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Other casualties of the Russian attack on Ukraine February 25, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

If anything were calculated to push people in under NATO’s umbrella – Nordic states, that have been hesitant to do so, most immediately, this will do so.

Opendemocracy notes the dynamic in this piece here from someone on the ground in Russia (thanks to KT).

Thanks to Putin’s policy, more and more countries want to join the bloc, and Russia’s position is deteriorating. The outcome of the coming war is likely to include Sweden’s entry into NATO, and public opinion in Finland has also changed. During Putin’s rule, Russia has offered nothing to European countries to make NATO membership unattractive for them. On the contrary, thanks to the real danger of aggression from Russia, NATO again makes sense as a security option and its strengthening has begun to look like a basic development option for Europeans. Under Putin, the NATO bloc has become stronger than ever.

And the threat from NATO is overstated. To put it mildly.

At the same time, Russian generals who have the courage to speak out honestly admit that NATO poses no immediate threat to Russia. NATO is a possible adversary, but an attack by NATO is not a first- or even second-order challenge. Russia, my country, faces greater threats. We will likely lose energy export revenues as a result of the global energy transition. Our attractiveness as a centre of culture, a scientific power and a zone of human development is diminishing. We are losing any semblance of cultural and ideological hegemony. We are likely to fall into heavy dependence on China. The conquest of Russia by NATO, by contrast, is the personal fear of Putin, who is afraid to share the fate of Colonel Gaddafi. He is afraid that he will not be able to crush any uprising at any cost. Russia’s interests are contrary to Putin’s interests. And so he acts in his own interests, strengthening NATO and pushing it closer to Russia’s borders – creating a noose around Russia’s neck that it is going to be very difficult to escape.

There are many tragedies in this, that Russia is held hostage to a single individual and his interests is one such.

But the sheer counterproductive nature of this belligerence is difficult to understand. At a stroke Putin has burned through all sorts of credit to what purpose? Economic and political capital is gone. He’s plunged the state he is in charge of into an entirely avoidable situation. And strategically he has handed a huge win  to his supposed adversaries.

Fred Kaplan expands on this on Slate.com here:

Earlier on Thursday, as the country’s stock market tanked for the second day in a row, Putin held a televised meeting with Russian big businessmen. Alexander Shokhin, the group’s leader, told Putin. “Everything should be done to demonstrate as much as possible that Russia remains part of the global economy and will not provoke…global negative phenomena on world markets.” He seemed nervous while making the statement—a strong, if implicit critique of Putin’s policies—but the fact that he said this at all should raise eyebrows.

In the long run, Putin’s adventure in Ukraine may prove a gigantic blunder. Even now, it has thrown an enormous wrench in Putin’s broad foreign-policy strategy, which, for the past decade, has been to intensify fissures within the EU and to drive wedges between Washington and its NATO allies. Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has patched those fissures, elevated America’s leadership role, and unified the alliance more solidly than at any time since the end of the Cold War.

He notes that that could fritter away. But I wonder. A ‘demilitarised’ and occupied Ukraine sitting in the heart of Europe? That’s a difficult one to ignore. And others will take note.

All this is on Putin.

And to take a hyper-local angle, although that seems borderline insensitive given what is happening, it is far from implausible that this will give an enormous fillip to those on this island arguing for a push some away from neutrality. Indeed already there are calls to do so this morning in the media.


1. Alibaba - February 25, 2022

Indeed, ‘… it is far from implausible that this will give an enormous fillip to those on this island arguing for a push some away from neutrality’. 

Insofar as Ukraine confronts imperialism we side with them. Insofar as it was seeking as a sovereign nation to join NATO we should oppose this and make clear why membership will do them (and others) no favours whatsoever. Even if that argument isn’t won and given imperialist Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we take sides and defend Ukraine.

What we are witnessing about the Ukraine-Russia conflict is thinking too much about the economic impact of its effects on our standards of living and feeling too little about the miseries that have been and will be inflicted on the Ukrainian masses in this war.


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2022

Agree completely, but particularly with the stuff about economic impacts on our standards of living. That’s definitely the wrong perspective.

It’s difficult not to think of say people who need to go to hospital for treatments, or have school appointments, or job interviews, ceremonies or just day to day living, or can’t get about, or are in care homes, and all of that has been completely disrupted, cancelled, worse in Ukraien. Even above and beyond the lethal consequences and the injuries to some there it’s that complete annihilation of normality. And for what?


2. Other casualties of the Russian attack on Ukraine | Tomás Ó Flatharta - February 25, 2022

[…] Other casualties of the Russian attack on Ukraine […]


3. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

One immediate casualty, often forgotten, are the poor who depend on Russian and Ukrainian grain to eat.

Both countries are large exporters into the middle East and Africa. Prices go up, people go hungry and some die.

In the case of Afghanistan this is on top of the sanctions imposed by the US and their NATO allies in a fit of pique after loosing one of their forever wars. These are starving hundreds of thousands of Afghans and having no effect whatsoever on the Taliban. A true crime against humanity.


4. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

On a hyper-local and ‘get real’ angle, the left in the ROI should be demanding that the government take in thousands of Ukranian refugees. Permanently, if that’s what the refugees want.

Don’t let the Fx/withered Green govmint get away with empty words.


5. Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

The sanctions imposed so far on the Russian economy illustrate the range of the perceived possible in the context of a world system of suicidal fossil capitalism.

Financial and banking systems on the insistence of both the US and the EU excluded anything that might effect fossil fuel and agricultural exports. Adam Tooze has the details here:


Biden has clearly kept his promise. America has introduced sweeping sanctions against all the major banks of Russia that do everything but block the most important transactions that might actually impose severe costs both on Russia and America’s major European allies.

Nor are the carve-outs limited to energy, they apply to Russia’s agricultural commodity exports too. So long as the transactions run through non-US non-sanctioned banks, the US Treasury raises no objections.

So, if on “day one” we learned that SWIFT is a red herring, what can one say for the sanctions that the US has actually imposed?


Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

Russia’s exports are over 50% fossil (climate destroying) fuels. And over 10% agricultural – I believe almost entirely grain.

This year, Ukraine is predicted to account for 12% of global wheat exports, 16% for corn, 18% for barley and 19% for rapeseed. And nearly 50% of processed sunflower oil.

Much of this is grown and processed in the East of Ukraine on the famous ‘black soil’.


6. WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2022

So not merely is Putin calling a state he is inciting a military to overthrow a democratically elected government with a Jewish President ‘neo-Nazi’ but now his government is threatening Finland and Sweden with ‘military and political consequences’ if they join NATO. The times we live in.


WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2022

The actual quote is quite something when one considers that the Russian army is attacking another state as it is made…
‘We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe.’


7. Jim Monaghan - February 25, 2022

Time for a huge amount of solidarity with antiwar activists in Russia. Incredibly brave people.This gives updates on antiwar activism in Russia. This gives updates on the brave antiwar activists in Russia. https://www.facebook.com/ovdinfo/ Hopefully the usual suspects will restrain themselves from calling them CIA agents. For weeks some who should have known better kept repeating Putin’s lie that there were no plans for an invasion.
So who does Putin have in mind to run a puppet state. maybe Biden will lend hm Gaido. But I suspect it will be someone like this. . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramzan_Kadyrov
Here the pro Nato types such as Cathal Berry TD are having a field day.
This is the equivalent of a Berlin Wall going down Europe from Estonia to the Black Sea. And a good likelihood of a worldwide depression such as was sparked off by the oil shocks of the 70s..

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 25, 2022

Agree completely- and your point about a Berlin Wall across Europe is spot on.


Klassenkampf Treehugger - February 25, 2022

Just back from another peace demo and the figures given there were 1,700 arrests and over 70 Russian towns and cities where protests have taken place. Hundreds of thousands taking part.


8. Wes Ferry - March 1, 2022


Colm B - March 1, 2022

In these bleak times, a small bonus.


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