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US Ups Tension with Russia

by Oui Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 06:38:20 AM EST

Update below with preliminary reaction from FM Lavrov … ultimate decision to President Putin after evaluation by his National Security team. ⤵️

A first thought as very little is known how the US answered the security questions of Russia put forward in mid-December.

  • Refuses to engage with points of national security concerns of Russia
  • Defers the military engagement to the NATO Command in Brussels
  • Puts the US fleet in the Mediterranean under NATO Command
  • In words offers a diplomatic way forward -- JCPOA Model perhaps a next President can refute
  • Increases lethal weapons delivery to non NATO member
  • Will impose sanctions on Germany to cut off Gazprom delivery of gas
  • Will engage to have US LNG delivery to Europe in the future

Offers Russia no off ramp as Washington gives military action a chance

No good options open to the Kremlin. The White House has handed Moscow building blocks for a new "Berlin Wall", further isolation, harsher sanctions and putting Russia in the corner of a pariah state. This would not have happened under a Trump presidency as the Ukraine was not a priority.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Without asking Europe, it is a clear message to the EU in Brussels: you have no choice but to be on our side. The bullying continues. The war rhetoric is back and will intensify in the coming days.

America and NATO allies will increase delivery lethal arms to the Ukraine ...

Unbelievable, what a farce ...

Military partnership US with the United Kingdom will intensify.

Ukraine and NATO Membership

Gave a summary of our actions to the political elites of the EU in Brussels ...

The EU is useless for America, there is no Minister of War that can handle matters of some urgency ...

My analysis, beyond a dangerous power play by a hurting US President, Ukraine has become personal between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.

The Russian intervention in Syria from September2015 forward has blocked the advance of jihadists supported by the US and Arab states. This was quite painful for VP Joe Biden handling strategic foreign affairs under President Obama. There was clear division inside the White House, Joe at his old age has just put his foot down. He has few options with a very aggressive US Congress on his back. Bonus points for Biden in America, a painful new era for continental Europe with a full blown crisis between nation who build on the Four Freedoms, an economic world power being hampered by the Bucharest Nine still seeking revanche for historic wrongs.

Rendition, torture, black prisons, illegal war in Iraq, a 5th column for a fascist America. Western nations managed to avoid extensive wars on European soil during 45 years until the Soviet Union imploded in 1989-90. The Afghan war has given NATO a new concept of being a tool of US bitterness and aggression.

Extended lease contract for NATO HQ on Belgian soil

The Kremlin should give me a call on Ukraine, Blinken said …

Views from Russia on NATO encroachment to eastern frontier

Alliance rejects key Moscow demand to stop expansion into former Soviet territory | RT |

NATO has said it “will not compromise” on potential expansion into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, as this clashes with the “core principles” of the alliance, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday.

Putting blame one-sided on Russian aggression

Stoltenberg, who was half an hour late to the scheduled online press event, outlined three basic topics that the NATO response touched on. One was re-establishing diplomatic ties between NATO and Russia, which he blamed Moscow for severing.

The other was NATO’s readiness to “engage in dialogue” and “listen to Russian concerns,” while respecting the right of each country to choose its own security arrangements.

Russia should refrain from “aggression” aimed at NATO allies and withdraw from “Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova,” where it is not wanted, Stoltenberg said. 

The third area of possible cooperation listed by Stoltenberg involves “risk reduction” and transparency agreements on exercises, as well as arms control proposals that he argued have been so effective previously.

Since 2001, the US has unilaterally exited the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty, the Open Skies treaty, and the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, claiming without evidence that Russia was in violation of them.

"The West should respect the red lines of Russia" | Opinion - De Hoop Scheffer in Jan. 2018 |


China urges Washington to take security concerns of Russia seriously

Foreign Minister Lavrov gives a first reaction

The United States deliberately aims to avoid discussing the need to follow the principle of indivisibility of security, and Russia is not ready to accept this, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today.

In Russia Telegram posts hint at a speech before Duma by Vladimir Putin which could be a reminder of Stalin’s fiery Scorched earth policy speech in 1941 as Nazi Germany was advancing on Leningrad .. END OF UPDATE

Moscow chief rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt: Europe is 'forgetting the past' | DW News - May 2019 |

Related reading …

The World According to Dutch FM Halbe Zijlstra


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:15:59 AM EST
What a bullsh**ter ... who are you kidding in your smart fatigue dress.

1985 Spy Row: Tit-for-tat expulsions were only halted after British ambassador pleaded with ministers

The last mass expulsion of alleged Russian spies from London took place in September 1985, at the height of the cold war, when the British government ordered 25 Soviet diplomats to leave.

It triggered a wave of tit-for-tat expulsions that were halted only after the British ambassador in Moscow, irate at facing the effective closure of his embassy, pleaded with ministers to quit while they were ahead. "Never engage in a pissing match with a skunk, he possesses important natural advantages," Sir Bryan Cartledge advised in a telegram to London.

Margaret Thatcher had ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats after the defection of Oleg Gordievsky, a former head of KGB operations in London, who had named KGB personnel operating in the Soviet embassy in London.

War of unreality: Why Russia is threatening to escalate the Ukraine conflict | ECFR - April 2021 |

Further reference ...

Russia's `New' Tools for Confronting the West Continuity and Innovation in Moscow's Exercise of Power | Chatham House - March 2016 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 12:38:46 PM EST
Not only figuratively ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 12:54:53 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 02:02:59 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 02:04:20 PM EST
Over eight hours talks in Normandy Four format ... in two weeks extended talks in Berlin ... let voices speak, not lethal arms delivered by Europe's defense pact of NATO.

Russia, Ukraine agree to uphold cease-fire in Normandy talks | DW News |

Mixed signals from Ukraine .... from capital Kyiv near Zelensky an opening for further discussion ... from FM Kuleba visiting Denmark a cold shower saying there was no advance.

New support program for Ukraine must put greater focus on digital threats and green transition, which will make the country less dependent on Russia, says Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod (S).

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 02:24:04 PM EST
Pandemic, Brexit and now high energy prices hitting the EU countries.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 02:53:10 PM EST
A situation like this would never have happened under Trump because of Trump's man-crush on Putin and Putin's view of Trump as a useful idiot. Then we revert to Victoria Nuland's Neo-Liberal agenda of Color Revolutions, etc. We should have left Ukraine alone.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 05:08:54 PM EST
That is certainly the Fox News version of what is going on.
by asdf on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 01:04:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stopped clocks, etc.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 02:12:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also the point that just because you disagree with somebody on virtually all issues does not automatically mean you disagree with him on every issue.
by asdf on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 03:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Putin likes low cost victories, such as Crimea. Here he is just posturing. Invading Ukraine with twice the number he has on the border would be extremely costly in lives and equipment. He thought the threat of 100,000 troops on the border could gain him some advantage. It doesn't look like it will.

The US War Hawk council loves this spectacle as it makes them again seem relevant. It is just more money into the MIC. Posturing for profit.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 02:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or Russia ups tension with US?
by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:19:13 PM EST
I don't care either way if our hacks just stopped pretending that the Russians are planning to roll into Kiev with 130k AK tourists. Call me when they have five times that.
by generic on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 06:17:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]

President Obama wanted a stiff discussion in the Oval Room with opposing views in order for him to make a final decision ...

    The Obama Doctrine | The Atlantic - April 2016 |

    The president believes that Churchillian rhetoric and, more to the point, Churchillian habits of thought, helped bring his predecessor, George W. Bush, to ruinous war in Iraq. Obama entered the White House bent on getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan; he was not seeking new dragons to slay. And he was particularly mindful of promising victory in conflicts he believed to be unwinnable. "If you were to say, for instance, that we're going to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and build a prosperous democracy instead, the president is aware that someone, seven years later, is going to hold you to that promise."

First Biden had to unite the home front, for US Congress that wasn't a great problem as the sanctions regime has been functioning for more than a decade. Every so often, a new topic was added to the tool kit of propaganda and the tricky 2016 presidential election did upset the HRC crowd to blame Putin & Co. The Democrats want all out to nail Putin to the cross ... they succeeded. As diplomacy tanked and Russia was removed from a broad range of consultations, the former KGB agent started to use more asymmetric tools he could upgrade.

This will most likely be his only path forward, sabotage and cyber warfare. The other side of Russia and China have started to work together through necessity. Iran too considers to tighten relations, but the JCPOA treaty will be a much needed asset to get economic sanctions removed. China will remain a large consumer of Iranian oil and natural gas from Siberia. To keep Central Asia in their sphere of influence has become much easier with the defeat of Western allies in Afghanistan. Very likely for Pakistan to keep its distance from bad apple America. A number of new pipelines will be build in partnership with Afghanistan, Iran and India. China will be needed for the investments and funds. The Arabian Gulf States have attempted to bribe the Pakistan leadership for closer ties and move away from the influence of Iran.

The United States and Australia needed the empire builder United Kingdom in their fold, so it wasn't difficult to shove France aside and form AUKUS. A very long tradition will push forward for economic colonialization in SE Asia and the Far East. Past mistakes may become a stumbling block to reach that goal.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:47:29 PM EST
Biden's diplomats are flooding the zone on Russia. But even some allies aren't convinced | Politico EU |

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been talking to all the usual suspects as the United States rallies other countries to stare down a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Britains, Frances and Germanys of the world are, of course, on that list.

But Ukraine's plight also has come up in Blinken's conversations with some less obvious countries: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, for instance. Brazil, too. Blinken and other Biden administration officials have even raised Ukraine with countries like India, Japan and South Korea.

The outreach underscores both the breadth and complexity of the Biden administration's diplomatic offensive against Moscow. It is a flood-the-zone effort that has seen virtually all of Biden's top foreign policy aides play a role, from CIA Director William Burns' visits to Moscow and Kyiv to an array of ambassadors in Europe and beyond checking in with counterparts. The goal is to impress upon other nations that Russia's actions could set a dangerous precedent while undermining global norms about state sovereignty.

US-UN Relations after Iraq: The End of the World (Order) As We Know It

Btw ... today the rainbow coalition of Germany presented a new foreign policy, clearly breaking with the tradition of Christian Democrats and Angela Merkel. Shoulder to shoulder with NATO and America. Foregoing the strong economic ties with Russia as was promised for German re-unification and East-Germany entry into the EU and NATO.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]

After the Berlin Wall: Europe's Struggle to Overcome Its Divisions | CFR - Jan. 6, 2022 |

Europe has seen deeper integration in the three-plus decades since the end of the Cold War, but has also struggled with new threats to its institutions, security, and core values.

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 laid the groundwork for new institutions, new states, and, in some cases, new conflicts. In the more than three decades since Germany's reunification and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the European Union (EU) has taken shape but suffered growing pains along the way.

A look back at the post-communist years recalls the swift expansion of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the mounting challenge Russia posed in response to both.

Russia Experiments With Capitalism and Democracy

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the newly constituted Russian Federation got its first democratically elected president in Boris Yeltsin, who immediately set out to implement market-oriented reforms: lifting trade barriers, giving up price controls, and withdrawing state subsidies. This form of shock therapy sparked a period of sharp inflation that decimated the savings of millions of ordinary Russians and sent poverty rates soaring.

Despite his deep unpopularity, Yeltsin won a second term as president in a 1996 election tainted by irregularities. The emerging class of oligarchs supported Yeltsin's re-election bid in exchange for a controlling stake in many of the country's biggest mineral and oil companies. In 1998, Russia defaulted on its sovereign debt [PDF] and its economy crashed. This, combined with a rise in corruption, organized crime, and income inequality, was a major setback for Russian democracy and set the stage for the 1999 emergence of Vladimir Putin. First elected president in 2000, he would go on to dominate the country's politics for decades.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:50:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 07:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Protests outside the White House in Washington against a potential US and Nato escalation with Russia in Ukraine.

Protests Lafayette Square | Washington DC | Disband NATO! No War on Russia! 

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 05:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Russia and Pakistan in the Middle East: Approaches to Security in the Gulf | RIAC Moscow - 2020 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 05:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 05:44:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 05:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 06:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine or any other country,' says Moscow's ambassador to the EU | EuroNews |

Euronews' Efi Koutsokosta met with the Kremlin's top diplomat to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, to quiz him on Moscow's plans in the region.

Efi Koutsokosta, Euronews: "Is Russia ready to invade Ukraine or is it all a bluff?"

Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU: "It's not an issue of readiness. Russia has no plans to invade either Ukraine or any other country. It's a bluff created not in Russia, but in those countries that are now spreading this hysterical message, I would say, across Europe and the world."

Euronews: "Hysterical message, you said. But it's a fact that Russia was the first to deploy offensive weapons and systems within striking distance from Ukraine. If this is not a direct challenge of the country's sovereignty, what is?"

Chizhov: "You will be surprised how many offensive weapons NATO has deployed along Russian borders. Not to say of military bases and so on. And I would even add to that, as a point of statistics that the number of overflights along Russian borders in the Black Sea region, for example, last year increased by 60 per cent."

Euronews: "You see a severe threat to your security by NATO doing this, but you did that. You amassed thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border. What is at stake for Russia now?"

Chizhov: "The stake for Russia is Russian national security. That is the reason why Russia has put forward an initiative in the form of draft agreements with the United States and with NATO countries ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 09:25:16 PM EST
No ground for optimism on Russia's concern for its national security ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 09:26:19 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 09:27:22 PM EST

ICAO releases report into Ryanair FR4978 forced diversion in Belarus | AeroTime - Jan. 19, 2022 |

"The Council will also review a request from Belarus regarding what the State considers to have been unlawful restrictions or sanctions which were placed upon it in the aftermath of the event, by other States and the EU," the statement reads. 

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 10:29:52 PM EST

The plane was crossing the airspace of Belarus when it was informed of the bomb threat by the Belarusian air controller. The air controller recommended to land the plane in Minsk. After some back and force to gain more information the pilot declared an emergency and decided to land in Minsk.

The ICAO report was recently finished and given to all members. Politico.eu had gained access to it and published it. The official results will be discussed with ICAO members at the end of January.

The president of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko seems to be happy about the report.

EU agrees sanctions on Belarus after forced landing of Ryanair flight | Irish Times |

Embarrassing moment of the consequences of disinformation ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jan 27th, 2022 at 10:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

They found a bomb?

And no Belarus citizen got arrested?
... or he was the terrorist?

Wow. I have truly been misinformed!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 11:04:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the report, and it is right there to read, there was no bomb. There was a bomb threat in the form of emails:

As neither a bomb nor evidence of its existence was found during pre-departure screening in Athens Greece and after various searches of the aircraft in Belarus and Lithuania, it is considered that the bomb threat was deliberately false. Knowingly communicating false information which endangers the safety of an aircraft in flight is an offence under Article 1 (1) (e) of the Montréal Convention. The Team was unable to attribute the commission of this act of unlawful interference to any individual or State.

The crew was informed, contacted Ryanair and decided to land in Minsk.

There was a MIG scrambled, but:

5.10. From the evidence provided by Belarus, no escort or intercept occurred between the MIG-29 and RYR 1TZ and no communications by the MIG-29 was recorded on the radio channels used by RYR 1TZ.
According to information provided by the flight crew and cabin crew, there was no communication,
interaction, visual sighting or other knowledge of military aircraft involvement with the flight.

For those that remember the one or two emails controversy, it remains unsettled:

According to the authorities of Belarus, a first email was received at 09:25 UTC (12:25 local)
followed by a second email at 09:56:45 UTC (12:56:45 local), both containing identical information about
the bomb threat. On the other hand, information obtained from Switzerland through the authorities of
Lithuania shows that only the second email was sent to Minsk Airport at 09:56:45 UTC (12:56:45 local).
The FFIT was not able to verify that the first email was effectively received at 09:25 UTC (12:25 local) as
the authorities of Belarus did not provide logs of the email server airport.by nor the email files containing
the threat messages saved in their original format including their metadata, citing their erasure in accordance with their data retention policy. The receipt of the first email is crucial to explain the basis for the communication of the bomb threat by Minsk ACC to the flight crew, which occurred at 09:30:49 UTC
(12:30:49 local). In the absence of the first email, it could be presumed that the information about the bomb
threat would have been obtained by the authorities of Belarus by other means, which the FFIT could not
establish. If the first email was in fact received at Minsk Airport, the diversion of the flight to Minsk Airport could be considered to be a tenable option in view of the circumstances

Considering data retention and security state eaves dropping on route, this is very weak tea. Belorus should have better evidence, but so should the west. Which either means that the surveilliance is technically far worse than advertised, or more likely that various parties prefer not to show their hand.

So while Belorus can't prove that they acted in good faith without that second email, neither can the west prove that the bomb threat was staged. Without opening the surveilliance logs, and no body wants that.

Not that the west would anyway have moral high grounds when it comes to forcing down planes to arrest dissidents, considering that no sanctions are place to punish the perpetrators of the Evo Morales grounding incident.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention France in 1956 or Israel in 1954.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:57:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I read the report. Yes, Belarus maintains implausible deniability with respect to the bomb threat (waiting until the plane was in Belarus airspace before sending the emails is why I say "implausible").

The ICAO encountered minimal co-operation from Belarus authorities, as their report underlines. It's a real shame they couldn't talk to the mysterious air controller, for example... No reasonable person can conclude that the bomb threat wasn't staged.

And I was pissed off about the Morales interception too, so it's not relevant to my argument.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 04:44:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The emails started going out while the plane was still in the Ukrainian air space, but just a few minutes from the Belarus air space. So if communications channels had been fast enough, the plane could have landed in Ukraine. Maybe international communications channels between airports are never that fast, so there was no risk of the plane landing elsewhere then Minsk.

2.2.12. Four emails were sent separately to Vilnius, Athens, Sofia, and Bucharest airports in a
period of less than three minutes, while FR4978 was flying over the airspace of Ukraine and immediately
prior to entering the airspace of Belarus. The first of these emails was sent at 09:25:12, about two hours
after the take-off from Athens, five minutes before crossing the common L'viv/Minsk FIR boundary into
The fifth email was sent to Kiev Airport at 09:34:32, 4 minutes and 30 seconds after FR4978 had
left the airspace of Ukraine. The last email was sent 22 minutes later, at 09:56:45 (12:56:45 local) to Minsk
Airport at which point FR4978 had already initiated its descent to that airport. An illustration of the relative timings is at Appendix H.

The air traffic controller has been reported to be in Poland, so I don't see why ICAO couldn't interview him, but I could see why Belarus couldn't produce him.

The known facts are compatible with Minsk faking a bomb threath to land the plane to arrest Roman Protasevich, but it is also compatible with CIA or other agency faking a bomb threat to get Minsk to arrest Roman Protasevich, so that they get a reason to ratchet up sanctions. The known facts are even compatible with Hamas for some reason doing a fake bomb scare without regard for Roman Protasevich, or someone else doing a fake bomb scare to be able to blame Hamas.

And the missing email is a key point. If its absence can be proven (and given the massive surveilliance, there should be ways to prove it), then Minsk acted before being told of the bomb. If its existence can be proven (and given the massive surveilliance, there must be ways to prove it), then it could still be Minsk, but there is no evidence for it.

Given this, I guess it comes down to who one thinks has the burden of proof.

by fjallstrom on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 02:40:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Minor issue, but I recall reading somewhere that the first news about Protasevich's arrest were made by his (now former) friends in opposition on Twitter. It's within the realm of possibility that at the time Belorussian KGB didn't yet know he was onboard the plane. Depending, of course, who you think has the burden of proof.

The main thing could be, though, that since Protasevich was arrested, interrogated and then basically let go, falsifying bomb threats to four airports and inspecting a whole plane and all the luggage would be kinda out of proportion in any cost-benefit analysis. Not saying security services don't do stupid, because they do, just bringing forth the idea that Protasevich surely was too small a fish for such an operation by Belorussians.

by pelgus on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 03:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"basically let go"?

A cursory search shows that he was still in "house arrest" recently, and seems to be "co-operating with the authorities".

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European leaders seem to not have internalized the fact that the US has still never had a war on its own shores. (Discounting the American Civil War, generally regarded as the biggest disaster in American history, and still argued vehemently when WW1 and WW2 and Korea and Vietnam are essentially forgotten.)

As far as the US is concerned, a war in Ukraine would be a re-run of numerous offshore police actions, where the dead people and the destroyed cities and the refugees and the economic catastrophe and the bullet holes still in buildings decades later are all invisible to Americans. Even our military towns will look forward to increased traffic at the bars as servicemen and servicewomen cycle through the bases and forts--but will not see much in the way of cripples or amputees.

Plenty of opportunities for Americans to make bucks in this. All the broken war machines will eventually have to be replaced, for starters.

by asdf on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 01:12:28 AM EST
"Nato" governments are far from being in lockstep, and plenty of people are castigating Germany and France for not being keen enough on war. This is not unrelated to the fact that we are on the same continent as Russia and the Ukraine.

The UK is breathing fire, but I'll believe they are serious when they start confiscating Russian real estate in London (or at least, start collecting property taxes on it).

Still. It's time Russia stopped invading its neighbours. Does anyone have any ideas how this could be achieved?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 04:51:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talk to them? I'm not sure what you're mean, though. I live ~100 km from Russian border, and no invasion observable in last 77 years or so. Back then it was an invasion fest all around, so the blame is not all theirs even then. Something about trust, or lack of.

Before that we need to go back over 200 years, and then it was to get Europe rid of Napoleon, which I guess counts as a "good thing".

by pelgus on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 05:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Atlantic Council: Impact of Western sanctions on Russia and how they can be made even more effective (May 3, 2021)

Biden stops $100M lethal military aid to Ukraine | Politico - June 18, 2021 |

Biden waives sanctions on Nord Stream 2 in agreement w Germany Angela Merkel | FP - July 26, 2021 |

Harsh criticism US war hawks and Congress who want to permanently block delivery Russian gas to Europe ... their first argument was gas should flow through Ally and partner Ukraine

Forced pull back American Armed Forces uit of Kabul as campaign failure Afghanistan falls to the Taliban, risk terror export to region - August 2021.

Smart move Zelensky, White House visit campaigns for NATO support and lethal arms ... focus returns on Russian border ... Russiaphobes enter newsrooms

From 1st Nov. high ranking Republicans demand action from Biden administration

Escalation rhetoric as Democrats fail in BBB legislation

Senate Xmas recess deal made to vote on harsh sanctions on Russia and block Nord Stream 2 pipeline

Unpredictability of US as a nation on foreign policy, agreement made with Germany, Congress runs amok, a lame duck President who can't run home affairs as bridges tumble and his support tanks thanks to the NO policy of Trumpist in US Congress and across the 50 states ... Republican governors and state legislators ... election bills and gerrymandering ... what a disgrace.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 07:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Watched BBC HardTalk today with Gabrielius Landsbergis ... parroting the false narrative of Brussels .... NATO Head Stoltenberg that is. Great fantast who could be close to Poland's Radek Sikorski .... agitator or agent provocateur. Many of the myths have been debunked over and over. By repeating the false arguments, the Lithuanian FM is a propagandist for NATO aggression and mounts his rhetoric as Russophobic.

'I want Poland to be leader in region': new Lithuanian FM | Dec. 8, 2020 |

Designated as the new head of the Lithuanian diplomacy, Gabrielius Landsbergis stated in the interview for the country's public TV LRT that he wanted Poland to be the leader in the region, "a strong country that contributes to the strengthening of the economic and military security".

Mr Landsbergis is the chairman of the Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats' party. It won the October elections in Lithuania and formed a coalition with two liberal parties.

The politician assured that Lithuania's foreign policy would not change under the new government.

As he put it, the principle of good neighborliness with Poland and the Baltic states will be continued. In his opinion, the security of Lithuania depends on the above mentioned matter, as well as on close integration with the European Union and striving to maintain strong transatlantic ties.

The alt-right, Nazi fascist elements across Europe in populist parties is the biggest threat to the European Union.

Trump's Revival of anti-EU Sentiment in Warsaw

A next US President elected in 2024 is more likely to be aggressive versus Europe and focus on MAGA.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:40:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Landsbergis had a number of false facts, repeating the lies of Russian aggression in August 2008 in Georgia for one.

Quite interesting he referred to  resolution from debates in US Congress urging President Biden to establish an oil and gas embargo on Russia. WTF Promoting domestic fracking and export of LNG.

This is an act of war not only o Russia but also on the 450 million citizens of the European Union.

U.S. Sanctions On Russia

Earlier the condition was should Russia invade any part of Ukraine. This is slowly revolving to do it anyway as "deterrence", a pre-emptive strike on Russia's economy.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:45:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polexit: Concerns Over Poland's Commitment to the European Union | Dec. 10, 2021 |

The European Union (EU) was created with one goal in mind: ending once and for all the bloody wars that had plagued Europe which had culminated in the overwhelming suffering and destruction brought about by the Second World War. Thus, with that rationale in mind, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was established in 1951 between six countries; Belgium, West Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

The Community's aim was to organize the free movement of coal and steel, enabling the push for economic expansion, increased employment, and better living standards (European Union, 1951). Essentially, it's aim was to tie the main players in Europe economically, so it would then be senseless to engage in war with each other as the economic cost would be crippling to the countries. From that foundation, the Union has continued to develop and grow as a supranational entity.

'Polexit': Is Poland About to Quit the European Union? | VOA - Oct. 11, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:46:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, Poland is not going to leave the EU gravy train: Hungary and Poland are the two biggest main net receivers of the EU budget 'as of 2018). Neither Orban nor Morawiecki want to give up EU membership, when they can carve out their own fiefdoms and keep the money flow to themselves and their cronies, while kicking the can down the road and delaying any attempts at the EU institutions to restore a semblance of rule of law.

You'll note that no EU commissioner is quoted saying "Polexit": just some think tank hack who quickly added "This threat of Polexit -- of Poland leaving the European Union -- is overblown. Poland is a country where more than 80% of the population is in favor of EU membership. Poland is very much dependent on the internal market and also on the EU funds, including the (COVID-19) recovery fund".

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 05:35:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

EU Commission letters to Poland, Hungary: too little, too late? | EU Observer - Nov. 18, 2021 |

The move is not, however, the triggering of the so-called 'conditionality mechanism', a new rule agreed by legislators last December, that allows for financial penalties if rule-of-law issues threaten the EU's financial interest.

It is a preliminary step before launching the formal procedure.
Warsaw and Budapest have two months to respond, which means it would take more months before the formal process.

From my diary ...

No Exit Strategy - Dismantling of the European Union

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 06:08:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland and Lithuania. Great combination. I'm sure the Russians still remember when they invaded Moscow and tried to impose their own ruler on them.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 05:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:41:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
um er. I'm guessing you're not concerned about carving out provinces of Moldavia, Georgia or Donbass, insofar as Russian troops were not necessarily involved (but if you're going to argue that these secessions happened for another reason than the fact that Putin wanted them to, that could be entertaining)

However, Crimea is an actual slam dunk. Russia signed a treaty guaranteeing Ukraine's territorial integrity when Ukraine handed over its Soviet nuclear weapons.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 01:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering that Putin was still a KGB clerk in Dresden when Transdniestria and South-Ossetia declared their idependence (not going to the reasons), it's would indeed be very entertaining to somehow try to put the blame on Putin. Donbass is still part of Ukraine, so obviously Putin doesn't want it (on the contrary, he's fighting the opposition in Duma pushing trough a law requiring him to annex them).

As for Crimea, completely avoiding the issue of USA stating the Budapest memorandum is not actually legally binding or arguing whether Sevastopol ever was actually part of Ukraine or whether Crimeans succeeded on the tenth attempt to gain independence from Ukraine, lets discuss about it as a proof of Russian tendency to invade neighbors.

We can easily deduce that every 25 years or so the Russian behemoth will invade an adjoining area that has significant Russian population, has wanted to rejoin Russia ever since it was separated from it in 1956, has  one of the biggest Russian military base and is integral to Russian security.

I doubt that there are any of such places left, so maybe we could relax. Even a tiny bit?

What I learned since childhood living next to a much, much bigger country is that either you make them feel secure about you or they make them feel secure about you. I assume anybody from Grenada, Panama or Cuba can verify this.

by pelgus on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 02:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, I stand corrected as to the date of the secession of Transdniestria. However it's worth noting that Transdniestria owes its creation, and its continued autonomy, to Russian troops.

As for the secession of South Ossetia (recognised by  Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria), it also dates from the late Soviet era. However, I was referring to the 2008 invasion of the Georgian autonomous region of South Ossetia by Russia, and the co-ordinated rebellion of Abkhazia, which with substantial Russian military support, liberated itself from Georgian rule (and, coincidentally, is also recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria).

This somewhat weakens your argument that the Russian behemoth only invades adjoining areas with significant Russian populations, etc. It turns out that they are liable to invade any neighbouring territory on any pretext if they don't agree with the policies of the internationally-recognised government of said territory.

You are right to avoid the subject of whether the US and Russian made some sort of bargain over the annexion of the Ukraine; or whether Russia was forced to invade to help the poor struggling Crimeans. You are also right to ignore the fact that Russia manifestly can't be trusted to respect agreements about territorial integrity with its neighbours; because none of these things help your argument much.

May I propose a thought experiment? Let's imagine that a local militia seizes control of a province of Latvia with a Russian majority, and calls on Russia to send military aid to defend its independence. Are you OK with that?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 04:01:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russian troops were in South Ossetia because UN Security Council told them to be there due to a decade of ethnic violence. Neither South-Ossetia and Abkhazia wanted to secede from Georgia, they wanted a federal system of government (supported by UN) that ensured equal rights for ethnic minorities. That was unacceptable for the ethno-nationalists ruling the country, so they launched (apparently triggered by USA) an aggression that backfired seriously.

To this day Russia has not annexed these areas, which kinda makes moot the claim Russia wants them. Russia still prefers Georgia to take care of Georgian citizens, so the conflict will stay frozen until the day comes when Georgia elects government that can accept ethnic minorities on an equal basis.

The same with Donbass situation. The rebel "republics" don't want to secede, not does Russia want them secede. There's a whole international agreement stating this and laying out the step to reintegrate them to Ukraine. Which Ukraine signed but doesn't implement and wants to be thrashed completely.

I don't know of any bargain between US and Russia over Ukraine, so I didn't know I avoided it. I only pointed out that the memorandum you thing is legally binding document ensuring the borders of Ukraine is not such a thing according to the USA. That is all I claim about that.

It is obvious that where I see the Crimea as a very special case involving decades of complexity you see it "out of the blue" aggression that has no other explanation than the inherent evilness of Russians.

Lastly, your though experiment makes no sense at all, since most of Latvia has Russian majority, still there are no militias nor even a whiff of such developments even if the Russians are treated as second class citizen or as non-citizens. So let's try another thought experiment: Latvia treats it Russian citizens so poorly that they are pushed to form a militia and seek security from Russia? Would you be OK with that kind of oppression and human right violations?

I, personally, find the idea that Russia does things just because it's, you know, Russia to be not very fruitful. I believe it, as a nation, acts mostly rationally based on how the world looks like to Moscow, and think that finding at least somewhat rational explanations would be helpful in predicting those actions in the future.

Thus, for you South-Ossetia, Abkhasia, Crimea, Donbass and Latvia seem all the same which gives that almost nihilistic idea that Russia will invade no matter what. To me they are all different cases, with different histories, different paths taken, multiple actors involved and mostly with different outcomes.

by pelgus on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 12:04:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Remembering Eduard Shevardnadze | Wilson Center - July 2014 |

McCain's Ties with Lobbyist Scheunemann | Aug. 15, 2008 |

John McCain's chief foreign policy adviser and his business partner lobbied the senator or his staff on 49 occasions in a 3½-year span while being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The payments raise ethical questions about the intersection of Randy Scheunemann's personal financial interests and his advice to the Republican presidential candidate who is seizing on Russian aggression in Georgia as a campaign issue.

McCain warned Russian leaders that their assault in Georgia risks "the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world."

On August 7, Georgia began an artillery campaign against the city of Tskhinvali, which is the capital of the independent, but unrecognized, republic of South Ossetia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 01:15:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unpredictability lies not in the Kremlin on Red Square ... instead on the side of the warmongers in Washington DC: the  Commander in Chief, the Pentagon and US Congress. Imperialism is back after the fiasco of the Afghan campaign, the ongoing massacre in Yemen and the jihadists roaming many parts of Africa.

NATO has cut all ties with Russian military cooperation

US-UK partnership of lies, manipulation, militarization of information .. the politicians cannot be trusted ... not in the last two decades, why expect it is different today?

Key words: | CIA and Operation Mockingbird |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 07:56:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we should believe everything regarding covid?
by Tom2 on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 08:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, there is no conflict in that.

  • The federal government's medical community is trying to control national pandemic policy using the best medical technology and political pressure available.
  • The federal government's military community is trying to control national foreign policy using the best military technology and political pressure available.

The goals and activities of both organizations are pretty transparent.
by asdf on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 08:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 09:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

US warns China of 'global security' risks due to Russian threat in Ukraine | France24 |

China has told the United States it wants to see all sides involved in Ukraine remain calm and avoid increasing tension while the United States stressed de-escalation and warned of the security and economic risks from Russian aggression.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about Ukraine on a telephone call late on Wednesday.

"We call on all parties to stay calm and refrain from doing things that agitate tensions and hype up the crisis," Wang told Blinken, China's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Secretary Blinken ... conveyed that de-escalation and diplomacy are the responsible way forward," Blinken was quoted as saying to Wang in a statement issued by the U.S. state department.

Global security and the economic risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine figured in the talks, the department said.

Wang, apparently referring to Russia's objections to NATO's expansion in eastern Europe, told Blinken that one country's security could not be at the expense of the security of others and regional security could not be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding military blocs, his ministry said.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:52:25 AM EST
VP Dick Cheney ... MFA Hillary Clinton ... Maidan massacre in a color revolution.

Agents provocateurs in strange events leading to The Ukrainian Night (Designers Vicky Nuland - Geoffrey Pyatt)

Turning a protest into (someone else's) metaphysics | Open Democracy - March 2018 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A day of American Democracy In shambles

A follow-up

Trump for US President in 2024 ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 12:20:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Members of the State Duma endorsed the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

On January 26, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov addressed members of the State Duma during the so-called "government hour" on current issues of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation and answered their questions.

Sergey Lavrov added that the US and the European allies "are redoubling their efforts to deter Russia. The United States and the European allies, completely forgotten the culture of diplomacy, have been redoubling their efforts to deter our country."

Situation in Ukraine

The Minister also mentioned the current situation in Ukraine. He recalled that the United States and its European allies "continue to conduct provocative military maneuvers near our borders, involving more and more the Kiev regime into the NATO activities, supplying it with lethal equipment and pushing it to perform direct provocations against the Russian Federation."

"And against this background, there are those especially cynical demands to us to stop military exercises on our own territory, while we have the full indisputable right to do that," he said.

"The Westerner states led by the USA are trying to oppose the objective course of history, they are striving to gain a unilateral advantage," the Minister said.

He also noted the importance of implementing the Minsk agreements. "We constantly urged the United States, France, Germany, and other Western colleagues that are able to influence the Kiev regime to force it to strictly comply with the Minsk agreements," Sergey Lavrov added.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 10:19:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With military and economic power from the US and UK, Zelensky wants to renegotiate the Minks Agreement ...

    Zelensky told the Financial Times last week that he wanted the US and UK to join the so-called Normandy group of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia to help break the impasse.

    He also called for changes to the Minsk peace accord negotiated by the Normandy Four, which has not been implemented, with Kyiv and Moscow at loggerheads over terms and sequencing. But the Kremlin refuses to renegotiate the deal. "There is no way of changing it without, in fact, terminating it," Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, said last week in response to Zelensky's appeal in the FT.

"The main problem is that to date, Zelensky, his administration, have been sabotaging the implementation of the Minsk agreements exerting every effort, striving to retain the sanctions that the West introduced against Russia." [Source: Tass]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 10:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does Blinken read his own transcript w/o dying laughing?  😊

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Blinken said this crisis wasn't just about Ukraine, which had been part of the Soviet Union until it was dissolved in 1991.

"This is bigger even than Ukraine," he said. "This goes to some basic principles of international relations that are what guarantee peace and security. The principle that one nation can't simply change the borders of another by force. The principle that one nation can't dictate to another its choices and with whom it will associate. The principle that we can't have countries exerting spheres of influence to subjugate their neighbours. That should be a relic of the past."

Subjugate other countries causing hundreds of thousands of deaths ...

Economic sanctions are fast becoming the policy tool of choice for the United States in the post-cold war world

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 10:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If countries can't exert spheres of influence, what on earth is USA doing in Ukraine? Or in Europe, for that matter?
Personally, I'm glad if this means USA is going to withdraw from meddling in European matters.
by pelgus on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 11:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
USA withdrawing from EU matters? They are currently negociating the prices of EU gas and electricity, mind you!
"Biden, Qatari Leader Discuss Energy Supply to Europe"
by Tom2 on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 01:00:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Latvian Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks pays a visit to Baykar Defence in Turkey

The Latvian delegation visited crowdedly and had a souvenir photograph taken in front of Bayraktar TB2. Moreover, Minister Pabriks viewed the flying car "Cezeri." Bayraktar TB2 model was presented to Pabriks.

Minister Pabriks answered the question of "When can we expect Bayraktar TB2 to say `I am in Latvia' (Es esmu Latvija)?" by saying "Hopefully soon enough."

Latvia, which is located in the eastern part of NATO's border with Russia and has a population of around 2 million, is among the countries that feel the Russian threat excessively, along with Lithuania and Estonia. NATO, against this threat, increased its activities in the Baltic Sea region in 2020. It continued to maintain a four battalion-sized multinational and combat-ready battle group led by the United Kingdom in Estonia, Canada in Latvia, Germany in Lithuania, and the United States in Poland.

In the previous days, 4 sets (24 UAVs) Bayraktar TB2 were sold to Poland, which felt the threat of Russia severely.

The 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw set the conditions for the establishment of an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security.

Ukraine Uses Bayraktar TB2 For First Time In Donbas | Warsaw Institute - Oct. 27, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 10:22:35 AM EST
"The bullying continues" ...

Can we have a timeline of the current crisis / pseudo-crisis?

I'm talking about proximate causes (geopolitical discussions concerning previous centuries are perhaps best left to another thread?)

I'm trying to put my finger on some act, statement, anything at all really, on the part of the US or NATO which is at the origin of the current tension.

My own impression is that Russia presented the US with a bunch of "talking points" concerning restoring Russia's hegemony over all the European states it has a border with (by withdrawing NATO troops from NATO members, notably).

What I can't understand is why the Russians consider that the balance of power in Europe has so fundamentally changed, that the US would be obliged to envisage this.

I think it's basically just Putin yanking our chain, probably for domestic political purposes (he's feeling unloved). I think he's a paper tiger.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 11:01:10 AM EST
No time at the moment for a longer answer, so I'll just write something from the top of my head. Sorry.

From the Russian point of view, in 1990 Secretary of State Baker promised to Gorbachev that in exchange for allowing Germany to unify, NATO would not expand an inch to east. Not even to the area of former GDR. The same was said by French, UK and especially by Germany

In 1991 Gorbachev complained to USA that NATO troops has indeed been positioned to former GDR. He was ignored.

In 1997, president Yeltsin complained to Clinton so much about this that Clinton eventually refused to meet Yeltsin anymore.

2007 president Putin spoke in Munich strongly condemning NATO expansion.

2010 and 2012 president Medvedev complained about NATO expansion and proposed pretty much was in the recent paper by Russia.

After the Nuland-driven coup in Ukraine in 2014 it was obvious that US was going to ignore anything Russia said unless it came with a serious threat.

The balance of power has not changed in any way or form, it's more about finally solving the issue of European security in one way or the other.

One internal Russian driver for this, that gets no play in the West at all, is the fact the Putin is one of the moderates in Russia. If the security issue is left unsolved when he retires, his successor is much more likely to be of more aggressive disposition. For example, his government is currently trying to prevent the Communist Party from pushing trough Duma a law forcing him to recognize the Donbass republics. Navalnyi (remember him) at the other end of political spectrum thinks Ukraine should be invaded and submitted to Russia. Zhirinovsky probably would just nuke Ukraine and the European countries unwilling to co-operate...

At the moment Russia has all the cards, they have the escalation control totally on their side. And most stupidly USA and UK chose to concentrate on "imminent invasion of Ukraine" that is now imminent for 70th day in a row and still not happening. Even the Ukrainians are getting pissed off with US and UK, because they really don't need the added insecurity of made up threat.

EU and NATO are slowly tearing themselves apart trying to figure out how to finally deal with all the problems caused by externalizing "security" and foreign policy to Washington and thus finding themselves unable to control anything or even to agree between themselves.

From the noises Croatia is making and the silence from Romania, Hungary and Poland it's easy to deduce they all are re-considering the "advantages" of being mere tools of US foreign policy in exchange for insecurity created by raising tensions in Eastern Europe.

Something's gotta give before this is over.

by pelgus on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 12:38:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You, too, omit the EU invitation to stir the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine as it happened at eurotrib, quoting euractiv.
Mon Aug 19th, 2013 at 02:05:16 PM EST
Russia has tightened customs control with Ukraine and imposed checks on the quality of its goods in what appears to be a warning to Kyiv over the planned signature of a free trade deal and broader association agreement with the European Union.

An advisor to the Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that Moscow wants to send a signal to Kyiv about the consequences of signing the proposed EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) (see background).

"No need for dramatising. The thing is that the Russian Customs Service conducted preventive measures related to preparations for changes in customs administration in case Ukraine signs the Association Agreement with the EU," Russian presidential advisor Sergei Glazyev is quoted as saying.

Russia is pushing Ukraine to become part of its Customs Union, already joined by Belarus and Kazakhstan. Brussels has made it clear that membership in the Customs Union and the association status with the EU are incompatible.

eurotrib search results
by Cat on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 01:56:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did. But to my defense I was concentrating on Russia - US relations :-)
by pelgus on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the past, it were the a-political citizens with (business) interests in the Soviet Union who were compelled to learn about the culture and the people. These persons provided the U.S. State Department with much better "intelligence" than the CIA et al. plus the military in the Pentagon. I have been angered by General Breedlove as NATO Central Commander over the years deriding politicians. In fact sabotaging each and every attempt to normalize relations with Russian military and politicians.

Recent post about Suzanne Massie - The Lady Who Warmed Up the Cold War | The Daily Beast - July 14, 2017 |

Cultural exchange and diplomacy helped defeat the Soviet Union and Communist Bloc of states.

Manuscript The Gulag Archipelago of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn smuggled to the West by a band of couriers including a renowned lady and Dutch violinist Emmy Verheij.

In the States Red and Blue don't communicate with one another and America can be listed just short of a failed state. The White House in not capable to be a leader in the World as we have witnessed in the 21st Century. Building the European Union, the forced entrance of British and US allies of Iraq War infamy -rendition, torture, black prisons- got states fast-tracked to become both EU member and NATO "ally". Building blocks to get to the Eastern frontier and closer to Moscow than Cuba is to Florida. The U.S. is on its way to destruct the European Union, a divide between East and West. Policy made in the Pentagon. Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me).

The policy of the fascist Western powers has been to degrade Russia to a pariah state by isolation and harsh sanctions.

Russia, Iran Prevail - Syrian Rebellion Ends | July 14, 2018 |

Ivo Daalder - Making Russia a Pariah State - from 2004 forward

Is a League of Democracies a Good Idea? | Carnegie Endowment - May 2008 |

An "alliance of democracies," which already exists in the eyes of some of its advocates (Daalder and Lindsay 2004) in the form of a "global NATO," could compete with the United Nations or serve as an alternative when efficiency, legitimacy, and burden sharing are called for. The most prominent advocate of this idea, Ivo Daalder, is U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Democracies of the World, Unite | The American Interest by Richard Perle - Jan. 2007 |

Kerry Preaching Policy Contra Russia @Atlantic Council | April 30, 2014 |

One reason is that the Obama administration is rethinking a planned missile-defence system, which would have placed ten interceptor rockets in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, in order to guard against Iranian missile attacks on America and much of Europe. That infuriated Russia, which saw the bases as a blatant push into its front yard. Changing the scheme-probably using seaborne interceptors-risks looking like a climb-down to suit Russian interests.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 03:07:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it is the US and UK that claims that there is a crisis with Russia ready to invade Ukraine. Russia claims it is not preparing to invade Ukraine, and what is more Ukraine (or at least its president and defense minister) claims that Russia has not done the adequate preparations to invade Ukraine. Paris and Berlin seems to agree that there is no border crisis.

So presented with a claimed crisis Russia has answered with demands.

I read it like this:
US: You are threatening Ukraine, back down!
Russia: No, we are not threatening Ukraine!
US: You totally are, back down now!
Russia: ... Fine, you want us to back down? Here is our demands!

I think US domestic needs for a conflict are in the drivers seat here. Or possibly there was a crazy idea for Ukraine to break the Minsk II agreement completedly and attack Donbass, and it was to be blamed on Russia. Anyway talks are preferable wars.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A factor on the US side might be our septuagenarian politicians, still living in the 1970s mindset. It is interesting that our two big geopolitical concerns (after leaving Afghanistan) are Ukraine and Taiwan. Neither is of any particular strategic interest to the US, and both are holdovers from WW2.

It is much more pleasant to look towards a quick, painless war where only the other guys suffer than it is to deal with tough problems like climate change or pandemics, or even just supply chains controlled by competitors.

by asdf on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 02:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Question: where does does Vladimir Putin's declaration of taking "military-technical measures" fit into you time line?

I may be wrong but I don't remember NATO countries talking about sending troops or anything military, save for weapons shipments.

Also, I'm not quite sure how many NATO troops are currently rotating in the Baltic republics and Poland (8 thousand? more?), but it does seem much, much less than the 100K+ Russian troops deployed near Ukraine borders on both Russia and Belarus. This troops deployment may or may not look like "threatening Ukraine". Having not grown in a former Soviet republic, I have no idea, but the Ukrainians seem rather sanguine about that (good for them).

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 09:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
REUTERS 24 Jan 2022
So far, NATO has about 4,000 troops in multinational battalions in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, backed by tanks, air defences and intelligence and surveillance units. ... Denmark, Spain, France and the Netherlands were all planning or considering sending troops, planes or ships to eastern Europe, NATO said.
U.S. News 25 Jan 2022
The "vast majority" of those troops would be intended for the NATO Response Force, Kirby said during Monday's news conference, which would require agreement from all 30 member countries of the Cold War-era alliance to activate them. [DOD press sec John Kirby] has also noted that U.S. European Command still maintains tens of thousands of American forces on the continent that could be redeployed [27 Jan 2022] in coordination with U.S. allies.
US Europe Command (EUCOM) "Europe Theater" interactive map
How many?
Defense Priorities (NGO) July 2021 DOD Global Posture Review preview
- NATO's European members have the wealth and population to more than match Russia's defense spending and military capability. They should be responsible for their own defense.
- NATO should not focus on out-of-area operations, let alone military competition with China.
European nations should focus on Russia and their own defense, freeing U.S. resources for the
- The United States should substantially, if gradually, reduce its military footprint in Europe. [p 6]

Al JAZEERA, 10 Sep 2021, known US bases

DOD Global Posture Review Recommendations 29 Nov 2021
NATO | Top Five Russian Myths Debunked
by Cat on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 12:38:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO's Original Purpose: Double Containment of the Soviet Union and "Resurgent" Germany

As I recall the original principle was containment of German power. The first British (!) SG added the danger of the SU to its "founding" principle. For a long period it was the focus on reducing risk of a resurgent German Wehrmacht. When West Germany joined NATO in 1955 with limitation, the SU established the Warsaw Pact. Many Europeans with vivid memory of the slaughter in two World Wars feared the re-unification of Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

NATO had some good relations with Russia and there was a wish by Moscow to join the Atlantic Union. After 2001 and a refounding of a new goal in Brussels (or really in Washington DC and London) NATO was turned into a Global Power as I have written in these posts [on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 01:07:01 PM PDT]

America wanted to reduce the power and influence of the United Nations 🇺🇳 see all the war hawks in US Congress and American think tanks with Ambassador John Bolton as a true representative. The Neocon policy was integrated in NATO from those days forward. NATO has become the aggressor and defensive pact is nice PR for the bühne.

Pax Americana and the 21st century - the New World Order is enshrined in Washington-Pentagon-Langley VA.

America is not the compass of democracy in the World 🌎 fighting wars with impunity ... a force of evil through interventions Iraq-Libya-Syria and the numerous color revolutions. The Reagan years were ugly, especially in Central and South America supporting dictators slaughtering tens of thousands of its own people. Kissinger by definition is a war criminal ... and so many other Americans.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 03:54:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 08:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO's New Order: The Alliance After the Cold War

Yet looking at the history of NATO shows that since its origins in 1949 the alliance has often changed its mission, its strategy, and even its geographic scope of membership and activity. These changes have mostly been adaptations to internal or external shifts in NATO's operating environment. The most dramatic shift came at the end of the Cold War, when the alliance found it needed to justify its existence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Starting with the formation of NATO itself, changes were often driven by political rather than military or strategic factors. The alliance has always needed to keep an eye on its internal political cohesion, to ensure that it speaks with one voice to the extent possible.

NATO in the 1990s: Burden Shedding Replaces Burden Sharing | CATO Institute - June 1990 |

Shedding the burden of a defeat in Vietnam, the US Armed Forces were extremely successful in the First Gulf War of 1990.

Overlap or Opposition? EU and NATO's Strategic (Sub-)Culture

European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) [rev. Helsinki 1999]

The ESDI principle was agreed upon at the NATO Council in Berlin in 1996.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 04:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US: These demands are ridiculous, you can't demand that nations don't join NATO, all nations are free to enact their own security arrangements and dividing the planet in interest zones isn't something that is done anymore!
Russia: All nations are free you say? No interest zones at all? So, you wouldn't mind us doing some technical military cooperation with Cuba eh?

Wheter Russia is trolling or not remains to be seen.

As I understand the 100 000 troops, it includes a fair amount of troops in the Southern and Western military districts of Russia that are actually not really close to the border.  Sort of if you would count the troops in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas to see wheter the US is amassing troops on Mexicos border.

Here is Scott Ritter, former US Marine and former weapons inspector writing in December:

When pressed for details about this buildup, Ukraine sang a different tune, noting that Moscow had kept about 90,000 troops "not far" from the Russian-Ukraine border following the completion of training exercises conducted in the fall. In particular, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry noted, units of Russia's 41st Combined Arms Army were observed in a garrison near the town of Yelnya, some 160 miles (257km) north of the border. Ukrainian officials also accused Russia of having deployed more than 2,000 troops into the Donbass region in support of pro-Russian militias.


But the real joke is on Blinken, Stoltenberg, and those responsible for formulating what passes as policy regarding NATO. To sum up the situation to date: American media accused Russia of planning an invasion, citing as evidence the existence of a garrison located 160 miles north of the border, and Kiev fell into line. The US and NATO expressed grave concerns over this "buildup," noting that Russia could invade Ukraine "in short order."


Someday international-relations students will scratch their collective heads, wondering what, if anything, was going through the minds of those responsible for the current crisis. In any other circumstance, this sort of narrative would be fodder for dark comedy. However, the irrational fears and knee-jerk reactions involved are all too real, and, as such, represent a situation that Russia simply cannot ignore.

An invasion isn't easy to pull of, takes a lot of preparations, and a following occupation takes even more.

by fjallstrom on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 09:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One suspects the Russians have a freighter with some missiles already loaded openly on the deck, ready to head towards Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua.
by asdf on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 02:50:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or a squadron of Mig-31s relocating to San Antonio de los Baños near Havana. With their near near mach 3 speed they could take off, do a lazy circle and then blast off towards Houston (30 min), New Orleans (20 min) or Tampa (10 min) every day to give heebie-jeebies to anyone monitoring the US air defense radars on the Gulf of Mexico. Or just greet the folks at all those oil rigs with a friendly sonic boom now and then.

Or even escort the occasional flight of Tu-160s from Venezuela checking out the East Coast up to New York. A couple of "White Swans" within a Kh-15 striking distance from Washington "just passing by and saying hi" once a week or even month would certainly give the congresscritters new kind of understanding of security.

Or declare Northern Syria a no-fly zone while preparing to help SAA to liberate the highway between Deir Ezzor and Hasakah. And all the oil fields therein. That would confront US forces militarily in a place where there should be no US forces so it would be hard for US to escalate. And of course the Axis of Resistance could cause all kinds of trouble for US troops along their supply routes.

by pelgus on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 10:14:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You risk Peskov reading this blog ... 😉

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 11:03:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to look to Mali for that. It all started with Wagner and Mali request for Russian help. Russian help was successful in Centrafrique a couple of years ago and the French hated it. Since then, French officials spend their days taking about the "exactions perpetrated by the Russian forces in Centrafrique" or that they organise terrorism in the Sahel.
Easier that to admit their own role in destroying Libya and Syria.
by Tom2 on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 01:03:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S.-Russian Tensions Mount: Moscow Expels American Diplomats After Washington Ordered Out Russians | Forbes - Dec. 1, 2021 |

Russia's Foreign Ministry ordered U.S. embassy staff who have been working in the country for more than three years to leave by the end of January next year, in the latest diplomatic row between the two countries a week after Washington's expulsion of Russian diplomats and their families. 

Zakharova said "more workers" will be ordered to leave Russia "in numbers commensurate with the number of Russians announced by the State Department" unless Washington "waives" the three-year ban until July next year.

The U.S. embassy in Moscow, which is the only U.S. mission there, is understaffed with only about 120 workers compared to around 1,200 in early 2017.

A State Department spokesperson told Forbes by email it expects Moscow to refrain from doing anything that would affect efforts to stabilize the relationship, and noted the Russian government was informed about the term limit on its diplomats over a year ago.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 05:26:59 PM EST
Biden backs Ukrainian president's militaristic policies in phone conversation | WSWS - Dec. 10, 2021 |

As noted by the WSWS, by simultaneously goading Kiev and then demurring, the Biden administration is following a policy recently expressed by the statement made by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy that "Ukraine can become the next Afghanistan for Russia if it chooses to move further."

Zelensky in return called for the United States to impose immediate sanctions against Russia, rather than waiting for a military conflict to break out. He also requested substantial military equipment that could be potentially used against the Russian army.

Despite claiming that his government was ready to enter direct peace negotiations with Moscow and abide by the 2015 Minsk protocols peace agreement, Zelensky is well aware that both requests constitute a provocation to Moscow and would set his country even further down the path of war.

    Examining the 2014 events shows that the aggressor is not Russia, but NATO. In February 2014, when Biden was Barack Obama's vice-president, Washington and Berlin backed a putsch led by the neo-Nazi Right Sector that toppled pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. It brought to power a far-right regime that included the Svoboda Party, which the European Union had formally condemned in 2012 for racist and anti-Semitic views. It also pledged to ban the speaking of the Russian language and murder ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

Keeping the generals on a knife edge, would be more than alarming ... any provocation or miscalculation can prove fatal for hundreds, if not thousands of citizens.

Ukraine urges calm, saying situation 'under control' and Russian invasion not imminent | ABC News AU - Jan. 26, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:39:00 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:39:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:40:32 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 10:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'We don't have a Titanic here': Ukraine plays down threat of Russian invasion

Asked if Boris Johnson's government had made a mistake in withdrawing some diplomats, Zelenskiy said: "Yes. In these circumstances everyone is essential."

He noted that the Greeks had kept open their consulate in the city of Mariupol, next to the frontline with Russian-backed separatists. "You can hear canons firing. The Greeks didn't pull anyone out. The captains should not leave the ship. I don't think we have a Titanic here."

Zelenskiy said the recent buildup of Kremlin forces was "no more intense" than in spring 2021. "If you look at the satellite you will see the increase of troops. You can't assess if it's a threat, an attack or simple rotation," he said, adding that some of the tents for Russian soldiers appeared to be empty.

Moscow moved in additional troops before major diplomatic negotiations, he said. "It's psychological. They want to make believe they are there. They are trying to build up psychological pressure."

Zelenskiy denied differences with the US administration, after a phone call on Thursday night with Joe Biden. "We don't have any misunderstandings with President Biden. I just deeply understand what's happening in my country, just as he does with the US," he said.

"Do we have tanks on the streets? No," he said. Hyped media reports were causing panic in the financial sector, damaging the "purse" of Ukrainians, and depleting Ukraine's gold reserves and currency, he said.

Geez Volodymyr, if you read the script well, a small investment to start a war, you'll reap the benefits later ... think of all the rebuilding of homes and your Atlantic Alliance will stand by you to reap the profits ... that's how it goes. As president, you do have a heavy load on your shoulders and think you will be targeted by many.

I don't think Biden will be your problem, more likely you compatriots of the Bucharest Nine. Zelensky did confirm he will join the next Normandy Four meeting in Berlin ... a safe place.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:41:56 PM EST
Deputy Secretary Wendy R. Sherman Remarks at Yalta European Strategy (YES) Event

PRESIDENT KALJULAID:  Good morning or good afternoon to everybody in America or in Europe listening in.  Welcome to our YES online conversation, co-hosted with Victor Pinchuk Foundation.  YES bridges Ukraine with Europe and the world, and supports Ukraine's European perspective - Ukraine free, whole, democratic, and fair, and therefore prosperous.  This is our dream.

We are honored to welcome Wendy R. Sherman, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, and the brilliant diplomat who led the most recent talks with the Russian Federation.  Madam Deputy Secretary, welcome, and welcome also in the name of my fellow board members Victor Pinchuk, Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Carl Bildt, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and Stephane Fouks.

Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue | Oct 3rd, 2019 |

A long history of a divided state, caught up in collapse of West-European and Eastern Empires and the Rise and Fall of Communism in the 20th Century. The oligarchs run the nation ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 08:43:11 PM EST
Canada to send more troops to Ukraine in bid to deter war | Anadolu Agency - Jan. 27, 2022 |

Usually part of the weapons package ... same for the British ... likely Turks too with delivery drones.

Speaking in the British parliament, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK had "taken the decision to supply Ukraine with light anti-armour defensive weapon systems".

The first weaponry was delivered on Monday and a small number of British personnel would provide training for a short period of time, he said, without specifying the number and type of weapons that were being sent.

The NLAW, also designated the MBT-LAW or RB-57, has its origins in a joint British-Swedish project begun in 2002 to replace Cold War-era weapons designed to give infantry squads a portable, close-range defense against tanks.

The British Army also dispatched 30 paratroopers to train Ukrainian forces in operating the NLAWs, which were undoubtedly chosen in part for their ease of use, and thus ability to be rapidly adopted by Ukrainian forces facing the current crisis.

Expansion of warfare in the Vietnam war was logical, starting with training and advisers,

US, NATO, Ukraine enhance interoperability with Rapid Trident exercise | Sept. 21, 2021 |

About 300 U.S. Soldiers will work tactically alongside 6,000 multinational troops for the exercise under the banner of Partnership for Peace, a cooperative program for NATO and Euro-Atlantic partner countries.

Of course not a NATO member .... ☮️ 🇺🇦

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 28th, 2022 at 10:19:39 PM EST
Fearing new Russian threat, Ukraine races to upgrade its navy | CNN - Nov. 24, 2021 |

Keen decision ... Port near Mariupol inside the Sea of Azov 😂🇷🇺

The UK signed an agreement with Ukraine in June 2021 to assist in construction of two naval bases, one in the Sea of Azov in Berdiansk (south of Mariupol) and the other to be a new primary Ukrainian naval base at Ochakov on the Black Sea (near Odessa). [Not expecting to be gifted Sevastopol any time soon]

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 07:58:45 AM EST
Earlier ...

U.S. Plan to Modernize Naval Base at Ukraine | Naval Post - July 4, 2019 |

Centered at the Ochakiv Naval Base and the military facility at Mykolaiv -- 40 miles east of Odessa and less than 100 northwest of Crimea -- the American-funded effort includes reinforcing and upgrading existing piers and adding a new floating dock, security fencing around the bases, ship repair facilities, and a pair of brand-new Maritime Operations Centers from which Ukrainian and NATO forces can direct exercises and coordinate activities.

According to Montreaux Convention, which arranges the rules the passing regime of Istanbul and Canakkale straits and foreign country limitations, U.S. or NATO ships are not allowed to stay at Black Sea more than 21 days. If the Ochakiv Base will be upgraded and ready to host NATO standarts, U.S. and NATO ships are likely to use the base docks for their requirements at allowed period. Of course this modernisation will annoy Russia side, because they will feel the NATO existence very near. We wonder the next move of Russia to prevent this.

Ochakiv Naval Base is set to host a $750,000 maritime operations center, which the United States Navy is building for Ukraine | Navy Mil - Aug. 7, 2017 |

Incorporating the Ukraine into NATO Armed Forces right from the start of the regime overthrow ... hardly covert action.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 07:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

NATO not planning to deploy combat troops in Ukraine: NATO chief

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that the military alliance is not planning to deploy combat troops in Ukraine.

In a video interview broadcasted by the US think tank Atlantic Council, Stoltenberg warned that there will be "different consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine or a NATO ally.

He explained that Ukraine is a "highly valued partner," but NATO is "not planning to deploy NATO combat troops in Ukraine."

He admitted that NATO countries "have some differences" over what kind of support they should provide to Ukraine.

On the other hand, he stressed, there is "100% agreement, no doubt" that the allies would defend NATO territory if one of its members is attacked.

C-Span -- NATO Secretary General on Russia-Ukraine Tensions | Atlantic Council | plus [Transcript]

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 10:59:02 AM EST

Read my earlier analyse about the Atlantic Council on the forefront to define Russia as an enemy state that should be defeated, through sanctions or else ...

Ivo Daalder &  Co. from 2004 on forward ... here

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, he stressed, there is "100% agreement, no doubt" that the allies would defend NATO territory if one of its members is attacked.

Has this been in doubt lately? Why else would Stoltenberg stress it?

It's almost as if NATO turned out as a political organization with some vague articles about defending each other even militarily if really deemed necessary and allowed by UN security council and it's complicated...

by pelgus on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 08:07:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Ukraine Tensions Mount, Biden Says U.S. Soon Will Send Small Number Of Troops To Eastern Europe | RFE/RL |


Joe: "I voted for the Iraq War under leadership George Bush." [Oct. 2002]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:02:30 AM EST

Biden says Russian invasion in February a `distinct possibility'

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:03:53 AM EST
Hard nosed British Wartime Prime Minister will visit the frontlines and give Russian President Putin a dressing down ... in person mind you ... two decades of hostilities have come to a boiling point, or a show-down in wild-west terms.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:05:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pentagon leaders warn of a horrific aftermath if Russia invades Ukraine | CNBC |

There are Biden fans everywhere, even on the front in Donbas. Remember Senator John McCain crossing the border from Turkey into Northern Syria to pose with US allies ... freedom fighters of Al Nusra ... later it was confirmed these fighters had blood on their hands, including cruel executions.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:07:26 AM EST

Key NATO Ally Poland leading in anti-Russia propaganda, sowing hatred and warmongering .... ⚠️ 😡 🇵🇱

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:08:47 AM EST
Ukraine conflict is 'not inevitable', Pentagon chief says

Earlier in the day, Amnesty International also said an escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine would be devastating, underscoring that the standoff is already affecting millions.

"The consequences of actual military force are likely to be devastating," Agnes Callamard, the group's secretary general, said in a statement. "Ukraine's recent history is punctuated by conflicts involving Russian troops in Donbas and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

These episodes have torn communities and lives apart, as military forces have trampled on the rights of civilians with impunity; it's time to break that vicious cycle."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 11:10:38 AM EST
The Ukraine show gives a chance to Macron for gesticulations on the EU stage (France has EU presidency since 1st Jan.) and at 71 days of the French presidential elections. Sounds like a deal for some African favours. Otherwise Macron would be left with questions on the contradictions between EU policies with regard to covid.
by Tom2 on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 01:04:06 PM EST
US officials detect Russian blood supplies near Ukrainian border
Ukrainian deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said in a post on Facebook that the information was not true, Reuters reported.

"This information is not true. Such 'news' is an element of information and psychological war. The purpose of such information is to spread panic and fear in our society," Malyar said, according to the news outlet.

by Cat on Sat Jan 29th, 2022 at 07:38:07 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 09:15:51 AM EST
... to add armed forces to Baltic states and long range rockets ... UK  policy clearly a threat to Mr. Putin ... Boris extending his own term in office for another day .... a walking dead man.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 09:19:36 AM EST
Boris Johnson in lock-step with old Cold Warrior Joe Biden  ... 50 years of American foreign policy.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 09:33:33 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 11:22:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Bill Browder doing the rounds on British Sunday Talk Shows ... the legislation on choking sanctions have been written and will be presented this week.

Neocons on the Thames - by Colman in 2005

Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 01:47:19 PM EST
Kyiv urges Russia to pull troops back from Ukraine border | The Guardian |

The US has said it is waiting to hear back from Russia. It says Nato will not withdraw from eastern Europe or bar Ukraine from possible future entry but it is prepared to discuss topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures.

US senators are very close to agreeing on sanctions legislation,  the two leading senators working on the bill said on Sunday. Measures include targeting the most significant Russian banks and Russian sovereign debt as well as offering more lethal assistance to Ukraine.

Some of the sanctions in the bill could be imposed before any invasion because of what Russia had already done, said one of the senators, Bob Menendez, citing cyber-attacks on Ukraine, "false flag" operations and efforts to undermine the Ukrainian government internally.

Washington has spent weeks trying to build agreement with its European partners on having a strong sanctions package in place if Russia were to attack Ukraine. But the issue is divisive, with Germany urging "prudence".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 11:30:53 PM EST
US Senate panel close to approving 'mother of all sanctions' against Russia | The Guardian |

The leaders of the Senate foreign relations committee said on Sunday they were on the verge of approving "the mother of all sanctions" against Vladimir Putin, warning there would be no appeasement as the Russian president contemplates an invasion of Ukraine.

"We cannot have a Munich moment again," the panel's Democratic chair, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, told CNN's State of the Union, referring to the 1938 agreement by which allies ceded parts of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, believing it would stave off war.

"Putin will not stop if he believes the west will not respond," Menendez said. "We saw what he did in 2008 in Georgia, we saw what he did in 2014 in pursuit of Crimea. He will not stop."

Menendez said he believed bipartisan negotiations for severe sanctions were "on the one-yard line", despite disagreements with Republicans over whether measures should be imposed before or after any Russian invasion. The UK government promised to ramp up sanctions against Putin and his associates.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jan 30th, 2022 at 11:33:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have any link to proceedings?

All I'm getting from the usual idiots state-side is headline US SQUARES OFF WITH RUSSIA. Which is a useless lede, because (1) veto power of permanent SC members (2) US would ignore SC resolution in a heart-beat and (3) Minsk agreements, endorsed by full SC, simply are not a feature in this year's anglophone R2P propaganda.

by Cat on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 10:18:59 PM EST
by Cat on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 10:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 09:41:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's becoming more and more pronounced that imposing new sanctions has been the whole point of this crisis.

It seems to have been somewhat confusing that Russia has not obliged and perpetrated any aggression, so Washington just has to drum the war louder and go ahead whit the sanctions.

Europeans are getting nervous, because even if they are docile nobodies, they do understand that "sanctions from hell" will hurt Europe much more than Russia, while they won't hurt USA at all.

At least European should be getting nervous.

by pelgus on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 10:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
.."sanctions from hell" will hurt Europe much more than Russia.

Definitely ... the game is resources and pure capitalism. nothing about human rights ... Joe Biden 50 years involved with American foreign policy.

To get an interview in the White House ... pls cancel 50 Airbus A321neo ... I've got a new contract for you 50 redesigned Boeing 737-10 aka 737max ... $36bn contract total ... emir from Qatar happy to oblige ... in backwash of $80bn AUKUS submarine theft from France. USA fracking delivering LNG to Europe always at higher prices ... controlling competition inside Europe :-) the old fox.

The Brits call it leveling out.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 10:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU seems to be stuck in the same situation that the US was in in the 1780s under its Confederation: too hard to make a joint decision on anything. The US quickly noticed that the system didn't work, and changed it. Europe still hasn't figured it out.

Options are to change that or to continue to be pawns.

by asdf on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 11:08:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 10:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 31st, 2022 at 11:21:32 PM EST
Interesting. Thanks.
The m-word got a mention.
by Cat on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 12:03:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RUSSIAN AND US SQUARE OFF at UN Security Council over Ukraine crisis
US, UK talking points memo--not Minsk, Belarus theater
Ukraine's citizen-soldiers train to fight in case of Russian invasion, Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces volunteers
The young reservist spent nearly 10,000 hryvnias (about 313 euros) to buy his own equipment - uniform, first-aid kit, tactical vest, gas mask... and even a Geiger counter, which he takes out of his bag. He acquired it in 2014, shortly after war broke-out between loyalists and Russian-backed Donbass separatists. "We were in open conflict with a nuclear-armed army at the time and I wanted to be ready for any eventuality," he said, proudly showing the small white box that measures the level of radioactivity in the air.

'We hope we won't have to put everything we learn here into practice'

The civilian-soldiers of the Territorial Defence all equip themselves at their own expenses. The old Kalashnikovs used for their training always remain at the base.

"The weapons would only be distributed in the event of an invasion. Meanwhile, with a permit, you can keep only a hunting weapon at home," explains Alexei Sus. That's not enough for him: the reservist has been saving up for his dream weapon: an US-made KelTec RFB 308 assault rifle.

Alexei is the typical Territorial Defence recruit: men who are full of patriotism and keen to be part of the defense effort, but unwilling to quit their jobs and civilian life to join the regular army. According to Sergeant Instructor Mikhail Sokolov, about 20 percent of the volunteers are women, but only a handful attended the training FRANCE 24 witnessed.

by Cat on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 02:35:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by Cat on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 02:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit op diplomacy sandwiched in between harassment and war rhetoric by Biden/Blinken and Johnson/Truss. #natodefense #stopnato

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 06:25:01 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 06:42:19 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 06:43:59 AM EST

Hungary's Viktor Orban eyes favors from Vladimir Putin amid Ukraine crisis | DW News |

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 1st, 2022 at 06:45:42 AM EST
The Italian Prime Minister stressed the importance of de-escalating tensions
According to the press service of the Italian prime minister, "the latest events related to the situation in Ukraine have been discussed" during the conversation, along with other matters.
gas supply
A day before, the Russian leader continued discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron on the situation in Ukraine and the issue of providing Moscow with security guarantees from the West. This was the second phone conversation between the leaders in the last week.
by Cat on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 01:31:46 AM EST
Los documentos confidenciales sobre Ucrania: EE UU y la OTAN ofrecieron a Putin acuerdos de desarme
Unfortunately behind a paywall, but Izvestiya refers that:
The United States is ready to discuss with Russia limiting the deployment of offensive missile systems in Ukraine. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported this on Wednesday referring to the US and NATO response to Russia's proposals on security guarantees.

"The US is ready to discuss mutual transparency measures and mutual commitments by both the US and Russia to limit the deployment of offensive missile systems and permanent forces with a combat mission in Ukraine," the report said.

El Pais has published the full text of a confidential US and NATO response to Russia's proposals on security guarantees.

The tinkering and haggling has commenced.
by pelgus on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 11:01:39 AM EST
Now it gets serious.


"When the fox is screaming from the top of the henhouse that he's scared of the chickens, which is essentially what they're doing, that fear isn't reported as a statement of fact," she said. "And as you watch President [Vladimir] Putin screaming about the fear of Ukraine and the Ukrainians, that should not be reported as a statement of fact."
"Well, Russia is traditionally compared to a bear. And he wouldn't be able to climb a hen house, even if he wanted to. He is too big and heavy to do that," he adde
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 2nd, 2022 at 07:43:35 PM EST
Some action in Syria just to reinforce the point out that the US has no problem blowing up stuff and/or people.
by asdf on Thu Feb 3rd, 2022 at 06:18:31 PM EST

UNGA adopts Olympic Truce for Beijing 2022, highlighting the contribution of sport to the promotion of peace and solidarity

It calls for the observance of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022, from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games, on 4 February 2022, until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games.

The United States fails to call a Russian invasion on command. Tried multiple options of accusations out of the CIA archives to inflict a war through a false flag incident.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 07:06:46 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 07:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO Countries are urging a diplomatic solution while claiming an invasion is imminent, and strengthening Ukraine with arms and further confrontation in Baltic and Black Sea regions. Often referring to the defeat in Georgia in 2008 after Saakashvili attacked Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:17:00 PM EST

« Det stinker av kameraderi »

The appointment is simply marked by poor foresight. Especially after the round that has taken place in the media.

Stoltenberg's supporters have written articles, comments and posts with brask and bram. About how qualified he is, how good leadership qualities he possesses, and how good the exam he delivered over thirty years ago may be. The newspapers have revealed private dinners between well-known Labor Party politicians, officials and Stoltenberg himself.

It stinks of cronyism.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lining up as his successor ...

A true loyal Atlanticist who is favorite son to any US President, especially Trump. Close intelligence ties with Five Eyes - NSA, GCHQ, Unit 8200 - well learned in propaganda about Ukraine. Dutch MP Mark Rutte should be frontrunner ... specialty straight face while telling falsehoods, memory loss when needed and excellent team of a few dozen PR assistants running his office strategy and planning.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's replies to questions from Russian media, Beijing, February 4, 2020

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:23:46 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe refused a commitment and is buying on the expensive spot market.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 10:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the strategy? I thought one of Russia's claims is that it is satisfying its contracts, but doesn't have to provide supply in the spot market if it doesn't want to.
by asdf on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 01:54:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ummm, systematic "de-dollarization" of international commodity trade and debt burdens, momentarily-crowne the BRICS alliance of "low-income" nations
Russian-Chinese Cooperation inCentral Asia and the Idea of Greater Eurasia
acronym finder a/o 2019

WTO Regional trade agreements database

2. difference between fixed and variable priced commodity exchange, or future and "spot" Q supply price contracts, respectively.


Russia's claims...that it is satisfying its contracts, but doesn't have to provide supply in the spot market
expresses an archaic, closely held assumption among "net-import," free-trading governments of the developed, high-income world: According to international norms, your resources are belong to us. Thus, delivery of your resources on demand at any time, price, or quantity is non-negotiable.
by Cat on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 06:38:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe's strategy, I mean. Why not buy at contracted price? Going to the spot market puts price control into Russia's hands.
by asdf on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 06:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Determining energy policy through Russophobia mindset ... see my post about Poland and the Baltic pipeline ... when the choice disappoints, spinning the narrative goes a long way.

See my link to ...

Russia-Poland gas relationship: risks and uncertainties of the ever after | Oxford Energy Studies - June 2020 |

Poland to buy spot gas once Gazprom contract ends | Argus Media - Sept. 13, 2021 |

"Having the technical ability to import from western Europe, we would be able to buy gas on the spot markets when needed," Piotr Naimski, the Polish government minister responsible for energy security and infrastructure, said.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 08:01:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite short-term pain, the EU's liberalised gas markets have brought long-term financial gains | IEA - Oct. 22, 2021 |

Today's record-high natural gas prices have raised questions about the liberalisation of the European Union's natural gas market and its gradual move towards allowing real-time market trading to set prices rather than long-term contracts.

While liberalisation has meant greater European exposure to the recent spikes in the price of imported gas, it has also cut the EU's gas bills over the past decade. And the increased flexibility it provides will be essential as the continent transitions to greater reliance on renewable energy sources, which are cleaner but whose output is more variable.

Deflecting blame to ... Russia of course!

Russia is orchestrating Europe's gas crisis, says IEA agency boss Fatih Birol | The Guardian - Jan. 12, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 08:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haha that's the same argument that caused all the trouble in Texas last winter. Short term lower cost, then a sudden spike and everybody goes broke.

Standard result of deregulation, same thing as the port mess in Los Angeles.

by asdf on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 08:48:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:29:34 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:30:45 PM EST

As Russia menaces Ukraine, Crimea's Tatars turn to Turkey | Al-Monitor |

Zelensky thanks Erdogan for supporting Crimean Tatars

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for supporting the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine and for active participation in the Crimea Platform.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:50:06 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 4th, 2022 at 08:51:49 PM EST
Bloomberg News agency published a headline that read, `Live: Russia invades Ukraine'. It went up on its homepage around midnight Moscow time and stayed there for nearly half an hour, before it was removed and an apology for the mistake issued.

Users who clicked on the shocking story while it was still up were redirected to an error page, according to the New York Post. Screenshots of Bloomberg's website shared on Twitter indicate that the sensational claim remained largely unnoticed for at least 24 minutes before it was deleted.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 06:43:08 AM EST
Especially Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNBC, WSJ keeping all options on the table 😖 😳

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 09:00:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fortunately Bloomberg is behind paywall ...

For most politicians and NATO countries it doesn't matter whether Putin invades or not, the MEGA crippling sanctions will come anyway. A headline could be sufficient as trigger .... go and run with it. Pentagon will add some highly sensitive fake satellite images ... no need to go to the UNSC under chairmanship of Russia and Sergei Lavrov. 😉 🌏

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 09:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 02:04:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Friday's move lifts the sanctions threat against foreign countries and companies from Russia, China and Europe that had been cooperating with non-military parts of Iran's nuclear program under the terms of the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The Trump administration had ended the so-called "civ-nuke" waivers in May 2020 as part of its "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran that began when Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018, complaining that it was the worst diplomatic agreement ever negotiated and gave Iran a pathway to developing the bomb.

"The waiver with respect to these activities is designed to facilitate discussions that would help to close a deal on a mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the groundwork for Iran's return to performance of its JCPOA commitments," the State Department said in a notice to Congress that announced the move.

"It is also designed to serve US nonproliferation and nuclear safety interests and constrain Iran's nuclear activities," the department said. "It is being issued as a matter of policy discretion with these objectives in mind, and not pursuant to a commitment or as part of a quid pro quo. We are focused on working with partners and allies to counter the full range of threats that Iran poses."

The waivers permit foreign countries and companies to work on civilian projects at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power station, its Arak heavy water plant and the Tehran Research Reactor. Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had revoked the waivers in May, 2020, accusing Iran of "nuclear extortion" for continuing and expanding work at the sites.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 5th, 2022 at 09:41:46 AM EST
US BILD Ups Tension with Russia

Not that Russia has ever done this kind of things in the past.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 10:18:01 AM EST
de Bild - behind a pay-wall. Similar content from NATO mouthpiece Atlantic Council a few days ago ...

Vladimir Putin's Ukraine playbook echoes the traditional tactics of Russian imperialism

Since the onset of Russian aggression against Ukraine in spring 2014, much has been written about the innovative form of hybrid warfare favored by the Kremlin. But while certain aspects of Russia's attack on Ukraine have indeed been novel, Moscow's approach to the conflict also echoes a range of far more traditional tactics from the golden age of Russian imperialism and the era of Soviet expansionism.

"The spirit of partiality, disorder and civil war, which for so many years has shaken the Kingdom of Poland, the anarchy which there with each passing day increases, destroying the seriousness of regular government." This is how Russian ruler Catherine the Great presented the threat to Russia in 1772 while seeking to justify the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

When she annexed further lands west of Kyiv two decades later during subsequent stages of the partitions, this act of imperial expansion was explained as necessary due to the "feuds and disturbances that shook the Kingdom of Poland as a result of the overthrow of the old regime, carried out unilaterally and violently on the third of May 1791." This Czarist era narrative immediately brings to mind modern Russia's own attempts to justify its attack on Ukraine by referencing alleged coups in Kyiv.

Łukasz Adamski: Putin's Ukraine playbook echoes the tactics of Russian imperialism | The Kyiv Independent |

Over the last three centuries, not quite novel to Russia. See link, go a few more years back to the forming of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. A fight against the Teutonic Knights somewhat earlier ...

More contemporary illustration I mentioned recently in 1948 which effected the role NATO would take.

Fear of Communist expansionism after coup d'état in Prague of 1948

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 05:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine plays down Russian invasion despite US sounding alarm | France24 |

The invasion is imminent ... it may take up to a few weeks ... and so forth ...

Department Press Briefing - February 3, 2022

MR PRICE: Good afternoon. We have previously noted our strong concerns regarding Russian disinformation and the likelihood that Moscow might create - seek to create a false flag operation to initiate military activity. Now, we can say that the United States has information that Russia is planning to stage fabricated attacks by Ukrainian military or intelligence forces as a pretext for a further invasion of Ukraine.

One possible option the Russians are considering, and which we made public today, involves the production of a propaganda video - a video with graphic scenes of false explosions - depicting corpses, crisis actors pretending to be mourners, and images of destroyed locations or military equipment - entirely fabricated by Russian intelligence.

To be clear, the production of this propaganda video is one of a number of options that the Russian Government is developing as a fake pretext to initiate and potentially justify military aggression against Ukraine. We don't know if Russia will necessarily use this or another option in the coming days. We are publicizing it now, however, in order to lay bare the extent of Russia's destabilizing actions towards Ukraine and to dissuade Russia from continuing this dangerous campaign and ultimately launching a military attack.

Russia has signalled it's willing to continue diplomatic talks as a means to de-escalate, but actions such as these suggest otherwise. We will continue to diligently work together with our allies and partners to expose Russian disinformation and other hybrid tactics used against Ukraine. We continue to work to prevent any effort Moscow might make to justify further military action in Ukraine. We again urge Russia to stop its destructive and destabilizing disinformation campaign, to de-escalate tensions, and to engage in diplomacy and dialogue for a peaceful solution.

It may be all false from the Kremlin and they have spoofed us intending to offer talks and we misconceived their message. Who know what goes on in Putin's head ... remembering Catherine the Great and the troubles with the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 11:27:57 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 11:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 11:51:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 11:53:39 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 6th, 2022 at 11:54:57 PM EST
Where Covid and Ukraine meet...
I quote from the summary under the video's title:

Moscow, record high cases, + 168,000
www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/04/russia-omicron-surge?utm_campaign=wp_to_your_health &utm
(relatively low testing)
Omicron dominant (18,000 hospitalized)
Significant pressure already
Elective work often postponed
Low vaccination rates
Putin ruled out a lockdown
Life goes on despite the difficult situation
Viktor Zakharov, Intelligent Logistics Center St. Petersburg University
Peak + 200,000 22nd February
4 million people simultaneously ill

Nearly a million excess deaths by the end of 2021

by Tom2 on Mon Feb 7th, 2022 at 10:30:51 AM EST
Times of Israel
Ukraine reprimanded Israel's ambassador to Kyiv Thursday to protest Jerusalem's request to Moscow that it assist in evacuating citizens in the event of Russian invasion.


"You are treating us like what? The Gaza Strip or something? It's just nonsense," a Ukrainian diplomatic source told the Haaretz news site ahead of the summoning. "The ambassador will be called to the ministry to give an explanation."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 17th, 2022 at 09:06:32 PM EST
Thanks for the laugh!
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 17th, 2022 at 11:00:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
World's richest man Elon Musk slammed for Hitler tweet

Mr Musk is one of many right-leaning figures who have cheered on the Freedom Convoy. At one point he tweeted, "Canadian truckers rule!"

The Tesla boss was blasted for comparing Mr Trudeau to Hitler by the American Jewish Committee, which called for him to apologise.

A spokesman said, "Once again, Elon Musk has exercised extremely poor judgment by invoking Hitler to make a point on social media. He must stop this unacceptable behaviour.

"Musk may believe posting a meme comparing Justin Trudeau to a genocidal dictator who exterminated millions is an appropriate way to criticise policies he disagrees with. It is not. It never is."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 17th, 2022 at 09:30:04 PM EST

Auschwitz museum says using photo of dictator is exploitative and `disrespects memory of all victims' | The Guardian |

Musk did not respond to the AJC or the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, but posted another tweet that suggested his Twitter followers read a book about the economic history of Nazi Germany for "an in-depth explanation".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 17th, 2022 at 09:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The Wages of Destruction: The Making and the Breaking of the Nazi Economy | Book review The Guardian |

The economic prowess of Germany is a blueprint for neo-colonialism of both the UK and US today. Monopolizing commodities and natural resources has been a motive for many wars and conflicts in the 20th century and beyond.

Profits "Über Alles!" American Corporations and Hitler

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 17th, 2022 at 09:34:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 01:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
12th-13th century Crusades were not well orgnized.
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 01:55:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US says war appears imminent after fresh shelling on Ukraine
Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels gave conflicting accounts of shelling across the front in the Donbass separatist region. The details could not be established independently, but reports from both sides suggested an incident more serious than the routine ceasefire violations reported regularly in the area.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was "seriously concerned" about reports of an escalation.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the reports "a blatant attempt" by the Russian government to fabricate pretexts for invasion.

Since the night of February 16, the shelling of the DPR and LPR by the UAF has sharply intensified. By the afternoon of February 17, the frequency of the attacks reached the intensity of 2014-2015.

Today, the UAF artillery carried out 18 massive attacks on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). For example, during one of these attacks on the village of Shakhty Izotov, 16 mines were fired from an 82mm mortar launchers. In total, about 300 rounds of heavy artillery and mortars were fired.

For example, in the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), the following attacks were recorded in just one hour:

Ukraine accuses pro-Russia rebels of `provocation' after reports of shelling near border
NY Yella Cake: Shelling Strikes Two Schools In Eastern Ukraine, Including ...
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 12:21:15 AM EST
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 01:35:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shelling Strikes Two Schools In Eastern Ukraine, Including Kindergarten
Journalists from RFE/RL's Donbas.Realities team on the scene reported that shells landed 30-40 meters from the school. Shrapnel shattered windows and tore into walls. One private house was also damaged but was empty. Locals blame Russia-backed separatists for the attack.

Also on February 17, a kindergarten in the frontline town of Stanytsia Luhanska​ was heavily damaged by shelling and three people were injured.

The press center for Ukraine's military forces reported that, as of the morning of February 17, it had recorded 29 violations of a cease-fire agreement by Russia-backed militants in the Donbas region, including 27 using weapons prohibited under the Minsk accords. At the same time, Russia-backed separatists published accusations that Ukraine's military forces had fired on territories they control. The claims could not be independently verified.

Shelling by Russian-backed separatists raises tensions in east Ukraine: BoJo "landing zone" crosses the "line of contact"
According to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) there were "multiple shelling incidents" on Thursday morning across the frontline in the Donbas region.
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 01:51:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
President Biden delivers remarks on infrastructure and jobs during a visit to Ohio -- 2/17/22
... blah blah blah @00:38:11
We need some kind of tomorrow. Places like Lorain have a lot of proud yesterdays. Now, we're going to have some brighter tomorrows because of all of you. God bless you all, God protect our troops. And the reason they tell me I've got to head out--I hadn't planned on going immediately--because the weather going back to Washington. There's a little thing going on in Europe right now. So [LAUGHTER] God bless you all, as I said may God protect our troops. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]
as is the custom
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 02:13:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ceasefire violations and number of explosions more than doubled in last 24 hours. Both sides increased its gatherings ... earlier both the members of the UK and US have left the mission!

OSCE-SMM Daily Report 37/2022 -- 17 February 2022

  • The Mission visited a border crossing point in Kharkiv region, where it saw no change in the security situation.
  • The SMM observed gatherings in Kyiv and Dnipro.
  • The Mission's freedom of movement continued to be restricted, including at a heavy weapons holding area in a government-controlled area of Luhansk region, at a permanent storage site and a heavy weapons holding area in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk region, and at a training area in a non-government-controlled area of Luhansk region. Its unmanned aerial vehicles again encountered instances of GPS signal interference, assessed as caused by probable jamming.

OSCE SMM Spot Report 6/2022: A member of the armed formations threatened the SMM at a training area near Shymshynivka, Luhansk region

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 08:06:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hill | US: Up to 190,000 Russian troops now along Ukraine border
The U.S. envoy to the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OPEC) on Friday detailed reports of up to 190,000 Russian troops now along the Ukrainian border.

Stoltenberg analysis developing ...

by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 01:57:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 02:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Shutting all avenues towards a diplomatic solution ... well planned step-by-step towards war in the Ukraine.

Russia starting nuclear exercises ... upping the drama 😡

Russia to stage massive nuclear drills amid Ukraine standoff | AP News |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 05:44:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia-backed rebels announce evacuation from east Ukraine

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they planned to evacuate their breakaway region's residents to Russia, a stunning turn in a conflict the West believes Moscow could use to justify an invasion of Ukraine. 

Announcing the move on social media, Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said Russia had agreed to provide accommodation for those who leave. Women, children and the elderly should be evacuated first. 

There was no immediate commment from Russian officials or from Kyiv. Millions of civilians are believed to live in the two rebel-held regions of eastern Ukraine; most are Russian speakers and many have already been granted Russian citizenship.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 02:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All the 700,000? Or that was the number of people to whom Russian passports had been distributed?
by Tom2 on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 03:02:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Ukraine 584,000 person in Donbass have Russian passport, according to Russia 860,000.

But this evacuation request has now been given in both LPR and DPR for all women, children and elderly people, while male citizens are encouraged to stay and fight.

by pelgus on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 03:16:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This morning, RT reports sirens in Donetsk, evacuation of civilians to Russia.
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 02:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in a battle to 'control the narrative'? as the Z-ppl say.

Donetsk People's Republic Starts Evacuation of Civilians as Shelling by Ukrainian Forces Intensifies

Earlier, the LPR mission to the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire Regime said that the Ukrainian forces had shelled the LPR 29 times in the past 24 hours, and heavy weaponry had been used in the attacks including 122 mm artillery systems, large-calibre mortars, and anti-tank guided missiles.
Tensions in the area flared up shortly after Russia started withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine to their permanent deployment sites after military exercises.
search for satellite images of armament from RU continues ...
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 04:13:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now Russian media is reporting a big explosion in Donetsk center, outside government building.
by pelgus on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 04:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Confirmed by DPR People's Militia to have been a car bomb.
by pelgus on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 04:19:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 10:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nov 2021
Canadian officials under fire after meeting with Ukrainian battalion unit linked to neo-Nazis, podcast (EN)
"The review was sparked after concerns were raised by Jewish groups of the alleged involvement of Canadian troops training with a battalion in Ukraine with links to Neo-Nazis, as well as warnings by soldiers last year that Canadians trained with some Iraqi forces involved in torture and rape."

Feb 2022
Canada is sending lethal aid to Ukraine amid Russian invasion threat: Trudeau
"he says his country stands ready to respond to whatever 'aggressive actions'" Canadian descendants of WWII survivors may take, too.

by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 08:54:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet those will arrive quicker
https:/www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/02/dutch-agree-to-send-100-sniper-rifles-and-and-protective-gear- to-ukraine
Any parliament?
by Tom2 on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 09:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
spoiler alert!
Antony Blinken: Russia might use chemical weapons for Ukraine attack pretext, 17 Feb, "in an unexpected appearance before the United Nations Security Council"
"Russia plans to manufacture a pretext for its attack," Blinken said, before outlining several possible scenarios. "It could be a fabricated so-called terrorist bombing inside Russia, the invented discovery of a mass grave, a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake -- even a real -- attack using chemical weapons."
by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 04:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Biden: UAF shelling kindergarten "defies logic" considering RU massive troops preparing invasion and US commitment to providing lethal aid and loan guarantee to Ukraine for defense.

by Cat on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 11:00:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, as Ukrainians have been saying for weeks, there's no troops massed for invasion expect the UAF on the "contact line". Ok, Ukraine hasn't been saying that last one.

But given that the Russian media has this whole day been talking about rockets and artillery shells that hit a village on Russian side of the border (no casualties, one shed collapsed), and the resulting criminal investigation, it is really unlikely Russia will attack if they pass by such an obvious casus belli as being shot at without provocation.

Frankly, the shells landing on the Russian side were only a minor detail, most of the talk is about the refugees and the firing in Donbass, according to OSCE monitors three times as intensive as the average for 2021.

by pelgus on Sat Feb 19th, 2022 at 10:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine's Zelenskyy calls on Putin to meet as tensions soar
"I don't know what the president of the Russian Federation wants, so I am proposing a meeting"
by Cat on Sun Feb 20th, 2022 at 03:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 18th, 2022 at 04:58:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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