Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War 643

I was in Turkey to try to further peace talks, as an experienced diplomat with good contacts there, and as a peace activist. I was not there as a journalist and much of what I discussed was with the understanding of confidence. It will be probably be some years before I judge it reasonable and fair to reveal all that I know. But I can give some outline.

Turkey continues to be the centre of diplomatic activity on resolving the Ukraine war. It is therefore particularly revealing, and a sign of Western priorities, that I did not come across a single western journalist there trying to follow and cover the diplomatic process. There are hundreds of Western journalists in Ukraine, effectively embedded with the Ukrainian authorities, producing war porn. There appear to be none seriously covering attempts to make peace.

There was a sea change two weeks ago when Ukraine shifted to a public stance that it would cede no territory at all in a peace deal. On 21 May, Zelensky’s office stated that “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Previously while they had been emphatic that no territory in “the East” would be ceded, there had been studied ambiguity about whether that referred to Donbass alone or also the Crimea.

The new Ukrainian stance, that there will be no peace deal without recovering the Crimea, has ended for now any hopes of an early ceasefire. It appears to be a militarily unachievable objective – I cannot think of any scenario in which Russia de facto loses Crimea, without the serious possibility of worldwide nuclear war.

This blow to the peace process was a setback in Ankara, and I should say that every source I spoke with believed the Ukrainians were acting on instructions conveyed from Washington to Zelensky by Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who openly stated he wanted the war to wear down Russian defence capabilities.

A long war in Ukraine is of course massively in the interest of the US military industrial complex, whose dripping roasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have gone rather off the heat. It also forwards the strategic objective of severely damaging the Russian economy, although much of that damage is mutual. Why we live in a world where the goal of nations is to damage the lives of inhabitants of other nations is a question which continues to puzzle me.

Turkey has for now turned towards the more limited goal of ensuring that grain supplies can be shipped out from the Black Sea through the Bosphorus. This is essential for developing nations and essential for world food supplies, which were already under pressure before this war began. Turkey is offering to clear sea lanes of mines and to police the ships carrying grain from the port of Odessa, which is still under Ukrainian control. Russia has agreed to the deal.

Ukraine is objecting to this plan to export its own wheat, because it objects to the removal of the mines, which I should be clear were put down in the sea lanes by Ukraine to prevent amphibious attack on Odessa. There is monumental hypocrisy by the West on this, blaming Russia for preventing the export of the grain while it is actually blocked in by Ukraine’s own mines, which they currently refuse to allow Turkey to remove.

On 19 May this was the headline of a UN press release:

Lack of Grain Exports Driving Global Hunger to Famine Levels, as War in Ukraine Continues, Speakers Warn Security Council

As it states, Ukraine and Russia together account for one third of world grain exports and two thirds of world sunflower oil exports. Many of those who die from this war are likely to do so in developing countries, from hunger. The decision of the EU and US to target Russian and Belarussian agricultural exports for sanctions displays an extraordinary callousness towards the very poorest human beings on the globe, who cannot afford rising food prices.

Well, the headline here is that the USA and EU are pushing Ukraine to block any food deal, based on a number of objections including the reduction in the security of Odessa and the claim that Russia will sell looted Ukrainian grain. The view in both Ankara and the developing world is that the big picture, of millions facing starvation, is being lost.

The experience has made me so cynical that I am left wondering if the interests of the powerful agricultural lobbies in both the EU and USA are influencing policy. High world food prices benefit some powerful interests.

I blame Putin for starting a war that does nothing to redress Russian long term security concerns. But the truth is that politicians in the West are equally keen on this war. Boris Johnson yesterday was blatantly promoting it for his own survival. Anybody who makes any effort to stop the killing – Presidents Macron and Erdogan in particular – are immediately and universally denounced by the “liberal” media.

Yet what is the end result that the liberal warmongers wish to achieve? When we reach the stage that Henry Kissinger is a comparative voice of sanity, the political situation is indeed dire.


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643 thoughts on “Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War

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  • Conall Boyle

    So our wise and far-seeing masters in the US, in NATO and the UK too, have inflicted hunger and freezing cold homes on our own people in order to ‘weaken Putin’. Of course the same people have been bamboozled into loving the saintly Ukrainians, hating all things Russian.
    How long before the ordinary Joes wake up and realise food shortages and high priced gas and petrol have been deliberately engineered by our governments? I predict a long hot Autumn of riots against this stupidity.

  • Overlordnat

    I’m glad to see you finally come around to the idea that most of the blame for the current war lies with the Ukraine and the West, Craig. Your position on Russia is somewhat schizophrenic but some of the best stuff you ever wrote was about the Skripals and the Bucha incident is similar, as it’s also a psyop created by lying warmongers.

    • Michael Droy

      Yes. Bucha and especially Kramatorsk make it clear that MH17 was not a terrible accident used as an opportunistic false flag, but deliberate.

  • Michael Droy

    “I blame Putin for starting a war that does nothing to redress Russian long term security concerns”

    8 years of shelling civilians. Should that have been 9 years, or 10 years or 20?

    Sensible stuff about grain shipments btw.
    The actual fighting though is nearly over (possibly very close to an end)
    Ukraine set up deep defensive positions outside the Donbas. Clearly the expectation was that Russia would arrive through Donbas which would only have happened if it were reacting to an attack on Donbas by Ukraine. My guess is that such an attack would be claimed as a Russian false flag to blame Russia for it (that seems to be what the CIA were predicting) and that Russia’s pre-empting was actually a big surprise to both Washington and Kiev.
    The art of defensive positions dug over a period of a year or more is to have fall back after fall back position so you never really have to commit too many people to holding one point. This was prepared but the positions are running out.
    Then Ukraine forces have been dug in in areas loyal to Russia. Moving into houses and tower blocks is not an issue, only the Russians care about the civilians in these places. Fall back closer to the Dnieper and that all changes. Threaten someone, steal stuff, and they run, they run to Kiev and Western journalists, not to rebel held Donbas. I doubt that Russian policy to protect civilians changes, but Ukrainian policy of using civilians as hostages reverses.

    You are right that this will be sorted out on the battle field not through diplomacy – but it is happening quite quickly now.

    • Bramble

      If nothing else, it proves that Russia’s security concerns are entirely justified. Russia is the indisputable target of a deliberate campaign by the West to turn it into a powerless client state, its resources available for plunder by the USA and its spineless “allies”.

  • Brad Bell

    Thank you.

    “Why we live in a world where the goal of nations is to damage the lives of inhabitants of other nations is a question which continues to puzzle me.”

    Me too. To see it extended into business is equally amazing: think Microsoft “cutting off the air supply”of competitors. Innovation is replaced by sabotage. Business is war. War is business. And propaganda is marketing. Neoliberal Neoconservatism; a militaristic marriage of corporation and state.

    • Tom Welsh

      And human beings are human beings. That, too, may astonish you.

      I do not mean to say that all humans are wicked and deceitful. It’s only a tiny minority of narcissistic psychopaths and the like who cause most of the harm. The main problem is that we have somehow evolved political, social, and business institutions which elevate the very worst to positions of power, and systematically screen out from such positions anyone with truly moral instincts.

      You do not become the head of a corporation like Microsoft, or the leader of a large nation state, without being callous and unscrupulous. Also, one might add, mysteriously alienated from normal human values. If a person accumulates billions of dollars – a feat which, incidentally, is nearly impossible without committing serious crimes – why wouldn’t they relax, enjoy their wealth, and use it to help others? Yet what we actually observe is that the more money and power such people get, the more desperately they lust for more. Plato remarks on this in his dialogue “Politeia”, known as “The Republic”.

      There is a larger set of people who, while not so actively vicious and cruel, are quite prepared to serve the leaders for whatever rewards they can get.

      Lastly, there are the 99% or whatever, who are rather sheep-like in their behaviour. Or, to mix metaphors, like the Three Wise Monkeys who See, Hear, and Speak No Evil. They persist in believing that the authorities have their good at heart, and act on secret information that somehow justifies what they do. This is psychologically comforting, but gives the perpetrators carte blanche to carry on with their criminal abuses.

  • portside

    There is abundant evidence that Western leaders have no problem whatsoever with the world’s poorest people starving to death. President Biden, US senators, congresspeople and mass media are well aware that a large proportion of the people of Afghanistan (the famed “Afghan people” of not so long ago) are either on the brink of starvation or actually experiencing it. Yet President Biden has seized $9.5 billion Afghan central bank reserve, announcing he will give half of it to the families of 9/11 victims, a crime against humanity that was applauded by US politicians and media. Likewise it has been known for almost two years that a US/UK-backed Saudi blockade is causing mass famine in Yemen, another of the world’s poorest countries. The response has been to send the Saudis more bombs and other war material.

    This idea US or UK elites are concerned about the world’s poorest starving to death or are authorities the world turns to for moral lessons is as laughable as the idea that these people suddenly cherish the principle of national sovereignty. Their credibility on famine in the developing world, like their credibility on invading sovereign nations, is nil.

    • Bruce_H

      I quite agree with you but having said that so what? There are still Ukrainian flags on town halls and perma-lies in the press but so what? If things stay like this the killing will continue, where are the anti-war liberals, the Starmerite left? Where are people who even dare to say I support Russia in this bullshit? The answer is nowhere to be seen, it’s not fashionable, not nice… Before anyone says it I’m no better, all I can do is type pathetic messages on the internet, but there must still be some young militants left in the world, surely?

      • Tom Welsh

        “Where are people who even dare to say I support Russia in this bullshit?”

        Here! I support Russia regardless of all the bullshit.

        • Shamen

          Great comment
          I support Russia too
          I support any movement against oppression
          The intervention February. Was the beginning of the end of the war and oppression

          Anywhere the Nazi parasites /vermin exist must be extirpated

          I can not be sure of. The number of biolabs but I believe it is 46
          They must be experimenting on the population

          Ukraine is a mafia state/rogue/failed run by a kakistocracy

          Poor. OrdinaryUkrainian people have no chance
          I hope there is a rump Ukrainian state nt run by the West or Israel

  • glenn_nl

    Our government has little concern about our own citizens starving to death in their own country. We can hardly expect them to be bothered their policies bringing about starvation in the third world, when profits and political capital is at stake.

    Our governments and institutions are not just corrupt, or craven, or inept – they are positively evil. It has taken me a long time to fully accept this.

    • I Stevenson

      The starvation the Ukrainians remember is the famine of the 1930s, due to Stalin’s policies. Millions died slowly from hunger.
      Rightly or wrongly, they associate the Russians with this and here we are, once again Russia is shelling whole areas of civilian homes and infrastructure, destroying cities and villages. Their reason is they say their security is threatened. Ukraine would not be able to join NATO for years. The former Warsaw Pact states have all opted to do but none of them hosts stored nuclear weapons.
      The army of Ukraine army is much smaller than the Russian and lacks offensive weapons in any numbers. Despite that they have been invaded. It is not surprising that the Ukrainians, outnumbered and outgunned, are fighting so hard, They know that the Kremlin’s neutrality requirements, would be the domination of the country by Russia, a veto on candidates for election, interference in foreign policy ( as was the case with Finland ) disarmament and probably economic integration. The model of which they are aware is right right door in Belarus. Most parties stood for association with the EU but the vote was rigged and dissent crushed by force with the full endorsement of Mr. Putin.
      I won’t argue about the evilness of western policies but to assume it is restricted to them and does not apply to Putin’s Russia, is shortsighted.

      • Bayard

        All of that is the narrative put forward by the western press. That does not make it true. Why should it be? What’s in it for Ukraine in telling us the truth?

      • Yuri K

        “Rightly or wrongly, they associate the Russians with this…”

        Clearly, if anyone associates the Russians with this, this is wrong. Why sudden ambiguity?

        “once again Russia is shelling whole areas of civilian homes and infrastructure, destroying cities and villages”

        And when was the 1st time? As I recall, shelling cities was a British invention, first tried in 1807 when Copenhagen was bombarded by Royal Fleet, then there was Odessa in 1854, etc. Then there was the indiscriminate bombing of German cities in WW2 with the purpose to “turn the life of Germans into Hell”, as Churchill put it.

        Always funny when some morally narcistic limey lectures the world on how to fight wars in a nice and humane way. Rightly or wrongly, I associate concentration camps with the British, not with the Germans (smile).

        The rest of your post on how neutrality means Russian domination is pure speculation, sort of inventing a boo by demonizing Putin’s demand for Ukraine’s neutrality. Did Finland’s neutrality mean Soviet, then Russian domination over Finland’s affairs? No, it did not. Was Russia interfering in any way into Ukraine’s elections and other internal affairs during Viktor Yanukovich presidency? No, it did not. Neutrality means only what it is, neutrals do not support anyone in a disagreement, war, or contest.

        • Pears Morgaine

          How about Grozny?

          and Aleppo.

          Oh no sorry that’s Ghouta, another town in Syria that got the same treatment. Bombed and shelled to oblivion.

          Russia is already integrating the areas of Ukraine it has occupied, enforcing changes in language and currency, making Russian passports mandatory, and the puppet leaders installed by Moscow have made formal requests for the areas to become part of Russia. This is what would happen to the whole country if Russia were to win outright.

          It was Russia interference in Ukraine, persuading Yanukovich to go against his own parliament and sign a deal with Moscow rather than the EU, that triggered the 2014 uprising which saw him get kicked out.

          • Yuri K

            So what? I can give you a zillion of such howabouts, from the French war in Algeria to Fallujah and Raqqa. War is Hell, end of story.

            “It was Russia interference in Ukraine, persuading Yanukovich to go against his own parliament and sign a deal with Moscow rather than the EU, that triggered the 2014 uprising which saw him get kicked out.”

            Wrong. Yanukovich signed a legitimate deal as an elected president. He did not overstep his executive rights. If some of the Ukrainians were unhappy with this, they’d have a chance to elect another president next time.

          • Pears Morgaine

            You questioned Russian shelling of towns and villages. “Whataboutery” involving what other nations may have done is irrelevant to that discussion.

            Yanukovich acted without getting the approval of the Ukrainian parliament who’d already voted for a package of measures with the EU. It was highly unpopular and the parliament voted him out of office.

          • Bayard

            “the parliament voted him out of office.”

            I.e. there was a coup, wasn’t it supposed to be the people who did that?

          • Laguerre

            Aleppo wasn’t particularly the Russians. It was mainly the jihadists we champion who caused that problem (apart from in White Helmets staged propaganda videos). Ghouta too was human shield stuff by the jihadists. If you fight using civilian occupied areas for protection, there will be destruction, whatever the war.

      • Tom Welsh

        “…Russia is shelling whole areas of civilian homes and infrastructure, destroying cities and villages”.

        Utter nonsense. The Russian armed forces are, in fact, going to such extreme lengths to avoid bombarding civilians, their homes, and the infrastructure, that their progress has been very much slowed down. If they had chosen to, the Russians could have flattened all centres of resistance and conquered the whole of Ukraine within a month.

        Since, however, they regard Ukrainians as fraternal Slavs, and hope to reunite much of Ukraine with Russia in a tighter or looser alliance, their very top priority is to act with kid gloves. Even Ukrainian soldiers are continually encouraged to surrender, and promised proper treatment if they do so.

        It is the Ukrainians who indulge in callous shelling of civilian areas: they are bombarding Donetsk and other towns right now. Their purpose (apart from sheer malice against anyone who even sympathises with Russia) is to blame all the destruction and death on Russia. In other words, you are doing exactly what they want you to do.

        I have never quite understood the concern about “the information war”. If the Westerners and their Nazi hirelings choose to spend a lot of time and money lying, what can they accomplish? The Russian operation moves steadily ahead, with more and more Ukrainian civilians gratefully seeing law and order restored, utilities coming back to life, pensions paid, and ruined areas quickly repaired.

        Even if every single civilian in “The West” – that “golden billion” who are so decisively outnumbered by the other 7 billion people in the world – fell for the lying propaganda, that wouldn’t matter in the least. Because they are entirely powerless and without influence, even over their own governments.

        • Bayard

          “Even if every single civilian in “The West” – that “golden billion” who are so decisively outnumbered by the other 7 billion people in the world – fell for the lying propaganda, that wouldn’t matter in the least. Because they are entirely powerless and without influence, even over their own governments.”

          Unfortunately for those governments, even in this pale travesty of democracy that we have in the West, they still have to win elections every now and then, so it’s important that they are seen to be doing the right thing, even if they are not actually doing it. That’s what the information war is about. Official secrecy is primarily to protect officials, but secondarily to prevent the electorate finding out the truth. Our enemies, such as they are, don’t matter, they already know it.

  • Politically Homeless

    A key problem with the “Ukraine prolonging its own abuse” thesis is that Russia has turned the occupied areas of Ukraine against itself, thus making the possibility of a legitimate annexation more and more remote – and ultimately, essentially impossible. There will be bloody partisan warfare and ethnic cleansing for decades to come in all areas of annexed Eastern Ukraine. LPR/DPR were only held onto with the aid of vicious FSB repression. So ultimately you’re posing the same kind of demand as “the Palestinians should just give in.” “The Iraqis should just give in.” “The Afghans should just give in.” etc. etc. Which may in fact be true in a global-Realpolitik sense, but it has no meaning in a moral sense. This is rather self evident to anyone who doesn’t have a thirty year hangover from sympathizing with the USSR.

    • Bayard

      “Russia has turned the occupied areas of Ukraine against itself”

      Do you actually have any evidence for this, to counteract the evidence I have seen to the contrary?

    • Bruce_H

      I don’t see this in videos of people actually living there, they seem to hate the Ukrainian regime and see the Russians as their only hope for survival. This may be a false impression but it’s the same in Karabah where the Armenian minority would have been annihilated without the Russians or in various other parts of the world. We are submerged with propaganda from our own “side”, but is it really our side?

      • Opport Knocks

        The obvious conclusion is that any citizens who were loyal to the Kyiv regime would have either fought and/or fled, once the success of the DPR-LPR-Russian occupation of their towns became a certainty.

        The occupying forces and their media and sympathizers are not going publish interviews with a handful of remaining Russophobic dissidents, nor are those people likely to proclaim their dissatisfaction at this point in time.

        • Bayard

          “Russian propaganda would of course have you believe that the Ukrainians have welcomed them with open arms and there may well be some collaborators.”

          Ah, the old tactic of putting the words of a fool into the mouth of your opponent and then calling him a fool. That list of “resistance” activities on that website isn’t particularly convincing, especially the rather laughable Crimean “resistance”. Of course not everyone will be happy, money goes a long way in such situations and Ukraine has rich friends. It only takes a tiny proportion of the population to be unhappy with Russia’s occupation of their country to carry out a series of acts like the ones listed, especially if funded and armed from outside. It certainly doesn’t disprove the Russians’ contention that most Ukrainians in Donetsk and Luhansk are pleased to see them. It is also worth noting that the majority of the incidents were in Zaporizhia Oblast.

        • Alyson

          Pears, this is just blinkered wishful thinking on your part. When the coup happened in 2014 and the new president announced that no pensions, teachers or public servants would be paid, and that they would live their lives in the cellars, did we care about the Russian speaking civilians of Ukraine?

          There are so many videos of the atrocities carried out by the Ukrainian government against the Russian speaking Ukrainians, that it was merciful when the US banned weapons sales to the Azov forces in 2018.

          War is awful. Always.

  • Michael Droy

    I am curious though, who will be on the other side from the Russia and LPR/DPR representatives?

    Russia have pretty much said that there is no point talking to Zelensky as he only does what the US tells him.
    And they also think US is not-agreement-capable “недоговороспособны”,
    US just proved this by sending to Ukraine mi 17 helicopters they acquired from Russia with a promise that they would only ever be used in Afghanistan.
    France and Germany are no better after their Minsk 1&2 “guarantees”.
    And while the rest of the world trusts Russia implicitly based on past promises and a heroic record in Syria, Nato members are sworn to assert Russia cannot be trusted.

  • Alex

    I love this piece. They say that each subsequent Putin’s offer is always worse than the previous, so now the best offer from the Russians is the loss of the Ukrainian South.

    “Why we live in a world where the goal of nations is to damage the lives of inhabitants of other nations”.

    I know the answer and you know it too. Except that Putin did not start this war – the war has been going on for 8 years or, perhaps, for several centuries.

  • DunGroanin

    There will surely be a move by the various nations to grow food instead of the cash crops that end up rotting in the Collective Waste.
    There are perhaps still too many coffee, tea and sugar plantations. Deforestation for palm and beef burgers, insane amounts of live sheep being sailed across the oceans to feed some crazy wahabis.
    In the meantime yesterday’s D-Day remembrance went off without much fanfare and Russians not invited again.

    The rewriting of that history continues.
    That is about the only thing the Collective Waste and European Powers have left after a couple of millennia – Narrative Control.

    The Russians have the Sticks and Stones.

    From the Bibles to the Renaissance through the Imperial escapades to the synthesis of Modern Propaganda under Ponsonby and the British Empire to the rise of the MadMen of the C20th.
    Ukraine apparently claimed to have well over half million ready to invade Russian Peoples.

    I think that’s a underestimate. They have at least a million Public Relations and Advertising and Presstitutes as well all the mockingbirds.

    Not a paper cut or screenburn suffered by a single one in this war they win daily in their own minds.

    As the EU announces a €200 million fund to see them through their suffering after the current project is wound down ?

    The media is besides itself unable to keep pace with the Russians successes, Ukrainian leaders and military officers cowardice and desperation as every announced success is very shortly followed by the grunts on the ground declaring ‘fuck this for a game of soldiers – I’d rather drown or surrender’ almost minutes later not even hours!

    Thanks to moron Musk’s brainchild these happy few Ukes – who are not actual Nazis or the PR foot soldiers working from their cosy offices in western cities – are able to record and post their displeasure and defiance of the elensky regime from both sides of the front; before they are turned into canon fodder or after they have surrendered into a cosy pow.

    Best joke I read yesterday is a trope of the Italians always surrendering or as it was put, they always start on the wrong side and end up on the winning side by the end!

    Sounds like that particular fat lady is warming up in the wings!

    Yes am feeling fairly hysterically amused as we suddenly have to wake up and find ourselves saved from Nazis by Russians, again, whilst we make sandcastles on D-Day beaches.

  • Sarge

    Thank you for your efforts, Craig. Unfortunately yours and Chomsky’s remain extremely isolated voices of sanity and humanity in the Anglosphere. Nobody in the mainstream left either here or across the pond is calling on the U.S. or U.K. governments to de-escalate, pursue direct and indirect talks, to trade guarantees of neutrality for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal. Bernie Sanders and The Squad proudly voted to give $40 Billion to arms manufacturers in Virginia and to God knows who in Ukraine. Here the remaining sliver of leftist MPs in the Labour party have been shamed into Nato worship by Starmer and Paul Mason of all people. The warmongers still have political and cultural hegemony and are full of passionate intensity.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig, very interesting post. Though according to what I have read Russia has not agreed to the Turkish plan and is unlikely to unless some sanctions are lifted. In the economic war this is one of the good cards it has.

  • Joseph Mellon

    The neo-cons currently running US/EU/NATO policy certainly want a long war of attrition. But they may not get one: the Ukrainian military is collapsing due to the militarily suicidal US-inspired ‘stand and fight’ tactic. The neo-cons are serially incompetent and have created embarrassments for the US one after another in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, (long list…). Even the old cynic Kissinger is astonished by the incompetence. I predict they will maintain their batting record in the Ukraine.
    The US very clearly did not game plan this out – the economic sanctions have mostly not damaged or even benefited Russia, The West on the other hand has suffered financially, economically and diplomatically and worse is to come. 85% of the world has rejected the US call for sanctions: even Saudi has distanced itself from the petro-dollar. The US is begging Venezuela, Iran, and Saudi for oil. Russia and China have never been closer: their alliance is existential for both.
    The respective world view is important: as Larry Johnson (ex-CIA analyst) notes: Washington has poker players making bets in the primarily internal conflicts of the DC Byzantine courts. The Chinese, and to a lesser extent the Russians are chess (or Go) players.

    • Bayard

      “and have created embarrassments for the US one after another in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, (long list…)”

      When did the US last win a “boots on the ground” war? Was it WWII?

      • MrShigemitsu

        You misunderestimate Uncle Sam, Bayard!

        Over four days in October 1983, I do believe that, led by its wise and powerful leader President Ronald Reagan, the armed forces of the United States of America invaded and, indeed, achieved a mighty victory over the formidable enemy nation of… Grenada!

        • Joseph Mellon

          Grenada was actually touch and go for a while: there were Cuban troops there and the marine landing went pear shaped!

        • Bayard

          Of course, how could I forget all the people flying Grenadian flags, the “we stand with Grenada” banners, the obbrobrium heaped on the USA, the banning of its athletes, the sanctions, the withdrawal of UK businesses from the USA, the demonisation of poor old Reagan that monopolised the headlines at the time?

  • np

    Britain’s MI6 led the “West’s” covert support for a coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014, which replaced the elected president with a government beholden to Washington, according to Larry Johnson, a former CIA analyst.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide any more information – in fact, he only made the surprising disclosure in passing.

    The coup is usually described as a US-backed operation, but Johnson says the CIA played “a sort of secondary role” to MI6. This is the first time I’ve seen it alleged that Britain played such a prominent part in the 2014 coup, which ultimately led to this year’s Russian invasion.

    (In February 2014, David Cameron was the British prime minister, William Hague was foreign secretary (nominally in charge of MI6) and John Sawers was head of MI6).

    Johnson’s comment comes at about 13.05 minutes into this video:

  • maya

    Amongst the numerous other horrors of war, Russia continues to forcibly move both adults and children into mostly remote areas of Russia and an unknown fate.

    This type of ethnic cleansing and eradication will be the norm in any lands taken over by Russia. All those who talk about trying to compel Ukraine to hand over territory should say that they accept this, because it’s what they are calling for.

    • Conall Boyle

      and the rapes! don’t forget about the deliberate policy by the RF of raping. How do I know? The Ukranian Ombudsman told me so.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Although Bandera’s actions in the same war are produced as evidence that modern day Ukrainians are all Nazis and America’s use of atom bombs against Japan is also frequently referenced (see following page).

          • Bayard

            So if I follow your logic, it is wrong to say that all Ukranians are Nazis because of Stepan Bandera, as he was operating 80-odd years ago, therefore it is also wrong to say that the Russians are raping and killing, because that was what they were doing 80 odd years ago, which makes your comment of 07:28 yesterday wrong by your own argument.
            Alternatively we could take the opposite view that the behaviour of the Russian Army is the same as it was in 1945, presumably on the basis that nothing ever changes, in which case, all Ukranians are Nazis because of Stepan Bandera. That may be the case, although it does seem a bit preposterous, but I’m surprised to see you making that argument.

  • Goose

    In the fullness of time the error of Zelensky’s misguided decision to listen only to the US, and throw men and women into the meat grinder in the east will likely become all too apparent even to his fellow Ukrainians. Minsk if implemented – unilaterally if necessary – locking the rebellious East into a federal Ukraine under a new constitution, was available. The US could have given Russia the necessary security guarantees on Ukraine not joining NATO, and this whole ruinous, destructive invasion would have been avoided.

    Those calling for a ceasefire and a diplomatic solution now, aren’t for the most part cowardly appeasers as presented, or Putin sympathisers. Many are hardheaded pragmatists looking coldly at the situation and the territorial advantages in the East that Russia has with its border and ability to refresh its troops and inventory resources. Many are also concerned that Russia, growing frustrated by the flow of advanced weaponry from the west and its mounting losses, could escalate things to an horrific degree, including nuclear. Claiming NATO will then respond likewise and we’ll have WW3, is hardly a comforting thought, is it?

    The western fantasy of Russia retreating, even from Crimea, as Liz Truss and Ben Wallace claim is now necessary, seems like dangerous ‘pie in the sky’ thinking. And Tory polling says these two are the most likely to replace Johnson.

  • Pears Morgaine

    According to the Bloomberg article this is a plan devised by Russia and Turkey to ship Ukrainian grain from Ukrainian ports; but Ukraine wasn’t invited to the meetings. Is it any surprise that they’re suspicious?

    The real responsibility for this lies with Russia and the unnecessary, unjustifiable and illegal war it’s waging against a much weaker neighbour.

    • Goose

      The ‘blame game’ is easy to play and doesn’t constructively solve the fact people are likely to starve because of those playing it.

      The US is the country pitching the idea to Ukraine, that the future they should aspire to lies in a permanent state of war with that bigger, more powerful neighbour. It’s as absurd as Russia pitching the same idea to Canada vis-à-vis the US.

      At some point US politics and media interest will wane and move on and Ukraine be the ones left picking up the pieces.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Yes of course, Zelensky is just itching to surrender and let Putin’s murdering thieves and rapists have free reign across the country but those nasty people in Washington and NATO won’t let him.

        • Bayard

          How is it you know better than Craig, who was actually at the peace negotiations? Were you there too? Is Craig lying to us? Do tell!

          • IrishU

            Craig is very precise with his language, as you would expect from a former British diplomat – ‘I was in Turkey to try to further peace talks’. That is not necessarily the same as Craig stating he was at the peace negotiations. Out of interest, why would either Ukriane or Russia turn to Craig as a go between in the peace negotiations?

          • Bayard

            True, but I suspect Craig was a lot closer to the negotiations than the commenter above.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Well that struck a nerve.

            If NATO/Biden/EU stop supplying weapons to Ukraine what’s the alternative? Putin’s not going to be any more interested in a negotiated peace than he is now.

          • Bayard

            “If NATO/Biden/EU stop supplying weapons to Ukraine what’s the alternative? “

            It’s not really an alternative. Whether or not NATO/Biden/EU continue to supply weapons or not, Ukraine will lose this war. What they need is not weapons but trained soldiers to operate and fire them and they are not going to be be supplied with those anytime soon. The last thing NATO wants is a European version of Vietnam.

        • Jay Chrish

          No, NATO is holding back Zelensky from unleashing AZOV worriers who are ready to wipe out Russia and die for their beloved motherland of Ukrayina.

          Go get a life.

  • Crispa

    There is no doubt that America, UK and Europe are pigheadedly wantonly and irresponsibly prolonging the war. As for grain, it is sanctions that are doing the most damage in terms of prices and preventing it going to where it is most needed. I see that Blinken, who is pathologically incapable of distinguishing between truth and lies is now spouting that there is “credible evidence” of Russia stealing Ukraine grain and presumably selling it at extortionate prices.

    As for who started the war, I was struck by reading what was almost an incidental statement in Richard Sakwa’s remarkably prescient “Frontline Ukraine” that in 2014 / 2015, 90% of Ukraine’s armed forces had been deployed to the Donbass, and not only the far right militias, to squash their fellow Ukrainians under the banner of the Anti-Terror Operation (ATO). At the time the dissidents complained about lack of Russian support. Given the turn of events since then with increasing militarisation of Ukraine by the NATO and the West and failures to honour the Minsk Accords etc, it could be argued that Russia has actually been restrained in its response to western delusional obduracy and its intervention to protect the Donbas people and its own security interests was overdue.

    • Lysias

      After Zelensky announced in a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 19 (in the presence of Kamala Harris and who knows how many other US dignitaries) that Ukraine would reacquire nukes, Russia had no choice but to invade.

      One of the first things the Russian troops did after crossing the border was to occupy Chernobyl, where there were plenty of nuclear materials available that could have been used to make dirty bombs.

      The U.S. wanted war. They provoked it. They got it. And apparently they still want it.

      • Pears Morgaine

        If Chernobyl was so important why did the Russians withdraw? Having incidentally dug trenches into contaminated land and churned up radioactive dust with their vehicles. The 176 Ukrainian guards were taken away and haven’t been heard of since.

        Ukraine has 15 active reactors any one of which could provide the materials you think they might need for a dirty bomb.

  • Bayard

    “But the truth is that politicians in the West are equally keen on this war. Boris Johnson yesterday was blatantly promoting it for his own survival. Anybody who makes any effort to stop the killing – Presidents Macron and Erdogan in particular – are immediately and universally denounced by the “liberal” media.”

    I’ve posted this before, but it seems apposite to do it again, as an example of “plus ca change…”

    The Russians evacuated Wallachia and Moldavia in late July 1854. Therefore, the immediate cause of war had now been withdrawn, and the war might have then ended.[84] However, war fever among the public in both Britain and France had been whipped up by the press in both countries to the degree that politicians found it untenable to propose immediately ending the war.

    (Wikipedia article on the Crimean War)

    • Lysias

      After Biden came in for such criticism after abandoning Afghanistan, no doubt his administration welcomed a chance to appear tough elsewhere.

    • Tom Welsh

      Britain and the USA have repeatedly attacked and invaded Russia and China, killing many thousands of their citizens, overthrowing the Chinese government, and looting everything they could get their hands on. Together with Japan and others, they set back Chinese civilisation and its economy by 150 years. Only now is China regaining its natural and well-deserved position as the world’s leading nation.

      Remind me when Russia or China ever invaded Britain or the USA.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I blame Putin for starting a war that does nothing to redress Russian long term security concerns.”

    I’m under the impression that the war started eight years ago and that the West has being doing its best to ignore the shelling of schools, hospitals and residential areas in the Donbas since the coup in 2014. Luhansk and Dontesk asked Putin for help, the Ukrainian forces amassed a huge force on the borders of the Donbas regions intent on committing mass murder, Putin preempted that strike by invading before the Azov and Aidar battalions (we know what they are) could begin their assaults.

    As for Crimea..well.

  • Brendan

    Ukraine is spoilt for choice when it comes to ways of exporting its grain around the world. As Putin said a few days ago, it is free to ship it from either Belarus or the (now demined) Russian-controlled ports such as Mariupol.

    That would be a lot easier than transporting it by land through countries to the west of Ukraine, as is now being done. However, Zelensky would rather sacrifice food supplies from his country than cooperate in any way with his enemies.

    • Republicofscotland


      As far as I’m aware grain is already being taken out of Ukraine by rail and road its going to Eastern European countries where it is being stored, this outcome is part of the lend-lease deal between Biden and Zelensky, a deal that was agreed upon a whole month before Russia invaded Ukraine.

      • Brendan

        I haven’t heard about that but it would not surprise me if the the grain is being deliberately stockpiled. Blocking the exports by ship would allow it to be diverted to Europe for that purpose.

        A lot of effort has been made to promote the completely fabricated story that Russia is blockading Ukrainian ports. That might be just the usual anti-Russian propaganda but I wonder if it is also a way of hiding Ukraine’s real motive for not shipping its grain to non-European countries.

        • Bayard

          I’ve seen reports that food is indeed being taken out of Ukraine by road and stockpiled in western Europe by speculators hoping to cash in on higher world prices.

    • Laguerre

      Rail and road transport for the grain is insufficient for the quantities in question. Only maritime transport can shift enough.

      I heard a Radio 4 reporter this morning telling us that it is not the Russian blockade that is the problem, but the mining of the waters. Very carefully he used a verb in the passive, and did not tell us who mined the access to the ports. It is of the Ukrainians who mined the waterways.

      • Fat Jon

        Not only does rail not have the capacity to move millions of tons of grain, the Ukrainian rail track gauge is a fraction under 5ft (1520mm), and therefore not compatible with the 4ft 8.5inch gauge (1435mm) over most of Western Europe.

        This change of gauge makes rail transport westwards very expensive and inefficient.

  • St Pogo

    Yesterday I showed a friend some videos of what Ukraine forces have been doing these last eight years.
    I had refrained from showing him the more gruesome stuff but sometimes you just have to see it to hit home.
    Then I showed him numerous interviews with Donbass residents from Mariupol and places like Volnovakha and their attitude towards Ukraine, Zelensky and especially Avoz.
    Lastly I showed him the long queues in Melitipol of residents applying for their Russian passports.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Of course you took care to explain to him that Russian passports have been made mandatory by the puppet leader installed by Russia, the official currency changed to Roubles and thousands of Ukrainian civilians already deported to camps in Russia?

        • Pears Morgaine

          Officials that were conveniently appointed by the Russian occupiers.

          It’s a tactic Russia has used since 1881, generally to the anger of the suppressed cultures.

          Now, are you going to ask St Pogo for ‘evidence and references’ or just take their word for it?

          • Bayard

            Did you actually read what you linked to? The first link provides no support for your claim that “Russian passports have been made mandatory by the puppet leader installed by Russia, the official currency changed to Roubles and thousands of Ukrainian civilians already deported to camps in Russia”, in fact precisely the opposite. The second is just the same Western propaganda that you always cite, presumably simply to prove that someone other than yourself made it up, from the Independent’s correspondent in Beirut. Not exactly using facts researched locally, is she?

          • Natasha

            Pears Morgaine asks:

            “Now, are you going to ask St Pogo for ‘evidence and references’ or just take their word for it?”

            Why? Descriptions of St Pogo’s friends’ reactions to videos are irrelevant in comparison to the dictatorial law making you claim that “Russian passports have been made mandatory”.

            My request to you was designed to expose this claim as made-up groundless propaganda, as Bayard has kindly described.

  • Christoph

    I wonder if what appears to be an utter failure of the West’s beloved economic warfare really is a sign of a major power shift. Obviously the sanctions have only been supported by the five eyes, EU, Japan and South Korea and not, as claimed, most of the world. The strangling of our economy, that hardly survived the Covid countermeasures, will most likely introduce previously unseen levels of poverty right here; I have no insight into the many consequences this will have in already poor regions of this planet.
    With the petrodollar breaking down, I fear the empire will not go down silently and the peace talks will end up being inconsequential anyway.

  • John Kinsella

    So the Government of Ukraine are wrong to not acquiesce in the Putin regime’s attempt to steal Ukrainian grain and then sell it to states in Africa?

    Is that it?

    Or maybe Putin should stop killing Ukrainians and destroying their infrastructure. Then Ukraine could resume expots of their grain, fertilizer etc.

    • Bayard

      Most posters here seem to take the Putin regime and its spokespersons with a pinch of salt and dare to do the same with the saintly BBC and the likes of the Daily Telegraph.
      A clip from what appears to be the Russian equivalent of “Fox News” doesn’t actually prove anything. Yes, and we have the Sun to spread all the shite around, so what?

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