Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’


Bye bye for now

November 15, 2022

It’s no fun to write about war. War is organized murder, war is a crime, war is evil, no matter who wages it and for what reason.

Like many fellow independent bloggers I was mesmerized by the idea that the war in Ukraine could ease the stranglehold and the neo-colonial exploitation of “less developed” countries in the global south by the “collective West.”

There were finally glimmers of hope that Western hubris and greed would be punished by the high court of life, that US hegemony would be replaced by multi-polarity, and natural resources would be shared more justly and equitable.

But war is habitat and wildlife destruction on an almost unimaginable scale. War is an inexcusable waste of scarce resources. War is pain, suffering, and death for all living beings. 

When the fighting finally stops, nature could have a chance to reclaim the land, to heal and restore ecosystems. Just like it happened in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. But it is more likely that roads, bridges, power lines, and other infrastructure will be rebuilt, that new mines, power plants, and factories will be opened.

About Ukraine

A defeat in Ukraine would have disastrous consequences for the USA’ image and credibility as a superpower not only in Europe but on the global stage, undermining its leadership of the transatlantic alliance and even disabling NATO.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insists that a defeat of Ukraine would also be a defeat of NATO. He is on his way out and Chrystia Freeland, granddaughter of a WWII Ukrainian Nazi collaborator and currently Canada’s Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, is the prime candidate to replace him.

A Russian victory will make NATO irrelevant, but the USA can go on alone, forcing Europe to pay for Ukraine, and focusing on replenishing its weapons stockpiles in preparation for the real big showdown. The MIC (Military Industrial Complex) will rake in mountains of money.

The war in Ukraine is already deepening the split between the USA plus Europe versus the rest of the world, thereby accelerating the shift from US hegemony to a multi-polar order and a protracted new Cold War after the US dominance of the last three decades. 

With the assistance of the US and NATO (and aided by thousands of foreign combatants), Ukraine was, by mid-summer, able to reconstitute a force of around 50,000 men trained and equipped to NATO standards. In accordance with an operational plan devised with the help of NATO, this new force went on the offensive against Russian forces in the Kharkov and Kherson regions. To prevent the unnecessary loss of life, Russia opted to cede territory in the face of superior Ukrainian forces, ultimately consolidating their lines along more defensible terrain.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that he had ordered the withdrawal of troops from Kherson to defensive positions on the west bank of the Dnieper River. The loss of Kherson is a major blow to Russian prestige.

Until now it was commonly acknowledged that the counter-offensives by Ukraine all along the frontline have fizzled out. They yielded no territorial gains or any significant breakthrough, only causing heavy casualties in the thousands and huge losses in military equipment.

This move looks bad and bad optics alone will have consequences. The Ukrainians, the Biden administration and the European supporter of Ukraine will be emboldened by this. The support in Russia for the war will shrink. Some people in Russia will start to call for President Putin’s head. There is no danger though that they will get it.

This move is operationally sound. From the military point of view there was little chance to withstand a serious attack in the region as the resupply across the Dnieper river is very difficult and cannot be guaranteed. Moreover the possible breach of the Dnieper river dams would make any resupply impossible for at least a week or even longer. That would be enough time for the Ukrainians to slaughter whatever number of Russian troops were left behind.

Strategically the move is bad. Wars are not won by retreats, and this is a retreat no matter how one spins it. Ukraine may have lost 9,000 men in the constant attacks against Kherson, but they can replace them by mercenaries and troops from NATO (mainly Poland and Romania).

The retreat closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa. This could have and should have been done earlier. But the Russians did not commit sufficient forces for that fight. Now it is too late to criticize those decisions.

Soon the Ukrainian army will start to move troops prepared for an attack in Kherson to other front lines. Russia must likewise move its troops to reinforce its positions elsewhere.

Morale requires that the next Russian move has to be big push with strategic significance. The concept of deep battle and deep operations should be reapplied. Historically it has nearly always worked to Russia’s advantage.

But the big push does not need to be solely militarily. A further significant damage of Ukraine’s economy via its electricity network is one option. To severely interrupt its supply lines from the west is another one.

Ukrainian artillery continues to bombard the Zaporizhzhia power plant, encouraged by Western controlled IAEA and other agencies. One Chernobyl is obviously not enough and the West may hope that a melting reactor will make the annexed provinces Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk, and Donetsk unlivable while excluding and not harming regions west of the Dnieper river.

Effectiveness of Western “wonder weapons”:

HIMARS can be intercepted and significantly degraded by an enemy integrated AD system. The 38 HIMARS sent by the USA though have proven to be a “game-changer” for Ukraine, despite soothing assurances of analysts that they would not. The retreat from Kherson would not be happening were it not for the HIMARS destruction of the road and rail bridge infrastructure in the region with precision strikes. Similarly, the threat to the Nova Kakhovka dam which could have caused severe flooding was based on potential further strikes by HIMARS. The USA plans to “reorder” 700 HIMARS, with 100,000 rockets, which could cost up to 4 billion US$.

M777 155 mm howitzers are marginally effective. 62 of the 142 sent to Ukraine have been destroyed and many more damaged. There are persistent reports of system fragility and unreliability in battlefield conditions. The USA nevertheless plans to order 1,000 more from BAE Systems, at an estimated cost of 3.7 billion US$.

20,000 more Stinger anti-aircraft missiles will be bought from Raytheon in addition to the 2,800 Stingers which replaced the 1,400 sent to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been supplied with only two Harpoon anti-ship missile systems, but the USA will order 1,000 Boeing Harpoon missiles (at about 1.4 billion US$) and 800 newer Kongsberg Naval Strike Missiles (at about 1.8 billion).

AGM-88 HARM missiles are apparently easily intercepted and ineffective against an integrated AD system. The USA military doesn’t use this system anymore. A barrage of HARM missiles attacking Russia’s Belgorod region failed and all missiles were allegedly brought down.

The procurements mentioned above are not only meant to replenish Pentagon stockpiles, they are primarily a preparation for a future full-scale war with Russia.

Leaked documents reveal plans by a cell of UK military-intelligence figures to organize and train a covert Ukrainian partisan army with explicit instructions to attack Russian targets in Crimea.

The Biden administration was mistaken in its believe that the war would lead to a regime change in Russia, following a collapse of the Russian economy under the weight of Western sanctions. On the contrary, even the IMF admits that the Russian economy has stabilized and is expected to grow by next year.

The USA is worried about Ukraine fatigue in Europe and urges European allies to keep up funding for Zelensky.

60 percent of Ukrainian troops are now either mercenaries or soldiers from Poland and Romania who just changed uniforms.


40 percent of Ukraine’s energy supply has been damaged or knocked offline. In the event of total loss of all electricity, its water and sewage systems will also fail.

Ukraine’s capital city Kiev could lose all electricity, heat and water during the rapidly approaching winter and officials have drawn up plans to evacuate the city’s population, which stood at nearly 3 million before the war.

Poland, which has taken in 1.5 million Ukrainians since the outbreak of the war, just announced that as of January 2023 those seeking shelter in the country will be required to cover half of the cost of their accommodations, which are currently being funded by the government. In May 2023, they will be on the line for 75 percent of the total.

Several thousand Ukrainian refugees in Britain are now reportedly homeless. Currently, there are discussions in London about permanently halting “Homes for Ukraine,” as part of a massive austerity program the government of Rishi Sunak is preparing.

The USA has limited special visas for Ukrainian refugees to 100,000. Individuals must have a family member in the USA already who is willing to sponsor them and prove that they will pose no financial burden on the state.

Europes forced de-industrialization

The sanctions against Russian gas and oil have led to an explosion in energy prices. European industries including ferroalloys, fertilizer plants, and specialty chemicals are shutting down as a result. Zinc smelters have curbed production and some have shut down. Half of the primary aluminum production has stopped as well. 70 percent of fertilizer factories are idled because of the energy shortage and specialty chemicals plants pause operations. German conglomerate BASF said last month it would permanently downside in its home country and expand in China.

The big beneficiary (profiteer, racketeer) will be Uncle Sam, who hopes to lure many of Europes industrial jewels, oligarchs, and highly skilled people to the USA in an unprecedented industry drain, capital drain, and brain drain.

As every empire, the USA has no qualms about praying even on its dearest allies. If they are ready to slaughter, they will get slaughtered.

Thats how the world works in a competitive global community. 

About the environment

Climate scientists at COP17 warn that harmful carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels may rise 1 percent to an all-time high. Emissions declined in 2020 5.2 percent because of restrictions imposed during the COVID pandemic but the decline was quickly erased by a 5.6 percent increase in 2021.

All available scientific data show that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise 30 years after the first world climate conference in Rio de Janeiro. Between 1850 and 1960, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increased from 285 to 320 percent per million, and since then it has risen exponentially to 418 percent. 

Sky-high oil and gas prices forced many countries to burn coal and to put already adopted programs to phase-out coal on hold.

More than 600 delegates at the talks in Egypt are linked to fossil fuels. UN conferences have always attracted lobbyists for the coal, oil, and gas industries, who are keen to influence the shape of the debate, but their numbers grow from year to year.

A trending Twitter message: The world’s elite have arrived at on hundreds of private jets to lecture you about climate change.

James Melville tweeds:

#COP27 is a gigantic ego fest of hypocrites who strut around telling us plebs how to save the planet while they fly into Egypt on private jet for a virtue signaling jamboree sponsored by Coca-Cola who produce 120 billion plastic bottles a year – 99% made from fossil fuels.

Oxfam published a new study: Carbon Billionaires: The investment emissions of the world’s richest people.

The summary of the study says, that the wealthiest one percent in the world emit twice as much carbon dioxide as the bottom 50 percent. The study also found that counting the emission of companies owned by billionaires, one comes to the conclusion that each billionaire is responsible for emission of 3 million tons of CO2 every year. An average person is estimated to emit 2.7 tons of CO2 per year.

The environmental catastrophe is clearly visible. Although the earth has only warmed by 1.15 degrees since the end of the 19th century, extreme weather events such as droughts, heat waves, forest fires, torrential rains, floods, and storms are destroying the livelihoods of millions of people. The rise in sea levels as a result of the melting of glaciers and polar caps will lead to even greater disasters.

The floods in Pakistan, which killed 1,700 people this summer, injured more than 12,000, displaced at least 33 millions, and caused epidemics of malaria, dengue, and cholera, give an impression of the coming nightmares.

Climate change together with high fuel and fertilizer prices are causing high food import costs, threatening food security around the world. A UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization’s) report estimates that the global import bill for oil crops, sugar, meat, dairy, fish, and other food will rise to an all-time high of 1.94 trillion US$ in 2022, up 10 percent from last year.

3.4 million children in Pakistan are facing chronic hunger.


While nobody in the upper echelons of power seems to be worried about relentless increasing poisoning of air, water, and soil, about resource scarcity, about habitat destruction and mass extinction.

For how many centuries will this still be a livable planet? Will our beloved, wonderful Gaia lose its atmosphere, will it look like Mars?

About China

In China, agricultural land belongs to the state. Farmers have been given land-use rights but not ownership, and therefore cannot sell their land or use it for collateral.

In 2006 the Law on Specialized Farmer Cooperatives was passed by the National People’s Congress, coming into effect in July 2007. The law states that cooperatives are independent and autonomous organizations, should be democratically managed, and that their primary aim is to serve the interests of their members. Policies to encourage the establishment of cooperatives included providing financial support, making it easier for cooperatives to consolidate land holdings by transferring land use rights, providing low interest or interest free loans, and providing preferential tax policies. At the end of 2015 some 1.48 million cooperatives had been registered throughout the country.

China posts 6-month high in infections despite COVID strategy and industrial center Guangzhou battles a Covid-19 surge.

The world’s most populous country has pledged to stick to its strict zero-COVID policy, but several cities began cutting routine community COVID testing, days after China announced an easing of some coronavirus measures, sparking worry in communities about a new infection wave.

It doesn’t help that authorities still focus on transmission by droplets and fomites, ignoring aerosol transmission, which is by the overwhelming majority of scientists regarded as the main transmission way.

A tweed explains:

Basically anytime you see someone in full PPE spraying bleach on the ground in front of a crowd of people, waiting chest to back in surgical masks for PCR tests, you see a broken system which is not being guided by science — and that scene is everywhere all over China.

Chinese authorities still focus on spraying disinfectants instead of providing tight KN95 (or better) masks, “stay at home” and social distancing guidance, and improved ventilation.

Profits versus lives.

Global air travel has rebounded to 74 percent of pre-pandemic levels and the ­Asia-Pacific region records by far the biggest jump in passenger traffic amid easing border restrictions. Giving in to industry pressure, China eased international travel restrictions and quarantine rules as well.

A cruise ship with 800 COVID-19 cases docked in Sydney. Hong Kong is still stubbornly resisting a full relaxation of its Covid restrictions and has been virtually abandoned by international cruise lines. Hong Kong lawmakers have suggested to use empty cruise ships as quarantine facilities. 

Number one priority for China is still GDP growth, senior economic officials assert, and the leadership is pursuing “high-quality development” and “supply-side structural reform” over the next five years. Chinese economists look for a strategy to expanding domestic demand — in other words: more consumerism (the Chinese way, of course, but consumerism nonetheless).

Why do nations have to repeat the same grave mistakes which brought others to their knees, why have they to learn painfully from their own mistakes?

China recorded its highest temperatures and one of its lowest levels of rainfall in 61 years during a two-month summer heatwave that caused forest fires, damaged crops, and hit power supplies. Will the droughts and floods and heatwaves be a wakeup call? 

There are bright spots too:

According to current plans, authorities will implement the strictest farmland protection system, adhere to self-reliance in agricultural science and technology, consolidate the foundation for stabilizing and increasing grain production, and safeguard national food security.

There is also the promise to take a holistic and systematic approach to the conservation and improvement of mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, grasslands, and deserts, to carry out major projects for preserving and restoring key ecosystems, enact major biodiversity protection projects, and intensify pollution prevention and control.

A major study published recently found that each COVID-19 reinfection causes cumulative damage to patients and significantly increases their risk of death, hospitalization, and long COVID. This was evident in unvaccinated, vaccinated, or boosted people and even if one had prior infection and was vaccinated (meaning double immunity from prior infection plus vaccines) adverse outcomes upon reinfection were happening.

The pandemic has revealed which regimes care about the welfare of their people. It has exposed callousness and egoism of many ruling elites. One has only to compare the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths. The real numbers are probably higher because deaths have not been reported or not attributed to COVID-19 (watch the “excess deaths” numbers), but are accurate enough to give an understanding of the different approaches in countries around the world to national welfare and health care.

Deaths per 1 million people:

USA          3,286

Britain       2,855

Russia      2,683

Belarus     755

Ukraine    2,554

Poland     3,132

Romania  3,533

Bulgaria.  5,547

Czechia    3,887

Slovakia   3,789

Hungary   5,008

Latvia       3,287

France      2,406

Germany   1,857

Belgium    2,828

Spain.       2,469

Georgia     4,261

Iran           1,681

Cuba         754

Venezuela 199

Ethiopia      63

Eritrea         28

Nicaragua    33

China           4


This could be a grand lesson for the world about social responsibility, but Chinese authorities, still not grasping the danger of COVID-19 aerosol transmission, risk to botch the chance out of pure ignorance and stupidity.


I have to pause or even end the blog. I figured out and asked some essential questions, only to get the most depressing and saddening answers.

It’s enough for now! My best wishes to all loyal readers, have a good life and a good time!