The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
War in Donbass Update
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

For various reasons I am upping my probability of intense fighting in the Donbass this year (probably this summer) to over 50%.

The Ukrainian buildup on the border continues. Wheeling in all those guns and equipment and letting them stand idle is expensive. The Americans have sent a cargo ship which is unloading more equipment in Odessa and a Global Hawk is making overflights over the Black Sea.

The other reason is that quite a few people I know who are connected with the Donbass are near certain about a coming conflict to an extent that I don’t recall seeing in years (this excerpt from a discussion featuring Igor Strelkov on Sergey Zadumov’s show is not unrepresentative). Expected timeline appears to be late April to July.

I covered the likely development and consequences of an escalation in another post from a week ago.

The Ukrainian Army is much stronger relative to the NAF than it was in 2014, so absent Russian intervention, the success of Ukraine’s “Operation Storm” is assured. There may be pro-Russian/Donbass cheerleaders who will claim otherwise, but the facts are that in 2014, the Ukrainian Army was dysfunctional, and the conflict was primarily fought by high-asabiya volunteers from both sides, with Russia lending its support to the rebels at critical moments. Today, after six years of spending 3.5% (SIPRI) or 5% (official numbers) of its GDP on the military – whatever the precise numbers, drastically higher than the 1% it was spending before 2014 – the Ukrainian military is much more capable. Meanwhile, most of the high-asabiya NAF volunteers have left and the bulk of it now consists of former Donbass miners collecting paychecks. This will now be more of a “classic” state vs. state struggle, and with Ukraine’s population and GDP being 8-10x bigger than that of the LDNR, the outcome of such a contest isn’t hard to guess. One can compare this with Karabakh War II, with the LDNR in the place of Armenia and Ukraine in the place of Azerbaijan (down to having received Turkish drones).

Putin can’t allow this to happen, so it will have to intervene, and more openly than in 2014. There will be a ramp up in American-European sanctions against Russia and what is very likely to be a last minute kibosh on NS2.

I would array the probabilities something like this:

  • 10% Russia allows Ukrainian Operation Storm to succeed
  • 50% Russia moves troops in forcing Ukrainians to retreat, but otherwise retains status quo
  • 25% chance it recognizes LDNR/officially incorporates it
  • 10% chance it expands LDNR to encompass the entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts and recognizes/incorporates it
  • 5% chance it expands elsewhere (e.g. Kharkov)

Probably much will depend on the kremlins’ read of the international situation. If it looks like the West would stop at symbolic sanctions, then it will opt for the “retain status quo” option. But it looks like the West unifying around Iran-tier sanctions, then it will have fewer disincentives to opt for the hardline options.

For the Ukraine, the optimal outcome would be to “sever” the LDNR for good while minimizing military deaths (bad for Ze’s ratings) and provoking the hardest possible Western sanctions regime against Russia. This will kill reclaiming the Donbass as a third rail of Ukrainian politics, alleviating nationalist pressure against Zelensky; it will foreclose any possibility of the Donbass being “shoved back” into Ukraine and bolstering Russophiles; and it will also save Ukraine billions of dollars worth of gas transit fees. It’s a risky gamble, but it might just work out for Ze.

 
Hide 342 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  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.

  2. Mersaux says:

    But it looks like the West unifying around Iran-tier sanctions, then it will have fewer disincentives to opt for the hardline options

    Sure there would still be incentives. West could impose even tougher sanctions

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  3. It’s worth remembering that Putin once made the very explicit point that an attack on the Donbass would have ‘grave consequences for Ukrainian statehood’, back in 2018 I think. For this reason and others I suspect if the war kicks off again Ukraine will almost definitely lose the full Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, along with a smaller chance of Kharkov, Dnipro, and Zaporozhia also.

    Perhaps most obviously, if you’re going to break the biggest modern geopolitical taboo again and annex land off another state (e.g. in the annexation of the LDNR in current borders scenario), what good reason is there not to include the other nearby areas? When the West decides what type of sanctions regime it wants to enforce and starts painting Russia as the new Nazi Germany, it will make little difference to Western opinion if a little chunk of Ukraine goes missing or a medium chunk.

    But perhaps we simply cannot comprehend the ascended mind of the Kremlins.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Mr. XYZ
  4. Sh1pman says:

    I suspect we’ll see a 2008 Georgian War scenario. Ukraine invades Donetsk guns blazing, secures some territory, and after a while gets blown away by Russian intervention corps. Ukrainian army gets chased deep into their territory, losing armor, supply bases, command posts, etc. Then Russian army stops somewhere near Kiev and withdraws. LDNR republics get recognised as independent states (within their current borders). Permanent official military presence is established in Donbass. Iran-style western sanctions are imposed in Russia (the only real difference from 2008). Any hope of improving relations is lost on both sides.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  5. Perhaps most obviously, if you’re going to break the biggest modern geopolitical taboo again and annex land off another state (e.g. in the annexation of the LDNR in current borders scenario), what good reason is there not to include the other nearby areas?

    They broke that taboo in 2014 when they annexed Crimea.

    • Replies: @JL
  6. The West is ready to fight Russia until the last Ukrainian is missing in action. But Russia will also have to count its losses and mourn its dead. Eastern Slavs killing each other is perfectly fine from the point of view of the “Western Partners”.

  7. Sh1pman says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    OTOH, it’s a great combat experience for all military branches. Bombing ISIS and running PMC ops in Syria is *really* different from a proper state-on-state war. As a bonus, potential customers will see some new toys in action (similar to Bayraktar in Karabakh war).

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  8. BigTony says:

    Another war directly resulting from the breakup of the Soviet Union. Maybe, Putin was on to something when he called it the greatest geopolitical tragedy of his lifetime.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  9. @Sh1pman

    Problem is Russian elites are divided. A great part among them would want to go back to the situation as it was prior to 2014 and if they can improve the relationship with the West, then they would like it all the better. In Russia the fifth column is just one of the factions of political power. The pro-Western, pro-globalist people are very close to the top of Putin’s vertical of power.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  10. Beckow says:
    @AltSerrice

    Minds are a difficult thing to read, yet what is in our minds matters less than the realities on the ground.

    In a war, odds of a Donbas wipe-out are higher, 20-25% – if Washington has a knee on Russia’s neck that we don’t see, folding to fight another day may be a better option.

    The extreme option is also more likely: “5% chance it expands elsewhere (e.g. Kharkov)“. If West doesn’t possess a controlling tool – as is likely – why wouldn’t Russia clean up the situation once and for all? Black See coast, neuter the Kiev center, and let Lviv region do what they want. EU would quietly welcome it as a cheaper and more stable long-term solution.

    Historically, the really tough, bloody fighting has always been in that region, ever since Persians went there to chase Scythians, then Goths, Huns, etc…a good land to go berserk. I don’t think either Ukrainians or Donbas fully realize how bloody this could get. Washington needs a complete and long-lasting break among Eastern Slavs.

    NS2 is done anyway, US will block any shipments even if they have to put sanctions on German households using the gas – time to let it go and let Germany pay full price for its occupation. Why would a swing of $20-30 billion matter when such existential things are at stake?

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  11. unit472 says:

    Russia has should not want to annex this region. It isn’t Danzig, its more like Quemoy and Matsu. A bit of Chinese territory Taiwan cannot defend but allows China the option to initiate hostilities at the time of its choosing. Seizing it would just result in another conquest the West would not recognize and leave it in limbo land like Crimea.

    The status quo destabilizes Ukraine but leaves open the possibility of a larger diplomatic settlement that would require Western recognition of Crimea and renormalization of Russian/Ukrainian relations.

    • Replies: @Ralphinlondon
  12. No gains in this for Russia. Inflation is already so high that grain and now sunflower oil are subject to export taxes. Suchof Putin’s legacy that still remians would be trashed. Only his administrative resources are keeping him popular now. Navalny is going down the wrong road by emphasising illness. Russians have a cult of physical capability but there will be others closer to home ready to take over.

    There is every reason to expect the Ukrainina army to be more competent, as stated. Last time they had no tents, sleeping bags or changes of underclothes due to corruption. In fact no fuel or food. Now they have a supply chain from Biden. Meanwhile, Russia failed to reform its military procurement. The main reformer was framed for corruption himself. There is no reason to expect better than Georgian level performance (a string of broken down tanks arking the route of advance) still. Same tanks.

    Since 2008, conscription has fallen from 2 years to one year and university graduates are completely exempt. There are 400,000 professionals but the performance of Russian mercenaries like The performance of Wagner doesn’t suggest that they are outstanding.

    Military conflict will be a huge risk. There is no scenaria for a Russian victory. One might even expect the Ukrainians to fall back to encourage a Russian advance that they can cut off. If a Russian advance doesn’t develop there is just humilation for Russia, perhaps military, cetainly diplomatically. China won’t offer serious support despite Taiwan. Lose, lose all round. Better to negotiate a withdrawal and reduce sanctions. Fight a war and lose it and Crimea, if not Sebastapol is in contention too.

    How good is the LDNR air force? AFter MH17 how much anti aircraft have they been provided with?

  13. joniel says:

    How does Syria figure into this? US has moved it’s own directly into harm’s way.

    • Replies: @Sue
  14. @BigTony

    Putin conveniently forgot the British Empire.

    • Replies: @Barrt
  15. Thanks for laying this out. I’d be interested to see this operationalized on Metaculus, and what the community estimates.

  16. Agreed. Should this scenario comes to pass-that is an attack on LDNR (I would give it about 65% at this point)-let’s attempt a brief analysis of purpose/choices of the parties involved.

    Kiev would not attempt it if it did not have the assurances, the friendly pat in the back, by Uncle-Sam that it would be provided with full diplomatic cover (duhh..), possibly financial support, full intelligence sharing regarding LDNR/Russian moves and likely some direct assistance in the form of equipment if the conflict drags on. Essentially it should be viewed as a US operation with Ukrops being the cannon fodder.

    -So, what does the US want? Strategically undermine Russia which at the present translates to canceling Nord Stream 2/impose harsher sanctions (i.e. SWIFT expulsion). A major war in european soil is a great excuse and the germans will play along, whether they like it or not. Should Russia allow LDNR to fall for whatever reason, they portray Russia as weak, so from Washington’s side Russia is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t.

    -What does Kiev/Ze want? In all likelihood what you suggest-either reintegrate Donbass (Zelenski the Restorer, glorious Malarussian army etc) or cut-off Donbass completely (after glorious but ultimately unable to be won battle vs evil Russia etc). I think second scenario is what most genuine Maidanaites prefer (by genuine I mean not the extremely bloodthirsty kind, but Ukrainian “creative classes”).

    -What does EU want? To quote Nuland-the Cookie Monster, “F**ck the EU”, after playing independent during glorious Trump years, they coiled back to their familiar position, that of a worm.

    -What do the Kremlins want? (Deep down at heart, in their peculiar naivete, just to get along with everybody..). They would love to avoid any scenario that would boil down to choosing between LDNR and Nord Stream 2. (And that is exactly what the US wants to serve them). Letting LDNR fall would be a massive signal of weakness and open the path to a viable Strelkovian opposition. In any case, it doesn’t carry virtually any benefits and they also know US could still push for Nord Stream 2 cancellation by other means/excuses. Reintegrating LDNR alone would be easy in financial and logistic terms. But would not boost RF’s status in any meaningful manner. And deny Russia a veto regarding Ukraine’s NATO/EU path. So, if war does occur, the Kremlins will be forced to ask “-How much involvement means NS2 kaputt?”. The answer probably is “even minimal”. “-So, if NS2 is a done deal, what is the best we can achieve?” Here it becomes trickier but likely holds the answer to how to avoid a conflict.. Should Kremlins decide that if NS2 is kaputt then there is no status quo to return to (here we should not conflate the Donbass status quo, the present line of fighting, with the geopolitical status quo) for that would mean a very clear loss for Russia. So Russia needs to inflict more pain to Ukraine (Kharkov or even Odessa scenario) and degrade its strategic role further. At best, accept that what is left will go down the NATO and take the better part with it. If Kiev/Ze know this is how Russia will respond will they go along with an attack? It depends on the level of “suicide bomber” mentality they have. I would wager ofr Ze personally not a lot..

    Perhaps a good ol’ game theory pay-off matrix would suffice, but the crux of the matter is, if Ukraine attacks, returning to current lines of war with more serious sanctions imposed would be a loss for Russia and only if Kiev knows that Russia would push to an extent it would undermine post-Maidan elites power, they would be loathe to attack.

    PS Should Ukraine attack and the Kremlins opt for a “maximum-response”, cutting off Ukraine by marching through Lvov and towards Transnistria would be my go-to plan. Easy to push for an unconditional surrender when you got them surrounded.. If only..

    • Replies: @Kouroi
  17. @Mersaux

    After a certain point, the sanctions lose their power. Russia could probably survive if it was totally sealed off from the rest of the world. And then it cannot be sealed off from North Korea, China, Central Asia, Iran, Belarus. It also has a pretty important position in certain key sectors, for example the sanctions against Rusal threw large parts of the German economy and the world aluminum market into disarray. So it’d hurt the West as well. And it’s not like the West can afford these costs when it needs to compete with China.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Mr. XYZ
  18. For two countries which have a TFR between 1.3-1.5 and whose people share more cultural/ethnic similarities than any other nations worldwide save Belarus…what can one say…tragic stupidity doesn’t even begin to cover it.

    • Replies: @Kouroi
  19. @Sh1pman

    I don’t know, but perhaps Russia would annex instead of recognizing the independence of those “states.” After Crimea, it’d make no sense not to do that. Also I think the Georgia scenario would make little sense in other ways, too. I’m pretty sure that Russia would need to impose more permanent costs on Ukraine, to ensure that it never joins NATO and that it never gets strong again.

    Now a big habbening in Ukraine is going to create opportunities for others elsewhere. Probably they won’t use it, but who knows? I’m talking about you, China.

    This might be a very good year. In terms of reading books about it decades later. It might not be so good living through this.

  20. @Bashibuzuk

    Eastern Slavs killing each other is perfectly fine from the point of view of the “Western Partners”.

    That’s the wet dream of the Empire and its sidekicks. But it’s unlikely to come true on the scope they hope for. The appearance of Russian army in Donbass (in contrast to mythical Russian army Ukies claim to fight) would have the same effect as the appearance of Russian army in Tskhinval in 2008: “heroic” Ukie “patriots” would run as fast as their vehicles can carry them, leaving behind military hardware they did not sell yet, including arms and ammo. It would be at the sole discretion of Russian commanders how far into Ukraine Russian troops would move. In Georgia they moved to within a few kilometers of Tbilisi, and then withdrew. It is quite likely that LDNR would retake their whole regions, which they proclaimed to belong to them (clearly with Kremlin tacit approval). It is unlikely that Russia would take anything else, even Kharkov region, despite hopes of many inhabitants of those parts. Feeding the population, restoring infrastructure, and reviving the economy of those areas would be too costly, whereas economic reasons do not exist anymore, as Russia now produces everything it used to buy from Ukraine. Besides, many qualified workers and engineers from Eastern Ukraine have already moved to Russia, which helped it a lot in organizing domestic production of various things, including helicopter and ship engines. The Empire and its vassals would raise a lot of stink, but won’t do a damn thing, like in 2008.

    Shutting NS2 would damage German economy a lot more than Russian. Then again, curbing German competition likely always was the main objective of the imperial elites. Within a few years Ukraine and Poland would loose transit fees under any scenario: Russia is moving towards LNG, which does not depend on pipelines and can be directed anywhere at short notice.

  21. Beckow says:
    @Philip Owen

    …blablabla…asiatics…legs of clay…blabla…“will be in Moscow by Christmas”….you know Saakasvilli won …blabla…doesn’t suggest…and they have got no f..ing sunflower oil!!!…will be a cake walk……getting excited now, Bond so cool…blablabla…

    Then they shot him. And he never knew what hit him.

  22. @reiner Tor

    the West can afford these costs when it needs to compete with China.

    OTOH the West cannot afford Russia and China competing against it together. Russia must be subdued so China could be contained.

    • Agree: mal, Blinky Bill, Beckow
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  23. @AnonFromTN

    I find the argument that it would be too costly to integrate friendly Ukrainian oblasts as being extremely unconvincing. No doubt these regions would require 5-10 years of investment from Moscow and a cleanup of their local governments, but afterward simply judging by their human capital they would become contributors. If Russia can afford DICh then it can certainly afford Kharkov, Dnipro, Zapor, and even Kherson and Odessa. Not to mention that having more smart Slavs is never a bad thing.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  24. Avery says:

    {“One can compare this with Karabakh War II, with the LDNR in the place of Armenia and Ukraine in the place of Azerbaijan (down to having received Turkish drones).”}

    That comparison would be true only if the entire LDNR leadership was Sorosized, like it was/is in Armenia. And the war was not between Armenia and Azerbaijan: Armenian military largely stayed out of the fight on orders of SorosaPlant Pashinoğlu.

    And it wasn’t Azerbaijan fighting on its own: NATO trained Turkish military brass was running the war, together with an unknown number of Turk (not Azerbaijani) special forces and 1,000s of ISIS jihadists from Syria.

    Armenia basically abandoned Artsakh’s military of only about 20,000 men to fight against Azerbaijan+Turkey+ISIS. The numbers I read were something like 80K-100K. Not sure how accurate it is, but the force disparity was huge.

    The war was meant to be lost: it was planned to be lost since SorosaAgent Pashinoğlu became PM.
    Karlin, there is a lot you don’t know about that war.

    And the shocked/stunned people in Armenia still cannot get rid of the filthy Turk in Yerevan.
    What a tragedy.

    btw: about those mythical Bayraktar drones: a dozen or so were brought down by Russians when Turkey sent a bunch to spy on the Gyumri Russian base. They were effective in the Artsakh war, because Artsakh military did not have modern air-denial systems. PLUS, most of the Armenian anti-air systems were taken out first few hours of the Turk/Turkbaijan attack, because….lots of interesting reasons.

  25. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    …Ukie “patriots” would run as fast as their vehicles can carry them

    Probably. That’s what usually happens in uneven fights. What would be devastating is if Russia chooses to use missiles on the Ukrainian bases and military production facilities.

    Russia would show endless videos of Ukie soldiers swearing that they were forced to fight, loudly cursing Ze and the Galicians. West would show endless eager refugees rushing the borders and spinning horror stories.

    I don’t understand why Russia simply doesn’t stop NS2, limit pipeline transit, and watch prices go higher – they would recoup some of the losses with higher prices. It is not good to be responsible when dealing with infantile maniacs divorced from reality. Cuban missile crises forced West to face extinction, they went soft soon afterwards. Reminding them that things can get really ugly would have a sobering effect.

    • Replies: @widugastiR
  26. joniel says:
    @Philip Owen

    Military conflict will be a huge risk. There is no scenaria for a Russian victory. One might even expect the Ukrainians to fall back to encourage a Russian advance that they can cut off. If a Russian advance doesn’t develop there is just humilation for Russia, perhaps military, cetainly diplomatically. China won’t offer serious support despite Taiwan. Lose, lose all round. Better to negotiate a withdrawal and reduce sanctions. Fight a war and lose it and Crimea, if not Sebastapol is in contention too.

    The game isn’t about Taiwan, it is about Xinjiang. The West’s goal is to separate the province from China and cut off its access to resources in Central Asia. The time for half measures is over.

    Nike’s statement is boldly hypocritical since it has always made products in sweatshops.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @By-tor
  27. @Philip Owen

    10/10, funniest post on Russian Reaction this year so far! Please participate more.

  28. @AnonFromTN

    Many people do just see West vs Russia confrontation in Ukraine.

    But perhaps we should widen the scope What if it’s all about China ?

    Few people remember that Maidan happened after the Chinese started to lease agricultural lands in Ukraine and mapping the OBOR connections through Eurasia.

    Also, Erdogan went on a tour of the Central Asian “Stans”. He was proposing the idea of a Turkic NATO (Turanian Army). A lot of people would think that it is first and foremost directed against Russia. But what if it was a manner of preparing the Stans to curtail Chinese projects in that region?

    With Russia brought under Atlanticist control and Central Asia unified around the “Turanism” ideology, China would be cut from many destinations it targets with the OBOR. It will be contained, weakened and slowed in its development.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Philip Owen
  29. Ever since Ilovaisk, it was exactly the eastern side of this conflict which did all the significant offensive operations in this war while simultaneously ringing all the propaganda bells about Ukrainian attack, so it is just as likely might be another such type of offensive again.

  30. @Philip Owen

    There is every reason to expect the Ukrainina army to be more competent… Now they have a supply chain from Biden.

    Is this a joke?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  31. @joniel

    I believe you might be correct. A lot of what is happening in the West today is probably a preparation for a major conflict with China.

    • Replies: @Avery
  32. Avery says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    {“…West today is probably a preparation for a major conflict with China.”}

    Where?
    How?
    Please elaborate.

    The West/US/NATO has no chance taking on the Chinese military on China’s back yard, and Chinese are not going to fight outside of their region, and US cannot threaten China with nukes, because China has more than enough to hit back,……….and US economy depends highly on Chinese manufactured goods (…stop by Home Depot and Lowes sometime)……and Chinese hold about US$1Trillion in US Treasury debt…..

    So where is a major conflict with China going to take place.
    I don’t see it.

  33. Hostilities can be avoided if Putin would get one of his spies in the Ukraine gov’t to locate all the dirt they have on the Biden family and publish it.

    The uproar it would cause in the US would take everything else off the radar. Maybe we could even get some prosecutor to cause Hunter to go to jail and then have Hunter rat out the president forcing Biden to pardon himself and his kin. Wouldn’t that make a wonderful international scandal?

    • Disagree: EldnahYm
    • Replies: @Aslangeo
  34. @Philip Owen

    No gains in this for Russia. Inflation is already so high that grain and now sunflower oil are subject to export taxes.

    Essentially, Russia has to put sanctions on itself because the West fails to do so properly, and agricultural exports keep rising.

    One should consider the possibility Kremlin might want more sanctions, not fewer, to stop importing European inflation.

    • Agree: mal
  35. Aedib says:

    I expect another Olympic War, just like in 2008.

    Russia may intervene but not by sending troops and tanks but just Smerching and Iskandering advancing Ukie troops like a raining hell. In this way the Ukie offensive maybe aborted or made very costly and Russia could still use plausible deniability.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @reiner Tor
  36. Mr. Hack says:
    @Korenchkin

    Joke? Owen doesn’t seem too far off the mark on this one.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  37. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Good analysis. What does OBOR stand for? Thanks!

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Mr. XYZ
  38. @Beckow

    I don’t understand why Russia simply doesn’t stop NS2, limit pipeline transit, and watch prices go higher – they would recoup some of the losses with higher prices. 

    Because NS2 is a game deciding how hard USA can dictate Germany to sacrifice its own national interest in order to satisfy US geopolitical ambitions in Europe: keep the Americans in, keep the Germans down, and keep the Russians out.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  39. @Avery

    It won’t happen in the next few years. They need to reform and consolidate the globalized West first. They also need to bring back RusFed into the zone of direct Atlanticist Influence. It will take time, but it will happen eventually when the West has been reformed, RusFed elites brought back in line and Central Asia organized under Western Influence.

    • Replies: @JL
  40. @Mr. Hack

    The Chinese One Road One Belt initiative. The new Silk Roads.

    https://www.oboreurope.com/en/beltandroad/one-belt/

    A link might have passed through Ukrainian territory, now it’s impossible.

  41. @widugastiR

    keep the Americans in, keep the Germans down, and keep the Russians out.

    The Cold War 2.0 mantra needs to be updated: “Keep the Atlanticists in, keep the Europeans down, keep the Russians weak and keep the Chinese out”

  42. I have seen no indications the Ukraine is wheeling in heavy equipment as Saker and Karlin are claiming. Ukraine has held to the Minsk agreements, while Putin and his minions in the Donbas have repeatedly violated Minsk. Putin may try to up the ante in the Donbas, but the Ukraine military is not of the same character as it was in 2014 and Putin’s boys, who may think Ukraine will be a cakewalk, are in for something of a harsh surprise.

    Ukraine is no longer digestible. The Donbas and Crimea have ben very expensive burdens for Putin, and Russia ability to keep them funded is declining. Russia itself is declining and weakening. Without a strong economy, you can’t have a strong military. Although Putin is an unreconstructed Soviet, he didn’t learn the lesson of what hallowed the Soviet Union, causing it to fall.

  43. @Avery

    I was saying this from about mid- October.

    Shushan Stepanyan and Artsrun Hovhannisyan were telling fairytales for 44 days, and many of the soldiers were all over the place because the hierarchy was in disarray.

    However, the worst part is that 390 reporters from 90 different countries were present on the Armenian side. Some of them are known to have had free access to many places, and some of them may have been inadvertently helping the Azerbaijanis in a multitude of ways. Azerbaijan on its part strictly limited the amount of information and the number of reporters, which was clever on Aliyev’s part.

    Many of our people were duped by this yellow journalist Pashinyan, and now some of his die hard fans have developed a cult of personality around him.

  44. Epigon says:
    @Philip Owen

    You’re a living indictment of Western world, in particular the business aspect if we are to believe your credentials.

  45. Epigon says:
    @Quartermaster

    Sod off, Amerimutt creatura.

    From late February to March 16th, Ukraine has been building up tank, BMP, SPA, MLRS and artillery forces on the frontline. The thread has dozen of vides demonstrating it.

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
  46. @AltSerrice

    No doubt these regions would require 5-10 years of investment from Moscow and a cleanup of their local governments, but afterward simply judging by their human capital they would become contributors.

    Cost: Today Ukraine is behind Russia in development not by 5-10 years, but more like by 20-25 years. The expense of bringing it to the level of even below average Russian regions would be enormous. Unlike the US, Russia cannot simply print money.

    Human capital: people who allowed current globohomo puppets to come to power and stay in power since 2014 are hardly a useful human capital. Every country has the government it deserves (I mean senile Biden, as well).

    • Replies: @awry
  47. utu says:
    @Philip Owen

    The Future of the Russian Military
    Russia’s Ground Combat Capabilities and Implications for U.S.-Russia Competition

    Prepared for the United States Army (RAND, 2019)
    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR3000/RR3099/RAND_RR3099z1.appendixes.pdf

    “This document presents the results of a project titled U.S.-Russia Long Term Competition, spon- sored by the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army. The purpose of the project was to help the U.S. Army understand the shifting relative capabilities of the U.S. and Russian militaries of the next twenty years.”

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  48. @Philip Owen

    Russia’s inflation rate is currently under 6% relative to a target of 4% (having been at 2% a year ago). Food inflation typically picks up around late winter to spring (and slows down to zero during the summer and autumn) for reasons that should be obvious.

    I’m not cruel, so I’ll leave the military fantasies uncommented.

    • Replies: @mal
    , @Philip Owen
  49. It’s a sad situation. Some Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have to die so GAE can get an excuse to put further sanctions on poor ol’ Russia (who didn’t do nothing). Sanctions, which won’t accomplish GAE’s geopolitical goals, but will make it impossible for me to buy Barnaul ammo for my 1924 ex-dragoon Mosin, or my 1954 СКС. It is unfair. The little guy bears all the downside.

  50. Mikel says:
    @Aedib

    Russia may intervene but not by sending troops and tanks but just Smerching and Iskandering advancing Ukie troops like a raining hell.

    In this highly populated theater that would create lots of friendly civilian victims.

    Besides, Lugansk and especially Donetsk are basically on the front line. Once the Ukrainians take them, there is no driving them out without a civilian bloodbath or a messy encirclement in civilian terrain that would require lots of troops on the ground.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Aedib
  51. Maybe maybe not.

    Firstly, the defenders of Donbass will be fighting for their families, homes, and land; whereas the Ukrainian personal will be fighting for cash and empty promises.

    Secondly, Donbass will be in a defensive position whereas the Ukraine military will be on the offensive. It is much easier to defend a position than to attack a defensive position.

    Thirdly, the previous conflicts resulted in a flood of volunteer fighters coming from Russia. I see no reason for this to not happen again.

    Fourthly, the morale of the Donbass people must be high since they beat the Ukraine military twice. Similarly, the morale of the Ukrainian military must be low since it has already been beaten twice.

    Fifthly, the Russian government could simply “turn a blind eye” to thousands of Russian soldiers tearing the insignias off their uniforms and crossing into Donbass. (Is that not what happened before?

    • LOL: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @AP
    , @reiner Tor
  52. mal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    My recommendation would be to ‘seasonally adjust’ Russian food inflation until it’s balanced enough so it doesn’t have excessive impact on interest rate policy.

    I consider Nabiullina to be a competent central banker, but chasing garden season with rate hikes will restrict credit flows and will reduce Russian GDP growth unnecessarily, I think. But this is something for Russian Finance Ministry and Central Bank to sort out.

    I mentioned before that US (and I think EU maybe too?) generally ignore food and energy in their rate setting decision making. Though food is less as percentage of consumer basket in US vs Russia, so US has more leeway there.

    Anyway, on war, I don’t think Ukraine has much choice. War is their only hope for shutting down Nord Stream 2 and keeping that $3 billion/year gas transit payout while staying in good graces with Hunter Biden’s crack dealer.

    As for Russia, heavy sanctions are coming regardless. Russia should declare a no fly zone over the entire Ukraine when the war comes. Responsibility to Protect and all that.

    • Replies: @Gerard.Gerard
  53. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AltSerrice

    Putin could also send Russian paratroopers to capture Odessa and to subsequently annex it to Transnistria, if he’s REALLY daring. The annexation of Odessa would be an absolute godsend for Transnistria, of course!

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  54. AP says:
    @Mr. Cracker

    Lots of wishful thinking…

    • Replies: @Mr. Cracker
  55. AP says:
    @Mikel

    I have to agree with you.

    I hope there will be no war. If there is, Ukraine will probably advance into Donbas before Russia responds. With Ukrainian troops in civilian areas, we will see if Russia will be as careful with civilians in Donbas as Ukraine has been. Hopefully they will be more careful than Russian troops were during the Chechen wars:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Grozny_(1994%E2%80%9395)#:~:text=As%20of%20the%20civilian%20casualties,fighting%2C%20about%206%25%20of%20the

    sources estimate that a large percentage of civilian fatalities [during the First Chechen War] occurred during the invasion of Grozny between December 1994 and March 1995. From the beginning of the invasion to the middle of February, fatality estimates range from 25,000 to 30,000 civilian deaths. This range indicates that the majority of the civilian fatalities in the entire war occurred during a mere four-month window. Of the estimated 25,000 killed in the invasion of Grozny, it is estimated that 18,000 were killed by mid January. According to General Dudayev, the first president of the Chechen Republic, 85 percent of civilians killed in the invasion (approximately 25,500) were ethnic Russians due to the fact that the Chechens were the first to evacuate the capital; this estimate is close to the figure put forward by Russian human rights campaigner Sergei Kovalyov, who estimated the number of ethnic Russian deaths at 24,000

    (are those figures accurate?)

  56. By-tor says:
    @joniel

    The Russians own the battlefield space in the Ukraine. They have had every cm mapped out since the end of WWII. Their satellites record the movement of forces just as they have been doing inside Syria with great success. There is no way the Ukrainian military can hold any territory from the modern Russian Armed Forces. What are the US neocons going to do if the Russians easily destroy the US-trained Ukrainian forces and their drug-fueled mercenary units using offensive missile systems and heavy artillery located within the Russian Federation in the Southern Military District? The Russians do not need to send motorized columns into Donetsk and Lugansk as they did in 2008 against the NATO-trained Rep. of Georgia. Will Kiev and Washington strike over the Russian border and risk all out war?

  57. @AP

    That’s it! That is your comment? That is the extent of your contribution to the discussion?

    Firstly, it is a historical truism that people defending their home fight harder and more ferociously than the people invading their homes.

    Secondly, it is also a truism of war that a defensive position requires fewer men and less material than it takes to overrun the defensive position.

    Thirdly, it is common knowledge that many combatants from Russia entered Donbass to fight the Ukrainian assault.

    Fourthly, success builds morale while defeat crushes morale.

    Fifthly, while thousands of Russian servicemen entered Donbass voluntarily, and without government permission, the Russian government simply took the position that these volunteers were not official Russian policy.

    So explain please: which one of these historical truths do you consider “wishful thinking,” and why?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  58. 10% Russia allows Ukrainian Operation Storm to succeed
    50% Russia moves troops in forcing Ukrainians to retreat, but otherwise retains status quo
    25% chance it recognizes LDNR/officially incorporates it
    10% chance it expands LDNR to encompass the entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts and recognizes/incorporates it
    5% chance it expands elsewhere (e.g. Kharkov)

    What you describe here, Anatoly, is a no-lose proposition for Ukrainian regime. Why wouldn’t you provoke a war with Russia, if the worst thing that could happen to you is that Russia will pay you tribute? 😂

    It is therefore essential that Ukrainian regime will pay substantial price for any attack, if only to deter them for another 6 years. “Unblocking” Crimea water canal, liberating Kharkov would all be good moves. What we will likely get hovewer is more WW1 style warfare along the contact line in Donbass. I don’t believe in the regime’s ability to conduct a large-scale offensive operation. Regime is broke, and doesn’t have the resources for that. The locals, backed Russian “vacationers” can hold this.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  59. JL says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    You must have missed the word “again” in the quote you blocked.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  60. By-tor says:

    The Russians own the battlefield space in that region. There is no way the Ukrainian military can hold any territory from the Russian military. What are the US and EU neocons going to do if the Russians liberally use the heavy artillery located within the vast Southern Military District of the Russian Federation to halt another US-devised Ukrainian Army blitzkrieg against civilian targets? Will Kiev and Washington stage a counter-strike over the Russian border and start an all out war with nuclear-armed Russia?

  61. This whole thing is a disaster. If Putin considers demise of the Soviet Union to be a catastrophe then great job trying to re-unite with the long lost brother by means of war.

    Instead of waging war, which is always expensive and at best unproductive, he could have focused on prosperity. When 1 million of your best men are not producing anything, that’s bound to leave a hole. When Europe (and the Golem) collapses, at least in the way we know it, which it must, too, because you can’t have “diversity”, i.e. invasion without collapse – the Ukraine would have come running. Voluntarily.

    If he were smart and a great man, he would drop the Great Lie (muh holohoax) and start supporting indigenous Western people and their efforts to get their countries back. That would give ZOG enough to do to stop interfering in Russia’s affairs. I don’t think the cost would be prohibitive. Frankly, sometimes a nice word would be enough.

    But will he? I don’t think so. He’ll keep playing defense and fighting for scraps – Dumbass and Loogansk – when the other side is playing for the world.

  62. JL says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    How would you rate this reform process of which you speak? From a distance, it has a very Perestroika-ish feel to it, with the inevitable outcome.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  63. @Simple Handle

    Even if Putin was smart enough to interfere in Western politics, indigenous Western people are too erratic and stupid to be useful to Russia as allies. They are devoted to the idea of American/Western supremacy, empowering them will do us no good.

    And no, ZOG will not deterred by this. ZOG is psychopatic and cannot be deterred at all.

    • Replies: @Simple Handle
  64. @Mr. XYZ

    Do it on August 2nd.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  65. @AP

    (are those figures accurate?)

    Numbers given by Dzhokhar Dudayev and Sergei Kovalyov? No.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonFromTN
    , @reiner Tor
  66. @Felix Keverich

    “And no, ZOG will not deterred by this. ZOG is psychopatic and cannot be deterred at all.”

    109 (or whatever way you count it)… we’d be at zero if this was impossible.

    I understand that it’s just wishful thinking on my part, wanting someone else to be smart, brave, and possibly great. Still, ideas have a way of growing.

    WW1 & 2 did not happen because of Western supremacy. Stupidity, sure, supremacy, no.

  67. melanf says:
    @AP

    (are those figures accurate?)

    a funny question, the answer to which you yourself know is a stupid propaganda fake, as can be seen from its authors

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  68. @melanf

    I’m pretty sure most Russians in Chechnya were slaughtered before the fighting even started. It was the opening act of Chechen rebellion.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  69. I am surprised that everyone here takes the military investment meme seriously. The relationship between combat readiness and investment is not necessarily straight positive, we are seeing just that in Yemen right now, where once the US withdrew the very expensive Saudi army started to lose badly to the Houthis, who are armed literally with polesticks. Again, any serious combat preparation would entail the resolve of at least part of the elite to wage war, but the problem is that noone there but the hard-core Nazis takes the war seriously. It is patently obvious from their observable behavior. This doesn’t mean that the LDNR troops are better, just that there is no reason to take the official numbers as meaning anything on the ground.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  70. Aslangeo says:
    @RoatanBill

    The dirt on joe Brezhnev s family is common knowledge but the majority of the US corporate press were so vehemently anti Trump that it did ( does not?) not matter. Yesterday’s press conference had more easy softballs thrown at Biden with no serious challenge

    Biden is like Brezhnev in his latter years, senile with a corrupt family. The true danger to me is Kamala, a person of limited intellect and understanding yet significant cunning and limitless ambition and entitlement, a dangerous combination.

    Regarding a UKRop attack, it is possible, but one has to bear in mind a personal risk to their leader from losing a war. Military operations are never certain particularly if the other side has a backer who can destroy your armed forces if they intervene. Of course the intelligence service will paint a picture of near certain success and Ze may be taken in by it, but even porosenok who was much more bellicose did not go for full scale war after 2014

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  71. @AP

    we will see if Russia will be as careful with civilians in Donbas as Ukraine has been.

    You used to be respected around here for arguing in good faith.

    • Replies: @AP
  72. It is the best interest of both the Ukraine and the LDNR to provoke Russian annexation. If both sides were acting rationally, they’d be meeting behind Putler’s back to achieve this.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  73. AP says:
    @Shortsword

    Which is why I asked. I do not disagree with you and melanf’s responses.

  74. rkka says:
    @AP

    “With Ukrainian troops in civilian areas, we will see if Russia will be as careful with civilians in Donbas as Ukraine has been.”

    The first things to go will be the Ukr. air defense system, followed in short order by the Ukr. air force, and the army’s C2 and logistical systems. The Ukr navy, plus the basing and military-economic complexes sustaining the Ukr armed forces will be next.

    Add in a few shots at pol-mil targets, and maybe even a few of the palatial homes of the oligarchs who have run & bled Ukr since independence.

    • Replies: @AP
  75. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Every civilian dead is a tragedy. Given the nature of the type of warfare, civilian death toll in Donbas (about 3,400 people, per wiki) has been light. Compare to wars using comparable arms in Syria and Chechnya.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @By-tor
  76. AP says:
    @rkka

    The first things to go will be the Ukr. air defense system, followed in short order by the Ukr. air force, and the army’s C2 and logistical systems. The Ukr navy, plus the basing and military-economic complexes sustaining the Ukr armed forces will be next

    I responded to a post about raining missiles down on Ukrainian troops who were already in Donbas, in the process of re-occupying it.

  77. rkka says:

    “I responded to a post about raining missiles down on Ukrainian troops who were already in Donbas, in the process of re-occupying it. ”

    Grozny was a fortified defense of an urban area. Look at how Mosul & Raqqa were urban moonscapes after the battles there.

    Ukr forces in the case Anatoly describes won’t be doing that. They’ll be attacking.

    They won’t get far very with that, what with all the chaos & devastation behind them.

    The acronym you want to google now is SODCIT

    • Replies: @AP
  78. @Aslangeo

    Putin knows the west is looking for an excuse to go after Russia. Better to start the altercation on Ukraine soil than Russian. I don’t think Putin can afford to have Ukraine become any more of a threat than it is now. If the stalemate should shift in Ukraine’s favor that only means more NATO and US proxy forces closer to Putin’s border.

    Should anything start again in Ukraine, I think Putin will use excessive force to quash it in a hurry and roll west as a warning and also to create a buffer zone. We may end up with a new divided Berlin situation where Russia or its proxies control the turf that Ukraine controls today. I think the message to Ukraine would be start something and you’ll only lose more, so cut it out and be grateful for what you have. That might just get the Ukrainian people sick of the bellicosity and bring in a gov’t less hostile to Russia, especially if Russia holds out a gas carrot so they won’t freeze next winter.

    Two can play the regime change game.

  79. Max Payne says:

    The cargo ship under the American flag entered the port on Wednesday evening, Dumskaya news agency said. Among 350 tonnes worth of military equipment, the ship carried 35 HMMWV military trucks for Ukraine’s armed forces.

    Oh yeah… real game changer.

    Even the hard cash support (in the hundred million plus dollars range)…. It goes to dumb shit like C4 funding, intelligence sharing fund, so on and so on. It’s nothing worth a squirrel fart.

    The cash cow can be milked for many more decades. Why ruin a good thing?

    Not that I wouldn’t mind some spring or summer offensive. Give me something to watch on TV.

  80. AP says:
    @Mr. Cracker

    Firstly, it is a historical truism that people defending their home fight harder and more ferociously than the people invading their homes.

    In the last war, the people of Donbas (about 6 million in the two oblasts) produced 40,000-45,000 troops, many of whom were unemployed miners needing a paycheck. This is why the best troops were volunteers from Russia. It’s not picture of massive widescale resistance against a hated foe.

    Sure, these people dislike Kiev and prefer Russia, but they don’t seem too desperate about it.

    Contrast to Galicia 1918 – 2.5 million people, 100,000 troops.

    The rest of Ukraine, 1918 – 25 million people, 250,000 troops (divided between Petliura, Makhno, a dozen other warlords).

    So based on volunteer numbers, Donbasers are slightly less enthusiastic about their cause on their lands than Central and Eastern Ukrainians were about the Ukrainian nationalist project in 1918. That is, there is some support, and it is clearly their preferred choice, but it isn’t fanatical or desperate. It isn’t close to Galicia in 1918.

    Secondly, it is also a truism of war that a defensive position requires fewer men and less material than it takes to overrun the defensive position.

    This part is true.

    Thirdly, it is common knowledge that many combatants from Russia entered Donbass to fight the Ukrainian assault.

    This made a real difference in 2014 when Ukraine had no real army and relied on poorly trained and poorly armed volunteer militias. If you think the same is still true you are living in a fantasy.

    Fourthly, success builds morale while defeat crushes morale.

    Assumptions from from the ragtag conflict of 2014 would not apply now. How did Azeris feel about their long-ago defeats, prior to their building up their military?

    Fifthly, while thousands of Russian servicemen entered Donbass voluntarily, and without government permission

    LOL at bolded part.

  81. @Mr. Cracker

    To tack on to AP’s points:

    Secondly, it is also a truism of war that a defensive position requires fewer men and less material than it takes to overrun the defensive position.

    True. The typical ratio is 1.3:1, rising to 1.5:1 if positions are heavily fortified (in the Donbass, they are not). Said ratio between Ukraine and LDNR is many multiples:1. It is stronger, in fact probably much stronger, relative to the LDNR, than Azerbaijan was to Armenia.

    Thirdly, it is common knowledge that many combatants from Russia entered Donbass to fight the Ukrainian assault.

    Russian volunteers had many months to filter in 2014. An Operation Storm on Ukraine’s part will be a quick affair. Even in the Karabakh War, many Armenian diaspora volunteers didn’t even get to fight (though there’s credible allegations that this was in part thanks to Pashinyan sabotaging things).

    Fifthly, while thousands of Russian servicemen entered Donbass voluntarily, and without government permission, the Russian government simply took the position that these volunteers were not official Russian policy.

    Fighting in this “deniable” way vastly increases its costs, because you don’t get any of the technological and systems force multipliers that make the average Russian soldier much more lethal than the average Ukrainian one. This was feasible in 2014 just because the average Ukrainian soldier then was very bad, this is not the case today, when his average quality is probably comparable to that of a mid-2000s Russian soldier.

    • Agree: AP, reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Grim Deadman
    , @Mikel
  82. @Simple Handle

    I know Neo-Nazis tend to be morons and don’t tend to engage with them, but still, this is a strong contender for Idiotic Comment of the Month:

    Instead of waging war, which is always expensive and at best unproductive, he could have focused on prosperity.

    If he were smart and a great man, he would drop the Great Lie (muh holohoax) and start supporting indigenous Western people and their efforts to get their countries back.

    In Russia did all that, those same “Western indigenous people” would have instantly hit Russia with more sanctions than if it just advanced to the River Bug.

    • Replies: @Simple Handle
  83. rkka says:

    “LOL at bolded part. ”

    Why? Claire Chennault’s “Flying Tigers” were U.S. Army Air Corps personnel, on leave for some, um, intensive professional development… (Well compensated too)

  84. @AP

    halve the 1918 numbers to compare today.

    Different logistics tails & troops =/ infantry.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  85. @JL

    Indeed, since the spring of 2020, I believe that we are in the early stages of the globalized Western equivalent to Perestroika. But the outcome of the Soviet Perestroika has only became inevitable in the late stages of the reform process.

    Also, despite some similarities, the late Soviet Union and the globalized West are two very different types of societies. Therefore we don’t know yet whether the globalized West will succeed or fail in its attempt to reform itself.

    Another aspect we need to acknowledge is that globalized West has a disproportionate influence on World affairs, much more so than even Soviets had upon the Eastern Block and their Third World allies. If the globalized West fails in its reform process, then the whole global economy will be strongly impacted. The fall of the Soviet and Eastern European economy was a boon to their Western competitors, but the crash of the globalized Western economy will not be such a gift to China and Russia.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  86. ultratrad says:

    I am not sure this is such a good analysis (no offence). Let’s go through the evidence:

    1. The Ukrainian buildup on the border continues. Wheeling in all those guns and equipment and letting them stand idle is expensive.

    Is it? Does Ukrainian army move its equipment more often than usual? A few vids with tanks moving somewhere do not really prove this.

    2. The Americans have sent a cargo ship which is unloading more equipment in Odessa and a Global Hawk is making overflights over the Black Sea.

    Again, is it happening more often than before? Global Hawk has been making such flights for some time, if I remember correctly.

    3. The other reason is that quite a few people I know who are connected with the Donbass are near certain about a coming conflict to an extent that I don’t recall seeing in years

    The people involved with Donbass are just reacting upon what they see as increased Russian activity. The decisions are made in Moscow. All the talking heads, activists and other media personalities just translate the messages.

    My take is that the Russians didn’t like the recent developments (Germany and France allegedly agreeing to a new way of implementing the Minsk agreements) and decided to threaten with escalation (which is basically the only leverage they have now that Ukrainian opposition is in a pathetic state). So most likely nothing will happen.

  87. @AP

    A tragedy, but not as much of a tragedy as idly standing by and letting svidomists murder your citizens.

  88. @Felix Keverich

    It took a year and a half or so of mass terror and gruesome exactions, but you are right; the majority of Grozny Russophones (there were many ethnic groups beside ethnic Russians) fled or were enslaved or killed before the war even started. Those in the Terek Cossack stanitzas in the Chechen territory were finished after the end of the first Chechen war. By the beginning of the second Chechen war the ethnic cleansing of the Russophone populations in Chechnya was nearly complete.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  89. ultratrad says:

    In any case, if Ukraine decides to escalate (which I don’t believe), I am 99% sure that they will only attempt a very limited operation (no more than retaking 1 non-major city). Such operation will not be a disaster if it fails and will provide new information about the army’s capabilities.

    Ukrainians are very well-aware of the deficiencies of their armed forces. Hence the massive plans to re-arm in the next 10 years (namely, procuring fighters, reorganizing air defense, artillery, increasing UAV fleet and anti-ship capabilities). Some of the projects are already underway, some tenders are expected to be announced soon. However, there are 0 reasons to initiate such plans and then start a massive escalation before they are finished.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  90. @Mr. Hack

    Russia has way more to lose in escalations of the conflict then the US, after a certain point there is no point in not going overboard.
    I do not see a good outcome for Ukraine on this one.

  91. @Quartermaster

    Without a strong economy, you can’t have a strong military.

    You DO realize what this means for the future NATO vs China power balance?
    It also means Ukraine will, in fact, be a cakewalk for Russia.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  92. Aedib says:
    @Mikel

    Taking highly populated areas is always a slow and messy work. I still remember that Americans spent 3 weeks to take Fallujah from a two thousand men militia in 2005. Taking Donetsk will be much, much harder, considering that Donbass militia will be very motivated to fight against an advancing army that want to ethnically cleanse them. This would provide Russia time to inject “volunteers” into the cities
    What I mean when I refer to “smerching” advancing troops, I mean scenarios like the 2014 “south cauldron” and Illovaisk scenarios. Ukrainian wanted to cut Donbass in pieces before going into the big cities. I don’t think the Ukrainian army is in position to perform an urban blitz and take Donetsk and Lugansk in a few days. It is not easy even for more powerful armies (E.g. Grozny, Fallujah). Probably they would want to perform fast advances and consolidate them, but these fast advances are not feasible in cities.

  93. @Anatoly Karlin

    >Russian volunteers had many months to filter in 2014.

    Indeed, so they have this time, from what I hear a lot of them have already left for the front, while a lot more yet are ready to leave any moment. Logistically, getting to the Donbass is far easier than accessing Karabakh.

  94. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Correct. Furthermore the global West comes from a much higher base – it is the richest place in the globe – whereas the Soviet sphere was already second world.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  95. AP says:
    @rkka

    I was responding to a post suggesting Russian intervention would be limited to raining down missiles on advancing Ukrainian troops, who would be in the process of advancing through Donbas territory. I guess that might involve some plausible deniability.

    An open fall scale war against the entire Ukrainian state by mass bombing all over Ukrainian territory would be another story entirely.

    • Replies: @rkka
  96. AP says:
    @ultratrad

    Yes, you made the point better than I would have. Ukraine has built up significant capability of attacking the republics (100,000s equipped and decently trained troops, fixed and upgraded artillery and tanks, bought Turkish drones) but is still in process of procuring and building up its anti-Russian deterrent. To be sure, it’s a different world from 2014, but Ukraine is still making and developing missile systems some of which are on line but many more are still to come. I can’t imagine Ukraine risking a war on a scale that would bring Russia in, openly, at this time. A quick limited strike might be another story.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  97. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Exactly what types of reforms do you see occurring in the Western world? Has this process already started?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  98. @AP

    Yes, but wealthier and more complex social systems are probably more complicated to reform. It should be perhaps viewed as the situation with mutations in the higher biological systems: the more evolved is a system and the less likely is an improvement.

    Despite the drawbacks, living beings still adapt and evolve mainly through random mutagenesis and environmental selection of useful alleles. Social systems also evolve and adapt to a changing economic environment and technological advances. Those which fail disappear.

    Probably a significantly part of these adaptation processes are stochastic and non-linear. There might potentially be a large difference between the planned outcome and the real life end results.

  99. @Korenchkin

    He’s some neocon/fundie weirdo who unironically believes Russia is Gog/Magog and will be destroyed by God when it invades Israel. Feel free to search his comments archives.

  100. Mr. Hack says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Scholarly and very interesting. Don’t be so quick off the handle to denigrate things you may not be familiar with. There’s a free pdf file of this book somewhere out there, in case you’re interested in reading one of the best accounts of Biblical prophecy that relates to end times, including Russia, Ukraine and more.

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  101. @Anatoly Karlin

    This is one of the charming aspects of your blog, when I read some of other comments made here, I suddenly feel way more normal than when I read articles in some “normie press” publication.

    In a way it reminds me of the early Russian internet Kashchenism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashchenism.


    Plus on est de fous et plus on rit!

    😁

  102. @Mr. Hack

    Yes it has already started and is currently ongoing. There are many aspects in the recent evolution of Western societies that point to this. It’s a long topic, better discussing it on the next open thread.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  103. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Good idea! It’s Friday. Looking forward to it.

  104. Carlos22 says:

    I think one of Russia’s dumbest moves was never building or buying a proper pipe laying ship like The Pioneering Spirit that was used before sanctions kicked in last year.

    They are a gas /oil superpower that have a sophisticated space program but are struggling with outdated ships to lay a puny 100km of gas pipes of which so much at stake.

    Quite pathetic.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Aedib
    • Replies: @mal
  105. rkka says:
    @AP

    “An open fall scale war against the entire Ukrainian state by mass bombing all over Ukrainian territory would be another story entirely.”

    Nowhere did I say, or even imply, mass bombing. What I do suggest is that the Russian government, in the event of the Ukr gvt mounting an offensive against Donbas, would take the opportunity to unload inventory of obsolescent precision conventional strike munitions approaching the end of their useful service life, especially since much better munitions such as Kalibr-M and Tsirkon are entering mass production & military service. Military and civilian casualties would be pretty limited, since the objective would be to remove the Ukr gvt’s ability to commmand & sustain their armed forces, not the armed forces themselves.

    And this isn’t “full scale war” but a very limited one, following the US/NATO practice of tossing TLAMs at things they dislike, which they do now & again.

    • Replies: @AP
  106. @Bashibuzuk

    “West Germanics” killing each other is also perfectly fine from the point of view of the “Western partners”, so it’s not really an anti-Slav thing.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  107. AP says:
    @rkka

    Nowhere did I say, or even imply, mass bombing

    Your words were:

    “The first things to go will be the Ukr. air defense system, followed in short order by the Ukr. air force, and the army’s C2 and logistical systems. The Ukr navy, plus the basing and military-economic complexes sustaining the Ukr armed forces will be next.”

    And in a subsequent post: “ They won’t get far very with that, what with all the chaos & devastation behind them”

    This implied mass bombing. But thank you for the clarification.

    • Replies: @rkka
  108. @Bashibuzuk

    I find language as a determiner of race/nationality to be odd. Pretty much all Irish and Scottish people are Anglophones, but no one considers them to be “English”. Even the Anglo-Irish protestants (ie Oscar Wilde) are not considered to be “English”.

    Maybe it’s different in the Russian context, but in a British Isles context language as a determiner of nationality/race seems bizarre.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Daniel Chieh
  109. @Europe Europa

    Russian was less prevalent among some Soviet ethnic groups, in Chechnya, urban dwellers were overwhelmingly Russian-speaking, but many among them were not ethnic Russians. That is why the term Russophone is more appropriate. BTW, a lot of those seen as Russian in the West are not ethnic Russians and do not consider themselves to br even remotely related to post-Soviet Russia. Calling them Russophone would also be more appropriate in that sense.

  110. @Shortsword

    Numbers given by Dzhokhar Dudayev and Sergei Kovalyov? No.

    In Soviet times, there was an official story about one of the commanders in the Civil War Chapayev and his young helper Petka (short for Peter). Naturally, there were lots of politically incorrect jokes about them. Here is one.

    Chapayev returns from a trip to Britain with oodles of money. Petka asks:
    – How did you get so rich?
    – I played cards.
    – Still, how did you win so much?
    – I was playing poker with a guy on the train. It the first round, he announced that he has a royal flush. I asked him to show it, but he answered that one gentleman always believes another. After that I got only very strong cards.

  111. @Grim Deadman

    The relationship between combat readiness and investment is not necessarily straight positive,

    Absolutely correct. Toys, however expensive, don’t win wars, people do. Afghanistan is a good example of that. US and other NATO troops with all their sophisticated and ridiculously expensive toys are afraid to venture outside of their heavily fortified bases. Taliban, armed with cheap Kalashnikovs, freely roams the country.

  112. Wolfar says:

    The strange logic of this conflict is that if Ukraine decides to attack the republics, the strengthening of the sanction regime against Russia is all but guaranteed.

    The difference is the degree to which the US will go with the sanctions. If Russia intervenes, they will be stronger.

    It would be incredibly dumb on Russia’s part to keep the status quo ante in case she intervenes. There has to be a cost for Ukraine, and losing more territory will be a blow to the US satraps in Kiev, depriving them of manpower from the newly liberated regions – and having a shrinking pool of soldiers is important if you don’t want repeated attempts in the future. Like I said, if Ukraine forces Russia to intervene at no cost to itself (status quo ante), it will have achieved its objective.

    Beyond capturing the remaining areas of the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts, I would rather try Odessa than Kharkov. Deprive Ukraine of a port, link to Transinitria, solve the water problem in Crimea. Kharkov can come later, it’s closer to Russia.

    • Replies: @AP
  113. rkka says:
    @AP

    Allow me to explain something. Back in the early ’80s, Chief of the Soviet General Staff Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov believed that conventional weapons, through increasing precision, would become equivalent to nuclear weapons. This is what he meant.

    When your 1960s theater strike system is the SS-4 medium range ballistic missile, half of which will fall outside a circle with a radius of 2000m and half inside it, the only way to achieve the desired target destruction probability is to put a Really Big Nuke on it. Everything else it destroys is undesirable collateral damage.

    When your 1980s theater strike system is the SS-20 intermediate range ballistic missile, and that radius is 150m, you need a much smaller nuke on it to achieve the desired target destruction probability. Undesired collateral damage is still appalling, but far less than with the SS-4.

    Now that missile precision has improved, and that radius is down to 10-20 meters, a big conventional blast-fragmentation warhead will do for all but really hard targets, and the undesired collateral damage is vastly reduced. We all got a glimpse of this when the Iranians precisely struck particular facilities at the Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq in the aftermath of the Solemani assassination.

    The Russian armed forces have evolved to Ogarkov’s concept, with a 40 year delay.

  114. @Europe Europa

    That’s because English became the world’s common language; like Latin, it became divorced from its origin. For most of the world, language, identification and culture is correlated: China traditionally did not slaughter populations but destroyed languages for this specific reason.

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @sher singh
  115. @Avery

    Coping with zrada, are we?

    • Replies: @Avery
  116. @Anatoly Karlin

    “this is a strong contender for Idiotic Comment of the Month”

    I am fine with this.

    “In Russia did all that, those same “Western indigenous people” would have instantly hit Russia with more sanctions than if it just advanced to the River Bug.”

    You are assuming it is the actual Western indigenous people that are driving this and not just struggling to survive. After all, Western indigenous people are 80% of Ridin’s cabinet (and Orange Man’s before), right? By the way, how’s that different from the first Soviet cabinet? Good times.

    Anyway, I am harmless, as are my ideas, so don’t worry about it, да?

    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
  117. AP says:
    @Wolfar

    Since Russia does not officially have peacekeepers in Donbas (unlike in the case of South Ossetia), by invading Donbas Ukraine would not be forcing Russia to intervene. Russian intervention would be a choice (for purposes of domestic politics).

    Capturing and occupying hundreds of miles of territory populated by people who mostly don’t want to occupied would be quite the expensive escalation.

  118. @AP

    Realistically Russia does not have much choice in the matter. Something like half a million Donbass residents have acquired Russian citizenship, for Ukraine to attack them is arguably worse than attacking peacekeepers. To not intervene at that point would be an existential level catastrophe for the Putin government.

    • Replies: @AP
  119. rkka says:
    @AP

    “Capturing and occupying hundreds of miles of territory populated by people who mostly don’t want to occupied would be quite the expensive escalation. ”

    And its not needed, at all. This is another reason the Russian response would take the form of crippling precision conventional ballistic and cruise missile strikes at critical Ukr military, military-economic, and politico-military targets.

    Mother Russia is no longer The Bear, with the overwhelming close combat capabilities. Mother Russia is now a porcupine, who can toss her quills thousands of kilometers.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Aedib
  120. mal says:
    @Carlos22

    Not necessarily. Construction in the Baltic is very treacherous but it’s an outlier. Russian pipeline equipment does fine just about everywhere else. I mean, Akademik Chersky did just fine in the Sakhalin project for which it was originally designed. Likewise, I didn’t hear too many complaints about Power Siberia (at least as far as pipelines go) or Turk Stream.

    Russia is better off investing in nuclear ice breakers and LNG carriers rather than trying to develop some wierd and highly specialized ship stabilizers that will never be used or needed again. Also, slow construction makes Americans and Germans yell at each other so it’s not all bad, geopolitically speaking.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  121. AP says:
    @AltSerrice

    I’m not disputing you, but what percentage of the Russian population would want Russia to get involved in a major war with Ukraine over Donbas, with all of the political and economic consequences? Any poll data?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  122. AP says:
    @AP

    According to this article by Volkov of the Levada center in 2015, Russians overwhelmingly approved of taking back Crimea but only 20% to 25% supported actions in Donbas:

    https://carnegie.ru/commentary/61236

    This suggests that by not getting involved in a large war in Ukraine, Putin would lose hardcore nationalist support, but he would still be Russia’s most popular politician. It’s an old poll though.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  123. Beckow says:
    @AP

    Sure, it is a choice. Every step that Kiev has made in the last 7 years was also a choice. Both Ukraine and Russia are being played with a simple goal to have a war between them. Bloodier the better.

    If you take the outsiders out of picture best choices are:
    – Ukraine enthusiastically fulfils Minsk agreement – over time a “federation” would stabilize and all would be well. Kiev would keep control of its territory. That would mean no NATO so West blocks it.
    – For Russia best outcome would be for Ukraine to economically collapse, Russia comes to rescue and a friendship is reestablished. This time presumably Moscow would do better managing its “friends” and not end up in a cul-de-sac like with that moron Yanuk.

    It is probably too late for both those options, too much blood, too much at stake. The West might get their wish and there will be a new wall that separates Ukraine and Russia with missiles pointing in both direction. After a lot of bloodshed. But there is absolutely no rational reason why Moscow couldn’t move that wall as far west as they can and make Kiev pay a massive price. They would too, but that comes with the territory. This is what happens when too many people start living in a fantasy world and start revolutions against geography. (Maybe next time they can revolt against physics.)

  124. The Donbass situation seems similar to Northern Ireland, in that it’s largely a conflict between transplants and natives. There’s some overlap in both cases, like a minority of ethnic Irish are pro-British and a minority of ethnic Ukrainians are pro-Russian but overall the dividing lines in the two conflicts seem broadly similar.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  125. @Europe Europa

    The Donbass situation seems similar to Northern Ireland, in that it’s largely a conflict between transplants and natives.

    One correction: the natives of Donbass (i.e., the people whose ancestors moved there >100 years ago) do not want to be part of Ukraine. Transplants from Western Ukraine and very few locals are pro-Ukrainian. As Ukraine-installed mayor of Slavyansk once said, there are 5-6 pro-Ukrainian people in the city, and I personally know them all.

    • Replies: @AP
  126. @Europe Europa

    I have never written that it was inherently “anti-Slav”. Just like the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans was not inherently “anti-Amerindian”, enslaving the ancestors of Afro-Americans was not inherently “anti-African” and poisoning the Chinese with opium and degrading their society was not inherently “anti-Chinese”. It was not motivated by hatred against some ethnic groups or cultures, it was just the rational thing to do at the time. Basically the Western European version of “dindu nofeen”: nothing personal, business only. Also you should be aware that many “Western Partners” are themselves somewhat “Germanic”. Although I am sure they don’t really care about their ancestors’ ethnic and cultural background. This is not what rational, serious, European-minded people care about. But Russians are POC.

    🙂

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  127. @Mr. Hack

    An Orthodox Christian would do well to refer to the Fathers, not internet weirdos, concerning eschatology. One could do worse than starting here:

    https://books.google.ru/books?id=JORIkBaj9HcC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  128. Mikel says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Fighting in this “deniable” way vastly increases its costs

    For no discernible benefit. You get the sanctions, the bad press and NATO troops patrolling close to Saint Petersburg all the same.

    Perhaps the little green men clownery was an experiment worth trying in Crimea but not now.

  129. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Usual massive exaggeration. Pro-Ukrainians were indeed heavily outnumbered but about 10% voted for pro-Western parties prior to 2014 in Donetsk province.

    In Sloviansk this would have been about 10,000 people though I suspect it would be higher relative to the provincial average.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  130. @AP

    for purposes of domestic politics

    Since Russia does not officially have peacekeepers in Donbas (unlike in the case of South Ossetia), by invading Donbas Ukraine would not be forcing Russia to intervene.

    Well, not even a pretense of fulfilling the Minsk agreement, plus the Golan heights precedent or many other things stopped (like refusal from the NATO prostitute Banderastan to allow peacekeepers deployed at the active border) would justify a military response you idiot.

    For an imbecile fantasist as yourself to use the “purposes of domestic politics ” statement when you fully know you are a POS who knows nothing about domestic Ukrainian or Russian politics ( the “divide” between East Dnepropetrovsk and West Dnepropetrovsk LMAO) – is obscene in the extreme.

    If by “domestic politics” you mean that only Russian public would be interested in the subsequent death and humanitarian crisis the evil Banderastan/NAT0 regume caused and has caused ( because the west deliberately decides to not highlight this – just as they do Ukraine’s many other sins and failure in the last 7 years )- then it is “domestic politics”.

    In reality it would have no effect on domestic politics and the parliamentary elections. 404 is viewed as an evil and hopeless state. Only indirect factors as sanctions from countries who are suffering much worse crisis from the coronavirus and economically – would be the interest of “domestic politics”. But Russia knows that we are morally in the right, anything bad that happens is ultimately the west and 404’s fault. Any economic pain directed at Russia harms Ukraine 4 times as much. In the fantasist scenario of Ukraine “winning” they will have to pay for the destruction they have brought to the people and infrastructure of Ukraine’s richest, most populous and important region

    Different to Ukropia, Russia is not an authoritarian country – people are allowed to think.

  131. Aedib says:
    @rkka

    Not necessarily. May be precision MLRS, ballistic and cruise missile strikes at logistic nodes and troops concentrations around the contact line. Something more tactical than a paralyzing strategic strike like the one you propose. Whipping out field decision centers may also happen.

    • Replies: @rkka
  132. @ultratrad

    These plans involve tens of billions of dollars that Ukraine will be hard pressed to cough up in the absence of $3B/year from gas transit fees a year (=half of its annual military budget).

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    , @ultratrad
  133. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I don’t follow. Who is the neocon/fundie weirdo?

    AK: Quartermaster. Just search his comments archive.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  134. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Do you think that GS2 will be operational in the next few years?

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  135. Beckow says:

    absence of $3B/year from gas transit fees a year

    Without NS2, Russia’s loss if they stop transit thru Ukraine would be up to $30-40 billion/annually. That assumes that the prices wouldn’t go up, and they would if supplies are constrained. There are also other places Russia could sell that gas, or they can curtail production – resources in the ground could be more valuable in the future.

    If there is a war, the cost for Russia would be an order of magnitude higher, in hundreds of billions: war, sanctions, drop in Ruble, etc… A rational person would choose to take a smaller loss and simply stop transit thru Ukraine triggering a crises or a costly bail-out by EU. But Russia seems to be run by small-minded accountants.

  136. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Contrast to Galicia 1918 – 2.5 million people, 100,000 troops.

    The rest of Ukraine, 1918 – 25 million people, 250,000 troops (divided between Petliura, Makhno, a dozen other warlords).

    There were also supporters of the Reds and Whites, who weren’t against some type of Russo-Ukrainian togetherness.

    Among Galician Ukrainian ranks at the time was interest in some form of a union with Russia.

    There was a reason why Petliura became Pilsudski’s puppet, in a move that included the former recognizing all of Galicia falling under Polish rule.

  137. rkka says:
    @Aedib

    An objective of deeper strikes would be to destroy as much of the Ukr military-industrial complex as possible & then just walk away from the rest of it, leaving the bill for US/NATO/EU. It would represent the recognition of the civilizational choice the Ukr gvt had made by initiating offensive military operations against Donbas, and the application of consequences of that choice.

    The Ukr gvt can then celebrate the morons who came to Ukr in the train of the Wehrmacht after 22 June 1941, deluded themselves that they were in charge of something, and then helped the Nazis administer Ukr as the Nazis perpetrated Generalplan OST & the Hunger Plan there, to their heart’s content, and the Russian gvt won’t particularly care.

    • Replies: @AP
  138. @AP

    March to the River Bug on a whim? Not a lot. Forcefully respond to a Ukrainian attack, probably amplified by intense TV coverage/propaganda of Russian citizens getting shelled in Donbass? Easily 70%.

    I suspect if it comes down to it Russia will finally invoke some R2P talking points, taking a cue from the Western partners.

    PS. Another development:

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  139. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Shades of what motivated the Argentine military junta to militarily engage in the Falklands/Malvinas in 1982.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @Aedib
  140. @AP

    Usual massive exaggeration.

    Is that the reason why a few months ago exactly one (!) person showed up in Slavyansk on the premiere of Ukrainian propaganda movie about the battle of Slavyansk? Even Ukie propagandists were embarrassed and canceled that premiere.

  141. awry says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Ukraine doesn’t look very different from average rural Russia, the condition and age of buildings, cars, public transit vehicles, the residents, their clothing and living standards look similar. Moscow and St. Petersburg are of course different.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  142. Aedib says:
    @Mikhail

    Argentina had a small but non-zero likelihood of success. If some dumb bombs that hit the British ships would had exploded, the British task force would have suffered even heavier loses. But Ukraine likelihood of success in going to take Crimea is ZERO. What they want to do? A D-day like operation near Eupatoria? It is a non-starter.

  143. awry says:

    Ukraine has to destroy the Kerch Bridge for start. Crimea is not self sufficient, not in electricity, water, food and supplies. Then Russia would be forced to try to open an overland corridor to Crimea through Ukrainian territory. Don’t underestimate the Pentagon’s wish to jump into the war, if Russia is the clear agressor according to international law. Even in an operation to retake Crimea the US and Turkey will happilly provide any help short of directly engaging Russian forces with their own apparently.
    See the precedent of South Ossetia or Karabah, in those Georgia and Armenia were the agressors according to international law.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    , @lauris71
  144. @awry

    Can’t be true. Russia has significantly more housing construction, production of trams/trains/buses/etc and car sales.

  145. @Aedib

    Its not zero if Russia doesn’t respond. And as Karlin indicated, there’s a chance of that. Not a high one and not a particularly rational hope to rely upon, but it exists.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  146. @Bashibuzuk

    It’s dumb thinking. It’s very unlikely that Putin will just hand over the country to Navalny. So the only thing they can achieve is pushing him ever closer to China.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  147. @utu

    I follow the Rand Corporation on Russia. My view on Russian mercenary capability was informed by a recent blog post on the Rand site. The Rand Corp. go further and question the will to fight of the military at all. I think theyoverdo it.

    Rand is part of the sales arm of the military-industrial complex. I can’t te remember if they invented “The Missile Gap”. It is their job to exaggerate the strength of potential enemies so that military spending is maintained. They did great work on game theory 60 years ago and are trying to make some breakthrough’s on obesity.

    https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/03/russian-mercenaries-in-great-power-competition-strategic.html

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Rattus Norwegius
  148. @Aedib

    I don’t think using those missiles launched from Russia (or at any rate operated by Russian crews) would help maintain plausible deniability. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  149. @awry

    Even in an operation to retake Crimea the US and Turkey will happilly provide any help short of directly engaging Russian forces with their own apparently.

    Do you think Turkey would assist in retaking Crimea out of irredentist ambition/sentiment over historically Turkic lands?

    • Replies: @awry
  150. ultratrad says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Well, some of them have already started. Regardless:

    1) Army will likely be the last one to lose its funding. These poor retirees though. If I recall correctly, more than 1 billion per year is spent on the elderly in Donbass alone.

    2) It is still just about 2% of 2020’s GDP.

    3) Where does the figure come from and how reliable it actually is? I have googled it and it seems like it was mentioned as an upper limit by some Ukrainian official back in 2019. The latest estimate by the Ministry of Finance is just 1.5 billion. Starting a risky war for 2% of country’s GDP (which will shrink as economy grows): not very strategic. Starting a war for 1% of your GDP: uh.. really unnecessary.

    4) What I was trying to say is that Ukrainian leadership realizes that the country is unprepared for the real conflict, even limited one. In addition, the recent years show that the army was careful not to provoke the Russians into open response. In fact, the only massive escalation (2015) was organized by the opposing side. Taken together, this suggests that Ukrainian leadership is rather risk-averse.

  151. awry says:
    @Europe Europa

    Turkish nationalists want it for themselves on the long run, probably.

    • Replies: @sher singh
  152. @AP

    It is symptomatic that a Ukie changes subject to Chechen war that ended many years ago, to distract attention from the crimes of Ukie military in Donbass.

    There are thousands of examples, but I will mention only a few.

    One, very recent, March 25, 2021. In Zolotoe (LPR) Ukie bandits shelled residential houses and a school (https://lenta.ru/news/2021/03/26/donbass_school/).

    Two, Ukie shelling of Donetsk bus stop that killed eight and maimed several civilians (https://www.wsj.com/articles/shelling-kills-13-at-bus-stop-in-donetsk-1421917147).

    Anyway, pictures speak louder than words, so here is the link with pictures of Gorlovka Madonna: 23-years old young woman and her 10 months old child, first when they were still alive, then after they were murdered by Ukie shelling:
    https://maysuryan.livejournal.com/878784.html

    Searching with “Donbass Madonna” you can get lots of pics and videos of Ukie war crimes in Donbass. Just a few examples:
    https://yandex.ru/video/preview/?text=donbass%20madonna&path=wizard&parent-reqid=1616794890742607-196950924249387857400103-production-app-host-vla-web-yp-137&wiz_type=vital&filmId=8109100017985035367
    https://yandex.ru/video/preview/?text=donbass%20madonna&path=wizard&parent-reqid=1616794890742607-196950924249387857400103-production-app-host-vla-web-yp-137&wiz_type=vital&filmId=15307135309218864349
    https://yandex.ru/video/preview/?text=donbass%20madonna&path=wizard&parent-reqid=1616794890742607-196950924249387857400103-production-app-host-vla-web-yp-137&wiz_type=vital&filmId=10581071726673383742
    https://yandex.ru/video/preview/?text=donbass%20madonna&path=wizard&parent-reqid=1616794890742607-196950924249387857400103-production-app-host-vla-web-yp-137&wiz_type=vital&filmId=15125185325197269358

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Jazman
  153. @Aedib

    Argentina and Britain had already discussed potential handover agreements, which only failed due to Argentina’s maximalist demands despite British offer of compromise. The Americans were also leaning towards Argentine sovereignty of the Falklands, suggesting the British accept the loss. Unlike Crimea/Donbass, the Falklands were located far away from Britains core territories. I do not believe that it was a certainty that the British would even respond as it did. With another government and different people in positions of power, whether they were elected or unelected, the matter might’ve been solved with diplomacy. Argentina also had stronger international connections and was much less isolated than Russia is today.

  154. @Anatoly Karlin

    The Russian army still doesn’t understand sergeants.

  155. lauris71 says:
    @awry

    There is no such thing as The International Law.
    What is conventionally meant by it is a set of agreements and treaties, often vague and contradicting. For example Helsinki accords (state sovereignty) vs. Nurenberg code (responsibility to protect). Big players will pick and choose the parts they want for each situation, small ones have to obey whatever the big ones dictate.
    By convention UN Charter and UNSC is usually regarded as the supreme law (especially concerning state-to-state aggression). But because UNSC itself is the final arbiter of these statutes there is intentional vagueness. Each party will claim suitable parts of international law and if any of the big 5 uses veto, there will be no “final” ruling. There several other court-like institutions like UN Court of Justice and ICC too, but these are carry even less authority than UNSC.

  156. @Philip Owen

    Do you think that modern militaries would do well to recruit soldier for 20 year service terms, or perhaps 40 year terms since modern people live longer?

  157. @Bashibuzuk

    I noticed. It was not just about giantic agricultural projects, including parts of still Ukranian Donetsk oblast. Chinese companies had already started spending money in Crimea to build port facilities. OBOR. China was less than pleased with Russia’s failure/unwillingness to rein in its adventurers in Ukraine. Those large Chinese interests are still there, right next to the LDNR border.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Gerard-Mandela
  158. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Indeed. Consequences are tragic when fighters use civilian areas as their battleground, and dead children make for great propaganda that people like you love to use. How many refugees came to Europe because of that picture of the little boy who drowned in Turkey?

    Pro-Russian forces also killed civilians during shelling attacks. Here is when a bus stop was hit in Mariupol:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2015_Mariupol_rocket_attack

    One of the 30 victims was, ironically, a pro-Russian activist.

    Of course, since rebel positions are more embedded in civilian areas, Ukrainians have killed more civilians with their shelling than he rebels have.

    Still, the total number of tragically killed civilians in Donbas is still small relative to such conflicts. 3,400 in Donbas versus 10,000s in Chechnya and over 100,000 in Syria.

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  159. AP says:
    @rkka

    So gleeful and angry…

    Deep strikes throughout the country will be treated the same as an invasion and would mean massive economic consequences of Russia.

  160. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Aedib

    The key similarity being that the Argentine military junta and present day Kiev regime had/have lack of popularity and socioeconomic issues. A military strike serves to divert attention.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  161. @Mikhail

    A military strike serves to divert attention.

    An added bonus: if you lose the war w/o unconditional capitulation, you get a chance to blame all your troubles on the winner. Clown might find this irresistible.

    • Agree: Mikhail
  162. Mr. Hack says:

    Checking internet news in Ukraine, specifically “Ukrayinska Pravda” you wouldn’t realize the many different scenarios bantered about here at this blogsite about possible war between Russian and Ukraine. An article about former president Kravchuk lamenting the recent loss of four Ukrainian soldiers in Donbas, and some reporting about Zelenskys conversations with Merkel and a few others about the increasing tension there. That’s about it. If Kyiv was really planning a large scale attack on Donbas, you’d think that there would be a lot more propaganda being produced, to get the country ready for a dangerous conflict? Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and things will simmer down.

    https://www.pravda.com.ua/

    There’s a Russian language one available too (naturally). 🙂

  163. @reiner Tor

    Yes, but the sanctions are not to convince Putin or Russian government, but to encourage the fifth column to turn against Putin and the Russian government.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  164. @Daniel Chieh

    From a Sikh Brahmin:

    Your christcuck is showing.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  165. Passer by says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Pushkina was kicked out, that could be a good sign.

    • Replies: @Wolfar
  166. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    What’s so special about that date?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  167. Mr. Hack says:
    @The Big Red Scary

    Thanks for the link and recommendation – looks like a book worth reading.

    Anything specifically inaccurate with the book that I recommended to Karlin written by Dr. Ruthven and Griess?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  168. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    That was when Donbass’s existence wasn’t actually threatened by the hohol menace, though–no?

  169. @AP

    Pro-Russian forces also killed civilians during shelling attacks. Here is when a bus stop was hit in Mariupol:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2015_Mariupol_rocket_attack

    One of the 30 victims was, ironically, a pro-Russian activist.

    As is typical with human garbage – total BS. The Mariupol bus attack was ukronazi’s you dumb prick. The direction it came from was not a DNR position.
    Civilian killings are the exclusive ownership of the ukronazis you obscene tramp.

    Almost everybody accepted it as a ukrotard atrocity when Poroshenko did that stunt in front of a foreign conference ( holding up metal remains from the bus) – it was as fake a gesture as is possible and I don’t think any psychiatrist would call it anything else except him lying. He did a similar thing with Russian passports from “captured” soldiers – from what was shown, it was clear those exact ones he had in his hand at the time were nothing more than props.

    In addition – alot of these innocent people were making that journey ,exactly because Kiev regime refuses to pay directly into accounts of pensioners and others requiring social payments ( Russia always made sure all chechen citizens received their pensions and other payments). So the people of Donbass are forced to make the endlessly-checked and slow journey to cross the other side to collect their payments because of this gutter regime.

    Indeed. Consequences are tragic when fighters use civilian areas as their battleground, and dead children make for great propaganda that people like you love to use. How many refugees came to Europe because of that picture of the little boy who drowned in Turkey?

    Of course, since rebel positions are more embedded in civilian areas, Ukrainians have killed more civilians with their shelling than he rebels have.

    Still, the total number of tragically killed civilians in Donbas is still small relative to such conflicts. 3,400 in Donbas versus 10,000s in Chechnya and over 100,000 in Syria.

    Lies, misdirection and more lies. Not least because an attention-whore as yourself frequently advocates mass murder and other vile acts when whatever alter-ego you are doing – Austrian, East Ukrainian, Polish, Chechen etc – requires it for some BS argument.

    But interestingly, I believe this is where I first came across cursed-in-hell scum as yourself under your Polish sockpuppet – the exact same discredited BS argument equating the Chechen war, with Donbass. It could be a different blog – but I believe it was the “Kremlin Stooge”. Everybody knows your a loser with nothing else to do, so the chances that , in general, you haven’t tried to comment on the Kremlin Stooge with that same piece of preprepared disinformation are absolute zero. So if we all accept the fact that you must have commented on the KremlinStooge blog – then if not as AP, then as who? LOL……some maggot pretending to be polish. It could be a different blog you do this trick but I’m guessing that one.

    Think how much of a sociopathic tramp it proves yourself to be if it’s proven that you call yourself Polish on other blogs that you stalk….in addition to “mir” and other instantaneous BS.

    • Replies: @AP
  170. Passer by says:
    @Quartermaster

    Russia itself is declining and weakening.

    If Russia is declining, then the West must be collapsing, since it is estimated to have lower growth rate than even sanctioned Russia for the next 15 years.

  171. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Contrast to Galicia 1918 – 2.5 million people, 100,000 troops.

    Did Galicians put up one hell of a fight before the Poles conquered their land during this time?

    • Replies: @AP
  172. Passer by says:

    Not much the US or the West can do sanction wise since Asia alone is esimated to reach 53 % of the global economy by 2050. If anything, Russia integrating into Asia will power it even further.

    Richard Haas, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, is waving the white flag.

    Two centuries of Western domination of the world, first under Pax Britannica and then under Pax Americana, are coming to an end.

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2021-03-23/new-concert-powers

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

    You are back to your desperate screeching. The number of paragraphs is expanding as your desperation grows.

    Sorry, no videos of nice dresses for you.

    • LOL: Jatt Aryaa
  174. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    BTW, one of the least satisfying books regarding eschatology that I’ve ever read was written by an Orthodox theologian, Dennis E Engleman. I read it about 20 years ago and don’t quite remember exactly why I was disappointed with the book. Perhaps, with the passage of time, it needs to be reread?

    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
  175. AP says:
    @Passer by

    Sure, but if the West chose to sanction those who do business with Russia – which companies would choose Russia over the West?

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Philip Owen
  176. @Mr. Cracker

    Firstly, the defenders of Donbass will be fighting for their families, homes, and land; whereas the Ukrainian personal will be fighting for cash and empty promises.

    It’s unclear. The Ukrainian soldiers will be fighting for their fatherland. The Donbas soldiers… unclear. They might be happy joining Russia and then they could fight for Mother Russia. But it hasn’t happened yet.

    Secondly, Donbass will be in a defensive position whereas the Ukraine military will be on the offensive. It is much easier to defend a position than to attack a defensive position.

    Other factors play a larger role. It’s not some mountainous terrain, rather a flatland.

    Thirdly, the previous conflicts resulted in a flood of volunteer fighters coming from Russia. I see no reason for this to not happen again.

    The Ukrainian military is now so strong that it’d take a few weeks to clean up the whole thing, absent a Russian intervention.

    Fourthly, the morale of the Donbass people must be high since they beat the Ukraine military twice. Similarly, the morale of the Ukrainian military must be low since it has already been beaten twice.

    It was a long time ago and the Ukrainians have prepared well for a revenge. They have received high quality equipment and training, and have wargamed the exact same war lots of time. It’s not unknown in the historical records for such militaries to have high morale and an eagerness to prove their mettle in war, to prove that they are now that much better than they were before. E.g. the Egyptians had a high morale in 1973.

    Fifthly, the Russian government could simply “turn a blind eye” to thousands of Russian soldiers tearing the insignias off their uniforms and crossing into Donbass. (Is that not what happened before?

    The Ukrainian military was worth shit back then. Now it’s relatively well prepared and ready for war. For a small scale war, at any rate. The small forces without heavy weapons would not be enough this time.

  177. @Felix Keverich

    I am usually bullish on the Russian armed forces. But the Ukrainian military has improved a lot. What it comes down to is Ukraine could easily destroy the LDNR absent an open and large scale Russian intervention. But the Russians can easily destroy Ukraine in such an intervention.

    • Agree: AP
  178. Passer by says:
    @AP

    They tried that and it didn’t work even with Turkey (see S-400, pipelines, etc).

    Not to mention that the declining entity (The West) will have even less sanctions power in the future, since it is on a long term decline.

    View post on imgur.com

    View post on imgur.com

    • Replies: @AP
  179. Kouroi says:
    @Andris of Naxos

    Enjoyed your analysis very much.

    Ultimately this is what I would do as well.

    One should also mention the latest messages coming from various individuals in the Russian administration calling for the abandonment of SWIFT and moving to a more secure system of payment transfers…

    And they might have the plans ready for the switch. Very likely that the planning for Crimea was in place since it was assessed that Ukraine is a problem that cannot be contained…

    I would cut Ukraine from the Black Sea completely and link with Transnistria. Moldavians and Romanians would be ultimately happy to have that problem taken off their hands…

  180. Kouroi says:
    @Pumblechook

    Divide et Impera in full action…

  181. AP says:
    @Passer by

    They tried that and it didn’t work even with Turkey (see S-400, pipelines, etc).

    How is Turkey’s economy doing? How many countries would be willing to tank their economies for the sake of Russia?

    • Replies: @Passer by
  182. @AP

    Contrast to Galicia 1918 – 2.5 million people, 100,000 troops.

    So a “nationalist” movement, whose “military” was so strong that its pseudo-republic(s) lasted shorter than some fishing trips I have gone on, or shorter than some traffic delays……whose history of “independence” includes willingly being a reject of 3 different empires, and willing treated as inferiors of Poles, Austrians, Jews………..whose “history” includes their own people not wanting anything to do with this scum and informing the Soviet authorities about them in the 1950’s ( forcing them to hide in the west)………who Lenin had to use only 2 brain-cells to extinguish their pseudo”republic” without any war, who have centuries of NOT fighting for anything, who had absolutely ZERO to do with the breakup of the Soviet Union like at least the Baltics and some of the kavkaz republics did……….are now having their repeated failure and cultural appropriation misdirected away by a fantasist retard with severe mental problems? LOL

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @AP
  183. Aedib says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Russia will answer to an Ukrainian operation in Crimea. There is not doubt about it.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  184. @awry

    Tbh, I would support Turks taking over Crimea & most of W Ukraine
    Iran taking most of the S Caucus/Caspian area

    Sikhi expanding till Chitral/Peshaur.

    Status quo ante before the 19th C “Great Game” basically.

    Only short term though, obviously long term Khalsa takes Tehran & Rum.

    [MORE]

    There’s no reason for Rus to be in those areas beyond strategic protection, but the idea of a “christian” power spreading the idea of female promiscuity is ineffable.

    “prohibiting unions in which the bride didn’t explicitly agree to the union.”

    • Replies: @4Dchessmaster
  185. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    Is my stalker getting tired? Only one paragraph this time?

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  186. @Aedib

    Russia will answer to an Ukrainian operation in Crimea.

    Any Ukrainian operation in Crimea would be suicidal for that pseudo-state. Even sorosoid morons like current clown know that. It certainly won’t happen, unless they totally lose their marbles.
    There is a joke about it.
    Russians say:
    – If you believe that Crimea belongs to you, why don’t you fight for it?
    – We are not stupid, there are Russian troops there.
    – But you say that there are Russian troops in Donbass, yet you fight.
    – That’s what we say. But there really are Russian troops in Crimea.

  187. Carlo says:

    “Today, after six years of spending 3.5% (SIPRI) or 5% (official numbers) of its GDP on the military – whatever the precise numbers, drastically higher than the 1% it was spending before 2014 – the Ukrainian military is much more capable”
    A great increase in expenditure does not mean that their military became much more capable, especially considering the staggering corruption in all levels in Ukraine. I wonder how much of this money is really being spent on new weapons and military preparedness, or on “digitalization development” as in the following news?
    https://from-ua.com/news/592955-ministr-oboroni-taran-trudoustroil-svoei-pomoschnicei-30-letnyuyu-hostes-foto.html

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Philip Owen
  188. AP says:

    Ukrainian and US militaries will be holding joint exercise including the use of artillery and the Turkish drones, this summer. This suggests that starting a major war before this time is unlikely:

    https://censor.net/ru/news/3254497/v_ucheniyah_si_briz2021_primut_uchastie_30_korableyi_morskaya_pehota_ukrainy_i_ssha_i_bespilotnik_bayraktar

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  189. @Avery

    So where is a major conflict with China going to take place.
    I don’t see it.

    Right?

    Xi is going to tell Obama to tell Biden to ramp ops in Ukraine and Syria with the hope of drawing Russia into a major conflict with the US.

    The US and Russia fighting each other to exhaustion is the wet dream of China’s strategic planners.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  190. @AP

    Ukrainian and US militaries will be holding joint exercise

    This reminds me of an ancient (pre-Soviet) Russian joke:
    An ox was plowing, and a fly was sitting on its horn. Than the fly flew off and met another fly. It asked:
    – What did you do today?
    – We plowed.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  191. By-tor says:
    @AP

    Any US-sourced wiki is propaganda at a minimum but most likely just deliberate disinformation. The Ukrainian military shelled residential areas and city blocks in Donetsk and Lugansk. There was no DPR-LPR Army at the beginning. There were plenty of videos 2014-2016 of destroyed buses, cars, dead mothers with small children on the sidewalks, elderly pensioners in dire straits, houses in flames after Grad rocket attacks, Ukrainian Air Force aerial bombings, mortar and heavy artillery strikes. Ukraine even launched at least three dozen Tochka-variant missiles to damage various mines, factories and a hazardous material recycling yard near Donetsk.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonfromTN
    , @Philip Owen
  192. @sher singh

    Your source is incorrect, although he is in good company in Ukraine.

    [MORE]

    https://www.quora.com/What-were-the-languages-that-Qin-Shi-Huang-abolished-Were-these-languages-todays-Chinese-dialects-Are-there-any-traces-left-of-the-languages-abolished

    What Qin Shi Huang abolished were the variations of writing characters of the time. In the Warring States era, each state had its own system of characters. They were all variations of the Zhou characters i.e. IOB (inscriptions on bronzeware, 金文). What Qin Shi Huang has done was that he enforced the use of the Small Seal Characters (小篆), which was an improvement of the Qin character system (Grand Seal Characters, 大篆), in all the states.

    https://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?id=2491

    “…books on astrology, agriculture, medicine, divination, and the history of the Qin state. Owning the Book of Songs or the Classic of History was to be punished especially severely. According to the later Records of the Grand Historian, the following year Qin Shi Huang had some 460 scholars buried alive for owning the forbidden books. The emperor’s oldest son Fusu criticised him for this act. The emperor’s own library still had copies of the forbidden books, but most of these were destroyed later when Xiang Yu burned the palaces of Xianyang in 206 BCE”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Era_of_Northern_Domination#Sinicization

    “Once our army enters Annam, except Buddhist and Taoist text; all books and notes, including folklore and children book, should be burnt. The stelae erected by China should be protected carefully, while those erected by Annam, should be completely annihilated. Do not spare even one character.”

    “I have repeatedly told you all to burnt all Annamese books, including folklore and children books and the local stelae should be destroyed immediately upon sight. Recently I heard our soldiers hesitated and read those books before burning them. Most soldiers do not know how to read, so it will be a waste of our time. Now you have to strictly obey my previous command, and burn all local books upon sight without hesitation.”

    In 1416, a large number of Confucian school, Yin-yang schools and medical schools were established within the province. Examinations for local bureaucracy were formalised in 1411. Chinese mourning rites and mourning leave were instituted among the official of Jiaozhi in 1419.For the first time, Đại Việt experienced the sustained influence of Neo-Confucian ideology, which not only included the traditional doctrines of filial piety but also demanded an “activist, state-oriented service” based on officials’ absolute loyalty to the dynasty and on the moral superiority of the “civilized” over the “barbarian” as the Ming viewed the Vietnamese as barbarians. Yongle brought Vietnamese students to the National Institution at the Ming capital and appointed more natives to the minor local offices in Jiaozhi. The Ming also destroyed or brought to the north many Vietnamese vernacular writing, historical and classic texts.

    And of course, the Chinese word for assimilation(do Indians even have a word?) is 同化. Perhaps a transliteration might help: it means “same language.” Assimilation in Chinese is quite literally, explicitly “to make the same language.”

    The Brahmin reputation for knowledge is perhaps dubious after all.

    The destruction of regional identities has been essential for the existence of a centralized state. Not that India would know, never really having had one until the British as far as I’m aware.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Thanks: Jatt Aryaa
    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
    , @FerW
  193. AP says:
    @By-tor

    Any US-sourced wiki is propaganda at a minimum

    Russian wiki has the same number of civilian victims, a little over 3,000:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%92%D0%BE%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B6%D1%91%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9_%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%84%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%BA%D1%82_%D0%BD%D0%B0_%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BA%D0%B5_%D0%A3%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%8B#%D0%91%D0%B5%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%86%D1%8B_%D0%B8_%D0%B6%D0%B5%D1%80%D1%82%D0%B2%D1%8B_%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B9%D0%BD%D1%8B

    the Ukrainian military shelled residential areas and city blocks in Donetsk and Lugansk. There was no DPR-LPR Army at the beginning. There were plenty of videos 2014-2016 of destroyed buses, cars, dead mothers with small children on the sidewalks, elderly pensioners in dire straits, houses in flames after Grad rocket attacks, Ukrainian Air Force aerial bombings

    They crucified people too, right?

    The total number of civilian victims was a little more than 3,000 altogether, despite the nasty videos.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  194. @The Wild Geese Howard

    I think there’s a nontrivial chance that the US will start a war with China in the Pacific before too long. It’s not really about logic. As Senility-in-Chief might imply, there isn’t really anyone on the helm of this ship.

  195. @By-tor

    The Ukrainian military shelled residential areas and city blocks in Donetsk and Lugansk.

    Correct 100%. Ukies are guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ukrainian shell hit a school in Lugansk I went to. Another Ukie shell hit a library where I used to borrow books when I was in school. Another Ukie shell exploded near multi-apartment building where my mother lived and shattered many windows, including hers. That building was in Shevchenko block, where there were 40-50 multi-apartment residential buildings, two schools, several kindergartens, a few shops, and nothing else. No LPR military ever were anywhere near the area. Ukie shell hit a retirement home in Lugansk, killing and maiming several inhabitants. Ukies bombed central square in Lugansk, where young mothers used to walk their kids, killing several civilians.

    Thank goodness Donbass freedom fighters downed enough Ukie military planes to make both Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics a no-fly zone for Ukies. Thank goodness LPR kicked Ukie occupiers far enough from the city that they can’t shell it any more.

    • Agree: By-tor
  196. @AP

    The total number of civilian victims was a little more than 3,000

    Last time I checked, murdering even one person is a crime in every country.

    • Replies: @AP
  197. @reiner Tor

    The way I see it, the 2 forces are comparable in quality, and to the extent that Ukrainian army is bigger is explained by their use of unskilled and unmotivated conscripts (LDNR military is fully professional). Otherwise they have similar number of guns, tanks and no airforce. This is far cry from Karabakh war, where Azerbaijan enjoyed full spectrum dominance: numerical, technological, organisational.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  198. Beckow says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    …nontrivial chance that the US will start a war with China in the Pacific before too long.

    Small correction: China will start the war and US will only defend South China See from aggression. That’s the way it works, US never starts wars.

  199. I’m cheering for Putin. To hell with Uncle Schmuel’s puppets in Kiev.

  200. @Quartermaster

    Bah. The 21st will be the Russian Century.

  201. @Daniel Chieh

    Look at the population distribution of India today & imagine it without shit like dams and potatoes.

    That’ll answer how centralized it was in perpetuity.

    Also, ‘Sanskriti’

  202. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Ukies are same like Croat Ustashe . They claim it is Russian propaganda and photoshoping , on the other hand Croats said no killing happened in concentration camp Jasenovac
    Lot of similarities between Ukies and Ustashe

  203. @sher singh

    While I have nothing against Iran, hell no. Iran can take their historical territory of Azerbaijan back, but they should leave Armenia out of their empire.

  204. @Shortsword

    Who can you trust if you cannot even trust Dzhokhar Dudaev?

  205. @AP

    I think it’s not very good to make such comparisons across historical ages. Sure Ukraine as a whole produced way fewer volunteers now than back then. It’s not entirely clear what it means. Perhaps people today are less physically fit. Perhaps after a world war they are more brutalized. Perhaps people were starving and joining an armed band seemed like a good way to survive, especially to people already desensitized to the dangers of fighting a war. (I’m pretty sure that the fighting in 1919-21 was less scary to soldiers than the First World War was.)

  206. @Mr. Hack

    I also read that about fifteen years ago, but don’t remember it well. My parish priest at the time was of the opinion that the author made an honest effort, but didn’t manage to quite escape his Protestant background. But if I remember correctly, the book does serve as a useful to guide to the patristic eschatological literature, and rightly points out the ways in which typical fundy eschatology is just reheated 1st century heresy.

    Concerning the first book that you posted, I haven’t read it, but looking at the author’s website, he appears to be a typical fundy crank. Anyhow, I think it is more important to understand what is the mind of the Fathers. The fundies are welcome to have a monopoly on fanciful speculations concerning Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

  207. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    It sounds very undignified to argue against being beaten to a pulp and losing a large part of your territory by wishing for others to hurt a bit your aggressor’s businesses. If the scenario presented by rkka does come to pass, the Ukr should fight until the last Ukranian soldier dies, that’s the manly thing to do.

    • Replies: @rkka
    , @Felix Keverich
  208. Levtraro says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Ha! I heard that joke in South America, from a 100% native peasant. It seems the joke is widespread.

  209. FerW says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    And of course, the Chinese word for assimilation(do Indians even have a word?) is 同化. Perhaps a transliteration might help: it means “same language.” Assimilation in Chinese is quite literally, explicitly “to make the same language.”

    Not my intention to contradict when I’m not at all versed in the tongue (or “eye”, in this case, I suppose ;‑). But doesn’t the first ideogram 同 mean “same, similar”, while the second 化 means roughly “process, making, -fication”? Where does the “language” meaning come from? Naively, I would expect the juxtaposition to mean something like “process of making same/similar, same-ification”, that is, “assimilation”.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  210. rkka says:
    @AP

    It’s easily avoided, by the Ukr gvt not being delusional morons on the scale of Bandera.

  211. rkka says:
    @Levtraro

    It’s easily avoided, by the Ukr gvt not being delusional morons of Bandera’s magnitude by thinking they’ve got viable military options for getting Donbas back.

  212. @AP

    Listen, if they can live with “Russian chemical attacks” deep inside England, they can live with conventional Russian strikes in the Ukraine. History teaches us that US will shy away from sanctions, that can backfire against the US economy.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  213. @reiner Tor

    >But the Ukrainian military has improved a lot.

    Again, what makes you think that? People cite metrics like investment and joint exercises with NATO, but literally every serious military encounter of the last 20 years shows that that’s not enough. Also, consider that NATO doctrine relies on air superiority to achieve anything, taking it as a given. If they were being trained by NATO instructors, there are chances that was actually detrimental to their IRL combat readiness.

    Essentially, two main objections: 1) if something was declared on paper, why do we take its reliability for granted, and 2) if we do trust the official reports on what was done, why are we sure it was an improvement?

    • Agree: Felix Keverich
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  214. @Levtraro

    I expect that the scale of draft-dodging in the Ukraine will rise proportionally to the intensity of fighting, because evading conscription is the Ukrainian thing to do.

    • Replies: @AP
  215. @AP

    Here’s the thing. Militaries are constantly developing new shit. Presumably Russia is also developing new weapons. Since Ukrainian military spending is unlikely to jump further, chances are that Ukraine won’t be much stronger relative to Russia than it is right now. In fact, it’s usually difficult to maintain that high level of military spending (5% of GDP) in peacetime and requires very high levels of public support. Therefore, it’s possible that Ukraine might get weaker rather than stronger relative to Russia over the next few years.

    So it’s not totally implausible that they might want to try their chances now rather than wait another several years. Especially if they are being pushed by the Americans, and as we saw, they have some reasons to push now. Also, if Ukraine sees it as a chance to torpedo NS2, it might try to do something. After all, that would mean $3B annually for them as well.

    There’s another possibility. Maybe Putin is planning to do something if the next round of American sanctions happen to be too tough. Or the Ukrainians fear he might be up to something. Or they fear that the Russians fear that the Ukrainians fear that… it might be some kind of unintentional escalation by both sides.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @AP
  216. @Carlo

    A Trump-tier lady.

    🙂

  217. @Bashibuzuk

    Perhaps. I still think a much smarter idea would have been to be friendly to Russia while Russia’s chips were down and then they would be an ally against China. It could have worked as late as perhaps the 2006 or 2008, probably even later. After 2014 there was still a chance to make Russia more neutral, but now apparently they are increasingly warming up to an alliance with China.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  218. @Grim Deadman

    The Ukrainian soldiers didn’t practice their skills at all until 2014. They have spent time with exercises since then. Military exercises cost a lot of money, so many militaries rarely if ever do them, but without them their capabilities are much lower.

    • Replies: @Grim Deadman
  219. @Felix Keverich

    The Ukrainians have several times more soldiers, tanks, anything.

  220. Wolfar says:
    @Passer by

    Link? I couldn’t find anything in English.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  221. @FerW

    It’s from the phonetic implication:

    话(huà) – words
    化(huà) – to melt, become one

    So together, “melt into the same words”

  222. @reiner Tor

    No argument here, but the mere fact of military exercises is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for combat readiness. So my initial questions remain unaddressed.

  223. @reiner Tor

    Also true, perhaps, but how useful are they? Have they been maintained properly? Are they actually on the ground en masse, or do they exist purely on paper? Do the men know how to use them?

    All these questions also pertain to the LDNR military, of course. My point is that the analysis above takes for granted that which is not self evident.

    • Replies: @AP
  224. Avery says:
    @Dacian Julien Soros

    {“….are we?”}

    Who is ‘we’?
    And who is, quote, ‘coping’?
    What are you babbling about: are you by any chance a Turkbaijani nomad Türkoğlu?

  225. @Felix Keverich

    England is of increasingly little importance to the US, especially after Brexit. Most American business interests are in Dublin these days, not London.

    Russian attacks in Ukraine would meet a much stronger US response than Russian attacks in England would, because Ukraine is much more vital to current US geo-politics than England is. Americans don’t care about England and actually many feel animosity towards it because of their obsession with all things Irish and tendency to LARP as Irishmen.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @joniel
  226. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Even in Chechnya?

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  227. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    When Ukraine’s government had no means of preventing draft dodging, only 30% chose not to go to war during the most intense fighting, when casualties Ukrainian were USA Vietnam War-tier per capita..

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  228. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Excellent observation, as usual. However it’s something that will come into play perhaps in 5 years – military funding continues now and will for the next couple of years. In the meantime various systems are coming on line. So the point you are talking about has not been reached this year, but maybe in 1-2 years. Ukraine has built up sufficiently to take out the republics if Russia doesn’t intervene massively. If Ukrainians decide (or are told backchannel) that Russia won’t intervene massively, this summer might be the time.

    But Ukraine will still catch up relative to Russia, improving its deterrent value, for a couple of more years. Many of the newest Vilkha-M missiles are to be procured later in the year; these place Russian border cities and deployment zones within striking distance. So if the game involves a serious chance of Russian intervention and therefore increased need for a deterrent, Ukraine will wait.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  229. @reiner Tor

    There is this graph circulating on the internet that suggests otherwise. And it’s hard to see how Ukrainians could build a lead in tanks considering that they don’t produce them and the regime is too broke to import in large quantinies.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. XYZ
  230. @AP

    LOL – so in other words you admit like the sick , severely messed up loser that you are, that on the Kremlin Stooge Blog, in addition to spaming it like you do everywhere else……..you do so under a pseudonym claiming to be Polish, such is the level of your never-been-to Ukraine, mass genocide advocating “patriotism”. LMAO.

    That you have commented is not surprising or ( necessarily ) shameful – it’s expected that a wikipedia-faking tramp like you stalks those type of forums……but to do so, creating all this fake-backstory, with a Polish alter-ego, making the exact same comments? WTF?

    As I say to the “dream team” including Karlin, if it is a certainty you have commented on that blog, and if it not under the nutjob “AP” freakshow account….then as who? LOL

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  231. @AP

    Evidence indicates that this figure was much bigger in Western regions of the country, with a stronger “national identity”, hence my comment about draft-dodging being Ukrainian thing to do. 😂

    As usual nationwide stats for the Ukraine obscure the real picture of sharp regional divisions. They do more harm than good really, since there is no nation.

  232. @reiner Tor

    ….and the “wonderful” example of heavily US-trained Iraqi, Afghan and 2000’s Gruzia militaries to refer to. Technological development of Ukrop military has been a disaster you idiot, all technological developments far behind schedule.

    They are heavily reliant on buying US cast-offs, perhaps the worst state to have at war and expect a fully functioning army – absolutely everybody in there at any time is at possibility of being subjected to accusations and punishment for 5th column-ism – because nearly everybody there has some type of familial or business link to Russia which is not good for an ultra-paranoid failure state ….and a demographic and intellectual disaster, not giving much hope for the composition of their armed forces in 5-10 years time also. Extremely low birth rates, high emigration of the most intelligent young adults..all further inflated by the 90’s demographic collapse.

    and LOL – talking about military investment in what is the world’s most corrupt countries with one of the world’s most corrupt defence industries…..that can’t even make incremental gains ( despite many evil attempts) against LNR/DNR forces

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  233. AP says:
    @Grim Deadman

    Also true, perhaps, but how useful are they? Have they been maintained properly? Are they actually on the ground en masse, or do they exist purely on paper? Do the men know how to use them?

    They are on the ground en masse, they have now been refurbished and maintained, and training has increased substantially. Prior to 2014, Ukraine had been conducting very few exercises. Equipment was not functioning – tanks would stop working in the field, the crews would abandon them and leave them to the rebels. Etc.

    As Karlin has pointed out, Ukraine’s soldiers are roughly at the level of training and preparedness as Russia’s were in the mid 2000s. This would be around the time of the Georgian war. Their equipment has been upgraded to roughly that standard also, although in some limited areas (artillery, short range missiles) they are at par with the modern Russian military.

    Here is an outline from 2017, showing massive changes even then, compared to 2014-2015:

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf

    Ukraine had zero brigade-level exercises in 2014, 25 in 2017.
    Ukraine had 17 battalion-level exercises in 2014, 93 in 2016.

    Obviously improvement has been ongoing since 2017.

  234. AP says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    I have never claimed to be Polish on any forum and commented as “AP” on Kremlin Stooge several years ago but never commented there since that time. I haven’t commented anywhere other than here for a couple of years.

    However it is funny (though a bit disturbing) that your obsession with me has escalated to the point where you believe I am on various other forums or that various random other people out there are me, pretending to be someone else. Do you leave long desperate rants to those other people also? LOL. Maybe you should get a life?

    • Replies: @Gerard-Mandela
  235. @Gerard-Mandela

    You’re making an excellent point: when it comes to training partner/proxy forces, US record is abysmal. They had some success with Muslim terrorists, even so their latest effort in Syria fell short.

  236. @AP

    In case you don’t know, Russia has the best artillery in the word. So how the fuck do you get “on par with the modern Russian military”, without buying from Russia, and with a non-existent domestic industrial base.😂

    • Replies: @AP
  237. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    And it’s hard to see how Ukrainians could build a lead in tanks considering that they don’t produce them and the regime is too broke to import in large quantinies.

    In 2016 alone, Ukraine built 60 tanks and armored combat vehicles and restored 900:

    https://www.osw.waw.pl/sites/default/files/prace_66_ang_best_army_ukraine_net.pdf

    Ukraine has been focusing on upgrading and modernizing its T-64 tanks (reactive armor, thermal imaging, etc.) rather than building completely new ones. The Ukrainian crew with the modernized T-64BM beat Poland in its Leopard2A5 during the tank competition among NATO countries (and Ukraine) in 2017:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_Europe_Tank_Challenge#2017

    The newer Ukrainian T-84 Oplot did not do as well in 2018.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  238. @reiner Tor

    The US have never been interested in having an alliance with Russia. They probably understand that having Russia in the Western alliance would strengthen EU and weaken the Atlanticist solidarity. It would be great for the continental Europe, but less so for the Five Eyes. Around 2010, under Medvedev presidency, Russian authorities tried to initiate a discussion on a global security architecture that would have included the globalized West, Russia and China. They have also tried to help with a Chinese – Indian detente. It didn’t work. The West has its own agenda and will continue with it until it is facing some disastrous consequences. I think in the middle to long term this strategy is probably bad for all parties involved.

  239. Aedib says:

    Perhaps, the best deterrence is Putin to make again very explicitly the point that an attack on the Donbass would have ‘grave consequences for Ukrainian statehood’ as he did in 2018. This year Porky folded his aggressive planes for the World Cup.
    An open advertence from Putin to Mr. Ze can be useful again. If the clown decides to attack Donbas anyway, he was already warned.

  240. @AP

    These Polish guys are just as confused about tanks, as they are about “Russian aggression”. Oplot was made from Russian parts, and Ukrainian attempts to replace them have failed.

    https://rg.ru/2021/02/02/tank-dlia-parada-vsego-odin-oplot-izgotoviat-na-ukraine-v-2021-godu.html

    Soviet era plant in Kharkov is basically dead:
    https://ria.ru/20210206/zavod-1596313233.html

    • Replies: @AP
  241. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Russian sources about Ukrainian supposed catastrophic decline are somewhat comparable to American sources about Russian supposed catastrophic decline.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  242. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    So how the fuck do you get “on par with the modern Russian military”, without buying from Russia, and with a non-existent domestic industrial base

    In some limited areas Ukraine has reached parity with Russia.

    https://medium.com/dfrlab/the-use-of-krasnopol-artillery-shells-in-ukraine-d185ef4743b7

    Separatist forces in Ukraine have been using laser-guided artillery shells provided by the Russian military since spring 2018, but their effect has been questionable, open-source evidence suggests.
    The use of the 2K25 Krasnopol artillery shell constitutes the most recent form of lethal aid provided by Russia to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, though Russia has used it in other conflicts that predate the ongoing one in Ukraine.

    …MSTA-B towed artillery pieces. The MSTA-B is allegedly also used with the Krasnopol by Russian forces in Syria to conduct high-precision artillery strikes.

    :::::::

    The modern laser-guided Russian shells supplied by Russia and used by the rebels are basically identical to the new ones produced by Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  243. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard-Mandela

    Your monotonous barrage of accusations trying to frame AP as some sort of a mass commentator on other blogsites espousing some sort of a Polish point of view and identity, is a little over the top. As I enjoy reading his comments here, I’d be willing to read some of his “Polish” comments too. Why not point us all in the right direction of these blogs and his Polish moniker, so that we all can be entertained too?

    Can you spot the real (Polish) camouflaged AP? 🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  244. joniel says:
    @Europe Europa

    What makes the Ukraine “vital” to US interests? Is it a stepping stone before the ultimate goal of conquering Peoria? I can’t see the Ukraine mattering to the US, rather just the hydrocarbons lobby. What happens if Russia finishes NS2 before hostilities can resume? There is also a distinct lack of copy in the media about this conflict, unlike the other attempted Ukrainian invasions. Maybe it is a bluff, or maybe there is immense hesitancy.

    • Replies: @Oscar Peterson
  245. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Geraldina, which one are you? The second or the fourth one from the right in the first row? 🙂

  246. @Daniel Chieh

    I think there’s a nontrivial chance that the US will start a war with China in the Pacific before too long. It’s not really about logic.

    Well yes, I keep forgetting the West is run by a sociopathic cabal of utopians.

  247. @AP

    You source (Ukrainian television?) does not support the argument you’re trying to make. If Ukrainians are shelling Donbass with laser-guided munitions why do they mostly hit civilian homes?

    Russian sources about Ukrainian supposed catastrophic decline are somewhat comparable to American sources about Russian supposed catastrophic decline.

    Only if you don’t care about the facts. That Soviet-era plant was the only place where the Ukraine could manufacture tanks, and now it’s dead. So is the Oplot project.

    • Replies: @AP
  248. @AP

    Within five years Russia will have dozens of stealth fighters and probably a larger number of stealth drones. This would make it easier to intervene heavily while maintaining plausible deniability.

    I don’t deny you have a point – it might be smarter to wait more. But it’s certainly not an easy equation, and people in power might have other considerations, like the $3B transit fees, perhaps some pressure from the Americans (has Biden or his team forgotten that Zelensky basically took the side of Trump back then? either way they could be determined to fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian soldiers), or some other considerations we might be unaware of.

    Also please note that I mentioned other possibilities, like an unintentional mutual escalation fueled by mutual mistrust, or even a Russian escalation in case the next round of sanctions hurt too much.

    Overall I still think that the safest bet is that nothing will happen, at least if it’s the same payout.

    • Replies: @AP
  249. @AP

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see why I should take any of it for granted. I have a very simple rule when it comes to politically contentious issues: I only trust the worst that one side admits about itself and the best it admits of its opponent, and visa versa. A Polish think tank writing about the Ukrainian military does not pass the test. It’s like relying on the Saker to evaluate the LDNR military.

    • Replies: @AP
  250. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You source (Ukrainian television?) does not support the argument you’re trying to make.

    It shows new Russian laser-guided shells to be almost indistinguishable from new Ukrainian ones.

    If Ukrainians are shelling Donbass with laser-guided munitions why do they mostly hit civilian homes?

    They also make precision strikes and hit military targets like this one:

    https://defence-blog.com/news/army/ukrainian-soldiers-obliterates-unique-russian-artillery-reconnaissance-complex.html

    Ukrainian Soldiers obliterates unique Russian artillery reconnaissance complex

    That Soviet-era plant was the only place where the Ukraine could manufacture tanks

    According to Russian media?

    The Lviv plant has been manufacturing armored vehicles since 1944.

    https://www.defenseworld.net/news/29154/Ukraine___s_Lviv_Armored_Plant_Delivers_T_64__T_72_Tanks_to_the_MoD#.YF9t8K9KiUk

    Ukrainian Lviv Armored Plant handed over a new batch of modernized T-64 and T-72 tanks to the defense ministry.

    The tanks are 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, state-owned Ukroboronprom said in a statement.

    In total, since the beginning of 2021, this state-owned enterprise has modernized more than ten T-64 and T-72 vehicles.

    https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-lviv-upgraded-t-64-tanks/30107240.html

    The Lviv Tank Plant has become the second Ukrainian factory to start manufacturing the modernized model of T-64 tanks complete with new thermal vision equipment, digital radio communication, satellite navigation systems, and new explosive-reactive armor

    So is the Oplot project.

    Ukraine (with help from China) is working on its version of the Armata. Let’s see if Biden kills the project.

    https://defence-blog.com/news/army/new-renders-reveal-ukraines-secret-tank-project.html

    [MORE]

    Chinese designer has released a rendering of what appears to be its vision for concept under the secret Object 477 project developed by the Ukrainian state-owned companies Kharkiv Morozov Design Bureau (KMDB).

    These alleged renders of the Ukrainian Object 477 future tank hint that, at least on the outside, the tank’s most significant features include its unmanned turret.

    Object 477 is a Ukrainian project of a next-generation tank that was developed by the KMDB between 1993 and 2000.

    According to open sources, the Object 477 tank is fitted with a turret mounting a 152 mm 2A73 smoothbore gun fed by an automatic loader. The turret carries a total of 42 rounds of ammunition, including 10 ready-to-use ammunition (1,8m in length) in a special rotary loader. The main gun allows the firing of the long-range anti-tank guided missiles. The tank also fitted with secondary weapons including a 30 mm single-barrel automatic cannon.

    The hull is equipped with a modular armour system made of steel, titanium, ceramics and composite materials. Its forward and lateral portions are covered with reactive armour to provide added protection against anti-tank rocket-propelled grenades.

    Meanwhile, currently, secret Ukrainian tanks are stored at the secret testing base of the KMDB. Also, three prototypes were sent to Russia, where they were tested and possibly became the basis for their own project called Armata.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  251. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Within five years Russia will have dozens of stealth fighters and probably a larger number of stealth drones.

    Producing fighters is beyond Ukraine’s capabilities but Ukraine is developing its own stealth drones:

    https://defence-blog.com/news/army/ukrainian-companies-develop-stealth-combat-drones.html

    Ukraine’s “sweet spot” in terms of maximum convergence with Russia would seem to be 2022 when it is supposed to have lots of Vilkha-M missiles and more Neptune systems (the first one was just delivered this month, to protect the coast near Odessa I think), many more drones, etc, while Russia will not yet have all those stealth fighters.

    Overall I still think that the safest bet is that nothing will happen, at least if it’s the same payout.

    I agree. I don’t think anything will happen, and I hope nothing will happen, such mutual bloodshed is as tragic as it is stupid.

  252. AP says:
    @Grim Deadman

    I have a very simple rule when it comes to politically contentious issues: I only trust the worst that one side admits about itself and the best it admits of its opponent, and visa versa.

    Seemingly not the worst approach. However it too has problems: someone may write the worst about their own side and the best about their opponent in order to convince their own side to provide more military spending in order to close the claimed gap.

    A Polish think tank writing about the Ukrainian military does not pass the test. It’s like relying on the Saker to evaluate the LDNR military

    .

    The article included specific numbers that could be verified. Also, while Ukraine and Poland are friendly it is hardly a Saker-to-Russia like relationship. Poles are certainly not Ukrainian nationalists. It would perhaps be more akin to a Chinese thinktank writing observations about Russia.

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  253. @AP

    There is a lot copypasted garbage in your post, but nothing about Oplot or Kharkov plant. I take it you failed to find confirmation that Oplot is still a thing?

    “Modernising” ancient Soviet tanks doesn’t create more of them. The truth is that the Ukraine doesn’t make tanks anymore. It makes “secret tank projects” that will never materialise, because industrial base needed to manufacture tanks fell apart.

    It goes without saying that China doesn’t need to cooperate with the Ukraine in order to build a tank. The Ukraine doesn’t have anything China needs. In fact China built its own tank and stole export business from the Ukraine.

    https://ria.ru/20210206/zavod-1596313233.html

    • Replies: @AP
  254. @AP

    I’ve read that apparently a lot of Poles are worried about Ukrainian irredentism, especially with the number of Ukrainian immigrants in Poland.

    • Replies: @AP
  255. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    There is a lot copypasted garbage in your post

    Well, you may dismiss it but it shows that there is a tank plant in Lviv and your claim that the only one is in Kharkiv is false. It also shows precision strikes by Ukrainian artillery, which you claim is impossible.

    but nothing about Oplot or Kharkov plant. I take it you failed to find confirmation that Oplot is still a thing?

    Ukraine is focused on modernizing the T-64s because it can modernize 10 of them for the price of building one Oplot. The modernized T-64 compare well to Leopard 2A5 tanks used by Poland. So it has not produced many Oplots (Zelensky claims only one entered Ukrainian service). Ukraine appears to be working on the new tank project.

    The truth is that the Ukraine doesn’t make tanks anymore. It makes “secret tank projects” that will never materialise, because industrial base needed to manufacture tanks fell apart.

    IIRC you were making the same claims (based on Russian media’s wishful thinking?) about Ukraine’s missile programs, that they would never be built, etc. Ukraine has now built and procured plenty of Vilkha missiles and its first full Neptune battery.

    I know you are desperate for war and your beliefs about the Ukrainian foe being helpless support a war. I suspect that Russia’s decision-makers are better informed and more realistic than you are.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  256. AP says:
    @Europe Europa

    I haven’t hear of that. The Ukrainians in Poland haven’t settled along the Ukrainian border in a compact mass, a recipe for irredentism, but are scattered throughout the country.

  257. @AP

    They are not making tanks in Lviv, idiot. They do repairs only. And while they’re at it, the Ukraine has fallen behind LDNR in tank count.

    • Replies: @AP
  258. Passer by says:
    @AP

    How is Germany’s economy doing? (NS 2). How is China’s economy’s doing (S-400 and pipelines)? How is India’s economy doing (S-400 and stakes in Russian companies)?

    What will be the power of US sanctions when the US has twice smaller share of the global economy than today?

    • Replies: @AP
  259. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    They are not making tanks in Lviv, idiot. They do repairs only

    Repairs and complete upgrade and modernization are not the same thing. But thanks for demonstrating that your bloodthirsty zeal for war between Slavs makes you forget how to read.

    And while they’re at it, the Ukraine has fallen behind LDNR in tank count

    Thanks for sharing your beliefs. In your world, how long do you think it would take LDNR forces, operating independently, to march into Kiev?

  260. AP says:
    @Passer by

    Do you think USA would sanction countries harder for trading with Russia in response to a major European war than in response to buying some equipment? And you don’t think that the EU would join the USA in that case?

    So who do you think would choose trade with Russia, over trade with EU + USA?

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @joniel
  261. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Interestingly enough, the likely last surviving veteran of that war, Polish-Jewish-American man Alexander Imich, died at the age of 111 years and 124 days on June 8, 2014, just three weeks before the 100th anniversary of Franz Ferdinand’s assassination.

  262. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Why do you think that Ukraine failed to reconquer Horlivka in July-August 2014?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  263. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Interesting; thank you. That makes sense.

  264. Not Raul says:
    @Not Raul

    Thanks, AK.

    I just looked at his posts.

    Did Dan Quayle and Sidney Powell have a love child?

  265. Aedib says:

    It seems that passportization is, so far, the preferred deterrence tool. It will work?

    https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6659207.html

  266. Mr. Hack says:
    @Philip Owen

    China was less than pleased with Russia’s failure/unwillingness to rein in its adventurers in Ukraine.

    Is this just a conjecture of yours, or is there somewhere more that one could read up on this apparent difference of Chinese/Russian interests over Ukraine?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  267. @AP

    BP has an interesting problem in that regard as the owner of 20% of Rosneft. Baltika is a large fraction of Carlsberg (or its latest merged version) too. British American Tobacco supplies China from its Saratov factory and takes its supplies from Zimbabwe. JCB does a very large proportion of its business in Russia. It could operate a subsidiary at arms length. John Deere too.

  268. Passer by says:
    @AP

    I don’t see someone from the russian side being interested in major european war. Russia knows that time is on its side – so it will be playing for time.

    The EU has always been very dependent on foreign trade, it does not like its disruption, and attacks on free trade, especially Germany, hence it was always less supportive of sanctions compared to the US. That has been seen in many cases, with various countries. So i’m sure that whatever the US does, the EU response will be way weaker.

    Whether the EU will stop trade with Russia (several hundred billion dollars and lots of cheap energy) over whatever happened in Ukraine? I don’t think so. The EU likes money and good living standards.

    Moreover, the EU is not that stupid to fall for US games, where it will pay most of the price, so i don’t think that it will support Ukraine to start something. That is, if there is information that Ukraine wants to start something, the foreign money will automatically stop. Including from the IMF, where Europe has large influence.

    Whether joint US/EU sanctions would theoretically work? Looking at the Iranian example, no. China ignored them. Turkey too. So what did they do to the Chinese specifically about China trading with Iran? Almost nothing, because this may f-up the global economy and no one wants that. Capitalism – the rich rule, and want to make money. Not to lose too much money. Thus they have trouble sustaining their effort even with Iran and are accordingly trying to reenter JCPOA.

    And the big problem with extraterritorial sanctions is that they are getting the world to move away from the US dollar and US trade dependence, as well as SWIFT dependence (even India is building its payment system and promoting the rupee), as no one likes to be forced with whom to trade, or to be overly dependent on someone. Even the EU does not like that, by the way.

    EU sets out plans to curb reliance on dollar in post-Trump era

    https://www.ft.com/content/20f39e33-e360-479e-82e2-5441d24f0e0b

    So not surprisingly a US Congress report recently warned that using too much sanctions may erode the dollar reserve currency status.

    Policymakers have expressed longer-term concerns that extensive use of U.S. sanctions that restrict access to the U.S. financial system could erode the status of the U.S. dollar in the global economy.

    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11730

  269. @Carlo

    Things were so bad in Ukraine in 2014 that the army had: no fuel, no field rations, no tents, no sleeping bags, no changes of underwear. All stolen by corruption. Old ammuntion too. The troops halted for weeks in front of Slavyansk while supplies were sent to them. The US support to that campaign was 50,000 Meals Ready to Eat.

    Poor or at least, lop sided supply chains have been a feature of Soviet/Post Soviet militaries since the Civil War ended. Hence arms dumps full of obsolete weapons for example.

    These factors no longer hold. Even without better training, more of a sense of purpose and higher morale, the Ukrainian army would perform better than in 2014.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  270. @By-tor

    “There was no DPR-LPR Army at the beginning.”

    Correct. Pan Slavic mercenaries paid by people like Malofeev (but not only) fighting and Russian soldiers on Leave of Absence doing the logistics.

    A lot, most indeed, of those videos were fake. Shots from Syria, shots from films about WW2 (even showing bare trees in summer) – especially a just about to be released one concerning an imaginary siege of Bryansk. Some of the photography was so good, it should have won a prize for photojournalism if actually taken by a news cameraman. When Google Image Search was uncanny, I tried 30 LDNR atrocity propaganda photos/videos in a row. The source of 28 was immediately found. The other 2 were clearly fake because of the trees. You a gullible idiot for believing them. Later on, they became cunning. They would create 400-500 web sites and put the same photos on them all. Finding the original took more time than I had for most cases. News Front still survives I think.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @By-tor
  271. joniel says:
    @AP

    If everyone thinks that is coming, then it makes sense that there are plans to continue trade outside of Washington’s reach. The US is like the Ottoman Empire – a big grunting ape that took over the world’s only known trade routes. Then everyone started looking for ways around it, and pretty soon it did not matter much anymore.

    Only it should be easier this time, as fintech evolves.

    • Replies: @AP
  272. @Philip Owen

    Even without better training, more of a sense of purpose and higher morale, the Ukrainian army would perform better than in 2014.

    I am amazed at the people trying to gauge fighting capabilities of non-fighting militaries. As Brits say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating (in Edinburgh they pronounce pudding as “pitting”, so it even rhymes).

    If the war breaks out, we’d see which military is capable of what. I would expect Ukrainian army to perform poorly for many reasons. Most important ones are that the units at the front lines have only 60-70% personnel they are supposed to have, and alcohol, drug abuse, and desertion problems are rampant. What’s more, many units are American-trained. In 2008 Georgian war only few Georgian units that did not receive American training performed more or less adequately, whereas all units that underwent American training disintegrated even before Russian army got close to them. I have no idea how Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republic military is going to perform.

    I am sure of one thing only: Russian army, with units that got real fighting experience in Syria, is orders of magnitude stronger than Ukrainian or republics military. If it intervenes, the winner is obvious. If it doesn’t, anything is possible.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  273. @Philip Owen

    I don’t know about videos, I get my info exclusively from the people on the ground in Lugansk. Ukrainian war crimes were numerous, and criminals will pay for them.

    • Replies: @Jazman
  274. AP says:
    @joniel

    If everyone thinks that is coming, then it makes sense that there are plans to continue trade outside of Washington’s reach. The US is like the Ottoman Empire – a big grunting ape that took over the world’s only known trade routes. Then everyone started looking for ways around it, and pretty soon it did not matter much anymore.

    It and its allies have a much higher % of the world’s trade than did the Ottoman Empire.

  275. @AP

    Typical Ukie logic: if someone else did something similar, my action is not a crime. 16,425 murders were committed in the US in 2019. Using Ukie logic, each defendant should have stated that 16,424 other people did the same thing, so the murder you accuse me of is not a crime.

    • Replies: @AP
  276. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Typical Ukie logic: if someone else did something similar, my action is not a crime.

    I never said that all of the killing of civilians in Donbas was not a crime.

    Typical Sovok behavior: lie.

    But for the record, will you state that both the Yeltsin and Putin government was more criminal than the Poroshenko one (and much more so than Zelensky’s) because they killed more civilians in Chechnya than Ukrainians did in Donbas?

  277. @AP

    Virtually all civilians killed in Chechnya were murdered by Yeltsin regime and equally criminal Dudayev gang. Yeltsin is certainly a criminal, guilty of many things, including ceding Crimea and Savastopol to Ukraine, murders in Moscow in 1993, murders in Chechnya in the first Chechen war, massive looting of Russian economy by domestic and foreign thieves, etc. If Christian worldview were true, he would pay for his crimes in Hell for eternity. Would serve him right.

    Putin found an ingenious way to stop Chechen war, saving thousands of lives of Chechens and Russian soldiers.

    Porky is guilty of selling out Ukraine to globohomo and murdering thousands of civilians in Odessa, Donbass, and elsewhere. There is still a chance of punishing him for his crimes in this world.

    Clown is a pathetic nonentity, but he is an accomplice before and after the fact to many crimes committed by Ukie imperial puppets.

    • Agree: Aedib, Jazman
    • Replies: @AP
  278. @Mr. XYZ

    By August 2014 the Ukraine wasn’t in the position conquer anything. Its army was demolished in multiple encirclement operations (котлы). It had no armor left, and the city of Mariupol was held by a couple hundred of Nazi militia.

    Casual observers like reinertor tend to assume that Soviet stocks of armor are literally endless, but that’s not the case for the Ukraine, which has been selling from Soviet stocks since independence, and allowed the rest to decay beyond repair. These tanks and other armored vehicles don’t grow on trees, you know.

  279. By-tor says:
    @Philip Owen

    The US failure to take over the entire territory of Ukraine as well as Crimea must be a sore spot with you. Calling me a gullible idiot indicates that you are short on substance. Certainly there was propaganda pushed by both warring sides as there always is. Ukraine’s coup gov’t constantly complained that it was fighting the Russian Army and ‘the proof’ it offered up on Soros’ now defunct ‘Ukraine Today’ TV cable news channel was Hollywood phony. US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, who agreed with State Dept. hag Victoria Nuland that the EU should be f&*ked when discussing the unfolding US coup in Feb. 2014, used Azeri military parade footage, footage of Soviet railroad flat cars and photos from military trade shows in the EU as proof of a ‘Russian invasion’.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  280. I will give two to one odds that the Donbass fighters send the Ukrainian personal home on buses.

  281. @AP

    And here you lost me. Chechens were running slave markets. Please don’t tell us about civilians casualties.

    • Agree: EldnahYm
  282. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Alexander Motyl

    Many interesting coincidences of points of view.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AP
    , @AP
  283. @AP

    You can’t compare civilian deaths in Chechnya with the deaths in Donbass. With the former case you are dealing with barbarian people of barbarian faith, and such people can only be pacified by ruthless show of force, but with the people of Donbass you are dealing with civilised and meek Slavs. By using overt force in Chechnya, the long term suffering was minimised, but by using such methods in Donbass there would be just more anger and hatred.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @AP
  284. Mr. Hack says:
    @Aedib

    Where is Motyl expresing his views these days? Anywhere other than “Foreign Policy”?

    • Replies: @Aedib
  285. Aedib says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Just read his numerous articles. He says what AP says.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  286. @Beckow

    NS2 is done anyway, US will block any shipments even if they have to put sanctions on German households using the gas – time to let it go and let Germany pay full price for its occupation.

    How does that make sense? Driving the US to “put sanctions on German households” further weakens US dominance in Europe. Why not make the US do that? How does “letting it go” benefit Russia–at least until it has done maximum damage to US-Germany relations?

  287. Meanwhile, most of the high-asabiya NAF volunteers have left and the bulk of it now consists of former Donbass miners collecting paychecks.

    Where did these super-heroes go?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  288. @Oscar Peterson

    Most have jobs, families, etc. They are not going to be sitting in a trench for years on end.

  289. I could see the Navalnyites resuming “protests” in the warm weather, as they have said they plan to do, in concert with an invasion of the Donbass.

    For the Ukraine, the optimal outcome would be to “sever” the LDNR for good while minimizing military deaths (bad for Ze’s ratings) and provoking the hardest possible Western sanctions regime against Russia. This will kill reclaiming the Donbass as a third rail of Ukrainian politics, alleviating nationalist pressure against Zelensky; it will foreclose any possibility of the Donbass being “shoved back” into Ukraine and bolstering Russophiles; and it will also save Ukraine billions of dollars worth of gas transit fees. It’s a risky gamble, but it might just work out for Ze.

    I don’t understand what Karlin is predicting here. That Zelenksky will invade the Donbass, generate a Russian intervention which will defeat him yet still be a victory because Ukraine will be able to divest itself of the archaic industry, etc with the outcome actually being a burden imposed on Russia as well as creating a pretext for massive sanctions on Russia, end of NS2, etc. Yet somehow Z. comes out of this loss-cum-strategic victory enhanced or at least unscathed politically and the “third rail” is magically dispelled?

    Someone please explain.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  290. Jazman says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I got info and videos from Dejan Beric he is hero of DNP famous sniper guy .Ukies committed lot of crimes against civilians I have seen numerous videos and pictures never been posted on any site
    It is enough to say Ukies killed around 132 children in Donbass and Ukrainian side lost 6 children most of them were killed by Ukies military vehicle incidents

  291. AP says:
    @Aedib

    I wrote on his blog but that was years ago. He deserved a lot credit for forecasting Yanukovich’s fall when no one else did.

  292. I haven’t yet written it here, but it needs to be written.

    As a WW2 autist, my heart is warmed by the sight of trains transporting battle tanks to the front in Eastern Ukraine.

  293. Avery says:
    @AltanBakshi

    {“…With the former case you are dealing with barbarian people…..”)

    Supposedly ‘barbarian’ or not, deliberately killing civilians should be unacceptable to the civilized peoples, No?

    Don’t forget that not too long ago supposedly ‘civilized’ Germans regarded Slavs as barbarous, subhuman “Mongols” to be eradicated: men, women, children.

    For the record, I don’t know if Moscow deliberately killed civilians in Chechnya.
    And I do know that Chechen terrorists (Shamil Basayev & Co.) did deliberately kill – i.e. murdered – children in Beslan (including Muslim children). But a bunch of Chechen terrorists murdering children does not indict the entire Chechen population. Remember that Chechnya was cleansed of Chechen Wahabist terrorists with the blood and fighting of Chechens themselves (…and excellent Russian specialist troops, of course).

  294. AP says:
    @Aedib

    I hope this was not a doxxing attempt, that’s a terrible thing to do.

    • Replies: @Aedib
  295. Aedib says:
    @AP

    I have thought that you had read his books. I just say the he writes what you think.

    • Replies: @AP
  296. @Oscar Peterson

    Another war with Russia kills Russophile sentiment in Ukraine for another few years, and if it also results in Ukraine losing all of Donetsk/Lugansk oblasts, then it will be even better in that even any hint of a “Blue” challenge to the regime will be forever dispelled.

    Nationalists will only be able to make inroads if they can make a case that Ze handled the war very badly – not to the fact of the war itself (which they support).

    Ze saves $3B / year in revenue, the absence of which may otherwise doom him anyway. In fact, with the LDNR’s independence now a fait accompli, the way could be clear to actually reduce military spending (as happened in Georgia after 2008). All of this money can be redirected towards gibs in the runup to the next elections.

    I am not saying that all of this means that the Ukrainians will attack. What I am saying is that it is not particular irrational of Ze to do so. It is a high risk, high reward strategy that is perfectly logical when you have few chips on the table.

  297. @Anatoly Karlin

    He is probably remotely controlled by Nuland and Co.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
  298. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Putin found an ingenious way to stop Chechen war, saving thousands of lives of Chechens and Russian soldiers.

    So no civilians were killed by Russian troops during Putin’s Chechen war? Think about it.

  299. AP says:
    @Aedib

    Thank you for the clarification. I haven’t read him since his blog that allowed Disqus commenting went down, nor have I read his books. Maybe he’s been reading me here 🙂

  300. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    You can’t compare civilian deaths in Chechnya with the deaths in Donbass.

    Quantity has its own quality.

    but with the people of Donbass you are dealing with civilised and meek Slavs.

    I don’t justify killing Slavs (or any civilians). In Donbas the number of civilians killed was fairly small (about 3,000 in a territory of 4 million, over 7 years), which means that mass killing civilians was neither a deliberate strategy nor something viewed as completely acceptable by government forces. If the latter strategies were pursued it would be like Syria, or Chechnya. The killing in Donbas involves a combination of incidents of Ukrainian war crimes (Ukrainians firing artillery haphazardly, out of sick boredom or revenge), incidents of rebel war crimes (Ukrainians legitimate firing back at rebel positions because rebels were firing from populated areas – using civilian areas as cover is a war crime), and collateral damage during fighting. Pro-Russians here sometimes try to paint Poroshenko as an Assad, which is ridiculous.

    By using overt force in Chechnya, the long term suffering was minimised

    And it would disappear if they were all wiped out. Killing civilians is just wrong.

  301. @By-tor

    Indeed, the Ukrainian government material was no more truthful and much clumsier that the insurgents. What I found incredible was the NATO bureaucracy simply relaying Ukrainian propaganda without any refinement. Apparently, NATO does not have its own intelligence capabilities. It essentially runs conferences and committee meetings. Thus it had no ability to take a measured response. The US was not sharing what it knew.

  302. @AnonfromTN

    The only “NATO” training the Georgians had was in operating their radios so that they could communicate with other troops in Iraq.

    How much fighting did Russian regulars do in Syria? Very little?

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  303. @Philip Owen

    The only “NATO” training the Georgians had was in operating their radios

    Many Georgian army units were reorganized according to NATO standards. Those crumbled first. As Abkhasians mocked them, “American trained to run away”. Several units retained their Soviet-era organization and training. Those put up some fight.

    How much fighting did Russian regulars do in Syria? Very little?

    Practically every air force pilot did a stint in Syria. It was considered necessary training. Ground troops saw a lot less combat, but they were involved in some operations, and sometimes were the only ones remaining to defend positions after Syrian government soldiers ran away. As Russians put it, the main weakness of Syrian Arab Army (official name of the government army in Syria) is that it’s Arab.

    • Replies: @Jazman
  304. Mr. Hack says:
    @Aedib

    Well, Putin reads Karlin, why couldn’t Motyl read AP? 🙂

  305. @mal

    War is their only hope for shutting down Nord Stream 2 and keeping that $3 billion/year gas transit payout

    The $3 billion is completely irrelevant for Ukraine.

    Well, the $3 billion a year is critically important to the ukropia state budget and keeps Europe’s poorest state on a life-support machine……. but my point is that Ukraine is a beggar-state AND a prostitute state – and for its role in NS2 it is choosing to play the role of prostitute-state.

    It can’t be a beggar in this because it has literally signed a gas transit deal with Russia for 5 years worth alot less than $3 billion a year. In reality it could easily get many times more billions in export trade, investment and much lower interest loans from Russia just by using semi-sane negotiation and foreign policy to Russia – but chooses not to. It could easily have negotiated a deal with Gazprom guaranteeing much larger volumes of gas, for more years worth billions more – if it had decided not to enact the fake peremoga of the corrupt Stockholm Arbitration Court ordering Russia to pay them 2.9 billion USD….but it did enact it not for maximum financial benefit, but for highlighting a “national victory”

    It’s a prostitute state in this because it thinks its importance to the west gets lost if it loses gas-transit status. The main problem with this idiocy is that US is only interested in exporting more of its LNG to Europe…. so higher volume gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine are exactly what it doesn’t want. They just need their LNG to be slightly less uncompetitive in price then it will be when another pipeline direct to Germany is operational……..or just do what they usually do and blackmail Germany into buying more volumes of their natural gas.

    For Russia this is all fine – without US sabotage, NS2 would have finished before end of 2019….but full operational capability of Turk Stream anf NS2 would not have occurred before 2022….. so using Ukrop gas-transit for 2020 and 2021 was always a necessity. We were contracted to transit 65 billion cubic metres through their GTS but because of coronavirus lowering western demand, only 55 billion was delivered and for most of last year gas prices, which I believe the 5 year contract is linked to these market price rate in determining transit fee, were very low. So contract made us pay only for extra 10 billion cub.m not delivered. This year and the next 3 we only have to transit 40 billion volumes of gas, coronavirus still effecting most of the countries that use Russian gas – so Ukraine unlikely to get close to the 90 billion volumes they need to get $3 billion transit payment. Then its just 3 more years of this pitiful contract only paying for 40billion cubic metres – with NS2 and Turk Stream fully operational and our own LNG exports also.

    The ironic thing is that now, Ukropia has become a “reliable” partner in gas transit. They are not going to siphon off our gas deliveries to Europe…… because their own personal and industrial consumption of natural gas has gigantically fallen since 2014, and shows no sign of reaching the previous level!

  306. Jazman says:
    @AnonfromTN

    This is typical Ukranian mantra . I can guess what they are writing blaming Stalin and Putin for all problems
    “Східна Україна розмовляє по російски по тій причині що під час Голодомору в 1932–1933 років місцеве населення було знищене завдяки політиці Сталіна на “індустріалізацію”. Починаючи з 1934 року, східні території були заселені вихідцями з Росіїі. Тому, переважно російська мова в тих регіонах. Українська мова Західної Україіни відрізняється від Східної тим, що там більше польських і мадьярських слів з історичних причи”

  307. @Jazman

    This is typical Ukranian mantra .

    Yep, they keep lying with straight face (if you can be very charitable and call “a face” what their officials show to the public). What’s more, they claim that more Ukraine residents speak Ukrainian than Russian. This is a lie, as Google tricky non-question showed some time ago: when asked whether they want online questionnaire in Russian or Ukrainian, the great majority chose Russian. Russian is the mother tongue of most educated or even semi-educated (like current clown) residents of Ukraine. Even those who start with Ukrainian switch to Russian as soon as they go on the Internet: there is a lot of content in Russian, whereas in Ukrainian there is many times less content, and much of it constitutes official lies of the current puppet regime, which sound like posts from a madhouse.

    BTW, part of this is true: Western Ukrainian is very different from standard (Poltava) Ukrainian, contains lots of words with Polish and German roots (actually, very few Hungarian roots, so they lied even in a part-true statement). I know it because I spent the first 4 year of my life near Lvov, where I spoke with local kids in their language. Then I got standard Ukrainian from books I read (most Ukrainian writers wrote in standard, except Vasyl Stefanyk, who wrote in Western). When I went to school in Lugansk, my Ukrainian teacher loved me, as I was the only kid in 40+ class who could speak normal Ukrainian. Even though my Ukrainian is rusty now, it is still much better than that of most “Ukrainian patriots”.

  308. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    So did the neighborhood kids pick on you or beat you up when you lived in Western Ukraine? Perhaps your perfect enunciation of the Ukrainian language irked their sensitive Galician ears? 🙂
    I’d also guess that at least when your father wasn’t present, your mother (A Ukrainian by your own account) would sometimes also switch to Ukrainian? I’m bringing this up because I’m trying to pinpoint exactly when your advanced case of Ukrainaphobia started to evolve? I’m guessing that this occured when you went back to Donbas and finished your college education there?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  309. @Mr. Hack

    advanced case of Ukrainaphobia

    Sorry, dude, I don’t suffer from Ukarinophobia. Nazis, Ukies, and the whole current regime of pathetic globohomo puppets is a different matter. Implying that Ukrainians en mass support Nazis or Ukies is slander. Not to mention that real Nazis would be offended by some worthless Ukies calling themselves Nazis.

  310. @Jazman

    Східна Україна розмовляє по російски по тій причині що під час Голодомору в 1932–1933 років місцеве населення було знищене завдяки політиці Сталіна на “індустріалізацію”. Починаючи з 1934 року, східні території були заселені вихідцями з Росіїі. Тому, переважно російська мова в тих регіонах. Українська мова Західної Україіни відрізняється від Східної тим, що там більше польських і мадьярських слів з історичних причи”

    This laughable BS wasn’t said by anybody in Ukraine in 1991…or even 2001, and I include the western part in that. Stalin was no more or less liked or hated in Ukraine then he was in Russia ( actually the most vigorous defense I ‘ve heard about Stalin was by a guy in Kiev). He was also denounced and disgraced throughout the USSR for nearly 40 years……..

    It’s a straightforward Soros/Gosdep lie. Initially for plenty of these freaks, the understanding of Ukrainian was so incoherent and artificial that Ukrainised words commonly used were actually treated as Russian “chauvinism” by these fringe lunatics ( inferiority complex thinking Russians treating them as peasants by using “Ukrainian” dialect words – even though now the false ideology to separate them from Russia relies precisely on their peasant culture being completely different to Russian world and the genesis of them being separate to Russia).

    The big cities of course are even harder to falsely separate the idea of Russian people as separate from Ukraine as they don’t exist without Russia.

  311. @Jazman

    Східна Україна розмовляє по російски по тій причині що під час Голодомору в 1932–1933 років місцеве населення було знищене завдяки політиці Сталіна на “індустріалізацію”. Починаючи з 1934 року, східні території були заселені вихідцями з Росіїі. Тому, переважно російська мова в тих регіонах. Українська мова Західної Україіни відрізняється від Східної тим, що там більше польських і мадьярських слів з історичних причи”

    This laughable BS wasn’t said by anybody in Ukraine in 1991…or even 2001, and I include the western part in that. Stalin was no more or less liked or hated in Ukraine then he was in Russia ( actually the most vigorous defense I ‘ve heard about Stalin was by a guy in Kiev). He was also denounced and disgraced throughout the USSR for nearly 40 years……..

    It’s a straightforward Soros/Gosdep lie. Initially for plenty of these freaks, the understanding of Ukrainian was so incoherent and artificial that Ukrainised words commonly used were actually treated as Russian “chauvinism” by these fringe lunatics ( inferiority complex thinking Russians treating them as peasants by using “Ukrainian” dialect words – even though now the false ideology to separate them from Russia relies precisely on their peasant culture being completely different to Russian world and the genesis of them being separate to Russia).

    The big cities of course are even harder to falsely separate the idea of Russian people as separate from Ukraine as they don’t exist without Russia.

  312. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    So much similarities with Croats they inventing words to make Croatian language different from Serbian and it so funny even Croats are laughing

  313. @Philip Owen

    I noticed. It was not just about giantic agricultural projects, including parts of still Ukranian Donetsk oblast. Chinese companies had already started spending money in Crimea to build port facilities. OBOR. China was less than pleased with Russia’s failure/unwillingness to rein in its adventurers in Ukraine. Those large Chinese interests are still there, right next to the LDNR border.

    You know what’s happening with Motor Sich in Ukraine surely?……….but you still write this BS?

    The decline and sidelining of Ukraine effects One Belt one road f**k all you dummy. Only Ukraine is effected and only Ukraine massively suffers. For a country killing itself without any investment – doing this to the Chinese shareholders, even allowing for the American blackmail, should go down infamously as one of the most stupid and suicidal acts by a state in history.

    As for Crimea – huge investment and it’s economy 3 times the size it was in 2013 – Ukropia will need to 2035 to get to 2012 levels……which are still struggling to get to 1991 levels of wealth. No reason why they can’t find ways to invest in Crimea and go past sanctions……and their agricultural imports from Russia and Ukraine have gigantically leaped in the last few years.

  314. @Jazman

    So much similarities with Croats they inventing words to make Croatian language different from Serbian and it so funny even Croats are laughing

    I actually get annoyed frequently when our tv or radio media is showing some Ukrop “nationalist” politician speaking. They start the translation playing over his voice , even though what I can hear from him is completely identical to Russian-certainly all of it is comprehendable to anybody who is a Russian speaker! The translator then just uses different Russian words with the same meaning…..as the equally Russian words the Ukrainian is using. Very few words are different, and because language is a function or mentality and culture – it’s impossible to not understand what he/she is saying.

    My friend knowing that I like to joke about Russia and Ukraine, sent me a pdf of a Bosch Lawnmower instructions. Russian and Ukrainian translations in it ( before claiming this as “peremoga” it has Kazakh, Bulgarian, Slovakian, Czech and nearly all the other ones translated also).

    It’s no exaggeration to say that the Ukrainian manual was literally 95% Russian………and 5% Russian thesaurus!!

    History literally needs to be falsely rewritten to make those technical instructions for the lawnmower different in “Ukrainian” dialect than it is in Russian.

    Zelensky when he is talking to foreign politicians or media in english…..actually uses a Russian translator, and even speaks in Russian when he cant express the words in English to them. This faggot is the head of state – so it is beyond ridiculous that they have all these demented rules…but his official translator is doing it in Russian, hoping no Khokhol follows the foreign news

  315. @Jazman

    There are some differences, like the theater in Serbian is “Pozorishte”, while in Croatian it is “Kazalishte”. But real differences between Serbian and Croatian are a lot smaller than between German spoken in Bavaria and Saxony. Luckily for them, neither Bavarians nor Saxons have a severe inferiority complex. Some other people do suffer from it.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Jazman
  316. @Mr. Hack

    You would need to have paid close attention in 2013=2015. You are invited to review my comments on those dates for references.

  317. @AnonFromTN

    Actual Croats told me that there is no such thing as a Croatian language, it’s called Serbo-Croatian, “that’s how we were taught at school.” Also “it’s literally the same language, they can understand us and we can understand them.”

    Though I have met a few Croats who told me that it was a different language. They were Hungarian citizen Croats, born and raised in Hungary, and they could speak as well Hungarian as they could Croatian. But they were the only Croats to insist that this was a different language.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  318. @AnonFromTN

    Norwegians often pride themselves in the rich diversity of dialects, aswell as the strong position of dialects in society. This is brought up as something that contrasts us from other European countries aswell as America. How are dialects seen in Ukraine and Russia in your opinion?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  319. @reiner Tor

    Though I have met a few Croats who told me that it was a different language. They were Hungarian citizen Croats, born and raised in Hungary, and they could speak as well Hungarian as they could Croatian. But they were the only Croats to insist that this was a different language.

    That’s very similar to Ukrainian situation. Ukrainians living far away from the country are the most “svidomy” and “patriotic”, claiming that Ukraine is not Russia and cannot be Russia under any circumstances. In contrast, many of those who actually live in Ukraine say “if we knew what’s going to happen, we’d buy Yanuk another golden loaf by crowdfunding”.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  320. @Rattus Norwegius

    How are dialects seen in Ukraine and Russia in your opinion?

    Russian is remarkably homogeneous. There are virtually no dialects (unless you count Belorussian and Ukrainian as dialects), just some differences in pronunciation. There are a few regional words here and there, but they are mostly used by village people.

    The language people speak in Ukraine is more heterogenous. Most people speak Russian (a few years ago to speak Ukrainian in Kiev was considered as impolite as farting in church). While in Kharkov region they speak mostly pure correct Russian (as in Crimea, but it’s Russia now), Odessa has its local words, expressions, characteristic grammatical errors, and pronunciation. Donbass and nearby regions (in both present-day Ukraine and Russia) speak an awful mix of Russian and Ukrainian (called surzhik). Western Ukraine has several Polonized and Germanized dialects, mostly in rural areas. Official literary Ukrainian (Poltava Ukrainian) is spoken mostly in villages in Central Ukraine. I speak one of the Western dialects (I was born in Lvov and lived the first 4 years nearby) and literary (Poltava) Ukrainian. My Ukrainian is rusty after 10 years in Russia proper and then 30 years in the US, though. My mother tongue is Russian.

    • Thanks: Rattus Norwegius
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  321. @AnonFromTN

    This is a lie, as Google tricky non-question showed some time ago: when asked whether they want online questionnaire in Russian or Ukrainian, the great majority chose Russian. Russian is the mother tongue of most educated or even semi-educated (like current clown) residents of Ukraine. Even those who start with Ukrainian switch to Russian as soon as they go on the Internet: there is a lot of content in Russian, whereas in Ukrainian there is many times less content, and much of it constitutes official lies of the current puppet regime, which sound like posts from a madhouse.

    Well the top Google trends in Ukraine every year are Russian cultural figures, Russian tv shows and Russian events…..and of course searched in Russian. Even this dummy Dzuba pleasuring himself like an idiot, was higher rated in Ukraine than in Russia. This is of course despite all the repression and that it’s from Google – not Yandex which is now heavily restricted.

    I would guess that the high majority of video on Youtube or social media titled in “Ukrainian” language – has either the people speaking in video , or near 100% of the comments in Russian.
    Last week at work ,one of the secretaries at work was looking during her break at the L’Oreal Ukraine videos on Youtube – the videos are titled in Ukrainian – the models are all speaking in Russian, and all the comments were in Russian. TCN and everything else the same thing. Just WTF is this farce? This is supposed to be “separate” countries and separate peoples?

  322. @AP

    AK: I draw the line at insinuations of pedophilia. Deleted.

  323. @Anatoly Karlin

    OK–I guess I understand your meaning.

    But it seems to me that whatever longer-term benefit for the current Ukrainian state might stem from the loss of LPR and DPR, the loss itself would be politically devastating for Zelensky–especially is he is seen to be the one starting the war. How could he survive long enough politically to ever enjoy the longer-term benefits should they actually come to pass.

    In the end, I see the risk for Zelensky and I see the reward in the longer term but not any real prospect that Z. himself could enjoy any reward from a war he starts absent something that can be claimed as at least a partial victory.

  324. @joniel

    What makes the Ukraine “vital” to US interests?

    The gospel according to Zbig says it’s vital.

  325. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Yes it is true even Croat language is different between regions for example milk in Dalmacia they call it mliko in Zagreb it is mlijeko in Serbia it is mleko
    Word thousand Croats call it tisuca in Serbia hiljada
    Funny thing for example Bosnia they speak closer to Serbian but changing letters to be different . For example word municipality we always say Opstina but now it is Opcina 🙂

  326. @Jazman

    Who actually says that?

    It’s not true. The famine deaths were worse the further East along the Black Earth you went. Conditions were even worse on the Lower Volga and in Khazakstan. No serious historian would say that. The much misquoted (by Ukrainians) Gareth Jones certainly didn’t say that. He focussed on dekulakisation as a issue rather than ethnicity of any kind. As almost the only outside obeserver other than the German consulate in Kharkiv, already Nazi, his opinion carries weight.

  327. @unit472

    Nonsense. The 2 Donbass Republics should be incorporated into Russia – it’s not up to you and your lack of understanding of the region.

  328. @Philip Owen

    What kind of deluded joker are you??? You think that ‘corruption’ has magically stopped?
    At the contact line, the ukrainian army is largely made up of corrupt criminals and demotivated, drunk/drugged incompetent soldiers who wish they were elsewhere than there.

    LDNR doesn’t need an air force, you ignorant pundit.

  329. @AP

    Do you have an actual quote from Kovalev’s report? The book this comes from says that Kovalev “has put the figure at about 24,000”, which can mean the figure of all civilian casualties. I don’t think, however, that there has been any proper study on the ethnic composition of the civilian deaths, only speculation.

  330. Tony says:

    The MSM doesnt talk much about the fighting in Dumbass.

  331. Barrt says:

    Huge mistake to ever allow it to happen in the first place. It seems crazy to me that states just allow these american organizations to create rebellions in their countries. Seems like they would get a lot less blowback from simply banning these american organizations and social media platforms. After the Arab spring it should have been clear that american social media is a threat.

  332. Barrt says:
    @Philip Owen

    British empire still exists, just handed over to America for safe keeping.

  333. Sue says:
    @joniel

    This started in Syria with January 21 (one day after Biden inauguration) with large U.S. force moving into Syria, stopped by larger Russian force, then a few days later Russia bombs illegal U.S. oil drilling with Saudi techs and Kurdish security, bombed oil tanks and trucks, and bombed it again a couple days later. THAT is what led to this idiocy, the corrupt American military industrial complex p’d off they lost their oil revenue (selling to Israel, of course). They’re either bluffing to get the Russians to back off in Syria (they won’t) or more likely the satanic globalists that control USA now want to destroy both U.S. and Russia, which helps their world gov’t in Rome (revived Roman Empire).

  334. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Most people speak Russian (a few years ago to speak Ukrainian in Kiev was considered as impolite as farting in church).

    C’mon Professor, are you for real? Your Ukrainophobia is reaching new heights of irrationality and creativity. Besides, by your own admission, you rarely if ever go inside of a church for fear of “insulting somebody inside” so how would you even know? Also, I’ve been to Western Ukraine several times and have never encountered any Polish or German Ukrainian dialects there? Are you sure that you just weren’t overcome with some of the local home made samohonka when you heard these strange sounds? For supposedly being a really smart guy, you certainly make some pretty stupid remarks here. 🙂

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Anonymous comments are not allowed. If you are new to my work, *start here* / help me create more content by *donating*.


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS