I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but it appears that Putin’s allies/proxies in Serbia have decided to de-NAZIfy Kosovo.
Sitting Member of Serbia’s Parliament and Serbian President’s party on Kosovo using language found in Russian propaganda
“Everything seems to me that Serbia will be forced to begin the denazification of the Balkans. I'd like to be wrong.” https://t.co/tVT2NIbjMk
— Alex Plitsas 🇺🇸 (@alexplitsas) July 31, 2022
Much more after the jump:
KFOR needs to communicate to the public whatever is going on and what it is doing to help calm things down.
In situations like this rumours tend to become a self-fulfilling prophecy very quickly.
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) July 31, 2022
#Kosovo: unconfirmed footage of gunfire near the border.
Telegram source claims the gunfire is recorded at the 'Brnyak' checkpoint, 5 km from the Serbian border. pic.twitter.com/t53v9b60mM
— Thomas van Linge (@ThomasVLinge) July 31, 2022
Deutsche Welle has some of the details of what has led to the most recent dust up:
Kosovo Police say they shut the Bernjak and Jarinje border crossings due to roadblocks by Serb protesters. The NATO-led KFOR mission described the situation as tense and was prepared to intervene.
Kosovo postponed the implementation of new border rules after police had to close two border crossings with Serbia on Sunday due to rising tensions.
The police said they were forced to shut the Bernjak and Jarinje border crossings after demonstrators shot at authorities and blocked roads.
The protesters were angry about a new rule that would have forced all people entering Kosovo with Serbian IDs from Monday to replace them with a temporary document during their stay in the country. A similar rule is applied by Belgrade authorities to Kosovars who visit Serbia.
The government also said ethnic Serbs who have registration plates issued by Serbia would have to change them for Kosovo license plates within two months.
Following tensions on Sunday evening and consultations with EU and US ambassadors, Pristina said it would delay its plan for one month, and start implementation on September 1.
EU foreign policy chief, Joseph Borell, welcomed the decision and urged demonstrators to remove all roadblocks immediately.
Some 50,000 ethnic Serbs living in the country’s north use license plates and documents issued by Serbian authorities.
They do not recognize Kosovo’s right to impose rules and regulations.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he situation in Kosovo had never been “more complex” for Serbia and ethnic Serbs.
“The atmosphere has been brought to a boil,” Vucic said, warning that “Serbia will win” if Serbs are attacked.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused Vucic of igniting “unrest”.
“The following hours, days and weeks can be challenging and problematic,” Kurti said on Facebook.
The new border rules comes almost a year after Kurti gave up imposing similar rules due to similar protests.
Ethnic Serbs staged daily protests and blocked the traffic at the two border crossings.
Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and tensions between the two are now at their highest in years.
On Sunday NATO said it was ready to intervene if “stability is jeopardized”
The alliance maintains peace with 3,770 troops on the ground in Kosovo.
Here is NATO’s KFOR complement:
This much coincidence takes a lot of planning. I expect it is an attempt to divert NATO’s attention from Ukraine by giving it something else to focus on: protecting Kosovo.
Speaking of Putin’s proxies and allies, we now have reporting confirming the suspicions that Putin is responsible for the recent instability in Italian politics:
in that moment Draghi's govt coalition problems were manifest. Salvini announced he was ready for a Moscow trip (tickets anticipated by 🇷🇺embassy). The phone call is part of close relations with Putin (including Lega's MPs 'observers' in Crimea's 2014 annexation referendum).
— francesco strazzari (@franxstrax) July 28, 2022
meanhile LaRepubblica reports that there’d a Russian (Wagner ) hand behind the soar in boat migrants leaving Libya’s Cyrenaica coast for Italy, the aim being pressure on Rome and helping xenophobic parties during the electoral campaign. Harder to provehttps://t.co/sJkmTt07TP
— francesco strazzari (@franxstrax) July 29, 2022
As I wrote last night, since sometime between 2011 and 2014 Putin’s strategy has been to penetrate and infiltrate to influence and manipulate as many political parties, political movements, social movements, and religions movements in the US, the EU, the NATO member states, and a number of other states as possible.
Here is President Zelenskyy’s address from earlier this evening. Video below followed by English transcript (emphasis mine):
Today, one of the most brutal shellings of Mykolaiv and the region over the entire period of the full-scale war took place. Dozens of missiles and rockets… The occupiers hit residential buildings, schools, other social infrastructure, and industrial facilities.
The Russian attack took the lives of Oleksiy Vadaturskyi and his wife Raisa, the founder of one of the largest Ukrainian agricultural companies “Nibulon”, the Hero of Ukraine. My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the Vadaturskyi couple.
It is exactly such people, such companies, our Ukrainian south that have guaranteed the world’s food security. It has always been so. And it will be so again. The Russian terrorists should not even hope that they will be able to destroy the social and industrial potential of Ukraine and walk through the ruins.
Ukraine and our people, our capabilities are definitely more powerful than any Russian missiles and shells.
Now the Russian army is trying to strengthen its positions in the occupied areas of the south of our country, increasing activity in the relevant areas. Part of the Russian forces from their positions in the east are moved to the south – to the Kherson region and the Zaporizhzhia region… But this will not help them there.
None of the Russian strikes goes unanswered by our military and intelligence officers. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready to respond to any new activity of the occupiers.
And today I want to thank every resident of Mykolaiv for their indomitability, for protecting the city and the region. I also thank Nikopol, Kharkiv, Kryvyi Rih and the entire Dnipropetrovsk region, the strong people of Zaporizhzhia and the region, all Ukrainians of the Kherson region, everyone who defends the outskirts of Odesa and the region… Thank you for your courage!
Strategically, Russia has no chance of winning this war. And it is necessary to hold on, so that even at the tactical levels, the terrorist state feels its defeat. We have to hold on in the south, in the east and everywhere. We have to hold on in defense, diplomacy and politics. To preserve our unity – and not only until the victory, but also after it, in order to qualitatively restore everything destroyed by the occupiers. I believe that we will do all this.
I signed several important laws today, in particular the law on providing additional guarantees of protection to media representatives working in the areas of hostilities. This will strengthen the protection of our journalists.
The law on ensuring the rights and freedoms of IDPs is eliminating bureaucratic barriers that limited assistance to people.
The law on the protection of the civilian population in the event of emergency situations and hostilities.
Also, the law that creates conditions for comprehensive thermal modernization of buildings and simplifies the process of restoring the residential sector damaged by the strikes of the occupiers.
Important ratification laws, some other acts as well.
We are preparing for a new week – as always, full of international activity. Already tomorrow there will be important negotiations with European partners. In a few days I will continue delivering speeches to the international community, communicating with different audiences – it is very important, in particular with the student audience.
No matter what happens and no matter what the occupiers’ plans are, we must do our job – protect our state and take care of each other.
The more effective we are in this – all of us, all citizens of Ukraine – the faster we will achieve victory.
Thank you to everyone who fights for Ukraine!
Glory to Ukraine!
This is the person that President Zelenskyy is referring to:
Zelensky’s adviser Podilyak says that Russia appears to have deliberately targeted Vadatursky. A Russian missile hit his bedroom and killed him and his wife (BBC).
— Anders Åslund (@anders_aslund) July 31, 2022
Here is today’s operational update from Ukraine’s MOD:
The operational update regarding the russian invasion on 06.00, on July 31, 2022
Glory to Ukraine! The one hundred fifty eights (158) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military invasion continues.
The combat, numerical composition and nature of the actions of the enemy group remain unchanged. russian occupiers have not stopped air and missile strikes on civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine.
The situation has not changed on the Volyn and Polissya directions. In order to constrain the actions of the Defense Forces, the deadlines for conducting measures to check the combat readiness of the Armed Forces of the republic of belarus have been extended again. This time until the sixth of August this year.
In the Siversky direction, the enemy continues to hold separate units of the armed forces of the russian federation in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions. Conducts aerial reconnaissance of the BpLA.
The infrastructure objects of the settlements of Zaliznyi Mist of Chernihiv and Zhuravka of Sumy oblasts were fired from barrel artillery.
In the Slobozhansky direction, the enemy is conducting combat operations along the state border of Ukraine, carrying out systematic shelling of the positions of our troops along the entire line of contact with the aim of holding the occupied lines and preventing the advance of units of the Defense Forces.
In the Kharkiv direction, the enemy fired artillery, rocket artillery and tanks in the areas of Kharkiv, Slatyne, Pytomnyk, Cherkaski Tyshky, Fedorivka, Petrivka, Rubizhne, Mospanove, Peremoha, Asiivka, Husarivka and Chepil settlements.
Conducted aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs in the areas of Prudyanka, Duvanka and Shapovalivka. Made an air strike near Stary Saltiv.
In the direction of Nova Husarivka – Husarivka, the enemy forces of the reconnaissance group tried to clarify the location of the positions of our troops, but were unsuccessful, the group withdrew.
In the Slovyansk direction, the enemy launched artillery fire near Andriivka, Dolyna, Krasnopill, Mazanivka, and Adamivka. It led an assault near Dmytrivka, was unsuccessful, withdrew.
Enemy unsuccessfully tried to use a sabotage and reconnaissance group near Dolyna, suffered losses and withdrew.
In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is trying to improve the tactical position in the Bakhmut and Avdiiv directions. Conducts assault operations with the support of assault and army aviation. Trying to determine the defense system of our units.
In the Siversky direction, he fired artillery near Sloviansk, Siversk, Vyimka, Spirne and Serebryanka. It carried out airstrikes in the vicinity of Spirne and Hryhorivka.
In the direction of Bakhmut, it conducted artillery shelling in the areas of Perevizne, Fedorivka, Yakovlivka, Pokrovske, Vesela Dolyna, Semihirya, Kostyantynivka and Zalizne settlements. Airstrikes near Pokrovsky and Bakhmut.
The occupiers tried to improve their tactical position in the direction of Roty – Vershyna and Pokrovske – Bakhmut by assaulting them, and retreated with losses.
An attempt to reconnoitre the positions of the front edge in the direction of Streapivka – Soledar was unsuccessful, the enemy’s reconnaissance group was detected and neutralized. Air reconnaissance by enemy UAVs near Pavlohrad, Kramatorsk and Ozerne was recorded.
In the Avdiivka direction, the occupiers shelled the districts of Novokalynove, Tonenke, Opytne, Vodyany, Pisky, and Nevelske. The enemy carried out airstrikes near Avdiyivka and Novoselivka. It led assaults in the direction of Vesele – Pisky and Lozivske – Pisky, was unsuccessful, withdrew. The enemy used unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance in the Pokrovsk and Avdiyivka area.
On the Novopavlivske direction, shelling was carried out in the areas of settlements of Novomykhailivka, Pavlivka, Shevchenko, Zolota Nyva, Vremivka and Novopilla. Air strikes were recorded near Stepove and Mali Shcherbaky.
The enemy did not conduct active operations in the Zaporozhzhia direction. Shelled Charivne, Orikhiv and Kamianske districts. Conducted aerial reconnaissance of the UAVs near Orikhiv and Novoyakovlivka.
In the South Buh direction, the enemy is concentrating its efforts on holding the occupied lines and preventing the offensive of the units of the Defense Forces in the Kryvyy Rih direction. Continues to carry out fire influence and air strikes to constrain the actions of our units. Takes measures to replenish losses and strengthen troops.
Fired from barrel artillery and rocket salvo systems in the areas of the settlements of Osokorivka, Ivanivka, Tokarevo, Novovorontsovka, Bila Krynytsia, Andriivka, Vesely Kut, Partyzanske, Shevchenko, Blahodatne, Ukrainka, Prybuzke and Dniprovske. Conducted aerial reconnaissance of our positions.
Two sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons.
We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Together to victory!
Glory to Ukraine!
Here is today’s assessment from Britain’s MOD:
They did not post an updated map today.
Here is former NAVDEVGRU Squadron Leader Chuck Pfarrer’s latest analysis and updated map regarding the battle for Kherson:
KHERSON AXIS / 1130 UTC 31 JUN/ Overnight, RU forces carried out a sustained artillery barrage against the civilian areas of Mykolaiv. Among the dead are UKR industrialist Oleksiy Vadatursky and his wife Raisa. They owned Nibulon, a major agricultural firm based in the city. pic.twitter.com/eDCIcftZK5
— Chuck Pfarrer (@ChuckPfarrer) July 31, 2022
Ukraine has also officially denied that it attacked the Russian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol:
Ukraine denies claimed drone attack on Russia's Black Sea Fleet HQ in occupied Crimea
TASS claimed that a Ukrainian UAV hit the HQ today injuring 5, Odesa Oblast spox calls it a "blatant false flag attack." https://t.co/QGVKnQf1Uc https://t.co/UX0HsGduBS pic.twitter.com/EL3e9lWng2
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) July 31, 2022
Politico EU has reporting on how Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is using his diplomatic mission to advance Russian information warfare objectives:
Just as Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, was about to land in Africa on Sunday, he published an op-ed blaming the West for the looming global food crisis that put millions on the Continent on the brink of starvation. Scores of local media outlets swiftly picked it up. Thousands of people shared it on Facebook.
Over the same time period, Josep Borrell — the European Union’s chief diplomat in charge of pushing back against his Russian counterpart — was a virtual ghost online, based on data from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Meta. He garnered just one mention on Facebook about Africa compared with Lavrov’s tidal wave of coverage.
The latest lopsided showdown between Lavrov and Borrell for the hearts and minds of people across Africa highlights what many within EU political circles have known for years, but few are willing to acknowledge publicly.
In the fast-evolving disinformation battle between Russia and the 27-country bloc, Europe remains outmatched, outgunned and under-resourced to combat the Kremlin’s sophisticated playbook, which has combined the country’s state-backed media, scores of diplomats spread around the world and, on occasion, covert tools to peddle mistruths and outright lies to promote Moscow’s political ambitions to the four corners of the globe.
Those tactics have come into their own ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February — and especially since Moscow started misleadingly blaming Western sanctions for keeping the world’s grain supply locked up in Ukraine. For Lavrov, the blame lay at Europe’s door, and in his op-ed aimed at an African audience, he reminded everyone of “the bloody crimes of colonialism.”
With Russia’s bullhorn tactics, it’s a strategy that can scale quickly as Russia’s wily foreign minister traipses across four African countries this week — tactics the EU can’t easily combat. Despite widespread sanctions against the country’s state media like RT and Sputnik within the EU, Russian outlets continue to reach tens of millions of people globally with an overtly pro-Russian message. In response, the 27-country bloc has failed to counteract this full-court press of falsehoods, often relying on staid press releases, bland photo ops and a small number of officials in charge of debunking Russian disinformation.
“Russia’s ability to promote its disinformation has gone unchecked in many parts of the world,” said Bret Schafer, head of the Alliance for Securing Democracy’s information manipulation team that tracks state-backed disinformation. “Its audience [in Europe] may have dwindled since the war began. But that does not mean it’s not finding an audience elsewhere.”
While Russia’s message is everywhere in the four countries Lavrov is visiting this week, it’s not clear it’s actually breaking through. Unlike during the Cold War, when many of the Continent’s governments turned to Moscow for aid, many of the region’s countries now look at China, not Russia, for deep pockets and development assistance.
“Using the evil colonialist narrative is not new as the Kremlin has been using it for years as part of a wider strategy to increase its footprint in Africa,” said Amanda Paul, a senior policy analyst at the European Policy Centre. “Yet it has had limited success. Ultimately, Russia has very little to offer African countries other than arms, security and energy — many deals remain on paper alone.”
The ability for Russia to push its disinformation globally while the EU mostly watches from the sidelines is not what Brussels had hoped for when it clamped down on Kremlin-backed media in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
For years before Moscow’s attack on its Western neighbor, European countries had been divided over how hard to push back against Russian disinformation, with several governments in places like Hungary and Italy at times overtly favorable to Vladimir Putin’s regime, according to four EU officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal EU conversations. Yet after Kyiv came under attack, the West — including European governments that once pushed back at efforts to call out Moscow’s disinformation — united behind an anti-Moscow stance.
“We are living in a whole new era,” said one of those officials, who highlighted how EU member countries now spoke with one voice about their opposition to Russia, compared with previous infighting between those who wanted to clamp down on Russian state media and those who did not see the likes of RT or Sputnik as peddlers of mistruths. The EU has also recently worked with the United States and the United Kingdom to debunk Kremlin falsehoods, including that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a neo-Nazi, before they could garner traction across the West.
Much, much more at the link.
That’s enough for tonight.
Your daily Patron!
In a war between Patron and PayPal, I’m bettin on Patron:
We already have the boat, so it's not an attempt at fraud, no. But we wanted to know why, @PayPal replied “To protect the integrity of PayPal, we cannot disclose the specific criteria we sometimes use to restrict access to accounts.” So the reason is the secret? @AskPayPal
— Patron (@PatronDsns) July 31, 2022
I’m in the arms of a deputy VS I’m in the arms of a person in uniform. I like guys in uniform. The girls will support me now 😀 pic.twitter.com/NgyCLZEaYx
— Patron (@PatronDsns) July 31, 2022
Finally, a new video from Patron’s official TikTok:
Сильно я змінився? #песпатрон #патрондснс #славаукраїні
The caption translates as:
Have I changed a lot? #pespatron #patrondsns #slavaukraine
Alison Rose 💙🌻💛
Some days, I’m not sure whether I loathe Putin or Lavrov more. I would like to send both of them to the moon. Hell, maybe they think the moon is also part of russia. They can go reclaim it.
The photos of Patron are adorable. I want to snuggle him.
Thank you as always, Adam.
My impression with both the gas cutoffs and the Serbia business is that Russia is getting desperate and trying to pressure the EU/NATO with increasingly flimsy tools. Serbia is not remotely a match for NATO, and the gas cutoffs are just validating the EU’s move away from Russian fuels. When Russia is willing to cut gas supplies like this relying on them just isn’t an option anymore.
I am struck by the fact that Adam has been describing Russian disinformation here for years. His posts have always been fact-filled and persuasive. Nothing that is happening now surprises me. I guess this is a case of “none are so blind who will not see.”
I remember a few months ago, when other European capitals were filled with demonstrations of support for Ukraine, Serbia’s was filled with demonstrations of support for (and massive flags of) Russia. Made a few people wonder why the EU was even bothering to nudge Serbia on a path to eventual membership.
The commander of KFOR is Hungarian. This worries me.
West of the Rockies
I wish the little shit-goblin Putin would die, badly, slowly, soon.
@Alison Rose 💙🌻💛:
Peskov is up there too, some days.
Their constant lying is deeply offensive to me. (Am old school, that way.) I don’t much care that the believe some of their lies; irrelevant; they should know better.
@Bill Arnold: None of them believe any of their lies: it’s why they keep so much of their money invested in the West. If they believed their statements about Russian greatness, they’d invest at home.
Do you have reason to be suspicious about where the KFOR commander is getting his orders, or are you just worrying on principle?
@Amir Khalid: I can’t speak for Kelly, but I would worry that he comes from the command structure of a country that went for Orban (and hence, Putin) by a 16-point margin (53-37). It doesn’t make me feel confident that Hungarians are on our side, frankly.
@Amir Khalid: Yes, is the Hungarian commander loyal to the KFOR mission or is he loyal to fascist Victor Orban? Does he share Orban’s affinity to Russia?
Mike in NC
Serbia: fucking up Europe since 1914
I would have to know he was actually executing Orban’s orders, rather than NATO’s, to believe I had grounds to worry. And I imagine the NATO hierarchy would have its own issue with such a commander.
Re Europe being caught flatfooted with this latest Russian disinfo campaign: The EU has been distracted over the last many years with a few countries threatening to leave, and the UK actually doing so. We know Brexit was another Russian campaign.
ETA: Serbia was a country of war criminals during the war with Kosovo. I know very little about what’s going on there these days, but it’s possible they’ve followed the Russian model of having their organized crime cartels become the government.
@Amir Khalid: Orban’s Hungary has been giving me a sense of unease for a couple years so that colors my thinking.
Huh, interesting. That La Repubblica article quoted by Francesco Strazzari is paywalled, but the teaser paragraph claims that the Cyrenaica coast of Lybia is currently under Wagner Group control. Possibly this is a well-known fact among international security professionals, but I had no idea.
As to Salvini, no surprises there. He was a mini-Trump all along. Italy actually dodged a major bullet–he was in fact Prime Minister (technically “President of the council of ministers of the Republic”, Italians will never settle for a pithy phrase or title when a grandiloquent one is at hand) until October 2019, and got booted right before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fates that inflicted the first advance ravages of the disease on Italy at least spared that nation–by a few months–the kind of cognitively-challenged, scientifically illiterate, xenophobic, totally politicized shitshow of a pandemic response that the US had to endure.
Putin can exist without Lavrov.
Lavrov cannot exist without Putin.
It is pretty easy to figure out who is the more malignant force in the world.
Today’s UEFA Women’s Euro final was refereed by a Ukrainian (actually 2 when you count her sideline assistant), what an all-time classic match.
@Amir Khalid: You know that Charles Flynn, Mike [traitor] Flynn’s brother, is a high-ranking Army officer, yes? And he was involved in the command decisions on the day of the Epiphany Coup? There have been a lot of questions raised about his performance on that day, but y’know, bureaucracies close ranks and the evidence gets destroyed.
This is why the standard should be “not even the appearance of conflict of interest, of misplaced loyalty”. Because at that level, all the evidence is buried.
@Amir Khalid: You can look him up: https://jfcnaples.nato.int/kfor/about-us/whos-who-at-kfor/com-kfor
His career arc, much of it spent in HU’s military, including:
isn’t reassuring. But whatevs. I’m wary of Hungary, full stop. 16 points lean toward Putin. 16 points.
Adam L Silverman
@Chetan Murthy: @Kelly: @Amir Khalid: The Supreme Allied Commander Europe is an American four star. If he didn’t trust the KFOR Commanding General, then the KFOR commanding general would be someone else.
Alison Rose 💙🌻💛
@Kent: I know…but Lavrov is just such a despicable mendacious asshole. I mean, yes, so is Putin. All of them are.
Gin & Tonic
The missile strike on Vadaturskyj’s home was a targeted murder, using military weapons.
A song for Patron from the wayback days… song link Gang of Four for the win.
I just had a chilling realization. What we are seeing today with Putin and Russia isir is what we would have seen from Hitler and Germany had the Internet existed in 1937.
@Adam L Silverman: A good point. I’ll focus my worrying on western wildfires. High elevation smoke colored the sunlight around here today.
Adam L Silverman
@Gin & Tonic: Assassination by cruise missile.
On Kajari, I would go slow until more is known about him. There is a great deal of military professionalism within NATO that creates a culture with certain expectations of officers, many of which are alliance-bound. KFOR is a multinational force that answers to the North Atlantic Council. Its commander doesn’t have a great deal of discretion to be an Orban “Mini-Me”.
This is not to say that he might not be a weak man, and poorly-chosen. But that doesn’t seem to happen very often in NATO senior commands. So perhaps it may be worth extending him the benefit of the doubt until decisions made in a crisis show what he’s made of.
Libya seems really, really complicated.
Atalayar (from June):
One really needs a program to figure out what side Türkiye is on, especially when russia is involved. But I have little doubt that VVP is messing with Italy’s government at least in part to retaliate for actions in Libya.
ForeignPolicy – Libya Could Be Putin’s Trump Card (from July 8).
I caught a snippet of Putin’s Navy Day speech on BBC, where he talked about how Russia will have a navy that can operate anywhere in the world. Basically, claiming that Russia is going to have an equivalent to the US Navy. It put me in mind of the statement from the new head of Russia’s space agency that Russia will pull out of the ISS in 2024 and “launch its own space station soon afterward.”
Both of these are things that are never going to happen. I know it’s all propaganda, bluster to deny the sanctions are having any effect, but it still seems bizarre to me. At least they did build a space station in the Soviet era (they’ve never had the kind of navy P described), but they wouldn’t have been able to build the Russian modules for the ISS without American support and money. I don’t understand what purpose it serves to bluster about things that you don’t remotely have the capability to do.
The Thin Black Duke
@Redshift: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
Putin has been known to write cheques his military can’t cash.
Adam L Silverman
@Redshift: @The Thin Black Duke: @Amir Khalid: His one aircraft carrier caught fire in dry dock. And set the dry dock on fire. And then they both fell over.
Mike in NC
@Redshift: Our cruise ship passed the Russian Baltic Fleet’s base at Kronshtadt in 2014, where most of the ships were rusting away at their moorings.
@Another Scott: In Italy, Putin’s work is the fruit of long-term investments, not short-term opportunism driven by events in the headlines. It just happened that the comic opera of Italian domestic politics produced this particular crisis now, without reference to any outside stimulus.
The Five Star Movement, which triggered the crisis, is a “political party” with the philosophical coherence that you might imagine achieving if you convened Ralph Nader, Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang, Kirsten Sinema, Ross Perot, and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to write a political manifesto. They were part of Draghi’s coalition, but they chafe at the displacement of performance politics by the process politics of an annoying technocrat like Draghi. It was just matter of time before something like this happened.
the Russians have pushed out the withdrawal from the ISS to 2028.
@Adam L Silverman:
so, if I’ve got this right, the Serbs are violently protesting, ( for the second time), Kosovo “imposing” the same border crossing requirements on the Serbs, that the Serbs have imposed on Kosovaars for years?
@Jay: Wilhoit’s Law, maaaan.
@Adam L Silverman: I know! And from what I understand, neither the Soviets nor Russia have ever had a navy like that, and they have far less ability to build one now than the Soviets did. I guess if you’re building castles in the air, you just have to keep laying it on thick or the whole thing collapses.
And they still haven’t given any official notification of it, just public blustering.
Adam L Silverman
@Jay: Pretty much. This is either going to be nothing or it’s going to be a problem or, at least, the Serbs will try to make it a problem.
@The Thin Black Duke: Are you me?
West of the Rockies
A story over at DKOS that a Russisn troop snd arms train 40 cars long was destroyed. If so, destroy would vague estimate as to thd financial hit that would be on Russia? My absolutely beyond amateur guess would be between a million or 50. Hopefully in terms of military strength it was a good gut punch.
@Adam L Silverman:
or the Kosovaar’s get fed up and make it a real “problem”,
– visa requirements, in advance
– background checks
– intrusive searches
– proof of insurance that’s valid in Kosovo
– restrictions on personal imports, exports, etc.
@Jay: You know they won’t. B/c they depend on KFOR for their safety, and they aren’t going to jeopardize that.
Mike in NC
The great Russian Navy was a basket case at Tsushima in 1905 and basically nothing has changed since then.
@Amir Khalid: Sorta looking that way…
@Mike in NC: Their Baltic Fleet’s journey to the Far East was the stuff of legends though.
West of the Rockies
@West of the Rockies:
Sorry for the misspellings in the comment above. I was in a moving car (passenger obviously) without glasses.
@Fair Economist: Putin is attempting to cause economic hardship in the EU to enable the reactionary right wing, who tend to benefit when there is economic hardship.
Just saying thanks again to Adam. Don’t know where I’d look if not for these posts.
anyone else feel like Putin keeps trying to push the envelope in hoping that we’ll eventually cave and allow him to keep on doing what has been successful. It’s like the bully that keeps teasing you, how often do they win and how often does the teased fight back?
I know that we don’t want to allow him to manipulate us, but is there still a middle path that we can continue to follow that they will eventually exhaust themselves? It seems like there’s always and endless supplies of puppeteers with their cash and an abundance of henchmen.
Putin’s war with a country helped by NATO is going so well that he wants to fight them directly? I know nothing about the Hungarian general in the NATO command structure, but I imagine that many of its leaders would love to take the gloves off and fight directly. Unleash the F-35s.
@Citizen Alan: It feels a lot like 1937, except the Russian army would get their asses handed to them in Poland. The nuclear threat is very real though.
@West of the Rockies:
It really depends on what the train was carrying.
If it was 40 cars full of ammo the orcs are really fucked. If it was 40 T-62 tanks, they are less fucked.
@Adam L Silverman: Technically isn’t it an Aviation Cruiser, which makes it street legal for getting through the Bosphorus. Assuming it even floats at this point.
Holy shit, I know that guy. He was in Army ROTC at Georgetown in 2006 when I was trying it out. (Didn’t stick with ROTC, but he was one of the better guys in it, as I recall).
@Adam L Silverman:
And then sank into the swamp…