country rolls tanks into a neighbouring country, and tries to encircle and capture the capital with a view to replacing the government, that’s called an “invasion”.

  • Tatyana

    Evidently the leaders of the European countries were getting updates on Russia from RT and Sputnik 🙂
    Now that these sources of information are closed and the diplomatic channels are down, they just started following the instructions from the US, believing they were on the right track. They probably missed the Russian legislation that was approved in the very first days, or, even if they saw that, they didn’t have enough brain to sum up 2 + 2. Continued to add themselves into the list of hostile states.
    I decided to not enlighten you on this legislation.

    Well, the list of hostile states is published in Russia today. I decided to not copy it here.

    A hint, if you followed the relations of US / Venezuela and US / Iran, you may update yourself on the recent visits and guess the result. Just check if your media are reporting it true to the reality.

    @Craig Mr. Murray, please let me know if your country’s legislation (written or simply ‘generally accepted’) allows me to comment on this site, I don’t want to put you in jeopardy.

    [ Mod: It’s fine, Tatyana. The commenting rules haven’t changed. Your contributions are very welcome. ]

      • Wikikettle

        Courtenay. I’ve been watching Gravitas for a while. I think its an Indian channel pushing anti Russia talking points. I did post earlier asking if anybody knew if it was funded by Murdoch ?

          • Courtenay Barnett


            To answer you – I really don’t know.

            Let us watch how the wind blows and you can always report your weather readings back to me.



    • Tatyana

      Thank you! Please let me know if the rule changes, I’m not easily offended, I’ll be fine then too.
      On my part, I will ‘limit’ information commenting more on global affairs, rather then on inner Russian situation, because I don’t want to be accused of providing info to enemies 🙂

        • Tatyana

          I have no access to the information, that might be classified or, anything like that. I get my news from my media, so I think I’m ok with that. I’m not commenting on military anything but what I get from their official website. The same with government. The same with Kremlin. In general, I’m mostly speaking about myself ?

    • SA

      “The government on Monday also unveiled an updated list of countries which have been deemed “unfriendly states” for their positions on the Ukraine conflict. It includes the United States and Canada, the countries of the EU bloc, the UK (including Jersey, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Gibraltar), Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, Albania, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, North Macedonia, and also Japan, South Korea, Australia, Micronesia, New Zealand, Singapore, and China’s self-ruled territory of Taiwan.

      The countries and territories were added to the list after they imposed or joined the sanctions against Russia in connection with the ongoing military operation of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.”

    • Mr Trimble

      Hello Tatyana,
      I’m not sure what information you can or can’t get in Russia at the moment but please believe me that the conflict in Ukraine is a full scale war and not a special military operation. Approximately 1.5 million people have already fled to neighbouring countries and they continue to flee ahead of the bombing. Thousands and thousands of civilians are trapped in towns and cities and cannot escape the violence. They have no food, water or heating. Almost the entire world has condemned Russia for the invasion. It is estimated that around 2000-4000 Russians soldiers have lost their lives. I’ve not heard figures for Ukraine casualties but probably more. Many civilians have also been killed including children. Ukraine faces terrible destruction not seen in Europe since WWII. Despite this the Ukrainians appear to be united and determined to defeat the Russian army. Please try and find reliable information if you can and spread the news to your friends. Don’t believe what the Russian media are saying. They don’t want you to know the truth. This is why they have banned all independent media and banned protests. Together we can try and bring peace so please do what you can.

  • DunGroanin

    I’m going to say this will be the last week of the end of WW3 timed for 22022022 – it is chaotic here in the West. Especially for us Brits, The Great Knight Dope Starmer, has gone full berserker with his ‘nato or nuttin’ you hears me lefties ?’
    Can’t wait to see him in fatigues, posing with our brave boys… err mercenaries, who for $2,000 / day are taking a jolly train ride to Ukraine to hang out with the Azovs in their Dying Fields (its true it’s in the Times!).
    Liz ‘tankygirl’ Truss, Bozo, Sunak, Raaaaabbb, the whole bunch of lion loons and a few others have committed a major crime , on the world stage calling for the mercenaries & calling for the murder of Russian State Officials – I don’t really give her much hope of travelling far and wide for the rest of her existence in the World, unless its in the ever decreasing Village of the West.
    One must understand that ‘the Prisoner’ was not a fantasy it was a blueprint just like 1984 and other such classics.
    She’ll be banged up and on trial along with all the odious Odessa people burners and the mental and deluded Nazi youths of Ukraine who have graduated into demented fantasy supermen elites who are saving the Aryan World single handedly – as seen in his demented rant surrounded by older blokes who look shit scared by the crap of that tantrum spewing hoodlum “we enjoy killing”. (Yes little boy come and get your desserts you deserve them)

    The footage of Zelensky being faced down by the Nazis as he begged them to let ‘Minsk’ proceed when he won the presidency shows that he is just a mere muppet and these strong boy/men believe they, less than 10%, of the elected – can tell the rest of the country to do what they want – proof again when they invaded a chamber of decision makers to make sure that none of the politicians would make the ‘wrong’ choice.
    Zalensky, apparently Jewish, standing with Nazis and their symbols and flags handing accolades to these great grandsons of killers of Ukrainian Jews, Poles, Romany, Communist and Russians classes himself as one of them!? Who is ever going to believe that shit in a court of law?

    It does not need half or a majority of citizens of a country for that country to become a fascist , Nazi, terror state- when less than 10% includes thugs and ex soldiers and foreign funders , trainers and suppliers to screw up the other 90% – ask the Germans; ask indeed the Russians. Or just listen to the deluded little kid thug in Ukraine who is the one who claims it.

    The peace talks resumes without one of the interlocutors from the Uke side – having been executed by the Nazis of Ukeraine – HIS OWN SIDE ; the centre will not hold and the country will change shape because the cauldrons are built and the big flame is going to cook it!!

    Bye bye nazis and enablers and moronic mercenaries – no escape to Alberta this time.

    The reports of ordinary peoples and foreign students trapped by the Nazis as human shields spread.

    The economic war goes ‘nuclear’ MasterCard/visa/Amex etc stop having their products being used means that they are as useful as Monopoly money when travellers now go beyond their Disneyland borders. There is no coming back for them and they will lose their utility in the RoW faster daily. – SELL while you can.

    The fantastical plans of our Aristo warlords to encourage some destruction of a university nuclear pile is just absurdly mental.

    It seems to have come about and the current media meltdown, lockdown, is funny, is it to do with the story of chemical and biological weapons being talked about.
    A lost Nato laptop with top secrets.

    It Would explain the presence in Ukeraine of teletubbie suit selling U.K. ‘Novichok expert’ De Bretton Gordon, in recent reports.

    It also explains why the manic jet setting by Israel, France and the donkey Erdogan who must now know that there will never be a chance for him to buy Putin a poison ice cream- if the reports of him supplying the specially designed drones adapted to spray the Chemical/Biologicals as was supposedly planned to start the attack on Donbass originally today, 7th March, are poved true.

    If there has been previous such local biological warfare in Ukerain too than it may being the whole Covid vaccination with novel vaccines into a whole new focus. Where we supposed to be immunised by the mRNA’s ?

    As for our boys in their fatigues on the choo choo to hell – I saw some Asians on it to! Do they care or know? Or are they blinded by the couple of thousand bucks a day they think is easy tax free money?
    They will be destroyed, probably by the Nazis and their British officers and will be very lucky if they surrender to the Russians who will treat them better than they deserve for being dumb mercenaries.
    If any make it back I expect they will declare and pay taxes on their ill-gotten gains! ?

    Why should there be censorship if we got nothing to hide? Can’t trust us to make up our own minds eh?

    Can’t see it lasting more than a few days now except for the mopping up.

    Time to get back into the, right, markets ? (gotta top up the pension pot what, what!) Now where can I get a card I can use on my travels?

    let us think only of the innocents.

  • Tatyana

    Briefing of the head for nuclear, biological etc. defence

    It’s in Russian, please help with translation into English, I cannot do at the moment with smartphone.

    Short – net of 30 facilities in Ukraine, sponsored by US Defence, affiliated with *here the name of the department, sounds like Ditra* and *the name sounds like Black & Fitch*
    Works on gathering samples of dangerous microorganisms, delivering it to the US; study potential components of bioweapon endemic to the region. ( Much likely that is why so many common bacteria in soil and water were in the yesterday’s list of destroyed samples)
    He also says many samples were forwarded to the US, gathered specifically from Slavic people. He also says in 2007 pigs decease may be construed in Georgia labs, it harmed significantly pork industry in Ukraine and Poland.

    • Tatyana

      2020-2021 German Defence Ministry worked in Ukraine to research Crimean hemorrhagic fever, Congo *fever, leptospirosis, meningitis, orthohantavirus.

      What was Herr Scholz doing in 2020-2021?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Tatyana – I don’t know if this is the exact translation, but the following article covers the same subject:

      Here’s one quote from there:

      ‘The analysis of the acts of destruction shows that work was carried out with pathogens of plague, anthrax and brucellosis in the Lvov biological laboratory, pathogens of diphtheria, salmonellosis and dysentery in laboratories in Kharkov and Poltava.

      Here are some of them: only in Lvov 232 containers with the causative agent of leptospirosis, 30 containers with tularemia, 10 with containers brucellosis, 5 containers with plague were destroyed. In total more than 320 containers.

      The nomenclature and excessive number of bio-pathogens indicate that the work was carried out within the framework of military biological programs.’

      Brucellosis is ‘infectious abortion in cattle’, in other words a disease used to wipe out the beef industry.

      This is the CDC’s page on tularemia: – it’s not the worst pathogen going, but if it were weaponised, it could be considerably more lethal.

      Here is the analagous page on plague: – once again, plague is currently treatable using antibiotics, but if it were weaponised to become resistant to those antibiotics, it could be absolutely lethal like it was historically before modern antibiotics were available.

      Here’s the ‘unexploded bomb’ paragraph:

      ‘The curators from the Pentagon understand that if these collections get to Russian experts a fact of violation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological and Toxin Weapons by Ukraine and the USA will most likely be confirmed. Namely: carrying out work to enhance the pathogenic properties of microorganisms with usage of synthetic biology methods.

      Only this can explain a haste with which the liquidation was carried out.

      This is only a small part of documents. We continue the work and will inform you.’

      Basically telling the USA: ‘if we find a smoking gun, then both you and Zelensky are TOAST!!’

      • Tatyana

        Thank you, Rhys! Accurate translation.
        I’ve saved the screenshots of the papers, that were published yesterday. Googled for the Latin names, wondered why would someone keep bacteria common everywhere, like E.coli or Candida. There were some quite dangerous among them though. And, I only had 2 lists, more they offer to publish.

      • Jimmeh

        One type of brucellosis infects cattle. It doesn’t “wipe out the beef industry”; it sometimes causes abortions. It can be cured with antibiotics.

    • ET

      Didn’t notice it before but on the side of the truck is “ecclesiastical supplies.” Collusion between church and special vehicle operations?

    • John Kinsella

      Irish poster here.

      Sure the guy who reversed his truck into the gate of the Russian Embassy is an eccentric – but hardly an idiot.

      A small gesture of hostility towards the Putin regime that reflects the feelings of most Irish people.

      Amusing fact: the Russian Embassy in Dublin is on Orwell Rd.

      There are proposals to rename the road to Zelenskyy Road (Zelinskyy?)..

  • Squeeth

    Does anyone else think that it’s significant that there have been no situation maps for the last couple of days? Could it be linked to the hysterical splash headlines about a Ukrainian nazi victory in the gutter press (i.e. all of it).

    • DunGroanin

      Geroman has got links to good ones.

      The cauldrons are formed. It’s gonna be a toss up between Odessa and Mariupol being the last Ukrainian port.

      If they hurry up and agree terms they may be allowed access to one of them in the future – but of course none else wants a couple of shots in the chest from their Nazis so no Black Sea port for Nato.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Interactive one here:-

      Nothing much appears to have changed, Russians control about 7% of the country. Some reports that Russia has offered to withdraw if Ukraine agrees to stay neutral and recognise three disputed regions as Russian. If true a sign that Russian resolve is weakening.

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        Believe that was all Russia wanted in the first place – basically self defence. It is the Americans, Nato, and sadly the Europeans who are aggressively wielding sanctions, hysteria and misinforming their public. I hope the penny will drop soon – price of oil rocketing etc. The American oil companies, to say nothing of the arms manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank. Do wake up folks! People are dying, wounded, frightened, homeless to say nothing of the poor domestic animals.

        • Jimmeh

          That’s not what Mr. Putin has said. He has said that Ukraine doesn’t exist, and was a fiction created by Lenin.

          If by “the penny will drop” you mean that people will recognise that “all Russia wanted” was self-defence, that is orthogonal to the price of oil. Also, “self-defence” doesn’t normally extend to encircling your neighbour’s capital with a view to deposing its government.

          With regard to the “poor domestic animals”, are you suggesting that US oil companies are wiping out Ukrainian cats and dogs? Grow up.

          • Penguin

            Ukraine doesn’t exist. It has never existed. Just another fake country invented post 1918. See also Yugoslavia.
            Funny to see all of our favourite Yoons going into hysterics over defending a fake country full of Nazis while insisting that Scottish Independence is the work of Putin. A man who couldn’t have been clearer in his opposition to freedom in 2014.

      • Bayard

        “Some reports that Russia has offered to withdraw if Ukraine agrees to stay neutral and recognise three disputed regions as Russian. If true a sign that Russian resolve is weakening.”

        That’s a tactic that probably dates back to the Roman Empire: broadcast goals much inflated beyond the actual ones for your opponents, then accuse them of weakening when they say they are not seeking to achieve them.

      • Wikikettle

        How can Russian resolve be weakening ? It knows Ukraine would never be allowed by US to recognise Crimea as Russian. The paramilitaries will hide among the civilians hoping they will be allowed to escape as the jihadists in Syria were allowed to go to Idlib. Russia, in my opinion, will not repeat that.

        • Pears Morgaine

          So what happened to the ‘de-militarisation’ and ‘de-Nazification’ of the whole country that Putin claimed were his objectives?

          • Laguerre

            Isn’t that what’s happening? Did Russia change its war aims according to you?

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Do you remember how long it took the USA to ‘fully capture Iraq’?

            Well, it was a hugely longer time than 14 days.

  • M.J.

    If renewables are not all they are cracked up to be, eg wind is unreliable and electricity is liable to cuts every time there’s a hurricane or a solar storm, and we can’t store energy effectively, Britain needs to rebuild its nuclear power industry and put research clean and safe nuclear power, reducing the country’s dependence on Russian oil.

    But for now, I wish courage to the resistance of young Ukrainians at war against the invader. Here is a website where Ukrainian film makers encourage a boycott against Russian culture:
    As for the slogan “Glory to Ukraine”, here’s a wiki article about it:
    Jacinda Ardern, Ursula Von den Leyen used it, that’s good enough for me.
    Слава Україні!

    • glenn_nl

      A boycott against Russian culture? Perhaps I should throw out my Chekhov books, or maybe burn them? How about Tchaikovsky, is that off the play-list too?

      I think this is all pretty dangerous virtue signalling. And it is amazing that boycotting Israel – an actual democracy, note – for their brutal occupation is officially considered anti-semitism, but demonising all Russians and all things Russian is absolutely fine.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Glenn – as a fundamental moral principle, the output of anyone now dead is not subject to the actions of anyone currently living.

        I will categorically refuse to stop saying I love Rachmaninov, Tschaikowsky and Prokoviev just because some Americans want to balkanise Russia and loot it. The works of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy et al are immune from all current Russian actions, because they are now all dead.

        Are we going to abolish Shakespeare if Boris Johnson is committed for trial for Crimes against Humanity?

        Are we going to abolish Schiller, Goethe and Heinrich Boell because the Nazis committed atrocities 80 years ago?

        What about Plato, Socrates etc etc if the Greeks ever committed war crimes??

        It’s just absolute nonsense and, I’m sorry to say, absolute ignorance too.

        The world is already turning and the UK propagandists are going to be on the wrong side of history….

        • glenn_uk

          Agreed. It’s incredibly stupid and dangerous. When does it end? When does a people’s culpability for effectively a dictator’s actions cease – once that action is ceased? Once that dictator is out of power?

          Or does that rancid taste of hating an entire people stick in the mouth for generations.

      • Pigeon English

        Imagine British Jews have to disown publicly Israel and it’s policy or accusing British Jews for actions of Israel.

    • Akos Horvath

      And I am boycotting Ukraine, a country that stole gas from Hungary twice, a country that has been harassing its 150k strong Hungarian minority for decades, a country that banned the Hungarian language and threw a hissy fit and complained to Brussels about our gas deal with Russia. The Hungarian government has just passed a decree forbidding to transfer of weapons to Ukraine. There is at least one sane country in the EU.

      As for Ukrainian ‘culture’, I cannot boycott something that doesn’t really exist. Unless you consider the Nazi torch light marches and the Nazi symbols of the Azov battalion culture.

      Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and move to the Ukrainian trench lines? What are you, a coward?

      • Tatyana

        The sense of the words is already manipulated. Support Ukraine=Hate Russia.

        In their hatred to everything russian, they will soon learn a special gesture. Ukraine explains it as ‘show the way from your heart to the sun’ not long before you see many in Europe making Nazi salute, when believing they do the right thing.

        After that, they will learn the second part of the slogan ‘Smert vragam’, that means ‘death to the enemies’, means, to the Russians. Not long before they start killing the Russians in the streets.

        Mostly they will be young strong men, who are morally attracted to join the dominant group. These actions will be dismissed and even justified by older generation, who are too scared to face retaliation from the young and strong.

        Don’t hold your breath.
        Nazism starts exactly like this.

        • Dom

          “Not long before they start killing the Russians in the streets”

          No sign of that as yet. Fortunately just the Russian army killing Ukranians in the streets. No doubt well deserved.

          • Tatyana

            Russian army does not kill Ukrainians in the streets. Russian army surrounded cities and stays outside. Destroying military objects. The battle is taking place on the frontline, dividing L&Dnr from Ukraine, the line that existed for 8 years and the whole world didn’t mind all this time.
            The frontline is now curved, forming a cauldron. Todays 3rd round negotiations revealed a problem with humanitarian corridors. Mariupol’s civilians try to escape. Ukrainian delegation agrees, but troops on the ground don’t follow the order.
            That’s the problem you have putting a clown for presidency – he has no real power. Real power is in the hands of well-trained and nazi-brained force, they don’t care of civilians lifes, only of achieving their ‘higher’ goals.

      • Tatyana

        And you know, people like M.J. would not even think twice. They say Ursula Von den Leyen used it, so it’s ok. The same with Nazi gesture – they will dig out the old photos of your queen and be ok with it again.

      • Blissex

        «And I am boycotting Ukraine, a country that stole gas from Hungary twice, a country that has been harassing its 150k strong Hungarian minority for decades, a country that banned the Hungarian language and threw a hissy fit and complained to Brussels about our gas deal with Russia.»

        That’s not “Ukraine, a country”, but the far right revanchist elites of the ruthenian/uniate/polish west. One of the sad things is that Ukraine is not just split between fanatical xenophobes trying to recreate the polish-lithuanian empire, and ethnic russians who just want to live in peace in autonomy, but between catholic (ex polish-lithuanian) west and orthodox east. Stupid fights among various ukranian churches have been a constant of the past 20 years. And to be fair the religious split is just a consequence of the cultural split, which makes it even stupider (theologically the difference between the church of the west and most churches of the east is negligible or zero, at most different terminology because of mistranslation of weird greek metaphysical philosophical terms.

    • Bayard

      “But for now, I wish courage to the resistance of young Ukrainians at war against the invader. Here is a website where Ukrainian film makers encourage a boycott against Russian culture:”

      Perhaps you would like to explain how boycotting Russian culture will do anything for the Ukranians except make life a little less pleasant for them.

      • Tatyana

        Invitation to join hating. When you do it together you feel united. You feel emotionally involved. When you’re united and involved you’re willing to help. Easy. Basics of pedagogy. They join you by action and emotional involvement. Important to exclude any differing view, that’s why RT and Sputnik are banned before you meet these people face to face. Human interaction makes you trust more their point of view, then believe anything in Russian media, isn’t it?

        Europeans always buy emotional pictures, they are incredibly naive when things come to analysis. I’d say, European way of thinking is infantile. Understandingly so, comfortable life makes no reasons to be alerted, constantly monitoring the scenes around.

        • Tatyana

          I’d like to hint some naive Europeans who host refugees. Please be attentive to people who don’t ask for any help. Those may fear to be a burden.

      • glenn_uk

        B: “… boycotting Russian culture will do anything for the Ukranians except make life a little less pleasant for them.

        It makes life a lot more unpleasant for us too!

        Already we’ve seen Russian vodka being removed from the shelves of Co-op and Morrisons. (Take that, Vlad!) Now the Royal Opera House will no longer end the season with the 1812 overture. This is just stupid.

        • Tatyana

          Metropolitan Opera changes Anna Netrebko for Ukrainian singer Ludmilla Monastyrska.

          On top of that – Pussy Riot real 🙂 – FIFE bans russian cats!

          • ET

            I saw the cat ban a day or two ago. How Bizarre. Will they try ban birds from crossing the border next?

        • Tom Welsh

          “Already we’ve seen Russian vodka being removed from the shelves of Co-op and Morrisons. (Take that, Vlad!)”

          Like the other “sanctions”, this is self-harming as the shops will already have paid for those goods.

          • Wang Shui

            Well at least it was Russian, apparently.
            I read of a case in Canada where they were making a stand by pouring vodka down the drain – made in Latvia.

        • Tom Welsh

          As for the 1812 – which is more memorable: Russia’s crushing defeat of one of the only three enemies in modern history who seriously threatened to conquer Britain; or Russia’s cleaning up of a small nest of horrible, murderous, lying, torturing Nazis in a place that has traditionally been part of Russia?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          You’d better get used to ‘Vodka from Warrington’ being advertised with a Ukrainian accent in future, Glenn….

          • JohnA

            It was actually advertised as Vodka from Varrington (sic). It was made by Greenall Whitley, a brewery in Warrington with pubs around the Lancashire and Cheshire area. Their lager was called Grünhalle (think about it). The beer was vile I seem to recall, not having tasted it for over 40 years.

    • Pigeon English

      Since you like “historical” greetings, why not go with ‘Sieg Heil’ or ‘Heil Hitler’ or ‘Heil Ukraine’? “Heil” is just a historical greeting that a million died under, similar to racist slogans.

      • Pigeon English

        Oh yea swastika is just old Indian symbol nothing to do with the Nazis. People are just woke and sensitive.

        • Tatyana

          Sure, if you see a man using Nazi slogan, Nazi salute and a swastika, most probably he is simply … an Indian!

          The fact that their man in Hamburg worships Hitler is … Well, we sre standing for freedom of believe, don’t we?

          And the fact that their Security Service man wrote his PhD dissertation on ‘methods of NSDAP vs Italian fascists’ is … a scientific research. After all, he used words ‘comparative analysis’ and also ‘turning a political view into political power’.

    • DunGroanin

      Jacinda showing her true Blairite neocon roots.

      It was expected. But then again she is happy to have Banderist mass murderers and any number of the elven white supremacist Aryan supermen billionaires making hobbitshire their chosen secret and safe kingdom far from the orcs who are better known as the rest of the world and the majority of humanity.

      Like the Canuks & Oz, there is no escape from the 5+1 eyed wizards true motives.
      If she didn’t have a real pr type system then she would have shown her true ‘colors’ earlier.

      • Jimmeh

        I’m getting tired of the use of the term “banderist” to equal “nazi”. Bandera was imprisoned by the Nazis for most of WWII.

        • DunGroanin

          Better lay down then Jimmeh. You are only going to need more tired.

          The fact that isis headchoppers as well as other multiracial mercenaries are being lured to the Ukrainian cauldrons – with Nazis who really think people like these are subhuman, to die for their supremacist cause, must be obvious to the most moronic journalists if not you.

          I hate violence hate aggression and delusion – yet here I am in the U.K. being told to believe there are no Nazis in Ukraine!

          I am tired of seeing proof of it daily.

  • Tatyana

    I had to unfollow some Telegram channels, due to unbearable content and clinical descriptions. Among others, they showed a corpse of a man tortured and then shot dead in his head.
    Keeping in mind it maybe a fake, like Babchenko, I just unsubscribed.

    Today on news the same place was shown, without the corpse this time. It was the base of 57 brigade near Kriakovka, torture room.
    Their ideologist Arestovich filmed himself, calling for the soldiers to not publish videos, or it may spoil Ukraine’s image in the eyes of Europeans. He said they are ‘warriors of Light’ and used the phrase ‘in case someone in the passion of hunting will give a cuff’. Called to not film dead Russians, or beating them, called to keep to Geneva Convention.

  • Bayard

    Now might be a good time to remember Vasily Arkhipov.

    “Vasily Arkhipov (1926 – 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer who cast the single vote to not launch a nuclear torpedo from a B-59 submarine in response to the U.S. dropping depth charges, despite being in international waters during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
    The Soviet crew had no contact from Moscow for a few days and was not sure if World War 3 had erupted. The captain was sure that war had started on the surface and wanted to fire a nuclear torpedo. According to protocol, a nuclear launch needed the approval of only the captain and the political officer onboard. As luck would have it, Arkhipov was a flotilla commander who specifically chose to be onboard that fateful B-59 submarine. Flotilla commanders were usually not onboard nuclear submarines, but they were ranked high enough to change the two person vote to a three person vote. Arkhipov argued with the two senior officers and was finally able to convince them to surface and contact Moscow. His tenacity and decision ultimately averted a nuclear war and saved the world.”

  • Tatyana

    With your kind permission I place it here and ask help to bring this message to any Ukrainian around you, perhaps they can contact their relatives and friends there and pass the info.

    In order to conduct a humanitarian operation:

    1. From 10:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022, the Russian Federation declares cease-fire and is ready to provide humanitarian corridors:
      • from Kiev and adjacent settlements to the Russian Federation through the territory of the Republic of Belarus to Gomel city with delivery by air to the Russian Federation, in the southern direction – in agreement with the Ukrainian side;
      • from Chernigov through the territory of the Republic of Belarus to Gomel with delivery by air transport to the Russian Federation, in the southern direction – in agreement with the Ukrainian side;
      • from Sumy by two routes to Poltava and to the territory of the Russian Federation to Belgorod – then by air, rail and road transport to selected destinations or temporary accommodation, in the southern direction – in agreement with the Ukrainian side;
      • from Kharkov to the territory of the Russian Federation to Belgorod – then by air, rail and road transport to selected destinations or temporary accommodation, to Lvov, Uzhgorod, Ivano-Frankivsk – in agreement with the Ukrainian side;
      • from Mariupol by two routes to the territory of the Russian Federation to Rostov-on-Don through Novoazovsk and Taganrog cities, to Zaporozhye – in agreement with the Ukrainian side.
    2. This statement should be immediately brought to the Ukrainian side (Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk) proposed to coordinate the specified routes and the start time of humanitarian corridors by 03:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022, and to submit written approval of these approaches, including guarantees to ensure security on the declared routes of humanitarian operations by the Ukrainian authorities to the Joint Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine by the specified time.
      The Ukrainian side have to publish this statement in Ukrainian and Russian languages in Ukrainian media by 03:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022.
    3. This statement (in Russian and English) should immediately be brought to the attention of the embassies of foreign states, relevant structures of the UN, the OSCE, the ICRC and other international organizations through all available information resources, including the media.
    4. The Ukrainian side should also inform, in accordance with the established procedure, about the planned humanitarian operation before 03:00 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022, representatives of the embassies of foreign states, specialized structures of the UN, the OSCE, the ICRC and other international organizations located on the territory of Ukraine, through all available information resources, including Ukrainian media.
    5. For the purpose of implementation of measures for the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens along agreed routes during the humanitarian operation, from 09:30 a.m. (Moscow time) on March 8, 2022, organize continuous communication between the Russian and Ukrainian sides for the mutual exchange of information on the preparation and carrying out the evacuation of civilians and foreign citizens.
    6. This emergency statement is subject to immediate publication and communication to all interested parties through all available information resources, including media.
    • DunGroanin

      Wow. Thanks Tatyana you have raised the platform that is probably going to help these who need to know.

      Is the BBC World Service listening?

      This is important please relay.

  • Crispa

    Interesting Russia perspective video tracing the issues back to 1991 and the subsequent resurrection and rise of Ukraine nationalism from then on. – Nikita Mikhalkov – interesting snip at 18.30 ish of pre President Zelenski taking the mickey out of Russia, Neo-Nazi take off style. Audience loved it.

    • Tatyana

      Thank you, Crispa. Never thought this posh Mikhalkov can work out such an accurate follow the events.
      Highly recommend. I wish Mr.Murray had seen it. Looks like we are calling attention with @Craig

    • andyoldlabour

      Thanks Crispa, not often I watch a video that long from start to finish, but that was compelling. It simply convinces me more, that the Western media is trying to rewrite history and to ignore what happened with the Minsk agreement and what is happening in the Donbass region.

  • Alex

    NATO never attacked Russia? Directly -“no”. Indirectly – “yes”, in Yugoslavia. At the time when, as you pointed out, the Russian army practically ceased to exist.

    Is Russia a threat to “Europe”? Depends – if you include the now openly fascist Baltic countries – “maybe”, although unlikely. (for clarity – “fascism” is defined as a form of ideology based on having two broad population classes – Uber- and Untermensch, which are usually distinguished by their ethnicity. Russia physically cannot become fascist due to its very diverse ethnic & well integrated/mixed national composition. Ukraine (and Baltic countries) can and had been made such under much cheering & encouragement from the “west”. In this case the Ubermensch were defined as “western” and /or “European” , while the Russians (nation) was anonymously elected as a new iteration of the Untermensch.)
    Russia is military weak? Because it was weak in 1991? Come on. By all but most propagandist accounts, modern Russian army is more than a match to NATO. And with its nuclear forces – to and including USA. Yes, the latter two have bigger budgets, shinier helmets etc, but they are a safary gang & organized as such. At best, suitable for military show and parades, but they are not a real army which the modern Russian Army is.

    • curiouslittleman

      Fascism has nothing to do with Ubermensch. Best definition comes from Benito himself – ““Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”

      • Peter

        Umberto Eco offered a good description of Fascism:

        I notice the RT app is no longer working though you can still watch RT on Rumble:

        Somebody commenting here recently offered a Marxist economic analysis of the current conflict. I can’t find it anymore could someone please re-direct me to it.

        • Wang Shui

          Where are you geographically?
          I have just been looking at

          “Iran launches 2nd military satellite – state media
          The Iranian Revolutionary Guard used a mobile launcher to put the Noor 2 device into orbit “

          You just need a VPN, really everybody should have one, I need to, can’t be without.
          I am connected through Yokohama right now.

        • jordan

          I found that TOR works well on the Russian exit nodes (and some others.) TOR browser allows to set them in a config file. Otherwise on a Posix system, the local TOR proxy is enough of a proxy with any browser. You can use the graphical tool SelecTOR top configure Russian exit nodes.

      • Alex

        (re. curiouslittleman & Peter)
        my honest mistake – I meant to write “fascism **here** is defined .. ” I did not intend to provide an exhaustive universally accepted definition. In the Ukraine case I simply stressed the essential (and perfectly matching) IMHO features of the mechanism a fascist state comes to and keeps the power (I think I already mentioned this in some of my comments in this blog – the mechanism is a constant threat and use of physical violence at the slightest sign of disapproval of the offered agenda , combined with the offer to feel promoted to a sort of “royalty” to selected (ethnic) groups at the expense of (an)other.)

        • Alex

          I just belatedly realized that I was imprecise – I should have used the word “Nazism” instead of “fascism” in the first comment.

    • Jimmeh

      > Indirectly – “yes”, in Yugoslavia.

      Russia is not Yugoslavia, not even “indirectly”. Yugoslavia and Tito rejected out-of-hand proposals they should join the Soviet Union.

      Slav ethno-nationalists in Serbia and Russia are united in their desire to restore a Slav empire that subjugates non-Russians. NATO did indeed attack Serb forces in the former Yugoslavia (which was clearly wrong); but you have to do some pretty extreme logic-mangling to call that an attack on Russia.

    • Blissex

      «By all but most propagandist accounts, modern Russian army is more than a match to NATO»

      Not even remotely — NATO outspends the Russian Federation by 10-15 times on the military even taking into account cheaper costs in the Russian Federation.

      In a period like 1940 where the USSR was spending a much higher proportion of GDP on the military, Germany by itself (even if slowed down by the primitive forces of their allies like Italy etc.) easily defeated the USSR, which was saved only by huge Lend-Lease supplies from the USA.

      The purpose of the current Russian federation military is to be able to quickly deploy on any part of its borders that is threatened, and slow down attack long enough for the political authorities to decide whether to use nuclear retaliation. Because the Russian Federation armed forced are not enough to stop a serious attack with conventional means, that nuclear policy has changed from the USSR one of never first use, to defense against an attack that puts in danger the state, whether nuclear or conventional. While the USA and UK have a policy of first use whenever convenient, and China keeps as never first use (look at the reporting on the “Great Underground Wall of China” to understand how seriously they take it).

  • andyoldlabour

    I saw the following headline in the Guardian today and instantly knew that it was an attempt to turn everything upside down.

    “The Russian president’s ‘strong man’ image and disdain for liberals has turned him into a hero for white nationalists”

    Whenever I have posted links on other forums to the far right Neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine, I have been ridiculed, been called an apologist for Putin. However, the Guardian cannot rewrite history, in order to present an alternative narrative.

    The Guardian now.

    The Guardian in 2019

    • Bayard

      Classic Graun! What next, “Jesus Christ’s ‘holy man’ image and disdain for hypocrites has turned him into a hero for white religious extremists”? Neither beliefs nor people are responsible for those that believe in them.

    • frankywiggles

      The consensus here is that Putin’s lads have not shelled anything non military in the course of their freedom crusade, much less killed civilians. Refreshing to have such an oasis of free thinking truthtellers — challenging the war pigs, state propaganda, and disinformation merchants like Craig Murray himself!

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The ‘free thinkers’ would like to hear your current views on USA/NATO action in Yemen…

        Then your views on previous US/NATO actions on Libya.

        Then your views on the USA stealing Syrian oil currently.

        We assume that you are open to considering that the USA is not led by the Virgin Mary, her non-fertilising husband Joe and an outspoken moralist far too likely to have joined the Deplorables last January….

        • Wang Shui

          I am getting spam messages offering donations as follows if I take up their offer. Here is the latest.

          “We will donate £10 to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine every time the survey is completed.”

          Here is my stock response.

          Tell me about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine you are combatting. Are you in sympathy with the Nazi Azov battalions of the US sponsored Kiev regime, or the Russian population of the Donbass, 14,000 of whom they have murdered since the coup of 2014?
          Do you perhaps support the humanitarian efforts of the Russian Federation which seeks to enforce the Minsk agreements signed by Kiev but not put into effect, to liberate Donetsk and Luhansk as independent republics, and settle the rest of the Ukraine as a denazified neutral buffer state against the advancement of NATO? Two sides to every question, aren’t there?
          Tell me this. What would be the response of the USA if Russia threatened to place nuclear weapons in Cuba? If you are as old as me, you will know the answer.

          Not copyrighted! I await their reponse with interest.

          • curiouslittleman

            What has all this to do with millions of displaced people, 95% women and children. Have you seen them? You are of course free to do what you want with your money but just maybe, maybe, keep our opinions (if you are not reading a script) on some matters to yourself….

          • glenn_nl

            Well played, Sir! The American immunisation to charges of hypocrisy at its finest.

            “You can stop pointing out our gross hypocrisy right now. We call that ‘whataboutery’! ”

            So there! Take that, and let’s only concentrate on what _you_ have done, in isolation.

      • Robert

        It doesn’t matter whether you label people or buildings as “military” or “civilian”. It’s wrong to kill anyone, and wrong to destroy the buildings.

        If I took a ferry to France, went to an army barracks, and whacked a soldier there on the head, no-one (I hope) would say “that’s all right, he’s military”.

        According to Russia, there isn’t even a war on – they’re merely destroying the village in order to liberate it.

  • Wang Shui

    More from RT if I may, on the assumption that you are having difficultes.

    China urges Pentagon to open up about ‘biolabs’ in Ukraine
    Beijing said that the US defense department controls 336 laboratories around the world
    China urges Pentagon to open up about ‘biolabs’ in Ukraine

    China’s foreign ministry has called on the US to disclose information on the Pentagon’s alleged biological laboratories in Ukraine “as soon as possible”.

    On Monday, the Russian military said Ukrainian authorities had been destroying pathogens studied at its laboratories. Moscow claimed that 30 US-financed Ukrainian biolabs have been actively cooperating with the American military.

    Kiev has denied developing bioweapons. According to the website of the US embassy in Kiev, the US Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program only “collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks” of infectious diseases. In 2020, the embassy called such theories about US-funded biolabs in Ukraine “disinformation.”

    Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, however, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed that, according to his country’s information, the laboratories in Ukraine are just “a tip of an iceberg” and that the US Department of Defense “controls 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries around the world.” This is done under the pretext of “cooperating to reduce biosecurity risks” and “strengthening global public health,” Zhao said.

    • Dan Gleeballs

      It’s is not inconceivable that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the US ran a sequel to ‘Operation Paperclip’. In Ken Alibek’s book, Biohazard, the ex head of Soviet biological weapon development outlines how the US were shocked at finding out in the nineties that the Soviets were decades ahead of the US in bioweapon development. After the collapse it’s highly likely those hundreds if not thousands of ex biological warfare institute scientists were put to work by the US, what better place than Ukraine?
      Biohazard .. (worth a read on the origins of novichok – more correctly ‘newcomer’ the new weapons eluded to in the book.)

      • Wikikettle

        I’ve got onto The Saker. Good articles and comments section. I’ve found CGTN relaying information from RT also The Duran.

      • Henry Smith

        There have been rumours for years about these USA Bio programmes. One of the threads suggests that the USA has been trying to develop a genetically targeted Bio weapon that only affects ‘Russians’. What better place to carry out this work and test it than the Ukraine ? And, all under the guise of trying to improve the health of Ukrainians.
        Novichok, Covid Genetic Vaccines, USA – conspiracy or coincidence ?

        • Tatyana

          Oh, on Novichok case I suggested Ukraine’s involvement in the first place, because Skripal was born in Kiev, imprisoned in Russia and then liberated to live in Salisbury.

          • Ingwe

            And I suspect, Tatyana, that if the 61 year old Glaswegian murders Russians or Ukrainians and survives, he will be allowed back into the UK, won’t have his nationality stripped from him and will probably be awarded some kind of honour. And the real horror (apart from any people he may kill or hurt) is the appalling comments by the Great British Public hailing this bullshit as a principled act of heroism.

            Let’s hope Karma has some meaning.

    • Clark

      According to the website of the US embassy in Kiev, the US Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program only “collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks” of infectious diseases.

      Er, that’s how SARS-CoV-2 came to escape from Wuhan Institute of Virology. Well, the research was commissioned by the US EcoHealth Alliance rather than the US Department of Defense, but the plan was to make bat viruses more infectious to humans and then develop vaccines against them, to “counter the threat of outbreaks of infectious diseases”.

      It backfired a bit. I’m not surprised the Chinese government are making this call.

  • Tatyana

    Can I suggest Oliver Stone’s film “Ukraine on fire”. Tracking history far back, role of CIA hiding Nazis, interviews with Putin and Yanukovich. Also explains why Maidan started, no one wanted to pay for EU association.

    Appalling that the film is dated 2016, and still people pretend unaware of nazi problem in Ukraine. Bandera is their national hero, folks! Poles strongly object to this fact! Still today I watched 61 old man from Edinburgh, going to kill Russians. Perhaps you know the man? He looks proud of being videoed.

      • Tatyana

        Many here (including Australia) don’t believe there are bad guys in Ukraine. Also they are sure Putin is a madman and is going to conquer Ukraine.

        We will see. The goals claimed on the official website:

        ” … in accordance with Article 51 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter, with permission of Russia’s Federation Council, and in execution of the treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, ratified by the Federal Assembly on February 22, I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.

        The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kiev regime. To this end, we will seek to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation.

        It is not our plan to occupy the Ukrainian territory. We do not intend to impose anything on anyone by force … “

        Let me know if you would like to read the whole text, I can copy it for you.

        • Blissex

          In his speech V. Putin said something so funny that I laughed out loud when I read the transcript:

          Of course, practice, international relations and the rules regulating them had to take into account the changes that took place in the world and in the balance of forces. However, this should have been done professionally, smoothly, patiently, and with due regard and respect for the interests of all states and one’s own responsibility. Instead, we saw a state of euphoria created by the feeling of absolute superiority, a kind of modern absolutism, coupled with the low cultural standards and arrogance of those who formulated and pushed through decisions that suited only themselves. […] Sure, one often hears that politics is a dirty business. It could be, but it shouldn’t be as dirty as it is now, not to such an extent. This type of con-artist behaviour is contrary not only to the principles of international relations but also and above all to the generally accepted norms of morality and ethics. Where is justice and truth here? Just lies and hypocrisy all around.

          Oh oh oh! The guy really did not get the idea of “realpolitik” until I think 2012-2013, and even then he must have still hoped that “realpolitik” would not be pursued “to such an extent”. My usual quote from the classics:

          For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences — either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us — and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both;
          since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.

          The 2 main rules of international relations: “What can you give me in exchange?” for things a side wants, “What can you do about it?” for things a side does not want. So ask V. Putin:

          #1 What can you give in exchange for security guarantees for Russia and peaceful autonomy for the people of the Donbas?

          #2 What can you do about NATO bases and missile launchers on the Russian Federation border and about the massacring of the people of the Donbas?

          Eventually he has given an answer to question #2, because there no plausible answer to question #1.

          • Blissex

            «The 2 main rules of international relations: “What can you give me in exchange?” for things a side wants, “What can you do about it?” for things a side does not want.»

            The same two rules in my experience are followed by many business/manager with their workers, or with their customer too, they don’t behave “professionally, smoothly, patiently, and with due regard and respect for the interests of all states and one’s own responsibility”. Especially in-your-face USA businesses/managers, but not just.

    • Mist001

      I know of the man, but don’t know him personally. Edinburgh is quite small so if anyone criticises him, there is a danger that they will bring trouble to their door. People will keep their thoughts to themselves.

      I just received a three day ban from Facebook for pointing out the fact that he was going to support nazis, though.

      • Wikikettle

        I found Vijay Prashad very contextual with his talk with Rania Khalek on Break Through News. Vijay says it was not till Russian intervention in Syria that any country used it’s military to say No to US regime change. He he very upset that nothing was done in UN about Donbass eight years ago !

    • Jimmeh

      Oliver Stone is no journalist; he’s a movie producer. He makes films to entertain. He’s perfectly happy to distort facts to make his films more fun. c.f. JFK, The Doors, Wall Street.

    • Blissex

      «nazi problem in Ukraine. Bandera is their national hero, folks!»

      As someone else said Bandera was imprisoned by the nazis because he was too independent not enough nazi, just an extremist right-wing “ruthenian” nationalist. Many ukraianian “nazis” are not nazis, they just are anti-“kastap”.

      «Poles strongly object to this fact!»

      That’s because the poles think that Poland ends at Odessa, and fought a 3-way civil war in Galicia and Volhinia with the ruthenians and the soviets, and the “ruthenians” first massacred the southern poles (and the “rusyns”, and then the soviets won against the “ruthenians”.

      Conflicts in Ruthenia and Volhynia between Poles and Ukrainians also intensified during this time, with skirmishes between the Polish Home Army (AK), the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the Wehrmacht and Soviet partisans. These conflicts included massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia and revenge attacks on Ukrainians in Ruthenia. Many Ukrainian Galicians joined the UPA and supported its anti-Soviet and anti-Polish activities; others joined Germany in its fight against the USSR, forming the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) commanded by German and Austrian officers Walter Schimana and Fritz Freitag.

      Rusyns formed two ephemeral states after World War I: the Lemko-Rusyn Republic and Komancza Republic. Prior to this time, some of the founders of the Lemko-Rusyn Republic were sentenced to death or imprisoned in Talerhof by the prosecuting attorney Kost Levytsky (Ukrainian: Кость Леви́цький), future president of the West Ukrainian National Republic.

      Central Europe is a multilayered place with reciprocal xenophobia and ethnic cleansings and massacres going back hundreds of years (a consequence largely of the post-Roman Empire “Great Migrations”).

      • Stevie Boy

        When the good Mr Putin has cleansed Ukraine, I would appreciate if he would consider denazifying and demilitarising the UK. The USA has taken over our military, industry and economy and has stationed its forces and spy apparatus on our shores. Our political parties are infested with criminals, nazi appeasers, mentally deficients and US puppets.
        I would be happy to sign an agreement that the UK would remain independent, not seek to join the EU or NATO and would recognise the DPR, LPR and Crimea.
        Please save us, and bring some oil and gas.

  • Tatyana

    I’m worried by the humanitarian corridors for civilians.

    I watched late in the night Irina Vereshchuk. They only allowed Sumy, and only those who leave for Ukraine. She says they don’t approve any moving to Russia.
    Today our side representative Medinsky said that government don’t let out those civilians who want to go to Russia. He also said the reason is the government doesn’t control troops on the ground.

    I’m very afraid those Ukrainian troops are filtering civilians with this trick. They let out pro-Ukrainian and keep pro-Russian. That may turn out into smth dirty.

    March 10 negotiations to be held, looks like Putin talks to Zelensky in Ankara.

    • Wikikettle

      When the No Fly Zone was established over Libya, it was subverted by NATO, by it becoming the regime in charge of air space over Libya. Instead of protection of citizens of Libya, NATO bombed itself killing Ghadafi in effect. A no fly zone over Ukraine is pie in the sky now for US and NATO. The UN would never pass it and if US NATO tried, Poland would be brought into the war with Russia and then Chapter Five invoked. The Rapture. Vijay Prashad predicts Ukraine and Eastern Europe will become a magnet for Neo Nazis from all over the world as ISIS grew in Iraq and Syria from also nurtured by US.

    • Blissex

      «Putin talks to Zelensky in Ankara»

      He must be insane to visit any NATO country, especially Turkey, or to fly over any place that is not RF territory. The border with Finland looks to me the only viable option.

  • Jack

    The Azov brigade, a neo-nazi armed group in Ukraine get a taste of the weapon shipment from the west,
    This particular weapon is Swedish/UK made.

    “A shipment of NLAW grenade launchers and instructors from #NATO countries arrived in #Kharkiv. The Azov regiment was the first to learn about new weaponry”

    And then you have people that claim that armed nazis in Ukraine is a myth by Putin..sigh.

    • Wikikettle

      Poland not allowing Asian, Indian and African refugees in from Ukraine says a lot about the EU and its so called vote agenda. All Hypocrisy. I wonder how many Ukrainian refugees will be allowed into EU and UK as the country falls apart after being egged on to fight Russia, promised Nato membership and then abandoned. Rank Hypocrisy.

      • Penguin

        Polish people don’t want their country and culture destroyed by mass immigration of people who share not one common bond. That is surely their right and it is not up to you and your WEF comrades to force it upon them. They’ve seen the results of multiculturalism across Western Europe and say fuck that. Isis can stay in Arabia thank you kindly.

    • Tom Welsh

      Point of interest – how did such weapons arrive in Kharkov? There are no flights (as far as I know) and all land access is presumably cut off.

      • Dan Gleeballs

        The anti tank weapons were flown in before Russia invaded. You could watch Galaxy transports flying from Brize Norton nightly to Ukraine on flightradar24, also both US and British ‘Rivet Joint’ surveilance aircraft were constantly in Ukrainian airspace prior to the invasion. They have now moved back to Polish airspace. As I type this a US Rivet Joint is patrolling above Poland and a US ‘Stratotanker’ is circling Romanian airspace, likely refuelling drones. Look for ‘most tracked flights’ on Flightradar24.

        • Jimmeh

          Flightradar24 doesn’t show me flights from Brize Norton landing in Ukraine.

          I can see from my living room transport planes taking off and landing at Brize Norton; some of them are shown on Flightradar as terminating in places like Finland and Crete. I’ve never seen one shown as terminating in Ukraine. About half the military transports from BN are shown with N/A as the other end of the flight.

          You seem to be seeing a different flightradar view from me.

          • andyoldlabour

            The Galaxys could be seen on ADSB Exchange and, before this all kicked off. There were regular R135 rivet joint flights, by the US and UK in Ukrainian airspace over the past year, plus Global Hawk drones every day in Ukraine and over the Black Sea just off Crimea and the Russian coast. Since the incursion there has been nothing displayed over Ukraine and very little over Belarus.

          • Dan Gleeballs

            As I stated, the Brize Norton and Mildenhall flights were before the invasion started, so you obviously won’t see them now. You could pay a subscription to flightradar24 and do a historic search of course.

  • Tatyana

    During a Senate hearing, Nuland was asked if there were chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine.

    “Ukraine has biological research facilities. We are concerned that Russian troops may try to take control of them, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how to prevent any of these research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces,” Nuland replied.

    • Jack

      I was just to post this quite incredible news.
      So it was’nt a russian myth after all, US actually have a biological program in Ukraine, this raises quite a few questions.

      • Wikikettle

        I think the blanket censorship and banning of RT was mainly to try and cancel news about the bio labs in Ukraine. The world knows that the US has no principles at all and will stoop to any level of barbarism. The EU however is not the world, nor is North America. Japan and Germany remain occupied. The famous so called ” Pivot to South East Asia ” by Obama to confront and contain China is making its vassel states in South Korea and Japan very nervous at what happened in Afghanistan and now in Ukraine. Adults in France and Germany likewise. We however in UK are hook line and sinker going down come hell or high water on the good ship USS Britania.

        • Wikikettle

          India has decide whether to bury the hatchet with China and stay independent/non aligned or join the US. I fear the ultra nationalist Modi has so far agreed to US sanctions on Iran but now wavering when it comes to going against Russia. He like Turkey can’t look both ways. West or East. The EU will never expect Turkey or India. Yet Israel can sing in the “Eurovison” Song contest…you get my drift…

          • Wikikettle

            Professor Michael Hudson has revised his prediction of how fast the Empire is going to fall apart.

    • Tom Welsh

      If none of the research being done is harmful, why worry about Russia getting hold of it? If it is harmful, who made it so?

      I think we should be told.

    • Stevie Boy

      And another ….
      Ben Grant, the son of a senior Conservative politician among the first wave of British volunteer fighters to reach Ukraine.
      Grant served with the Marines in Afghanistan but LEFT THE REGIMENT IN 2014.
      Grant told Reuters: “I was IN IRAQ for a few months then flew home, … , and basically said yeah I’M GOING TO UKRAINE”.
      He has been described as the LEADER OF THE GROUP from the UK.

      Evidence of UK State involvement in Ukraine ? Or coincidence ?

      • Sarge

        “Evidence of UK State involvement in Ukraine ? Or coincidence ?”

        Also suspicious, the Defence Secretary announcing to the Commons the UK is sending more anti-tank and anti-air missiles to Ukraine. Maybe you’re onto something!

        • Niggle Noggle

          From Byline Times
          Meanwhile, for at least five years, Vladimir Putin has been given a free hand to launch a war in Europe with little opposition, amid signals from the British establishment that he could only have taken as compliance and surrender. We waved a white flag. And though we are currently arming the Ukrainians with anti-tank missiles, and promising strong sanctions (which are always behind the rest), we effectively abandoned them during their eight-year-long struggle to hold back the dark Putinist tide of state terror and violence. And now they are paying the price for our appeasement.

        • Dan Gleeballs

          Be in no doubt British and US special forces will be on the ground and active in Ukraine, they will be involved in the usual smorgasbord of false flag attacks and sabotage.

  • Peter

    If anyone in or on the media currently dares to suggest that America is one of, if not the, prime instigators of the present conflict they are likely to be set upon by a salivating pack of wolves and then carted off to the tower to there remain in stocks in perpetuity.

    Certainly if anyone in (Sir) Keir Staliner’s Labour Party dares to suggest such a thing they will be automatically expelled from the party.

    Thank God then for Glenn Greenwald. If anyone knows of a finer journalist I’d like to know about him/her.

    Quoth Glenn:

    “… the US … has been more or less governing Ukraine right on the Russian border since 2014 … “

    Watch from 9:45 for the quote, but the whole interview is very worth watching:

  • Frank Hovis

    Just seen on the British state media that McDonalds and Coca Cola are suspending their business in Russia, thereby considerably improving the health and wellbeing of ordinary Russian citizens. Every cloud, eh?

  • glenn_nl

    [ Previously posted on wrong thread ]

    The BBC at its wonderfully impartial and objective best.

    Yesterday’s PM had Churchill’s “We shall fight them on the beaches” speech playing quietly in the background, as Zelensky delivered his own version of same. Gosh, this speech is positively Churchillian! And… he’s saying much the same things! Hold on… I’m making a connection here…

    Today’s News at One (R4) had the interviewer haranguing a Moscow based Russian historian. Wouldn’t she agree that Putin was despicable, and a war criminal? Would she not take this opportunity to condemn him in the strongest possible terms? Wouldn’t she agree these were the worst war crimes in history? And so on. In fairness, every time the historian tried to make a point, the reporter cut her off to allow her yet another opportunity to condemn Putin.

    But the next item was far more uplifting… a report on…. the Ukrainian national anthem! We were treated to a lengthy sample, and some experts noted how there were both minor and major chords employed, before allowing some Uranians to weigh in on the subject. “How does it make you feel, when you hear this anthem?” the reporter interrogated them. “Does it fill the people with hope?” she ruthlessly demanded.

    By the time they were into a second minute of a montage of choirs, crowds, individuals and even a toddler singing the anthem, I could take no more.

    • mark cutts

      I’m not sure what the Ukrainian government wants?

      Does it want NATO ( shorthand the US) to become embroiled in an offensive against Russia?

      If so then we go from the 4th Division to The Premier League.

      The irony here is that the Ukraine is not in NATO or the EU and their ally the UK is nor in the EU but is in NATO.

      The other irony is that the EU doesn’t want Ukraine in NATO and the EU doesn’t want the Ukraine in the EU neither at the moment.

      So . the question should be: priori and post then: what is all the fuss about?

      I genuinely think that the US is playing games with Ukraine – the EU and Russia here but I’m not sure what the subtext is.

      If it is to undermine China then OK but a fight on two fronts ( Russia and China ) is two fronts not one.

      Donald Trump’s view was very naive but true:

      Trump said basically that the US should trade with Russia and then both countries could gang up on China.

      For the capitalists that may have been a grave error.

      • Blissex

        «the US is playing games with Ukraine – the EU and Russia here but I’m not sure what the subtext is. If it is to undermine China then OK but a fight on two fronts ( Russia and China ) is two fronts not one»

        The longer term plan is very simple in three stages:

        • Create a gigantic mess and quagmire on the soft belly of the Russian Federation.
        • Thanks to that and constant sponsoring of people like Navalny arrange a color revolution in Russia.
        • Once Russia has been “ukrainized” build a network of USA bases on the northern and western border of China, so it is completely surrounded, and cut off from Europe.

        Note that the sanctions on Russia and Belarus in practice also means cutting off the overland route from China to Europe, it is already a big success.

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