The blockade of Kaliningrad and news from the Ukrainian front

The blockade of Kaliningrad and news from the Ukrainian front

UPDATED 10:27 AM EDT — Panic Buying in Kaliningrad as Lithuania “Sanctions” Russian Railroad

Hal Turner,

20 June, 2022

Video below shows panic-buying by Russians living in Kaliningrad, a portion of Russia detached from the mainland, nestled between Lithuania and Poland. The buying began because Lithuania cut-off Russian railroad shipments to the oblast (state).  

For more than thirty years, there has been an understanding between Russia and Lithuania that the oblast (state) of Kaliningrad would be supplied via the Russian railroad through a narrow strip of land called the Suwalki Gap, that runs from Russia, along the southeastern border of Lithuania.  The agreement held that the trains would be left alone, and act as a supply tunnel of sorts to the Russians living in Kaliningrad.

All that ended 48 hours ago, when Lithuania took it upon itself, to say Sanctions against Russia (over its Ukraine special military operation) would be applied to trains to/from Kaliningrad.  

This means that virtually no transit can take place between Russia and its western-most state.  

People in Kaliningrad fear they may starve to death having been cut-off from Supplies.  That fear caused panic, and panic-buying took place yesterday and last night, as shown in the video below:


I am told the large bags seen being loaded into shopping carts are 50lb bags of flour.

HAL TURNER EDITORIAL OPINION

It appears that Lithuania is trying to CAUSE Russia to attack them militarily over this new embargo.  They want this to take place because Lithuania is a member of NATO and once an attack takes place, Lithuania will invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty, collective self defense.   

That would instantly place ALL the countries of NATO, at war with Russia, which is exactly what NATO wants, so as to be able to engage Russia directly to stop its operation in Ukraine.

The trouble with this thinking is that the President of Russia made clear “it will be a war that nobody will win.”   That’s a euphemism for nuclear war.

President Putin, commenting publicly at the start of Russia’s “special military operation” into Ukraine, made clear that Russia’s conventional forces are no match for NATO Conventional forces.   But, he said, “Russia is also a nuclear power.  And our technology is superior to everyone else’s.  So if NATO invokes Article 5, it will be a war no one will win.”

Knowing this, Lithuania STILL enacted a sanctions embargo against Kaliningrad.

They want nuclear war.

UPDATE 8:58 AM EDT —

“The UN needs to rectify the situation with the blockade of Kaliningrad, or Russia will be free to resolve the issue of transit in any way– the head of the Russian Federation Commission for the Protection of Sovereignty Klimov.

 (HT REMARK: This is almost identical to the wording used by Russia about resolving Security Guarantees, before it entered Ukraine.  Clearly, this remark is meant to warn Lithuania (and the world) that Russia will resort to armed force to open the Kaliningrad embargo.)

UPDATE 10:27 AM EDT —

Senator Klimov: the blockade of Kaliningrad by Lithuania can be regarded as direct aggression

If the European Union does not correct the “impudent trick” of Lithuania, which banned the transit of almost half of the cargo to the Kaliningrad region, then Brussels itself will disavow the legitimacy of the documents on Lithuanian membership in the EU for Russia and thus “untie its hands” to solve the problem of Kaliningrad transit “by any means.” 

Brief Recap with historical notes:

Kaliningrad’s governor Alikhanov has already called on Russian federal authorities to prepare tit-for-tat measures against Lithuania in wake of the transit ban.

Alikhanov cited a key condition in the 2004 agreement that was part of Lithuania’s accession to the EU:
“that the Baltic state will apply in practice the principle of freedom of transit of goods, including energy, between the  Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russian territory.”

“In particular, we confirm that there shall be freedom of such transit, and that the goods in such transit shall not be subject to unnecessary delays or restrictions and shall be exempt from customs duties and transit duties or other charges related to transit,”

Then, in April…
When the EU first proposed the blockage of goods as part of the last major sanctions package in early April, Kremlin officials warned of war given Moscow would have to “break the blockade” for the sake if its citizens.“I think that for now, this is a game, testing the waters <…>.

In case of a blockade, as they are saying, the Soviet Union knows how to break the blockades, we (Russia as the successor of the Soviet Union – TASS) have vast experience,” the senator said.

“If they want to go to the length of making us break this blockade to save the lives of our people, who live there, we can do this,”

Ahead of the new Lithuanian transit ban taking effect, the state railways service was reportedly ‘awaiting final word’ from the European Commission.

Then Brussels ruled that:
“sanctioned goods and cargo should still be prohibited even if they travel from one part of Russia to another but through EU territory,”

In Moscow’s eyes, this is tantamount to laying economic siege to part of Russia’s sovereign territory and one million of its citizens.

Russia Demands Lithuania Lift “Openly Hostile” Blockade; Panic Buying Ensues

Update (1100ET): The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad, writing in a statement that they consider the “provocative measures” to be “openly hostile” and warning that the Kremlin may take action to “protect its national interests.”

Kaliningrad is sandwiched between the EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania. Supplies from Russia are delivered via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania – which announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions, which include coal, advanced technology, metals and construction materials.

“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the statement reads.

They have demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the ban on a number of goods to the Kaliningrad region.

Earlier Monday, the Kremlin called Lithuania’s announcement “unprecedented” and “in violation of everything there is.”

“The situation is more than serious and it requires a very deep analysis before formulating any measures and decisions,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a statement to the press.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said they were simply complying with sanctions imposed by the EU, and that they were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and under its guidelines.”

Sanctioned goods (will) no longer be allowed to transit Lithuanian territory,” he added.

Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov says that the ban, which was confirmed on Friday, affects roughly 50% of all imports. He urged citizens not to panic-buy…

…to no avail.

*  *  *

Quite possibly the biggest Russia-West provocation of the entire four-month long war in Ukraine has occurred this weekend, but few in the media establishment seem to be taking notice of the singular event which has the potential to quickly spiral toward a WW3 scenario.

Baltic EU/NATO member Lithuania has implemented a ban on all rail transit goods going to Russia’s far-western exclave of Kaliningrad, after transport authorities initially announced the provocative measure on Friday. “The EU sanctions list notably includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology, and Alikhanov said the ban would cover around 50% of the items that Kaliningrad imports,” Reuters wrote.

This has given way to fears of panic buying breaking out in Kaliningrad Oblast, which is Russian sovereign territory on the Baltic Sea, but which is sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, and is thus reliant on overland shipping for passage via its EU neighbors.

Anton Alikhanov, the governor of the Russian oblast which has a total population of some one million people (with Kaliningrad city including almost 450,000 – and 800,000 total if outlying suburbs are counted) is urging calm:

Urging citizens not to resort to panic buying, Alikhanov said two vessels were already ferrying goods between Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg, and seven more would be in service by the end of the year.

“Our ferries will handle all the cargo”, he said on Saturday.

Russian officials and media have long warned against what they dubbed Western aims to “blockade” Kaliningrad. Crucially, the EU enforcement measure being implemented from Vilnius marks a complete break in a three decade long treaty that’s been in effect

Ahead of the new Lithuanian transit ban taking effect, the state railways service was reportedly awaiting final word from the European Commission on enforcing it:

The cargo unit of Lithuania’s state railways service set out details of the ban in a letter to clients following “clarification” from the European Commission on the mechanism for applying the sanctions.

Previously, Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas said the ministry was waiting for “clarification from the European Commission on applying European sanctions to Kaliningrad cargo transit.”

Brussels then ruled that “sanctioned goods and cargo should still be prohibited even if they travel from one part of Russia to another but through EU territory,” according to Rueters/Rferl.

In Moscow’s eyes, this is tantamount to laying economic siege to part of Russia’s sovereign territory and one million of its citizens. When the EU first proposed the blockage of goods as part of the last major sanctions package in early April, Kremlin officials warned of war given Moscow would have to “break the blockade” for the sake if its citizens.

According to an April 6th statement in Russia’s TASS by a state Duma official:

Statements from the West about a possible blockade of Kaliningrad is testing the waters, but Russia can ‘break the blockade’ in case these threats become a reality, it has an experience, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the Federation Council upper house’s Committee for International affairs, said on Wednesday.

“I think that for now, this is a game, testing the waters <…>. In case of a blockade, as they are saying, the Soviet Union knows how to break the blockades, we (Russia as the successor of the Soviet Union – TASS) have vast experience,” the senator said.

“If they want to go to the length of making us break this blockade to save the lives of our people, who live there, we can do this,” Dzhabarov said in a video interview at the press center of Parlamentskaya Gazeta (Parliamentary Newspaper).

He expressed hope, however, that the West “will have enough brains to opt against this”.

Kaliningrad’s governor Alikhanov has already called on Russian federal authorities to prepare tit-for-tat measures against Lithuania in wake of the transit ban.

These steps are illegal and may entail far-reaching implications for Lithuania and the European Union. In particular, I would like to quote a few paragraphs from the Joint Statement on EU Enlargement, with references to international agreements, the documents which both the European community and the Russian Federation acceded to,” Alikhanov said Saturday.

Additionally he cited a key condition that was part of Lithuania’s 2004 accession to the EU. He quoted the prior agreement saying that the Baltic state “will apply in practice the principle of freedom of transit of goods, including energy, between the Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russian territory.”

“In particular, we confirm that there shall be freedom of such transit, and that the goods in such transit shall not be subject to unnecessary delays or restrictions and shall be exempt from customs duties and transit duties or other charges related to transit,” Alikhanov quoted the Joint Statement further as saying.

From the western media, via the CIA-funded Moscow Times, which is free to operate in Moscow.

Russia Threatens To Retaliate as Lithuania Bans Rail Transit to Kaliningrad

Russia on Monday demanded the immediate lifting of Lithuania’s “openly hostile” restrictions on the rail transit of EU-sanctioned goods to Moscow’s exclave of Kaliningrad that borders Lithuania and Poland.

Moscow accused the Baltic nation of banning the rail transit of goods subject to sanctions imposed by the European Union over Russia’s miliary campaign in Ukraine

From 2 days ago

Gonzalo Lira – IMPORTANT—A Message for Americans

Elsewhere

Ukraine SitRep – Lysichansk Cauldron – Sinking Morale – More Provocations

The former CIA and intelligence bigwig Graham Fuller predicts a gloomy outcome of the U.S-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. Gloomy for Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe:

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors”of the US.

Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end.

Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.

All the above had already been said on this website in late February and March. But it is good to see that seasoned intelligence people are now coming to similar conclusions.

Two weeks ago I wrote that the Ukrainians will soon reach a breaking point. Today’s ‘clobber list’ by the Russia Ministry of Defense has an additional part about Ukrainian troop loses that supports that take:

Since May 19, during the month, only the 14th Mechanised Brigade of the AFU has lost 2,100 persons who resulted dead and wounded. Due to low moral and psychological conditions, 800 persons destined for replenishing the losses of this unit, refused to go to the operational area and accused officers of incompetence, bribery and cronyism in paying money allowance.About 100 servicemen of a reconnaissance unit of the 10th Mountain Assault Brigade have been relieved of combat duty and transported to Kremenchug for investigation.

A considerable part of the commanders of the 30th Mechanised Brigade of the AFU have abstracted themselves from managing their units and refuse to fulfil combat tasks. All kinds of pretexts are used for simulating illness. The majority of units have already been left without any officers.

A mechanized brigade has about 3,500 soldiers. In one month the Ukrainian 14th lost two third of its people. The replacements are not trained on mechanized equipment (tanks, APCs) that likely no longer exists and can only be used as unprotected infantry. It is no wonder that they reject to be send into a hopeless situation.

The Ukrainian leadership is still sending new units into the Lysichansk cauldron in the east. The Russians do not mind that. Their job is to “demilitarize” Ukraine. To enclose more troops in one swoop makes that easier.


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The distance between the red Russian held area at the the top to the one at the bottom at the most narrow gap is a mere 15 kilometer or some 9 miles. There is only one open road running through it from west to east which is used for pushing resupplies to the Ukrainian troops in Lysichansk.


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Currently fighting is taking place over Mykolaivka at the bottom of this detail map. Five kilometer north of it is the Lysichansk refinery. It will be the next target. The last road to Lysichansk runs directly north of it. When that road comes under direct Russian fire the cauldron will be closed and the boiling will start for those who are in it. For the ~20,000 soldiers in the cauldron it will mean surrender or die.

If that is still possible it will further lower the morale of other Ukrainian troops.

Ananke Group @AnankeGroup – 15:01 UTC · Jun 20, 2022“We, soldiers of the 8th battalion of the 10th brigade, based near the city of Seversk. We appeal to you, Mr. President, Mr. Zaluzhny, and to the Ukrainian people […] We demand the immediate rotation of our remaining troops, physically and mentally there are no more forces.
Embedded video


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It is interesting that the troops also appeal to General Zaluzhny, the top commander of the Armed Forces of Ukrainian (AFU). It is the first time I hear that. The idea to fight in Lysichansk until the end came from Zelensky and his civilian advisors. Zaluzhny has reportedly been against that. He wanted those and other troops to retreat and wage a more mobile campaign. That would have shortened the front line and given a chance to create reserves that can rest and prepare for a later counterattack. There are rumors that Zelensky’s advisors are now lobbying to replace Zaluzhny as he has increased his media presence. They probably fear a coup.

The Russian side reported yesterday that it had killed 50 generals and higher officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a missile strike. The group was meeting to plan the further fight in the southern region of Odessa and Kherson. This now seems to have been confirmed:

Management Impact Solutions Consulting, LP – @MiExecSearch – 15:10 UTC · Jun 20, 2022Russian Armed Forces beat out AFU generals, who were holed up in the rear. The military-civilian administration of Zaporozhye region confirmed results of a missile strike on AFU command post near the village of Shirokaya Dacha, 57 top-level officers were killed.

Last night, probably in response to the strike on the officers, the Ukrainians fired a missile against a gas and oil production platform in the waters near Crimea. The installation was damaged. Russia considers that to be a direct attack on valuable infrastructure within Russian territory and will likely give a strong response.

Yesterday Lithuania announced that it would immediately prohibit Russian goods under EU sanctions to cross from Belarus to the Kaliningrad enclave at the Baltic seas which is Russian territory. That is in breach of several international agreements which guarantee unhindered Russian access to the city. Russia has yet to announce a response to this new provocation.

Kalibr hits command center. NATO weapons will win Donbass. Medvedev, EU will not last

UK ground war with Russia. Lithuania pokes the bear. Macron loses majority

P.S. This is what Hal Turner has just reported

I spent a considerable portion of my day in the personal company of some of my former colleagues during my years working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.   That’s why the music feed went on 40 minutes late tonight – meetings went longer than expected.  This is direct Intel from active intel source inside Russia:

The decision by Russia to “secure Kaliningrad” from the Lithuanian embargo “has been taken.”

Trains are being loaded with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery throughout Russia tonight.  

Russian troops in the central and eastern military districts are boarding trains westward.

Troops and military hardware from Belarus are already on the move toward the Lithuanian border.

Russian Air Force planes are relocating westward.

Ammunition depots are open and churning out supplies.

If Lithuania does not repeal its embargo of rail traffic between Russia and the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad, Russia **will** break the blockade by military force.  

As Russia sees it, between 800,000 and one million Russian citizens are now being held economic hostage by Lithuania/European Union.  Confrontation is a forgone conclusion.

Again, the decision has been taken.

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