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Kremlin Announces Abandonment of Kherson
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Russian defense minister Shoigu has announced that all Russian troops will withdraw from Kherson, the only city Russia holds across the big Dnieper River. I’ve always presumed Ukraine would have to take back Kherson because otherwise a revived Russia would always be a threat to someday conquer Odessa and win the war by seizing the entire Black Sea coast.

The Ukrainians are skeptical so far, fearing a trap. Why announce the abandonment of Kherson, if you haven’t done it yet?

But if the Russians are withdrawing from Kherson rather than fight for it, it’s evidence for Edward Luttwak’s contention that this war is being fought more like a princely 18th Century limited war than a fanatical 20th Century total war. Which is, on the whole, good. But, Luttwak warns, 18th Century wars could drag on for a long time.

A big question is whether the Russians are collapsing or are stabilizing along a more defensible front.

But in either case, it’s important to talk about what Ukrainian war aims the U.S. would subsidize at what cost and what it wouldn’t.

The Ukrainians are publicly committed to restoring not just their pre-2022 borders but also their pre-2014 borders including Crimea.

On the one hand, achieving those aims could serve as strong object lessons against starting wars of annexation. On the other, either aim could be highly expensive.

Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.

Would re-acquiring Crimea and the far eastern regions serve to maintain that national coherence?

Moreover, my vague knowledge of Eastern European conflicts, such as the Polish-Soviet war around 1920, suggests that Eastern European Slavic-speakers are likely to suddenly discover that not only must the invaders be booted out, but that we must conquer some of them instead. It’s a giant plain full of Slavic speakers and the borders are more or less social constructs.

If the Russians at some point collapse, I could imagine the Ukrainians suddenly convincing themselves that their triumphant forces deserve, say, to take Rostov-on-Don as compensation for their suffering. And maybe Volgograd while they are at it.

Perhaps that sounds nuts at the moment, but feelings change in wartime. And the U.S. needs to be prepared to avoid winding up being the dog wagged by its Ukrainian tail.

 
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  1. Dream says:

  2. dearieme says:

    Take Stalingrad-as-was? Without Russia responding with ballistic missiles? Hm.

  3. J.Ross says:

    It makes sense that a boomer who applauded lockdown suicides would applaud the mass murder of innocents and possibly a larger war. The basis of the war was the campaign again Russian-speaking easterners and the immediate stimulus for the invasion was a massive artillery operation which ratcheted up daily. But hey, Zelensky got a nice house in Gstaad out of it.
    ———
    The Atlantic can’t figure out why crime is still bad in Memphis. The writer struggles Stakhanovitishly to demonstrate how we’re past that “defund the police” thing, which came from nowhere in particular, and for which nobody is, y’know, responsible,

    Across the nation, police-reform efforts have stalled [actually, they’re frequently in effect one way or another, with predictable results]. Minneapolis voters resoundingly rejected a plan, developed after George Floyd’s murder, to replace the police with a new Department of Public Safety [they also haben’t embraced policing either]. Several cities that announced high-profile plans to reduce police budgets have since restored and even increased funding [after reassuring cops that they’re dead meat if they stick out a neck]. In New York, voters elected Eric Adams [lol], a former NYPD captain and staunch defender of law enforcement [lmao], as mayor. In San Francisco, the “progressive prosecutor” Chesa Boudin was recalled in June [after finding ways to wreck an already wrecked city]. And in Congress, bipartisan momentum for national reforms have come to nothing [not sure what he meant here, other than the opposite of ehat’s implied]. The backlash hasn’t happened everywhere, but President Joe Biden seemed to reflect the gathering consensus when he said during his State of the Union address in March, “We should all agree the answer is not to defund the police. It’s to fund the police. Fund them. Fund them. Fund them with the resources and training—resources and training they need to protect our communities.”

    The writer also delivers repeated helpings of the Trotskyite poverty argument, which has never been true:

    “The issue is not that people are committing crime. The issue is that people who are poor people are disconnected from resources,” Sawyer said. “These kids watch rich people on TV all the time, and you want them to throw boxes at FedEx. That’s like the crust of their opportunity here.”

    There is also a special appearance from the The Penguin Runs For Mayor Argument:

    These questions take elevated levels of crime as a given—not everyone has to contemplate the optimal level of patrols. “Point me to the ideal neighborhood in any community in the country, or any suburban community,” says the Reverend Earle Fisher, a veteran Memphis activist. “Guess what you don’t see? Any police officers.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/11/memphis-violence-reduction-murder-crime-rate-policing/671877/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

    • Agree: stari_momak, Eric Novak
    • Thanks: Nicholas Stix
    • LOL: Corvinus
  4. If the Russians collapse?

    The very idea is crazy. They are withdrawing because fighting in Kherson would mean 2 Ukrainians dead for every 1 Russian which is grossly inefficient after 7 months where it was more like 5 and sometimes 10 to 1.

    Moreover the real events are Nov 8, an end to all support for the war in US, the inability of Nato* to supply any more artillery, increasing signs of resistance to the war in Europe including quite a few under-reported demonstrations against Russian sanctions, and most important Ukraine has run out of 50 year olds to call up**.
    Pretty soon the horrendous state of the Ukrainian forces will become apparent – if learning about the dire state of US control in Afghanistan was a surprise last year, this will be 10x more shocking.

    *Ironically Nato’s raison d’etre is a conventional war with Russian/USSR somewhere across Ukraine/Poland/E Germany, but they turn out to be quite unready.
    ** Conscription of all males up to 60 and some women has been around for some time, with recruiting sergeants dragging people out of bars. London is full of Ukrainian males.

  5. The Ukrainians are publicly committed to restoring not just their pre-2022 borders but also their pre-2014 borders including Crimea.

    On the one hand, achieving those aims could serve as strong object lessons against starting wars of annexation. On the other, either aim could be highly expensive.

    Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.

    Steve, reading these three paragraphs, my interpretation is that you believe borders are real, and important, but also fluid. “Wars of annexation”, I’m not so sure. Apparently the Russian leader believes he is obligated to protect Russians outside of, but near national boundaries, so he initiated a conflict to do so. The initiation of the violence is on him, so be it, but he apparently accepted this burden, and will ultimately answer to his people and the various factions in Russian society. I’m not interested in who’s good or evil, because everyone has an opinion on that. To me, God will sort it all out.

    So, if at some point in the future, a portion of America (say a confederation of many counties and/or a few states) decide they are no longer Americans, but are Futuringians, and declare these are our borders, the rump United States would not be allowed to initiate an attack to secure some counties with citizens who continue to declare themselves as Americans, not Futuringians?

    Who decided what the borders of Ukraine are, and when did that occur? Was it some old Soviet Politburo decision? The UN? Just accepted as they are from the mists of early medieval history? I’m sincerely curious who decides what borders are genuine, and what borders are false.

  6. FN says:

    “If the Russians at some point collapse, I could imagine the Ukrainians suddenly convincing themselves that their triumphant forces deserve, say, to take Rostov-on-Don as compensation for their suffering. And maybe Volgograd while they are at it.

    Perhaps that sounds nuts at the moment, but feelings change in wartime.”

    I have been following Ukrainian voices since February and while nobody can predict the future with complete certainty, I am very sure this will not happen. They just want the Russians gone. Nobody is after conquest beyond that. It is not on their minds, not in their interest and they know there would be zero support for that from the West. They need the West not only for the war effort, but they will need billions for the reconstruction of their country, which will mostly come from EU countries.

    • Replies: @siberiancat
  7. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    I wouldn’t bet on a Russian collapse. This is the opposite of that. It’s an orderly retreat from a vulnerable position to a stronger one (there’s satellite footage of three lines of fortifications being built on the east side of the river).

    Granted, you don’t win wars by retreating, but what’s notable about this one is that both Prigozhin and Kadyrov have said they agree with Surovikin’s decision, when both harshly criticized the retreat from Lyman.

    Maybe Surovikin will wait until he has all of the 300k mobiks in theater and then go on the offensive along a different axis.

  8. I can only understand what’s happening in terms of the new Russian commander having a LOT more leeway than his predecessors to say “If I were you I wouldn’t start from here” and act accordingly. The various Russian pullbacks/retreats would usually be a signal for dismissal, but that’s already been tried.

    I confess to never having understood why Russia didn’t interdict every railway line into Western Ukraine from the beginning of this – after all, it’s US weapons that have taken out the Dneiper bridges and made resupply difficult.

    You can watch on Flightradar24 the kit arriving at Rszeszow from the US, UK and every NATO country – and a few even from Japan.

    (Jacks D and Johnson incoming in 5.. 4..)

  9. Polistra says:
    @Captain Tripps

    I’m sincerely curious who decides what borders are genuine, and what borders are false.

    Whoever has the most power, of course. Do you see anyone besides Israel deciding what and where Israel’s borders are? Similarly, do you see the powerful people in America deciding that America’s borders can be ignored?

    They’d change their tune in an instant if the C.S.A. decided to secede again. Simply because it wouldn’t suit their purposes, and they have the power.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  10. Anonymous[152] • Disclaimer says:

    There seems to be uncharacteristically too much openness and talk about this move coming from the Kremlin, General Surovikin, Shoigu, Prigozhin, Kadyrov, et al., making me a little suspicious that this could be a counter-counter-Maskirovka move? Who knows?

    Prior to this move Russia had an evacuation of
    civilians from Kherson (40% of its civilians) signaling there was something planned a while ago. That said, Russia will no doubt fully take control of Kherson again (and Odessa, Nikolaev, et al.) after grinding the Ukrainian military into the ground.

    Keeping and holding territory is not important at this stage. Attritting the enemy’s troops and equipment is key. The Ukraine military is burning throw men and material with unsustainable losses (over 200k VSU and 50k mercs) and NATO is depleting its stocks of arms and equipment while Russia has ramped up its production.

    This was General Grant’s strategy against the Confederacy, attriting the enemy in the field while forgetting about capturing territory for the time being.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  11. mc23 says:

    Agreed. Putin and Zelensky have combined to solidify Ukrainian nationalism. Pre-war at least 15-30% of the population would have favored closer ties with Russia. Those people will either have come around or like the Tories of the American Revolution will be forced out of the country.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  12. Rob says:

    Rather than wasting men and (our) materiel on nickel and dime battles for a few feet in the East, how about Ukraine send a blitzkrieg force north to take Moscow?

    Nothing like suing for peace from the enemy’s former capital. Ukraine could could even get a buffer region of Russia demilitarized. Russia understands the need for buffer regions with former aggressors, so they should be amenable to this.

    Zelinskyy, call me!

    • Replies: @Batman
    , @kaganovitch
  13. The USA dog being wagged by a Ukrainian tail? Sorry brah, that job’s already taken. And if you mention the tail in question, you’ll never work in LA again.

    Besides, what tail do you suppose is wagging the Ukrainian dog, fer pete’s sake?

    • Agree: Alden, Almost Missouri
  14. If the Russians at some point collapse, I could imagine the Ukrainians suddenly convincing themselves that their triumphant forces deserve, say, to take Rostov-on-Don as compensation for their suffering. And maybe Volgograd while they are at it.

    No, that’s not real.

    https://qr.ae/pvBBy4

    https://qr.ae/pvBBKo

    https://qr.ae/pvBBKM

  15. “Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.”

    Is this another example of painting pictures with words? The Ukraine has been bold enough to challenge the Russian Federation. It has made alliances with NATO which insists on treating Russia like an enemy; It has killed many Russian ethnics within its borders; It has violated an earlier treaty with Russia over the Donbas region. The Ukraine, along with NATO, has also taken the outrageous notion that the Russian Federation’s sovereignty is a construct. Yet, the Ukraine was cobbled together with lands that fairly recently belonged to other countries like Poland and Hungary (Are you sure the Ukraine is a real country?). I’d say the borders of the Ukraine are somewhat malleable while its boldness is a definite act of hubris. Russia has the right attitude towards the Ukraine and the consequences are well underway. The US would be wise to save its money for repairing the infrastructure in a much smaller Ukrainian rump state.

    P.S.: Another option might be to return the parts of the Ukraine that belonged to other nations not so long ago then turn what’s left over to Russia.

  16. Clearly you haven’t subscribed to Douglas Macgregor.

    A big question is whether the Russians are collapsing or are stabilizing along a more defensible front.

    Neil Postman predicted that technology would reduce people’s attention span into a pulsating psychological mess of endorphin seeking degeneracy.

    You’re a blogger.

    This medium is the epitome of who you are and all you stand for.

  17. Altai says:

    The Russians have done this over and over, leave a big gap for the Ukrainians to go into and then hit them with huge amounts of artillery. The trap for the Russians is to take too much territory filled with too many ethnic Ukrainians, that is the ‘porcupine’ the neocons hope the Russians swallow.

    For the Russians then the plan is to wipe out the Ukrainian army in the open and avoid prolonged city fights or occupations that turn into insurgent wars.

    The Ukrainians are taking unacceptably high casualties each time they do this. The horrific inference to things like the various Ukrainian counteroffences is that they have no long-term plan to them except to generate Western media propaganda to secure more funding and weapons, a truly post-modern media war in line with the actor president. The counteroffences also cause dissent and unease in Russia even when they fail to really change much. So Russia loses Kherson, they didn’t have it at the start of the war and the main war aim was to prove to the US that it’s red lines were real (IE the action of showing a willingness to start a military campaign was an end in and of itself) and degrade Ukraine’s ability to pose a threat. There is some value in bringing unease and concern in Russian since the war is now a conscription war and public opinion is more important there. But that just risks the Russian government being pushed into engaging in a more aggressive violent campaign to end the war sooner like by destroying all the powerplants in Ukraine. (Which in a place like that is very serious since it means water pipes will bust en masse due to freezing)

    The 300k conscripts will soon be deployed and when they are that will free up 300k of professional soldiers to move to the front. The Russians no doubt have this timed to coincide with the ground freezing so they can move tanks and mobile artillery over open ground more freely. That’s what is going to matter, how successful the Russian push this winter is going to be.

    With little in the way of military aid left to give Ukraine (When you see the numbers in the media for HIMARS given to Ukraine, for example, it’s important to note most of them don’t exist and are still being built) the situation now dangerously favouring the Russians in terms of a war of attrition and now the Russians being able and willing to shut off Ukrainian power production, I don’t see this somehow being the beginning of the end for the Russians in Ukraine but another Germany at the end of WW1 Western front massed attack in search of some desperate victory.

    People keep talking about Ukraine though as if it matters. It doesn’t, otherwise the neocons wouldn’t have ever sought to provoke this war since they’d be concerned about Russian winning. What matters from this is the new world order it is creating. You have now finally exiled Russia from the West, it has nowhere to go but into a deeper explicit strategic alliance with China. An entity that cannot be defeated. One where Russia is now the junior partner as opposed to the brief Sino-Soviet alliance in the 20th century. Simultaneously the rest of the world sees this war for what it is as an avoidable war started by the neocons in the US and are not joining in isolating Russia. It is only the Western world where people are so stupid to not understand this.

    If the neocons keep insisting upon creating the logic for a Putin to exist do not, to my knowledge, have any way or plan to disarm Russia of it’s nukes and refuse to accommodate a post-Putin Russia then what the hell was the plan here? That’s the mystery, that’s the part I can’t figure out, what the hell did they think they were doing?

    Was it their plan in the run up the mid terms to be going to Maduro and begging him for oil?

    The only path left for them is the horrific idea of putting US and NATO boots on the ground, maybe you get away with it and manage to deftly use that as an end point to the conflict and way to save face for negotiations but does that seem likely to anyone? For the first time ever the neocons lost and lost big, particularly on the economic warfare front, do they seem like people who’ll accept that? They put themselves in this bear trap they set for Russia but seem intent to replace themselves with everyone else.

    You can discuss the war itself and geopolitics of it but really all that matters is, are the neocons done or are they just getting started? And why can’t anyone in the US really talk about them, the greatest political conspiracy of the 20th and 21st centuries? Because if they’re left to survive in power again they’ll just continue to wreck havoc in the name of Israel.

  18. slumber_j says:

    But in either case, it’s important to talk about what Ukrainian war aims the U.S. would subsidize at what cost and what it wouldn’t.

    In my case that would be a very short conversation. Why don’t we instead devote all this time, effort, money and attention to our own borders?

  19. JR Ewing says:

    Coupled with the underreported (overshadowed) news earlier this week that the US is beginning to lean on Ukraine to find a negotiated settlement, this could be the first step in lining up the ceasefire boundaries, with the lower Dnieper being a natural dividing line that is sufficiently inclusive of Crimea.

    The nonsense of Crimea “belonging” to Ukraine needs to end. I recognize it was within the borders at the time of the dissolution of the USSR, but that is a relatively recent historical development.

    • Replies: @Kaz
  20. I understand where you’re coming from.

    You’re coming from a place fed by mainstream fear mongering.

    If you read what you wrote with a dispassionate mind you’d realise you’re simply projecting your fears onto “the designated other”.

    In any other context we’re taught to revile ourselves for anathematizing “the other”. But when it comes to Russians every aspect of our media is drawn to abide in one sing along anthem our combined in unison song of hatred of the Russian.

    The Russian as the designated Other.

  21. anon[321] • Disclaimer says:

    Yarro says:

    1. America has consistently refused to supply Ukraine with long range offensive weapons such as the F16, ATACAMS (300 km range) or advanced drones so that Russia does not feel threatened in its territory. Even today there is a report about this. Ukraine has been begging for these kinds of weapons since Day 1. Ukraine has also agreed not to use HIMARS on targets in Russia such as Belgorod, and to pre-clear targeting of Russian assets in Russia itself that it attacks with its own missiles. (Crimea is not part of this.) So no, there is no prospect of the war spreading to Russia.

    2. The cost of the war to Ukraine in lives and infrastructure lost necessitates the return of Crimea. Public support for this in Ukraine is at 90% level.

    3. Although at lower numbers (I recall 53%) than the other districts of Ukraine, Crimea did vote in 1993 to be part of Ukraine, and not Russia. The territorial integrity of Ukraine was guaranteed by major powers at that time upon Ukraine surrendering the 300 or so Soviet nuclear weapons that were on its territory. Either Crimea is restored to Ukraine, and Ukraine becomes integrated in the Western security framework, or it develops nuclear weapons. Perhaps together with Poland. This is obvious, and not in America’s security interests.

    4. Russia must be weakened or even broken up (as the old style empire that it is) in order to eliminate the Russian distraction once and for all, Kamil Galeev on twitter and others have consistently called for this. More importantly, we need to clear the decks for the coming conflict with China. China is more important, it’s a bigger threat.

    5. American support to Ukraine has amounted to ca. 5% of its military budget so far. We have left more weapons in Afghanistan by value than we have given to Ukraine. This is not a significant expanse. And we have learned a lot from engaging with a more serious enemy than the Afghanis or Iraqis (and an enemy whose engineering platforms are the basis for a lot of Chinese kit).

    6. Russia seems to think that it somehow lost the Cold War unfairly, through some accident, “because Gorbachev.” The revanchisme and resentment and feelings of inferiority are not reality-based. It is beyond the pale that Putin calls the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest political tragedy of the 20th century.” A murderous regime… have we really forgotten the Cold War? Have we forgotten that a generation ago Reagan called them “the evil empire”? And mentally and politically they have not reformed. The hammer and sickle still features in the tail of the Aeroflot airplanes. (They should have been banned from civilized countries based on that alone, the hammer and sickle being a symbol of evil just as potent and consequential as the Nazi swastika.) Ukraine, liberal and modern and free, cannot be allowed as a counter-example to Russian despotism, in the same way that a liberal and free Taiwan cannot remain as a possible infection site for Communist China. Hence, the war of civilizations. Samuel Huntington wrote a good book about that…

    • Thanks: Redneck farmer
    • LOL: BB753
  22. My military “experience” consists mostly of academic work and avocational reading, but I think it’s Very unusual to announce an evacuation/withdrawal in advance. The most likely enemy reaction will be to try and at least annihilate the rear guard, if not to break through the rear guard and attack the retreating troops and turning a retreat into a rout. Over on the Military Summary channel the commentator thinks that the evacuation was a negotiated affair between the Russians and Ukrainians: Ukrainians forebear from attacking the retreating Russian troops, while Russia agrees to withhold attacks somewhere else. I don’t know; it’s a possibility.

    The most important aspect of this withdrawal will be the effect that it has on Russian public opinion and support for Vladimir Putin. There are hardliners in the Russian government that will seek to use this withdrawal to press Putin to a more aggressive stance, or possibly even seek to replace him with a leader more committed to a vigorous prosecution of the war. I don’t see Russia backing off at this point.

    • Replies: @36 ulster
  23. QCIC says:

    I thought everyone could recognize the SMO is being fought as a limited war. Why is this a “contention”?

    The SMO is slightly confusing since the Russian aims are not particularly limited, just the means and methods being applied to achieve them.

    Saving and restoring the historically Russian people in the country is a limited goal. The second and third goals of de-Nazification and de-NATOization are more involved. A line by Ronan in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy comes to mind, “Cleanse it!”

  24. Ken52 says:

    Steve, you need to get outside of the military experts on tv bubble that are spinning everything to make it look their way and start listening to the other side like Douglas Macgregor, Scott Ritter and others. They disagree on points but overall I find their analysis much more compelling. It seems Russia’s approach is to conserve their troops even if losing land temporarily. In the meantime they’re destroying the Ukrainian army. Russia could have leveled Kiev with conventional weapons on the first day and leave it looking like Dresden if it wanted but that is not the object. The object is to make Ukraine comply with the least amount of troop loss or civilian damage. And I believe they will ultimately take Odessa.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  25. Batman says:
    @Rob

    Ukraine would get nuked long before it threatened Moscow. Probably before it threatened Volgograd due to its strategic importance.

  26. OT: A musical message we can appreciate, recently released. Clever video.

  27. @Dave Pinsen

    Yep. This seems much more like a tactical move. If Odessa was off the table, then holding Kherson didn’t make much sense. It just tied down a lot troops that would be much better used in the coming offensive.

    Of course, you have to give credit to the Ukrainians for making Odessa off the table.

    Regardless, this winter will be interesting, not just in Ukraine but around the world. The Europeans will come to grips with higher energy costs and what that means for living standards and their economies.

    The US may have to deal with a recession amid high oil prices.

    We’ll see.

  28. Jack D says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The Russians are not retreating. They are advancing to the rear!

    It’s nice to see Russians accepting reality (assuming that’s what it really is and not some sort of Russian trick). I have always maintained that Putin is not insane. He is a rational (but amoral) actor who had bad information and who thought that he would make a bold move that would enshrine him in the history books as a Great Czar alongside Peter (and Stalin). Now he is in somewhat of a corner.

    He’s not ready to throw in the towel but Russia’s position on the west side of the river, where all the bridges have been cut, was not viable – too difficult to supply. Better to lose it in an organized retreat than a rout as in Kharkiv. This way they can take with them not only their equipment but anything that is not nailed down. Blow all the bridges and mine the roads to cover their retreat and leave some sacrificial mobiks to slow the Ukrainian advance. Maybe even do some urban warfare in Kherson City with a rear guard. The Ukrainians are advancing cautiously because they fear Russian tricks.

    The 300k mobiks were never really 300k and now they are less since some of them are already dead. The ones that are alive are mostly ill trained and ill equipped and have served mostly as cannon meat on the front lines. The Wagner guys in the 2nd line have not hesitated to fire thru them so many of the dead are from friendly fire. This is not good for morale. Surovikin will no doubt want to go on the offensive again in the spring if not sooner but to what effect remains to be seen. The Russians have been assaulting Bakhmut for months using WWI tactics with WWI results – after many casualties the lines move yards.

    But the hope of the Putinists springs eternal – yes the Russians have been losing for months but any day now the war will turn in their favor. The mobiks or the Iranian drones or something will turn it or the Ukrainians will finally turn on the monster Zelensky or whatever. Anything can happen in a war but it doesn’t seem likely that the Russians can turn this around given how poorly things have gone up until now. The Russia Army has problems that mobiks can’t fix.

    • LOL: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Father Coughlin
  29. Rob says:
    @Altai

    the main war aim was to prove to the US that its red lines were real (IE the action of showing a willingness to start a military campaign was an end in and of itself

    Congratulations! You’ve come up with a new reason why Russia invaded Ukraine.

    Is someone keeping a list?

  30. @Dave Pinsen

    you don’t win wars by retreating

    Lol. Has Muscovy ever done anything else?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/books/excerpt-russia-against-napoleon.html

    Our genius Grand Armee is apparently gearing up for another winter advance.

  31. Jack D says:
    @Altai

    For the Russians then the plan is to wipe out the Ukrainian army in the open

    Maybe they will catch them in a pincers? Envelope them in a cauldron?

    You are wearing such impossible rose colored glasses that the rest of your analysis is not only worthless but topsy turvy. Neocons did not start this war. Putin started the war. He invaded a sovereign country, not vice versa. If he has weakened Russia to the point where it is a junior partner in an alliance with China (at this point he would be lucky – he’s a junior partner in an alliance with Iran – Russia is so hollowed out that the Iranian arms industry is more sophisticated than Russia’s) that’s on him, not on “neocons”.

  32. Luke Lea says:
    @Altai

    What do neocons and Trotskyites have in common? Both in favor of permanent revolution.

    • Replies: @Anon
  33. Renard says:
    @Altai

    Good points, but how on earth do you people find the time to post so much? I’m amazed at the number of posts which run to 5000 words or more. Tip: you can save valuable keystrokes by not inserting apostrophes where they don’t belong.

    • Replies: @Yngvar
    , @Kim
  34. Would re-acquiring Crimea and he far eastern regions serve to maintain that national coherence?

    It’s a good question, that Ukrainians don’t often answer honestly. In a sense Putin did Ukrainian nationalists a huge favor in 2014 by carving off the least Ukrainian parts of the country. The tragedy for Russia is that Putin doesn’t seem to understand the extent to which he had consolidated the rest of the country against Russia and politically weakened pro-Russian forces inside Ukraine.

    If Ukraine reacquires Luhansk and Donetsk today it faces the problem of repopulating them. A large number of Russian casualties are in fact conscripted men from those regions. Most young men had already emigrated to Russia proper years ago in search of ecnomic opportunities. You are talking about an economically devasted area mostly inhabited by unproductive old people. It is not clear where either Ukraine or Russia can find new “settlers” given the demographic issues both countries have, combined with massive emigration from both countries and now war casualties. Despite the resources under the soil, whichever country ends up taking over those regions after the war is acquiring mostly short term liabilities.

    If you look at demographics and economic growth, the most likely longer term scenario is that eventually both Crimea and Donbass will return to their historic roles as Turkic speaking fiefdoms subordinate to Istanbul.

  35. @Rob

    Same one it’s always been. Also the same one being trotted out for the endless blank checks McConnell keeps pushing through the Congress just with the players switched.

    I think Luttwak is right about the princely war aspect. The NATO/Atlantic Council Donbas offensive that started in 2014 has always been about getting back Crimea to restore the wounded honor of our beloved Obama and by extension Biden.

    Donbas isn’t all that far from Troy and Obama had about as much honor to defend as Helen did. And yet they fight. It isn’t just an 18th century thing. Telemachus watches.

  36. Renard says:
    @Jack D

    Neocons did not start this war.

    That may or may not be arguable, but no sane observer would deny that neocons are the main reason the war didn’t end in 72 hours or less.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  37. @Peter Akuleyev

    Or Khaganates subordinate to Khans a good bit further East.

  38. The World Series must be over.

    At least there’s Warball to keep the boys occupied until it’s time to cover cornerbacks and The Playoffs.

  39. A few related pics

    • Replies: @stari_momak
  40. @Dave Pinsen

    The toad is sure not tasty but the open steppe environs are indefensible
    over the winter – the alternative would have been turning Kherson
    into Little Stalingrad once Snegorovka fell (always the most exposed part);
    the downside is it makes a return over the Dniepr almost impossible.
    We´ll see.

  41. @Jack D

    Not neocon? This shit here has been going on for 8 years now. Ethnic, actual Russians, 5 million of them have been under Ukrainian shelling and missile attacks for eight years, supplied by the U.S. with plans for NATO to move into Ukraine, with all that entails, like nuclear weapons. All neocon-driven. Look up Victoria Nuland for Christ’s sake. They moved 130,000 Ukrainian troops to the edge of the Donbass with plans to overrun the Russian territory. It was then that Putin acted. It was what the neocons wanted. They were furious with Trump for derailing their little adventure for four years. So now they’ve got it. I dunno what the hell you’ve been studying, Jack, how many tens of thousands of dead Ukies do you need to see to understand the tactic of backing up, when the Ukrainians come out on the open plains, they get the shit shelled out of them.

    Retreat? They’ve evacuated 120,000 or more ethnic Russians from Kherson and pulled their militia forces out. There’s a dam the Ukies have been taking potshots at for weeks now, if it breaks, it will flood the city. Hence, part of the reason for the evacuation. The 300,000 being mobilized are ALL contract reservists who have already done 2-6 years active duty. Professionals. Half are logistical support, the rest, ground-pounders, air defense specialists (EVERY unit travels with air support against the various rocket artillery we/Ukrainians throw at them, plus they shoot down and jam Ukie drones) , artillery and tank drivers. They’re no different from our own reservists. Meanwhile, the ground is firming up, arms and various elements of support are pouring in by rail and when the Russians bring the new forces to bear, there’s gonna be hell to pay. The civilian deaths in Kherson in the next few weeks will be the Ukies who celebrated the shelling of ethnic Russians the last 8 years, Putin will have no concern for them. There will be no further shelling of civilians in the Donbass from Kherson, believe me. Oh, and you can write off Odessa, by the way. Along with the entire Black Sea coast. That’s next. And there’s not a damned thing we can do about it. And if we think we’re going to continue to fly AWACs on the border we have another think coming. The Russians owe us one on that score from Syria.

    You really need to read Martyanov and Larry Johnson, Giraldi, the Saker and others like Mercouris’ videos, Jack. They are all former intel and serious military and have no need to lie, unlike the entire U.S. media, and MIC. You are in desperate need of background.

  42. “Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.”

    Yes. A state can gain a measure of coherence by becoming a suzerainty.

  43. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s a giant plain full of Slavic speakers and the borders are more or less social constructs.

    But those social borders from 1992 must, according to you, remain sacrosanct for all time.

  44. BB753 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    It’s a trap. If the Ukrainian army advances they’ll be cut off from supplies as the heavy bombings have nearly destroyed all the main infrastructures. No electricity, no roads, no bridges mean you can’t resupply, move around or even feed your troops. After that it’s only a matter of time for them to collapse. In a war you don’t throw everything you’ve got, nearly all your forces in one point, particularly not when the enemy is a neighboring country and he has units all around your border ready to attack from the North and East. But NATO and the Zelensky/ Hunter Biden puppet regime want a PR win to keep foreign aid/grift pouring in.

  45. Ian Smith says:
    @Dream

    Hasidim but I don’t believe ‘em.

  46. Farenheit says:

    No matter what happens here on in, NeoConservatism and Neoliberalism have been mortally wounded by this war.

    The question now is what does the world look like in the new reality? Is their death a slow bleed-out, or a violent thrashing to the last breadth?

    • Replies: @keypusher
  47. Cutter says:

    Off-topic:

    Steve, Bronze Age Pervert did a stream last night where he called you “the best journalist in the United States today”. He spoke very highly of you and said you were “exactly what we should be doing”.

  48. @Rob

    “Congratulations! You’ve come up with a new reason”

    That’s always at or near the top of the list of aims of any war, ever, in the history of mankind. It’s defense by offense. @altai is just reminding you of that. With respect to that (chief) war aim, Putin has been wildly successful. Since the west had sold him way short for 30 years.

  49. @Jack D

    He is a rational (but amoral)

    How is Putin amoral? And if you can cite a reason, is it a reason that could not be said equally of the Western powers?

  50. ATBOTL says:

    This was the only reasonable decision. The positions west of the river are not tenable.

  51. @Captain Tripps

    So, if at some point in the future, a portion of America (say a confederation of many counties and/or a few states) decide they are no longer Americans, but are Futuringians, and declare these are our borders, the rump United States would not be allowed to initiate an attack to secure some counties with citizens who continue to declare themselves as Americans, not Futuringians?

    Yeah, this is the part that’s relevant to Americans. “Separate nations” are only allowed when the DC deep state says they’re allowed.

    Separate nations breaking away from Yugoslavia or Russia? DC says “good”.

    Separate nations breaking away from the Ukraine or US? DC says “bad”.

    On the one hand, achieving those aims could serve as strong object lessons against starting wars of annexation.

    Pace Steve, this didn’t begin as a war of annexation, but as a war of deannexation. Crimea and the Donbas decided they no longer wanted to be part of the Ukraine. With DC encouragement, Kiev retaliated against the Donbas. Since Donbas couldn’t defeat the combined might of DC-backed Ukraine, they petitioned Russia for assistance and admission, and eventually got both. Now the DC-Kiev axis is more (Kiev) or less (DC) explicitly committed to reannexing the Donbas. So now “we” are making a war of annexation. What could go wrong?

  52. Ukraine is a high maintenance bitch and we cannot afford her.
    We have no business getting involved in a border war on other side of the world.
    We have our own border chaos to sort out.
    Time for big mouth Zelenski to smoke the peace pipe.

  53. What do you know? Nothing.

    What matters is World War III. Nuclear bombs exploding everywhere.

    You sound happy about that.

  54. Mr. Anon says:

    But if the Russians are withdrawing from Kherson rather than fight for it, it’s evidence for Edward Luttwak’s contention that this war is being fought more like a princely 18th Century limited war than a fanatical 20th Century total war.

    That’s good. But will the US Government understand that? It seems to have internalized the idea of “unconditional surrender” – that the only outcome of a war is the complete negation of an enemy’s war making powers and the destruction of its leadership class, the end result of which is that the enemy’s leaders have no incentive to throw in the towel. It’s a very dangerous idea, especially in the nuclear age.

    Which is, on the whole, good. But, Luttwak warns, 18th Century wars could drag on for a long time.

    Not like WWI, WWII, or Vietnam, which were over in a trice.

    It appears to be the intention of the US Government that the war should drag on for a long time, the better to bleed Russia and feed the MIC.

    • Replies: @MGB
    , @Art Deco
  55. AndrewR says:

    It’s good to see Sailer criticize the US and Ukraine. Both regimes are taking advantage of each other for ends that are arguably not in the interests of the Ukrainian people and inarguably not remotely in the interests of the American people (or anyone outside of eastern Europe).

    • Agree: Mark G.
  56. Jack D says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    If you look at demographics and economic growth, the most likely longer term scenario is that eventually both Crimea and Donbass will return to their historic roles as Turkic speaking fiefdoms subordinate to Istanbul.

    It is quite often the case in history that people end up speaking a language that does not correspond to their ethnicity, so I could see these areas being populated mostly by Turkic people but not necessary speaking Turkish (but rather Russian). I can’t say whether these areas will be ruled from Istanbul but certainly Turkey is going to have influence in the region.

    In the short run, Turkey is going to emerge from this war as the dominant sea power on the Black Sea as Ukraine and Russia have decimated each other’s fleets. Recently the Russians sent some ships (including the Moskva’s twin) from Vladivostok to the Bosporus only to have them turned away by Turkey (the relevant treaty says that Turkey has the right to do so in time of war) and they returned to the Pacific. I don’t know why they bothered to sail all the way there – maybe they thought that Turkey would flinch if these ships approached whereas if they had asked in advance they already knew that the answer would be no (saying no is easy). In any case a big waste of time and fuel.

    After the collapse of the USSR, Russia cut back its military temporarily and then, at least according to Kremlin propaganda, Putin (and oil money) fueled a revival of Russian military power. It sure looked good at the annual May Day Victory Day parades in Moscow. After this war is over, Russia is going to need to lower its ambitions again. It is not going to have the resources, either in terms of people or money, to sustain its military at the pre-war level and it’s going to take them years just to replace what was lost. Although Sevastopol is regarded as a sentimental gem by the Russians (even before they grabbed Crimea they had a long term lease of it from the Ukrainians) given modern missile and drone technology it is hard to defend – the Russians have already moved many of there ships further back into Russian territory.

  57. @Captain Tripps

    Who decided what the borders of Ukraine are, and when did that occur?

    Russia in 1994.

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

    • Agree: HA, Travis
  58. @Captain Tripps

    The German GeneralStaff decided the borders in 2018, more or less. Keiser.

    • Replies: @Thelma Ringbaum
  59. @Altai

    The 300k conscripts will soon be deployed and when they are that will free up 300k of professional soldiers to move to the front.

    Are you not reading the news? They have been deploying them for weeks.

    They ditch them in trenches using 1916 tactics. In fact the Germans of 1916 had better bunkers.

    By 1918 such tactics were abandoned.

    Putin doesn’t even understand the lessons of WW1 let alone WW2. He is sticking conscripts in shallow trenches and the Ukrainians use them as target practice. There are dozens of videos of these conscripts actually sleeping in shallow trenches and without any cover. Compare to WW1 trenches where the Germans would built fortified tunnels in weeks.

    They are also using anti-retreat lines.

    Putin is clueless. He may be good at maintaining power but he really doesn’t understand modern warfare. I warned about that when he sent out the 40 mile column at Kiev. That’s a parade.

    The Russians no doubt have this timed to coincide with the ground freezing so they can move tanks and mobile artillery over open ground more freely.

    What are you and him imagining? Sticking bakers and fishmongers in T-62s and sending them in the direction of Kiev?

    • Replies: @Catdog
    , @Jack D
  60. Jack D says:
    @Almost Missouri

    You have a highly tendentious view of history. The Donbas “petitioned” Russia for assistance in much the same way as the Sudetenland “petitioned” Hitler to be annexed to Germany. Setting up “independent republics” that “petition” Russia for Russian troops (or maybe “petition” for annexation) has been a favorite ploy of Putin. No one (except maybe those who want to be fooled) inside or outside of Russia or those “republics” has any illusions that this isn’t all orchestrated from Moscow and that the puppet rulers of these places dance to Moscow’s tune. When it suits them, the Russians themselves drop the sham and reveal that it was them all along. Or maybe you believe that the “little green men” in Crimea weren’t really Russian soldiers? Do you believe in Santa Claus too?

    (BTW, so much for “independent republics” – Putin has done away with the sham and has now annexed these territories to Russia, at least on paper.)

    Of course once you accept the fake view of history that the people of the Donbas spontaneously sought their independence from Ukraine then America is completely hypocritical to oppose it when we supported Bosnian independence but if you start from false premises you get false conclusions.

    The great irony of this war is that when it started there really were parts of Ukraine that were quite sympathetic to Russia but even Russian speaking Ukrainians now mostly hate Russia. Until the war started (in 2014), Russia and Ukraine were like divorced parents who were getting along reasonably well (given that they were divorced). They had ups and downs in their relationship (the ex-husband used the alimony payments as leverage) but were mostly getting along. But then Putin revealed himself to be an obsessed ex-husband who hangs around his old house checking to see if his ex is seeing other men and then goes crazy when he finds out that she is. So now Ukraine needs an order of protection from her deranged ex.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  61. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    Neocons did not start this war. Putin started the war. He invaded a sovereign country, not vice versa.

    Tell us, Jack, who started the Six Day War?

    Just as a consistency check.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  62. @Almost Missouri

    Pace Steve, this didn’t begin as a war of annexation, but as a war of deannexation. Crimea and the Donbas decided they no longer wanted to be part of the Ukraine.

    So you believe that a strong majority of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea voted for Russian rule?

    As for Donbas the self-described independent Republics no longer exist. Putin has turned them into Russian territory. They were given a fake referendum on if they wanted to join Russia. It wasn’t a referendum to become independent.

    Their flags have been removed and most of the militias are dead.

    Putin originally said they were independent Republics that should be recognized by the world. Now their flags are in the trash and a Russian dictator rules them. He has also taken two oblasts that were not part of LPR/DPR.

    What happened when Chechnya tried to become independent?

    Hint: Putin is completely full of shit and it isn’t wise to defend a serial liar.

    • Replies: @jb
    , @Almost Missouri
    , @Art Deco
  63. Why this retreat? Let’s be rational here, as opposed to cheerleading for one side or the other as some commentators on here do.

    Note these reasons are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    1. Russian is “losing” — whatever that means.

    2. Russia is setting a trap. Key Ukrainian formations will drive right up to the river, wonder what to do next, while all the Russian men and material in Belarus will swoop down from the north unopposed, once the ground is frozen and cut off AFU forces in both the east and the south, and then systematically annihilate them.

    3. Russia is withdrawing as a prelude to negotiations that have been agreed to, where Ukraine keeps the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, but Russia gets the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and Odessa becomes an open city under a UN protectorate. The land bridge to Crimea remains in Russian hands as does Mariupol.

    4. Russia simply waits it out, shelling any formations in Kherson on the other side of the river and in the meantime holding fast in the east, continuing to destroy the power infrastructure of Ukraine, launching missiles daily until the will of the Ukraine people break, and Western Neo-con support wanes, and Ukraine comes the negotiating table weakened significantly.

    I think that about covers it.

    • Agree: nokangaroos
  64. Catdog says:

    I would not be surprised if in the next month or two, Russia also gave up much the land north of Lugansk city. They have been preparing defenses there. And there was that Russian reporter who laid this out after Surovikin took over- “there will be no good news for two months”.

    It seems that Surovikin’s plan will indeed be to keep retreating from one line of defense to another, with a few tepid offensives like around Bakmut to tie up large numbers of AFU to defend them. I don’t expect there to be any grand winter offensive. Other than the cities on the Donbass region border that are being fought for now, there’s no juice on the map that’s worth the squeeze (yet).

    Losing Kherson is a big blow for Russian ambitions west of the river, but it has one silver lining. A significant chunk of the AFU was investing the city. Now, they can be moved to the east. Or can they? Russia pulled out of Kherson because it was, supposedly, too hard to supply over the river and the risk of the bridges being destroyed was too high. All of Ukraine’s armies in the east are supplied over this same river. Why are any bridges over the river still standing? It could be cuck warfare, or some backroom deal. Or it could be that Russians thought, for some reason, that they could at some point capture those bridges before the Ukrainians blew them up themselves. Without Kherson, the calculus changes, and the Russians might finally decide it’s time to blow those bridges. It would be funny if that was the first combat test for the new, bigger Iranian drones currently being delivered. This is just speculation, of course. I don’t understand why the bridges weren’t already destroyed in April, at the latest. AFU might keep some supplies going with ferries, pontoons and air bridges, but the Russians could have done that in Kherson as well.

    Time is on Russia’s side and the Ukraine’s power supply, logistics and remaining Western goodwill and gibs are going to be depleted in the coming months.

  65. Wokechoke says:

    Kherson was a port. It’s a port no more. Somewhat like Mykolaev. Bottled up with nothing to export or import up the Dnieper or Bug.

    I’d expect some commando raids from both sides but is the big river now an international border? I expect to see a Ukie offensive south from the Zap Sich toward Melitopol to contest Russian control of the East Bank.

  66. @Dream

    The sign on the building says: “Watch out for Jews!”.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  67. Catdog says:
    @John Johnson

    Putin doesn’t even understand the lessons of WW1 let alone WW2. He is sticking conscripts in shallow trenches and the Ukrainians use them as target practice. There are dozens of videos of these conscripts actually sleeping in shallow trenches and without any cover. Compare to WW1 trenches where the Germans would built fortified tunnels in weeks.

    Both sides are in trenches. I doubt very much that you could tell apart a Ukrainian trench from a Russian trench.

  68. Jack D says:
    @John Johnson

    Are you not reading the news?

    Putinists read the news but then they pass it thru their copium filter. Every Russian defeat is really an advance in disguise or a “gesture of good will”. Sure the Russians are making some tactical movements but soon the REAL offensive will begin and the Ukrainian army will mass on open ground and allow itself to be destroyed by Russian artillery. Etc. Just like the last 10 times this didn’t happen. Le Creuset could open a store with all the “cauldrons” that have been formed (and yet never materialized) since February.

    Copium is a hell of a drug. I don’t know what it will take before the Putinists break the addiction but I know that the withdrawal is going to be brutal. If you think that you hate Putin now, that’s nothing compared to the way that they are gonna hate him later.

  69. Wokechoke says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Kiev has its own imperial ambitions. Kursk, Belgorod possibly Rostov.

  70. I could add to my earlier comment (still in moderation) that one bunch of people who don’t seem to be jumping up and down celebrating are the Ukrainians, who seem to be rather suspicious of the whole thing.

    No postage stamps for Kherson (yet at any rate).

    Pablo Escobar thinks some kind of deal has been done and the Dneiper will be the ceasefire line, but I see no sign that the US wants to finish this war.

    I’m also more and more convinced that the “Republican ads” – saying that arms to Ukraine would stop with a Republican win – were a Dem creation.

    Still, say not the struggle naught availeth. I remember Russia was going to go bankrupt and run out of weapons eight months ago!

    Upon the battles in Ukraine depend the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own Russian life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our homeland. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. The State Department knows that they will have to break Russia or lose the war. If we can stand up to them, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of – literally – perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if Holy Russia and its people last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.”

  71. MGB says:

    They had ups and downs in their relationship (the ex-husband used the alimony payments as leverage) but were mostly getting along. But then Putin revealed himself to be an obsessed ex-husband who hangs around his old house checking to see if his ex is seeing other men and then goes crazy when he finds out that she is. So now Ukraine needs an order of protection from her deranged ex.

    what historical insight! cпасибо! so the US/EU is like a district court issuing an order for protection for Ms. Ukraine, correct? but the kids, what about their children in the divorce? i don’t get why that part is missing in your analysis. was a custody order issued too, in addition to the order for protection? i think that needs to be clarified.

  72. Wokechoke says:
    @Captain Tripps

    The very people who’d have the stones to depose Putin were the people advising him to go in hard to protect Russian ethnics beyond the legally recognized borders. This particular war shows that Russia can’t attempt to defend expats in quite the way the ultra nationalists might like. It comes with a massive cost in materiel and blood. Imagine Britain going balls to the walls for the Rhodesians in the 1970s for example. Instead HM gov had to turn its back on the colonists. Russians might have to cool their jets on defending these people.

  73. jb says:
    @Dream

    That’s probably the fastest any of those guys have moved in years!

  74. Anon[247] • Disclaimer says:
    @Luke Lea

    Today’s Jewish neocons all have grandparents who were Trotskyites, so they come by their love of endless revolution genetically.

    • Agree: Alden, J.Ross
  75. @Captain Tripps

    I’m sincerely curious who decides what borders are genuine, and what borders are false.

    It’s literally the United States which decides. That’s the “rules based order” that Steve believes we are fighting for in Ukraine. He couldn’t explain why Kosovo has “rules based” borders while Donetz and Luhansk do not. Or why U.S. forces can cross the Iraqi or Syrian or Libyan borders to “save” the people there, whereas Russians cannot cross the Ukrainian border to stop Zelensky from shelling “his own people” in Donetsk. As to the rules for Israel’s borders, don’t even ask . . . they’ve got something to do with the Old Testament, the Holocaust and U.S. campaign contributions.

    The legalist approach to borders is inevitably selective and hypocritical, and is useful mainly just for propaganda. Making actual decisions where great military power conflicts are involved requires actual interest-based negotiations, not virtue signalling about the alleged “rules.”

    The Russian voluntary withdrawal from Kherson is puzzling on its face. However, they evacuated and relocated all the civilians from Kherson already, and thus aren’t leaving any Russians behind.

    There are rumors of U.S.-Russian talks. So it may have to do with exhausting some sort of “last, best, and final” diplomatic offer on post war borders before going on a full scale winter offensive with troops amassed from their recent mobilization.

    Steve gets excited whenever the Ukrainians seem to get good news in the war. But, in reality, the military situation is quite the opposite of an imminent Russian military “collapse.” Hopefully, the U.S. is willing to negotiate based on reality.

  76. pyrrhus says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The Ukrainian military is in a state of collapse, drafting girls and 14 year olds, and Russia is dismembering its electric power system…Putin is setting the stage for a settlement, and not incurring any further casualties in the mean time..Otherwise, General Armageddon will be turned loose…

    • Replies: @thud
  77. @Altai

    From Wikipedia on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia:

    “The fierce Battle of Borodino, seventy miles (110 km) west of Moscow, was a narrow French victory that resulted in a Council at Fili. There Kutuzov decided not to defend the city but to a general withdrawal to save the Russian army … On 14 September, Napoleon and his army of about 100,000 men occupied Moscow, only to find it abandoned, and the city was soon ablaze, instigated by its military governor. Napoleon stayed in Moscow for five weeks, waiting for a peace offer that never came.[c] Because of the nice weather he left late, hoping to reach the magazines in Smolensk by a detour. Losing the Battle of Maloyaroslavets he was forced to take the same route as he came. In early November it began to snow, which complicated the retreat. Lack of food and winter clothes for the men, fodder for the horses, and guerilla warfare from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to greater losses. Again more than half of the men died on the roadside of exhaustion, typhus and the harsh continental climate. The Grande Armée had deteriorated into a disorganized mob…

    Napoleon’s army entered Russia with more than 450,000 men,[c] more than 150,000 horses,[c] around 25,000 wagons and almost 1,400 pieces of artillery. Only 120,000 men survived (excluding early deserters);[a] as many as 380,000 died in the campaign.[c] Perhaps most importantly, Napoleon’s reputation of invincibility was shattered.”

  78. @Eustace Tilley (not)

    Lol. It actually says Bet Yaakov Nehemia (House of Yaakov Nehemia). Building was named for big donor, Yaakov Nehemia Yakobovitch.

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Eustace Tilley (not)
  79. ic1000 says:

    Reading the better pro-Ukrainian iSteve regulars yields some perspectives on the Russians’ deficits, but their overall views of Ukraine are not particularly insightful.

    A mirror image is offered by those better iStevians who weigh in as advocates of Russia’s cause.

    Propaganda isn’t great, even when when when it’s generated by talented people who I often agree with, on other topics.

    There are writers who post informative long-form pieces, elsewhere on the web.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
    , @Desiderius
    , @HA
  80. Mr. Anon says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Hopefully, the U.S. is willing to negotiate based on reality.

    Hopefully, the Russians are too.

    A lot of people here act like they have some inside line into the Kremlin or Mariinskyi Palace, but the fact is that all that most of us know is whatever war propaganda we’ve heard pumped out by the Russians or the Ukrainians (or their US and NATO backers).

    I’m not going to opine on Putin’s plans for his Great Patriotic War II or on Raytheon’s, uh, excuse me, Zelensky’s plans for Ukraine, as I know nothing about either.

    All I am sure of is that this is properly none of our damned business.

    • Thanks: Kylie, Captain Tripps
  81. Mr. Anon says:

    OT – Check out the residence of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych (the last Russian-friendly President, before Maidan):

    https://www.businessinsider.com/ukraine-president-home-2014-2

    It looks like Elrond’s house at Rivendell.

  82. Hunsdon says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    It’s the “It’s different when we do it” argument!

  83. Sure the Russians are making some tactical movements but soon the REAL offensive will begin and the Ukrainian army will mass on open ground and allow itself to be destroyed by Russian artillery

    I really think Putin has a similar belief from watching too many WW2 movies.

    He imagines a Stalingrad type battle where everyday Russians pick up weapons and charge the enemy. Well that was against invading Nazis and the siege of Leningrad made it clear as to what was in store for them. Might as well take out a few Nazis if they plan on starving you anyways. The war against Ukraine has demoralized the Russian military. Few realize how many Russians have a relative in Ukraine.

    Putin’s defenders also hold out for “general winter” even though the Ukrainians also have a winter and are well aware of it. In fact it was the Ukrainian Cossacks that did the most damage to Napolean as they retreated back to warmer territory. The Russians never actually engaged them in a major battle. They burned half of Moscow and let Napolean sit in the cold. A clever use of the climate but it’s a myth that the Russians defeated them in battle.

    Copium is a hell of a drug. I don’t know what it will take before the Putinists break the addiction but I know that the withdrawal is going to be brutal.

    As far as I can tell they would rather OD. The failure to take Kiev should have tempered their enthusiasm for mass death since the original claim was that it would be quick war with few casualties. They have forgotten that they cheered the war in the first place under the belief that Putin would quickly win. Now they cheer the use of banned weapons and grabbing random Russian men to drag to the slaughter. It’s a sad commentary on human tribalism. People will pick a side and don’t want to let go. This is how so many people were killed in the world wars. Both sides felt justified in killing a massive amount of people to win. This is why many of us oppose war in general. It is too easy for them to get out of hand.

  84. Anon7 says:

    There is an alternative view of the Ukraine conflict.

    The Russians have declared an end to the “special military operation” which provided for about 200,000 troops and put most public infrastructure (water, communications, electricity, rail) off-limits to military action.

    They have completed their “partial mobilization” effort, adding 300,000 reservists (men with military training, out of about two million available, not conscripts) with the necessary skills. About one-third of these men are already in place in Ukraine; the others draw near.

    The new general in charge of the Russian effort in Ukraine, Sergei Surovikin (nicknamed General Armageddon) is now doing to Ukraine what General Norman Schwartzkopf did to Iraq before committing the Desert Storm troops to battle. Surovikin is taking out Ukraine’s infrastructure.

    If he continues this course of action, Ukraine’s large cities, like Kiev, will be rendered unfit for habitation by civilians. Millions will flee west to Poland.

    The four oblasts currently occupied by Russia are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia; these provinces have been formally annexed along with Crimea. As far as Putin is concerned, they are Russia. (Note that the Kherson oblast is not the same as Kherson city; today the Russians appear to have withdrawn to the east side of the Dnieper river, probably to consolidate defensive positions in the short term.)

    In about six weeks, the ground will be frozen in Ukraine, and the troops will be ready to move. I can’t see any reason why the Russians won’t take southern Ukraine, including Odessa, which most Russians regard as a Russian city.

    Putin was asked about Odessa last week. He said that Odessa could either be an apple of discord, or a symbol of conflict resolution. (As you recall, the “apple of discord” eventually led to the all-in Trojan War.)

    Putin added that Washington should tell Kiev in no uncertain terms that it is time to negotiate an end to the Ukraine conflict. Ukraine should give up the four oblasts plus Crimea, and should declare their neutrality and end their efforts to join NATO.

    And in return, the Russians won’t destroy Ukraine utterly, and reduce it to a land-locked rump state with no access to the Black Sea.

    • Replies: @thud
    , @Jack D
    , @Johnny Rico
  85. jb says:
    @John Johnson

    Crimea was annexed with very little violence, in part because its population is heavily ethnic Russian, and despite the phony referendum most people there were happy enough to be part of Russia. So I don’t have much of a problem with the annexation of Crimea. The Donbas was much more mixed though — there were enough partisans on both sides to guarantee that Russia could never annex it peacefully.

    Note that I’m not saying this to defend Putin. He is indeed full of shit, and his unprovoked war of aggression has proven to be a disastrous mistake.

    • Replies: @Mr Mox
  86. @John Johnson

    So you believe that a strong majority of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea voted for Russian rule?

    The Donbas and Crimea have always been at odds with the rest of the Ukraine electorally, so I’m not sure why it is supposed to be implausible that they would vote in favor of the Russia defending them from Kiev’s aggression.

    They were given a fake referendum

    How do you know it was fake?

    Russian dictator

    This is a lazy trope. The Russian president is elected and the last Russian presidential election was far less ambiguous than the last US presidential election.

    What happened when Chechnya tried to become independent?

    Where did I say the Russian government is not hypocritical? All great powers are also great hypocrites. The point is that hypocrisy between foreigners need not bother us when our own government’s hypocrisy toward us should.

    it isn’t wise to defend a serial liar.

    Another strawman. A lot of your comment proceeds from the assumption that if a foreign leader doesn’t conform to whatever standard the US government happens to want this week, we must wage war against him. I dissent.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @John Johnson
    , @HA
    , @Hunsdon
  87. MGB says:

    I really think Putin has a similar belief from watching too many WW2 movies.

    more brilliant analysis. how many WW2 movies has putin watched, and when did that number become ‘too many’?

    putin didn’t personally decide to invade the ukraine, it was a decision made in consultation with the military and others, and even if the anti-putin hysterics’ wet dream comes true, and putin is hanged in red square, literally or metaphorically, do they really believe it is inevitable that the half-a-retard 3%er navalny will become the new czar, and not some more hawkish candidate that all these putin analysts had never even heard of. what is going on militarily, i have no idea from a tactical or strategic standpoint, but it is ludicrous to believe that russia could not have paved half of ukraine with a shock and awe offensive if that was their goal, and rolled in to kiev, rose petals thrown at their feet, as happened in iraq for the USA. that russia may have a different plan in mind is incomprehensible to many.

  88. J.Ross says:

  89. Docbob says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The Donbas is one of the bread baskets of the world. Don’t underestimate how much this was is about controlling that.

    The buildings can burn and the people die, but that land will be there, and it will still be a strategic area worth controlling. New tractors will drive on it as soon as there’s a stable border.

  90. Kylie says:
    @Altai

    A very clear analysis, thank you.

    I need to “see” ideas clearly in order to process them. Unfortunately I don’t visualize well or easily. Reading your comment was a real pleasure, as I was easily able to understand your points so I could “see” the big picture.

  91. Jack D says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    The legalist approach to borders is inevitably selective and hypocritical, and is useful mainly just for propaganda. Making actual decisions where great military power conflicts are involved requires actual interest-based negotiations, not virtue signalling about the alleged “rules.”

    So we should just get rid of the UN, the ICC, international treaties, etc. and just let the great powers fight it out (or pray that ad hoc negotiations succeed every time)? What could go wrong?

    Anyway, there was no “great power military conflict” here. NATO was not in conflict with Russia except in Putin’s head. This was just a 2nd rate power trying to grab some land from what it thought was a 3rd rate power. Putin has tried these shenanigans many times before in the “near abroad” and up until now (including in Ukraine) they went reasonably well so he thought that he’d try for another bite at the apple. Zelensky would hop on the nearest helicopter and the decadent West would be too preoccupied with transexuals to mount any response to what was not really their concern anyway. The Germans would not go for serious sanctions because they needed Russian gas. He would keep the Donbas and maybe the Black Sea coast and install a Moscow friendly puppet like Lukashenko in Kiev to rule a Ukrainian rump state. No one in Washington or Brussels cares that Lukashenko is a Moscow puppet. What could go wrong?

    The Russian voluntary withdrawal from Kherson is puzzling on its face.

    It’s only puzzling if you think that the the withdrawal is really voluntary. Was the German withdrawal from France in 1944 “puzzling”?

  92. Mark G. says:
    @ic1000

    Reading the better pro-Ukrainian iSteve regulars yields some perspectives on the Russians’ deficits, but their overall views of Ukraine are not particularly insightful.

    A mirror image is offered by those better iStevians who weigh in as advocates of Russia’s cause.

    Both sides to some extent create a false dichotomy. The other choice that is left out is the pro-American side. This side thinks we have plenty of very serious problems here in the U.S. that we need to focus on and a regional war on the other side of the planet may be a distraction from solving those problems. Many of those who want to drag us into this war really don’t care about America and Americans but instead care about some sort of ancient ethnic grudge or overly magnifying foreign threats in order to justify the continuation of high spending on the U.S. military.

    Interminable arguments about who is worse, Putin or Zelensky, are somewhat beside the point. Even if you think Putin is worse, it doesn’t necessarily follow we should become involved. Just staying out of that war completely may be the best course to follow. If someone can persuasively argue that not becoming involved will eventually lead to a Russian invasion of the U.S. then we should intervene. I don’t think such an argument can be persuasively made. It would involve resurrecting the now discredited Vietnam War era domino theory that if we don’t stop them over there, they will be coming over here.

  93. Jack D says:
    @Almost Missouri

    A lot of your comment proceeds from the assumption that if a foreign leader doesn’t conform to whatever standard the US government happens to want this week, we must wage war against him.

    And your comments proceed from the assumption that the US must never intervene abroad so no matter what a foreign leader does, we are going to interpret it in the most charitable way such that it’s none of our business. That kindly gentleman Hitler just wants to protect the German speakers of Europe. That kindly gentleman Putin just wants to protect the Russian speakers of Europe. That kindly gentleman Xi just wants to protect the Chinese speakers of Europe. Somehow it never rises to the level where it is any of our concern.

    BTW, we are not waging war against Putin. Not a single American soldier has lost so much as a fingernail.

  94. ISteve has had enormous influence on US elite thinking on a number of issues, although of course he is never credited.

    Here is another burning issue where ISteve could make a difference: encouraging the US and European elites to find some sensible path to end this dumb war in Ukraine. The mainstream media is too committed to pushing nonstop pro-Ukraine, anti-Russian jingoism to think sensibly.

  95. @Almost Missouri

    So you believe that a strong majority of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea voted for Russian rule?

    The Donbas and Crimea have always been at odds with the rest of the Ukraine electorally, so I’m not sure why it is supposed to be implausible that they would vote in favor of the Russia defending them from Kiev’s aggression.

    Kiev’s aggression? What are you talking about? Putin simply took Crimea. They didn’t declare themselves as an independent Republic. The world didn’t buy that ethnic Ukrainians voted for a dictator and it wouldn’t matter anyways. You can’t take land and then declare by vote that it was just. If Mexican-Americans in Socal took a vote and declared that they were part of Mexico would you accept the result? After Mexico used under cover mercenaries to hasten the vote?

    As for DPR/LPR they no longer exist as independent Republics. You don’t deny that, right?

    Russian dictator

    This is a lazy trope. The Russian president is elected and the last Russian presidential election was far less ambiguous than the last US presidential election.

    Elected and then ended direct elections in 2004.

    Do explain how he isn’t a dictator if he was able to start a war without permission from the Duma. Also explain how they have a democracy if it is illegal to criticize the government and opposition leaders end up poisoned.

    it isn’t wise to defend a serial liar.

    Another strawman. A lot of your comment proceeds from the assumption that if a foreign leader doesn’t conform to whatever standard the US government happens to want this week, we must wage war against him. I dissent.

    A strawman? Do you know what that term even means? I actually judge world leaders outside the opinion of the US government. Most of the world thinks Putin is a lying and they are correct.

    Putin’s short list of lies in the last year
    We aren’t planning a war, that’s all CIA lies
    There will be no attack, it’s a training exercise
    It isn’t a war
    We won’t occupy any part of Ukraine
    We don’t attack infrastructure
    We don’t target civilians
    It’s about NATO missiles (never explained, reason for war later changed to Donbas)
    We won’t conscript anyone
    We won’t conscript anyone unless they have military service
    We will only conscript 300k men
    We are only defending Donbas (ends any remaining independence of DPR/LPR, takes two oblasts that are not part of Donbas)

    I’ve noticed that Anglin has backed way from defending Putin. When the war first started he called himself Putin’s cheerleader and now he has returned to focusing on the US. Don’t be the last person to realize that defending this half-pint lying dictator is a waste of time.

    • Replies: @anon
  96. ‘…If the Russians at some point collapse, I could imagine the Ukrainians suddenly convincing themselves that their triumphant forces deserve, say, to take Rostov-on-Don as compensation for their suffering. And maybe Volgograd while they are at it…’

    If it serves the interests of the Biden administration.

  97. The calls are coming from inside the house.

  98. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    The Germanophone borderlands in Bohemia and Moravia saw a massive preference cascade in favor of the Sudeten Party between 1933 and 1935. About 2/3 of the ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia voted for it. At least at that point, the invitation was all too genuine. The restored Czech government retaliated in 1945-46 with mass expulsion of ethnic Germans.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  99. HA says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “The Russian president is elected and the last Russian presidential election was far less ambiguous than the last US presidential election.”

    You keep telling yourself that. As long as Putin has advisors like you popping copium pills down his throat, whatever “feint” or heroic-orderly-and-totally-100%-humane-retreat Sailer posts about isn’t likely to be the last.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  100. Art Deco says:
    @John Johnson

    Most of the population in the Crimea in 2014 consisted of self-identified Great Russians. A minority consisted of Ukrainians, Tatars, & sundry. They may have, but Putin wasn’t confident enough of their sentiments to permit a transparent referendum. Note, the Crimea did vote in favor of a declaration of sovereignty in a 1991 referendum, albeit with a smaller plurality than the rest of the country.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  101. Art Deco says:
    @HA

    I wouldn’t doubt there’s a great deal of dirt in Russian elections. I wouldn’t doubt Putin could win them fair and square with an ample plurality. Or could have prior to last February.

    • Replies: @HA
  102. Hodag says:

    https://www.americancinematheque.com/now-showing/metropolitan-11-10-22/

    If I were in LA I would go. I have no idea if this is close to you. But I really liked this movie.

  103. HA says:
    @Art Deco

    “I wouldn’t doubt Putin could win them fair and square with an ample plurality. Or could have prior to last February.”

    Yeah, a valid point.

  104. MGB says:
    @Jack D

    BTW, we are not waging war against Putin. Not a single American soldier has lost so much as a fingernail.

    1. Biden and others are calling for ‘regime change’ in russia, the US and europeans are funding boots on the ground color revolution style activities in russia trying to install their preferred candidate who routinely polls at less than 5%, and biden et al are threatening war crimes trials against putin, a thinly veiled reference to the fate of milosevic. a couple of tens of thousands of dollars of ambiguous FaceBook ads was an ‘attack on democracy’, but threatening a coup against a sitting president is kosher, right? maybe the US can appoint Juan Guiado as interim president of russia.
    2. american soldiers do not have to lose fingernails for war to be waged on russia. arms are being provided which kill russian soldiers and which have been projected into russia proper, intelligence is being supplied to attack russian forces, and US/Polish/Brit and other ‘mercs’, many poorly disguised ‘former’ military, are being inserted into ukraine to fight russians.

  105. Telenon says:

    Some of Us Don’t Think the Russian Invasion Was “Aggression.” Here’s Why. See in UNZ. iSteve too much in California got sunstrike had to refit eyes, still not A-OK. Best wishes.

  106. @Jack D

    The US has the world’s largest moat. There’s been no serious threat to the US since the early 19th century.

    We should have and still should stay out of other people’s business. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly a neocon attribute.

  107. @Dave Pinsen

    The retreat accomplishes (at least) two things:
    1. Preserves Russian lives
    2. Allows for continued destruction of imported NATO ordnance.

  108. @Jack D

    So we should just get rid of the UN, the ICC, international treaties, etc. and just let the great powers fight it out

    Everything the Russians have done is kosher per the UN and World Court rules, especially those involving Kosovo, which we created for our own convenience. Besides, the UN can only act as policeman through the Great Powers, and its charter wisely included a realpolitik veto for those powers (or those who used to be Great Powers). So, if “we” is the UN, then “we” stay out of any Great Power dispute. If “we” is the United States, then under the pseudo rules system, we only act as policeman (and prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner) to the extent we can successfully “fight it out” against our target, either directly or by proxy. (E.g., Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Panama, Grenada, etc., etc.). It’s just the same Realpolitik system under a thin veneer of legitimacy.

    Your idea that Ukraine is just a little independent country minding its own business yet is also a military superpower kicking Russia’s ass on the battlefield, is interesting.

    • Replies: @Captain Tripps
  109. @ic1000

    Were the advisors who counseled Khrushchev to withdraw the Cuban missiles advocating America’s cause?

    C’mon man, this is about the absurd over-extension of our own forces, both military and diplomatic, and the likely impact of that charge of the lightweight brigade on *America’s* standing in the world, the national balance sheet my sons will inherit, and the degradation of the legitimacy of our Republic that’s followed in the wake of efforts to shore up domestic support for that charge.

  110. HA says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    “If Ukraine reacquires Luhansk and Donetsk today it faces the problem of repopulating them.”

    At this point, I think the Ukrainians would prefer a thinly populated scattering of elderly people than a fifth column willing in to buy whatever conspiracy theory Putin is feeding them and throw bombs at everyone else there. If so, I can’t say I blame them. An enormous amount of human capital was lost from the many territories that ejected Voksdeutsche and their Italian equivalents from their ancestral homes after WWII, that would have greatly aided recovery and renewal, but it’s no great mystery why that happened. And as opposed to the Volksdeutsche, who were typically significantly more educated and literate than their ethnic neighbors, the mafia goons who Putin allowed to run amok in Donbass over the last 8 years are disproportionately drawn from the dregs of society.

    As for Crimea, as I noted yesterday, it has no military value without solid control of the entirety of Kherson (and really, Mykolaiv and Odessa). As it is, Crimea has Turkey on one side, and a now-hostile Ukraine controlling its water supply on the other, so it’s a museum piece in terms of military worth. Maybe that was part of the reason they decided to let Ukraine have it in the first place. It might have served a purpose in allowing Russia to beat up Georgia or Moldova, but that, too, is gonna have to be pushed back into the “someday” category along with reclaiming Alaska and whatever else the “Russia. has no borders” crowd still fervently longs for. So the bigger question is why do the Russians keep yammering about how essential it is? If it’s just for the symbolic value, well, there’s a recently sunken Russian flagship nearby that proves that Russia can exist just fine without symbolic museum pieces, so they’ll need to come up with something better.

  111. Sean says:

    The Ukrainians are publicly committed to restoring not just their pre-2022 borders but also their pre-2014 borders including Crimea.

    America would not back them doing so, and they could not do it without the US’s help. Were they losing Crimea to the HIMARS rockets allied to US surveillance pinpointing of everything they do, which they have no answer to, they’d begin to toy with tactical nuke use in terms of a final settling of accounts with Ukraine rather than a way to win the war.

    If the Russians at some point collapse

    The trend is Ukraine wins battles, but the war keeps going on with the Russians getting more rather than less numerous. Fortifications, three lines of which have already been constructed opposite Kherson on the east bank will be defended by double the troops already, and prolly more to follow. There are also reports that there is a call up of most doctors in some hospitals and a big drive for blood donations in the major cities of Russia, which means the Kremlin are preparing a brutish chest to chest style battle of attrition a la Verdun.

    • Replies: @HA
  112. @Jack D

    The sovereign plane is anarchic, not civic. It would be nice if country’s words were their bonds but that’s never really been the case. When you’re in charge of a military you tend to do what you want and a piece of paper won’t stand in your way. Why are US troops in Syria? WTF is “Kurdistan?” Who decided there should be such a thing as “Kosovo?”

    Another way to look at this is that sovereignty is always up for grabs. The Amerindians were sovereign until the colonists showed up. The British colonial governors were sovereign until the Americans decided to be Americans instead of Britons. The Confederacy tried to be sovereign but were outgunned.

    If you can get it, and keep it, it’s yours. If you can’t, it’s not. Signed, The Great Replaced.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  113. Hunsdon says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I haven’t even read their responses yet, but if you got Jack D, JJ and HA to respond, you must have ruffled a feather or two!

    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    , @BosTex
  114. HA says:
    @Altai

    “For the Russians then the plan is to wipe out the Ukrainian army in the open and avoid prolonged city fights or occupations that turn into insurgent wars.”

    You keep feeding yourself that copium, buddy. It sounds a whole like what people like you were telling us back when the Kherson offensive started. For example, there was already plenty of open space in the Kherson region that they just retreated from. Why didn’t they just wipe them out there?

    there has been and will be no Ukrainian Kherson offensive….

    The area north of Kherson is flat land with open fields. There is no place where one could securely assemble a force big enough to punch through the frontline.

    No new weapons are coming into the Mykolaiv area. Front line units are depleted and have not been rotated out since March. Russian forces have overwhelming material superiority in the area.

    There is no Ukrainian Kherson offensive. There will be no Ukrainian Kherson offensive.

    If there will be an offensive in the general area it will be launched by the Russian side which will overrun the few exhausted Ukrainian forces which hold that frontline.

    The few Ukrainian operations, missile strikes on bridges that are easily replaced by ferries, sabotage acts on a Crimean air base, are minor pin pricks to the Russian side. They will not change the imbalance of forces or the outcome of the war.

    And if all the Russians want is to “wipe out the Ukrainian army in the open and avoid prolonged city fights or occupations ” they can just go back home, and which point there will be no fights or occupations of any kind, and the Ukrainian army will likewise shrivel down to a small faction of its current size. Why is it the Putinoids can never follow through on their own idiotic memes?

    “With little in the way of military aid left to give Ukraine”

    Really? The cupboards of the military industrial complex are suddenly bare, you say? Just like there were “new weapons are coming into the Mykolaiv area”, which is why the Kherson offensive could never possibly happen, let alone succeed? How’d that work out? And this is in contrast to Russia, who is now having to buying artillery from North Korea of all places? But you think it’s the West that’s running out of military aid even though everything we’ve given to Ukraine is still a fraction of what we poured into Afghanistan in any year? And as for the “unacceptably high casualties” the Ukrainians are taking (i.e. leaving them, as the above citation notes, “exchausted”), that’s what MacGregor has been spewing for months now. When are you gonna figure out something’s missing?

    Again, if this is the kind of stuff the Russians keep telling themselves, slapping yourselves on the back for your so-called “clear analyses”, then it’s no wonder the Russians keep deciding on one retreat after another. And remember, each time that happens, the Ukrainians are gonna have an easier time finding partisans and collaborators in Crimea and Donbass hoping to feed them something in exchange for not having to evacuate with everyone else should the time come. The Ukrainians are gonna have an easier time getting more weapons if the’ve demonstrated the weapons they’ve been given are making a difference. Russians like to say that they won the war with Finland, but their botched clown show of a campaign — kind of like what we’re seeing this time around — was one of the main reasons Hitler thought he could take them on. If Russia really is in an existantial battle for survival, these so-called well-planned and orderly retreats are really not the message they need to be sending. If you think you’re helping, well, I guess copium is kind of like Robitussin — as long as you keep pouring water in and shaking the bottle up, there’s an endless self-reinforcing supply.

    • Troll: BosTex
  115. Ralph L says:
    @Dream

    Are they allowed to run on the Sabbath?

  116. HA says:
    @ic1000

    “Reading the better pro-Ukrainian iSteve regulars yields some perspectives on the Russians’ deficits, but their overall views of Ukraine are not particularly insightful….A mirror image is offered by those better iStevians “

    And yet, despite the emphatic denials and jeers of the “advocates of Russia’s cause”, as you so felicitously call them, the Kherson offensive that Sailer posted on happened, and lo and behold, succeeded, inasmuch as the Russians are now claiming that they will leave Kherson.

    That being the case, I’d consider the pro-Ukrainian side plenty insightful enough. Had you at least bothered to acknowledge that obvious point in their favor, the moral-equivalence/pox-on-both-houses approach would have been a bit more convincing.

    • Disagree: ic1000
  117. MGB says:
    @Mr. Anon

    It appears to be the intention of the US Government that the war should drag on for a long time, the better to bleed Russia and feed the MIC.

    yes. there are many uncertainties about war aims, but this is crystal clear. another bear trap, like afghanistan. the US likes to gin up these atrocities especially after having lost badly in their own wars. vietnam leads to afghanistan, and afghanistan leads to ukraine.

  118. Steve, have you considered that Ukraine reacquiring the 90%+ ethic Russian Crimea would likely result in a massive genocide? This is why Russia at least had the common sense to evacuate as much of the civilian population of Kherson as they could.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @HA
  119. Art Deco says:
    @Polistra

    Whoever has the most power, of course. Do you see anyone besides Israel deciding what and where Israel’s borders are?

    Borders are usually conventional and the political class and the general public are in this age not typically dissatisfied with them wherever they happen to be. At least not so dissatisfied that they invest blood and treasure in trying to move them.

    Israel’s borders are a function of (1) map drawing by the British Colonial Office; (2) the armistice lines of 1949; (3) the armistice lines of 1967. None of these were unilateral decisions of Israel. The actual unilateral decisions have been to plant settlements in the West Bank (done between 1967 and 1995), to withdraw from Gaza (in 2005) and, on a day to day basis, to put up another cottage in some Jewish settlement which has been there for 35 years.

  120. @Dave Pinsen

    My guess is that the coming Russian offensive will be towards Western Donetsk. The first stated goal of the so-called “limited” military action by Russia was to capture Luhansk and Donetsk up to their administrative boundaries, which was much greater in area than Novorussia. They succeeded in taking all of Luhansk, but about half of Donetsk is still under Ukrainian control. Russia will then be content to fix the boundaries there, along with the land bridge to Crimea bordering the Dnieper.

    • Agree: Farenheit
  121. Art Deco says:
    @Renard

    but no sane observer would deny that neocons are the main reason the war didn’t end in 72 hours or less.

    Try consulting actually sane observers rather than ‘sane’ observers. The war did not end because the President, the Army, and the public who staff the Army was willing and able to fight.

  122. @Hunsdon

    You have to wonder why they care so much. I mean, are they Ukrainian? At least that I could understand.

    • Agree: Hunsdon
    • Replies: @BB753
    , @HA
  123. Dennis Dale says: • Website

    At this rate you will have caught on to the real nature of this war (Ukraine is our proxy, always was) about the time the 101 Airborne is deployed.

  124. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Gamal Abd el-Nasser ordered the UN buffer force out of the Sinai, blockaded the Straits of Tiran, and concluded an impromptu military alliance with Syria and Jordan. (Israeli officials begged King Hussein via back channel to stay out of it). What do you fancy is going to happen if you point a gun at someone’s head?

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
    , @Mr. Anon
  125. anon[203] • Disclaimer says:

    My guess is that Russia really isn’t interested in land west of the Dniper. And don’t want to fight too hard for land they will likely negotiate away.
    A key thing to remember is that Russia doesn’t need land … they already have more than anyone.

    Russia definitely doesn’t want Western Ukraine. But it just demonstrated that it can destroy the country’s power grid. And does Ukraine really want the Donbas? Enough to fight hard for it?

    There are forces that would like to expand this war. Whoever was behind blowing up the pipeline and truck bombing the Kerch bridge. Like the British. Plus the US Neocons.

    But there are also large groups that never wanted it. The Germans. A lot of Europe minus Poland. They are paying the price for letting the US funded NATO control their foreign policy.

    And yes borders are a big deal. But so is self determination, prominent in the UN charter. Like Brexit. Or devolution in the UK…which was what the ignored Minsk agreement was supposed to address. And flexibly defined “human rights”. So the US always has its ‘rules based’ reasons for intervening.

    Russia got roughed up enough that we might be close to an end.

  126. Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.

    Exactly right. Putin did Ukraine a favor by removing the most pro-Russian parts of the country that were preventing a governing consensus in Kiev that could focus on joining the West.

  127. keypusher says:
    @Farenheit

    No matter what happens here on in, NeoConservatism and Neoliberalism have been mortally wounded by this war.

    I’m trying to imagine what you’d post if the Russians actually won a battle.

    • Replies: @MGB
  128. thud says:
    @pyrrhus

    General armageddon….scary! isn’t that the guy who dropped barrel bombs on hospitals in Syria? I suppose he could try that against an increasingly sophisticated UKR air defence system but somehow it may not go too well.

  129. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Were they losing Crimea to the HIMARS rockets allied to US surveillance pinpointing of everything they do, which they have no answer to, they’d begin to toy with tactical nuke use in terms of a final settling of accounts with Ukraine rather than a way to win the war.”

    Again, more copium. Putin’s boss man Xi has already indicated he does not approve of Putin wiping out his entire Western consumer base to save face over his misbegotten little war. That means the next time Lil’ BB has to drive down from Moscow and dress up like a sing-song girl in order to “entertain” random truckers and stevedores at some Kowloon loading dock for spare change, he’s going to get a stern talking-to from one of Uncle Xi’s minions about not escalating in nuclear directions.

    And again, why exactly is Crimea so important? If Putin has given up on Kherson, which he claimed was Russia’s weeks ago, then he’s already failed the “never give back Russian land” test, and yet, he’s still in power. And as noted earlier, Crimea is worthless militarily without Mykolaiv and Odessa, so that’s not a realistic argument either, at this point. Even if Crimea were retaken by the Ukrainians, all that would happen is that the Russians would finally admit that its value has been nothing but symbolic for decades. The Russians somehow managed to survive the defeat of the mighty Moskva, and they say they did OK in the several decades prior to Crimea being swiped. Pretending that it’s worth the death of every single Russian soldier is going to be an uphill battle.

    “Fortifications, three lines of which have already been constructed opposite Kherson on the east bank will be defended by double the troops already, and prolly more to follow.”

    Oooh, so impressive! You forgot to mention that at least one of those lines exists primarily to shoot the ones in the frontline who just wish to retreat. And I suspect there is going to be whole lot of wishing, given the presence of HIMARS and other longer-range missiles raining down on those three lines.

    If those three lines were all it took to secure a frontline, 100% guaranteed, even in a modern world where drones and long-range missiles exist, then the Russians would have tried that at least somewhere and made it work. As it is, you can keep telling yourself it’s some magic formula that somehow incapacitates every single weapon in the NATO arsenal, but I doubt any of the soldiers on those frontlines are that naïve.

    • Replies: @thud
    , @Philip Owen
    , @Jack D
    , @Sean
  130. thud says:
    @Anon7

    I’ll go with a big no on this….you lost me on the 300k mobilised over age fat drunks…have you watched them protesting/staggering about?

  131. There are WW2 German maps showing a maximalist Ukraine. Saratov in the North East, the Kuban in the South East. Half as much territory again most of which has a recent history of speaking Ukrainian. Lots of Tatars, Kazaks, Chechens, various Finns/Mordavians, probably the original inhabitants in the area. Even still a few tens of thousands of Germans. Only the Don valley is solidly ethnic Russian. Imperialism goes both ways. It is metastable.

    Russia is in a mess. Here is a list of materiel about which I have had direct interaction with the Russian military supply chain. About half of the items were on behalf of a single client, a firm that made or distributed non lethal military supplies to the world’s armies.

    Boots. Russia doesn’t have enough and the quality is so so.
    Socks. Specs are probably fine but delivery seems to be one pair of acrylics.
    Tyres. Not always cheap Chinese imitations but not usually the Michelin* spec either.
    Winter Uniforms. 1.5m not delivered. The Russian factory that lost the order went bankrupt.
    Assault gloves. I’ve never seen any. All tactical.
    Fire blocks. None. They use open camp fires which act as beacons instead.
    Night vision. Inventory sold to western hobbyists.
    IR laser illuminators. Limited production capacity (hand built).
    Death ray lasers. Ha ha.
    Drones. Didn’t have the budget to buy British drones to analyse!
    Tank and artillery gun barrels. Russia can’t make good quality. They came from Ukraine.

    The contract army was probably better supplied but there was clearly nothing for the reserves. Shoigu is a procurement expert. These shortfalls are basically scandalous even without considering weapon supply. A lot of kit is actually beng supplied by the reservists’ home provinces from sports outfitters.

    The soldiers will get trench foot and frost bite (reported last winter). Even if they had the socks (The British army condemned footwraps as being generators of trench foot in 1915) they don’t have NCOs to discipline the troops to change their socks. On the same theme of poor NCOs, pictures of Russian soldiers show indiscipline. Helmets off, campsites very adhoc and full of rubbish. Infections due to poor sanitation are probably rife. Sergant Majors should be chasing sergants to keep discipline. They aren’t.

    *There is a large Michelin factory in Russia but the rubber trade show is dominated by dozens of Chinese firms.

  132. thud says:
    @HA

    The crude trenches and unanchored dragons teeth in these ‘defences’ would not stop an army equipped like the UAF for any noticeable time.

    • Thanks: HA
    • Replies: @Sean
    , @John Johnson
  133. @HA

    Sebastopol is also worthless without Tartus in Syria. Turkey can easily blocked the Bosphorus. Russia has had a guided missile cruiser and escort waiting for 9 months to enter the Black Sea. Last week it gave up waiting and headed for Vladivostock.

    To have reliable access to the Mediterranean, Russia needs a supply and light repair base in Tartus. Tartus is within sight of Turkish held Syrian territory.

    The British control Gibraltar. It is thus not so easy for Russian warships to leave the Mediterranean during times of tension. Cuba is also difficult. So Russia regularly looks for opportunities to groom Morrocco to get a base on the Atlantic coast. The Africa initiative may be about alternative sites for such a base.

    • Thanks: HA
  134. Tiny Duck says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    1. Russian getting wrecked
    2. repubublicans getting destoyed
    3. white opiulaton dcockining
    4. abortion getting celebrated
    5. interracial marriage up
    6. Christianity getting critizcezed

    Dang it feels good to be progressive!

    • Replies: @tyrone
    , @Dr. Krieger
    , @TWS
  135. @Jim Christian

    They are all lying fantasists who build castles in the air. Go back a few months and read what they said then. That said I haven’t read Johnson. Mercouris is all but incoherent. He must have built his legal career on confusing the judge.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  136. what is the assessment of Colonel MacGregor and Mearsheimer for the final acts? If Russia loses the conventional war , they might resort to unconventional means and unconventional war

  137. Jack D says:
    @HA

    Three defense lines is textbook doctrine according to what is taught in Soviet Russian military academies. Too bad they haven’t updated those books in at least 30 years if not more (some of their tactics are more like 1914 than 1994)

    Three defense lines MIGHT work to prevent a further Ukrainian head on advance but the Ukrainians are not going to oblige by conducting such an advance. They have newer textbooks. Instead they are going to destroy Russian morale by dropping grenades on their heads from drones, taking out their armor with precision artillery, disrupt their supply lines and command and control with HIMARS, etc. If you do this for long enough, the Russians will leave of their own accord as they are doing in Kherson right now or just surrender. The front line mobiks aren’t going to try to retreat in order to get shot by Wagner in the 2nd line – they will just surrender in place to the Ukrainians. They are beginning to understand that the Russian propaganda about how the Ukrainians are gonna cut their balls off is as false as everything else that their officers have told them.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Sean
  138. Mr Mox says:
    @jb

    Note that I’m not saying this to defend Putin. He is indeed full of shit, and his unprovoked war of aggression has proven to be a disastrous mistake.

    You can call this war many things, but don’t call it “unprovoked”.

    • Replies: @jb
  139. Jack D says:
    @Anon7

    I can’t see any reason why the Russians won’t take southern Ukraine,

    said the blind man. I could give you 100,000 reasons:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/10/world/europe/ukraine-russia-war-casualties-deaths.html

    A famous American once asked: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

    • Replies: @Anon7
  140. @Jack D

    “Neocons did not start this war.”

    OK, since you insist, let’s be clearer: Jews did.

    • Thanks: nokangaroos
    • LOL: James Speaks
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  141. @Peter Akuleyev

    If you look at demographics and economic growth …

    It’s just an exceedingly dumb war. But then most of them are.

    Think about it hard enough … this actually dovetails with Steve’s previous on the unmarried girls voting disaster …

    Basically Putin took a standard issue ethnic conflict–people not precisely aligned with borders–and blew it up into a debacle.

    An analogy would be if Britain had given all of Ireland independence in 1921, then in 1952, seeing the Irish flirt with the European Coal and Steel Community decided they needed to invade to save the people of Ulster … or something.

    Back on planet earth, Russia needs the Donbass–or any more territory like it needs more snow in winter. What Russia badly needs:
    — deporting illegals from the ‘stans; kicking out Chechnya and any other bits that aren’t particularly Russian and skew muzzie
    — more Russia babies, much higher and eugenic fertility from Russian women.

    I.e. less diversity … more babies. What the West needs as well.

    Of course, as bad as Putin’s BIG RUSSIA leadership is, it still isn’t quite as bad as the West’s where the leaders actively try and add diversity–ergo contention and conflict–to their nations. Putin simply does nothing to improve Russia’s future and gets its young men killed. Which is still really bad. Then there’s Xi over there now talking up “war” … and doing nothing about China’s huge demography–eugenic fertility–issue.

    The world just has really crappy leadership right now. Hard to find any leader who is committed to their nation’s future. Just a bunch of sleazy pathetic clowns making the world suck.

    • Replies: @stari_momak
    , @epebble
  142. BosTex says:
    @michael droy

    Would someone please conscript that brave keyboard warrior, HA?

  143. I am no legal expert, but most things about war & borders seem to fall into the following categories:

    1. law and justice sometimes coincide, sometimes not (summum ius, summa iniuria). Law is an expression of social relations and accepted norms of the civilized world. It evolves, but it is quite stable since the WW2. There is a lot of clarity in it, but also a lot of gray areas; also, if you logically analyze the layers to the end, you can reach an absurdity. Sometimes it is very clear and unambiguous, and sometimes stretchy.

    2. war is prohibited unless approved by the UN Security Council, and in the case of self-defense of the country against aggression. That is the UN Charter, but there is more: military interventions by the alliance are allowed to preserve regional stability, and humanitarian interventions if there is a threat of genocide, etc. Of course, shady countries like China and Russia are against it, because they violate rights; also, China founded a group of 100 murky and underdeveloped countries that emphasize the sovereignty of states, motivated by ghastly record of human rights in those countries.

    Regarding details and examples:

    a) Operation Desert Storm 1991, the war of the Alliance (USA, France, Saudi Arabia,…) against Iraq is legally valid, because Iraq occupied Kuwait, and the latter asked for help. If they had beaten Iraq to the end and overthrew Saddam – justified.

    b) the bombing of Serbia in 1999 is not illegal, but it is not exactly legal either. However, it is mostly justified because the NATO alliance had the right to intervene (humanitarian cause) and to prevent regional instability. Ironically, it was like the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 by the Warsaw Pact countries (USSR, Poland, East Germany,..) to prevent instability – so that Communist suppression was not against the international law, although it was clearly unjust violence. Alliances have the right to intervene like that, but not states. If only the USA had attacked Serbia/rump Yugoslavia, it would have been illegal.

    c) Kosovo has no right to independence, because all documents (the Kumanovo treaty, the UN resolution 1244) are such that it explicitly declared to remain a part of Serbia. A large part of the territory Germany- perhaps 25%- lost in 1945 is not an argument, because Germany did not exist as a legal subject at that time, while Serbia did exist in 1999 and later. So it’s illegal. It would be legal if the NATO occupation remained there for 100, 200 years – but without the formal independence of Kosovo.

    d) Russia – Ukraine: illegal, aggression against a sovereign country. In order to protect the minority – illegal. Only a military alliance can do that, not a state for its minority in another country; and the state can eventually intervene if it seriously presents, to the world, that its minority in another state is being systematically destroyed (not deprived of some rights). Stories about Ukraine going full NATO do not hold water because anyone can join any alliance.

    e) American interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003: Afghanistan justified (Al Qaeda and terrorist attack, therefore an attack on the USA), and Iraq – illegal. Saddam was a criminal, but that intervention was neither according to the UN Charter, nor humanitarian (the Kurds were protected), since the US lied that Saddam had connections with Al Qaeda – hence, US invasion of Iraq 2002 was illegal. If Saddam had supported terrorists and it was evident – then it would have been justified.

    f) I didn’t look at Libya and Syria separately, but I think the Western intervention was illegal, although maybe part of it goes into the gray zone.

    So, Russia-Ukraine is a clear example of the breach of the international law. In another context, the same goes for US invasion & occupation of Iraq (not Afghanistan).

  144. MGB says:
    @keypusher

    I’m trying to imagine what you’d post if the Russians actually won a battle.

    yes, talk about failing up. they haven’t won a battle yet hold the better part of the equivalent of ten US states in territory, including much of the coast. imagine what how much territory they’d hold if they actually won a battle.

  145. Jack D says:
    @Philip Owen

    Oil wealth is a curse. It’s like a welfare check that springs from the ground. It destroys your initiative. Making high quality, not sexy products like tires and fire blocks and socks is BORING.

    Why should you buy those things if there are plenty of people overseas who will make them for you and all you need to do is run the gas pipeline and watch the meter spin. America knows a little bit about this mentality too but the Russians got a BAD dose of it.

    Honest hard work does not pay in Russia. The smart people devote their time to more lucrative scams. You don’t get a 200 foot yacht making gloves. America knows a little bit about this mentality too (read Philip Roth’s description of the lost American glove industry in American Pastoral – we once had a whole city that was named for gloves) but the Russians got a BAD dose of that also.

  146. HA says:
    @Philip Owen

    “Russia is in a mess. Here is a list of materiel about which I have had direct interaction with the Russian military supply chain. Boots, Socks, Tyres…”

    Don’t forget those ever-lovin’ tampons (in lieu of their nonexistent first-aid kits). It’s a shame those were among the first things to disappear from Russian shelves once the sanctions hit.

    To be fair, Ukrainian soldiers need boots and socks, too. I think the Dutch were sensible enough (of course they were — they’re Dutch, after all) to donate a big heap of winter gear to the Ukrainian army, seeing as their commanders couldn’t be bothered to come up with that themselves. Then again, I understand why the Ukrainians are focusing more on the big guns than the big boots. The Russians don’t have that excuse.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  147. @Philip Owen

    “Half as much territory again most of which has a recent history of speaking Ukrainian. ”

    LOL, even hardcore Ukrainian nationalists like Arystovich and Poroshenko don’t speak Ukrainian. I’ve listened to a lot of Arystovic, and never once heard him speak Ukrainian. His accent isn’t even particularly South Russian. And the same with the numerous videos of “Ukrainian” soldiers, refugees, etc.

    But of course the Ukraine has had 70 years to indoctrinate people into believing they are ‘Ukrainian’. It began long before even the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    That said, it seems that the majority of the population of Kherson evacuated to the East bank (and further) voluntarily and there were even reports weeks ago of people from elsewhere in Zaporozhiya crossing the lines from Ukie controlled territory to the East (the Ukrainians, as is their wont, shelled a convoy or two and then blamed it on the Russians).

  148. BB753 says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    No, just Ukie bots or feds or Pentagon trolls.

  149. MGB says:
    @Philip Owen

    what does your intel say about ukranian civilians’ supply of boots, socks, winter wear, and death rays (ha, ha)? are freezing, starving ukranians meaningless, and how did it come to be that they will be freezing and starving? russian surgical strikes on infrastructure that the ukranians and their help mates could do nothing to stop, maybe? it would not surprise me given the stakes that russian morale is lower on average than ukranian morale, but there are less and less experienced ukranian troops to draw on that strength, and the opposite is true regarding civilians. many muscovites may be upset with putin’s kid gloves approach, but none of them will be burning ‘war and peace’ to boil moldy potatoes this winter.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  150. First this is a victory for Borderland, no doubt. Their (or probably, NATOs) strategy of destroying river crossings and throwing wave after wave of troops, regardless of lives lost, against defenses worked. And yes those troops were brave. Clearly their are a lot of Ukrainians willing to die for lines on maps drawn up by the German Imperial Staff at Brest-Litovsk.

    Having said that, this is a rational move. A bitter one and one that is going to cause some problems with hardcore Z supporters and generally demoralize Russians and troops. But there is also a strange dynamic in Russian (and Ukrainian, probably all post-Soviet) military actions. Soldiers and relatives can appeal to local and even national politicians and to Vladimir Vladimirovich himself. This was the case with the open letter, maybe a bit dramatic, of an anonymous Naval Infantry soldier to the governor of Kamchatka (where his unit was based) about losses in Pavlovka. There are countless videos on Telegram of units on both sides appealing to politicians and upper level commanders. This sort of stuff would literally get you court martialed in the US military. Heck, jumping the chain one level formally will get you non-judicial punishment; I’ve seen it happen.

    As I said, a very strange dynamic and very democratic in a non-Western way.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  151. @AnotherDad

    “An analogy would be if Britain had given all of Ireland independence in 1921, then in 1952,”

    Yeah, you notice Britain didn’t give the ‘Six Counties’ independence, for reasons similar to the reason that Russia wanted close economic relations with Ukraine…Northern Ireland was at the time an integral and industrialized part of the UK economy. As it was Russia tried hard to get non-hostile governments in power in Kiev, but whenever the ‘Ukrainians’ in Eastern Borderland would vote one in, with the help of other reasons, the Western Ukrainians, with Western support, would try to remove said government extra-legally. In particular the 2014 events, featuring Victoria Nuland, were very violent.

    • Agree: JR Ewing
    • Replies: @dearieme
  152. The Ukrainians are publicly committed to restoring not just their pre-2022 borders but also their pre-2014 borders including Crimea.

    On the one hand, achieving those aims could serve as strong object lessons against starting wars of annexation. On the other, either aim could be highly expensive.

    Northern Ireland has gone from a place that two sides fought over for centuries to one that neither side really wants anymore. Alphonse-and-Gaston diplomacy may be a recurring theme this century. Who really wants Puerto Rico? Or Quebec?

    Personally, Ukraine seems to me like more of a coherent country in 2022 than it did in 2014. Putin always sneered that Ukraine isn’t a real country. Perhaps he was right in the past, but it sure is now.

    Mexico was the Ukraine of the 19th century.

    It’s a giant plain full of Slavic speakers and the borders are more or less social constructs.

    They say you can walk the rural paths from the Calabrian toe to the Algarve and not come across adjacent villages that will not understand each other. Considering the diverse nature of the Romance languages, this must be ever so more true for the Slavic landscape.

    (Watching a news report about Yugoslavia’s breakup, I asked a Slovak how much of the interview he could understand. He said about 40%. He was an engineer, which may explain his precision.)

    Chinese and Arabic are really entire families of languages. Whereas Dutch and Flemish, Serbian and Croatian, or Hindi and Urdu are in fact multiple names for single languages.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Bardon Kaldian
  153. @thud

    “isn’t that the guy who dropped barrel bombs on hospitals in Syria?”

    You mean bombs like these, which the RAF dropped tens of thousands of on German civilian housing in WW2?

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

    “The 4000-lb high-capacity design was little more than a cylinder full of explosives: it was unaerodynamic and did not have fins.”

    ” These bombs were designed for their blast effect, to cause damage to buildings”

    • Replies: @mc23
  154. Art Deco says:
    @mc23

    Pre-war at least 15-30% of the population would have favored closer ties with Russia.

    The Russophile element had declined to about 16% of the voting public as of 2019 (down from 43% in 2012). Given VP’s diligent efforts the last 8 months or so, gonna wager Mr. Boyko’s crew would poll in the low single digits by now.

    • Replies: @mc23
  155. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    If the Russians would like to shorten the duration of the war they can remove their troops.

    • LOL: acementhead
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Dave Pinsen
  156. OT:

    Obama Center Builders Halt Construction After Noose Found On Site
    The Black-led coalition of construction firms building the presidential center is offering a $100,000 reward to help find those who perpetrated the “act of hate,” officials said.

    https://blockclubchicago.org/2022/11/10/obama-center-builders-halt-construction-after-noose-found-on-site/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Art Deco
  157. @HA

    To be fair, Ukrainian soldiers need boots and socks, too. I think the Dutch were sensible enough (of course they were — they’re Dutch, after all) to donate a big heap of winter gear to the Ukrainian army, seeing as their commanders couldn’t be bothered to come up with that themselves. Then again, I understand why the Ukrainians are focusing more on the big guns than the big boots.

    I haven’t seen any evidence that the Ukrainians are short on winter supplies.

    In fact there have been interceptions where the Russians talk about stealing Ukrainian boots and armor from dead soldiers.

    They probably have plenty of donations from NATO countries. The US and Germany probably have huge warehouses of old stock.

    • Replies: @mc23
    , @HA
  158. Art Deco says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Northern Ireland has gone from a place that two sides fought over for centuries to one that neither side really wants anymore.

    I’ll wager you the people who live there want it. The British government wasn’t fighting the Irish government in Dublin during the period running from 1969 to 1999, but local brigands.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  159. @Art Deco

    Most of the population in the Crimea in 2014 consisted of self-identified Great Russians.

    Doesn’t matter since Russia claimed a 97% yes vote which is completely ridiculous.

    Non-Russians were 40% of the population in 2014. Putin isn’t even good at creating a fraudulent vote.

    No one believed that vote and it doesn’t matter anyways. The UN didn’t recognize the vote and passed sanctions against Russia.

    Note, the Crimea did vote in favor of a declaration of sovereignty in a 1991 referendum, albeit with a smaller plurality than the rest of the country.

    Note that Chechnya voted for independence with a strong majority and Russia responded with artillery.

    Note that the self-declared independent Republics are now just part of Russia and weren’t given a choice in the matter.

    Putin is completely full of shit. He has zero credibility. No one believed his 97% yes vote and it doesn’t matter since Russia agreed to recognize the autonomy of Ukraine and that included Crimea. He broke an oath taken by Russia to protect Ukraine and still can’t maintain a consistent explanation for this stupid war.

    He will go down in history as a total loser and once the Soviet boomers are gone any remaining land will be given back. Russians under 30 hate this war and will happily hand over Crimea to normalize relations with the west. Russians were never prevented from vacationing in Crimea. It was just flat out greed from Putin just like this invasion. He tried playing conqueror Tsar and will be remembered as a loser like Nicholas II. His credibility can’t be saved at this point. He can’t take Kiev and at best can sit on the destroyed ruins of LPR/DPR. As he sits on his deathbed he will realize that he started one of the dumbest wars in European history.

    • Troll: Fidelios Automata
    • Replies: @Kinky Friedman
  160. Anon7 says:
    @Jack D

    It’s 90 miles from Kherson to Odessa. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government has other things to do:

    Kyiv Planning for Total Evacuation if It Loses Electricity
    As they struggle to maintain an electricity grid heavily damaged by Russian missiles, officials in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, say they have begun planning for a once unthinkable possibility: a complete blackout that would require the evacuation of the city’s approximately three million remaining residents.

    The situation is already so dire, with 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure damaged or destroyed, that municipal workers are setting up 1,000 heating shelters that can double as bunkers while engineers try to fix bombed-out power stations without the needed equipment.

    I’m just guessing, but I wonder if the Russians aren’t still unhappy about the sinking of the Moskva about 120 kilometers south of Odessa by Ukraine’s R-360 Neptune missiles, which have a range of about 300 kilometers. Taking away Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea might forestall such attacks in the future.

    As far as casualties are concerned, what possible reason could the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have to lie? You may recall that General Colin Powell in his capacity as CJCS went before Congress and lied through his teeth at the behest of the White House, miring us in Iraq. You can find skeptical sources that claim that the Ukrainians, with one-third the population of Russia, have lost 5-1 on the battlefield.

  161. @FN

    They just want the Russians gone.

    You don’t understand the Ukrainian mindset. They are hoarders.

    The talk is always about the territories, not the people.

    “Crimea will either be Ukrainian or uninhabited” was a popular slogan in Ukraine.

    • Thanks: AndrewR
  162. Kaz says:
    @JR Ewing

    A lot of things are relatively recent historical developments. Many ex-soviet states aren’t very keen on Russia considering the abuse they faced.

    Is America supposed to hand over parts of Texas/California that are actually filled with ethnic Mexicans this whole time?

    • Replies: @JR Ewing
  163. @J.Ross

    There were no “lockdown suicides”. Suicide rates went down in 2020:
    https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/suicide-data-statistics.html

    Same thing with kids, teenage suicide went down when we pulled kids out of school:
    https://medium.com/@tgof137/the-seasonality-of-suicide-1c428ac367f9

  164. epebble says:
    @AnotherDad

    particularly Russian and skew muzzie

    Islam today is an inherent part of our Spiritual life

    As to “kicking out Chechnya” – they are the more patriotic and ruthless fighters in Ukraine. For a Russian soldier, it is a territorial dispute; for a Chechen it is Jihad – fight against a Kafir. It is the same spirit that allowed Mujahedeen to defeat USSR (and Taliban to defeat USA).

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  165. Kaz says:
    @Hypnotoad666

    Did I miss something? When did Iraq, Syria, and Libya get annexed and become rightful US territory?

  166. @Anon7

    I can’t see any reason why the Russians won’t take southern Ukraine….

    Really? Are you even trying?

  167. @Jim Christian

    You really need to read Martyanov and Larry Johnson, Giraldi, the Saker and others like Mercouris’ videos, Jack. They are all former intel and serious military and have no need to lie, unlike the entire U.S. media, and MIC.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  168. @epebble

    I can’t believe how anyone could be so clueless.

  169. Jack D says:
    @stari_momak

    Soldiers and relatives can appeal to local and even national politicians and to Vladimir Vladimirovich himself.

    This is a feature of almost all non-democratic systems. Remember the guys who come to the Godfather on his daughter’s wedding day? In China you have a right to petition the government in Beijing and people will journey there from distant provinces but then they have goons who make sure that you can’t deliver your petition by physically blocking your way, kidnap you if necessary. In Arab countries there is a tradition of being able to petition the King or Caliph.

    Since in a non-democratic system no one can really make a decision without instruction from above, you might as well just take your grievance to the actual decision maker.

    • Replies: @stari_momak
  170. Mike Tre says:
    @Art Deco

    Operation Barbarossa?

    Seriously though, If you defend insufferable provocation as justification, then Russia was more than justified in invading Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  171. Art Deco says:
    @Chicago Girl

    If they send 15 FBI agents to work on this one, that will keep those 15 from harassing ordinary people.

  172. @Reg Cæsar

    Not quite (Hindi and Urdu, Croatian and Serbian): https://www.unz.com/ldinh/balkans-ahead/?showcomments#comment-4074813

    Who wants to occupy themselves with these obscure topics:

  173. tyrone says:
    @Tiny Duck

    You forgot a mentally retarded man was “elected” to the senate….at this rate we will soon be ruled by drooling vegetables……. good work tiny.

  174. JimB says:

    The Russia-Ukraine war is definitely not in Steve’s area of expertise. It is an area of expertise for Larry Johnson and Brian Berletic.

    • Replies: @HA
  175. Corvinus says:
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    To the contrary, places which are created and borders which are established by treaty are by their very nature civic. And the word is “subsumed”, not “replaced”. You’re making a categorical error here.

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
  176. HA says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    “Steve, have you considered that Ukraine reacquiring the 90%+ ethic Russian Crimea would likely result in a massive genocide? This is why Russia at least had the common sense to evacuate as much of the civilian population of Kherson as they could.”

    Ah yes, the Russian stooge cries out “genocide” even as his team is cheering on the butchers of Mariupol, Bucha, etc. This sounds a lot like the Ukrainian genocide of Donbass which likewise dissolves into fiction as soon as facts start getting tossed in.

    Look, if the Russians were able to prevent the genocide of Kherson, there’s nothing to stop them from rinsing and repeating when it comes to Crimea. They’ve already evacuated a whole bunch already. I’m sure at least a few Moscow residents would be happy to see some white immigrants for a change — as opposed to the Central Asians that tend to predominate that cohort. Sure, the old-timers will likely sneer at all these “khokhol” low-lifes stinking up the place, once they find out where the newcomers are from, but them’s the breaks.

  177. dearieme says:
    @stari_momak

    The Ulster protestants made it perfectly clear that they would fight if threatened with being abandoned to Roman Catholic rule. Their threat worked.

  178. jb says:
    @Mr Mox

    I called it “unprovoked” quite deliberately. Russia may have had some legitimate complaints against Ukraine, but nothing even remotely justifying a military invasion. Putin, like a fool, convinced himself that it was going to be a cakewalk, and this — as has happened in other times and places — turned out to be a disastrously mistaken assessment of the situation.

  179. @michael droy

    The cope from Russian supporters is hilarious.

    If Russia weren’t taking unsustainable losses they would be ADVANCING, not consolidating, or withdrawing.

    I swear bro, two more weeks and Ukraine is done, for real this time

  180. mc23 says:
    @Art Deco

    16% was the number elected. The number of sympathizers was probably much larger but they were just out voted in other districts. As Steve said I think Putin has done wonders for Ukrainian nationalism

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  181. mc23 says:
    @John Johnson

    I could see the Ukrainians being short of bathing suits but not winter socks.

  182. HA says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    “You have to wonder why they care so much. I mean, are they Ukrainian? At least that I could understand.”

    So says the guy whose last 10 posts to this website had mentions of Russia or Ukraine in 5 of them, give or take. And here he is wondering to Hundson of all people — arguably Putin’s biggest cheerleader back when he was swiping Crimea in the first place, proudly proclaiming he was able to guzzle RT propaganda pa-Russki — why people care so much? Seriously?

  183. @Rob

    Zelinskyy, call me!

    Dude, the Z man doesn’t get out of bed for less than seven figures.

    • LOL: Chrisnonymous
  184. @stari_momak

    But of course the Ukraine has had 70 years to indoctrinate people into believing they are ‘Ukrainian’. It began long before even the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    Well then tell us how being Ukrainian is any less authentic than being Russian since they along with the Belarusian identity were carved out by the Khans.

    The original Slav nation was based in Kiev and not Moscow.

    Moscow in fact a creation of their former Asian overlords. Would only be a small trading town if they didn’t get their assess kicked by Mongols.

    • Replies: @stari_momak
    , @Anonymous
  185. @Art Deco

    Israel’s borders are a function of Israel being able to defend them. There is no other power above that.

    Israel, like every other country or people, have what they have because by hook or crook they were able to grab that piece of land and then hold it.

    Stop with the silly history or legal lessons. They don’t apply here, other than getting current leaders who like things to stay the same to support the status quo.

    You win first and justify later.

  186. mc23 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Ah, in a war you can’t run a de-housing bombing campaign without a block buster bomb.
    Peace time is different you just need to give minorities cheap mortgages.

  187. HA says:
    @JimB

    “The Russia-Ukraine war is definitely not in Steve’s area of expertise. It is an area of expertise for Larry Johnson and Brian Berletic.”

    Seriously? Here’s Berletic (I assume) telling us the Kherson offensive is just not happening back in mid-August, because the “weapons the West has been sending have been far too few to make any difference.” As soon as they arrive, they’re just burned up or something.

    Yeah, aged like milk, that one. (And unless you enjoy nails being scraped along a chalkboard, I’d tune into that video using closed captions. I’m guessing his day job is a shawm impersonator.)

    As for Larry Johnson, here he is on Sep 2:

    UKRAINE DOES DAMAGE CONTROL AS COUNTER ATTACK FALTERS

    The Ukrainian offensive near Kherson in the south and Kharkiv in the north is failing.…At the close of today’s battle, the situation in the Nikolaevsko-Krivoy Rog is dire for Ukrainian forces….the RF Armed Forces successfully repelled the offensive in all sectors, restoring the front line near Posad-Pokrovsky and Olgino. …Russian Su-34s and Su-24s, as well as cannon and rocket artillery guns, disabled the pontoon crossings of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Andreevka and began to methodically destroy the enemy forces trapped in the fire bag. The [Ukrainian] forces in Bezimenne were destroyed….

    The news from Kherson and, in the north, Kharkov is equally grim for Ukraine…Once the full scale of Ukrainian losses in their counter offensive becomes widely known, the political divisions within the Zelensky government are likely to grow…How long will the Ukrainian people continue to support a policy where their husbands and sons are being used as cannon fodder? That is a critical indicator to monitor during September.

    So much for Johnson’s “critical indicators” now that September has come and gone and Putin decided in the meantime that an extra couple of hundred thousand of HIS men need to be used for cannon fodder.

    Yeah, with experts like these, fanboy, it’s no wonder you think the way you do. Ask yourself — were you better prepared for the retreat from Kherson as a result? No? Then maybe you need to reconsider your experts.

    • Replies: @JimB
  188. @Hypnotoad666

    I don’t understand some commenters’ (JackD, John Johnson, HA, et al) apparent gung ho for this conflict. I understand the Ukrainians moral and ethical duty to fight back against another country’s armed forces invading your territory, which I support. I just don’t understand the desire to continue the death and destruction to “prove how bad Putin is”. He may be that, but serious people need to step in and get the parties to the negotiating table. Smart leaders play the long game; serious Ukrainians should (and likely will) play a long-term game of quasi-guerilla war which should benefit their final goal (territorial sovereignty), after wearing down the Russians after some time. Take a cue from the IRA; have a legitimate political organization (Government of Ukraine) and a secret paramilitary to do the violent work when needed.

    Either way, after spending 25 years in uniform I’ve grown sick and tired of political idiots making good young men and women expend themselves simply to assuage their arrogant pride and enrich their benefactors (both Putin AND Zelensky). I find myself agreeing with Smedley Butler more and more: “War is a racket.”

    Where are all the left-wing art crowd who were so stridently anti-war before? Guess that was only when the “wrong people (to them)’ were in charge. Apparently Bono thinks its a-okay for the killing to continue because “Putin Bad”, as he and U2 played a concert in Kiev. How absurd. Hey Bono, today the millions cry; you eat and drink while tomorrow they die. When you talk about destruction, brother don’t you know that you can count me out.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Thanks: Mark G.
  189. Sean says:
    @HA

    Putin’s boss man Xi has already indicated he does not approve of Putin wiping out his entire Western consumer base to save face over his misbegotten little war.

    I don’t think in any circumstances Putin needs to attack a Nato country. I believe Putin would not ask Xi for permission for an appropriate nuking of the Ukrainians, if the alternative was losing Crimea.

    The US is under no obligation whatsoever to get into a nuclear war over Ukraine, especially if it ignored Western advice to not attack Crimea. The Ukrainians have been asking for ATACMS and been point blank refused it. I think it is clear America does not want Ukraine to start blowing up Crimea. You seem to think that Putin is fighting a Nato country which the other Nato members have an open ended commitment to, but Ukraine is not going to be able to count on even HIMARS ammunition if it is for an attack on Crimea.

    http://www.martin-van-creveld.com/west-or-east/
    The immediate cause of the current war was formed by NATO’s efforts to incorporate Ukraine. Seen from a historical point of view, though, the war is but another phase in this great and holy struggle. One which, on pain of ceasing to exist, Russia must and will win

    Putin is not going to see the end of the greater struggle, but he is not going to lose Crimea any more than Mao was going to accept the loss of North Korea.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @HA
  190. @MAGA drank the kool aid

    With all due respect, fuck you.

    As a parent of teenagers, it’s almost impossible to describe the mental damage done to millions of kids due to the completely worthless Covid lock downs.

    Btw, fuck you too Steve for supporting the lock downs, you selfish Boomer.

    You people want to sweep all of your insane decisions under the rug, but we won’t forget what you did and why.

    • Agree: JR Ewing, Mike Tre
    • Replies: @JR Ewing
  191. Sean says:
    @thud

    That could be a set up. Let the Ukrainians get across and through the deliberately weak defences at a point of Russia’s choosing then blow up the massive reservoir dam to flood the Dnieper, thereby cutting off the Ukrainian spearhead on the east bank.

  192. JimB says:
    @HA

    Yeah, with experts like these, fanboy, it’s no wonder you think the way you do. Ask yourself — were you better prepared for the retreat from Kherson as a result? No? Then maybe you need to reconsider your experts.

    Let’s talk after the ground freezes in Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  193. JR Ewing says:
    @Kaz

    Those ethnic Mexicans don’t want to be part of Mexico.

  194. @Captain Tripps

    I don’t understand some commenters’ (JackD, John Johnson, HA, et al) apparent gung ho for this conflict. I understand the Ukrainians moral and ethical duty to fight back against another country’s armed forces invading your territory, which I support. I just don’t understand the desire to continue the death and destruction to “prove how bad Putin is”.

    And who exactly doesn’t want Putin to end the war by returning to his borders?

    I have been against this war from the beginning while Putin’s followers cheered him as he bombarded Kiev with rockets. That was after one of Putin’s bloggers said that he would never do such a thing. His followers keep lowering their standards as seen by their support of him bombing power plants which is a war crime if can cause people to freeze.

    Putin’s followers are the ones that keep telling us about some great winter offensive that is supposed to happen. They are putting their faith in yet another battle instead of admitting this was all a mistake.

    I would much rather Putin give up than send another 100k Russian men to the slaughter.

    Putin started this war and can end it at any moment.

  195. @Tiny Duck

    Are you drunk Tiny?

    You usually have one subtly misspelled word.

    This is overkill.

    I’m disappointed.

  196. @thud

    The crude trenches and unanchored dragons teeth in these ‘defences’ would not stop an army equipped like the UAF for any noticeable time.

    Dragon’s teeth can deter hit and run attacks by light armor. The Ukrainians have in fact been wreaking havoc with hummers and toyotas with short range rockets.

    There was most likely a change in strategy.

    They were probably going to dig in and then decided it wouldn’t be worth the losses.

    That was the correct move. The Russians have too many unmotivated conscripts and a massive rout would have been an embarrassment. They would have had no chance in urban warfare. Putin already killed off the Spetsnaz in his failed attempt at taking Kiev. They were trained for this type of battle.

  197. @John Johnson

    Did you support those who strongly argued for putting Bush and Blair before the Hague for war crimes in Iraq? If so, I admire your consistent principles. If not, I think you are too vehement in your passion against Putin. I hold no brief for the guy. From my point of view Slavic culture tends to produce authoritarian leaders; put Zelensky and Yanukovich et al, in the same category of generic corrupt Eastern European authoritarians as well. I think we need to stay the hell out of the sh**ty business over there aside from massive humanitarian relief and coaxing the belligerents to the negotiating table.

    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @HA
  198. Anon[398] • Disclaimer says:

    Hi from Tennessee,

    Perhaps this portion of Kherson would be an acceptable settlement for Zelensky, and a peace agreement could be reached. The Russian-speaking portion of Kherson who want to live in Russia have been evacuated and can now safely do so. I want this war to stop because of the nearly 6,000 nukes Russia has. My fear is that NATO+America+Ukranians will indeed exhaust Russia eventually and push them back to the Russian “old” borders, and then in their wounded pride, a small nuke gets used, which leads to a response, and then the replies quickly turn into a real exchange. Enough life, amongst two peoples that we outsiders couldn’t even tell apart, has been lost. Let’s get back to building real wealth and growing food. Wars suck, and kill a lot of decent human beings.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  199. JR Ewing says:
    @Citizen of a Silly Country

    With all due respect to both sides, and as much as I agree with your sentiments, I think this matter has been settled and freedom lost.

    As near as I can tell, nowhere in the country, there was not a single lockdown implementer who was voted out of office. Not one governor. Not one mayor. Not one county executive. As near as I can tell, zero.

    School and business closures, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, silly “threat level” graphs on government websites, blatantly false propaganda… absolutely none of it mattered.

    You’d think that these plainly un-American activities would unite the electorate more than abortion or taxes or Ukraine or whatever of the usual silly issues we fight over, but nope. There is apparently a majority of voters in every jurisdiction in the country who are just fine with servitude and authoritarianism so long as it’s their own blue team holding the whip.

    For 30+ months I’ve been deluding myself into thinking that the reckoning was going to come in November 2022 and that all of the dumb shit we usually argue over would be cast aside in righteous indignation once these clowns were finally up for reelection.

    Nope.

    And with that I think I’m finally done thinking anything matters anymore in America. America is finished.

    • Agree: BB753
  200. @Jack D

    Well, yeah, the Godfather is a good example. But I’m coming to believe that there’s really not much difference between ‘democratic’ systems, esp. when the schools, universities and media are almost all controlled by one side, and the Godfather. That these institutions can brainwash enough people to get 50% + 1 percent of the vote doesn’t seem like its that much better. And of course there’s always the permanent bureaucracy/’policy community’ — e.g. Victoria Nuland and Fiona Hill– able to capture their favorite policy areas no matter who gets elected ‘democratically’.

  201. @anon

    Next time, break the Quaaludes in half.

    • Replies: @HA
  202. Jack D says:
    @JimB

    How do you say “mañana” in Russian? Yes, the last 7 offensives failed but the NEXT one will be the real thing. You just wait you Western pishers, Vlad is gonna show you THIS time. Any day now. THIS time they are REALLY gonna get caught in a cauldron. The whole Ukrainian Army is going to mass on open ground so that the Russians can take them out with a pincers.

    • LOL: 36 ulster
    • Replies: @stari_momak
  203. Jack D says:
    @Sean

    The Ukrainians have been asking for ATACMS and been point blank refused it.

    Not any more. Here’s is the transcript of yesterday’s press conference by Biden:

    Well, the HIMARS — there’s two kinds of, in the average person’s parlance, rockets you can drop in those: one that goes over 600 miles and one that goes about 160 miles. We didn’t give them any ones that go to 600 miles, because I’m not looking for them to start bombing Russian territory.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/11/09/remarks-by-president-biden-in-press-conference-8/

    Note the dog that DIDN’T bark. ATACMS goes about…. hmm… 160 miles.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  204. 36 ulster says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    I believe that the Russians are more concerned with protecting the Russian population of Kherson than in seizing territory for its own sake. Kherson’s location on the “wrong” side of the Dnieper surely influenced their decision. Even in this day and age, geography matters. Some territory may be viewed as desperate ground (e.g., the Donbass), on which combat may be unavoidable. Sometimes, it can be traded for time–or for people. Securing your own folks–and defeating the enemy–matter more to the Russians than a toehold on the Dnieper estuary. The seemingly insignificant gains by the Russians mask a Russophone stronghold from which they’re most unlikely to be overrun by the whatever remains of the Ukrainian military.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  205. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    What part of Tennessee can Ukraine give to North Carolina? Can they give away the part that is east of the Tennessee River on your behalf? That seems fair to me. The folks in Pigeon Forge who still want to live in TN can just move to Knoxville.

  206. @John Johnson

    “The original Slav nation was based in Kiev and not Moscow.”

    Well, no. Not even the original East Slav nation. Kiev was basically the southern limit of the cities of ‘Russian’ princes. Pskov, Novgorod etc were far to the north.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  207. Yngvar says:
    @Renard

    …how on earth do you people find the time to post so much?

    Speed.

  208. BosTex says: • Website
    @Captain Tripps

    Thanks Tripps.

    Probably the majority sentiment here.

    I have to think that “HA” et al has to be a Russian troll: the guy is so damned unlikeable that he makes you hate Ukrainians.

    I used to be indifferent, now I just don’t care.

  209. @Corvinus

    Whatever, old queen.

    • LOL: Kylie, BosTex, TWS
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  210. HA says:
    @Captain Tripps

    “Did you support those who strongly argued for putting Bush and Blair before the Hague for war crimes in Iraq?”

    I certainly wouldn’t take kindly to any other dictator, past or future, who argues that the “artificiality” of borders that his country had no problem respecting in prior decades gave him a right to invade some other country to the other side. But to his credit, I don’t believe Hussein decided to double down on his invasion eight years later for an even bigger bite of the apple, and I don’t think his country had formally endorsed the boundaries that he violated in the way Putin’s country earlier had done.

    So however opposed one may have been to Bush’s and Blair’s means of addressing that earlier invasion, I’m definitely opposed to starting a land war of conquest in Eurasia or pretty much anywhere else. By the way, since you’re so interested in drawing parallels, did Iraq ever become the 51st star in the American flag? Did Bush or Blair carve out four oblasts there to be theirs forever-ever? Help me out. As for me, I regard the launching of land wars in Eurasia as a really, really bad idea all around, so please stop pretending it’s those who are opposed to Putin who are the ones with consistency issues. It’s all this cheerleading for Putin that is the real head-scratcher. I mean even that fascist Italian lady has no problem condemning him, so really, how far off the grid does one have to go before admitting one is lost? Come to think of it, if time travel were a thing and someone had canvassed my opinions on that business in Sudetenland, or the rape of Belgium, I strongly suspect I’d have given that a big thumbs-down as well. Please don’t expect me to apologize for any of that.

    In any case, if you want to keep drawing parallels between Putin and Hussein, be my guest. I’m sure the fanboys here are totally pleased about the similarities, now that you mention them.

  211. @stari_momak

    I’m Welsh. I don’t speak the language naturally. It doesn’t make me English. You are being imperialist.

  212. @stari_momak

    Ukraine was a different place from Moscovy for 550 years. Catherine was an intruder.

    The Wild Lands were taken from the Anglo Saxons who fled from the Normans in 1066-74. Yes – they still spoke “Gothic” in Kherson and Crimea until Catherine expelled the Christian to populate her empty conquests. She left the Muslims behind.

    • Thanks: HA
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    , @stari_momak
  213. HA says:
    @Sean

    “I don’t think in any circumstances Putin needs to attack a Nato country.”

    Nuclear bombs and their fallout are messy things even ones that are detonated over Kyiv. The first excess millirad that gets measured in Poland or Slovakia or Lithuania is going to be regarded as exactly that attack on NATO you claim won’t happen. And if/when it does, hello no-fly zone and any number of other NATO escalations Putin has tried to avoid. There are maybe people in Zelensky’s circle who clasp their hands each night and pray something like that happens, as in “go ahead and make my day”, but few people who can think things through — instead of simply trying to impress or cow us with his big-man swagger — are eager for anything like that in the Kremlin.

    Is Putin himself really stupid enough to try that? Is Xi stupid enough to let Putin think he can get away with that? Doubtful. Even if Putin were that stupid, there are still likely enough sane people in his inner circle to talk him down (as in, down a high-rise window).

    You really haven’t noticed that Putin and his stooges suddenly turned down the volume regarding the matter of nuclear escalation after Xi’s recent smackdown? No, no what we REALLY meant to say was that we really, really, want peace negotiations that would lock in the current frontlines until such a time when we can rinse/repeat and finish off Ukraine for good (e.g., maybe in another 8 years)? That could certainly be wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t think I’m imagining that.

    • Replies: @Sean
  214. @MGB

    My experience, business links and friends (Russian and Ukrainian) are in Russia. I haven’t been to Ukraine since 2014. Ukraine mobilized 600k reservists but didn’t put them into battle until August. Their Russian equivalents in Saratov had 10 days before being sent to the front. This was planned from the first week. So far no others have been needed but there are another 900k conscripts in training. Ukraine has cancelled further call ups. I do wonder whether Ukraine is training pilots on Polish and Czech planes. Power lines can be reparied fairly easily. Some switch yards are soviet era manual ones. People with wooden poles move contacts around. They are easy to repair. Crude, unstable but better than nothing. Transformers are another matter. They are often site specific. They will take a lot of time to replace. Soviet standards are not European ones so simply dropping in one that is near enough may be a problem. Mobile generators may be a temporary solution. Generators are of course complex and expensive but Iraq was restored with gas turbines mounted in container lorries. There are surplus units in Iraq now.

  215. Anonymous[771] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Johnson

    You are an idiot. Moscow was not created hy “Asian overlords” but rose to prominence because of the alliance between the Russian prince Alexander and the Mongols. Alexander summoned his Mongol allies to destroy most Russian cities, and Moscow (under the rule of Daniel) joined Aoexander and expanded tbeir influence peacefully.

    https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2022/03/04/100653-right-believing-prince-daniel-of-moscow

    During this period, the Moscow principality was small and unobtrusive. While growing up, Prince Daniel strengthened and expanded it, not in unjust or coercive ways, but peacefully and with benevolence. It was a time of unrest. Fratricidal strife among the appanage princes was rife. Often bloodshed was averted, thanks to Prince Daniel and his incessant striving for unity and peace in the Russian Land.

    In 1293 his brother, the Great Prince Alexander, with Tatars summoned from the Horde and headed by Diuden (“the Diudenev Host”), laid waste to Russian cities: Murom, Suzdal, Kolomna, Dmitrov, Mozhaisk, and Tver. Prince Daniel decided to join them to Moscow to save their people from perishing, for they were not strong enough to resist.

    Your handicap is that you’re a stupid ethno-nationalist cuck whose simple minded judgment of history is based on her own delusions about how the world works. There was no unified Russian state in Russia, and the most enterprising and studious Russians alied with the Mongols and used the Mongol’s military alliance of mostly Cumans and Kipchaks to fight their fellow Russians.

    • Replies: @IronCurtain
  216. It’s a trick, of course. It may take a few more months, but Putin will win. Any civilization that elects a brain-dead President and celebrates rioting joggers and child mutilation is doomed. The USA will drown in a sea of Democrat-inflated dollars while Russia and China are building railroads and superhighways.

  217. @Captain Tripps

    Who decided what the borders of Ukraine are, and when did that occur? Was it some old Soviet Politburo decision?

    Nikita Khrushchev did so, back in the 1950’s.

  218. HA says:
    @John Johnson

    “I haven’t seen any evidence that the Ukrainians are short on winter supplies.”

    If you know any family members of soldiers, ask them — you’ll hear some pretty dark things. I don’t think they were trying to scam me. Then there were all those stories in the Western press prior to the arrival of the HIMARS addressing some of that low morale and the poor equipment the Ukrainian soldiers in Donbass have had to confront.

    I am definitely against Putin’s idiocy, but as far as crawling out of their ex-Soviet mental morasse, I’ll be the first to admit that Ukraine also has a long way to go, and I suspect more than a few of their commanders still haven’t gotten the memo. Things like that just take time.

  219. Mark G. says:
    @Captain Tripps

    Where are all the left-wing art crowd who were so stridently anti-war before?

    After Trump won in 2016 many of the neocons and war hawks in the Republican party moved over to the Democrats. They had only been Republican since the McGovernite doves took over the Democrat party in the seventies. By returning to the big government Democrats, they were returning to their natural home. The Democrats had started World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

    There are two natural coalitions in this country. One is a coalition of special interests that benefit from big government and the other are all those harmed by the first coalition. The military-industrial complex is part of the big government coalition. The military top brass and upper DoD civilian management are doing quite well. I’ve worked in the civilian part of the military for forty years. I joined because I wanted to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I thought the Founders who created the Constitution were great men. I still do.

    There are certainly plenty of people left in the military who are like me. Ron Paul, a former member of the military and a noninterventionist, received more military donations in the Republican primary than any other candidate. During the Middle East wars, I talked to a number of soldiers who questioned why we were there. Tulsi Gabbard is not an anomaly. The military top brass and upper DoD management have recently gone woke, though. For them it is mostly about the money and high incomes, and they will vote for whoever will keep the gravy train going. This now means the Democrats.

    • Thanks: Captain Tripps
  220. How is this playing out in the world’s second-most Ukrainian country? What has Trudeau been up to?

  221. @Art Deco

    I was referring to those outside Northern Ireland.

  222. Every video I see of frontline Ukrainian troops shows them with red dots and some even have suppressors. I’ve even seen some of them with M16s in newer videos.

    Not just official sources but video blogs from US volunteers.

    Meanwhile the Russians are using AKs with iron sights and some of the captured conscripts didn’t even have fatigues.

    Providing every Ukrainian soldier with NATO boots and wool socks really wouldn’t be a big deal. Is it possible that NATO screwed this up and didn’t provide enough winter gear? Absolutely. But I think the key difference is that Ukrainians won’t leave their own soldiers to freeze in shallow trenches.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @stari_momak
  223. @Captain Tripps

    The borders of the ‘nation’ of the Ukraine as sanctioned by the West with the fall of the USSR were created by the 3 first leaders of the USSR. Lenin, Stalin, and Kruschev all added lands to what was essentially the Ukraine – the border or the frontier – for almost all of history back to before the era had writing.

    For Steve Sailer on this issue, if the US says borders are real and to be defended at all cost, then they are. And that means the US is defending borders created by Bolsheviks.

    Of course, none of this is about those things., It is really about the US playing The Great Game to be the lone power calling shots across the Eurasian land mass. This is about Yank imperialism at least threatening nuclear war in order to rule the world with nobody able to tell us NO.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  224. @John Johnson

    Loser like Nicholas II? He certainly was far too much a gentleman to grasp the raw evil of what he faced. Is that what you see in Putin as well? I think that Putin has been far too naive about the raw evil that animates Neocons.

  225. @Jack D

    “pishers”

    LOL, I knew I knew I knew

  226. @John Johnson

    Dude, you need to go on Telegram….before this withdrawal the Ukrainians were essentially sending guys in to get killed. It was so bad even the Western media…I think it was WaPo, started to report on the level of Ukrainian casualties.

    The idea that Ukrainians care about their cannon fodder is ridiculous.

  227. @HA

    Hey, you win. Far be it from me to criticize your life’s work, which judging by your posts seems to be the case.

    • LOL: Hunsdon, BosTex
    • Replies: @Alyosha
  228. Jack D says:
    @Kinky Friedman

    Regardless of how Ukraine’s borders got that way (and ditto for Poland, Germany, etc.), the implicit deal at the end of WWII (and at the end of the Cold War and in the Budapest Memo) is that territorial disputes would no longer be settled by invading your neighbor because this had led to 2 world wars and civilization might not survive a 3rd.

    Putin needs more land like he needs a hole in the head. Russia is already the biggest country in the world with 1/10th the population of China or India.

    If Russia had a beef with Ukraine’s borders it should have negotiated, not invaded. Russia thought (still thinks) that as a nuclear power it is immune from other countries invading it, so it can play this asymmetrical game – I get to invade your country but you don’t get to invade mine. Maybe that’s true but there are other disadvantages to making your country a pariah state in the West.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  229. @Jack D

    Jack D wrote to Kinky Friedman:

    If Russia had a beef with Ukraine’s borders it should have negotiated, not invaded. Russia thought (still thinks) that as a nuclear power it is immune from other countries invading it, so it can play this asymmetrical game – I get to invade your country but you don’t get to invade mine. Maybe that’s true but there are other disadvantages to making your country a pariah state in the West.

    In 2014 the US orchestrated the overthrow of the legally elected government of Ukraine (we have the recording!), established a puppet regime in Kiev, and encouraged that puppet regime to murder people in the part of Ukraine that chose not to go along with the putsch.

    Putin tried peaceful negotiations for eight years but was repeatedly snookered by the US Deep State and its puppets in Kiev.

    So Putin reacted as the US reacted in a similar situation in October 1962: he (finally!) resorted to force.

    Unfortunately, the US Deep State reacted much less prudently than Khrushchev did in 1962: the US Deep State escalated in Ukraine.

    So, now we have World War III.

    Thanks, Jack.

    • Replies: @HA
  230. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    If the Russians would like to shorten the duration of the war they can remove their troops.

    Maybe they will someday, after many years……….like we eventually did in our imperial wars.

  231. @HA

    Don’t bust a gut trying to exude contempt for Putin. Btw, do your Ukrainian overlords pay you per response or per word?

  232. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    I think the answer you’re looking for is: Israel started the hostilities by bombing Egyptian airbases.

    Ultimately, your answer is just: It’s different when Israel does it.

    You really are a pathetic cuck.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  233. HA says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    “Next time, break the Quaaludes in half.”

    So says the Russian expert Intelligent Dasein, who informed us after the pipeline attacks:

    We may see, before the end of 2023, Germany simply “surrender” to Russia and become Eurasian partner country, while the rest of the West flounders around in an increasingly delusional post-imperial death spiral.

    The key word here is “may”, as in “flying monkeys shoot out from ID’s fundaments and do what he commands”. Mind you, I can’t say it won’t happen; I’m just gonna say the odds are rather slim.

    Here he is right after the Ukrainians broke through and took Izyum, right after Russians had decided to pour the bulk of their forces into Kherson because it was so precious to them (at the time).

    it’s quite obvious a mere 24 hours later that the Russians made a planned, orderly withdrawal and are using this opportunity to smash what’s left of Ukraine’s Nato-reinforced army. The only ones feinting here were the Russians, and they did it so wonderfully that everybody was fooled, even their own partisans.

    Apparently they have a ways to go in smashing what’s left of Ukraine’s Nato-reinforced army, given the current “planned, orderly and wonderfully feinted withdrawal” Here he is on July 30, back when the Russians were still advancing in Donbass:

    The slow Russian advance is a tidal bore that will eventually wash over all of Europe as the flows of wealth, authority, and legitimacy reverse from West to East.

    The key word there is “eventually”, which like all other copium, expands to fill any void in logic or sanity. With logic like that, who needs Quaaludes?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  234. @HA

    My little buddy HAsbara wrote:

    Putin’s biggest cheerleader back when he was swiping Crimea in the first place,

    Crimnea had been Russian for a very long time.

    The population was Russian.

    Putin liberated Crimea.

    Of course, Ukraine was never really a country, anyway, now was it?

    When before 1990 was there an actual country called “Ukraine”?

    Les real than San Marino or Monaco, eh?

    • Agree: Eric Novak
    • Replies: @HA
    , @John Johnson
  235. Jack D says:
    @36 ulster

    Russians are more concerned with protecting the Russian population of Kherson

    Oh, yeah, Putin has been real concerned about killing Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens in Ukraine. He isn’t even concerned about killing his own citizens. The only person that Putin is really concerned about protecting is Putin himself. Or maybe this is that special kind of Russian love where you show your love by forcibly exiling people to distant places against their will. They mixed civilians in with the troops on their ferries out of Kherson as human shields in the hope that this would stop the Ukrainians from shelling them.

    Now that they have removed most of the civilian population they think that after the Ukrainian troops arrive they will just shell the place to the ground. They took care to remove everything of value because they’re not planning on there being a Kherson by the time they are done with it. The Ukrainians understand that the Kabuki theater (Yes, sir, we will carry out the evacuation order!) that we saw on Russian TV is supposed to be maskirovka in order to lure the Ukrainians into some sort of planned trap and they are not going to fall for it. Deception is part of Soviet military doctrine but the Germans didn’t have spy satellites. Modern Russia is as clumsy with deception as it is with propaganda.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Troll: Eric Novak
    • Replies: @Dube
  236. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “In 2014 the US orchestrated the overthrow of the legally elected government of Ukraine (we have the recording!), established a puppet regime in Kiev, and encouraged that puppet regime to murder people in the part of Ukraine that chose not to go along with the putsch.”

    As I recall, the most embarrassing thing about that recording — apart from the fact that Nuland was sloppy enough to allow the Russians to bug her in the first place — was an f-bomb to the Europeans. If you want to claim she “encouraged that puppet regime to murder people”, you’re going to have to be more specific. I would think at least someone outside the Moscow-RT propaganda mills would have picked up on the “go out and murder with our blessing” schtick.

    Here’s how the BBC analyst regarded the recordings, which they were kind enough to transcribe:

    Overall this is a damaging episode between Washington and Moscow. Nobody really emerges with any credit. The US is clearly much more involved in trying to broker a deal in Ukraine than it publicly lets on. There is some embarrassment too for the Americans given the ease with which their communications were hacked. But is the interception and leaking of communications really the way Russia wants to conduct its foreign policy ? Goodness – after Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and the like could the Russian government be joining the radical apostles of open government? I doubt it. Though given some of the comments from Vladimir Putin’s adviser on Ukraine Sergei Glazyev – for example his interview with the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper the other day – you don’t need your own listening station to be clear about Russia’s intentions. Russia he said “must interfere in Ukraine” and the authorities there should use force against the demonstrators.

    But yeah, according to PhysicistDave’s Swiss-cheese brain, it’s the Americans who are meddling in Ukraine so as to egg on the killing as opposed to simply trying to broker a deal. Weird how that somehow got flipped around.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  237. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Crimnea had been Russian for a very long time.”

    And was Tatar for quite a long while before then — see Crimean Khanate. Your point being?

    “The population was Russian.”

    You mean after they kicked out the previous inhabitants who had mercilessly brutalized the surrounding populace? Well, it’d be a real shame if something like that were to happen again, for somewhat similar reasons, but weirder things have happened.

    “When before 1990 was there an actual country called ‘Ukraine’”?

    There was that business about “KIEVan RUS”. Did your Swiss cheese brain space on that, too? And why 1990 appropos of nothing? Oh yeah, that was just a few years before Russia agreed to respect Ukraine’s borders, wasn’t it? Signed a document and everything. Yeah, funny you should mention that, but honestly, it pretty much demolishes your slipshod mish-mash attempt at making a point. Better luck next time.

  238. Sean says:
    @HA

    The first excess millirad that gets measured in Poland or Slovakia or Lithuania is going to be regarded as exactly that attack on NATO you claim won’t happen

    So the US is going to start attacking Russia? I have news for you if the US wanted Russia proper or Crimea attacked the US could and would have done it already themselves. What has happened with supply of arms especially HIMARS and what the US has allowed it to be used to do has been quite different. That is because the Russia nuclear arsenal is essentially equivalent to the US’s; the deterrence cuts both ways. Moreover the mechanics of escalation in a situation like this have not been worked out. Of course the US could treat what Russia is doing as an attack on Nato, but all evidence of recent months suggests that Russia would very quickly be crushed conventionaly. Would they accept that?

    http://www.martin-van-creveld.com/west-or-east/

    If ever Ilyin had a follower it was Putin—who even paid for moving the great man’s bones from Switzerland, where he died, for reburial in Moscow. Based on several biographies of his I’ve read, the way Putin sees it Russia has long lagged behind the West which, in its turn, has looked down on Russia as a barbarous country hardly deserving to be called, civilized. Repeatedly, Russia saved the West from its own internal demons. So in 1814-15 when Tsar Alexander I headed the coalition whose armies entered Paris and did away with the remnants of the French Revolution. So in 1914-15 when German militarism almost succeeded in taking over Paris and, with it, the continent. And so again in 1941-45 when Hitler launched the greatest challenge of all and came within a hair not only of occupying the Kremlin but of putting an end to the West as we know it.

    The immediate cause of the current war was formed by NATO’s efforts to incorporate Ukraine. Seen from a historical point of view, though, the war is but another phase in this great and holy struggle. One which, on pain of ceasing to exist, Russia must and will win—even if it takes decades, as Peter the Great’s struggle with the Swedes did

    Countries like Russia (and America) look to play a long term strategy. There is no telling what the current Kremlin would do if confronted . Putin has had a series of devastating reverses with hybrid war, he could decide to back down in the face of the West allowing Ukraine to take Crimea, but he might decide it was time to nut up or shut up.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Philip Owen
  239. @anon

    No poll shows 90% revanchist support by Ukrainians for the return of Crimea to Russia, and no Crimean referendum was for any other outcome than a return to Russia. Fucking troll.

    • Replies: @raga10
  240. @HA

    The 1918 treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Germany and the new Soviet Union designated a country of Ukraine (which would be de facto a German satellite or puppet). Interestingly, the Germans at their their high tide still left Crimea in Russian/Soviet hands.

    • Thanks: HA
  241. @HA

    The 1918 treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Germany and the new Soviet Union designated a country of Ukraine (which would be de facto a German satellite or puppet). Interestingly, the Germans at their their high tide still left Crimea in Russian/Soviet hands.

    Or maybe not. Another map in the Wikipedia article on Brest-Litovsk shows Crimea as territory lost:

    So, I dunno.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @MEH 0910
  242. @Bardon Kaldian

    Man, think I’m gonna have to start posting pics of all the ‘International Legion’ boys that have been sent to Valhalla in the last few days.

  243. @HA

    “There was that business about “KIEVan RUS”. Did your Swiss cheese brain space on that, too? ”

    LOL, you might notice there’s no ‘Ukraine’ there. \

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Philip Owen
  244. @Jack D

    Perhaps.

    Or maybe Joe is just confused, something that, in my recollection, has happened a time or two over the last 50 years.

    • Agree: Captain Tripps
  245. @John Johnson

    Putin’s borders are now at Donesk and Lugansk, where they will remain until the sun explodes or the Mongol hordes return.

  246. HA says:
    @Sean

    “So the US is going to start attacking Russia?”

    I’ve heard from many a Russian stooge that the US is more or less doing that already. You’re free to disagree. And I said NATO, not just the US. Maybe it’ll be Polish jets enforcing the no-fly zone, and I guess the Russians could try and knock those out, but if they do, well, more escalation.

    “I have news for you if the US wanted Russia proper or Crimea attacked the US could and would have done it already themselves.”

    Or else they could have, in an effort to contain this to within the borders of Ukraine, kept an ace or two in their pocket and told Putin that we’re going to keep them there unless you’re crazy enough to drop a nuke on Kyiv. Just a thought. I know the troll memes would have us believe the US and the West are rushing headlong into nuclear confrontation without a care in the world, but I suspect that they’ve actually thought things through a bit more than the caricatures would suggest. The war games they participated in with Ukraine prior to the Kharkiv offensive would support the notion that they’re not just freehanding this.

    “Putin has had a series of devastating reverses with hybrid war, he could decide to back down in the face of the West allowing Ukraine to take Crimea, but he might decide it was time to nut up or shut up.”

    Yes, and as noted, Uncle Xi — who has his own stooges feeding him information about what the Kremlin is and isn’t doing — may also decide that Chine is STILL not willing to let Putin send their customer base into nuclear mode just to allow Putin one more pathetic flailing attempt to save face, in which case Putin is out of luck. He may grumble a bit more the next time he has to drive down to Beijing, put on his little beanie, and clean out Uncle Xi’s septic tanks, but it’s not like anyone down there will care.

  247. @Art Deco

    Yes, I think secession opinion and the like tends to be affected by “preference cascades” or bandwagons or whatever. For example, the 1905 vote in Norway to secede from Sweden was like 98% Yes. That worked out fine, but I can’t imagine the long term opinion was that one-sided. My guess is that it was apparent that secession was going to win, so almost all the Norwegians opposed to it talked themselves into favoring it.

  248. Dube says:
    @Jack D

    The only person that Putin is really concerned about protecting is Putin himself.

    Can we say narcissist? What need have we of further analysis? Be assured that he’ll drown in his own image. Look it up.

  249. @Dave Pinsen

    Reportedly, Russians are removing cultural artifacts and corpses/skeletons of Russians. It suggests the city is being given up to the Ukrainians, but that they are withdrawing in an ordsrly fashion rather than collapsing in haste.

    Steve’s idea that the Russian military is unwilling to fight or going to fall apart soon is ridiculous. They have had a rough time against forces that are trained, supplied, re-supplied, and given tactical information and strategic guidance by the most powerful and technologically advanced military the world has ever known. All in all, they have not done so poorly.

    Moreover, Steve’s idea that Russia should be “punished” by killing off massive numbers of Ukrainians in a possibly futile attempt to take land on which Russians predominate (Crimea, to a lesser extent Donbas) away from Russia is simply immoral and obstinate. Putin may bear moral responsibility for starting the war, but the USA, UK, NATO, etc bear moral responsibility for the way the defense is conducted and the way ceasefire is achieved, not to mention the way peace is settled in the future.

    As always, much of this goes down to one’s opinion about the psychology of Putin and the Russian elites. In this regard, I think Mearsheimer and the realist school have the most sensible approach.

    I find it interesting that Steve does not blog on (nor anyone else in the anti-Putin camp comment on) Mearshimer’s book on lying in politics, which is especially apropos.

  250. @Ken52

    It is time-consuming to follow what’s going on. Rather than reading MacGregor, Ritter, et al and trying to synthesize everything myself, I have fallen back on simply listening to Alexander Mercouris daily updates on YouTube on a few times a week. He gives the “minority report” news you don’t get on the MSM. So far, listening to his analysis and predictions over time, he seems to have a better grasp on what’s going on than most. There is an obvious anti-NATO bias to his commentary, but he still seems to be giving fair analysis. The bias comes in in saying things like, “this certainly looks bad for the Russians” instead of cackling with glee like JackD.

    • Replies: @Ken52
  251. @Chrisnonymous

    As far as “punishing” Russia by going to war with them to capture Crimea, I think every commentator should apply the Abrahamic test…

    Is Steve willing to sacrifice his own son to “punish” Russia by taking away Crimea?

    If Steve (or you) are only willing to sacrifice the lives of far-away faceless Ukrainians in a grand game of US imperial Risk, then you should shut up and sit down.

  252. @Philip Owen

    The Crimean (Ostro)Goths were documented up until WWI.

  253. @HA

    HA wrote:

    “I know the troll memes would have us believe the US and the West are rushing headlong into nuclear confrontation without a care in the world, but I suspect that they’ve actually thought things through a bit more than the caricatures would suggest.”

    So you SUSPECT that the events in Ukraine will not lead to nuclear war. Well, that isn’t good enough for me. Yes, like one of the Kagan Neocons said, the events in Ukraine will probably not lead to nuclear war. However HA, I don’t want to take ANY chance that my kids get vaporized because insane warmongers like Kagan and yourself are willing to roll the dice for nuclear war over the events in Ukraine.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @John Johnson
  254. @Steve Sailer

    Steve Sailer wrote to HA:

    The 1918 treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Germany and the new Soviet Union designated a country of Ukraine (which would be de facto a German satellite or puppet).

    There were in fact various competing Ukrainian “republics” in the period 1917-21. Per wikipedia:

    After the October Revolution, many governments formed in Ukraine, most notably the Ukrainian People’s Republic of Soviets (1917–1918) based in Kharkiv, and its Soviet successors. This force, along with the Ukrainian Republic (based in Kyiv), plus the White Movement, Poland, Green armies, and the Anarchists, fought constantly with each other, which resulted in many casualties among Ukrainians fighting in a 1917–21 Ukrainian Civil War as part of the wider Russian Civil War of 1917–23. The Russian SFSR would (after the 1921 Treaty of Riga) extend control over what would ultimately become the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and (in 1922) a founding member of the Soviet Union.

    None amounted to anything of course.

    When I was a grad student at Stanford, I ran across a book published around 1920 singing the praises of the newly independent Siberian Republic. I’ve always wondered what the author thought about his book a couple years after it was published. (I’ve had an interest in the twentieth-century history of Eastern Europe — which has certainly produced a lot of history, enough history to export, as the saying goes! — since taking Russian in high school.)

    As you’ve said, this war may indeed have imprinted a sense of nationhood in West Ukraine — Galicia, etc. If Putin is as smart as I think he is, he will accept a demilitarized rump West Ukraine as a buffer between himself and NATO, serving much the function Finland did during the Cold War.

    But then again, the course of war does not always lead to rulers making wise decisions.

  255. Alyosha says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Seems like your life’s work is also to post about Ukraine and Russia online a lot despite not being in Russia or Ukraine, or even being Russian or Ukrainian

    But you seem like you’re the type to do it for free. Or are you getting a pittance wage for it?

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  256. @HA

    My wee little buddy HAsbara wrote to me:

    There was that business about “KIEVan RUS”. Did your Swiss cheese brain space on that, too?

    Kiev is real.

    Ukraine is a fantasy, at least prior to 1990.

    Yes, Kievan Rus.

    AKA Russia.

    Ukraine is, as people used to say, “Little Russia,” or, in the literal meaning of the word, “Frontier Russia.”

    As to my Swiss-cheese brain, you just make sure there are no mice near your bed when you sleep, little buddy!

    HAsbara also wrote:

    Oh yeah, that was just a few years before Russia agreed to respect Ukraine’s borders, wasn’t it? Signed a document and everything.

    Russia has never violated those borders. They respected the borders up until 2014 when the US orchestrated the putsch against the legally elected government of Ukraine. And then that putschist regime started murdering people in the Donbass who were loyal to the legal government of Ukraine.

    And even then, Russia did not attack Kiev.

    It was only after eight years of occupation of much of Ukraine by an illegal puppet of the US Deep State, after eight years of murder of people in the Donbass by that illegal regime, and after, in desperation, the people of the Donbass declared their independence that Putin finally legally moved in, in accordance with international law and at the formal request of the legal governments of the Donbass, to help defend the Donbass against the murderers in Kiev who were supported by the US Deep State.

    All completely legal under international law.

    It was the US Deep State that violated the sovereignty of Ukraine.

    Russia has struggled, very altruistically and at great cost to Russia, to defend Ukraine against the US putschist regime and to uphold Article 1 of the United Nations charter, which guarantees the principle of “self-determination of peoples.”

    As I have said many times, I am very doubtful that this was in the best interest of the Russian people: defending the principle of self-determination of peoples is proving very costly in lives and treasure for the Russian people.

    But you and the other Penis-Piano-Player worshipers here have never seriously tried to argue that it was not in accord with international law or the UN Charter.

    The US violated the sovereignty of Ukraine, as it has done to dozens of other countries around the world since 1945. And you cannot refute that simple fact.

  257. @anon

    anon[321] wrote:

    The territorial integrity of Ukraine was guaranteed by major powers at that time upon Ukraine surrendering the 300 or so Soviet nuclear weapons that were on its territory.

    And Russia honored that treaty.

    But the US did not: the US Deep State orchestrated an illegal putsch against the legally elected government of Ukraine in 2014, a government that was friendly to Russia. A gross and blatant violation of the treaty, though typical of the actions of the US Deep State since 1945.

    Perfidious Yankees!

    anon also wrote:

    Russia must be weakened or even broken up…

    As I understand Russian nuclear doctrine, Russia would then use nukes.

    You got a bomb shelter nearby?

    anon also wrote:

    Ukraine, liberal and modern and free,

    You meant to type ” Ukraine, authoritarian, corrupt, and poor,” right?

    Or was that a joke?

  258. @Art Deco

    If the Russians removed their troops from Eastern Ukraine, they would be abandoning their Russian co-ethnics there who have been under attack for eight years. And the (likely coked-up) leader of the Ukraine would try to invade Crimea.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  259. BosTex says:
    @Hunsdon

    Agree.

    I think HA’s paymasters are in the Kremlin, not Kiev.

    He’s a Russian, not Ukrainian troll.

    The tone and excessiveness of his posts makes you think that the Ukrainians are idiots.

    PhysicistDave and Pimcher Martin disassembled him and his arguments a few weeks back and it was clear he didn’t understand his own talking points.

    Regarding Jack: I think he is on the older side. He has mostly interesting posts, however loses his marbles about Russia, Putin, etc.

    The Cold War ended a long time ago, yet we still have more than a few old Cold Warriors with us. We fed a whole generation a constant diet of “Russians Bad” from childhood forward. Not surprising that a lot of Boomers can’t adjust that thinking.

    JJ occasionally has something interesting to say, but some of the posts go off the rail.

    • Agree: Mark G.
    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @HA
  260. @HA

    My little buddy HAsbara wrote to me:

    Here’s how the BBC analyst regarded the recordings, which they were kind enough to transcribe:

    The take of the official government propaganda organ of the US puppet regime in the UK!

    Okaaaaayyyy…..

    HAsbara also wrote:

    As I recall, the most embarrassing thing about that recording — apart from the fact that Nuland was sloppy enough to allow the Russians to bug her in the first place — was an f-bomb to the Europeans.

    Ummmm…. no.

    If you were an American, you would know that all American adults are aware that other American adults often use harsh language when they think their conversation is private.

    It was awfully funny that evil little Vicky Nuland said “F*** the EU!” with that oh-so-cultured Ivy League (Brown) accent of hers. But, no, it was not shocking.

    What was embarrassing for the US Deep State was that we had clear, documentary, public evidence for what was already known to informed observers: the US Deep State believes itself entitled to control the internal affairs of every country on this planet, no matter how distant from the United States and no mater how obviously their actions violate international law and the UN Charter.

    My little buddy also wrote:

    But yeah, according to PhysicistDave’s Swiss-cheese brain, it’s the Americans who are meddling in Ukraine so as to egg on the killing as opposed to simply trying to broker a deal.

    The “deal” that the Beeb oh-so-delicately referred to was a “deal” to illegally replace the legally elected government of Ukraine in an illegal putsch with a puppet regime subservient to the US Deep State.

    Really illegal. Really a violation of the UN Charter. And really and obviously and intentionally provocative of Russia.

    And really the beginning of the war in Ukraine, eight years ago, when the free people of the Donbass refused to bend the knee to the illegal puppet regime in Kiev and so the puppet regime, with US backing, started murdering people in the Donbass.

    Quoting the sugar-coated words of the government propaganda organ of one of the US client states in Western Europe cannot change those facts, little buddy.

    The US grotesquely violated international law and the UN Charter by orchestrating the overthrow of a legally elected government.

    And Putin is acting within international law and the UN Charter in moving in to defend the people who refused to submit to that illegal puppet regime.

    By the way, little buddy, do you get paid for each post by the putschist regime or do they pay you a fixed monthly retainer?

    And, when this is all over, are you going to come clean about where you live, what your citizenship is, etc.?

    Or are you just going to disappear when they can no longer pay you?

    There must be a negotiated peace.


    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @John Johnson
    , @Philip Owen
  261. @HA

    HA wrote to Sean

    Just a thought. I know the troll memes would have us believe the US and the West are rushing headlong into nuclear confrontation without a care in the world, but I suspect that they’ve actually thought things through a bit more than the caricatures would suggest.

    You have not been following the news?

    You have not noticed that acting President Joe Biden is non compos mentis?

    You have not noticed that team 2 — Kamala, Blinken, Karine Jean-Pierre, et al. — are not quite grown up yet?

    Democracies tend to be subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The American ruling class is not what it used to be.

    • Replies: @Sean
  262. KA says:
    @anon

    Russia realized that the most evil system that it did away with ,helped itself secure its very survival.
    The very moment it got rid of the Soviet empire , the existential threat to its geographical entity,to its cohesive forces,to its resources began in earnest powered by and propelled by another evil system that built its wealth and increased its power on exploitation ,occupation,looting,mass murder,widespread destruction,and dehumanization layered and adorned with newly minted words ,newly crafted lies ,subliminal propaganda , on imposing control presented as choice and through worldwide projection of its needs,demands,privileges ,and entitlements at a deadly immorall illegal unethical cost to the rest of the world. As long the evil Soviet lasted,it secured the existence of itself and saved other ciuntries from total annihilations .

    Soviet lasted 70 years .This beast has been roaming for hundreds of years beind spawned by preceding bastard the evil colonial British .

    Does the Tasmanian devil or honey badger or hynea has right to complain about the agility,slyness, preparedness ,and stamina of the fox or the collective communal system of sharing and ability of coordinated fighting or entrapping by the wild dog?
    Does cockroach possess the right of whining about the powers the flies enjoy ?

    Does O Reily of Fox or Albright ,madame of harem of violence has the right to whine ,express disdain,be dismissive,and disregard then then mount moral challenge against Iraqi culture stones,sticks,sucide bombing and IED while praising theF-16, depleted phosphorus,air sucking bomb,environment degrading ,human -altering chemicals , poisoning of the water,destryoing of the hosoital orphanages and dropping of MOAB and praise the culture of Fox or of the harem of the violence?

    Fuck the liberty,freedom,fuck the manifest destiny,fuck the exceptional indispensable nation , fuck the right to vote ,fuck the petro dollar system of free lunch and Fuck the scientific,technological , artistic cultural and architectural developments that have grew on the back of looting,exploitations, cheating and massive waste of resourcs and money .

    Fuck!

    • Replies: @Xafer
  263. Sean says:
    @HA

    a nuke on Kyiv

    Not a chance, it would be used after a series of warnings on (or over /under as a mine or Anti aircraft) the battlefield if such a move becomes necessary to maintain Russia’s hold on Crimea. It is most dubious Russia would have maintained expensive capabilities it would not dare use.

    Just a thought. I know the troll memes would have us believe the US and the West are rushing headlong into nuclear confrontation

    Absolutely no one thinks that America would blow its own brains out by using nukes.

    [Putin]may grumble a bit more the next time he has to drive down to Beijing, put on his little beanie, and clean out Uncle Xi’s septic tanks, but it’s not like anyone down there will care

    The reason Russia has so many tactical nukes is in case it goes to war with China, so Xi is hardly going to have a veto over their use.

    • Replies: @HA
  264. LondonBob says:

    So we are likely to end up with the same terms as demanded by the Russians before and at Istanbul, brilliant. That said the neocons are as upset about killing large numbers of Ukrainians, a fair number of Russians and economically devastating Europe as they were about destroying and fracturing Iraq. Still the loss in standing of the US, politically, economically and militarily is even more dramatic than Iraq.

    Still early to see how things play out in the West with the economic unravelling.

  265. @Captain Tripps

    Your take makes no sense. If you support the Ukrainians‘ right to self defense then why would you urge negotiations now when Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and terrorize Ukrainian citizens? The time for peace negotiations is after Russian troops have been withdrawn, which Putin is free to do at any time. Why on earth would anyone who cares about peace prefer a protracted and devastating guerilla war to a short sharp shock designed to drive the Russians home? Who do you think benefits from those long simmering conflicts?It won’t be Ukrainians or Russians.

    If Westerners were urging Ukraine to reclaim their historical territories in Belgorod and the Kuban, then you would be correct about warmongering. But we haven’t seen that yet. No doubt we will as Russian weaknesses continue to be exposed but I assume we agree we have a duty not to support any Ukrainian moves in that direction.

    • Agree: HA
  266. @Dave Pinsen

    If the Russians removed their troops from Eastern Ukraine, they would be abandoning their Russian co-ethnics there who have been under attack for eight years.

    Isn’t that almost irrelevant given that the Russian war effort has managed to either kill most of the men and drive the rest to emigrate? At this point both sides are fighting about assets, not people.

  267. KA says:

    What About ‘Those 12 Russian Intel Agents Indicted for Hacking’?
    by Ray McGovern Posted on November 8, 2022
    One respondent to my article yesterday wrote: “Ok, some simple facts:

    – 12 Russian intelligence agents were indicted for hacking into the DNC and the DCCC.”

    Those 12 indictments may linger in the minds of others, as well, so I am grateful for the opportunity to clarify.

    What I remember is the following: (Btw, Friday the 13th is just a coincidence):

    [MORE]

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 13, 2018

    The Department of Justice today announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges twelve Russian nationals for committing federal crimes that were intended to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. All twelve defendants are members of the GRU … They also were able to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) … to steal emails and documents.

    (I have been told that, later that day, the same grand jury indicted a ham sandwich, but I have not been able to confirm that.)

    Were Robert Mueller, and the official who appointed him Special Counsel, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, unaware on July 13, 2018 of CrowdStrike guru Shawn Henry’s unclassified, sworn testimony of Dec. 5, 2017 that there was no technical evidence that Russia (or anyone else) hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks?

    In my article I included a subhead “All in the (FBI) Family”. That incestuous, revolving-door relationship, of course, includes the Department of Justice.

    Mueller begat Shawn Henry; Rod Rosenstein begat Mueller as Special Counsel; Mueller/Rosenstein begat twelve (count them, 12!) very safe indictments of GRU officers.

    Safe? There was/is zero expectation that anyone would have to produce any “evidence” – the real evidence (Shawn Henry’s sworn testimony) remaining deep-sixed by Adam Schiff (and longer later by the NYT). And co-conspirator James Comey was able to remain above it all, so to speak, because (1) of his physical and NY Times-enhanced stature; and (2) because of his sudden onset of amnesia at crucial junctures.”

    antiwar.com

    What relevnace this article has to the issue at hand?
    Same Tawian or history of Soviet has .

    How does this square with the lying of Russia or China?
    US can say Xi did or Putin does. Americnas get the name and their neuron free brain doesnt have to struggle to untie even any simple knot of 2 steps of complexties .

    But trying to figure out ,understand and use the hacking information of Russia gate is beyond the capcities of the combined brains of the millions .

    But fix is always aviailable .Just ask and be told it is Russian propaganda.

  268. Sean says:
    @Jack D

    If they bring their HIMARS right up to the front line (well within range of Russian artillery fire of course) Ukraine is now able to hit the isthmus a few miles wide connecting Crimean to the land suppy line to Crimea running though Mariupol / southern Ukraine. If the US wants to avoid the Ruskis ostentatiously taking out and dusting off their battlefield nuclear weapons, then Washington is going to have to quickly forbid Ukraine from hitting the isthmus.

  269. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Democracies tend to be subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics

    The US’s greatest defeat came partly because it got victimised by its ‘ally’ South Vietnam, which traded on the political unwillingness to cut it lose no matter what it did. I think for similar reasons the US is now begining to be unable to exert leverage over Ukraine.

  270. Russians must be defeated.

    Without going into historiosophical “deep analysis”, several things are clear to anyone who is not an idiot:

    * Russian history from the 17th century onwards is a history of Europeanization in technology, but with the constant strengthening of oppression and autocracy, suppression of freedom. This was not changed with the Bolshevik revolution, which had possessed some positive features, but overall it was, as the Austrian Marxist Kautsky said, “Tatar socialism”. The mass bloodshed that that regime inflicted on its own peoples, especially the Ukrainians and Kazakhs, can easily be said to have been genocide.

    [MORE]

    * The USSR was a mixed bag, on the one hand very responsible for defeating the Nazi aggression, and on the other a dark dungeon of nations and people. All in all, it was a historical abortion.

    * after the collapse of the USSR, there followed a chaotic era in which Russia was both a victim of its own incompetence and the rapacity of the West, but also realistically more civilized in international relations

    * Ukraine was a more corrupt country, but independent according to the international law. With the Budapest Memorandum in 1994, it delivered a huge nuclear arsenal to Russia in exchange for a guarantee of territorial integrity, which both Russia and the West betrayed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum
    If Ukraine remained a nuclear power, Putin’s Russia would not dare to do anything – because Ukraine would be the 2nd strongest nuclear power in Europe

    * with Putin’s coming to power, Russia has improved in many ways, especially as regards the economic situation, the reduction of corruption and the raising of Russians from the pit of hopelessness; but, hand in hand with that went the expansion of Russian chauvinism and mythomania dominated by regret for the USSR as a Russian empire (which oppressed all non-Russian peoples) and the desire to be a “world power” – for which Russia did not have the capacity tin comparison with the West , and, realistically – even the USSR was not a world power compared to the USA, let alone the global West. Among several forces analyzed, it grew more and more into a malignant Eurasian ideology, with two components: extremely nationalist Orthodoxy of the type that arose during the struggle against the Mongols from the 14th to the 16th centuries (so, not the Eurocentric politics of Peter) and the “racial nationalism” of Dostoevsky, Gumilyov , Dugin, and even Solzhenitsyn, who defined the Russians as a Euro-Asian people opposed mainly to Europe, thus against Western Christianity by definition, along with some racial fantasies (and realities): “The Heirs of Genghis Khan”.

    * Russia’s current aggression against Ukraine showed all the lies of it: first, Putin denied the historical existence of Ukrainians as a nation (which is idiocy that Russian academics could have refuted publicly, if they had dared); after the defeat, Putin started ranting that the Ukrainians are a separate people, that he did not deny it, etc. The amount of Russian lies and incoherence is endless.

    * regarding the people that communist Russia occupied, it is a small amount of good and a mass of evil. It is good for the Ukrainians that the USSR recognized their statehood and culture, even if only partially (albeit stifling it at the expense of Russia – the Russification of the university in Kyiv etc.); not to mention the ethnocide of 5-6 million Ukrainians. For other European nations it was pure evil, especially for the Balts: in Estonia in 1940 there were about 7% Russians, while some 30-40 years after the occupation, the percentage of Russians increased to 35-40%, due to colonization and ethnic cleansing of Estonians. In fairness, all Russians should be expelled from most of the western ex-Soviet republics they occupied, like the English were expelled from Kenya and the French from Algeria. Russia’s exploitation, humiliation and crime against non-Russian peoples is of such a scale that everyone flocks to NATO to protect themselves from the Eurasian plague – Putin is the main expander of the NATO alliance.

    * Russia is waging a war to destroy the Ukrainian nation. For the Ukrainians, it is an existential war that I don’t know how it will turn out, but if it were just, all Russian collaborators and fifth columnists should be driven out, as were the Germans from the Sudetenland in 1945, 3 million of them. It’s either us or you.

    * regarding the useful idiots who support the Russians, it seems that the most view Putin as a defender of some imaginary Christian traditional civilization: 1. his resistance to homo/trans and other ideologies, 2. emphasis on national sovereignty against globalist neoliberal capitalism.

    For the first one, it can be said that it was partly understandable, since, especially in the USA, the homo/trans ideology has reached the point of absurdity as some kind of semi-religion, mala fide, and a decadent one at that. But in Russia, homosexuals do not have basic rights (not gay marriages, but not basic rights such as health and social care for those couples); they are persecuted and killed (for example in Kadyrov’s Chechnya). As for the alleged sovereignty, it is just a fig leaf for Russian imperial expansionism which would subjugate, ethnically cleanse and wipe out conquered peoples in a Hitlerian way – but without Hitler’s ideology – (say, in Hitler’s likeness, Generalpan Ost). The Russians would have Lebensraum with Putin, only without the extremes of public mass executions and concentration camps (which they did while they could, in the USSR).

    So – “Putinism” is something that can be swallowed in the West only by complete idiots, who react reflexively against the American propaganda crazy media pressures, characteristic of this phase of American society (and which Americans also resist, and which, it seems, is decaying and disappearing and in the USA). This ideology, “globohomo”, was partly accepted by the European West, but it is not homogeneous.

    What can I say about these idiots?

    They have no logic or intelligence at all, and this is best seen by the super-idiot Viktor Orban, who blurted out this:

    https://www.politico.eu/article/hungary-orban-lashes-eu-marking-1956-anti-soviet-revolt/

    Orban lashes out at EU as he marks 1956 anti-Soviet revolt

    Marking the 66th anniversary of that crushed uprising, Orban suggested that the EU, which has sought to rein in democratic backsliding in Hungary, would end up like the Soviet Union, which dissolved more than three decades ago.

    “Let’s not bother with those who shoot at Hungary from the shadows or from the heights of Brussels. They will end up where their predecessors did,” Orban said in a speech to a select group of guests in the rural city of Zalaegerszeg in western Hungary, breaking with a tradition of giving a speech in Budapest on the anniversary.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-annalena-baerbock-hungary-europe-play-poker-aid-ukraine/

    Hungary infuriates EU with block on €18B Ukraine aid

    To compare the EU and the USSR you have to be a combination of an idiot and a bastard, which grifter & parasite Orban definitely- is.

    • Thanks: Rob
  271. Hunsdon says:
    @HA

    Am I really Putin’s biggest cheerleader? I don’t have the time to go back and find anything embarrassing I said. If you want to go back through the archives and show me something really stupid I said, please do.

    I truly believe I have consistently showed that, while I am more or less on the side of Russia, I’ve never said anything like “Ukies are subhuman scum who should be exterminated.” I rather fancied the Minsk Accords idea, actually: something of a federated Ukraine with the Donbass having enhanced autonomy within the federation.

    Biggest cheerleader? Guzzling RT propaganda?

  272. Art Deco says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    No, they did not, unless you fancy V. Putin and his camarilla are a bunch of Jews.

  273. Art Deco says:
    @Mike Tre

    There was no ‘insufferable provocation’ in the Ukraine outside of your imagination.

  274. Art Deco says:
    @mc23

    The 16% was the actual popular vote.

  275. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve, you have to click on Wikipedia pictures a 2nd time to get to the link that will display the picture here.

    1st click:

    2nd click:
    1st click:

    2nd click:

  276. @kaganovitch

    It’s nice to have a scholar in the house. Thanks for that.

  277. Ken52 says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Agreed. Yes keeping up can become an obsession. I do listen to Mercouris. But I also check sonar21.com and the New Atlas etc. I’m trying to wean myself down to a couple.

  278. HA says:
    @stari_momak

    “LOL, you might notice there’s no ‘Ukraine’ there.

    If that’s what’s bothering you and Putin, put it on the to-be-negotiated list. Maybe the Ukrainians can formally go back to being Kievan Rus in exchange for Moscow agreeing to call itself Duchy of Muscovy again. I hear there’s a duck with the same name, so maybe they can use that as a logo. Calling themselves “the bear” after this debacle of a campaign is going to be a stretch, and will lead to a lot of smirking. For that matter, even a duck might be a little too fierce an animal since those things are pretty ill-tempered. Hey, what’s the Chinese word for “Xi’s outhouse”? Does that work for everyone?

    As for you, you can go ahead and keep trying to make “Borderland” happen (pssst, it doesn’t seem to be working), but just between you and me, there’s probably more important things to worry about. You think it was just the choice of a name that doomed your beloved Republic of Krajina?

  279. @stari_momak

    “The original Slav nation was based in Kiev and not Moscow.”

    Well, no. Not even the original East Slav nation. Kiev was basically the southern limit of the cities of ‘Russian’ princes. Pskov, Novgorod etc were far to the north.

    The original Slav nation was Kievan Rus and based in Kiev. It predates the Mongol invasion and Russian princes.
    https://www.worldhistory.org/Kievan_Rus/

  280. anon[232] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Johnson

    This is same Putin who went along with Russia in imposing smactions on Iran repeatedly . It was Medved now ant American mouthpiece who rubber stamped US-NATO involvement . Way back in 2001 ,it sided with US who ignored the protocol on startimg war on Afghanistan .

    Putin always wanted a seat at the table featured by the West .It ddint come to the rescue of Cuban or Nicargaua or Venejuala until recently

    Now its war goal is ill defned and in shambles .
    It couldnahve reached understanding with Taliban yeras ago and made life hell for US there .

    But its grudge got the best of the pragmatism.
    Now Taliban is returning to the pocket of US .

    It population is s decreasing. War has dented Putin’s aura glory and chnace of survival is at stake . I

    But the demands it aired were absolutely valid .

    It just found out again that it had all along been fighting agisnt West .

    Why did Putin think othewise despite decades of betryals by US?

    We see that behaviors repetaedly among other nations-
    atin American Afriacn ocuntries among Afgahnistan, Pakistan , Iraq , Sudan .They hope better deals and they gaslight themsleves thinking this time US were different .Or may be they just either trying to survive one more next day or being bribed with pennies on the dollars .

  281. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “the US Deep State believes itself entitled to control the internal affairs of every country on this planet, no matter how distant from the United States and no mater how obviously their actions violate international law and the UN Charter.”

    If meddling in other countries is your beef, then maybe the Russians need to put away the troll farms and the polonium and the poisoned umbrellas. I don’t think Nuland admitted to anything of that sort (though I’m sure there are US-funded troll farms too), and a basket of pastries, as provocative as that may be to loons like you, doesn’t rise to the same level. (They might also decide to finally put away all that kompromat on the big orange-headed guy they spent years grooming, though he doesn’t look like he’s going to be back in the White House any time soon, so maybe there’s not much point.)

    The point is, instead of projecting and pretending that the US is using Ukraine as its proxy, savor the fact that you’ve just flat out admitted, if only implicitly, that it’s Russia that is using Ukraine as a proxy in its desire to get back at the US’s international meddling, or whatever — oh yeah, and Russia’s fierce indignation that the UN Charter has been violated. That must be it. Yes, we all know how punctilious the Russians are when it comes to obeying the finer details of the UN Charter! It’s a point of honor with those guys.

    I.e., in the future, you should maybe sort out your crazy conspiracy theories a little better before dumping them in some fever dream of a comment. Again, better luck next time.

    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @Curle
  282. @PhysicistDave

    And really the beginning of the war in Ukraine, eight years ago, when the free people of the Donbass refused to bend the knee to the illegal puppet regime in Kiev and so the puppet regime, with US backing, started murdering people in the Donbass.

    Illegal puppet machine? You mean they were upset over the removal of a pro-Russian president who was convicted for treason and fled to Russia?

    It isn’t illegal to remove a corrupt president. Would you be against removing Biden if the Republicans are able to show corruption through Hunter’s laptop?

    What happened to those “free people of Donbass” as you put it? Did they get their independent Republics that Putin said the world needed to recognize as countries?

  283. HA says:
    @EddieSpaghetti

    “So you SUSPECT that the events in Ukraine will not lead to nuclear war. Well, that isn’t good enough for me.”

    I tell you what. When you start taking as much umbrage at the guy who is actually going to be pushing the red button in your scenario as the guys who are trying to evade his Keystone Kops army — and the countries trying to help them do that — then I’ll believe you actually have something to offer. Until then, you go on and keep sputtering. I’m the one trying to make it safe for those who — like Ukraine — have voluntarily decided to try and live without nukes. Your idea of caving in to every crackpot dictator who decides he wants something so much that he’s willing to threaten the rest of us with Armageddon if he doesn’t get it isn’t good enough for me. So there. If you suspect otherwise, that’s your prerogative, but since I know your true motives, don’t expect me to care.

    • Replies: @EddieSpaghetti
  284. @PhysicistDave

    PhyisicistDave once again shows his lack of history but addresses any dissenter with a childish insult. Maybe we should start addressing him as My little history flunkie said,

    When before 1990 was there an actual country called “Ukraine”?

    In 1918
    https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ukraine-declares-its-independence1

    As a Soviet Republic they were also recognized as a country. Ukraine was in fact one of the founding members of the UN
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine_and_the_United_Nations

    So they never stopped being Ukraine. They were in a forced Communist bloc and had a puppet government but the world still recognized them as a country.

    After the breakup of the USSR they handed over their nukes in an agreement whereby Russia promised to recognize their autonomy and territorial integrity which included Crimea. Here is a link to the actual document that Russia signed:
    https://policymemos.hks.harvard.edu/links/ukraine-budapest-memorandum-1994

    Putin attracts some real quality defenders. Can we provide any more basic history lessons for you?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  285. SFG says:

    I think the irony is Ukraine may have been questionably a ‘real country’ insofar as it had long historic ties with Russia and relatively little independent history, but Putin has now made it a real country with his war.

    • Agree: HA
  286. BosTex says:
    @HA

    Asshat-

    If your presence and argumentation are completely repulsive to most folks here (and they are, BTW), and you support the Ukraine side in the fight, then your presence here benefits…Russia.

    Intentionally or unintentionally: you are helping Russia.

    What a dumb clown. Either you are a Russian agent or a dumb Ukrainian clown? Which?

    No matter: this debate is about America and what is in OUR best interest, not Ukraine’s or Russia’s.

    Going to war (against a nuclear power) in Ukraine to support the most corrupt state in Europe isn’t in our interest. This is not a tough choice.

    —————————————————————————-

    Regarding your clouseau-like “arguments”: I seem to recall that you were completely wrecked in a recent run in with Dave and Pincher a few weeks back.

    You don’t recollect that humiliation for you? You didn’t even understand your own arguments.

  287. @EddieSpaghetti

    However HA, I don’t want to take ANY chance that my kids get vaporized because insane warmongers like Kagan and yourself are willing to roll the dice for nuclear war over the events in Ukraine.

    Why is the insane warmonger Kagan and not Putin?

    Putin started this war with a single command and could end it at any moment.

    In fact it was Putin that turned down a peace deal that would keep Ukraine neutral:
    https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/putin-rejected-ukraine-peace-deal-struck-by-aide-as-war-began/

    Which shouldn’t be a surprise since his original explanation of NATO being the cause never made sense. Ukraine wasn’t in the process of joining and didn’t have the votes of France or Germany.

    He has since switched to “protecting Donbas” even though he erased the self-described independent Republics and took two oblasts that aren’t part of Donbas. I also don’t see how sending Iranian drones at civilian areas is an attempt at protecting people. But then what can we expect from a little loser dictator who spent 1.3 billion on a gaudy mansion but didn’t make sure his troops have enough boots and medical kits.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  288. Curle says:
    @HA

    “ that it’s Russia that is using Ukraine as a proxy in its desire to get back at the US’s international meddling”

    The traditional term is spheres of interest and yes Russia is saying that they have one and it should be respected. Neoconservatives say no, they will continue to use the resources of the US, including its people, to maintain their hegemony over Europe whether it is in the interests of the American people to be used in this way or not. Americans who are not neoconservatives say they no longer wish to be the host servicing the neoconservative parasite.

    • Agree: BosTex, YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  289. @Curle

    Americans who are not neoconservatives say they no longer wish to be the host servicing the neoconservative parasite.

    Who exactly are the neoconservatives? Are you talking about the Kristol gang? They are ignored in DC and wouldn’t be able to get an interview on Sesame Street. Their magazine is propped up by wealthy donors and I rarely see it at the airport.

    The Democrats are in charge so I really don’t understand your use of the term.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  290. Public psychopathology:

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  291. @HA

    And everything I said turned out to be correct. Meanwhile, you are a known and obvious liar. Everybody sees this.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Johnny Rico
  292. Art Deco says:
    @John Johnson

    Their magazine is propped up by wealthy donors and I rarely see it at the airport.

    It ceased publication five years ago. Commentary is still published, but it appears to be liquidating its endowment. Betting it ceases publication when John Podhoretz gets signed up for Medicare.

  293. @Alyosha

    “Seems like your life’s work is also to post about Ukraine and Russia online a lot despite not being in Russia or Ukraine, or even being Russian or Ukrainian”

    I can think of at least three posters on this thread to whom that would apply much more.

    John Johnson has 16 posts on this thread and I imagine HA and Jack D are there or thereabouts.

    Hapalong Cassidy has 4 !

  294. @HA

    HA wrote:

    “I’m the one trying to make it safe for those who — like Ukraine — have voluntarily decided to try and live without nukes.”

    HA, nobody on this website endorses more policies that are detrimental to Ukrainians than you do. Indeed, you have made it obvious from your comments that you don’t give a damn about the lives Ukrainians. Your advice to Ukrainians is essentially — forget about being a dad or grandfather, instead become a dead “hero.” And for what? So a gang of Russian hating ethnic Ukrainians can lord over and abuse ethnic Russians in Crimea and the Donbas and eventually host nuclear capable NATO missile battery’s?

    If, as you advise, NATO and the US escalate this war, then the likelihood increases that nuclear weapons will be used. And the first victims of a nuclear strike will most certainly be Ukrainians. But of course, you don’t give a damn about them.

    Victoria Nuland claimed that the policies that she endorsed would bring peace and prosperity to Ukraine. And you support those policies. But how has that worked out? Ukraine, although politically divided, had peace for more than 20 years. And then the US showed up. The rest is history.

    • Replies: @HA
  295. @BosTex

    I think with Jack it’s ethnic animus, passed down through the generations since great great grandpa’s shop in Minsk was looted by drunken Cossacks in 1901.

    The incident was described in Sergei Eisenstein’s masterly documentary film “Fiddler On The Roof” 😉

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Thanks: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @BosTex
  296. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Not a chance, it would be used after a series of warnings on (or over /under as a mine or Anti aircraft) the battlefield if such a move becomes necessary to maintain Russia’s hold on Crimea. It is most dubious Russia would have maintained expensive capabilities it would not dare use.”

    We’ll see what Uncle Xi says the next time he and his fellow CCP bigwigs are playing keep-away with Lil’ BB’s beanie cap. Those guys can be really mean. You’re the one who from the start of this conflict has been warning us that Russia is being forced into China’s embrace and what an awful shame that was. Yeah, right. The Chinese have another crazy relative to deal with on their nightly rounds, as if they don’t have enough problems with North Korea drooling in some closet. Anyway, it’s time to follow through on your own claims, Sean, instead of weaseling out now that you see you’ve painted yourself into a corner: if Uncle Xi doesn’t think Lil’ BB’s moves are as “necessary” as you claim — and he doesn’t — they won’t happen. You’re really sure that Shoigu is more beholden to Putin than Xi at this point? Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. But the fact that the answer is becoming murkier by the day means that Putin isn’t the one who gets to decide what moves are and aren’t necessary.

    Also, I don’t care how politely you issue a “series of warnings” to your neighbor about how you will murder him and rape his wife, it doesn’t make you the reasonable guy in your scenario. Similarly, no matter many times Putin “warned” the world that he was going to do start a land war in Eurasia, or unleash nukes, those are still stupid and unreasonable things to do, so that he deserves every smackdown he’s getting.

    Finally, with regard to your continued pretense that Crimea is existentially necessary to Russia’s survival, let me emphasize again: IT ISN’T. Militarily, as I and others have noted, it’s worthless. Therefore, its only remaining purpose is to serve as a guarantee that Putin or one of his successors will be back trying to conquer Ukraine again in a few years. All they have to do is stir up trouble, like they’ve been doing in Donbass for eight years, and then announce to their stooges “See, we tried the good cop routine, but the perfidious West wouldn’t budge and cave in to our demands. So now we’re going to have to invade again, and this time, we’ll need to take Odessa and Mykolaiv and get Kherson back and it’s all THEIR fault. It’s only fair.” And all the stooges will stand up and applaud.

    At one point, Sailer suggested that Putin might offer to buy Crimea from the Ukrainians, and at the time, I thought that made a lot of sense. But now, after all this, I see that the only reason the Russians keep pushing this insane notion that Crimea is still important to them (after doing just fine without it for a quarter of a century) is because it serves as a rationale for swiping ALL the Black See coastline so as to keep Crimea secure — and Kyiv, too, while they’re at it. The only way for them to stop that silly pretense is to get them out of Crimea altogether. That may mean Putin won’t survive, so in that sense, Crimea may indeed be a matter of existential importance to him, but hey, if the Russians decide they need to kick him out, that’s on them.

    [MORE]

    Same thing with the Palestinians. I feel bad for them, but as long as whatever they got in Oslo is going to be used by their hotheads as a launchpad for missiles aimed at the rest of Israel they’re guaranteeing that they’re going to lose all of that. The settlements, as illegal as they are, will just keep happening. I genuinely wish it could be otherwise, but it’s not up to me. And given that Mr. Borderland “Old Guy” is here to yammer about Krajina’s or Ukraine’s etymology yet again, I will note that the reason the Serbs had to get kicked out of their little “borderland” Ukrajina Republic, or whatever they called it, was similarly because they too were using it as an artillery launchpad to cut a neighboring country in two, at which point they had to get kicked out. All these examples go to show that you can only play the stalking horse game a few times before people realize what’s happening and realize you don’t deserve to have that launchpad in the first place. If that means that the people of Donbass or Crimea get the shaft, well, it’s still better than what Putin just did to them with this invasion, and once people there realize that their only usefulness to him was that they served as a pretense for rebooting SovietUnion 2.0, then maybe they can stop blaming the West (even though they’re likely too deluded for that to happen).

    So if Putin doesn’t get kicked out of Crimea and Donbass, well, let’s all agree to meet up again in a few years and watch as this whole insane murder spree repeats itself. I was never OK with the swipe of Crimea, and thought it would lead to really bad things down the road, but I was willing to get on with my life, and now, eight years later, I can see my worries were justified. All this to say, if the Russians wind up losing Crimea, they might need to just get on with their lives, too, but as long as they keep their grubby little fingers on Crimea, they’ve guaranteed themselves a return ticket.

  297. Adûnâi says: • Website
    @Peter Akuleyev

    > “If you look at demographics and economic growth, the most likely longer term scenario is that eventually both Crimea and Donbass will return to their historic roles as Turkic speaking fiefdoms subordinate to Istanbul.”

    This is the position I happen to share myself. And if I were to wax poetic, I would indeed consider Shoigu a reincarnation of Genghis Khan – once more will he bring Russia to her knees, returning the steppe to the Türkish hold.

    [MORE]

    This comment section is still full of Putin boys (aside from more intelligent folks such as Jack D, Haxo Angmark, and arguably John Johnson and HA), yet in contrast, the Russian Internet is on fire. It might be the case of psychological projection – just as the Russians, fully cognisant of their shaky position, see discord in the Western camp where there is none, so too the Americans project their strength onto Russia, seeing in that decayed corpse a monolithic “Other”.

    Unfortunately, what we might be witnessing is the collapse of the Aryan race everywhere on the planet. As the American and Western European Whites are breaking under the weight of the foreigners, so too the Russians are going extinct – in an old-fashioned way, aided in their suicide by the thirsty Washington clique, eager to extend the lifespan of the American empire by drinking the Eastern pillar of Zion dry. And the Kremlin is obliging the call.

    The Russian people are not so stupid. Their cyberspace has been aflame multiple times this year – when the Kremlin started peace negotiations on the second day of full-scale war; when cruiser Moskva was destroyed; when the Azov battalion fighters were exchanged, multiple times, despite explicit promises to the contrary; when the Russian army wasted its best cadres in suicidal attacks against the Donbass Maginot-esque defences; when the RF failed to mobilise in spring/summer; when it became clear the Russian Armed Forces had utterly ignored to equip itself with drones and guided munitions; when the army never made any attempt to stem the flow of NATO supplies to the Ukraine via the Polish border and Dnieper bridges… By all indications, Putin is a traitor.

    All of that and more has been ready available on the Russian Internet.
    1. Igor Strelkov (https://archive.vn/https://vk.com/igoristrelkov).
    2. Maxim Kalashnikov (https://m-kalashnikov.livejournal.com/).
    3. Evgeny Mikhailove (https://mikhailove.livejournal.com/).
    4. Bulba Prestolov (https://t.me/s/bulbe_de_trones).
    5. Sofa Legion Strategis (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKRC-fNrU-XvZTrwXN4Xxcg/videos).

    And if I were to make predictions, my biggest fear is that if America launches a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia, the Russian Federation will respond against Poland, bring nuclear holocaust to the last, vaguely-Aryan lands between the Elbe and the Volga. This would be the best-case scenario for Jewry by far.

  298. HA says:
    @Curle

    “The traditional term is spheres of interest and yes Russia is saying that they have one and it should be respected.”

    You want respect? Even if Ukraine is nothing but a sphere of interest for Russia — and I suspect the Ukrainians might just have another reason or two for existing, in case anyone is interested — their borders should also remain unviolated, given that Russia agreed to that (in a document the US co-signed, BTW). So how’s that for respect? Sure, that means the Russians can continue to try and get Yanukovychs or other traitors elected, and they can even walk around Kyiv with a basket of pastries free for the taking, just like Nuland did, but sphere of interest or not, rolling tanks in and swiping chunks of Ukraine’s territory should be off the table given that that is what they themselves agreed to. No takes-backsies.

    It’s weird how you and people like you keep overlooking that essential part of the respect equation but the rest of us are not so blind. The fact remains: even if you don’t get your way, throwing a tantrum and invading other countries whose borders you previously promised to honor is off bounds.

    That being the case, Putin deserves every smackdown he’s getting, no matter how reasonable you and his other stooges want to make him out to be.

  299. @thud

    “isn’t that the guy who dropped barrel bombs on hospitals in Syria?”

    In a word, no. The Russian Armed Forces don’t use anything so unsophisticated. Syrians might.

    And I have no idea if they dropped them on hospitals. Sounds like a Bellingcat propaganda story to me.

    (There’s a tremendous if gruesome fictional description of the bombing of a hospital in Len Deighton’s 1970 novel Bomber, which follows 24 hours in the life of an RAF bomber squadron and the small German town they mistakenly bomb. The book inspired the Motorhead album)

    The death of James Le Mesurier still seems very odd to me.

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

  300. This is a problem endemic to the leadership class itself. Leap-frogging loyalties in slightly different guise.

  301. HA says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    “Steve, have you considered that Ukraine reacquiring the 90%+ ethic Russian Crimea would likely result in a massive genocide? This is why Russia at least had the common sense to evacuate as much of the civilian population of Kherson as they could.”

    And here’s that remaining civilian population of Kherson getting genocided. Remember, the Russians assured us that 90% of Kherson voters wanted to be part of Russia, too, so — i.e., a lot like the results of the Crimean so-called referendum.

    Yeah this seems to be the beginning of a real bloodbath. Totally NSFL. I especially don’t want to see what they’re about to do to that poor watermelon. So much red…

  302. Anonymous[172] • Disclaimer says:

    Russia just needs to play rope-a-dope for a few months until the new conscript army is ready.

    The Ukrainians also know they need to win this war now because next year the Russians will have a million men in Ukraine and will be an unstoppable force.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  303. TWS says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Don’t listen to haters. This is peak Duck. Misspellings, incoherent babbling, racist rants. 10/10 Ducks.

    • Replies: @Whitey Whiteman III
  304. Sean says:
    @HA

    The only way for them to stop that silly pretense is to get them out of Crimea altogether.

    The only time you are required to show your hand in poker is when doing it to win the hand at showdown. In that case someone’s decision to ‘pay to see them’ was unwise.

    You’re the one who from the start of this conflict has been warning us that Russia is being forced into China’s embrace and what an awful shame that was. Yeah, right. The Chinese have another crazy relative to deal with on their nightly rounds, as if they don’t have enough problems with North Korea drooling in some closet.

    Heard much from Kim and his astounding progress to nuclear warhead ICBMs since Trump lost? North Korea is a Chinese sockpuppet. And have you heard of the Korean war, when China (at that time lacking nuclear weapons) attacked the US army because it was giving the sockpuppet a smackdown? China had not recover from the civil war and suffered terribly in Korea , but that is what countries are willing to do when what they (and I do say they) see an existential threat being posed to them. They will be the judge.

    Also, I don’t care how politely you issue a “series of warnings” to your neighbor about how you will murder him and rape his wife, it doesn’t make you the reasonable guy in your scenario.

    A reasonable man would modify his behaviour in aid of trying to establish tolerable relations with his neighbor, or move away which Ukraine cannot of course. Zelensky was elected on a peace process program and that could only mean a modified Misk agreement, which he was about to pass into law when demonstrations prevented it. Thereafter Ukraine stood up to Russia.

    It’s weird how you and people like you keep overlooking that essential part of the respect equation but the rest of us are not so blind. The fact remains: even if you don’t get your way, throwing a tantrum and invading other countries whose borders you previously promised to honor is off bounds.

    That being the case, Putin deserves every smackdown he’s getting, no matter how reasonable you and his other stooges want to make him out to be

    If you think a person or state in this world gets what they morally deserve, then you must have led a sheltered life. Russia–not Putin–is getting smackdown after smackdown* because despite huge resources it is technically backward and shoddy.

    • Agree: Johnny Rico
    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  305. @Sean

    The conscripts aren’t getting anything close to an AK-12. They are getting AKMs from the 60s and 70s which are really AK-47s with a few minor upgrades. Really a WW2 design that was stolen from the Germans.

    Not a bad rifle but awful in low light compared to a modern rifle with a red dot.

    Most of their AK-74s and AK-12s were probably sold overseas in corrupt deals.

  306. HA says:
    @BosTex

    “I think HA’s paymasters are in the Kremlin, not Kiev.”

    Fume at me all you want. Punch a hole in the drywall for all I care. It’s just sad and feckless thrashing, and won’t change the fact that regardless of what my motivations are, it is the Kremlin that has issued this retreat order, thereby giving me yet another opportunity to rub your noses in your despicable life choices.

    So the next time you’ve decided to backstab your country by selling out to some crackpot dictator — all the while claiming that you’re the real Americans and everyone else is crazy, and that it’s some other guy who is getting paid off — maybe find someone more competent to genuflect to. As for the true believers who even now still choose to carry water for the Kremlin, even if only by way of attacking me, or who still insist, after watching one too many cable TV shows, that some long-anticipated winter-is-coming offensive will turn everything around (though if that’s the case, then why are the Russians so diligently digging in at the moment, even as their comrades are fleeing Kherson, if the frontline they’re securing is going to so rapidly shift westward in a matter of weeks?) — you need to face reality: it is the man in Moscow you sold your souls to who is the real problem. His bungling is what enables people like me.

    So next time, make better choices and maybe you won’t have the likes of me reminding you of what an ass you and people like you look like at the moment. What a bunch of suckers you turned out to be! And you really want to pretend that I’m the problem? Like I said: pathetic.

  307. @HA

    Don’t get too upset over volunteer defenders of a mass murderer. As Jack said they are running out of copium.

    Even snorting 98% pure Kremlin snow doesn’t do it for them anymore.

    They have to smoke the cheap stuff from Mike Whiteny which still gives them withdrawal symptoms.

    Just a bunch of grumpy addicts that wanted Putin to roll over Orthodox family men with tanks and now think it is “not fair” that the war reaper has gone the other way.

    • Agree: HA
  308. HA says:
    @Sean

    “North Korea is a Chinese sockpuppet.”

    And now they have another one in Moscow. Glad we’re in agreement that the red button there will not get pushed until such a time as Uncle Xi approves. Relay your assurances to EddieSpaghetti — maybe the fact that a fellow Moscow stooge agrees with me on that point will finally allay his concerns.

    A reasonable man would modify his behaviour in aid of trying to establish tolerable relations with his neighbor,

    We’ve more than once explained to Moscow, using big colored crayons and pretty construction paper and anything else we could think of that might bring the problem to Putin’s level — that Ukraine is a sovereign country whose borders Russia resolved to honor, to the effect that whatever problems he has with NATO or DC, they need to be resolved by non-military means. E.g. with pastries.

    That’s plenty reasonable to me and the vast majority of those in countries where governments are competent enough to where people in countries that claim to support Putin desire to enter. The fact that you can’t see it that way says way more about you than it does about any of them.

    “If you think a person or state in this world gets what they morally deserve, then you must have led a sheltered life.”

    Like I said, I lived with the earlier swipe of Crimea and managed to somehow shuffle through. If it changes hands again, the Russians can do the same, your blather about existentially necessary moves notwithstanding. And no, the race doesn’t always go to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, and the big bad bully doesn’t always get a smackdown, but whenever that deservedly happens now and again, it’s all the more a moment to be savored. So today, let’s all send a big chef’s kiss to Putin and his stooges who think that seething at me or something equally pointless is going to help their predicament. And if Putin does get tossed from a window, well, it really couldn’t happen to a nicer fella.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @PhysicistDave
  309. Thirdtwin says:
    @Captain Tripps

    I have been told that the Rules-Based International Order is the Decider.

  310. @HA

    “The fact remains: even if you don’t get your way, throwing a tantrum and invading other countries whose borders you previously promised to honor is off bounds.”

    You are obviously Ukrainian so can’t be expected to be objective. Russia has tried peaceful coexistence but the respect was not reciprocated by the Ukraine or NATO. Such arrangements must necessarily be conditional. If a neighbor or ally does something extremely contrary to your interests like making an alliance with enemies who wish to destroy you, the deal is off. The Minsk agreement was violated with the Ukraine admitting they only ever intended to buy time enough to strengthen their military. The Ukraine and NATO have spent nearly twenty years escalating against Russia.

    You denigrate Putin as if he just wanted something he couldn’t have then decided to take it in a fit of anger while the reality is quite different. Russia moved forward after the Cold War ended expecting to have cooperative relationships with former enemies. Instead, NATO continued to expand to Russia’s borders engaging in hostile rhetoric and military buildup as if the USSR still existed. You say a lot of things that are fundamentally one-sided and, therefore, untrue. Russia has been treated badly and has real reason to fear aggression from NATO. The Western-based international order refuses to cooperate while vilifying every attempt Russia makes to defend its interests with labels like “aggression” and “war crimes”. It seems Russia is only allowed to let itself be dismantled by color revolutions and balkanization while being real sweet about it.

    In the meantime, citizens of Western nations are supposed to ignore the dissonance between having less and less freedom while watching their governments “liberate” people from supposed tyranny elsewhere. Clearly, NATO has become a vehicle for Western imperialism rather than the defender of the free world. Our involvement in the Ukraine symbolizes the reckless pursuit of power: we’re not the good guys. It’s no more difficult to maintain a good relationship with Russia than with China but we persist in alienating the former while accommodating the latter. I can only surmise that ongoing military buildup is necessary to our economy so we must pick fights in order to survive. Or maybe we’re trying to isolate China by gaining control of Russian territory.

    The US and NATO are using the Ukraine in a proxy war against Russia but the objectives are the expansion of power and influence not guaranteed freedom. The Ukraine has suffered a lot of unnecessary damage and loss of life by taking on Russia. It could have at least maintained the status quo by remaining on friendly terms with its much larger and stronger neighbor. Why didn’t the Ukrainian leadership avoid this catastrophe in the first place?

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
    , @Wokechoke
  311. Anonymous[363] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    That said, Russia will no doubt fully take control of Kherson again (and Odessa, Nikolaev, et al.) after grinding the Ukrainian military into the ground.

    What makes you so confident of that?

  312. raga10 says:
    @Eric Novak

    no Crimean referendum was for any other outcome than a return to Russia.

    As I was saying in another thread, there were no referendums on return to Russia except the last one, held in 2014 by the Russians at gun point. Those previous referendums concerned themselves with more autonomy from Ukraine, not with return to Russia – not at all the same thing.

    As for the one in 2014, it offered two choices: join Russia or return to Crimea’s 1992 constitution, which gave the peninsula significant autonomy. Those who favored Crimea remaining part of Ukraine under the current constitution had no box to check.
    The conduct of the referendum proved chaotic and took place absent any credible international observers. Local authorities reported a turnout of 83 percent, with 96.7 percent voting to join Russia. The numbers seemed implausible, given that ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounted for almost 40 percent of the peninsula’s population. (Two months later, a leaked report from the Russian president’s Human Rights Council put turnout at only 30 percent, with about half of those voting to join Russia.)https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/03/17/crimea-six-years-after-illegal-annexation/

    • Thanks: HA
  313. BosTex says:
    @HA

    Appears I hit a nerve.

    In other words, you are a Russian troll.

    The lady doth protest too much…

    Thank you for your recent stream of diarrhea, more please, let’s see if we can generate another Fetterman.

    • Replies: @HA
  314. @Anonymous

    The Ukrainians also know they need to win this war now because next year the Russians will have a million men in Ukraine and will be an unstoppable force.

    What makes you think they can field large scale armored divisions? They have been pulling out T-62s from warehouses:
    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/russia-to-modernize-800-vintage-t-62-tanks-due-to-ukraine-losses-report

    Or do you imagine them sending 1 million men over the river with AK-47s and bayonets fixed?

    You and Putin have watched too many Stalingrad movies. A human wave charge would turn into a rout. The conscripts aren’t motivated and they can only cover so much ground without vehicle support.

    Watch this excalibur round hit with the first shot and spray shrapnel:

    Now imagine a dozen of those hitting an offensive at the same time.

    The best option for Putin is to quit. Stop cheering the slaughter of family men just become some bitter dictator made a mistake and can’t admit it.

  315. Alden says:

    The Ukraine army had its triumphal procession in Kherson this AM, November 11. Flags, cheering crowds etc.

  316. @HA

    Dude. You are unhinged. Go outside. Get some fresh air. Take a walk. Lay off the internet for a spell. Come back tan, rested and ready to change the world.

  317. MEH 0910 says:
    @John Johnson

    Why is the insane warmonger Kagan and not Putin?

    Because Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/
    https://archive.ph/ZlOzk

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Thanks: Mark G., EddieSpaghetti
    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  318. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    No, that’s the answer you’re looking for, and it’s a misleading one. If Gamal Abd el-Nasser and the others wished to be left alone in the spring of 1967, all they had to do was nothing. Instead, they started menacing a neighbor and committed a casus belli in shutting down a sea lane. People who want dead Jews fancy Israel is unreasonable for defending itself. For some reason, Jews do not have the same mentality.

    • Agree: Johnny Rico
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  319. @Unintended Consequence

    A quick head’s up which is that Putin hasn’t cited NATO as a reason for the war in months. So you might want to update your dictator defense notes.

    He now claims the special military operation was always about Donbas. Can dig up his last speech if you would like.

    It also came out that he turned down a deal to keep Ukraine neutral:
    https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/putin-rejected-ukraine-peace-deal-struck-by-aide-as-war-began/

    So the war is about Donbas and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

  320. @MEH 0910

    Putin ordered the war against Ukraine and not Robert Kagan who isn’t even in a political position.

    But you are saying that a Wapo writer actually caused the war and your proof is a tweet and some Atlantic links from the Obama era? Who was responsible for ordering the second Chechen war? Dear Abby?

    JackD I’m going to need 20ccs of raw copium STAT.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  321. HA says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    “You are obviously Ukrainian so can’t be expected to be objective.”

    Obviously Ukrainian? You “obviously” don’t know squat about me. Next time, start off your post with something less stupid, and you might get taken more seriously. As I’ve repeatedly stated, I would have had little problem with a Belarus/Lukashenko “solution” for Ukraine. It’s not what I would have chosen for them, but it was never my choice to make, and if Putin hadn’t bungled that whole Yanukovych thing and somehow managed to make it work, I would have admitted he had stolen Ukraine fair and square. That’s not something a whole lot of Ukrainians would say. So do the math.

    “Russia has tried peaceful coexistence but the respect was not reciprocated by the Ukraine or NATO. “

    Are those the buzzwords the Kremlin are using this week? Because at first it was de-nazification, and the narcomaniacs in Kyiv who had hijacked the government and had to be ousted, and then it was walking in the footsteps of Peter the Great, and then it was de-Satanization. Or maybe it was about NATO all along, but if that’s the case, why did Putin swipe Crimea in the first place, given that before he did that, percentage support for joining NATO was polling in the 20’s, and only afterwards did it become a political sine qua non? Or, if it was to save the poor shelled (and imaginary) children of Donbass, why did he spend eight years enabling a bunch of riff-raff gangsters to trash the area in the first place, raping and pillaging the entire region?

    I.e., he can’t keep creating the very same problems that just a short while later turn into existential crises for Russia. — that he must hamfistedly “solve” by making an even bigger mess — without everyone else getting wise to what’s going on. HE and his likeminded circle of stooges are the problem. Are you seriously unable to see that or are you just too spineless to admit it?

    “It could have at least maintained the status quo by remaining on friendly terms with its much larger and stronger neighbor. Why didn’t the Ukrainian leadership avoid this catastrophe in the first place?”

    Because that was never an option. Because Putin’s promises and guarantees are worthless. Because the only “negotiation” Putin was offering involved having Ukraine submit to being completely demilitarized so that the NEXT time he set up a breakaway mafia statelet there that needed to be rescued from itself, he could roll over the entire country without any resistance whatsoever. The full list of answers to your question is a long one, but hey, take your pick. Putin HAD what he claimed he wanted before he swiped Crimea — a Ukrainian populace that was friendly enough to Moscow that even outright stooges like Yanukovych could win an election, and a population that by and large rejected the idea of NATO membership. Nobody but a fool should give him any sympathy for what he himself so royally botched up. So if you’re not a total fool — and like I said, you’re not giving me a lot to work with given how you kicked off your comment — find some less pathetically lame talking points to endorse, and excuses to make, because I’ve gone through these more than once.

  322. Dube says:
    @HA

    crackpot dictator

    Could we agree on a term with less appeal? Charlie Chaplin’s crackpot dictator was kinda cute.

  323. raga10 says:

    “the last order was to change into civilian clothing and fuck off any way you want” –

    one Russian on their planned and orderly withdrawal from Kherson.
    https://twitter.com/LouisOprisa/status/1591059706969149440

  324. HA says:
    @MEH 0910

    “Obama spent years telling hawks in both parties they were insane for wanting to confront Russia over Ukraine since Ukraine never will be a vital interest to the US but always fo Russia.”

    Let me blow your mind just a little: You know who else Ukraine will be a vital interest to?

    Ukrainians! There, was that really so hard?

    I can forgive Obama and also that German minister who said it wasn’t worth bothering to help Ukraine given that Putin was going to be in charge in 48 hours, but that’s past history — the Ukrainians somehow managed to remind the world that they do in fact exist, shocking as that may be to the likes of Obama, and they have a country they’re willing to fight for. It’s a shame people were deluded by Greater-Russia worshippers inside and outside of Moscow for so long that that very obvious fact eluded them (and people like Macgregor have yet to get the memo) but as it stands, it is the Ukrainans’ vital interests that give lie to Obama’s facile omissions. Once you factor those vital interests in, well, here we are.

    So if you or Greenwald think that’s some kind of gotcha anyone needs to be embarrassed about — and hey, I know how much Obama is idolized here at Unz-dot-com so I hope I’m not ruffling any feathers too much — you really need to get a clue. Like the meme goes, Russia can pull its tanks out of Ukraine and go back to being Russia. Whereas if they stay, there will be no Ukraine. Now THAT is a vital interest and an existential crisis.

  325. BosTex says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Lol. Pretty funny.

    It is strange to find a Russian hating Jew.

    I think Russia in general and Putin in particular have made a point of having good relations with Jews and with Israel.

    Always makes me wonder what the conversation around the family dinner table must have been like: must have been loaded with hate toward Russia or some terrible memory or experience with Russia told repeatedly? I picture the dinner scene in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. If you haven’t seen it: pretty good.

    I know that have family that experienced a tyrannical government (not Russia) and the family dinner table conversation revolved around dislike for this gov’t, etc. hatred for what had happened to them ad nauseam.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  326. @John Johnson

    Crazy how so many of these “Donbass leaders” were former GRU types who grew up in Russia, then “retired” to Ukraine.

    The entire crisis was invented by Russia as a destabilising operation to cause a pretext to invade. He’s pretending he had no choice, but this was always Putin’s plan. Turn up the heat, keep supplying the ethnic minority (No, Donbass is NOT majority ethnic Russian) with weapons, then claim to be protecting them when Ukraine fights back

    • Agree: HA
  327. HA says:
    @BosTex

    “Appears I hit a nerve.”

    So says the guy who either mentions me or writes to me in 4 out if his last 5 posts. Projection much? Likewise repeatedly asserting that Pincher Martin — the guy who insisted that HIMARS had little or nothing to do with the Ukrainians’ successes, but it was rather more about “morale” (quite apart from the boost one gets in seeing all the shiny new NATO gear while the other side has to make do with rusted WWII surplus and “Iranian tech” — somehow got the best of me in that other thread isn’t the same as hitting a nerve. It’s just you being an ass.

    “In other words, you are a Russian troll.”

    Sure I am. Just like I’m obviously Ukrainian. On the one hand it’s “Don’t bust a gut trying to exude contempt for Putin” and “do your Ukrainian overlords pay you per response or per word?” On the other hand, you’re convinced I’m a Russian troll. Do all Russian trolls bust their guts exuding contempt for Putin? I must have missed that.

    Maybe it’s time to pick a side, stooges. Otherwise, if that’s the kind of solidarity that extends to Putin’s war-planning committees, it would perfectly explain the schizoid “feints” we’ve been seeing throughout this botched campaign. We’re gonna take Kyiv in 2 days and we have the restaurant reservations to prove it! No, that was always just a psych! Kherson is Russian forever! On second thought, let’s all hightail it back across the river! If Putin has advisors like you, that, too, would explain his current predicament.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  328. Sean says:
    @HA

    If Ukraine drives the Russians back, they will accept they have lost fair and square? Hmmm, people who thought like that (‘we had it coming’) would not have invaded in the first place. Russians’ mindset is keep the war going at however great a cost or cease to be taken seriously (even by themselves).

    Russian see themselves is a certain way and that rather than any tangible gain was the motive behind the invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin is not going to run a logical cost/ benefit analysis for going nuclear any more than they did for the original invasion

    And if Putin does get tossed from a window, well, it really couldn’t happen to a nicer fella.

    Maybe Putin will be victorious, but catch something from visiting Crimea like Alexander I did! Seriously, Putin is wary of casualties, he is not going to appoint a General like Brusilov who will win the war but cause a revolution.

    • Agree: Johnny Rico
    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @HA
    , @Peter Akuleyev
  329. HA says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    “And everything I said turned out to be correct.”

    Really? The slow Russian advance you wrote about has now turned into a sizable and hasty retreat. But everything you said still turned out to be correct?

    Talk about tidal bore. And I don’t mean the drilling kind.

  330. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Russians’ mindset is keep the war going at however great a cost or cease to be taken seriously (even by themselves).”

    That certainly doesn’t apply to Kherson, does it? But I guess that’s an exception. Just like Kyiv was an exception. As was Kharkiv and Izyum and all the rest. But Crimea? No, that’s TOTALLy different.

    Yeah, you and the other stooges keep telling yourselves that. But if you really care about being taken seriously, maybe fix the obvious potholes in your narrative.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  331. Wokechoke says:
    @John Johnson

    Ivana Ivanovna,

    Greenwald makes an excellent point about Obama’s historical positions on Crimea and his utter silence as a former subordinate presides over the final showdown with Moscow. Neither Trump nor Obama wanted to hurt Russia it seems.

    While Obama didn’t like Whitey it appears that Joseph “Antiapartheid” Biden is willing to play a role in utterly unravelling Russia.

    I’m old enough to recall the Reagan years. The Conservatives in Britain and the Republicans in the US always claimed to have no animus against Russians per se and only opposition to Communism and Dictatorships. It was all bullshit designed to get their guard down.

    The truth as we’ve seen is that there is deep seated indoctrination against Russians (for various cynical reasons) specifically and substantial support for Communism and Marxism at home among the bulk of the Democratic and a Republican Party establishments. The two most aggressive and sincere Communist hunters in US history McCarthy and Nixon are held up today as criminals. And I’m somewhat sympathetic to Marxist analysis of capital.

    It’s a funny old world. Obama may not have bought into hating Russians. I’ll bet he fought back against State and CIA in not intervening in Crimea directly. The meetings transcripts will be dynamite to read one day. Might be as simple as that. Clinton and Biden and various other white contenders for the 2016-2020-2024 races do want them obliterated. Just like you do for some inexplicable reason.

  332. Wokechoke says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    Russia is going to utterly unravel. The economic pillaging will be spectacular. I recall St Petersburg in the 1990s. You could get a longback model 9-10 level in the sack for the price of a meal. The west is pushing toward Yeltsin 2.0.

    Maybe they were smart to refuse a fight with their back to a river but they are getting shoved around “at will” at the moment. On several layers it’s sad to watch. On another predatory level I wonder if the Brits and Yanks shouldn’t send troops in directly. Make sure they own the defeat that apparently coming.

  333. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Sounds like a crazy woman who shouldn’t associate with. OTOH:

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  334. 22pp22 says:

    First the mid-terms and now this. One disaster after another as the forces of darkness spread over the world swathed in the Stars and Stripes.

  335. @Philip Owen

    That said I haven’t read Johnson. Mercouris is all but incoherent. He must have built his legal career on confusing the judge.

    You should read Larry Johnson at sonar21.com. Mercouris is maddeningly slow in his delivery, but he hasn’t been wrong in this thing since it started. Nor has Martyanov, nor Saker nor Larry Johnson. We have fairly long range backwards to read their works back in December 21 to present. You won’t find flaw in any of them, especially when contrasted against MSM. Russia has gained 125,000 sq. miles and 5 million population and half the Azov/Black Sea coast since this thing started, but you’d never know it from MSM.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @HA
  336. HA says:
    @EddieSpaghetti

    “HA, nobody on this website endorses more policies that are detrimental to Ukrainians than you do….how has that worked out?”

    Yeah, sure. Look, it wasn’t Nuland who rolled tanks into Kyiv, or raped Bucha or turned Mariupol into rubble. It was Putin, and all that after Ukrainians REJECTED the hawkish presidential choice and chose a wild-card newbie Russian-speaking ethnic Jew as their president. I.e., they were willing to give Moscow and peace and imagine-all-the-people a chance even after all the shenanigans Putin pulled, and it still wasn’t good enough. Putin, according to his personal envoy, HAD an agreement that would. have kept Ukraine out of NATO. But no — he was too buzzed about his quick-fix military solution by then to care. You really think trusting him was the way to go and would have worked out swell? Pull my other leg, stooge.

    I’ve listened to the likes of you and your ilk — far too many times, actually, hoping that some glimmer or sanity will emerge — but I’ve also listened to Ukrainians. Even those who at one time regarded themselves as favorably inclined to Russia. To the extent there are regrets I come across, it’s not that they didn’t listen to the likes of you, no, it’s that they didn’t listen to those like me who could have told them from the start that Putin was not to be trusted. You don’t have to believe that, but as long as you keep skipping over the obvious point of who it was who ordered those tanks to roll in, despite having plenty of other options, don’t expect me to care.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  337. Mike Tre says:
    @Art Deco

    LOL you and your obsession with other people’s “imaginations”. Maybe it’s time for some new material?

    But you neocon scum truly are vile bipeds with your demented world view.

  338. @HA

    Polls show that most Americans support aid to Ukraine and rate Zelensky above Biden and other world leaders:
    https://www.axios.com/2022/04/06/zelensky-is-americas-most-popular-world-leader

    Putin’s 26th keyboard division concludes that most Americans are actually paid Ukrainians trolls.

    • Thanks: HA
    • Replies: @BosTex
  339. @John Johnson

    My favorite Fed John Johnson asked me:

    What happened to those “free people of Donbass” as you put it? Did they get their independent Republics that Putin said the world needed to recognize as countries?

    They chose to join the Russian Federation — their prerogative, just as the UK chose (unwisely in mu judgment) decades ago to join the EU.

    The Fed also wrote:

    It isn’t illegal to remove a corrupt president. Would you be against removing Biden if the Republicans are able to show corruption through Hunter’s laptop?

    It is indeed illegal to remove a President through violent riots orchestrated by a foreign power.

    And, yes, I would indeed call it an illegal putsch if the Republicans removed Biden via riots in the streets.

    Of course, that is not what Republicans do. That is what you Leftists do.

    In any case, as I have said again and again, I do not care that Yanukovych was illegally removed from office. In effect, West Ukraine seceded from Ukraine, which is fine with me.

    I am pro-secession, today, tomorrow, always.

    Remember when you asked me a while back how I would feel if New Mexico seceded from the Union and re-joined Mexico? My response was goodbye and good riddance.

    What I do object to is that after the putsch, the puppet regime in Kiev decided to start killing people in the Donbass who chose not to go along with the putsch.

    And more than anything, what I object to is the role of the US Deep State in this whole deeply bloody affair. The US Deep State is the primary threat today to the American people, to the peace of the world, and to the survival of the human race.

    I want to see the US Deep State obliterated, annihilated, wiped off the face of the earth.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  340. @Intelligent Dasein

    Everything you said? Or just like maybe one thing?…which would make everything else you said…

    You can easily verify or confirm your assertion. Easier than rolling off a log. I can do it for you if you don’t have the time. Free of charge.

    • Replies: @HA
  341. @HA

    My wee little buddy HAsbara wrote to EddieSpaghetti:

    Yeah, sure. Look, it wasn’t Nuland who rolled tanks into Kyiv… It was Putin

    I must have missed that episode of “History as Re-Written by HAsbara”!

    Exactly when did Putin’s tanks roll into Kiev?

    Or was that what the kids call a little whoopsie, eh, HAsbara?

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  342. @HA

    Now you are just being an asshole. Accusing other anonymous names on the internet of having opinions and ideas they have never had.

    I get it. You feel ganged-up on and attacked.

    You should step back. Regroup. And start paying closer attention to your interlocutors.

    • Replies: @HA
  343. @PhysicistDave

    What happened to those “free people of Donbass” as you put it? Did they get their independent Republics that Putin said the world needed to recognize as countries?

    They chose to join the Russian Federation — their prerogative, just as the UK chose (unwisely in mu judgment) decades ago to join the EU.

    So you believe if they voted no then Putin would have left them as independent Republics? Why take them at all if Putin originally claimed they were independent countries?

    What is your defense for his occupation of two oblasts that aren’t part of LPR/DPR?

    It isn’t illegal to remove a corrupt president. Would you be against removing Biden if the Republicans are able to show corruption through Hunter’s laptop?

    It is indeed illegal to remove a President through violent riots orchestrated by a foreign power.

    What exactly was illegal? The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove him. It wasn’t a mob action.
    https://abtc.ng/why-did-ukraine-remove-president-viktor-yanukovych-from-office/

    What I do object to is that after the putsch, the puppet regime in Kiev decided to start killing people in the Donbass who chose not to go along with the putsch.

    How exactly is it a puppet regime if Zelensky was elected?

    I am pro-secession, today, tomorrow, always.

    So you supported the independent Republics and believed they changed their mind and actually wanted to join Russia? Was Putin wrong to not recognize the independence of Chechnya?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  344. @PhysicistDave

    Exactly when did Putin’s tanks roll into Kiev?

    Tanks roll into Kiev suburb and meet the locals

    Or was that what the kids call a little whoopsie, eh, HAsbara?

    So you are calling him a Jewish troll for having a basic knowledge of this war?

    Putin’s 26th keyboard division is about as impressive as his artillery units.

  345. @HA

    Ukrainian view of Crimea.

    • Thanks: HA
  346. There is no evidence things can get better for Putin. Ukraine can match conscripts 1:1, well-trained new troops 3:1 or better, and materiel and munitions 10:1 (thanks to NATO). Ukraine’s C4 and reconnaissance are far ahead of Russia’s (thanks to NATO again).

    Putin can deal to keep Crimea now, or lose it, too, after everything north of Crimea is lost.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  347. @John Johnson

    Our lying little Fed John Johnson wrote to me:

    Tanks roll into Kiev suburb and meet the locals

    A suburb is not Kiev.

    They never rolled into Kiev.

    HAsbara is a moron.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  348. @John Johnson

    My favorite Fed John Johnson wrote to me:

    So you believe if they voted no then Putin would have left them as independent Republics? Why take them at all if Putin originally claimed they were independent countries?

    You are really not this stupid, are you?

    Part of the point of being an independent, sovereign country is that you can, if you choose, decide to join another country.

    Putin accepted them into the Russian Federation because they chose to join the Russian Federation.

    What on earth do you find hard to grasp about this?

    The Fed wrote:

    How exactly is it a puppet regime if Zelensky was elected?

    The puppet regime was installed in 2014 with the aid of the US Deep State. The puppet regime has been propped up financially and militarily by the US for eight years. Zelensky has said very forthrightly that he cannot survive unless the US continues to prop him up.

    Look: if the people of West Ukraine want to be ruled by the corrupt Penis-Piano-Playing thug, I really, truly just do not give a damn. Let them live with the consequences of their choices. They deserve it.

    You seem to think that I care who rules in Kiev, despite the fact that there is no reason I would care and despite the fact that I have made clear that I do not give a damn who rules in Kiev. If West Ukraine chooses little Hitlers to rule over them, let them.

    But I do care that the puppet regime in Kiev, for eight long years, has been killing people in the Donbass who chose not to join in the 2014 putsch.

    And I do care very, very much that the illegal and unelected regime that now controls the United States is enabling and encouraging the mass murders in the Donbass that have been carried out for eight years by the putschist regime in Kiev.

    Let the people of Kiev rot in their own excrement. They deserve it.

    But let the Donbass be free.

    And let us wipe the US Deep State off the face of this planet for the sake of the human race.

    There must be a negotiated peace based on the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    So that the killing will stop.

  349. @John Johnson

    Our lying little anti-Semitic thug John Johnson wrote to me:

    So you are calling [HA} a Jewish troll for having a basic knowledge of this war?

    I have never said that HA was Jewish. As far as I know, he is not Jewish.

    And I do not actually care whether or not he is Jewish.

    And by bringing up the matter, you have just revealed that you are a vicious little anti-Semitic thug.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
  350. @PhysicistDave

    Tanks roll into Kiev suburb and meet the locals

    A suburb is not Kiev.

    Yes it actually is. Kiev is a 324 sq mile city and will have burbs within city limits.

    But anyways you could have spent 5 minutes using Google instead of calling people Jewish trolls.

    Here you go ace:
    https://greekreporter.com/2022/02/25/russian-tanks-rolling-through-kyiv-ukraine/

    What is your next requirement? They need to have visited a couple restaurants downtown?

    You should really get off the internet. You aren’t very good at this.

    • Thanks: HA
    • LOL: PhysicistDave
  351. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “A suburb is not Kiev.”

    That’s the hill you’re gonna die on, PhysicistDave? That’s really the best you’ve got at this point? What a pathetic shell of yourself you’ve become, assuming you were ever anything more (which by now I’m starting to doubt).

    But hey, if that’s what you want, let’s do it. Here’s what the BBC said about tanks in Kyiv:

    Russian tanks filmed entering Ukraine’s capital KyivBBC News

    Russian Tanks Rolling Through Kyiv, Ukraine – Greek Reporter: “Social media videos are showing what appears to be Russian tanks driving through Obolon, an area just north of Kyiv’s city center.”

    Tank ran over a civilian car just on the streets of Obolon district in Kyiv. #Ukraine

    So whatever beef you have with that statement, take it up with the BBC. I’ve dealt with enough of your stupidity for one day. Again I’ll say it: pathetic.

  352. The purpose of this is to eliminate any dissent from the war machine.

  353. @PhysicistDave

    I have never said that HA was Jewish. As far as I know, he is not Jewish.

    You keep calling him HAsbara. Do you not know what the term means?

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Hasbara

    And by bringing up the matter, you have just revealed that you are a vicious little anti-Semitic thug.

    LOL well over at Whitney’s blog they are 100% certain I am Jewish so maybe you better go discuss this with them.

    Maybe compare powerpoint slides on the incredible amount of bullshit you guys create in your heads.

    WE ARE 100% CERTAIN YOU ARE A JEWISH ANTI-JEWISH LIBERAL NEOCON RIGHTIST LEFTIST WORKING FOR ISRAEL AND AMERICA.

    HA

    THOUGHT YOU COULD FOOL US

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  354. HA says:
    @Johnny Rico

    “Accusing other anonymous names on the internet of having opinions and ideas they have never had.”

    Get over it. The Russians had their chance “to keep the war going at however great a cost or cease to be taken seriously” in Kherson. They chose retreat. Same goes for Kyiv, for Kherson, for Izyum.

    Is all that still not good enough, even when stacked together? OK, then try this: AFGHANISTAN. I.e., Sean made an obviously idiotic statement and I called him out on it. If that really upsets you so, internet discussions are not for you. Go back to watching cat videos.

    Are we clear? Sean’s stupid statement deserved the smackdown it got. It’s as simple as that — just like a certain other Russian blowhard in Moscow richly deserves the black eye he’s just gotten in Kherson.

    Is that STILL too difficult for you to grasp? OK, in that case, let’s just go with this: To all you stooges and Ruzzian well-wishers, let me assure you that I’m deeply sorry (i.e. not sorry at all) that your pathetic idol in the Kremlin and his Keystone Kop army turned out to be a bunch of feckless morons who are now on the run in Kherson, and that Sailer deserves a high-five for deciding, despite the numerous jeers and cat-calls from the so-called “experts” to “stay in your lane”, to devote several posts to a city where the Russians’ pathetic inability to get their act together has just become embarrassingly obvious, and that your resultant disappointment has made you so salty as to be unable to see or think straight, but like I said, get over it.

    • Replies: @Sean
  355. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    Some people might think that NATO forcing it’s way into a country bordering Russia would be menacing Russia. Apparently, consistency is unimportant to you.

    The fact remains: Israel started the Six Day War with a pre-emptive attack. Something you just can’t bring yourself to admit. You are simply dishonest.

    By the way, given that you answered for Jack D, you really did prove yourself to be a pathetic cuck.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Art Deco
  356. Wokechoke says:
    @Jim Christian

    That’s what is the most interesting thing about it all. There they are camped out in Ukraine shitting all over the litter box. I guess the Ukies can’t run out of steam with an infinite credit line. But still, theyve got to evict these so called squatters.

  357. @Anonymous

    You’re mixing time periods by about 4-5 hundred years. At this times there were Tverians, Kievans, Moscovians, etc. Russians as a nation have not yet existed. Using external power to resolve internal conflicts was done everywhere by everyone.

  358. HA says:
    @John Johnson

    “Tanks roll into Kiev suburb and meet the locals”

    And let’s remember that my original statement that PhysicistDave decided was so upsetting to him that he had to post a reply was as follows:

    Look, it wasn’t Nuland who rolled tanks into Kyiv, or raped Bucha or turned Mariupol into rubble.

    Evidently, he’s not all that upset with the rape of Bucha or turning an entire city into rubble. No, what really gets his goat involves geographical nitpicking over whether Obolon is a suburb or part of Kyiv proper.

    So yeah; way to keep it real, PhysicistDave — that tells us pretty much all we need to know about your priorities.

    (And at the risk of stooping to PhysicistDave’s depraved level, it appears that Obolon is indeed a region, not a suburb, of the city of Kyiv. I.e., he couldn’t even get that part right. Honestly, when I said “into Kyiv” all I meant was that that was where the tanks were heading, but it looks like I lucked and at least one of them actually made it past the outskirts.)

  359. @John Johnson

    The lying little anti-Semite John Johnson wrote to me:

    You keep calling him HAsbara. Do you not know what the term means?

    Yes, of course: it is a propaganda technique pioneered by the Israelis. That does not mean that that technique cannot be used by non-Jews, such as our little friend, HAsbara.

    Obviously, it can.

    If someone calls you a “schmuck,” which happens to be a Yiddish word, do you think he is claiming that you are Jewish?

    The anti-Semite also wrote to me:

    LOL well over at Whitney’s blog they are 100% certain I am Jewish so maybe you better go discuss this with them.

    I don’t know — are you?

    I don’t really care.

    HA is clearly engaged in hasbara activities on behalf of the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev.

    That does not mean he is Jewish, and I have never suggested that he is Jewish. I doubt that he is, though of course I do not know. And I do not really care.

    But you are an anti-Semite.

  360. @Suburban Dad

    Suburban Dad wrote:

    Putin can deal to keep Crimea now, or lose it, too, after everything north of Crimea is lost.

    Putin can easily do to Kiev, Lvov, etc. what he did to Mariupol.

    Turn them into rubble.

    And then make the rubble bounce.

    Putting nukes aside, Russia has some pretty fearsome weapons.

    Putin has been holding back.

    He may not hold back forever.

    There must be a negotiated peace on the basis of the principle of self-determination of peoples as guaranteed in the UN Charter.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Suburban Dad
  361. @John Johnson

    The anti-Semite John Johnson wrote to me:

    [JJ} PhyisicistDave once again shows his lack of history but addresses any dissenter with a childish insult. Maybe we should start addressing him as My little history flunkie said,

    [Dave] When before 1990 was there an actual country called “Ukraine”?

    [JJ] In 1918

    I already addressed that in my comment above directed to Sailer: there were various competing forces in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War, but none succeeded in creating a sovereign nation.

    They only succeeded in killing each other.

    Unfortunately, the Bolsheviks — people close to your own heart, I suppose — won.

    The anti-Semite also wrote:

    As a Soviet Republic they were also recognized as a country. Ukraine was in fact one of the founding members of the UN

    I lived through most of that period.

    No human being on the planet at that time thought they were an independent country. It was all just a sop to Stalin to give him three votes in the UN (Belorussia also got a separate seat). But no one was fooled. No one recognized Ukraine as an independent country.

    Are you too young to know this, or just really, really stupid?

    Or both?

    Ukraine was never a country prior to 1990.

    Look: you have made clear that you are a Leftist who supports the current Leftist Establishment foreign-policy jihad against Russia and who wants to expand Leftist entitlement programs domestically.

    We all know that for seventy years the GOP and the “conservative” movement have just been pale reflections of the Leftist Democrats, getting on board with the Democrats’ foreign and domestic policies a few years after the Dems initiate them.

    But that is not enough for you. You want the GOP to become even more Leftist than the Dems are!

    You’ve made clear what you are. Now we all know.

  362. @Sean

    Russian see themselves is a certain way and that rather than any tangible gain was the motive behind the invasion of Ukraine.

    You are right that the motivation for war wasn’t/isn’t really tangible. Putin was tired of being humiliated and declared to the Russian people that they were now in permanent opposition to the West.

    This doesn’t mean Mearsheimer et al. are correct, by the way, NATO is not the issue. Russian humiliation is largely self inflicted and what Putin and other elites really resent is Russian dependence on Western capital, technology and the baleful cultural influences that come with that. Russians don’t like being treated as a colony, they want to be on top.

    But precisely because it is not clear how Russia „loses“ if there are no real war aims, using nuclear weapons is almost certainly unlikely unless NATO troops are within striking distance of Moscow. As long as Russia can realistically be seen as „resisting“ Putin can claim to be „winning“. It is also why any attempts by negotiated peace by Ukrainians are pointless. Until Putin dies, the best outcome is to drive Russia out of Ukraine by force and let them stew in their own resentment.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  363. @Chrisnonymous

    Steve’s idea that the Russian military is unwilling to fight or going to fall apart soon is ridiculous. They have had a rough time against forces that are trained, supplied, re-supplied, and given tactical information and strategic guidance by the most powerful and technologically advanced military the world has ever known. All in all, they have not done so poorly.

    Agreed. As I’ve said from the beginning, my interpretation of the difficulties faced by Russia in the Ukraine hasn’t been that the Russians are weak but that the Ukrainians are strong. The Russians are fighting their cousins, who are tough, smart, and backed by unlimited arms and intelligence from the U.S. And despite all that, the Ukrainians have likely been losing 5x as many men as the Russians.

    If the Russians really want to win this war (and by that, I mean achieve whatever their ultimate goals are), I’m fully confident they could do so. What’s in question now is what price the Russians are willing to pay. The Ukrainians have been willing to suffer hundreds of KIA per day. The Russians haven’t willing to take the same level of casualties.

    I think Putin’s initial goal (after his long shot coup de main failed) was to liberate the Donbas republics, restore the water supply to Crimea, and secure a land bridge to it. Once we raised the cost of the operation for him, I thought he would want to take all of Novorossiya to get a reasonable ROI. After the withdrawal from Kherson, I’m not so sure what he’ll settle for. I guess we’ll see.

    I certainly don’t think the Ukraine is going to take Crimea or anything like that.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @Corvinus
  364. @Peter Akuleyev

    Peter Akuleyev wrote to Sean:

    This doesn’t mean Mearsheimer et al. are correct, by the way, NATO is not the issue. Russian humiliation is largely self inflicted and what Putin and other elites really resent is Russian dependence on Western capital, technology and the baleful cultural influences that come with that.

    Western elites have been quite explicit and very public that their goal is to weaken if not actually dismantle the Russian Federation.

    The US Deep State created, financed, and armed a proxy state on the border of Russia in what was the original heartland of Russian civilization (Kievan Rus).

    Only an absolute fool in the Kremlin would fail to conclude that Russia was being threatened by the West.

    Real, serious, publicly-proclaimed death threats.

    Again, quite aside from the obvious material facts on the ground, the Western elites were loudly proclaiming the fact.

    PA also wrote:

    But precisely because it is not clear how Russia „loses“ if there are no real war aims, using nuclear weapons is almost certainly unlikely unless NATO troops are within striking distance of Moscow.

    Sure, but that is official, publicly stated Russian nuclear doctrine, isn’t it?

    PA also wrote:

    Until Putin dies, the best outcome is to drive Russia out of Ukraine by force and let them stew in their own resentment.

    Then hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians will die.

    You really do not care about Ukrainian lives, do you, as long as your hatred of Putin can be fed?

    Why do you hate Eastern Slavs so much, Peter, and want to see so many die?

    Did Russians and Ukrainians do something bad to your family and now you want revenge on their children and grandchildren?

    • Disagree: Corvinus
  365. @HA

    My little buddy HAsbara wrote to Sean:

    Like I said, I lived with the earlier swipe of Crimea and managed to somehow shuffle through.

    Once again, you reveal the fact that you are not an American.

    Americans did not have to “somehow shuffle through” the liberation of Crimea. Very, very few Americans cared at all.

    A few of us cheered the liberation because, unlike the American ruling elite, we actually believe in the principle of the self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    But you “managed to somehow shuffle through”!

    Tell us, HAsbara, is there anyone besides Ukronazis like you who needed to “somehow shuffle through”?

    • Disagree: Corvinus
    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @HA
  366. @Dave Pinsen

    Dave Pinsen wrote to Chrisnonymous:

    What’s in question now is what price the Russians are willing to pay. The Ukrainians have been willing to suffer hundreds of KIA per day. The Russians haven’t willing to take the same level of casualties.

    That is the key point which commenters on both sides of this debate too often forget.

    I would add that Putin obviously also wants to minimize the Ukrainian civilian casualties: when a dozen Ukrainian civilians die in an attack, the Establishment Western media trumpet the fact.

    But if Putin were not trying to minimize civilian casualties, we would be hearing about orders of magnitude more civilian deaths, like the mass murder that the Allies intentionally wreaked on innocent civilians in WW II.

    Dave Pinsen also wrote:

    As I’ve said from the beginning, my interpretation of the difficulties faced by Russia in the Ukraine hasn’t been that the Russians are weak but that the Ukrainians are strong.

    Well… “strong” only in the sense that they have been willing to (or have been forced to) sustain horrendous levels of casualties.

    Usually, the side that bears that disproportionate level of casualties would not be called “strong”!

    Russia, unlike the US, is a democracy, and perhaps the Russian people will tire of this. As I have said many times, I am doubtful that the SMO was in the interest of the Russian people, although it was obviously justified under international law, since the Donbass republics requested aid in a proxy war foisted upon them by a foreign power, the USA.

    But, short of the Russian people giving up — and it is hard to see them giving up the Novorossiya provinces that are now part of Russia — this will grind on until Kiev decides (or is allowed by its puppet masters) to face reality.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @John Johnson
  367. BosTex says:
    @PhysicistDave

    PD: thanks for hammering the HA(sshole).

    I think he is a Russian, not Ukrainian troll.

    If you look back through the last 20+ posts from HA (almost 10% of all posts on this thread, lol) they are mostly insults, no matter if he is responding to someone friendly or not.

    Objectively: this is Pro-Russian since you are generating animus toward the Ukrainian side.
    —————————————————————————
    Side note:

    here is a very diplomatic article from the Times of Israel which gives the Jewish people (and all of us) a warning about the antecedent Ukrainian state and its “founding fathers”.

    Pretty grim and fanatical bunch. Definitely no Washingtons or Jeffersons in there.

    https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ukrainian-nationalists-and-the-holocaust/

    • Thanks: Mark G.
    • LOL: Corvinus
    • Replies: @Mark G.
  368. Kim says:
    @Renard

    They use up a lot of time writing these long screeds but more than make that time back by lots of people not reading them.

  369. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Some people might think that NATO forcing it’s way into a country bordering Russia would be menacing Russia. Apparently, consistency is unimportant to you.

    They might think that, and they would be wrong.

    The fact remains: Israel started the Six Day War with a pre-emptive attack

    This is false.

  370. Sean says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Putin’s worst nightmare is generalship like WW1’s Brusilov who was militarily successful at the cost of fatally weakening the belief in the Russian supreme leader. Russia is using the reservists called up to fill out its depleted units and fully man the front lines. Yet standing their ground now will mean facing the pinpoint accurate American Excalibur shells fired from long range modem Western howitzers so Russians will lose the artillery duels and cannot win through with sheer mass effect fires because their logistics, no matter how more dispersed, will be attenuated by HIMARS, which Russia has no answer to. Although Russians can be difficult to read, I think Putin is proceeding very cautiously by starving his commander of troops. Ukraine has freed up it offensive capability that was around Ukraine and I think they will try to maintain the momentum.

    If Ukraine brings a few of the HIMARS up to the new front line they can fire on the isthmus connecting Crimea to the mainland. So I think Putin will have to do something , but he’ll see an offensive ‘ flight forward’ as domestically too dangerous. In my opinion, Putin is currently very far from desperate, but were he to become so I very much doubt his preferred option would be throwing myriads of troops into a large offensives. Nor would he ask for terms.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Wokechoke
  371. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    What’s this about Brusilov’s offensive weakening the Czar?

    Nicholas II didn’t even want to be Czar, he fantasised about leaving the job instead being a gardener and looking after his ill son. Grand Prince Michael was always looking to off him. And then you really did have communism and socialism stalking the regimes of the Czar, Kaiser, King, Presidents of the time. What ideology is there left to embrace. Russia is a libertarian paradise. The only thing they might do is finally tax the super wealthy properly. But the west confiscated much of the loot funneked out of Russia already.

    If anything the Russian state might get more serious.

    While HIMARs might be able to strike Crimean Istmus they would have to be hugging the edge of the river in very obvious places for targeting.

  372. Wokechoke says:
    @Sean

    That’s one of the strangest analyses of the Brusilov offensive I’ve ever encountered.

    The Russian Empire obliterated the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, saved Verdun etc. Which historians link the spectacular capture of 1.5 million Austrian troops to the Czar losing his credibility among Russians?

    I’m really not following your logic. The main effect of Brusilov was the end of Austria the entry of Romania and the German steamroller in Bucharest.

    In Russia 1917 there was hyperinflation a rampaging German army and a genuine desire to embrace social democracy, liberalism and a contest with some very reactionary aristocrats. Even Kerensky continued the war. The Bolsheviks showed up in a Coup sponsored by the German high command against Kerensky. Jewish money from New York that at the time was pro German greased the gears of the Bolshevik coup.

    That’s not quite Russia today. Can they try progressivism? Lol. Okay.

    • Replies: @Sean
  373. BosTex says:
    @Art Deco

    I think it is safe to say that Israel launched the Six Day War via a preventive attack.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

    No matter who the Russian president is (even a corrupt, bloated and inebriated Yeltsin-type): any move eastward by NATO will be perceived as a threatening maneuver. Put yourself in the shoes of the Russian President.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  374. @Art Deco

    Zelensky makes a profession of being as insufferable as possible. He didn’t just get good at it this year.

  375. BosTex says:
    @John Johnson

    Most Americans can’t find Ukraine on a map. (I have my doubts that most Americans can find America on a map).

    Finding Ukraine on the map should be a requirement for having an opinion about the Russia-Ukraine War.

    No shit: Dementia Joe places lower than another leader in a poll. Huh a guy who gets lost in the Rose Garden…

    From what I can tell: the most effective keyboard divisions for Putin are the folks that make Ukrainians look like stupid turds.

    If you see someone issuing a bunch of long winded insane sounding posts, building up straw men, accusing everyone who doesn’t agree with him to be a Putin Fanboi….you have found your Putin keyboard division.

    He that smelt it, dealt it.

  376. In my opinion, Putin is currently very far from desperate, but were he to become so I very much doubt his preferred option would be throwing myriads of troops into a large offensives.

    He would have no problem throwing every fighting age man at Ukraine but when using demoralized conscripts it could end up being an embarrassment.

    Cornering the conscripts at Kherson could have easily turned into a route or even a mutiny.

    You’re asking demotivated troops to dig in and kill as many Ukrainians as they can before being killed themselves. That is the best you can do. Without a supply line the city would turn into an apocalypse of urban warfare which would favor the Ukrainians.

    If the conscripts surrendered en masse it would be a much bigger loss than a strategic withdrawal. Or worse they switch sides and go after their commanders. There wouldn’t be confidence that they could be used in any other battles.

    He is running out of options as seen by the Russians pulling T-62s into service. I really don’t think he has a plan for how to use the conscripts. I really believe he has watched too many WW2 movies and doesn’t get modern warfare. He and his followers imagine some great winter offensive but no one can explain as to what that would look like. Put conscripts in tanks and send them towards Kiev? Why would that work when it failed with his professional army?

    This is very similar to Hitler not having a backup plan in Barbarossa. There was no backup plan because they were certain that they would win. Hitler hadn’t even bothered increasing arms production for the war. The demoralization made him go bonkers and he made all kinds of poor decisions after Stalingrad.

  377. @PhysicistDave

    I would add that Putin obviously also wants to minimize the Ukrainian civilian casualties

    He wants to minimize Ukrainian casualties while he sends Iranian drones at civilian targets?

    You do realize that attacking power plants with the intent of freezing the population is a war crime?

    Russia, unlike the US, is a democracy

    How can you have a democracy if it is illegal to criticize the government and opposition leaders end up dead?

    Another critic of Putin has turned up dead:
    https://nypost.com/2022/11/10/victor-cherkesov-putins-kgb-mentor-turned-critic-dies-of-mystery-illness/

    List of critics and former allies of Putin that died by accidents and mysterious causes:
    https://www.euronews.com/2022/09/22/accidental-defenestration-and-murder-suicides-too-common-among-russian-oligarchs-and-putin

    This isn’t going to get easier for you. Signing up to defend a lying little weasel like Putin will always end in disappointment. He isn’t a real man that can admit to his mistakes. He will turn against everyone including those that defended him.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @PhysicistDave
  378. @BosTex

    “I think Russia in general and Putin in particular have made a point of having good relations with Jews and with Israel.”

    Agreed – Israel has not sanctioned Russia and that fact is totally uninteresting to the pundit class who get upset about Serbia and Hungary not hating Russia enough.

    otoh quite a few Jewish oligarchs decided Israel was the place to be when the war began.

  379. @HA

    “… I would have had little problem with a Belarus/Lukashenko “solution” for Ukraine. It’s not what I would have chosen for them, but it was never my choice to make, and if Putin hadn’t bungled that whole Yanukovych thing and somehow managed to make it work…”

    So the puppet state solution would be acceptable to you if Putin were a more skilled puppeteer? That makes a lot of sense. Keep sending the Ukraine money and weapons to defeat a larger more powerful country it couldn’t fend off by itself until the escalation becomes WWIII to punish Putin for supposedly being inept. And the US is the more skilled puppet master because it plies Zelensky with money and flattery until he’s a dangerous fullblown megalomaniac.

    Some might say the wisdom of a fool is better than no wisdom at all.

    • Replies: @HA
  380. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Putin has been holding back. He may not hold back forever.”

    Yeah, the gloves will finally come off. Any day now. Where have I heard that before?

    Finally the gloves are coming off.

    I expect that the gloves which Russia was still wearing during recent operations will come off.

    And then I think we will see the gloves completely off…

    “But, short of the Russian people giving up — and it is hard to see them giving up the Novorossiya provinces that are now part of Russia”

    Hard? Oh, I’m sure it’s downright devastating for you. I mean, Kherson is one of those provinces that are supposedly now “part of Russia”, isn’t it? And yet, here we are.

    But you go ahead and keep sipping that copium. The gloves will soon come off. So confident!

  381. Not with a bang but a whimper.

    Losing India is what matters.

  382. @PhysicistDave

    Reducing Kiev or Lvov to rubble requires having sufficient air supremacy for big slow planes to run strategic bombing campaigns, or controlling land within tube artillery range. Putin has neither and has no hope of getting either.

    Cruise missiles and drones can make things unpleasant for Kiev and Lvov, but can’t degrade Ukrainian offensive capability in any meaningful way. Ukraine is willing to absorb the civilian deaths of missile and drone strikes, and every power plant or apartment building destroyed is simply another check the EU and US will write to rebuild. An inconvenience.

    The Germans were able to inflict far worse damage from the air on England in WWII, and the US on North Vietnam in the later years of the Vietnam War, and each of those campaigns basically had no effect upon the targets’ military capabilities or will to victory.

  383. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    They might think that, and they would be wrong.

    Is that some of your high-powered library reference desk analysis?

    The fact remains: Israel started the Six Day War with a pre-emptive attack

    This is false.

    You are a liar.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

    The first and most critical move of the conflict was a surprise Israeli attack on the Egyptian Air Force. Initially, both Egypt and Israel announced that they had been attacked by the other country.[83]

    On 5 June at 7:45 Israeli time, with civil defence sirens sounding all over Israel, the IAF launched Operation Focus (Moked). All but 12 of its nearly 200 operational jets[84] launched a mass attack against Egypt’s airfields.[85] The Egyptian defensive infrastructure was extremely poor, and no airfields were yet equipped with hardened aircraft shelters capable of protecting Egypt’s warplanes. Most of the Israeli warplanes headed out over the Mediterranean Sea, flying low to avoid radar detection, before turning toward Egypt. Others flew over the Red Sea.[86]

    Even Jack D (who by the way, is much smarter than you are) wouldn’t touch that one, because he had no comeback. You’re only comeback is to blatantly lie.

    You are a liar. Or a fantasist. Either way, you are a pathetic cuck.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @Art Deco
  384. HA says:
    @John Johnson

    “How can you have a democracy if it is illegal to criticize the government…?”

    If you’re expecting me now to explain what I think of this, I’m not going to say anything.

    But I’ll explain why.

    If I support the decision, and say the Defense Minister is acting correctly by retreating from Kherson, then I’m publicly calling for Russia’s territorial integrity to be violated. In our Criminal Code, that’s Article 280, Part 1. (I looked it up this morning.) That means several years in prison.

    And if I don’t support the decision, and think that the Defense Ministry has done the wrong thing by leaving Kherson, then I’m publicly discrediting the Armed Forces, which is also prohibited by Article 208, but Part 3, with approximately the same jail term.

    I don’t want to go to prison. So now we’ll watch a report and then I’ll hand things over to our esteemed experts.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Thelma Ringbaum
  385. Adûnâi says: • Website
    @HA

    > “…to backstab your country by selling out to some crackpot dictator…”

    The issue is that if one’s aim is the salvation of the Aryan race’s residue population in America and Europe, he should ally with all enemies of Washington on the planet. If left unabated, the prosperity of the Christian empire will kill what is left of the Whites. Thus, without denying the mortal danger stemming from the Russian Asiatics and Juche Mongoloids, they must be seen as satellites on the way, as friends by necessity, destined to be fought against – yet another day.

    What is concerning, however, is that Russia doesn’t seem to exist as a sovereign nation. Thus, putting one’s hopes in the Kremlin is mistaken, as it seems to be self-destroying, its doom only strengthening the Washington régime.

    There can be no treason vis-à-vis Washington or Christian morality as those are the most immediate and threatening enemies of the European man.

    > “…it is the man in Moscow you sold your souls to who is the real problem. His bungling is what enables people like me.”

    Somewhat incorrect. The culprit is the entire Russian people that first allowed their very own Soviet empire to crumble, their cultural heritage besmirched without a shot fired in response, and thus permitted unholy demons such as Putin to proliferate in their élite. But that is the question of moral décadence common to all Aryans, East or West.

    • Replies: @raga10
  386. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Tell us, HAsbara, is there anyone besides Ukronazis like you who needed to ‘somehow shuffle through’”?

    It was humor, PhysicistDave. I know that’s as foreign to you as is basic humanity, but at least try and pretend to be a human being before reading internet comments. You’ll make less of an ass of yourself.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  387. HA says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    “So the puppet state solution would be acceptable to you if Putin were a more skilled puppeteer? That makes a lot of sense.”

    I specifically said it’s not the outcome I would have chosen for them but I realize that it’s their decision and therefore not my choice to make. Why is that hard for you to understand?

    What made this a problem to the US and Europe — and everyone else who recalls the horrors of the last century when pinheaded dictators decided that swiping territory was the way to make a better world — was that Putin went and started a land war in Eurasia. He swiped territory from a country whose borders his own country had agreed to respect (in a document the US co-signed, BTW). If Putin had managed to win the Ukrainians over diplomatically, I would have had to admit that he had simply outplayed us. That’s not what happened. According to the Russian conspiracy memes, it was Nuland who was able to turn the Ukrainians, with little more than a basket of pastries. No tanks, and no loss of Ukrainian territory was needed. So pretending that Putin somehow had to resort to warfare is idiotic.

    As for WWIII, I take your point, and it’s true that when one is trying — in the interest of maintaining peace — to rein in the loon waving a big gun around, the danger of someone getting shot increases in the short-term. But that’s still preferable to letting every loon waving a gun around get what they want. You let that slide, and pretty soon you’ll have many more loons waving more big guns around. Again, that shouldn’t be hard for you to understand. If we had stopped Putin in his tracks back when he first swiped Crimea and Donbass, we wouldn’t have to deal with this mess. Instead, we listened to useful idiots like Merkel who said we should just learn to live with it, and Putin would thereby be satisfied enough with his victory to forego seizing any more. Now THAT was a strategy that never made a lot of sense.

  388. raga10 says:
    @Adûnâi

    The issue is that if one’s aim is the salvation of the Aryan race’s residue population in America and Europe, he should ally with all enemies of Washington on the planet.

    I disagree. First, your statement is a false dichotomy: it proposes that the only alternative to befriending ALL enemies of Washington is White race perishing. There are in fact other alternatives, such as choosing your friends selectively, and according to other criteria than their relation to Washington.
    You lean into that wisdom that “enemy of my enemy is my friend” – I personally hate that saying because there is actually very little wisdom in it: history shows that much of the time, enemy of my enemy is in fact not my friend at all and it would be wiser to be a bit more selective when choosing one’s allies.

    Second, it seems you take it as given, but it is not at all indisputable that Washington and Christian morality are the greatest threat to Whiteness. Certainly Christian morality has been with us for a few years now. Threat of displacement is ultimately linked to the rising world population, which is in turn the result of industrial revolution, and to our own colonial past. Can’t blame Washington for either of them.

  389. HA says:
    @Jim Christian

    “Mercouris is maddeningly slow in his delivery, but he hasn’t been wrong in this thing since it started. Nor has Martyanov, nor Saker nor Larry Johnson.”

    Feel free to point out where any of these “hasn’t been wrong” experts predicted that Kherson would be given over to the Ukrainians as of this week any time in the earlier stages of this offensive (admitting it 2-3 days ago doesn’t count as a “prediction”). Until then, I’ll regard your analysis of them to be as pathetically lame and wishful as their analysis of this misbegotten SMO.

    And from what I can see (e,g. the Johnson article I specifically linked to) they’ve all been issuing a consistent stream of “the Kherson offensive has been stopped in its tracks and is no more.” The Saker stopped saying much of anything about Kherson, but given his overall “’tis but a scratch, trust the plan” narrative, I’m gonna put him in the same category anyway. To the extent that ANY of these people left you unprepared for what the Ukrainian side was clearly predicting, you clearly need a better set of experts.

  390. HA says:
    @Johnny Rico

    “Everything you [i.e. Intelligent Dasein] said [was accurate]? Or just like maybe one thing?…You can easily verify or confirm your assertion…I can do it for you if you don’t have the time. Free of charge.”

    Don’t forget the one back on Sep 7 where the 100%-accurate Intelligent Dasein alerted us that in just 72 more hours Ukraine won’t be a real country anymore, because, as he put it, “bad stuff’s about to go down.”

    To be fair, we are talking about a war, and predicting that bad stuff’s about to go down is pretty much a sure thing, so I’ll give him that. But power/dam/infrastructure failures notwithstanding (or whatever else he now claims that “bad stuff” to be) Ukraine seems as real now as it was back then. Actually, a lot more so. I’m sure he has a special way of reading that such that — surprise, surprise –his self-described 100% accuracy record is maintained, but I have my doubts.

    • Replies: @Sean
  391. @Thelma Ringbaum

    2018? 1918! I am in a wrong Century.

  392. @HA

    Well thats up to the Western standard. Right now one is supposed to support Iraninan girls that are protesting against wearing hijab, and at the same time support Indian Moslem girls that are protesting against being denied hijab in school.

    If not you be a Misogynist to be cancelled. No war or any special circumstances to justify this even needed.

    • Replies: @HA
  393. HA says:
    @Thelma Ringbaum

    “Right now one is supposed to support Iraninan girls that are protesting against wearing hijab”

    I think what they’re protesting against is getting killed by the “morality police” who make sure the hijabs are worn just right:

    A week of protests has rocked Iran after a young woman DIED after being detained by the country’s so-called morality police.

    Likewise, I guess there are places where a woman who chooses to wear a hijab will be mercilessly ridiculed and bullied to the point of death, but I have no problem opposing that, too.

    And as for being cancelled, getting your Twitter profile banned, or somesuch, is definitely not easy, but it still not quite up there with getting sent to a Russian prison for a couple of years.

  394. Sean says:
    @HA

    NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND WORLD POWER
    Enoch Powell The Listener 17 February 1966

    The fact remains, after the nuclear weapon as before, that a world authority welding sole military power implies a sovereignty which, unless it was felt as morally binding and inwardly compulsive by all beneath its sway, would only be an exertion of tyranny.

    Compare the remarks that McCain and others of his ilk smirked at from the front row.

    Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy
    2007-02-10

    Vladimir Putin: However, what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. […] But what do we know? That the United States is actively developing and already strengthening an anti-missile defence system. .. So hypothetically we recognise that when this moment arrives, the possible threat from our nuclear forces will be completely neutralised. Russia’s present nuclear capabilities, that is. The balance of powers will be absolutely destroyed and one of the parties will benefit from the feeling of complete security. This means that its hands will be free not only in local but eventually also in global conflicts.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  395. Dube says:

    Is a pinhead dictator capable of being a crackpot dictator? I would think not. Lacks capacity, eh.

  396. @Sean

    Russia needed Britain for support on all three occassions described.

    1813 – Naval Blockade. French lost 380k to Russia, 350k to Britain in Spain. Napoleon surrendered to Britain.

    1914 – Naval Blockade. Russia provoked the war with Germany. Tannenberg helped but was not decisive.

    1941 – Naval Blockade. SU could have avoided the war in 1939 by joining the blockade. 2/3rd of German imports came from Russia. 40% of the tanks defending Moscow in early December 1941 were British and Canadian. The first 39 Hurricaines out of 3000 arrived in Murmansk in August 1939 as trainers. 193 more were in time for the battle of Moscow. Moscow was a close run thing. Without that equipment the Soviet Union could easily have lost.

    Russia never saved the west. That’s pompous nationalism. Britain saved Russia. (in 1612-13 too).

    • Agree: Alden
    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @Anonymous
  397. @stari_momak

    Kievean Rus is anyway a modern anachronism with origins in Muscovite nationalism. Names for people and territory over time include Rus (initially just the Norse rulers), Rusyn, Ruthenians, Ukrainians.

  398. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Mr. Anon

    The first big military strike of the Six Day War was the Israel’s air strike against Egypt’s Air Force, but Egypt started the war. Egypt blockaded Israeli shipping at the Gulf of Aqaba, which was an act of war; she mobilized her troops and expelled the UN Peacekeepers between her and Israel; and her government announced they would drive the Jews into the sea. Israel couldn’t survive without access to the Indian Ocean or with its male population mobilized indefinitely, so it threw the first big punch.

  399. @Art Deco

    “This is false.”

    How about the 1956 war?

  400. @HA

    “If we had stopped Putin in his tracks back when he first swiped Crimea and Donbass, we wouldn’t have to deal with this mess. Instead, we listened to useful idiots like Merkel who said we should just learn to live with it, and Putin would thereby be satisfied enough with his victory to forego seizing any more. Now THAT was a strategy that never made a lot of sense.”

    You are putting forth a world police argument which is where I fundamentally disagree. It is not the job of the US or NATO to make itself the arbiter in disputes worldwide. In doing so, it essentially rules the world and does so badly. America frequently dominates parts of the world it doesn’t understand, picking favorites rather than being fair and just. I know us too well to believe our interventions make the world a better place. Ignorance, bias and opportunism drive our decision making then someone starts talking about “making the world safe for democracy” and it’s all alright.

    As for Putin “swiping territory” to the point it becomes an addiction, a look at the recent past reveals plenty of ambiguity about territory vs nation. Supporting secession based on ethnicity has similar pitfalls. As in the Middle East, as in the Balkans so in Eastern Europe those who have the most at stake are those who live there. The US should keep its meddling to a minimum. We’re repeatedly guilty of choosing sides based on which nation or political party panders to us most shamelessly then imposing our will on people we neither know nor care much about. This is simply not our business. We should be watching from the sidelines or helping with peace negotiations not fighting a proxy war.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
    • Replies: @HA
  401. Sean says:
    @Wokechoke

    Brusilov was the end of Austria the entry of Romania and the German steamroller in Bucharest.

    The Bolsheviks showed up in a Coup sponsored by the German high command against Kerensky. Jewish money from New York that at the time was pro German

    The leaflets publicising Lenin and key to his success were paid for by the German General Staff, which sent him into Russia let us not forget. Trotsky was released by the British after pressure from American authorities admittedly.

    Raymond Poincaré (cousin of the superbrain physicist and one-time youngest layer in France: “In all my years at school I saw no other reason to live than the possibility of recovering our lost provinces”. Poincaré became President of the Republic in 1913, his election had been helped by two million francs in Russian bribes to the French press. Poincaré anticipated war in two years and announced that his entire effort was to prepare for it. The French Left after WW1 openly accused Poincaré of deliberately starting the whole thing, he had predicted 1915 as the year it would start. I see a parallel between France and Ukraine– it being revanchist and subsidised (by the US). Brusilov’s Offensive was intended to keep France from losing at Verdun. I think Verdun is a good model for the upcoming attritional warfare in the Donbass. Sticking with the analogy, I expect the US to try something to stop the Russians succeeding in Donbass.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  402. BosTex says:
    @Philip Owen

    Thanks Phil.

    Can you point out the British Stalingrad or the American Stalingrad?

    Five month long battle that kills >500k men on each side.

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Philip Owen
  403. @HA

    My little buddy HAsbara wrote to me:

    It was humor, PhysicistDave.

    Well, it does not work as humor in English, but of course English is not your native language. Perhaps it works in Ukrainian, eh?

    In any case I do not find tens of thousands of Eastern Slavs dying, on both sides of this conflict, to be a source of humor.

    Somehow, you really hate Eastern Slavs, don’t you, HA?

    Did they do something mean to your great granddad and so you want to see their grandchildren die in retribution?

    There must b a negotiated peace that respects the principle of self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @HA
  404. HA says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    “You are putting forth a world police argument which is where I fundamentally disagree.”

    We. had no problem playing world police when, as the Soviet Union was falling apart, we brokered and co-signed on the deal where Ukraine got guarantees of territorial integrity in exchange for nukes. In fact, we were really hot and bothered about making sure that all went down smoothly, as opposed to becoming Yugoslavia-with-nukes. And you know what? Good for us. It was the smart thing to do. But having done that, and signed on the bottom line, NOW you wanna play the “me no world police” card? No, it’s a little late for that. Especially since 8 years of not intervening only made Putin more of a land-grabbing power-hungry loon. I mean, I get it: this was only supposed to last a few days, at which point he would have presented the world with a smirk and a fait accompli, knowing that some other German of French useful idiot would say “bygones” and that really, we should just forget all about how there was once a place Ukraine.

    But it didn’t work out that way. Wars tend to be disastrously unpredictable in just that way, and it’s yet another reason why they should be avoided.

    And as averse as I am to world police, I’m not ready to swap that out for “meh, anything goes”. If you really want to prevent America from getting sucked into some distant hellhole of war, maybe try and prevent those hellholes from happening in the first place. And I realize Putin keeps threatening to push that red button, and that is indeed worrisome, but like I said, giving every loon whatever he wants as long as he’s willing to wave a big gun or reach for his red button is going to backfire big time, too, so caving in now isn’t going to help.

    “We should be watching from the sidelines or helping with peace negotiations not fighting a proxy war.”

    As soon as Putin is ready to negotiate — as opposed to issuing ultimatums about how much of his landgrab he’s insisting he has to lock in and have recognized now, and also how Ukraine must be demilitarized so that the next time he invades, it’ll all be his without a hitch (and that’s exactly what “negotiation” means to him) — I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready to co-sign some other document. I.e., be careful what you wish for.

  405. @PhysicistDave

    There must b a negotiated peace that respects the principle of self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    So you support deferring to UN authority on this matter?

    Well they voted 143-5 that the annexation was illegal.
    https://www.foxnews.com/world/un-condemns-russias-attempted-illegal-annexation-ukraine-regions-zelenskyy-biden-applaud-vote

    The 5 votes being dictators and allies of Putin.

    The world and the UN view Putin as the aggressor and not as a liberator.

    I’m not sure what kind of sad and pathetic life you must have to where you are defending a mass murdering dictator over free people. I can accept the position of wanting the US to be neutral but actually taking the time to defend a dictator who sent drones at civilian areas is downright pathetic.

    No woman in your life would be my guess. I would bet that most of Putin’s 26th keyboard division overlaps with Angry Incels of America. It reeks of misanthropy and bitterness. No sense of basic moral integrity as resentment is the overwhelming force.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  406. HA says:
    @BosTex

    “Five month long battle that kills >500k men on each side.”

    What do the death tolls have to do with the question of whether or not the Brits saved the Soviets’ bacon? If I toss you a lifesaver, and it helps keep you afloat, then I saved you. Period. That has nothing to do with how wet my own feet got as a result, and it remains true regardless of how agonizingly you suffered, or how close to the ocean bottom you sank prior to my toss.

    Moreover, the Soviets could have just surrendered to Hitler the way the Putinoids are telling the Ukrainians to do, and spared themselves all that carnage, right? They chose to fight instead (eventually) and whether they lost 10 men or 10 million men in that endeavor, it was the Brits, and subsequently, the Allies in general, whose aid allowed them to prevail.

    That’s important to keep in mind, given that it’s Ukraine that is getting all that Western aid this time around.

  407. @John Johnson

    Our anti-Semite John Johnson wrote to me:

    So you support deferring to UN authority on this matter?

    I advocate deferring to Article 1 of the UN Charter which guarantees the right of the people of the Donbass to choose not to be governed by the illegal putschist regime installed, financed, and maintained in Kiev by the US Deep State.

    The anti-Semite wrote to me:

    I’m not sure what kind of sad and pathetic life you must have to where you are defending a mass murdering dictator over free people.

    By “mass murdering dictator,” are you referring to Joe Biden?

    Yeah, I condemn the murderer Biden too.

    Our anti-Semite also wrote:

    No woman in your life would be my guess.

    Boy, you are stretching to try to justify your support for the US Deep State and this war that the US Deep State enabled and continues to sustain, aren’t you???

    As I have mentioned many times, I have been married for decades and we have grown children.

    You are quite clearly projecting.

    I
    have been the loudest voice for peace here on the basis of self-determination of peoples, as provided in the UN Charter.

    I have said again and again that I could not care less who “wins” in Ukraine, since it is quite certain that the losers in this war going back eight long years are the people of Ukraine, especially the Donbass, along with the people of Russia.

    I have called again and again for peace on the basis of allowing all the peoples of Eastern Europe, and, specifically, the Donbass, the right to choose the government under which they live.

    You and your pals are the ones who keep rejecting peace and the right of people in each region to choose which government they wish to live under.

    You keep lying and lying and lying, but the truth is clear: for some reason, you want this war to continue rather than promote a peace on the basis of self-determination of peoples.

    I have called you a “Fed” because you keep spouting the propaganda spewed out by the US Deep State. But, frankly, I assumed that you were prostituting yourself for free.

    Maybe not: maybe you actually are paid hasbara.

    I have been upfront about my motives: I want peace on the basis of the self-determination of peoples so that there can be an end to the killing.

    You keep denouncing that.

    So, come clean, Fed: what are your motives? Why are you so opposed to ending the killing?

    There must be negotiations on the basis of self-determination of people as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @John Johnson
    , @Art Deco
  408. @HA

    HA wrote to Unintended Consequence:

    We. had no problem playing world police when, as the Soviet Union was falling apart, we brokered and co-signed on the deal where Ukraine got guarantees of territorial integrity in exchange for nukes.

    Your silly little obsession with the Pesty Memos again.

    Never ratified by the US Senate, therefore irrelevant under US law.

    And there were several different Pesty Memos: the different signatories made no guarantee to enforce the other Memos in any way.

    Speaker McCarthy has said no more blank checks for Ukraine. The activist wing of the GOP is sick of the whole thing.

    And no on cares about the Pesty Memos except you and Dinken Blinken, who should have stuck with the rock-star thing: musically, he’s not that bad, at least not as incompetent as he is as a “statesman.”

    Why do you so hate the idea of a peace based on the self-determination of peoples, HAsbara?

    Did the Russians or Ukrainians do something dastardly to your great granddad and so you want them to die by the hundreds of thousands?

    I’ve laid out my cards: I just want peace based on the self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    So, what are your motives, HAsbara? Why are you so eager to see Eastern Slavs die?

    There must be negotiations on the basis of self-determination of peoples as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.

    So that the killing will stop.

  409. @John Johnson

    My little buddy the Fed John Johnson wrote to me:

    You do realize that attacking power plants with the intent of freezing the population is a war crime?

    Unfortunately, the line between military targets and civilian targets in modern warfare is rather blurred: infrastructure does have military value.

    But are you willing to agree with me that Churchill, Truman, and Stalin should have been in the dock in Nürnberg along with the German war criminals and that all three clearly deserved to be executed along with the Germans?

    If you are not willing to agree, you have no standing to complain about “war crimes.”

    There must be negotiations on the basis of self-determination of peoples as guaranteed in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @BosTex
  410. BosTex says:

    I think it is the reverse with the Soviets saving the American and British bacon.

    The Soviets suffered/endured 20-26 MM casualties during the WW2. By comparison the US and UK endured about 450k each (still horrible).

    To continue your analogy: perhaps we threw the Soviets a lifesaver, they threw back a cruise ship.

    No one doubts the material support provided by the US and to a lesser extent the UK, but note with that material support the Soviet Army was able to tear the guts out of the German Army…an absolutely brutal job that saved the lives of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of young Americans and Britons.

    It is unclear if victory would have been possible absent immense Soviet fighting capacity. Or perhaps victory would have culminated with a US/UK mushroom cloud over Berlin and Munich rather than Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    The balance sheet suggests that the Soviet Army saved their Western Allies a lot of sacrifice and death.

    It would probably be fairly easy to rebuild the relief and joy in Churchill’s cabinet upon word of 6/22/41.

    I do not have time or interest in doing that. I am pretty certain that with the notice of the invasion, Churchill was probably able to get first night of decent rest in months, knowing that he at least had a formidable ally at his side.

    Over and above our material assistance, I am pretty sure the Soviets brought to bear a fairly large industrial capacity that produced very good equipment in quantity (T-34, Yak-3, Il-2 or my favorite, the PPSh), a lot of excellent equipment

    • Replies: @HA
  411. BosTex says:
    @PhysicistDave

    PDave-

    Interesting point.

    Hadn’t thought about it, but absent victor’s justice, each authorized warfare that, applying the standards we applied at Nuremberg, would have landed them in the dock.

    Churchill’s decision to “de-house” the German population.

    Truman: used the atom bomb (Truman’s
    Decision may have been politically oriented to influence/frighten Stalin; at least that is Gar Alperovitz’s thesis; not sure I trust Alperovitz since he is a dirty Leftist, but interesting story).

    Stalin: He’s Stalin, what else do you need to know?

  412. @HA

    HA wrote:

    “If you really want to prevent America from getting sucked into some distant hellhole of war, maybe try and prevent those hellholes from happening in the first place.”

    The US doesn’t get sucked into hellholes. The US creates hellholes.

    Consider Libya. Libya was by far the best run country in Africa. Then, we came, we saw, and Libya died. Consider Iraq. We imposed sanctions on Iraq that killed 500,000 Iraqi children. Consider Syria … . Consider Yemen … . Consider … … .

    Even consider Russia and Ukraine. Our involvement in Russia in the 1990s (was not the sole cause but certainly) contributed to the premature deaths of millions of Russians. But hey, Russia is rich in natural resources and we want those natural resources on the cheap. And without our involvement in Ukraine, it is quite likely that Ukraine would still be enjoying the peace that existed in that country from 1991 until our guys took decisive control in 2014. But hey, we can use Ukraine to cause harm to Russia.

    We were not sucked into any of these places. We helped to wreck them on our own volition.

    • Agree: acementhead
    • Replies: @HA
  413. Mark G. says:
    @BosTex

    I think he is a Russian, not Ukrainian troll.

    If you look back through the last 20+ posts from HA (almost 10% of all posts on this thread, lol) they are mostly insults, no matter if he is responding to someone friendly or not.

    The temptation is to respond to his insults by insulting him back, thereby giving him a taste of his own medicine. Doing this, though, takes me out of my comfort zone so I don’t engage with him much. Others here do a good job of responding to his arguments, so I don’t need to.

    America has lots of problems, but he almost never talks about them and seems indifferent to them as if he is not even an American himself. I don’t know why he thinks Americans should pay attention to some foreigner who doesn’t care about America and who wants to drag us into a war on the other side of the planet.

    • Agree: BosTex
    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @HA
  414. Anonymous[212] • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Owen

    The official Soviet narrative of the war was that Britain and the US secretly supported Hitler and their ‘war’ with him was just a sham. They invaded France in 1944 not to defeat Germany but to save it, and the rest of western Europe, from the Red Army.

    This went hand in hand with the assertion that West Germany was actually the old Nazi state in disguise, and that from the Soviet POV the ‘cold war’ was just a continuation of the struggle against Nazism.

    Do modern Russians still think this way?

    • Replies: @BosTex
    , @Philip Owen
  415. BosTex says:
    @Mark G.

    Thanks for the guidance. Makes sense.

  416. BosTex says:
    @Anonymous

    Great question: let me check with my local Russian/Ukrainian expert (my wife is Russian/Ukrainian).

    Confirming the negative: that her schooling did teach that the Soviet Union did win the war however they were taught the US and UK had been loyal Allies to the Soviet Union. She graduated HS, Moscow, mid 1990s. University, same period. Not sure about about prior generations.

    From the perspective of history, I hate to say it, but there is SOME (much smaller) truth to this perspective, prior to the Battle of France.

    French and British diplomacy had a focus on, if at all possible, re-directing German energy eastward against the Soviet Union.

    You can look it up, but the British and French engaged in a bunch of maneuvers that attempted to push the Germans toward the Soviet Union and the British and French had even aligned some of their forces to attack the Soviet Union.

    Stalin was not wrong to be suspicious of the Western Powers and Western leadership (Chamberlain and Reynaud), at least in 1939-1940.

  417. @HA

    “And I realize Putin keeps threatening to push that red button, and that is indeed worrisome, but like I said, giving every loon whatever he wants as long as he’s willing to wave a big gun or reach for his red button is going to backfire big time, too, so caving in now isn’t going to help.”

    Putin has made his choice in how to proceed which is without using tactical nukes. I interpret his words and actions somewhat differently than you. The Russians have reason to feel threatened so use whatever means they believe necessary in communicating with imperialist West aggression.

    “As soon as Putin is ready to negotiate — as opposed to issuing ultimatums about how much of his landgrab he’s insisting he has to lock in and have recognized now, and also how Ukraine must be demilitarized so that the next time he invades, it’ll all be his without a hitch (and that’s exactly what “negotiation” means to him) …”

    Has Putin openly discussed how much of the Ukraine must be under Russian control? I don’t think so. Again, my interpretations differ significantly from yours. The fight continues because Zelensky won’t compromise. The military objectives were likely never set in stone but have changed periodically. Warfare becomes a necessary part of the negotiation process when dealing with the unresponsive.

  418. Sean says:
    @HA

    The US has never endorsed the goal of Ukraine regaining its 2014 borders, which suggests Washington does not think the goal attainable without too serious a risk of incalculable consequences. In fact America has never even said it wants Ukraine to actually win. Weakening Russia is the only objective that has been articulated.

    No one knows more about HIMARS capabilities than the system’s champion, General Milley, who is currently is suggesting the aftermath of the Kherson retreat is the moment for talks. That suggests he (with a vast amount of intel available to him) thinks things are going to take a turn for the worse for the Ukraine either because Russia will start to win, or quickly begin to lose and refuse to accept defeat at the hands of Ukraine. Assuming Ukraine isolates Crimea in the same way it did Kherson, Putin might make an assessment of diminishing returns and stay in the conventional lane to the bitter end, I think that is a possibility, yet he would be accepting the end of Russia as a great power.

    Given that there are few precedents to guide an understanding what even the purest rationality would dictate for a Russian leader in the aforementioned circumstances, it ill behooves you to think you know what Putin would do. Most of us are not looking to find out.

    • Replies: @HA
  419. Corvinus says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “What’s in question now is what price the Russians are willing to pay. “

    Which is clear evidence of weak Russian resolve. Putin realizes going “all in” through a “bulldoze Ukraine at all costs mentality” nor does a slower methodical scheme genuinely reflect the will of the Russian people. And he is also realizing that even IF he gets his way, keeping those gains requires him and his successors to develop a strategic, long term plan. Have you even thought that?

    No wonder Russians have been boisterous in their opposition, hence Putin’s crackdown on dissent. His action is certainly not reflective of respecting a free peoples right to protest. But since you seem to know so much about Russia, perhaps you should offer up your services to Putin. I’m sure you would make a welcome addition to his team of toadies.

    Putin must stop the murdering of innocent whites.

  420. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Somehow, you really hate Eastern Slavs, don’t you, HA?”

    No, I don’t know what you’ve been listening to, but when I turn on the news I’m not accosted by a flood of Ukrainians pleading with the West to stop sending them so many weapons because what they really want to do is surrender to their good buddy Putin. I think we’re giving the Ukrainians — that sovereign state of people whose sovereignty we resolved to respect — pretty much what they are asking for (except they want more of it and sooner). Sure, the stuff we’re giving them is mostly obsolete Cold War gear that we were either going to trash at some point or sell to some African warlord’s child army, but they seem pretty happy with it.

    Maybe it’s different in your news sources, but I’ll say this to you and all the other clowns who tell me I need to consult Larry Johnson or Brian Berletic or Martyanov or Macgregor: let’s compare how well they all did on the matter of Kherson. Because as I recall, the Ukrainians and their analysts announced with loud fanfare that, having received a slew of those weapons they were begging the West for, they would now launch an offensive against the Russians in Kherson and planned to retake the city by the end of the year.

    Here we are in Kherson, a month and half ahead of that deadline, and as they say in the a$$-kicking industry, business is booming. The Russians are voluntarily retreating from that city they just a few weeks ago swore would be theirs “forever”.

    Whereas any time I tune into Johnson and Macgregor, it’s always about the demoralized and exhausted Ukrainians who are a week or two from collapsing, and how their Kherson offensive has been decisively stopped in its tracks by the Russians time and time again. I’m a results-oriented guy, so I know who got the higher score on that test. But you’re evidently more faith-based when it comes to anything having to do with the gospel of Lil’ BB.

    The same goes for “we should have listened to Mearshimer and all the other pro-Putin stooges who told us that Russia has been ‘warning’ us about NATO and Ukraine for decades.” Yeah, thanks so much. As of the last few months I’ve noticed that Russians issue dire warnings pretty much every other day: “severe consequences if Finland and Sweden join NATO”, “cataclysmic economic disruptions if Europe turns away from Russian gas”, etc., etc. Telling me we should have listened to Russia’s warnings without some well-defined criteria as to which of those countless warnings are not just empty blather is like trying to find the ocean by pointing yourself in the direction of every successive raindrop in your vicinity.

    • Replies: @Dube
    , @PhysicistDave
  421. HA says:
    @Sean

    “The US has never endorsed the goal of Ukraine regaining its 2014 borders, which suggests Washington does not think the goal attainable without too serious a risk of incalculable consequences. “

    Prior to this conflict, US intelligence community was pretty much in agreement that Ukraine would collapse in a week if attacked. A few months ago, the NYTimes was observing the slow but one-sided advance of the Russians in Donbass and editorializing that they needed to make “hard decisions”.

    In other words, times change, and therefore, so do endorsements, and you, too, need to update your thinking. Your problem is that, despite your occasional willingness to actually think for yourself, you inevitably default to the same old RT clichés when push comes to shove. Telling me “Putin might make an assessment” isn’t all that convincing, given that he might also finally admit — as he just admitted with Kherson despite declaring a few weeks ago that it would be Russia’s forever — that Crimea was never really that big a deal to begin with. Because it really and truly isn’t. It only serves as a rationalization for swiping Kherson (so as to secure Crimea’s water supply) and also Mykolaiv and Odessa (to keep Crimea free of bombs), and if Kyiv objects to any of that, well, they ultimately have to go down too. So convenient! Maybe they don’t need to get all of that this time around — maybe they’ll settle for begging extra hard for a “face saving” cease-fire that locks in the current front line and leads to a demilitarized Ukraine, so that in another couple of years, they can start over and be assured that the Ukrainians can offer no resistance whatsoever, and THEN they can have Crimea and all the rest of Ukraine. But that’s the only reason they so desperately “need” Crimea.

    And that’s precisely why the Ukrainians claim that the Russians cannot be allowed to keep it. And regardless of what the US “never endorsed” in the past, I suspect at least a few people in DC have started to realize the Ukrainians are right about that. If Putin doesn’t like that, he should have wrapped up this misbegotten SMO in two weeks or less as he originally planned, and had the Ukrainians begging at his feet, but that didn’t happen. Now you think past US endorsements will somehow serve to save him from his bungling?

    In fact, at this point the West may be his best option. At this point, some of his own circle of approved thinkers are beginning to mutter about how the “king must die”, whereas even his harshest critics in the West (e.g., yours truly) would be just as happy letting him continue his slide into senility and decrepitude so as to die in his bed or in some cancer ward. (And with regard to Dugin, if there are actually people in Russia who still take “The Golden Bough” seriously enough to cite it for anything other than a coincidental case of agreeing with whatever it is they already believe, then it’s no wonder they’re a basket case. They should put some of the Frazierites in a room with Nation of Islam types who pontificate about alien extraterrestrials and Black Athena, and let the two of them fight it out. That’d be way more entertaining than the carnage I’m currently seeing.)

    • Replies: @Sean
  422. HA says:
    @Mark G.

    “America has lots of problems, but he almost never talks about them and seems indifferent to them”

    Yeah, I never discuss anything anything other than Ukraine. Like COVID, for example. Never mentioned that all. Not once. I was totally indifferent. Thanks for your brilliant and totally-100%-accurate observations, Mark G!

    Look, I save my arguments for instances where it seems those I’m arguing with know even less than I do. It’s as simple as that. I happened to have visited Ukraine, learned a few things about the place, and subsequently saw for myself that all these Russian “experts” at Unz-dot-com and their gullible regurgitators were full of it. If you can’t understand that, or if your short-term memory is so botched that you would make a statement as blatantly false as the one you just made, then evidently, long COVID, or your hospital stay, is still not something you’ve recovered from. I’m genuinely sorry about that and hope you get better soon. Then again, maybe you were clueless long before any of that happened. In fact, given how you wound up in the hospital in the first place, despite having far easier options, maybe that’s the more likely choice.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  423. HA says:
    @EddieSpaghetti

    “The US doesn’t get sucked into hellholes. The US creates hellholes.”

    Your flim-flam doesn’t work on me EddieSpaghetti. I know who rolled tanks into Kyiv and who swiped Crimea. (Spoiler alert: This time at least, it wasn’t the US.)

    Passing out pastries from a basket and dropping f-bombs to the Europeans, however provocative that may be, doesn’t rise to nearly the same level. Your boy started this — when you’re able to admit that, get back to us.

  424. HA says:
    @BosTex

    “The Soviets suffered/endured 20-26 MM casualties during the WW2. By comparison the US and UK endured about 450k each (still horrible).”

    Again, comparing death tolls is completely irrelevant to the matter of who tossed whom a lifesaver. And yes, the Soviets were able to use that aid to do serious damage to Hitler, which was the very motivation, in terms of realpolitik, for aiding someone as odious as Stalin in the first place.

    But if you’re going to bring up pain and suffering, Poland would probably win out in that category, on a per capita basis, and they were on the side of the Allies. Moreover, the Russian losses have to be stacked against the fact that Stalin willingly chose to play the Molotov-Ribbentrop game, unlike the Poles. What’s that meme about how if you fool around, you’re gonna find out, or something pithier to that effect? Well, he found out. If he hadn’t previously fooled around like he did, maybe Stalingrad wouldn’t have been so bloody. So some of that pain and suffering is on him. Admittedly, the Brits have to answer for Neville Chamberlain with regard to how much they themselves eventually had to suffer, but M-R takes that to an even more cynical level.

    Likewise, maybe the Soviets shouldn’t have made complete asses of themselves during that earlier conflict with Finland — kind of like they’re doing now. Because that pathetic clown show of a performance is what convinced Hitler they could be taken, and without Western aid, he might have been proven correct. (Note that FInland, from what I can gather, didn’t receive massive shipments of Western aid when they were being pummeled by the Soviets.) So you can object to — or deflect from –all of that however much you like, and toss in however many red herrings about suffering you think will win you points, but it won’t change the importance of Western aid (admittedly largely Brit, as P Owen noted, in the early stages, anyway) to making Stalingrad an eventual Russian victory, whatever the cost.

    And since I’m limited to 3 comments per hour, I’ll respond here to the few bits of PhysicistDave’s latest round of increasingly unhinged rambling I was able to pick up:

    However “pesty” you find that memorandum, PhysicstDave, I and others like me know very clearly what it was we signed. Unlike that fictional NATO promise to never expand an inch to the East that bothers the fanboys so much, this one has actual signatures. It actually exists. No, it doesn’t have Senate confirmation, but as I noted, it was signed for principles most every reasonable person — even those averse to world police — can even today admit were valid, at a precarious and hectic time in world history when we really, really could have used one less nuclear state. In that sense, Ukraine did us all a solid, and it’s time to repay that debt. It’s as simple as that. You can shoot out as much ink as you like to try and deflect from that with your scared-squid routine, but you won’t fool anyone outside your shrinking echo chamber.

  425. Curle says:

    “Putin must stop the murdering of innocent whites.”

    A good argument to make to the leadership of an country with an good reason to be involved. Assuming you are an American, that isn’t your country.

    • Replies: @HA
  426. @HA

    “…it was signed for principles most every reasonable person — even those averse to world police — can even today admit were valid, at a precarious and hectic time in world history when we really, really could have used one less nuclear state. In that sense, Ukraine did us all a solid, and it’s time to repay that debt. It’s as simple as that.”

    So, weary of all the verbiage, the pro-Russian side opts for simplicity instead. Here’s another simple idea:. the West convinced the Ukraine to neuter itself and has been supplying it with other kinds of weapons to shore up its manliness for the last twenty years out of a sense of guilt. But guilt (not gilt, for the nonnative English speakers of the pastry persuasion) is a poor substitute for diplomacy. Here’s an example: the Ukrainians respect the Minsk accords and the West builds them some hospitals or astronomical observatories instead of sending weapons to fight a proxy war. Each path is a choice saying much about the values and intentions of the people involved. The West stopped negotiating and fell back on exclusively coercive measures. Russia felt compelled to respond in a similar manner which has led to an impasse that will involve ongoing skirmishes which will eventually end with Russia getting more than they would have under Minsk agreements. Is this because the Ukrainians are unreasonable and NATO reacted with kindness that kills by giving in to nearly all self-destructive demands? Stop wasting time and convince Zelensky to go to the negotiation table.

    • Replies: @HA
  427. HA says:
    @Curle

    “A good argument to make to the leadership of an country with an good reason to be involved. Assuming you are an American, that isn’t your country.”

    No, it isn’t, and it isn’t Putin’s either. And if he pulls his tanks out of Ukraine, the West can stop sending more of theirs. Pretty simple, really. Sphere of interest, you say? How convenient — pull my other leg.

    And like I said earlier, we passed on the right to “not be involved” when we decided we set out to broker that promise from Russia to not swipe Ukraine’s territory, in exchange for Ukraine handing them their nukes. We did that for pretty good reasons, but regardless, having done so, here we are. For anyone who isn’t one of Putin’s useful idiots, it’s not that hard to understand.

    • Replies: @Curle
  428. Dube says:
    @HA

    The Russians are voluntarily retreating from that city they just a few weeks ago swore would be theirs “forever”.

    Why voluntarily?

  429. Sean says:
    @HA

    In 2019, Ukraine elected Zelensky on a platform of pursuing a peace process in which the occupiers left the Donbass, which would be acknowledged by Russia to be a part of Ukraine. Yet even to get a permanent veto on Ukraine joining Nato, Russia never ever ever contemplated the return of Crimea to Ukraine.

    Retired General Ben Hodges who has been right about everything so far (for example he correctly predicted the Russians would fail to take Kiev) says Ukraine will force the Russians out of Crimea by summer 2023.

    Putin (or whoever is in the Kremlin then) will use battlefield thermonuclear weapons before they allow that to happen.

    • Replies: @HA
  430. @BosTex

    Why would anyone other than an insane dictatorship be so stupid as to fight a Stalingrad?

    • Replies: @BosTex
  431. Curle says:
    @HA

    “we passed on the right to “not be involved” when we decided we set out to broker that promise from Russia to not swipe Ukraine’s territory”

    No.

  432. @Anonymous

    The older ones don’t. People who watched history documentaries in the 1990’s and the first few years of the century were shocked at the revalations about WW2 such as the Molotov Ribbentrop pact, British support and the massive scale of American support. By 2008, these were no longer shown. Shortly after that, foreign news channels were removed from the standard cable bouquet, certainly in the provinces. If you wanted to watch BBC World (English or Russian), Deutche Welle etc you had to ask and give a reason. (learning English, following business news and so on). Your name would go on a list. It may have been diferent in St Moscowburg.

    That said, there were still people who collected American Jeeps, Studebakers and Bedfords as antiques so they kept the conversation alive. Younger people have been fed on that idea that the whole of Europe invaded Russia for no particularly good reason and Russia defeated them single handedly. The US just blocked Russia from taking everything, as you describe. Those without any strong history in historical truth accept this.

    However, I have interacted with Russian youth. The clever children in the gymnasium (grammar school) buy the government line. After all they can expect to do well in the present system. Russia’s quite substantial class system (eg students don’t get conscripted) means that the Bad Boys in the Yard see things differently. My particular bad boys liked the idea of having a pet foreigner so I was not in much danger even when they were drunk. I preferred them to the dogs. They all wanted to go to the USA. They were anti government. They probably grew up to vote LDPR.

    • Thanks: HA
  433. HA says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    “the West convinced the Ukraine to neuter itself…shore up its manliness for the last twenty years out of a sense of guilt. But guilt (not gilt, for the nonnative English speakers of the pastry persuasion) is a poor substitute for diplomacy. Here’s an example: the Ukrainians respect the Minsk accords and the West builds them some hospitals or astronomical observatories instead of sending weapons to fight a proxy war.”

    So much for the vaunted “simplicity” of the pro-Russian side. All I see is some convoluted fever dream involving neutering and manliness and the kind of thing that makes me think someone has some really deep insecurities. Can’t you just stuff a sock down there or buy a bigger pickup?

    “The West stopped negotiating and fell back on exclusively coercive measures. Russia felt compelled to respond in a similar manner…”

    No, that is 180-degrees incorrect. Nuland passed out pastries. NATO, as the example of Finland and Sweden demonstrates, only issues invitations. Enticement and invitation are the classic basis of peaceful negotiation. They don’t force their way in with tanks. Russia chose to do exactly that.

  434. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Putin (or whoever is in the Kremlin then) will use battlefield thermonuclear weapons before they allow that to happen.”

    Yeah, yeah, and Kherson will be Rusia’s forever. Just like Dallas and Sydney will alway be Russian, and anywhere else a Russian can roll his tanks. It’s all Russia! Forever!

    And like those countless warnings about NATO expansion you and Mearshimer yammer about (which suddenly lose their oomph when compared with the vast myriad of other threats Russia issues in any week and then eventually forgets about once reality takes hold), your bluster would be a bit more convincing on some day where the Ukrainians aren’t rejoicing on a city that is once again theirs, just weeks after Russians swore that it was theirs forever. Consider the possibility that without Odessa and Mykolaiv and a complete disarmament of Ukraine, Crimea is as nonsensical to defend as the left side of the Dnieper. If that means the resultant Russian outrage can only be expiated by the sight of Putin’s head rolling on the pavement of the Kremlin, that’s on them and them alone, though I know you’ll still do your best to blame that on the West, too. Whatever. Best of luck to you all.

    And to answer another question, when I say the Russians voluntarily chose to get up and leave once they realized the gig is up, I mean that they didn’t fight and fight no matter how hard it got, or whatever it was you claimed in that other tired meme you want to foist on us. It’s time to admit that all the propaganda you’ve been soaking up over the years needs a serious overhaul including those “Russians will fight to the last” and “Crimea must be ours or we’ll just have to nuke something”. If Kim can be brought into line by Uncle Xi regarding his nuclear ambitions, consider the possibility that Xi’s newest office boy can also be brought to heel. Putin will have enough on his plate worrying about how to stay alive, and making sure Uncle Xi’s dry cleaning is picked up on time.

    • Replies: @Dube
  435. Dube says:
    @HA

    …when I say the Russians voluntarily chose to get up and leave once they realized the gig is up, I mean that they didn’t fight and fight no matter how hard it got….

    The gig is up?

  436. Mark G. says:
    @HA

    Look, I save my arguments for instances where it seems those I’m arguing with know even less than I do.

    So, you only know more than other people about only two subjects out of all the problems facing this country? Either you are very stupid or a liar. Which one is it?

    You dropped the subject of Covid when it became too obvious that the vaccines you were pushing didn’t stop transmission of the disease and had negative side effects. The Florida Health Department recently did a study of death certificates and found that there was an 82% increase in heart related deaths among men under 40 who had received the Covid vaccine. They then put out an advisory telling men under 40 to not get that vaccine. It is not a coincidence that the governor, DeSantis, that most avoided lockdowns, mandatory masks and mandatory vaccines is highly popular now.

    The biggest scandal of the epidemic was the threatening of doctors who wanted to provide early treatment programs with jail time. This was done to push people in the direction of the vaccines in order to increase profits for the Democrats big pharma political donors. This was immoral, I won’t go along with something immoral, so I refused the vaccine. I understand that, since you don’t care about America, you don’t care about the traditional American values of freedom and individual rights so your response to someone who does like me is to sneer at them and insult them.

    • Replies: @HA
  437. @HA

    “They don’t force their way in with tanks. Russia chose to do exactly that.”

    Proxy war. Proxy war. Proxy war. NATOs aggression is directed at Russia.

  438. Sean says:

    Again, in 2019 Russia was willing to return its hard won 2014 de facto annexations in Donbass to Ukraine, yet there was never the slightest hint of Crimea (occupied without any resistance) being on the table even to achieve the objective of keeping Ukraine out of Nato.

    Your argument for Russia abandoning Crimea if conventionally defeated (or just slowly worn down by logistical and water supply difficulties) there is the withdrawal from Kherson. I don’t see this as a very comparable case.

    “Russians will fight to the last” and “Crimea must be ours or we’ll just have to nuke something”

    Use of nuclear weapons by Russia would end the fighting, and Ukraine has got no deterrent to such use, because against Mearsheimer’s advice of thirty years ago they gave it up.

    Crimea is as nonsensical to defend as the left side of the Dnieper. If that means the resultant Russian outrage can only be expiated by the sight of Putin’s head rolling on the pavement of the Kremlin, that’s on them and them alone,

    If Crimea was occupied by Ukraine and Putin dead that would end the war is what you seem to be assuming.

    The time to fight for Crimea was in 2014. Now, someone is going to have to match Russian nukes to take it. No one is going to lend Ukraine an umbrella.

  439. @HA

    My wee little buddy HAsbara wrote to me:

    Whereas any time I tune into Johnson and Macgregor…

    The same goes for “we should have listened to Mearshimer and all the other pro-Putin stooges…

    [Etc.]

    You are still, quite bizarrely, obsessed with your little “fantasy football” obsession with who can best predict the next two weeks or the next two months of this war.

    Look, little buddy: it is quite possible that Larry Johnson and Colonel Macgregor and Prof. Mearsheimer and even Dave Pinsen and I myself will all turn out to be horrible at predicting all the twists and turns of this war and, indeed, that you yourself will turn out to have been much better at such predictions and that nonetheless the puppet regime in Kiev will still decisively lose.

    Indeed, how good all of us do at predicting the detailed course of the war is simply and totally irrelevant to the outcome of the war.

    The Kremlin or Kiev does not somehow gain “extra points” if commenters who are, in some sense, aligned with one side or the other are better at predicting week-by-week or month-by-month details of what happens.

    No one here, and no one in the West, is privy to the plans and considerations of the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Russia would not be more likely to win if we were.

    Indeed, whether or not Russia wins does not really depend all that much on how good the Ministry of Defense itself is at predicting the details of what will happen.

    That is not how wars are won.

    Again: wars are not games of fantasy football.

    Wars are won by creating a situation in which the other side is either unable or unwilling to continue fighting.

    And that is all that matters.

    Advances, retreats, seizing territory, losing territory… none of that matters except as it affects the central issue: creating a situation in which the other side is either unable or unwilling to continue fighting.

    Anyone who actually knows anything about the history of warfare knows this (though you obviously don’t): at the end of WW I, for example, the Allies had not taken one square inch of Germany, whereas Germany still occupied a substantial amount of French territory.

    But Germany still lost.

    You can huff and puff all you want, but war is not a game of huffing and puffing.

    Russia’s material resources and manpower vastly exceed Ukraine’s. Perhaps Russia will simply get tired of all this mess and quit. Fine by me, if they do: I just want an end to the war.

    And it could happen, though I doubt it, since the four former Ukrainian oblasts are now formally part of Russia and since the Russians seem really to believe (correctly, in my judgment) that this is an existential struggle with the West, which is determined to destroy Russia.

    But, if Russia does not simply give up, Ukraine will lose.

    When?

    I don’t know, you don’t know, Putin and Zelensky do not know.

    It depends on decisions yet to be made in Moscow.

    But, in the end, if Moscow is determined to see this through, Ukraine will lose.

    HAsbara also wrote:

    I’m a results-oriented guy, so I know who got the higher score on that test.

    Which makes my point: you are not at all a “results-oriented guy,” because real “results-oriented guys” do not give a damn about “who got the higher score on that test.”

    It is petty little verbalist bureaucrats who think that way, not “results-oriented guys.”

    HAsbara also wrote:

    The Russians are voluntarily retreating from that city they just a few weeks ago swore would be theirs “forever”.

    Yes, “voluntarily,’ which is what competent military leaders, who are actually “results-oriented guys,” do all the time in war when it advances their larger strategic goals.

    The Russians in particular are historic masters of strategic retreats: study the Napoleonic Wars or WW II.

    But you won’t, because, unlike a number of us here, you have no actual interest in understanding war. All you want to do is huff and puff and argue about who is better at prognosticating in the hope of boosting the side who is paying you — the neo-Nazis in Kiev.

    But a lot of us here are actually not on either side: we simply want the killing to stop and we want the US to stop wasting money and lives propping up the neo-Nazi puppet regime in Kiev.

    And it would also be nice if the peace, when it comes, allows the various peoples in Eastern Europe to choose which government they wish to live under.

    There must be a negotiated peace that respects the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in the UN Charter.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Thanks: Sean, EddieSpaghetti
    • Replies: @Mark G.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    , @HA
  440. Dube says:

    At present, it might be better to have the opponent worry about occupying Kherson while you retain the option of blowing up the dam, rather than you worry about occupation while the opponent gets to blow up the dam and flood the city.

    Just sayin’. Don’t tell anybody.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @HA
    , @HA
  441. BosTex says:
    @Philip Owen

    There are many excellent works on the topic:

    Anthony Beevor’s is probably the best start point.

    Insane dictatorship.
    Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany?

    Sounds pretty simplistic to say that either were “insane”. Based on what we can tell both Stalin and Hitler were sane and mentally competent. (Hitler losing his grip toward the end, etc).

    Not sure if you mean why would a country fight a Stalingrad-type battle or why would they select Stalingrad as the site for a major battle?

    I would say: read Beevor’s book.

  442. @Dube

    The city of Kherson is mostly on high ground other than the port part. The civic center is maybe 150 feet up. The high ground is why Potemkin chose the site.

  443. Mark G. says:
    @PhysicistDave

    But a lot of us here are actually not on either side: we simply want the killing to stop and we want the US to stop wasting money and lives propping up the neo-Nazi puppet regime in Kiev.

    That may not be all that American taxpayer money is propping up:

    BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Tens of Billions of US Dollars Were Transferred to Ukraine and then Using FTX Crypto Currency the Funds Were Laundered Back to Democrats in US.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/11/breaking-exclusive-tens-billions-transferred-ukraine-using-ftx-crypto-currency-laundered-back-democrats-us/

  444. @PhysicistDave

    Russia’s material resources and manpower vastly exceed Ukraine’s.

    This is where your reasoning goes off the rails. You seem to think it is still 1941. Russia was a demographic and economic basket case before the war, it is in far worse shape now. It has no young men left to send, it can’t manufacture high tech military equipment and it has no logistics capabilities to speak of. The sanctions are destroying what was left of its manufacturing capabilities. Russia has to spend oil revenue to buy Western consumer goods through Turkey and Kazakhstan to dismantle them for the semiconductors. It would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. You live in a Communist fantasy land. As long as Ukraine has access to superior Western military equipment and military intelligence Russia is utterly screwed. I know you and your Commie buddies have fantasies about Western Europe collapsing without Russian energy but it just isn’t happening.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @Sean
  445. @PhysicistDave

    So you support deferring to UN authority on this matter?

    I advocate deferring to Article 1 of the UN Charter which guarantees the right of the people of the Donbass to choose not to be governed by the illegal putschist regime installed, financed, and maintained in Kiev by the US Deep State.

    So you believe the UN is wrong then to declare the annexation illegal?

    I have called again and again for peace on the basis of allowing all the peoples of Eastern Europe, and, specifically, the Donbass, the right to choose the government under which they live.

    You are certain that the UN allows taking invading and territory as long as a vote is held? Where is that in the UN charter?

    So you believe that Kherson had chosen Russia?

    And that LPR/DPR actually wanted to become Russian territory and not independent Republics as they originally claimed?

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  446. @Peter Akuleyev

    Peter Akuleyev wrote to me:

    This is where your reasoning goes off the rails. You seem to think it is still 1941. Russia was a demographic and economic basket case before the war, it is in far worse shape now.

    I’m pretty sure you have it exactly backwards, young fella.

    I have seen numerous videos and news reports from mainstream Western sources that show that Russia is enormously richer today than it was in 1941 or, indeed, 1981.

    PA also wrote:

    It has no young men left to send, it can’t manufacture high tech military equipment and it has no logistics capabilities to speak of. The sanctions are destroying what was left of its manufacturing capabilities.

    You are whistling past the graveyard.

    I am a physicist turned engineer: I almost became an economist. My father spent his adult life working in US manufacturing.

    Based on both my own experience and observations during the last fifty years, and my dad’s similar observations stretching back much further, it is the USA that has “de-industrialized” during the last seventy years.

    There are numerous statistics and academic studies backing this up.

    And, no, I am not going to get into a contest with you to present the data. Look it up: if you cannot find it, I do not care enough about you or respect you enough to help you find it.

    I honestly think that all intelligent people already know this. As to anyone who does not know about this, well, I simply do not give a damn about such people.

    Young little Peter also wrote to me:

    It would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. You live in a Communist fantasy land.

    I have lived my entire life in the USA, as have my parents and their parents before them. If you are saying that the USA is now a “Communist fantasy land,” well, yeah, the USA may now be more Marxist then either Russia or China, certainly among its ruling elites.

    If you are claiming I am a Communist, that just makes me chuckle: I am probably the most ardent, unrestrained advocate of free-market capitalism among all the commenters on this site and among anyone you are ever likely to meet in your entire life. My views on capitalism make Ayn Rand look like a socialist!

    Young little Peter also wrote:

    Russia is utterly screwed. I know you and your Commie buddies have fantasies about Western Europe collapsing without Russian energy but it just isn’t happening.

    The ruble is strong and the West needs Russian resources and, because of the de-industrialization of the West, Chinese manufactured goods.

    I realize that you are too young to have experienced the collapse of the West, and, a while back, you claimed to live in Bucharest, so the West is alien to you.

    But the West is really in horrible trouble.

    I think that if the West would return to free-market capitalism, it might be possible to save the West.

    But I do not think the Western ruling class is willing to allow that to happen: they profit too much from the fake, crony capitalism that now dominates the West.

  447. HA says:
    @Dube

    “At present, it might be better to have the opponent worry about occupying Kherson while you retain the option of blowing up the dam…”

    It’s my understanding that if the dam is blown up, Crimea is without water, so it’s not something the Russians would do (except to try and pin it on the Ukrainians, as in, “see, they destroy our infrastructure, too”. The fact that Kherson controls the water supply to Crimea is one of the reasons the Russians invested so heavily in bribing the local politicians to their side before invading. And also one of the reasons why so many trolls still dream about Odessa and Mykolaiv (though at least a few are starting to see reality – H/T to Matra on another thread for alerting me to this).:

    As for the rest of the trolls whose take on reality is even shakier, as long as Crimea is in Russian hands, they must, MUST have all of that surrounding territory. I.e. it’s just a pretext for justifying control of Ukraine in the first place.

    If the Russians are driven out of Crimea, they may well blow the dam up, but they’ll probably need to be driven out of the northern areas as well.

  448. HA says:
    @Mark G.

    “So, you only know more than other people about only two subjects out of all the problems facing this country?”

    Or else I don’t insist on making people discuss those topics where I presume to know more than others. I’m more than happy to let others discuss the finer points of IQ tests and golf architecture, and if I were a biometrician or landscaper, I might have more to say about that, too. I’m not. As for COVID, one only needs to be not-a-total-idiot to be able to see that a large chunk of what most of the commenters here were urging was trash, or at least deeply inconsistent (as in “let’s base everything on excess death statistics — oh, wait, you say that large and obvious spikes are happening? well, in that case, let’s forget all about what we ourselves were urging just a little while ago and hope no one calls us out”). So even though I have no particular medical expertise, and never claimed to, I didn’t see it as necessary after a while.

  449. HA says:
    @Dube

    “Look,… it is quite possible that Larry Johnson and Colonel Macgregor and Prof. Mearsheimer and even Dave Pinsen and I myself will all turn out to be horrible at predicting all the twists and turns of this war and, indeed, that you yourself will turn out to have been much better at such predictions and that nonetheless the puppet regime in Kiev will still decisively lose.”

    Oh, anything is possible, and I’d be the last to claim that Kherson proves the outcome of the war, or any of its many contingent disaster scenarios. But let’s stop pretending that whether or not you and the rest of those jokers you mentioned are horrible at predicting all the twists and turns of this war is still an open question. It isn’t. And the fact that even now, even regarding the matter of Kherson, stooges are showing up on this thread and telling Sailer — who largely got Kherson right — that he needs to listen more to these so-called experts — who clearly got it wrong — tells me all I need to know about the fanboys’ limited attachment to reality (and a lot about Dunning-Kruger). I myself prefer to listen to people who have shown themselves to have a clue. You obviously think otherwise.

    So. yeah, when it comes to war (or the subsequent peace), the opposing side may be proven right in the end regarding who the real winner is. Blind squirrel, etc. The unpredictability of war is, like I already said, one of the main reasons for being against those who launch them. But if that’s all your boy Putin has to console himself with at this point, he’s in deep trouble, especially given all the advantages he previously had and chose to squander. You and your salty little friends can continue to back-slap each other in agreement at anyone like me who dares to point out what a bunch of idiots you turned out to be, but consoling each other on your collective stupidity — which is all you’re doing — won’t do anything to fix it. Only an idiot would think otherwise, and yet here you all are doing that, so yeah, that all adds up.

  450. Sean says:

    The unpredictability of war is, like I already said, one of the main reasons for being against those who launch them

    In fairness, Russia intended something well short of a war. So did Ukraine when it pulled out of the 2019 deal. They both underestimated their opponent

    Putin has to console himself with at this point, he’s in deep trouble, especially given all the advantages he previously had and chose to squander.

    The world’s assessments of Russian capabilities were based on American Military Indusial Complex systematic exaggeration of those capabilities. All Mearsheimer predicted about the course of the war (he of course predicted the war 30 years ago) is that America was going to stop Russia from winning in Ukraine; the Russians are going to “fight like hell”, and the war will go on and on and on.

    It won’t be pretty

    • Replies: @HA
    , @Corvinus
  451. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “Russia’s material resources and manpower vastly exceed Ukraine’s. “

    They don’t exceed the West’s supply of obsolete Cold War gear. They certainly don’t exceed Ukraine’s willingness to fight, according to their own twisted conspiracy theories which claim the Ukrainians have no problem with their horrific casualty figures. Let’s remember that the Russians started this conflict boasting about their we-don’t-care-how-many-vatniks-die meatgrinder-go-brrrrr tactics that “never fail” and how Ukraine will always be more important to them than it is to the West. The meatgrinder thing was always a lie (e.g., it didn’t win them Afghanistan, and it might have lost in WWII without all that Allied aid), and now, the trolls have done an about face regarding Kherson, and are insisting that every soldier is precious to them and that why they had to retreat, whereas the foolish Ukrainians are willing to take any loss.

    And so the trolls are now pushing morons like Berletic, who claim that Russia — with a GDP less than that of California) — was always playing this as a game of attrition. Sure it was, Brian. But like I said, even by your own twisted conspiracy theories, the Ukrainians are supposedly willing to take any loss no matter how bloody, right? And now they have guns and advisors and mercenaries that vastly outnumber and outpower whatever it is that the Russians are haggling with North Korea over.

    That being the case, let’s all recall whether packing a larger weight helped the Russians (or the US) in their fight against the Afghans who were fanatical enough to accept any loss? It didn’t. What about the US and Vietnam? No again. No. matter how important Crimea is to Russia’s existence (yeah, right), Ukraine will always be more important to Ukrainians. They live there. Russians don’t.

    In other words, even though the Russians are now floating narratives that fall apart even according to their own twisted narratives, you morons have the nerve to come up here — in a thread about Kherson whose offensive most of you laughed at — and claim that when it comes to Johnson and the Saker and Berletic, “You won’t find flaw in any of them.”. Seriously? Intelligent Dasein — the guy who over a month ago said that Ukraine would no longer be a real country in 72 hours — now claims that “everything I said turned out to be correct. Or that other fanboy who insists that “current events are playing as I said”, because even if they take Kherson “Ukies are screwed, out of supplies and surrounded”. Really?

    No one is saying morons like them and you will be wrong all the time. All I’m saying is that it’s stupid to keep pushing these “experts” on us, the way you did for these many months with your periodic update that, according to your stooge “experts”, the war is going really well for Putin, actually, like some anti-vaxxer gleaning out the one dubious trial and ignoring all the rest. You think a true friend of Russia, or of peace in general, would have enabled idiots like these? Of course not. Remember, before they surrendered Kherson, the Russians decided to kill off their biggest local cheerleader in a “car wreck” (I’m guessing he had a smoking accident like Russians so often do these days). I’m not saying they’ll go out of their way to kill a pipsqueak like you, or even someone like Macgregor, but they’ll realize you were the kind of losers who should have been ignored from the start, and likely blame you for helping them get into this mess.

    So you go on pretending you care about UN Charters and stopping the killing. The record indicates otherwise. Next time, don’t tangle with someone who has a working memory.

    (My apologies to Dube for mistakenly replying to him instead of PhysicistDave in my previous post.)

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  452. HA says:
    @Sean

    “ll Mearsheimer predicted about the course of the war (he of course predicted the war 30 years ago) is that America was going to stop Russia from winning in Ukraine; the Russians are going to ‘fight like hell’, and the war will go on and on and on.”

    And here the Russians are, retreating from Kherson despite what you said about how their “mindset is keep the war going at however great a cost or cease to be taken seriously”. Holding on to Kherson — a city they just weeks ago claimed will be Russian forever — is evidently not worth the cost. That being the case, what else just isn’t worth the cost? After all, according to you, all they have to do to set things right and be taken seriously again is to toss Putin out a window or something. I’m not sure why the trolls keep saying that, but it seems a more realistic goal at this point than hanging on to Crimea.

    In any case, so much for Mearshimer and “fight like hell”. Where does he factor in the fact that it’s actually the Ukrainians who are willing to do that over and above the Russians? Where does he point out that their personal interests in what happens to Ukraine outmatch Russia’s? Somehow he forgot to ask them? So toss that garbage in the can where it belongs, Sean. Same goes for Obama’s specious theorizing about Ukraine, given that he evidently made the same omission.

    You yourself predicted at the start of the offensive (or at least agreed with your back-slapper buddy Johnny Rico), that holding on to Kherson was looking like a long shot for the Russians. That’s what I mean about you occasionally having the smarts to break free and think for yourself. You should do that more often and stop relying on your vast internal store of RT propaganda that you can’t seem to help defaulting to, but if you insist on rehashing that and stuff like Mearshimer and his fatal omissions, I can’t stop you.

    • Replies: @Sean
  453. Sean says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    This is where your reasoning goes off the rails. You seem to think it is still 1941.

    https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/Deathride/John-Mosier/9781416577027

    Mosier argues that the Soviet losses in World War II were unsustainable and would eventually have led to defeat. The Soviet Union had only twice the population of Germany at the time, but it was suffering a casualty rate more than two and a half times the German rate. Because Stalin had a notorious habit of imprisoning or killing anyone who brought him bad news (and often their families as well), Soviet battlefield reports were fantasies, and the battle plans Soviet generals developed seldom responded to actual circumstances. In this respect the Soviets waged war as they did everything else: through propaganda rather than actual achievement.”
    ——
    When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power the USSR was having to buy grain from the the US, yet the Kremlin had a superiority in offensive thermonuclear missiles despite President Reagans year’s of build up (the US under Reagan was spending on defensive systems because it could not match the offensive ICBM arsenal of the USSR). I think the conclusion must be Russia is profligate and wasteful of its resources especially manpower, yet has got away with doing that, and maybe can again. America has never said it is committed to Ukraine winning, just that Russia must be seriously weakened. The game is a zero sum one for Russia and America. Ukraine’s fate is an incident not an end.

    You live in a Communist fantasy land. As long as Ukraine has access to superior Western military equipment and military intelligence Russia is utterly screwed. I know you and your Commie buddies have fantasies about Western Europe collapsing without Russian energy but it just isn’t happening.

    You are lost in Glosnost which came about when the USSR’s agricultural production expert who came to power after a collapse in the oil price when only the West was paying for oil. (Soviets subsidised energy to Poland ECT). The west’s victory in the Cold War–during which America was closer to the Soviets and Chinese than they were to each other was due the nature of Kremlin leadership at a time of time of tanked energy prices placing a peculiarly low value on the value of winning the Cold War. The situation currently is a counter intel specialist (ie professional paranoiac) has total control in the Kremlin, and embared on a militaery initiative the most signficant effect of will be to decisively turn Russia away from supplying energy to Western Europe and to supply it to China (now worlds largest wheat producer BTW). That arrangement is permanent, and has profound implications for the deindustialisation of Western Europe.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  454. Sean says:
    @HA

    Mearsheimer always had a relatedly low opinion of the Russian army; he said in his first book way back in the 80s that the Soviet Union could not succeed in a conventional invasion and battle for Western Europe. About the war in Ukraine, Mearsheimer merely said he cannot see how it might end. The withdrawal from west bank Kherson is not a signal that the Russians are seriously thinking of bringing the war to an end. Indeed, it is quite the opposite because Kherson would have been held onto as a bargaining chip by Russia if the Kremlin was contemplating a negotiated end to the war this year.

    The personal interests of Ukraine outmatching Russia’s is doubtless true up to a certain point, yet there will be a tipping level of KIA/ maimed on the respective sides. Ukraine has been able to maintain national morale and military effectiveness while taking as many casualties as Russia in absolute terms (supposedly the figure amounts to 100,000 for each), yet the Russian are still fighting stubbornly if not skillfully, with no signs of stopping. I think Mearsheimer has been show to be correct about the course of this war. And about the condition it will ultimately leave Ukraine in: wrecked.

    • Replies: @HA
  455. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Mearsheimer always had a relatedly low opinion of the Russian army”

    I’m no strategist, but based on what I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, I’m not so confident that “the war will go on and on and on”. I.e., it seems his opinion wasn’t nearly low enough. Instead of having wasted all that time rehashing his pothole-filled windbaggery, you would have been better off thinking for yourself.

    • Replies: @Sean
  456. Sean says:
    @HA

    The Ukrainian electorate voted for Zelensky because he said he would bring peace and return of the Donbass, and he was in the process of making such an agreement law when loud demonstrations outside his office made him change his mind. So they voted for an end to a limited war, and got a total one.

    Ukraine has an almost two thousand kilometer land border with Russia. Because Ukraine is in the process of turning into a very well armed state allied to Nato, no Russian leader can now quit this war without have gained a buffer area on that border. Moreover, the poor performance of the Russian army has made clear how essential strategic space is for the defence of Russia. You may say no one is going to attack Russia, but they see things in a very different light.

    A lot of the semi official commentary in Nato countries on how the war is about to go very badly for Russia is an attempt to steer Russia into giving up, which prolly means the West is privately scared of a massive Russian offensive breaking the back of the Ukrainian army. But Russia has already proved to be very gullible in believing Ukrainian statements so maybe they are serious about talks supposedly going on.

    • Replies: @HA
  457. Art Deco says:
    @BosTex

    I think it is safe to say that Israel launched the Six Day War via a preventive attack.

    No, Israel attacked the Egyptian air force. Egypt had already put a casus belli in place and taken steps that would lead any prudent actor to believe an attack was imminent. If it had been any other party doing this but one of Israel’s adversaries, the lot of you clowns would be blaming that party.

  458. Art Deco says:
    @Mr. Anon

    You are a liar.

    No, I’m telling you a truth you would recognize if anyone but Israel was being menaced.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  459. Art Deco says:
    @PhysicistDave

    right of the people of the Donbass to choose not to be governed by the illegal putschist regime installed, financed, and maintained in Kiev by the US Deep State.

    The illegal putschist regime would be the legislature and president elected in 2019. One might note that the legislative majority was won by a political party not yet founded at the time of the previous legislative election and that the incumbent president was voted out of office.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  460. HA says:
    @Sean

    “A lot of the semi official commentary in Nato countries on how the war is about to go very badly for Russia is an attempt to steer Russia into giving up, which prolly means the West is privately scared of a massive Russian offensive breaking the back of the Ukrainian army.”

    Yeah, sure. Give up, you say? You mean tell the Russians they need to move their tanks back across Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders? The West has only now started doing that? And all because they’re oh-so scared of the bear, given his fierce performance on the battlefield thus far?

    And as for official commentary, you mean the announcement by the RUSSIANS THEMSELVES — i.e. straight from the desk of Gen. Armageddon/Dr. Evil — that they’re pulling out of a city they just weeks ago swore was theirs forever because, even after dumping all that manpower and artillery over there so as to fend off the Ukrainian offensive that their trolls said was all a farce to begin with, they now realize that it can’t realistically be held? Yeah, it must be all those spies that NATO countries have infiltrated into the Russian army who are responsible for all that.

    That would actually explain a lot about this war, come to think of it, but probably not in the way you meant.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  461. Corvinus says:
    @Sean

    “The Russians are going to “fight like hell”, and the war will go on and on and on.“

    You mean like the way they did in Afghanistan? How did that turn out? How are you certain Putin’s successors will carry on with his “noble” objective to remove the Neo Nazis—the ones that annamaria insist are “fake”—from Ukraine? Will they brutally crack down on internal dissent?

    • Replies: @Sean
  462. Mr. Anon says:
    @Art Deco

    No, I’m telling you a truth you would recognize if anyone but Israel was being menaced.

    It has nothing to do with it being Israel vs. any other country. For me at least. Though that appears not to be the case with you?

    Who fired first? Which side drew blood first? Can you even answer that honestly, or do you feel you would burst into flames if you did so?

    You’re a dissembling liar. Probably why nobody hereabouts places much of any stock in what you say, you pedantic ninny.

  463. @HA

    My wee little buddy HAsbara wrote to me:

    Let’s remember that the Russians started this conflict

    That is the Big Lie that you keep repeating, just like you Nazis always do.

    This war started in 2014 when the US Deep State orchestrated a putsch against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine, the Donbass refused to participate in the putsch, and the puppet regime in Kiev, with military and financial support from the US Deep State, started murdering people in the Donbass.

    We all know that this is what happened.

    You do, too.

    Russia did not start this war.

    You have been lying now for a very long time, but everyone knows the truth.

    HAsbara also wrote:

    No one is saying morons like them and you will be wrong all the time. All I’m saying is that it’s stupid to keep pushing these “experts” on us, the way you did for these many months with your periodic update that, according to your stooge “experts”, the war is going really well for Putin…

    You are still fixated on your bizarre obsession about which “experts” are best at predicting the week-by-week or month-by-month course of the war.

    That does not matter.

    Russia is the largest country in area in the world. It has enormous natural resources. Russia’s reserves of military manpower exceed the entire male population of Ukraine. According to Establishment Western media sources that have gone into Ukraine and talked to actual members of the Ukrainian forces, the ratio of casualties is horrendously against Ukraine.

    And the West has de-industrialized. What the West is good at now is social media and the “crypto industry.” And we know how they are turning out!

    Let’s just say that Sam Bankman-Fried and Mark Zuckerberg are not of much help in fighting a war.

    You are an example of this, although of course you are not a Westerner.

    You are a loudmouthed, obnoxious jerk with no apparent skills or accomplishments in life. At all.

    All you do is lie and defame people who simply want an end to the killing.

    For example, you just wrote to me:

    So you go on pretending you care about UN Charters and stopping the killing. The record indicates otherwise. Next time, don’t tangle with someone who has a working memory.

    You are lying, and you have not and can not give evidence to back your lies.

    I have repeatedly said that I do not care who “wins” this war and that, indeed, I am doubtful that the SMO was in the interest of the Russian people. I have indeed told the truth about how this war started in 2014 and pointed out the lies by you and the other Penis-Piano-Player worshipers here.

    But I have been steadfast in calling for a negotiated peace that both sides will accept to end the killing.

    And, yes, I do think a reasonable basis for peace is the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter.

    Are you opposed to that principle?

    Are you willing to come out and endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples?

    There must be a negotiated peace on the basis of the principle of self-determination of peoples.

    So that the killing will stop.

    • Replies: @HA
  464. Sean says:
    @Corvinus

    Gorby unilaterally reduced the USSR’s conventional forces (unilaterally) and he also ordered a withdrawal from Afghanistan , which had been invaded ten years before. He also withdrew from Eastern Europe. Gorby had the suport of the US in trying to turn the USSR into a democratic federation, but Yeltsin made a power play and Ukraine bolted–being unwilling to remain in a federation so dominated by Russians. Gory was an outlier, Yeltsin was a Russian chauvinist who started wars, rigged election, bombarded the Russian parliament, and privately scared the Westerners who met him because he was an often-unpredictable drunk with the launch codes for ICBMs (partially activated during the Black Brant scare). As Jack Matlock JR Reagan’s Soviet expert said, while America had gave

    “no legally binding obligation, … the subsequent expansion of NATO was not a bad idea because it was a broken promise. It was a bad idea period”

    In 2008 Nato announced that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of Nato in the future, and Russia invaded Georgia later that year, but and the 29014 annexation of Crimea and semi civil war in Donbass, did not stop Nato reiterating each year since that Ukraine would at some point be joining Nato. They seemed to be getting a deal with the newly installed President Zelensky in 2019, but after submitting it for ratification Zelensky did a U-turn and began pursuing policies towards Russia that were the opposite of the Donbass peace process platform he was elected on. The Biden administration somewhat encouraged him in this. When talking about Putin’s failing one must compare him with other leader and I think he is not great but pretty much par for the course and predictable in all his moves. Zelensky is the most inexperienced person ever put in charge of a country, and he got the position by promising voters policies that are the exact opposite of what he actually has did in office.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  465. @Art Deco

    Art Deco wrote to me:

    The illegal putschist regime would be the legislature and president elected in 2019.

    Yes, that’s right! Glad to see you are finally getting it, old man!

    Better late than never.

    In 2014, West Ukraine chose, in the Maidan putsch, with strong encouragment and involvement from the US Deep State, to secede from the legally established government of Ukraine and establish a new putschist regime. Which, by the way, would be fine with me, if it had indeed been the free choice of the people of West Ukraine without involvement from the US Deep State.

    But the Donbass declined to join that putschist regime, which was surely their right under the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in the UN Charter, and so the puppet regime in Kiev started killing people in the Donbass.

    Which is certainly not fine with me or with any human being with a conscience.

    Quite understandably, given the ongoing murders, the Donbass never has decided to join in the new putschist regime in Kiev, despite the fact that there has been a turnover in the despots controlling that regime (e.g., as you point out, in the 2019 election).

    Would you? Wouldn’t you think that the people of the Donbass had truly lost their minds if they chose to join the putschist regime in Kiev that was murdering them, simply because that puppet regime had conducted new elections? Why on earth would those new elections, in which of course the Donbass did not participate since the Donbass never chose to join the putschist regime, have any influence on the people of the Donbass at all?

    Do you endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter?

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  466. @John Johnson

    My favorite little Fed John Johnson asked me:

    So you believe the UN is wrong then to declare the annexation illegal?

    I have and have always had the utmost contempt for the UN, simply because it is composed of governments, almost all of which, by any normal standard, are extremely corrupt.

    In particular, the parties that put the principle of self-determination of peoples into Article 1 of the UN Charter were lying hypocrites: they included the vicious dictators who ruled over the French and British Empires, for example. We pretend that France and Britain in the late 1940s were “democracies,” but they certainly were not if you were an Indian, an inhabitant of French West Africa, etc. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate empires?)

    But those evil men put the principle of self-determination of peoples into Article 1 of the UN Charter because it is, of course, a very noble principle indeed. But they were lying in terms of pretending that they intended to live up to it.

    The Fed also asked:

    You are certain that the UN allows taking invading and territory as long as a vote is held? Where is that in the UN charter?

    The people of the Donbass declined to join the putschist regime established in West Ukraine in 2014, with the connivance of the US Deep State, when West Ukraine seceded from the legal government of Ukraine.

    By any plausible meaning of the principle of self-determination of peoples, the Donbass had a right to decline to join in that putschist regime.

    But then that putschist regime tried to force them to join and started murdering them when they declined.

    So, to answer your question: no, the UN Charter does not allow the putschist regime in Kiev to seize the Donbass.

    But under the principle of self-determination of peoples, of course the Donbass had a perfect right, under international law and the UN Charter to choose to join the Russian Federation, just as the UK had the right to join the European Union. A universally recognized general principle of international law — except when the US Deep State decides otherwise, of course.

    The Fed also asked me:

    So you believe that Kherson had chosen Russia?

    Since the putschist regime in Kiev threatened dire terrorist actions against anyone who participated in the plebiscite, it actually surprises me that as many as 13 percent of the people who voted did vote against joining Russia: says a lot about the putschist regime in Kiev that they forbade people who agreed with them from participating in the plebiscite.

    I guess the putschist regime knew that they would lose in a truly representative vote.

    The Fed also asked me:

    And that LPR/DPR actually wanted to become Russian territory and not independent Republics as they originally claimed?

    Oh, I would have preferred, and I think they might have preferred, to remain independent republics. But if I had been living there, I think the mass murders carried out by the puppet regime in Kiev would have convinced me that safety was only possible by joining the Russian Federation.

    I wish the putschist regime had accepted peaceful plebiscites way back in 2014 to determine the future of the Donbass oblasts. But they were never willing to do that. They thought that by overthrowing the legitimate government of Ukraine, they somehow magically became the legitimate government of all of Ukraine.

    Which is a sign of their level of insanity.

    Self-determination of peoples: “let my people go.”

  467. @HA

    “You may say no one is going to attack Russia, but they see things in a very different light.”

    Pay attention. You will live longer and happier.

    • Thanks: Sean
    • Replies: @HA
  468. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “This war started in 2014 when the US Deep State orchestrated a putsch against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine,”

    Not gonna work, PhysicistDave. As the BBC noted, those secret recordings showed that the US was simply trying to broker a deal. No tanks, and no swiping of territory. Overall, a lot less meddlesome than your boy publicly forcing his puppet to renege on that EU deal and sign up with Russia instead. Yeah, we can agree that Yanukovych was legitimately elected. It doesn’t mean he can’t get ousted if he’s exposed as the Russian stooge that he is. Which is what happened. Next time, your boy shouldn’t be so obvious about yanking those puppet strings. Stop blaming the US for his bungling.

    “I have repeatedly said that I do not care who “wins” this war and that,”

    No, that’s a recent development — an effort to distance yourself from what part of you even now realizes is turning out to be a Russian debacle. For the most part, you have repeatedly regurgitated RT propaganda to the effect that “Ukrainians” in Donbass (i.e. soldiers like Strelkov who were drawing salaries from Moscow) were totally legit in their armed insurrection, whereas everything else you don’t like is a US-orchestrated putsch, no matter what the US did by way of referenda and other attempts to broker a deal that would bring all sides to the table. Putting putsch in boldface won’t make that claim any more accurate. As noted, the Crimean “referendum” didn’t even have an option for the Crimeans to stay with Ukraine. But to you, it was totally legit.

    “Russia is the largest country in area in the world….the ratio of casualties is horrendously against Ukraine.”

    Ooh, largest country in area, you say? Oh yeah, that’ll win them a war. For sure. And the ratio of casualties is actually about even (a hundred K or so per side) even though most of the Ukrainian deaths happened before those NATO weapons arrived. Since then, the only source of the “horrendous losses of the Ukrainians” comes from your goons, and they’re just a precursor that sets Russia up to fail. Because at some point, the “horrendous losses” narrative just means they’re going to admit — as they admitted in Afghanistan — that there’s no point in having a country like Russia that lovingly safeguards the life of every single soldier, so much that they’re willing to withdraw from Kherson, try to win against subhuman khokols, who are like the Taliban and are willing to take any loss no matter how horrendous. That’s similarly why the Americans ultimately withdrew from not just Afghanistan, but also Vietnam.

    So. yeah, you go ahead and keep floating that meme. And if the Russians can “temporarily” withdraw from Kherson, let them keep temporarily withdrawing from Crimea and Donbass , too– just temporarily, mind you, until some winter offensive now or a few years down the road brings it all back, 100% guaranteed. Yeah, that works for me. Maybe Nuland can even broker a deal to that effect and your boys in Moscow can secretly record it. No problem there, either.

    So that’s what you’re setting up here. But like I said before, you rarely stop to think through the pothole-filled memes you float out.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @PhysicistDave
  469. HA says:
    @Johnny Rico

    “Pay attention. You will live longer and happier.”

    Give me a break. Even if Russia were to achieve its objectives and take over Ukraine, the resultant union would still be rubbing up against a sworn and well-armed enemy willing to do what it takes to keep the Russians in their place — or whatever it was that Sean was saying — except in that case it would be Poland. Like I said, Putin had the friendly buffer state he wanted before he started swiping off chunks of it for himself.

    You and Sean can keep floating silly memes about existential threats that Putin himself is responsible for, just like he keeps pretending Crimea is somehow essential to Russian survival, but don’t expect anyone to pay attention to any of it, except to expose it as yet another facile lie.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  470. Sean says:

    You and I may not think Crimea is essential to Russian survival, but the people who matter are in Russia. Unlike Donbass Crimea was not going to be handed back to Ukraine in the 2019 deal Zelensky did a U-turn on. The Russians (not without reason) regard it as inherently Russian, and are not going to accept its loss, and they have a capability to stop the Ukrainian army, if they choose to use it.

    I speak of a promise to use thermonuclear weapons if Crimea is being attacked, and not a vague one–an explicit message to US diplomats. America will tell Ukraine to stop before doing much to Crimea. The sooner Ukraine tries to isolate Crimea, the sooner the war will end with them being denied HIMARS rockets and targeting information for them, without which Ukraine is nothing much. I think they’ll try Donbass first.

  471. Sean says:
    @HA

    Zelesky got elected quite clearly saying he was going to make peace. But after some initial moves for a modified Minsk agreement and some demos against him, he altered course completely, which led to an invasion. Everyone would be better off if the majority of voters’ will had been respected.

    • Replies: @HA
  472. HA says:
    @Sean

    “You and I may not think Crimea is essential to Russian survival, but the people who matter are in Russia.”

    Yes, and maybe if their stooges abroad would make the effort to explain that the Russian narrative is a tissue of lies and inconsistencies, they’d more quickly face reality in the way they just did with Kherson. I.e. even according to their own ever-changing narrative, that now claims they value the lives of their soldiers enough to do whatever it takes to save them, as opposed to the dirty, bloodthirsty, subhuman and savage khokhols who are willing to suffer any loss, there’s not much point in letting that gaping would keep bleeding. They eventually realized that winning in Afghanistan just wasn’t as important as they originally claimed, giving how willing those Taliban were to suffer their horrendous losses. Ergo, they can do the same this time around, too.

    “I speak of a promise to use thermonuclear weapons if Crimea is being attacked, and not a vague one–an explicit message to US diplomats.”

    Oh, so that endless stream of “promises” is different from all the other threats they issue during the course of normal business hours? As in, this time we really, really mean it? You don’t think there were any explicit messages to US diplomats regarding the expansion of NATO? You don’t think there were any explicit messages to US diplomats regarding the delivery of those HIMARS and other weaponry? And yet, here Finland and Sweden are, and those HIMARS keep rocking. And Uncle Xi has put a big thumbs down on escalating this thing to nuke-level. I don’t know it that involved promises or threats or a simple brush-off, but I take that a little more seriously than anything coming Lavrov or Peskov or any other such goon issuing yet another dire warning.

    I.e., save it, Sean. Trying to pretend that “promises” from a Russian diplomat are any more trustworthy than the other slew of lies they spew in any given week isn’t going to impress me.

    “Zelesky got elected quite clearly saying he was going to make peace.”

    Make peace with Putin? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with trusting him? And according to Putin’s own personal envoy, Zelensky had given Putin an agreement whereby Ukraine would have stayed out of NATO, so that he seems to have delivered on that stated resolve to make peace. And according to you, he offered up Crimea as well. But even so, it wasn’t good enough. Your boy still chose to invade.

    Yet again I will tell you, Sean, maybe it’s time to start considering that what you and Putin have now at this moment — however existentially threatening you and he find it to be — is a lot better than whatever mess Putin and his circle are going to make once he decides he’s gonna fix things by digging himself in deeper. If Dr. Evil can “temporarily” withdraw from Kherson and explain to everyone that he’s just facing reality and doing what needs to be done to preserve the lives of Russian soldiers, he can repeat the same trick and “temporarily” withdraw from Crimea and Donbass, too. Otherwise, even according to Putin’s maximalist war aims, they’ll just be right next to Poland at some point, and they hate Poles about as much as they hate Ukrainians. That being the case, maybe it’s time to settle for a neighbor like Ukraine and call it a day. I.e., keep those “temporary” retreats coming. Talk about living longer and happier.

    • Replies: @EddieSpaghetti
  473. Anonymous[168] • Disclaimer says:

    Russia isn’t going to use nuclear weapons, that’s one thing we can be sure of.

    It should be obvious by now that Putin always does the opposite of what he says. The fact that he’s perpetually threatening to nuke everybody and his aunt means he’s not going to nuke anyone.

    The time to start worrying is when he starts denying that he intends to use nukes

  474. Sean says:

    Russia never offered Crimea, only Donbass was on the table; that was my point, Crimea is NFS. Russia never said it would use nuclear weapons to defend Kherson. If there was to be a specific explicit threat by Russia to detonate some sort of thermonuclear weapons to defend Ukraine by Russia, it would absolutely have to follow through on it, or else what would be the point of it continuing to have nuclear weapons.

    It can not more give up after failing to defend Crimea conventionally than it could do the same with Vladivostok. The reason Russia has so many tactical nukes in the first place is for using on a Chinese army to defend the Russian Far East,

    That being the case, maybe it’s time to settle for a neighbor like Ukraine and call it a day.

    If the Russians thought of things like that they never would have invaded in the first place. But they did. It will be very bad for the nonproliferation cause for Ukraine to try and take Crimea.

    • Replies: @HA
  475. @HA

    HA wrote:

    “[the Russians would] more quickly face reality in the way they just did with Kherson. I.e. even according to their own ever-changing narrative, that now claims they value the lives of their soldiers enough to do whatever it takes to save them, as opposed to the dirty, bloodthirsty, subhuman and savage khokhols who are willing to suffer any loss”

    In fact, just like the Russians, the Ukrainians originally withdrew from, as opposed to being driven from, Kherson. So, evidently, as far as Kherson was concerned, the Ukrainians were not “dirty, bloodthirsty, subhuman and savage khokols who are willing to suffer any loss.” Perhaps the Ukrainian generals involved involved in the withdrawal even cared about their troops. Of course, you and Zelensky were highly critical of this withdrawal. But of course, you and Zelensky (who much like Castro in the Cuban missile crisis, advocated for a nuclear first strike that would have led to the total annihilation of his country as well as the annihilation of much of the rest of the world) don’t give a damn about Ukrainian lives. It’s clear that you, Zelensky, some Poles and some Ukrainians are fine with the notion of being vaporized by nuclear weapons as long as the Russians are vaporized as well.

    • Replies: @HA
  476. HA says:
    @Sean

    “Russia never said it would use nuclear weapons to defend Kherson.”

    Maybe not, but they did announce to the world that it was theirs forever, shortly before deciding it would “temporarily” be Ukrainian again. Oh, well. You want to keep mansplaining about how there’s some clear delineation as to which of the plethora of Putin’s lies or Russia’s resolutions/messages/threats/warnings/diplomacy that I’m really, truly, pinky-swear, this-time-we-really-mean-it supposed to believe? Go ahead, but your guy has issued way too much smoke for any of that to make sense.

    And I’ve already dissected your Crimea-is-very-important-it-really-is circumlocutions well enough to know they’re hogwash apart from giving Russia an excuse to perpetually meddle with Ukraine until it is all theirs. If you think that it’s important enough to warrant a nuke, then I agree with you — there really is no point in Russia having nukes at all. If that’s what your boy Putin told you, maybe there’s no point in having him around, either. Good of you to recognize that, if only implicitly. We’ll put a pin in that. But for now, just keep those “temporary” retreats coming.

    • Replies: @Sean
  477. Sean says:
    @HA

    I look forward to Ukraine’s inevitable success in facing down the Russians on social media bringing about unilateral nuclear disarmament across a zone of peace from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
    • LOL: Johnny Rico
    • Replies: @HA
  478. HA says:
    @Sean

    “I look forward to Ukraine’s inevitable success in facing down the Russians on social media bringing about unilateral nuclear disarmament across a zone of peace from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”

    If every country in that zone outside of Russia joins up with NATO, we might get pretty close to that, in the sense that even according to you, Putin isn’t stupid enough to throw nukes on NATO. No nukes is good nukes, be it by way of unilateral disarmament, or a scenario where Putin finally learns to keep his nukes to himself.

    Come to think of it, the expansion of NATO was yet another gravamen resulting in dire warnings that all sorts of Russian diplomats chimed in on. Dire consequences, or something close to that, was the phrase they used. And yet, once Sweden and Finland joined the party, the Russians decided they had bigger things to worry about.

    See what I mean? You want to pretend all that’s just schoolyard trash-talk whereas Crimea is the real deal, but come on — if you want anyone else who hasn’t sold his soul to Putin to believe that, your boys should have played it differently. You keep wanting everyone else to compensate for Putin’s blunders and bullying, but I get the sense the rest of world is tired of that and at this point would rather just keep tossing weapons to Ukraine.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @Sean
  479. Corvinus says:
    @Sean

    So, basically, Russia left Afghanistan after a decade of futile fighting there.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @Sean
  480. @HA

    Neither of us floats memes. You might be thinking of Andrew Anglin or Anatoly Karlin.

    Do you even know what a meme is?

  481. @Corvinus

    Benito Corvinus wrote to Sean:

    So, basically, Russia left Afghanistan after a decade of futile fighting there.

    That’s right.

    And the same thing may indeed happen in Ukraine.

    At which point hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians will be dead.

    Some of us would like to see it end sooner than that.

    Tell us, Corvinus: are you willing to support the principle of self-determination of peoples as enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter when it comes to the Donbass?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  482. @HA

    The evil pathological liar HAsbara wrote to me:

    [Dave] “This war started in 2014 when the US Deep State orchestrated a putsch against the legitimately elected government of Ukraine,”

    [HAsbara] Not gonna work, PhysicistDave.

    You have been claiming for months that Putin started this war in February 2022.

    That is a lie.

    You know it is a lie.

    Everyone knew you are a pathological liar.

    Everyone knows the war has been going on for eight years.

    Tell us, liar, are you willing to embrace the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter as applied to the peoples of the Donbass?

    • Replies: @HA
  483. @HA

    The pathological liar HAsbara wrote to Sean:

    See what I mean? You want to pretend all that’s just schoolyard trash-talk whereas Crimea is the real deal, but come on — if you want anyone else who hasn’t sold his soul to Putin to believe that, your boys should have played it differently. You keep wanting everyone else to compensate for Putin’s blunders and bullying, but I get the sense the rest of world is tired of that and at this point would rather just keep tossing weapons to Ukraine.

    The presumptive Speaker-Elect of the US House has said there will be no more “blank checks” for the puppet regime in Kiev.

    The activist wing of the GOP wants an end to US support for the Penis Piano Player, and the very narrow GOP margin in the House will give them — people like Marjorie Taylor Greene — disproportionate power.

    And there have been public protests in Europe.

    And of course Iran and China are on Russia’s side.

    The world is getting really, really tired of pathological lying thugs like you, HAsbara.

    Really, really tired.

    Are you willing yet to stop lying and admit that this war has been going on for eight years?

    And are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    Or do you just enjoy too much getting off on Eastern Slavs killing Eastern Slavs?

    Why do you hate Eastern Slavs so much, HAsbara? Is it something mean they did to your great granddaddy?

  484. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “are you willing to embrace the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter as applied to the peoples of the Donbass?”

    Like I said, when it came to Crimea, they weren’t even allowed by the little green men to vote for staying in Ukraine. It wasn’t one of the options. I.e., if we’re talking about “self-determination” by way of bogus Russian referenda with their loaded questions and their armed soldiers (e.g. Strelkov, and in the case of Kherson a couple of Kadyrovites) ensuring that things go according to Putin’s plan, then no. That kind of self-determination is as farcical as are your bogus pretensions to “peace” and “negotiated solutions”.

    “The presumptive Speaker-Elect of the US House has said there will be no more ‘blank checks’ for the puppet regime in Kiev.”

    Spoken like a true politician. Given that they never had a blank check in the first place (or they would have asked for a whole lot more), I think the Ukrainians will get by. And like I said, the Eastern Slavs getting bombed have no problem with what I’m recommending. They know it’s the ones recommending farcical negotiations who hate them. Maybe the ones doing the bombing don’t much like me, but at this point, the feeling is mutual.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  485. Corvinus says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “At which point hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians will be dead.“

    Fighting for their soil. Do you acknowledge that Ukraine is a real country who has sovereignty to remove by force an outside invader, that being Putin, for the past year and a half? Do your acknowledge it may make political and foreign affair decisions without being subject to Russian jackboots?

    PutIn must stop the murdering of innocent whites.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  486. @HA

    The lying murderous thug HAsbara wrote to me:

    And like I said, the Eastern Slavs getting bombed have no problem with what I’m recommending.

    You are lying.

    The people of Donetsk and Luhansk, for eight long years, simply wanted to be able to govern themselves in peace.

    And, instead, murderous thugs like you and your pals murdered them.

    Are you willing yet to stop lying and simply admit that this war has been going on for eight long years?

    And are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    Or do you just enjoy too much getting off on Eastern Slavs killing Eastern Slavs?

    Why do you hate Eastern Slavs so much, HAsbara? Is it something horrid they did to your great, great granddaddy?

    • Replies: @HA
  487. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “The people of Donetsk and Luhansk, for eight long years, simply wanted to be able to govern themselves in peace.”

    Wrong again. The ones leading the insurrection were agents of Moscow. The residents of Donbass didn’t pay Strelkov’s salary, Moscow did.

    Nothing de-russified East Ukraine so quickly and irreversibly as the Donbass catastrophe. I’m not talking about the war, I’m talking about a general socio-economic conditions there. Under Russian control, Donbass fall under the rule of the criminal gangs, presented as the “levy”…They were usually guys from below the social hierarchy who saw this war as a chance to rise up. And they did. With their power unchecked, they started systematic plunder. Take people’s homes, cars, businesses, kill those who object. Arrest someone, torture and release for ransom…It’s not only how much these guys stole, it’s how much they destroyed. If a normal Russian bureaucrat might destroy 10 rubles of value to steal 1, these guys would destroy 10 000. They destroyed Donbass economy, inflicted…socio-economic collapse and [created a] humanitarian catastrophe

    So much for you Orwellian notions of self-government.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  488. @HA

    Are you willing yet to stop lying and simply admit that this war has been going on for eight long years?

    And are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    • Replies: @HA
  489. @Corvinus

    Corvinus wrote to me:

    Fighting for their soil.

    Glad to see that we are finally having a meeting of minds: yes, the heroic people of the Donbass have indeed given their blood, treasure, and lives “fighting for their soil.”

    Corvinus also asked me:

    Do you acknowledge that Ukraine is a real country who has sovereignty to remove by force an outside invader…

    The US Deep State orchestrated a putsch against the elected government of Ukraine in 2014.

    The people of the Donbass heroically refused to submit to that putsch, and so the US Deep State armed and financed brutal murders carried out by the putschist regime against the heroic people of the Donbass.

    So, yes, to answer your question, I do indeed acknowledge the right of the heroic people of the Donbass to defend themselves against the illegal invasion of their country by the US Deep State and its puppet putschist regime in Kiev.

    So, I have answered your questions: now how about answering mine.

    Are you willing to embrace the principle of self-determination of peoples enshrined in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    And, while we’re at it, how about my earlier question: Are you willing to condemn the sexual mutilation of children (AKA “gender-affirming surgery”) who are confused about their sexual identity?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  490. HA says:
    @PhysicistDave

    “And are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    Asked and answered PhysicistDave. Learn to read. And no one denies that Putin has been funding the Donbas insurrectionist for about 8 years, ever since he illegally swiped Crimea. Ukrainians claim that he was meddling in Ukraine even before then, and was particularly angry when Yanukovych didn’t get elected on his previous attempt, but you’ll have to ask them for the details. None of that negates the fact that the war most of us are referring to is the one that started in February.

    Getting bent out of shape over that is almost as pathetic as blowing a gasket over whether a suburb is part of a city or isn’t. Desperately grasping at straws is not going to get you anywhere.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  491. @HA

    Your comment is laughable. You’re clearly a stooge.

  492. @HA

    The little thug HAsbara wrote to me:

    [Dave] And are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    [HAsbara] Asked and answered PhysicistDave.

    I don’t see any answer at all, thug.

    So, I ask again: are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

  493. @HA

    The thug HAsbara wrote to Jim Christian:

    Feel free to point out where any of these “hasn’t been wrong” experts predicted that Kherson would be given over to the Ukrainians as of this week any time in the earlier stages of this offensive (admitting it 2-3 days ago doesn’t count as a “prediction”).

    You are truly psychopathic with your bizarre obsession with who can do the best job of predicting the week-by-week or month-by-month progress of the liberation of the Donbass.

    Jim Christian is right:

    Your comment is laughable. You’re clearly a stooge.

    Just go back to your masters, stooge. And tell them we are not going to keep funding them. The time has come fro them to retire to the South of France and live off their Swiss bank accounts. Do you think they will keep paying you for your hasbara efforts once they have fallen from power?

    And I ask you again: are you willing to endorse the principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter, as applied to the people of the Donbass?

    Why are you afraid to answer, HAsbara?

    • Replies: @HA
  494. Sean says:
    @HA

    Come to think of it, the expansion of NATO was yet another gravamen resulting in dire warnings that all sorts of Russian diplomats chimed in on

    Yeltsin asked if Russia could join Nato. Richard Pipes was one of those who opposed even the late 1990s Nato expansion https://www.armscontrol.org/act/1997-06/arms-control-today/opposition-nato-expansion

    Putin asked if Russia could join Nato.

    Bush the younger was the man who wanted to bring Georgia and Ukraine into Nato, and got a statement that they would became members, which was officially reiterated by Nato each year.

    In 2014 Brzezinski called for arming Ukraine, but crucially he also called for “clarity that Ukraine will not be a member of NATO” . I think the record shows that Russia is not the only one that has made mistakes.

    You want to pretend all that’s just schoolyard trash-talk whereas Crimea is the real deal, but come on

    I think it is Eisenhower who said “be slow to say what you will do and never say what you won’t”. Of course the Kremlin sometimes is deliberately vague but were they to make an explicit promise on the red phone direct line… America already knows this anyway. We shall see if Ukraine starts trying to isolate Crimea, which they can quite easily do with HIMARS hit and run strikes from the front line.

  495. HA says:
    @EddieSpaghetti

    “In fact, just like the Russians, the Ukrainians originally withdrew from, as opposed to being driven from, Kherson.”

    The city was “lightly defended”, in the words of one source I can’t remember now — i.e. bribed to the gills — and that’s why it fell. The Russians really wanted to secure the water supply for Crimea and keep it out of Ukrainian hands, and Kherson was small enough to be turned given the amount of money the Russians had budgeted. Apparently, there just wasn’t enough cash in the bribe slush fund to flip any larger city, or els