Tag Archives: Ukraine

The Saker Interviews Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov’s perspective on Russia and its environs is both provocative and probably far closer to the truth than anything promulgated within the US government. This interview is long but well worth the read. From the Saker at unz.com:

“I think that the American empire is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case”

If I had to characterize the current international situation using only one word, the word “chaos” would be a pretty decent choice (albeit not the only one). Chaos in the Ukraine, chaos in Venezuela, chaos everywhere the Empire is involved in any capacity and, of course, chaos inside the US. But you wouldn’t know that listening to the talking heads and other “experts” who serve roughly the same function for the Empire as the orchestra did on the Titanic: to distract from the developing disaster(s) for a long as possible.

I decided to turn to the undisputed expert on social and political collapse, Dmitry Orlov whom I have always admired for his very logical, non-ideological, comparative analyses of the collapse of the USSR and the US. The fact that his detractors have to resort to crude and, frankly, stupid ad hominems further convinces me that Dmitry’s views need to be widely shared. Dmitry very kindly agreed to reply to my questions in some detail, for which I am most grateful. I hope that you will find this interview as interesting as I did.

The Saker

* * *

The Saker: How would you assess the current situation in the Ukraine in terms of social, economic and political collapse?

Dmitry Orlov: The Ukraine has never been viable as an independent, sovereign state and so its ongoing disintegration is to be expected. The applicability of the concept of collapse is predicated on the existence of an intact, stand-alone entity capable of collapse, and with the Ukraine this is definitely not the case. Never in its history has it been able to stand alone as a stable, self-sufficient, sovereign entity. As soon as it gained independence, it just fell over. Just as the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), it had reached its peak of economic and social development just as the USSR was about to collapse, and it has been degenerating and losing population ever since. Thus, the right model for discussing it is not one of sudden collapse but of steady degeneration and decay.

The Ukraine’s territory was stuck together by the Bolsheviks—first by Lenin, then by Stalin, then by Khrushchev. It was Lenin who lumped in its eastern regions (Donetsk and Lugansk specifically) who previously were part of Russia proper. Stalin then added eastern lands, which were at various times Polish, Austro-Hungarian or Romanian. Finally, Khrushchev tossed in Russian Crimea in a move that was unconstitutional at the time, since no public referendum had been held in Crimea to decide this question as was required by the Soviet constitution.

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Trump Should Close NATO Membership Rolls, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Thanks goodness they’ve ginned up the Russian threat, or NATO wouldn’t even have no figleaf at all to hide the fact that it was obsolete after the Soviet Union dissolved. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“Among neocon and GOP interventionists, there has also long been a vocal constituency for bringing Ukraine into NATO…”

When Donald Trump meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today, the president should give him a direct message:

The roster of NATO membership is closed. For good. The United States will not hand out any more war guarantees to fight Russia to secure borders deep in Eastern Europe, when our own southern border is bleeding profusely.

And no one needs to hear this message more than Stoltenberg.

In Tblisi, Georgia, on March 25, Stoltenberg declared to the world: “The 29 allies have clearly stated that Georgia will become a member of NATO.”

As for Moscow’s objection to Georgia joining NATO, Stoltenberg gave Vladimir Putin the wet mitten across the face:

“We are not accepting that Russia, or any other power, can decide what (NATO) members can do.”

Yet what would it mean for Georgia to be brought into NATO?

The U.S. would immediately be ensnared in a conflict with Russia that calls to mind the 1938 and 1939 clashes over the Sudetenland and Danzig that led straight to World War II.

In 2008, thinking it had U.S. backing, Georgia rashly ordered its army into South Ossetia, a tiny province that had broken away years before.

In that Georgian invasion, Russian peacekeepers were killed and Putin responded by sending the Russian army into South Ossetia to throw the Georgians out. Then he invaded Georgia itself.

“We are all Georgians now!” roared uber-interventionist John McCain. But George W. Bush, by now a wiser man, did nothing.

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Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy, by Pepe Escobar

The notion of the US and the rest of its alliance intervening in the Black Sea isn’t dismissed out of hand as farfetched, but the notion of Russia steaming into, say, the Great Lakes is inconceivable. Why? From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Crimea is essential to Russia strategically and economically, but speculation over Ankara helping to boost the US presence in the Black Sea is far-fetched given Turkey’s energy deals with Moscow

The frigate Admiral Essen from Russia's Black Sea Fleet returns to the permanent naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. It was part of Russia's Mediterranean taskforce from August 2018, spending about 300 days at sea. Photo: AFP/ Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik

The frigate Admiral Essen from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet returns to the permanent naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea. It was part of Russia’s Mediterranean taskforce from August 2018, spending about 300 days at sea. Photo: AFP/ Alexey Malgavko / Sputnik

A power struggle over the Black Sea between Russia and the US plus NATO has the potential to develop as a seminal plot of the 21st century New Great Game – alongside the current jostling for re-positioning in the Eastern Mediterranean.

By now it’s established the US and NATO are stepping up military pressure from Poland to Romania and Bulgaria all the way to Ukraine and east of the Black Sea, which seems, at least for the moment, relatively peaceful, just as Crimea’s return to Russia starts to be regarded, in realpolitik terms, as a fait accompli.

After a recent series of conversations with top analysts from Istanbul to Moscow, it’s possible to identify the main trends ahead.

Just as independent Turkish analysts like Professor Hasan Unal are alarmed at Ankara’s isolation in the Eastern Mediterranean energy sphere by an alliance of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, Washington’s military buildup in both Romania and Bulgaria is also identified as posing a threat to Turkey.

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How the BBC Manufactured ‘Hate’, by Jack Krak

This is how fake news works. From Jack Krak at amren.com:

An insider’s story.

Editor’s Introduction: This article is about events that took place in 2012, but anyone who follows the news closely knows that nothing has changed. This is a remarkable account by someone who had an inside look at deliberate falsifications by what was once one of the most respected names in journalism.

* * *

In May of 2012, the BBC Panorama program broadcast a documentary about “racism” in the host countries of the 2012 European soccer championship: Poland and Ukraine. Those two countries were about to stage the second biggest event in the sport after the World Cup, and legions of journalists had arrived to cover it. The purpose of the BBC program—aired strategically one week before the opening match—was to argue that neither country was qualified to host the tournament because of their “hateful” soccer cultures. The message: All-white countries are hotbeds of violent racism, and non-white fans and players would be in danger.

I know a lot about the Panorama program because I helped produce it. I saw what is arguably the world’s most famous and trusted media organization fabricate a false, sensationalist story. Through outright distortion—and by using only those pieces that fit its predetermined views—the BBC “documented” the vicious attitudes of people who live in countries that are not sufficiently “diverse.” The program had a scripted conclusion before a single camera was turned on.

Panorama is the BBC’s flagship investigative program. It is the longest-running such production in the world, having been on the air since 1953. The closest thing to it on American television is probably 60 Minutes. Panorama enjoys a reputation for hard-hitting and serious investigative journalism.

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Islamic State In Ukraine: A Christmas Present From The West, by George Galloway

By the time the West gets through with Ukraine, that country will wish that Russia had invaded it and taken over. From George Galloway at rt.com:

Islamist Chechen fighters who honed their combat skills at Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) training camps are at war against Ukrainian rebels, confirms the Times. Tumbleweed.

The report in British newspaper the Times, that Chechen Islamists, many reeling from defeat in Syria and Iraq amongst the alphabet soup of fanaticism, had indeed arrived at the war front in eastern Ukraine, woke me up from any Christmas torpor.

An earlier report in the New York Times had revealed that the Islamist Chechens were under the command of the fascist “Right Sector” and were there to “fight Russians” because “we like fighting Russians” and “will never stop fighting Russians.

For the Times at Christmas it was enough to quote one of their commanders: “Putin is our common enemy.” A quote which of course could have come from the editor of the Times!

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Is Russia Learning? by Paul Craig Roberts

Russia appears at times to be remarkably naive about the US government’s intentions. They may be getting wiser. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

Is Russia learning that Washington wants no deal with Russia except Russian vassalage and that relying on agreements with the West is delusional? There is some indication that Russia is learning, but it seems to be a slow process.

Russia Insider reports that the Russian government has told Israel that Israeli strikes inside Syria are no longer acceptable.

Russia Insider also reports that when asked about Kiev using Russian focus on the World Cup to attack the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, Putin answered: “if that does transpire, there will be harsh consequences for Ukraine’s sovereignty in general.”

These are reassuring statements that Putin has learned that turning the other cheek to Washington and Israel does not lead to diplomatic solutions but to further provocations. Nevertheless, Putin still appears to hold on to his belief in agreements. Putin said that the solution was for Ukraine to comply with the Minsk Protocol.

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The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War, by Martin Sieff

History is littered with empires that came to ruin hitching their policies to insignificant nations. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history.

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

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