The great Ukraine hoax?

Hoaxer in chief?

“With the Biden team repeatedly issuing stark warnings Moscow could invade its neighbor as soon as February, Zelensky appears to have grown increasingly frustrated by the alarmist U.S. rhetoric. He even took the extraordinary step Friday of shooting down Biden’s reported forecast of an all-but doomed Ukraine.

Juscelino Colares, a law and political science professor at Case Western Reserve University, said Biden wants to sell the idea a Russian invasion is “very likely” to keep the media focus on what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing and not on the administration’s numerous stumbles after only a year in office. Biden’s bungling of domestic and foreign policy and his nosediving favorability nationwide had been the focus of news cycles in both conservative and corporate media before the Ukraine situation heated up.

Colares believes Biden also is “proactively setting the expectation low” so he is “not to blame” if Putin chooses to make a move into Ukraine, essentially prepping the narrative that an invasion is a foregone conclusion that no degree of diplomacy can repel.

In drawing attention to what Putin might be preparing to do, Colares said Biden is keeping the conversation away from the fact he has made several “unilateral concessions to Putin” during the past several months. He notes Biden met with Putin after the G-7 summit and permitted the completion in Europe of a controversial pipeline – that was opposed by former President Donald Trump and much of the Republican party – without any sanctions or meaningful tradeoffs.”

Comment: What is the old saw about truth being the first casualty of any war? In this case truth is dying well before war begins. Zelensky evidently told Biden to calm down.

Will Putin decide to attack and overrun Ukraine? I doubt it but only he knows.

Joe’s problems on the corruption front are so bad that the question arises as to what degree of actual control over him the Chinese have. 31 million US dollars is the figure being tossed around. We have never had a president who was actually a foreign power’s asset as an agent of influence. pl

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54 Responses to The great Ukraine hoax?

  1. Michael Droy says:

    Andrew Korybko calls it a Missile Crisis – which pretty much nails it.

    I think just calling it a Romanian Missile crisis is the simplest way to talk over the silly Ukraine noise.

  2. Leith says:

    China and Russia are allies. Putin certainly will not invade the Ukraine during the Beijing Olympics. After that will be the Spring thaw and General Mud. Granted Russian transport is probably 1000% better than the Wehrmacht’s. But why bother?

  3. Andrew Korybko calls it a Missile Crisis – which pretty much nails it.

    No, it is not. Nor is it a Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 either. The US needs Russia to invade Ukraine–this is the pivot of it all. A lot hangs on it because of the lack of imagination and utter incompetence in present US national security and foreign policy blob. EU is the US’ “lunch” in a face of a catastrophic economic situation and the only strong enough mobilizing factor which will allow to purge EUs ranks from any people seeing the future Russia-EU economic cooperation as pivotal for EU is to declare Russia aggressor and demonstrate it through propaganda based on Russian “invasion”. Believe me, stories of millions of Ukrainian women “raped” by the Russian Army, pictures of Russians “bombing” villages and even using chemical weapons will be provided by war “experts” from MI-6 and CIA through Western media. Simple as that. Militarily, there is no chance of NATO going to “fight” Russia due to:

    1. NATO doesn’t have enough and quality o forces to do anything about it, even given a free hand in sea-lifting those for couple-three months;

    2. Russia doesn’t need Ukraine in any form, but why so requires a serious knowledge of modern Russia, which they don’t ave in D.C. US field of “Russia studies” was dead for decades now. My books cover this issue in depth.

    • zmajcek says:

      You say it is not a missile Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 yet Russian leadership stops short of calling it just that. Putin even gave us an estimate how much a certain type of missile would take to reach Moscow when launched from Ukraine.
      Why did Russia now initiate a talk with the US over perceived security threats, NATO expansion etc, knowing it will be rejected. Is it just theatre for domestic use ?

      Ukraine does not need to join NATO to have all sorts of military capabilities on its territory, including missile sites. Tomorrow it might even be Belarus. Will Russia allow that to happen ?

      • You say it is not a missile Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 yet Russian leadership stops short of calling it just that.

        Cuban Missile Crisis was a real deal with all of US Atlantic Fleet and even Canadian naval assets hunting down 4 Soviet subs all of which carried nuclear tipped torpedoes and in case, of God forbids, real escalation could have wrecked a havoc which would lead to a nuclear war. Cuban Missile crisis was precipitated by USSR moving missiles capable of destroying US Eastern Sea Board within range, since most of the Soviet strategic missiles lacked truly strategic range. Today it doesn’t matter since 1970s both US and Soviet subs can launch at each-other without leaving their respective naval bases. That was the case of counter value. By 1980s it all became the counter-force, since respective CEPs of Soviet and US SLBMs allowed attack of specific military targets (ICBMs silos, military installations etc.) with high precision. These are just some facts among many which make any comparison of current situation with Cuban Missile Crisis a fool’s errand.

        1. Russian government DID NOT compare present situation with Cuban Crisis, Lavrov simply stated that if the whole thing with NATO expansion will continue, THEN there could be Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0. Lavrov was merely conveying the gravity of situation to journos, who are, especially Western ones are utterly incompetent in military affairs and have a memetic thinking and know history on the level of middle-school graduate from the third world country.

        2. The whole situation right now is 90% a virtual reality (that is fake) issue created by US neocons running what passes for the US foreign “policy” and “diplomacy” and trying desperately to push Ukraine to provoke Russia to invade. They need it, desperately, because all of them are one trick ponies and they think that if Russia “invades” it unties US hands in dealing with China while also drains Russia’s resources on this black hole of a country which Russia doesn’t need and, most importantly, doesn’t want. Again, those people are utterly incompetent and live in their make-believe BS world. They failed in 2014, now they look like a bunch of clowns.

        3. Part of the hysteria being fanned by the US “free media” is also from the fact that they feel (I doubt they understand) that Russia does have escalation dominance in her geographic vicinity and this may create a situation that some NATO military installations in Eastern European countries, such as Aegis Ashore in Deveselu could be wiped out.

        Ukraine does not need to join NATO to have all sorts of military capabilities on its territory, including missile sites. Tomorrow it might even be Belarus.

        Wrong. Any appearance of serious NATO weapon system will result in Ukraine having regime changed by Russia. For now these are just some “advisers”, and NATO shipping either old junk, such as Britain’s anti-tank weapons, or US shipping morally obsolete Stingers (good for bringing civilian aircraft down) or Javelins which are also will have minimal if any impact on battlefield should (I underscore it–totally fantasy scenario) Russia decides to “invade”. Pentagon (at east their actual military people) know how this invasion will look like–there is nothing the US can supply Ukraine with which will not be annihilated in the first 24-48 hours of Russia “invasion”. In general, it is all media circus to cover both utter disasters in foreign and domestic policies.

        • Philip Owen says:

          It’s not the media. They are responding to a campaign launched by someone else. Key think tanks and journalists have been paid to write their articles (writing the thoughts of fanatics/idiots is their profession). I think this was launched by the Ukrainians chasing $2.5Bn of weapons refused by Obama and Trump. Unfortunately the think tanks have adapted it to their own agenda. It cannot be easily switched off.

  4. Deap says:

    More a Hoisted On Own Petard crisis.

  5. FWH says:

    There are lots of pieces being played, including UK Foreign Officials, US State Dept., US Congressman dishing up sanctions and weapons supply, and the MSM among them. It is the MSM that leaps out at me. It would be hard to overstate the role of the MSM not just in the recent drama but a long series of them. The MSM instructs a majority of English-speaking people what to think and believe. It does so through somewhat uniform and widespread messaging that is agenda driven.

    Trying to be brief; a recurring theme of the MSM has been to vilify, isolate, hound and reduce the Russians for perceived transgressions. It happened with Donald Trump and now with Joe Biden. It has become a given that Russia is evil.

    When the MSM is given a lead and an agenda it can be devastating. It may be instructive to paraphrase and add to the thoughts to Kyle Reese in describing the Terminator. It is remorseless, deadly and focused and will never, ever stop until its agenda is carried out.

  6. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Here is a link to a Breitbart story on a new book detailing these connections with dodgy individuals and organizations in China. My, my…

    To put these supposed dealings in a historical context, to my knowledge only Aaron Burr pursued similarly traitorous dealings witha foreign power, in this instance with Spain, in his efforts to carve out a new national entity from territories of the US. While not a President of the US, he had been highly placed in the young Republic, and these actions were pretty heinous.

    • Lysias says:

      Is my belief correct that Burr did not engage in those dealings until after he had left office as vice president?

      • JerseyJeffersonian says:

        Yes, Lysias. But his time in that capacity may very well have given him opportunities to lay the groundwork and build contacts not merely with foreigners, but also with unscrupulous potential American co-conspirators. In this little post, an outline is provided for what may have really happened to Meriwether Lewis, rather than the widely held theory that he committed suicide; i.e., he had discovered a plot authored by Burr, and his lieutenant the corrupt general, Wilkinson, and they had him killed on his journey to consult with President Jefferson. (I recall seeing the referenced TV program on this hypothesis, and found it rather persuasive.) His normal route would generally had him travel to New Orleans, and then embark on a long sea voyage up the east coast. Instead, he chose to take the potentially hazardous – highwaymen along the route and such – overland route following the Natchez Trace, to perhaps speed his journey, arriving at his meeting with Jefferson more quickly.

        The suicide theory has a problem; Lewis had two gunshot wounds, one to his torso, and the other to his head. I rather think it unlikely that he would stupidly shoot himself in the torso, and only then in the head. There was an effort by Lewis’ descendents in the recent past to have his body exumed for examination, but the government squelched the effort under the pretext that, since he was interred in a burial ground now part of a national monument, this disinterrment might disturb other burials. And then they PERMANENTLY barred this procedure. Given the highly advanced skills available through modern archaeological excavations, I find this questionable, and indeed highly suspect. Hmm, shades of the seemingly perpetually extended lack of access to the Warren Commission Report. But maybe I’m just one of them there Conspiracy Theorists.

        • different clue says:

          Well . . . we will never know what happened in particular as long as we are blocked from exhuming the body.

          But there is this general saying about “Conspiracy Theories” . . . its not a ‘theory’ if it happened.

  7. Fred says:

    This does serve as a convenient, though potentially quite deadly, distraction from Joe’s other problems:
    Vax ineffectiveness and suppressed prophylactics, as well as a news blackout on side effects. There’s inflation, which is a heck of a lot higher than the official rate. The ongoing black-on-black violence in every democraticly controlled city is becoming increasigly harder to hide – or blame on ‘whites’ ‘racism’ or any of the usual suspects as has been done for years. Then there is the disasterous impact of leftism in all its manifestations in our government run school systems. Achievement is down, discontent skyrocketing; and, of course, the left, starting with Joe’s own appointees, blame the partents.

    30 million pieces of silver is all the Chinese have had to shell out to damage the Republic this badly? Joe sold his soul too cheaply.

  8. Razumov says:

    How is it possible that Russian intelligence doesn’t have a safe full of blackmail material on Hunter Biden? He likes to go on drug binges with Russian prostitutes.

  9. TTG says:

    Zelenskiy has the right reaction. As an actor, perhaps he has an insight as to when Putin is putting on an act. VV made a lot of noise about non-negotiable red line demands and retaliatory military-technical measures, but it was a bluff. His demands weren’t met and he’s not going to attack Ukraine or any other part of Europe. Not that the Russian military isn’t fully capable of carrying out such an attack, but he’s not willing to call Biden on his counter-threat of full blown economic war. Maybe Biden is also bluffing or maybe Russia could ride out an economic war unscathed, but Putin is not willing to test that theory. Thankfully, Biden didn’t go for a preemptive economic war as some were calling for. There will be more talk and maybe something will eventually come from those talks. That may be all that Putin hoped for in the first place.

    I see great continuity in Russia, from Imperial Russia to the Communist USSR to today’s Russian Federation. The thread that runs through all is an autocratic central government. The USSR was far more autocracy than socialism. The only example of communism trying to truly socialist was in Tito’s limited experiment in worker self-management. And that failed miserably. Russia and the Russians are in a far better place than they were in recent history, but I do think Putin has a chapped ass over the lost SSRs and the WTO. He’d be far happier with a few more Belarus in region rather than the present Ukraine, Baltics and Poland. It’s a desire based in national security rather than empire, but that desire runs contrary to the national security concerns of Ukraine, the Baltics and Poland. Russia and Russian cheerleaders in this country can’t seem to grasp that idea.

    • zmajcek says:

      Is the US any different in wanting to be surrounded with countries it can influence/control ?

      Few days ago National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was asked what would the US do if Moscow begins military deployments in Cuba and Venezuela.

      His answer was: “If Russia were to move in that direction, we would deal with it decisively.”

      • TTG says:


        Sure. That idea began for us with the Monroe Doctrine. Maybe it wasn’t so much influencing and controlling this hemisphere at the time, but it was clearly warning Europe not to attempt to influence and control this hemisphere. Since then we’ve meddled plenty with our own “military-technical measures” in Cuba, Central America and elsewhere. Hell, the Mexican-American War was a textbook example of an imperial war of conquest.

        Times and norms have changed since those days. If Russia decides to send forces to Cuba and Venezuela, there’s little we will do about it beyond loud squawking, half-assed economic measures and maybe some ineffectual military demonstrations.

        • zmajcek says:

          1962 was not that long ago. I’m not so sure times have changed that much. If anything, the US has become much stronger, militarily dominant and (too) confidant.
          Monroe Doctrine seems to have expanded to include the whole planet.

          If “defensive” missile sites started appearing near its southern borders it is hard to believe loud squawking would be the tool of choice.

          • Pat Lang says:

            What do you make of “reports” that Russia is amassing medical units and such supplies as blood in Belorussia?

          • TTG says:


            I also believe all those reports of 100,000 Russian troops near the border. Not lined up hub to hub, but within striking distance. There are also reports of 4 to 5 Iskander-M rocket brigades in place near the border. The Russians are fully capable of launching a invasion of Ukraine with what they have in place despite the constant denials of Moscow’s apologists. What they’re right about is that Putin has no intention of launching that attack and risk starting WW III.

          • TTG says:

            Venezuela already has S-300vm, Buk-M2 and S-125 missiles in place. We hardly made a whimper about those defensive missiles. I doubt we’d do much more than squawk even if Russia installed their S-400 missiles although that would pose a considerable deterrent threat to US surveillance flights in the region. If the Venezuelan government wanted that support and Russia was willing to provide it, our options are limited. Iranian tankers to Venezuela were met only with our squawking and monitoring.

    • English Outsider says:

      TTG – doesn’t it really all boil down to who’s threatening who? I’ve read quite an amount of material like this: – “Over extending and unbalancing Russia”.

      I don’t think that can be dismissed as the vapourings of some over-excited think tank. This has been a standard line since “The Grand Chessboard”. Various events since 2000 are consistent with the adoption of such policies by the West.

      The Russians read that material too. They witness and sometimes experience the events that are consistent with it. Looking at it from their point of view, they are attempting to cope with that Western approach from a position of vulnerability.

      140 million people extricating themselves from the wreckage of the ’90’s. Nearly a billion in the countries arrayed against them, those countries amongst the most advanced and wealthy. They might well feel vulnerable.

      They seek security guarantees. Missile bases not too close. Unstable and hostile neighbouring countries not given Article 5 cover. Implementation of Minsk 2 or arrangements that amount to that.

      That is what their demands boil down to. They are reasonable demands and the fact that those demands are made by a country very many of us in the West distrust or fear does not alter that.

      Add to that that the material we’re getting from the media over in England – this is a mild version of it – looks to me to be dangerous:-

      Our Prime Minister is assuming the role of leader of the Free World against the Russian threat. Theatre of course, patently so, but misleadingly dangerous.

      And none seem to consider the plight of the Ukrainians themselves – the Ukrainian people rather than the politicians and oligarchs and street fighters who determine policy. Since well before 2014 the Ukrainians have been the victim of Great Power intervention. They are the victim of the “let’s you and him fight” use made of them and still being made. Whether they’re going to be able to repair the damage and make of themselves a viable country we don’t know. They should be allowed the space and time to try.

      • TTG says:

        English Outsider,

        Yes it does boil down to who’s threatening who. That Rand document is particularly ominous, although I also find it interesting. It goes beyond the long standing policies of containment and rollback. Russia has already been rolled back to her present borders. Any further attempt to overextend and unbalance Russia is begging for Armageddon.

        But that grand chessboard is now composed of independent countries capable of determining their own ways forward and making their own alliances. The former SSRs and WTO countries could have stayed with Moscow. Most did not chose to do so. Belarus and Serbia are notable exceptions in Europe. NATO has not been forced upon its new members. They clamored for membership and the Article 5 protective umbrella. Ukraine first asked to join in 2008. They’ve gone back and forth between NATO and neutral over the years, but now they are firmly in the desiring NATO membership camp. Ukraine, like others in the region, also have real and legitimate security concerns just like Russia.

        If the great powers miss the grand chessboard days, they should sit their asses down at the bargaining table and negotiate some treaties on ballistic, cruise and orbital missiles. I guarantee China’s recent testing of an orbital hypersonic missile has sent everyone’s defense R&D works into overdrive. The chessboard is being up ended and new security threats are just over the horizon.

        • zmajcek says:

          The choice has been taken away from many Ukrainians in 2014. The political option the majority voted for was overthrown with substantial foreign support.

          Is it really an independent country or governed by the US as the Russians claim ?
          Maybe there are Ukrainians here who can shed some light on the issue.

        • Fred says:


          “NATO has not been forced upon its new members.”

          True enough. The obligation that America defend these new members was certainly forced upon us as I recall no actual discussion of the merits of such by the Senate. Any such discussions were mere flipancies equal to a college game-day bull session by bored boomers pretending to be statesman.

          • TTG says:

            The NATO treaty was overwhelmingly ratified by Congress in 1949. In 2019 Congress reiterated its support for NATO and our troops in Europe in opposition to Trump.

        • English Outsider says:

          Couldn’t agree more on that central point, TTG, no one has the right to tell independent countries what to do.

          I don’t think, however, that it’s sensible to put missiles quite so close. And the Russian or pro-Russian populations in the Russian near abroad are vulnerable. Treating those badly must invite an automatic Russian response that can then be portrayed as Russian aggression.

          I believe Russia is under threat. They seem to have pulled themselves out from the ’90’s enough to be capable of attempting to reduce that threat. We should now accommodate those fears rather than ignoring them.

          On the Ukraine, the use made of that country by both the EU (including the UK!) and Washington over the past decade or so is to my mind unacceptable.

          We in England seem to be divided into two parties on this. There are those of us fired by patriotic fervour, harking back to the appeasement era of the ’30s, seeking nothing so much as a fight with those Ruskies to defend the Ukrainians. As long as we don’t have to get stuck into any fighting ourselves.

          Let’s you and him fight seems to be as far as we are prepared to go on that one.

          Though as Biden’s honorary poodle no. 1 we’re certainly being aggressive enough telling Scholz to turn the gas off. By fortunate chance we get our natural gas from elsewhere so we don’t have to make much sacrifice ourselves in that respect. More let’s you and him fight.

          So that’s the first party. The second party views it differently. As a man said to me just now on an English site “it is all about Biden and Johnson’s political weakness”.

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – mistake closing italics. I hope that only infects the one comment. It used to put the entirety of the Colonel’s comment section into italics.

          • Johnb says:

            Quote. “ As a man said to me just now on an English site “it is all about Biden and Johnson’s political weakness”.
            The President of Croatia agrees with your man EO, Croatia is not known for doing favours for Russia.
            “ ZAGREB, 25 Jan 2022 – Ukraine does not belong in NATO, and the situation along the Ukraine-Russia border is a serious crisis behind which stands primarily the dynamics of U.S. internal affairs, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday.

          • zmajcek says:


            Milanović is not doing Croatia any favours by not keeping his mouth shut.

          • Philip Owen says:

            Cameron and Putin did a big deal on pipeline gas. It’s still flowing. The UK has been Russia’s biggest customer at times.

            In 2021 the UK also took 29 LNG cargoes from Russia, up from 22 cargos in 2020. Russia is #3 as an LNG supplier to the UK.

      • Fred says:


        “Our Prime Minister is assuming the role of leader of the Free World against the Russian threat. ”

        It is not very free when people need permission slips to leave their home, are tracked eletronicly and subjected to inspection at any time for obedience to vaxing and masking orders of their government. The only ones free are the politicians, such as Boris, his staff, and the wealthy supporters of such who can ignore all the communistic regugaltions at will.

        • Pat Lang says:


          “Our Prime Minister is assuming the role of leader of the Free World against the Russian threat. ” bojo the great.

          • English Outsider says:

            Well this one of your readers is fuming, Colonel. I had thought Johnson was voted in as the least worst of the lot on a mission to get us clear of the Euros. Turns out he see his mission as leading the Euros in some half-witted crusade. The BBC assisting –

            “Maria’s war is about the future of her homeland, but there may be far more at stake than the fate of Ukraine. Russia is drawing battle lines in a new Cold war. At issue now is the future shape of Nato, and the established security order in Europe.

            US President Joe Biden has warned of a “distinct possibility” that Russia will invade in February and by doing so “change the world”. The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson has invoked the horrors of Chechnya and Bosnia. But the soaring international concern is at odds with what you hear from some Ukrainians.”


            But if even the BBC is introducing that note of doubt, looks as if Johnson will fail his second mission as comprehensively as the first.

            I suppose there’s a silver lining for him. Johnson and Biden will get the credit for keeping the Russians at bay.

            Behind all the theatre I hope some behind the scenes negotiations – on the lines David Habakkuk has been examining – go some way towards allaying Russian security concerns.

        • English Outsider says:

          Fred – I am wary of Johnson for several reasons.

          As a government minister at the height of the Steele affair he must have known what Steele and Dearlove had been getting up to. Yet he did nothing to remedy the position then, or later when he became PM.

          I never liked the light hearted joke about clearing the bodies away in Sirte.

          He gave away too much on Brexit and needn’t have done.

          So to me Johnson ignoring the Covid regulations he himself had set seemed to be trivial by comparison. But oddly enough that’s what most people here are up in arms about. Johnson’s done – or the Conservatives are if they keep him on – unless something comes up that’s important enough to divert public attention.

    • Barbara Ann says:


      I do not think Russia is bluffing. They are clearly done with US ‘containment’ and allied with China (& Iran) in that respect. I also think it would be a mistake to consider the red lines aren’t real. If they are not, why would Putin have deliberately exposed himself to his domestic hawk constituency by issuing the demands in the form of an ultimatum? I think it is likely Russia’s own hawks may have demanded the ultimatum.

      That said, I agree an invasion of Ukraine or attack on NATO targets is unlikely at this stage. It is unlikely for the simple reason that that is exactly what the Borg want; for Putin to become the caricature of aggression they constantly portray him as. If Russia wants US missiles removed from NATO bases in the former SSR’s there are other points of pressure the Kremlin can use.

      Gilbert Doctorow’s latest piece suggests one such; a threat to base Russian offensive assets in friendly Latin American countries. No actual aggression is involved, just the potential for future aggression. It would also flip the onus onto the US to initiate the first hostile act – i.e. sink ships, as JFK promised to do in 1962. Most importantly to Russian strategists perhaps, such a strategy could allow Biden an opportunity to sell himself as a new JFK-level statesman in defusing the crisis. Biden is in abysmal shape in the polls and in dire need of help. Russia may paradoxically be in a position to offer it, in return for their demands being met. Such a strategy would no doubt be geared around the midterm election cycle.

      I’m certainly not suggesting that such a sales job would be successful for Biden. But from Russia’s POV a rerun of the Cuban Missile Crisis (with subsequent quiet withdrawal of US missiles from Eastern Europe, after the elections) might look attractive as a way of taking advantage of a politically weak adversary.

      This route may also allow the wedge in NATO to be driven in still further, as Russia could threaten to destroy NATO missiles in the SSR’s in retaliation for its ships being sunk. Only the most ideologically obstinate Russia haters would fail to see the supreme hypocrisy in the US stance and the waverers, particularly in Germany & France could abandon the war hawks. This would of course be a direct threat forcing an invocation of Article 5. However, my suspicion is that no one in NATO wants to see that bluff called. Particularly as nowadays Russia seems to have the conventional military supremacy required to win against NATO without resorting to nuclear weapons.

      My money is on Russia getting her way, one way or another.

      • David Habakkuk says:

        EO and Barbara Ann,

        I think the question of whether Doctorow is right in thinking that ‘military-technical’ measures could include a kind of rerun of Khrushchev’s ‘gambit’ is an interesting one. What follows was originally drafted when I had only seen EO’s comment.

        So, it did not – directly – deal with questions which are raised as to whether the kind of ‘military-technical’ measures about which the Russians are talking might involve permanent bases close to the U.S. I will try to make a – provisional, and quite possibly misguided – attempt to put the various issues together.

        A piece to which Philip Giraldi linked on his ‘Facebook’ page, posted yesterday by Paul Craig Roberts, headlined ‘Update on the Ukrainian Front’, opens ‘It is over. Putin has won.’ For what it is worth, he is suggesting that a ‘face-saving’ deal involving serious substantive concessions on the missile deployments which are one key Russian ‘red line’ is already possible.

        (See .)

        It was obviously of great interest to me that Giraldi – with whom I do not always agree, any more than I do with many others for whose expertise and judgement I have great respect – is on the optimistic side of this argument.

        But, reading the Craig Roberts piece made me to look closely at what Lavrov has been saying.

        As if very evident from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, he has been talking rather busily to journalists over the past few days – see .

        Following very interesting answers to questions on 26 and 27 January, Lavrov gave an extended interview on 28 January to representatives of four Russian radio stations, Sputnik, Govorit Moskva, Komsolskaya Pravda, and Echo of Moscow. In including the last, clearly deliberately, an opportunity was being created for Lavrov to answer criticisms by ‘liberals’ which they were being allowed to make, without ‘censorship.’

        (See ; ;
        at .)

        The 26 January response clearly provided an occasion to present his views the way in which ‘all our Western colleagues, without exception, are caught up in a “military” frenzy of sorts.’ Having made this – in my view rather obviously well-justified remark – Lavrov goes on to say that ‘I will not speculate about what our Western partners may pull next. Clearly, they are befuddled and not really sure how to get out of the corner they have painted themselves into.’

        Responding to the questions from the radio journalists, after he had been able to ‘digest’ the responses from the West to the Russian proposals, Lavrov made what seem to me some very carefully calculated remarks. So, while claiming that ‘In many ways, they are confusing the issue,’ he also said that they were also ‘providing kernels of rationality on secondary issues such as intermediate- and shorter-range missiles which were quite important for us at some point’ – and, on those and related matters, he said, ‘we are getting somewhere.’

        Having made those – mildly optimistic, remarks – Lavrov rather naturally reiterates the possibility of ‘military-technical’ measures being taken should they not get anywhere, while refusing to be drawn on specifics.

        So, his statements ‘mesh’ with the interpretation according to which ‘behind the scenes’ negotiations have a crucial role in what the Russians are trying to achieve, and they – at the least – think that it would be premature to do anything until the position is clearer about these.

        At the same time, however, they also clarify the ‘public’ element.

        In his 27 January response, having harked back to the way that the verbal guarantees that if the Soviets accepted the incorporation of reunified Germany in NATO there would be no further expansion of the Alliance were clearly, not worth the ‘paper’ they were not ‘printed on’, Lavrov makes clear that the ‘terrain’ of argument is now being shifted:

        ‘But now that we have cited the promises made not in word but in the form of documents signed by the leaders of all OSCE states, including the US President (the 1999 Istanbul Declaration and the 2010 Astana Declaration), our Western partners have to find a way out of a very serious situation. The point is that both declarations set out the participating states’ commitment to the principle of indivisible security and their pledge to honour it without fail. This principle was formulated very clearly. It includes two interconnected approaches. The first is the freedom of states to choose military alliances. The second is the obligation not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other states. In other words, the freedom to choose security arrangements is conditioned by the pledge to respect the security interests of any other OSCE state, including the Russian Federation.’

        All this is I think very interesting, and needs more further thought – not just by me, but – I devoutly hope – by some of those advising ‘Bojo.’

        What Lavrov is saying, officially, also I think makes it interesting to look back at the two interviews given by Sergei Karaganov, to which I linked in an earlier thread.

        That published by ‘Argumenty y Fakty’ on 19 January, headlined ‘NATO is Cancer. Will We Cure It?’, with the sub-heading, ‘Russia definitely should not fight for Ukraine till the last Ukrainian’, is at .

        That given to the ‘Military-Industrial Courier’ back in November, headline ‘Three in a Boat, to Say Nothing of Europe’, is at .)

        As I noted, I think one can see in these, a kind of ‘general theory’ about the relationship between success and ‘hubris.’

        Part of the background here is the frustration among the so-called ‘institutniki’ in the ‘era of stagnation’ at the way a leadership for whom the ‘Great Patriotic War’ was a central formative experience continued to believe that ‘history’ was ‘on their side’, when it was becoming absolutely clear that it was not.

        Also quite visible, however, is the bafflement of many such figures at the way that the processes which started with the Gorbachev-era ‘new thinking’ in their own country led to rather similar forms of ‘hubris’ in the United States.

        At the risk of ‘glossing’ his thoughts with my own, Karaganov’s arguments reflect the fact that, in a world where, ironically, the success of ‘capitalist’ models of economic development means that the relative economic power of the United States must inevitably diminish, the notion that it can maintain a permanent ‘unilateral’ global hegemony is chimerical.

        Moreover, he argues that the pursuit of this ‘chimera’ – linked to the equally unreal notion that successful ‘modernisation’ must make other powers become more like the United States, and be prepared to accept its leadership indefinitely – has caused American policymakers to make decisions that have actually weakened their relative power position very seriously.

        A continuation of ‘business as usual’, accordingly – again, slightly at the risk of ‘glossing’ Karaganov’s thoughts with my own – could mean that the ‘Project for a New American Century’ ends up looking rather like a ‘Project for a New Chinese Century.’

        Precisely the fact that he sees current American – and more generally Western – policies as self-destructive, however, leads to Karaganov contemplating the possibility that the end result of current developments could be the kind of Chinese success that makes it all-too-possible that, once again, the consequence would be ‘hubris.’

        At that point, there is a very interesting ‘twist’ in the argument. So, he takes issue very strongly with a view, which he suggests has become very common among his fellow-countrymen, that the current resistance to surrendering the aspiration towards a permanent ‘unipolar’ indicates that ‘exceptionalism’ is, as it were, a ‘drug’ without which the United States cannot survive.

        He clearly believes that such arguments are intellectually dubious, and also that it is potentially very dangerous for Russians to base policy upon the assumption that Americans could not adjust their ambitions to simply aspiring to be the ‘strongest power’ within a ‘multipolar’ system.

        Unfortunately, words like ‘autocracy’ are ‘bandied about’ in the West, in a way that obscures the fact that the kind of relentless imposition of a monolithic conformity one sees in today’s United States and Britain is actually conspicuous by its absence in contemporary Russia.

        What Karaganov is suggesting, I think, is that the fact that erstwhile enthusiasts for integration with the West – as he himself once most certainly was – have had to a considerable extent to eat ‘humble pie’ in the face of ‘hardliners’ should not lead to an over-raction.

        What we do now know, of course, is what Lavrov, Shoigu, Gerasimov and Putin – all incidentally, both old colleagues but very different people – think about this. The conclusion to which Karaganov’s argument points, however, is, as so often, the need to ‘finesse’ tensions between inherently conflicting objectives.

        So, on the one hand, the need to, as it were, ‘prick the bubble’ of ‘hubris’ has clearly become of overriding importance. Equally important however, is the need to avoid doing things which reinforce momentum towards confrontation, creating situations from which either oneself, or one’s adversary, cannot easily ‘pull back.’

        Commenting in June last year on the revised version of the national security strategy which had just been produced, Nikolai Patrushev, the former FSB chief and secretary of the Security Council, said that the document forsees the possibility of “symmetric and asymmetric measures to thwart or avert unfriendly actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.”

        (See .)

        It seemed to me then, and seems to me now, that the ‘symetric’ means have to do, primarily, with attempting to destroy the assumption that there is any way that the territory of the United States can be made materially less vulnerable to attack than that of Russia.

        What combination of the kind of ‘symetric’ measures which Khrushchev once attempted, and ‘asymetric’ ones, is most appropriate, however, is likely to be a matter about which there are rather serious disagreements in Moscow.

        An ‘elephant in the room’, however, is likely to be how discussions going on there relate to similar discussions which are likely to be going on in Beijing.

        There are clearly – as one can find out by simply putting ‘Lyle J. Goldstein’ into ‘Google’ – people in China who believe that their country needs a ‘global’ naval ‘force projection’ capability. However, in Beijing as in Moscow, the question may well arise as to whether this would represent the kind of ‘symetric’ reaction which, in the end, creates as many, or more problems as it solves.

        In turn – particularly, but not exclusively, these tensions may be involved with issues to do with the cooperation between the two countries. A – rather predictable – in my view, effect of American, and more generally Western (particularly U.K.) ‘hubris’ has been to persuade those we target as ‘autocracies’ that, if they do not ‘hang together’, they will most surely ‘hang separately.’

        If however, with Karaganov, one recognises that what appear to be entrenched ‘mindsets’ can suddenly change, then, obviously, one will have to think about how to ‘insure’ against dangers involved in the collaboration becoming too close.

        An absolutely catastrophic effect of ‘Russiagate’ has been to create a situation where what Germans sometimes call the ‘Primat der Innenpolitik’ works to make it absolutely impossible to make any use of such perfectly reasonable concerns. At least for the time being, it clearly makes much better sense, in terms of ‘electoral imperatives’ in the United States, to attempt to manipulate a ‘narrative’ one might call ‘Putindunnit’ in one’s favour, rather than challenge it.

        A problem then becomes, is that, seen from anywhere outside the contemporary American, and British ‘bubbles’, this kind of ‘Primat der Innenpolitik’ argument, in contemporary circumstances, is liable to suggest that the notion that there is something that can be called ‘democracy’, and something else that can be called ‘autocracy’ is, frankly, ‘BS.’ Moreover, the notion that a ‘democracy’ that ends up with Biden, and ‘Bojo’ in charge is self-evidently desirable, is, clearly, ludicrous.

        I have gone on long enough!

        • English Outsider says:

          David Habakkuk – a most penetrating guide on how it looks from the other side of the fence. I don’t think it’s “going on” at all and regret only that voices such as yours are not heard in the English media. Dr North has cast a sceptical eye over the current theatrical invasion talk that passes for analysis in the UK but as for our newspapers and TV, forget it.

          Sad though. Since Lavrov started talking tough a while back it’s been clear that Russia is turning its back on Europe. That would be a great loss, to us as well as to them.

      • jim ticehurst says:

        Barbera…You make good points and I like reading your comments..I happen to think Russia is being deliberately manipulated into this Position on Ukraine By Britian with strange new Biden reactions..(NSC,,?) just because they think they can See what Russssia has Conventional..Make them expose and use them and hopefully cause Russia forces some serious damage..War games that England can manipulate ..One has only to look at what The Russian and Chinese are capable of with combined force and Weapons world wide..The Know There is a Really Big Problem Cooking..Cyber war..Space War..Shipping Wars..Economic Chaos..Russia and China are all over Latin America..One only has too Look at Hitler and see how things get out of Control..Once The Diesel smell is Filling the Air…and Al, Europe go’s up in Smoke and Chaos…and Memorys are short..

        • jim ticehurst says:

          I dont know if the Brits run Covert &Supply Other nations…CIA..Black Ops Type Runs…Like Americans alway do…But My Concern is that some Deadly Offensive Weapons will be given The Ukraine..maybe under “Adviser:’ Supervision…and the Russians dont .know..Then those Weapons cause heavy damage..I/e Ship Missles…etc…And That Really Makes Russia Mad enough …to Retaliate is Heavy Ways…and things get out of Hand..Critical Escalations…

  10. sbin says:

    Will any MSN notice all this hysterical BS in a few months?
    On to the next hysterical BS.
    Oh, no mention of actual problems and failing empire on the horizon.

  11. jim ticehurst says:

    The Media..and The Brits..seem to Enjoy playing this Deadly game…with Conspiracy Theoorys…Spooks..Dossiers…Rome meeting.s.Ukraine hustles…Lies Exaggerations. nd Inner Circles.Like The NSC.. and other Agencys…Russia asked for Security Assurances…from NATO and The EU…The Results…The Hounds found a Fox…and gave chase…But this Fox..has outrun The Thirty Riders..through the Hedge Rows..and Has formed His Own Pack..The Ukraine could have declared Neutraility..Game Over…Clam Businesss…get Over it..Back Off..Be Reasonable….My Instincts tell me that Puttin is Not Posturing..He is Preppared for a Military Solution…and NATO just may be Shocked by What Russia can and Will do…When the Hunt is Over..

  12. mcohen says:

    Worth looking at
    Interesting trend as global warming has led to a serious downturn in global wheat production including in russia whereas the ukraine is having a bumper crop with levels right up.

    To me this is the future security.2022 will be the start.

  13. mcohen says:

    The fact that most of the wheat is shipped from odessa and mykolaiv which is close to the crimea is interesting when taking Russian strategy into consideration.Combine that with changes in Belarus, a straight one can be drawn from the dniepner river area to sebastipol.The unknown is turkey and the supply of wheat to North Africa and Middle East who are having to compete with China on the open market for wheat.This all long term but the moves are being made now.china gave biden who now has to bark for his money

    • Philip Owen says:

      14% of UK cereal imports now come from Ukraine. Also a large proportion of chicken imports. Benefits of Brexit. No namby pamby animal welfare provisions.

  14. Marlene says:

    There is video where Klaus Schwab calims that Merkel and Putin were from their “Young Global Leaders” pack at their time…

    Thus, which war, if both sides have the same common global goals on tight control and full squeezing of their populations through widespread “inclusive” poverty and misery based “equality”?

    All this Ukraine hoax has been satged to deviate trhe people´s attention from the gorwing protests and dissent and QR cattle-tag impossition fiasco.

    • Fred says:


      There are plenty of other such graduates of the intellectual grooming, to include petite Justin of Canada, Marin of Finland, Macron of France and even Mr. Zuckerbucks. Don’t leave out CNN’s medical expert, and plenty of other ‘experts’ too.

      That’s not the only type of such an organization either, just the most promentent. It’s ‘leaders’ don’t have a very good track record with being servants of the people; globally or locally.

  15. Steve says:

    The fuss about an imminent invasion of Ukraine is a distraction promoted by the USA and its allies in order to avoid dealing with the serious propositions by Russia that it asked to be responded to in writing. Its all smoke and mirrors and propaganda.
    Although Russia hasnt spelled out the consequences of its demands being ignored, the fact that they are will lead to serious consequences. And perhaps military action. Let us hope not.

  16. Marlene says:

    The other day, while telling a new friend found in this fight who is lego in geopolitical issues about the Skripals case, I found myself reflecting that all what we are seeing being applied to the populations around the globe, say, kidnappings in medical facilities without access of relatives, probably avoidable intubations, invasion of personal sovereignty through application of medical invasive procedures, like taking of blood samples or testing, and isolation in quasi military facilities and even resulting in dissapearing or demise, plus the accompanying information operations onto the populations for them to accept all this as normal or neccessary on national security grounds, was alll rehearsed during the Skripals saga we all pontificated about in the geopolitical blogs.

    Curiously, or not so, most blogs involved in commenting and analyzing the Skripals case, except homourably exceptions like this one, are currently involved in information operations to silence Covid cult dissent or spreading cult related propaganda…

    Taking all this into account, the hand of the Britons in the whole Covid scare appears as more than “highly likely” involved…

    The same could be said of the guesses…

  17. Deap says:

    The Great Lockdown Hoax – I am sensing a trend here.

    Johns Hopkins study shows little to no value – less than 2% benefit for 100% lockdowns:

  18. Barbara Ann says:

    Well that didn’t take long. The Spanish news site has published what it says is the leaked written response delivered to Russia by John Sullivan.

    Here is a direct link to the document:

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