Ukraine (Date: Nov. 2023)


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  • #92934 Reply
    AG

      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

      https://original.antiwar.com/nicolai_petro/2023/11/16/whats-next-for-ukraine-the-outlines-of-a-peaceful-settlement/

      #92937 Reply
      AG

        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.”

        https://responsiblestatecraft.org/ukraine-war-black-sea/

        “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:

        “ASSESSING THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE’S STRATEGY FOR SECURITY IN THE BLACK SEA REGION”
        Oct. 25th 2023

        https://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/assessing-the-department-of-states-strategy-for-security-in-the-black-sea-region

        “U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS IN UKRAINE”
        Nov. 8th 2023

        https://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/us-national-security-interests-in-ukraine

        #92983 Reply
        AG

          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
          https://newleftreview.org/sidecar/posts/free-agents

          #92984 Reply
          AG

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

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

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5wbiIm11GY

            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
            Tatyana

              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
              Tatyana

                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.
                https://mskvremya.ru/article/2023/1423-terakt-piter-voyenkor-tatarskiy-trepova-ugolovnoye-delo
                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.”
                https://rtvi.com/obyasnyaem/svtv-obvinilo-fbk-v-sozdanii-fabriki-elfov-chto-izvestno/
                One of the former employees in Vilnius provided internal documents of the organization, available freely, like Wikileaks does
                https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EV7OaBB3yfn7iTooDGsOsmD29Mhiqwa2
                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.
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mGOYnKl1G8`
                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
                https://www.4freerussia.org/aboutus/

                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
                AG

                  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”

                  https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/a-decade-after-euromaidan-ukraine-is-more-fractured-than-ever

                  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:

                  https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/

                  #92999 Reply
                  AG

                    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.

                    https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/news/detail/9416 – [ 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.

                    Pressure

                    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
                    Tatyana

                      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
                      AG

                        Tatyana

                        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.
                        https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=106250[ 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.

                        See: https://translate.google.com/?sl=auto&tl=ru&op=websites

                        Thank you.]

                        #93020 Reply
                        AG

                          re: war casualties

                          Moon of Alabama today:

                          https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/11/ukraine-sitrep-high-losses-political-infighting-blocked-borders.html#more

                          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.

                          https://youtu.be/MqRNWdqzF7E?si=6EnJEa25zcK-6p-4&t=196
                          (…)”

                          * * *

                          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.
                          (…)”.

                          see: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2023/11/i-dont-think-it-was-mistake.html

                          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
                          AG

                            @Mod
                            thx!

                            (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
                            27/11/23”

                            https://mearsheimer.substack.com/p/the-myth-that-putin-was-bent-on-conquering?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

                            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:

                            25/11/23
                            “Its Official – U.S. & UK Pressed Ukraine To Reject Peace Deal With Russia”

                            https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/11/its-official-us-uk-pressed-ukraine-to-reject-peace-deal-with-russia.html#more

                            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
                            Tatyana

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

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Gp95d7dC8

                              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.

                              https://tass-ru.translate.goog/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/19013239?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=ru&_x_tr_hl=ru&_x_tr_pto=wapp&_x_tr_hist=true

                              #93044 Reply
                              AG

                                Tatyana
                                many thx

                                #93047 Reply
                                Tatyana

                                  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
                                  AG

                                    Tatyana

                                    thx
                                    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

                                    https://archive.is/BFO96

                                    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
                                    Tatyana

                                      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
                                      AG

                                        Tatyana

                                        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
                                        mods@cm_org

                                          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
                                          Tatyana

                                            AG
                                            I found the text of the interview. The Google Translate tool suggested elsewhere by Mods says ‘can’t translate’
                                            https://prnt.sc/fJiZ5oi612v6
                                            [ 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:

                                            https://echofm.online/opinions/fabrika-trollej-u-oppoziczii-eto-dopustimo

                                            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:

                                            https://www.4freerussia.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/07/3289475_compressed.pdf

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

                                            https://svtv-org.translate.goog/context/2023-11-15/fbk-bots/?_x_tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=ru&_x_tr_pto=wapp

                                            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
                                            AG

                                              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
                                              AG

                                                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.

                                                https://www-infosperber-ch.translate.goog/politik/welt/russland-hatte-frieden-gegen-neutralitaet-vorgeschlagen/?_x_tr_sl=de&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=de&_x_tr_pto=wapp

                                                excerpt:

                                                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
                                                AG

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

                                                  “HOW THE CHANCE WAS LOST FOR A PEACE SETTLEMENT OF THE UKRAINE WAR
                                                  AND THE WEST WANTED TO CONTINUE THE WAR INSTEAD”

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

                                                  Berlin, October 2023

                                                  https://braveneweurope.com/michael-von-der-schulenburg-hajo-funke-harald-kujat-peace-for-ukraine

                                                  #93111 Reply
                                                  AG

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

                                                    https://quincyinst.org/event/book-talk-the-lost-peace/

                                                    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
                                                    Tatyana

                                                      AG,
                                                      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.

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