ALERT RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE - Consolidated Thread

mecoastie

Veteran Member
From the Wall Street Journal

America Has Lost Its Oil Buffer; The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at historically low levels, when there are still many supply uncertainties

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 7:00 AM ET
By Jinjoo Lee
Wall Street Journal

Brace for impact: The U.S. is running out of a cushion reserved for oil shocks.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve declined by nearly 7 million barrels in the week ended September 16, leaving it at roughly 427 million barrels—the lowest since 1984. For the first time since 1983, the SPR now holds less oil than commercial storage.

The U.S. has been drawing from the reserve at a rapid pace this year. The Energy Department on Monday said it has released roughly 155 million barrels of crude oil since President Biden authorized a draw of up to 180 million barrels on March 31. That implies a draw of slightly less than 900,000 barrels a day, or nearly 1% of global oil demand. The DOE on Monday said it plans to sell up to 10 million barrels from the SPR in November, extending the SPR draw beyond the initial October target. That would leave only about 15 million barrels that could be sold under the emergency authorization.

For Mr. Biden, who was looking to use the emergency authorization to lower pump prices, the move has been a near-term success, at least in the critical time leading up to the November midterm elections. Gasoline prices have declined steadily in the past three months and average $3.66 a gallon, down from a high of $5.03 in mid-June, according to GasBuddy.

Arguably, though, the release didn’t turn out to be necessary for energy security—the SPR’s stated purpose. The International Energy Agency initially thought Russia’s oil production would be cut by 3 million barrels a day after its invasion of Ukraine. Back then, there was at least a “perceived supply emergency” posed by Russia, said Bob McNally, president of the energy-consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group. That turned out to be a wild overestimate. As of August, Russia’s exports were down just 400,000 to 450,000 barrels a day from prewar levels, according to the latest IEA report. As Dan Pickering, chief investment officer at Pickering Energy Partners, puts it, “High prices are inconvenient. Lack of availability is a crisis.”

Depleted SPR levels leave the U.S. with fewer options in case of supply disruptions, which remain possible. To begin with, Russia’s oil exports will become a real wild card after Dec. 5, when the European Union’s import ban on Russian oil takes effect. By February 2023, the IEA expects Russia’s daily oil output to be 1.9 million barrels below preinvasion levels. While the Group of Seven nations agree on some form of price cap on Russian oil, what that mechanism will actually look like and how it will affect Russian supply are uncertain. On top of that, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has repeatedly signaled that it will cut output if prices fall. It already did so—albeit in a symbolic way—earlier this month, pulling back 100,000 barrels a day. And then there are also demand-side risks in the form of a potential recession and further lockdowns in China.

With so many hazards just around the bend, the U.S. needs a fully functioning air bag. Alas, this one comes with diminished cushioning capacity. Though the president can technically authorize more SPR drawdowns, there will be a limit, given that the IEA has a minimum stockholding obligation for participating members. RBC Capital Markets previously pegged that number for the U.S. at roughly 315 million barrels. And the DOE will eventually have to replenish the SPR by the same amount that it drew this year, increasing future oil demand. A DOE spokesperson said replenishment won’t likely occur until September 2023.

Besides the short-term political gain, the SPR draw could turn out to have been a losing strategy however the supply-demand balance shakes out. If there is an actual oil shock and not enough oil in the SPR to cushion it, it would be a painful lesson on why the reserve exists in the first place. If there is no such shock, this year’s SPR draw might have set a precedent for politicized use in the future.

Write to Jinjoo Lee at jinjoo.lee@wsj.com

America Has Lost Its Oil Buffer - WSJ

Have to keep gas prices down until after the election. Then the sky is the limit.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Biden Administration Intentionally Weakening Military: Retired General​

By Beth Brelje
The Epoch Times
September 15, 2022 Updated: September 15, 2022

When the United States acts, the world is always watching, and one of the loudest messages since President Joe Biden took office came from how the United States handled its withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.

What message did that send globally to other government leaders who may see America as an adversary? That was a question asked by Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, during a panel discussion Thursday about America’s role on the world stage at the Pray Vote Stand Summit in Atlanta hosted by FRC Action, the legislative affiliate of Family Research Council.

“I think that will go down in history as the worst foreign policy failure in U.S. history. Every decision that was made was wrong,” said Lt. General (Ret.) William Boykin, executive vice president at Family Research Council. “What did that say to the rest of the world? It said that we have weak leadership. And you have to ask yourself, why did Vladimir Putin refrain from attacking Ukraine during the Trump administration? And then he went in with barrels blazing, under the Biden administration, and I will tell you, I think a lot of that goes back to the weakness that people—both our adversaries and our friends—recognized in the Biden administration.”

Other countries recognize that the Biden administration is weak and indecisive on many issues, he said, not just how the U.S. military left Afghanistan.

Boykin mentioned Biden’s approach to the Paris climate change treaty and his efforts to get the United States back into the Iran nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“What’s the value to the United States? And what’s the value to our allies, to put Iran on a pathway to nuclear warheads,” Boykin said. “I think we’re going to continue to see the consequences of not only the pullout of Afghanistan, but stupid decisions that have been made by the administration, one of which is … our president shut down our pipeline, and then turned around and went to the Saudis.”

Boykin said there were several Saudi nationals flying the planes on 9/11 and that Saudi Arabia has been a major sponsor of terrorism. Despite this, Biden went to Saudi Arabia and to Russia to ask for oil after shutting down America’s oil production, Boykin said.

“Does that make sense to anybody? It’s the most foolish thing,” he said. “They see that kind of decision making, and they see us as being weak, and they see this as a time when they can take advantage of us.”

Weakening Military​

Boykin believes weakness is more than an international perception, and he gave examples of how Biden is intentionally weakening the military, including kicking out servicemembers who refused to get the COVID-19 shot and teaching critical race theory and inclusion tolerance instead of teaching how to be in a constant state of readiness for war.

“All of these things that have nothing to do with the mission and everything to do with the agenda of the administration—you are doing them an injustice and ultimately you’re going to pay the price for that,” Boykin said.

“At the same time, they’re turning around and writing to old generals like me, saying, ‘We need help recruiting because we just can’t recruit enough people.’ Well let me explain to you how this thing of mathematics works. You get rid of all of them, and then those who are watching from the outside say, ‘I don’t want a part of that.’ And those on the inside, many of them leave on their own.”

Many in leadership at the Pentagon got their start under President Barack Obama, Boykin said.

“If they’re compromised—if they lack focus, the question we need to ask as a nation is, who’s mentoring the next generation of leaders? Who’s bringing up the warrior leaders for the future? The answer is nobody,” he said. “And that’s the hardest thing to fix in terms of restoring the Navy and the Army and Air Force and the Marine Corps.”

China Is Watching​

Perkins directed the conversation to China and asked panelist Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” how China likely views the Biden administration’s moves.

“We don’t have to speculate. The Communist Party propaganda was very clear,” Chang said.

The day that Kabul fell to the Taliban in Afghanistan, Chang said, Chinese newspapers declared that China would invade Taiwan at some point, and that when this happens, the island will fall within hours and the United States will not come to help.

“What they saw in Afghanistan confirmed in their minds, their long narrative, that the United States was in terminal decline,” he said.

Chang doesn’t believe the United States is in terminal decline, but that is the message from a series of propaganda releases and the effect of the Afghanistan exit, he said.

“The one thing that I’m most concerned about is that there will be some sort of accident in the international airspace,” Chang said, adding that this could start a war. “We have seen incredibly dangerous aerial maneuvering on the part of the Chinese. They almost brought down an Australian reconnaissance aircraft on May 26 because the Chinese jet flew so close to it and released flares. That’s something that’s never been done before, and I’m afraid that that is going to be the trigger of war in East Asia.”

“Not only is China involved in the world’s fastest military buildup since the Second World War. It is preparing the Chinese citizens for war,” Chang said. “That mobilization of citizens is an ominous sign.”

If China decides to do anything with Taiwan, Boykin said, it will be while Biden is still in office.

“They know that Joe Biden is not going to respond militarily,” Boykin said. “He will send material. He’ll give them intelligence and diplomatic support, but he’s not going to send U.S. troops into harm’s way against China, and that gives [China] an assurance. This is going to be their best window of opportunity.”

 

jed turtle

a brother in the Lord
Um Duduman pretty much said this America will burn
I didn’t need a modern prophet to know that. All pretty clear from my reading of the book of Revelation back in 1970...once I realized the obvious while reading: America IS Babylon the Great, the one nation who controls most of the Earth “sits on many waters” (Pax Americana/ unchallenged naval and air power) whose greatest city (NYC ) is the technological blueprint for every other modern city in the whole world; The city which is the seat of the UN /world body, the home of the most powerful financial center in the world, and arguable the greatest maritime port/harbor in the world. We are arriving quickly to the End of The Story...
 

Red Baron

Paleo-Conservative
_______________
Fair Use Cited
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Flights out of Russia sell out after Putin orders partial call-up

By Caleb Davis
September 21, 2022 12:47 PM CDT
Last Updated 20 hours ago

GDANSK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - One-way flights out of Russia were rocketing in price and selling out fast on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin ordered the immediate call-up of 300,000 reservists.

Putin's announcement, made in an early-morning television address, raised fears that some men of fighting age would not be allowed to leave the country.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the call-up would be limited to those with experience as professional soldiers, and that students and conscripts would not be called up. read more

The Kremlin declined to comment on whether the borders would be closed to those subject to the mobilisation order, and asked people to be patient as the law is clarified. read more

Meanwhile, Google Trends data showed a spike in searches for Aviasales, Russia's most popular flight-booking site.

Direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul in Turkey and Yerevan in Armenia, both destinations that allow Russians to enter without a visa, were sold out on Wednesday, according to Aviasales data.

Flights from Moscow to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines were either all booked or unavailable until Sunday, as of 1415 Moscow time (1115 GMT).

Some routes with stopovers, including those from Moscow to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, were also unavailable, while the cheapest flights to Dubai cost more than 300,000 roubles ($5,000) - about five times the average monthly wage.

Typical one-way fares to Turkey shot up to almost 70,000 roubles ($1,150), compared with a little over 22,000 roubles a week ago, Google Flights data shows.

The head of Russia's tourism agency said no restrictions have been imposed on travelling abroad so far.

A tourism industry source also told Reuters that demand for plane tickets from Russia for the visa-free countries has jumped.

"It was possible to buy a one-way ticket in the morning for 200,000 roubles to 300,000 roubles, but not anymore," the source said.

"That's a panic demand from people, who are afraid that they won't be able to leave the country afterwards."

Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), the country's flag-carrying airline, said it was not limiting ticket sales.

($1 = 60.9500 roubles)

Reporting by Caleb Davis; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Frank Jack Daniel, Elaine Hardcastle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

 

jward

passin' thru
https://twitter.com/Faytuks
Faytuks News Δ
@Faytuks

BREAKING: The Finnish coast guard say they have received a report of a fire on a Russian oil tanker. The vessel is 250 meters long and is within Estonian maritime rescue responsibility https://iltalehti.fi/kotimaa/a/3289
View: https://twitter.com/Faytuks/status/1572898551482707968?s=20&t=BgulFvytHPvoJZOeo3S0fA

"According to the Coast Guard of the Gulf of Finland, Finnish MIRG teams with sea rescue helicopters are going to the area. Surface vessels of the Navy and the Border Guard have also been alerted for rescue operations." - iltalehti It was heading towards Turkey
No smoke has been spotted outside the ship according to first observations - YLE
 

jward

passin' thru
The Cavell Group
@TCG_CrisisRisks


Kidnap & Ransom Consultants, Hostile Environment, Crisis & Survival Training, Travel Security Briefings, Intelligence, Risk, Crisis & Expedition Consultants

Ukraine SITREP 1. The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the east continues to remain on the offensive whilst consolidating new defences.

2. Several counteroffensive operations are ongoing breaking through Russian lines and hitting reach echelons. We are refraining from operational details on this progress.

3. Heavy fighting resumed around Bakhmut yesterday, mostly near the highway intersection again, but despite significant attempts to do so Russian units including SOF have been unable to break through the fortified Ukrainian defences.

4. Fighting in pockets east of this region were more subdued yesterday. Fighting around Donetsk was also reportedly more subdued yesterday.

Russian shelling has also become mostly more sporadic this week and less intensive in most of the impacted regions.

5. Russian air/missile strikes continued yesterday and overnight, but are also still far more subdued. Ukrainian airstrikes destroyed several Russian vehicles and a helicopter in strikes mostly in the south.

6. East of Zaporizhzhia Russian forces reportedly destroyed some Ukrainian vehicles yesterday as they attempted to advance. In response Ukrainian forces downed at least one UAV been used to coordinate targeting. There was less Ukrainian air activity in this region yesterday.

7. Around Kherson the Ukrainian counteroffensive continues to make very slow progress against significant Russian resistance. However, Russian logistics here is now starting to hurt Russian forces on the frontlines.

8. Fuel, food and ammunition is reportedly in short supply after Ukrainian forces successfully spent this initial phase targeting resupplies and resupply routes.

9. After Putin announced a partial mobilisation yesterday in a pre-recorded TV speech several demonstrations commenced across Russia with many arrests made and reports of injuries and at least one fatality from injuries allegedly sustained from the law enforcement response.

10. The west has mostly responded to Putin’s partial mobilisation and veiled threats of nuclear weapons use with further sanctions.

There continues to be growing concerns across Russia about the invasion and the future.

11. Hundreds of POW swaps occurred yesterday after mediation by a number of parties including Senior officials in the Middle East. These included some foreign nationals and several prominent commanders. Five British nationals were released as part of this swap.

12. President Zelensky spoke to the UN yesterday and said that a special UN tribunal should be set up to punish Russia for its actions. He also said Russia should be deprived of its veto right on the UN Security Council.

13. Increased Russian Naval submarine activity that was reported yesterday, including in the Black Sea, is apparently related to a heightened Russian risk level. Otherwise Russian Naval activity appears mostly unchanged.

• • •
 

jward

passin' thru

jward

passin' thru

Ukraine – the situation (September 22)​


Uwe Parpart​



A Russian soldier takes aim in the Donbass. Image: Tass / Река Александр

Summary/Overview

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a “partial mobilization” calling up 300,000 reservists effective September 21. He made clear that he no longer sees the Ukraine intervention as a limited “special military operation” but as a fight against “the entire military machine of the collective West.”
  • “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff,” Putin said in a televised address.
  • The four partially Russian-occupied oblasts (regions) of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson will hold referenda on accession to Russia starting on Friday.
  • Collective Western reaction was derision – “sign of failure,” said UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace; “panic,” said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte; “sign of weakness, sign of Russian failure,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken; “act of desperation,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – topping all.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia will be unable to win a nuclear war and would face unprecedented consequences if it used nuclear weapons.
  • After fast and substantial gains last week, the Ukrainian offensive in the East/Center theater over the past three days has made minimal progress and lost momentum. The offensive in the South announced with fanfare (as a feint?) in late August has not taken off.

East/Center​

Ukrainian forces continue to press on Russian positions around Lyman and points east. The assault on Lyman has, according to an anonymous Pentagon official, evolved into an artillery duel.
The Russians have established two north-south defensive lines, the first along the Oskol River, the second some 20 kilometers further east along the Kharkiv/Luhansk oblast border.
Further south, action around Bakhmut continues with fighting reported in Soledar for the first time in a week. Russian bloggers claim that Russian forces finally have control of Zaitseve, just southeast of Bakhmut.
Russian forces continue to operate northwest of Donetsk City, pushing out of Pisky to Pervomaiske and Nevelske, as well as to the southwest towards Marinka for small grinding gains behind massed artillery support.

South​

To the extent that there is a battle, it’s an engineering battle in the Kherson region as Ukrainian artillery continues to strike at Russian Lines of Communication (LOCs) while Russian engineers continue to build and repair pontoon bridges and operate ferries across various rivers.
Russian sources say that northwest of Kherson Ukrainian forces are on the defensive on the M14 Roadway to Mykolaiv, as well as some 30 kilometers west of Kherson along the coast road in the area of Oleksandrivka
Around the Ukrainian bridgehead over the Inhulets River, some 60 kilometers northeast of Mykolaiv, Russian forces probed into the left flank of the Ukrainian salient just south of Davydiv Brid. The bridgehead has now existed in its present shape for some six months.

Assessment​

The Situation is developing an overall interim net assessment of the current status of opposing forces and likely dispositions into the winter months.
Suffice it to say here and now that the unison “judgment” of Western leaders has a lot more in common with the regimented official language (“Sprachregelung”, or “speech code”, in the East Germany of old) than with reality.
We listened carefully to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech and disagree not only with Western leaders’ scripted rhetoric but also with our colleague Stephen Bryen (see his accompanying piece here) – at least on one point: Putin’s speech was not incoherent.

Putin has quite coherently and with ample reason concluded that the war is no longer (if ever it was) a matter between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Ukraine and Russia but rather is about Russia and the West – with America in the lead.
Vladimir Putin is under rising pressure for setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Putin made clear as the driven snows to come that he knows that the West – and first and foremost the US – does not want a strategic settlement but rather the destruction and decapitation of the Russia he has long led.
Putin will therefore no longer fight a limited war and can be expected to deploy the entirety of his resources to win the fight. The final sentence in his speech was very clear: Putin now sees himself in the historical line of Russian leaders who saved the Motherland from destruction.
“It is our historical tradition and the destiny of our nation to stop those who are keen on global domination and threaten to split up and enslave our Motherland. Rest assured that we will do it this time as well,” he said.
Stephen Bryen is right: We are at a moment more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Not because Putin is incoherent, but because of his apparent cold determination to survive and win, and because of US President Joe Biden and his advisers’ evident inability to devise or even so much as consider a diplomatic solution.
Western military pundits, and perhaps also NATO Secretary General Jens “Great Dane” Stoltenberg, who simply regard the Russians as finished will want to consider these realities.
Yes, a denuded Kharkiv front, with the benefit of real-time NATO intelligence and virtually all Western weapons, was rolled up by well-trained Ukrainian forces enjoying up to 5:1 troop superiority. The Russians were taken by surprise and paid for it dearly.

There are many examples of that in military history. In World War II there were four battles of Kharkiv, battles involving millions, not a few thousand. The Germans won three; the Russians won the last one that counted.
A Russian mobilization, to be sure, will take time – even a partial one of reservists who have previously served. But the call-up creates the opportunity within two to three weeks to shift trained and fully equipped forces, for example, from the Far East to the Donbas front. They can be replaced as the reservists come up to speed.
As or more importantly, this will now be a total war. Civilian infrastructure will be targeted as Russia’s air and naval forces will be fully utilized. The shifting tides of war will not likely immediately turn back in Russia’s favor.
But short of direct NATO ground or air intervention, a cold, hard and destructive winter looms on the horizon.
Follow Uwe Papart on Twitter at @uwe_parpart


Ukraine – the situation (September 22)
 

jward

passin' thru

Shocking behavior by Putin and Biden​


World arguably at most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis but there is still a way out through negotiation

by Stephen Bryen September 22, 2022​




US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are tilting the world towards a disastrous crisis. Photos: AFP / Jim Watson and Grigory Dukor
Anyone who listened to Vladimir Putin’s TV broadcast to his nation on September 21 had to be shocked by the Russian leader’s tone, incoherence and threat.
US President Joe Biden, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, only made matters worse, not better, by putting all of the burden unequivocally on Putin’s head.
There are many impacts from these events, including the bitter possibility of a wider war that will spill over into Europe.

Both Biden and Putin seem to think they can play this kind of poker. Not only will they both lose, but the world will be greatly endangered.
To take the view that the only outcome in Ukraine is win or lose, and that if Russia loses it may use weapons of mass destruction or the Russian government may collapse into chaos, is not in anyone’s interest.
We are at a moment more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.
Sad to say, but the US president does not seem to grasp the danger or understand his responsibilities. Biden’s reckless verbiage is not a contribution to peace.
Nor are the various proclamations from Europe’s leaders or from NATO. Putin’s statements are even worse. Instead of incendiary rhetoric, we need practical and workable solutions to the crisis in Ukraine and in Russia.

Who knows who may be lingering in the shadows if Russian President Vladimir Putin is overthrown? Image: Twitter
The last thing the world needs is for Putin to be replaced by some lunatic. Yet chaos in Russia is already starting to rear its head and no one can say what will happen next.
Neither the US, which is a war protagonist (even if justified), nor NATO can offer to broker a deal with Russia, but a deal is needed urgently.
Everyone (except for maybe Russia) agrees that Ukraine is a sovereign country and should not be sold out. Even Russia’s partner China continues to say so.
What everyone should, however, realize is that there are limits to Ukraine’s ambitions that need to be agreed upon.
Ukraine cannot be allowed to deepen the war any further if its actions result in unleashing nuclear weapons or starting a bigger war in Europe.

It is not really a question of who will win, but what will be left no matter what the end result. It also very much is a matter of how much destruction will result and how many will needlessly be sent to their deaths.

Here is an outline of a political and diplomatic solution to the crisis:
1. The basis for a settlement lies in an offer that can (a) protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians and (b) can provide security assurances for both parties, meaning (in part) no NATO in Ukraine and no Russian troops on Ukrainian soil.

2. In the 2015 Minsk II agreement, there was provision for Luhansk and Donetsk to become autonomous parts of Ukraine. The Accord stipulated that the Ukrainian Rada would pass enabling legislation, but that the two oblasts would operate inside Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitution. The 2015 Minsk agreement was never implemented. It needs to be brought back from the dead.

3. At issue is (a) defining autonomy and (b) backing it up with international guarantees protecting the Russian-speaking Ukrainian population. Russia and the legal authorities in the affected regions must also agree to protect the non-Russian population living in those areas.

4. The agreement needs to be broadened to include Crimea with the exception of Sevastopol, which Ukraine should concede to Russia (including whatever communications and support it requires). Previously, Ukraine shared Sevastopol but there is no immediate compelling reason to return to the status quo ante.

5. The US and NATO have to agree not to put NATO weapons in Ukraine or treat Ukraine as a de facto, if not a de-jure, member of NATO.

6. NATO and the US plus Russia need to guarantee Ukraine’s independence and define its borders.

7. Ukraine needs to agree to respect Russian culture, language, religion and educational needs.
Ukrainian nationalism was on the rise well before Russia’s invasion. Image: Twitter
8. The Biden administration and NATO should conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin but should arrive at these meetings with a solid portfolio, including the definition of regional autonomy, restructuring legislation and the intention to reach an understanding to bring in UN (not European) peacekeepers.

9. War criminals should answer at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for their alleged crimes.

10. All prisoners should be exchanged. No prisoner should be executed or tortured.

11. Russia needs to withdraw all its troops on the successful implementation of the proposed arrangement, and the two Republics’ forces should be reduced to that of a gendarmerie.

12. Because of Biden’s limitations and the extreme positions taken by NATO, carrying through this diplomatic and political process may best be handled by the UN Secretary-General.

Let’s be frank – the US has to support a deal. The US never supported the Minsk accords, but it should have done so. The Biden administration must now act responsibly in this moment of extreme crisis.
The timeline to get this done is probably two or three months, although the situation is both fraught and fragile. Without some process underway, the roof may fall in faster than repairs can be made.

There are many examples of that in military history. In World War II there were four battles of Kharkiv, battles involving millions, not a few thousand. The Germans won three; the Russians won the last one that counted.
A Russian mobilization, to be sure, will take time – even a partial one of reservists who have previously served. But the call-up creates the opportunity within two to three weeks to shift trained and fully equipped forces, for example, from the Far East to the Donbas front. They can be replaced as the reservists come up to speed.

As or more importantly, this will now be a total war. Civilian infrastructure will be targeted as Russia’s air and naval forces will be fully utilized. The shifting tides of war will not likely immediately turn back in Russia’s favor.
But short of direct NATO ground or air intervention, a cold, hard and destructive winter looms on the horizon.
Follow Uwe Papart on Twitter at @uwe_parpart


 

Red Baron

Paleo-Conservative
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Fair Use Cited
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Moscow’s Azov-Medvedchuk Swap Inflames Russian Hardliners

Updated: 21 minutes ago


The exchange of 215 high-profile Ukrainian prisoners of war for 55 captured Russian soldiers and Kremlin ally Viktor Medvedchuk sparked outrage Thursday among Russian hardliners and far-right figures.

Wednesday's record prisoner swap between Moscow and Kyiv nearly seven months into the war saw the release of fighters from Ukraine’s Azov Battalion who led the defense of Mariupol in the first months of the war that later became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.

Moscow’s decision to release Azov soldiers, including the battalion’s commander and his deputy, was seen as a betrayal by pro-war and far-right voices.

“The release of five British mercenaries and the exchange of all the remaining members of the Azov Battalion, made yesterday by agreement with [Saudi Arabia] and respected Kyiv allies, is worse than a crime... and worse than a mistake. This is RANK STUPIDITY,” wrote Igor Girkin, a former Russian intelligence officer who led pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine in 2014, in a Telegram post.

Russia previously considered banning the exchange of the Azov fighters, with State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin in June calling the battalion’s members "Nazi criminals" who must be brought to justice.

Wednesday’s swap, as a result, marked an unexpected U-turn.

“What did they say two months ago? ‘We will definitely not give them away!’” said a Telegram post by Grey Zone, a Wagner-linked Telegram channel.

“This is just like before, when they said Kharkiv was Russia forever,” it said, referring to Russia’s retreat from Ukraine’s Kharkiv region this month.

Russia also handed over 10 foreign fighters — including two U.K. citizens and one Moroccan who had been sentenced to death by a court in Ukraine’s breakaway Donetsk region in May — while Kyiv gave up Medvedchuk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician who says Russian President Vladimir Putin is his daughter’s godfather.

Officials in Kyiv lauded the prisoner swap, which came just hours after Putin ordered a “partial mobilization” of Russia’s reservists.

Viktor Medvedchuk.V_Zelenskiy_official / Telegram
"It is not a pity to give up Medvedchuk in exchange for real warriors," Zelensky said in a video address.

Medvedchuk had been in Ukrainian captivity since April, when he was recaptured after a failed attempt to flee arrest on treason charges.

Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in the eastern Kharkiv region has seen Russian pro-war voices grow louder in their criticism of the Kremlin and Russia’s Defense Ministry.

But not all shared the collective anger at Wednesday's prisoner exchange.

“It's a miracle in itself that we rescued these guys of ours,” wrote Zakhar Prilepin, a novelist and ex-leader of the ultra-conservative For Truth party.

“One Russian is worth four injured Ukrainians, as it turned out.”

 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB

Russian Nukes Can Be Used To Defend Annexed Ukraine Regions, Kremlin Warns​

BY TYLER DURDEN
ZERO HEDGE
THURSDAY, SEP 22, 2022 - 09:45 AM

Once again Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, has served the role of issuing more severe 'read between the lines' warnings and threats fresh off President Vladimir Putin's Wednesday speech announcing partial mobilization of national forces and which confirmed referendums of occupied portions of Ukraine to join the Russian Federation.

Putin's most alarming line came when he said, "If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people," following with "It’s not a bluff." He had also stressed Moscow is ready to use "all available" means to protect its "territorial integrity".

Medvedev has taken the president's words further in Thursday statements, stressing that regarding Russian-seized territory and the move to vote in several areas - including the LPR, DPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions - "there is no going back" and that even a 'nuclear option' could be on the table.


Dmitry Medvedev, file image

"The Donbas [Donetsk and Luhansk] republics and other territories will be accepted into Russia," he posted to Telegram. That's when the former president and top national security official doubled down on Putin's nuclear warning, stating:
Russia has announced that not only mobilization capabilities, but also any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used for such protection.
Putin and Medvedev's statements mark the first time any top Russian officials have affirmed readiness to bring newly acquired Russian territories under Moscow's nuclear doctrine.

However, it remains that Russian forces do not yet control 100% of any of the four main territories where annexation votes are to be held - with some referendums set for early as this weekend according to prior reports.

To review of the past 48 hours of Kremlin decision-making which is poised to escalate this war even further, here is the logical course of what just got enacted in the call-up of some 300,000 reservists:
  • Conscripts were previously told they won't be sent to Ukraine to fight because they are stationed/defend inside Russia
  • Ukrainian-held territories are now about to vote to join the Russian Federation.
  • When these territories join Russian then they are "inside Russia." They are Russian oblasts and attempts to defend (formerly) Ukrainian territory would then mark an invasion of Russian territory supported by NATO equipment.
  • Thus Medvedev's warning of 'willingness' to use nukes covers these territories inside Ukraine.
Putin's emphasis of this is "not a bluff" notwithstanding, some analysts say this is all about posturing in order to scare NATO away from escalation...
“I think it signals that he wants people to think he would risk nuclear war,” Phillips O’Brien, a professor of strategic studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “I don’t think it means he is any more likely to do it than he was yesterday.”
"If he says that any attack on soil that he calls Russia is going to be a nuclear tripwire, Ukraine’s already broken that in Crimea," O’Brien added in comments given to NBC. Yet Washington says it is taking this nuclear rhetoric seriously.

As for the White House, President Biden in his Wednesday UN General Assembly speech in New York called out Putin's “overt, reckless and irresponsible” nuclear threats, warning that such wars should “never be fought” and that Russia's actions should make everyone's “blood run cold”. He renewed his warning of “a nuclear war cannot be won” - saying the US does “not seek a cold war”.

 

Countrymouse

Country exile in the city
from Jward's post direct link : ALERT - RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE - Consolidated Thread

Putin has quite coherently and with ample reason concluded that the war is no longer (if ever it was) a matter between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Ukraine and Russia but rather is about Russia and the West – with America in the lead.
Vladimir Putin is under rising pressure for setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.
Putin made clear as the driven snows to come that he knows that the West – and first and foremost the US – does not want a strategic settlement but rather the destruction and decapitation of the Russia he has long led.
Putin will therefore no longer fight a limited war and can be expected to deploy the entirety of his resources to win the fight.


And this is why I see at least "limited" (if they can KEEP it "limited") nuclear war as unavoidable at this point.

The only question is when.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I didn’t need a modern prophet to know that. All pretty clear from my reading of the book of Revelation back in 1970...once I realized the obvious while reading: America IS Babylon the Great, the one nation who controls most of the Earth “sits on many waters” (Pax Americana/ unchallenged naval and air power) whose greatest city (NYC ) is the technological blueprint for every other modern city in the whole world; The city which is the seat of the UN /world body, the home of the most powerful financial center in the world, and arguable the greatest maritime port/harbor in the world. We are arriving quickly to the End of The Story...
very true
 

raven

Has No Life - Lives on TB
from Jward's post direct link : ALERT - RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE - Consolidated Thread

Putin has quite coherently and with ample reason concluded that the war is no longer (if ever it was) a matter between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about Ukraine and Russia but rather is about Russia and the West – with America in the lead.
Vladimir Putin is under rising pressure for setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine.
Putin made clear as the driven snows to come that he knows that the West – and first and foremost the US – does not want a strategic settlement but rather the destruction and decapitation of the Russia he has long led.
Putin will therefore no longer fight a limited war and can be expected to deploy the entirety of his resources to win the fight.


And this is why I see at least "limited" (if they can KEEP it "limited") nuclear war as unavoidable at this point.

The only question is when.
and all the color revolutions and protest they start are not going to change anything

same as the J6 prisoners
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
@EndGameWW3
·
19m
Update: U.N. Head Guterres: Any annexation of the territory of a state by another state using force is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. The Secretary-General of the United Nations: The idea of a nuclear conflict has become a subject of discussion and this is totally unacceptable.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB

@EndGameWW3

·
4m
Update: U.S. Pentagon: We will not recognize the legitimacy of the referendums taking place on Ukrainian soil. Update: British Foreign Secretary: Russia will seek to falsify the results of the referendums in Ukraine in its favor. Update: Lavrov: Countries that support Ukraine with weapons are directly involved in the war.Ukraine is violating human rights and carrying out torture against Russians and Ukrainians who support us there.
 

Cacheman

Ultra MAGA!
Update: U.S. Pentagon: We will not recognize the legitimacy of the referendums taking place on Ukrainian soil. Update: British Foreign Secretary: Russia will seek to falsify the results of the referendums in Ukraine in its favor.
So if the Russian speaking majority that are of Russian descent vote for annexation to Russia it is illegitimate? Seems to me if it doesn't pass there's something wrong in the vote.
 

Doc1

Has No Life - Lives on TB


The exact same thing occurred in Ukraine months ago as Ukrainian men left the country to avoid conscription. To a certain degree, it also occurred in the US during the Vietnam war (remember all the guys going to Canada?).

In at least some respects, I find it unseemly to bail on your country - any country - when it needs you to take up arms. Yes, yes, yes... I understand that some individuals might oppose their government's martial policy, but while it might take some guts to stay and fight the government, or to stay and fight for the government in the military, it takes no guts at all to run away.

Best
Doc
 

Oreally

Veteran Member
So if the Russian speaking majority that are of Russian descent vote for annexation to Russia it is illegitimate? Seems to me if it doesn't pass there's something wrong in the vote.

at least half of the pre-war population of these regions have fled to Europe and the west. INCLUDING many russian speaking people.
 

wait-n-see

Veteran Member
going to be very "interesting" in europe in october when the new energy contracts have to be signed.

European Industries Shut Down Even Before Winter Months Set In​



Runtime - 5:09

In Europe, crisis has struck. What was expected to happen in the coming winter months has begun already. What are we talking about? Industries shutting down, factories ceasing operations and employees being told their jobs are no longer secure. What is causing the widespread closure of industries across Europe? The fact that energy prices have soared – making the continuation of operations unfeasible. But that’s not all. While energy prices are indeed soaring, entire industries are now being deprived of natural gas supplies, making it impossible for them to continue manufacturing. European energy-intensive industries depended on Russian gas for their operations. However, European sanctions against Moscow and EU member states arming Ukraine has antagonised Russia, which has stopped essential natural gas supplies to the continent. Watch to know more.
 

wait-n-see

Veteran Member
The exact same thing occurred in Ukraine months ago as Ukrainian men left the country to avoid conscription. To a certain degree, it also occurred in the US during the Vietnam war (remember all the guys going to Canada?).

In at least some respects, I find it unseemly to bail on your country - any country - when it needs you to take up arms. Yes, yes, yes... I understand that some individuals might oppose their government's martial policy, but while it might take some guts to stay and fight the government, or to stay and fight for the government in the military, it takes no guts at all to run away.

Best
Doc

And remember how those mass protests in '68 stopped the sending of our troops to Nam, and we got out for good?? Thank goodness we the people had that power in a non-dictatorship! ;)

Oh wait ..... that didn't happen. :eye:

Peace with honor brought us another 25,000 dead US military, a million more dead Asians and another failed military "adventure". :shk:
 
Last edited:

kochevnik

Senior Member
Vox Day

Serbia Calls Out NATO’s Double Standard


It’s fascinating to see the same countries that bombed Serbia in its attempt to maintain its territorial integrity now claiming “territorial integrity” is the reason four pro-Russian provinces can’t be permitted democratic self-determination or to leave Ukraine:

Western countries have failed to explain why they have different points of view on Ukraine and Serbia’s territorial integrity, given that they support Kiev in its fight against Russia, but endorsed Kosovo’s independence, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday.
In an address to the UN General Assembly in New York, the Serbian leader stated that his state respects the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, and that many describe the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as “the first conflict on European soil since WWII.” He said, however, that the truth about the violation of Serbia’s territorial integrity “is constantly unspoken.”


“We ask for a clear answer to the question I’ve been asking… for years – what is the difference between the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, which was grossly violated,” Vucic said, referring to the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.


According to Vucic, Serbia “has never [set] foot” on anybody’s territory, but this “did not prevent the 19 richest NATO countries from attacking a sovereign country without a decision by the UN Security Council.”
He also said that while NATO pledged to respect the full territorial integrity of Serbia, it did not stop many Western countries from unilaterally recognizing the breakaway province of Kosovo in 2008. NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, after a 78-day bombing campaign against what was then Yugoslavia. The province declared independence in 2008 with Western support. While the US and most of its allies have recognized it, many other countries, including Russia and China, have not.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
The exact same thing occurred in Ukraine months ago as Ukrainian men left the country to avoid conscription. To a certain degree, it also occurred in the US during the Vietnam war (remember all the guys going to Canada?).

In at least some respects, I find it unseemly to bail on your country - any country - when it needs you to take up arms. Yes, yes, yes... I understand that some individuals might oppose their government's martial policy, but while it might take some guts to stay and fight the government, or to stay and fight for the government in the military, it takes no guts at all to run away.

Best
Doc
You brought back some memories, Doc.

When I registered for the draft, I was a freshman in engineering school and playing football. It was the first year the lottery system was instituted. My lottery number was 348; I called the draft board immediately to drop my student deferment and went 1A. I pretty well figured that they'd not get that far down the list and it made me draft-eligible for only that one year, by dropping the student deferment. (Keeping the 2S would've theoretically made me draft-eligible for another 6 years, I was told)

Karma being what it is, 2 years later my younger brother's number was #1 and by then, they were no longer allowing student deferments. So instead of slogging through rice paddies, he joined the Chair Force and tested out well enough to where he spent his time in uniform in Hawaii - monitoring some sort of instrumentation that picked up explosions from nuclear weapons testing or something. He won't talk about it much to this day.
 

Grumphau

Veteran Member
Um Duduman pretty much said this America will burn
There are a few other steps in Duduman though:
1. Fighting inside the US started by Communists (I take read this to be actual guerilla warfare/heavy revolutionary activity)
2. War with China
3. With conditions 1 and 2 fulfilled, Russia will strike without warning.
 
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