Here is some commentary from the Duran’s Alexander Mercouris
US Struggles to Respond to Russia, Uses Filibuster it Opposes to Block Sanctions on Nord Stream 2
Russia-NATO in Brussels End in Deadlock, Russia Warns NATO it will Pursue ‘Counter Containment’
From the Saker. I can’t take issue with his headline!
I would just add that to think that the Russian winter can prevent the Russian military from fighting is simply breathtakingly stupid. However, since The Telegraph can post such nonsense, this goes to show that the general public in the West has also been stupidified beyond rescue and can be fed any bullcrap without batting an eye.
While the leaders of the (already dead) Empire are consulting meteorologists (or even astrologists?), they are completely missing the basic reality of modern warfare. These seem to be especially unaware of three basic facts:
- Modern warfare is primarily conducted with long range, standoff, weapons and this makes maneuver by fire far more important than maneuver by forces.
- Modern warfare places a huge importance on integrated air defenses working together under automated battle management systems. Modern air defense missiles can shoot down targets several hundred of kilometers away. No western air defense system can stop hypersonic weapons.
- Modern warfare is primarily non-linear, that is to say that it is more like soccer than like US football: each player (say a battalion tactical group) “follows/opposes” another player rather than trying to hold a line and defend territory.
Those who think that Putin is preparing a WWII style attack simply don’t understand modern warfare at all.
I want to conclude with two small notes:
Strategic vs operational/tactical mobility
The US can very quickly deploy a military force pretty much anywhere on the planet were modern air defenses are absent. This means that in terms of strategic mobility, the USA remains the leader in the deployment of a light force very far away from home.
Russian mobile forces are much much heavier than their US counterparts. A Russian Airborne Division is fully mechanized, and comes with its own artillery, armor, EW, etc.. This weight makes it impossible for the Russian to use, say, IL-76s or An-124s to deploy such an Airborne Division (or brigade or even battalion) somewhere in faraway African or Latin America. However, by this sacrifice of strategy mobility Russia achieves a operational/tactical mobility which US/NATO countries can only dream of. Simply put, Russia does not have the means to deploy a full infantry battalion somewhere in distant Paraguay, but she does have the means to transport a major Airborne Force (up to several divisions) anywhere inside Russia (this especially applies to forces designated as the “reserve of the commander in chief”) or, very roughly, within about 1000km from the Russian border. Once landed, that force will not only have a firepower mobile western forces can’t even begin to hope to acquire one day, they can also quickly relocate being, as I mentioned, totally mechanized (the move of the Rusbat from Bosnia to Pristina is a good illustration of this type of capability).
All of the above is to show how utterly stupid all the discussions about Russian forces being 100, 200 or even 400km away from the Ukie border. If needed, Russia could easily move a very large force (again, fully mechanized) to the Ukie border or even into the Nazi-controlled Ukraine. I do NOT believe that they have such plans (as Russia has much better options) but Russia definitely has the possibility to very quickly augment the 100k soldiers allegedly currently within 400km of the Ukie border.
Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.
I hear a lot of speculations about Russian missiles (or forces) being deployed “Cuban Missile Crisis” -style to either Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua or other friendly nations in Latin America. I would never say never (Putin loves to surprise), but in my opinion other than a reopening of the Russian intel basis in Lourdes, Russia will not actually deploy missiles in any of those countries. There are a couple of reasons for that:
- Russia has no need to move her missiles anywhere because she now has the means to strike at the entire continental United States with a wide array of long range standoff weapons.
- These countries are all unstable to some degree, and the issue of protecting advanced Russian weapons systems (or forces) from possible political turmoil is a headache nobody in Russia needs.
- Deploying weapon systems of forces in a sovereign country require close consultations and negotiations with the host country (including a so-called SOFA). Why go through these headaches we Russian can act unilaterally without consulting with anybody?
Finally, not only can Russia threaten the continental United States without involving any third country, Russia can threaten US interests were they are the most vulnerable: abroad (especially in CENTCOM and in Far East Asia and Pacific region). Personally, I very much hope to see some truly major Russian weapon systems deliveries to both Iran and China. That being said, assisting Latin American counties like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Chile or any other country struggling for its sovereignty would be a very good idea. Cuba would especially benefit from modern Russian air defenses and EW capabilities.
For the time being, let’s hear more about “sanctions from hell” and even “personal sanctions against Putin” or how the Russian tanks cannot deal with snow (or mud) in the exact same location where the USSR defeated the united Europe under Hitler in WWII or, before that, the united Europe under Napoleon.
Frankly, it appears to me that the 3B+PU crazies have totally taken over the Empire, and history shows how well that ends every time these “geniuses” and “hyenas” get involved in international politics.
And, finally, I really hope that Russia manages to finally protect the LDNR from the Ukronazis but WITHOUT any direct military intervention in the Ukraine (I have no problems with deniable, indirect, efforts to assist the LDNR). Such a non-invasion would be the ultimate AngloZionist nightmare and I sure hope they get it!
From Moon of Alabama
In the late 1990s the U.S. military-industrial-media complex lobbied the Clinton administration to extend NATO. The sole purpose was to win more customers for U.S. weapons. Russia protested. It had offered to integrate itself into a new European security architecture but on equal terms with the U.S. The U.S. rejected that. It wanted Russia to subordinate itself to U.S. whims.
Since then NATO has been extended five times and moved closer and closer to Russia’s border. Leaving Russia, a large country with many resources, outside of Europe’s security structure guaranteed that Russia would try to come back from the miserable 1990s and regain its former power.
In 2014 the U.S. sponsored a coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine, Russia’s neighbor and relative, and installed its proxies. To prevent an eventual integration of the Ukraine into NATO Russia arranged for an uprising against the coup in the eastern Ukraine. As long as the Ukraine has an internal conflict it can not join NATO.
In 2018 the Trump administration withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty which had been created under the Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan to eliminate nuclear missiles in Europe. Now the U.S. made plans to station new nuclear missiles in Europe which would threaten Russia. These required a Russian response.
Meanwhile the U.S. and other NATO states have deployed significant ‘training’ units to the Ukraine and continue to send weapons to it. This is a sneaking integration of the Ukraine into NATO structures without the formal guarantees.
In late 2021 the U.S. started to make noise about alleged Russian military concentrations at its western border. There were groundless allegations that Russia was threatening to invade the Ukraine which was begging to enter NATO. The purpose was to justify a further extension of NATO and more NATO deployments near Russia.
Russia has had enough of such nonsense. It moved to press the U.S. for a new security architecture in Europe that would not threaten Russia. The rumors about Russian action in the Ukraine helped to press President Joe Biden into agreeing to talks.
After Russia had detailed its security demands towards the U.S. and NATO a series of talks were held.
I had warned that these would likely not be successful as the U.S. had shown no signs to move on core Russian demands. As expected the talks with the U.S. on Monday failed. The U.S. made some remarks that it would like to negotiate some side issues but not on the core of Russia’s request to end the extension of NATO and to stop new missile deployments.
Wednesday’s talks with NATO had similar results as had today’s talks with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
As Russia had previously announced it will not consider further talks as there is nothing to expect from them:
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he saw “no grounds” to continue the talks, in a blow to the efforts to ease tensions. His comments came as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe met in Vienna in the latest attempt to avert a major European crisis as Russia masses troops on Ukraine’s border.Speaking on Russian television, Ryabkov said the United States and its allies have rejected Russia’s key demands — including its call for an end to NATO’s open-door policy for new members — offering to negotiate only on topics of secondary interest to Moscow.
“There is, to a certain extent, a dead end or a difference in approaches,” he said. Without some sign of flexibility from the United States, “I do not see reasons to sit down in the coming days, to gather again and start these same discussions.”
Other Russian government officials made similar points:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who described the Western position as “arrogant, unyielding and uncompromising,” said that President Vladimir Putin would decide on further action after receiving written responses to Moscow’s demands next week.
In addition to calling the talks unsuccessful, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday highlighted a bill announced the day before by U.S. Democratic senators for tough new sanctions against Russians, including Putin, if there is military action against Ukraine.Peskov called it “extremely negative, especially against the background of the ongoing series of negotiations, albeit unsuccessful, but negotiations.” Sanctioning a head of state “is an outrageous measure that is comparable to breaking off relations,” he said.
Peskov also accused the United States and NATO of escalating the conflict with efforts to “entice” new countries to join NATO.
Peskov’s last remarks relate to recent noise from Finland and Sweden that they may consider to join NATO.
The U.S. had promised to send a written response to Russia’s demands by next week. NATO has likewise said that it would dispatch a letter within a week’s time frame. If those letters do not include substantial concessions to Russia it will have to act.
The Washington Post piece quoted above is headlined Russia ratchets up pressure on Europe, says ‘no grounds’ for further talks on security amid heightened tensions. The Post tries to frame the issues as an European and NATO problem.
However, Russia does not even talk with Europe as it is no longer relevant. The security demands are made towards the U.S. and the issues can only be solved by the White House.
Russia has spoken of ‘military-technical measures’ it would have to take should all talks fail.
It has now started to hint at some of the possibilities:
Russia on Thursday sharply raised the stakes in its dispute with the West over Ukraine, with a top diplomat refusing to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States mount.Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led the Russian delegation in Monday’s talks with the U.S. in Geneva, said in televised remarks that he would “neither confirm nor exclude” the possibility that Russia could send military assets to Cuba and Venezuela if the talks fail and U.S. pressure on Russia mounts.
Russia does not need to station missiles in Cuba but it could request access for its navy to one or more decent harbors in the wider area:
While voicing concern that NATO could potentially use Ukrainian territory for the deployment of missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes, Putin noted that Russian warships armed with the latest Zircon hypersonic cruise missile would give Russia a similar capability if deployed in neutral waters.
The timing is interesting. As of today Zircon missiles were officially accepted for Russia’s military services. Currently there are five Russian navy ships configured to carry these new hypersonic weapons with many more to come:
At this stage the carriers of Zirkon are FFGs pr. 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov-class), pr. 20385 Corvettes and modernized pr. 1155 FFGs, Udaloy-class (see Marshal Shaposhnikov). All in all we can see already at least 5 Zircon carriers afloat in Russia’s surface fleet with the number growing to 11 by mid 2020s, which, by that time submarine carriers of Zircon also adding to the number of carriers. Welcome to the new era of the naval warfare. I assume that some of the Karakurts (pr. 22800) and pr. 21631 Buyan class will also be able to carry Zircon or its “smaller” 500 kilometer range version Zircon Llite. And, of course, once completed, Admiral Nakhimov nuclear battlecruiser will carry a shitload of Zircons. We can only guess how many, since among 174 VLS on Nakhimov, 80 will be loaded with anti-surface missiles.
Now, we expect new Vladimir Putin’s address to Federal Assembly fairly soon (it was expected, quoting Peskov, “early in 2022”), so will see what other things Putin will be talking about.
That speech will be as interesting as the one in 2018 (vid) during which Putin announced a number of new weapon systems which the U.S. has no way to counter. Expect more of those.
Russia may also deploy new weapons aiming at Europe:
Russia said on Monday it may be forced to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe in response to what it sees as NATO’s plans to do the same.The warning from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov raised the risk of a new arms build-up on the continent, with East-West tensions at their worst since the Cold War ended three decades ago.
Ryabkov said Russia would be forced to act if the West declined to join it in a moratorium on intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe – part of a package of security guarantees it is seeking as the price for defusing the crisis over Ukraine.
Lack of progress towards a political and diplomatic solution would lead Russia to respond in a military way, with military technology, Ryabkov told Russia’s RIA news agency.
“That is, it will be a confrontation, this will be the next round,” he said, referring to the potential deployment of the missiles by Russia.
Intermediate-range nuclear weapons – those with a range of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles) – were banned in Europe under a 1987 treaty between then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in what was hailed at the time as a major easing of Cold War tensions. By 1991, the two sides had destroyed nearly 2,700 of them.
The U.S. is building new missile sites in Poland and Romania. It claims that these are missile defense installations with the same AEGIS combat system type as used on many U.S. warships. The new AEGIS ashore installations are claimed to defend the U.S. against Iranian and North Korean missiles. That is of course bollocks.
The AEGIS systems uses the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System to store and fire its missiles. Those new sides, the U.S. claims, will have air defense missiles in their launch containers. However the same containers can be used to fire nuclear armed Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAMs). It would be very easy for the U.S. to change out the missiles without anyone noticing it.
Tomahawks have a range of 1,550 miles (2.500 km). From Poland and Romania they can reach Moscow and other Russian centers in a short time. The U.S. Defense Department says that the system in Poland will become operational at the end of this year.
At the end of last year the U.S. also reactivated its 56th Artillery Command in Europe:
“It will further enable the synchronization of joint and multinational fires and effects and employment of future long-range surface to surface fires across the [U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Army Africa] area of responsibility,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Maranian, the new unit’s commander, said before the Monday announcement in Wiesbaden, Germany.The 56th Artillery Command traces its lineage to a Cold War-era unit, the 56th Field Artillery Command, which served as the headquarters for Pershing missile operations in Europe. It was inactivated in June 1991 following the signing four years earlier of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty curbing the use of midrange “tactical” nuclear weapons.
Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, called the decision to bring back the 56th Artillery Command, “extremely good news.”
It was clear that Russia would not leave that ‘extremely good news’ without a response.
It will likely deploy some of its 9M729 cruise missiles (NATO code SSC-8 Screwdriver), currently stationed behind the Ural mountain range, at its western border, in Belarus and in Kaliningrad. These can be nuclear armed and would cover most European capitals and NATO’s headquarters.
The whole situation is a completely unnecessary mess. NATO has long lost its cold war capabilities. The European armies are just a shadow of their former selves and the U.S. military has again and again demonstrate its inability to fight. To reject Russia’s demands under these circumstance is not only pure arrogance but also idiotic:
On January 12, 2022 — a date that will live in hypocrisy — NATO member states declared their heroic determination to fight to the last Ukrainian. They did this by in effect rejecting Russia’s conditions for agreement with the alliance, centered on the demand that NATO rule out further expansion to Ukraine, Georgia and other former Soviet republics.The hypocrisy and idiocy — over which historians of the future are likely to shake their heads in bewilderment — lie in the fact that NATO has no real intention of admitting Ukraine, nor of fighting Russia in Ukraine. Both Washington and Brussels have openly ruled this out. Indeed, NATO could not do so even if it wanted to. U.S. forces in Europe are wholly inadequate to the purpose, as are what is left of the British and French armies.
Anatol Lieven, who wrote the above, see some possible compromises. Especially U.S. pressure on the Ukraine to finally make piece with its east:
The United States however now needs to move very fast to offer these compromises. If it does not, then a new war looks increasingly possible. This war would be a disaster for all parties concerned: for NATO, whose military impotence would be cruelly emphasized; for Russia, that would suffer severe economic damage and be forced into a position of dependency on China with grave implications for Russia’s future; and above all for the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians who would lose their lives. In fact, the only country that would benefit unequivocally from such a war would be China —and I wasn’t aware that U.S. and NATO policies are designed to further the geopolitical aims of Beijing.
NATO’s uselessness and lack of real purpose are well known:
The problem is that they have been ingested by two other ambitions that are not modest and rational at all. The first is the U.S. desire for universal hegemony, including the right to dictate other countries’ political systems and what influence they will be allowed to possess beyond their own borders.The second is the European elites’ belief in the European Union of as a kind of moral superpower, expanding to embrace the whole of Europe (without Russia of course), and setting a liberal internationalist example to the world; but a militarily impotent superpower that relies for security on the United States, via NATO.
These projects have now manifestly failed.
If we can recognize this failure and return to a more modest view of ourselves and our role in the world, we can also abandon the empty and hypocritical false promise of further NATO expansion and seek a reasonably cooperative relationship with Russia. Or we can go on living in our world of make-believe, though make-believe worlds have a way of being shattered by harsh realities.
That is something no one should want.
Paul Craig Roberts
The opening remarks of Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland prior to her friendly “press conference” with well-tamed US “journalists” reveals the unreality of the world in which Washington exists.
The Russians have told Washington as frankly as it can be stated that the expansion of NATO to her borders, with US missile bases in countries on Russia’s borders, US plans to include Ukraine in NATO, Ukraine’s failure to abide by the Minsk Agreement, massive US arms deliveries to Ukraine, and constant other provocations and insults have made Russia uncomfortable about her security and unwilling to accept any longer the tension and uncertainty created by hostile US and NATO policies. Russia has stated without qualification that unless the West cooperates in removing the threat to Russian security, Russia will remove the threat with dire consequences to the West.
This is clear honest talk.
But no one in Washington or NATO heard.
Victoria Nuland is an evil neoconservative warmonger, but she is no different from the other deluded fools in Washington. The US is unable to deal seriously with a most serious issue, because Washington is a victim of its belief in its own anti-Russian propaganda. Nuland’s beginning remarks are representative of the unreality of American policymakers:
UNDER SECRETARY NULAND: Thank you. Good afternoon, everybody. .
This is, as you all know, a very important week. We have three sets of diplomatic talks ongoing: the U.S.-Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue yesterday; the NATO-Russia Council meeting tomorrow, both of which are led for us by Deputy Secretary Sherman; and the Permanent Council meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday – all of this in an effort to resolve through diplomacy the crisis that Russia has created for Ukraine, for European security, and for global stability.
So before I go into some of the diplomatic substance, let’s remember how we got here.
It is Russia that created this crisis out of whole cloth.
It is Russia that has amassed 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders.
It is Russia that has prepared internal sabotage, destabilization, and false flag options for Ukraine.
And it is Russia that has spewed disinformation and lies about Ukraine, about the United States, and about NATO to justify its own actions.
These and the rest of Nuland’s remarks constitute a packet of lies and a complete evasion of the issue.
The issue is not a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The issue is whether Washington can acknowledge that its missile bases on Russia’s border constitute a threat to Russia’s security.
Russia did not invade Ukraine in 2014. Washington did when the US overthrew the democratically elected government and put in its place a US puppet state hostile to Russia. One of the main goals of Washington’s coup in Ukraine was to deprive Russia of her Black Sea naval base. Russia forestalled this by accepting the 97% vote in Crimea to return to Russia of which Crimea had been a constituent part for three centuries.
When an Undersecretary of State feels secure standing in front not only of the US media, but also the world media, and spewing obvious blatant lies, we have all the proof needed that Washington lives in its own make-believe world.
Consequently, Washington is going to be bitten very hard by the real world.
Here is Victoria (“Fuck the EU”) Newland on US – Russia negotiations and Russian aggression against Ukraine