A corrupt invasion ruined by Corruption

Character is destiny

 Daniel Hannan explains that Putin was undone by corruption

Bribery is no way to build an empire. Putin’s intelligence and military bureaucrats didn’t believe in the Russian Empire, and they kept the cash  they were supposed to use for bribes in Ukraine. Then lied about the bribes and ultimately left Putin in a precarious position. But they too are vulnerable. Indeed Ukrainians are suffering. Russians are suffering. There are few winners and many losers.

Great civilizations are built on trust. Millions of people work most efficiently when they all know the rules, and everyone has a voice. We used to have that.

Comments here by David Evans on the article by Daniel Hannan

The details are only now emerging, and they help explain why Russia is losing in Ukraine and, indeed, why autocracies are often terrible at fighting wars.

By annexing Crimea and taking Donbass, in 2014 Putin tipped Ukraine into becoming majority western-oriented:

Until 2014, Ukraine was fairly evenly split between, to borrow 19th century Russian terminology, Westernizers and Slavophiles. Some Ukrainians wanted to join the institutions of the free world, including NATO. Others preferred, if not a merger with Russia, at least a special relationship with what they saw as the sister nations to their east and north. When Putin annexed Crimea and effectively detached parts of the Donbas region, he removed millions of Russophile voters and thereby gave Ukraine a solidly pro-Western majority.

Putin had thus unwittingly created what was, from his perspective, an intolerable situation. The last thing he wanted was a kindred population on Russia’s border, speaking a cognate language but moving toward liberal multiparty democracy. So he began to prepare for a further and more decisive military intervention.

Bribery was supposed to make a takeover easy, but the bribery bureaucrats took the money for themselves:

From at least 2015, the FSB’s [Russia’s Federal Security Service] Fifth Service was charged with preparing the ground. Large sums were set aside to suborn Ukrainian civil and military leaders. The idea was that when the moment came, senior Ukrainians, such as mayors, regional governors, generals, and police chiefs, would switch sides, opening the gates to their paymasters.

But the FSB’s bosses never believed an invasion would happen. And so, Russia being Russia, they siphoned the cash off into yachts in Cyprus and numbered Swiss accounts.

Imagine the scene when, toward the end of 2021, Putin called his spy chiefs in and asked them to confirm the bribes had been disbursed and that key Ukrainian institutions would throw in their lot with the Russian invader. The terrified FSB leaders assured him that, yes, all was well while desperately trying to find a way out of the hole they had dug for themselves.

Running away was not an option. Their former colleague Alexander Litvinenko had fled to London … [but] was assassinated with polonium in 2006. Another former agent, Sergei Skripal, had moved to the sleepy English town of Salisbury, but he was poisoned with Novichok in 2018 by two GRU operatives.

So the bureaucrats tried to torpedo the invasion by leaking the plans to the US:

It looks as if they did the only possible thing in their position. They sought to prevent the invasion from happening so that their embezzlement should not come to light. The way they appear to have done so is to have told their Western counterparts what was being planned, hoping that, once Putin knew that his plot had been uncovered, he would drop it. Hence the detailed knowledge that Britain and the United States had about what was coming — knowledge that their governments made public and that Putin lamely denied.

Corruption hobbled the military too:

It soon emerged that much of the money set aside for the modernization of the Russian military had also been diverted into private bank accounts. Tanks lacked basic spare parts. Weapons systems failed. But, again, no one wanted to be the bearer of bad news.

Why autocracies fail but democracies succeed — freer speech:

This brings us to a counterintuitive truth. Democracies, supposedly soft, decadent, and convulsed in culture wars, often turn out to be better at fighting than brutal dictatorships. This is not because their people are braver or more virtuous — it’s because they have systems in place that allow for greater transparency and speedier error correction.

Fascinating. It all fits, and explains much. Probably true.

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86 comments to A corrupt invasion ruined by Corruption

  • #

    Corruption, like Termites and Rust, never sleeps. It hollows out everything that it touches.

    Only the illusion and facade remain of what once were trusted things.

    Things are quite a mess now, but true to form, I fear, Putin will make the French Revolution’s excesses seem tame.


  • #
    Curious George

    Communism is an institutionalized corruption. We read horror stories about corruption in Ukraine – and they are mostly true. But the real masters of corruption live in Russia.


    • #

      Yes, corruption is a big problem in both Russia and Ukraine, but both are nominal democracies run by an oligarchy. They are not communist. Russia is somewhat hybrid but functioning nonetheless as a product of its modern history – namely transitioning from a feudal agrarian system controlled by a monarchy then succeeded by a centralised communist one. Russia finds itself unable to operate as a truly liberal and pluralist level and seems trapped by its historical circumstances. Russia has been invaded in modern times from Napoleon through the Crimean war of 1854 to 1941. They have legitimate security concerns.


      • #
        Curious George

        Sure, they attacked Finland before WW2, Poland at the start of WW2, Japan at the end of WW2, then later Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, and Ukraine. That’s a lot of security concerns.


        • #

          Yes, but our world-leading democracy and champion of freedom the USA has attacked an even longer list of countries in its pursuit of (power & wealth)..oops freedom of speech.

          The article is mainly crap, there is no more free speech in the West than in the East, surely Covid has shown this to anyone who it still standing. Then just to make sure that we can all see the corruption in our own Govts, along comes the current war to invoke even more censorship.

          Part of the reason Russia is losing Generals in action would be Putin clearing his house of those he doesn’t trust, just as Ukraine murdered the #2 in their secret Police, banned opposition parties & arrested the leader of the largest yesterday. Journalists are licensed, the media banned if they speak out against Zelensky, men aged 18-60 banned from leaving the country and any overseas will not be allowed to return without prison or death. Some democracy, a shining example of freedom…

          What has come out is how powerless Ukraine is, completely run by the warmongers in the USA, who will fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. The Yanks have been training the armies there and in America, supplying weapons, flying spyplanes 24/7 to find targets for Ukrainian military and giving them the targeting information.

          Anyone want to discuss exactly who is going to pay for the trillion dollars the Pentagon wants this year?? Every item you import from overseas will bear the brunt of it as it has a $US component in it.

          There is no difference between types of power, or parties in power, the only difference in a society of power is leaders versus led. Either you’re in the tent drinking with the “opposition” parties, or you’re quite expendable.


          • #

            You’re too right. The pile on and the hypocrisy of it all. Freedom or crucifixion.


          • #

            The more I learn about American politics and the DC “machine”, the more I realise that they are the most corrupt lot out. Everyone else is just a rank amateur, even Russia.

            Ask yourself why a candidate will happily spend USD20 million on a campaign for a senate seat that pays USD 174 000 pa for 6 years, and most of them become multi millionaires eg John McCain was worth USD 16 million…. but his wife’s worth at the time of his death was about USD 200 million. Hmmm. One day we might learn about Biden’s.


      • #


        Can you show us a single case in which Communism IN PRACTICE, did not turn out to be “run by an oligarchy”.?

        Let’s not sugar-coat what Communism is. It is inherently authoritarian and violent because it has no other way of dealing with dissenters.

        The corruption that we see in Russia and Ukraine is a legacy of that same system, it took us a thousand years to build a system based on the Rule of Law and impartial administration (as much as it is). It is utterly unreasonable to expect nations with no such tradition to create one in a generation. Nations that are making the attempt should be supported, not abandoned to even more corrupt, violent and authoritarian regimes.


        • #

          It is inherently authoritarian and violent because it has no other way of dealing with dissenters.

          Did you get Russia mixed up with Victoria?


    • #

      You might have noticed that Russia has not been Communist since 1993.

      One of the unfortunate legacies of the Communist era is that humans are very slow to rebuild the institutions that allow them to trust one another … and once a corrupt criminal subculture has been established, it will hang in there, because people deal with the local thugs more readily than the central government thugs.


  • #

    “it’s because they (democracies) have systems in place that allow for greater transparency and speedier error correction” – really? After the last US election, do we even live in a democracy?

    Putin is fighting for the free world, which at this point, is probably Russia. We in the West have had two years of totalitarianism that is just beginning. We are controlled by big tech, big Pharma, BlackRock, Bill Gates etc. Everybody here in the West thinks Putting is the bad guy. But he just trying to save his country from our fate.


    • #
      Curious George

      Move there.


      • #

        Love of ones country overrides most things. We see repression in democracies and authoritarian countries. A fine line indeed. The franchise does not confer freedom necessarily.


    • #

      If the Dems lose big at the half-term elections, what do you expect to happen?
      If the Biden agenda is stalled because the elected representatives reject his proposals, that is your proof that Biden is not an “elected dictator” in the style of Putin.

      Don’t give us that rot about Putin “fighting for the free world”. In a free world, the Ukrainians get to sort out their own problems, not get them imposed upon them by a Russia than is not free, not fair and not humanitarian.

      Putin – by his own words – is trying to rebuild the old Russian Empire, with himself as Tsar in all but name. Tsarinst Russia was almost as corrupt and oppressive as Soviet Russia. Ukranians are not taking up arms because Russia is presenting them with a choice that they want, but because Russia won’t give them any freedom of choice whatsoever.


      • #

        Hi Peter
        I have been to Russia many times. I don’t think Putin is an angel but he is genuinely popular in Russia, visibly improving the lot of ordinary Russians. I also have friends with relatives in the Ukraine who inform that Azov are real deal Nazis. Azov are backed by the West, and have been at war with Eastern Ukraine since the (US backed) 2014 coup. Eastern Ukrainians have made their choice – they do not wish to remain in the Ukraine. The Ukraine is not free – it is being used as a tool of the “New World Order” to destroy Russia. Because in the end, the New World Order wants to control all of the world, not just the West.
        As for US politics, what do you think the whole Trump-Russia collusion thingy was all about? Why do you think the whole US media/big tech ganged up against him? Why do you think he was cancelled on Twitter? Why did Biden get a free ride? It is clear what will happen if the Dems lose the half-term elections, just ask Donald.
        We are being subject to a relentless propaganda campaign. Don’t believe the climate-change/covid/Putin bad B.S.


        • #

          That’s OK.
          All of this hinges on Daniel Hannan’s assessment that Russia is failing in Ukraine.
          That assessment In turn rests entirely on the accuracy of mainstream media reporting. MSM are the same people who are pivotal to perpetuating the climate deception. Everyone here knows that.
          Why in heaven’s name would anyone In their right mind take seriously their reporting on Putin’s policing action in Ukraine??
          The chances of Russia failing in its present military mission are precisely zero, as will become apparent in due course.
          But I realise your responsibilities as Editor/Moderator preclude you from allowing such wild-eyed prognostications, and I thank you for your time and trouble.
          Just delete my posts. I honestly don’t mind.
          All the best, Interested.


  • #

    Intuition associates this story with Ivermectin. How long will it last?

    I ssuspect that when this war commenced they found that the lads had used their fuel runninng the motors to ward off the cold.


  • #
    Double on Tundra

    Corruption and censorship weaken western societies too, while the perpetrators claim the moral high ground.

    Regular everyday folks go along with the narrative either because it’s all they know, or to avoid trouble.

    Kudos to Jo and David and other bloggers with the courage to point out the rot in real time. It’s not too late to get things turned around.


  • #
    paul courtney

    Thank you for this assessment, the most realistic I have seen. I don’t think we’re supposed to see this in U.S., it bursts so many bubbles to think our intel is so … not even wrong??!!


  • #

    I wonder how these lessons of the corrosive effects of corruption apply to China’s PLA and what might be the implications for Taiwan and beyond. China is horribly corrupt at just about every level, something of which Xi is aware and trying to remedy.


  • #

    An interesting view on everything about the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The “truth” will come out eventually I suppose but in the meantime – What a mess !!!!!


  • #

    When two evil empires are at war with each other, there are no winners.


  • #

    Daniel Hannan:
    Why autocracies fail but democracies succeed

    Well Plato and Aristotle had different opinion, as well as American founding fathers, as Bible.
    What about history:
    Athenian imperial democracy beaten by autocratic Sparta.
    autocrat Alexander III of Macedon, conquer all Greece states,
    Rome was Republic than empire
    After Rome — 1000 years of autocratic kingdoms

    By annexing Crimea and taking Donbass, in 2014

    annexation was blowback for:
    no Orange Revolution instigate by cia, no annexation


    • #
      Curious George

      “Orange Revolution instigate by cia”
      By Mr. Manafort, a chief adviser to a pro-Russian, but legitimately elected president, Mr. Yanukovich. Strangely enough, Mr Manafort instigated the revolution by steering too sharply a pro-Russian course. There is a vivid memory of Holodomor, a Stalin-caused famine which killed estimated 3 million Ukrainians.


  • #
    Kalm Keith

    It’s wonderful to see that the corrupt are being brought down by “corruption”; how ironic.

    The very open corruption in the U.S. and EEU may find, like Russia, a time of reckoning which emphasises the ultimate futility of corruption.

    If that happens the big worry then becomes China; can we hope that China is essentially so corrupt that their society collapses into chaos?


    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The problem for the Chinese government is that when the weather turns cold agriculture suffers, followed by famine and unrest. A number of dynasties have fallen because of this (at the start of the Maunder Minimum the 1630 collapse of the bureaucratic sector was followed by the Manchu takeover).
      Te current government is well aware of this, and with all the signs of a cooler time coming, have been stockpiling basic food stuffs and extending financial controls on overseas investment in agriculture. They aren’t buying Australian farms (and African) just out of the goodness of their heart.
      There are still a lot of peasants in China.

      And when the climate turned cold in the 17TH Century Germany had the thirty years war, France had the Fronde troubles and England the Civil War (and another fight in Ireland). The cod fishing industry collapsed in Scandinavia and Iceland.


  • #

    There were wheels within wheels in as much the UK and America knew what was planned, as did the pro western hierarchy n the Ukraine.

    From 2015 Britain has trained 22000 Ukrainian military in NATO type warfare. That is to say for commanders to think for themselves out in the field. The Russian way is to take orders from hw pand try to carry them out even if that becomes impractical. That inflexibility is why numerous Russian military conoys were ambushed by nimbler ukraine troops who reacted to the situation on the ground

    The Ukrainians were also trained to use western weapons .

    I don’t think anyone believed Putin would invade, but five eyes read the situation much better than the EU intelligence and was prepared and warned of the invasion from last Christmas.

    The Germans and French were caught by surprise. Macron tried to negotiate with Putin and did little else, the Germans were very reluctant to carry out any sanctions because of their reliance on Russian gas.

    What puzzles me, and better informed commentators, was why Russia did not wait a few months until the Nordstream gas pipe was approved and gas flowing, thereby enhancing Russia’s coffers and depleting ukraines.

    Perhaps Putin thought the west would treat this as a purely Local affair and would just go along with it, perhaps he wanted to do it at the start of winter when the west would be desperate for gas or perhaps Putin wanted everything nicely tied up to coincide with the day in May that they celebrate defeating the Nazis.

    Whatever the ins and outs he miscalculated the eventual resolve of the west, the determination of the Ukrainians to assert their sovereignty and that their military was better trained and more flexible than his own much larger forces.

    Russia is much closer to its supply lines with the renewd attack on the east, whilst their forces are depleted they can still bring forward large numbers of troops weapons and ammunition and seem unconcerned as to how many are killed.

    So what the ventual result will be is still on the balance.

    France and Germany have still been recalcitrant in sending Ukraine Weapons and ammunition and of course the stuff being sent by other NATO members is very likely to get attacked so it may not get to the front line troops.


    • #

      Putin didn’t wait because of Neptune (and possible other secret missile developments) by Ukraine


  • #
    David Maddison

    People think there is little such political corruption in the Anglo “democracies”, Australia, Canada, NZ, Once Great Britain and the USA.

    1) There is more than you think.

    2) It spreads like a malignancy, especially when government is involved in more and more aspects of daily life and there are special interests involved, e.g. “green” energy.

    3) Never let your guard down.


    • #

      The Anglo democracies are amateurs compated to others when it comes to endemic serious and prolonged corruption


      • #
        Kalm Keith

        I don’t know about that, it’s just hidden under the guise of democratic process which is proving dodgy to say the least.

        Over recent decades I’ve been amazed at the bare faced self interest of local, state and federal bureaucracies which do the bare minimum to keep the plebs well serviced.

        Government contracts, public land to be rezoned, unions to be bought, endless corruption.


      • #
        Curious George

        America is slowly but surely getting there.


  • #

    To some European governments, which includes Italy and Germany, the need to turn green is more important than the need to combat Putin

    This from Politico

    ROME — Italy must not fuel a European “race to rearm,” said former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, illustrating emerging divisions that could shape an expected 2023 election. 

    Speaking to POLITICO, Conte — who now heads the 5Star Movement, the biggest party within Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government — expressed wariness about longer-term pledges from Italy and others to boost defense spending after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

    “I think that Europe and the EU needs to keep its nerve,” Conte said, sitting in the Rome headquarters of the 5Stars, which is working to establish itself as a more progressive force on Italy’s left. “Our response cannot be a race to rearm. Diverting resources from our green transition to invest in military industry would be a completely mistaken stance.”


  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    The freedom to have a truely independent media, support for the separation of powers, and establishment of anti corruption watchdogs are features which are seen in stable and mature democracies.

    That generates trust, vital for good governance


    • #

      So we trust the “independent” ABC media, trust the Vic supreme court judges re Pell, and trust the Qld CCC watchdog?
      What planet are you on?


  • #
    Honk R Smith

    ‘Character is Destiny’
    It could be a game show.
    First episode could feature Putin versus Biden.

    Ya’ know Biden went around for years saying his wife and daughter were killed by a ‘drunk driver’. The driver was not drunk, not charged, and he and his family had to endure a US Senator besmirching their name. Biden’s wife had pulled out into the path of the truck.

    (I’m not following the war much, can’t suss out the propaganda. I would guess predicting Putin’s ‘undoing’ and military failure in Ukraine would be a bit premature. Of course, I live in a country that just experienced a soft coup perpetrated by a media/intelligence (possible international) consortium. So not feeling the ‘oh Putin is such a dictator’ thing. Plus, have a vague memory of my own country launching a few ‘regime changes’.)


    • #
      Honk R Smith

      Just had a thought … hurt a little bit.
      When the US pulled out of Afghanistan, was that Reverse Regime Change?
      Or Regime Unchange?
      Hey, we could have Climate Unchange.
      Wait … we already do.


  • #

    The beauty of a well functioning democracy and free media, this sort of behaviour by a dictator couldn’t happen.


  • #

    The idea that so-called “democracies” aren’t subject to massive corruption is credulous to a degree that is morally complicit. General Butler laid out the problem nearly a century ago, and the problem has only gotten worse:



    Sinews of war. Lending banks collect interest. Paid for with taxes. It’s all neat and tidy. What’s your gripe, inflation, taxes? It’s worth it! Well, no it isn’t, actually/


  • #
    Mark Allinson

    Two quotes from above:

    “This brings us to a counterintuitive truth. Democracies, supposedly soft, decadent, and convulsed in culture wars, often turn out to be better at fighting than brutal dictatorships. This is not because their people are braver or more virtuous — it’s because they have systems in place that allow for greater transparency and speedier error correction.”

    “We used to have that”

    We had it, and now it is gone.

    So please, can we drop this lie of Western Democracy vs Russian Autocracy.

    I am a prisoner here in this once great nation, unable to travel overseas or even interstate unless I agree to enter an open-ended experimental drug trial which has a horrible record of death and injury and will give me “protection” from a disease for an ever-shortening period.

    And yet you want to argue that we in what was once “the free West” are soooo different from the system in Vlad’s authoritarian Russia.

    Yes, “we used to have that”, but until it returns all I can see is two monolithic authoritarian systems in conflict, and I don’t want either of them.


    • #
      Curious George

      Do you know that in Russia the Ukraine is a “special military operation”? Call it a “war”, and you get 20 years in Russian jails.


      • #
        Mark Allinson

        Did you know that in “the free West” today, if you are a doctor who actually wants to prescribe potentially life-saving medicine forbidden by the state you will lose your livelihood and be hounded out of society.

        Two fascist systems at war.


  • #

    I agree with Mark. I am not convinced re the Alexander Litvinenko / Sergei Skripal narrative in the lead Hannan article. Who Gains?
    Nerve agents including Sarin and VX are manufactured by the British Government in Porton Down, just 8 miles from where Sergei Skripal was attacked and is the largest stock of deadly nerve agents and gases anywhere in Europe.


    • #

      It’s all guesswork but the most plausible explanation is that Sergei Skripal was trying to get back to Russia with assistance from three Russian agents. The UK decided not to allow them to slip away, and the story about the poison doorknob was largely cover for cleaning up afterwards.

      The Skripals were not hit with real nerve poison, but more likely with BZ which is a temporary poison used to stun people. You will notice that both of them have been under lock and key at an unknown location, held at Her Majesty’s pleasure … they have never been able to talk to the public, nor tell their side of the story.

      The guy did work as a spy and a double-agent … you know there’s some risks that are not covered by OH&S. Perhaps in 50 years the documents will come out and some future people will find out what happened to the Skripals.


  • #
    another ian

    “An interesting comparison of the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces”



    • #

      Putin is having a very bad day.

      Yesterday it was reported that the MOSKVA, a missile cruiser and flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, had been struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles and was seriously on fire. Today the Russian RIA state news agency reported that the flagship sank whilst under tow. The Russians are saying it was just an ordnance explosion and the Ukrainians had nothing to do with the ship’s loss. Either way it’s a bad look for the Russian navy.



  • #
    Old Goat

    Ukraine is a dumpster fire that everyone is pouring fuel on . There has been a “civil war” going on there for some time now and that has just escalated. Virtually all the weapons at the start were soviet era equipment . This war will only achieve destruction and death – and the ordinary Ukrainians will be the ones who suffer .


  • #

    Ukraine’s decision to not receive German president ‘irritating’ – Chancellor Scholz

    Germany is doing enough to support Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the country’s RBB radio broadcaster on Wednesday. The head of government has also said he has no plans to travel to Kiev after the Ukrainian authorities turned down a visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

    The chancellor said he had been to Kiev not long before the start of the military conflict, adding that he is in constant contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone. “There is hardly any head of state or government who has such intensive contacts with me,” he told RBB.

    Scholz called Kiev’s decision not to receive the German president “irritating,” adding that Steinmeier would have gladly visited the Ukrainian capital and “it would have been good” for Ukraine to welcome him.

    The German president was about to visit Kiev with counterparts from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he revealed he “apparently was not wanted” in the Ukrainian capital. An aide to Zelensky then said Kiev would only welcome foreign officials who come with “specific” proposals, adding that Germany could have offered Kiev “heavy equipment” or “guarantees” regarding Ukraine’s accession to the EU, among other things.

    Scholz maintained on Wednesday that Berlin is doing enough to help Kiev. “I am sure that Ukraine knows exactly who has provided it with the greatest financial aid in recent years,” he told RBB, adding that “Germany has been doing [that] for many years.” The chancellor also said his nation has been supplying Kiev with “defensive weapons on a large scale,” and this help has already proven invaluable to the Ukrainian military effort.


    • #

      Ukraine is smashed, this is how it will be repaired

      In the 19th century rural Americans of northeast states like Pennsylvania did this with their old tablecloths, dresses, and curtains, turning the remnants into patchwork quilts. Starting several hundred years earlier, the Japanese, having to live in an earthquake zone, had the idea of restoring broken ceramic dishes, cups, and pots. Instead of trying to make the repairs seamless and invisible, they invented kintsugi (lead image) – this is the art of filling the fracture lines with lacquer, and making of the old thing an altogether new one.

      Quite quickly, the Japanese turned cheap lacquer fillings (urushi) into gold (kintsugi) and silver (gintsugi). In this way, a frugal custom of the poor working classes turned into conspicuous consumption of the rich leisure classes.*

      The Ukraine is a new thing. Depending on which region, language, religion, class, and ideology is displayed, it’s newness and oldness are disputable. New or old, however, the civil war in the Ukrainian east since 2014, Russia’s special military operation since February 24, and the US war — currently directed by US officers in the tunnels under the Azovstal factory — to destroy Russia in a fight to the last Ukrainian mean that the country cannot be put back together again the way it was. The Ukraine will have to be repaired and the damage replaced.

      Kintsugi requires gold filling for the repaired cracks (lead image). This may not be quite the Ukrainian outcome the Americans, their German and British allies are insisting on, but they must contend with the Russian plan after the battlefield operations of Phase 2 are completed. This, according to a Moscow source who knows it, is that the Ukraine will be destroyed and preserved in that state. “They don’t need to patch it,” the source says, “they need to keep it broken.”

      Colouring the map (lead image) in national colours is wishful thinking. The military manoeuvre maps published from both sides reveal tactical objectives with a lag time, but these don’t reveal strategic plans.

      The Russian Defense Ministry, General Staff and their combination with President Vladimir Putin called the Stavka have not announced what the map will look like; Putin’s most recent statement indicates they are taking their time to decide. This timing, Putin said on Tuesday, “depends on the intensity of the military operations.” “A lot is said about the United States being ‘ready to fight against Russia to the last Ukrainian.’ This is being said there, and it is being said here, and it is true. It is the essence of the current events.”

      But after the fight to the last Ukrainian, what of the Ukraine?

      “Our job,” Putin went on, “is to reach all our goals while minimizing these losses. And we will be acting smoothly and calmly, according to the initial plan of the General Headquarters [Генеральным штабом]. I have spoken about this many times. There is no need to repeat all this at the news conference.”

      Putin’s map of the Ukraine?





    • #

      Iran’s – and America’s – Plans to Fund Russia’s War In Ukraine

      . Iran’s efforts to conclude a revised nuclear deal with the Biden administration could result in the Kremlin receiving a windfall of half-a-billion dollars to fund its war effort against Ukraine.

      . To boost its economy, Russia is now demanding that Iran pay in cash for the deals currently under discussion, as well as repaying outstanding debts believed to be worth more than half a billion dollars in cash owed for Russia’s work on the Bushehr facility.

      . “Iran has promised Russia that it will pay its debt once Iranian funds held in the US are no longer under sanctions and become available for use,” a senior Western security official told me this week. “Furthermore, Iran has made transferring down payments to Russia for the purpose of implementing the military agreements between the parties conditional on reaching an agreement in Vienna.”

      . Apart from offering to help the Kremlin evade sanctions, Iran is also believed to be working to engage China and enlist its assistance as well for the purpose of bypassing Western sanctions.

      The fact that Iran is actively seeking to provide Moscow with financial assistance which could be used to fund the war in Ukraine is deeply embarrassing for the Biden administration, which still shows no sign of ending its efforts to revive the nuclear deal.

      Certainly, if the deal does go ahead, enabling Iran to pay off its debts to Moscow, then the Biden administration could find itself accused of having the blood of innocent Ukrainian civilians on its hands for allowing Iran to fund the Kremlin’s war effort.


    • #

      Washington Will Fight Russia To The Last Ukrainian

      Kiev faces a choice: make peace for its people or war for its supposed friends?

      Russia’s war against Ukraine rages on. The U.S. and Europe continue to support Kiev. But not, it seems, to make peace. Rather, the allies are prepared to back the Zelensky government as long as it fights Moscow to the last Ukrainian—which has always been the West’s approach to Kiev.

      Ukraine has become a cause célèbre in the West. People who normally pay little attention to international affairs have gone all-in for Ukrainians. Indeed, frenzied backers have borrowed the practice of self-criticism from China’s Cultural Revolution and demanded that Russian athletes, singers, conductors, and others make public confessions, abasing themselves and denouncing Putin, or lose their jobs.

      Allied governments have offered abundant weapons to Kiev and imposed excruciating sanctions on Moscow, all of which serves to keep Ukraine in the war. America and the Europeans have made clear that they do not intend to take part in combat. Equip Ukrainians to fight, sure. Help Ukrainians fight, forget it.

      Most disturbing is the apparent failure of the allies to support what the Ukrainian people need most, peace. Writer Ted Snider observed that “Next to starting a war, the most reprehensible act would be keeping one going when more people will die with little hope the outcome will improve,” yet evidence suggests “the U.S. is inhibiting a diplomatic solution in Ukraine.”


    • #

      Ukraine War Is Depleting America’s Arsenal of Democracy

      (Bloomberg Opinion) — America is following an “arsenal of democracy” strategy in Ukraine: It has avoided direct intervention against the Russian invaders, while working with allies and partners to provide the Kyiv government with money and guns.

      General Mark Milley, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that the West has delivered 60,000 antitank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons to Kyiv. The Pentagon is now laying plans to rush additional artillery, coastal defense drones and other materiel to Ukraine. The White House on Wednesday announced a new $800 million package including helicopters and armored personnel carriers

      But President Joe Biden never planned for a war like this. The assumption was that Russia would quickly conquer much of the country, so the U.S. would be supporting a simmering, low-intensity Ukrainian insurgency. Instead, Ukraine’s successful resistance has led to an ongoing, high-intensity conventional fight, with prodigious consumption of munitions and intense attrition of key military assets.

      Pentagon officials say that Kyiv is blowing through a week’s worth of deliveries of antitank munitions every day. It is also running short of usable aircraft as Russian airstrikes and combat losses take their toll. Ammunition has become scarce in Mariupol and other areas.

      This is presenting Western countries with a stark choice between pouring more supplies into Ukraine or husbanding finite capabilities they may need for their own defence

      Germany has declined to transfer tanks to Ukraine on grounds that it simply cannot spare them. Canada quickly ran short on rocket launchers and other equipment that the Ukrainians desperately need. The U.S. has provided one-third of its overall stockpile of Javelin anti-tank missiles. It cannot easily deliver more without leaving its own armories badly depleted — and it may take months or years to significantly to ramp up production


    • #

      The poor Germans are getting their ledderhsen
      In a big tangled knot !
      “Cause Zelensky won’t let their pressie come to Kiev !
      Poor darlings !

      But there is a reason why Zelensky is pissed off with Germany.
      They are still buying billions of dollars of Russian oil & gas every day.
      Germany is funding Putin’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
      The Germans have blood on their hands !

      Here is what Zelensky said about this to the BBC


      • #

        How many years of oil profits will it take to replace Russia’s destroyed hardware in this misadventure?

        It is pointless to say that the ship they just lost would cost near $700 million to replace. They don’t have the shipyards. They have lost 500 tanks @ $4 m/copy. [of course some are older/cheaper]

        A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you are talking big money.

        Russia will need that oil/gas income for humanitarian purposes. I am a child of the cold war and have no sympathy for Russia but they have lost the war*. Is it too soon to be thinking BEYOND it?

        *The west will have to do more, but they should not be cowed. If the west allows themselves to be stared down they may as well scrap their nuclear arsenal.


        • #

          “How many years of oil profits will it take to replace Russia’s destroyed hardware in this misadventure?”

          l heard/read somewhere not long ago that Nato countries buying oil/gas from Russia pay for a new tank every twenty minutes Hanrahan, it is well documented that in one hand they are condemning Russia but in the other they pay for there energy off Russia in rubles

          so can you tell me again “which economy was supposed to be effected by the sanctions against Russia?”


          • #

            l heard/read somewhere not long ago that Nato countries buying oil/gas from Russia pay for a new tank every twenty minutes

            I know it’s true I read it on the web.

            Russia’s GDP is a “mere”$1.5T. That production [assuming $4M/tank] would need $105T.

            Could someone with a proper calculator check that out?

            Russia gdp for 2020 was $1,483.50B, a 12.09% decline from 2019.
            Russia gdp for 2019 was $1,687.45B, a 1.82% increase from 2018.
            Russia gdp for 2018 was $1,657.33B, a 5.28% increase from 2017.
            Russia gdp for 2017 was $1,574.20B, a 23.29% increase from 2016.

            Set to go lower still.


    • #

      Bumbling Joe Biden is a threat to world peace

      Referring to the war in Ukraine as a ‘genocide’ is wrong and dangerous.

      Bumbling Joe Biden isn’t funny anymore. It might be amusing when your crazy uncle blurts out something unexpected at a family dinner. But when the most powerful man on Earth does it? Not so much. Yesterday, ‘in passing’, as the Guardian put it, President Biden referred to Russia’s war in Ukraine as a ‘genocide’. This might just be the dumbest, most ill-advised and lethally consequential thing Biden has said since taking office.

      The circumstances in which he uttered the g-word, in which he made the most serious accusation you can make against a nation state, were bizarre. He was in Iowa, at a public discussion on the use of ethanol in petrol, of all things. Then – ‘in passing’ – he said: ‘Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away.’ And so did an announcement about the lifting of restrictions on ethanol use in order to reduce the price of fuel turn – ‘in passing’ – into the United States of America accusing the Russian Federation of committing the most heinous crime known to man.

      It is unclear whether accusing Putin of genocide is White House policy now, or if Biden was just running his mumbling mouth, as is his wont. Pressed by reporters as to whether he really meant to say ‘genocide’, Biden said: ‘Yes, I called it genocide because it’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being Ukrainian.’ Not surprisingly, other world leaders were a tad alarmed. French president Emmanuel Macron rebuked Biden for his ‘verbal escalations’. We need to be ‘careful’ with our terminology, he said, rightly.

      But genocide? That is a very specific term. It doesn’t just mean ‘bloody war in which many people are dying’. If it does, then the Western invasion of Iraq was a genocide. So was NATO’s bombing of Libya. So is Saudi Arabia’s grotesque crusade against Yemen. Biden and his political acolytes back or backed all those wars. It would make as much sense for Putin to call Biden a genocidaire as it does for Biden to say that of Putin.


    • #

      Message From Ukraine — Nukes Do Deter

      In Beijing, this question is surely being debated: If the Americans, who have no treaty commitment to defend Ukraine, are inhibited by the threat of war with a nuclear-armed Russia into limiting their military aid to Ukraine, will the Americans be similarly intimidated by a nuclear-armed China — from going to war for Taiwan?

      And Putin is not the only one reminding us of the utility of having nuclear weapons and the folly of giving them up.

      In 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved into 15 nations, a newly independent Ukraine controlled its own large arsenal of nuclear weapons.

      At the behest of the United States and in return for U.S. security guarantees, Kyiv gave them up and sent them all back to Russia.

      Ukraine is living today with the consequences of that decision.

      It is a victim of aggression by Russia, while the U.S. is inhibited in what it will do to assist Kyiv by an awareness that Russia has hundreds of tactical nuclear weapons, which Putin has signaled that, in the event of a true “existential” crisis, he may use.

      Ukraine is in its present crisis because Moscow has the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, while Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in the 1990s.

      The world is surely taking note of this fact.

      Last week, Pyongyang warned that in the event of a clash with the South, its nuclear weapons would be used “at the outset of war.”

      Seoul must today be observing Ukraine with some intensity. For there the U.S. is carefully calibrating whether the weapons they send to help Ukraine fight for its national existence violate a Moscow red line.

      Could South Korea expect similar U.S. caution as to what weapons it would use in defending the country from a nuclear-armed North?

      What the Ukraine war has demonstrated is the vulnerability of not having nukes.

      Taiwan and South Korea, especially, should take note.


    • #

      Ukraine: Deep stakes for Putin…and for China

      An interview with The Critical Hour today afforded a chance to expand on “Mearsheimer: Russia Sees ‘Existential Threat’, Must Win” of April

      Putin is likely to press on with his armed campaign to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine; he seems already to have the wherewithal to achieve that aim. Better still from Putin’s point of view, he possesses an important insurance policy that he has been paying premiums on for two decades — Big Brother President Xi Jin-ping of China is the insurance.

      The growing closeness of the Russia-China strategic relationship had become clear well before the invasion of Ukraine, when — to the surprise of many — Xi decided to give Putin a waiver on Westphalia, so to speak. Xi’s strong support for Russia speaks volumes.

      Indeed, in a worst-case scenario sparked by the war in Ukraine, the U.S./NATO might well find themselves facing the possibility of a two-front war with both Russia and China. The most unsettling thing of all is that there is little sign that Biden’s junior-varsity advisers are aware that — partly because of their own misfeasance — the U.S./Russia/China triangular relationship has become pronouncedly isosceles, with the U.S. on the short end.

      – Tectonic Shift
      – Cracks in NATO
      – Cui Bono? The MICIMATT

      Is there a winner here, no matter how the situation in Ukraine evolves? Well, the Lockheed Martins and Raytheons of this world will manufacture and sell still more weapons. Profits will zoom. It’s the familiar gravy train of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex.


    • #

      The hypocrisy of empire: US has The Hague Invasion Act, but wants The Hague to prosecute Russia

      Amid the fog of war in Ukraine and the total absence of any due process to assess the various violent scenes emerging from the conflict there – a process which normally takes years — the Biden administration is already looking for a way to get the International Criminal Court in The Hague to start from Washington’s desired result and work backwards.

      Except that the US isn’t even a member of the court, so what authority, moral or otherwise, does it have? And neither is Russia, as of 2016, so any efforts to target Russia would amount to little more than symbolism. The lack of satisfaction that Washington would get, compared to the potential risks that it could itself incur, makes the lack of self-awareness even more flagrant. Why would Washington risk opening a massive Pandora’s Box against itself by suddenly expressing its newfound interest in defending international law?

      Until now, Washington had no use for the ICC, and refused to consider any talk of war-crimes accusations against American officials or military personnel within the context of its various armed interventions around the world.

      In 2002, amid the US invasion of Afghanistan, and just ahead of its bombing of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein from power, Congress passed The American Service-Members’ Protection Act, known informally as The Hague Invasion Act, which allows “all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.” It also prohibits cooperation with, and extradition of Americans to, the court for trial.

      Not long after the legislation was signed into law by President George W. Bush, the war crimes accusations against Washington officials started flying within the context of its global war on terror. Human Rights Watch cited “coercive interrogation methods approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for use on prisoners at Guantánamo,” as well as photos of prisoner abuse by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison.Disturbing images aside, Geneva Conventions have historically permitted unlawful enemy combatants to be shot on sight and denied prisoner of war treatment. The US played on that discrepancy and may have been legally justified in doing so based on international law going back to the Peace of Westphalia. But in the heat of armed conflict, emotions run high and often overwhelm the interest in due process. One would think that Washington would be at least willing to accord the same consideration to the actors in the Ukraine conflict that it demands for itself.

      Other American wartime acts described casually as “war crimes” and “atrocities” abound over the past two decades. Sixteen civilians were killed in Afghanistan by a US soldier in the Kandahar Massacre in 2012. In 2015, a US warship hit Kunduz hospital, with the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) calling it a war crime.

      America has always railed against international law as applied to its own actions when it has felt that the end justifies the means for either itself or its allies.

      While Team Biden tries to figure out how to manipulate a court whose authority Washington categorically rejects into doing its bidding, it may want to first consider how it plans to engage while avoiding its own exposure to war-crimes trials.


      • #
        Forrest Gardener

        Indeed OO. The US government has been doing evil things for a long time. And I can’t recall a time when the US had less influence over world affairs.


  • #
    Forrest Gardener

    Yeah but, no but.

    All plausible stuff, but can I go back to the very first line of the quoted article and the assertion that Russia is losing in the Ukraine.

    As Russia is the invader, “losing” would mean their forces are being repelled and on current trends will be expelled from the Ukraine.

    I think that assertion needs some objective analysis. My guess is that the situation is more likely heading to a stalemate.


    • #

      Forrest it was never going to be anything else. The Americans are far more deeply embedded in Ukraine than anyone realised I think, they will never let Zelensky surrender. The best he can hope for is that the Russians stop along the road from Dinepro to Kharkiv and form a front line there, which is about what the Russians want.

      Then it will be back to throwing artillery shells at each other, but at least its further away from Donetsk. The Yanks will never give this up, they will use it to bleed Russia as much as they can. Maybe we can have a demilitarised zone, like Korea does.


    • #

      As Russia is the invader, “losing” would mean their forces are being repelled and on current trends will be expelled from the Ukraine.

      Au contraire. Russia, as invader must have had a purpose and goals for the attack. It has clearly not achieved them but has suffered losses it will be impossible to replace any time soon [in a decade?]

      Russia has one last chance if they gather all their forces to the Donbas region. If they don’t have a glorious victory there, they have lost, big time.


      • #
        Forrest Gardener

        H, you’d need to identify the goals and purpose before declaring that Russia has not achieved theirs.

        My analysis was based on occupied territory. What is yours?


        • #

          Russia changes their goals as they miss each target. Is a missed target a loss?

          You are not seriously suggesting that their war plan included being bogged down for months while suffering 20% of the losses US suffered in Vietnam in a fraction of the time?


          • #
            Forrest Gardener

            H, what I am seriously suggesting is that Russia currently occupies territory in the Ukraine and I haven’t seen anybody suggest they are on their way to being expelled from Ukranian territory.

            But when you talk about Russia missing targets you must have something in mind. What is it? And what are Russia’s current goals you write of?


  • #

    Sorry, this article is western propaganda (Hannan a noted imperialist). For the background to this crisis read/listen to Prof Mearsheimer who predicted all thats happened. Basically the West backed Russia into a corner and made all their reactions inevitable.
    https://youtu.be/JrMiSQAGOS4 Mearsheimer full lecture 1hr
    Next. Here is proof of Zelensky’s lies and war crimes. He is murdering civilians to pursue his Oscar.


    • #

      Agreed, This is the biggest load of unadulterated crap I’ve read on this website for a long time. I’ve been following the Ukraine situation since 2014 US backed coup and this website for far longer and the geopolitical situation between Russia and the “free” US/West as well – we sure lost our freedoms since the covid scam didn’t we. I would tend to agree with Putin that the west is the empire of lies and this article butreesses the claim and just added another stone to that growing rampart.

      Anybody who has a skerrick of sceptisicsm to this article and what’s happenning in Ukraine might want to have a listen to Colonel Douglas Macgregor, Scott Ritter, Andrei Martyanov, The Duran, Gonzzalo Lira etc. Yeah, they have a bias but at least you’ll get a more balanced appraisal and big dollops of truth compared to the shite that was just served up.


  • #

    Western civilisation has replaced “Error Correction” with “Censorship of Errors”. Political and Media systems have replaced “Greater Transparency” with “Censorship” and threats to sack Scientists who point out errors: https://truthundercover.com/covid-hero-desperate-to-save-lives-thwarted-by-pharma-governments/

    Democracy is perverted by Politicians lying to make people vote for them. Populism is the truth told by people wanting to replace career politicians. So “Progressive Democracy” is Authoritarianism, and Populism is “True Democracy”.

    In June 1930, a priest in the North Caucasus Kraiis area, is shot in the head for opposing Stalin’s collectivisation policies. Shortly afterwards a baby is born with a birth mark on top of its head. On 11 March 1985, the baby with the birthmark on the head, became the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev imposes Perestroika & Glasnost on Russia. Gorbachev ends the existence of the “Evil Empire” on Christmas Day 1991. Boris Yeltsin invites the Globalist Mafia into Russia. Vladimir Putin kicks the Globalist Mafia out of Russia and restores the Russian Orthodox Church to the
    same privileged position which it enjoyed prior to the 1917 revolution. On 24 February 2022, Vladimir Putin invades the Ukraine, to kick out the evil Globalist Mafia, but is thwarted by the corruption of his intelligence and military bureaucrats.

    So is Putin the good guy? Hunter Bidens laptop reveals the corruption & Bio-labs in Ukraine. According to Hunter Bidens laptop & bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, Russia’s accusation that Ukraine is conducting U.S.-funded bioweapons research appears to be accurate. https://truthundercover.com/north-korea-not-the-real-rogue-state-its-corrupt-usa/ And this is a report in the Irish Times by Joby Warrick, in 2005: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/odessa-labs-host-deadly-legacy-1.483244

    What censored unbelievable things has Putin said?: “We Are Rescuing Biden’s Victims from the global children trafficking network” Did he say it? Did the Russian Spetsnaz Special Forces rescue over 35,000 children held captive in Deep Underground Military Bases beneath Biden’s 200 acre property in Ukraine?: https://dinarchronicles.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Restored-Republic-via-a-GCR-4-8-2022.pdf

    Australians could check this by the fact it says an Australian Senator has confirmed that the Vax contains Nanotechnology that selfassembles inside the body and leads to suicide. Other confirmation: https://pulitzercenter.org/stories/suspicions-grow-nanoparticles-pfizers-covid-19-vaccine-trigger-rare-allergic-reactions


  • #

    Yes Zelensky’s oscar will be the pride of Nato LOL

    and from the comments
    “It is sad, nay pathetic that no matter how much evidence is offered the Globalist Banksters will continue to pedal their lies and propaganda. The more they blatantly do this, the more people will wake up. Clearly they are desperate now, frightened of the coming storm which they can do nothing about. Putin is an ace chess player and has them checkmate.”


  • #

    What corruption? According to the Russians…

    “The Red Cross stops the supply of food and medicine to Ukraine: officials steal humanitarian aid

    The Romanian branch of the Red Cross announced a halt in the supply of humanitarian aid to the Odessa region. The reason was the received facts of theft of the supplied food and medicine by high-ranking officials of the military administration – primarily the governor and his entourage. Corrupt officials, taking advantage of their official position, send aid from Romania to their warehouses and sell it in their stores.”

    I tried to check it, but found-

    “International Committee of the Red Cross. What you need to know about our action in Ukraine –
    The site is currently unavailable. Please try later. Sorry for the inconvenience”

    According to the Ukrainians-

    “The International Committee of the Red Cross and its head have taken the Russian side despite the war crimes these terrorists commit each day in Ukraine, writes Roman Rukomeda.
    Meanwhile, Ukraine is experiencing a real humanitarian catastrophe in areas captured by Russian aggressors. People that are staying in their houses are lacking drinking water, food, electricity, heating and security. Russian invaders are plundering, looting and robbing, killing and torturing civilians. One of the biggest problems is Russia’s kidnapping of Ukrainian citizens, deporting them with force to Russian territory. Ukrainian authorities in besieged Mariupol said about 15,000 civilians had been illegally deported to Russia since Russian terrorists seized parts of the southern port city.

    There is evidence of strange behaviour by the International Committee of the Red Cross and its head, who announced the decision to open an office in Russian Rostov to assist Russian terrorists in the illegal deportation of Ukrainian citizens.

    Roman Rukomeda is a Ukrainian political analyst. “


  • #

    Ah- One mention of it, but in a staunchly Communist site.

    “”In Odessa, Western humanitarian aid is already being sold in shops and markets” Ukrainian propagandist Snyatovskaya said that humanitarian aid in Odessa has become a “business” under the control of official Anatoly Vorokhaev. This politician was personally approved by the head of the region, the former Commander of the Nationalist Battalion “Aidar” Maxim Marchenko. According to Snyatovskaya, “humanitarian aid” has been repeatedly seen in shops and bazaars, while volunteers are looking for such elementary things as “cigarettes, balaclavas, socks, armour and some kind of ammunition” for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “In such a cool city – such a wicked government, which is already dividing humanitarian aid, is already profiting from the war,” the girl noted. t.me/rvvoenkor”


  • #

    Many of Ukraine’s people speak Russian.
    And have been till now,
    Members of the Russian Orthodox Church
    Governed by Patriarch Kyril in Moscow.
    Kyril has blessed the Russian invasion
    And in religious ceremonies at his cathedral
    BlessedRussian troops going to invade Ukraine

    This has generated a huge change in the Ukrainian Russian Orthodox Christians.
    Around have have abandoned the Church.
    And lead by their parish priests asked to join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
    Seeing their own parish members shelled, bombed and shot out of hand
    By invading Russian troops
    Has turned millions of Russian Orthodox Christians
    Against Moscow not just politically,’But in a religious sense as well.

    An interview with a Russian speaking Orthodox parish priest
    Speaking about this huge change, can be found here.


  • #

    Another interesting perspective, here:



  • #

    I suppose you can measure corruption on a % of GDP or as an absolute value.

    Using the second measure the US of A is the most corrupt nation on earth. I puke when I hear that they are overseeing other nations’ elections.


  • #

    Wow! What a story. Best info Ive heard since this issue surfaced.

    Many have taken sides on this issue. It’s one thing I try and avoid. For reasons evident in this article. The Russians seem inherently corrupt which manifests with unintended consequences.