Beware the Righteous 498

All of the worst atrocities in human history have been perpetrated by people convinced they were in the right. People act according to the mores of their era and group. There is nothing more dangerous that the inability to see that it is reasonable for others to have a different view or interest.

The Guardian has been publishing calls for NATO to declare war on Russia. Twitter is awash with fanatic “liberals” arguing there can be no negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine, and the war must only end with Ukraine recovering all territory including Crimea.

The most crazed sometimes go further and suggest the war may only end with regime change in Russia.

It does not require any special degree of intelligence to see the dangers of insisting on the unconditional surrender, and the personal incarceration or death, of those with their finger on the big red button, in a war against a nuclear power.

The 20th century saw two terrible “world wars”. The first was the result of Imperial rivalries and dynastic power, and it is difficult to discern any morality in it at all (though the propaganda fabrications about Germans bayonetting Belgian babies are a template that has been, with slight variations, repeated by western media in every war right up until today).

The Second World War, however, was as close to a justified war as can ever be found. Fascism and Nazism were truly evil doctrines, while the Western forces that opposed them were on the brink of a golden but short-lived era of social democracy and meaningful working class empowerment.

The problem is that this has become the template for thinking about war in the West – that we are always the “goodies” and the opponents are truly evil, and that total war must be fought leading to unconditional surrender, with even the most horrendous atrocities (Dresden, Hiroshima) justified within the overarching moral imperative.

We have seen straightforward imperial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, each of which the media has tried to manipulate to fit that thought pattern. It also drives the continual propaganda that the war in Ukraine comes from an invasion by an evil Russian regime and was “illegal and unprovoked”.

Now as you know, I hold that Russian incursion or invasion was illegal, both in 2014 and 2022. But unprovoked it most certainly was not.

It is interesting to return to the World War II precedent here, because it has never been understood to detract from acceptance of the evil of Nazism, to attempt to understand how it happened.

Every schoolchild of my age was taught the “Causes of World War II”, and the first cause was always the extremely punitive Treaty of Versailles.

The insistence on unconditional surrender in World War I, the entirely unfounded claim the whole conflict of World War I was Germany’s fault, the annexations, cruel financial reparations and blow to national pride of military suppression, were all universally acknowledged by historians as mistakes that were of great help to Hitler.

Interestingly, today’s history school curricula in the UK spend much more time on World War II than we used to, and are much less nuanced. The causes of the war feature much less if at all, and heroic Britnat tales of a brave struggling people (which are not of course untrue) feature much more.

With Ukraine, we are not allowed to acknowledge any of the factors that provoked Russia. Not NATO expansion and forward positioning of missiles, not glorification of Nazism, not suppression of Russian language and political parties, not shelling of Russian civilian areas.

In fact it is apparently traitorous to mention any of these things: a crime against the overarching goal of total victory.

This establishment and media narrative is countered on social media by others who take an opposite and equally uncompromising view. They believe Russia must fight to a total victory in Ukraine, depose Zelensky, and humiliate and weaken NATO, thus dealing a blow to US Imperialism.

While a much smaller group, the pro-Russian extremists can be every bit as bloodthirsty as the NATO hawks.

The problem is that all these people on both sides, fuelled by the righteousness of their own belief, are blind to the immense human suffering of the war. They don’t seem to care that many times the amount of suffering so far would be required in order for either side to achieve total victory.

Whereas in the real world both sides are bogged down in a barely moving battle of attrition. The idea of “total victory” is impractical nonsense.

As for those actually making the decisions, for Western politicians a continuing war is a win-win. It drains Russia, their designated enemy. More importantly, it provides the massive opportunities for concentrated political power and super-profits from the public purse that only war can bring.

So far the UK has provided £4.1 billion of weaponry to Ukraine, without a mainstream political dissenting voice. If total victory is the aim, that is just an appetiser.

Yet we have the pretend opposition Labour Party stating that £1.2 billion a year cannot possibly be found to lift the two-child benefit cap and relieve child poverty.

That is one reason wars are so good for the wealthy who control us. Weapons expenditure is beyond control or criticism. To date £5 billion has been spent on the Ajax light armoured vehicle project without a single vehicle ready to enter service having been produced.

There is no telling how much Trident is eventually going to cost, though at least 125 billion. The war in Ukraine provides yet more evidence that our nuclear deterrent does not actually deter anything.

Though I suppose the Ukraine war does radically improve the chances that at least we might get our money’s worth from Trident by blowing the whole world to pieces.

I can see no logical refutation to my constantly repeated argument that the war in Ukraine has shown that Russia cannot speedily defeat a much smaller, weaker and extremely corrupt neighbouring state, so the incredibly high expenditure on “defence” by NATO is not really needed.

The idea that Russia, which is taking a long while to defeat Ukraine, could be a serious threat to the entire NATO alliance is plainly utter nonsense.

But Russia can of course eventually defeat its much weaker and smaller neighbour. Ultimately Ukraine cannot win this war, and somehow the West has to come to terms with that. Ukraine is quite simply going to run out of people able and willing to fight.


Ukraine’s use of US cluster weapons was perhaps the first major dent in the blue and yellow public opinion so carefully manufactured in the West. As the horrible war continues on with no real Ukrainian victories to cheer, the “who started it” question will fade in the public mind.

I still think it was unwise of Putin to start this war, as well as illegal. If his goals are limited, then this is a good time to move to cash in his gains.

You may be surprised to know that I have a certain degree of admiration for Bismarck. Apart from a genuine claim to have invented the foundations of a welfare state, Bismarck’s use of war was brilliant.

Bismarck stuck to defined and limited objectives, and did not allow spectacular military success to lead him to expand those objectives.

The purpose of his two wars against Austria and France was to unify Germany, and he succeeded in very quick wars, immediately ended. Humiliating or punishing France or Austria played no significant part in his thinking. Bismarck had limited goals, achieved them and stopped the fighting immediately.

This horrible war will end with Russia retaining Crimea. There is no point in arguing about it. Whether the Donbass remains theoretically part of Ukraine remains to be seen, but de facto Russian autonomy there will be established. I suspect that more important to Putin than the Donbass would be territory further south which secures the approaches to Crimea.

There has to be a territorial settlement. That is what diplomacy is for. The total war options are in themselves terrible and bring massive nuclear risk.

The idea of either side fighting through to total victory is, quite simply, madness. Sanity must be imposed on those who seek to profit from continuing war, or seek to engulf the world in the flames of ideology and righteousness.

Ask this one question of those who insist on total victory for one side or the other. “How many dead people is that worth?”. Insist on an actual number. For total victory either way, anything less than 1 million is utterly unrealistic. It could be much, much worse. Do you really want that?


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498 thoughts on “Beware the Righteous

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  • Jack

    Interesting development in Nigeria, a western backed leader was ousted in a coup.
    And there is even talk about western backed military intervention to reseat the ousted leader.

    ” France planning strikes to free ousted president, Niger junta says”
    One of the coup leaders claims Paris sought and obtained permission to “intervene militarily” in the country’s political crisis

    Funny, when Yanukovich in Ukraine was ousted in 2014, it was certainly not a coup but a revolution, a will of the people according to the west but now…. it is a coup in Nigeria according to the west and military/sanction means could be used against this former western colonial state.

    If the west have right to use force to re-install ousted leaders in former colonials far away in Africa, why all this brouhaha against Russia when Yanukovich as ousted in a coup in Ukraine in 2014?

    The double standards in the west never cease to amaze.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Nigeria and Niger are two different countries, Jack. There’s a difference between between a coup and a revolution as well – not least to do with the numbers of people involved.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Jack. No, I don’t agree. What just happened in Niger was a coup because it involved a small cadre of senior officers in the Nigerien Armed Forces (plus a couple of armed units to do the actual removal of the elected government from power). What happened in Ukraine in February 2014 was a revolution, involving tens of thousands of people storming government buildings, which initially began as a protest against the sudden refusal of President Yanukovych to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement that had been comprehensively approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

          Of course, a mob might not necessarily be representative of the whole population. However, three months later, there was a presidential election in which the Western-leaning Petro Poroshenko received nearly 55% of the vote in the first round and became the new president. In contrast, the main Russian-leaning candidate, Serhiy Tihipko, got just over 5% of the vote, and Mykhailo Dobkin of the Party of Regions (Yanukovych’s party), who advocated for Ukraine joining the Eurasian Customs Union, received a mere 3%. (Note: people in Crimea and the separatist areas couldn’t vote – but even if they could and had all voted for Tihipko, it wouldn’t have prevented Poroshenko becoming president).

          • Jack

            Actually quite a lot of people seems to support the the military taking over:

            Thousands of coup supporters march in Niger’s capital
            Demonstration by ‘our compatriots’ testifies to the extent to which they have been gagged by the former government, says junta leader

            Note also that the latest election in Niger was not considered free nor fair.
            International observer groups flag Nigeria’s presidential election

            Regarding Ukraine, Yanukovich election was considered free and fair by western observer groups so the Niger example is then definately a revolution if “Ukraine 2014” is to be considered to be one by western standards.
            Of course the pro-coup parties gained power after the coup in Ukraine.

            Lets reverse this, lets assume that it was a pro-western candidate that was ousted at Maidan instead of a pro-russian candidate.
            Do you really believe western world would back the pro-russian protesters and call the event a revolution?
            You see what I mean by the western use of double standards?

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Jack. I never said that the 2021 Nigerien presidential election was free and fair – it is sub-Saharan Africa after all – and I never said that the 2010 Ukrainian presidential one that brought Viktor Yanukovych to power wasn’t. The crowds supporting the coup in Niamey with their Russian flags (wonder where they got those from) didn’t overthrow the previous president themselves.

            Petro Poroshenko gained power in 2014 because he was voted in by the Ukrainian electorate, then he lost it in 2019 because they voted instead for Zelensky. In both elections, most people voted for pro-Western parties/candidates because they’d seen what happened to the general standard of living in countries like the Baltic States after they’d joined the EU (not too far off German levels now) and thought: we want some of that.

            Of course the Western world wouldn’t have backed pro-Russian revolutionaries if they’d overthrown a pro-Western president in Ukraine, but the truth is that most of it wouldn’t have paid that much attention, just as they didn’t when flight MH17 was downed and 298 people were killed (though that might have been different if they’d been mostly Americans rather than Dutch).

            It doesn’t matter what you or anyone else thinks: coups involve small groups of people near the top (usually in the military), whereas revolutions involve mass uprisings coming from near the bottom. Western governments are perfectly within their rights to call things what they are – that’s not double standards.

          • Jack


            The thousands of niger’s on the street do not agree with you, they obviously back the new rulers.
            I assume some wave russian flags because they support Russia. Equally I assume some of the Maidan protesters waived EU flags because they supported the EU or why some people in the nation of Georgia waved american flags during their protests earlier this year. Do you know where they did got these flags from?

            I am not really sure what your point is regarding EU support in Ukraine. I have never claimed Ukraine, as a whole support a union with Russia but that is of course the track the post-coup leader will take for the moment, especially since the pro-russian opposition is completely banned.

            I can guarantee that most westerners would have paid attention if a pro-russian violent coup occured against a free and fair backed western candidate. You know that too.

            Besides #1 there was a huge anti-maidan movement demonstrating during the“Maidan”, was not a revolution to be inclusive you said?
            Beside #2 there was a protocal to be followed for unseating a president in Ukraine which was not followed, it gained all too few votes. Revolution you say? Coup by definition.

            Obviously you do care because you are the sort of the people I am talking about obviously. Sometimes there is a coup (when you do not support it) sometimes it is a revolution (if you support it).
            I mean just ask yourself, would you in 2014 back a violent pro-russian protest movement toppling a pro-western elected candidate? Of course you would not. Why beating around the bush and not just admit?

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Jack. My point about EU support in Ukraine was that that was the reason that Poroshenko and, to a lesser extent, Zelensky were elected, not because they were ‘pro-coup’ [sic]. In both of those elections, Ukrainians had the opportunity to vote for pro-Russian candidates but, for the most part, declined. If the revolution hadn’t happened and the EuroMaidan protesters just gone home after making their point then, provided that the presidential election scheduled for March 2015 had taken place, Poroshenko would have very likely won and become president only ten months later than he actually did.

            I would put quite a bit of money on most Westerners not paying attention to a pro-Russian coup or revolution in Ukraine against a Western-backed president, because most of them don’t pay much attention to politics in their *own* countries most of the time. I’ve also noticed the ‘World News’ section of the Funday Times shrink and shrink over recent years to barely a page now – I doubt an article headlined ‘Small Coup in Ukraine, Not Many Killed’ or some such would have attracted many readers.

            The ‘huge anti-Maidan movement’ doesn’t appear to have been as big as the (pro)-Maidan protests. Obviously not everyone in a given country will support a revolution. I have already explained the difference between a coup and a revolution. It doesn’t matter whether I support one of them or not; it doesn’t change what it is. In general, I don’t support coups *or* revolutions, especially against democratically elected governments, unless those governments are carrying out atrocities against their own people, or launching illegal wars.

          • pretzelattack

            yes Zelansky was elected because he pretended to want peace, including in Donbass. then the neonazi goons terrified him and he became a willing tool for the US and NATO and their “populist” revolution.

          • Tatyana

            Our news report today that Niger has stopped shipments of gold and uranium to France. The rebels formed the National Council and spoke on the state channel. Colonel Amadou Abdraman stated that Hassumi Massoud, the Acting Prime Minister, asked France to strike at the presidential palace in order to free the president.
            Burkina Faso and Mali “warn against the catastrophic consequences of military intervention in Niger, which could destabilize the entire region, as was the case with NATO’s unilateral intervention in Libya.”

            It seems that all these countries are former colonies of France, and the essence of the whole mess is connected precisely with uranium, with the distribution of profits from its mining.

          • Jack

            Of course Poroshenko, Zelensky stems from the interests of the coup in 2014, Ukraine is a divided nation
            some times the western part of ukraine won elections, sometimes the eastern Ukraine won elections. Of course western Ukraine is going to win for a long time now after using such measures as coup, mob rule violence, intimidation, harassment, jailing, closing of media, closing of political parties, ignorning the consitution of unseating Yanukovich et.c.

            If you do not believe west would act if a pro-russian violent protest movement toppled a pro-western president and that it would be ignored in the west you are either deliberately disingenuous or naive beyond reason.

            There were many thousands of protesters for the the anti-maidan crowd. Perhaps you are talking about yourself when you said westerners do not pay attention to pro-russian prostesters? Well not everyone turned a blind eye to it.

          • Tatyana

            pro-Russian protesters back in 2014, that is what happend to those from Crimea
            when you’re told that in 2014 there was a movement to EU, please remember there also were anti-EU movements and the problem is that pro-EU had power, including weapons and please notice the police didn’t interfere into the fight and makes no action to enter the situation. Just watching. As they did in Odessa, on May2 when another pro-Russian protesters were burned alive. And so far no one has been punished.
            When one states “the majority won in Ukraine”, they forget to add “because they intimidated their opponents with physical violence.”

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            A quick history lesson for you, Jack. In late 2013, Russia was still the West’s friend: it was a member of the exclusive G8 club of leading Western nations, and a global partner in the War on Terror. The West was perfectly prepared to sweep things like what had happened to certain people in Russia, as well as to Alexander Litvinenko in the heart of the UK’s capital, under the carpet. In contrast, Ukraine was seen as a corrupt backwater barely worth any attention at all.

            Things began to change shortly after Russia annexed Crimea: after bin Laden had been taken out, al-Qaeda had become a shadow of its former self under the insipid Ayman al-Zawahiri, and ISIS was yet to take over large tracts of Iraq, the Western security services needed a new villain. They couldn’t quite manage it with Assad, who after all was only trying to stop his country from falling to bits – and quite probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people being massacred – but, fortunately for them, Putin handily provided them with one. Even so, Russia wasn’t kicked out the G8 – just suspended, until it became the G7 – the economic sanctions imposed on it were minimal, and it was still allowed to host the football World Cup in 2018.

            So, overall, no, pre-2014, the West wouldn’t have particularly cared if a pro-Russian revolution in Ukraine had toppled a pro-EU president, especially if a pro-Russian president had been elected shortly afterwards. The EU itself wasn’t particularly hankering after having Ukraine as a member either – if it had been, Ukraine would already be one. Most Westerners didn’t pay any attention at all to the anti-Maidan protesters, not least because they didn’t pay any attention to the (pro)-Maidan protests.

          • Jack


            Russia and west were not allied in 2013, a history lesson for you is that EU explicitly told Ukraine that they have to pick either EU or Russia: Ukraine could not have extensive agreements with both. Which is stupid because Ukraine have strong ties to Russia.

            “Ukraine wants trade agreements with EU and Russia”

            You seems to be unaware that talks between EU and Ukraine have been going on for some 25 years.

            You to got tangled up in your own absurd cognitive dissonance and thus cannot admit that west would of course not support a violent pro-russian coup in Ukraine in 2014 like they supported the pro-western protesters in 2014. You are spewing bullocks and you know it.
            Besides what you mean the west did not care about the “Maidan” events? It was coveraged day and night, condemnations against Yanukovich/Russia left and right!

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Jack. As I’ve outlined in my previous comment, Russia and the West were substantially allied in 2013. The EU, of course, wanted a free trade agreement with Ukraine so that they could buy Ukrainian goods without paying tariffs – as well as allowing EU companies to take advantage of cheap Ukrainian labour. What it didn’t want is for Ukraine to become a member of the EU, and thus become eligible for huge amounts of agricultural subsidies, especially in the wake of the bail-outs of southern European countries after the debt crisis. If you’ve been trying to arrange something for 25 years, it’s probably not going to happen. The EU also doesn’t allow any of its member states to pursue their own free trade agreements – even with Western countries – so why should it have allowed Ukraine to enter into one with Russia and still be able to have one with Europe?

            Unlike the War in Ukraine, the EuroMaidan Revolution certainly wasn’t covered day and night on news channels in the UK. If you asked British people at random what they thought about it, I doubt whether anything above a small minority would have a clue what you were talking about – and even less in the US, I’d imagine. As for getting tied up in ‘absurd cognitive dissonance’ and not being able to admit that the West would not support a violent pro-Russian coup, here’s what I wrote in my comment at 21:15 yesterday:

            ‘Of course the Western world wouldn’t have backed pro-Russian revolutionaries if they’d overthrown a pro-Western president in Ukraine’

            I do wish people would actually read what I write before accusing me of ‘spewing bullocks’.

          • Jack

            It has to be arranged for decades since Ukraine is not a western european nation thus Ukraine has to be remolded before it can join. EU should heed that Ukraine cannot only pick either EU or Russia. Of course an arrangment could be made to benefit both parties. But EU did not want that.
            But Ukraine has substantial support to join within the EU.

            74 percent of Europeans support EU’s backing for Ukraine, poll finds

            It was covered day and night, do not take my word for it – you can go back and do a google-search and see for yourself how substantial the reporting were back then. This was also
            the prime subject of EU where EU politicians traveled to Ukraine and protested along with the people on “Maidan”.
            “Maidan” not taken notice of? Speak for yourself.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Jack.

            Re: ‘It has to be arranged for decades since Ukraine is not a western european nation thus Ukraine has to be remolded before it can join.’

            I wonder if that’s what EU officials keep telling Ukrainian ones. Of course, if the EU had really, really wanted a free trade deal with Ukraine, it would have allowed them to have one with Russia as well and **** the rules – but as I may have mentioned before, Ukraine just wasn’t that important to them. I’d also imagine that the percentage of Europeans supporting EU membership for Ukraine was lower than 74% before the current war/SMO. Anyway, it’s not up to them; it’s the EU’s political elites that will decide.

            I can’t speak for what was making the news in continental Europe in February 2014 as I wasn’t living there at the time – but in the UK, the news channels were more concerned with the Winter Olympics in Sochi (even though we only won one gold medal – Lizzy Yarnold in the skeleton bob) and the ebola outbreak in West Africa, which some people thought might become a deadly pandemic. It was only when Russia annexed Crimea that they started taking more notice, but even after that, there was still little coverage of the 2014-22 War in Donbas(s) – a war in which thousands died, including hundreds of Western Europeans (not least ten Brits) on flight MH17.

          • Jack

            As I said, it takes time because Ukraine is not fit to be a member.
            You can read about the issues here:

            There is of course huge support by the EU politicians too. Not sure why I have to show you this since it goes without saying:
            On 23 June, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the immediate granting of candidate status for membership of the European Union to Ukraine and Moldova, as well as to support the European perspective for Georgia
            (from the same Wiki link) It was a vote with 529 for and 45 against and some handful abstentions.

            Well you simply missed the coverage then because it was on 24/7. I just googled what BBC wrote and got 100s of hits from 1 november to 31 to december of 2013 and that goes for MH17 too which you for some reason did not see any coverage of, no Olympics back then so not sure what you are going to blame this time.

            I am done with this debate now.

          • ronan1882


            I can confirm you’re being lied to there. The 2014 shenanigans in Kiev led the news in Britain for their full duration. The scene in Maidan Square was permanently on-screen on the news channels, which celebrated the coup as a great democratic victory and exulted in the presence of McCain, Nuland etc. The ensuing war on the coup’s opponents was also a regular feature on the news in the years thereafter. There was even reluctant acknowledgement of the Nazi role in events, both in the Maidan and in the assault on Donbas. All determinedly unremembered now or even flatly denied. As I noted yesterday the media in Britain did the same following the GFC, unremembering their own extensive coverage of giant bank bailouts in order to justify the poorest being made to pay for the sins of the richest (ie austerity). That’s just the British media I am afraid, unprincipled to the core, completely willing to pretend things they extensively reported on never happened.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Jack. The EU has coming up with reasons why Ukraine shouldn’t be allowed in yet for years. To be fair to them, since 2014, parts of Ukraine have actually been active war zones, but that wasn’t the case in the years prior when it wasn’t that different to Romania & Bulgaria when they were allowed to join in 2007 – some parts of the latter are still largely controlled on a day-to-day basis by the local mafias (ditto Italy, which has been a member since 1957).

            Now let’s see, the EuroMaidan protests* started on November 21, so if you managed to find hundreds of articles of the Beeb site about them from then until December 31, I make that at least five articles a day on average (including Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Year’s Eve). Someone was very busy – and that was before the killing started. Anyway, here’s an article I found on there from shortly after Yanukovych had been removed from power, which attempts to provide an overview of what happened:


            As you can see, right from the start, it makes no attempt to cover up the fact that elements of the Ukrainian far-right played a part in the protests, and even describes Stepan Bandera, whose image was hung from the city hall (photo included), as being ‘allied with the Nazis’, rather than just a partisan leader in the second world war, which might make the layperson think he was actually *fighting* the Nazis. Later on, it also makes reference to his role in WWII atrocities (albeit with some qualification). You can’t expect everything from the Beeb, but overall, I think it’s reasonably balanced.

            Of course I saw coverage of MH17 – I just didn’t see much coverage of the rest of the War in Donbas(s) because there wasn’t much at all on mainstream news outlets in the UK. If there had been, British people might not be getting castigated (not least on this site) for thinking that war in Ukraine began in February 2022.

            * I see that events in which at least 121 (mostly young) people died, and which ‘led the news in Britain for their full duration’ (note: that’s not true) are now being described on this thread as ‘shenanigans’. You stay classy, San Diego.

          • Yuri Kunless he5B

            “[before 2014] Ukraine was seen as a corrupt backwater barely worth any attention at all…”

            Yet it was 2013 when Vicki Nuland bragged about $5B the US spent on “supporting democracy” in Ukraine. I would not describe such spending as “hardly any attention”.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Yuri. Nuland was referring to the amount spent by the US over the previous 20 years – since shortly after Ukraine gained its independence and became a fledgling democracy – which comes to around $250 million a year by my maths. Every year the US also spends high hundreds of millions of dollars each on countries like Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan (proper), Somalia, the DRC etc – countries which, if they were being honest, its officials would describe as corrupt backwaters. They’re also prone to being the theatres for horrific wars – something else they now have in common with Ukraine.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Obviously having too much time on my hands, I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane*, and listening to the headlines on BBC Radio 4’s Six O’Clock News from November 21 to December 31, 2013, to see if the EuroMaidan protests (or indeed anything related to Ukraine) was the lead story. Here are the results:

            November 21: No
            November 22: No
            November 23: No
            November 24: No
            November 25: No
            November 26: No
            November 27: No
            November 28: No
            November 29: No
            November 30: No
            December 1: No
            December 2: No
            December 3: No
            December 4: No
            December 5: No
            December 6: No
            December 7: No
            December 8: No
            December 9: No
            December 10: No
            December 11: No
            December 12: No
            December 13: No
            December 14: No
            December 15: No
            December 16: No
            December 17: No
            December 18: No
            December 19: No
            December 20: No
            December 21: No
            December 22: No
            December 23: No
            December 24: No
            December 25: No
            December 26: No
            December 27: No
            December 28: No
            December 29: No
            December 30: No
            December 31: No

            In the unlikely event that anyone wants to check things with Bully, here’s the link:


            As they’re radio programmes, in the UK, you shouldn’t (officially) need a TV licence to listen, though you will have to register if you haven’t already. No sure whether BBC Sounds is available in other countries.

            * I don’t tend to forget things – though I did forget about former Co-op Bank Chairman Paul Flowers, a.k.a. the Crystal Methodist, and had a little chuckle: A day without laughter is a day wasted – Nicolas Chamfort

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            And here’s a list of whether the EuroMaidan protests (or indeed anything related to Ukraine) appeared in the headlines at all (with a link if it did):

            November 21: No
            November 22: No
            November 23: No
            November 24: No
            November 25: No
            November 26: No
            November 27: No
            November 28: No
            November 29: No
            November 30: No
            December 1: Yes
            December 2: No
            December 3: No
            December 4: No
            December 5: No
            December 6: No
            December 7: No
            December 8: No
            December 9: No
            December 10: No
            December 11: No
            December 12: No
            December 13: No
            December 14: No
            December 15: Yes
            December 16: No
            December 17: Yes
            December 18: No
            December 19: No
            December 20: No
            December 21: No
            December 22: No
            December 23: No
            December 24: No
            December 25: No
            December 26: No
            December 27: No
            December 28: No
            December 29: No
            December 30: No
            December 31: No

            So who’s telling lies – me or your man (I assume he’s a he/him) Ronan?

            (I can do January & February 2014 as well, in the unlikely event anyone wishes)

          • ronan1882

            Interesting that you didn’t though, isn’t it? I referred to Feb 2014 because that is when the U.S.-engineered coup in Kiev was executed by Nazi gunmen. Not 2013. So what purpose was served by listening to every news story from every day in Nov and Dec 2013?

            Am I supposed to look at your findings from Nov and Dec 2013 and say, ah I must have misremembered. The coup was actually barely mentioned in Britain let alone led the news. I read this Lapsed Agnostic guy wrong. He is clearly as straight as they come and not determined to deceive at all? If that is what you expected, I can’t do it, I’m afraid. Sorry.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for you reply, Ronan. The reason I stopped at the end of December 2013 was that I was getting a bit bored by then – but my efforts should still have let Jack know that, even if someone was writing hundreds of articles on the BBC website about the EuroMaidan protests in November/December 2013 (that seem to have since disappeared), which I doubt many people will have read anyway, there certainly wasn’t much coverage of the protests in the Beeb’s radio news output at that time. As I said I’d respond to polite requests, or even impolite ones, here are the corresponding results for the protests/revolution being the lead story from the beginning of 2014 up until Yanukovych was overthrown:

            January 1: No
            January 2: No
            January 3: No
            January 4: No
            January 5: No
            January 6: No
            January 7: No
            January 8: No
            January 9: No
            January 10: No
            January 11: No
            January 12: No
            January 13: No
            January 14: No
            January 15: No
            January 16: No
            January 17: No
            January 18: No
            January 19: No
            January 20: No
            January 21: No
            January 22: No
            January 23: No
            January 24: No
            January 25: No
            January 26: No
            January 27: No
            January 28: No
            January 29: No
            January 30: No
            January 31: No
            February 1: No
            February 2: No
            February 3: No
            February 4: No
            February 5: No
            February 6: No
            February 7: No
            February 8: No
            February 9: No
            February 10: No
            February 11: No
            February 12: No
            February 13: No
            February 14: No
            February 15: No
            February 16: No
            February 17: No
            February 18: No
            February 19: No
            February 20: Yes
            February 21: Yes
            February 22: Yes

            So let’s unpack this, as they say on US networks: On 19 February, “the [violent] deaths of at least 26 people” in a major European capital city (well at least compared to the likes of Chisinau etc) was the *third* item on the Six O’Clock News, behind Blair (who’d left office over seven years prior) being revealed to have offered to act as an unofficial advisor to Rebekah Brooks and Davros, and the unemployment figures:


            (If it bleeds*, it leads? No thanks, we’re British.) Obviously, the following day, they couldn’t really continue to largely ignore a story in which scores of people had been shot dead on the streets, and a democratically-elected European leader was about to be overthrown by an angry mob for the first time since…well, that’s got me thinking – might have to get back to you on that, done enough work for now.

            Now, even allocating the narrowest reasonable timespan to the revolution, which would be 18-23 February – though I’d argue that it really started on 22 January when at least four protesters were killed – that’s still two days in which it wasn’t the lead item on BBC News, which in general tends to have a more international outlook than other British news organisations, especially on the wireless. And even after two days, it still wasn’t the only story in town by a long chalk.

            So your claim that the revolution – which you seem to refer to as ‘shenanigans’ (though it’s not clear if you’re actually referring to the revolution, the protests beforehand, or both) – ‘led the news in Britain for their full duration’ is a demonstrably false one (at least as regards BBC radio). Regarding your contention that the ‘scene in Maidan Square [sic] was permanently on-screen on the news channels’, that really doesn’t accord with my memory of events – though unfortunately BBC television news archives aren’t available to corroborate. I never said the revolution was completely ignored by the TV news in the UK, but it certainly wasn’t ‘permanently on-screen’ 24/7.

            As for the bank bailouts being completely memory-holed, Farage was being allowed on our screens just the other day to remind us that NatWest Group (formerly RBS) was still nearly 40% owned by the UK taxpayer, and thus – d’you know what? – he has the right as a free-born Englishman to continue to receive the most impeccable service from Coutts & co, and the entire board of NatWest should be sacked for even daring to contemplate otherwise.

            P.S. There is no Maidan Square in Kyiv/Kiev. That’s a tautology: maidan means square in several languages, including Ukrainian. The square is called Independence Square.

            P.P.S. As I really am getting tired of pointing out, what happened in Ukraine in 2014 was a revolution, not a coup.

            P.P.P.S. As I may have mentioned before: He/him – not my pronouns. And I’m not as straight as they come.

            *That said, I suppose Rebekah Brooks bleeds once a month – or at least she did at the time.

          • Jack


            Since you are calling me out I feel obliged to reply.
            Go to google, select to search from november 2013 to march 2014 (or beyond) then type in (or and followed by search strings like Ukraine, Yanukovich, protests . You get 100s of hits. Same goes for The-guardian, Telegraph and every other mainstream media.

          • ronan1882

            Lapsed Agnostic

            We’ll agree to differ on all that. I think we just observe the world through very different lenses, whether U.S. regime changes or the news coverage of the BBC.

            On the latter I saw findings yesterday that show trust in the BBC is now a decidedly minority position. That’s among the population at large. I dare say it’s even more of a rarity here on the Craig Murray site.

            “In 2003, 8 in 10 Brits trusted the BBC to tell the truth. 20 years later, that number has dropped to 38%. .. It’s now trusted only by centrist voters who back a small liberal party.”


          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Ronan. After Jack mentioned it, I previously searched the UK’s BBC site for the term ‘ukraine protests’ between November 21 and December 31, 2013, and sure enough, like him, I got hundreds of hits. To be fair, the first two pages were mostly about the protests in Ukraine. Fast forward to page 10 though (still less than 100 hits in), and this is what I got:

            Pussy Riot members speak after prison release
            Thailand protests day four: Momentum builds in Bangkok
            Tibetans displaced within region ‘amid rampant mining
            Ukraine suspends preparations for EU trade agreement
            Downe and Lagan Valley A&E opening hours reduced
            Hunger strike asylum seeker Isa Muazu deported to Nigeria
            Mexican president signs controversial oil and gas law
            Bangladesh deploys army ahead of January elections
            Spotify reveals artists earn $0.007 per stream
            Defiant Turkish PM Erdogan in major reshuffle

            Fair play – one of them is actually about the protests in Ukraine (sort of). That must have been luck because on page 5 none of the ‘hits’ were about the EuroMaidan protests.

            Now to cut out the irrelevant stuff, let’s search for the term ‘euromaidan’ (which was the widely recognised term for the protests) between the (extended) dates you suggested. I get 25 hits of which at least one is in Spanish, one in Portuguese and one in Russian (I’d imagine these are translations of articles in English). I can’t be arsed doing the same for the Graun, Telegraph etc, but I’d guess there’ll be even fewer results.

            Although I still pay the licence fee, I’m certainly no flag-waver for the Beeb, especially some of their fact-checkers, such as Ros ‘Azov aren’t Nazis, they’re just 20% Nazi, so don’t worry about giving them bazookas’ Atkins. I concur with you that it is becoming less trusted, but then so are most institutions – at least in the Western world.

            Hope you enjoy the rest of the week.

          • Jack


            Of course you will always get search hits that do not fit the criteria, I am talking about the bulk of search hits, not cherry picked ones.

            Here you have theguardian: Google “ ukraine protests”
            100s of hits

            Google: “ ukraine protests”
            100s of hits

            Google: “ ukraine protests”
            100s of hits

            I throw in one scientific study on top of it:
            The crisis in Ukraine was one of the dominant topics in international news coverage of 2014 and the following years

            Ukraine was by far the most-covered foreign country in selected German TV news in 2014, with 4600 minutes of airtime..

            If you still going to gaslight and deny reality, go ahead; I have no more time for this, I tried my best.

    • ronan1882

      There is a determined unremembering of the U.S. role in the violent overthrow of Yanukovych in Feb 2014 and the installation of a Russophobic coup regime. Also that the shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in Feb 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe.

      The most galling thing is that the assault on coup opponents in Donbas was reported by the media throughout the past decade. It all reminds me of 07-08 when the media was reporting round the clock on bank bailouts then tried to pretend they never happened and the huge deficit in public finances was caused by irresponsible social spending on libraries and the disabled!

    • Wikikettle

      The Russian Federation is done with trying to get agreements on Collective Security taking into account its own security interests. Every attempt prior to the invasion of Ukraine was rejected and previous signed agreements under the auspices of the French Germans and UN torn up. What options were left for Russia but to use military as a last resort, after political overtures failed ? Just over running the many military Bio labs experimenting was enough justification. There will be no cease fire and no freezing of the conflict, to give time for US Nato EU to build up a fourth Ukrainian army. Russia is planning for all eventualities, on all fronts where US Nato EU will start ‘fires’ in the many proxies it is in control of. The holy grail of the British since 1850’s and now the US is to rest control of Crimea, Sevastipol Naval base, home of Russian Black Sea fleet since 1780. Control of this vital strategic area determines the future of the Caucuses and warm water access for Russian ports, others mainly freeze up. The Soviets made a big mistake not taking the Bosphorus and Marmara. The US and British wouldn’t have hesitated. Panama and Gibraltar come to mind. This war didn’t start last year, nor in 2014. It is a continuation of the Crimean War of the 1850’s. Allen Dulles was planning the war against the Soviets with SS General Karl Wolff before WW2 ended. The man responsible for transportation of Italian Jews to the death camps . Indeed many German and Ukrainian Nazis were given immunity in the West and shaped US military doctrine. No wonder the respect and fascination with German commanders and weapons in post war West. The Generals and Weapons that killed millions of Russians, laid waste to its towns and cities with medieval seiges killing millions of civilians with starvation. Still won’t give up in trying to shackle the Bear in chains, poke it, force it to dance to its tune and take its main warm water port. Good luck using Ukraine Poland and the rest of your vassal states.

      • Wikikettle

        Larry Johnson ex CIA has said US Nato EU will only ‘wake up’ when Russia responds directly to these participants, which hide behind proxies.

  • Antiwar7

    It matters _which_ million gets killed. Point out to someone advocating total Western victory that there’s nothing stopping a Kinzhal missile from taking them out, or their capital.

  • U Watt

    You say continuing the war is a win-win for Western politicians due to super-profits for arms manufacturers. But the politicians also have their eyes on a dystopian postwar “reconstruction” of Ukraine with BlackRock calling the shots, sucking out trillions at the expense of the people of Ukraine.

    Please remember too that leaders of the US uniparty have a very personal interest in the brazenly corrupt state they assumed control of in 2014; and not for reasons of freedom, democracy and the rest. Some have managed to glean – despite the best efforts of the US free press – that Joe Biden has personally harvested super profits from Ukraine via his son, suddenly an expert in the gas industry following the removal of Yanukovich. But not only the President himself. The sons of House leader Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney and John Kerry also suddenly descended on Ukraine’s gas industry after 2014. It sounds unlikely because you would think there is no way the US free press would ignore these uniparty titans brazenly preying on one of the poorest countries in Europe. Surely the New York Times etc would think, no this makes the US look like shit. We have to try and shame them into stopping; after all it’s not even as though these people are beloved national treasures who need more money.

    Instead the righteous looked the other way. The vultures have a green light and the feast has barely begun.

    • pretzelattack

      not only that, it is possible that an enraged Trump might actually win the election in 2024 and prosecuted Biden and Clinton, and how safe would the other war criminals be if that happened? the Nulands, Sullivans, Blinkens et al.

      • U Watt

        Of course. I remember when Trump tried to find out how much Biden was making from Ukraine it was depicted as outrageous by the US free press. Grounds for impeachment even! In the interim though hard evidence has been emerging not only of how Biden was wetting his beak in Ukraine but, as of yesterday, how he has also been enriching himself off China. If Biden does somehow escape prosecution surely that would be a far bigger outrage than if he is impeached and imprisoned by a succeeding administration? In the usual run of things the former outcome is infinitely more likely. Recall how far Obama went in prosecuting the Bush-Cheney gang. However the fact the righteous have deemed Trump an acceptable figure to impeach and prosecute means he could upturn the apple cart if he returns to power.

    • Casual Observer

      All the old hobby-horses that we may have assumed went to the knackers years ago, have in reality been out to grass. So the opportunity exists for the ‘Domino Theory’ one to be brought in with slightly different silks worn by the riders. 🙂

  • Deb O'Nair

    “The Second World War, however, was as close to a justified war as can ever be found. Fascism and Nazism were truly evil doctrines, while the Western forces that opposed them…”

    That would be the Western forces of the US and UK who were openly supporting the Nazis in the 1930’s, with the US continuing that financial support until Pearl Harbor. The US financial interests then set up shop in Switzerland and conducted business with the Nazis through the Bank of International settlements. This is not conspiracy theory, it’s documented fact. You have to be dim to swallow the US/UK narrative when it goes directly against the historic facts.

    The reason the US allow the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor is because they *need* to declare war on Germany, who have just failed to unseat Stalin with the Barbarossa Blitzkrieg and the US has to prevent an overrun of Western Europe by the USSR.

    • Casual Observer

      One might argue that the most egregious acts of the National Socialists did not take place until the allies had also decided upon some pretty egregious policies ? Once embarked upon the path of egregiousness all parties involved showed no hesitation in expanding their actions, so we end up with simply differences in scale.

      The Japanese are an interesting case. I wonder to what extent their Co-Prosperity sphere actually bore fruit, indeed to what extent they actually tried to make it work ? Clearly in the case of Burma it was successful enough that the father of the Burmese military and nation Aung Sang was not pursued by the brits after 45. And no doubt his memory is the only reason his daughter Aung San Suu Kyi, every bodies favourite dissident until recently is still a political player there.

  • Jack

    Say what you want about Trump but on Russia he once again read the situation correctly.

    Russiagate to blame for Ukraine conflict – Trump
    The investigation triggered mass hysteria that pushed Washington into “a proxy war” with Moscow, the former US president has claimed

    Remember, every day, for years, during his presidency there was bogus claim after bogus claim about Russia/Trump connection. All that warmongering hysteria made americans prone for war against Russia and american/russia relations went sour.

  • Tatyana

    The Righteous get slapped 🙂
    Hunter Biden’s business partner Devon Archer testified yesterday that Hunter put Joe Biden on phone with the busineess contacts more than 20 times in order to promote “the brand”
    Video by The Hill

    I recall there were so many voices dismissing Hunter Biden story as Russian propaganda 🙂 I recall Joe Biden said he knows nothing about his son’s business. And he also demanded to fire Shokin, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General who was to investigate Burisma.

    I see on the previous page commentor Dawg accuses me of spreading fakes. I could, of course, start giving lengthy explanations on Zaluzhny twitting his selfie with Bandera’s portrait on the wall, celebrating Bandera’s birthday, so that that twitt outraged a French diplomat. Explaining that that was why I believed the symbol on the bracelet WAS a swastika, especially since as a rebuttal they simply linked the lot to Amazon, and since I myself am a seller on Amazon, and I know very well how to make, edit, or delete variations from a product card – this “proof” did not convince me.
    Or, the claim that I’m lying because the original source I had linked, has been removed by the moment Dawg decided to have a look. Although Ukrainians continue to kneel at funerals, regardless of the Nazi beliefs of their dead “heroes”.
    You see, even trying not to start a long explanation becomes a long hug in itself 🙂
    Whatever. Any explanation would be useless.
    Because I don’t like US drones over my head and it’s pretty extremist, isn’t it? 🙂

    Friends, I do not insist that I write only and exclusively the truth. How could I know? I do not sit next to Putin and do not have access to secret information. I’m the most ordinary person, not associated with the state, or the army, or journalism, in general, with any organizations. I don’t even have a work team – I earn as a self-employed jeweler.
    It’s just that I’m Russian, and here they publish things that the West will not publish under various pretexts. For example, under the pretext of “Russian propaganda”, as in the story with Hunter Biden.

    • Tatyana

      heh, an update on the development. Tucker Carlson interviews Devon Archer.
      Wow! Just I’ve never imagined the thing may be like that!
      I knew some poor states allocate money to pay a US president for the chance to make a photo with them. Like, you find a right person, give them money, and when the US president has a press-conference, you may catch a moment and come up, and they take a photo of you both. I guess, there’s a price list, like ‘shaking hands $10,000’, or, ‘looking at each other face to face very close $300,000’
      But I never imagined one can just sell their name and position as a … franchise? My knowledge of business is not that much as to find a proper word for this. Looks like a totally new sort of business. Haha, I will call it “homemade franchise” untill I find a new more exact description 🙂

  • SleepingDog

    NATO is the greatest evil our planet is known to have produced. You only have to see the declassified material on their war planning, as summarised by the likes of Daniel Ellsberg, or the implications, satirised by others, or the histories of progression through depopulation bombing, to realise this. Unless there is something wrong with you.

  • Tatyana

    Dear friends, there’s an update on Gonzalo Lira’s fate in the Discussion Forum. He was detained in Ukraine for more than 9 weeks and he will be trialed in a couple of days.
    You may like to visit
    Please note that this is only an invitation, and any discussion is only and exceptionally please to be posted in the linked thread in the Discussion Forum. Even if you want to post a ‘thank you’ here 🙂 Please do not 🙂

  • Beware the Leopard

    I entertained a morbid counterfactual train of thought the other day. It began by wondering: What proportion of the military-age men assembled on the Maidan square, back when Victoria Nuland was distributing cookies, are now dead or maimed?

    Had those men – somehow – understood the grim destiny that Nuland was arranging for them and their friends, what might they have done differently at the time?

  • Jack

    This is fresh article is also quite on point, the EU, that earlier rejected nationalism and flag-waving today embrace the ukrainian flag wherever they can and support the most radical of nationalists in Ukraine.

    “Ukraine has exposed Europe’s liberal myth: An insecure EU is warming to nationalism”
    What makes the sudden “pro-European” identification with Ukrainian nationalism even stranger, however, is that it is not just any nationalism. Rather, it has a long history of anti-Semitism which extends from its 16th-century Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky to Stepan Bandera during the Second World War — both of whom are still venerated in Ukraine. Moreover, after 2014, much of the fighting in the Donbas was done by the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that was integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard. Supporters of Ukraine claim that these neo-Nazi elements were later removed. But at least two of the five Azov commanders who Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky recently brought back to Ukraine as heroes are neo-Nazis who go back to the founding of Azov.

    • Tatyana

      François Asselineau
      4 YEARS AGO
      In 2019, the Arte channel described Ukraine as
      ▪️ the most corrupt country in the world
      ▪️ the world center of pedophilia and child trafficking, protected by top leaders
      In 2022, we are told that it is the “bulwark of our values” against Russia

      The Arte’s video report linked there

      both cannot be true at the same time.
      In my opinion, there used to be such a position: Nazism is bad, that is, there are no better or worse nations. “Competition” was appropriate in relation to the political system, or ideology, that is, it was right to compare governments, how they cope, and praise the one that makes the life of “their” nation better, and accordingly, blame that which do not cope and condemn those which choose violent methods.
      Little by little the difference between a country, a nation, a government, etc. has blurred in public minds. Like, today you are left with one word “Russian” to describe the country, and the nation, and the government, and domestic and foreign policy. As now it’s become impossible to “criticize the Jews” or “humiliate the Blacks”, while the inner need to compare one’s nation, ethnicity, race (put here any collective noun) and find it more worthy than others, has remained. So, you’ve now given a substitute, something ‘related to Russia’. Putting in one pot everything that relates to Russia and hate it wholesale 🙂
      I would describe it as everyday Nazism, but I think this is too strong a word. There must be something like anti-Semitism, something like Russophobia.
      I believe that here we see the inertia of thinking. Blurring of the concepts. Also, fuelled by the frenzied need for NATO to justify its existence. Very very close to where the persecution of the Jews began. As to Ukraine – the Ukrainians are praised in their every sigh, as if they can do nothing wrong. I think this exaggeration is mostly conscious behavior specific to the current situation. It’s like saying ‘I do appreciate your service so we are not talking about your faults today’.

      • Jack

        Yeah when it comes to nazism in Ukraine, the response by west have been something like this:

        1. “There are no nazis in Ukraine! It is Russian propaganda! Zelensky is a jew you ignorant russian troll!”
        2. “Sure there may be some nazis here and there in Ukraine but who cares, every nation have nazis!”
        3. “Oh ok some ukrainian soldiers have nazi tattoos or Azov may have neonazi symbols in their logo but they are no nazis, don’t you know that the swastika is actually an ancient buddhist symbol?”
        4. “Ok! Ok! Ukraine has nazis but those will be dealt with after war, stop your whataboutism you nazi-vatnik!”
        5. “Is nazism really that bad?”

        Good point on nazism used to be bad by the way Tatyana. This shift of view in western europe stems directly from the extremist view they have in the Baltics and Poland where nazism is equal to communism.

        No wonder Estonia was the first nation in Europe to exterminate large part of their jewish population before even the german nazis moved in and as you know they celebrate Estonian SS “heroes” to this day, like this photo showing the monument of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS in Estonia:

        Same for Ukraine, here is a video that the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine posted up on social media some months back, where Russians are depicted as rats….which of course is the exact type of dehumanization german nazis used…

        • Tatyana

          ha, you give a recent example, and even much earlier, a joint statement with Ukraine was published on the official US state website, where the word “untermensh” stood in relation to the Russians, hung there for some time until deleted on the complaint. I’ll rummage tomorrow in my bookmarks, I’ll find that case.

          Or, who would have thought that the presenter of the Ukrainian TV channel would start quoting Nazi statements literally verbatim! There is the video, someone cared to translate it in English
          Ukraine 24 presenter goes full Nazi, endorses Adolf Eichmann to call for genocide of Russians.
          “By killing children, they will never grow up and the nation will disappear… and I hope that everyone will contribute and kill at least one Muscovite.”

          The strangiest ever thing that I’ve ever seen. I mean, one doesn’t have an Adolf Eichmann book on their table, moreover one doesn’t learn by heart passages. How on earth he even got it? Learned the name, learned the text and pronounced it on TV.

          • Jack

            Yeah I remember that case and what is most disturbing is that it is made so casual, like it is something normal to quote infamous nazis and call for genocide – and it is so stupid too, if you reject Russia calling you nazis, why on earth do you go on the tele and quote one of the worst nazis?
            This also why there is no need for pure nazi-party to win elections in Ukraine because there is a general extreme-right ideological/thinking in significant parts of Ukraine that have become, for a lack of a better word, internalized, and have thus set the ideological bar for many political parties in Ukraine.

  • Greg Park

    The righteous are going to be badly disappointed I fear as they were with Syria and Afghanistan. All the noise is suggesting Ukraine will soon be hung out by the Americans. They know Ukraine can’t win and the American public has stopped caring. dC wants to move on and create a fresh disaster in the Far East.

  • Jack

    Looks like Africa just got their own Zelensky.

    Deposed Niger leader calls on west to restore order in Niger or risk Russia taking over the region in op-ed in Washington Post:

    “Niger’s Bazoum warns of ‘devastating’ fallout for world if coup succeeds
    President Mohamed Bazoum calls on international community to help country ‘restore our constitutional order’.”

      • Beware the Leopard

        That most recent Tisdall article, from 8 July, concludes thus:

        Ukraine would be effectively partitioned. And a gloating Putin and his gang, escaping justice, would be free to do it all over again, there or somewhere else. So no more conditions, cavils and clever caveats, please. NATO must unleash its considerable power to ensure Ukrainian victory.

        Notice that Mr Tisdall is trying to speak a fantasy into existence:

        1. Ukraine is, presently, partitioned.
        2. Russian leadership will never suffer any of the consequences (the so-called “justice”) Mr Tisdall entertains in his fevered imagination, no matter how many clown shows debut at the ICC or whatever other corrupted venue decides to similarly beclown itself.
        3. And, as for “[NATO]’s considerable power”… NATO simply lacks the capacity to accomplish what he wishes it would. It has nothing to unleash that can effectively deter the Russians from turning belligerent forces on their doorstep into hamburger, no matter their nationality.

        The slow-roll supply of arms and munitions, this strip-tease escalation that so apparently annoys him, is meant to disguise that reality from the Western audience who might otherwise question why their leaders keep gratuitously pitching money over the fence to their defense contractor friends for the duration of unwinnable wars. And so, by the way, is Tisdall’s chest-beating part of that camoflage, like the stirring music that strikes up during a cinematic climax.

        • Beware the Leopard

          “[…] Tisdall’s chest-beating [is] part of that camoflage, like the stirring music that strikes up during a cinematic climax”

          Or, functionally speaking, more like the laugh track that punctuates the lame jokes in a sitcom.

  • Jack

    Russian tanker damaged in Ukrainian drone attack, state media says, closing Kerch bridge
    Russia’s Tass says the chemical tanker SIG received a hole in the engine room near the waterline in the attack.

    Russia cannot afford these constant attacks, what are they thinking? How are they not able to pinpoint where all these air/sea-drones come from? Let alone the western arms supply routes?

    And Surovikin is still nowhere to be seen since Wagner mutiny and Shoigu and Gerasimov walking around like two geezers and Medvedev sits and bark about endless “red lines”. No this won’t do it for Russia.

    • Beware the Leopard

      The article says the bridge is open since early today (Saturday), but that traffic was stopped for a few hours.

      Jack, regarding whether “Russia cannot afford these constant attacks”, I have some thoughts:

      On the cheap world map hanging on my wall, it looks like the front line partitioning former Ukrainian territory is about 1000 kilometers long (very roughly, ie, the width of two thumbs). There is military activity (one might call it “constant attacks”) occuring all along that front line every day, usually focused around several locations. And if that front line does not significantly change, then the Ukrainians have failed to achieve their stated objective of expelling Russian forces from their former territories despite the sacrifice of lives and equipment. Also, if that front line does not significantly change, it tends not to be treated as sensational news by general-consumption press. Lack of change there is, however, militarily significant news.

      There have also been, recently, drone attacks on civilian targets within Russia. They get quite a lot of coverage by news organisations. Are some broken windows in Moscow’s business district militarily significant events? Are traffic delays on a Saturday morning?

      Of course they are not. But they are cheap to produce (infinitely cheaper than battlefield successes), they generate news coverage, and Kiev is able and willing to roll the dice over and over.

      Kiev is thus able to influence the content of the news we read through this sort of “attack”, and seems intent on doing so.

      Can Kiev affect the shape of the front line significantly, as required to achieve its stated objectives? Time will tell.

      Furthermore, with respect to “[…] what are they [the Russian leadership] thinking?”:

      I am not a mind reader, so I can only read what they say. According to Putin, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in order to eliminate what it deemed an existential threat posed by the ideologically anti-Russian regime in Kiev armed by and increasingly integrated with US-led NATO. I have seen nothing to suggest that this objective has changed.

      To evaluate their progress, I look for whether:

      1. Is the Ukrainian military broken?
      2. Do organised Nazis wield influence over, or get support from, the Ukrainian state?
      3. What military activities do NATO countries conduct within Ukraine?

      I assume these remain the Russian leadership’s priorities, as they consider them a question of Russia’s continued existence.

      Where do Kiev-sponsored terrorist acts fit, in the triad above?

      A. The more broken Ukraine’s military power becomes, one might expect Kiev to attempt relatively more terrorist attacks.
      B. Ideological commitment is pretty much a prerequisite for terrorism. Not sure this is true, but I think many would agree it is.
      C. The US is the number one sponsor of terrorism worldwide. Real terrorism experts, and they pull the chief strings in Kiev.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Drone and missile attacks on Kyiv and Moscow are not going to win the war by themselves. Terror bombing of this sort has never worked. The best you can say is that it diverts air defence systems away from the front line and ties down the troops needed to operate them.

      • Jack

        Beware the Leopard

        Good points!
        I have no military training or even interest in this matter but even someone like me could sense there is something wrong: From what I know military radar pick up drones easily, still Ukraine is able to send drones deep inside Russia have been carried out almost every week past 6-8 months. There are so many security thresholds being penetrated if Ukraine is able to strike at the russian capital, repeatedly. Something is obviously fatally wrong with the russian strategy and defense at large.
        Also where are the air-defense? I just read that Ukraine managed to clusterbomb Donetsk. Why is Ukraine even able to transfer cluster missiles so deep into eastern Ukraine without being noticed by Russia?

        And sure, if it happend 1-5 times but it is constant: thus why are Russia unable to to anything about this threat?
        After all, more russians have been killed, maimed before the invasion than prior.
        I think it is just a matter of time before Ukraine manage to get a huge strike on a vital target. If Russia plan to enforce their goals for the invasion, they obviously should change course as soon as possible.

        • Beware the Leopard

          > I have no military training

          That makes two of us.

          > or even interest in this matter

          There seem to be at least two distinct “matters”. There is the military conflict, and then there is terrorism/counter-terrorism.

          For someone with no “interest in this matter”, you certainly track the terrorism reporting more closely than I do.

          Judging from your reports here (about your perspective on the media landscape), it sounds like Ukraine is conquering more column-inches in the newspaper every day. Soon they will have possession of the entire front page.

          It seems to me that the desired consequence of a terrorist event, its ultimate goal, is mass-psychological. To achieve that efficiently, it must first be reflected properly, focused even, by a compliant mass media. (Think of sunlight, which will only set ants on fire if you operate a magnifying lens just so.)

          And so, if you are interested in following (through media) the progress of a terrorist campaign, you will want to monitor the media consumed by the target population.

          Who is the target population, by the way? Is it Russians? Or is it… someone else?

          (Seen anyone hanging around lately holding a giant magnifying glass? If so, did you happen to notice who they were pointing it at?)

          > Something is fatally wrong with the russian strategy and defense at large

          You seem to be evaluating the effectiveness of Russian counter-terrorism strategy and implementation here.

          In making your evaluation, did you take into account the scope of the problem the Russian Federation faces? How many other countries on this planet have a border to secure of similar size, for example? Consider that each terrorist event that doesn’t occur in (say) Switzerland is far less of a security achievement than each one that similarly does not occur in the Russian Federation.

          And more generally, security is a famously difficult problem. I recommend the axiom that you can never simply add security without subtracting something else. And the tradeoffs required to achieve maximal security of any sort tend to be, well, maximally inconvenient.

          While I am dispensing maxims, here is one attributed to Dwight Eisenhower: What is urgent is rarely important, and what is important is rarely urgent.

          > After all, more russians have been killed, maimed before the invasion than prior

          I am unsure what this means. I suspect you did not write what you intended to say. If you mean what I think you meant, my answer is this:

          Elimination of an existential threat to the state requires sacrifice.

          There is preservation of lives, and there is preservation of the state. These are not the same:

          Preservation of the state

          Finally, have you heard the joke about the two guys running away from a tiger? One sees the other stop to put on a pair of running shoes, and asks him what the hell he thinks he is doing: You’ll never outrun the tiger, you moron!

          The guy putting on the shoe answers: I don’t have to outrun the tiger. I only have to outrun you.

          Russia is wearing its shoes. Who (or what) is the tiger? I’m not sure, but I suspect that the US and its vassal states are the guy without shoes.

          • Jack

            Beware the Leopard

            Why have Russia not then secured the border as of yet?
            In my view it boils down to terribly bad preparation, if not even Moscow can be protected one wonder why they ever started the invasion from the getgo. Just imagine the drone attack on actual Kremlin compound some months back were a bit more powerful… You cannot make these mistakes, and certainly not repeatedly. Same with Ukraine striking Kharkova dam or the Nordstream-bombings or constant attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear powerplant etc.

            I certainly do not agree that one must sacrifice thousands of humans to win. That is in my view an outdated, dangerous attitude towards war and humanity. In this modern time Russia should be able to carry out the majority of the strikes with people, sure, but with people sitting in Russia using modern high-tech weapons and not sitting like sitting ducks in a trenches in Ukraine somewhere.

            Take Israel, one reads year after year how Israel strike this and that column of Iranian arms going into Lebanon, Syria etc. and while I do not support Israel, this is the tactic Russia should be using (if they plan to win). I sincerely do not understand this. I mean there are thousands of tons of arms, big items like tanks going in freely and in the open in western Ukraine, perhaps as often as daily. Do Russia lack spies and sabotage units? Do they lack satellites? Will?

            I remember even weeks, months, prior to the invasion, the West accelerated their arms shipment to Ukraine and there were photos, videos of these western weapons being unloaded on Ukrainian identified airports, right in the open but obviously Russia did not take any notice as usual and the same weapons was used against Russian soldiers on the battlefield killing some and maiming others.

          • Beware the Leopard

            > Why have Russia not then secured the border as of yet? In my view it boils down to terribly bad preparation, if not even Moscow can be protected […]

            I would be interested to learn the cumulative total, to date, of injuries and deaths in Moscow due to drone strikes. Is it a single-digit number?

            > […] on wonder why they ever started the invasion from the getgo.

            No need to wonder. The president explained from the outset: Existential threat.

            > Just imagine the drone attack on actual Kremlin compound some months back were a bit more powerful… You cannot make these mistakes, and certainly not repeatedly.

            More important, perhaps, than avoiding mistakes is

            1. to recognise when you have made one
            2. to learn from the ones you make

            I contend that Western institutions have, across the board, lost this ability. The tiger is eating them as we speak.

            Time will tell how Russia does.

            > Same with Ukraine striking Kharkova dam or the Nordstream bombings or constant attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear powerplant etc.

            The Nordstream pipeline bombing was an attack on infrastructure critical to German industry. You expected the Russians to provide security for this?

            > I certainly do not agree that one must sacrifice thousands of humans to win.

            Do you agree that it is far worse to sacrifice thousands of humans to lose?

            > That is in my view an outdated, dangerous attitude towards war and humanity.

            outdated: I tend to be skeptical when people claim that anything practiced for thousands of years, unto the present day, has been rendered obsolete by new technology.

            dangerous: Abandoning a time-tested practice, for something new (hence untested), sounds quite dangerous. Pretending that this carries no risk is foolish.

            > In this modern time Russia should be able to carry out the majority of strikes with people, sure, but with people sitting in Russia using modern high-tech weapons and not sitting like sitting ducks in a trenches in Ukraine somewhere.

            Barack Obama’s administration took a similar view. Results were grim: “In Afghanistan a study found that pilotless drone strikes caused 10 times as many civilian deaths as did piloted planes.”

            How many civilians have been killed by US drones? (3 minutes, uploaded circa 2016)

            You end your comment with what I consider a very interesting question: Why does Russia allow materiel from Western arms shipments to make it to the front?

            One possible answer begins like so: The location of a given node in the Ukrainian distribution network is useful information for the Russians. It has a value, can be used in various ways.

            One way to use it is to liquidate the node. But now your database about the network holds less information. You have decreased its total value (by making some of your own information obsolete). You may consider this worth the cost. Or you may not.

            A node in a network has value due to its connections to other nodes. The more nodes in a network, the more potential connections for each node.

            I expect this is true not only for the Ukrainians’ actual supply network, but for the Russians’ information about that network.

            Perhaps considerations like this make the calculation, about when it is worthwhile to liquidate a node, more complicated than it may first appear to casual observers like ourselves.

            A second (rather grim) consideration is that soldiers with no ammunition tend to retreat. If this conflict were —for the Russians— a war of conquest, for territory, then this might be a desireable consequence.

            But Putin made clear, at the outset, that the special military operation had three goals. Conquest of territory was not among them. Demilitarisation was. And as long as the Ukrainians keep sending soldiers to the front, the demilitarisation proceeds.

          • Jack

            I would be interested to learn the cumulative total, to date, of injuries and deaths in Moscow due to drone strikes. Is it a single-digit number?

            Hundreds of injured, a couple dozen deaths I reckon.
            It is not a matter of how many have died though; I am talking about the failure to foresee and protect even the capital from attacks. Again, just imagine the drone detonation over actual Kreml were a bit more powerful.
            It is like you have a break-in repeatedly but do nothing about it and carry on as usual. Sooner or later that burglar will steal something real valuable.

            No need to wonder. The president explained from the outset: Existential threat.
            My point is: why start a war if you do not have the offensive nor the defensive means to carry out the goals? No goals have been accomplished to this date and seems more and more distant.
            Besides Russia is many times more existentially threatened than before the war.

            More important, perhaps, than avoiding mistakes is
            Exactly, but since the drone attacks (or regular military attacks) continue, Russia does not seem to learn anything from it.

            The Nordstream pipeline bombing was an attack on infrastructure critical to German industry
            The Nordstream is 51% owned by Russia; of course they should protect it from threats.

            Do you agree that it is far worse to sacrifice thousands of humans to lose?
            You made the argument that one must sacrifice to win, sacrifice to lose? What does that even mean.
            Recognize that there is someone’s son, father, uncle being killed and maimed in this war that has turned to a bloody quagmire.

            Prigozhin was right on the cue on this subject:
            “Wagner boss Prigozhin slams Russian officials from a field of corpses”

            If you think trench war is how war is supposed to be carried out in 2023, you are certainly using an outdated outlook on war.
            By comparison, by the time Russia has already lost more soldiers, let alone civilians than US did for decades in the middle east war post 9-11. Why? Because they use humans to greater extent than high-tech weaponry.

            On why Russia never strike western arms transfers in the far west of Ukraine: Russia have said repeatedly that western arms are the reason the war is still going on so the obvious question is (still) why is Russia not taking out the arms before they reach the Ukrainian soldiers in the far eastern Ukraine.
            After all Ukraine is close to whopping 7000km wide but apparently Russia is unable to find and strike these arms shipments let alone the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers that are sent there. So no it is not about node/connections, it is about sheer incompetence.

  • Vinneythepooh

    Assuming there is some logic behind Western approach (it’s not a given to put it mildly) one has to unfortunately assume that Poland and Romania are next in line. Ukraine obviously can’t defeat Russia, but the three of them together? It’s possible. Not as part of NATO, mind you, but “separately”, as indicated during the Vilnius summit.

  • Peter Webster

    “the war in Ukraine has shown that Russia cannot speedily defeat a much smaller, weaker and extremely corrupt neighbouring state.”
    Perhaps Russia is trying to limit the collateral damage to Ukraine, and the pace of warfare correspondingly reduced. It is already a blood bath, but Russia is not doing to Ukraine what the West did to Germany, firestorms et al. After all, somewhere down the line Ukrainians and Russians will have to be of the same sort.
    And since the war is making complete fools of Western experts, governments, to the extent that at the end it will correctly be seen that the West defeated itself, perhaps the Russian strategy is to see just how far the West can go in damaging itself.

  • bogwood

    There are even doubts about the Second World War, at least in its onset. UK and USA bankers and major corporations funded the growth of both Japanese and German militarism. They lit the match then the fire became uncontrolled. The bankers are always behind the screen.

  • james

    there are a lot of flaws in your thinking craig, especially with regard to the nato war on russia, expressed as a proxy war in ukraine.. i haven’t read others comments here, but i am sure someone else will have articulated it more clearly for you.. thanks for your post.. i agree that the righteous are a real problem..

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