« The Fall of Tabqa Air Base | Main | Ukraine To Join NATO? By Walrus. »

29 August 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Here is a 8/29 sitrep from Saker:

And a map of 8/29:

I wonder if Putin's call for the creation of corridors for trapped Ukie forces to leave isn't a way of knowing that these troops have been educated and become very unhappy with Kiev.


"a la Georgian"??? You're kidding, right?

What the Russians didn't do was grab Georgia, which lay ripe for the plucking.

Repeating stale talking points which are simply uninformed and wrong is of no advantage to anyone.



You are making a confusion. A "culminating point" in Clausewitz has a specific military technical meaning in the way I described it. It has nothing to do with the generalized meaning you give it of a turning point in events. Neither is it anything like the "tipping point" of something.



So now world oil prices will go down with disproportionate impact on Russian government. Culmination point by other means?


"...Tensions with Russia and the new cold war along with sanctions and embargoes are likely to have significant effects on the Russian economy, but the low price of oil is likely to have a larger effect. Russia has an oil problem. The country is heavily dependent on oil tax revenue to fill its coffers, and trouble is brewing given today’s low price for Russian crude. According to Reuters, Russia’s budget is based on the assumption of an average oil price of $114 per barrel. It is nowhere near that high right now, however. Sitting below $100 for the first time in over a year, the price of Ural crude has fallen $15 in less than one month. Keep in mind that 50% of Russia’s budget revenue comes from oil. If the price bounces back, there is no story here. If, however, there is a sustained period of low oil prices it would be a major blow to the country’s economy."

I recall a similar pricing situation in the 80s during the Afghan invasion.


Noted. Seems like there should be a similar concept in economics and politics.

David Habakkuk

Patrick Bahzad,

You write:

"Regarding your questions, I guess anybody who could give you a reliable answer should be guaranteed a senior job in any high level think tank or private intelligence group ..."

I am afraid I have to disagree with you. As someone who was involved a generation ago as a 'bit part player' in the attempt to bring to the attention of Western publics the work of competent analysts who had concluded that the changes in Soviet security policy introduced by Gorbachev were not merely a deception ploy, I think you are flat out wrong.

In general, any attempt at a serious analysis of Russian thinking on foreign and security policy since the mid-Eighties has ensured that you would be effectively shut out from the debate in both the U.S. and the U.K.

And if you are suggesting that mainstream figures in the West would pay one for serious analyses of these matters, I have to ask: who, precisely, do you have in mind?


Why the Atlanticist Ukraine gambit? Here is one answer and they think they can pull it off:

"I’d really love to be wrong, I want time to prove that I was exaggerating. Never the less, I have spent decades studying the international power struggle, information and resources; analysing the aims and the actions of the north-Atlantic Elites. I repeat: Russia, even in its current state, is still the only obstacle in the way of the full world domination, the creation of a “New World Order”. This is why one of the last commanders of the Soviet intelligence, Leonid Shebarshin, stated: “the West needs one thing from Russia: for it not to exist.” Strategically, geo-historically – to not exist. "




Sultan Tayyip's coronation didn't have the VIPs, is he sulking in his room?

In b's first link was this:

"Impoverished Ivano-Frankivsk region raised nearly seven million hryvnias for food and equipment for its battalion, including helmets and bulletproof vests.

Councilman Romanyuk spoke to the Kyiv Post in-between negotiating the purchase of thermal underwear and bullet-proof vests. “We buy it all with our own money and send it ourselves,” he said. “No one else is looking after soldiers on the front line.”

This nationwide volunteer effort supporting the army is losing patience with what is increasingly viewed as incompetence or even sabotage by authorities.

“The 5th battalion’s moral, political and patriotic spirit is really high, they are ready to fight, but to fight within reason,” said Romanyuk. “To die stupidly with no justification – someone should take responsibility for that. A government who in three months is unable to buy helmets and bullet-proof vests has no moral right to be in power during wartime.”

It is game over in the East, potential new revolution in the West.

Another Neo-Con induced adventure, another total failure.

Patrick Bahzad

DH, i think you got me wrong: i was just replying to pbj's questions regarding what Akhmetov was likely to do in the days/weeks to come. To which I replied what you read.
I hear what you say and I perfectly understand your point but that is not what I was referring to.

William Herschel

This is exactly the point I was trying to raise, very indirectly, unfortunately. The entire Ukraine adventure, the emergency visit by the head of the CIA, etc. right up until today, seems to have been incredibly poorly planned out. I mean how can you be so stupid as to not realize Putin might grab Crimea?

However, if the goal was not regime change in Russia, if, instead it was helping arms dealers and furthering the militarization of the "West", then it is a tremendous success. I.e. if continuous war is the goal then this is a triumph for the CIA. And Putin is the arms manufacturer's dream villain.

The beaver


From Matt Lee , ICP:
"When the UN Security Council held an open meeting on Ukraine on August 28, the first speaker was UN (and former US) official Jeffrey Feltman.

Feltman said, "“the southward spread of fighting, along with border with the Russian Federation and the Sea of Avoz, marks a dangerous escalation in the conflict. The battle for Lugansk continues, and hostilities in Donetsk in several key strategic areas have been spreading.”

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the question now is what to do to Russia to make it listen. She said Ukraine is one of a dozen countries with borders with Russia and that this will be a precedent."


USG for Political Affairs: Feltman ( where is Ban-Ki -Moon ??)

Poor poor Samantha ( wonder what she has on her Twitter a/c)
"If we don't make our message heard on #Ukraine, how can we tell other countries that border #Russia that their sovereignty is guaranteed?"


Col. Lang,

I very much agree with you. I am speculating, but I suspect it was a shrill screaming Victoria Nuland who drove Poroshenko onwards.

alba etie

I wonder if we are not seeing the outlines of some strategic shift by the USG in the face of the IS threat. In watching snippets of the MSM talking heads from the State Dept Ms Psaki - stated twice that there was a 'likely ' incursions by the Russian Army into the Cauldron and now Maripoul linking to Crimea . Yet Ms Psaki did not say if new sanctions would be deployed against Russia. Also IZ reports that only junior dignitary showed up for Erdogan's coronation . Then BHO said in his presser yesterday - in the clear Ukraine was on its on ;there was no treaty obligations . Just the same way the adults helped the Children Crusaders & BHO climb off the lets Bomb Assad for the CW attack last year - maybe the adults are also helping The CC's & BHO reconfigure removing Assad to removing al Baghdadi . We shall see.

alba etie

Charles Dekle
The Koch Brothers are a clear & present danger to our collective Comity , and good governance. The Kochs are however being rolled back - Micro Soft & many other corporations recently bailed on ALECS . Additionally Gov Brownback and the Koch's are very likely to loose the upcoming election . President Putin knows exactly who the Koch Brothers are - just another greedy oligarchy that needs to be defeated .



Russian VDV and Spetznaz have been returning from the Ukraine in body bags back to their Russian home bases.

Babak Makkinejad

As to Ms. Power's statement: "... question now is what to do to Russia to make it listen." Putin just answered her:

"It's best not to mess with us....Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers."

David Habakkuk: I think this settles our contention regarding the utility of nuclear weapons.


I go with the theory that Putin would be forced to move into the Crimea via military force. That would have made great TV on all the networks. He instead chose an referendum. Still he pays the price by being portrayed as, well, Putin.

Arms manufacturers get their piece, I guess. But more importantly, it is used politically to separate Europe from Russia. Secondly, it is an economic attack on Russia, which hopefully will lead to internal dissension. This goes in several directions, none of them good for the RF.

But, yes, the annexation of the Crimea was a NATO goal that had been gamed out. The collapse of the Ukraine military? No.



So they raise the price of natural gas being sold to Western Europe. Here's the EIA oil data, which is much better than what you linked too. I don't think the Russian's so simplistic as to base their budget on a spot market price level that has seldom been met.




"US Ambassador Samantha Power said the question now is what to do to Russia to make it listen. She said Ukraine is one of a dozen countries with borders with Russia and that this will be a precedent.""

So the US Ambassador to the UN believes the United States has an obligation to guarantee the borders of every nation that is adjacent to the Russian Federation? She seems to have forgotten that the non-super power still has thousands of nuclear weapons and both land and submarine based ICBMs that will reach the US. Putin certainly hasn't.

mistah charley, ph.d.


The following report from McClatchy adds poignancy to this part of Putin's recent statement: "I am calling on militia forces to open a humanitarian corridor for encircled Ukrainian servicemen in order to avoid senseless casualties, enable them to get out of the area of combat operations unimpededly and reunite with their families; bring them back to their mothers, wives, and children, and urgently to give medical aid to those wounded in the military operation". It seems that Russian families, not just Ukrainian ones, are having their loved ones return in ambulances or coffins.

With war underway in Ukraine, Russians don’t like what little they learn
Matthew Schofield


TTG: "If this was a chess game, Putin is in a position to checkmate the West in half a dozen moves."

Putin has mate in 3. US has taken direct military intervention off the table. The separatists have captured Kiev's Queen. The King (territorial integrity) can only be defended (for one tempo) by having Ukie forces in the East fight to the death. Separatists take. UA forces (regional guards, police, park and postal services) block. Separatists take. Ukraine appeals and gets Nato help. Russia inserts peacekeepers. Mate.

(Admittedly there could be an extra activity related to cleaning out Novorossiya's new digs, particularly Kharki(y)v Oblast, but that's not Chess.)


"Why the Atlanticist Ukraine gambit?"

You might want to consider a thought that Clifford A. Kiracofe, former Senior Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, published half a year ago in the Chinese Global Times paper. Quote:

There are broader international implications. The present crisis could lead to a serious US confrontation with Russia, which would mean that major power cooperation in other parts of the world would be called into question.

US and Russian cooperation in the Middle East on Syria and Iran could well be set back. This in turn could lead to heightened regional tensions and lead to the possibility of regional war.

Western media reported the vulgar remarks concerning the EU by Victoria Nuland, who is US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

The media refrained from reporting that Nuland is the wife of Robert Kagan who is a key leader of the pro-Zionist neoconservative policy network.

It is well known that the staunchly pro-Israel neoconservatives express deep political and cultural aversion to Russia, and promote Cold War perspectives. Such a mindset undermines US global diplomacy and US national interests. Thus Ms Nuland is the wrong person for a high US diplomatic position, critics say.

Using the Ukraine crisis to subvert major power relations between the US and Russia and their constructive joint action in the Middle East serves Israeli interests. It helps Israel and its neoconservative allies in the US and in Europe push for unilateral US military action against Syria and Iran.



alba etie

Charles Dekle
Smart old hands down here in Austin Texas opine that Ms Clinton is not running . If she does run you are absolutely right she is a chicken hawk neocon - just another Dick Cheney in high heels..'strategerrey " would be in full swing again .


I checked the links you referenced and they doesn't contradict. And yes petro revenues have a disproportionate impact on the Russian government.



It's all so tragic and unnecessary. We humans have yet to evolve our base nature. While our intellect has allowed us much technological progress, our animal nature has yet to be "tamed" into civilized behavior.

My grandkids and great grand kids may have to experience what the beast unleashes. The America of today is what my grandpa feared we would become. I know I have failed him. Even as I have stood by his ideals steadfastly they have become irrelevant in contemporary society.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad