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Wed, 08 Feb 2023
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The Fight for Ugledar: Why controlling a small town in southwestern Donbass is so important for the Russian military

Russia military Ukraine
© Sputnik / RIA News
Russian servicemen are seen as they fire from 2A18 D-30 howitzers toward Ukrainian positions in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, at the unknown location. Moscow is hoping it will be third time lucky as the first anniversary of its offensive approaches
After the successful capture of Soledar, Russia has continued to advance in Donbass, with battles ongoing. To the southwest, Ugledar - a small mining town a hundred kilometers north of Mariupol - has become the main contact point for Moscow's troops. If the Russians succeed in this offensive, it will be a significant blow to Ukraine. Potentially, a victory in Ugledar could change the balance of power in the Donetsk area and improve Melitopol's defenses.

Why is there such a focus on this area?

Another assault on Ugledar was launched on January 24 by Pacific Fleet Marines and special forces from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Although Russia made some gains in the early days of the operation and Ukrainian forces suffered heavy losses, little progress has been made in terms of land.

Mr. Potato

VP Kamala Harris has ducked most media appearances for the last year after 'disastrous' sitdown

harris interview border disaster
© NBC News
Harris’ June 2021 interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt sparked a backlash after she struggled to articulate the Biden administration’s border security strategy.
Vice President Kamala Harris steered clear of most one-on-one interviews for nearly a year after a "disastrous" appearance with NBC News' Lester Holt in which she bumbled through an answer about the border crisis.

In the widely mocked June 2021 interview, Holt pressed Harris to explain why she had yet to visit the US-Mexico frontier three months into her appointment as President Biden's "border czar."

"We've been to the border," Harris insisted. "So this whole thing about the border — we've been to the border."

"You haven't been to the border," Holt responded.

"And I haven't been to Europe," Harris shot back with an awkward laugh to punctuate the apparent attempt at humor. "And I mean, I don't understand the point that you're making. I'm not discounting the importance of the border."

Comment: The interview, if you can stand watching Harris in full deflection flight:


Ukraine accused of chemical warfare against Russian troops in Donbass - alleged footage of the war crimes appear online

ukraine soldiers training spain
© Thomas Coex / AFP
Ukrainian soldiers at a shooting range in Toledo, Spain, December 2, 2022
Russian military commanders have reported that Ukrainian troops deployed a type of chemical weapon against their units in Donbass, according to a local official.

Speaking to Russian television on Monday, Denis Pushilin, the acting governor of the Donetsk People's Republic, said his office has been receiving reports about possible chemical warfare "for at least two weeks." Ukrainian troops have reportedly been deploying "chemical compounds that make our military service members ill," he said.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Kremlin, declined to discuss the allegation with journalists, saying that his office didn't have accurate information about the issue.

Comment: The alleged footage:

South report have a video report on the matter here.

Cow Skull

A tale of three cities: Washington's hypocrisy on its "rules based international order"

Biden and Netanyahu
One might actually be willing to consider that there might be some value in the "rules based international order" being promoted by the Joe Biden Administration if such a thing actually existed and was applied equally to all transgressors. Of course, in reality, the "rules" being referred to are neither agreed upon nor driven by any broad international consensus and are merely a trick that is exploited to further the interests of the United States and its closest allies. In fact, the "rules", such as they are, are most frequently ignored to give a pass to the bad behavior being exhibited by the US and its friends.

If the "rules" were actually intended to place limits on violent interactions among nations, consider for a moment the actual record of the United States in that regard. Recent opinion polls demonstrate that the US by a large margin is considered by other nations to be the most dangerous country in the world. That judgement is based not only on historic memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but also the Vietnam War and the overthrowing of alleged "leftist" regimes in places like Iran, Chile and Guatemala. Armed interventions on a greater or lesser scale have been a regular features of US initiatives throughout the Caribbean and Latin America ever since the Spanish-American War.


Washington: Matt Gaetz rips 'bipartisan coalition' that favors war in Ukraine: 'How much more?'

Rep. Matt Gaetz
© Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP, File
Rep. Matt Gaetz argued on the House floor Monday that U.S. aid to Ukraine is only feeding a war that could escalate dangerously.
Gaetz said the US should be focusing on China, not Ukraine

Rep. Matt Gaetz on Monday accused President Biden and members of both parties of spending tens of billions of dollars in Ukraine to keep a war going that does not satisfy any U.S. national interest other than making U.S. weapons manufacturers happy.

"How much more for Ukraine? Is there any limit?" Gaetz, R-Fla., asked on the House floor. "Which billionth dollar really kicks in the door? Which redline we set will we not later cross?"

Gaetz said China's surveillance flights in U.S. airspace should remind America that China is one of the "real issues" the U.S. government should be dealing with. But he said Biden will likely use his State of the Union address on Tuesday to argue that Ukraine is America's top priority.

Comment: Despite Gaetz's good insights regarding Russia it seems he's fallen prey to the beltway's anti-China rhetoric - propagated by the same thinktanks and weapons makers as the Russophobics.


Washington's Reich Syndrome... War Plans Accumulate Beyond Russia to China

This year is promising to be a most consequential watershed in world history.

The reckless warmongering ambitions of the Western powers know no bounds. Just as Washington and its imperial minions in the NATO axis are escalating the war in Ukraine against Russia with the utmost deranged folly, the Western rulers are also pushing ahead to bait China with provocations and threats. The psychopathic behavior of the collective Western so-called leaders shows beyond doubt that the Ukraine conflict is but one battlefield in a bigger global confrontation.

This week saw the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on a tour of East Asia where he boasted about coordinating nuclear forces with South Korea and Japan in a provocative and wanton show of strength towards China (under the guise of standing up to North Korea). Austin repeated baseless propaganda claims accusing China of threatening security in the Asia-Pacific hemisphere. The audacious inversion of reality distorts the fact that it is the United States and its allies who are militarizing the region with warships and missiles. Just this week, the U.S. announced the opening of four new military bases in the Philippines for the explicit purpose of launching a future war on China.

Eye 2

The West sees Iran in a new way

A drone exploding over a Defense Ministry workshop in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, on January 29, 2023

A drone exploding over a Defense Ministry workshop in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, on January 29, 2023
The Wall Street Journal reported from Tehran on Wednesday that "a lethal crackdown and an ailing economy have quieted anti-government street demonstrations ... organised protests have largely tapered off." The paradox is, this interpretation is widely applicable in the contemporary world situation, including many G7 countries. How can one pretend there are no "protestor grievances" in Britain or France today, and, yet, how come they are mute?

The western narrative never cared to admit that Iran is ruled by elected governments. The big question is, would such street violence have erupted in Iran without the covert support and coordination by foreign intelligence agencies? It is pointless to discuss Iran's politics while in denial mode about the whole history of foreign interference in that country's internal affairs.

Michel Foucault's famous essay on the Iranian Revolution What Are the Iranians Dreaming About? begins with the author's exchange with an Iranian activist in the streets of Tehran heaving with revolutionary fervour in 1978: "They will never let go of us of their own will. No more than they did in Vietnam." I (Foucault) wanted to respond that they are even less ready to let go of you than Vietnam, because of oil."

Today, four decades later, this historical reality continues. Arguably, it may now become even more complicated and intractable, as Iran's oil and gas is set to combine with Russia's, another energy superpower. Meanwhile, Associated Press reported today that Iran and Russia are also moving toward linking their banking systems, turning their back on the petrodollar.

Snakes in Suits

CEO of America's second-largest bank is 'preparing for possible US debt default'

Brian Moynihan

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan
Congress is once again bickering about raising the debt ceiling, the amount of money the US government can borrow to pay its bills on time. And that means that Corporate America has to be ready for the worst.

The CEO of Bank of America (BAC), America's second-largest bank, told CNN he hopes lawmakers resolve their issues, because the market and economy love stability. Yet defaulting on the country's debt remains a possibility that cannot be ignored.

"We have to be prepared for that, not only in this country but in other countries around the world," Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told Poppy Harlow on "CNN This Morning" Monday. "You hope it doesn't happen, but hope is not a strategy — so you prepare for it."

Comment: Regardless of whether the debt ceiling gets raised on time - and it usually does - with soaring inflation, most Western economies are already in recession, and the outlook is unsurprisingly bleak:

Arrow Up

Zelenskyy's Neoliberal Fire Sale

Prewar Ukraine was considered a laboratory for "ideal-world experimentation" of neoliberal policies.
Fire Sale
© Kurt Nimmo on Geopolitics
Vultures are circling over Ukraine.

Vasily Prozorov, a former member of Ukraine's SBU secret police and currently head of UKR LEAKS on Telegram and Twitter, writes today the Zelenskyy regime is in the process of selling off national assets.

"The Ukrainian government, trying to somehow pay off the West for the weapons and ammunition provided to them," Prozorov writes, "puts up for sale objects of national property that are significant for the country's economy. At the end of last year, the state enterprise 'Amber of Ukraine' [amber mining in the Rivne Oblast] and the seaport of Ust-Dunaysk [on the Black Sea] was auctioned off for a symbolic price."

In 2020, the former Canadian ambassador to Ukraine said during a lecture that following the violent 2014 coup in Kyiv, the "country had become a laboratory for ideal-world experimentation" of practices not yet acceptable in Western nations.

The "privatization" of public assets in Ukraine began after the USG-orchestrated coup brought down the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. After he fled the country in fear for his life, the installed coup regime turned West with open arms. The regime entered into a deal with the IMF and World Bank, the latter providing $3.5 billion to the notoriously corrupt and oligarch-dominated nation.


Theater of the absurd in J6 courtrooms

© unknown
Courtroom Puppets
The Department of Justice carefully crafted The Dramatic Moment in court.

A federal prosecutor handed an enclosed paper bag to an FBI agent responsible for investigating members of the Proud Boys, now on trial for seditious conspiracy related to their participation in the events of January 6. The bag contained "evidence of the unlawful entry of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 and evidence of the disruption to the certification of the 2020 presidential election," FBI Special Agent Elizabeth D'Angelo told assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Moore on Wednesday.

D'Angelo cautiously pulled the evidence out of the bag to present to the jury.

Spectators in D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly's courtroom were on the edge of their seats. What would the mystery bag reveal?

Would it disclose the group's intricate but failed plot to overthrow the government? A detailed list of weapons the "seditionists" planned to use in service of their dastardly deed? Names of targeted officials?

A nervous hush fell over the room; sweat beads formed on furrowed brows.

Finally, the big moment arrived.

It was — a set of challenge coins.

Comment: The DC circus continues unabated. Who should be on trial? Those who make a travesty of justice.