What War With Russia Would Look Like

Wendy Sherman thinks her aim in talks with Russian officials starting Monday is to lecture them on the cost of hubris. Instead she’s set to lead the U.S., NATO, and Europe down a path of ruin, warns Scott Ritter.

Ahead of the formal talks, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Sunday in Geneva and told him Washington “would welcome genuine progress through diplomacy.” (Russian Mission in Geneva)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

If ever a critical diplomatic negotiation was doomed to fail from the start, the discussions between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine and Russian security guarantees is it.

The two sides can’t even agree on an agenda.

From the Russian perspective, the situation is clear: “The Russian side came here [to Geneva] with a clear position that contains a number of elements that, to my mind, are understandable and have been so clearly formulated—including at a high level—that deviating from our approaches simply is not possible,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the press after a pre-meeting dinner on Sunday hosted by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is leading the U.S. delegation.

Ryabkov was referring Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands to U.S. President Joe Biden in early December regarding Russian security guarantees, which were then laid out by Moscow in detail in the form of two draft treaties, one a Russian-U.S. security treaty, the other a security agreement between Russia and NATO.

The latter would bar Ukraine from joining NATO and rule out any eastward expansion by the trans-Atlantic military alliance. At the time, Ryabkov tersely noted that the U.S. should immediately begin to address the proposed drafts with an eye to finalizing something when the two sides meet. Now, with the meeting beginning on Monday, it doesn’t appear as if the U.S. has done any such thing.

“[T]he talks are going to be difficult,” Ryabkov told reporters after the dinner meeting. “They cannot be easy. They will be business-like. I think we won’t waste our time tomorrow.” When asked if Russia was ready to compromise, Ryabkov tersely responded, “The Americans should get ready to reach a compromise.”

All the U.S. has been willing to do, it seems, is to remind Russia of so-called “serious consequences” should Russia invade Ukraine, something the U.S. and NATO fear is imminent, given the scope and scale of recent Russian military exercises in the region involving tens of thousands of troops. This threat was made by Biden to Putin on several occasions, including a phone call initiated by Putin last week to help frame the upcoming talks.

Yet on the eve of the Ryabkov-Sherman meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken simply reiterated these threats, declaring that Russia would face “massive consequences” if it invaded Ukraine.

“It’s clear that we’ve offered him two paths forward,” Blinken said, speaking of Putin. “One is through diplomacy and dialogue; the other is through deterrence and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression against Ukraine. And we’re about to test the proposition of which path President Putin wants to take this week.”

Lessons of History

Moscow, June 23, 1941: Soviet soldiers on their way to the front. The sign reads: “Our cause is just. The enemy will be crushed. The victory will be ours! ” (Anatoliy Garanin .License: CC BY SA 3.0.)

It is as if both Biden and Blinken are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to reading Russia.

Ryabkov has alluded to a fact already made clear by the Russians—there will be no compromise when it comes to Russia’s legitimate national security interests. And if the U.S. cannot understand how the accumulation of military power encompassed in a military alliance which views Russia as a singular, existential threat to its members’ security is seen by Russia as threatening, then there is no comprehension of how the events of June 22, 1941 have shaped the present -day Russian psyche, why Russia will never again allow such a situation to occur, and why the talks are doomed before they even begin.

As for the American threats, Russia has given its response—any effort to sanction Russia would result, as Putin told Biden last month, in a “complete rupture of relations” between Russia and those countries attempting sanctions. One need not be a student of history to comprehend that the next logical step following a “complete rupture of relations” between two parties that are at loggerheads over matters pertaining to existential threats to the national security of one or both is not the peaceful resumption of relations, but war.

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There is no mealy-mouthed posturing by Foggy Bottom peacocks taking place in Moscow, but rather a cold, hard, statement of fact—ignore Russia’s demands at you own peril. The U.S., it seems, believes that the worst-case scenario is one where Russia invades Ukraine, only to wilt under the sustained pressure of economic sanctions and military threats.

Russia’s worse-case scenario is one where it engages in armed conflict with NATO.

Generally speaking, the side that is most prepared for the reality of armed conflict will prevail.

Russia has been preparing for this possibility for more than a year. It has repeatedly shown a capability to rapidly mobilize 100,000-plus combat-ready forces in short order. NATO has shown an ability to mobilize 30,000 after six-to-nine-months of extensive preparations.

The Shape of War

Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24. (mil.ru/Wikimedia Commons)

What would a conflict between Russia and NATO look like? In short, not like anything NATO has prepared for. Time is the friend of NATO in any such conflict—time to let sanctions weaken the Russian economy, and time to allow NATO to build up sufficient military power to be able to match Russia’s conventional military strength.

Russia knows this, and as such, any Russian move will be designed to be both swift and decisive.

First and foremost, if it comes to it, when Russia decides to move on Ukraine, it will do so with a plan of action that has been well-thought out and which sufficient resources have been allocated for its successful completion. Russia will not get involved in a military misadventure in Ukraine that has the potential of dragging on and on, like the U.S. experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. Russia has studied an earlier U.S. military campaign—Operation Desert Storm, of Gulf War I—and has taken to heart the lessons of that conflict.

One does not need to occupy the territory of a foe in order to destroy it. A strategic air campaign designed to nullify specific aspects of a nations’ capability, whether it be economic, political, military, or all the above, coupled with a focused ground campaign designed to destroy an enemy’s army as opposed to occupy its territory, is the likely course of action.

Given the overwhelming supremacy Russia has both in terms of the ability to project air power backed by precision missile attacks, a strategic air campaign against Ukraine would accomplish in days what the U.S. took more than a month to do against Iraq in 1991.

On the ground, the destruction of Ukraine’s Army is all but guaranteed. Simply put, the Ukrainian military is neither equipped nor trained to engage in large-scale ground combat. It would be destroyed piecemeal, and the Russians would more than likely spend more time processing Ukrainian prisoners of war than killing Ukrainian defenders.

For any Russian military campaign against Ukraine to be effective in a larger conflict with NATO, however, two things must occur—Ukraine must cease to exist as a modern nation state, and the defeat of the Ukrainian military must be massively one-sided and quick. If Russia is able to accomplish these two objectives, then it is well positioned to move on to the next phase of its overall strategic posturing vis-à-vis NATO—intimidation.

While the U.S., NATO, the EU, and the G7 have all promised “unprecedented sanctions,” sanctions only matter if the other side cares. Russia, by rupturing relations with the West, no longer would care about sanctions. Moreover, it is a simple acknowledgement of reality that Russia can survive being blocked from SWIFT transactions longer than Europe can survive without Russian energy. Any rupturing of relations between Russia and the West will result in the complete embargoing of Russian gas and oil to European customers.

There is no European Plan B. Europe will suffer, and because Europe is composed of erstwhile democracies, politicians will pay the price. All those politicians who followed the U.S. blindly into a confrontation with Russia will now have to answer to their respective constituents why they committed economic suicide on behalf of a Nazi-worshipping, thoroughly corrupt nation (Ukraine) which has nothing in common with the rest of Europe. It will be a short conversation.

NATO’s Fix

NATO exercise in Germany. (Spc. Ashley Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

If the U.S. tries to build up NATO forces on Russia’s western frontiers in the aftermath of any Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia will then present Europe with a fait accompli in the form of what would now be known as the “Ukrainian model.” In short, Russia will guarantee that the Ukrainian treatment will be applied to the Baltics, Poland, and even Finland, should it be foolish enough to pursue NATO membership.

Russia won’t wait until the U.S. has had time to accumulate sufficient military power, either. Russia will simply destroy the offending party through the combination of an air campaign designed to degrade the economic function of the targeted nation, and a ground campaign designed to annihilate the ability to wage war. Russia does not need to occupy the territory of NATO for any lengthy period—just enough to destroy whatever military power has been accumulated by NATO near its borders.

And—here’s the kicker—short of employing nuclear weapons, there’s nothing NATO can do to prevent this outcome. Militarily, NATO is but a shadow of its former self. The once great armies of Europe have had to cannibalize their combat formations to assemble battalion-sized “combat groups” in the Baltics and Poland. Russia, on the other hand, has reconstituted two army-size formations—the 1st Guards Tank Army and the 20th Combined Arms Army—from the Cold War-era which specialize in deep offensive military action.

Even Vegas wouldn’t offer odds on this one.

Sherman will face off against Ryabkov in Geneva, with the fate of Europe in her hands. The sad thing is, she doesn’t see it that way. Thanks to Biden, Blinken and the host of Russophobes who populate the U.S. national security state today, Sherman thinks she is there to simply communicate the consequences of diplomatic failure to Russia. To threaten. With mere words.

What Sherman, Biden, Blinken, and the others have yet to comprehend is that Russia has already weighed the consequences and is apparently willing to accept them. And respond. With action.

One wonders if Sherman, Biden, Blinken, and the others have thought this through. Odds are, they have not, and the consequences for Europe will be dire.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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107 comments for “What War With Russia Would Look Like

  1. larry wade
    January 12, 2022 at 10:37

    Jut what is it that Ritter has to say constructively?

    If it is to kowtow to Putin’s demands, remind him of Chamberlain in Munich in 1938. When has acceding to an evil power ever ended in peace?

    • Max Miller
      January 13, 2022 at 00:29

      Wow. Let the grownups talk. I think the Russians know a bit more about Germany than you do.

  2. Tom S
    January 11, 2022 at 18:28

    Russia has many ways to hobble our infrastructure, from attacking power companies to economic power houses like Amazon. Between the solarwinds hack and log4j, we are more vulnerable than you know.

    • Eddy
      January 12, 2022 at 00:58

      You are missing the point entirely. Unlike the West, Russia is not interested in hobbling your infrastructure or attacking your power companies, or hack anything. That is the behaviour of the West, and in particular the U.S. of A. and Israel.
      Beats me why Americans refuse to read and digest, what the Russians have written, is their bottom lines for peace. Maybe it’s the lack of teaching COMPREHENSION in schools these days ?
      America would have wet fit,(urinate upon themselves) if any nation were to set up shop on their borders, and install military equipment there. So why the pleading of ignorance, when another nation also expresses that same fear ????? B.T.W. I have been reading/seeing/hearing claims of Russian invasion ever since Maiden, yet in every instance, every occassion was proven to be false. Now America and Ukraine are making claims that Russian troop movements WITHIN Russia are somehow threatening invasion. At the same time, increased military activity and involvement of NATO building up troops and conducting exercises near Russia’s border is not looked at in the same light as Russia’s self defence movements. So according to Western nations, (Ukraine-U.S.A.) it’s perfectly fine for THEM to do what they are accusing Russia of doing, but when it’s Russia doing the same thing, it’s interpreted as aggression ????? W.T.F. is wrong with you people ?

      • SoTexGuy
        January 12, 2022 at 06:54

        Tour de Force.. cheers.

        January 12, 2022 at 08:53


        • Stephen Kastl
          January 12, 2022 at 19:36

          Yes, Russia is fed up and we need to stop our insanity. We also need to get ALL duel citizens out of our government. Blinken, Sherman, Newland—all duel citizens with Israeli passports. Jail or fire all duel citizens in our government as they are foreign agents working for Israel.

    • rosemerry
      January 12, 2022 at 05:20

      Why would they bother? It is the USA which has its dangerous but petty and small-minded attacks on any competitor or rival, designated of course as an enemy.

  3. Quartermaster
    January 11, 2022 at 17:55

    Russia has been planning for war in Ukraine for many years. The planning for the invasion started many years before it actually took place.

    It has long been a fact that anyone that takes what Russia has to say about anything as the truth is a fool. Putin broke the agreement that guaranteed Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with a fig leaf of an excuse. Putin’s hero is Stalin and Putin is a Soviet revanchist who wants Ukraine back under Moscow’s thumb. Ukrainians, including Russian speakers, have a bit of disagreement with that idea. They have already spent too much time under the thumb of those idiots and want nothing more than to free of them.

    • James 1
      January 11, 2022 at 23:33

      You don’t sound sane to me — Everything you wrote is pure BS !

    • Eddy
      January 12, 2022 at 00:59

      RUBBISH ! Americans need to STOP this nasty habit of PROJECTION onto others, what they themselves are guilty of.

    • Realist
      January 12, 2022 at 01:07

      And you claim to know these things how?

    • rosemerry
      January 12, 2022 at 05:32

      Quarter-brain would be a better moniker.
      1. Putin actually always speaks the truth. This incredible to any American, since lying is the default-setting for them.
      2.What is that agreement you quote??? The Minsk agreement 2015 required Kiev to have talks with Donbass to give them some special status inside Ukraine , supervised by France and Germany. NONE of this has occurred and Russia is NOT part of it, and is NOT about to attack Ukraine. Why would it? Russia wants peace and security on its border. It is NOT expanding-why would it? it is the largest nation on earth and needs no Ukrainian Nazis to join it!

      3. The 2014 election was won by the pro-Russian party that the USA then overthrew (Nuland, cookies, f***the EU). Russia is happy for the Ukraine to be a neutral next-door neighbor but NOT a NATO member which by definition of the USA is an enemy. You obviously know many warped Ukrainians. Try to keep to the facts.

      • NotEuclid
        January 12, 2022 at 07:23

        “1. Putin actually always speaks the truth. ”

        Being informed by – Tell as much of the truth as you can since few will believe you.

        “Russia is happy for the Ukraine to be a neutral next-door neighbor but NOT a NATO member which by definition of the USA is an enemy. ”

        An example given was the four power agreement which facilitated the Austrian Republic with modification as per the Minsk agreements, not “Finlandisation” as Mr. Ritter infers.

      January 12, 2022 at 08:56


    • Ralph
      January 12, 2022 at 19:12

      You don’t know what you are talking about. In fact, you’ve got it completely back to front. You should stick to your intellectual level of (trying to) draw stick figures with crayons.
      Obviously, you’re too ignorant &/or thick to know about the yank PNAC, the original yank wolfowitz doctrine, yet another yank ‘color revolution’/stirring up S*** in ukraine, using it as a ‘thorn in the flesh’ of Russia, and FJB’s involvement there as vp.
      Russia has been planning for several years the DEFENCE of the now independent Donbass Defenders’ republics. They have NOT attacked kiev, but kiev has attacked their capitals.
      And NO, Putin does NOT want ukraine with those crazy/neo-nazi idiots in esp western ukraine. He DOES care about all the innocent and affected Ukrainians who are not mad like the radical, mass-murdering thugs, torturers & criminals like in the azov battalion, wrong sector etc.

  4. corvo
    January 11, 2022 at 16:53

    “…and the consequences for Europe will be dire.”

    But who gives a damn about Europe? The USA certainly doesn’t, and the Europeans don’t seem to either.

  5. John M
    January 11, 2022 at 16:52

    Dear Mr Ritter.

    I have been a fan since your work in Iraq, many years ago. Thank you for your insights!

    There is one thing I would like to add to your analysis, concerning Europe’s need of natural gas. Having done my own analysis over the past 7-8 years I have come to the conclusion that the demonizing of Russia is founded in Israels play for Russia’s 30% share of the European market for natural gas.

    Having drilled into the same gas pocket the Iranians are exploiting, the Leviathan field off the coast of Lebanon now provides gas to Italy and Greece via a pipeline through Cyprus’ territory. The Netherlands have replaced their own dried out natural gas wells with LNG sailed in on US ships from Israel and sold as Dutch gas.

    You may have noticed that Nord Stream-2 which was built to move natural gas directly between Russia and Germany, have been blocked for years, initially by the Danish government and now by the new German chancellor.

    There are many other facts that support my conclusion that Israel is behind what is happening and they are not hard to find by those who are willing to look.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Ron Maines
    January 11, 2022 at 13:11

    Send this article to all Senators in Washington.

    Thoughtful and informed.

    Semper Fi, Scott Ritter

  7. DDearborn
    January 11, 2022 at 13:11


    Censorship remains one of the last refuges of despots, totalitarians, charlatans, propagandists, cowards, liars and thieves…

  8. January 11, 2022 at 12:20

    You are right, Scott Ritter. Thank you! But no mention of hypersonic missile technology? This is why Russia is pushing NOW. They have nuclear-capable missiles that they claim reach MACH 27. Even if they only reach MACH 13, they cannot be defended against. Only China, Russia, and maybe North Korea, have these missiles, and nobody has a missile defense system that can block them. Mutually Assured Destruction is now off-balance. We should offer Russia membership in NATO!

    • SteveK9
      January 11, 2022 at 19:06

      I do not believe hypersonic missile technology is particularly relevant here. Any campaign in Ukraine or Europe would not depend on these at all. Tactical hypersonic missiles are deadly against ships. If an all-out conventional war occurred, these would be used against ships and that means the United States. Russia would not use nuclear weapons except in extremis. A nuclear war would be the end of everyone and civilization as a whole. The Russians know this, and I hope to God our leaders do as well.

      • Eddy
        January 12, 2022 at 01:10

        I concur with your views 100%.

    • Eddy
      January 12, 2022 at 01:09

      Again, another individual more concerned with their own aggression then with the effects of that aggression on others. Russia has no need to use it’s weaponry at this point in time. It’s beef is with NATO and the European nations who have ALLOWED American military bases on their soil and the build up of military equipment therein aimed at Russia. They have made it abundantly clear, that’s no loner acceptable and will take action against the countries who have allowed such installations. America KNOWS this, they also KNOW it will be the Europeans who will suffer as a consequence. America will stand back and watch the destruction with impunity, or so they think.

  9. January 11, 2022 at 11:49

    Think of Sarajevo in early 2014. Scott Ritter, is a very well qualified political and historical analyst, as opposed to the hysterical analysts who populate the punditaucracy.

  10. The Infant Phenomenon
    January 11, 2022 at 11:47

    “Our” country has had totally open borders for many decades now, so I can’t see any reason whatsoever that Russia should allow American troops and troopettes on the ground in or even anywhere near Russian territory. Surely Russia (and everybody else) has mission-specific and mission-ready sleeper cells in ALL our major cities and near power substations and dams on rivers and bridges over the Mississippi or wherever they want them. A dozen men acting simultaneously could shut down the whole country in one morning.

    I don’t see why Russia would have to do very much more than occupy the Ukraine. They surely need not face NATO ground troops. They can easily prevent that situation, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t do it. Surely they are ready for it.

  11. Sam
    January 11, 2022 at 11:25

    The whole point is the massive destruction of the planet and death to billions. Psychopaths rule the earth and now that we know they are Satanic minions we have to plan to survive on our own.

  12. anon
    January 11, 2022 at 11:19

    With geniuses like Blinken, Sherman, Wicker, Graham, and Brandon at the helm, what could possibly go wrong? And in the UK, we’ve got Liz Truss and her tank, and all the sawdust Caesars in the House of Commons.

  13. jeffrey sheldon
    January 11, 2022 at 10:10

    you must look behind the actors on the world stage. the underlying truth is this, very dangerous and escalating confrontation is a face off between President Putin and the globalist world bank. Research, there are 193 countries on earth and 189 are under the control of the world bank. Putin is the only country in history that has paid its debt to the world bank. The united states since the 1913, was taken over by the world bank of rothschild. This is when President Woodrow Wilson sold us out to the global corporation. The federal reserve, IRS, and taxes and much more were introduced to our country. Since 1913 our military has been used for conquering nations that were not under the control of the world bank. after these wars or conflicts a puppet leader as installed to comply with the WB.
    Putin is anti globalist control. He believes in individual sovereignties and right of nation states.
    He sees the Ukraine as a corporate piggy bank of globalists like soros and a military threat to him. same as when cuba had the russian military and nukes on our boarder.

    • Emma
      January 11, 2022 at 23:12

      Moreover, Russia does not need Ukraine and its discontent. The Russian Federation has enough landmass and natural resources to flourish. The ziocons do want this war but the Russians do not.
      The Kievan putsch of 2014 has been a huge dirty stain on the US reputation. Not only did the putsch spark a civil war there, but the US has been collaborating with the self-proclaimed neo-Nazis against Russia, the true winner of WWII.

      • NotEuclid
        January 12, 2022 at 07:14

        ” Russia does not need Ukraine and its discontent.”

        Along with “The Soviet Union” was not sustainable for various reasons, your quotation above was understood by some since 1969 and “the near abroads -” Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and Ukraine’s ” trajectories were consequently lubricated with the understanding that opponents would seek to “make hay”.

        2014 was expected and why “the United States of America” gained an albatross and the Russian Federation a new member (not a penis as some have observed),

        “The ziocons do want this war but the Russians do not.”

        No almost the complete reverse is the case, you have been listening to the Saker who is misguided in the slogan “Stop the Empire’s war on Russia” and war is restricted to things that go bang – hence the notice of intent that others “interpret” as ultimata for their own purposes.

        “The United States of America” is attempting to appear to walk tall and look the world right in the eye, just like their fathers told them since they were about knee high.

        Mr. Suslov was always of the view that “The United States of America” had been at war with Russia since at least 1922 – famine relief after the Russian Civil War refers.

  14. NotEuclid
    January 11, 2022 at 08:56

    “The Russia-U.S. Talks In Geneva Are Likely To Fail”

    Evaluation is a function of purpose and purpose a function of facility.

    We-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness and binary thinking is a limiter of purpose and evaluation.

    Hence the lateral question to pose is not who won or cui bono, but was the facility and outcome fit for purpose.

  15. Marcello
    January 11, 2022 at 08:36

    Ahem,I’m not surprised by American ignorance of Geography but look that Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia ARE actually NATO members.

    • Cortes
      January 12, 2022 at 09:20

      I believe that is precisely the point, Marcello. If “the West” cannot learn from the way Ukraine might have been dealt with, repeat the lesson in the Baltic countries for the benefit of the slow learners. How many in DC, NYC, Paris, London, Berlin &c are really going to “go to the mattresses” for the Balts? Public opinion may have something to say about such a turn of events.

  16. Realist
    January 11, 2022 at 05:28

    It will almost be a pity if Europe is the only one to face the consequences, seeing as Washington is the imperious hegemon merely making demands of its weak and cowardly vassal states which it still occupies nearly 80 years after the end of WWII. And it has the gall to say with a straight face that this is all for “freedom and democracy.” The US purportedly arranged for “freedom and democracy” with Russia under Ronald Reagan when the Cold War allegedly ended. The present situation is an outgrowth of the fact that its words meant nothing, which is why the promised relationship of “partners” has metastasized to this prelude to war. The maniacs in DC have always been the greatest danger to world peace, and will remain so no matter how this ends because Washington is still itching for a war with China. The rest of the world is not blind, knows the facts, and knows right from wrong, no matter how authoritarian the regime. Absolutely no one else is cheering “Go USA!” Not after Ukraine and the US were the only two nations that refused to condemn Nazi fascism in a UN vote some weeks ago.

    • January 11, 2022 at 12:31

      Europe might not be the only one to face the consequences. With hypersonic missiles, Russia could do a demo by destroying Diego Garcia and send the message that San Diego is in the crosshairs. And China may not be able to resist taking Taiwan during the NATO/Ukraine noise. How crazy will the U.S. and NATO get? Crazy enough to take a knife to a gunfight?

    • thermobarbaric
      January 11, 2022 at 18:40

      Putin has already made it very clear that all NATO “centres of decision making” will be targeted in the event of open hostilities and attacks on Russia itself. That would put Washington DC (and London, Paris, Berlin) squarely in the cross hairs.

      Re John Hartung’s comment below, if offensive operations against Russia are launched from Diego Garcia that highly critical US military base will be completely wiped out.

      • Eddy
        January 12, 2022 at 01:12

        Spot on. As well as the MAJOR communications center in Australia, without which the U.S. military could not command of it’s Global military as well as submarines.

  17. Graham Greene
    January 11, 2022 at 04:57

    The NATO war machine will be found wanting in the coming clash. The Russian Armed Forces will drive right up to the Russian speaking Dnieper river which divides Ukraine into eastern and western zones. In the Eastern segment lay the cities of Kharkov, Mykolaiv, Kherson. Zaporizhia, the 2 cities of Lugansk and Donetsk are no longer a part of the Ukraine proper, and along the southern coastline cities of Mariupol and further east Odessa. Ukraine as we have known in will become a rump state and there is nothing NATO or the US can do about it. Unless of course they want a full-scale war with Russia. NATO will be pushed back away from the Russian frontier and become basically irrelevant.

    Russia didn’t ask for this fight, but is now is committed to go full tilt into the fray. I wonder what NATO’s response will be.

    • NotEuclid
      January 11, 2022 at 08:50

      “Graham Greene”

      Perhaps you should read your namesake’s book on Vietnam in regard to the advantages of certainty in facilitating quiet ?

      “The Russian Armed Forces will drive right up to the Russian speaking Dnieper river which divides Ukraine into eastern and western zones.”

      China and Russia do build railroad lines, but don’t spend all of their time building or thinking of railroad lines.

    • Mauroc
      January 11, 2022 at 12:27

      Agree with your consideration, Russian they do not need Ukraine and furthermore they do not have resources to mantain a deployed starved country. They will destroy militarly who will oppose them. The natural border shall be Dniepr river. West Ukraine shall be devoured by their sharks friend. Second choice the western devils will launch nuclear attack. This i think unfortunately is the plan of devil power drived by the small country. Three days of dark by Irlmaier. I’m sorry because i’m working with all people of the world including russian and american and people is good and do not deserve to dye for vaccination or radiations.

  18. January 11, 2022 at 00:25

    I’m glad someone is cautioning against the hasty beating of the war drum. Other authors to read on this topic is Lt. Col. Douglas Macgregor, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis and Andrei Martyanov. Also take another look at the US’s 50-70,000 factory ruins. Those cannot be converted to wartime production. Can circumnavigating supply chains, that failed to provide emergency supplies during a pandemic, carry wartime production during a peer-power war?

    • TimN
      January 11, 2022 at 12:59

      Those crazy stupid bastards are thinking of going nuclear, I’m afraid.

  19. January 11, 2022 at 00:14

    America changed course after JFK’s murder. We gave up
    our industries and lost our skills. We gave power to unaccountable financiers. Their
    speculation and deindustrialization have bankrupted the Western world, and they
    cannot tolerate the rise of other powers who won’t follow their Globalist rules into
    poverty and national suicide.
    The gravest danger now comes from the fundamental change in America’s
    world mission. I believe that those who know history are especially challenged to act now, to speak out, so that we may preserve and protect the civilization that America at its best did so much to advance.

  20. January 10, 2022 at 22:45

    Great article, thanks Scott!

    Does anyone know if Scott’s movie “In Shifting Sands: The Truth About Unscom and the Disarming of Iraq” is available anywhere?

  21. Anonymotron
    January 10, 2022 at 20:45


    Tnx CN, Scott 4 Truth… W/O usual Pro-$pin.

    Sad 2 say Dems appear 2 have more interest in saving Face than saving Humanity…

    Hope following talks… I will have “No comment”!

  22. Thomas
    January 10, 2022 at 19:45

    “One wonders if Sherman, Biden, Blinken, and the others have thought this through. Odds are, they have not, and the consequences for Europe will be dire.”

    It is impossible to estimate the level of delusion within the neo cons of state dept, sullivan, pentagon and their level of arrogance.

    The Kagan Klan, with Robert, nuland, et al and blinken, sherman, sullivan make it impossible with their hate of Russia and Putin to expect any kind of compromise. Biden could not or would not agree to anything, even if if he wanted to and was aware of the details.

    It really could not be much more dire and the bulk of Americans are heedless of the extent of the risk.

    As far as Russia invading ukraine, why in the world would they want to take on that basket case. Put missiles in Ukraine, however, with minutes flight time to Moscow, and see what their response would be, instant destruction of the missiles and supporting structure!

    • Eddy
      January 12, 2022 at 01:20

      Russia has stated many times, it is not interested in INVADING Ukraine, nor is it interested in INHERITING the ECONOMIC BURDEN of the Ukrainian people’s that it would be required to do, IF it were to invade. I fail to see, how many people in the West are unable to understand such simple plain language. However, Russia HAS stated, should any attacks be directed at Russsia from bases on Ukrainian soil, (or elsewhere) such bases will be taken care of. Again, what is there, in such plain language, that folks don’t understand ? No invasion from Russia neccessary. Simply self protection via missiles and bombs. Simple.

      • rosemerry
        January 12, 2022 at 05:50

        In the latest talks Sergei Ryabkov again explained how the Americans were inexplicably obsessed with the idea that a threat existed of Russia invading Ukraine, which was not going to happen. However, the USA had neither the moral nor political right to question what Russia did with its own troops on its own soil.

    • Realist
      January 12, 2022 at 02:07

      Russia was not telegraphing a decision to invade Ukraine with its conspicuous troop movements on its own turf. It was signaling Washington that it was ready for action, it could mobilise to Defcon 1 very quickly, if Washington foolishly persists in threatening it. Washington deliberately mischaracterised these events for propaganda purposes.

      Putin has never acted first in this 8-year tango with Washington. His responses are always reactive and defensive. I do not see him breaking this mold and making a first strike against Ukraine, and certainly not in the form of an invasion. Both he and Washington know that Russia’s forces could, if they wanted, crush Ukraine’s military over a weekend, but they do not wish this. They much prefer that Washington stops its aggression, comes to its senses and encourages Zelensky to implement Minsk 2 rather than egging him on to invade the Donbas republics.

      Fighting a kinetic war is terribly expensive and costly in terms of human life even if you win. Putin views this as his last option, and he has spelled out in great detail his interpretation of American actions that might trigger this last resort response. He is hoping that Washington is not so arrogant to needlessly challenge him on this rather than acting rationally in a way that allows both sides to save face. Sadly, Washington continues the taunts, acting like an adolescent spoiling for a fight. The big question is, will they continue to escalate the confrontation if Russian forces have to give them a punch in the nose they so richly deserve.

      The sociopaths in Washington give the impression of being determined to raise what should be puny stakes to them (Neither Ukraine nor any of the other countries they have ravaged or threatened with scorched earth are essential to their existence.) to an all-in, winner-take-all, end-of-the-world nuclear conflagration. That’s their talk. Will they continue the walk all the way to perdition? Why? A lot of my fellow Americans cannot figure out what makes these maniacs tick. Yeah, it’s clear, they want it all. But why destroy it all just because you are not allowed to steal it all? My advice to all of Washington: chill out and get some psychiatric help. Stop all your damned wars, and don’t start new ones, especially not with nuclear powers.

  23. January 10, 2022 at 19:31

    Wendy Sherman should be well aware of the cost of hubris. All she needs to do is look at the U.S. Treasury’ balance sheet. $30 trillion in debt of which $24 trillion is the cost of our own hubris since 9/11. And that doesn’t begin to count the cost in human lives.

  24. Gerald
    January 10, 2022 at 18:33

    General Milley thinks it would look like 100,000 dead Americans in the first week and 30 to 40,000 per week after that. Is a counry that hasn’t fought a peer war in 70 years and whose whole concept of fighting wars in deeply out of date and entrenched in the 20th century even going to stand a chance, will Americans really be invested in the neocon racist russophobia to this level of destruction? What a war with Russia would look like for the Americans is defeat on a scale they can’t even imagine. Russia will not have to fight on multiple fronts or against mulltiple national armies, it has to fight and win one war and that is with America, once defeated the idea that the vassals in NATO and Europe would continue to fight is a nonsense.
    The Russians have technical military superiority and escalation dominance, fighting at home, for their homes in a country over 50 times bigger than the UK. Behind the insults and the stiff faces the US is in a rage that Russia has rebuilt itself and exceeded the sheer corrupt greed and idiocy of the US elites who have frittered their country away to nothing. Bottom line in these ‘talks’ is this, is America willing to sacrifice New York, Washington, Langley or Annapolis for Kiev and the Nazis in charge? Russia has the capability to pick its targets inside America and use conventional hypersonics to hit them, the west has nothing to stop them. Nope, like Georgia in 2008 America will cut and run. Posturing doesn’t cut it in the real world, cognitive dissonance will always run head first into reality at some point, the rabid neocons that have been running the White House for decades are finally going to feel the head ache. Only concern is, will the crazies in the blob go nuclear when it is obvious they will lose and lose badly? There is no scenario I can even envisage where anything like an American win is achievable, even in the case of nukes we will all lose, everything.

    • Eddy
      January 12, 2022 at 01:22

      Gerald, my thoughts exactly.

  25. Sean I Ahern
    January 10, 2022 at 18:29

    Do the Democrats beat war drums as a way to hold on to the House and Senate in 2022? Is this encouraging adventurism from the Ukrainian government that will leave the Russians with no alternative but to respond with overwhelming force? I thought that Bush would be restrained from invading Iraq by sober minds, unfortunately I underestimated the power of the neo cons with their Dr Strangelove dreams of global hegemony – these maniacs have now returned in force to the Democratic party fold – witness Kagan and Cheney. I had hoped for a soft landing for the US Empire but now it doesn’t seem likely.

  26. Ellen
    January 10, 2022 at 17:58

    Why aren’t commentators making a comparison with the Cuban missile crisis, when the U.S. sent ships to intercept Russian ships bringing missiles to Cuba? The rationale was that the US couldn’t tolerate Russian missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Now Russia is trying to prevent NATO/U.S. missile bases right on its border.

    • NotEuclid
      January 11, 2022 at 08:27

      “Why aren’t commentators making a comparison with the Cuban missile crisis..”

      Possibly because US minutemen were removed from Turkey as part of the deal after a reasonable period so Mr. J. F. Kennedy did not need to tell “the American people” ?

      • Frank Lambert
        January 11, 2022 at 16:37

        NotEuclid: In your reply to Ellen, you are absolutely correct! I was stationed with soldiers who manned the old Nike-Hercules missiles in Turkey during the “Cuban Missile Crisis” and they said that was the deal between Kennedy and Kruschev. “You take your missiles out of Turkey and we’ll remove ours from Cuba”.

        Of course, the media presented it as one sided, with JFK backing down the Russians, making him look like a hero to the American people.

        • SteveK9
          January 11, 2022 at 19:14

          He was a hero. Choosing peace.

          • Frank Lambert
            January 12, 2022 at 08:06

            Yes, he was a hero. What I meant was by not telling the other half of the deal, meaning the removal of our missiles in Turkey, it made JFK look like he took a risky gamble against the Russians and won.

            Of course, the war-mongers in the Pentagon didn’t like that, nor did the paranoid Director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, especially when the President wanted to dismantle the CIA as he thought it had too much power and very little accountability.

            Some research investigators think Dulles and his cronies had something to do with his assassination.

        • NotEuclid
          January 12, 2022 at 04:46

          ” they said that was the deal between Kennedy and Kruschev. ”

          Correct but perhaps they were not aware of some of the details.

          “The United States of America” and “The Soviet Union”, both coercive social relations, were mutually dependent for their sustainability, although some factions in both sets of coercive social relations did not agree seeing “their worlds” through prisms of “exceptionalism/manifest destiny”.

          Mr. Krushchev is remembered by design as a “Ukrainian” peasant who took his shoes off at the United Nations and banged the table.

          Mr. Krushchev lived in very interesting times and continued living, unlike many of his contemporaries.

          Mr. Krushchev was commisar at the Battle of Stalingrad creating and co-ordinating the local team with inputs from Stavka including Mr. Zhukov’s operational team who effectively told Mr. Stalin to “f*ck off”/pasholte after the over-extension of the Battle of Moscow, although that is not what the “official Soviet history books” report.

          Mr. J. F. Kennedy had been assigned blame for the attempted invasion of Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs in emulation of the “American” practice that it wasn’t me it was my sister.

          Mr. J.F. Kennedy was in an impasse in respect of “The Cuban missile”crisis, and Mr. Krushchev sent one of his team who had a significant role in the Battle of Stalingrad -blat being the most precious currency in the Soviet Union -, to propose a way out of the impasse, including ways of selling it to the “American people” whilst minimising the opportunities of some factions in both sets of coercive social relations seeing “their worlds” through prisms of “exceptionalism/manifest destiny”.

          “Sovietgate” did happen but in 1962, which led to “apoplexy” of some factions in both sets of coercive social relations seeing “their worlds” through prisms of “exceptionalism/manifest destiny”.

          In 1964 Mr. Krushchev was replaced by a faction based upon an alliance of Soviet Agriculture and Soviet Industry whose representatives were Mr. Kosygin and Mr. Brezhnev, whilst from 1969 onwards some understood that “The Soviet Union” was not sustainable for various reasons and initiated strategies in facilitation/preparation of the transcendence of “The Soviet Union”.

          In 1963 Mr. J. F. Kennedy was assassinated and “replaced” publicly by Mr. L. B. Johnson but privately by others whose roles have increased through time by sawing the branches upon which they were sitting.

          Mr. Krushchev loved jokes and the works of Mr. Gogol.

          • Frank Lambert
            January 12, 2022 at 08:29

            Interesting history lesson. Thanks! Mr. Krushchev also liked Disneyland.

            I listened to a radio program a number of years ago on http://www.kpfa.org, about some of the reasons the Soviet Union collapsed, by a former Russian, Dimitry Orlov. (Club Orlov) If I remember it correctly, he said it was too much centralized government by Moscow and not enough autonomy in the various regions, as well as other reasons, but that’s in the past.

            Another reason why the West, led by Imperial American, has been on a non-stop tirade against anything Russian or Mr. Putin for the past two decades, is Putin paid down the debt incurred by former Soviet leaders, and when the Masters of Usury, based on Wall Street, the City of London, and Brussels don’t have a nation in debt peonage, then that nation and it’s leader is targeted. John Perkins in “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” also exposes the corporate crimes as well.

            • NotEuclid
              January 12, 2022 at 15:43

              “about some of the reasons the Soviet Union collapsed, by a former Russian, Dimitry Orlov. (Club Orlov) If I remember it correctly, he said it was too much centralized government by Moscow and not enough autonomy in the various regions, as well as other reasons, but that’s in the past.”

              That is not in the past since Mr. Orlov continues to be ignorant of matters and even of professional analytical methods and standards in interactive contexts, but is not directly criticised since useful fools are useful within parameters whose half-lives are rapidly reducing.

              Like other immigrants to wonderland such as Mr. von Neumann, Mr. Kosinsky, and The Saker they all were/are working their passage in lands of opportunities for snake oil salesmen, since the audience have little if any knowledge including many “intellectuals” and “experts” often self-designated as such on their resumes.

              The debt which was paid back with interest was primarily lend-lease costs incurred from “the allies” and this extrication strategy was decided in 1969, undermining the myth – we gave the Soviets the tools to fight the war/ The Red Army only moved courtesy of Studebaker trucks.

              Mr. Perkins was involved with Boston Consulting primarily but not solely in “Latin America”, Mr. Aslund and Mr. Sachs with Harvard on a no bid contract in Russia in the early 90’s, but a more interesting one is the grandson of the former head of The Communist Party of the United States Mr. Browder of Heritage Capital who convinced some to elevate his former accountant Mr. Magnitsky to sainthood.

              Opponents are always at their most vulnerable when they think they have won, and so that illusion was encouraged/maintained throughout the 1990’s not through Potempkin villages but more cost-effectively by buying mirrors so the opponents saw themselves as they were/are predisposed to do.

              One of the reasons that the opponents are so “pissed/emotional” is that they realised that throughout the 1990’s and subsequent they have been played, but can’t admit to their population that they have been played from circa 1969 onwards, including but not limited by Mr. Yeltsin, Mr. Zhirinovsky, and Mr. Primakov, thereby being complicit in the transcendence of “The Soviet Union” by “The Russian Federation”, only becoming aware of this in 1999, despite sending representatives of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1994 to check that everything was progressing as expected, and to minimise framing blaming everything on the evil doer VVP who was elected in late 1999 and apparently acted/acts completely alone.

    • Ultrafart the Brave
      January 11, 2022 at 12:04

      “The rationale was that the US couldn’t tolerate Russian missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Now Russia is trying to prevent NATO/U.S. missile bases right on its border.”

      The official Western narrative on the Cuban missile crisis is false.

      The USSR placed missiles in Cuba in response to the USA placing missiles in Turkey, just a stone’s throw from Moscow. The truth of the matter is that the USA itself precipitated the Cuban missile crisis by unilaterally threatening the USSR, which then acted in its own self defense.

      The point here is that the USSR were the “good guys” and the USA were the “bad guys” way back then in 1962, and now that the USA is once again moving strategic missiles right up against Russia’s borders, nothing has changed. Russia is still the “good guys” and the USA is still the “bad guys”.

    • Mauroc
      January 11, 2022 at 12:37

      At that time Usa installed nuclear missiles in Turkey close the border of Georgia, this is the reason because Russian installed rockets in Cuba, but at that time Usa had a wonderful president as JFK. Now they are owner of Bidone(

    • rosemerry
      January 12, 2022 at 05:52

      Russian commentators certainly see the comparison.

  27. Fred Mc.
    January 10, 2022 at 17:27

    Mr. Ritter, you speak with wisdom as always.

    But why don’t we just get on with the inevitable and have the US stymie the current negotiations. Then have the scenario unfold as you have described. The US would be humiliated and humbled, losing any remaining hegemonic following it currently has. We all know the US government (and Pentagon) is too full of itself to imagine itself losing to Russian common sense.

    Let’s just get on with the show.

  28. Ghost Who Walks
    January 10, 2022 at 17:12

    Excellent analysis, as usual, lacking in only one regard: failure to mention (((Who))) is responsible! Come on, folks, Charles August Lindbergh had the courage to name the enemy, surely you can do that too!

  29. GBC
    January 10, 2022 at 16:47

    Always good to read Scott Ritter’s take on any area of conflict involving the US colossus. Sherman, Blinken, and Sullivan are deluded if they think they hold many cards here. They don’t seem aware they can’t even bluff their way out of this one, nor can they simply stall for time with protracted negotiations. The rubber meets the road on this one.

  30. robert e williamson jr
    January 10, 2022 at 15:50

    Biden’s lack luster performance so far as President is at times unnerving as with this so called Ukrainian crisis.

    Let us not be to quick to forget about that new gas pipeline intended to serve much of Europe.

    This entire thing stinks, the closer one gets the more odoriferous it becomes. Just the thought of armed conflict in that region could drive oil and gas prices wild, with the Saudi’s, the U.S. and Russian oil companies benefiting from the turmoil.

    Typical “High Theater” employed by the big money in the oil and gas industry to control markets, therefore prices.

    So we could be looking at mass destruction potentially, even the bitter end for all humans or, as witnessed in recent times, we cold be looking at massive profits for producers and the slow asphyxiation of the planet through continued use of fossil fuels.

    Seems the only country wanting to rush to judgement is the U.S. or so the media and D.C. seem imply.

    I’m with Scott, the meeting will fail, by design and in my opinion the next act of he play will be in the cue.

    So what will we have a blood bath or high energy prices. Sound familiar?

  31. renate
    January 10, 2022 at 14:21

    The USA is now where GB was before WWI, now China, Russia, and the EU replace Germany and are the adversaries of the US.

    Washington appears to be suffering a gigantic case of Delusion of Grandeur, the neo-cons are sure they can rule the world.

  32. John Puma
    January 10, 2022 at 14:21

    WHY Russia must contemplate military activities in Ukraine at all is because of the 2014 US coup that drove out the then Ukraine president who was not sufficiently anti-Russia for Saint Obumma, John McCain and Victoria Nuland.

    The ethnic Russian eastern Ukraine provinces objected to the essential fascist take over of the Ukraine government. Thus, with for mere $5 billion, and a few dozen cookies, patented US high-stakes meddling had fomented yet another civil war … this time on Russia’s doorstep.

    Russia has promised to defend the anti-coup provinces of the Donbas if Kiev resumes its attacks on them and has repeatedly said the only way to ensure its absence in Ukraine is for Kiev to fulfill its obligations in the Minsk agreement it signed to peacefully resolve the issues between west and east Ukraine.

  33. Walter
    January 10, 2022 at 13:20

    With back to sea and with no practical strategy, best loser strategy is to double. In example this implies zone A will use nuclear “option”. The Anglosaxon zone is constitutionally and structurally incapable of retreat, only strategic re-alignment of forces to enable more plunder. Overall implication is that Eurasian zone forces will not scruple to liquidate centers of command and control in AS Zone. Any funny stuff and the fine ladies and sodomite leaders in zone A become primary targets…but, and Scott says, they have yet to twig to the real dangers. Situation is zuswang. Rational response is concede game, but politics in zone AS is not rational but hysterical and divided by factional and foolish vice. Ultimately it’s a contest between the Pirate methods of the sea peoples and the steppe people of Eurasian Heartland. Pirates can only be pirates…

  34. rosemerry
    January 10, 2022 at 12:50

    I am very disappointed in Scott Ritter’s post-usually he is on the point but here he assumes that Russia will “invade Ukraine” which it has consistently said it would NOT, has no need or desire to do and would put it at odds with more than just the USA. He repeats the”massing at the border” nonsense while surely even Sherman can accept that Russia has troops inside Russia and these are being encroached on by the US?NATO supplied Kiev régime (in power since the US overthrew the elected 2014 government.) Russia is far more advanced, subtle and decent than to destroy a next-door country when a plan for peaceful transition has been available for 7 years but Kiev has ignored it. The USA was involved, as was the UN, in the setting up of the Minsk agreement. The USA claims to follow the “rule of law” and despite the lack of any willingness, I cannot believe that they could not possibly understand that Russia is at the end of the long road of NATO pushing and threats and has to be treated with respect. Ukraine is NOT the point, not at all important to the “West” and they know it.

    • Martin, Swedish citizen
      January 10, 2022 at 14:49

      I believe you and many other commenters before make an important point. Russians and Ukrainians (save perhaps for the north-west) are very tight. There are probably many alternative actions that consider this and would be much more to the Russian advantage than an invasion.

    • Mary
      January 10, 2022 at 17:50

      Thus forcing Russia into Ukraine. Russia really does not want to do this but sadly will have no other option.

      • Eddy
        January 12, 2022 at 01:28

        On the contrary, Russia has many options. No need to “invade” anywhere. The whole idea of “invasion” is Western projection. Something Western nations have done since time immemorial, believing every other nation would do the same thing, despite the EVIDANCE showing this to be NOT THE CASE.

    • NotEuclid
      January 11, 2022 at 08:37

      ” but here he assumes that Russia will “invade Ukraine” which it has consistently said it would NOT”

      Through a different portal, as a professional he outlines that the Russian Federation has no need to invade Ukraine to control Ukraine, but perhaps bits came off entering this portal ?

    • TimN
      January 11, 2022 at 13:18

      Ritter’s esay points out that those idiots at State and Biden DON’T get what the Russians are saying, and are stumbling forward with no plan, just threats and hubris.

      • NotEuclid
        January 11, 2022 at 18:15

        “Ritter’s esay points out that those idiots at State and Biden DON’T get what the Russians are saying..”

        Via NotEuclid January 11, 2022 at 08:37

        “Through a different portal, as a professional (of experience) he (Mr. Ritter) outlines..”

        “State and Biden are stumbling forward with no plan, just threats, as a consequence of hubris”.

        Other professionals with experience expected this refex action, and hence delivered a notice of intent not ultimata, that they understood State, Biden and others would misrepresent as being ultimata by their residue of audience schooled in we-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness.

        Mr. Ritter’s professional experience had/has in significant part been as an analyst in various matters, where as the professional experiences of those who informed/delivered a notice of intent were/are collectively of wider experience not restricted to but including analyses.

  35. Daniel Fry
    January 10, 2022 at 12:32

    I am somewhat skeptical that Russia has any interest in invading Ukraine at all, *unless* the Ukraine escalates the civil war in the Donbass region, or is armed with offensive weapons that can easily reach Russian territory, or even Moscow.

    Only the US can provide such weapons.

    Ukraine is a failed basket case state, trying to occupy such territory is only a liability.

    I agree 100% with Mr. Ritter, these talks are doomed to fail.

    His conclusion is correct, US/NATO has no way to defeat Russia in a conventional war. The EU zone will bear the main brunt of any further US economic or military escapades.

    The stupidly dangerous regime in Washington *really is* ‘non agreement capable’. They are coming into these talks from a position of weakness, not strength, but like an old ailing attack dog they continue to spoil for a fight.

    This whole obscene debacle could turn nuclear at any time.

    • robert scheetz
      January 10, 2022 at 19:41

      “I am somewhat skeptical that Russia has any interest in invading Ukraine at all, *unless* the Ukraine escalates the civil war in the Donbass region, ….”

      One has to assume that the bellicose script Zelensky is reading from was written by Toria and the WestExecs, indicating their intention that he move on the Donbass and Crimea, probably with the promise of NATO/EU membership and sizable US annuity in return . So, while Russia has no interest in Ukraine other than as a buffer, it seems pretty clear the thing is about to be forced on her.

    • Mike Maddden
      January 11, 2022 at 13:04

      Ritter’s analysis is astute, as is yours Daniel. Russia has formally presented its demands. If the US is interested in diplomacy, it will respond substantively to those demands instead of filling the air with empty words about a willingness to engage in diplomacy.

      Russia’s demands are reasonable. The west will not acknowledge that. Still, I don’t believe Russia will attack Ukraine unless there is a breach of their demands. Then it will resemble the 2008 five-day conflict in Georgia, where Russia responded to Saakashvili’s shelling of his own people in South Ossetia.

      It will be brief and decisive. It will not lay waste to Ukraine, but it will destroy its military capability.

  36. Vera Gottlieb
    January 10, 2022 at 12:30

    The very last thing these talks need is the condescending attitude of the Yanx…the very last. It isn’t Russia that is disturbing world peace…

  37. desertdave
    January 10, 2022 at 12:20

    I have eagerly followed Scott Ritter’s brilliant work since the Iraq debacle, and rarely find fault.

    But I think the focus here on Ukraine is off. Ukraine is a red herring as Russia has no reason to attack or invade. Surely the US/NATO knows that too. All this talk about Russia invading is just that, talk. The only circumstance under which Russia would act militarily in Ukraine is if they further escalate its violent aggression against the Donbass (LDNR), in which case Russia will react swiftly and decisively, destroying all or part of the Ukrainian military. Then Russia will withdraw just as swiftly.

    I believe the US focus and propaganda about Ukraine is an attempt to change the subject, away from Russia’s justifiable anxiety about NATO expansion on its borders, portraying Russia as the aggressor to prepare the US population for war.

    The document Scott refers to in the first paragraph, coming from Russia last December, should be seen as an ultimatum. Russia has now clearly and publicly delineated its red lines and according to V. Putin, is prepared to back up its demands with military-technical action.

    If “we” go into the talks in Geneva today with single-minded focus on Ukraine and refuse to respect or discuss Russia’s concerns, we do so at great peril to ourselves and to the rest of the world.

    • ProfessorChops
      January 11, 2022 at 15:14

      It certainly does meet the road. The moment of truth. Can the USA act like a superpower with a peer when the interest of the planet are at stake, considering Russia is not asking for anything the Americans take for granted when their own security is in question…which is seldom to never. It is one of the catastrophes of history that the west is burdened with an Alzheimer ridden president whose decisions are made by delusional and incompetent minions. Russia would never make ‘demands’ if they didn’t already play out all the possible scenarios of their position and determined they can defeat them. Russia doesn’t bluff.

  38. January 10, 2022 at 12:14

    Would you send our troops to confront Russia?

  39. Tristan Patterson
    January 10, 2022 at 12:07

    I think we’ll find that Europe will be more gun-shy of military confrontation than we think. The US and it’s population couldn’t give a flying fuck about what happens to Europe and its people. The greediest nation to ever exist thinks it can spend European lives to sustain it’s hegemony, a wake up call is coming.

  40. Peter J Piaseckyj
    January 10, 2022 at 11:55

    Scott Ritter has always been my hero in exposing the fake news of WMD in Iraq in 2003.

    However it appears that he is a TURNCOAT to Putins Propganda Trolling Factory!
    …”All those politicians who followed the U.S. blindly into a confrontation with Russia will now have to answer to their respective constituents why they committed economic suicide on behalf of a Nazi-worshipping, thoroughly corrupt nation (Ukraine) which has nothing in common with the rest of Europe. It will be a short conversation.”…This is so grotesque that it is beyond the criticism. It is beyond the Pale!

  41. onno37
    January 10, 2022 at 11:53

    In the history of USA there was NEVER a place for diplomacy, Washington was known in former President Bush jr: ‘t’s my way or NO WAY! Nothing has changed in US history the’ve BULLIED free countries with sanctions & invasions since they’re too STUPID to negotiate!!

  42. Piotr Berman
    January 10, 2022 at 11:43

    Militarily, the best strategy for Ukraine would be to retreat in a way that slows down Russian advance, and the time so gained can improve their political situation, allow for emergency supplies etc. But for that, the disposition of forces seems very bad. Half of the manpower is in the trench lines of Donbas or nearby. The units with the best equipment are in the west — the country is quite long. For Russians, the best strategy would be to advance east of Dniepr using a route of least resistance, while immobilizing the movements of Ukrainian units — you stay put, we stay away from you, you move, you get bombed. Of course, the few units facing the advance would get opposite deal. This would minimize the manpower losses on both side, and surround about 50% of Ukrainian troops.

    Any territory occupied by Russia would have friendly majority. Destruction of bridges and other civilian infrastructure would be avoided, but military facilities could be destroyed.

    The result would be a huge increase of the “rebel territory”, and a peace process exactly like in Minsk agreement: no changes in the line of control without negotiations between the government in Kiev and the “rebels” and concessions to demands that in any other situation would be sensible: political rights, language rights, preservation or restoration of trade with Russia that provided livelihoods before 2014.

  43. alley cat
    January 10, 2022 at 11:31

    “Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius” (Whom Jupiter would ruin, he first makes mad)

    “One wonders if Sherman, Biden, Blinken, and the others have thought this through.”

    Scott Ritter has thought this through but the gods are fickle and have apparently made our leaders mad with hubris. Mad as in barking mad.

    They think they can introduce U.S. missile bases into Ukraine by stealth and the Russians will just sit on their hands for fear of more sanctions.

    Ritter says the consequences of such catastrophic miscalculations will be dire for Europe.

    Yes, dire for Europe and very possibly dire for the entire human race.

  44. Lois Gagnon
    January 10, 2022 at 11:21

    The problem is Washington and Wall St. live in a false reality. It’s why Russia’s insistence of respect for its national security and sovereign boundaries doesn’t register. The chuckle heads in charge of our foreign policy don’t recognize any country’s sovereignty. They truly believe the world belongs to the transnational corporate class from whom they take their orders.

    We are in deep trouble.

    • Emma
      January 11, 2022 at 23:31

      “They truly believe the world belongs to the transnational corporate class from whom they take their orders.”
      And who populates the high eschelons of the transnational corporations? – Likes of Hunter Biden and Madeleine Albright. No brains, no heart, and no dignity.

  45. Guy
    January 10, 2022 at 11:14

    No one should expect a quick solution.IMHO ,Russia’s concerns are legitimate.If only the West,the US , had not lit the fire in Ukraine , the world body politic would not be experiencing this showdown .But then again ,this is what the American establishment does best, light fires in other countries so that it’s MIC can prosper .Those days are coming to an end because Russia’s doorstep is not a case similar to Grenada . It will be interesting to see how much crow gets served and to whom .

  46. Jim Thomas
    January 10, 2022 at 10:53

    Mr. Ritter,

    Thanks for this article. It summarizes the dire situation in Ukraine very well. Of course, due to the (mis)reporting by the MSM, most people in this Country think that this is due to “Russian aggression”.

    Biden and his team of dunces masquerading as diplomats are going to get us all killed. The endless foolish braggadocio and constant spewing of threats against other countries which are not in any way a threat to the U.S. is reckless and irresponsible, not to mention nauseating. The meeting with the Russian delegation appears to be shaping up for another session like the foolish attempt by Blinken and his fellow amateurs to lecture the Chinese delegation last Spring. What a bunch of fools!

    It should also be mentioned that the U.S.’s incessant aggression and disrespect of countries which refuse to follow U.S. orders is forcing a number of countries to form their own methods of money transfers in order to avoid the illegal U.S. sanctions and arbitrary cutoffs from SWIFT. If enough countries join in this plan (and why wouldn’t they?) it can result in the U.S. losing its ability to control the world’s settlement currency, the dollar. If that happens, no more value for the dollar and goodbye the ability to continue to spend all those trillions on the military and gifts to Wall Street. In other words, goodbye to the U.S. economy. That is not imminent. However, it is foolish in the extreme for the U.S. to put that at risk. There appear to be no adults in Washington, only a bunch of fools with bloated heads filled with air. This is what I expected when I learned the identity and background of Biden’s choices for his “diplomatic” team.

  47. Edward
    January 10, 2022 at 08:01

    I expect China will also play a role in any show down, and perhaps Iran.

    • Izzatso
      January 10, 2022 at 10:19

      Interesting conjecture, though I don’t think realistic. But please give us at least one reason why China and Iran would do so.

      • Antiwar7
        January 10, 2022 at 12:33

        To kick the US government while they’re down. The US government has been threatening and trying to undermine both governments for years. Whatever it is, it will be well thought out. Iran is the birthplace of chess, and China is the birthplace of go.

      • Rob
        January 10, 2022 at 12:34

        It is entirely conceivable that China might use a war in Europe as timely opportunity to invade Taiwan. The US and NATO will be fully occupied with Ukraine and thus unable to contend with war on a second front. In any case, in the event of war, the mighty Western military alliance will be exposed as a bumbling, stumbling fraud.

      • JMZ
        January 10, 2022 at 14:07

        Ritter and Pepe Escobar have written several articles on how Russia will export its oil to China which will be more than happy to consume it. Another source for this coming fiasco is The Saker. hXXps://thesaker.is

        In sum, the Saker suggests that should the USSR go into Ukraine, Iran will destroy Israel. Considering the Oligarchy’s move into Kazakhstan and the humanitarian crisis going on in Afghanistan, I’m thinking we may even see Nukes deployed.

        Another useful source is the “Moderate Rebels” podcast which details the happenings in Central and South America that we don’t hear about from other sources. China seems to have made a deal to dig a canal across Nicaragua (which has left the OAS because of US interference in its last election).

        Ritter’s point (actually the main point of many pundits) is that the US Oligarchy is so dedicated to owning everything that it cannot see the danger it has placed itself in. The hubris of Musk’s comment, “We’ll coup who we want to,” which utterly failed.

      • alley cat
        January 10, 2022 at 14:27

        Perhaps because Russia, China and Iran have no intention of falling prey to U.S. imperialism and are acutely aware that the guiding principle of all empires is “divide and rule”?

  48. mgr
    January 10, 2022 at 07:23

    Russia and China are not enemies of peace nor a threat to the world, but from the issues of world peace and security to that of dealing with our collective and imminent climate catastrophe, the United States is in all cases the ultimate obstacle. It is unable anymore to engage with nor promote constructive solutions to shared and now existential problems, much of its own making. Instead it breaks everything it touches and then runs away from the mess it has made.

    And now, having failed to do anything even remotely close to necessary about the environmental and climate crisis we all face, which frankly with the Biden admin and the party of HRC is not the least unexpected, the only thing the US can do is foment war again, and again, and again… the inevitable outcome from a failed embrace of rabid capitalism, itself a huge ponzi-scheme based on the fundamental delusion of unlimited resources.

    Thus, nothing left but to destroy itself and anyone it can take with it. If other, more actually democratic (where the public has a say) “democratic nations” hitch their wagons to the delusion of “American leadership,” they will betray their public and destroy themselves. And that will be “all they wrote…” for liberal democracies, the experiment a failure. A pity because it certainly did not have to be.

    • January 10, 2022 at 10:24

      China want North Manchuria back it is the greatest lost of china for all time… do you think are they idiots? they support all idiotic Russian politics, to bury them and then to get their land back ….

      And that is not my opinion – it is Pentagon report 2008

      • Piotr Berman
        January 10, 2022 at 11:25

        Pentagon report — now, it could not be possible wrong, would it?

        Mind you, the only territorial claims that China ever made in this century concerned river islands that shift positions after floods. And those issues were resolved. In all possible areas the cooperation between the two states is increasing.

      • torture this
        January 10, 2022 at 11:38

        The only Pentagon report that I know of that gave an honest statement of facts was the leaked “Afghanistan Papers” which showed that all other Pentagon reports and public announcements were total lies. Get yourself another source if you want any credibility at all.

    • michael888
      January 10, 2022 at 10:59

      Whether you believe in the 4th turning or not, we are once again in a period, as pre-WWI, where there is a militaristic buildup, not just in arms but in posturing, computer games and demanding attitudes. Diplomacy only works well when the wounds and scars of War among equals are fresh. The rape and pillaging of Russia and its buffer states by the US, particularly under Clinton with the fall of the Soviet Union, has continued with Ukraine and will ultimately result in confrontation led by the deranged Global Neoliberals (where China is more of a concern) and their hip-joined Neoconservatives (spoiling for a fight with Bogeyman Russia).
      It would have been so easy to respect the “not an inch closer” promises of Reagan and Poppy Bush, and just give lip service to the 25+ million Soviets who died defeating Hitler, but that is not the Clintonian American way: Like Libya and Carthage, Russia must be destroyed.

      • NotEuclid
        January 11, 2022 at 08:21

        “Russia must be destroyed.”

        Perhaps you should consult the present updated version of the nuclear doctrine of the Russian Federation ?

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