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I do not want really to argue with anyone but I really think that you really will never reach agreement with Russia if you want to include Ukraine in the western sphere of influence.

Because it's more or less like convincing the English people to accept that independent Scotland enters into an alliance with Germany in 1938. Or that the US government accepts voluntarily in the current situation that Canada or Mexico are entering a military alliance with China or Russia 

I would say that this is even a much more complex situation because many people in Russia or in Belarus but also a lot in eastern and central Ukraine believe that there really is no such thing as separate Russian, Ukrainian or Belarusian nations and there is only one so-called Great Russian nation of this 3 countries which do not include only residents of Western Ukraine who definitely do not want to live in one country with the Russians.

Among those who think so, I can mention, for example, Nikita Mikhalkov, the winner of the Oscar for Burnt by the Sun or  Andrei Konchalovski, a famous director who lived in the USA for many  years on exile  and made many valuable films there. I would add that the fact that he lived in the US for some years does not change the fact that he is at least as radical in the case of Ukraine as Putin.

Even the famous Solzenitsyn I would say was definitely at least as radical in the NATO or Ukraine case as Putin



Interview With Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on Ukraine (May 1994)[edit]

by Paul Klebnikov, in the (9 May 1994), issue of Forbes magazine

Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, [historian] Richard Pipes and many other American politicians... are frozen... with unchanging blindness and stubbornness they keep repeating... this theory about the supposed age-old aggressiveness of Russia, without taking into consideration today's reality.

Imagine that one not very fine day two or three of your states in the Southwest, in the space of 24 hours, declare themselves independent of the U.S... declare themselves a fully sovereign nation, decreeing that Spanish will be the only language. All English-speaking residents, even if their ancestors have lived there for 200 years, have to take a test in the Spanish language within one or two years and swear allegiance... Otherwise they will not receive citizenship and be deprived of... (their) rights. Today Russia faces precisely this scenario.

In 24 hours she lost eight to 10 purely Russian provinces, 25 million ethnic Russians who have ended up in this very way--as "undesirable aliens." In places where their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers have lived since way back--even from the 17th century--they face persecution in their jobs and the suppression of their culture, education and language.

Russia today is terribly sick... But even so, have a conscience and don’t demand that–just to please America–Russia throw away the last vestiges of her concern for her security and her unprecedented collapse. After all, this concern in no way threatens the United States.

Why does the (U.S.) State Department decide who should get Sevastopol?

If one recalls the tactless declaration of President Bush about supporting Ukrainian sovereignty even before the referendum on that matter, one must conclude that all this stems from a common aim: to use all means possible, no matter what the consequences, to weaken Russia.

If one looks far into the future, one can foresee in the 21st century such a time when the U.S. together with Europe will be in dire need of Russia as an ally.





Solzhenitsyn was critical of NATO's eastward expansion towards Russia's borders.[100] In 2006, Solzhenitsyn accused NATO of trying to bring Russia under its control; he claimed this was visual because of its "ideological support for the 'colour revolutions' and the paradoxical forcing of North Atlantic interests on Central Asia".[100] In a 2006 interview with Der Spiegel he stated "This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc."[94]

Solzhenitsyn criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq and accused the United States of the "occupation" of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.[101]


Some older users may remember the so-called Cuban crisis where, in total, the US had a legitimate interest that Soviet Bailist missiles would not be located 150 kilometers from Florida.

You just have to take into account that the Russians have the same approach to Ukraine and the Russia treats whole former USSR  more or less like the US South America according to the so-called 19th century Monroe doctrine.

In the Cuban conflict, the world really came closest to a potential nuclear war in the twentieth century, and whether you like it or not,  you personally consider Putin a mean dictator or not, the position of the vast majority of Russians is exactly the same on Ukraine or NATO  topic, if not more radical than his.

So if you really think that the current situation in Ukraine and conflict with NATO is just Putin's problem, than I must inform you that it is definitely not so.

Solzhenitsyn, for example, and this is one of the most respected Russians in the West, I'm afraid that if he lived, he would support Putin rather than the West in Ukrainian crisis or NATO expansion eastward.

Apart from a rather small group of people who currently believe that any concessions to the West should be made, the majority rather support his position. 

Maybe not all of his moves, e.g. supporting oligarchs or increasing retirement age but that in discussion that Ukraine should never enter the Western sphere of influence or that NATO has been dangerously approaching Russia's borders for 30 years they are definitely in favor of Putin.

I personally rather doubt that Putin's successor will be much more concessive than Vladimir, who rather at the beginning of his rule really wanted to get along with the West and only over the years, especially after the first so-called Maidan, he changed his mind.

The successor will eventually be rather from a group of nationalists than from liberals

Anyway, it's enough to listen to Alexey Navalny, who is so beloved by Western media, how he really views Ukraine or NATO. He may seems to be a liberal in relation to Putin and he maybe he  really wants to fight corruption in Russia

There would be probably a big talk of new reset or and short honeymoon in relations with the West but I don't really  think he would ever agree to Ukraine or Georgia joining NATO or European Union because he would simply not survive in this case until the end of his term and would have at least the same problems as President Macron in France. In fact I think the Russian palace elites lets say russian Deep State themselves would overthrow him at the first such attempt

I will only add that he is a liberal but only in the Russian sense of these  word, which does not contradict the fact that, for example, that he calls Chechens sometimes with quite racist phrases e.g. Russia without the free parasites from the Caucasus and in the issue of homosexuals or some other moral issues he is just as conservative as hardened right-wing Republicans in the US. 

In terms of e.g. economic policy, many people think that liberals would have exactly the same policy as Putin. Generally, the whole problem of the opposition in Russia, except that it is totally at odds with each other is that a very significant proportion of people think that they would not really rule much better than Putin, and in that case there is no reason to make a second Maidan in Moscow only if  because the Ukrainian example does really encourage it.

Georgian example I agree probably definitely more but Ukraine is more appealing to the imagination and I doubt if anyone thinks that it is much better there now afer Maidan than lets say  in 2013, and most Ukrainians are really thinking about it in this way.

I think it's really a bit different liberalism than what it means in Western Europe.

The situation of the opposition is not facilitated also by the fact that many of its members, including those most famous like Khodorkovsky or Nemtsov, there is a lot of authentic materials as they did in the 90s like they stole public money or in the case of Khodorkovsky even order to murder business opponents. . The 90s were really bandit but nobody really convinces the average Russian that Mr. Khodorkovsky or Mr. Browder from Hermitage Capital made his fortune in a fair way.

In general, Russia has been discussing for hundreds of years whether it is a more Asian or European country.

I think that now the direction is China and Asia, which are also developing much more dynamically than the European Union.

Edited by Tomasz
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On 3/9/2020 at 12:49 AM, Meredith Poor said:

As is probably expounded on elsewhere, Putin seems to have it in for the US, or at least the current US administration. The idea is basically to run fracking companies out of business.

Russia could, in theory, do fine without oil revenues. This would simply require a massive expansion of other elements in the economy, elements that require a technological sophistication Russia doesn't apparently have. Putin and his economic advisers may see a way to the end of oil. They may as well work toward that end, since they'll have to face it sooner or later. More likely sooner.

It's certainly interesting to consider that Russia could generate enough electricity via wind power to power all of Europe. This would replace gas blackmail with electricity blackmail. They would have to find some source for the turbines, which appears at the moment to be problematical. They would also have to pave Belarus and Poland with transmission lines.

It would help if U.S. allies such as in Europe stopped buying Russian crude oil and instead bought U.S. crude oil.  The U.S. should also stop buying Russian crude oil which it has bought.  There is a lot of talk relating to OPEC but not much relating to OAPEC.  There is anti-OPEC or NOPEC but no anti-OAPEC or NOAPEC.

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On 3/9/2020 at 8:31 PM, Tomasz said:

Personally, I do not support Putin's latest idea, but this is revenge for 2014 in my opinion - simultaneous sanctions and reduction of oil prices. Russia has survived it quite well and is now launching a counterattack. and might have a last laugh.

If you ask if the state of affairs decade earlier before the big bustle around the world suited me better  I confirm that

 Among other things, because I'm nervous and now in Poland and around the world we have a total mess.

My dream is for Russia, China, USA and the European Union to get along.

Personally, Im under impression that we now have psychopaths in power - neocons and deep state  in the US, Putin, Erdogan  Chinese dictator Xi and the little dictator Kaczynski in Poland.

IMHO Angela Merkel who has been ridiculed in this forum many times  is one of the last moral person in politics

However, according to the definition, a psychopath is not a mentally ill person, but a person who does not feel and is not guided by emotions, which can mean that such a person acts much more rationally than not psychopaths.

I once read a book in which the author showed that the most psychopaths are in prisons and attention to high management positions in large corporations and its hard to determine which of them are more dangerous to a normal person.


Because if you add psychopaths to the rivalry of the USA and China for global dominance in which Russia wants to play the role of a key player, we have the brothel we have

Seems that Tomasz is kremlin bot from Prigozhin's TROLL FACTORY


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8 hours ago, canadas canadas said:

It would help if U.S. allies such as in Europe stopped buying Russian crude oil and instead bought U.S. crude oil.  The U.S. should also stop buying Russian crude oil which it has bought.  There is a lot of talk relating to OPEC but not much relating to OAPEC.  There is anti-OPEC or NOPEC but no anti-OAPEC or NOAPEC.

We here, in Europe, are not the colony of the USA so you can just leave it to us, where we buy anything from, one-key.

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On 12.03.2020 at 20:13, ronwagn said:

Незадолго до того, как стать официальным диктатором на всю жизнь, Путин пообещал улучшить плачевное состояние бедных в России. Он не сможет даже сохранить свой статус при низких ценах на нефть и газ. Русский народ облажен и станет более беспокойным, как и жители Саудовской Аравии, Нигерии и всех стран, зависимых от нефти и газа. Цены являются серьезной потерей для всех этих стран. В Америке это в основном повредит Техасу, Оклахоме, Нью-Мексико и Дакоте. Канада тоже.

Are the USs independent of hydrocarbons? And why you killed and continue to kill millions of civilians and innocents of the planet in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Angola, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia (+ titanium) .... ? How do USA drowns in blood, I wonder.

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The Geopolitics of American Fear

by Peter Zeihan on March 17, 2020


Today, I’m not going to go through all the country-by-country details of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. My team and I are working diligently – franticly – to assimilate a huge amount of ever-changing information. As soon as we have some preliminary conclusions, we will share them. But for now we just don’t have enough hard data.
That will change soon.
This coming week (March 23-28) the South Koreans will be in the fifth week of their epidemic. To be blunt it is what I’ve been waiting for. The “typical” coronavirus experience for someone who requires hospitalization and survives is about 25 days end-to-end; five weeks is about what we need to get some good data.
Why the Koreans? The South Koreans are technically minded, they have a top-notch health care system, they are culturally wired for quick responses, their first instinct isn’t to lie about everything, and they believe in math. They will soon provide the world with the best and most holistic information about all aspects of the virus. If coronavirus had first erupted in South Korea, I have zero doubt it would have been contained, squashed, and we’d not be discussing it at all, much less living under self-imposed quarantine.
Until I have that information, however, I think our time is best served discussing the ongoing panic. In particular, the (I’m not sure this is quite the right word) positive aspects of the panic. There is more to American panic than toilet paper shortages.
The American geography is by far the best on the planet. The Greater Midwest is the largest chunk of temperate zone, high-quality arable land in the world, and it is overlain by the world’s largest internal navigable waterway network. Development and industrialization is the cheapest there of anywhere in the world. Barren deserts, rugged mountains, dense forests, giant lakes and ocean moats make for a nigh invasion-proof homeland. For five generations the United States experienced greater development, rising standards of living, easy financial access, minimal health concerns, rising economic growth, all in an environment of almost perfect security.
This has many, many outcomes. Three are worth highlighting:
First, considering its riches, its low development costs and its security, the U.S. economy is geographically set up for massive success. It isn’t about policy or governance or ideology. It is about place. That cannot be copied. The American system has exited every decade in a stronger position than it was in when it entered, including the decade periods of the Great Depression and Great Recession. It came thru the 1920s Spanish flu epidemic (a far more deadly pathogen than coronavirus) just fine. It will come through this one.
Second, the United States isn’t very good at national governance. When geography takes care of all the big issues, there is little need for a large, overarching, competent, national government. And it shows. The U.S. isn’t Germany or Korea, countries that live in geographic pressure cookers and so governance has to be top notch to ensure survival. This isn’t Russia which is paranoid for good reason and so must excel and intelligence operations. This isn’t Brazil where the terrain and climate are hostile to development and so excellence at infrastructure policy is essential. America’s lack of federal competence means that when there is a crisis it all comes down to the personality, skill and contacts of the person at the top. America’s initial reaction to the coronavirus isn’t its first failure of presidential leadership. But America’s sublime geography means the country will survive this failure to have others down the road.




Third, Americans are cocky. When your national founding myth is one of achievement with minimal adversity, it is eaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasy to become convinced you are the Chosen People and life is simply about navigating oneself from success to success. Of course, I think we all realize this isn’t how things actually work. From time to time something or someone punches you in the face. And when that happens to Americans, we absolutely, positively, lose our shit.
Americans have no sense of proportion. The same thing that gives us our can-do optimism and arrogance means that when we face unexpected challenge we fear the covenant with God has been broken and doom doesn’t so much beckon, but instead will crash down upon us presently. And so we panic. We overreact. But we overreact with the power of the world’s largest and most stable and most technologically advanced economy. We overreact with the strength of a continent. We overreact with the world’s most powerful long-range military, a military that absolutely controls all global waterways. And in doing so we reshape the world. Not on purpose, but simply as a side effect of our panic.
American history of all eras is rich with examples of such manic-depressive behavior. Some “recent” ones:

  • The Pearl Harbor panic fostered the deepwater dominance strategy, culminating in a Navy more powerful than all other players combined.
  • The Sputnik panic brought us a root-to-branch overhaul of the educational system and industrial plant.
  • The Vietnam depression married tech to military strategy and brought us JDAMs, cruise missiles, the Internet and cell phones.
  • The 1979 and 1983 oil shocks led directly to deepwater oil production and the shale revolution.

Our allies understand this. Winston Churchill famously noted that “Americans will always do the right thing, after exhausting all the alternatives.” So do our rivals: a common Russian phrase during the Cold War was “Americans feel that if it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.”
Americans have not felt a panic since the September 11 attacks. It has been two decades since we were scared. We are due. I always assumed the next fear-response would be because of something that some dumbass country did to the United States, thinking the Americans were over the hill. Then the full force of the United States military and economy would crash down upon it and wipe it from memory.
Apparently, viruses can trigger America’s fear-response too.
In the past 96 hours the United States has gone from functionally zero actions against coronavirus to among the world’s most invasive. And unlike other countries – China comes to mind – who have only instituted constraints on specific areas where there are known coronavirus outbreaks, the Americans have instituted their restrictions nationwide. America now hosts the largest population in the world under lockdown.
The speed and depth of the change is something only Americans can culturally manage, and this is only the beginning.
The scale of resource application that is about to occur is nothing less than historically unprecedented, rivaled only by American actions in previous fear-response incidences.

  • The Federal Reserve’s new bond-buying program to support the markets? Its only analogue is what the same Federal Reserve did back during the 2008 Financial crisis, but this time it was done in a day instead of a month.
  • The industrial plant’s re-tooling to make medical supplies? Completely unprecedented…unless you compare it to America’s post-Sputnik industrial overhaul.
  • Want to see something really impressive? Watch the process for crafting, manufacturing and distributing the coronavirus vaccine. The US just human trials on March 16. That’s a solid two months faster than any such trials, ever. (And if that were not enough, in the heart of the crisis the US government is attempting to wholesale purchase the German firm furthest along in generating the German anti-coronavirus vaccine. Needless to say, in Germany this is perceived as a total dick move.)

Americans are capable of incredible ideological, economic, technological, logistical, military, and cultural leaps when the panic sets in. The coronavirus crisis is by no means anywhere close to being over, but the switch has been flipped. Now comes mobilization.
These are “merely” things the United States is doing at home. With a few weeks (maybe days?) the Americans are going to do what they’ve done during every other fear-response. Apply (perhaps unfairly) that fear to all aspects of all of their international relationships.
The timing of this particular fear-response gives it far greater weight than those that have come before.
The global system as we know it – the system that has enabled everything from global manufactures trade to global energy trade to the existence of the European Union to the rise of China – is an American creation, designed for the Cold War. That system was the payment to our allies to side with us against the Soviet Union. That system ceased serving American strategic interests at the Cold War’s end, and in the days before coronavirus it was coming to an end. Coronavirus has sped things up, severing most of the remaining ties that bind the world together. No one else has the military capacity to ensure freedom of the seas, nor the demographic consumptive capacity to fuel global commerce. Since their economy is largely self-contained, the Americans really don’t care if the system collapses.
And that was before the coronavirus-induced fear response.
In this environment, other nations need to be extremely careful, lest they court American wrath. America has a near-infinite capacity to act, a near-immunity to blowback, and a near-zero concern for consequences. It isn’t clear to me that there is yet recognition of this fact in the wider world.
Russia’s continual use of military aircraft to needle the North American air defense envelope during an American fear-response is monumentally stupid. I lack the vocabulary to communicate how fantastically foolish it is for Chinese state media to spread conspiracy theories that the US Army originated coronavirus and dropped it into Wuhan. Even Europeans whining that the Trump administration acted too hastily in enacting travel restrictions on flights between Europe and the United States wasn’t perhaps the right time to take issue with American policy.
Yes, all-in-all it has been a crappy couple of weeks, and we should just bake into our expectations that the next three months won’t be even remotely fun. But honestly the real news is that we are now – right now – suspended in a deep-breath moment between eras of history, and the world’s only superpower is absolutely terrified.



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