RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 22 OCTOBER 2020 by Patrick Armstrong

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(This, BTW, is the 802nd Sitrep – forgot to count. The first was in March 1997)

WAAAY HARSH! Putin is only worried about catching a cold at the West's funeral.

SOMETHING ELSE from the country that doesn't make anything. First of the new project 22220 class on its way to Murmansk: most powerful icebreaker ever made.

COVECONOMICS. IMF predictions are out. I am fascinated to see that it predicts Russia will do better (less badly) than anyone in the G7 or Euroland. China is set to grow a bit.

CLUELESS. Paul Robinson reminds us that so many Western "experts" haven't a clue: Putin is popular because Russians think he's doing a good job, not because "state TV" tells them he is.

RUSSIA-EU. I've long wondered when or whether Moscow will decide it isn't worth wasting its time talking to the West. Maybe it's about to start with the EU. A cheap and easy case to make its first step.

ENEMIES. A recent Levada poll shows 82% of respondents think Russia has enemies: 70% name USA, 14% Ukraine, 10% UK, 7% EU, 7% Poland. Only half as many thought it had enemies in 1994.

KARABAKH. A Russian-brokered ceasefire failed immediately. But I get the impression that the fighting has stalemated and sooner or later Moscow will be required. It's one of Stalin's little cartographic jokes that has come back to make trouble. One should be aware that there are three pieces of territory. Armenia proper; the former Nagorniy-Karabakh AO – largely ethnic Armenian; the Azerbaijan territories conquered by NK two decades ago. Moscow is obliged to protect the first if attacked – which it has not been and for that reason likely won't be; the second needs some creative diplomacy to make the inhabitants feel secure (and the involvement of Ankara takes them straight back to the massacres a century ago and reinforces their conviction that their forever enemy are the Turks), the third is unquestionably Azerbaijan territory. (Moscow taught Erdoğan a very sharp lesson in 2015; love to know what discussions are going on in the background.)

START. Obama prolonged it as a sort of gentleman's agreement; but I don't think it's going to survive. For one thing, the US negotiator lives in cloud cuckoo land. But – maybe – a development.

CORRUPTION. I've long thought that corruption is a much more complicated subject than it's usually presented as and that we, on our side, might well have more invisible corruption than Russia. Read this and see what you think. And the Pelosis bought a piece of Crowdstrike – well, just… gosh! Of course, if it's not reported by the NYT it didn't happen, did it?

THE WISDOM OF RETIREES. MI6 head told us Russia was a "standing threat" "fundamental threat". Retired, he tells us not to exaggerate. I attempt to explain the appearance of reality upon retirement here.

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. "Scrambling their brains", Well…. I guess it does recognise the phenomenon of scrambled brains even if the explanation is a bit of a re-run. Heres' the story from one of the usual sources. Remember the crickets? Of course it's primarily anti-Trump agitprop: "the victims are left wondering why so little is being done by the Trump administration". It's all so idiotically transparent. (And anything you hear about H— B— is Russian disinformation and not really a story).

USA. Sure are a lot of pieces like this: America on cusp of a Civil War. Or this; this; this; and, especially, this. "For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries". If the US itself is suffering a colour revolution, what happens to the colour revolutions in other places? If the USA is tied up in severe civil strife, secession movements, accusations of election fraud, lawfare and the like, in the background of a faltering economy, COVID and forever wars, it will take a lot of pressure off Russia. (Starting to sound a bit like the USSR in the 1990s, isn't it?)

RUSSOPHRENIA or or How a Collapsing Country Runs the World. I attempt to catalogue the craziness.

UKRAINE. Letter from three EU parliamentarians – strong supporters and believers – complain: "We cannot but see that the corruption perception in Ukraine in 2020 fell back to the 2017 mark, the praised reforms are backsliding…". What happens when these people finally realise they've been lied to and played for suckers from the start? Will they do anything or go away and just be replaced by new suckers?

FROM LAPUTA'S KITCHENS TO YOU. Fighting the Russians with slingshots. No, Rudi, complete nonsense: Ukraine started out with a big slice of the USSR's heaps of weapons. Like 1000+ tanks, 1000+ AIFVs and so on: Wikipedia list here. A better question is what happened to them?

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

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10 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 22 OCTOBER 2020 by Patrick Armstrong

  1. Avatar ex PFC Chuck says:

    Lavrov’s comments at the Valdai Discussion Club, as well as the discussions in general, are addressed in more detail by Pepe Escobar at Asia Times than in the Sputnik post to which Patrick linked. Fortunately it’s been reposted outside of the AT’s paywall in several places, including at the Global Research link below:
    https://www.globalresearch.ca/russia-eu-business-over/5727220

  2. Avatar J says:

    Here’s the over two hour session of the Valdai Club discussion this morning. Run time was 2hr 53min.
    Онлайн-встреча Владимира Путина с участниками клуба «Валдай»
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpu-54VeET4

  3. Avatar Serge says:

    Did Turkey actually send FSA to Nagorno Karabakh? Are they using them as a quasi-wagner group or are these rumors?I only saw twitter allegations as proof, which were then amplified by Armenian sources into a story that even Macron was parroting. It would seem unnecessary to send these idiots there, unless Azerbaijan wanted to absolutely minimize casualties.

  4. Avatar J says:

    So in which category to the EU elites fall in, monkeys or toddlers?

  5. Avatar J says:

    I meant ‘do’, not ‘to’. Oops.

  6. Avatar Leith says:

    Serge: “Did Turkey actually send FSA to Nagorno Karabakh? “
    It is not just a claim of the Armenians and Macron.
    Iran’s President Rohani said “the same Syrian terrorist groups that Iran had fought for years while supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime were reportedly turning up at the Iranian border near the southern flank of the battle around Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city, Stepanakert.”
    And Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), is worried that the Syrian jihadis in Azerbaijan could introduce new rounds of terrorism in southern Russia. On October 6, Naryshkin said the conflict was attracting people he described as mercenaries and terrorists from the Middle East. “We are talking about hundreds and already even thousands of radicals hoping to earn money in a new Karabakh war,” he said.

  7. Avatar J says:

    Putin Defends Bidens, Becomes ‘Visibly Irritated’ When Asked About $3.5 Million Moscow Payment To Hunter
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/putin-defends-bidens-becomes-visibly-irritated-when-asked-about-35-million-moscow-payment

  8. Avatar Lyttennnburgh says:

    2Serge
    There are sources all around, not just from the twitter. It’s worth noting, that using “former” jihadis as cannon fodder is nothing new for Azerbaijan:
    https://www.rferl.org/a/as-kabul-backs-azerbaijan-in-conflict-with-armenia-afghans-recall-fighting-in-previous-war/30880802.html
    Quote:
    “Younas was among the thousands of Afghan fighters that Hezb-e Islami, a major Afghan Islamist party, sent to Azerbaijan in the 1990s to bolster Baku in its war against Armenia. The conflict between the two Soviet republics mushroomed into a full-scale war after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, which preceded the demise of Afghanistan’s communist regime in April 1992.”
    If the RFE/RL is admitting (and cheering) the fact, there is no need for all proper freedom-lovin’ people to deny the reality 😉

  9. J
    I haven’t been able to find Putin’s exact words yet, but that report seems to be a considerable over-interpretation.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that Putin doesn’t spend all day reading about Trump and Biden and have every little latest detail at his fingertips.

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