A Very Brief History of China-Russia Relations

The response of much western commentary to the Russia China agreements has been scepticism that they can ever burgeon into an outright partnership because of the supposedly long history of mutual suspicion and hostility between the two countries. The Economist for example refers to the two countries as “frenemies”. To see whether these claims are […]

Deconstructing the Result of the Four Party Talks

The media refers to the document that emerged out of today’s four party talks as an “agreement”. This is not strictly correct. The text of the document is here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/17/ukraine-diplomats-meet-in-geneva-in-bid-to-ease-crisis-live-coverage?view=desktop#block-5350089ce4b056a9012cda6f As its text makes clear what this document is in reality is not an an agreement to settle the Ukrainian crisis or even an outline […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.04.03

  THE FUTURE OF UKRAINE. The Ukraine of six months ago no longer exists; it has been destroyed by the scheming of Brussels and Washington. If there is to be something on the map named “Ukraine” at the end of the year that in anyway resembles what was there six months ago, Moscow’s plan must […]

The Lavrov-Kerry Meeting

We do not have anywhere near complete information about what happened at the Lavrov Kerry meeting on Sunday.  That in itself is a good sign.  It almost certainly means that with the Crimean issue out of the way (and with the western powers having tacitly admitted that the Crimea is now part of Russia) real negotiations […]

After The Referendum

If, as seems to be generally expected, tomorrow’s referendum in Crimea produces a substantial majority in favour of union with the Russian Federation, what will Moscow’s reaction be? I strongly expect that it will be…… Nothing. There are several reason why I think this. One is that Moscow is reluctant to break up states. I […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.13

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 13 March 2014 Propaganda. Watch for these news items in your local media outlet to indicate when it stops re-typing and starts reporting. Who is what in the new govt in Kiev; the sniper story; General Dempsey has no evidence the soldiers in Crimea are Russians; what the treaty allows Russia to […]

Russian Federation Sitrep 2014.03.06

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 6 March 2014 Information battlespace. Just as in the Ossetia War, Western governments and media are in full propaganda mode. And, again, their citizens and news consumers will eventually find out they are being lied to. But this time it will be sooner because the New Media is stronger and alternative views […]

Propaganda and the Narrative

I assume that most of the people who read this blog agree that a great deal of what might be called the “Standard Western Media Narrative on Ukraine” could better be termed propaganda. That is to say that it is a constructed narrative designed to produce deep-rooted convictions. Or, more bluntly, constructed lies and selected […]

Ukraine, the Nuland Leak, and the Amnesty Law

A discussion on Crosstalk with Peter Lavelle in which I appeared discussing the Nuland leak. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLHXpCRPo-k I found some of the comments made by Taras Kuzio frankly surreal but judging from what I read on Kyiv Post he is pretty mainstream in Ukrainian opposition terms. Two weeks earlier in an interview on RT I said […]

The Coup in Ukraine

In my last Sitrep I said that the West was trying to pull off a coup in Ukraine against the duly elected President. We now have very strong evidence in the shape of an intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. They talk about how […]

Today’s Redundant Rant. Tiresome, Too. But I Amuse Myself.

Got this in the mail from Jamestown. My response. Not that I expect much of an answer.  What a load of crap! Saakashvili, the as-yet-unindicted-former,-but-now-despised,-boss-of-Georgia (saved and given a comfortable retirement in the USA. His creator.) is going to feed us more lies. Wah hoo! I so want to be there to hear him emit […]

Ukraine’s Turn to the East: A Geopolitical Accident

“Imperialist Putin “Steals” Ukraine”… If only all those hysterical newspaper articles were true! In reality, the only thing he stole was Ukraine’s credit card debt. He’s no idiot, of course, and is in no rush to pay it off. The drama certainly hasn’t ended. But a geopolitical pivot on the model of Khmelnitsky’s 1654 decision this […]

What is Ukraine’s Game Plan?

Even a few months ago, it looked as if Ukraine had taken a significant step towards Eurasian integration by signing up as an observer to the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. However, in the past month, evidence is emerging that it was but a temporary ploy to appease Russia while in reality speeding […]

Translation: Ukraine and Its Monsters

Regnum reports on statements made by Ukraine’s President, Victor Yanukovych, in which he visualizes Ukraine becoming a link between the East and the West as a result of an impending trade deal with the European Union. Yanukovych: Russia and the EU are giant monsters “and we feel it every day” Victor Yanukovych, the President of […]

Translation: The G20 and the Ghosts of Progress

In this op-ed piece posted on Lenta, Anton Klyuchkin analyzes the effects of recent Kremlin decisions, admonishing their results for pushing the country away from the West.  Looking past the rhetoric, however, a better picture of the retaliatory nature of Russian-American relations comes into view, one in which both sides seem determined to antagonize the […]

Timeline of the Runup to an Illegal War

Repost of Alexander Mercouris’ comments at Mark Chapman’s blog and The Russia Debate forum. The original compilation is posted at Mercouris’ blog. PS. Originally, this space hosted just one of Mercouris’ comments. Now that he has taken the trouble to gather up his output, the least I could do is update it and try to ensure […]

Corruption, The American Way

So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which gets […]

Lessons From The Snowden Affair

(1) Just as with Manning, it is beyond dispute that Snowden broke US law. As such, the US government is perfectly entitled to try to apprehend him (on its own soil), request his extradition, and prosecute him. This is quite perpendicular to whether Snowden’s leaks were morally “justified” or not. In some sense, they were. […]

No Use Crying Over Leaked Milk – Let Alone Threatening Sanctions Over It

My latest for Experts Panel/Voice of Russia: The Panel states, “On future occasions, Russia might well require Washington to cooperate in similar circumstances; and if such is the case, its handling of the Snowden affair could prove decisive as to how Washington chooses to respond.” Well, let’s imagine this scenario. One fine day, an FSB […]

Russia Needs To Develop Its “Hard” Soft Power

My latest for VoR/US-Russia Experts panel: I think we have to make a distinction here between “soft” soft power and “hard” soft power. The US’ “soft” soft power is, of course, overwhelming. By “soft” soft power, I mean its accumulated cultural capital: The popularity of the English language, Hollywood, the Ivy League, Apple and American […]