Ben Morgan: More bad news for Russia

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The week’s biggest news is that the G7 has a plan to use Russian assets frozen in Western countries to support Ukraine. A blow for Putin because it ensures Ukraine’s viability for at least another year.  The G7’s plan, combined with a growing number of bi-lateral security agreements guaranteeing long-term aid, mean Ukraine’s position is increasingly secure.

This weekend diplomats from 90 countries met in Switzerland to discuss the Ukraine War. Although, Russia and China did not attend, the conference is likely to impact on the war, as more countries distance themselves from Russia and support Ukraine.  Putin responded to the conference by releasing his conditions for a ceasefire. 

On the front line, there was no significant movement this week but Ukraine’s air campaign continues to deplete Russia’s air force and degrade its air defence network.  An essential prelude to future offensive operations or the isolation of Crimea.

Putin’s cease fire conditions
As diplomats descended on Switzerland to discuss Ukraine, Putin issued a cease fire offer, although the term ‘demand’ would be a better description.  Putin’s conditions for a cease fire are laughable, and include a Ukrainian withdrawal from all territory annexed by Russia including all of Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (regions).  Ukraine currently holds roughly half of both Kherson and Zaporizhia Oblasts and about a fifth of Luhansk including two large cities, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.  Additionally, Putin’s demands include Ukraine never joining NATO.  

Ukraine is never going to consider this proposal and it is hard to understand Putin’s objective.  The proposal is not realistic enough to demonstrate any real desire to negotiate, so my assessment is that it is aimed at the Russian domestic audience, designed to demonstrate Putin’s reasonableness and willingness to pursue a peaceful solution. 

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Although Russia is losing, it is not beaten yet and re-taking all of Ukraine is an enormous and expensive proposition, that will need considerable international support. Considerations that mean the war is more likely to end in a negotiated settlement.  So, at this stage in the war it is surprising that Putin is not looking for negotiation.  A cease fire would provide time to rebuild and rearm; while continuing to fight he risks complete destruction of Russia’s military. 

NATO and G7’s response to Putin’s strategy 

Last week’s article discussed Putin’s comments about strategy, that his aim was to continue small but continuous offensive operations indefinitely.  Slowly, ‘squeezing’ Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Crimea, aiming to outlast US and NATO support.  Currently Russia’s casualty rate is roughly equivalent its ability to recruit and train new soldiers, so in theory Putin can continue the ‘Special Military Operation’ at its current low tempo almost indefinitely.  

Putin’s strategy is probably a reflection of Russian weakness, that manpower and equipment available is not unlimited and that the political opportunity cost of a total mobilisation is too great.   Essentially, that the war must be prosecuted without total mobilisation, meaning that there is no chance re-constitute Russia’s land forces to the level of capability required for decisive manoeuvre. Russia’s plans are dictated by its means, and currently its means are very limited.  Therefore, if Putin wants to continue the war he must fight without decisive, operational level manoeuvre and that is why his strategy is using tactical operations to ‘squeeze’ Ukraine slowly out of areas he desires.

But this strategy relies on a couple of assumptions, the first of which is that the US and Europe will lose interest and their support for Ukraine will wane.  The second of his assumptions is that the lethality of Ukraine’s frontline forces remains constant.

Regarding the first assumption, this week’s G7 announcement is important news that should shake Putin’s confidence.  The G7 proposal uses approximately $ 260-300 billion dollars of Russian state wealth currently frozen in the US, Belgium, France and Germany to support Ukraine.  This is a thorny issue because historically state funds deposited overseas are not seized during conflict. Essentially, banking has traditionally been agnostic to politics.  So, any change to this policy must be carefully considered because doing so could undermine confidence in the international financial system. Another consideration is that seizing the funds also reduces future negotiating power with Russia. Currently, Ukraine and its supporters hold $ 260-300 billion of Russian wealth, a powerful bargaining chip. 

The G7 proposal is very recent so details may change but it appears to be; that the US will loan Ukraine $ 50 billion. Interest accruing on the frozen funds providing collateral to secure the loan.  An elegant approach because it does not diminish the principal, retaining it for use as a bargaining chip with Putin. Additionally, a secured loan is unlikely to be withdrawn or cancelled by future US administrations.  Finally, not using the principal contributes to securing Ukraine from nuclear attack because if the country is destroyed and cannot repay the loan the principal could be used to repay the debt. Dis-incentivising the destruction of Ukraine.  

This proposal is bad news for Russia because it provides another $ 50 billion of aid securing Ukraine’s war effort at least through 2025 and probably longer. Additionally, Ukraine has recently been signing a range of bi-lateral security agreements, an initiative driven by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg aimed at securing long-term support for Ukraine. Starting with the UK in January, seventeen nations have now committed. Germany, France, Denmark, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Latvia, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and as of 13 June the US and Japan.   

Japan’s inclusion is an important indication of how this scheme may evolve. Japan is a powerful nation closely aligned with the US and determined to support the international rules-based order. By supporting Ukraine Japan is actively deterring its geographically closer rival, China.  Regular readers will be aware of the growing links between NATO and the Indo-Pacific region, and my guess is that we will soon see other US allies like South Korea and Australia entering these bi-lateral arrangements.  Securing the flow of aid to Ukraine and challenging Putin’s assumption that Russia can ‘out wait’ Ukraine’s international support. 

Regarding Russia’s second assumption, that current mobilisation can produce enough men and material to ‘squeeze’ Ukraine’s forces out of the contested areas.  The attrition Ukraine is currently inflicting is being absorbed, but unfortunately for Putin, this assumption may soon be challenged because Ukraine is receiving more foreign aid increasing its force’s lethality.  Russian casualty rates edging higher in recent months, from roughly 1000 per day early this year to 1200 per day as Ukraine receives artillery ammunition and missiles from its supporters.  Most estimates put Russia’s ability to generate new soldiers at about 30,000 per month, if casualty rates remain at 1200 per day, then attrition is going to force Russian forces to reduce their activity rate.  Any increase in Ukrainian lethality will amplify this trend, nullifying the strategy.  And, every week more ammunition and equipment arrives in Ukraine.

Putin’s response to the G7 plan included more nuclear sabre-rattling and threats that G7 nations will pay for stealing Russia’s funds. Threats that indicate how much Putin needs the money frozen off-shore, and that the funds are a useful bargaining chip.   

The land campaign, an update

On land, the campaign continues to evolve as predicted. Ukraine holding its defensive line, Russia failing to make operationally significant advances. Chasiv Yar, an area assessed as providing an opportunity operational manoeuvre remains firmly in Ukrainian hands.  


The incursion into Kharkiv Oblast appears to have culminated and the predicted crossing into Sumy Oblast has not occurred.  Recently, there are unconfirmed reports of Ukrainian advances near Vovchansk the town at the centre of recent fighting in Kharkiv Oblast. 

‘Scoobie Doo Vans,’ another indication of the Russian Army’s depletion

Internet analyst Peter Zeihan, calls the Russian UAZ 452 off-road van, the ‘Scoobie Doo Van’ because of its resemblance to the cartoon character’s transport.  Zeihan and other commentators note the increasing use of these little vans along with civilian vehicles and motorbikes to support frontline forces. 

Use of these vehicles is an indication of the attrition that Russia’s army has suffered. It started the war with large numbers of modern tactical trucks, a fleet that has been slowly destroyed by Javelin, NLAW and drones.  Russian forces using second-rate vehicles like the UAZ 452 in a range of front line roles is evidence that the tactical truck fleet is not being replaced.  


Like trucks, tanks and armoured personnel carriers are also increasingly absent from the frontlines.  Possibly this is a response to the effectiveness of anti-armour weapons but it is also likely that these assets are simply unable to be replaced or kept serviceable.  

Ukraine’s strategy, isolating Crimea

This week Ukraine’s focus on using long-range weapons to degrade Russian airpower and isolate Crimea continued, including destroying a couple of Su 57, Fifth Generation fighters on 8 June.  The peninsula’s air defence assets were targeted successfully on 10 – 12 June, Ukraine destroying two S300/400 air defence missile launchers and two radars that guide these sophisticated and effective missiles. 

Ukraine’s ATACMs strikes on Crimea’s air defences are effective, recently forcing the withdrawal of 18 Black Sea Fleet ships from Novorossiysk, a port considered relatively safe until. After repeated attacks on Sevastopol, the Black Sea Fleet withdrew to Novorossiysk, and this port is now unsafe.  The peninsula no longer providing an air defence buffer zone for this port, on the Black Sea coast of Krasnodar Krai Oblast.

Al Jazeera reports that pro-Ukraine, Crimean partisan group, Atesh believes Russia has been forced to move S300 and S400 batteries from Crimea to protect Belgorod and other staging and logistics areas supporting the Kharkiv offensive.  Another example of Russia’s poor decision-making with regards to the offensive. An operation that triggered the US and European nations to remove restrictions on using long-range weapons against targets on Russian territory.  And, is now requiring the movement of air defence missiles from Crimea to support the operation, thereby enhancing Ukraine’s ability to strike Crimea.

This activity will continue, Ukraine degrading Russian air defence capability by attacking aircraft, radars and missile launchers.  When it is sufficiently degraded Ukraine will increase the intensity of its strikes on access points for Russian logistics, supplying the peninsula. Additionally, the battle will be integrated with the arrival F16 and Mirage 2000 aircraft from the West. Ukraine’s current missile led campaign paving the way for these aircraft to be used either supporting ground manoeuvre or to carry out strikes that further isolate Crimea.   

Summary 

This week copies of a letter to museum curators in Crimea was circulated on the internet and in the media. The letter instructing curators to prepare artworks and artifacts for evacuation from the peninsula.  A small but important insight into Russia’s situation, indicating concerns within the elite about the progress of the war.  It is a evidence that Ukraine is slowly but surely securing long-term and sustainable support, challenging Putin’s plans. 

The war is far from over but this week the chances of Russian victory got smaller, Putin’s response was more threats and demonstrations of force.  The reality though is that the international community is slowly by surely rallying behind Ukraine and Russia’s defeat is more likely now. 

 

Ben Morgan is a bored Gen Xer, a former Officer in NZDF and TDBs Military Blogger – his work is on substack

45 COMMENTS

  1. “Japan’s inclusion is an important indication of how this scheme may evolve. Japan is a powerful nation closely aligned with the US and determined to support the international rules-based order.” Ben Morgan

    Close alignment with the US and support for the international rules-based order are two mutually exclusive things.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2024/05/10/biden-israel-gaza-arms-rules-based-order/

    This link is interesting in that you can read how closely the US glating ignoring of Israel’s breaches aligns with Ben Morgan’s glaring ignoring of this issue.

    • Ben Morgan’s weekly military updates, have two main themes.

      Deterrence and protecting the International Rule of Law.

      Deterrence:
      Both sides of the superpower divide are armed to the teeth with planet destroying nuclear ballistic missiles. If deterrence was a thing, which it isn’t, being able to destroy the planet twice over would be it. But it’s not. Since the end of the Cold War both imperialist blocs have been practicing, training, exploring ways how to fight a world war without going ballistic.

      Protecting International law:
      The complete and total disregard for the International rule of law and the laws of war by both imperialist blocs are too numerous to mention.
      In direct contradiction to his first claim that all this practice and training for war is all about deterrence, Ben Morgan argues to defend the mythical International Rule of Law, we need to go to war.

  2. Ben – This post does not change the fact that Ukraine is running out of people to fight the war…Peace talks ASAP

    • Ukraine is working flat out to try and drag nato (further) into the war to remedy this problem. For the sake of my children I hope they don’t succeed.

      • Capitalism is an economic system dependent on limitless growth for its success, doomed to periodic crisis when it faces limits to growth.

        Imperialism is an economic system dependent on limitless growth for its success, doomed to periodic wars when it faces limits to its growth.

        Armies, what are they good for?

        The Russian imperialist aggressors need to be driven back to their own borders. Anything less is an invitation for further imperialist aggression.

        Capitalist states maintain standing armies to protect their economic territorial interests against their rivals. These standing armies are made up of professional soldiers who have chosen warfare ,i.e. to kill and be killed, as a career choice, conditioned to obey orders of their officers, political masters and generals
        There are civilians who fight and sacrifice their lives, because they believe their cause is right
        And then there are civilian conscripts who never chose to kill or be killed ordered to fight.
        If I was a Ukrainian in the third category I would oppose conscription before the standing professionals sitting on their arses in Europe are ordered to fight.
        Without the mobilisation of the professional armies of Europe, instead ordering Ukrainian civilians to fight on their behalf.
        The Russian trolls have a point, when they say the Western capitalist countries will fight to the last Ukrainian.
        The European nations need to mobilise to fight to drive the Russians back to their own border, or face fighting the Russian imperialists on their borders.

  3. This week Ben leads with money. Any sane person puts their money into banks or government bonds because these institutions are supposedly safe from theft, confiscation etc. Who now will buy US or EU bonds or bank there?

    I doubt that the Saudi end to the petrol dollar agreement is unrelated, they have joined China and India in divesting from US treasures and stockpiling gold.

  4. Ben, your article claims that Russia has made “limited progress” along the line of contact, and that as “billions in arms start flowing” into Ukraine, Ukrainian forces will be given the opportunity to “counter-attack.”

    The “billions in arms” your article cites refers to the renewed flow of US military assistance after months of delays in passing funding in the US Congress also using some of russian seized assets amounting to $260-300 billion. However, recalling the flagging impact of US arms transfers to Ukraine even before the funding delays, and a closer look at the actual quantities associated with these packages versus Russian military production, tells an entirely different story.

    It is well-known that US and European artillery shell production falls short of Russia’s by several times. A May 2024 Business Insider article puts the number of Russian shells produced this year at 4.5 million, while the US and Europe combined amount to only 1.3 million.

    In reality, the 2023 Ukrainian military operation was soundly defeated by Russian forces who not only decimated Ukraine’s manpower, equipment, and ammunition stocks, but managed to bolster its own numbers and capabilities in the process.

    Ukrainian attempts to claw back territory it has recently lost in Kharkov will lead to the same fruitless conclusion its 2022 and 2023 offensives did, a questionable chance of actually taking the territory for a guaranteed severe cost in irreplaceable trained manpower and equipment.

    When you are actually citing Internet analyst “Peter Zeihan”, as an expert source of relevance to this SMO then your analyst can’t be taken seriously. Today’s headlines across the West portending the tide changing in the fighting across Ukraine represent a now familiar cycle of encouraging Ukraine to fight on in what is otherwise an unwinnable conflict inflicting an immense and indelible cost on Ukraine in terms of territory, human lives, and economic prospects well into the future.

    • I laughed like crazy about citing Peter “China’s going crash” Zeihan. You can say that about pretty much every country outside of Africa, Zeihan conclusions seem only to meet with every bias the audience wishes. Pure snake oil in the great US traveling charlatan tradition.

  5. As per usual, once you flip all this on its head then it starts to make sense. Perhaps that is the point of all this, its telling us the truth in an upside down way. Too bad Russia wasn’t invited to this shindig, although this point is typically portrayed in a duplicitous way by our mainstream media.

    The fact that Russia’s (or Putin to those totally captured by mainstream media) road to peace (or demand for the main-streamers) is Ukraine out of NATO and Russia holding on to the territories they fought over and now control, although, capturing four territories makes zero sense given how pathetic Russia or Putin is always portrayed as being in mainstream media (this point alone, the capture/control of four significant areas of Ukraine makes a mockery of these standard MSM narratives) the fact that this road to peace is laughable in the eyes of the West, just denotes how callous our politicians and our media are to human life and suffering.

    To laugh at an attempt to halt the expansion of a military alliance with military expansion being the key driver behind this war, to laugh at this attempt once again highlights what led to this war in the first place and why it is still ongoing. Ukraine’s western backers, or should that be, the West’s proxy army being used to attack Russia – Ukraine – neither are willing to back down on this simple, yet laughable to them, condition.

    Thus, we have a war in Ukraine and a slaughter in Palestine, both backed, enabled by the West and yet thanks to our politicians and our media, many, far too many Kiwis see Russia and Palestine as the problem…..and we may as well add China to this list of trouble makers to the West also.

    The world is upside down, this piece is upside down and mainstream thinking reflects this stark reality. But we are the problem, the West, spearheaded by the USA, is the problem. The USA, totally captured by a myriad of moneyed interests infects the West who in turn attempts to infect the rest of the world with money-driven goals and policies.

    We (our politicians our media) are the bad news, today it is hitting Russia and Palestine, tomorrow it could be right on our back door…

    Say no to war, disbelieve all those willing to engage in it because it is only we plebs that are pushed to fight these wars, only us plebs that end up suffering the most from them. Not our compromised politicians, not our compromised media – say no to the warmongers and the big money interests basically turning our politicians and our media against us. We are being hoodwinked – say no to it all.

    • Given the history between the USSR and Ukraine – the deliberate starvation, and the armed resistance to occupation which lasted until at least 1948 AFAIK, it’s hardly surprising that the Ukraine doesn’t trust Russian intentions, or their desire for peace.

      • Yes yes, we know you think it’s great that the OUN murdered hundreds of thousands of Poles, no human being agrees with you.

        • Let’s rephrase something GS re the deliberate starving of Ukraine by the USSR. The starvation of Ukrainians, Russians and other Soviet citizens was driven by the Communist Party, whose leader Stalin was a Georgian, whose security policeman Beria was also Georgian, whose local leader was Kruschev, a Ukrainian. There were lots of Belarusian, Jews and other nationalities involved as persecutors and victims. So blame the Russkies?

          • Khrushchev to you NJ. More slapdash work. Perhaps you should read Robert Conquest’s and Anne Applebaum’s books on the Holomodor. Ukraine was decimated by this. Russia suffered too but was able to absorb the damage better.

            • Applebaum the neocon..that’s sure to be illuminating. You Ovod seem to think that you are the only person to ever read anything and keep presenting idiots like Timothy “Putin is Hitler” Snyder.

              Answer the question, was it the multinational Soviet who inflicted the great famine OR was it the Russians?
              Were the victims only deliberately targeted Ukrainians or multiple Soviet citizens including Russians?

              I think you know the answer, are you now going to join those dishonest charlatans who imply blame for all Soviet crimes upon modern Russians?

        • The fuck you talking about? When have I even mentioned Poland? You seem to constantly have your head up your arse. I tell you what, produce some evidence I said anything like that or STFU.

          • You support the OUN and other Ukranian terrorist groups. That means you support the mass Ukrainian terrorism against Poles, which made up the majority of what gets called the holocaust in Ukraine.

      • Ukraine is the patsy, this is a war between the West and Russia just like Israel is the attack dog, backed by Western interests against Palestine, just like the West is using Taiwan to help gin up a war against China. The common denominator here being – the West – primarily the USA.

        The history of the USA, the history of the West, the history of Russia, the history of Ukraine over the past 100 years, at least, along with the state of the world today, paints an entirely different picture to the sliver of history that you choose to use, GS. We in the West are not a peaceful people, and thanks to our meddling of Ukrainian politics and affairs since at least the 1950’s, neither are they.

        Your comment shows an inherent trust of Western history GS (because there;s only one sliver of history that seemed sufficiently troublesome enough for you to comment upon here). Unfortunately for the world, if not for us in the West, this is what mainstream media induced thinking looks like – we are good, what we do is good, whom we choose to be good are good, whomever we deem bad are bad – nothing else matters. An entire wealth of history is minimized to the bits that we choose, that best suits Western interests, and again, be damned the rest.

        Yes, GS, you’ll be happy to know that your viewpoint is the most common viewpoint within the West. with my bigger point here being, our bloodthirsty, highly compromised political leaders and the bent media machine that serves their goals, they are showing a keen willingness to throw their own citizens under the bus in order to serve these bought and paid for interests. What we inflict on others, can easily be turned on us and with a bent political system and bent media machine, most of us, are none-the-wiser to this calamitous circumstance as evidenced, again, by the fact that most of us are none-the-wiser to the Western manipulation that have shaped both recent history and today’s world.

        Europe is suffering greatly from increased energy prices because their politicians chose to break ties with cheap Russian energy, choosing expensive US energy instead. What misery will our politicians inflict upon us when they too, choose war over peace when it comes to the Western manipulated conflict between Taiwan and China. What will we be asked to forego in order to serve our leader, the USA’s interests, what will we forego in the same manner that Europe had to forgo, of which is now reeking havoc throughout Europe, in order to serve these big money-led, US interests.

        And peace, peace, once upon a time a highly valued and extremely common word among us Westerners, nowhere to be seen in this article alone (save for a reference to possible Russian motives).

        Peace, peace, we ordinary folk, or so I would like to believe, we prefer peace to war, but between peace and war, one of these terms is common lingo among our politicians and our press, while the other, as evidenced by this lengthy article alone, is foreign terminology. This point alone encapsulates my main point – our politicians, our media, all throughout the West, are bloodthirsty maniacs hellbent on serving compromised, big-moneyed US interests over the interests of ordinary citizens.

        And again, as your comment so easily displays, we are all none-the-wiser to the true state of political affairs throughout the world today. And the same world of hurt that we in the West have inflicted upon the rest of the world, is, as Europe today shows, slowly buy surely being redirected towards all of us Westerners also.

        But, but, but, again, our Western machinery has a fall guy for all of this, its Russia’s fault, its Hamas’s fault, its the CCP’s fault and yes, my most important point of all, we believe, we trust our politicians, we trust our media, we trust that the choices they make, are in our interests, are in our interests. Alas, while we understand that violence is wrong in a normal, everyday sense, when it comes to politics, we lose this clear and simple distinction. Such is the power of mainstream media and the political class they elevate.

        Just say yes to peace and be wary of those that prefer war to peace.

      • Well there you go GS, Mohammed Khan has put you in your place! I do appreciate that he was too lazy to debate your point, just going straight for the assumption.

        Of course he always neglects to mention his complete support for executing people for being gay, or blaspheming, apostaphy, adultery, fornication or even for making social media posts criticising the government – like Mahmoud Mehrabi did.

        These are apparently all the acts of “human beings” in the world of Mohammed Khan.

        Or perhaps he will condemn any government that has the death penalty for these acts?

        • I’m not particularly interested in debating someone who shares his worldview with Brenton Tarrant and Juliet Moses.

          • And there we have it 100% MK spewing his usual nonsensical accusations.

            Why won’t you put on your big boy pants and just answer the question for once in your life: Do you condemn any government that has the death penalty for being gay, or blaspheming, apostaphy, adultery, fornication or even for making social media posts criticising the government?

            It’s a simple question.

            I will take your refusal to answer as “yes” and I think that’ll tell the world all they need to know about you.

          • Actually let me quote Guerilla Surgeon above for you:

            “The fuck you talking about? When have I even mentioned Brenton Tarrant or Juliet Moses? You seem to constantly have your head up your arse. I tell you what, produce some evidence I said anything like that or STFU”

            • lol, you seem mad. We all know what your whacky ‘counterjihad’ ideology means. You’re just like Moses, a step away from following Tarrant.

              • You are insane. Nothing you say makes any sense, you just sound like another fundamentalist whack job grabbing at an excuse to promote your twisted ideology.

                You promote countries that execute people for being gay.

                That is all the world ever needs to know about you.

      • This makes as much sense as saying “all Maori hate White people and want China to support them in an anglophobia expulsion cos of… history”.
        Yes, there’s a sect of batshit crazy ultra nationalists who have been resourced and supported in building revisionist Russophobia in Ukraine. But simple history of the dissolution of the USSR and the independent era electoral history, and the reaction of the Ukrainian East to the coup makes this “AFAIK” story a piece of propaganda dogshit scraped off the pavement and served up like caviar.

  6. Very good report Ben, thanks and keep them coming.
    It needs noting that Denmark controls Russia’s ability to export oil out of the Baltic. The Russian shadow fleet is refusing the use of Danish pilots when passing through the strait so the Danes have every right to stop these ships to prevent an environmental disaster. Such a move would turn off Putins money tap and stop North Korea and China resupply of weapons. What is holding them back from doing this? Probably pressure from the USA because Biden wants to keep oil prices down in the run up to the election.

  7. The US will keep this war alive as long as Ukraine has people to die in it. They see this whole thing as “stimulus” for the US Military Industrial Complex, which requires constant turnover in order to keep existing. You can only stockpile weapons for so long, before people start wondering why you need more. Forever wars are ideal.

    • Who attacked who?

      The way supporters of the Russian imperialist war in Ukraine carry on. you would think that Ukraine had invaded Russ

      • Silly Pat.

        Excellent posts A O. Unfortunately a few commenters don’t get it. One of many favourite Bob Marley lines “.. Only fools lean upon their misunderstandings ..”

    • Sadly Nitrium you may be at least partly correct.
      With the Biden administration having inadvertently started the war though its climate change virtue signalling that initially drove up the oil price, I can imagine a lot of politicians have made a tidy profit from their share holdings in the arms industry.

  8. Ben sees the position of Ukraine as increasingly secure. Like a shot through body is increasingly dead. The spark of this delusion, being the International rules based order (we make the rules; you follow the orders) is about to steal all that hard earned Russian money; to ‘reconstruct’ after the carnage, a war that that very same international rules based order planned and executed but cannot win; just another mean little money grift which will doubtless be making BRICS and any other economies with big money in the big swim feel very ‘secure’ indeed (uni-polar world anyone?)
    But; having a peace conference without INVITING the major — the winning — player, casts new light on western diplomatic strategy!!
    Ben wrote ‘Russia did not attend’. True.
    But we understand this was because the barbie theatre troupe didn’t invite them. And wanted to pretend depth of field and set the ‘peace’ menu all by themselves. You certainly have to be a delusionist to offer any hint of gravity from the dance of the sugar plum fairies in Geneva, where nothing is happening except spectacle; nuancing new and different ways to pretend this is anything other than electioneering and avoiding their own part in the catastrophe unfolding.
    Russia is going to decide this. Deservedly. Russia will decide this because it has won the right to do so.

  9. NATO formed in 1949 during the aftermath of WWII was always a US Imperialist project to advance the interests of capital via military means.

    The country the yanks nuked twice-Japan-also looks likely to join 5 Eyes and or NATO, go figure.

    Ben’s “NATO Newsletter” reveals more about the proxy war than it does about Russia. In Ukraine people currently go into hiding and various subterfuges to avoid being drafted. Ukraine will run out of soldiers unless NATO involve their forces directly.

    Time for some negotiations.

    • Tiger, I’m taken back to the world I was born into. Our parents fought WW2, and Europe was divided east west. NATO was formed to defend against communism. The USSR formed the Warsaw pact out of fear of more European aggression. Wise heads sought to keep European powers from again fighting for hegemony. Germany divided seemed a good solution. American power kept perfidious Albion in check as did de Gaulle.
      For 79 years Europe has been in peaceful balance. I remember AJP Taylors work on German history, describing their resentment of the West, and aggression to the east as a historic ongoing threat to European peace. I fear that the liberal order has failed the European people, Brussels and the elites being replaced electorally by the forces of reaction. I can’t see the people going willingly to war with Russia, there’s more a worry of a rerun of the 1930s. Or perhaps a Versailles moment.

  10. At least 10 countries who attended the Geneva “peace” summit declined to sign the declaration
    Even western papers like the WSJ deem it a failure that may even backfire on Zelensky
    https://archive.ph/z9gWH
    All in all ,Russia is surging, both on the front line, and in the wider world .Malaysia the latest to sign up to BRICS.
    Saudi Arabia’s deal with Nixon to sell oil exclusively in US dollars has expired, yuan will now be an acceptable currency.There is a power shift happening in favour of the Global South

  11. Lol at all the totalitarian boomers who think Russia is amazing. Stupid boomers supporting an evil dictatorship. Keep trolling them Ben

  12. The photo heading the following article is a classic. Gladhand(l)ing?
    https://southfront.press/the-luxury-swiss-peace-summit-was-a-flop/

    In this article https://www.rt.com/russia/599447-historic-zelenskys-peace-summit/
    it is stated –
    “.. the participants (which included the International Boxing Association, the minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme of Australia, and the minister of Correctional Services from New Zealand) ..”

    Is New Zealand going to offer prisoners here release if they fight in the Ukraine?!

  13. G7 was bad news for the citizens within it …. https://substackcdn.com/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fsubstack-post-media.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F2289506a-6452-4b52-8243-992cb15cf729_969x764.jpeg

    …. but it looks like they are trying to vote their way out of their (soon to be ex ) ‘leaders’ mess.

    Seeing as the evil clowns in the above photo all support Israel with weapons and protection ,,,, does the G in G7 stand for Genocide? ,,,, the ‘Genocide 7’…..

    War and theft ,,,, brought to you by the ‘G7’

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