RF Sitrep 20150709


SAME AGAIN. The USA’s new National Military Strategy finds threats everywhere: “the most unpredictable I have seen in 40 years of service”. Russia, Iran, North Korea and China are specifically named as, in order, undermining, destabilising, threatening and adding tension. Some questions it neither asks nor answers: since, say 2002, is jihadism a bigger threat or a smaller threat? Iraq more stable or less stable? Afghanistan ditto? Russia more friendly or less friendly? China ditto? What makes them think that another dozen years of the same thing will get different results?

PUTIN’S RESPONSE. In what I agree was probably not an accident, Putin uses the expression “our geopolitical opponents” rather than his more usual “partners” at a recent meeting of the Security Council. “We cannot hope that some of our geopolitical opponents will change their hostile course anytime in the foreseeable future.” This is as close as I have seen him come to publicly stating Russia is under attack. He remains confident: “It is clear today that attempts to split and divide our society, play on our problems, and seek out our vulnerable spots and weak links have not produced the results hoped for by those who imposed these restrictive measures on our country and continue to support them.” He is correct to be confident, in my opinion.

N”G”Os. The Russian Federation Council has listed foreign organisations operating in Russia it considered to be undesirable and asked the Prosecutor General to rule on them. The idea presumably being to get a ruling that allows them to be expelled. They are the usual array of so-called non-government organisations which are part and parcel of Suzanne Nossel’s “smart power”. That is to say, agents of US foreign policy usually funded by the US State Department (eg, NDI, Freedom House, NED). These are the incubators of “colour revolutions”.

KHODORKOVSKIY. The Russian Investigative Committee spokesman says Khodorkovskiy could have ordered the murder of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov in 1998. An investigation will begin.

SANCTIONS. One could make a reasonable argument that the sanctions are doing more harm to Europe than to Russia. An Austrian estimate puts the long term cost at 90 billion with over 2 million lost jobs. Meanwhile here’s someone wondering if the sanctions against Russia even exist any more.

UKRAINE’S MISERY. “The habit of hunger“. (Translation). A UN report estimates a third of the population will be in poverty by the end of the year. Even the World Bank, optimistic as it tries to be, knows the economy is disappearing. Saakashvili is quoted as saying it will be 20 years before it returns to the pre-Maidan state. Default is coming. Another UN report says Russia leads the world in asylum requests: the vast majority are from Ukraine. (“Some 172,000 people had applied for asylum in neighbouring countries in Europe, including more than 168,000 people in the Russian Federation. A further 149,000 applied for other forms of legal stay in the Russian Federation.” (So much for the “Russia is the enemy” trope.) The Cyberberkut hackers claim to have turned up a document from the Ukrainian Procuracy saying the so-called “volunteer battalions” are out of control and little more than criminal organisations. OSCE observers report they were told by one of the most eminent, Pravy Sektor, that they had their own orders and did not fall under the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces“. They demand a return to war. Corruption and inefficiency remain, even in the war effort: generals are accused of writing off equipment so they can sell it. Weapon repair facilities are a joke. Desertions and defections said to be increasing; more than one million men of military age are said to be hiding in Russia alone. Craziness proliferates. Time is not on Kiev’s side. Putin Cunctator.

WESTERN VALUES™. The Greek referendum “was neither factually nor legally correct“; the Ukraine coup was OK (never mind Art 108 of the Constitution); the Crimea referendum was illegal.

SHARK JUMPING. Georgia’s quondam president (wanted there on various charges) and new Governor of Odessa tells us on 6 July that the US Ambassador has promised to bankroll him and his team.

NEW NWO. More data points. Greek referendum – no idea where that will go but it’s unlikely to solidify the EU. BRICS meeting in Ufa then SCO meeting: India and Pakistan are expected to join latter. Iran’s President visits. BRICS bank officially launched. Saudi Arabia wants to invest in Russia. Doubling Nord Stream. China buys some Russian debt. Hungary signs on to the Chinese “Belt and Road”.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Ottawa, Canada Websites: ROPV, US-Russia, Russia Insider