By Dmitry Orlov and posted with permission
Just yesterday Russia Foreign Ministry published a couple of documents that people have been struggling to interpret ever since, to little useful effect. I would like to offer my own explanation of what these documents mean, which will probably differ a great deal from most other explanations you are likely to hear. Time will tell how close they are to the truth; for now, I am happy to simply add to the spectrum of ideas that are available to it.
The two documents describe in detail what Washington must do to avoid the consequences of breaking its verbal agreement entered into with Mikhail Gorbachev to not expand NATO eastward toward Russia’s borders—essentially, to freeze NATO forces where they were in 1997, before NATO expanded farther east. The documents also address other aspects of de-escalation, such as removing all US nuclear weapons from foreign territory and confining US forces to waters and airspace from which they cannot threaten the territory of Russia.
One line of explanation, most recently expressed in Washington and elsewhere, is that these documents are a negotiating gambit (not an ultimatum), to be discussed privately (to avoid complete loss of face by the US) and in consultation with NATO members and partners, plus, maybe, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, Amnesty International and Greenpeace (to avoid making their combined irrelevance apparent to all). I agree that there is little to be gained from public discussions; after all, Moscow has already achieved the required bombshell effect through the public release of these documents and in forcing Washington to acknowledge their receipt and to consent to “negotiations”.
I disagree that there is anything to be negotiated: these documents are not intended to be used as a starting point for negotiations; they are an invitation for Washington to acknowledge and remedy its transgressions. Washington broke the deal it made with Moscow not to expand east. It could do so because in the years following the breakup of the USSR Moscow was too weak to resist and run by people who thought it possible for Russia to integrate into the West, perhaps even to join NATO. But that era has ended some time ago and the collective West now has to put its collective toes back behind the red line—whether voluntarily or not—and that is the only thing yet to be determined. That is the only choice to be made: stand down voluntarily and make amends or refuse and be punished.
I also disagree that this choice—between making amends and accepting punishment—has anything to do with the EU, or NATO, or various “members” or “partners”. Moscow has no relationship with NATO, seeing it as a mere piece of paper that grants Washington rather questionable legal authority to deploy its military forces in countries around the world. Moscow has some vestigial diplomatic representation with the EU, but doesn’t see it as important and concentrates on bilateral relations with EU members. As for its Eastern European neighbors, the Ukraine is, viewed from Moscow, a US colony and thus entirely a US concern, Poland can go and partition itself again (or not), and, as far as those tiny yet politically annoying statelets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, so sorry, but the Russian army is equipped with binoculars, not microscopes.
The choice, really, is between facing an increasing risk of a nuclear exchange between two nuclear superpowers—one that is rapidly fading in strength and one that is growing stronger all the time—and reducing that risk as much as possible. Only the two nuclear superpowers need to come to an understanding; everyone else can simply do as they say so that nobody gets hurt. In the case of the Europeans, they should be quite interested in doing so (if they still know what’s good for them) because NATO’s eastward expansion has left them with huge nuclear target signs painted all over them which they would do well to try to remove. Not only that, but NATO’s encroachment on Russia’s borders has increased the risk of a nuclear confrontation breaking out accidentally: all those nuclear-armed bombers, ships and submarines could make a wrong turn somewhere and then—kaboom!—no more Europe.
You might think that those bombers and ships and submarines must loiter around Russia’s borders in order to “contain” Russia, but this is false. Russia does an acceptably good job of containing itself, and the little territorial disputes that are likely to crop up here and there periodically are certainly not going to be solved by increasing the risk of nuclear war. The Russian Federation has land borders with over a dozen countries, most of which have Russian citizens living on both sides of them, and that makes land disputes inevitable, but none of them will ever be worth blowing up the planet over.
You might think that NATO forces need to show activity and act dangerous in order to justify their existence and their ridiculously bloated defense budgets. Also, if they didn’t get a chance to be threatening toward Russia, they might become despondent and just sit around drinking, doing drugs and having gay sex, and that would be bad for morale. (But then what’s wrong with a little gay sex between consenting off-duty gender-ambiguous servicepersons?) I’d think that these are all rather minor, if not trifling, concerns, considering that what’s on the other side of the scale is the risk of a planetary conflagration.
You might also think that Washington’s eastward expansion is not a crime because, you see, Gorbachev failed to get its promise not to expand east committed to in writing. Well, let me offer you a tiny insight into the inner workings of Russian civilization. If you enter into a verbal agreement with the Russians, break it, and then taunt them by saying “But you didn’t get it in writing!” you have just made the problem much worse for yourself. We all make mistakes and must sometimes break our promises, in which the proper course of action is to be contrite, apologize sincerely and offer to make amends. If, instead, you claim that the promise is null and void because a certain piece of paper cannot be located, then you have compounded your dishonorable conduct with willful disregard and have singled yourself out for exemplary punishment. This punishment may be slow to arrive, taking decades, perhaps even centuries, but you can be sure that you will be punished eventually.
Once upon a time Moscow was weak and Washington strong, but now the balance has shifted in Moscow’s favor and the time for Washington’s punishment has finally come. The only remaining question is, What form will this punishment take? The one proposed by Moscow is in the form of submission to public humiliation: Washington signs the security guarantees drafted in Moscow, drags itself back to its kennel and lies quietly like a good doggo licking its balls to console itself. And that’s the more pleasant alternative, a win-win sort of thing, offered in good faith.
The less pleasant alternative would be, I can’t help but imagine, much less pleasant, very confusing and quite dangerous. Think about Poseidons—undetectable nuclear-powered torpedos—endlessly cruising in thousands of feet of water off the continental shelf along the US coasts, ready to wash them off with entirely accidental and perfectly deniable tsunamis, their sporadic pings causing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to soil their diapers every time. Think about NATO planes, ships and submarines quietly going missing for no adequately explored reason, their crews later turning up on some faraway beach very drunk and wearing Speedos in the colors of the Russian flag. Think of hypersonic something-or-others periodically doing zigzags in low Earth orbit over the US mainland, causing every cable TV channel to broadcast Russia Today and causing CNN’s talking heads to explode in impotent fury.
I would think that, in their own enlightened best interest, right-thinking Americans, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, would want to clamor for their elected representatives to quit making any more trouble and to just sign the damned security guarantees! But that’s just my own, private opinion.
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This is totally spot on, I have posted a couple of comments on some other articles saying as much myself. At this stage Russia must do all it can to openly attempt to deescalate the situation whilst defending its own position (red lines) at the same time. If it comes to war, it must be clear to all that it is the West/NATO that is 100 per cent responsible for the carnage, & it is they who will pay for this mess after ward when the bill is set to be paid.
Thank you for your work, and your articles.
No one should spit to Heaven. Sometimes there is a delayed (not immediate) effect in an action, and possibly this delayed effect can also cross generations. The quality of life and the consequences of our actions are better assumed if we believe in eternal life. Thus we cultivate: “to live in the present moment, with your feet in the ground and your head towards the stars”. Keeping a good mood is difficult in the midst of this dangerous turmoil.
Thanks for this.
Dmitry Orlov is one incisive analyst who effortlessly separates the wheat from the chaff.
I disagree that there is anything to be negotiated: these documents are not intended to be used as a starting point for negotiations; they are an invitation for Washington to acknowledge and remedy its transgressions
Only the two nuclear superpowers need to come to an understanding; everyone else can simply do as they say so that nobody gets hurt.
Both points absolutely correct. The documents represent an ultimatum and only the US counts. Of course, the Hegemon would rather have all its teeth pulled out than to acknowledge them as such. That would be bad form — they can’t have a nuclear-armed gas station presenting them with ultimatums can they? But I believe the fact is they (well, at least the lucid ones in Biden’s regime) have come round to see that Russia — who always say what it means and means what it says — means business. What they will do about it remains to be seen since it is early days yet but we will get some clear indications (actions, not words) soon. To my mind it’s also significant that at least two Nato top generals (US & UK) have publicly urged caution and spoken about a multipolar world in recent weeks. I say significant because the situation has deteriorated to the point that generals and admirals will soon become centre-stage actors; and those who will do the fighting and the dying (maybe not the generals, but certainly their troops) have spoken publicly, in effect betraying their unease and admonishing their political masters for their foolishness.
A funny article.
The reality is different.
Russia cannot prevent The West placing nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Russian options are very limited.
NATO is doomed and all the cynical airheads that live in those countries too.
Sure, the West may put nuclear weapons in the Ukraine and Russia near Kamchatka but then we have this:
“The choice, really, is between facing an increasing risk of a nuclear exchange between two nuclear superpowers—one that is rapidly fading in strength and one that is growing stronger all the time—and reducing that risk as much as possible.”
I believe Orlov’s reading of the Russian proposals is correct. If that is so, then it’s bye-bye Ukraine, probably bye-bye Europe and the US.
It’s ironic that the West’s constant efforts to reduce Russia’s options has resulted in it (West) now having the same options. Russia has just cut to the chase and levelled the playing field. The world is witnessing a new phase in the game of (nuclear) chicken over Nato expansion.
It’s not that easy to just go to nuclear war, as there are safeguards. Nukes in Ukraine means Russia puts nukes on the floor of the Atlantic, big 25-50 megaton nukes, and also on the bed of the Pacific.
85% of the U.S. population live on either coast. So if NAT/US station nukes in Ukraine. Putin’s people should let it be known what that option is. And the Americans will spend the next decade looking for said nukes.
Russians are not stupid, by any means.
Yes, they could do that. And it may be the dead hand. But, I don’t think that they will use a mass civilian casualty event to knock out the title holder. They will deliver a debilitating attack on the US military overseas in a way that does not frame themselves as:
* aggressors against their neighbors
* mass murderers of civilian populations
The USA has a glass jaw. It’s economy and banking system are on very thin ice. One humiliating and debilitating strike against the US military overseas could set off the chain of events that leads to its collapse. Look at what the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan did to Biden’s ratings. If the US Navy is sent to the bottom and nobody is sure who did it, the stock market and banking system will collapse in the USA, followed immediately by the political establishment.
It’s very hard not to know who sank an aircraft carrier and its squadron…only two countries can do that, or a meteor, but that doesn’t count.
US can no longer prevent Russia or China from placing nuclear weapons in Cuba or Nicaragua. This would open up many options for Russia/China
This is also an ideal situation for the west, It cost them nothing to escalate.
Well as they say for every action there is a reaction and this is Russia’s reaction to the transgressions of the west, for there will be no missiles stationed in the Ukraine, nuclear or otherwise.
The reality of it is that as China said long ago the west is “a paper tiger” which in many respects that it is the west has fought a number of what could be called Third World countries and had a can tied to its tail every time and Afghanistan is just the latest, and you’re mistaken for it could cost the west very dearly if they should escalate the affair in the Ukraine ask Germany if they would like Russian missiles raining down on top of them if push came to shove.
Dmitry Orlov has it down correctly. What you, the US and its western puppies don’t understand yet is that the west is having its testicles cut off as we speak. Otherwise known as an “Empirectomy”. Is that spaying or neutering? I can’t remember which. Expect the “Exceptionals (TM)” to segway soon from altos to sopranos.
I will disagree, having all that equiment and mouths to feed in eastern europe is not cheap.
We can barely pay for what we have there. Any escalation will cost money to the bankrupt west.
The entire West and specifically the war party of USA is dancing in a fantasy world of its own creation completely detached from realty. Hopefully, some savlne minds may ultimately prevail to understand what Russia can do and act constructively. If not, the Western World will be left only with smoke and debris.
I am inclined to agree, and to thank Mr O for his essay and ideas. I would remark>
“The West”, zone A, has a foundational document, the Great Writ. In concert with Magna Carta it has the Common Law. The Common Law recognizes verbal contracts. Repeat> In “West” verbal contracts are just as binding as written ones. Magna Carta has been repealed, and the Common Law replaced with expedient Ukase, “so-called “rules”. Thus “zone A” has become without foundation. In a basic sense this means ruin. How “zone A” can continue as it’s forms dissolve is a mystery. This makes “zone A” incapable of Contract, including surrender to it’s own contractual obligations, such as the contractual agreement to hold position in re NATO. Thus West is not capable of returning to the contract.
It seems to me that the alternative, the kettle strategy Mr O describes, is very probably what’s in store. And that within said kettle, ketosis. However this process of self-digestion of zone A is or would be fraught with dire risks, and therefore foreign “supervisors”, spies, business agents,if you will, will naturally be necessary to mitigate the risks of, say, nuclear power station failures that threaten the entire planet, biological weapons, or the presumably unpaid military selling off nuclear and other dangerous weapons. The ketosis must, for the safety of zone B, and the Earth, be curated.
Now then, what strategy of curation? What goals? It seems that the classical goal for this expensive effort would be to divide along the fissures and lines that exist, geography, race, and so forth. And to buy up the dangerous materials and remove them. At some point these will be offered up, cheap. Recognizing that the populations of zone A may soon be hungry and sick and decline suddenly, the “R2P” gambit may well be cited as, in part, the legalistic basis to curation of collapse. Regions would invite in “curators”.
>…”It seems to me that the alternative, the kettle strategy Mr O describes, is very probably what’s in store. And that within said kettle, ketosis. However this process of self-digestion of zone A is or would be fraught with dire risks, and therefore foreign “supervisors”, spies, business agents, if you will, will naturally be necessary to mitigate the risks of, say, nuclear power station failures that threaten the entire planet, biological weapons, or the presumably unpaid military selling off nuclear and other dangerous weapons. The ketosis must, for the safety of zone B, and the Earth, be curated.”…<
Of course, "curation" will not remove the threat of the "suitcase nukes" already in the hands of who-knows-who in various parts of the planet.
Masterful comments – as usual from this writer. As every man and his dog now understand: this is an ultimatum. Any agreed meetings would be to throw a few bones to the USA but otherwise insist on the main points as outlined by the Russians. But I don’t believe for one moment the USA will agree to anything. This means, as with any ultimatum, there is always THE OR ELSE. Mr Orlov has outlined in this article some quite novel and interesting elses.
Think about Poseidons—undetectable nuclear-powered torpedos—endlessly cruising in thousands of feet of water off the continental shelf along the US coasts, ready to wash them off with entirely accidental and perfectly deniable tsunamis, their sporadic pings causing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to soil their diapers every time. Think about NATO planes, ships and submarines quietly going missing for no adequately explored reason, their crews later turning up on some faraway beach very drunk and wearing Speedos in the colors of the Russian flag. Think of hypersonic something-or-others periodically doing zigzags in low Earth orbit over the US mainland, causing every cable TV channel to broadcast Russia Today and causing CNN’s talking heads to explode in impotent fury.
It doesn’t Bear thinking about…
Other elses might be kinetic and obvious, with no attempt at plausible deniability, including shooting down those bombers carrying out ‘first strike’ drills close to Russian borders and disabling NATO warships even when they are outside Russian waters.
Please continue with these articles Mr Orlov, especially in this high stakes drama – maybe not as fast-paced as in 1962 around Cuba, but just as dangerous and resulting, we must all hope, in the avoidance of catastrophe.
What a sad state of of affairs when Russia has to “spell out” their security needs as if dealing with a petulant child. We are a long way from the previous gentleman’s agreements between the superpowers…
It was Epstein buddy Bill Clinton who covered himself, his country, and the entire West in dishonour by breaking that agreement and expanding NATO eastwards.
Amazingly, in spite of the existential crises (financial & political) in the West, the ever- eastward expansion continues…sort like a bulimic who keeps stuffing his face with food…
I am just wondering who is this document really for? The delusional leadership of the West (who are getting crazier by the day)? Russia’s domestic audience? Or perhaps for future generations?
I think that the intended audience may be the Russian armed forces: here is the security blueprint, now formulate action plans for each type of potential violation. Also, it is useful for internal politics, as a way of addressing patriotic critics who say that the Russian government isn’t doing enough to counter Western provocations.
My friend, I think you may be wrong about the audience being AF Rossiya. From what I know of them I’m sure the violation SitReps and actions have been studied, dissected and honed to knife edge many months ago.
Never The Last One, paper back edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521849056 Never the Last One: a Novel of Spetznaz, opens your eyes to the Russian world not described in American news or fiction.
An Incident On Simonka paperback edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696160715 NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
I’d say many years ago – not months, Auslander.
To me, these documents are an explicitation of Munich 2007.
Thank you, Mr Orlov, for your fascinating take.
Thanks. Mr. Orlov. How much time does US have to begin responding to the ultimatum. Stoltenberg, certainly, seems intent on public-facing tough talk. I would think an ultimatum would necessarily come with a time-table for compliance.
NATO/US already rejected most of the ‘ ultimatum ‘.
‘(But then what’s wrong with a little gay sex between consenting off-duty gender-ambiguous servicepersons?)’
Chuckle of the day. But, apart from monetary and nuclear aggression and related threats, that pretty much sums up the pathetic, if laughable, actual state of U.S. preparedness for preservation of its global imperial power and influence. Their proven track record of dishonoring any agreements they’ve ever entered into, not excluding past ‘social contracts’ at home, makes any contractual arrangement with U.S.A. Inc. about as useful and reliable as the fabulous scorpion’s promise to the frog.
Negotiations with that country’s so-called leadership?! No one in his right mind would waste his time even considering the possibility — except, of course, as a deliberate delaying tactic while more realistic probabilities take hold.
Yesterday, on Canadian TV, something like this: 20,000 servicemen to be removed from Amy/Navy for not being vaccinated. I am not sure how many soldiers USANATO can field, but 200,000 seems as reasonable number. Well, 20,000 is 10% of 200,000. According to some rules of tactic, if 10% of the enemy combatants are wounded or killed, the enemy cannot recover, it is a huge loss. So, without a shot, 10% of forces removed? Oh my, oh my.
They don’t really need Russia/China/Iran, they are doing perfectly good job of destroying themselves. In English we say Good job, atta boy. In Russian they say “molodiets”.
On USA news, at the same time – states are expected to call up reserve forces to help mandate vaccination. Some states refused to do so, but most of them did not refuse. Popcorn, lots of popcorn needed indeed.
Mr. Orlov hits another one out of the park. He does with truth what others do with bullshit. Papa’s samizdat reposting desk is beaming this one south of the medicine line.
There is no “else” in Russian “ultimatum”.
Russia is begging for a compromise.
A huge strategic error.
And you seem to be begging for someone to agree with you. Except nobody seems to want to. This is like your third attempt. That’s a little bit sad, don’t you think?
I am replying to an obvious troll, but I would have worded the comment similarily if not.
The publication of these documents is basically an ultimatum. Coupled with the quotes from Zacharova, Lavrov, Putin and other key figures in the Russian government, I get the urgent feeling that they are done.
If the US/NATO does not stop the escalation, Russia and potentially China will hit back.
And that’s exactly what Deputy FM Grushko was at pains to drive home and hammer in:
“A moment of truth is upon us…. If US/NATO reject [our] proposals, Russia will create counterthreats. We have already made clear to them that we will switch to the mode of creating counter-threats. But then it will be too late to ask why we have made such decisions, why we have deployed such systems.”
“Therefore, the West now has two paths: to take seriously what we have put on the table, or face a military-technical alternative.”
About your mention of China, I’d say any actual military move would be along it’s own line, not in support for Russia, which does not need or even want any support at this stage. I may be wrong…
I think you are indeed wrong…my reading of the relationship between Russia and China is a very close consultation / cooperation / coordination process is the bedrock of this close alliance and that involves many layers: diplomatic, economic, financial, of which military activities and direct tactical and strategic support are just part.
I’d be glad to be wrong, as I’ve had enough of US gross impunity. Still, I think China will select an area where its own national interests are threatened and act there. Something that would also make Taiwan think twice, rather than an attack on Taiwan.
Taking Taiwan would look like China is hiding behind Russia’s skirts to snatch up this island, and that wont look very dignified. There are other things China can do to the US, where the world would still understand it is supporting/supplementing Russia’s actions…
You are desperately trying to imply the ZUSA’s alleged prowess. It is over. The US government has rotten into not just uselessness but terminal sepsis. The joint forces of financial squids, the powerful and entrenched Israel-firsters, warprofiteers, and corporate captains for Profit by any means (see the denuded Detroit and such) made a stinking corpse out of the country of the US.
Exhibit Number One: How many Boeing CEOs were put into prison after the fall of Boeing 737 Max planes? Zero. The US does not have homeostatic mechanisms for survival. The “deciders” heed no feedback.
Exhibit Number Two: Julian Assange, a journalist (and Australian citizen), has been imprisoned in a high-security prison in the UK on orders from the oligarchic US. The most important political prisoner of our time is hounded by mega war criminals and held in a western prison. His imprisonment signifies the end of western civilization, Marko.
You have missed an important point of the above article: The Russian Federation’s response will target the western “deciders” in situ.
“You have missed an important point of the above article: The Russian Federation’s response will target the western “deciders” in situ.”
Of course there will be “deciders” all the way up the pyramid of power, right up to its black heart and its bald head.
More Judo skills from Mr. Putin. He’s a master.
I for one would like to see one decisive military action for all the world to see.
Followed by criminal trials.
Surely everyone reading here has already fingered ‘Marko’ as a troll or a hasbarollockser, haven’t we?
On the contrary, this is a huge change in direction for Russia, diplomatically. I suspect that the Kremlin knew that this ultimatum would be rejected before they sent it. And they had already decided what the military response is going to be, BEFORE they sent the ultimatum. Far from begging, Marko, the ultimatum appears to have been deliberately written to ensure it would be rejected. The Kremlin has a surprise ready. I expect we will find out what it is before the end of the year.
What a fantastic article Gaspadin Orlov!
You are not only very funny to read, but you are such a sharp thinker as well (just like the Saker).
Mercouris spoke about warning > explicit demand > ultimatum, and relating that to this article, i fully agree that the Russian ultimatum to the US (or AZE) has come. The US will only have 2-3 weeks to give a first indication given how Ryabkov has emphasized that it is not a menu to choose from… Unfortunately, there is very little chance that the US can pick the clever path to de-escalate (due to the war party, 3B+PU, UK, free riders etc) so the US / AZE will break Russia’s ultimatum.
Since Russia has announced to the entire globe that these are ultimatums and given that there is worse to come, Russia must act and punish the US and it must be something of significance. In addition, Russia must make sure that in the future (1) no missiles are put in Ukraine and (2) no missiles are put in other East European countries. Here i am really unsure what Russia can and will do but let me speculate a bit, assuming that Kiev gets green light to attack Donbass.
(a) Stop all energy export to the US and to EU and stop NS1. This will also raise energy prices quite a lot and thereby compensate Russia for lack of income. I bet Saudi will be very interested in discussing this option with Russia since it provides Saudi with a chance to improve its standing with the West.
(b) Bunch of other measures like only accepting Rubel or Euro in payments, stopping Western flights over Russia, stopping all exports of all rare minerals / goods
(a) Small option: Strike Romania and Poland missile sites. An attack on Nato, article 5 etc…however, there is no chance in heaven that the US will go to war with Russia over some Untermenschen / canon fodder (make your pick) in the East. The kakophonie from Brussels and Washington will be loud but they will only do sanctions (which does not really hurt Russia any more). This option will stop further missile deployment.
(b) Big option: Strike Nato in Brussels. This option will end Nato.
(c) Surprise option: Strike London since that would solve several problems. Again, would the US go nuclear with Russia over this? No way, because the US could still save itself by negotiating.
China probably has more levers to shake the AZE than Russia has and given the grim situation and realistic leadership of Xi, China could definitely choose to act. Examples: Only accept Yuans as payment; stop all shipments to the US, seize US property in China, take Taiwan etc.
Very unpleasant to write the words above but the fools in the AZE has taken us to this point where they can only withdraw or go to war.
Lavrov is very wise, patient and measured. He quarreled with the American secretary, at the meeting that the lights went out. Lavrov threatened, said the war would be in Europe. This is very serious and relevant. The thing got hot. Hot very hot !!!
Surprise option: Strike London since that would solve several problems. My point: very interesting, as the 1917 revolution, the first great war, the second great war, and the creation of Israel came from the Zionists of the City of London. Without these events, Russia would currently have more than 450 million inhabitants. So, strike the rothschilds!
Would or could these (unexecuted) documents serve as evidence of the crime of disturbing the peace in a Nuremberg-type trial of top US/NATO/EU officials, should ‘things’ take a turn for the worst? An insurance policy or attempted hedge to dissuade nefarious actors?
first Russian optional target….illegally USA occupied al Tanf? Second the illegal occupations north east Syria?
Would Nato push Turkey to be a more obstreperous in Syria ..is that situation under “control” at the moment-considering the laughing stock Lira at the moment?
Dmitry… First let me congratulate you on your previous article on Russia’s soft power through its rejection of everything woke. It accurately articulates the respect this Englishman has Russian culture for the reasons you mention.
I suspect you may be right with this article. At one level I’m puzzled as to why Putin has made an ultimatum since it could be argued that the smarter approach might be to play for time for a few years while the US implodes. But the opposing argument is that a US President could be told “In 6 months from now our military will not be able to act so make a pre-emptive strike now”.
I think you’ve also previously made the observation that modern precision hypersonic weapons threatens the ruling elite with death for the first time in war for perhaps 500 years of warfare. That is a crucial development for peace.
Keep up the good work.
Sure, publish a draft written agreement to a group that you already have stated is “not agreement capable”.
Like Minsk 1 & 2 it is an internal public relations victory for Russia and changes nothing on the ground. 99% of the population of the west will never hear about it. Even the reporting on RT America was light.
Sputnik was a little better, but also realistic…
“I think it is important for Russia to make this proposal but I think it will not stop the US and NATO from their aggression towards Russia and other countries,” Lombardo said. “US imperialism has a dynamic of its own and it will always try to expand and undercut any country that will not be dominated by the US.”
“Lombardo said the proposals are “good tactically” because it helps the world see that one side wants peace and the other side is the aggressor.”
“However, because of the controlled corporate media, most people in the US will never hear about this proposal, Lombardo said.”
… and the slow ethnic cleansing of Eastern Ukraine will continue.
To Opport Knocks
This is the time when the collective West gets it’s “attitude adjustment” done for them by Russian Federation.
So that the utterings such as “it is important for Russia to make this proposal but it will not stop the US/NATO from their aggression towards Russia” and the “US imperialism has a dynamic of it’s own and it will always try to expand and dominate” – well, such utterings will not be offered so freely and without truly deep thinking before hand. That is exactly why it is called “attitude adjustment”. Otherwise “or ELSE” method will be applied by RF to this ‘West” – to re-enforce the “reading comprehension” of this ULTIMATUM, not the proposal, by the way.
“However, because of the controlled corporate media, most people in the US will never hear about this proposal…”
I’d say this is not the time to worry about the opinion of the American people, and even less about what the talking heads in the corporate media babble about. Now it’s “either mend your ways”, or in the words of Grushko, “face a military-technical alternative.”
It’s too late in the day for US public opinion to make any difference. Not that it ever did…
Marko you clearly do not have a clue on how NATO works. They will posture and shout the odds until things get really ugly. At the point of possible all out war you will see that NATO’s strength is also its weakness. When they are in the position of power then all of the NATO countries are onboard. However when those same countries figure out that it will go hot with someone like Russia you will see many countries back out. Do you honestly think that countries like Portugal, Greece and Turkey will go to war with Russia over Anglo American petulance? If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. As my father always said, ‘It is all fun and games until someone loses an eye’.
Off-topic but interesting.
Now Ukraine is second Palestine. See how it works?
Another off-topic, yes, I’m sorry. It’s just too interesting to pass by my Saker colleagues.
Saker, maybe, someone can write something on this.
I’ll write something on this. Smells like CIA misdirection coming from its main propaganda organ, the Washington Post. The think tank crowd is signaling an upcoming head-fake, or, the back story for an upcoming crime.
Very, very interesting article about 124 Generals and Admirals criticizing the state of elections in the U.S. Thins are kind of falling apart with so many fissures. How are the U.S. and NATO going to start a war with Russia/China or both like this? Civil war is right now very possible. It’s getting very complicated.
Orlov said: Think about Poseidons—undetectable nuclear-powered torpedos—endlessly cruising in thousands of feet of water off the continental shelf along the US coasts, ready to wash them off with entirely accidental and perfectly deniable tsunamis, their sporadic pings causing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to soil their diapers every time.
Imagine what a vast Poseidon flood could do to Washington DC’s fabled underground city.
That was actually an option the Soviet generals were advancing as part of the nuclear ‘ dead-hand ‘ theory.
Last I read, Original plans called for 50megaton nukes on both sides of the US where 85% of the population lives.
Placed on the ocean floors that is, detonated by satellite.
BERLIN (Reuters) – NATO’s top general has suggested the alliance should establish a military presence in Bulgaria and Romania following Russia’s troop build-up near the border with Ukraine, German newspaper Spiegel reported on Saturday.
That is how NATO responded to Russian begging for security guarantees.
Such is the western mindset, plunder, destroy, plunder destroy….
It is very naive that some “correct” mutual relationships could ever be established.
Dismembering of Russia is a western dream for centuries.
This is the typical response of a tyrant to someone who reasonably asks for their rights to be respected. He doubles down with more threats. This time it is a fatal mistake. The brash response is providing Russia with the moral justification to do something previously considered unthinkable. And that is definitely why Russia asked for these things in writing first, in order to get the haughty response in writing. They are documenting the abuse for history, so that when they pull the trigger, history will remember why they were justified and why they came out the winners.
I truly think the pendulum has reached the far end of its swing. We are now in the moment of stillness before it swings unstoppably in the other direction.
Emotionally, I would like Dimitry Orlov to be right.
But rationally, I think I am right.
I am repeating the same as I think that the most of the readers here do not see the reality.
I ll stop repeating my message.
you seem to indicate that the only possible option is military. However, this is not the case. Other options can be equally, or even more, effective. Case in point, the Russian-Chinese declaration of creating a competitor to the US.
A SWIFT competitor will further erode the dollar’s position in the foreign markets. And as we now print them like there’s no tomorrow, less demand abroad will eventually drive hyperinflation, and then will be the end for the US as we know it.
The question is, how will the US handle the SWIFT competitor?
I think you missed the point here. It is not about what NATO will do.
It is about what Russia will do to NATO.
Do you suggest that Russia will continue to shoot NATO with words, and let it build up arsenal for final showdown?
The Ultimatums: A Treaty and an Agreement.
The conditions that have generated the Ultimatums are US and NATO actions against the Russian Federation offset by the ascent of the Russian military weapons dominance, highlighted by conventional and nuclear offensive hypersonic missiles and, defensively, missile defenses, EW and radars.
These two documents are non-negotiable, essential ultimata; however the US rejects them, they come with implied intent that Russia will act to enforce them.
I believe that if no Ukraine exists, the threat of Ukraine joining NATO is gone.
And if no NATO exists, the threat of Georgia or any other state joining is gone.
Missiles in East Europe? If no NATO exists, no missiles will be in East Europe.
So, I am thus assuming that NATO will be broken by Russia, Ukraine will be dissolved, and the Ultimatums will be signed in absentia, de facto. Like Japan’s non-signed Peace Treaty with Russia.
How will NATO be broken? Russia will break it at its strength.
What is NATO’s main military strength? Air Power.
While everyone is looking at ground forces amassed and amassing, I think Russian air defenses, EW in particular, will clear the ADIZ’s Russia will proclaim. Spy planes, drones, all forms of UAVs and other war planes will loose their way, their communications and their power to fly. The Russian Aerospace Force will own the skies over the sphere of influence Russia now is claiming.
NATO with no air power is a Boy Scouts camping outfit, not a military.
The US without a NATO is a Western Hemisphere Super Power, struggling for relevance.
If the contest of strengths and will-to-win turns kinetic, Russia will pulverize NATO with conventional weapons.
The choice is Washington’s and Brussels (if Biden’s cult can’t decide).
That was actually an option the Soviet generals were advancing as part of the nuclear ‘ dead-hand ‘ theory.
Last I read, Original plans called for 50megaton nukes on both sides of the US where 85% of the population lives.
Placed on the ocean floors that is, detonated by satellite.
Please stop using the same comment twice – only need to make it once. Mod.
Alexander Glushko, 2nd to Lavrov at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Russia will switch to the regime of generating counterthreats if NATO does not comply with security demands.”
We don’t know what these counterthreats are, but my guess is that they are technical but non-military. The West has 3 Achilles’ heels: finance, energy and food. A combination of all 3 would definitely bring it to heel (pun intended). It is also my guess that the leadership in the West realizes this, which is why it immediately agreed to “talk”, which is a euphemism for “capitulate”. In any case, we only have to wait a few weeks for the answers.
The USA still has a large number of rockets with nuclear warheads. Alas they can no longer launch them as sanctions on China mean the US is short of matches to light the wicks. So the Pentagon has initiated a two hundred billion dollar program to develop high tech composite rainbow matches. Delivery is expected by 2027 with export sales to Europe and Saudi Arabia to follow.
Excellent article. The kind only found in The Saker. Too bad, because it should be on the front page of every war party rag in the U$. I have said many times that anyone in the U$ that wants war with Russia, for any reason; Hillary’s emails, Ukraine, bogus election interference, whatever. Let them be the first ones killed. Why people in the U$ never think about how the war mongers in the administration never have to fight in the wars, and likewise, their kids and grandkids never have to go to war. Enough of that.
You can find Dmitry’s published essays every time by signing on for his mailouts at Subscribestar (or censorious Patreon, if you must). The essays have been turning up here lately to attract a wider audience, as they very much deserve. Best to sign up as a subscriber, to ensure continued access.
Signing schmigning. The US doesn’t even keep its promises on the treaties it Does sign. So what difference does that make?
If Russia insists on fulfillment of those verbal agreements that the US/NATO. Or. Russia will physically remove those bases, missiles etc. With said hypersonic missiles and fry anything electronically anywhere near Russia’s borders, that is what I thought this document was saying.
Not only that, but when NATO pulled its latest stunt expelling Russians, and Russia responded by saying it now refused to work with NATO, that sounded like refusing to Negotiate with NATO at all.
Now, Russia says it wants to negotiate with NATO. So does Russia recognize NATO or not?
To this observer, it appeared to be vacillation.
Who cares if Biden says he’ll sign or even does sign.
Go back and fulfill its darn promises, or Russia will solve the problem militarily since it is supposedly in a position to preemptively strike, with convention weapons. And defend against counterattack with superior anti aircraft weapons. This would be a replay of Iran attacking the US base in Iraq, only magnified 100x.
Simply put, NATO needs to reciprocally disband as the Warsaw Pact did.
But this still does not protect Russia from biological warfare attacks.
This move is long overdue but a real walk back by the collective West would have its own secondary consequences. Like the collapse of the US internally as Orlov has long predicted. How would the world insulate itself from that?
Orlov is correct, but any way one looks at it, the situation is precarious.
Anyway, if Russia is not prepared to follow through to ensure its demands are met, then all this is, is theater for public consumption.
What’s the point of discussing “what the Russians would do” when the Foreign Ministry spokesman (Lavrov’s 2nd in command) has already given an interview to TASS detailing the if-then sequence already. IF the Americans don’t sign the documents Russia has provided, THEN the Russians will have no choice but to provide for their security through TECHNICAL-MILITARY MEANS. What these means are is a STATE SECRET. Is everybody clear now? That’s the choice for the US: sign and walk away, or refuse and be checkmated militarily. I am sure that some SECRET DEMONSTATION is planned to make the option of signing more appealing to the Americans and to show what will happen if the sign but then violate any of the terms of the agreement.
My immediate response too, Dmitry, when I first heard of these Russian ultimata a short while back: It has to mean that Russian state strategists understand that they now have some decisively check-mating ability to bring the Anglozionist empire to sue for terms. I’ve no idea what that new ability may be. But I’ve long assumed that Russian statespeople don’t make threats that they can’t make good, with strategy and tactics already well prepared in case of need. So it follows that they now have some way of grasping the worn-out US dog by those aforementioned balls, and squeezing till it submits.
I assume also that the sane element within the DC Swamp, especially those of the military brass who are still sane and reality-connected, understand this too, or at least are about to be comprehensively convinced of it by Russian demonstrations. Once enough of the Swampies understand that they’re check-mated – as clearly they are – then some new ruling faction in the foundering remains of the Az empire will, I imagine, become genuinely agreement-capable again – on pain of serious testicular distress any time they even seem like thinking of reneging.
The only real choices that the western empire will have then is which terms and conditions to sue for that will at least afford them the smallest amount of public humiliation. Since Russian and Chinese statespeople understand very well the importance of face-saving in international diplomacy, I guess they’ll allow that to happen.
Most here seem to live in the West, and have already been intoxicated by the smoke of gender ideology, feminism, spider man, wonder woman, and all the alienation of the West. Even the resistance is thrilled that the new government in Germany, led by the Smeagol Hobbit, is “equally” divided between men and women. And they parade like marvel heroes on television, in the news. And France looks set to choose a female president, for further demonstration of the deformed West’s “democracy”. That no nuclear war has taken place is a miracle. Until when this miracle?! They realized that we are living in the most decisive and important years in the entire history of humanity. People on the streets, in everyday life, do not realize this, because they are numbed by television, reality shows, bread and circus, etc. Even most intellectuals are also numb. The best book of 2021 by an Italian philosopher and scholar talks about this. People are drunk, drugged, cut off from reality. The fate of humanity is not in the hands of Putin or Biden, it is in the hands of God. A miracle can happen. Putin lives one day at a time, as if there is no tomorrow. He enjoys it, because humanity is lost. The filmmaker who challenged Putin said that Russia should separate itself from the Chechen Caucasus, the same as nalvany of cocaine wants. Russia is full of hidden liberals and feminists.
Libya is supposed to replace NordStream 2 with a new source of Europe’s natural gas. There is a pipeline going underneath the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy.
This pipeline was built by Berlusconi and Gaddafi. A joint venture. Back when Gaddafi was in Europe’s, and the U.S.’s good graces.
Now, the signs of the conspiracy against Russia economically are getting clearer and clearer.
A Mrs. Stephanie, the U.N. Representative to Libya has demanded that elections should go forth in Libya as scheduled on December 24th or a threat that a government will be imposed on Libya and Libyans by force, whether Libyans like it or not. So much for democracy !!.
That’s the whole plan. Libya is in such a messy state of affairs, that a government will be imposed with a new
‘ Yes ‘ man and stooges.
This scenario fits perfectly with what NATO/U.S planning all along, using Ukraine as bait.
Russia, I believe has a large amount of very high quality, nuclear-powered, and not nuclear-powered submarines patrolling the Mediterranean Sea. So one or two torpedoes at the pipeline and then observe
tactical ambiguity. Russia can simply sabotage the underwater pipeline at its will.
Actually, Russia must do this. Look for the Medi to become hot in 2022.
The US oil & gas corporate interests who lobbied to bring NS2 offline, would probably not be thrilled to see Libya replace Russia as an energy provider… The Europeans already tried to diversify with Iranian gas and it didn’t work…it looks like Europeans will be obliged to buy US gas and nothing else. Just like with the vaccines…
How true, my lady, how very true. One can only look forward to europeans stewing in the soup they prepared for themselves as their gas reserves deplete rapidly come January and February. Somehow I find it difficult to cough up a single feeling of pity for them, they will be lying in the bed they worked so hard to make.
In case of conventional war between Russia and NATO (God forbid)
What would happen to the Internet and everything related to television and communication. If Russia uses the A nudol 235, on the first day the world would be disconnected and blind?
I suppose that China and Russia would destroy western satellites in a large percentage with those missiles. ASAT.
The United States would do the same using RIM-161.
Is it possible for a blind war to be waged without satellite positioning? added to an electronic warfare targeting electricity from nuclear power plants, hydroelectric, thermoelectric, etc.
I mean conventional warfare, without even having to go to a nuclear one. What could determine this chain of outcomes?
Russia has issued an ultimatum to the US.
Every country will be watching how the US responds, and how Russia responds to the response.
The US will, at best, be left with the five eyes, NATO/EU, Korea, Japan and Taiwan as allies/vassals.
The Empire will be brought down to this level at this stage.
At the next stage which will happen more slowly the US will evolve into a normal country.
Looks like the Empire ends with a whimper and not a bang which is an achievement by itself.
Dmitry Orlov peaceful & excellent diplomatic relations between Americans & Russians is the way to go! But as you know our main political parties here are mainly one corporatistic war party!!! Note our fearless leaders (stolen from Boris Badenov & Natasha Fatal!! Bullwinkle) all have one thing in common AKA they are draft Dodging chicken-hawks!! Billy Clinton Georgie Bush Jr Diaper-Dick Deadeye Dick Cheney Donny Thee Pumpkinheaded Trump & his henchman warmongering Mike Pence & your favorite prez Joe Trick Knee Biden are all draft dodging cowardly 4 feathered chicken-hawks!
Oh and if your name izza Cheney then you dont know dick about diplomacy peace foreign policy nor being trustworthy! Well I finally earned my place on the Orwellian watch list! And I like Russian beer pavo pivo or piva! One of my favorite novelists is Yevgeny Zamayatin the Russian author of We & hope that you read it Dmitry Orlov!!!! My Uncle Mike was part Russian & I like him! I studied a lot of Russian History at WPC! And I like reading the Orlov blog & the Saker!!
I am posting this excerpt from Rusvesna.su (machine translated) because I believe it might have some bearing on Mr Orlov’s conclusions/questions.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg rejected the idea of a dialogue with Russia on spheres of influence.
As the “Russian Vesna” reported earlier Stoltenberg, speaking about the prospects of Ukraine’s membership in the alliance, said that Moscow has no right to its “sphere of influence.”
“The idea of holding a new conference, where we would again discuss the zones of influence, within which the great powers could control what their neighbors can or cannot do, would be a step back for us, and this is a completely wrong direction,” he said in an interview with the French Journal de Dimanche.
Instead, the secretary general spoke in favor of talking with the Russian side about building confidence, arms control, ensuring the transparency of the exercises and reducing tensions.
It is clear that there is no possibility of a compromise which would not harm and endanger Russia.
The Kremlin has thoroughly documented the Atlanticist regime’s long string of violations of international agreements. Last week was a major change in the past 29 years. Russia said, you have to stop, this is our red line, if you cross it, we will resort to a military solution. This should be setting off alarm bells in DC, but the American and British political and military classes are so accustomed to beating on Russia, and watching Russia patiently absorb it, that they did not notice the change.
By asking for the removal of US military vessels from international waters from which they can attack Russia, the Russians are also signaling the KO punch they may have to deliver if the bully steps over the red line. The USA has one major weakness where they can be struck, which cannot be confused as a nuclear attack on the homeland, and cannot be spun as an attack on some innocent third country by big bad Russia. That is the US navy in international waters. In my view this is the only way Russia has to avoid the Ukraine trap. Instead of intervening in Ukraine after the Americans restart the war on Donbass, punch the bully in the nose where he thinks he is safe, before he can restart the war in Donbass.
I don’t know what will be the fallout from these documents. I would offer the following thoughts:
1) One result might be that “Biden” will be more careful about creating provocations against Russia and using gunboat diplomacy. The fact that “Biden” has been engaging in hostile acts against Russia makes it harder for the White House to object to Russia’s demands. Washington would have an easier time objecting if their history had been peaceful.
2) In a similar vein, the West, particularly Poland and the Baltics, has tried to interpret events in a way to cast Russia as dangerous and expansionist. It is like someone is spoiling for a fight, and they look for any excuse to accuse someone else of hostile behavior so they can throw a punch. This says to me that the Western establishment doesn’t take seriously the possibility of a war. However, Russia’s threat of war may make them less eager to find reasons for tension and hostility, although who knows with these people.
3) I am not sure what Washington would get out of agreeing to the demands. Russia wants the U.S. to end its policy of wrecking countries that can challenge U.S. dominance, specifically the one towards Russia. My impression is that Russia is threatening to go to war if Ukraine is inducted into NATO, literally or figuratively. Lets suppose then that “Biden” does not cross this red line. What then will be the difference between leaving matters here and agreeing to all of Russia’s demands?
4) Russia’s demands have been made in such a maximalist way that they may not seriously expect negotiations. They may just be going through the motions of giving Washington an opportunity to make peace before proceeding to the next phase, whatever that is, but not expecting much. This next phase might simply be a cold separation. Around February there were several articles in RT by Medvedev and another Kremlin person arguing that the best possibility for U.S.-Russia relations was for the two countries to stay away from each other. Or the next phase might be something more. The demands essentially revisit the late 1980’s agreement to end the cold war and say we need to redo this agreement with stronger commitments.
5) The Russians probably estimate that the U.S. is weak and in trouble. Maybe the dollar’s reserve currency status is finally about to crumble, or there are other issues behind the scenes. In the past, I would expect Washington to talk about “punishing” Russia for being “unreasonable”, but now who knows?
I just do not see “if you place weapons in Ukraine, we will place weapons targeting Ukraine” as a convincing threat to Washington – they do not care about Ukrainians, and nobody will ask Ukrainian opinion. Ditto for Bulgaria or Lithuania.
And Russia can already destroy USA in nuclear war, so placing new types of nuclear weapons targeting it is not much of a threat either. Might be useful long term if they develop viable ABM, but that’s very hypothetical.
So what was the idea behind offering an unforced ultimatum Russia knew would be rejected, and saying “or else the response would be military”? Amounts to very uncomfortable thoughts to me…
All this screaming about ‘nuclear war’ is silly. Conventional arms will work better and Mother is anything but stupud. If it comes to a fight, all Mother has to do is send a few conventional missiles and take out the water treatment plants and sewage treatment plants of a few major cities in SehSha along the east and left coasts.
What will that do, you ask. Simple. It will be a ‘conventional’ attack and reality is it doesn’t even have to be cruise missiles, I’m sure there’s enough ‘malcontents’ in SehSha that a little gorilla (yeah yeah, I know, but I like the term ‘gorilla’) warfare is possible.
Take out the water and sewage plants, and mayhap drop a critical bridge here and there in and near the autobahn and voila. No water pouring from the kitchen faucet. Can’t flush the toilet with no water and can’t flush it anyway because the kaka plant is tango uniform. Dropping the odd bridge here and there, if chosen well, will disrupt the food distribution scheme. So here’s the locals with no water, no toilets and no McNasties and Burger King to feed from. The populace will devolve in to chaos in three days if that long. Take out the main electric grid distribution nodes and chaos and anarchy are guaranteed withing the three days time frame if that long.
Mother will stand aside with the most innocent face one has ever seen, with no electric the majority of the denizens of SehSha are clueless as to what happened and what to do and Foggy Bottom will have been informed that ‘we had nothing to do with it but we are monitoring your missile facilities, every one of them including the secret ones, and one launcher going loaded and hot and you will see Hell up close and personal’.
Checkmate, SehSha and for that matter eu and nato are in a quandary, no visible enemy to attack and ‘nuke’, just unbelievable chaos from Canada to Mexican borders and in select areas of eu. I don’t wish this on anyone but damn it, if push comes to shove it beats the hell out of a few dozen cruise missiles heading for my AO.
Never The Last One, paper back edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521849056 Never the Last One: a Novel of Spetznaz, opens your eyes to the Russian world not described in American news or fiction.
An Incident On Simonka paperback edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696160715 NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
I see the Ukraine issue as provoking Russia to issue this ultimatum (or “pre-ultimatum”, as these documents are still couched in the language of diplomacy). Putin’s intelligence network in Ukraine probably has told him that the CIA and the US (and EU) neocons have persuaded Zelensky that his only option to avoid losing power is to start a war with Russia. This is why Russia is mobilizing its forces and updating its operations order for a war with Ukraine. The war *is* going to happen either in January/February or in the summer after the transit fees are cut off, thus giving Ukraine a farcical “casus belli”.
So Putin decided to “get ahead of the blame” for starting the war by offering the West a way out. He knows Russia will be blamed for the war once it starts, regardless of how it starts. He’s resigned to the fact that it will start. So he might as well go for the gold and issue an ultimatum to the West which puts Russia on the “moral high ground”. Then he can say, after the war is lost by Ukraine, that he offered the west a way out.
Alexander Mercouris thinks that because the US has denounced the offer within the last 3 or 4 days that there is hope the West will actually negotiate these offers, although he admits it might take ten years to get an agreement. I think this is a premature evaluation. I expect the West to, if not completely ignore the offer, at least to denounce it and stall in opening negotiations for months if not years.
Meanwhile the war will Ukraine will occur, and things will go back to further hostility between the West and Russia.
If we put together this magnificent analysis and John Michael Greer’s book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”, we will see that literature is not just an abstraction. Да защитит Бог Россию!
A very good read, I can confirm.