WATCH: CN Live! — ‘Ukraine Update’

CN Live! was joined by Mark Sleboba in Moscow and Scott Ritter in the U.S. to discuss the current situation on the ground in Ukraine, and the economic and information war that is raging along with the guns.

Watch the replay. 

The Russian intervention in Ukraine is now one week old and the situation on the ground is subject to an information war that makes it hard to assess what is happening. Western media is saying that things are going badly for Russia, while Russian President Vladimir Putin says things are going according to plan. But what that plan is, is not entirely certain. Putin said the object of the intervention is to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. How that is to be achieved is only slowly emerging.

Western media reports say Russia is purposely targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, which Russia denies. Video and photographic evidence appear to show destruction to civilian targets, but it is not clear if this was intentional or return fire to populated areas where Moscow says extremists are operating from.

Russia says it has no intentions of occupying Ukraine, but it’s unclear how long Russia forces would have to remain to pacify the country. Will the continuing arming of Ukraine, and C.I.A. training of guerrilla units mean the U.S. is intending to bog Russia down in a quagmire? Is the U.S. intention to give Russia its “Vietnam”, the way the U.S. gave the Soviet Union its “Vietnam” in Afghanistan?

There are open calls from Western capitals for regime change in Moscow. In the past week, the economic war against Russia has intensified, with the sanctioning of its central bank and the removal of many Russian banks from the SWIFT international banking system. What impact will the sanctions that have on the Russian and world economies?

Meanwhile Western governments have shut down English-language Russian media, while the BBC continues to broadcast in Russia. The Moscow Times, critical of Putin, continues to publish, but the radio station Echo of Moscow has been shut down by Russian authorities.

Our guests are Mark Sleboda, a former U.S. Navy nuclear engineer, political analyst and raido host. He joins us from Moscow. And Scott Ritter, a former U.S. Marines counterintelligence officer and U.N. weapons inspector. He is in upstate New York.


39 comments for “WATCH: CN Live! — ‘Ukraine Update’

  1. Glenn
    March 6, 2022 at 15:53

    Hypocrites everywhere, it sickening to listening to;

    Hawks (elsewhere) outraged at a superpower invading a sovereign state, only themselves and their mates are allowed to do so.

    Doves victim blaming, painting a picture that Ukraine is to blame for being invaded, because of the existence of neo-nazis in western Ukraine.

    Anyone suggesting other countries should be invaded because of the existence of right-wing extremists, eg. Proud-Boys ?

    Commentators justifying the deaths of tens of thousands and displacement of millions because of the existence of extreme haters.

      March 6, 2022 at 22:02

      You are making the mistake of thinking of Ukraine’s extremists as just skinheads like in other countries. Read the two Robert Parry articles we republished today. Skinheads don’t overthrow governments, become incorporated into the National Guard and take part in prosecuting a civil war in other countries.

  2. Louis
    March 6, 2022 at 12:15

    Phenomenal interview. Scott Ritter is a true resource, we are lucky to be able to hear his take, because it is spot on.

    Its amazing that here we are, in the middle of an all or nothing forced changing of the guard, and the average joe has no clue and isn’t prepared for jack. Both the NATO and the US know that they are facing a threat to their “rules based order” that has never before occurred, and they have no pre-planned scenarios or clue on how to handle it. War gaming is limited by what the gamer think the other side’s options are, and their own mental strategy boundaries.

    The west is confused, Putin introduced a whole new set of rules in a short paragraph of his address that included the terms “consequences” and “intervene”. Milestones have been set and are triggers for volleys are set. No average citizen is aware of this. The real defcon level right now is likely a national security secret. The west is busy trying to define how Putin defines the term “intervene”. They now know that a no-fly zone constitutes interference because he said it would result in an instant declaration of war, regardless of membership.

    Now, in a face-saving stalling move, the US is testing to see if the provision of jets will constitute interference at the expense of a chihuahua member state. At the same time, the other face of the US…NATO…won’t let Poland bite, because there are only two outcomes, 1) Poland gets hit and NATO barks, or 2a) Poland gets hit and NATO declares war, neither of which is acceptable for the viability of NATO. The real reason for the announcement that the US is prodding Poland to provide jets is that they are hoping with all hope that Putin will define it for them in an announcement without actually having to provide the jets. Watch Putin just say “try it” without providing an answer…that would be answer enough. The message I get from this test/fishing exercise is that Poland is expendable and the value of NATO is being dismantled.

    I think that following the Ukraine “operation”, the core of the US’ power, the reserve status of its currency, will come under attack. Keep your eye on Gold, Silver, and the Yuan.

    Speaking of the Yuan, Blinkin threatened China with “serious consequences” if they help Russia evade sanctions without defining the term. However, that term has been previously defined in UN Sec council resolution 1441 and the subsequent US invasion of Iraq. China knows this very well. Let’s face it, Russia is leading the bifurcation, and this is China’s only chance it will ever get to escape vassal tentacles, and they know it. So, Chine will join the deconstruction of the current reserve currency and gold will form a core part of that. The bifurcation is certain…but the only uncertainty is whether or not in their desperation not to lose, the west acts in a manner that will take the whole world down with it. Man, we are living in interesting times…this makes the Cuban missile crisis look like child’s play. I’ve always wanted to see an actual nuclear explosion in real life from a safe distance…I may get that part of what I wanted, and the only regrets I’ll have are for not being a better son to my parents, husband to my wife, better dad to my children, and being an asshole to many many people along the way.

    Spock out.

      March 7, 2022 at 02:56

      There is a big difference between NATO providing jets to Ukraine to be operated out of Ukraine and NATO jets flying sorties against Russian targets in Ukraine out of NATO territory. NATO and US have made it pretty clear they do not want a shooting war with Russia with all that that entails.

  3. March 6, 2022 at 09:17

    I didn’t listen to the two presenters but read the comments. They are always worth reading on CN. But through it all there is a pessimism that we will never rid the world of dollar-controlled imperialism, that nations that may hate what they see bow down in the face of SWIFT.

  4. Francis Lee
    March 6, 2022 at 04:34

    Getting back to basics. The Russian state has seen the NATO encroachment and deployment of nuclear attack weapons right up to its western borders. This seems a bizarre re-enactment of the Cuba missile crisis of 1962. As Putin remarked bases offensive rocket bases are 5 minutes flight time from Poland and Romania to Moscow. How exactly did the west think that Putin and Russia was going to swallow this? These events were prompted by the western war parties who seem gagging for a war. Well they wanted it and they seem to be getting it.

  5. KiwiAntz
    March 5, 2022 at 23:37

    Russia is accomplishing all its Military goals in Ukraine despite what you hear in the fake MSM. Russia’s tactics & strategies are extremely transparent, they are using the exact model they used in Syria. That’s what these Western Leaders fail to understand because they are using a Western-centric view of Warfare to guesstimate what Russia might be doing rather than looking at Russian’s Gameplan from other conflict zones, like in Syria.

    Here’s the Russian Playbook….. 1. Take out the enemies capacity to wage War by destroying their Military infrastructure! 2. Surround the remaining areas of Military infantrymen & create a Cauldron to choke off their supply lines of food, water, logistics & means of communication & support. 3. Create Humanitarian corridors using Ceasefires & conduct diplomacy in tandem with the Military actions to enable the trapped Citizens & Soldiers to depart, which is separating the wheat from the chaff!
    4.Those will left to fight can remain & be annihilated or given the option to disarm & go home & the hardcore fighters like the Azoz batallion driven out to a designated region like the Russians did to ISIS in Syria by driving them from Aleppo to Idlib. With Ukraine its driving the Neo Nazis to the West of Ukraine to Lyviv! Game over for Ukraine, NATO & US Warmonger’s!

  6. Aaron
    March 5, 2022 at 21:35

    All of the mainstream media’s bloodthirsty war-mongering makes me remember that during the run-up to the Iraq war, an illegal war, EVERY one of Rupert Murdoch’s media companies supported going to war. Surely they don’t care about the welfare of the citizens, its just about money and power. We must ask ourselves why is this happening again, when those middle east wars were so disastrous, somebody is trying to get rich and stay rich, lot of money involved with Ukraine apparently.

      March 6, 2022 at 00:30

      Unfortunately it wasn’t just Murdoch’s outlets and newspapers, but virtually the entire corporate media. MSNBC canceled its highest rated show, Donahue, because the host questioned the rationale for war.

  7. Elkojohn
    March 5, 2022 at 21:27

    As long as the war doesn’t go nuclear, I hope Russia can recover from the economic sanctions and succeed in giving NATO a bloody nose.

  8. Olivio DeOliveira
    March 5, 2022 at 19:04

    A very good show for many reasons. Excellent moderation from the host, plus the disagreement in assessment and outlook from Mr Ritter and Mr. Sleboda. I lean closer to Mr. Slebodas view, though perhaps a tiny fraction less glum. His sources and references on the ground sittuation also seemed stronger. I was surprised to see Mr Ritter appeared to be uncharacteristically emotional in his analysis. It is a subject that should rightly upset any decent human, being but where understanding and explanation is the subject, and the audience is as keyed in as CN, extra care must always be taken. In any case, i don’t see how the crisis can be short lived. The only way is for US//NATO to abandon its hegemonic agenda. But this comes from a deep place, a supremacist perspective so entrenched, it has become as natural as taking a breadth. Otherwise, to lose this faceoff, given the avalanche of propaganda and non-military warmaking tools thrown at Russia on this, is to broadcast the limits of NATOs power, which will then nudge it either incrementally or precipitously towards oblivion. So, per its current mantra of “if we cant have it, nobody can”, they will the Ukrainians to a fate that our fawning media has defined as “fitting only for Arabs and Africans”

    • D. Brand
      March 6, 2022 at 05:20

      Excellent analysis. I very much agree.

      “The only way is for US//NATO to abandon its hegemonic agenda. But this comes from a deep place, a supremacist perspective so entrenched, it has become as natural as taking a breadth.”

      “It’s the economy, stupid!”

      The logic of empire is implacable, it has to keep on expanding. It’s beyond the control of anybody. There is no deep state directing things. There is nobody in the driver’s seat. It’s primarily driven by economic needs. Corporate America has to keep on expanding or collapse.

      It’s impossible to destroy the empire by military means. The empire will collapse because of its internal contradictions. US hegemony had a close escape with Trump’s presidency. A 2nd term would have damaged it beyond repair, but it also would have damaged the climate beyond repair. But as it is, we can forget all about climate change anyways. In Germany, the Greens have turned from a peace party (that had stomach pains when Nato bombed Serbia and that drew a line at the Iraqi war) into war hawks who are prepared to import more fracking gas from the US, burn more coal and reactivate nuclear plants, all in order to fight Russia. While a small fraction of the enormous resources now poured into weapons systems would have been sufficient to fight climate change, we now have to increase emissions for the coming arms race.

  9. Robert Emmett
    March 5, 2022 at 14:39

    Observation: If an intrepid reporter such as Joe Lauria is asking his guests how they are getting verified facts of what’s happening on the ground, that’s a pretty good indication of how badly critical info is being stifled & distorted (by design, as Scott Ritter maintains).

    The money quote of the discussion for me: “Everything that is absurd is being believed by millions & millions of people” (I assume he means in the West) M. Sleboda

    As a society how do we ever come back from that? Except that maybe those with such knee-jerk, shallow responses also have attention spans so fleeting that they’ll soon move on to something else? Or maybe those millions in fact have been effectively “weaponized” to amp-up as needed for future disinfo showdowns? Pavlov’s dogs rings a bell.

    Much appreciated discussion. Thank you.

    • Malo
      March 6, 2022 at 07:00

      “Except that maybe those with such knee-jerk, shallow responses also have attention spans so fleeting that they’ll soon move on to something else?”

      Proof of fleeting attentions spans, at least in the US, is how quickly covid has disappeared from MSM coverage and public discourse. It has been proclaimed “over”. Maybe, maybe not, but seems any further MSM coverage will be limited.

  10. Em
    March 5, 2022 at 12:05

    HYPOCRISY and Killing is Endemic in this ‘Civilized’ World, and each day brings another MOURNING
    As this is being written, it appears that the BBC, for what it is worth, is at least twenty-four hours behind in its reportage of the actual situation, on the ground in Ukraine!
    For a former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, born in the land of the Slavic people, as a Slavic Jew, schooled and reared as an American citizen, to claim there was no such people as the Palestinians, was quite okay by the Americans, for those years she was Israel’s prime minister, and ever since, but for a sitting Russian President to say that there was no such nation as, one Ukraine, before the Soviet Union, is all sacrilegious lies and cannot be tolerated.
    Goldie Mabovitch was born in Kyiv. There’s “no such thing as a Palestinian people.”
    All the Palestinian Arabs have the same language; Arabic, while all of the Jewish religious faith, pre- the State of Israel spoke a multiplicity of languages, as they were immigrant citizens from all the countries of the world. Even the original Palestinian Jews spoke Arabic, as one of their native languages, from the time when they were known as Hebrews.
    From the perspective of linguistic ethnicity, therefore, there legitimately is one Palestinian people, to which, prior to the formation of the Israeli state, those of Jewish religious persuasion also belonged.
    The designation of the name Palestine, in one linguistic version or another, dates back, and has been inhabited, at least four millennia (roughly, since 2000 BC.).
    Ukraine, on the other hand, all the focus right now, has supplanted Palestine as newsworthy.
    The subject, therefore, requires a dab of in-depth history, to bring us more up to speed than the majority of us have been, prior to the hostile Russian entrance into the territories going by the uniform name of Ukraine. This comment is selectively brought to you ahistorical Americans, and others, not firsthand by Vladimir Putin, but by Wikipedia, which quite ‘accurately’ corroborates his Russian history of the area:
    [The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area* was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the loose tribal federation Kievan Rus’* forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Reaching its height in the mid-11th century, the Kievan Rus’ gradually declined until its collapse from the Mongol invasion in the 13th century (1237-1240). (Nota bene) Over the next 600 years (until approx. the mid 1800’s) the area was contested, divided, and ruled by a variety of powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Tsardom of Russia. The Cossack Hetmanate emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries but was ultimately partitioned between Poland and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged, forming the internationally recognized Ukrainian People’s Republic on 23 June 1917. The short-lived state was forcibly reconstituted by the Bolsheviks into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which became a founding member of the Soviet Union in 1922. Ukraine was the most populous and industrialised republic after the Russian Soviet Republic, until regaining its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.]
    According to a cursory perusal of an online map of languages of Ukraine, from Wednesday; East Slavic culture or ethnicity, if preferred, was made up of people speaking many linguistic dialects: almost half of Ukraine is Russian speaking; approx. one-third are Surzhyk (Russian-Ukrainian) speakers and not more than a quarter speak ‘pure’ Ukrainian as their mother tongue. There are also Carpatho-Rusyn, Trasianka (Russian-Belarussian), Bulgarian, Greek, Hungarian, Polish Romanian and Crimean Tatar. Eleven separate languages, whose people, for at least thirty years, since the break-up (down) of the Soviet Union in 1991, in all probability, regarded themselves as one, Ukrainian residents, if not nationals!
    In South Africa there are eleven languages, all formally recognized as equal national languages of South Africa, although, at an educated guess, not more than three are fluently spoken by too many people. (English, Afrikaans, and perhaps one or two other of the nine indigenous African tribal (ethnic) languages.
    Of the top 12 most spoken languages in the world, Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Portuguese, plus German, Italian, Polish and many other European languages are spoken in Israel, where Hebrew is the one national language.
    The ludicrous illegitimacy in this is that all within the boundaries of Palestine/Israel are recognized by the authoritative power as legitimate residents, except the indigenous Arab Palestinians. Ting-a-ling, another pertinent example of the evil (the genocidal removal of the indigenous populations of the north American continent) of their U.S. benefactor, the self-anointed ‘leader’ of the world.
    In Ukraine, after pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in the angry American’s (CIA) instigated coup d’etat of 2014, the American pre-selected, more ‘democratic’ leaning puppet was overwhelmingly elected president, and “voila” the Revolution was on. Ever since, those actually pulling the strings of ‘government’, behind the scenes (like in the U.S. itself), arbitrarily decided that Russian speakers in the eastern part of the country should finally be barred from speaking their mother tongue. It is reported that over 14,000 have been killed in the fighting since; blink, blink! How can that be…, civilized Europeans killing civilized Europeans.
    There’s lots more, but then this would no longer be a brief Saturday comment!

  11. Ian Stevenson
    March 5, 2022 at 07:03

    There are a lot of east Europeans working here in England, including Ukrainians. A manager for a large company was telling me a number of his staff are from Ukraine and in contact with families. They are telling him that the Russians are shelling civilian targets, people, even Russian speaking Ukrainians are resisting and some have spoken to the Russian troops who are baffled why they are there and many do not want to fight.
    Putin has miscalculated. Far from humiliating the West, he has has strengthened support for NATO and the EU has shown a rare unity. Ordinary people are opening their homes to refugees and locally there have been collections of clothes, toiletries and bedding which are now on their way.
    Meanwhile all non official media has been silenced in Russia.
    If and when they are conquered, they will not accept Russian rule. Belarus is similar. Lukashenk rules because of repressive policing.
    A British prime minister once said, “a week is a long time in politics”. The last two have changed, if not everything, but a great deal.

      March 5, 2022 at 09:57

      Not true that all non-official media in Russia has been silenced. The Moscow Times is still publishing. It is strongly anti-Putin. There must be others.

      • evelync
        March 5, 2022 at 11:42

        Thanks so much for your excellent coverage with sober people sharing their thoughts on this tragedy.

        I find the propaganda spewed by the MICIMATT horrific….
        Their actions worse….

    • Jaffa Bennifer
      March 5, 2022 at 13:16

      We will never know because the anti-Russian propaganda is so thick here in the West. But, logically, there is no reason for Russia to attack civilians. Based on on-the-ground accounts of the situation there, accounts are exactly the opposite of your hearsay. Hence, I don’t believe you because you account makes no sense. Also, wake up, the world HATES the U.S. and NATO for their decades of meddling, interference, and destabilization.

    • Anna
      March 5, 2022 at 14:51

      If you want to be objective, you need to listen to both sides.
      The UN, Germany, and France had 8 years to demand the implementation of the Minsk I and Minsk II agreements, which would prevent the ongoing bloodshed. Who is responsible for the lack of goodwill?

      Also, there is finally an acceptance that the Ukrainian army does conclude Nazi elements.

      The news from the war zone: “As was expected, Nazis didn’t allow civilians to use humanitarian corridors opened by Russian Army because they need a human shield. The offensive resumed. Not to be forgotten–thousands upon thousands of foreign visitors and students are held hostage by Ukraine’s nazi formations. India alone has around 1500 students held hostage in Kharkov. So, this is what Russian Army has to deal with. A familiar pattern, don’t you agree?”

      Why is there no condemnation of the Nazi element in Ukraine? You should read about the Pravyj Sector and Nazi Azov battalion; information is easily available on line.

    • paul
      March 5, 2022 at 14:52

      If you’re concerned about repressive policing, I suggest you take a look at Trudeau’s Canada, Macron’s Yellow Vests, the treatment of the January 6th protestors, and the Catalan Independence activists in Spain. And if you’re concerned about media being silenced, I suggest you look at RT, Sputnik, and all the deplatforming/ demonetising/ cancelling/ and banning in western media.

      All the rest is just western media gaslighting. Putin has made a terrible mistake by intervening in Syria – this will be a quagmire – he is finished now. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    • Edward
      March 5, 2022 at 23:30

      In the past, the information operation described by Ritter would probably be illegal, because there was a law prohibiting government propaganda inside the U.S. However, Obama partially removed this restriction for some unknown reason. (Did Obama have the authority to do this?)

      • Tom Boston
        March 6, 2022 at 14:16

        And it was ok for USA and Turkey to enter into Syria? Russia literally saved Syria from disintegration as was the plan of USA amd NATO

  12. Afdal
    March 4, 2022 at 23:52

    There are many software alternatives to the proprietary/top-down services that Sleboda mentioned near the end being vulnerable to government closure. This is an excellent time to consider switching to things like Linux, LibreOffice, Mumble, Jami, Jitsi Meet, etc.

  13. Earl Rasmussen
    March 4, 2022 at 23:22

    Excellent discussion Joe! Great to see Scott and Mark providing their perspectives. I completely agree! Thank you for providing the truth!

  14. Stephen Morrell
    March 4, 2022 at 20:10

    Thank you for this necessary update and discussion. There’s a live uncensored RT stream on Rumble that’s been showing horrifying footage of the carnage inflicted by the Azov ‘battalion’ and the other nazis on LPR and DPR since 2014, that includes also footage of the Odessa atrocity and mass graves in LPR and DPR. Every liberal, along with all the fake left like DSA, SAlt, PLS, CPUSA and the rest, need to be tied to chairs and made to watch this footage. Horrifying, and worse that the people of LRP and DRP have endured this for eight years.

    As imperfect as it is, the Russian intervention in the Donbas is enforcing the right of national determination for LPR and DPR. However, it’s not the Red Army intervening, and the strategic aims of capitalist Russia to prevent further expansion of the NATO malignancy and the military consequences of limiting its intervention to Donbas have only compelled it to go into Ukraine itself, not least because the hardcore nazified Ukrainian state machine will not back down before sacrificing every last drop of Ukrainian in its fanatical drive to murder all ‘untermenschen’.

    Wishful thinking perhaps, but what would help the Ukrainian people right now? Maybe the members of each and every company in the Ukrainian armed forces, especially the conscripts and others continually hounded by them, begin planned operations to arrest and shoot all the nazis in their units. And then say this to their Russian counterparts:

    “We’re beginning the much needed de-nazification now, and we’re happy for you to help us do this, and let us finish the job together, just as we both are guarding Chernobyl against nazis using it as a dirty nuke. We acknowledge Russia’s legitimate security concerns, and that Ukraine isn’t ‘sovereign’ and nothing more than a catspaw for US/EU/NATO imperialism. We acknowledge and support the right of the LPR and DPR to secede and to exist without continual bombardment from the nazi filth in our corrupted military. We also acknowledge that you are not targeting ordinary Ukrainians or civilian life directly, and expect you to continue in this vein.”

    The Russian soldiers could respond with: “OK, we’re happy for you to do that, and we’ll make sure not to obey any orders from our officers that might deviate in any way from supporting you in the necessary task of wiping out the nazi scourge. And please do not hesitate to let us know how we can help in this very important work, especially in knocking out the discrete nazi units”.

    That all might be wishful thinking, but it’s one viable a start to preventing this turning into WWIII. Some fraternisation among the rank and files of both militaries along these lines could go a long way to making Zelenski and his US/EU/NATO imperialist masters understand that the Ukrainian military is not so reliable or willing to be their cannon fodder; and similarly for Putin, that the Russian military in Ukraine can’t necessarily be counted on as to follow all orders either.

  15. David Otness
    March 4, 2022 at 17:40

    Stunning, Joe/CN—Sleboda and Ritter are the go-to guys for this moment and all of your years of journalistic experience are made wisely manifest by calling on them in particular to speak to these enormous-in-magnitude truths of our times.

    Here’s a wild card for you: the far western lands of Ukraine are turned over to Polish possession and governance as offered by Vladimir Putin and the Duma. Far-fetched…? Hmm. I see several birds if not killed, then at least captured with one stone therein. Win/win.

    I would have liked to hear of Blackwater—it will forever be nothing but ‘Blackwater’—and Erik Prince mentioned in this as it points to his “baby” meeting its Waterloo by firing squad if I read things correctly. Their presence in Ukraine has been noted frequently enough for me to make this faraway assertion. That is, if the specifically-appointed Chechen killer squads don’t get them first.

    To Mark—Russia didn’t have the military superiority in 2014 to go all-out in Ukraine in 2014; i.e. confidence-grounded reality. Nor the economic wherewithal in preparation for the consequences. Mr Putin at the helm is one of the most fortunate ever turns in human history for the survival of the Russian Federation. If not civilization itself. That said, God help us all, the future generations in particular.

  16. vinnieoh
    March 4, 2022 at 17:25

    Thank you, CN, Joe, Scott, and Mark.

    Re; the nuclear power plants. Thanks Scott; as I watched the US msm last night and this morning I knew that what was happening was not what was being spun. As you said, any realistic battle plan must incorporate the quick control of those facilities, and for the reasons you stated. I would expect also that they have teams of bomb squads, mechanical engineers and inspectors, and software/controls experts looking at EVERYTHING to make sure the dead-enders didn’t leave any surprises behind.

    A thought provoking discussion between the somewhat different conclusions of Scott and Mark. And during these last months my respect and admiration for everything Joe writes and says, everything he does just continues to grow. Keep up the excellent work and stay safe.

  17. Mr. Russian
    March 4, 2022 at 17:20

    Mark said “Putin made a huge mistake by not going in 2014”. No, he didn’t. If he would go in 2014, the whole Ukraine would see Russia as an oppressor and nothing more. Even Russian people would see Russia as an oppressor. And all those Bandera/ Nazi worshipers existed even before 2014, they just didn’t have a chance to show themselves.
    The West would easily defeat Russia in the information war and Ukraine would NEVER be under Russia’s influence again.

    After 8 years of the US influence Ukraine is the second poorest country in Europe, Nazis openly walking on the streets, opposition media are getting closed down, opposition is getting thrown to jail and so on.
    That’s the DIFFERENCE between 2014 and 2022.
    Now Putin can take all that and justify the military operation.

  18. Ian
    March 4, 2022 at 16:10

    I think one thing rarely mentioned about the sanctions is that there is zero chance of them being dropped if Russia withdraws. Maybe if Putin is overthrown or assassinated the West might drop them, but even then crushing the Russian economy will probably be a priority for years to come.

    • David Otness
      March 4, 2022 at 17:48

      It’s been a covert US/UK elite’s priority for over 100 years, Ian. This decoupling is imo the wisest and most inevitable course for the Russian President to take.

    • rosemerry
      March 5, 2022 at 01:32

      That would just show that the vicious cruelty of the West is based on no foundation. We see that in the USA’s sixty years of sanctions of Cuba, and more recently of Venezuela, for being independent and working to help the population. For NATO to claim it is defensive and refuse even to consider the validity of Russia as a member of the human family, for no possible reason of security for anyone now, should be seen as lacking in any reason or humanity.The Western media are more than dangerous.
      As for “régime change”, the West loves this idea eg Syria, Iraq, Iran, but for some fantastic reason expect people to decide to vote for a government wanted by the West, not by them.

  19. Tony Kevin
    March 4, 2022 at 16:02

    A first class , at times deeply sombre , discussion between Ritter and Sleboda , ably steered by Joe Lauria . I am left with two major takeaways: first, Scott’s geopolitical judgment that the war in Ukraine has been won by Russia and will be over in a month, including full denazification of the Lvov Ukronazi heartland. Second, Mark’s deep anxiety bordering on pessimism about the global economic impacts of what he calls the ‘great decoupling’ now rapidly getting underway between the West and China-Eurasia . It was well worth the two hours listening . One of them, I think Scott , tipped the postwar Ukraine reintegrating with the Russian world but more on the Belarus model as a close ally rather than the pragmatic Finland neutrality model. I think intuitively this is right. Ukrainians will need to have a inspiring postwar dream of themselves , and going back to being a RusskyMir powerhouse and centre of culture is more of a positive vision of identity than becoming a rich pragmatic neutral trading nation like Finland . It is no accident that Ukraine became so important under the Soviet system and bore the main brunt of the GPW fighting and Nazi devastation. It is a big part of the Russian soul. They will have to have something noble to look forward to after they pick themselves up from the wreckage of this tragic unnecessary war between brothers . Tony Kevin.

    • David Otness
      March 4, 2022 at 17:44

      So glad always to hear you weighing in, Ambassador Kevin. Your voice on matters is one I always look forward to with great and deep appreciation. Good day, sir.

  20. Carolyn L Zaremba
    March 4, 2022 at 15:07

    Thank you so much for this very important and informative discussion! It is scary as hell, but it clears the air and removes the clouds of hysteria that have neaerly obliterated any truth.

  21. dunord
    March 4, 2022 at 14:05

    Lemberg (lvov) should be taken over by disney and turned into a mini-state/theme park with attractions like “improvised ww2 massacre”, “our service as auschwitz guards”, “we gunned them down by the thousands in the ravine”, and similar edifying stuff.  The glorious 2014-2022 period should get a dedicated kiev-centric subpark with sections like “i worked for an NGO of the CIA”, “my first travel to berlin with my CIA NGO”, “my CIA NGO’s last travel to the west”, “my CIA NGO’s fought gender insensitivity among Azov-B’s killers/torturers”, etc.

  22. Em
    March 4, 2022 at 13:53

    “Western media is saying… while Russian President Vladimir Putin says… ”
    Doesn’t Russia have its own media, which ‘the people’ are forced to contend with?
    Does America have a wholly uncensored media?
    Did President Biden not speak with forked-tongue in his State of the Union address – by now conspicuous for having been a consummate liar during his more than a half-century in American politics?
    But anything having to do with Russia is orders of magnitude worse, simply because ‘America’ cannot exorcise its paranoia of long defunct Soviet ‘communism’.

  23. JMF
    March 4, 2022 at 13:43

    Hope I’m not violating any rules here, but the GrayZone just dropped a bomb on the Western media blitz:

    “How Ukraine’s Jewish president Zelensky made peace with neo-Nazi paramilitaries on front lines of war with Russia”
    Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal·March 4, 2022


  24. dunord
    March 4, 2022 at 13:18

    euro-supremacist fascism –custom force-junk-weaponized by the USA– will now try to subjugate the mediterranean basin and move down ethiopia into suhsaharan africa. So egypt, algeria, ethiopia, etc get ready for a rough ride (and hide the camels!).

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