Category Archive 'Russian Attack on Ukraine'
24 Mar 2024

Recent Russian Election Ballot

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13 Feb 2024

Timothy Snyder Debunks Putin’s Historical Justifications for Aggression

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Yale Professor Timothy Snyder has written a number of important books on the history of the Eastern European Borderlands and is the perfect authority to refute Vladimir Putin’s faux historical justifications for aggressive war.

In a talk with Tucker Carlson, Putin uttered sentences about the past. I will explain how Putin is wrong about everything, but first I have to make a point about why he is wrong about everything. By how I mean his errors about past events. By why I mean the horror inherent in the kind of story he is telling. It brings war, genocide, and fascism.

Putin has read about various realms in the past. By calling them “Russia,” he claims their territories for the Russian Federation he rules today.

Such nonsense brings war. On Putin’s logic, leaders anywhere can make endless claims to territory based on various interpretations of the past. That undoes the entire international order, based as it is upon legal borders between sovereign states.

In his conversation with Carlson, Putin focused on the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. Moscow did not exist then. So even if we could perform the wishful time travel that Putin wants, and turn the clock back to 988, it could not lead us to a country with a capital in Moscow. Most of Russia’s present territory is in Siberia. Europeans did not control those Asian territories back then. On Putin’s logic, Russia has no claim today to the territories from which it extracts its natural gas and oil. Other countries would, and Russia’s national minorities would.

Putin provides various dates to make various claims. Anyone can do that about any territory. So the first implication of Putin’s view is that no borders are legitimate, including the borders of your own country. Everything is up for grabs, since everyone can have a story. Carlson asked Putin why he must invade Ukraine, and the myth of eternal Russia was the answer.

The second problem, after war, is genocide. After you decide a a country in the deep past is also somehow your country now, you then insist that the only true history is whatever seems to prove you right. The experiences of people who actually lived in the past and live in the present are “artificial” (to use one of Putin’s favorite words).

In the interview, and in other speeches during the war, Putin depends on a false distinction between natural nations and artificial nations. Natural nations have a right to exist, artificial ones do not.

But there are no natural nations. All nations are made. The Russia of tomorrow is made by the actions of Russians today. If Russians fight a lawless war of destruction in Ukraine, that makes them a different people than they might have been. This is more important than anything that happened centuries ago. When a nation is called “artificial,” this is justification for genocide. Genocidal language does not refer to the past; it changes the future. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Feb 2024

Preppie Mouse Interviews Big Bad Wolf

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2:07:18 video

Watching Tucker Carlson at work interviewing Vlad Grozny in his Kremlin lair is quite an experience. Tucker is 54 years old and still downright pretty. You kind of marvel that he is apparently straight. And, bow tie or four-in-hand, you have to give it to him, he makes an excellent tie. St. George School clearly grounds its graduates in at least some of the important fundamentals.

But when we watch Tucker go up against Vladimir Putin, the current Grand Duke of the Empire of Muscovy, self-made Tsar, and stone cold killer, we are bound to feel some astonishment at just how far out of his depth Tucker is.

Watching Putin delivering that lengthy and self-flattering version of the history of the Muscovite Despotism to the gapingly naive and historically clueless Tucker was more than a little sad and sent me struggling for a comparison case of the innocent bourgeois herbivore conversing with the monster predator who is, just for now, managing to refrain from making him into an amuse bouche.

One pictures Tucker as another Bilbo sitting and interviewing the Dragon Smaug about his current dwarf policies and his friction with the Rivertown. Or as Jonathan Harker listening to Count Dracula boast of his descent from Attila the Hun and victories over the Turk. I kept waiting to hear the howling of wolves nearby briefly interrupt the conversation, and expecting Putin to remark: “The Children of the Night! What music they make!”

But neither Bilbo nor Jonathan Harker were anywhere nearly as oblivious to the real nature of their interlocutor. Nor did either publish his own account, failing as Tucker Carlson does, to comment on the disingenuity of the Big Bad Wolf complaining of the possible installation of guard dogs at the neighboring sheep flock as an example of aggression against himself.

I suppose though that, had Tucker pointed out the irony of Putin’s demands that Ukraine “denazify” by banning praise of, or memorials to, various Ukrainian nationalists like Stepan Bandera who sided with Germany against Russia in WWII, when Putin’s Russia has never itself actually de-Bolshevized or repudiated the memory of the communists guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity on an even larger scale than Nazi Germany’s, in that event, poor Tucker might very possibly have found himself getting arrested like Even Gershkovich, charged with spying, and frog-marched to the Lubyanka or simply bumped off like Yevgeny Prigozhin and so many of the others who dared to offend Putin.

Interviewing monsters is a tricky business. One doesn’t want to die obviously, but one should also have reservations about lending aid and support.

04 Jul 2023


27 May 2023

From the Nordstream Tapestry

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26 Mar 2023

Putin’s Latest

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You read it here first via the Institute for the Study of War.

Putin’s latest talking points will be out there momentarily, quoted as facts by the usual “Can’t Learn From History” Buchananite sources.

See? I can save you the trouble posting in the Comments all about how the West is running out of arms to send to Ukraine and Russia is going to get right to work and out-produce us.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the predictable next information operation to discourage Ukrainian resistance and disrupt Western support for Ukraine as Russian offensives culminate and Ukraine prepares to launch counter-offensives in an interview with a state-owned Russian news channel on March 25.

Putin claimed that the West cannot sustain weapons provisions to Ukraine and exaggerated Russia’s potential to mobilize its own defense industrial base (DIB) to create the false impression that further Ukrainian resistance and Western support to Ukraine is futile. Putin claimed that Ukrainian forces expend up to 5,000 shells a day, while the United States produces an average of 14,000–15,000 shells a month. Putin alleged that planned Western defense production increases will not match Russian planned increases. Putin announced that Russia will build over 1,600 new tanks by the end of 2023 and that Russia will have more than three times the number of tanks as Ukraine at that time. Putin likely seized the opportunity to advance this narrative based on The Financial Times’s March 19 report that European arms manufacturers are “hobbled” by an explosives shortage. Putin argued that continued Western weapons provisions to Ukraine are merely an attempt to prolong the war.

Putin compared the state of the Russian wartime DIB with current Western military industrial outputs, stating that the West would need to make significant sacrifices to civilian projects to increase military production to support war in Ukraine. Putin added that unlike the West, Russia does not need excessive militarization of the economy to expand its DIB capabilities. These claims are not supportable. Read the rest of this entry »

24 Mar 2023

Yevgeny Prigozhin (Wagner Group Boss) Was Interviewed Yesterday

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Yevgeny Prigozhin serving dinner to his tsar.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) published some interesting tidbits from an interview yesterday with Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, a number of which statements explicitly contradict the Kremlin’s rationale for attacking Ukraine.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin has softened his rhetoric towards the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) likely out of fear of completely losing his mercenary force in Bakhmut. Prigozhin emphasized his concerns about a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive in eastern Ukraine during a 23-minute interview on March 23. Prigozhin claimed that Ukraine has 200,000 reserves concentrating to attack along the entire eastern frontline, into Belgorod Oblast, and in Bakhmut. Prigozhin also claimed that the Ukrainians currently have 80,000 troops in Bakhmut, Slovyansk, and Kostyantynivka to counterattack Bakhmut – a claim that former Russian officer Igor Girkin observed was dubious. Prigozhin‘s exaggerated statements about the imminent threat to Russian forces are likely an attempt to secure more supplies and reinforcements from the Russian MoD to save his forces in Bakhmut. Prigozhin made several positive statements about the Russian MoD, even acknowledging that Russian MoD forces are fighting alongside Chechen units in Bilohorivka, Luhansk Oblast. Prigozhin also surprisingly promoted both Russian MoD-controlled volunteer recruitment efforts and recruitment into Wagner, instead of only advertising service with Wagner formations as he has usually done. Prigozhin expressed some generalized criticism of the Russian military bureaucracy – namely the defense industrial base (DIB) – but such criticisms echo the current state propaganda narrative. Prigozhin had been an avid critic of the Russian military command, and the softening of his rhetoric may indicate that he may be attempting to partially appease the Russian MoD to gain supplies or reinforcements for Wagner forces in Bakhmut.

Prigozhin denied the Kremlin’s claims that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine and questioned whether there are actually Nazis in Ukraine as the Kremlin constantly claims. Prigozhin stated that Russia is fighting “exclusively with Ukrainians” who are equipped with NATO-provided equipment and some “russophobic” mercenaries who voluntarily support Ukraine – but not NATO itself. Prigozhin also noted that Russian officials most likely knew that NATO would offer Ukraine military aid, because “it is ridiculous to think that when [Russia] decided to conduct this special military operation it did not account for NATO’s help to Ukraine.” Prigozhin noted that he is unsure about the “denazification” objectives in Ukraine, because he does not know if there are “Nazis” in Ukraine. Prigozhin also noted that Russia will ”demilitarize” Ukraine only when all of the Ukrainian military is destroyed, claiming that this effort is ongoing, but that it is unclear if it will be successful. Prigozhin stated that Russia can avoid an exhausting protracted war by deciding now which borders it wants to capture. Prigozhin also called on the Russian military and media to stop underestimating Ukrainian forces and engaging in internal conflicts. Prigozhin effectively rejected the Kremlin’s pre-war and post-war claims that Russia needed to defend itself against a NATO threat in Ukraine and undermined the necessity and probability of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated maximalist objectives for this invasion.


23 Mar 2023


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Recently, in some of my comments, and on Facebook, I’ve run into people quoting Russian Ministry of Defense “Russia’s Winning casualty stistics,” “Ukranians are Nazis,” “Yanukovych’s election was a triumph of democracy,” and similar outrageous examples of Russian propaganda.

Some American Thinker editorialists, Spengler, Z-man, and the crowd at American Conservative, I know, are old-time Paleocon isolationists, but a lot of this stuff goes well beyond what these guys would publish. So, tell me, where do you guys get your “facts” and “Information”? I’m curious and I’d like to respond specifically to those sources.

22 Mar 2023

Who’s Winning the War? Vodkapundit Finds Some Clues

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Some Putin-worshipping Paleocon morons were recently posting on FB Russian Defense Ministry claims that Russia is winning the war in Ukraine.

Well, here’s a Vodkapundit posting that addresses just how well Russia’s doing. The orcs have lost so much armor, they are reduced to sending out early 1950s tanks to the front. And Russia has joined a Chinese New World Order basically accepting the role of vassal to China in exchange for rather limited Chinese support! So, tell me, Cheese-Eating-Surrender-Monkeys, who is it that’s losing the war?

Having lost more than 3,000 capable main battle tanks from the late-’60s vintage T-64s through fully modernized T-90s, Moscow was pulling far less capable T-62 medium tanks out of storage.

Well, if the T-62 is a museum piece, then the T-54/55 series — whose development began before the Cold War officially began — is practically an archeological exhibit. And yet those very same tanks, first built when toddler Boomers were grooving on the first season of Howdy Doody, have been spotted on railcars moving west towards Ukraine from Soviet-era depots in the east. …

Firepower is firepower. If a 75-year-old design can be used for infantry support (it wouldn’t last a hot minute in the main battle tank role), then those foot soldiers are better off with a T-55 nearby than without one. …

Xi was in Moscow this week for high-level talks with Putin, and those talks have already gone a long way towards establishing that new New World Order — one very friendly to Chinese interests. Much more important than the phony-baloney peace plan Xi put on the table earlier this week is the trade deal just announced between Beijing and Moscow.

Reuters reported Wednesday that the summit “produced 14 agreements on topics from soybeans to atomic energy.” Chinese tech will help Russia ride out Western sanctions and carry on the war in Ukraine, and Russian natural resources will help make China less reliant on vulnerable sea lanes. However, Reuters said, the agreement “did not yield the big prize Russia wants: a deal on a new gas pipeline.”

“There are two likely sticking points: who will build the 2,600 km pipeline and how the gas will be priced. China is well placed to drive a hard bargain, as Moscow needs the deal more,” and so the bottom line is that “China has powerful leverage to secure advantageous price terms.”

A Financial Times report quoted Maria Shagina, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies: “It’s hard to hide the fact that Russia is now a junior partner.” China has two kinds of foreign relationships: Trade partners and vassal states. Putin’s stupid war is demoting Russia from partner to vassal.


09 Mar 2023

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini — Glory to Ukraine!)

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Timofei Shadura


A Ukrainian soldier who was filmed by Russian troops being executed by firing squad had been missing since early February, Ukrainian authorities revealed Tuesday.

Timofei Shadura was seen in a video circulated by Russian propagandists earlier this week. Upon being told he was being filmed, Shadura appeared ready to meet his fate—he stood and faced his executioners, and, taking one last drag from a cigarette, said, “Glory to Ukraine!”

His killers, who were all out of view of the camera, immediately opened fire with machine guns, before the unknown cameraman bitterly said, “Die, bitch.”

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday said Shadura had been among troops fending off a Russian takeover of Bakhmut. He was declared missing on Feb. 3 after intense fighting in the area.

“Revenge will be inescapable,” the commander of Ukraine’s 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade said.


22 Feb 2023

Looking Back a Year Later With Amazement

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Ukrainian girl inspects destroyed Russian tank last October.

Anatol Lieven

A year ago, all but one of Russia’s chief aims in Ukraine were defeated in the first three weeks of the war, before the arrival of Western heavy weaponry. The reasons for this comprehensive Russian reverse — which no Western observer, including myself, predicted — are of great interest to military analysts, even if some of the lessons they teach are very old ones.

Between the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, and the middle of March, Russian forces failed to take the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv; failed to take Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, though it is less than 20 miles from the Russian frontier; failed to occupy the whole of the Donbas; and failed to capture Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. The only Russian bridgehead established west of the Dnieper River, at Kherson, was so limited that it ultimately proved untenable.

The only major objective that the Russians did achieve was to capture the “land bridge” between Russia and Crimea. Even so, the capture of Mariupol took another two months and involved the complete destruction of the city. The diversion of troops necessary for the siege of Mariupol made it impossible to sustain offensives elsewhere.

The errors in initial Russian planning and strategy are now glaringly obvious. Russian intelligence completely underestimated the strength of Ukrainian resistance — or if any of their predictions were accurate, they either never reached Putin or were ignored by him. In addition, it seems likely that it was fear of the domestic political reaction that led Putin not to call up additional reservists for the “Special Military Operation.”

As a result, Russia invaded Ukraine (a country of 230,000 square miles and 41 million people) with barely 200,000 troops and seven different objectives. So while the Russian armed forces as a whole were much larger than those of Ukraine, in practice Russian troops were often outnumbered by the Ukrainians they were facing. This disparity grew as Ukraine called up every man that it could during the summer, while Putin hesitated for seven months to carry out even a partial mobilization in Russia.

Until October 2022 no supreme commander was appointed for the operation — perhaps because Putin feared the emergence of a victorious general who might challenge his own power. So there were serious problems of coordination between the different Russian fronts. This may have contributed to some appalling failures of staff work and logistics, such as the 40-mile-long traffic jam of Russian vehicles that built up on a single road north of Kyiv.

Russian command-and-control problems must have been worsened significantly by the number of senior officers killed by Ukrainian missile and artillery strikes in the first months of the war. U.S. technical intelligence was largely responsible for identifying local Russian headquarters. Like the strike on Makiivka over the New Year that killed dozens (or possibly hundreds) of Russian troops, these successes may also have been enabled by poor communications security on the Russian side.

U.S. satellite intelligence spotted Russian military build-ups and allowed the Ukrainians to anticipate Russian attacks. Ukrainian civilians in Russian-held areas were also able to simply call Ukrainian forces on their cell phones and tell them where Russian convoys were to be found. This in turn partly contributed to the atrocities against civilians committed by Russian soldiers, which have done so much to tarnish the image of the Russian army.

Despite all this, and despite longstanding and well-known problems with the poor quality of NCOs and lack of initiative on the part of junior officers, the Russian army might have been expected to do better. This was because of the colossal Russian superiority in the two weapons of the classical “Blitzkrieg,” as practiced by Germany in 1939-42, the Soviet Union in 1942-45, and Israel in most of its wars: armor and airpower. The failure of these two arms is perhaps the most striking lesson of the war in Ukraine so far, and indicates that Ukrainian hopes that Western tanks and warplanes will allow them to break through may also be misplaced. Their failure has also led to immense casualties among Russia’s best infantry units.


19 Feb 2023

Since Russia’s So Busy in Ukraine…

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