Friday, January 28, 2022

Ukraine - An Astonishing Coincidence

Gerhard Schröder served as a Federal Chancellor between 1998 and 2005. During his early years as a member of parliament he met with East German leader Erich Honecker in East-Berlin (1985).

Shortly after Schröder had lost the German federal elections in 2005, he accepted a director's post at Gazprom, Russia's top provider of Siberian natural gas. He is connected with the disputed "Nord Stream 2" gas pipeline which he promoted from the beginning of the project. Schröder became as well a close friend to President Putin and, together with his then-wife, adopted two Russian children. His former social-democratic friends turned their backs on him because he was already known as " the comrade of shareholders " (German: "Der Genosse der Bosse").

Both, Schröder and Putin could already have met between 1985 and 1990 in Germany, at the time Putin served as a KGB and liaison officer to the East German state security. His task being related to "foreign intelligence outside East-Germany" as he told journalists on request, he could have been expected to maintain frequent contact with Russian headquarters in Berlin-Karlshorst and with the Ministry of State Security in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen for which he owned a special identity card, even though he was officially stationed in Dresden. Visits to Westberlin, in the frame of interallied regulations or with a diplomatic passport, should have been easy to manage for him.

Quoted Source

As to Vladimir Putin, it was during the last years of the East-German Republic that I heard his name for the first time on one of those trains which connected Westberlin with the Federal Republic. Between both frontier stations, such trains passed without further stop in the so-called German Democratic Republic. They were reserved for Western transit passengers and surveyed by East German state security ("Stasi"). On each train a group of three East German agents could be found, one of them usually being a middle-aged woman with a conspicuous and impudent appearance that she produced to get the attention of interesting passengers who should hold her for a shameless bitch, easy to approach. According to what I heard, she was responsible for some arrests and punishment of credulous but rather harmless people. In the 1980ies I happened to take the transit connection frequently. So I came to know what people I was travelling with. Once, while I was sitting in the dining car, they were sitting behind my back and had their lunch-break. Their conversation became more private and turned around a party the woman had attended. "Did you really get an invitation for that ?" "Yes I did, and there was someone pouring his vodka discreetly into a flower pot." Muffled laughter. "That was Putin." "Hello, if there is somebody such loyal to the party line." Louder laughter.

At the very moment I didn't get the meaning of that performance, but much later I understood. It was the time of General Secretary Gorbatchev's campaign against alcoholism in the Soviet Union (1985-88) which had led to considerable economic losses. Therefore, a Russian liaison officer and special guest at that Stasi party had to find a way to keep the political line without openly insulting his German colleagues. He might even have suspected the treacherous aspect of these lackeys.

Long after the German reunification, somebody else retold the same story and its background independently on the internet. So I decided to accept this as a confirmation. As to me, I never spoke to anybody about my experience up to now. And, by the way, Vladimir Putin wouldn't have enjoyed such incredible career, if he hadn't proven his unshaking loyalty towards his former masters, Gorbatchev and Boris Jelzin.

Russian video including an interview with Putin
where he describes the character of his work.

Accepting the fact that Vladimir Putin appeared in Dresden in 1985 and became an important figure in the foreign intelligence business targeting the "main enemy" (which was the West), we can as well imagine that he wasn't entirely new in his business. Starting as a major and entitled with special privileges (access to Stasi facilities, German car plate) and with a certain knowledge of the German language, one might suppose that he had already acquired some professional experience in the spy business. From there, it should not be excluded that he had already completed this or that job to the satisfaction of his superiors. I remember two western press reports referring to the recruitment of students who had almost finished their formation in the late 1970ies or early 1980ies. Unless most spy activity of those years in the Federal Republic and Westberlin, this was specifically assigned to KGB. As to the reported cases, they should not have been too successful, but who knows about those other guys deliberately giving a hand in the establishing of global peace and socialism with a little well-paid post in it for themselves.

Much of the kind was happening in those years, sometimes directly under the eyes of uninvolved witnesses who happened to be on the spot at the wrong moment, or who got to know some shady figure who was not what he tried to impersonate. From there, I came to think that western counter-intelligence knew more than expected, even though they kept silent for their own reasons.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ukraine Conflict - A Chess Game

Last Update on January 28, 2022

The Paper, 澎湃新闻, is a Chinese digital newspaper run by the Shanghai United Media Group and said to be ideologically connected with the Communist Party of China.

On January 27, 2022, they came with an interesting comment on the Ukrainian conflict seen as a chess game. The comment is based on a perception of Ukraine being isolated in its controversy with Russia, with no western partner willing to send troops or really effective weapons. It comes to the conclusion that Ukraine has to decide with what side to negotiate.







It is impossible to successfully mediate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and the key lies in how Russia and Ukraine deal with problems, such as avoiding the start of fighting.

The reason is simple: from the moment Putin took Crimea, it meant that Ukraine could not be pro-Russian, and if Zelenskiy said good things for Russia, he would only be forced to step down.

In the eyes of most Ukrainians, Russia's "annexation" of Crimea and its current attempt to control Donbass is undoubtedly unacceptable.

Zelenskiy took the initiative to call out Putin for peace talks, and also invited Macron, Scholz and other helpers, which is undoubtedly good news, as to whether Putin takes care of Zelenskiy, it is another matter.

Putin's choice is to talk directly to the United States, because Russia believes that Ukraine is a pawn of the United States.

There is no turning back from the bow, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is still full of variables, and the outbreak of war may not be nothing, whether to continue to be the bridgehead of the United States, or to sit down with Russia sincerely, Ukraine really has to think about it.





Is the situation in Russia and Ukraine really on the verge of erupting? To be honest, Russia really doesn't want to go to war, and Russia is not economically strong enough to support an all-out war against Ukraine. Just yesterday, the Russian stock market plunged 8.32 percent.

But Russia has no way back, they must have a buffer zone from the geopolitical point of view, can not accept NATO directly close to the border, can not accept NATO eastward expansion. But Russia also understands that if war really breaks out between Russia and Ukraine, it will not only be of no benefit to Ukraine, but also of little benefit to Russia, but it can only be a lose-lose situation and let the West take advantage of the fire.


Every day the US keep saying the wolf is coming.
What if the wolf really comes ?

The next day, January 27, the above quoted source reported about direct talks between Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine without the presence of a US representative:

After having temporarily excluded the US from the proceedings in Russia's direct negotiations with Ukraine and representatives from France and Germany, Russia came to terms with Ukraine on the lowest possible level of a mutual ceasefire. Soon afterwards, Russia stepped forward in the controversy about a hypothetic NATO membership of Ukraine. As Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexei Zaitsev put it: After the ceasefire even the idea of war between Russia and Ukraine should be considered as 'unacceptable'. In order to ease tensions in the conflict, a withdrawal of NATO troops from all of Eastern Europe should therefore be the logical consequence. [Reuters news agency, Chinese edition on January 28, 2022]


Zaitsev said: "If NATO withdraws its troops from Eastern European countries, military tensions will obviously ease." That is exactly what we are calling for. "

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Russia - Final Countdown to War ?

Any description of the situation suggests that a Russian attack on Ukraine within the very next days is quite within the bounds of probability. I therefore ventured to compile a summary of all the dangerous facts which have emerged within the last few days.

A group of pro-democracy hackers calling themselves “Cyber Partisans” said Monday they had infiltrated the Belarusian rail network in an effort to “disrupt” the movement of Russian troops into the country as tensions over a potential renewed invasion of Ukraine grow.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said Monday that Russian troops were already arriving in the Kremlin-aligned country, which borders Ukraine and Russia, ahead of a February training operation. That exercise has raised fears in the West that it would place Russian troops and equipment along Ukraine’s northern border, near the capital, Kyiv, further encircling the country. [Washington Post, January 25, 2022]

The United States has heightened the readiness of some 8,500 U.S. troops amid tensions between Russia and NATO over a potential invasion of Ukraine, but no decisions have been made yet to deploy them. [US media on January 25, 2022]



According to media reports, Russia's ambassador to China, Denisov, said at a press conference on January 25 that the negotiations between Russia and NATO will not talk about China, but regular consultations between Russia and China have been going on. The two countries have reached an agreement on this issue, and China understands Russia's position in the US-Russian security negotiations that NATO cannot allow Ukraine to join and must stop its eastward expansion.

The following report and evaluation has been compiled by a group of Chinese netizens interested in military affairs. In their article they are discussing the probability of different Russian advances on Ukraine's territory. The article has been marked as "individual opinion". [新浪军事2022年01月25日 - military news from mainland China]


On January 17, some troops from Russia's Far East began arriving in Belarus, ostensibly to take part in military exercises scheduled for February. Russia said it would also send 12 fighter jets and two S-400 air defense systems. An offensive from the north across the Belarus-Ukrainian border would allow Russian forces to approach the Ukrainian capital from the west and surround it.


Western countries are preparing for the worst. On January 17, Britain began airlifting thousands of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. A few days ago, three Russian landing ships sailed through the Baltic Sea with unknown destinations. On the same day, Ukraine was hit by cyberattacks that took down Ukrainian government websites and attacked official computers. The United States, meanwhile, said it had intelligence showing that Russia was planning military action against it in eastern Ukraine.


However, wars always unfold in unpredictable ways. Since World War II, Russia has not conducted a large-scale offensive of infantry, armor and air power. An attacked country may easily fall apart, or it may persevere. Ivan Timofeev, an expert at the Russian Council of International Affairs, warned that a prolonged and slow military confrontation would destabilize Russia itself.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The US Administration As Seen From China

The Biden administration in its struggle to handle a difficult competition with Russia and China, as seen from inside China. Quotations taken from a popular news feed:

[網易 Easy Net, Chinese handy news on January 22, 2022]

俄总参谋长格拉西莫夫公开表示: 你们敢动手,我就敢扔核弹

Gerassimow, chief of the Russian General Staff, openly stated:
If you dare to do anything, I will dare to drop a nuclear bomb.




Since the current US President Joe Biden took office, one of his biggest wishes has probably been to separate the close diplomatic cooperation between China and Russia.

After all, in the way that the United States can only rely on the printing press to pay military funds today, and maintains a strategic confrontation with China and Russia at the same time in the world, it is more and more likely to follow the old path of the Soviet Union.

If Russia turns to the West, it can indeed change the momentum of Sino-US competition, [up to now] benefitting China, overnight and which is a dream that will allow Biden and Americans not to wake up for three days and three nights.

To that end, Biden flew to Geneva, Switzerland, on June 17 to talk in secret with Russian President Vladimir Putin for four hours to ease tensions between the United States and Russia.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

US Weapons for Ukraine - Update

This is an update of my previous blog on the delivery of US weapons to Ukraine.

Published today, January 22, another Chinese language article from mainland China came with further news of US war preparations in the frame of the Ukraine conflict. [腾讯网2022年01月22日]


The United States prepares Ukraine for war, and drones run
from the United Arab Emirates to Ukraine for reconnaissance.


According to the latest aviation news, the American RQ-4 Global Hawk was able to run from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Ukraine for reconnaissance and was flying around Turkey. This shows that the United States is ready to prepare for the war in Ukraine.

On January 22 the Ministry of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates announced that the flying of drones and light sports aircraft will be banned from now on. Agencies that need to use drones for advertising or commercial shooting must obtain a flight permit. The Interior Ministry said there had been a recent incident of drone abuse and the ban had been issued to ensure the safety of people's lives and property. It is unknown, if the flight ban is related to the reported deployment of a US made Global Hawk drone leaving the UAE for Ukraine. [环球网2022年01月23日]

In order to assure further assets for military help to Ukraine, US legislators brought about a legal construction.



Meanwhile, U.S. senators have drafted a bill that would allow the U.S. president to provide Ukraine with Lend-Lease weapons. The document, called the Law on Democratic Defense of Ukraine, recommends providing Ukraine with military equipment "to protect vulnerable Ukraine from Russian military aggression."

Under current law, the President of the United States has the authority to permit the supply and lease of weapons to "American partners and allies." In addition, the U.S. defense budget for 2022 provides Ukraine with $300 million, including $225 million for training and equipment and $75 million for training and equipping lethal weapons. But, as the bill's drafters argue, that's not enough.

Russia China Iran - Joint Navy Exercises

Between January 18 and 20, Russia, China and Iran held joint navy exercises. This comes at a time when antagonisms between these three nations on one side and the USA on the other side are culminating.

Here is some Chinese video which was launched yesterday, January 21. It is intended to answer US ambitions on the seven seas and offers increased security that should be allegedly provided by the Russians and their partners. Pictures are showing navy units operating in the Gulf of Oman. Other joint operations will take place in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. By the way, the three nations already held a similar exercise in 2021.

中俄伊三国举行联合军演, 这是美国自找的

" China, Russia, and Iran held joint military exercises,
which the United States asked for itself. "


The China-Russia-Iran joint military exercise will
demonstrate the mighty power of global justice.


The Key is Oil:
There have been a number of consecutive attacks against international merchant ships.

Sequence of Video Subtitles:

阿曼湾是非常敏感的战略航道…… 它与霍尔木兹海峡相连…… 全球约五分之一的石油…… 通过阿曼湾和霍尔木兹海峡运输……

去年5月和6月…… 连续发生多起针对国际商船的袭击…… 美军是周边海域航运的主要威胁…… 他们多次强行扣押伊朗船只……

The Gulf of Oman is a very sensitive strategic waterway... It is connected to the Strait of Hormuz... About one-fifth of the world's oil... Is being shipped through the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz...

Last May and June... There have been multiple attacks on international merchant ships in a row... The U.S. military is a major threat to shipping in the surrounding waters... They have repeatedly forcibly seized Iranian vessels……

A blogspot of mine related to the same matter: US Trading Confiscated Iranian Oil.

Here is a link to the original video.


Another brandnew video published today, January 22, is showing a military operation involving the Russian navy and which took place in the Gulf of Oman during the joint exercises.

Here is a link to the original site.



The enemy of the enemy is a friend, and the
Sino-Russian-Iranian joint military exercise
was caused by the United States.

Friday, January 21, 2022

US Weapons for Ukraine

Latest news on the development in Ukraine.
While US foreign secretary Blinken should be sitting around the negotiating table together with his Russian counterpart Lavrov, the Chinese newspaper 《星洲》 reported about an ongoing delivery of US weapons to Ukraine by proxy.

The Chinese news from 《星洲》 are appearing in Malaysia and are independent from Beijing. The quoted article was published today, January 21.


The United States agreed to the transfer of U.S.-made
weapons to Ukraine by the three Baltic states.

美国国务院已同意拉脱维亚、立陶宛和爱沙尼亚将美制导弹等武器 运交乌克兰。立陶宛防长周四称,该国希望能威慑“侵略者”俄罗斯。

The U.S. State Department has agreed to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to deliver U.S.-made missiles and other weapons to Ukraine. Lithuania's defense minister said on Thursday that the country hoped to deter "aggressor" Russia.

美国总统拜登政府自去年以来已批准向乌克兰提供6.5亿美元的武器, 其中于上月批准了2亿美元的额外防御性安全援助。

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has approved $650 million in weapons to Ukraine since last year, including $200 million in defensive security assistance that was approved at the beginning of this month.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Ukraine - Torn between Russia and the West

Yesterday, I discovered a Chinese language article published on the same day and which sheds a light on the missing acceptance of Russian supremacy over the peoples and cultures in the western part of the Soviet Union after its foundation in 1917. According to that article, this led to an initial fraternization of these peoples with German troops after their invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

While the German Federal Republic, founded in 1949, finally refrained from militarism and gave way to economic partnership and a peaceful competition of political systems, Russia feels its influence on Ukraine weaken in front of Western economic and political temptations, namely an EU and NATO membership which recently appeared on the Ukrainian horizon like a mirage. This is necessarily raising fears in Moscow to lose its last grip on a former satellite and which once made up for an indispensable part of the old Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.

Here are some quotations from that remarkable Chinese evaluation of a limited popular support for German invaders in World War II. It is still a proof that unbearable suppression is steadily raising resistance against any kind of 'Big Brother' and might finally be leading to an open revolt against his system.

... , after the establishment of the Soviet Union, due to the policy of terror for many years, the Russian culture was decisive, and other cultures, such as Ukrainian culture and language, were even illegal, which also aroused their dissatisfaction with the Soviet authorities. These peoples were not particularly willing to fight for the Soviet regime, and even anti-Soviet groups in the Baltic countries had already occupied some cities before the Germans arrived. Therefore, when the Soviet-German war broke out, many fighters and commanders in the Russian, Eastern Ukrainian and Eastern Belarusian troops did not show their due combat effectiveness and easily surrendered.

... ,苏联成立后,由于多年实行恐怖政策,以俄罗斯文化为正统,其他文化,比如乌克兰文化和语言甚至被定为非法,这也激起了他们对苏联当局的不满。这些民族并不是特别愿意为苏维埃政权而战斗,甚至波罗的海沿岸各国的反苏组织在德军还没有到来之前,就已经占领了一些城市。因此,在苏德战争爆发时,俄罗斯、东乌克兰和东白俄罗斯部队中的许多战士和指挥员也没有表现出应有的战斗力,轻易就缴械投降了。

A Belarusian officer once said to the Russian Liberation Army, which aptly reflected the mentality of these Soviets at the time: "We have no choice at all to do this or that. If the Germans win, they will wipe us all out. If the Soviets win, they will wipe out our civilization and assimilate our nation... There is no third option."

However, as the German army expropriated the occupied areas, it aroused the dissatisfaction of the local people, which intensified the contradiction. The local people realized the nature of the German invaders, and some people took up arms and resisted the German army.



Tuesday, January 18, 2022

5G may cause system failure in aircraft navigation.
US and Japanese airlines already cancelled flights.

Two major US cellphone carriers, AT&T and Verizon, agreed Tuesday afternoon to delay the planned roll-out of some new 5G wireless service that was intended to go into full operation tomorrow, Wednesday 19.

This comes after many US airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines raised alarms about potential interference with important systems on planes. In a letter to the White House, airline CEOs asked the government for “immediate intervention,” warning that the deployment of 5G could result in massive flight disruptions nationwide.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is concerned about a narrow range of frequencies included in the package of radio frequencies used for 5G services. These frequencies should provide higher data speeds and make cellphones more reliable. But airline CEOs worry that cellphone towers on the ground emitting a 5G signal could interfere with an airplane’s altimeter.

Other than some European 5G mobile communications standard, the US based 5G standard is using a frequency above 3,7 Gigahertz which is dangerously near the operation frequency of radar altimeters (4,2 - 4,4 Gigahertz), needed for aircraft approach navigation at low altitude and low visibility.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) announced on the evening of the 18th that they had cancelled some flights between Japan and the United States due to the possible impact of the 5G signal in the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration and several airlines have previously warned that 5G airwaves could cause malfunctions in aircraft instruments and systems.

The Japanese press reported that two Japanese airlines flying Boeing 777s on the America Line will cancel flights that cannot be changed to other models. All Nippon Airways pointed out that it learned from Boeing on the 18th that due to the influence of 5G radio waves, the system that controls the posture of the 777 aircraft may malfunction when it is flying at low altitudes.

5G恐致系统故障 全日空和日航取消部分飞美航班

According to ANA, U.S. aviation authorities pointed out in December that 5G airwaves could affect the plane's altimeter, and on Jan. 13 revealed the airports that might be affected. Boeing notified all airlines operating its 777s to limit operations because it could affect airframe control as the planes land. JAL also canceled some flights due to this impact.

Warnings from Boeing were accompanied by similar declarations from Airbus Industries.

The Arabic air carrier Emirates grounded its flights bound for North America.

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Kazakhstan Uprise Endangering
Russian and Chinese Interests

Russian sources express some second thoughts about the origin of widespread protests against Kazakhstan's autocratic leadership and which rather unexpectedly broke out some days ago.

There is no doubt that such protests are originally based on the fragility of Kazakhstan's economy, even though their violence seems to be unusual.

[“失落的卫星国”哈萨克斯坦:难以“独立行走”的通胀与坚戈 In the "Lost Satellite Nation" Kazakhstan: Inflation and [Currency] Tenge are Struggling to "Walk Independently"]

In the current global energy crisis, Kazakhstan, a net oil exporter, is struggling with rising prices and domestic fuel supplies. Kazakhstan is highly dependent on oil exports but lacks the pricing power of OPEC members, so its inflation and exchange rate are affected by the oil market and its main trading partner, the Russian currency ruble. In fact, it is a sharp increase in energy prices that finally blew the fuse of civil unrest in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan And Western Interests

Russian experts believe that 'Western black hands' are behind the massive protests in Kazakhstan. Pictures are being distributed that should prove the distribution of guns among protesters. Russian media are pointing at US interests in the region and suspect Western NGOs, namely 'Kazakhstan Democratic Choice' and 'Wake Up, Kazakhstan', for trying to take the lead in local protests in the capital Almaty.

哈萨克斯坦不明人员发放枪支【河青新闻网】 Firearms were distributed by unknown persons in Kazakhstan [Chinese source]

Furthermore, there could be much money involved, as US authorities are being scolded for having allegedly allocated more than 1.5 million US dollars to the 'rights and freedoms protection' work of Kazakh citizens last year.

[俄专家认为哈萨克斯坦大规模抗议背后有西方黑手 Russian experts believe that there are Western black hands behind the mass protests in Kazakhstan]

After a 4-day outage, the mobile phone signal in Kazakhstan's largest city has been restored today while bitcoin mining activities in Kazakhstan have been seriously affected. They disappeared by 12% due to the repeated interruption of the Internet in Kazakhstan during the riots. Data are showing that Kazakhstan will become the second largest bitcoin mining center in the world after the United States in 2021.


Russia's Peace-Keeping Mission

In the frame of their peace-keeping mission requested by Kazakhstan's leader Tokayev, Russia sent about 2,500 Russian airborne troops and related equipment. It is reported that 10 Il-76 large transport aircraft and 3 An-124 strategic transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces participated in the troop transport mission. Judging from the models used, the Russian airborne troops obviously carried a lot of heavy equipment. A video released by Russian state TV also showed that the Russian military transport plane to Kazakhstan was equipped with BMD-3 airborne combat vehicles and BTR-82A wheeled vehicles. Infantry fighting vehicles and "Tiger" high-mobility armored vehicles, etc.

As to the peace-keeping troops, the Russian army sent the 45th Special Brigade of the Airborne Forces, the Ivanovo Airborne Forces and the famous Ulyanovsk Airborne Forces. The airborne troops are the elite troops in the Russian army, and their personnel treatment, training level and equipment level are very good.

[2500名俄军到哈平叛 "战斗民族"怎么打? 2500 Russian troops to Kazakhstan to put down the rebellion. How to fight the "fighting nation"?]

The deployment of these troops, however would certainly weaken Russia's general combat-readiness when it came to a military showdown between Russia and Ukraine, another hotspot where Russian and US interests are colliding.

China's Central Asian Strategy Affected

Russian sources have been quoted by Chinese media that are warning Chinese expatriates to take effective safety precautions and inform China's consulate and embassy in case of an urgency. China has much interest in a steady development of Kazakhstan which it sees as an important factor in its policy of 'One Road - One Belt'. That policy is intended to create a 'New Silk Road' between China and Eastern Europe via Kazakhstan and expand economic ties in the region while simultaneously developing new markets for Chinese goods.

The Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea and
which is partly owned by Chinese share holders.

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Ukraine Conflict - The Ideology of War

The State of Conflict
[Updates included]

Tens of thousands of Russian troops have gathered at the Ukrainian border, raising worries amongst the U.S. and its allies of a possible invasion. Russia has said it built up its military to prevent NATO expansion towards its borders and to defend Russian ethnic nationals living in the war-torn east Ukrainian region of Donbas.

US President Biden has said that Russia will have "a heavy price to pay" if it invades Ukraine.

Biden made his comment after reporters asked about his latest phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 30. During the 50-minute call, the two presidents mostly discussed de-escalation in Ukraine and U.S.-Russia diplomatic relations heading into European talks that will begin in mid-January.

Following the Biden-Putin call, a group of 24 former U.S. national security officials and Russia experts — a group that includes several officials who served in the Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton’s administrations — released a statement calling on Biden to immediately, and publicly, lay out the penalties Russia would face if Putin were to move forward with military action.

“We believe the United States should, in closest consultation with its NATO allies and with Ukraine, take immediate steps to affect the Kremlin’s cost-benefit calculations before the Russian leadership opts for further military escalation,” the group wrote. “Such a response would include a package of major and painful sanctions that would be applied immediately if Russia assaults Ukraine. Ideally, the outline of these sanctions would be communicated now to Moscow, so that the Kremlin has a clear understanding of the magnitude of the economic hit it will face.”

The Russians for their part continue to make the case that they are facing an existential threat with Ukraine.

UPDATE 04-01-2022
Russian Cyber Attacks

Ukraine has been the target of Russia’s most brazen cyber operations in recent years. Such attacks would surely accompany any land invasion launched by the roughly 175,000 Russian troops currently massed on the Ukraine border.

Cybersecurity experts are already noting an uptick in Russian cyber intrusions into Ukrainian government and civilian computer networks that could lay the groundwork for a major cyberattack. [Washington Post]

I recently learned about a cyber attack which caused a shutdown of local electricity in Ukraine. The shutdown was stopped by the aggressor only shortly before essential and long-lasting damage to the regional water supply could be caused by the freezing of idle pumping systems during the cold season. [German TV documentation]

Some Historic and Ethnic Facts
Serving Russia's War Readiness

Historic Links Between Moscow and Kiev

In the 11th century, a prince called Yaroslav the Wise united principalities lying between the Baltic and Black seas, codifying laws and forming the first political state of the eastern Slavs. Both Russia and Ukraine claim him as a forefather.

The kingdom of Yaroslav became a central part of the Russian empire during later centuries, and the axis Moscow-Kiev even served as the main line of supply for the Russian-Japanese War at the beginning of the 20th century where Russia blew most of its military and financial reserves in a colonial adventure that should provide access to coal, iron and unexpensive labour in China's eastern province of Manchuria, a region that was contested at the time between two colonial powers, Russia and Japan.

Further information is available from a brandnew Chinese article:
* 乌克兰的历史 *

The above quoted source from China and less comprehensive sources from the West are hinting at the role of national identity that is firing the Ukraine Conflict.

Ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine

As to the distribution of ethnic Russians in contested areas of Eastern Ukraine, there is an article I once published in this blog in order to prove the presence of a vast community of Russians in the Donbas region after World War II:
* Russlands Historische Wurzeln am Rand der Ukraine *
This article has been written in German as it refers to Russian literature, translated into German and distributed in occupied Eastern Germany after the end of World War II. At that time, nothing indicated that the Donbas region would become an object of dispute between independent states.

A related English language article on the 2014 referendum in the frame of Russia's occupation of Crimea can be found here:
* Ukraine - Crimean Referendum *

European Dreams of Love
Peace and Open Markets

Now that the Ukraine Conflict has become increasingly complicated and dangerous, the European Union needs to decide whether to leave it to US President Biden to negotiate a deal with Russia's Putin regarding an publicly requested - though hypothetic - NATO membership of Ukraine, or get involved to find new ways of further cooperation between the EU and Ukraine that could be tolerated by Putin. However, there is not much choice left. Wouldn't it be therefore more favourable to abandon the fundamental idea of making Ukraine an affiliate to the EU which could only lead to a direct confrontation with Russia. In case of an armed conflict which seems to become more and more real, this could freeze all relations with Russia for years.

To emphasize 'value based policies' in foreign politics might not be the best choice at the moment. Close economic relationship could be achieved sooner or later anyway, however not in opposition with existing treaties signed between Ukraine and Russia.

As I tried to show, both countries enjoy a long common history that was, as well, the history of the Russian Empire smashed in the revolution of 1917. When the subsequently founded Soviet Union failed in the 1980ies, Ukraine became independent, however not completely separated from Russia. There are still many links, economic and ethnic ones, which have their impact on Russian-Ukrainian coexistence. No wonder that Russia's leader looks with great suspicion at the expansion of the European Union, even though he might be aware that such expansion can include an unhealthy aspect for the EU itself.

Memories of the 'Great War of the Fatherland' are still present, especially in the disputed area of Donbas and Crimea. This is what should not be forgotten. When Russian troops finally prevailed over German invaders in the battle of nearby Stalingrad at the end of 1942, it was the result of different reasons and developments, and it was not the logical consequence of Russian supremacy.

And we don't want to see the Euro currency end like the German occupation forces' Karbowanez currency for Ukraine in 1942.

Well, the 20 Euro banknote for use in Ukraine is a fake ! But I hope I got it look real.
Or do you really wish to make Ukraine a part of the European Union and 'Euroland' ?