Putin’s mad gamble for a dead Soviet Dream

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Putin’s live rant/demented history lesson explaining why he’s going to start a war was as glorious as it was crazy!

The American media shat its collective pants that they had to livestream a Russian leader giving them a perspective that was about as close as the Anti-Christ taking confession.

it’s a fascinating insight into Putin’s paranoia –  starting at the Bolshevik Revolution with arguments Lenin used!

If only America started wars like this!

I loved how Putin had all his officials on screen telling him they agreed with his plan so that there was no worming out of it, that is in of itself an interesting insight into the balancing act Putin will be walking with this own Military and Government.

I think Putin made his call to invade the Ukraine when he saw the West attempt a coup to his South last month with the sudden explosion of violence in Kazakhstan.

Russia was always going to send troops to support the Kazakhstan government, the country is simply too important for Russian strategic interests to allow a revolution to sweep away their pro-Moscow regime.

The Russians have their Cosmodrome there, their secret hypersonic missile test range and Russian owned uranium mines.

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Russia saw this attempted revolution as part of a hybrid  war strategy that America and the West are conducting by seeding Western NGOs into civil society to ferment populist uprisings.

For Russia this is existential meddling in their neighbourhood and the likely response was always going to be a push back in the Ukraine with an invasion.

My guess is Putin will take Eastern Ukraine and carve out strategic assets along the Black Sea. He would require at least 450 000 troops to occupy the whole of the Ukraine and he’s only mobilised 200 000 so I don’t think he’s taking the whole country, he’s moving troops into regions that are already in dispute and will probably gain them without a shot fired in the East, however along the coast where he will attempt to clear a path to Crimea there may well be heavy fighting.

Putin will keep a large military pressure across the border next to Kiev to force Ukrainian military to defend the capital rather than engage in the East or South.

This will hurt globally…

What a Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean for the global economy

Why it matters: If there was a Russian invasion, there would not only be geopolitical shockwaves and human tragedy, but it also could upend markets and strain the global economy.

    • The largest country on earth by land mass, Russia is a commodities giant, ranking as a top producer of natural gas, oil, nickel, palladium, copper, coal, potash, wheat and more.
    • Disruptions to Russian exports — either at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s say-so or due to sanctions — would drive up commodity costs, adding to global inflationary pressures and supply chain disarray.

State of play: Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas and crude to the European Union.

    • Oil prices briefly jumped above $96 a barrel on Monday — the highest since 2014 — as investors grew skittish about continued access to Russian crude.
    • Natural gas is an issue too. Europe — particularly Germany — is most exposed should supplies of Russian natural gas stop flowing. More than 20% of Germany’s gas flows from Russia, so a gas shutoff to the European economic and export giant could hurt growth and reverberate throughout global supply chains.

Yes, but: The impact of a disruption of Russian raw materials would be broader. It’s difficult to predict how the dominoes would fall.

Worth noting: High prices are also incentivizing American energy production.

What we’re watching:

    • Inflation: If oil prices hit $120 a barrel — as analysts think could happen if Russia invades — that could make the recent inflationary surge more long-lasting than economists now think. (Central banks are watching. More on that later.)
    • Autos: An invasion could break another link in the rickety auto supply chain. Russia is the world’s biggest supplier of palladium used in catalytic converters that scrub auto emissions.
    • Wheat: Russia is the world’s third-largest wheat producer — Ukraine too is a massive wheat farmer — and prices for the grain could spike on an invasion, even without major disruptions of shipments. (That’s what happened during Russia’s 2014 takeover of Crimea.)
    • Aluminum: When Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — who controlled Russian aluminum producer Rusal — was sanctioned by the Treasury Department in 2018, it set off a 30% price surge.

…The focus now goes on Biden’s response.

If Biden takes the ‘nuclear option’ of sanctions, he will cancel all international SWIFT banking from interacting with Russian banks. Biden is seen domestically as weak after the Afghan fiasco and he will need to look tough and the severing of Russian Banks from the global banking network is the most muscular move he can make.

Russia who see their invasion of the Ukraine as geopolitical even stevens however will consider such move as a provocation that goes too far rather than a legitimate response.

Maybe this is the over reaction Putin is looking for to launch a far wider level of conflict chaos?

Consider the following, Russia responds to Biden’s banking over reaction with grey war tactics and launches cyber strikes while tearing open conflict in the Middle East by giving Iran the last pieces they need for nuclear capability.

Iran gaining nuclear technology is a red line for Israel and the Russians know that.

Israel responds with a massive never before seen military strike on all Iranian nuclear assets which causes oil prices to explode and supply chains to freeze to a stand still.

Inflation jumps to double figures as global markets implode.

This starts in the Ukraine and ends with Israel bombing Iran.

Watch for China to attempt its own symbolic show of strength while Biden is dealing with Putin.

Constant external geopolitical shock waves are the new post Covid normal.

 

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32 COMMENTS

  1. We are relying on the old coot who makes Trump look like a hybrid Churchill/Roosevelt when it comes to international relations. Let’s face it – he’ll be making cabinet decisions with his puppy and to date has left the heavy lifting to France and Germany who are collectively holding a pair of 2s relative to Putin’s full house.

    This whole issue comes down to whether the Ukraine is disposable and we all know the answer to this is ‘yes’ yet no one wants to say this. Ukraine was a poorly designed country than spans a number of distinctly different peoples and ethnicities. In that sense there is some logic to letting Putin have the Eastern regions which are inhabited by predominantly poor, ethnic Russians.

    What will be interesting is the response should further aggression target the Baltics, Poland and the balance of Nato’s eastern flanks. Would the old coot intervene – I’m not so sure anymore. Pre-Trump planes, missiles and troops would be thrown from Greece to Estonia in a huge line. Now – not so much. Even France and the UK appear gun shy.

  2. Russia has a GDP significantly smaller than Texas. It has no manufacturing base and no electronics industry. It faces demographic collapse party through a failure of its youth to reproduce and partly because they get the hell out of there as soon as they can. Their army is large but it’s based on a highly unpopular one year conscription (the training has a reputation for being highly abusive to recruits). It has no stealth aircraft and most of its hardware is from the 1970’s.
    Faced with the reality of Putin’s erratic behaviour, Europe has been building LNG terminals at it’s western ports to ensure it has the ability to buy gas on the open market.

    • Correct sans nuclear weapons if the West wanted to decimate the red army they could do it on a whim. Unfortunately Putin has Nuclear Subs and Supersonic Bombers and enough of them that they could not be contained.

      • a certain austrian corporal suffered under the same delusion, you should know that panzer boy, not to mention that french corporal…y’know the one that got poisoned by his wallpaper….

    • Andrew – Agreed Russia is in terminal decline, an EU comparison Russian GDP is about the size of Spain, so Germany, France and Italy are bigger.
      Frank is also right, Russian conventional forces could be contained but not the nuclear capability and there is plenty of economic damage Russia can inflict on Europe (and on itself). I’ve always thought of Putin as a chess player, but he’s nearly 70 and maybe desperate for a last push to reinvigorate a dying empire so adopts more of a brute force approach? Empires are arguably more dangerous on the way down than on the way up.

      The Russian alliance with China when China has an eye on Taiwan is also part of the mix.

      This is not to excuse the advance of NATO counter to the assurances James Baker gave Gorbachev which kept the peace during the break up of the USSR. Or US brinkmanship and rhetoric over the last few weeks. it’s quite something when Ukrainian ministers are asking the US media to tone it down. It’s also highly unlikely Ukraine will join NATO, as some members do not want them in, so it seems foolish to give Russia a pretext (if one was needed) for sending in ‘peacekeepers’.

      Unfortunately we are lacking the Kennedys and Khrushchevs that could row us back from this, I’m not optimistic.

    • thought russia went over to professional volunteer army yonks ago, the army is still regarded as a viable career by many.
      The real problem is capitalisms lust for the cheapest option in all circumstances has given putin the ‘gas card’ and now they don’t like how it’s being played….well like our reliance on china…capitalist greed is the petard we are hoisted by.

      • Yes re capitalism and with Germany it was also the green imperative, shutting down half its nuclear plants in the last couple of months (the rest to follow in the next year or so) with the intension of relying on natural gas (and Russian supplies) during its transition to renewables to meet a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2045.

  3. It’s surprising Martyn can write an article on Ukraine without mentioning the coup ,,, the anti-russian laws the coup government vomited up ,,,, and the neo-nazis that the christchurch killer idolized…. Real Nazis.

    https://cdn.extra.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/15141910/brenton-tarrant-new-zealand.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2019.09/original/5d70f9a2dda4c8ea558b4641.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2019.09/original/5d70f228dda4c8ad4b8b4682.jpg

    I heard from a friend that Nz tv news ran the NBC clip which is promotion/propaganda for the Azov battalion/nazis https://youtu.be/scO-WlbYc40?t=527 ,,,, which is a hell of a slap in the face to the Christchurch massacre survivors.

    TVNZ should not be promoting REAL Nazis ,,, and who is the ‘dark money’ behind that?.

    Usa Usa ,,,,, Unilateral Sadism Abroad

  4. When I can’t take it anymore from human halfwits I rise up and look down on my species. What do I see? A rabble of a species, ugly old children bickering over who has the greater share of the sand pit. Stupid, arrogant, ugly, old children dressed in suits, the uniform of intimidation, pretense and evil make believe. Nasty, greedy old kids smiling on admiringly at their cruelties while proudly displaying their emotional deformities as they wreak havoc in their homes while the rest of us must look on in fear and dismay.
    For the sake of all life on our planet there seems to me to be only three solutions to the dire problem of us.
    Rapid extinction or slow extinction or good drugs.
    I personally like the idea of rapid human extinction. That’d mean our wondrous wee beasties might have a fighting chance.
    Failing that? Good drugs. Specifically Ecstasy but also LSD. A combination of both is, so I’m told, a curative for the body, mind and soul so why not say Yes to Drugs.
    Nancy Regan? Remember it?
    Seen ‘Mars Attacks’ ?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Attacks!
    Now watch this alien bobble-head speak
    https://youtu.be/lQXgVM30mIY
    Husband Ronald Regan, his bestie Maggie Thatcher and their bestie milton friedman unleashed financial warfare on humanity in the form of a psychologically weaponised neoliberal fascist economic mantra whereby the most at risk get slaughtered for a profit. We, as a species, need to regain our intellectual prowess before they bomb us into mince to make a buck.

  5. He’s outfoxed them all again by signing a piece of paper!

    Recognising the DPR & LPR. He’s made them as Sovereign States!

    France and China will also recognise them too. That will be two-thirds of the UN Security Councils’ five permanent members!

    So now both newly recognised states can invite Russia to assist like Khazakstan did recently and Syria has done along with the help of Turkey to blow out the US and all its terrorist militia it funded.

    Now MSM will have to come up with another narrative!

    Marcon knows which way the wind is blowing. The Empire of China is in its ascendancy and France wants to be on the right side and also a bit of payback for the AUUKUS submarine deal as well as no one likes the Germans or NATO that much anymore.

    • France will recognise DPR & LPR? I must have missed that do you have a link to statements from Paris?

      So far as I can see, post-Merkel and Brexit, France looks set to take the dominant role in the EU, especially if Macron gets re-elected. France-led EU then becomes the major influence in Francophone Africa in opposition to Chinese influence while the US, UK and anglophone nations pivot to Asia-pacific.

      I don’t think China’s ascendancy is a given, they seem to be about where Japan was (as the ‘next major power’) in the mid-80s. Thanks to the one child policy, (reversed far too late), they are also in rapid demographic decline, the have a nationwide housing development ponzi scheme that is collapsing. This accounts for about 25% of GDP, the means of local governments funding (through land sales) and accounts 80% of the wealth of Chinese citizens in urban centres. Xi is becoming increasingly autocratic, reversing many of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms and adopting policies that have a flavour of cultural revolution about them, this is not the sign of a healthy state.

      Not that I think the US is a healthy state either, absent a major war, my money for the rising empire of this century is on India.

  6. He’s a new Tsar not a Lenin.
    The soviet dream was over by the mid 20s when Stalin came to power.
    Its a nostalgia trip to fuel the xenophobia he needs for the Great Game.
    The real world is that Russia is a super power and like every other super power has to fight the zero-sum game.
    Russia now has China in a tight alliance and the timing is right to pushback on the failing US with its lapdog Boris, to split the EU and win the game.
    It will be a game of of local and regional wars, of piecemeal expansion.
    Talk of war will escalate but all out war is feared by all.
    The risk of a breakout war will come from the US whose survival is staked on its military superiority.
    All it needs is a Dr Strangelove.

    • Klauss Shcwabb. Social Engineering amatuer, WEF creator extrodinaire?
      Well, kinda. Really he’s just a front door for more neoliberal capitalism.

      The 2800 billionaires will soon raid his cupboard and leave him be I guess, soon.

    • fear of russia predates the ussr, that’s why so many bolsheviks found refuge in the west before the revolution–anti czarists you see….the revolution can be viewed as the first in a long line of blowbacks from failed regime change efforts, in the post soviet period the unreasoning fear of russia persists, cold war rhetoric is a convenient ‘wag the dog’

    • “He’s a new Tsar not a Lenin.”
      Quite correct, and this all has sweet fuck all to do with the Soviet Union despite the blog’s title.
      The Rus and Russia has been involved in this part of Eastern Europe and Western Asia for many centuries as has half a dozen or more cultures including Mongols, Tatars, Turks, Hungarian and Baltic nations.

  7. Can’t help but think this is all a bit over egged.. What don’t people remember about how the US helped massively to have their own “Saigon” installed in Kiev.. Now they are doing exactly the same in Kazakhstan… To be still attempting to paint Russia as the antagonist in this situation is naive in the extreme… Yes, the Russians could take the eastern half of the country without firing a shot.. There will be no serious resistance in the southern area abutting the Crimea peninsula, as that area is already dominated by ethnic Russians.. The dividing line between the two ethnic groups will be the Dnieper river, and if one cares to peruse the maps, that river creates a natural barrier to influxes of troops in the number that would be required to battle the Russian army, plus the ethnic Russians who will gladly take up arms against the American puppet regime in Kiev.. In short, as long as the Americans do something stupid, there will barely be a shot fired… The split along the Dnieper actually suits both sides of the divide, and without meddling from the west, would see a relatively positive outcome for all concerned in Ukraine.. Removal of the puppet government, and replacing it with a government of ethnic Ukrainians can only benefit those to the west of the river… American interference in Europe is unwelcome in both Ukraine, and Western Europe… My question to those who choose to swallow the propaganda that underpins the behavior of uncle joe is… Haven’t we had enough of the deliberate destabilising of countless countries purely as a result of American imperialism? When is it enough? Are we to assume now, that without American involvement in our own affairs, we are incapable of sorting out our own issues? Apart from that squealing pig in London, the rest of Europe would prefer the Americans backed off and let them sort their own shit out… These countries were, after all, ancient and mature societies long before the British invaded north America. Why now the need to treat them as incompetent?

  8. Anyone getting their information on that situation via English language media – in particular US/UK outlets – doesn’t know what’s going on.

    • So where do you get your news from D’Esterre? This video seems to provide some useful historical context for the present Ukraine-Russia crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrDJQ15u5_A

      I suspect that Putin’s behaviour is at least partly a response to the USA’s continued Cold War attitude to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Bill Clinton pushed to extend NATO right to Russia’s western border, so why would we be surprised if Putin wants to push said border a bit further west.


  9. The decision was taken after Russia recognized the breakaway Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) People’s Republics in eastern Ukraine.

    Later on Tuesday, Putin told journalists Moscow was ready to provide military support to the Donbass republics, if required. The president was speaking in the Kremlin after holding talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.

    “Yesterday we signed agreements with the DPR and LPR. They contain clauses that we will provide, among other things, military assistance … If necessary, we will fulfill our obligations,” he said

    Contrary to all the news I have heard on air and all I have read in the MSM and here , Russia has not yet sent a single soldier into Donbass but stands ready to do so if requested by the leaders of these breakaway republics. And has made preparations.
    I would be pretty sure that this is all Russia will need to do. The civil war between the Kiev govt.and the Donbass is over. Whether it was being pushed by the Ukraine govt or rather by the US there is no way any aggressive action against the ethnic Russian population there will continue. The civil war is over. there are no losers except US and UK political egos. And nothing will come of it except hot air and self defeating sanctions.
    The greatest relief will be to pres. Zelensky.
    D J S

  10. It seems hardly possible but I’ve heard Russia’s economy is only as big as Oz. Lets Ukrainize Russia. Not a weapon needs to be clicked. Germany is a pussy. Close these pricks down til they become democratic. Not a breath of air to them til then. Does anyone remember Czechoslovakia in 1938.

    Also, not sure why Kuwait gets a grand coalition and coz Ukraine isn’t in NATO it gets nowt. Nuclear weapons I suppose. Cut their oxygen off.

    • The Minsk agreements were signed by Ukraine and the break away republics. Russia tried for 8 years to get the Ukraine govt to keep to the agreement.
      Then Biden, Blinken and Boris started the Russia invasion rumours. Is it because they want Russia in the situation it was in after the collapse of the Soviet Union? The economy was in ruins and several people died through starvation. Putin was the person, with help no doubt, who turned the country around. But Russia is extremely resource rich and the USA is no doubt coming to the end of her resource supply.

      Putin had all European leaders knocking at his door wanting to negotiate with him.
      While they talked the Ukrainians have started bombing the East with heavy artillery. Many of the military units are mercenaries. There are full blown Nazis/Banderites in these units. People who think Russia are the ‘baddies’ need to look up Odessa and the event that took place there prior to the Maidan in Kiev 8 yrs ago.

      Re Putin’s desire to carve up more countries, how many places has he invaded compared to the USA? Russia doesn’t want war but when the Ukrainians with the support of Western military equipment bomb and kill innocent Russian speaking civilians he will enter the country to support the Russian people living there. He’s already evacuated several 100,000s women and children from the area. Saw a busload of orphans heading toward their evacuation bus. Their parents had been killed by the Ukrainian bombing of the Donbass 8 years ago. And all we worry about are the protestors.

  11. I won’t repeat the points already well made by many here in response to a Washingtonesque post by you Martyn.
    Special mention to reason, Denny Paoa, Stefan, David Stone and Winifred Kiddle.
    Thank you.

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