John Quigley Ukraine

I led talks on Donbas and Crimea in the 90s. Here’s How the War Should End.

After the USSR’s breakup, the OSCE knew that the large number of Russian speakers in Ukraine would become an issue.
A Soviet monument to friendship between Ukraine and Russia during its demolition amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in central Kyiv, Ukraine. April 26, 2022 (Editorial credit: home for heroes / Shutterstock.com)

By John Quigley / Responsible Statecraft

As the war in Ukraine continues to take thousands of lives, distressingly little attention is being devoted to bringing it to an end. 

Negotiations are stalled, and other governments are not pushing for a resumption. At some point, however, hopefully sooner than later, there will be a negotiated settlement that will need to deal with the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. The Donbas was the focus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree he issued three days before invading recognizing the claimed separate status of the region’s two provinces.

A Russian exit could come sooner if Moscow can find a way to claim success in promoting the status of the Russian speaking population of the Donbas. The situation of the Russian speaking population in the eastern reaches of Ukraine first drew international attention in 1994, not in the Donbas, but in Crimea, a peninsula jutting out into the Black Sea. 

The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, which shortly thereafter was re-named Organization on Security and Co-operation in Europe, understood that the existence of clusters of Russian speakers in newly independent states on Russia’s periphery was a recipe for conflict. The situation was reminiscent of how the stranding of populations of German speakers after the World War I collapse of the German and Austrian empires helped bring about World War II. These Russians were the object of resentment as adherents of a formerly unwelcome ruler just as the Germans had been. The Conference began quiet efforts in preventive diplomacy, to convince the newly independent states to treat their Russian populations fairly.

Crimea was a particular focus of the Conference’s attention. The Conference asked three of its member states — Germany, Italy, and the United States — each to appoint an “expert on constitutional matters” to “facilitate the dialogue between the Central Government and Crimean authorities concerning the autonomous status of the Republic of Crimea within Ukraine.” I was appointed by the U.S. State Department.

The dilemma, as I shuttled back and forth between Kyiv and Simferopol, the Crimean capital, was that Crimea fell under Ukrainian sovereignty, but its population was majority Russian and saw no reason to be part of Ukraine. From the nineteenth century, Crimea was Russian, until 1954, when Soviet Communist Party Chair Nikita Khrushchev, for reasons that still have historians scratching their heads, decided to switch Crimea from the Soviet Russian republic to the Soviet Ukrainian republic.

Even after 1954, Crimea was effectively governed more from Moscow than from Kyiv. When the Soviet Union was dissolved, Crimea’s population suddenly found itself a minority in a foreign country. Ukraine accepted a need for a certain degree of self-rule, but Crimea declared independence as what it called the Crimean Republic. Over Ukraine’s objection, an election for president was called in the declared Crimean Republic, and a candidate was elected on a platform of merger with Russia. At the time, however, the Russian government was not prepared to back the Crimeans.

In meetings with Crimean authorities, I was confronted with claims for independence based on self-determination. I tried to find a way for the Ukrainian government to give enough autonomy that the Crimeans would stop demanding separation.

After a series of meetings with Ukrainian and Crimean officials, I devised a plan for full-throated autonomy for Crimea, as a treaty that could have been concluded between Ukraine and Crimea. To protect Crimea from infringement, I included international oversight to be exercised by the CSCE. My treaty went nowhere, however. The CSCE High Commissioner for Minorities, a seasoned Dutch diplomat named Max van der Stoel, told me that the Ukrainian government would not abide international oversight. He may have been correct, but the CSCE was not prepared to pressure the Ukraine government on the matter. Ukraine cracked down on the Crimean Republic, and the conflict remained unresolved. Tension simmered until 2014, by which time Russia was prepared to act to take Crimea back. Crimea was then formally merged into the Russian Federation.

A similar ethnic dynamic developed in the Donbas. There the sentiment on the part of the Russian speaking population was less for separation from Ukraine than for autonomy. In 2014, agreement between Russia and Ukraine was brokered by Germany, France, and the United States, whereby Ukraine would formalize autonomy for the Donbas. Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky came into office saying he would follow through on this pledge.

Now, if Ukraine does anything even close to implementing the Minsk agreement, Russia could say that the aim of its invasion has been accomplished. Any potential deal could be sweetened for Russia if Ukraine were to show flexibility on the status of Crimea. Russia would likely find some relief if then the West backed off pressuring it to return Crimea to Ukraine. President Zelensky has already floated the possibility that the two sides could arrange a process of discussion about Crimea, a process that he said could last 15 years.

For Ukraine, political reality comes into play. Ukraine is unlikely to get Crimea back, no matter how Russia’s war plays out. Ukrainians do not have the attachment that Russians have towards Crimea. A Crimea under Russia may be better for long-term stability.

As for the Donbas, it would not be difficult for Ukraine to offer more autonomy than it has to date. The Russian military assault seems to have pushed many Russian speakers in the Donbas to embrace Ukraine. They may be less demanding on autonomy than before. A renewed Ukrainian commitment on autonomy could be framed by the Russian government as a victory.

The Biden administration has shown little interest in knocking heads together to bring an end to the war. It has framed the conflict in apocalyptic terms as a battle between democracy and authoritarianism. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s claim that the West is viewing the conflict as a proxy war against Russia cannot be lightly dismissed. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has set a long-term aim of weakening Russia. It’s reasonable to question whether the U.S. goal is less to force Russia out of Ukraine than to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that the Biden administration keeps a close eye on efforts to promote a negotiated end to the war, but the United States has definitely taken a back seat.

The situation may be ripe for a re-kindling of negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, which obviously has an incentive, given the devastation that is being wrought upon it each day. And any fly that happens to be on the wall inside the Kremlin may well be hearing Russia’s top brass tell President Putin that the war is not worth the candle.

John Quigley

John Quigley was CSCE expert on Crimea 1994-95. A specialist in international law, he is Professor Emeritus at the Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University.

58 comments

  1. The war in Ukraine is a cash cow for the MIC – why stop now?
    And the US has absolutely no interest in making any “concessions” to Russia, nor in allowing Ukraine to …
    I gotta give this guy credit for trying …

    1. ye forget to mention that Putin has shown zero interest in a negotiated peace…
      or, do correct me… list the ‘concessions’ Putin has offered… can’t name a single one? i thought so….

      1. The Minsk Agreements, which the US/Ukrainian government refused to implement. The two agreements proposed by Russia to the US/Ukrainian government and NATO in December, 2021. It is the US which has flatly refused to negotiate in good faith. It should also be mentioned that the US has absolutely NO vital interest in Ukraine or anywhere in that region. In contrast, the US aggression against Russia in the region is an existential threat to Russia. Those who hear only the torrent of US propaganda (lies) will not know these things. Nor will they know much of anything relevant to the issues.

      2. This comment is just factually wrong. Putin has asked the US to negotiate. Zelensky won’t/can’t because of the zealots who have promised to kill him if he gives Donbass what they want (no more brutal killings for one). It is interesting that a person like you would have so little understanding of the situation, yet you are here on a website that does tell things how they are.

      3. @Sean Murrie
        arvo just repeats CIA talking points on this issue. He’s one of the trolls on this website, just criticizing and arguing with the authors and commenters here.

  2. “Now, if Ukraine does anything even close to implementing the Minsk agreement, Russia could say that the aim of its invasion has been accomplished.”

    I’m sure the author is much more experienced than I am, and I agree that it is a travesty that nobody seems to be trying to find a negotiated end to this brutal conflict, but surely the Minsk Accord ship has sailed.

    Zelensky was elected on a platform of making peace with Russia, and the Minsk framework was there. Neither the other signatories to the Minsk Accords, nor NATO, nor the USA, did anything to encourage or support Zelensky in this goal. Quite the opposite, they stood by while the Ukrainians bombarded the Donbass for years, killing thousands. And here we are. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance Putin would be satisfied with Minsk 3.

    1. in the later years, starting already before Zelensky was elected,, the civil war in donbas had devolved into a low level artillery duel the locals called ‘badminton’ which went back and forth and resulted in 2 or 3 civilians killed per month… i am quoting osce figures here which super-shill jacques baud used in his ‘article’ which was published her, [its many inaccuracies nonwithstanding]… he did not dispute these figures…
      so do spare us the common russian propaganda trope of the bad ukraine recklessly and one-sidedly shelling the separatist areas, killing thousands,.. it is an obvious lie ….
      ye know. anyopne can look up the OSCE figures, so why the lies?

  3. I don’t know why Quigley or any historian is baffled by Khrushchev gifting Crimea to Ukraine. He did it because he was born of Ukrainian parents; he also worked in Ukraine and always had close ties there. However, Crimea is Russian since 1783 and always will belong to the Federation. The US is making a huge mistake sending weapons (and now I understand suicide drones) to Ukraine, but the MIC/Weapons makers are in hog heaven at this windfall and will keep it going as long as possible. Joe Biden is for war now as he was when with Obama and Clinton and Nuland when they pulled off the illegal coup in 2014, taking out democratically elected Viktor Yanukovich. The Clintons have been looking forward to this day since the 90s. People must realize that Russia is not our enemy since the cold war and we don’t need another cold war with them nor with China. Russia is a made-up enemy, mainly sold to Americans by the Clintons.

    1. yeah, Rob, the russsians are a totally made-up enemy, the Ukrainians are bombing their own villages and hospitals, shelling their own schools and shopping centers, they have fallen prey to the clinton’ propaganda and can’t see the truth which is so clear to ye…
      my favorite rob roy remark remains “Putin never lies’ [yes, he did say that, poor man….]

  4. Good conclusion to article.
    The war in the Ukraine is not of any value to Russia or anyone else for that matter,particularly the Ukrainians.lt can be stopped in a instant on reasonable terms.But it wont be if Washington has anything to do with it.
    They can use the Ukrainians as sacrificial lambs without cost to themselves,whilst fuelling their ever expanding profitable War Idustry whilst still pursing their Grand Plan..A touch of Satanic evil here.
    This is about weakening Russia in another episode of the USA march towards World domination.These Washington puppet masters now bring the word to the edge of destruction for their grand vision.
    Who can stop this madness?

    1. let me help ye….Putin can stop this madness… [duh!] but do enlighten me what ‘reasonable terms’ Putin has offered… none come to mind just right now? i thought so…. he won’t even meet with Zelensky….. wake up, this is a war of conquest, nothing else….

      1. Have you read the December, 2021 agreements which Russia proposed to the US/Ukrainian government and NATO? Those agreements contained perfectly reasonable terms for resolution of all issues. The same with the Minsk agreements. It is the US which has refused to negotiate in good faith. The US wanted this proxy war. The US got its proxy war. It could end the conflict today if it would accept the reasonable terms already offered multiple times by Russia. It is false that Russia has refused to negotiate in good faith. Russia has for the last eight years done everything possible to resolve the issues diplomatically. In contrast, the US does not practice diplomacy. It practices thuggery – follow US orders or we will destroy you. The US “diplomatic corps” is a very bad joke.

  5. 11.05.2022

    It is NOT “Russia’s war.” (Paragraph 12). It is a war of aggression of the USA/NATO towards Russia. That is absolutely clear, now being openly stated by the idiots who run the USA state department ~~including that horror Victoria Nuland, who helped create this catastrophe in 2014.

    1. oh stop shilling….. Russia INVADED,, but it is Nato war? very orwellian. war is peace, truth is lie, Ann is prophet
      die ye blame Iraq for the war , too? i mean, they did ‘provoke’ the US, right?
      and right now, look at the war-mongering Finnish and Swedish folks, ‘provoking’ Putin again, with their aggressive plans to chnage their security alliances [my, what came over them?] so basically they started the war Putin is now forced to wage against them, right?

  6. It is really useful to be able to read a sensible report on the underlying reasons for the Donbas and Crimea problem’s origins. Having said that, no one can turn their backs upon the destruction imposed upon an otherwise peaceful human populations, from Russian long range artillery and missiles; particularly as Ukraine is not doing the same to anyone in Russia on the other side of their border.

    1. @
      Chris Coles FRSA
      “[O]therwise peaceful human populations”? Nazis were the key force in the violent 2014 coup, and Ukraine, using more Nazis, attacked the Donbas after the coup killing thousands of people and instigating a civil war that lasted until the Russian invasion. If that’s what you call “peaceful,” I’d hate to see what you call violent.

      1. The point I was making is very simple, and applies even if you are correct in your description of earlier events, as I can only comment on the reports we are watching now; which is, it makes no sense to attack the ordinary people, none of whom had anything to do with what you describe. If the present massive attacks against the Ukrainian general population are a repeat of the activities of the people you describe as nazis; then all Russia has achieved is the exact same very angry reaction to their attacks as you are clearly expressing about the earlier actions within the Donbas region. You cannot win hearts and minds by doing exactly the same thing back. A VERY good example being that now whole nations of others on the border with Russia are now voting to join NATO. Try it, try making friends within your own local community by throwing bricks through their windows. All you get is bricks back, which is what is happening now; except that doing the same in return is a classic no win solution to the underlying problems.

        The only way to achieve a working solution was to sit down and talk to people; which dare I suggest history will tell us; is EXACTLY what Putin’s Generals had told Putin before he gave the orders to attack. No one ever wins a debate by throwing bricks through the other parties windows; the sensible solution to the original Donbas problem was for Russia to describe it in fine detail and talk to Ukraine. Once he started out to do his best to destroy ordinary peoples homes; he lost the argument. Now he is losing the war he started too. The greatest weapon humanity possesses will always be the spoken word. Even better with a friendly voice to underpin it. Throwing bricks never works, on either side of any such debate.

      2. @Chris Coles FRSA
        You seem to be honest and actually want peace here. But it seems clear to me that you are getting your information from U.S. propaganda. Expert military analysts Scott Ritter and retired Colonel Douglas McGregor have said that Russian instructions for the war were to avoid attacking civilians as much as possible and avoid destroying infrastructure as much as possible. This is in stark contrast to what the U.S. does, which is to indiscriminately bomb the hell out of everything. U.S. propaganda tries to make it look like Russia does what the U.S. does, which is totally false.

        To be clear, I’m not at all denying that civilians are getting killed & wounded in the war; of course they are. In industrial war, more civilians get killed and injured than military people. But not only is what you’re seeing not out of the ordinary, it’s actually much less than what happens when the U.S. attacks a country.

      3. @ Jeff: yeah and in Jeff’s otherworld, Russia did absolutely NOTHING to start the civil war in donbass, though they had threatened to do so years earlier… [cui bono? well, since Nato does not admit states which have unsolved military conflicts Russia just had to start one to torpedo Ukraine’s Nato aspirations…]
        the tired old ‘Ukraine is full of Nazis’ , one of Jeff’s favorite shill-themes, has been thoroughly debunked, there are more Nazis [percentage-wise] in russia, Germany, USA, etc…. but Jeff has learned well from the israelis: BLAME THE VICTIMS!!!
        Jeff, yer relentless defense of this stupid senseless war as something which russia just had to do, while calling yerself a ‘peace activist’ is so ridiculous, ye really think folks won’t see yer true intentions? will ye now support a russian war on Finland, i mean them just ‘provoked’ putin, right? and there are Nazis in Finland, too!!! poor putin just can’t catch a break, the bloodthirsty belligerent Swedes are after him too!!! oh and ye call yerself an ‘environmentalist’, ?… and putin’s war is really good for the environment, right? [as someone who has lived off-grid for over twenty years, i can spot a fake like ye from miles away….]
        during Zelensky’s term, civilian casualties in the donbass civil war were two or three per month max. on the separatist’s side, some compelling reason indeed to intervene and kill TENS OF THOUSANDS of Ukrainians,, at least in jeff’s world of ‘anti-war’, except………..[ insert propaganda trope of the day]

  7. We are being fed a constant flow of triumphant press releases from Zelensky Comedy Central, and the Pentagon and arms suppliers want to keep this going as long as they can.

    Russia should have seen Desert Storm and created a modern, integrated command structure that could have operated flexibly. The failure to do so is an indictment of Putin’s incompetent criminality.

    But let’s not dismiss the utility of brute force.

    Russia can keep producing sufficient weapons and has a much larger population to draw from. Russia is physically unharmed and is recovering its economic balance.

    As more and more Ukrainians pour into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and other places, the strain will start to tell.

    At some point, these people are going to have to either go home, or compete for jobs in the west. Good luck with that: being white only goes so far, especially as these economies start to reel from sanctions blowback and American pressure to rearrange their energy infrastructure

    Germany heading for recession as Putin’s war hits factory production
    Ukraine conflict has far bigger impact on manufacturing sector than expected in March, even before an EU push to ban on Russian energy.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/05/06/germany-heading-recession-putins-war-hits-factory-production/

    Ukraine will end up a ruined wasteland, bombed-out cities and fallow farmland. It will be landlocked and constantly under threat of more military action, even after the war officially ends, if ever.

    Many Ukrainians will start to wonder if this was all worth it.

    1. right, baba, the Ukrainians should have rolled over and let themselves rule bu brutal occupiers, i mean that’s what ye would do? would ye?

  8. A very sensible and sober article.
    Author seems an independent thinker and does not excuse Putin

    Thankyou

    1. @ Dyfan: yeah, i wa amazed, too.. here on ‘shillpost’ most posters seem to be driven by the overwhelming urge to blame the Ukrainians for being such belligerent, uncooperative victims!!!

      1. @Arvo It is clear by all the comments you have made that you do not want to understand any of the nuances or complexity. I presume you may actually a plant, trying to change an open discussion into “your world” Goodies and baddies. Time to grow up buddy, and learn about the world. There is just so much evidence that you have ignored, to use your narrative of Putin bad. No one is saying Russia can do no wrong, but you are just too simplistic, and clearly have no grasp on what is unfolding. I think you belong more on Washington Post comments page!

      2. avro would be a good replacement for Jen Psaki. Just take the transcript of the daily lies told by the Empire Of Lies, read it as solemn truth and scorn anyone who challenges it, no matter how obviously false it is. I wish I could live in such a simple world, without concern about facts, morals or law, i.e. as a thoughtless shill for the Hegemon. Well, no, come to think of it, I certainly do not want to live that way.

      3. @Jim Thomas
        Yeah, I thought that this guy was CIA until he made a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel comment. He still might be, maybe doing something like that is one of their new tricks.

  9. Ukraine is a US vassal being used as cannon fodder for the US proxy war against Russia. It is not a question of the US “knocking heads together” in an effort to bring about the end of the war. The US is the de facto Ukrainian government. Zelensky is the US puppet head, now masquerading as the “courageous leader”. The US just approved yet another $40 Billion expenditure for weapons for Ukraine and does in fact plan, as you put it, to fight Russia “to the death of the last Ukrainian”. Anyone who bothers to glance at the history of the US wars of aggression conducted just since 9/11 can readily see that the US is utterly indifferent about the death and destruction caused by them. Entire countries are left in complete ruin, tens of millions of refuges created, by this giant wrecking ball known as US foreign policy. The US does not practice diplomacy. Its entire foreign policy consists of only one “rule”: Follow US Orders Or Be Destroyed. Anyone counting on the US to voluntarily “do the right thing” will be severely disappointed.

    1. strange orwellian phenomenon here,.. to the Ukrainians this situation actually presents itself as ” Follow RUSSIA’S Orders or be destroyed… to the untrained eye, this destruction seems to have started already… did ye notice? Mariupol ring a bell? Bucha, mebbe?
      and the thought of putin ‘doing the right thing’ seems so remote ye don’t even mention it, simply unfathomable, right?

      1. Are you going to reply to every post with the same tired remarks? Maybe you could at least vary them a little?

        The article above covers most of your replies anyway.

      2. @Bruce_H
        Maybe this “person” is taking their cues from CIA talking points. In that case, all they can do is repeat the same BS.

  10. Mr Quigley,
    Thank you for this article. What you have written is so clear, concise and reasonable it has not a chance in the wind of becoming a very reasonable reality. Sadly this war is a Neo-liberal arms-fest. As with the 17 trillion dollar expansion of NATO there simply too much money to be made demonizing Russia and forcing the Ukrainian people bleed to death for American “aims”. It is heartbreaking to hear the kind of epic nonsense of from Secretary Austin being said out loud but that is the world we now live in. Antonio Gramsci said “I am a pessimist by my reason but an optimist by my will” words I have tried to hold in my heart but it gets harder and harder to do that in these times with our current “leaders”

    1. Vincent: and with the minerals and other resources the Donbass holds, and the millions of tons of grain one can ‘requisition’, there is simply too much money to be made demonizing Ukraine and forcing the Russian soldiers to bleed to death for putin’s “aims”.
      [for some strange reason, ye forgot to mention this….]

  11. There are several crucial facts about Putin’s colonial war of conquest against Ukraine that Quigley’s parroting of Russian ‘liberation’ propaganda lines above ignores.

    The initial Russian attempt to conquer Kiev, as well as the current assault on Odessa, the marine blockade in south-western Ukrainian Black Sea access, and the Russian bombing in Moldova all indicate a much larger and far wider goal than the ‘liberation’ of the two eastern provinces.

    In addition, the fact that the conquest of Crimea and the Russian militarization of the ethnic tensions in the Eastern Ukrainian provinces in 2014 followed the democratic ouster of the Russian figurehead Yanukovych which, in the least, render the attempt to hing a proposal for the cessation of Russian militarized hostility on the resolution of a territorial dispute simplistic, deflective and likely demagogic, and is at least indicative that nothing but the complete subjugation of Ukraine would satiate Putin’s thirst (and likely dire survival need) for incontrovertible victory.

    Furthermore, unlike Crimea, which Ukrainian population is 35%, in both Donetsk and Luhansk the Ukrainian population is a small majority (about 3%-5% more Ukrainians than Russian in both provinces). The fact that the text above doesn’t even mention the complexities inherent in the subjugation of the Ukrainian population to Russian aggression as an issue is in itself telling of the text’s Russian bias. In the context of a supposed ‘progressive’ publication, however, it is nothing short of horrifying.

    Every single one of Putin’s actions in Russia since assuming the presidency was against democracy. In the Munich security conference in 2007 he declared war on the west and since then escalated the conflict further – from cyber attack on Estonia, through the invasion and annexation of Georgian provinces, the conquest of Crimea, the precipitation of a violent and bloody ‘civil war’ in the eastern provinces and the full scale colonial war on Ukraine.

    If there is a proxy war in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, it is Putin’s anti-democratic proxy war against democracy, the EU, NATO, the US and the west on the bodies of thousands of Ukrainian civilians. History would judge him, as well as his western fifth columns from right and left, harshly.

    1. The anti-democracy war began with the US’s coup against the democratically elected Ukrainian government in 2014. That is what the US calls “spreading democracy”. It appears that the majority of the American public is ignorant and foolish enough to buy that nonsense, or, what is more likely, are so brainwashed as to have forgotten entirely the eight year history of the reign of terror against the dissenting Ukrainian citizens who refused to recognize the illegitimate US/Ukrainian government installed by the US.

      1. err, reality check, JIM…. [i know, not yer thang] since the events of 2014, TIME HAS PASSED!!!! and during this time several ELECTIONS have happened in Ukraine, deemed free and fair by all international observers, and given the chance to vote for a pivot to russia, or an alignment with the EU, the overwhelming majority voted for the latter [and even in the russian- speaking areas, a majority. [Zelensky, incidentally,, is a russian-speaking ukrainian himself]] so just stop yer lying and disinforming it does not work… all ye get is yer fellow shills fervently agreeing…

    2. To Democracy astray:
      Now there’s a person whose read up on the case. Thankyou.
      I have met several young Ukrainian “Nazis” in Stockholm recently and less nazi people would be harder to find.
      The Fascist in the drama is right there in broad daylight at the end of a ridiculous table humiliating his underlings if his arse is not licked with sufficient dexterity. He is of course the victim humiliated by neighbours who don’t love getting their heads kicked in and have the audacity to seek help. Remember the Finns in the Winter War. I’ve met several veterans and war invalids in my practice – less fscist people would be equally harder to find.

      1. @simple simmel: sez the guy whose intellectual abilities seemingly do not include a ‘rebuttal’ in which ye point out the fallacy of the ze argument, of ze other side and present yer own. i know, ye no have argument of yer own. only can do ‘ad hominem’, [do look it up. ye know of ‘google’?]

    3. Democracy, i salute another inhabitant of the non-orwellian space-time continuum where a spade IS a spade, and an imperial war of conquest is also, just an imperial war of conquest…
      now i will sit back and watch ann, rob roy, jeff et al attack ye, armed with a paucity of facts but a wealth of propaganda lies… but thanks for a refreshing breath of factual , logical argumentation….
      no shill ever mentions the millions of Ukrainians who were forced to flee the Donbass area after the russian-instigated civil war… nobody talks about the many millions of russian -speaking Ukrainians fiercely loyal to their country, fighting the russian aggression…
      just why is there such a shortage of welcome committees for russian forces? gee, i wonder…..

  12. A “side issue,” I suppose, but why do we never refer to the US invasions of foreign countries as “invasions?”

    1. To DHFabian,

      Because the US lie machine has “taught us” that everything the US does is good. Any country which fails to follow US orders is “bad”, therefore our enemy; a corollary is that everything our enemies do which is not approved by the US is “bad”. That is our entire foreign policy. Speaking of US foreign policy, perhaps this is a good time to mention that, by promulgating its “Rules-Based International Order”, the US has explicitly rejected international law. The fancy name used by the US for its foreign policy really consists of only one “rule”: Follow US Orders Or The US Will Destroy You. The US is a rogue state. It does not follow the rule, neither international law or US law. It is now engaged in the process of completing the destruction of our civil liberties guaranteed by our constitution, having begun that process with the draconian laws passed after the 9/11 attacks. So we now have our own Ministry of Truth, a governmental agency within DHS which will presumably tell us what we can and cannot say and what we can or cannot do to protest the ongoing crimes against the people.

      1. poor Jim…. let me help: PUTIN TO UKRAINE: FOLLOW MY ORDERS OR I WILL DESTROY YOU’ which alternate reality do ye come from?

      2. The one in which I have witnessed a half century of US wars of aggression, none of which had any legitimate basis. The US is far and away the most destructive force the world has ever known. It leaves entire countries in ruin for no legitimate purpose whatsoever. Ukraine is its latest victim, this time a proxy being used in the US war against Russia. That is the real world in which I live. Unfortunately, many (the majority, it appears, fall for the lies told by the US each and every time it peddles its latest war. Gore Vidal was right to call the US the United States of Amnesia. Currently, the majority in this Country appear to have incurred amnesia which has erased their memories of the entire period beginning with the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine (Feb., 2014) until the commencement of Russia’s special operation (Feb. 24, 2022). During those eight years, the illegitimate US/Ukrainian government murdered approximately 14,000 Ukrainian citizens in the Donbass. Does that refresh your memory or has that been permanently been erased by this latest wave of US amnesia?

    2. DH, speak for yerself…. i had no problem condemning the US invasion of Iraq, and i did not blame the victim for ‘provoking’ it….
      but , another side issue, the Iraquis run their country now [yes, i know , lots of meddling from iran etc,] and they own their oil. so while it was an invasion, it was NOT a war of conquest. which, sadly, means nothing to the Iraquis who died in it…

      1. It was intended as a war of conquest. The plan was the usual US plan – install a puppet government which follows US orders. Chalabi was the (ill chosen) man selected by the US for the job. It failed due to resistance by the Iraqis who saw through the fraud. Present interference by Iran? Are you kidding? The US did a great favor to Iran by destroying its arch enemy, Iraq. Now Iraq and Iran enjoy favorable relations. My only complaint with Iran is that, as far as I know, it never thanked the US for the great favor we did for it.

      2. Iran’s arch enemy is Israel. The Israelis regularly attack everyone in its area, plus even further afield. Sheer arrogance since the US will back it no matter what it does. Iran never attacks anyone. So whom should we support? The one with a couple hundred nuclear bombs or the one with none?

      3. To Rob Roy.
        I made my comment to refute the US created myth that the US had a good motive for its invasion of Iraq. Its motive was to turn Iraq into a client state, expropriate its oil and prevent it from undermining the US petrodollar system which required the oil exporters sell their oil for dollars. Saddam Hussein, like Qaddafi, had begun to violate that US “rule”. I strongly object to the totally bogus US aggression toward Iran. You are right to say that Iran has attacked no one and is not the aggressor in the region or anywhere else. Israel and the US are the aggressors in the region and in the world. I strongly object to the US support provided by the US to Israel, a racist and criminal state which deserves no support whatsoever. I think you did not understand my position on these matters. By the way, I understand that Israel has far more than 200 nuclear weapons. Of course, it dishonestly refuses to acknowledge that it has any nukes. It should be mentioned that US aid to Israel violates both US and international law, both of which prohibit aid to countries which violate human rights under international law. Israel’s ongoing gross violations of the human rights of Palestinians, together with its attacks on its neighbors makes it one of the world’s grossest violators of international law. Lastly, it would be appropriate to point out that Iran has consistently advocated a solution to the nuclear weapon issue in the Middle East (a problem which the US has hypocritically and falsely accused Iran of creating when in fact the gross violator is Israel), which is to establish a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East, together with an inspection and enforcement mechanism. Guess which countries oppose that proposal? Of course, the answer is Israel (with the full force of the US).

      4. Jim Thomas,
        Yes, I knew what you meant and always agree with your comments. We are pretty much on the same page. Rob

  13. Does Big Brother permit us to go off topic these days within his nonstop coverage of war with Eurasia? I couldn’t get past the oxymoronic name for the publication from which this latest spin was spun. Responsible statecraft? Now would that count as newspeak or doublethink? My mind goes back to Augustine, no stranger to noble lies himself in the City of God, who at least seemed to have had a moment of honesty when he said states are no more than robber bands enlarged. Proudhon’s words update the extent to which this organized crime goes to hold onto the loot:

    To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

    1. No! That is corrupt government. What we are living within is a period of almost absolute corruption within government; that has been very visible for perhaps the last 35 years. Again, perhaps best described as a new form of feudalism; corporate feudalism.

      1. @Chris Coles FRSA
        Much longer than 35 years. Allowance of private campaign contributions is corruption.

        All civilized societies are corrupt. This issue is how much and what type of corruption, not whether they’re corrupt.

    2. right, Niko, and yet, there are degrees to the pains of being governed. i meself would rather be tyrannized by, let’s say, the Swedish government than the russian one. cause i tend to call a ‘war’ just that, a ‘WAR’, and some government give ye this freedom…

  14. Russia has merely terminated the amerikan war in ukraine by liberating 1/3 of the territory and taunting amerikan fascists to continue to waste billions$ on the ukie nazis. coupled with the strong rouble and hugely increased export revenues, sanctions have helped Russia. Today at least 10 EU nations pay for Russian commodities in roubles. 100,000 Russian troops vs 600,000 disorganized nazis and demoralized conscripts are retreating and surrendering weekly. Expect ukieland to be a disaster for several years —when the US empire crumbles in the next few years so will Ukraine capitulate

  15. @simplesimmel: gottta hand it to ye, i stand in awe of someone who can link a bunch of random, non=fact-based statements and link them together in a way that makes no sense whatsoever!!!

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