Archive for February, 2022

The 1000-year “Drang nach Osten”—is it over?


What follows is my quick translation of an article by Adventurist that appeared earlier today.

Since we are at a turning point in world history, here are some thoughts. Just thinking out loud, without detailed arguments, graphs and protracted discussions. No time for that!

First, a couple of words about the Ukraine, because it is such a hottest topic. Smart people have been warning the Ukrainians for 20 years. If they did not hear and did not understand, they alone are to blame. I believe that the decisions taken by the Kremlin were correct and timely, and the good results are plain to see. A few more days and the military operation will end with the liquidation of the Comedic Reich, war crimes tribunals, and a complete reset of the Ukrainian project. Part of the Ukrainian regions will sail off in the general direction of eventual integration into Russia. Another part will form a new Ukraine in the form of, formally, a federation, but in fact a confederation. Naturally, its constitution will be written in Moscow, it will sign treaties of eternal friendship with it, it will host permanent Russian military bases, etc. Basically, this should not take much time, except for the re-education of the deluded masses.

And now the important news on the current Western economic attack on Russia and its consequences. The West is striking out very hard and will go on doing so. And the consequences will be catastrophic for us already in the medium term—let us not harbor illusions. The British, on behalf of the entire merry band of thieves, said that they would not rest until they have destroyed the Russian economy—and we should take them at their word. This is an open declaration of war with the goal of the complete destruction of Russia. If we answer civilly and moderately, as we have done before, then Russia will be defeated outright within 3-5 years.

But there is an important consideration. Never—never!—in all 1000 years of East-West confrontation, has the West started a war against Russia from such a weak, vulnerable and I would even say hopeless position. It is just that for some weird reason they are seriously hoping that we will play by their rules and quietly die in a corner.

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The Situation in the Ukraine: Predictions vs. Reality


Last Thursday I reposed my “top ten signs that Russia has invaded the Ukraine” from 8 years ago when the Ukrainian regime change and civil war first started and the West continuously made claims that Russia had invaded. Well, last Thursday Russia did indeed invade.

Russia had the full legal right to invade the Ukraine from several perspectives: to defend its allies in Donetsk and Lugansk; to defend itself against Ukrainian WMDs, which the Ukrainian president threatened to start producing at the Munich Security Conference; and to stop NATO from continuing its advance toward Russian borders in violation of its previous commitment of “not an inch to the east.” Russia exercised its right of self-defense under article 51 of part 7 of the UN Charter. The Ukraine had forfeited its right to territorial integrity under the 1970 UN Declaration by refusing to honor the rights of its Russian-speaking population. It also refused to renew its Friendship Treaty with Russia and therefore no longer had a defined border with Russia that Russia was obligated to honor.

From a strictly legalistic perspective, claims that “Russia violated the Ukraine’s territorial integrity” or that this is “an act of Russian aggression” is just pure twaddle. From a moral perspective, the fact that the entire international community idly stood by and ineffectually discussed politics for eight years during which the civilian population of Donetsk and Lugansk was continuously shelled by the Ukrainian “anti-terrorist operation” is utterly shameful.

People who are now speaking out against Russia’s military action in the Ukraine need to answer a simple question: Where have you been for the last eight years while the carnage in Donetsk and Lugansk was going on, while people were being burned alive in Odessa, while the Ukrainian government organized terrorist operations on Russian territory and while the entire Ukrainian population has been forced to kowtow to Americans and to speak Ukrainian, most often against its will? If your answer is “I didn’t know” then you have forfeited your right to an informed opinion on what’s happening there now. Please keep that in mind and act accordingly.

Now I will go through the 10 predictions I made 8 years ago and see how well they held up in light of events that have unfolded for the past three days. A reasonable expectation would be that I got them completely wrong; if not, then that’s something of a minor miracle. Please keep that in mind also.

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How can you tell whether Russia has invaded Ukraine?


Here’s your chance to check reality against my predictions made 8 years ago.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Last Thursday the Ukrainian government, echoed by NATO spokesmen,  declared that the the Russian military is now operating within Ukraine’s  borders. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t; what do you know? They  said the same thing before, most recently on August 13, and then on  August 17, each time with either no evidence or fake evidence. But let’s  give them the benefit of the doubt.

You be the judge. I put  together this helpful list of top ten telltale signs that will allow you  to determine whether indeed Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday, or  whether Thursday’s announcement is yet another confabulation. (Credit to Roman Kretsul).

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.

1. Ukrainian artillery fell silent almost immediately. They are no  longer shelling residential districts of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is  because their locations had been pinpointed prior to the operation, and  by Thursday afternoon they were completely wiped out using air attacks,  artillery and ground-based rocket fire, as the first order of business.  Local residents are overjoyed that their horrible ordeal is finally at  an end.

2. The look of military activity on the ground in  Donetsk and Lugansk has changed dramatically. Whereas before it involved  small groups of resistance fighters, the Russians operate in battalions  of 400 men and dozens of armored vehicles, followed by convoys of  support vehicles (tanker trucks, communications, field kitchens, field  hospitals and so on). The flow of vehicles in and out is non-stop,  plainly visible on air reconnaissance and satellite photos. Add to that  the relentless radio chatter, all in Russian, which anyone who wants to  can intercept, and the operation becomes impossible to hide. 

 3. The Ukrainian military has promptly vanished. Soldiers and officers  alike have taken off their uniforms, abandoned their weapons, and are  doing their best to blend in with the locals. Nobody thought the odds of  the Ukrainian army against the Russians were any good. Ukraine’s only  military victory against Russia was at the battle of Konotop in 1659,  but at the time Ukraine was allied with the mighty Khanate of Crimea,  and, you may have noticed, Crimea is not on Ukraine’s side this time  around.

4. There are Russian checkpoints everywhere. Local  civilians are allowed through, but anyone associated with a government,  foreign or domestic, is detained for questioning. A filtration system  has been set up to return demobilized Ukrainian army draftees to their  native regions, while the volunteers and the officers are shunted to  pretrial detention centers, to determine whether they had ordered war  crimes to be committed.

5. Most of Ukraine’s border crossings  are by now under Russian control. Some have been reinforced with air  defense and artillery systems and tank battalions, to dissuade NATO  forces from attempting to stage an invasion. Civilians and humanitarian  goods are allowed through. Businessmen are allowed through once they  fill out the required forms (which are in Russian).

6. Russia  has imposed a no-fly zone over all of Ukraine. All civilian flights have  been cancelled. There is quite a crowd of US State Department staffers,  CIA and Mossad agents, and Western NGO people stuck at Borispol airport  in Kiev. Some are nervously calling everyone they know on their  satellite phones. Western politicians are demanding that they be  evacuated immediately, but Russian authorities want to hold onto them  until their possible complicity in war crimes has been determined.

7. The usual Ukrainian talking heads, such as president Poroshenko, PM  Yatsenyuk and others, are no longer available to be interviewed by  Western media. Nobody quite knows where they are. There are rumors that  they have already fled the country. Crowds have stormed their abandoned  residences, and were amazed to discover that they were all outfitted  with solid gold toilets. Nor are the Ukrainian oligarchs anywhere to be  found, except for the warlord Igor Kolomoisky, who was found in his  residence, abandoned by his henchmen, dead from a heart attack.  (Contributed by the Saker.)

8. Some of the over 800,000  Ukrainian refugees are starting to stream back in from Russia. They were  living in tent cities, many of them in the nearby Rostov region, but  with the winter coming they are eager to get back home, now that the  shelling is over. Along with them, construction crews, cement trucks and  flatbeds stacked with pipe, cable and rebar are streaming in, to repair  the damage from the shelling.

9. There is all sorts of intense  diplomatic and military activity around the world, especially in Europe  and the US. Military forces are on highest alert, diplomats are jetting  around and holding conferences. President Obama just held a press  conference to announce that “We don’t have a strategy on Ukraine yet.”  His military advisers tell him that his usual strategy of “bomb a little  and see what happens” is not likely to be helpful in this instance.

10. Kiev has surrendered. There are Russian tanks on the Maidan Square.  Russian infantry is mopping up the remains of Ukraine’s National Guard.  A curfew has been announced. The operation to take Kiev resembled  “Shock and Awe” in Baghdad: a few loud bangs and then a whimper.

Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

The day Russia’s patience ran out


Today’s date, commonly written out as 22.02.2022, will be an easy one for future schoolchildren to remember. Various people will remember it in various ways. The residents of Donetsk and Lugansk, the two formerly Ukrainian, now once again Russian cities that have been subjected to conditions bordering on genocide since the US-instigated government overthrow of 2014 will remember jubilantly dancing in the streets, shooting off lots of fireworks, waving Russian flags and hollering the Russian national anthem. For them, this is the day on which new hope arrived that their eight-year nightmare would soon be over and life would finally return to normal.

The badly informed new German chancellor inadvertently helped to resolve the situation by saying that the idea of a Ukrainian-caused genocide in the Donbass is ridiculous. Given the history of the region, the public spectacle of a German leader using the words “genocide” and “ridiculous” in the same sentence made the moment pregnant with possibilities. Here is the information the seemingly rather dim-witted chancellor was missing. There were 9,282 dead on the Donbass side (70% of them civilians) and 114 children. The dead on the Ukrainian side (the Ukrainian troops and various assorted mercenaries that had been attacking and laying siege to the Donbass since 2014) numbered 20,186. This was prior to the renewed Ukrainian shelling of recent days. There were also over two million Donbass refugees in Russia, more than one million in the Ukraine and around 50 thousand in Belarus.

Most Russians will also remember this day with relief as the day their government finally—finally! after eight literally bloody years!—determined that a negotiated settlement in the Ukraine would simply never happen and that there was no point in waiting any further before going ahead and cleaning it up.

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Putin’s Ukrainian Judo Revisited


Denis Pushilin, leader of Donetsk, has just ordered a full evacuation. Leonid Pasechnik, leader of Lugansk, did the same. In doing so, they did exactly as I expected, and as I predicted. For all those of you who think that Putin is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, perhaps you should avoid thinking and just read my articles!

A bit less than a year ago, on April 18, 2021, I published an article titled “Putin’s Ukrainian Judo” which was reposted on ZeroHedge and TheSaker. I then translated it into Russian and published it on where it was positively savaged for being defeatist. The reason I bring it up now is that in that article I explained that evacuation was the only winning move for the Russian side.

In that article I wrote:

The Ukrainian military has been massing troops and armor along the line of separation while the Russian military has pulled up its forces to their side of the border. Shelling, sniper fire and other provocations from the Ukrainian side are intensifying, with the hope of provoking the Russians into moving forces onto Ukrainian territory, thus allowing the collective West to shout “Aha! Russian aggression!” Then they could put a stop to Nord Stream II pipeline, scoring a major geopolitical victory for Washington and follow that up with plenty of other belligerent moves designed to hurt Russia politically and economically.

For the Russians, there are no good choices that are obvious. Not responding to Ukrainian provocations and doing nothing while they shell and invade the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk, killing Russian citizens who live there, would make Russia look weak, undermine the Russian government’s position domestically and cost it a great deal of geopolitical capital internationally. Responding to Ukrainian provocations with overwhelming military force and crushing the Ukrainian military as was done in Georgia in 2008 would be popular domestically but could potentially lead to a major escalation and possibly an all-out war with NATO. Even if militarily the conflict is contained and NATO forces sit it out, as they did in Georgia, the political ramifications would cause much damage to the Russian economy through tightened sanctions and disruptions to international trade.

Those being the obvious bad choices, what are the obvious good ones, if any? Here, we have to pay careful attention to the official pronouncements Putin has made over the years, and to take them as face value. First, he said that Russia does not need any more territory; it has all the land it could ever want. Second, he said that Russia will follow the path of maximum liberalization in granting citizenship to compatriots and that, in turn, the well-being of Russia’s citizens is a top priority. Third, he said that resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine through military means is unacceptable. Given these constraints, what courses of action remain open?

The answer, I believe, is obvious: evacuation. There are around 3.2 million residents in Donetsk People’s Republic and 1.4 million in Lugansk People’s Republic, for a total of some 4.6 million residents. This may seem like a huge number, but it’s moderate by the scale of World War II evacuations. Keep in mind that Russia has already absorbed over a million Ukrainian migrants and refugees without much of a problem. Also, Russia is currently experiencing a major labor shortage, and an infusion of able-bodied Russians would be most welcome.

Domestically, the evacuation would likely be quite popular: Russia is doing right by its own people by pulling them out of harm’s way. The patriotic base would be energized and the already very active Russian volunteer movement would swing into action to assist the Emergencies Ministry in helping move and resettle the evacuees. The elections that are to take place later this year would turn into a nationwide welcoming party for several million new voters. The Donbass evacuation could pave the way for other waves of repatriation that are likely to follow. There are some 20 million Russians scattered throughout the world, and as the world outside Russia plunges deeper and deeper into resource scarcity they too will want to come home. While they may presently be reluctant to do so, seeing the positive example of how the Donbass evacuees are treated could help change their minds.

The negative optics of surrendering territory can be countered by not surrendering any territory. As a guarantor of the Minsk Agreements, Russia must refuse to surrender the Donbass to the Ukrainian government until it fulfills the terms of these agreements, which it has shown no intention of doing for seven years now and which it has recently repudiated altogether. It is important to note that the Russian military can shoot straight across all of Donbass without setting foot on Ukrainian soil. Should the Ukrainian forces attempt to enter Donbass, they will be dealt with as shown in this instructional video. Note that the maximum range of the Tornado-G system shown in the video is 120km.

And should the Ukrainians care to respond by attacking Russian territory, another one of Putin’s pronouncements helps us understand what would happen next: if attacked, Russia will respond not just against the attackers but also against the centers of decision-making responsible for the attack. The Ukrainian command in Kiev, as well as its NATO advisers, would probably keep this statement in mind when considering their steps.

The Donbass evacuation should resonate rather well internationally. It would be a typical Putin judo move knocking NATO and the US State Department off-balance. Since this would be a large humanitarian mission, it would be ridiculous to attempt to portray it as “Russian aggression.” On the other hand, Russia would be quite within its rights to issue stern warnings that any attempt to interfere with the evacuation or to launch provocations during the evacuation process would be dealt with very harshly, freeing Russia’s hands in dispatching to God the berserkers from the Ukraine’s Nazi battalions, some of whom don’t particularly like to follow orders.

The West would be left with the following status quo. The Donbass is empty of residents but off-limits to them or to the Ukrainians. The evacuation would in no sense change the standing or the negotiating position of the evacuees and their representatives vis-à-vis the Minsk agreements, locking this situation in place until Kiev undertakes constitutional reform, becomes a federation and grants full autonomy to Donbass, or until the Ukrainian state ceases to exist and is partitioned. The Ukraine would be unable to join NATO (a pipe dream which it has stupidly voted into its constitution) since this would violate the NATO charter, given that it does not control its own territory.

Further sanctions against Russia would become even more difficult to justify, since it would be untenable to accuse it of aggression for undertaking a humanitarian mission to protect its own citizens or for carrying out its responsibilities as a guarantor of the Minsk agreements. The Donbass would remain as a stalker zone roamed by Russian battlefield robots sniping Ukrainian marauders, with the odd busload of schoolchildren there on a field trip to lay flowers on the graves of their ancestors. Its ruined Soviet-era buildings, not made any newer by three decades of Ukrainian abuse and neglect, will bear silent witness to the perpetual ignominy of the failed Ukrainian state.

History is as often driven by accident as by logic, but since we cannot predict accidents, logic is the only tool we have in trying to guess the shape of the future. Rephrasing Voltaire, this, then, is the best that we can expect to happen in this the best of all possible worlds.

“What English?” Episode 3


Latest episode of my video series “What English?” is out. Titled “What are these weird noises?” it explains the weird sounds found in English and shows how Russian-speakers can deal with them with a minimum of pain, suffering and fuss.

A Russian invasion for $2.7 billion, please!


The U.S. has committed more than $2.7 billion in military assistance to the Ukraine since 2014. It hasn’t helped; or has it?

Fake news alert: the Americans are flying into the Ukraine crates filled with Chinese-made Russian flags—large and small. The full-size flags are distributed among the Ukrainian armed forces massed in the east of the country, one per vehicle, while bundles of the little ones are prepositioned in the cities and along the highways that lead west. There is no evidence at all that this bit of news isn’t entirely fake; and yet…

Biden has admitted it: “And there is no way we were ever going to unite Ukraine…I mean excuse me Iraq… Afghanistan…” he said. Libya, Syria, whatever. I am glad that he can rattle off US foreign policy fiascos under pressure. It shows that the old guy can still think on his feet. But the initial truthiness outburst is evidence that he is borderline non compos mentis: how dare he speak the truth to a US television audience? That’s grounds for impeachment, isn’t it?

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The Russians are so grateful!


You may be aware of the fact that things aren’t going very well for the United States, but you may not know that things are going quite well for the Russian Federation. You may also think that Russia is an evil force that needs to be contained, or that it is ruled by an evil dictator, or any number of such things while the US is a prosperous democracy and a superpower (whatever that means) but this makes no difference. If you’ve been following recent events, you may be aware that Russia has recently presented the US with something like an ultimatum—demanding that the US provide it with certain security guarantees. But you will probably be quite surprised to learn that the granting of these security guarantees will be automatic as the US continues to collapse and retreat into its hollowed-out, bankrupt shell, its rout from Afghanistan being by no means its last. Nor would you be able to appreciate the fact that the security demands are designed to make America’s retreat from Eurasia maximally humiliating: not only will it retreat, but it will retreat because the Russians ordered it to do so.

Once that retreat takes place, Russia will no doubt be immensely, effusively grateful that America has finally faced up to its responsibilities and did the right thing by getting the hell out of Eurasia, gleefully rubbing salt into America’s wounds. Russia will then joyfully make mincemeat of the Monroe Doctrine, spreading its influence, hand in hand with China, over the American continent, from Argentina to Mexico, leaving the US (whatever remains of it) sulking in its corner eating a pot of glue. But there is a lot more gratitude that’s due for what’s already transpired. In fact, Russia should be thanking the US for all it’s done to make Russia a winner and the US a loser at every opportunity. Let me list just some of the most important examples.

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Episode 2


As an imminent Russian invasion of the Ukraine continues to look less and less plausible in spite of American hysteria, I rest on my laurels as a geopolitical prognosticator and put on my linguist hat to make some more videos for Russian-speaking English aficionados. To be sure, I’ll get back to writing on geopolitics as soon as anything notable happens—more notable, that is, than hot air spewed by political talking heads or movements of minuscule quantities of troops and weapons.

In this episode, I explain how the English language became a creole of mangled French and Latin words in an Anglo-Saxon-Scandinavian-Norman sourdough mix with a continuously mutating disaster instead of a vowel system and an orthography that is seven centuries out-of-date and rotten to begin with. And yet this is the language of international discourse on planet Earth? Give me another globe! There seems to be something wrong with this one.

What English?


While we wait for the geopolitical meat jelly to congeal, here is something completely different. I’ll be publishing a series of videos on  Yandex Zen in Russian on the subject of the English language. If you understand Russian and are interested in English, this is for you!