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Posts Tagged ‘Kremlinologist’

Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine As “Frightening” Escalation Looms | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on April 3, 2021

NATO = US

Lavrov further issued an ominous warning: “Russian President Putin said (this) not long ago, but this statement is still relevant today, that those who would try to start a new war in Donbass – will destroy Ukraine.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/frightening-escalation-looms-russia-warns-nato-against-sending-any-troops-ukraine?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

The Kremlin’s latest statements out Friday amid the potential new Ukraine crisis which has seen a serious flare-up in fighting in the Donbass region, along with what appears to be far bigger-than-usual troop movements on Russia’s side of the border, has raised the stakes further. 

Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday according to Reuters.

It firmly warned against any potential looming NATO troop movements following Brussels voicing concern the day prior over the widespread reports and videos purporting to show a significant Russian build-up of forces along Ukraine’s eastern border. 

Archive image of NATO exercises in Europe, via Allied Joint Force Command Naples

Reuters reports Russia’s Friday statement and “warning” as follows:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.

“Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions. “We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the Russian troop movements across the border, calling the situation “muscle-flexing” likely to lead to “provocations” for which Ukraine’s army is “ready”…

Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises on the border with #Ukraine is an attempt to put pressure in the negotiations on ceasefire and peace as our value. We are always ready for provocations. 🇺🇦 army is not only strength and power, but also wisdom and balance. — Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 1, 2021

It was exactly a week ago that fighting in Donetsk grabbed international headlines once again when four Ukrainian national troops were killed, which Kiev promptly blamed on Russia-backed separatists. However, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed it wasn’t the result of a direct exchange of fire, but due to inspecting a minefield.

Ukraine’s parliament followed by announcing a sharp “escalation” in the east – a contested region which has seen 14,000 deaths going back to 2014, and the country’s military leadership put the armed forces on high alert.

Another video suggesting Russian #military buildup next to borders of #Ukraine. This was filmed in #Voronezh region, south #Russia, on 31 March:

pic.twitter.com/67ch728T5O — Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) April 1, 2021

This also as Russian troops and armor were spotted headed into the Crimea and Ukraine’s east border region, however, Moscow brushed off the concerns while saying it’s routine to transfer forces within one’s own borders and sovereign territory.

MORE RUSSIAN VEHICLES EN ROUTE TO UKRAINEpic.twitter.com/ivdr910y2v — The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) April 2, 2021

Days later on Wednesday the US European Command (EUCOM) issued a notification of a raised ‘threat level’ in Europe. The designation is currently officially raised to one of “potential imminent crisis” due to concerns over Eastern Ukraine. 

Meanwhile intense shelling on the ground in Donetsk has continued this week, with all signs pointing to further escalation and intensity in fighting…

#Ukraine: Russian-backed separatist of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have announced military conscription for citizens born 1994 – 2003. This comes at a time of drastically increased fighting on the frontlines in the Donbas. Not looking good. pic.twitter.com/pwn03I0Cc6 — Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) April 2, 2021

And on Thursday an unnamed EU diplomat was cited in Reuters as speculating the perceived build-up in Russian forces is ultimately about Russia’s posturing to gain leverage with the new Biden administration – which so far hasn’t had much of a big geopolitical challenge.

“Partly, it is the usual tactics, turning up and down the conflict to create instability, to show that Russia is a key player,” the EU diplomat said. “We cannot exclude that Biden’s presidency is part of the Russian calculus, that it’s time for Moscow to show a bit of muscle.”

Wow. Military build up ongoing in full force on #Russia#Ukraine border.

Video of Ukrainian tanks reportedly rolling today into the Luhansk & Donetsk region: pic.twitter.com/Nkh4yZMb3M — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 1, 2021

Day 3: #Russia Military build up continues near Ukraine border.

Video of military vehicles, tanks today reportedly from city of Karsnodar: pic.twitter.com/ItgkKyI1jo — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 2, 2021

But Russia has pointed out that in no way is it in its interest to see a ‘hot conflict’ in Donbass:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that most of Ukraine’s military appeared to understand the danger of a “hot conflict” in Donbass.

“I very much hope that they will not be ‘incited’ by politicians, who in turn will be ‘incited’ by the West, led by the United States,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov further issued an ominous warning: “Russian President Putin said (this) not long ago, but this statement is still relevant today, that those who would try to start a new war in Donbass – will destroy Ukraine.”

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A Wilderness of Lies – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on March 23, 2021

For example, no one living in Russia accepted what was told to them through state media as the truth. It could be true but was most likely false. The game was to figure out what the lies meant. Instead of poring over photos in the newspapers, citizens relied on their personal networks to provide a narrative that explained what they could see happening around them. There was public truth and private truth.

This is something Americans are learning. When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false. The framing of the story is always a self-serving fairy tale. You eliminate that and then try to figure out a new narrative from the facts that can be verified. Figuring out what is really happening has become a booming industry for independent commentators and analysts.

https://www.takimag.com/article/a-wilderness-of-lies/print

The Z Man

Way back in the before times, a regular feature of the media was the Kremlinologist, who would be brought in to explain something about the Soviet Union. Strictly speaking, Kremlinology and Sovietology were different things. The former focused on Russia and its role in the Soviet system. The latter focused on the Soviet Union as a whole, as if it was a single organism. The terms were often used interchangeably in the Cold War.

Further, the media version of the Kremlinologist was something like the court astrologer, in that they were tasked with using their secret knowledge to explain what was happening with the Russians. If Brezhnev was seen as distracted at a public ceremony, the Kremlinologist would be brought in to explain its meaning. The Kremlinologist became a carnival act toward the end of the Cold War.

Kremlinology and Sovietology were useful to statecraft, however, as the Soviet system was a black box. The West had its spies, but many of those spies were double agents used to feed the West false information. In the wilderness of mirrors that was the rivalry between East and West, the Kremlinologist was useful in helping to sort the facts from the deliberate fictions. They helped contextualize Kremlin behavior.

No doubt the roles are now reversed. The rest of the world is forced to develop experts at analyzing the American regime in order to understand what is going on in Washington and why it is happening. The administrations of Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama were like the Brezhnev period of the Soviet Union. The rhetoric changed from one administration to the next, but public policy, especially foreign policy, did not change. “When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false.”

Then we get Donald Trump. The logic of the American political class said that a populist firebrand could never win a primary, much less a general election. The system made sure of that after the Perot and Buchanan scares. Trump wins and official Washington has a nervous breakdown trying to expel him from the capital. Eventually they replaced Trump with a dementia patient and the empire no longer makes any sense.

The Soviet analogy is not a perfect one, of course. Trump was more like Khrushchev, a reformer who failed to reform the system and was pushed out by hardliners. Biden, on the other hand, is a good analog for Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, two men long past their prime, who were installed as placeholders. They did not last long and were eventually replaced with a younger man, which is what will happen with Biden.Read more

Historical analogies are not supposed to be perfect. They are simply a useful way to use the past to shed light on the present. As the American empire follows down a similar path as the Soviet empire, the comparisons between the two are helpful in understanding what is happening in Washington. Just like the Kremlinologist of yesteryear, we are left to guess about the internal workings of the ruling regime.

That is another aspect of Kremlinology useful for us today. Outside the system, academics in the West pored over publicly available information to explain to the public what was happening inside the Kremlin. American intelligence did the same thing but relied on data not available to the public. Inside the Soviet empire, however, people came to understand their rulers using similar techniques.

For example, no one living in Russia accepted what was told to them through state media as the truth. It could be true but was most likely false. The game was to figure out what the lies meant. Instead of poring over photos in the newspapers, citizens relied on their personal networks to provide a narrative that explained what they could see happening around them. There was public truth and private truth.

This is something Americans are learning. When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false. The framing of the story is always a self-serving fairy tale. You eliminate that and then try to figure out a new narrative from the facts that can be verified. Figuring out what is really happening has become a booming industry for independent commentators and analysts.

You see this with the Covid panic. The one thing everyone agrees upon is that the virus did not start from a bat market in rural China. That is the official explanation, but everyone knows it is a lie. Similarly, few people think the government measures have much to do with public health and safety. Some do, but they are mostly old people more afraid of the Grim Reaper than being lied to by their government. The result is we have lots of theories about what is “really happening” behind the Covid scare.

Similarly, the militarization of Washington is becoming another topic for regime experts to analyze. The bizarre reaction of the inner party to the very peaceful demonstrations in January makes no sense at face value. There must be another reason for why they are telling the citizens that they will shoot the next demonstrators who come into the city to petition their rulers for redress. The question is, what are they plotting next?

That is the problem with black-box government. When Brezhnev was in control of the party, people did not need to know what was going inside the Kremlin, because the Kremlin was predictable. It is why Russians who remember those days look back fondly on those times. It was a time relatively free of politics. They woke up every day knowing the rules were going to be the same as they were yesterday. When the black box became unstable, no one could be sure of anything.

This is the state of the American regime. No one knows what is really going behind the razor wire and Army troops patrolling it. We are left to analyze video of Biden falling down the stairs of Air Force One and reading the body language of his handlers. Amateur linguists try to tease meaning out of his incoherent mutterings on Zoom sessions. The other geriatrics running the party are scrutinized by regime analysts, looking for clues to contextualize their behavior.

Like the Soviet empire, the American empire is now a confusing black box. It does things and makes noises, but none of it can be accepted on its face, so the world is left to guess. As citizens, we are forced to rely on private networks and create our own narratives to explain what we are seeing. There is the public truth and then millions of private truths. This is the result of black-box government. It is a wilderness of lies.

Be seeing you

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