WAR PLANS. US/NATO war plans always start with a heavy bombardment. The expectation is that complete air superiority will be quickly gained so that aircraft and cruise missiles will have unrestricted freedom to destroy vital infrastructure. This succeeds against countries like Iraq, to say nothing of Afghanistan. But it won't happen if the first few minutes of the war see the destruction of half of NATO's airfields, hangars, ports and EW assets in a cloud of hypersonic missiles. Russia sends another message to Washington and Brussels – don't even think of it. But, of course, they are thinking of it. Shoygu called for increased production of hypersonic missiles. Not, they say, easily detectable by radar. A US ship entering the Black Sea would have about three minutes to detect and defend against Kinzhals fired from 550 kms away in Crimea. The just-deployed Bastion system would take longer. Russia isn't trying to do everything everywhere, just defend its own territory: that's an achievable goal; the other isn't.
WAR DREAMS. Fantasy: in NATO planning the Polish Army quickly seizes Kaliningrad. Partial reality: in Polish Army war game, Warsaw is surrounded in five days. Real reality. Poland has targets: see above.
NAVALNIY. The story continues. The theory that he's being fitted up for a treason charge was given a boost when Zakharova said he should be called an "agent of influence" rather than a politician. His suspended sentence for fraud was lifted and he's off to prison. Read Yves Rocher's statement; sounds to me as if the company believes he did swindle them. The fact that there's now a campaign against the company suggests my deduction is correct. Meanwhile his wife is being set up as the new Navalniy – it's evident from the Charité report that his health is pretty bad. After the lacklustre performance of the demos, one of his people declared a moratorium but was ordered to reverse the decision.
COVID. The Sputnik vaccine received good press from The Lancet. Vaccination centre in Sochi. Russia has developed a quick PCR process. Forget all that stuff we were saying a few months ago: we want it now. All this is causing cognitive dissonance for Western propaganda organs: read this tripe: "Putin’s COVID-19 charm offensive will be transient".
FINES. Moscow fines RFE/RL for failure to declare 'foreign agent' status on material aimed at Russians. Washington will have the fantods but this is just Moscow's version of the US FARA legislation in action.
POLICE BRUTALITY. Here's the video Moscow is giving every visitor who comes to lecture it.
START Extended for five years. A good thing, but otherwise more of the same from Washington: "determination of Russia to damage and disrupt our democracy" and so on.
RUSSIA-CHINA. A piece in the Russian media suggests that the two are very close to concluding a formal military alliance and enumerates the mutual advantages to the world's largest economy and best military (too soon to call it that? Should we wait a few years when it will be obvious?). It's coming.
EU. The EU has made a mess of its COVID vaccine policy. An EU official is sent to Moscow to beg for the Sputnik vaccine. But he can't resist giving the usual moralistic lecture. (As an aside, I am sick and tired of EU flunkeys posturing about "European values"; if it weren't for the USSR – 80% – and the Anglosphere – 20% – they'd all be goose-stepping around in leather giving each other Hitler salutes: Hitler, Franco, Mussolini and the rest of them were all Europeans). Lavrov is not amused and called the EU unreliable. EU guy returns, usual sources accuse him of being feeble, and he starts talking tough again. "Headless chicken". Moscow doesn't care: the Western model is now seen as one of failure.
WESTERN VALUES™. Listen to Blinken explain why Israel can annex Golan ; one day he will explain why Crimea can't be Russian.
DAVOS. An inflection moment? Putin speaks of the failure of the "Washington Consensus" and unilateralism. Xi agrees. Merkel promises neutrality.
PUTIN DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. Vladimir Putin Has Become America’s Ex-Boyfriend From Hell: "a geopolitical stalker". This from the outlet that has "stalked" Putin 3000 times in four years. And never forget this demented bit of filth.
UKRAINE. Hopeless. Meanwhile, let's ban the Russian vaccine. Not that we have any from anywhere else.
THE DEATH OF IRONY. If it's Russia, it's OK to ban it. Actually they're opposition TV channels.
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer
Andrei Martyanov (SmoothieX12) put up this post on the topic of NATO/EU saber rattling.
It starts with a quote from an article a few years back from Col. Douglas Macgregor about the true costs of peer on peer warfare that should – should – make one think. But given that the anti-Russian neocons like Victoria “Cookies” Nuland are back in the government, such well-founded worries might be lightly tossed aside.
Andrei tries to convey the serious consequences of such ill-considered hyperaggresiveness on the part of the US/NATO/EU. The Russian Federation will not be punked. But with Biden “in charge” (i.e., being led by the nose by overconfident morons), one may legitimately fear for the worst.
On Slow Joe, these words from an old Virginia farmer seem apt:
I’ve heard rumors that the Anglosphere supported Hitler and his attack on Russia early on, that Hitler based his racial laws on similar policies in the USA and UK, and that the Anglosphere began attacking Hitler’s Germany only after it became clear that Germany was losing to Russia. Some even said Franco was supported by the Anglosphere in the name of ‘anti-communism’ until his death in 1975. Can you confirm/dispute any of these?
@joey Lots of people say this. There is some — but only a bit — of truth in it. There was no universal reaction. I recommend
As to something Russians often say, that D Day was delayed until it was clear the Sovs were winning, that’s not true. D Day couldn’t have happened earlier
There had been desire on the American side to invade in 1943 but the British argued correctly that there would not be enough of anything until 1944.
It looks like Lukashenko in Belarus is using the political persecution of Donald Trump to go after one of the leaders of the Belarus insurrection at the last election. The charge, “conspiracy to seize state power & setting up extremist group”, does sound familiar.
Russian diplos certainly turning up the heat on the hapless EU this week. Some kind of sea change? Charges against NATO folks behind the Maidan and ongoing shelling of civilians in Donbass?
@ j casey I think the EU is a good, cheap place for Moscow to make the point.
The panel here might appreciate a reading of Gilbert Doctorow’s latest on Lavrov’s recent statement regarding the EU:
“If you want peace, prepare for war!” Sergei Lavrov, 11 February 2021 speaking on cutting relations with the EU
In a televised interview on Russian state television yesterday, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov made this declaration together with the threat to cut relations with the EU if Russia’s vital economic interests were put in danger by any further sanctions they might consider imposing. His remarks were clearly calculated to turn on a light in the thick skulls of EU Parliamentarians, of the EU Commission run by former German Defense Minister von der Leyen, and of her deputy for external relations Borrell.
“Prepare for war” is an old bit of wisdom that we have heard from time to time coming from the Kremlin together with related folk wisdom such as : if you do not finance properly your own army, you will be financing someone else’s army; and if you cannot deal with Lavrov, then you will have to deal with Shoigu (Russian Defense Minister).
(Continued at link above).
Re:Covid19 – I read the tripe, and I think tripe is too good a term to describe it – the author claims that the impressive 1.2 billion doses ordered is solely based on positive memes!
With Sputnik V and the failure of Astra Vectra (against the new variants) Russia has major leverage.
The EU primarily imports oil and gas from Russia, and give Chinese growth (and EU anti-growth), it seems likely that Russia could easily shift these EU exports east – china-Russia trade has doubled in the last four years, which could absorb most of the oil and gas directed at the EU in a few years.
I am guessing Nordstream 2 will be finished and not used to allow for it to be turned on (perhaps at a premium) at a future date (perhaps when the EU breaks up).
The arguments over the timing of the invasion are covered in detail in
in which Alanbrooke was not shy about describing the need to rein back Churchill from making premature commitments to schemes and scheduling. His portrayal of Churchill was thought to be the main reason he was passed over in the postwar awards of plum appointments.
(The British delegation flight back from Moscow to Tehran is notable for the off-the-cuff poem by Wavell on why there will be no Second Front in 1943).
The discussions with US commanders are never less than extremely interesting.
Those Russians might have some good missiles – but do they have solar powered tanks?
Don’t want to be emitting too much CO2 while blowing things up.
@irf520 Solar-powered tanks. Sounds great — wars in the desert only.
But thanks for this: I an contemplating a paper about how NATO uses its military as a captive group for social experiments while at the same time wanting to fight everybody everywhere.
Tentative title “mincing towards war”
This is good material.
I liked Putin’s speech at Davos.
It’s a good thing that Russia has been working on its own internet. Take a look at this:
“On February 2nd, less than two week after Biden’s inauguration, we noticed a complete shutdown of VPN services. No other servers on the internet were affected. These were only the VPNs. They became terribly, terribly slow.
Did you notice? Did you think that was your VPN provider screwing up?
It wasn’t. It was the US Government.
They used a special type of technology called DPI(Deep Packet Inspection) that was able to differentiate regular server traffic with traffic that was using a VPN.
This was all uncovered by one of the most seasoned tech experts on the internet. A new video by a tech privacy guru named Rob Braxman Tech was how I learned about this issue.
Fortunately, there are ways around this issue which Rob Braxmen has brought up.
There are ways of what tech experts call “obfuscating” so it does not look like VPN traffic. People in China have been developing ways to fight these VPN sniffers for decades.
So, Liberty Lover, it might actually be with the help of very intelligent people in China who have already figured out how to defeat firewalls so that we can defeat the Deep State and protect our First Amendment rights.”
In addition to solar tanks we have the LCS, which, to quote Lord Fisher, can neither “run nor fight” (who would ever think a navy need do that), and, to top it off, we’re getting tranny ready:
Sure glad we have our priorities straight.
@Fred Gist of what I’m going to be writing. Probably starting tomorrow.
1. military used as lab mice for woke experiments
2. weapons built to make cost overruns not victories
3. belligerent and interventionist foreign policy
I look forward to your analysis, and concur, catastrophe is brewing.