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There’s not much to add now except that we are approaching the moment of maximum danger. (I noted that if it happens, it will probably happen sometime from late April to July).

What I think essentially happened is that the Ukrainians wanted to do an Operation Storm on Donbass, which is why movements of military equipment into the region began to be observed more than a month ago. Russia cannot allow that to succeed, which is why it began its own mobilization to the Ukrainian borders.

As I pointed out from the start, Ukraine’s primary aim if it loses – as it would, if Russia was to openly intervene in Donbass – is to shut down NS2 and save its budget $3B per year (a significant sum for a country with a military budget of $5B and a GDP of $150B). It might also then get more support for NATO. This deal would not be to Russia’s preferences, so it raised, in poker terms, by credibly threatening much more significant consequences in both rhetoric (MFA spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made an oblique reference to “irreversible consequences for the Ukrainian statehood”) and boots on the border which now number somewhere in between 30,000 and 100,000*. Just a few days ago, Russia closed the Kerch Strait to foreign warships from now until October.

That said, it still doesn’t make very much sense to attack Ukraine when NS2 is on the verge of completion (it is not like anybody will buy into a false flag explanation).

On the other hand, there are other factors pushing the situation to a head. The Biden administration has finally gone ahead and sanctioned purchases of Russian OFZs, as well as put additional sanctions on companies in the Russian MIC (including one involved in producing the Sputnik V vaccine) and expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Bizarrely, the sanctions came soon after Biden suggested a summit with Putin, which made acceding to it impossible for Russia PR-wise. The US also sanctioned Russia media entities, such as Strategic Culture Foundation and SouthFront, that it alleges are controlled by Russian intelligence and their propaganda instruments such as Twitter promptly banned hyperlinks to them. Whether or not it was coordinated with the Americans is hard to say, but this was followed by with expulsions of Russian diplomats from Poland and Czechia – in the latter case, wheeling out a bizarre conspiracy theories about the Petrov & Boshirov duo blowing up weapons shipments bound for Ukraine back in 2014**. Faced with this sanctions and propaganda offensive, the desirability and indeed realism of maintaining some semblance of productive relations with the West must be diminishing by the day.

At the same time, Sino-American relations continue going from bad to worse, with China mounting unprecedented displays of force with respect to its own separatist svidomy entity. Conspiracy theories around the Putin-Burkhalter meeting aside, one other major explanation as to why Russia didn’t realize Novorossiya in 2014 was that China vetoed the idea. But now China is larger and stronger than back then and is rapidly decoupling from the American-dominated world order. So now this might no longer be a significant consideration. Notably, the Chinese recently sent a business delegation to Crimea after Ukraine – a paragon of rule of law – confiscated shares in Motor Sich, an aerospace engine manufacturer, from Chinese investors, probably under American pressure.

It’s anyone’s guess what will happen now:

  1. Perhaps there’ll be a few more months of posturing and war scares before the excitement dies back down. as Zelensky gets cold feet and calls off the mustering of Ukrainian forces in Donbass.
  2. Perhaps he doesn’t, and Russia lets Operation Storm succeed.
  3. Or it pushes it back from Donbass and leaves everything else unchanged.
  4. Or it launches the Operation Novorossiya that was canceled back in 2014 (assuming it existed back then for real – we don’t know that for sure, of course).
  5. Or perhaps Russia launches it anyway without prior Ukrainian “input”.

The one minimal thing I would note is that so far as Russia is concerned (4) would seem to be much more preferable to (3).

In this scenario, it will be painted as an aggressor (already has been) either way and will have a ton of sanctions piled up on it anyway, which will almost certainly include the cancelation of NS2 and a broad commitment to Ukrainian NATO membership. But in (3), it only gets the half of Donbass that it already de facto controls, while in (4) it gets a corridor to Crimea and Transnistria (including a resolution of the Crimean water problem), half a dozen major industrial cities, and 20M more people.

***

* I set out this version in my latest appearance on Sergey Zadumov’s show (in Russian).

** Commenter mal speculates about the Czech military supplies warehouse explosions, now being retroactively ascribed to Russia (the Petrov & Boshirov duo, to be exact, LOL), was related to CIA gun running to Syria:

My take on it. Petrov and Boshirov are couriers (possibly intelligence related) and Bellingcat somehow obtained their itinerary and is now hounding them for propaganda purposes.

On Czechia warehouse. That warehouse was storing weapons of Bulgarian arms dealer. Bellingcat says those weapons were supposed to go to Ukraine. But that warehouse blew up in October 2014 and the Atlantic Council (that pays Bellingcat) says Bulgaria started arms shipments to Ukraine in 2015. So how would people know to blow up that specific warehouse in 2014, if it wasn’t shipping anything to Ukraine yet? I mean maybe they saw preliminary contracts but seems like a stretch.

Anyway, Bulgarian arms dealer claimed he was poisoned in 2015. He tested positive for organophosphate by Finnish lab. That’s your Novichok and Petrov/Boshirov connection. And of course he survived, that’s how we can be sure it was Novichok. Unfortunately, Western media forgot to bribe their chemical weapons expert, and he looked at Finnish lab results and said “that’s pesticide”. Oops. So much for the most lethal chemical weapon known to man. That’s bad for the narrative, but explains why Novichok never kills anyone – it’s a garden chemical from a shop. There goes “only Russia can make it” story.

Back to the warehouse. It used to belong to Czech Army, but in 2011 it was rented to a very shady gun running firm called Imex Group. That timing is just perfect for Timber Sycamore startup. They were very sloppy and had a number of explosions.

TLDR version:

Western partners are trying to sabotage Rosatom nuclear reactor bid by blaming Russian intelligence couriers for weapons explosion caused by CIA asset incompetence while those assets were running guns to jihadists in Syria. I bet Hillary Clinton is in there somewhere.

 

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine, United States, War in Donbass 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  2. 128 says:

    How will guerilla warfare go in southwest Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Zimriel
    , @Boomthorkell
  3. Zimriel says:
    @128

    Southwest? Won’t matter. Putin doesn’t really want vast tracts of steppe and Polish frontier; he’s got more than enough steppe, and frontier a-plenty in Central Asia and near China. Putin wants done with the headache. Putin’s goal will be to annex Donbass (and to deal with those headaches appropriately) and to get some peaceable régime in the rest of Ukraine that won’t bother him about it.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  4. songbird says:

    Slav fighting slav is a waste. Russia and Ukraine should meet over the table and agree to these terms:

    Cross-border dating will be encouraged. If you are a 6 in Ukraine, you will get assigned to a Russian 7, or at least a 6.5. Full lifetime tax credits will be available to married mothers of 4+ hybrids. Plus, other fringe benefits like free access to a time-share in Crimea, and a lifetime discount to Russia’s latest and greatest two themeparks, Atomic Park and Ice Age Megafauna Park (both to be built.)

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Cutler
  5. Beckow says:

    With this much tension shooting usually starts. In a war nobody cares who started or who provoked it – for the West it is the same thing anyway. If we avoid a war, it most likely only postpones it.

    The 5 options are a good summary. I would add 6. Ukraine and Nato win across the board and a kidney machine is installed for Navalny in Kremlin. (I know, but no matter what happens, Hollywood will make a movie with that story so in the Western virtual reality world that option actually exists.)

    2. and 3. are unlikely. 4. and 5. are effectively the same thing. Realistically there are only two options: 1. cooling down or 4.-5. Russia smashes Kiev.

    NS2 is at this point a bunch of tubes dead in the water. It makes no difference if it is completed. It is the using of NS2 that matters, not whether it is there. US has made it clear they will restrict it, or ban it. The cost to Russia is $5 billion upfront and around $5-10 billion each year in lost business. That assumes steady gas prices – but if NS2 is not used, gas prices will go up so Russia (and Norway) could make more by selling less. $50 billion is trivial compared to the stakes Russia is facing. They made about 4 times more by switching from dollars to gold.

    Ukraine in Nato means a war anyway, so to use it as a sanction threat because of a war is an oxymoron. It would mean almost nothing in practise. The Czechs staged the Boshirov-Petrov theatre to facilitate a US base in Czechia that people have been resisting – or it was staged for them. But those two guys know how to party: cathedrals, cocain, hookers, fireworks, I see a movie there…

    No matter what happens, the poor Ukrainians will be worse off. And AP/Mr. Hack will claim that Lviv is booming and that it was all worth it (yes, in Arizona, El Paso, Canada, sure it has been a great entertainment.)

  6. Beckow says:
    @Zimriel

    …Putin’s goal will be to annex Donbass…and to get some peaceable régime in the rest of Ukraine that won’t bother him about it

    I think those are two are mutually exclusive, so it is unlikely. At this point it is either give up Donbass and fold, or control most of Ukraine. Pretty bad options. Or they can just kick the can down the road. Everybody else is doing it, why not keep on stalling?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  7. The Russians used to joke about turning off the gas to Europe. Now might be the time to give it a try.

  8. @Beckow

    I thought it might be possible to actually occupy the whole of Ukraine, but then leave most of it in exchange for some kind of modus vivendi. The big question is if there is a solution acceptable for both the Ukrainian and the Russian public. Perhaps a humiliating defeat at the hands of Russia with no help from the West would make it possible for both Zelensky and the Ukrainian public to accept some territorial losses, if those were still not excessive and Ukraine could continue to exist as an independent country with most of its territory intact, but would Putin or the Russian public be happy with such minimal gains? Another issue is Ukrainian membership in NATO and the EU, I don’t think the Ukrainian public would accept guaranteeing that they won’t ever happen. Though a sense of betrayal might help a lot.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
  9. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …occupy the whole of Ukraine, but then leave most of it in exchange for some kind of modus vivendi.

    Occupying the whole of Ukraine is impossible – too big. There would be local fights, chaos, very expensive. If Russia pounces – a big if – Ukrainians would split into the usual three-four groups:
    – finally a sure-way to move to the West, even a choice of countries…a nirvana for the yearning Ukies who dream of being somewhere else
    – “thank you, what took you so long…now can we have some money, pensions, jobs?
    – the apolitical ones, probably a majority…keep your head down and say nothing
    – a few dead-enders creating endless mayhem.

    There is no modus vivendi. No wonder it has been frozen for 7 years (at least). It is messy now and any new moves will make it more messy.

  10. I don’t think it’s rational to start it for either of them. For the Russians it’d make more sense to just wait for NS2 coming online. For the Ukrainians it’s not rational to still doubt Putin’s commitment to prevent an Operation Storm from succeeding.

    But humans are not always rational. Also it’s not rational to always be fully rational (and thus predictable). So who knows.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  11. Znzn says:

    The Ukraine is a lot larger than Chechnya in order to secure against guerilla warfare, although it does not have the same terrain as Afghanistan.

    • Replies: @AP
  12. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/14/the-guardian-view-on-nato-and-ukraine-a-time-for-solidarity

    I assume this is Jonathan Freedland at it again.

    “the starting point for democracies on both sides of the Atlantic must be unequivocal solidarity with a sovereign state that has already suffered from Kremlin territorial aggression”

    Like the way we all stood with Serbia when the US ripped Kosovo away?

  13. A123 says:

    There are so many unknowables that “kicking the can” really is Russia’s best option.

    (1) Erdogan does not know what Erdogan is going to do. Turkey is trying to buy S-400 from Russia while picking a fight with Russia in Syria. It is hard to understand the mind that thinks those two polices fit well together.

    Any “Ukraine in NATO” scenario would heavily depend on NATO member Turkey. The geographically close logistics would allow Turkey to field 50-100K troops in Ukraine. Would Turkey go to the mat for NATO? Given the F-35 squabble, signs point to NO…. But, there is no way to be 100% sure of that.

    (2) Killer Gaffe Biden has Dementia. Kamala Harris is unknown & untested. Given her Indian ancestry one suspects Kamala will prioritize Asia rather than Europe. Thus, waiting for her to replace Burisma Bribery Biden is in Russia’s favor.

    (3) The abysmal Merkel is retiring after the September Elections. Sane parties like AfD are still too far out of the running to hope for a major change. However, anyone will be better. The Dark Heart of Europe changing from “pitch black” to “storm cloud grey” is good for everyone including Russia.
    ______

    As long as no one makes a catastrophic error, my best guess is that the current tense but stable condition will remain consistent for much longer than the “April to July, Maximum Risk” timeframe AK predicts.

    • Germany cannot formulate reliable policy until their “new normal” appears in Q4-2021, or more likely 2022.
    • Due to redistricting, the U.S. Midterm Elections will “turn inward” early in 2022, heavily restricting formation of longer-term foreign policy.

    There is no useful political window long enough for the Authoritarian SJW Globalists to turn up the fire in Ukraine.

    PEACE 😇

  14. According to the daily mirror, Russia has 107,000 troops, 1300 tanks, 1300 guns and mortars, 350 MLRS and 3700 drones(impressive number, I wonder if they are all recon drones or are there attack drones as well). A pretty impressive force no doubt. But there is an issue of numbers.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/russia-puts-invasion-stripes-assault-23915105

    The Ukrainian army numbered some 170,000 troops circa 2016 and supposedly has a 50,000 strong reserve.

    The Russain army’s numbers are very confusing. Wiki shows a number of 350,000 for 2017, others show a mere 280,000 for 2020. The numbers floating on the net aren’t reliable at all. Russia has 830,000-900,000 active troops in its whole military.

    If the army only numbers 350,000 and the navy and airforce has about a 150,000 each, then it still amount to roughly 650,000. Where are the other 180,000-250,000?

    If it indeed has moved a 107,000 troops in front line units to Ukraine, that would mean assuming 280,000 strength, this comprises almost 40% of the Russian army and probably bulk of its combat units.

    Undoubtedly, the Russian army is far superior to the Ukrainians, more advanced tanks(T-72B3, T-80U, T-90M), an artillery corps arguably even superior to the US, far better recon assets and the best tactical ballistic missiles in the world(Iskander-M).

    But still, can they invade and drive all the way to the Dneiper against a numerically superior force? The Russians would have total air superiority but the Ukrainains supposedly have 60 units of S-300s. The Russian ground force would mostly have to fight them head on and beat them back.

    The thing that makes me doubt whether Russia actually intends to impose a serious cost on Ukraine is that it hasn’t called up reserves. It has a theoretical reserve of 900,000 men and vast quantities of Soviet era hardware in storage.

    My guess is that they could easily add another 10 divisions to the field with a month’s preparation. Then they could probably invade Ukraine successfully.

    What are your thoughts on this Mr. Karlin? What’s the real number of the Russian army?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jon0815
  15. @A123

    After Merkel a new government will probably include the Greens, who are getting constantly stronger. It’s not entirely impossible for them to actually be able to nominate the next chancellor, but even if not, they might become a strong member of the coalition government. The Greens are absolutely committed Atlanticists. They would probably support Ukraine in NATO outright.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  16. @Caspar Von Everec

    The Russian troops are probably way better trained and equipped. I don’t doubt that with the help of force multipliers (air force, heavy artillery, ballistic and cruise missiles…) they could defeat a numerically superior Ukrainian force without a difficulty.

    Also I don’t think that the Ukrainian army is all stationed on the border or the frontline. These numbers of soldiers (170,000 for Ukraine) usually include officers with jobs in the ministry of defense sitting at their desks all day long. While the Russian force is more purely a fighting force.

    • Replies: @Caspar Von Everec
  17. @A123

    NATO will not intervene. It did not intervene in 2008 in Georgia and in 2014 in Ukraine. Back then the US was much stronger, Russia’s military was in shambles.

    The US sent to warships recently to the black sea as a show of force, but the Russians told them to leave ”for their own good”. They promptly tucked tail and left.

    Anyone who thinks NATO will risk nuclear was and destruction of global commerce for the sake of Ukraine hasn’t read history.

    CIA agents promised NATO intervention and aid to Hungarian and Czech revolutionaries during the cold war, only to leave them hanging when the music actually started.

    Russia wouldn’t even need to use nuclear weapons to completely tank the US economy. All it would take to send America’s post industrial, Financialized economy to the stone age would be for Russian subs to destroy the undersea submarine cables.

    That would cause US GDP to halve instantly and the fortunes of the tech and banking oligarchs to disappear overnight.

    Kissinger put it best: ” To be America’s enemy is dangerous, to be her friend is fatal”

  18. Znzn says:

    Has anyone read von Manstein’s memoirs concerning the defensive battles of 1943 to 1944? Might be a good reading material now.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  19. @reiner Tor

    Makes sense. Its kind of hard to believe that on a budget of just 5 billion they could field such a strong force. Another point is that the Russians hold a huge number of drills and snap exercises, plus they’ve fought in multiple wars in the last 12 years( Syria, Georgia, Ukraine, Libya).

    The Ukrainians are much less experienced and afaik don’t have that many drills. Force readiness is probably far lower as is morale considering Ze’s rock bottom ratings and general Ukrainian dissatisfaction with the state.

    I wonder if the Russian’s will attempt an encirclement of Ukrainian forces like WW2.

    I’m no general, but if I were planning a Russian offensive, I’d attack with three divisions from Shostka in the north, feint towards Kiev to draw Ukrainian forces there and then turn south toward Pryluky and seize the road from Kiev to Suimy and drive further to Kremenchuk.

    A smaller simultaneous feint in the Donbass should lure further Ukrainian forces. Meanwhile another two division sized pincer from Taganrog in Russia could cut the road from Mauripol to Donetsk and meet the earlier pincer at Kremenchuk.

    If done successfully, an encirclement like this would cut off more than half of the Ukrainian army behind the Dneiper. At that point Ukraine would be forced to considering the humiliating prospect of 50-80,000 troops surrendering to the Russians. Ze would probably be overthrown, in any case, all of Eastern Ukraine would fall.

    Russian air power and ballistic missiles could easily crush any outside attempt to break the encirclement

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @AP
  20. @Caspar Von Everec

    Don’t know to what extent this is reality or Russian cope, but FWIW: https://www.facebook.com/sergey.markov.5/posts/3623170507810588

    As soon as information about the real concentration of the real Russian troops went, mass desertions from the most powerful army in Europe began. So only from the 36th Marine Brigade, stationed near Mariupol, they say, 44 people left without permission. According to the expert estimates of our colleagues from there, 40% of the most powerful army in Europe agree to participate in hostilities. 40% don’t want to. Their choice is fully supported by their families. And they hide them and take them out of the country. The emigration of young people of military age from the country with the highest dignity in Europe since 2014 has been a massive systemic character.

    There’s some chance that a shock and awe campaign at the beginning can simply demoralize the Ukrainian military into surrendering en masse. It’s not like they have commissars to keep them in line, nor do Ukrainians outside Galicia feel that strongly about Ukrainian statehood.

    That said, what was a certainty in 2014 is merely a probability today.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
    , @Beckow
  21. AP says:
    @Caspar Von Everec

    Makes sense. Its kind of hard to believe that on a budget of just 5 billion they could field such a strong force

    That money goes much further in Ukraine than in the West (or even in Russia).

    • Replies: @Caspar Von Everec
  22. @AP

    It would if Ukraine had a strong domestic MIC that produced everything from rifles, tanks, apcs, artillery and aircraft. All their stocks are full of obsolete 50s-70s era soviet equipment that has not been upgraded in years.

    • Replies: @AP
  23. AP says:
    @Caspar Von Everec

    It would if Ukraine had a strong domestic MIC that produced everything from rifles, tanks, apcs, artillery and aircraft

    Ukraine doesn’t produce much military aircraft (it is choosing the more cost-effective strategy of developing and producing missiles and drones) and it is more cost-effective to modernise and upgrade older tanks (adding reactive armour and such) than to build new ones, so Ukraine is modernising them. Ukraine makes its own rifles, apcs and artillery shells.

    All their stocks are full of obsolete 50s-70s era soviet equipment that has not been upgraded in years.

    This was true in 2014, but is certainly not true now. They are upgrading equipment all the time, and have developed and are producing their own rockets.

    https://www.army-technology.com/news/lviv-armored-plant-delivers-upgraded-t-64-and-t-72-tanks-to-ukraine-mod/

    So far, the state-owned enterprise has updated over ten T-64 and T-72 vehicles this year.

    Lviv Armored Plant State Enterprise director Victor Androshchuk said: “The tanks were deep overhaul and modernisation. We have included all customer requirements, engineering transmitted in full combat readiness.

    “It is equipped with the latest communication systems and fire control, instrumentation day and night vision reversing camera, smoke grenade systems and dynamic protection against cumulative shells. Part of the party has already been shipped to combat units, the rest is waiting for it.”

    :::::::::::

    https://jamestown.org/program/ukraine-expands-its-missile-capabilities/

    The Vilkha-M system represents the next generation of the Vilkha multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS), already recently adopted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. On April 4, the Vilkha-М MLRS was successfully test fired in Odesa Region (Ukrinform, April 4). The newly improved missile has a range 130 kilometers. In terms of terminal effectiveness, the Vilkha-M reportedly exceeds the precision of the Russian OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile system while besting it in terms of range.

  24. Dreadilk says:

    Putin end the lockdowns! Start the war!

  25. AP says:
    @Znzn

    The Ukraine is a lot larger than Chechnya in order to secure against guerilla warfare

    In the event of an invasion, Ukraine is preparing for guerilla war behind enemy lines:

    https://coffeeordie.com/ukraine-unconventional-warfare/

    Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces comprise about 100,000 reservists and civilian volunteers assigned to 25 brigades scattered across the country — at least one unit is assigned to each of Ukraine’s 24 regions, or oblasts. These unconventional forces fall under the Ukrainian military’s chain of command.

    With the Russian military massing on its frontiers, Ukraine has activated the Territorial Defense Forces in its southern regions. According to Ukraine’s armed forces, those units conducted exercises along the Black Sea coastline and the border with Russian-occupied Crimea to resist an amphibious landing force and “to combat subversive-reconnaissance groups and other hostile forces and irregular armed formations.”

    Ukrainian Operational Command South — which includes the Vinnytsya, Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and Kherson oblasts — controls five territorial defense brigades. Each of those units is tasked to defend its respective regional territory and impede the advance of a Russian invasion force so that regular Ukrainian units have more time to maneuver. In theory, the territorial defense brigades can mobilize for combat within one to two days.

    “That is exactly the strategy Greece used as a NATO member in anticipation of an invasion through Yugoslavia in the ’70s and ’80s,” said Steven Bucci, a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation who served for three decades as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official.

    Bucci continued: “I trained with the Greeks in the mountains just over the Yugoslav border in 1980. You trade terrain for time, leave ‘behind’ your [unconventional warfare] forces and make the invader pay for being on your ground. You always hate giving up your own sovereign ground, but sometimes it is the only option.”

    • Troll: Mulga Mumblebrain
  26. Mr. Hack says:


    Cain preparing to visit his brother Abel?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  27. Jon0815 says:
    @Caspar Von Everec

    The Russain army’s numbers are very confusing. Wiki shows a number of 350,000 for 2017, others show a mere 280,000 for 2020.

    Wiki puts Ground Forces at 280,000, plus Airborne Forces at 72,000.

    The numbers floating on the net aren’t reliable at all. Russia has 830,000-900,000 active troops in its whole military.

    If the army only numbers 350,000 and the navy and airforce has about a 150,000 each, then it still amount to roughly 650,000. Where are the other 180,000-250,000?

    There are about 80,000 in the Strategic Rocket Forces. Totaling up the wiki numbers for Ground, Airborne, Navy, Aerospace, and Strategic Rocket results in about 750,000. However, wiki puts the total active duty number at 1 million.

  28. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …humans are not always rational. Also it’s not rational to always be fully rational and thus predictable.

    Exactly. Not all will be rational. We are waiting for Franz Ferdinand.

    NS2 coming online is a non-event. The tubes by themselves mean nothing and completing them will not change anything. The cost of losing NS2 for Russia is a fraction of what is at stake. The cost to Germany-Austria and others in EU could be in the long run more, but also not important enough. NS2 is a secondary concern. This is about existential issues and all sides will stop counting coins.

    • Replies: @Old Jew
  29. Jon0815 says:

    AK said:

    Perhaps there’ll be a few more months of posturing and war scares before the excitement dies back down. as Zelensky gets cold feet and calls off the mustering of Ukrainian forces in Donbass.

    Probability: 80%. It appears, based on Biden dropping plans to deploy the destroyers to the Black Sea, his call for a summit, and the damp squib sanctions followed by conciliatory language in his preser, that he now favors a de-escalation. And it’s unlikely that Zelensky would launch an attack against the wishes of the US.

  30. Scenario #1 is already unfolding. Except, nobody cares what the clown thinks or is afraid of. Biden’s puppet masters got cold feet, and that’s what matters.

    The US rulers (not Alzheimer Joe) are still trying to put a brave face on it. The US announced that two of its battleships will sail in the Black see. Biden’s script told him to call Putin a killer. Next Russia showed that it can move more than 100,000 troops and their armor in two days. It was done for all to see, so that was all show, not a real preparation for war; even Poles understood this. Right after that the US cancelled planned visit of its Navy ships to the Black Sea, senile Joe was ordered to call Putin and propose a summit, the US program of training Ukie solders was not expanded, as expected. To make it look more dignified than total defeat, the US slapped additional sanctions on Russia.

    Apparently, Russian leadership got tired of pretending. In rapid succession, Russian ambassador in the US was recalled, the US was named “hostile nation” by Russian foreign ministry, first Lavrov, then Putin told the US ambassador in Moscow to get the heck out (not in so many words, but pretty clearly), the government prohibited and closed all US-funded NCOs in Russia. What’s more, Russian military exercises were continued. Russia moved its Caspian navy to the Black Sea (I never knew it’s possible) and closed Kerch straits between Black and Azov seas to all foreign navy ships. Looks like they are trying to scare Biden’s puppet masters shitless, forcing them to command the clown to back off. So far everything suggests that they are going to succeed.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  31. @Znzn

    The present day Russian army (at least the elite fighting force being assembled on the Ukrainian border) is probably way more effective than the Soviet Army used to be. And the peacetime Soviet Army was way better than the wartime Red Army, which was hastily built and was constantly suffering super heavy losses after the original (and also quite inept) peacetime Red Army was basically destroyed in 1941-42.

  32. @Old Jew


    Though the picture you linked was probably nicer, it was easier to just add a picture from elsewhere.

    • Replies: @Old Jew
    , @Beckow
  33. Sljiva says:

    Putin should provoke Ukrainians into following through with their threats and then use that as the pretext to take eastern Ukraine. Svidomism on one hand and western intransigence on the other make Ukrainian integration into western block a certainty – it’s just a question of when it will happen. Russia is still strong while Putin is relatively young and in control so now is the time to do it and let Galicia continue on its own. The idea of using Donbass to exert control on Ukraine is clearly not going to work as the more radical factions will continue to run the show in Ukraine – not least because the West will continue to push for them. Added benefit of this would be a more complete severance of relationship between Russia and the West. Making itself so dependent on China would not be optimal in a narrow strategic sense, but the benefit of cutting itself off from the woke-infected West would more than make up for it.

  34. @AnonfromTN

    I read that the Caspian is receding, Aral-style. Ports around the sea were hit by growing gas between piers and water. I went on Google Maps and could not identify the navigable path in the Volga Delta past Astrakhan.

    Now, Danube’s mouth is silting all the time, but it’s easy to recreate the navigable path as long as the sea remains at the same height. In contrast, Syr Darya hardly reaches the Aral, and seems to end in some muddy fields, so it is almost impossible to re-link river and sea. It seems plausible that the Volga mouth is turning into a mud patch as well. I keep thinking Russia withdrew everything from the Caspian, using the Don-Volga Canal, because the evacuation window was closing.

    It could also be that traffic is so weak, and this is why I couldn’t see the ships on Volga Delta.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @AnonFromTN
  35. @128

    Why would there be?

    There wasn’t much guerilla warfare outside the Donbass when Ukraine’s current government took over, so it’s not like SW Ukraine will be up in arms over a new-old Russian government.

  36. El Dato says:
    @AP

    You could make a video game out of this.

    “Guerrila Warfare” 20+ years after Yougoslavia is a lot different.

    You will probably be blown away by drones.

    • Replies: @AP
  37. El Dato says:
    @songbird

    “Atomic Park” is actually on the Ukrainian/Belarusian border (most of in in Belarus, btw).

    • Replies: @songbird
  38. @Mr. Hack

    If the psycho younger brother insists on abusing their little sister, then the older brother has a duty to stop it.

    Hopefully some muscle flexing will suffice.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  39. @reiner Tor

    You CANNOT have any modus vivendi with the West. They ALWAYS lie, cheat and betray. It’s part of their kultur.

  40. @AP

    A Dad’s Army of wannabe Banderist butchers. Fighting Russia-not so much. Murdering Russian civilians-right up their street.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AP
  41. @Anatoly Karlin

    ‘…the country with the highest dignity in Europe since 2014..’-are the Ukronazi orcs of their tiny reptilian brains? Dignity now means revanchist fascist racism and aggression, plus unquenchable, genocidal, hatred. What a cancer it is.

  42. @Old Jew

    i wish I’d know how to paste in the beautiful picture of that castle.

    Voilà:

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Old Jew
  43. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The US also sanctioned Russia media entities, such as Strategic Culture Foundation and SouthFront, that it alleges are controlled by Russian intelligence and their propaganda instruments such as Twitter promptly banned hyperlinks to them.

    A modern day version of Nazi book burning.

    Related:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-twitter-remove-russia-linked-accounts-linked-multiple-agencies-n1240988

    In that instance, demeaning Ukraine is another way of telling it like it is.

    https://apnews.com/article/politics-hacking-konstantin-kilimnik-russia-bdc77bcad10b2a8866a719618fa41528

    Pathetic. On par with sanctioning Americans, with no plans of going to Russia anytime soon and vice versa (Russians with no plans of going to America anytime soon).

  44. @Caspar Von Everec

    “NATO will not intervene. It did not intervene in 2008 in Georgia and in 2014 in Ukraine.”

    One massive difference between then and now – Western elites didn’t know how many of their “own” people hated their guts. Trump, Brexit, Yellow Vests came as a huge shock.

    Elites are now alive to that danger. And we see YUGE changes between then and now.

    1/ clamp down on free speech/free communication

    2/ political indoctrination via corporate/governmental HR – in Boris Johnson’s UK even to apply for a job vaccinating people (even if you are a retired doctor) you have to do courses in (among others) diversity, conflict resolution and “preventing radicalisation”.

    3/ finding new, more acceptable enemies for people to hate. “White Supremacists” means in practice non-White Submissionists, “Nazis” are a few kids LARPing online. Something more solid needed.

    Russia is the best choice from their perspective. White, Christian, relatively unintegrated into the “world economy” in which Far East makes, West consumes.

    But to really gin up hatred you need a few bodies and atrocity stories. So don’t bet on NATO staying out.

    The UK is a bit isolated at present, Boris might fancy binding closer to the US, the Foreign Secretary is Dominic Raab, another Boris-style rootless cosmopolitan (father Czech, wife Brazilian).

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @Corvinus
  45. Cutler says:
    @songbird

    Europeans fighting Europeans is a waste full stop.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @songbird
  46. @Cutler

    Yep, like Delian league fighting against Peloponnesian league, utter waste of lives and resources!

    • Agree: AP
  47. AP says:
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Home guard by definition are just going to be regular people. But you are simply projecting your own considerable hatred into these normal folks.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  48. @Caspar Von Everec

    NATO will not intervene. It did not intervene in 2008 in Georgia and in 2014 in Ukraine.

    But it’s way more involved in Ukraine than it was in 2014, or in Georgia in 2008. Also while policy is usually not the result of bottom up pressure, it still requires some level of consent from the public. So you cannot start a high level military intervention without a massive propaganda campaign. Incidentally this also makes it pretty slow to change course. Also, the propaganda campaign is self-reinforcing, as it becomes a shibboleth for the elites, and propagandists are reading each other’s propaganda and eventually drink their own Kool-Aid.

    The intensity of the propaganda campaign against Russia has been unprecedented, so there’s no guarantee that cooler heads will always prevail. Even if that’s the way to bet, especially after the Biden administration seems to have blinked with canceling the warships’ trip to the Black Sea.

    • Replies: @utu
  49. AP says:
    @El Dato

    Under tree cover and in cities? This isn’t in desert or bare mountainous terrain.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  50. @AP

    I suspect that it depends on how much Russia is trying to gobble up. I’m also not sure how well organized these groups are, or how easy the Russians would find to penetrate these groups.

    While it’s obvious that Lviv or much of the central parts of the country would be highly resistant to the idea of Russification, based on examples like Alsace 1870-1945 I’d think that Ukraine has some areas which could still go either way, depending on who is in charge or who looks like the strong horse.

    I don’t know how much of a guerrilla warfare there will be.

    • Replies: @AP
  51. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Nato may provide drones and maintain deniability of direct involvement.

    Ukraine Might Field A Drone Strike Force—And It Could Knock Out Russian Tanks (April 9, 2021)
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2021/04/09/ukraine-might-field-a-drone-strike-force-and-it-could-knock-out-russian-tanks/?sh=5a7880926ca1

    The brief, bloody war between Armenia and Azerbaijan last fall could offer a preview of a possible Ukrainian drone campaign.

    High-flying, Turkish-made Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 drones firing tiny missiles, plus two kinds of loitering munitions—Israeli-made Harops and Orbiter-1Ks—destroyed hundreds of Armenian tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery pieces and air-defense systems.

    Ukraine could adopt Azerbaijan’s organization and tactics. Indeed, there are signs that transformation already is underway.

    The 1,400-pound, propeller-drive TB2—a kind of Turkish mini-Predator costing around $1 million—is the backbone of Azerbaijan’s drone strike force. Ukraine in 2019 began buying dozens of TB2s from Turkish firm Baykar. Kiev and Ankara in December signed a deal allowing Ukrainian industry to make its own copies of the TB2.

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian industry is developing loitering munitions—in essence, tiny, self-propelled drones packing warheads with the explosive force of a mortar shell. A loitering munition flies lazy circles over a battlefield until it detects a viable target—then zooms down to attack.

    It’s equally unclear how Russia might respond. Cooper for one claimed Moscow’s surface-to-air missile systems can’t defeat swarms of drones and munitions.

    “Sure, these have multi-target engagement capability and lots of reloads—and the Russians are currently doing their best to make them capable of countering such small targets,” Cooper said.

    “However, they can’t outmatch the latest generation of Western weapons. So, in worst case, their SAMs would be easy to run dry.” Ukrainian troops could deploy so many drones and loitering munitions—and add unarmed decoy ‘bots to the mix, too—that there simply would be more targets than Russian missiles. “Even the Russians can’t just go on reloading forever.”

    • Agree: mal
  52. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I hope that you’re right, and that some “muscle flexing” will result in bringing the aggrieved parties (on both sides) to a new negotiating table with perhaps some new options up for consideration.

    Perhaps the most important unknowable factor behind all of the brouhaha is what Putin is really thinking? Perhaps, he feels that by playing as a war commander this will ensure his being in control for another 10 or more years. He is, after all almost 70 and still feels that he wants to be around for an undisclosed time.

    There’s some chance that a shock and awe campaign at the beginning can simply demoralize the Ukrainian military into surrendering en masse. It’s not like they have commissars to keep them in line, nor do Ukrainians outside Galicia feel that strongly about Ukrainian statehood.

    I think that you’re wrong here and that this is wishful thinking on your part. If a Russian full scale invasion were to take place, it would not be a repeat of the Crimean affair. No surprises here, no little green men. The regular Ukrainian armed forces would be bolstered by a vastly greater and more experienced sector of militia forces. I’m praying for peace during this Lenten season. How about you? I was very proud of you last year, when you dedicated your complete fast (5 days?) to Jesus Christ. I hope that it helped you get back in touch with your Orthodox spiritual roots.

    • Agree: AP
  53. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Your comments are always great, welcome back.

    At this point I would suspect that Russia would have some trouble even in the most pro-Russian areas, such as Kharkiv; that city is the home base for the Azov organization. It would probably be scattered but deadly IRA style attacks, but still something. More serious guerrilla warfare and urban street fighting would probably be in limited to the west and center. But also remember that Ukraine does field some good special forces capable of operating behind enemy lines.

    • Replies: @128
    , @Boomthorkell
    , @reiner Tor
  54. AP says:
    @utu

    Another reason why I doubt Ukraine will start a war this spring. It is scheduled to keep building up its drone forces, and is also getting hundreds of new missiles procured at the end of this year. Why would it go to war so soon before getting this stuff? Russia making up a pretext to move first is slightly more possible.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  55. 128 says:
    @AP

    Russia did fairly well against drones in Syria and Libya, the Saudis are capable of dealing with Iranian drones too.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  56. mal says:

    Generally yes. And US transferring 500 soldiers to Germany is a concern.

    Rammstein Air Base is a command and control center with very advanced capabilities.

    I expect Ukrainian drone operators are next to useless at the moment.

    However, 500 Americans at Rammstein will have access to basically real time satellite intelligence, and they have huge amount of experience.

    All US has to do is paint Ukrainian flags on Turkish drones and fly them out of Rammstein by relay or something. This is not a war L/DPR will be able to win without direct Russian support.

    Russia can blow up Rammstein Air Base easily of course – its a building well within Russian cruise missile range. Can’t miss it. But this will cause 100’s of American casualties and US won’t like it. So it will be problematic when it comes to escalation concerns.

  57. @AP

    The Soviet Union dealt with that before in the Ukraine, after WWII, and ended it within a decade. It was still clearly worth it (even Galicia was subdued.)

    Better a guerilla attack than a NATO force.

    Having said that, I doubt this will be a real issue. The war will be the main one, if it happens, and if it does, Russia should run to Odessa and link with Transnistria. Now Moldova could happily join with Romania, as Russia finishes uniting with itself.

    • Replies: @AP
  58. AP says:
    @Boomthorkell

    The Soviet Union dealt with that before in the Ukraine, after WWII, and ended it within a decade. It was still clearly worth it (even Galicia was subdued.)

    Russia is a a lot smaller than the Soviet Union, and the area of resistance would be much larger than Kiev. According to Soviet data, they lost more men in liquidating UPA than Russia did when subduing Chechnya. Eventually they would subdue the place but it would be very expensive and bloody, perhaps too much so for 21st century sensibilities.

    • Disagree: Daniel Chieh
  59. @Dacian Julien Soros

    Large parts of Astrakhan have indeed silted up. Significant new investment is planned for Makhachkala. The Volga isn’t usable in winter. Rail is more reliable year round. No one is investing in river sea vessels capable of crossing the Caspian to Iran after steamng down from Nizhny Novgorod. No new pilots, no insurance, no customs arrangements. The channel to Astrakhan will be dredged but the port will be consolidated into a smaller area. I investigated this after being asked to find investors for a wharf that was being left out of the redefined port area. The wharf has not silted and could still be operated, even has a railway siding but it is not where the action is.

    Russia needs the Sea of Azov to export its agricultural produce onto the high seas. In event of a new Russian attack on Ukraine (fatal to Putin in terms of domestic politics without a substantial preceding false flag) one sanction available to NATO is to close the Bosporus (precedent for China but hey, pick fights you can win). Russian grain surpluses become meaningless. China’s not buying much. Egypt buys from the US again.

    Russia is now in Lose-Lose Less. If it takes military action against Ukraine, enormous Iran scale sanctions will hit. Putin has already played the war fever card followed by a great decline in prosperity. War fever is unlikely to help him twice. The destruction of his legacy will be complete.

    Putin takes no action which is more his style. Current posturings are probably those of the Stavka. Mishushtin will not be behind this. Lavrov is foul mouthed, incompetent technocrat with no ideas of his own. So, so far and not further. It is perhaps testing Biden. Mistake. After this, all the money Congress voted for Ukraine in 2014 might actually be spent providing weapons, training and logistics capabilties. The US hasn’t done this yet. Trump did not spend it but permission is there. Boris Johnson wants to wave his flag around too. The UK has been training a few Ukrainians. The British army’s European strategy is about tank killing not tank advances. So now Putin has rattled his sabre, Ukraine/Georgia are going to get real assistance for hardening. Policy to Turkey will change. It will be an even worse time to be a Syrian Kurd. The rather modest eastern expansion of NATO will become a lot more real. Oddessa is in reach of a Romanian (rather than NATO per se) expeditionary force invited in by Ukraine before Russia arrives etc and then Poland and Lviv.

    Putin loses support of Russian voters if he acts. Putin loses face internationally if he doesn’t act. He is obviously tired of the job. Which legacy is more important?

  60. @Philip Owen

    Abandoning Donbass is not something he can do anymore, I’m pretty sure.

  61. @AP

    I am confident with an new Uyghur-style work program and an effective panopticon, many such challenges once difficult for a state to manage can now be handled with much more efficiency. Modern solutions are necessary for the challenges of a modern world.

    • Agree: DreadIlk
    • Disagree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
  62. @Philip Owen

    Missed this.

    A lot of Russia’s food imports arrive via its Black Sea ports.

    http://www.shiptraffic.net/2001/04/caspian-sea-ship-trafffic.html

  63. 128 says:

    Ukraine has a lot of sources in the EU to sustain a guerilla war, unlike Xinjiang or during the 50s.

    • Agree: AP
  64. @YetAnotherAnon

    the Foreign Secretary is Dominic Raab, another Boris-style rootless cosmopolitan (father Czech, wife Brazilian).

    All the senior Brexiters have a similar profile. Catholic/Jewish/Orthodox, Hugenot, Turkish, Japanese, Celtic antecedents and more than one Russian/Brazilian wife. They over compensate for not being English. They are more rather than less likely to pull the trigger.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  65. Mr. Hack says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Nothing at all modern or new about ” Uyghur-style work programs”, they were already tried and implemented by the likes of Stalin and Hitler during the mid 20th century, and we can see what that led to. 🙁

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AnonFromTN
  66. @Mr. Hack

    No, panopticon-style mass digitalization of the population is something that we weren’t capable of in the past and can vastly prevent the need for excessive measures by predicting populations ahead of time.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24833092-700-emotion-detecting-ais-are-here-do-they-work-and-how-should-we-feel/

    No Cheka had any tools like that.

  67. AP says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Russia isn’t China, there are more Ukrainians relative to Russians than Uighurs relative to Chinese, and NATO is right next to western Ukraine to provide a steady supply of weapons.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  68. @Dacian Julien Soros

    the Caspian is receding, Aral-style.

    That was the take on the story in 1980s. Russian “greens” (Greta Thunberg-style: people, stop shaving off pubic hair, you are destroying natural habitat of pubic lice) argued that the Caspian recedes because too much Volga water is being diverted. There were even proposals to turn some Siberian rivers to Caspian to compensate. Then in the 1990s water level in Caspian started to go up (for reasons we don’t understand), eventually reaching higher level than before it started receding. Now we are likely in the down part of the up-down cycle. So, it’s not Aral-style, it’s a cyclic phenomenon we have no control of.

  69. @Mr. Hack

    they were already tried and implemented by the likes of Stalin and Hitler during the mid 20th century

    In fact, British and Austro-Hungarian empires are in competition for the honor of inventing concentration camps. Brits used them in Anglo-Boer war, Austrians sent Rusins who resisted catholization to them. So, Stalin and Hitler used the technology that was already tried and proven to work by “democratic” countries.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  70. @AP

    The rise of the panopticon will be universal to the world, being a matter of technological progress rather than any specific culture(although China may be able to find it a marketable ability given their experience in implementation), and the effective deployment of such tools of tracking greatly reduces the free movement of material goods such as weapons where they can be used for acts of crimes and terrorism, as well as pre-emptive identification of individuals most likely to commit them and those likely to harbor them.

    The digitalization of essentially nonobtrusive surveillance and mass data analysis essentially vastly expands the attack surface of disorganized units(such as individuals or guerillas) versus centralized analysis and intelligence, something which was not very much capable in the past where a number of different agent and obscurity problems made gathering information to be murky and expensive.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Thanks: AP
  71. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    The real beauty are the hills…and the river below.

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
  72. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    …40% of the most powerful army in Europe agree to participate in hostilities. 40% don’t want to.

    They will run or they will die. I doubt there are tens of thousands willing to smash their heads against a wall. Nato will meet, block everything, send weapons, write stories – I doubt any Nato soldiers will be exposed to real fighting. Maybe a few fools from Poland.

    This could be a non-event, or a different one. Something else could happen, maybe Belarus or Petrov&Bashirov invade Romania and poison stray dogs. (They were last seen slopping around the hills of eastern Moravia stealing machine guns and blowing up commie sheds. Who writes this sh.t? Where is Shakespeare when we need him?)

    • Replies: @AP
  73. songbird says:
    @El Dato

    Nice nature park, but you can’t see nuclear subs there or feel the heat of the atom, or eat fresh produce from greenhouses heated with waste heat.

  74. songbird says:
    @Cutler

    I think Western Europe is too pozzed to fight Russia. Though, I guess it would be sensible to say that the posturing is a waste as well.

  75. @utu

    Nato may provide drones and maintain deniability of direct involvement.

    Provided that drones really are Wunderwaffen. Which I doubt, but perhaps they are. Also, provided that they have enough of those drones in reserves which they can afford to lose if the Russians somehow manage to counter them (e.g. with electronic warfare).

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  76. @AP

    Anything is possible. TBH it’d probably be better for both countries to avoid this conflict.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Not Raul
  77. @reiner Tor

    it’d probably be better for both countries to avoid this conflict

    That would be true if both were countries. Pathetic obsequious lackeys don’t count. They are disposable, like condoms, from the US and Russian perspectives.

  78. Not Raul says:
    @Philip Owen

    I don’t see Romania risking an open war with Russia in Ukraine. If Romania sends troops in to Ukraine to fight against Russia, there could be Russian troops in Galați within six weeks.

    • Replies: @AP
  79. AP says:
    @Not Raul

    In his scenario Romanian or Polish troops would be invited into certain areas before the Russians get there; they would therefore it be on the offensive vs. Russia.

    I doubt either would send troops, but Poland more likely than Romania. However no doubt that large supplies of weapons and drones would be sent over.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  80. Not Raul says:
    @reiner Tor

    I agree. Better to have no war, a peaceful de-facto integration of rebel territories with Russia, and the completion of NS2.

    If there is a war, Russia will respond to pro-Kiev partisans by creating pro-Moscow militias. Some people will naturally want to back the stronger power, and a decent number of Russian-speaking Ukrainians might be wary of losing language rights.

    If there is a war, NATO, Ukraine, and even Russia will be losers. China might be (indirectly) a winner.

    • Replies: @AP
  81. I should think it makes sense for Russia and China to coordinate their reconquests. If Russia moves against the Ukraine, with the intent of taking back Novorossia, and say, temporarily occupying the rest of the Ukraine, China would want to use that distraction as cover to capture Taiwan. Is China ready to take Taiwan? Probably.

    I also wonder if Novorossia isn’t more or less ready to be annexed. They must know how much better conditions are in the Crimea now, while they stumble long in their shameful, misgoverned, dilapidated state. The median South/East Ukrainian might not admit that he wants to rejoin Russia, but would he be unhappy if Russia rapidly annexed within minimal explosions/bombing/fire fights? I think not. The people there are incredibly disenchanted with their governance situation. It’s hopeless in a way that life is not hopeless in the RF.

  82. AP says:
    @Beckow

    …40% of the most powerful army in Europe agree to participate in hostilities. 40% don’t want to.

    They will run or they will die. I doubt there are tens of thousands willing to smash their heads against a wall.

    Most Slavs are not like Slovaks or Czechs. Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, are stubborn and tend to fight even against terrible odds. At Debaltseve, poorly armed and poorly trained 2015 Ukrainian troops were surrounded and outnumbered yet took 5 days of shelling from three sides before fleeing; they did not flee until given the order to do so. The current Ukrainian troops are much better armed, better trained and more competent than those ones were, and there are many more of them.

    Anyways, I doubt there will be a war this year. Ukraine is still in the midst of significant rearmament: upgraded Vilkha-Ms are scheduled to start mass production later this year; only one Neptune (Ukraine’s new cruise missiles) battery is online, several more are scheduled to come; Ukraine only has 12 of the 48 Turkish drones it is getting, has not yet begun making its own drones. So Ukraine will not start a war now. It is more likely that Russia would initiate a war, either by approving some provocation by Donbas that Ukraine would be forced to respond to, or via some false flag operation. But I think Putin is too cautious for that, also. He was too cautious to move beyond Crimea against a completely defenseless Ukraine in 2014, after all.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  83. AP says:
    @Not Raul

    If there is a war, Russia will respond to pro-Kiev partisans by creating pro-Moscow militias.

    Such militias would need a lot of local support to succeed. Pro-Russian militias would be as successful in western and central Ukraine as Ukrainian nationalist ones have been in Donbas – not very.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  84. @AP

    It is more likely that Russia would initiate a war, either by approving some provocation by Donbas that Ukraine would be forced to respond to, or via some false flag operation.

    For Putin it doesn’t make sense before the NS2 coming online.

    • Replies: @AP
  85. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Agree, unless he determines that it will never come online. Even more reason why Russia wouldn’t do it either.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  86. Beckow says:
    @AP

    What if they do? Your bravado about holding out is only empty bravado; dead people are neither brave no cowards, they are just dead. People don’t fight against bad odds. In Debaltsevo they surrendered or were let go in 5 days, it was too chaotic for bravery.

    Your calculations about when Kiev will be ready are silly. Do you think that Russia sits there and waits, or that 50 more drones will decide it?

    We don’t know how this is will play out, bloody or peaceful, quick or a quagmire, but in all scenarios the Ukrainian people will suffer. Others will suffer too, but the bulk of the losses will be for the Ukrainians. You may be wiling to take that deal, but how many regular, normal Ukrainians are?

    And I doubt you would put yourself in their shoes and take those odds – it is quite evil to be pushing others to die from outside. In that you are quite a representative of the Western mentality: cowardly and manipulating, living of others’ misery, blase about what they break and indifferent to suffering.

    Abyssus abyssum invocat. What goes around, comes around.

    • Replies: @AP
  87. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Your bravado about holding out is only empty bravado

    “Bravado” is irrelevant, it is a statement of fact. Russians, Ukrainians and Poles in hopeless situations tend to fight stubbornly (so do Balkanoids). As evidence, look at Debaltseve.

    But I understand why you, a Slovak, would find this to be incomprehensible and stupid. Better to pay Germans to kill your Jews as your grandfathers did, than to fight to the death as the others did.

    In Debaltsevo they surrendered or were let go in 5 days, it was too chaotic for bravery.

    They took 5 days of artillery pounding until they were given the order to retreat.

    Your calculations about when Kiev will be ready are silly. Do you think that Russia sits there and waits, or that 50 more drones will decide it?

    Ukraine has had much more upgrading to do since 2014 than Russia, by virtue of starting essentially from zero its improvement curve relative to that of Russia’s has been steeper. There is still room for “easy” and significant improvement with the addition of these short-range missiles and drones which should be complete in a year or so, after that not much new (hrim missiles with range of 500 km are under development but these are years away). This stuff is significant and scheduled to come online fairly soon – why would Ukraine go to war so soon before it gets these things?

    We don’t know how this is will play out, bloody or peaceful, quick or a quagmire, but in all scenarios the Ukrainian people will suffer. Others will suffer too, but the bulk of the losses will be for the Ukrainians. You may be wiling to take that deal, but how many regular, normal Ukrainians are?

    I am hoping very strongly there will be no war, and suspect that thankfully there won’t be. Please do not imply otherwise.

    And I doubt you would put yourself in their shoes and take those odds – it is quite evil to be pushing others to die from outside. In that you are quite a representative of the Western mentality: cowardly and manipulating, living of others’ misery, blase about what they break and indifferent to suffering.

    You couldn’t help yourself but to end your post with a lie. I never pushed Ukraine to war – I have always expressed the wish that there will be no war. What a disgusting smear, but fitting, given the type of person you are.

    A dangerous factor that can lead to war is overconfidence. Ukraine will not fight, its soldiers will run away immediately, all their equipment is from the 1970s and doesn’t work – why not invade then? Self-hating American boomers like Saker, who want Putin as their savior, will get out the popcorn.

    In case of an invasion Russian will win, but I’m afraid it will be uglier and bloodier than they would have assumed. I don’t think Ukrainians have delusions about Russians, as you push about Ukrainians. And I doubt Putin has delusions about Ukrainians, hence his caution.

    • Troll: Mulga Mumblebrain
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @reiner Tor
  88. @Philip Owen

    “They over compensate for not being English. “

    I take your point, although our elites in times past were often non-English (Scots, Irish, Ulstermen, even Belgians or French – some of our WW2 generals had names like Carton de Wiart) and they generally managed a sort of patriotism.

    What good does supporting Ukraine (as a Navy guy said we were sending two ships into the Black Sea to do) produce for the ordinary Brit?

  89. mal says:

    FAA issued a warning over some areas of Russia, Ukraine.

    *FAA ADVISES AGAINST FLYING OVER SOME AREAS OF RUSSIA, UKRAINE— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) April 19, 2021

    Smart. For when things are heating up, you must do two things:

    1. Cancel your flight plans over Ukraine.
    2. Cancel your wedding plans in Afghanistan.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  90. @AP

    True-I do hate fascists and racists. The Ukronazis are both, and hereditary as well.

  91. @AP

    Always ‘interesting’ to hear from Radio Bandera, spouting braggadocio.

  92. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Let’s take two statements you made (verbatim):

    There is still room for “easy” and significant improvement with the addition of these short-range missiles and drones which should be complete in a year or so, after that not much new…stuff is significant and scheduled to come online fairly soon – why would Ukraine go to war so soon before it gets these things?

    and then:

    I never pushed Ukraine to war – I have always expressed the wish that there will be no war.

    You sound schizophrenic. You can argue that you meant a “defensive war“, but there is a touch of schizophrenia in it: “no war!, at least not until we are ready”…

    It is fine, it is a hard situation, you are not the only one. But you have also been posting pictures of clumsy-looking militiamen who look like they are about to chase some cows across the street, to show how tough they are. Sure, for them it would be tough, and quick – they would probably die very quickly, I am not sure the missiles aimed at them would suffer much. But who knows, maybe Nato would shoot a few for fun, to keep it going. Debaltsevo kettle could like heaven in comparison.

    You have a real issue with my people avoiding WWII. Not all, my grandpa fought the Nazis, look up how many Germans died on our territory, those were not heart attacks. I always teased him that he only got going when the Fritzes were on their way out, he said it was easier that way. (My other grandpa tended his vineyards and pretended there was no war.) Don’t judge others for how they live their lives, to die is not glorious, not even particularly honourable.

    In the long run there is also no gratitude. The Czech PM Babis is today running around like a headless chicken saying that what Russia did “was just some criminality, not an attack on the state“, backtracking like a weasel after dropping a big load over the weekend. I am not sure you know that Babis is of partial Rusin ancestry (grandpa from Uzgorod). Brave? Or did the water in Prague get to him? If the sh..t hits the fan we will all be looking for a way out, including your brave Poles and Ukrainians. It is true evil for the West to stir this up as often before.

    • Replies: @AP
  93. @AP

    Well, ask Zelensky. He is the one who started massing troops in the Donbass in the first place.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  94. @128

    Drones are weak Power cope.

    They’ll eventually dominate aerial warfare, but that era is 20 years off.

  95. @AP

    Even hardcore Russian nationalists don’t want to incorporate Galicia and I think it’s safe to say it won’t happen.

    That said, the anti-guerilla technologies available to a 21C state are vastly higher than those available to a 1940s one. In an (extremely hypothetical) scenario in which the RF annexes all of Ukraine, you will probably have a Chinese style panopticon + Kadyrov type strongman in Lvov/Ternopil/Ivano-Frankovsk combined with open borders to Poland for those who would otherwise wish to fight. (An option unavailable in the 1940s).

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @AP
  96. @utu

    The Russians easily drowned 10 Turkish bayraktar drones in Armenia near its airbase. Its no wunderwaffen. Plus these drones have the flight pattern of a ww1 biplane. Attack helicopters could deal with them easily

  97. @Philip Owen

    Boris Johnson wants to wave his flag around too. The UK has been training a few Ukrainians. The British army’s European strategy is about tank killing not tank advances.

    Just a reminder that PO once commented on his belief that the British Empire could have single handedly defeated Nazi Germany after 1940 without the US or USSR.

    Britain today is much less relevant than in 1940, when it truly was a Great Power.

    Funnily enough, in Russia itself, there is a cult of boomer Galkovsky fans who likewise assign undue importance to what is now a decidedly second-rate Power. But their views are not well correlated with reality.

    He is obviously tired of the job.

    These rumors were in vogue, like, 5 years ago. In retrospect, its now long clear they were planted.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  98. @Anatoly Karlin

    Kremlin propaganda. Troop build ups on this scale are planned months in advance.

  99. @AP

    Agree, unless he determines that it will never come online.

    The US is very strongly working towards that.

  100. Corvinus says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    “One massive difference between then and now – Western elites didn’t know how many of their “own” people hated their guts. Trump…”

    You are making a sweeping generalization here. And, of course, you do realize that Trump is one of those “Western Elites”, right? Has been for his entire adult life. Try thinking before spouting off.

  101. @Philip Owen

    Kremlin propaganda:

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  102. Beckow says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Galicia should be its own country. It has beautiful nature and pleasant weather. Lviv is big enough, with cobblestones, churches, call centers, fermented cabbage buffets, and hookers.

    Of course, Galicia has no resources or industry, but people there are wonderful at all kinds of service labor. Maybe Western Europe can fly its laundry there. I am visualising a Bulgaria without beaches. It can be done.

    Or somebody can make a mistake and do a Hiroshima. Washington could talk about it for decades. Isn’t it about time we had a new nuke destination to redirect from 1945? Kind of like they have been substituting the Soviets for Nazis, a slow process, but a big boom in Galicia could do the trick…

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @AP
  103. @Anatoly Karlin

    The British Empire had an atom bomb under development. The design dropped on Hiroshima. 40 kg of enriched uranium by the time The war would have taken longer. 1947. The Luftwaffe was defeated and the Axis in Africa stalled and short of supplies before the Soviet Union even changed sides.

    In 1939 Britian had virtually no armed forces other than an out of date navy. Building things up takes time. The UK was the technical leader in many areas, the bomb (until the Manhattan project), mechanization, radar – navy as well as air, short range fighters, strategic bombing, special forces, heavy tanks (but lousy tank generals) to name a few.

  104. @Anatoly Karlin

    Which proves? This happens all the time. Every few months some of Britains’s few remaining tanks on transporters travel up and down the motorway near me moving from one artillery range to another. Sometimes they are German tanks.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  105. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Let’s take two statements you made (verbatim):

    There is still room for “easy” and significant improvement with the addition of these short-range missiles and drones which should be complete in a year or so, after that not much new…stuff is significant and scheduled to come online fairly soon – why would Ukraine go to war so soon before it gets these things?

    and then:

    I never pushed Ukraine to war – I have always expressed the wish that there will be no war.

    You sound schizophrenic. You can argue that you meant a “defensive war“, but there is a touch of schizophrenia in it: “no war!, at least not until we are ready”

    First statement was clearly an explanation of why Ukraine would not choose to start a war now. It is in no way an endorsement of war. To imply otherwise is dishonesty.

    I am a strong proponent of Ukraine’s rearmament because it would serve as a deterrent to a costly war with Russia. I also oppose Ukraine’s retaking of Donbas, so from that perspective I wish Russia would annex it (Ukraine would then never attack it).

    You have a real issue with my people avoiding WWII

    Your smugness about doing so is the problem – the decent attitude would be one of humility and gratitude towards those who struggled against both Nazis and Communists. Your people as a whole were servile to both and benefited from doing so, while also benefitting from the sacrifices of those who did not follow your path.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  106. @Philip Owen

    This happens all the time.

    No. For a couple of weeks there was new videos and pictures like that coming out of Ukraine every day. Not mentioned in mainstream news but got a lot of attention in OSINT groups.

    • Agree: reiner Tor, Mitleser
  107. @Philip Owen

    Wouldn’t Japan and Nazi Germany have finished theirs too, if the US and USSR weren’t involved to “distract” them?

    IJA was having trouble in China, undoubtedly, but assuming no US and USSR involvement, this would mean they would have unrestricted resource and troop access. Germany had heavy water and Uranium mining programs (there are solid theories that the US didn’t actually make a function nuke until we captured a German submarine full of refined uranium and and information.)

    Actually, focusing on Japan for a second…a lot of Japan’s resource issues were based on America’s embargo. Assuming that didn’t happen, they might not have even bothered with their initial southern invasion (though, they certainly might have and done a better job of it.)

    Anyhow, alternative histories are all well and good, but when one is writing them, one must remember that other sides existed too, and not as static monkeys.

    Having said that…wasn’t most of the Luftwaffe destroyed by the USSR?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  108. Vaterland says:
    @Philip Owen

    Poor Britain…you and Poland have so much in common. But since your delusional arrogance has now handed France and Germany all of Europe, I can’t complain. And there was no switching sides of the Soviet Union. By the late 30s German intelligence knew that Stalin intended to attack at the latest in 1942 and roll over all of Europe. That is the only reason why you were not conquered after you had declared war on us over a concession we had to make Molotov and Stalin, including the free reign over the Baltic States. And today, you yourself have made sure that no one will support you against China. You lost your empire, now you will lose the primacy of the Anglosphere. Quite a tragic end for a once great civilization. On the other hand, no Chinaman ever intentionally incinerated as many German civilians alive as he could bomb. Maybe the new bossman isn’t so bad after all. We both have accounts to settle with the Eternal Anglo after all.

    • Agree: Bert
    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  109. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Galicia should be its own country. It has beautiful nature and pleasant weather. Lviv is big enough, with cobblestones, churches, call centers, fermented cabbage buffets, and hookers.

    Lviv is bigger than several European capitals including your Bratislava. Hookers are in all countries but Galician girls are more virtuous than most of the rest in Eastern Europe. Prague is the hooker capital.

    Of course, Galicia has no resources or industry

    Galicia has enough gas deposits to be self-sufficient and possibly to export. It has plenty of light industry making cables and stuff. It doesn’t make tractors though.

    I am visualising a Bulgaria without beaches

    Nah, another Slovakia except with IT and R&D instead of the massive auto factories. Galicians are not Balkanoids, though it would take time.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  110. Beckow says:
    @AP

    …gratitude towards those who struggled against both Nazis and Communists.

    Actually there were almost none of those. Most people who fought Nazis were Communists and vice-versa. I know you invent the democrats who somehow formed a third force, but there were few of them and when they fought (Warsaw 1944) they were massacred.

    Gratitude would require an acknowledgment of reality. As I pointed out to you, Germans murdered close to 3 million Poles, Soviets maybe 100k, Ukies killed another 150k Poles on their own.

    When you equalise the sides, you are so far off that I lose any desire to show “gratitude”. When you show gratitude and decency to appreciate that Poles would not exist today without the Russian sacrifice in WWII, then we can talk. Canadians or Yanks were not about to invade the German occupied Poland to save Polish hides – they didn’t care enough. If your show gratitude to them and ignore the people who really defeated Nazis, you are the one without decency and honour. And there is always a price to pay for that.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AP
  111. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Actually there were almost none of those. Most people who fought Nazis were Communists and vice-versa

    Poles were neither. They bravely failed to defeat Nazis but played a significant role in ending Communism. The fought against both evils. Your people overall served both.

    Germans murdered close to 3 million Poles, Soviets maybe 100k, Ukies killed another 150k Poles

    Yes, we know you lie about numbers. Your German figure is about correct but Soviet’s killed over twice as many Poles as you say, and Banderists killed about 50% fewer than you say.

    You also lie by omission by not mentioning the 1.5 million or so Poles deported to Siberia.

    Yes, Poles should be grateful for that. But you shouldn’t be grateful to them.

    When you show gratitude and decency to appreciate that Poles would not exist today without the Russian sacrifice in WWII

    Russians killed plenty of Poles also, and they fought the Germans not for Poles’ sake but for their own, after the Germans attacked them. They were quite happy to share Poland with the Nazis otherwise.

    In your perverse logic, a person saved from death at the hands of a serial killer by a rapist whom the serial killer attacked, who is then brutally victimised (but not killed) by the rapist should be grateful.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Boomthorkell
  112. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Even hardcore Russian nationalists don’t want to incorporate Galicia and I think it’s safe to say it won’t happen.

    Kiev is largely Galicia also now, and optimistic Russian nationalists don’t realize it.

    That said, the anti-guerilla technologies available to a 21C state are vastly higher than those available to a 1940s one.

    Correct, and guerillas also have new stuff.

    In an (extremely hypothetical) scenario in which the RF annexes all of Ukraine, you will probably have a Chinese style panopticon + Kadyrov type strongman in Lvov/Ternopil/Ivano-Frankovsk

    Kadyrov emerged from a faction that could be pro-Russian in Chechnya. There is no such faction in Galicia, the last time this would have been possible would have been 1915 or so. Galicia would have to be subdued the old-fashioned way, through mass killings and deportation as in the 1940s. Modern Russia isn’t Stalin’s USSR, I doubt it is morally capable of that (a good thing), freaks like Keverich are outliers. It would also be physically much harder for that also, there isn’t gulag infrastructure, Russia has fewer people and personnel than USSR had, etc.

  113. @AP

    freaks like Keverich are outliers

    Just a reminder, that in addition to all the other chronically disturbed lying of a nutjob as yourself……you did just recently give a photo falsely claiming to be from a Hotel in Budapest……and ended up proving that you have never actually been there!

    Kiev is largely Galicia also now

    The dumbest, most sparsely-populated, toilet-cleaning “expertise”, prostitute exporting, intellectually and financially most irrelevant area of the country – which still even now is the most underrepresented region in high profile politicians, judiciary, celebrities, scientists and wealthy businessmen in Ukraine ….has transposed itself onto Kiev now? LOL – as if an idiot like you is in any position to make that judgement

    I would have just thought that like the scumbag you are , you were just trying to make the Lvov Hilton falsely to be the Budapest Hilton…..before I remembered that you have never been to Lvov…..and just like every foreign country avoided Lvov like the beubonic plague, during Euro 2012, Hilton have also never shown any interest in soiling their brand by opening a hotel there.
    Of course they did have a very nice hotel in Ukraines, richest, most populated and best infrastructure and talented city at the time ( Donetsk)

    But what a sick , cursed life a tramp like yourself must live. Hemorrhoids sitting endlessly at the computer permanently refreshing the page so as to be ready to reply and make the same false and BS posts on here for hours and hours

    • Replies: @AP
  114. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    you did just recently give a photo falsely claiming to be from a Hotel in Budapest……

    Here it is, again:

    Still haven’t found it? Hint: it’s next to a railway station and shopping mall. Try harder.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  115. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Your hatred is sick. That’s why most normal people really don’t care what happens to you or to your side. Your convoluted arguments amount to nothing: you are alive thanks to Russians who saved you from German extermination at high cost to themselves.

    All else is noise, when you focus on that noise you are either a thoroughly amoral person or too stupid to see reality clearly. As I told you, abyssus abyssum invocat. And rightly so.

    • Replies: @AP
  116. @AP

    A dangerous factor that can lead to war is overconfidence. Ukraine will not fight, its soldiers will run away immediately, all their equipment is from the 1970s and doesn’t work – why not invade then?

    What makes it even more dangerous is that much of the public in the West believes something similar about the Russian military, so that they wouldn’t necessarily consider it super dangerous to intervene. Many people these days are not afraid of nukes because they think that it would mean the end of the world and “Putin cannot be so irrational.” But when I tell them that it’s not unthinkable, they have a fit of rage that then Putin is so irrational we need to nuke him first.

    • Agree: AP
  117. @Philip Owen

    Russia obviously constantly updates such plans to deploy at the Ukrainian border, and has them in place since early 2014 at the latest. They also have large scale exercises twice a year, so they can just move those exercises from elsewhere in Western Russia to the Ukrainian border. I can think of no reason why they couldn’t just do that at a moment’s notice. Actually that’s part of the things that they are exercising regularly – the units are told whether they will participate in an exercise, and where, in the last moment, so that they cannot prepare in advance and thus cut corners.

    • Agree: AP
  118. @AP

    In general, the Soviet-Era was a wash for morals. They screwed over everyone, especially the Russians, but also everyone else (I mean, they were a godsend for certain ethnic and neo-ethnic groups, though.) Yeah, no one should be grateful for them, but no one should be particularly vengeful, because…

    Having said all that, Poland deserved what happened to it as much as any nation in WWII deserved what happened to it. It was an ultra nationalist state (fine), that threatened both its neighbors and based its foreign policy off of the promises of the British and French (not smart). It killed questionably loyal Germans while telling Stalin to go to Hell. Poor foreign policy decisions. Any alternative would probably have been better.

    Russians paid for their sins and stupidity. So did the Poles. So did the Anglos, Japanese, and Chinese. So did the Germans and even the Galicians.

    Anyhow, Russia should join hands with Poland on hating the Communist-past while it absorbs its rightful and useful pre-communist claims in the Ukraine. Greater Galicia can form a Pro-NATO Catholic Unitary state with Poland. Alternatively, it could go with Hungary and Romania and form a new “Super Karpatia.” That would be fun, at least.

    Even wilder: fulfill the Hapsburg dream and have a Ruthenian King.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  119. AltanB says:
    @AP

    Kiev is largely Galicia also now, and optimistic Russian nationalists don’t realize it.

    This is sadly true, if one looks election results, it seems that city of Kiev is more nationalistic than the surrounding countryside or rest of the Ukraine proper. That’s why Russia should not go beyond Dnepr in the Northern Ukraine, in the case of war. If Russia would occupy Kiev, It’s highly likely that there would be at least 10-30k die hard Ukrainian nationalist insurgents, fighting street battles till death. For the time being, I believe that Russia could manage relatively easily occupation of Ukraine East of Dnepr and south of Cherkassy Oblast. In cities like Kharkov and Odessa, it would be easy to establish citizen militias out of disgruntled former Ukrainian citizens, who would do same as far right militias have now done in Kharkov and Odessa, but in reverse(cowing populace and especially the youth into submission), naturally it would be better if every Ukrainian far right nationalist would be shot at sight or hanged, but that creates too much bad PR, so better to give some Sovok descendants weapons, and let them deal with the trash, of course with a strong and unofficial support of the Russian Army. As an example when some maidanuts will protest against the brotherly occupation of Russia, then it would be better to send some manly Gopnik Titushky Neo-Sovoks with grenades and weapons, and after the demonstration has “dispersed,” Russian authorities would come and assess the situation, and declare that it was just riot, and its hard to deem who started it. Plausible deniability is the winner’s weapon of this century, as what happened in Odessa showed to us!

    Russia must eat only as much as it can digest, Kiev’s time would come later, but rump-Ukraine beyond Dnepr would not be much, no seaports, both Donbass and Kryvbass lost, no Dnepr as a huge navigable waterway, Kiev in situation that would be militarily and politically untenable in the longer run, no Dnepropetrovsk, no Kharkov, no shipyards of Kherson and Nikolaev, no jewel of Black Sea, Odessa. Then Russia could wait 20 or 30 years that Kiev would slowly wither away, and people in rump-Ukraine would move to the West Ukraine or into EU. In 20 or 30 years people of East and South would become loyal citizens of Russia, and the demoralization among the citizens of Rump-Ukraine would grow and grow, year by year.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Blinky Bill
    , @AP
  120. @Philip Owen

    The Luftwaffe was defeated and the Axis in Africa stalled and short of supplies before the Soviet Union even changed sides.

    The Luftwaffe wasn’t “defeated,” at least not in the sense that it couldn’t continue to function as an effective air force. It found it increasingly difficult to continue the air campaign against Britain, especially after much of the military budget was diverted to the army and even the majority of the air force had to support Barbarossa. Regarding the African troops, you might understand that they weren’t exactly sending there the resources needed to do anything substantial.

    You seem to not think very hard about the things Germany could’ve done if the majority of its resources weren’t eaten up by the war in the East.

  121. AP says:
    @Beckow

    Your hatred is sick

    Projection. Based on your posts we know you hate Poles, Ukrainians, and your own parents’ generation (as evidenced by your sick glee at their COVID death rate). Along with dishonesty and servility (say hello to Mr. Patel when you fetch him his coffee), hatred is one of your clearest attributes.

    you are alive thanks to Russians who saved you from German extermination at high cost to themselves.

    I am not a Pole. Polish existence is an unintended consequence of the defeat of Germany by the USSR after the former betrayed and attacked the latter. The Soviets themselves killed about a quarter million Poles, deported a million and a half, and brutally occupied the country for about fifty years. They deserve no gratitude. To claim otherwise speaks to, yes, amorality.

  122. @Boomthorkell

    Even wilder: fulfill the Hapsburg dream and have a Ruthenian King.

    Meet his Highness Zvonimir Von Habsburg:

    Future Kороль Галичини і Володимирії, герцог Буковини. ?

    Looks like a fine young fellow, especially when compared to Prince Harry…

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Thanks: Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  123. @AltanB

    Altan, why are you often so bloodthirsty?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  124. @AP

    It’s obviously Hungary based on the sign “CUKRÁSZDA” (meaning “candy store”) on the building in the middle on the lower right side. It also gives me Budapest vibes (relatively wide street, but with trees – most of such are in Budapest). Since you mentioned that you took it from the terrace of the Hilton in Pest, it was easy to find out that it’s the building Váci út 12, and the candy store is the Perity Cukrászda there.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  125. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @AltanB

    For the time being, I believe that Russia could manage relatively easily occupation of Ukraine East of Dnepr and south of Cherkassy Oblast.

    Similar to this map but with Kirovohrad Oblast added to Russian control.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  126. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Correct, and guerillas also have new stuff.

    Modern drone technology allows an occupying force to locate and precision-strike insurgent forces from largely secure bases, whereas preciously the occupiers had to rely on dangerous foot patrols. I can’t think of any technological advance that has advantaged modern guerillas over those of decades past, to a similar degree.

    Also, modern body armor and battlefield medicine greatly reduces casualty rates (US soldiers in Iraq were twice as likely to survive their wounds as those in Vietnam), which will always benefit occupiers more than insurgents, since the former will presumably possess both superior medical resources and lower tolerance for casualties.

    • Replies: @AP
  127. AP says:
    @AltanB

    I believe that Russia could manage relatively easily occupation of Ukraine East of Dnepr and south of Cherkassy Oblast. In cities like Kharkov and Odessa, it would be easy to establish citizen militias out of disgruntled former Ukrainian citizens, who would do same as far right militias have now done in Kharkov and Odessa, but in reverse(cowing populace and especially the youth into submission)

    Kharkiv and Odessa would not produce bitter street fighting as would Kiev, but would produce IRA style attacks because these cities have enough Azov types for such attacks. Also, Ukraine has spent a few years building up territorial defence militias in these areas, pro-Russian fanatics left years ago, so the situation would not be as neutral as it had been in 2014. Furthermore if these people would be Russians now, they could take revenge in Russia itself. Yes they are not suicide bombers but OTOH it would be much harder to spot and keep track of a Russian-speaking Kharkivite in Moscow than it would a Chechen.

    Dnipropetrovsk, homeland of Right Sector, is somewhere between Kiev and Kharkiv/Odessa. A lot of ATO veterans are from this city and they are bitter about Russian help to Donbas rebels. I met some locals from there, former Yanukovich voters, who were rather angry at the Russian state over this. They were saying things like “Our boys have to be there to keep the gangs out of our city, our boys are killed with Russian bullets..”

    That city will not so easy for Russia to digest, though easier than Kiev.

    Overall your plan would possible but very very costly. After the expensive war itself, there would be frequent small scale attacks, some guerrilla activity, Russia would have to engage in massive rebuilding while dealing with Iran-style sanctions, and a sullen largely disloyal population.

    rump-Ukraine beyond Dnepr would not be much, no seaports, both Donbass and Kryvbass lost, no Dnepr as a huge navigable waterway, Kiev in situation that would be militarily and politically untenable in the longer run, no Dnepropetrovsk, no Kharkov, no shipyards of Kherson and Nikolaev, no jewel of Black Sea, Odessa. Then Russia could wait 20 or 30 years that Kiev would slowly wither away, and people in rump-Ukraine would move to the West Ukraine or into EU

    Vienna stuck out during the Cold War and did fine, so Kiev would not wither away completely. There would have to be massive upgrades in rail networks and highways linking Kiev to the West. Any hardships would be attributed to the Russians, so nationalism would only increase. Though some of Kiev might indeed shift to Lviv. Your wished-for rump state would territorially resemble Galicia-Volhynia prior to the Mongolian invasion, when the Galician princes were in control of Kiev.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  128. AP says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Problem with your map is that Chernihiv, Poltava and Sumy are solidly pro-Ukrainian, and Dnipropetrovsk comes very close.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  129. Mr. Hack says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Russian speaking doesn’t automatically translate to “pro-Russia” or anti-Ukrainian. The only region in Ukraine where a majority of its inhabitants have a pro-Russian bias would be Crimea, where a majority of its inhabitants are actually ethnic Russians. Even within the Donbas you have a greater diversity of allegiance. These memes that your map tries to represent are as outdated as an American silver dollar.

  130. AP says:
    @Boomthorkell

    I half-joke about terrible consequences visited upon those who betrayed God’s order by assassinating the Archduke, overthrowing the Tsar etc., – but the peoples of eastern and Central Europe really didn’t deserve the nightmares that they experienced in the 20th century. Russians didn’t protect their Tsar but they didn’t vote in the Bolsheviks, they were taken hostage by them. Polish nationalists were nasty but were not genocidal. Banderists were a minority of western Ukrainians.

    Northern and Eastern Germans came closest to deserving their rough fate because they actually voted for and supported Nazis; however, it’s not as if the genocide of Slavs and Jews was in the political programme they voted for. Overall the mutual European slaughter-fest of the 20th century was just a grotesque evil.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Boomthorkell
    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
  131. @Philip Owen

    There are many angles to attack your idiocy , Phillip( the date of the battle of Al Alamein for your “before soviets switched sides” BS, more Italians fighting in Barbarossa invasion then in all of North African campaign, Nazi’s failing to take Moscow in 1941, British air radar not so far ahead of soviets etc)

    but the most obvious proof of your cretinous mind is this:

    UK Channel Islands, occupied 1940-1945 by the Nazi’s.

    Where was the British Navy in this?

    LOL, sure there is many aspects of Churchill’s wisdom that were proved correct – but as a Russian I would be permanently ashamed of my country if in USSR we had allowed such a similar thing to happen.

    Only deciding to enter France because of Soviet movements in Europe ( france maybe 30km from mainland Britain), never showing a hint of reentering Singapore after the disaster against the Japanese do not show the British as the most honourable in WW2, although practically they showed great intelligence.

    The British were well ahead of others in accumulating together 3d photographic imagery, which I will give them credit as it enabled them to not only to spot the V-2 rocket sites but other nazi installations on the northern french coast, which at least partially reduces the shame of not fighting on french soil for 4 years……but ONLY partially as I say.

    How much would US/UK hypocrites moan if Stalin/michael Buble murdered 1000+ allied sailors because he didn’t want the Germans to capture ships of US & UK Navy, just as Churchill ordered happen with the French Navy in 1941?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  132. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The original Ukrainian Habsburg Prince, Vasil Vyshivanij, often proudly wore a vyshivanka and was quite close to the common folk, fluent and well versed in the Ukrainian language and folkloric traditions. He also maintained close relations with Ukrainian intellectuals and nationalists, taking part in the culture of letter writing. Zvonimir seems like the heir apparent to the main branch of the House of Habsburg. Vasili was never in serious contention for this honor and like his brother, the Polish prince, aspired to head a country on the periphery. Zvonimir resembles a young Wayne Gretzky.


    The one and only, the legend.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Boomthorkell
  133. AP says:
    @Jon0815

    Modern drone technology allows an occupying force to locate and precision-strike insurgent forces from largely secure bases, whereas preciously the occupiers had to rely on dangerous foot patrols

    Under forest cover, in towns and villages, can drones distinguish insurgents from villagers, can’t drones be shot down?

    Also, guerillas can use their own drones, as Kurds are using against Turks. There will be a steady stream of them coming to Ukraine through the large NATO border.

    Also modern guerillas have access to ieds, night-vision, improved sniper weapons, etc. I suspect it will not be a lot easier than Chechnya.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  134. @AP

    Problem with your map is that Chernihiv, Poltava and Sumy are solidly pro-Ukrainian, and Dnipropetrovsk comes very close.

    LOL, for the idiot with spamming-induced hemorrhoids who has never been to Dnepropetrovsk, never been to Ukraine and is the “creator” of the “west Dnepropetrovsk vs east Dnepropetrovsk” phantom ideological political line when coming up with your then new instantaneous BS when another of your lies was exposed ……..for human garbage like you to even claim what comes “very close” is just psychiatric posturing at it’s worst.

    BTW Karlin, stop acting like a pussy. You have this POS projecting for terrorist attacks to be made on people . Infrastructure attacks ANC-style but certainly not terrorist scum, mass-murder IRA-style attacks are what are fantasised about in Khokhol discourse online. This disconnected , souless human ex*crement, precisely because of this aimless, disconnected from khokhol culture- fantasist subexistance that he lives ( involving spamming millions of comments of different ( only english LOL) pro-Russian blogs) thinks he can get away with these scumbag projections – that have no place on any civilised blog.

    Would you allow on your blog Karlin an islamic fundamentalist wanting “Allah to send him 40 virgins”to project or incite as their wish for metro underground bombings as a tactic for response to any NATO invasion of whatever muslim country? Of course they would at least have an ideology, and not be some bored out of their mind freakshow to rationalise ( but not justify) this evil action.what excuse are you going to give this time-wasting maggot?

    but would produce IRA style attacks

    Severeal other similar projections and incitements.

    This human garbage must be banned. Sure this laughable f**kwit is not in a position to actually incite any khokhol, but this is despicable.

    If it’s easy and not time consuming to fill in – I would say there is a 7% chance that I will be bothered to submit complaint to Roskomnadzor.and I think even you know there is a good chance they could block the blog for allowing promotion of terrorism.

    Grow a spine Karlin.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  135. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    I oppose war and I oppose all terror attacks. Pointing out risks is in no way endorsement. I make the same argument in opposition to American involvement in the Middle East.

    If it’s easy and not time consuming to fill in – I would say there is a 7% chance that I will be bothered to submit complaint to Roskomnadzor

    The Sovok is also a stukach. As unsurprising as it is disgusting.

  136. @reiner Tor

    It’s obviously Hungary based on the sign “CUKRÁSZDA” (meaning “candy store”) on the building in the middle on the lower right side. It also gives me Budapest vibes (relatively wide street, but with trees – most of such are in Budapest). Since you mentioned that you took it from the terrace of the Hilton in Pest, it was easy to find out that it’s the building Váci út 12, and the candy store is the Perity Cukrászda there.

    LOL- what a touching romance between you and your sociopathic boyfriend. It’s unfortunate that if your eyes weren’t so focused on his an*s , then you would have noticed it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t think the photo is his, and that he has never been to Budapest.

    He had already switched it to claiming being taken from the Hilton on the Buda side ( which I specified is the side of the Parliament so impossible to make as an honest mistake) , when I said it couldn’t possibly be the Hilton Hotel in the Castle District. If he takes the photo, then he doesn’t switch sides of the river.

    The retard responded by saying he “confused” the 2. After 2 weeks of ridicule he must have located the photo and only today he is back to claiming it was on the Pest side!

    It’s listed as only 2 Budapest Hiltons, the Garden one on the Buda side that he dishonestly changed to claiming ( ending the argument, whatever the photo) opened in 2019 – so maybe that one in the photo ( again that he has never been in) must have closed now.

    So him being a compulsive liar, websearch listing only 2, me not wanting to waste too much time on this POS’s deflection fantasies by looking at and checking the photo..and the obvious thing that this freak is back to his usual modus operandi of doing long-setup to claiming Lvov subroma are Austrians….. result in the fact that I am fine with my correct accusation – lucky that the idiot implausibly switched sides, although when you are making the assumption he is a compulsive liar as I do, then it’s deserved luck.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @reiner Tor
  137. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    He had already switched it to claiming being taken from the Hilton on the Buda side ( which I specified is the side of the Parliament so impossible to make as an honest mistake

    Parliament is on the Pest side so the hotel was indeed on the Pest side as I originally stated. You were wrong and I was not confused about the names after all.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  138. @Mr. Hack

    The one and only, the legend.

    And he was also gay as a bug.

    😉

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  139. Jon0815 says:
    @AP

    Under forest cover, in towns and villages, can drones distinguish insurgents from villagers, can’t drones be shot down?

    Proxy forces do the foot patrols, drones make it much more difficult for insurgents to form armed units large enough to threaten the proxy forces.

    Certainly drones have weaknesses, but all else being equal regarding terrain, modern armies have a far greater ability to surveil the combat zone than in the past, which allows an occupying army to exploit its firepower advantage far more effectively than in the past.

    Also, guerillas can use their own drones, as Kurds are using against Turks. There will be a steady stream of them coming to Ukraine through the large NATO border.

    Even if the Russian army and the guerillas had equal numbers of drones (unlikely), the former would still benefit more. Drones are more effective when operated from a secure staging area with a sophisticated support system. And an occupying force can surround itself with walls of anti-drone defenses, which is not an option for a massively outgunned guerilla force whose survival depends on concealment.

    Also modern guerillas have access to ieds, night-vision, improved sniper weapons, etc. I suspect it will not be a lot easier than Chechnya.

    Snipers aren’t effective at producing large numbers of casualties among occupation forces which are almost always either on secure bases or traveling in armored vehicles.

  140. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    He was a bisexual hedonist. It also seems that there are strong elements of psychopathy in his biography.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  141. @AP

    Dnipropetrovsk, homeland of Right Sector, is somewhere between Kiev and Kharkiv/Odessa. A lot of ATO veterans are from this city and they are bitter about Russian help to Donbas rebels. I met some locals from there, former Yanukovich voters, who were rather angry at the Russian state over this. They were saying things like “Our boys have to be there to keep the gangs out of our city, our boys are killed with Russian bullets..”

    How nice of you to still call Dnepropetrovsk by it’s real Ukrainian name, thank you AP.

    I would not take nationalists of Dnepro seriously at all, after all they have lived without any hiccups under the rule of Kolomoisky, in whole Ukraine, I don’t know anyone more evil, deceitful, manipulative, nefarious etc, etc than Kolomoisky himself, he is a living caricature, Slavs know… So if far right nationalists of Dnepropetrovsk have never raised their voice against such a man, who is in reality unofficial ruler of their region, I would not worry much about them, talk is cheap, clearly they are driven by money, and not by any loyalty to the Ukrainian nation and her ideals. Mercenaries for the highest bidder, nothing more, nothing less.

    Vienna stuck out during the Cold War and did fine, so Kiev would not wither away completely. There would have to be massive upgrades in rail networks and highways linking Kiev to the West. Any hardships would be attributed to the Russians, so nationalism would only increase. Though some of Kiev might indeed shift to Lviv. Your wished-for rump state would territorially resemble Galicia-Volhynia prior to the Mongolian invasion, when the Galician princes were in control of Kiev.

    Not comparable in any way, Blinky Bill’s map does not represent my vision, east of Dnepr I said, not East of Kiev and Cherkassy Oblasts. In such situation all governmental institutions would be transferred to the west, and there would have been massive surgical missile strikes all over the western part of the Kiev city. People would live under a huge psychological pressure, and large part of infrastructure would be in ruins, or physically disconnected. Austrians knew that war was over in their situation, and there was a sizable buffer to the east, but Kiev would be right on the frontline, actually it would be divided, for the smaller Eastern part would lie beyond this new frontier. Please dont be so thick and claim that Austrians were thinking that there would be a new war right away, after the Soviets and Americans ended their occupation and agreed mutually that Austria will be a non-aligned neutral country, USSR even gifted weapons to the new republic of Austria.

    • Replies: @AP
  142. @AP

    The Buda side hotel (ugly in the middle of the Castle district but adored by modern architecture fanatics) has a nice view of the Parliament building.

    • Replies: @AP
  143. @Bashibuzuk

    Well to sentimental fellows pragmatism often looks like that.

    “In the case of war,” I wrote, and I believe that in such way violence and bloodshed could be minimized in a hypothetical war and occupation scenario.

  144. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    I stayed at the Hilton near a railway station and mall, though I ended up taking a flixbus rather than train to Vienna (thanks to your advice, I think). I’m not even sure if trains at that station go to Vienna.

    Sorry that impressions of your city were not completely positive. Architecture was lovely, food was great and the baths were wonderful, especially the wave pool at Gellert (it was in the summer of 2019) – but outside the castle district it seemed very run down in appearance, more so than any other A-H city I’ve been to.

  145. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    It’s telling about Dnipropetrovsk, that the Jewish oligarch was forced to adopt a Ukrainian nationalist position in order to survive and prosper in that city. A Donetsk oligarch wouldn’t have been able to do that.

    Your proposal is consistent with your narrow Great Russian nationalism that promotes mass murder of other Rus peoples. Sad.

  146. @reiner Tor

    No. Not OK. He’s a liar, and I got tongue twisted into stating the reverse of which side is which from having both of you 2 clowns pouring trash into my sight at the same time. He switched, I still stated Parliament side while tongue twisted, and foolishly not thinking east/west…. but the POS liar went with his deception.

    On the city – Wide, beautiful streets with lots of green trees is exactly the same first impression Budapest made on myself. As an example, Barcelona – a place I have enjoyed some very enjoyable holidays in – has excellent , but still inferior quality streets to Budapest in my opinion.

    Amazing how you can prostitute and do the dirty work of locating the photo for this freak….. but not try to argue against the agenda-driven slander this imbecile was trying against the city of Budapest – a city he has never been to.

    I remember walking upto the Oktogon junction and being very impressed by how beautiful and clean the buildings are despite being next to a very busy junction, and also how its all busy but not frenetic – something which does not apply to us in Russia unfortunately, where we have similarly large, convulted junctions that most of Western Europe don’t.

    That’s just one thing, but I think in general if you deceived a rich, ignorant American wanting “classical Europe” into going to Budapest, thinking it was Germany, Liechtenstein or Austria( Hungary they maybe not know if not Jewish or just think is third world )…… I strongly believe they would be as impressed with it as if they were Cologne, Vienna etc.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  147. @AP

    Great Russian nationalism

    Eh, I would prefer calling my views by name of imperialism, and more specifically as Eurasian Imperialism. In my dreams Russians would have an important role, as the foundation stone of the empire, as was the case during the Pyotr I and Stalin, but the Empire would be much more than just the Russians and Russian culture, in such an empire Ukrainian culture loyal to the state could surely flourish. I truly believe that most of Ukraine would benefit economically and be more fertile in the longer run, if she would be part of her family. No more dilapidation in the grand shipyards of Kherson and Nikolaev, no more Mafia running Odessa, no more far right gangs terrorizing Dnipro and Kharkiv, see I can pander to Ukrainian sensibilities. No to Ukraine as an agricultural colony of Germany, and as a source for cheap labour, a proud Ukraine, with industries and manufacturing, with missiles and shipyards, if the well being of whole Ukraine is a problem and threat to Kiev and Galicia, then the Kiev and Galicia are the problems and not the Ukraine herself! What else the Galician behaviour is than extreme selfishness, they do not care at all for the people of the east, it’s all about their dreams. Even in Sumy oblast people are not like in Galicia and most understand very well Russia’s position.

    • Replies: @AP
  148. @Boomthorkell

    No. The German design was poorly resourced and theoretically wrong.

    The Japanese design was better but even less resourced. In this hypothetical, it is UK against Germany. Russia might be accounted for by Japanese “strike North”.

  149. @Gerard-Mandela

    A big point about North Africa was that the Axis could not build up troop numbers as fast as the British Empire because the air and naval blockade restricted supply to the limited number of ports available to the Axis. The air support wasn’t there and if it had been, it wouldn’t have made much difference.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  150. @AP

    The Habsburg had some interesting psychological profiles among their family members…

    • Replies: @AP
  151. @AP

    It’s telling that Ukrainian “nationalists” are forced to adopt Jews to survive and ( not prosper) in that country.

    Lol – the heavily disturbed swine of “west dnepropetrovsk vs East dnepropetrovsk” diarrhoea is now trying to outperform in his latest instantaneous BS.

    As for taking these positions of “nationalists” – the explanation is quite simple you idiot – shameless scum not wanting to attract sanctions, arrest, ( at that time) seizure of assets and property from the US – currently controlling the country. He has also been a “western” oligarch for a long time you ignorant imbecile. A profiteer entirely due to Russia of course, but as with all these parasites, still a Western asset and always likely to adopt the position he did.

    “Anti-oligarch” revolution……..

    Sberbank not operating in Crimea….. is that because of US sanctions, or “fear” of what phantom dumb programmers in Lvov will do to them? LOL.

    A US politician thinking but too afraid to say in public that Rodney King was a rapist filth ( typical Banderite), is that a sign Black criminal rapists control America? …… or more a sign he does not want a minority of thuggish lowlifes causing mass disorder and serious violence.

    “Deal with the devil” is the correct phrase

  152. @Philip Owen

    Can’t disagree with any of that comment Phillip.

    But North African campaign was originally a big Italian objective, less so an initial part of German strategy.

    Oil supply not a problem for Nazis if roll through USSR, then further through caucasus of USSR, and also having deal already with Nazi-friendly Shah of Iran.

  153. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I truly believe that most of Ukraine would benefit economically and be more fertile in the longer run, if she would be part of her family

    Both previous attempts resulted in disaster. Hetmanate was absorbed and subjected to Catherine II’s expansion and worsening of serfdom along with brain drain and cultural decline. Galicia under Hapsburgs saw an earlier elimination of serfdom, mass education, and was richer than was Romanov-ruled Ukraine. Soviet Union involved mass starvation, loss of language, poverty. There is no reason to assume the third try would be better. Indeed all of Ukraine’s neighbors who chose a westward path are better off than Belarus or even Russia itself. So no thank you, with your Eurasian dreams.

    if the well being of whole Ukraine is a problem and threat to Kiev and Galicia, then the Kiev and Galicia are the problems and not the Ukraine herself

    According to your logic the problem of Ukraine is it’s own ethnic heartland. This confirms that you don’t really have Ukraine’s well-being in mind. You prefer a Muscovite imperial project, which prioritizes parts of Ukraine with mixed settlements that often don’t even speak the Ukrainian language; no thanks.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  154. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The places touched by their rule are the nicest in the world so there was something great in them overall.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  155. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Part of the legend! 🙂

    More accurately, he should be looked at as a bi-sexual. I think that he was kind of schizoid. I find it kind of hard to reconcile his fiercely conservative Ukrainian nature with his flamboyant playboy degenerate European lifestyle. Snyder does remind us that it was quite common in those days for youngsters attending boarding schools to have to take part in almost ceremonious buggery activity. As far as I know, he didn’t actually exhibit the gay part of his lifestyle when he was in Ukraine, although he had ample opportunity to do so.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  156. @Mr. Hack

    Makes me think of Jaroslav Hasek’s brave soldier Svejk explaining to one of his soldier comrades : “These aristocrats are all pederasts…”

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  157. @AP

    I would have solved the problem of Ukrainian – Russian relations by offering automatic Russian citizenship to any Ukrainian who renounces his Ukrainian citizenship.

    That way all the russophiles would have opted for Russian citizenship a long time ago and moved to Russia.

    No more problems…

    • Agree: AP
    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  158. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    He was a guy who had his heart in the right place, but not always his penis. 🙂

  159. @Gerard.Gerard

    I actually agree with you that I personally do find Budapest beautiful, though obviously it does have run down areas. (Also many of these were much more run down a few decades ago, so there’s a lot of improvement.)

    A few other interesting cities in Hungary are Székesfehérvár (medieval downtown, which was earlier believed to mostly have been built in the 18th century, but recently it was discovered that most of those buildings actually predate the Ottoman period), Pécs (also medieval downtown with a mosque-looking Catholic church, which had been used and partly rebuilt as a mosque in the Ottoman period and still looks like that on the outside), Sopron (looks a bit like an Austrian town), Eger (nice old castle), Győr (also interesting downtown with very old buildings), etc.

    • Thanks: Gerard.Gerard
  160. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    You might think so, but some of the most strident Ukrainian Russophiles prefer living in Tennessee, of all places! 🙂

    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  161. @Mr. Hack

    The most “strident” Banderetards prefer…… cleaning toilets in Poland.

    Remember the fact that even though all the other European settlers in US have towns or districts named after places in their country – Banderetards have not even one. Which oblast are you living in Mr Hack / Elephant man?

    I must congratulate Ukraine on their latest military peremoga though……. brilliantly seizing hotel rooms in Dubai for Ukrainian prostitutes – the Ministry of Defence have truly excelled themselves. The 12 Ukrainian ladies arrested in Dubai, aided by the ukrop/ US state department “photographer” /pimp have truly sent an intimidating message to Russia and the remainder of the world.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  162. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    City or town Namesake Notes
    Balta, Odessa Oblast Balta, North Dakota [24]
    Kiev Kief, North Dakota [24]
    Odessa Odessa, Texas [10]
    Selz (now Lymanske) Selz, North Dakota (Emmons County) [24]
    Sevastopol Sebastopol, California
    Sebastopol, Michigan
    Straßburg (now Kuchurhan, Rozdilna Raion)

    There’s even a small town in Minnesota named after Hetman Mazepa:
    Mazeppa was platted in 1855, and named in honor of Hetman Ivan Mazepa via a poem by Lord Byron.[7][8] The city was incorporated in 1877.[

    I’ve been there, it’s for real. 🙂

    There’s the ever popular “Ukrainian Village” in Chicago. It has severeal beautiful Ukrainian churchs, restaurants, bars. I’ve been there too.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Gerard.Gerard
    , @AP
  163. Not Raul says:
    @AP

    I doubt that the Russians would try to occupy Western Ukraine for longer than a few weeks.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  164. utu says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Here is a very pretty wooden church in Catskills: St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, Hunter/Jewett Center, N.Y.
    http://ukrainianmountaintop.org/about/

    The Ukrainians (I have talked to one of them) who settled there were not allowed into the US until the 1950s. Brits/Canadians would not take them – hard core Nazi collaborators? Iirc, my interlocutor mentioned that he spent some time in Spain after the war.

    • Replies: @AP
  165. @Mr. Hack

    I specified Banderetard you muppet ( I have made the point before)….. you just perfectly prove what I am saying – the most Russian world spots possible, Kiev and Odessa – named by Russians, for russians speaking Russian, who are Russian orthodox.
    Outside of Kiev and Novorossiya ( the most Russian world places possible, though I could also include many other areas of Ukraine)….. you have absolutely nothing from ukrops in US. A huge area of land and people…. but nothing.

    In addition to Kiev and Odessa….. how stupid are you to include Sevastopol in there? Any places named after our friend Felix of the NKVD you are going to find if you are that desperate?

    As for the church… LOL, 1 or 2 buildings? Culturally appropriating Russian architecture – probably used now for gambling, prostitution and money laundering.

    • Troll: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  166. AP says:
    @utu

    I’ve been to a liturgy there when I was a kid, it really is a nice church in a beautiful location near ski resorts and hiking. Diaspora Ukrainian vacationers go there when they are in the area.

  167. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    While there are plenty of Ukrainian place names in Canada there aren’t so many in the USA for the simple reason that Ukrainians came late and moved into established places that were already named, rather than settling new ones (unlike as in Canada, where Ukrainians settled the western frontier). However, Ukrainians settled some of the nicest places. Ukrainian Village in Chicago (which successfully withstood the Puerto Ricanization that destroyed neighboring former Polish neighborhoods) and East Village in Manhattan are among the best neighborhoods in those cities and nicer than the Russian/Jewish counterparts in Rogers Park and Brighton Beach, respectively.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Gerard.Gerard
  168. AP says:

    NATO seems to have become popular in Ukraine:

    https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-conference/739143.html

    43% of Ukrainians fully support joining NATO, 21% partially support joining NATO. 7% partially reject NATO and 12% fully reject it.

  169. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard.Gerard

    For a cultural purist like yourself, I’m sure that this church, designed in the uniquely Ukrainian baroque style, will be up to your high standards:
    St. Katherine’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Arden Hills, MN
    No appropriating any “Russian architectural” style here!

  170. Mr. Hack says:

    Here’s a photo of the church that I was baptized in, and grew up going to. Although not designed in the Ukrainian Cossack baroque style, it too doesn’t remind one of any Russian style. It was built in 1922 by a renegade group of Ukrainian Catholics, who felt that they would best preserve the Ukrainian spirit of their rite by returning back to Orthodoxy. The interior was updated in the 1960’s by the addition of some elaborate frescoes within the altar:


    St. Michael’s and George’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Minneapolis, MN

  171. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I had friends that lived in the Ukrainian Village that I would visit and see whenever I was in Chicago. I was only in the Ukrainian neighborhood once in New York. I have a new friend from New York that will be coming to visit me this coming Friday, whom I plan to visit in the future too. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in New York. I’m returning to the Twin Cities to be with my family for Easter for a month, so I’ll probably not be posting here quite so often in May. As you can see, Im getting nostalgiac for home. 🙂

    • Replies: @AP
  172. @AP

    One more example of laughable instantaneous BS.

  173. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    New York has noticeably gone downhill although it isn’t close to the 70s and 80s yet. Veselka on 2nd avenue has excellent borscht and good (non traditional) fried pierogies with meat.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Mr. Hack
  174. utu says:
    @AP

    Once (1990s) after bar hopping I had blueberry pierogis at 3 am in an Ukrainian restaurant somewhere on the 2nd Ave. Only in NY. I doubt you could get blueberry pierogis anywhere in Poland or Ukraine at 3 am served by waiter in a restaurant setting.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  175. AP says:
    @utu

    It was probably Veselka, which prior to Covid had been open 24 hours daily.

  176. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I do recall going to Veselka the one time that I did visit New York, long ago. Seems like it’s been a mainstay there forever. Although I still would consider going there, I’d also like to visit one of the newer Russian restaurants in Brighton Beach (I’ve heard a lot of good things about these places). Any suggestions here?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @utu
  177. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Haven’t been to Brighton Beach for a few years, but the restaurants there were very good, too. You can try some more exotic places like Uzbek ones there, they have very good ones.

  178. @AP

    While I believe in the message of the Taoist “Story of the White Horse and the Farmer”, and that it is hard to tell whether a good thing will be evil eventually, or an evil thing good, or that everything just is and has a purpose and point…those two wars and the time between were a tragic death of many civilizations and possibilities, let alone lives.

    • Agree: AP
  179. utu says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Brighton Beach – I was in one but did not last to the main course because I got smashed on vodka and stuffed with appetizers (herring, salmon caviar and cold sliced potatoes) that we ordered several times so we could drink more vodka. Driving back home was a challenge. BTW, I was very impressed with Russian grocery/deli stores there.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Bashibuzuk
  180. Mr. Hack says:
    @utu

    It’s been quite a few years that I worshipped at the altar of the porcelain goddess. Good liquor is to be enjoyed in moderation with good food. Both are to be accompanied by good company. 🙂

    • Agree: AP
  181. @utu

    Driving back home was a challenge.

    Did you really drive back home after having a lot of vodka ?

    Especially in NY?

    I would have left my car at some parking and taken a taxi.

    Driving when inebriated is a terrible thing to do. So many accidents and loss of life are due to drunken drivers that I am truly saddned wherever anyone mentions doing it.

    Sorry if I come out as judgmental…

    • Replies: @AP
  182. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I agree, but norms were once different. This is an example where what was once acceptable in the past is really bad. My parents tell me stories about packed parties in the late 60s with epic drinking after which everyone drive home without incident. People might have parked on their grass in the yard and didn’t remember the drive home, but no accidents.

    A semi-caveat: some people become reckless when drunk – such people are very dangerous behind the wheel. Others are self-aware enough to become very cautious, driving quite slowly, avoiding the highway. Such people driving after the bars close very late at night (when there aren’t kids in the street) are probably mostly harmless despite their compromised reaction time.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Mr. Hack
    , @utu
  183. @AP

    As I have written, I don’t want to seem like a moralizing prick, but driving under influence is dangerous. I know that people usually have confidence in their driving skills, but driving drunk is risky and is better avoided.

    It doesn’t mean one cannot drive after a couple of pints of beer, one or two shooters or 2 -3 glasses of wine, but after having a few shooters of strong liquor, mixing different alcoholic drinks, or having a couple of typical Russian “100 g”, things can deteriorate pretty fast, especially when someone is tired.

    BTW it is the same thing for cannabis, of course it depends on the THC level and THC / CBD ratio, but with more potent stuff driving is clearly a very bad idea. Driving on mushrooms is of course another level of irresponsible behavior, don’t think anyone is silly enough to do that anyway.

    Sorry again if it seems moralizing. It’s not about morals, it’s about risks and potential damage to other people’s well-being.

  184. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Arizona has joined the growing number of states that has legalized “recreational” marijuana in hopes of stemming the tide of violence and social unrest that is plaguing the country. Its advocates also claim that it’ll stem the tide of ever growing opioid addiction and DWIs too. All of this in addition to all of the wonderful health benefits that we’ve gotten to appreciate here over the last 10 years due to the “medical” dispensaries that have dotted the landscape. I think that AZs neighboring state of Colorado has statistical evidence pointing to another reality waiting to happen. Consumers now line up to avail themselves of all sorts of medicines and recreational enhancers.

    https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/azfamily.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/5a/05abaa26-5db6-11eb-bdbc-e7f0c0a55011/600c81e2e0cda.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C900

  185. @Gerard-Mandela

    If it’s easy and not time consuming to fill in – I would say there is a 7% chance that I will be bothered to submit complaint to Roskomnadzor.and I think even you know there is a good chance they could block the blog for allowing promotion of terrorism.

    I gave you enough chances. But feel free to go ahead, maybe your butt buddy Glossy can co-file.

    Banned. https://akarlin.com/comments/

    Legal threats or implications thereof of any kind.

    PS. You might have more authority to lecture on patriotism etc. if you were not writing from England. In that respect, you’re the mirror image of that other svidomy larper, LatW(oman), who pretends to write from Latvia while not actually living there.

  186. utu says:
    @AP

    “I agree, but norms were once different.” – Right. Driving after several beers or drinks was routine. I had a Japanese coworker with whom we drunk three beers on every lunch we had together. But I did drive also after heavy drinking more often than I should. Never caused any accident though on few occasions I was stopped by police but I was always lucky with them. The power of composure and looking good did the trick, I guess. Once I had to do the line walking and nose touching routine but I passed and she (a policewoman) let me go even though I was evidently inebriated as I was coming back from the bar hopping in Santa Monica where inadvertently I crashed a wedding reception in a restaurant and realized only it was a wedding reception when nobody wanted to take money for drinks I was ordering which tells you I was really intoxicated.

    • Replies: @AP
  187. AP says:
    @utu

    The power of composure and looking good did the trick

    That’s the key. In the early 90s I made it through a drunk driving checkpoint near a midwestern university after ~6 shots (the Russian girls I was taking home – not to my place – were more inebriated than I was). I’m just calm and polite.

    I also think (per my other comment) that being clam rather than reckless translates into relatively safe driving despite being compromised, as long as one doesn’t drive on a highway or during the day/on a busy street with a lot of pedestrians around, where reaction time is more critical.

  188. @Philip Owen

    Romania would not be able to do much about Odessa. First, the Romanian Army won’t fight even for their own country. The troops are also inexperienced, especially in old-style operations. In the 20 years of NATO deployments in the Middle East, there were maybe 20 dead, exclusively in rural patrols, suggesting they are used almost exclusively as props for one of those American “coalitions”.

    We have a few hundred tanks, none modernized with 1st century armor. I doubt tanks will do a lot in the muddy fields between the mouths of Danube, Dniester and Bug. They will also need air cover from others, as we are slowly running out of Migs.

    Finally, there is no bridge between Romania and Southern Ukraine. There is hardly any road in that region.

    There are one or two thousand Americans in that area, and they have an air base there ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoAF_86th_Air_Base ). That would be more relevant.

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