Borsch January 5, 2022 9:28 AM

Am I the only one who thinks the USA actually wants Russia to invade Ukraine? With the withdrawal of the USA from Afghanistan and resurgent Taliban, invading the Ukraine would leave Russia with not one but two thorns in its side. Otherwise, I can’t make any sense out of the American geopolitical strategy in this area of the world. “If you’re dumb enough to invade, go right ahead. Americans are not going to save you from yourself.”

Ted January 5, 2022 9:56 AM

I thought this was interesting from the article.

Those conversations [about Russian cyberactivity] have focused on whether Mr. Putin thinks that a crippling of Ukraine’s infrastructure could be his best hope of achieving his primary goal: ousting the Ukrainian government and replacing it with a puppet leader.

JonKnowsNothing January 5, 2022 10:16 AM

@Borsch, @All

re: Military antonym for Equanimity

It is the nature of such organizations to Find-A-Cause. Any Cause will do, the front, back and middle don’t matter much, just as long as it’s A Cause.

In the USA and UK and perhaps in AU, elections are looming and nothing “goes down a treat” than Military Conflict. Really works up the blood pressure.

It acts like the safety value on a pressure cooker. They have to Do Something with all the people wearing ghastly designed clothes (the US Army has the worst designed ones)(1). Plus, they have to get rid of tons of materiel. We have no where to store it Stateside, and most of it is quite hazardous environmentally, but we get a TeslaTon of it every day.

We managed to drop a good pile of it in Afghanistan, but NATO has a storage problem too: they are also out of room. So, we can make a big junk pile of the stuff for the Ukrainians to sort out. We don’t really care too much about where we drop it off, just as long as someone else ends up dealing with the hazmat.

re: AUKUS = AU UK USA submarine deal

I’m fairly sure that it didn’t pass under too many noses that as soon as the Aussies signed their Forever-Deal with UK, backed by US Greenbacks, for submarines that the AU have no experience with, no ability to repair, no ability to port in NZ and other regional ports are unable to berth the behemoths, that the UK and AU also signed a deal to take a TeslaTon of UK Nuclear Waste that will be dropped in the Outback for “long term storage”.

The UK is building a special container that is “earthquake” proof. It’s a gigantic steel bound drum. In the center is the Forever-Nuke-Puke from the UK(2) and enclosed by huge bands of steel.

It was close to being ready to ship, so it maybe on the way to AU.

You gotta put it somewhere so why not Down Under or in the Ukraine….


1) No one plays Military Dress Up in a US Army uniform.

2) There are different types of Nuke-Puke.

AL January 5, 2022 11:26 AM

Re: “ousting the Ukrainian government and replacing it with a puppet leader.”😉

Reviewing a little history, back in 2012, while Putin was sitting fat, dumb and happy at his winter Olympics, the Ukrainian government was ousted via a coup and replaced with a pro-western government. That would, of course be a coup that Russia thinks that the U.S. had a hand in.

Meanwhile, a civil war was started in Syria, which had as one of its goals, the ousting of Russia’s only naval base in the Middle East. That would be a civil war that Russia thinks that the U.S. had a hand in starting.

After the Iraq war (2003) debacle that the New York Times championed, that newspaper is the last place I look at for an objective view on foreign policy. When they are not running big bad Russian stories, they’re running big bad China stories. Some of it could be true, but the Times has destroyed its credibility.

We poked the Russian bear in 2012, and Putin hasn’t been the same since.

Winter January 5, 2022 11:44 AM

“We poked the Russian bear in 2012, and Putin hasn’t been the same since.”

You forgot the bloody war in Georgia (2008) and the war against Moldova (1992). Then we have the “internal” wars in the Caucasus.

Russia does not need a “cause” other than a people wanting to be free. All Russians are serfs to Putin, and everyone else must be beaten into serfdom too.

Anders January 5, 2022 11:54 AM

@Ted @ALL

Sorry, but Dmitri Alperovitch doesn’t know nothing about Russian
intentions. He has been living in West too long.

But meanwhile i suggest you and everyone else to closely monitor the situation
in Kazakhstan. I have some hunch.



Ted January 5, 2022 12:37 PM

@Anders, ALL

Interesting. What is your hunch?

From the DW article:

DW spoke to journalist … who said that the internet is blocked in the entire country as her homeland descends into “total chaos.”

[…] Meanwhile, the United States has refuted Russian accusations that Washington had instigated the unrest. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the suggestion was “absolutely false.”

From The Guardian:

“It all started with the increase in gas prices but the real cause of the protests is poor living conditions of people, high prices, joblessness, corruption,” she added.

“People are sick of corruption and nepotism, and the authorities don’t listen to people … We want President Tokayev to carry out real political reforms, or to go away and hold fair elections,” he said.

Your articles:

Clive Robinson January 5, 2022 12:48 PM

@ Borsch, ALL,

Am I the only one who thinks the USA actually wants Russia to invade Ukraine?

Yes it’s the hand of cards that’s on the table.

@ AL, ALL,

Reviewing a little history,

Yes… You have forgoton to mention,

1, Nord Stream 2
2, French Election runup.

Both of which I’ve mentioned in the past.

Oh and the all important,

3, Russia is to poor for a European war.
4, Russia is “Salami slicing” to get land without a European War.

It’s long gone time that the EU wake up and realise that both Russia and the US see the EU as bad news for their political positions.

Both have had policies over the last couple of decades to criple the EU and make it non functional and they have almost succeeded.

Gazprom who are behind the Nord Stream Piplines and are without any doubt a political arm of Russia used as an enforcment arm (Putin has turned the gas off to other east european nations in the middle of winter in the past). The Germans are actually acting illegaly under the EU’s own regulations because of the way Nord Stream quite deliberatly bypasses Eastern EU nations that can supply Gas. The fig leaf is that the German Government says only the last ten miles that come into Germany are covered by EU legislation.

The reason Germany is becoming dependent on Russian gas is the stupidity of the previous administrations and illogical energy policy re,

1, Nuclear
2, Coal
3, Gas
4, Green / Renewable.

Germany wants to do “green” but can not and remain an industrial nation. Yes it can sort of run peoples homes of green energy, but there will not be enough to meet the industrial need to make it actually renewable.

Germany was a world leader in nuclear reactor design especialy 4th Generation like Pebble Bed, which whilst not 100% safe was certainly shaping up to be safer than either gas or coal. So for reasons of “politics” that came from outside of Germany all nukes got the “off order”.

It is said that Germany sits on coal, whilst that might be true, you have to ask what digging out vast areas under Germany is going to do. As someone pointed out the Rhur valley is already one vast sink hole waiting to happen. Germany is basically siting on lots of voids held open by century old tree trunks rotting away, desperatly pumping watter out to stop them being washed out even faster. And that’s before you start talking about “CO2 foot print” and a lot lot worse. As burning coal is just about the dirtiest and most environmentaly unfriendly way of generating energy…

So with Russia offering not just cheap gas but paying to build the pipeline it looks wonderfull to politicians who are not looking that gift horse in the mouth.

Both Rusian and the US are trying to create friction between France and Germany, the result is that many peoples eyes are “off the ball” and this gives Russia greater lee way to do things.

Whilst Russia may be the wealthiest nation in the world with regards resources, it can not currently take advantage of them. Criminal behaviour by a very few have long ago pushed Russia over a tipping point and the crawl back up will be long and slow. Whilst Russia is developing new kinetic weapons think carefully about what use they are for, it’s certainly not conventional warfare. The comment about Russia taking out US and other nations satelites is no joke, and technically not an act of war as they are in “space” which is covered by maritime law which is very very different to most other law. The US military woke upto this a little wgile ago, which is why there has recently been a push to go back to HF Radio working from satellite working. Which is a little to late, the US politicos were told it needed to develop deep space and luna communications systems back in the 1990’s to my certain knowledge but kept kicking it into the long grass. The result India and China are likely to beat the US into getting higher resiliance communications.

But for all it’s natural wealth Russia does not have the industrial capability to fight a major war. Even national proxie wars are to rich for it to enter into willingly.

However Russia will get back the Ukrainian and much else besides vy the process of “salami slicing” a few miles at a time. Call it slow invasion but the Putin plan is to build an excuse to grab a piece of land to protect the ethnic Russians who have been moved in to create the trouble in the first place. The actual take over will be timed to coincide with other events, but be small enough each time for others to not escalate things. The lunacy we see in some eastern european nations is rich feeding grounds for Putin’s behsviours to succeed.

It was just over a hundred years ago we saw a very poor european nation use such tricks to take over most of europe in less than a decade. I would say Putin has been studying his history whilst the West especially the WASP nations have been ignoring what is goining on…

It realy does not help that the US is actively playing the UK off against France, abd German off against France to try and weaken the Franco-German axis thus critically weaken the EU. Because Putin is not just watching and calculating, he is acting…

AL January 5, 2022 12:49 PM


“You forgot the bloody war in Georgia (2008) and the war against Moldova (1992).”

That may be so, but it is in part due to the U.S. (Hillary) and Russia (Sergey Lavrov) engaging in this public demonstration of a “reset” in relations in March 2009, using a red button. The official policy was bygones were bygones. Everyone was happy, right up to that winter Olympics in 2012.

AL January 5, 2022 1:38 PM

As far as Nord Stream 2 is concerned, I don’t see why Germany doesn’t get this thing started up and alleviate price pressures on natural gas. They knew what they were getting into when they OK’ed this project two years ago.

Actually, I fib a bit. I know exactly why they don’t get this pipeline started pumping gas, and it is the exact same reason that Europe breached the Iranian nuclear deal, and that is because Germany and the others are nothing more than vassal countries of the U.S. and it was the U.S. that said Nordstream “bad”.

Anyhow, Russia has a customer of its natural gas – China. U.S. policy has made it quite clear to these two countries that they need each other.

The corruption in Russia has pushed it past a tipping point, but the same could be said for the U.S. who has a central bank printing mountains of dollars trying to keep the economy afloat amidst all the corruption. (EU is printing too.) Time is on Russia’s and China’s side. Their chief enemy isn’t a country, it is the dollar and the economic militarization via sanctions. Their chief ally is the ECB and the Federal Reserve.

Anders January 5, 2022 1:53 PM

@Ted, @ALL

Sorry, our host & moderator, this leaves technical part, but still…

All that happens in Ukraine etc has nothing to do with Alperovitch
estimate that missiles are to close or too near etc.

Putin has constantly and repeatedly expressed that Soviet Union dissolving
was the biggest mistake. So he is on the course to restore Soviet Union,
he wants to go history as a leader who restored Soviet Union. He has also
constantly expressed that all ex Soviet republics are Russian, Russian influence and interest area.

Belarus is now already under Russian influence. Lukashenko kept his power
after civil unrests just with Russian help.

Already in Soviet Union KGB and other structures were experts in crowd
control, organizing civil unrests, control their course to “right”
direction to overthrow governments and replacing them with more suitable
for them. Crowd is just a puppets.

So my hunch here – Kazakhstan will soon ask “official help” from Russia
and in exchange is under their direct control.

This is just one chapter in restoring Soviet Union. Ukraine is a tougher
cookie but if it falls, Baltics will be the next. And meanwhile – to stay
in topic – Ukraine is a testing ground to test all kind of cyber and conventional weapons. This suits for US exceptionally well.



lurker January 5, 2022 2:53 PM

@Ted, @Anders

Khazak govt shuts down internet.
China increases Khazak language broadcasting across their common border. Keep one eye on the Bear, and the other on the Dragon.

Anders January 5, 2022 4:08 PM

Of course they call them “peacekeepers”.


So the decision has been made.

And to still stay in topic:


ResearcherZero January 5, 2022 10:24 PM


A brief partial restoration of connectivity was observed while President Tokayev gave a televised speech appealing for assistance from citizens and Russia to help “save the state,” after which internet service was cut again in the early hours of Thursday morning

Network data from NetBlocks confirm a significant disruption to internet service in Kazakhstan from the evening of Tuesday 4 January 2022, progressing to a nation-scale communications blackout on Wednesday afternoon.

The disruptions come amid widening protests against sudden energy price rises that started on the weekend in the western town of Zhanaozen.

The initial incident had high impact to mobile services and some fixed-lines from Tuesday, while the blackout beginning around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday affects almost all connectivity in the country.

A Russian-led military alliance said late Wednesday that it would send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan at the invitation of the country’s president to help put down a growing protest movement there.

The revolt began on Sunday in western Kazakhstan as a protest against a surge in fuel prices. Four days later, with government buildings, TV stations, the airport and numerous businesses stormed by thousands of anti-government protesters, the uprising has expanded into a full-throated attack on an entrenched Kazakh elite widely reviled as autocratic and corrupt.

The Almaty police said that protesters burned 120 cars, including 33 police vehicles, and damaged about 400 businesses, and that more than 200 had been detained. The country’s Internal Affairs Ministry said that eight members of law enforcement had died in the clashes. Local news media reported that the police opened fire on demonstrators in the oil city of Atyrau, killing at least one person.

The protests began peacefully Sunday in the oil town of Zhanaozen, after the government doubled the cost of liquefied petroleum gas — used to fuel vehicles in Kazakhstan — to about 100 tenge, or 22 cents, per liter. By the time the government announced on Tuesday that it would rescind the price increase, the protests had spread across the country, with broader demands for increased political representation and improved social benefits.

Apparently unsatisfied by an announcement early Wednesday that the entire government would be sacked and that new parliamentary elections were possible, protesters took control of the country’s main airport.

ResearcherZero January 5, 2022 10:35 PM


experts are concerned cyberattacks could take place in tandem with Russia moving troops to the border of Ukraine.

“I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they released a new novel capability there. That has happened many times,” John Hultquist, vice president of intelligence analysis at cybersecurity company Mandiant, told The Hill Wednesday. “The interesting thing about a lot of this capability is it’s used often before any actual shooting, because it’s a tool that is deniable and … useful as a tool prior to war.”

“This is a Russian calling card,” Mark Montgomery, senior director of the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Hill Wednesday. “I do worry that they will use their cyber and disinformation tools to try to undermine the stability of the Ukrainian economic security and national security.”

Nitpick January 6, 2022 2:38 AM

Minor point re:

In the USA and UK and perhaps in AU, elections are looming

Not true, there are no elections on the horizon anytime soon in the UK.

Petre Peter January 6, 2022 6:54 AM

The national Romanian tv channel, TVR, has started showing Russian movies. Just trying to keep an eye on the bear.

Anders January 14, 2022 11:30 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Heads up!


And a lot of Ukrainian govt sites were just attacked.


(sorry, this is in Ukrainian, friend from Ukr. forwarded, use G. translate)

Anders January 14, 2022 3:33 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Lavrov: “Our patience has come to an end, we harnessed for a long time – now it’s time to go.”


Sorry, i sense bad times coming…
That bear hasn’t been so aggressive in ages…

Anders January 14, 2022 3:53 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL


“Amid the tensions, Ukraine sustained a massive cyberattack on Friday, which hit websites of multiple government agencies.”

Clive Robinson January 14, 2022 6:50 PM

@ Anders, ALL,

Sometimes the only sensible response to a bully is to hit them on the nose as hard as you can…

Likewise I’ve been told –but I never intend to get in a position to verify– the same hit hard on the nose works on sharks and bears.

But whay to do when the bear is a nation state and hit hard on the nose means “push the big red button”?

It’s clear to most that Russia can not win any direct conflict, so I guess the plan is much as it was in Germany nearly ninety years ago. Keep pushing politically and salami slice your objectives.

The thing was eventually the salami slicing got to much, and the thickness of the slices to big, and eventually blow back happened and we had a world war.

So the question arises what can history teach us, especially when in modern times a punch on the nose could be upto a fifty mega-ton Tsar-Bomba…

Deki January 17, 2022 8:42 AM

Russia will push forward in 2022 and 2023. The UN and US will step in and threaten a full scale war. Russia will compromise because they have the territories they wanted. I agree with Russia and these moves. The majority in these territories speak Russian like Donetsk. The people of these territories want to be part of Russia. Very simple. A compromise would be a win/win regardless of how it is viewed. Russian snipers sit day in and day out in these territories dropping UN/US/Ukrainian snipers by the dozen. The victims are the civilians in these territories who are caught in the middle of Ukrainian mortars. Compromise and end.

Winter January 17, 2022 9:12 AM

“The people of these territories want to be part of Russia.”

I assume you are also advocating that non-Russian speaking territories in Russia can become independent? Like Chechnya and the Caucasus in general and various areas in Siberia.

Snarking aside, I am pretty sure the Kremlin does not give a farthing about what the people actually want. As it showed conclusively in Belarus, Kazachstan, and Syria.

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 12:07 PM

@Winter, @Deki, @All

re: what the people actually want

Be mindful that “what people want” is not necessarily what any other person wants. Nearly all countries are divided between 2 ancient concepts. The numbers shift some as does the forms of government but the ideology remains the same.

  People are poor and have no resources due to circumstances
  beyond their control or ability to influence.
  If someone would just HELP them they would no longer be poor.

“Help” being food, shelter, money, jobs, training, education…

  People are poor because they chose to be lazy and are spoilt-for-choice.
  It’s their own fault and now they want ME to give them MY STUFF.

“My Stuff” is MY Stuff and it’s MINE NOT YOURS!

These groups have been around since antiquity. Various governments and historical epochs have attempted to address the issues that drive the division.

What “People Want” is different than what Governments, Rulers, Oligarchs, The Bourgeoisie, The Petite Bourgeoisie or the Boyars want.

Winter January 17, 2022 1:06 PM

“Be mindful that “what people want” is not necessarily what any other person wants. Nearly all countries are divided between 2 ancient concepts.”

I disagree with your reasoning. In general, people are not “lazy”. People are only called lazy when they refuse to work hard for the benefits of others.

People work when they expect a personal benefit. People have a time deduction of future benefits that relates to 1) character and 2) the feeling of security. 1) is exemplified by the marshmallow test, 2) relates to how convinced a person is s/he will be able to enjoy the fruits of her/his labors. Being unable to plan ahead over long times is not “laziness” but a limitation that has nothing to do with morality.

Low education and ignorance reduce the options for personal benefit and increase the uncertainty of being able to hold on to the fruits of labor. Corruption, and a bad organization of society decrease all the incentives to work hard. In most cases these are enough to explain the majority of choices of a person.

Russian speaking people in East European diaspora are between a rock and a hard place. They are often discriminated. Their education is substandard, their Russian language news media are notoriously unreliable, actively spreading deceptive propaganda. And their social organization is deeply corrupt, Russia most of all,

Having to chose between two evils, it is entirely understandable that these Russians in diaspora prefer Putin’s Russia over the dead end Putin’s policies have driven them into. Because the misery of Russian language people in, eg, Ukraine, Transnistria, and the Baltic states can be fully attributed to Putin’s relentless agitation and violence.

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 4:54 PM


re: Group A v Group B

Just to clarify: these are groupings of people with similar ideas. They are not necessarily a “reality”.

RL anecdote tl;dr

In the USA, in the Big Sky State, the Big Cheese Governor called the People of Montana “lazy”. He said the People of Montana were lazy because, as you have indicated, they did not want to get sick, potentially go to hospital, potentially die, to work for cheap wages.

I know some ranchers up there. They work hard, every day, 7 days a week, through snow that’s deeper than a truck, ice, blizzards, freezing hurricane speed winds and in the short summer, thousands of bugs and in the lead up to the next winter, massive fires.

They build miles of fencing, as part of their land lease. They fix the water systems that provide for the cattle but also the elk, moose, deer, wolves and bears. They build passable roads to haul feed to the top of the mountain, which is enjoyed by both the cattle and the elk, moose and deer. The roadway helps bring down any sick or injured cattle and also provides a safe path for all the animals to come down to the lowland pastures when the hard winter comes.

They are the least lazy people I have known.

They also work for nearly nothing. It’s a family outfit and they do it all themselves. Payday comes when the cattle sell. If the price is right they can fix the truck. If the price is short, the truck doesn’t get fixed.

These are the people who the Governor are called Lazy, but there’s a surprise: Lazy is a Comparison.

Compared to what they do, day in and day out and compared to what urban dwellers do day in and day out – who do you think the ranchers consider “lazy”?

Clive Robinson January 18, 2022 3:38 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Winter, ALL,

With Regards : Group A -v- Group B

Let’s first be honest it is “-v-” and not “and” it is a slow burn where

Group A : Are the bulk of ordinary people who basically want to have a quietish life where they get up do productive things to occupy their hands and minds, find somebody special, raise a family, build a community, and if there is anything over from the productive activities but some away for the future, and have a little enjoyment that quite frequently means helping others in hundreds of little ways.

Group B : Are basically parasites living off of Group A, they are self entitled and avoracious in every way but they also demand status for being useless and they see others as something to be preyed upon. They are increasingly found on tesring to be mentally aberrant to the point they can be diagnosed as diseased.

I mention a couple of things from time to time,

1, The “King Game” and the “Estates of Man” hierarchy.

2, Serfdom, “Protestant work Ethic”.

The first is where you find Group B types, and the second Group A people.

As long as very small children are brought up in “idioms” –excused as parables– rather than knowledge a cognative bias is built into them before they have developed sufficiently to defend themselves against it. It’s one of the reasons certain more main stream cultish organizations actually concentrate on women. As it’s actually women who enforce and enlarge the cognative bias in society via the way they are “taught” to bring up their children.

I won’t mention any particular groups in part because there are so many, but mainly because that will get this comment yanked. However there are several that stick out by a certain characteristic that they can be fairly easily recognised by and has brought them into conflict with legislation. That is the way they try to reject the findings of science and reason, and try and fail to find convoluted ways of saying their beliefs are valid when repeatable observation reason and test are not.

WInter January 18, 2022 5:25 AM

“In the USA, in the Big Sky State, the Big Cheese Governor called the People of Montana “lazy”.”

My point. These people were “lazy” because they refused to risk their health and lives working for someone else’s profits. It is especially telling that “lazy” is used by people who advocate neo-con/libertarian policies where everyone is “free” to fight for themselves, except poor people who find the risk benefits of their unhealthy workplace unrewarding.

I have yet to see the word “lazy” used in another context.

“Group B : Are basically parasites living off of Group A,”

All people want status, that is what makes us social animals. Hierarchies and chiefdoms are as old as history. They exist by the level people feel the hierarchy is justified. Low quality education, e.g., as doled out in many US states, strengthens hierarchies.

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