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Ukrainian Civil War

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Sat, Aug 2, 2014 - 10:51am
Joined: Sep 26, 2011

SS, what does your emotional

SS, what does your emotional response to SSJ rational analysis prove? That rebel actions are rational so they would not do what does not benefit them? On rationality during war, I can throw in this as well... Was not part of Soviet history we were taught at schools:


That is where I completely agree with Soviet propaganda label to current Russian Government/ state media propaganda coverage of Ukraine conflict -as nailed by Strongsidejedi- I wonder how he managed to see that?

I have lived through it 1963-1991, heard its lies and methods daily , can recognize it immediately. Same style, same pattern. 

Any future development must involve changing something which people have never challenged up to the present,and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. P.A.M.Dirac
Sat, Aug 2, 2014 - 11:49am
Joined: Mar 30, 2013

The West's Reckless Rush Towards War with Russia

We're taking big risks for unclear reasons

by Chris Martenson

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:54 AM

For reasons that have no rational explanations at this time, the US and Europe have embarked on a concerted program to demonize Putin, ostracize Russia, and bring the world as close to a major conflict as it's been since the Cold War, a time hardly memorable to many in the current crop of our elected officials.

Within hours of the MH-17 plane crash, the United States pinned the blame on Russia generally, and Putin particularly. The anti-Putin propaganda (and if there were a stronger term I'd use it) has been relentless and almost comically over-the-top (see image above, and those below).

The US and the UK in particular, are leading the charge. Indeed, the UK's Daily Mail managed to crank out an article on the MH-17 affair within just a few hours on the very same day it occurred with this headline:

The blood on Putin's hands...

Jul 17, 2014

The world may have averted its gaze towards Israel and Gaza, but this week the rumbling warfare in eastern Ukraine has been erupting into something growing daily more dangerous.

Meanwhile the Russian bear, still pretending to be an innocent party despite blood dripping from its paws, has begun stealthily rebuilding its forces on the border.

Now we may well have witnessed the kind of shocking event that happens when heavy armaments are placed in the hands of untrained and desperate militias.

That's really an amazing piece of journalism to have managed to have figured out the who, the what and the why of a major catastrophe without the benefit of any evidence or investigation. One wonders who the author's source was for obtaining what have become very crisp talking points that both the US and Europe are echoing as they exert increasing pressure on Russia?

Nearly two weeks later, neither the US nor Europe has provided substantial evidence of any sort to support their assertions that Ukrainian separatists and/or Russia are to blame for the MH-17 catastrophe. There's literally been nothing. 

In the meantime, very important questions surrounding the shoot-down have gone entirely unaddressed by US officials and the western media. Why? Perhaps because they raise the possibility that there could be an alternative explanation:

So far, the entire case made by the US State Department and Obama administration boils down to a few highly-questionable social media clips gathered right after the incident, plus several out-of-date low-resolution satellite photos taken from a private company (DigitalGlobe) along with a bevy of 'trust us' statements.

Nonetheless, despite the lack of solid, verified and credible evidence, the current narrative has now been embedded firmly in the media cycle and nearly everyone on the streets of the US, UK and most European nations will tell you that Putin and/or Russia was responsible. 

Similarly, in 2007, years after all the facts were verified and known, when asked "Do you think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?" 41% of Americans answered 'yes' when the proper answer was (and remains) 'Absolutely not.'

It's a fact of modern life that most people really don't pay close attention to important world events. Due to that lack of engagement, even the most patently obvious lies can quickly become entrenched in the public mind as truth if touted by mainstream news outlets. 

Here now in July 2014, there is a rush towards war similar to those that proceeded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Important questions are not being asked by the media, our once again missing-in-action fourth estate, and unsubstantiated and unverified political talking points are simply being reprinted as facts.

But this time the war fervor is being directed at a nuclear powerhouse, not a derelict Middle East country. And the stakes could hardly be higher. For Europe, even if things don't progress much further than they already have, economic damage (we don't know how much yet, or how much worse it may get) has already been done to its fragile recovery. The people of Europe really ought to be asking what exactly they're hoping to achieve by attempting to box Putin into a corner. 

After all, that might not even be possible. He enjoys an 83% approval rating in Russia, a level beyond the fantasies of most western politicians, plus his country supplies a vast amount of Europe's natural gas and a hefty percentage of the world's exported oil. Temporary loss of either would be a painful body blow to Europe, while a sustained loss of oil exports would be crippling to the world at large.

In all of the thousands of column inches I've read demonizing Putin over the developments in Ukraine and MH-17, I've yet to identify a single compelling answer to this question: What vital US interest is at stake if Russia keeps Crimea and helps to defend the Russian-speaking people along its border? To my knowledge, it's not yet been articulated by anyone at the State Department or White House. 

At this stage, all we know is: the West thinks that Russia is bad, and Putin is worse. But, given the stakes involved, we all deserve to know more than that. A lot more. We deserve proper and complete answers.

There's a lot of context to this story. It involves broken promises, desirable resources, power plays, and a dangerous lack of diplomatic sophistication by the current US administration.

Diplomacy and Statesmanship

My greatest concern in seeing this rush towards judgment before the facts are in -- or worse -- war, is that the people running the show in the White House and the US State Department are not cut from the same cloth as the old-school diplomats that preceded them.

After all, extremely dangerous conflicts transpired in the past (the Cuban Missile crisis, anyone?) and yet talks between sides were held and resolutions reached, preventing the more dire of outcomes from coming to pass. 

In that spirit, I found this recent piece by Pat Buchanan (someone I've not always agreed with in the past), to be spot on:

Is Putin Worse Than Stalin?

When then did this issue of whose flag flies over Donetsk or Crimea become so crucial that we would arm Ukrainians to fight Russian-backed rebels and consider giving a NATO war guarantee to Kiev, potentially bringing us to war with a nuclear-armed Russia?

From FDR on, U.S. presidents have felt that America could not remain isolated from the rulers of the world's largest nation.

Ike invited Khrushchev to tour the USA after he had drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. After Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba, JFK was soon calling for a new detente at American University.

Within weeks of Warsaw Pact armies crushing the Prague Spring in August 1968, LBJ was seeking a summit with Premier Alexei Kosygin.

After excoriating Moscow for the downing of KAL 007 in 1983, that old Cold Warrior Ronald Reagan was fishing for a summit meeting.

The point: Every president from FDR through George H. W. Bush, even after collisions with Moscow far more serious than this clash over Ukraine, sought to re-engage the men in the Kremlin.

Whatever we thought of the Soviet dictators who blockaded Berlin, enslaved Eastern Europe, put rockets in Cuba and armed Arabs to attack Israel, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush 1 all sought to engage Russia's rulers.

Avoidance of a catastrophic war demanded engagement.

How then can we explain the clamor of today's U.S. foreign policy elite to confront, isolate, and cripple Russia, and make of Putin a moral and political leper with whom honorable statesmen can never deal?


That's really an amazing piece of context. Past US presidents managed to hold dialogs with Stalin, who killed millions, and Khrushchev, who directly threatened the US with nuclear missiles.

What exactly has Putin done to surpass the excesses of past Russian/Soviet leaders? What the US still refers to as the "illegal annexation of Crimea" was actually the result of a heavy turn-out vote by the Crimean people where 97% of the votes cast were in favor of rejoining Russia.

So, to recap, Crimea's people voted overwhelmingly to shape their future in the way they best saw fit, and not one life was lost during the annexation. That sounds pretty peaceful and democratic if you ask me. What would Washington DC prefer? To undo that particular vote and have the people of Crimea be forcibly reunited with Ukraine? For what purpose? To prevent map makers from having to once again redraw Ukraine's wandering borders?

More likely -- and this is the part that concerns me -- is that the current people in power in Washington DC are just not the equals of the statesmen of old.

In researching this piece, I came across this 1998 interview with George Kennan that I found both illuminating and troubling:

His voice is a bit frail now, but the mind, even at age 94, is as sharp as ever. So when I reached George Kennan by phone to get his reaction to the Senate's ratification of NATO expansion it was no surprise to find that the man who was the architect of America's successful containment of the Soviet Union and one of the great American statesmen of the 20th century was ready with an answer.

''I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,'' said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home.

''I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.'' 

''What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,'' added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ''X,'' defined America's cold-war containment policy for 40 years.

''I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don't people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime. 

''And Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia,'' said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952.

''It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong.'' 


As he said goodbye to me on the phone, Mr. Kennan added just one more thing: ''This has been my life, and it pains me to see it so screwed up in the end.''


The master statesman pretty much nailed it. Instead of bringing Russia into the fold, a petulant strain of 'diplomacy' took over that goaded and threatened Russia and now we are, in fact, being treated to endless repetitions of oh you know - that's just how Russians are. Instead we might also note that the current debate seems superficial and ill-informed.

As I recently wrote in the piece on the Ukraine Flashpoint, the expansion of NATO to the east towards Russia happened even though the US had previously struck an explicit agreement not to progress any further. Not one inch, was the vow. That vow was consciously and repeatedly broken. So who exactly is it that has cause not to trust the other?

The West had the opportunity to bring Russia and its extensive abilities and resources closer into partnership. But for some reason (Military industrial complex anyone? Campaign contributions from same?), the decision was made during the Clinton administration to violate the NATO agreement instead and move many millions of inches eastward. 

The last encroachment both brought NATO right to Russia's borders and placed millions of culturally-Russian people under the heavy-handed rule of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. Some of these same ultra-nationalists were caught on tape recommending that the 8 million Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine should be "nuked".

Perhaps an idle threat. However, one of the first actions of Kiev's new government this February was to immediately revoke legal equality for the use of Russian language:

Perhaps the most obvious of the new Kiev government's mistakes came last week, when deputies in the nationalist party Svoboda, or Freedom, pushed through the cancellation of a law that gave equal status to minority languages, such as Russian.

The previous law had allowed regions across the country to use languages other than the official national language, Ukrainian, on commercial signs, in schools and government documents. When it passed in 2012, it was seen as a victory for the areas where Russian was the dominant language, particularly in the east and south. 


Suffice it to say, there's a very long list of very good reasons why the Russian-speakers in the east of Ukraine might want nothing to do with being under the rule (thumb?) of western Ukraine.


Propaganda is information that is designed to mislead and provoke an emotional response. The covers of western newspapers and magazines have been absolutely choked with anti-Putin propaganda. After such yellow journalism, what sort of dialog, what rapprochement, can be proposed with Putin?

Would not Obama (or any other leader) be seen as 'siding with the enemy' if he engaged in dialog with Putin after all this?

That Newsweek cover with the darkened face and mushroom clouds reflected in the glasses is especially ominous. Exactly what's the message being represented there? Well that's easy. It's Armageddon.

Before you take Newsweek's views too seriously, you need to know that the once respectable publication went through some hard times, went out of print for while, was bought and is now run by these folks:

Moonies, Messiahs and Media: Who Really Owns Newsweek?

Aug 4, 2013

On Saturday, news broke that IBT Media, a company that runs the online business (at least, in theory) newspaper International Business Times, had purchased Newsweek from IAC. So IBT Media now owns Newsweek. But exactly who controls IBT Media?

IBT Media’s corporate leadership site lists two cofounders: Etienne Uzac, the company’s CEO, and Johnathan Davis, its chief content officer.

But some say that the company is actually controlled by—or at least has very close undisclosed ties to—someone whose name appears nowhere on the site: David Jang, a controversial Korean Christian preacher who has been accused of calling himself “Second Coming Christ.”

Before founding IBT, Mr. Davis was the journalism director at Mr. Jang’s Olivet University


So Newsweek may or may not have a larger agenda to push beyond just getting the facts out. It's another case where knowing that an editorial slant exists can be helpful in maintaining a healthy stance of skepticism.

But beyond Newsweek, the entire suite of publications ranging from the NYTimes, Washington Post, Financial Times, and nearly every other main pillar of the Fourth Estate have been running with the "Putin's responsible" meme.

And, it bears repeating, all without any solid evidence, none(!), plus a host of legitimate serious questions that are being met with zero investigative vigor by the mainstream media and complete radio silence from the government agencies that should be examining and addressing them.

This relentless campaign of propaganda directed against Russia (generally) and Putin (specifically) is now at a fever pitch. My caution to you is that you should be actively suspicious of any media outfit that chooses to run this propaganda.

Perhaps their travel and dining sections can be trusted; but I'd advise reading the front section with a huge grain of salt.

Poking the Bear

With all of that background, we're now at the point where we can understand just how annoyed Russia must be at the sanctions that have been recently levied against it, various of its industries, and in certain cases, specific wealthy and influential citizens.

Since the MH-17 downing and all of those resulting accusations of Russian responsibility, Russia has been accused of firing artillery and rockets across its border into Ukraine. The only "evidence" to this is the aforementioned crude satellite photos taken by a private company. These photos were then drawn upon (literally) to show trajectories the missiles *could* have followed. These very non-rigorous images were then tweeted out of the account of one Geoffrey Pyatt as hard fact. If his name isn't familiar to you, he's the US Ukrainian ambassador who was famously caught on tape with Victoria Nuland (Asst. Sec. of State) discussing the imminent coup against then-Ukrainian President Yanukovych.

Next, a western tribunal in The Hague suddenly ruled that the former shareholders of the dismantled Russian oil giant Yukos were entitled to $50 billion in compensation to be paid by the Russian government. Surprise!

In chilling response, a person close to Putin reportedly said, “There is a war coming in Europe. Do you really think this matters?”

Following that, the US accused Russia of violating the 1987 nuclear arms treaty by testing ground based missiles in...wait for it...2008. I'm sure the timing of this is in no way connected to the dust-up over Ukraine...

And most recently, both the US and the EU levied additional sanctions on Russia and certain Russian individuals:

Obama Joins Europe in Expanding Sanctions on Russia

Jul 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced expanded sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, just hours after the European Union imposed its most sweeping measures yet penalizing Moscow for its role in supporting separatists in neighboring Ukraine.

The latest American actions took aim at more Russian banks and a large defense firm, but they also went further than past moves by blocking future technology sales to Russia’s lucrative oil industry in an effort to inhibit its ability to develop future resources. The measures were meant to largely match those unveiled earlier in the day in Europe.

“Today is a reminder that the United States means what it says and we will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom of people around the world,” Mr. Obama said on the South Lawn of the White House.


While one could be forgiven for thinking that the "rights and freedom of people" might include the freedom to vote for the future one wants, and the right not to be ruled over by people hostile to one's language and customs, apparently the Obama administration has other ideas for the people of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

The final act of hostility by the US towards Russia that bears mention here concerns a Senate bill introduced by the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, Sen. Bob Corker, that outlines what would happen if Russia does not 'comply' and leave Crimea and Ukraine entirely within seven days of the act's passage:

A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad

Jul 29, 2014

Corker’s bill would declare Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine “major non-NATO allies” of the United States, move NATO forces into Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, accelerate the building of an ABM system in Eastern Europe, and authorize U.S. intelligence and military aid for Ukraine’s army in the Donbass war with Russian-backed separatists.

U.S. aid would include antitank and antiaircraft weapons.

S. 2277 would direct the secretary of state to intensify efforts to strengthen democratic institutions inside the Russian Federation, e.g., subvert Vladimir Putin’s government, looking toward regime change.

If Putin has not vacated Crimea and terminated support for Ukraine’s separatist rebels within seven days of passage of the Corker Ultimatum, sweeping sanctions would be imposed on Russian officials, banks and energy companies, including Gazprom.

Economic relations between us would be virtually severed.

In short, this is an ultimatum to Russia that she faces a new Cold War if she does not get out of Ukraine and Crimea, and it is a U.S. declaration that we will now regard three more former Soviet republics – Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia – as allies.


Poor George Kennan. Once again the US Senate is operating without the benefit of either humility or historical perspective.

The people of Russia are not in any mood to be bullied by the US Senate, just as the US Senate would refuse to be dictated to by the Russian parliament. That's just common sense.

It's completely obvious that the impact of any such Act passed by the US legislature would be to further erode, if not collapse, relations and economic ties between Russia and the US.

The main conclusion here is that not only is the US poking the bear, but it is doing so with increasing frequency and upping the ante dangerously with each step.


Sat, Aug 2, 2014 - 12:49pm
Joined: Sep 26, 2011

Slavyansk after

Any future development must involve changing something which people have never challenged up to the present,and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. P.A.M.Dirac
Sun, Aug 3, 2014 - 5:10pm
Spartacus Rex
Joined: Apr 13, 2013

Evidence Is Now Conclusive:

2 Ukrainian Government SU-25 Fighter-Jets Did Shoot Down that Malaysian Airliner. No “Buk” Missile Ground-Shot Was Involved.

Posted on August 2, 2014 by Eric Zuesse.

Preface by Washington’s Blog: The New York TimesWashington PostFinancial TimesBloomberg,Sydney Morning Herald, International Business Times and many other news sources have reported that the numerous holes in the wreckage of Malaysian airlines flight 17 are shrapnel from missiles fired from the ground in Ukraine.

Eric Zuesse and the witnesses he quotes claim that the evidence points elsewhere …

By Eric Zuesse:

Reader-comments to my July 31st article, “First Examination of Malaysian MH-17 Cockpit Photo Shows Ukraine Government Shot that Plane Down,” have provided links and leads to independent additional confirmatory evidence, to such an extent that I now feel confident enough to say that the evidence on this matter is, indeed, “conclusive.” Here is all of that evidence, which collectively convinces me that pilot Peter Haisenko’s conclusion there, is, indeed, the only one that can even possibly explain this wreckage:

“There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machine-gun fire, very very strong machine-gun fire.” This remarkable statement comes not from Haisenko, but from one of the first OSCE investigators who arrived at the scene of the disaster. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ze9BNGDyk4 and it’s right there.

That youtube snippet in an interview with Michael Bociurkiw, comes from a man who is “a Ukrainian-Canadian monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), [who] has seen up close … the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Bociurkiw and one other colleague were the first international monitors to reach the wreckage after the jet was shot down over a rebel-held region of eastern Ukraine July 17.” That description of him is from the lead-in to the full interview with him, at the 29 July 2014 CBC news article, “Malaysia Airlines MH17: Michael Bociurkiw talks about being first at the crash site.” The far briefer youtube clip shows only what’s presented on 6:10-6:24 of this CBC interview with Bociurkiw. The CBC reporter in the video precedes the interview by announcing, “The wreckage was still smoldering when a small team from the OSCE got there.” So: he had to have been there really fast. “No other officials arrived for days,” she said.

So: one of the two first international monitors on-site saw conclusive evidence that the Malaysian plane had been hit by “very very strong machine-gun fire,” not by ground-based missile-fire. Peter Haisenko’s reconstruction of the downing of that airliner, was here being essentially confirmed on-site by one of the two first OSCE international monitors to arrive on-site, while the wreckage was still smoldering. That’s as close to virgin, untouched evidence and testimony as we’ll ever get. Unlike a black-box interpretation-analysis long afterward by the Russian Government, or by the British Government, or by the Ukrainian Government, each of which governments has a horse in this race, this testimony from Bociurkiw is raw, independent, and comes from one of the two earliest witnesses to the physical evidence. That’s powerfully authoritative testimony, and it happens to confirm pilot Peter Haisenko’s theory of what happened. Bociurkiw arrived there fast because he negotiated with the locals for the rest of the OSCE team, who were organizing to come later: Bociurkiw speaks the local languages there — Ukrainian and Russian.

Furthermore, this is hardly testimony from someone who is supportive of the anti-Government rebels. Earlier, there had been this, https://pressimus.com/Interpreter_Mag/press/3492, which transcribes the BBC’s interview with Bociurkiw on July 22nd. He said then: “We’re observing that major pieces, and I’m looking at the tail fin as I said, and then there’s also the rear cone section of the aircraft, they do look different than when we first saw them, … two days ago.” So, he had arrived on-scene July 20th at the latest. (Neither the BBC nor the CBC, both of which interviewed him, were sufficiently professional to have reported the specific date at which Bociurkiw had actually arrived on-scene, but, from this, it couldn’t have been after July 20th. The downing had occurred July 17th. If some of the debris was still “smoldering” as the CBC journalist said, then maybe he had arrived there even earlier.)

The youtube snippet of Bociurkiw came to me via a reader-comment to my article, from Bill Johnson, after which I web-searched the youtube clip for its source and arrived at the 29 July 2014 CBC news article and its accompanying video.

Further, there’s this 21 July photo-reconstruction of that cockpit-fragment positioned into place on the aircraft as it had originally been in that intact-airliner: https://twitter.com/EzraBraam. Looking at that photo-reconstruction, one can easily tell that the SU-25 that was firing into the cockpit from the pilot’s left side didn’t just riddle the area surrounding the pilot with bullets, but that it then targeted-in specifically onto the pilot himself, producing at his location a huge gaping hole in the side of the plane precisely at the place where the pilot was seated. Furthermore, this gaping hole was produced by shooting into the plane, precisely at the pilot, from below and to the pilot’s left, which is where that SU-25 was located — not from above the airliner, and not from beside it, and also not from below it.

In other words: this was precise and closely-targeted firing against the pilot himself, not a blast directed broadly against, and aiming to hit, the plane anywhere, to bring it down.

Haisenko explained how this penetration of the plane, though it was targeted specifically at the pilot, caused immediately a breaking-apart of the entire aircraft.

Other readers have responded to my news-report about Haisenko’s article, by saying that shrapnel from a Buk missile could similarly have caused those holes into the side of the cockpit. However, that objection ignores another key feature of Haisenko’s analysis. Haisenko said there: “You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likeley that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. The edge of the other, the larger and slightly frayed exit holes showing shreds of metal pointing produced by the same caliber projectiles. Moreover, it is evident that … these exit holes of the outer layer of the double aluminum reinforced structure are shredded or bent — outwardly!”

What this means is that in order to have some of those holes frayed inwardly and the other holes frayed outwardly, there had to have been a second SU-25 fighter-jet firing into the cockpit from the airliner’s right-hand side. That’s critically important, because no Buk missile (or shrapnel therefrom) hitting the airliner could possibly have produced firing into the cockpit from both sides of the plane. It had to have been a hail of bullets from both sides, that brought the plane down, in that circumstance. This is Haisenko’s main discovery, by his pointing that out. You can’t have projectiles going in both directions — into the left-hand-side fuselage panel from both its left and right sides — unless they are coming at the panel from different directions. Nobody before Haisenko had noticed that the projectiles had ripped through that panel from both its left side and its right side. This is what rules out any ground-fired missile.

Although the fighter jets that were said to have been accompanying the Malaysian plane into the war-zone were alleged to be SU-25 planes, a different type might have been used. SU-25s are designed to be flown up to 23,000 feet without an oxygen-mask, but can go much higher if the pilot does wear that mask, which was probably the case here. Of course, an airliner itself is fully pressurized. That pressurization is, moreover, a key part of Haisenko’s reconstruction of the airliner’s downing.

The specific photo of that cockpit-fragment which Haisenko had downloaded immediately after the disaster was removed from the Internet, but other photos of this fragment were posted elsewhere, such as at the British publication (which, like the rest of the Western “news” media is slanted pro-Obama, anti-Putin), on July 21st, headlining their anti-Putin missile-theory bias, “MH17 crash: FT photo shows signs of damage from missile strike.” Their “reporters” opened with their blatant anti-Russian prejudice: “The first apparent hard evidence that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile is emerging from the crash site in eastern Ukraine, after experts confirmed on Monday there were signs of shrapnel damage to the aircraft.” Although they didn’t say in their opener that the “surface-to-air missile” was from the rebels, they made clear their pro-Ukrainian-Government anti-Russian bias by saying, “Over the weekend, western intelligence agencies pointed to mounting evidence that backs Ukraine’s claim that the aircraft with 298 people on board was shot down by mistake by pro-Russian separatists and Russian military personnel with an SA-11 missile launched from a Buk-M1 SAM battery.” Their stenographers (or as they would say “reporters”) stenographed (“reported”) that, “Douglas Barrie of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said the photographic evidence ‘was consistent with the kind of damage you would expect to see from the detonation of a high explosive fragmentation warhead of the type commonly used in a SAM system’.” No analyst from the pro-Putin camp was interviewed by their “reporters.” For example, Russia’s Interfax News Service headlined on July 29th, the same day as the FT’s article, “Boeing’s downing by Buk missile system unlikely — military expert,” and they stenographed their “expert,” as follows:

Chief of the Russian Land Forces’ tactical air defense troops Maj. Gen. Mikhail Krush said he doubts that the Malaysian passenger liner was brought down by a Buk surface-to-air missile system. “No one observed a Buk engaging targets in that region on that day, which provides 95 percent proof that Buk systems were not used in this concrete case,” the general said in an interview with the Voyenno-Promyshlenny Kuryer military weekly to be published on Wednesday [July 30th]. ”This is no more than a theory for now. However, a guided missile launched by a Buk missile system leaves behind a specific smoke trail as it flies, like a comet. In daylight this trail can be clearly seen within a radius of 20-25 kilometers from the missile system. It cannot remain unnoticed. There are no eyewitnesses to confirm there was any. No one reported a launch. This is one thing,” he said. “Second. The holes left by the strike elements on the Boeing’s outer skin indicate that the warhead blew up from below and sideways. A Buk missile strikes the target from above,” he said. “The damage done to the plane suggests that a different missile was used. Our guidance method is a zoom, when the missile strikes the target from above covering it with a thick cloud of fragments” the general said. “I cannot state categorically, guided by this data, but I can suggest, using my experience, that it was not a Buk missile that hit the Boeing,” the expert said.

General Krush’s statement can fit with Haisenko’s and with Bociurkiw’s, but not with FT’s or the rest of the “reporters” (just consider them as rank propagandists) in the West.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been saying all along that Russia – against which he is actually systematically building toward war – and not Ukraine (which he’s using as his chief vehicle to do that), is to blame for this airliner-downing. Previously, he had said that the snipers who in February had killed many people at the Maidan demonstrations against the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych came from Yanukovych’s State Security Service and not from the far-right political parties that were trying to bring Yanukovych down and that Obama’s agent Victoria Nuland selected to run the new Ukrainian government. But that too was a lie.

Ignorant “reporters” sometimes slip-up and include, in their stenography, facts that actually support the opposite side’s narrative of events and that discredit their own story-line. Such has been the case, for example, in the Financial Times piece, which included the statement that, “Anti-aircraft missiles are not designed to score a direct hit as they are targeted to destroy fast, agile fighter jets. Instead, they are designed to explode within about 20m of their target, sending out a cloud of red hot metal to increase the chances of inflicting as much damage as possible.”

But rather than “a cloud of red hot metal,” what actually brought down this plane was what Haisenko has said brought it down: magazines-full of carefully targeted rapid-fire machine-gun bullets pouring forth from below the plane, at both its left and right.

This was a Ukrainian Government job. It came from the Government that Obama installed there in February and that’s now carrying out an ethnic-cleansing campaign against the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, the places where Yanukovych’s voters live (to the extent that they still can and do live).

And the European Union has been playing along with this hoax. (If you have any further doubts that it’s a hoax, just click onto that link and look.) And the mass of suckers in the West believe that hoax: it’s succeeding to stir a fever for war, instead of a fever to get rid of our own leaders who are lying us into a war that will benefit only the West’s aristocrats, while it inflicts massive physical and economic harms against everyone else — like invading Iraq multiplied a thousand-fold.

If we had a free press, the news media would instead be ceaselessly asking President Obama why he doesn’t demand accountability against the Ukrainian Government for their massacre perpetrated on May 2nd inside the Trade Unions Building in Odessa, where that new regime’s peaceful opponents were systematically trapped and then burned alive, which the new Ukrainian Government (which Obama and the CIA had actually imposed in Kiev) refused to investigate (much less to prosecute). Basically: Obama had sponsored the massacre. So, our “news” media ignore it, even though it started this civil war on Russia’s doorstep, and thereby re-started the Cold War, as Obama had intended that massacre to do.

And while Obama leads this Republican policy, and Vice President Dick Cheney’s top foreign-policy advisor Victoria Nuland actually runs it for Obama, congressional Democrats are just silent about it, anddo not introduce impeachment of this fake “Democratic” hyper-George W. Bush neo-conservative President, though he’s a “Democrat” in rhetoric only, and his policy in this matter threatens the entire world.

The present news story is being circulated free of charge or copyright to all “news” media in the English-speaking world, in the perhaps vain hope that the cover-ups of our leaders’ constant lies will cease soon enough to avoid a World War III, even though communism is long since gone from Russia. This insanity is actually all about aristocratic conquest, like World War I was. It’s not for the benefit of the publicanywhere. Silence about it, is a scandal, which needs to stop.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 11:39am
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012

A brief explanation (and an even more brief Ukraine update)

@ivars & @strongsidejedi: My emotional response proves absolutely nothing because I didn't attempt to prove anything. Rather, I was responding to what I (and several others) can see and acknowledge that you both cannot. Simply put, you will see what you want to see.

@everyone else: We all have biases--every single one of us. Sometimes these "cognitive shortcuts" help us. Yet when we fail to be aware of our biases and fail to acknowledge biases in ourselves, these shortcuts inhibit us from understanding reality.

The majority of readers of this site are Western and have grown up with the conditioning that Russia (ala U.S.S.R.) was the evil empire dedicated to the destruction of Western/American values and our way of life. That's what we were taught and that's what was portrayed for ~30 years in our popular culture. We Westerners are simply conditioned to distrust the Russians. Now, I am not stating that the Soviet empire wasn't bad nor were they against Western/American values and our way of life. Rather, I am acknowledging that I have been conditioned to have a bias against "Russia".

Statements such as "there is nothing the Russians can say that will change my mind" clearly show this bias. Strongsidejedi has willfully decided to ignore ANY input that may contradict his reality that official information from the Russian Federation is Soviet propaganda. Thus, don't consider any other information that may contradict the conclusion that Russia = Putin = Soviet KGB Officer = Evil Dictator. This is clinically called willful ignorance. My emotional slap in the face was intended as shock therapy to wake everyone up to the fact that the Ukrainian conflict is much more than the STILL UNDETERMINED CAUSE of the Boeing crash.

More specifically, my response was more a result of his calling for a NATO/Russia war in response to the Crimean annexation in April. Without any debate or discussion of the facts, he advocated potentially starting WWIII. I have nothing against Strongsidejedi personally...however I do have disdain for the idea that America must rush to war to preserve our image of strength and goodness. I have spent Christmas in Kuwait, Thanksgiving in Baghdad, July 4th in Afghanistan. I have more than earned my right to say, "stop and think first."

Thus, I will continue to call statements such as "nothing Russia can say will change my mind" or "Cohen is a closet communist" obtuse. My intent with donating my time bringing you all information that you may not have access to is so that you can consider ALL the information in MAKING UP YOUR OWN MIND.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ― Plato

============Update 8/4=========

- The southern cauldron continues to shrink. More than 400 UAF troops from the 72nd Airborne have fled their position and crossed into Russian territory seeking refuge. This still leaves the 79th and 24th Battalions that are trapped and low on ammo, fuel and water. These were the best troops Ukraine had and they're about to be eliminated from the Ukrainian rosters. **Despite the trade-offs in territory, the NAF militia is slowly turning the tide. However, things are still too close to call--only be aware of this information if calls for NATO get louder in the days ahead.

- Sis-in-law and her husband safely made it to Kiev. We'll know about this visa mid-week.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 12:38pm
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012

Addendum to Ukraine 8/4 Update

Lest I be guilty of the same, here is an alternate situation map for everyone's consideration:

In comparing these two maps, they are mutually exclusive. In other words, they both can't be the true and accurate situation at the same time.

If this second map is closer to the truth, then why were the 200 Ukraine troops forced into Russia from the southern pocket? (200 vs 400 because the smaller number was what was stated by the Ukrainian government).

Again, decide for yourselves.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 1:00pm
Joined: Sep 26, 2011

Quote:The majority of readers

The majority of readers of this site are Western and have grown up with the conditioning that Russia (ala U.S.S.R.) was the evil empire dedicated to the destruction of Western/American values and our way of life.

I have grown up in Soviet Union , have been conditioned by Soviet propaganda but share the same view based on experiences in Soviet Union and knowledge of its history from stories that I heard prior to 1990 ties when that history was opened up for some time.

The dissolution of Soviet Union and declaration of Latvian independence still remains the happiest day in my life, even after I have learned how evil the West is and have understood the debt slavery. It is still much better than direct slavery with no access to information nor ability to speak nor learn and thus with no ability to THINK. That is the most heinous crime of Soviet system for me- not allowing people to gather information independently to be able to think. Well there might be people who do not want to think independently based on maximum information. For them, propaganda from one or other side is enough to cause the mental Pavlov reflexes they cherish.

I have lived in both systems , more in Soviet Union, and this one is by far superior. Though its feeding it own collapse, of course, due to consumption of future demand today. 

As was they day the 1991 putsch was defeated. 

So do not speak for me. I see what I see not what I want to see. I have enough experience of lies from both sides and do not expect truth from any. 

And SS have You lived in USSR? If not, what do You know about Soviet propaganda? Nothing. 

Any future development must involve changing something which people have never challenged up to the present,and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. P.A.M.Dirac
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 1:49pm
On the Border
Joined: Jun 14, 2011


Matt Taibbi ‏@mtaibbi 5h

Ukrainian Pravda reporting Russian troops massing on border in helmets marked "Peacekeeping Forces"

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 2:15pm
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

@Silver Sooner - regarding bias

@SilverSooner - Your attempt to portray a non-existent bias is frankly bizarre.

My analysis said nothing about the Russian people nor the politics within Russia.

The conjecture posted by Spartacus Rex from a blogger citing an OSCE member is bizarre. For one thing, the OSCE was not on site within 48 hours of the accident. For another, the OSCE has no observers trained in how to do forensic investigation.

While I do not claim much forensic experience, I have enough aviation experience to know what I'm looking at.

Do not attempt to involve me in your political shenanigans. And, when I say "Soviet", I mean it.

That baloney coming from Moscow is nothing but Soviet era propaganda. However, I also believe that much of the nonsense coming from Kiev is also reflective of the Soviet ideology. Neither the Russian nor the Ukrainian governments have been able to wean itself off of the need to fabricate lies to maintain power.

The only reason that I engaged in this thread was due to the need to provide some opinion based upon aviation experience and not political baloney.

When you started posting unverified graphic images of the dead, did you happen to find any of the bodies of the MH17 victims? I'm sure those photos would be more graphic and frankly awful also... but they happen to be innocents who are neither interested nor involved in the Ukrainian / Russian strife.

I encourage you to hold your fire. I am neither your enemy nor your ally. But, your propaganda turns me against your analysis.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 4:44pm
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012

Enough Already

@Strongsidejedi: Your journalistic prowess continues to amaze me.

"For one thing, the OSCE was not on site within 48 hours of the accident." -- If you would have taken 10 seconds to check what you THOUGHT you knew, you'd see that there were OSCE observers at the crash site in under 24 hours. You can verify this at OSCE's website: "MH17: Timeline of a tragedy"

Why did you CATEGORICALLY state that as fact when it wasn't true? Because you've already discounted the story before ever checking to see if any of it was true. Thanks for illustrating my point.

Also, in your "analysis", you (again) CATEGORICALLY state that the Su-25 can't fly at 10,000m. Yet, it has been documented that the Su-25 reached a maximum altitude of 14,600m in flight tests (link). Of course, in your aviation experience you would know that to fly that high you need EITHER a pressurized cockpit OR oxygen, but certainly not both. You would also certainly know that even the U-2 spy plane (which flies above 21,000m) didn't even have a fully pressurized cockpit until recent modifications. But I digress. The point is the Su-25 CAN fly to 10,000m with the pilot's mask breathing pressurized oxygen and the only limiting factor would have been the oxygen requirements of the engines to sustain flight at that altitude and the pilot's body couldn't stay that high for longer than 4-5 minutes. But to say there's "no way" it could be done is false.

All you really had to say was 3km is too far for any fighters' cannons to hit another airborne target.

And you certainly didn't analyze the possibility that the Su-25 fired an R-60 air-to-air missile at the boeing.

And since you have determined that it was a surface-to-air missile, why are you 100% certain that it was fired by the militants?

As for me and my aviation experience (been a rated pilot since I was 16...also studied combat aviation weapon systems and tactics at the Air Force Academy--"Aviation 395, Combat Operations"--got an "A"), I can't conclude with certainty what brought that plane down. I'm still wondering who in their right mind allowed a civilian airliner to fly over a combat zone where planes and helicopters were being shot down DAILY. And with my experience, there's a reason why I'm not analyzing MH17--because it's likely we'll never know what brought it down and IT'S A DISTRACTION to what's happening.

[Insert guilty party here] shot down MH17. How does that change that the US/EU supported a violent overthrow of a democratically elected government? And the replacement government that we put into power are using indiscriminate artillery and rocket strikes against civilian population centers.

But...there is nothing anyone can say that will change your mind. You've already concluded WHO and HOW. As for me, I still don't know and probably won't. I guess that brings our conversation to an end. But be forewarned...if you're going to state things on this thread as FACT that aren't, then I will call you on it--for the benefit anyone else reading this trying to make sense of what's going on.

@ivars: I respect that you have much more experience with the Soviet government than I do. A government and country that hasn't existed in that form for over 22 years. And you're right, I have never lived in the C.C.C.P. However, my wife has. And her and I both have been to Donbass within the last 22 years. It's not a Holiday Inn Express, but it should count for something.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 5:18pm (Reply to #152)
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

@Silver Sooner - Regarding unpressurized cockpit

@Silver Sooner

No air force on Earth asks pilots to survive at over 30,000 feet in an unpressurized cockpit even with Oxygen delivery mechanisms. To state that the SU-25 gets to 14,000 meters is only marginally acceptable. The SU-25 can not maintain 14,000 meters as a flight level for extended periods of time because the jet is slow, heavy, and lacks performance when compared to USAF jets. It stretches credulity to claim that the pilot is both flying in an unpressurized cockpit, is pushing the Su-25 flight envelope 3 km over Sukhoi's own rating, has oxygen aboard to maintain consciousness in that unpressurized cockpit for that flight time, and can also carry a payload capable of downing the aircraft.

Categorically...you are wrong about the performance envelope of the Su-25. Nothing the Russian government can say will change my opinion on whether or not a Su-25 is capable of shooting down a Boeing 777 at its 33K cruising altitude.

The SU-25 does not carry onboard Oxygen or pressurization sufficient to maintain the pilot for a level flight above 30,000 feet. Even if the hypothetical pilot carried such a personal air pack, the air supply would only last for a few minutes at such an altitude. It would be impossible to locate, track, and target the other plane. Your assertion that the SU-25 would have been piloted by a person at such altitude WITHOUT pressurization is unbelievable.

And, about the OSCE observers, even if they were on scene in 24 hours, what does that matter? The OSCE observers are not aviation accident investigators. They are ill prepared for such forensics. Moreover, the Russian troops that interfered with the scene of destruction were tampering with evidence.

You are correct that I have already concluded on "WHO" and "HOW". It's patently obvious to me that the Ukrainian Air Force does not possess air-to-air missile capability that can down a Boeing 777 at 33,000 feet.

There's no other conclusion to this.

Regarding the politics of the situation, I am not involved and do not care to be involved. I am primarily interested in Aviation and the how/why of aviation accidents. Boeing is a US company that has had an impeccable record until these two Malaysian Airlines flights.

I find the occurrences most peculiar and the timing most odd.

When we were discussing the MH-17 issues on other threads, I was following the Ukrainian issues which you write. I found your reports really interesting. However, when people on this board start making incorrect interpretations about photos, we should welcome the debate.

Regarding your view of the "Soviet" government not existing for 22 years, you are incorrect. Ivars is trying to tell you something. For some reason, you are choosing to discount his statements. I appreciate your perspectives.

Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 5:39pm
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012

Fair enough


Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 5:47am
Urban Roman
Joined: Jun 14, 2011


I still read your updates, and look forward to seeing news about the real situation over there.

Thanks for posting it.

Speaking of propaganda patterns, this is like the runup to the Iraq invasion. Back then it was 9-11 and Iraq, and they were always mentioned together. When pressed, officials would admit that there was no connection. Now it is MH-17 and Russia, or MH-17 and Putin. But again, no evidence and no connection. Just tar and a very broad brush.

Ron Paul wrote a nice piece on it, he puts it more eloquently than I ... on ZH yesterday.

Ron Paul Implores "Why Won't Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?"

Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 10:20am
On the Border
Joined: Jun 14, 2011


I posted previously but the reporting of the outcome of the TWA 800 flight in 1996 and MH17 are too similar not to notice. The author, Sanders a retired police investigating reporter, always looks for clues at the on set of the occurrence. Like MH 17 within hours/days, the media reports from "senior officials" that they are 100% sure of what caused the incident.

The book is quite dry but a quick read.

Who launched the missile? How much did the government know and when? Was it simple bureaucratic incompetence or the most massive cover-up in U.S. history? Ex-cop turned acclaimed investigative reporter Jim Sanders exposed the shocking truth in 1997. Despite unremitting threats to his life, he has recovered even more evidence the FBI tried to suppress about the true history of TWA Flight 800.


Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 10:53am
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012

Ukraine Update, 8/5

- More on the southern cauldron: Ukraine has basically given up on their troops trapped in the southern pocket. Yesterday, 438 Ukraine soldiers and border guards (mostly from the 72nd Brigade) escaped across the Russian border. Before the day was over, ~150 of these soldiers were transported by bus back into Ukraine (per the Ukr soldiers' request). Others are receiving medical treatment on Russian soil. The net effect of all of this is that the 72nd has ceased to exist as a fighting organization. All that is left in the southern pocket is the 24th and the 79th brigades--both under rocket and artillery fire from the militia and out of gas, food, and ammo. ***It is now a foregone conclusion that the southern pocket will be won by the militia--the only question is time. Rough estimates are that in the next 2-4 days, the southern pocket will be completely under NAF control. *****It should be noted that if you use Google maps with the satellite overlay to view the terrain in this area, it is WIDE OPEN...there is nowhere to hide. Really, really exposed position to be in.

- The main reason observers feel that the cauldron has been conceded is that Ukraine is massing forces south of Donetsk in what appears to be preparations for an assault on the city sometime this week.

- UAF continues to push north on Donetsk and have met stiff resistance on the northern flanks of the airport. Something I came across yesterday is that one of the main tactics used by NAF is to create funnels for UAF to advance into. The words they used were "squeezing into an intestine". What happens is that when UAF probes the NAF defenses, they find stiff areas and areas where there is little to no resistance. UAF then pushes into the area with little to no resistance which (by design of the militia) squeezes them into a narrow corridor where mobility and numbers are negated. If you all are familiar with the Battle of Thermopylae (the movie "300"), it's like a small series of these over and over again. This is how NAF is countering the numerical superiority of the Ukraine forces and how they are able to hold their own.

- Yesterday, UAF also made an assault on a western suburb of Donetsk which was repelled.

- You really have to study the first map I showed yesterday but UAF made a dual-pronged movement east of Donetsk, attempting to pinch the city off and completely encircle it. While SO FAR, the militia has succeeded in repelling this attempt, all information that I have says that UAF still has plenty of combat capability in this immediate area that the issue is still undecided. In other words, UAF still has a very viable threat east of Donetsk to cut-off the city from the rest of the ATO.

- Gorlovka is being bombarded pretty hard

- Lugansk is without electricity

- This morning's scuttlebutt is that Right Sector leader, Dimitri Yarosh may have died as a result of wounds received fighting north of Donetsk. I saw that he may have been wounded a couple of days ago and didn't say anything--just didn't see enough corroborating information. Again, this is only a rumor ATT, however, it's being talked about widely enough I wanted to relay it to everyone still reading (wink Thanks, Urban Roman)

- I mentioned last week that Ukraine has started a 3rd mobilization. This is going over with the populace like a ton of bricks. Lots and lots of protests about the mobilization in the western part of the country. There's also "press gangs" going door to door serving men their draft papers. It's like the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars...just crazy.

- I want to present a possibility...still remote right now, but it is worth keeping in the back of your minds. Understand that the current power in Kiev isn't beloved by the people. Poroshenko and the current Kiev government are basically the least detestable variants after Maidan eliminated the previous stabilizing power. In a nutshell, even the west isn't "in love" with Poroshenko and his government. Also recall that Ukraine has put virtually all of their military/defense capability in the Donbass. IF THIS FORCE IS DEFEATED...THERE IS NOTHING TO DEFEND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. I mentioned this before in the event of a Russian invasion. Now, I'm bringing it up in case the Poroshenko/Kiev government collapses due to internal unrest (outrage over sons and husbands dying in the Donbass). It's nothing that will happen tomorrow, but if things continue to go bad in the ATO and if more folks in the west "wake up" to what's really happening there, Poroshenko may be run out of town quite quickly. Just something to keep in mind, that this could pull a 180 and everyone would be left thinking, "what the heck just happened?"

Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 11:01am
Joined: Sep 26, 2011

It seems that Russia will

It seems that Russia will invade along Azov coast from Russia and Crimea to get land connection to Crimea. 

It may happen after(?) Putin will stage his grand meeting ( August 14th) with Russian Duma in Crimea. He does not need Donetsk or Luhansk necessarily. 

Any future development must involve changing something which people have never challenged up to the present,and which will not be shown up by an axiomatic formulation. P.A.M.Dirac
Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 11:16am
Joined: Jun 14, 2011


Putting all of one's eggs in one basket to say the least.

How many militia soldiers would it take to topple Kiev? I would think after the defeat in the cauldron that a move into Kiev could happen while still defending Donetsk.

Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 11:26am
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012


Thanks for bringing that up. I agree, there does seem to be a lot of similarities. And there is certainly enough strange things about MH17. The only way we'll have a good idea what happened is after forensic engineers finish their investigation and explosive residue tests are completed on the wreckage fragments. I don't know for sure, but it's possible that the R-60 and SA-11 use different explosives and trace elements may rule one or the other out.

You might find this video interesting...it was first published by the BBC, then removed. It's the only video that I know of that has eyewitness statements. FWIW:


Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 11:35am
Bentonville, AR
Joined: Mar 26, 2012


The question isn't really "how many soldiers would it take to topple Kiev?" The scenario I theorized was one in where Kiev topples under its own weight--basically disintegrates because of internal pressure. So, per my hypothesis, it wouldn't be as much NAF tanks fighting in the suburbs of Kiev as it would be that the current government dissolves into nothing. NAF would then drive into Kiev in minibuses. Just a theory....

Even without the troops in the cauldron, UAF still maintains a 5:1 superiority in manpower and vehicles. NAF can't go on the offensive until 1.) the cauldron is completely secured and 2.) the offensive capability of Ukraine forces in the ATO is exhausted. It's just that #2 (while currently still quite capable) could evaporate VERY fast. The troops being added to UAF are conscripts without motivation and training. They're not the "crack troops" that were in the cauldron.

A fighting army is a living organism...it needs supplies, training, morale, command unity and clear objectives to breathe and live. If these inputs degrade to a point where the army can't breathe and live, then it's capability can disintegrate VERY fast. Again, not forecasting this, only saying it's a possibility.

Tue, Aug 5, 2014 - 11:40am
Joined: Jun 14, 2011

strategic interests in Eastern Ukraine

@AgSooner - Thanks for your update. The whole situation around Donetsk/Donbass sounds terrible. I hope that your family members out there are safe. Your writing is better than the columns written by the paid journalists in the media.

@Ivars - If I recall correctly, Putin has already called the "eastern Ukraine" by the name of Novorussia. During his Q&A session on TV with callers, there was a caller who asked about Crimea and Ukraine. Perhaps SilverSooner can correct me.

The isthmus to the Crimea is one factor to consider. My guess is that this is more about the nat gas and resource extraction. Many months ago, I posted the map of Ukraine with the nat gas lines. I just found another.

If Putin cuts off the Ukrainian control over the "gas fields", he diminishes the Ukrainian government's finances greatly.

Also, if he controls that same area, he also controls the pipelines to Europe containing the Nat Gas from Siberia.

Putin is the winner so far because the western European nations have allowed it.

@StevenBHorse - It's about the nat gas. If the regime in Kiev falls, then the control over nat gas pricing to Europe goes to Putin. Under the current circumstance, the control over 2014-2015 nat gas to Europe would appear to be in the hands of the "Rock" interests. Since Ukraine's government has taken massive loans from IMF and Ukraine gold got shipped to New York City, the "Rock" interests would not really care if Kiev fell. The Rocks got their gold several months ago.

(Ivars- is my analysis in agreement with your view? Would it be correct in your analysis to say that Nat Gas is in the control of the Rocks under Kiev's current regime?)

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