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US admits Kiev killed Russian journalist Daria Dugina 

But it remains silent about Western possible involvement in the crime

By Lucas Leiroz | October 7, 2022

In a recent article published by The New York Times, it was reported that US intelligence believes Kiev authorized the terrorist attack that murdered Russian journalist and activist Daria Dugina, daughter of the political scientist and philosopher Aleksandr Dugin. With this, the prevailing narrative on the case in the US takes on an accusatory tone against Ukraine, but the silence remains on the connivance of Western countries, which refused to help the Russians to capture those responsible for the attack.

The article cites unidentified sources that confirm the Russian version that Dugina’s death was caused by an intelligence operation planned, authorized, and executed by Kiev’s agents. According to NYT’s sources, information confirming the Ukrainian authorship of the attack was shared among US officials recently, thus corroborating the suspicions previously showed not only by Moscow, but also by many experts around the world. 

The article, however, emphasizes that the operation was conducted exclusively by Ukrainian officials, with no US agents participating. Apparently, American intelligence did not take note of any planned Ukrainian attack and only obtained confirmation about the plans of its Ukrainian partners much later, with the Americans even “admonishing” Kiev for having conducted such a bold operation.

“The United States took no part in the attack, either by providing intelligence or other assistance, officials said. American officials also said they were not aware of the operation ahead of time and would have opposed the killing had they been consulted. Afterward, American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, they said”, the article mentions.

It is curious to observe how the American media has suddenly changed its assertion, after months denying the veracity of the reports published by the Russian government on the case. Some Western journalists even spread conspiracy theories about the possible involvement of the Russian state itself in the attack, trying to create the story that Moscow had planned a false flag operation to justify a military escalation.

Over time, however, the veracity of the Russian explanation of the case became undeniable. Russia did not initiate any escalation in the conflict, which made the false flag plot lose credibility. And the very Ukrainian practice of murdering civilians became so well known that it could no longer be hidden. Thus, for the NYT disseminating this type of content precisely at this time serves American interests perfectly, as a large media vehicle is getting ahead in releasing an “official version” of the facts, preemptively taking control of the narrative.

It is important to emphasize that American intelligence does not act in defense of “press freedom” when it communicates data to the major newspapers. There are always well-defined strategies and clear objectives to be achieved. In this case, the objective is to isolate the blame for the attack in Kiev and to exempt Western countries from any co-responsibility before Russian investigations go even deeper and other data are revealed. Now, any eventual Western involvement could be called a “conspiracy theory”.

However, it is curious to think that there is such a lack of communication between the Ukrainian and American intelligences. The Ukrainian neo-Nazi regime not only serves as a proxy for American interests but is virtually guided by the US in all its decisions, with NATO agents acting among the strategists in Kiev. It is hard to believe that NATO was not even aware that an operation as complex as the one that killed Daria was being planned by its partners.

However, Western contribution to Daria’s assassination goes beyond that. Western countries refused to cooperate with Russia to capture Daria’s murderer even after Moscow published official data on the conclusion of its investigations. Daria’s assassin, the Ukrainian spy, member of the Azov Battalion Natalya Vovk, after committing the crime fled to Estonia and then to Austria. Russia asked for cooperation and asked European authorities to help find the killer but received no response. In fact, this can be interpreted as a form of “participation”, considering that Western countries deliberately prevented Russia from capturing a criminal responsible for the death of a civilian, even though there was sufficient evidence of Vovk’s involvement in the crime.

Now that the Americans have admitted that their proxies killed an innocent civilian – and assuming the narration that the Ukrainians acted alone to be true – the least the Europeans should do is a formal apology and start cooperating so that Ukrainian criminals do not freely cross their borders when they are wanted in other countries. And the US should commit to preventing Kiev from doing anything like that again.

It remains to be seen, however, if the West is really innocent in this case or if this NYT’s publication was just a strategic move to take control of the narrative before something more frightening is revealed in the near future.

Lucas Leiroz is a researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant. You can follow Lucas on Telegram.

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

Lavrov explains why Russia sees Ukraine as a threat

Samizdat | October 7, 2022

A call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for NATO members to deploy nuclear weapons against Russia is a reminder of why Moscow launched military action against his country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

“Yesterday, Zelensky called on his Western masters to deliver a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia,” Moscow’s top diplomat stated during a media conference on Wednesday.

In doing so, the Ukrainian leader “showed to the entire world the latest proof of the threats that come from the Kiev regime.” Lavrov said Russia’s special military operation had been launched to neutralize those threats.

He dismissed as “laughable” an attempt to downplay Zelensky’s words made by his press secretary, Sergey Nikoforov.

“We all remember how [Zelensky] declared in January Ukraine’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Apparently, this idea has long been stuck in his mind,” the Russian minister said.

On Thursday, Zelensky told the Australian Lowy Institute that NATO must carry out preemptive strikes against Russia so that it “knows what to expect” if it uses its nuclear arsenal. He claimed that such action would “eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons,” before recalling how he urged other nations to preemptively punish Russia before it launched its military action against his country.

“I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: Preemptive strikes so that [the Russians] know what will happen to them if they use it, and not the other way around,” he said.

His spokesman then claimed that people interpreting Zelensky’s words as a call for a preemptive nuclear strike were wrong, and that Ukraine would never use such rhetoric.

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

EU must decide where it stands on Ukraine – Kremlin

Samizdat – October 6, 2022

The European Union must decide whether it wants the Ukraine conflict to be resolved diplomatically or in a violent manner, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

Asked to comment on Austria’s reported proposal to host de-escalation talks, Zakharova said Moscow could only contemplate such initiatives after the EU figures out what it stands for regarding Ukraine.

“First of all, the EU should make up its mind about itself,” Zakharova said, urging the EU to decide whether it is pursuing a unified foreign policy or if decisions are handled by individual member states.

Russia, she said, has repeatedly heard “contradicting statements” coming from the EU. Zakharova noted that many supposed initiatives had been put forward by member states and were later retracted or never followed-up on because they were not approved by Brussels.

“Secondly, the EU also needs to make up its mind whether they support the talks [on Ukraine], or the battlefield solution, as [EU foreign policy chief Josep] Borrell had put it,” she said.

Zakharova’s comment comes after Borrell signaled on Wednesday that the EU was ready to seek a “diplomatic solution” to the conflict in Ukraine, but vowing that the bloc would continue to provide Kiev with military and financial support while ramping up pressure on Russia through sanctions.

However, in April Borrell issued a much different statement, claiming then that the conflict in Ukraine “will be won on the battlefield.”

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

During referendums that took place in late September, the two Donbass republics, along with Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions, overwhelmingly voted to join Russia. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with former Ukrainian territories, officially making them part of Russia. Prior to this, the Russian leader vowed to use “all means” necessary to defend the country’s territorial integrity in the face of external threats.

October 6, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 2 Comments

Putin and Clausewitz

Politics By Other Means

By Big Serge | October 5, 2022

With the sole possible exception of the great Sun Tzu and his “Art of War”, no military theorist has had such an enduring philosophical impact as the Prussian General Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz. A participant in the Napoleonic Wars, Clausewitz in his later years dedicated himself to the work that would become his iconic achievement – a dense tome titled simply “Vom Kriege” – On War. The book is a meditation on both military strategy and the socio-political phenomenon of war, which is heavily laced with philosophical rumination. Though On War has had an enduring and indelible impact on the study of military arts, the book itself is at times a rather difficult thing to read – a fact that stems from the great tragedy that Clausewitz was never actually able to finish it. He died in 1831 at the age of only 51 with his manuscript in an unedited disorder; and it fell upon his wife to attempt to organize and publish his papers.

Clausewitz, more than anything, is famous for his aphorisms – “Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult” – and his vocabulary of war, which includes terms such as “friction” and “culmination.” Among all his eminently quotable passages, however, one is perhaps the most famous: his claim that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.”

It is on this claim that I wish to fixate for the moment, but first, it may be worthwhile to read the entirety of Clausewitz’s passage on the subject:

“War is the mere continuation of politics by other means. We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means. All beyond this which is strictly peculiar to War relates merely to the peculiar nature of the means which it uses. That the tendencies and views of policy shall not be incompatible with these means, the Art of War in general and the Commander in each particular case may demand, and this claim is truly not a trifling one. But however powerfully this may react on political views in particular cases, still it must always be regarded as only a modification of them; for the political view is the object, War is the means, and the means must always include the object in our conception.”

On War, Volume 1, Chapter 1, Section 24

Once we cut through Clausewitz’s dense and verbose style, the claim here is relatively simple: war-making always exists in reference to some greater political goal, and it exists on the political spectrum. Politics lies at every point along the axis: war is begun in response to some political need, it is maintained and continued as an act of political will, and it ultimately hopes to achieve political aims. War cannot be separated from politics – indeed, it is the political aspect that makes it war. We may even go further and state that war in the absence of the political superstructure ceases to be war, and instead becomes raw, animalistic violence. It is the political dimension that makes war recognizably distinct from other forms of violence.

Let us contemplate Russia’s war-making in Ukraine in these terms.

Putin the Bureaucrat

It is often the case that the most consequential men in the world are poorly understood in their time – power enshrouds and distorts the great man. This was certainly the case of Stalin and Mao, and it is equally true of both Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Putin in particular is viewed in the west as a Hitlerian demagogue who rules with extrajudicial terror and militarism. This could hardly be farther from the truth.

Almost every aspect of the western caricature of Putin is deeply misguided – though this recent profile by Sean McMeekin comes much closer than most. To begin with, Putin is not a demagogue – he is not a naturally charismatic man, and though he has over time greatly improved his skills as a retail politician, and he is capable of giving impactful speeches when needed, he is not someone who relishes the podium. Unlike Donald Trump, Barack Obama, or even – God forbid – Adolf Hitler, Putin is simply not a natural crowd pleaser. In Russia itself, his imagine is that of a fairly boring but level headed career political servant, rather than a charismatic populist. His enduring popularity in Russia is far more linked to his stabilization of the Russian economy and pension system than it is to pictures of him riding a horse shirtless.

Trust the plan, even when the plan is slow moving and boring

Furthermore, Putin – contrary to the view that he wields unlimited extralegal authority – is rather a stickler for proceduralism. Russia’s government structure expressly empowers a very strong presidency (this was an absolute necessity in the wake of total state collapse in the early 1990’s), but within these parameters Putin is not viewed as a particularly exciting personality prone to radical or explosive decision making. Western critics may claim that there is no ruleof law in Russia, but at the very least, Putin governs by law, with bureaucratic mechanisms and procedures forming the superstructure within which he acts.

This was made vividly apparent in recent days. With Ukraine advancing on multiple fronts, a fresh cycle of doom and triumph was set in motion: pro-Ukrainian figures exult in the apparent collapse of the Russian army, while many in the Russian camp bemoan leadership which they conclude must be criminally incompetent. With all of this underway on the military side, Putin has calmly ushered the annexation process through its legal mechanisms – first holding referendums, then signing treaties on entry in the Russian Federation with the four former Ukrainian oblasts, which were then sent to the State Duma for ratification, followed by the Federation Council, followed again by signature and verification by Putin. As Ukraine throws its summer accumulations into the fight, Putin appears to be mired in paperwork and procedure. The treaties were even reviewed by the Russian constitutional court, and deadlines were set to end the Ukrainian hryvnia as legal tender and replace it with the ruble.

This is a strange spectacle. Putin is plodding his way through the boring legalities of annexation, seemingly deaf to the chorus which is shouting at him that his war is on the verge of total failure. The implacable calm radiating – at least publicly – from the Kremlin seems at odds with events at the front.

So, what really is going on here? Is Putin truly so detached from events on the ground that he is unaware that his army is being defeated? Is he planning to use nuclear weapons in a fit of rage? Or could this be, as Clausewitz says, the mere continuation of politics by other means?

Expeditionary War

Of all the phantasmagorical claims that have been made about the Russo-Ukrainian War, few are as difficult to believe as the claim that Russia intended to conquer Ukraine with fewer than 200,000 men. Indeed, a central truth of the war that observers simply must come to grasps with is the fact that the Russian army has been badly outnumbered from day one, despite Russia having an enormous demographic advantage over Ukraine itself. On paper, Russia has committed an expeditionary force of less than 200,000 men, though of course that full amount has not been on the frontline in active combat lately.

The light force deployment is related to Russia’s rather unique service model, which has combined “contract soldiers” – the professional core of the army – with a reservist pool that is generated with an annual conscription wave. Russia consequentially has a two-tiered military model, with a world class professional ready force and a large pool of reserve cadres that can be dipped into, augmented with auxiliary forces like BARS (volunteers), Chechens, and LNR-DNR militia.

This two-tiered, mixed service model reflects, in some ways, the geostrategic schizophrenia that plagued post-Soviet Russia. Russia is an enormous country with potentially colossal, continent spanning security commitments, which inherited a Soviet legacy of mass. No country has ever demonstrated a capacity for wartime mobilization on a scale to match the USSR. The transition from a Soviet mobilization scheme to a smaller, leaner, professional ready force was part and parcel of Russia’s neoliberal austerity regime throughout much of the Putin years.

It is important to understand that military mobilization, as such, is also a form of political mobilization. The ready contract force required a fairly low level of political consensus and buy-in from the bulk of the Russian population. This Russian contract force can still accomplish a great deal, militarily speaking – it can destroy Ukrainian military installations, wreak havoc with artillery, bash its way into urban agglomerations in the Donbas, and destroy much of Ukraine’s indiginous war-making potential. It cannot, however, wage a multi-year continental war against an enemy which outnumbers it by at least four to one, and which is sustained with intelligence, command and control, and material which are beyond its immediate reach – especially if the rules of engagement prevent it from striking the enemy’s vital arteries.

More force deployment is needed. Russia must transcend the neoliberal austerity army. It has the material capacity to mobilize the needed forces – it has many millions in its reservist pool, enormous inventories of equipment, and indigenous production capacity undergirded by the natural resources and production potential of the Eurasian bloc that has closed ranks around it. But remember – military mobilization is also political mobilization.

The Soviet Union was able to mobilize tens of millions of young men to blunt, swamp, and eventually annihilate the German land army because it wielded two powerful political instruments. The first was the awesome and far reaching power of the Communist Party, with its ubiquitous organs. The second was the truth – German invaders had come with genocidal intent (Hitler at one point mused that Siberia could be turned into a Slav reservation for the survivors, which could be bombed periodically to remind them who was in charge).

Putin lacks a coercive organ as powerful as the Communist Party, which had both astonishing material power and a compelling ideology which promised to bring about an accelerated path to non-capitalist modernity. Indeed, no country today has a political apparatus like that splendid communist machine, save perhaps China and North Korea. So, in the absence of a direct lever to create political – and hence military – mobilization, Russia must find an alternative route to creating a political consensus to wage a higher form of war.

This has now been accomplished, courtesy of western Russophobia and Ukraine’s penchant for violence. A subtle, but profound transformation of the Russian socio-political body is underway.

Creating Consensus

Putin and those around him conceived of the Russo-Ukrainian War in existential terms from the very beginning. It is unlikely, however, that most Russians understood this. Instead, they likely viewed the war the same way Americans viewed the war in Iraq and Ukraine – as a justified military enterprise that was nevertheless merely a technocratic task for the professional military; hardly a matter of life and death for the nation. I highly doubt that any American ever believed that the fate of the nation hinged on the war in Afghanistan (Americans have not fought an existential war since 1865), and judging by the recruitment crisis plaguing the American military, it does not seem like anyone perceives a genuine foreign existential threat.

What has happened in the months since February 24 is rather remarkable. The existential war for the Russian nation has been incarnated and made real for Russian citizens. Sanctions and anti-Russian propaganda – demonizing the entire nation as “orcs” – has rallied even initially skeptical Russians behind the war, and Putin’s approval rating has soared. A core western assumption, that Russians would turn on the government, has reversed. Videos showing the torture of Russian POWs by frothing Ukrainians, of Ukrainian soldiers calling Russian mothers to mockingly tell them their sons are dead, of Russian children killed by shelling in Donetsk, have served to validate Putin’s implicit claim that Ukraine is a demon possessed state that must be exorcised with high explosives. Amidst all of this – helpfully, from the perspective of Alexander Dugin and his neophytes – American pseudo-intellectual “Blue Checks” have publicly drooled over the prospect of “decolonizing and demilitarizing” Russia, which plainly entails the dismemberment of the Russian state and the partitioning of its territory. The government of Ukraine (in now deleted tweets) publicly claimed that Russians are prone to barbarism because they are a mongrel race with Asiatic blood mixing.

Simultaneously, Putin has moved towards – and ultimately achieved – his project of formal annexation of Ukraine’s old eastern rim. This has also legally transformed the war into an existential struggle. Further Ukrainian advances in the east are now, in the eyes of the Russian state, an assault on sovereign Russian territory and an attempt to destroy the integrity of the Russian state. Recent polling shows that a supermajority of Russians support defending these new territories at any cost.

All domains now align. Putin and company conceived of this war from the beginning as an existential struggle for Russia, to eject an anti-Russian puppet state from its doorstep and defeat a hostile incursion into Russian civilizational space. Public opinion is now increasingly in agreement with this (surveys show that Russian distrust of NATO and “western values” have skyrocketed), and the legal framework post-annexation recognizes this as well. The ideological, political, and legal domains are now united in the view that Russia is fighting for its very existence in Ukraine. The unification of the technical, ideological, political, and legal dimensions was, just moments ago, described by the head of Russia’s communist party, Gennady Zyuganov:

“So, the President signed decrees on the admission of the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions into Russia. Bridges are burned . What was clear from the moral and statist points of view has now become a legal fact: on our land there is an enemy, he kills and maims the citizens of Russia. The country demands the most decisive action to protect compatriots. Time does not wait.”

A political consensus for higher mobilization and greater intensity has been achieved. Now all that remains is the implementation of this consensus in the material world of fist and boot, bullet and shell, blood and iron.

A Brief History of Military Force Generation

One of the peculiarities of European history is the truly shocking extent to which the Romans were far ahead of their time in the sphere of military mobilization. Rome conquered the world largely because it had a truly exceptional mobilization capacity, for centuries consistently generating high levels of mass military participation from the male population of Italy. Caesar brought more than 60,000 men to the Battle of Alesia when he conquered Gaul – a force generation that would not be matched for centuries in the post-Roman world.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, state capacity in Europe deteriorated rapidly. Royal authority in both France and Germany was curtailed as the aristocracy and urban authorities grew in power. Despite the stereotype of despotic monarchy, political power in the middle ages was highly fragmented, and taxation and mobilization were highly localized. The Roman capacity to mobilize large armies that were centrally controlled and financed was lost, and warfare became the domain of a narrow fighting class – the petty gentry, or knights.

Consequentially, medieval European armies were shockingly small. At pivotal English-French battles like Agincourt and Crecy, English armies numbered less than 10,000, and the French no more than 30,000. The world historical Battle of Hastings – which sealed the Norman conquest of Britain – pitted two armies of fewer than 10,000 men against each other. The Battle of Grunwald – in which a Polish-Lithuanian coalition defeated the Teutonic Knights – was one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe and still featured two armies that numbered at most 30,000.

European mobilization powers and state capacity were shockingly low in this era compared to other states around the world. Chinese armies routinely numbered in the low hundreds of thousands, and the Mongols, even with significantly lower bureaucratic sophistication, could field 80,000 men.

The situation began to shift radically as intensified military competition – in particular the savage 30 years’ war – forced European states to at last begin a shift back towards centralized state capacity. The model of military mobilization shifted at last from the servitor system – where a small, self-funded military class provided military service – to the fiscal military state, where armies were raised, funded, directed, and sustained through the fiscal-bureaucratic systems of centralized governments.

Through the early modern period, military service models acquired a unique admixture of conscription, professional service, and the servitor system. The aristocracy continued to provide military service in the emerging officer corps, while conscription and impressment were used to fill out the ranks. Notably, however, conscripts were inducted into very long terms of service. This reflected the political needs of monarchy in the age of absolutism. The army was not a forum for popular political participation in the regime – it was an instrument for the regime to defend itself from both foreign enemies and peasant jacqueries. Therefore, conscripts were not rotated back into society. It was necessary to turn the army into a distinct social class with some element of remoteness from the population at large – this was a professional military institution that served as an internal bulwark of the regime.

The rise of nationalistic regimes and mass politics allowed the scale of armies to increase much further. Governments in the late 19th century now had less to fear from their own populations than did the absolute monarchies of the past – this changed the nature of military service and at last returned Europe to the system that the Romans had in millennia past. Military service was now a form of mass political participation – this allowed for conscripts to be called up, trained, and rotated back into society – the reserve cadre system that characterized armies in both of the world wars.

In sum, the cycle of military mobilization systems in Europe is a mirror of the political system. Armies were very small during the era where there was little to no mass political participation with the regime. Rome fielded large armies because there was significant political buy-in and a cohesive identity in the form of Roman citizenship. This allowed Rome to generate high military participation, even in the Republican era where the Roman state was very small and bureaucratically sparse. Medieval Europe had fragmented political authority and an extremely low sense of cohesive political identity, and consequently its armies were shockingly small. Armies began to grow in size again as the sense of national identity and participation grew, and it is no coincidence that the largest war in history – the Nazi-Soviet War – was fought between two regimes that had totalizing ideologies that generated an extremely high level of political participation.

That brings us to today. In the 21st century, with its interconnectedness and crushing availability of both information and misinformation, the process of generating mass political – and hence military – participation is much more nuanced. No country wields a totalizing utopian vision, and it is inarguable that the sense of national cohesion is significantly lower now than it was one hundred years ago.

Putin, very simply, could not have conducted a large scale mobilization at the onset of the war. He possessed neither a coercive mechanism nor the manifest threat to generate mass political support. Few Russians would have believed that there was some existential threat lurking in the shadow – they needed to be shown, and the west has not disappointed. Likewise, few Russians would likely have supported the obliteration of Ukrainian infrastructure and urban utilities in the opening days of the war. But now, the only vocal criticism of Putin within Russia is on the side of further escalation. The problem with Putin, from the Russian perspective, is that he has not gone far enough. In other words – mass politics have already moved ahead of the government, making mobilization and escalation politically trivial. Above all, we must remember that Clausewitz’s maxim remains true. The military situation is merely a subset of the political situation, and military mobilization is also political mobilization – a manifestation of society’s political participation in the state.

Time and Space

Ukraine’s offensive phase continues on multiple fronts. They are pushing into northern Lugansk, and after weeks of banging their heads against a wall in Kherson, they have finally made territorial progress. Yet, just today, Putin said that it is necessary to conduct medical examinations of the children in the newly admitted oblasts and rebuild school playgrounds. What is going on? Is he totally detached from events at the front?

There are really only two ways to interpret what is happening. One is the western spin: the Russian army is defeated and depleted and is being driven from the field. Putin is deranged, his commanders are incompetent, and Russia’s only card left to play is to throw drunk, untrained conscripts into the meat grinder.

The other is the interpretation that I have advocated, that Russia is massing for a winter escalation and offensive, and is currently engaged in a calculated trade wherein they give up space in exchange for time and Ukrainian casualties. Russia continues to retreat where positions are either operationally compromised or faced with overwhelming Ukrainian numbers, but they are very careful to extract forces out of operational danger. In Lyman, where Ukraine threatened to encircle the garrison, Russia committed mobile reserves to unblock the village and secure the withdrawal of the garrison. Ukraine’s “encirclement” evaporated, and the Ukrainian interior ministry was bizarrely compelled to tweet (and then delete) video of destroyed civilian vehicles as “proof” that the Russian forces had been annihilated.

Russia will likely continue to pull back over the coming weeks, withdrawing units intact under their artillery and air umbrella, grinding down Ukrainian heavy equipment stocks and wearing away their manpower. Meanwhile, new equipment continues to congregate in Belgorod, Zaporizhia, and Crimea. My expectation remains the same: episodic Russian withdrawal until the front stabilizes roughly at the end of October, followed by an operational pause until the ground freezes, followed by escalation and a winter offensive by Russia once they have finished amassing sufficient units.

There is an eerie calm radiating from the Kremlin. Mobilization is underway – 200,000 men are currently undergoing refresher training at ranges around Russia. Trainloads of military equipment continue to flood across the Kerch bridge, but Ukraine’s offensive plods on with no Russian reinforcements to be seen at the front. The disconnect between the Kremlin’s stoicism and the deterioration of the front are striking. Perhaps Putin and the entire Russian general staff really are criminally incompetent – perhaps the Russian reserves really are nothing but a bunch of drunks. Perhaps there is no plan.

Or perhaps, Russia’s sons will answer the call of the motherland again, as they did in 1709, in 1812, and in 1941.

As the wolves once more prowl at the door, the old bear rises again to fight.

October 5, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Roger Waters says he’s on Ukrainian ‘kill list’

Samizdat – October 4, 2022

British rock star Roger Waters, a co-founder of Pink Floyd, has allegedly been placed on a Ukrainian “kill list” after speaking out against Western military meddling and calling on Kiev to make peace with Russia.

In an interview with Rolling Stone published on Tuesday, the 79-year-old pushed back against accusations that he’s been repeating Russian talking points about the conflict in Ukraine. “Don’t forget, I’m on a kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government. I’m on the fu**ing list, and they’ve killed people recently… When they kill you, they write ‘liquidated’ across your picture. Well, I’m one of those fu**ing pictures.”

Waters gave the example of Darya Dugina, the Russian journalist murdered in August after appearing on the Ukrainian Mirotvorets list. As the musician noted, her entry on the list was marked “liquidated” after she was killed in a car-bombing. Others who have questioned or criticized the Kiev regime, such as photojournalists Andrea Rocchelli of Italy and Andrei Stenin of Russia, have also been killed after appearing on the Mirotvorets list. The site lists personal information on its blacklist targets, which also include politicians and NGO activists.

Mirotvorets, or “Peacemaker,” is an independent database of individuals whom anonymous moderators consider to be threats to Ukrainian national security. The site denies being a kill list; rather, it claims to be a source of information for law-enforcement agencies and “special services” about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists and war criminals, among others. It allegedly has links to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.

Waters stirred backlash earlier this year, when he suggested that US President Joe Biden was a “war criminal” for fueling the Ukraine crisis and sent an open letter to the wife of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, urging her to help “stop the slaughter” by pushing for a negotiated peace deal with Russia. He later sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for guarantees that Russia wouldn’t expand beyond Crimea and the Donbass region.

Pressed by Rolling Stone on why he isn’t supportive of Ukraine’s resistance against Russian forces, Waters said, “Because it’s an unnecessary war, and those people should not be dying. And Russia should not have been encouraged to invade Ukraine.” He also dismissed reports of Russian war crimes in Ukraine as Western propaganda.

Two concerts that Waters had scheduled for next April in Krakow, Poland, may be canceled because of his push for a negotiated peace in Ukraine, the musician said late last month. “Draconian censoring of my work will deny them the opportunity to make up their own minds,” he said of his Polish audiences.

The wide-ranging Mirotvorets kill list also includes Faina Savenkova, a 13-year-old girl in the Lugansk People’s Republic who called for the United Nations to end the fighting that has dragged on in her region since 2014.

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Belgrade Says Kiev Silent on NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia While Calling to Sanction Russia

Samizdat – 04.10.2022

Kiev has never demanded that sanctions be imposed or a trial be held for those involved in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, but at the same time demands punishment for Russia for its military operation in Ukraine, Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Tuesday.

Earlier in October, Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Tolkach told the N1 broadcaster that Kiev didn’t understand Belgrade’s position on sanctions against Russia and urged Serbia to join the Western policy regarding Moscow.

“Dozens of Serbian boys and girls were killed during the NATO bombing. I cannot recall Ukraine’s demand that a special meeting of the UN Security Council be held or sanctions be imposed on the aggressor against Serbia. It is not too late for Ukraine and all countries demanding trial for crimes in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, to demand a trial of the murderers of Serbian children during the NATO aggression,” Vulin was quoted as saying by the Serbian Interior Ministry.

In addition, the official recalled Russia’s principled and consistent support for Serbia’s territorial integrity.

“Russia will never change its position on the false ‘state’ of Kosovo. And no statement or step by Russian officials is aimed at the opposite, just as no statement or step by EU or US officials is aimed at withdrawing the recognition of [the independence of] Kosovo or respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity,” Vulin said.

On February 24, Russia began a military operation in Ukraine responding to calls for help from the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. Western countries responded by imposing comprehensive sanctions against Moscow while also ramping up their military and financial support for Kiev. Serbia is among the countries maintaining a neutral position on the issue and not joining most restrictions on Moscow despite growing pressure from Brussels and Washington.

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Kiev Offers Biden Targeting Control, Seeks Longer Range Weapons

By Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman | The Libertarian Institute | October 3, 2022

The Ukrainian government is prepared to give the Joe Biden administration virtual control over its selection of Russian targets. Kiev made the proposal in a bid to receive longer-range weapons from the White House, according to multiple sources speaking with CNN.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will provide a full list of possible targets while allowing the White House to veto any of the potential sites. Kiev is hoping the increased transparency will pave the path to Biden authorizing more weapons transfers. Zelensky made the offer to Washington to alleviate concerns in the Biden administration that new weapons will be used to target Russian territory.

However, Kiev, Washington and Moscow currently have different views on what is Russian versus Ukrainian territory. After a 2014 coup in Ukraine that saw US-backed elements overthrow a democratically elected government, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula. Last week, Moscow claimed four additional regions of Ukraine as its own.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to defend all of his country’s territory with the full arsenal at his disposal. The Kremlin stated that it considers its newly added regions as it would the rest of Russia. On Sunday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged the possibility that Putin could order a nuclear strike in Ukraine, defending these new regions. The Pentagon chief then vowed Washington would support Kiev’s “efforts” for “as long as it takes” to “take back all of the territories” within its “sovereign borders.”

Concurrently, Moscow claims there has been an increase in Ukrainian attacks within Russia proper, encouraged by NATO. During a recent press conference, Putin publicly noted, for the first time, attempted Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s nuclear power plants.

The US has provided Ukraine with 16 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), and authorized sending over a dozen more to Kiev in an arms package last week. So far, the White House has only sent Ukraine with munitions for HIMARS that can travel 50 miles. Kiev is seeking Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) surface-to-surface missiles that can fly around 200 miles by the HIMARS. When the Biden administration began providing HIMARS to Ukraine, it was insisted that Kiev had provided “assurances” that these weapons would not be used to target Russian territory. In June, Antiwar.com contacted the State Department to ask if this condition applied to the Crimean Peninsula, a department spokesman replied “Crimea is Ukraine.”

The White House has made clear that they will not recognize the new Russian territories, and NATO has said they will escalate their support for the proxy war.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has previously said that if the West provides Kiev with longer-range weapons, then the Kremlin would expand its war goals in Ukraine. In July, Lavrov wrote an article claiming NATO was already on the battlefield coordinating attacks on Russian targets using the rocket systems. NATO instructors and Multiple Launch Rocket Systems aimers are, apparently, already directing the actions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and nationalist battalions on the ground,” Lavrov said.

In addition to the CIA presence on the ground in Ukraine, NATO commandos from Lithuania, Canada, Britain, and France are also present. Notably, there are several Donald Trump-aligned Republicans in the legislature, including Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) eager to “[go] for the kill” and overtly deploy American military advisors to Ukraine. Former US special operators are already on the ground near the contact line, training Kiev’s forces and developing battle plans.

Harry Kazianis wrote in Responsible Statecraft that in multiple war game simulations, Washington sending advanced weapons led to nuclear war.

I have fought more than thirty combat simulations in wargames under my own direction for a private defense contract… In every scenario I tested, the Biden Administration slowly gives Ukraine ever more advanced weapons like ATACMS, F-16s, and other platforms that Russia has consistently warned pose a direct military threat… In fact, in 28 of the thirty scenarios I have run since the war began, some sort of nuclear exchange occurs.

Kazianis does report that in some of the war games, diplomacy, rather than escalation prevailed, and nuclear conflict was averted.

The good news is there is a way out of this crisis — however imperfect it may be. In the two scenarios where nuclear war was averted, direct negotiations led to a ceasefire. The Biden Administration and its NATO allies should be testing Putin’s recent comments about a ceasefire to test his seriousness.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, America’s top diplomat, has declared Washington’s goal is to see Russia suffer a “strategic defeat” in Ukraine. During the war, he spoke to Lavrov once and for only 25 minutes, they merely discussed a potential bilateral prisoner exchange. Likewise, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has ruled out diplomacy until Moscow is “defeated.”

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

Foreign Ministry spokesman: Reports about Iran delivering drones to Russia ‘baseless’

Press TV – October 3, 2022

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has rejected Western media reports about Iran sending combat drones to Russia to be used in the Ukraine war as “baseless.”

Nasser Kan’ani made the remark on Monday in reaction to Western media reports and statements by Ukrainian officials that Russian army is using Iranian drones in its war with Ukraine.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers reports about delivering drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war ‘baseless’ and does not confirm them,” he said.

“Since the beginning of the conflict, we have voiced our principled and clear policy of active neutrality and opposition to war, while stressing the need for the two sides to solve their problems through political means free from violence,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Kan’ani noted that during the past months and in numerous contacts and meetings with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, the Iranian foreign minister has highlighted the necessity of settling differences through peaceful means and via dialogue, and has declared Tehran’s readiness to help with this process.

On Monday, the Ukrainian military repeated allegations that Russia has used Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones to attack the Mykolaiv region recently and claimed that its Air Force has shot down five out of seven unmanned aerial vehicles.

Iran has in the past rejected the claims about its plan to sell “hundreds” of the drones to Moscow and train Russian pilots on how to use them, saying the country will not assist either side of the war.

On July 11, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claimed Washington had received “information” indicating that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Late last month, Ukraine announced that it would withdraw accreditation of the Iranian ambassador and significantly reduce the number of diplomatic staff at the Iranian embassy in Kiev over what it called Tehran’s “unfriendly” decision to supply Russian forces with drones.

In response to Ukraine’s decision, Kan’ani said the decision was “based on unconfirmed reports and resulted from media hype by foreign sides,” stressing that Iran would take a “proportional action” in this regard.

Russia began a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, saying it was aimed at “demilitarizing” the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

Elon Musk suggests Ukraine peace plan

Samizdat | October 3, 2022

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proposed a plan to end the conflict in Ukraine. The billionaire suggested that new elections be held in the four regions that recently voted to join Russia, while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and relinquish its claim to Crimea.

Musk posted an outline of his plan on Twitter on Monday, suggesting that Russia “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” with Moscow withdrawing from these areas if voters choose.

Crimea would be declared “formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783,” until Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gifted the peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.

Musk, whose text messages revealed him to be an occasional reader of RT, called Khrushchev’s decision a “mistake.”

The billionaire then suggested that Ukraine commit to neutrality – as Russia had requested long before it launched its military operation in February – and guarantee the supply of water to Crimea. Ukraine shut down the supply in 2014 after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin the Russian Federation. Shortly after the launch of Russia’s operation in Ukraine, the supply was restored.

“This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end,” Musk commented on his suggestion, adding that it is “just a question of how many people die before then.”

The plan is unlikely to find fans in Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed not to negotiate with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and to seize the entirety of the territory Kiev claims as its own – including the Donbass republics and Crimea – by force. Furthermore, Zelensky sent an application for membership to the NATO alliance last week.

Residents of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye would likely vote in overwhelming numbers to join Russia if the recent referendums in these territories were held again. All of these regions have a high percentage of Russian speakers and have historically voted for pro-Russian candidates while part of Ukraine.

However, Putin has already signed treaties to accede these territories into the Russian Federation, and has vowed to defend them with Russia’s full military capabilities.

At the time of writing, nearly 60% of respondents on Twitter backed Musk’s idea. That ratio is likely to change, however, as pro-Ukrainian Twitter users in the comments have called on ‘#NAFO’ trolls to swing the poll in their favor. In a follow-up post, Musk said that “the bot attack on this poll is strong!”

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Kiev’s counter attacks on Kherson have failed – top official

Samizdat | October 3, 2022

Attempts by Ukrainian forces to break through Russia’s defenses in Kherson Region have been thwarted, the deputy head of the local administration, Kirill Stremousov, has said.

In a Telegram post on Monday, Stremousov stated that “everything is under control in the Nikolayev direction,” despite Kiev’s efforts to retake the region. He noted that Ukraine’s forces had advanced southward along the Dnieper River to the village of Dudchany before “taking a beating” from Russian Aerospace Forces.

The official admitted that the Ukrainians were able to advance a little bit, but noted that the region’s defense systems were working and that “at the moment, the situation is completely under control.”

Stremousov concluded by urging people not to give in to panic because of what they hear and read on social media. “This is not Kharkov, this is not [Krasny] Liman, we are holding the fence,” he proclaimed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has also confirmed repelling the attack, stating that over 400 Ukrainian servicemen, 43 tanks and 89 units of special military equipment were eliminated in the Nikolayev-Krivoy Rog area.

The announcement comes as Kiev’s forces have mounted large-scale offensives along several points of engagement with Russia. On Saturday, Russian troops were forced to withdraw from their defensive positions in the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic after they were nearly encircled by Ukrainian forces, which had brought in reserves and reached a “considerable superiority in men and material.”

It has been noted, however, that the Ukrainian side has been suffering significant casualties in the offensive, having reportedly lost over 500 soldiers (200 dead, 320 injured), as well as ten tanks and 25 infantry fighting vehicles during the attack on Krasny Liman, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Kiev’s offensive comes after President Vladimir Putin signed treaties on the accession of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Russian-held regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, into the Russian Federation on Friday. The move came after the four territories overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining Russia in referendums held between September 23 and 27.

Ukraine and Western nations have refused to recognize the results of the referendums and have vowed to never acknowledge the regions as being part of Russia.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Ukrainian shelling of refugee convoy leaves 24 people dead – local authorities

Samizdat | September 30, 2022

At least 24 people were killed and 36 wounded when Ukrainian forces struck a refugee convoy on Friday, Vladimir Rogov, a senior Russian-appointed official in Zaporozhye Region, has said.

Rogov wrote on Telegram that the attack targeted a convoy of cars that was traveling from Ukrainian-controlled territory to Zaporozhye Region, which declared independence from Kiev and was recognized as a separate state by Russia on Thursday.

“It happened at a car market on the Orekhovskoe highway where convoys are being formed to enter the region,” he wrote.

“24 people, including 11 men and 13 women were killed, 36 were wounded including a child,” the official said.

According to Rogov, the people, who were targeted, had protested and blocked roads earlier this week, demanding that Ukrainian authorities allow them to enter the Russian-held part of the region. “After that they were approached by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the police, who openly threatened them and said that they’ll be sorry for what they were doing,” he wrote.

The head of the administration accused Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky of “trying to take revenge on the residents of Zaporozhye Region after they chose to join Russia during the referendum” by ordering the strike.

Rogov insisted the Ukrainian attack on the convoy was carried out with the aim of pinning the blame on Russia.

Kiev’s governor of Zaporozhye Region claimed that Russian forces were behind the shelling. While the head of a Ukrainian bomb disposal unit, police colonel Sergey Ujryumov told Reuters that the Russians “know that columns are formed here to go to the occupied territories… It’s not a coincidental strike. It’s perfectly deliberate.” According to Ujryumov, S-300 missiles were used in the attack on the convoy.

Voting on joining Russia ended in Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as well as in the two republics in Donbass on Monday, with residents in all territories overwhelmingly supporting the move. The official ceremony, in which President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign treaties on incorporating the new areas into the Russian state, is scheduled to take place in Moscow later on Friday.

A similar attack by Ukrainian forces happened in the eastern region of Kharkov on Thursday. At least 30 people, including children, were killed after a convoy of refugees, which tried to enter the People’s Republic of Lugansk, came under intense artillery bombardment, LPR authorities said.

September 30, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

IS RUSSIA REALLY LOSING IN UKRAINE?

By Drago Bosnic | September 29, 2022

After Russia launched its counteroffensive against NATO aggression, the state and corporate-run mainstream media of the political West started spreading multiple false narratives about it. One of the most common themes was that the Russian military supposedly “failed” because the Kiev regime didn’t collapse in a matter of days.

In the following months, especially after the Russian forces withdrew from northern areas of Ukraine, this was used to further reinforce the narrative that the Russian military was somehow “defeated”. However, the truth lies in the Russian military and geopolitical nomenclature regarding the events in Ukraine. While the political West is unanimous in calling it “an unprovoked, brutal invasion”, the Russian side calls it a special military operation.

Although the wording may seem irrelevant, it does have serious implications. The whole operation has been limited from the start. As Russian President Vladimir Putin himself stated, Moscow didn’t really show more than a fraction of its capabilities. And indeed, given the number of Russian troops initially engaged in the special military operation, which was approximately 100-150 thousand, versus more than 200,000 troops of the Kiev regime, it’s clear that Moscow never expected to take control of the entire territory of Ukraine. In addition, the Kiev regime forces exponentially grew in size after the forced mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men. And although Western media are trying to downplay it, multiple estimates put the number of conscripted personnel anywhere between several hundred thousand and nearly a million soldiers.

For its part, Russia decided not to increase the number of troops engaged in the special military operation. What’s more, with troop rotation, the true number of Russian soldiers actively engaged in combat operations was much lower, most likely standing between 50 and 100 thousand, stretching for well over a thousand kilometers from the northern areas of the Kharkov, through Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions all the way to the Black Sea coast. These forces have consistently been outnumbered by the Kiev regime troops for over 7 months now and have stood their ground.

And although this could be attributed to the Russian military’s vast technological and numerical superiority, especially in terms of artillery and air dominance, it can only be considered a remarkable achievement from a purely military standpoint. This also explains the Kiev regime’s reaction to Moscow’s recent low-level mobilization announcement, which will increase the number of Russian troops engaged in the special military operation by 300,000, pushing the total to well over 400,000 soldiers.

As per usual, the mainstream media in the United States and other countries of the political West have been trying to portray this as a sign of Russia’s supposed “weakness”. However, the Pentagon’s and NATO’s reaction speaks volumes of how the political West really feels about the mobilization. With Western Military Industrial Complexes already working at maximum capacity to supply the Kiev regime forces with additional weapons, having a twofold or threefold increase in the number of Russian troops is the last thing they needed (at least in the short term). If the Russian military was able to conduct successful offensive operations for months, while being outnumbered, what could one expect when Moscow decides to exponentially increase the size of its forces engaged in the special military operation?

In the meantime, the Western press and other media are constructing the narrative that millions of Russian men are supposedly trying to flee the country in order to avoid mobilization. Naturally, they are ignoring the fact that the Russian Ministry of Defense registered nearly 900,000 requests for joining the armed forces, with many regions and federal subjects in the country providing several times more troops than they’re required to. The most prominent example of this is Chechnya, which overshot its mobilization quota by over 250%. And yet, the Western media keep insisting that there’s supposed “widespread opposition to Putin’s war”. In reality, the fact that the Russian police arrested several hundred protesters in a country of approximately 150 million shows just how truly “widespread” the opposition to mobilization is.

Expectedly, the propaganda war isn’t only limited to the supposed “failures” of the Russian military, but also its leadership. Recent speculation that Vladimir Putin is ill, on the verge of death or losing power, while ignoring the rapidly deteriorating mental and physical health of Joe Biden serves as a testament to that. To make matters worse, the attempts by the so-called “fact-checkers” to whitewash Biden’s string of dementia-induced gaffes can only be described as comical. And while the political West’s propaganda machine works round the clock to create an alternate reality that doesn’t exist past a TV or smartphone screen, the economic and social unraveling resulting from the failed economic siege of Russia has been affecting hundreds of millions around the world and is only bound to get worse.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments