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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  • Vasilisa

    “Putin” And what, the states of the USA and Western Europe, and people like Putin and his gang – have different interests? They themselves, together with all these banana kings, milked the territories – and themselves, during revolutions and large, uncontrolled riots, helped them to bravely escape from the “tenderly loving”, “ardently grateful people.” (Like the last president of South Vietnam, Nguyen Van Thu, with a bag of gold, the president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, and his family (a wife allowed herself in a poor, bare-assed country to keep 700 (!) Dresses and 2.5 thousand pairs (!) of branded shoes, while that many of her compatriots didn’t have any shoes at all (Isn’t it “cute” ?!), the last Iranian Shah (“a picnic for a billion”), Tunisian President Ben Ali (also with a family), Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (billion notes – they fell out of the trunk of the Mercedes onto the runway when they hurriedly dumped).)

    Do not give in, do not believe all this false, cynical spectacle, about the supposedly “incredible, furious struggle” !!

    • St Pogo

      Possibly, but there is measure to use here and that’s poverty.
      If you look at how many Russians and Chinese that were under the poverty line when both Xi and Putin came to power and how many are now then we get an idea.

        • Wikikettle

          The escalation continues apace. West wants to form a cartel and fix the price of oil. Refuse to insure oil tankers to further blockade Russian oil sales. No doubt this will also backfire, destroying Western Insurance Companies like Lloyds of London. Greek owners of oil tankers will no doubt be sanctioned next, with their assets stolen. You’ve got to hand it to USA, they really know how to wreck the world economy. Masters of the World, who can pick up the phone and order Egypt to stop passage via Suez of Iranian oil tanker : end result will be the Northern route. Pick up the phone and order UK to board and seize Iranian oil tanker entering the Mediterranean via the Straits of Gibraltar: end result will be Iran will follow precedent in Persian Gulf. Pick up the phone and order Greece to seize an Iranian oil tanker, then steel the oil for USA : end result, Iran seizes two Greek tankers. We in West keep arming proxies to the teeth with high tech weapons to cripple Russian economy and Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, in countries like Myanmar and Pakistan. The stupid thickos in the State Department don’t ever consider that Russia and Iran could do the same and totally cripple Saudi oil industry. The recent ceasefire in the Yemen war will be scrapped if Israel attacks Iran again, why do you think the Saudis are now going cold on USA ? Expect 200 dollars a barrel very shortly!

          • Wikikettle

            USA just couldn’t bring themselves to coexistence with Russia and China , peace and prosper as Spock said…

          • Peter

            And just think if they spent all that money on building world relationships instead of destroying them.

        • St Pogo

          I’m giving a measuring stick to compare our leaders in what they say compared to what they do. A base level in judging who to trust in regards to looking after their own people.
          What they can be judged on in regards to where the money goes, to Imelda Marcos shoes or to the poorest in society.

          When you compare Putin and Xi to the West, the numbers taken out of poverty by these two leaders are incredible.

          • Vasilisa

            The population of Rublyovka was – “taken out of poverty” by the botox rat?

  • Reza

    Denmark and the Netherlands view Ukraine as “the most corrupt country in Europe and one of the world’s most corrupt countries,” a clear obstacle to its EU candidacy. – Bloomberg.

    Limits of brotherhood exposed as hard reality intrudes.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Denmark and the Netherlands view Ukraine as “the most corrupt country in Europe and one of the world’s most corrupt countries…” ‘

      An obvious partner for the UK and the USA, then. The corruption in all three countries stems from the same culture.

          • Hans Adler

            Denmark and the Netherlands are absolutely right. Ukraine is far more corrupt than any country on the list. It’s not on the list because it’s a list of the most corrupt EU members and Ukraine is not an EU member. If admitted to the EU, Ukraine would be the most corrupt EU member with no contest.

          • Neil

            Reza, not as corrupt as Russia, by most accounts.

            And the guardian article is from Feb 2015. I suppose it makes sense Ukraine would be pretty corrupt after the previous five years of pro-Russian government.

          • Urban Fox

            Given the vast gulf between the two countries in almost every index, even taking oil & gas out of the equation.

            Ukraine is far more corrupt than Russia. The reason is Russia improved after the horrible mess of the 90’s Ukraine got stuck there.

            Also the Party of Regions wasnt ”pro-Russian” it was less ”pro-West” for cynical reasons. A subtle distinction that escapes people who dont know anything about the region.

          • pete

            Thanks for the correction. obviously my two minutes of meticulous research was completely wasted.

        • Hans Adler

          That article is based on a selection from’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. Ukraine is not mentioned because it used a definition of ‘Europe’ that doesn’t include Ukraine: ‘Europe’ = European Union.

          You can find the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (2021) on’s website. At 32 points, Ukraine currently ranks 122 in this list of 180 countries. That’s between Egypt and Mexico, which doesn’t sound extremely bad. However, here are the data for some other countries that are at least partially in Europe, including the 5 WORST EU members:

          • United Kingdom 78 points (rank 11)
          • Russia 29 points (rank 136)
          • Greece [EU] 49 points (rank 58)
          • Croatia [EU] 47 points (rank 63)
          • Romania [EU] 45 points (rank 66)
          • Hungary [EU] 43 points (rank 73)
          • Bulgaria [EU] 42 points (rank 78)
          • Belarus 41 points (rank 82)
          • Turkey 38 points (rank 96)
          • UKRAINE 32 points (rank 122)

          As you can see, only 4 EU members are in the middle third (ranks 41-80), while most are in the top third along with Russia. Only Ukraine is in the lower third, and even there it’s below Turkey and Belarus. From what I have heard from a friend who once tried to live in Kiew, I am not surprised that Ukraine ranks so low. I am only surprised that Belarus and especially Russia rank so high.

          • Jen

            One problem with Transparency International is that it is funded by agencies of the governments that have axes to grind against Russia: these agencies include foreign affairs ministries of nations like Canada, Estonia and the United Kingdom. The US State Department is a donor as well. So we can’t be sure that the rankings of Belarus and Russia reflect what actually passes for corrupt activity at public and private levels in those countries.

            List of financial supporters of Transparency International:

          • Hans Adler

            As I am sure everyone who read this noticed, I got confused and sorted Russia according way too high – as if it had rank 29, not 29 points. So Russia should be last in this (arbitrarily selected) list. Taking this into account, things make more sense, and so does Jen’s comment. From my personal impressions (informed by press reports plus personal reports from a German who once tried to live in Ukraine, plus interactions with fellow academics from Russia) I would have expected a ranking Russia >= Ukraine > Belarus, so it’s especially the relatively high ranking of Belarus that surprises me.

      • Wikikettle

        Her, Keith, Supreme Court, Sweden and many many more. The CIA “liason” officers who occupy our ” RAF ” stations and ” handle ” our politicians, media and Judicary have their files and dirt on everyone with all our Google “Searches”.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Would’ve thought that would make them an ideal fit for the EU (€120 billion lost to corruption in 2014).

      Despite Denmark and the Netherlands’ concerns, Ukraine will probably be granted ‘candidate’ status next week – which means the process towards full membership can begin.

      • Hans Adler

        That would be seriously bad news. We don’t need another hard-line US submarine inside the EU. Poland is really enough. But I guess this had to be arranged to replace the UK.

        And that’s without even considering what a provocation of Russia that would be. Living in Berlin, I am not exactly looking forward to nuclear war in Europe.

        The US clearly want to replace Putin by a CIA puppet as a guarantee against a closer alliance between Russia, China and possibly Turkey. But these ‘regime changes’ have a tendency to backfire seriously, with often catastrophic consequences for the regions where they take place. Such as the Islamic Revolution caused by the out-of-control Shah, given absolute control in a CIA-supported coup when the US got fed up with democracy in Iran. For example, Russia might get a China-controlled dictator in the medium term. And that might even be one of the better conceivable outcomes. Long-term destabilization of Russia and chaotic sales of its nuclear weapons by random criminals would be far worse.

        • Vasilisa

          “The state – is the instrument of the ruling class.” In order, if desired, to “bring to their knees” the Russian oligarchs, for the states of the USA and Western Europe – it is enough just to prohibit entry to their place (to take away bills / not to let them buy even cheap station coffee). And – vzhu – wow! – the botox rat pretty soon gets a mysterious “apoplexy with a snuffbox in the temple” (“died after a long illness” / failed in training fell / substitute any). And security cordons, high strongholds, nuclear weapons will not save him.

          And all this “patriotism”, supposedly a downright fierce, incredible “struggle with the West” – is just a deceitful, cynical spectacle to divert attention from poverty.

      • Bayard

        So it is, I was misled by the reference to the “war costing $10M a day” reference. Just a spot of bother in the Donbass, eh? Still, should read the date more carefully. In any case, that article was just supposed to be an illustration. You will notice that it doesn’t actually say that the Army was conscripting women, just that they were planning to. The girl in a helmet is a “protestor”. Presumably they have waited until now to actually put the conscription into action. I very much doubt it will be a popular move.

        • Jen

          Any day now, the Banderites will start drafting high school students into the army if they haven’t started already. And our idiot mainstream news media will be glorifying these youngsters as heroes instead of calling out the Banderites for using child soldiers.

          The lionising of children as combatants seems to be already happening over at the Toronto Globe and Mail.

          • Bruce_H

            He’s planning to defend Lviv, in the extreme West of Ukraine so he shouldn’t have too much to worry about,

  • Anna

    I differ from your view in that I do not blame Putin for “starting” this war, even though I am against war I cannot see that Putin had many options available.
    Who will profit from this war? Where I live, in Ireland, the national press reported this week (in favourable terms) that Kingspan would be significantly involved in reconstructing Ukraine. That is Kingspan of Grenfell Tower infamy. Also here, where farming is on its knees because of climate change, economic pressures etc Coca-Cola recently (2019) suggested it might come to the rescue with its Fairlife (haha) milk.
    We should be flying hundreds of cargo planes to the border of Ukraine and filling them with grain for Africa and not just Africa but all the places where poorer people are currently struggling to eat in the face of rising food prices, I.e. including the UK. Instead of pledging more weapons. Why isn’t there a campaign for this?
    I would have walked out of the UN too if I were Putin.

    • Bramble

      Of course, Ukraine could allow mine sweepers to remove the mines it has scattered around its harbours (Russia will let the grain ships through its blockade) and the EU could agree to let trains full of grain pass through Belarus. The black propaganda blaming Russia is as fake as most of the “news” we receive concerning this affair, which is designed solely to manipulate public opinion.

      Why is Kingspan even still allowed to do business? Unbelievable.

      • Wikikettle

        Our great ” Democracies ” have won the propoganda war against us tax payers hands down and taken us to the cleaners for a dry clean. Anyone, even our own western voices who speak out are labeled as shills for Putin. We are obedient sheep, put on face nappies – yes sir, stay at home – yes sir…..Russia is the aggressor and Nato is there to protect you – ! Tell that to Ukraine FFS…

        • Peter

          “Our great ” Democracies ” have won the propaganda war against us tax payers hands down … “


          The British public is paying the BBC something approaching £4bn per year to lie to us to manipulate us into wars against Russia and China.

          They learned from the Iraq war and the parliamentary vote against the bombing of Syria that a properly informed public would rightly not tolerate their wars – result: the propaganda maelstrom of lies and deceit that we are now seeing from the MSM lead by the BBC in support of their horrendous threat to world peace.

          In any properly ordered world or society this would be regarded as criminal and I, for one, hope to one day see the BBC brought to book for this.

          • Squeeth

            I haven’t had a telly tax licence for decades because I don’t want an overflowing toilet in the front room.

          • glenn_nl


            I haven’t had a telly tax licence for decades … “

            Good thing you don’t have the “Internets” in your place either, then, given it’s a far more noxious outlet than TV could ever be – right?

          • Squeeth

            I have the interweb so that I can enlighten the English-speaking world of my thoughts. Women still pluck their eyebrows though, perhaps my web-mojo is insufficient?

      • Bruce_H

        The war would only have come later, but in the other direction. The Russians thought they had more chance of survival fighting on their own conditions, that what ever they did there would be war… they have had a lot of experience of being attacked from the West.

        • Vasilisa

          “The war would only have come later, but in the other direction.” Yah ? And which ? From the direction – the London palaces of Putin’s cronies? Or yachts in french Saint-Tropez – their mistresses and children?

      • nevermind

        Diddums, do you think you are better Pears Morgaine? tell us what your favourite journalist has researched and published. Not from intelligence briefs and or ‘information from Government sources’, but on the ground stuff, before you diss those who do walk the talk.

  • Goose

    Have you seen the correction to the Grayzone’s recent report. It makes their report seem even more troubling and sinister, as it now involves a senior govt official.

    Maybe we need a new Twitter designation: INGSOC – affiliated media?

    And as for the media studies disinformation expert, the scholar who seems central to this. If she could’ve been bothered to consult, logicians at her university would’ve told her that deriving premises from conclusions is not logically sound: the relationship between premise and conclusion is lesser than vice versa. There are many explanations for why people post what they do.

    • Goose

      Apologies for dragging it up, but it should be a bigger story.

      I find it especially bewildering how Paul Mason, a man who wrote a book titled : How to Stop Fascism: History, Ideology, Resistance, found no contradiction in his own behaviour? Mason, Jewish himself, knows full well how Hitler systematically silenced the free press, intellectuals, and universities.

        • Goose

          Caitlin Johnstone excellently parodies their sinister string diagrams linking alleged pro-Russia influence agents.

          Paul Mason even launched into a unhinged tirade against guardian journalist Owen Jones, accusing him of pushing Kremlin ‘talking points’ for simply pointing out that many currently ouraged over Ukraine were silent over the horrific war in Yemen. Where Saudi Arabia is the one dropping devastating ‘western supplied’ bombs in a campaign many view as being close to genocidal.

          Mason’s unhinged scattergun accusatory approach isn’t unique. There’s lots of these sponsored ‘media studies’ academics & organisations that have sprung up to counter Russian misinformation/disinformation and other self-appointed ‘experts’. And they all use the same types of flawed reasoning or logic (inductive and abductive) methodologies to pad out their numbers to exaggerate the alleged threat.

        • Goose

          Pigeon English

          BTW what are new details?

          The new details were stated in the correction at the bottom of the Grayzone’s piece. The person consulted about future projects was a senior official, Andy Pryce, Russia expert, at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He apparently coordinated the response to the Skripal case too. Which, as Max Blumenthal indicated, the seniority of those involved makes the report seem worse.

          • Goose

            Craig’s highlighted this subject before.
            Some in the West seem determined to create a huge, imaginary ‘enemy within’ that’s threatening democracy. Throughout human history tyrannical people have constructed such enemies to justify their own repressive behaviour and surveillance practices eg. Stasi. There’s literally not enough so-called Russian disinformation out there on western social media to justify all these groups chasing it; so they tend to highlight obscure Twitter accounts etc, accounts that may well be Russian citizens anyway being so obviously pro-Russia. Ask for their evidence of western trolling and it’s like the Loch Ness Monster, they’re all 100% sure it [disinformation] exists, but they just can’t prove it.

            So now they’ve widened the net to ‘those pushing Russian talking points’, as Mason laughably accused Owen Jones of doing recently. This Russophobic paranoia is clearly getting sillier and sillier, but it’s no laughing matter when they’re trying to blacklist academics; ban news websites and get other authorities involved on spurious grounds. It risks venturing into persecution based on belief , a kind of thoughtcrime. And the new online harms bill/Act will probably empower these wannabe tyrants with even more tools to censor.

          • Tom Welsh

            “There’s literally not enough so-called Russian disinformation out there on western social media to justify all these groups chasing it…”

            Goose, when I see the words “Russian disinformation” I tend to replace them with the single word “truth”. The Russians don’t say much, but what they say tends to be pretty accurate.

            I do agree, though, that there is very little truth on Western social media. That’s why I ignore it.

          • Goose

            Tom Welsh

            I listened to Aaron Maté’s phone-in-podcast last night for the first time. It has to be said, Aaron comes across really well, many knew this already. He’s polite, respectful and welcomes anyone disputing their work to come on the show and discuss any issue openly – how many in the Ivory Tower MSM can boast they are that open to being challenge? Yet this same MSM claim, without evidence, the Grayzone are somehow the bad guys? As one caller said, the Grayzone is but a tiny news outfit with a few journos, so why would an entire State apparatus be mobilised to shut them down? Highly sinister, and it speaks to the totalitarian control freak mindset in the West.

            These Grayzone critics never say which item they’ve reported they have an issue with, or claim some inaccuracy, they just push the vague accusation that any reporting that contradicts western narratives is somehow ‘aiding the enemy’ – as if we’re permanently at war. The mentality among elites is that depicted in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Oceania vs Eurasia.

            He’s reached out to every critic of the Grayzone who claim they’re pro-Kremlin, to come on their show and lay out that charge against any of their reports. They’ve even reached out to Paul Mason. But the trouble is, these critics don’t do debate, they want absolute media conformity to their worldview, no exceptions. They prefer to skulk around in the shadows abusing their entrusted powers, ruining ‘The Lives of Others (2016 [corr: 2006])’ in secret. Evil has seemingly triumphed in the West.

            He also touched on how these military, billionaire and govt funded groups, ostensibly aiming to ‘combat disinformation’ operate. In Canada an academic study supposedly analysed 6.2 million tweets using ‘machine learning’ and came up with a figure for ‘Russian influenced activity’ – Maté asked for said academic’s methodology for evaluation – the search parameters used etc. Of course he’s still waiting and expects never to receive it.This sort of ‘research’ is informing policy and in all likelihood it’s completely meaningless due to the bias of the researchers, and the lack of validation through peer review.

            In the looming UK internet legislation, OFCOM are going to be given the power to (attempt) to remove UK access to websites like the Grayzone, and possibly this very blog. The fact that organisation can be so easily manipulated by vindictive actors, purely to stymie dissent, should give pause.

    • Giyane

      Alf Baird

      Thanks for that insight into Biden’s complete incompetence. Ports in the far right superpower refuse to look after the interests of lorry drivers, refuse to repair infrastructure and then pass the costs of their inefficiency on to the Shipping Carriers.

      That website mentions other self-destructive commercial.practices in US shipping such as auctioning down contracts to the Lowest bidder. But Biden decides to legislate against the Shipping Companies rather than the ports which have become clogged by far right-wing dogma.

      As to the US exports of grain to Europe increases, and the outrageous lies about Russia blockading Ukranian ports instead of Ukrainian mines and politics, the US appears to be trying to manipulate the price of grain.

      To my over-suspicious mind this is not about helping Europe survive the self-inflicted pain of sanctions against Russia, resulting in oil , gas and grain shortages in Europe, because there are other ways round those problems through third parties who can circumvent the sanctions.

      What I fear from the evil Empire, which of course is us , the ones who have waged continual war against humanity for the length of our lifetimes, is that the US intends to hoard Grain in order to use grain as a lever with which to gain military access to Africa, from which it needs rare earth metals etc.

      In order to avoid being blackmailed , small nations need to get their acts together and irrigate their barren farming land using solar powered pumps. Red-necked Capitalism has seized up America and the smaller countries are not going to be able to rely on the First World for food any more. Irrigate with solar. Grow grain. Block the colonial blackmail in which they are using hoarded grain as an economic lever.

      The way is neither that , nor this. Communism failed and now Capitalism is failing. It’s time for smaller countries to take control of their own agriculture.imho

      • Bayard

        “But Biden decides to legislate against the Shipping Companies rather than the ports which have become clogged by far right-wing dogma.”

        Not so much dogma but dollar. Biden has promised Federal cash to help the ports sort out their “problems”. Why on earth should they sort them out before the promised moolah arrives?

      • Pigeon English

        In all these years IMHO opinion this is one of yours best comments. Sorry but on many things we are not on the same page(China communist party is doing fine?) and I am atheist. Never the less it’s interesting for me to read your comments about Islam, Islamists etc.

      • Wikikettle

        Giyane. Many countries have seen Russia now dare to confront US power. Lula in Brazil will hopefully return after its bought and sold Judicary effectively overthrew him. After decades of US NGO’s infiltration in the Global South, their militaries and political elites, their populations will demand that their governments grow vital foods for their own consumption rather than for Mr Delmonte.

        • mark cutts

          In my opinion we are witnessing the collapse of Neo-liberal economics and all the ships that sail on those economic seas.

          The Financial Crash and Covid is tin hat time and the exponents of this type of economics.

          Of course the original purveyors of The Chicago School (Friedman and his friends) resided historically in the US and it is no surprise that as The Temple falls the US is the Samson who does the dismantling.

          But (and this is key to my mind) that Samson is not dismantling this Temple himself but sub-contracting it out to Ukraine and the European Nations – thereby not risking any damage to themselves.

          The US would sanguinely watch a limited nuclear war play out in Europe and Ukraine and then depending which way the wind blows come to some arrangement with Russia.

          The UK would be a target anyway and even that poodle would be sacrificed if need be.

          The point is for my money is that the main aim of all this mayhem is to prevent Russia from co-operating with China in the future but typical of the US their intentions seem to be having the opposite effect.

          Unless they can bog down Russia in an Afghanistan long pointless war?

          This is why the Ukraine is being armed further (if the military equipment is getting through) and even if the Ukranians lose further territory to Russia the US will continue to push the lie that the Ukraine can win this proxy war by recovering their losses in The Donbass.

          It’s thoroughly cynical war politics and I suspect that the longer this war goes on, with Kiev and Lviv remaining relatively untouched, the ordinary Ukranians will wonder why they are bearing the brunt of the missiles and fighting whilst Zelensky and his mates are going to restaurants and shopping as well as doing PR stunts to a credulous western media who believe every word that he and his government says.

          The longer this goes on the more likely it is that the Ukranian people will say they have had enough of the war and hopefully they will act accordingly and remove the leadership and government.

          • Vasilisa

            “That’s why Ukraine continues to be armed (if military equipment gets through) and even if Ukrainians lose even more territory to Russia, the US will continue to promote the lie that Ukraine can win this proxy war by reclaiming its losses in Donbas.”

            That is, you yourself, the United States, as I understand it, under certain circumstances – would let some Texas, the Great Lakes “go for a walk” ? Or Germany – Bavaria / Saxony / Württemberg / Westphalia; and France – for example, Provence / Normandy / Gascony / Anjou ?

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Good post, Giyane. Re:

        ‘small nations need to get their acts together and irrigate their barren farming land using solar powered pumps’

        That’s exactly what farmers in former desert areas of South-West Afghanistan have been doing in the last few years, though unfortunately for many people in Europe (particularly Scotland) and elsewhere, they have been largely using their solar pumps to grow opium poppy, as this informative article by the Beeb’s Justin Rowlatt explains:

        Things could change substantially in the next couple of years, though, as many farmers switch from poppy to wheat due to a combination of low opium prices, high wheat prices caused by the War in Ukraine, and the Taliban’s recently-announced ban on poppy cultivation which they appear to be trying to implement.

        • Bayard

          “That’s exactly what farmers in former desert areas of South-West Afghanistan have been doing in the last few years, though unfortunately for many people in Europe (particularly Scotland) and elsewhere, they have been largely using their solar pumps to grow opium poppy,”

          Something they have only been free to do since the US and UK chucked the Taliban out of Afganistan. Under the US it was more profitable to grow opium and import food, thus ensuring profits for both foreign drug traders and foreign farmers. Win win, if you are not an Afghan.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. In all but the last year of the first period of Taliban rule, large amounts of poppy were cultivated in Afghanistan. If the US & allies hadn’t invaded, the Taliban would have been unlikely to achieve anywhere near that level of success the following season, as the ban was already causing widespread hardship in the countryside. The amount of poppy planting was roughly the same in late 2001 as it was in autumn 1999, even though the ban was never officially rescinded and, for all Afghans knew, the Americans could have sent hundreds of thousands of well-armed troops to destroy the entire poppy crop and throw its farmers in jail.

            It’s always been more profitable for Afghan farmers to grow poppy than grain – except perhaps for a few years during the world food crises of 2007-2008 & 2010-2012, which were what more than anything were responsible for the modest successes of US-funded anti-drugs operations in Afghanistan from 2008-2012. Those cost the US taxpayer around $10 billion in total – it would have cost a lot less just to have bought all the opium at the farm-gate and dumped it in the Indian Ocean along with bin Laden.

            Update/correction to my original comment: whilst opium prices have been low these past three or four seasons, the laws of economics being what they are, they spiked to over $200 per kilo of dry opium soon after the Taliban announced their latest ban in March which, in spite of high grain prices, will likely incentivise some farmers, especially in the more remote areas, to plant more poppy this coming autumn.

          • Bayard

            “as the ban was already causing widespread hardship in the countryside.”

            Oh, those stupid Afghans, not growing wheat instead of opium.

            “Those cost the US taxpayer around $10 billion in total – it would have cost a lot less just to have bought all the opium at the farm-gate and dumped it in the Indian Ocean along with bin Laden.”

            Not if it required the same level of bureaucracy as the “War on Drugs”, it wouldn’t. That $10Bn figure is the entire cost of the operation, including all the bureaucrats and other staff, all of whom would have still been employed and their offices rented, heated, lit and insured etc, even if the operation hadn’t been carried out. The marginal extra cost, much of which would also have been incurred in buying and dumping the opium crop, would have been a fraction of that.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. The ban in 2000 caused widespread hardship because wheat requires a lot less labour to cultivate than opium, and many landless peasants had nothing to sell but their labour – also some lenders required repayment from farmers in opium, which at one point had risen in price to over $500/kg. The level of bureaucracy employed in getting British & US troops to knock on farm doors with cash whilst on patrol would have been minimal. This would also have had the additional bonus of bringing many farmers on side, rather than siding with the Taliban.

            Most of that $10 billion figure would have disappeared in plain and simple corruption. Here’s a stat about the Afghan debacle which I still find startling: After the initial invasion, it would have cost the US taxpayer less money (not to mention the US armed forces far less blood) to help rebuild Afghanistan if a *million dollars* had simply been dropped on the roof of each and every hovel in the country.

          • Bayard

            “The ban in 2000 caused widespread hardship because wheat requires a lot less labour to cultivate than opium, and many landless peasants had nothing to sell but their labour – also some lenders required repayment from farmers in opium, which at one point had risen in price to over $500/kg”

            So Afghanistan is another country that has been completely f*cked up, socially and economically by the growing of illegal drugs. Now, remind me again who is actually running the trade in illegal drugs. Hint: it’s not the Afghans.

            ” The level of bureaucracy employed in getting British & US troops to knock on farm doors with cash whilst on patrol would have been minimal.”

            Sure, but you know that’s not how it would have been done, as your next paragraph makes clear and all the standing costs would still have been there.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks again for your reply Bayard. Afghanistan has been ****ed up by far bigger things these past 40 years or so than the growing of illegal drugs, not least the Soviet invasion which led to the deaths of around 10% of its population. Aside from causing some degree of local opiate addiction, all poppy cultivation does is enable peasants in places like Helmand to have a slightly higher standard of living than in similar areas where it’s not generally grown like Loya Paktia.

            The Afghan trade in illegal drugs is being run by international criminal groups, many if not most of them with close ties to the Taliban, particularly the Southern Talibs like the Ishaqzais, who Mullah Omar’s replacement, Mullah Mansour, was closely linked to before he got droned in Balochistan. If you’re thinking it’s got anything to do with the CIA, like one or two people on here, then you’re wrong.

            British & US troops could have easily bought most of the opium from farmers, and the standing costs of this could have been substantially reduced by using it to make medical morphine (or better still, medical diamorphine i.e. heroin, which causes a lot less initial nausea) – as well as legal, non-medical heroin for European addicts, which they could pay for with their benefit money and thus not have to thieve loads of stuff.

            By the way, it’s perfectly possible currently to become an opiate addict in the UK completely legally, having similar levels of morphine (and its metabolites) in your system as a typical smackhead, without the involvement of any medical professionals, simply by trailing round chemists buying packets of Nurofen Plus and the like, separating out the codeine phosphate from the ibuprofen using a simple technique, and then necking it. It will just cost you two to four times as much as using street heroin would, depending on whether that was smoked or injected, respectively.

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

    My line of reasoning on the Ukraine conflict may be simple or even simple-minded – however here are my thoughts:-
    The West’s main argument is that Ukraine is a sovereign nation and as such should be able to decide for itself whether or not to seek NATO membership. So be it. But, so too is Cuba a sovereign nation – and – if Cuba today were to re-invite Russia to place missiles in Cuba – then? Of course the US would vehemently object and this could provoke another belligerent situation as in the time of the 1962 missile crisis. So, by parity of reasoning, does Russia not also have legitimate security concerns? Henry Kissinger thinks that Russia does – read on:-

    West should take Moscow’s interests into account – Kissinger — RT World News:

    • Wikikettle

      Courtney. That logic will label you as a Putin Shill. Nearer to home, if Scotland became Independent and our host its President, would he be allowed to remove Trident from Faslane and leave Nato ? Or even join a Military alliance/pact with Russia and China ? Yet we are doing the same in Ukraine and Taiwan. Paul Mason is working to silence Independent Media and like Squeeth, I haven’t had a Television for decades nor a Rodio to tell me the ” News ” on the half hour and every hour. I have been unable to talk to anyone about Ukraine, they all think we are “helping” Ukrainians and will go onto “help” the people living in Taiwan ! They don’t give a damn about our illegal wars and invasions. All get their information from MSM and ” What the Papers Say “. Safe in the belief they will carry on pushing their trolleys along the supermarket Isles, able to buy Melons from Panama, flowers from Kenya and farmed fish flown in from the Pacific !

        • Lysias

          During the two years I lived in England, I had no television. Matter of fact, I cannot remember ever watching television anywhere during those two years. I had a radio, and listened to BBC Radio Three all the time. No tax for that.

    • Pigeon English

      To support your argument I would add hysteria about China & Solomon Island partnership and add following Quote
      …. This has stoked concerns in the United States and its allies in the region that China could send troops to the Solomon Islands and establish a permanent military base there, less than two thousand kilometers from Australia.”? How far is Ukraine from Moscow?

      • Tom Welsh

        “How far is Ukraine from Moscow?”

        A most pertinent question, although less so to lawyers and diplomats (those who have never suffered or been threatened with violence, at least).

        For the geographically challenged, it is less than 300 miles from the nearest part of Ukraine to central Moscow. From L’vov, in the extreme West of Ukraine, it is about 700 miles.

        For comparison, in the days when the Soviet leaders maintained the Warsaw Pact as a buffer against Western aggression, it was at least 1,000 miles from West Germany to Moscow. Whatever may be the case politically, militarily it was extremely unwise of the Russians to throw away that invaluable buffer.

        For comparison, it is at least 4,500 miles from Russia to the USA; and 6,500 miles from China to the USA. For a long time that (deceptively) felt like a safe buffer – although it wasn’t, as ICBMs could cover the distance rapidly. Today, however, both Russia and China have virtually undetectable submarines each of which can rapidly destroy anything in the USA at a few minutes’ notice. Of course, that goes double for Europe, the UK, Australia, etc.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          ‘it is at least 4,500 miles from Russia to the USA’

          It’s about 2.5 miles from (the inhabited) Little Diomede Island in Alaska to Big Diomede Island in Russia, Tom.

          • Tom Welsh

            I meant (obviously, I think) from any part of Russia that could reasonably host serious missiles to any part of the USA that is a significant target. As is Moscow, for example. I used the Severomorsk region and (from memory) New York or Washington.

            Being able to destroy installations on Big Diomede is hardly deterrence.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply, Tom. Almost everywhere in Russia could potentially host ‘serious’ missiles and there are quite a few military targets in Alaska. As you rightly state, modern ICBMs – as well as submarine-launched ballistic missiles, of which the US has plenty – can cover thousands of miles in a few minutes and are fairly accurate. That means that buffer zones are effectively pointless, so why were the Warsaw Pact countries invaluable militarily for Russia?

    • Pears Morgaine

      But there are no nuclear missiles in Ukraine and won’t be for a long while yet, hopefully not ever, and whatever else Kennedy did during the missile crisis there was no invasion. It was eventually settled by diplomacy and negotiation with the US standing down (admittedly obsolete) missiles in Turkey in return.

      • Bayard

        “whatever else Kennedy did during the missile crisis there was no invasion.”

        Bay of Pigs? I’m sure the US would like to forget all about that, as you seem to have done.

        • Tom Welsh

          The Bay of Pigs “invasion” took place 17-21 April 1961. The Cuban Missile Crisis took place 16–29 October 1962, almost exactly 18 months later. So the Bay of Pigs was hardly “during the missile crisis”, although it may have been an important factor contributing to the Soviet decision to install missiles in Cuba, and the Cuban decision to host them. In fact missiles were actually installed in Cuba and ready to fire during the crisis. Luckily the Cubans were restrained enough not to fire them off.

          • Bayard

            “although it may have been an important factor contributing to the Soviet decision to install missiles in Cuba,”

            and also in the US decision not to invade.

          • pretzelattack

            Kennedy also continued to demand the CIA assassinate Castro. the missiles in Turkey were also an important reason contributing to the USSR installing missiles in Cuba.

          • Lysias

            That JFK continued to demand that the CIA assassinate Castro, as you say, is part of the story that CIA veterans like Sam Halpern put out (and Sy Hersh swallowed) in order to discredit the Kennedys, and implicitly to justify the assassinations that the CIA does not admit committing.

          • pretzelattack

            The Kennedys didn’t need any help discrediting themselves, including during the highly dangerous farce played out during the JFK administration. The closest we ever came to a nuclear war, and all because the posturing right wing commie hater JFK wanted to shore up his domestic political ratings. He could have simply removed the missiles in Turkey, but no that would have looked weak, “giving in to the Russians” especially give the lie he ran on that there was a missile gap. The crowning touch was imploring the USSR to keep the mutual withdrawal of missiles secret, to protect JFK’s political reputation. The fact is Kennedy was a template for Obama, Clinton, and Bush jr., all warmongers.all liars.

        • GFL

          And don’t forget the sixty years of brutal sanctions, I was an engineer on a molasses tanker that the tried to stop entering Cuba. How things have changed, the U.k. didn’t support the war in Vietnam or the blockading of Cuba. What would happen now?

          • Tom Welsh

            No sugar for the Commies!

            Over my lifetime (since the early 1950s) the British ruling class has, contrary to the opinion of many, been ground down and squeezed out. People like Johnson and his crew are really not “out of the top drawer”, for all their airs and graces. They have little or no stake in the country, as the landed aristocracy used to have. They are professional politicians, and therefore wholly lacking in morals and loyalty. They are for sale, and Washington has bought them.

      • Tom Welsh

        Kennedy had ordered the Pentagon to remove the Jupiter missiles from Turkey months earlier. But the Pentagon simply ignored his orders.

        As for “obsolete”, you are just as dead if hit by an obsolete nuclear missile as if hit by the latest, state-of-the-art missile. In those days there were no effective anti-missile defences, so once launched they would have struck home.

        • Pears Morgaine

          The Jupiter was fired from fixed installations. Vulnerable to air attack before they even get a chance to launch.

        • pretzelattack

          I doubt that Kennedy ordered that. I’ve also read assertions that he didn’t even know about them. Whatever, the Kennedy hagiography continues.

  • Allan Howard

    In an article posted on March 10th entitled ‘The West’s hands in Ukraine are as bloody as Putin’s’, Jonathan Cook links to the following video clip:

    Biden in 1997 saying that the only thing that could provoke a “vigorous and hostile” Russian response would be if NATO expanded as far as the Baltic states

    So what do they DO! Yes, they spend the next twenty-five years expanding NATO eastwards so as to finally provoke Russia into a ‘vigorous and hostile’ response! The vigorous and hostile response they wanted. The military response Biden and Co knew would eventually happen.

    Put it this way: If you knew that expanding NATO eastwards would provoke Russia into a military response, why would you keep expanding NATO eastwards, unless, that is, you WANTED Russia to do precisely THAT?!

  • john

    Weird situation we have here, with the politicians baying for more war, and the head of NATO calling for negotiations.
    Role reversal much?
    Scratching head.

    • U Watt

      Stoltenberg angrily added to the Paul Mason chart of Putin puppets. No doubt soon to be exposed by Carole Cadwalladr as being in the pay of the Kremlin.

    • Wikikettle

      President Putin knew something his own people didn’t. They wondered why he was trying to reason with US, Nato and EU at their coup in Ukraine. He went by the book, not recognising Donbass plea for recognition and proposed a European Wide security treaty, all to no avail. What he knew was that Russia in 2015 was not ready to economically and militarily stand up to Nato. He also knew that his “partners” in the West could never be trusted to keep the International Treaties. What he did know, was that his Ministries of Economy and Defence were working hard to and on the cusp of fulfilling their set goals of self sufficiency and logistical planning for a military response to an otherwise overwhelming thought of and out of control militarily power.

    • Tom Welsh

      Not “role reversal” at all. Common sense and technical knowledge.

      Today’s politicans have been rigorously selected for ideological conviction, utter lack of practical work experience, and general ignorance. They feel highly entitled and expect to have their grandiose fantasies fulfilled, if not today, then by next week at the latest. They don’t do facts and figures, or logic, or maths.

      Today’s senior military and naval leaders must, perforce, have at least a nodding acquaintance with the facts and figures of war. They know that the Chinese navy is now the world’s largest (and newest and most up-to-date); that the Russian navy can do a very good job of defending Russia and its allies; that the US navy, which once ruled the waves, is increasingly weak and impotent; and that the UK doesn’t really have a navy any more.

      The Russian air force is the first potential enemy the USA has ever faced that could blast its aircraft out of the sky, gain control of the air, and subject its army to intolerable bombardment without much effective resistance. American soldiers have literally never fought without control of the air. The Chinese air force is also pretty powerful.

      When it comes to missiles, Russia, China, and even Iran have shot ahead of NATO. Russian integrated air defence systems can exclude hostile air forces from arbitrarily large areas. Russian missiles can travel thousands of kilometres at many times the speed of sound to hit targets within 20 metres. They can also sink any ship in the world, regardless of what defences it has.

      Last and by far most important, Russia’s thermonuclear arsenal can destroy anything from the entire USA to a carrier task force or an armoured division. The new Sarmats have attracted attention, but this has been the case since the early 1970s. A single Sarmat-2 with its multiple warheads would put an end to the UK as a habitable, let alone civilised, country.

      All properly trained officers understand these simple facts, of which politicians seem ignorant. One fervently hopes that any political leader who orders war against Russia or China is immediately arrested and tried for high treason.

      • john

        Thanks Tom, point taken.
        As we know, Stoltenburg himself is a politician with a degree in economics and has no military training or qualifications.
        Yet according to the organisation chart for NATO he is ostensibly the boss.
        I have wondered if he is merely a mouthpiece, and if so for whom.

        • Tom Welsh

          I agree that Stoltenberg is merely a mouthpiece. Moroever, NATO itself is merely political camouflage for the US armed forces, which are the only effective part of it. NATO serves the purpose of making US aggression look as though it is coming from 30 countries rather than one.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        A few responses to your points, Tom:

        ‘the Russian navy can do a very good job of defending Russia and its allies’

        The Russian Navy can’t even do a very good job of defending one of its own flagships against Neptune anti-ship missiles developed mostly in-house by one of the poorest countries in Europe (unless you believe the Russian line that the Moskva sunk after a fire in stormy seas – the Black Sea being feared by sailors the world over for its April storms).

        ‘the UK doesn’t really have a navy anymore’

        What are we paying the over 34,000 active current Royal Navy personnel (plus reserve) for then?

        ‘The Russian air force is the first potential enemy the USA has ever faced that could…gain control of the air’

        The VKS can’t even gain complete control of Ukrainian airspace, which is why they’re resorting to techniques like (highly inaccurate) loft bombing, as used by the Israeli Air Force in the Yom Kippur War.

        ‘Russian missiles can travel thousands of kilometres at many times the speed of sound to hit targets within 20 metres’

        Why are they resorting to Kh-22 ‘Kitchen’ cruise missiles developed in the early 60’s, which are hitting civilians hundreds of metres away from their intended targets in Donbas(s) then?

        ‘A single Sarmat-2 with its multiple warheads would put an end to the UK as a habitable, let alone civilised, country’

        I presume you mean an RS-28 Sarmat – referred to in the West as ‘Satan II’. If so, even if one deployed 15 re-entry vehicles, each with a megaton warhead, at targets in Britain, the entire UK would still be perfectly habitable after a week or two when the highly radioactive fallout had subsided. There would just be a slightly increased lifetime risk of developing cancer due to eating crops/livestock contaminated by isotopes like strontium-90 & caesium-137. The reason that 90-95% of the UK population would likely perish after a full-scale nuclear attack is because we have few adequate shelters and lack basic survival skills in an environment where the food, fuel & electricity supply systems have collapsed.

        Hope that, in the unlikely event of any politicians reading this, they will be less ignorant now.

        • Tom Welsh

          “The Russian Navy can’t even do a very good job of defending one of its own flagships against Neptune anti-ship missiles developed mostly in-house by one of the poorest countries in Europe…”

          There is no clear evidence as to what sank “Moskva”. As for “one of the poorest countries in Europe”, Ukraine was actually the wealthiest part of the USSR. The poverty has been imported from the USA. Also, the USSR had superb anti-ship missiles, so there was no need to improve on them.

          “What are we paying the over 34,000 active current Royal Navy personnel (plus reserve) for then?”

          You tell me! I have no idea. Perhaps as a job preservation scheme? They couldn’t have hundreds of senior officers without all those other ranks. You seem to have fallen for the (mainly US) fallacy that measures power by expenditure. They can pay me the money that is currently spent on the Royal Navy, and I will give them equivalent value – i.e. none.

          “The VKS can’t even gain complete control of Ukrainian airspace, which is why they’re resorting to techniques like (highly inaccurate) loft bombing…”

          There is no such thing as “complete control” of the air space of a country 230,000 square miles in size. The Russians destroyed most of the Ukrainian air force in the first few days of the SMO. Now they report destroying a few more every day. Presumably they are being brought in from the West, or repaired after being damaged. However most Ukrainian aircraft and helicopters are detroyed after a few minutes in the air. Your allegation of “loft bombing” is rubbish, as the Russians can always hit a target very accurately provided they know exactly where it is. That isn’t always possible, in which case they wait until they do know.

          “Why are they resorting to Kh-22 ‘Kitchen’ cruise missiles developed in the early 60’s, which are hitting civilians hundreds of metres away from their intended targets in Donbas(s) then?”

          I’ll leave that one to Andrei Martyanov, who has direct knowledge of Soviet and Russian missile systems.

          “Somebody, please, explain to ignorant UK Defense Ministry BSers who command a toy army of a toy country, that Kh-22 (and I know way more than they about this thing) was and remains a high precision weapon which active radar seeker gives a hint about. That automatically translates to the ability (for latest versions) of Kh-22 to strike radio-contrast land targets–the feature all Soviet/Russian anti-shipping missiles are known for from venerable and removed from service P-6/35 to a much more advanced P-700 Granit which WAS used and is being used in training striking land-based targets”.

          As to the Sarmat, you wrote:

          “The reason that 90-95% of the UK population would likely perish after a full-scale nuclear attack is because we have few adequate shelters and lack basic survival skills in an environment where the food, fuel & electricity supply systems have collapsed”.

          I’m not sure how this differs from my prediction that the UK would become uninhabitable. Fifteen warheads of 550-750 Kt each might strike London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, Holy Loch, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and various US air bases and missile sites. While some buildings might remain upright on the outskirts of cities, there would be plenty of fallout and, as you admit, all services and the supplies of food and water would fail.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your detailed reply Tom. To address your points:

            The Moskva was almost certainly sunk by a missile or two – Russia’s story is laughable. Even before the war/SMO, Ukrainian GDP per capita was much lower than Russia for several reasons, not least the decline of its heavy industry in the east and its relative lack of oil & gas etc. It’s nothing to do with importing poverty from the US – foreign direct investment in Ukraine, taking advantage of its cheap workforce, mainly comes from Europe, particularly Germany.

            The fact is that the Royal Navy has quite a few ships and submarines and employs thousands of people to man them. Whether this is of any value or not is a matter of subjective opinion – you could equally say that most of the above-ground gold in the world has no value and that it’s just an ornament.

            The Kh-22 and its homing radar was designed to hit large ships, i.e. aircraft carriers – they were not designed to hit precise targets in towns and cities, hence the civilians casualties. Anyway, I selfishly hope they keep using them in Ukraine, so that they run out, and then have to unscrew the warheads off the nuclear-tipped ones, meaning that they can’t be used against Britain in any nuclear escalation.

            Of course there’s such a thing as complete air superiority over any sized country – you just take out all of its air force and air defences. It’s not possible to accurately bomb in towns and cities without using precision guided munitions (smart bombs) with GPS, of which Russia appears to be running out. Even dropping barrel bombs out of hovering helicopters, like the Syrian Arab Air Force used to do in Aleppo etc, isn’t that accurate. The VKS is resorting to loft bombing with unguided munitions to avoid Ukrainian air defences. If we’re citing blogs, I’ll wager Tom Cooper knows more about military aviation than Andrei Martyanov:


            A week or so after full-scale nuclear strikes, most houses in the UK would still be intact or with only minor damage, and most people with basic survival skills would be able to survive, therefore the UK would be habitable – the Chinese could come along and inhabit it, and probably would. This might not be the case in the eastern US, due to their habit of storing vast amounts of spent nuclear fuel above ground in buildings next to nuclear power plants, which would likely be hit in nuclear strikes, leading to large amounts of radioactive dust blanketing the countryside and a consequent huge increase in cancer rates among survivors.

          • Bayard

            “The fact is that the Royal Navy has quite a few ships and submarines and employs thousands of people to man them.”

            The Russian Navy has more corvettes than the Royal Navy has commissioned ships.

          • Tom Welsh

            “The Moskva was almost certainly sunk by a missile or two…”

            Any evidence? Anything at all other than your expert opinion? Andrei Martyanov, who served in the Russian navy, says he has no idea what was the cause.

            “Even before the war/SMO, Ukrainian GDP per capita was much lower than Russia…”

            Very likely. What I wrote was that “Ukraine was actually the wealthiest part of the USSR”. That was, of course, before 1991. By 2014 Ukraine had had 23 years of Westernisation, whereas Russia pulled out of its screaming power dive in 1999 and since then has been getting steadily wealthier and more productive.

            “The fact is that the Royal Navy has quite a few ships and submarines and employs thousands of people to man them”.

            Eighteen actual warships, 2 floating white elephants, er, aircraft carriers each carrying about 6 white elephant F-35s (and only one at sea at a time for lack of resources), 4 ballistic missile submarines, and 4 attack submarines. Plus, I swear to God, Wikipedia also mentions “1 capital ship” which turns out to be Nelson’s “Victory”. (Probably more useful than the carriers, at least).

            No matter how many ships and submarines the RN has, nor how many people are employed, the whole thing has a definite negative value. The fleet cannot fight any serious potential enemy – Russia or China would sink the lot in about half an hour – and the missile submarines contribute to the huge target painted on the UK by its possession of thermonuclear weapons. Guaranteeing that, if any major war kicks off, we will all die.

            Your opinions about the Kh-22 and air superiority appear to be uninformed, so I shan’t waste time on them.

          • Dawg

            There’s a careful analysis of photos of the Moskva here:


            There were two main impact sites, dead centre at the ship’s most vulnerable point. The damage is completely consistent with being struck by two Neptune missiles.

            Neptune missiles use a 40-year-old Soviet design based on US Harpoons, and the Moskva should normally have the capability to detect and intercept them using OSA-M surface-to-air missiles – but crucially the photos taken of the ship just before the strike reveal that the radar systems (3R41 Volna & 4R-33A/MPZ-201 Baza) had been stowed in an aft position and were therefore not primed to detect an incoming threat at that time. Oops!

            Compare that level-headed analysis, of actual photographic evidence, with Andrei Martyanov’s juvenile trash-talk about “media whores”, “lapdogs” and “butt-hurt”, based on … err … no evidence whatsoever, just his own assumptions.

            Yes, you’re free to decide whom to believe. However, an irrational choice says a lot about your personal bias and prejudices.

          • james

            maybe lapsed agnostic could cite a few uk media sources.. that ought to be good for a laugh… otherwise – trash in – trash out..

          • Bayard

            ” but crucially the photos taken of the ship just before the strike reveal that the radar systems (3R41 Volna & 4R-33A/MPZ-201 Baza) had been stowed in an aft position and were therefore not primed to detect an incoming threat at that time. Oops!”

            So the Moskva was sunk because of incompetence. Not much of a rebuttal to TW’s claim that “‘the Russian navy can do a very good job of defending Russia and its allies’. No military gets it right all of the time.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for explaining that Dawg – saved me a job. Thanks for your replies Bayard & Tom. In terms of numbers of ships, the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self – but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that its four Vanguard-class subs alone, and specifically their Trident II nuclear missiles, can do far more damage than the Royal Navy of the 1920’s, and indeed any modern navy in the world apart from the United States’, Russia’s & France’s. If the RN had not retired any ships for several decades, then it would have more than the Russian Navy.

            The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and their F-35’s are far from perfect, but I’d hardly call them white elephants. I’d imagine that Nelson’s Victory is the ceremonial flagship of the RN, a bit like the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery comes first in the army’s order of precedence (when they have their guns in tow) despite its members not really doing any training for the modern battlefield.

            The growth in the Russian economy from 1999-2012 was in no small part due to much increased oil and other commodity prices over the period. Having seen the performance of their Kh-22 cruise missiles in Ukraine, I doubt whether Russia could sink the entire RN surface fleet in half an hour. I don’t know enough to say whether or not Chinese anti-ship missiles are capable of this, though I suspect not.

            Agree that the UK’s nuclear power status makes it a target for nuclear attack though not that, if the worst happens, everyone in the UK will die in the aftermath – they’d likely be millions still alive a year later. Surely you can waste a bit more time disabusing me of my ‘uninformed’ opinions on air superiority and Kh-22 missiles, Tom.

            Last but not least, thanks for your important contribution, james. The mainstream media don’t tend to cover military and economic matters in much detail because most people find them boring but, if you could be more specific, I’ll see what I can do. By the way, I’d imagine the Ukrainians would appreciate the attempts of some commenters here to big up Russia’s military capabilities, seeing as that’s what they’ve been doing recently with their talk of Russia firing ‘50,000 shells a day in Donbas’ etc. – presumably an attempt to speed up Western artillery shipments.

      • Vasilisa

        Botox rat and his company, like commanders – complete zeros. Creatures – who could not cope even with one – the only tiny Chechnya at home, at their side. Which West ?

  • George Porter

    “More than 15,000 millionaires expected to leave Russia in 2022” according to a BBC report. From a Russian standpoint is this good or bad? Presumably said millionaires can’t take their mines and oil and gas with them.

  • james

    uk as good little foot soldier for the usa does the same… they are both in on the novichok related russian b.s. take them together and throw an integrity initiative, bellingcrap fish wrap around them both… your tax dollars at work…

  • Pears Morgaine

    Scott Ritter talks a little sense at last!


    At some point soon, Russia will announce that it has defeated the Ukrainian military forces arrayed in the east and, in doing so, end the notion of the imminent threat that gave Russia the legal justification to undertake its operation.

    That came about because of the major battlefield successes of the Russian military. But it will leave Russia with a number of unfulfilled political objectives, including denazification, demilitarization, permanent Ukrainian neutrality, and NATO concurrence with a new European security framework along the lines drawn up by Russia in its December 2021 treaty proposals. If Russia were to call a halt to its military operation at this juncture, it would be ceding political victory to Ukraine, which “wins” by not losing.

    Phase Three

    The challenge facing Russia going forward, therefore, is how to define the scale and the scope of Phase Three so that it retains the kind of legal authority it asserted for the first two phases while assembling sufficient combat power to accomplish its tasks. Among these would appear to me to include overthrowing the Zelensky government and replacing it with one willing and able to outlaw the ideology of Stepan Bandera. It might also entail launching a military operation into central and western Ukraine to completely destroy the reconstituted elements of the Ukrainian military along with the surviving neo-Nazi affiliated forces.

    As things currently stand, Russia’s actions are being implemented upon the limited legal authorities granted to Putin by the Russian Duma, or parliament. One of the most constraining aspects of these authorities is that it limits Russia’s force structure to what can be assembled under peacetime conditions. Most observers believe Russia is reaching the limit of what can be asked of these forces.

    Any large-scale expansion of Russian military operations in Ukraine, which seeks to push beyond the territory conquered by Russia during Phase One and Phase Two, will require additional resources which Russia may struggle to assemble under the constraints imposed by a peacetime posture. This task would become virtually impossible if the Ukrainian conflict were to spread to Poland, Transnistria, Finland and Sweden.

    Only Russia’s leaders can decide what is best for Russia, or what is deemed to be viable militarily. But the combination of an expired legal mandate, unfulfilled political objectives, and the possibility of a massive expansion of the scope and the scale of combat operations, which could possibly include one or more NATO members, points to an absolute need for Russia to articulate the mission of Phase Three and why it needs one.

    Failure to do so opens the door to the possibility that Russia puts itself in a position where it is unable to successfully conclude a conflict that it opted to initiate at the end of February.

    End quote.

    Where he fails is claiming that Russia has legal authority under UN Article 51 and in encouraging enforced regime change.

    Talk of Russia ‘liberating’ the Donbas region is a bit of a hollow joke too.

    • Bayard

      “talks a little sense” – you mean “agrees with you”. Why does this mean he’s any more reliable than when you were lambasting him for being unreliable? Actually, what he is doing is the age-old tactic of assigning goals and than jeering at their probable non-accomplishment. The whole of “Phase three” is pure speculation, the key phrases being “Among these would appear to me..” “It might also entail…” “may struggle” “if the Ukrainian conflict were to…” “and the possibility of..” “which could possibly include…” Classic Project Fear.

      Of course it is likely that, shorn of its Russophile south-east, Ukraine will become much more Russophobic, and any opposition to the current regime has been pretty well suppressed, but the current government in Kiev has been dependent on support from the only other other country to vote against the anti-Nazi bill at the UN. If they decide to pull out, who knows what would happen? Ukraine might dissolve into civil war and all Russia has to do is sit and watch.

    • john

      It appears to me on the contrary that that the quality of Ritter’s analyses has degenerated, and I personally no longer take him seriously.
      For example, in the piece which you quote,

      “The challenge facing Russia is to… retain the kind of legal authority it asserted for the first two phases……… Among these would appear to me to include overthrowing the Zelensky government and replacing it”

      There is a clear and foolish contradiction in that statement, worthy of NBC.

      On the topic of Phase 3, the Russians stated back in January that they WILL have the borders of NATO back to where they were pre -1997. (Why doesnt Ritter mention that?). That means American troops and hardware OUT of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The only mystery is how Russia plans to achieve that end.

      Finland is already back-pedalling on NATO membership, while Sweden is silent. That particular second front is not going to happen it seems.

      But meanwhile Poland is making a bid for the western Ukraine in coordination with the US, as was outed in April by the Russian SVR (followed by Poland ejecting 45 Russian diplomats, and a public physical assault on the Russian Ambassador).

      MK Bhadrakumar has pointed out in:

      “Ukraine’s sovereignty over its western regions bordering Poland is eroded. Kiev has also announced plans to grant special legal status to Polish citizens. Plainly put, a de facto “merger” is under way.
      A reclamation of lost territories in western Ukraine (estimated to be 178000 sq. kms) would make Poland much larger than Germany — exceeding 500,000 sq. kms as against Germany’s 357, 588 sq. kms. The geopolitical implications are far too profound to be overstated — to name a few, EU’s future, Germany’s rise, Europe’s autonomy, German-Russian relations, Russia’s security.”

      That would appear to be the second front required by NATO following their impending loss of the east and south, and is totally consistent with their historical purposes (keep the US in, the Russians out, and the Germans down).

      John Helmer analyses historical, cultural and military aspects of this gambit in great detail:

      The SVR revelation was confirmed in May when, during a speech in the Ukrainian parliament, the Polish prime minister Duda called on the “Galicians to put aside the race hatred between themselves, and revive the race hatred which the two Catholic peoples, plus the Germans, have shown towards the Russians”.
      The director of the SVR of Russia stated “according to information received by the Foreign Intelligence Service, the dreams of the Polish authorities about the return of the “eastern border territories” [the Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuanian territories of the 18th century Polish empire] … we see that the Kiev junta has already agreed to the annexation of Ukraine by Poland and voluntarily surrenders state sovereignty to it.”

      These statements are understood by sources in Moscow and in the Donbass to be lobbying for decisions yet to be confirmed by Putin that Phase-3 of the military operation will extend to destroying the lines of defence which the US and NATO are supplying between Kiev and Lvov, and to the objectives for the long-term future of Galicia in Phase-4.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Ritter has stepped back from his regular predictions that victory was only a week away, that Ukraine’s troops would with be surrendering or dying in large numbers, paratroopers dropping on Kyiv etc. He now recognises that the war hasn’t gone all Russia’s way and is a long way from being over.

        Russia may want NATO back it’s 1997 borders those member states have different ideas. It’s not all about Russia. I don’t see any sign of Finland ‘backpedaling’ on NATO membership; on the contrary the Finnish leader has beed critical of Turkey for holding things up.

        I don’t get this idea that Poland will annex western Ukraine. I doubt the inhabitants would want it and I can’t see Russia or the EU being happy about it either. At best it sounds like a bit of propaganda intended to sow discord.

    • Lysias

      As long as Ukraine continues to assert it has the right to possess nuclear weapons and continues to possess the makings of dirty bombs, it remains an imminent threat.

      • Pears Morgaine

        The only reference I can find to that is Zelensky referring to the Budapest Agreement having been ‘burned’. Under this agreement Ukraine gave up the ex-Soviet weapons it held in return for Russian guarantees on it’s sovereignty. The later have clearly been ignored; the agreement has indeed been broken. Ukraine did sign the NPT in 1994 which would prohibit it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

        Every country that has or has had a nuclear programme possesses the means to make a dirty bomb. Nobody has yet made one. They remain theoretical.

        • Goose

          Don’t know why some in the west believe Ukraine retaining its Soviet era legacy nuclear weapons would have acted as a deterrent in this case. Nuclear weapons are a hugely expensive commitment that a country like Ukraine could ill afford. Look at the UK with its £130bn Trident upgrade and the complaints about that cost.

          Argentina wasn’t deterred from invading the Falklands by the UK’s known nuclear capability, and unlike Russia, Argentina didn’t have such weapons to retaliate. There’s a chance Russia may have even intercepted any Ukrainian launch, then it would have been sayounara Ukraine.

    • Vasilisa

      “Scott Ritter talks a little sense at last!”

      “A Little sense ?” Botox rat and his company, like commanders – complete zeros. Creatures – who could not cope even with one – the only tiny Chechnya at home, at their side, and for seven years already in Syria, have been floundering indistinctly. Which West?

      Everything else, fairy tales about “patriotism”, “fight against the West” is just a false, cynical performance to divert attention from poverty and problems. Enough to read about the double/triple citizenship of Putin’s friends, and overseas yachts and villas of their mistresses and children.

  • U Watt

    Further Grayzone revelations on British State plans to smear and silence the antiwar left.

    • In leaked emails, celebrity journalist Paul Mason plots extensively with Andy Pryce of the UK Foreign Office Counter Disinformation and Media Development unit.
    • Pryce’s Counter Disinformation unit has been cloaked behind a veil of near-total secrecy since its inception.
    • Mason and Pryce sketched a blueprint for an information warfare outfit funded “through cut-outs” and modeled after the notorious Integrity Initiative.
    • Mason pitched a “Putin Proxy Watch” project guided by “info war experts” to attack “bad actors” in the UK.
    • Mason calls for suspending UK libel law to smear targets, special effects-driven project to sensationalize Russian atrocities.
    • Researcher Emma Briant advised Mason on his leftist target list, proposing adding independent outlet Declassified UK.
    • Mason proposed astroturfed “black and Asian voices” project to push back on Black and brown critics of Ukraine proxy war.
    • Mason revealed his participation in upcoming BBC assault on Stop The War Coalition.
    • “The opposition are not stupid, they can spot an Info op – so the more this is designed to be organic the better”.
    • U Watt

      DeclassifiedUK targeted by the security state because they .. wait for it …. “discourage” people from reading the Guardian!

      • nevermind

        I can hear the sound of Jackboots marching down Whitehall, holding torches and waving the St. Georg flag in yellow and blue..

      • Goose

        Staggeringly low threshold pettifogging stuff that’s attracting their interest.

        Dissuading people from reading the guardian, the sheer outrage of it, eh? lol. As close to overt subversion as one can get!

        I guess there are no real revolutionaries out there, so they have to go after those not praising the guardian and NATO with the appropriate levels of enthusiasm.

    • Goose

      The state doxxing UK citizens because they don’t like their opinions is plain obnoxious. I.e. likely completely innocent people, people who may have long history(pre-Putin) as critics of US hegemonic behaviour and military interventionism eg. Iraq, classed as treasonous fifth columnists. Makes you wonder about the article that put Craig’s house and mortgage details out there, whether that was part of some such operation?

      Is this stuff compatible with rights under the ECHR? /S No wonder they want it scrapped.

      How do they reconcile attacking Russia on the human rights of protesters there, while considering this abuse of power against British citizens as normal?

      • U Watt

        It’s simple, Goose. They just refuse to mention it, at all. Still complete silence right across the board. A mirror image of the nonstop all-in propaganda blitz they conduct against approved enemies. The commentariat don’t want the public knowing that one of their biggest celebs is a security state snitch and fraud so they’re just pretend he was never exposed.

        • Goose

          U Watt

          Another aspect to this is the way the big tech monopolies and worst elements of the security state are clearly hand in glove. That partnership represents a grave threat to free speech and democracy. Deplatforming and demonetising have just become another way of stiffling dissent. And it’s very difficult to navigate the internet without using the services of a number of these big tech companies who’ve sought to monopolise it through consolidation, basically buying up the competition.

          Amazon and its cloud storage arm AWS have won cloud contracts with govt; google has various defence-linked projects and Eric Schmidt, google’s former CEO, is now heravily involved in the defence sector. The others feel compelled to comply as we’ve seen with the monstering of Meta(Facebook) over E2E (encryption) rollout.

          Due to this immense apparatus of control – and the MSM was captured some time ago – a few individuals in govt can, in true Orwellian fashion, basically create their own version of history for the official record, then rigorously enforce and defend it(from skeptics) so that version so it becomes the truth. A real disservice to society imho.

          Future historians will wonder how citizens allowed this to proceed without objection. And the truth is, they simply aren’t aware because the controlled media won’t inform them, but those seeking to exercise total dominion are. And he who controls the message, controls the masses.

  • Crispa

    Since this article was written there are faint signs that Biden and Co’s enthusiasm for prolonging the war is waning, as they see that they are backing a loser. The reports that Ukraine forces are now showing their true colours, in desperation and for no military advantage, by indiscriminately shelling residential areas of the Donetsk and killing civilians, which even the BBC is reporting, should not serve their cause. The great fear is that if Biden does not rein in the Ukrainians in on this, there will inevitably be some form of retaliation and further escalation. This of course might be the purpose of the provocation so Russia will probably choose its targets carefully. The Ukraine Parliament building and Maidan Square would probably make the point.
    Meanwhile it is reported that up to 3k Brits are fighting in Ukraine. Further confirmation that a country that takes pride in having fought and beaten Nazis now takes pride in supporting them, including with weapons that are just prolonging the war, and, it might be added, engaging in Nazi – like behaviour itself by deporting hapless people to concentration camps in Rwanda.

    • Bayard

      Britain fought the Germans in WWII because it was part two of WWI, not because they were Nazis. We were quite happy to join with Nazi Germany in supporting the Finns and Franco.

      • Tatyana

        Extremely interesting relations connect Finland and Russia.

        Finland has been known here since the 12th century as Suomi land. Like Ukraine, Finland is located on the border of the historical influence of Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. In the case of Finland, the struggle for influence was between Sweden and Russia. For almost 100 years, Finland was part of the Russian Empire, retaining its local government and legislation. The last Russian tsar Nicholay II (who recently strangely began to be considered almost a saint) set a course for a tough Russification of the Finns.

        In 1917, after the Great October Revolution in Russia, when my country got rid of the monarchy, Finland became an independent state. As well as Ukraine. One could expect joy and a good attitude after such a significant event, but no.

        I’m currently listening to a very interesting series of lectures on history, science and philosophy. The information is useful and brings many pieces of the puzzle together. At least the origins of the cliches about Communism / Bolshevism and the source of Russophobia are clear.
        The series of talks describes the emergence, development and contemporary forms of racism, Nazism and other forms of discrimination. The very issue that Russia constantly raised in the UN, and Western countries constantly voted against this very resolution. Mr.Murray described it here:

        And yes, the BLM guys are right on at least one point – if you’re raised in a ‘white environment’, you can’t recognize it in yourself.

        • Gatuna Eric

          I’m currently listening to a very interesting series of lectures on history, science and philosophy.

          If publicly available, what series is this please? Thank you.

          • Tatyana

            I’m sorry, it’s in Russian and no English subtitles available. Also, it’s my personal selection of videos and audios to listen to, several authors giving their views – a historian, an antropologist, a journalist, a translator. Nothing like an educating system of lectures from one publisher, sorry. It’s just that the problem of racism, Nazism etc is widely discussed here and hosts keep talking, inviting experts.
            Another reason that I prefer not to share the links is, you know, nowadays you link to a video, and then Ukraine complains and YouTube blocks the channel.

    • Vasilisa

      That is, you yourself, the United States, as I understand it, under certain circumstances, would you let some Texas, the Great Lakes “go for a walk”? Or Germany – Bavaria / Saxony / Württemberg / Westphalia; and France – for example, Provence / Normandy / Gascony / Anjou? Or when they hurt you – this is already “different”, a major offense, and here are all the means to counteract are good?

  • George Porter

    “Pope Francis says Ukraine war was ‘perhaps somehow provoked’”
    — BBC Headline.

    Must have been reading Mearsheimer.

  • Yuri K

    Hi Craig, do you know what’s going on between Manning and Greenwald? I can’t figure out from news reports if there’s any politics in their feud or just some personal BS. Sorry for off topic.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      I may be wrong Yuri, but I think it largely stems from Glenn Greenwald expressing some degree of sympathy towards Trump’s politics, which Chelsea Manning regards as the work of the devil incarnate. Anyway, well done for getting an off-topic comment past the ever-vigilant mods. I sometimes struggle with that – though they’ve been generous with my Afghan meanderings with occasional sparring-partner Bayard (see above). If it’s any interest, the last comment of mine to get the chop involved Paul Mason, the Nazis’ ‘Black Sun’ symbol, and the Northern Soul float at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

      • Goose

        It all started as a row over Glenn’s association with Fox News and esp. Tucker Carlson, didn’t it?

        I personally think Manning comes across as a bit petulant in this spat. Glenn is solidly civil libertarian in his beliefs, very pro-transparency and anti-censorship – this regardless of Fox News’ wider right-wing political agenda. To boycott any news platform because you don’t agree with 100% of its output is a ridiculous cancel culture -ish way of operating. Manning should listen to what Greenwald actually says when invited on, does he change his views? Though I’ve not watched him, I’d imagine not.

        In a bizarre turnaround in the US, the Democrats, once the defenders of free speech, are increasingly the ones holding illiberal and authoritarian views. And the Trump wing of the Republican party are the ones defending civil liberties. I suppose it’s like New Labour situation here in the UK; these liberals have taken to supporting censorship because they’ve no political arguments to make to counter their opponents with.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Goose. Glenn Greenwald has been appearing semi-regularly on Fox since 2017 – he was kinda their pet leftie, bit like Paul Mason and the developing right-wing security state over here – but the spat with Chelsea Manning only really kicked off in 2021 after GG called January 6th a ‘three-hour mini-riot’, rather than the Trump-led insurrection that imperilled American democracy that most Dems etc believe it to have been*. Agree that Manning is being petulant especially as GG gave him/her ten grand when he/she was in prison – something I’d imagine hardly anyone else did.

          To be fair, until fairly recently, most Republicans and Democrats defended free speech – it being a keystone of the Constitution. I think that traditionally leftish-leaning parties are becoming more censorious and authoritarian in both Europe & North America because of the widening chasms between the values of their elites and their electorates. Of course, if the elites had any sense of perspective, they’d view it as bordering on miraculous that they managed to pass laws allowing things like mass immigration, gay marriage and even gay adoption without there being three-week riots in towns and cities across the Western world.

          * I’m inclined to GG’s view since, if there was an insurrection, it’s likely most of the participants would have brought their two favourite assault rifles, body armour, and plenty of ammo along for the ride.

        • Yuri K

          Thank you for the detailed answer. Nothing wrong with using TC cause he’s the most popular talking head in the US now and the other option is marching into oblivion. Tulsi Gabbard also shows up on TC Tonight sometimes, for the same reason, she wants to reach mass audience. CNN may mention TG and GG in their news stories but they’d rather die than give them microphones.

          Americans have a very narrow definition for freedom of speech. As long as the government does not punish you for what you’ve said you are fine. So when a private company like Twitter bans you from the podium your rights were not violated. In reality, who gets the podium is one of the propaganda tricks.

          BTW, funny thing, on a Russian talk show someone suggested trading one of the Brits taken POW in Ukraine and sentenced to death for Assange.

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


      ” Indeed, since Ukraine is constantly crying out for more weapons, just where is all this “aid” going?”

      I suspect that the ‘aid’ is consciously intended to make Ukraine a vassal state and keep Ukraine indebted and obliging for a very long time to come.

        • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


          If the entire southern hemisphere – inclusive of the French imposed reparations debt from the Haitians for having the audacity of freeing themselves from from slavery – cannot be repudiate as ‘odious’ – what chance of Ukraine every accomplishing such a feat?

    • Tatyana

      Russian media report on Gazprom Germania GmbH, that clever Robert Habek insisted on its nationalization. According to Bloomberg, Herr Scholz refused such a step. Instead,

      “The Office of the Federal Chancellor, the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, and the Ministry of Finance have decided to extend the terms of Gazprom Germania GmbH under external management for the period after September 2022. The German authorities have decided to rename the company to Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (SEFE), as well as provide it with a multi-billion dollar loan to save it from possible bankruptcy.”

      You see? The same as if you used to buy milk from your neighbour, but decided to announce his cow as belonging to you, give it a new name and fix the entries in the legal papers. You’ve even allocated money to hire a dairymaid. Nice try, but you’ve missed you’ve no pasture to feed this livestock…

      Now the company is the same gas supplying company, but… with no gas in the pipeline. Skinny cow.
      Anyway, I’m sure now they enjoy their external management. Usually, multi-billion dollar loans are pleasant to manage.

  • Tatyana

    The Russian Foreign Ministry announced:

    “In connection with the anti-Russian actions of the British government to impose personal sanctions against leading journalists of our country and heads of companies in the domestic defense complex, a decision has been made to include in the Russian “stop list” /…/

    Journalists from this list are banned from entering the country, due to:

    “… the deliberate dissemination of false and one-sided information about Russia and events in Ukraine and the Donbass. With their biased assessments, they also contribute to inciting Russophobia in British society.”

    The source in Russian

    The list of journalists:

    • Shaun WALKER, Correspondent, The Guardian;
    • Con COUGHLIN, columnist for the Daily Telegraph;
    • Stuart RAMSAY, Chief Correspondent, Sky News;
    • James ROTHWELL, journalist for the Daily Telegraph;
    • John WITHEROW, Editor-in-Chief, The Times;
    • Chris EVANS, editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph;
    • Richard Simon SHARP, Chairman of the Board of Governors, BBC Broadcasting Company;
    • Timothy Douglas DAVIE, CEO, BBC Television;
    • Katharine Sophie VINER, Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian;
    • Clive MYRIE, Correspondent and Anchorman for the BBC;
    • Orla GUERIN, BBC correspondent;
    • Nicholas Anthony ROBINSON, BBC presenter;
    • Paul ADAMS, BBC Correspondent;
    • Nicholas BEAKE, BBC correspondent;
    • Alexander James THOMSON, Channel 4 News Correspondent and Host;
    • Dan RIVERS, ITV Correspondent;
    • Peter BEAUMONT, Journalist for The Guardian;
    • Emma GRAHAM-HARRISON, Correspondent, The Guardian;
    • Sophy RIDGE, journalist and host of Sky News;
    • Catherine Elizabeth NEWMAN, journalist and host of Channel 4 News;
    • Edward VERITY, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail;
    • Christian BROUGHTON, Editor-in-Chief, The Independent;
    • Larisa BROWN, military news editor for The Times;
    • Mark GALEOTTI, political scientist;
    • Joseph BARNES, correspondent for the Daily Telegraph;
    • Gideon RACHMAN, columnist for the Financial Times;
    • Luke Daniel HARDING, Correspondent, The Guardian;
    • Dominic Ralph Campden LAWSON, columnist for The Sunday Times and Daily Mail;
    • Lawrence David FREEDMAN is a columnist for The Sunday Times.
    • Goose

      Quite a list.

      If that lot were taken off air here, it’d be a great loss…to the cause of unquestioningly, incuriously pushing propaganda.

      The whole London media scene is probably teeming with Paul Mason types. I know Russians are equally subjected to nonstop propaganda, but Russia has the excuse of actually being at war.

      Everyone is relentlessly ‘on-message’ on that list, during wartime or peacetime. So much so in fact, they’ve created an oppressive atmosphere here; one in which even questioning the wisdom of Zelensky’s strategy of throwing young men and women into this dreadful meatgrinder of a war, is akin to heresy.

    • Bayard

      That’s a bit unnecessary, isn’t it? It’s not as if anyone on the list would be interested in visiting Russia anyway. They wouldn’t have the slightest interest in what is actually going on there, they already know what the public needs to hear, read or see.

    • Ingwe

      Thanks for this post Tatyana on 14th June 2022 @ 17:55. How the appalling Steve Rosenberg of the BBC avoided the list is disappointing in the extreme. I’d hoped never to hear his plonking, patronising, mendacious bullshit ever again. Oh well, maybe there’ll be an annex later on.

      • Tatyana

        It would be too much stop lists for a person 🙂 I’ve found the name on Wiki

        “…In 2015, the government of Ukraine issued a decree banning several journalists, including Rosenberg, from entering the country over his coverage of the war in Donbas. The decree stated those banned were a “threat to national interests” or engaged in promoting “terrorist activities”. The BBC labelled the ban “a shameful attack on media freedom”. The Ukrainians retracted the ban just a day later.”

        Perhaps, Russian Foreign Ministry think that despite of his personal point of view, the man still reports some true facts?

        Well, here is a list of a list of British subjects who are no longer allowed to enter the Russian Federation:
        Source in Russian

        • Boris JOHNSON (Alexander Boris de Pfeffel JOHNSON) – Prime Minister;
        • Dominic Rennie RAAB – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice;
        • Elizabeth TRASS (Elizabeth Mary TRUSS) – Minister of Foreign Affairs;
        • Ben WALLACE – Secretary of Defense;
        • Grant SHAPPS – Minister of Transport;
        • Priti PATEL – Minister of the Interior;
        • Rishi SUNAK – Minister of Finance;
        • Kwasi KWARTENG – Minister of Entrepreneurship, Energy and Industrial Strategy;
        • Nadine Vanessa DORRIES – Minister of Digitalization, Culture, Media and Sports;
        • James HEAPPEY – Deputy Secretary of Defense;
        • Nicola Ferguson STURGEON – First Minister of Scotland;
        • Suella BRAVERMAN – Attorney General for England and Wales;
        • Theresa MAY is a Conservative MP and former British Prime Minister.

        And quite a curious list of 154 members of the British House of Lords, who

        “…made a direct contribution to the development of London’s anti-Russian sanctions measures aimed at creating conditions for the political isolation of Russia and the destruction of its economy; used their authority to whip up anti-Russian hysteria in the UK, pandered to the Russophobic political course of the British Conservative government.”


        • John Francis MCFALL, President of the House of Lords
        • Rosalind Miriam ALTMANN,
        • Joyce Anne ANELAY,
        • James Norwich ARBUTHNOT,
        • Arthur Desmond Colquhoun GORE,
        • Thomas Henry ASHTON,
        • John Jacob ASTOR,
        • John Richard ATTLEE,
        • Kenneth Wilfred BAKER,
        • Diana Francesca Caroline BARRAN,
        • Michael Walton BATES,
        • Elizabeth Rose BERRIDGE,
        • James Nicholas BETHELL,
        • David John MACLEAN,
        • Olivia BLOOMFIELD,
        • Geoffrey Robert James BORWICK,
        • Nicholas Henry BOURNE,
        • Ivon Anthony MOORE-BRABAZON,
        • Karren Rita BRADY,
        • Robin John Orlando BRIDGEMAN,
        • James George Robert BRIDGES,
        • Michael John BROUGHAM,
        • Angela Frances BROWNING,
        • Peta Jane BUSCOMBE,
        • Jonathan Michael CAINE,
        • Malcolm Ian SINCLAIR,
        • Charles Alan Andrew CATHCART,
        • Caroline Elizabeth CHISHOLM,
        • Alastair Colin Leckie CAMPBELL,
        • Anthony HAMILTON-SMITH,
        • Patrick COURTOWN,
        • Philippa Marion ROE,
        • Julia Frances CUMBERLEGE,
        • Rupert Charles DE MAULEY,
        • Robert William Dixon SMITH,
        • Ian James DUNCAN,
        • Alexander Henry SCRYMGEOUR,
        • Andrew James DUNLOP,
        • Ellen Margaret EATON,
        • Diana Catherine ECCLES,
        • John Dawson ECCLES,
        • Natalie Jessica EVANS,
        • Nicholas John Albert FAIRFAX,
        • Catherine Susan FALL,
        • Michael Stahel FARMER,
        • Edward Peter Lawless FAULKS,
        • Stanley FINK,
        • Jari FINN,
        • Howard Emerson FLIGHT,
        • Janet Evelyn FOOKES,
        • Michael Bruce FORSYTH,
        • Michael Nicholson LORD,
        • David Anthony FREUD,
        • John Eric GARDINER,
        • Rachel Trixie Anne GARDNER,
        • Euan Michael Ross GEDDES,
        • Stephen Gilbert,
        • Alistair Robertson GOODLAD,
        • Giles John Harry GOSCHEN,
        • Michael Ian GRADE,
        • Stephen Keith GREEN,
        • Brian GRIFFITHS,
        • William Jefferson HAGUE,
        • Diana Mary HARDING,
        • Alan Gordon Barraclough HASELHURST,
        • Robert Anthony HAYWARD,
        • Oliver Michael Robert EDEN,
        • Jonathan Hopkin HILL,
        • Fiona Ferelith HODGSON,
        • Robin Granville HODGSON,
        • Christopher Holmes,
        • Gloria Dorothy HOOPER,
        • John Rhodes HORAM,
        • Michael HOWARD,
        • Frederick Richard Penn CURZON,
        • David Arthur Russell HOWELL,
        • David James Fletcher HUNT,
        • Anna Caroline JENKIN,
        • Thomas Michael JOPLING,
        • Richard Sanderson KEEN,
        • Thomas Jeremy KING,
        • Graham KIRKHAM,
        • Timothy John Robert KIRKHOPE,
        • Norman Stewart Hughson LAMONT,
        • Ian Bruce LANG,
        • Howard Darryl LEIGH,
        • Alistair Basil COOKE,
        • Peter Bruce LILLEY,
        • James Randolph LINDESAY-BETHUNE,
        • Robert George Alexander BALCHIN,
        • Edward Peter Bertram Savile FOLJAMBE,
        • Ian Paul LIVINGSTONE,
        • Michael Andrew Foster Jude KERR,
        • James Roger Crompton LUPTON,
        • James Peter Hymers MACKAY,
        • Benjamin Lloyd Stormont MANCROFT,
        • Zaida Parveen MANZOOR,
        • Jonathan Peter MARLAND,
        • Mark Shuldham SCHREIBER,
        • Mark MCINNES,
        • Catherine Irene Jacqueline MEYER,
        • Michelle Georgina MONE,
        • Patricia MORRIS,
        • Michael Wolfgang Laurence MORRIS,
        • John Alfred Stoddard NASH,
        • Lilian Pauline NEVILLE-JONES,
        • Lucy Jeanne NEVILLE-ROLFE,
        • Helen Margaret NEWLOVE,
        • Emma Harriet NICHOLSON,
        • Sheila Valerie MASTERS,
        • Francis Thomas BARING,
        • James Richard O’SHAUGHNESSY,
        • Eric Jack PICKLES,
        • Emma Samantha PIDDING,
        • Stuart POLAK,
        • Dolar Amarshi POPAT,
        • Gary Andrew PORTER,
        • Mark Ian PRICE,
        • Alexander John RANDALL,
        • Elizabeth Marie REDFERN,
        • Bernard Francisco RIBEIRO,
        • John Grenville SPRING,
        • Andrew Robert George ROBATHAN,
        • Kate Harriet Alexandra ROCK,
        • Amanda Jacqueline SATER,
        • Jane Antoinette SCOTT,
        • Joan Anna Dalziel SECCOMBE,
        • James Alexander DOUGLAS-HAMILTON,
        • Fiona Sara SHACKLETON,
        • Mohamed Itaf SHEIKH,
        • Gillian Patricia SHEPHARD,
        • Stephen Ashley SHERBOURNE,
        • Kevin Joseph Maximilian SHINKWIN,
        • Philip Roland SMITH,
        • Deborah STEDMAN-SCOTT,
        • Paul Cline STRASBURGER,
        • Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy GALBRAITH,
        • Elizabeth Grace SUGG,
        • Ranbir Singh SURI,
        • John Derek TAYLOR,
        • William David Trimble,
        • Nicholas Edward TRUE,
        • Christopher Samuel TUGENDHAT,
        • Nicholas James Christopher LOWTHER,
        • Charlotte Sarah Emily VERE,
        • John WAKEHAM,
        • Gordon Joshua WASSERMAN,
        • Arthur Charles Valerian WELLESLEY,
        • Patience Jane WHEATCROFT,
        • Michael John Whitby,
        • Susan Frances Marie WILLIAMS,
        • Laura Lee WYLD,
        • George Samuel Knatchbull YOUNG,
        • James Edward George YOUNGER.

        *I used Google translate tool, so some names spelling may be wrong.

        • portside

          Thanks for this, Tatyana. It seems Nicola Sturgeon is regarded in Moscow as a more aggressive, dangerous warmonger than any of the superhawks on the Labour Right. No doubt she has forwarded this to Hillary.

          • Tatyana

            when translating the lists I’ve noticed von Pfeffel family name. Interesting, Tuytchev is his remote relative.
            also, in the list of Lords there are names that go in pairs. ECCLES, HODGSON, MORRIS, Are they relatives?
            the last 2 gave me a smile: George YOUNG and James YOUNGER, like Dumb and Dumber 🙂

            yet I think if I were in the Russian Foreign Ministry, I’d made better use of Ms.TRUSS khm, ‘excellent knowllege of Geography’. I wouldn’t ban her from entering Russia, on the contrary, I’d manipulate her into Voronezh oblast, saying it’s Ukraine. I’d like to have a couple of new funny memes to laugh. Not that I’m an evil woman, just looks like sense of humor is the only thing left for me to keep on in this scary world.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Rosenberg was banned by Ukraine in 2015 so possibly the Russians look on him with some favour because of that.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        If you never want to hear Steve Rosenberg’s ‘plonking patronising mendacious bullshit’ again, you can always not watch or listen to BBC News, Ingwe. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of other news outlets out there. If it’s of any interest, probably my biggest peeve with Beeb News – apart from their factchecker-in-chief Ros Atkins telling me that ivermectin has no effect against Covid-19 (factcheck: it does) and that it’s okay to support Nazis (factcheck: it’s never okay to support Nazis) – is them constantly referring to things as “so-called” e.g. “so-called Islamic State”, “the so-called Minsk Agreements”, “the so-called Big Six clubs” etc etc, though they never seem to say: “Time for the weather now with the so-called Tomasz Schafernaker – and it’s getting hot out there, Tomasz…” Anyway, I thought that not including Paul Mason in their travel-ban list of journoes was a nice touch from the Russians – that will have ****ed him off a bit. You’re just not that important, Paul.

    • John Kinsella

      Why on Earth would anyone want to visit an authoritarian police state where people are dragged away by Putin’s goons for holding up a blank sheet of paper?

      • Bayard

        “an authoritarian police state where people are dragged away by Putin’s goons for holding up a blank sheet of paper”

        as opposed to an authoritarian police state where a man can be locked up in prison for hugging his daughter?

  • Lysias

    The missiles remained under Russian command and control. We don’ t know what the Cubans would have done if it had been up to them. But, since we know Castro was unhappy when Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles, we can guess.

      • pretzelattack

        guess who had command and control of the missiles in Turkey. JFK, who agreed to withdraw them, but insisted that not be publicised, a great mistake on Kruschev’s part to agree to that.

          • pretzelattack

            probably now, since the US and NATO have been relentlessly expanding since the USSR voluntarily disbanded, but at the time there was a quid pro quo, the US withdrew the missiles in Turkey (and Afghanistan iirc) and the Russians withdrew the ones in Cuba.It was widely seen at a triumph for Kennedy, because that was not publicised. the adoring public just saw the young “war hero” facing down the USSR, the evil Communist Empire he ran a campaign vilifying, to go along with his earlier support for HUAC and Joe McCarthy.

          • mark golding

            The B61’s nukes are cold war relics albeit Northwood generals saturated Western Europe with ‘tactical nuclear weapons’ – short-range atomic bombs ready for a first strike which they plan to win by thwarting the Russian nuclear launch with an unidentified strategy.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Castro urged Khrushchev to use the missiles and to sacrifice Cuba if necessary so it seems likely that had it been up to Castro we’d have had WW3. Luckily Khrushchev had already reached an agreement with Kennedy to withdraw the missiles without consulting or informing Castro who found out from a journalist. It seems the USSR regarded Castro and Cuba with the same contempt as the US did.

          • Peter

            As John Bercow would say: “You are an incorrigible man (/woman?)”

            As with the previous citation by Yuri K, there is precisely zero talk, much less urging, of pre-emption in the letter. Quite the opposite, the suggestion is preceded by “if” an invasion takes place, which he is not only not convinced of but, as quoted, regards as unlikely, seeing an air attack as the most likely assault.

            At the end of the day, I am not well enough informed to comment on the details of the Missile Crisis but it is clear just from a reading of these two documents that your interpretation of them is jaundiced to say the least.

            Assuming the provenance of the letter to be genuine, even Castro’s suggestion to launch missiles in the face of an invasion is ambiguously stated and could equally be regarded as simply an attempt to maximise deterrence – in which case it worked.

            As I say, I need to be better informed on these matters, but your interpretation of these documents is clearly premeditated and prejudiced, which will surprise no one.

            The suggestion that Castro was urging the nuclear destruction of the US in the full knowledge it would result in the destruction and annihilation of his own country and people is pretty preposterous by any standards.

            It kind of fits with the full-scale barrage of propaganda that we are currently engulfed in.

          • Yuri K

            In this letter, Castro wrote that

            “If the second variant takes place and the imperialists invade Cuba with the aim of occupying it, the dangers of their aggressive policy are so great that after such an invasion the Soviet Union must never allow circumstances in which the imperialists could carry out a nuclear first strike against it.”

            Now, since this was a bit vague, Castro clarified the matter in his next letter to Khrushchev, dated Oct 31st:

            “I did not suggest that in the middle of the crisis Soviet Union should attack. I suggested, that after the imperialists attack, Soviet Union should act resolutely and would not make the error of allowing the enemies to begin nuclear attack first”.

  • Frazer

    In Malawi..5ltrs of cooking oil is Kwacha 22000..that is £23.00 Average daily salary for a worker..£2.25p. Work that out !

    • Fat Jon

      Ok, but how much cooking oil does one person use per day? 50ml at most? Which is 23p. Therefore a 5ltr container would last well over 3 months, so why compare with the daily salary?

  • Tatyana

    If some experts in international law could clarify:

    I came across the following statement:

    “Russia has recognized the DPR and LPR as independent states. According to the law, this is enough for them to become participants in international relations.”

    I looked at the Russian Wiki, and it says:

    “International legal recognition is a unilateral act of a state, through which the emergence of a new subject of international law is legally recognized in order to establish diplomatic or other relations with it. The recognition of new states or governments is the exclusive prerogative of other sovereign states.”

    and further:

    “Recognition of a new state or government is an act that only states and governments can do or refuse to do. It usually means a willingness to establish diplomatic relations. The United Nations is not a state or government, and therefore it does not have any authority to recognize this or that state or government.”

    I understand that this is precisely what serves as a bone of contention between Russia and the West. Russia adheres to the above point, while the West demands “recognition by the international community.” I’m asking because I heard Lavrov say that “the current world order is law-based and the US is promoting a rules-based order”. (implying ‘consent of the international community’ and even in more rude phrase ‘consent of US satellites’)

    • Tatyana

      Any comments on the info above? Please do give your opinions.
      Recognition is important, I’ve seen recently in the Russian news an article mentioning that Russia could revoke recognition of the Baltic States.

        • Tatyana

          thanks a lot for the link!
          Although the article criticizes many points that affect US citizens (which does not directly concern me, but only indirectly), but in the very first paragraphs there is a list of international agreements that the US has not ratified. Literally a guide. Thanks to the author for the work done.
          It can be said that US policy is to stand outside international law. And given that their own legal acts are written to give them an advantage, one might even argue that US policy is to stand ABOVE the international law.

          • Vasilisa

            How scary ! And why Mr. Lavrov’s own daughter, who has lived all her life in the USA, holds shares in many American banks and speaks Russian with difficulty, continues to remain in such a bad, terrible country ?

        • Vasilisa

          “The U.S. Makes a Mockery of Treaties and International Law:”

          – said the beings who fraudulently took over businesses.

    • Andrew H

      Individual countries are free to recognize whatever territories they wish as independent. However, Russia recognizing DPR and LPR as independent does not mean any other country will. There is an official UN list of countries ( You will note that Republic of Moldova is on this list, but not Palestine, Taiwan or Transnistria – unless Ukraine recognizes DPR/LPR as independent, then it is unlikely that western countries will and even less likely that the UN will modify its member state list (there is a process for that).

      Scotland will be recognized as an independent nation when the UK accepts that (which it most likely will after a referendum that the UK accepts as valid). In that sense, the only way for Crimea/DPR/LPR to become independent is for Ukraine to agree. (say after a referendum that Ukraine accepts as fair – say 5 years down the road, agreement on who is allowed to vote, what is the territory of the region(s), election run by international monitors, agreement on tv coverage so that arguments can be made – supply of water seems to be an issue for Crimea – is Russia willing to build a pipeline from Russia, is Ukraine willing to supply water and if so at what price per liter? Will Russia be allowed to keep a naval base? All of this needs to be made clear before Crimeans can make a decision). There are ways for regions of a country to separate peacefully (as Czech/Slovakia or Scotland/UK) – DPR/LPR instead of pursuing those options are instead getting involved in a non-sensical Russian backed war in which a large part of the male population of DPR/LPR is being killed.

      Similarly, Russia can unilaterally issue Russian passports to those living in occupied Ukraine or to people anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean western countries will accept those passports for travel – indeed it mostly just complicates things for all Russians since now visa applications to the west will need to be accompanied with additional acceptable documentation for proof of residency / proof of residency at time passport was issued (to determine if the passport is valid in western eyes).

      • Tatyana

        Thanks Andrew. You describe how recognition occurs in the international organization of the UN.

        Actually, the opinion that attracted my attention and was the reason for my question stated that the UN recognition is a nice thing to have, but is not absolutely necessary from a legislative point of view.
        A necessary and sufficient condition is the recognition by a sovereign country or government.
        Such a new country may be not recognized by any other country, government or international organization, but nevertheless it still becomes a participant in international relations.

        For example, recognizing the DNR and LNR as independent republics, Russia has the right to sign an agreement with them on military assistance (as well as on citizenship, humanitarian aid, borders/customs, and a whole string of inter-state agreements).
        The point of view is that the UN or other countries may not like it, but it will still be legal.

        Like Ukraine does not recognize the DPR and LPR as independent, same Serbia does not recognize Kosovo either. But that does not make the US decision to recognize Kosovo illegal. Unpopular, annoying, provocative, etc. But not illegal.

        I want to say that this state of affairs has its advantages. This makes the UN a community in which the interests of all can be taken into account. This makes the UN a place in which everyone can bring their point of view on international affairs to the discussion. And this is good.
        Otherwise, it would be an authoritarian system with a single center of control and one single mode of action. Then no society would be able to gain independence, most likely. No government in exile would ever gain support.
        So I think that the current system is not bad.
        Well, I was trying to get some proof for the point. Some link to the UN legislation maybe. Where it could be written. Wiki is not a very reliable source. If anyone ever finds the international law, that allows sovereign states and governments to recognize other countries, please let me know.

  • Johnmc

    To be fair Craig, your record on “calling it” started off abysmally and the appeasement of carpet bombers and imperialists at the cost of a country’s self determination doesn’t improve that record.

    • Goose

      At least CM and this blog have avoided the ire of Paul Mason, and his sinister Orwellian mind map.

      Mason is only targeting the anti-imperialist left. So those on the left that are pro imperialism can breathe easy, phew!

      Whether that extends to all 5 of them, idk? Because one of them once said she didn’t really admire the likes Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bolton all that much, or particularly believe in American exceptionalism – no doubt near heretical views to the likes of Mason.

      • Wikikettle

        Scott Ritter latest on Judge Napolitano Judging Freedom channel. Daily Mail report missiles launched into Russia from Ukraine ?

      • Wikikettle

        “Don’t mention zee war” Its a criminal offence for journalists to report the other side of the story in Germany and you get your bank account frozen. A German independent journalist reporting from Ukraine, has had her and her fathers bank accounts frozen and issued papers for criminal action which carries three year prison sentence ! Coming to a town near you ! Soon

          • jordan

            Worse, the last sentence in the verdict PDF goes like:

            No previous questioning of the accused takes place because it would endanger the investigation purpose.

            The verdict PDF (in German) has been posted on TG channels of Alina (Neues aus Russland), Vanessa Beeley, maybe others. It was discussed in the member section of UKColumn. Maybe it will make it to the main show Friday 1pm.

  • nevermind

    Alina Lipp is of German and Russian parents, she moved to Donetzk six month ago and has over 120.000 followers on Telegram. The public prosecutor has opened a case against her quoting #140 of the German penal code, specific the ‘reward and approval of crimes’.

    She is now being prosecuted in absentia as the public prosecutor denied her the right to speak out at a trial against her, they do not want her to be at her own trial. They believe that the 24th. Febr. started aggression is an ‘attack war’ which is a crime according to #13 of the ‘ criminal code that outlaws international crimes of aggression in Germany’s penal code.
    Germany is worried that her contributions on the internet, and many Germans are on Telegram, could lead to a heated public situation and cause uproar.
    This campaign is markedly different, as to keep her away and shut her up was preceded by a parallel massive defamation campaign against her and a few other independent media outlets, who in a flurry of multiple different articles describing her as ‘Putin’s information warrior’, in the established media.

    ‘They are investigating against me, but don’t want to listen to me, interesting. What has happened to me, could happen to all independent bloggers/ Journalists and we must unite against such censure.’

    Freely translated from a 16.06.2022 report on

    I hope this helps a little and shows that this international campaign of shutting out those who point out facts, like the non adherence to the Minsk agreement, Asov, right wing sector and or the bombing of Donbass for eight years, at the ignorance of the western media and its political leaders, are all in the cross-hair of warmongers now.. Thanks for your long lists of UK banned individuals, Tatyana, here is a little humour from us here.

    Overheard in a garden. The owner of the house is sighing about to go into town for work. “What’s the matter?” asked the gardener.
    The man answered that “petrol and gas prices are so dear these days people can hardly afford it”.
    The gardener sighed “I know, I had to cut somebody’s lawn using vodka instead of petrol; it was cheaper, but the lawn looked half cut”…..

    take care all

    • nevermind

      Another small point that makes me think that she is being hung out to dry is that she is an ex Grteen party member and it was the constant ignorance, lack of knowledge and laziness of fellow Greens, even at the top level that made her start a website at first and ‘Neues von Russland’ eventually.
      I am reading her biography which she put up here,
      but its to much to translate in a hurry.

    • Shaun Onimus

      This is ugly stuff. I do wonder if the MSM parrots will stop themselves from repeating ‘At least in the West you can say war without going to jail’. Somehow I doubt this will stop them. As long as they align with current agenda, you can say war yes, but try opposing a foreign policy, try opposing $current_thing and you can find yourself in jail, and no, not ‘because of Putin’. Blinders on, full speed ahead, ignorance is bliss!

    • Vasilisa

      That is, I understand correctly, Germany itself, under certain circumstances – would let some Bavaria / Saxony / Württemberg / Westphalia / Pomerania “go for a walk” too ? Or – it is “different” ?

  • Goose

    As Aaron Bastani highlights, David Arakhamia, one of Zelensky’s closest advisers, confirms the guardian’s earlier report that Ukraine is suffering 30,000 casualties a month. 25-50% of these are apparently fatalities. The costs to Ukraine are becoming truly horrific. The health costs for rehabilitation of the severely injured and psychiatric wards full of those suffering PTSD(shell shock) will also be crippling. Fighting to retain territory in the East they’ve been fighting over since 2014’s western-backed coup.

    And not a word in the UK parliament from any of the parties’ frontbenches, questioning the wisdom of this strategy of pumping in heavier and heavier advanced weaponry and encouraging Ukrainian sacrifice. With this rate of attrition, Zelensky may be risking a mutiny in the East, followed by a wider insurrection. I’d be surprised if Russia aren’t dropping anti-Zelensky pamplets in the East encouraging precisely this, morale must be terrible given the scale of losses.

    • Shaun Onimus

      It’s likely that admitting losses is a pre-requisite to begging for more weapons. The pamphlets thing seems unnecessary if you have other ways of getting news of current events to them.

    • Vasilisa

      I understand correctly – the United States itself, under certain circumstances, would also let some Texas or the Great Lakes “walk”; France – Normandy/Anjou/Gascony/Provence; Germany – Saxony / Bavaria / Westphalia / Pomerania, waving after them with a sweet smile and wishes of happiness ? Or when they hurt – already you, yourself, then it will be “different”, a serious offense and an attack on interests, and then all means of counteraction will be good ?

  • Harry Law

    Andrew H and Tatyana……

    “There are ways for regions of a country to separate peacefully (as Czech/Slovakia or Scotland/UK) – DPR/LPR instead of pursuing those options are instead getting involved in a non-sensical Russian backed war”

    Crimea and the two independent Republics have tried to separate peacefully from Ukraine but have been told in no uncertain terms they cannot do so, the Ukrainian army has been shelling those Republics for the past 8 years, President Putin even called it Genocide. Now they have decided to secede, who can blame them?

    The UN charter gives ‘All peoples the right to self determination’ unfortunately it does not say ‘which people’ understandably, are the Caledonians ‘a people’ are the Basques ‘a people’ the Spanish Government do not think they qualify for self determination and are willing to go to war [civil war] in order to prevent it.

    Fortunately Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been given the right to self determination and can secede from the UK if a majority in each entity decides to do so.
    The EU had a dilemma when Caledonia wanted to secede from Spain, realizing support from the EU could open a Pandora’s box for other regions of the EU, Italy or France for instance they prevaricated. What about the Cornish Nationalist party Mebyon Kernow who had support from the North Cornwall MP John Pardoe, would they be allowed to secede. [unlikely].

    Finally, in my opinion all the changes to Ukraine, first by Crimea then the two Republics have been done properly and according to International law. The Ukrainian government [like the Spanish government] refuse to accept their secession, even with a Crimean vote of 95% for secession. Further it could be argued that because of the US inspired coup in 2013/14 in breach of the constitution, the constitution had been suspended and was not operating at the time. The article below is a must read one on this topic.

    “Reasons for separation (secession) Crimea
    Secession in international law means the separation of a certain territory from a State “for the purpose of creating a new sovereign State or unification with another state.”
    This is exactly what happened in Crimea, and after a bloody putsch prepared in advance by other states, in particular the United States, against the legitimate government of Yanukovych in Kiev.
    The fact that the United States played a decisive role in this “regime change”, as the then US State Department Commissioner for Ukraine Victoria Nuland admitted”,
    This is how lawyer Reinhard Merkel sees the situation. In his article, he came to the conclusion that the secession of Crimea and the subsequent referendum were held quite in accordance with international law, and not at all in violation of it, as most countries claim. However, Merkel makes a reservation: both the secession and the referendum were violations of the Ukrainian Constitution. However, this is not a matter of international law”

    • Tatyana

      Most interesting, Harry Law, thank you!
      I forgot to mention, that opinion on the legality of Russia’s recognition of the DPR and LPR, the person literally said: “the republics were recognized by Russia, a sovereign state and a permanent UN SC member.”
      I just thought maybe there’s a special reservation for permanent member states? Some privilege of unilaterally recognizing other states?
      Any info/ideas on it?

        • Harry Law

          Pears Morgaine, Pasechinic and Pusilin have the objective of integration with the Russian Federation, is that surprising? The peoples of the Dombass have the right under International Law to choose self determination, but first they had to seceded from Ukraine, which they did, President Putin announced recognition of the republics on 21 February 2022. Now if they wish to join the Russian Federation they will need to apply to join, then it is up to Russia to approve their application or not. This is not rocket science Pears Morgaine. If Scotland seceded from the UK they would be independent, they probably would apply to join the EU, they may well be accepted, but these are all necessary legal procedures which have to be followed.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “Independence” wasn’t an option on the Crimean referendum, which might’ve been rigged anyway. It was a choice between integration with Russia or a previous deal with Ukraine which hadn’t worked out. Similarly the citizens of the Donbas aren’t going to get to vote on independence. The process of integration is already well underway whether they want it or not. That isn’t rocket science either.

          • Bayard

            “Independence” wasn’t an option on the Crimean referendum, which might’ve been rigged anyway. ”

            I do know that, but if the Crimeans had wanted independence not reunification with Russia and remember Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, would they have voted quite so enthusiastically for reunification? We’re not talking about a Brexit-style result here. In any case, there has hardly been an election or a referendum this century where those who don’t like the result haven’t claimed it was rigged in some way. You could say that it was a fait accompli, that Russia had occupied the Crimea and therefore the result was always going to be reunification, but if the majority had not wanted that anyway, they simply would have stayed at home and not bothered to vote. Results can be rigged, but turnouts are much harder.

      • ET

        Tatyana, I did a search using the term “international law and recognition of new states” and got multiple hits. Might be worth exploring a few of them. From reading a few there doesn’t appear to be any consensus on the “legality” of recognition of states. Indeed, non-recognition is a form of recognition of the entity you refuse to recognise as an entity.
        I’ll post one link that at least introduces some of the terminology and concepts one might consider in thinking about this.

        I think the realpolitik of it is that recognition/non-recognition is driven by politics with no real legislative foundation. To further confound things, say, for example, The USA recognised the unilaterally declared independence of Scotland from the UK it would be falling foul of its committments to not interfere in the territorial integrity/internal functioning of the UK (assuming UK was opposed to said unilateral declaration of independence) which by it’s prior recognition of the UK as a state it is bound to comply with.
        Russia may recognise the DPR and LPR as states and afford them the status of states in their dealings (ambassadors, treaties, trade etc) with them but that doesn’t force other states to do so.

      • Banagher

        Nun, vergleichen wir das einmal mit der der Abtrennung des Kosovo!
        Anbei übersende ich einen Link über das Gespräch von Putin mit dem Geralsekretär Guterres. Dieses Video ist auf russisch!

        Die Übersetzung auf Deutsch finden sie auf der Webseite etwas weiter unten:

        2 Möglichkeiten das ins Englische zu übertragen: googeln, oder die Webseite auf englisch einstellen.

        Well, let’s compare that to the separation of Kosovo!
        I have attached a link to Putin’s conversation with Secretary General Guterres. This video is in russian!

        The German translation can be found on the website a little further down:

        2 ways to translate this into English: google it, or set the website to English.

    • Andrew H

      Harry, with all due respect these arguments are nonsense. The way Russia has annexed Crimea, LPR, DPR is not significantly different to the way Germany annexed Czech Republic, France, Poland in WW2.

      Your comparison with Catalonia in Spain: The significant difference is that Russia sent troops into LPR/DPR/Crimea. If after the illegal referendum in Catalonia, France had sent troops to support Catalonia in its independence that would have been an act of war against Spain. It is important to understand that the referendum held in Catalonia was illegal – even the Catalonians will tell you that – the point of the referendum was to highlight the need for a future legal referendum that Spain would accept. Any EU support for Catalonia is not about recognizing Catalonia as independent, but rather trying to ensure that those that instigated the referendum are treated fairly by the Spanish justice system (their actions were political and essentially peaceful), and to express the need for dialogue – to avoid creating an armed independence movement (as happened with Basque). Russia is not going to allow Ukraine to conduct a referendum under its terms (which might not give those not born in Ukraine a vote).

      The Crimea referendum was a sham. Prior to 2014 there was no independence movement. The peaceful road to independence takes 30+ years of campaigning. You piss on the Scottish/Catalonian independence movement when you try to draw a comparison. Thirty years ago LGBT in the west was in its infancy – most of us were pretty homophobic – but after 30 years of pride parades we finally started to understand the need for acceptance. Similarly, 50 years ago Scottish independence from the English perspective would have been an impossibility – but after 50 years (probably closer to 300 years) of the SNP plugging away most English have been convinced that it is not important to us and the Scots should make their own decision. Most of those that have tirelessly campaigned for Scottish independence are now old and will likely not see independence in their lifetimes – but will die believing that peaceful change is now possible.

      The mobilization of people living in LPR/DPR is a gross violation of the Geneva convention (and hence international law). Not only has Russia sent troops into these territories to support an illegal break away but it has conscripted people in those areas to fight its war against the whole of Ukraine. In ww2, not even the Germans conscripted the local populations of France, Czech Republic, Poland etc to fight its war. Russia’s actions in this regard are really quite despicable, especially given the comparatively small population of DPR, the fact that these troops were often sent to the front line and without training or proper equipment (the argument that it was the DPR that carried out the mobilization is a morally weak technicality). Even Igor Girkin is appalled by this, and it will likely go down in history as one of the most repugnant crimes in modern times.

      • Banagher

        Bei dem Referendum der Krim sind die russischen Truppen in der Kaserne verblieben und haben nicht die Öffentlichkeit durch Präsenz in der Öffentlichkeit beeinflußt.
        Weiterhin gilt zu bemerken, dass Russland seit eh und je mit Vertrag einen Marinestützpunkt in Sewastopol unterhält!

        In the Crimean referendum, Russian troops remained in barracks and did not influence the public with their public presence.
        It should also be noted that Russia has always maintained a naval base in Sevastopol by contract!

      • portside

        Going by Washington’s own spurious Right To Protect mantra, Russia had clear grounds to intervene in an adjoining province where ethnic Russians were being slaughtered by hardcore Nazis employed by a hostile coup government. Compare it to any of the US-NATO RTP disasters you championed and Russia’s grounds for intervention are far more justified.

        • Andrew H

          LOL. Russia’s actions in Ukraine far from protecting DPR/LPR are exterminating them. Advancing into Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson has nothing to do with protecting DPR/LPR. Indeed using DPR/LPR militia on the front-lines is just exterminating these people.

          Although, the people of Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson may be predominantly Russian speaking – they never asked for Russian intervention and many are vehemently opposed to having their cities destroyed. If Russia were serious about protecting DPR/LPR it would withdraw to pre Feb 2022 lines and discuss meaningful ways that DPR/LPR could achieve independence in the long term – this cannot happen unless there is a long period of peaceful reflection, discussion and without agreement of what territory would be included and who would be allowed to vote. For example, does DPR only want independence of pre 2022 DPR – or does it want the whole of Donbass to be included? – without meaningful debate amongst the whole population of the Donbass and extensive surveying of the opinions of those living in these areas it is not even possible to formulate what territory should be included or what level of autonomy is desired – one option is complete independence and another is some greater local powers that don’t interfere with Kyiv’s ability to set foreign policy including trade, security and EU membership. (Say a federal structure like Canada where Quebec has rights to hold regular independence votes, manages local health care, traffic, education and police, but has no veto in foreign policy and is subject to all federal laws).

          Given that EU membership requires a complete overhaul of virtually all laws, realistically any devolved government is unlikely to be given a lot of powers at least until EU accession is complete. Do DPR even want independence if it doesn’t come with the whole of Donbass? (There is a danger of creating a N.I. type scenario where Ireland got independence; but the Northern counties didn’t want it, and so the UK split the country accordingly – creating enormous problems. Splitting Donbass along 2014 lines may create problems down the road and unless the whole of Donbass wants to leave Ukraine, full independence may not be what the local population wants. The current Russian aggressive interference in Ukraine doesn’t help to resolve any of these questions. Indeed it is clear that Russia’s motives are about territorial expansion – and it is pretty pointless to pretend otherwise.

          • Crispa

            If the Donbass is such an integral part of Ukraine and none of Russia’s business, why have the Ukraine forces been attacking their own people for the last 8 years and are continuing to attack it today by shelling residential areas and a maternity hospital I believe that are unconnected with any military activity there?

          • Andrew H

            Crispa, I’m pretty sure had Russia created an additional 5km wide DMZ around DPR/LPR with North/South Korea style fortifications (or had sent a Transnistria style peace keeping regiment to patrol the Minsk line), the west would not have got involved in massively arming Ukraine. Very few DPR/LPR civilians were killed between 2016 and the start of 2022 invasion – deaths were falling year by year – dialogue was very much the way to advance the cause of DPR/LPR. In the run up to Feb 2022, Macron was very much trying to act as an intermediary between Ukraine and Russia and with EU enlargement and fate of Renault on the line would have held a lot of sway (arguably the French diplomacy came too late, given that troops were already amassed, but until now Ukraine/Russia was never very high on Europe’s agenda). Today Macron is mostly sidelined, with the less compromising US/UK/Poland setting the diplomatic agenda. As I have stated, the Russian motive here has little to do with protecting DPR/LPR and everything to do with Russian territorial expansion. Sending millions of refugees into Europe has simply provoked an armed confrontation between NATO and Russia – which is ultimately costing the lives of many Russians and Ukrainians as well as wholesale genocide of DPR.

            It is interesting that Igor Girkin even considers that the failure of Russia’s special operation in Ukraine has the potential for civil war in Russia ( I don’t really buy into that theory – most of Russia’s civilian population is heavily suppressed and indifferent to politics – if there are to be any repercussions I would imagine it to be confined to the FSB and elite rather than the broader population. If anyone smart has a clearer understanding of this I’d be interested to know – the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan didn’t lead to a Libya style collapse, so I don’t see why a similar failure in Ukraine would have any greater consequences – indeed RF would outwardly seem to be a far more stable entity than the Soviet Union.

          • Bayard

            “Crispa, I’m pretty sure had Russia created an additional 5km wide DMZ around DPR/LPR with North/South Korea style fortifications (or had sent a Transnistria style peace keeping regiment to patrol the Minsk line), the west would not have got involved in massively arming Ukraine.”

            In what way would this differ from their invasion of Ukraine this year? They would have had to send troops into Donetsk and Luhansk, then do exactly what they are doing now, i.e. throw the Ukranian army out of Donetsk and Luhansk before they could even construct their DMZ.

            “Very few DPR/LPR civilians were killed between 2016 and the start of 2022 invasion “

            I’m glad you think a death toll running into the tens of thousands is “very few”. What would you count as “many”, a death toll in the millions?

          • Andrew H

            Bayard: In recent years the number of casualties had fallen sharply. See ( As you can see that in 2020 there was just 1 civilian casualty. Instead of starting an armed independence movement with Russian support – the DPR in 2014 should have tried to seek independence through peaceful means first (for a minimum of 20 years). How many years did Poland/Hungary/Czech Republic/East Germany have to wait to gain independence from the Soviet union? How many years did Havel sit in jail to make the case for peaceful Czech independence? These things don’t happen overnight – and armed rebellion should be a very last resort. It isn’t reasonable to start a civil war before peaceful attempts have been exhausted over a prolonged period of time – the DPR didn’t try the peaceful route (probably because Russia was the primary instigator), and now they are paying a very heavy price. Unfortunately nothing can undo that history. (The population of Donetz is just 900,000 – so the male population between the all important ages of 20 and 40 may not be higher than 100,000 – even 10,000 loss on that will have massive social and demographic costs. There are educated people in Russia who understand this – the elite circle in Russia who instigated the ‘special operation’ are morally responsible for what is essentially the genocide of DPR). Before you complain about the violence of the 2014 Maidan uprising – you need to compare it with the 1917 Russian revolution or 1793 French revolution if you prefer to avoid a critical look at Russian history.

          • Bayard

            “How many years did Poland/Hungary/Czech Republic/East Germany have to wait to gain independence from the Soviet union?”

            How many of those countries had their democratically elected president overthrown in a coup? One at least, Czechoslovakia, and what happened? The people rebelled and there was violence. Czechoslovakia’s independence had nothing to do with Vaclav Havel being in prison, it was part of the general collapse of the Soviet Union. No amount of non-violent waiting would have gained any of those countries independence if that hadn’t happened nor was the collapse in any way precipitated by those countries’ desire for independence. Try naming me a country that achieved independence peacefully against the wishes of its ruling state in the absence of the collapse of that state’s hegemony.

          • Andrew H

            Bayard, I think that is a rather cynical take. Peaceful change does happen – activists do shape opinion and over time change happens. The end of the Soviet Union, transformation of Britain from feudal Monarchy to democracy, Indian independence, end of apartheid in SA, end of British slave trade, Scottish independence vote, end of whale hunting, even Maidan protests are examples of changes that were to a large extent brought about by peaceful activism. (less peaceful examples being Russian/French revolutions, end of slavery in America aka civil war, etc). The extent that you categorize the peaceful changes as the result of “dialog by activists and authors” vs “they wanted to do it anyhow” – really depends on one’s level of cynicism – slow changes are often difficult to credit to any one event.

          • Andrew H

            Ask yourself, how do your opinions differ from those of your parents? If you are 40+ ask yourself how your opinions have evolved over your life time and why? Was it something you read, a particular person that inspired you, dialog with many other people, etc?

        • Vasilisa

          The Botox rat doesn’t care – not even the Russians at home. Almost all of his activity and company of these thirty years-yells about it. Putin is a deceitful, two-faced scum and a puppet of the oligarchs.

      • Andrew H

        I will also add for Craig Murray’s benefit that many English have great respect with regards to the way the Scottish Independence movement has conducted itself (no violence at all). It may even be true that the Good Friday agreement in NI was in part paved by the example of the Scottish Nationalists and their steadfast commitment to peaceful change.

      • Bayard

        “Prior to 2014 there was no independence movement.”

        Oh yeah? from Wikipedia:

        “Half year later in January 1991, the Crimean Oblast held a referendum, and voters approved on restoring autonomy to the region as the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. On 5 May 1992, the Crimean legislature declared conditional independence,[53] but a referendum to confirm the decision was never held amid opposition from Kyiv: elected president of Crimea Yuriy Meshkov, was replaced by Kyiv-appointed Anatoliy Franchuk, which was done with the intent to rein in Crimean aspirations of autonomy.[51]”

        but don’t let facts get in the way of your Russophobia.

      • Bayard

        “The way Russia has annexed Crimea, LPR, DPR is not significantly different to the way Germany annexed Czech Republic, France, Poland in WW2.”

        What about the way Ukraine “acquired” Crimea in the first place: again from Wikipedia: ” At that time no vote or referendum took place, and Crimean population had no say in the transfer”. So anyone who was alive in 1954 was suddenly transformed from being a citizen of Russia to a citizen of Ukraine. This is somehow supposed to be eternal and irrevocable, yet when there is a referendum and 97% of the inhabitants, a fair few of which were born as Russian citizens, remember, say that they want to go back to being a part of Russia, this is a “sham”.

        • Tatyana

          A minor correction, in 1954 they transformed from being a citizen of USSR to a citizen of USSR 🙂 Same country. There was no independent Ukraine then. What was done illegally is independence referenda on breaking of the USSR. Due to the law, every region had to vote. That means Crimea had to vote separately, as an autonomous Republic. The same applies to Abkhazia, Ossetia etc. But, someone decided to separate the Union by the borders of bigger regions. Cannot say if the people of Donbass or Crimea were unhappy, looks more like nobody cared about citizenship, while we all stayed good friends and close relations. Never nobody expected the shift in Ukrainian minds like this one we observe now.

          • Bayard

            “There was no independent Ukraine then.”

            I am loath to correct you, but I have seen lots of times in the media the statement that Ukraine has been a nation since 1922. They couldn’t possibly be wrong, could they?

            “Cannot say if the people of Donbass or Crimea were unhappy”

            Since the Crimeans voted for autonomy in 1992 and later had their president replaced by the Kiev government with one less keen on autonomy, I would expect that they weren’t exactly celebrating.

          • Tatyana

            Bayard, if we talk about states and entities, Ukraine held referendum in 1991 and Independence Act was announced in 1992. Before this date Ukraine existed as a ‘dependent’ part of USSR, and before that as a part of Russian Empire.
            If we talk about common sense, then Ukrainians see themselves as a people with their unique culture and language for long. The difference to Russian or Belorussian may look insignificant, but nonetheless the difference exists and we should respect it.

            To illustrate the difference – when a child I learned to read early. Russian is native language. Both grannies spoke mixed Ukr-Rus dialect. I spent my summers at my granny’s in Voronezh. Among other newspaper post they had ‘Perets’ (Pepper) magazine subscription, in Ukrainian. I read it with no difficulty, easy to read and to understand. Another illustration is classic Russian and Soviet literature, like Gogol or Shevchenko. No problem understanding it.
            Also, many a folk in villages speak this mixed Ukr-Rus dialect, up to today. That is why it’s seen as a language of uneducated folk. Sort of ‘people’s language’.
            Modern Ukrainian tend to adopt much of Polonian and English lexicon.

        • Vasilisa

          I understand correctly – the United States itself, under certain circumstances, would also let some Texas or the Great Lakes “walk”; France – Normandy/Anjou/Gascony/Provence; Germany – Saxony / Bavaria / Westphalia / Pomerania, waving after them with a sweet smile and wishes of happiness ? Or when they hurt – already you, yourself, then it will be “different”, a serious offense and an attack on interests, and then all means of counteraction will be good ?

  • Harry Law

    Tatyana, I am not aware of any special arrangement a UN veto wielding member has since all members are supposed to be equal, even though as we all know some members, as George Orwell noted, are more equal than others. But since 80% of the community of Nations are not against Russia, it could be assumed those two Republics and Crimea will have many other countries approval, over time. President Putin is always quoting the Kosovo precedent and if you remember there was no referendum held there, simply a vote in the Kosovo parliament, quickly latched onto by the US.

    • Tatyana

      I only found this on UN website, in Russian. This describes the criteria and the procedure of becoming a UN member.

      /…/ The recognition of a new state or government is an act that only other states and governments can do or refuse to do. As a rule, this act means readiness to establish diplomatic relations. The United Nations is neither a state nor a government and therefore does not have any authority to recognize a particular state or government. As an organization of independent states, it can admit new states into its membership or accept the credentials of representatives of a new government. /…/
      The application is being considered by the Security Council. A recommendation for admission is considered accepted if 9 of the 15 members of the Council vote in favor of it, and none of the 5 permanent members – China, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and France – voted against.

    • Tatyana

      When UN is global organisation, I found this for smaller organisation – European Community (must be some special name for European Union before 1993)

      /…/ An important step towards the development of a universal criteria system was made during the formation of states in the territories of the former Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. In this regard, on December 16, 1991, the European Community adopted “Criteria for the recognition of new states in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union” /…/

      The article makes the same conclusion:

      /…/ the international legal personality of a newly emerged/unrecognized state in no way depends on its recognition. From all this follows the conclusion that the recognition of the state is exclusively political in nature, without affecting its legal personality /…/

      *Google translate suggests ‘legal personality’ for Russian ‘правосубъектность’ Not sure is this a correct translation. Russian word means the ability of an individual or legal entity to have and exercise, directly or through its representatives, legal rights and obligations, that is, to act as a subject of legal relations.

    • Banagher

      Es gab nicht nur kein Referendum sondern dieser Fall wurde sogar vom internationalen Gerichtshof für rechtens befunden. Der Fall Kosovo ist also laut internationalem Gerichtshof mit dem internationalem Recht vereinbar!
      Damit hat der Westen in aller Eleganz ein Eigentor getroffen, das heute vielen Regionen die Chance bietet, auch so zu verfahren!

      Not only was there no referendum, but the case was ruled legal by the International Court of Justice. According to the international court of justice, the case of Kosovo is compatible with international law!
      With that, the West has elegantly scored an own goal that today offers many regions the opportunity to do the same!

      • Crispa

        State power houses such as the USA and EU where their back gardens are concerned will cherry pick in line with their own interests which new or emerging states to recognise and not to recognise. Moldova yes, Transnistria no. Kosovo yes, DPR and LPR no. They probably use criteria such as will they do well in the Eurovision Song Contest or be able to field an international football team?

        UK of course has problems over the fate of the two British mercenaries as it is dealing with the legal system of a new / emerging state, which retains the death penalty. UK dismisses DPL as a “Russian proxy” which runs the risk of the DPL carrying out the sentence to show its independence. As we know the death penalty is not used in Russia, but to support DPL as an independent entity, Russia might not wish to appear to exercise any influence over it at this time. UK recognition of the DPL is unlikely, and given its ham-handed approach to the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with Iran, where there was a clear bargaining chip, it might not make any difference to the outcomes of the mercenaries’ case anyway. If their appeal is successful and they survive the decision will be made on other albeit political grounds.

        • Wikikettle

          I’d read somewhere that 40% of Ukrainian farmland had been taken over by US Companies ? If so I wonder what percentage of US Company owned land is in DPR, LPR, Kherson and Oddessa regions ? Be interesting to find what what other Utilities, Health Services, Transport and Power industries were sold of ?

    • Vasilisa

      “But since 80% of the community of Nations are not against Russia, it could be assumed those two Republics and Crimea will have many other countries approval, over time.”

      Well – it is not harmful to dream. The well-known Hundred Years War lasted almost a hundred and twenty years, so today it may well not be the end, Putin fans.

      Moreover, the fact that Vovochka, as a commander, is a complete zero – you can’t throw it anywhere either.

  • George Porter

    Netherlands says it foiled Russian spy attempt to infiltrate the international criminal court [Guardian]
    Seems odd to me – why would they bother?

    • Goose

      Suppose for same reason they were caught trying to hack/exfiltrate information out of the OPCW in that clumsy operation where Russians were caught by Dutch authorities in the car park in a car full of electronic equipment.

      I’d imagine they want information on how these intergovernmental international organisations operate and to gain evidence on who is pulling the strings. Russia, like other countries that have attracted western ire, and certainly the Palestinians, realise the intergovernmental game is rigged against them. I’d guess they want proof? In the case of the OPCW, there seem to be enough whistleblowers now to believe that organisation has indeed sadly been corrupted, surrendering empirical findings and objectivity for shaping findings to suit the needs of certain western govts. The ICC treads carefully too, so as not to upset the US. Look at the anger of US and Canadian politicians over its plans to investigate Israel for war crimes.

      The OPCW and ICC both seem discredited and partisan. They were both established with the highest ideals and it’s a damn shame they succumbed to political interference.

      • Vasilisa

        “Russia realise the intergovernmental game is rigged against them.”

        The beings who bought up villas and yachts in the West (Looks like these countries weren’t “bad” then?), decided to remember “patriotism”?

        • Goose

          It’s hard to feel any sympathy for those oligarchs who’ve taken vast wealth out of Russia, only to see their assets frozen in the west. As to your point though, from 2000 – 2013 the west wasn’t all that hostile to Russians/Russia.

          Worth remembering how In 2012’s US Presidential election President Barack Obama chided his Republican challenger Mitt Romney for claiming Russia should be any sort of top US foreign policy priority. The Cold war is over! Obama declared in the debate. Obama wouldn’t even accept the idea Russia were a geopolitical foe. That’s only 10 years ago.

          If Putin hadn’t stood in the way of the US/UK Syrian regime change plans in 2013, then compounded that by offering NSA contractor Edward Snowden asylum that same year, US – Russia relations would likely be in a different place today. The US would never have sought to use Ukraine + NATO as a proxy irritant. Russia frustrated US plans for Syria, with the UK parliament voting against action on Aug 30, 2013, US lawmakers backed away shortly after. Maidan kicked off November 2013, into 2014 in Ukraine, with US and V.Nuland central to that, meddling in who should be in the new govt. Russia were caught blindsided.

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