Has W.W.III already started?

Really, I’m not sure but think maybe it has.

The “choosing up sides” is mostly done. There’s a few folks still fence sitting, but even historically neutral Sweden & Switzerland have chosen a side. Some are “on a side” but thinking about changing (Turkey) or going neutral (Hungary).

The “Regional Conflict” is well underway. Like Germany gathering up the German bits scattered across Europe at the start of W.W.II (before we knew it was a World War in the making); Russia is gathering up some scattered Russian Bits. Russia still has 3 bits to pick up (that I know of…). Odessa, Transnistria, and a connection to the Kaliningrad Oblast (formerly Königsberg before the last dance of the bombs . . .)

THE major difference being that nobody was busy blowing up the prior German bits the way Rump Ukraine was busy blowing up the Donbass Russians (and obliterating their language and culture). So Russia has a modestly better justification than did Mr. H. who was more driven by power lust and “ethnic purity”. (It is Rump Ukraine that has inherited the racial ideology of Mr. H. in such groups as the Azov Battalion and such).

The Duran has a nice name for how the ongoing ramp up in warfare is happening. “The Escalation Escalator”. We are on it, for sure. The West, just a few weeks / months ago had a series of Red Lines they would not cross; as they would make The West combatants in a European War. No “offensive weapons”, only defensive. Nothing that would reach deep into Russia. Nothing usable for a rolling advance into Russia (an “Offensive”). Those have now been rather rapidly cast aside. We got on the Escalator, are trapped by the side barriers, and turning around to go back down and get off is very hard against the tide of motion.

We started off small. Things like using our Satellite assets to provide “intelligence”. I.E. being Spies for Ukraine. Then whole boat loads of money (borrowed from someone else or just printed out of thin air). The West (EU, UK, USA, etc.) also instituted what is effectively an Economic Embargo. Arguably an act of War in itself (but Russia just flowed around it… so didn’t start blowing up The West). We then jumped to artillery, and ammunition for same, along with various other bits of kit. We became The Arsenal Of Azov & Color Revolution Soros…

Then the escalator picked up speed.

HIMARS, but at first only short range rockets. But for how long?

Drones of various sorts (including Spy drones overhead) but without clarity as to operators… Similarly a Patriot Air Defense system or two and more. Boat loads of Infantry Fighting Vehicles and more. All the ancillary bits of an offensive army. But at the time, the statement made was “Absolutely NO Tanks!”. As that would be the start of W.W.III.

Now, in a Mad Rush, we have The West rolling over that Bright Red Line with some of the world’s best Main Battle Tanks with the expressed desire that they be used in an “offensive” to take back the Russian bits of Ukraine (including Crimea). Anyone doubting that Tanks are an “offensive weapon” ought to review the tank battle of Desert Storm during the USA assault on Iraq…

Now, with Tanks already “in the works”, the escalator is arriving at the Attack Jet Plane floor. As of now, just a few F-16 aircraft are on the table. But the escalator does not slow… More and MORE and MORE!! is the demand. Already talk of F-35 fighters and rumors of a flight of B-52 bombers on the way over.

“In it to win it!” and damn the cost (in lives or money or honor or reputation or rule of law or…)

Now Russian Military Doctrine says it is Just Fine to use Tactical Nukes in a land battle with, oh, massed army & tanks. Putin has reminded The West of this military fact. (Putin does not make the Russian Military Doctrine, BTW. Though I think he does sign off on acceptance of it when presented.) Russia has nuclear capable hypersonic rockets that nobody can stop. Right Now they are only using “conventional” explosives on them and being very careful to only take out war supportive infrastructure like the electric grid that runs the Ukrainian Rail System (that moves tanks & troops).

So were is the top of this escalator?

That’s the sad thing. Our “leaders” do not know and are not interested in looking. All they seem to know is “We need MORE for Ukraine!!!”… No “end game”. No “exit strategy”. No “expected losses”. Nothing but war lust (and greed? Ukraine IS their money laundry after all…).

Now we know that for Russia this really IS a threat to their very existence. NATO / GEBs ran several Color Revolutions in a row. Slowly advancing toward Russia (so not hard to see the end goal). Then NATO / GEBs tried an assasination / Color Revolution in Belarus. Well, that failed. And took out the Russian Friendly Elected Ukrainian leadership and began getting the place tuned up for a war on Russia. (But now Russia moved first, not being ignorant nor idiots). But the pattern of encroachment and method was very clear, then.

So now some folks in The West claim to not understand why Belarus is firmly aligned with Russia… Well if Side A tried to kill me and Side B saved my hide, you can bet I’d be 100% with Side B, not Side A. And Russia / Putin saw this same process headed for them…

Putin tossed out Soros and his NGOs (something any nation desiring freedom and liberty ought to do, BTW. India too did this.) And the “Oligarchs” that had been installed by The West after the fall of the USSR got clipped. (That ended the Ruling Class that The West was trying to get in place). Overall, Russia has just done a great job of finding and removing the hidden tentacles of power being wrapped around it. Thus The West plot to use Ukraine in a Proxy War to destabilize Russia.

Now you can argue over the question of “provocation too much” vs “Putin moved first”. I’m not seeing much way to sort it out. There were 9 years of Ukrainian provocation (At NATO / EU / USA / UK / CIA / etc. etc. insistance). The West brokered and broke both Minsk I and Minsk II agreements (and are now on record saying they were a sham from the start, just to buy time to build up the Ukrainian military and get them ready to attack Russia). Ukraine shelled the “Breakaway Republics” (that were supposed to get autonomy under Minsk agreements…) and then demanded the eradication of their Russian language and culture. Did that eventually “become too much”? Or did Putin just finally “move first” before Ukraine could move? Was he, finally, provoked enough to “start it”; or did he see the opportunity to “move fast and first” to prevent it? Only he will really know.

But now we are firmly “in it”.

The NATO / GEBs created Grand Ukrainian Army that was present a year ago has been destroyed. All that Soviet Era equipment as been blown up, worn out, or unable to get parts & ammo. The well trained soldiers largely dead or wounded. Now Ukraine is using 2nd or 3rd tier conscripts, poorly trained, and is surviving on NATO equipment (and money…) being supplied Real Soon Now. They have little idea how to operate this equipment. It will be labeled in several languages but not one of them Ukrainian. (Maybe they can put Post It notes on them… ;-) But it will be supplied. This, then will be rushed to the Russian Front and break its teeth on them.

In the mean time, Russia is not static and not stupid. They have made rather hard defenses about their present positions. Tank traps and more. They are advancing across a broad line to remove the last bits of the Ukrainian army from the provinces that have voted to be part of Russia (and now, from the Russian Legal POV, ARE Russia). THE big question here just being “where will they stop”. I suspect inside a couple of weeks that task will be completed, given the facts on the ground with key cities surrounded and re-supply cut off.

So some speculation:

Russia KNOWS all this too.

They also know there is nobody who they can trust in “negotiations”. It has been lies all the way down from NATO / EU / USA etc. for at least 10 years. The West has admitted it and said so publicly (from several high ranking sources). Mr. Z. has stated that “Putin is nothing” to him. Can’t negotiate with that… Several ranking USA politicians have said that “Regime Change” in Russia is the only way to end this. Can’t negotiate with that. Rinse & Repeat. So this will not end in a “negotiated” settlement. It will only end if military stability is clearly in place. Russia Wins or NATO Wins. Or everyone is dead and glowing in the dark… Let’s try to avoid that last one, shall we?…

So we are at a crossroads.

A “NATO Win” is capitulation by Russia, ouster of Putin, break up of the Russian Federation and / or nuclear World War III if Russia does not capitulate and agree to destruction & disassembly. I don’t see any path to acceptance of that by either Putin, The Duma, or the Russian People.

A “Russian Win” is already in progress. The “Russian Regions” made part of Russia. De-Nazification of Ukraine (Azov battalion basically already destroyed, just Nazi leaning leadership pods to go). Destruction of the Ukrainian Military (about 70% done and proceeding to conclusion in the next few weeks to months). Rump Ukraine to be made Neutral and NOT part of NATO.

Of these two, momentum is clearly with the “Russian Win” side. So NATO is pushing hard on the Escalator GO! Button. NATO is driven by fear of losing as is evident on the battlefields.

This makes it an escalating Race Condition without a clear end state.

So far, Putin has clearly and honestly stated Russian Goals, and Russian Rules of Engagement. NATO has not (been honest, clearly stated anything as they are muddled in their thinking, has no clear goals other than “keep Ukraine in play”, and they have violated Red Line “rules of engagement” regularly). The NATO actions most look like “Escalate until we win, NO MATTER WHAT”.

So we have the immovable object in Russia (as surrender is their own destruction as a nation and culture) and we have the unstopping force in NATO (who may be stoppable but are not going to stop until either they get their way and end the tantrum, or are spanked into submission). IMHO that means the only tipping point question is “who runs out of escalation first?”.

Will Putin actually blink at the idea of NATO nukes falling on Russia? Or is it clear to him that Russia would survive and NATO would not. That Russia has prepared Civil Defense and The West does not.

Will NATO actually blink as Russia continues to chew up and spit out all their fancy equipment? As their ammunition supply is shown to be insufficient, their factories incapable of more, and Russian Defenses more formidable than expected?

Will the Citizens of The West spank their Political Overlords enough to stop this folly? Make it clear we have no interest in destroying Russia, Russians, or Taking Over The World? Already the EU is mid-breakup. UK is out. Hungary is on the edge and grumpy. Power supply and industry unstable and failing. Several other countries expressing resentment. The Slavic Balkans not interested in killing fellow Slavs. Is it even possible anymore for the Citizens of so called “Western Democracies” to have influence over the WEF inspired & installed overlords?

In my opinion, one of those three has to happen to get off this escalator. Otherwise, the top end of unlimited escalation is a Nuclear World War III between Russia & NATO, that will then let loose China on Taiwan and Israel vs Iran & Friends (and who knows how many other regional conflicts with The Global North in flames and glowing in the dark…)

So that’s the way I see it. Armageddon with Nukes, vs “somebody blinks” vs “people taking back control of government”.

Of those three, I’d most like to see a return of real democracy to The West. But I’m pretty sure that can’t happen. The WEFies and DNC fellow travelers control the vote counting and they will not go quietly, nor legally.

If that doesn’t happen, I’m pretty sure Putin is not going to “blink”. Russia has already issued orders to go to full war footing for a War With NATO. Medvedev (more hawkish than Putin…) is in charge of their Military Industrial Complex and production. A 1.5 Million man army is already being called up and assembled. Their military doctrine includes use of nukes if needed and they are not afraid of war; but are very aware of hundreds of years of invasions from The West being driven out.

With “no democratic peace” via The People, and Russia not going to “blink” as it is suicide if they do and very much not in their character, that just leaves NATO tossing in the towel as an exit.

NATO & The GEBs have a long history of never giving up on a goal (see their ongoing fantasy of power…) once they have it in mind. Their actions so far indicate they really Really REALLY want to take down Putin and they feel that Russia has been a thorn in their side for just too long; preventing their desired World Domination. So I don’t see NATO & The West suddenly breaking out in a peace movement.

Which brings me to the present most likely end games.

Preamble To The End: This is already a NATO / Russia hot war. The fiction that NATO isn’t “in it” is now gone. Several leaders in the EU and NATO have said they see this as a War With Russia. Russia knows it has been fighting NATO since the Belarus Color Revolution failure (though as a Cold War) and knows it has been a NATO Hot War since Boris J. and the CIA told Mr. Z. to not negotiate a deal about 9 months ago (then confirmed with massive arms & money shipments).

You can’t be the major arsenal / arms supplier, fund one side of a war, provide resupply, repair, and R&R facilities in Poland (and other NATO countries) along with training facilities for war and battlefield intelligence and then claim you are not a party to the conflict. Everybody now knows this.

Russia is already legitimately able to target for destruction any of those things (and the factories and shipping facilities for those weapons in any of Germany, UK, France, Poland, and yes, the USA.) The only reasons not to hit them are self restraint by Putin, and / or a desire to manage the pace of escalation to best effect for Russia.

So given all that:

I see two likely paths.

1) Russia destroys Ukraine as a country within a few months and either before most of The Western Kit shows up, or as it shows up and gets blown up. A clear Russian Victory before NATO can get a full Combined Arms Army & Air Corps in place in Ukraine. At that point, NATO would have to launch an assault on Russia in a non-NATO member country. A clear “go” for Russia to use nukes to defend itself. Perhaps a Nuke Or Two taking out 150,000 Polish and 100,000 US Soldiers in that big southern Poland border build up would “bring clarity” to The Overlords Of The West (GEBs et. al.) just what the stakes might me.

2) NATO gets a big combined arms force rolling, steamrolls over Ukraine with it (including the Russian Bits) and we have Strategic Nuclear W.W.III with the end of everything as we know it. (China then steps in for The Win..)

Neither of those is very good, but given a choice, I’d take the first one.

My most preferable would still be for The West to realize the folly of picking a war with Russia, but that looks to be unobtainable, what with our “Leaders” psychopaths and our “Elections” just show fluff.


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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138 Responses to Has W.W.III already started?

  1. Graeme No.3 says:

    Cold weather in Europe with electricity and fuel shortages, along with food getting shorter and more expensive. Time for a change of government. (And I mean Europe, not “let them eat cake” Kamala).

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No.3:

    Yeah, that’s some good points… Not sure how EU NATO expects to fight a war with Russia when they can’t keep the lights on, fuel vehicles, or stay warm & fed…

    BTW: Watching Baklykov Live as he tours cities; ALL of them have the places very well lit up. Restaurants and bars are busy, and cars are driving around. Not seeing any signs of “shortages” in Russia at all.

    Last night’s live stream & 2 days ago the fireworks commemorating the end of the siege of Stalingrad ( Have I mentioned these folks remember their war history…)

  3. The True Nolan says:

    Option Four: Targeted assassination of the GEBs.

    Whether by US patriots in the military or Three Letter Agencies (if such patriots still exist), or by forces in the EU, or by forces allied with Russia — I really don’t care who does it. I keep thinking that SURELY there must still be some adults in the room who see how this is heading and want a pull back. Even if the lower level GEBs moved up, it might still give us a little breathing room to slow down the juggernaut.

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    Perhaps an “Open Letter” to Putin & the GRU?

    “Dear Sirs:

    Please help liberate us. Enclosed is a list of the people wanting to destroy Russia that WE don’t really want getting us killed either.

    P.S. it would be nice if D.C. glowed in the dark on the date of the State Of The Union… then the rest of us could just “start over” with a less corrupt group of Greedy Evil Bastards. Thanks, your friends in the USA – The Citizens..

    P.P.S. EU Commission meeting an optional “nice to have”… Oh, and here’s the home address of Soros & Kissinger & Klaus Schwab…


    ;-) and /sarc; of course…

  5. Great summary of where we are. My guess is a Russian offensive along the east side of the Dnieper from the North near Kiev. But Kiev is not the goal. It will be to make Russia‘a frontier the whole length of the Dnieper in Ukraine from north to south.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Hatter Eggburn:

    Thanks, and glad you found it useful.

    The Dniper is a very long front to hold, and crossing rivers is not as hard as it once was. A good “2nd line of defense”, but I think there is a better “1st Line”…

    My “guess” (note that so far I’m off about 3 months on when I thought this would start – but part of that was late freezing of the ground…) is that:

    Russia is presently hitting around Odessa with various missiles & drones. IMHO this is preparatory to a big push to take Odessa, cut off Rump Ukraine from the sea, and connect with the Russians in Transnistria. I think this will get rolling about Feb 4 to 6th. They will re-take Kherson City in the process.

    The Wagner Group is busy doing “Clean Up On Isle Donbass” and is likely tasked to have all remaining Ukraine Army units out of the Donbass Oblasts / Republics by that same date. This will set the stage for the “middle” forces to have the Russians just over the border in Russia join up and march to the Dniper River (more or less as you have outlined).

    At the same time, given that Russia and Belarus just did joint paratrooper drop training: they will do a major insertion in the “empty middle” of Ukraine somewhere. My best guess would be just north of Odessa and East of Lviv. This both blocks NATO / Polish advances toward their folks crossing the river, and it block Ukrainians from either retreating or attacking Odessa / Donbass. You now have “Kill Boxes” on the Ukrainian army on the prior “front lines” and can bomb them into yesterday…

    Then, just for the fun of anchoring a load of Ukrainian resources where they do no good: Russia also sends a big bunch down from Belarus to threaten Kiev, just like they did last time. I don’t know if these forces will surround Kiev, or just do a stand-off threaten as another “Fixing Operation”. That depends on Ukrainian forces locations that I do not know.

    Then, a boat load of fighting happens. Not least because I think an amphibious landing will be made on Odessa as well; or near it.

    All this will be accompanied by a LOT of cruise missiles, drones, bombs, etc. plunging all of Ukraine into darkness (probing phase done, now for the “OFF” switch launch) and preventing any rail movement of troops, armament, and supplies.

    Then the forces approaching from East & South work very hard to join up with the paratroops in the middle and close off Western Ukraine (and NATO supplies) from Kiev and the rest of Eastern / Southern Ukraine.

    At least, that’s what I would do with the troops already known to be in and around Ukraine were I fighting that side of the conflict…

    End Goal State being a line of Russian Armor from the Carpathian mountains to the Belarus border. Roughly from the north west tip of Transnistria, past Vinnytsia and Zhytomir (or maybe closer to Poland if that gives an easier time closing the gap between mountain groups… This has always been the best place for Russia to stop a NATO land assault rush over the European Plain). Let Poland take the part of Ukraine that was Poland prior to W.W.II and avoid all the ex-Poles who live there… Maybe hand the Hungarian area back to Hungary and the Romanian part back to Romania while you are at it. Buy some good will with those folks… Heck, you could even trade that little coastal strip of Ukraine that isolates Moldova as land locked for Transnistria and get them happier with things….

    Personally, I would just encircle Kiev (with a wide empty buffer of land) and wait for them to surrender. Just concentrate on eliminating the Army from anywhere outside of it, and holding the Gap in the European Plain anchored on the Carpathian mountains.

    All this would require Air Dominance to succeed, so I’d expect NATO to want to run an Air War at it. Then we would find out who has the best air force and the best Air Defense systems… I’d also expect Russian Anti-Sat abilities to be deployed if NATO did try to run an air war against Russia… But that is very speculative based on predicting what NATO would do, and even NATO doesn’t know what it is doing…

  7. Ed Forbes says:

    Ukraine has a very big problem with its forces in the east. They have been rotating brigades into Bakhmot, getting them ground up, and then rotating brigade reserves in to replace. Rinse and Repeat. The brigades shot up and rotated out are not being reinforced with replacements to be brought back to strength.
    One of the main problems with the Ukraine defense of Soledar was the large numbers of defending units that were well under strength. They got in each others way and could not give a coordinated and coherent defense. When Bakhmot falls in the next week or so, stopping a Russian advance with these shot up brigades outside of Ukraine prepared defenses will be problematic.
    If Russia follows up the Ukraine withdrawal from Bakhmot with a pursuit with its large reserves it has been holding back, I think you should see a repeat of the destruction of the German Army Group Center of 1944.

    Giving Ukraine time to rebuild these brigades to replace losses will be as much of a mistake as when the allies stopped Pattons pursuit of the German army in favor of the Market Garden campaign, which directly led to the German offensive of the Battle of the Bulge.
    The overriding goal of the Russian army is the destruction of the Ukraine army. Once the Ukraine army is destroyed, all else follows. Taking the eyes off this objective in favor of taking land could wind up being a fatal mistake. The Ukraine army is in the east, which is where the Russian army needs to focus.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Per Emil Cosman’s report, Russia has just started attacking Chernihiv Oblast (just north and east of Kiev) with artillery and mortars…

    I get the impression the Russians have started their “Push”. Hitting Ukraine North, East, and South in rotation so they don’t know where to turn…. and can’t send reinforcements in any particular direction…

  9. Ossqss says:

    One must ask, what is the goal/agenda relentlessly displayed over the last few years globally? Rhetorically, not about Russia.

  10. Ossqss says:

    Just sayin, what do you see? I see Bricks>

  11. Ed Forbes says:

    8 rounds? Not much different than has been going on along the border

  12. Ed Forbes says:

    There has been low level artillery going both ways on the northern border now for weeks now. Nothing new here

  13. YMMV says:

    Ukraine is (so far) just a regional war.
    What has made World Wars special (so far) is that the aggressor side wanted way more than just one region. Herr H. wanted all of Europe, at the very least. Japan wanted most of the western pacific.

    But that was before ICBMs and nukes. Now every little war could potentially be a trigger for MAD war. Nukes are what most people are afraid of, but it is really the ICBMs and other missiles which bring the war home. The modern war is supposed to be remote controlled to minimize use of your own troops. Do Ukrainian soldiers realize that is how the west is using them? The war will end when it comes home to Europe.

    Has it started already? Historians many decades from now will sort this out. We could tell them now though. If anyone was listening. The one thing we do not know is “Who is in charge here?”.

    Maybe economic sanctions and economic self destruction will cause enough damage that nukes won’t be necessary.

  14. gwaigau says:

    I saw that Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin when asked about sending MBT to Ukraine stated that sooner or later we’re going to have to recognise the reality of what’s happening on the ground. So perhaps there are grownups in western politics that could stop the escalator.

  15. Josh from sedona says:

    I’ve got to Wonder if any of this would be happening if the orange man was still in office?

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Josh from Sedona:

    I doubt it. He was hot on cleaning up Ukraine and the Biden Graft when The Deep State (aka DNC Minions) sicced the FBI (Federal Bogus-charge Inventors) on him.

    He would not have gone along with sending the DNC Money Laundry $Billions, would have properly left Afghanistan, and would NOT be willing to just give away $Billions of military gear.

    Instead, he would have leaned on Mr. Z. to stop the crap in the Donbass and enforce the Minsk Agreements (once he realized they were being violated, which I’m sure Mr. Putin would have told him when he talked with Putin about just why he was thinking of invading Ukraine…)


    One can hope… Saw the clip too. I get the impression that someone told the truth, that Ukraine is already toast and it is just a matter of some putty & Spackle work for Russia now that it has 1/2 Million dressed and armed and another 1 Million soldiers on the way… with something like 3000 or 4000 tanks warming up and making more of their most advanced tanks at one ever few day (every day soon?) plus able to fire 20,000 artillery rounds / day (with doubling capacity most likely in the works at their ammunition factories that, BTW, have no shortage of energy or natural gas to make propellants and explosives…) while our fancy Howitzers break if you use them “too much” (which seems to mean more than a few thousand rounds…) and we are out of ammo for them and can’t find more to scrounge anywhere else in the world… oh, we can’t make it very fast either.

    “Quantity has a quality all its own” is something Russia understands. Our “leaders” were sold a bill of goods with the story that fragile high tech highly precise things that were incredibly complicated to operate would beat quantity. It won’t. (A lesson that I though we learned in W.W.II when masses of crappy Sherman tanks took out vastly “better” Tiger tanks… Yes, better tanks are better, but only if you can make a lot of them…)

    So hopefully being “briefed” that there’s no way in Hell NATO is going to win this thing using Ukrainian conscripts and the alternative is Global Thermonuclear War (where we are also outclassed at the moment…) has scared somebody in “charge” shitless.


    I find W.W.I a bit better analogy.

    They had the choosing up sides, with all sorts of “mutual defense pacts”. We have NATO bringing in all sorts of folks with mutual defense agreements (article 5) while Russia, Belarus, China and who knows all else are all lined up on the other side.

    They had regional instability in the Balkans, with the Austrian Empire stirring the pot. We have regional instability with NATO / EU stirring the pot. (So is the EU the Austrian Empire redux, or the Holy Roman Empire redux?)

    They had the ignition point of the assassination of the Duke.

    We had the ignition point of Ukraine shelling the Donbass for 9 years and then banning Russian language and culture.

    Now that the shooting has started, we’ve got folks all over the place rushing to support “their side” (chosen above…) as the escalator picks up speed.

    They had artillery battles (as the tank wasn’t invented yet).
    We have artillery battles (as the tank is subject to Man Portable anti-tank weapons).

    They had trench warfare with “hardened defenses”.
    We have trench warfare with “hardened defenses”.

    What’s different? Well, so far, air war has been largely limited to drones & rockets that could be seen as a longer range class of artillery; and some ground support by the Russians. So that’s a new twist. IFF this moves to a full on NATO Air War that would be very different. (Then there’s the Nuclear risk…)

    The only way out of that parallel is for someone to quit and go home, or for it to “go nuclear” after a NATO combined arms & air assault.

    But “we’ll see”…


    That is my fear. That the GEBs & Deep State & Soros & WEFies will welcome a lot of death and destruction to “thin the herd” to “save the planet”… Perhaps “Saving the planet with Nuclear War since 2023!”…

    Also war is always a good time to institute tight control over your citizens… “security” and all that…

    @Ed Forbes:

    Thanks for that. I’d not known about the steady low level exchanges and the report I saw didn’t give a count of force used, just “shelling in the north” happening…

    I guess it’s a while longer to see if it’s the start of anything or not.

  17. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: “My most preferable would still be for The West to realize the folly of picking a war with Russia, but that looks to be unobtainable, what with our “Leaders” psychopaths and our “Elections” just show fluff.”

    War with a second or third world nation is bad enough — but war with RUSSIA? Madness! Here is Scott Ritter describing his involvement with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Ancient history, I suppose, but still an example of how the “sausage” is made.


  18. another ian says:


    An uncle had a saying “Like the bloody British army – 24 bloody hours too bloody late”.

    Which looks like it could be applied to the US/NATO approach to Ukraine with their contributions after the start being penny packets too little too late.

    Then there was Alexander M’s analysis yesterday up to air support.

    Which looks likely to end up with NATO being the one in the cleft stick of options to quit or nuke if they’re not careful

  19. The latest rumours are that Russia’s aims in Ukraine are indeed large. Russia’s restraint up to now has been connected with playing to the world audience. NAZO have arrogantly ignored that aspect and have now lost the PR battle with the global south especially with the Merkel / Hollande admissions and Ukraine’s ongoing murder of Donetsk civilians, and the escalation from the western side. A lot of smoke and mirrors going on and misdirection but something seems likely to change in a big way quite soon. BTW all the western leaders’ e.g. Germans pearl-clutching about tanks to Ukraine was pure theatre, the tanks were on trains and on their way long before the political pantomime concluded. Those tanks are already fighting in Vuhledar. They think that tanks are a substitute for artillery, and they’re wrong. Those tanks are a despairing Hail Mary pass, more about a future “at least we tried” blame game. Interesting times.

  20. another ian says:

    Not the NYT

    “Military Reality vs. Political Reality. Putin vs. The West”



    “WSJ Admits Bakhmut Almost Cut Off, Russia Pushes Forward Vuhledar; US Military Wants End Ukraine War”


  21. Ossqss says:

    I was trying to estimate the GDP, for various countries, associated with the Military Industrial Complex.

    I can’t.


  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Calculating GDP for any country is fraught with all sorts of perils. I suggest not trying.

    For example? I have a building worth $1 Million. I tear it down and build a new building that is worth $1.3 Million. Did GDP go up by 0.3 Million? Well…

    First off, the work of tearing down the old building (destruction of the asset) ADDS to GDP by the cost of the destruction and disposal of the structure. Then, the cost of building the replacement adds to GDP by the amount of the cost – even if $100,000 of it was tearing out mistakes and putting them back in. Finally, the appraiser may have valued the building at $1.3 Million, but it might have cost you $1.4 million for the reconstruction… But being done on a loan, the interest payments are also part of GDP… as are all your costs for carpet cleaning, electrical service, painters, etc. etc.

    Finally, you may find that because it took a couple of years to build, that $1.3 million is the same as the prior $1 Million was at the time of that first appraisal; so you have to figure out how to correct for that to get “real” vs “nominal” value change.

    Then you want to do “comparative GDP” with that from different countries with different currencies and exchange rates… So those numbers will change daily with the currency markets… Then what do you do when one of those countries just cranks, oh, tanks say, like popcorn; while the other spends $100 Million on “cost accounting” for each tank… Is that $100 Million / tank really making a better tank? Or is it just wasted “make work”? How do you adjust for that sort of service skewed comparative economy? Eh?

    So I’d just look up the GDP… at the C.I.A…..


  23. another ian says:

    “Douglas Macgregor – a Lightning War”

    Posted 6 hours ago

  24. YMMV says:

    “I find W.W.I a bit better analogy.”

    If it was a movie, it could be a WW1 remake. Look at the attitude of the Brits at the time. ~We can do this! It will be over in two weeks! Enlist now!~

    It took a while for the Brits to catch on, largely due to disinformation from the front, censoring the news of how bad it really was.

    Recall that WW1 ended with an armistice, in other words, a cease-fire, not a victory.
    Like Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, etc. — if you can’t win, go home.
    Or, “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”

    Speaking of Vietnam,
    January 1973, 50 years ago.

    Coppola [Apocalypse Now] had, in the ‘70’s, understood something that former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara only came to understand in the ‘90’s when he met with Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap. With astonishment, he suddenly realized that the Vietnamese were fighting a war of independence, not an ideological war. The 20-year conflict in Vietnam had never been about the spread of communism in the world. Concerning US foreign policy, the elderly and experienced politician went on to say: “We don’t understand the Bosnians, we don’t understand the Chinese, and we don’t really understand the Iranians.” With the exception of colonized Western Europe, it seems to be a good summary of Washington’s policy towards countries all over the world.

  25. Keith Macdonald says:

    Going broke, slowly, then suddenly?

    eugyppius reports that in Germany:
    After months of obnoxious pro-Ukraine jingoistic war propaganda, Welt suddenly admits to its centre-right audience that it’s “essentially impossible for Ukraine to win”


    He continues:-

    Since the war in Ukraine began in February last year, Welt has relentlessly funnelled jingoistic Anglosphere war propaganda to its centre-right German readership. They reprinted this pro-Azov Battalion editorial …
    … complete with National Socialist symbols; they achieved a kind of ecstatic climax during the counteroffensive last September, when they announced that a turning point was at hand; …
    … and they have been among those predicting that Russia is on the verge of running out of missiles and artillery shells any moment now.

    Well, no more. Readers opened the paper today to find these sobering remarks on why it’s all over.

    “Russia has so far destroyed 60 to 70% of the critical Ukrainian infrastructure. It’s unimaginable that Kiev will receive sufficient air defence systems … to stop the Russian orgy of destruction. … And Ukraine will prove less and less able to repair the destroyed infrastructure as the required material becomes scarcer and … the Ukrainian defence industry lacks urgently needed electricity.”

    “… The longer the war has dragged on, the more Ukraine is running out of soldiers. It is already … at least in its eighth wave of mobilisation, with men over 60 now being sent to the front. … Russia is likely to emerge from this war not only militarily … but politically victorious. … Membership in NATO will probably be ruled out for the foreseeable future following a ceasefire or peace negotiations, and Ukraine’s accession to the EU will take much longer than Kiev is currently demanding even in the best scenario. …”

    I will let you read eugyppius’ conclusions for yourselves.


  26. The True Nolan says:

    @YMMV: Speaking of McNamara — I just finished reading “McNamara’s Folly”.

    I had not been aware that in his desire to get more troops, McNamara pushed a program to draft low IQ and physically sub-par men into the military. The push was named “Project 100,000” (in spite of bringing in over 300,000 low performing troops). The colloquial name for the draftees was “McNamara’s Morons”. If the name seems harsh, it was, in a strictly technical sense, correct, insofar as at least some of the men were in the 60s IQ range. Many of these men literally had the mental abilities of an 6 or 8 year old child. Men who could not learn right from left, or how to tie their shoes, were “passed” through basic training and sent into combat. Their death rate was three times normal, and there is no way of telling how many normal troops were killed due to their presence.

    McNamara’s promise was that the military would use new methods of pedagogy to train these men, to bring them up to normal functioning, and create good soldiers and productive citizens of them. Of course the training never happened — and even if it had, the idea was based on the “blank slate” premise that environment was all, that genetics was nothing, and that people were mutable and educable all the way into adulthood.

    It is a brutal book, but written with deep compassion for the poor souls forced into a life threatening situation that they had no chance of comprehending.

  27. Graeme No.3 says:

    Keith Macdonald:
    Yesterday I accidentally heard someone on “All Things Considered” (National Public Radio) repeated on the ABC (popularly known as the Australian B*llsh*t Corporation) calling for more and more armaments for Ukraine. Quite hysterical.
    I say accidentally as it was on the car radio and lasted as long as I could safely reach the OFF Switch, as is my practice if that BS is announced.
    Later I think I heard it repeated on another ABC channel. I presume the propaganda dept. was disappointed with the general public response, and are assuming that people listen to the ABC as they did in the 1950’s. O/T but despite 4 TV channels ABC audience figures have been dropping for years, indeed they are propped up in fourth or fifth place (out of 5) thanks to the ABC Children’s one. Whenever anyone suggests that the Federal Govt. should reduce its funding, they trot out claims that Peppa Pig is in danger (for 4 year olds), surely an indication of where their audience is.

  28. The True Nolan says:

    @Graeme No.3: “calling for more and more armaments for Ukraine. ”

    I honestly have lost track of the publicly announced figures for aid to Ukraine. The last I remember it was about $100Billion. Just guessing, but what is it now? Maybe $120B in less than a year? The total annual military budget for Russia is somewhere in the range of $65B to $75B.

    Some numbers just don’t add up.

    Oh, and most educated people (and I say “educated” as opposed to merely attended university and got a piece of paper) in the US have given up on NPR. Thirty years ago I was a sustaining member but stopped cold turkey because of something my local station did. They have not gotten a cent from me since, and I do not listen to them unless I am drunk. And I never get drunk.

  29. Ed Forbes says:

    Most of US military aid on supplied armor is junk that is scheduled to be decommissioned, so cost of this aid is greatly exaggerated at “book value “, not scrap value. The exception is for the Abrams, which is being ordered to be built without all the high tech options they don’t want the Russians to get ahold of. It will be at least a year, likely more, before these can make it to Ukraine.
    The items Ukraine needs desperately, 155mm artillery tubes and shells, are no longer able to be pulled from stocks in the needed numbers. They are now mostly down to current monthly production, which is not very large.

  30. another ian says:

    Ed Forbes

    But 10% works better that way

  31. Graeme No.3 says:

    @ The True Nolan:
    It was about 30 years ago that I abandoned the ABC, partly because of “All things (Democrat party line) considered”, but the ABC is our version supported by around $1.4 billion each year from both sides of politics (i.e. the taxpayer).
    And Australia and France have recently signed an agreement to manufacture munitions for Ukraine. From previous experience the war will be over long before the paperwork is done.

  32. H.R. says:

    From SDA: (Fugly link. Fingers crossed that it displays.)

  33. H.R. says:

    Quoting Mrs. H.R.: “That is sooo wrong.”

  34. Graeme No.3 says:

    (This was in The Australian today – a reprint of something in The Times (UK). The comments were large Gung Ho about the need to beat the Russians, with few showing any sign of military knowledge or what is possible. Likely comments from in UK ).
    At the start of the invasion almost a year ago the Russian army was fielding about 2,600 operational tanks. The Oryx website, which logs losses only after verifying photographic evidence, estimates that 921 have been destroyed, 124 damaged or abandoned and 534 captured, including 14 modern T-90s now being used by the Ukrainian army. Ukraine began the war with 453 tanks, of which 269 were destroyed, 24 damaged, 16 abandoned and 144 captured. The brute figures do not take into account the rapid deterioration of Russian tank barrels when being used as static artillery. But nor do they include the new weaponry rolling off production lines in Russia’s war-economy factories. (i.e. Ukraine has lost all its tanks and is using captured Russian tanks?? presumably old style except those 14 T-90s; and Russia has lost 61% of its tanks)
    The fact is even if the West makes good on its promise to supply a total of 200 or so more tanks by the spring, Ukraine will still be outgunned. It will be a game changer only if you subscribe to magical thinking: namely that the superior tech, accuracy and firepower of Leopard 2s, Challengers and Abrams tanks will transform combined arms operations and break Russian morale on the front line. Kyiv is stepping up demands for western kit – F-16 fighters that could break Russia’s supply lines are next on the shopping list. Volodymyr Zelensky fights this war by constantly introducing new elements to bamboozle and slow down the Russians. He wants to present Ukraine as a de facto Nato ally and thus give the Kremlin pause. But he still hasn’t convinced the likes of Olaf Scholz or, more importantly, Joe Biden that he has a plausible strategy for driving Putin out of Ukraine. (The Times seems to think that Russia will wait until summer before attacking. I presume so there will be time to get the tanks to Ukraine and train them to use them.) Myself I think Putin thinks ahead, unlike our politicians).

  35. H.R. says:

    How will any newly arrived tanks get to the battlefield?

    The only way I can think of is, “With fantastic luck.”

  36. Simon Derricutt says:

    Pointman asking the same question: https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2023/02/01/is-europe-actually-at-war-with-russia/

    A lot of this really doesn’t make sense to me still. Despite all the words, seems Russia is still supplying gas through the pipelines, and Russian oil is still being bought by the West. Of course, some of that oil will be bought from a third party who actually buys the stuff from Russia, but it’s not like you can’t tell the real source very easily.

    Germany held off on supplying tanks until the USA started supplying them, so the announcement of the USA that they would be supplying tanks led to them and others setting up to supply tanks very soon – but the USA tanks have yet to be made, with delivery next year sometime. Of course, that also implies that this war is expected to drag on for at least another year. I’m not sure that enough Ukrainians of fighting age (now up to 60 years old and maybe older in practice) will remain by then, though.

    I also can’t see how NATO and the EU figure on making enough explosives with both an energy and natural gas shortage, and with so much heavy industry already exported to China to reduce the local Carbon footprint it’s hard to ramp that up (though of course buying the same stuff from China rather than making it here has a larger Carbon footprint overall, and we have one atmosphere for the whole planet). Of course, if you shut down the heavy industry locally then you both lose the local skillset to do that stuff and that puts a big block on re-starting once you know you need it again. Even the skills and machinery to make the machines you’re going to need to re-make will have gone, too, so you’ll need to re-develop that too.

    Thus I’m not seeing a viable route to winning the war against Russia except by using those nuclear weapons to remove a large number of their soldiers and equipment. There simply aren’t enough raw materials available, or the wherewithal to convert them into conventional weapons, to overwhelm Russia otherwise. I’d however expect that Russia also has a lot more nukes than we have. Thus this war is not actually winnable.

  37. Keith Macdonald says:

    @Graeme No.3
    “This was in The Australian today ..”
    Any chance of a link please?
    Same for Oryx article.

  38. Ed Forbes says:

    Bakhmut “not yet encircled”

  39. Keith Macdonald says:

    More on BRIC trade routes via Zero Hedge.

    INSTC = International North-South Transport Corridor

    “New Delhi and Moscow are looking for more efficient supply lines. A study, conducted by the Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India, showed that INSTC will be 30 percent cheaper and 40 percent shorter than the existing routes. And according to the Russian Journal for Economics, freight traffic on the NSTC could reach 25 million tons by 2030, a 20-fold increase. For these reasons the NSTC is of vital importance to Russia, as well as a source of frustration for the neocons in DC and their foot soldiers in Europe.”


    The route?
    – By land, Moscow to Volvograd to Astrakhan on the north coast of the Caspian Sea.
    – Then, either by land through Azerbaijan, or across the Caspian Sea to Iran, near Tehran.
    – Then across Iran to a brand-new Shahid Beheshti Terminal at Chabahar Port.
    Being built with Indian help.


    Mention of trade routes from Russia to Iran to India reminds me of “The Great Game”, and in particular “Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game”, written by Craig Murray. All about Britain -v- Russia for control of Central Asia and the routes to India, and then the start of the Anglo-Afghan Wars

    Officially: 1839-1842, 1878-1880, and 1919.
    But (of course) 2001-2020 as well.

    Craig Murray was the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan until 2004, but he upset the “diplomacy” by publicly complaining about the human rights abuses in US-funded Uzbekistan.

    All being excellent examples of how “The Great Game” continues.


  40. Generalissimo Franco says:

    “P.S. it would be nice if D.C. glowed in the dark on the date of the State Of The Union… then the rest of us could just “start over” with a less corrupt group of Greedy Evil Bastards. Thanks, your friends in the USA – The Citizens..”

    Anyone sent out an RFP yet to get a price quote and schedule? Need that to start the GoFundMe.

  41. Keith Macdonald says:

    From Britannica.com :

    Great Game
    Rivalry between Britain and Russia in Central Asia in the late 19th century. The term was used by Rudyard Kipling in his novel Kim (1901). British attitudes were influenced by the reports of official, semiofficial, and private adventurers enjoying the thrill of clandestine operations beyond the frontiers of India, reports that frequently embellished (or even invented) accounts of Russian machinations and the vacillating loyalties of local chieftains.


    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  42. Graeme No.3 says:

    @Keith Macdonald
    I doubt it will get you anywhere as The Australian usually claims Subscribers Only.
    What I posted was what Roger Boyes of The Times wrote, the rest are comments which, on reflection, may be from those in the UK. Might be more successful to Search Engine the Roger Boyes + The Times way.

  43. Graeme No.3 says:

    @ Keith Macdonald:
    Re Orix, I didn’t go there. It was just referred to in the article but…

    Incidentally Roger Boyes appears a bit excitable.

  44. another ian says:

    Latest Pointman



  45. Keith Macdonald says:

    @Graeme No.3
    “Incidentally Roger Boyes appears a bit excitable.”

    Yes, and not very careful about verifying his source material, or simple arithmetic?
    How many Russian tanks?
    He says
    “At the start of the invasion almost a year ago the Russian army was fielding about 2,600 operational tanks. The Oryx website, which logs losses only after verifying photographic evidence, estimates that 921 have been destroyed, 124 damaged or abandoned and 534 captured, including 14 modern T-90s now being used by the Ukrainian army. ”
    Using the Oryx numbers:
    2600 – 921 -124 – 534 – 14 = 1007 remaining

    Next, how many Ukraine tanks?
    He says
    “Ukraine began the war with 453 tanks, of which 269 were destroyed, 24 damaged, 16 abandoned and 144 captured. ”
    Two “buts”
    1) That “534 captured” in the Russian tank numbers implies that the Ukraine captured more tanks than they started with.
    2) 453 – 269 – 24 – 16 – 144 = zero remaining?
    With no mention of the 534 captured. Unless the Ukrainians sold them all on the black market? (/sarc)

  46. The True Nolan says:

    New video by Gonzalo Lira.

    IIRC, when war started almost a year ago, Lira predicted that Russia would take east Ukraine (the Russian areas) and then force an agreement with Ukraine. Of course that did not happen. Zelenski was (so it is reported) told to NOT negotiate. Current situation, says Lira, is that Russia knows there is no way to negotiate with the West because the West cannot be trusted. Lira now says that Russia will take entire Ukraine and occupy it.

    This comports with much of the conversation here.

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith Macdonald:

    I just assumed that any numbers, no matter from whom, are bogus. There is simply no way to know which tanks are whoms and what repaired tanks returned or which were captured or not. It must all be speculation (unless, of course, you have access to real time satellite data feeds and a large staff to monitor the entire battle field 24 x 7 x 365 in all of visible, infrared, and radar… along with sigint intercepts and more… Then your data will only be partially bogus…)


    I think it was during an Hour+ long form interview with Scott Ritter (perhaps on The Duran) where a “Super Chat” donor said “Why are we not talking about Russian (Minister? Foo) saying ‘Any negotiations will happen on the Polish Border’?”

    I’ve not been able to find a pointer to that claim anywhere, but I would suspect that to be the case.

    There was a great Tectonic Shift in the Russian attitude & goals when The West put on a shit load of “sanctions” and blew up Nordstream 2 (along with stealing something like $300 BILLION of Bank Of Russia Reserves). Oh, and massively funding Ukraine and sending train loads of military equipment. There were 2 major changes that I observed:

    1) Shift to Russian desires and focus from “We are Europeans, please accept us.” to “Screw you, Europe, we’ll do business with Asia.”

    2) Shift from “OK, we tried to be nice and minimize damage and deaths to get you to negotiate, now the gloves come off. It is now a Full On Destroy You War.” This as NATO was shipping almost everything it had to spare to Ukraine.

    Then Russia sat back, figured out new plans, and launched them. Called up 300,000 new troops (and 80,000 volunteers showed up…) and said “going for 1.5 Million when reasonable, as this is now a NATO war on Russia”.

    Now #2 has been given a HUGE dose of Steroids as various Western GEB Pawn Idiots in Power have flat out stated MINSK 1&2 were frauds to deceive Russia and buy time for a NATO lead / trained & supplied Ukraine attack on Russia for the purpose of dismemberment and “Regime Change”. A nice little Color Revolution in Russia is all that NATO will accept.

    At this point, were I Putin (and knowing how Slav Culture works and how they tend to think) the only “negotiations” I would do with the west would be of the form “How can I screw with you as payback?”. So sure, “negotiate”. Waste their time. Give them false hopes. Crush their expectations when it suits you. Offer what they want, then take it away. Sign a “deal”, and then break it, if that suits you. Demand all sorts of “concessions”. Like “give me back my money and we’ll leave Donbass” but once the money is returned, not leave. You get the idea…

    Slavs can be your best friends and loyal to a fault; but they tend to a literal expectation of your compliance with agreements; and in a very brittle way. You can get forgiveness for minor unintentional failures (IF you make good when you can) but even those damage the trust “forever”. A major breaking of agreements or “turn coat” action on your part, and you have an enemy for life. Your trust coefficient just went to Hard Negative and is not recoverable. Basically “they hold a mean grudge”…

    So my expectation is pretty simple:

    At this point, Russia will NOT be making new deals for resources to The West. For now, they will continue to ship gas to those folks who pay for it. They might even make nice with fixing the Nordstream Pipelines. But only as a “temporary” thing. ALL new sales and new pipelines and new roads, ports, rails, etc. will go to Eastern Asia and South Asia. (i.e. India, China, Iran, Muslim World…). Europe will be cut off from Russian Resources “forever”. They might get a little bit of gas IFF they return all stolen money, pay for the pipeline repairs, and pay in gold delivered in advance… (exceptions for countries who did NOT screw with them, like Hungary).

    Russian battle plans are to win a war with NATO. They will not expand it to NATO, but if NATO pokes the bear, they will be Just Fine with biting back and risking W.W.III in Europe & North America. Send all the stuff you want to Ukraine, and Russia will destroy it there. Launch stuff from anywhere outside Ukraine, and that country will be consumed too. IFF Poland sends a large army into Ukraine, Russia will destroy it and then take Poland, since that Polish Government has declared itself an Enemy Of Russia by its actions. Rinse & Repeat for any other country stupid enough to “engage Russia”.

    It is abundantly clear that NATO / Euro GEBs / WEFies have had ONE goal in mind since at least 2014 and likely 2000: Dismember Russia and expand their Global Governance over the remains. Russia now has clear proof of this. There is no longer any doubt. It isn’t just a “NATO too close” worry; it is now a “NATO actively working to Destroy Russia”. So, OK, “turn about is fair play” and Russia is justified to “do what it takes” to end NATO Aggression against it. If that means taking Poland, the Baltics & Finland, well, so be it.

    I expect Putin to continue to show as much restraint as possible, and NOT to initiate any attack on a NATO State (unless they do something incredibly stupid like fly F-16 sorties out of a NATO country or refuel from tankers based in a NATO country – at that point they are active combatants by their actions and will be attacked). Sending money and equipment to Ukraine will be seen as “OK, we get to destroy the NATO army equipment too”. Attack from other that Ukrainian dirt with other than Ukrainian soldiers and “mercenaries”? Hold onto your helmet as you just ordered up some “incoming”…

    That’s my assessment of the Russian attitude right now. We’ll see how things shake out in the next few weeks to months…

  48. another ian says:

    Alex M headline today – I haven’t watched it

    “MSM Admits Bakhmut Encirclement Close; West Pulls Back on Jets; Lavrov Ridicules Blinken Offer”


    Sounds pretty much like what is above though maybe some rrethinking on the jets

  49. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: One reason why I like your blog is that you save me so much typing. I really cannot add (or remove) anything from your last comment. I think you nailed it.

    I do not let myself fall prey to needless sorrow or fear — but the utter pointlessness, the absolute stupidity, of Western (mostly driven by the US) actions against Russia for the last 30 years, is almost overwhelming to contemplate. Remember the “peace dividend” that was speculated upon at the collapse of the USSR? Economies all over the world were expected to make a bound upward as the military economic drain on the planet was cut back to almost nothing… The lives, the opportunity lost, all due to psychopaths in power. Madness.

  50. Keith Macdonald says:

    Keep poking the bear?
    Nothing to see here – move along please?

    “Huge NATO air exercise conducted close to Ukraine border
    By Tom Dunlop – February 1, 2023
    Aircraft from France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Türkiye and the US operated within Romanian Airspace, carrying out air manoeuvres against simulated adversarial Air Defence systems. Allied Air Command directed a dynamic training operation between the French MAMBA system supported by Romanian F-16s and US F-15s against the Italian Eurofighters, Spanish F-18s, and Turkish F-16s.”


    “The training event complies with international laws and standards and is not a response to current geopolitical developments, but embedded in the Alliance’s vigilance activities aimed at shielding the eastern flank and assuring NATO Allies in the region.”


    Yea, right, just like I would park a fuel tanker next to a building that’s on fire.

  51. another ian says:

    Keith MacDonald

    Probably quite a listening audience too?

  52. Ed Forbes says:

    Eastern Ukraine lines being outflanked and will either withdraw or be surrounded

  53. Keith Macdonald says:

    From a stray conversation about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King
    (Give peace a chance)
    If you can’t laugh about the current situation,
    You don’t understand how serious it is.

  54. H.R. says:

    @Keith M – I had never run across that exchange before.

    I laugh and joke around a lot. Hmmmm….

    OTOH, I’ve been aware of gallows humor from a young age. I always thought I had a heapin’ helpin’ of that. I think I got it from my dad.

    As my dad was dying of a punctured lung and bacterial pneumonia, that’s when he told me the joke that I’ve dropped here a few times. “The secret to a long life is to just keep breathing. The number one cause of death is cessation of respiration.”

    About a week after telling me that joke, he was on a respirator while they tried ‘one last thing’ that failed. So, he pulled the plug on himself. He always believed that it’s not living if you can’t do it on your own. A WWII vet, they don’t make many like that anymore.

  55. beththeserf says:

    Yr dad was tuff, H.R. As was mine. He used to say, ‘Yr handshakes yr bond. ‘

  56. Keith Macdonald says:

    Anyone else seen the Military Land Deployment maps?
    A website sympathetic to the Ukrainians.

    for the current situation and where specific units are deployed.

    From the home page are links to older status reports, which give a better idea of how events are unfolding.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith Macdonald:

    I’ve seen them, but with all things about this conflict, I question their validity.

    Just how do these folks get exact deployments? How much of it is speculative, or from a deception operation?

    So while I find them interesting, I wonder if they are actually useful…

    (Maybe I’m overthinking it and they have ways…)

  58. Keith Macdonald says:


    Their disclaimer says:
    “The visualized data are based on official press releases by Ukrainian Armed Forces and various Ukrainian news outlets. We do not use private (aka non-public) information for the visualization, only data which are findable by anybody. We do not reveal the movement or exact position of Ukrainian troops. The military symbols show only approximate or guessed location of Ukrainian and Russian units. If there is no information regarding the unit’s position for the last three months, we display the unit at its barracks, which is also a publicly available information.”

    So – “press releases” (= propaganda?) – which might be about units that do exist (or not) in locations that might be real (or not)

    How much of it is speculative, or from a deception operation?
    I expect a lot of what’s shown as the “current” situation is deception, bigging-up the the strength of the Ukraine units. What’s probably more informative is the historic maps that show how much the front line has changed and moved west.

  59. The True Nolan says:

    @HR: The nice thing about gallows humor is that it represents a sort of spit-in-the-eye aimed at tragedy. Things might be bad, but your spirit is unbroken.

    I saw a meme with a picture of Stalin. “Dark humor is like food. Not everyone gets it.”

  60. Keith Macdonald says:

    Here’s an entertaining video from an ex Mil-Int guy about those Chinese balloons over North America. Apparently the one over the US is flying at c.19K feet. Whereas “our” balloons fly at 80K~90K feet.

    Jump to 27:00 for the Ukraine-related content.

  61. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the news coverage embarrassed the Biden Regime to shoot down their Masters Spy Balloon over the Atlantic just off the coast… wonder if they will bother to retrieve it…

    At that altitude, I think a nuke would make a dandy EMP and wipe out a lot of the military equipment and communications on those bases that they flew it over…

    OTOH, just putting a few hundred pounds of virus or bacterial spores on board with a slow leak could also achieve “wonders”… so I wonder…

    There ought to be a Hard Shoot Down policy for these things when (if?) they enter the USA 12 mile ocean zone and before they reach over our land…

  62. YMMV says:

    Apparently the one over the US is flying at c.19K feet.

    Apparently some journalist did not catch on to the difference between meters and feet.

    There sure is a lot of angst being shed over this. and media hype.

    The Chinese communists are not our friends, but attack by wind driven balloons?
    Maybe after the apocalypse, when the alternative is throwing rocks.

  63. E.M.Smith says:

    There’s an interesting point on timing for a Major Russian Offensive. I’d figured Feb 4 to 6th based solely on the request that the Status of Forces Report was to be given to Putin by February (so I figured 1st week for “GO Code”). But…

    There are two other issues. One was brought to my attention in a video about the whole mess that pointed out we are coming up on the 1 year anniversary and claimed that “Russians like to do things to emphasize anniversaries”. So he claimed Feb 24.

    Another video by a military guy (sorry, I didn’t take notes on who and where…) said that even with all our night vision gear and such, lack of lunar illumination is still a big deal… and they like to do offensives on a new moon… Well…

    Says it’s a new moon on Feb. 20.

    I don’t know if either of those is really that big a deal, but I could see having the launch just as the anniversary rolls around. (I could also see having a giant blitzkrieg already rolling for 3 weeks so that on the anniversary you could say “Ukraine is now shut down and we are finishing the negotiations for surrender.”)

    The one I’m much less sure about is that whole New Moon thing. I know we in the USA like it as we “own the dark” with IR goggles and sights. But the Russians and Ukrainians? I’d have thought 200,000 Russians trying to run an offensive in pitch black over rough terrain would be harder…

    I don”t know about the dark. Less easily seen / sighted and shot at; but much harder to skulk about without tripping, falling flat on your face, getting tangled in obstructions, twisting ankles, and just walking right into an enemy foxhole…

    IF I had any clue about relative night vision gear in Ukraine and Russia maybe I could make a reasonable assessment. I know the Afghan Army has some of the best night vision gear in the world… now…. Maybe they will sell it to Russia…

  64. E.M.Smith says:

    @Per The Spy Balloon:

    60,000 feet (where it really was at) is pretty darned high up. But not yet to the ionosphere (where EMP blasts work best, IIRC). Ionosphere is about 30 miles up (to 600 miles…) and the balloon is at about 12 miles up. IF used for an EMP device, the damage would be localized. For scattering “bugs” it would work better. “Space” starts at about 60 miles up (330,000 feet) so well below that.

    At 60 k-ft you would get less atmospheric distortion for photos (but depending on the weather, still a fair amount possible). The U2 Reconnaissance airplane ran at about 100,000 feet; so the balloon is in the range for good recon.

    Strong radars (“Ground Penetrating” don’t give a dam about air, so “on orbit” would be just as good. OTOH, it is a whole lot cheaper to use a balloon ;-)

    My Guess would be to “test what we do” and prepare for a cbw delivery system what would work after an EMP via rocket took out our radars and such. In about 40 to 90 minutes, China could shut down the USA electrical and electronics systems with a launch of 2 EMP devices and we would only know about it when it happened. (Just announce a “resupply” for their orbital lab or “new weather satellites” or some such – and blow them as they fly over our heads). Do that just as a train of 3 or 4 of these balloons are set to cruise over the continental USA (doing “whatever”) and you have a cheap and easy almost complete shutdown of the USA and then delivery of the ‘coup de grâce’ at the end. Be it bio or pestilence or chemical or whatever…

    Of course, the real problem with that scenario is all our Nuclear Submarines then make China glow in the dark…. IF anyone can get them the message and go codes.

    Most likely, IMHO, it is just China “screwing with us” so they can tell all their proposed “Clients” that “We can fly over US air space and they do nothing. They are weak and stupid”. Which it would seem we are…

  65. another ian says:

    Somewhere I recall reading that a defence offered for a French general on trial for treason in a Franco Prussian war went along the lines of

    “Look at him. That is not a traitor, merely a blunderer”

  66. David A says:

    “Most likely, IMHO, it is just China “screwing with us”

    If Trump was president would China have even attempted this, and how might it have been handled differently? It certainly does make the US look weak, and inattentive. Was the story broke simply by regular folk on the ground noticing it?
    To me it makes it look like China outright owns the Biden family and administration.

  67. Keith Macdonald says:

    Russians like to do things to emphasize anniversaries

    In agreement, by way of a couple of anecdotes:

    About 15 years, a couple of friends were at the UK’s Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC).

    FYI, the equivalent in the US is
    with noteable alumni (domestic and foreign)

    This was in the era when we (NATO) was still friendly enough with Russia to have exchange visits with senior Russian army staff officers, to attend JSCSC, as guest lecturers (while Russia wanted to join NATO).

    One such Russian colonel gave a lecture on their experiences of operating in Afghanistan (before us) with the noteable remark
    We couldn’t believe you made all the same mistakes we did

    IIRC, he was also very surprised anyone in Britain was working on 8th May (VE Day).
    If you were to take a straw poll of Brits, asking what was special about 8th May, most people would look blank with no idea. It’s not a special day or a national holiday for us.

    But in Russia, it’s Victory Day (9 May) to celebrate “the glorious victory of our motherland over the German fascists”. It’s a big thing every year, a day (or two) off work, depending on how much vodka is consumed.

    We’ve got amnesia and no clue we keep repeating mistakes. They’ve got longer memories and don’t forget so easily.

  68. Keith Macdonald says:


    Oh look, we used to do that, c.60 years ago…

    Maybe there’s some irony that the Chinese have copied the idea and is now doing it better?

  69. The True Nolan says:

    @Keith Macdonald: “We’ve got amnesia and no clue we keep repeating mistakes.”


  70. The True Nolan says:

    @EM: “Strong radars (“Ground Penetrating” don’t give a dam about air, so “on orbit” would be just as good. ”

    I could be wrong, but air does not even enter into it. My reasoning for why balloons would be better is based on two things. A very low orbit is still five times higher than a very high balloon. For a given beam strength at the ground, the orbiting radar would need to be 25 times as powerful. Even then, orbital angular resolution of details would be less by a factor of five. Other things being equal, from only 100,000 feet, you could either use a much smaller, weaker beam, or you could penetrate much deeper — and you would have much better resolution as well.

    As I say, I may be wrong. Honestly compels me to admit that you have a disturbing good track record for thinking of things I missed!

  71. Graeme No.3 says:

    I don’t know if these are of interest but are from Poland.
    “The German pig has declared war on Russia!” | Break the Fake | TVP World

    The Russians are moving forward over their dead bodies | Military Mind | TVP World

    The bit I got was that the Wagner Group has been replaced by lots of highly trained and equipped troops.

  72. jim2 says:

    Nuclear weapons, like laws, don’t matter if nobody uses them. Just sayin’.

  73. E.M.Smith says:


    I was going to say that the exit angle of microwaves can be made quite narrow so that the beam can be essentially the same width at various altitudes with minimal dispersion (see MASER) … when it dawned on me that the REFLECTIONS off of the target will be subject to point source inverse square dispersion… Ooops. My bad. I’d not been thinking about the reflected energy, only the emitted…

    So yeah, altitude will matter especially for the emitting device design and for the reflected energy to the receiver…

    Per my thinking of stuff you missed: Note that here you thought of something I missed.

    There’s a “rule” I live by. The Law Of Mutual Superiority. Everyone is better at something. We are all superior to each other on some point or another. In programming this is why we do code reviews, because someone in your group will be better than you at some part of your code (and others can admire the things you did that are superior to their skill on some point).

    My favorite example of this was a Soda Jerk. At a BBQ joint, my Florida Friend and I both ordered the same meal (pulled pork ‘burger’ with fries) and a Coke. His was sugar free, mine was sugared. I went to the counter to pick them up. “Which of these is Diet?” I asked. The very rushed server behind the counter looked like “Oh, I forgot” as he took a few seconds to inspect both. “That one”, he said. Pointing at one of them. But…

    How did he know? So I asked. “That one has fewer bubbles on top”. You see, the sugar holds the fizz better. Something I’d never noticed. In that moment this near minimum wage soda jerk was my Superior. He could teach me something. I valued his expertise and have used that learning many times since.

    THAT is the Law Of Mutual Superiority. Never ever look down on someone due to their cast, status, employment, limitations, whatever; for there is something where they are your superior and you can learn from them. Just look for it. Never be arrogant or wallow in hubris for your “superiority”, because you are no better than a Soda Jerk in your skill; just a different area. We are all superior to each other in something, and we can all value and learn from each other on some point. Even that coke you’ve been drinking and looking at for 30 years…

    So I thank you for leading me to realize I’d not thought about the reflected energy not being collimated even if the source is… and my blunder in not remembering that “scattering is a thing…” ;-)

  74. Ted1. says:

    You didn’t once mention The Holodomor.

  75. E.M.Smith says:


    Not in this posting, but it has been discussed / mentioned before. Not in great depth, simply because a lot of folks already know about it. For example:

    Here: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2022/12/23/in-it-to-win-it-all-means-necessary-collides-with-existential-threat-perception-in-russia/#comment-162234

    The True Nolan says:
    8 January 2023 at 7:16 pm (Edit)
    @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!!

    And here with my reply: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2022/12/23/in-it-to-win-it-all-means-necessary-collides-with-existential-threat-perception-in-russia/#comment-162238

    E.M.Smith says:
    8 January 2023 at 8:31 pm (Edit)

    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.

    So it’s been mentioned.

    With that said:

    I think it is critical to let go of old harms made by people who are now dead.

    Holding someone’s children, grandchildren, or random uninvolved people who happen to have been born in the same country (or their heirs generations later) to be somehow responsible, complicit, or involved with some long past “harm” is a fools errand. Blood Guilt must be eradicated to have peace.

    IF we kept up that kind of Blood Feud, there would be constant wars between pretty much all peoples on the planet. It is simply essential to let each generation start anew without the baggage of past generations.

    2 points on that:

    1) Russia, today, is NOT the Godless Communist Soviet Union. It is a Western Christian Democracy. To hold modern Russians responsible for the action of Stalin (a Georgian, BTW, and NOT an ethnic Russian….), and a Communist, is just stupid.

    2) Most of my ancestors spent generations trying to kill each other. English vs Irish. English vs French. English vs Germans. Germans vs French. French vs just about everyone. English really vs everyone, including my American ancestors who’d already gotten over their differences. Shall all of us with “mixed ancestry” just commit suicide because 3 or 5 generations back the two groups were killing each other?

    Oh, and if you go back a bit further, at one point my British ancestors were “bowling with the skulls of Danes”… who are of my Viking ancestry most likely…

    So I tend to NOT hold the present generation responsible for the sins of their parents, nor the parents responsible for their grand parents. Nor anyone responsible for what was done more than 3 generations back. Otherwise we can’t ever “get over it” and “just get along”….

    Or, for that matter, the oppressed people of a country responsible for what was forced on them by their Greedy Evil Bastard “Leadership”… otherwise one must kill the peasants for the evil of their Lords and the slaves for the evil of their masters… not a good look…

    So yes, the Holomodor happened and it was evil. Now move on.

    Yes, the Holocaust happened and it was evil. The perps are all dead now, move on.

    Yes, slavery was evil and it happened. England ended the Atlantic slave trade by force of Navy Arms (and my ancestors were on those ships) and the Americans ended it with the bloodiest battle of our history (and most likely my ancestors were on both sides of that war too…), so move on.

    Rinse and repeat until you are in the 1900’s at least, and preferably up to at least 1950. Almost all the people alive today were born after that and are not responsible for anything that came before it. Frankly, they only became adults in the 1970’s, so you can make a very good case that even they are not responsible. Just like I am not responsible for the Viet Nam War (even though I was in the lottery to go…) because I was just 18 when that happened and was a mere pawn of The Government Stooges.

    So yes, evil happens. Get over it and “move on”. Remember it, in a broad sense, so it does not get repeated, but also note it was the Bastards On Top and In Charge who made it happen.

  76. Taz says:

    Why the US needs to initiate full war production NOW, while scraping aside that worthless federal jobs program we call our military for replacement with real fighters.
    There won’t be time to do this when it starts.

    Maintaining war production will be a problem. It’s not 1939. Find the clever people who can get it done. And for god sake, purge all the dopey neocons and wishful thinking ticks in Washington. Replace them with principled people instead. A long war is coming, and these weak rabble rousers don’t measure up.

    A simple rule is being tested here. ” Don’t invade your neighbors.”No nuance need be involved. Nuance is just a cop out after invasions. More excuse for doing nothing.

    The real war begins after the nukes are used up.

    It’s possible there will be fewer deaths if the US strikes first and HARD. Patton was right.

  77. The True Nolan says:

    @Tax: “Don’t invade your neighbors.”

    I assume that injunction also includes things like “Don’t finance and coordinate coups in other nations then install a puppet government.”

  78. David A says:

    Full war production. Let’s produce some energy for people, and lets not support a broken corrupt regime, walking hand in hand with our own GEBs.

  79. another ian says:

    Local newspaper on line heading –

    “Biden vows “If China threatens we will act”.

    Par for the course I guess?

  80. Ed Forbes says:

    How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline
    “… Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.
    There was a vital bureaucratic reason for relying on the graduates of the center’s hardcore diving school in Panama City. The divers were Navy only, and not members of America’s Special Operations Command, whose covert operations must be reported to Congress and briefed in advance to the Senate and House leadership—the so-called Gang of Eight. The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.”
    “.. As long as Europe remained dependent on the pipelines for cheap natural gas, Washington was afraid that countries like Germany would be reluctant to supply Ukraine with the money and weapons it needed to defeat Russi…”

  81. Keith Macdonald says:

    Well, maybe some of us were hesitant to mention Nord or the big “who did it” question. Because we’re never sure which GEB TLA’s are scanning stuff. But it seems like it’s out in the open now. Or to see what little fishes (like us) take the bait.


    One curiosity is that there were two separate explosions, at separate times, about 17 hours apart. The first at 02:03 in the morning, the second at 19:03 later the same day. Might be me, but it seems like Seymour only mentions one event.

    Why’s that? Was there a separate team that’s not known to the leak source?

    The other curiosity is who is the source? Is the TLA that did it now the same TLA that’s leaking the story? If it’s a “limited hangout” operation via a trusted media person, why now? Dissent in the ranks? Damage limitation? Or what?

  82. The True Nolan says:

    Another from Gonzalo Lira. Remember that the US seized $300BILLION from Russia? Let’s give it to Ukraine! (And they can recycle it back to the GEBs.) Oh, and if you are NOT from Russia and have dollars in the US, don’t worry; we will NEVER take YOUR money. It is just the bad Russians who get their money taken. You can leave your assets with us. TRUST US!

  83. another ian says:

    Re Nord Stream

    I guess there are two presumptions from this –

    First that all 4 pipelines were mined?

    Second is that the mine on the 4th line didn’t go off and the Swedes found it and definitely know who planted it?

    (First posted on Wood, follows better here)

  84. another ian says:

    There was that mysterious flight whose path was plotted just before the explosions started that might tie in with the sowing of the trigger?

  85. another ian says:

    “Independent Evidence Video Confirms Key Part of Sy Hersh’s Report on the Attack on Nord Stream 2”


    Note that they say a Norwegian plane but Monkeywerx has it coming in from US and needing refuelling

  86. another ian says:

    “Viktor Orban: The West’s Lone Anti-War Prophet
    Hungarian PM is the only leader capable of seeing the Russia-Ukraine conflict through the lens of Realpolitik — which is why he’s pushing for peace”


  87. The True Nolan says:

    Now that some more info has come out about the Nordstream attack, it is interesting to look at the comment thread from last September with opinions about “who done it”! (Comment about attack start about half way down page.)

  88. The True Nolan says:

    Polish General says Ukraine may have a nuke. I suspect that they do NOT have a nuke — but they certainly have the technology to do so. So why do I think Ukraine does NOT? Because they are a puppet government, and I do not think that the US would ever let them do so.

  89. DonM says:

    I went back to the link from the 7:19 True Nolan post, just for fun … I didn’t figure out the point….

    For the first time I saw the YMMV post of the cartoon. I thought it was good enuf to put up again.

  90. another ian says:

    Happenings in Ukraine?

    Usually Alexander M’s daily update is up by now

  91. H.R. says:

    @another ian – It has been quiet lately. I think the balloon took all the air out of the daily Ukraine propaganda.

    The long knives are out for Biden. I’m seeing the YSM returning to the classified document topic.

  92. another ian says:


    A comment at Jo Nova

    “Reports coming in now of a major Russian offensive. Not going to wait any longer to level Ukraine it seems.
    Will follow closely…”


    Maybe aiming to celebrate the close late Feb and not the start?

  93. jim2 says:

    In response to European sanctions, Russia will cut oil production by 500,000 bbls per day. Oil prices today are up 2% on that news.

  94. jim2 says:

    The Netherlands doesn’t want to own any grid in Germany anymore. While it isn’t stated in the article, Germany’s push to “green” energy will require large sums of money and I believe the Dutch company TenneT sees it as a financial black hole. Let the Germans commit gridicide!


  95. H.R. says:

    @another ian – Ahh… so it begins. Maybe that’s why things were quiet for a few days.

    While the US pollies were distracted and scrambling to cover their behinds over the balloon, it may have been the ‘GO’ trigger. Why wait for an anniversary or some such when your enemy is busy chasing squirrels?

  96. another ian says:

    “Douglas Macgregor – Putin’s Minimization of Destruction in Ukraine”

  97. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    He has a video out today… said he had a sick kid to tend.

  98. E.M.Smith says:

    Per “nordstream” blown up:

    I figured it was the USA (Russia had a valve, Europe wanted the gas) so figured we were just waiting for evidence & confirmation.

  99. Ossqss says:

    Viewed this on Zh earlier and found it an interesting perspective. I don’t know how accurate it is but thought to share for feedback.


  100. another ian says:

    Adaptation of an old Martian joke to the role of US in Ukraine and other places –

    What is blue with red arms?

    A US shit stirrer

  101. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss (and another ian) – Over at the Treehouse, very early on, Sundance was pointing out some of the actions the US was taking in an attempt to goad Russia into a proxy war in Ukraine.

    Sundance is mentally tapped into and focused on the workings of the Uniparty DC crime syndicate. So purely from a US viewpoint, Sundance was also saying pretty much the same regarding ‘who started it’ as was presented in your video and the one linked by another ian. His ‘why’ was more or less that it was all about the Benjamins; money and power.

    The how and why we the Ukraine mess we have, as presented by the viewpoints in these three comments, is contrary to “The Narrative”. As always, DC needs a bad guy, and if they don’t have Orange Man Bad, then they have to go with Evil Putin Very Very Bad.

    After all, Putin was threat to close down the Ukraine money laundromat. He had to go. Except… there was a slight miscalculation by the DC crowd as to how easy it would be. Putin doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Oops.

  102. Josh from sedona says:

    @ as per the balloon
    Japan tried them in ww2

  103. E.M.Smith says:


    Yup. And in the process have outed themselves.

    It has been a disturbing thing for me, to realize “We, the collective West, ARE the Bad Guys”. I console myself with thinking that it is by far most likely it is just the CIA that are the root cause (what with being in the business of blackmailing people for control – Epstein – and overthrowing elected governments – too many to count but pretty much the whole North African to Middle East arc and a LOT of South America; but they have done less well in Syria and Russia … so far… and Iran….) and not the core of America or the European People.

    The history of Ukraine post USSR / CCCP is one of Western Color Revolution, Corruption, Intrigue & Manipulation, and now Faux Proxy War. All in pursuit of money and power. Just evil.

    Putin comes in to protect Ethnic Russians from Nazi Ethnic Cleansing and gets the Deamonize and Cancel Culture shtick applied.

    But this time it didn’t work.

    Putin was able to flow with the NATO Counter Attack and now is in a dominant position economically and in terms of military ability.

    Now we wait. Maybe “Putin for the win”. Maybe “NATO for the nuclear war”.

    Or possibly we get “Look! Chinese Squirrel!” war in Taiwan…

    But a whole lot of people have gotten a lot more education about the Laundromat and the Evil and the Graft and the players. Big question is will they do anything about it.

  104. another ian says:


    I watched today’s Alex M. . He has a look at the neo con club at the top in DC and pretty well agrees with your first two tips.

  105. another ian says:

    “Head’s Up, State Dept Operative and USAID Administrator Samantha Power is in Hungary, Seeding Another Color Revolution – Deep State Ukraine 2.0
    February 12, 2023 | Sundance | 49 Comments”


  106. YMMV says:

    Shooting down balloons and other UFOs. Scramble the jets, fire the missiles, then try to pick up the pieces to see what it was?

    Regardless of whether the first one was a spy balloon, what country (guess) would not be tempted to send up more balloons just to poke the US? Cheap balloons, expensive response.

    Are balloons legal? It depends. An entertaining lawyer’s take is here:

    Let’s hope they don’t shoot down any alien UFOs and make them mad. /sarc

  107. gwaigau says:

    Very amusing and perhaps close to the truth!

  108. Keith Macdonald says:

    Wait, what if they’re our own weather balloons? Like the ones launched from Alaska?


  109. Keith Macdonald says:

    “Military Intelligence” /sarc

    A military commander said it could be a “gaseous type of balloon” or “some type of a propulsion system”. He added he could not rule out that the objects were extra-terrestrials. The latest object – shot down over Lake Huron in Michigan near the Canadian border – has been described by defence officials as an unmanned “octagonal structure” with strings attached to it.


    Maybe Pink Floyd has lost another flying pig?


  110. YMMV says:

    This weather site uses software to see where the balloons could have come from:

    I would take these with a grain of salt because pinning the track down requires too many assumptions. However, if you want my opinion, the balloons have more value as a hysteria generator than as a useful tool (except for studying weather).

    Next step: message-in-a-bottle ocean current spying!

  111. Ed Forbew says:

    “ Let’s hope they don’t shoot down any alien UFOs and make them mad. /sarc”
    /sarc ?
    You want them to shoot down alien UFO’s? :-)

  112. Ed Forbes says:

    Seems I have trouble spelling my own name now

  113. YMMV says:

    Fun with balloons!

    The U.S. military jet that downed an unknown object in the Michigan sky on Sunday missed on its first attempt over Lake Huron, officials told Fox News.

    The Air Force F-16 jet was using Sidewinder missiles to attack the target.

    “The first Sidewinder heat-seeking missile missed the target,” one official said.

    It wasn’t clear where the missile that missed ultimately landed. The second missile took down the target. Each of the missiles costs more than $400,000.

    The heat seeking missile wasn’t tuned for balloons at -60° or so.

  114. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, this is not good. Depleted Uranium…

    Redacted is saying that the USA is sending (planning to send) depleted uranium ammo to Ukraine with the Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.

    Well, Putin has said that the use of DU (depleted uranium) will be treated as the use of a Dirty Bomb.

    The reason seems to be that DU as a mild alpha emitter and heavy metal is rather toxic causing increases in cancer and birth defects for years to come. (No, I don’t know if that assertion is true… but all it needs is for Putin to believe it is true.)

    The “proof” of intended use is 2 purchase orders for lots of DU ammo. But these were in December and one month before that, while the decision to send Abrams was in January. So is this just normal USA stocking up, or are they really intended for Ukraine and folks where anticipating the decision? No way to know… for now. But it is suspicious timing.

    It does look like there’s some Medical Literature saying it’s nasty stuff and may cause damage; but it has a lot of weaseling in it…


    The toxicity of depleted uranium
    Wayne Briner 1
    Affiliations expand
    PMID: 20195447 PMCID: PMC2819790 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph7010303
    Free PMC article
    Depleted uranium (DU) is an emerging environmental pollutant that is introduced into the environment primarily by military activity. While depleted uranium is less radioactive than natural uranium, it still retains all the chemical toxicity associated with the original element. In large doses the kidney is the target organ for the acute chemical toxicity of this metal, producing potentially lethal tubular necrosis. In contrast, chronic low dose exposure to depleted uranium may not produce a clear and defined set of symptoms. Chronic low-dose, or subacute, exposure to depleted uranium alters the appearance of milestones in developing organisms. Adult animals that were exposed to depleted uranium during development display persistent alterations in behavior, even after cessation of depleted uranium exposure. Adult animals exposed to depleted uranium demonstrate altered behaviors and a variety of alterations to brain chemistry. Despite its reduced level of radioactivity evidence continues to accumulate that depleted uranium, if ingested, may pose a radiologic hazard. The current state of knowledge concerning DU is discussed.


    Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: a review from an epidemiological perspective
    Rita Hindin 1, Doug Brugge, Bindu Panikkar
    Affiliations expand
    PMID: 16124873 PMCID: PMC1242351 DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-4-17
    Free PMC article
    Background: Depleted uranium is being used increasingly often as a component of munitions in military conflicts. Military personnel, civilians and the DU munitions producers are being exposed to the DU aerosols that are generated.

    Methods: We reviewed toxicological data on both natural and depleted uranium. We included peer reviewed studies and gray literature on birth malformations due to natural and depleted uranium. Our approach was to assess the “weight of evidence” with respect to teratogenicity of depleted uranium.

    Results: Animal studies firmly support the possibility that DU is a teratogen. While the detailed pathways by which environmental DU can be internalized and reach reproductive cells are not yet fully elucidated, again, the evidence supports plausibility. To date, human epidemiological data include case examples, disease registry records, a case-control study and prospective longitudinal studies.

    Discussion: The two most significant challenges to establishing a causal pathway between (human) parental DU exposure and the birth of offspring with defects are: i) distinguishing the role of DU from that of exposure to other potential teratogens; ii) documentation on the individual level of extent of parental DU exposure. Studies that use biomarkers, none yet reported, can help address the latter challenge. Thoughtful triangulation of the results of multiple studies (epidemiological and other) of DU teratogenicity contributes to disentangling the roles of various potentially teratogenic parental exposures. This paper is just such an endeavor.

    Conclusion: In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.


    Depleted uranium (DU) is created as a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process and possesses about 60% of the radioactivity of natural uranium.

    Umm…. 60% seems like a fair amount to me… We banned Uranium Glass and China due to the radiation issue…

    So I’d say Putin has something of a point… I just hope the shooting is all over before any of this kit gets there…

  115. YMMV says:

    Depleted Uranium is not really depleted, just sort of depleted.

    Interesting factoids there, including:
    “Depleted uranium is the best radiation shielding by weight”

  116. another ian says:

    Monkeywerx correcting Sy Hersh on Nordstream – starts about 20 min in.

    Says no Norway, no prior underwater explosives placement from the aircraft tracks – even to where the P8 blips in altitude when payload is released.

    But what about prior underwater placement of target markers?

  117. Simon Derricutt says:

    Seems pretty silly to me to waste that DU as ammo. Sure, it is denser than Lead and thus makes the shell more penetrating, but in the right nuclear reactor it could be far more valuable in producing energy.

    I’d expect the health scares to be basically true, since if you have an alpha emitter inside the cells it’s going to damage DNA quite a bit. Half-life IIRC is around 12 billion years, which you might term a long-term pollution problem.

  118. Keith Macdonald says:

    Via Jo Nova

    EIGHTEEN senior former intelligence professionals have signed an ‘alert memorandum’ to President Biden warning him what will follow his decision to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

    Calling themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, they informed him: ‘What your advisers should have told you is that none of the newly promised weaponry will stop Russia from defeating what’s left of the Ukrainian army. If you have been told otherwise, replace your intelligence and military advisers with competent professionals – the sooner the better.’

    Two decades ago, before the US/UK attack on Iraq, some of the same signatories warned President George W Bush that ‘justification’ for such an attack was based on false intelligence. In their February 5, 2003 memorandum on Colin Powell’s speech, they alerted the then president to the unintended consequences of an attack on Iraq which were likely to be catastrophic. Then, as now, they urged the president to widen the circle of his advisers beyond those clearly bent on a war for which they saw no compelling reason. Five years later the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded: ‘In making the case for war, the [Bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.’

    The current Alert Memorandum goes on: ‘The issuances of your current intelligence advisers rival those of Bush’s and Cheney’s fixers in disingenuousness. Their statements run from dishonest to naïve. They betray a woeful lack of understanding of Russia’s strategic concerns and its determination to use its formidable military power to meet perceived external threats. The statements also reflect abysmal ignorance regarding how US behaviour has led willy-nilly to a profound shift in the world correlation of forces in favour of Russia and China – to include making them military allies in all but name.’

    More here:

  119. E.M.Smith says:

    @Keith M.:

    Yup. The Biden Admin & EU have together broken the Petro Dollar and created the largest countervailing military alliance against The West since The Cold War.

    Way to go, guys… /snark;

  120. Keith Macdonald says:

    There’s a follow-up “coming down the media pipeline” from Seymour Hersh that reflects on the willingness (or not) of our MSM to publish “bad news”.

    I’m an old hand at dropping bombshell stories that are based on the disclosures of sources I do not, and cannot, name. There is a pattern to the response by the mainstream media. It dates back to my breakthrough story: the My Lai massacre revelation. That story was published in five installments, over five weeks in 1969, by the underground media group Dispatch News. I had tried to get the two most important magazines in America, Life and Look, to publish the story, with no success. Editors at both publications had earlier invited me to do some freelance writing for them, but they wanted nothing to do with a story about a massacre committed by American soldiers.

    More elsewhere.

  121. The True Nolan says:

    The aliens are here as part of a religious jihad. They are gaseous methane beings from the planet Noxious 4. Blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines is heretical and genocidal to them. Methane becomes sentient as soon as the fourth hydrogen bonds to the carbon. They are determined to stop any discussion of the Great Blasphemy.

    Do your part to promote peace. Don’t EVER discuss the American false flag attack on Nord Stream.

  122. Foyle says:

    Checking in on Ukraine – I see mostly pro-Ukraine sources so the picture I get is that it appears winter campaign has been a bust for Russia – no significant territorial gains, missile attacks on infrastructure haven’t turned war in their favour and they’re nearly out of missiles. A huge amount of equipment lost in a couple of assaults that got absolutely smashed proving that Russia don’t have any idea how to take territory at reasonable cost, and spring mud season starts soon ending any hopes of major advances by either side.

    Also growing stories of taped-out Russian military equipment supplies – they are down to dregs on heavy weapons and ammo, Russian military is fully committed with experienced soldiers mostly used up and gone (leaving only skeleton crew on other borders) their ability to rebuild will be very poor – reluctant conscripts don’t make for strong military structures and there are many stories of insubordinate and mutineering units further degrading Russian army. Ukraine are about to start receiving more capable western armour and more artillery systems and will soon have longer range missiles to target previously safe Russian targets. Ukraine also continues to innovate in FPV drones with increasingly deadly effect.

    Seems to me that Russia is losing – they can’t win this conventionally and throwing meat waves at Ukrainians has achieving next to nothing maybe +1000km² since xmas at cost of up to 100k frontline troop losses (wounded killed etc) – sentiment in Russia must be moving against the war with perhaps up to half a million casualties and a lot of internal rumblings from unhappy CIS ethnic groups being exploited by Russian leadership to supply the meat waves.

    What happens next? In the absence of nukes I am picking Ukraine to throw all into cutting off and retaking Southern Ukraine this summer with a push to the Azov sea but stalemate continuing in east. Kerch Bridge will be destroyed at some point soon. West will incrementally supply more and more capable weapons systems – tickling the tail of the dragon, and perhaps soon western troops to provide more non-frontline military functions (logistics, training, hospitals, maintenance).

    Putin’s regime within Russia is likely in increasing peril of being deposed, and a reasonable chance of one or more republics breaking away from weakened Russia.

  123. another ian says:


    Alexander Mercouris today – https://rumble.com/c/AlexanderMercouris

    “Russia Closes on Kupiansk Liman; UK MSM Admits NATO Can’t Match Russia Ammo; US Depletes Oil Reserve”



    “Ukraine Retreating Bakhmut, Russia reaches Kupyansk, Liman; NATO Out of Stock”


  124. another ian says:

    Foyle – more FWIW different source

    “OH SH*T, HERE WE GO – Col. MacGregor joins Clayton Morris to talk about the latest developments


    And my view so far – the penny packets of equipment are getting further and further behind on amount and timing that the US/EU/NATO group will soon get to the Buckleys choice * of quit or nuke.

    I hope to be wrong but as EM says about hope – it ain’t a strategy


  125. Keith Macdonald says:

    From talking to UK ex-military that are free to talk (without risking jobs and wages), it’s clear that many in UK/EU/NATO military are very aware of historical precedents, and the current supply-chain and logistics issues.

    “Our side” has got so used to running asynchronous conflicts with relatively small countries (1950 to 2020), we’ve lost sight of what full-on European conflicts are like (1810 and 1940). A few of our military do remember (noteably Col. MacGregor), and Russians remember – but our own politicians have amnesia or believe our own MSM propaganda.

    Like Boris Johnson : “We are winning!“. If I could include a picture of the Iraqi Minister of Information I would.

    Why do we forget that Russia has the most experience of how to run brutal large-scale wars of attrition? Letting the opponents over-extend their supply-chain and manpower, then grinding them down. As a consequence, many many thousands have & will die on both sides.

    NATO’s proxy war supply-chain is already over-extended. “We” make announcements about commitments and Wunderwaffe – but we have to dig deep into the small print to find it will take c.12 months to deliver, or it will reduce our own stock to critical levels.

    In the Financial Times (not a paper anyone would usually call pro-Russia):
    A year of war in Ukraine has left Europe’s armouries dry … almost 12 months of gruelling war, in which Putin’s troops have targeted both civilian infrastructure and military targets, has placed immense pressure on Europe’s ill-prepared defence sector. Europe’s factories are barely able to make enough shells to supply a week’s worth of Ukraine’s needs. Waiting times for some munitions have more than doubled.

    Who remembers when the Orange Bad Man said NATO countries weren’t contributing enough to the NATO budget? The MSM laughed then, not laughing now.

  126. The True Nolan says:

    Gonzalo Lira writes of Russian public opinion of the war. Briefly, Russians think that the West is inherently untrustworthy, and do not understand how Europe does not rebuke the US for pipeline attack.

  127. another ian says:

    To borrow from the current Wood heading –

    Looks like Ukraine shrinks some more

    Alex M. this morning

    “Russia in Paraskovievka, Bakhmut; Few NATO Tanks, Nord Stream Questions for Stoltenberg, Sullivan”


  128. Keith Macdonald says:

    Here’s another ex-CIA guy who’s quite vocal, but not with the usual “we are winning” stuff.

    Public Display of the Gross Incompetence of U.S. and NATO Military Leaders.

    Austin pledges to support Ukraine for the long haul by PROMISING more HIMARS ammo, heavy machine guns, 181 MRAPs and 2000 Anti-Tank Guided Missiles plus an additional $1.75 billion for air defense systems. He failed to mention that none of that materiel will be arriving any time soon because U.S. and European stockpiles are almost depleted.

    Looks like NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Mark Milley are not on the same page. Jens made this uncomfortable (but truthful) admission yesterday:

    “It is clear that we are in a race of logistics,” he said. “The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions and depleting allied stockpiles.”
    Mr. Stoltenberg said Ukrainian troops are expending ammo at “many times higher” than the current rate of production for NATO members. The situation is putting pressure on allied defense industries.
    He said the waiting time for large caliber ammunition — such as shells for the 155mm howitzers sent by the U.S. — has increased from 12 to 28 months, on average.
    “Orders placed today would only be delivered 2½ years later. So we need to ramp up production and invest in our production capacity,” Mr. Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters.


    Who is this guy?

    Larry C Johnson is a veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism. He is the founder and managing partner of BERG Associates, which was established in 1998. Larry provided training to the US Military’s Special Operations community for 24 years. He has been vilified by the right and the left, which means he must be doing something right.

    Is he running solo or providing his TLA with “limited hangouts”?
    Like Seymour Hersh?

  129. another ian says:

    The balloon answer outsourced?

    “The US Military Budget is $817 Billion Dollars”

    “A small, globe-trotting balloon declared “missing in action” by an Illinois-based hobbyist club on Feb. 15 has emerged as a candidate to explain one of the three mystery objects shot down by four heat-seeking missiles launched by U.S. Air Force fighters since Feb. 10.”

    More at


  130. E.M.Smith says:


    Sounds like the BBC / ABC. You might want to diversify your sources…

    Note (again) that it focuses on “capturing ground” when that is not the Russian goal (as stated many times by various Russians including Putin).

    They (Russia) wanted to just capture The Donbass Ethnic Russian areas (and they did in the first push almost a year ago, in just a few days).

    They (Russia) stated they wanted to “De-Nazify” Ukraine. About 3/4 done as the Azov units and related are pretty much toast. The “management” is still there, though.

    Then the biggy: Russia said they wanted to “grind down” and “eliminate” the Ukrainian Military. Goal almost complete. See videos of “Authorities” in Ukraine rounding up 15 and 16 year old kids to impressed into the army. See reports of 60+ Y.O. men being killed in battle. See reports of Ukraine standing army down to something around 150,000 DESPITE all the recruitment, drafts, reforming units, etc. etc. and despite having started with a lot more. They are scraping the bottom of the demographic bucket. Note Ukraine begging The West for more equipment as their stocks are all being used up.

    As long as Ukraine was willing to send their military against entrenched Russian defensive lines, there was ZERO need or even desire to “capture ground” by the Russians. To do that would result in higher casualties and was not going to meet the goal of killing more Ukrainians than Russians. So yes, Russia did not do The Stupid Thing that The West keeps saying was the goal, that wasn’t their goal. So what?

    This seems to be a point that is entirely lost on The Western Media (and our “political leaders”?) Or is it just a propaganda ploy to sell to use plebes that “Russia is losing ’cause they haven’t taken Kiev!!!” …

    But at this point, Ukrainian military has reached the point where their “Offensives” dropped from 40,000 men to just a couple of thousand, and more rare. So now Russia is starting to “capture ground” as now the Russians need to go find the Ukrainians hiding in their holes.

    I also find it funny that folks try to spin it that Russia is just running out of men and material when about 300,000 to 400,000 of their men (with their material) have not even been put into action yet. They are positioned all around Ukraine, but over the border in Belarus and Russia. (Making it impossible to decide where a major assault might come from, or go). But why toss them into battle while your major goal of “grind down Ukrainian army” is being met via the Ukrainians coming to you in the Donbass? Eh?

    At ANY time should Russia desire it, 1/2 Million Man Army of well rested and well armed soldiers could roll over the border and wipe out Ukraine. Why not do it? Mostly as there is no need (yet), and also since Putin really didn’t want to kill a lot of Fellow Slavs. He was hoping they would just end it and not all die. Oh Well.

    I suspect there’s now a 3rd value to waiting: NATO is being shown as a useless military adventure and even their ammunition is being sucked down the tubes. So Russia gets a “Two Fer”. Ukraine army destroyed AND NATO armaments destroyed. (Or maybe a “Three Fer” with NATO made to look the fools they are).

    But you will not hear any of that from the Propaganda Ridden BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corp, or the major Pwned USA Media (like Disney’s ABC, or NBC, or CBS … you know, the “Russia RUSSIA RUSSIA!!!!” group that lied about that for years… and call riots with deaths and burning down buildings in Portland “mostly peaceful protests” but a few folks waving flags on the Capitol Steps is an “insurrection”…)

  131. YMMV says:

    Small pico balloons range between $12 and $180 and are naturally buoyant above 43,000 ft. These objects carry an 11-gram tracker, with HF and VHF/UHG antennas to update their positions around the world, according to Aviation Week.

  132. another ian says:

    On another blog the question was raised re recognition.

    Tradition has it that planes get a decoration for successful encounters – e.g. bombs painted on bombers. So what form of recognition for balloons after these encounters?

    One answer was “A used condom”

  133. YMMV says:

    more on pico balloons:

    An informative article about these DIY balloons.

    At any given moment, several dozen such balloons are aloft, with some circling the globe several times before they malfunction or fail for other reasons.

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