RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 31 MAY 2018

RUSSIA: REALITY AND ILLUSION. In my employed days (10 years ago this week!) we Russia hands would periodically be visited by someone from our Embassy who would tell us (expressing surprise) that Moscow was safe, interesting, the people “normal” and so on. I testily told one once that all he was telling us, who already knew this, was how bad Western (and Embassy) reporting was on the reality of Russia. Nicolai Petro has written a masterful piece on this persistence of an out-of-date and wrong-headed picture that is still the foundation of so much comment. “Paradigm blindness occurs when an event remains invisible because the observer has no context or expression for naming it. Simply put, Americans cannot talk about Russia as a democracy because there is no frame of reference for Russian democracy in their minds.” He sadly concludes that “Russophobia is a chronic condition for American elites” and that it is “a by-product of American exceptionalism”. You should read the original but Paul Robinson summarises it. I notice it all the time: to say “Russian elections” is to get a smile – “everybody knows” they don’t have them, ditto “Russian law” and so on. An inadvertently hilarious illustration of self-deception masquerading as analysis can be found here: “Our foreign policy successes have been far more numerous than our mistakes, and the benefits of American involvement around the globe far outweigh the shortcomings”, “Putin’s Moscow has sought to rebuild Russia’s prestige by challenging the United States in its Allies without moral constraint” and so on. In short: we bomb hospitals by mistake, Russians do it on purpose. Dangerous stuff to be thinking these days.

FOUR AT ONCE. Four Bulava ICBMs launched at once. That’s potentially 24 150kt warheads. Maybe it’s time to start paying better – and less self-delusory – attention to Russia.

OOPS. The Russians claim to have two Tomahawk missiles from Syria; they say they will study them so as to better counter them. This will not bother the Pentagon which denies that any such thing happened.

SPIEF. Took place last week. May prove to be an event of some significance depending on Europe’s reaction to Trump’s cancellation of the Iran agreement and tariffs. Serious meetings with Japan, France and the IMF, China and, a few days before with India and Germany. Interesting that, no matter what, they come to talk to Putin sooner or later, isn’t it? There’s a new world a-borning but it will take a while yet.

SANCTIONS. Oleg Deripaska has resigned as CEO of Rusal; the idea is that since the US has sanctioned him personally, the company can now function. But so long as the US sanctions random people for things Russia didn’t do, who can say? Washington currently involves 20 countries in sanctions; or is it more? You add it up. Once on the list, you never got off and Jackson-Vannik morphs into Magnitskiy.

MH17. Is back and just in time for the World Cup. Some old Bellingcat videos and a conveniently-just-discovered-somewhere-sometime 30-year old missile bit. Meanwhile Kerry’s “we observed it” is nowhere to be seen and Ukrainian radar was “down for maintenance“. Who knew that the mighty US intelligence structure all comes down to social media and one guy in the UK?

SKRIPALMANIA. “British Hostage Video Of Yulia Skripal Released“. But, as is argued here, maybe she bravely negotiated what she could say. I stick by what I said at the start and I am pleased to see that the readers of the Daily Mail (one of the few MTP outlets that still allows comments) are equally scornful. (PS: I especially enjoyed it when Lexus and Vovan got Johnson to promise: “evidence we many be able to produce in due course“. I thought they already had all the evidence). Craig Murray discusses.

SRIPAL KIEV. I don’t know what the point of this idiotic death and resurrection was, but be assured that Putin will continue to be blamed for it. Stupidest take (so far): “The Babchenko stunt may end up feeding the Kremlin spin machine“: those pesky Russians will use our lies to prove that we lie.

PHONE PRANKS. Lexus and Vovan, pretending to be the Armenian PM, talk to Boris Johnson; the Foreign Office say it was the “latest desperate attempt by the Kremlin to save face” and Johnson figured it out pretty quickly. “Quickly” in this case being 18 minutes. You have to wonder: can anyone with an accent and a story get to talk these people? Lexus and Vovan have done this many times.

NEW NWO. Is Trump alienating allies? I suggested he is on purpose; others notice it’s happening. Either way, people are starting to consider life without Uncle Sam ensconced in the guest bedroom.

UKRAINE. It’s not just “Putin trolls”: from an American Jewish publication: “Violent Anti-Semitism Is Gripping Ukraine — And The Government Is Standing Idly By“. The legacy of Nuland’s “Revolution of Dignity”: nazi recrudescence, war with Russia and – potentially worse – nuclear disaster.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, CanadaRussia Observer

COMMENTS FROM THE LOCKED WARD

(Miscellaneous comments from pieces dealing with Russia I’ve collected. Most of them anonymous or with pseudonyms, they illustrate either rabid hostility to everything Russian or stone-dead ignorance of reality. I post from time to time when I see them, spelling mistakes and all.)

For Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a gangster state in which opponents of his regime — whether inside or outside the country — are routinely executed.

Yet we have become so football-mad as a nation, despite our limited prowess, that few commentators or politicians dare to raise a squeak of protest that we should be taking part in Putin’s propaganda extravaganza…

Yesterday morning, we were told a Russian journalist called Arkady Babchenko had been dispatched in the Ukraine, seemingly by Russian agents. It soon transpired that Babchenko is alive and well, and that his apparent murder was a carefully conceived stunt by the Ukrainian government to expose his alleged Russian assassins.

Steven Glover, Daily Mail, 30 May 2018

WAS GEHLEN A FRAUD?

(First published at http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/05/was-gehlen-a-fraud-by-patrick-armstrong.html)

For some years I have wondered about Gehlen and I have written this up for SST in order to get the opinions of such a well-informed group on the two questions I ask at the end.

Reinhard Gehlen (1902-1979) was a German General Staff officer who in July 1941 was assigned as senior intelligence officer to the Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East) intelligence section of which he took command about a year later. In April 1945 he was fired (or more likely, seeing the way things were going, quit) and resurfaced in May, surrendering to the US Army and offering his knowledge and organisation to the victors. His offer was accepted, his past and the past of his group cleansed, and eventually the Gehlen Organisation became the nucleus of the West German intelligence organisation and he became its boss. Wikipedia tells us he was forced out of that position in 1968 because his organisation had been penetrated by the Soviets and because of “poor leadership”. For an anti-Soviet specialist, he did run a pretty sloppy outfit: vide Heinz Felfe, a Soviet agent who was brought into the Gehlen Organisation quite early in its history. He wrote a book in which he justified all this which I read years ago. Which all contributes to the question that I am asking you to comment on.

But before I get to the question, a vignette in a railway car in Finland. On 2 June 1942, a year after the German attack on the USSR, Hitler invites himself to Marshal Mannerheim’s 75th birthday celebration. The Finns record the first eleven minutes of their conversation before the Germans catch them and the recording exists. This bit sets the scene:

They have the most monstrous armament that is humanly conceivable (‘menschendenkbar’)…so…if anybody had told me that one state… if anybody had told me that one state can line up with 35.000 tanks (Hitler uses the word ‘tank’), I had said ‘you have gone mad’…

Hitler continues expressing his astonishment at the Soviet armaments industry, complaining that the Germans have only “good weather armament”. After other remarks indicating that he is beginning to realise that he is in a contest Germany cannot win, the recording ends.

All of which leads me to this observation: German intelligence on the Soviet military was poor.

If we look at the whole course of the war we see that almost all the surprises come from the Soviet side. While the initial attack surprised the Soviet leadership (although it did have quite a bit of intelligence of the coming attack), after that it’s almost always the Germans who are surprised. Hitler’s dumbfounded comments to Mannerheim shows there was no conception of the scale of Soviet industrial production, to say nothing of its surge capacity. David Glantz has convincingly argued that unexpected resistance in the Battle of Smolensk sealed the end of the hope of a quick victory. The appearance of unknown divisions in front of Moscow (thanks to a Soviet intelligence coup) in the winter of 1941 was a surprise. The Stalingrad counter-attack was a surprise. The Soviets almost seem to have been aware of the Kursk battle plans before the German front line commanders were and again the counter attack was a surprise. Operation Bagration, perhaps the biggest military operation in history, while the Germans were expecting something, was another shattering surprise.

So, in a word, the Russian military intelligence has many surprises to its credit while Gehlen’s FHO… not so many intelligence successes. (And taking Hitler’s rant to Mannerheim into account, not at the beginning either.)

The Americans and the other Western allies were delighted with Gehlen’s offer. Washington in particular had very little knowledge of the Soviets; indeed the FBI seems to have been only dimly aware that one of the most important Soviet defectors ever – Aleksandr Orlov – was living quietly in the USA. The British had some intelligence from earlier times from people like Bruce-Lockhart or Reilly but that was long out of date and it is unlikely that they had much in 1945. And, as we now know, British intelligence was practically a branch plant operation of Moscow Centre. Neither France nor Canada (Gouzenko was September and had nothing much to offer on the Soviet Army) would have had anything to offer. So they were very happy to take up Gehlen’s offer – a whole network of agents, knowledge, historical records, reputation and interrogation data: a treasure trove; offered for nothing except making the Nazi past disappear. One must assume that the Gehlen organisation became the primary source – if not the sole source – of information on the USSR’s military.

I can’t now find the reference but I remember being told by a specialist that there was an important meeting in the late 1940s chaired, as I recall, by Field Marshal Montgomery, that discussed what the nascent Western Alliance could do against a Soviet attack or military threat. The meeting assumed (I recall) that the Soviets could field 150 divisions on fairly short notice for an attack. The Western Allies couldn’t possibly muster anything like that number. The conclusion was that any attack from the USSR could only be stopped by nuclear weapons. Who could have been the source of the 150 division figure other than Gehlen?

Now it is true that, in whatever country the Soviet Army had ended the war, “elections” were held in which socialist or communist parties came to power and stayed in power. (Austria being an exception). There were at least two ways that one could understand this extension of Soviet power. One was that they were the actions of an expansionist hostile power that fully intended to go all the way to Cape Finisterre if it could and, if not prevented, would. In such an case the Western Allies would be fully justified in forming an defensive alliance to deter Soviet expansion. The other possible interpretation was that, after such a hard victory in so fearfully destructive a war, Moscow was determined that never again would its neighbours be used as an assembly area and start line for the forces of another Hitler. Such an interpretation would call for quite another approach from the Western Allies. We all know which of the two interpretations was followed by the Western Allies. And who else would have encouraged that interpretation than their new expert on all things Soviet?

So we find two extremely important founding Cold War decisions taken right at the start: that Moscow was expansionist and that the Soviet Army was so powerful that nuclear weapons gave the only hope of stopping them. Each decision might well have been taken without him but it is surely reasonable to see Gehlen’s hand in both.

So I have the following questions:

1. Did Gehlen actually know anything about the Soviet Armed Forces or was he basically winging it all along?

2. How influential was he in setting the course of the Cold War towards hostility and away from cooperation?

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 17 MAY 2018

PUTIN’S PRIORITIES. For those who think Putin dreams every night of conquering Estonia or re-creating the Empire, here’s his actual todo list: population growth; life expectancy; real wage growth; reduce poverty; housing; technology; economic growth; high-productivity export-oriented businesses. What Moscow wants is a quiet life to get on with making things better in Russia for Russians.

FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES. There is a certain amount of talk that Russia has “betrayed” Syria (or Donbass) or “backed down” or something. Apparently it should have turned on its military power and kept it going full throttle until victory. I believe this greatly oversimplifies reality; even childishly so. Moscow’s most important foreign policy priority is the preservation of Russia. In the face of Washington’s multi-faceted war against it, this is no easy task. While Russia is doing pretty well, one cannot forget the reality that Washington and its minions, while fading, still possess immense destructive military, financial and economic power. Therefore, prudence is essential. A direct shooting war would be disastrous for all; something that Moscow has little confidence that Washington understands. Moscow works to strengthen the multilateral system partly for its own sake (it knows the cost of “exceptionalism”) and partly as a countermove to Washington’s schemes. Moscow believes that the US in its self-appointed role as “upholder and defender of the liberal world order” aka “rules-based order” has an inbuilt tendency to produce chaos and destruction. It has come to this point of view by observation, not because it’s innately “hostile” or “predatory” or “malign”. It didn’t start out that way; here’s a reminder of what Putin once expected from the USA. This entails a continual effort to balance competing powers – not too much of this, not too much of that – in order to preserve a tenuous peace (we see this especially in the Middle East today). The Soviets had an concept: “the correlation of forces” – the attempt to take everything that could affect an outcome into consideration; you may be sure that Putin’s team is continually assessing it. To remind you of what he sees as his job: “I’m not your friend, I’m the President of Russia“.

CHURCH RESTORATION. When I was in Russia 20 years ago churches were being renovated everywhere. This shows some of the more dramatic restorations.

VICTORY DAY. Red Square parade. Immortal Regiment in Moscow, St Petersburg, Sevastopol, Surgut,

KERCH BRIDGE. Putin formally opened the road part. The “country that doesn’t make anything” has completed the longest bridge in Europe in two years. Newsweek, NYT and the Atlantic Council assure us it will fail and some random neocon wants Kiev to destroy it. Moscow has already thought of that.

SOCHI. Remember all that stuff about wasted money? It was always about more than the Olympic complex itself – the ski resort is doing well.

MEDITERRANEAN. Always, Putin says, there will be Kalibrs there. Newton’s Third Law.

PUTIN’S NEW WHEELS. Revealed at his inauguration last Monday. There will be other high-end luxury models. I can see them selling: twenty years of unrelenting hostility has (surprise!) made Russians more patriotic and it may become a fad for the rich to ditch their Mercs for “patriotic” cars.

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Mueller’s grand indictment of miscellaneous Russian entities for interference (probably actually a commercial marketing scheme) was flimflam designed to keep the story going and he surely never expected to have to prove it. Well he has to: the catering company has produced lawyers and is demanding its day in court. And discovery. This should be a good laugh. Flynn’s sentencing for “lying” has been again postponed. And his Manafort case isn’t going well either. There’s no there there.

NEW NWO. Trump walks out of the JCPOA, scorning Europe’s pleas. Sanctions will follow and Washington will demand compliance from Europe (“secondary sanctions“). Will Europe knuckle under? Juncker, Merkel and Tusk talk tough but always before tough talk has preceded obedience: Washington’s sanctions on Russia have cost Europe a lot but it still dutifully signs up for more. But maybe (maybe) Washington has gone too far this time: we have a report that sanctions will be defied and US court rulings will be ignored. Brzezinski observed that for American global dominance “the most dangerous scenario” would be a grand “antihegemonic” coalition of Russia, China and Iran. He was confident it could be averted by a “a display of US geostrategic skill”. (!) His head would explode imagining a Russia-EU-China-Iran coalition.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

NO, YOUR INTELLIGENCE IS ACTUALLY BAD. VERY BAD.

First published https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/05/02/no-your-intelligence-is-actually-bad-very-bad.html

Picked up by https://russia-insider.com/en/us-thinks-it-knows-russia-keeps-getting-surprised-it/ri23357

JRL 2018-#79/4

About a year ago, one Evelyn Farkas boasted “we have good intelligence on Russia…“. She was an important functionary on Russian matters in the Obama Administration and was, therefore, much involved in “intelligence on Russia”. My immediate reaction when I read it was: No, you do not have good intelligence on Russia; if you did, you wouldn’t be surprised all the time and your boss wouldn’t be saying such silly things. In March 2015 I enumerated some of the delusions. Vide this famous quotation from a 2014 interview:

But I do think it’s important to keep perspective. Russia doesn’t make anything. Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents.

Obama was surely repeating what Farkas and others told him. Wrong on all three counts: Russia makes many things; it is the second immigrant destination on the planet; and its life expectancy and population are growing. This was not hermetic knowledge, available only to the Illuminati; these facts were easily discovered by any competent intelligence agency. That is not good intelligence. He liked to tell us that “Russia is isolated” or that “its economy [is] in tatters.” Wrong again.

The Duke of Wellington once observed:

All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do; that’s what I called ‘guessing what was at the other side of the hill.’

That is a concise description of intelligence. When done right, intelligence minimises surprise: it gives an idea of what is on the other side so that when it does come over the hill, you’re prepared. You can imagine anything you like, of course, but when it does come over the hill, you find out. Which made it all the more amusing to watch Obama when it did come over the hill: by two years later reality was making him admit that Russia was no declining regional challenge but

an important country. It is a military superpower. It has influence in the region and it has influence around the world. And in order for us to solve many big problems around the world, it is in our interest to work with Russia and obtain their cooperation.

Today Obama’s political party thinks Russia so powerful that it is suing it because “Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign.” Deep persistent ignorance: the opposite of “good intelligence”.

Washington was not prepared for Russia’s action in Crimea. It was so sure that it had the naval base there that the US Navy was soliciting bids on a real estate development in Sevastopol. But really… who thought that Moscow would acquiesce to the snatching of a territory that had been part of Russia before the USA existed and a part of the Byzantine-Russian space half a millennium before Columbus? Moscow moved and moved quickly and Washington was left inventing humanitarian crises in Crimea. Intentions and capabilities: the very stuff of intelligence. Both wrong.

Nor did they learn from their mistakes: Moscow had moved quickly after Saakashvili attacked South Ossetia and again Washington had had to explain it away with silly theories that Russia tricked him into attacking. Better intelligence would have considered that Moscow might react to its soldiers being killed and might have the capability to do so. Intentions and capabilities again.

In 2015 I speculated on the reasons why Moscow ran rings around Washington all the time:

So it’s not that complicated: competency, attention to first principles, reality, planning, consistency of purpose and unity of execution beats incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, illusion, sloppy assumptions, confusion and disunity.

Syria was the next to show that American intelligence hadn’t seen over the hill. Some of the surprises.

  1. Relatively insignificant boats in the Caspian Sea with a thousand kilometre punch.
  2. The high sortie rate of Russian aircraft.
  3. “Dumb bombs” turned into “smart bombs”.
  4. Russian EW capabilities.
  5. The S-300/400/500 series, a major off-stage frightener.
  6. Impressive stunts like the “White Swan” strike from the Kola Peninsula, or the Kalibr cruise missile strikes from the super-silent Varshavyanka submarines were another unexpected display of capability.
  7. And, of course, the speed and decisiveness with which Moscow moved.

And the surprises keep coming. Whether the Syrian air defence (with, no doubt, Russian help) really did shoot down 70% of the missiles in the latest FUKUS strike as the Russian MoD claims, there is no doubt that FUKUS is hiding something (unless you believe their absurd claim that 76 missiles hit this site). An American general complains that

Right now in Syria we are operating in the most aggressive EW environment on the planet from our adversaries. They are testing us everyday, knocking our communications down, disabling our EC-130s, etcetera.

Another surprise from the country “that doesn’t make anything”. Today the US Defense Secretary talks of “the erosion of U.S. military advantage in relation to China and Russia.

So, in short, bad intelligence. Wrong on the significance of Russia; wrong on its capability; wrong on its determination; wrong on its military sophistication. Wrong too on the effect of sanctions.

‘It seems that the people working on this lost their way a bit,’ said a former Treasury official who was involved in drafting the sanctions imposed in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. ‘The bottom line is that the US government has a very shallow bench on Russia. And so they end up acting more-or-less at random.’

“Shallow bench”? More of an echo chamber in which people at the top expect to hear what they want to hear and are told it; reinforced by a news media full of people paid to believe what they believe to be paid. The only challenge to this bubble of complacent idiocy is the difficulty of inventing excuses for failure: Putin tricked Saakashvili, Ukraine would be rich if Putin hadn’t “invaded”, Crimeans are suffering, Russia’s not really fighting ISIS, Putin hacked our elections, the Russian economy trembles, Putin is about to fall (here’s the latest in the long series).

We do know what we’re doing; tomorrow will prove us right; we’ll shout louder.

All this would be harmless and amusing if it were about Ruritania and the Duchy of Strackenz. But this complacent bubble of idiocy directs and informs the behaviour of the “world’s indispensable power” in its undeclared war against a power with enough nuclear weapons to obliterate it.

Victory Day 1995

19950509

 

As it was the fiftieth it was a big deal. We sent a pipe band and it, a Russian band and an American (USAF?) band all set up shop on Tverskaya near the Dolgorukiy statue and played in turn. A battle of the bands. I need hardly say who won and got the most attention.

COMMENTS FROM THE LOCKED WARD

The fact is the the Crimea is a part of Ukraine and has been occupied by the Red Army. The Red Army is also occupying a part of easter Ukraine. Russia is also increasing its military/Naval activity in the Baltic and along the borders of eastern European and Scadinavia. The current Russian government is not a friend of the free world and its activity must be countered.

Comrade Putin is an unreformed KGB thug who has hijacked the Russian government.

Comment on a report that the US will increase its navy as (and I quote an Admiral): “a dynamic response to the dynamic security environment… the Atlantic Ocean is as dynamic a theater as any…”.

Couldn’t get much more dynamic than that, I say.

Gotta stop the Red Army led by that commie Putin.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 3 MAY 2018

MILITARY SPENDING. SIPRI says that Russia’s defence budget has been cut by 20%, the first decrease since 1998. The reason, I believe, is not the “economic problems” they suggest (always exaggerated by Western sources) but that the very big post-Soviet lag has been overcome. Modernisation and development certainly hasn’t stopped: here are the latest AD improvements. By the way, Russia seems to be the only country in the world that has cut spending.

TECHNOLOGY. The Akademik Lomonosov, a floating nuclear power plant, has left St Petersburg for Murmansk where it will be fuelled. This is not the very first floating NPP, but it is by far the biggest. It will move to Kamchatka and provide power to settlements there. There will likely be more of them built.

SANCTIONS. Anti-Russia sanctions are partly based on the absurd assumption that Putin is a sort of criminal-in-chief surrounded by lesser criminals and if these lesser criminals can be hurt enough by sanctions, they will overthrow him. And so the attack on Oleg Deripaska and his Rusal company. Which is the second-largest aluminum producer in the world. With a lot of customers who won’t be happy if it’s driven out of business. Bloomberg is scornful: “a lack of expertise”. Two things are happening: Deripaska is trying to sell some of the company and Washington has backed off a bit. So far Moscow hasn’t reacted to the latest sanctions which, it should be clear, are hostile acts that have nothing to do with the ostensible reasons: Moscow is really being punished because it resists. Moscow did not interfere in the US election (and if it had, Clinton would have been the one: it had bought her once, why not again?); the Minsk agreement doesn’t even mention Russia and no one in the West cares what really happened in Crimea. I expect that, as usual, Moscow’s reaction, when it comes, will surprise the West. John Helmer suggests EW in Syria. And when is Europe going to react to the fact that the anti-Russian sanctions hurt them more than either Russia or the USA? Some murmurings in Germany, but we’ve heard them before and they eventually knuckle down. But, given the unending torrent of anti-Trump propaganda, it may become more acceptable to question Washington’s diktat. And, if Washington does pull out of the Iran agreement, the split could become very wide. Moscow may be waiting to see what happens then and tailor its response to widen the gap.

TELEGRAM STUPIDITY. Just gets worse and worse. And it’s not working.

WADA YA KNOW. The sole source of the doping accusation backtracks. But that’s OK: the purpose of propaganda is to leave a bad impression when the details have been forgotten.

PROBLEMS WITH THE NARRATIVE. Russia says it has a complete Tomahawk and that only 22/105 missiles hit anything, Pentagon denies. Russia brings the actual victims of the so-called CW attack to the Hague, FUKUS covers their eyes and ears.

SKRIPALS. Not news any more. Believing the government story requires an enormous amount of doublethink. Murray believes there’s a connection to Steele, Orbis and the Dossier. Oh: it’s apparently OK to leave this incredibly dangerous stuff around for 51 days before cleaning it up. Wearing your full protective suits. Well, some of you wearing them. Still more doublethink and crimestop required.

ARMENIA. What appears to be a colour revolution triggered by the long-time President’s re-treading himself as Prime Minister continues. And you can’t have a “peaceful” colour revolution without a little mysterious gunfire. Unlikely to have a happy ending for anybody in Armenia.

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Do you think the Democrats are going to win the mid-term elections on a platform of “Because Putin stole the last election from us, you owe us this one“?

PUTIN DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. Metastasises: “Exposed: Russian Twitter bots tried to swing general election for Jeremy Corbyn“.

NEW NWO. “the erosion of U.S. military advantage in relation to China and Russia.” US Defense Secretary. Not very PNAC, is it? And, in Yalta, the International Economic Forum attended by people from 71 countries (last year 26 countries, the year before 13.) A somewhat larger chunk of the “international community” that we hear so much of from FUKUS and friends, isn’t it?

UKRAINE. The first US Javelin MAWs have been delivered. I don’t expect them to make a battlefield difference (Russia is not actually attacking Ukraine with armoured formations) but it may encourage Kiev to think it has the green light to attack (it will be another defeat for Kiev). And morale is terrible – at least 554 suicides since the start of the war. (8.4K WIA and 3.7K KIA).

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer