RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 11 June 2015
Because I have been somewhat out of touch for six weeks, this will be a little choppy.
MH17. Remember that? The maker of Buk missiles has produced a report that says the plane was brought down by a Buk 9M38M1 missile of which the Ukrainian Armed Forces have several hundred. Analysis of the warhead fragment dispersal pattern and the destruction shows that the missile could only have been fired from Kiev-held territory. Here it is, judge for yourself. By the way, Der Spiegel has blown "Bellingcat" to pieces, so you can stop bothering with that favourite source. Any year now the report from the Netherlands (over which Ukraine appears to have a veto) will be out.
CANOSSA. So, US Secretary of State Kerry goes to visit the isolated, condemned pariah and they agree that there should be no more fighting. Then Kerry has an accident and disappears from the news cycle. Nuland pops up contradicting him. What's going on? Washington is throwing in the towel and Nuland is fighting a last ditch battle to save what she began? Kerry has been effectively replaced by Nuland? Nobody is in charge and it's all just a random walk? How would we know?
COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. At what point do Moscow and Beijing decide that the cost of dumping their US securities is less than the cost of war?
G7. When it began, the G7 countries were about 60% of the world's GDP; now they're under 45% and falling. However, they do account for more than 60% of the world's debt. The BRICS, on the other hand... Who's the loser here? Russia as the butt of the former or honoured member of the latter?
SANCTIONS. They don't work. But, never mind, let's have some more. Even the White House admits Europe is hurting. On second thought, maybe they are working: Stratfor again, "The United States considers the most dangerous potential alliance to be between Russia and Germany". A German banker discusses the long term damage to Europe.
MACKINDER AND THE WORLD ISLAND. A long but rewarding essay on what's really going on and why the West's attack on Russia will give it the result it least wants. To my mind the one thing that perfectly encapsulates the utter failure of US foreign policy is Chinese warships in the Black Sea.
A NEW FRONT? The colour revolution in Macedonia seems to have failed; time to start trouble in Transdnestr? Every other Obama foreign policy initiative has failed (something for neo-cons and liberals to agree about at last), what makes them think this will succeed?
GOTTA LOVE STRATFOR. First "the most blatant coup in history" and now these "democratic revolutions" need outside efforts (the reader is invited to wonder how much Stratfor's other three elements also depend on outside investment). A coup brought about by outside interests: you'd think Putin's army of internet trolls had infiltrated Stratfor.
I AGREE WITH VERA GRAZIADEI. I am re-examining everything I formerly believed and, on my recent travels I met others who were doing the same. The Ukraine coup destroyed the last illusion.
KARLIN SITREP. Anatoly Karlin – always worth reading – is beginning a sitrep on the Ukrainian civil war.
AMERICANS, BRITISH AND CANADIANS MIGHT WANT TO WATCH THIS. See what your governments support.
POROSHENKO JUMPS THE SHARK. Saakashvili appointed governor of Odessa moments after being given Ukraine citizenship. Anatoly Karlin destroys the Saakashvili myth. He hasn't been home since just before losing the election although Tbilisi is trying to extradite him.
WESTERN VALUES™. The gay rights parade in Kiev violently dispersed by, says The Guardian, "unknown assailants". Not unknown: they said they'd do it, they did it, they boasted they'd done it. The very people The Guardian's typists pretend aren't there. To their credit, the police prevented it getting worse.
YATS' TAKE. For what it's worth: "Less visible, but just as important, is Ukraine’s war against the Soviet past and the legacy of corruption and misrule that has held us back for so many years. These battles must be fought and won together...". Not winning the corruption battle either.