No Minister

Don’t call us. We’ll call you.

with 3 comments

Biden will get [the Western Alliances] working again”.

“President” Biden’s two hour press conference last week, designed to show that he had a handle on things, was a train wreck that showed just the opposite, a man who doesn’t know what’s going on in any aspect.

Just one of his brain farts involved talking about Russia and Ukraine in this manner:

 It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do. 

As a result the following has happened:

A lot of this is just huffing and puffing, given that Germany has chosen to tie itself even more strongly to Russia via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, that Biden chose to lift Trump’s sanctions on that and allow it to happen, that NATO is a paper tiger, and the EU even more so.

On the Nord Stream issue is this interesting tidbit:

“Matthias Warnig is, in various ways, an exceptional person. The 65-year-old is the oldest German friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the most active German in Russian business circles. He is a former Stasi agent who became a banker in the 1990s. Since then, he has sat on the supervisory boards of numerous German-Russian banks and companies. He is currently the CEO of Nord Stream 2.

From Stasi agent to corporate CEO. Sounds about right for today’s world.

However, there’s huffing and puffing on the Russian side as well, where Putin continues to do what he has done for years now; play a weak hand very well. Russia’s economy is smaller than that of Italy, South Korea and Canada, and the last thing Putin wants is spending on a war with Ukraine. Even a short, cheap war would still leave Russia on the hook for supporting Ukraine afterwards.

As such I don’t think Russia will invade Ukraine but instead wage a small Cold War against the Ukrainian government (as he has been) until he gets what he wants, which is a guarantee that they won’t join NATO and will be more amenable to Russian demands in general. I wouldn’t put it past Putin to try to have the current Ukraine government replaced. Thus there will be ongoing cyber attacks, economic pressure, diplomatic pressure, implied threats, support for Russia-friendly opposition groups, and possibly minor military clashes on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Biden is irrelevant, though his staff won’t be.

MINOR UPDATE

Regular commentator Andrei has pointed out the spelling of “Kyiv” vs “Kiev”, which I had wondered about but not researched before writing the article. Some explanation here:

Ukraine names its places using translations from Cyrillic into Latin and then into the Ukrainian language. “Kyiv” is a Latin version of the city’s name, translated into Ukrainian. The spelling, “Kiev,” on the other hand, is a romanization of the Russian name for the city. It became very common internationally in the 20th century.

That’s a sore spot for Ukrainians because it recalls the days when the Russian Empire, and, later, the Soviet State, banned the use of the Ukrainian language. It was an attempt to strengthen Russian influence in Ukraine, and Ukrainians have never really gotten over it.

So more of the argy-bargy between Russia and Ukraine. However, as the article points out:

There’s a solid argument for the conventional spelling. “Kiev” is what’s known as an exonym—an external name for a geographic place. For example, in English, we use “Germany” to refer to what the Germans call Deutschland, whereas, the French use the word “Allemagne.”

Loath as I am to help Mr Putin, in this case I’m sticking with Kiev rather than use a spelling that will have most readers wondering where we are talking about, so have updated the post.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 25, 2022 at 10:24 am

3 Responses

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  1. Interesting times. I don’t think there will be a major invasion, but probably a “small” incursion. The war a number of years back was to take over various energy fields, but they didn’t complete their aims. Biden will do f-all in response – has probably already said that Putin can go ahead.

    Lucia Maria

    January 25, 2022 at 1:39 pm

  2. “The Russkies are coming, the Ruskies are coming… “

    It should actually be “Rooskie” but Anglo Saxons are illiterates when it comes Slavic culture thus we now see “KIEV” transliterated to “KYIV” which is like calling New Zealand “AOTEOROA”.

    On the chessboard Ukraine, in itself a Bolshevik construction, becomes less relevant with the commissioning of Nord Stream 2

    NATO of course got their butts whipped by tribesmen from the Hindu Kush band after 20 years of trying ended up leaving Afghanistan with their tails between their legs and now they want to take on the Russian and the Chinese perhaps simultaneously?

    From the Teutonic Knights to the Nazi Germans the Latins who are now Post Christian have been having a go at Святая Русь (Holy Rus) and it has always ended in the same way

    Andrei

    January 25, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    • … thus we now see “KIEV” transliterated to “KYIV” which is like calling New Zealand “AOTEOROA”.

      I had wondered about that, having used the former when writing up this post and then noticing the latter spelling being used, so changed my post.

      Will change it back in that case because, as you say, it’s always been “Kiev” to me.

      Tom Hunter

      January 25, 2022 at 6:08 pm


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