Category Archives: War

Kremlin works to deflect blame for Russian defeats in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin: meetings with the military have been cancelled, apparently while the Kremlin works to clear him of blame for defeats in Ukraine.

Meetings between Vladimir Putin and his top military officials have been postponed while the Kremlin tries to find a way to deflect blame for Russia’s recent defeats in Ukraine, it has been suggested.

According to an assessment published on Tuesday by the Institute for the Study of War*, the Kremlin is trying to clear Putin of any responsibility for Russia’s disastrous retreat and instead place the blame on “underinformed military advisors within Putin’s circle.”

If military advisors are “underinformed”, then one would imagine Putin would be desperate to hold these meetings, find out where the rot has set in, and put a stop to it.

But perhaps that is too reasonable a point of view.

Commentators, discussing the Russian rout earlier this week, have suggested that the defeats have a more structural basis – that, Russia now being in the hands of corrupt oligarchs who owe their positions to Putin, investment on military equipment has collapsed; they have kept as much cash as they could and invested only in the cheapest and shoddiest weaponry.

As a result, in the face of cutting-edge technology sent to Ukraine by western powers, Russian soldiers have been outmatched and forced to back away.

You can appreciate that such news would not be welcomed by the leader who had made it possible for this to happen.

With Russia, as always, it will be practically impossible to find out what’s really going on.

As ever, we’ll have to draw our conclusions from any changes in strategy over the next few weeks, if not months.

* A Washington-based think tank.

Source: Putin pushed off meetings with top military officials as the Kremlin tries to deflect blame for Russia’s disastrous retreat

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Ukraine is making huge gains against Russia. Follow the story outside the mainstream media [VIDEOS]

Putin prepares to ride into Ukraine: okay, he isn’t really doing that. But after a series of defeats for Russia, we should all fear the response from a man who isn’t afraid to take his shirt off while riding a horse.

Has this even been covered on the national news?

This Writer has been watching the number of clips on YouTube following developments proliferating, but I can’t say I’ve noticed much about it on the media here in the UK. There’s a link to a piece about it on the BBC News front page.

Rather than pass comment myself – I don’t know that much about it at the moment – I’ll put up the video clips I’ve seen and allow you to make up your own mind.

Here we go. This is from September 10:

The trend continued on September 11:

And on September 12:

September 13:

This came from left-field:

Dore did focus on the main point of what’s happening:

Apparently the verdict is that it is not a turning-point in the Ukraine war.

Russia is not on the run and is now attacking the Ukrainian civilian energy structure. Interesting, considering Europe was apparently relying on Ukraine for power (from its surplus) over the winter?

Meanwhile, in Russia…

And so to today (September 14).

Here’s evidence that Russia is buying weaponry from North Korea. Can we blame that country, considering the amount of ordnance that Europe has been pumping into Ukraine?

The leader of the Russian Communist Party has called Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine a “full-fledged war”.  He’s calling for escalation of the conflict:

Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dimitri Peskov, has said that the Russian people are aware that the conflict in Ukraine has turned against Russia and are not happy about it.

I’ll keep an eye on this.

There certainly seems to be more to it than your lovable national media are saying.

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Money taken from Welsh hospitals to support war in Ukraine

Buddies: Boris Johnson (right) is more friendly with Volodymyr Zelenskyy than with sick people in the UK who will lose funding for hospitals so he can support the war in Ukraine.

Boris Johnson has announced that he is giving £1 billion in military aid to Ukraine – including £30 million from a Welsh budget to fund – among other things – hospitals.

It seems Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans was practically blackmailed into handing over the cash as, if she did not, it would have been taken anyway via “UK Treasury processes”.

Ms Evans, with whom This Writer has previously campaigned during Welsh elections, said the way the cash was found was “not right” and “worrying” – and that a precedent should not be set to allow Welsh government money to go on Westminster projects.

Ms Evans told a Senedd committee that she had been asked to either provide the money “upfront” or through a budget reduction later, as a knock-on effect from UK government departments providing cash for military aid.

£65m for Ukraine will come from Scottish government budgets.

The rest of the cash is coming from Westminster government underspends – cash that was included in departmental budgets but not used – meaning the only Tory government in the UK will lose nothing while governments run by Labour and the SNP are drained of vital resources.

According to the BBC,

The new British aid will go towards paying for “sophisticated air defence systems”, drones, electronic warfare equipment, and “thousands of pieces of vital kit”, the UK government said.

So Boris Johnson has decided that Ukraine gets equipment to help kill, injure and otherwise harm people, and Wales is deprived of vital funding for hospitals. I hope everybody can see what’s wrong here.

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Given their shared experience, Israeli politicians’ treatment of Zelenskyy is shocking

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: given his shared experience with members of the Israeli Knesset – losing members of their families to the Nazi Holocaust – their reaction to him is shockingly hypocritical.

How many layers of meaning do we have to peel away to understand the disdain shown by Israel’s political leaders to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy?

Was it because he harboured the openly-Nazi Azov Battalion – and sent them into the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine where they could indulge their love of attacking people who aren’t ethnically Russian?

Wouldn’t that be hypocritical in the light of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian people?

Was it because of an alleged tacit deal in which Moscow looks the other way when Israel bombs Hezbollah targets in Syria, so Israel neglects to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war?

The excuse they fell back on – the usual one – certainly didn’t cut the mustard; they took offence because Zelenskyy compared Putin’s apparent attempt to wipe Ukraine off the map with the Nazi attempt at genocide of the Jews:

“We are in different countries and in completely different conditions,” he said. “But the threat is the same: for both us and you, the total destruction of the people, state, culture. And even of the names: Ukraine, Israel.”

He topped it off by quoting former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, who was born in Kyiv, saying: “We intend to remain alive. Our neighbours want to see us dead. This is not a question that leaves much room for compromise.”

Members of the Israeli Knesset weren’t going to help Zelenskyy or Ukraine, so they resorted to a common tactic – pretending to have been attacked:

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel said: “The war [in Ukraine] is awful, but the comparison to the atrocities of the Holocaust and the final solution is an outrage.”

The Likud MP Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said: “…had the speech that was given by Zelensky… been given during normal times, we would say that it borders on Holocaust denial.”

That’s a shocking slur against a Jewish man whose own relatives were killed by Nazis during the same Holocaust.

It seems the UK isn’t the only nation having its hypocrisies exposed by the war in Ukraine.

Source: Ukraine’s President Zelensky is fighting Russian invaders, and now gets lectures on Nazism from friend and foe

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Why is this fact about the Russian attack on Mariupol being withheld from you?

The Azov Battalion’s flag: it features a Wolfsangel and a Black Sun – two symbols associated with Nazism.

It’s in the news all the time at the moment: the Russian attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

The violence. The atrocities. The possibility of Putin using chemical and biological weapons.

But do you know why Mariupol is so important to the Russian president? It may have gone past you because the BBC (to name just one news provider) certainly doesn’t include it in its reports, even though it should. Withholding this one fact shows a shocking bias.

Mariupol is the home base of the Nazi Azov Battalion.

Putin has made it clear that he intends to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, whose president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has publicly taken offence to the suggestion.

But Zelenskyy has absorbed the Azov Battalion into his armed forces (it became part of the Ukrainian National Guard in 2014 and Zelenskyy has done nothing to remove it).

You can read a large amount of detail about these Nazis here. It includes details of the Azov Battalion’s many incursions into the Donbas region to attack separatists there who wish to secede from Ukraine – and of war crimes committed by its members.

No legitimate and responsible national government would ever allow creatures like this to act for it. But Zelenskyy has.

I’m not saying that Russia is right to invade Ukraine, and anyone making such a claim will get the response they deserve.

It would also be wrong to portray Ukraine as valiant heroes fighting a ruthless oppressor when Ukraine numbers these Nazis among its armed forces.

This conflict must not be seen in black and white, “heroes against villains”, terms.

In this matter, Putin has a very good point.

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Russia-Ukraine talks resume – and at last they’re discussing PEACE!

The media are still banging the war drums but representatives of Ukraine and Russia were meeting again today (March 14) – and the agenda was a way to restore peace.

According to a BBC report here,

Ukrainian official Mykhailo Podolyak says both sides have now laid out their positions.

Earlier he said the latest talks would focus on establishing a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Russian troops, and security guarantees for Ukraine.

The pundits on Politics Live also mentioned the talks, saying they need to provide a way for Russia to withdraw with dignity, saying it has won something from what its leaders thought would be a walkover but turned into a wreck.

Nobody has talked much about peace possibilities so This Writer hesitates to bring forward suggestions that may seem naive. But we have to start somewhere – right?

So how about this:

  • Ukraine agrees not to join Nato – but to negotiate a special status with that organisation such that, if Ukraine’s borders are violated in the future, Nato would act as an ally and step in. This would provide Russia with the buffer between itself and Nato nations that Vladimir Putin wanted, while offering Ukraine the security that Volodymyr Zelenskyy demands.
  • Ukraine and Russia agree that the breakaway eastern regions hold referenda on their future – possibly a series of votes on whether to remain in Ukraine or become autonomous, and on whether to merge with Russia. All parties to abide by the result. Incursions into these regions by (allegedly Nazi) military or paramilitary groups to cease, with breaches being policed by a coalition of Ukraine and whoever governs the affected region.
  • Ukraine relinquishes any claim on the Crimea (or at least the vast majority of it that is inhabited by Russians.
  • Russia agrees to help repair the damage done to Ukraine by its invasion.

Would that be a good starting-point?

I am concerned that the same official who reported on the talks (above) has tweeted the following unhelpful message:

I don’t see how a discussion of the different countries’ political systems helps deal with the practical matters at issue here.

The questions involve what each country wants and how they can achieve the best compromise that can’t be seen to harm either of them – not whether their politics are good or bad. That is a matter for each nation’s people to decide.

I hope an agreement can be reached but I fear it will be difficult to get past the negotiators’ entrenched opinions.

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You think Israel is a hypocrite over Russia? You hardly know the half of it | TheCritique Archives

It seems hypocrisy is not limited to the UK’s politicians.

The argument here is that, by supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia, Israel is being not only hypocritical but grossly so, not only because

Israel and the Zionist movement, after decades of colonising the land of the Palestinians, now getting self-righteous about witnessing the Russians doing the same to someone else.

but also because

When Russia tries to seize control of Ukraine, it is in a sense trying to reclaim its ancestral homeland… Is it not a little odd that [Zionists] defend the theft of Israel from Palestinians on the pretext that it was the Jews’ ancestral home, and yet [they] oppose the Russians trying to reclaim theirs?

There’s a disclaimer that none of the article should be read as any kind of endorsement of Russia’s invasion so don’t misinterpret it that way.

A more full explanation of the situation is here:

Source: You think Israel is a hypocrite over Russia? You hardly know the half of it | TheCritique Archives

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Money Saving Expert says: don’t let the Tories blame cost of living crisis on Ukraine war

Martin Lewis: “It is a worsening of the situation – it is not the cause of the situation.”

The UK’s cost of living crisis started in the UK before the Russia-Ukraine war and should not be blamed on that conflict, ‘Money Saving Expert’ Martin Lewis has said.

And he said direct political action to ease the pressure is required – in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spring Budget on March 23 – because cutting household expenditure won’t be enough to save people from poverty.

He was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on March 10:

 

“Kwasi Kwarteng has said that many people are willing to make sacrifices because of Ukraine. I think he’s probably right but I am slightly worried that we are seeing what may be potentially a deliberate narrative shift that effectively says the entire cost of living crisis is due to Ukraine, and therefore we all need to make sacrifices/

“That is not correct. What has happened in Ukraine has exacerbated the situation.

“But the rises in energy, heating oil, water, council tax, broadband and mobiles, food, National Insurance, were all in place before Ukraine.

“When we have a Budget – or a Spring Statement – coming in a couple of weeks, we need to be careful not to allow that narrative to happen and to be used as an excuse that we all need to make sacrifices because of Ukraine, and that’s why we have to suck in the cost of living crisis.

“That is not a correct analysis. It is a worsening of the situation – it is not the cause of the situation.”

Mr Lewis added: “We are going to see a real increase in genuine poverty in this country; millions of people being thrown into poverty.

“The only way we can stop that is not by being money saving and tightening our belts; it is by genuine political intervention.

“We have a Spring Statement coming and I would urge the Chancellor: let’s nip this in the bud. Let’s not have people starving or freezing.”

What if the Tories don’t nip it in the bud? What if they want to push this fake narrative? What if they’re trying to use it to avoid providing any meaningful help?

You see, the mass media tries to avoid suggesting it, but this is what we need to ask ourselves:

What if the Tories are actually steering most of us directly into poverty because that’s what they want for us? Are we really going to lie back and let it happen?

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Toyah Wilcox’s Song of Support for Ukraine | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


This Writer asked for musical commentaries on the Russia-Ukraine situation and it didn’t take long for one to turn up!

I found this on the blog of my brother the Beast:

Mighty punk princess Toyah Wilcox and her husband Robert Fripp have been entertaining their legions of fans on YouTube over the past couple of years with their Sunday lunch performances.

Ten days ago they posted this song, ‘Ukraine We Hear You’. It’s obviously rather more serious, a musical gesture of support following the Russian invasion. Well, we in Britain and the West have heard Ukraine, and we hear Toyah and Robert’s song of support.

I hope the forces of peace and justice win, and that the war will shortly come to an end.

Source: Toyah Wilcox’s Song of Support for Ukraine | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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The propaganda war: Russian pundits dare to air their real views

It’s an overstatement, of course. Ukraine isn’t “Afghanistan, but worse” – although it could quickly mirror that 10-year Soviet disaster.

But the fact that Russian TV pundits are saying it, in the face of edicts from the Kremlin that only government-backed propaganda about the war should be broadcast, is a major victory for liberty.

I hope those Russian celebrities don’t suffer for it.

Of course, Russia isn’t the only country whose media are clogged with nationalist, imperialist claptrap masquerading as news.

Look at the UK’s coverage of the war. It all seems designed to draw you into that jingoistic mindset, so you’ll happily support your own country being drawn into the conflict when idiots like Liz Truss demand it.

Liz Truss!

I was going to ask, rhetorically, why she hasn’t been sacked yet but I think we all know the answer:

She’s doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing.

Pundits have reportedly spoken out against the Ukraine war on Russian state television including one who called it “Afghanistan, but even worse”.

Guests appeared to break ranks with Kremlin propaganda by calling for an end to the deadly invasion, according to media reports.

The Russian government has stepped up censorship since it launched its invasion of Ukraine, which has killed hundreds of civilians and caused more than two million to flee in the first two weeks.

The Kremlin has blocked most of Russia’s independent media outlets and forced the rest to halt coverage altogether with threats of prosecution and prison for reporting that deviates from the official line, which includes calling the action a war or invasion.

Meanwhile, state television broadcasts messages claiming Russian troops are in Ukraine to save people from “neo-Nazis” and to disarm a country that was preparing to wage war.

Pundit Karen Shakhnazarov said on state TV show The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev on Wednesday… “If this picture starts to transform into an absolute humanitarian disaster, even our close allies like China and India will be forced to distance themselves from us. This public opinion, with which they’re saturating the entire world, can play out badly for us.”

The Daily Beast reported another guest, Semyon Bagdasarov, as saying: “We don’t need to stay there longer than necessary… Do we need to get into another Afghanistan, but even worse?”

Source: ‘Afghanistan but worse’: Russian state TV ‘airs criticism’ of Ukraine war | The Independent

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