Ukraine Vs Russia

The situation in Ukraine has not been in the news as of late…….it was all consuming when the forces of pro-Russia Ukraine fought with the Ukrainian forces……but lately the media has had so much more on their plate and pushed it back to the back burner.

But recently there has been a developing situation that could soon lead to a start-up to a deadly conflict once again…..

The U.S. military believes a buildup of Russian forces near the border with Ukraine, seen as “concerning” on Tuesday, is likely a training exercise. But the gathering of troops comes amid heightened tension in the region, and Ukraine’s Commander-In-Chief Ruslan Khomchack told his country’s parliament this week that Russian forces from different regions had been assembling near the border.

Russia’s president has acknowledged an “escalation of armed confrontation” in the region.

Training exercises were always a possible explanation for the buildup, but a U.S. defense official told CBS News that the locations and types of units seen on the ground didn’t line up with what the Russian Ministry of Defense had announced last month.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-troops-ukraine-border-concerning-united-states/

The war of words……

The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was worried by the situation in eastern Ukraine, fearing the Ukrainian side could do something that would restart a civil war there.

President Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday accused Ukraine of provoking armed confrontation with pro-Russian separatists and failing to honour earlier agreements over its wartorn east, during a telephone call with France and Germany’s leaders.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-military-putin-kremlin-idUSKBN2BN1FQ

Not to worry the US may be dragged into this conflict as well……

Numerous statements by Ukrainian and Russian officials reported this Easter Sunday bode ill for hopes of diminishing tensions in Eastern Ukraine. Growing indications of impending intervention by the Pentagon and NATO make the situation yet more grim. U.S. European Command has raised its Ukraine watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis, the highest level, according to Stars and Stripes.

The past few days have witnessed a phone conversation between President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and a similar exchange between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his, Defense Minister Andrii Taran. In both instances the American officials assured their Ukrainian allies of American support not only in their steadily mounting conflict with the Donetsk and Lugansk republics in the Donbass in what was formerly Eastern Ukraine, but with its war of words, and veiled words of war, with Russia which borders the two republics.

The deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachev, evoked the death of the child to warn the NATO and European Union nations in Europe that their silence on the Ukrainian government’s resumption of shelling in the Donbass is providing the Kiev government carte blanche to continue and to escalate the current conflict into a prelude to all-our war. A war, moreover, on the Russian border, one that it’s difficult to imagine Moscow being able to stand aloof from for long. His words included, “Yesterday, for the first time since July 2020 a Ukrainian shelling of the DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic] was conducted and a six-year-old child died,” and he bemoaned the fact that “there is no word about this” from Ukraine’s and Russia’s partners in the Normandy Contact Group, France and Germany. (The Normandy Format was established in 2014 when fighting in the Donbass erupted in order to deescalate the conflict and reach a peaceful settlement between its participants.)

(antiwar.com)

Smells like more interventionism to me.

This is one of those situation that is flying under the radar for now……but it should be monitored and attempts made to calm any events that could lead to more fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Navy To The Black Sea

The US seems to be trying to provoke…..we have sent a carrier group to the East China Sea and now we have sent the US Navy into the Black Sea….

For what purpose?

The US Navy has three warships operating in the Black Sea, a region where NATO is looking to increase its naval presence.

The USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer, entered the waters on Thursday, joining two US ships that were already there. The USS Donald Cook, another guided-missile destroyer, and the oiler USNS Laramie transited into the Black Sea on Sunday.

Russia noticed the US warships operating near its coast and deployed a mobile coastal defense anti-ship system in Crimea. The Russian military said it tracked the USS Donald Cook as it entered the Black Sea.

Russia hawks and NATO are hoping the US keeps up the military activity in the Black Sea this year.

While the US and Russia reached an agreement on extending New START, the vital nuclear treaty, the Biden administration is maintaining a hostile stance towards Moscow, and more US-NATO military cooperation is expected.

(antiwar.com)

Again why is the US presence necessary?

Are we there to protect or provoke?

A situation that I shall watch with interest.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Could Russia Finally Dominate The World?

The USSR tried unsuccessfully to dominate the world in its day and failed……climate change is real and could it be just the thing Russia needs to finally dominate?

Around the world, climate change is becoming an epochal crisis, a nightmare of drought, desertification, flooding and unbearable heat, threatening to make vast regions less habitable and drive the greatest migration of refugees in history. But for a few nations, climate change will present an unparalleled opportunity, as the planet’s coldest regions become more temperate. There is plenty of reason to think that those places will also receive an extraordinary influx of people displaced from the hottest parts of the world as the climate warms. Human migration, historically, has been driven by the pursuit of prosperity even more so than it has by environmental strife. With climate change, prosperity and habitability — haven and economic opportunity — will soon become one and the same.

And no country may be better positioned to capitalize on climate change than Russia. Russia has the largest land mass by far of any northern nation. It is positioned farther north than all of its South Asian neighbors, which collectively are home to the largest global population fending off displacement from rising seas, drought and an overheating climate. Like Canada, Russia is rich in resources and land, with room to grow. Its crop production is expected to be boosted by warming temperatures over the coming decades even as farm yields in the United States, Europe and India are all forecast to decrease. And whether by accident or cunning strategy or, most likely, some combination of the two, the steps its leaders have steadily taken — planting flags in the Arctic and propping up domestic grain production among them — have increasingly positioned Russia to regain its superpower mantle in a warmer world.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-big-thaw-how-russia-could-dominate-a-warming-world

While we ignore the consequences of climate change the Russians are preparing for their day of ascension…

Will we wake up in time?  Or will we try to snooze our way through the coming crisis?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Or Fu Manchu?

I admit that in my younger days I was a huge Sax Rohmer fan and his arch villain Fu Manchu….I even have been watching an old TV show entitled the “The Adventures Of Dr. Fu Manchu” from 1956….one episode has the evil genius hacking into the NORAD-like defense system…..and I thought about it when I read about the latest hack in the news…..

An alarming development in the massive cyberattack on American government systems: Sources tell Politico that the agencies that maintain America’s nuclear weapons stockpile were compromised in the attack, which is strongly suspected to have been carried out by Russia. The sources say they have found evidence that hackers accessed the networks of the Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The worst damage was done at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), where there is evidence of “highly malicious activity,” the officials say. The hackers are believed to have accessed systems from March onwards by compromising a SolarWinds software patch. More:

  • Department says critical defense systems not hit. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes confirmed that the department had been hit by the attack but denied parts of the Politico report. “At this point, the investigation has found that the malware has been isolated to business networks only, and has not impacted the mission essential national security functions of the department, including the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Hynes said in a statement. Hynes said that when vulnerable software was identified, “immediate action was taken to mitigate the risk.”
  • What Politico details: In addition to FERC, it reports the DOE and NNSA have uncovered evidence of hacking in the networks used by the Sandia and Los Alamos national labs and the Office of Secure Transportation at NNSA. Politico explains: “NNSA is responsible for managing the nation’s nuclear weapons, and while it gets the least attention, it takes up the vast majority of DOE’s budget.” Enriched uranium is moved by the Office of Secure Transportation, and the labs handle atomic research tied to both nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
  • “Grave threat” to critical infrastructure. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned that the attack poses a “grave threat” to “critical infrastructure,” Deutsche Welle reports. The agency said the damage will be very difficult to undo. CISA didn’t specify what the critical infrastructure is, but the AP offers this: “Homeland Security, the agency’s parent department, defines such infrastructure as any ‘vital’ assets to the US or its economy, a broad category that could include power plants and financial institutions.”
  • Private sector was also hit. “It’s still early days, but we have already identified 40 victims—more than anyone else has stated so far—and believe that number should rise substantially,” Microsoft president Brad Smith tells the New York Times. “There are more nongovernmental victims than there are governmental victims, with a big focus on IT companies, especially in the security industry.” Microsoft says a “heat map” of the attack shows that 80% of victims are in the US, with others in countries including the UK, Mexico, and Spain—but none in Russia.
  • Biden speaks out. President-elect Joe Biden vowed Thursday that he would make dealing with the attack a top priority from the moment he takes office, the BBC reports. “We need to disrupt and deter our adversaries from undertaking significant cyberattacks in the first place,” he said. “We will do that by, among other things, imposing substantial costs on those responsible for such malicious attacks, including in coordination with our allies and partners.” President Trump has not commented publicly on the attacks.
  • “Worst hacking case in US history.” A government official speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity says the administration isn’t ready to publicly blame Russia for the cyberattack. “This is looking like it’s the worst hacking case in the history of America,” the official says. “They got into everything.” Experts believe the attackers focused on espionage, not sabotage, and were incredibly successful.
  • Romney: “Stunning” for White House not to respond. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Thursday that the silence and apparent lack of action from the White House was “inexcusable,” the Hill reports. “I think the White House needs to say something aggressive about what happened,” he said. “This is almost as if you had a Russian bomber flying undetected over the country, including over the nation’s capital, and not to respond in a setting like that is really stunning.”

This ‘hack’ is another attack that I am struggling with….it seems when we need a foe the Russian hacks are always available.

Fu Manchu was thwarted…..but looks like the Russians (allegedly) are more sophisticated….

I am waiting for the rest of the story…..and now I have it….

The Trump administration informed Congress of its plans to close the last two US consulates in Russia, leaving the US embassy in Moscow as the only US diplomatic mission in the country.

The State Department sent a letter to congressional leaders on December 10th that said the US is permanently closing its consulate in Vladivostok, and temporarily halting operations at the consulate in Yekaterinburg.

According to the letter, the US is shuttering the consulates due to caps set by Moscow on the number of diplomats allowed in the country. In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin set new limits on the number of US diplomatic employees in response to US sanctions.

The letter says the move is “in response to ongoing staffing challenges of the US Mission in Russia in the wake of the 2017 Russian-imposed personnel cap on the US Mission and resultant impasse with Russia over diplomatic visas.”

In December 2016, then-President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats for Moscow’s alleged interference in the presidential election, which was never substantiated. Putin chose not to retaliate against Obama’s move.

The news comes at a sensitive time for US-Russia relations. Several US government agencies were targeted in a major cyberattack that many in the US are blaming on Russia, despite a lack of evidence to show Moscow was involved.

But the shuttering of the consulates does not appear to be connected to the cyberattack since the administration informed Congress a few days before the hack was reported.

(antiwar.com)

As to appear not be the gutless wonders they are…Congress is calling for retaliation…..Some senators are calling for retaliation against Russia. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) even likened it to a “virtual invasion.” (chest thumping only)

On a lighter note…..

If I peeked your interest in Fu Manchu….here are the 8 episodes from 1956…..(if interested I believe it was episode 3 or 4 that had the “hack”)

While your are finishing your shopping…..Be Well and Be Safe……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Russia Is Doing It

While we wait for the final tally and a candidate is pronounced as the president-elect…….I thought I would give my readers a few posts to take their mind off their agonizing wait…..

For 4 years we have been told that Russia has been at the heart of the election hacking……day after day the MSM has pointed numerous fingers at Russia…..and with little actual evidence other than”we told you so”.

I am by far no fan of Putin…but that does not mean that he can be blamed for everything that goes wrong in this country…..usually problems of our own making…..

To illustrate how easy it is to blame Russia with little actual proof….

How do you call something “Russian disinformation” when you don’t have evidence it is? Let’s count the ways.

We don’t know a whole lot about how the New York Post story about Hunter Biden got into print. There are some reasons to think the material is genuine (including its cache of graphic photos and some apparent limited confirmation from people on the email chains), but in terms of sourcing, anything is possible. This material could have been hacked by any number of actors, and shopped for millions (as Time has reported), and all sorts of insidious characters – including notorious Russian partisans like Andrei Derkach – could have been behind it.

None of these details are known, however, which hasn’t stopped media companies from saying otherwise. Most major outlets began denouncing the story as foreign propaganda right away and haven’t stopped. A quick list of the creative methods seen lately of saying, “We don’t know, but we know!”:

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/10-ways-to-call-something-russian

And if you just want to blame someone you can always rent a Russian to vent your propaganda toward….by renting one (this is satire)

The election of 2020 is in the bag and whatever results that are tabulated then there will be blame for loss and the best thing to do is blame Russia.

And the count goes on…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Will Russia Do?

We are always hearing the speculation on the precise policies of the Russians…..but are those speculations just mere hearsay or a5re they based in fact?

This intel is what we call “Open Source Intel”…….

This is the report to Congress on Russia’s military doctrine and strategy…..given to Congress on 20 August 2020…..

Russia’s official security doctrines are detailed in its 2014 Military Doctrine and 2015 National Security Strategy. Other key strategy documents include the 2016 Foreign Policy Concept, 2017 Naval Strategy, and 2020 Principles of Nuclear Deterrence Strategy. These documents offer insight into how Russian leaders perceive threats and how Russian military and security policymakers envision the future of conflict. In addition, the Military Doctrine and the National Security Strategy identify the importance of information and the danger of internal, as well as external, threats.

The 2014 Military Doctrine divides the perceived nature of threats to Russia into two categories: military risks and military threats. Military risks are a lesser designation, defined as situations that could “lead to a military threat under certain conditions.” A military threat is “characterized by a real possibility of an outbreak of a military conflict.” Once fighting breaks out, Russian military theory and doctrine identify a typology of conflicts relating to the extent and type of conflict, gradually increasing in intensity: armed conflict, local war, regional war, large-scale war, and global (nuclear) war. These levels of conflict are important for understanding how the Russian military envisions the scale, nature, actors, and levels of escalation in war.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev stated in July 2019 that Russia would update its National Security Strategy in 2020. Although a new version has not yet appeared, most analysts expect its publication in the near future.

Report to Congress on Russian Military Doctrine and Strategy

 

Russia Returns To Afghanistan

Back in the 80s the old USSR had this war going on in Afghanistan…..and since it was the Cold War the US would send cash and weapons to the “rebels” that were fighting the Soviets.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In case you are too young to remember anything past the first Iphone….then this should help…..

Or read a history…….https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/08/the-soviet-war-in-afghanistan-1979-1989/100786/

In this conflict the US helped create the Taleban and the Northern Alliance to fight the Soviets….and today we, the US, are fighting the very same group we armed and paid in the past…..

I bring all this up because the Neocons are bitching about the Russians sending aid to the Taleban…..

Hardly a week seems to pass without some new crisis in Russian-American relations. The most recent was the revelation that U.S. President Donald Trump had ignored intelligence about bounties supposedly paid by Russian operatives to the Taliban in exchange for killing American soldiers. The veracity of this particular intelligence is questionable, in my view, but there is plausible evidence that Russia has been providing arms to the Taliban as Moscow seeks to play a more active role in Afghanistan. What to make of this? Some commentators in the U.S., including intelligence analysts and military commanders, see Russia’s policy as primarily aimed at pushing the U.S. out of what Moscow considers its neighborhood. Commenting on the most recent allegations, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that Russia should be “pushed out of the community of nations.” For Schiff, Russia’s Afghanistan policy is further evidence of a consistent anti-American agenda. This kind of zero-sum thinking says more about the American foreign policy consensus regarding Russia than it does about Russia’s view of the region or of relations with Washington. Russia’s engagement with the Taliban is not, primarily, about punishing the U.S. or getting revenge for Washington’s support to the mujahedeen fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s. Rather, Moscow is pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at securing stability and security in Central Asia. 

https://www.russiamatters.org/analysis/russian-moves-afghanistan-are-about-regional-stability-not-revenge-us

This is all so silly….the Neocons are all up in arms because Russia is aiding the Taleban……think about that for just a moment……

This illustrates the hypocrisy of American foreign policy….the arrogance….”we can do it but no one else can”

I wish that we could find a new foreign policy….but sadly little will change with the next election.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Russians And Windows Are Back!

I recently wrote a post about the people that are walking our windows in Russia. A couple of doctors and a whistle blower police major…well it does not stop with those few…..but read about these tragic “accidents”…..https://lobotero.com/2020/07/18/beware-of-russian-windows/

A Russian Olympic figure skater has “fallen” out a window…..

Olympic figure skater Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya has died aged 20 after reportedly falling out of a window.

Russian-born Alexandrovskaya represented Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

The cause of the death has yet to be confirmed but reports claim she “died on the spot” following the incident in Moscow.

Alexandrovskaya retired from the sport earlier this year due to injury.

Tributes have poured in for the athlete, a two-time Australian National Champion pair-skating with partner Harley Windsor.

Windsor, 23, posted a heartbreaking message on social media.

(mirror.co.uk)

I have got to ask….what is it about Russians and windows?

I have asked and I ask gain….what is it about Russians and windows?

Summer on the Gulf Coast…it has been raining for 3 days…..and more to come……Gonzalo is waiting to strike.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Beware Of Russian Windows

As the pandemic rages I wrote about an interesting development in Russia among Russian pandemic doctors.

It seems they are falling out windows….at least three so far….

Three Russian doctors working to treat coronavirus patients have mysteriously fallen out of windows in recent weeks, underscoring the country’s struggling health care system — and leading to suspicions of foul play.

On April 24, Natalya Lebedeva, the chief of emergency medical services at a training base for Russian astronauts, fell out of a window at the hospital where she was being treated for a Covid-19 infection and died.

Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, the top doctor at a hospital in Siberia, fell out of a window during a conference call at her hospital and died on May 1 after a week in intensive care.

The next day, ambulance doctor Alexander Shulepov fell from a second-floor window at the hospital where he worked and had been receiving treatment for Covid-19. He remains in serious condition with a fractured skull.

Russian authorities are investigating all three incidents, and there is no official indication yet of what happened to the physicians. The circumstances around their falls, though, are more than a little suspicious.

https://www.vox.com/2020/5/6/21248553/coronavirus-russia-doctors-windows-death

Fascinating stories……makes me suspicious of the excuses for the deaths…..

Then I read about a whistle blower in Russia that walk out a window….another window story?

A Russian police major plunged to her death not long after testifying against her old boss in a criminal-extortion case, the Moscow Times reports. The body of Yekaterina Mishkina, 37, was caught on security cameras lying near an apartment building in the city of Khabarovsk (Russia.liveaumap.com has a screen capture), where she apparently fell from the fifth floor. Security cameras are said to show her trying to reach the roof, giving up, and going back down a few flights. Unconfirmed reports say Mishkina had testified against an ex-boss who allegedly extorted money from subordinates. Seems the extortion case was opened after the former boss had gone into retirement.

Regional police in Khabarovsk, roughly 5,000 miles east of Moscow, have begun investigating Mishkina’s fall—though a spokeswoman said the lead investigator is “on yet another vacation.” A Russian news outlet is quoting an anonymous source close to the probe who said officials uncovered a note in Mishkina’s purse with a to-do list she’d only partly completed: “This indicates that what happened wasn’t spontaneous,” the source said. Mishkina was a divorcee with a 14-year-old daughter. Her death comes after at least three Russian health-care workers recently fell from windows amid the coronavirus outbreak, as have two young journalists.

What is it about Russian windows?

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, you Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Bounty Of A Different Color

Surely most people have heard about the bounties that were put on our soldiers according to the media and some Neocons…..I originally asked the question….why now?

Don’t take my word…here is the post that I asked that question…..https://lobotero.com/2020/07/02/mutiny-of-the-bounties/

The day after my post someone else had the same idea that I had……https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/03/roaming-charges-mutiny-of-the-bounties/

All that history aside…..the media has done an excellent job selling the idea of the bounties to the American people……

Late last month, reports began emerging claiming that Russia had been paying substantial bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan. A new poll shows that 60% of Americans view that allegation as “believable.”

Claims Russia did something bad are usually easy to sell, and a claim repeated enough usually gets believed by many. Still, the evidence is not at all on the side of this particular allegation, which the Pentagon tried, and failed, to sell to the US intelligence community.

Centcom head Gen. Frank McKenzie says that when he heard the report it was “worrisome,” but that he’s still not clear anyone was killed on the basis of this. Moreover, he says the US did not change its Afghanistan operations.

It seems clear at this point it was never true, but the New York Times ran with the story, and ran hard, and the poll points to Americans buying the story.

The poll shows that they view Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “threat,” and support a new round of US sanctions against Russia. Alarmingly, 9% even supported attacking Russia outright.

This is undercut by the strong evidence that this plot isn’t true, and never was. The danger is, the US could escalate hostilities and the majority of the public is fine with it.

(antiwar.com)

After the troop withdrawal was announced no sooner than the Pentagon started using its contacts in the media to ax the decision and to keep the troops in Afghanistan…..

The New York Times dropped another Russiagate bombshell on June 26 with a sensational front-page story headlined, “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says.” A predictable media and political frenzy followed, reviving the anti-Russian hysteria that has excited the Beltway establishment for the past four years.

But a closer look at the reporting by the Times and other mainstream outlets vying to confirm its coverage reveals another scandal not unlike Russiagate itself: the core elements of the story appear to have been fabricated by Afghan government intelligence to derail a potential US troop withdrawal from the country. And they were leaked to the Times and other outlets by US national security state officials who shared an agenda with their Afghan allies.

In the days following the story’s publication, the maneuvers of the Afghan regime and US national security bureaucracy encountered an unexpected political obstacle: US intelligence agencies began offering a series of low confidence assessments in the Afghan government’s self-interested intelligence claims, judging them to be highly suspect at best, and altogether bogus at worst.

How the Pentagon Failed to Sell Afghan Government’s Bunk ‘Bountygate’ Story to US Intelligence Agencies

The longer the story is out there…..the more holes are found in the reports…..even the Pentagon is back peddling…..

Continuing the allegation of Russian bounty payments to Taliban to kill US troops, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley both told the House Armed Services Committee that they’ve seen no corroboration of the claim, nor do they believe anyone was actually killed on the basis of it.

This allegation emerged last month in the New York Times and has been oft-repeated, despite a lack of evidence. Earlier this week, a poll showed a majority of Americans believe the claim, though the military has repeatedly said they just don’t have the evidence to defend it. Centcom’s commander has also recently doubted it.

Beyond military doubts, US intelligence has also expressed major doubts, saying they have “low confidence” of the allegations. It is unclear why this continues, when between military leadership and intelligence community no one seems to be buying the story.

That said, Milley told the committee that if it turns out this claim is true, something that looks remotely unlikely, he said that the US would respond against Russia in some non-specific way.

(antiwar.com)

Appears this was a campaign put together by the M-IC to keep troops and equipment in Afghanistan thus preserving their profits for longer.

Bring The Troops Home!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”