GUEST BLOG: Ben Morgan – Ukraine – Expect more bluster and threats


Although, Putin’s escalation last week was unsettling it was certainly predictable and the world needs to be prepared for more threatening activity.  Putin is a gambler, constantly willing to take risks, confident that his luck will hold.  Further, for many years his aggressive behaviour has been incentivised because the world community has ‘looked the other way’ allowing him to use military power to achieve political goals.  It will take time for him to realise that the rules of the game have changed and that the world community is committed to stopping him.  Until he understands the reality of his situation, we are likely to see continued aggression, threats and even a period of nuclear brinkmanship. 

At this stage it seems that Putin is desperate, but still has options available. The mobilisation plan being his ‘least worst’ option, it is better than either accepting defeat or taking the risk of using tactical nuclear weapons. Accepting defeat is too politically risky and using tactical nuclear weapons could lead to very significant and unpredictable consequences; NATO imposing a ‘no fly zone’, actively targeting Russian tactical nuclear weapons in theatre, destroying Russian logistics facilities or sinking the Black Sea Fleet are all options suggested by credible commentators. Any of these actions would demonstrate NATO resolve and cripple Russia’s war effort because this is not an equal struggle, if unleashed NATO’s military power is vastly superior to Russia. So Putin is treading a careful line, using nuclear threats to create uncertainty abroad and shore up support at home. However, he is also likely to understand that if he pushes NATO too far; and the ‘gloves come off’ Russia will be easily defeated. 

Analysis suggests that mobilisation’s impact will be limited.  Commentators are almost unanimous about both Russia’s lack of military training resources and terrible logistics system that make the call up hard to administer.  Even the Russian military blogger community is skeptical about whether Russia can mobilise effectively. And, these concerns don’t take into account the recent flight of men from Russia and the protests against mobilisation that suggest at least some people are not keen to be drafted. 

 Unfortunately for Putin, he is an autocrat surrounded by ‘Yes men’ who tell him what he wants to hear rather than what he needs too, so he is unlikely to be getting quality advice.  In my opinion, at this stage he is looking for non-nuclear options to escalate and stabilise the situation until his gas embargo strategy can take effect.  If you are not a military professional and are not being provided with quality advice, it is unlikely that you would understand the intricacies of mobilising hundreds of thousands of soldiers so mobilisation could seem like a good option; especially when the alternative is either defeat or using nuclear weapons.  It is likely that Putin’s plan is:

  • Speed up the annexation of the areas of Ukraine that are ‘not negotiable’ objectives of the operation.  It is an obvious sham but provides justification within Russia for future escalations.
  • Call for a partial mobilisation. This will pacify the hawks, military bloggers and ultra-nationalist conservatives that are currently lamenting Russia’s failure to subdue Ukraine.  Further, calling it a ‘partial mobilisation’ may limit the political damage within the wider population that were either ambivalent or opposed to the war.
  • Secretly mobilise far more soldiers and flood Ukraine with them, cannon fodder to slow the Ukrainian offensives down and stabilise the situation until winter comes and European voters feel the sting of the gas embargo.
  • Throw nuclear threats around to deter NATO support for Ukraine and more importantly so that the hawks, military bloggers and ultra-nationalist conservatives that support a strong Russia are reassured and remain loyal. 
  • Over time, rebuild the military power required to continue military operations but start to open channels for negotiation with NATO.  Use the annexations as a claim to legitimise retention of a land corridor to Ukraine when negotiation starts.

Looking at this plan we can predict that in the next few days we will see completion of the annexation referendums that started last week.  The outcome of the referendums is not in doubt, they will show overwhelming support for annexation by Russia and Putin will recognise Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson Oblasts (regions) as a part of Russia.  Completion of the referendums and annexation will not materially influence the battle in Ukraine. It is not going to stop the Ukrainians or limit external support for the war.  However, it is highly likely that we will see an increase in Putin’s threatening rhetoric, including nuclear threats after annexation and the world needs to be prepared for this activity. It is vital that policy makers are not shocked or panicked but instead review his statements in a cool, calm manner.  

Even after the annexation it seems unlikely that Russia’s nuclear threats will culminate in the use of nuclear weapons in the near future.  The reasons why can be summarised as follows:

  • If Putin was going to use tactical nuclear weapons their shock value and impact would have been most effective early in the war, perhaps before the withdrawal from Kharkov. Used at this time, by surprise their use would have been a severe test of NATO’s resolve and the response could have been very different, maybe a withdrawal of NATO support or pressuring Ukraine to negotiate.  If he uses them now, NATO is prepared and united in its approach and there will be a strong response. 
  • This week, the United States discussed its use of ‘back channel’ warnings about nuclear escalation with Russia. Information that confirms two key points; first that the United States is taking the language seriously and is making sure Putin understands the risk of escalation. And, secondly that there are still back channels open for these discussions. Confidential ‘discussions without prejudice’ are vital for managing international crisis’s it is likely that these channels are also being used to discuss possible start points for negotiation.   The key point is that there is communication which minimises the risk of miscommunication.  
  • Using nuclear weapons is a very dangerous and unpredictable escalation.  If Putin, uses nuclear weapons he is taking a big risk both at home politically and militarily.  A risk with impact that are hard for him to estimate.
  • Ukraine has already made a number of attacks on Russian territory, including Belgorod and locations in Crimea, an area annexed in 2014.  None of these attacks has resulted in significant escalations in the war or nuclear threats, indicating that there is a higher threshold for Russian use of nuclear weapons.  
  • At this stage Russia has a plan and options other than defeat. Including options for escalating conventional attacks on towns and civil infra-structure.  Using nuclear weapons throws those options away, significantly increasing the risk to Russia.

However, we cannot completely rule out Russia using nuclear weapons particularly as the war progresses. In the short-term, the risk is also lower because the war is entering a new more static period, a phase in which the Russians have some breathing space and the opportunity to let their mobilisation strategy ‘play out’.   

Recent reports indicate a tactical pause as the Ukrainians in the north-east hit geographic features like the Oskil River that slow their advance.  Ukrainian forces in this area are also likely to be starting to feel the effects of their rapid advance.  It seems that the Ukrainian plan is to prop on a line north / south, parallel with the Oskil River, while they invest Lyman.  This town is a key Russian supply base and lynchpin for operations near Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.  If the Ukrainians take the town Russia’s aim of capturing all of Donetsk will be severely impacted.  So, the Ukrainians in the north-east are concentrating their forces on Lyman. When they take the city, they have two options; advance north into Luhansk using the Oskil River to protect their flank or turn south and recapture Lysyschansk and Severodontesk. 

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In the south, an information ‘black out’ imposed by the Ukrainian military in Kherson means there is not a huge amount of information available about the situation.  However, it is likely that the operation to isolate the defenders of Kherson on the west side of the Dnipro River, contain them and force them to surrender is progressing as planned.  The operation was always going to take time and the reports that are slipping out from this area do not indicate any significant changes in the situation. 

The general slowing down of Ukrainian advances will mean that the Russians have more time to move forces around and try to rebalance.  It is also unlikely that there will be any huge Ukrainian thrusts into Russian controlled areas, which in turn means that the chance of Russia being ‘spooked’ by sudden Ukrainian advances into using nuclear weapons is lower.  Although there will be a period of post-annexation nuclear rhetoric the real test of Putin’s nuclear threats will be later as the campaign develops. 

The time of highest risk will be when either Lyman in the north or Kherson in the south falls, either of which will be a significant defeat and will provide the anchor-point for a larger Ukrainian offensive into the annexed areas.  Another, risk is if Ukraine launches a new offensive pushing south on the east side of the Dnipro River towards the coast and potentially splitting the ‘Crimean land bridge’.  When Russian defences fail again; and Ukrainian forces surge into newly annexed areas Putin’s rhetoric will be tested and hopefully, he is bluffing. 

Ben Morgan is a tired Gen X interested in international politics. He is TDB’s Military analyst.


  1. Here we go again Ben…the following you missed out
    – $15 BILLION of USA, and $30 BILLION of UK weapons are been dumped in Ukraine — so far, about half have ended up on the Black-market, or Russian hands
    – CIA agents have been caught on the battlefield
    – Energy Bills have skyrocketed in Europe, and petrol prices have also skyrocketed in the USA due to the conflict
    – The Ukraine President is busy as a spoke-person for the weapon industry, guest speaker for the arms industry conference— hence why he is missing from the MSM right now
    – Protests are still continuing in Ukraine, Poland, Baltic States against the Ukraine Government

    • Ha ha Nathan. There was an extensive investigation by The Guardian into the so called black market for western weapons in Ukraine. The so called dealers were traced to Russia and in all likelihood are FSB or GRU fraudsters generating fake news for the benefit of gullible souls like Nathan. Where do you get your information from Nathan?

          • Cantabrian ‘The Guardian is a reputable paper and if you can’t accept that then you have a problem.’ Buhahahaha you’re joking? They haven’t been reputable even before they throw Juliane Assange under the bus!!

            • They are a hell of a lot more reputable than you with all your fake news rubbish gleaned from Russian agitprop sites!

            • You are entitled to your opinion but you can’t look for conspiracy around every corner. The Guardian is totally independent of government and I’ll defy you to tell me differently. Standard contrarian tactic to abuse reputable news sources and forward their own crackpot ‘news’ sites such as: ‘Information Clearing House’ – what a joke or ‘Moon Over Alabama’ another joke. You can buy into that stuff but don’t quote them as a credible source. They have zilch credibility.

            • I think you are talking about The Guardian on the shelves not the online version. Or you are getting confused with The Listener.

          • Yup – realise it is a bit ‘vogue’ at the moment (with some) to render any respected and established news source as suspect but limiting yourself to ‘alternative sources’ such as convicted sex offender Scott Ritter (etc) also pretty questionable.
            Personally I would take an award winning newspaper over the musings of a sidelined pedo any day but hey that is just me . .

            “Ritter was arrested again in November 2009[33] over communications with a police decoy he met on an Internet chat site. Police said that he exposed himself, via a web camera, after the officer repeatedly identified himself as a 15-year-old girl.[2] Ritter said in his own testimony during the trial that he believed the other party was an adult acting out her fantasy.[34] The chat room had an ‘age 18 and above’ policy, which Ritter stated to the undercover officer.[2] The next month, Ritter waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bail. Charges included “unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of minors, indecent exposure, possessing instruments of crime, criminal attempt and criminal solicitation”.[35] Ritter rejected a plea bargain and was found guilty of all but the criminal attempt count in a courtroom in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, on April 14, 2011.[2][36] In October 2011, he received a sentence of 1½ to 5½ years in prison.[37] He was sent to Laurel Highlands state prison in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in March 2012 and paroled in September 2014.[38][34][31″

          • Actually, they are largely the same animal as the rest of the corporate owned information network.. Guardian Australia is one of their better outputs, but the UK branch, for instance, is rotten with corporate whores.. Even Al Jezeera has been polluted now..
            The sad fact is, that the real monster lives in the White house… Biden has the blood of countless people, many of them women and children… Have a look at what happened when he was VP..
            People much smarter than both of us, and who have the reality to go off, have all said that the Russians have already won..
            What the pitiful excuse for a news media calls weakness, and proof that the Ukrainians are stanch, is just shallow, and wishful thinking… and Biden knows it.. Go and read what the truly smart people, who aren’t paid up corporate whores are writing now.. You might be shocked at just how much utterly self serving propaganda is coming out of Washington now.. Right now, the biggest existential threat to the survival of humanity resides in Joe Biden. He’s just a corporate whore, but he’s been most useful to those who kill us all if it made them bigger profits..

      • Good question Cantab, personally I before reading always check for BBC, AP, Telegraph, Wapo, NYT, RT etc because whatever they say is going to be slanted. The biggest bit of this war which for obvious reasons is unreported is the “information / propaganda” war which is being decisively won by the Ukraine / NATO / US. The Russians through RT etc are complete doozies at it.

        That said if you triangulate and ask basic questions like “Why are the Russians reportedly shelling a nuclear plant occupied by their troops?” you can get to the bottom of it.

        • Most of us would trust BBC, NYT, Guardian and Telegraph ahead of RT. Why?

          Because the western outlets are all independent of the govt and with the exception of the BBC privately owned. In contrast RT is a direct arm of the Russian government.

          Now, if you can’t see the distinction between how most western governments exist in a political contested environment and how this contrasts with the government of Russia, well that is your problem.

          • Government serves the same moneyed interests that own/control the media. As such, the two are joined at the hip. It is why Government can funnel trillions to the moneyed class and we don’t bat an eyelid. It is why the media is transfixed on the Ukraine war while remaining silent on other wars, like the war in Yemen. Whatever is good for the moneyed crowd, the media will focus on it, likewise ignore it if it undermines moneyed interests. Whatever politically contested environment we in the West have, is chiefly determined by money.

          • Wayne, I included RT in the list. No different to the BBC, not to be trusted. If you can’t see that all of those organisations spout state sponsored propaganda that’s fine, just stay in the dark. It’s safer, less demanding, to be an establishment type.

            • Come on Nick! RT is very different to the BBC. BBC editorialises far less than RT and attempts to put both sides of the argument. RT’s discussions have no contrasting points of view whatsoever! I listen to BBC Radio 4 which is far better than their TV channel anyway.

              • Bollocks Cantab, the end result is the same statist bull. The Western media are more like Izvestia and Pravda 40 years ago. The Russians didn’t buy the bull, yet the Wests masses eat it raw. Bernays got it right.

                • Bollocks to you Nick! You make no sense. If the BBC was so pro-government, then why was Nadine Dorries trying to destroy them, threatening to take away the licence fee and threatening to privatise Channel Four? I think you are talking through your hat about the BBC. Have you ever listened to BBC radio 4? I suspect not. If you can’t tell the difference between the BBC and RT, you have genuine problems of perception.

                  • No answer Nick J? You are obviously not across what is happening in the UK? You’re not good on details are you?

          • Wayne “forgets” all sorts of things ….. don’t you Wayne?.

            Everyone else seems to have forgotten “Dirty Politics” along with him ……

            Perhaps Wayne could remember ,,, and describe to us ,,,, how this smearing/censoring and marketing operation ,,,, run in a cooperative and collaborative way,,, with our “independent of the govt” & “private” media, took place.

            ie our ‘independent & private ‘ Dirty media ,,,, has people misinformed to the extent ,,,, that some dupes still believe John Key gave/donated his PM’s salary to charity !!…. what a sad joke.

            How did your bullshit factory get away with that kind of shit Wayne ?.

            Anyway ,,,, here’s some real information/the antidote ,,,, to the International Dirty media and ours,,,,, that all the slava ukraine/glory to Israel crowd/ & Wayne, push.

            Nord Stream 1&2 SABOTAGED. Referenda Over 90% IN FAVOUR of Joining Russia after MASSIVE Turnout

      • Cantabrian the banderite troll hasn’t come up with any good debating points! And stop stalking Nathan come up with sound proposition that counters his argument like why would Russia bomb a nuclear plant that their soldiers just secured?

    • Straight out of the blocks with first comment meet, Nathan.

      Cue for many more, zero fact, comments from anonymous Putin Troll dolls.

        • I think military analyst miss understand the popular support Russia enjoys. Even if we take the high number above NATO countries. Western democracies barely reach a billion people where as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) if 4 billion alone not including the middle East, African continent and The South Pacific.

          That’s the bit commercial media couldn’t possibly be truthful about. In a way the overreaction to the rising incomes of the BRICs is an us problem, not a them problem. In this sense, Putin’s objectives and behaviour makes perfect sense. (I think iv cleared up at least the Putin Cray Cray narrative)

          Assuming that providing leathal military aid to Ukraine IS a response to Putin’s efforts to industrialise Russia. I don’t think Brazil, India and China will appreciate having a BRICs nation being told “higher incomes isn’t good enough for you.”

          • China and India don’t support the war anyway. India is buying French aircraft now instead of the badly performed Sukhois they originally ordered.

            • Free trade isn’t a compelling argument. China is the largest buyer of Being aircraft while at the same time Being manufacturers military aircraft designed to end Chinese dominance. I just don’t think that relying on the open markets will yield anything. They just need to be told there place.

              • And you need to tidy up your spelling Sam! Being for Boeing? There for their? Manufacturers for manufactures? Come on!

      • Pat+Odea Iranian suicide drones supplied to Russia are inflicting losses on Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

        Ukrainian military officers told the Journal that the drones, thought to be Shahed-136 UAVs operate in pairs, one targeting nearby radar as the second one locks on its target and slams into it. The drones have hit several Ukrainian armored vehicles and artillery batteries. Russia doesn’t do effective propaganda like the collective west.

    • If Ukrainian forces, with only half the weapons supplied by Western countries, can roll back the Russian much vaunted army from huge swathes of territory in their eastern provinces. What does that say about Russian ability to take and hold ground? ALL those captured or black market bought western weapon systems are yet to make an appearance on the battlefield why don’t they use them? Or maybe this “black market” is a figment of your imagination? Where can I buy a Himar system?

      CIA agent on the ground? Off course there are, as are British, Polish, German and a host of others (including NZL). They are studying the Russian MO and learning.

      Worth a listen to and learning from.

      Scroll all through his podcasts for a Russian acadamic insight.

      • Gerrit Why are NZL interfering in a conflict that has nothing to do with us? And Russia doesn’t do propaganda like the collective west so anything that is linked to western insight shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

        • NZL is not interfering, just studying warfare, logistics and tactics first hand. You really think that within the 120 odd NZL combat trainers sent to the UK that no intellegence agent was sent to Ukraine for on the ground intelligence gathering? PS hear anything about the RNZAF Hercules operations lately? Clandestine operations?

          Russia don’t do propaganda? RAFLMHO. Sorry that is so funny.

        • Fair enough to question our involvement but why is Russia invading a country it agreed to respect the sovereignty of? Russia doesn’t do propaganda like the west? You mean it does it differently, or not at all?

          • “Wheel September 27, 2022 at 10:20 am
            Fair enough to question our involvement but why is Russia invading a country it agreed to respect the sovereignty of? Russia doesn’t do propaganda like the west? You mean it does it differently, or not at all?”

            I guess you haven’t heard of the Minsk agreements or the Coup in 2014 ousting the legitimate president Viktor Yanukovych whom was friendly to Russian interest and securing his country with never ending energy that they seem to be suffering from atm because of NATO intervention.

            Oh and they’ve got a bit of a NAZI problem near their borders. Ever heard of Operation Gladio??? If you haven’t then I advise you to look it up?

            • Is this the same Agreements that were signed with Russian backed separatists (no interference there of course), and indeed Russia was a signatory to as well, that Russia subsequently said no longer existed and casually recognised Luhansk and Donetsk as republics? Yes, I have heard of it but is that the excuse to invade?

              • Wheel seems that the banderite infantry shilling on behalf of the neo nazi brigade don’t like peace. The overthrow of an elected President doesn’t bother the banderite trolls either (I’m including you as such) The fact that shills like yourself can’t see past your own ignorance means that you’s can’t be reasoned with even when mounting evidence of Neo-Nazi brigades operating under the command of NATO org the genesis of ‘Operation Gladio’ and the ‘stay behinds’

                • Don’t like peace? WTF does that mean? Ukraine should just roll over so Putin can annex a neighbour? I didn’t say over throwing anyone was ok, but I don’t think what Russia is doing is ok either. According to you every Ukrainian is a Nazi. That’s like me saying every Russian is a homophobic, racist arsehole.

                  • Wheel Russians are battling NATO proxy war Ukraine is the folder remember NATO will fight the Russians till the last Ukrainian! It comes from Operation Gladio “stay behinds” enacted after WW2 that why the Neo Nazi are problematic to Russia because they’re supported by NATO!!

          • James+Brown its delusional for you to think that we should help ‘NATO’ thousands of miles away in a conflict that ‘NATO’ started in 2014 by helping ova throw an elected president ‘Viktor Yanukovych’ who secured neverending energy for Ukrainians and the EU & NATO didn’t like that!!

            • Yanukovych was a criminal and allowed the Russian FSB and Berkut thugs to slaughter 100 innocent civilians. How many Ukrainians do you know Stephen? You need to be re-educated.

        • Stephen – Russia doesn’t do propaganda like the West?! Give me strength! All the Russian media do is spout propaganda. Russia Today, Izvestia, Tass. Agitprop was invented by Lenin and is going full steam under Putin. I can’t believe your naïvety Stephen! You make such stupid remarks!

          • Cantabrian, Oh looky here the banderite troll supportive of neo-nazi operations in Ukraine!! These site that you’ve accused of being propaganda sites for Russia is misleading and here why?

            RT was shutdown in western countries so its reach is limited like the other media outlets that you’ve mentioned! Unlike CNN, Fox News, Sky News, CBS, Reuters, Guardian, Aljazeera, CNBC, BBC, Haaretz, Australian news, European News, USA Today, Good morning America, Bros. Discovery Paramount Global, Naspers, FOX Corp, News Corp, Jewish chronicle, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC, The Daily Telegram, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on and on etc… Get my point?

              • Communism ended in the 1990s so your accusation of being a stalinist is meaningless unlike your support for neo nazi ‘Stepan Bandera’ who are stronger than ever and have been supported by ‘NATO’ the organisation that banderites like yourself venerate.

                • Ha, ha your little joke Stephen. Ok then, you are a Putinist and that is getting closer to Hitler and Nazism every day. Prigozhin the founder of Wagner Group named after who? Have you heard of Richard Wagner Stephen? Or perhaps your erudite self does not extend to classical music!

                • Stephen communism did not end in the 1990s. It was carried on first in secret and then openly by the siloviki. Get a brain! Боже мой!

    • While protests in Russia continue against the mobilisation call up. Also US petrol prices descended for 98 consecutive days until last week.

  2. Hahahahahahah, ‘Putin is desperate’.

    Ridiculous. As you admit, the referendums in the liberated territories will show overwhelming support for liberation from the Zelensky regime. And now, the deployment of reservists to other Russian borders will allow the regular Russian military to join the liberation fight alongside the LPR and DPR militias and Wagner who have taken the bulk of the fight until now. Just keeps getting worse for NATO shills.

      • Lol, actually, back in the real world, we human beings have ‘international observers’ observing our elections. Elections can be valid without american-lovers like you around, you know.

            • Yes, there was footage provided of them going door to door. But wait, don’t tell me it was all staged! They took all the props away from filming Capricorn One and whipped up some Ukrainian looking decoy to fool us all. Russia does free and fair so well, how do dare question these referendums.

              • ‘Wheel September 27, 2022 at 11:16 am
                Yes, there was footage provided of them going door to door. But wait, don’t tell me it was all staged! They took all the props away from filming Capricorn One and whipped up some Ukrainian looking decoy to fool us all. Russia does free and fair so well, how do dare question these referendums.’

                That not proof!!!

                • Give it a break Stephen. You have no more proof than anyone else for a lot of your comments. How about every statement you make you reference a peer reviewed publication to substantiate every single comment. “Russia doesn’t do propaganda” would be a great place to start

                • An official in Lugansk this morning explained that polling booths had not opened until the last day of poling because of the risk of Ukrainian shelling of the booths. So for the first 4 days they sent soldiers door to door collecting votes. This is a system that could indeed be abused but at the same time it would be a responsible thing to do under those circumstances . So if you want to believe it was a standover tactic that’s what you will believe; if you want to believe it was a sensible ,responsible precaution enacted without the least coercion that’s what you will believe. Either way the results seem pretty convincing.
                  D J S

                  • These elections are not fair and fair and they won’t be until these regions are de-militarised. Stand over tactics from gun toting military might be your idea of democracy but it isn’t mine! What you don’t understand is just because there are Russian speakers in this area does not mean they will automatically vote for Putin. Far from it.

                    • It would be great if after the dust has settled and open warfare stopped the UN would conduct follow up referenda properly monitored by the UN to see what the answer really is.

        • Who said anything about the US? That’s half your problem, you are so hung up on hating the US that you ignore Russian bs. It’s quite possible to point out that turning up door to door with soldiers to get voters for referendums is coercive, without that being an endorsement of the Americans.

        • To be honest Mohammed the more comments of yours that I read the more you comedic you seem to become . . at times I wonder if you are taking the piss and at others I wonder if you are just straight out mental.

    • Hey Mo….Any word on the results with the referendum….Your inside contacts might have heard something…Not sure what the odds are at the TAB , but the word is , from some of the Bowling club bars that I have had the pleasure of frequenting , that it could be a close call….But between you and me and the fence post , I think the Russki’s might have the upper hand here…

  3. I prefer the photo-shopped pics of Putin beside a young Henry Kissenger better than this one of him beside a nuclear bomb.

    More seriously,, Putin has not threatened tactical nukes any more than ‘I’m ready to push THE button’ Liz Truss has….. who is the more stupid out of those two?.

    Talking about Nuclear escalation ,,, Ukraine War Escalates—

    Finally ,,, “sham” votes/voting ,,,, Why Are People in Ukraine Voting to Join Russia?

  4. Ben Morgan should be on the next plane to Moscow–they clearly need a higher standard of advice over there!

  5. The only offensive that stands a chance of success is the US economic offensive on the EU. That is going very well according to Der Speigel, The first German companies have begun throwing in the towel and consumption is collapsing in response to the fallout from exploding energy prices. The economy is sliding almost uncontrolled into a crisis that could permanently weaken the country.

    As for continued Ukrainian offensives, it would appear that the “soft don’t touch the infrastructure” approach by Russia has ended. If Germany is cold and economically crippled what show Ukraine?

      • Why do we need a “conspiracy”? Its out in the open and a natural consequence of the sanctions. Europe politically is too stupid to see the damage, so why wouldn’t private US energy interests take advantage? Why wouldn’t German capitalists think about moving their plants to the US where they can expect better energy security? The money will go and seek the safest refuge regardless of the politicians and state actors.

      • No, Cantabrian is just another Kiwi incapable of serious study and reading of history. One like so many who has been over a long period of time thoroughly propagandized and brainwashed and doesn’t realise that such sources of information as foreign policy documents, declassified material and the observations, reports and analysis of political and geo-political events by serious journalists are all available to be considered.
        Brainwashed folk are easy to detect. Even if they were provided with a collection of links and book titles it is unlikely they would look at any of them because their neurological processes have been so cauterized and shrunk by propaganda for so long that no reversal of the condition is possible.
        There is also in them the added deep down fear of coming to conclusions about the world we live in. They are people who cannot conceive that in this world there may be no such thing as an ‘authority’ which is the ‘right authority’ the one they know must be there running the shop.
        An interesting man called Kary Mullis wrote about this. Who was he? He was the scientist who got a Nobel prize for chemistry for inventing and leading the team which gave the world the PCR test. He is on record explaining that he had invented a laboratory tool not a diagnostic tool. Kary Mullis had an extraordinary and original mind. He wrote an interesting little book called ‘Dancing Naked in the Mind Field.’ I would suggest that ‘dancing naked in the mind field’ is a great way to be and to find out about all and everything.

        • I think you are the brainwashed one Archonblatter and you don’t even realise it! You and your fascist mates really flatter yourself. Like it or not I am an historian with a doc. All that post modernist mambo jumbo doesn’t impress me in the slightest. What are your qualifications Archonblatter?

          • Curiously Canterbrain, my vote has nearly always been socialist for as long as I remember, about sixty years. Except for a couple of mistaken votes for NZ First or Green in their better days. Now I find myself faced with the possibility of voting for the right or not voting at all. I believe I am not alone in this.
            As for PhD’s, these days they are hardly worth the paper they are written on. I count it an advantage not to have been influenced by the rot which has been seeping out of universities in the West for a long time now. I have known plenty of people with degrees. Some of them have been down right goofy.
            Do explain please if you are capable of coherent thought and scrip the ‘post modernist’ statement in my previous post.

            • Blanket comment:’PhDs are hardly worth the paper they are written on’. How the hell would you know Archon Blatter you haven’t done one! Actually it is a very exhausting process and often one’s arguments get ripped to shreds. That’s why these countless insults on TDB don’t phase me in the slightest. I got far worse during my doc. I had to do all of my research in Russian and language skills enhance the brain. I think you are on the wrong track Archon Blatter. Tall Poppy syndrome.

        • ‘Just another Kiwi’ is that bordering on racism perhaps?
          I actually have Russian and Ukrainian grandparents for your information and my father was born in Russia.
          Mullis was continuously popping LSD it seems. What a ludicrous example! If your absolutes are blurred or meaningless from popping too many pills, you are welcome to it. Earning a PhD requires an original piece of work and failure rate is high. Many are called but few are chosen.

          • Hardly racism, more like disappointment in that the spirit of people who lived here forty or fifty years ago is no more. Thousands upon thousands have departed for good. Their aged and bereft parents shuffle themselves into the old age gulags.
            Those born and reared in the age of neo-liberalism are from another reality.
            As to Mullis, his fascination with chemistry began as a child when he was given a chemistry set as a gift. He writes openly about the consciousness changes he experienced taking LSD. The expansion of consciousness he experienced contributed to perceptions which lead to his receiving a Nobel Prize.
            ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ is a Christian saying. Actually like many of so called Christian precepts it comes from the pre – Christian Platonic saying that ‘many are the thyrsus bearers but few are the mystics or true philosophers.’ In Christianity the saying suggests that narrow is the path to God and few find the way to eternal life.
            The saying doesn’t apply to academic life at any level and the level of academia and academic institutions these days runs from the reasonable to the truly ridiculous.

            • That might be your interpretation Archon Blatter but I disagree with it.
              Why are you being forced to vote for the right?

    • Valid debate is lost on the Stalinists. I have put up a myriad of factual information which is always ignored by them because they would not know the truth if they fell over it!

      • Cantabrian ‘I have put up a myriad of factual information which is always ignored by them because they would not know the truth if they fell over it!’ Where is this myriad of factual information?

  6. Murdered yesterday by the Zelensky regime- a man born without full functioning in one arm and one leg, who before the coup against the last democratic Ukrainian government served as a deputy in the Ukrainian parliament. He was forced to flee to Russia after the Poroshenko coup regime threatened to kill him.

    He returned to the Russian-liberated areas this year, but was murdered in an artillery strike on a civilian area far from the frontlines yesterday.

  7. As always Ben – thanks for the commentary.

    In the medium/long term, both Putin and Russia are screwed, and one can only feel sorry for Russian citizens who are caught up in this.

    Despite the short-term problem created by Putin, the world is actually awash with LNG and production is slowly being ramped up, at which point the Europeans will import gas from somewhere else and Russia loses one of its key revenue earners. German gas reservoirs are already higher than 90% full so they will get through the winter just fine: All thanks to the US oil and gas companies who have shipped across vast amounts of LNG in what could be described as a modern-day Berlin Airlift. The UK has revoked its fracking ban so in due course they will become a gas exported too.

    For Russians, the future looks really bleak:

    1. Loss of gas revenue because it has proven to be an unreliable vendor
    2. Loss of arms sales because the Ukraine war has demonstrated that they’re second rate
    3. Loss of maybe a million young men feeing conscription in a country that was already facing demographic collapse due to low fertility rates
    4. Embargoes will cripple their entire economy
    5. Putin’s worst fear of NATO on his border has been realized by his own stupid actions: Finland and Sweden have joined up a reaction to the war.

    One hopes that wise heads in the West are looking at long term options to revitalize and democratize Russia once all this is over, because nobody wants it to become a vast failed state.

    • Andrew, a little research might tell you an opposite picture.
      1. Loss of gas revenue. No, not happening in a world where there is an under supply. Read this from Reuters The Europeans can only get gas at the price and quantity required to make their industry competitive from Russia.
      2. Loss of arms sales? Seems that everybody in the non US centric world wants Russian high tech weapons that the West just cant produce, in particular hypersonic missiles. By contrast western wonder weapons have proven anything but.
      3. I’m certain that if a million Russian draft avoiders hit the streets in the West we will soon hear about it. I’m holding my breath in anticipation.
      4.Embargoes are having little effect to he Russian economy, they are merely strengthening SCO and BRICS who are opting out of the US$ (that’s the real war). Note the ruble was supposed to collapse, it has gone from strength to stronger. Check the forex sites, also check the Russian trade balances with India and China since embargoes. its all on the web.
      5. Finally correct, Sweden and Finland. You might have noticed the fall of the Swedish government, a change to the Italian government, and Hungary’s obstinacy. Europe is screaming out for gas, and only Russia can supply enough.

      I think that the idea of Europe revitalizing Russian democracy and economy is going to take second place to rebuilding and reforming itself.

    • Sorry Andrew, but the West isn’t the only game (market) in town. Moreover, its the West who are suffering, will continue to suffer as they turn their backs on cheap Russian energy.

  8. Awesome Nathan ‘Ben Morton’ supports neo-fascist regime like ‘Zelensky Ukraine’ and imploys language that should be reserved for the collective west “War on terror” that had far reaching consequences that still felt to this day. Ben Morton IMO pushes NATO talking points which could be construed that he shills for the MIC or in our hemisphere ASPI that pushes similar rhetorical talking points that has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    • Stephen! It is Ben Morgan – get his name right. If you don’t you are just showing us what an idiot you are. Or colossal disrespect. Ben does not support the Ukrainian government – he is being reasonably objective and very insightful on the military details.

      • Cantabrian Ben Morton is an ASPI paid shill his opinions is NATO driven if you can’t see that then you clearly are a banderite troll that defends the indefensible!!

      • It would be beneficial Cantabrian if you offered some of your “Expertise” from your PHD in Russian/Ukrainian studies. Alas yet again you have nothing to offer except childish comments. Why is that? As far as i can determine you only offer dubious talking points and the occasional comment in Russian through Google translator.

        • Because Stephen is an abusive moron and I am entitled to give back what I get! My debating points might be rated as dubious by you but they are not fiction or grossly exaggerated as the Putinists tend to do. Give me examples of my ‘dubious’ points and I will respond. However there is a methodological disconnect between pro Putin/Trump supporters. They do not accept our expertise and prefer to generalise rather than answer specific points. Why? Because they have no grip of the subject. You cannot be an instant expert on Russia. I was born into it and have been studying it all my life. My esteemed professor Evgeny Pavlov at UC is far more knowledgeable than me. He was a captain in the Russian Army reserve and knows a lot about the Russian military. He also has a Princeton PhD.

        • Tell Stephen to give Ben Morgan a modicum of respect and repeatedly spell his name incorrectly or is Stephen ‘a bear with little brain.’?

  9. Huh… Anyway…
    How come Putin’s just done this for Edward Snowden, of all people.
    And then there’s this? A not that great a report on American aggression towards China.
    John Pilger
    The Coming War on China.
    Look at what capitalism, the American Wet Dream Machine personified, has done to AO/NZ?
    “It is an example of the public health system’s legacy technology now playing up; official reports have said will cost $2 billion-plus to fix nationwide.” Is private health insurers going to cough up for that particular shortfall? No, would be my guess.
    Multi-billionaire Larry Page of Google flew over the heads of our own kids, some of whom are living in poverty to drop his kid off at Starship hospital in his own private jet. And we’re now expected to believe everything we’re spoon fed by the MSM about Russia or China. Fuck that!
    Larry and Pete [thiel] and no doubt at all others have paid $10 mil and equally no doubt promised hand jobs to politicians who will sell our country to others like Larry and Pete who don’t see humans as human beings. They will see us as exploitable commodities at best and at worst impedemints to their greater, and greater still, aspirations ( Of who can stick their little cocks the furthest out. )
    Ben Morgan might agree that we’re within a bitter war. But it’s a war like no other in history. It’s a ghost war causing terrible damage and it’s so vast and all encompassing that we can’t see it for its sheer size. Global capitalism is a monster and if left unfettered it’ll destroy us and all life on our planet.

  10. Cantabrian the banderite troll hasn’t come up with any good debating points! And stop stalking Nathan come up with sound proposition that counters his argument like why would Russia bomb a nuclear plant that their soldiers just secured?

    • False flag. Blow up the plant and blame it on the Ukrainians.

      Worth a read

      “In more modern history, Russian President Vladimir Putin himself is widely believed to have taken power through his creative use of false flag operations. In 1999, apartment buildings in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk were bombed, killing hundreds of Russian civilians. The bombings were immediately blamed on Islamist Chechen rebels and used as justification for what became the second Chechen war, but perhaps more importantly, served as the impetus for Putin’s sudden rise to power over then-president Boris Yeltsin.”

      • Yes Gerrit as Alexander Litvinenko stated in his book ‘Blowing up Russia’ and was subsequently poisoned by FSB thugs Kovtun and Lugovoi. Of course Stephen has never heard of Litvinenko. Too many Russian names confuse the brain eh Stephen?

    • Hmmm, what if we had decided to not take sides and turned diplomatic effort towards actual mediation? Everyone should know that effective mediation recognises that both sides have interests that need to be considered – some may be more legitimate than others – not much to redeem US invasion of Iraq in this regard though, for example. Or all of the other war crimes our US mates have been involved in post-war.
      Then we could get to tell both sides to pull their heads in – we should be encouraging referendums, aren’t they democracy? Sure, supervised by NZ if that’s what it takes – soldiers knocking on doors to get votes (if that’s accurately reported) not a good look. And tell NATO and US to BACK THE FUCK OFF.
      And tell Putin to apologise to Pussy Riot and stop suppressing dissidents.
      There have been heaps of opportunities in the last couple of decades to avoid this outcome. Cantabrian should check out John Mearsheimer and Steven Cohen. And so should our politicians. It sucks that this government has taken sides. If we’d really wanted to “dazzle on the international stage” (Bradbury’s description of Ardern the other day) we could have chosen to mediate, but too late.

      • Hey- a realistic comment! Thank you! Mediation would have been a much better look from this end of the world, but no, run off to kiss up to sleepy Joe. (meaning Hunter because he’s the one that actually calls it.) I really miss the rt hon David Lange here because I feel he channelled some sort of realism. We should be thanking Putin for closing Hunter’s bio-labs but no, the entertainment industry has to take first pick and try to leverage a war for the ratings.

  11. The world community. There is no such thing as the world community. Most of the world are not against Russia as evidenced by the fact that they maintain business/diplomatic relations with Russia. Only the West has a problem with Russia, and that’s almost entirely the USA at that, cajoling and co-opting the rest of the West to work against their own interests in order to prop up the failing empire that is the USA.

  12. The collective west propaganda on ‘Mahsa Amini’ in Iran seem to coincides with ‘Iranians Shahed-136 UAVs’ suicide drones exported to Russia to fight in the ‘Special Military Operation’ Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have noted significant challenges posed by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones, taking out armor and artillery systems in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

    • So you are a mysogynist as well Stephen and support that repressive regime in Iran. Well Stephen it is the women who will bring down those evil Ayatollahs. Mark my words!

  13. Excellent series of reports, much thanks for your work.

    I have reservations about this comment, though:-

    “ Used at this time, by surprise their use would have been a severe test of NATO’s resolve and the response could have been very different, maybe a withdrawal of NATO support or pressuring Ukraine to negotiate.”

    I’d have been more than astonished if other powers had been cowed by early use of nuclear weapons by Russia. Such a response would have been catastrophic geopolitically in future in relation to other potentially rogue nuclear weapon countries. A firm response would have been seen to be essential for this reason alone.

  14. Troll farms must be one of Russia’s largest industries these days, now that the West is rapidly reversing out of that shit hole, and their manufacturing sector is starved of important high tech components.

    Russia is basically a backwoods gas station with some rusty nukes.

    • They have high tech, John….the strip the chips out of white ware and other electronic products to use in their rusty old weaponry. Still, for such a backwater nation, the US-led, NATO-backed Ukraine is sure taking their sweet time in dealing to this sorry lot.

    • Andrew…..I have noticed when Putin gives one of his pep talk’s to the masses on tv , he has on his left 2 old phones on the table.My dad had a phone like that in the 1980’s…very smart….They even have the curly wire for the hand piece. Maybe these are the hotline phones…not very hi tech….

      • he’s a mobster – he’s gonna use untraceable phones … he’ll entrench after playing his hand and has let the west know what to expect. it’s not like he’s the only player in this game. the movies will be all about the riches and taking what’s yours before the borg does. but who’s the borg here and who’s making the movie?

  15. Another possible scenario is that Putin drops a nuclear bomb or tactical nuclear in an unpopulated or lowly populated area of Ukraine (e.g. a nature reserve) as an “I’m not bluffing” warning? How might NATO respond?

    • Putin drops a nuclear bomb or tactical nuclear in an unpopulated or lowly populated area of Ukraine….
      ….. How might NATO respond?

      Rush in Beer

      A better question is how might the Russian people respond.

      I would say the Russian people would respond the same way that the Russian people have responded to the ‘partial mobilisation’ by ten to the power of ten

      • For god’s sake! Russia is not going to drop any kind of nuke on their neighbour. If it comes about that they are fighting for their survival as a nation they will deploy their nukes against the power or powers that threaten their existence, and that is not Ukraine.
        D J S

    • NATO would target whoever dropped the bomb with conventional weapons. In all likelihood they would sink the Black Sea fleet and turn Ukraine into a no-fly zone targeting any SAMs with HARM missiles.

  16. Thanks for your specific understanding. Wasn’t sure what to make of Putin’s latest scary pronouncements. But when I think of Putin nitwit I think of Hitler nitwit. Cornered, nitwits bring down the world.

    Being a nitwit is an inside route to power. Why rationalists first have to deliver.

  17. This comments page is enough to make me think twice about the Security Services dramatic statement that the Russians are behind all the disinformation and unrest in this country.,,

  18. I would advise everybody to read Mark Galeotti’s article on Here is a real expert who knows what is going on in Russia.

  19. Great whodunnit for all the Mrs Marple fans. Who put two holes in Nordstream 2?
    Russia to give plausible deniability to withholding gas to Germany.
    Poland because they can’t clip the ticket on gas transit.
    USA to ensure Germany doesn’t buy Russian gas, but gets their high price LPG.
    EU to ensure their member states toe the anti Russian line.
    Let’s see what unfolds, cold showers and revolution perhaps.

      • Interesting comment. The Chinese and Arab buyers of US bonds have not turned up to the latest sale, the US can’t sell Treasuries. Europe can’t either, they are broke.
        Why? The rest of the world watched the US confiscate Afghan, Venezuelan, Russia offshore reserves and gold. Trust was broken and it isn’t coming back.

      • Yeah, cause this is the best way to weaponise energy , destroy the actual infrastructure that ensures you have leverage during a cold winter.
        You’ve proved beyond doubt your stupidity.

        • No you proving your stupidity. Take a look at what the Nordic countries are saying. Don’t you read the news Francesca da Rimini? If you don’t know who that is read Dante’s Inferno!

        • It is becoming more certain that Russia is the saboteur which proves your own crass stupidity Francesca dá Rimini who is burning in hell as we speak.

        • Explain rationally why Russia would destroy their biggest lever (the ability to withhold gas necessitates the ability to deliver.. if you can’t deliver you have no leverage).

        • Cantabrian has formally spouted quite disgusting conspiracy/false flag theories ,,,,

          ,,, about how a Russia father “must have” been involved in the murder of his child/daughter.

          That’s the level of his idiotic “facts”.

          Now “Fuck the EU” Nuland and her coup crowd, are all innocent as can be . ,,,, and it’s the ‘evil Russians’ that blew up their own pipe-lines,,, the ones they have a on/off valves for,,

          ,, all because fact free loony tunes Cantabrian- bitter declares it so.

          Slightly less offensive and stupid than asserting a father was in on the murder of his own daughter,,,,,

          but still what a moron.

          • I didn’t say it was certain -it was just a possibility. I don’t know the truth any more than you do. As usual you Putinists accuse us of all sorts of things which are totally baseless. Still I am convinced that you are a bunch of nihilistic, world hating misanthropes who project all your hate through Putin and obviously identify with him. You are not capable of identifying the details and nuances of Russia v. Ukraine and resent anyone who can. You should be ashamed of the abuse you throw at Ben Morgan and the colossal disrespect you show him. For the record Ukraine and Russia are my countries by blood so keep your filthy hands off them!

            • Cantabrian said “must have” ,,, which is why I used quotation marks ,,,,

              but “must have” means “it was just a possibility” when he says it.

              “It was Putin you idiot”, presumably means,,,, “it’s just a possibility”, too.

              I suppose it is possible that Putin attacked his Russian pipe-line,,,, making him appear vulnerable and unable to protect his country’s assets ,,,,

              Although one would have thought the ‘tough strongman image’ that Putin craves ,,,,would be far better projected by a hard-hat wearing, open shirted Vladimir,,,,

              Personally Pulling on a big red lever to shut off Europes gas ,,, all while growling in a threatening manner “Niet means Niet”.

              In reality though if you paid for the gas at the agreed price, then Russia would supply it … same as it always has.


              Kyoto and climate change are down the toilet with this war too….. way to go German ‘Greens’.

              “LNG produces carbon emissions at every step of the process: production of natural gas, delivery to a liquefaction plant, liquefaction processing, shipment by vessel, regasification, end-use, and storage at several points along the way.” ,,,

              ,,, plus the transportation

              Action on climate change certainly is a fraud at the moment…. one fraud among many.

  20. Thank you Ben Morgan. I think you provide the best analysis of anything I’ve seen lately on the state of the war in Ukraine. So thank you Ben, and thank you The Daily Blog for hosting his commentary.

  21. tl;dr – putins war lust is fading on a jaded population. everyone just wants to drink vodka and go out with friends on a Saturday. don’t they?

  22. I have since the start of the invasion voiced by support for Ukraine however I again I find myself pitying many of the Russian soldiers forced into a war not of their choosing and particularly now when we have a new wave of conscripts arriving on the front lines with very little training or support – I just hope that those that wish to surrender can do safely and that they will be humanely looked after.

    • So over the preceding 8 years you were quiet in your support of Ukraine discriminating, banning Language, shelling & killing etc etc ,,, it’s own citizens ?.

      You were quiet in your support of deadly child abuse ,,, you know, against the unworthy ones ,,, who have been bombed, maimed, traumatized, orphaned and harmed since 2014.

      However, good to see that James Brown hopes the Ukrainian filmed and posted behavior of knee-capping, torture and murder, carried out by his fascist chums against Russian PoW’s,, stops.

      well done james ,,,

      • You can’t preach to the deaf or make the blind see.
        This is the sad state of the West now, loss of critical thought. The Western propaganda is so effective they managed to cancel all their own reports and evidence of atrocities in the Donbas.

        • Yes JB they are lunatics. Some are misguided but the lunatics like flinging abuse because they have no debating skills.

      • Hi Awakesky. Watched your video.
        I recommend everyone watch your video.
        Russian soldiers firing weapons. Ukrainian children crying and drawing frightening pictures of war. And finally the weird caption underneath.

        “Grishanov music video showing the Children victims of Ukraine Nato proxy war ,,,”

        What can anyone say about this video?
        Watching this video and reading the caption you could almost be forgiven for thinking that Ukraine had invaded Russia.
        That the video was of Ukrainian soldiers firing weapons – That it was Russian children crying and drawing frightening images of war.

        To bring us back to reality I recommend watching the following video.

        • Hi Pat O’Liar ,,,, I can say that with 100 % honestly ,,, NO slander at all.

          eh Pat ? ,,,, “Anne with an E (She/Her)
          Why has the article posted on 22 April been removed?” ,,,,

          you never did answer Anne with an E (She/Her) honestly ,,,, two posts from me can reveal Pat O Liars shit-fuckery/dishonesty ,,,, reveal how sleazy he is..

          Pat’s now being dishonest with Grishanovs video showing the child victims resulting from Ukraine Govt forces attacking the people and children of Donbass ,,,

          “the start of fighting and killing of the Ukraine proxy war in 2014 ,,,with the Banderite, racist, puppet, coup government launching it’s anti-terrorist-operation/ATO, against Russian Ukrainians who were resisting their persecution ,,, this operation created ‘free fire zones’ over designated areas/towns. 6000 dead in 10 months …..

          …. continuing to this day , Eva Bartlett Describes Ukraine’s Unspeakable Genocide of Donbass (graphic content warning)

          I took a LIBERAL, ANTI WAR Protester to see the truth in Donbass, and THIS Happened!

          I’d like to describe and show how Pat O’Liar operates as a ‘author’, but have refrained from doing so ,,,, seeing as he want’s to engage with more deceit …. I’m more than ready to play his “your turn now” game with him.

          • Your stream of consciousness babble has no sense to it Awakesky. Nobody can follow what you are saying.

          • eh Pat ? ,,,, “Anne with an E (She/Her)
            Why has the article posted on 22 April been removed?” ,,,,

            you never did answer Anne with an E (She/Her) honestly

            I am sorry, Awakesky. I don’t know anything about this. I never saw it.
            And I have no idea why it was removed.
            If Anne with an E wants to puts her question to me again. I will have a go at answering it.

      • Got back to your propaganda! Putin is after the minerals in Donbas not looking after the people. Hitler mk 2.

        • “And you can’t spell, Awakesky. If your mind is as disordered as your spelling, God forbid!”

          pot kettle Cantabrian … “Got back to your propaganda”,,, he has trouble with the little words :0

          Canterbury University’s biggest embarrassment ….

      • Having a opinion differing from the usual Bandaristas apparently makes you a Putin supporter or a Stalinist. Again clear evidence of lack of critical thought or objectivity.

          • James Brown Accepts everything said at the Azov press conference as true and factual ,,,,,, because it’s posted up at Atlantic Council vetted youtube ,,,, LIVE Press conference of “Azovstal” defenders.

            As a child james was hard to teach ,,, with him refusing to read anything written in the wrong color chalk/crayon.

            The rest of us adults should trust NO media platform ,,,, instead we should rely on trustworthy reporters with a history of telling the truth.

            ie, John Pilger will still tell the truth on RT … the truth that the BBC will censor him from ever saying through their platform ,,,, by never having him on.

            Grow up James …. (he can’t).

          • So this Bitchute site is responsible for the brainwashing of all these gullible Putinists. An alt-Right site. Would our pro-Putinists go to jail for their beliefs? Or is it all hot air and they would recant from their savage rhetoric?

            • yeah,,,, ‘Must Be’ Cantabrian ,,,, ‘must be’, if your a idiot or dishonest ….

              The only recanting seen in this thread is from you …

              Adults should trust NO media platform/news organisation/internet site.,,,

              ,,,, instead we should rely on trustworthy reporters with a history of telling the truth.

              ie, John Pilger will still tell the truth on RT … the same truth that the BBC will censor and Ban him from ever saying on through them.

              So RT, and others, had to be banned.

              • Total rubbish. You really are a deluded idiot. Pilger has no credibility. Anybody on RT had no credibility apart from Larry King and he is no longer with us anyway. And you can’t spell, Awakesky. If your mind is as disordered as your spelling, God forbid!

    • I think a KGB plant (though an anachronism) would or wold have exhibited a significantly higher intellect than the comments offered by the subject of your observation Nikorima.

  23. A major reason for Putin attacking the Donbas appears to be the massive amount of rare earth materials present in the region. This also explains why the Wagner Group is involved in Central African Republic and DRC. Check out Misha Glennie on BBC Radio 4.
    Another site which is better than Generall SVR is Which also is in Russian.

    • If you’d kept your PhD wits about you Cantab you would have noted its not just rare earth’s. It’s 75% of the podsol the grain grows on, ITS 75% of the industry, its the entire gas reserves, its the transit for Caspian pipelines, its the coal and most of the nuclear power stations.

      Without this Ukraine is just an impoverished ethnic state owing the West megabucks, exporting only neo Nazi gangsters to Europe.

      If you want parallels in states created as a result of the 1919 Versailles agreement look no further than how Yugoslavia has fractured, ditto Czechoslovakia. Perhaps Lenin adding the ethnically Russian Novorussia and Donbass to Ukraine has just been put to bed in the same manner, Kruschevs gift of the Crimea has long since. I now expect the Poles to recover Lvov and Hungary part of Galicia that Stalin commandered. Might as well put it all right in one go.

      • You grossly exaggerate Nick J. It you took the trouble to access Misha Glenny’s podcast on BBC Radio 4, you would hear what I mean. Dr Samuel Ramani, Oxford University is writing a book on rare earth resources in Ukraine. The Donbas has 117 out of 120 essential minerals.
        I don’t think your revised boundaries have any credibility whatsoever. Poland has no designs on Western Ukraine ditto Hungary.Putin will be defeated.

    • Cantabrian – regarding your comments above regarding the Nordstream sabotage, how do you like this example of Biden opening his mouth too far back in February?
      “ABC News @ABC – 9:59pm · 7 Feb 2022

      Pres. Biden: “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
      Reporter: “But how will you do that, exactly, since…the project is in Germany’s control?”
      Biden: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”

      End of quote. Personally, I cannot remember Putin threatening specifically any action like this…
      And please do not childishly call me a Stalinist. One of the first decent books I read was Norman Conquest’s ‘The Great Terror’ back in the late 1970s. I am not a Stalinist.
      But I also am cynical about all the USA’s misdeeds being ‘in the past’ as you have previously claimed.

      • Well you have your theories and I have mine. I am going on German and Scandinavian reactions to the sabotage not dubiously concocted conspiracy theories by alt-right or whoever. I regard Fox News as alt-right.

      • Ok I won’t call you a Stalinist. I personally don’t like American culture, I am very much a Russophile. But like it or not we have to stand up to tyranny and we are forced to ally ourselves with the US. In Russia and China there are no freedoms and people can’t express themselves freely. The whole irony about QAnon and the alt-right movement is that they are using their freedom of expression to spread fascism. Under fascism there is no free expression. Be careful what you wish for alt-right Putinistas/Putinverstehe.

  24. You’re the most popular column here , Ben. Your good analysis. Versus the twits here on the side of Russi.

    I just think the crisis is very near now … The next forward movement of Ukraine. Putin will have to react or be disproved bout his bold statements. nd that’s as good as death for dictators. Wht will the dillish cunt do. I left off the uestion-mrk. Difficult to rely on dictatorships.

    • you’re confusing views with comments sumsuch ,,,, Trotters latest post beats this one by over 1600 views with much lower number of comments.

      Bens posts are popular because they are contentious/contested ,,,, and I’m not saying that is a bad thing.

      I appreciate free speech and Bens posts largely allow that.

      I’d appreciate less author abuse directed at Ben ,,,, as it would make all the ‘Putinist’ insults more apparent for what they are ..

      .. an effort to intimidate and shut down free speech.

      Here’s some ‘gunpoint voting’ ,,,, debunked ,, … ….

  25. Ben’s analysis continues to be close to the mark. BTW Lyman has now fallen and occupied Ukrainian territory continues to be retaken. Despite the heavy news censorship in Russia the domestic audience are gradually getting to see that “Putin wears no clothes”. The Russian army continues to perform poorly and people are voting with their feet. Whether Putin will use a tactical nuclear weapon in an attempt to stem ejection from the occupied territories remains to be seen and is a worry. Sounder Russian minds surely see that NATO-USA technology would make first strike use of nukes by Russia self defeating.

  26. The worry is the Putinists on TDB would applaud if Putin dropped a nuke. Their minds are so far gone that they would have cheered on Hitler. The Ukrainians are not the Nazis, the Putinists are.

    • So that would be gross exaggeration number 50? ,,, 100? ,,,, 500? from Cantabrian .,,,, I’ve lost count .,,,,

      ,,,.. I would not like to bullshit and abuse the english language like he does ,,,,

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