Ukraine (Date: Nov. 2023)

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  • #92934 Reply

    As the “Ukraine issue” in war and peace alike will accompany us in the future here a place to put in links to stay updated independent from Mr. Murray´s blog entries.

    “What’s Next for Ukraine: The Outlines of a Peaceful Settlement”
    by Nicolai N. Petro and Ted Snider
    Posted on November 17, 2023

    #92937 Reply

    Responsible Statecraft, geopolitical analysis by Edward Hunt:

    “The Ukraine war has been a ‘great bargain’ for US in the Black Sea
    Officials boast that Washington and NATO’s foothold has opened up much-desired energy opportunities.”

    “U.S. officials view the war in Ukraine as a way of achieving geopolitical objectives in the Black Sea, an energy-rich region that connects Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

    At two recent Senate hearings, State Department officials portrayed the war as a means of transforming the geopolitics of energy in the Black Sea. As long as Ukrainians keep fighting, they said, there remains a potential to transform the Black Sea into a new market for the European Union.”

    US Senate Hearings on Black Sea:

    Oct. 25th 2023

    Nov. 8th 2023

    #92983 Reply

    This I assume is Branko Marcetic´ first piece for NEW LEFT REVIEW ever.

    I always recommend and look into his stuff even if I think he has too strong a Ukraine bias in his reporting.

    (e.g: The Crimea secession is way more complex than he sees it. Nicolai Petro as just one highly competent voice of several has always stressed that the overwhelming majority was fine with the outcome of the referendum. Also the legal question is not clear cut a case as of “aggression” as Marcetic wants it at all. Lawyers won´t ever agree on this. Cultural ties, everyday realities and geopolitical truisms mix in.)

    So this has its ideological limits but I suggest everyone still take the time.

    Its a piece about how things in Ukraine on the ground are not as simple as Western propaganda wants the Western public to believe.

    After all the people have thoughts and worries of their own conveniently ignored by those in power in Kiev and in the West.

    “Free Agents?”
    23 November 2023

    #92984 Reply

    UKR war summary & assessment aired on Nov. 24th 2023:

    A good 90-min exchange at “New Atlas” between Brian Berletic and analyst Mark Sleboda:

    Sleboda I didn´t know. An American ex-patriat in RU I assume, with a wife who is from Crimea and who has a lot of relatives in Eastern Ukraine.

    Much insight on the general military sit. of the war. Not all new by now (unless one reads only Western papers) but very well summarized mainly by Sleboda who does 90% of the talking but it makes real sense especially concerning military analysis and concerning the decision-makers behind it in Ukraine and NATO. A lot of detail on the realities on the ground. That elevates it from the usual merely geopolitical talk.

    Naturally unlike Branko Marcetic in the post with NEW LEFT REVIEW above, Sleboda is pro-RU as he says himself.
    But that doesn´t mean he would glorify anything.

    After the 90 min. on UKR follow the last 30 min. on Gaza, which is ok but with less substance, its not Sleboda´s expertise beyond military aspects.

    p.s. As of now: 39.000 KIA on the Russian side, UKR side possibly 10 times as many.
    He speaks with much respect of the work mediazona does. Who also provide this latest figure on RU.

    He warns of a Zaluzny led government if the US might decide to overthrow the current regime.
    After all Zaluzny is an ideologue of the worst kind unlike the “comedian” who merely adapted to the madness but not out of real faith.

    So just because all eyes are on Gaza the danger in Ukraine has not disappeared.

    #92986 Reply

    Some news from the Russian-speaking sphere on the current conflict in Ukraine.

    There is Anatoly Shariy, an opposition Ukrainian blogger who currently lives in Spain and whom the current Kiev regime is out to get for many reasons.
    Among which I will highlight his tireless denunciation of Nazism in the ideology of modern Ukraine (this began long before the current conflict and even long before Crimea in 2014).
    Constantly uncovering corruption schemes in Ukraine.
    As well as the current investigation into the state cover-up of the drug cartel in Ukraine, which receives state support. After this investigation, the house in Spain where Anatoly lives with his wife and child was attacked with Molotov cocktails.

    Yesterday, Anatoly published a review of an interview with a person from Zelensky’s office – Arakhamia. This official said directly that at the very beginning of the conflict, when negotiations were being held in Belarus and Turkey, Ukraine was ready to sign a commitment to non-alignment with NATO and its neutral status. But Boris Johnson forced them to abandon this idea, directly pointing out that Ukraine should not seek peace but conduct military action.

    #92987 Reply

    Another development of events relates to the conflict only indirectly, but it affects opposition political forces in Russia, namely Navalny’s organization. Navalny, as you know, is in prison, and his organization is recognized as extremist.
    Recently, Navalny’s lawyers made statements that during visits to prison they gave him materials and questions about the organization’s activities. And they also received instructions from him, which were then passed on to the employees of the organization.
    Thus, these lawyers were accused of collaborating with an extremist organization and charges were brought against them.

    For some time I was skeptical about this definition of “extremism” until the results of the investigation into the terrorist attack in which Vladlen Tatarsky died were published. Daria Trepova, detained in this case, received instructions, an explosive device and payment from Ukrainian curators. Her connection with Navalny’s organization is also indicated.
    Personally, I have no doubt that it is logical for the Ukrainian special services to seek contacts with opposition forces in Russia. And the latest event has convinced me that this is so.

    Navalni’s organization is linked to a network of fake accounts that post anti-government comments on social networks, aka the “Elf Factory,” as if in opposition to the “Troll Factory.”
    One of the former employees in Vilnius provided internal documents of the organization, available freely, like Wikileaks does
    On November 17, the Free Russia Foundation confirmed the creation of ‘the Legion of Elves’ project, which was nicknamed the “Elf Factory” by the media in response to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. Director of the FRF Center for Strategic Communications, Egor Kuroptev, spoke about this in an interview with The Insider.`
    The Free Russia Foundation was founded in 2014, with headquartered in Washington and regional offices in Kyiv and Lviv, Ukraine; Tbilisi, Georgia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Tallinn, Estonia; Berlin, Germany; Brussels, Belgium

    They don’t deny this, rather they are proud of this, writing comments here and there, for money.
    Again, I personally believe it is logical for them to look for contacts with Integrity Initiative, 77th Brigade and other similar people, whom Mr. Murray mentions under his every blog. Actually. I think they are a part of this.

    #92998 Reply

    This is a short piece by Russia historian Paul Robinson from Canada on 10 years Maidan.
    This piece is of limited insight.

    “A decade after Euromaidan, Ukraine more fractured than ever
    The divisions that gave rise to the political crisis still largely remain today”

    What it does tell you though is the state of madness considering that in Canada Robinson is considered a radical pro-Russian voice. I have the impression he is mostly only accepted due to his position as professor with tenure at the Univers. of Ottawa. Not because that would be the decent thing to do in an open society.
    (isn´t “open society” one of Soros´ organisations?-haha)

    Robinson´s site is noteworthy nonetheless:

    #92999 Reply

    News from our sick German friends and their US bosses – treacherous demands for peace in Ukraine.

    In essence the peace negotiations being floated now are obviously designed as a Catch-22 for Russia. (why would NATO sue for peace NOW and not 1 year ago? That should be revealing enough.)

    Once the Ukrainian people have been bombarded with media propaganda they will openly sue for peace which the Russians however know would only serve to rebuild Ukraine for a second strike attempt by NATO which would turn out more dangerous for the Russians and the West alike. On the other hand if the Russians do not agree to peace they are the bad guys.

    In any case the US as major perpetrator is 10,000 miles away and never to govern Ukraine. Unlike Moscow who have to actually deal with a people poised to hate Russia.

    When it comes to the German re-militarization of German society as a whole as demanded by some nuts, see text below, this is a struggle between the Western elites and German civil society.

    translation from German-language article:

    p.s. the article won´t say it loud but the English historic term “Containment” although not used in the German original is well in the back of any reader´s mind. It´s 1948 all over again. – [ English auto-translation from German ]

    « The strategy of containment
    According to a report, Washington and Berlin are pushing for negotiations between Kiev and Moscow. US experts call for a transition from war to a “strategy of containment” against Russia.”

    BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – Pressure is growing in Germany and the United States for Kiev to no longer refuse to negotiate a ceasefire with Moscow. As reported at the end of last week, the governments of both countries are seeking a transition to such negotiations, but would like Kiev to initiate them itself without being publicly called upon to do so. An invitation would make a mockery of the West’s constant assertion that Ukraine decides on its own course of action. The plan to initiate talks with Moscow takes into account the failure not only of the Kiev counter-offensive, but also of the Western sanctions against Russia: as it is not possible to help the Ukrainian armed forces to victory on the battlefield or to wrestle Russia down economically, experts have been recommending a transition to a policy of containment for some time. This should freeze the current military situation without formally ceding Ukrainian territories to Russia. It should be accompanied by a massive rearmament of NATO. For Germany, experts are calling for a “change of mentality”; Berlin is insisting on “readiness for war”.

    The end of magical thinking

    On November 16, Eugene Rumer, a former Russia expert in the US intelligence services, and Andrew S. Weiss, a Russia expert in the US administrations of George H.W. Bush and William Clinton, explicitly called for a shift to a “strategy of containment” towards Russia in an article for the Wall Street Journal. In the West, governments had all too often indulged in “magical thinking”, wrote Rumer and Weiss: they had “relied on sanctions”, on “isolating Russia diplomatically”, on “a successful Ukrainian counter-offensive”, on “new types of weapons” [1]; an example of the latter was the German enthusiasm for the delivery of Leopard battle tanks (“free the Leopards!”). None of this has led to success, the two experts state; the counter-offensive has failed, the Russian economy is doing better than expected and President Vladimir Putin continues to be supported by the population. It is therefore necessary to change course and prepare for a long-term power struggle. To this end, Ukraine must continue to be supported and upgraded; the sanctions against Russia must remain in force; Moscow must be consistently isolated. Instead of hoping for quick military successes in Ukraine, the NATO states must massively arm themselves – against Russia.

    A change in mentality

    Two experts from the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) recently called for such a massive arms build-up. According to them, NATO and the Federal Republic of Germany need “a strategy that focuses on the earliest possible deterrence” and can fall back on highly equipped armed forces in just a few years.[2] This requires a “quantum leap”, they say: the German government must “strengthen the Bundeswehr in terms of personnel within the shortest possible time”, “expand arms production” and, above all, “improve resilience”. “The prerequisite for this is a change of mentality in society,” the DGAP paper states. However, this can only be initiated “if overall defense becomes part of everyday life in politics, business and civil society”. This would require involving the population in the process, which could be done “through competitions, further education, training camps” or “other interactive formats”. A “mandatory internship for all people aged 18 to 65 living in Germany” in the field of “overall defense” is conceivable. The call for a change in mentality corresponds to the fact that Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius wants to see German society “ready for war” and the new defense policy guidelines expressly support this[3].

    Goals and means

    With regard to the situation in Ukraine, two other influential US experts presented their thoughts on US strategy on the website of Foreign Affairs magazine on November 17. Richard Haass, former President of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Charles Kupchan, ex-employee of the US National Security Council under President William Clinton, judge that Kiev and the West are “no longer on a sustainable path”. The Ukrainian war aims – the recapture of Crimea and the Donbass – are “strategically out of reach, certainly for the near future and very likely beyond”.[4] In addition, “the political willingness to continue to provide military and economic support to Ukraine has begun to erode in both the US and Europe”. The “glaring discrepancy between the goals and the available means” is striking. The United States must now work with Ukraine to “move to a new strategy that reflects military and political realities”. If this does not happen, Kiev risks losing the support of the West as a whole in the long term, with very far-reaching consequences, the two authors warn.

    From attack to defense

    Haass and Kupchan consider Ukraine’s willingness to “negotiate a ceasefire with Russia” and at the same time shift its military focus “from attack to defense” to be unavoidable.[5] It is not a matter of officially giving up territory, the authors explain. Kupchan had already explicitly pointed out in June [6] that it is possible to stop fighting while retaining claims to territory; he cited the Federal Republic of Germany as a “historical analogy”: The latter had in fact never given up its claim to the territory of the GDR during the Cold War. Another parallel is Korea, where a ceasefire has prevailed for decades without South Korea ever relinquishing its claim to the North. However, as Haass and Kupchan conclude, Ukraine must now “recognize that its short-term priorities must shift from trying to liberate more territory to defending and restoring more than 80 percent of the land it still controls”. A ceasefire would be helpful, possibly even necessary. Last but not least, such an approach would “demonstrate” that Kiev has an “applicable strategy with achievable goals”; this would also help to secure Western support in the long term.

    “Of their own free will”

    This line of thought is not only linked to considerations recently expressed by a former advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovych, in an interview with Stern magazine. Arestovych spoke of a “dead end on the battlefield”, judged that it was time to “sit down at the negotiating table” and advocated following the example of the Federal Republic of Germany during the Cold War: “The return of the occupied territories” could be “pursued by political means”.[7] Plans by the US and German governments, reported on by the Springer newspaper Bild at the end of last week, also correspond to this model. The aim is now to initiate negotiations with Russia. However, the Ukrainian president should “come to the realization himself” that “things can’t go on like this”, a Berlin insider is quoted as saying: Zelenskyi “should address his nation of his own free will and declare that negotiations are necessary.”[8] This is considered inevitable, as the West has always said that it always follows the Ukrainian will and does not impose any requirements on Kiev; a departure from this would be difficult to sell to the public.


    However, precautions are to be taken that are likely to induce Zelensky to change course as desired by the West. It is said that only the exact number of weapons required for defense should be delivered[9] and that “a frozen conflict without agreement between the conflicting parties” is the alternative. It would wear Ukraine down and probably force Kiev to give in sooner or later. Officially, the content of the “Bild” report is still being denied. However, experts are increasingly calling for a ceasefire – less frequently in Germany, more often in the USA.
    (…). »

    #93017 Reply

    AG, as an addition to your latest comment.

    Andrey Odarchenko, the Ukrainian parlamentary and a member of Zelensky’s political party is currently on trial in Ukraine. He spoke with Mustafa Nayem, and the intelligence services overheard this conversation.

    Andrey expressed the idea that his hometown of Kharkov could not be held, so it was better to enter into negotiations with Moscow. Our news cite the speech:

    “Oh come on! Only two countries have a nuclear triad: Russia and America. There’s nothing more to talk about here! This is power! They’ll scatter us, we’re fleas. Iran and China are already giving Russia weapons, at the front is a mess. The Russians still have mobilization reserve, but we’re all blown away,” said Odarchenko. “Why The First (Zelensky. — Editor’s note) wants elections now? Because they will force you to negotiate – and rightly so. Why do we need those from Donetsk and Lugansk, Crimea? To hell with it. It’s a pity, of course, but we need to negotiate.”

    Andrey is accused of trying to bribe Nayem, but the prosecutor says that the recorded speech is a reason for a new criminal case.

    #93019 Reply


    thx. This will never reach German mass media.

    I might send an email to a few altern. sites to call their attention to it.
    Do you possibly have a link with that case so I could simply Copy&Paste it?

    p.s. Do you know of the case Maxim Goldarb?
    Goldarb was writing good reports from UKR. He is an activist with what is left of the opposition.

    Eventually for one late article where he demanded the Kiev government sue for peace, SBU threatened him and charge him with treason etc.

    I put the German link here.[ English auto-translation ] [ Russian auto-translation ]

    It includes Goldarb´s German letter to the readers of this biggest German altern site where he states his situation.
    This was 3 weeks ago. I have no updates since.

    (If you do need a translation posted here, let me know.)

    [ Mod: Done on your behalf (see above). You’re welcome.

    This is an English language blog, and the standard policy is for translation into English to be provided by the commenter, and only link to the version in the original language if the English version is incorrect in some way (e.g. it translates the wrong sense of a term).

    It would be very helpful if commenters could compile the translation link and include it in the text without moderator intervention.


    Thank you.]

    #93020 Reply

    re: war casualties

    Moon of Alabama today:

    It´s a first I believe that MoA is quoting Katchanovski in such a context. That should be alarming to Western media.

    Zaluzny needs 20,000 new men per month to replace the losses and to keep his army going.

    Assuming that the number is an average estimate we can calculate that 20 months of war have cost the Ukraine some 660 losses per day for a total of some 400,000. Irretrievable losses are not only dead (KIA), missed in action (MIA), or soldiers who preferred to become prisoners of war of the Russian army (POWs). They also include the severally wounded people who will be unable to come back onto the battle field.

    These numbers seem high but we continue to see more and more reports that point to extremely high losses:

    Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski – 0:35 UTC · Nov 27, 2023

    Adviser of Zelenskyy: There is now “terrible shortage” of artillery shells & “huge shortage” of mines and military personnel on frontline. He heard “scary numbers” that average age in some brigades is 54 & that 3 people remain in some companies out of 110 at start of the war.

    * * *

    Andrej Martyanov says UKR channel 1+1 accidentally put out a figure well over 1 mio. casualties.
    I have no idea. Just quoting:

    The Ukrainian TV Channel 1+1 accidentally did put out real numbers of KIAs and MIAs.
    1, 126,652 KIAs and MIAs for VSU. Somebody will have to answer for this atrocity and the main puppet masters sit in Washington and London and their names will be named at the Ukraine War Crimes Tribunal.
    The office of a 404 “president” reacted immediately and forced 1+1 to retract the story, but it is too late.


    p.s. with Martyanov it depends on the topic how reliable the things are. But he would never make something up.
    It´s the choice of sources and scrutiny. But then, if Washington Post and NYT would claim 1 mio. casualties now it would never be questioned.

    #93042 Reply


    (I have figured out how to archive sites. Now I will try to learn using Google Translate for webpages.)

    * * *

    John Mearsheimer sums up quickly the current status of knowledge about the peace negotiations between UKR and RU in the spring of 2022.

    “The Myth that Putin Was Bent on Conquering Ukraine and Creating a Greater Russia

    He is including some of the main sources. Among others the Gerhard Schröder interview which I had posted extensively on this blog back then.

    Moon of Alabama offered a similar post here on the peace negotiations:

    “Its Official – U.S. & UK Pressed Ukraine To Reject Peace Deal With Russia”

    Sources of both posts are under hyperlinks there.

    Additionally I would like to remind of Ray McGovern´s repeated note that Putin and Biden had been in contact via telephone at the end of December 2021 after NATO had rejected Russia´s demands.

    Biden then – which is known from the readouts of the administrations in Washington and Moscow – gave Putin hope that following talks in Geneva in January would settle issue No.1: UKR membership in NATO and stationing WMDs or weapons with WMD potential in UKR by writing them down (unlike the verbal “not an inch” promises from the early 1990s.)

    We also know that during these Geneva negotiations said points were in fact never discussed. It becomes clear in hindsight that the US administration never had any intention of negotiating these vital concerns in the first place. The “why” is obvious as well as “the fact”.

    What is interesting is that people like Swiss military analyst Jacques Baud in his book “Operation Z” more than a year ago already had summarized the crucial facts about the negotiations.

    The only thing that has changed: More high-level voices who have confirmed this since.

    Were it the other way around and would Washington claim sabotaged peace negotiations the media´s reaction would be obvious.

    #93043 Reply

    AG, on Odarchenko. There’s a video record of the trial, it is in Ukrainian but subtitles on YouTube are real help.

    They start listening to the audio records at 35:40

    I think you will not find anything in European languages on this case because it is about bribery. Zelenski recently adressed the journalists and warned them to not cover any corruption cases.

    “October 14. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky demanded, off the record, that journalists not raise the topic of corruption while hostilities continue. ZN.UA editor-in-chief Yulia Mostova spoke about this at the National Media Talk 2023 conference held in Kyiv, New Voice reports.”

    I’ll try to post the link to TASS in a manner prompted by Mods, i.e. via Google Translate.

    #93044 Reply

    many thx

    #93047 Reply

    You’re welcome, AG 🙂 And we are watching truly interesting thing unfolding here in Russian media, about the Elves factory.
    Yesterday I watched a blogger (don’t know who he is, but I enjoyed his T-shirt greatly 🙂 the sign is a sort of a capcha to check if you’re a native Russian)
    well, the blogger tell us that an opposition media Dozhd (‘Rain’) invited one of those Free Russia Foundation leaders, Natalia Arno (what a truly Russian name Arno is! [ /s ]) from Washington (yeah, nice Russian city Washington with many Russian residents concerned about freeing us all [ /s ]).
    ah, so hard to keep to the point.
    This person Arno tells us that back in 2015 they were running a big information campaign against Nord Stream 2!
    at 03:33

    Can you imagine, this ‘factory’ produced 2.3 million comments. Literally, they were hiring people to write comments according to pre-made templates, for money. Amazing! Just amazing! I wonder how much money did it cost?

    #93056 Reply


    Is there a way to get Engl. subs under that video?

    It would be good to know what she says verbatim.

    I wonder in how far this was directly affiliated with the Twitter-censorship complex which among others Matt Taibbi has uncovered and btw received a major journalistic award for just recently ($100 Grand prize money together with Weiss and Schellenberger I believe which Taibbi can really use).

    I am not a paid subscriber with his Substack so I can´t ask him via comments, unfortunately.

    Of course NS1+2 are a major geopolitical issue with 40 years of controversial history which now exploded in every sense of the word.

    While Trump was threatening to sue/sanction the German port city where NS2 was attached to the mayor there asked Berlin for support and since it was evil Trump the media had still sympathy for NS2.

    On the other hand environmentalist groups were trying to get it stopped by court injunction via proving that the pipelines were creating too much pollution. Which might have made in fact worked and even made sense (if it is genuine science I wouldn´t argue there).

    But of course in the light of other polluters that again was laughable. So where is this honest and where does the political meddling start? I didn´t know then. Nobody cares today.

    But then in 2021 Biden-Merkel tacitly agreed to shelve the thing.

    It is noteworthy that today nobody takes issue with the fact that 10 months before the Russians did attack Biden Merkel actually agreed that NS2 would be cancelled if Russia did attack Ukraine.

    They must have had a crystal ball.

    See the David Ignatius Washington Post report including the Biden-Merkel deal here:

    “Opinion: The secret planning that kept the White House a step ahead of Russia”
    By David Ignatius
    May 26, 2022

    the important paragraphs:

    The Biden administration’s secret planning began in April 2021 when Russia massed about 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. The buildup turned out to be a feint, but Blinken and other officials discussed U.S. intelligence about Russia’s actions with leaders of Britain, France and Germany at a NATO meeting in Brussels that month. Their message was, “We need to get ourselves prepared,” a senior State Department official said.

    Germany was a reluctant but essential ally, and the Biden administration made a controversial decision last summer that was probably crucial in gaining German support against Russia. Biden gave Germany a pass on an initial round of sanctions against a company building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for a pledge from Chancellor Angela Merkel that if Russia invaded, Nord Stream 2 would be scrapped. When the invasion came, Merkel was gone but her successor, Olaf Scholz, kept the promise.

    By avoiding a crisis with Germany early on, Blinken said, “the net result was that the foundation was in place when the Russians went ahead with the aggression.”

    This U.S. diplomacy gets high marks from Emily Haber, the German ambassador to Washington. “The wording in the joint statement [about Nord Stream] was vague, but the administration trusted the old — and later the new — chancellor to follow up on it. Which is what happened,” she told me. “A sublime form, I thought, of partnership management.”

    p.s. youtube video: Mrs. Arno´s cupboard in the background gives it away already. That appears very much D.C. The books (of course encyclopedia?), the cleanness, the fakery, the built. It looks like those East Coast basements where she seems to have an office with all her files. In case Russia invades good place to hide.

    #93065 Reply

    AG,I cannot give a firm promise to make a verbatim translation in next two days. Hope you understand, really hectic time for a small business like me, just a couple of weeks before the Christmas rush.
    Still I will keep it in my ‘operative memory ‘ to get it or to make it by the weekend.

    Just came to my mind that I might sound like a racist or a radical nationalist:) I must clarify that seeing someone with a foreign name sitting in Washington and very much concerned about freeing me, makes myself very much concerned about their concerns.

    #93066 Reply


    don´t waste your time on a childish request like mine.
    I will find a solution.
    I rather assumed there were already subs in place and that you could tell me how to activate those.
    Like you were some magician.

    And don´t worry you don´t sound like a nationalist racist.
    If you do want to though you´ll have to do better than that ;P

    And if you don´t know how to do that, may be read German Der Spiegel magazine back issues right after the UKR War started or leftwing TAZ. Or watch some older German News TV from 2022. Or German historic scholarship from Eastern European Studies faculties. Just replace the terms “Russian” and “Soviet” with any other nationality that you want to insult. Its very simple actually. I am sure you will find inspiration there.

    #93067 Reply

    YouTube makes it possible to show subtitles with a real-time auto-translation into the language of your choice. Here is the method:

    1. Click the embedded video to start the playback;
    2. Click the ‘CC’ (‘closed captions’) icon on the bottom of the embedded video frame to show the subtitles;
    3. Click the cog ⚙️ (‘Settings’) icon to the right;
    4. Click on the third line which reads ‘Subtitles/CC’;
    5. Change the entry to “Russian (auto-generated)” – and you will be returned to the ‘Settings’ list;
    6. Click on ‘Subtitles/CC’ again;
    7. Now choose the option ‘Auto-translate’ – the embedded video may now disappear from the screen, but you can easily scroll back down to the comment containing the video frame;
    8. In the list of language options, choose “English” (or whichever language you prefer).

    Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to include those options in the pasted link code, so the steps will need to be performed manually every time. Nonetheless, the procedure is worthwhile to get a sense of what is being said in the foreign language. (Naturally, the quality of the translation depends on various factors, such as the clarity of speech and the limitations of the auto-translation AI.)

    #93096 Reply

    I found the text of the interview. The Google Translate tool suggested elsewhere by Mods says ‘can’t translate’
    [ Mod: Actually, it does translate (though perhaps it doesn’t work for you due to your location). ]

    So, I’m afraid you have to copy-paste the text to translate it, here is the original page:

    Quick googling shows that Natalia Arno nee Budaeva worked together with John McCain in his International Republican Institute; her position was the Director on Russia 🙂
    She is Arno, because she is the wife of Michael Arno from ‘Arno Political Consultants’ – the leading company to organise elections in the USA.
    She is not one of the leaders, but actually the founder and the head of the free Russia Foundation. Also on the board of directors are:

    and some other smaller ‘celebrities’

    I’ll link the scanned doc:

    Russian Libertarian media published a report on the Elf Factory – long read.

    The most prominent part of it is that you can buy a Lorien Elf for 10 Euros 🙂 I do not kid you, they call themselves Lorien Elfs, and yes, they are paid 10 euros per hour.

    Ah, and Navalny’s company is here

    “The bot factory is run by the former head of Navalny’s Moscow headquarters, Oleg Stepanov. The former lawyer of Navalny’s headquarters in Ufa, Fyodor Telin, is responsible for monitoring – it is he who sends posts to employees under which they should leave comments. The director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, Ivan Zhdanov, is also involved in resolving key issues. The activities of the bot farm are actively supported by politician Vladimir Milov.”

    #93103 Reply

    Tatyana & MOD,
    to both of you many thanks.

    I will have to try out the method MOD described, yet.
    But quickly wanted to express my gratitude.

    #93105 Reply

    re: peace negotiations UKR/RU in spring 2022

    A Swiss article based on the latest UKR TV interview of 1+1 channel with Dawyd Arachamija, parliamentary group leader of the reigning party “Servant of the People”. He had led the then UKR delegation.


    The head of the Ukrainian delegation at the time stated literally:

    «The Russians really hoped almost until the last moment that they would force us to sign such an agreement so that we would accept neutrality. That was the most important thing for them. They were willing to end the war if we, like Finland, agreed to neutrality and committed not to join NATO.
    That was indeed the crucial point. Everything else about denazification, the Russian-speaking population and blah blah blah was just rhetoric and political ‘seasoning’.”

    #93110 Reply

    (posting these things here so they don´t get lost in the “maelstrom” of political upheaval and time when our focus is again diverted)


    A detailed reconstruction of events in March 2022
    Hajo Funke and Harald Kujat

    Berlin, October 2023

    #93111 Reply

    this is 60 min. conversation between Anatol Lieven and Richard Sakwa about RU/UKR/EU/US now and since the early 1990s.

    It might be a bit long regarding the number of real take-aways for people familiar with this blog since they are very well informed (but I always enjoy them both with their accents).

    There is also a rash transcript link available.

    a few major points nonetheless (mostly after min. 25):

    interesting: -Richard Sakwa states that a Kremlin insider, he wouldn´t say who, told him that the HMS Defender´s incursion into RU territorial waters at Sevastopol in the summer of 2021 infuriated Putin. And apparently that was one major tipping point in the decision to choose a war as a real possibility. In that section he also reminds of the US-UKR deal to cooperate militarily from autumn 2021.

    -They both agree that the Western politicians are incapable. (e.g. Minsk)

    -Sakwa as in his books points out that Putin in 2000 had been the most pro-Western leader in RU ever.
    He however was repeatedly disappointed and eventually changed his position.

    -But he still considers him the best solution and the best man compared to others in RU and also regarding potential among the electorate.

    -He regards Putin as the one mainly responsible for the decision to go to war. However unsurpising after a 30 year history of provocation.

    (Sakwa always reminds that he is no military person which in this context would be very important, in regards of WMDs.)

    -Lieven points at the utter failure of the EU which has defined RU as the barbaric “other”. And is surprised that with so many D.C. think tanks there is so little expertise in “empathy”.

    (Of course Lieven always appears naive in these “realpolitik” issues. Which puzzle me. Or he only projects naivité as he is one of the directors of the Quincy Institute and must consider public opinion.)

    #93113 Reply

    before this war started, I tried to draw attention specifically to the situation with NATO.
    In fact, it’s much more serious than just a “local” conflict between Russia and Ukraine. So the assessments about the “political seasoning” are partly correct (no matter how offensive it sounds for those Russian-speaking anti-Nazi people who fled to my region and live right next to me).

    The issue is bigger than the ideology of the current Kiev regime, larger than the oppression of Russians in Ukraine and more global than Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
    The carefully constructed system of balances and cogs, mutual inspections and agreements between the two opposing global nuclear blocs has been violated.
    And it scares the hell out of me.

    While we discuss Ukraine and Gaza, events such as the rupture of the nuclear test ban treaty are happening.
    There are small reports in the news, like ‘A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile without a warhead was launched from a military base in California’. Or, about certain US actions at the nuclear test site in Nevada. Or, that Russia is suspending its participation in the nuclear test ban treaty. Strange reviews of a new Russian weapons that “could turn the entire state of Texas into liquid glass”.
    We will see if the rationality prevails after all. If it doesn’t… well, it’s little consolation that in this case we most likely won’t see anything anymore.

    #93114 Reply

    Once upon a time 🙂 on this blog one of the commentators used the phrase “who would have thunk.”
    This phrase greatly amused me; I was truly delighted by the courage and assertiveness with which the person penetrated into English grammar and stabbed this poor irregular English verb with their unbending confidence.
    This phrase sometimes pops into my head and every time it produces the same comic effect.
    With your permission,

    Who would have thunk that Peter Jackson wrongly chose Cate Blanchett

    when actually the Lady of Lorien is×9/AfterlightImage-1.JPG

    #93115 Reply

    You may be interested to read Scott Ritter’s piece:
    The End of US Nuclear Superiority.

    In it he discusses the move to “modernise” the USA nuclear deterrent hardware and some history of the various treaties to limit the arms race.

    #93118 Reply

    ET thx for linking Ritter here

    * * *


    you must have posted a very bad Lady of Lorien because my browser won´t show the image under your 2nd link (did you possibly abuse an image of Mr. Putin disguised as Elf?).

    As to WMDs, I had begun 2023 with the intention to try finding out more about the possibilities in Germany for any action.
    But after contacting a couple of people it seems completely fruitless to even attempt anything for now.

    Those people with access to German governmental offices and the SoS have 0 inclination in acting independently of the US, lest of NATO.

    And the major problem is: the US has ZERO intention to get off the WMD train. And in fact naturally the US IMC is exhilerated over this war.

    In that light the failures described by Scott Ritter – I don´t know the details of how much RU has done about its SSBNs and its radar systems and early warning etc. – in how far these issues troubling RU High Command a couple of years ago – have been solved. So if Ritter is playing the card of RU superiority or US deterioration I am not so sure if that´s not something those very people he tries to counter in fact love hearing (knowing that it´s not that much of a problem since for that many years and bilions of rubles are necessary.)

    Nothing better for Senate than RU increasing arms spending and experts exagerating the RU threat – that has been working since 1945. Today we know much of what really was at hand.

    I would have tried more as I had planned but I simply don´t find the time. And now with the German LEFT PARTY in disarray and a new left party in the process of founding I wouldn´t exactly know what German congresswoman to contact and inquire.
    We are in limbo.

    —Kissinger died btw….

    Lavrov spoke about this just recently. Can´t find it right now. But the RUs for now are playing the old Cold War game.

    So far the only thing that works is NATO´s high command: They know what WWIII means.

    Whenever we had a dangerous sit. like the SU almost shooting down the British AWACS one year ago or that laughable rocket debris in Poland – they tried to tame the public. Or didn´t even leak the info.

    Of course we have to stop all this. If anything happens unintended – which is the major threat – we are toast.

    But the people who have been involved in these organisations – disarmament are currently taking a new gasp (and among them Russia-hatred is considerable).

    #93119 Reply

    not a biggie but still
    (I have tried to archive the article AND google-translate it – that did not work. So anyone hurry up reading now the text if interested. It´s not long):

    “Failed peace talks in the Ukraine war: Now the Russian chief negotiator speaks out

    What happened during the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey? Now the Russian representative gives his own version.”



    the latest RAND report

    “Inflection Point

    How to Reverse the Erosion of U.S. and Allied Military Power and Influence”

    “The U.S. defense strategy and posture have become insolvent. The tasks that the nation expects its military forces and other elements of national power to do internationally exceed the means that are available to accomplish those tasks. Sustained, coordinated efforts by the United States and its allies are necessary to deter and defeat modern threats, including Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and reconstituted forces and China’s economic takeoff and concomitant military modernization. This report offers ideas on how to address shortcomings in defense preparations.(…)”

    Frankly I think this is in major part a ruse. The US is so overwhelmingly powerful. Not being able to produce artillery shells is nothing they could not change if the well-being of their nation was depending on it.

    The US Air Force has waged war against RU without even touching their own arsenal of 12.000 fighter jets. What would have happened had the Americans dispatched 2000 of those to UKR and neighbouring countries for action. Apart from WWIII. They spent well over $100 bn. on military aid to UKR 60% of which are coming back directly to the US. EU has depleted its own arsenal and has to buy new stuff from the US. And so on.

    #93122 Reply

    since TWITTER became X as an outsider I cannot read Pavel Podvig´s Tweets any more. He was one of my major sources for a year.

    On his site there are a few older entries (but nothing comparable to his daily commentary on TWITTER)

    this thread e.g. with older texts on RU´s early warning radar system.

    But those are rather just documenting new satellites launched. No geopolitical military analysis.

    The major issue has always been as I said several months ago that the RUssians have bad early warning.
    They are trying to solve this of course but it takes time. And who knows how the rules of the game will have changed in 10 years due to drone tech.

    One problem since you mentioned it: With suspension of New START no side is obliged to inform the other about the status of their nuclear arsenal bi-annually any more.

    #93123 Reply

    and this just came out. I don´t know where it would fit better:

    Brown Univers. with its Cost-Of-War-Project, new paper:

    “United States Counterterrorism Operations Under the Biden Administration”

    “(…)Between 2021 and 2023, the U.S. government conducted counterterrorism operations in 78 countries. These operations include ground combat in at least nine countries and air strikes in at least four countries during the first three years of the Biden Administration. Though the total number of countries with U.S. counterterrorism operations has decreased slightly from 2018-2020 – from 85 countries – the counterterrorism footprint remains remarkably similar to what it was under the Trump Administration.

    Many U.S. military operations are not included in the report – notably, those aimed at what U.S. officials and media identify as the military threat posed by Russia and China, the focus of much current U.S. foreign policy; military bases that have housed counterterrorism operations; arms sales to foreign governments; and all deployments of U.S. special operations forces and Central Intelligence Agency operations. Further, the map does not display “military information support operations,” or “psychological operations,” which the U.S. military carries out in many countries on the map and beyond, such as in Iran. All of these are significant elements of the bigger picture of U.S. counterterrorism strategy but beyond the scope of the current data set.

    The map illustrates that the war launched by the United States government in response to the 9/11 terror attacks continues.

    #93125 Reply

    since TWITTER became X as an outsider I cannot read Pavel Podvig´s Tweets any more. He was one of my major sources for a year.

    The Nitter service acts as a proxy for anonymous X/Twitter access:

    The initial dark appearance can distracting, but it can be changed easily by clicking the cog icon ⚙️ (‘Preferences’) on the top right-hand side and setting the ‘Theme’ to “Auto (Twitter)”. I recommend you also tick the option for ‘Infinite scrolling (experimental, requires Javascript)’ to mimic Twitter’s behaviour when viewing long threads. These options will be stored as a cookie in your browser cache, so you need to have cookies (and Javascript) enabled for the website.

    #93132 Reply
    Pears Morgaine

    Ritter seemingly unaware, or not wanting to draw attention to, the Bulava missile’s troubled development, 6 out of 13 trial launches failed and it still suffers reliability problems despite the successful launch he refers to. The nuclear-powered Burevestnik cruise missile remains experimental and may never enter service because of its cost, it also leaves a wake of radioactive fallout behind it and an earlier test resulted in an explosion which killed 5 scientists.

    #93133 Reply

    thank you for drawing my attention to these annoying shortcomings!
    What do you think is the best way to deal with this:
    – allocate more money to modernize our nuclear weapons, or
    – launch a preemptive nuclear strike on our enemies with what we already have today?

    #93134 Reply

    Pears. I think the point Ritter and Tatyana are making is that there is no current apparatus nor willingness for ongoing engagement, diplomatic or otherwise, to limit the potential for an arms race. USA and Russia have both pulled out from previous treaties and neither seems inclined to enter into negotiation.

    My own view is that the nuclear explosive cat is already out of the science bag and it’ll never be put back in again. Development of bombs, their delivery vehicles and defenses against same will continue clandestinely or more publicly regardless of treaties. And it won’t be just USA and Russia.

    #93135 Reply

    MOD, thank you very much!

    #93146 Reply


    Summary of an interview with one of the most popular German political scientists and theorists on power (a miniature Kissinger) – and dumb like shit IMHO – (typical bestseller idiot with various high level posts in academia but little substance to his work):

    “The dream of a European nuclear suitcase: Political scientist calls for Europe’s nuclear armament

    “Europe must develop nuclear capabilities”: Berlin political scientist Herfried Münkler calls for more European commitment to building a nuclear deterrent against Putin.”


    p.s. the only problem he won´t solve, WMDs are darn expensive. And that won´t change. I am not sure why he puts out this crap. If they do realize it in order to build an arsenal so the US may go all in against China, then we are in big trouble. Because this level of insanity was not even accepted during the Cold War. Even hawkish JFK blocked WMDs for Europe.

    (sry but whenever I hear this guy I explode. Whenever I hear one of these privileged academia mafiosi speak in this incompetent and irresponsible way about nukes. Just think of Dan Ellsberg, sigh.)

    #93155 Reply

    2 pieces by reliable german-foreign-policy-blog on how Germany officially at least is not willing to give up pushing against Russia.

    These people are dumb dumb dumb.
    And malicious. Which is even worse.


    “Baerbock wants to do “everything” to ensure that Ukraine can launch a new military offensive in 2024. US experts are calling for the conflict to be frozen and for only weak security guarantees for Kiev.”



    “Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock raised the prospect of a renewed Ukrainian military offensive at the meeting with her NATO counterparts that ended yesterday. Baerbock confirmed in Brussels that “everything is being done” to ensure that Ukraine “can also liberate villages and cities next year.” While the minister pushed ahead with slogans of perseverance, military officers at NATO headquarters doubted that the Ukrainian armed forces could still achieve success against the Russian troops: “Nobody wants to talk about a counter-offensive next spring,” confirms an insider. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that Ukraine had achieved a “great success” by recovering “50 percent of the territory that Russia had occupied” – a face-saving description for Kiev of the failed counteroffensive that is likely to be a transition to a freeze to accompany the front. US experts are once again calling for a transition from an attempt to strike back at Russia militarily to a strategy of containment. It is said that Kiev can receive security guarantees – but only non-binding ones like the Philippines.”


    ““Armed to the teeth”
    Berlin and Brussels are discussing financing increasing military budgets: through rearmament funds à la the Corona reconstruction fund or through the cancellation of public holidays. Well-known journalist calls for the EU to have nuclear weapons.”



    “Despite rapidly increasing military spending, Berlin and Brussels are pushing for further steps to increase national defense budgets in the EU. The German government has managed to use accounting tricks to increase the armed forces budget to around two percent of gross domestic product in one fell swoop. Next year, another 19.2 billion euros from the special debts are to be added to the regularly growing defense budget, which in Berlin are still veiledly called “special assets” despite a reprimand from the Federal Audit Office. As soon as this disappears in a few years, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius wants to increase the defense budget by 23 billion euros. In order to raise the funds, one could simply cancel two public holidays, suggests the director of the German Council for Foreign Policy (DGAP), Guntram Wolff. At the suggestion of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, an armament fund modeled on the Covid-19 reconstruction fund is being discussed in the EU – with a volume in the three-digit billion euro range. At the same time, calls for nuclear armament of the EU are becoming louder in Berlin.”

    #93156 Reply

    2 short pieces by left daily “Junge Welt”

    a short commentary by MP Sevim Dagdelen who with several other frm high-level MPs of THE LEFT PARTY has now joined a new left party the “Alliance Sarah Wagenknecht” (Sarah Wagenknecht the most prominent DIE LINKE member next to old horse Gregor Gysi who stayed with DIE LINKE, whose parliamentary group however will dissolve in January I think.)

    About German war loans in 1914 and today´s military spending:

    “Decision day – Liebknecht’s No to war”

    “Unconditional war support for Ukraine with now 50 billion euros in tax money, sanctions against Russia, which brought with them the highest real wage loss for employees in the history of the Federal Republic, and budget planning for 2024 with 90 billion euros, more than 20 percent for the military and weapons provides. There is not a faction in the German Bundestag that opposes this toxic traffic light policy mix. (…)

    Over 5.5 million people in Germany can no longer heat adequately, a doubling since the start of energy sanctions against Russia. The share value of Rheinmetall, on the other hand, has risen by over 250 percent since the traffic light coalition took office.”


    “NATO plans”
    “Main enemies marked – Russia in its sights, China as a long-term goal: NATO wants greater influence in the “southern neighborhood”

    This is about the various plans by NATO to enhance presence in Africa to contain increasing influence of Russia (is this actually true or just some half-baked propaganda ruse?) and the Middle East to counter China.

    But while China is doing business the West is sending in its WMD equipped military “defense” alliance.

    #93179 Reply


    Sry if this is a bit excessive. But I was happy to make use of the newly gained access to Podvig´s thread looking into the Burevestnik issue that you brought back to memory:

    (I myself have no idea what happened of course):

    I know that the Bulletin reported it 2019 but the eventual source were unnamed US officials and Jeffrey Lewis´ Institute monitoring via satellite.

    The news came from those sources. Lewis however was himself – apparently – looking for confirmation from the government which were those US officials. So that perspective was a closed circle of limited evidence.

    Pavel Podvig whose Twitter thx to MOD I can now mine for info again is very scientific on these issues and he said in 2020 he doesn´t really know. Could be or not.

    Here his Tweets via search term “Nyonoksa” (“Burevestnik” wouldn´t bring results, oddly)

    June 17 2023
    “There was a story involving NORSAR around Nyonoksa in 2019. They reported a second explosion and then realized that it was some mining in Finland.”

    Oct 21 2020
    I think it’s possible that whatever happened in Nyonoksa was not a full-scale test. I still don’t think they would have moved actual test so close to a city

    This is very interesting, of course. But it also adds to my doubts that the Nyonoksa incident in 2019 was Burevestnik. I’m not saying it wasn’t, but the pattern is rather different

    Podvig´s latest link for an altern. explanation was this short differing explanation (of whatever did or did not happen)

    “New data sheds further light on description of incidents reported in North-Russia – NORSAR’s analysis of seismic and infrasound data reported two separate events of explosive nature near Archangelsk in North-Russia.”

    Of course each tweet has a couple of exchanges with other Tweeters.

    p.s. The bottom-line: from my conversations with WMD experts in the last 2 years, and from studying the history of early nukes, I have learned that these things are extremely tricky to assess with 100% certainty. Since the act of gathering the data is mostly from afar by abstract means. So the real causes can be very different by nature from what the scientists from their ideological POV may want to assume.

    Of course I couldn´t care less if those missiles work or not. None of any those evil things should function. But that´s a childish attitude.

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