agit-prop, opinion manipulation and well-poisoning games Geo-strategic issues UD Newswatch highlights

BREAKING/DEVELOPING: Russia invades Ukraine

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Wikipedia initial map of the invasion, especially note a reported incursion from western Belarus and the main weight of reported bombings and incursions in the eastern trans-Dnieper region, the DonBass

BBC announces:

Russian forces have launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, crossing its borders and bombing military targets near big cities.

A residential building in Chuguev was destroyed after it was shelled.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Moscow’s response will be “instant” if anyone tries to take on Russia.

Ukraine has urged the UN “to do everything possible” to stop what it says is a full-scale war.

We could title this, the geostrategic price of weakness, starting with the USA. Recall here, my 2016 framework:

Of course as this seems overnight the fog of war is very much in effect and we need to bear in mind that we are unlikely to have a full or reliable picture. DEVELOPING, UPDATES TO FOLLOW

U/D Feb 25, a map of the course of the invasion:

Wikipedia’s updated but provisional map c Feb 24, showing reported lines of thrust. Note, provisional

U/D Feb 27: Wiki Map Feb 26

Wiki map c Feb 26, showing lodgement areas, thrusts and move to decapitate by taking Kiev

U/D Feb 28, let’s insert the Feb 28 Wiki map to compare:

U/D Feb 27: HT Daily Mail, a map of detail fighting near Kiev:

HT, Daily Mail, on fighting near Kiev. Seizing an airport as an air head is a known standard modern tactic for the side with air superiority. Compare Bagram in Afghanistan and its abandonment just before the US fleeing from Afghanistan

U/D, Feb 27: Geostrategic considerations:

U/D Feb 28, Putin puts nuke forces to high alert, issues implied threats, even as he agrees to talks — vid:

U/D Mar 1: Overnight on the updated operational situation map at Wikipedia:

Update overnight Feb 28/Mar 1. We see a bridgehead across the Dnieper in the South coming from Crimea, with a column advancing NW. To the N, a cluster of breakouts on the E bank are beginning to fan out and another is joining with the enclave to the E. Other columns are pushing in from the N and E, and the siege of Kharkov and Kiev are also underway. Air strikes cluster on Kiev but are spread across the whole country.

U/D, March 3: The already taken zones are being consolidated and extended and columns are surging out. Most notably, from Crimea to the West, and the thrust to Kiev is being broadened.

U/D Mar 4: VDH analyses, pivoting on the Javelin anti-tank missile:

U/D March 5, map is revised on Mar 3rd:

Notice here fresh probes from White Russia, a thrust to the W along a major road net towards Poland, a swing back towards Kiev for a thrust that was apparently aiming to pinch off a chunk of Northern Ukraine continued columns from the NE and the continuation of the western breakout from Crimea. Kiev and Kharkov seem to be holding,

U/D2 Mar 5, a Daily Mail Map:

This Daily Mail map is more outline and differs in details but tells the same basic story.

U/D May 8, a screen shot from Russian TV with a marked up encirclement in the E:

Oh yes, apparently there is an enemies list:

  • All EU member States,
  • The USA
  • Australia
  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Czech Republic
  • Great Britain (including Jersey, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar)
  • Iceland
  • Canada
  • Liechtenstein
  • Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Republic of Korea
  • San Marino
  • North Macedonia
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • Montenegro
  • Switzerland
  • Japan

They left off a raft of UK OT’s there, including Cayman, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Bermuda, Isle of Man, Falklands, Pitcairn, St Helena, South Georgia etc. I guess they list where their offshore accounts are and got frozen?

U/D March 9, Putin in Southern Africa as a trainer for guerilla leaders, 1973:

This is my comment on an iHarare piece brought to my attention by people inclined to cheer on anything that is suggested as aiding liberation from Western Imperialism. An objection was made in the combox, that Putin’s age would be 20-ish and his official life story puts him in law school at relevant times. I noted that he was KGB and we can expect contradictory narratives, where the window is that in which military service is likely. The association with two African Presidents of the left is noteworthy. I suggest, assume it is not in fact Putin, that would only lead to, Russians were engaged in geostrategic pushes in guise of liberation movements, some of which have proved disastrous for ordinary people in certain African countries. The geostrategic point remains.

U/D: Wiki map, March 6, showing armoured thrusts far beyond the zones identified in a Russian proposal for ceasefire terms. Notice, these are by and large conservative relative to what has been shown on Russian TV, scroll up:

U/D, Mar 15 – 20: Russian forces consolidate while keeping Kiev under pressure:

The consolidation ratchets up pressure on Ukraine, the attacks on the capital can lead to decision, negotiations seem stalled over Russia’s demand for neutrality, which has already been seen as invitation to invasion. Sanctions have been put in place but are seldom decisive.

261 Replies to “BREAKING/DEVELOPING: Russia invades Ukraine

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    BREAKING/DEVELOPING: Russia invades Ukraine

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    The plain fact is that Ukraine has ALWAYS been part of Russia. These are not separate nations.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    P, not always, try the time of the Polish-Lithuanian power as a great power, just for one reference. And, the hovering ghost is that of Germany c 1936 – 8, with the capture of Austria and of Czechoslovakia. KF

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    The plain fact is that Ukraine has ALWAYS been part of Russia. These are not separate nations

    Not true.

    The Ukraine has never been a single nationality as the people who make up the Ukraine have lived under several different kingdoms. If one can pinpoint just who Ukrainians are they are a genius. At various times, they were under Polish, Lithuanian, Hungarian, German or Russian control. And sometimes parts were independent.

    They were never a single nationality.

    My wife is half Ukrainian and her great grandparents spoke 4-5 languages depending on who was controlling where they lived in Lviv.

    Funny thing of the day: when doing a search for Ukraine, the first thing that appears is an ad for vacation rentals in Ukraine – perfect for family and budgets of all sizes.

    An example – Lviv – Besides its Ukrainian name, and its ancient Ruthenian name of Lwihorod Lvihorod, the city is also known by several other names in different languages: Polish Lwów; German Lemberg; Yiddish ??????? Lemberg or ???????? Lèmberik; Russian ????? L’vov; Hungarian Ilyvó; Serbo-Croatian Lavov; Romanian Liov; Latin Leopolis (meaning “lion city”, from Ancient Greek ???? ????? Lé?n Pólis); Crimean Tatar ?lbav; Middle Armenian ???? Ilov; Armeno-Kipchak ???? Ilôv; and a number of other names

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    The Ukraine has a government, judiciary, police and armed forces, a relatively free press and holds relatively free elections. It is a nation by any reasonable definition and Russia is in gross violation of the UN Charter by invading its territory.

    What concerns me is that Putin has calculated correctly on weak and ineffectual leadership in the West. I am wiling to give Biden and Harris a chance to show they have the backbone to stand up to Putin but they don’t have much time. Sanctions and prayers aren’t going to cut it and we have the lesson of the Sudetenland of what happens when you try to appease dictators. The narcissistic 45th president on the other hand thinks Putin is a genius and so, apparently do his toadies which makes them a total loss. Boris Johnson is little more than a joke and so is Macron. The Germans try not to get involved in wars these days for obvious reasons so who does that leave?

  6. 6
    Scamp says:

    Seversky:
    The narcissistic 45th president on the other hand thinks Putin is a genius and so, apparently do his toadies which makes them a total loss.

    Sadly, I think the orange Cheeto is correct. Putin has accurately read the extent to which the west will respond and accurately estimates that the response will be impotent.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, genius and goodness are not the same. Hitler was a genius to our sad cost. There is a price for playing dirty domestic politics for the regime in power in the US and elsewhere. KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    AP, Yahoo News

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-attacks-ukraine-defiant-putin-055130690.html

    >>The consequences of the conflict and resulting sanctions on Russia started reverberating throughout the world.

    World stock markets plunged and oil prices surged by nearly $8 per barrel. Market benchmarks tumbled in Europe and Asia and U.S. stocks pointed toward a sharply lower open. Brent crude oil jumped to over $100 per barrel Thursday on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies. The ruble sank.

    Anticipating international condemnation and countermeasures, Putin issued a stark warning to other countries not to meddle.

    In a reminder of Russia’s nuclear power, Putin warned that “no one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor.”

    Among Putin’s pledges was to “denazify” Ukraine. World War II looms large in Russia, after the Soviet Union suffered more deaths than any country while fighting Adolf Hitler’s forces. Kremlin propaganda sometimes paints Ukrainian nationalists as neo-Nazis seeking revenge — a charge historians call disinformation. Ukraine is now led by a Jewish president who lost relatives in the Holocaust.

    Putin’s announcement came just hours after the Ukrainian president rejected Moscow’s claims that his country poses a threat to Russia and made a passionate, last-minute plea for peace.

    “The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace,” Zelenskyy said in an emotional overnight address, speaking in Russian in a direct appeal to Russian citizens.>>

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    Greta Rules

    I’m so glad that the west gave up on energy independence because Greta Thunberg yelled at us. That’s really looking like a smart move today.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MattWalshBlog/status/1496822822999494657

    I wonder what Greta thinks of this.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Jeffincats/status/1496828651991674889

    The Canadian government is forever grateful because

    It’s not a slow news day

    Unfortunately for millions the lies about climate change and the virus are causing incredible harm. When will we learn that truth not lies will be the answer to a better life.

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    [Ukraine’s] relatively free press …
    The Ukrainian president hasn’t hesitated to shut down media sources in a unilateral manner – in a way we wouldn’t do in the US, for example. So, it’s not that much of a free press. And it’s not a democratic process.

    KYIV, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s pro-Western opposition accused President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of autocratic behaviour on Thursday after a court froze the assets of Zelenskiy’s predecessor Petro Poroshenko and two television channels that once belonged to him.

    The asset seizures were part of a formal investigation into whether Poroshenko committed high treason by financing Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine while in office in 2014-2015.

    He has denied the allegations. Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party called the ruling by Kyiv’s Pechersk court “illegal, unjust” and designed to silence opposition to Zelenskiy’s rule.
    https://www.reuters.com/markets/rates-bonds/ukrainian-court-freezes-property-ex-president-poroshenko-2022-01-06/

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    Getting political – If you wonder why Trump at age 75 has high support

    little over a year ago when Trump was President …

    – no inflation.
    – no southern border invasion.
    – gas was $1.75 per gallon.
    – no war in Ukraine.

    But he did do mean tweets.

    If you want to know why there is war in Ukraine, here are a couple of the reasons

    1) blatant lying by the press
    And
    2) increased energy price caused by Biden and Democrats

    https://twitter.com/TheRightWingM/status/1496336404300943360

    From BabylonBee

    Biden Approval Rating In Ukraine Drops To 0%

    https://babylonbee.com/news/biden-approval-rating-in-ukraine-drops-to-0

    Remember

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6zFXc_CNR8

    They were also investigating his son’s relationship with Ukraine

  12. 12
    jerry says:

    How the Greens Brought War to Ukraine

    It’s hard to keep from laughing at the leaders who created this mess to curry favor, votes and money from the Greens. Take, for example, German chancellor Olaf Scholz whose contribution to the fight was halting the certification of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic gas pipeline. I’d put my money on the halt being temporary. Germany already gets half its gas from Russia. Germans are facing record energy prices and the government is tapping its treasury to ease consumer pressure.

    Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president could not restrain himself. “Welcome to the new world where Europeans will soon have to pay 2,000 euros per thousand cubic meters.” Were I a friend of Chancellor Scholz I’d whisper in his ear a suggestion from Andrew A Michta, that the best way to show Putin you mean business is not to make an unlikely threat but rather to halt the plan to shut down its three remaining nuclear reactors in Emsland, Isar and Neckarwestheim that the post-Merkel Germans have foolishly scheduled to shut down this year. Much of the same advice should be given to the Biden administration—undo the restrictions you are forcing on conventional energy production if you want to show you are serious.

    Of course, no one would consider this administration serious.

    https://the-pipeline.org/how-the-greens-brought-war-to-ukraine/

  13. 13
    Sandy says:

    Scamp
    Sadly, I think the orange Cheeto

    Please don’t call your owm mommy the orange Cheeto even she is a Cheeto and didn’t give you the proper education. 😉

  14. 14
    Seversky says:

    Remember, it is sacrilege to criticize the Great Orange Cheeto. It has been anointed by God to lead us out of ungreatness back to greatness..

  15. 15
    Scamp says:

    And to be a role model for truthfulness, tolerance, fidelity and racial/cultural equality.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev and Sc: Kindly refrain from school yard level personalities. We are dealing with consequences of geostrategic failure [coming hard on the heels of similar failure in Afghanistan and likely pointing to trouble with Taiwan and Iran etc], with direct parallels to the 1930’s that beg to be drawn out. Churchill was a deeply flawed and widely despised man at that time, but unfortunately he was right. You may find his 1938 work, While England Slept, to be useful though unhappy reading https://archive.org/details/whileenglandslep00chur We are dealing with Mackinder’s Pivot area of the Heartland, with implications for the credibility of NATO and UN (similar to the League of Nations in the ’30’s), pointing to awful possibilities. The time for silly posturing is over. Let us never forget that Churchill came to power May 10 1940, the same day ten Stuka and Messerchmitt backed Panzer Divisions rolled westward, seven in the now notorious breakthrough in the Ardennes. KF

    PS, Yes, Churchill’s six volume history of WW2 was begun even before the full outbreak of war.

  17. 17
    Eugene says:

    Unfortunately it looks like Putin is not a 4D chess player. He ended up doing the bidding of the WEF, even if reluctantly. Had he been that concerned about NATO, he should have prevented Maidan back in 2013, yet he didn’t, thus giving the WEF this obvious card to play at any time they wanted to. Of course, there is always the darker possibility that he is a straight WEF collaborator, helping the WEF to establish their new “multi-polar world” model with this little war.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    BobRyan says:

    The only thing that would have stopped the invasion of Russian forces into an independent Ukraine, which does have distinct borders and government, was the same thing that would have continued to bring stability to Afghanistan.

    A small contingent of American forces in Ukraine would have stopped the invasion from ever happening. Putin is smart and calculating. To kill and claw his way up the KGB ladder to the point of running East Germany, requires someone very smart and able to think several steps ahead, while being absolutely ruthless.

    The Russian military, even going back to the old empire under czars, has a press until steel mindset. They take on weaker forces, but back off when it comes to serious military power. That was the reason Napoleon was never fought in the open field.

    Despite what some may think of Trump, the invasions of Ukraine did not happen under his watch. First was Obama and now under Biden. Trump came off from a position of strength from Putin’s perspective.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    It seems they expect Kiev to fall within four days. Intent is to install a puppet government. Excuse is, the president — a Jew — is a Nazi.

  21. 21
    Seversky says:

    Who cares what Putin’s excuse is? It’s all a pretext for his expansionism, his apparent desire to rebuild something like the old Soviet Union. And it’s looking increasingly like Biden is a modern-day Neville Chamberlain – well-meaning, perhaps, but seriously and dangerously misguided.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, Putin sees himself as restoring what was needlessly lost. As for Mr Biden, let me just reserve comment on his motives, behaviour, character and legitimacy. The dirty power games in the US since 2016 amounting to low kinetic 4th gen civil war complete with red guards and lawfare pushes, now peeking out through the window of the Durham indictment, have sobering — and predicted — geostrategic consequences. KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, do we need reminding that Ukraine dismantled nukes inherited from the USSR on a covenant of mutual guarantee of its security? 1 Maccabees, for cause, notes that the nations always breach their treaties. KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Exchanges at the UN (where Russia chairs Security Council currently):

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/02/24/ukraine-tells-russia-to-go-straight-to-hell-at-russia-led-u-n-meeting-on-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/

    >>Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia used his status as president to condemn Ukraine for causing its own invasion, blaming the Zelensky administration, which took office in 2019, for the Maidan pro-democracy protests in 2014 that led to the resignation of Putin proxy Viktor Yanukovych.

    “The tragedy in Ukraine started indeed after the illegal coup in Maidan in 2014 when, rather than dialogue with the Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine, the new authorities brandished guns and airplanes at them,” Nebenzia claimed. In reality, Yanukovych’s security forces killed over 100 mostly peaceful protesters who had flooded the heart of Kyiv urging their government to move away from Russian influence and embrace Europe. The Maidan protests led to the election of Petro Poroshenko, the president Zelensky defeated in the 2019 vote.

    Nebenzia also claimed that “occupation of Ukraine is not in our plan,” a remark that outraged Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya.

    Kyslytsya told the assembly that his prepared statement was “useless” because there was no longer any time to prevent full-scale war.

    “The Russian president declared a war. Should I play the video of your president? You declared a war. It’s responsibility of this body to stop the war,” Kyslytsya asserted.

    The Ukrainian ambassador urged Russia to give up the presidency of the Security Council.

    “The Russian Federation ought to relinquish responsibilities of the Security Council, pass on responsibilities to a legitimate member of the Security Council,” Kyslytsya recommended, a member that is [respectful] of the charter, and I ask the members of the Security Council to convene an emergency meeting immediately and consider all necessary decisions to stop the war because its too late my dear colleagues to speak about de-escalation.”

    Kyslytsya received the final remark at the meeting, which he used to condemn Nebenzia and the Russian government to Hell.

    “There is no purgatory for war criminals, they go straight to Hell,” Kyslytsya said.>>

    Apparently, no action by the Council and Russia of course holds a veto. They will also recall that their boycott in 1950 opened up opportunity for the vote for armed response to the North Korean invasion of the South backed by Stalin.

    KF

  25. 25
    jerry says:

    What will control their actions is to fundamentally undermine their economy. The way you do that is for us to produce so much gas and oil that we are able to replace Russia as a force in this world for economic energy production,” says former Senator Judd Gregg on #Russia

    https://twitter.com/SquawkCNBC/status/1497185494999965697

    The greens got us into this. Will the opposite of greens gets us out? It’s seems so.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I note two moves, blocking a gas pipeline from Israel and giving a green light for one from Russia, the latter reversing an objection. KF

  27. 27
    JVL says:

    Seversky: Who cares what Putin’s excuse is? It’s all a pretext for his expansionism, his apparent desire to rebuild something like the old Soviet Union.

    In his book Prisoners of Geography (highly recommended), Tim Marshall does a good job of explaining some of what drives Russia’s expansionism.

    Russia does not have a good ocean-going port; important these days for movement of goods and in the past for creating a strong naval presence. St Petersburg is okay but to leave you have to go out of a channel controlled by Estonia and Finland. Vladivostock is frozen over for months and months and is in an area controlled by Japan. Russia ‘took back’ Crimea (given to Ukraine in 1954 by Khrushchev) but even Sevastopol (on the Black Sea) is surrounded by non-Russian allies AND to get out you have to go through the Bosporus and, eventually the Straits of Gibraltar. It’s terribly easy to stop Russia from having any kind of naval power by closing off those three ports. By the way, the only way to get to Crimea via land vehicles without going through the Ukraine is over some lengthy bridges, east to take out if need be.

    Russia was invaded by Napoleon, the Germans (twice) and they had to fight the British in Crimea and the Japanese all in the last 200 years or so. They are constantly worried about strong nations or groups of nations, like NATO, on their borders. Having buffer states under your control is a security issue for a nation that thinks everyone is out to get them.

    Russia does produce a lot of gas and oil (and wheat) which it sells to other nations who are frequently trying to reduce their dependancy on Russia.

    Russia is terrified of EU and NATO missiles being stationed in countries bordering them. Quite reasonable when you consider what the Americans thought of Cuba having missiles in 1962.

    Russia thinks the world has lied to it by allowing a great expansion of NATO into areas that Russia thinks they were promised NATO would NOT expand into including many of the former Warsaw Pact countries.

    I am, in no way, apologising for Russia’s behaviour; it runs counter to just about everything we need to keep this world from spiralling down into wide-scale warfare. But if you want to understand what they are scared of consider their history.

  28. 28
    jerry says:

    One man’s thoughts on Russia. McMaster says Russia is not getting greater, the West is deteriorating. And that is their goal.

    https://twitter.com/HooverInst/status/1497018508604968962?cxt=HBwWhMCsud2ZvcYpAAAA&cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjcw%3D%3D&refsrc=email

    Aside: we tend to equate material progress with a better world. In many ways that is true, but in many ways it’s not as we are witnessing.

  29. 29
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL 27

    Good overview.

    They are constantly worried about strong nations or groups of nations, like NATO, on their borders. Having buffer states under your control is a security issue for a nation that thinks everyone is out to get them.

    It makes me wonder. Trump seemed to be building some trust with Putin – willing to negotiate. It really made me think that he could have defused some of that paranoia. Why not? What Russia is looking for (if you’re scenario is correct) is reasonable — trying to build some security. They watched America invade Afghanistan (and Iraq and Syria), so there’s a precedent against fear of terrorism.

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    Cyber attack on Russia

    Kremlin And Other Russian Government Sites Down

    https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/breaking-kremlin-and-other-russian-government-sites-down/

    From 3 1/2 years ago

    U.S. Becomes Net Exporter of Oil, Fuels for First Time in Decades

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-becomes-net-exporter-of-oil-fuels-for-first-time-in-decades-1544128404?st=txzk54ggj74ic9q&reflink=desktopwebshare_twitter

    Now we are beholden to Russia for our oil.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, perhaps, the Russians need to ask themselves why Poland, Hungary, Rumania and even former states within the USSR (Baltic States) bolted from Warsaw Pact for NATO. Then, that might give them a basis for evaluating the tendency to slide into lawless oligarchy, the challenge of lawfulness and how — for all its flaws and problems — constitutional democracy is now a centuries old challenge to oligarchy. Those who in our own states seem enamoured of return to absolute monarchy [e.g. IslamIST radicals] or to ideological oligarchy through jacobinism, should similarly pause. KF

  32. 32
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    It seems they expect Kiev to fall within four days. Intent is to install a puppet government. Excuse is, the president — a Jew — is a Nazi.

    I guess Putin learns from WEF how to install a puppet government except Putin make it live on Tv by brute force while the others by “peaceful” infiltrations . We don’t know which method is more bloody but certainly we know who looks like a criminal and who pose as a humanist.

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    An updated invasion map is in the OP.

  34. 34
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Churchill was a deeply flawed and widely despised man at that time, but unfortunately he was right.

    So, Trump is half of what Churchill was.

  35. 35
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus:JVL, perhaps, the Russians need to ask themselves why Poland, Hungary, Rumania and even former states within the USSR (Baltic States) bolted from Warsaw Pact for NATO. Then, that might give them a basis for evaluating the tendency to slide into lawless oligarchy, the challenge of lawfulness and how — for all its flaws and problems — constitutional democracy is now a centuries old challenge to oligarchy. Those who in our own states seem enamoured of return to absolute monarchy [e.g. IslamIST radicals] or to ideological oligarchy through jacobinism, should similarly pause.

    Hey, you don’t need to convince me of the benefits of constitutional democracy, I’m a big fan. It works, for the benefit of the greatest number of people. But that doesn’t sit well with Putin’s self-selected job title.

  36. 36
    JVL says:

    Silver Asiatic: It makes me wonder. Trump seemed to be building some trust with Putin – willing to negotiate. It really made me think that he could have defused some of that paranoia. Why not? What Russia is looking for (if you’re scenario is correct) is reasonable — trying to build some security. They watched America invade Afghanistan (and Iraq and Syria), so there’s a precedent against fear of terrorism.

    Remember: the Soviet Union got involved in Afghanistan and left well before the Americans got there. It was their Vietnam.

    Putin is an old ex-KGB fellow. He lives on paranoia. It’s what his power base is based on. He trusts no one. He will play a foreign leader if he thinks they will deflect some attention from his basic strategies. I’m not a Trump fan but I bet he was given a huge blast of attention and seeming agreement because there was absolutely no intention to adhere to any agreement that happened.

    I’m not going to remember this entirely correctly but when Ronald Reagan became US President someone in the Soviet Union said: we understand him, we can negotiate with him. At the time (I was young and naive) I thought Reagan was volatile and dangerous but the Russians got him. Now I think maybe the best way to deal with them is to puff up and look big and bad and nasty right away and then, later, back off a bit and agree to something less drastic. Because that’s the way they deal with things. That’s their playground style of dealing with international issues.

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, pardon but more is showing than you would be advised. KF

  38. 38
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the problem with constitutional democracy is its inherent instability requiring cultural buttresses to stabilise it. We are busily undermining these and I have serious doubts the Russians are near where they should be. The mix, as my 2016 chart outlines, is volatile. KF

  39. 39
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, the problem with constitutional democracy is its inherent instability requiring cultural buttresses to stabilise it. We are busily undermining these and I have serious doubts the Russians are near where they should be

    Well, you are welcome to provide a viable alternative. Especially as it seems that the idea of a theocratic state has become less popular. Besides, whose to judge what is true when the theocratic underpinnings get re-evaluated?

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Why does this feel like Army Group South on the East Front?

  41. 41
    vividbleau says:

    JVL
    “Remember: the Soviet Union got involved in Afghanistan and left well before the Americans got there. It was their Vietnam.”

    And I don’t think it will go well for them in the Ukraine, I think the Ukrainians will fiercely fight, I think their biting off more than they can chew.

    Vivid

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    as it seems that the idea of a theocratic state has become less popular.

    It’s popular enough in the Mideast. Saudi Arabia and Israel are two places that come to mind. So, at least those people find it a workable solution.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    Now I think maybe the best way to deal with them is to puff up and look big and bad and nasty right away and then, later, back off a bit and agree to something less drastic. Because that’s the way they deal with things. That’s their playground style of dealing with international issues.

    Yes, I think that’s why Trump was respected enough to build some dialogue because he had that kind of demeanor. Reagan also gave off that impression at least. The Russian approach seems to favor that, as you say. I’ve had some good friends from Ukraine and they all have expressed their admiration for a leader who seems physically tough and manly in the classic sense of that. It’s part of the culture.
    Trump was also a businessman and he would pride himself in being able to work a deal of some kind with anybody – friend or foe. He believes the common denominator is money and making a profit. I think Putin would agree with it. He doesn’t seem to be totally ideologically driven.

  44. 44
    JVL says:

    Silver Asiatic: Trump was also a businessman and he would pride himself in being able to work a deal of some kind with anybody – friend or foe. He believes the common denominator is money and making a profit. I think Putin would agree with it. He doesn’t seem to be totally ideologically driven.

    I have heard some estimates or guesses that Putin has accumulated quite a substantial pile of personal wealth. Which is why some of the economic sanctions being levelled by many countries are directed at him and some of his cronies personally.

    I have also heard supposition, I think it might be true, that Putin is now at his peak. Whatever happens this whole excursion is going to be bad for Russia. If he wins the economic sanctions and the costs of keeping Ukraine under military occupation will start to bite. If he looses then he looks stupid and weak and he will have wasted loads of money and Russian soldiers lives. I don’t think the Russian oligarchs are going to put up with too much financial disruption even if they have got a large stash they can live off of for a time. They won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything and I doubt they’d be happy just hanging around Moscow.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    Whatever happens this whole excursion is going to be bad for Russia. If he wins the economic sanctions and the costs of keeping Ukraine under military occupation will start to bite.

    It’s not a good sign when the Russian people and even the soldiers don’t support the war. I’d guess that the average people don’t see the reasoning or need for it and probably they want Westernization just as much as the Ukrainians do.

    distraught mothers say their sons were tricked into joining Putin’s army and told they were going to Ukraine for practice drills
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10549055/Russian-mothers-say-sons-tricked-joining-Putins-army.html

  47. 47
    JVL says:

    Silver Asiatic: It’s not a good sign when the Russian people and even the soldiers don’t support the war. I’d guess that the average people don’t see the reasoning or need for it and probably they want Westernization just as much as the Ukrainians do.

    Exactly so. Decades ago no one in repressive regimes knew they could dissent and be heard. Everything’s different now. Now all those with a smart phone and internet access can see what they don’t have but the rest of us do have.

  48. 48
    jerry says:

    An interesting analysis of Europe’s energy supply/demand and the dependence of Germany in particular on outside energy sources.

    https://tomluongo.me/2022/02/25/eu-sanctions-suicide-by-cop/

    I don’t pretend to understand half of it. The real reasons for everything is some how hidden.

    The world today is very different. Countries theoretically at war with each other are trading with each other. For example, Russian gas is still flowing through Ukraine to Europe. US is still importing Russian oil.

  49. 49
    vividbleau says:

    I am being told by my friend who lives in the Ukraine that according to Estonian intelligence Putin has left Moscow for his bunker in the Urals and that there is a real danger now that something really bad could happen to Putin.

    Vivid

  50. 50
    Viola Lee says:

    Let us hope.

  51. 51
    Seversky says:

    JVL/27

    Seversky: Who cares what Putin’s excuse is? It’s all a pretext for his expansionism, his apparent desire to rebuild something like the old Soviet Union.

    In his book Prisoners of Geography (highly recommended), Tim Marshall does a good job of explaining some of what drives Russia’s expansionism.

    That’s a very nice review.

    To add to the picture, I was listening to an NPR investigation into Putin’s ascent to the Russian Presidency.

    It dates to when Putin first became Prime Minister of Russia. This was a few years after the first Chechen war which Chechnya won. It ended with a peace treaty in which Chechnya got pretty much everything they wanted.

    A few years later there was a series of four terrorist bombings which brought down apartment blocks, killed around 300 people and not unnaturally created a public panic. Putin immediately blamed Chechen terrorists and used it as a pretext for the second war against Chechnya which greatly boosted his public popularity.

    The problem with this thesis was that the Chechens had no reason to start a bombing campaign as they had got everything they wanted from the original peace treaty. In addition, investigations into the bombings identified the explosive used as a high-grade military explosive which was produced in only one highly-secure facility controlled by the FSB.

    Then witnesses saw a fifth bomb being planted in an apartment block and alerted the police. Again this was found to be this military explosive but more importantly, the people who planted it were observed, traced and finally arrested. They turned out to be FSB operatives.

    If you add to this the various assassinations of opponents and critics of Putin and we have a profile of a man who is a clever and utterly ruthless political thug with a lot of blood on his hands. If you deal with him on any other basis you are asking for trouble.

    That is why I believe we should be taking much more aggressive measures against him as that is all he will respect.

    We don’t have a pretext for NATO military intervention in Ukraine but that doesn’t prevent the deployment of carrier battle groups to within range of Russian naval assets, a much large number of troops to border regions around Ukraine and much more military assistance to the country. I realize that plays into Putin’s narrative about the threat from NATO but so what? We know he lies through his teeth whenever it suits him – much like Trump – so who cares? We need to take the initiative and at least throw a scare into him and the people around.

    The UK has banned Aeroflot from flying into its airspace (and the Russians have retaliated in kind of course) so why is it still allowed to fly into the US? Why not break off diplomatic relations, withdraw all US diplomatic missions on Russian soil and expel all Russian missions from the US? Given that Ukrainians are now fighting and dying to defend their country I don’t think a certain amount of economic and political discomfort is to much to ask in order to support them.

    As for his threat of nuclear war that is just so much BS. If we are correct in our assessment that Putin’s ambition is to rebuild Russia to the superpower status of the old Soviet Union then he is not going to throw all that away in an all-out nuclear exchange which would destroy Russia just surely as it would other participants. He is very clever not stupid.

    Of course, if Trump were in power this would never have happened. He would have sold Ukraine down the river for a promise of “genius” Putin’s permission to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, a few implausibilities there, some bogeyman talk points and overlooking of the no 1 problem: wars are often caused by blunders and accidents. In the Cuban crisis it turned out tac nukes were there with some Russians and the world came a lot closer to nuke war than was realised. I am not prepared to bet on anything though I have said in a chat with RE troops here, the US and Russia will never go to nuke exchange. But I have concerns on Iran/Israel and China/Taiwan, with the S Koreans, Japanese, Australians and Singaporeans seeing obvious geostrategic incompetence and unreliability in this regime in the WH. It is not an accident that like the transition in 1960, two or so years after 2020 we see crises spinning out of control over the next couple of years. Kennedy had showed weakness in Austria and had already seen the Berlin Wall going up. KF

    PS, Hitler was indisputably a genius, but a wicked man.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, going to underground headquarters is a normal procedure. KF

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D, new situation map showing lodgements and thrusts by Russia.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    STRATEGYPAGE:

    https://www.strategypage.com/qnd/israel/articles/20220222.aspx

    It was recently revealed that Israel refused to sell Ukraine Iron Dome rocket defense systems so as not to anger Russia. At the same time Israel was dismayed at the timid reaction of NATO and the United States to the Russian decision to recognize the half of Donbas their proxy forces already occupy and now send in Russian troops as peacemakers. Israelis compare this to the British reaction to German efforts to annex portions of Czechoslovakia in 1938. The British, without consulting the Czechs, agreed to the German annexation plans, which were then carried out. The Czechs did not resist because they had been sold out by their allies in return for a promise by Hitler that he had no further territorial ambitions. In 1939 Germany invaded Poland and that started World War II. Israelis fear the West is doing the same to them, because of their proposed deal with Iran to lift economic sanctions while ignoring continued Iranian work on ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

    Israel believes the Russians respect power and exploit weakness. Israel points to how they and Russia have become more open about their cooperation in Syria, and elsewhere in the region. Russian and Israeli senior officials frequently meet in Russia or Israel to discuss details of this partnership and often release details of their Syrian arrangement and any new developments. Israel and Russia have been cooperating in Syria for decades but in 2015 that relationship had to be modified. For the first time Russia had substantial combat forces in Syria and at a time when Israel was carrying out airstrikes against Syrian and Iranian forces threatening Israel. Russia is supposed to be protecting Syria from rebels and foreign interference. Because of Israeli military superiority and willingness to humiliate Russia if they try to stop Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria, the Russians talk but do not act. Russia has another vulnerability when it comes to Israel and that is continued access to Israeli technology. Israel has halted some of that cooperation in the past when Russia caused problems for Israel. The Israelis believe Russia is a bully that makes threats they cannot follow through on. Russia has learned that Israel does not back down from threats, while NATO and the United States do.

    This is a problem for Israel because the United States supplies much of the money for Iron Dome development and has a say in who it can be exported to. The Americans recognized the Israeli need to maintain the cooperation they have achieved with the Russians in Syria. Despite that, Israel fears the Americans would openly block an Israeli efforts to provide Iron Dome or other air defense systems to Ukraine. The U.S. did approve of the Iron Dome sale to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Israeli firms now have sales offices in the UAE, to handle the sale and service of military and non-military items sold to Persian Gulf customers. Now the Gulf Arabs are wondering how strong American resolve against Iran really is.

    Food for thought,

    KF

  56. 56
    anthropic says:

    Sev 51 Good stuff, for the most part, but you were misled by hatred of Trump. He fired up US energy production, which drove down oil & gas prices and kept Putin on a short leash. Also, while Trump had honeyed public words for Putin, behind the scenes reports are that he warned the Russian strongman that any attacks on the Ukraine would be met by a strike on Moscow. That’s why Russia didn’t dare take an inch of Ukraine under Trump’s watch.

    “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Or, as they say in chess, the threat is stronger than the execution.

  57. 57
    vividbleau says:

    Anthropic
    “Sev 51 Good stuff, for the most part, but you were misled by hatred of Trump”

    Under whose watch has Russia invaded the Ukraine yet Sev continues to spew vitriol at Trump, truly delusional. The amount of corruption by the Biden’s and “the big guy” have made our President a national security risk. The crap China, Russia, N Korea, etc have on them has to be mind boggling. The only thing Biden has built back better has been Afghanistan and Russia.

    “He fired up US energy production, which drove down oil & gas prices and kept Putin on a short leash”

    As for lying the other day Biden said he would do everything in his power to reduce energy prices, of course that is a lie. His insane energy policy drove up the price of oil,like Afghanistan built back better Russia, and gave Russia the financial means to start this war. Biden has it in his power to reverse his insane energy policy and bring down gas prices. A year ago we were exporting energy now Biden is begging OPEC and still importing oil from Russia.

    Of course lying Biden will not reverse his energy policy because he wants gas prices to go up, he is thrilled as is his lefty climate change whacko’s. The higher the better, it’s intentional.

    Vivid

  58. 58
    vividbleau says:

    BTW I think Putin is making a huge mistake. The Ukrainians are going to fight, the people of Russia don’t want this war. I honestly don’t see him surviving through this and expect him to be escorted out the door. What he is doing is insane.

    Vivid

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, the fighting is already underway, unfortunately, things are far beyond 1939 so the Ukraine is not going to be able to resist as effectively as Finland back then. The region is notorious in history as armoured war country, Kursk is just north. Once lodgements are there and air power backs the panzers only obstacles like big rivers — and crossing the Dneiper was notorious in WW2 — will stop the advance. Ukraine lacks strategic depth and resources to pull off counterstrokes like von Manstein or Hienrici so often did, it is comparable in area to France or California and the situation is like that of Poland in 1939, converging thrusts. Except, Kiev is near a frontier and Putin is going for a decapitation stroke. I suspect he may try to capture the East and install a regime he can then dominate. KF

    PS, language again, kindly think broken window theory.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: HT Daily Mail, fighting near Kiev. An armoured thrust is coming from the North, an airhead has been established, special forces seem to already be fighting in the vicinity. The likely aim is decapitation, getting bogged down in urban fighting is a costly, slow, bloody business and Russians vividly remember Leningrad and Stalingrad. KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: Vid on geostrategic considerations.

  62. 62
    AndyClue says:

    Ukraine’s nationalists are parading russian POWs on Youtube. Will we see human rights watch condemn Ukraine’s crimes?

  63. 63
    William J Murray says:

    Here’s an entirely different perspective on Putin than the one the mainstream media has been giving people:

    https://pravoslavie.ru/88285.html

  64. 64
    kairosfocus says:

    AC, it is a violation of International Law to exploit POWs. It seems that up to 200 have been captured, and pictures and/or vids have been featured. I can think of any number of similar photos and movies from the past 150 years [Ballantine’s campaign and battle books had a lot of them], I am not sure where the borderline comes, then. That does not of course compare with the invasion now in progress that seems to lack any basis in a reasonable claim to self defence. As the vid just put up shows, there are readily understandable geostrategic goals but that sort of beggar my neighbour approach should have gone out the window in 1945. The North European plain should be little more than a point in history classes on the bad old days not a current consideration of fighting land wars with long front lines. It seems clear the people of the Ukraine prefer their own government to Russian rule, never mind that the Russian state ultimately began in that area about 1,000 years ago. KF

  65. 65
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Putin’s mother was a serious Orthodox Christian, and even after being a KGB light Colonel, Putin has taken up Orthodox faith seriously. However, in balance, we are reminded of the Apostle James’ comment: Jas 2: “19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” Repentance and transformation are requisites of living faith. The issue, again, is lawless, unaccountable oligarchy, and here Mr Putin does not stand alone, cannot. He is the face for a system of abusive officialdom and a population under subjugation. That is so regardless of the legitimate point that the rotten fruit of the great Western apostasy are on horrific public display, starting with 800+ million of our living posterity in the womb slaughtered and mounting globally at a million more per week, yes both are wrong. Church leaders need to stand up and speak to this issue, publicly, correcting both evils. It was sobering to see vid of protesters standing their ground even as snatch teams took them one by one into police vans as one recalls the history of Soviet secret police. Unfortunately, it also reminds one of recent pictures of events in Canada. KF

  66. 66
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    No difference between Trudeau and Putin. To not be allowed to feed yourself (by blocking your access to work/to shop or freezing your bank account ) is the same as to be killed . There is that insane illusion that if you unplug a life-support machine is not as criminal as to chop the person with a knife . Both have the same result even one seems less bloody .

  67. 67
    William J Murray says:

    KF @85 said:

    He is the face for a system of abusive officialdom and a population under subjugation.

    Or not.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, do you think the Russian people can repudiate and remove him successfully? KF

  69. 69
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    It was sobering to see vid of protesters standing their ground even as snatch teams took them one by one into police vans as one recalls the history of Soviet secret police. Unfortunately, it also reminds one of recent pictures of events in Canada.

    Canadian police arrested and charged people involved in an illegal activity after being given plenty of opportunity to leave with no consequences. Those charged had a bail hearing and almost all of them are out on bail. They will have an opportunity to defend their actions in front of a jury of their peers. So, no, your hyperbolic attempt to equate Canada and Russia fails.

    LCD:
    No difference between Trudeau and Putin.

    Anyone who knows anything about Trudeau would be rolling on the floor laughing about this. Let’s just say that the apple fell very far from the tree.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, Canadian police indulged in brutality, lockup of financial assets and in vandalism as can be seen from recovered trucks, in response to civil disobedience triggered by refusal to pay a dog’s mind of attention to lesser remonstrance. Trudeau called a needless state of emergency to deal with civil disobedience as protest, a gross and telling over reaction. KF

  71. 71
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, Canadian police indulged in brutality,

    In spite of the proliferation of cell phones, the anti-civil order crowd keeps replaying the same three or four incidents, all of which will undergo an automatic civilian review.

    …lockup of financial assets…

    Which did no more than prevent organizers from using bank transfers to move money to other protesters to prolong an illegal protest. Many of which were implemented through warrant prior to the emergencies act. It turns out that the vast majority of claims of bank accounts being frozen simply for donating to the crowd funding campaigns were unsubstantiated.

    …and in vandalism as can be seen from recovered trucks,

    Leaving the windows open shouldn’t have happened and should be investigated. However, the police had no obligation to allow the truck drivers to get their trucks back while their cases were still pending. I was actually surprised that the city or province didn’t hold onto them pending the outcome of charges, and then auction off those owned by people convicted of their charges. The funds could be used to offset the costs to the city of the truckers’ actions. Costs for which I and hundreds of thousands of other residents of Ottawa are on the hook for.

    …in response to civil disobedience…

    Civil disobedience ends and illegal activities occur when you camp out on city streets, harass citizens and blast your horns at all hours of the day.

    …triggered by refusal to pay a dog’s mind of attention to lesser remonstrance.

    I find it strange that you think it acceptable behaviour to take your grievances out on innocent people when you don’t get your way. Most of us grew out of these types of selfish reactions when we were kids.

    Trudeau called a needless state of emergency to deal with civil disobedience as protest, a gross and telling over reaction.

    Again, you keep referring to the occupation of city streets where people live, harassing citizens and blasting horns at all hours of the day is acceptable “civil disobedience”. I’m sure you wouldn’t think so if pro-choice or gay rights protesters did this on the street where you live because your country doesn’t allow abortion or same-sex marriage. And refuses to leave your street until the country changes these respective laws.

    But I agree that invoking the emergencies act was not needed. The states of emergency declared by the province and the city were sufficient to have the protesters removed.

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, there is enough video evidence but then you are the one who doubts that the push of heavy horse and resulting harm that is known to have put someone into hospital was real. In any case you are yet again trying the distractive toxic tangent game. KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N, there is stuff out there on how the pushes are stalling, the Ukrainians are fighting etc. I don’t buy that unless the Russians are being very restrained, even with air superiority approaching supremacy. This is classic Blitzkrieg country. Kiev and Kharkov come to mind and Kursk is just North, remembering the 1940’s. KF

  74. 74
    jerry says:

    After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, many Americans were in shock and disbelief. President Roosevelt called it the day of infamy. The world plunged even deeper in World War II. Nobody could escape the war. Millions of people perished in the war started by madman dictators.

    February 24, 2022 is the day of infamy too: Russia attacked Ukraine, bombed Ukrainian cities, killed innocent Ukrainians on the Ukrainian soil. It can’t be clearer: Russia is the aggressor; Ukraine is the victim. Ukraine has only one threat to Putin: Ukraine can be a free and successful country and thus give hope to Russians to become one day a free, successful country too. As I said before, this is the war with far reaching consequences for the global order, for the free world, and for the security for each of us no matter where we are.

    https://voxukraine.org/en/the-day-of-infamy/

  75. 75
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    You do realize that it is under Putin that Russians can once again own firearms, including handguns?

    That’s not your typical lawless oligarch or tyrannical despot behavior.

  76. 76
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM @ 63
    Interesting. We’ve never heard a word of that in the mainstream press. That just underscores Putin’s fear of the kind of corruption that is present in the West (and that feeds paranoia).

  77. 77
    William J Murray says:

    SA @76,
    It’s not paranoia if they really are trying to kill you. 🙂 I would think there’s all kinds of people trying to kill Putin. All sorts of western corporations that would love divvying up Russia’s resources.

  78. 78
    Scamp says:

    KF:
    Sc, there is enough video evidence…

    Then the investigations will show this.

    ..but then you are the one who doubts that the push of heavy horse and resulting harm that is known to have put someone into hospital was real.

    Strange, considering I was the one who posted the interview from her hospital bed.

    In any case you are yet again trying the distractive toxic tangent game. KF

    Responding to your comments with facts is playing the distractive toxic tangent game? Or is it because the facts provided run counter to your narrative that classifies it as a distractive toxic tangent game?

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    Sc, really. And the tangents continue. KF

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Col Austin Bay, 23rd

    https://www.strategypage.com/on_point/2022022391845.aspx

    >>Russian tanks and mechanized infantry have invaded Ukraine’s Donbas and occupied the so-called secessionist enclaves of Luhansk and Donetsk.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin calls his armored forces “peacekeepers,” sent to protect ethnic Russians threatened by Ukrainian genocide.

    No one sane believes it. Putin leverages the bloody script Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia used in the 1990s to justify invading Bosnia and Croatia, waging a war in Europe that left some 250,000 dead.

    In 2008 Putin used his version of the script. He sent special forces and infantry into Georgia, igniting the Russo-Georgian War. He claimed breakaway enclaves South Ossetia and Abkhaz faced ethnic cleansing.

    The Bush administration airlifted a Georgian infantry brigade from Iraq to Tbilisi. The American reaction curbed the Kremlin’s aggression and led to a ceasefire. Putin, however, kept soldiers in the enclaves . . .

    And ever since [the earlier aggression in 2014], eastern Ukraine has suffered a slow war of creeping Russian aggression.

    This week the war escalated, drastically. On Feb. 21 Putin announced that the two Ukrainian enclaves are independent countries. My bet on his next move: they become Russian territory.

    At the strategic level Putin made the war a direct challenge to the NATO alliance. No, Ukraine isn’t a NATO nation, but Poland is, and Poland is worried. So are the Baltic states. Putin sees divisions in NATO, and he is exploiting them.

    Huge spikes in energy prices — petro-rubles swelling Putin’s military budget — fueled this week’s aggression. High oil prices give the Kremlin money to spend on war.

    The single largest error in judgment contributing to the price surge? President Joe Biden’s decision to stifle U.S. oil fracking and kill the Keystone pipeline. Biden’s “green policies” also undermine U.S. energy independence, and Americans are paying an economic price. We’ve a bitter example of an incompetent and ignorant White House inflicting major damage to U.S. foreign policy and our own domestic economy.

    Now Biden and NATO dither on how to penalize Russia. Germany’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia is on hold. Putin expected that. Attacking Russian finances will hurt, but Russian troops in Ukraine are now a hard fact on the ground. They have advantageous positions with relatively little bloodshed. Adolf Hitler did the same when his forces re-militarized the Rhineland on March 7, 1936.

    What’s Putin’s strategic goal? We’ve known for quite some time. Putin is assembling the RUBK — “Rubik” as in the puzzle Rubik’s Cube.

    I’ll quote from a column I wrote in November 2004. At some point a Russian leader would emerge who would try “to return to super-power status…” and restore key elements of the Soviet Union’s empire. This leader would attempt “to link the core empire strength: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan (RUBK)…

    “Russia, plus Ukraine, plus Belarus, plus Kazakhstan is a geo-strategic formula for a global power re-born.”>>

    A serious military commentator.

    KF

  81. 81
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    “The single largest error in judgment contributing to the price surge? President Joe Biden’s decision to stifle U.S. oil fracking and kill the Keystone pipeline”

    But it was not an error on Biden’s part, he is intentionally jacking up the price of oil. His administration wants gasoline prices to go through the roof and bankrupt the poor and middle class . Psaki confirmed this today in her interview on ABC.

    https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2022/02/27/psaki-calls-to-enhance-u-s-oil-production-a-misdiagnosis-we-need-to-reduce-our-dependence/

    Like the so called border crisis believe what they do not what they say. The Biden administration does not consider an open border a crisis, he and his cronies hate America and despise the middle class so they want to totally change the composition of the electorate. It’s as plain as day.

    Vivid

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid [& attn Sc], kindly see my comment at 41 in the protest thread. I am citing Col Bay. KF

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    Has anyone paused to watch and ponder the vid diagnosing the Russian geostrategic perspective added earlier today? KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    It seems there is a buzz about negotiations.

  85. 85
    jerry says:

    Is Russia one of the greatest debacles in the last 150 years and that’s saying a lot? Two articles by Peter Hitchens explaining the incompetence of our leaders.

    Why I blame the arrogant, foolish West: Our response to this crisis in Ukraine has been to react with mistrust and abuse, and with blatant attempts to worsen the situation

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10540829/PETER-HITCHENS-blame-arrogant-foolish-West-Ukraine-crisis.html

    The West acts tough with Russia because we’re just too feeble to stand up to our real enemy… China

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10555573/PETER-HITCHENS-West-acts-tough-Russia-just-feeble-stand-China.html

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, sadly, it’s a both and, with others also. KF

  87. 87
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D Putin moves forces to nuke alert as he agrees to talks. New vid in OP.

  88. 88
    Bob O'H says:

    Sev @ 5 –

    What concerns me is that Putin has calculated correctly on weak and ineffectual leadership in the West.

    That aged well.

  89. 89
    jerry says:

    What concerns me is that Putin has calculated correctly on weak and ineffectual leadership in the West.

    That aged well

    I actually think that was correct but maybe WWII war tactics are deficient.

    He still may prevail through sheer numbers but certainly not as easily as he thought. Armored convoys need gasoline and would be easy targets for air (drone or plane) and certain types of road side attacks.

    I’m sure the war colleges are studying carefully and may have to throw out libraries full of tactics.

    This is the first attack on a western type country since Korea. Resources for defense are very different.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    We forget, Stalin WON his winter war with Finland in 1939/40.

  91. 91
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Let’s see another point of view:
    https://twitter.com/ByRakeshSimha/status/1498257365480898561

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I put up the Wiki Map for Feb 28, showing significant progress esp coming out of Crimea and on the East bank and West of Kiev. They are taking away the Eastern part, they are pushing up from Crimea to take back water, they are slowly enveloping the capital. Of course they dominate the air, and Belarus is saying its troops are coming in too. KF

  93. 93
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/63

    Here’s an entirely different perspective on Putin than the one the mainstream media has been giving people:

    https://pravoslavie.ru/88285.html

    Do you buy that portrayal of Putin?

  94. 94
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/75

    KF,
    You do realize that it is under Putin that Russians can once again own firearms, including handguns?

    That’s not your typical lawless oligarch or tyrannical despot behavior.

    You can get a license after you have taken a firearms safety course, passed a test and passed a background check by the FSB. In other words, the Federal Russian authorities have absolute control over who is allowed to own a gun and know everyone who has been granted a license. If they don’t think you should have a gun, you won’t get a license. Not exactly the equivalent of a Second Amendment right.

  95. 95
    Seversky says:

    Bob O’H/88

    Sev @ 5 –

    What concerns me is that Putin has calculated correctly on weak and ineffectual leadership in the West.

    That aged well

    This is one case in which I would be more than happy to be proved wrong.

  96. 96
    Silver Asiatic says:

    From a Catholic perspective:

    When it comes to abortion, President Putin and President Zelensky oversee countries very open to legalized abortion. Russia has the world’s highest per-capita abortion rate, while President Zelensky wishes to make abortion more accessible in Ukraine. President Zelensky also wants prostitution and other immoral practices legalized. While prostitution is also illegal in Russia, it is only punishable by a minimal fine. Thus, prostitution is very popular and even lauded by President Putin himself.

    Russia and Ukraine, while both Christian on some issues, are pretty much like any other nation when it comes to their laws—cafeteria Christian and non-Christian on the preeminent issues.

    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2022/the-myth-of-the-crusader-putin?mc_cid=b16fff95ec&mc_eid=411c0fcba5

  97. 97
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: We forget, Stalin WON his winter war with Finland in 1939/40.

    Did he? In the long run?

    The Winter War, also known as First Soviet-Finnish War, was a war between the Soviet Union (USSR) and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II; the war ended three and a half months later with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. Despite superior military strength, especially in tanks and aircraft, the Soviet Union suffered severe losses and initially made little headway. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the organisation.

    The Soviets made several demands, including that Finland cede substantial border territories in exchange for land elsewhere, claiming security reasons—primarily the protection of Leningrad, 32 km (20 mi) from the Finnish border. When Finland refused, the USSR invaded. Most sources conclude that the Soviet Union had intended to conquer all of Finland, and use the establishment of the puppet Finnish Communist government and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact’s secret protocols as evidence of this, while other sources argue against the idea of the full Soviet conquest. Finland repelled Soviet attacks for more than two months and inflicted substantial losses on the invaders while temperatures ranged as low as ?43 °C (?45 °F). The battles focused mainly on Taipale in Karelian Isthmus, on Kollaa in Ladoga Karelia and on the Raate Road in Kainuu, but there were also battles in Salla and Petsamo in Lapland. After the Soviet military reorganized and adopted different tactics, they renewed their offensive in February and overcame Finnish defences.

    Hostilities ceased in March 1940 with the signing of the Moscow Peace Treaty, in which Finland ceded nine percent of its territory to the Soviet Union. Soviet losses were heavy, and the country’s international reputation suffered. Their gains exceeded their pre-war demands, and the USSR received substantial territories along Lake Ladoga and further north. Finland retained its sovereignty and enhanced its international reputation. The poor performance of the Red Army both encouraged German leader Adolf Hitler to believe that an attack on the Soviet Union would be successful and confirmed negative Western opinions of the Soviet military. After 15 months of Interim Peace, in June 1941, Nazi Germany commenced Operation Barbarossa, and the Continuation War between Finland and the USSR began.

    So, let’s get this straight: The Soviet Union has gotten a bloody nose in Finland, Hungary and Afghanistan (much smaller countries) in the last 80 years or so? And they were eating horses and rats while being sieged by the Germans during the Second World War. Are they actually that good at fighting? I’ve heard that many Russian troops are surrendering (or leaving the battlefield) in Ukraine because a) they don’t understand what they are doing there and b) many of them have friends or family in Ukraine. Perhaps expecting soldiers to just do what they’re told without good reason doesn’t really work?

    Like I said before, win or lose the war Putin and Russia have already lost the long game. If the invasion is ‘successful’ the sanctions and bad reputation will affect their economics for years and years plus they’ll have to deal with gorilla warfare as they did (and eventually walked away from) in Afghanistan. If the invasion is unsuccessful then Putin looks foolish and weak AND lots of Russian lives (and money) will have been lost for nothing AND they’ll still have sanctions and a big hit on their reputation. All those Russian oligarchs spent years and years building up reputations and business connections in the west and it’s all dissolving around them. How long do you think they’ll take to figure out taking out Putin and acting more pleasant will be a lot better for business? Maybe they’re just waiting for him to prove himself to be so hideous that they can just eliminate him and hope that the rest of us will look on them like peace-makers? Riddles within enigmas.

    Now there’s this: Vladimir Putin put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert after comments by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and others, the Kremlin has said.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-60558048

    By the way, the UK Defense Secretary has stated that Putin cannot himself press the nuclear button; if those in the Russian military thinks doing so is stupid it won’t happen. Putin may be a madman but I’m not convinced the Russian military leaders want to go down with his ship.

  98. 98
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 90 – how do you figure that out? Yes, the USSR gained territory in Karelia, but they didn’t get anywhere near to conquering Finland. And they lost a lot of military capacity.

  99. 99
    Bob O'H says:

    He still may prevail through sheer numbers but certainly not as easily as he thought. Armored convoys need gasoline and would be easy targets for air (drone or plane) and certain types of road side attacks.

    I agree, so I suspect the Russians will revert to being a bit more cautious: achieve air superiority and improve their supply chains. It looks like taking Kyiv will be a long and bloody process, so Russia will prevail if it wants to incur the cost. But the effects of sanctions could wreck the economy.

    This is the first attack on a western type country since Korea. Resources for defense are very different.

    I can think of one very Western country that was attacked in the 80s.

  100. 100
    JVL says:

    Bob O’H: I can think of one very Western country that was attacked in the 80s.

    There’s a lot more than one since the Korean War if you count all the terrorist attacks. And not all of those were perpetrated by Islamic fanatics, i.e. Oklahoma City and Northern Ireland for a couple of examples.

  101. 101
    Seversky says:

    When The Swiss turn against you the writing’s on the wall.

  102. 102
    jerry says:

    A compilation of photos and videos in Ukraine by GummiBear

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1497960974061654021.html

  103. 103
    JVL says:

    Jerry: A compilation of photos and videos in Ukraine by GummiBear

    I’m not casting aspersions on any of the videos at the link but I do find it amusing that when I reference Wikipedia I get criticised but using ‘Gummi Bear’ as a source is okay.

  104. 104
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, Stalin did not aim to conquer Finland. He wanted buffer space, which was unacceptable to the Finns. When the Russians finally broke through, the Finns had to settle, and cede the buffer space Stalin wanted. Stalin won. Of course the cost was horrific and likely fed Hitler’s evaluation that the Russian military were incompetent. The Finns joined in the Continuation War until they were beaten again late in ’44. Of course Stalin likely concluded the game of full conquest was not worth the butcher’s bill and settled for a neutral buffer state like the Swedes. KF

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, of course there is a nasty butcher’s bill but the lodgements are growing and linking, thrusts are moving to the Capital and heartland etc. See the map sequence in the OP. KF

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, Gummibear has compiled vids on the ground. That gives part of the story. The maps give a wider operational picture. We must remember from Nov 42 to May 45, the USSR paid a huge butcher’s bill to advance from Volga to Berlin but advance they did. Battle of Berlin was comparable to WW1 battles. KF

  107. 107
    Bob O'H says:

    Folks, Stalin did not aim to conquer Finland. He wanted buffer space, which was unacceptable to the Finns.

    The “buffer space” was called Finland. His troops were literally told not to enter Sweden, which is a long way from the territory the Soviets gained.

  108. 108
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H, to back up my recall from readings etc:

    https://www.history.com/news/what-was-the-winter-war

    Russia’s feud with its Nordic neighbor began in 1939, when Soviet leader Joseph Stalin looked to expand his influence over Eastern Europe. Citing concerns about a potential attack by the Germans, Stalin demanded that Finland’s border with Russia be moved back 16 miles along the Karelian Isthmus to create a buffer zone around the city of Leningrad. He also wanted the Finns to hand over several islands in the Gulf of Finland and lease the Soviets territory on the Hanko Peninsula for construction of a naval base.

    The Soviets offered a large swath of Russian territory as part of the deal, but the Finns were suspicious of their motives and turned them down. On November 30, 1939, following a series of ultimatums and failed negotiations, the Soviet Red Army launched an invasion of Finland with half a million troops . . . .

    While the Finns put up a spirited resistance during the winter of 1939-1940, their troops were ultimately no match for the sheer immensity of the Red Army. In February 1940, following one of the largest artillery bombardments since World War I, the Soviets renewed their onslaught and overran the Finnish defenses on the Karelian Isthmus. With its forces low on ammunition and nearing the brink of exhaustion, Finland agreed to peace terms the following month.

    The treaty ending the Winter War forced Finland to cede 11 percent of its territory to the Soviet Union, yet the country maintained its independence and later squared off against Russia a second time during World War II. For the Soviets, meanwhile, victory came at a heavy cost. During just three months of fighting, their forces suffered over 300,000 casualties compared to around 65,000 for the Finns. The Winter War may have also carried important consequences for World War II. Among other things, the Red Army’s lackluster performance is often cited as a key factor in Adolf Hitler’s mistaken belief that his June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union would be a success.

    Wikipedia, for convenience, on the settlement:

    Their gains exceeded their pre-war demands, and the USSR received substantial territories along Lake Ladoga and further north. Finland retained its sovereignty and enhanced its international reputation. The poor performance of the Red Army both encouraged German leader Adolf Hitler to believe that an attack on the Soviet Union would be successful and confirmed negative Western opinions of the Soviet military.

    While this decidedly secondary source also says that “Most sources conclude that the Soviet Union had intended to conquer all of Finland, and use the establishment of the puppet Finnish Communist government and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact’s secret protocols as evidence of this,” in 1944 when it could have done just that, it did not.

    Stalin won, by the declared standard of buffer zones, but at heavy cost.

    KF

    PS, The Russians HAVE air superiority, took it day 1.

  109. 109
    Seversky says:

    We must remember from Nov 42 to May 45, the USSR paid a huge butcher’s bill to advance from Volga to Berlin but advance they did. Battle of Berlin was comparable to WW1 battles. KF

    In WWII, the Russians were highly motivated to drive out invaders who had committed unspeakable atrocities against their people.

    This time it’s the Ukrainians who are strongly motivated to defend their homeland against invaders. I doubt Russian troops are anything like as determined.

    Motivation and morale are much more important factors in war than many people realize. They can’t make up for overwhelming material and numerical superiority but they can go a long way. Maybe long enough to allow aid from the West to make up some of the difference.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, the Winter war counts. The Russians took huge losses but achieved their declared goals. And today, armoured concentrations backed by air superiority on classic tank warfare terrain — the names of the cities are oh so familiar from 41 – 44, by mid 44 it moved on beyond Ukraine and White Russia — counts. Kindly look at the sequence of maps in the OP. KF

  111. 111
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I guess somebody poked the bear .

    US-NATO military investments in Ukraine, there is the $ 10 billion investment foreseen by the plan that is being carried out by Erik Prince, founder of the US private military company Blackwater – now it is renamed Academy – which has supplied mercenaries to the CIA, the Pentagon, and the State Department for covert operations (including torture and murder), gaining billions of dollars. Erik Prince’s plan, revealed by an investigation of Time magazine, consists in creating a private army in Ukraine through a partnership between the Lancaster 6 Company, and the main CIA-controlled Ukrainian intelligence office. Through them, Prince has supplied mercenaries in the Middle East and Africa. It is not known, of course, what would be the task of the private army created in Ukraine by the founder of Blackwater certainly with CIA funding. However, it can be expected that it would conduct covert operations in Europe, Russia, and other regions from its Ukraine base.

    “Great Britain has concluded various military agreements with Kyiv investing, among other things, 1.7 billion pounds in upgrading Ukraine’s naval capabilities: this program provides for the arming of Ukrainian ships with British missiles, the production of joint 8 fast missile units, the construction of naval bases on the Black Sea and also on the Azov Sea between Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia.”

    https://worldbeyondwar.org/blackwater-is-in-the-donbas-with-the-azov-battalion/
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/09/01/joint-statement-on-the-u-s-ukraine-strategic-partnership/

    Biden scandal in Ukraine.
    https://rumble.com/vw10rg-breaking-ukraine-press-release-about-joe-bidendeep-state-corruption-in-the-.html

    https://nabu-leaks.org/new-facts-of-international-corruption-and-external-governance-of-ukraine/

  112. 112
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sev

    Motivation and morale are much more important factors in war than many people realize. They can’t make up for overwhelming material and numerical superiority but they can go a long way.

    A good example of that is the Afghani army which is almost always out manned and out gunned but they have an intense and fearless drive to defend their homeland against invasion. As you say, the will to win is a factor that is not often considered, but it can be the most decisive one.

  113. 113
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    This you won’t hear about in mainstream media:
    https://twitter.com/emeriticus/status/1498290623232856064?cxt=HHwWgMC-gcbY_8opAAAA
    PS: All Americans saw MSM PsyOp over Trump how in the world there is a single one who still believe what MSM spit?

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, war in urban areas almost inevitably involves civilian deaths and destruction, there will be abuses and even crimes. The issue is restraint and maintenance of disciplined order. There is not a moral equivalency here. Russia has legitimate security interests that could easily have been secured otherwise. KF

  115. 115
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: Overnight, as can be seen in the latest map, the situation is far graver as breakout columns and a bridgehead over the Dnieper coming from Crimea indicate. The Crimean and Donbass enclaves now seem to have connected through columns. Ukraine is losing its coast and is ripe for dismemberment even if a prolonged siege of Kiev and Kharkov are in prospect. As of now the Russians have broken out in notoriously classic tank country. Unless the Ukrainians have reserve tank forces positioned to pinch off the columns [as von Manstein did in Feb 1943], they are in serious trouble. KF

  116. 116
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Unverified news from a source from Mar-a-Lago:

    “Putin and Trump have been in contact since the operation started.
    “Putin said to Trump that the biolab on Snake Island had been involved in researching a weaponized type of airborne rabies that, if aerosolized, could have ravaged the earth with nearly a 100% mortality rate.”

    “He assured Trump he’d taken precautions to guarantee all pathogens were hit hard and effective enough to render them inert. He wouldn’t say if he used thermobaric ordnance, but that seems a likely possibility,” our source said.”

    Make no mistake, President Trump. We’re not hitting cities. If we were, more than one building in Kyiv would be hit, and there’d be no electricity, no water, no nothing. We’re burning the trash,” Putin purportedly told Trump.

    Putin said he have incriminating evidences about the many biological labs .

    https://realrawnews.com/2022/02/putin-tells-trump-were-burning-the-trash-biolaboratories-destroyed/

  117. 117
    jerry says:

    Is oil behind this?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1498533088560824320

    If that’s so, why not make Joe look good. That would argue it’s something other than oil.

    Will the geographic map look different after the conflict but the trade remain the same. In 100 years the Germans went from aspiring world conquerors to irresponsible bean counters and bureaucrats.

  118. 118
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Viral videos about Russia-Ukraine war that are…fake. What a shock! 😆

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/many-viral-ukraine-war-videos-flooding-social-media-are-fake

  119. 119
    jerry says:

    It has nothing to do with oil.

    Is oil behind this?

    https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/02/27/did-a-quickly-deleted-essay-in-russian-media-explain-what-vladimir-putin-wants-russia-to-gain-from-the-ukraine-invasion-n529150

    It has to do with Greater Russia and personal pride in one’ strong bloodline. Does that mean Putin is a racist?

    For another take – it’s all about NATO.

    https://peterbeinart.substack.com/p/bidens-cia-director-doesnt-believe?utm_source=url

    And Victor Davis Hanson always sound logic and judgment which will be ignored.

    https://amgreatness.com/2022/02/27/the-crowded-road-to-kyiv/

  120. 120
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, scroll up and watch the video on the geostrategic issues. Russia lost [2]7 millions or so fighting after June 22, 1941. That’s living memory. Ukraine and White Russia are the Western buffers for Russia (used to be Poland under the Czars). There is indeed a long list of key resources in the Ukraine or off its shores, including oil and gas, but that is not all. Then, there is the sealing off of the canal that used to bring water to the Crimea, after 2014. And so forth. KF

  121. 121
    Seversky says:

    None of which justifies what is happening now.

  122. 122
    vividbleau says:

    If true this is so sick.

    “Think about the madness of this… Joe Biden is running around trying to look tough, hitting Russia with sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s obscene invasion of Ukraine. But at the same time, we pay Russia in the vicinity of $70 million per day for oil imports.

    In other words, during these seven days of Putin’s criminal war against Ukraine, we’ve sent this same Putin during those same seven days close to a half-billion dollars!”

    Vivid

  123. 123
    Seversky says:

    I have to agree. There’s something very wrong there. On the other hand, are we prepared to put up with higher gas prices in order to make the sanctions bite?

  124. 124
    vividbleau says:

    Sev

    What changed? From Wiki
    “In early December 2018, it was reported that the US had turned into a net exporter of oil “last week”, thus breaking nearly 75 continuous years of dependence on foreign oil. Reportedly, the US sold overseas a net of 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel. This, compared to net imports of about three million barrels a day on average previously during 2018 and the prior annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day during 2005, was confirmed by the US Energy Information Administration.[34]”

    Vivid

  125. 125
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Oopsy! This conversation has aged really really well. 😆
    Nuland-Pyatt leaked phone conversation
    Changing of regime in Ukraine by US (Biden involved and rewarded by Ukraine indirectly through his son-Burisma, etc. ) is allowed but when Putin try to change the regime is bad ? 😆

    https://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/23/neocons-and-the-ukraine-coup/

  126. 126
    Seversky says:

    It’s confusing. This Forbes article – Is The U.S. Energy Independent? goes into a bit more detail.

  127. 127
    jerry says:

    Another point of view on the ineptness of US and Ukrainian politicians in the last 30 years.

    Ukraine’s Deadly Gamble

    By tying itself to a reckless and dangerous America, the Ukrainians made a blunder that client states will study for years to come

    Did the bogus impeachment of Trump over a telephone conversation lead to Ukraine’s downfall.

    In order to cover up for what the Bidens and perhaps other senior Obama officials had done in Ukraine, a Democratic Congress impeached Trump for trying to figure out what American policymakers had been doing in Ukraine over the past decade. As for the Ukrainians, they again put themselves in the middle of it, when they should have stayed home.

    The end result was that the Ukrainians had helped weaken an American president who, unlike Obama, gave them arms to defend themselves against the Russians. More seriously, they reinforced Putin’s view that, especially in partnership with the Democrats, Ukraine did not understand its true place in the world as a buffer state—and would continue to allow themselves to be used as an instrument by policymakers whose combination of narcissism and fecklessness made them particularly prone to dangerous miscalculations. The 2020 election victory of Joe Biden, a man whose family had been paid by the Ukrainians to protect them, can have done little to quiet Putin’s sense that Ukraine needed to be put in its place before it was used yet again as a weapon against him.

    From the perspective of the U.S. national security establishment, Biden’s victory over Trump signaled that its actions in Ukraine would stay hidden. So long as the media continued to bark that the 45th president of the United States is Putin’s stooge, no one would be held accountable for anything. Except, as it turns out, D.C. political operatives aren’t the only people who can make history. Putin can, too. And the people of Ukraine will come out much the worse for both of their efforts.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/ukraines-deadly-gamble

  128. 128
  129. 129
    vividbleau says:

    Off topic but I wonder what the over under is on how many times we will here this phrase after Biden’s SOTU “ Biden gave the speech of his life”

    Vivid

  130. 130
    vividbleau says:

    As of 9:17 a.m. ET on Wednesday, which is Inauguration Day for President-elect Joe Biden, WTI Crude was up 1.53 percent at $53.77, and Brent Crude prices were trading above $56 a barrel—up by 1.16 percent at $56.52, very close to the 11-month high prices hit last week.

    Today oil is at $106, really all I need to know. Joe Biden is doing what he promised “destroy the fossil fuel industry.

    Vivid

  131. 131
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, a geostrategic explanation is anything but a justification. Unfortunately, such considerations are often predictive of patterns of conflict. KF

  132. 132
    jerry says:

    Gas prices were headed down before the virus hit even as the economy was expanding. They were $2.40 gal just before the virus hit. They were $1.74 six weeks later and back at $2.40 when Biden took over.

    They are now at $3.60 per gal or a 50% increase since Biden started restrictions on drilling and a crack down on pipe lines. Hard not to attribute this rise to Biden and his policies.

    https://www.gasbuddy.com/charts

    Fracking is what caused gasoline prices to drop in an expanding economy 2014-2016. If anything the Democrats have restricted drilling and fracking.

    Prices were in the $3.75-$3.90 range for most of the early Obama years until the fracking oil started flooding the market.

    Natural gas prices are roughly double that before the virus. Again probably due to restrictions on fracking.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/2478/natural-gas-prices-historical-chart

  133. 133
    William J Murray says:

    An entirely different perspective on what is going on in the Ukraine:

    https://vid8.poal.co/user/AOU/m78pTCF

  134. 134
    William J Murray says:

    Here’s what I’ve found to be a pretty good rule of thumb: if the mainstream media is painting someone out to be the villain of the story, it’s highly likely they’re actually closer to being the hero of the story.

  135. 135
    jerry says:

    Two other perspectives on Ukraine.

    Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/why-john-mearsheimer-blames-the-us-for-the-crisis-in-ukraine

    The West’s Green Delusions Empowered Putin

    https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-wests-green-delusions-empowered?s=r

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, while the Russian young man reflects the geostrategic perspective in the vid in the OP, he starts with NATO as aggressor. As for NATO membership moving Eastwards, guess why Poland, Hungary, Estonia etc think they need a defensive umbrella given what has been playing out in the Ukraine. When it sounds like Finland and Sweden are thinking that way, it says a lot. Yes, the US is such these days that many are distinctly cool towards it; that is all but irrelevant to Russia’s realpolitik. What is needed is a fundamentally different approach. KF

  137. 137
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Senior Russian Official :US Uses Ukraine As Ploy to Weaken Europe

    William J Murray
    Here’s what I’ve found to be a pretty good rule of thumb: if the mainstream media is painting someone out to be the villain of the story, it’s highly likely they’re actually closer to being the hero of the story.

    😆 Trump talked about HCQ. What happens next? HCQ used for 40 years and one of the safest medicine “become” overnight very dangerous because were billions of vaccines waiting in warehouses . They need fake studies? No problem. The Lancet retracted later but has played its role to start the vaccine clown-show. Would have been a loss of trillions $ for some people . MSM is not what we think it is . It’s a PsyOp tool. Who own it mold the perception for people who watch it .

  138. 138
  139. 139
    jerry says:

    Long discussion by foreign policy people on what caused this. Some will be repeats.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1498491107902062592.html

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: Extending to W and E coming from Crimea, broadening the thrust towards Kiev, pushing columns beyond Kiev to the West. The offensive continues.

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: More from Col Bay:

    https://www.strategypage.com/on_point/20220302151226.aspx

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News Putin employs “an ever-deepening, delusional rendering of history … always a kind of victimology” and that “he is descending into something I haven’t personally seen before.”

    That’s serious deterioration. Perhaps we’ve physical clues. Instead of the hard cheeks and macho chest (see Putin the Stud photos circa 2008), doctors note Vlad 2022’s cheeks puff like a man taking steroids.

    Weaponized speculation: Does he suffer from terminal cancer? With his time running out, he ignites a war to achieve his obsession?

    Shades of Greek drama, but the poets are dramatizing tragedy wrought by obsessed human beings.

    Time and again obsessed, powerful despots seize the bloody initiative, pursuing empire or Lebensraum nach Osten or a global caliphate. These destructive actors perpetually scourge humanity.

    I personally believe Putin is delusional and his delusions have spurred insanity. For years I’ve seen the former KGB colonel as a cunning, calculating, disciplined and narcissistic fanatic driven by a vision of the Russian empire reborn. He seeks to control the core components of the Romanov empire and the Soviet Union: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Khazakstan — the RUBK as I’ve called it since the late 1990s. RUBK, like Rubik’s Cube, a puzzle Putin swears to solve and piece together with the force of his will, no matter the desire of others.

    Now the force of his will is expressed by dropping cluster bombs on Ukrainian neighborhoods.

    A dispute persists over the precise translation of Putin’s April 25, 2005, lamentation over the demise of the Soviet Union. Did he say that the USSR’s demise was “a major geopolitical disaster of the (20th) century” or that it was the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”? The BBC and NBC News chose “catastrophe.” Both translations confirm the USSR’s collapse appalled Putin.

    Definitely a scarred psyche, though twisted psyche and soul seem more apt.

    Putin suffers two historical ills: revanchism and irredentism. By mobilizing Russian ethnonational sentiments, Putin intends to recover what he regards as lost territories (irredenta) that by God and by history (or myth) belong to Mother Russia. Moreover, outsiders (the U.S., NATO) seek to deny Mother Russia what is Hers.

    Since the mid-1990s these tropes and claims of Russian victimhood have fired Putin’s propaganda. He propagandized his own people. claiming he must act to protect “cut off” Russians and secure “Russian rights” in lost regions (former Soviet territories). He invoked these justifications in 2008 during the Russo-Georgia War. In Russian Army military exercises from around 2016 on the enemy was called “The Western Coalition,” deliberately incriminating NATO.

    Agreed, Putin doesn’t act alone. Russian Army generals and Putin’s coterie of billionaire Russian oligarchs encouraged his delusions or at least failed to curb them. No one wants to be the naysayer who tells the obsessed leader he can’t achieve his goals.

    The generals and oligarchs signed off on fighting the slow war of attrition Russia has waged in Ukraine since 2014. Vlad did succeed in annexing Crimea.

    Ukraine, however, continues to resist the conventional invasion Putin launched in February. Why escalate to tanks and air attacks and airborne assaults? Why gamble now?

    Is the terminal illness plot something other than my fiction?

    A fact: Antiwar protests, many led by the parents of Russian conscript soldiers, have occurred in over 30 Russian cities.

    Russian oligarchs and mafiya types value their money. Sanctions will ultimately squeeze oligarch accounts and even seize laundered cash. Britain and other countries are moving to seize real estate assets owned by Russian oligarchs. Denying Russia’s banks market access has already trashed the ruble.

    Oligarchs must choose between their money and Putin.

    A sobering analysis of a major bad actor on the world stage.

    Bay goes on to suggest, “[t]he way out for the oligarchs is a Kremlin coup toppling Putin.” Unfortunately, the example of the July 1944 plot against Hitler shows the riskiness of such a move. The question is, can he be censured or deemed credibly unfit and removed for cause?

    Lawless oligarchy, sadly, is historically the natural state of government. And the signs of descent to such much closer to home should give us pause. Putin’s case is only one among many across the years of grim reading we need to learn from.

    KF

  142. 142
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, my problem is, that with a known bad neighbour, what realistic alternative do the former Warsaw Pact states have to knocking at NATO’s door? I shudder to think of the exemplar of what happened to Belgium — mutually guaranteed by the great powers as a neutral, buffer state — in 1914 and 1940. In 1914 the Kaiser refrained from attacking Holland and Denmark, but Hitler knew of no such restraints. In the case of Poland, 1989 – 91 was unfinished business from 1939. KF

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, Fernandez at PJ:

    https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2022/02/26/putins-failure-n1562126

    In retrospect, the Kremlin’s plan consisted of an airborne/airmobile/Spetsnaz descent on Kyiv, the mission of which was to establish an airhead in the capital and capture the Ukrainian government until relieved by mechanized forces racing in from the north. An airmobile assault was attempted at Gostomel to Kyiv’s immediate north.

    But things went badly wrong. The Russian battalion-sized airmobile force met stiff air defense and was immediately counterattacked by the Ukrainian mobile reserve. Unable to land follow-on forces, the paratroopers could not withstand heavy weapons and were scattered or wiped out. Equally serious for the Russians was the failure of their northern pincer to advance on schedule.

    Desperate to “bag” the Ukrainian government, the Russians attempted a large-scale airborne assault for Vasylkiv Airfield to the south of Kyiv to establish a blocking position to catch withdrawing units. But this failed, with two C-17 counterpart IL-76s loaded with paratroops destroyed, and with them, two infantry companies of the Kremlin’s finest. Crucially the Russian mechanized elements trickling into Kyiv proved too weak to break through the city defense.

    When it was clear Zelensky, and hence the Ukrainian government, could not be bagged and was quite capable of retreating in good order to fallback positions in the West, it was obvious that Putin could not conclude the campaign with the political time and the military forces at hand. At this, the diplomatic floodgates opened, with even China urging a diplomatic solution, and much of the world, scared to death of a third world war, timidly then more forcefully chiming in.

    Ukraine has not won, not in the military sense. It has lost territory, suffered significant losses to soldiers and civilians, and endured massive property damage. But crucially, it has not lost — and that may be enough. Attention is now turning to the possible danger that may attend Putin’s fall. While he appears to remain firmly in power, the ex-chekist (member of the original Soviet secret police) cannot but be weakened by the massive failure of his gamble.

    There is nothing else the Ukrainian winter war of 2022 resembles so much as a gigantic throw of the dice, so preposterous given the available forces that many, myself included, did not believe any rational man could undertake it. But perhaps Putin is not the ten-foot colossus the media makes him out to be as much as an aging “man of force” presiding over an economically and demographically dwindling, ex-Soviet haunted empire.

    Sadly, at this point the onward history is being written in blood.

    KF

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D Mar 4, VDH analyses pivoting on the potential impact of the fire and forget Javelin Missile. KF

  145. 145
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    How easy is it to see who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? Easy! that job is done by media so we don’t need to think too much we just repeat what media tell us. Or not?
    I think when we talk about legacy media we should start with the presumption that everything is a lie.
    Discovered documents show that Western leaders promised not to expand NATO

    Is Vladimir Putin Right?

    Tyranny, One Tiny Step at a Time | Jordan Peterson on JRE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16uBwZxtzi0

    PS: There are no good guys

  146. 146
    William J Murray says:

    Whaddya know, LCD? Something the two of us totally agree on.

    I have no idea why KF is basically ignoring the fact that the mainstream media’s job is to lie to us for the agenda of our own western oligarchs. I mean, it’s not like Ukraine is some sweet, polyanna country minding it’s own business. It’s been a major hub of corruption for decades. It has in fact been at war with its own citizens for a long time. Toss in the fact that NATO has been violating its own promises for decades now, what is Putin supposed to do? Nothing?

    Did we stand for the Soviet Union arming Cuba? Nope. We were willing to start WWIII to prevent that. Do we expect Putin to do anything less?

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, nope, just put up a thread on media deceit with lives on the line. Yes, NATO did say it did not wish expansion and yet admitted petitioners starting with the very Poland of the Warsaw Pact. Ask yourself why the petitions and why at one point Russia at least talked about joining in too. I have not suggested that Ukraine is a nice wonderful place with perfect Democracy, in 1938 – 9, neither were Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland or Finland. In 1939 Hitler made a reply to Roosevelt that quite accurately highlighted the wrongs of the US, UK and France. Six years later we were taught a devastating lesson on lesser of evils. As for the Cuban crisis, not parallel though Putin wishes to spin it so: Russia, an EXPANSIONIST STATE, having just seized Cuba as a colony under guise of a popular revolution, put in nukes and a brigade armed with tac nukes that came within 12 hours of being used. In 1989 – 91, the main Com Bloc collapsed, and fledgling states sought protection from a manifestly defensive alliance, on their own history of repeated conquest [Poland especially], from a state with longstanding expansionist tendencies: prison of nations was the common term. Putin is playing turnabout projection, exploiting cognitive dissonance just as Hitler did over Czechoslovakia. What Russia should be doing instead is giving up its addiction to expansionist Geopolitics and actually setting about building a first rate nation state that is an example to the world. Not a thuggocracy. KF

  148. 148
    vividbleau says:

    LCD
    “I think when we talk about legacy media we should start with the presumption that everything is a lie.”

    That’s because everything is a lie LOL

    Putin is a thug, a killer and probably a psychopath but that he is different than he was 10 years ago and some kind of “crazy” now smells like propaganda.

    Vivid

  149. 149
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Vividbleau

    LCD
    “I think when we talk about legacy media we should start with the presumption that everything is a lie.”

    That’s because everything is a lie LOL

    Putin is a thug, a killer and probably a psychopath but that he is different than he was 10 years ago and some kind of “crazy” now smells like propaganda.

    Well…You said that legacy media lies but you and the legacy media have identical views about Putin. Interesting.
    PS: 10 years ago NATO wasn’t in his backyard but today is.
    https://twitter.com/AllTalksVideos/status/1499773821385338881

  150. 150
    vividbleau says:

    LCD
    “Well…You said that legacy media lies but you and the legacy media have identical views about Putin. Interesting.”

    I don’t make my judgements based on the legacy media nor am I hardly in lock step with their narrative. I do think that Putin has a legitimate beef. Would Americans want Russian missiles on our direct border ? , dont think so.

    Vivid

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, today isn’t 1962. At that time the USSR actually had rather few intercontinental range missiles or sub based ballistic missiles as opposed to the US. So, basing intermediate range missiles forward in Cuba made a big difference. By the early 1970’s the ICBM situation was utterly different, and well do I recall in the 80’s orchestrated Soviet campaigning to accuse the Americans on their Pershings while being utterly silent on the SS 20s that otherwise held Europe hostage. It isn’t missiles on direct borders as an issue, there still are more than enough nukes to wipe out either the US or Russia and Europe. Who has a much more legitimate concern is Israel on rockets on its borders with chemical explosive warheads, apparently tens of thousands, many supplied by Iran. Which has threatened genocide. The real issue is, that there is a bad underlying history such that the very members of the Warsaw Pact sought protection from NATO as soon as they could, once the Iron Curtain fell. Had the Communist bloc been the worker’s paradise as pretended, that would not have happened. And besides, NATO in key but nowadays mostly unspoken part serves as a means to provide assurance against re emergence of German militarism; which, the Russians do have reason for concern on the history from 1914 on. I think it is time to ask the Ukrainian speaking people of the Ukraine what they think, given their own history with Russia and Germany — genocide from both. Though, technically, Stalin was a Georgian and Hitler an Austrian. KF

  152. 152
    William J Murray says:

    KF @147,
    I would bet dollars to doughnuts that LCD knows far, far more about what is really going on than you. It amazes me that people who know how bad the mainstream media is, who know at least something about the media’s globalist oligarch masters and what they’ve been doing to those who do not toe the line for their agenda, would fall for their narrative on this.

  153. 153
    William J Murray says:

    KF, you do realize that NATO is as corrupt as it gets, right?

  154. 154
    ram says:

    WJM, I agree with some of the things you’re saying, but Putin has demonstrated at this point, regardless of the corruption of NATO and Ukraine, and all the other excuses for invading a peaceful weaker country, that he is a terrorist who bombs and murders innocent civilians using horrific weapons illegal by international treaty.

    This cannot be overlooked. Make nuanced arguments all you want about the politics of the sititution, but the guy is pure evil at the end of the day when he wantonly murders the innocent. That’s his choice. NATO didn’t make him do that to civilians.

    I pray to God that everyone agrees with what I just said.

    What to do about it is a different matter, and worthy of debate.

    “Did we stand for the Soviet Union arming Cuba? Nope. We were willing to start WWIII to prevent that. Do we expect Putin to do anything less?”

    Russia put nukes into Cuba. Kennedy recoiled. Nobody has put nukes into Ukraine. Talk talk talk about them getting into NATO, which nobody serious believes will ever happen. That’s a mere excuse. Look at the pipeline maps of Ukraine. Consider the rare earth minerals waiting to be mined. And Putins crazy butt-hurt feelings about the Berlin wall and the fall of the Soviet empire. Bottom line, not even close to be on the same footing as Russia putting nukes in Cuba. Moreover, Kennedy didn’t murder innocent civilians with illegal (by international treaty) atmospheric bombs.

    You can’t be serious. The guy is a terrorist by any reasonable and historical definition. Period. No debate about that now. Not even close to being analogous to the Cuban missle crisis.

    –Ram

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I have but little doubt that NATO has corruption issues and as it deals with the officialdom and especially the pols of a region in civilisational decline, there is a compounding effect. (Do I need to underscore that such corruption likely embraces specific US pols?) They even struggle to spend enough of GDP on defence. However, the notion that NATO, which at best in the cold war era always lost realistic military games with warsaw pact — and would have faced a region wide nuking as opening moves [which they did not understand . . . 3 were prepositioned near HQ in Belgium] — is expansionist targetting Russia is ludicrous. They know what the ghosts of Napoleon, Hindenberg-Ludendorf, Hitler, von Manstein and Guderian would warn them. As for Ukraine, they by and large did not anticipate the collapse of the USSR and tried to help manage some of the potential for chaos. I don’t doubt some of the nuke materials are unaccounted for. However, the result was a geostrategic transformation, and while I don’t doubt corrupt entanglement in the Ukraine, its economy and politics, there is no way that Ukraine constituted or constitutes a Nazi state headed by a Jewish former comedian. The same Ukraine that surrendered its nukes for mutual security guarantees now showing they were not worth the value of the wasted paper and ink. The feckless West has done but little, though at length Germany is suspending a pipeline deal and I hope someone will wake up to the need for the Israel-Greece-Italy pipeline. Russia initiated war behind proxies in 2014 and is prosecuting it onward now with obvious intent to resubjugate the Ukraine. KF

    PS, I am not simply swallowing the media, why not scroll up and see the global outline I made in 2016 for public briefings. Putin is the man behind the wild card nature of Russia. He wants to recapture control of all of Mackinder’s pivot area.

  156. 156
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, you are right that Putin has been a pretty ruthless bad actor, a Machiavellian Prince. Sad. KF

  157. 157
    ram says:

    WJM “KF, you do realize that NATO is as corrupt as it gets, right?”

    All governments are corrupt. The U.S. govt has done it’s share of bad things. But Putin has just committed obvious and wanton terrorism on innocent civilians using weapons long ago outlawed by civilized nations at the Geneva Convention.

    Politics are complicated, but this cannot be overlooked. Are you willing to overlook it?

    Again, having said that, what to do about it is a worthy topic of discussion and debate. I’m an extremely anti-war person. But let’s not pretend the evil is not being perpetrated before our very eyes.

    These are the times that try men’s souls.

    “the mainstream media’s job is to lie to us for the agenda of our own western oligarchs. ”

    Agreed. Wisdom is necessary to navigate the evil waters of manipulation. But please don’t equate Putin’s actions, and this situation, with Russia and Cuba during the CMC. That’s just dumbassery. And I know you’re not a dumbass. 🙂

    –Ram

  158. 158
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D, Mar 5th, map showing onward thrusts. It seems Kiev continues to stoutly resist and there is a reaction, diverting a thrust in the N to try to envelop it rather than pinch off a large chunk of northern Ukraine. I think the stout resistance of Ukrainians may force a settlement. KF

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    Ram, yes we are seeing grave evil that on the example of the 1930’s has potential to destabilise the world. I am concerned about Taiwan. KF

  160. 160
    ram says:

    Taiwan. Yes indeed. Xi is watching.

  161. 161
    William J Murray says:

    Ram @154:
    Everything you say about Putin, what he has done/is doing, and why, is based on what?

    But let’s not pretend the evil is not being perpetrated before our very eyes.

    There is no evil being perpetrated right before my very eyes. There is some imagery and some talking heads providing a narrative about what that imagery is of and means on some devices I use mostly for entertainment.

    I have personally witnessed how the people behind the scenes of the institutions that produce what comes through those devices lie and manipulate to a degree that is astonishing.

    The original reason I voted for Trump the first time he ran was because virtually every single powerful institution and person of wealth and/or fame was rabidly anti-Trump. I figured that if all the corrupt elites were trying to destroy his candidacy, that might mean he wasn’t “in on it” with them. I never expected him to actually win.

    When I see all these corrupt institutions, the famous and the wealthy all being protective of Ukraine and wanting to kill or go to war with Putin, I’m thinking he’s probably the good guy in all this – or at least more a “good guy” than the seriously evil and corrupt establishment currently out to get him. And, it makes me think there’s something rotten in Ukraine.

  162. 162
    jerry says:

    Another succinct recent history of NATO, Ukraine and Russia.

    I’m always reluctant to read Pat Buchanan but he lays out the facts well.

    https://www.takimag.com/article/__trashed-5/

  163. 163
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, with the collapse of the Warsaw pact and the known history of Russia, c 1992 on, what realistic option did Poland, Hungary or even the Baltic States etc have, other than petitioning NATO? Even Sweden and Finland implicitly rely on NATO’s protection, but are less threatened than the above. Given what Putin has done to Ukraine since 2014, where that state surrendered its legacy nukes on mutual undertaking to safeguard security, what reason would say Poland have to rely on Russia’s word? The reality is we are looking at naked aggression covered by turnabout projection, a recipe all too familiar from the 1930’s. KF

  164. 164
    jerry says:

    I hope he lives. He will be an inspiration for the world. The world lacks spine.

    Volodymyr Zelensky Transforms Germany — and Europe

    https://jewishworldreview.com/michael/barone030422.php3

  165. 165
    Seversky says:

    What Putin wants is irrelevant. His army is invading Ukraine without a declaration of war or any legitimate pretext. His weapons are destroying Ukrainian cities and killing Ukrainian people. Anyone who thinks it’s all fake news or just some sort of information potential is welcome to go and see for themselves although I suspect idealism will go straight out of the window when bullets start cracking around people’s ears and shells are exploding all around.

    Putin is gambling that NATO will not fight to stop him and so far he is right. What if he wins? What if NATO decides that sacrificing Ukraine to prevent WWIII is worth it? What if Biden does a Neville Chamberlain and waves a worthless piece of paper and proclaims “Peace in our time”, Have they forgotten history. Did meekly handing over the Rhineland and then the Sudetenland buy off Hitler? You think Putin is going to see this a anything other than a sign of weakness?

  166. 166
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Looks like three assassination attempts last week https://nypost.com/2022/03/03/ukraine-president-zelensky-survived-three-assassination-attempts/?utm_source=wnd&utm_medium=wnd&utm_campaign=syndicated

    Assassins have tried to kill Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky at least three times since Russia invaded his country last week, a new report said.

    The assassination plots were foiled when anti-war Russians fed intel to Ukraine about two separate mercenary groups that planned to launch the attacks, the Times of London reported.

    “I can say that we have received information from [Russia’s Federal Security Service], who do not want to take part in this bloody war,” Ukraine’s secretary of national security and defense told local TV stations, according to the Times.

    The shadowy, Kremlin-backed Wagner Group was behind two of the attempts, the Times reported. If they had been or are successful, Moscow could deny direct involvement in the assassination plot.

    KF

  167. 167
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, actually, Tsar Putin I did decree a declaration of war on television. As for legitimacy of pretext, that is a different matter. KF

    PS, scroll up to OP to see the Wiki maps I have used to more or less track operations. They tell a sobering story that is not in the media headlines I have seen, though DM of UK seems to be trying. I will update with a DM map with commentary shortly.

  168. 168
    William J Murray says:

    Seversky said:

    Anyone who thinks it’s all fake news or just some sort of information potential is welcome to go and see for themselves although I suspect idealism will go straight out of the window when bullets start cracking around people’s ears and shells are exploding all around.

    ROFL. If you’re talking about the MRT form of idealism, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about or you would know how ridiculous your comment about bullets and shells is. Do you think that I don’t believe bullets and artillery shells are real? Do you think I believe I can’t be injured or killed?

    Anyway, the point is that I don’t know if the news is fake or not, but I have long-established good reason to (1) doubt that it’s real, and (2) doubt how it is being portrayed and narrated, and (3) have good reason to think it is probable that this is not even remotely a good (NATO) vs evil (Putin) scenario. IMO, at the very least, it’s an evil vs evil scenario, but more likely an evil (NATO) vs not as evil (Putin) scenario, with the battlefield being a largely corrupt country in terms of government and business.

    But, by all means, keep reacting the way the big corporations that produce and curate your content tell you to. Keep believing what they say about the world and what is going on. Whatever floats your boat.

  169. 169
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, lesser of evils, all we have today. KF

    PS: Observe Hitler’s reply to Roosevelt https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/56025532

    Looks like I can clip HT NLA Oz:

    HITLER’S REPLY TO PRESIDENT
    ROOSEVELT’S MESSAGE
    Will Give Assurances Provided
    There Is Absolute Reciprocity
    LONDON, April 28.
    OPENING his speech in the Reichstag today,
    Herr Hitler plunged immediately into a
    sarcastic reference to President Roosevelt’s
    message and recalled that it had been published
    all over the world before he had seen it.
    He added that the democratic Press con-
    tained the friendly enlightenment that this tele-
    gram was a clever practical document aimed at
    burdening authoritarian States with responsi-
    bility for the plutocracies’ warlike measures.
    “I DECIDED to convoke the Reich-
    stag to gire you a chance of
    hearing my reply and of either con-
    firming or rejecting it,” said Herr
    Hitler. “I moreover believe that it
    it appropriate to follow President
    Roosevelt’s procedure and inform the
    world of my reply by means similar
    to those used by him.
    “I want to express the feelings in-
    spired in me by tremendous historical
    events. I can only offer my humble
    thanks that Providence has called me,
    once an unknown soldier, to be the
    Fuhrer of my beloved people. Provi-
    dence has permitted me to find my way
    without bloodshed and to free my
    people from the deepest distress and
    has permitted me to fulfil a unique
    mission-to raise the German people
    from defeat and from the most
    dastardly-dictated treaty of all time.
    Has Not Injured Foreign Rights
    “It was my sole aim to make good
    that which others broke by force
    that with which satanic wickedness and
    human insensibility they destroyed and
    despoiled. I have taken no steps to in-
    jure foreign rights. I have restored
    only rights that were damaged 20
    years ago. There is no territory at
    present in the Reich which has not been
    there from ancient times either by al-
    liances with it or under its sovereignty.
    The present confines of the Reich ex-
    isted long before the discovery and
    settlement of America by the white
    man.
    “There has burned in millions of
    brains since the war, a warm hope that
    common sense and just peace would re-
    ward and make happy our afflicted
    people. I say ‘reward’ because, regard-
    less of the decisions of historians
    nobody bore the responsibility for this
    terrible event. The peace treaties were
    destructive even for the victors.
    “For the first time it unhappily
    happened that men who had not
    fought determined the policies. The
    soldiers did not tender hate but
    these old politicians who had care-
    fully preserved their lives let flow
    over humanity in a stream made
    by vengeance the forces of hate,
    viciousness, and stupidity.
    “Almost 115,000,000 people were de-
    prived of their right of self-determina-
    tion by Insane politicians. When this
    arrangement proved a catastrophe to
    democratic peace, dictators of American
    and European origin were so cowardly
    that no-one would take the responsi-
    bility for what had happened.
    Anglo-German Friendship
    “During the whole of my political
    activity I have always expounded the
    idea of close Anglo-German friendship
    and collaboration. Within my movement
    there are innumerable others of like
    mind, I have never left room for doubt
    of my belief that the existence of this
    British Umpire is an inestimable valu-
    able factor for the whole human cul-
    tural and economic life.
    “There is no doubt that the Anglo-
    Saxon people have accomplished im-
    measurable colonising work which I
    sincerely admire. A genuine and lasting
    Anglo-German friendship, however, can
    be conceived only on the basis of
    mutual regard. The British Empire
    was built up when Germany was inter-
    nally weak. England has given the world
    many great men, but Germany has given
    no fewer.
    “That Germany was unable to retain
    her possessions and also was compelled
    to sacrifice many provinces was due only
    to her political redevelopment and the
    impotence resulting from it. That con-
    dition now has been overcome. We no
    longer feel inferior to Britain. Our self-
    esteem is equal to the Englishman’s for
    England.”
    Basis For Naval Treaty Removed
    Herr Hitler announced that he would
    communicate to Britain that the basis
    for a naval treaty had been removed.
    He added: “My original proposal for
    the voluntary restriction of naval arma-
    ments was baaed on the will and con-
    viction that war between Germany and
    England was impossible. This will and
    this conviction are alive in me today,
    but England’s policy, official and un-
    official, leaves no doubt that the con-
    viction is not shared in London. On
    the contrary, the opinion prevails that
    no matter what conflict in which Ger-
    many may some day be engaged, Bri-
    tain will always have the side against
    the Reich.
    “I profoundly regret such a de-
    velopment for the only claim I ever
    made and shall make against Eng-
    land is the return of the colonies.
    I have already made it clear that
    this will never cause a military con-
    flict.
    “England holds the view that Ger-
    many should be opposed in all cir-
    cumstances and confirms this by a
    policy of encirclement. The basis for
    a naval treaty has been removed, but
    if Britain wishes to re-enter the nego-
    tiations none will be happier than I at
    the prospect of a clear, straightforward
    understanding. I never left room for
    doubt that it is my belief that the
    existence of the British Empire is of
    inestimable value to the whole human
    cultural and economic life.
    “Denunciation of the naval agree-
    ment is not a matter of military im-
    portance but an action of self-respect.
    I still hope to avoid an armament
    race with England.”
    Herr Hitler disclosed that he made
    a definite offer to Poland that Danzig
    become a free State within the frame-
    work of the Reich. As a result of
    Poland’s rejection he regarded the
    Germano-Polish treaty as no longer in
    existence.
    Reply To Roosevelt
    Replying to President Roosevelt
    Herr Hitler said the reason for fear of
    war lay simply in unbridled vile Press
    agitation.
    “I do not believe,” he said, “that
    every conflict is disastrous to the
    world unless the world is drawn into it
    by nebulous pacts. I do not know
    what President Roosevelt means by his
    statement that three European and one
    African nation are losing their inde-
    pendence. On the contrary, the demo-
    cracies of 1918 made nations which
    could not have wished to be and never
    were.
    “President Roosevelt says the
    world is moving towards a catas-
    trophe. I wish to point ont that I
    have not conducted any war. I
    have expressed abhorrence of war
    and I am not aware for what pur-
    pose I should wage it. I ask the
    President for an explanation.
    “I am ready to give assurances to
    each State named by President Roose-
    velt on condition of absolute reciprocity,
    provided that each State wishes it
    itself and addresses to Germany a re-
    quest for such assurances together with
    appropriate proposals.”
    “Most Painful Of All Problems”
    Herr Hitler affirmed that Germany
    must have access to East Prussia and
    described the Polish Corridor as the
    most painful of all the problems.
    “If war comes,” he said, “Germany
    will show resistance compared with
    which that of 1914 will be nothing.
    Germany is resolved not to allow vital
    markets to be torn from her by methods
    of terrorism.
    “I am sceptical about President
    Roosevelt’s suggestion that international
    problems can be solved at the council
    table. The United States shirked the
    greatest conference of all time, namely
    the League of Nations, which has not
    solved a single decisive international
    problem.
    “I renounced Alsace in order to pro-
    mote European understanding and not
    because I feared France. The States to
    which I offered neutrality cannot com-
    plain that I made inacceptable demands
    for claims. Czechoslovakia was no ex-
    ception. I do not think I am denying
    our racial principles, but I will protect
    Czech and German racial purity alike.
    “If Mr Chamberlain considers that
    Germany’s action has nullified the
    Munich agreement, I will take a note
    of it and will draw the necessary con-
    clusions. I will not renounce the vital
    rights of Germany.
    “A lasting Anglo-German friendship
    is impossible unless Britain recognises
    Germany’s right to live.
    “Mr de Valera, in a recent speech,
    made no charges of German aggression
    but accused England of having sub-
    jected Eire to continuous oppression. Mr
    de Valera was more familiar with the
    dangers than was President Roosevelt.
    “Palestine similarly has no fear of
    Germany, but is making appeals to the
    world against barbarous British
    methods for the benefit of Jewish inter-
    lopers.
    “President Roosevelt’s suggestion
    that further acts of aggression are
    contemplated is an unfounded of-
    fence against the tranquillity and
    peace of the world. I ask the
    President to name the threatened
    States.
    “Germany’s peace offer has been re-
    peatedly turned down, and, therefore
    Presiden! Roosevelt should appeal to
    others. I have had a long and prac-
    tical experience and I will remain scep-
    tical until reality has taught me
    better.”
    America To Ignore Hiller’s Speech
    NEW YORK, April 28.
    The Washington correspondent of the
    United Press states: “The United
    FOR THE FIRST TIME since the Great War, the Scottish Horse Sccuis have been issued with sabres. Here they are lined up for inspection at the Dunkeld House stables. Help
    States Government officially ignore
    Herr Hitler’s speech tomorrow, taking
    the attitude that whatever it may
    contain, it will not be an official reply
    to President Roosevelt. It is felt that
    only a specific message addressed to
    White House, and not a mere declara-
    tion to the Reichstag, would be con-
    sidered a reply.”
    Roosevelt’s Offer To Mussolini
    The Washington correspondent of the
    “New York Times” exclusively states:
    “President Roosevelt sounded out
    Signor Mussolini, and through him Herr
    Hitler on the plan to meet them at sea
    or near some .neutral island such as
    the Azores, and they rejected the idea.
    The President’s purpose was to learn
    at first hand the minimum terms for
    pledging lasting peace, and offer his
    services as an intermediary.”
    TOKYO, April 27.
    It is understood that the Cabinet
    strongly resisted pressure by Herr
    Hitler to include Japan’s support in
    tomorrow’s speech.
    The compromise of the Prime Minis-
    ter (General Hiranuma) is believed to
    be unacceptable to Herr Hitler.
    LONDON, April 28.
    Copies of Herr Hitler’s speech were
    forwarded by plane to London in the
    forenoon and delivered at the Foreign
    Office as an act of courtesy.

    Lessons of History Dept

  170. 170
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    😆 Many people have short memory.
    Study the position of legacy media regarding :
    -abortion, trans ,lgbt(totally good),
    Trump (totally bad)
    – vaccine(totally good)-alternative treatments(totally bad),
    -NATO(totally god)- Putin(totally bad)..

    I just find out about armed fights in separatists-areas from East Ukraine that last from 2014. Today we are in 2022. Very strange .

    Did US change the regime in Ukraine? Did Biden brag about changing a prosecutor in Ukraine? Biden family do “business” in Ukraine? Did US build chemical laboratories in Ukraine? Yep but you don’t see it in legacy media .

    Blocking/ignoring all Russian information( as propaganda) it’s like blacking out Pfizer vaccine studies /contracts. That is confessing the guilt and laughing in your face and showing you middle finger.
    Globalists are in win-win situation. Sooner or later the population will be less than a billion (war, vaccine or other lethal viruses will do the job)

  171. 171
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM @ 168 – I think he was using the other definition as in “idealistic notion that Putin has a just claim”, and not the philosophical term “idealism”.

  172. 172
    William J Murray says:

    SA,

    I think his reference was made clear by his use of the term “information potential.”

  173. 173
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Ok, yes I didn’t read that correctly. Thanks.

  174. 174
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Wikileaks is gold:
    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1499837835758604290

  175. 175
    jerry says:

    Another take by Mark Steyn. This is more apocalyptic.

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

  176. 176
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    “With Russian forces besieging Mariupol, in which 120,000+ ethnic Greeks live, SKAI (Greece )news spoke with a Mr Kiouranas who lives in the city and exposed that Ukrainian “fascists” are killing people for trying to leave the city. ”
    https://greekcitytimes.com/2022/03/01/greek-in-mariupol-fascist-ukrainian/

    Ukrainians (Azov Batalion ) need people as human shields against russian army.
    A french journalist about Ukrainians bombing their own civilians:
    https://twitter.com/MaxSteele45/status/1500332784841371650

    PS: A message for all the woke :
    https://twitter.com/LtCdrStacy/status/1500513990031466498

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: With all due respect to those who do not wish to hear from the site, Gen Flynn has put up a proposal on the Ukraine

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/03/exclusive-gen-flynn-can-end-ukraine-crisis-today/

    . . . There is an option that would give Putin an out. This option needs to be thoroughly analyzed and discussed. It gets Putin what he wants, affords Ukraine a unique and long-term security opportunity, allows Europe and the world to take a deep breath, and can stop this madness along with the horrible killing taking place on both sides (and this may only be the beginning).

    I believe the key to unlocking this crisis is the Budapest Agreement.

    As smart readers will remember, when the Soviet Union broke up after decades of the now-distant Cold War, Ukraine had more nuclear weapons than China and was the third-biggest nuclear power in the world.

    Among other critical issues, the Budapest Agreement stipulated that Ukraine would give up its nuclear weapons if both Russia and the U.S. agreed not to invade it. That is the basic agreement. Putin is in gross violation of this agreement, which affords the U.S. (and select European nations) the opportunity to enforce it. But this is only a starting point to a broader conversation about a peaceful solution.

    The real conversation goes like this.

    Part One: Russia wants a neutral Ukraine. The Budapest Agreement can be considered an agreement of neutrality. Obviously, if Russia adheres to the agreement, then Ukraine doesn’t need to join NATO. And NATO can agree that having Ukraine join would be a violation of the Budapest accord. This is something that I believe Putin would seriously consider (and possibly accept), and it meets half of his demands. This gives him a way out without killing more people.

    Part Two: Putin wants Ukraine to renounce any claim to Crimea. Ukraine should agree, with a major caveat.

    Putin argues that Crimea was unlawfully given to Ukraine in the 1950s and, true or not, he wants it back. Well, Ukraine will never get Crimea back under any conditions without a major war. Most don’t realize it, but Putin is popular in Crimea and there is a strong attachment to Russia in the region, so it is a loss to Ukraine, but not a substantial loss. (That is the reality of global geopolitics.)

    The major caveat should be that Ukraine has made a lot of improvements in Crimea since the ’50s. A large price should be put on that. Russia is not just taking Crimea; it is paying for all the care that Ukraine has given Crimea since the ’50s. It should be a significant and long-term repayment.

    Part Three: Finally, Putin must emphasize that the targeting of civilians was against his orders and that he will help to rebuild some of Ukraine. He can claim that senior generals or other Russian defense officials failed to follow his orders and publicly fire them. (Maybe those fired will be allowed to come to the U.S. and work at a Washington, D.C., think tank). However the provision may be described, it gives Putin the chance to call this insane war off.

    In the end, America has always stood for self-determination and the right to choose one’s government. Whatever claim Putin may try to make on Ukraine, either based on reality or his own fiction, it will never outweigh the people’s right to a free and fair election for a government that represents them.

    As another famous president said about a voting bloc in our country, what do you have to lose? I do think this would be agreeable to Putin if the alternative is brutal sanctions and a reputation as a pariah.

    What I don’t know is whether Ukraine would be agreeable. I do believe that if Ukraine can forgo NATO, it should be given immediate consideration for European Union membership. Obviously, Crimea would be a bigger pill to swallow, but Ukraine isn’t getting it back anyway. Bite the bullet for the good of humanity and the reality that you stand to lose your entire nation or worse if the situation continues. Push for a large payment from Russia and it will likely give it.

    On this latter note, which I’m certain will get the most attention, Russia will lose the money in any case, either to economy-crushing sanctions or in paying back Ukraine. Better the money goes to Ukraine than just disappears due to sanctions. Russia doesn’t lose too much, and Ukraine gains a lot.

    This is a case where a reasonable compromise is better than a war prone to escalation.

    KF

  178. 178
    jerry says:

    Another article by Peter Hitchens on Ukraine

    One glorious day in Sevastopol 12 years ago, I saw what was coming. That’s why I won’t join this carnival of hypocrisy

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-10581335/PETER-HITCHENS-saw-coming-Thats-wont-join-carnival-hypocrisy.html

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems several Russian senior officers have been killed; a sign they are leading from the front. KF

  180. 180
    vividbleau says:

    I think the White House just broke the petrodollar, not good for the US. If so If you think things are bad now on the inflation front you have not seen anything yet.

    Oil currently at 125 a barrel

    Vivid

  181. 181
    Seversky says:

    Even if Western leadership finds the backbone to stand up to Putin, this situation is going to get worse before it gets better. if they don’t take more forceful action to stop him – and I see little prospect of this happening with current leadership in the West – it’s going to get a lot worse.

  182. 182
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/177

    F/N: With all due respect to those who do not wish to hear from the site, Gen Flynn has put up a proposal on the Ukraine

    I would say that Flynn’s case has merit but it depends crucially on the assumption that Putin is being honest about his only real concern being to prevent Ukraine joining NATO because he feels threatened by an Alliance state on his borders.

    If, on the other hand, his real motive is to try and rebuild something like the old Soviet Union, which would mean bringing former Soviet satellite states – meaning not just Ukraine but Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and even Finland – back under Russian hegemony then all bets are off.

    In this case there is only one way to stop him and it would be better done now than later.

  183. 183
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Whatever claim Putin may try to make on Ukraine, either based on reality or his own fiction, it will never outweigh the people’s right to a free and fair election for a government that represents them.

    C’mon man!
    😆 That explains why Lindsey Graham snaped . Hope he will never be elected again.

    Lindsey Graham in Ukraine

  184. 184
    vividbleau says:

    Under Joe Biden:

    -2 US Embassies were evacuated
    -Gas prices are over $4/gallon
    -Inflation is at a 40 year high
    -Russia has invaded Ukraine
    -Afghanistan is controlled by the Taliban
    -Grocery prices are up 20%
    – Billions of state of the art military equipment left in Afghanistan
    -13 Marines killed
    – A drone strike that killed an Afghan family
    – Oil prices doubled
    And we are only a year and half in.

    Vivid

  185. 185
    ram says:

    WJM: There is no evil being perpetrated right before my very eyes. There is some imagery and some talking heads providing a narrative about what that imagery is of and means on some devices I use mostly for entertainment.

    I’m getting reports from fellow ham radio operators, and from a Ukrainian woman that I am associated with, who has family and friends in Ukraine. No media filters involved.

    –Ram

  186. 186
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, the problem is, the parlous state of the militaries that would have to back up any words of challenge. The cupboard is bare. Which, Putin manifestly judged before striking. KF

  187. 187
    kairosfocus says:

    Oil:

    https://www.breitbart.com/economy/2022/03/06/u-s-crude-soars-above-130-a-barrel/

    The price of oil surged on Sunday evening, putting pressure on gasoline prices and inflation.

    West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. benchmark rose as high as $130.50 a barrel before retreating to $123.09. WTI’s highest price since 1983 was $143.67 in 2008. Adjusted for inflation that would be $186.73.

    Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, traded as high as $139.13 on Sunday evening. By 8:45 P.M. EST, Brent was down to $126.30.

    Oil prices have risen on fears of a full embargo against Russian oil, which accounted for about 10 percent of the global supply before the invasion of Ukraine. As well, many in the market are refusing to bid, ship, or unload Russian oil, pushing up demand for other sources. The Russian benchmark, known as Urals, has traded at a steep discount to Brent over the past week.

    The national average price for a gallon of gas has skyrocketed to $4.00 – the highest national average in nearly 14 years.

    Notice how much inflation there has been.

    Recall, Russia is an oil state.

    KF

  188. 188
    William J Murray says:

    Ram @185 said:

    I’m getting reports from fellow ham radio operators, and from a Ukrainian woman that I am associated with, who has family and friends in Ukraine. No media filters involved.

    I’m not sure how that has anything to do with what you quoted in that comment. I wasn’t talking about you.

  189. 189
    anthropic says:

    “Sev, the problem is, the parlous state of the militaries that would have to back up any words of challenge. The cupboard is bare. Which, Putin manifestly judged before striking. KF”

    Putin misjudged the moment. The Ukrainian people will supply the blood & determination if we supply the weapons. Just like Russia & China did for North Vietnam.

  190. 190
    kairosfocus says:

    Anthropic, a very different situation. Scroll up and see from the maps what armoured columns, helicopters, missiles etc are doing in historic tank country, sometimes in the same places from 1941 – 44. Recall, in 1975 the final thrust was armoured in Vietnam and a similar campaign conquered Cambodia too. The Russians are winning operationally, at casualty rates at least an order of magnitude below what happened in the 1940’s. They have crossed the Dnieper, the major Riverine barrier. Kiev and Kharkov are effectively under siege and they have taken power plants more or less at will. Yes, the Ukrainians can extract a cost but historically Russia has not been anywhere nearly as casualty sensitive as the US and the Russian press is a lot less free than the US was in the 1960’s or even recently — Afghanistan — so a home-front defeat by loss of will is unlikely. In my interaction with Russians in recent years, I would conclude that they tend to believe the narrative that Ukraine is a neo-Nazi state manipulated by NATO in a geostrategic plot against the Rodina, and they are very aware that The Great Patriotic War was largely decided in or near to the Ukraine. See Gen Flynn above on what might be a way forward. KF

  191. 191
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    In my interaction with Russians in recent years, I would conclude that they tend to believe the narrative that Ukraine is a neo-Nazi state manipulated by NATO in a geostrategic plot

    Warning: Graphic content
    https://t.co/FKBGgQH01y

    Fake or true?
    https://twitter.com/mission_russian/status/1499704131015036930

  192. 192
    William J Murray says:

    Was the US funding illegal bio-weapon labs in Ukraine near the Russian border? Looks like it might prove out to be more than just a rumor.

    https://twitter.com/ASBMilitary/status/1500499470076854272

  193. 193
    jerry says:

    A 20 minute video of failed Russian logistics.

    Doesn’t mean they will lose in Ukraine but their military is currently extremely hampered by logistics and geography.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4wRdoWpw0w&t=1167s

  194. 194
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, in a war situation, logistics has always been a major headache with plenty going wrong. The story of the Sacred Way in WW1 or the Red Ball Express and the breakdown of support for Patton’s 3rd Army in WW2 will make the point. KF

  195. 195
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Not good.
    Russia: Tehran, Beijing, and Moscow Aligned To Win US Concessions on Nuclear Deal
    https://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-tehran-beijing-and-moscow-aligned-to-win-us-concessions-on-nuclear-deal/

    PS: Who will suffer? Not the elites. They have bunkers.

  196. 196
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I don’t know if cnn aired this interview ,let’s hear what Putin himself have to say about whole context AS HE SEE IT . At least everybody can judge directly if he make sense or not and then compare with legacy media .
    Putin explains the military situation and why Ukraine might lose its future. (push subtitle button)

  197. 197
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, we don’t know what Mr Putin or the apparent reporters think, just what they say and wish to project as narrative. They have forfeited presumption of truthfulness. This campaign is manifestly aggressive war targetting people who on the whole do not wish to be returned to what, historically, is the prison of nations. Others in the near neighbourhood are taking due note. KF

    PS, I am making my own geostrategic judgements, independent in the main from the media, who on the whole lack background.

  198. 198
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D, a snapshot from Russian TV, claiming control of large areas and a major encirclement in the East. Then, there is the enemies list.

  199. 199
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    You Can’t Cuck The Tuck:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PC7DzTRS7A

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, my problem is the history of appeasement and limited wrist slapping in the face of naked aggression has a very bad tendency to slide down a slippery slope heading off a cliff. If the Russians don’t back down now, where does that lead? With the sort of obvious oligarchy, how could Russia back down? I do not like where this points. KF

  201. 201
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I’m 100 % against any type of war (in the open or hidden)
    People who did this to US citizens are the same that did that to Ukrainian citizens. It’s called “science”.
    Question: What would you have done if you were Zelensky?
    Poor comedian has been played by US otherwise wouldn’t have done what he did. He thought he will be helped by NATO after he was fooled by US to poke the bear ? You are not a hero arming convicted felons ,arming granma and Miss Ukraine , lying about the bravery and false death of soldiers from The snakes Island,etc. . He was the cause of millions of people leaving the country because he overplayed his hand . Now he understood that he got played and that he was just a pawn. I bet US didn’t expect this reaction from Putin , I guess Zelensky didn’t expect to be lied and then abandoned . How is this clown a hero if Ukraine is BROKEN ?

  202. 202
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Wow ,Oliver Stone’s documentary about 2014 events have all the informations required to understand today actions:
    US politicians came in Ukraine and took the side of demonstrants and against the government of Ukraine . 😆 min: 44-48

    Ukraine on Fire: The Real Story_Oliver Stone, 2016

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, the Ukraine war and various narratives have been ongoing since 2014. None of such can conceivably justify the profoundly destabilising campaign we see. Putin should realise what he is setting loose and that it will not end well. KF

  204. 204
    William J Murray says:

    Putin isn’t setting anything loose. He’s destroying what was set loose long ago in the Ukraine by the deep state cartel. The Ukraine has been an entirely criminal enterprise run by the Khazarian mafia, disguised as a nation-state, for decades.

    That you don’t know this, KF, makes me wonder about your level of information and/or motives here. The conflict between Russia and who’s running the show in Ukraine goes back 2000 years, KF, not just back to 2014. Do you know how the Bolshevik Revolution is tied to current events, and to why Putin cannot allow the Ukraine to continue on its present course?

  205. 205
    jerry says:

    From an historian of Eastern Europe, an historical input on how valid Putin’s aspirations are.

    Putin sees Ukrainian democracy as a threat, undermines his sense of the Russian mission, Stanford historian says

    To understand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motivations to invade Ukraine, one must look at the long history of how Moscow has perceived the country. Russian historian Norman Naimark explains some of this complicated past

    Moscow’s obsession with Ukraine is not new: Since the 17th century, Ukraine has been an integral part of how Russian rulers have thought about their realm of power

    https://news.stanford.edu/2022/03/02/putin-sees-ukrainiann-democracy-threat-undermines-russias-mission

    I graduated from Stanford and constantly get various articles from them. Usually I discount them because a lot are woke. But Stanford in its day had the best people. Some are still left and this author/historian is one of them.

  206. 206
    jerry says:

    A blog dedicated to what’s happening as if anyone really knows.

    It’s a conservative blog so obviously has a bias.

    https://www.battleswarmblog.com/

  207. 207
    jerry says:

    Miraculous end to the virus!

    Does Putin deserves a Nobel prize for ending Covid-19?

    GummiBear nails it.

    https://twitter.com/gummibear737/status/1500971747423789061

  208. 208
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I checked msn.com news front page this morning – zero stories on Covid-19.
    Washington Post had one little story about vaccines for kids – out of 20 others on their front page.

  209. 209
    kairosfocus says:

    SA & Jerry, from one crisis to the next. That is how we are [mis-]led. KF

  210. 210
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the days of power games on raw geostrategics are over, it should be irrelevant that Ukraine is a key part of Mackinder’s pivot area, which Russia seems determined to dominate regardless of the views of the people there, I just looked at a placard: we choose Europe not Russia, i.e. for all its flaws, the parts of Europe that moved on to democratic government over the recent decades since 1914 hold an attraction for Ukrainians. The breaking of the big European Empires after that war marked the transition to self determination of free peoples. The key ones were Russia, Austria and Germany. The Ottomans were in much longer term decline and apart from the Balkans, belong more to the history of the Middle East and North Africa, where true constitutional democracy has yet to emerge as a dominant force. KF

  211. 211
    William J Murray says:

    Are you a Freemason, KF?

    Is there even a war going on?
    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1500175827161554946.html

  212. 212
    JVL says:

    William J Murray: Is there even a war going on?
    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1500175827161554946.html

    Incredible.

    I think I’ll stick with the reporting of many, many news agencies and people from Ukraine.

  213. 213
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no — and not interested. KF

  214. 214
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D, March 9, Putin in Tanzania in 1973, as a trainer of guerilla leaders during the Soviet geostrategic push in Southern Africa, disguised as aid to liberation movements. Thus, we may freely infer that he is a past master at disguising geostrategic pushes as aid to liberation struggles. This should be a factor in our evaluation of claims being made today. KF

  215. 215
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Russian terms on offer:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-will-stop-in-a-moment-if-ukraine-meets-terms-kremlin/ar-AAUJ7gH

    LONDON (Reuters) -Russia has told Ukraine it is ready to halt military operations “in a moment” if Kyiv meets a list of conditions, the Kremlin spokesman said on Monday.

    Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was demanding that Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.

    It was the most explicit Russian statement so far of the terms it wants to impose on Ukraine to halt what it calls its “special military operation”, now in its 12th day.

    Peskov told Reuters in a telephone interview that Ukraine was aware of the conditions. “And they were told that all this can be stopped in a moment.”

    There was no immediate reaction from the Ukrainian side.

    Russia has attacked Ukraine from the north, east and south, pounding cities including Kyiv, Kharkiv and the port of Mariupol. The invasion launched on Feb. 24, has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two, provoked outrage across the world, and led to heavy sanctions on Moscow.

    But the Kremlin spokesman insisted Russia was not seeking to make any further territorial claims on Ukraine and said it was “not true” that it was demanding Kyiv be handed over.

    “We really are finishing the demilitarisation of Ukraine. We will finish it. But the main thing is that Ukraine ceases its military action. They should stop their military action and then no one will shoot,” he said.

    On the issue of neutrality, Peskov said: “They should make amendments to the constitution according to which Ukraine would reject any aims to enter any bloc.”

    He added: “We have also spoken about how they should recognise that Crimea is Russian territory and that they need to recognise that Donetsk and Lugansk are independent states. And that’s it. It will stop in a moment.”

    NEW TALKS

    The outlining of Russia’s demands came as delegations from Russia and Ukraine prepared to meet on Monday for a third round of talks aimed at ending Russia’s war against Ukraine.

    It began soon after Putin recognised two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces since 2014, as independent – an action denounced as illegal by the West.

    “This is not us seizing Lugansk and Donetsk from Ukraine. Donetsk and Lugansk don’t want to be part of Ukraine. But it doesn’t mean they should be destroyed as a result,” Peskov said.

    “For the rest. Ukraine is an independent state that will live as it wants, but under conditions of neutrality.”

    He said all the demands have been formulated and handed over during the first two rounds of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations, which took place last week.

    “We hope that all this will go OK and they will react in a suitable way,” Peskov said.

    Russia had been forced into taking decisive actions to force the demilitarisation of Ukraine, he said, rather than just recognising the independence of the breakaway regions.

    This was in order to protect the 3 million Russian-speaking population in these republics, who he said were being threatened by 100,000 Ukrainian troops.

    “We couldn’t just recognise them. What were we going to do with the 100,000 army that was standing at the border of Donetsk and Lugansk that could attack at any moment. They were being brought U.S. and British weapons all the time,” he said.

    In the run-up to the Russian invasion, Ukraine repeatedly and emphatically denied Moscow’s assertions that it was about to mount an offensive to take back the separatist regions by force.

    Peskov said the situation in Ukraine had posed a much greater threat to Russia’s security than it had in 2014, when Russia had also amassed 150,000 troops at its border with Ukraine, prompting fears of a Russian invasion, but had limited its action to the annexation of Crimea.

    “Since then the situation has worsened for us. In 2014, they began supplying weapons to Ukraine and preparing the army for NATO, bringing it in line with NATO standards,” he said.

    “In the end what tipped the balance was the lives of these 3 million people in Donbass. We understood they would be attacked.”

    Peskov said Russia had also had to act in the face of the threat it perceived from NATO, saying it was “only a matter of time” before the alliance placed missiles in Ukraine as it had in Poland and Romania.

    “We just understood we could not put up with this any more. We had to act,” he said.

    Evaluate in light of what has happened.

    KF

  216. 216
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D, shortly to go up, Wiki’s March 6 map. Notice the thrusts that go far beyond claims on the table as just seen. KF

  217. 217
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: Putin in Tanzania in 1973, as a trainer of guerilla leaders during the Soviet geostrategic push in Southern Africa, disguised as aid to liberation movements.

    When he was 21 years old and a student?

    Putin studied law at the Leningrad State University named after Andrei Zhdanov (now Saint Petersburg State University) in 1970 and graduated in 1975

    I agree that Putin is hideous but posting spurious speculation doesn’t help.

  218. 218
  219. 219
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Just war theory and the Russo-Ukrainian war
    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.co.....n-war.html

    Long responses in the comment section from a Russian citizen with a passionate cry for Americans to have a greater understanding of the Russian side of things.

  220. 220
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, the problem here is, that would have been precisely the period for military service and what I have seen elsewhere puts his student days meeting with his wife significantly later. Secondly, this is a Zimbabwean paper, associating Putin with their current President in his guerilla training days, and they put Machel in the same context. I would expect cover stories and inconsistencies in the narratives about an intelligence officer. The timing is also right for the war against Portugal. So, for the moment I believe the Zimbabwean journalists and editors [who I know through personal contact would be very sensitive to get stories about their president “right”], and at the least it puts Russians in Africa where just as in Vietnam, they didn’t ought to be. This story was drawn to my attention by people circulating a promotion of Putin as an enabler of liberation as they imagine it and I was able to find the report. KF

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, Feser:

    When I was a teenager in the 1980s, it was still routine to fling against conservatives the longstanding accusations that they were prone to demonize Russia, were paranoid about Russian influence within American institutions, were eager to get into armed conflict with the “Russkies,” were frighteningly glib about the survivability of limited nuclear war, and were inclined to resort to McCarthyite tactics and charges of treason against anyone who objected to all of this. These accusations were made despite the fact that Russia had recently invaded Afghanistan – not to mention the earlier invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, or all the proxy wars Russia was engaged in throughout the Cold War. None of this, in liberal eyes, justified right-wing anti-Russian bellicosity or paranoia.

    Yet now it is liberals who are most prone to exhibit exactly these traits they once attributed to conservatives. What accounts for this bizarre reversal? I would submit that it has to do, in part, with Putin’s predilection for traditionalist Christian and anti-LGBT rhetoric (as Richard Hanania has pointed out), and in part with persistent left-wing attachment to fantasies about Russian interference with American elections. These factors had already transformed Putin into a bogeyman in the liberal imagination, so that his immoral invasion of Ukraine has made it seem justifiable to some to risk even nuclear war in order to destroy him.

    And it is, I would suggest, overreaction to these liberal excesses that has led some on the opposite extreme end of the political spectrum to refuse to face up to the full gravity of the evil that Putin has done. They have been tempted by the thought that if liberals hate Putin with such intensity, he can’t be that bad, and that opposition to his invasion must therefore have something essentially to do with the Great Reset, the woke agenda, the Covid healthcare dictatorship, etc. etc.

    This is all bonkers. The key facts to keep firmly before one’s mind are (a) that Putin’s invasion is unjustifiable, has caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent people so far and will almost certainly result in thousands more, and maybe worse, and (b) that NATO military engagement with Russia would entail a serious risk of nuclear war and therefore cannot be justified. Longstanding political obsessions cannot alter these facts, but only blind us to them.

    Y’see, Putin and Russia are now deemed on the “right” wing. You will know this is routinely demonised and inaptly associated with Nazism [which is National Socialism]. As you know, I have advocated a more historically anchored spectrum that goes beyond extensions of who sat on the Speaker’s favoured right hand, monarchists. On my spectrum, Putin is a lawless oligarch and can be addressed as such. To open [back?] up the space for constitutional, democratic freedom pivoting on the civil peace of justice, due balance of rights, freedoms and duties, we need to restore cultural buttresses, starting with literacy, a vigorous press and non censored public discussion. As well, the approach that recognises natural, built in law pivoting on first duties of reason.

    That law leads to the just war debate, and Feser is probably right that little can be justified on either side in Ukraine. I clip earlier:

    The injustice of the invasion is obvious even given the most generous interpretation of Putin’s motives. Hence, suppose we conceded for the sake of argument that Russia has a legitimate interest in keeping Ukraine out of NATO. Suppose that, as some have argued, the United States and her allies have long been needlessly poking the bear, and that Russia would have been far less likely to invade Ukraine had they not done so. Even given those premises, it simply doesn’t follow that Ukraine is an “aggressor,” that Russia has suffered any “lasting, grave, and certain” damage from Ukraine, or that “all other means” of remedying Russia’s concerns “have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.” Nor is the extreme harm inflicted on innocent Ukrainians by war proportionate to whatever grievances Russia has. Hence Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cannot be said to meet the first, second, and fourth criteria for a just war, and therefore is manifestly gravely unjust.

    For that reason, military action to repel Russia’s invasion clearly is legitimate, and justice requires favoring the Ukrainian side in the war. In the abstract, support for Ukraine could include military action against Russia by any nation friendly to Ukraine. However, the justice of the cause of defending Ukraine fulfills only the first of the four criteria set out by the Catechism. What about the other three?

    Putin has not-so-subtly threatened to use nuclear weapons if the United States or other NATO countries intervene militarily in the conflict. The realistic prospect of such extreme escalation makes it impossible for such intervention to meet the Catechism’s fourth criterion, which emphasizes that “the power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.” The use of nuclear weapons against Ukraine, to which Russia might resort if NATO intervenes, would surely “produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.” Graver still would be a situation where Ukraine, other nearby NATO states, and Russia (as a result of NATO nuclear retaliation) were all attacked with nuclear weapons. And worst of all would be a scenario where what started out as a local war in Ukraine spiraled into an all-out global nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States . . . .

    Just war doctrine’s counsel to the United States and her NATO allies thus seems clear: Cheer Ukraine on and provide whatever assistance is possible consistent with avoiding the risk of a nuclear escalation. Otherwise, stay the hell out of it. Damon Linker seems to me to have the right idea: Putin’s actions must be unequivocally condemned and Ukraine supported, but Western policy should emphasize diplomacy, and work to create for Putin some feasible “off-ramp” from the path he has taken – rather than ratcheting up the rhetoric and entertaining reckless military scenarios and that can only make a nuclear confrontation more likely.

    I guess that leads, hopefully to enough of a stalemate that Putin can be persuaded towards a settlement similar to Finland 1939/40. But it cannot be doubted that we are seeing destabilisation of the international order and a return to geostrategic confrontation, because just as in the post Vietnam 70’s, the West and especially the US, weakened itself. The dirty politics leading to 4th gen low kinetic, agit prop and lawfare heavy civil war in the US has potentially deadly global consequences.

    KF

  222. 222
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, I do see Pavel’s pleas in the comments but there is key missing context. First, Russian history of geostrategically driven expansionism and murderous oppression constituting the prison of nations under the Tsars and then the various arrangements under the Bolshevik usurpers, combined with especially the deliberate mass starvation of Ukrainians in the 1930’s. On that context, we see how once the Warsaw Pact disintegrated and USSR imploded, many states fled, including several former republics in the USSR. That speaks to the will of the peoples, compounded by various balkan like mixes of potentially mutually hostile ethnicities. Which, over the past 100+ years, has been used by expansionists in early phases. We must remember that Finland and Poland are as much former provinces as is the Ukraine. So, now, where are we if this aggression that goes far beyond DonBass and Crimea proceeds unchecked? Putin has needlessly precipitated geostrategic instability and we may not be able to prevent the sort of dominoes cascade that happened in the 30’s. That has me quite concerned. Can we get back to the democratic compromise where the majority rules but the minority down to one will be heard and protected through defence of the civil peace of justice?

  223. 223
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus
    On my spectrum, Putin is a lawless oligarch and can be addressed as such.

    There are 2 kind of oligarchies one hidden type that everybody knows about but is foggy (US:deep state) and one type with a dictator( focus on one person: Putin). Both are the same . KF you try to justify that deep state is in the right and a single dictator is bad? This fight is between 2 types of criminality : a clan that have a hidden dictator(s) (deep state)fight another clan that have a known dictator(Putin).

    As we saw deep state don’t care about own citizens(democrat policies,immigration,children sexualization,abortion, medical tyranny-covid) what make you think that deep state love Ukrainians ?

  224. 224
  225. 225
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    the prison of nations under the Tsars and then the various arrangements under the Bolshevik usurpers, combined with especially the deliberate mass starvation of Ukrainians in the 1930’s

    Good points. Pavel was not going back far enough in Russian history as he looked at mostly recent grievances against Ukraine.

  226. 226
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, actually an autocracy is only possible for a brief time, e.g. Moses as he set up the Israelite commonwealth. Oligarchy succeeds in the normal course and the debate becomes what the prophets so eloquently raised: lawful/lawless. It is only the breakthrough — and yes in Christendom — of print so mass literacy, vernacular editions of scripture, bills, tracts, emerging newspapers, coffee/chocolate/tea houses etc opened up public opinion and democratising forces in aftermath of the Protestant Reformation and the ferment it unleashed, itself part of the process. As for Tsar Putin I (he has up to four daughters . . . but so did some of the better Caesars) he is part of an oligarchy, the US situation, you will recall I raised serious objections about across 2020 when the ongoing 4th gen low kinetic, agit prop, street theatre and lawfare dominant civil war since c 2017 tainted the election process. KF

  227. 227
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, obviously, a way to evade regulations in the US, similar to the puppygate labs in North Africa and the Wuhan lab in China. KF

  228. 228
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Zelensky really did this? Closed 3 Tv stations that criticized him, arrested opposition leader then destroyed that opposition party by jailing all leaders.
    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/505uQahvKvg

  229. 229
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, bad on him if he did so, but that does not change the balance on the wrong of a massive invasion. The leader of Finland in 1939 was no democrat. KF

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It seems there is an atrocity narrative being projected to taint Ukraine. As usual, there is strategically missing context, it seems:

    https://www.wnd.com/2022/03/state-department-official-acknowledges-ukraine-bio-labs/

    The United States continues to dismiss as “Russian propaganda” the claim that Ukraine is developing biological weapons.

    However, the U.S. State Department’s top Ukraine official made a startling admission to a Senate committee in response to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s question, “Does Ukraine have chemical or biological weapons?”

    Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland did not deny or confirm that Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons. She apparently surprised the senator and the panel by acknowledging the European nation does have “biological research facilities” that are a source of concern amid the Russian invasion.

    “Ukraine,” Nuland began, speaking slowly and deliberately, “has biological research facilities which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of,” said in response to a question from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

    Nuland said “we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.”

    The State Department later described the labs as Soviet-era facilities that the U.S. has helped Ukraine convert to research of infectious diseases. [–> see the strategic omission in the headlines?]

    Meanwhile, the National Pulse reported Wednesday that it recovered a deleted web article showing Barack Obama helped secure an agreement when he was a U.S. senator that led to the construction of biolabs in Ukraine handling “especially dangerous pathogens.” A level-3 bio-safety lab opened in the Ukrainian city of Odessa in 2010. [–> Ukraine is a 40+ million population country with heritage from the USSR’s top class education system, so would have capability here]

    A report one year later by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Anticipating Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-Containment Biological Laboratories said the Odessa laboratory “is responsible for the identification of especially dangerous biological pathogens.” [–> so there was public record, note apparently not controversial at the time]

    “This laboratory was reconstructed and technically updated up to the BSL-3 level through a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Defense and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine that started in 2005. The collaboration focuses on preventing the spread of technologies, pathogens, and knowledge that can be used in the development of biological weapons,” the report said.

    Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday repeated Moscow’s claim that the United States is operating “biowarfare labs” in Ukraine.

    Zakharova said Russia had evidence the Ukrainian health ministry ordered the destruction of samples of plague, cholera, anthrax and other pathogens before the Russian invasion began Feb. 24. She described it as “an emergency attempt to erase evidence of military biological programs” financed by the Pentagon.

    Pentagon spokesman John Kirby reacted, calling the claim “laughable” and suggesting Moscow itself may be preparing to use a biological or chemical weapon. [–> regrettably, turnabout accusations are used to cloud otherwise indefensible moves by ruthless powers]

    So, some balance is needed.

    KF

    PS, I see this requires some withdrawal of an earlier inference as to what is “obvious,” though sadly we cannot rule out such concerns.

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The Mar 9 Wiki map seems but little different from the March 6 one. KF

  232. 232
    William J Murray says:

    It appears that KF will accept the information coming from the deep state when it supports his particular worldview, and dismiss it when it does not. The US funded and participated in the creation of bio-weapons in Wuhan under the same auspices of anticipating potential future problems, and whips up mass hysteria about COVID-19 with what is now known to be pure propaganda, denying at first it ever had anything to do with it.

    KF’s apparent personal opinion of Putin, and his concept of Putin’s motivations, was/is ALSO apparently generated by the deep state-produced propaganda teams and their mainstream media cohorts over the years. We find MORE bio-labs funded by US in a completely corrupt country entirely run by the Khazarian mafia, and KF thinks it could all be totally innocent because the deep state says so.

    Oh, this is rich. The deep state and the world-wide cartel of elites have been trying to get us to hate Putin and Russia for many years now. Why? Remember the whole “Putin manipulated the election to get his puppet, Trump, installed” thing? Totally false narrative produced by the deep state.

    Talk about cognitive dissonance. KF is now parroting the Rothschilds, the Deep State, Lady Gaga, George Soros, and all the corrupt elites chanting, “there is no excuse for this! Putin is evil! Putin must go!”

  233. 233
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, perhaps, it is relevant that there was at the time a major investment from esp the US, to redirect WMD facilities and staff in the former USSR to more peaceful occupation, which lends basic plausibility. That such repurposed facilities exist is therefore unsurprising. As noted, I have concern that they can be or may have been used to offshore dangerous research, though not as serious as at Wuhan, a level 4 facility. Even with the deep American state, I will not presume malfeasance just on say so by Putin et al, especially when there is context over the past 25+ years that was in the news repeatedly. This is actually similar to my stance in response to Hitler’s 1939 reply to Roosevelt, in which he blamed the US, Britain and France for their evils, which were many. For all their wrongs, they were very much the lesser of evils and the locus for positive onward transformation. This was sadly manifest to all in 1945, but notice, many colonial people and blacks in the US fought with the allies for good reason. Ponder here the role of the Indian Army and its volunteer status. KF

    PS, I have paid zero attention to Gaga et al or many media voices [what are their geostrategy and history qualifications]. I note that picking on Rothschilds is perilously close to antisemitism. Putin has earned a reputation as a geostrategic vulture and wild card, note in OP my 2016 evaluation. You tell me whether I was wrong then to highlight Russia as a source of instability and danger as opposed to reformation?

  234. 234
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    I note that picking on Rothschilds is perilously close to antisemitism.

    Only in the mind of a racist.

    Smearing me with the taint of anti-semitism? Using the very tactics of those you profess to warn others against? I used to think you were one of the good guys, KF. Now I see that you are not.

  235. 235
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Looks like Ukraine is posing key concessions:

    https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220308-in-nod-to-russia-ukraine-says-no-longer-insisting-on-nato-membership?ref=tw

    Washington (AFP) – President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is no longer pressing for NATO membership for Ukraine, a delicate issue that was one of Russia’s stated reasons for invading its pro-Western neighbor.

    In another apparent nod aimed at placating Moscow, Zelensky said he is open to “compromise” on the status of two breakaway pro-Russian territories that President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent just before unleashing the invasion on February 24.

    “I have cooled down regarding this question a long time ago after we understood that … NATO is not prepared to accept Ukraine,” Zelensky said in an interview aired Monday night on ABC News.

    “The alliance is afraid of controversial things, and confrontation with Russia,” the president added.

    Referring to NATO membership, Zelensky said through an interpreter that he does not want to be president of a “country which is begging something on its knees.”

    Developing, it seems.

    Is this going to be a Finland, South situation? You fought hard, that leads to limited Russian demands, 1940 and 44.

    For sure if Putin escalates further, that is going to be a very bad sign indeed.

    KF

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, you led the list with that. As objectors are liable to pounce, I as thread owner need to make it crystal clear that this is a bright red line. If you look you will see that the backdrop of much European antisemitism targetted that family and its branches, I guess the single most prominent Jewish family of recent generations. It is therefore fair comment for me to note that. Had you said Biden or the like, different matter. And you betcha I am very sensitive to anti-Jewish hostility and what invites, even if inadvertently and I am willing to accept that you intended it as talking to elites and influencers not ethnicity. But, you misplayed inviting the penumbra to attack. KF

  237. 237
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    It is therefore fair comment for me to note that.

    The Rothschilds are as evil as it gets, and it has nothing to do with whether or not they are Jewish. If you don’t know this, you’re hopelessly ignorant of what is actually going on in the world, and are just as bad as those who know what evil they are committing.

    The Clintons are as evil as it gets. Barack Obama is as evil as they come. So is Maduro. I guess I’m all kinds of racist, eh?

    You’re the one whose mind instantly went to racism, and then attempted to smear me with that taint, THEN you tried to justify it using the very tactic you deplore in others.

    A good person would just have apologized. You’re not a good person if you’re going to defend or provide cover for what that family has been doing for hundreds of years by waving the flag of “anti-semitism” to protect them.

  238. 238
    William J Murray says:

    How a journalist gets expelled from the European Parliament when asking the Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health questions about the Pentagon bio laboratories around Russia, China and Iran – back in 2018.

    Then gets smeared as “fake news.”

    http://twtr.domain.glass/dgayt.....85953536#m

  239. 239
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Numerous politicians purchased oil and war stocks before the invasion of Ukraine.
    https://twitter.com/unusual_whales/status/1502043371929432065

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD, the build up has been public knowledge for months and effects on energy markets would be clear. The current US regime predicted for a week before it happened. Speculating on oil futures would not be insider trading and likely a lot of money was doing much the same. KF

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I would suggest there is a problem with elites, officialdom, the universities, the media, the financial system, courts, policing, government etc and that implies a good slice of the investor class, not any one family and particularly one with the history of being pounced on as poster child for race hate. KF

  242. 242
    jerry says:

    From a very prominent lefty who thinks Biden is great and believes Ukraine could win the war.

    https://www.americanpurpose.com/articles/preparing-for-defeat/

    Should investors start selling short oil and gas futures? Is there such a thing?

  243. 243
    Scamp says:

    KF@24, agreed. But if the US is getting low on oil, Canada has plenty to provide. Too bad the US stopped the installation of the pipeline needed to get it there.

  244. 244
    jerry says:

    An interesting history of Ukraine. It has always been between two powers and thus divided up by those on both sides depending on who was in ascendancy .

    Since World War II, the violent changing of European borders has been considered taboo, given the cascade of turmoil that could follow. For that reason, 2014 was, in a sense, a pivotal year, as Eastern Europe again saw borders altered by violence and the threat of force, as part of Ukraine (Crimea) was annexed by Russia. In light of continuing conflict, we look back at that disruptive event, and the continuing ramifications brought up by it.

    https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/a-look-back-at-the-history-of-ukraine-russia-conflict-as-tensions-continue-to-rise/

  245. 245
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry,

    the problem is the great plain, compounded by settlements by diverse and often mutually hostile peoples, further compounded by the history that lawless oligarchy is the natural form of government. The American and Australian plains came under unified rule from the beginning. Within Britain, a similar contest played out on a lesser scale until the English prevailed, at first under a Scottish king, James VI, known to us as James I.

    On the European plain, who rules what span has been contested since the first great European Empire, Rome. Augustus lost three legions trying to go beyond the Rhine and this was long term fatal.

    There are no natural coastal or mountain or desert barriers that determine who dominate the plain, but the dominant powers coming into the early modern era were the Spanish, French, Austrian, Polish-Lithuanian [who held much of Ukraine], Russian and Ottoman. The Spanish were defeated, the Poles too. The Swedish intervention ultimately failed. The British played balance of power and had a 600 year geostrategic contest with the French, only resolved in 1905. Poles, Ukrainians and others typically have been under split and subjugation. Prussia emerged and in 1871 unified the northern Germans, with the geostrategic problem of no natural borders to E or W. Post 1914 – 18, the Russian, Austrian, Ottoman and German monarchical empires collapsed.

    This, at just the point where as Mackinder drew out, the E Europe pivot area of the Eurasian landmass, through rail, telegraph and telephone, provided a potential world dominating continental power base, that would counter weight the maritime global power that emerged from the era of discovery starting with Columbus and da Gama, Magellan et al.

    C20 can be seen as the period of two German grabs and one Russian counter grab that did dominate the heartland for 40+ years but due to a fatally flawed economic system could not develop it. Putin seems to be trying for a second Russian grab.

    The Ukrainians and Poles are in the way.

    KF

    PS, it strikes me that Daniel’s prophetic exposition of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in Ch 2 of his book, sees this in advance. The iron-clay fractured extension of the obvious Roman Empire, Western Civilisation, aptly describes the past 500+ to 1500+ years.

  246. 246
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray/238

    How a journalist gets expelled from the European Parliament when asking the Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health questions about the Pentagon bio laboratories around Russia, China and Iran – back in 2018.

    Then gets smeared as “fake news.”

    Interesting. And just what are we supposed to make of this?

    If the allegation is that the Pentagon has built “bio laboratories” – which I assume is shorthand for bioweapons laboratories – then the product of such research is going to be both of value to the US and, in the wrong hands, a serious threat. That being the case, why on Earth would they site them in – or even near to – what are at the very least adversary states?

    As for fake news smears, you can read this about journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva.

    Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian journalist who released an investigative material titled “The Pentagon Bio-Weapons” on an English-language portal South Front on January 16, 2018. The portal is administered from Russia and it is registered on Russian domain, which frequently publishes conspiracy theories about military issues and intelligence. The same material in Russian was published by a web portal ????????? ????? (News Front), which recognizes the independence of Donbass and notes that the purpose of the edition is to defend the interests of Russian civilization.

    […]

    Before August 2017, Gaytandzhieva worked for a Bulgarian newspaper ????, where she released an article on July 4, 2017 about the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry allegedly corresponding with the Azerbaijani Embassy to Bulgaria on supplying weapons to terrorists in Syria through diplomatic flights. She also claimed that the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and other countries were also involved in the process.

    The article by Gaytandzhieva was reposted by Bulgarian print media, 80% of which is controlled by pro-Russian oligarch and member of the Bulgarian Parliament, Delyan Peevski. According to the Bulgarian media outlets, the companies affiliated with Delyan Peevski were involved in the construction of the South Stream, a pipeline projectto transport natural gas of the Russian Federation to Europe via Bulgaria, which actually represented an alternative to a Western-backed proposal for a pipeline, called Nabucco. Nabucco would have reduced Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

    Before working for ???? newspaper, Gaytandzhieva worked for the fourth most-watched Bulgarian television channel TV7, which was controlled by Tsvetan Vassilev, the main shareholder in Corporate Commercial Bank. In 2013, 9.9% of Corpbank shares were purchased by Russia’s largest bank VTB. In 2016, Bulgaria filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit against Tsvetan Vassilev, accusing him of using bank funds to acquire property and other assets that led to a subsequent liquidity crisis at the bank. In 2015, TV7 was taken over by Louvrier Investment Company, managedby Pierre Louvrier. The latter has links to Russian oligarch, Konstantin Malofeev who has been sanctioned by the European Union for his “financial support to separatists” in Eastern Ukraine. Simultaneously, Malofeev owns a conservative TV channel in Russia, ???????? ?? with Aleksandr Dugin being its editor-in-chief in 2015-2016.

  247. 247
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Shocking footage of Russian killing innocent Ukrainians:
    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1502786934564921345

  248. 248
    jerry says:

    Apparently Putin wrote a long article last year justifying why Ukraine is actually historically part of Russia. And part of it was religious, Russian Orthodox vs Roman Catholic.

    It’s a history. Others will have to determine how accurate it is.

    The final outcome was sealed by the Treaty of Perpetual Peace in 1686. The Russian state incorporated the city of Kiev and the lands on the left bank of the Dnieper River, including Poltava region, Chernigov region, and Zaporozhye. Their inhabitants were reunited with the main part of the Russian Orthodox people. These territories were referred to as ”Malorossia“ (Little Russia).

    The name ”Ukraine“ was used more often in the meaning of the Old Russian word ”okraina“ (periphery), which is found in written sources from the 12th century, referring to various border territories. And the word ”Ukrainian“, judging by archival documents, originally referred to frontier guards who protected the external borders

    https://russiaeu.ru/en/news/article-russian-president-vladimir-putin-historical-unity-russians-and-ukrainians

    Could something similar be said about Spain and Portugal? Someone told me once, they can read each other’s newspapers but couldn’t understand each other’s dialects.

    Then in Spain, there are four separate languages spoken.

  249. 249
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the history is complex, especially as the origin of the Rus-sian state is with Swedish vikings who went east. Rus was founded in Kiev and the conversion of Vladimir was pivotal to the Orthodoxy-State alliance. Muscovy was a Dukedom. In the 1600’s there was a Polish-Lithuanian confederacy that held much of today’s Ukraine, and an uprising of the emergent Cossaks led to alliance with Muscovy. But post 1918, all of that is moot. The ruinous clash of dynastic claims led to disintegration of the Russian, German, Austrian and Ottoman empires and establishment of popular nationalism. It is clear the Ukrainians hold a different identity, in key part have a different mother tongue, and do not wish to be under Moscow. There is no excuse for Putin and dredging around in the murky past does not change where we are or the consequences of playing geostrategic vulture. KF

  250. 250
    kairosfocus says:

    A discussion on the Russian military in Ukraine https://www.bitchute.com/video/u5YevpOS7t4/

  251. 251
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Denazification of Ukraine is necessary.
    https://twitter.com/Youblacksoul/status/1504596675746271233

  252. 252
    Bob O'H says:

    Apparently Putin wrote a long article last year justifying why Ukraine is actually historically part of Russia. And part of it was religious, Russian Orthodox vs Roman Catholic.

    It’s a history. Others will have to determine how accurate it is.

    The problem with going back into history like that is that a lot happened. So if Putin really wants to argue that there should be historical boundaries, he should hand St. Petersburg back to the Swedes.

    The up side of that is that Her Majesty can claim rather a lot of back tax from you USians. Plus compensation for what you did to the tea.

  253. 253
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D Mar 15 – 20: Map Mar 15 shows consolidation, the pressure on Ukraine grows. KF

  254. 254
    jerry says:

    Here is an interesting article about possible future conflict in Europe.

    Vladimir Putin’s Ever-Darkening Room

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2022/03/vladimir-putins-ever-darkening-room/

  255. 255
    jerry says:

    Who is actually winning in Ukraine? Hard to get accurate information.

    Bill Roggio, one of the most knowledgeable persons in the world on military operations offers his opinion. For years Roggio would appear on the John Batchelor show to provide the latest information on terrorism. He still does so but now has added Ukraine with interview with Freddie Sayers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmXKNzIYHtk&t=21s

    Peace?

    https://audioboom.com/posts/8052046-ukraine-rumors-of-peace-in-ankara-aykan-erdemir-aykanerdemir-aykan_erdemir-fdd-adl

    Aside: John Batchelor and Freddy Sayers are two excellent places to keep up with the world.

    One aspect that hasn’t got much attention is that a lot of this conflict centers around Russia wanting to control the Back Sea. Odessa is as much a target as Kyiv.

  256. 256
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, scroll up to the latest map. It is Raspituta right now, mud time but the Russians have taken and consolidated a dominating half ring E of Dnieper, they can pinch that off, and they may be able to take the rest of the coast. Kiev is under siege, but that can be sustained. The Russians are in position to drive a bargain, though it has cost more than I think they expected. But that’s war. Not nice, but war is like that. KF

  257. 257
    jerry says:

    Latest map?

    Do even the Russians or Ukrainians know?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/1506736584305090570

  258. 258
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, the current Wiki map is similar but more continuous. Nowadays, with the degree of communication technology available, they do know pretty much where control is, but that will be highly classified, the openly available maps will be less exact. And as it is one of the mud times that from my teen days of playing war games were first hammered home into memory, there is an operational pause due to the mud. Notice, a pinch-off of E of Dnieper is a logical next move, and they already have converging pincers on the Capital. I think that is meant to be implicit the real thing is probably to get a Finland South. KF

  259. 259
    kairosfocus says:

    I bet both sides are using ArcGIS or the like to manage the geospatial dimension of the fighting.

  260. 260
    kairosfocus says:

    BREAKING/SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-prepared-discuss-neutrality-status-zelenskiy-tells-russian-journalists-2022-03-27/

    >>Ukraine is prepared to discuss adopting a neutral status as part of a peace deal with Russia but such a pact would have to be guaranteed by third parties and put to a referendum, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in remarks aired on Sunday.

    Zelenskiy was speaking to Russian journalists in a 90 minute video call, an interview that Moscow authorities had pre-emptively warned Russian media to refrain from reporting. Zelenskiy spoke in Russian throughout, as he has done in previous speeches when targeting a Russian audience.

    Zelenskiy said Russia’s invasion had caused the destruction of Russian-speaking cities in Ukraine, with damage worse than the Russian wars in Chechnya.

    “Security guarantees and neutrality, non-nuclear status of our state. We are ready to go for it. This is the most important point,” Zelenskiy said.

    Zelenskiy said Ukraine refused to discuss certain other Russian demands, such as the demilitarisation of the country.

    Speaking more than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Zelenskiy said no peace deal would be possible without a ceasefire and troop withdrawals.

    He ruled out trying to recapture all Russian-held territory by force, saying it would lead to a third world war, and said he wanted to reach a “compromise” over the eastern Donbas region, held by Russian-backed forces since 2014.>>

    KF

  261. 261
    jerry says:

    A very recent update on a topic that once was paramount and now is “what are you talking about.”

    The interesting thing is our need to move on from existential things to trivial things such as I gotcha you on this. Is it because some existential things bore us? Is there something in this that is relevant to information and just what is information? For example, is information different from knowledge? And is either material or not?

    Are there endless discussions going on around quantum mechanics and it’s implications mainly because no one really understands it? I have seen several discussions and most come down to it is real but we really don’t know how it is real. Does this point to a difference between information and knowledge?

    At the moment few understand what’s going on in the Ukraine. But we have lots of facts/information. But it has nothing to do with our understanding/lack of understanding of existence. So, now it’s “Huh?” while a short time ago we couldn’t wait till we posted the next comment on it.

    The latest?

    https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-june-30

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