Russia Mobilizes – What does it mean?

From the Very Much Double Plus Un-Good department… Putin has announced a “Partial Mobilization” of the regular military. But what does this mean?

I saw this coming on other sources, but the first confirmation of it was on the BBC this morning when I checked YouTube news. So I decided to go straight to the RT source for what they were saying. (FWIW the BBC correctly reported the “partial mobilization”, modulo the presenter saying 30,000 while the chyron at the bottom was saying 300,000 troops… but then went into a long tirade about how this was all evidence that Putin was losing Putin’s War and the Great Ukrainian Army was rising victorious!!! or some such bilge, but I wasn’t paying attention at that point as it was all clearly spin and crap “positioning”.)

The bottom line / only real news being Putin is mobilizing a bunch of experienced military to do what’s needed now, and newer less experienced recruits are going to go into some intense training to assure they are up to the tasks to be given them. Everything after that is either spin or speculation.

My guess is you will get two Spin Orientations out of this (and not “top spin” vs “bottom spin” – this isn’t physics…). The West will spin it as “Glorious Ukraine is WINNING and Putin is scared, panicking, and desperate, so calling up the reserves as his army is depleted and dying!!”. Russia will spin it as “The Evil West is out to destroy and partition Russia as they did the USSR. We are not just fighting Ukraine, but the entire force of NATO as they are attempting to destroy us. Our victory in Ukraine is near, but we need to also, now, stop NATO.”

Of those two, I think the truth is closer to the implied Russian Spin, but much closer to a middle ground of: “NATO / USA / EU / UK did, in fact, violate agreements not to move NATO closer to Russia; and they did fund and create a Color Revolution in Ukraine to put in place a NATO friendly corrupt government. Russia waited 9 years while Rump Ukraine shelled the Donbass killing Ethnic Russians, then when it was intolerable to have a NATO Ukraine killing Russians, Putin took action. This action was going pretty good until the NATO members shoved more money and arms into Ukraine than the entire military budget of anyone but the USA… Russia has continued to do OK, but it is time to recognize that this is no longer a war of liberation of Russians in Ukrainian Historically Russian Territory: it is now a full on war with NATO (though presently a proxy war using Ukrainian men + hired guns).”

But my interpretation could be just as wrong as any other. “Truth is the first casualty of war” and there’s just no way any of us will get “the truth” out of any news service anywhere in the world. All the participants have a huge motivation to lie and propagandize to the maximum extent.

So what do we really know?

Well, what is RT saying? (I’ll intersperse my comments with their text. Note that I’ve never seen RT overtly lie the way western media does. RT tends to a more subtle “lie by omission” and the occasional “bend & spin” on the presentation but where the facts are provable. So tease out the facts and avoid the spin…)

21 Sep, 2022 06:13

Russia to begin partial mobilization – Putin

The measure will apply to members of the reserve forces and those with military experience

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization during an address to the nation on Wednesday morning. He said the Defense Ministry had recommended drawing military reservists into active service as the country faces a protracted conflict in Ukraine and Donbass.

The measure is sensible and necessary under the circumstances, Putin said, considering that Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. He has already signed an order for the call-up to start immediately.

BBC & The West are (will) spin this as “Putin is losing in Ukraine”. Russia is presenting it as “Russia vs The West” with the implied “that has invaded us dozens of times from before Napoleon to the Nazi invasion and the NATO / WEF attempt to destroy us with Oligarchs when the USSR collapsed.”

IMHO reality is somewhere in between. My best guess is that Putin was hoping for a quick capitulation of Ukraine on the issue of former Russian areas, and when NATO stepped in with an incredible flood of arms and money, had to shift to a new paradigm of “NATO trying to destroy Russia” (which it sure looks like is what NATO / WEFies are doing…).

So now we enter the period of “Testing Wills”. We find out if Biden (and whoever is pulling his strings), the EU, the UK with new King & PM are willing to continue feeding $Billions per week into Ukraine, and what happens when the cold hits without Russian Gas & oil; vs. Putin & The Russians, which are willing to go to WW III or at least to the brink of it. Putin is saying he’s ready to use Nukes, if needed as this is an existential threat (and it is, IMHO). Is a cold and hungry WEF destroyed EU / UK that ready? Or perhaps it is just that The West will be happy with a little W.W. to kill off the 90% of “useless eaters”…

I’m not seeing evidence that either side is going to back down until things have moved much further against one or the other of them. So my conclusion is just to “prepare for the worst”. I’ve mostly moved to about as far away from any war risk as one can get, and I’m busy rebuilding my “prep” stores. Up to about 5 months worth now. Still need to get a “whole house” generator installed and a few hundred gallons of fuel… but in a “winter war” I won’t need A/C and can live on the Honda portable that I’ve got.

My “best guess” is that nothing drastic happens until after the November Election in the USA and a good layer of snow is on the ground across Ukraine & Russia. If anything, I’d plan on a “Christmas War” with an outside chance of a “Thanksgiving War”. Those are my target dates for “prep ready and everything out of ground zero Silly Con Valley” anyway.

The move will see the armed forces draw on military reservists only, and those who have completed national service, the president added. He promised that they would be provided with additional training, along with all the benefits due to people involved in active duty.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu revealed some details about the mobilization in a separate statement on Wednesday. He said the ministry wanted to call to arms some 300,000 reservists, or just over 1% of Russia’s full mobilization potential.

So it’s 300,000 troops with experience. And with 99% still in reserves. Full pay and benefits (with a strong Ruble and plenty of gas & food too…)

Putin has accused Kiev of backing away from peace talks with Moscow, which he said it had done on the instructions of its Western backers. Instead, the Ukrainian government has doubled down on military action, he said.

“After certain compromises [with Moscow] were reached, Kiev received a de facto direct order to derail all agreements. More weapons were pumped into Ukraine. The Kiev regime deployed more gangs of international mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained to NATO standards and under de facto command of Western advisers,” Putin said.

So Putin is (IMHO correctly) seeing this as a big NATO operation playing Satrap Rump Ukraine as a proxy in a NATO vs. Russia conflict.

Russian forces sent to Ukraine in February have secured a large portion of territory claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as parts of Ukraine, he said. The resulting front line stretches over 1,000km, the president pointed out.

He warned the US and its allies against ramping up pressure on Moscow. Western nations are openly pursuing a military defeat of Russia, seeking to push the country into insignificance and to loot its natural wealth, he stated.

“Parts of Western elites use every effort to preserve their dominance. That is why they try to block and suppress any sovereign centers of development, so that they can continue to brutally force their will on other nations and peoples, to impose their pseudo-values,” he explained. “Their goal is to weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy our nation.”

Look at that Putin quote. Frankly, I can’t see where he is wrong. We know what the WEFies are up to. We know that Faux Resident Biden is a puppet of these folks (with honorable mention to the CCP buying him). We know the EU “leadership” is not interested in the citizens nor the National Rights of member nations. It sure looks to me like Putin’s view of international manipulations matches my view of them. Color Revolutions and all.

Some senior officials in NATO states have even suggested that using tactical nuclear weapons against Russian troops would be justified, according to Putin. The president stressed that Moscow would not hesitate to retaliate to such an attack with its own nuclear weapons.

M.A.D. is alive and well. This is also in alignment with my general philosophy of “Be The Mirror”. IMHO Putin is not bluffing and is honestly telling The West “You go nuclear, we go nuclear.” That is in keeping with long standing Russian military doctrine on tactical nukes.

Putin also commented on the upcoming referendums in the two Donbass republics and two regions of Ukraine currently controlled to a large extent by Russian troops. The four entities are putting to a general vote a proposal to ask Moscow to accept them as new parts of the Russian Federation, with polling scheduled to start on Friday.

The Russian leader pledged to support the plebiscites in terms of security and said his government would respect whatever outcomes they produce. Russia’s goal is to protect civilians from the Ukrainian government, which had escalated the persecution of its opponents at home and had been using terrorist tactics against people living in Russia-controlled lands, Putin said.

Note too that Putin said:

If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people.

Put this in the context of a vote to pull the Donbass into the Russian Federation (making it de facto “Russia”) and that from the Russian POV, Crimea is and always has been a part of Russia since the transfer to Ukraine by a Ukrainian PM was not consummated by a vote of the Duma; any attack on Donbass or Crimea fits this “threat” to the “territorial integrity of our nation”. OUR POV on this does not matter, since it is the Russian POV that will determine if they push the launch button…

So basically this is a declaration to NATO that they can have a full on war with Russia, up to and including nuclear war, or they can let the Ethnic / Historically Russian parts of Ukraine return to Russia and stop trying to destroy Russia in a proxy war.

I have no expectation that NATO members will do anything but stay belligerent and continue to push a full NATO war on Russia. My best guess is that Russia will use the next month or two to prepare and then prosecute Yet Another Winter War with The West.

It will be interesting to see how well NATO equipment performs in a Russian Winter War, especially when they can’t get enough natural gas, gasoline, Diesel, petroleum in general to both keep the citizens warm and industry running. The German economy is already about 1/2 shut down and inflation in the Euro Zone is going way high (higher than in the USA that is already too high). Personally, I’d not enter a war with anyone were my country running on 1/2 fuel and with rampant economic depression with monetary inflation and a currency collapse. But that’s just me, I guess.

For comparison, here’s the BBC:

Russia’s Putin announces partial military mobilisation

Russian president Vladimir Putin has announced a partial military mobilisation in Russia.

In a televised address to the nation, he said this was a necessary step to ensure Russian territorial integrity.

He said the West wanted to destroy Russia.

6 hours ago
BBC News

That’s the whole article. The BBC on YouTube had more in it. I’ll keep looking…

LIVE Putin calls up reservists to fight in Ukraine after losing ground
viewing this page

President Putin says military reservists are to be sent to Ukraine as part of a partial mobilisation of Russian forces
In a televised address to the nation, he said this was a necessary step to ensure Russian territorial integrity
He accused the West of wanting to see Russia weakened and said a threat to retaliate further was “not a bluff”
Western allies responded by saying that Putin’s escalation of the war showed Russia’s military was faltering
The EU and Nato said his rhetoric on nuclear weapons was dangerous
Moscow has also announced plans to hold referendums on joining Russia in parts of Ukraine that are currently under Russian control
The US, Germany and France said would never recognise the results of such “sham” ballots
And world leaders are gathering in New York for a UN meeting – US President Biden is speaking shortly

Note the spin of “after losing ground” and “military faltering” and “dangerous” rhetoric.

Framing this as a loser thrashing about, not recognizing anything from the Russian POV on their history and NATO threats, framing their clear statement of military doctrine as ‘rhetoric’.

It looks to me far more like the BBC is “spinning” things with a lot of emotional loading and like RT is more “just the facts” without the emotional spin (but with selective listing of the facts and ‘spin by omission’ as favorite tools).

So, my conclusion from all this is pretty simple. We’re having a “rock and a hard place” moment.

Rock: Russia is NOT going to just give up and go home. Putin is “in it to win it” and taking the steps needed to assure that. 300,000 more experienced fighters on their way for a “Winter War”, and another million or 2 in waiting if needed. Chewing up NATO resources and Ukrainian men at a fast rate and with very favorable loss ratios. Ready, willing, and able to use nukes if necessary as they see this as an existential threat and as a justified liberation of Ethnic Russians who have withstood 9+ years of shelling by Rump Ukraine and “ethnic cleansing” laws (like forbidden to have their kids taught in Russian).

Hard Place: NATO (EU, UK, USA at least, some other members less committed) conducting a Proxy War in Ukraine are unwilling to lose their Money Laundry On Steroids, have $Billions of Slush Money to skim. Want to put missiles 5 minutes from Moscow, and see this as their best chance to do a Color Revolution in Russia and eliminate one of the 2 big threats to the One World Order (the other being the USA that they have already taken down via a fraudulent election of their Puppet Biden and a buy off of the DNC). The USA is still (barely) in play against them with the November election needing another round of fraud, but under closer watch so will need to be more subtle; and that will impact timing of things, but they very much are pushing to “get ‘er done” with a global “reset” take over inside of one year, max. They MUST do it now, or risk losing it all. So not going to back down.

Something is going to blow up. Just don’t know what.

Will a NATO / WEF “Color Revolution” break out in Russia? My sense of it is no, as many Russians are quite happy with Putin. Then again, this play book is well tuned, so maybe it can be run. Body Bags are a big emotional lever.

Will the Ukraine NATO war have a winner? Maybe. It is a full NATO vs Russia resources war at this point, and Russia has more natural resources, while NATO has some pretty good equipment; but a limited number of Ukrainian Men to feed to the slaughter. I’d bet on Russia winning, but only by a little bit. NATO might pull it off if they can find a way to feed more non-Ukrainians to the grinder. It will also depend to some large extent on how well each does when the snow starts to fall.

Will the EU collapse and fall into chaos as EU Members just can’t stand 20% inflation, no heat, and no industry this winter? That’s also a very possible. A collapsed EU can’t do a very good job of being a Strong NATO Force, so these things interact. We’re in a bit of a Race Condition on the economic war front. It isn’t looking good at all for Germany (the economic core of the EU) as they are already shutting down industries and may have enough gas to stay warm through winter, but not enough to do that and work too. My guess is the EU hangs together, but comes out very ragged and with at least one more nation exiting.

Will the USA vote to dump the Dimocrats in November? Certainly. But that isn’t the question. The question is “Will the DNC vote stealing machine be up to the task of turning a 65% / 35% vote into a 48% R / 52% D ‘win’ on election night?”… and will the citizens notice…

There’s more, but less impactful. Things like Turkey playing both sides of the game. China buying politicians globally (and with ownership of the DNC & Biden) and what will they want / do. Russian gas being sold in large quantity to China with a newer pipeline being added to that. How bad will winter be in Europe. Will the Colorado River Basin drought recover with the monsoons, or will California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, etc. etc. suffer a whole lot of blackouts… right when we might want our Defense Contractors there to have power & lights… Will the WEF succeed at destruction of western agriculture and plunge one side into starvation (‘an army marches on its stomach’ is something they might want to remember while working to starve the NATO side…) etc.

My push is pretty simple:

I’m putting in place preparations for a 6 month+ “prep” of food, fuel, and “exchange goods”. I’m planning on having at least 1500 miles of “emergency travel” fuel in vehicles. I’m working to get a standby whole house generator in place by Christmas (but not real hard…). I’ve paid off all debts and have no mortgage. I’m about 50 miles away from any likely “ground zero” and about 1/2 mile from a lake for water if needed.

Yes, I expect this NATO vs Russia conflict to “go sideways”. The only real questions I see are “how far and how fast”. I’m hoping it only slowly escalates into about February. I’m planning on it hitting the fan about December 1. I’m praying it resolves with a Ukraine / NATO recognition of Russian History and Ethnic Russian desires before too many more folks die and the actual Russian Military is in Kiev. I know Putin (and Russians in general) are not going to let go of Crimea & the Donbass Ethnic Russians; you don’t throw ‘family’ under the bus. So it will come down to NATO / USA / UK/ EU/ WEF determination to kill as many as necessary to destroy Russia. We’ll find out how much hate is in their hearts, I guess.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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124 Responses to Russia Mobilizes – What does it mean?

  1. The True Nolan says:

    One more side issue reported by RT and re-reported by Newsweek:
    “Hunter Biden Accused by Russia of Helping Finance Ukraine Biolabs”

    The White House spins this as a way for Russia to justify possible Russian use of bioweapons. What to believe? Is this Russian propaganda? Or is this US aggressive encroachment of Russian security?

    I was raised as a “Rah rah!” American — but that was back when we still had a Constitution and the sort or Rule of Law. These days, I believe Russia more than DC.

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    The EU is starting to fracture. Hungary has done some sort of deal with Russia on gas, and has been at odds with the EU about social matters, and with a big election win behind him the Hungarian leader isn’t going to back down.
    Poland has also been annoyed with the EU withholding payments they expected, and with the attitude of the Germans who aren’t that popular with Poles (for historical reasons – and they aren’t fond of Russians either. A few centuries of invasions and oppression DO leave a mark). Polish PM Morawiecki spoke about Poland establishing a joint Central Eastern European policy with Bulgaria and Romania in the Visegrád Group which currently unites Hungary and Poland with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This could be a prelude to countries leaving the EU. With Hungary & Poland expected to be net contributors to the EU budget (making up for Brexit) shortly, this isn’t something that the EU could ignore.
    Neither Greece nor Italy, or Spain for that matter, are enthusiastic about the EU.
    The effects of the ban on Russian gas supplies will bite deep, esp. if Norway cuts exports of hydro electricity which, along with their gas supplies, keeps several countries running. Norway has already made it plain that “capping the price of gas” is not welcome, and as they used to supply more than Russia and had “mechanical difficulties” back in 2021 with the effect (with some Russian problems) pushed the price up, it is unlikely that Norway (not in the EU) can be bullied.
    Sweden has a new coalition government which is much more right wing than the previous 50+ years, and that doesn’t fit the Brussels mind.
    Putin seems to have limited the economic damage the EU & the USA planned to inflict, and personally I cannot see the loss of McDonalds as a disaster at all. With winter coming he needn’t do much more than wait. The populations of Austria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France are demonstrating against their governments already, and extra hardships will make a change look even more desirable.
    The old Chinese curse ‘may you live in interesting times’ comes to mind.

  3. H.R. says:

    There are no ‘good guys’ to be found in this whole Ukraine proxy war mess. Not Putin and Russia, not the WEF GEBs and the NATO countries of the EU, not the US politicians and the Deep State that must protect the $Laundromat$ at all costs.

    They each have different reasons to participate, but they are all for prosecuting this war to the last Ukranian.

    I do wonder about Putin. I know the WEF via the US wanted to get rid of Putin because he didn’t want to play their brand of football. Germany and the EU didn’t care much so long as Russia was providing gas. But… agreements and all that.

    I also suspect that Putin does have ambitions to get the ‘band’ back together and unite all of the old Russian regions, whether or not they are willing. He’s a patriotic Russian, Russian Orthodox, and no doubt wants a legacy that will be remembered long after he is gone. You have to be a heartless egotistical murdering bastard to get to the top in Russia. It has always been so, as best I know.

    Facts are hard to come by. I think we can believe that Russia is mobilizing, though it’s hard to say what the numbers really are. It could be only half or less of that 300,000 as a move to sucker the US and NATO to throw more money at Ukraine even faster. It could be twice 300,000 if he has decided to start playing hardball. I dunno. But he is mobilizing regular troops.

    It seems it takes a month or more for anything to be verified and some things still haven’t been verified. Depending on the article you are reading at the moment, Ukrainians have k!lled every Russian… twice. Russia has been coy about their losses, which is SOP, so the enemy doesn’t know if you are hurting or not.

    I personally don’t think Putin wanted all of Ukraine, just Donbas and the ports. It means tying up a large force to keep a lid on the country while a bunch of angry Ukrainians snipe at them from the shadows. Just take the parts that welcome Russia and call it good.

    Meanwhile, we’re past double-dog dare in this conflict and fast approaching triple-dog dare, and someone will have to act on that. Who? I dunno.

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    As a German said a few wars ago “war is diplomacy by other means”.
    The Ukraine, or at least its rulers, think that the war is won and the Russians will go home. I think that is unlikely as all Putin has to do is wait, and let the winter demoralise Europe. Cold and hungry people have a tendency to change their rulers in an abrupt manner e.g. the French Revolution, the troubles in 1848, the collapse of so many European monarchies in 1918 (following a bit of strife in Russia the previous year).

  5. Terry Jackson says:

    From Bill Quick:

    Read it all, as it quotes other sources, and this comment sums it up:
    “I have remarked upon what at one time appeared to be the private prognostication of the West to the effect that Russia’s military would crush Ukraine, while western sanctions would crush Russia. Neither actually happened, but at this point one could revise that to the worst of all possible versions: The Russian military crushes Ukraine, and Russian sanctions crush the West.”

  6. Simon Derricutt says:

    And yet…
    Mentioned on F24 “en passant” but not visible on the BBC news. Can’t be seen to say something good about Russia, after all.
    Also, AFAIK Russia was still paying Ukraine for gas transit services, too – not sure if that’s still running. It does seem that the Russians keep their contracts pretty scrupulously until it becomes impossible to do so. Back a few years, when Ukraine was taking gas from the Russian pipelines to Europe and not paying for it, Europe still got the gas they paid for and the Russians swallowed the pilferage even though it was a significant amount.

    Net result for me is that it seems that Russia has been a reliable supplier for many years, and although it’s never a good idea to rely on that for an existential problem such as energy supply when there are going to be major problems if that supply is curtailed for political reasons (hydraulic despotism), it was so mutually beneficial that the Russians had no good reason to want to do that – until now. Even now, the supplies haven’t been totally shut off, and the Russians are basically saying “pay us for the gas in a currency we can use, and you get the gas”. Also “allow Nordstream2 to operate, and you get a bigger pipeline that works”.

    As usual with politics, there’s a lot I don’t know and I’m not sure that the information I’m getting is the truth anyway. Maybe the best analysis is based on “who gains?”, and to ignore what people say about what they intend.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like it isn’t just Putin; and like the bullpen has similar “expectations”…

    Medvedev responds to ‘devastating strike’ threat from ex-US general

    Moscow will not be intimidated by NATO and will use “any” weapons it sees fit to defend its territory, former Russian president said

    Moscow may use nuclear weapons to defend its territory, including the Donbass republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, should they decide to join Russia, former president, Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday. He also warned that “retired idiots” in the Western military should not contemplate strikes on Moscow’s naval bases in the Black Sea.

    Writing on Telegram on Thursday, Medvedev stressed that the referendums, planned for between September 23 and 27, would definitely take place, and “the Donbass republics and other territories would be admitted to Russia.”

    The former president went on to say that the Russian military would “significantly reinforce” the defenses of all incorporated territories. He added that to defend its territories, Russia may use “not only its mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons.”

    Without naming names, Medvedev cautioned that “retired idiots with generals’ stripes” should not attempt to intimidate Moscow by claiming that NATO could attack Crimea, a peninsula that overwhelmingly voted to unite with Russia in 2014 following a coup in Kiev.

    “Hypersonic [missiles] are sure to hit targets in Europe and the US much faster,” he warned, adding that “the Western establishment and NATO citizens need to understand that Russia has chosen its own path” and there is “no way back.”

    On Wednesday, Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US Army in Europe, said that Washington could destroy Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, that’s based in Crimea, or its bases on the peninsula if Moscow resorts to using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. He noted that it’s “very unlikely” that Russian President Vladimir Putin would order to deploy nukes.

    Last week, Medvedev accused Western “half-wits” from “stupid think tanks” of leading their countries down the road of nuclear Armageddon with their hybrid war against Moscow. He also warned that the “unrestrained pumping of the Kiev regime with the most dangerous types of weapons,” could prompt Russia to move its military campaign to the next level.

    I think that was pretty clear 8-0

  8. rhoda klapp says:

    Seriously, there can be no fair referendum in a war zone. The problems go beyond stuffed ballots.

  9. H.R. says:

    @Rhoda – That was my thought, too. All those people standing around with guns…

    Even if under strict orders not to interfere in any way, just their presence is an influence.

    OTOH, the guy they voted for, who was pretty much on board with Putin, was overthrown in a color revolution. As I understand it, this was the ‘Russian’ area that was shelled since 2014, so all those soldiers may be reassuring. I really don’t know. I’m just speculating.

    But one way or another, the soldiers are an influence.

  10. rhoda klapp says:

    Clearly Imperial Japan could have excused their action of December 7th 1941 had they asserted the rights of japanese-speakers in Hawaii.

    Yes, that’s an unfair analogy but the point is that we may reach a point where everybody’s motives are honestly held but still go to war. The actual aggressor, the firer of the first shot, is still responsible. Can we even agree on who that was? Probably not. The only lesson is do not fire that shot. Whatever the dispute, invasion isn’t justified. The continuation of diplomacy by other means is a euphemism for death and destruction.

  11. Taz says:

    Would have preferred that both Ukraine’s business and Russia’s business stayed in their own respective countries. And I’m not persuaded at all that any western actions precipitated this conflict. Beyond the usual noisemakers, the west isn’t sufficiently competent to stir up such trouble. Nor is Russia or China.

    So that really leaves only one group of people. Russia’s “special people”. Their elites – to covet this war. Including that midget in his bunker.

    Wars are easy to start, but hard to bottle….And no, one doesn’t get to plan for wars by appointment. Sometimes they are just thrust upon you. And you DO need to respond.

    The world failed to stop the US in Iraq and Libya. It must not fail to stop Russia. I don’t care how bad the stench originating from Ukraine might be.

    There’s still room for heroes here. Like China telling Russia in no uncertain terms that they’ll unleash their own weapons upon Russia with Russia’s first use. I’m not holding my breath, but the opportunity is there. Here’s your chance China. Don’t be a free rider.

    Meanwhile, the world must aid those nasty people in Ukraine. Not for them. For us.

  12. Taz says:

    It’s interesting that Ukraine’s only truly steadfast supporter is Afghanistan? Say what you will about the Taliban – they have a spine.

  13. YMMV says:

    rhoda klapp: “The actual aggressor, the firer of the first shot, is still responsible. Can we even agree on who that was?”

    No. Not in this case, not in most cases. The first shot may not even be a shot, but something deemed such. WW1 is a good example. Decades of build-up (and more than just military build up). And the first shot was fired by an anarchist, not a participant in the resulting war.

  14. another ian says:


    “Putin’s Gauntlet”

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s a big concern. Another would be all the folks who have left the region for other areas and are no longer there to vote. What is their right? Then there’s just the issue of “who counts the votes” (as we here in the USA have just been instructed about…)

    What we know is that the areas in question are heavily populated with Ethnic Russians who speak Russian at home, it voted heavily for a Russian Friendly president who was then overthrown by a Western Backed Color Revolution, two of the areas had a promise of autonomy that was voided by the installed replacement government, they declared themselves independent republics PRIOR TO THE WAR, and were subjected to 8 to 9 years of shelling by said installed Western government.

    I think all that lends itself to the conclusion that they are highly likely to really want to become an oblast of Russia.

    On the other side, Rump Ukraine has issued a non-stop flood of lies as propaganda, with the various photos usually “outed” inside a day or three with the prior historical photo being surfaced. So their claims ought to be discounted.

    But while I may think it’s pretty clear where the folks in question want to be, it is also the case that I think taking a vote in a war zone with lots of the population out of the land can not be accurate. Oh Well. It doesn’t matter what I think about it. The vote will be held and actions taken on it.

    “The actual aggressor, the firer of the first shot, is still responsible. Can we even agree on who that was? Probably not. The only lesson is do not fire that shot. Whatever the dispute, invasion isn’t justified.”

    No we can’t agree. Was it the Shelling of the Donbass that was first? The “breakaway republics” shooting back? Putin sending in troops to support them? Or was it the killing of the protesters when the Color Revolution first started and a few hundred who wanted their elected president back, got killed? Good luck with that.

    Per “invasion isn’t justified”: Do remember that an invasion can also be to liberate. That IS part of the definition. Or would you rather France spoke only German now?

    Normandy Invasion, also called Operation Overlord or D-Day, during World War II, the Allied invasion of western Europe, which was launched on June 6, 1944 (the most celebrated D-Day of the war), with the simultaneous landing of U.S., British, and Canadian forces on five separate beachheads in Normandy, France. By the end of August 1944 all of northern France was liberated, and the invading forces reorganized for the drive into Germany, where they would eventually meet with Soviet forces advancing from the east to bring an end to the Nazi Reich.

    So would you include the allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day as immoral? Or just the part where we invaded Germany?

    This matters greatly as the parallels with Russia “liberating” the Donbass from a NATO installed government are strong from the Russian POV.


    “Meanwhile, the world must aid those nasty people in Ukraine. Not for them. For us.”

    Which of “those nasty people in Ukraine”? The ones in Rump Ukraine only? Or the ones who wish to have their children taught in their native Russian (forbidden by Rump Ukraine, BTW) in the part of Ukraine “gifted” illegally to Ukraine from Russia by Khrushchev? At its core, this is a civil war between the (taken from Poland in W.W.II) Western Ukrainians and the (taken from Russia by Khrushchev) Ethnic Russian Eastern Ukrainians. (With a chunk of “always Russian for 900 out of 1000 years” actual ethnic Ukrainians in the middle of it all too) So to say we “must support Ukrainians” is at best ambiguous and at worst deliberately misleading.

    If you are saying to pick sides in an ethnic / family fight, a civil war, best to be clear…

    (This horrible muddle and murk is exactly why I say we ought to just stay out of it. It isn’t our fight and not our business. Worse, almost none of the folks in The West understand the history of it all.)

  16. Simon Derricutt says:

    Checking on memories of politics before 2014:
    As far as I remember, the Eastern Ukraine (Russian-speakers) was regarded as backward and uneducated, and though the Ukraine government was happy to take their taxes they weren’t spent there, so the roads lacked maintenance, the schools were underfunded, wages were relatively low, and it was hard for the people there to advance. Much the same in the Russian-speaking part of Georgia. Maybe not so surprising that the people there looked over the border at Russia, saw that things were better there, and wanted to be part of that instead, but their government wouldn’t allow that. There was also a drive from the government to suppress the local language (Russian) and impose Ukrainian (IIRC that’s now also happening in Latvia, with Russian-speakers there compelled to use Latvian).

    Much the same used to be the case for the UK and Northern Ireland. For a long time, a neglected part of the UK, and I recall when I first visited Bristol about half a century ago there were still boarding-houses with signs up saying “No dogs, no Irish”. Luckily things have become better since, but such things cast a long shadow. The Irish were the butt of jokes back then, too, as being thick as two short planks, much the same as the Polish were treated in the USA. You even saw that in Star Trek, with Kowalski being brave and reliable, but a bit below average intelligence. Personally, I think it’s almost inevitable that Northern Ireland will at some point leave the UK and rejoin Ireland, since Ireland is a bit too small to withstand such division – might have been better to have done that during the time the UK was a part of the EU and people wouldn’t see much real differences apart from a change of currency, but that opportunity was missed. Still, the point here is that when a section of people feel oppressed, we should expect them to want something different, and either to move to somewhere better or for the political boundaries to change so that they don’t need to emigrate to get the benefits. Sometimes it’s not even what I’d term oppression, but just based on language within an area, for example Basque, Catalonian, or Welsh, and the proposed split-off having very little if any net benefit.

    Still, for Eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea I can see that they’d likely both want to part from Ukraine and join Russia, and that they’d expect to become more prosperous if they did so. Countries in general don’t like losing area, though, even if they don’t like the occupants of those areas to be lost.

  17. “Personally, I think it’s almost inevitable that Northern Ireland will at some point leave the UK and rejoin Ireland, since Ireland is a bit too small to withstand such division ”

    Northern Ireland has never been part of a sovereign independent United Ireland. Gaelic warlords predominated, the Romans then controlled part of the island, then the Vikings, then the Normans controlled parts of it then the Plantagenets. So NI becoming part of the republic of Ireland as one Sovereign independent state United would be a first .

    Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled Eastern Ukraine so it has in effect been ethnically cleansed. A referendum would hold no international standing as you can’t just annex a country by force , get rid of many of its inhabitants, hold a hurried referendum with numerous soldiers watching you and believe it to be fair and free.

  18. YMMV says:

    Note the key difference: what the country wants v. what the people of a region want.

    During a war may not be the optimum time to poll the residents, but there are not many examples of residents being polled, ever.

    Did China ask Taiwan if it wanted to reunite? Did it ask Tibet?

    I bias towards states rights, so without further info, I am for the independence of the Taiwan, Basque, Catalonian, Welsh, Eastern Ukrainians, Irish, and even Scottish peoples.

    Although, it’s strange to want out of the UK and want into the EU. Somebody is overlooking something. Frying pan, fire?

  19. YMMV says:

    climatereason: “Northern Ireland has never been part of a sovereign independent United Ireland.”

    Glossing over a minor bit (sarc) of history there: Cromwell.

    Ireland was pretty homogenous until the English and Scottish took it over, especially the northern part. And what Cromwell didn’t destroy, the English did with the famine. (The English did not cause the crop failure, but they did cause the famine.)

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    IIRC, North Ireland had a load of Scottish Protestants moved in by the English Crown, creating the divisions that persisted through the IRA troubles (and perhaps even to today…)

    Prior to that, Ireland was a fairly uniform language area (despite invasions by various folks like the Vikings, from time to time) using Irish Gaelic. After that, Ireland was partitioned between Catholic Republic Of Ireland (even before it became a republic…) and Northern Protestant “colonizers”…

    My Bias:

    My Great Great Grandmother & Great Great Grandfather (I think…) came from County Mayo, in the Gaeltacht, and arrived in America during the Potato Famine as Irish Catholics speaking more Gaelic than English. So I likely have some familial bias I don’t recognize due to lack of perspective in family lore… learned as a child…

    Grand Dad was married to an Amish lady. So where I’m a bit fuzzy is if the Irish ancestor had married Grandmom’s parent or Grand Dad’s parent… I think it was Grand Dad who had the mix of “1700s Smith line” and “Irish Lady” Great Grand Mother born to the GG pair. ( Grand Dad who then married the Amish lady from Ohio across the river… Mississippi River I think.) I suppose I ought to ask my sister for the details…

    In any case, I’m a mutt of Irish from the Gaeltacht, Amish Germans (via Switzerland starting in what is now Holland but was Germany), a working Blacksmith who came ashore in Virginia in the 1700s (nothing else known) and a clearly English Mum. I was told there’s a bit of French in there somewhere but nobody could clarify more….

    Oh, and a mix of Irish Catholics, German Protestants, Church of England and who knows what else…

    I’m fond of saying that “Most of my ancestors have been trying to kill each other for at least 400 years.” Because that’s what history says. They all seem to have run off to America to escape all that crap; which probably explains my pacifist / “just be nice and get along” preferences…

  21. YMMV

    What with the Romans, The Vikings and The Normans they pretty well carved up Ireland before the English ever became involved 2000 years after the first invaders.. As for Cromwell, Ireland was never under him a sovereign independent Irish nation.

  22. EM Smith

    “Most of my ancestors have been trying to kill each other for at least 400 years.”

    Was there trouble at any big family reunions? :)

  23. YMMV

    As for the Scots, it’s all very well to want ‘independence’ but they are currently a very big fish in a very big pond in the longest lasting, most successful political and economic union in history. So it seems very curious that they would become far less independent by becoming a minnow in a huge EU pond. If they wanted to go it alone subsuming themselves in the EU bureaucracy that has pretensions to become a state, seems a curios way to go

  24. YMMV says:

    “What with the Romans, The Vikings and The Normans”

    You could say the same thing about the non-Scottish part of the English island too.
    History is a long story (and that is just the fraction that hasn’t been lost and forgotten) about who invaded or conquered whom. Interesting, but nothing to base anything on. So 500 years ago (to pick a random number) somebody did something.
    Forget? Forgive? Seek vengeance and retribution now? At what point do we say: forget about it, so what, it is what is is? That is why I am not keen on the first-shot theory.

    And the other thing is that history is mostly about the big shots. I care more about the ordinary people. Living their ordinary life day to day, caring about their family, despite their rulers, suffering from both their masters and invading tribes.

    “Don’t worry be happy” … and you will have nothing. (Klaus says so)

  25. Graeme No.3 says:

    Ulster (Northern Ireland) was claimed by Scotland under Robert the Bruce. Following that there was settlement of Scottish Non-conformists, who were against the Catholic Irish. The division goes a longway back.

  26. David A says:

    Great Post, and many interesting comments.
    Regarding Grame no3 and the comment about the EU fracturing over this, I consider that very possible, and leading to a possible end to the dollar as well.

    I don’t think there is strong evidence of Putin wanting to return Russia to its prior borders. AFAICT he is doing, and attempting to do exactly what he has talked about for years. While I do not know the details of the post USSR history where Putin came eventually came out on top, I do know that many many of the Oligarchs he vanquished were definitely very corrupt, and apparently did not have his love of Russia

    Regarding Terry Jackson’s link ” The Russian military crushes Ukraine, and Russian sanctions crush the West.” Maybe, and a crushed Ukraine instead of weakened reduced Ukraine is the result of NATO’s proxy war forcing Russia’s hand. ( When is it ever smart to corner an angry bear?) And when the entire EU is suffering and fractured from 30 plus years of horrible policy, the dollar will be done and the US will possibly be scapegoated.

    Taz says, ” And I’m not persuaded at all that any western actions precipitated this conflict. Beyond the usual noisemakers, the west isn’t sufficiently competent to stir up such trouble. Nor is Russia or China.”

    The world, including the US, has VERY competently “stirred up trouble” always!

    You are not “persuaded” any western actions precipitated this conflict, BECAUSE you ignore every historical case making that assertion. Not once have you quoted what most consider to be facts, and refuted them. You simply ignore them.

    Regarding a referendum, yep, now it is meaningless except to attempt to dot some legalistic I. Yet it likely should have happened under international observers a long time ago.

    The main post is a keeper and seems very pertinent to what world drama will play out over the next few years. The “Great Reset” agenda needs a distraction to blame for the insane self destructive policies and Covid clot shot FUBAR that is breaking the world. I guess Russia Russia Russia, is their chosen vehicle. There is no way they can control the direction this will all spin.

    Thanks all…

  27. Simon Derricutt says:

    Yep, sorry to set that squirrel running in relation to Northern Ireland. Like YMMV, I’d say “if they want to leave then let them”, and as regards Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU, I also agree that really doesn’t make sense if they really want self-determination. Leaving a democracy and joining a group that was designed to be non-democratic, and where the people who make the decisions are appointed and can’t be voted out, does seem just a tad illogical.

    As far as I can tell, most countries meddle in other countries’ politics where they can and where they expect some benefit. Also AFAICT, Russia, China, and maybe a few others such as North Korea are funding the various “green”, anti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-fracking, anti-prosperity groups because it’s easier to defeat a weakened country that way than by expending soldiers. Of course, the good folks at Extinction Rebellion can’t see the hypocrisy of driving to places using a Diesel car and using oil products such as superglue to make themselves a nuisance, or that if we did ban all oil and fossil fuels then their comfortable life would be a thing of the past.

    Seems that most people just don’t get the lessons of “I, Pencil” or understand just how complex the supply-lines are for almost any modern product. There’s also the problem that a mandated change for anything fairly large will take longer and disrupt more things than expected, because of the massive interconnection between many things. You need Sulphur to make rubber tyres? The main current source is the de-sulphurisation of oil, and it’s cheap because it’s a by-product and supply is greater than demand. Stop the oil and you will need to mine the stuff instead, and the price will rise because the energy-cost of producing it will rise, and with the price of energy itself going higher this gets a multiplication-factor.

    Ukraine used to have the reputation of a lot of corruption and as a place to launder illegal money. Zelenskyy himself was mentioned by name in one of those dumps of secret banking details as having a far larger fortune than you’d expect given his official income. Could be a good reason for Western politicians and crime bosses (but I repeat myself) to want it left alone. Bit unfortunate for the citizens there….

    Still, it’s necessary to bear in mind that a lot of what we hear on the news about this war is probably lies or lies-by-omission. It may be many years before the truth comes out, and that may not happen at all.

  28. David

    “I don’t think there is strong evidence of Putin wanting to return Russia to its prior borders”

    Putin has very explicitly said he DOES want to return not just to its prior borders but to those appertaining under Peter The Great. (St Petersburg used to be part of Sweden)

    He has written several long articles on this very subject on reabsorbing former territory and pointed to them just before the invasion of Ukraine. He currently has his eyes on Georgia and the Baltic States and Poland.

  29. Simon

    “Yep, sorry to set that squirrel running in relation to Northern Ireland. Like YMMV, I’d say “if they want to leave then let them”, and as regards Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU, I also agree that really doesn’t make sense if they really want self-determination. Leaving a democracy and joining a group that was designed to be non-democratic, and where the people who make the decisions are appointed and can’t be voted out, does seem just a tad illogical.”

    you have summed it up nicely. If you want independence you surely don’t then throw it away by joining an undemocratic group that will eat you alive and spit the bones out.

  30. jim2 says:

    Some in the UN are making noise to get rid of the 7? nation’s veto powers. If that happens, the US needs to pull out. They would be making all sorts of onerous rules and regulations. Socialism on a scale never seen in this world.

  31. E.M.Smith says:


    But the New DNC wants Socialism….

    So does the present veto power extend to veto of the rule change to end the veto? (Asking for another country…. ;-)

  32. cdquarles says:

    I think that only the Security Council has that authority. I also think that there are seven permanent members and a number of members that rotate terms on said council. I may be wrong.

  33. rhoda klapp says:

    I was once, must have been 1985, surveyed by a high school student in Worcester Mass. He certainly thought there was no opposing case to giving Northern Ireland to the south, on account of the Ulster prods had only been there since the 17th century. I was obliged to ask him who was living in Massachusetts back then. Anyhow, currently the majority is still narrowly in favour of staying in the UK. Most Brits don’t care, it’s a historical anomaly. Indeed it would be a financial millstone for Eire, they seem only to campaign for it on a matter of principle not practicality. I do not know why the independence of the North is not considered an option if we are agreed that the people there have the choice. There should be three options.

    Oh, and D-day isn’t really a fair comparison, it was not the first shot. Among the first invasions of the pre-WW2 era was Germany taking over the land of all those German-speakers in the Sudetenland. Then the rest of the country. That looks familiar..

  34. jim2 says:

    The veto might make me feel better, but then I consider the idiots in charge of most Western countries.

  35. David A says:

    climatereason, Thanks, will take a look-see.

  36. YMMV says:

    rhoda klapp: “Among the first invasions of the pre-WW2 era was Germany taking over the land of all those German-speakers in the Sudetenland.”

    Good point.
    The Sudetenland was desired by Germany not only for its territory, but also because a majority of its population were ‘ethnically’ German. — check.
    The Allies agreed to concede the Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for a pledge of peace. This agreement was known as the Munich Pact. — no check mark.

    There is also this:
    Following the success of Anschluss, Hitler’s next target was Czechoslovakia, which was now surrounded by German territory. The northern part of Czechoslovakia was known as the Sudetenland.
    The Anschluss came first. That was Germany’s takeover of Austria.
    In early 1938, under increasing pressure from pro-unification activists, Austrian chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg announced that there would be a referendum on a possible union with Germany versus maintaining Austria’s sovereignty to be held on 13 March. Portraying this as defying the popular will in Austria and Germany, Hitler threatened an invasion and secretly pressured Schuschnigg to resign. A day before the planned referendum, on 12 March, the German Heer crossed the border into Austria, unopposed by the Austrian military. A plebiscite was held on the 10th of April, in which the ballot was not secret, and threats and coercion were employed to manipulate the vote, resulting in 99.7% approval for the Anschluss. — check?

    Wikipedia minimizes the coercion of voters here, but not here:
    Political enemies (communists, socialists, etc.) and Austrian citizens of Roma or Jewish origin—roughly 360,000 people or 8% of the Austrian population—were not allowed to vote in the plebiscite.

    This is too long already, but there is always more. Another “first shot”. (fake)
    “How a False Flag Sparked World War Two: The Gleiwitz Incident Explained”
    Polands “invasion” of Germany, 1939.

    These are just details. The real first-shot in WW2 was WW1. Unfinished business. But this time with the creep in charge. And the wimps leading the allies.

  37. The True Nolan says:

    @YMMV Like everyone growing up in the West, I was taught as a youth that the Gleiwitz attack was a false flag. But was it? Was it perhaps a false false flag?

    It is uncomfortable for me to doubt so much of what I once accepted as simple fact, but seeing how so much of current political events are simply not true, I have to wonder about past events as well.

  38. The True Nolan says:

    Good article by Scott Ritter concerning Russian mobilization and the war in Ukraine.

  39. YMMV says:

    @The True Nolan, Thanks for that furtherglory link. Very interesting!

  40. another ian says:


    This goes with IMO

    “Sunday Talks, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan States the U.S. Will Never Relinquish Control of Ukraine as a Proxy State
    September 25, 2022 | Sundance | 40 Comments”

    That logic explains how Obama got 57 states – the US 50 plus Iraq, Syria, Libya, Kosovo, Ukraine, Somalia

  41. p.g.sharrow says:

    Read the Scot Ritter piece; nice rendition of the Putin rendition of history propaganda but I have kept up on this for over 20 years. If any of you remember Putin sent in non-marked forces to start the eastern “Revolution” to start his “liberation” of the Eastern Russian Ukraine. These unmarked armed forces were part of Putin’s private Army now called the Wagner group that works for their MOB boss. They were carrying out actions against both sides to foment war. One report was a small tank group that would alternate shelling of opposing villages to create the early semblance of an active war, That RT was pushing for Putin. Many False Flag operations were conducted. against both sides by these “unmarked” troops. But interesting is that one of these Tanks used was well marked with It’s own ID numbers. It turned up in photos of that invasion column that came down from Belarus.
    RT has always been the Pravda for Putin’s operation. So I would be careful about anything that they publish. It would seem that there is a MSM at work on both sides of this “Game of Thrones” being played here by the GEBs. It now appears the western GEBs have turned on the Eastern GEB, Putin after they encouraging him to crush the Ukraine’s budding drive toward a honest Republic after the organized corruption rampant during the years of the Putin Puppet administrations. Remember the Obama and Clinton era when $Billions were laundered and Biden Bragged about his efforts to protect that operation? Putin will be soon enough eliminated by his own group as he is bad for business and his army will be withdrawn, The “Game of Thrones” will continue with one less Nuclear armed GEB .
    The CCP’s China is being destroyed by their Bureaucrats, Like Russia too many little GEBs stealing too much and shipping their winnings to the West instead of investing in their own country. Far too much bureaucratic regulation for that….pg

  42. rhoda klapp says:

    So how’s that mobilisation going? Reports of people not turning up, going into hiding, leaving Russia. Truth or propaganda, I do not know. I suspect propaganda with a degree of truth as a seed.

    An observation on numbers. The Ukraine was much fought over in WW2. For instance there were four battles of Kharkov. That is of course Kharkiv nowadays. Here’s a clip from wiki about the battle of the Dnieper, fought entirely in Ukraine.

    “The Battle of the Dnieper was a military campaign that took place in 1943 in Ukraine on the Eastern Front of World War II. One of the largest operations of the war, it involved almost 4,000,000 troops at a time stretched on a 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) front”

    Four million troops. The idea that Russia could have intended a serious fight for Ukraine with 200,000 or so which they started with in February is daft. They expected a walkover. Even an additional 300,000, or more likely a replacement <300,000 could not be everywhere. They would just disappear into the countryside. The density of forces just is not enough. And having the wrong balance of forces (not enough good infantry) makes it worse. You can't defend those areas like that. Of course the same applies to the Ukrainian forces. This seems to be a recipe for stalemate.

  43. Ed Forbes says:

    Date Line September 2022
    The American and Russian economic advance on the EU continues unabated on all fronts !
    The EU continues its full retreat in the face of overwhelming force as the EU faces devastating economic losses in its two front war against America and its Russian ally.
    Both American and Russian officials express extreme confidence that the continued relocation of EU industry, primarily German, will continue unabated to both America and Russia.
    Unconditional economic surrender of the EU to America and Russia is now in sight !

  44. E.M.Smith says:


    War is more about the balance of forces than the absolute numbers. Then technology shifts things. I doubt anyone would claim we would need the numbers fed to the canons in trenches in W.W.I if at war these days.

    I also feel the need to once again caution everyone about claiming to know what Putin was thinking, feeling or what his motivation was. None of us can know. One example:

    The Great Victory of Ukraine recently chasing Russians out of the front area. There’s claims (by both sides) that this was after Russia withdrew the best troops and left lightweights to hold the dirt.

    Where people diverge is on WHY. The Anti-Russia folks full of Putin Hate say it is because Putin is losing and stupid and running out of men and material. (No real evidence of that, BTW). The cautious folks (like me) said “could be a trap, Putin isn’t that dumb. Draw in a salient to kill it.” Except that didn’t happen (yet…). I’m now wondering if Putin did this just to have an easy justification for mobilizing the Regular Army. My point? We don’t know what Putin is thinking or what his motivation is; it might be something quite different from “mean stupid Putin lusting for land” and then the actual action that happens is a surprise.

    One other reminder; NOTHING in western media can be trusted. They have proven that.. RT can give a bit of perspective on the Russian POV, but they will not be publishing accurate war tactical or strategic information either. There just isn’t any clean reliable military status information available to the public. Beware of loads of speculation based on speculative assertions about forces, pretending to be information. It isn’t.

    To the extent there’s a lot of emotional language in a given POV / article: it is just that much more likely wrong or spinning (even if just from being unaware of personal information selection bias or presentation bias on the part of the presenter.) Statements about “what someone is thinking or feeling” about the leaders of either side is most likely just bogus speculation. False Flags and propaganda dominate. This applies to all sides.

  45. rhoda klapp says:

    I make observations about the military aspects. I don’t presume to know what anyone is thinking. My observation is that Russia didn’t come with enough force and therefore I speculate that it was supposed to be easy. You would not put your guys in the field in winter to get cold and miserable for months before the attack unless the threat was a big part of the plan. And modern tech notwithstanding, those numbers are just not enough on that size of a battlefield. I don’t say they need the 2.6 million they had in 1943 but 200,000 or so is not enough, and they proved it by mediocre degrees of success. By inflexibility. By crappy logistics. By what looks like dismal performance. It is difficult for me to see what cunning Kremlin plan is playing out.

    (What are the chances of a salient turning into an encirclement WW2-style with NATO recon assets doing overwatch for the Ukrainians?_

  46. David A says:

    “ The idea that Russia could have intended a serious fight for Ukraine with 200,000 or so which they started with in February is daft. They expected a walkover.”

    The claim Russian objective made was not to destroy Ukraine. IMV Russia clearly tried to tell the West what would happen if Russian objectives were fought via proxy from the West. The West made a series of very destructive choices, forcing Russia ( if Russia wanted to achieve their publicly stated objective) to up the ante considerably.

    The Russian view ( clearly stated) was that the Russian dominated regions of Ukraine would be freed from the murderous corrupt government of Ukraine, and western threats to A, have Ukraine join NATO. and establish nukes on Russia’s border, was a line that they were willing to go to all out war ( WW, if necessary) to prevent. The West has chosen to ignore the clearly expressed Russian viewpoint, and to destroy their own and very possibly the global economy before allowing Russia to have the Russian majority regions. The Russian viewpoint was that their survival depended on not allowing Ukraine to do what Ukraine, and the West through Ukraine was threatening to do, and doing.

    So at this point it is possible Putin has his answer to the question he forced NATO to answer, how far are you willing to go for a portion of land in a small Russian border nation, that we (Russia) have a long history in and likely a majority population in?
    How far are you willing to go, because we will go all the way, because we think you intend to destroy us, and atrocities against our citizens in that disputed territory cannot be tolerated.

    So far it appears NATO is willing to go very far, to even break the world. And it is breaking.

  47. rhoda klapp says:

    Military wisdom, much ignored in the West in recent years and now by Russia, it seems, is to go in with overwhelming force and achieve your objectives quickly then arrange the peace to suit yourself. There is no apparent advantage in going in with inadequate forces and slugging it out for an extended time. Russia did not commit enough forces. Why I do not know but I surmise it was reluctance or (politically acceptable) inability to raise and equip the number required. The Kyiv move wasn’t a feint (imho) but was supposed to be a blitzkrieg move against little resistance. That story we heard about the FSB pocketing the bribes of Ukraine insiders who were supposed to give up the nation, that story fits the events although it may be propaganda. Russia tried to do it on the cheap and found out that is the most expensive way.

    Again, I don’t see the nukes on the border issue as being a real thing in terms of increased threat. It doesn’t much matter where the nukes are they can still be over your territory in minutes. You need a buffer of territory against conventional forces and the answer to that is surveillance, you can’t build up an invasion force without people noticing nowadays.

  48. David

    “The West has chosen to ignore the clearly expressed Russian viewpoint, and to destroy their own and very possibly the global economy before allowing Russia to have the Russian majority regions.”

    In the States there are now majority Spanish enclaves bordering the Souther States. If Mexico claimed them would you just allow them to annex them? In the UK we have some majority Pakistani/Indian majority cities. Do we allow either country to annex and administer them? Of course we don’t.

    In 1992 Russia guaranteed that Ukraine would be allowed to develop as a sovereign independent country within its existing borders in exchange for getting rid of the nukes on their soil. That was confirmed in the 1995 treaty.

    In eastern Ukraine many of the existing Ukraine citizens have been forced out since 2014 and Russians moved in. It used to be called ethnic cleansing but carrying this out does not make it right for Russia to then annex those areas.

    Rudi Guiliana has a new book out in which he admits that despite looking hard at Ukraine he couldn’t find the degree of corruption and bad behaviour claimed by many and which was partly the pretext for the war.

    In truth Putin is a belligerent thug who has amassed billions through his rule whilst targeting those who oppose him and in the process killing many people. He wants to resurrect the old Soviet and Tsarist empires and has clearly stated this is his intention. There are a variety of sovereign countries bordering Russia and adjacent to them, who are alarmed by this. Should we just stand aside and let Putin rebuild his empire?

  49. David A says:

    Climatereason, first I was expressing the Russian perspective, not necessarily mine.
    Also the analogy to Mexico is not even close, and far to simplistic. It ignores the actual centuries of history in that part of Russia /Ukraine, it ignores how the Russian speaking population got there. ( not illegal immigration). It ignores evidence that the Mexican people in the SW US, by majority did not necessarily want to be part of Mexico. ( read EMs post about “Which Mexico “. Finally if tge US government started outlawing speaking Spanish and slaughtered 8 to 14 thousand Mexicans ( even legal ones) I suspect the moral grounds for Mexico would improve.

    Also I think you are ignoring the detailed history of NATO failures to honor those agreements, and the direct threats to join NATO and w Nukes. I think MADD doctrine depends on delivery and response time, with serious arguments made the a nuclear war is winnable. Hypersonic missile development affects all this.

    The current sabotage of NS2, which Buden directly threatened shows just how insane the West is.

  50. Simon Derricutt says:

    Rhoda – I think the underlying reason to not want a nest of nukes on your border is that when you take them out the radiation hazards happen in someone else’s country and not in yours.

    Seems that currently no-one has the capability to stop a hypersonic missile, and they can be fitted with nuclear warheads, so MAD really no longer works. Pretty-well whatever the distance to target, they’ll probably arrive. Thus if you believe you know where all the launch-pads are, you might also believe that a nuclear war is winnable if you strike first and take out all the enemy warheads.

    Fairly obviously, neither our side nor the Russian side have reliable information. For our side, WMD in Iraq? The Russians also seem to have expected a walkover in Ukraine, and to be welcomed as liberators in places. Obviously they didn’t expect any major resistance. After all, Crimea was just such a walk in the park.

    Sound of ordure hitting the spinny thing….

  51. The True Nolan says:

    Gonzalo Lira on the apparent sabotage of BOTH gas lines from Russia to Germany.
    “America declares war on Europe”.

    One thing Gonzalo surprisingly did NOT say is that the destruction of the European economy gives the US economy a temporary boost. As capital flees Europe, the US is the logical remaining port of safety, if only for a bit longer. Additionally, it makes it more likely that Europe will buy all possible LNG from the US. There will be NO last minute deal with Russia. In my opinion, Europe is not being destroyed out of some perverse desire for evil, but is because we are watching a sort of economic musical chairs, and we are down to the last few players. Everyone is fighting to be the last country standing. Better (so the psychopaths think) to destroy Europe and take their capital than to let Europe ally with Russia to create a strong competitor to a weaker US.

    Evil is loose in the world. It is not ALL American evil, but we are doing a large chunk of it.

  52. David A says:

    In three attempts to find Putin stating as you say …
    “ Putin has very explicitly said he DOES want to return not just to its prior borders but to those appertaining under Peter The Great. (St Petersburg used to be part of Sweden)”

    I instead find interpretations of Putin quotes that, even standing alone fail to state Putin intends to return to former borders, and in context instead speak of the failures of the Soviet Union, the nobility of past Russia, the failures of the West to give the world the freedom it promised to result from what Russia considered ( accurate or not) to be a voluntary surrender of the Soviet State.

    So now it is up to you to supply the direct quote, and the context, derived from extended quotation to make your assertion.

  53. David A says:


    Biden directly threatened to stop NordstreamII
    Italy just elected a head of state that directly expressed a a desire to use Russia NG.
    The sabotage insures that the EU will not get weak and capitulate to Russia NG use.

    The US is in danger of losing the dollar and in becoming a hated disrespected nation.

  54. Hello David

    Firstly, as regards my passing references to Mexico wresting back its territory should the Spanish people in neigbouring US States demand it. It is relevant in as much the US annexed New Mexico in 1848 which previously had been a part of overseas Spain for hundreds of years, then briefly Mexico .

    Getting back to the main point. You have mentioned that Putin feels threatened by Nato. Surely it is the other way round? Putin has nuclear missiles directly bordering 4 Nato states. The Nato states have none in countries that border Russia, the nearest being in Germany, Turkey and Italy.

    In addition, Russia has upgraded to nuclear capable, its missiles in its enclave in Kaliningrad which directly land borders a further 2 Nato states and 2 more across the sea.

    As regards Putin’s territorial ambitions, these mentions are spread over a number of years in a variety of different locations and speeches. Why not contact Professor Paul D’ Anieri –Russian expert and prolific author on the country- and ask him? (link below)

    “We asked UC Riverside Professor Paul D’Anieri to provide context on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. D’Anieri, a professor of political science and public policy, is an expert on Eastern European and post-Soviet politics, and wrote a 2019 book titled “Ukraine and Russia,” and a 2007 book, “Understanding Ukrainian Politics: Power, Politics and Institutional Design.” For the 2017-18 academic year, he served as a fellow in the Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institution.

    “Equally worrying is that Putin’s Feb. 21 speech referred quite explicitly to restoring not the Soviet Union, which he criticized in various ways, but the Russian empire as it existed prior to 1917. That not only calls into question all of the former Soviet states, but also a large part of Poland, including Warsaw, which was part of the Russian empire. How far he intends to go is unknown, and may depend on how things go in Ukraine. “

    This separate article has lots of references “ Putin’s Aspiration to Restore the Lost Russian Empire | European Review | Cambridge Core 2017”

    This links into the source material below, where mention is made in Putin speeches and in conferences of restoring “historic Russia” and Novorussia, (primarily the area up to Odessa)

    “Vladimir Putin’s veiled threat to ex-Soviet states: ‘You’re part of historic Russia’

    “Former Soviet countries are part of Russia’s domain and risk Ukraine’s fate if they go up against the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin has insinuated.

    The Russian president made the remarks while on stage with Kazakhstan’s leader, with experts interpreting them as a “clear threat” against the neighbouring country.

    His comments were in response to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev saying on live TV at an economic forum in St Petersburg on Friday that he did not recognise two pro-Russian rebel regions in the Donbas.

    Putin sat still, sucking in his lips before hitting back: “What is the Soviet Union? This is historic Russia.”

    Another commented: ‘He’s (Putin) saying that if you are good neighbours, that’s fine. But if you step out of line and go pro-West, we can conquer your land because it’s ours.’

    As I mention, Putins references to retaking Territory are scattered round a large number of sources with the best being in books where you can check the references yourself. Putin is a belligerent thug who has killed many people and grown very rich. He is the one who invaded Ukraine not the other way round. He needs to be controlled. Which is not to say that Ukraine are Angels but that the safety and integrity of Europe are threatened. Putin can not admit his aims have not been realised, so we have the world’s most ludicrous referendums in which 97% of people supposedly vote to rejoin the Motherland, giving Putin the excuse to ‘protect’ them.

    My reading is that Putin sees the US as being historically weak following its abandonment of Afghanistan and see this as the right moment to strike at Ukraine first, with others to follow if it went well, in the belief the West to be weak and divided and unlikely to respond.

    Europe also have themselves to blame with Germany in Particular cosying up to Russia and refusing to spend adequate money on defence. Trump was laughed at when he complained about the inadequacy of the spending by Nato allies with only the UK and, I believe Poland, spending the requisite sums.

  55. David A says:

    Biden threatening Nord Stream

    Climareason, you ask, “There are a variety of sovereign countries bordering Russia and adjacent to them, who are alarmed by this. Should we just stand aside and let Putin rebuild his empire?”

    Of course not. I do not consider the case made that this is Putin’s objective. Regardless, Peace talks are a necessary component. One looks closely at the current claim, and one MUST make certain allowances for the legitimacy of some of them, and, in exchange for said concessions, achieve renewed agreement on ANY future expansion, making said agreement very clear and very public, along with clearly articulated response to said aggression if it happens. Then everyone is on the same page, and support for a necessary response is far more likely, assuming the West actually kept up their side of the bargain. You also build your own nations strength, and independence.

    You DO not do what the West has done here; –
    Ignore two decades of complaints from a nation, directly fail to keep up your end of the bargain, shut down your own nations capacity for energy independence, then become dependent on a traditional adversary you are not honoring past agreements with, then foolishly attempt to punish your adversary by refusing to buy a necessary commodity from them, which a child knows will still be sold, and effectively destroying your own nations economy.

    You do not pour unfettered untracked billions into a KNOWN to be very corrupt nation, ( despite anything Rudy G may say now after being caught with his pants down, the case for Ukrainian corruption does not depend on Rudy G) You do not build numerous clandestine and IMV likely GOF bio-labs in said corrupt nation, lie about them, deplete your own military supplies at a time of very questionable capacity to rebuild those supplies. ( New Zealand just said NIET to any more military support of Ukraine.)

    And now we can add, you do not very possibly sabotage your own allies desperately needed incoming NG pipelines, which will drive up the price of NG that Russia will yet find a market for. You also do not force your adversary and its billions of customers, away from your currency, well incubating the seeds of the US losing world reserve currency status.

  56. H.R. says:

    David A: “The US is in danger of losing the dollar and in becoming a hated disrespected nation.”

    So, the GEB’s plan is working.

    Note: No winky

  57. David A says:

    Climaereason, your first link fails to make the case, and IMV iterprets Putins words into something he die not say, when in fact Putin was lamenting all of the world being disappointed that the (from Putin’s perspective) willful break up of the Soviet Union, (which Putin has explicitly criticized as an empire with many bad actions,) did not result in the cessation of tyranny and bad behaviour and world wide freedoms were not achieved. ( I do not disagree with him from that perspective) And then your link writer twists those words into an assertion Putin did not make.

    Having previously, after your first assertion that Putin goal was to reestablish traditional borders even more or greater than former soviet borders,read that link and finding it fall far short, and finding two additional links also fall far short. I am asking you to do the leg work and provide the quotes, make the case.

    “Former Soviet countries are part of Russia’s domain and risk Ukraine’s fate if they go up against the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin has insinuated.

    The Russian president made the remarks while on stage with Kazakhstan’s leader, with experts interpreting them as a “clear threat” against the neighbouring country.”

    Is not adequate. A supposed quote followed by an “insinuation” is simply poor. Give me the actual quote and the context of it. I say this because when I read Putin’s words I clearly get from him a dislike of the former Soviet Union, a love of his nations positive past (The vanished past of all nations are dark with many shames, yet there is much virtue there as well) a regret that the west did not accept Russia after the Soviet break up, a regret that Russia is yet held to the sins of the Soviet Union, a disdain for the GEBs and their One World Government tyranny, which Putin expresses as containing the very flaws of the Tyrannical Soviet Union, and a desire for security from said GEBs.

    Your other link may have what you say. Yet it is up to you to provide the full Putin quotes ( not interpretive insinuations) and the surrounding Putin quotes, and the context.

  58. David A says:

    HR, …sadly noted…

  59. David

    Thank you for your reply.

    Russia Invaded Ukraine not the other way round and has killed many civilians
    Russia has nukes on Natos borders not the other way round.
    Russia failed to keep to its 1992 and 1995 agreement to guarantee Ukraines sovereignty and independence, so this is a two way thing.
    Rudi G would have been considered a staunch ally of Trump but seems to have been discarded once he doesn’t keep to the same agenda.

    You seem to be backing away from the notion that Putin has no territorial ambitions whatsoever on his neighbours. He clearly has as I have demonstrated. Yes, to peace talks but these are difficult when an aggressor is squatting on your land and threatening to take more.

    Please provide evidence of these numerous bio labs in Ukraine, a charge that has also been levelled at countries elsewhere.

    I think Biden is an idiot but even he isn’t stupid enough to sabotage the gas pipeline (is he?)

    What it does illustrate is the vulnerability of such infrastructure. Many in the UK are against home grown fracking but appear happy to rely on silly renewables, a gas pipeline to Norway and Holland, interconnectors to France and a madcap 2500 mile long undersea cable to link a proposed solar array in Morocco. We need more self sufficiency. But all that is a separate matter. As is the modern worlds increasing reliance on the internet, which again often travels in vulnerable cables under various seas.

  60. David A says:

    You have not demonstrated your assertion, (Quiet the opposite from the first link)
    You have not, despite multiple requests, quoted Putin’s words, and the context quotes of his words surrounding them. ( I wrote a detailed response as to why the first article is not as advertised, but it disappeared in a grammar check) Yet another post briefly explained that failure to make your case. You have not responded to long posts from our host about the history of the region. You only quote the Russian failures in the agreements, not the NATO failures or detailed analysis of all the failures, the time line, and actions precipitating them. ( This is why I have not formed a solid opinion here, like I have about CAGW. It would require a hundred hours more research and notes,)

    You have accepted a perspective that is lacking evidence, made by a broken western world that is VERY tyrannical in nature. The Bio labs were admitted to, after initial denial. After the direct US involvement in Wuhan China, and this, and Facci’s clear support for GOF, then GOF research is only logical in what was clearly clandestine bio labs.

    You have accepted the globalist perspective, yet not proved it. I have not accepted the Russian perspective, only articulated it, except to say it has some legitimacy and, as in many aspects of the Ukraine war, we don’t know, and should for the most part therefore not take pitiful actions that further the destruction, while also breaking the global economy, which can only increase global conflict. India, China, large parts of the world do not see a clear moral side in this situation, and what the US and NATO did to stimulate a very expected Russian response is well articulated by previous EM posts, AND warned about over the past decades by many international political pundits, who said this is exactly how Russia would respond.

    Of course Biden is capable. These GEBs have PROVED they will do anything, murder or cause the death of any number to achieve their goals. Did you read Biden’s quote?
    That quote is well documented and the context is informative and supportive of intent. Blowing up a pipeline in an area the US military had a presence in, should not have been easy.

  61. David

    I have provided numerous authenticated references from articles and books. Putin has clearly asserted that he wants to widen his borders. I have replied several times months ago to our host in a variety of threads and have pointed out that Nato is not blameless but they are not the ones with nukes on Russian borders nor have brutally
    murdered civilians as they invaded Ukraine after saying they wouldn’t.

    Is still in doubt why not contact that Professor of Soviet history or read his book? We would all be interested in his response.

    Will you please provide evidence of these numerous bio labs in Ukraine and elsewhere that the US are involved with?

    Sooner or later the very precise and skilful people investigating the Sabotage?Accident? on the gas lines will find evidence. Do you seriously believe that will show Biden to be responsible as that would be an act of war against his allies. I read his statement and would take his comment to mean they have unlimited diplomatic leverage to get their way. You don’t make a public military threat against your allies in an open forum which is what you are implying.

  62. Simon Derricutt says:

    Tony – Putin didn’t need to blow up the pipelines. He controlled the taps anyway, and would probably expect to turn them on again after the war was over, or Germany (and others) paid him in Roubles, or the sanctions applied by the EU were removed because they were causing far more problems for the EU than for Russia. Blowing them up stops the possibility of that.

    Thus logically it was *someone else* that blew them up, because that damages Putin’s future income and stops him selling gas through them. If Putin wanted to blow up a pipeline, he’d more likely have chosen the one from Finland to increase the shortage of gas to Europe and thus increase the pressure to turn NS 1 and 2 back on again. For Nordstream 2, it was all ready to switch on when the USA (presumably) put pressure on the Germans to find a legal reason to delay it. Would have made Germany that bit more dependent on Russia for energy, if it had come into use.

    Who gains from this? Not Putin or Russia. Not the EU or UK, either. On the other hand, the USA does achieve their desire to stop Russia supplying gas to Europe.

    Meantime Russia is still paying Ukraine for the gas that transits that country, though there’s a complaint at the moment that the payment is late. Not much news on that, but during all this war Russia has been paying Ukraine the charges for transit of gas to Europe. Thus we can maybe add Ukraine to the people who gain from those explosions since the pipelines through Ukraine have become a bit more critical. I’d doubt if they had the capability to do it, though, though seems you’d only need a small amount of kit. See

    Nice pipeline you’ve got there. Shame if it happened to break…. So far, though, that Ukrainian pipeline hasn’t been hit and Russia has continued to rent the right of way.

    Yep, a lot of this doesn’t really make sense, but then how much of what we’re told is actually the truth?

  63. Simon

    I have no idea who blew up the pipelines assuming it wasn’t an unlikely accident. There are lots of people with motives and equally stoing counter motives.

    If Biden authorised it, he has effectively ended Nato and many of his alliances. It would be utter folly. According to local reports the CIA had warned of this occurrence weeks ago but didn’t specify who might carry out the explosions.

    I mentioned in a previous post about my concern at the vulnerability of our infrastructure, Oil rigs in the area have said they are being buzzed by unidentified drones and have stepped up security

    Apparently Russia has a ship and drones designed to damage underseas infrastructure. However It only makes sense for Russia to have set off the explosions (as they could have merely kept the taps shut) if it were part of a wider war on the permanent destruction of western infrastructure, or a dry run to attack the Baltic pipe line run by the EU which opened the same day.

    So we need to hope there are no further attacks which might indicate a wider war.

  64. Simon Derricutt says:

    Tony – why bother with a dry run to attack the Baltic pipeline? If they’d wanted dry runs, just attach a dummy mine to the pipeline or do other types of practice. The more often you do something, the more chances of being found out, so if intending to hit the Baltic pipeline, just hit it and keep quiet.

    Yep, all sorts of cables and pipelines that could be easy targets. Though we know the Russians have the kit prepared to do that and it’s likely part of their planning of “stuff to do when required”, it’s also a pretty fair bet that many other countries have similar capabilities and plans.

    Thus I’m still not seeing this as “The Russians Did It” although that’s what’s being emphasised on the news at the moment. In fact, that very emphasis pushes me in the other direction. “Methinks he doth protest too much” springs to mind here, or when you walk in to a home disaster area and the kids all claim it was someone else that broke the crockery.

    I don’t see it as logical for Putin to unnecessarily damage his customers, or to destroy his own assets that have a huge potential to earn him money once the unpleasantnesses are over, maybe especially since those pipelines aren’t yet paid off. On the other hand I find it easy to accept that the USA might actually do what they said and stop the pipelines being usable. See for news from February.

    It would give Putin a far stronger hand if he only had to turn on the taps and gas would flow. It really doesn’t make sense he would remove that advantage. Thus it’s far more likely it was someone else who did it.

  65. Simon

    People do lots of things that seem illogical and unless you know their mind set it may be that the illogicality is part of a master plan .

    I am saying that for Biden to have done this will further reinforce their allies view that the US are a spent and unreliable force. Running from Afghanistan caused many of his allies huge problems, the UK included.

    On the other hand it seems illogical for Putin to have done it, as he could have merely kept the taps turned off, unless it was some bigger show of bravado, “I don’t need your money and unless you drop the sanctions I will destroy your energy and communications infrastructure.”

    If Ukraine did it, when they are found out that will immediately remove the goodwill they have engendered.

    That it happened on the day the Baltic pipeline was opened and immediately following the Italian election must have significance but in whose direction I don’t know!

  66. YMMV says:

    The no-flag attack, and everyone agrees it was an attack:

    What raises intense suspicion on the United States is the very specific threat that President Biden issued against Nordstream last February 7:

    Pres. Biden: “If Russia invades … then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” Reporter: “But how will you do that, exactly, since … the project is in Germany’s control?” Biden: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”

    AND, according to EU news reports, the CIA warned Germany in June that “the two Nord Stream gas pipelines that carry natural gas from Russia could be targeted in forthcoming attacks”

    Also in that link,

    Earlier this week, the main directorate of the Ukrainian intelligence service posted a warning on Facebook that “the Kremlin is planning to carry out massive cyberattacks on the critical infrastructure facilities of Ukrainian enterprises and critical infrastructure institutions of Ukraine’s allies. Attacks will be aimed at energy sector enterprises.” But it noted that those could also be combined with physical attacks.

    Once upon a time, hijacking airliners was popular. But there would have been a first time. Moral of the story: from now on, no pipeline is safe. We might have to go back to wood burning cars. (half-winky)

  67. jim2 says:

    Putin may have blown up the pipeline rather than just cut off the gas. This way he can say he didn’t do it and not take more heat for it.

  68. Simon Derricutt says:

    Tony – yep, things that seem illogical may make sense when you know what the people believed to be true. An obvious example there is the people who believe that if only one country can reduce its CO2 output to net zero, then the whole world won’t burn up no matter what China does, and if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels then we’re all doomed, I tell you, doomed.

    Point here is that Putin supplies those demonic fossil fuels to anyone who pays their bill in roubles (or before sanctions, in any negotiable currency), so there’s not a lot of point in the USA crippling its own production of oil, gas, and coal if those dastardly Russians carry on selling the stuff to people who want it. Unless there’s no alternative, the actual people wouldn’t buy the (more expensive and less reliable) wind-power, solar power, EVs, or electric aircraft.

    What does Putin need that money for? Only reason seems to be to buy stuff that can’t yet be sourced within Russia. Advanced computer chips would be one of those, maybe various specialised materials (high-grade steels and alloys where the manufacture depends on skills developed over generations), though mostly the Russians can produce something fairly close. It’s not that the Russians couldn’t do it, but there’s a difference in customs here, since in the West in general excellence brings a high reward, and in Russia it seems to only need to be good-enough to be acceptable to the functionary who signs it off. Thus the West is better at pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and investing enough to do that, leaving the Russians (and to a large extent the Chinese when they can’t steal the IP) that bit behind.

    Other than that, if the Russian people are OK with being a decade or two behind, Putin doesn’t need that Western money. Russia can produce all the energy it needs for itself, and all the other requirements. Maybe occasional shortages of farm produce if the central control makes a wrong decision, but so far they just buy on world markets when that happens. Maybe other sorts of shortage in other stuff now and again for the same reason, but nothing they can’t live without.

    Thus Russia doesn’t really need customers for its energy, but selling that energy (pretty cheaply) does allow various Western luxuries to be bought. They could live quite happily on what they produce and I expect would rather like to be left alone to deal with their own Russian people their own way.

    As far as I can tell, Russia has actually kept its agreements until they were broken by the other side (basically, us). If Ukraine had kept its agreements, I doubt if Russia would have seen any need to invade and break their treaty to not invade. Yep, I think they expected to be welcomed by the people there anyway, since that seems the only reasonable explanation for the small invasion force. The Russian pension was mentioned as around 3 times the Ukrainian pension – probably much the same applies to other state benefits, so most of Eastern Ukraine would be financially better off under the Russian system, apart from stopping the shelling of their villages by the Western Ukraine forces. Still, maybe those Ukrainians would still rather have been left alone rather than be taken over by another country. Rule from afar is always somewhat unpopular, even when fairly beneficial (what did the Romans ever do for us?).

    Overall, though, on the “who gains” basis, I’d think that Biden ordered the hit on the pipelines. It furthers his stated ambition that Nordstream 2 would never be turned on. Maybe he thinks it can be kept totally secret, but of course some people will know who ordered it and who did it. On the other hand, since this was against Russia, the Russians will put a lot of effort into finding out who did it, and will probably tell the world when they find out.

  69. Power Grab says:

    Here’s my two cents’ worth:

    The Green Blob (if I’m using the term correctly) are likely pulling the strings. They’re hiding behind the curtain and telling the countries with power and weapons, “Let’s you and him fight!”

    I reckon they’re happiest when they see civilization and industry (and lots of humans) being destroyed. They support nothing that prolongs life and improves the well-being of humans.

    Long ago, when I first started considering the AGW claims, I decided their goal was not only to get rid of “useless eaters”, it was to get rid of “useless breathers”. Gotta eliminate all sources of CO2, don’cha know?

  70. Simon

    Yes, if Biden did authorise it you may be sure that Putin would delight in exposing it but as yet I don’t know either way. Lots of suspects and an equal number of reasons why they couldn’t be responsible.

    Did the green blob do it as power grab suggests? Seems unlikely as a fair degree of state expertise would be needed to carry out the bombings in a well traversed and observed piece of ocean.

  71. I must say that on the UK Notalotofpeopleknowthat web site Most people seem to think it was Biden rather than Putin.

    This tweet is very interesting

    It’s from Shellenberger, who I have a lot of time for and a Polish MEP, the latter person ‘thanks’ the USA with a picture of the water churned up from the explosion so a pretty obvious implication of who they believe the culprit to be. I remain to be convinced either way. As I say above a lot of suspects and compelling reasons why they couldn’t be responsible but Biden is slightly edging it at the moment.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    Untangling The Gordian Pipeline…

    Russia did not do this. It is their asset and their weapon. Nobody defangs themselves and removes their own assets. (no motive)

    Germany et. al.. did not do this. Why destroy the pipeline that will provide your salvation when the “unpleasantness” is ended? (no motive)

    Ukraine most likely did not do this. Where is their technical means and their fleet of ships / subs in that ocean? (no means)

    The Green Movement did not do this. They are too incompetent to get it done. (no means, no opportunity as they have no fleet of warships nor subs…)

    China did not do this. They lack the opportunity (no fleet in the area and their subs are all closely tracked). Capacity TBD, but motive is present.

    Who’s left?

    USA / Biden (Means, Motive, Opportunity all present)

    UK (Means, Motive Opportunity all paresent)

    Gang Green GEBs: They do not have the means, personally, but leverage others..

    Then consider the context. Italy bailing and wanting to go back to the Russian Gas. Hungary already doing that. Biden saying we’d do it with enough provocation.

    IMHO that’s enough to make the mix:

    The USA did it, but as Biden & Co. are driven by the GEBs Gang Green (with the UK cheering). This was a WEF / GEBs Gang Green Op, but leveraging USA assets to do it. (Remote possible that the UK did it in the same way / context; but with a new king, new PM, and a lot of current disruption, I think the mindshare to agree to do it is lacking).

    That’s how I see it anyway.

  73. rhoda klapp says:

    I’m discounting Russia having done it if only because the MSM wants me to think it.

    I don’t see the UK having enough motive or willingness to do it as a proxy.

    It it was the US, is it state-directed or a deep-state initiative without authority?

    I think it’s not beyond the capability of a ‘defense contractor’ on behalf of some GEB outfit. Or a private venture solely to make money.

    Greens? Well, maybe. As far as capability, let’s find out how it was done. A biggish charge and a boat with an echo sounder or a low-tech drag line? But greens could do it on land and would want publicity.

    Whoever did it, it’s an evil act.

    ( Technology-wise, PBYs were sinking U-boats from their magnetic signature alone without seeing them as far back as 1943-4)

  74. cdquarles says:

    As insane as gangene, er, gang green is; and with the PTB backing them, I’d not overly discount them; or “deep state” using them.

  75. cdquarles says:

    We do know that Russia and China have been using gang green against our own government when “Rs” are in power, just like they used the “nuclear freeze” folk against Reagan.

  76. E.M.Smith says:

    I’d like to know the depth where the deed was done. If shallow (under 100 ft) smaller gear & boats & skill needed (drag anchor, for example). If deep, over about 300 ft, you weekend warrior scuba diver can’t do it

    That big a gas pipe is made of thick strong steel (pressurized an not expected to have maintenance for years / decades). That takes some considerable skill to make a device that is both pressure / water proof AND effective against that target (shaped charge with proper orientation on contact, for example).

    That said, If I can figure out how to do it thousands of others can too. But deep is way harder than shallow, and shallow is a lot more visible to folks fishing and such.

  77. YMMV says:

    DW says: “gas erupted from pipelines 80-110 meters (265-360 feet) below sea level.”
    but elsewhere they said 70 meters.

    Wikipedia: “Unless rapidly repaired, German authorities stated that the three damaged lines (both lines in Nord Stream 1 and line A in Nord Stream 2) are unlikely to ever become operational again due to corrosion caused by sea water.”

    And someone speculated it was about 100 kg of TNT equivalent (each or total?)

    That much could be easily lowered from a boat without needing divers. Some remote operated placement control would be nice though. Other speculated that the charges could have been placed some time ago, for future triggering.

    Someone knew exactly where the pipelines were located. Someone closer to the German end than the Russian end.

  78. rhoda klapp says:

    It is 100 metres, so beyond easy depths but OK for pro divers with the right kit. I reckon enough ordinary HE would do it, torpedoes and depth charges can make big holes without accurate placement. Do salvage divers have C4? Yes I think they do. The stealth, the not getting found out, is harder than the task itself. The longer you think about the task the easier it gets. The secrecy is the reverse of that.

  79. Power Grab says:

    What about the possibility that someone from gang green infiltrated the crew that built it, and was able to embed something in it that could be triggered from outside?

  80. H.R. says:

    rhoda klapp: ” The stealth, the not getting found out, is harder than the task itself. The longer you think about the task the easier it gets. The secrecy is the reverse of that.”

    Absolutely. When I first heard about this yesterday, I wasn’t the least puzzled about how it was done. I was really, really surprised that no one knows whodunnit. If it really was one of the “usual suspects” terrorists, there would be videos all over the place with the terrorists taking credit.

    That immediately pointed to spooks or special ops, but whose spooks or special ops? Qui bono? I can’t think of any nation that benefits, so that leaves GEBs.

    But GEBs don’t act on their own. They buy politicians who then follow the GEB’s orders. So figure out which GEB or Hydra or Spectre organization would benefit and that should point to the nation that blew up the pipeline, even tough, or particularly so, blowing up the pipeline hurts that nation.

  81. The True Nolan says:

    @HR: “I wasn’t the least puzzled about how it was done. I was really, really surprised that no one knows whodunnit.”

    Any number of ways for a fishing trawler to drop or drag an explosive charge up against the pipeline. As you say, the “how” is not hard. But solving the “who dunnit?” is quite hard. Imagine the fishing trawler dropping the charge sometime in the last half year with a timer or some sort of remote sonic triggered detonator. Did I say last half year? Why not a year? Or three years? Honestly I would guess that MANY (most? all?) pipelines and undersea cables have charges adjacent to them, set by any of several major nations, all done as a prep for some hypothetical future use. Do major bridges and rail tracks in Europe, Asia, and the US have hidden bombs incorporated into their structures? I would expect so. An old former military acquaintance of mine (now deceased) told me of his role in planting explosives on bridges in East Germany in the 1960s. How many national embassies around the world have a small nuke buried in the basement? No one knows — or rather I do not know, but can certainly imagine it to be a possibility!

  82. David A says:

    “It would give Putin a far stronger hand if he only had to turn on the taps and gas would flow. It really doesn’t make sense he would remove that advantage. Thus it’s far more likely it was someone else who did it.” Simon I think. Yep, you don’t throw away your own aces.

    Yes indeed, as EM said “It is their asset and their weapon. Nobody defangs themselves and removes their own assets. (no motive)” That is nobody except a malthusian globalist that wants to rule the world, and then those “assets” only belong to those with current power. ( Breaking eggs to make an omelette so to speak)

    I am not certain what the current capacity is for NG tanker shipment, and if said shipping has the ability to increase capacity, or is going at 100 percent now.

    This substack is one I very much recommend –

    Some tidbits… “Nordstream 2 (NS2) is a new pipeline allowing Russia to send even cheaper gas to Western Europe, because the gas doesn’t go through Ukrainian or Polish territorial areas, so Russia would not have to pay transit fees to those countries. Russia just recently completed NS2 in the face of massive opposition from Ukraine, Poland and USA. U.S. sanctions have prevented the new pipeline from opening so far.” So add Poland to the suspect list with a monetary motive…

    “The day before the attacks, Germans demanded an end to U.S. sanctions:”
    So public support was definitely waning…

    Putin was keeping on offering bait, … “Reuters reported about ten days ago that Putin invited Europe to solve its energy crisis by ignoring U.S. orders and opening up the NordStream 2 pipeline. “Just push the button and everything will get going,” Putin offered.” Germany was already refusing to send Leopard II tanks to Ukraine, so already not all in and wavering.

    ” About a month ago, the Defense Post ran an article headlined, “UK Donates Underwater Drones to Ukraine for Mine-Hunting.” The article explained the drones are remote-controlled, and can swim up to 100 meters (328 feet) deep — thirty feet deeper than the two explosions, in other words.” (Ok, so suspects and collaboration possible, US, UK, Ukraine, Poland.)

    Biden was silent for the first 48 hours post the sabotage. No attempt to distance the US,
    “Around the same time as Biden’s comments, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who engineered the 2014 color revolution in Ukraine, and is all messed in with the Ukraine biolabs, also threatened the pipeline:” (This was US policy)

    ” It’s not a new idea. Back in 2015, the Pipeline Journal ran an article headlined, “Explosive-Laden Drone Found Near Nord Stream Pipeline.” The article said the Swedish military successfully cleared a remote operated vehicle (drone) rigged with explosives near the Nord Stream Natural Gas offshore pipeline system. The drone’s nation of origin was never determined, for some reason.”

    “Poland, which stands to lose substantial transit revenues it receives from Russia if Nordstream 2 goes live, encouraged the U.S. to destroy the pipeline last month. Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, exhorted last month that “we cannot return to normal business with Russia… A change in policy in the West is not just a complete termination of Nord Stream 2, but also the liquidation, complete dismantling of this stream.” (Pretty much what happened, literally liquidation. (Are there no periodic valves to limit the salt water incursion?)

    “Poland has been hosting the U.S.’s most important military base, the base that is staging the American support in the Ukraine war. Right after the attack, influential Polish MEP and staunch U.S. ally Radek Sikorski thanked the United States, right over a picture of the attack:” (Yes, this is right there in the post.)

    “🔎 CUI BONO? Players Benefited: Ukraine, United States, UK, Poland, Biden (promise kept, allies pleased), Nuland (same), and the New York Times (Biden followed its op-ed advice).

    Players Harmed: Russia, Germany, Putin, and the rest of Western Europe, whose energy prices are about to reach escape velocity. ”

    EM, Jeff Childers Coffee & Covid is also a Florida neighbor of yours, and I recommend his pleasant logical humours substack.

    BTW, if the CIA was well aware of the threat to the pipelines, other than from Biden and the US, and the US had a military presence there, ( we do) one would think it would be monitored and secured.

  83. David A says:

    Climate reason,  My assertion in dispute –
    “I don’t think there is STRONG evidence of Putin wanting to return Russia to its prior borders. AFAICT he is doing, and attempting to do exactly what he has talked about for years.”

    Your assertion…
    ““ Putin has very explicitly said he DOES want to return not just to its prior borders but to those appertaining under Peter The Great. (St Petersburg used to be part of Sweden)”

    As I have mentioned, I found my first three searches in support of your assertion disingenuous and , at the least, misleading.  Curiously one of the three was the first one you linked in support.  Let’s examine it…   

    “When asked, “What’s behind the deterioration of Russian-Ukrainian relations in the past 30 years” Your scholar completely ignored the US involvement in the 2014 move towards strongly anti Russian government, and gave an incredibly simplistic answer.
    Through a series of answers to questions there is ONLY entirely one sided answers,  blithely dismissing any counter claims as false Russian propaganda.  And known facts do not support this, or the ignoring of history in the region.

    Finally we get to the meat, Putin’s objectives …  

    “Equally worrying is that Putin’s Feb. 21 speech referred quite explicitly to restoring not the Soviet Union, which he criticized in various ways, but the Russian empire as it existed prior to 1917. That not only calls into question all of the former Soviet states, but also a large part of Poland, including Warsaw, which was part of the Russian empire.”

    I note the same word you used, “explicitly”,,,”  So I went looking for it.  
    Nothing NADA, except one we already knew regarding Donbas, and Putin clearly explains the Russian perspective.  I see ZERO from the linked speech in that article matching your assertions or the Professors. Perhaps I just missed it.
    Your next link is paywalled! xXxxx sheesh!!!

    Your next link to the here,
    requires a one month subscription! (Double sheesh)

    My request is very simple, and having tried to dig myself for your assertion, I have found accusations lacking substance. What substance am I looking for? For the third time; Please provide the direct Putin quotes, AND the context quotes around them. Simple.

    As I have stated, when I read Putin’s words I clearly get from him a dislike of the former Soviet Union, a love of his nations positive past (The vanished past of all nations are dark with many shames, yet there is much virtue there as well) a regret that the west did not accept Russia after the Soviet break up, a regret that Russia is yet held to the past sins of the Soviet Union, a disdain for the GEBs and their One World Government tyranny, which Putin expresses as containing the very flaws of the Tyrannical Soviet Union, and a desire for security from said GEBs.

    None of that is proof or evidence that Putin intends to reconquer all the territory it somewhat voluntarily surrendered during its collapse. Indeed, Putin clearly and for some time strived to establish closer ties with Europe, (succeeded in many ways) and wanted to even join NATO. He also clearly rejected the WEF goals. It is clear that Trump and Putin had to be KEPT APART at all costs, as they both had rational national sovereign goals and rejected the New World Order.

    You may prove to be correct, yet you have not I.M.V. made your case.

  84. Interesting article which puts four countries in the frame

    These are Russia, USA, Poland and Ukraine. Ukraine is seen as the most likely. I think this doubtful as that country does not have much by way of underwater infrastructure damage ability and any ship used by them would be noticed. Also as eventually someone will come up with evidence, if they were seen to have done it then wave goodbye to getting further help from their allies.

    I am inclined to agree with David that if the CIA flagged up a threat then you would have thought the pipeline would be closely monitored by the US ships known to be in the area.

    I will throw in one other possibility as at present I think the Russian state itself has the most to lose and that is the increasingly strident and well connected Russian ultra nationalists who have been demanding many more troops be thrown in and to use nuclear weapons. That the attack came as Russia was absorbing captured territory seems a coincidence.

    At present the most likely culprit to me seems the US but as already discussed, whilst everyone has a motive there are equally powerful counter motives.

  85. Simon Derricutt says:

    Finding out whodunnit is going to be difficult, anyway. Let’s say that a remote-controlled set of bombs was placed some months or years earlier, then pretty-well any boat traffic in the general area could have used a drone to put the bombs there and we can speculate on how the signal was sent to detonate them. There are long-wave radio systems used to communicate with submarines already, so that would just need the right encoding. The bombs themselves would just need a receiver and a battery, so likely could sit dormant for a year or longer.

    Seems today a fourth leak has been noticed. Makes sense – each pipeline has two actual pipes, giving 4 targets.

    Though we can speculate about various sub-groups in various countries having the motive, means, and opportunities to do this, the big problem will be secrecy. If the USA did it, as seems most likely (to me at least), then certainly all the technologies would have been available. If someone else, then it gets more difficult for them to escape notice since I’d expect that sea area has a lot of sensors installed to detect submarines and to track them, so more of a likelihood that NATO would have some evidence of what happened. I’m however not sure if they’d be able to detect small submarine drones from a distance. Though screw propulsion would give a detectable signal (obviously mechanical), some drones have been designed using flexing (like a fish) so hearing them would be very difficult.

    Looks like various people have suddenly realised that all the undersea cables and pipelines are vulnerable, and that if a country is dependent on them then that could be an existential risk. Puts the kibosh on the idea of running the UK on a 2500-mile undersea cable taking solar power from Morocco to the UK, for example – that’s a huge vulnerability. OK, it was obviously a stupid idea before, but now the politicians have realised it.

    Interestingly, the Groningen gas-field closure is still planned to happen, despite the need for fertiliser and heating/electricity. . Other useful info at . Given the selling-price of gas at the moment, I expect they’ve made a tidy profit recently. Maybe the UK will produce more gas locally, though, having had a bit of a shock over energy prices.

  86. “OK, it was obviously a stupid idea before, but now the politicians have realised it.”

    Hmm. You and I know better than that Simon. Politicians are capable of carrying stupidity on to the bitter end. However, I think this was being promoted by the former head of Tesco who had it costed and commercially will be very bright.

    I would think he would see what has happened elsewhere and realise it has all got even more complicated and not worth the commercial risk as surely no one would insure the group?

    The EU had a similar idea so we shall have to wait and see if any plans still go forward.

    I wonder what odds we could get at the bookmakers on the relevant players for the gas explosion?

  87. David

    All the links work for me without a paywall and all say what I said. There are a variety of references that can then be checked. If you can’t access them or doubt the interview with the Professor and doubt the other material then your best bet is to directly question the Professor.

  88. rhoda klapp says:

    That’s a pretty busy area for shipping. I’d use a boat that had a cover story for being there rather than a military asset, but pre-placed mines would be the best way to go. And I’d make the salvageable bits of the device look like it was planted by my enemy.

  89. jim2 says:

    Before this pipeline incident, Russia has already started shutting down nat gas to Europe. So the idea that Russian wouldn’t cut off gas to Europe has already been disproved. Russia will simply sell it to nations friendly to it, who will in turn sell it to Europe at a higher price.

  90. H.R. says:

    @Tony B, David A, and all re paywalls:

    I have noticed that some links are paywalled seemingly based on the IP address indicating country of origin.

    I read at Small Dead Animals, and there are a lot of links that I can’t access without subscription that others in Canada seem to access with no problems and no mention of subscription. Same for some links to Australia, particularly links out from Sky. UK links are mostly available, though I’ve hit a few snags.

    Yes, I hit the paywall on US sites, but there seems to me to be a difference. When I hit one of those that seems to paywall me based on country code, I get the impression that there may be some public monies involved, so all citizens have access, but foreigners get to pay. On US sites, most that paywall are doing it based on the business model.

    Anyhow, that’s been my impression and I may be all wet on that. The discussion was just an opportunity to bring up my impression/nagging suspicion about paywalls that have puzzled me when everyone else on the other country’s site but me can get through.

    I have no issue with commercial sites in any country. Access seems based only on their business model.

    David A mentioned being paywalled and climatereason had no problem and it just finally led me to speak up. Has anyone else had that nagging suspicion about access based on country of origin?

    Carry on.

    BTW, the argument about what Putin wants to invade to “Make Russia Great Again” is interesting to me.

    I gave an opinion way above that I think Putin wants a legacy and ‘Restoring Russia’ might be it. But now I’m absorbing the arguments over just how much Putin is eyeing to ‘MRGA’. I’m not convinced about how far he is going to take his ambitions. He’s already acquired a few small properties. How much more does he want, just a little or a lot?

  91. rhoda klapp says:

    ” How much more does he want, just a little or a lot?”

    That may be decided by what he can get away with. If the walkover in Ukraine had come to pass, why not try elsewhere with your still-intact army? Now that the army is plainly not as efficient or effective as it might be he will need to reconsider future plans.

  92. E.M.Smith says:


    There is no doubt that sites paywall by country. This is dramatically so in music and TV media. Folks in the UK, for example, get TV via a tax. We in the USA get a paywall on their stuff.


    The nature of the damage (should we ever find out) would be a big clue. Giant Detonation of dumb lump of explosives? Or nice little shaped charge punching a foot or so diameter hole?

    Pipelines are regularly inspected (some external / video; some internal via “pigs” of instruments run through the pipe). It would be risky to leave a package on the pipes for a long time.

    Personally, I’d use a shaped charge to just blow a hole in it. Takes just a few pounds of shaped exploves with an optional copper cone. These things can punch through tank armor… A diver can easily carry a couple. Put a magnetic ring on the working side and just stick it on the pipe. Easily placed by small drones too.

    THE big thing that has me bothered: There’s so much satellite, cell, and subsurface surveillance going on that anyone doing this ought to have been recorded somewhere on something. They have not had their photo outed… so to me this implies a TLA / Military operation with some degree of Top Cover available.

    It is a worry that the UK sold / gave Ukraine just the kind of drone needed to do this… That means you put the crew on a “fishing boat” or “pleasure boat” and just wander by… knowing that the UK & USA will not “out” you with their surveillance.

  93. rhoda klapp says:

    I think we gave them mine-clearing stuff to deal with mines in the Black Sea. It’s not necessarily sinister. I’d go with the giant lump of explosive. The water tamps it if merely placed nearby the target. Evidence for this is the seismic signature, a small shaped charge would be unlikely to show. I would use a mine with a forensic trail leading to whoever I wanted to blame. Could I get a Russian mine? Sure, they are all around Odessa. If I use a coded sonic trigger I don’t need to go near the charge I placed last spring. Here’s a clue, the first outfit to put a ROV down there to ‘inspect the damage’ did it.

  94. David A says:

    My request is very simple.

  95. Rhoda

    It is also my understanding that the UK underwater drones were to protect the Odessa coastline which has been very vulnerable.

  96. David

    No it isn’t. I have spent a great deal of time searching for and discarding links. The ones I post you either can’t read or interpret them in a different way so I suggest you go straight to the Horses mouth and ask the Professor to amplify the comments in his interview.

    There are also a number of books and articles available which were referenced in the items you can’t access but no doubt googling some appropriate phrase would bring them up.

    Putin is a vicious and belligerent thug who has made himself very wealthy and been instrumental in killing many civilians in Ukraine whilst disposing of his enemies within the country. If you want to believe the best of him that is fine, but I don’t intend to waste any more time on him.

  97. jim2 says:

    Divers can deploy from submarines, so the additional surveillance these days might not have detected the planting of the bombs. If they were surveilled, it would have been by a TLA probably.

  98. E.M.Smith says:


    Your repeated statements that amount to “Go Fish at The Professor” are not very helpful. First off, it is just an “Appeal To Authority”, so a logic error. Second, from what I’ve seen of said professor’s stuff, he looks highly biased and has selective listening skills when it comes to history of Russia. He is “just some guy” (as is everyone…), it is facts and data that matter. Some Guy, REGARDLESS OF CREDENTIALS, is just some guy with an opinion… that’s the whole basis for classing “Argument From Authority” as a Logical Fallacy.

    So how about you do us all a favor and instead of just blowing off folks who have valid questions and can’t get to your links: Post the bits from those links that you think supports your position. Preferably with some data and logical reasoning in them. Not just “Some Guy Waving Paper With An Opinion”. (I wave paper near my “everyone has one” every day… though it is a different kind of paper than a diploma.)

    You brought the opinion about your conclusion, it is up to you to defend your position. You can’t “third party” it to unreachable links and expect anyone to agree with you.

  99. E M Smith

    I have posted the bits that support my claim but they are either discounted or can’t be read. The professor is obviously going to have a bias but perhaps that’s because he knows his subject. It’s no skin off my nose if anyone wants to believe Putin has no territorial ambitions, that is up to them.

  100. David A says:

    EM, apparently the NS sabotage was not done economically…
    Zero hedge article… “Germany Believes High Explosive Devices Equivalent To “500 Kilograms Of TNT” Used To Destroy Nord Stream”
    So about 1100 pounds. ( apparently the pipes are one inch steel, about 3 inches of concrete. )

    Regarding Climatereason, I took his assertion in good faith. I spent about two hours reading. I found serious flaws between the assertion, and and Putin statements or direct quotes. One of the 3 articles I read was from the Professor. ( That one opened, and I read it before from my search) It has basically nothing to it, and the Professor clearly is not giving a balanced perspective. It may well be that Putin us thus terrible monster.
    Yet the facts on the ground are he took a deeply broken firmer super power, steeped in a free for all corrupt power vacuum wealth grab of disparate oligarchs, and formed a functioning rule of law government, restored pride in a populations history, and achieved very steady economic progression.

    I am certain there are articles from various sources of atrocities and wealth grabs by Putin. Yet it would take a deep knowledge of the actors involved and the circumstances in existence to know if it was brutal suppression of villains, or necessary acts of internal struggle in a desperate time.

  101. E.M.Smith says:

    I see that Climatereason has capitulated and does not wish to support his position. OK with me.

    @David A:

    That was why I was suggesting a shaped charge. These are for the very purpose of punching holes in thick steel armor, composite armor, or cutting thick beams.

    So it looks more like brute force, eh? That argues for someone not very skilled with explosives… FWIW, you can put a saddle charge on a pipe (one on each side) and do incredible damage with little mass of charge. Similar to beam cutting charges, you offset them by a little from each other. The shear forces can be enormous.

    That big a charge sounds more like a 2nd or 3rd rank player with a big surface ship; not a demolition dive team or a drone attack. Could be a torpedo, though, but getting 3 to go off at once? Hmmm…. Crude brute force sounds more like Poland or Ukraine than anyone else.

  102. rhoda klapp says:

    “That big a charge sounds more like a 2nd or 3rd rank player with a big surface ship”

    Yep. That amount is more than a typical torpedo, but I think mines come that big. Torpedoes have to have room for fuel/batteries, propulsion and guidance. Mines have to work at a distance so need more bang stuff. However a lump of HE on its own would do, if it has shock effect. I guess that amount would make a fifty-foot rupture. I don’t think it needs a big ship though, some innocent=looking fishing craft would be ideal. Using a ship tracker app I saw a bunch of them in that area. If the IED was laid months ago you’d never work out which ship was responsible.

    I see John Brennan has blamed Russia which make me certain sure they didn’t do it, Brennan is a paid disinformation conduit.

  103. The True Nolan says:

    It is suspicious that Ukraine recently got underwater drones. But did they have such drones in 2015? Based on the 2015 discovery of an explosives laden drone it would seem reasonable to be a bit more suspicious of powers that were able and willing to use drones seven or more years ago.

    Still, there are so many groups which MIGHT HAVE blown the pipeline (some of which are sub-national) that looking at methods gives us little insight. It seems to me that “cui bono”, “who benefits”, is more likely to be informative.

  104. E M Smith and David

    I just don’t see how I can provide the information David wants without spending very many hours in selecting information and putting together a referenced article .

    My comments were not made in isolation after 5 minutes research on the internet. I used to speak Russian, travelled to Eastern Europe and Berlin before the wall came down and generally took a more than passing interest in Russia as a result. (For similar reasons I do the same with Iran and Iraq)

    As a result, over the years I have watched numerous documentaries on Russia and its leaders, read numerous books and numerous articles, of which there have been an increasing number over the last 8/9 months.

    However, without being able to post this background context of what I have learnt over many years on Putin, his regime, his vast wealth and his territorial ambitions (and the death or disappearance of those that oppose him) I can not see how I can persuade someone who is unable to see the links or is unsure the Professor, for example, to be a genuine expert on the subject.

    I do not want to waste Davids or your time any further and feel it best not to pursue this subject any further, especially as I find the gas explosions of more immediate interest and concern.

    However I would suggest, David, that if you like thrillers you will find ‘Freezing Order’ by Bill Browder to be a worthwhile read in its own right. But as well as a genuinely gripping book it is actually true-with references- and lifts the lid on the Putin regime and the developments arising from the Magnitsky affair. Putin is head of a thoroughly unpleasant and ‘murderous kleptocracy’ which disregards the law and unleashes ‘waves of crime and corruption’- both are quotes on the book by Garry Kasparov and Tom Stoppard.

  105. YMMV says:

    Amount and type of explosive TBD, so too soon to draw conclusions based on that.

    “Could be a torpedo, though, but getting 3 to go off at once?”

    There were two blasts, hours apart. That was said before they discovered the fourth leak.

    … “is head of a thoroughly unpleasant and ‘murderous kleptocracy’ which disregards the law and unleashes ‘waves of crime and corruption’”

    True for a bunch of other states and leaders too, so why single out one as the only baddy?

  106. H.R. says:

    @climatereason (Tony) – I’ve written at least twice that I think Putin has territorial ambitions. I think it’s ego driven to leave a legacy. So you are not the lone defender of that argument.

    I think you have been arguing for more territory, because of your sources, than I figure Putin wants. I say it’s less. But who knows?

    One thing I do know is I’m not knowledgeable enough on Russian history to say which bits would make sense. I really don’t think Putin wants the whole enchilada of everything that was Russia if only for a few years.

  107. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Climatereason: like you I have been following world events for Decades and when I post my observations on present events, I also get these Troll-Like demands that I provide them with a lengthy education on the subject. Most of which they will ignore as it is too difficult for them to to spend the days, weeks, years to gain the needed insight. I am much too old and too busy to waste the rest of my life on their education. So I post my observations and ignore their demands. Take it or leave it.
    By the way I concur with your observations on Putin and his “Special Armies” of Liberation. He is a would be Hitler, one of the nastiest GEBs on the planet. “The Game of Thrones” is having a shift in alliances as Putin crashes the Russian ship of state.
    As to the pipe line damage, strategically, I see no reason Russia would damage those lines. They are Putin’s bargaining chip to get Western Europe to cave and force Ukraine to surrender to his demands. The Germans have been trying to cut a deal with him to save themselves. Putin just said that all he had to do was to “push a button” to restore service. Damaging those pipelines puts an end to that. My first guess is it was a CIA/Deep State operation, They have the means, ability and motive.

    Not all the “Game of Thrones” players are GEBs but many are….pg

  108. another ian says:

    FWIW and peripheral



  109. Simon Derricutt says:

    Relevant here is Pointy’s post

    He points out that the leadership of the EU itself is unelected, though each country obviously has elected leaders. However, those unelected EU leaders can punish the elected leaders who don’t do what they are told.

    Given Putin’s long time as a leader, it could be argued he’s effectively unelected too, except that it seems that amongst most Russians he’s had a high approval rate for a long time, with a recent drop because of the conscription. I’m pretty sure that Tony is right about Putin’s opponents mysteriously disappearing, or being jailed on trumped-up charges, but I’d also note that in the USA there’s Clintoncide and that even in the UK people with information of government errors have woken up dead. In Russia, maybe a bit more robust and obvious suppression of dissent and inconvenient truths, but it happens over here too. Yep, also Putin has a large personal fortune now, but most politicians seem to end up with a bigger fortune than can be explained by their rate of pay. Even Saint Zelenskyy was mentioned in those leaked banking details as having a huge amount of offshore money. When we look at how much that costs each citizen each year we get a better perspective here – for example a while back I saw an article that said Queen Elizabeth cost each UK person about a pound a year, which is pretty minimal relative to value received in avoiding some political errors by the elected politicians who only have a horizon of the next election. I’d expect Putin’s cost to each Russian citizen to be somewhat lower, so providing he works at understanding world politics and tries to find the optimum path for Russia (which I think he’s mostly done) then the Russians have a good deal and are a lot richer than they would have been with a less-competent leader.

    As I said earlier, I still think that Putin didn’t expect Ukraine to put up any resistance to invasion, and if NATO hadn’t supplied a whole load of guns, ammo, and money he’d have been right. There was effectively no push-back when he took back Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine was in a civil-war situation, so I’d see stopping that civil war as being somewhat useful to the EU and also maybe as something NATO wouldn’t be bothered with, since they’d AFAIK done nothing to stop it themselves. However, with Ukraine being the money-launderette for more than a few politicians and their scions, looks like removing that capability to make easy money was a step too far. Obviously the deaths and destruction that have been going on in Eastern Ukraine for getting on 9 years didn’t upset Western politicians much, but taking away their honey-pot stirred them into action. I’d suspect that was Putin’s miscalculation, plus of course being informed maybe that the Ukrainians would largely welcome the Russians as liberators.

    Possibly I’m getting some things wrong here from not having reliable information, but I’m not seeing Putin’s personal fortune or repression of opponents as anything unusual, just a bit more obvious than some others. His repression of dissent can be brutal, but not as brutal as some (see Iran) and not as pervasive as we experience for some things (try mentioning vaccine problems on Facebook and see how long before you’re banned). Sorry, Dave, but I can’t let you do that….

  110. another ian says:

    FWIW – More checking back

    “It was a SHAM REFERENDUM! the media screams.”

  111. p.g.sharrow says:

    It was a sham referendum, it was a sham annexation. backed up with real bullets and bombs. The only question is will this later-day Hitler be allowed to succeed in his conquest to remake the map by right of conquest and Blackmail. I HAVE NUCs he screams as he is loosing his War, You have to let me win! or I will ruin everything for everyone. How many times have we played this game? The result is always the same. If you let a Bully win he will just up the ante next time.

    Right now “Putin’s Russia” is crumbling around his ears. His Army is exhausted. Back down now and he will return strengthened with tested game plan of New Demands. China, Iran, North Korea will be encouraged to follow suit.

    Why do people keep insisting that Putin heads the the most powerful army in Europe when The Vast Soviet Military of 30 years ago is now just mostly a paper tiger due to massive looting of Putin’s kleptocracy. That 1.2million man Russian Army was more like the 200,000 that he has wasted and the rest, paper work to cover to cover up massive graft, Their vast store of Modern Weapons are mostly show pieces backed up with paper numbers. Those 5th generation fighters Just delivered, are actually 5 aircraft, 1 is the demonstrator for airshows, 2 are functional fighters and 2 are not functional due to lack of avionics and computers. That back door call up conscription is mainly to produce the million warm bodies that were supposed to be in the Army already. BUT there is this BIG problem of no supplies and equipment on hand for them. They are being fielded virtually unequipped and are being told to supply themselves if they want to survive.

    The revolts are beginning all over the Russian Federation. The Putin regime won’t last the winter….pg

  112. E.M.Smith says:


    It is when you say things like:

    I HAVE NUCs he screams as he is loosing his War, You have to let me win!

    That you lose me. (Oh, and it is losing as “loosing” is letting things loose…)

    You see, I saw the video of Putin and what he said. He was not screaming at all. His statement was not a threat to bomb, but a reminder of reprisal ability. He said IF Russia were attacked, he could respond with nuclear ability. It was not a first use threat. (No, that does not mean that I think he would not do first use tactical nukes, I’m just pointing out what he said). Further, he said it in a very low key voice.

    Frankly, I find the “quiet low voice” more worrisome than the crazy guy screaming, but maybe that’s just me.

    The question of who is losing the war is TBD and will likely take months more. Your speculation that he is losing is just that. Never forget that in war, folks do things like let the enemy attack and take over a spot for a variety of reasons. To create a salient to be destroyed. To weaken the line behind them for a counter offensive. Or even just to get Rump Ukraine to “invade” what from the Russian POV is now Russian Federation – to stir up “patriotic fervor” or to have justification for things like using air power to knock out electrical power everywhere in Rump Ukraine. You can not know if they are in fact “losing” that battle, or are in fact doing a longer game manipulation; at least not until the board is played out to the end.

    So when you say things like that in that way, all I hear is “Hate hate hate, bias, hate!” and I discount the rest of the commentary as likely highly biased.

    Note that I am NOT saying to “stop it”. You are at liberty to be you and express your view. I’m just letting you know the effect of it.

    Up until now, Russia has held off the entire NATO Inventory and Ukrainian Staffing using a much smaller force than the Ukrainians and with a very favorable kill-ratio. Only now are they mobilizing their formal army. Most of the ones called up have experience too. They are likely sending 300,000 experienced soldiers with gear from their inventory to “guard the border of Russia” at the new republics. Now I have very little idea how much of their military gear is in good working order, and how much is rust. But then again, I’m pretty sure that’s Russian State Secret and not many other folks know what their actual status is either.

    We will only really find out in the next couple of months as those folks enter battle.

  113. rhoda klapp says:

    Here’s Perun on Russian mobilization. I don’t know how good his facts are but his military judgment seems sound. Of course he sympathizes with Ukraine but he seems fair in his assessments.

    In couple of months or before it will be rasputitsa season. Then winter. Then rasputitsa again. If Russia had any sense it would take time to rebuild its Army and logistics to suit modern warfare. Hoping to be the last man standing with a supply of cold war ammo, while it might work, is not a clever way to proceed.

  114. E.M.Smith says:


    “Raputista” is an interesting word. ~’Sea of mud’… Thanks for that.

    FWIW, many decades ago I bought a crate of “surplus” Russian 7.62 x 39 ammo. It still works Just Fine and is very effective. It’s a .30 caliber round with enough energy to take down a “dear sized animal” or even larger. I’d be happy to go into battle with that ammo.

    Since then, Russia has moved on to the AK 74 (basically the same gun as the AK-47 but in a smaller caliber)

    It is in 5.45 x 39 that looks like a necked down 7.62 x 39. This is still the current Russian issue.

    The Russians tend to make guns of extraordinary reliability and function. Their guns and ammo tend to dominate international military usage. The Israeli military did an extreme set of tests, and decided to make their own copy of the AK-47 as it was the most impressive gun in the tests:

    Israel Has Its Own AK-47: Meet the Galil Rifle
    Firing 650 bullets a minute, this product of the 1967 War lives up to the hype.
    The Galil uses the same piston-based method of operation as the AK-47, a rotating-bolt operating system that diverts propellant gasses to drive a combined piston/bolt carrier that cycles the weapon. The Galil looks like the AK-47, but individual parts are not compatible. The Galil is more directly related to Finland’s Valmet M62 assault rifle, Helsinki’s take on the AK, and early versions of the Galil even used Finnish receivers.

    Notice that Finland also decided the best thing to do was a copy of the AK-47.

    I’d have no worries at all using an AK (in either caliber) or “cold war ammo”. As of right now, my “defense” gun is an even older rifle (SKS Carbine as it was acceptable to California…) and “cold war ammo” in 7.62 x 39. (You can see how much I shoot as I’ve still not used up that box of ammo. I’m about 3/4 through it now ;-)

    Just sayin’…

  115. rhoda klapp says:

    I was thinking in terms of artillery and rocket ammo. There’s nothing wrong with their light weapon ammo and I’m sure the rumours that they have issued Moisin-Nagant 1983 rifles with their 7.62X54 Rimmed are just rumours, or based on a couple of said rifles turning up on the front line. Still that combination will kill you at a thousand yards, which a 5.56 or 5.45 will mostly not. If I was picking a rifle for infantry today I’d go something like 7mm, which is what the US is doing for the new rifle.

  116. rhoda klapp says:

    An explanation. In Afghanistan Allied forces with 5.56mm were outranged by tribesmen with Moisins and Lee-Enfields. Or even black powder muzzle-loaders. This spurred an interest in sharpshooter guns for one or two of the squad. That’s partly why the US is going 6.8mm, away from NATO standard, for true infantry. I don’t know whether Russia has any such plan. It would be a good marketing move to make all the AKs obsolete.

  117. E.M.Smith says:

    IIRC, Russia used (and may still use) the Moisin Nagant for their sniper rifles.

  118. H.R. says:

    @rhoda klapp – I have a 7mm bolt action sporter. It’s popular for hunting where you are on one mountainside and, uh-oh, your game is on the other side of a valley on another mountainside.

    I’ve forgotten the data, but the trajectory is very flat compared to other common hunting loads.

    ‘Twas my late father-in-law’s that he’d use out West and in Canada.

  119. E.M.Smith says:

    My Dad had a .257 Roberts bolt action that my Mom gave away after he died. On the one hand I’d love to have it today. On the other hand, the thing kicked like a mule even with a shoulder pad (Dad, an experienced M1 Garand shooter, got bruised by it…) So I’d not really want to shoot it… It was basically a necked down 30-06 IIRC. It was about 6.5 mm …

    It, too, was darned flat from this mountain to that mountain…

    Were I in the market for a long range rifle, I’d likely go for something in the 7mm to 10 mm range, with emphasis in the 7 – 8 band. Likely something .30 caliber and a big long case…

  120. Jon K says:

    Another good interview with Douglas Macgregor

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