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What does Putin want?

Original: Чего хочет Путин?
Translated by Alexander Fedotov / Edited by @GBabeuf

It is gratifying that Putin was not instantly blamed by “patriots” for a full-scale defeat of Ukrainian troops in the Donbass, which did not happen in January-February, and for the Moscow consultations with Merkel and Hollande.

However, that would negate neither their desire that victory should have already come yesterday, nor the certainty of the most radical that Putin will anyway “give up Novorossiya,” nor the identical fears of moderates immediately on the signing of another truce (if it is going to be signed)which is necessary not only for regrouping and replenishing the army of Novorossiya (which really could be effected without ceasing active hostilities), but also to consolidate the changed configuration on the international front, as well as to prepare for new diplomatic battles.

In fact, no matter how much attention amateurs of political and/or military operations (internet “Talleyrands” and “Bonapartes”) pay to the situation in the Donbass and Ukraine as a whole, that is only one point on the global front, as the fate of the war is being decided neither in Donetsk Airport nor in the hills by Debaltsevo. It is being decided in the offices of Staraya Square [the headquarters of the Presidential Administration of Russia -ed.] and Smolenskaya Square [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia -ed.] as well as in offices in Paris, Berlin and Brussels. Because the war is just one of the many arguments in a political debate.

Political decisions will not always be understood by the public and military

This is the toughest, the last argument, the use of which is associated with a greater risk, but business neither starts with a war nor ends with the war. War is an intermediate step that fixes the impossibility of compromise and is designed to create a new environment in which either a compromise is possible or the need for it disappears in connection with the disappearance of one of the parties to the conflict. That comes at the end of hostilities, when the troops return to the barracks and the generals write their memoirs and prepare for the next war, and politicians and diplomats summarise the results of the confrontation at the negotiating table.

Political decisions will not always be understood by the public and the military. For example, the Chancellor of Prussia (later the German Reich Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck) during the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, in spite of the insistent desire of the King (the future Emperor), Wilhelm I of Prussia, and the demands of the generals, would not allow the taking of Vienna, and he was absolutely right. So he sped up a peace agreement on Prussia’s terms, and made sure that Austria-Hungary forever (until its liquidation in 1918) became a junior partner of Prussia and later of the German Empire.

In order to understand how, when and under what conditions the fighting can be ended, we need to know what exactly the politicians want and how they see the conditions of the postwar compromise. At the same time, the reasons why the fighting took just such a characterlow intensity civil war with occasional truceswill become clear, not only in Ukraine but also in Syria.

We obviously cannot be interested in the opinion of Kiev politiciansthey do not decide anything. External control of Ukraine is not even hidden and no matter whether Estonian or Georgian ministers are over therethey are still American ones. It would be a big mistake to be also interested in the views of the leaders of the DPR and the LPR on the future. The republics exist because of Russian support and as long as Russia supports them; therefore, the interests of Russia must be guaranteed (including against making independent decisions and initiatives). Too much is at stake for Zakharchenko, Plotnitskiy or someone else, no matter who, to be able to make independent decisions.

In fact, today the EU can choose whether it stays under an American yoke or tilts towards Russia

We are also not interested in the EU’s position. Much depended on the EU until the end of last summer, when the war could have been prevented or stopped at the very beginning. At that moment, a tough, principled anti-war position of the European Union was required and actually might have blocked US actions aimed at inciting a war; it would have made the EU an independent and important geopolitical actor. The EU missed that opportunity and acted as a faithful vassal of the US. As a result, Europe now stands on the brink of frightful internal upheavals, it has every chance in the coming years of repeating the fate of Ukraine, except with a greater roar, with great loss of blood and with fewer prospects that, in the foreseeable future, everything will calm down (someone will come and establish order).

In fact, today, the EU can choose whether it stays under the American yoke or tilts towards Russia. Depending on the choice, Europe can get away with only a slight shock (in the form of losing part of its periphery and fragmentation of some countries), or it may fall into collapse. Judging by the unwillingness of the European elites to openly break with America, collapse, as mentioned above, is almost inevitable.

In fact, we should be interested in the opinion of the two major players who define the configuration of the global front-line and who, in fact, аrе fighting for victory in the new generation of warfare (Third World Network-centric war). These players are the US and Russia.

The US position is clear and transparent. In the second half of the ’90s of the twentieth century, Washington finally missed an opportunity to quietly reform the Cold War economy and thereby avoid the inevitable crisis of the system, the development of which was limited by the finiteness of the planet Earth and all its resources, including human one, which was in conflict with the need to indefinitely increase printing and the circulation of dollars.

As soon as Russia claimed its right to make its own political decisions, its clash with the US became inevitable

After that, the US could only prolong the agony by plundering the rest of the worldthe Third World countries to start with, then potential competitors, then allies and then close friends. That robbery could last only as long as the US remained the world hegemon and this hegemony was unquestioned.

That is why, as soon as Russia claimed the right to make its own political decisions (even if not of global but only of regional significance), its clash with the US was inevitable. And this clash cannot result in a compromise peace.

For the US, a compromise with Russia means a voluntary renunciation of hegemony; it will entail a rapid systemic catastrophe (not only economic and political crisis, but also the paralysis of state institutions and the inability of the state to perform its functions, i.e. its inevitable collapse).

If the US wins, a systemic crash awaits Russia. After such a “rebellion” its ruling class will be punished with liquidation, imprisonment and confiscation; the state will be fragmented, substantial territory annexed, military power destroyed.

We need to understand what the Russian leadership wants to achieve, specifically Russian President, Vladimir Putin

So the war will continue until victory, and any interim agreements should be considered only as temporary truces, a necessary respite for regrouping forces, mobilising new resources and recruiting additional allies.

In fact, for the sake of completeness, we lack only the position of Russia. We need to understand what the Russian leadership, specifically Russian President, Vladimir Putin, wants to achieve. We are talking about the key role of Putin within the Russian system of government. It is not an authoritarian, as many claim, but an authoritative role. Thus it is not based on a legislatively consolidated autocracy, but on the authority of the person who created that system, is forcing it to work effectively, and is standing at its head.

In fact, during fifteen years of rule, Putin, despite the difficult external and internal situation, has been trying to maximise the role of the government, the legislative assembly and even of the local authorities. These were quite logical steps that should have given the system completeness, stability and continuity. Since no politician reigns forever, ensuring political continuity, no matter who comes to power, is a key feature of the sustainability of the system.

So far, unfortunately, achieving full autonomy of the system, i.e. its ability to function without the president’s supervision, has failed. Putin continues to be a key link in the system precisely because popular trust is concentrated in his person, whereas the system itself (represented by public authorities and individual agencies) is much less trusted.

In this situation, Vladimir Putin’s opinion and his political plans have become critical for the formation of Russia’s foreign policy; and while the phrase “no Putin—no Russia” is an exaggeration, the phrase “what Putin wants—so Russia wants,” from my point of view, reflects the real situation quite accurately.

The level of confrontation that Russia allowed herself in relation to the US grew very slowly

First, note that the man who, for fifteen years, gently led Russia to its revival, under conditions of American hegemony in world politics and significant opportunities for Washington to influence the internal politics of Russia itself, has a good understanding of the nature of the struggle and his adversary. Otherwise he would not have lasted so long.

The level of confrontation that Russia allowed herself in relation to the United States, grew very slowly, not to some point noticeable. Russia did not react to the first attempt at a the colour revolution in Ukraine in 2000-2002 (“cassette scandal”, “Gongadze case” and the action “Ukraine without Kuchma”).

Russia outlined an alternative position, but did not actively intervene in the coup of November 2003‒January 2004 in Georgia and of November 2004‒January 2005 in Ukraine. In 2008, in Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia involved its troops against a US ally (Georgia). In 2012, Russian ships in Syria demonstrated a willingness to confront the US Navy and its NATO allies.

In 2013, Russia began preventive economic action against the regime of Yanukovich having contributed to his realisation of the harmfulness of signing the Association Agreement.

In each individual period of time, Putin allows himself only that level of confrontation with the US which Russia was able to withstand


Moscow could not save Ukraine from the coup d’état—because of the meanness, cowardice and stupidity of Ukraine’s leaders (not only Yanukovych but all of them, without exception), but after the armed coup in Kiev in February 2014, Russia entered into an open confrontation with Washington. Before this, conflicts alternated with periods of improved relations whereas, since the beginning of 2014, Russian‒American relations have been deteriorating rapidly, and almost immediately reached the point at which a pre-nuclear era a war could be automatically declared.

Thus, in any given period of time, Putin allowed himself such a level of confrontation with the US which Russia was able to withstand. If, now, Russia does not limit the level of confrontation, then Putin believes that Russia can win the war of sanctions, the war of nerves, the information war, the civil war in Ukraine, the economic war.

That is the first important conclusion about what Putin wants, what he expects. He expects to win. And considering how well he prepares his actions, how thoroughly he calculate chances, one can be sure that when the decision was made not to retreat under pressure from the US, but to respond, the Russian leadership had double, if not triple, guarantees of victory.

I note that the decision to enter into conflict with Washington was adopted not in 2014 nor in 2013. The war of 08.08.08 was a challenge that the US could not let go unpunished. After that, each subsequent stage of confrontation led only to an increase in the stakes. Since, in 2008-2010, the resource (not only military or economic, but complex) potential of the United States was much higher than today, and the potential of Russia was much less than it is now, the main objective was to achieve a smooth, rather than explosive raising of the stakes. Therefore, it was necessary to delay an open confrontation where, as now, the masks are dropped and everyone understands that there is a war, as much as possible on the longer term. And better not to allow it to happen at all.

Every year the US has weakened whereas Russia has become stronger. These processes were objective, it was impossible to stop them. One could confidently calculate that by 2020-2025, without any confrontation, US hegemony would be finished in an evolutionary way; the US will not be thinking about how to rule the world but about how to be rescued from internal catastrophe.

In conditions of global peace, the final self-destruction of the politico-military and financial-economic global system created by the US is inevitable

Thus, Putin’s second desire is to maintain peace or the appearance of peace as long as possible, because peace is objectively beneficial for Russia, since in the state of peace, without incurring huge costs it gets the same political result, but with a much better overall global situation. Therefore, Russia is now also constantly offering peace. Similarly, in the case of peace in the Donbass, the Kiev junta will also collapse. Here Russia’s actions are correctly described in Sun Tzu’s maxim: “The best war is one that does not start.”

It is obvious that no fools are working in Washington, whatever has been said in Russian talk-shows or written by bloggers. In the US, they clearly understand the situation in which they have ended up. Furthermore, they understand that Russia has no plans to eliminate them and is really ready to cooperate on an equal footing. But the socio-economic situation in the US is such that any cooperation is not acceptable for themeconomic collapse and social explosion will occur before Washington (even with the support of Moscow and Beijing) is able to make the necessary reforms (especially considering that at the same time it will be necessary to reform the EU). In addition, the political elite that grew in the US in the last twenty-five years is accustomed to the status of the world owners. They truly do not understand how anyone can argue with them.

For representatives of the US ruling class (not so much for business as for bureaucracy) to suddenly have to go from arbiters of the destinies of wild natives to equal contracting parties is unbearable. It is like asking Gladstone or Disraeli to work as the Prime Minister of Cetshwayo in Zululand [Cetshwayo kaMpanda, King of the Zulu Kingdom, 1872-79 -ed.]. That is to say, unlike Russia, for whom peace is advantageous, for the US, war is an inevitability.

In principle, any war is a fight of resources. Typically, the winner is the one who has more resources, who can commonly mobilise more soldiers, build more tanks, ships, planes. However, sometimes a strategically lost war has been won tactically, directly on the battlefield. Such were the wars of Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great, as well as Hitler’s campaign of 1939-1940.

Nuclear powers cannot face each other on the battlefield. Therefore, the question of the resource base is of paramount importance. That is why for the past year we have seen a desperate struggle between Russia and the US for allies. Russia has won. If on the US side are only the EU, Canada, Australia, Japan (and even then not always and not unconditionally), Russia managed to mobilise BRICS in her support, gained a firm foothold in Latin America, and began displacing the US from Asia and North Africa.

The United States had the option of two tactical decisions

Of course, it is not obvious, but to judge by the results of voting in the UN, it turns out that on the side of Russia (to not support the US officially means to speak out in support of Russia) there are countries who together control about 60% of world GDP, more than two thirds of the world population, and more than three quarters of the land mass . That is to say, Russia is able to mobilise more resources.

In this regard, the United States had the option of two tactical decisions. The first one gave a hope of success and was adopted by the US since the early days of the Ukrainian crisis.

This was an attempt to force Russia to choose between bad and worse. She was asked to either accept the existence of a Nazi state on her borders (and in this case a dramatic downgrading of her international prestige and the trust and support of her allies) and after a short time to be at risk of attack by internal and external pro-American forces, with no chance of survival, or to send the army into Ukraine, quickly sweep away the junta which had not had time to settle, to restore the legitimate government of Yanukovych, but to be accused of aggression against an independent state and the suppression of the people’s revolution, and to suffer smouldering discontent in the Ukraine and the need to constantly expend significant resources (military, political, economic, diplomatic) to maintain the puppet regime in Kiev (as any other in such conditions would not have been possible there).

Russia has bypassed this decision. Direct invasion never happened. The Donbass is at war with Kiev. The Americans must now pointlessly pump scarce resources into the doomed puppet regime in Kiev, while Russia can calmly offer peace.

The task is to destroy as much as possible the life support system and push the population to the brink of survival


In this regard, the US employed a second variant. It is as old as the hills. If you cannot hold some ground which will inevitably be taken by the enemy, it should be destroyed as much as possible, so that victory for the enemy would be worse than defeat, and all its resources would be spent on the support of existence and attempts to restore the site destroyed by you. Thus the United States ceased any assistance to Ukraine other than political rhetoric, but encourages Kiev to spread civil war throughout the country.

The Ukrainian arena shall burn not only in Donetsk and Lugansk, but also in Kiev and Lvov. The task is to destroy as much as possible the life support system and push the population to the brink of survival. Then, there will be millions of very hungry, very bad and heavily armed men on the territory of Ukraine, conducting an internecine slaughter for food. And this massacre could only be stopped by placing an excessive foreign military presence on the territory of Ukraine (the Militia alone will not be enough) and by massive injections of funds to feed the population and to aid economic recovery (up to the point where Ukraine would be able to start to feed herself).

Clearly, all of these costs will fall on Russia. Putin rightly believes that not only the budget, but all public resourcesincluding the militarywill, in this case, be overstretched and unable to bear the burden. Therefore, the task is not to allow Ukraine to catch fire before the Militia is able to quickly bring the situation under control. It is necessary to minimize casualties, destruction, to preserve at least some economy and the life support systems of large cities so that the population would at the very least survive and not die; then the Nazi thugs will be hauled in by the Ukrainians themselves.

Herein, the EU appears as Putin’s ally. Since the US has always tried to use European resources in dealing with Russia, the EU, that was the weakest link even without it, is finally exhausted; long overdue centrifugal processes have commenced within it.

Europe cannot resist the US, but it is mortally afraid of burning Ukraine

If now on its eastern border Europe also inherits a completely destroyed Ukraine, whence shall pournot only to Russia, which will be insulated by the buffer of the People’s Republicsbut also to the EU, millions of armed men (not to mention such delights as drug trafficking, arms shipments to whoever wants them, export of terrorism, etc.); the European Union simply will not be able to withstand all this.

Europe cannot confront the US, but it is mortally afraid of burning Ukraine. Therefore, for the first time during the conflict Hollande and Merkel are not just trying to sabotage the US demands (introducing sanctions but trying not to implement them), but are also venturing a minimum of independent action, trying to achieve at least some compromise; if not peace, then at least a truce in the Ukraine.

If the Ukrainian arena flares up, it will burn out quickly, and the EU will become an unreliable partner; if it is not ready to go over to the camp of Russia, then at least it should take a neutral position. Washington, as part of its strategy, will be forced to incinerate Europe as well.

Russia does not need a fire from the Atlantic to the Carpathian Mountains (when the territory from the Carpathians to the Dnieper will still be smouldering embers)

It is clear that the complex of civil and interstate wars on a continent bristling with weapons up to its eyeballs, where more than half a billion people live, will be far worse than the civil war in Ukraine. The Atlantic ocean separates the United States from Europe. Even Britain could hope to sit behind the English Channel. But Russia and the EU share a very long border.

Russia does not need a fire from the Atlantic to the Carpathian Mountains (when the territory from the Carpathians to the Dnieper will still be smouldering embers). Therefore, another of Putin’s desires—as far as possible to arrest the most negative effects of the fire in Ukraine and in Europe, since fully preventing them is not possible—if the US wants, it can start the fire; we must be able to quickly extinguish the fire and to save what is most valuable.

Thus, wanting to protect the legitimate interests of Russia, Putin wants peace, peace and once again peace, since peace allows it to be done with the greatest effect and the lowest cost. Well, since peace is no longer possible and the truces are becoming more virtual and fragile, it is necessary for Putin to end the war as quickly as possible.

Formally, nothing has changed, peace on almost any terms still benefits Russia

I want to stress that if, a year ago, a compromise could have been reached on the most favourable terms for the West (Russia still gets its, but over time, so why trifle?), now it is no longer possible, and each time the terms are getting worse and worse. Formally, nothing has changed, peace on almost any terms still benefits Russia. Only one, albeit the most important, component has changed—public opinion. Russian society is longing for victory and retribution. As I pointed out above, the power in Russia is authoritative, but not authoritarian, public opinion (unlike in the “traditional democracies”) is not an empty phrase for it .

Putin is the main link (binding the system) only as long as he is well respected by the majority of the population. If he loses the support of the people, since Russian political circles have not yet put forward a figure of equal stature, the system will lose stability. The government only enjoys authority as long as it successfully embodies the desires of the masses. So that the defeat of Ukrainian Nazism (albeit diplomatic) should be obvious and uncontroversial—only on that basis the compromise is now possible for Russia.

Thus, regardless of the desires of Putin and the interests of Russia, the overall balance of power, priorities and possibilities of the parties leads to the fact that the war, which should have ended in Ukraine last year, will almost inevitably affect Europe. And one can only guess what would be more effective—American gasoline or the Russian fire extinguisher; but certainly peacekeeping by Russian leadership will be limited not by its wishes, but only by real possibilities. One can not fight against the will of the people and the course of history even individually, and only when they match, then the only reasonable solution of an experienced politician is to understand what the people want and where the historical process is headed and to support it with all his power.

Given the scale of the coming fire, deciding the fate of all Ukraine is not something prohibitively complex

The logic of the described above processes makes it extremely unlikely that the wishes of supporters of the creation of a separate state of Novorossiya will be satisfied. Given the scale of the coming fire, deciding the fate of all Ukraine is not something prohibitively complex. At the same time it will be an expensive pleasure.

It is logical that the Russian people will have a question: if Russians, whom we rescued from the Nazis, live in Novorossiya, why do they have to live in a separate state? And if they want to live in a separate state, why should Russia rebuild their cities and factories? These questions have only one reasonable answer—the inclusion of Novorossiya into Russia (the more so because, for fighting, there is something already there; but for management, the situation is worse). Well, once a part of Ukraine can join Russia, then so can the rest. Moreover, it is likely that by the time this issue will have to be decided, the EU (as an alternative to the Eurasian option) will have already ceased to exist.

Logically, if reunion is the decision, it will be of a unified federal Ukraine, not some other strange formation. I think that today altering the political map remains premature. By the end of this year the war in Ukraine will obviously have ended, but if the US will be able to set the EU ablaze (and they will try), the final resolution of territorial issues will be postponed for at least a couple of years, maybe longer.

However, even here we benefit from peace. In conditions of peace, the expansion of the Russian resource base, the transfer to her side of new allies (former partners of the USA) and the marginalization of Washington, territorial reorganisation, firstly, will be greatly simplified and, secondly, will temporarily lose crucial importance (especially for those who are being reorganised).

Rostislav Ishchenko, president of the Centre for System Analysis and Forecasting, specially for “Current Commentary”


26 thoughts on “What does Putin want?

  1. Reblogged this on gerryhiles.


    Posted by gerryhiles | Mar 12, 2015, 19:12
  2. Very interesting read which, to me, makes a great deal of sense.


    Posted by gerryhiles | Mar 12, 2015, 19:14
  3. I do not know who has written this article nor how much they really know. Are they in a position to know, or they just using “shock and awe” to attract notoriety, a common technique among political analysts? The article seems to lack any essence of wisdom. The idea that the Ukraine-Novorossiya war is a conflict between the US and Russia is a simplistic view perpetrated by propagandists on both sides: those deeply sympathetic with Russia, as well as the neocon fools on the American front. The truth is more complex, and allows for numerous futures.

    The author says, “It would be a big mistake to be also interested in the views of the leaders of the DPR and the LPR on the future. The republics exist because of Russian support.” This is nonsense. Novorossiya would continue its battle for freedom regardless of Russian official support, which has been minimal, if it exists at all. Zakharchenko’s dedication to the DPR has proved unwavering. His desire to build an independent state is evident. That he is not directing his country toward dependence on Russia, but rather toward self-sufficiency, is clear. Therefore, the author’s statement is unkind and inappropriate. The DPR/LPR leadership has had to oppose the Kremlin’s destructive interference at every turn, especially during the Minsk process, but also possibly with the forced removal of Strelkov.

    That the fate of the war is “being decided in the offices of Staraya Square and Smolenskaya Square as well as in offices in Paris, Berlin and Brussels,” seems an arrogance on the part of the author, who in this statement has even contradicted their own premise that this is a US-Russia conflict. To demonstrate how absurd is the statement, imagine Novorossiya were NOT winning on the battlefield. Indeed, the war would be unfolding in a very different way, regardless of Moscow, Paris, Berlin or Brussels.

    The author’s assertion, “For the US, a compromise with Russia means a voluntary renunciation of hegemony,” represents an exaggeration of Russia’s importance. The US could easily compromise with Russia and maintain its hegemony by a wide margin; there is no connection. “If the US wins, a systemic crash awaits Russia,” says the author. But this is again nonsense; it is not a zero-sum game. The statement, “It is obvious that no fools are working in Washington, whatever has been said in Russian talk-shows or written by bloggers,” is simply incorrect. Why does the author presume they know more than talk show guests or bloggers? Does the author also know more than, say, Ron Paul or Paul Craig Roberts, who have repeatedly exposed the foolishness of the leaders in Washington? The false notion that the US government possesses a deep, if evil, intelligence seems a trendy form of Russian propaganda, the purpose of which is unfathomable, unless to attract publicity for the author. American is run by fools, Putin is overly hesitant, and Novorossiya is pretty much determining its own future. “I will never betray Novorossiya.” — Zakharchenko.


    Posted by kennedy applebaum | Mar 12, 2015, 21:58
    • I consider America’s leadership to not merely consist of fools but rather a collection of demon-spawn fools who are so many sociopaths and psychopaths…Yes, Putin is overly hesitant. At least, I think so. But, perhaps, that works best considering the situation. In due time, though, circumstances will force him to act more boldly and decisively, if not quicker, than he seems to thus far. The bottom line is that America will never behave. Her leaders think she is goddess of our world. They believe their own BS and think she is ultimately invincible. They, however, are setting up America far a humiliating tumble into the Abyss. Russia and China will shove her into it, thus turning her into an object lesson eclipsing that of Sodom and Gomorrah….


      Posted by James Howard Trusty | Mar 13, 2015, 03:18
      • I have recently been re-reading Aesop”s Fables, and am struck anew by their simple wisdom. Perhaps that is why this phrase popped into my head when reading your response to the article: “Live by the sword, die by the sword.” I am continually amazed at the short-sighted, egotistical, narcissistic (to name a few) approaches employed in the making of decisions that are practiced by the “fools working in Washington”. The depiction of the United States as the beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the world has worn thin, and our underwear is showing. Even benevolent despots are still despots, and I’m not so sure about the benevolence. The massive ignorance about the nature of humanity’s innate resistance to forced external control, even though much has been learned about the employment of psychological, sociological, and biochemical methods to circumvent this response, brings up Aesop once more, with the axiom that ‘Pride (or ego, conceit, arrogance, etc) precedes a great fall.’ Indeed, I think we have been “made”, and our true agenda is known–which brings up my last fable: “The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing—Once upon a time, a Wolf resolved to disguise his appearance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock, deceiving the shepherd by his costume. In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed, and the entrance made thoroughly secure. But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly. Harm seek, harm find.”


        Posted by Gerry Burge | Mar 13, 2015, 18:20
    • I, too, like to know about the contributors, so I googled Rostislav Ishchenko. The Centre for System Analysis and Forecasting is in Ukraine. Ishchenko is also a contributor to the Valdai Discussion Club. Last September, for example, he wrote a piece entitled “Petro Poroshenko’s Tragic End”, summarised as “Poroshenko was eager to have an entry “president” in his work record book. But such a man who failed to realize that under these very circumstances only a political and military genius like Bonaparte (and Poroshenko is not even a match for Barras) could have kept power, does not deserve sympathy.” I don’t know if that helps.
      Concerning the article, I thought it was pretty realistic. Another perspective on this could be Putin’s talk at the Valdai Discussion Club last October. The transcript is here: Putin has been consistent in his views for a long time now. Many commentators agonise over the question of “What does Putin want?” without giving much consideration of what he actually says.


      Posted by robinmorritt | Mar 13, 2015, 04:12
    • Well Kennedy you say: “I do not know who has written this article nor how much they really know. Are they in a position to know, or they just using “shock and awe” to attract notoriety, a common technique among political analysts?”

      Hoist on your own petard?.

      Whether or not the author is guilty-as-charged by you (and comprehensively wrong, according to you) you have certainly used the article as a launch-pad for your own hubris/know-it-allness … you prove nothing about your own erudition by citing the deeply flawed Ron Paul, or even PCR who has fairly recently woken up, but who still thinks that Ronnie Raygun was a man of peace … yes the man who called the Soviet Union “the Evil Empire” and who wanted to nuke the USSR.

      You picked two very bad examples in support of your attack on the article.

      Ron Paul is a career politician who has lived off the state for all of his life, but who mouths safe Libertarian slogans which will never get him assassinated, like so many real radicals have been.

      I really do appreciate PCRs eventual realization that “American Pie” was not all it seemed to be, but even I knew that nearly sixty years ago, when I stopped believing in “Cowboys and Injuns” and that the Lone Ranger was somehow ‘real’. So PCR is too late to make any difference, even if he stopped stoped idolising the geriatric sock puppet who unleashed neo-liberalism on the World.

      However cite two men who still believe that the US was once GREAT, though it never was anything except a genocidal empire founded by land-owning oligarchs .

      Get a clue, Kennedy, before trying to make a name for yourself out of flawed criticism.

      BTW I am assuming that you are a Usan living in the mainland Washington Empire , rather than a person living elsewhere on the continental land mass called “America” since European conquest only a few centuries ago, with the portion known as the “USA” only being more or less consolidated under Washington DC only about a century ago, with the overseas colony of Hawaii only being to the Empire-proper after WW2.

      Russia has over a thousand years of history, so show more respect for Russian insiders … oh and you could do worse than subscribe to “Russian Insider (RI)” on line, or RT of course and Col Cassad if you want to get seriously past your Usan arrogance.

      Read the article again and pay real attention. You just might learn something .


      Posted by gerryhiles | Mar 13, 2015, 09:39
      • Gerry Hiles. No problem, I understand your being angry with me. To tell you the truth, it was the slighting by the author of the great efforts of Novorossiya to establish independence, despite Putin’s hesitancy to officially support the effort and to denounce the illegal Kiev government, that hurt me. I guess I just don’t like anyone saying the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic leaders are not even worth listening to. I believe Zakharchenko and Plotnitsky have shown unprecedented strength and resolve against Western aggression, and deserve credit for having had a great deal of influence over their own future. I apologize if I got a little carried away. I’m just waving the flag for Novorossiya as the Great World Hope in the face of the horrors perpetrated by the US and its European allies, and I shy away from the author’s fatalism, which does not seem positive and supportive. I didn’t mean to cause a firestorm here.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by kennedy applebaum | Mar 14, 2015, 00:09
        • Pax. I too see Novorossia as the great World hope, but I truly believe that if Putin/the RF had acted more decisively too soon, then that would have given the Empire/NATO the pretext for a Libya-style onslaught, escalating to all-out war, with millions rather than thousands dead.

          Given the rabid and insane nature of the Empire, I don’t see how Putin could have done better, e.g. mainly bide time until the UAF disintegrates, the Ukrainian economy craters, the EU gets cold feet and the Junta gets ousted with Maidan 2 – no cookies this time.

          Well I hope that this is the way it works out.


          Posted by gerryhiles | Mar 14, 2015, 00:37
  4. VERY well said. Thank you!


    Posted by Chalen Tretiakova | Mar 13, 2015, 02:20
  5. Despite cleverness and subtlety, & some good minor points, this article by Rostislav Ishchenko ultimately fails to justify Putin’s weakness and timidity in supporting Donbass, tho it is one of the better attempts at doing so, preseting some notable truths & speculation (such as acknowledging Putin’s failure to create a framework in Russia that will survive him; and noting how the USA is trying to ‘set the EU ablaze’.)

    On the central point, however, Ishchenko fails as a pro-Putin propagandist, when he discusses the key failure of all – Putin’s unwillingness to partition Ukraine after the horrific 2 May Odessa massacre, when Putin had every international legal and moral right to do so … and he could have saved 50,000 lives with little extra consequence. (Sanctions were coming anyway, and a more aggressive, non-timid Russian media could have played up the example of Nato’s partitioning of Kosovo from Serbia, etc.)

    Too desperate to justify Putin, Ischenko sets up a straw-man version of Russian invasion of Ukraine, with unwarranted assumptions. Ischenko assumes intervention would mean re-installing Yaukovych, which is not true, and ‘maintaining a puppet regime in Kiev’ – also not true … Russia partitioning Ukraine would have let all regions self-determine: Unwanted rump Galicia released to go fully into Western arms, while Kiev etc would only have one restriction, not allowing in Nato forces of any kind.

    If Putin had partitioned Ukraine in May 2014, it would today be a fading-away fait accompli, just like Crimea.

    Very briefly, an alternative view of Putin which may be closer to the truth:

    8 pointers why Vladimir Putin is ‘fake opposition’ to West, secret partner of USA-Nato helping them to extend conflict, spill blood, & create chaos, Putin one side of the old ‘Red Team! – Blue Team!’ scam to fool global citizens, Putin arguably role-playing to help create crisis leading to NWO ‘New World Order’ …

    Putin and 50,000 dead in Ukraine … Putin and 50,000 dead in Libya … Putin helping along the blockade of Gaza in Palestine … Putin’s ‘Chechen Muslim’ scapegoating in Moscow now getting even worse with tortured-Muslim-patsy reports:

    (1) Why did Putin allow Nato to help kill 50,000 in Ukraine (numbers per German intel), yet could have avoided it by partition, fully justified after 2 May Odessa massacre?

    (2) Why did Putin sign off on Nato war to kill 50,000+ Libyans, Putin abandoning anti-Western Qaddafi to a horrid fate, & helping destroy that country?

    (3) Why has Putin always supported US-Nato-Israel sanctions on Iran, & now hypocritically complains when he gets same treatment?

    (4) Why is Putin copying USA-style playbook re Moscow Nemtsov murder
    (a) Arrested ‘Chechen Muslim’ seeming patsies exactly like ‘Boston bombing’ (fake-sounding ‘confession’, observers noting torture evidence), USA-style Muslim scapegoating;
    (b) Charlie Hebdo (!) is again ‘motive’, ridiculously so here;
    (c) Ukrainian girlfriend who led Nemtsov to death, flown out to Kiev as fast as USA flew out Israelis-Saudis after 11 Sep 2001 – No more questions for her, ha!

    (5) Why does Putin strongly support Egypt’s half-Jewish President Al-Sisi (Moroccan Jewish mother, Mossad ties), in war-crime blockade of food & medicine to Gaza in Palestine?

    (6) Why does Putin often meet with & praise USA neo-con NWO leader Henry Kissinger, exactly as one would expect of a Russian leader super-connected to the US elite via Israel, 20% of Putin’s billionaires being Israeli-Jewish & close to the 40% of USA billionaires who are Israeli-Jewish, meeting together in Israel where 20% of Israelis speak Russian / emigrated from Russia?

    (7) Why is self-admitted intel agent on CIA turf in Florida USA (allegedly ‘retired’) who uses fake name ‘Vineyard Saker’, running a propagandistic giant pro-Putin blog, heavily-promoted & self-promoting, casually omitting much, yet pimping for funds a great deal, convoluted illogical excuses for Putin, & at times outright banning discussion of Russian figures who speak of Putin’s NWO betrayals?

    (8) Why does Putin let RT & glossy Russian media get so weak re US-Nato, rubbishing its potential, RT etc now often just timidly recycling stories from sources in Nato countries?

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by brabantian | Mar 13, 2015, 19:03
    • @Brabantian. Why not enlighten us with the answers to your own questions and save us from believing you’re suffering from cognitive dissonance and disingenuousness ?

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by gregoire | Mar 13, 2015, 21:47
      • Gregoire. With due respect, Brabantian’s questions were rhetorical. To get the point of each question, merely ignore the “why” and invert the verb and subject to form a statement. Brabantian has given a compelling rundown of evidence that Putin is not taking a firm stance against the West. This is disturbing and critical to the future of the world. If Putin doesn’t, who can? We need a strong Russia to counterbalance the US, and to form a trilateral balance of powers among the US, Russia and China. That is the road to peace. Another example of Putin’s appeasement of the West: he could have easily denounced the illegal government in Kiev from the get-go, and maintained that Yanukovich, who is alive, who did not resign, and who was not subject to a legal impeachment process, remains the legitimate president of Ukraine. Thus, Putin could have hosted a Ukrainian government in exile. This would have been diplomatically acceptable, and would not have provoked a World War. I see no excuse for Putin not having done so. I have repeatedly asked the question: what is Putin afraid of? What pressure is he under? If you ask me to answer that one, the truth is I don’t know. I’m seeking an answer from others.


        Posted by kennedy applebaum | Mar 14, 2015, 16:15
  6. While accepting all that the author of this post details one should take into account the political status quo in Russia itself. Not only does Putin have to move his pieces on the global chessboard but also on the board of the Russian Federation as well. That he has the support of 80% of the Russian general public is allowing him and his administration to de Atlanticise the Russian body politic as the recent publicity surrounding the arrest on bribery charges of the Sakhalin governor illustrates. Thus the US is in a Putin inspired Catch 22 situation for it is the mindless aggressive US that helping Russia to de Atlanticise.


    Posted by Malcolm Donald | Mar 14, 2015, 09:30
  7. Reblogged this on leruscino.


    Posted by leruscino | Mar 15, 2015, 11:55
  8. Reblogged this on susannapanevin.


    Posted by susannapanevin | Mar 15, 2015, 21:09
  9. This article, of course written by someone who is occasionally a profound thinker, produces a wider vision for the Reader than even the above average article. But, fear not, it is an organic document of Light and Hope.


    Posted by JOHN DURHAM | Mar 17, 2015, 20:41


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