Striding Towards Armageddon – Why Putin’s Annexations Are Wrong 1086

Anyone who knows the former Soviet space well understands the crucial difference between “grazdanstvo” – citizenship – and “narodnosc” – nationality. It featured on all identity documents, including passports, in the Soviet Union and on post Soviet national passports, at least until countries joined the EU.

I don’t know if it is currently retained on Ukrainian passports, or if not when it was dropped – perhaps someone might advise.

Everybody in the post Soviet sphere knew the distinction. In Uzbekistan, an inhabitant of Samarkand would almost certainly enter their citizenship – grazdanstvo – as Uzbek and their nationality – narodnosc – as Tajik, for example.

There has been a strange failure to counter the myth that the inhabitants of the Donbass are mostly Russian. They are not, and have not been so for many centuries.

The last census in Ukraine was in 2001, conducted under the pro-Russian president Leonid Kuchma. These are the narodnosc results as percentages for the regions Putin has just annexed.

Donetsk Region

Ukrainians 56.9
Russians 38.2
Greeks 1.6
Belarussians 0.9
Tatars 0.5
Armenians 0.3
Jews 0.5
Azerbaijanians 0.2

Luhansk Region

Ukrainians 58.0
Russians 39.0
Belarussians 0.8
Tatars 0.3
Armenians 0.3

Kherson Region

Ukrainians 82.0
Russians 14.1
Belarussians 0.7
Tatars 0.5
Moldavians 0.4
Armenians 0.4
Crimean Tatars 0.2

Zaporizhzhia Region

Ukrainians 70.8
Russians 24.7
Bulgarians 1.4
Belarussians 0.7
Jews 0.2
Armenians 0.3
Tatars 0.3
Georgians 0.2

In none of the regions Putin has just annexed were Russians a majority in 2001, let alone a 99.7% majority. Apparently 6.4 million Ukrainians have simply vanished.

For completeness here were the 2001 results for Crimea:

Russians 58.3
Ukrainians 24.3
Crimean Tatars 12.0
Belarussians 1.4
Tatars 0.5
Armenians 0.4
Jews 0.2
Poles 0.2
Moldavians 0.2
Azerbaijanians 0.2

There is an extremely important validation of these results available. They only show small changes from the last Soviet census in 1989. In all of these regions (bar Crimea) a majority identified their nationality as Ukrainian in the Soviet census too. So it is not a factor of Ukrainian independence.

Here is the region with the highest concentration of Russians – Donetsk – in the Soviet census in 1989.

Donetsk 1989 Soviet Census

Ukrainians 50.7
Russians 43.6
Greeks 1.6
Belarussians 1.4
Tatars 0.5
Armenians 0.2
Jews 0.5
Azerbaijanians 0.1

As I said, there has never been a Russian majority in the Donbass.

There may have been a slight Russian speaking majority. 14.8% of those, Ukraine wide, who identified their nationality as Ukrainian, gave Russian as their first language. This was higher in the East and lower in the West. But those who self-identify as Ukrainian but speak Russian as their first language, are no different to English speaking Scots. Russian speaking was advantageous in the Soviet Union.

There has never been a Russian majority in the Donbass. Never. The Russian minority in Donbass is mostly derived from the great population movements of 1946, when the Polish city of Lvov became Ukrainian and German cities like Breslau and Posen became Polish.

The Russian minority in Donbass is heavily urban, concentrated in the cities. The Ukrainian majority in the Donbass is heavily rural. The Russians are thus much more concentrated, visible and easy to mobilise. That is why it is genuinely possible to mobilise a pro-Russian demonstration in the cities of Luhansk or Donetsk. It is why journalists visiting those cities get a false impression of the wider population of the region.

That urban/rural split is of course not absolute, and just one factor in patchiness of distribution. Some eastern portions of the Donbass probably did have a Russian majority population.

Farmers cling to their land, and a surprising number of rural Ukrainians remained even within the minority proportion of the lands of the Donbass that became a Russian military enclave post 2014. Most of the land of Donbass, outside the Russian controlled areas, became even more Ukrainian as some population exchange between the areas occurred.

The majority of the territory of Donbass has been conquered by Russia only within the last six months and the population there certainly remains majority Ukrainian. Only in the easternmost areas, the post 2014 enclaves, is there at this moment almost certainly a Russian majority. But even they still have some Ukrainian rural populations.

The notion that the entire Donbass voted 99% to join Russia is just so ludicrous that I don’t know what to say to people who believe it, except that they are so blinded by ideology and hatred of western governments that they have quite literally stopped thinking.

I probably dislike western governments in a deeper and more informed way than they do; it just does not lead me to the ridiculous illogicality of believing that because the west is bad and run by warmongers, rival warmonger Putin and his oligarchs must be better.


You see Vanessa, I do know better. I speak Russian and Polish, have lived in St Petersburg and Warsaw, and have almost certainly both spent more time in Ukraine than you, while I have very definitely forgotten more Ukrainian history than you will ever know.

The idea that in Zaporizhzhia – where 24% of the population self identify as Russian – or Kherson, where 14% are Russian, 97% of the population voted to join Russia is so ludicrous that I can’t believe I find myself explaining it. I have friends in Kherson.

Equally ludicrous is Vanessa Beeley’s idea of election observation. Knowing nothing of the country or its history – and I am quite certain she has no idea of the above census facts – you cannot fly in for a few days and judge a democratic process free and fair.

There are international rules for election observation, long established by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and more recently by the United Nations. These include that observers should not be funded by the host country or by any party involved or be dependent on either for logistics, transport, accommodation and communications. Observers should not be accompanied by any officials when observing.

I have asked Vanessa a few questions on the absolute basics of international referendum observation 101. Let me expand on those a bit here:

What electoral register was used? When was it taken?
What was the supervising body of the referendum? Where are its published rules? How independent was it?
Which people or organisations represented each side of the referendum question? How were they registered?
How long was the campaign period?
What broadcast debates were held?
How was equality of airtime on local broadcast media implemented? how did the observers monitor it?
What were the spending limits for each campaign? How much was spent? How was it audited?
Was each side able to campaign freely without fear and intimidation?
How were the observers dispersed geographically? How many in rural how many in urban areas? For how many weeks?
What campaigning was seen? Where is the observers’ photographic evidence of democratic campaigning by each side?

That is the basic work of any monitoring mission. Democracy is a process, not merely a vote. Only after that do we get to secrecy of the ballot, access to voting, intimidation at polling stations, security of the count etc.

The plain truth is that I resemble a Ducati motorbike more than what happened in Ukraine resembled a democratic process. Anybody who claims otherwise is simply an appalling liar. I was amused by a comment from Eva Bartlett, for whom I generally have much respect, who said she did not meet anybody opposed to the annexation.

If you think carefully, Eva, that is not the win you think it is.

These annexations are deeply unhelpful. They go way beyond anything to which Russia can have the slightest reasonable claim. I could see a negotiated settlement around Ukraine acknowledging Russian sovereignty over Crimea, and perhaps those parts of the Donbass within the control line as at February 2022.

But by declaring as Russian territory large regions of Ukraine to which Russia has no valid claim whatsoever, Putin has made a negotiated settlement almost impossible. He has also bitten off far more than he can chew. As I keep explaining, Russia is not the military superpower NATO wants us to believe in order to keep us fueling the military industrial complex.

Putin is playing into the hands of the United States’ strategy, to bleed Russia and degrade its military whilst expending only Ukrainian lives. Western military technology is vastly superior to Russian. Putin is sending 300,000 conscripts into a meat grinder. As more and more of that western weaponry reaches Ukraine and becomes operational, the Russian conscripts will neither see nor have a chance to fight the person killing them from way over the horizon.

The dangers of escalation towards the nuclear are becoming very real.  I fully acknowledge and condemn the toxic nature of much Ukrainian nationalism, the glorification of Nazis, the banning of opposition parties and of Russian language teaching and media. I utterly oppose NATO expansion. Of course it was not Russia who blew up the Nordstream pipeline or shelled the nuclear power station they were themselves occupying.

I absolutely get all of that.

But unless Armageddon appeals to you, and if you have the slightest respect for truth over ideology, the cheering on of Putin has to stop.


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1,086 thoughts on “Striding Towards Armageddon – Why Putin’s Annexations Are Wrong

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  • Clark

    In a fight, it doesn’t matter which side you’re cheering on, you’re encouraging the fight either way.

    Remember how the 2014 protests in Ukraine were triggered into a coup – someone started shooting at both sides of the crowd. Many people commenting on this thread, probably a majority, might like to engage in a heated discussion asking who, precisely, shot at both sides. The shooters knew better – they wanted conflict, and they got it. All arms dealers are now profiting, and governments gain power over the people.

    • mark golding

      someone or those responsible at the Maidan massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, of Feb. 18-20, 2014 for the organized mass killing of both protesters and the police has been stone-walled. I believe the killing had the goal of delegitimizing the Yanukovych government and its forces and seizing power in Ukraine.

      Thus I discredit the 3D model by Evelyn Nefertari that fingered theBerkut police, as a fabrication on account of the wound locations of the killed Maidan protesters in the 3D model do not match the wound locations in the forensic medical examinations of the bodies. Actually the model in it’s analysis changed three victims bullet entry points. The 3D model moved the exit wound location from around the middle line of the back of Andriy Dyhdalovych’s body in forensic medical and clothing examinations significantly to the right. It also changed a similar large vertical angle from a top and bottom direction and 17 cm difference in height of entry and exit wounds to nearly horizontal level.

      So significantly, they were shot from a top-to-bottom direction and in sides or the back that are consistent with shooting from the Maidan-controlled buildings by snipers, a plot we have witnessed at other mass demonstrations.

      Witness revelations at the scene who saw snipers on the roof of the tall green Bank Arkada building were muted or adapted to match the model and their disclosure were not reported by any Western media.

      • Highlander

        The BBC televised the Venezuelan government snipers supposedly shooting protesters.
        RTE televised both the morning protests and the afternoon protests.
        The two protests the BBC joined together as to imply it was the government sniping at protesters when it was American and English mercenaries doing that which they do so well!

  • Julian Leakey

    Craig, In answer to my previous comment, you wrote:

    ”Of course I am. It is indisputable from the Soviet census. You somehow neglected to notice that even more of them identified as Ukrainian in the census under Kuchma in 2001. And that they constitute the majority of the population of the Donbass.

    I have nowhere suggested that Beeley and Bartlett were duped. I think they are blinded by ideology into believing something which is patently untrue and discordant with all known historical fact.”

    All known historical fact??

    So you are basically saying Beeley, Bartlett and all the other actual observers are lying when they say that they saw fair elections in the Donbass and the published results reflected the observed turnout and mood of the electorate currently residing in Russian controlled territory. Either blindly lying to themselves or deviously lying to all of us, because of their pro-Russian ideology.

    We can all be victims of our early conditioning and ideology and it can take some effort to see past it. Particularly the early conditioning. You and I have somewhat similar backgrounds and probably both grew up believing that George Orwell and Robert Conquest wrote fact and not fiction and that the BBC was an impeccable, independent, unbiased source of information. Our subsequent life experiences have refined our ideologies. As regards Russia, you say you have viewed it from the periphery, Warsaw, Tashkent and the St Peterburg ex-pat community. My experience has been visits to family in the heartland and over 40 years of collaborating and working with Soviet and ex-Soviet scientists.

    So how de we resolve the following?

    Historical fact: In 1989 and 2001 the majority of residents of southeast Ukraine identified as Ukrainian not Russian.

    Observation: This same population voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia in 2022.

    You propose that the only conclusion is that the observers are mistaken or lying, but are there other relevant facts here that can provide an alternative explanation? Did anything happen in the 20 years between 2001 and 2022 that could shed light on the matter?

    Well how about the Orange Revolution? Victor Yushchenko’s administration rehabilitated Stepan Bandera as a national hero and valiant freedom fighter instead of a fascist terrorist responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians as he was described in the Soviet education system and collective memory of most Ukrainians. This is a drastic reversal worthy of a George Orwell story. For Eastern Ukrainians this has been a rather awkward pill to swallow since many have uncles and grandparents buried under the war memorials that cover Ukraine, and they did not fight with Bandera. They had to decide between believing the new government dogma or their family history. So now you essentially have two nationalities, Soviet Ukrainians and Bandera Ukrainians.

    Yushchenko’s popularity tanked after this and he and fellow Bandera Ukrainian, Yulia Tymoshenko were soundly defeated in the 2010 election and if you look up the voting patterns the Party of Regions won the Donbass by a margin similar to the 2022 referenda despite Yanukovych being a mediocre candidate. The map is on Wikipedia. Kherson Oblast showed less support for Yanukovych, 55% versus 68% of electorate in 2022. But Ukrainians in Kherson can see how their neighbors in Crimea have prospered in Russia since 2014 and compare it with their own situation.

    So the referendum results are highly plausible, but of course everyone admits that it excludes the Bandera Ukrainians who left with the Ukrainian army, which is why it will not be accepted internationally. But it includes the current residents and Russia announced today that 8.8 million Ukrainian residents became Russians. I am sure that many of them or their parents identified as Ukrainian in 1989 and 2001. They probably still do, but that does not necessarily stop them wanting to leave the current Ukraine. I hope your ideology allows you to see this.

    There are probably many more in the territories held by Ukraine, but probably not as many as Putin anticipated, which is why the invasion did not go as planned. The goal of the US Atlanticists is to create a barrier between Western Europe and Eurasia to stop the Chinese Belt and Road system reaching the Atlantic. The goal of the US Straussian neoconservatives is to distract or incapacitate Russia sufficiently to allow them to continue with the dismemberment of Syria. The trap that Putin has walked into, hopefully with his eyes open, will likely achieve both these goals and will determine the line where the barrier crosses Ukraine. Hopefully it will be to the liking of the majority of Ukrainians, but it will split friends and families wherever it passes. It will be a long and bloody war if it is to achieve both Western goals. Zelensky says he will fight to the last Ukrainian. I don’t know whether he means Bandera or Soviet Ukrainian, probably both. But he can confidently say this, can’t he? Because when you come to think about it, neither he nor most the other leaders in Kiev since the Maiden are either.

    • Wikikettle

      Jullian Leakey. If you have not already, read and watch Alexie Martyanov on smoothiex12. He is not an armchair keyboard General, but expert and author on Russian military affairs. I also watch and support Brian Berletic of The New Atlas and greatly respect the work of Chris Hedges. Of the people I know, the people I meet, all think the same and either get angry or laugh at my views. So be it.

    • Xavi

      According to British media the Bander worship of the Kyiv government does not exist, or if it does is not perceived negatively in Eastern Ukraine.

      Also according to the British media Jeremy Corbyn posed an existential threat to British Jewry.

      • SK

        I’ve no doubt that Bandera and Shuhevich cults are overblown (sarcasm). The US-supported regime also never renamed the two main streets in Kiev (see google maps).

    • Highlander

      With respect from the 2002 election and every free election there after, election returns shows all four Oblasts voted for the Russian candidate.
      But so did all the costal oblasts.
      Meaning anything that remains of Ukraine will make it a land locked country if it exists at all.

      Best regards

  • Urban Fox

    One thing puzzles about Mr Murray attitude, is the contention that ethnic reasons indelibly affect who you vote for forever? That’s an interesting position…

    As for the Soviet census, those were then on Bolshevik ideological premises which were oftimes nonsensical and didn’t reflect reality.

    Such as Russian, Belorussian & Ukrainian ethnic identity vis-a-vis each other are A) highly malleable & B) have been screwed around with by Soviet & post-regimes based on their needs.

    So the ‘no Russian majority ever in Donbass’ point, isn’t a point at all. As Ukrainians can pretty seamlessly self-identify as Russians based on changing circumstances. Such as the utter manifest failure of the post-Soviet Ukraine to succeed at anything except perpetuate rabid Russophobia whilst digging up the worst ghouls in their history, for the purpose of literal idolatry.

    • Wikikettle

      Urban Fox. I fear Ukraine will be be a template for EU countries that will soon face economic depression. Their elites as in Ukraine will promote extreme Nationalists and blame the ” Other ” for their neoliberal Nato agenda for Regime Change in Russia and China failures. People of colour, migrants and Muslims in the EU will be the new Jews of the 30’s. Let’s recall most of Europe was Fascist in the war.

  • Jack

    Well the europeans are in for in the escalation, more weapons and support for Ukraine

    “Despite declining numbers, however, measures to help Kiev still “remain popular” in the bloc, a study says ”

    Only 1 single nation is apparently against it:

    ““In fact, Italy is the only member state where a majority of citizens oppose the delivery of weapons,” the study pointed out.”

    Of some horrible reason, majority of europeans seems to believe that one solve conflicts with weapons and by killing other human beings.
    Quite sickening.

    • Pears Morgaine

      “Of some horrible reason, majority of europeans seems to believe that one solve conflicts with weapons and by killing other human beings.
      Quite sickening.”

      Except when Vladimir Putin is doing it?

    • mark golding

      Sickening indeed Jack as principally EU is suppressed and controlled by US economic potency and security guarantees. Nevertheless the key to arrange further peace talks may belong to Türkiye. Previous to the Russian operation in Ukraine Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s affinity with President Putin and as an important trade partner served as a antilock brake to the primary Russian shelling in the Donbass region using precision missile strikes.

      To fully understand this rapport we must recognize Türkiye is a junior NATO member, wants membership of the Shanghai Cooperation and opposes conditionally the ambition of Nordic nations bid to join NATO.

      This growing togetherness between these leaders was reinforced when Türkiye witnessed the bloodiest coup attempt in its political history on July 15, 2016, when a section of the Turkish military launched a coordinated operation in several major cities to topple the government and unseat President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Indeed I believe it was a US/UK attempt to assassinate Erdogan in his hotel and install Fethullah Gulen, a permanent US resident.

      With some help Russia had decoded some segments of the Gülenist Terror Group’s communication, Eagle (problematic as run on Google servers) having also in 2015 helped to gain access into the Bylock server, another means of communication, and somewhat decode the archive of Gülenist members (hence the terrorist purge).

      So, here we perceive an example of trust after concern. Türkiye’s regional ambitions are driving Erdoğan’s foreign policy agenda, which ignores U.S. interests in the region except when they dovetail with his own priorities and I suspect all the progress achieved in Türkiye will be somewhat restored with Erdogon pushing for Russia to regain the lost trust in Kiev’s negotiators who must now return to the talking sense table.

  • John Kelly

    Craig, without knowing it you are an M16 asset. It might be that you spent too long in the FCO and not enough in prison to learn anything useful

    • Andrew H

      Come on John – that’s just nasty. You must know that only a tiny percentage of people in the UK (including Scotland) support Russia in its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. Even dock workers were refusing to unload Russian oil – that’s ordinary people who are truly sickened by what Russia is doing.

      • D

        I’m not surprised people are sickened when there’s 1 side reporting that shows the horrors of war in 2022. If the same level of coverage began in 2014 people would be equally sickened at Kiev.

      • Bayard

        “You must know that only a tiny percentage of people in the UK (including Scotland) support Russia in its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.”

        Must? How do you know? Did the BBC tell you?

        • Andrew H

          I have friends, neighbours, work colleagues. I see Ukrainian flags on random peoples houses (but surprisingly no Russian ones). I don’t need to go online or consult with the bbc to get a feel of the ‘anglo-saxon’ mood. The one and only place I see overwhelming Putin support is on Craig Murray’s blog – previous pro-Russian messaging on Skripal and Syria has certainly attracted a certain audience. Now that Craig’s genuinely good conscience is at odds with Putin’s narrative he finds himself being attacked by the wolves.

          • Bayard

            I would expect that if you regularly call anyone who might be sceptical of what the MSM is saying is going on in Ukraine, “Putin’s idiots” and other such names, as you do on this blog, then it’s hardly surprising that your friends, neighbour and work colleagues don’t mention to you any views they might have to that differ from yours. I have a friend like that. He’s a nice guy, but you don’t want to mention Russia, so no-one does.
            Yes, a lot of people did indeed display Ukrainian flags back in the spring, but their number has notably diminished. However, they were a tiny minority even then. The absence of Russian flags in no way indicates that there was a corresponding absence of people who, if not supporting Russia, could see why they might have had to do what they did.
            You are once again equating lack of whole-hearted support for NATO and the EU (which the British, at least half of them voted to leave, so couldn’t be counted amongst its greatest fans before any of this kicked off. We haven’t ever been consulted as to whether we want to stay in NATO, membership or not of NATO doesn’t seem to be something that people need to decide about, our masters know best) and scepticism of the official narrative with support for Russia. May I suggest that the one and only place where you see the official narrative questioned is Craig’s blog simply because you don’t go to places where it is.

    • Andrew H

      And John I watch occasionally to get a feel for the Russian mood. At the start I was surprised at how many Russians were just ordinary ‘western’ people who didn’t agree with the war (many did as well with a big divide between old women and young). There are also some good videos of bloggers that have fled to Georgia – these are just normal kids that would fit into any western city. But as the plan has become derailed the tone has become every more nasty and “patriotic”. I don’t know if that is because those that are able to maintain their sanity are more camera shy – or whether really people have gone full on hate towards Ukraine and the west. I think the turning point was roughly when the simplified Schengen visa program was withdrawn.

    • mark golding

      John Kelly – personal attacks thus are not welcome here.

      Andrew H – our government has banned all ships that are Russian owned, operated, controlled, registered or flagged from entering British ports, but the restriction does not cover the origin of cargo. Companies are free to get around the rules by hiring ships from other countries to import Russian goods.

      Sanctions do not work as I have explained in detail here. They are designed to enrich and sustain the elite and burden poor families trying to get by…

    • John Monro

      I’m afraid your comment isn’t very useful, either, John Kelly. Craig has gone to some bother to research out some useful statistics and put an interesting and informed point of view. You can disagree with it, but most of those contributing here have long since grown out of ad hominems as useful arguments. . The problem is that there’ll be quite a lot of those previously identifying as Ukrainian who are no longer there, and many of them if still there might well prefer to live in Russia than a bankrupt and semi-fascist kleptocracy like Ukraine. So those figures are probably not that relevant. OTOH, nor is the so-caed referendum. But then the US/UK/NATO organised so-called elections in the occupied territories of Iraq and Afghanistan, and we were supposed to accept them. The hypocrisy about all this, indeed the whole war, is nauseating. As I’ve written elsewhere, if hypocrisy had weight, even now the Palace of Westminster and the White House would be slipping under the waters of the Thames and Potomac Rivers respectively.

  • John Kinsella

    A very interesting interview with former CIA Moscow chief of station Rolf Mowatt-Larssen on Putin’s nuclear war threat:

    Mowatt-Larssen is (on my reading) of the view that Putin may, if his forces continue to retreat and in some cases rout, come to the cornered rat mindset where he uses a tactical nuke in the absence (as he sees it) of any acceptable alternative. “Acceptable” here of course means an alternative that preserves his hold on power.

    Mowatt-Larssen is also of the view that detonation of a tactical/battlefield nuke would be militarily futile but politically disastrous for Putin and for Russia.

    I agree.

    • nevermind

      Do we know what Mawatt Larssens views on US nuclear weapons engagement, without Japan having a similar weapon, why did Hiroshima and Nagasaki not been seen as disastrous as it would be to drop a tactical nuclear weapon on Odessa or Kiev.
      And what of the lack of support for Minsk 1/2 demands, signed and sealed, a cease fire support from the EU and UKUS/ but they all knew that Nuland and her arms chums were already pumping in Billions to the plotters, to support their violent repression aimed at the east of Ukraine,

      • John Kinsella

        Imperial Japan had waged an aggressive war on the USA and its allies.

        More damning, Imperial Japan had waged a genocidal war on China and other East Asian countries.

        Should the USA have attempted a sea borne invasion instead?

        Or maybe just surrendered to Imperial Japan?

        • fonso

          Six of seven US 5-star admirals and generals at the time said dropping the atomic bombs was both militarily unnecessary and morally reprehensible. Eisenhower, MacArthur and Nimitz all went on record to say the Japanese were going to surrender in March 1945 if allowed to keep the emperor and that dropping nuclear bombs was against military advice. Truman decided to nuke two civilian cities not to end the war but to send a message to the Soviets, whose invasion of Manchuria is what actually prompted the Japanese to surrender, not the callous annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

          • fonso

            Yes, Peter Kuznick Professor of History and Director of Nuclear Studies Institute at American University.
            Here he is talking about it in a short 5 minute video

            Please provide your sources showing that US WWII generals and admirals thought nuking Japanrse civilians was militarily necessary and justified.

          • fonso


            Do you buy that an apologist for nuking innocents genuinely cares about human life, in Ukraine or anywhere else? I dont buy it, I’m afraid.

        • J Lowrie

          Yes imperial Japan waged a genocidal war against Korea and a few years later imperial US waged a genocidal war against Korea using the same Korean military officers that had collaborated with the Japanese, eg General Yi Ung-jun, Chief of the South Korean General Staff in 1948. He was a graduate of the Japanese Military Academy and pledged his fealty to the God Emperor Hirohito in his blood! He had seen ‘service’ in China. So as with today the US/UK employs fascists.

          PS the late demented Abe of Moonie fame was the grandson of the first postwar Japanese Prime minister ,Kishi.The Yanks had originally declared him an A class war criminal : just the man for the job! He had made a fortune during the war!

        • Pigeon English

          Well you were told that dropping a nuke was necessary. Many historians disagree!
          Some historians claim it was to scare USSR. Putin claims that destruction of Dresden and other cities was’t necessary either and many historians have the same view!
          But you do not understand my point so let’s go to absurd Should Germans Japanese and other Nazis collaborators in Europe be exterminated and nuked?

        • Squeeth

          The Japanese, Italians and Germans were C20th Johnny-come-latelys. Had they been in the colonialism game in the C19th and 19th like the British, Americans, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish, etc blah, hardly anyone would be complaining, except for a few superannuated 1970s egalitarians like me. The Japanese stole colonies off the European slave empires, boo hoo.

    • SA

      According to John Helmer of Dances with bears these are preparations for a false flag to accuse Russia of using atomic weapons. See my comment below.

    • Squeeth

      The Russians are playing for time, not being routed, hence no long lines of prisoners. The US-Ukronazi advance is as strategically vapid as Moltke’s in 1914.

    • Jimmeh

      The interview was interesting. But I tuned out when the interviewee (the “expert”) said there was a difference between intercontinental ballistic missiles, which delivered thermonuclear warheads, and tactical weapons which didn’t.

      The delivery system has nothing to do with it; and essentially all nuclear weapons are thermonuclear nowadays. “Thermonuclear” doesn’t mean gigaton; they couldn’t make a bomb you could fit in an artillery shell without using fusion technology. Small bombs are thermonuclear too.

    • mark golding

      Thanks SA – my friend David Swanson recommended Chris Cook and his radio show. Chris reminds us, towards the end, Zelensky was elected on a promise to champion peace. He is dressed like warrior and a proponent of nothing except the bell and cry of US war hawks which is the root of his vacillation.

      • John Kinsella

        He dresses like a warrior because his country is under attack by the second largest army in Ukraine…

        Would you rather that he wore a suit?

        • J Lowrie

          What a warrior! So he will fight to the death ,( I mean, his own) or escape to Florida to enjoy his millions? Or maybe the CIA will bump him off , as with other has-beens they had no more use for?

          • John Kinsella

            What is the closest (to within, say 100 km) that the Pute has been to the front line since March 2022?

            The Russian people are surely blessed with such a leader…

          • J Lowrie

            I agree. Putin is a useless military leader: weak, procrastinating, naive, puny, but he’s got mighty weapons.

  • k

    When in a hole stop digging. In 2 weeks I expect another article worrying about subscription cancellations exceeding renewals and first timers by 30 to 1.

      • Bayard

        No, Mr Murray should stick to the facts and not take any “stance”, certainly not one that would please you. Tendentious arguments based on outdated censuses and dubious inferences are not going to help in garnering support.

  • Republicofscotland

    Mark Golding @8.42pm.

    Apologies Mark I missed your reply.

    This has unfolded with regards to the ZNPP.

    “Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday ordering his country’s authorities to take control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine and make it a “federal property”.

    The Ukrainian forces may have found a way to severely damage the ZNPP. Which is involves either a collapse of the Dnieper dam or opening of the gate to flood the plant.

    • John Kinsella

      Do you really believe this hubristic nonsense?

      “federal property”.

      Stolen property ffs….

      Yes England has long stolen from Scotland.

      But to embrace Russia’s theft of Ukraine’s collective property as some kind of revenge against “the West” is contemptible.

      • Republicofscotland

        John Kinsella.

        Now let’s see would I rather the ZNPP was in Russian hands or Ukrainian hands considering that the Ukrainians are intent on creating a Chernobyl mark II out of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, upon which depending on the prevailing winds, not taking into account the Coriolis Effect, will be a terrible nuclear disaster and will affect millions of lives for years to come.

        Hmm… A no-brainer I think.

        • John Kinsella

          Why in the name of **** would the Ukrainian Government want to irradiate a part of their own country?

          The Chernobyl disaster was suffered after all by Ukrainians.

          And allowed to happen under the wise management of the “Great Russia”.

          The Hymn of the Soviet Union

          Unbreakable Union of freeborn Republics,
          Great Russia has welded forever to stand.
          Created in struggle by will of the people,
          United and mighty, our Soviet land!

          • Republicofscotland

            “Why in the name of **** would the Ukrainian Government want to irradiate a part of their own country?”

            John Kinsella.

            Next, you’ll be asking why the Ukrainians are murdering their own people and trying to blame the murders on the Russians, you figure it out.

      • mark golding

        U.S. Finally Admits Ukraine Bombs Zaporizhzhia’s Nuclear Power Plant

        Despite a slew of Western MSM lies that try to blame Russia for shelling the plant I suspect British ex SAS mercenaries are working with Ukrainian special forces to plant bombs in a similar manner to an incident in Basra Iraq where two SAS officers were acting as agents provocateurs and confirmed to me saying: “What our police found in their car was very disturbing—weapons, explosives, and a remote control detonator. These are the weapons of terrorists. We believe these soldiers were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets.”

      • Republicofscotland

        Andrew H.

        Oh, I don’t know Andrew, Churchill starved three million Indians to death in 1943, and that isn’t considered a war crime, of course if the Ukrainians did blow it, like Russia did in WWII, no doubt it would be blamed on the Russians and considered a war crime.

      • John Kinsella

        Are you saying that Stalin commited a war crime when he instructed his minions to blow the Dniepr dam?

        To impede Fall Barbarossa?


        • Andrew H

          No. I cannot place myself in the time of Stalin – and the Germans were really marching on Russia. They say up to 50 million Russians died under Stalin so a 100,000 is neither here nor there – Stalin’s crimes such as the Holodomor are a page in humanity in itself. These are all endless whataboutisms. All I am saying is if this were to be repeated today it would be a terrible crime. Is this so hard to agree with?

          • John Kinsella

            50 million Russians, Ukrainians and other “nationalities” died under Stalin.

            Not only or even mainly Russians.

            Do your really believe that “a 100,000 is neither here nor there”?

            I hope not.??

          • J Lowrie

            Surely you meant 100 million? No doubt that’s why Stalin is so popular in Russia despite Putin!

          • Pigeon English

            Until few years ago alleged number was 20 million and now increased to 50 million.
            Soviets files were made public and nothing in them to support those numbers!

        • nevermind

          Aaaah the revisionists at full play. Watch the allies making it up at the stroke of a pen. Colonialist pleasures/propaganda the establishment dishes out as they see fit.
          I never heard any red wall constituencies ask for growth….. Its a pipedream for linear economists. Two u turns are the physical fitst moves to start spinning out of control, unless off course, you call it a pirouette.

      • Bayard

        “Needless to say this would be an unimaginable war crime.”

        Almost as bad as blowing up the dams in the Ruhr in WWII, wouldn’t you say?

    • Andrew H

      Azov should and will be celebrated. They are true heroes of our time. Many movies will be made in the coming years. Their reunion with their families brought tears to my eyes.

      Their treatment by Russians in POW captivity parallels the Vietcong mistreatment of US POWs. (I can sympathize somewhat with the Vietcong in that the Vietnamese were fighting a guerilla war and were alien to the Geneva convention). Russia is a European power and should take care of its POWs.

      Russian treatment of POW:

      Ukrainian treatment of POW:

      I know many of Putin’s idiots will say the treatment of Mykhailo Dianov was justified but these pictures will go down in history and stain Russia for a long time.

      • Bayard

        The first tweet is just two pictures of the same man, taken at different times. That is all we can tell from them. The rest we have to take on trust. Why should we? Anyone can post two pictures on Twiitter and say they are of a Ukrainian soldier maltreated as a POW by the Russians. The second tweet didn’t even come with a picture, so is even more risible.

        Not that I am one, but I’d rather be Putin’s idiot than a Nazi idiot.

        • Andrew H


          “The second tweet didn’t even come with a picture, so is even more risible.”

          The second tweet comes with a video – you have to click on the View link at the top (where it says The following media includes potentially sensitive content). It shows nothing more than the guy being fed his favorite food while being taken care of – something that to me shows a degree of humanity at least amongst some.

          As for your comments on Mykhailo Dianov: there are those that deny the Nazi holocaust happened or blame it on the US. The same people also want to deny the events of Bucha and just about everything else. Mykhailo Dianov is very well known (like Boris Johnstone he is not just some man) – he was filmed in the final days of the Avostahl siege (first picture) and was exchanged in the now infamous Azov POW exchange and the second picture was taken at that time – between those dates he was in Russian captivity. This is really simple and well documented so there is no need to turn it into a fake moon-landing scenario.

          • Bayard

            “As for your comments on Mykhailo Dianov: there are those that deny the Nazi holocaust happened or blame it on the US.”

            There is an expression “jumping the shark” which is apposite here. To equate distrusting two pictures tweeted by a random person to the well-documented extermination of Jews by the Nazis is doing just that. Just because you want to believe something doesn’t mean it’s true. In any case, even if what you say about the picture and the film is true, for which I have absolutely no evidence except the tweeters’ quite obviously biased word, one example of ill treatment and one example of well treatment are absolutely no evidence of a general campaign of such. In the majority of cases, the Allies in the two world wars treated their prisoners humanely, but that doesn’t mean there were not incidents of them being shot “whilst trying to escape”. In war these things happen.
            I really don’t know what your aim is here. You are not convincing me of anything except your bias and credulousness (yes, it’s credulous to take on trust any information that comes from a war zone, regardless of which side produces it), nor are you convincing others, with your categorisation of anyone who queries the official narrative as “Putin’s idiot”. Doubt is rational, unquestioning belief is not.

        • Natasha

          Thank you Bayard: bulls eye! Better to be a Putin ‘idiot’ than a ‘western’ propaganda groomed ‘Nazi’ idiot – or more accurately an “integral nationalists” idiot.

          Thierry Meyssan explains that equating “integral nationalists” with “Nazis” is historically justified, but does not allow non-Ukrainians to understand what is going on. When the Donetsk and Luganks oblasts rejected the 2014 coup government, they proclaimed their autonomy and posed as resisters to the “Nazis” in Kiev.

          The “integral nationalist” was created in Ukraine by Dmytro Dontsov at the very beginning of the 20th century. Initially, Dontsov was a left-wing philosopher, only gradually moving to the extreme right. He was a paid agent of the Second Reich during the First World War, before participating in the Ukrainian government of Symon Petliura, which arose during the Russian Revolution of 1917. He participated in the Paris Peace Conference and accepted the Treaty of Versailles. During the inter-war period, he exercised a mastery over Ukrainian youth and became a propagandist of fascism, then of Nazism. He became violently anti-Semitic, preaching for the massacre of the Jews long before this theme was supported by the Nazi authorities, who spoke only of expulsion until 1942.

      • mark golding

        Nothing wrong with the original Azov regiment Andrew indeed the Azov TDF units proved themselves to be particularly effective in combat, and thus they were turned into regiments and reassigned as part of the Special Operations Forces of Ukraine (SSO), where they received special training and equipment.

        However the CIA/British intelligence calculated that infiltrating Azov with right-wing nationalists would coerce the Ukrainian government through the threats of Andriy Biletsky to attack the Donbas and provoke a war with Russia.

        Indeed it was a sinister plan and we know these rw terrorist bastards including foreign fighters cleared Marioupol hospitals and schools to fill them with neo-Nazi militias while shooting evacuees trying to escape..

      • zoot

        have you ever pondered why they tatoo swastikas on their bodies? think about the level of genocidal hatred you would need to have for vulnerable minority groups in order to do that.

        disgracefully, the new york times does know this. it is trying to make the unacceptable respectable, thereby validating every closet nazi sympathizer.

      • Squeeth

        You’re having a laugh, the Azovs are nazis and behave like nazis, bravely torturing and murdering prisoners and civilians.

      • Lapsed Agnostic


        ‘Azov should and will be celebrated. They are true heroes of our time.’

        Here’s an article in the Graun from a time when Western security services didn’t really care about what was happening in the arse-end of Ukraine, Andrew, and before Azov became more widely known and thus catnip for neo-Nazis from all over Europe who wanted to carry out war crimes and get away with them. Surprised it’s still up.

        Quite why there’s so many people in these comment sections who seem to believe that there’s no way on God’s earth that anyone on ‘their’ side in this conflict could commit a war crime is beyond me. They must live in nice areas, which I guess I do these days. You get used to it.

  • john

    I see today Deputy Prime Minister Novak has announced that one of the NS-2 pipelines was undamaged during the recent sabotage mission, and is ready to deliver gas. 55 billion cubic meters per annum if I remember correctly.
    German industrialists must be salivating.
    I wonder about the potential for Germany to tell the globalist gollums to shove their war.

    • Andrew H

      I think that is a misunderstanding of the way sanctions work. NS-2 is owned by an entity that is sanctioned by the US – there is no legal mechanism to transfer ownership to another entity or do anything with this pipeline so I don’t think this will happen in the next few years. Honestly, I think there is a greater chance of laying NS-3. If blowing up NS-1 was a ruse to get NS-2 opened then someone has miscalculated. (I understand NS-2 is one of Putin’s pet projects)

      • Pigeon English

        “If blowing up NS-1 was a ruse to get NS-2 opened then someone has miscalculated.”

        Totally wrong! Both NS were damaged and in foreseeable future We will import USA LNG. No one miscalculated!
        Apparently one line is not damaged.
        And you believe that Russia destroyed “Putin’s pet project” NS 2.

      • Geoffrey

        The Nordstream pies that were blown up had never opened. Olaf Shulz under great pressure from the USA and Ukraine had not given them a licence to operate, though it was thought he was keeping his options open and would accede in due course.
        The US did not want it to open because they want to sell Europe their own gas and Ukraine did not want it to open because Russia would probably have ceased using Nordstream 1 which goes through Ukraine and Ukraine is paid I believe $2bn a month as a transmission fee.
        Now that Nordstream 2 and 3 have been blown up almost certainly by the US or on their behalf it effectively gives Ukraine a veto over any peace deal. If Germany wants it’s cheap energy back this can only be part of the deal if Ukraine agrees.
        Germany, which part owns the Nordstream 2 and 3 pipelines is the big loser, and the rest of us that hope for a negotiated peace reduced inflation and a reduction in the plunging Pound and Euro.

        • Pigeon English

          Sorry but you mixed up the pipes. NS1 was operational and goes in Baltic Sea like new pipe NS2 (not commissioned/approved and not used). Pipes going over Ukraine are different ones. And there is no NS 3.

    • Pears Morgaine

      Neither pipeline was operational before the blasts. NS1 was shut down for maintenance/repairs by Russia and NS2 was never commissioned.

      • Republicofscotland

        I think it was Annalena Barbock of the German Greens that blocked the issuing of licences for NordStream II.

        Greens Annalena Baerbock said.

        “If I give the promise to people in Ukraine – ‘We stand with you, as long as you need us’ – then I want to deliver. No matter what my German voters think, but I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine.
        We are facing now wintertime, when we will be challenged as democratic politicians. People will go in the street and say ‘We cannot pay our energy prices’. And I will say ‘Yes I know, so we help you with social measures.’
        But I don’t want to say ‘Ok then we stop the sanctions against Russia.’ We will stand with Ukraine, and this means the sanctions will stay also in wintertime, even if it gets really tough for politicians.”

        Here in Scotland Ross Greer of the Greens, is calling for more weapons to be sent to Ukraine.

  • John Kinsella

    “Ukrainian army making ‘fast and powerful progress’ in south, says Volodymyr Zelenskiy”

    “The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has appeared to concede the severity of the Kremlin’s recent military reversals in Ukraine, insisting Russia would “stabilise” the situation in four Ukrainian regions it illegally claimed as its own territory last week.”

    Terrible sad. Never mind.

    • Pigeon English

      Until now Russia was involved in SMO.
      Now those regions are part of Russia and Russia has to defend them and maybe SMO does’t sound bizarre anymore. Russia might be at war in couple of days with less constraints and duty to defend it’s “own territory”! I would not celebrate too early.
      As a pessimist I believe this will escalate.

      • John Kinsella

        Sorry Pigeon but just because an aging sick dictator arranged a “plebiscite” to steal 4 oblasts from a neighbouring country doesn’t mean that those oblasts actually are transferred to the Russkiy Mir.

        If all it takes is a temporary occupying force? Norway could drop in some fallsturmjaeger, occupy the Shetlands, organize a “plebiscite” and…. Sorted.

        • Pigeon English

          That is irrelevant. Point is that it is now Russia according to Russians.
          I am sure that Shetlands would rather be part of Norway than UK.
          BTW Ukraine was not in control of those regions for 8 years!

          • John Kinsella

            How do you feel about the NSDAP regime annexation of Austria?

            Following a plebiscite of course.

          • Pears Morgaine

            ” it is now Russia according to Russians.”

            Regardless of what the inhabitants actually want?

          • Bayard

            “Regardless of what the inhabitants actually want?”

            That is something that you will never know, since you appear to judge the veracity of any referendum or election by its result. The referendums in the four oblasts returned an overwhelming majority in favour of joining Russia; thus, in your eyes, they must be rigged, despite the obvious fact that if you are going to rig a referendum, you don’t rig it with a result like 97%.

          • Squeeth

            How do you feel about the NSDAP regime annexation of Austria?

            About the same as the Nato annexation of Kosovo.

          • Pigeon English

            John K
            I agree with you that my Writing skills are poor but
            your comprehension. is as bad.
            Somewhere you blamed people for “Whatabouterry” and here you
            ask me what about Austria
            Read coherent argument/reply by Bayard to Pears M
            Txs Bayard.

        • Natasha

          John Kinsella, you write as if you have been groomed by (im)propaganda bull shit: Putin is NOT a “dictator” nor is he “sick” they have VOTES for members of the Duma in Russia, plus Putin was VOTED into office and enjoyed a low of 65% approval and today enjoys over 85% – far more than the UKs current PM who got some fraction of 1% of the vote (i.e. ONLY Tory party members were able to vote). The US and UK systems so called “democratic” are utterly broken by corrupt media grooming the electorate as easily as you have been fooled.

          And : “steal 4 oblasts” more f**king BULL SHIT. Look at the voting patterns in those oblasts over the last two decades, every time they voted for the pro Russian candidates – but of course had you done some reading and research outside of the mainstream (im)propaganda outlets you’ve been groomed by would know this.

          Even Craig Murray in 2020 used to recognise that ‘our’ so called ‘security services’ are grooming us – but somehow fails to account for this in his above article : The Russian Interference Report, Without Laughing – I take a mature look at the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee on Russia. It is so flawed it is tempting simply to mock it. But in fact, it is extremely dangerous.

          It calls expressly and repeatedly for the security services to be actively involved in “policing the democratic space” and castigates the security services for their unwillingness to interfere in democratic process. It calls for tough government action against social media companies who refuse to censor and remove from the internet material it believes to be inspired by foreign states. It specifically accepts the Integrity Initiative’s Christopher Donnelly and Ben Nimmo as examples of good identifiers of the material which should be banned – even though Nimmo is the man who stated that use of the phrase “Cui bono” is indicative of a Russian troll, and who accused scores of ordinary Scottish Independence supporters of being Russian trolls.

    • Bayard

      “The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has appeared to concede…”

      Well, yes, that’s one interpretation of what he said, but it is not the only one. The Guardian is not a newspaper with a record of always telling the truth, so a false inference is nothing to them. Your sorrow is, I fear, unfounded.

  • Eric Zuesse

    I am shocked and stunned that Craig Murray, for whom I generally have high respect, would stoop so low here as to cite, against Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett — two of the greatest war-reporters — the routines for holding a referendum under peacetime, which is blatantly the exact opposite of the reality anywhere in the former Ukraine. Craig says “For completeness, here were the 2001 results for Crimea: Russians 58.3[%]; Ukrainians 24.3[%].” I suppose that he therefore believes that the 96.77% Crimean referendum result for joining Russia was also ‘fake’. His ‘reasoning’ is crazy, because it ignores the realities-on-the-ground. Or does he also deny that the overthrow of Janukovych was a bloody coup hatched in Washington and was followed-up by installing a genocidal nazi rabidly anti-Russian regime which promptly waged war against the residents in the regions that had voted 70%+ for Janukovych? After the U.S. regime overthrew Janukovych and started its ethnic cleansing to get rid of Janukovych’s voters, even many of the up-to-30% there who had voted for Tymoshenko would have seen how rabidly bigoted against their neighbors there, the U.S.-installed regime was; and, so, it’s possible that the votes in all four of the current referendum’s regions might have been 90%+. I’m not saying it was; I’m just saying that Craig’s reasoning on this is stupid. I know that Craig is a person of impeccable integrity (as Vanessa and Eva also are), so, I can’t think of anything but stupidity to explain his reasoning on this. As a lawyer, his case on this flopped.

    • John Kinsella

      Get a grip Eric.

      Accusing our host of “stupidity” is just . stupid…

      I may not always agree with him but he most certainly is not “stupid”.

    • Andrew H

      Every small village that is liberated by Ukraine clearly shows that the people wish to be Ukrainian.

      Now all this talk of “realities-on-the-ground” is precisely the language of a bully, an occupier and a thief. When you say ‘realities-on-the-ground’ this suggests that Russia should keep what it has taken in any cease-fire / peace agreement.

      Who is a lawyer? You suggest Craig, but I don’t think he is and you are certainly not since if you were you would not claim Craig to be the lawyer intentionally or otherwise.

      • Bayard

        Funny, that, I have seen almost identical videos of Russian soldiers entering villages. I suppose you are going to say that those were staged, but yours is the real thing.

      • Natasha

        Andrew H: “Russia should keep what it has taken” yawn, why yet more word manipulation? How about Russia was asked, but refused and instead helped set up Minks agreements were set up in 2014 -2015 for federal autonomy of two of those oblasts, but the Ukraine Nazi stared a civil war largely ignored by the ‘west’ and it corrupt media whilst they murdered 14,000 mostly Russian speaking people living in those oblasts forcing Russia hand in 2022?

  • mark golding

    You mean “really weird” I assume ASC – Well I would say magical, spooky bordering on the supernatural where collective thinking outshines most web families, inviting a varied audience that actually grows by intention.

  • Crispa

    I would say the opposite and from the above the thread has been hijacked by the yah boo people who are so incapable of engaging in meaningful discussion that it is time to leave them alone as best ignored. Bye.

  • mark cutts

    I have to say in response that: If RT (Russian Television) was not banned (in an alleged Putin style) then maybe – just maybe? – we might get a more interesting angle into the thought processes of the Russian government.

    Instances of reporters from rooftops in Kiev just passing on Ukrainian ‘facts’ does not sit well with me.

    If Putin is ‘mad’ I want to witness his madness directly – not via the BBC or other patriotic media outlets.

    If you do – then live with it.

    I don’t want to live with that – I would rather know the ‘truth’.

  • John Kinsella

    I’ve been posting here since the first indyref.

    Maybe I’m just wrong but my impression is that a lot of Putin supporters have arrived here in the last year or two.

    I post on an Irish politics site (name withheld) and the same is true there.

  • zoot

    from what i see there is more heartfelt celebration here of nato, the cia, even outright nazis! why do you consider that respectable?

  • SK

    “Narodnosc” does not mean anything at all in the Russian language. There is no such word.
    Craig is a self-proclaimed expert on a Russian language. LOL.
    One would think the “expert” should know how to spell words in the area of his expertise.
    There is a word “Narodnost'” which means national or ethnic group, BUT this word has never been used in official documents such as passports in the USSR nor in the RF.
    In the soviet passports the word to identify ethnicity was Natsional’nost’ ( Национальность ) – the ethnicity i.e. Russian, Jewish, Tartar, Ukrainian etc.
    see example here:
    The Natsional’nost’ was self-identified by a person at the age of reception of his first passport (16). It could be either father’s or mother’s.
    In modern passports (RF or Ukrainian) there is no such item.
    One would think that the “expert” should know if a certain word is used in the official documents.

    • Bayard

      Interestingly enough, “narodnost” translates to “nationality” in English, but “nationality” does not translate to “narodnosc” in Russian. Obviously there is no exact English equivalent for the word.

    • Pigeon English

      That is fake passport.
      How do I know? There should be a line with a “Narodnosc”
      That’s how UK embassy checked.
      BTW I like 1964 very good year ?

      • SK

        What I wanted to point out is this (ad hominem):

        If I proclaim myself an expert lawyer in British law but I don’t know how to spell a word “Affidavit” and write the entire article about laws in UK to my Russian audience using the word “Affidavid” in which I’ll explain that Affidavids are not known to Barristers in Britain…
        Or I translate the datasheet for Electronics Engineers using the word “Transmister”…

        How my Russian audience should treat such writings of mine? Like a pile of BS or like a blog worth discussing and commenting?

        This is what is going on here: Craig has no clue what he writes about in his article above and a lot of people discuss (including those smart ones who point out the logical fallacies such as “Ukrainians cannot vote for Russian state”) this masterpiece with straight faces repeating the word “Narodnosc” …

        Shocking…or laughable – you decide.

  • Peter Schmidt

    The problem with many western commenters here, is that all they hear and see all day is 100% propaganda. Ukraine is far away from Britain. I am originally from Hungary, now live in Australia. Each month in Hungary we heard and saw how many ethnic Hungarian were killed by Ukrainian right wing thugs. They prevented the Hungarian language to be used, despite the threats of the Hungarian government. Those who spoke Hungarian outside of their homes were terrorised, their houses torched. Each year 100s of ethnic Hungarians perished under the hands of right with Ukrainians. If they treated Hungarians like that, imagine how they treated Russians. And yes, NAZI marches happened all the time in Ukraine.
    Even in the early 90s, when I was not interested in politics I heard horror stories of how the Ukrainian mafia behaved in Hungary.
    I think all those US propaganda movies, where the ‘Russians are bad’ were created on how Ukraine behaves.

    • John Kinsella

      If even a little of what you say is true Peter, that is very sad.

      In your view does it justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine?


        • John Kinsella

          And who decides whether Russia has the “right” to invade another country?

          Some Estonians have a negative attitude to Russia, their turn next?

          And Poles can be quite annoying, teach them a lesson Gospodin Putin…

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            “And who decides whether Russia has the “right” to invade another country?”

            Everyone has the right to decide for themselves whether a country has the right to invade another country.

          • Pigeon English

            Estonians and other Baltic countries have negative attitude to Russia and by default to Russians living in ” their”
            And you don’t understand basics! Not liking Russia is one thing but being hostile to part of your
            population with Russian roots it’s very different!
            Now I am going to ask you a question.
            Is it OK to discriminate part of your population based on sins of your mother land?
            Why was Britain involved in Northern Ireland?
            Did it take sides?

        • Eric Zuesse

          (Responding to Peter Schmidt’s comment) BRAVO! Especially since the nazism in the present case is the U.S. installed illegitimate regime that Obama’s Administration created in order to, some day (after getting Ukraine into NATO), start emplacing on Ukraine’s Russian border near Sumy, and only about 300 miles away from the Kremlin, U.S. missiles, and maybe even also U.S. soldiers. A replay of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, with the nazis being headed this time by the U.S. regime. When NATO on 7 January 2022 ridiculed Russia’s red-line demands, Putin HAD to invade Ukraine, and I hope that he’ll take at least enough of it to move Ukraine’s border no longer 300 miles away but at least 1,000 miles away (which, incidentally, would still be less than the 1,031 miles that Cuba is distant from Washington DC, which had so worried JFK as for him to have been prepared to invade the Soviet union if Khrushchev wouldn’t stop it).

      • J. Lowrie

        And it just occurred to me that Hungary invaded Great Russia in 1941, killing and raping and plundering. Britain also invaded in 1918! Did these countries hold referenda in Russia to determine if its citizens wanted to be invaded?

        • John Kinsella

          Sounds like whataboutery to me.

          Peter said that (because of?) alleged Ukrainian attacks on Ukraine’s Hungarian minority, Russia’s attack on Ukraine last February is justified.

          You now seem to suggest that, because the fascist Hungarian regime during the early 1940’s participated in the barbarous and genocidal attack by Nazi Germany on the USSR, the USSR was justified in invading Hungary in 1956?

          • J. Lowrie

            “Imperial Japan had waged an aggressive war on the USA and its allies

            Should the USA have attempted a sea borne invasion instead?

            Or maybe just surrendered to Imperial Japan?”

            US is still in Japan and Korea. Russia has left all the countries it invaded during the War. Seems you have one rule for the US and another for Russia.

            PS the US was supplying oil to Japan right into 1941! Concern for China?

          • Pigeon English

            What about 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary is ” whataboutery” and you don’t see it?
            What about 72 USA invasions?
            What about USA (leader of the free world and champion of democracy) in 1956 having racial segregation based on skin color?
            BTW Hungarian invasion was approved by Ukrainian not Russian ?Orban is not very friendly with Ukraine!

  • Giacomo Poma

    Dear Craig,
    I have a lot of respect for you, so I feel bad about criticizing this post.
    I am Italian, now living in Thai, but for a few years twenty years ago I lived with a Ukrainian woman in St.Petersburg. She was born in Georgia, but from a family from Truskavets, which is probably the most Ukrainian place you can dream about (although with some Austro-Hungarian background). She later moved to Petersburg, where she graduated in Economics. She tells me proudly: I was born in Soviet Union.
    I am still in regular contact with her. She recently told me, “in the days of the Soviet Union we were brothers. Now we kill each other”.
    If Ukrainian voted for Russia, if possibly also is for the nostalgia of these peaceful days, when all nationalities could live peacefully together and hope to build their future. Today the alternative is to become a colony of the Americans. No fun. And looking to Turkey, who believe in the promises of the European Union.

    Giacomo Poma

    • Wikikettle

      Giacomo Poma. Yes, President Putin’s speech mentioned that the Russian Federation is a collection of many ethnicities. I do not see the media ever publishing the whole speeches with translation of President Putin or Lavrov. I have found a channel ‘ True inFo ‘ which shows the whole speeches with translation without comment. It is telling how the Divide and Rule strategy continues to this day all over the world. Brian Berletic of The New Atlas, an American US Marine vet, has a piece on how this policy is extensively financed and used to cause chaos and strife by US NGOs in countries which strive to be independent. Open political interference, arming terrorist groups and the resulting carnage keeps the country from development and progress. He lives in Thailand and sees it happening there and Myanmar where the Chinese are building infrastructure to the horror of US. As to the earlier discussion about Japan and its drive to ‘modernise’ industrialise and copy the colonial model of the British Empire, as it had no resources of its own. People are not told that it was blockaded by US prior to Pearl Harbour and was seeking a diplomatic arrangement with US in vain. It is very easy for the US to blockade China today and totally stop its maritime trade is it was then in Japan. Hence the Belt and Road Initiative, to be able to trade via land routes and not be dependent on easily blockadable sea routes at choke points like the Mallaca Straits. China wants to trade and do business not invade and have wars. Coexistence and inevitable rise of other nations is not in US policy. Read Professor Michael Hudson on how US stopped Japan’s rise in the 90s and see how US has just destroyed Germany. Nato was in the words of its first Director General created by US to keep Germany down, US in control of Europe and Russia and EuroAsian out of Europe. Vijay Prashad is the person to read on this subject, he has a book out with Chomsky. US policy Post war is to confront and stop any country from being independent or economically strong. Use any means necessary no matter how devastating and murderous. The Collective West hates President Putin so much as he won’t bend over. Our Journalists, our little greedy politicians bent over a long time ago. We can light fires everywhere, we can cause strife everywhere, we build nothing, just destroy. US has just thrown the whole of Europe to disaster and war. Its so called ally. Russia like Johnny Depp is divorced and finally free from an abusive relationship with the Collective West, which it tried for so long to join on equal terms. Not just Russia but the vast majority of countries now have the example and guts to say No to bending over to US. The former Colonies and their post colonial elites, with their loots in our banks are now forced to by their own populations change tack and see the new kid in the playground confront the old bully.

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        Hi Wiki, you can find all Putin’s speeches and I believe his press conferences under President of Russia website. It is Russian and in English. Putin has talked about the multiplicity of ethnicities and the trauma many people felt with regard to their ethnicity and country they ended up in with the breakup of the Soviet Union. His press conferences are very interesting. He answers questions from press from all over the world without notes, very fully and collegially. These press conferences can last for hours. The tone of his speeches has changed recently, as has Lavrov’s. Lavrov’s speech is available on the UN website, as is Petro’s, the president of Columbia, and that of Nicaragua. Both these Latin American countries have been recipients of US violence for decades.

  • Jen

    What the heck is Craig Murray trying to say in his post? Why does he go into so much detail over past censuses in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye oblasts? Does he really think that people who identify as Ukrainians in the Donbass will always prefer to remain in Ukraine even as, over the past eight years, the regime in Kiev was terrorising them and, in February 2022, had a 250,000-strong army preparing to invade the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics? Not to mention the fact that the continuous harassment from Kiev that included shelling and targeted assassinations of political and military leaders like Zakharchenko, Givi and Motorola had ratcheted up in the weeks before the Russians pre-empted the Ukrainian invasion. Just because most people in the Donbass identify as Ukrainian does not mean they support Ukraine and its government, right or wrong. They know where their interests and future lie. What CM seems to imply with his post borders on racism.

    • Wikikettle

      There is no middle independent way ?! Three motorcycle policemen in an underground car park, David Soul being one of them, wait for Clint Eastwood in film Magnum Force in 1973. ” You are either with us or against us ” they advise him. Bush jr must have been watching. Years later he looked into the TV camera and issued that threat to the countries of the world. Biden the walking mummy, as Martyanov calls him, will take the whole world down with him rather than take into account Russias own legitimate security interests. These crazies would rather the largest nuclear power plant in Europe explode than see a peace deal in Ukraine. These crazies have just blown up two Russian gas pipelines releasing billions of tons of gas into the atmosphere, leaving Germany and Europe no option to resume supplies. Yet Russia is still willing to repair them ! We are ruled by Cretins leading us by the nose to Nuclear war, as we are no longer capable of conventional war against Russia, a peer adversary, let alone China. Get you tins of baked beans in and Iodine pills, wood stoves and axe.

  • David W Ferguson

    The trouble with Craig’s nuanced and balanced views is that there isn’t any space for them any more. This conflict has been turned into an absolute binary. And that was a decision made by the US and its puppets and poodles and their asecrawling media, not Russia. So I am left with a decision that I either support Vladimir Putin, or repulsive sub-human filth like John Bolton. Frankly, that’s one of the easiest moral calls I ever had to make in my life.

    • J. Lowrie

      I agree. By analogy consider the War: on one side Churchill and Stalin, on the other Hitler and the god Emperor, Hirohito. Easy moral choice, but that does not mean one supports every action by Stalin and Churchill; for example the Gulags, where young women were raped with bottles and had snakes inserted in their vaginas, and young men were castrated. That was Churchill’s Kenyan Gulag. Didn’t hear about it at school!

    • T

      Bolton is one of the most regular and respected overseas guests on both BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News. Always one of their first ports of call for an ‘authoritative, sensible’ take on international affairs.

      • mark golding

        Oh yes Bolton ihe premier Iraq war cheer-leader.
        John Bolton, the smoldering war-monger with an azoic soul. John Bolton the being, the miscreant who out of fear of the pinch condemned the ICC, threatening sanctions and travel bans against those who cooperate with the ICC potential investigations into U.S. war crimes.

        This is the being that supported killing international regulations on the marketing of baby formula in countries without clean water.

        On Iran I clearly remember this loser, this MEK terrorist Bolton, promoted the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, a deal that was signed under President Obama’s watch by the U.S, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, the EU and Iran, and ratified unanimously by the UN Security Council

        On Iraq Mr Bolton helped to promote the false claim, through a State Department Fact Sheet, that Saddam Hussein had been seeking to procure uranium from Niger, as part of a common plan to prepare and initiate a war of aggression, in violation of international treaties.

        Bolton attacked OPCW for persuading Iraq to sign the international chemical weapons ban treaty. This in turn would have led to intrusive OPCW inspections, which would have demonstrated that Iraq didn’t have anything. This would have been, from Bolton’s perspective, the worst outcome possible, since it would have made it more difficult for the U.S/UK to attack Iraq.

        John Bolton – the litany of demand:

    • John Kinsella

      ” repulsive sub-human filth like John Bolton”? Over the top, across to the pool and jumping the shark… (Exaggerated.)

      Bolton may be a bad actor who connived at doing the wishes of Trump and his predecessors.

      But he did have the very minimal achievement of being sacked by Trump as NSA.

      Putin, on the other hand has no redeeming features. At all….

      • Wikikettle

        John Kinsella. The majority of Ukrainians in the West wanted and voted for Zelensky the peace candidate. Nato and the Banderites had other ideas. The plans to use Ukraine to ” Extend ” Russia were laid years ago as was the plans to ” stop ” Nord Stream 2. Sourses The Rand Corporation. You are very passionate about the fact that Russia has invaded a Sovereign state and that one man, President Putin is to blame and the devil incarnate. This belief value system is the majority view in the populations of the Collective West I grant you that. You are in the majority, while I am in the minority. I care as much as you for the needless destruction of yet another country and the deaths involved. What do you expect Russia to have done ? Except that its Black Sea fleet base in Crimea to be taken over by US Navy ? Except the ethnic cleansing of the ‘ sub ‘ humans in the Donbass ? Except the construction of Nato bases in Ukraine with US missiles ? You are being at the least naive and at the worst a denier of the fact that Russians support their leadership and President Putin, his standing up to US Unipolar Hegemony and the economic independence of his country’s great wealth in resourses. By trying to isolate and overthrow the Russian leadership, US and its allies have only replicated the over 200 interventions they have made since WW2. The problem you have and the anger in your soul, is that Russia is not like any of the countries we have destroyed, invaded or regime changed. It has form in defending itself from Western European Invasions through Ukraine by people who believe in racial superiority and that Jews, Slavs, Brown and Black’s are sub human and it is justified to pillage their lands. Sorry mate, those days of Empire are over and playing out in the killing fields of Ukraine now.

  • Alex

    John Laughland has a different view on the history of the Ukrainian “nation” – and, with all due respect, on that I am inclined to side with him, rather than with our host here – as would most of my relatives, who, by the way are roughly 50% “Ukrainians” on each – my own and my wife’s sides.

    As for the results of the vote, they are genuine and the explanation is very simple. On the one hand, most of the ardent worshipers of the new nazi ideology in Ukraine left the areas (some, perhaps, are now displaying the aforementioned flags on the rental or otherwise occupied properties). The second reason is that by Ukrainian law, any form of participation in the activities organized by the “occupants” (Russian authorities) is punishable by quite a few years in prison. I will not even mention – and this is exceptionally well documented and the count is in many thousands of only known cases – that such people are unlikely to live to sit on their own court hearing. So the remainder of Ukrofiles just stayed at home & did not vote. The participation by the regions well reflects this second factor.

    PS I won’t post a separate reply to some funny commenter here who praised Azov and the ways the Russian POW are treated in Ukraine- just google “Doctor Druzenko” – I keep his video, which I myself watched broadcast on live TV, where he explains how he castrates Russian POWs at his hospital in Ukraine …

    • John Kinsella

      Why put Ukrainian “nation” and “Ukrainians” in quotes?

      Do you question the validity of the Ukrainian “nation” and “Ukrainians” in general?

      Why indeed put “occupants” in quotes?

      Do you deny that Russki troops are occupying (attempting to at least) parts of 4 Eastern Oblasts of Ukraine?


      • Alex

        it will take less of your time if you watch Laughland above (he is good, you won’t regret). The Ukrainians are not a nation. They are (western-created) fiction. An artificial human-made (not natural) construct. Which also, for about a decade or so, being intensively developed using Dr. Goebbels’ recipes – I suspect not without guidance from the “west”. Ukrainians are an ethnicity (it was called “nationality” in Soviet times), their original rural dialect of Russian was artificially raised to the status of a separate language by the efforts of some western (initially mainly German) governments & then by idiotic Soviet polices.

        As for occupy … you cannot occupy a fiction 🙂 More seriously, my family’s mixed ethnicity is very common in Russia, although, perhaps, less on the territory of *the Ukraine. A frequent theme on Russian-language channels is that this “limited military operation” is in fact a civil war.

        • Pears Morgaine

          Every nation is a ‘human made construct’. You think borders, lines on a map, exist in nature? Laughland is, once again, talking out of his backside.

          • Bayard

            Some countries have a long history dating back millennia, others only came into being after the first world war, with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires. Yes they are all “human made constructs” but a country that is barely a hundred years old cannot claim to be the home of a particular ethnicity in the way that a country that has been the home of a people for a thousand years can. That is presumably why one after the other these new countries have been splitting apart into ethnicity-based states.

          • Alex

            re. Pears and others in this sub-thread.
            There is a natural selection and there is selective breeding. The latter has never produced a universally adjusted to survival and viable on its own (=without external support) species. Least it could when the idea had been to breed a narrowly specialized on hatred, hostile to Russia species, totally dependent on external support. Despite all his ambitions, Man never made it even close to being God.
            On the subject of the Ukrainian modern history and history of the current conflict you may also want to listen to an interesting personage, a “Ukrainian”, as he calls himself, the “Founding Father of Donbass” 🙂 Part 1. (* interesting does not mean exhaustively clever. IMHO).
            As a side remark, how the real nations formed we “know” only from the history. But as Taleb Nassem argued (successfully, IMHO) in his Black Swan, the real history never was a black-and-white straight line. It was always a diffuse fog and what we call “history” comprises carefully selected, mostly, but not always intentionally, chosen points to create an understandable-for-a-human-mind landscape. Our gracious host himself wrote a perfect illustration of this thesis in his “Sikunder Burnes”, listing many contradictory versions of Alexander’s last hours. (Btw, I highly recommend the book!)

  • Michael Keefer

    Dear Craig, I defer to your knowledge, experience, and lucidity–all of which are an enduring pleasure for me as a long-time reader and admirer. But I wonder whether in the present case there may be a problem with categories. You very helpfully discuss the categories of citizenship and nationality. But what about the category of ‘mother-tongue’?

    I’ve only ever travelled in western Ukraine (briefly, and rather a long time ago), so I can say nothing from personal experience. But it’s my understanding that a significant proportion of the people who up to the 2014 coup (and afterwards) would identify their nationality as Ukrainian were at the same time mother-tongue speakers of Russian.

    The majority, or predominant, mother-tongues in western and in eastern-and-southern Ukraine are, respectively, Ukrainian and Russian. (I’m setting aside the conflation of the two in Surzhyk dialects spoken in central Ukraine.) As is well known, in the electoral maps of the presidential elections of 1999, 2004, and 2010, there was a close correspondence between Ukraine’s linguistic and its political divisions, with a close to 50-50 split between western electoral support for groupings like Yushchenko’s Nasha Ukraina coalition, and eastern support for parties like Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. That also corresponded to a split between integral Ukrainian nationalism in the west, and in the east, a nationalism that aspired to a bilingual federated Ukraine that could draw strength from diversity (perhaps like an idealized Canada). It corresponded as well to a split between the west’s gravitation towards the EU and NATO, and a desire in the east to retain economic and cultural links with Russia.

    Ukraine’s linguistic division presents one with constant surprises. At least one Ukrainian President–forgive me, I can’t remember which–has come into office speaking a rather ragged form of Ukrainian. And those who take time out to watch Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” TV series may be surprised to discover that all the dialogue is in Russian. There was traditionally no contradiction in Ukraine between growing up from the cradle speaking Russian (with a smattering of school-Ukrainian) and feeling a strong attachment to Ukraine as one’s country.

    But that has arguably been changed by the 2014 coup, by events like the 2014 Odessa massacre, and by the dispatch of the Ukrainian army in an “anti-terrorist operation” in Donbass against people whose crime is to have resisted the violent overthrow of a duly elected President and the replacement of his government by one in which much of the state security apparatus is in the hands of professed neo-Nazis.

    The strong implication of your analysis is that the recent referenda must have been strongly marked by fraud. I take the valid points you make about the manner in which the reference were conducted. But you make no allowance for what I would propose has been a marked shift in allegiance among Russian-speaking Ukrainians. For eight years they have endured being smeared by people exercising power in Ukraine’s state and military apparatus as “Moskali,” “Colorado beetles,” and “Asian scum”; and President Poroshenko sneeringly addressed the people of Donbass on the subject of his artillery bombardments, telling them that while “our children will go to school, yours will grow up huddling in basements.” Many of them may know–possibly from direct experience–other things about state terrorism as well. (I’m thinking about the way in which, after the Russian occupiers withdrew from Bucha at the end of March, the city was then sifted by military units like the National Police’s “Safari” Regiment, and thugs led by the neo-Nazi Sergei Korotkikh, “the Boatswain.” People who had foolishly not disposed of white armbands worn during the occupation, or who had ‘traitorously’ accepted rations given out by the Russians, were shot on sight.) I think one can understand how and why Russian-speakers who a decade ago would have firmly identified as Ukrainian may have changed their minds.

    • Greg Park

      I’m confused as to why Craig decided not to mention the trauma of the past eight years for people in Donbass. Very unlike him to leave the goal wide open like that.

      • Ian Stevenson

        I think because he was commenting on the referendum.
        A lot of people have commented on the situation in the Donbas region, often rather one sidedly. The truth seems more complex. This OCHR report was published just before the war. Verification is difficult. Perhaps the best way to the truth is using sources which are not partisan. The next three are partisan
        Deutsche Welt gives one perspective on the referendum
        Yahoo is scathing about the observers
        and TASS is brief
        We must draw our own conclusions.

        • Greg Park

          Yes obviously I meant in relation to the referendum. It seems self-evident to me that the trauma of recent years would have dramatically changed Donbass attitudes towards the Ukrainian state, now embodied in people’s minds as the repressive Kiev government and its military. Craig appears to think the state repression would have had little or no impact on Donbass perspectives. As I said that is very unlike him and makes me wonder what is going on.

          • Wikikettle

            I see Ukrainian flags flying from February. Should they not be at half mast ? I see we are training up Ukrainian conscripts to fight Russia for us. Most will die for no reason. I wonder if just one of those conscripts tried to run away from our training camps in our green and pleasant land, and refuse to go back !? Would they be allowed to stay or forcibly sent back to who knows what fate. The true figures for Ukrainians killed in action and injured is horrendous. Either being shelled in trenches or making crazy attacks out of cover and support to be killed in the open with no air cover. The recent advances are explained by The New Atlas as suicidal, made to convince the folk back at home that Ukraini is winning, for political reasons and keep the money and arms flowing. What I don’t understand is that how and when is Ukraine under Lend Lease going to be able to pay back ? Apparently the US tax payer is paying all the wages, no doubt after the money laundering operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, operations have carried on in Ukraine. Looks like win win for the arms merchants. US Defence Budget $700 Billion. Total Nato budget $350,450 Billion. Follow the money it will set you free…You see we do manufacture weapons and consent, both at the same time.

    • Wikikettle

      I was very upset with India and South Africa forsaking Iran over US illegal sanctions. They of all colonials should have had some spine left. This international solidarity is vital if a new more peaceful multipolar world is to emerge from the ashes of Ukraine. Everyone is scared of secondary sanctions, even China. The leader of a mutiny goes up to the captain on the bridge only to look over his shoulder to find the train of crew behind him have all melted away. Russia is on its own, against all those Nato countries. It has enough problems securing its own huge land mass and resources which our corporations crave. It never wanted to expand its territory into Ukraine or reconstitute USSR. President Putin was clear that the breakup left Russians isolated and abandoned. It is an existentential threat to the independent survival of Russia. The picture however painted is of Russia as invader. Today Bolton openly called for the removal of President Putin and Regime Change. BIden has said he must go. This Nato push into Ukraine is nothing to do with Ukrainian Sovereignty. Its an all out war against Russia. Illegal economic sanctions are blockades that constitute an act of war. Nato is actively participating in training targeting and command and control in Ukraine against Russia. Can you imagine if Russia was doing that against the homeland of US on US borders. Its one escalation after another by us. Russia will respond and then its tit for tat…People can’t see the obvious ! They are stupid and blind. The fate and hopes for the populations of the global South, all the so called third world, underdeveloped, backward nations rest on a new more just world order that the Collective West is determined not to allow.

      • Wikikettle

        Norman Finkelstein on Katie Halper show is asked what’s the difference between Israeli invasions and Annexations and Russias in Ukraine. His answer is so logical and powerful. Great to see him back. Brave man.

  • Jack

    Zelensky call on the west to attack Russia

    “The Kremlin has accused Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky of trying to spark a third world war, after he demanded that NATO carry out preventive strikes on Russia to deter the use of nuclear weapons.”

    While I am against the war itself, I wonder why Russia never took out the leadership of Ukraine in the beginning of the war?
    It is like Russia fighting an opponent, but they do not dare to strike at the queen and thus prolonging the war and risk getting their own “queen” whacked.

    • John Kinsella


      You may have missed it but the Russkiy military tried an airborne assault on Kyiv at the start of the war. Intended to “decapitate” the Ukraine leadership.

      Tragically for the Russkiy military, they were killed by Ukrainian forces.

      Terrible sad.

      • Jack

        No they have not tried ” an airborn assault” on Kiev city, (they destroyed airfields, bases outside of the city though) and that is my question. Why? They can of course send tons of missiles toward Kiev right this moment, target Zelensky, target top military brass, target politicians – they could have assassinted Zelensky long time ago and so on, but they have not.

        • John Kinsella

          Actually the Russkiy Army did try to seize the main airfield near Kyiv. Intending to decapitate the Ukrainian leadership.

          Tragically, the UA killed them.

          Terrible sad.

          Slava Ukraini.

          • Jack

            Like they could be in the Atlantic ocean and send missiles on a submarine towards Kiev and Zelensky.

            Slava Ukraini? Unless you are a fascist you should not proclaim that phrase.
            “”Slava Ukraini” part of the salute first invented in 1920s by League of Ukrainian Fascists. The “Heroiam Slava” second part was added by Bandera’s OUN in 1941, in Nazi-occupied Cracow, on the eve of Nazi invasion of Soviet Union”


        • Ian Stevenson

          Jack they sent their paratroopers to take the airfield near Kyiv . They didn’t support the assault as one might expect if they anticipated resistance. The column from Belarus also contained internal troops, the National Guard. That tells us that they didn’t expect a long war and that most of the people of Ukraine would welcome them. A lot of commentators in the west though the same. The Russian leadership did not recognise the extent of change within Ukraine. That tends to happen in countries with strict censorship and where ministers do not contradict. We saw that when Putin announced the recognition of the two separatist republics and the FSB minister went off script.
          Part of the tragedy of war is the miscalculation of leaders. Whatever the truth about events in the Donbas region 2014-2022, Putin seems to have thought he would have an easy victory , secure his security and enhance his legacy. If it had worked out that way , both NATO and the EU would have been humiliated which would have been satisfying for the Russians who suffered from the transition to capitalism. Did he really think NATO was a military threat? Was it paranoia or a justification for the expansion of his Eurasia Union?
          My thought in answer as why Zelensky wasn’t taken out. He spent much of his time in bunkers. Kyiv is an historic and cultural centre and and most reporters say that the city was spared as attacking it would be like bombing Westminster Abbey. And probably Putin thought assassination of national leaders was a step to far. We might know one day.

        • Jimmeh

          > they could have assassinted Zelensky long time ago and so on, but they have not.

          It seems to be very difficult to assassinate the leader of a state that you are at war with. Apparently war leaders surround themselves with bodyguards, and vary their schedules. If your target is in a bunker, you need accurate intelligence about which bunker. It took the USA at least a decade to nail the Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader.

          More generally, decapitating your enemy tends to be counterproductive. At some point, all wars come to an end, with some kind of negotiation (even if what you’re negotiating is a surrender). It’s unhelpful to assassinate your prospective negotiating partner.

          And anyway, I don’t adhere to the “Great Man” theory of history. Nobody’s irreplaceable.

    • Bayard

      “I wonder why Russia never took out the leadership of Ukraine in the beginning of the war?”

      I would have thought that was fairly obvious. If Zelensky was “taken out”, he would become a martyr and someone else would replace him. Nothing would have been achieved. Possibly if all the powerful people in Ukraine were “taken out”, something would be achieved, but that is a harder task by several orders of magnitude. Even then, I am sure some more NATO-friendly leaders would be found to replace them.

      • Jack

        I doubt that, if Russia delivered a “shock and awe” on Kiev’s military brass, Zelensky and so on that would create enormous chaos and downfall and infighting of the succeeding regime and would weaken Ukraine’s war effort tremendously.

        There are steps before this type of escalation of course, like: why Russia is not attacking the roads, bridges, infrastructure, railways from western Ukraine to the eastern part to stop arms/troop movements? In my view the russian tactics does not make any sense.

        • Jimmeh

          > In my view the russian tactics does not make any sense.

          Jack, I think the Russians are short of precision weapons. They can’t fly over Ukraine. Their standard (non-precision) MLRS isn’t good enough for destroying things like bridges; I read a sapper’s account of what would have been required for the Kerch bridge strike. It seems that it probably wasn’t a missile attack; apparently it would have required frogmen trained in demolition.

          Their best weapon at the moment for striking behind enemy lines seems to be kamikazi drones from Iran. But they don’t have long range – about 40Km, as I recall. And the Ukrainians have been hitting drone control centres.

    • David W Ferguson

      While I am against the war itself, I wonder why Russia never took out the leadership of Ukraine in the beginning of the war?

      Because it’s pointless. As puppets go, Zelensky is probably the easiest puppet on the planet to replace.

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