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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  • Giyane

    Talking of boosting Putin, all the CIa/NATO/SIS / security services dirty laundry is on full display to the world, thanks to Putin daring to disagree with the idea of hiring proxy, brainwashed jihadists and Viking Nazis to circumvent international Law. Do they not understand that their skin colour is on account of their location, far from equatorial heat? No, if Trump doesn’t, they don’t.

    It’s all on full display to the world. Very embarrassing to be English and share the collective burden of Tory gestapo guilt.

    • Wikikettle

      Giyane. The deed is done. Peter Hitchins on GB News laments how for thirty years we refused to treat Russia as we did Germany after WW2. We reduced their scientists and Professors to selling their personal possessions on little tables on the streets in the 90’s as witnessed by him. Nato expansion was warned against by the very architects of the Cold War, post collapse. I agree with him, that we have successfully built a an iron curtain around the Russian people and locked them out of Europe. Our hope of demonising Putin, even assassinating him negates the fact that he is their leader and very popular in a siege by the West. We have just seized 300 Billion of their Central Banks foreign reserves. That represents half of their total wealth. A clear act of war. We are going in for the kill. The Russians have lost overnight their savings. Their currency has halved in value. All from the invasion we engineered. Scott Ritter thinks the Russians had prepared for this. I don’t think they knew just how ruthless we in the West are. Our schemes and plans go well beyond destruction of Russian Federation. They will I fear engulf the whole world in an economic and food crisis, especially in the Global South. Chaos and wars is all we are good at. No doubt mother nature will wash away our madness and brutish ways.

      • Bayard

        “We have just seized 300 Billion of their Central Banks foreign reserves.”

        Presumably that is money the other countries have “paid” for oil and gas. Good luck getting any oil or gas from Russia in future. The Russians will sell it to someone else and we will have to buy much more expensive oil from other countries. The foot-gun fires again.

        “Their currency has halved in value.”

        and this adversely affects ordinary Russians how?

        • Laguerre

          Ah, Harold Wilson’s “the pound in your pocket”! Well, it did lead to loss of value in the long term, but just not the following day. However I suspect the Russian economy is much more self-sustaining and less dependent on imports than Britain was or is.

        • Tom Welsh

          “The foot-gun fires again”.

          Only if you make the natural assumption that Western governments represent their citizens and work in their best interests.

          Neither of those assumptions is remotely correct. Western governments represent moneyed interests: corporations and the super-rich. Even the supposedly “elected” officials are solely concerned with those who fund them,

          Thus the “foot-gun” is better compared with a device that crushes and squeezes the 99.9% in order to enrich the 0.01% still further. To those psychopaths, real life is exactly like a game of Monopoly. They aim to win by amassing ALL the money and property, leaving nothing for anyone else.

          Of course, in Monopoly that simply means that the game is over, and the disgruntled loser walk away and have their next meal. In real life, they die by the million from hunger, disease, and war. And the elite chortle over their “success”.

          Noam Chomsky explained it very clearly. He said that, to Washington, a national government that works in the interests of its own citizens is “communist”, and must be overthrown. A government that works exclusively in the interests of Washington and American corporations is “democratic”.

      • Blissex

        “Nato expansion was warned against by the very architects of the Cold War, post collapse”

        He also wrote:
        George Kennan in “At a Century’s Ending: Reflections 1982-1995” “Part II: Cold War in Full Bloom”:
        Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.

        “All from the invasion we engineered”

        Here “engineered” is excessive, “goaded” is more realistic, after all the counterattack into Ukraine was a decision that was made in Moscow, and the Russian Federation government could have not made it, and they are responsible for it.

        What was engineered, as in funded, trained, armed, by the USA and its protectorates was the war of aggression and ethnic cleansing by Ukraine against the right to peaceful autonomy or independence of the people of the Donbas. But that murderous war of aggression by the ukrainian government has largely been “disappeared” from “Washington Consensus” media, yet it was and is not a minor detail.

        • thewoodsbeyondthetrees

          Did the Russian Federation have a choice, when the Azov Brigade and Right Sector were massing on the border of the Donbass, and I wonder how much they knew about all the biolabs that have recently been exposed before they moved into the Ukraine? If they had prior knowledge of these, and had Zelensky holding out the threat of the Ukraine building a nuclear arsenal, their option for restraint was becoming untenable.

          • Blissex

            «Did the Russian Federation have a choice […] their option for restraint was becoming untenable.»

            As to the matter of choice, the Russian Federation obviously had that choice, even if it was a choice to bend over. After all the Russian Federation was not directly threatened either in territory or by the imminent deployment of ukrainian nuclear weapons.

            And the choice to bend over was mandated by the U.N. Charter, that makes a military operation in a foreign country legal only for self-defense or if authorized by the U. N. Security Council or Assembly. In theory the Russian Federation, having evidence of the atrocities in the Donbas, and of the danger of a renewed attack, and of Ukraine’s proliferation, should have brought the matter to the Security Council, and then to the Assembly. If they could not have obtained U.N. authorization the Russian Federation should have simply watched the massacre of the Donbas and the building of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, accepting to have been thoroughly outmaneuvered by the USA’s surround, isolate breakup strategy and the “color revolution” technique.

          • Blissex

            «the U.N. Charter, that makes a military operation in a foreign country legal only for self-defense or if authorized by the U. N. Security Council or Assembly.»

            Putin has a good argument that given OSCE principles and related treaties european security is reciprocal, therefore expansion of an aggressive military alliance and its troops and bases to the borders of the Russian Federation is a threat that violates them, as well their funding, training and arming of an attack on the right to self-determination of the people of the Donbas.

            But that still under the U.N. Charter does not authorize a counterattack. It simply puts the Russian Federation in the position being able to rightfully complain, and nothing else, because the OSCE principles and related treaties are purely declamatory, so that is pretty much worthless.

            BTW that’s the reason why the Russian Federation calls it a “special military operation” and not a “counterattack” or “pre-emptive defense” or “war”.

            Also note how Ukraine and the USA have not asked the U.N. General Assembly to authorize a U.N. military response to the “special military operation” as it happened in Korea in the 1950s of in the Gulf in the 1990s.

      • mark golding

        The inane conditions imposed on the world by US geopolitical and selfish insanity can be diminished by diverting all Russian energy supplies to China. China can consider selling energy to those countries willing to resist US coercive measures. The world will then appreciate the fact America has caused chaos, agony, sadness and suffering while Russia and China are the source of help, peace and encouragement . It will be done. This is the end-game where hurt is reflected back to those that authored it.

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “we have successfully built a an iron curtain around the Russian people and locked them out of Europe.”

        Locked Europe out of Asia.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Putin has hired ‘proxy, brain washed jihadists and Viking Nazis’, 16,000 from Syria, so he claims, and a call for mercenaries from the Wagner group to sign up. Non-Russians welcome and it no longer matters if you have a criminal record.

  • Tatyana

    Well, I’ll try to weed out bits of factual information from the husk.
    I acknowledge that: postings in social networks, or media content of all kinds of experts, or statements by ex-officials, or opinions of strangers, are not the position of the state.
    I recognize that authorized persons have an obligation to tell the truth – by this I mean official presidential statements, official government decrees and official briefings from the Department of Defense.

    Thus, comparing the information available to me with the published military maps, I come to the conclusion that before February 24 Ukraine pulled its main forces to the front line, where the DPR and LPR opposed Kiev for a long time. There are detailed daily reports of the OSCE mission in Ukraine about this, probably for all 8 years. According to intelligence, it was in this area that the most pro-Ukrainian nationalist-minded armed forces were sent to confront the Russian-speaking Ukrainians. With the approach of Russian troops, invading from different directions, this front line was separated from the rest of Ukraine and forced to close in, retreating, forming a cauldron with the city of Mariupol in the center. Negotiations are now underway to withdraw civilians, but I am afraid that for ultra-nationalists, peaceful Russian-speaking citizens are more like a shield than valuable human beings.

    In other parts of Ukraine the Russian troops do not really occupy Ukrainian cities, do not overthrow the authorities in them, do not interfere with the work of the police, do not violate the infrastructure. (Put here all bad things you learn from the Western media, unavailable to me; also it’s the place to accuse me of the lack of compassion, condemnation etc.)

    Considering that civil power in Ukraine is represented by an incompetent man who placed his friends from show business in high government positions, it becomes clear that he has no real power over the armed forces. This is also confirmed by the failed Minsk agreements. So, negotiating with Zelenskiy really doesn’t make much sense.
    I think that Putin is really doing what he has officially stated: destroy or remove the real militaristic and nationalist force in Ukraine; obtain guarantees of neutrality; leave the citizens of Ukraine to decide their future fate on their own.

    I also think that he will demand recognition of the status of Crimea and Donbas, which in principle would be a very good solution for Crimea and Donbas, but to which the rest of Ukraine does not agree. Ukraine have reserved the right of self-determination for themselves and do not extend it for others. Which, to be honest, is hypocrisy, since Ukraine does not consider pro-Russian Ukrainians as part of its public mentality, but Ukraine is very sorry to lose these territories.

    • Rosemary MacKenzie

      Thanks for that analysis Tatyana. It was what I had suspected. I live in Canada, and here we still have access to RT and Sputnik. The CBC website (I don’t do TV) has been very unreliable and hysterical in its reporting on the events in the Ukraine. Here are a few quotes from an article on today’s website – beginning: Russia has a grim, well-established playbook for fighting its wars.

      Every country has one, but Moscow is notoriously iron-fisted in the way it wages its military campaigns. Just ask the Georgians and the Chechens.

      Continues further down with this statement: Canada’s top military commander and his western counterparts have been taking copious notes on the failures and limitations of the Russian Army’s campaign in Ukraine — the first time they’ve seen their adversary fight a major war in decades.

      I think the statement “in decades” says it all. A lot changes over decades and Russia is a very different country from what I have been reading. Also, CBC has a very high death count for the Russian military – the Russian death count is high enough but CBC says it is many times higher. Judging from the Canadian analysis, the Russian military’s “go easy” approach to most of Ukraine is being viewed as weakness – not as an approach to keep all casualties to a minimum. This is not an approach the western militaries and NATO understand in my view.

      Also, I have watched a few of Putin’s press conferences with western media and he comes across in a very calm, rational, unaggressive manner. In the west, we are bombarded with Putin evil coverage but I have changed my mind and believe the Russian people’s support of Mr Putin is well founded.

      This is not an excuse for the Canadian government and media behaviour, but we have a very sizeable population of Ukrainian descent here still with family in Ukraine so their concern over the events is understandable, even if the description of events is not accurate.

      According to Thomas Roeper, Anti-Speigel, the western story of women and baby casualties in the maternity hospital at Mariupul actually came from a staged movie constructed by whatever Ukrainian military are in place there. From your analysis I rather suspect this was one of the very right winged battalions who would be very reluctant to be captured by the Russian army hence their behaviour regarding the press report of the hospital and the problem of evacuating civilians from the area.

    • Tom Welsh

      Thanks, Tatyana! Very helpful. I am strongly reminded of 2003, when after following the invasion of Iraq through Western sources for a while, I was made aware – by someone helpful like you – of the Russian MoD daily reports. I found those infinitely more accurate and truthful, and since then I have hardly glanced at the Western MsM (except occasionally for a laugh).

      • Tatyana

        Thank you! Bookmarked for myself.

        Wang Shui, if I may ask you please?
        I was so impressed with the message of Hua Chunying (sorry if I spell the name wrongly), her position on Ukraine and advocating for peace and her take of China’s role. I saw this message in the Telegram channel
        As I understand Venera translates China’s news into Russian.
        If you could kindly have a look, so that I’m sure the sense of the translations is basically correct? I ask because it may be possible that soon we will only have Telegram in Russia 🙂

        • Bayard

          I tried to view this, but it asked me to download telegram, even though I already had Telegram up and running.

          “I ask because it may be possible that soon we will only have Telegram in Russia”

          Ssh, someone might see and stop it.

          • Tatyana

            🙂 Bayard, I started my knowledge of computer at the time, when we assembled the hardware with a screwdriver, configuring to our personal needs. Informatics in school program. Basics of computer languages as a part of my comparative linguistics course in university. We are educated generation. Do you truly think banning Telegram can prevent me from being connected to wider world? I’m also ready to learn new languages, if necessary. How can one stop me from getting information? On top of that, I find all these bannings naïve and entertaining, yet funny. Like, you know, a husband and wife watching TV and suddenly an attractive naked woman on the screen, and the wife puts her hand on her man’s eyes, to prevent him from watching 🙂 That’s just desperately funny reaction!

    • jordan

      [ MOD : Caught in spam-filter]

      The other place for information and sitreps would be (I am aware that this is fed by cross posts from authors more critical to the global west.)

      Here I find the reports from Andrei Martyanov quite interesting. Most notably the latest one At ~20m he talks about the impact of the trade situation on the current Russian generation and compares it to the cold war. If I understood it right it is much in line with what I read from Tatyana.

      • nevermind

        Thanks to Tatyana, Wang Shui and Jordan for linking to alternative channels since we are so obviously not allowed to make our own minds up anymore since the banning spree on ‘hostile’ coverage.
        Andyoldlabours links from yesterday, three Newsnight links to programs explaining the right wing forces in Ukraine and their past, WAS TAKEN DOWN BY FACEBOOK, we have a full spectrum 3rd. Reich Goebbels in charge of Meta.

        This is an interview taken off Caitlin Johnston’s site, Bill Kristol of Iraq war infamy and Scott Horton, poor old Billy did not know what hit him.

        • Mist001

          I received a three day ban from Facebook simply for posting a picture concerning the 61 year old Edinburgh guy that was going to fight in Ukraine. It’s impossible to offer any alternative to the constant stream of propaganda and fake news now. I was going to copy and paste these links too but I knew that I would get an immediate ban again if I did.

          I have about 70 friends on Facebook and the majority of them are people that I’ve known for 20 years or more so if I left Facebook, I’d have to convince them to follow me to whatever new alternative platform I was using, or lose touch with them all but I realise that it’s a decision I’m going to have to make soon.

          • Bill B

            The picture of the 61-year-old morbidly obese bloke who didn’t look like he was fit enough to catch a cold never mind a bus but who supposedly heading to Ukraine to fight reminded me of the Army advert strap-line: ‘There is fit. And then there is Army fit.’

          • Bill B

            The picture of the 61-year-old morbidly obese bloke who didn’t look like he was fit enough to catch a cold never mind a bus but who supposedly heading to Ukraine to fight reminded me of the Army advert strap-line: ‘There is fit. And then there is Army fit.’

          • BrianFujisan

            Tell Me About Mist..I Am Screaming my Fucking Head off.. at Fbook.. I can’t get over this Mass Hynosis.. ..even Indy suporters Who should Know BBC are the Enemy..

  • Willie

    A well considered analysis. And yes the West or should I say Nato never wanted an all out war wire Russia for the obvious reasons.

    Absolutely incredible therefore that Nicola Thatcher, and that should be the name for her is calling for UK and US fighter jets to take head on and shoot down Russian planes. The logic of piling in more weapons and armaments and then taking the Russians head on shows how the mindset of Nicola Sturgeon.

    • andyoldlabour

      Willie – wee Nicky Crankie is an absolute lunatic, does she have no imagination with regard to expansion, escalation and then direct confrontation between two giant superpowers?

  • DiggerUK

    European leaders appear to have gone doolalley. Following their ‘Versailles Summit’ held at the Versailles Palace on Friday, they are now referring to European Sovereignty!!! WTF is that. If it means they are declaring the EU a single state and nation, fine. If not, what the hell are they talking about, it would certainly end the delusion of the EU being a CLUB of sovereign nations

    They are taking proposals forward to end all imports of Russian coal, gas and oil. Quite how they are going to keep the lights on remains to be explained.
    Rationing and other normal war time measures seem to be a logical outcome. I am expecting a doubling down on NetZero policies and expansion for wind and solar power.

    But more worrying than that is the determination they expressed about creating an EU army! This is now the time for you consider wearing a tin hat as you eat your popcorn.

    What has happened to diplomacy, where are the cool heads that are so desperately needed. It seems that on all sides, plans long drawn up that have been filed at the back of desk drawers are being circulated to relevant departments…_

        • Laguerre

          It’s not quite as you say. There’s been a long-term plan for ages about creating a European defence system outside NATO. This is only advancing somewhat more. It’s high time to stop paying for the defence interests of the US in NATO.

          • Laguerre

            No, I don’t think the EU is interested in a replica of NATO, but some joint coordination would be logical. Dropping NATO is a priority. NATO just enslaves people to the US.

          • Bruce_H

            The project for a European army will have been set back by brexit as only Britain and France have armies of any size. They had built up ways of working together but obviously this will no longer be possible… On the other hand is building up such “defensive” systems of any interest for ordinary people? Most probably would prefer to disarm rather than the opposite. I certainly do there are better ways of spending money.

  • Tatyana

    Thank you, Jordan, subscribed. Coincides with most of my observations that I get here in my information room 🙂
    I think I don’t belong wholly to his generation and maybe not share every feeling he describes, but still basically I agree.

    If the West decided on scornful attitude to Russia, then good luck. I better close my door in front of their nose, then tolerate them looking down on me. Let them alone till they learn some good manners and diplomacy. I only and exceptionally make any agreements with equal partners. Ditto.

    Some my personal thoughts. He seems doesn’t know that 15 biggest French businesses had a meeting with Monsieur Macron, that’s why they are staying in Russia 🙂 Among other western european countries the French (in popular opinion) are the most pinchpenny. Good. We are going to do business, not marriage, so it’s good.
    Reno – I’m not sure, but looks like my car was created at their factory in St.Petersburg. Nissan Qashkai. I recall I chose it for its enlargened clearance, better for russian roads, also friends said many other useful localisations were made. I swapped out the stock 16″ rims for 17″ rims and never had the slightest problem in the city, on the highway, or in my parents’ small town where we take the kids out on a picnic through wild fields and riverbanks.

    I’m partly sorry to have lost my cross-border trade in my crafts, I was building my small business for so long. But, checking my progress I realise that I shifted from the art to the mass production too much. This shift is good for Amazon, but leaves no space to develop as an artist. I’ll be returning to my Russian audience with my complex Byzantine style crafts. Cross-border trade only allowed non-precious metals to be sent legally, domestic offers I can easily make in precious metals and stones. Good. Materialising my own ideas is more likely to find customers in Russia, than abroad. Different cultural code.
    I dreamed for long to dive into studying religion-related art. That will be my new direction in my hobby. I plan to visit places where it began, so learning basics of Turkish, Arabian and Greek will be fun and good exercise for intellect.

    In social life, I really enjoyed chatting with people from the other side, learning new things and delivering news from here. I think now I will focuse on my local community. I only participated in chats, you know, sort of finding homes for pets, or arguing on parking lot 🙂 From now I’ll pay attention to supporting local small businesses. I visited a food market we have in the neighbourhood on the days-off. Many small food producers offer excellent quality daily products. It was also fun to chat with them, and overall it was pleasure to visit. I only want some more entertainment, like music and maybe traditional fastfood. I think I’ll talk to the girl from the next appartment, she is offering homemade pelmeny. We can arrange a stall with bliny, hot tea etc Russian style the next weekend. Perhaps, some music too 🙂

    I can to some extent understand the business deciding to remove Russians, like Netrebko from Metropolitan Opera, or cancelling Tchaikovsky concert. But yesterday’s decision by Pink Floyd themselves was the last straw.

    Well, thank you for listening to me. Looks like we will be ok, and I have a lot of new things to do ahead 🙂

    • Stavros

      To Hell with Pink Floyd. Their ‘discography’ Pink Floyd is freely available via torrent.

      Off the top of the list:

      Pink Floyd – Discography [EAC – FLAC] (oan)
      PINK FLOYD – Discography 2011 Remasters [Bubanee]
      Pink Floyd – The Wall (1979) (2012 PBTHAL 24-96 FLAC)

      • mark cutts

        To be fair it is easy and understandable that ordinary human beings would have sympathy ( not empathy) for the Ukranian people.

        It’s popular and no analysis is required.

        Putin is ‘ Mad ‘ but not in the psycho – anaylitical sense.

        He’s hopping mad because Russia has been ignored by the so called ‘ Civilised West ‘

        Putin has basically said no further.

        The invasion is a warning to the old satellite states that – if they put NATO military bases on their soil they will be deemed as an enemy of Russia.

        We are in the era of Proxy Wars and the Ukraine ( at the moment )is the US’s proxy.

        If the EU wishes to be added to the list of US proxy countries then that is their choice.

        For my money it’s a dangerous choice.

        We shall see as always

    • cimarrón

      Reading that post, I had initially thought that you might be saying goodbye. If that were the case, then I’d like you to know that I would have been sad to see you go.

      I have followed this blog (under various pseudonyms) almost daily for about 16 years, and for the last few years have found your posts to be a joy to read.

      Personally, I do not believe in the insanity that has taken over most of the world. It’s fairly clear to see how Putin, as leader of Russia and responsible for its continued existence, was left with no choice but to take the steps he has taken. It is all, I also clearly see, the work of the USA attempting to take down Russia, using Ukraine as its proxy and Nato as its tool. We are all losing by this, just as we have done through the US’s many dirty tricks over the years.

      I, too, was disappointed to read that Pink Floyd were following the brainwashed herd; most especially that Roger Waters was. I would have thought that a man as aware as he was of how rogue nations behave would have done the little research that is needed to see what has really been going on.

      All the very best with your projects anyway. The rest of us will, unfortunately, have to continue living under the influence of lying corrupt politicians who care not for their people.

      • On the train

        I feel just as you do cimarrón , but you put it better than I could. I agree with you about Roger Waters….that was a surprise and a disappointment.
        I also agree with you about Tatyana. You are a very important part of this blog Tatyana and an important link at the moment. I hope you stay

      • Tatyana

        Thanks for mentioning Roger Waters!
        Actually, the news I was referring to didn’t mention the name, but Pink Floyd’s decision to stop selling digital in Russia.

        I googled for Roger Waters and I’m happy to say I knew this man is my another hero!

        “Roger Waters did not mince words when he shared his thoughts on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The former Pink Floyd singer penned an open letter on Facebook after a 19-year-old Ukrainian fan named Alina Mitrofanova wrote a note to him asking why such an outspoken humanitarian has stayed silent while her country gets destroyed.
        “I read your letter, I feel your pain, I am disgusted by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it is a criminal mistake in my opinion, the act of a gangster, there must be an immediate ceasefire,” Waters began his lengthy message. “I regret that Western governments are fueling the fire that will destroy your beautiful country by pouring arms into Ukraine, instead of engaging in the diplomacy that will be necessary to stop the slaughter. Rest assured if all our leaders don’t turn down the rhetoric and engage in diplomatic negotiations there will be precious little of Ukraine left when the fighting is over.”

        He went on to admit that he feels many world leaders are “gangsters” and even shared a long list of those he believed fit the description. “I will do anything I can to help effect the end of this awful war in your country, anything that is except wave a flag to encourage the slaughter,” he wrote. “That is what the gangsters want, they want us to wave flags. That is how they divide and control us, by encouraging the waving of flags, to create a smokescreen of enmity to blind us to our innate capacity to empathize with one another, while they plunder and rape our fragile planet. I will do everything in my power to help bring peace back to you and your family and your beautiful country…”

        I agree with everything he says. I regret he jumped into situation only today. I wish young girls from Donbas too had an opportunity to write something on Facebook, perhaps then we could all go without the madness we see today.

  • Wang Shui

    From Caitlin Johnston’s latest post just in.
    Extraordinary stuff from the Washington Post:

    “The Washington Post has a new article out titled “Intelligence points to heightened risk of Russian chemical attack in Ukraine, officials say,” and I challenge you to find me any Russian state media with two opening paragraphs that are more brazenly propagandistic and bereft of journalistic ethics than these:

    “The United States and its allies have intelligence that Russia may be preparing to use chemical weapons against Ukraine, U.S. and European officials said Friday, as Moscow sought to invigorate its faltering military offensive through increasingly brutal assaults across multiple Ukrainian cities.

    “Security officials and diplomats said the intelligence, which they declined to detail, pointed to possible preparations by Russia for deploying chemical munitions, and warned the Kremlin may seek to carry out a ‘false-flag’ attack that attempts to pin the blame on Ukrainians, or perhaps Western governments. The officials, like others quoted in this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter.”

    So Russia is preparing to stage a chemical attack, and also the Russian chemical attack might look like Ukrainians or western governments committing a chemical attack, and also the evidence for this is secret, and also the government officials advancing this claim are secret, and also Russia’s military offensive is faltering. Gotcha.

    Intelligence points to heightened risk of Russian chemical attack in Ukraine, officials say
    — The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 12, 2022

    The third paragraph is even better:

    “The accusations surfaced as Russia repeated claims that the United States and Ukraine were operating secret biological weapons labs in Eastern Europe — an allegation that the Biden administration dismissed as ‘total nonsense’ and ‘outright lies.’””

    • Mist001

      ” an allegation that the Biden administration dismissed as ‘total nonsense’ and ‘outright lies.”

      I can quite believe this. Various operations in the USA and probably around the globe are so compartmentalised that people could be working in the office cubicle right next door and neither would have any idea what the other is doing.

      Biden and the rest probably believe wholeheartedly and honestly that what they are saying is true, because they have seen no evidence, nor will they be allowed to see any such evidence to the contrary.

        • Clark

          The US government health agencies had no idea they were funding the development of SARS-CoV-2 in China through the EcoHealth Alliance “non-profit”. Outsourcing. Lower safety standards. Bypassing rules. Been going on for decades in every industry.

  • DunGroanin

    Another mockingbird liberalturd media whackko barbie major FAIL :

    “ @MaddowBlog
    One difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans, German-speaking people.
    Putin slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate.”


    She is pushing McFauls dumbness to a dumber lower level which is at the bottom of the hole they are digging deeper!

    The level of mundane evil that Rachel is channeling as a reborn ‘Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl, born August 22, 1902, Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire ‘ with that comment is only surpassed, today by Nat Rothschilds demands to the politicians to put boots on the ground to preserve his World Order – spoken like a true demented Emperor of all he surveys – knowing that he owns them all and is ordering them to put down the resisting free peoples who refuse to hand their resources and labour to him and his.
    He really wants to kill them all!
    Off with their heads! Etc

    I have to now go and tell the emotionally triggered fellows that I hang out with that I am vetoing their efforts to raise money to send to Ukrainians who are not being allowed to leave the war zones by their own nazis – because they serve as civilian shields that the civil Russian soldiers try not to harm.

    Lockdown mentality induced over Covid is being ‘Pavlovianly’ used to lock ourselves down behind our own ‘western Berlin wall/ iron curtain’ – we are being caged not the Russians or their allies the Rest of the World.

    The CIA /PR media are the greatest enemies within, against us the populations ability to see the naked emperors they protect.
    That is why we are not even allowed a single different perspective.

    That is why they have already LOST and are in full fascist mode as the only means of carrying on with their bare arsed strutting.

    • Pears Morgaine

      ” I have to now go and tell the emotionally triggered fellows that I hang out with that I am vetoing their efforts to raise money to send to Ukrainians who are not being allowed to leave the war zones by their own nazis – because they serve as civilian shields that the civil Russian soldiers try not to harm. “

      You seriously believe that? Russian forces are doing in Ukraine what they did to Grozny and Aleppo but even if what you say is true these ordinary Ukrainians (44% of Mariupol are ethnic Russians by the way) are still victims of this war and need aid. Don’t fret though, I’ll send some extra money to DECS and the BRC on your behalf later on.

      • DunGroanin

        I believe it. And prove it.

        How about you?

        I see Maddow’s Twitter Presence has had to make a emergency U turn.

        How about you?

      • Giyane

        Pears Morgan

        ” Russian forces are doing in Ukraine what they did to Grozny”

        Yes, it’s the same scenario, the US and UK are using proxy terrorists to take over Ukraine and incorporate it into Nato, in other words illegally invade a sovereign country by criminal use of terrorists. As we all.know , or should know, the US tried this using Islamic Ststevin Syria snd Iraq, trained in Jordan by Israelis and Saudis, transported in US purchased 4 x 4s through Nato’s Turkey. Only after the Democrat nutters got kicked out, the US then destroyed Islamic State. Only after Biden’s nutters got kicked out did madness of using extremists get stopped and the terrorists and civilians get bombed and shelled flat.

        If you send terrorists to Chevhnya Russia is going to bomb them along with the civilians, in order to stop the fitna/ chaos. If you fund terrorists in Ukraine , either Russia or the US , or somebody else is eventually going to have to wipe them out including the civilians.

        America will never be allowed to gain territory through criminals like Daesh and neo- nazis. It is America that has to have its nose rubbed in its own wee, if its going to be counted as a civilised nation. OK its a young country , and maybe you’re a teenager yourself. You’ll learn. Easy way or hard way, your choice, that it is the supporters of terrorism who have full responsibility for all the ensuing civilian deaths when it comes to getting rid of them.

        Putin is wise enough to know that it has taken ten years to mostly suppress Islamic State, because Nato in the form of Turkey was continually giving it assistance.
        The supporters of terrorism are 1000% responsible for all ensuing civilian deaths . If Russia doesn’t do it, then Trump.or his successor will have to do it. NAZIS in Europe !! This is from a small clique of Ukranian Nazi heritage in the Democrat Party of the US. Doing what they tried to do in Syria. The entire world can see clearly who is responsible for this type of unnecessary carnage. The US. I don’t buy the idea that the is forcing Putin to act. The US simply ignores the American Indians in its blind pursuit of land and power. It ignores us , it ignores the EU, it ignores the Ukranians. Nuland said as much.

        • Pears Morgaine

          So if I read your rant correctly Russia is justified in bombing and shelling civilians in order to save them from ‘proxy terrorists’.


  • Tatyana

    First hand information for you, friends. Russian digital state service Gosuslugi notified me:
    Disabling Instagram in Russia

    Since the management of the social network Instagram allowed calls for violence, contrary to international law, for the first time in history, and specifically against Russians; the Prosecutor General’s Office decided to ban this social network in Russia.
    Calls to violence against a group of people basing on their etnithity or citizenship are part of the offense characterized as “genocide”, which is prohibited by the UN Convention of 1948 “On the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide”, developed after consideration of all evidence database of Nazi criminals collected during the Nuremberg Trials.
    We need to ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online.
    In order to inform your friends and subscribers, to transfer photos and videos from your account to other resources, including Russian social networks, Roskomnadzor has provided time for the transition period. Instagram will stop working in Russia from 00:00 on March 14.
    Since Russia is a country with its own competitive Internet platforms, including social networks VK and Odnoklassniki, with coverage of tens of millions of users, we hope that your transition to these Internet environments will take place quickly, and in the future you will discover new opportunities for communication and business.
    — Roskomnadzor”

    • Pears Morgaine


      Instagram crossed the line but not sure this is the correct response.

      Before anybody says it no, I don’t think RT and Sputnik should’ve been banned in the UK. Goes against the ethos of freedom of expression we are at least supposed to have.

      • Tatyana

        Meta insisted that they allow hate speech targeting Russians for their users in Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and other ex-USSR (I think the criteria was that they are russian speaking) countries.

        From Ria:
        Sergei Ryabkov.

        “To the question of Facebook and the Meta company. I want to say that yesterday a note was handed over to the American embassy that a case will be opened under Article 280 against the management of this company and those who allow the dissemination of this kind of messages, absolutely criminal and unacceptable even for US ethical standards”.

        My own opinion I shared today on other media is:
        Recently Russian government demanded that all newsmakers and media who are funded from abroad, should notify the users of their status. This means ‘foreign agent’ notification in a clearly visible place. Today, I find it very useful. Nobody denies them freedom of speech, and at the same time, I’m informed who is the source of info.

        Labeling their information products (news, books, films etc.) was widely discussed. Some agreed, some objected. I still watch some of them and find it informative.
        The latest legislation against fake news on russian army made many to quit, sometimes making strange remarks, like ‘we don’t know how to continue our work’.
        Apparently, delivering reliable information was not the option 🙂 sort of Muck Rack reposters, I guess.

    • Tatyana

      Thank you ET. No wonder then you state politics is so idiotic, sorry. He is delivering a picture so distorted, especially when he speaks of greatness 🙂
      I think he is the sort of ‘pet grooming’ experts, giving his precious opinions for money 🙂

      • ET

        Tatyana, this guy is a former head of MI6, for a very long time the foremost intelligence agency in the world. Longer than any other intelligence agency has held that accolade and quite possibly still better than anyone else’s intel agencies. I’m an Irish guy, I don’t say that lightly. For him to have attained that position, the head of the UK’s intelligence, he must be a dynamic hard-working exceptional kinda guy, much like our host CM, the UK’s youngest ever ambassador.

        He was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society; he will not have been paid for that. He makes his argument effortlessly. He’d probably be an interesting guy to go have a pint with. Do you think he has a distorted view or do you think he is deliberately distorting that view? He was probably appointed to his former job by the same people who appointed CM to his former ambassador role.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if Sir Robert John Sawers would come to this blog and debate with us. C’mon Sir Robert. We don’t bite.

        • Giyane


          When I told a diplomat who was my mum’s second cousin, at her funeral, bless her, that I followed CM blog, he replied “I wouldn’t do that if I was you”.

          I not only disagree strongly with the British establishment about politics, I also disagree strongly with Oxford University. It suppressed the knowledge of Islam which its students of Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew discovered in the 17th century, for the British Establishment. And it suppresses knowledge for the British establishment today.

          I actually think for an institution of knowledge to suppress knowledge is unforgiveable. Memo to self to scrap Oxford University, next time we have a Cromwellian coup.

          • Giyane

            When Milton writes:

            ‘ When I consider how my light is spent
            E ‘re half my days in this dark world and wide, and that one talent, that is death to hide …,’

            He is talking elliptically not just about his loss of sight of light, but also about the suppression of the light of Islam, on pain of death, but itself a spiritual death to deny it.

            Your Sawers has no such delicacy. He sees the absolute justification for Putin to exterminate Nazism in Europe, and he 100% agrees with it in his heart. How could he not disagree with his own professional policy if his parents lived through World War 2?

            And yet for his job, he conceals the credulity that his organisation supports Islamist and Neo Nazi terror. For his poxy salary, for his thamanan qaleelah /
            miserable reward

            At least Milton left an exquisite poem, testifying to the truth, and testifying to the English Establishment’s tyranny that prevented him on pain of death from speaking the truth.

          • Blissex

            «told a diplomat who was my mum’s second cousin, at her funeral, bless her, that I followed CM blog, he replied “I wouldn’t do that if I was you”.»

            My guess is that thanks to GCHQ your personal MI5 record gets annotated with how many visits, how many posts, how much you donated to this site (and similar), and your “loyalty score” gets updated accordingly. This probably will not lead to outright black listing from all jobs, but it likely will be a negative factor in promotions to positions of authority especially in the media or universities etc. where secret “informal” vetting happens as a matter of routine. My guess is that includes even some technical positions, given some precedent.

          • Niggle Noggle

            For Milton’s views of Islam see M. Dymock, Mythologies of the Prophet Muhammed in Early Modern England and John Tolan Faces of Muhammed.

          • Niggle Noggle

            Have you read the two books I mentioned,, both by established scholars and well documented?

        • Blissex

          «He was probably appointed to his former job by the same people who appointed CM to his former ambassador role»

          As to who really approves such appointments, from an article by William Rees-Mogg in “The Times”, 2006-08-07:

          When Jack Straw was replaced by Margaret Beckett as Foreign Secretary, it seemed an almost inexplicable event. Mr Straw had been very competent — experienced, serious, moderate and always well briefed. Margaret Beckett is embarrassingly inexperienced.
          I made inquiries in Washington and was told that Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, had taken exception to Mr Straw’s statement that it would be “nuts” to bomb Iran.

          Side note: he had more precisely said that it would have been “nuts” to *nuclear bomb* Iran, he was not objecting to some of the usual conventional bombing.

          The United States, it was said, had put pressure on Tony Blair to change his Foreign Secretary. Mr Straw had been fired at the request of the Bush Administration, particularly at the Pentagon. … The alternative explanation was more recently given by Irwin Stelzer in The Spectator; he has remarkably good Washington contacts and is probably right. His account is that Mr Straw was indeed dismissed because of American anxieties, but that Dr Rice herself had become worried, on her visit to Blackburn, by Mr Straw’s dependence on Muslim votes. About 20 per cent of the voters in Blackburn are Islamic; Mr Straw was dismissed only four weeks after Dr Rice’s visit to his constituency.
          It may be that both explanations are correct. The first complaint may have been made by Mr Rumsfeld because of Iran; Dr Rice may have withdrawn her support after seeing the Islamic pressures in Blackburn.
          At any rate, Irwin Stelzer’s account confirms that Mr Straw was fired because of American pressure.

  • Jack

    Neo-nazi support is now OK on Meta/Facebook!

    “Emails also showed that Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov battalion, which is normally prohibited, in a change first reported by The Intercept.
    Meta spokesman Joe Osborne previously said the company was “for the time being, making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”

    Also, remember folks, you can access Russiatoday and similar banned sites through a VPN, there are free ones, easy to use.

    • Wang Shui

      VPN: I use Express, first class product, a bit expensive but it works well in China and they are constantly on the ball to keep up with periodic blocks. I use ProtonMail for email, I tried their VPN but it simply didn’t work here, the cheaper and free ones are probably good enough elsewhere – up to now!

      • Wang Shui

        While on the subject, if I may broaden it a bit, I was involved elsewhere in a discussion about searches after DuckDuckGo said they were going to disappear what they considered to be fake news about the Ukrainian situation, nobody seems to have heard of Startpage, it sits on Google but filters your personal data so they don’t get it. And to return to ProtonMail, it provides end to end encryption, there is a free version. I really wouldn’t consider using the likes of Google, Googlemail etc.

      • ET

        Like anything else, good things go bad and bad things come under new management etc etc. In the tech space things may change rapidly. I have found information from this site to be useful:

        Express VPN seems to have started out with the correct intentions but according to the site above:

        In September 2021, we learned that ExpressVPN was in the process of being bought out by Kape Technologies. In our original article on the situation, we noted that:

        Kape Technologies was formerly called Crossrider
        Crossrider produced a browser development platform, which third parties (not Crossrider) used to infect devices with malware
        Crossrider shut down its development platform in 2016, began purchasing VPNs in 2017, and changed its name to Kape Technologies in 2018
        Kape Technologies owns CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, ZenMate VPN, and now also ExpressVPN.
        Kape Technologies owns VPN “review” websites that rank its holdings in the top spots.

        The restoreprivacy site for now is run by the guy who originally started it and is passionate about the privacy thing. It’s a good resource to follow for now but inevitably that will change. Take the time to read through the whole site.

        • Wang Shui

          Very interesting, thanks.
          This link in comments BTL explains and seems to give Kape absolution.

          I risk going further OT (but hopefully helpful) with an odd experience I had a few months ago with Express and the Guardian/Observer website before I gave them up in disgust. Each article is followed with a begging bowl. Let’s have a look this morning.
          “Thank you for joining us from Japan.”
          This is because I am using Express VPN through Yokohama.
          I got quite used to being welcomed from Los Angeles, Wembley, etc etc. The one day connected through Santa Monica I was stunned to read:
          “Thank you for joining us from China”.

          A correspondence with Express followed in which I was told that the Santa Monica installation was subcontracted to another organisation and there was nothing they could do about it. When I followed it up I found it listed as potentially fraudulent. I pointed this out and said that I didn’t think that the advertised service was being provided in this case. The matter remains unresolved.

          Anyway what we have now is the Guardian Test to check your VPN. Choose one outside your country, go on the Guardian/Observer website, choose any article and scroll down, and see where they think you are. They are useful for something, after all, even if it’s not journalism.

          • Blissex

            «seems to give Kape absolution»

            Organizations are in practice groups of people; “Kape” as an organization may have the strictest best intentions; all it takes is for some people inside it to have different intentions; it is often very easy and cheap for interested third parties to ensure that happens.
            For example the vietnamese security services (or even just the vietnamese triads) may well find very useful to setup services that allow them to compromise China-mainland citizens with “deviant” opinions. If they were not doing it they would be idiots.

      • Blissex

        «Zelensky trying to get out of Ukraine»

        The goal here is to get some Russian Federation official to fly outside their country, so they can be intercepted, arrested and imprisoned for war crimes, if not simply shot down as some important USA politicians seem to be suggesting.

        • Blissex

          «to fly outside their country, so they can be intercepted, arrested and imprisoned»

          There is the beautiful precedent of the official airplane of the President of Bolivia where the USA forced the plane to land (in “neutral” Austria…) because of a suspicion that it was carrying Snowden.

          Coupled with the sanction against russians who are legal permanent residents in the UK where their wealth has been “temporarily” confiscated and they have been forbidden to perform any transaction (including buying food or paying the electricity bill), and it is pretty clear that if your body or property are in most “Washington Consensus” countries anything can happen by political will. In these countries the ruling elites have rights, and their subjects enjoy temporary permissions that can be easily withdrawn by those elites, such as citizenship or the ability to pay bills. It turns out that “There Is No Alternative” “liberal democracies” are not too different from the absolute monarchies of Arabia.

    • Manel Fonseka

      Yes, Jerusalem! A ground soaked in the blood of its native population to pave the way for the installation of Israel. Not quite the platform for Zelensky, battling to save his country’s independence! Is he completely unaware of the irony, to say the least, or ignorant of the past? Some reading matter before he goes there should include Meron Benvenisti’s “Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948″ where he will learn how “an Arab landscape, physical & human, was transformed into an Israeli, Jewish state… [and] new Hebrew nomenclature replaced the Arabic names of more than 9,000 natural features, villages, & ruins in Eretz Israel/Palestine (his name for the Holy Land).” And of course there are the books of Shlomo Sand, Eyal Weizman, among so many Israeli writers who would tear the veil from his eyes..
      And if the wiping out of its history does not deter him from treading its ground in search of peace, I suggest he dips into “Fortress Israel: The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country – and Why They Cant Make Peace” so that he has no illusions about his hosts at the table. I would suggest you look elsewhere for a more appropriate location, Mr Zelensky.

  • Tatyana

    The Jimmy Dore Show says it in clear language at 4:17
    About Joe Osborn, Meta spokesman’s statement “praise of the Azov regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine”
    He sums it up: ‘you can praise Nazis if they’re doing something we like at the moment’

    I’ve seen this attitude already from our kind host Mr.Murray, apologizing OUN-UPA role in WW2. Yet I think it will find wide support in the West, because original Nazis are ‘your sons of a bitch’, standing against the Russians.
    It’s amusing, isn’t it, Mr. Murray? Your little concessions here and there, your little inaccuracies in historical truth, the tiny bits of information you’ve overlooked, have been seen as supporting and justifying some destructive ideologies. I wouldn’t be surprised if your articles are later referenced.

  • Harry Law

    US secretary of state Anthony Blinken gives the green light to Poland to transfer of all its mig 29’s to Ukraine
    Blinken says Poland sending fighter jets to Ukraine gets a ‘green light’ from US

    Then the Polish Government offered to fly their fleet of Mig 29’s to Ramstein airbase in Germany [free of charge] for the US to deliver them to Ukraine.
    Here is the US reply delivered by brave brave Sir Robin.
    The prospect of fighter jets “at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America” departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance. It is simply not clear to us that there is a substantive rationale for it. We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.

    The ballad of brave brave Sir Robin alias the United States of America or ‘The masters of the Universe’

    Brave Sir Robin ran away.
    Bravely ran away away.
    (“I didn’t!”)
    When danger reared it’s ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    (“I never!”)
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    (“You’re lying!”)
    Swiftly taking to his feet,
    He beat a very brave retreat.
    Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin! [Monty Python [Holy Grail.]

    Sir Robin trying to sucker Poland?

    • Rosemary MacKenzie

      My understanding from reading Thomas Roeper’s articles is that the Russian military have control of Ukrainian airfields and air space – one of the first things Russia secured, so there is nowhere for these wonderful aircraft to operate from. They can’t operate from airfields outside the Ukraine because that would result in an actual war. Nato doesn’t want to get into an actual war with Russia – nuclear weapons? It’s much better from their nasty point of view to let the Ukraine do their dirty work. Nothing seems to have come of the phone calls between Putin, Macron, and Scholz but maybe the Europeans will come to their senses. The European countries are baring the brunt of the refugees, oil/gas shortages and all the embargo nonsense.

  • Tatyana

    Mexico today on RT
    Copy it for you.

    President says his country is ‘pacifist,’ unlike EU
    Mexican president says he supports dialogue, not war, and, unlike the EU, his country doesn’t send weapons to Kiev.

    Mexico has delivered a harsh rebuke to the European Parliament after it adopted a resolution condemning the rhetoric of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador regarding journalists.

    “Know, Members of the European Parliament, that Mexico is no longer a land of conquest,” said the letter published by the Mexican government on Thursday, referring to the country’s colonial past. The statement, which compared MEPs to “sheep,” has rejected EU criticism of the Central American country’s human rights record.

    “No one here is oppressed, freedom of expression and the work of journalists is respected. The state does not violate human rights, like the previous government did, when you, by the way, stayed silent.”

    The Central American nation also defended its stance on the Russian attack on Ukraine. “Mexico is a pacifist country that chose non-violence, and we are in favor of dialogue, not war; we don’t send weapons to any country under any circumstances, as you are doing now.”

    Many Western countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and EU member states, imposed a series of sanctions on Russia after it attacked Ukraine on February 24. The US and EU pledged to fund military aid to Kiev, while individual states supplied the country with weapons, such as portable anti-tank missile systems.

    By contrast, President Lopez Obrador said this month that Mexico will not impose sanctions on Russia, or send weapons to Ukraine. Lopez Obrador told the Mexican media that he had written the letter himself, accusing the European Parliament of “slander.”
    On Tuesday, MEPs adopted a resolution condemning the threats to and deaths of journalists in Mexico. They said that at least six journalists have been killed in the country so far in 2022. The European Parliament also condemned Lopez Obrador personally, urging him to “refrain from issuing any communication, which could stigmatize” media workers and human-rights campaigners.

    Lopez Obrador accused some reporters of lying last month and called them “thugs, mercenaries, sellouts,” according to AP. His comments were condemned by the Inter American Press Association.

    Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.

    Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

  • DunGroanin

    Being a Sunday – I will sermonise – be seated congregation and hope for a quick peace and understanding to descend upon the planet.

    The promise of a thousand cuts to dispose the carcass of the putrifying Empire proceeds to cleanse the Earth of its malign body.

    The timing of the ballistic missiles and their clear origin from an Iranian base upon an illegal US base in Iraq with even more illegal Israeli base within base is exact and clear. 1.22 am.

    Mossad /CIA praetorians have been shown they can be found and destroyed wherever and how ever deep they hide.

    The attack on them and their poxies just over the border from natostan Poland, equally timed shows that the resistance is ready and coordinated across the world.

    Wanna see how much? Just try a move that threatens Chinese/Russian or SCO partners and see the lighting fast collective response.

    Oh that happened- did you miss it ? The Rouble didn’t die. The Venezuelans didn’t rush into the arms of their abusers.

    It is confirmed to me now, that the ‘West’, the Slave Owning masters of the world for the last half a millennium and their many proxies, are accelerating in their Dominate phase to HIDE from the rest of the world and hope that they are allowed to get away with all their loot for a few generations and then return to their Lordship of Creation.

    The collective West, our ‘Culture’ , fictional gods, history and fairytales, our fictional ‘superiority’ in ideas , education, technology, economics and financial wizardry – has decided to go into purdah! Like the Chinese Imperial Kingdom did when faced with the equal surprise they were not the ‘only human civilisation’ on the planet.

    Didn’t work out that well for the Chinese then and it certainly won’t, and much much faster , for us, who are to be trapped here in the ‘West’ by our slave owners and their grubby slave masters – the politicians, soldiers, media whores, priests AND professors. We have been chosen to hang together with them whether we like it or not! We will not be allowed to keep these continents we claimed by superior weapons and ‘flags’ and churches.

    There is only that simple reality for humanity. How quickly we are allowed to understand and live by that is upto us – at the moment it seems unlikely as we are so wedded to the self delusional superiority idea that we are the ONLY sensible , civilised, fair, charitable few persons in the whole world !
    (85% of which has politely disagreed with that and has told us – like an adult telling a child that they can scream and tantrum as much as they want but they will never get their demands for sweets and ice cream only met).


  • Giyane


    I’m not sure that invisible warfare is purdah. The colonial masters refuse to engage in mortal combat themselves
    but they control the banks and the price of food and commodities. These things were noticed during Covid, that after pestilence and plague will come famine and war. Now we see how these millennium old prophecies can become reality, because when the hegemony has nukes, it says it is unable to use them, so they have to use soft power, msm, banking , chemical and biological weapons and control of food and resources.

    Biden still seems confident that we, or at least he, will be looking down from a cloud of exceptionalist righteousness on Armaggeddon. He has projected all US and UK warcrimes onto Russia and China, accusing them of every crime he personally has personally committed against humanity and making himself and his pardners creaky clean. Clinty style., riding off alone into the desert with Panpipe music.

    Biden created this war in Ukraine by arming Nazis, but their idea of themselves is driven snow squeaky clean. Madness.

    • DunGroanin

      G, I didn’t know what actual weapons we were to fight the Third World War with. I am not privy to the great secret weapons plans. But for sure they wouldn’t be the same as the last war. Planes, tanks, aircraft carriers, submarines, radar, and rockets and nukes!

      We now see that the new secret weapon that was developed and USED is genetic warfare. These ultimate self human-dividing weapons are revealed to have been USED!

      The UN is quiet. WHO is quiet. MSM is quiet. All else is censored.

  • Harry Law

    NATO is led by the US and must always have a US General at its head. It exists purely to further US hegemony and to supply its military Industrial Complex, having its members contribute 2% minimum to NATO [as an example Germany’s GDP is $ 4 Trillion dollars] that is a lot of money, here is what 1 Trillion dollars looks like the Germans have agreed to put into their defence bill an extra $100 billion dollars because of Ukraine, presumably into the US MIC, interoperability don’t you know, and at the same time stopping NS2 which will cripple German industrial competitiveness and cause German families to freeze. The US might say why should we pay to keep NATO solvent? Good question, they might reply cut down on your far too generous welfare state and do wear extra clothing. As for your industry, don’t worry we will replace it. Trump was right first time NATO is obsolete, until it was explained to him the true purposes of NATO.

  • Tatyana

    Confirmed by Russian MoD. On the morning of March 13, long-range precision weapons attacked training centers in Starichy and at the Yavorovsky. About 180 foreign mercenaries and a large batch of foreign weapons are destroyed, said Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry.

    I hope that brave 61year old man from Edinburgh wasn’t there. I also hope it wasn’t any of Mr. Murray’s articles or Roger Waters’ statements that inspired him to go there

    • frankywiggles

      What I find most embarrassing about Murray is his failure to parrot whatever his government and military tell him, especially when ripping another country to shreds. Why can’t he just believe everything the war pigs say like an intelligent human being?

      • Tatyana

        It’s good that you mention war pigs. I’ve got one Ukrainian for you. Arestovich, their chief ideologist. Here is his interview of 2019.
        He says it clearly in no double speak – the war with Russia is necessary, it’s the only way. He says neutrality is not the option, because it’s too expensive.
        This explains everything, including Skripal, mentioned at 5:20, and crashed Malaysian plane, mentioned at 5:38, and even Navalny’s role.
        This explains why the Misk agreement wasn’t fulfilled, why Germany and France could not do anything, why NATO rejected Russian claims. Absolutely everything in this puzzle.
        War pigs wanted this war.
        @craig Mr. Murray, you said you’re fluent in Russian, I invite to to have a look.

        • Giyane


          Craig might be fluent in Russian, but he isn’t necessarily fluent in pig. Especially one that buys into the Boris Johnson Skripal fairy tale and believes the non-impementstion by Ukraine of Minsk is OK because Nazis do not regard their Russian citizens as having equal rights.

          Did you notice Craig said he is not well at the moment. He is fighting arbitrary imprisonment in a hostile political environment in which a very right wing British government is rapidly closing down our ancient rights to free speech. It is also rapidly pro America and rapidly trying to regain its military alliance with the EU after kicking them in the teeth.

          This war jingoism from Johnson will make it much harder for Craig at the European Court of Humsn Rights, where Craig looks for some redress against arbitrary imprisonment. Because of that, he has undoubtedly articulated the Legal position of Russia invading Ukraine rather than the moral position, because he is looking for Legal confirmation of his wrongful imprisonment.

          Sure it’s an emotional time for Russia but you should make excuses for Craig not attack him, imho. He hasn’t censored anybody for their opinions on this war. For twenty years he never has. He only censors comments that he feels are in bad taste and will bring the blog into disrepute.

          Nobody else in the UK has continously retained a platform for free speech. The Guardian will not let anybody disagree with their tripe let alone express an original thought or piece of evidence.
          Now there’s an example of opinion written in pig. We have our own homegrown wastes of space.
          For example, if I don’t like watching X factor in English, why would I be interested in watching X factor in Kurdish?


          • Tatyana

            I appreciate your time in writing such a long reply from you, to my invitation to Mr. Murray. I’m extremely touched by your concern for the condition of Mr. Murray, and I am glad that I’m not the only person aware of this and concerned about it.

            I have never had the honor of interacting with Mr. Murray, apart from a few of his replies to my comments, which were extremely rare and not always friendly, and sometimes quite attacking. Thus, I have no reason to believe that I’m in any way familiar with Mr. Murray, I know about him only from what he writes fragmentarily about himself. Because of this, I had to build my own image of his personality in my head.

            This my imaginary Mr. Murray would not mind getting acquainted with the opinion of the main ideologist of the Ukrainian armed forces. Although I agree that Arestovich is a pig, I strongly object to this label being attached to the language he speaks.

            Arestovich was born in Georgia, has Belarusian and Polish roots. He was a film actor, studied psychology and theology, took courses on influencing people of one odious occult-esoteric character in Russia (Avessalom Podvodniy, aka Alexander Kamensky, the course in fact is a training on building a cult). Arestovich has a diploma of a military translator and served in the intelligence service for about 10 years. And it was this person who was the official speaker of Ukraine in the Minsk agreements process.

            In the video, he expresses himself in the great Russian language, which Mr. Murray speaks fluently. And if the personality of Mr. Murray that I built in my head is even remotely similar to my real hero, then it will be extremely interesting for him to get acquainted with this video and put the missing pieces of the puzzle in place. And if my image, which Mr. Murray may have built in his head, is even a little like the real me, then Mr. Murray is well aware that this invitation does not mean that I expect public vociferous statements from him, that would put him in a dangerous position.

            Thank you, Giyane, for another opportunity to speak, and thanks for listening to me.

          • Giyane


            Hitler built copies of Stone circles and created a fake German nationalistic cult. As I say , we have an English nationalistic cult already, based on eating the blood and flesh of one of the famous prophets of Islam. By which means we can and we do anything we like with impunity., so I personally would not wish study a Ukranian or even a Russian cult

            The Maoris said before the English came we had the land and they had the book, after that they had the land and we had the book. In other words there is nothing so interconnected as religious cults and political imperialism.

            The language is irrelevant. Thanks

    • jordan

      I pledge to send our politicians there, the ones that send over weaponry. They should deliver it personally.

      As a side note I read somewhere that the pentagon is talking to the Russian military, as they have done with Syria. But high ranking US politicians do not have back channels, anymore. Is there some confirmation about the latter?

    • Stevie Boy

      The gutter press are referring to this as an attack on a base near the Polish border. Trying by implication to suggest that Russia is attacking Poland …

      • Tatyana

        It is very near the Poland border, city Lvov (Lviv) is near, some 30 or 50 kilometers. Pikabu users posted a selection of videos, tracing official Ukraininan TV reports on this training ground. It was used for foreign instructors to train Ukrainian men. Please pay attention they use ‘ATO’ that means anti-terrorism operation. That is how they call their civil war in Donbas. Highly hypocritical, because there was never no one terrorism act committed by Donbassians anywhere in Ukraine. ATO is a pretext to shell them for their refusal to recognise new Ukrainian regime and demanding autonomy within Ukraine.

        It is the biggest facility of this sort, and was reported as it was the place where foreign volunteers and weapons started arriving from abroad.

  • Blissex

    Breaking News! One of the very best does it again, two hits with one shot! Cadwalladr and Harding are “national treasures” and “The Guardian” and “The Observer” are preserving their “invaluable” output for posterity :-).

    Putin has already deployed a chemical weapon. In Salisbury
    Boris Johnson has grave questions to answer about the Skripal case
    Carole Cadwalladr
    Sun 13 Mar 2022 06.00 GMT

    • jordan

      Give me a break — and thanks for the link.

      But in this article they forgot to mention that a “new judge has been appointed out of retirement by the British Government to run a public inquiry into the cause of death of Dawn Sturgess in July 2018. He is Anthony Hughes” as reported by the Bear Dancer

      I was surprised that this case is still unsettled (all bets are open.) John also reported on the new coroner for this case, some days earlier.

      • Blissex

        «Give me a break»

        You should ask that of Cadwalladr and Harding… 🙂 But we have to admire the artistry: linking Ukraine, Skripal, Johnson, Putin, Trump, Mueller, Lebedev in one grand tapestry of innuendo and imagination! If only she could have linked in Litvinenko, Douma, Iran, and the Iraqi WMDs! 🙂

      • Tom Welsh

        “I was surprised that this case is still unsettled…”

        It isn’t. Mrs May announced its conclusions four years ago. The coroner’s job is apparently just to formalise her statement.

        Justice? They’ve heard of it.

    • DunGroanin

      The presstitutes are out of control and bleating all sorts of nonsense.
      Here is Sweeney today:

      Some big crumps heard in Kyiv just now. Hard to tell their location.

      My personal response to that is:
      Have you checked your pants John?
      Finally getting near some actual ‘war’ as a war corespondent?
      Have you checked into Hotel Ukraine on Maidan? The ground zero of the anonymous gunshots? You know the floors that the CIA had and Nuland decided to fuck us all from?

      War reporters are traditionally supposed to actually stand up and report stories not tweet their daily ‘full English’ breakfasts you utterly contemptible war mongering propagandist spaffer or as you understand it ‘why don’t you just fuck the fuck off’.

      Sorry for his language.

      • Wikikettle

        DunGroanin. As I said before, I don’t have a TV or even listen to the radio. I don’t read the output of the ‘papers’. This frees my brain from the upset and anger at the lies and constant propoganda. Yet, I am aware more so than ever before of the issues and context of our dire situation in the Collective West and the suffering of all those in war torn countries we are responsible for. I try and eat well, excersise daily and keep my weight down. My anger, like yours, is tempered by really appreciating that I am alive on this amazing planet for the little time I have left on it. I can’t take anything with me when I die but the feeling of empathy, joy and sorrow. I have found great association with people I have never met on Craig’s site. More so than any family member, who I am estranged from, or and work colleagues or even close friends. No matter how much I try to explain, to even the most intelligent of them, their views are formed and won’t change. They won’t devote any time to articles or blogs I recommend, explaining the counternarrative. Their attention span is measured in minutes, if not seconds. Nature, outdoors, music and being alone give me peace of mind. As for the decoupling of Russia from the Euro-US train: they will be just fine to cope with the coming economic collapse. They have self sufficiency in food production and energy. Propaganda does not win wars. Nato Expansion to their borders has done them a favour!
        They have decoupled, from our globalisation, debt-ridden, neo-Liberal train of carriages, heading into the buffers at full speed.

        • DunGroanin

          Ditto Wiki, no junk media for me either. Hence no fog of propaganda to be deceived by.

          Plenty of contempt for these rascals who hurt and steal as their birth right. But pretty much a special anger at these who have subverted the concept of ‘bearing witness’ as only truly innocent victims can only do.

          The godfathers such as the swine Swinney in his orange beany-bearded ‘blokey’ personae – needs to be pointed at and derided for their long term security service asset existences.

          A couple of actual journos were shot by UKRAINIAN forces as they witnessed and tried to take photos of civilians not being allowed to leave the danger areas(?) The MSM has so far reported it as Russians doing the shooting!!

          Unfortunately for their lie (which has already marched across the globe) one of the two has survived, with what appears to be a shot in the backside(?) – so expect the truth to be buried by the lie by the time his words are published by his fellows in the MSM, if ever.

          The most encouraging thing for us, here in the heart of Empire is to know and demonstrate for history. that we. And there are daily many, didn’t meekly or out of fear, not stand up against the lies – as many Germans were accused of about nazis and Hitler and their thugs.

          To speak truth to power is like a drop of water on granite – but ultimately the stone gets washed away. And the truth flows.

  • Crispa

    I was listening to my usual (American) science podcast earlier today at which the presenters briefly discussed the low Covid – 19 vaccination rates in Ukraine and unscientifically attributed them to Putin’s reported disinformation campaign. They seemed to accept the disinformation campaign as fact because “Russia has a history of such campaigns”. Scientists are human and can be irrational on anything other than their science, which is based on “hard data” though I have found out that they can be irrational too when it comes to science. Anyway I have had a dig around and find that:

    1. Allegations of a Russian disinformation campaign to dissuade Ukrainians from getting vaccinated relies on information provided to a propagandist news outlet by the Ukrainian security services finding a “Russian bot factory” in an apartment in a Ukraine city – hardly hard data.
    2. Anti – vax attitudes were engrained in Ukraine long before the current pandemic.
    3. Ukraine refused purely on political grounds to accept or register the Sputnik V vaccine and continued to wage against it on social media and elsewhere.
    4. The people of the Donbass began their vaccination programme with Sputnik V. before the rest of Ukraine, about which the government continued to dither.
    5. The Ukraine government has been totally incompetent in its vaccination policy, not helped by the negativity of many of its higher ups and influential health professionals.

    A quick Google search reveals all this but the impression that sticks it is Putin’s fault if it is said so.
    It seems to me that even intelligent people lose their powers of reasoning and empirical abilities in times like these and allow their atavistic side to take over.

    • Wikikettle

      If ‘only’ Dwight D Eisenhower had warned the world about the Congressional and Military Industrial Complex. (credit to a contributer on The Duran) I would also recommend folk to listen to Robert Barnes views on law matters and current situation.

      • Wikikettle

        A caller on the MOATS show last night said he ran a Russian and East European Delicatessen. He had received a lot of hate calls and threats. However his turnover had gone up ! The attempted cancellation of Russian culture, music, the arts and language will also increase the interest of folk in all matters Russian, who don’t buy into the sheep mentality. In my opinion the so-called Journalists and media who sell the sheep these wars are as responsible for the killings as any.

  • Tatyana

    A picture of Europe started forming itself in Russian media. Todays article by Victoria Nikiforova on Ria. Some points to think about.

    “The viscous absurdity of European politics has recently resembled some kind of mass insanity. A little more than everyone has joined the sanctions war against Russia: from clothing stores to LGBT activists, from sports organizations to pornographic sites, from Instagram Beauties to restaurant guides.
    *here she lists collection of sanctions*
    [ … ]
    To the surprise of these figures, we successfully withstood the first onslaught. Josep Borrell himself admitted with a sigh that the financial sanctions against Russia had “reached the ceiling.” And then the irritation of European partners erupted in full.
    *here she lists another collection of sanctions*
    [ … ]
    In general, let’s be honest. None of these are sanctions. This is pure hatred, an anti-Russian Nazi hatred, a quick, cowardly robbery of our citizens and a terrible annoyance at the fact that it is impossible to rob more.

    For our youth, who grew up in absolute comfort, both material and spiritual, in an atmosphere of complete non-resistance to evil by violence, everything that happens, of course, is a real moment of truth. We, older people, have always suspected that we are not particularly liked in Western Europe. Resentment against the Russians has been accumulating there in many circles since 1945. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has grown abundantly, and today we see it in all its glory. But for a new generation of Russians, this is all new. Now they will learn one simple truth through their own experience in an accelerated manner.
    We could build in our country either communism, or capitalism. We could go our own way, or blindly copy Western trends. We could call ourselves either Russians, or Soviets, or cosmopolitans, or crypto-Cossacks. Strive for NATO, or conflict with NATO. Build Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, or fence off from all external influences. All this does not matter at all.
    As soon as life in the Old World gets worse, the local elites climb in to rob us. From century to century, without stopping. They also come up with all sorts of beautiful justifications – there are “Eternal Reich”, “Great France”, “human rights” or “rights of a Ukrainian”. But, whatever you call it, all this is just an attempt to rob a wealthy neighbor who is spread out on his territory and boorishly enjoying the rich reserves of hydrocarbons, diamonds, rare earth metals and the list goes on.

    Cutting off Europe from Russia, the States are diligently “Weimarizing” it. It is not only the middle class that is getting poorer, but everything in general, including the working population. Cold and hunger await our European neighbors in autumn. They understand this very well today, looking at their utility bills.
    And Russia has every chance to get through this crisis with minimal losses, in warm apartments and with a politically incorrect steak on a plate. And even make money – on the inexorably rising price of gas and wheat. But this is an unforgivable disgrace on the part of the Russians – to live better than their Western neighbors live. No way…
    *here she describes how much we loved Europe and admired it*
    Today, all this Europe, invented by us and once beloved, is disappearing before our eyes. Wealth spent, freedom turned dictatorship. With amazement, we look at the Old World and see how it turns into a Ukraine before our eyes, writhing and wriggling. She climbs out of it like an Alien larva from a dying person.
    *reference to the Alien film by Ridley Scott, following para includes many unpleasant descriptions*

    [ … ] Well, the German burghers and the French bourgeois are seriously annoyed by the fact that the Ukrainian middle class travels around Europe in jeeps. That is, they, the locals, are the salt of the earth in old small cars, and these “refugees” are in brand new SUVs. It pisses them off! In addition, they see no difference between Ukrainians and Russians, they equally despise all these barbarians from the east and painfully envy them.
    *is it true?*
    In three days, all the notorious European soft power with its glamor and endless temptations faded away. The same Western Ukrainian villager, got out of the British lord and the German burgher.
    Remember the joke about an Ukrainian who was offered to fulfill any of his wishes on the condition that his neighbor gets twice as much? He asked to gouge out his eye. Europe is trying to act in exactly the same way today, breaking ties with Russia. And they themselves already understand that nothing good will come of it…”

    Further, Victoria describes that we have different history textbooks with Europe * with which I agree *; that Europe is now trying in every possible way to rob Russia and all segments of the population feel it * with which I also agree *; that if Europe decides to kill us, then they will do this. Here Victoria mentions of biolabs, which were used not only by the Pentagon, but also by Germany. As evidence of the united position of the Russian people, she mentions the absence of mass rallies, compared to the London rallies against the war in Iraq, or Russian rallies in support of Navalny. Further, she hopes for sober thinking; she hopes that the illusion of a good attitude of Europe towards Russia will fall from Russia’s eyes; and suggests that the Russians will finally begin to think about ourselves and follow our national interests.

    • DunGroanin

      I expect it is true about the emergence of Russian zeitgeist (I know it’s a German word but it fits best).
      I have mentioned previously about meeting young and ‘new rich’ Russian tourists on my travels.
      Unfortunately my Russian is non existent and in these earlier years their English was not much better to have direct conversations but drunken ones were easy / I spoke English they spoke Russian – somehow we managed to get along doing what we were there to do – have a fine time on the beach, order food and drinks, and enjoy our vacations.
      I hope they have learned not to fall asleep there – they were/are great drinkers like the Brits – as the sun rises because by midday they are fried pink and red in so much sun! ?

      Thanks for the article I shall try and read it later.

    • Bayard

      The reply of far too many people to this will be “La, la, Putinbot, la, la, Russian disinformation, la, la, invasion, la, la, sovereign country, la, shelling civilians, la, la, la” when the real lesson from this piece is that the Russians don’t see things like we in the west do. It may be a very widespread mistake to think that everyone else thinks like you, but that doesn’t stop it being a mistake. Everyone has to work from prejudices; if they didn’t, they would have to start from “I think therefore I am” and work out the entirety of their personal philosophy before making each decision, like whether to get out of bed in the morning, whereas everyone has already prejudged the consequences of deciding to stay in bed, like being late for work and being told off, they know what’s almost certainly going to happen, they don’t have to work it out from first principles. However, everyone’s experience of life is different, so everyone’s prejudices are different. The self-employed person makes a different judgement about the consequences of not getting up to the employed person.

  • fredi

    They just didn’t think this through, a fascinating interview about western/nato foreign policy consequences, namely industrial scale blow-back. Or maybe they did and and this is now they get to their depopulation and 0 carbon target awfully quickly.

    min 22 ish, if you’re in a hurry

    Currency War / Total War: Jim Rickards

  • Goose

    Craig’s wrong to single out the the left saying they haven’t condemned this war. Everyone on the left is sickened by it and desperate for it to end.

    We seem to being bashed by our sensationalising media in accepting a very binary view that allows for no debate. It’s perfectly possible to hold that Russia is ultimately to blame but some responsibility lies with others:

    • The invasion is wrong and the violence and destruction involved is utterly deplorable. Ordinary Russians(through sanctions) and Ukrainians(destruction and death) are paying a price no one should have to in 2022.
    • Zelensky should have implemented the Minsk agreements. His govt shouldn’t have discriminated against ethnic Russians in Ukraine (language and pro-Russia political party bans) and shouldn’t have shelled Donbass citizens; leaving LPR and DPR feeling like there only option was a declaration of independence.
    • The fact Zelensky is Jewish is coincidental and it doesn’t alter the fact Ukraine does have a huge far-right problem. Ukraine has a ultra-nationalist segment of society, that left him and the govt unable to compromise for peace. According to the UN Human Rights Council, Right Sector is just one of the “potentially violent militias that acted seemingly on their own authority, thanks to a high level of official toleration, and with almost complete impunity, both in the Donbass region and in wider Ukraine”
    • The US-funded bio-laboratories accusations are serious and should be answered – even the BBC reality check couldn’t debunk the claims emerging from earlier US hearings. The link article related to Wuhan, covid and US funded ‘gain-of-function’ research. The US in its defence is playing semantics, arguing that such research on germs & viruses may not intend to produce “gain-of-function”, although that could be the end result of it. The US has 336 biolabs in 30 countries including 26 in Ukraine.The United States spent more than $200 million on the work of biological laboratories in Ukraine.
    • Dr. Rand Paul has led attempts in the US to ban “gain-of-function” (GOF) studies in the US. Gain-of-function increases the potency of known pathogens through genetic code manipulation, as you’d guess it’s incredibly dangerous and has potential bioweapon and/or bio-terror implications. India has shut down a US funded bio-lab that was experimenting illegally on.

    The US has a mere 4% of the world’s population and China/India, and to a lesser degree Russia, relative population and future demographics will be the biggest challenge to US maintaining global hegemony… you can see why with a billion plus citizens in each, both India and China are deeply suspicious of that the US is up to with all this genetic research on their borders – fearing the US may seeking bio-engineered solution to maintain its global hegemony.

    • Goose

      Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four ‘Hate Week’.

      With the current western MSM anti-Russia hatefest which goes well-beyond the understandable anti-Putin stuff. It’d do people good to watch some of these Youtube videos emerging of ordinary Russians expressing an, albeit guarded, opinion on what’s going on. Ordinary citizens share so much in common, without bad leaderships we never seek to attack or destroy each other.

      After week 1
      After week 2

    • Giyane


      In the words of the Scottish judiciary, Zhelensky being is an aggravating factor in his failure to deal with Nazism. If he had not been placed in power by a violent coup organised by Victoria Nuland he would have been able to call on international assistance from many sources to deal with the problem legally.

      But the US along with the UK supported the Nazis. So not much point in appealing to them,was there? The US is 100% responsible for this war because they all legal opportunities to root out Nazis, whom they used as proxies to gain control of Ukraine.

      Zhelensky is not a victim! He is a rent a pimp / stooge, selling Ukraine to Nato. Rent a pimps / stooges have to do what their owners want, which is sign over Ukraine to Nato.

      Or as the Scottish judiciary might say, the hyperbole of MSM jingoism for Ukraine is an aggravating factor in their criminal behaviour. Its purpose is to deflect blame from the US, who created the problem of Nazibterror.

    • Pears Morgaine

      ” Ukraine does have a huge far-right problem. “

      Far right parties took 1.6% of the vote in the last elections and hold less than 1% of the seats in parliament. How is that a ‘huge right wing problem’ worse than any other european country? Even if true it wouldn’t justify this invasion.

      • Goose

        Who has tried to justify the invasion?

        Seems to me some frustrated people on social media are desperately trying to present anyone who doesn’t think the sun shines out of Kyiv as being somehow pro-invasion. Everyone here thinks the full-scale invasion of Ukraine is/was mad and a huge horrendous miscalculation by Russia.

        As for the question. The people who march in the Nazi-esque torch bearing rallies in Ukraine, i.e., the Nazi insignia tattooed militia members, well they don’t necessarily stand for parliament. But, as the UN Human Rights Council says, they are tolerated at the highest levels – basically given free rein in a Faustian pact of, we’ll leave you alone, you leave us alone.

        In other news. Germany to buy $100bn worth of F-35s. So, the US sees the NS-2 project destroyed, the switch to US supplied LNG; massive sanctions on geopolitical rival Russia and huge new orders for the defence industry. Who is really enjoying this war?

        What use new tanks and F-35s will be in a war likely involving hypersonic missiles and sophisticated pilotless aircraft (much higher G) is anyone’s guess? Germany seems to be arming for yesterday’s wars.

        • Wikikettle

          The Duran have Gonzalo Lira on at great risk to himself from Ukraine who is very worried about a red flag and predicts the extreme radicals will not accept a defeat which is coming.

          • Goose

            I don’t like the sudden talk of chemical attacks. Russia has no advantage from such things, but they would be potentially advantageous to Ukrainian propaganda. Much as in Syria, where as a strategic battle weapon they were useless for Assad, but hugely important for persuading western audiences to support intervention.

            Some seem determined to try to drag NATO into this. We see N.Sturgeon’s comments on a no-fly zone and some US politicians. Many of these politicians add they’ve no idea what a no -fly zone would entail.

            Well, it’d mean bombing on actual Russian territory, where S-400 and S-500 air defence systems covering Ukraine, are located. Calling for a no-fly zone is akin to calling for the bombing of Russia. Do these people want the British people and Europeans to go the way of the Maya civilization?

          • Dawg

            Gonzalo Lira is very vocal in his support of the Russian invasion, and his videos have been circulated by Russian media. He’s right that Russians are closing in where he is (Kharkiv), but he’s hardly unbiased in his views. Yes, he’s voicing support for Putin and the Russian army, so he might be in danger in Ukrainian-held territory, but he’s convinced Russia will quickly defeat and occupy Ukraine – which means he’s actually aligning with the soon-to-be occupiers. Smart move.

            Why would an American conspiracy novelist in Ukraine voice support for Putin on Telegram and YouTube? Well there could be many reasons, I suppose, but Gonzalo wears his motivations on his sleeve: he’s a far-right US Republican Q-anoner who totally despises Joe Biden and anyone allied with him such as moderate right-wingers (whom he calls RINOs = Republicans In Name Only). You can accept his smorgasbord of conspiracy theories as the God’s-honest-truth if that’s your thing, but you may as well go straight to 4- or 8-chan and get it direct from source.

          • Dawg

            Just to add, Gonzalo Lira calls himself “CoachRedPill” on Telegram (alluding to the magical reality-revealing pill in the Matrix movies) and is the main interviewee in the short documentary “Absolutely Red Pilled” (meaning ‘absolutely true’ to a conspiracy nutter, and ‘absolutely nuts’ to everyone else).

          • Tatyana

            I believed he was a film maker from Chile???
            Anyway, I’m far from making assumptions about his personal features, I’ve heard the chain of facts from him and many coincide with what I myself know and witness. Diversity of opinions is important, regardless of whether you like the speaker or not.

          • Dawg

            Gonzalo Lira moved around a lot as a youngster. He was born in California and grew up in Los Angeles County, New York and Miami, before moving to Ecuador. He finished school in Chile, before returning to the US to attend university in New Hampshire. He may identify as Chilean (take your pick), but he spent relatively little time there and his ancestors are from Ecuador.

            I don’t think his “personal features” are particularly relevant to his beliefs. It’s the beliefs that I judge him on. He gained notoriety as a pick-up artist (basically, a misogynist) teaching his followers various tricks to manipulate women into bed. He recruited followers from the anti-vaxxer community by using his platform to spread coronavirus conspiracy theories. His hatred of socialism fuels his loathing for the Democrats (esp. Biden and Clinton) and he spreads poisonous nonsense about them on social media. He argues that the Ukraine war (or ‘special military operation’) was started by … surprise, surprise… Jewish billionaires! I’m not sure he actually believes what he says in those videos, but if he does then his beliefs are pretty twisted and nasty. Which of them coincide with what you know and witness, exactly?

          • Tatyana

            I only watched his one video, was doubting if he is a reliable source.
            Balancing on the fringe of being called a shysophrenic 🙂 he is a film maker and me being in the field of art/expressing inner to outside. I found true one of his ideas, that a person’s face reflects their personality.
            I studied how to paint an artistic portrait of a human, and I think many artists may confirm that anatomy is the key to paint it correctly. Our certain facial muscles get tension when we experience a certain emotion. Feeling an emotion causes tension in a certain facial muscle (or, a group of it). Training muscles inevitably leads to their rebuilding. Thus, with age, our faces slightly change in a certain way, which artists can ‘catch’.
            Training facial muscles is normal for cinema or theater actors. Also, some people hoping to gain more support, do it on purpose, like Hitler was studying oratory art.
            Well, I’m partly ashamed, still investigating this my ability, to recognise liers looking at their faces.
            I say it because you mention you judge by Lira’s beliefs. I on the contrary try to find smth substantial, smth physical, clearly visible, scientifically based, when I judge people.

            Personal note, I at all don’t find it a bad thing when men manipulate women in bed 🙂 I only object young under age ones being manipulated by adults. An adult woman and an adult man may play ‘oh, you manipulated me’ games as far as nobody is hurt. Shifting responsibility onto others is never an apology, in my mind.

          • Dawg

            A person’s face reflects their personality … unless they’re an actor, a con artist, or a psychopath. I don’t think Lira is a psychopath (though some people do), but he is a film-maker who specialises in the art of conveying emotion via pretence (as well as documentaries), and he is someone who both teaches people how to manipulate others for their own desires (‘pick-up artistry’) and earns money from convincing people to subscribe to his (often morally warped) conspiracy theories. That, to me, isn’t the kind of person whose face you should trust. You may think (or feel) otherwise.

            Your explanation of why you don’t necessarily resent men who manipulate women into bed puts it into a new perspective … and that’s something you have a gift for. You really can make people think differently about things. 😉

        • joel

          “Everyone here thinks the full-scale invasion of Ukraine is/was mad and a huge horrendous miscalculation “

          You clearly want to believe you belong to a compassionate, antiwar community on here. But apart from CM himself they virtually all think wholesale invasion was entirely justified.– ‘cos security’, ‘cos Nazis’. There is no horror, sorrow or regret for Ukraine and its dead. Look at them with clear, honest eyes. These are not compassionate antiwar people. Far from it.

          • Goose

            There are no posts supporting this invasion, afaik?

            Sure, there are people who think Ukraine was far from a democratic paradise pre-invasion. Zelensky, let’s not forget, had atrocious personal ratings prior to the conflict starting, and while he did win the presidential election comfortably, only 50% of eligible voters voted, if you take into account the 13% in the East excluded from participation.

            There is a wider oppressive atmosphere now in the west now, whipped up by 24hr news coverage, coverage that uses unverified images and is designed to infuriate everyone into action. The invasion is bad enough with western media trying to sensationalise everything.

            The UK hasn’t declared war on Russia, nor vice versa. So for a war that supposedly we aren’t involved in there’s a heck of a lot of online accusatory aggro going on.

          • Tatyana

            It’s a great mistake to judge people on your standards. You seem to apply your own behaviour patterns on others in good faith that they are universal and ‘all normal people should behave like this’.
            More specifically, you talk of ‘normal’ pattern of showing emotional reaction.
            Just pointing out, it’s very dependent on the culture which a person belongs to.
            I’ve seen feedback from an English person living in Russia. He said that English manner is over-expressive for Russians, and Russian intonations and facial expressions reads as threatening to an Englishman.

          • joel


            “There are no posts supporting this invasion, afaik”

            Good lord. Okay. Really not sure what to say to you in that case.

            Your next para is equally curious. Not even the most ardent on here have tried justify it because Zelensky had low approval ratings. That’s unique to you I think.

          • Bayard

            “But apart from CM himself they virtually all think wholesale invasion was entirely justified.– ‘cos security’, ‘cos Nazis’. “

            “Virtually all”, eh? Come on, name names, there aren’t that many people who comment on here regularly.
            I think you will be struggling, not least because the invasion has hardly been “wholesale”. A glance at any map will show that the bulk of the Russian forces have not yet left the two separatist states and the vast majority of Ukraine is unaffected, except by the quite understandable desire of the population to get the hell out.
            Why o you think that every comment should include a statement of “horror, sorrow or regret for Ukraine and its dead.”? Anyone may feel that, why do they have to state it every time they put finger to keyboard. However, just to keep you happy, I am horrified that it has come to this, I feel sorry for all the Ukrainians who have died in the past eight years and their families and I regret that the UK was instrumental in their deaths.
            You make the very common mistake of thinking that everyone else thinks like you do and I see by your reply to Tatyana that you are convinced that it is not a mistake.

          • Tatyana

            There’s also some restriction in the format of our interactions here. I cannot say for everyone, will only say for me: if we had here smileys it would be easier to communicate emotions. Also, some forums allow a footnote, I’d be happy to use it, to fill in smth like Q&A. Then, avatars and profile bio, also helpful to better understand the general position of the interlocutor.
            So far, here we only have textfields to type the essence of our message. Pure abstract black letters on a white background. Add here non-native language. Well, it’s sometimes hard to get the thought delivered in its original form. I only rely on good will of people around and their kind sincere desire to listen to me.

          • Dawg

            Yes it’s true that simple text is limited in the expression of emotions, but I’m not sure that adding a smiley to an argument for the use of lethal force against civilians in a foreign state would take much of the sting out of it. A sad face might be more appropriate, but that sentiment can be expressed in words too. None of us are happy about the situation, even if some think the “special military operation” (aka war, murder, violence etc.) is justifiable at some level.

            I really don’t want any Russian soldiers to die. My suggestion for saving their lives would be to pull them out of Ukraine, to cease the invasion (or military operation, whatever). Happily, that would also save Ukrainian lives and help to restore Russia’s reputation on the world stage. Maybe the Russians could pull back to the Donbass region and defend that, moving any ethnic Russians or Russia-sympathisers to a relatively safe haven there while the geopolitical machine recalibrates? It would probably reduce the death, violence and destruction – which is surely worth a smiley of some sort. But (sad face) it’s not going to happen, because …

            Tatyana, I’m very glad you are able to tell us about what’s being said in the Russian media, because our access to it is very limited in the West. Thank you for doing that, sincerely. Here you have the freedom (and the talent) to defend what you say. Personally, I have no ambition to change the mind of a Russian person who isn’t involved in the war/operation and has no power to influence it, and I wouldn’t condemn them for believing what they’re told or what they’ve deduced for themselves. The more important task here is to debate the veracity of crucial statements and assess the reliability of sources, which would help all of us to decide what to believe.

            I don’t think arguing passionately is a bad thing, but the reactions to passionate arguments can be too emotional sometimes. Yet contradiction is not insult. Taking offence is an action, depending on imagined implications, and with practice people can learn to decline any intended offence and even deflect it back with irony (“See how you like it, mister … “).

            We need to sift the truth from the propaganda, and it should be a joint exercise. But its success doesn’t depend on any one person’s conclusions. If a viewpoint withstands critical analysis, then it emerges stronger. If it’s weakened, then we know we should be more sceptical. I think that’s what we’re aiming at here.

          • Tatyana

            You see now, Dawg, we are quite in an agreement on the issue. The word ‘smiley’ in modern internet culture means the whole f*cking wide scale of graphic emotions signs. Including sad face, that I was thinking of, and which you mention as more appropriate.

            On ‘special military operation’ term I was also giving my opinion earlier, and it’s totally the same as yours.

            So, well, you see, we are limited to express our respective positions in full in our every message here. That is why people jumping in in the middle of the discussion may get annoyed by the lack of empathy and even see the commentors as heartless war apologists.

          • Goose


            “Not even the most ardent on here have tried justify it because Zelensky had low approval ratings.”

            I didn’t either. Please stop trying to twist things around to suit labelling you appear to wish to ascribe. I pointed out how some now hailing Zelensky as a hero; a revered ‘leader of a nation’ aren’t aware of just how unpopular he’d become less than a month ago.
            The reality is that, pre-invasion, Zelensky was in a deep hole politically. We are told in reports that Putin finds Zelensky personally objectionable(?) btw, if true I’m sure it’s mutual. Putin seems to have turned Zelensky into a hero with this invasion.

            None of that in any way justifies the invasion. All I was pointing out is it’s kind of ironic that Zelensky’s reputation and political standing has been salvaged by Putin and his awful invasion.

          • Dawg

            It’s nice to be in agreement on some issues, Tatyana. But how far does the agreement go? If you were put in charge of the Russian armed forces, and didn’t fear a reprisal from Putin, would you pull them out of Ukraine? Or retreat to the Donbass? Would you pay reparations for the damage caused?

            I’m not trying to change your opinion or make you look bad. I think you’re very sincere, and I’d like to understand an alternative mindset (if it is indeed alternative). You might be able to change my perspective, as you have on other things.

          • Tatyana

            I’ll give you some background. For my whole life I were facing difficulties in building my future. I was working hard to have a family and income. Together with my man we were struggling to earn smth for us and our kid.
            My man is pretty traditional mentality. Recent years, when we had a chance to have a break in this constant race for earning a decent living, recent years my man enjoys what he was dreaming of – to feel a traditional man who is able to feed his family all alone.
            I was ‘granted’ a privilege to mind my hobby/small business, when he earns enough to cover our daily needs. I too enjoy this status quo – he gives me money and I let him know when I’m finished spending it. So, I’m only to mind traditional woman’s affairs – cooking, hobby, scratching his backside etc. This lifestyle eliminates my headache and also gives me a lot of free time. But in no way it makes me an expert in politics.
            You ask me of decisions, but how can I answer? I had never had access to government or intelligence? I only bring here my own opinion. The only thing I can guarantee is that my opinion is of my own and I was never paid to say it.

          • Dawg

            Tatyana, that all sounds rather lovely, if a bit old-fashioned. I hope you’ll be able to maintain that lifestyle if and when the Russian economy collapses. Who would you blame? Putin?? Would you vote him in again? Or would you blame an outsider that you can have no influence on? These are thoughts you might have to think in the future, even if they seem remote now. I don’t need to know your personal answers, but I’d like to understand the ideas associated with that kind of thinking.

            I admire your mature attitude towards accepting responsibility, but you couldn’t blame yourself in that situation – in that sense of responsibility. It might become your responsibility to find a way to improve the lifestyle of you and your family under difficult circumstances, but that’s a different issue. I hope civilians don’t pay a heavy price for the government’s actions.

            Pardon me for not revealing my personal details to strangers on the internet (and you can’t get much stranger on the internet than the people reading this blog!) I don’t intend to let anyone know my height, weight, hair colour, or even which nationality, gender or species I identify with. (Well, OK then, this persona is canine.) I don’t think it has any bearing on what to believe about the geopolitics of Ukraine, Russia, and NATO.

          • Tatyana

            I actually don’t enjoy much this lifestyle, me personally am not tailored for it (there’s where I miss my common set of Insta smileys). My mom maybe, my granny, not me. I only love the freedom that comes with the absence of money trouble.
            I don’t think I ever blamed anyone, but myself, for all the things that happened to me. Responsibility is, oh yes, the feature of my generation, self-reliance, avoid dragging people into decisions where they might get harmed. Yes, responsibility. That’s the feature. I’d never persuaded someone to go fight in Ukraine, or, to come to a conclusion which side is ‘right’. I’m standing for common sense and freedom of choice. I’m strongly against lies or manipulations.

          • Dawg

            “I’m strongly against lies or manipulations.”

            … except for manipulating into bed, as you said earlier (at least when both parties stand to gain from it).

            Unfortunately Mr Lira advises people to lie to achieve the same goal. I imagine you don’t approve of that. A government deceiving other countries about their intentions could be viewed with a similar kind of disapproval. It think it’s a bad thing, but perhaps it’s more expected in political circles. Unfortunately, it means that we can’t really trust certain governments – or maybe any government. (No surprises there.)

            I wish more people would tell the truth (except in comedy and drama maybe, and in situations where it could cause worse harm than the alternative). So thanks for your honesty.

          • Bayard

            “Maybe the Russians could pull back to the Donbass region and defend that, “

            The problem with that is the Donbass region is where nearly all the fighting is going on currently.

          • Tatyana

            I said I only watched 1 video, now after your explanations I feel interested to watch more, to form my own opinion. From what I saw – there was nothing said about women, but the way he smiles betrays him. It’s again about faces and portraits. I suspect he is not only very much after women, but after many other pleasures of this world too. Highly likely he is sensitive to what other people think of him. Most probably he has no well-grounded concept of freedom, in the philosophical sense, but understands it as freedom to think and to act. Ultra-libertarian 🙂

            Anyway, it is slight relation to the facts that he might know. It only means that he is inclined to wrap every fact into his own opinion and to add pictorial detail. He makes an effort to keep his viewers emotionally involved.
            So, getting pieces of information from him is like reading a poem, compared to reading a data sheet. Every fact needs checking. Every connection in between the facts needs checking too.
            Actually, I don’t mind, with all this mess around I found myself having even more free time.

            On governments and trusting them I already gave my opinion. I decided for myself to check everything they say. So far, my ideal for government is Iran, recognising honestly their fault, when they downed the civilian plane on the day of their revenge for Soleimani’s death. I wish every government could be that sincere and own their responsibility. The world would be much more pleasant place to live in.

        • Stevie Boy

          “Everyone here thinks the full-scale invasion of Ukraine is/was mad and a huge horrendous miscalculation by Russia.”

          Incorrect, you do not speak for me (although, I agree with some things you say).
          Protection of the peoples of the LPR, DPR and Crimea from indiscriminate shelling by the Nazi thugs in the Ukraine government and military required decisive action. Since the West ignored, condoned and supported the genocidal agenda of the Nazis there were two choices: observe the genocide or act to save lives. Russia acted.
          War is evil and only the small people ever truly suffer from it, never the war mongers and decision makers – that’s the truth of the great and free democracy we supposedly live in.
          All the well meaning do-gooders who send charity based aid to Ukraine (Yemen, Gaza, etc) need to consider the fact that it’s our taxes and Government that are prolonging and supporting these conflicts. Maybe tackling the problem at source would have a better effect !!!

          • Goose

            @Stevie Boy

            Well, that’s your choice.

            I think it’s possible to hold those views while thinking a full-scale invasion was the worst possible option; a disaster for Ukraine and Russia. If Ukraine’s army had launched the alleged planned Eastern offensive to retake Donbass, and those areas had called for military assistance Russia would have faced sanctions, but been on a much surer footing in arguing it raced to the defence of ethnic Russian citizens. As things stand now, they are the aggressor and for those who know little about Ukraine’s recent history, an unprovoked, evil aggressor at that.

          • Stevie Boy


            Russia was, and is, always going to be caricatured as the aggressor. They cannot win (Like Mr Murray ?). They waited eight years trying all political avenues, re the Minsk agreements. They issued their ‘Red Lines’ documents to the US and NATO in December – they were rejected.
            Further waiting means further deaths, how many are acceptable ?
            This operation was planned over a long period based on the premiss that the US and NATO would not discuss political solutions and escalate to breaking point and then sanction. For Russia what has happened is not a knee jerk reaction but a considered response to obvious provocations and agendas.
            China, India, Iran, Venezuela and the world watches.

          • Goose

            One of the great ironies now is how everyone is saying this Russian action strengthens NATO. Finland is even talking of dumping its historical neutrality and everyone is talking about arming to the teeth.

            For what? A major war ending with thermonuclear derived extinction?

            Why aren’t serious European politicians asking what would’ve happened without US interference in Ukraine 2014 – ?

            Would Zelensky, without NATO and the US having his back, been as bellicose in his rejectionism around Minsk compromise? I.e., Sans NATO and left to Europe and Macron and Scholz’s diplomacy it would’ve been made clear to Zelensky neutrality and federalism in Ukraine is essential for progress. Neutral Ukraine could’ve then possibly then joined the EU with Russia’s approval.

            It sounds paradoxical, but the more Europe focuses defence with Washington hawks and NATO, the more likely a catastrophic nuclear war will be fought on European soil. Following “Fuck the EU” Nuland and co, could lead Europeans to utter disaster and they won’t even lose sleep over it. That ‘We came , we saw , he died!’ gung-ho mentality isn’t unique to Hillary.

          • Giyane


            I do not see Russia as the aggressor. I see The US Democrats and the UK Tories as the aggressors and I don’t have the right kind of intelligence to understand their aggression in supporting Nazism.

            My brain is incapable of imagining it , except as a mistake, like Thatcher supporting Pinochet and South African apartheid. How could any democratically elected politician try to support Nazism?

            Could someone in the corridors of power be so kind as to escort Biden and Johnson to a secure prison and send diplomats to Putin suing for peace?

          • Goose

            When you consider all the recently announced purchases of US military hardware (Finland, Germany etc), plus switching to buying US LNG and commitments therein. Biden may even travel to Europe soon it’s reported to seal and sign other deals?

            The US looks set to make trillions and trillions of dollars out of this Putin fuck-up. Cynical view maybe, but don’t forget the US had sanctions poised for months.

            Is Putin working for Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or Cheniere Energy(LNG)? … That’s meant as a joke btw.

          • Goose

            Tonight the US is warning it’s watching China, very carefully. Warning them not to support Russia in any way, either militarily or economically. How far are they taking this: supplied raw materials? The US seems to be demanding total global subservience from all citizens, leaderships and countries. This approach to near-peer powers isn’t going to end well.

            The US seems to want to go beyond the cruel sanctions they’ve announced, now, to inflicting intolerable economic pain on all Russians. Sanctions are despicable due to the burden falling on ordinary citizens while elites remain as pampered as ever.

      • Bayard

        Because as you most probably know and are simply pretending not to, “seats in Parliament” =/= power.
        Parliament is simply the legislature, it is not the executive.

        • Niggle Noggle

          Given the posts here endorsing the Russian strategy and asserting that civilians are not targeted and Russia is only fighting Nazis, perhaps expressions of regret at civilian casualties are not quite as unnecessary as you have suggested.

          • Bayard

            Surely it is implicit in endorsing the Russian strategy of not targeting civilians that any civilian casualties are to be regretted. Compare that to endorsing the strategy of arming civilians and setting them up against trained soldiers.

      • Peter

        @ Pears Morgaine

        You come across as someone who doesn’t care too much about the truth Pears.

        Neo-Naziism is a massive problem in Ukraine, and when I say massive I mean massive – and not just because it is one of the main influences that lead to the banning of the Russian language in Ukraine, the bombing of Donbass and the 2014 Odessa massacre which left over 40 dead.

        Here’s a little enlightenment for you.

        Don’t pay too much attention to the nonsensical introduction from the clearly nobbled/compromised Michael Walker, though he still manages to offer a decent summary of the problem. Aaron Bastani, at 19.00 minutes, puts the picture straight.

        See here:

      • Jack

        Pears Morgaine

        Because this isn’t a question about “political” power in the parliament but power in the battlefield.

        Look up these two groups:


        ” Azov Battalion (until September 2014), or simply Azov, is a right-wing extremist,[1][2] neo-Nazi,[3][4][5] formerly paramilitary, unit of the National Guard of Ukraine”


        “Right Sector (Ukrainian: Пра́вий се́ктор, Pravyi sektor) is a far-right,[10] Ukrainian nationalist organization.[3][11] It originated in November 2013 as a right-wing, paramilitary confederation of several radical nationalist organizations at the Euromaidan revolt in Kyiv”

        Both these groups even had photos of themselves posing with British arms supplies in the past days all over the internet!

      • Bruce_H

        The influence of the far right doesn’t depend on electoral results, a lot of them don’t even believe in elections, they believe in having an avant garde role, using violence when they want and manage by this to actually take control of elected governments. The Maidan movement illustrates this very well, a small but extremely violent group turned a essentially non-violent middle class movement into a revolutionary one that overturned the elected government – the president fled in fear for his life.
        Another relatively small group used extreme violence in Odessa, killing 50 or so peaceful demonstrators in the burning of the Trade Union building, the Ukrainian police watched on, scared to intervene and this in what was at the time a pro-Russian area of the country. The lesson was taken.
        In a weak corrupt state like Ukraine these methods maintain even the parliament under control, going against them can entail the death sentence, after a few examples the rest get the message. There is a famous youtube video in which president Zelensky is speaking to some Azov members in the Donbass area, telling them to ease off a bit and they just tell him where to get off and he just submits to the intimidation. In many revolutions, whether left or right, from France to Russia, small but well organised determined groups make history, there”s nothing new about this.

        • Tatyana

          Your explanation is correct, but not fit for a westerner, it simply doesn’t contain the right amount of emotional load. As I learned from discussions here on this site, image of modern far-right movements is like smth easily controlled and their existence is quite acceptable, because of the freedom of speech. I also see the historic role of Nazi Germany in Europe is much more like ‘it was long ago, we overcame this, now it is worked out, controlled, written in books, revised, forgotten etc’ Even I saw ‘our allies forgave us’ from someone defending glorifying Nazis in Baltic states ( btw, I’m waiting for March 16 this year in Latvia).

          It’s different in post-USSR, where WW2 turned out the greatest tragedy and loss of lives. The memory is literally built in on us. Zero tolerance.

          So, to correctly express the emotions, I’d better suggest comparing far-right in Ukraine to any recent horror in Europe. I’m not much of an expert, but I suggest terrorists, maybe.

          Try it, Pears Morgaine. If terrorists took 1.6% of the vote in the last elections in your country, would you still advocate then, that nothing there needs to be done? Bin Laden for prime-minister? Or, Breivik in charge of your army? I don’t know, maybe ISIS in charge of your National Security.

          • Pears Morgaine

            We have a far right in the UK. The Britain First candidate pulled 1.2% of the vote in the 2016 mayoral elections, coming 8th out of 12 candidates. So is London, probably one of the most multi-racial cities in Europe, next on the list to be ‘de-Nazified’? We live with it.

            I understand the need to exaggerate Nazi influence in Ukraine to try and justify the unjustifiable but it still makes the invasion illegal.

          • Tatyana

            if you put your allegations about my motives aside, we could proceed discussing the issue itself.
            Those Britain First, do they share Nazi ideology? Decorate themselves with Nazi symbols? Do they target any ethnic groups in Britain? Kill journalists? Invite NATO to train them and ask for weapons? Burn people and prevent the case from investigation? Anything of that?
            Are they ‘nationalism is to love your own nation’ or, are they classic nazi ‘nationalism is to dominate over all other nations’?

      • Giyane

        Pears Morgaine

        The ambulance arrives at the red traffic light, and drives straight through. USUK arrive at a pre-arranged crisis and go bomb the country. It’s called Exceptionalism.
        The people waiting at the lights know that one day it will be them in the ambulance. This is that day in Ukraine , the day we need international help to stop our leaders escalating this war to a nuclear war.

        Let Russia do its job, take out the Nazis and brainwashed foreign jihadis stuck in Idlib , dismantle the US biolabs making forbidden WMD, , put an end to Nato hegemony. You know the way things are going here, you might need that ambulance soon, to save you.

  • Goose

    No joke : Elon Musk challenges Putin to a one-on-one battle over Ukraine – Tesla boss Elon Musk challenged President Putin to a fight. The winner should get Ukraine.

    These US billionaires must be dreading the next US invasion , or ‘war of choice’ when all their assets get confiscated, now the precedent has been set of Nation state collective responsibility of all citizens for leadership decisions.

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