Tuesday 19 December 2017

The Caucasus - the most dangerous Place on Earth!!!!

This was something I wrote in about 2007 after the Georgian Conflict. It was originally posted on a Website at that time - but rather mysteriously disappeared, or at least seemed to have when I tried finding it to post here! It's an Analysis of the myriad Groupings, Ethnicities and Conflicts in the Region known as the Caucasus. After 'Operation Tidy Up' I found a printed copy - which I have scanned and posted in this Thread. I guess the Appearance gives it that archival Look and gives it an Authenticity that might not be apparent if it was just typed. Click on each in order of Appearance, using your Browsers zoom Facility if you have to .......

Some of the following appears as a Reply to a Comment someone on the Website made.......

Finally, having wrested back Control of some Work where a lot of Research. Writing and fact Checking resulted in this you can now read it here! 

Because of the ensuing Tragedy in the Ukraine, something that shouldn't be happening at all, here's a Poster you can print and display. Written in Russian Cyrillic, it was the Promise made to Gorbachev in 1990 by US Secretary of State James Baker saying; "Not one Inch Eastwards" with any NATO expansion into former Warsaw Pact and Soviet Countries. It was because this was ignored in more recent years the War in Ukraine broke out on February 24th 2022.....


  1. Meanwhile, what if Putin hadn't acted so decisively and that War had gone on for much longer? How long would it have been before Chechens do some Spleen venting, forming an Alliance with Tblisi to fight the Russians? Chechen Fighters were in Syria - fighting for Groups like Al Nusra and ISIL. How long would the Peace have held between Armenia and Azerbaijan before their complex Arrangements in the Region, and with Russia, start to unravel, and they recommence their Conflict over Nagorno Karabakh? The Caucasus borders Syria, Iran and Turkey, while the Kurdish Region straddles all of that, so the potential for a spill-over Conflict was very possible!

    And it isn't just the Realm of Ethnography, Religion and Politics either. Areas of the Caucasus have become some of the most contaminated by War on Earth, designated by Eco-Groups as critical. The environmental consequences of a protracted War in the Region are horrendous.

  2. 15 years after all this the last Week and a half have seen the biggest Land Battles in Europe since WW2.

    Russia and the Ukraine have fought several large Battles as the former has invaded the latter in what looks like a larger equivalent to what happened in the Caucasus a few years ago. Rather like South Ossetia and Abkhazia then, Separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk want to align themselves with Russia rather than the pro-west leanings of the Ukrainian Government in Kiev. Claims by Moscow of persecution against them and ethnic Russians are being used to justify the current Conflict and Putin's invasion. Cities are being reduced to Rubble by continuous Missile and Airstrikes while Street Battles have ensued, not seen since the Eastern Front after June 1941. In a particularly dangerous turn of Events Ghost Cities like Chernobyl have seen Battles as Troops fight each other amongst the Ruins of the notorious former Nuclear Power Station while other Nuclear Facilities have been targeted.

    The Global Response has fallen hugely in favour of Ukraine with everything from military Aid to a vast Raft of Sanctions aimed at Moscow one Russian Politician described as an economic Nuclear Bomb. China has lined up with Russia in an attempt to stave off some of this, while the long term Consequences for global Economics are grave.

    Food Production has been severely affected as Ukraine - often described as the Bread Basket of Europe - has seen its Agriculture devastated by the Conflict and Agri-Economics feels the pinch as far away as Chicago. This is long term too, and could continue years after the Fighting has ended.

    This is all extremely serious ...... and not just a little worrying.

  3. Ironically, but maybe quite appropriately the Ukrainian President Volodymyry Zelensky hasn't ruled out future Neutrality as an Option in trying to establish Peace in the Region. Something I've always felt should have been observed as soon as the Cold War ended and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union.

    The Region is far too controversial and provocative not to be. Steeped in Blood and Violence for Centuries as Teutonic Knights, Livonian Emperors, Hanseatics, Tsars, Poles, Scandinavians, Napoleon, Germans, Austro-Hungarians, and Fascists have all fought their Wars there. From the Crusades fought by mediaeval Christian Frontiersmen with eastern Pagans 100's of years ago to the millions who died during WW2 it's the most violent place on Earth, manifested by the ferocity of the War in Chechnya and the Scale of the current Conflict.

    The Cause for Neutrality begins in all of this, but most graphically in Stalin's refusal to withdraw back to the Soviet Union in 1945. Thus began the 45 year Occupation of Eastern Europe, prompted by understandable Fears (real and imagined) in Moscow of future German Aggression.

    After all, it had happened twice in just 28 years, the first causing severe hardship, industrial scale Killing, near Famine and a Revolution, the second the bloodiest Theater of the Second World War it took 22 Million Soviet Lives to end. Britain and America were never invaded while western Europe and occupied Scandinavia got off comparatively lightly. Neither can fully comprehend the deep Wound in the Slavic Psyche caused by the stupifying Brutality of the War in the East as Hitler's Armies murdered their way through it, wiping centuries old Towns and Villages off the Earth and imprisoning millions of Soviet POWs - most of whom would never return home. The Holocaust was felt there more than anywhere else as Stettle after Stettle were razed and their People killed by the Einsatzgruppen.

    Hence any attempt by either NATO or the Russian CIS to influence the Region could open those Wounds - something the Signatories of the Malta Summit to decide the Future of post-Cold War Europe were very aware of. Why did that 45 year Stand-off go on like it did, and what prompted it?

    Vaclav Havel, after becoming the first democratically elected Leader of Czechoslovakia since Eduard Benes, suggested that NATO should follow suit after the Warsaw Pact had been disbanded. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - along with SEATO and CENTO - was a Response to the Warsaw Pact after all, and had thus ceased to have its reason to exist.

    Unfortunately, military and economic Incentives have caused former Warsaw Pact and Soviets to join NATO and the EU which has created a Bloc right on the Border with Russia and Stalin's Ghost whispers "I told you so" in the Kremlin. The current Conflict poses a Danger that could spark a wider War with terrifying Consequences no-one should ignore and whatever benefits People might think they have could very easily be undone by all of it.

    Anyone who was at Malta in that very hopeful and optimistic Era should rediscover that Spirit of Friendship and Co-operation which defused a War that had gone on for Decades and nearly incinerated all of us in 1962.

  4. Could this War go nuclear?

    Vladimir Putin has implied use of Nuclear Weapons as his Invasion of Ukraine hasn't been as swift or decisive as he planned. Pundits have speculated whether he could even do it, citing the Balance of Nuclear Power Russia has with the rest of the World.

    The thing is, it doesn't matter if he has 100 or a 100 Million Nukes at his immediate disposal, it's that first Strike that is the most destructive. Should he deploy just one Missile against any Target NATO couldn't just sit by without a multilateral Response, while other Countries would be forced to prepare unilaterally. That is the Premise of M.A.D (mutually assured destruction) that any Strike by either would trigger the anhilation of both.

    Also ....

    The difference between his previous Wars in Chechnya and Georgia and this one in the Ukraine is those others were rapid and very conclusive. Grozny was quickly brought to it's Knees and about a 3rd of Sakashvillis Army was obliterated in just over a Week. There was no Chechen Army and no civilian Mobilisation from Tblisi, while the international Community stood back and let those Wars play themselves out. There might have been the usual Condemnation, while the Media created a "David and Goliath" style Scenario in Chechnya - but that was about it.

    The complete opposite applies in Ukraine as NATO Countries like Poland have apparently given Kiev MIG29 Aircraft to bolster Ukrainian Air Forces in the Conflict. This is a Decision at Government Level in Warsaw and could escalate the Conflict as other Governments might offer similar assistance as it continues.

    What I find astonishing is how there hasn't been a Summit - with Russian, EU, American, British and Commonwealth, Chinese and other Influential Groups - to decide the Future of the Region once known as the Pale of Settlement. The Areas bloody and violent History, from the Baltic to the Balkans, and then the Black Sea 15 years ago should prompt a Meeting to decide what should be done with it.

    The War in Georgia was the prelude to what is happening now - with some notable similarities in Cause and Effect, and that ought to have prompted a serious Debate about how to diffuse future Conflicts. Ironically, Mikhail Sakashvilli is now a Ukrainian Politician as the current War continues.

    It was obvious that there was latent mutual Aggression the moment NATO began deploying in Countries like the Baltic States. After all, those Troops aren't there to defend the Latvian Coast against some sort of Viking Incursion are they.

    The economic War on Russia might be more effective than boycotting the Moscow Olympics after their Occupation of Afghanistan (not an Invasion as they were there to bolster the Government in Kabul), but that could have devastating effects globally. The Russian Economy is not the Soviet one, which existed in the Communist Echo Chamber, and it's health affects those of many other Countries, particularly those of Asia. If it starts to stutter so do theirs, while Moscow increasingly leans on the Beijing Crutch.

    How the West responds to that could be assessed by using the recent Farce in Afghanistan as an example as it showed just how transient and ineffectual it's Influence can be in the Region. Even with a comparatively blank Slate after the Afghan-Soviet War and then Taliban 1.

    Putin might not find the War in Ukraine as rapid as he might have wished but he could win the much wider Conflict that might happen because of it. The proverbial 'bigger Picture'!

    As John Le Carre said of the end of the Cold War; "where was the global Perestroika, the Reforms" that were needed after it? Those People at Malta weren't at the end of a Process as everyone might have thought. They were at its beginning.

    It's one thing to win a War, another entirely to win the Peace!

  5. Will Sanctions work?

    They might in the short term as Russia adapts to the new Circumstances but they have a recent History of an Economy that exists in an Echo Chamber. As the Soviet Union their Economy was confined to other Communist Countries so something similar applied in 2022 is nothing new. Once they have adapted Sanctions will be like Business during the Cold War when they had very little Trade with capitalist Countries.

    Rather like then, when they had their Network of 'client' States via the Warsaw Pact and other Communist Countries, they now have a new Network. China being one, the other most significant is India. Described as a "special Relationship" by Vladimir Putin India is both economic and strategic to Moscow. It also has a Population far bigger than the whole of eastern and central Europe, former Soviets and everyone else in the Warsaw Pact Orbit. They also share Influence with densely populated Asiatics like Pakistan and Indonesia with China, and their very apparent Alliance with Iran. For most of the Cold War Tehran was an Ally of America via the Shah, who was deposed in 1979.

    Sanctions might afflict the Ruble - but that is before their Currency returns to what it was as the Soviet Union. They've also made a lot of Money and foreign Currency in the last 31 years. There might be Oligarchs abroad, but most of them are semi-exiles from the Yeltsin Era, the most famous being Mikhail Kordarkovski. Millions of Russian CIS People have lives that have changed little since the end of the Soviet Era so wouldn't miss what they've never had.

    One of the most devastating Counter Measures they can apply Putin has threatened to do. Something that was quite obvious years ago, during the Crisis in the Caucasus, switching off the Gas Supply to Europe. Germany relies heavily on Russian natural Gas as do other EU Countries denial of which will cause a Scarcity and force up energy Prices.

    Russia has every natural Resource a Country needs and is big enough to facilitate against deficits with those it doesn't.

    The moral of the Story is; don't antagonise them - while there were Opportunities to work with them - rather like there were with Iran at the end of the 20th Century. These really ought to have been capitalised on, but weren't!

  6. And while the West intrigued an inconclusive, terrible and protracted War in Syria, destroyed Iraqi Infrastructure and meddled disastrously in North Africa. While the so called "Coalition of the Willing" committed the crime of war of aggression in Iraq, according to the International Commission of Jurists. While NATO Turkey supported Syrian Terrorist Groups who committed ethnic Cleansing and Genocide in the Kurdish Region, just exactly where is the moral High Ground in the western Stance about the Russo-Ukraine War?

    As someone old enough to remember something better, who was involved in the Zeitgeist of that amazing 80's/90's Cusp - the rebirth of History in Prague to how the Cold Wars end brought about the successful Conclusion to the Hostage Crisis, who watched those brave Romanian Soldiers fight for the People rather than the Government - and then the Tragedy in Beijing - everything since 2001 hasn't felt right at all.

    That moral Authority which won the Cold War, ended Apartheid and even defeated Saddam in a War that DID have the backing of the UN Security Council did not exist by the time the Iraq War started in 2003. Since about 1993 that same West began creating a nasty, spiteful and exclusivist Culture that wasn't meant for those at the start of the Decade at all.

    And in an Act of blatant inflammatory Opportunism Israel launched Airstrikes in a Syria that finally seemed to be calming down after more than 10 years.

    While those Hostages represented some of that moral Authority, Assad's Syria helped in their eventual Release. The Factions the West have supported in that brutal and bloody Conflict have captured and killed them.

    Assad offered protection to Christian, Yazidi and Kurdish People in their Sphere of Influence, those Protégés of Intrigue have cleared and killed them in their 100's of 1000's.

  7. All Vladimir Putin has to do is cite Turkish backed ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish Afrin Region of Syria, which saw 300,000 Kurds become Refugees. Turkey is a Member of NATO, and while the West claims to have only supported moderate Combatants in the Syrian Civil War Groups like Human Rights Watch might disagree as western backed Fighters have committed Atrocities against Civilians from the Onset of War in 2011.

    Putin has supported the Government of Bashar Al Assad, and while he might not have been known for his Humanitarianism the Conflict far outstrips anything he might have done with its Brutality and Devastation. It has only gone on for as long as it has because the West, Israel and Saudi Arabia insist on continuing to flood the Countries so called Rebels with Money and Weapons. It could have ended years ago with Scope for a negotiated Settlement - but that seems all but impossible now.

  8. While recent Israeli Airstrikes against Iranian Targets in Syria suggest an Attempt to draw Iran into a wider Conflict has anybody noticed how Wars seem to be spreading?

    The 21st Century started with the 2nd Chechen War while there was the War in Afghanistan, which continued in Iraq, Georgia, and Syria, then spread to Civil War in Libya and Sudan - Yemen and Mali - and now Ukraine. most of these continue as I write, while the Ukraine, far bigger even more ominous than the Conflict in the Caucasus, shows how it has finally spread to Europe.

    Russian and NATO Navies continually face off in the Mediterranean, the latter increasingly nervous, while French NATO Troops have been deployed to the Ukrainian Border.

    It prompts the Question; how long before Britain is drawn into the Conflict?

  9. And that is what makes this War particularly dangerous .....

    Could the Ukraine be the next Syria?

    As Karkiv begins to resemble Aleppo and Syrian Troops fight alongside Russians, the ominous Spectre of Syria looms over the War.

    While western, Israeli and Arabic Countries pour military and financial Aid into the continuing Civil War in Syria, NATO Countries do the same with the Ukraine. Some NATO Countries have even deployed on the Ukrainian Border - which seems like an ominous Expectation that the War could expand into other Territories.

    NATO Turkey attempts to bottle the Russian Navy up in the Black Sea - and even Churchill acknowledged the strategic importance of the Dardanelles - prompting his ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign. Russia was our Ally in that Conflict. A potential flash-point for widening Conflict.

    The difference between this very European War and it's Georgian predecessor is how the World held off during the latter, leaving Tblisi to its fate. Sakashvilli overplayed his Hand - hoping NATO would come to his Aid. It didn't, and he was defeated in about a Week, losing South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the process, which are now only nominally Georgian.

    As NATO throws assistance at the Ukraine it could get drawn in to actual Fighting. At the moment it's Policy is similar to that of those supporting anti-government forces in Syria. This implies it could go on for years, while Assad might have sustained substantial Damage economically as much as militarily - but he's still running things. Ditto for Putin.

    As the Patchwork of Wars seems to be spreading and the World attempts to contain them are we not reminded of the Boy in Holland, preventing the Flood by putting his Finger in the fracture in the Dyke? What happens if or when they run out of Fingers?

  10. There's speculation that the Russian Army are holding back resources in reserve should the War escalate.....

    Others have commented on how it hasn't exactly enthralled the World with its performance - many describing it as incompetent.

    NATO can't seriously fight a War of Containment against Russia by allowing the ebb and flow of russian Warships and Submarines through the Dardanelles and running amok in the Mediterranean. They would have to blockade it rather like America did Cuba in 1962. Otherwise entire Countries could see their Fleets and Shores put in jeapardy. This is why that narrow stretch of Water could become very dangerous, while Putin must have realised this, keeping Resources back as a Contingency should that happen and he needs a heavy military presence there.

    As for any Competence, the same thing happened during WW1 - which led to its collapse and a Revolution, and WW2 - as the entire Front collapsed to the Axis. Ironically, the Battle of Kiev saw the City surrounded and 600,000 Soviet Troops were captured. If a similar thing is happening now - at some point Putin might learn from Stalin - who freed his junior Officers from Beria's Commissars and Political Officers - who then went on to win Battles like Smolensk, Stalingrad and Kursk. For the first Weeks of "Barbarossa" German Morale was in top form while the Russians seemed to slump into a miasma of incompetence and fatalistic Defeatism. They finally rallied and turned the Tide of War.

    If they are suffering the same Problems that afflicted their Soviet Predecessors they might begin learning the same lessons they did by 1942.

  11. No less dangerous than the actual Conflict, or the potential for its escalation is a similar over-confidence that existed in other recent Wars.

    It was wrongly believed that Assad would be swept away in 2011 if enough Assistance was given to the FSA when the Syrian War started. Subsequently, what was thought to only last month's has now gone on for more than 10 years, and elements far more brutal have been drawn in by it with no conclusion in sight. In Afghanistan any presence the Coalition and its Protégés thought they had was swept away so quickly by the Taliban last year when they thought they had established something permanent. The ironically and prematurely named Harmid Karzai Airport being where they made their last stand. Iraq has shown how difficult these things are - whether you were General Patreus or Paul Bremmer.

    Each one of these seem to resonate with that clichéd mistake People made about many Wars of the last 110 years. People embarking on their WW1 'Adventure' thought they'd be home by Christmas, Germans though the same as they went into the Soviet Union in 1941. A similar Gung Hoism exists today about the Ukraine as the Propaganda creates the impression Putin's incompetent Army is in imminent Collapse. Never underestimate your enemy in any War as they have as much capacity to learn from their Mistakes as you do. They certainly did during their Civil War after the Revolution and in 1942. This Conflict might not be over by Christmas either. Like Syria, it might even get far worse.

    Were it not for their comparative impoverishment Serbia might have endured many more years of Conflict against NATO in the 1990's as they fought through most of that Decade. Serbian Nationalists felt Bosnia, and partiçularly Kosovo, were Crucibles for their Culture, so while they seemed comparatively amateurish against the latest NATO War Machinery and Tactics they were resolute in their Attitude.

    Russians might appear similar in the Ukraine, but a similar cultural Phenomenon exists. Putin isn't the only one in Moscow who believes they and Ukraine are one and the same. Historians believe the Ukraine is where, for want of a better Word, Russianess began. They feel everything from the Language, the Cyrillic Alphabet, all of it came from what was once called "Little Russia”. Subsequently, Soldiers fighting there now aren't Soviet Troops occupying the Warsaw Pact or fighting Afghanis in the 1980's.

    They might also seem comparatively obsolete .... with much of their Equipment being ageing Soviet Era Stuff, but then, so were their Red Army Predecessors, pitted against the latest German Panzers and Aircraft. Many of their Tanks and Airplanes were obsolete. But then, of course, so were those 4 Gloucester Gladiators that fought the Luftwaffe and Italians in the Skies over Malta.

  12. And what reinforces the Arguement against any NATOcentric Gung Hoism Turkey have petitioned President Biden to play down their Role in any potential War with Russia.

    Obviously realising their strategic Importance in the Dardanelles, and how NATO might call on them to seal it off to Russian Ships sailing from Ports like Sevastopol, they are understandably nervous about a Russian Retaliation.

    Western Swagger might work in the Realm of Theory but the Reality to those on the Front lines is rather different. It suggests that this War can not be won militarily. It also reinforces how NATO should have as little to do with it as possible.

    One of the Ironies of recent years is how someone whose President Husband was wrongly compared to Kennedy never learned from JFKs Stance during and after the Cuban Missile Crisis. After Robert Kennedy and Anatoly Dobrynin reached their Agreement on how to end the Debacle Jack warned against any Reportage saying how Moscow backed down or somehow capitulated. He was at great pains to avoid humiliating Russia, seeing it as counterproductive. Hillary was quite the opposite, looking for any and every Opportunity to poke Putin in the Eye. Her Attitude towards Iranians did nothing to help either.

    Irrespective of Putin's Attitude towards the Ukraine, she forfeit any Chance America might have had at cajoling the Russian Leader against his current Policy.

  13. I have to say that the global Response to the Ukrainian Crisis smacks of institutional Racism.

    After only 25 Days, the reaction from every global and geo-regional Institution is far more virulent than that of the War in Syria that has gone on for 11 years. Is this because Ukrainians are continental Europeans and Syrians are only Arabs after all? It seems the Kurds are even further down the Compassion Heirarchy as 300,000 of them are 'cleansed' to make way for Syrian Arab Refugees in Turkey.

    Very little global condemnation made of the Turkish backed SNA as they apply the Policy.

    I'm reminded of Rwanda - which endured a Month of Genocide before Madeleine Albright even uttered the Expression "Acts of Genocide".

  14. They have (or had) Schools in Syria, Hospitals, Clinics, Creches - day care for the Disabled. They have them in Iraq too. A Lady called Margaret Hassan was there helping them until she was kidnapped and murdered quite horribly.

    The Kurds run them too - while defending ethnic and religious Groups against Saudi (and others) backed Terrorist Groups.

    The thing is, the Syrians who are being plantated in former Kurdish Areas don't want to be there. They want to be in the Areas of Syria they came from. The Fact they can't shows how the Policy in Syria has failed spectacularly. Millions more are resigned to the Fact that they might never see the Country again.

    Until I see the same Outrage at what has happened there in more than 10 years as that at only 25 days in the Ukraine I think the current furore seems hollow and more like an elaborate Publicity Campaign.

    Until we see the same Resolve in the UN, the EU and similar Institutions to tell those supporting the War in Syria not to you won't see me flying Ukrainian Flags, putting up Posters, or wearing Badges and T'Shirts supporting Kiev.

    Those supporting the Syrian War are not Putin, Assad or even Tehran.

    And I'm very glad indeed I wasn't a Rwandan in 1994!

  15. Meanwhile, speculation grows at a possible Coup against Vladimir Putin.

    Remembering the fall of Mikhail Gorbachev the transition of Russia to Boris Yeltsin and the Collapse of the Soviet Union the Prospect of a Kremlin Coup could be disastrous.

    Even though the lumbering USSR was going to cause a huge Hole should it collapse the rest of the World - particularly western Europe and America - was run by rather more capable, and far less cynical, People than those we have seen in the last 30 years. How Afghanistan collapsed so rapidly shows that Kool Aid and Spin doesn't replace proper Statesmanship.

    Joe Biden doesn't inspire while Boris Johnson seems to gaffe as often as articulate in his Comments of recent years. These and similar People will have to act as the Backdrop to any Coup in Russia.

    The Nominees who might replace Putin seem no different - and are merely supporting Cast in the Russian Story of recent years, many implicated in some of the Scandals, while the Vastness of the Country makes any Transition a long and arduous Task. Would there be any Transition anyway?

    The main Premise People have for an end to Putin's Regime is his elected Autocracy and Repression of Opposition. But none of those potential Replacements are Opposition Politicians.

    Should the whole Apparatus collapse Boris Yeltsin might have seemed disastrous - while Russians suffered many Hardships as Communist Guarantees disappeared - but there were more capable People elsewhere in the World to help prevent any descent into Chaos.

    Russian Politics is very brutal and if there was a genuine Replacement to the current Buro they'd have to be very tough, and very popular indeed.

    But is there anyone?

  16. No there isn't ....

    People focus on the anti-Ukraine War Demos in recent Weeks. A couple of 1000 at the very most.

    But we saw 100's of 1000 protest the Iraq War. So did Countries elsewhere in the Europe, the World and America. Many of which do have viable and proven Opposition's and a Tradition of liberal Democracy.

    Did they bring down Tony Blair or George W Bush?

    Not at all, even when the latter had his inaugural Procession disrupted by Protestors.

    Did the recent invasion of Capitol Hill by Supporters of Donald Trump cause the premature End of President Elect Joe Biden?

    No it didn't.

    A Million People occupied Tiannenmen Square in Beijing in 1989 and it didn't bring down Deng Xiau Pings Government at all. Indeed, Veterans of that Protest have since warned that that many People might look powerful, but it soon collapses in the Face of Machine Guns and Military. They'd caution against trying anything similar again.

  17. They'd also have to be very powerful .... with lots of Support in the Military, Civil Service and Business. The only People who have that are the current Regime.

    Should all of it collapse the potential for Civil War and Spleen Venting is terrible. This brings me back to the original Subject of this Post. Backlashes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Chechnya and Ingushetia - Dagastan, all have had Lids on them kept by that Regime. Separatists elsewhere could begin insurrections and the Country sees Civil War akin to that of the 1920's.

    The Shenanigans in Syria against Putin's Ally could be compared to the White Russians in that War. Foreign Aid and Nationals fighting the Government.

    What if the World tried something similar in Russia?

  18. I wouldn't put it past some of them either ..... even in our own Parliament.

    "We should arm the Rebels" William Hague said of Syria to the House, while President Obama and John Kerry sought to identify "moderate" Rebels in Syria to send Money and Weapons to. Both of whom confronted with terrible and harrowing Reports from there about the escalating Conflict. Undeterred by any if it.

    Would they be the same about Russia, maybe trying to identify "moderate Rebels" against any former Putin Government trying to establish themselves in the Power Vacuum?

    The Incentive to carve up the Spoils might be difficult to resist in a World where Empire Building seems to have ground to a Halt.

    But what would post-Putin Civil War be like?

    Horrific, like its predecessor 100 years ago.

    The only thing guaranteeing ethnic Russians everywhere in the CIS is the Government. You only have to see what happened when ethnic Russians complained of persecution in Donetz and Luhansk - rather like Abkhazia and South Ossetia before them. With Putin gone what would stop ethnic Georgians recommencing - those in Abkhazia trying to drive Russians into the Black Sea? It's the same elsewhere although not as extreme, and not just in the CIS.

    There are 900,000 ethnic Russians in Latvia - about a 3rd of the Population, while the only thing stopping their persecution is the prospect Moscow could severely interfere with their already weakened Economy and disrupt much needed Transport Links inland.

    Poignantly, a few years ago (before the War) there was a large Syrian Withdrawal from Lebanon. Sent there by Hafez Al Assad in 1975 they had been there for Decades. In that time they'd established Roots, having Families, social Links and even business interests there, which made their Withdrawal difficult. The same applies to Russians who had been sent all over the CIS, into ethnically different Areas. Their Withdrawal was similarly problematic.

    Kaliningrad (formerly Konigsberg) could cause a few Difficulties as it was Russified after its capture from Prussia in WW2. What if Germany tries to reclaim it?

    And what if the Civil War destroyed any form of Order?

    Imagine the 1920's War, but with Nukes, not just available in the Chaos - or to use, but also to sell? Black Market Uranium - some of it enriched - has been known to circulate - even with a Government - so what if there wasn't one? The most dangerous Weapons appear on the open Market - available to the highest Bidder. The Nightmare Scenario - ISIL with the Bomb. Other NBC Weapons become available as Russian Army Arsenal's are plundered and emptied.

  19. Then there are People fighting in Syria who could return to the CIS and fight there. Chechens and Ingush People, seeing Assad as Putin's Proxy and fighting him, and everyone else, might go back to Grozny and start a War with vulnerable Russians, hated Agents of Moscow.

    How do you contain a War like that?

    Nigh impossible, as you would have to watch everywhere in the Vastness of it all. Already controversial Oil Facilities in the Arctic, the War ravaged Border to the West, the huge Central Asia - including Kazakhstan. The Pacific Coast and Vladivostok. Then there's the Border with Manchuria. With the Russian Signatories gone the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship could unravel and fighting starts again.

    How would the UN Peacekeep something so vast and multi-facetted when they don't have enough Resources and Soldiers to monitor current Trouble Spots? If they couldn't protect People in Darfur against a few marauding Sudanese what chance would they have in the Kalmyck or Siberia?

    Any Talk about a Power Shift in Russia would have to be backed up to the Hilt by People and Resources that probably don't exist.

  20. A negotiated Settlement .....?

    I think the partial Key to a negotiated Settlement in the Russo-Ukraine War is an end to the War(s) in Syria.

    Can it be possible that President Richard Nixon's approach to Vietnam was wiser than a succession of Presidents and Prime Ministers in the last 11 years? That War had gone on for less than a Syrian Conflict that can't be won with the current Strategy at all. Nixon withdrew Troops, then gradually withdrew Support - until the South collapsed completely in 1975. Unlike the Policy that has destroyed Syria and gone on for a year longer.

    The protracted Conflict has done nothing to improve Relations with Moscow who support Assad. If anything it has atrophied them and shown the Russian Leader Intransigence in the West. Could it be argued that the West's support of the FSA after 2011 reduced any Constraint he might have had in his annexation of the Crimea in 2014?

    Assad is Putin's Proxy, so War on the former is indirect War on the latter, thus a sincere Attempt to end it might be seen as an Act of good Faith in Moscow.

  21. But who supports Islamic State ....?

    Obviously, in the Interests of keeping up Appearances no Government is going to publicly admit to supporting the Terrorist Groups operating in Syria.

    Rumour and counter-Rumour allege they do ...... and they don't. Allegation and Denial flow in equal Measure, and it becomes difficult who establish who actually does.

    Maybe you should just ask who benefits most from their existence?

    If one Report says they have fought Syrian Government Forces more than anyone else in a given period of time you could assume it would be someone against the Government. If Turkey benefits from their Activities against Kurdish YPG Forces then maybe some of it is from them. Sunni Saudi Antagonism towards Shia Moslems suggests Support for a Militant Group against Assad's Shia Government. It also infers same in Iraq to bolster minority Sunnis in a majority Shia Country.

    As the War continues and supposedly moderate Rebels dwindle, replaced by radicalised Opportunists prepared for the long Haul - again, would it be those committed to removing Assad?

    Some have asserted that some of it is by Assad himself in an attempt to divide and rule the Opposition as they fight other non-Government Forces in the Conflict. Some even believe he used his Airforce in support of IS Fighters near Aleppo.

    I'm not sure that is correct and would have thought he'd rather support established Groups like those of Massoud Barzani to promote legitimacy in his own Country and abroad, as opposed to foreign Governments pledged to his Downfall.

    It's like the Allegations he used illegal Chemical Weapons a few years ago when he was on the Brink of Victory. Why would he do that when he has everything to lose if he did? Who's to say it wasn't a desperate False Flag Attack by those being defeated to garner further foreign Support? Rather like Germans dressed as Polish Soldiers attacked a German Radio Station in August 1939 as a Pretext for their Invasion that September.

    All in all, there's a very sick and duplicitous Game being played out in Syria and the Levant - with tragic Consequences for those embroiled in it.

    Whatever Foibles Assad might have had before have paled into insignificance since it started 11 years ago.

  22. He just wants the Rebels to ceasefire and go home so he can resume running the Country. He also wants to rejoin the Community of Nations. Something he can't do if he is seen cozying up to some Islamist Caliphate that straddles Syria and Iraq. It would be unacceptable in Baghdad to see him endorsing something that compromises their Sovereignty. After all, that is their stated Aim in the Region. And why would he cede his own Territory to them anyway when they are a Threat to his existence?

    IS are an unacceptable Phenomena, unlike established Figures like Barzani and his Kurds and the YPG. Hence it serves anti-Assad Interests to create the Impression he does support them. Something many foreign Governments are committed to. They don't care who runs Syria as long as it isn't Bashar Al Assad.

    Also, how can IS continue their War if their Support was from individuals? How can any individual afford to sustain Support for that long, and why would they want to? They'd be business People who would see their Businesses suffer and collapse completely in the never ending Haemourage of Money. The only People who could continue that for that long are Governments, particularly wealthy ones.

  23. Wealthy enough not to be affected should the Syrian Economy fail. An Economy that certainly would if IS became the Government. Hence, why would any individual Businessman support them?

    If the universal Condemnation of IS is to be believed, and is as universal as we are led to believe, no Individual would dare support them. The Consequences for IS Fighters should they be caught are severe enough, but what if a Convoy of IS Supplies or Financial Transaction could be traced back to those supporting them?

    A System of Cooperation has existed between Assad and Barzani - while the latter has enjoyed semi-independence in Syria for Decades. Even if Assad gave Territory to IS - how could he establish a similar Rapport with them he has had with Kurds? In the end he is the Government, and even with Daggers drawn America still has an Embassy in his Damascus. Could that continue if it no longer was his, and was the Capital of the Caliphate?

    Economically, diplomatically (internally and externally) and militarily it isn't in his interests to support Islamic State.

  24. Meanwhile, in the Ukraine hasn't the subsequent Reportage told the World something ..... rather unwittingly?

    It's virtually complete anti-Russian Bias shows how quickly it has reset to the sort of Reporting we used to get during the Cold War. Western Media setting out to portray the Soviet Union in every bad Light possible while Soviet News Agencies would reciprocate.

    It also suggests how fragile any Consensus might have been before the current Conflict, when we were led to believe the Cold War had ended. Although, People shouldn't be surprised because of the gradual preamble. The Polarisation process didn't happen overnight once the first Russian Soldier went into the Ukraine.

    That started in the Caucasus as long ago as 2008, and continued as enmity developed and hardened towards Russia's allies in Tehran and Damascus.

    How the Internet has very carefully filtered the Information on the current War suggests a form of Censorship verging on Propaganda. If this War is probably the most significant of recent years shouldn't we be able to access as objective Reportage as possible so we, in our modern liberal Democracies, can draw our own informed Conclusions on it?

  25. After some searching here are a couple of Articles that support my Comments made previously .....

    The first, that the global Reaction to the Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine smacks of institutional Eurocentric Racism ......


    The second, that Russia is understandably concerned at NATO and EU expansion to its Border and how that violated the Agreement reached at the Malta Summit........


  26. Nazis in the Ukraine .....

    I've just seen a Video about the War where the Presenter effectively unravels onscreen, except he doesn't realise it.

    Any History Buff will agree that the Ukraine might, or might not be, an historical part of Russia, who shares it's Keivian Rus origins. Politicians might argue this Point with Putin should there ever be any Summit.

    Then there's the very controversial Azov Battalion. Unabashed Nazis who are part of the mainstream Military. Yep, you read that correctly, PART OF THE MAINSTREAM MILITARY!

    This isn't some self styled White Supremacist Militia in the deep South somewhere in America, or the Ku Klux Klan - burning a Cross on an Evening, branded a Terrorist Group by the Government. It's a Bunch of Neo-Nazi Thugs as much a part of Ukraine's Army as the 82nd Airborne are in America or the Royal Engineers are in Britain.

    Imagine the furore if President Biden announced he was forming the KKK Regiment, or Prime Minister Johnson created the Combat 18 Company.

    The Azov Battalion should not be a mainstream anything in the Ukraine Army, while, because they are feeds tons of understandable Grist to not just Putin's Mill, but also anyone elses.

    You can understand Russian Trepidation at having Ukrainian Troops on their Border. Terrible Memories of something similar in 1941 that have never faded.

    There might have been Wehrmacht Regulars - which was bad enough - but there was also the Waffen SS! Both as mainstream in the German Army as each other.

  27. Merely being part of the mainstream Military goes right to the Heart of Ukrainian Society. The Government, Civil Service, Business, Intelligentsia, Culture ..... maybe even Religion. That these Groups are part of the Process that accepted the Azov Battalion into the Army rather than resist it.

    In Vietnam the French enlisted the Services of former SS Soldiers as Mercenaries during their War in the 1950's. But they were hired Irregulars - not Members of the French Army, not even the Foreign Legion. What would Charles De Gaul have said to anyone who suggested they ought to be?

    People in Vladimir Putin's Government have Parents who fought Waffen SS in WW2, maybe have Relatives who perished at the Hands of the Einsatzgruppen. To them the Azov Battalion is no different, while there might be some who now see former Comrades in the Ukrainian Army in the same Light their Parents regarded the Vlasovites.

    Some of this also raises questions about the Dearth of Questions in our own Media about all this. Has the ethical and ideological Shift somehow shifted and become dimished-

  28. And to confirm the Inconsistent Reportage - and Hour ago Channel 4 News interviewed Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili - and in the Intro told us "neither Ukraine or Georgia are EU or NATO Countries" but then go in to tell us how "Russia started Europe's first War". And to further reinforce the Oxymoron Ms Zourabichvili sits with an EU Flag on display in her Office!

    Elsewhere in the Report they interview Congressman Steve Lynch - but no questions about Neo-Nazism in Ukraine.

  29. Hmmm, Steve Lynch - the Ku Klux Klan, the Ku Klux Klan, Steve Lynch .... Neo-Nazis, yep I get it as that thought runs like a Hamster in a Wheel.

    The thing is, I'm not sure the West does.

    As the Ukraine becomes the Crucible for Neo-Nazi Fighters volunteering from elsewhere in an Inversion of the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War - this War draws every Crossburner with a Gun from everywhere.

    Like the Teutonic Knights at Pskov and Novgorod their "Crusade" meets a Raison Detre in the East, but while Johnny Rebb goes to War is Putin more General Sherman in 1865 than Stalin in 1945?

    Sherman's March through the Confederacy wasn't to invade, defeat and occupy. It was to destroy. He didn't want to capture Atlanta, Jeff Davies 2nd City - he wanted to Burn it. Ditto for Savanna and every Railroad, Farm, Plantation, Town and Homestead. He wanted to utterly destroy the Confederate Heartland.

    Stalin invaded and occupied Eastern Europe in 1945, Khrushchev did Hungary and Poland in 56, Brezhnev tried same in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979. By the time the Soviet Union was run by Gorbachev it was obvious these things were cripplingly expensive, and it could be said they lost both when they withdrew from it all.

    Putin's War is different .....

    Why didn't he do what conventional Strategists do on Day One ..... Launch an overwhelmingly devastating Airstrike against the Ukrainian Airforce - destroying it on the Ground in a few days. That and what NATO did in Serbia against Infrastructure Targets, destroying Milosovich's ability to deploy Troops or what the Coalition did against Saddam in 1990. He has the Airforce to have done this easily. Then, the conventional ground War starts with a shocked and awed Army and Population - completely fazed by the swiftness and Devastation of it all? He showed he could do this in Chechnya and Georgia.

    The thing is, he doesn't want to do any of this.

    He doesn't want a decisive, quick Victory - followed by an expensive Occupation of Subjugation.

    He wants to destroy the Country, City by City, Town by Town - which he is doing. Mauripol and Kharkov are reduced to Ruins, Suburb by Suburb, Kiev is reduced, Odessa is next, and the longer the War continues the more destroyed the Country becomes. Populations are displaced in their Millions and the Ukraine resembles Europe during WW2.

    It also resembles somewhere else .....

    Syria. And maybe this is where he learnt or decided to do this, by watching the West, Saudi Arabia and others continue a War that destroys a Country - not occupy it.

    Except this time it is he who protracts the Conflict, but one going on in an Ally of the West, who have expressed a very inconsistent Compassion for those caught in it compared to that given to Syrians and Kurds, that has drawn out odious Nazis in a West that has harboured such People for years, and a Country that has allowed itself to violate the very Treaty supposed to end a previous East-West Stand-off.

    Putin is neither mad or stupid, but he seems to be bringing out both in others.

  30. Why didn't Putin use his huge Airforce to destroy military Targets like the Coalition did in Iraq and Kuwait in 1990? They spent months pulverising Saddam's Army and Airforce before any ground deployment.

    Putin has his strategic heavy Bomber - the Tupolev TU 160 - which he could have carpet bombed Airbases and Formations, his equivalent of the A10 Warthog - the Sukoi SU25 for Ground Attack, and the Mil Mi 28 - like the Apache Helicopters used to destroy Iraq's Army on the Basra Highway.

    He's not fighting that sort of War is he, even though he has those Weapons at his disposal.

    Same Reason the West and Allies never used overwhelming Force in Syria - even though they could have. They wanted to reduce the Country, the most powerful Arab Military Force in the Region once Saddam had been removed.

  31. All these are Questions the western Media isn't asking, most importantly of the Man in Kiev most of it has pledged it's Support to.

    While Nathan Bedford Forrest burns his Cross in the Ukraine, with the full Support of the EU, NATO, some of the UN, Britain and America, he'll do so on a Heap of Ruins.

    Shouldn't we be lobbying our Leaders, asking them if they're sure they are supporting the right side in this Conflict?

    If Georgia isn't a Member of the EU or have EU Aspirations, why does its President display the EU Flag in her Office? Has she got a NATO Flag stashed away somewhere - waiting to be unfurled?

  32. I sometimes wonder if, in the 90's we might retrospectively have asked our Leaders the same Question about Support of other People.

    It wasn't the Soviet Union who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, or flew Planes into it a few years later.

    There's some very contrived Nonsense coming from Ukraine too ......

    Like the Photograph of Zelenski stood between some very large Men, making him look very small, or that contrived thing with the Theater and the Children.

    Regardless of Ethnicity, History, Politics, Culture or Language, the Ukraine isn't doing anything to stave off Putin's criticism that it's a Bulshit Country!

  33. And nothing to assuage Criticisms of Neo-Nazism.

    If Zelenski and his predecessors had reassured Putin they were doing everything they could to prevent Neo-Nazis in the Ukrainian Army, and be seen to do it, the Russian Leader might have been a bit more convinced. Because they didn't it starts looking more like Complicity than even Collaboration. If it were the latter it'd mean 2 seperate Entities in league with each other. Because the Azov Battalion is as mainstream as any other those Entities are no longer seperate.

    Whether you visit the Stalingrad Memorial in Russia, the Monument to the Peoples Heroes in China, the Cenotaph in London, the World War 2 Memorial in Washington and the many others around the World, how can anything like the Azov Battalion and the many other Neo-Nazis who have gone to Ukraine to fight be consistent to what those People fought and died for in their Millions?

  34. It also shows a complete lack of Empathy on the part of the Ukrainian Leadership for the Region's recent History. Not just a lack of Sensitivity to the horrific Loss of Life caused to the Soviet People - but also to the Complicity with some in the Ukraine who sided with and fought for the Nazis. Ukrainians particularly were involved in rooting out and eliminating Partisans, informing on former Soviet Officers and others loyal to the Kremlin.

  35. One of these Neo-Nazi Militias is called "Svoboda" = Freedom. They are as misguided as Ukrainians who greeted Nazi Soldiers as Liberators in 1941. I say this as someone who made a T'Shirt with "Свобода" (Svoboda in Cyrillic) written on it, except my interpretation of Freedom doesn't tally with theirs!

  36. The Guardian have published an Article comparing Ukraine to Syria, with the usual Slant telling us the Rebels in Syria were good, the Government, bad while presenting the Russians as the proverbial Bogeyman. Essentially the same, stale Rhetoric we have been fed since 2011.

    The thing is, even with Russian and Iranian Support Assad couldn't have endured if he didn't have the support of the People. No Regime can survive, however powerful, if the People genuinely didn't want them.

    Ceaucescu was an all powerful Dictator, whose Omnipresence encroached into every inch of Romanian Life. The whole Process that led to his and Elena's Execution on Christmas Day 1989 was about 4 Weeks, with no For and Against Split in the Army and not 11 years of War. Unlike Syria the whole Army took up Arms against him and his terrible Securitae and prevailed.

    There was no sudden influx of Money, Weapons and Aid for the Romanian Army in 1989. Ceaucescu was swept away because he did not have the Support of the People.

    Even if Assad was merely propped up by the Army, a Countries Military does not happen in an abstract Echo Chamber. Civilians work in all aspects of Logistics, Manufacturing, Support, Communications and Administration. His Army could not continue if those Civilians withdrew all that support because they wanted to be rid of him. What if those 100's of 1000's of People decided not to go to work the next day for example?

    Ironically, the Guardians Stance contradicts its own Research which found 55% of Syrians support Assad. A figure that has probably grown as People remember a Country that functioned properly.

    In the end the so called "Arab Spring" was the work of a Minority - supported by foreign Intrigue that wasn't at all bothered about the horrific impact it would have, and has subsequently had, on the Country or its People. Any FSA Officers have to ask if the end justifies the means, while the fractured nature of the Rebellion, and some of the others in it, should force them to ask what sort of Syria would they be running, if there was even a Syria at all?

  37. If indeed, the FSA even exists beyond the Pages and Ether of the Media, Hotel Lobbies, Embassies and Foreign Policy Flip Charts. There might have been an initial Rebellion in the Army, but most, if not all of that, was absorbed into the Islamist Extremists in the Conflict in less than 3 years. The only real, legitimate Alternative to Assad is the Kurdish YPG, who, while not being enamoured of the Regime, are prepared to cooperate and coexist with them. They have had to fight off elements of the Turkish backed SNA as much as those Islamist Groups in the Conflict.

  38. Meanwhile, NATO's own Website has said.... Quote: "NATO's enlargement is not directed at Russia".

    Maybe Jen Stoltenburg would like to tell us who that enlargement is directed at if it isn't Russia?

    Are the Baltic Countries anticipating Viking Incursions along their Coasts? Do those Member States east of Austria fear an Invasion by the Mongols? Maybe those on the Black Sea are afraid they'll be raided by Moslem Pirates, marauding from Asia Minor, or even Scythians from the Kalmyck.

    Who else but Russia can this Expansion be directed at?

    That Quote sounds like those from someone else in the late 1930's, when he claimed he had no further territorial Claims from, or no Antagonism to those Countries he would later invade and occupy.

  39. Irrespective of Legality the Response it gets from Russians tells us NATO expansion east is too provocative. Russians who have heard all that before, from someone else about other Countries - before a Treaty represented by Ribbentrop said it about theirs.

    Neo-Nazis in the mainstream Ukraine Army does nothing to quell this.

    And why has no-one asked this ......?

    What is someone like Zelenski doing even hosting them in his Army? Isn't it an Insult to the 22 Million Soviets who died before they liberated the Death Camps in 1945 and saved his People from complete eradication?

  40. When you thought the Allegiances and Proxies in Iraq and Syria couldn't have got more skewed and contradictory ....

    Volodimyr Zelenski: "I'm jewish!"

    Vladimir Putin: "I'm a Russian, a Slav and former Communist!"

    Mr Zelenski of all People should know that Legality doesn't necessarily mean right.

    The Wannsee Conference - chaired by Reinhard Heydrich - with the likes of Heinrich Muller and Adolf Eichmann in attendance - and other SS and Gestapo Suspects, also had Lawyers present to establish the legal Framework for the Final Solution.

    His integration of the Azov Battalion as a mainstream fighting Unit in his Army established their Legality.

    Not surprising then Mr Putin's Concerns about Denazification.

  41. Neo Nazis in Ukraine ...

    Investigative Journalist Oleskiy Kuzmenko wrote that these widely accepted far-right links significantly damaged Ukraine's international reputation creating a vulnerability to hostile narratives.

    US Congressional Responses to the Azov Battalion were initially encouraging as they voted to ban Support and Training by American Military. This only lasted about a year and a half as the Pentagon clandestinely put pressure on Legislators to overturn the Ruling. There have been incidences when Azov Officers have met elements of both US and Canadian Armies - even under the Auspices of NATO.

    Jewish Human Rights Groups have petitioned Israel not to supply them with Weapons - while they have been condemned by the Simon Wiesenthal Institute. Ironically, Ukrainian Jews have been Members of the Battalion - most notably it's co-Founder Nathan Khazin.

    As Elements of the Ukrainian Army they have been most culpable in violating the Agreements of the Minsk Accords. These were Treaties negotiated after a War with Russian Seperatists in the Donetz Oblast in 2013-14.

  42. There is heaps of Stuff on the Internet about far-right and Neo-Nazi Groups, and those I don't dispute about these in Russia. They also exist across the whole of Europe, Britain, and the Americas.

    What none of them say is how none of these are intrinsic Parts of a given Countries Military or Law Enforcement. Even Slobodan Milosevic drew the line at making Bosnian Serbs like Ratko Mladic or Radovan Karadic full Members of the JNA.

    As I mentioned before, imagine the Furore if Britain had the Combat 18 Regiment or the USA had a Ku Klux Klan Corps in their mainstream Military. That is what a British or American equivalent of the Azov Battalion would be.

    Oleskiy Kuzmenko is right in saying Ukraine's rep suffers hugely because they do have a Neo-Nazi Element in their Military, and while there might be a Culture in some quarters of Russia that supports a similar Ideology it hasn't manifested in a Unit of the Russian Army.

  43. A Correspondent for The Nation wrote as long ago as 2019 "Ukraine is the world’s only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces,”

    Here is the Article the Quote came from and shows a rather more objective Reportage on the Ukraine.....


    Others have described the Ukraine as a "new Hub" for the far Right across the World, where People have gone from all Continents to join Azov training Units and gain Combat Experience.

    This is extremely dangerous.

    It isn't a bunch of White Supremacists shacked up in a Montana Cabin having an NRA Weekend and watching Chuck Heston Movies, or Camo clad Racists doing a Survivalist Week in the Woods. These are hardcore Neo-Nazi types who are going to War and gain actual Fighting Experience, then taking those Skills back to their home Countries. As the West turns a blind Eye to these People and they are further legitimised there will be more and more of them. Unlike Volunteers from the International Brigades fighting in 1930's Spain they won't be back at Home training the LDVs (Dad's Army). They'll be fully trained, battle hardened Veterans who might use those Skills to promote Neo-Nazism elsewhere.

    Sounds like Afghanistan in the 1990's doesn't it.

    And if, even at this preliminary Stage, some are from Britain they'll be bringing all that back here.

    That 2019 "The Nation" Article isn't from the Kremlin's Propaganda Echo Chamber, or the usual Newsagencies like Tass, it, and the Quotes it uses from other Stories on the Subject, are from Western Sources. The implication is Neo-Nazism in the Ukraine isn't restricted to a couple of Military Units and seems more widespread and institutional. Facts made known by Western Media who ought to continue to tell us this - even during the recent Month.

    The thing is, in the Game of Political Correctness and Public Relations it makes Zelensky look like an acceptable Facade to something rather less savoury. It prompts questions about how much influence he actually has?

    Should we be getting embroiled in what looks like being another flaky War like all the others of the last 21 years seem to have been? Even Afghanistan collapsed in Farce last year after the War that started in 2001.

  44. There are certain similarities to Afghanistan in the 1980's. People flocking to fight the Russians ...... Because that always ends well!

    Imagine how ecstatic Jean Marie and Marine Le Pen would be. Their very own fully trained and bloodied Sturm Abteilung - fresh from a recent War. Ditto for Alessandro Mussolini.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk - a Zelenski Appointee attended a 2019 Rally given by C14 - a far right Group in the Ukraine, which featured Nazi Metal Band Sokyra Peruna


    While Andriey Parubi was Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament).

    He also has a Resume full of lots of Neo-Nazi Work .....

    Co-Founder of the Social National Party of the Ukraine, led the Paramilitary SNPU (similar to the Azov Battalion), spearheaded the Campaign to venerate WW2 Nazi Collaborator and OUN Leader Stepan Bandera as "Hero of the Ukraine", and was a main Player in the ultra-nationalist "Fatherland" Bloc.

    This is a mainstream Politician and Paramilitary whose Nazi CV makes Oswald Mosley's Resume look like an Amateur!

  45. In 1930's Britain Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists was nothing more than a posh Spoken Thug fighting Communists, Anti-Fascists and Jews in London's Cable Street. In the Ukraine he might have become Speaker in Parliament. What if it turned out Betty Boothroyd - probably one our longest serving Parliamentary Speakers - was a fully paid up Member of Combat 18 and the British National Party?

    How mainstream could it get?

    Also, Zelensky appointing Olesky Honcharuk as Prime Minister - and his subsequent Activities, starts looking like Hindenburg making Hitler Chancellor. Why is Honcharuk attending Neo-Nazi Rallies? Is he attempting to "enrapture" People like Hitler did with his Oratory? Is it an official Endorsement at a very high Level of the sort of Politics C14 espouse?

    In some ways it's worse than even what Hitler's Nazis did because their Rise to Power was a very forceful Palace Coup. They had a lot of Support in the Country, while the SA boasted 3million Members, but there was as much opposition to them as well.

    There was no Coup that made some of these Ukrainian Nazis what they are. An institutional Process concurrent with People voting for them suggests something rotten in the Machinery and Society that justifies concerns about Nazification.

    Also, while Parubi wants to venerate Stepan Banderas the Duma in Moscow recently passed a Law against People insulting those who fought in the Great Patriotic War. Doesn't this tell you something about a moral Difference between the Parliament's?

    I have rebuffed Comparisions drawn with Ukraine's so called "Orange Revolution" to those in Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest. There was no comparison at all. Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Imre Posgay and Ion Iliescu weren't Nazis.

  46. It's insulting to those Activists and Dissidents who worked, died and suffered for years before they succeeded in 1989.

    Meanwhile, in the Constitution of a Republic being Speaker usually makes you 3rd most powerful in that Countries Political Structure. Above you in the Hierarchy would be President and Prime Minister. You aren't some obscure back Bench MP from a marginal Constituency who scraped through with a few 100 Votes.

    The thing is, if the Prime Minister readily attends Neo-Nazi Rallies and the Speaker has a long History of Neo-Nazi Paramilitarism and Politics what does it say about Ukrainian Politics in recent years?

    And if they didn't have to burn down the Verkhovna Rada and blame the Communists, or abolish Democracy itself to become what they are what does that say about the Country that made them?

  47. A few Articles to stimulate Discussion, Arguement etc!




    This one is particularly ironic given the EU's recent stance on the Conflict .....


    And while Ukrainian Parliament Chairman (Speaker) wants to celebrate Nazi Collaborator Stepan Bandera the Duma protects it's WW2 Veterans .....


  48. To further emphasise the Fragility of the Peace in the Caucasus - and disputed Nagorno-Karabakh - Azeri Troops have occupied the Village of Farukh in the Karabakh Peace Zone while their Turkish made Drones have struck Civilians in the Region. While Azerbaijan is pro-west and supported by Turkey the Armenian Government in Yerevan has Russian Sympathies. Russian Peacekeepers were deployed to protect ethnic Armenians when Armenia ceded some of the Region to the Azeris.

    Their (Azeri) recent Activities violate the Agreement brokered by Vladimir Putin in 2020.

  49. While it seemed Hillary really ought to have heard the Cuban Missile Crisis Tapes or spoke to any of Kennedys People about not humiliating or antagonising Russia and its Premiere, President Biden has escalated the anti-Russian Rhetoric in an attempt to appear tough to Moscow. His implying Americans (might?) be involved in the Conflict via Poland are the opposite of Kennedys stance on South Vietnam. "it's their War, they can either win it or lose it" he said in response to those asking about further American Involvement.

    In his recent Comment he all but implied America will get involved in the current Conflict. Using Words like "when" rather than "if" suggests there is no "might" about it.

  50. Moscow expressed "extreme Concern" at recent developments ..... and for very good Reason.

    Not only are Azeris and Armenians the bitterest of Enemies, so are Armenians with the Azeris main Sponsor Turkey. The first Genocide of the 20th Century happened when Turkish Soldiers in Rout from the Russian Army in WW1 massacred 500,000 Armenians as they retreated. This Wound has never properly healed and occasionally causes Acrimony even today.

    One of the Reasons for the Slaughter was Armenian Support for Russia, something else that hasn't changed in over 100 years. Given the current Situation, with NATO Turkey's position against the Ukrainian Backdrop, any Attempts to resolve this Crisis shouldn't be underestimated. What might start as a small Incursion by a few Troops could escalate into yet another Conflict.

    Sometimes there is no best or worst Solution - just the only Solution and Russian Peacekeepers acting as Guarantor in the disputed Region is exactly that.

  51. And the Propaganda continues ......

    Everyone knows Vladimir Putin isn't what the West might call a Leader of a Social Democracy.

    I watched the PBS Documentary "Putin's Road to War" and was astonished at how they presented the Russian Leader as the only Premiere it seems to have waged any sort of War in the 21st Century.

    How Afghanistan was reduced to a 20 Second Videobite of the Airplane taking off at Harmid Kharzai Airport with People clinging to its Wheels. No mention of how many have died since 2001, no mention of how many have died in Iraq since 2003 or any of the other Wars American and other Countries have deliberately intrigued and supported in that Period.

    They cut to Libya and the Aftermath of the Battle of Sirte showing "Putin's Ally" - Muamar Gaddafi being Mob Murdered. No mention of the 20 Airstrikes by NATO on a Country that has never attacked any of its Members. No Comments in the Narrative about how the Libyan Leader wasn't brought to any sort of civilised Trial. Just endless anti-Putin Propaganda from a Media Company we expected better from.

    Then the Cherry on the Cake was the Woman at the end saying how Putin is the biggest Killer of the 21st Century!

    Scuse me Lady but have you been living under a Rock for the last 22 years? From Afghanistan to Yemen Western, NATO, and some Arab Leaders have killed far more People than Vladimir Putin has in Chechnya, Georgia and the current War in Ukraine.

  52. Correct me if I'm wrong here but doesn't NATO exist for the mutual Protection of its Members? If Libya had never attacked or threatened any of them how were those Airstrikes mutually protecting anyone?

    Does this mean NATO acted illegally and exceeded its Mandate?

  53. Now do you see why not just Putin's Russia, but any Country might have justifiable Concerns about having a NATO Country on its Border?

  54. What makes Truman and Churchill a better President and Prime Minister than their equivalents of the last 20 years?


    Stalin wanted to summarily execute 50,000 German Military Officers in 1945. Churchill declared he would rather be dead than see such a Travesty of Justice. But why bother with the Expense, Security, Duration, Scrutiny and all the other things that went with those famous Trials of Nazi War Criminals? Why not heed Stalin or do what they did to Gaddafi or Saddam?

    Because they wanted to show the World, and residual Nazis in Germany, Fascists in Italy and Imperialists in Japan how civilised People do things. That we don't do what they do, and no matter how heinous the Crime, they must face proper Justice. Otherwise why not just throw Goering, Hess, Doenitz and Speer to the Mob (preferably Polish or Russian). Why not put them in a dingy Room with a few Military while someone goes through the Motions of due Legal Process, then we execute them? Both of these were done to Gaddafi and Mr Hussein.

    It was to show who had won the Second World War, and it wasn't what Hitler, Mussolini or Tojo represented.

    Even more recently why were Milosevic, Karadic and other Serbs and Bosnian Serbs brought before the Court in the Hague? Why bother doing all that when we could have done what was done to Saddam, or throw them to the Mob in Sarajevo?

    The problem is the american Assistant Commander in Chief when some of that happened, Hillary's deputy Boss, was Vice President Joe Biden. Thus, those in 1945 were better Representatives of what the 'free world' is supposed to be about than those People.

    Also, I wonder if a similar Racism exists when applied to Europeans like Milosevic and Karadic and Ukrainian War Victims, as contrasted to North Africans and Arabs. Were they treated differently because they were Europeans - unlike Gaddafi and Saddam?

    The horrible Irony is how the Libyan Leader wasn't a Threat to, or attack anyone when NATO bombed his last Redout at Sirte. Quite the opposite as we saw him meet Tony Blair only a few years before. Same Tony Blair who was Parliamentary Colleague to NATO Secretary General George Robertson. Seems he allowed himself to be George Bush's Puppet while Mr Roberson acted as NATO Facilitator of American Foreign Policy according to Obama-Biden.

    Then there's a Documentary telling us how Putin's War will change the World Map of Oil Infrastructure. They told us about all the Alternatives to Russian Oil and Natural Gas...... with one Exception..... and probably the most viable.

    Only a short Hop across the Mediterranean to Sea Ports in France, Spain and Italy, Libya might have substantially supplied Europe via Ship and Pipeline, except it's s bit difficult to when it is engulfed in Civil War. It wasn't when Gaddafi was still alive!

  55. I say all this because if the West, NATO and the supposed "free World" want to present themselves as the moral Authority they might once have been unmitigated Attacks by NATO, supporting Terrorists committing Ethnic Cleansing, Wars without Mandate, Eurocentric inconsistency - and German Soldiers, clad in Black doing Torchlit Processions (as shown in recent Days) isn't how you do it.

  56. None of this helped by an "exasperating" Political Scene in Washington that is both mediocre and as many Commentators say "a Liability".

    While Lyndon Johnsons Tenure as Vice President included a Visit to South Vietnam and keeping Tabs on White Supremacists in Texas - before ratifying the Civil Rights Act as President, Richard Nixon broke the Decades long Impasse with China, and another former VP George Bush Senior brought about a successful end to the Cold War (or should that be CW1?) Joe Biden sounds more like Bush's former Boss - Ronald Reagan - who at least hoped his Gaffes were in private.

    While Ronnie was recorded saying: "The Soviet Union are a Bunch of lousy Bums, the Nuclear Attack starts now" - he meant it as a Joke. Biden's Comments in public aren't. Hillary was no better, saying how "America should totally obliterate Iran" - again in public.

    Kamala Harris seems to be becoming Kamala who? Seems lacking in Charisma and isn't the world's best Speech Maker. A veritable non-entity - who, rather depressingly, is a front Runner for future Elections.

  57. Here's a detailed Analysis as to the Legitimacy of NATO's Operation in Libya ......

    It explains how the Mandate to "Protect the People" was a Veneer for Regime Change - and in reality did little to protect anyone except the Interests of the Intervention.


  58. I'm very glad indeed I printed the above Article ......

    As I mentioned, it originally appeared in 2008 on a Website I used to write on. The thing is, while I could find every Post I did - even a couple of Lines in Reply to other People - since about 2004 this one seemed to have completely disappeared. That would be a Question for the Site Admin. A lot of work and research went into it so I wanted to access it somehow. Thankfully, because I had a printed Copy I could scan and post it here!

  59. While I wrote that I made T'Shirts, Posters and Bags with "нет войны" (no War) written on them. The Entry for Google Earth shows one of these. They were meant as a Statement to People about our Relations with Russia, and how we ought to be working with them rather than against.

    Georgia was proving to be a Fly in the proverbial Ointment with this as Saakashvilli - wanting to join NATO - offered Georgian Airbases and Seaports to the Coalition to launch potential Attacks on Iran. This would obviously prove too much in the Kremlin, seeing it as NATO by Proxy!

    I also made one with "Свобода" or Svoboda (Freedom) on it. It's the same in Czechish as it is in Russian, and my Idea of Freedom is similar to that of Vaclav Havel...... and certainly not the Neo-Nazi Faction of the same Name in Ukraine.

    Indeed, Mr Havel and Mr Putin had similar Views about NATO. That while the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist so should the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation which existed in response to the Communist Bloc - which also ceased to exist.

  60. Back in the USSR?????

    Yet another Song from the tedious "White Album".

    The thing is Beatlesphiles, while the Iron Curtain goes back up rather than comes down the Kremlin could fly that Soviet Union Flag again. The one they took down on Christmas Day 1991.

    These Sanctions are very Westerncentric, born of Arrogance and an anachronistic Presumtiveness. Those Muscovites might not be queueing up outside the Golden Arches anymore - but that and many other now empty Shops and Cafes are just vacant Premises looking for another Business to put in them.

    Asian Businesses, wanting to sell Produce, Goods and Services to a Market of 145,000,000 People. There are probably Russian Trade Delegates right now preparing Brochures showing those plush Shopping Malls - printed in Indian and Chinese, Pakistani, Indonesian and other Asian Languages inviting People to open up Shop there. It's probably the same for any industrial Units recently, or about to be, vacated. They might even be offering all sorts of Incentives to them to do so.

    Russia needs the Work and foreign Currency, the Businesses need the Market.

    Sanctions might have removed them from the Swift Banking System, and Switzerland weighed in with their Sanctions, but there's always China - with their Systems. And while the Dragon needs Russian Oil and Natural Gas to fuel it's growing Economy, the Bear needs Chinese Money.

    Those Shops might re-open, but instead of Big Mac and Fries Russians might develop a Taste for Chicken Chow Mein or Tikka Masala! Chinese Consumer Goods instead of German or French, while Shanghai develops an Alternative to Swift!

    The 30 year Party that started at the beginning of the 90's is finished, and Cold War Critics of the West are probably saying "Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so!"

    Careful what you wish for McCartney!

    Another Brick in the Wall??????

    When the first Wall was up it could be argued that there was more west of it than east. What wasn't in the Warsaw Pact, Western Russia, the Soviet Union and Communist Sphere (what used to be called the 2nd World) was the developing, or 3rd World.

    Since then western Russia has very developed and modern Cities and China has become the World's second Economy. India is now described as a regional Super Power while other Economies have developed hugely with their main Cities as modern as Moscow and St Petersburg. At time of writing it could be argued that there is now as much East as there is West, and there is potential that east of it might even become bigger than the West. Pakistan and Indonesia have 50 Million more People than the whole of Europe. European Wealth was due mainly to its Empires, most of which have ceased to exist.

    Russia and China are going to carve up an Asia where the western Presence seems to be diminishing and in some ways Sanctions have made that decision easier for them. You could see a Metephor for some of this with the chaotic and very prompt Fall of Afghanistan last year.

    With so much latent Business in the East Russians aren't going to let their smart new Malls fall into dereliction or uselessness. They'll begin adopting a similarly mutual Arrangement with the Asian Continent they have with the Chinese.

    Careful what you wish for Roger ....

    It looks like the Wall is going back up again!

  61. What does Putin know about Ukraine that we aren't being told about?

    Although it now really exists in Name only the Russian CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) included Georgia until the War in 2008 and Ukraine who left as recently as 2018. Putin isn't the only Politician in it whose Career started in the Soviet Union. Eduard Schevardnardze - President of Georgia - was Gorbachev's Foreign Minister and there are many other former Soviets who continued into the post Soviet Era. All of them mingling - Networks to and from Moscow and Soviet/CIS Capitals also continuing, suggesting the Political Relationship with Kiev might have changed but the Kremlin still knows what is happening there like it did before 1991.

    It's like Britain, where Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast might have their devolved Governments since 1998 - but London still knows what is happening in all of them.

    So why is Putin prepared to risk everything - his Career, Reputation, Life even (and his Family), the Administration, his Inner Circle, the Kremlin - Russia itself - on a War against what he has called Nazification?

    Ukraine might deny it's very recent Nazi past, and Zekenskiis more center-lrft Government might have won a Landslide Majority, but that was in May 2019. They have had nearly 3 years to denazify their Army, reduce Units like the Azov Battalion and others back to Militia Level (if even have them at all), but they haven't. What other Areas of Ukrainian Life haven't they done this with, like the Civil Service for example? It suggests Putin knows this hasn't happened while the Russian Duma introduces Legislation protecting former WW2 Veterans.

    Propaganda being what it is means we aren't being told any of this, but I think we should be. We ought to be given a much more objective Reportage of the Ukraine if our Membership of NATO means we have to support it by Proxy or Suggestion. If our Politicians insist on economic Action against Russia we should know what that is for!

  62. Currently watching a Documentary about Russia and its Relationship with NATO, Europe and the Black Sea.

    There seems to be a huge Black Gap in the Reportage.

    One Subject broached is how Adolf Hitler is more popular than Harry Potter, a Claim made by BaltNews an Agency writing for ethnic Russians in Latvia. It might be a bit outlandish, but not without some Grounds for Substance. The Journalist might strive to find Denizens of Political Correctness in the Interests of maintaining the Editorial.

    I wonder if he ever spoke to the many Eastern Europeans I met who were into a Neo-Nazi Skinhead Band called Skrewdriver. Even in what you might describe as middle class People, I was depressed at seeing the Band amongst their huge MP3 Collections and CDs.

    At the Portishead Carnival we had former Specials Singer Neville Staples playing (which was brilliant). As he did those great Songs ... "Gangsters", "Ghost Town", "Too much, too young" etc he noticed with disdain a Polish Bloke in the Audience wearing a "Skrewdriver" T'Shirt. So some of them weren't even making a Secret of it, while some of their Politics were very White Centric.

    These are the People Journalists never seem to interview, and if that was the Case with Eastern Europeans who were in NATO and the EU, just how glossed over is the Reportage about those who aren't?

  63. Do Sanctions work anyway?

    For nearly 13 years an all out Sanctions Campaign was waged on an Iraq with a very homogenous Economy (Oil) which had just fought an 8 year War with Iran and a very limited set of natural Resources.

    And they DID enforce No-Fly Zones!

    They didn't work against a much weaker Country - even after that length of time - while those who did suffer were the many ordinary Iraqis who died or suffered chronic ill Health and hardship.

    Russia has a very diverse Economy, vast and varied natural Resources, and hadn't fought an all encompassing War with its Neighbour!

    If the 500 richest Russians have as much Wealth as 95% of British People the remaining Rich must also have huge amounts of Money. These are the People the Regime benefits the most, but that level of wealth suggests they can easilly insulate themselves from the economic Problems Sanctions would cause.

    That does prompt Questions about our own Wealth Distribution of course. How did 95% of the entire Population of the 5th wealthiest Country in the World fall behind 500 People in a Country that until 31 years ago used to be Communist?

  64. I've got to say this ......

    These Comparisions made with Cities like Mauripol and Stalingrad.

    Take another look at those 'Defenders' of the Ukrainian City. See the Swastika Symbols on the Helmets, the Nazi Regalia on the Uniforms. The Azov Battalion and similar Formations, not only involved in the Battle of Mauripol but also those who went on a Murder and Looting Spree against ethnic Russians in the Donbas.

    Comparing their Defence of Mauripol to that of Stalingrad is a huge and disgusting Insult to the very many who fought on the Volga - including their Cause Celeb Vassili Zaitsev.

  65. And to illustrate some of this, and also demonstrate just how institutionalised the far Right is in Ukraine ......

    It also shows how difficult confronting that Process is as recently as 2018.


  66. Here's an Example of some particularly bad Journalism. it was a TV Show by Australian 60 Minutes, and every time Tony Kevin tried to say anything he was shouted down by the other Guests while the Presenter did nothing. She ought to have insisted that he said his Piece.....

    Also, rather ironically Comments have been turned off.....


  67. And in the Realm of Cause and Effect ..... Russia has banned Facebook and Instagram ...... But this is in response to a temporary lifting of the Ban Facebook had on praising the Azov Battalion and other Ukrainian Nazi formations. It isn't an arbitrary Ban by Moscow for the Sake of it.

    What is happening here, and what is wrong with People that they can't, or won't, see a common Thread?

    The perceived Nazi Threat by Ukraine prompts Hostility with Moscow.

    The perceived encouragement of Neo-Nazis on some Social Media Platforms prompts Moscow to ban them.

    The Problem - the Cause - of all this is the Nazis!


    Tackle the Nazis!

    One Question that should be raised about Ukraine is; if it is such a successful Democracy shouldn't the People be able to do it?

  68. They dealt with the Caeucescus and Securitae in Romania, the latter far more numerous, and they weren't even a Democracy! That also involved the Army. Are there non-Nazis in the Ukrainian Army who would support them?

    Meanwhile, back to that 60 Minutes Show, the Presenter tried saying Putin is afraid of suffering a similar Fate Saddam Hussein and Mouamar Gaddafi were subjected to - like what happened to them was somehow acceptable.

    The Revolution in Romania was by, and for, the Romanians - it wasn't a War that involved any sort of Coalition ("willing" or otherwise) or international Organisations like NATO.

    The War in Iraq involved a Coalition from many Countries whose Democracies were manipulated to fight - even if there was a large opposition. Whose Treasuries forked out vast Fortunes to pay for it, whose Reputations were compromised because of it.

    The least those Countries People could expect was a public Trial of Saddam Hussein.

    Gaddafi met his Demise partially due to NATO - who are supposed to represent the Democracies who are in it. Thus, those Democracies should expect a similar Trial, otherwise who or what does NATO represent?

    NATO helped bring down Milosevic - who was then tried in the Hague, thus that Democracy Mandate was properly observed. Nazi War Criminals were tried at Nuremberg so the World that fought them obtained Justice!

    Don't get me started on the supposed Fate of Osama Bin Laden!

  69. While there must have been enough non-Nazi Members of the Ukrainian Army to demobilise those Nazi Battalions (or maybe there weren't) People like MP Lesia Vasylenko seem far too keen to lure us into this Shambles. Any and every Time she appears we get continuous Pleas for NATO Intervention and imposed No-Fly Zones.

  70. https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/7/26/after-series-of-attacks-why-is-the-far-right-granted-impunity

  71. It's a sad Indictment that there wasn't the Political Will to neutralise the Neo-Nazi Problem ..... with very tragic Consequences. Perhaps the Article explains why this never happened, or that the Problem is more widespread than we're being led to believe. That there might be 10's of 1000's of others who aren't as explicit or open about their Politics or Racism.

    How many times has this happened in comparatively liberal, multi-cultural Britain, where you might be talking to someone who seems cool then the Racism starts appearing? Even Musicians - who look like they ought to read PC Music Media like the NME - I got to know in the 90's start going on racist Diatribes, and that's not even after a few Drinks.

    Throw in Centuries of Hate, War, Holocausts, Pogroms, Guns, Occupations and the Ebb and Flow of History that Problem is magnified many times.

  72. Something you have to remember about People from the former Soviet Union after 70 years of Totalitarian Communism, and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe after 40, is they are very adept at hiding their Politics. They learned never to talk about it in public - whatever Creed it might be - for fear of Reprisals by the Secret Police. How to disguise it as something else, and even today they still have a certain Wariness of Strangers or too many People knowing what they subscribe to. To a Westerner implicit Neo-Nazism in the Region might seem impenetrable and indecipherable. To People like Putin and many others it was their Job to detect it, while everyone else can read the Code so to speak.

    How the Ukraine has put forward Lesie Vasylevsky is like the archetypal Damsel in Distress. Blonde, petite, attractive, emotional - and Westerners will be drawn to that and start lobbying their Politicians - but there is that Side to the Ukraine she doesn't show.

  73. Speculation abounds ......

    Please be careful with many Reports on the War in Ukraine or Vladimir Putin.

    In a bizarre Story that has Resonances with the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in Cuba a former Russian Foreign Minister, Andrei Kozyrev has been interviewed by MSNBC in a Story claiming Putin is isolated and angry.

    The thing is, rather like those Cubans who invaded Cuba in 1961 he lives in Miami. How much of this sort of Reportage is Speculation and how much wishful thinking? Kennedy was furious at his Intel and Military People for misleading him in the run-up to the Bay of Pigs Invasion. That he was duped by a very similar Process, and it seems, by a similar Motive.

    Mr Kozyrev is on Record as saying his Foreign Policies - which brought him into conflict with the Kremlin - will return. Does this imply that he will return with them?

    Is this similar to those Cuban Exiles also in Miami in the early 60's?

    Are there even similarities to Iraqi Exile, Ahmed Chalabi, whose Ambitions and Advice partially fuelled the 2003 Invasion of Iraq?

    Mr Kozyrev hasn't been involved in Russian Politics for at least 20 years - and as the last 6 Weeks have shown - even a Month can be a very long time in Russia.

  74. We should be as sceptical of this as we should Lesie Vasylevsky trying to draw us into the War.

    She has obviously been put forward by the Government in Kiev!

    What can be said for NATO and western Leaders thus far is how they have declined to get further involved in a War that could escalate into WW3. Ms Vasylevsky is obviously an intelligent Woman and she must realise this.

    In other News, Lithuania has stopped importing Oil and Gas from Russia.

    Although initially seen as a Triumph, what People must recognise is how doing this makes Energy Prices more expensive. This doesn't just apply to domestic Fuel Consumers. It also does Industry - whose additional Fuel Costs will filter down into Manufacturing and thus their Customers. The Price of their Goods, Produce and Services will increase.

    If Russia decides to build Pipelines to Asia instead - including Afghanistan - this boosts their Economies and supplies them with cheaper Energy. What this means in terms of Competitiveness is obvious.

  75. I'm not sure that Wall is ever coming down again either.

    The Ukraine is something of a Crucible, where East meets West. It has an invisible internal Border - dividing predominantly Russian (East) and predominantly Ukrainian (West) with a lot of mutual Acrimony.

    It extends further west than the Donbas and will probably be where Putin's Army will concentrate their Efforts. The stretch of Coastline on the Sea of Azov connects the Donbas with Crimea - hence the fierce Fighting at Mariupol - while they have withdrawn from Kiev which is West of the Region.

    Whatever Frontline develops will probably mark the new Russo-Ukraine Border. Everything to the East = Russian, to the West = Ukrainian. Even though it isnt as densely Russian as Donetz and Luhansk the predominant leaning is towards Moscow.

    What you must remember is this is through Choice. They aren't desperate East Berliners clamouring for the West, or Hungarians scurrying into Austria after Soldiers had cut the Wire in 1988.

    Because Relations have been so fraught in recent years the Feeling in Cities like Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Damascus, and many others could be the West is more Trouble than it's worth, or that everything they need is east of that new Border in Ukraine.

  76. I've often believed Vladimir Putin is probably the shrewdest Leader in the World - or at least one of them.

    Is he mad?

    Propagandists have tried saying he is. But he isn't. If he was he'd have sacrificed his Army at Kiev in a bloody and pointless Battle he could never have won. He's no Hitler either because the Fuhrer was prepared to, and did sacrifice entire German and Axis Formations in the East and the Bulge - even when Waffen SS Leader Heinrich Himmler knew the Game was up in August 1944. The Fuhrer WAS most definitely mad by 1943.

    Putin's Campaign in Kiev has achieved 2 things ......

    Caused massive and severe physical and human Damage to the Ukrainian Capital and it's Region it will take Billions and Years to repair.

    Kept much of the Ukrainian Army fixed there, fighting to defend it and sustaining substantial Damage. This relieved his Armies in the East - fighting around Kharkov for example, which is why some of those Cities fell as soon as they did.

    While all this went on, ethnic Russians have been brutalised by Ukrainians for not fighting or just being Russian. Why would they want to fight fellow Russians? Some have been beaten, tortured, raped and murdered by extremists like the Azov Battalion.

    How do you suppose they'll respond when the main Russian Army arrives and those withdrawn from Kiev and redeployed? While Ukrainians have acted like an Army of occupation, particularly the Azov Formations Russian Soldiers will be welcomed as Liberators. Fighting in the Region will be a lot easier with a large ethnic Russian Population in support, while Ukrainians start looking rather less friendly.

    In other Words, Putin knows exactly what he is doing.

    Then there's this Oil and Gas Embargo.

    While other Countries copy Lithuania their Energy Costs are going to increase. Consumers pay more, so does Industry, and not just those who make or process actual Things. The Finance Industry relies on vast mainframe Computers that devour 100's of KW every day, so the Bundesbank, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, the Bank of England and everyone else have to pay more to keep them working. Banks like Sberbank and Alfabank in Russia and HSBC and ICBC in China won't. What will this mean for Customers of all of these?

    I'll have to read a Transcript of Putin's Speech at Davos in 2009, not only an eloquent Commentary on what had just gone wrong with global Economics at that time, but also one of global Cooperation and mutual Support. No Confrontationalism at all.


    Why wasn't this capitalised on?

    Probably for the same, incongruous Reason the chance to work with the second most powerful Man in Iran - Qasem Soleimani - 20 years ago was not only scotched and neglected (after "Axis of Evil" Speech by Bush) he was murdered several years ago.

    Or even the chance to do same with the Founder and main Guarantor of the African Union - leader of the Continents wealthiest Economy and biggest Oil Producer - Muamar Gaddafi after his meetings with Tony Blair. He was also murdered.

  77. Zelenski has been totally played, along with quite a lot of other People.

    Not just militarily, but also politically.

    If you're an ethnic Russian and you've spent the last 6 Weeks being brutalised for not killing fellow Russians - or just being Russian - when the bulk of the Russian Army arrives they'll be your Liberators. After a Month and a half of that sort of Treatment any Sympathy or Support you might have had for Ukraine has gone. Inevitably, Zelenski will redeploy his depleted Forces to meet those of Vladimir Putin, but how are they going to be seen by those ethnic Russians?

    I've often wondered if the Siege of Leningrad was a feint of sorts. Most of Army Group North was involved in that Siege, but while they surrounded Russia's second City what was the Red Army up to elsewhere?

  78. And things get even more bizarre ....

    While we have just heard from exiled Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev - who is rather like those Cuban Exiles in 1961 Miami - YouTube has exhumed a Month old Interview with another - Mikhail Kordarkovski.

    Meanwhile, Reports are coming in that a
    "Russian Missile" has struck a Railway Station in Donetz. 30 People have been killed and many more injured. Ukraine blames the Russians, but why would Moscow attack a Building in its own Enclave? Not only would it undermine Support amongst ethnic Russians, which they will need - it also boosts that for Kiev.

    Maybe it wasn't a "Russian Missile" at all, and was a fake Flag Attack by Ukraine to create the above Effect.

  79. The Missile used was a Tochka Cluster Munitions Missile from the Soviet Era. Ukraine has 90 of these!

    Reuters have been unable to verify Claims by the regional Governor Pavel Kyrylenko that it was launched by the Russians.

    It could be a false Flag Attack by the Ukraine, done in the Donetsk Enclave to achieve Sympathy - but to ensure it risked as few Ukrainians as possible.

  80. In the preamble to this - at least since 2014 - western Support for Kiev was neglectful. It was like that given to Iraq in the 1980's when western Politicians like Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam (twice) but failed to attach any Human Rights Caveats to American Support. Effectively Iraq was moribund against Iranian attempts to block the Shat Al Arab Waterway to Iraqi Ships and Tankers without American Support.

    Subsequently Saddam ignored Human Rights in the 80's.

    Western Support to the Ukraine (upgrades for the decrepit Military, economic Support, Loans etc and recognition abroad) ought to have come with Caveats about de-nazification. But it didn't.

  81. This Missile Attack - prompting a carefully crafted emotive 'Response' by Zelensky - looks like an Attempt to garner maximum political Gain for minimum Human Risk to Ukrainians.

    It seems similar to the supposed use of Chemical Weapons by Assad in Syria when he was on the brink of Victory. A last ditch Attempt to obtain maximum propaganda Value against him when he had nothing to gain at all by using them.

    On the Subject of Politics we are continually told that less than 6% (or thereabouts) of them vote for Neo-Nazi or far-Right Politicians. So how did they end up with one as the Speaker in Parliament? Someone must support them for that to happen.

    It's like our Election in 1992. By then "the Tories" was becoming a dirty Word. They'd been in power for 12 years and we'd had the myriad Battles in the 80's - from Mine and Steel Workers to the Farce called the Poll Tax, mass Unemployment that never seemed to end and 2 severe economic Slumps. Thatcher seemed unhinged and there were many Stories of impropriety - Jonathan Aitken, Geoffrey Archer and Neil Hamilton. It seemed, by then we'd had enough.

    Despite everything they still won.

    A Pollster at Radio Bristol packed up his Notes at the end, shook his Head and sighed; "I don't understand it, I never met a single Tory Voter!"

    When GWB was invoking considerable Outrage and Ridicule, Controversy and Acrimony Americans would tell me: "I didn't vote for him!"

    Someone did!

    So these Statistics we are given about Ukrainian electoral Support for the far-Right are like these People or those non-Tories the Pollster didn't meet in 1992.

    For People who don't seem to have much Support at the Ballot Box they have enjoyed a lot of Influence in Parliament and Law Enforcement.

    A Note on the Media .....

    As a Journalist who does know what he's talking about I'd recommend Reuters as a semi-reliable Source for News on this Story. They do seem to be as objective as is possible in the increasingly polarized Environment. Maybe they realise that this will end one day and they'd like to end it with the Reputation reasonably intact.

  82. Are whoever is behind Ms Vasylevsky gradually getting what they wanted?

    French Foreign Minister Jean Yves le Drian responded to the Incident as "a Crime against Humanity" and "should not go unpunished". Does this imply a slow but certain move towards Action by external Forces in the Conflict? What does he mean by "punished"? Airstrikes or some retrospective Measures taken if or when Hostilities cease?

    Ukrainian MP Lesie Vasylevsky has made several high Profile Appearances in western Media during the War pleading for NATO to help Ukraine with Airstrikes against Russian Forces. Obviously put forward by Kiev as a Damsel in Distress in very emotive Appearances designed to appeal to the Public in the West who might pressure their Governments and NATO.

  83. According to the Wikipedia Entry on the Attack ....

    "Pro-Russian Media Outlets and several Telegram Channels reported earlier in the day that Russia had launched a successful missile attack on Ukrainian forces at the Kramatorsk station. When it became apparent that the attack killed a large number of civilians instead, the announcements were allegedly removed, and Russia started calling the attack a hoax. The Russian Ministry of Defence asserted the Attack was carried out by Ukrainian Forces and originated from Dobropillia - south west of Kramatorsk."

    We are told the 'Reports' appear in Russian Media and Telegram Channels - but not via the Russian Defence Ministry - suggesting subterfuge in the Information Process. Something pre-emptive but not necessarily by the Russian Military. "earlier in the day" is also a bit vague, while being told the actual Incident occured "at 10.24 UTC" rather than reporting it in local time makes that "earlier in the day" difficult to pinpoint. Was this before or after? They were then removed means they can't be verified either.

    Telegram Channels are a Joke. They can be created simply by using a Smartphone and a Mobile Number so anyone could have posted 'Reports' on them. Having seen the Shenanigans that goes on on some - hyping dubious Crypto-Currency - I'd hardly call them a reliable Source of Information.

    It's like all this was used to 'establish' Russian Culpability, but then removing them means they can't be traced. In the Realm of Cyber-Warfare is it possible someone could have hacked into those Media Websites and posted supposed 'Reports' on the Incident? Russia and Ukraine are very adept at this sort of thing and the latter could have done this.

    "Allegedly removed" prompts the question: were those so called "Reports" ever there to start with? Pro-Russian Media became very scarce on the global Internet after this War started so did anyone outside Russia actually see any of them? Why pro-Russian Media anyway - only visible inside the Russian Propaganda Effort?

    If this Attack - and maybe others - prompt deeper Involvement in the War by NATO Countries - either via the Organisation, or unilaterally - we should have the Right to see these apparent 'Reports'. Other Sources claim Russian Military were gloating about the Attack and we should be shown incontrovertible Evidence of this too.

    It does seem a bit too convenient how 'Reports' linking it with Russia disappear before anyone can investigate their actual Origin.

    What is certain is the Effect it had in Paris with the Foreign Minister, and his Response could be the first of many leading to something military. The Ukrainians are desperate for NATO Air Support.

  84. Were these 'Reports' even on real Russian Media?

    Anyone remember the fake PayPal Scam about 12 years ago? In a comparatively primitive Internet Age someone had cloned PayPal's entire Website so unwary Customers were giving them their Details and using it to pay large Sums of Money. I saw it and it looked very authentic.

    How many Websites are there, claiming to be regular Media (Mirror, the Sun, Forbes, even the Journal etc) promoting dubious Trading Robots?

    In "Scams" you will find Stories about Phone Calls from regular, respectable Numbers in Britain being piggybacked by Scammers selling you yet more dubious Trading Websites. I pity the unsuspecting innocent People whose Numbers were being used like this.

    So how easy would it be to clone a Russian Media Site and post whatever 'Reports' you like on them? Then take them down once the desired Effect has been achieved? It could be done by the same People cloning other Sites to scam People.

    NATO and the rest of the World should resist these and attempts by the Damsel in the Tower to lure them into the War. Their Involvement can only lead to a single, horrific Conclusion.

    It was worrying enough about a Week ago when Swedish Jets reportedly chased off a Couple of Russian Sukoi Airplanes that had strayed into their Airspace. The Russian Planes were nuclear armed!

  85. Maybe those 'Reports' seem to have been removed because they were never posted on real Russian Media.

    When People visit the real Media Site they aren't there because they never were. They were on the clone Website instead, which also disappears.

    As People like the French Foreign Minister was obviously affected by the Incident how many more times could it happen before that does turn into something military?

    The Ukraine has 90 of those Tochka Missiles, while someone has the fake Website HTML - ready to put up on the Internet again, containing yet more 'Reports'!

    Another thing is apparent ......

    According to the Royal United Services Institute the Russians used the Tochka Missile because the Ukraine also have them to "muddy the Waters" and blame Kiev. But couldn't this apply either way? That the Ukraine used it because the Russians also have them?

    The Attack was concurrent with several other Attacks on Railway Stations. Except these were military. The thing is, War Politics being what they are, could the other Attacks have been so successful the Ukraine attacked a civilian Target to garner global Sympathy, making it look like it was part of the same Russian Strategy? The exact timing of it might indicate this if the others were before it.

    Attacks using Tochka Missiles are very expensive and are done in conjunction with extensive up to the minute Army Reconnaissence. They aren't just random Barrages like the old 'Katusha' Rockets used in WW2.

    Thus, if it was done by the Russians they would have known Kramatorsk Station was full of Civilians and not a military Target at all. In an Enclave of 26% Russians a Railway Station with 4000 People meant 1000 of them could have been Russian.

  86. Which brings me to this ......

    Before this War started there was a lot of interaction between Russia and the Ukraine. Businesses, Tourism, Commerce, Culture, while Ukrainians had Family in Russia and Russians have Family in Ukraine.

    If you were a Ukrainian - particularly military or intel - and wanted to set up a fake Media Site that looks Russian you could easily use Russian Web hosting Companies. Scammers do it all the time, using German, American and Panamanian Facilities, sometimes all of them.

    I could create a Telegram Group and use a Sim Card from anywhere in the World. It then looks like it is based in that 'Anywhere' because it doesn't have the British +44 Number.

  87. In the end, if the Russians are that ruthless they would deliberately target a Railway Station packed with 4000 Civilians why would they even be bothered what the World thought? If they were that terrible why not blow the Trumpet to that World - tell everyone; "Look how terrifying we are!"

    Terrorists always claim an Attack. How many times did the RUC or Media get the proverbial anonymous Phone Call from the Paramilitaries during the Troubles in Ulster? The same in every Country affected by whatever Terrorist operating there, European Reds, Fascists, Arabists, Islamists - even Ergun and Stern before 1948?

    The Motive is the Key, and the desired response everywhere in Infoland suggests what that is.

    Ms Vasylevsky is like Rapunzel ..... while Biden, Johnson, Blinken, Stoltenburg and other western Leaders are all trying not to climb up her long Tresses!

    Maybe it's time the BBC reshow "The War Game"!

  88. Wonder what they're going to write on the next one!

    The worrying thing is, whoever fired it, it has caused a huge International Furore, and this was just a single Rocket Attack with a conventional Warhead. The Tochka can also be armed with NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical).

    But who did?

    Here's an intriguing Quote from RepublicWorld.com

    "Hard on the heels of Russian accusations, Ukraine claimed that the rocket attack was in retaliation to Russian artillery shelling on Ukrainian territories."

    Here we have Ukraine admitting they did it in retaliation for Russian Artillery Bombardments. Why not just flatly deny it? How accurate the Report is is a Question for the Websites Editor, but not only does Kiev admit to doing it, they also tell us why (which gives the Report substance).

    Then "moments after" Zelenski appears knowing exactly what sort of Rocket was used. How did he know as any moment after something like this no-one does in the Smoke, Fire, Trauma and Confusion.

  89. The thing is, all of this could have been very different.

    Putin's Davos Speech suggests cooperation not confrontation. None of the sort of Gloat we saw during the Cold War when the Kremlin, Isvestia and Pravda would gleefully rub our Noses in the Miasma of a Capitalist bourgois economic Slump. The Inertia in that political Instance didn't come from Moscow. Even GWB publicly said how he might be able to "work with Mr Putin" - but that was never capitalised on.

    Then there was the Story of Qasem Soleimani - the Iranian - who offered to help the Coalition in its fight with Al Qaida and the Taliban. There were even preliminary Meetings with his Representatives - until Iran got lumped in with Iraq and North Korea by GWB. That was the end of all that, and he was assassinated a few years ago.

    Attempts to engage Gaddafi's Support were scotched when he was killed.

    With these, and several other Examples you have to ask whether there's any Commitment at all to Prevent War.

    With the Collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban last year, how much more difficult might it have been for them if Iran had played their Part in the Battle against them?

    After they were rebuffed it must have prompted Questions about the Motive of some Leaders and whether any War had anything to do with Terrorism.

  90. What is happening in the Ukraine is horrible ..... But what happened in Iraq was horrible too ......

    Civilian Death Tolls in Iraq differ depending on who you researched, and while the ORB International publish figures in excess of 1Million, even the conservatively reserved Medics Journal the Lancet estimates it as anything from 650,000 to 900,000. Putin has been labeled a War Criminal, but he still has a very long way to go before he catches up with the Politicians behind the illegal War in Iraq.

  91. They were Women and Children too - and you can't pin that one on Russian or Syrian Airstrikes as People present similar Figures for Syria.

    In Afghanistan, even the Coalition Ally Harmid Kharzai pleaded with ISAF, NATO and US Leaders after just a year, that the Casualty Rate was becoming unacceptable. After 5 years he accused them of "a disproportionate use of Force" - describing it as "extreme".

  92. And the Lancets Figures are probably quite accurate, being collated from the Red Cross, Red Crescent, MSF, Iraqi Hospital Workers and Clinicians and People working in Refugee Camps.

  93. As everyone gets swept along by Sanctionsmania is this the Wolfowitz Doctrine in disguise?

    Former Undersecretary of State for Defence Paul Wolfowitz wrote a Manifesto whose Aims were to make the World - particularly the West - dependent on America for everything. That America would become the absolute Power in the World, which was very similar to the Roman Empire. Described as "American Imperialism" by some Commentators.

    This goes against the Grain of Kennedys Attitude to the rest of the World. He felt that there should be World Peace, but not at the Expense of Liberty. That America should not create a Dessert and call it Peace.

    The Energy Sanctions are a main Manifestation of this ......

    As Europe begins exploring Oil and Gas Sources that don't come from Russia, America is largely self-sufficient. When President Biden banned Russian Oil and Gas imports that only amounts to 2% of America's total Consumption. The rest of it is produced in America. As many European Countries turn away from Russian Supplies does this imply they might start getting it from America, or at least American owned Companies?

    That is just one Example of how the World could become more dependent on America. Thus, Paul Wolfowitz finally realizes his Ambition.

    It's all very well Washington whipping up the Sanctions Fever, but not only is it irresponsible - it also starts to look as much in their Interests as any Claims to a moral Response to the War in Ukraine. It's like Wars they intrigue into being that happen 1000's of Miles away.

  94. The thing is, even if Europe does switch to these Supplies instead, creating the Infrastructure would take years and cost Billions. Russian Supplies could end as suddenly as their Invasion of the Ukraine.

    What happens in that Transition period?

    While the War in the Ukraine is unprecedented in terms of post-WW2 Europe, (the Balkans were a succession of Civil Wars) - could a new Scarcity of Fuel cause another?

    Holland has a Reserve of Fuel, currently being extracted (although causing great Concern about ecological and subsidence Problems) and might they be invaded for their Resources? How about Battles in the North Sea not seen since Jutland for those?

    Then there are the potential Wars over Food.

    Russia is the 3rd biggest Producer of Grain - particularly Wheat (the largest is their Partner China). Reminiscent of WW1, while the Region is involved in War the Crop isn't being tended and won't be gathered while the Ukraine's Fields are growing Corpses not Food. As an Embargo is applied for Fuel would the same happen with Food?

    Yemen is on the Brink of Famine while Egypt has no other Source of Grain. Lebanon saw its reserve Store of Grain destroyed in the Port Bombing and all of these have seen bitter Fighting past or present. Could the same thing happen again, while Famine spreads north from the Sudan? Both Lebanon and Egypt invade Israel - while the latter staves off Incursion from War ravaged Libya? To a lesser extent this applies to other Countries - so Food and Fuel Wars could spread quite quickly.

  95. Wolfowitz's Plan might be responsible and workable if America could replace Russian Fuel and Food Supplies as quickly as Russia could end them, but they can't. America would also have to aggressively insist Governments in Fuel rich Regions consent to having American owned Facilities in their Countries! Yet more potential for War!

  96. After the Controversies surrounding Iraq and Syria, the Daggers drawn with Iran - and then the spectacularly prompt Collapse of Afghanistan - I find it astounding that People are even considering indulging Wolfowitz, the Cheyney Doctrine and the Spectre of Donald Rumsfeld. Even if they do try and hide it behind layers of Deceit. GWB's "Mushroom Cloud" as espoused in Speeches about the War on Terrorism might not be "Terrorists" at all. Something Cold War Warriors and Politicians strove to avoid could very easily happen in Cold War 2 as it's Warriors and Politicians seem wonting.

    On hearing about the Taliban seizing Afghanistan last year I knew what was coming next. That there would be a Sino-Russian Carve up of Asia, that western Europe would find itself flailing about as Russian Focus looked east and America struggles to retain control of a shrinking Empire. I didn't realise just how quickly that could happen.

    While Europe and America squabble over the Scraps huge Sino-Russian Pipelines are built across Asia. Enormous Food distribution Infrastructure does the same and Bangladesh ends up with a better Food and Fuel Supply than Egypt.

  97. I've just seen a Video by the DW Network which featured an Appearance by Volodymyr Zelensky accusing Europe of Appeasement after the Devastation at the Ukrainian City of Bucha. Not only was it interrupted by an Ad about Eyesight (rather irritatingly) it also showed him urging Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkosy to visit the City and see it for themselves. Surely, doesn't he mean Olaf Scholz and Emanuel Macron?

    Either he has been so preoccupied with the War he's unaware of the new German Chancellor and French President, or he's losing the Plot.

  98. This should bury, once and for all, recent Claims by so called "experts" saying there was no Agreement at the end of the 1980's against the expansion of NATO .....


    Source; National Security Archive, so quite authoritative and difinitive!

  99. I've just seen a depressing Report from Odessa.

    Children are running Checkpoints, attached to the Civil Defence Force. In all the Furore about Human Rights Amnesty International have a huge Campaign against Child Soldiers, lobbying Regimes and Groups who use them.

    Much as it looks like plucky Children confronting the Invader, Adults supervising it ought to be telling them to go home. What are their toy Guns going to do against a fully armed and armoured Column that could come down that Road at any time? Or if the Position is strafed by Air Strikes?

    The best we can hope for is any Russian Soldiers who they do meet ask them what they think they're doing?

  100. The use of Children by the Ukrainian Army isn't restricted to Checkpoints in Odessa either. Here are a couple of Articles about how widespread it is ....



    And while this goes on, Concern about this Practice isn't just the Preserve of Human Rights Charities. Here's a Statement from the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund....


  101. If other Reports about them being as young as 4 are correct this gives Casualty Figures an added Dimension. Depending on how many there are the Figures should take into account how many of them were being used as Soldiers and how many actually were Civilians. Human Rights Groups should be lobbying Zelenskyys Government, asking them to provide Figures and prevent it.

  102. Using Child Soldiers is ethically worse than Human Shields.

    Human Shield is something Saddam did in the first Gulf War. He prevented foreign Civilians from leaving Iraq just before the War started, keeping them in the Presidential Palace. This says to the Coalition "You might kill me, but you'll kill them too!" Subsequently, he was immune from Airstrikes.

    Other Human Shields might be where you deploy an Installation or Unit near a Hospital or School - which effectively says the same thing.

    Training and deploying Child Soldiers puts them in harms way without you even being there. Thus, there's no Risk to you, but all the Risk to them.

    It does distort Casualty Figures if or when they're collated, because it's sometimes difficult to ascertain why they were there. Innocent Bystander, or active Combattant?

    Problems with PTSD are obvious enough with Adults, so what must it be like for People before they even are? What do they become once they have grown up if that is how they got there? Human Shield Victims experience an unusual, occasionally harrowing, Episode in their Lives, then return to regular Living.

  103. It's like something from "Dr Zhivago" ....

    The Russian Civil War ....

    The Bolsheviks are set up at the edge of a Field. What looks like a Company of White Soldiers are approaching about 100 meters away. The Bolsheviks open fire and the Whites are all killed. They go to inspect the Scene ..... the Whites were all Teenagers. Liberius looks at them, then at a dead Adult - obviously in charge; "St Michaels Military School, you old Bastard" he scowls.

    How many Casualties in the Ukraine are like them? The former Soviet Union of Boris Pasternak's Novel, ironically!

    But it's not just being killed that's the Problem.

    Even Adults who have fought a War, then come home and resumed their Lives without any apparent Problems tell you that once you've killed someone something inside you dies or is changed irrevocably. It might look like you've pressed the "Reset" Button, but there's no going back after that.

  104. What does it also say about the Values of the West and Europe, including NATO, that this is happening and no-one seems to question it?

    In the the Report from Odessa the Journalist never even raised the ethical Question about Children running a military Checkpoint. Do Politicians like Boris Johnson meeting Zelenskyy a few days ago even mention it?

    During one of the bitterest Episodes of WW2 - the Warsaw Uprising - Children might have acted as Couriers and Messengers - but they weren't active Combatants!

    But how many who have died in the Ukraine were?

  105. How does this affect us?

    If Countries insist on sending Weapons is it too much to hope that those M16's and AK47's sent via our Tax Dollars, Euros, GBP, and eastern European Currencies will at least be used by someone over 18 years old?

    And that's just the economics of it. The Morals and Ethics are far bigger!

  106. Here's a tremendous Article on the Subject that supports many of the Reasons I've cited about how all of this could have been avoided .....

  107. Here's a Question having watched umpteen Videos on this Subject.

    If any of the People I've seen in Webinars and Programs, by everyone from the Center for Strategic and International Studies to the Foreign Policy Institute, were any good at their Job or knew what they were doing why are we in this Mess?

  108. Isn't a successful Strategy being able to avoid War?

    While both Joe Biden and Hillary ought to have heeded Kennedys Stance during the Missile Crisis about not backing Moscow into a Corner or being provocative, even Ronald Reagan adopted an Attitude of Reproachment with Gorbachev. And that was despite the Alzheimer's which plagued his second Term. George Bush Senior would never have let things get to where they are now.

  109. A lot has been made about the Competence of the Russian Army and how that has been compromised by Corruption.

    Let's not forget the prompt and devastating Rout (because that is what it was, not a Withdrawal) in Afghanistan last year. If President Biden is such a great Commander in Chief shouldn't the West still be in Kabul? But then, if Bill Clinton was such a great Commander in Chief Al Qaida shouldn't have been able to hit the World Trade Center a 2nd time.

    Even if the West was still in Afghanistan along with a 'Client' Government - as things deteriorated with Iran and the Taliban maintained their Insurgency there was always the possibility Tehran might tacitly support them. It has even been suggested they did, which wouldn't have happened with Khatami's Government or Cooperation with Soleimani. So if GWB had been such a great Commander in Chief why was that allowed to happen? How long would Afghanistan have lasted anyway as things worsened with Iran?

    A Question for Hillary.

  110. But there's always Culture ......

    At the Academy Awards Film Maker Micheal Moore berated the Media for not scrutinising the Politicians behind this Miasama. "Do your Job" he told them as he accepted his Oscar for "Farrenheit 9/11".

    The thing is, do they know how? And how about others in the Infosphere? Before Bob Geldof became the Establishment he met and berated many Leaders during 1984-5 in the Debate about African Famine. Music is supposed to do this occasionally - and it caused Pete Seeger to fall foul of Senator Joseph McCarthy, but he still did it. Thom York on the other Hand contrived Reasons not to meet Tony Blair to discuss the Environment. He seems quite twee and fey as he gives us his Excuses not to. All those People, buying his Albums since "Pablo Honey" - hoping at least someone might confront the Politicians about the Iniquities of recent years - Wars as much as the Environment - and he didn't! Indeed, the opposite seems to have happened as his contemporaries Noel-n-Meg sipped Wine and small Talk with the Prime Minister and the future Editor of the News of the World.

  111. Has Germany disgraced itself over Sanctions?

    No, not at all.

    By resisting Sanctionsmania Olaf Scholz is trying to save Europe. He knows that Sanctions will affect his Economy hugely (and so do some of the big German Trades Unions like IG Metall).

    Germany is the dominant Economy in Europe and subsequently Guarantor of its Currency - the Euro. This means all other Euro Economies are bound to it and whose economic Health will be affected by it. So if Germanies Economy suffers so will theirs.

    In American Terms, California is the wealthiest State in the Union. It'd be the 5th wealthiest Country in the World if it was independent (that's wealthier than Britain). If their Economy went down what do you suppose that'd mean for the other States and the USD?

    Mr Scholz is desperately trying not to get swept along by the collective Madness that seems to emanate from an America that has the most to gain from it. An America that is going to have to grovel to Venuzuela after imposing Sanctions on them.

    These 'Tech' Sanctions are a bit short sighted too.

    If Russia controls about 50% of the World's Palladium Metals (vital for Electronics) and noble Gases needed to produce Microchips how are Tech Companies going to make anything at all? Much was made about Aeroflot gradually owning an increasingly ageing Fleet of Planes, but both Boeing and Airbus rely on Russian Materials to build and maintain theirs!

    Who knows if they even work?

    They didn't work on Iraq (a homogenous Oil Economy, weakened by 2 very intense Wars and No-Fly Zones). They haven't worked on a Russia not at all dissuaded by them. Some of the Glitches caused in the beginning have since rectified themselves. By the time they might work in any long term Moscow has already adapted with Contingencies. Except the Damage has been done in the West.

    So Mr Scholz should be applauded for standing up to those who must also know what Sanctions will do, not to Russia, but to those imposing them.

  112. As long ago as 1st of March Germany saw Consumer Prices rise by 5% - less than a Week after the War started - caused by increased Energy Costs, and before any Sanctions have been implemented. By the 3rd of March German Economy Minister Robert Habeck had this to say;

    "The impact of the sanctions and of the war on all sectors of the economy is so strong that we can fear a big impact."

    The minister also said any hopes that Europe's largest economy would return to post-pandemic levels later this year were dashed.

  113. There are very real Fears that Europe's biggest Economy could lose social Cohesion. A very ominous Threat in a Country like Germany and devastating for the rest of the Euro Economy.

  114. So thought I'd post this must-read Weblink again ......


    Some of us still remember!

  115. Bad Language?????

    A substantial Grievance Russia has about the Ukraine is the legalised Surpression of the Russian Language.

    In July 2012 fistfights broke out in the Ukrainian Parliament Building when a Law was passed protecting the Rights of People to speak their first Language according to ethnicity. It seems multi-culturalism hadn't caught on in 21st Century Ukraine.

    It hadn't - and that Law was replaced in April 2019 by the Law on Supporting the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language. This made Ukrainian compulsory in all Spheres of Life, from Education to Administration, Book Publishing to Science and Sport and how Elections were conducted. It came into force in July of that year - after Zelensky was elected. This seems reminiscent of Article III of The Statute of Kilkenny from 1367 which made it illegal for English colonists in Ireland to speak the Irish language and for the native Irish to speak their language when interacting with them. Or when it was outlawed in Scotland by the Crown in 1616, or when, up to and including the 1960's, Welsh School Children were given the "Welsh Slap" for speaking Cymraig at School.

    Native Americans were made to eat Soap if they spoke their native Languages and there are many other examples of this everywhere.

    Except not in the last 3 years.

    It explodes the Myth somewhat of cute cuddly Multi-Culturalist Volodymyr when his Parliament applies a Law in 2019 that was enforced by Britain in the 1300's.

    There were some Exemptions including the Crimean Tatar Language (except maybe the Russians guaranteed that one) but Russian, Belarussian and Yiddish are excluded. Considering Zelenskys background it seems ironic not to be able to use Yiddish.

  116. Here's something intriguing .....

    When I googled "was NATO Expansion illegal?" the Link to the National Security Archive Documents was the first Item to appear. When I did the same thing several days later it had been severely relegated in the Menu like someone had done something with the SEO to force it down the Page.

    Maybe they were told to by the same People who are behind the fake News featuring 'Experts' telling us there were no Promises made to Moscow in 1990-91.

    As I said, what is happening in Ukraine is horrible, but it could very easily have been avoided.

    Here's the Link again so you can copy and paste it to your Social Media and share it via Email etc. If were the Democracy we keep being told we are it might influence at least some of our Leaders to make the appropriate Decisions.


  117. I remember writing about this 15 years ago - asking what on Earth Sakashvilli was doing lobbying to join NATO when James Baker pledged to Gorbachev "not an Inch eastwards"?

  118. And that is where the ultimate Lie resides. Fake News, completely at odds with the National Security Documents - now available to the Public. Every relevant thing that has happened since is attributable to that!

  119. While Gorbachev was promised by James Baker that NATO would not expand east (meaning no further than the Polish and Czechish Borders with Austria and reunified Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Border and that of Italy and Croatia) and Vaclav Havel felt there shouldn't be a NATO at all after the Warsaw Pact this means Vladimir Putin and the Czechoslovak President had something in common.

    Also, it was because of this Pledge the Lebanese Hostage Crisis was resolved soon after.

    The myriad Kidnap Groups were supported by Warsaw Pact Countries, supplying them with Money and Weapons as part of Cold War Strategy in the Middle East. Those ubiquitous AK-47 'Kleshen' Assault Rifles they were synonymous with came from there, as did some Explosives. Once the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist so did that Support - while the Arab World was lining up to support the Coalition against Saddam Hussein. The Game was up and they needed a prompt end to the Crisis as much as the Friends and Families of the Hostages.

    Which is why they released all of them by 1991.

  120. There might be People who reminisce about those Days of "Gorby" and Glasnost and Perestroika. We even had a Cafe in Bristol called the Glasnost. But what they have to remember is how everything he might have represented at that time, from the new Openness with the Soviet Union to those TV Appearances when he seemed to upstage President Reagan, and the Reykjavik and Malta Summits, has been compromised by what has happened in recent years.

    Many in Russia now see him as the Man who gave it all away, irrespective of Communism - Russia was compromised. That he was foolish and duped by those western Leaders he met in 1990. What recent NATO Events did was push them closer to Putin and what he is, and away from Gorbachev.

  121. It seems Putin is no Von Paulus.

    In the last days of the Battle of Mariupol Ukrainian Fighters have been holed up in the Azovstal Steel Mill. Today Vladimir Putin has decided to end the Battle, completely isolate the Factory, and declare Mariupol captured.

    This seems like a shrewd move to avoid detractors using the Stalingrad Narrative against him.

    From September 30th 1942 to the end of the Battle Major General Guriev's 39th Guards Rifle Division were charged with the Defence of the Krasny Akhtyabre (Red October) Steel Mill at Stalingrad. Some of the bitterest Fighting in the History of Warfare took place as the Soviets defended Room after Room of the Factory against sustained and brutal Assault by Paulus's 6th Army. Some argue that if Stalingrad was the turning Point of the War, the 39th Guards were the the turning Point of Stalingrad. It was where the 6th Army finally broke itself.

    Obviously aware of his Countries Military History and the Horrors of the Great Patriotic War, Vladimir Putin's refusal to commit and perhaps sacrifice his Army against the Hold-outs at the Azovstal Steel Mill shows he wasn't being lured into any Propagandist Trap.

  122. They keep going on about Russian Failures in the Military Campaign, but this isn't just a Military War.

    Many Economists have explained the longer term economic Consequences of the War and the Sanctions. As Americans are seeing up to 40% increases in Fuel Prices as they fill up on Gas - this is before some Sanctions have even been implemented. They go in to say that we could see a 1929 style Slump - with an economic Collapse similar to what happened 90 years ago. The Pandemic caused Countries to print more Money to cover Furlough Payments, Bailouts and Grants for Companies struggling to exist. The Pandemic caused a production and distribution Problem with essential Goods and Produce and Supply and Demand caused Price increases.

    The War has caused Ukrainian Grain to remain in the Fields or Storage - while Sanctions have bottled up Russian Produce. Thus, we will see a concurrent increase in Prices and diminished Supply, putting a huge Strain on already burdened Economies.

    America can wrap itself up in comparative self-sufficiency - but most of the World - including western Europe - can't. As Washington keeps urging other Countries particularly other NATO Countries to keep up Sanctions those Countries start to suffer much more, with lack of Availability and huge Price increases. How long will they put up with that before rediscovering Russia?

    After all this Trauma, in the new alignment Russia has established new Partners and severed their Connection with the West left to squabble over the Scraps while America struggles to keep supplying it. This will cause a lot of Resentment towards America which will start to apply Pressure on their beleaguered Clients.

    Putin's Army might not have marched west as successfully as their Red Army Predecessors did from 1943 to 1945, but he could quite probably win in the long term after the Fighting has finished.

  123. In the flurry of the Sanctions Virus 2022 (SanVid22) this might make for some very sobering Reading....


  124. In the context of this ......


    NATO Secretary Generals might either deny this was ever said (which is patently untrue) or they might claim it was never said by NATO. Considering it was said by various Leaders and Politicians of the USA, Britain, Germany and France that's a lot of People at NATO saying it.

  125. All of them were also Members of the UN Security Council too!

    Meanwhile, what sort of Country criminalises Sympathy for Communism? Does this imply you can't talk supportively of a time when Kiev and Moscow were Partners? Concurrent with encouraging promoting Nationalists and Nazi Collaborators doesn't this tell you something about that Country? That 'Democracy' is being used to facilitate Nazism!

    Communism itself is banned - along with several Communist Parties in 2015 - but Neo-Nazis are free to run for Office. Again 'Democracy' is being used to facilitate Nazism. Even Hitler had to use the burning of the Reichstag as a Pretext for banning the German Communist Party.

    Apart from the Platform for Life Party - whose Leader was an alleged Russian Stooge - other Parties have been banned once the War started. Among them are the Party of Sharity, Nashi (Ours) Party, Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Socialist parties. Several of these are left-wing parties and have been opposed to Ukrainian membership of NATO and the European Union (EU).

    So you can be a Nazi - even becoming the Speaker in Parliament, but you can't be a Socialist.

    Doesn't sound like much of a Democracy at all!

  126. And while all this goes on the EU is considering fast tracking Ukraine into its Ranks. Doesn't say much for their Membership Standards these days if they are, while Sanctions are causing Franco-German Arguements in the Organisation. Maybe the 52% were right to vote Brexit in the recent British Referendum. Our VAT should not be used to subsidise Corruption and Nazism.

    Also, while Communism was the biggest Opposition to Hitler's Nazis it was also the Nemesis that broke the German Military. Banning them removed that Opposition in the Ukraine, while also reduced any Scope for a negotiated Settlement. After all, it was an Example of Russo-Ukrainian cooperation.

  127. What we are seeing in the Ukraine is a gradual equivalent of what happened in Nazi Germany - except Kiev has spread the Process out over 7 years.

    Hitler banned the Communists in 1933, then, in the Summer of that year outlawed the SPD - the Social Democrats who are like the Social Democrats you will find in modern Europe and Scandinavia.

    Also, it seems Zelensky has found another Rapunzel to appear on TV appealing for heavy Weapons. This one over stepped a Line for me I'm afraid, resorting to emotional Blackmail, citing "600 Million starving Children in Africa" due to the blocked Supply of Grain to the Continent.

    In the Context of other things happening in the Ukraine wouldn't that be like Roosevelt extending Lend-Lease to Hitler during "Barbarossa"? Maybe anti-War Protestors should dress as WW2 Red Army Soldiers - stood solemnly outside the Ukrainian Embassies. That and concurrent "No to Sanctions" Demos meant to stave off a potential economic Catastrophe.

    After all, wasn't it exactly that in the 1920's which caused the Nazis rise to Power?

  128. German Politicians like Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck are painfully aware of what happens if a Country loses its social Cohesion.

    In their economic Collapse of the 1920's Streets saw Battles between Socialists and emerging Brown Shirts, culminating in the rise of the NSDAP and Hitler. If the multi-pronged Hydra of Problems assault that Cohesion like they seemed to 100 years ago maybe Mr Scholz is afraid he could become a modern day Hindenburg as someone in Germanies far-Right exploits the Miasma.

  129. There are many things that concern me about these Appeals for heavy Weapons too.....

    One minute we're being told that the Ukraine is successful in its Battle with the Russians - presumably with what they already have. The next we get Appeals from these deliberately nominated attractive Ukrainian MPs, like maybe they aren't as successful as we are being told. Are we being scammed?

    Also, a similar Dilemma is posed that was in Syria.

    William Hague was going around our Parliament urging us to "arm the Rebels", while President Obama and John Kerry were trying to identify "moderate Rebels" to supply 'Assistance' to.

    As we saw, those Weapons fell into the Hands of extremist Groups like ISIS and Al Nusra. After the Iraqi'isation of Maliki's Government - equipping his Army - the entire Garrisons Weapons were captured at Mosul, including Tanks and Helicopters.

    Can Zelensky not only guarantee Weapons sent to Ukraine won't be used by Children (as we have seen) they also won't be used by neo-Nazi formations like the Azov Battalion? He can't as the ebb and flow of War sees equipment continually changing Hands.

    Then, what happens with them afterwards? Afghanistan taught us what happened with Weapons sent to fight Soviet Soldiers after the Afghan-Soviet War. Suddenly you have a huge Glut of them in the Hands of some very dubious Fighters who didn't demobilise after the War of 2014. They end up with the latest Kit issued to NATO Armies - and what do they then use it for?

  130. Are they going to give it all back?

    Corruption in Ukraine being what it is who's to say they won't tell us a lot of it was destroyed in the Fighting (when it wasn't)? If it was given under a Lend-Lease Arrangement how would their shattered Economy be able to repay it?

    Where would any 'Marshall Aid' come from if America is struggling to support its Clients breaking under the Weight of economic Collapse? Having to finance Peacekeeping Operations in Regions engulfed in Food Wars?

    How corrupt is Ukraine?

    Even on a day to day Basis People I knew from Poland told me how they would see expensive BMWs and Mercedes in the Staff Car Parks of Ukrainian Border Crossings. That's a lot of Car for someone on that Salary!

    So can the Government in Kiev guarantee all Weapons sent will be properly and honestly returned if or when Fighting stops?

  131. Not only could solemn looking anti-War Protestors appear outside Ukrainian Embassies as WW2 Red Army Soldiers - in memory of when Russians and Ukrainians fought Nazis - with Placards saying "почему нас сейчас нет?" (Why aren't we now?), we could set up a 'Testing Clinic' to see if People are suffering from SanVid22 (Sanctions Virus 2022), because in the Bloodlust and Mania I don't think People have thought it through at all!

  132. "It's their War, they have to win it or lose it....."

    That was the famous Quote JFK gave to Walter Kronkite about South Vietnam. Although he later says something similar to Statements made about the Ukraine - how they could send Advisers and Equipment - it's that Quote that should be noted in Kiev.

    Everyone knows what happened after he was gone, with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and LBJs deployment of American Soldiers en-masse. But that was after he was killed and People speculate if it had if he hadn't. Very few speculate about the Error that was made after 1965, which prompted Robert McNamarra's rift with Johnson, Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy's commitment to withdrawal in 1968 and Nixon's actual Withdrawal in the 1970's.

    Elsewhere in the Interview Kennedy cites Diems Oppression of the Buddhists which was particularly bad and comparable to Zelenskys banning of certain Political Parties and some minority ethnic Languages.

    Discrimination exists elsewhere in Ukraine too - with the disgraceful and documented 'Ukrainians first' Policy at Refugee Hubs. Africans fleeing the War are being pushed off of Trains and turned away at Checkpoints in favour of Ukrainian Refugees. Others of Asian origin are feeling discriminated against too. They feel like 2nd Class Refugees, while Africans are 3rd. Stuff that won't endear Zelensky to their Communities back home.

    The Media - including internet Searches - seem to play down ethnic Russian Support for Moscow rather than Kiev, but if that was true why were so many in Donetsk and Luhansk prepared to take up Arms? Why did the Government feel threatened enough to ban any Political Parties that might only be suspected to be similar - or pro-Russian - in 2015? Why the sudden banning of even more of them in the last couple of Months?

    The complete removal of the Russian Language in every Sphere of cultural and administerial Life suggests something similar, like the Government were as afraid of it as Diem was those Buddhists in Vietnam.

  133. But it's because he mentioned it that differentiates Kennedy from Biden. Thus far the current President has yet to mention Russophobia in Kiev, while no Leader seems to even acknowledge discrimination in the Treatment of Refugees.

    If President Biden had bothered to study his own Political Heritage he might have a bit more Leverage with Moscow should (hopefully) we ever get to conclusive Negotiations. If he had warned Zelensky about his obvious discrimination against Russians and some Political Parties like Kennedy did Diem and the Buddhists he might have as much Credibility.

    But then, if he had also learned from Kennedys Example about not antagonising the Russians instead of some of the Comments he has made the same might apply.

  134. Not only does it compromise any Position he might have with the Kremlin it also prompts the World to ask who might broker any Negotiations at all? Who in the World is going to be powerful enough to do so like America might the Good Friday Agreement or some of the Arab-Israeli Summits of the past?

    Which brings me to this ....

    Isn't denying any ethnic Russian Support for Moscow like denying Support for Dublin by Irish Nationalists in Ulster? While ethnic Russians took up Arms to fight for their Russianess the IRA and INLA did the same in the Province. What makes Britain different to Ukraine is how London never banned Sinn Fein when this was happening. Sinn Fein MPs even sat in Westminster.

    It was acknowledging this, even by the perceived Enemy in Downing Street that finally led to that historic Agreement in 1998 that ended nearly 30 years of Bloodshed we know as "The Troubles"!

    Failure to acknowledge ethnic Russians in Ukraine will cause an Impasse in any attempted Negotiations.

  135. Even after the Bombing in Brighton which nearly killed the Prime Minister, Norman Tebbitt and other high ranking Tories, Enniskillen, London Docklands and Manchester Sinn Fein were never banned even though their Loyalties were with Dublin not London.

  136. So when are western Leaders going to follow Kennedys Example and condemn Diem, sorry, Volodymyr Zelensky for his persecution of Ethnic Minorities? That, and his Authorities Refugee Administrators running things like the Titanic ..... The RMS Ukraine has 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class Refugees apparently.

    Elsewhere in Volodymyr Chalabi's Ukraine we should send UN Weapons Inspectors to see if he has Nazis of Mass Destruction.. Meanwhile, Jews, Roma, Gays, Communists, Blacks, Asians and everyone else the Azov Battalion hates in the World are building Shelters and Barricades for when the Paramilitaries decide to come after them. NATO Governments and other pro-Ukrainian Countries face Revolts in their Ranks by all of the above, who have petitioned them with a Statement saying; "Stuff that lot for a Game of Soldiers if they think I'm gonna fight for them!"

    Elsewhere, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are celebrating the biggest global acquisition of real Estate in History as Churches and Cathedrals everywhere - Protestant and Catholic, strike their own Flags and fly the Ukrainian Flag instead!

    While Diem Chalabi's Government have banned anything to do with the Soviet Union Moscow has decided to repossess the huge Dnieper Hydroelectric Dam and all other Soviet era Infrastructure as they were bought and paid for by the Kremlin. They will do the same with anything in the Ukraine Military that was similarly supplied. After all, why would Kiev want such horrid things?

    Today, the Ku Klux Klan announced they will be monitoring Ukraine's potential Membership of the EU and NATO. In the interim, they will be setting up Klaverns in Black and Asian Neighbourhoods - just to see what happens. They have put Jen Stoltenburg and other People on speed dial in their Phones, y'know - just in case! If the Ukraine is successful they will throw the EU and NATO a "Bung" in lieu of their Application.

    It has been reported that American Congressman, Charlie Wilson (who bares no resemblance to Tom Hanks) has written to the Taliban and Al Qaida saying he wants his Weapons and Money back. He has index linked the amount to an APR going back to when the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, bringing it into today's Rate. Osama Bin Laden has declined to comment.

    UN Weapons Inspectors who did enter the Ukraine found Laboratories cultivating the Sanctions Virus. Called Sanctions Virus 2022 or SanVid22 - they discovered huge Stockpiles of it along with Plans to spread the Disease globally.

    Test Clinics and Quarantine Centers are being set up in Key Cities. Those who test positive are kept in quarantine for 2 Weeks while they detoxify the Ukraine-is-never-wrong Kool Aid. Once Symptoms subside the Patient assumes a more objective Disposition. Those Symptoms range from an insatiable and incongruous Desire to give Kiev everything, to denying oneself everything. Elements of Sith Mind Tricks have also been discovered; "You don't need to see this Russian Gas or Oil" they chant, "This isn't the Grain you're looking for". In extreme Cases pitiful Victims of the Virus have been seen running off of Cliffs like Lemmings.

  137. I just wish People would remove the tinted Glasses about the Ukraine. That it isn't a modern liberal Democracy akin to those who have been for years.....

    This for example, shows it isn't ...


    That even in the Face of a brutal War their inherent Racism wasn't quashed shows what sort of Country it is.

    This tells of the Racism in Institutions meant to help those caught in the Crisis ....


    There are many other Articles on the Web about this but you have to be very specific in your Search to find them. They don't appear in all the other Stuff on the Subject.

  138. This one is particularly candid ....


  139. This causes Zelensky a big PR Problem as he tries establishing his pro-West Democratic Credentials. That Indian Media has actual Proof of the Racism inherent in his Society along with other Media prompts People to ask what sort of Country Ukraine is. That there is Substance to some of the Criticisms levelled at it, while those discriminated against were foreign Nationals not People in the Ukraine makes it difficult to contain.

  140. And in the Realm of Public Awareness, why was there a concerted Effort to play down to the point of non-existance the Promises made to Gorbachev? Wheeling out so called 'Experts' lying through their Teeth about how it was never made? Rather like the sudden disappearance or denial of Articles about Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Problem, even in their own Reportage?

  141. Elsewhere in the NSArchive are Documents about Rumsfelds Visits to Iraq in the early 80's. Where he made no Caveat of Human Rights against American Support in Saddam's War with Iran. His Failure to do that is like the West failing to do same with Ukrainian Governments vis a vis Neo-Nazism. Congressional Legislation went some way to doing this, then was rolled back.

    Suddenly, we are force fed a Diet of Ukraine-can-do-no-wrong Kool Aid, regardless of Stories showing the Countries true Face in its handling of the Refugee Crisis.

  142. Meanwhile, did Putin intend to occupy the Ukraine indefinitely?

    Very unlikely. His Russian Army comprises just over 1 Million full time Soldiers with just over 2 Million Reservists. The Soviet Equivalent during the Cold War that occupied or supplemented Warsaw Pact Countries was far bigger - with 3.6 Million full time and more than 4 Million Reserves. He'd have been plagued with Insurgent Activity which would have sapped his Armies Morale, while a large part of it would have to continue Duties in Russia. His Assault on Kiev was either a Feint, meant to divert Ukrainian Forces to defend the Capital, or an Attempt to capture and decapitate the Government. He made no secret of his desire for 'Regime Change'.

    His emphasis seems to be establishing a Land Bridge to the Crimea from the Donbass and capturing Ukraine's Black Sea Ports!

    Having mentioned Insurgents, ironically the superb Documentary Series "The World at War" would probably be banned in Ukraine because the first Interviewee in the Episode "Red Star" about the War in the Soviet Union is a former Ukrainian Partisan.

    As for NATOs encroachment east, Estonia is only 360 Kms from Russia's Second City - St Petersburg. That's about the same Distance as Bristol to Edinburgh. Russia's main Defence is its Vastness and the huge Distances involved. That suddenly no longer applies and puts St Petersburg in range of short range Missiles.

    If the Media are going to interview Khrushchev's great Grand Daughter, presumably they asked for her thoughts on the American response to deployment of Soviet Troops, Aircraft and Missiles in Cuba - 90 Miles from Florida and putting most of the Country in range of Soviet Nukes.

  143. A lot of the Premise established at Reykjavik and Malta was established in 1962. That the mutual Provocation nearly 60 years ago was proving too much for US-Soviet Relations. That while Kennedy and Khrushchev withdrew those Provocations, the People at those 1990 Summits should do the same.

    Stalin wanted a Buffer against potential future German Aggression (real or imagined) which during the Cold War had become NATO, so Gorbachev withdrawing from that removed it and left the Soviet Union vulnerable. Hence a lot of mutual Trust was established and should never have been ignored. A gargantuan Effort was made by all concerned to end an Impasse that had gone on for 45 years.

  144. Part of that Buffer was the old GDR or East Germany. A unified Germany would reduce it up to the German-Polish Border and bring NATO closer to Russia. This was why it was crucial to convince the Soviet Union of no desire to expand east. The Premise wasn't, as President Biden mistakenly said, to allow future Russian Invasion of neutral eastern and central European States. It was so NO-ONE would invade them. Some Russians were also fearful that a reunified Germany would also mean a Regermanisation of East Prussia - what is now north east Poland.

    The pre-War Problems the Ukraine had ought to have been addressed by previous western Governments in consultation with Moscow. The West completely underestimated those Problems, or their Impact on Russia. The Crimea is another of these, and contrary to the over simplified version of History wasn't completely annexed by Putins Russia. Given to the Ukraine by decree in 1954 no referendum was held beforehand to ascertain if it's Citizens wanted to be part of Ukraine, while it lost whatever autonomous Status it had enjoyed for Centuries. Some believe that this even contravened Soviet Law. So while Putin had his Referendum on the Subject, Khrushchev, sadly didn't.

  145. Contrary to popular Misconception the Crimea wasn't always Ukrainian by default. To do so is to make the same Mistake Khrushchev made in 1954. In an act of geographical Expediency he gave the Region to Ukraine because of its Proximity, ignoring it's Ethnicity of predominant Russians and Crimean Tatars. Even in pre-1954 Soviet times it was semi-autonomous.

    One only has to look elsewhere in the Region to see similar Phenomena. Despite its Location Transnistra isn't full of Romanian Moldovans or Ukrainians. Described by Visitors as something if a Throwback to the Soviet Era it is like a western Enclave of Russia and some have even called it somewhat quaint. I really hope they don't get engulfed in the Conflicts that have happened elsewhere, although there are indications they are.

  146. Not a Word in Russian ......

    To understand the Impact of the 2019 "Law on Supporting the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" in a British Context, imagine a bunch of Suits from London going to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They start closing every Cymraig, Scots and Irish Gaelic speaking Entity - from pre-School to TV and Radio, Healthcare to Sport, even Plaid Cymry would have to Anglicise their Party name, along with Sinn Fein Politicians in Ulster.

    The Backlash against such anglo-centric Hegemony would be furious, as would similar in France if Paris frankified Breton or Madrid enforced Castilian on the Basques. Even ethnic Germans in the former Soviet Union are allowed to retain their Language.

    One of the most remarkable Linguo-Phenomenenon is Patagonian Welsh or Cymraeg y Wladfa. In a Region of Argentina Welsh Speakers aren't only encouraged, they are respected, with substantial Support for Cymraig Education and use in Administerial Affairs. Even during the Galtieri Era they could still use it.

  147. And that includes the Period after his humiliating Defeat by Britain in the Falklands. Says something when a quintessentially Latin American Military Junta has a more liberal Approach to minority Languages than a supposedly democratic 'european' Government. Even one spoken by the People who had just defeated it. A Formation of Welsh Guards was on the RFA Ship Sir Galahad when she was sunk during that War.

  148. So if Cymraig Welsh, Ulster Gaels, Scottish Alba, French Bretons, Spanish Basques and many others wouldn't put up with it why should the Russians? Oh, and while Zelensky is allowed to speak Russian in a government Capacity he probably also speaks the same Yiddish that is similarly treated. Hypocrite too then!

    Unless, of course, it smells like it is - Russophobia!

    Translate that 2019 Ukrainian Law into an English Context and that is exactly what would happen!

  149. Another Protest we could do is write to Ukrainian Embassies worldwide in Cymraig, Irish and Scots Gaelic, Basque, Breton, the vast Myriad of Native American Languages, every other minority ethnic Language and even Hispanic American demanding they rehabilitate Russian and Yiddish to their pre-Legislation Status.

    Also, send them Copies of the "World at War" Episode "Red Star" with "Banned" written on the Envelope!

  150. What if Joe Biden or Kamala Harris appeared on Amer-English TV and announced they were closing Hispanic Broadcasting and Print Media, local Government and Electoral Services, Healthcare, Culture, Education and everything else? Spanish is to America what Russian is in Ukraine - the second most spoken Language, while some use it as their first. They then go into all the Reservations and tell the 500 Nations the same will be done to them and theirs!

    Kennedy might have supported Diem in South Vietnam, but that was tempered with his criticism for Diems treatment of the Buddhists. Joe Biden has yet to criticise Zelensky for anything!

  151. I notice how Indian Media is becoming less enamoured of Volydymir Ismays Treatment of their People trying to escape the War in Ukraine.

  152. I've noticed an odious Trend emerging in the Media Coverage .....

    There are those who slither about wanting to be on the 'winning side', others trying to attain a phony moral High Ground. Same Media who got rid of anyone who might remember something better and ask appropriate Questions. Same Media who wheeled out Denialists as 'Experts' lying about the Agreements of 1990. Same Media who dumbed down the Culture that wouldn't know any different.

    Same Media who obediently banged the Drum about Iraq, Syria and Libya, and repeated verbatim the Soundbites issued by the Politicians.

    Same Media who have run a fascist Dinner Party for the last 30 years, including their cozy Club in all the years before! Eh Gordon. (He's my favourite exploitative Hippie Scumbag)

    And maybe the Kremlin would like to ask them about the 'Reality TV Show' they've been running for at least 22 years.

    Oh, and same Media who are now trying to turn the War into a Song by the the Rolling Stones!

  153. There are those of us 'out here' (because we're not 'in there' anymore) associated with those 13 days 60 years ago, and with that pivotal Moment in History 32 years ago, that Rebirth of History that produced Leaders questioning the very existence of NATO. But we can't get through because, I dunno, maybe Peter Jackson's New Age Nazi Dinner Party is more important!

  154. Currently watching a Documentary about Libya. If People think things are bad in North Africa at the moment, when the Famine afflicts the whole Region (not just Sudan and Ethiopia) those People are going to blame Europe and it's Support for Ukraine. That the whole thing could backfire in favour of Putin.

    Not only did NATO Communication and Information Agency Manager Samantha Ehlinger mention this quite rightly, she also emphasised the need for a PR Offensive in the Region to convince them why Europe is doing it.

    Those People won't want PR, they're going to want Food. There's a very real Danger that the Civil Wars in Niger (Magreb Insurgency) as well as Libya could spread all over the Region, even with the 'successes' of the so called "Arab Spring" in Tunisia and Egypt. People can cope without Oil. No-one can cope without Food.

    The Problem Ms Ehlinger is going to face is how sleek, well fed NATO/EU PR People are going to be sat in Government Buildings from Marrakesh to Cairo trying to convince starving North Africans of the Righteousness and Efficacy of their Ukraine Policy. This is going to look very patronising and not at all convincing. The only way they'll be able to stave off at least some of this will be huge Food-Aid Programs to the Region, which will affect availability and cost in Europe.

    Having mentioned Libya, while all mainstream Media Reports about Neo-Nazis in Ukraine were conveniently forgotten after February 24th, so - it seems - have the many Articles about Gaddafi's rivalry with Osama Bin Laden. There were many outlining his constant acrimony with the Terrorist Leader, long before the 2011 Revolution, which seem to have disappeared off the Web. Maybe the new Narrative is how Events that year have been ultimately successful, when in reality they haven't. Human Rights Watch cite a Myriad of Problems and Violations that still afflict the Country - even after the establishment of the Government of National Unity in 2021 - while many are calling for NATO to be made accountable for destroying the Country 11 years ago.

  155. Concurrent with the potential North African Food Crisis, even after the so called 'successful' Rehabilitation of Libya things in the North African Country are still very fractious. After celebrating the reopening of several Oil Fields in January this year, others were closed in March ....


    As Europe tries finding reliable alternatives to Russian Oil and Gas this does nothing to help.

  156. While erstwhile reliable Russian Oil and Gas Supplies are (not so) gradually switched off - either by Putin or via Boycott - other Countries are going to have to fill the Void. One of those will be Libya, one of the biggest Suppliers in the World, and the biggest in Africa.

    While Tribal Leaders have to negotiate with Militias to keep the Libyan Oil Fields open, the latter can effectively hold them to Ransom, fully aware of the Demand for their Produce. What that might also mean with Food distribution could be very similar.

    In Somalia Food Aid was regularly appropriated by Forces working for Mohammed Farah Aidid.

    In Egypt Cairo Hotels had Bulletproof Screens set up outside to protect Tourists in the years after they ousted Hosni Mubarek, while Holes pockmarked Buildings everywhere. And that was in comparatively stable Egypt, so what might other, less settled, Countries be like?

    While Covid19 still forces Lockdowns in Chinese Megacities and the Sanctions Virus seems to be everywhere, the World seems to have forgotten an Affliction it has been suffering since 2001 .....WarVid01!

  157. If you were an Algerian who hasn't been able to feed his Family properly for several Months, or a Libyan whose Life is beginning to resemble "Mad Max 2" and the opening Scenes to "Black Hawk Down" and a sleek, well nourished Suit from the EU or NATO pat's you on the Head, saying; "be a good little North African, we know best" how are you going to feel?

    North African Sentiments towards Europe can be fraught at the best of times, but even they've never been so sorely tested!

  158. Rehabilitating Russian and Yiddish in Ukraine.

    The Idea that we should write to Ukrainian Embassies in a myriad of ethnic Languages - from Cymraig Welsh to Native Navajo - is one way of helping any future Negotiations.

    Here's just one of many horrible Stories about what Ukraine's Language Law has caused ....


    And there are many others, while Human Rights Watch have expressed Concerns about it.

    The 2019 Law, called "Law on Supporting the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language" has removed Russian and Yiddish from many Spheres of Life, from Healthcare to Sport, Pre-School to Print Media, and is very provocative to Russians everywhere.

    If we could pressure them to revoke it it would show Moscow that People realise they have justifiable Grievances and we don't feel Ukraine can do no wrong.

  159. One of the worst things the World has done throughout this is continually tell Ukraine they are never wrong. You'd never do that with an Individual, so why do it with a Country? It prompts me to ask what might have been said by World Leaders when they met Mr Zelensky - starting with Emmanuelle Macrons shuttle Diplomacy before Feb 24th to Boris Johnson addressing the Verkhovna Rada a few days ago.

    People need to remember that a Ceasefire directly benefits Ukraine more than Russia. After all, it isn't the latter being reduced to another Century. The Russians need to feel that they have justifiable Grievances but these are being ignored, and while that Doctor has her Surgery vandalised for being Russian a year before this Conflict, it wasn't her - or the many others it has happened to - that invaded 2 and a Half Months ago. If that Language Law was introduced elsewhere there would be all sorts of Furore, while you could kiss the Good Friday Agreement goodbye in Northern Ireland.

    What would Kevin Costner have said in "500 Nations" and the Episode "Attack on Culture" if it was about the Ukraine 2 years ago?

  160. Currently watching another of those Discussions on the Subject of potential Nuclear War, and the Dinner Party Info-ocracy seems to be at it again. Am I seeing a genuine Discourse on the Subject or an Episode of "Neighbours" written by Arthur Conan-Doyle?

    I find it exasperating, and not just a little intriguing in the Wake of 1999 Films like "13 Days"!

    Maybe if some of those Promises made in Bristol 32 years ago some of us might be in a similar Position to some of those People in the Film. Maybe if that potential U2 Concert had happened too! After all, if being in that Group have Bono all sorts of Access Paul Hewson of Dublin wouldn't have, doing Gigs with them might have had a similar Effect!

  161. Meanwhile, on DW (a German TV Channel on YouTube) a Polish Journalist was totally pro-NATO - claiming the 'NATO is provocative' Line is "an old Political Habit". Ironic considering Poland's recent History, and how, in 1981, anti-Jarulzelski, anti-Russian Solidarity had the Support of the Pope, whose Office has partially blamed NATO Expansion for the current Crisis (which would include Poland). Be interesting to hear what Pope John Paul llnd might have said. Were her Opinions just those of the Warsaw Dinner Party Club or of Polish People generally? Has Poland sold its Soul? While Lech Walesa's Solidarnosc had the Support of the Vatican his Dissident Contemporary, Vaclav Havel felt there should be no NATO at all.

    NATO Expansion is very provocative to Russia.

    If you were living in St Petersburg with Relatives who have horrific Memories of the Siege of Leningrad how are you going to feel about NATO in Estonia only a few 100 Miles west and Finland's potential Membership a few 100 North? Particularly after seeing it's Actions in Afghanistan, Libya and Serbia? What did that have to do with Article 5?

    Something that didn't assuage Putin at all. Maybe, as Ukraine looked set to join it was the final Straw. That he felt that if there was no Ukraine there's no-one to join, hence his attempt to bring it into and turn it into part of a greater Russia.

    The Links don't work .....

    Several URLs Someone has sent me for both RT and Sputnik either don't work or are blocked. Boris Johnson announced Plans to block British Internet access to Russian Websites and Media. Not only is this very undemocratic - not allowing us to formulate our own Opinion on the Subject - it also sets a dangerous Precedent. As Pope Francis has criticised NATO Expansion and former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said Zelenski is as much to blame as Putin it prompts the Question; who's next? Latin America and Roman Catholics?

  162. Presumably, that Polish Journalist would accuse me of being a Theocrat for quoting the Pope against her Opinion.

  163. Here's what he (the Pope) had to say ......


  164. I'm also astonished at how President Biden hasn't visited Moscow since being Vice President in 2011. Even when it was very apparent Russian Troops were building up on Ukraine's Borders with Russia and Belorus he never thought to call a Meeting with the Russian President to try and avoid the War that started on February 24th.

    The closest he got to this was a very tepid 'Offer' on February 21st, if Putin didn't invade the Ukraine. It's like he overplayed his Hand, assuming Putin would take notice, or was disastrously non-committal. What might have been relayed to Washington by French and EU President Emmanuel Macron obviously wasn't persuasive enough to prompt Biden to insist on a Meeting with Putin. It also shows how ineffectual the EU Office can be in a Crisis with both America and Russia!

  165. Also, I don't think the glib Comments of a Polish Journalist who might think she represents post-Walesa Poland are helpful against the Opinion of the Leader of the biggest Congregation in the western Hemisphere!

  166. Here's a very refreshing Piece on the War and the Pope's Comments about it .....


  167. While the former Brazilian President described Zelensky as something of a PT Barnum Character - using the War to create the biggest Show of his Life, why do some of those Ukrainian Women look like Facebook Models? Those 'Women' on Facebook whose Profile Pictures look far too glamourous to be real People!

  168. History repeating .....

    While Joe Biden seemed completely inert in his Response to Russian Military Build-ups on Ukraine's Border, Jimmy Carter made a similar mistake in 1979.

    Russian Troops had 2 Build-ups on Ukraine's Border as long ago as March and April last year. This sparked Fears of an Invasion, but they withdrew some of those deployed - leaving the Infrastructure. They recommenced in October, with even more Troops and by December had over 100,000 in situ.

    That's nearly a year for President Joe Biden to set up a Summit with Vladimir Putin, but he didn't. Instead he said, right up to February he would negotiate with Putin as long as he didn't invade Ukraine. Which means a massive military Presence that might not actually invade, so Biden doesn't have to negotiate with Putin. In other Words a Policy of complete inaction, despite the very obvious Danger.

    In 1979 Soviet Units were being filtered into Afghanistan to remove Hafizullah Amin who had just killed their Ally in Kabul, Noor Taraki. Motorised and Special Forces began appearing in Afghanistan, while in October that year huge Soviet Formations were deploying on the Border. Analysts in Washington wrongly believed Moscow would never intervene with such a large Force because of the Cost and Logistics involved. Carter seemed to live in perpetual Hope they wouldn't.

    They did, and on Christmas Eve 1979 Soviet Spetznatz Troops flew into Kabul en-masse and rapidly took the City. The huge Army followed with its Invasion. Jimmy Carter had 2 Months to organise a Summit with Brezhnev, which could have prevented not only the Afghan-Soviet War, but also many of the more recent Problems that have afflicted the years since.

    Why Joe Biden didn't convene a Meeting with Moscow beggars belief and is s Question for his Memoirs.

  169. President Biden had his default routine Summit with President Putin in June 2021, which wasn't particularly successful, and although they did discuss the increased Russian Military presence in Crimea nothing was established. The Summit WASN'T specifically about the Ukraine and more a general Negotiation about everything from Russo-US Diplomacy to American Espionage Prisoners in Russia.

    In October, when huge Russian Troop movements were detected east and north of Ukraine Washington had longer than Jimmy Carter to set up a Meeting (4 months) but did nothing. Biden foolishly attached a Caveat (I'll meet Putin if he doesn't invade) which is another way of saying "do-nothing-unless" when it was obvious at Geneva Putin didn't take him as seriously as Biden thought. Biden needed to be far more forceful and dynamic, while also offering to accommodate the Russian Premieres Grievances about Ukraine.

    The Kremlin had obviously observed Activity in the US House of Representatives in June 2015 when they passed an Amendment blocking support for the Azov Battalion (who had received American Training and Weapons), then revoked it in November. Biden could have offered to reactivate it, along with insisting Zelenskiy rolls back the Law on the Russian Language and does more to guarantee ethnic Russians against Violence and Persecution.

    There were so many things he could have done in those 4 Months before the Invasion of February 2022 when it was obvious what was going to happen next.

    How different the last 43 years might have been if, in 1979, President Jimmy Carter had intervened with Brezhnev in that October-December.

  170. Media Restrictions......

    In an ironic Twist of History the EU and Britain are currently introducing Measures to block Websites and Broadcasts from Russian Media like RT and Sputnik.

    The British Government are (or have) introduced measures to block these on the Internet.

    In North Korea (one of George Bush's "Axis of Evil" Countries) you can only buy DAB Radios and Equipment calibrated to receive North Korean Radio, while the Government jams Broadcasts from South Korea's state run Stations. They also jam Radio Free Asia, Free North Korea Radio and the Voice of America.

    In the Cold War the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact not only jammed each others Radio occasionally they all banned Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and the BBC World Service.

    In happier times, and what now feels like a West that no longer exists, we could listen to all of theirs and no attempt was made to block or jam any of them. Doesn't this speak Volumes about just how different the West had become in the post-Cold War. That it's Cold War Predecessor was secure enough to feel confident People could listen to Warsaw Pact Broadcasts without being swayed or otherwise influenced. That a moral and ethical Shift has occured in the West that us akin to some of those Regimes!

  171. "God save the Queen", "Relax", "Spycatcher", "Lady Chatterley's Lover"...... all banned or censored, which turned out to be counter-productive as those Songs became #1 Singles, while Frankie stayed in the Charts for nearly a year and was one of the 10 biggest selling Singles ever.

    "Spycatcher" by Peter Wright was banned in England and became one of the most notorious Books in modern times. You could buy it everywhere else (including Scotland) and bringing into England felt like smuggling Contraband. Newspapers writing about its Content were subject to a gagging Order, except the European Court of Human Rights ruled the Government had breached the European Convention.

    D H Lawrence found his rather risque Novel, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" had invoked a Furore because it was deemed far too sexy for rather staid 1920's British Tastes. Because it was the proverbial forbidden Fruit it was hugely successful and is one of the definitive Books of the Genre.

    You could end up with People trying to access Russian Media like they used to Pirate Radio in the 60's. That proved to be hugely popular, more so even than established Radio. Media savvy Russians might start adapting their Product to have a similar effect.

  172. Joe Biden's Policy has been disastrous.....

    When it was very clear what Vladimir Putin's Intentions were he said he would meet the Russian Leader as long as he didn't invade. That's like telling one of the shrewdest and strict Leaders of the World; I won't dock your Allowance as long as you tidy your Room. Apparently, Putin wanted a Meeting with the American President, which suggests he was open to Negotiation right up until the Ukraine Conflict started.

    If Zelenskiy wanted to further his Legitimacy with the West Biden had the Leverage to insist on certain Improvements. He could have told the Ukrainian; we have very strict Laws about Hate Crime in the US against ethnic Minorities, and there'd be understandable Furore if I removed Spanish from all Areas of cultural, sporting and administrative Life and did the same with the 500 Nations. All pretty standard Stuff you'd expect from a liberal President. Along with saying how the American Military wouldn't tolerate a White Supremacist Formation in its Ranks. After reinstating the 2015 Amendment.

    The sort of things that ought to have been made very clear with an eastern European Leader with western Aspirations who also acknowledges his Responsibilities forced by History and Geography.

    He did none of this, and while Kennedy sent Lyndon Johnson to a Vietnam that didn't have the Bomb and wasn't a former Superpower Kamala Harris is campaigning for Abortion. Women's Rights are no less important than any other but none of it means anything if we risk Nuclear War.

    You could be forgiven for asking if they ever really wanted to prevent it.

    All the embarrassments are being rapidly forgotten. Iraq, Syria, Libya - the ignominious defeat in Afghanistan last year, the bungled and contraversial handling of the Covid Pandemic have faded.

    The Americans have a desirable Narrative again after the ugly Truisms of Iraq and the murky ambiguitues of the "War on Terror" compromised their moral Authority. America = good, Russia = bad like an attempt to recreate the Polarity of the Cold War. Except it's 1945-1990 Predecessor was far harder to avoid.

    Zelenskiys continual begging for Weapons must please the Military Industrial congressional Complex as Lockheed Martin sees it's Share Price go up by a huge 28% since the Conflict started and western Leaders ask for huge increases in Defence spending.

    It also means a widening of their Markets as former Warsaw Pact Countries send old Russian made Kit to Ukraine and replace it with new NATO Stuff.

    As someone might have said "There's plenty good Money to be made supplying Ukraine with the Tools of the Trade!"

    While all this goes on I'll have to read "The Guns of August"!

  173. And several Commentators are beginning to sing from the Same Page about how America doesn't seem to want to find a peaceful Solution to the Crisis. They'd rather fight the proxy-War and supply Ukraine with the Weapons to do so. To them, Ukraine is fighting their War with Russia for them, the hope being Putin's Government would collapse under growing Public Protest or Palace Coup, or Russia would be so debilitated by it. If that happens Russia is up for grabs for those vast natural Resources.

    It's an extremely dangerous Policy, not just because Russia DOES have WMDs, but also because no-one knows who the next Government might be.

    If some Claims are true and Ukraine was planning an all out Assault on the Donbass - deploying half its Army to do so - some Culpability rests with Kiev. Putin regards Donetz and Luhansk as sovereign and wasn't going to make the same Mistake Stalin did in June 1941 with minimal Deployment in the Region. It also suggests all out War from the Ukraine, which was why Russia didn't just focus on the Donbass.

    Either way, including Kiev attempting a preemptive Strike or preparing against Russian Invasion, such huge Troop movements by both Countries should have alarmed Governments elsewhere enough to urge pre-War Peace Talks, but they didn't.

    The question is; why?

  174. There are other horrible historical Similarities here ......

    Member of the Serbian Black Hand Gavrillo Princip shot and killed Archduke Ferdinand and his Wife in Sarajevo in 1914. The Austro-Hungarians launched a retaliatory Attack on Serbia and Yugoslavia (and got a bloody Nose for it). German imperialist Designs motivated Berlin's support for Vienna as much as a desire to help. Russia felt they should support their Slav Allies in the Balkans....

    (Russia feels they should support theirs in the Donbass)

    And we have "The Guns of August"!

  175. 1914-2014, let's hope the only difference isn't 100 years!

  176. While the Serbs and other Yugoslavs wanted to break away from the Austro-Hungarian Empire the Russian Seperatists aspired to the same in the Donbass from Ukraine. The resulting War showed the Ukrainian Army in 2014 was badly wonting, enfeebled by outdated Equipment and Incompetence. The Seperatists were proving as successful against them as the Serbs were the Austro-Hungarians. This was when America (and Canada to a lesser extent) began equipping and training some of the Militias that obtained a notoriety. By 2021 the Ukrainian Army was a very different Force because of it.

    America's Role has been similar to the German and Prussian support given Vienna in 1914. The German Army of WW1 was formidable, and while hugely outnumbered by the Tsars vast Army of Millions was infinately better in Battle. Corruption plagued Russia's Army, while Morale wasn't good. While the current War has caused a Food Crisis, Russians fighting WW1 weren't tending the Crops and a Famine began in the main Cities. This was felt elsewhere in a Europe that relied on Russian and Ukrainian Produce. We have seen something similar in Ukraine as Russia's Army hasn't been the devastatingly decisive Force it might once have been while Food Exports have been devastated

    Maybe the hope is the same thing will happen as did 1917. That a Revolution would happen that topples the Regime in Moscow. Should someone ask if they have a sealed Train about to travel from Switzerland to St Petersburg with a new Russian Leader, or at least an equivalent? There are many Russian Opposition Politicians in Exile, while Mikhail Kordarkovski must have a Score or Two to settle with Putin.

  177. What started as the Dual Alliance between Germany and Austro-Hungary in 1879 solidified on July 5th 1914 with the Kaiser offering "blank Cheque" Assurance to Vienna in their Actions against Serbia and/or Russia....


    I wonder if a similar arrangement existed between some NATO Countries, particularly America, and Ukraine since 2014!

  178. While we all hope 2014 would be different to 1914 - meaning there won't be a World War - one difference between now and then is they didn't have Nuclear Weapons in 1914. They dubbed "the Great War" as "the War to end all Wars", if this War does go nuclear as some fear it might, not only will it be the War to end Wars, it'll also end everything else!

  179. Now I know I'm in good Company ....

    About a Month ago I mentioned the big inconsistency in the Reportage.

    One minute we're being told that the Russian Army is laughably hopeless - that can't seem to achieve its Objectives, thus; the Propaganda induces the Gloat Factor, meant to belittle the Russians.

    The next we are being told the Ukraine MUST have heavy Weapons, and the Country is flooded with Arms and Ammunition because this Army threatens to overwhelm everyone and everything.

    No less a Commentator than Noam Chomsky has said this very recently, describing it as "a Puzzlement"

    According to Mr Chomsky no less puzzling is the blocking of Russian Media for similarly inconsistent Reasons. That if Russian Media is supposed to be so ludicrous why is it blocked at all? Why isn't the West secure enough to know that it's People will see through it, or at least be confident enough to not be influenced by it? During the Cold War we had access to Warsaw Pact and Soviet Media - Radio Moscow was on the Air, Pravda was available in some Newsagents. They blocked some of ours of course .... which is as ironic now as "Axis of Evil" North Korea blocking Asian and American equivalents.

    Particularly powerful was his condemnation of Americas Refusal to even acknowledge Russia's security Concerns.

    There's also the biggest Inconsistency of all ...

    While Russia's Invasion of Ukraine is continually described as "unprovoked", not as many seem to mention the unprovoked Invasion of Iraq!

  180. It could be argued that even Zelenskiy has been duped or somehow undermined - not by the Russians - but by the West. That if he was sincere in 2019 with his peace Proposals for the Donbass, it was destroyed, not by the Seperatists, but by the Nationalist Ukrainians who went as far as threaten his Life. Has there been a deliberate Policy of filtering these People into Ukraine to make any Attempts at Peace very difficult? Judging by the complete lack of Initiative on the part of some western Leaders it might not be too outrageous to suggest.

    While Companies like Lockheed Martin see Share Prices increase by 28% in less than 3 Months, and all previous Awkwardnesses and Botch-ups conveniently fade in the Memory the Ukraine has thrown them the proverbial Lifeline.

  181. I'm also a bit sceptical of what I call the Usual Suspects in the "Peace" Corps.

    The Dinner Party of supposedly 'ethical thinkers' or 'Social Consciences' - whose Opinions and Activities never seem to hinder their Lives. While an Article I wrote years ago about the Iraq War was being used by the Media in about 2003-4 it was never like those People. It might have been nice to have sat there talking about the CFE Treaty or Malta Accords for example, but it seems to me they have a predetermined Club of People who talk about, or have Opinions about, anything.

    YouTube seems to be saturated with them.

    I watch endless Debates by People in that Club, but was prompted to ask; if these People knew what they were doing, or were competent, why are we in this Mess?

  182. And even if they were competent and knew what they were doing - if they were at all efficacious then we wouldn't be in this Mess at all.

    But while there were others whose Efficacy has caused that Mess continue - I have to ask if there was any real Desire to prevent any of it? I'm an ex-Journalist living in a small Town in South West England and I could figure out what needed to be done, so what's wrong with all those Ivy League, Oxbridge 'Professionals' with all their Years of 'Experience'?

  183. During the 1990-91 Gulf War (Desert Storm) I remember these 'Experts' appearing all the time on the prototype BBC News 24, an all night News Service about the Conflict, telling us that after the Coalition have finished off Saddams huge Conscript Armies they'll be pitted against the elite Republican Guard. The War could go on for Months, maybe a year, and Losses could run into 10's of 1000s. The substantial Iraqi Airforce (who had remained absent) will appear and start shooting down Coalition Planes .....etc

    The total Coalition Losses amounted to 292 (145 described as "non-hostile Deaths") 467 wounded, and 75 Planes, most destroyed by Ground to Air Munitions while 137 Iraqi Planes flew to Iran rather than fight - and a Ground War that was supposed to go on for Months was all over in just over 4 days. In fact, the entire Conflict lasted from January 17th to February 28th - just 43 days!

    Wonder if they got those People to comment on anything else after that?

  184. Meanwhile, in a worrying Development Finland and Sweden are urging fast-tracked Membership of NATO and Putin has threatened punitive Action against both. Although, I'm not sure the Russian Leader will make the same Mistake Stalin made in 1939. An Invasion of Finland reminiscent of the Winter War that year.

    The frightening thing is whether he launches an Airstrike against Stockholm and Helsinki - and we've already seen Nuke carrying Russian Planes and Swedish Interceptors buzz each other in the Baltic - or a Missile Attack on either, Article 5 obliges the rest of NATO to support them. This is the escalation everyone has been trying to avoid. Residents of St Petersburg won't readily accept NATO presence east AND north of their City - it looking like the Siege of WW2!

    Also, it really is starting to look like the Ukrainians themselves are being used as Cannon Fodder in a proxy-War designed to provoke and topple the Moscow Government. A Policy of "More War" rather than "No War" suggests no attempt made by certain Powers to prevent it, while simultaneously benefitting the Military Industrial Complex, weakening Russia, and compromising Europe.

  185. https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/russia-s-ukraine-invasion-may-have-been-preventable-n1290831

  186. Considering what Vladimir Putin and several other Politicians have said about Finland (and implied about Sweden), what are NATO and the West going to do if Russian Ships start sailing from Kronstadt towards the Gulf of Finland? Wait until they open fire on Helsinki (and/or Gothenburg if they head for Sweden) before they respond?

  187. This is why things are becoming extremely dangerous ......

    Whatever Response meets Russian Ships in the Baltic won't be Ukrainian, thus the War has suddenly spread to other Countries, while any Strategist will tell you; if Article 5 is invoked Vladimir Putin will have to launch a preemptive Strike against Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to neutralise NATO elements deployed there. Belorus then has a brutal choice to defend against Poland, the Baltics and secure it's Border with northern Ukraine.

    Romania might be left with no choice but to attack Transnistra in the South while Slovak Troops are mobilised in western Ukraine.

    The proverbial Domino's start to fall very very quickly and you rapidly run out of Fingers to plug the Holes in the Dyke!

    If Reports are true and Putin has used up anything up to a third of his Fighting Force in the Ukraine what form will any preemptive and retaliatory Strikes take? Suffice to say it won't be conventional. Once that Line has been crossed he will have to defend against Nuclear Weapons from Britain so he deploys his Poseidon Weapon against us.

    Because of the geographical Proximities in the Baltic NATO won't have very long to make those Decisions either!

    I find it astonishing how blase People seem to be about all this. "The Guns of August" was the Book Kennedy referred to during the Cuban Missile Crisis because it tells you how quickly Europe descended into World War 1 after a similar Process. Vienna would respond to Serbia, who would have to be supported by Russia (and thus France), while Germany would have to support the Hapsburgs with that "blank Cheque"! The Ottoman Turks begin to mobilise in support of the central Powers and Britain's Commonwealth starts supporting France.

  188. If other Reports are true and Putin is ill and might have to cede Power even temporarily to have Treatment who will his Successor be? Hardliners like Aleksey Zhuravlyov, the deputy chairman of the Kremlin’s defence committee, are jostling for Influence. He's the one who threatened Nuclear Attacks a few days ago, while he isn't exclusive in Russian Politics. Others, like those who suggested he invade Ukraine are also in the ascendancy.

    During the Cuban Missile Crisis there was a very real Fear that Khrushchev had been deposed in a Coup by similar People, while in Russian Terms, is "cede Power because of illness" merely a Euphemism?

  189. While everyone seems rather blase about certain NATO Applications and what that will mean in Moscow, Afghanistan has all but vanished from the publicity Agenda.

    Suffering the worst economic and social Collapse anywhere in the World the Country is wide open for Terrorists even worse than Al Qaida. ISIS detonated a suicide Bomb at Kabul Airport last year - despite the Presence of Taliban Militia. As the Coalition effectively abandoned the Country that Month, and are very unlikely to support Taliban Fighters against them they could probably exert substantial Pressure on the Regime and establish a Caliphate!

    Afghanistan is the Famine+Bankruptcy+Terrorism Disaster waiting to happen.

  190. A Word of Caution .....

    As the War rages you will find a squillion Comments and Opinions, some for, some against, others look like Propaganda for one Combattant at the expense of the other and all things included in that Process.

    Firstly, don't Gloat too much at apparent Ukrainian Victories, however tempting it might seem. There is a Faction in Russian Politics who are increasingly vociferous about the disappointing Result of Putin's "Special Operation". That he shouldn't have broken off his Assault on Kiev, and it should involve invading the whole Country. The curtailing of the Objective towards eastern Ukraine has caused them to criticise the Russian Premiere. These are People who could remove an apparent sickly Putin from Power and call a mass Mobilisation - in other Words all out War, with all that involves and 100s of 1000's being sent to a War that could resemble a Meat Grinder. It also implies removing whatever Constraints applied thus far about how the War should be fought.

    Some Criticism of Joe Biden's Policy towards it.

    This might not necessarily be anti-War Critique and it more Politically motivated. A few conservative Politicals using the War as a Bludgeon to clobber the 'liberal' President with that has little to do with the Morality of it all and more to do with their Political Advancement.

  191. Because Vladimir Putin has done such a thorough Job of insulating himself against an attempted Coup it's felt the only People who could even consider pulling it off would probably be hardliners in the FSB (read; even more autocratic and strict than he is). The sort of People no-one has ever negotiated with either. Despite their mutual Dislike of each other, even Hillary Clinton has negotiated with Mr Putin. Dmitry Medvedev, once touted as a Reformer, has re-emerged as an avid Supporter of Putin's Policy, and joined the Chorus of outspokenness and Rhetoric in its favour.

    The Problem against a Reformer seizing Power is Wealth. In increasingly uncertain times no one in Moscow is going to risk what they have in some Gambit against the Government, while many owe their Wealth to it (including Mr Medvedev).

    Russia's sense of being under siege isn't exclusive to Putin either. Even YouTubers - currently a Bastion of pro-Ukrainianism - make Videos showing the Countries vast post-Soviet Borders, once considerably smaller and easier to defend. Mongolia, once a defacto Client, the central Asian Republics and the Warsaw Pact insulated them from all Comers, and they are nervous at NATO's encroachment east.

    This is why that should never have happened, and why Finland and Sweden Applications for Membership should be greeted with Alarm.

    Forget any Iraq or Libya type Scenes either, where Mr Putin might be hauled from a Hole in the Ground or murdered by a Mob of his own People. Russia is too big for that to happen, while the People themselves fear western Expansionism.

    Historic Factors create that, while more recent Events played to it. In 2015 Moscow announced it was ceasing any Participation in NATO Consultation because they felt it had breached the CFE or Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. This was to insure against that Expansion, while NATO claim the Soviet Element of it no longer exists. A very dangerous and blinkered Example of Hairsplitting if ever I saw one. That's like justifying Hitler's remilitarisation in the mid 1930's because Woodrow Wilson and all the others in Paris in 1918 are no longer in power. It's the Principal of the Treaty that matters, otherwise Hitler could also say that the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires he belonged to no longer exist so he's going to ..... you know the rest!

    Heck, why don't we have a Nuclear Free-for-all because the Soviet Union those Nuclear Weapons Treaties - from Arms limitation to Test ban Treaties - were negotiated with no longer exists! Why doesn't Putin just flood Cuba with medium and short range Nuclear Missiles now Kennedy and Khrushchev are gone? Come to think of it, why doesn't he just invade and reoccupy eastern Germany and Berlin because Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev are no longer in charge? After all, he could split Hairs about the non-existance of West Germany since Reunification.

    Because, for a while everyone remembered why those Treaties exist. What's worrying now is how many of them have since forgotten?

    Everything that has happened (and some of it very recently too) has played into a "I told you so" Attitude from Russian Coffee Houses to the Kremlin. The Failure in the West was to prevent that from taking root!

  192. As for some of these anti-War People, let's not forget that President Biden's former Boss made a big thing about being the anti-War Candidate - obviously wanting to scoop up those AW Votes. While we had nothing quite as obvious as a US led "Coalition of the Willing" charging into further Countries that had been dubbed "Axis of evil", Syria, Libya, Yemen and quite a few others descended into US intrigued Wars during his Presidency. Indeed, some analysts believe more War happened during President Obama than Bush, if such a thing was possible!

    Then Donald Trump, who everyone thought was the Opposition to M.I.C backed Hillary promptly increased Defence spending to the same M.I.C.

    Having said that, while watching Mr Straw (former British Foreign Minister) smugly denounce Trump's Deal with the Taliban no-one asked him why the Taliban still exists.

    If the Soviet Union couldn't defeat and pacify Afghan Fighters in the 1980's with about 110,000 Soldiers what made him and everyone else think they could with the same amount of Troops?

    The thing is, thanks to People like him force feeding us fake WMD Kool Aid - another 125,000 were elsewhere in Iraq!

  193. Thus, the Taliban remained reasonably unscathed, and as we saw, quite capable of sweeping through Afghanistan like a proverbial Dose of Salts. The Scenes in Kabul during the Evacuation were pitiful (and I hope every one of those Soldiers having to do it got some sort of Commendation), while those People should have at least been prepared with Visas long before they finally left.

    The Poseidon Drone ...

    While there might be Commentators who scoff at Russian Threats to use the so called Poseidon Bomb against UK Cities (which won't throw up a "500 Meter Tsunami" as claimed by Russian Media), maybe they'd like to be on whatever Frontline the Weapon is used if it isn't that harmful.

    All Nuclear Weapons are terrible, and so is the reckless Swagger of certain Leaders who seem to think they're immune from them.


  194. Here's something that not only sounds like something from Nazi Germany, it also has horrible similarities with Rwanda .....


    A supposed "humanist" Ukrainian Doctor - sounding more like Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines - in 1993/4 Rwanda, broadcasting Hutu Propaganda refering to Tutsi, moderate Hutu, Belgian and UNAMIR as "Cockroaches" or "Cockroach sympathisers".

    To corroborate the Story here's the same Account from the editorial opposition ....


    Does this tell us something about Ukrainian Attitudes towards ethnic Russians - given the Man in question is supposed to be a "Humanist" and a Health Professional? Does the ethnic Russian Vetenarian in Mariupol who had her Surgery vandalised in 2021 (before the War) have a reciprocal Attitude? Probably not!

    Here's the Link to reiterate her Story .....


    And here's what Human Rights Watch had to say about it


    Here's a tremendous Story by Communications Consultant and award winning Cartoonist Patrick Gathara .....


  195. And the Ripples in NATO's Pond could be felt in Baghdad .....

    If Finland and Sweden do relent to Turkish Pressure and withdraw Support for Kurds - what if they (the Kurds) see this as one Betrayal too many? In a Political balancing act teetering on a Knife Edge the Kurds have substantial Influence in the Iraqi Parliament ....


  196. While there might be some Confirmation of Russian War Crimes, Propaganda being what it is - if that Ukrainian Doctors Attitude is typical - will we start finding out about their equivalent of Gitmo, Abu Graib and the notorious Parwan Detention Facility?

    We might be told about the Bucha Massacre - on 7th of April, but Gennadiy Druzenko announced the Castration of Russian POWs more than 2 Weeks before. It prompts justifiable Questions about Atrocities done by the Ukrainians in that first Month of the War!

  197. While there was the huge War to remove Saddam in 2003, going back to 1991 RAF Squadron Leader John Peters might see a certain Deja Vu about this Story. It tells us about Russian POWs being forced to make Videos denouncing the Government in Moscow and emotional Pleas to their Parents. Beirut Hostages had to do the same thing in the late 1980's.


    But while Saddam was supposed to be the Tyrant of Iraq and the Kidnappers in Lebanon were Terrorists, aren't the Ukrainians supposed to be 'nice, civilised Europeans' aspiring to join NATO and the EU?

  198. In an obvious Attempt at Context Distortion by the usual Suspects in the Social Awareness Boutique here's a YouTube Documentary about the Genocide in Rwanda. It seems to be another example of Christian Bashing, but while they've turned Comments off so you can't ask them anything here's the Link to the Video .....


    Would they like to explain the Story of the Technique Ecole Officielle, and the Role played by that and Vejekoslav Curic (who partially inspired the Father Christopher Character in the Film "Shooting Dogs") in trying to protect 1000's of Tutsi and moderate Hutu's?

  199. 2 Wrongs don't make a Right, but if a supposedly "humanist" Ukrainian Doctor, a professional and intelligent Member of the Countries Middle Class, advocates what the likes of Mengele and other Nazi Frankensteins did, and sounds like a Rwandan Genocide Propagandist is he the Tip of the Iceberg? That his Attitude is typical of Ukrainians generally. That we will hear about Ukrainian Torture Facilities like we did Abu Graib and Parwan?

    His Comments were at least 2 Weeks before Bucha and maybe the Massacre (if done by the Russians at all) was done in Reprisal to something we don't know about yet!