In It To Win It & All Means Necessary collides with Existential Threat Perception in Russia

Well, looks like “War For Christmas” is in the making.

2 videos. In the first one, Alex Cristoforu reports on how things went down with Mr. Z asking for $Billions, getting it, and Lindsey Graham giving us a view of the mindset of the NeoCons in Congress. Given the standing ovations to Mr. Z, it looks like a LOT of congress is good to go on “Whatever it takes”. Which means we go into a hot war with Russia. This includes a call for Regime Change in Russia. Never mind that Russians LIKE Putin and Russians do not want Russia “Balkanized”.

That, alone, is a rather scary view inside the mind of the folks provoking direct war with Russia.

But it gets worse. See, Russia watches what our political overlords say too.

Wasting no time, Russia has seen the money being papered on the wall by the train load and so has decided to move to fuller mobilizations. The list of units being added in the following report (From The Duran about meetings in Russia where they have some connections) is daunting.

Seems saying things like ‘unlimited money and weapons” and “regime change” and disassemble Russia kind of tips them off as to what stupidity you are about to launch. They don’t like that, so prepare for it.

THE big problem for “The West” is that we are getting ready to do this as:

1) NATO has pretty much used up their stores & systems.

2) The EU has no power to run their factories to make more such.

3) The USA has almost no manufacturing base left (so nothing to convert to military).

4) Our existing military manufacturing base can rebuild our stocks in about 3 years if it tries really really hard (which it doesn’t do), but more like 5 or 6.

5) We don’t have the money to pay for it anyway (and China isn’t in the lending mood right now, nor is japan).

6) Russia is cooking up a deal with China. This could instantly be 2 fronts.

7) Russia is going to be finishing up Ukraine in weeks, not years. They need to be done moving tanks before the ground thaws again. They can move fast on more manufacturing, we can not.

This is incredibly risky business. The Color Revolution folks are peeved and want to run that show in Russia. It isn’t going to work there. When this blows up in their faces, I just hope it doesn’t take down the whole world with them…

I suggest making sure your Bug Out Vehicle is packed and full of fuel and that you have somewhere away from major nuclear targets as a destination.

I also hope that some cooler heads start telling our Idiots In Charge that you can not win a war with Russia, and certainly not a 2 front war with both Russia and China. Especially when you have a manufactured food shortage, no fertilizer being made for next years’ crop, a fuel shortage, and have destroyed your manufacturing and economic / financial base (along with the slow destruction of your energy infrastructure).

Wars are fought with beans, bullets, Diesel / Jet-A and Steel. All of which have been under attack in The West for a while now. It’s a very bad idea to destroy all that and then pick a big fight with the guy who has them all.


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...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, News Related, Political Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to In It To Win It & All Means Necessary collides with Existential Threat Perception in Russia

  1. Phil Salmon says:

    A world without Lindsay Graham behind prison bars is not a world that is going to survive. Someone must stand up and put an end to neocon insanity.

  2. John Hultquist says:

    I looked it up: having an oddly dreamlike quality.

    I’ve no better control of my dreams and how they will
    end – well or poorly – than I have expectations about
    how this conflict will go.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and I left “bandages” out of the “beans, bullets & bandages” mantra… 90-some-odd percent of our medicines now come from China. So when they decide a 2 front war would be a good time to take Taiwan, just tell me “From where will we be getting our bandages and medications?”….

  4. YMMV says:

    I suggest making sure your Bug Out Vehicle is packed and full of fuel and that you have somewhere away from major nuclear targets as a destination.

    The Australian outback? Maybe some place in Africa? Mexico? But seriously, I think the nuked targets are just the first phase of the problem. The second phase is the collapse of the system. Supply chain issues. No workers in key jobs. We already have a taste of that. No infrastructure, no food. Hollywood has already imagined what could happen. A not so civil war.

    I wonder what the govt thinktanks have planned. What will the PTB do for their own survival (never mind us)? But their recent wishful thinking epidemic does not bode well, even for them.

  5. The True Nolan says:

    How long has it been since someone refused to back down to the bullies in DC? I fear that our self chosen (i.e. unelected) psychopaths on Capitol Hill cannot understand that Russia is fighting for its life.

  6. YMMV says:
    “Lights over Ukraine: The Energy War”

    Interesting sat photos about the Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electrical grid, and Ukraine’s recovery efforts.

    (Note the graphics are progressive — you need to keep scrolling to animate them.)

  7. YMMV says:

    Reports are that in a press conference Thursday, Putin called the Ukraine thing a “war” for the first time. Until then, it was always a “military special operation”.

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve wondered if they don’t understand that to Russians it looks existential… or if they know it and just don’t care. Is their Hubris so big that they can’t believe the Failure Mode exists for them?

    I’ve wondered over the years about how Civilizations collapse. There they are, doing great things, until they just end. History is full of them. Roman Empire, Greek Empire / Golden Age, several Chinese Empires, British Empire (still in the shrinking stage…), Aztecs, Toltecs, Egyptian (new and old Kingdoms), Persian & Ottoman, etc. etc.

    My present muse as to why is just that “Failure To Appreciate Failure”. The old “Good times make soft men” thing. Early in Empires & Civilizations, it’s hard to build a society, to create a highly advanced culture and economy from a tribe living in mud huts. Folks all have to work together to get it done, and know that. Once you are “up there”, the Sociopaths rise to power; but in a context where they are not offered frequent hardships and failures to realize just how bad things can be. Then they start breaking things for their own advantage. That can work for a while, but Societies have a Brittle Failure mode… Folks stop working together.

    Like trying to optimize a suspension bridge by cutting out one wire at a time… It all works Just Fine until it doesn’t and you are plummeting to the bottom of the ravine…

    We all cooperate and try to help out and keep working for the good of the society… until one day we realize it isn’t working and you are just getting screwed. Then you stop. And when enough folks Just Stop, the Civilization just stops.

    It doesn’t seem to matter if the basic trigger is a war, a famine from drought, disease, or just getting tired at the abuse of a wicked government. The collapse is the same.

    FWIW, it looks like the Toltecs (or maybe Inca, one of them… I think…) collapsed when the people at large just decided living in the Big Cities and paying a lot of taxes and building pyramids in the jungle wasn’t helping them anymore. Just went back to living in villages in the jungle and the “Advanced Urban Civilization” ended.

    No more giant pyramids built, no more ritual and pomp, no more taxes and work details. No more kings & princes.

    It still isn’t clear exactly why they did it. Best theory so far was that there was some weather changes that lead to crop failures and “appeasing the Gods” failed to fix it, so folks gave up on that hierarchy… including all the “elites” on top of it…

    FWIW, that’s basically where I reached about 15 years ago. I’m no longer a “productive citizen”. I’m a “taker” on SS & Medicare. I’ve had a dozen opportunities to get decent jobs since then; just don’t see the reason to support this system anymore.

    Heard that “attitude” is also now spreading among the young cohort in China. Do just enough to “get along” and nothing more. I suspect it also explains the millions of jobs being offered and folks NOT lining up in droves for them; despite total employment being lower than before by a lot.

    Heard some folks trying to figure out how that could be. LOTS of unemployed people. LOTS of jobs being offered. Yet folks not taking them.

    Well, when you tote it all up and having a job means 1/2 your stuff gets taken for the freeloaders, and the freeloaders have about as good a life as you do; it’s pretty easy to decide to just not bother to work. Or do just the minimum to get food, a bed, and a free wifi connection for you Obama Phone…

    I find that ever more of my “productive time” is exiting the “cash economy”. The latest? Bacon has gotten so expensive I’ve largely stopped buying it. Something like $9 / lb last time I looked (and it was only a 12 oz package now too…). Well, today I learned a few ways to make your own bacon. Uncured Unsmoked Pork Bellies are cheap. Salt & Sugar are cheap. Smoking is easy even in a plain old BBQ. Now, WILL I make my own bacon? Probably at least once. I’ve also found a butcher who packages whole animals from his own shop on his own dirt. So I’m likely to cut out the Big Corporate Meat Cutters, their Union, the Trains & Trucks, and all the taxes at every step too.

    Drip, drip, drip… one person and one decision at a time; until it isn’t enough to support all the crap anymore. Then it ends.

    Right Now we’ve got the DNC printing up about $2 Trillion of new debt every quarter or two. We’re way over $4 Trillion regular budget, then a few more stuck on extra. Well good luck getting anyone to PAY for that debt. I’m not. It’s now a Ponzi Scheme and it will crash when the music slows down just enough for the Suckers to realize those bonds are NOT going to be payed. China & Japan are already dumping them. Russia clearly knows to avoid. So do that Fentanyl while it still feels good, but realize that the $Million of Graft Money Pelosi & Friends just stuck in a hole in the Caymans is going to be worth about $40,000 by the time they try to spend it… or maybe just $10 if / when things go hyper.

    At least that’s my thesis for how things end. Hopefully long enough from now that it’s not my problem. But I’m prepping enough just in case it isn’t that far away. I do have hope that if / when it all goes sideways, Florida will be an island of stability. I need to get better at catching fish, but the ability to have a Food Forest is certainly here, and Homestead filing means your land can not be taken for debt, even property taxes. So while My Place is not ideal for a survival farm, I think it is close enough. After all, I just have to last longer than the other guys ;-)

    But I have no doubt that the Idiots In Charge will not have a single feeling of concern or worry as long as the Champaign flows and the ballots are counted by their friends. Right up until the economy implodes, or the currency collapses entirely, or, God Forbid, they get into a Real Hot War with Russia and suddenly learn what the Russian Dead Hand Nuclear Launch System is when they are stupid enough to try a first strike decapitation… They all work (and mostly live) in great big Target Cities. You would think they know that…

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    It’s worse than that. In the 2nd video above, if their reporting is accurate (and it has been so far): Putin said it is a war with NATO. He’s looking past the “proxy” aspect. Further, they reported that he said they are creating new divisions of the Army and Air Corps (almost as many as prior Soviet strength / number) and ramping up arms & munitions manufacture for a NATO war.

    He knows that there is no one with whom to negotiate. Germany, EU, USA, all of NATO basically have just abandoned many prior treaties and “agreements”. Any “agreement” is worth exactly nothing.

    He knows NATO / WEF, Soros, GEBs all want him dead, and Russia dismembered. Heck, they have said so. Double Heck: Lindsay Graham specifically said he want’s “Regime Change” in Russia and Russian Dismemberment as the only solution.

    It is clear to everyone that the USA is doing everything but the ground troops in Ukraine up to now, and that there’s a lot of (at a minimum) UK and Polish mercenaries and “volunteers” in the ground troops. It is clearly a Hot War with NATO with the only fig leaf over it being that, for now, most of the dead are Ukrainians. It is also clear that’s going to change Real Soon Now.


    Lindsay said we’ll be sending long range weapons, offensive weapons, and systems that will require trained crews (when the Ukrainians can’t be trained fast enough…) The body of “advisors” and “contractors” on the ground will soon be running the weapons system…

    It was clear from Alexander reading Putin’s speech that Putin is very aware of what the USA, UK, EU and NATO are doing, and that NATO is pledging to full escalation. “Whatever it takes”. With no one with whom to negotiate, he’s also clearly aware the only choice is to win the war with NATO that is being pushed in his grill. So Russia is moving to full war footing to deal with it.

  10. Sandy McClintock says:

    @YMMV “The Australian outback?”
    Right in the middle of the outback is Pine Gap
    I would be surprised if this has not been at the top of their ‘must-hit-em’ list for decades. But don’t despair, Australia has lots of deserted places (90%)

  11. another ian says:

    Sounds like someone “2022’d” the words to

    “We’re going to hang the washing on the Siegfreid Line” ?

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    Confirmation of some of Putin’s speech (bolding by me for emphasis):

    Russia is facing nearly the entire military potential of NATO in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine
    , President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday during an extended meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense.

    The Russian president also commented on what led up to the current conflict with Kiev and noted the importance of modernizing the country’s nuclear potential in order to maintain sovereignty.

    Here’s a recap of the main points from Putin’s speech.

    1 Confrontation with West

    Putin said Moscow’s “strategic opponents” have always tried to “cut down” and “break up” Russia because they believe the country is “too big” and poses a threat. He noted that this was something the West had been trying to achieve for centuries.

    Russia, meanwhile, has always hoped and tried to become a part of the so-called “civilized world” but has come to realize that it is simply not welcome there, according to Putin.

    2 Ukraine as brotherly nation

    Russia spent years doing everything it could to build not just neighborly, but brotherly relations with Ukraine, and nothing worked, said Putin, noting that “we have always considered Ukrainians to be a brotherly people.”

    Putin outlines the scale of the challenge in Ukraine

    “I still believe that. Everything that is happening is a tragedy. Our common tragedy. But it is not the result of our policies,” the president said.

    He added that Russia’s geopolitical opponents have started to use a wide range of means to further their goals, including meddling in the internal affairs of the former Soviet republics, especially Ukraine, which ultimately led to the ongoing conflict with Kiev. Thus, it had become “inevitable,” the president concluded.

    3 NATO against Russia

    Putin stated that NATO was currently using the military potential of nearly all of its member states against Moscow.

    However, he noted that Russia had learned a lot from its mistakes in the past and would not harm itself by militarizing the nation.
    “We will not militarize the country and we will not militarize the economy,” Putin proclaimed, stressing that Russia’s current level of development simply doesn’t require such measures.

    He added that Russian military leaders have been tasked with studying NATO’s tactics and capabilities and have been asked to consider this information in the training and equipment of Russia’s own forces.

    4 Nuclear triad

    Russia’s nuclear arsenal is the key guarantor of its sovereignty, Putin said, noting that new weapons will soon enter into service and commit to the development of the country’s defensive capabilities.

    The president said Russia will continue to maintain and improve its nuclear triad, which comprises missiles fired from aircraft, submarines, and ground-based mobile launchers and silos.

    5 Modernizing the Russian military

    The president emphasized the need to bolster the use of drones in the Russian army and pointed to the country’s experience in developing underwater unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which he said should be improved upon to create more advanced air and ground drones.

    Defense minister announces major expansion of Russian army

    READ MORE: Defense minister announces major expansion of Russian army

    He suggested modernizing communication systems and incorporating artificial intelligence technologies across all decision-making levels, noting that fast and automated systems have proven to be the most effective on the battlefield.

    The president also approved a number of structural changes proposed by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in response to NATO bolstering its forces on the border with Russia and potentially extending membership to Finland and Sweden.

    From that Read More on expanding the military:

    Sergey Shoigu says the nation’s military should amount to 1.5 million servicemen

    Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has announced the need to make a number of structural changes to the country’s armed forces in light of NATO’s attempts to bolster its presence on Russia’s border and expand its membership to Finland and Sweden.

    During a Russian Defense Ministry meeting on Wednesday, Shoigu proposed a number of measures to strengthen the security of the Russian Federation, including creating a special grouping of troops on the country’s northwestern border and expanding Russia’s armed forces to amount to 1.5 million servicemen in total, with some 695,000 of them being contract soldiers.

    Shoigu’s comments come as Helsinki and Stockholm have submitted bids to join NATO, citing a perceived threat from Russia in light of its ongoing military operation in Ukraine. Their accession to the US-led bloc is currently stalled by Türkiye and Hungary, but all other members have already welcomed their membership.

    The minister also offered to “gradually” change the minimum draft age in Russia from 18 to 21 and raise the maximum age to 30, while also offering all draftees the opportunity to sign a contract with the army from the first day of service.

    Shoigu went on to suggest creating a number of new military groupings, including five new artillery divisions, eight bomber aviation regiments, and one fighter regiment, as well as six army aviation brigades.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also attended the meeting, approved the proposals for improving the country’s armed forces and instructed Shoigu to report back once these measures are deliberated with the ministerial board. Putin promised to address these proposals in detail later.

    During his address to senior defense officials, Putin also emphasized the need to continue to modernize Russia’s nuclear arsenal, describing it as the key to guaranteeing the country’s sovereignty.

    Realize this is Putin meeting with the Top Military decision makers. Not just some puff ball press conference as is done in the west.

    My best guess is that this stuff (expansion of the military) will already be in progress early next year. I’m also pretty sure that the NATO war in Ukraine will be entering a whole new phase before any new gear can get there (from either side…) and it will all be a “Done Deal” before the spring melt makes it harder to drive tanks around.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Sandy (et. al):

    Most folks think a nuke anywhere within a 100 miles and you are instantly dead. (1/2 ;sarc/) Not so.

    After about 40 MT, most of the added energy goes into blowing atmosphere out to space. Folks have realized that 8 x 5 MT bombs are more effective than one Big Bomb.

    At the smaller end, the destructive circle is about 5 miles. For really big ones it is more like 10 to 20 miles. Still, there’s a LOT of land more than 10 miles from Ground Zero over military bases and major urban core areas.

    I’m presently in between Tampa and Orlando. Both would be major targets in any nuclear war (as would NASA / Cape Canaveral). Yet it’s far enough away to the Space Command at Macdill that I’m outside the destructive circle for a sub launch smaller one (and they are used first and against military targets). I likely would not even know if one landed on Cape Canaveral.

    I’d need to head away from the major wind path from Macdill were it hit, but I’d have about 1/2 an hour or so to do it. Most everything south of me is too small to be of interest and “mostly just cows & grass” with the occasional swamp…

    This is true all over the country. There are thousands of small villages and towns that just don’t have anything to make a nuke a profitable expenditure and where they are 20 miles or so from Real Targets.

    It is the military bases and major industrial / financial centers that are worth while targets. Basically down town big cities and large industrial complexes (like the Refinery Row along the Gulf Coast of Texas / Louisiana). Even there, realize that the first round of Sub Launched lands in about 5 minutes. These are small and shot at High Value Military Targets (to disable / as counter force). Those sent at Civilian Targets tend to come in the MAD ICBM bunch that take 20 minutes to get here. IF you have a Bug Out vehicle prepped and ready, you have 10 to 15 minutes (or miles…) more to get further out in Cow Country after the first sub launched lands 20 miles away from you…

    So you don’t need to be living 200 miles from nowhere. Just about 20 to 30 miles and all is fine. (Between 10 and 20 from a first target, you will likely get broken windows and a lot of panic in the street making Bug Out hard. At 5 to 10 miles, there’s significant damage even if it isn’t utter destruction, so you are not going much of anywhere).

    Oh, and it is good to pack for “Camping for 2 weeks” as some scenarios have a “launch 1/2 and wait two weeks, then launch the other half when folks came out of their bunkers after the recommended 2 weeks for radiation to drop.”

    Remember that, despite their statement about 1 MT being “smaller than many”, it’s still a big bomb. Also, by that scale, you are already NOT getting as much more damage per MT added, so damage radius is not going up linear with size at all. You are already in diminishing returns land.

    Also note that flash blindness and heat burns are big effects. Anyone inside will have much lower risk of that. As a first strike is likely to happen at off hours, that’s a feature.

    The AsapSCIENCE video considers a 1 megaton bomb, which is 80 times larger than the bomb detonated over Hiroshima, but much smaller than many modern nuclear weapons.

    For a bomb that size, people up to 21 km (13 miles) away would experience flash blindness on a clear day,
    and people up to 85 km (52.8 miles) away would be temporarily blinded on a clear night.

    Heat is an issue for those closer to the blast. Mild, first-degree burns can occur up to 11 km (6.8 miles) away, and third-degree burns – the kind that destroy and blister skin tissue – could affect anyone up to 8 km (5 miles) away. Third-degree burns that cover more than 24 percent of the body would likely be fatal if people don’t receive medical care immediately.

    Those distances are variable, depending not just on the weather, but also on what you’re wearing – white clothes can reflect some of the energy of a blast, while darker clothes will absorb it.

    So basically, even for a 1 MT, if you are over 7 miles away and not looking right at it, you ought to do OK.

  14. another ian says:

    Also FWIW

    “Uses & abuses of military history
    by Victor Davis Hanson”

  15. bob sykes says:

    If you destroy the 50 biggest US cities (maybe 200 100kt warheads), you destroy the nodes in the electrical, communication, transportation (air, rail, road), and governance networks. You probably kill 50 million outright, gravely injure some 10’s of million more. But the remaining population has no supplies of energy, food, medicine, and the great majority of them will die of injury, starvation, disease, and riot and internecine killing.

  16. YMMV says:

    @bob sykes, that sounds about right. The nuke attack is bad enough, but it is just the trigger for something even more devastating.

    “internecine killing”, lose-lose, in other words.

    Add to the possible list of “no supplies”: what if something happened to the internet?
    Our whole way of life is disrupted!

    But seriously, what happens to your money? Inflation eats cash. Beyond that, your money is probably something intangible, in some institution that might as well be virtual.

    Dilbert has been running with a Crypto theme since Monday. Worth taking a look.

  17. gailcombs says:

    Maybe Putin could do us a big favor on the day all the Politcal types are in DC for the State of the Union address

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Yup. The “Goal” is a 2 step process:

    1) Survive the nukes.

    2) Survive for a month after the nukes (and with enough “provisions” stashed and skills / material goods) so that you can start re-creating a community from scratch in the village sized pool who made it through that month…

    After that you move to “long term survival prep plan” and reconstruction.

    Folks will likely be back in essentially The Dark Ages level for at least 6 months; but as much of South America, Africa and Australia ought to survive, I figure pretty quick some folks will be showing up to “rebuild” and bringing about 1940’s level tech with them. At that point the problem shifts to “getting along with the newly established replacement government / overlords…”

    I’m not one to just give up and die… Folks were able to live in America in the 1700s. That level of tech is not hard to recreate. Even easier when you realize a lot of current tech (or at least the know-how of it) will survive. One example? On my someday list is a little MIG welder kit used by off road guys. About the size of a small toaster and it hooks up to a car battery. You can jump start a lot of recovery building with something like that in the bug out bag…

    There will be survivors and survivor type communities. I’m willing to try to be one of them. Part of my Food Forest plan for my little 1/3 acre is to plant things that grow fast and make food fast, then share the “starts & seeds” with neighbors. To help make my neighborhood a bit of a “food forest” with lots of folks with the know how to do it. On neighbor already has several banana bushes and an avocado tree, along with papaya… and the whole place has big oak trees, so I’m ready to show folks how to remove tannin from acorns and make it edible too.

    IF you can make it to one year, it ought to be easier by a lot after that. But I think North America would be down to about 4 million population or so. About 1%. I think starvation and sickness would get most of them, along with cold anywhere up north and thirst in the Desert Southwest… (Thus my choice of Florida…)

    I’m willing to take 1 in 100 odds. Beats a zero chance…

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Coombs:

    Strange you should say that… just today I was contemplating “Would a letter to Putin get to him? One in which the plea was made that the people out to get him were the GEBs, WEFies, and political class; and that an economical use of nukes would involve just the places they hang out. The rest of use would be grateful…”

    But I figured it would not make it though the “Flappers”…

    But yeah, SOTU, Davos, and the EU Parliament meeting would be a nice set. Toss in the UN for seasoning…

  20. jim2 says:

    EMS – do you discount the possibility the nukes might change the weather and have an adverse effect on growing crops?

  21. David A says:

    “My present muse as to why is just that “Failure To Appreciate Failure”. The old “Good times make soft men” thing.”

    I think your writing well articulates why cultures fail, and that particular expose is very good. Also yes, always it is the GEBs, your coined term we use, and I have noticed spreading. This may be rewording things I have said before, with a bit added, but it is true that disparate systems of government are never the primary cause of problems.

    “Capitalism” does zero harm, and the Government does zero harm. All harms are caused by people. This understanding is vital to determine a system that most prevents this evil.

    The harm I am referring to is specifically the desire for power over others. This forms the basis of all evil. It is not the desire for power. Most all want to choose their friends, their vocation, their marriage, etc. It is the desire for power OVER OTHERS that is fundamentally evil. Theft, fraud, rape, murder, assault, wars, and really in many ways most all crimes, are based on one person or group exerting power OVER another person or group.

    We are well aware of the phrase ” Government is a NECESSARY evil.” This is a brilliant summary, as government, by necessity via the rule of law, is power over others. Government is, IMV, far worse than capitalism in causing the harms of power over others, as it legalises that power at the point of law, with the power of legal violence to back it up. (Keep in mind we are accepting that all such evil is due to people.) That evil is within the dark side of human nature, and that dark side can and WILL always manifest in EVERY and ANY social system. (Yes, there is a light side, but that is not for this comment) Some Recent historical examples of said evil manifesting from Government…

    169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions (20th Century Democide,)

    (Definition of Democide – citizens Death by own Government, not via wars with other nations.)

    Over 133,147,000 Murdered by their own government: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide


    61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State

    35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill

    20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State


    2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State

    1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State

    1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing

    1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse

    1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea

    There are endless other examples, and I would add to the above, both the disease, Covid, (likely developed jointly by the US government and China) and the supposed cure, the horrible vaccines, paid for by the Government. ( It may well end up being the worst democide ever)

    Now make no mistake, I am well aware that the pharmaceutical companies were thrilled to work hand in hand with government tyrannical policy to spread this poison. (“darkness is fifty fifty everywhere”, it just flourishes in government via law and decree)

    Indeed, it is (well, at least it was) the fundamental role of the foundational principles of the US Constitutional Republic to LIMIT or prevent group power over others. The US principles were designed to limit government power via recognition of an inalienable God given individual freedom. In EMs post about restoring collapse societies, we always rebuild with a local flavor, a smaller group of interdependent folk, in a simpler system. Modern technology, with local production and independence could be marvelous, and then the GEBs that arise are easier to identify, and a system that severely limits group power over others is best.

    “Cows, requires care of Cows, and the massive just in time global trade is very vulnerable to global corruption. Big myopic systems move slowly, and collapse, at first slowly, then spectacularly.

    Now yes, while the US was well equipped for some time to limit government power, and it successfully limited religious power over others, as technology grew and organizations and corporations grew larger, the US was not as well prepared or equipped to fight corporate power. (The robber Baron era, and worse, today’s global fascism) And additional laws to limit that group power over others were required. Specifically it WAS supposed to be the Government’s PRIMARY role to limit all forms of group power, over others, and via law and local enforcement, to limit individual exercise of power over others. The invisible hand of free enterprise was to supply needs, and the foundational principle of ethics and right behavior, (Eternal rules of happiness) is what sustains a culture.

    It is also my view that we are spiritual beings, and that a personal relationship with the Divine is both possible, and very helpful in supporting and enabling an individual, and a culture. In that manner “power” is found within a personal relationship and mastery over the lower self. (The GEB, within us all) “Must mankind always be brute first, and man afterwards, if at all” “Jungle logic will restore earth to a jungle” If humankind is subject to the base extincts, and cannot rise above them, then crash is inevitable. Self mastery over base instincts is what can separate or allow a culture to rise above jungle logic. The ideal of true spirituality and “service” as a psychological and necessary basis of enduring personal happiness, is a necessary development of human understanding if mankind is to survive modern technological capacity of destruction.

    Now that the GOVERNMENT is in bed with the multi nationals, we, the global citizens, are doomed to tyranny until the system is reformed and understanding increases. Washington DC is now, unfortunately, Mordor on the Potomac.

    “Such is the nature of the tyrant, when he first appears, he is a “protector”. Plato.

    Yep, it has been going on for a long time. So how do we get back to our foundational principles? They say, “Pain is a prod to memory”

  22. E.M.Smith says:



    Look at the “number of nukes in a hurricane” numbers. Nukes are not much compared to nature. Most of the panic is about dust in the stratosphere anyway, and best use of a nuke is air burst, not ground burst, so no dust lofting to the stratosphere to speak of. A few MIGHT be used on hardened bunkers, but realistically we have other weapons for that, and nukes are kind of fragile to be running them through 100 feet of concrete and then set them off… (Kinetic Tungsten works really well for that ;-)

    After Hiroshima, lots of stuff grew there…

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    @David A:

    Very well said, and I think you are right.

    How to get back what we had? I’m probably not the right one to ask right now. I tried for several decades to stand before the flood with information and insight. Now I’m in a more dismal place having seen nothing even slowing the decay much. Trump worked a little bit, but mostly in the form of “outing” the depth of the corruption, not really removing it. Now it’s in full force and rut.

    So my present “mood” is the rather dismal “IF you can’t stop the fall, prepare to survive it and find a protected place out of the way of it.” In the last couple of years I’ve done that, primarily. I’m not fully there yet, but close enough “I hope”… And doing more as time and ability permit.

    Still don’t have enough land, or fishing kit / skills here. Still too close to cities (but the Spouse has her needs too…). Hoping to get a Bug-Out-RV next year (just a week or two away ;-) and then some Bug-Out-Dirt maybe an hour drive away. (If I can’t have the prepper “small farm” maybe I can get the Prepper Potential Farm dirt patch with some pre-positioned assets. All in The Free State of Florida (that I think will be one of the last of the Union to fall, except maybe for Texas and Alaska… so has a chance of just going independent and surviving after The Big AwShit happens. (TBAS? or not quite TEOTWAWKI?)

    Yeah, the wrong kind of dirt / water table to put in a nice underground bunker. Yes, way too many Military Targets. BUT the legal process here is more likely to not be used against you to take your land & stuff just ’cause somebody wants it. Plus a huge chunk of the middle south and gulf coast north is fairly empty. Then there is so much coastline full of fish that in any global collapse there will be plenty of food for the non-city survivors. At least, that’s my hope / muse / pseudo-plan…

    For now I’m learning the Sub-Tropical Food Forest rules in my back yard. The last 2 nights showed me that Avocado did fine in the cold but Cavendish Bananas got some brown leaves out of it (hoping the corm & stem / root survived…). The one small enough to go under a cardboard box “cloche” did nicely too. So now I know to look into more cold tolerant varieties of banana and make cloches for the smaller things; or maybe a nice big greenhouse ;-) I could easily see buying a few acres of dirt 60 miles further south (so less cold issues in extreme events) with a pond on it for fish, or fronting on water; and then start planting it to various food trees. I’d not care if folks picked some of it when I wasn’t around; but would be happy to know it was there ‘if needed’. Might find someone next door to take care of the “produce” too.

    Add a concrete pad, well / pump, and a septic system good for the RV, and you get an “instant retreat”. Just drive in, hook up, and pick what you need while you work out the rest. Making it all “vandal proof” when you are not around would be the biggest problem, I think. A combination of hiding things, hardening them, and good neighbors would likely be enough. I think most folks would not notice or care about buried septic system with a hole in the ground showing above for the “dump station”. But one could always make it just a few inches sub-surface with a lid and grow some grass over it. Similarly, the well and just put the pump in a compartment under the RV. It is uninteresting as a hole in the ground… And a concrete or gravel pad is essentially safe from everything but graffiti. Maybe gravel would be better ;-) Generator comes with the RV, and a big tank of fuel does too ;-)

    Planted appropriately, it would mostly look like a bit of semi-wild land with a dirt road on it going basically to nowhere; all on the other side of a sturdy gate / chain. Put the larger “edible leaf” trees on the perimeter and even the fruit would be hard to spot from outside.

    That’s the dream, anyway. We’ll see if I can ‘Get it done’. At all, or “in time”.

    As long as the “Legal Theft Processes” are kept away from it, I think it would work as a survivable retreat in any TBAS event. It might even work for some cases of EOTWAWKI… at least for a year or three… which is enough time to work out living without electricity and such; or living on solar panels as an option? Just enough to pump water…

    Well, enough maudlin. One still has hope that Russia will rapidly wrap up Ukraine before NATO can make it a nuclear WWIII, and then our political process can finally clean up the election theft issues and bring back Rule Of Law. I’d rather that happened.

    Until then, time for me to roast the Turkey & Ham, start the baked potatoes and candied sweet potatoes, and get the rest of dinner started.

    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year everyone!

  24. YMMV says:

    Look at the “number of nukes in a hurricane” numbers. Nukes are not much compared to nature. Most of the panic is about dust in the stratosphere anyway, and best use of a nuke is air burst, not ground burst, so no dust lofting to the stratosphere to speak of.
    Good point. I remember when Nuclear Winter was a thing. But then everyone stopped worrying about The Bomb, and started worrying about Climate Change.

    Looks like Putin is giving the Ukraine one last chance to end it by negotiation.
    It won’t happen, but at least he tried.

    “As for the main part – 99 per cent of our citizens, our people who are ready to give everything for the interests of the Motherland – there is nothing unusual here,” he said.

    “This just once again convinces me that Russia is a unique country and that we have exceptional people. This has been confirmed throughout the history of Russia’s existence.”

    Putin’s words. Russia may be unique in still having citizens who believe in their county. Although they may not believe so much in their government; that is not unique. Russia has suffered through centuries of authoritarian government. Too bad the fall of communism was not handled better. The oligarchs always win.

    Oligarch = GEB.
    More generally, an oligarch (from Ancient Greek ὀλίγος (oligos) ‘few’, and ἄρχειν (archein) ‘rule’) is a “member of an oligarchy; a person who is part of a small group holding power in a state”.

    If the west insists on breaking up Russia, or seems to, then Russia is going to become more hard line on Ukraine.

    Aside: Why did Napoleon invade Moscow? (and lose his army)
    The real answer seems to be to force Russia to blockade the UK. Dumb.

    The moral of the story: be careful what you wish for.
    The US has not fought against a powerful enemy since WW2, if I recall.
    And recently, it has a pattern of giving up and going home.
    (not so easy for wars fought on home territory)
    Other countries will be more hesitant to get involved, I expect.

  25. Foyle says:

    A (Bob) Fisking:
    1) NATO has pretty much used up their stores & systems.
    Agree, but so has Russia, and Western weapons have far higher quality – less needed. A single excalibur round can take out a tank at 40km range, Russia has nothing with that range, and even at shorter range has to use up to 100’s of rounds to do the same job. Video of what Russia is sending to Ukraine now show they are scraping bottom of barrel with barely functional equip – and having to rely on supplies from other countries like North Korea, Iran and China.

    2) The EU has no power to run their factories to make more such.
    Disagree, electricity prices across Europe are currently low., gas price crisis in EU is slowly resolving with prices today lower than a year ago.

    3) The USA has almost no manufacturing base left (so nothing to convert to military).
    Disagree, US has tremendous heavy engineering capacity from vehicles to agriculture to road to aviation it’s growing fast due to nervousness at china, and modern weapon systems are relatively lightweight anyway, the great majority of cost/complexity is in the lightweight engineering of electronics and controls that US can do just fine. Scaling production takes time, but know-how is already there. Quality not quantity.

    4) Our existing military manufacturing base can rebuild our stocks in about 3 years if it tries really really hard (which it doesn’t do), but more like 5 or 6.
    Agree, though politicians getting rich off Ukraine war are throwing money at Defense industry to expand production for a preferably long profitable conventional war – without putting US soldiers in harms way. Lots of yummy yummy money in trillion dollar omnibus bills.

    5) We don’t have the money to pay for it anyway (and China isn’t in the lending mood right now, nor is japan).
    Like DNC care about that. Politicians (aka sociopaths) getting rich off kickbacks will just print money. Only the little people ever have to pay the bill for borrowing. Modern monetary theory for the win.

    6) Russia is cooking up a deal with China. This could instantly be 2 fronts.
    That is indeed alarming, though I expect years away – China is having all sorts of big internal problems, protests, covid, recession etc. All is not well in the middle kingdom. Also they need TSMC’s output the same as everyone else to support chinese electronics industry and for the hidden AI cold war we are in.

    7) Russia is going to be finishing up Ukraine in weeks, not years. They need to be done moving tanks before the ground thaws again. They can move fast on more manufacturing, we can not.
    Strongly disagree, Russian society has catastrophically lost competence and resilience in last generation, they are a big cold low-development level petro-welfare state with awful drug abuse and low education standards like most of middle east – many of the conscripts come from homes lacking even an indoor toilet or a washing machines. If Russia were planning to win with a winter campaign then a month into winter where is it? There’s nothing to indicate that Russia has improved capacity to fight even though their ‘elite’ Wagner group have thrown everything at Bakhmet in recent months and gone nowhere, fronts have been in stalemate for 2 months of mud season after Ukraine’s autumn gains. Russia are still raking up big equipment losses and 3-4000 dead a week (with multiples of that wounded), and their rear operating bases and equip are getting picked off all the time by Himars, as well as increasing reports of explosions within Russia itself – Ukrainians sapping Russian war fighting capabilities. Today it appears Russia is about to have a big loss in North (reports they are looting long-held Kremina ahead of withdrawing). Russia’s terrible logistical support and almost comically poorly equipped soldiers (eg toy ‘airsoft’ armour has been reported) have if anything been disadvantaged by General Winter. Russia’s army has lost it’s competent core and good equipment in the last year. It has no ability to grow or even maintain given current rate of attrition, in the field it’s soldiers are nothing but an incompetent, reluctant and frequently drunk rabble.

    In contrast highly competent, well trained and motivated Ukrainian soldiers have top-notch gear, though are short on big stuff to help prosecute an offensive campaign, they have lots of high quality man-portable weapons to fight off Russian offenses, and they are steadily innovating in drones, that given their cheap low-materiel distributed nature are hard/impossible to counter and are becoming scarily more lethal – long term they’re likely to turn the war even further against Russia.

    Putin is today talking about negotiations (that Zelensky seems implacably opposed to), and there are recent rumbles of having to mobilise a huge new number of troops but what is he going to arm them with? Their infrastructure targeting missile strikes over last 2 months seems to have not been particularly effective – Ukraine is enduring with western help, and it has cost Russia most of it’s multi-billion$ missile inventory – that it can’t replace.

    To me it seems Putin must see the writing on the wall, wars impacts within Russia are growing, popularity waning, and his electing to go (limited) nuclear now seems more likely than not to me.

  26. E.M.Smith says:


    Just responding to your non-agreement points:

    1) Stores:

    I’ve seen no real evidence that Russia is running out of ammunition or equipment. Just assertions in some untrustworthy press. Folks with better reputations (The Duran folks) reported that some missile debris indicated recent manufacture and that the Russians were building new stuff faster than using it up.

    We are several months into “The Russians Are Running Out NOW!” and the shelling continues and the drones and rockets continue at full force. I see no evidence of running out. Buying more isn’t “running out” either, it could just be inventory management for the future, or a cheaper source decision.

    Per videos of equipment: WHOS videos? What provenance? I doubt that Russia lets a lot of western journalists monitor their equipment movements… All I’ve seen is ASSERTIONS that the T-62 is being used instead of newer; but that is in keeping with Russian Doctrine to use up the oldest stuff first and only commit newer if needed. It argues more for Russia not needing to move up the scales to newer stuff.

    2) Power.

    Power isn’t just electricity. In Germany, they have shut down metal refining, glass making, and chemical production to conserve GAS. You can’t make chemicals with electricity, you need gas as feedstock and heating fuel (the furnaces are not electric…). Similarly, coking coal is needed to make steel and blast furnaces do not run on electricity (scrap recycling ones do, though). Glass furnaces and glass forming ovens run on gas, not electricity. Explosives and propellants (gunpowder) need gas to make nitrates and related chemicals.

    Earlier this month, both the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and the International Energy Agency warned that, while the entire bloc would likely be able to make it through the energy crisis this winter, it faces a significant gas shortfall in the tens of billions of cubic meters next year that it still needs to fill.
    However, Germany may encounter serious energy issues long before such great reset plans fall into place, with the Federal Network Agency’s head, Klaus Müller, warning earlier this week that the country is burning through its gas reserve far faster than initially budgeted for.

    “We don’t have to ring the alarm after two or three weeks like now. But it must not go on like this for the whole of January and February,” he said, warning that the country was only saving 5 per cent of gas compared to the previous year, when the figure needed to be closer to 20 per cent.

    He went on to say that, while there was no need to panic just yet, greater savings needed to be made over the coming months, despite the fact that they are more often cooler than December.

    That is with the closures of the above mentioned heavy gas dependent industries already in place. Now imagine what happens if you not only bring them back on line, but need to double or triple their production to meet war requirements. Just not going to happen with the gas available.

    3) US Manufacturing:

    Over 90% of our medicines come from China. Sure, in 4 or more years could change that. Not going to happen in 6 months or even a year.

    We ASSEMBLE a lot of cars, but where are the parts made? Where is the plastic made? Where does the rubber come from (a very key material). We have a lot of ENGINEERING but not a lot of basic fabrication and materials ability anymore.

    In WWII all the parts and the materials were made here, and assembled. Car companies could convert to tanks and war trucks. Singer Sewing Machine fabricated metal precision parts and finished products, so could convert to making guns. Where are sewing machines parts made now? Where are the machines assembled? Not here. Sure, we make some very heavy specialty equipment (draglines and such), but where do the electric motors come from? “Hollowed out” is the phrase of importance.

    We do not any longer have that great depth of manufacturing to convert to war goods. Heck, we can’t even make the uniforms anymore as sewing is all overseas now.

    We can engineer semiconductors, but they are fabbed up outside the country. (Environmental rules made having arsine gas or phosgene too troublesome in Silicon Valley, so fab just left the country). Recently FORD had thousands of assembled trucks that could not be sold due to “chip shortages” due to shipping issues from overseas. Ditto GMC. You can’t increase use of something that is already unable to meet demand.

    We have moved to a GLOBAL logistics chain, and one that is already damaged. That limits any desired increase.

    7) Russian Ability To Do More and advance:

    This one is more of a “maybe”. However, first off, realize that Russia is NOT fighting to gain dirt. Their stated goals, AND what they have been doing, are to “demilitarize” Ukraine and destroy the Nazi leaning army. They are fighting a “conservation of forces” battle and that is getting up to 10:1 kill ratios against Ukraine. Advancing on fortifications is hard, so getting the Other Guy to do it against you lets you get the better kill ratio (which is exactly what Russia said they wanted to do).

    IMO, it has been an incredible stupidity on the part of Ukraine to send 10s of THOUSANDS of new troops, repeatedly, into Bahkmut. It is a “meat grinder” but mostly of Ukrainian Army. Exactly what Russia wants. They have no need to take Bahkmut until they are ready to launch an offensive against the rest of Ukraine, so why not just sit back and let the Ukraine Army expend itself in a 10:1 loss ratio stupid defense of the indefensible? “Gear Quality” doesn’t matter much if you are getting a 10:1 kill ratio from better strategy (and lots of artillery also in a 10:1 or more ratio…)

    Best estimates are that Ukraine has over 100,000 dead and Russia about 10,000 max. That is called “winning” for Russia.

    I think your numbers are wrong. Are you getting them from Western News?

    Ukraine gets one or two minor explosions a week inside Russia, often without significant effect. ( 2 airbases had explosions, but that was from air defenses blowing up the missiles. A couple of folks on the ground killed by debris). Russia hammers Ukraine with 100 missiles at a shot with large effect. Over 1/2 the power grid is down, industrial capacity is now nill, and train transport of troops and material made largely ineffective. Meanwhile Russia is just fine and manufacturing is increasing. (I’ve posted links to folks like Balykof (sp?) who does LIVE walking tours of Russian cities. Folks are happy, spending money, stores are full, and nobody is being inconvenienced by Ukraine missiles. Damage is near zero.

    IF the Russian Soldiers are such a worthless “rabble” as you assert: Why were they able to capture the parts of Ukraine that were the stated goal, hold onto it, have a much superior kill ratio, and do it all with a force that was SMALLER than the opposition Ukrainian Army at that time? Why is the Ukrainian Army now SMALLER than that Russian expeditionary force now? IF Russia can’t increase its forces, why is their now an added 400,000+ soldiers equipped and forming up in Russia on the border and in Belarus?

    Russia is fully able to make new missiles, and arm new troops. Their manufacturing is intact, and they have had a generational habit of stockpiling lots of weapons and ammunition. The statement of making it a 1.5 Million Man Army was in the context of this now being a NATO vs Russia war (in all ways that matter). They can, and will, achieve those goals. This is NOT the old USSR. Russia is a competent nation with competent people.

    Finally, Putin willing to negotiate;

    It is a grave error to take that as a sign of weakness. In war, you ALWAYS want to offer to accept the surrender of your opponent. Putin KNOWS he has the winning hand, he’s just offering to let the other guy quit and jump right to the “end game”. IF Mr. Z. doesn’t want to do that, well, OK, Putin will sleep well at night knowing he made the offer. Let the dead Ukrainians be on Mr. Z’s conscience.

    Further, Putin is NOT a blood thirsty tyrant. He actually cares about his country, his fellow Russians, and even Ukrainians. ( I can hear the heads exploding at that assertion… all I can say is listen to his speeches of the last dozen+ years and look at how much he has tried to get peace with NATO, including asking to join). The original Special Military Operation was conducted with a very small force, minimal damage, and a large attempt to NOT “kill people and break things”. He almost got an agreement then, but the UK (and likely the US TLAs) stepped in and blocked it; leading to a longer war with a LOT more Ukrainians dead. So Russia had to mobilize some more and increase this to a bigger harder war. Which it successfully did. He STILL does not want to “kill people and break things”, so having demonstrated that they can do it (over 100,000 Ukrainian Soldiers dead per EU statements) he is now offering One More Time to accept a surrender on terms. Before starting a crushing destruction of Rump Ukraine (that he would rather avoid).

    You don’t put an added 400,000 soldiers in the field on the border with Ukraine and have no intent to win with them. This is just the last stop before the “GO!” is given. Russia will have about a 3;1 numerical advantage when those troops are deployed, and will have full logistics and transport abilities along with a 10:1 artillery advantage and a huge air superiority. That’s just overwhelming.

    I fully expect that when enough of the Donbas has been secured, and Mr. Z. says “Bugger You” again, that the Go Code will be sent, and Ukraine will be broken in a few weeks.

    Now I could be wrong on the timing. It could be that Russia is happy with the present rate of attrition of Ukrainian Soldiers and the kill ratio, and so runs this out another month, or even two, before turning it all loose. It could be that Putin wants to give it another month of “no warmth and no transport in dead of winter” and ask again for a surrender, just to avoid the deaths of fellow Slavs and to attrit more NATO equipment and drive the EU deeper into collapse, have more nations split from it. But I don’t think so.

    Putin just had a face-to-face with the Belorussian leaders (so as to not have any electronic communication leaks). I think that means they were doing final coordination and plan sharing.

    We’ll see in the next few weeks. IIRC, Russian Orthodox Christmas is something like Jan 7 (due to still using the Julian Calendar for church things), and I’d not be surprised at all to find that Putin wants to wait until Christmas and New Years are over before giving up on a simple Ukraine Surrender and putting more soldiers in body bags. So my prior guess of “middle of December” is clearly wrong, as I’d not considered that (or that ground freezing would take until this late). But if the offensive doesn’t get launched by end of January, then I’m clearly wrong on how this was planned out.

    IMO, the hits on the power grid were to achieve three things:

    1) Break train transport.

    2) Halt manufacturing and break the economy (all with minimal infrastructure damage).

    3) Get as many Slavic Citizens out of Ukraine as possible so that any big kinetic destructive offensive would kill the fewest innocents possible; while achieving the stated goals of demilitarizing Ukraine, eliminating the Nazi style elements, and assuring Rump Ukraine has a different, Russia tolerant, government.

    It’s possible that’s just taken longer than expected as Ukrainians were not leaving as fast as expected. (The first two are already achieved).

    But “we’ll see”. It’s about 3 to 4 weeks for the ideal window to close. If we get that far and it’s still all slog slog; then the expectation of a Big Offensive was just wrong and timing of it a moot point.

  27. E.M.Smith says:


    Looks like Russia has New Years on 1 January, then Orthodox Christmas on 7 January, then some folks celebrate Old New Year on 13-14 January…

    So that puts the “avoid war on major holiday window” at 1-7 January formally, or potentially 1-14 January if more broad about it.

    So, OK, major offensive (IF scheduled to avoid the major holiday run) starting 8 Jan or potentially 15 Jan as most likely bounds.

    I’d rate the 2nd and 3rd weeks of January as periods to watch closely…

  28. Graeme No.3 says:

    I thought this was on your site:
    Redacted Clayton Morris
    About Ukrainian soldiers not agreeing that they are winning, indeed threatening Zelenskiy and his Army Commander.

    I must admit to not following the conflict that closely, but I wonder if the Russians have decided to settle for the East Bank of the Dnieper river and have the river as a large anti-tank ditch? The idea of taking Odessa and linking with Transnistria may have been delayed. Destroying the Azov military units may seem a good idea esp. as they are Zelenskiy’s strongest support.
    In the meantime the lack of Russian gas and oil (self denial by the EU) will make life difficult for the ordinary citizens and there is a distinct chance of the EU collapsing. (The current EU Parliamentary corruption scandals won’t help).
    The New Year will tell.

  29. t0minator says:

    Just to give some context to your very US-centered perspective and knowledge of the european situation: Everything Russia owns it has gotten as a result of the successful policies of the Sowjet Union as result of World War 2, personified in a georgian: Stalin.
    Russia compared to the SU is a gnome: poulation decline (50% of SU), unproductive economy, total reliance on technologies from the west and lost dominance in its foreign policy.
    The once productive industry has been finished in the Yeltsin years. Putin restored some of it but never achieved more than to use the oil&gas money to buy the stuff (digital electronics, sensors, display, high end alloys) they can’t produce: They are not able to build the turbines for their high end fighters because they need the West to provide components. Corruption destroys everything else from the inside.
    (A detail from the construction industry, told by a Russian: they don’t know where to get a modern gas heating, their own products are trash)
    So Russia is a hollow giant with nukes, and neighbours that will devour it as soon as it weakens: Every neighbour has been a victim of the Sowjet dominance that the chief delusionist Putin thinks Russia somehow has the right to own.
    Don’t forget how many wars Russia lost in its history, this has not been a victorously past but one with many losses and near deaths.
    So you always can bet on them shooting themselves in the foot, they just did it again – at the same time thinking to win a race against their enemies with the other foot.
    The reality of Russia is bleak, and now their neighbours will start to hate it. Even if Putin falls quickly, they wont recover.
    If Ukraine gets just to systems, Leopard 2 and F15, Russia will be wiped from Ukraine – and they both know it.

  30. The True Nolan says:

    @t0minator: “Just to give some context to your very US-centered perspective and knowledge of the european situation: ”

    Obviously we are all the product, to greater or lesser degree, of the gestalt in which we live. What is your background, if you don’t mind saying?

  31. another ian says:

    Winding the spring?

    “Moscow Demands Ukraine Surrender or Face Battlefield ‘Elimination’ ”

  32. YMMV says:

    t0minator: “Don’t forget how many wars Russia lost in its history”

    The one I have not forgotten is WWII. That was costly for the USSR, but you could argue that they won that war. And that without the USSR, that war would have been much harder for us.

    How capable is Russia? I would not know. What I do know is that it is a mistake to underestimate your enemy(s).

    Here is a not so hypothetical situation. Iran is known to be enriching uranium. It is expected that Iran will soon have The Bomb. It is known that Israel (among others) would very much like that not to happen.

    Iran says it will raze Tel Aviv to the ground if Israel attacks its enrichment plant.

    What to do? What to do? How capable is Iran?

  33. t0minator says:

    The last war Russia fought (and not the SU) was WWI, they lost it and the regime was swept away in a revolution.
    Why am i not talking about Georgia 2008? This was never on the scale of a war, more like a border conflict and a gift by the stupid georgian politicians. Their intervention in Syria is a showing of some superiority, but the real fighting is done by the Assad regime.
    My main observation is the general inability of Russia to innovate and modernize. Just look for one example where Russia really developed a great product and was able to roll it out. Every time they succeed a foreign company was delivering the progress, just look at the Ladas they now produce.
    They might be able to smuggle parts for some of their weapon production, but where is even the basic stuff? They draw historic weapons from the shelves – going back to WW II artillery.
    The mighty Russia is tested by Putins ambitions and now we see the result.

    Perhaps we should ask some US soldier about the finer details of the military side, but my impression is that Russia even struggles with the 90’s weapons of the west.

  34. t0minator says:

    About Iran: i still think Israel has the best insight into it.
    Russia and Iran could create chaos, Iran is a productive society but not big enough to arm the russian army. Should Russia give Iran military help on nukes, a lot of its supporters would be driven away, it would be diplomatic suicide.
    There is always reason to be concerned, but giving way to a bully never worked.

  35. David A says:

    tominator says
    “Just to give some context to your very US-centered perspective and knowledge of the european situation:”

    1. It is always good to be specific about what and to whom you are responding to. (quotes are helpful)
    2. Define “US perspective”, as that can mean anything.
    3. Your next sentence “Everything Russia owns it has gotten as a result of the successful policies of the Sowjet Union as result of World War 2, personified in a georgian: Stalin.” Is incredibly broad, unspecific, and frankly, absurd.

    Such a start is little incentive to read more.

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No. 3:

    Russia is not going to “settle” for less than their stated goals. This is an existential threat thing from their POV. It is absolutely clear that NATO has become a war and revolution generating machine, operated by the USA and assisted by the Euro-GEBs, and directly aimed at the elimination of a Nationalist Russia. It is also absolutely clear that any “agreements” made have zero dependability (see the various Minsk Accords and the constant breaking of them with NATO expansion).

    The choice to stay on the East side of the Dniper is a temporary and tactical one. For Now, it is protective of the Donbas and related territories that they have captured. Once that is consolidated (i.e. any remaining Ukranian units destroyed and infrastructure repaired enough to use a a proper basing area) then they will move on to the rest of their goals (a completely demilitarized Ukraine… all of it.)

    For now, The Ukraine is cooperating nicely with Russian Goals by sending Battalion after Battalion off to Bahkmut to be ground out of existence. So the Russians have had little incentive to interrupt that grave mistake by their enemy…

    Per the EU and gas / oil:

    That’s going to really bite hard in about February. Oil is a fungible commodity. Saudi is NOT interested in letting anyone set a 2 tier price system as they know it can be applied to them, as well. Thus Saudi talking nice nice with Russia. BOTH reducing oil output. They ARE going to force global prices high and they ARE going to make sure someone in the market is desperate enough to pay for it. “End of problem” from their POV.

    The EU is screwed by its own hand. Expect to see more government “turn over” (as we’ve already seen in a couple of nations) and potentially some Nations just telling the EU to bugger off, or even leaving the EU.

    Russia is busy planning / building pipelines to China, so in a year or two there will not be an oil & gas supply to Europe. The USA is busy shutting in our production. Saudi is working with Russia. Just where will the EU go for more?

    The “Good News” is that the EU is getting a Rapid Education of what zero fossil fuels looks like… It looks like very cold and as of next crop year, very hungry; and very very expensive.

  37. E.M.Smith says:


    I think you are using special case specifics as a general forever truth. That is prone to failure. Examples?

    WW I had a Tsarist Russia undergo a Socialist Revolution right in the middle of it. Russia of today is not a Tsarist Empire and is not at any risk of a Socialist Revolution. It is a fully modern republic.

    Then saying they can’t do anything modern? When the USSR collapsed it took them a good while to recover from that (and from the Robber Barron types The West sent in “to help”…). But they have recovered. To say the only things they ever did was due to a Georgian is equally absurd. Stalin did not design the rockets that put the first man on orbit. Russians did that. BTW, we (the USA) continued to use Russian rocket engines to launch huge amounts of our “stuff” until recently. Why? Because they were the best engines in the world. Russia solved the “full flow” problem. (Now Musk has made an engine as good, so we’re using them instead and on the Falcon series. But only decades after Russia did it.)

    Per not able to make turbines:

    Every economy is faced with “make vs buy” decisions. Most often folks just buy something if they can get it easily and relatively cheaply. That does not mean they can not do it themselves, only that they choose to do something else. Right now, Russia is choosing to make their own turbines:

    Russia solved the problem of replacing Ukrainian engines for frigates. The general director of the St. Petersburg Severnaya Verf shipyard (part of the USC) Igor Ponomarev announced 05 February 2020 the launch of the first frigate with domestic engines. As explained by Ponomarev, the first frigate of project 22350 called Admiral Golovko was successfully equipped with a Russian power plant, which was developed as part of import substitution, since such ships used to use Ukrainian engines, which ceased to be delivered to Russia after 2014, TASS reports. Now that the problem of replacing Ukrainian engines with Russian ones has been resolved, according to Ponomarev, “the frigate Admiral Golovko will be launched before the first of July.” At the same time, the press service of the United Engine Corporation (UEC) confirmed that the “gas turbine engine for the Admiral Golovko frigate was manufactured and delivered to Severnaya Verf.” Now in PJSC Zvezda they are testing a gearbox. After that they will test the entire power unit of the ship: gas turbine and diesel engines and gearbox.”

    Russian ship gas turbine engines (GTE) were able to replace products that Ukraine refused to supply under anti-Russian sanctions. Analysts note that the production of gas turbine engines is an extremely promising area of the defense industry. According to experts, these engines can be installed on almost all types of warships. The fact that the fifth-generation offshore gas turbine is being developed in Russia for the needs of the Navy was announced by the director of NPO Saturn Viktor Polyakov.

    I’ll add I’ve added a link here in a bit (open on another computer) to an article about them also now manufacturing giant on-shore turbines to replace the Siemens ones:

    UPDATE 1-Russia’s Power Machines completes first high-power gas turbine to replace imported equipment
    Mon, December 26, 2022 at 6:27 AM EST·1 min read
    MOSCOW, Dec 26 (Reuters) – Russian power equipment manufacturer Power Machines said on Monday it had completed assembly and testing of its first domestically made high-power gas turbine, aiming to replace imported energy equipment unavailable due to sanctions.

    According to a statement, Power Machines plans to be able to produce eight 170-megawatt turbines a year by 2025 and raise annual capacity to 12 turbines in the future, as well as to ensure maintenance of gas turbines, including imported ones.

    The first clients will be Russian oil company Tatneft , state energy holding InterRAO and power company Rushydro, the statement said.

    UPDATE: So Siemens will not be coming back to Russia and has created a competitor for global sales in the future. Rinse & Repeat across ALL sanctioned products. Russians are not dumb, and not incompetent. They are very good engineers and over the decades have made some of the best high tech gear in the world. (rockets & guns in particular, but also tanks and off road trucks and EMP proof avionics, among others)

    FWIW, among the most reliable and accurate guns I’ve owned was one made in Russia. A crisp trigger and very well made. Also, FWIW, I’d rather have a fast bolt action rifle than a full auto one. The British “Mad Minute” was done with a bolt rifle, and that was the gun that built an empire and was used in 2 World Wars. Do not underestimate the lethality of “old guns”. (They are also MUCH easier to teach to new recruits). See the USA B-52 for an example of how old gear still works… and is very much “fit for purpose”.

    BTW, I once was visited (just after the USSR collapse) by a representative of the Russian Aerospace & Electronics industry. (Looking for customers as they moved to capitalism). The “tech” he was showing was superior to anything we had in that category. We didn’t need it (at Apple) as our gear didn’t need Mil Spec EMP shielding, but what it said was that in the 1980s, Russia was making EMP proof avionics for their military aircraft. To say Russia can’t do electronics is just daft.

    Per “Russia Losing Wars”:

    Need I point out W.W.II and Napoleon? Russia was far and away THE major chunk of the USSR. Kazakhstan, Georgia, etc.. really didn’t add much. Oh, and DO remember that the Eastern Ukraine Donbas areas, the heart of “Ukrainian Industry & Technology”, were in fact RUSSIA up until Khrushchev illegally gave them to his ancestral homeland of Ukraine… So attributing their production & invention to Ukraine is a bit silly too. They ARE Russian. (It was illegal as the Duma needed to vote to approve the transfer, but never did.)

    Then there’s the “magic weapons” argument. Sheesh. All the high tech western systems take a long time to learn and get good with. Years for an F15. They will only be useful if they come with NATO crews. (or after a couple of years of training). One means instant W.W.III and the other will be way too late to matter.

    “You go to war with the army you have” is still true. Russia has a very big one with lots and lots of equipment. Ukraine has an ever shrinking one with ever less experienced soldiers and is running out of simple artillery shells & more. No “magic weapons” can fix that.

    BTW, do remember that in W.W.II the Russian Tanks were superior to ours. These folks know how to build very good tanks. They are also now making very good drones. They did find out that the western man portable anti-tank weapons were also very good, so changed strategy to counter that.

    Russian ground attack aircraft are good, and effective. Their cold weather and rough terrain transport trucks are both very durable and very capable. They have designed fighter jets to work from just about any rough country road (unlike ours that need lots and lots of facilities and smooth cement runways). Yes, their gear often looks rough.. That’s because it is designed to just keep working in bad conditions and horrible weather. There’s a reason the AK-47 and derivatives are the most widely used battle rifles in the world. They Just Work.

    Do not underestimate the war fighting ability of Russia.

    Hubris gets your army killed.

    BTW, as I pointed out, the Russian Economy is doing just fine. Stores are full, the people are happy.

    Baklykov does a bunch of “walking around Russian Cities” live. It would cost $Millions to fake the videos, so I’m certain they are valid displays of the cities. Could he be biased? Certainly. But not fake.

    So what did “Sanctions” do to McDonald’s? Just changed the nominal ownership:

    That one is from 6 months ago. From 6 days ago is the festival.

    Frankly, I find the Russian Cities look a lot nicer, cleaner, and better run than anything in a Democrat city of the USA (and many cities of the EU).

    These are people who are happy with Putin. They are not in any sour mood. The notion of “Regime Change” is a dead end.

  38. Andrew Sarchus says:


    Your ray-cyst prejudice against Russians is locking you into an absurd fairy tale non-reality. The tiny anglosaxon cultural bubble is trying to reassure itself of an idiotically false version of events in Ukraine arising from the Anglosaxon alliance with na3i ukraine and their successfully provoked proxy war. Russia is withstanding the entire military effort of NAZO and is not being moved from its place – in fact is now advancing. What other country would be able to do that? It’s weapons are performing adequately and some such as the S400 anti aircraft defense system are clearly superior to any western counterpart. And all you can see is Ladas?

    A novel experience is on the way for the anglosaxon monolinguist microculture. Defeat in a major war.

  39. E.M.Smith says:


    Are you sure it is a novel experience and not just a “memory holed” one?

    Gallipoli / Crimean War
    US Revolutionary War
    War of 1812
    The Great Northern War
    First Anglo Mysore War
    First Anglo Maratha War
    Anglo French War
    Anglo Spanish War
    4th Anglo Dutch War
    Northwest Indian War
    French Revolutionary Wars
    War Of The Third Coalition
    War Of The Forth Coalition
    War Of The Fifth Coalition
    Ashanti Fante War
    Anglo Turkish War
    Ga-Fante War
    First Anglo-Afghan War
    First Boer War
    Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War (1918-1920)
    Turkish War Of Independence
    Irish War Of Independence
    1922 Burao Tax Revolt
    Jewish Insurgency in Mandatory Palestine
    Cypress Emergency
    First Cod War
    Second Cod War
    Third Cod War
    Aden Emergency
    Multinational forces in Lebanon
    War in Afghanistan (2001-2021)

    Selected from:

    Though I count the war of 1812 as a loss where they call it a draw. The UK did not achieve their goals and they lost a lot of men and treasure doing nothing…

    Yes, the UK / Canada / NZ / USA etc. Anglosphere has won a lot of wars too. But they seem to forget the losses and so stir the pot way too often, IMHO. Taking on Russia is an absolutely stupid thing to do, yet the UK & USA seem to be too stupid to realize it.

  40. Foyle says:

    Rumours of serious supplies shortages for Russians (claimed source a Russian frontline soldier):
    “The Russian army is experiencing a serious shortage of ammunition against the backdrop of active supplies of ammunition to our enemy, this problem is turning from serious to critical. If nothing changes, in the near future the enemy will begin to gain artillery dominance at the frontline.”

    Further goes on to discuss other huge problems with ineffectual and badly led mobilized troops etc.

    ISW and others are suggesting that it appears Russia is nearing launch of a big offensive. Guess we’ll see who was wearing pants when the tide goes out over next month.

  41. YMMV says:

    Artificial Intelligence, is that like Military Intelligence?
    A bit of Pearl Harbor history:

    When plans were made to transfer the Pacific naval fleet from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor, Richardson struggled mightily against the idea. He argued that doing so would simply make the Navy more vulnerable to a Japanese attack.
    Ironically, the transfer of the Pacific home port from the West Coast to Hawaii, and therefore closer to Japan, was intended to intimidate the Japanese militarists and to dissuade them from attacking. The move was a diplomatic signal to the Japanese conveying the message that the U.S. could the more easily attack Japanese forces if that nation attacked (as predicted) the Philippines, which at that time was a United States protected territory. Richardson, with his experience in Japanese affairs, recognized that the leaders of the Rising Sun could not be intimidated but would instead strike.

    If you want to predict what your enemy will do, it is better to know your enemy. Than what? Did FDR and the generals believe racist stereotypes? Their own propaganda? Wishful thinking?

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    “If you want to predict what your enemy will do, it is better to know your enemy.”

    A point I’ve pushed here many many times, and mostly gotten push back and / or anger in response…

    It is remarkable to me just how much “hate goggles” interfere with rational thought. (“Love Goggles” and beer goggles do this too ;-)

    Once folks decide someone “Is the ENEMY!!!” it becomes extremely difficult to get them to let go of “hate” and just dispassionately look at things from that ‘enemy’ POV. Even though that is the most essential thing to do in order to predict what they will do.

    You will be accused of supporting them (no matter how many and how strenuous the disclaimers). It is nearly impossible for folks to get past the “othering” of said enemy and “think like they do” to understand them fully; when any attempt to do that is seen as agreeing with or embracing the “enemy”.

    You will be told you are just spewing their propaganda (as though you accepted and believed their POV was the only valid one; despite saying clearly that it is “for predictive value only” or “this is what they believe, not me”.)

    You will be accused of stupidity. After all, everyone just KNOWS that they themselves are correct and virtuous; so you must not be…

    And on it goes.

    Me? I’m from the Patton school (per Rommel): “I read your damn book!”

    More than anything else, get to know, in detail, how your opponent thinks; what they accept as truth and foundational values. Embrace an understanding of their culture and history. Then, and only then, can you clearly predict what they will do; which is the moment when you decide to accept or defeat that choice of action…

    Basically: Most folks, by far, prefer to Believe Their Own Bull Shit and admire their own brilliance; than admit their opponent may have a point and that the opponent might do the Unexpected Thing that makes their ‘brilliant plan’ a disaster.

    Hubris vs Humility. Ego vs Information.

    First, feel nothing and walk a mile in the other guy’s shoes. Then if you decided it is the right thing to do, attack with hatred. But not before.

  43. cdquarles says:

    Amen, our most gracious host.

  44. Graeme No.3 says:

    There is a possible cause of the ‘shortage’ of shells in that the Russians are building stocks preparing for a big offensive.
    EMS One aspect of the situation that may be a factor is that delaying the start of the offensive until the end of February could be Putin letting the population of the EU having 2 months of shortage of fuel, shortage of heat, shortage of food and shortage of money (inflation and economic recession) which could change a few governments and reduce any help for Ukraine and NATO. A lot of eastern european countries joined the EU for the subsidies and NATO for protection. With the UK out of the EU, much of the finance comes from Germany and France, both now in recession, so end of subsidies and loss of enthusiasm for the war and for remaining in NATO.
    Just a thought, but Putin has shown an ability to think ahead unlike the majority of politicians.

  45. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, Russia just did what is possibly the largest missile strike yet. Well over 100+ over a longer period of time than usual. Not acting at all like they are “running out”.

    Also, Medvedev has been in charge of the military / industrial operation and it has been running smoothly producing new tanks, guns, and more. I doubt he forgot about artillery ammunition.

    One of the easiest things to make. Only rifle rounds are really easier. Even “fancy” rounds like the top secret proximity fuse of W.W.II is, well, 1940’s technology (and it used tiny vacuum tubes back then IIRC). It is basically a large drawn metal cup, a primer in the end (another small drawn cup plus a dab of primary explosive – just like a giant rifle shell, which it is…) filled with “gunpowder” (really nitrate propellant… that I made in the kitchen when I was 12 years old using cotton and some fertilizer + battery acid….) and then the explosive warhead. The warhead is mostly a big hollow metal bullet that is filled with explosives and some kind of fuse (contact, proximity, time, etc.) These are just not hard to make at all.

    Now our fancy electronics filled steerable things are incredibly hard to make. Having all those smart electronic bits & batteries survive a whopper of a Gees launch and all…

    I’m not buying it at all that Russia is “running out”.

    Folks seem to be resistant (damn near flat out refusing…) to accept that Putin is just Not An Evil Dude and really does not want to kill another 100,000 Ukrainians and destroy the origin point of Russia, Kiev. He’s given another request to just end things on his terms. He’s waiting and hoping. When it is clear that it’s hopeless to get peace from NATO, then the offensive will start.

    FWIW, many in the Russian Citizenry and Government have Criticized Putin (sometimes in strong words) for going too slowly and not using enough violence and force to “get it done”. Think on that…

  46. beththeserf says:

    NATO was the problem situation for Putin.

  47. Keith Macdonald says:

    It seems like at least one EU country is already rehearsing their excuses.

    “It’s one big backside-covering Psy-Op trying to bury the bad news. Klaudia Tanner, the Austrian Defence Minister, dropped the extraordinary bombshell that a long blackout is coming. She hopes you don’t notice that is a dramatically bad and new threat. It’s all Vladimir Putin’s fault, she says (not the government that burned energy security on a Green bonfire in a fantasy quest for nicer weather). And when it happens, if you suffer and run out of supplies, or die in the cold, that’s your fault.”

    Well, what to do?

    We’ve already stocked up on coal and wood for the stove. Just need to make sure of some basic lighting, beyond the mains-charged kind. By chance, the recent Tesla snow-no-go stories (because Lithium batteries) might be useful. Prompting a rethink of what kind of batteries to have at hand. Anyone able to offer expertise? Nickel–Metal Hydride (NiMh) perhaps? And what size?

  48. Keith Macdonald says:

    US Colonel Douglas Macgregor: Underestimating Russia Is Bad Idea For The West, Tough Christmas For Ukrainians

    With an emphasis on the relative scales of casulties, and whether the Ukraine has many more troops available (with talk of 13 year olds being conscripted)

  49. Foyle says:

    From ISW:

    “Russian forces are likely depleting their stocks of artillery ammunition and will struggle to support their current pace of operations in certain sectors of the frontline in Ukraine as a result. Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) Chief Kyrylo Budanov reported on December 31 that Russian forces in Ukraine are experiencing significant issues with artillery ammunition that will become more pronounced by March of 2023.[8] Budanov stated that Russian forces had previously used 60,000 artillery shells per day (as of some unspecified date) and now only use 19,000 to 20,000 shells.[9] Budanov stated that Russian forces have also removed all remaining artillery ammunition from Belarusian military warehouses to support their operations in Ukraine.[10] The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (UK MoD) reported on December 24 that Russian forces currently lack the necessary stockpile of artillery munitions to support large-scale offensive operations and that sustaining defensive operations along the lengthy frontline in Ukraine requires the Russian military to expend a significant number of shells and rockets daily.[11] ISW assesses the constraints on munitions will likely in part prevent Russian forces from maintaining a high pace of operations in the Bakhmut area in the near term.[12] The depletion of the Russian military’s artillery ammunition stocks will likely impact their ability to conduct a high pace of operations elsewhere in Ukraine as well. This Ukrainian report that the Russians have already depleted ammunition stockpiles in Belarus is a further indicator that a renewed large-scale Russian offensive from Belarus in the coming months is unlikely.”

    Again who knows where the line between reality and propaganda lies, but Russian aggression is being tempered in a way that suggests they are running out of ammo and heavy weapons – or have major logistical issues compared to their earlier cadence. Maybe it is right to expect one more big offensive push from them, but I can’t help but think that US has a very good picture of what is going on logistically in Russia from spy sats etc (including likely a very good map of depots etc), and US military industrial complex have an obvious preference to keep this war going – they are providing just enough weaponry to keep things even-ish and maximally sap Russian military resources with a drawn out conflict that never quite raises stakes to nuclear level (yet), if Russia were looking like they were about to run a major assault then US would probably hand them longer range ATACMS missiles to nobble the Rus logistics and try to maintain the balance.

  50. Ed Forbes says:

    It’s not lack of artillery ammunition that worries Ukraine at the moment. It’s the coming lack of Ukraine S300 air defense missiles. Ukraine has just about burned through their Soviet era stocks and replacements are not available on the world market in any usable quantities.
    The Russian cruise missile and drone attacks are draining Ukraine air defense stocks as Ukraine faces a bleak choice, let the missiles through to devastate their infrastructure or fire off irreplaceable air defense missiles to try and stop them. This problem is compounded by Russia actively hunting for Ukraine air defense systems made easier due to their use in trying to stop the Russian missiles.
    Western supplied air defense missiles, such as the Patriot, are only point defense, not long range defense such as the S300. These western systems will only be able to be used to protect high value targets and not be part of an integrated air defense system. The west does not deploy missile defense systems anywhere near the capability of the Russian S300, S400, & S500 systems.
    Currently, the Ukraine S300 long range system is protecting the front lines as well as defending the cities in the rear areas. Once the Ukraine S300 air defense is reduced, Russian bombers will be able to use high altitude attacks with 500kg gravity bombs directly on the front line fortifications, out of range of Ukraine man pad air defense missiles. Hunting down Ukraine artillery batteries by air becomes trivial at this point.
    Expect the new offensive by the Russian reserve to be accompanied with a massive air assault when the Ukraine S300 air defense system is sufficiently reduced.

  51. another ian says:

    We’ll see

    “The war in Ukraine has been a disaster for Russia — and nothing suggests a change of course in 2023”

    Tracking back from a local Murdoch paper headline “Russia’s astounding disaster revealed” behind pay wall so might be something else

  52. another ian says:

    “Conflict in Ukraine: Genesis”

    Doesn’t differ a lot from Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick but does a better job of bringing it up to now (IMO)

  53. YMMV says:

    another ian: “Conflict in Ukraine: Genesis”

    Looks like a good article. I will read it later.
    But right at the top it had this gem:
    History shows us that, despite appearances, no war of the past has ever had a single cause for its outbreak.

    Despite appearances, the world systems are not set up to fail, they are not fragile.
    But that does not mean they cannot be broken.

    Normally, things go on as status quo, neither good nor bad, just the same old same old. But when you start to push it, there are limits.

    This can be illustrated simply. You are flying a B-17 across the Atlantic.
    Four engines, lots of backup. If one fails, you can still make it. No worries.
    If two fail, your worries might come true.

    The first world war, the Great War, the War to End All Wars,
    it takes many books to understand all the causes for that one.
    That may be an extreme case … or not.

  54. Ed Forbes says:

    A must read paper on the Russian Federation as it moves into the future past the Ukraine war.
    It reminds me of the changes seen in the US by the federal government and its populations after the American Civil War. A somewhat weak nation changed into a world supper power due to the requirements in wagging this civil war.
    Wars can either break nations or supercharge nations.

  55. E.M.Smith says:

    Some fascinating history of Ukraine & Russia in this Scott Ritter talk. Things like the USA recruiting Bandera and his organization for a war on the Soviet Union (via clandestine means) in which 200,000 Ukrainians and 100,000 Russians died.

    Somehow I’d never heard that post W.W.II the USA cozied up to a major Ukrainian NAZI group that had killed thousands of Jews … So now we are, to some extent, running that same playbook, but with the Azov Nazis instead of the Bandera ones…

  56. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: Excellent talk by Ritter. How many people remember that Ukrainian soldiers were some of the main troops running the Nazi World War Two concentration camps? The Ukrainians ran camps so that more German soldiers could be in combat. Of course the Ukrainians felt justified helping the Germans because of the Soviet Holodomor of the 1920s and 30s.

    My God, the wheel just keeps turning and no one will say STOP!!

  57. E.M.Smith says:


    I didn’t. The only thing I’d heard about Ukraine was the Holodomor. Nothing about them & Germany.

    I suppose from the Euro-GEB “Diversity is our strength” POV this war is a “win win”. Kills off both Ukrainians and Russians…

    I never trust anyone who says “Let’s You & Him Fight!” and “I’ll hold your coat”… or someone who furnishes weapons to a fight. All it does is make the damage worse.

    But given my “new rule” (of a few years back): The result you get from Governments IS the goal, regardless of what they say. The logical conclusion is that the USA & EU want a lot of dead Ukrainians and dead Russians. That’s the outcome, so it must be the goal… (until and unless STRONGLY proven otherwise with clear and validated evidence to the contrary).

    It has become clear to me in the last decade or two that the EU and USA are the bad guys causing all these Color Revolutions and killing millions. Still unclear is the question of “From Malice” vs “From Greed” vs “From Power Lust” vs “In Error”. But I’ve decided motivation just doesn’t matter much. They “do evil” so they are evil.

    In the last 2 years, it seems to be slowly dawning more generally on folks that The Western Globalists are the problem. The source of the grief. Setting up revolutions and assassinating folks all over the place. Pot Stirring first, looking for understanding later, and actually helping people never. (Iraq, Syria, Turkey failed coup, USA stolen elections, Ukrainian Maidan murders, Haiti “revolution of the month”, Arab Spring, Several African nations corrupted, etc. etc.)

    They are not trying to make anything better. They just want to create chaos to exploit for personal gain of money and power.

  58. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: “But given my “new rule” (of a few years back): The result you get from Governments IS the goal, regardless of what they say. The logical conclusion is that the USA & EU want a lot of dead Ukrainians and dead Russians. That’s the outcome, so it must be the goal… (until and unless STRONGLY proven otherwise with clear and validated evidence to the contrary).”

    That may be the most insightful thing published on the Internet today. The rest of your comment is Grade-A as well.

    “They are not trying to make anything better. They just want to create chaos to exploit for personal gain of money and power.”

    And they have no concern whatsoever of how much of a train wreck is left after they are finished. Keynes expressed the mindset of the psychopaths running things, “In the long run we are all dead.” And that, of course is the problem. WE are not all dead. Keynes may be dead, Bush may be dead, you and I may both be dead — but WE continues on, in our children, our friends, our neighbors, even in all the other life on this planet. Somehow we have allowed ourselves to be governed by people with no heart and no soul.

  59. another ian says:

    Alexander M – check from about 45 minutes in on his look at the next resupply and what might be the overall aim

  60. another ian says:

    Today’s Alexander

    About 40 min in comes the discovery of Biden 1997 and his foggy crystal ball and there was no chance that Russia, China and Iran would be in diplomatic discussion. Migrates to more on the latest weapons donation and then uses a Bloomberg analysis of the Russian economic scene to seriously question that analysis.

  61. The True Nolan says:

    In theory, Ukraine gave up all its nuclear weapons to Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Any bets on whether they kept a few? Obviously, a fusion bomb (because of its tritium) would be inoperative by now unless refurbished) but a fission bomb would (I think) still be operable. Any bets on whether a Ukrainian bomb could be distinguished from a Russian bomb? If a fission bomb went off in Ukraine, any bets on who would be blamed?

    Just asking for a friend.

  62. another ian says:

    Alexander M today

    The start is what might/might not be going on in the Donbas area.

    But tune in at around 25 min in with reporting on a news item from a US military bigwig (what Minsk 2?) followed by similar from a Russian same

  63. E.M.Smith says:


    Ukraine never had any Ukrainian Nukes. There were Russian / CCCP nukes stationed in Ukraine, but all command, control, operations, and ownership resided in Russia.

    So the correct phrasing is that “Russia withdrew its nukes from Ukraine when the USSR / CCCP ended”. That, then, brings clarity to a lot…

    You can also rest assured that Russia would not have left behind any atom bombs for the Ukrainian “buffer state”…

    @Another Ian:

    Yes, as reported by Ukrainian Supporting MSM:

    ~”Ukraine is WINNING! The Glorious National People’s Republic Of Ukraine is VICTORIOUS in War!! So much so that it now needs a few more Tens of $Billions €Billions to fund their victory. And tanks, all of the best you’be got anywhere in the world. Now would be good. In other news, Ukraine has given over a 1/2 dozen irrelevant stupid little villages to the Russians and is tricking them into encircling Bakhmut and Solidar so that the Peoples Liberation Army of Ukraine can attack them from behind enemy lines. On to even more such victories! “

  64. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, the temperatures in Ukraine (especially eastern Ukraine / novo-Russia) have FINALLY gotten cold enough to freeze the ground. IMHO, this is a big part of why the Russian Army is now advancing across the Donbass area. As the frozen band moves further West to their final objective point, their major offensive will accelerate (IFF one is actually going on).

    I don’t know how long you must be at 23F to 30 F for the ground to freeze hard enough to support main battle tanks, but this freeze started about a week ago IIRC. Later than I expected by about a month. But it’s here at last.

  65. The True Nolan says:

    @E.M.: We may be in a semantic disagreement about Ukrainian possession of USSR nukes. When the USSR imploded, were the nukes possessed by the newly independent Ukraine theirs? Or Russia’s? Or no one’s at all until an agreement was reached?

    “After the disintegration of the USSR, Ukraine found itself in possession of the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal. There were 176 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers with some 1,240 warheads on Ukrainian territory. This force consisted of 130 SS-19s, each capable of delivering six nuclear weapons, and 46 SS-24s, each armed with ten nuclear weapons. An additional 14 SS-24 missiles were present in Ukraine, but not operationally deployed with warheads. Several dozen bombers with strategic nuclear capabilities were armed with some 600 air-launched missiles, along with gravity bombs. In addition, as many as 3,000 tactical nuclear weapons rounded out an arsenal totaling approximately 5,000 strategic and tactical weapons. Today, Ukraine’s remaining nuclear activities are entirely civilian in nature, and Ukraine is a member of all major nonproliferation treaties and regimes.”

    Record keeping during a governmental interregnum is often spotty. I know that there were multiple reports of black market nukes available after the USSR fell, and they may well have been nothing more than rumors. But knowing how governments lie, I would HOPE that Ukraine gave up all those 5,000 nukes, but I would not be surprised if they somehow ended up with one or two. Or maybe NATO ended up with one or two. Or maybe (fill in the blank) ended up with one or two. The problem is, if ANYONE still has operable Soviet era fission bombs it seems to me that the isotopic signature may be indistinguishable from current Russian bombs — which would make a false flag explosion somewhere (most likely in Ukraine) very hard to assign accurate blame.

  66. E.M.Smith says:


    Key point, I think… , is that Command & Control of all the nukes resided with Russia. Ukraine could not launch even if it wanted to do so. They were physically present on Ukrainian soil, but controlled by Russians.

    Ukraine did not have a choice of “give them up or not”; despite what they might have thought or said.

    Could someone have stolen one? I suppose so. But without arming codes they are at most a source of raw materials. OTOH, the raw material of SNM (Special Nuclear Material, or “boom stuff”), along with the triggers and klystron ignition system, are the most valuable parts for a DIY project.

    So possible, but extremely remote.

    Oh, and do note that especially in the early devices: Keeping all the electronics functional over time in the presence of radiation from the SNM was a big challenge. Devices tended to go dead over time as this happened, so a regular testing and “upgrading” process was needed to keep them working for long periods of time. Since we’re now into this over 2 decades, it is likely any unused nuke is in serious need of “maintenance” that is not available…

  67. The True Nolan says:

    @E.M.: “Oh, and do note that especially in the early devices: Keeping all the electronics functional over time in the presence of radiation from the SNM was a big challenge. ”

    Interesting info, new to me!

    “OTOH, the raw material of SNM (Special Nuclear Material, or “boom stuff”), along with the triggers and klystron ignition system, are the most valuable parts for a DIY project.”

    Yes, that is by far the most difficult item on the “necessary but not sufficient” shopping list. I would think that IF (admitted a big “if”) someone had the SNM they would not be some schmoe off the street with a device stored for two decades in his closet, but would be part of some national (US or Ukraine), international (NATO), or powerful sub-national (GEBs?) group. I would think any of those groups would have access to the technology, at a minimum, to convert the SNM into a very good dirty bomb. But, as I have commented, IF such a bomb were exploded, would it have the isotopic signature of a Russian bomb? That is an important question.

    I think the reason why that question bugs me, is that I have truly lost any belief that ethics or international law would stop either the US or the GEBs from a nuclear false flag if they saw an advantage in doing so. The idea that they may have access to materials making it near impossible to distinguish from an actual Russian device is frightening and ratchets up the chance for someone to do something exceedingly stupid. I really, really, REALLY, don’t like political stupidity, especially when one plausible outcome is total nuclear war.

    I will think some more on what you have commented. You are admittedly MUCH more knowledgeable about nukes than I am.

  68. Ed Forbes says:

    University of Chicago

    UnCommon Core: The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis by
    John Mearsheimer

    University lecture on Ukraine from 6 ys ago. This lecture could have easily been dated as of today as its insight into where the situation in Ukraine was headed was precisely on target.
    One of the main takes I took from this lecture was the difference in viewpoints between Russia/China and the collective west.
    Russia/China seem to have a more 19th century view of politics where core national interests are paramount. The collective west is more of a 21st century view that is more of global interest than of core national interest. As such, the west seems to constantly be surprised when Russia responds vigorously to western actions that seem largely unimportant to the western viewpoint. This western lack of their understanding of the core underlying belief structure of Russia can, and does, led to fatal results.
    The prime task of a nations foreign office is to build a realistic model of other nations viewpoints and core values. The western foreign offices seem to have failed miserably at this primary task.



  69. E.M.Smith says:


    Were a ex USSR nuke set off, the isotopic signature would be distinctly USSR. You could likely “spike” a western one with enough “junk” to make it look Soviet. I’d bet the specs for different nukes are published somewhere… then it would mostly be mixing up the recipe. IIRC, ‘our’ SNM is very “clean”, so it mostly ought to be adding some stuff. There would be the problem of age and what all that added to the Pit.

    There could also be excesses of some isotopes in our SNM that can’t be removed and would flag it s synthesized…

    Frankly, I’m not worried about it. There’s a limited number of places that can do that kind of isotope analysis. It would be pretty easy for our TLA’s to just lean on them. “You can have the $100,000 cash in this envelope for saying it was Russian, or you can discover the joys of Central Antarctica without a coat. Your choice…” I figure that’s more likely.

  70. YMMV says:

    the isotopic signature would be distinctly USSR

    Even if it was not, especially if it was not, it would still be claimed to be Russian.
    They probably already have a dossier “proving” that.

    And then there is this. Russian POV of course. Believable of course.

    However, following Moscow’s recognition of the independence of the Donbass and Lugansk People’s Republics, and then the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine, those hopes were dashed. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who had planned to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on 24 February, said that he no longer saw the point. The US quickly suspended its participation in a bilateral “strategic stability dialogue.” The positive aspects of the December-February correspondence were no longer mentioned. Against the backdrop of the hostilities in Ukraine, everything faded into the background.

    Seeing the Big Picture (avoiding nuclear war) be overshadowed by a regional dispute, right in front of our eyes.

  71. David A says:

    Ed Forbes, re.
    “ The collective west is more of a 21st century view that is more of global interest than of core national interest”

    I would meaningfully rephrase to;
    “ The collective west is more of a 21st century view that is more of global ONE World Government tyrannical interest than of core national interest.

    In no way do I consider the GEBs to be altruistic to the common man.

  72. Graeme No.3 says:

    Cannot see this as a sign of immediate Russian attack. More a demonstration of power and a feeling out of possible weak points in the Ukrainian positions.
    I expect that the Russians have a good idea of where and when there will move, but any preliminary demoralisation would have appeal. Will Biden’s recently armoured vehicles be shipped in in time?
    And as the ‘warm’ time for early winter ends I expect much opposition against Governments (and the EU, now trying to bury corruption cases).

  73. The True Nolan says:

    @EM and YMMV: “It would be pretty easy for our TLA’s to just lean on them. “You can have the $100,000 cash in this envelope for saying it was Russian, or you can discover the joys of Central Antarctica without a coat. Your choice…” I figure that’s more likely.” and “Even if it was not, especially if it was not, it would still be claimed to be Russian. They probably already have a dossier “proving” that.”

    You each make the same point — and yes, it is a very good point. It is now observably true that our leaders simply have no need for either the truth or even a plausible justification. No matter how cynical I get I cannot keep up. There was a time when the TLAs would frame someone. Now they just arrest you and don’t even bother with evidence, charges, or trial.

  74. YMMV says:

    To win:
    Zelensky: when we get all of Ukraine and Crimea
    Putin: when we get the Russian part of Ukraine

    To compromise:
    Zelensky: never
    Putin: when Ukraine stops attacking the Russian part of Ukraine and treats it nicely

    No point in Russia trying to claim territory at this point since that commits them to defending it forever. Attacking is easier than defending.
    Either that or conquering all of Ukraine, which is a can of worms.
    So my guess is that there will be no final major push from Russia, just more and bigger of the same. Each side tries to wear down and outlast the other.

    Europe. Could be a game changer.

  75. E.M.Smith says:


    I STRONGLY encourage folks to listen to Putin’s speeches or read a transcript. He tells you exactly what and why he’s doing things.

    From the Russian POV, NATO is an aggressor rampantly pushing Color Revolutions all over with the intent to Destroy Russia. (See the attempt NATO did on Belorussia and how it drove them to partnership with Russia…, not just the coup they pushed on Ukraine in about 2014). It is now confirmed that NATO and EU had ZERO intent to actually do what they promised to do in Minsk 1 & 2 treaties.

    So Russia has no choice but to implement an acceptable (to Russia) security situation in Ukraine. None. It can not trust anyone in NATO / EU / USA to “cut a deal”. It must be via “facts on the ground”.

    Further, in his Annual Statement, Putin essentially said “NATO is in it, and we must prepare to defend against, and defeat, a full NATO attack”. To that end, they are making a 1.5 MILLION man standing army will full equipment. This is “happening now” with the first additional 500,000 call up in progress (added to the existing ~500,000 presently in theatre or in the first “mobilization”.

    This is not the talk of someone who’s thinking of just sitting on their thumbs. It is not the actions of someone who is bluffing.

    Prior to the NATO involvement, Putin would talk of western leaders as “Our Partners”, now he uses the term “our ADVERSARIES”. This is a major shift and shows that Russia has given up on negotiated peace with Europe. Russia will get the needed peace, but via force of arms. Russia has turned the entire economy toward Asia, and self sufficiency / bypassing western “Sanctions”.

    Anyone in the EU or UK who thinks they can just go back to buying Russian oil & gas when Putin packs up and leaves Ukraine is delusional. That gas will be flowing to China and not available to an unstable government prone to theft of assets and abuse of law. Oh, and the next “Sanctions Package” (10th now I think… ’cause the first 9 worked so well…) is supposed to shut off the supply of Russian Nuclear Fuel to the EU & USA. Good luck finding anyone else who can supply those fuel rods and reactors. The domestic European & USA industries are at best moribund, if not dead and buried. Expect your very expensive nuclear reactors to exit service far faster than planned. (IFF the EU is lucky, someone like Hungary will knife the 10th sanctions deal and sink it).

    My best guess is that one of two things happens:

    1) Russia takes ALL of Ukraine and makes it acceptably non-military.

    2) Russia takes any part formerly part of Russia and adds them to Russia, then the Rump Ukraine bits are given back to their former owners (Hungarians to Hungary, Moldovan and Romanian bits to them, the chunk of Poland from W.W.II handed to Poland.

    There’s a small chance that the EU / NATO / USA try to make this a shooting war with NATO. Since that is exactly what Russia preparations and dogma have been using as the design goal since W.W.II, and since Russia makes some darned good weapons: NATO will lose. (Note that it is The West that is running out of money, ammunition, equipment, and ability to perform. It takes natural gas to make gunpowder and explosives, refine metal, and form things like shells and tanks. Now where will you get that, eh?)

    We would have a logistics tail that reaches 1/2 way around the world, Russia would not. We would be faced with the same problems that defeated everyone from Napoleon to Germany (both Holy Roman Empire and W.W.II). Russia has every possible resource needed inside their country, and the energy to process it. We do not. Russia is now Best Buddy with China who has all the manufacturing base (we do not). All China has to do is say “No, sorry, no medicine or fabric available, rubber goods too” and our economy (and army) rapidly grinds to a halt.

    And no, Europe will not be a “game changer”. They can’t even keep the lights on… and can’t fuel their existing vehicles. All they can do is get sucked into this mess too, and assure that it goes to DEFCON MAX with “all means necessary” from Russia.

    NATO likes to think it’s the big kid on the block with all the best toys. It was, but isn’t anymore. As soon as it becomes a NATO hot war, look for China to start grabbing things it wants, since they know we can’t survive the 2 fronts at once. With that will come a shut off of “all that stuff made in China” (and distraction from their economic mess for the Chinese citizens…) The hypersonic missiles will start flying and our carriers will find out just how good they are…

    BTW, defending is usually a lot easier than attacking fortifications. Something Ukraine is discovering every time they try a counter offensive. Yes, it is easier to break things than construct them, so for a brief period when new ground is gained, the defense has a big load of work to do building fortifications; but once that exist, well, forts were invented for a reason…

    I do know Putin would rather have a negotiated settlement, however:

    With whom would he negotiate it? NATO & USA are confirmed liars who will not keep a deal. Mr. Z. is histrionic and not going to make any deal. Besides which he’s a puppet of The West, so again not keeping agreements. Then the population of The West is so propagandized that nobody could sell it a “deal” that would work for Russia (keep Crimea, Donbass, and maybe more, demilitarize Rump Ukraine and enforce it.)

    So “war it is” and it will stay that until Ukraine is no longer a money laundry and weapons station of the GEBs & NATO.

  76. H.R. says:

    E.M.: “[…] ntil Ukraine is no longer a money laundry and weapons station of the GEBs & NATO.”

    Hmmmm… what country will be the next ‘laundromat’?

    E.M., you’ve left the Middle East out of the discussion. Except for Trump, the West has pretty much been telling the oil countries that they despise and look down on the oil producing countries… “But we want your oil, and we expect the profits to come back as investments in our countries. Oh, and do you mind holding a trillion or so of out debt?”

    Nobody is talking about the Middle East right now. It’s all about the heroic Ukrainians and e-e-e-vil puppy-kicking Putin. Hmmm….

  77. E.M.Smith says:


    Yup. My major comment on that has just been that the Saudis are talking to BRICS about a join-up.

    I’ve not said more just because it would all be rampant speculation, nothing more; they are keeping it all very quiet (though IIRC, Saudi did agree to sell oil to China in yuan…)

    Think about OPEC + Russia and the oil trade / prices…

    In particular, remember that when Bidet asked them to increase production, they cut it a little. Saudi & OPEC hate the idea of the USA, UK, EU or anyone else telling them the price is not set by Saudi / OPEC but by the buyer… “Price Cap” = “Slap in face & existential threat to oil market”.

    But the Saudis are not dumb. They will not show any cards until it benefits them. Frankly, one of the Big Worries would be NATO says “We’re in a hot war now” and OPEC collectively says “And with who’s oil do you think you will be doing that?” as they embargo oil.

    Under Trump, the USA would come through it OK, while Europe would be a mess.

    Now? SPR way down. Production shut in at major sites domestically. Pipelines halted. Oil Companies under attack. Military supply depot / reserve in Hawaii being disassembled. Supply already short, and Diesel running out in selected spots BEFORE you need massive amounts more for military mobilization. IF OPEC & Russia say “Just selling to China now”, the EU & USA can’t fight a hot war. The economies halt (again…) and collapse.

    Our “leaders” in the USA (and to some extent the UK & EU) have got the rest of the world pissed at us all, and happy to “take us down a peg” via our incredible gall and overbearing disrespect. WHO in Latin America, Africa, Asia (maybe ex-Japan… maybe…) is really “Our Friend & Ally”? Or are they oppressed and abused by The West?

    I can only hope that BRICS does not turn into “World minus NATO & ANZUS”.

    So right now the Saudis are thinking “Where ought we put our money where NATO / EU / USA can”t take it and sanction it?”…

  78. YMMV says:

    “And no, Europe will not be a “game changer”.”

    I was not clear. If it is just Ukraine vs. Russia, the war goes on and on.
    But without the inputs from European countries and the US, it would not last long.
    The problem is if one side (or both) gets impatient and escalates too much.

    Then NATO and European countries get involved directly. Either as an offensive move or a defensive one. That is the game changer. NATO was one of the initial problems, and it will remain a problem. Z claims Ukraine is defacto NATO.

    I think Russia would rather just fight Ukraine. I think Europe might rather not get involved if it brings the war home. It might not become WW3, but to Europe it would sure feel like it. So I lean to more of the same. Until hell freezes over and Zelensky gives up, because until then, there can be no honest negotiation deal.

    Ukraine aside, the US is losing it:

    another ian’s link:

    When Russia demanded payment in Rubles, I didn’t get the importance.
    After reading that link, now I do.

  79. cdquarles says:

    My sister and I discuss things like this, and how it feels like 1914 all over again (ours is a multi-generational military family, some of whom were active duty). Our “leaders”, in the West, stink. They know so much that just isn’t so.

  80. YMMV says:

    correction on my comment of what “winning” means to Zelensky:

    the 10-point “peace plan” previously outlined by Kiev, which, among other things, calls for Russia to withdraw to borders claimed by Ukraine, pay reparations and submit to war crimes tribunals.

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