As the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate in the wake of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on 17 July by Russian-backed forces near Donetsk, it’s clear that the Kremlin is in a state of panic, unsure what to do next. We are in another Cold War now, whether we like it or not. As an indication of Moscow’s remarkable state of mind at present, I cannot do better than pass on the brand-new message posted by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs this morning, in full, without comment:
Comment of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the continuing anti-Russian attacks by the U.S. Administration:
Judging by the unrelenting campaign of defamation against Russia organized by the American administration, blatant lies are increasingly being relied upon there to conduct foreign policy. Take for one the new statements by the U.S. President’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, who directly accuses our country of destroying the Malaysian Airlines airliner over Ukraine.
As is now Washington’s wont, in corroboration never mind evidence, not even simple references to facts are adduced, which one could consider and comment on. Everything in Washington is limited to mentioning certain “intelligence data” that cannot in any way be presented, and what is completely absurd, “information in social media”. In other words, the Washington regime in their constructs bases itself on anti-Russian conjectures gathered on the Internet that do not correspond to reality. Who is littering the Web with such rubbish is clear: the same Washington, and probably also Kyiv.
Nevertheless, a number of questions arise for the American side, which is increasingly isolating itself from the possibility of adequately understanding anything apart from its own schemes and conclusions. Before appointing “guilty ones,” the USA should answer the ten questions from the Russian Defense Ministry and the twenty-two questions posed through the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency. Why does Washington then remain silent? Apparently because Washington has nothing to reply. Or because the response boils down to one word: “sanctions”.
We will get through this, but it is deplorable that at the same time the USA is continuing to push Kyiv towards crushing the dissatisfaction of the Russian-speaking population by force. There is only one conclusion: the administration of B. Obama bears its share of responsibility for the internal conflict in Ukraine and its grave consequences.
thanks for putting this out there!
two things i’d like to see you do a piece on.
firstly the russian troll army/astroturfers.honestly this mob are destroying online debate on the ukraine situation.i’ve given up commenting online because of them,i know quite a few of my friends have as well.they hijack and shut down just about all comment debate.
the chinese,where the hell are they in amongst all this?what are they thinking/doing?
i’d say both these things bare closer examination and since you’re one of a very small handful of pundits who actually understand the situation,hell you may as well be the one to write it,lol.
“the chinese,where the hell are they in amongst all this?what are they thinking/doing?”
I would, personally, suspect that they are waiting in the wings. While they have their “alliance” with Russia, it is the PRC that stands to gain the most from a potential NATO-Russia clash.
Here’s an article on a “Troll House” operation outside St Petersburg, Russia http://www.sptimes.ru/story/38052
The Krem is a powder keg and Putin has a short fuse. Problem is how to stop him. Stop him we must if we are to avoid a world conflict.
I am speechless, but not surprised! Also the UK ambassador same insolence! Naughty man!
The last sentence sounds like a threat. What else is Putin going to unleash? God be with Ukraine.
according to this article, the Australians and Dutch are getting ready to send a small contingent of soldiers to defend the crash site. One can easily see the Ukrainian seperatists attacking them with russian-supplied weaponry, including the Tornado MRLS systems that were allegedly supplied to them. If this happens, and it more than likely will if their soldiers are deployed to secure the crash site, one can easily see things snowballing from there. What we are seeing in some ways is a combination of the lead up to both World War I and World War II, albeit obliquely; with regards to the first world war, we have the death of foreign citizens who have been killed by “nationalist” seperatists pining for the days of yore (i e, the Soviet Union). So we have nationalism cause number one there. World War II falls in in that this is being orchestrated by Putin, a man who in a few ways mirrors a certain German Chancellor before 1939; Putin has, like Hitler, come from a military background and was party to a “conflict” which his nation lost; he has also been witness to the economic destitution of his nation thereafter; like Hitler, he has risen from a position of minor influence to prominence largely on the back of ultra-nationalist and revanchist rhetoric; like Hitler, he has presided over the degradation back into authoritarianism of hist nation, and–like Hitler–his fundamental message has never really changed. This message, uttered in 1994 and up until now, has been that the Russian people are deserving of a special place in the world; that the collapse of the Russian empire as represented by the Soviet Union was a tragedy worthy of a playwright, and that justice will be done in seeing its restoration. Finally, Putin has, like that German Chancellor whom so many underestimated between 1933 and 1939, presided not only over a military buildup (albeit comparatively miniscule). What is worse is that he has all the mistakes of Russia’s historic antagonist in whose footsteps he now follows to avoid, and he clearly has the patience and craft to play the long-game to get what he wants; he knows the thresholds and the limits, and is skidding in just under them. What is happening in Ukraine is war, and it will not end there; in order to distract his constituents, Putin needs to keep up the drumbeat of the “evil western imperialists” and keep up the hysteria. It’s not as though no other parties share the blame.
However, Russia,specifically Putin, because the Russian citizenry is to some extent spectators within their own nation, must shoulder the vast majority of the blame for what is about to come. It appears clear to me now that we are headed, at least presently, for another conflict of states and civilizations, one that will be shorter, and far more brutal, than anything seen in world war II. I thought it would be some action of the PRC that would spark this but that does not matter; in this conflict, there will be no place on earth that is untouchable, nothing that will be beyond destruction. Should it last long enough, and the stakes be high enough, nuclear weapons will be used; Putin needs his war and he needs his victory. How far he will go to get this and the legitimacy that comes with it, no one knows. This does not change the essence of what is beginning to take shape however; we are seeing old empires and nationalisms clawing their way back to the surface from graves they were buried in only too short a time ago. In some sense, this is their last gasp, and this could be the last long-reaching effects of the French Revolution and the changes it began. Only this time this “last gasp” has the potential to be the “last gasp” for all of humanity, whether by nuclear fire or the lingering radiation thereafter. If anyone survives, its because they will stay as far away from this as possible. If it doesn’t destroy humanity, the conflict that could arise from all that is going on will mean the end of europe, the U.S, Russia, and the world order as we know them today. If the PRC is wise enough to stay out of it, they may well get their empire–with all its accompanying horrors for those deemed inferior–handed “back to it” on a silver platter.
I apologize, that was something of a rant. But I still stand by it; this is really about legacies of empire, about nationalism, and the desperate attempt by the few to live in that past. the Parallels to what happened nearly 100 years ago to this day grow ever more striking, and it is Ironic that, then as now (Russia was the first to mobilize in World War I), Russia is taking the first steps towards igniting a potentially global conflagration that will not only destroy whatever hopes Putin has of resurrecting the Russian Empire, but also destroy Europe, the United States, and the world order as we know them to be…and leave an oh-so tantalizing vacuum for whomever is wise enough to bide their time and wait for the storm, such as it is, to blow over. It might be that, given nuclear weaponry, they might not get that chance. However, I can be relatively sure of several things. First, that both Russia and the U.S will lose their respective auras of invincibility, second, that it will be primarily Europe that suffers, though even the U.S will take damage physically. Third will be that–if we somehow manage to avoid MAD–the destruction will be to such an extent that it will mean the death of whatever things we now take for granted. If there can be anything good that might come of this yet uncertain conflict, it will be the political union of the United States and–hopefully–the death of the immature culture of “rugged individualism” that we have now, and the broken state that our society is presently in.
Not really 34 years ago but not now,as your assuming seem e kind of parity like there was in the cold war,This is not the case any more Russia is disadvantaged in all disciplines except maybe air defense over the russian state,For instance russia has not early waning system the missile defense shield ect and i could go on and on,The only move for put in is retract or be check mated,and that moments close,But great speach
Interesting article in The Economist about Putin.
Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
I’m old enough to remember the depths of the Cold War in the 70s and 80s, with Moscow making thundering denunciations about “American plots.” This latest from the Russian Foreign Ministry is like a nostalgic visit with an old, crazy “friend.”
Prof Schindler, if I may ask, where do you think this is heading? Clearly the Kremlin is now drinking its own koolaid (though it is surprising how many here in the west are willing to believe such rhetoric), but–barring my wall-of-text post below–I am still unclear as to where this goes next, beyond the significant potential for another World War. At what point, do you think, the Kremlin (specifically Putin) would be willing to cease the war within Ukraine and under what conditions? Rather, what would it take to get him to back down? Is that even an option for Putin at this point, given his revanchism? I ask this as a fellow historian who has taken some studies of the history of the Soviet Union, including a lecture from J. Arch Getty.
We are headed to full-scale war for Ukraine if the Kremlin does not back down soon; Moscow’s proxies in the DNR & LNR are going down to defeat, gradually.
Does anyone have an estimate of the size of rebel forces?
6,000 or so is a common figure
Well, if they don’t like US intelligence or social media, they can read their own newspapers which reported that the separatists said they had Buks on 14 July to down Ukrainian planes and used them again on 17 July to down a plane they thought was an AN-26 but was MH17.
These links are still standing as of today.
About the efficiency of sanctions:
Applying sanctions slow and step by step hurt the target a lot more than applying them all at once. Because slow sanctions create an aura of unpredictability for a long time while “One Big Sanction” is well, one event and afterwards people will just work around it.
In Fact it might even be useful to retract some sanctions for some time and then reapply them again, maybe in a slightly different context. Because sanctions are better at disturbing than isolating.
So far as I can tell no proof whatsoever has been produced that would finger the Russians in the MH17 disaster. The black boxes are in the hands of the MI6, the flight/tower conversations have yet to be released by the Ukrainians. Nada, zilch and zero evidence but plenty of blather and accusations. Most likely scenario that has begun to unfold is that a Ukrainian fighter jet shot down the MH17 with most likely 30mm cannon fire at altitude. The CIA has a hand in this and the Ukrainians bungled the task, which is and was to put up a false flag fingering the Russians. If you are so certain that Russia is behind this then produce the evidence. Already, regarding the Air Algerie disaster, the flight recordings have been made available along with the black boxes. What’s the holdup with MH17? Maybe the Tinkerers-in-Chief have to tweek the boxes before release.
So far I have seen zilch other than innuendo, hearsay, and obfuscation. I’m no Russia fan but I can’t stand accusations not backed up by anything other than blather. It’s weak and pathetic.
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