SCOTT RITTER: 2023 Outlook for Ukraine

Given the duplicitous history of the Minsk Accords, it is unlikely Russia can be diplomatically dissuaded from its military offensive. As such, 2023 appears to be shaping up as a year of continued violent confrontation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin observing military exercises in the eastern Primorsky Krai region, September 2022. (Kremlin)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

After almost a year of dramatic action, where initial Russian advances were met with impressive Ukrainian counteroffensives, the frontlines in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict have stabilized, with both sides engaged in bloody positional warfare, grinding each other down in a brutal attritional contest while awaiting the next major initiative from either side.

As the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches, the fact that Ukraine has made it this far into the conflict represents both a moral and, to a lesser extent, a military victory.

From the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to the director of the C.I.A., most senior military and intelligence officials in the West assessed in early 2022 that a major Russian military offensive against Ukraine would result in a rapid, decisive Russian victory.

The resilience and fortitude of the Ukrainian military surprised everyone, including the Russians, whose initial plan of action, inclusive of forces allocated to the task, proved inadequate to the tasks assigned. This perception of a Ukrainian victory, however, is misleading.

The Death of Diplomacy

As the dust settles on the battlefield, a pattern has emerged regarding the strategic vision behind Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine. While the mainstream Western narrative continues to paint the Russian action as a precipitous act of unprovoked aggression, a pattern of facts has emerged which suggests that the Russian case for preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter may have merit.

Recent admissions on the part of the officials responsible for the adoption of the Minsk Accords of both 2014 and 2015 (former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, former French President Francois Hollande and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel) show that the goal of the Minsk agreements for the promotion of a peaceful resolution to the post-2014 conflict in the Donbass between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists was a lie.

Feb. 12, 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the Normandy format talks in Minsk, Belarus. (Kremlin)

Instead, the Minsk Accords, according to this troika, were little more than a means to buy Ukraine time to build a military, with the assistance of NATO, capable of bringing the Donbass to heel and driving Russia out of Crimea.

Seen in this light, the establishment of a permanent training facility by the U.S. and NATO in western Ukraine — which between 2015 and 2022 trained some 30,000 Ukrainian troops to NATO standards for the sole purpose of confronting Russia in eastern Ukraine — takes on a whole new perspective.

The admitted duplicity of Ukraine, France and Germany contrasts with Russia’s repeated insistence prior to its Feb. 24, 2022, decision to invade Ukraine that the Minsk Accords be implemented in full.

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In 2008,  former U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns, the current C.I.A. director,warned that any effort by NATO to bring Ukraine into its fold would be viewed by Russia as a threat to its national security and, if pursued, would provoke a Russian military intervention. That memo by Burns provides much-needed context to the Dec. 17, 2021, initiatives by Russia to create a new European security framework that would keep Ukraine out of NATO.

Simply put, the trajectory of Russian diplomacy was conflict avoidance. The same cannot be said of either Ukraine or its Western partners, who were pursuing a policy of NATO expansion linked to the resolution of the Donbass/Crimea crises through military means.

Game Changer, Not Game Winner

The reaction of the Russian government to the failure on the part of the Russian military to defeat Ukraine in the opening phases of the conflict provides important insight into the mindset of the Russian leadership regarding its goals and objectives.

Denied a decisive victory, the Russians seemed prepared to accept an outcome which limited Russian territorial gains to the Donbass and Crimea and an agreement by Ukraine not to join NATO. Indeed, Russia and Ukraine were on the cusp of formalizing an agreement along these lines in negotiations scheduled to take place in Istanbul in early April 2022.

This negotiation, however, was scuttled following the intervention of then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who linked the continued provision of military assistance to Ukraine to the willingness of Ukraine to force a conclusion to the conflict on the battlefield, as opposed to negotiations. Johnson’s intervention was motivated by an assessment on the part of NATO that the initial Russian military failures were indicative of Russian weakness.

April 9, 2022: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky takes U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on walk around Kiev. (President of Ukraine, Public domain)

The mood in NATO, reflected in the public statements of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wins, that is not only a big defeat for the Ukrainians, but it will be the defeat, and dangerous, for all of us”) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine”) was to use the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as a proxy war designed to weaken Russia to the point that it would never again seek to undertake a Ukraine-like military adventure. [Coupled with an ill-fated economic war, it was also designed to bring down the Russian government, as President Joe Biden admitted last spring.]

This policy served as the impetus for the injection of what would amount to well over $100 billion worth of assistance, including tens of billions of dollars of advanced military equipment, to Ukraine.

This massive infusion of aid was a game-changing event, allowing Ukraine to transition from a primarily defensive posture to one that saw a reconstituted Ukrainian military, trained, equipped and organized to NATO standards, launching large-scale counterattacks that succeeded in driving Russian forces from large swaths of Ukraine. It was not, however, a game winning strategy — far from it. 

Military Math

The impressive Ukrainian military accomplishments that were facilitated through the provision of military aid by NATO came at a huge cost in lives and material. While the exact calculation of casualties suffered by either side is difficult to come by, there is widespread acknowledgement, even among the Ukrainian government, that Ukrainian losses have been heavy.

With the battle-lines currently stabilized, the question of where the war goes from here comes down to basic military math — in short, a causal relationship between two basic equations revolving around burn rates (how quickly losses are sustained) versus replenishment rates (how quickly such losses can be replaced.) The calculus bodes ill for Ukraine.

Neither NATO nor the United States appear able to sustain the quantity of weapons that have been delivered to Ukraine, which enabled the successful fall counteroffensives against the Russians.

This equipment has largely been destroyed, and despite Ukraine’s insistence on its need for more tanks, armored fighting vehicles, artillery and air defense, and while new military aid appears to be forthcoming, it will be late to the battle and in insufficient quantities to have a game-winning impact on the battlefield.

Likewise, the casualty rates sustained by Ukraine, which at times reach more than 1,000 men per day, far exceed its ability to mobilize and train replacements.

President Joe Biden delivering “stand with Ukraine” remarks on May 3, 2022, at the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy, Alabama. (White House, Adam Schultz)

Russia, on the other hand, is in the process of finalizing a mobilization of more than 300,000 men who appear to be equipped with the most advanced weapons systems in the Russian arsenal.

When these forces arrive in full on the battlefield, sometime by the end of January, Ukraine will have no response. This harsh reality, when coupled with the annexation by Russia of more than 20 percent of Ukraine’s territory and infrastructure damage approaching $1 trillion, bodes ill for the future of Ukraine.

There is an old Russian saying, “A Russian harnesses slowly but rides fast.” This appears to be what is transpiring regarding the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

Both Ukraine and its Western partners are struggling to sustain the conflict they initiated when they rejected a possible peace settlement in April 2022. Russia, after starting off on its back feet, has largely regrouped, and appears poised to resume large-scale offensive operations which neither Ukraine nor its Western partners have an adequate answer for.

Moreover, given the duplicitous history of the Minsk Accords, it is unlikely Russia can be dissuaded from undertaking its military offensive through diplomacy. As such, 2023 appears to be shaping up as a year of continued violent confrontation leading to a decisive Russian military victory.

How Russia leverages such a military victory into a sustainable political settlement that manifests itself in regional peace and security is yet to be seen.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. 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. His most recent book is Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, published by Clarity Press.

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

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45 comments for “SCOTT RITTER: 2023 Outlook for Ukraine

  1. CaseyG
    January 13, 2023 at 22:34

    Beside Supposedly playing the piano with his penis, what good is Zylenskky?

    The most telltale sign was when he came to the US Congress, and Nancy and Kamala were trying to give him a US flag in a tri corner box with a US flag in it. Wow, I never saw such greed glow upon a face. He had to have it — and grabbed for it though it took a while for the 3 cornered box to become his The look on his face was so creepy—–as if now owned the world.]What an idiot. I wonder how long he will continue to live.

  2. robert e williamson jr
    January 13, 2023 at 16:15

    Thank you Scott for the update, good info is hard to come by.

    Bush 41 is to have said “Russia getting into NATO will never happen”, the U.S. is to have said there will be no NATO expansion. Bush 43 is to have said he favored Ukraine joining NATO. What could possibly go wrong.
    I’m weary of reviewing to find sources so I’m sticking with the two proven liars in this case.

    Bush 41 should have known better than to ever use the word “never” when predicting the future.

    The U.S. national security apparatus needs go stick to collecting intelligence and stop black-ops designed to be used a preemptive dark operations or nation building. This technique of prosecuting foreign policy has never served Any American interests other than keeping the defense department and it’s contractors umbilically connected to the U.S. tax dollar “Gravy Train” and piles of dead non-combatants.

    Ya’ll do remember what they say about a person who continues to repeat the same action time and again only to be met with failure after failure.

    Thanks again Scott, CN & Crew

  3. vinnieoh
    January 13, 2023 at 13:05

    I haven’t read all the comments – yet.

    “As such, 2023 appears to be shaping up as a year of continued violent confrontation leading to a decisive Russian military victory.”

    I don’t agree if only because Scott sems to ignore the US determination to permanently cripple RU, here and now. While true that the Ukraine conflict is a made-to-order slush fund for US and other western arms manufacturers, there remains also a fierce determination to “win” and take control of all that is now under RU control. Some believe it is with their grasp.

    I would not expect a decisive Russian military victory, but at best the avoidance of an all-out collapse of sovereign security integrity.

  4. medo
    January 12, 2023 at 18:22

    In 1980 the US was already starting to teach us to dislike and fear Russians, not just communism which was NOT a Russian invention.
    No Russians at the Olympics, and again in 1984…. we cannot do anything with the Russians…. and it has been a steady drum beat ever since…. the communists collapsed in the Soviet Union, but the Russian problem persisted
    Have seen the US use NATO as a weapon in Yugoslavia, and continued relentlessly to pump it up …. presumably in preparation for the war with Russia…. such dirty business using Ukraine ….. ending doubtless in total destruction there …. and intending to do what?

    destroy Russia? How can the Russians not fight back! and here we go….. and our “news” is so badly skewed…. my friends, with good hearts— and serious people —- do not want to hear my objections… I am a subscribing to conspiracy theories…. awwwwwwwww

  5. Templar
    January 12, 2023 at 18:08

    What is Russia doing about the entry points for western arms deliveries? Has it attempted to destroy Kyiv’s airport runways (Zelensky and various other politicians appear to come and go at will) major highways and railway infrastructure in addition to other potential western Ukraine entry points? Are there tactical and/or strategic reasons for not doing so?

  6. January 12, 2023 at 18:05

    While so many believe Russia will not win this war quickly, I see the war in Ukraine as winding up before 25th February, 2023, with a decisive Russian victory. Ukraine as we knew it, will cease to exist, but will capitulate. Of course, that will not stop the collective west, Biden at the helm, from continuing on their merciless path to destroy Russia. Yet, moves are being made against Biden by his own people, who no doubt perceive his danger not only to Russia but the whole of humanity, and are casting about for reasons to impeach him. The finding of classified documents he had in his private possession as VP, for instance, and the pressure put on the Speaker of the House to succumb to demands to at least limit, if not cease, funding Ukraine. The refugee crisis cannot be sustained either; Poland alone is collapsing economically under the strain of 13 million additional citizens. The whole of Europe is in crisis economically and industrially, overburdened to the max with the influx of Ukrainian refugees. The original citizens of Europe are bucking under this yoke, despite the fact that the truth of the reasons for the war and the parlous position of Ukraine militarily has been kept from them by a repressed media allied with lying CIA propaganda. It’s a house of cards about to fall. It cannot possibly stand much longer.

  7. mgr
    January 12, 2023 at 16:50

    Thank you. “While the mainstream Western narrative continues to paint the Russian action as a precipitous act of unprovoked aggression, a pattern of facts has emerged which suggests that the Russian case for preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter may have merit.” I strong case, I think.

    When speaking legalities, we should also mention the blowing up Noordstream 2. If there was a shred of evidence that Russia was responsible the investigators would be shouting it from the rooftops. Obviously, there is none, not to mention that it would make no sense. That being the case, just which NATO country carried out this massive attack against the EU including other NATO countries? At some point, that must be brought to light. Perhaps Van der Leyen should call for a war crimes tribunal to sort it out.

    Fascists and neocons share the same fundamental attributes beginning with an absence of any sense of morality. They both place ideology above the value of life and humanity. And since they exist in their own universe, they put “being right” above everything and will readily sacrifice any and everyone else, not themselves of course, rather than be proven wrong.

    MOA notes that the Ukrainian army grew quickly to from 250,000 to 650,000 troops after mobilizing reserve and territorial defense forces. I did not realize that the Ukrainian army was that large. No wonder the Biden neocons thought they had a winning hand. That army, which is being ground down, I understand is now being filled with teenagers and 60+ conscripts. Sadly, all grist for the mill. So what will be the future of Ukraine society when so many of its workers, and future husbands and fathers are gone? Ukrainian fascists and US neocons and their NATO vassals have traded the future of the people of Ukraine for a malign ideology and gold for a few.

    How the Western nonsensical “rules based order” can survive the weight of such incomprehensible cynicism, I don’t know. Powerful empires are not usually brought down by direct attack from without. Rather, as in this case, a smart opponent simply causes the empire to remove its mask and show its true face. And then reality does the rest.

    • Common Sense
      January 14, 2023 at 17:56

      Thank you ^^

      Self- disqualification is what the definitely extremely evil as well as incredibly stupid “West” (in fact their greedy “elite”) is doing.

      And hopefully it is going to take about any wind out of their sails for a long time.

      And it certainly would be a very good thing if most of those responsible are going to be held accountable rather sooner than later.

  8. James K
    January 12, 2023 at 15:28

    Didn’t Sun Tzu’s Art of War bring up the strategy of “pretending to look weak” to lull the enemy in a false sense of security?

    Perhaps US/NATO is playing along those lines — lying and downplaying the size of its military contributions to Ukraine as well as its ability to “maintain the flow” of such aid! Trying to lull the Russians into a false sense of security, and get the public to donate even money and aid to Ukraine (wherein US/NATO only pretends to be “too encumbered” to sizeably contribute and keep contributing to the UAF themselves)…

    • Valerie
      January 14, 2023 at 16:11

      Sun Tzu’s Art of War cannot compare/compete with today’s warfare.

      Stupid militarists of today believe in “might” as opposed to “strategy.”

      “The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he cannot fathom our real intent”.
      Sun Tzu 500 BCE

  9. January 12, 2023 at 14:47

    This isn’t the first time Scott Ritter has predicted a Russian military victory. He may be right or he may be wrong. I have no way of knowing, but as far as I am concerned the probability that his prediction will come true is no better than 50%. However, even if Russia does achieve a military victory it will in all likelihood turn out to be a pyrrhic victory. Scott Ritter himself seems to recognize this with his last sentence, “How Russia leverages such a military victory into a sustainable political settlement that manifests itself in regional peace and security is yet to be seen.”

    I’ll say it remains to be seen. You have to remember, we are talking about a proxy war. The real war taking place in Ukraine is between the United States, along with its NATO allies, and Russia. In other words, a war between the world’s two greatest nuclear powers. That’s what makes a political solution so difficult.

    • Gene Poole
      January 13, 2023 at 08:20

      “The real war taking place in Ukraine is between the United States, along with its NATO allies, and Russia.”

      Let’s not forget the war on the majority of the people of the world.

      In that one result of the war in Ukraine is that major global financial interests are taking over Ukraine’s land and resources, Ukraine is a microcosm of the struggle by the same forces to secure access to the last remaining major desposits of oil, gas, and other resources… in Russia and in the rest of the world. And the populations of both countries and of the world at large – including the people of the United States – stand to lose if those forces prevail in that struggle.

      • Lois Gagnon
        January 13, 2023 at 18:10

        Exactly right! This is a battle for corporate banker dominance over the resources of the planet. In other words, it’s for Wall St’s investor class at the expense of the working class and national sovereignty. Russia finally has seen the light. China and most of the rest of the world no doubt as well. It boggles my mind that anyone in the US fails to see it at this point. What more do they need to see?

  10. Chris N
    January 12, 2023 at 14:37

    Well written with integrity and compassion

  11. Jeffrey Blankfort
    January 12, 2023 at 14:07

    It should be pointed out that there is little likelihood that Ukraine would ever be allowed to join NATO given the rules for admission, the most important being that the vote of ALL its members to allow it in must be unanimous which would, in effect, make all of the countries currently in the organization part of the war with Russia. Clearly that is not about to happen as well, for another reason, new member countries must be at peace, with no significant national divisions.

    What we are seeing happening there on the part of the US and NATO command is what is generally referred to as “mission creep.”

  12. lidia
    January 12, 2023 at 13:40

    The victory in Soledar does not look like “battle-lines currently stabilized” to me)))

  13. Carolyn L Zaremba
    January 12, 2023 at 12:01

    Thank you, Scott. The real victims in this will be the ordinary Ukrainian civilians, as is usual in war. Neither the Kiev government nor the United States give a damn about destroyed cities and civilian deaths. You know, “collateral damage”. I weep no tears, however, for the Nazi government of Ukraine. The sooner they go, the better. I’m sick of the Congress of the United States hosting filth like Zelensky and kissing his ass. I’m sick of the U.S. government throwing billions of dollars to weapons manufacturers and the Ukraine government when the U.S. is awash in poverty, homelessness, a Covid catastrophe, and economic meltdown.

  14. jamie
    January 12, 2023 at 11:46

    All western media have dubbed the Russian intervention a failure; to me I think they are either trying to downplay the Russian success or they are not able to empathize with the Russians; or perhaps I am deceiving myself, although a professor told me once not to place rationality above “feeling” (the two must be equally important). I believe that to the Russians the control of Azov and black sea is of primary importance. That’s why I believe the operation took place in February, when the Russians understood that Ukraine an NATO were ready to reconquer Donbass and Crimea; if that had happened it could have had great consequences for Russia in military as well as economic terms. Maybe I am wrong, Mr, Ritter knows better, but if I am right, then the west has experienced a major defeat. There was one theory that perhaps it still is highly regarded by the west (or Russia), the rimland theory (in contrast with earthland theory) which stated that who controlled the sea controlled the world, or something like that. Perhaps, both theories are still considered in this war, in that case Russian land is just as important. And if I am right, that the most important goal of the Russian operation was to control Ukranian land shoring both seas, then the attack at Kiev was an extraordinary strategic military deception…

  15. A Boyles
    January 12, 2023 at 11:22

    Without a doubt, this analysis will age well as the war progresses in 2023. In a recent article in Dances with Bears, John Helmer wrote that a DMZ in Ukraine is not possible now that Russia understands the West has no morals, ethics or decency. The West never enters into agreements so it can live up to its obligations, and Merkel’s recent admissions of the Minsk agreements being nothing more than a stalling tactic to enable Ukraine to arm itself to fight in the future was not lost on Putin and Medvedev. There will be no negotiated settlement and it will be a “winner take all” scenario with the Nazis fleeing through a Western corridor into Poland and Germany, or killed in Ukraine, or captured and put on trial by Russia. The question is how long will the war take? There is a significant chance of a complete Ukrainian capitulation before the end of 2023 but no one knows for sure. The reality is the West has been shown for what it is – an untrustworthy player who uses military force to steal the national wealth of other nations. Its losing its appeal in economic and military organisations. Once Ukrainian defeat is certain, will Poland and Germany be next on Russia’s agenda? It’s possible.

    • Rob Roy
      January 13, 2023 at 04:18

      A. Boyles,
      Your comment was fairly good until the last two sentences. Russia/Putin said exactly his purpose (I have observed him for 30 years; he doesn’t lie) was exactly what he said: denazify to prevent more thousands of Russian speakers from being murdered in the Donbas, retain Crimea and prevent Ukraine joining NATO. He is not a hegemon like the United States. It’s not possible that he wants to go further than those objectives or he would have said so. The declaration of independence of the two republics, Luhansk and Donetsk were recognized as Russian in November before the SMO in February and Crimea also overwhelmingly voted the same. Russia must win this war or the entire planet may lose.
      Thanks again, Scott Ritter. I was getting worried that we hadn’t heard from you for a while.

  16. Rudy Haugeneder
    January 12, 2023 at 11:10

    The sun will decide what happens to the modern world, Ukraine included. A single very big CME will destroy earth technology infrastructure and software, including simple appliances like cars, electric grids, media, health care, resulting in never before experienced mass civilizational destruction and billions of deaths. I predict that by the end of the century, Black Africa and South America rebuilding the quickest and becoming the global super powers of what the sun allowed to survive. The remaining survivors won’t even be aware of what happened. The sun, historically worshipped as a gawd, will decide what the future of humanity looks like. Whether this prediction is bad science fiction writing or simply a crystal ball, either way the outcome doesn’t look good for the next couple of centuries for whoever emerges.

  17. Stierlitz
    January 12, 2023 at 10:46

    Vladimir Putin may get his “new security arrangement” over the rubble of a broken NATO/EU. Ever so slowly, it is becoming painfully obvious to Europeans that the behavior of leaders like Merkel and Hollande (whose finance minister was Macron) coupled with the overt attacks on a German (allied) infrastructure project called Nordstream2 mean that the cabal will do anything – I mean anything – to squelch any form of objective debate and make nuclear war an acceptable alternative. Europeans are now governed by a semi-dictatorship. How this will end is anyone’s guess. I am not optimistic even in the case (happy one at that) of Russia’s victory over the Zelensky clique.

    • A Boyles
      January 12, 2023 at 17:09

      I agree with you. It seems like we’ve been raised in a climate of lies and subversion in the West and it doesn’t feel good at all.

  18. Donald Duck
    January 12, 2023 at 08:51

    During the 1920s, Ukrainian publicist Dmytro Dontsov (1883–1973) created a theory of what he termed “active nationalism,” a political doctrine that later became the official ideology of the radical right-wing, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists OUN, with Stepan Bandera, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army UPA – Roman Shukeyvich. Yet, before World War I, Dontsov was a fervently internationalist social democrat. Much of his shift rightward occurred during the internecine fighting that beset Ukraine from 1914 to 1922, but he had already adumbrated key components of his mature, “integral nationalist” world view prior to this time, from a vantage point well within the mainstream of the day’s social-democratic discourse. His incendiary brand of Ukrainian realpolitik used the language of an early twentieth-century Marxism that had become riddled with various “heterodoxies.” Anticipating a world conflict that would favor the Germans and dismantle the Russian Empire, Dontsov advocated a pro-“Western,” anti-“Muscovite” orientation for Ukrainians, and in 1913 spearheaded a controversial program for Ukraine’s separation from Russia and integration into “Europe.”

    This in time formed the background of militant protofascist organizations who carried out a number of brutal ethnic cleansing episodes whilst the German Wehrmacht SS units (whose antisemitism was if anything even worse, simply looked on). The Polish community in the Western Ukraine was centred around Galicia and its environs. One particularly gruesome episode by the duo of Bandera and Shukhevych took place in 1943 when up to 100,000 Poles as well as Jews and Russians were butchered.

    So the track record of Ukrainian nationalists has always been anti-Russian, anti-semitic, anti-democratic, and anti-Polish. And, suffice it to say, they can’t seem to simply kick the habit. The sooner or later this ideological monster collapses the better.

  19. AG
    January 12, 2023 at 07:59

    Since Mr. Ritter has linked Brookings (thx btw!) – a new study has been published about major think tanks, such as Brookings, and their studies that are lacking independent research.

    Focus on nuclear weapons policy.

    Responsible Statecraft brough the item:
    “New study reveals rampant conflicts of interest at think tanks”


    The SAGE survey with the obvious title:
    “No such thing as a free donation: research funding and conflicts of interest in nuclear weapons policy analysis”:


  20. peter mcloughlin
    January 12, 2023 at 07:43

    One thing clear from history: the closer a nation comes to the war it is trying to avoid the farther it thinks it is away from it – until too late.

    A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  21. A Call for Honesty
    January 12, 2023 at 06:36

    Two thousand years ago simple Jewish people who listened to Jesus understood the wisdom of his words but not so Zelensky:

    “What king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.” (Luke 14:31-32)

  22. James White
    January 12, 2023 at 05:45

    The relentless propaganda from the Western press that Ukraine is winning this war seems to have finally peaked. It turned on the tiny town of Soledar, near Bakhmut. As CNBC admits: Russians make ‘tactical advances’ near key target of Bakhmut; Kyiv says situation is ‘extremely difficult.’ “The free world has everything necessary to stop Russian aggression and bring the terrorist state to a historic defeat and it is important not only for us, it is important for global democracy, for all those who value freedom,” Zelenskyy added. As if he speaks for the ‘free world.’ Where in the ‘free world’ do I go to cast my vote for an end to this deceitful proxy war with Russia? Zelensky has been trying to drag the entire world into a repeat of World War One ever since Russia sent troops into Ukraine. Russia did so to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians from being slaughtered by their own government. More importantly, to stand up to NATO aggression, war-mongering and isolation of Russia from European markets. A trap was set for Russia and Russia had no choice but to stand up to Western Imperialism, here and now. It is pathetic how the Western press and governments have brainwashed a majority of their people to view this as an evil Russian aggression on the poor, peace-loving people of Ukraine. When will Ukrainians come to realize that they are being needlessly led to their deaths by cynical Western governments? Femen popularized the notion that ‘Ukraine is not a brothel.’ The Biden Regime and the weak leaders of most European nations have instead turned Ukraine into a kill zone.

  23. Thot
    January 12, 2023 at 04:10

    “Les réalisations militaires ukrainiennes impressionnantes”n lesquelles ? la continuation de massacre de civils ? les ukrainiens n’ont eu aucune victoire, aucune ! 10 ou 12 ukrops tués pour un russe, on ne peut pas honnêtement parler de réalisations impressionnantes, d’autant plus qu’ils perdent du territoire chaque jour. Sans l’otan, (l’ukraine n’est pas dans l’otan), ce pauvre pays 404 n’existerait plus

  24. Jeff Harrison
    January 12, 2023 at 00:51

    The problem won’t be Russia. They will fully liberate the 4 oblasts that voted to rejoin the RF. Then they’ll quit. Except, of course, they’ll thwart Ukie attacks. The real question will be: when will the US admit that it’s been beat?

    • January 12, 2023 at 11:24

      The US can’t even admit it was lying to the American People, claiming to be winning the 20 year, $2,000,000,000,000 funnel of Taxpayer Funds to the US Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex in the War of the most expensive Military Force in the History of Nations losing against one of the poorest Countries on Earth.
      Americans already forgot that lie, and the exorbitant cost to wage a 20 year WAR against one of the poorest Countries.

      Former Supreme NATO Commander in Europe US General Wesley Clark, 4 years before the 2011 Arab Spring, blew the whistle in 2007, exposing US WAR PLANS brought out within 2 weeks of 9/11 to remake the Middle East to conform to US/Israeli Interests, he US plan was to provoke Coups and regime change in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, and at THE END, Iran.
      By the latest rumblings coming out of Israel TODAY, this World is at the PRECIPICE of THE END.

      The US will not admit Russia entered the Syrian World WAR (there were so many Nations involved) Syrian Coup/regime change phase in the 2001 WAR PLAN only in 2015, the year AFTER the US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Elected Russian friendly Ukrainian government, changing it for an un-elected, virulent anti-Russian government.

      Russia had enough, and put an end to the US attempt to change the Assad regime following the 2001 US WAR PLAN.

      US WAR Propaganda portrays the WAR over Ukraine in NATO in stark terms of the Battle between GOOD and EVIL.
      US Power manipulation in this World being the GOOD side, and Russian Power and influence in this World being the EVIL side.

      Even the simple minded can think clearly enough to understand, if that US attitude and outlook continues unabated, this World has indeed arrived at the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty described in the Revelation of Jesus Christ 16:13-16 as Armageddon or WWIII for the non-religious Secular population.

  25. Elial
    January 11, 2023 at 23:05

    “…the fact that Ukraine has made it this far into the conflict represents both a moral and, to a lesser extent, a military victory.”

    The fact is Russia is not just fighting Ukraine, but all of NATO.

    NATO has been preparing and digging in for exactly this conflict for 8 years. If anything, what has caught Russia on the back foot is the duplicity and vicious Russophobia of a combined West in collusion with Uko-Nazis.

    • YuMa
      January 12, 2023 at 06:14

      Exactly my thoughts. Russia underestimated how far NATO (read USA) will go to undermine Russia. It is pretty much open war between NATO and Russia. I am sure Russia knew exactly the duplicitous nature of Minsk agreement, but maybe had no intelligence on how much Ukraine was building its military up. They certainly would not have expected the magnitude of anti-Russian hysteria that has been pushed in the western MSM.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      January 12, 2023 at 12:02


  26. Bruce Edgar
    January 11, 2023 at 20:20

    Just two days ago RFK (Children’s Health Initiative) filed lawsuit against the Trusted News Initiative and its key players. A successful outcome will help release us from the formation Iron Curtain that has descended upon America-and perhaps because of our influence, also upon much of the rest of the world. Without access to stories like these, our fellows cannot help but be ignorant regarding our perpetual and tragic misbehavior worldwide. A successful outcome may even begin to nibble away at the drastic impacts of Citizen’s United and unlimited money to tell unlimited lies. America is flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel. And when it comes to Boris Johnson urging this war forward as he has done, I have an image in mind: Mussoline and his mistress hanging heels up in Rome. Aah the Schadenfreude.

    • A Boyles
      January 12, 2023 at 11:24

      I hope you are right, I really do. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic now to believe that will ever happen.

      • Red Star
        January 12, 2023 at 16:21

        @Bruce Edgar : ” And when it comes to Boris Johnson urging this war forward as he has done, I have an image in mind: Mussoline and his mistress hanging heels up in Rome.”

        Ah, but which mistress ? Bozo has had so many. He’s probably cheating on his current wife even as I type.

        Although I could also see the Mussolini fate for Mr and Mrs Zelensky. Either at the hands of a citizenry that has finally had enough, or by the neo-nazis, should they feel he has betrayed them .

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      January 12, 2023 at 12:03

      Yes, that Mussolini image comes to my mind frequently.

  27. shmutzoid
    January 11, 2023 at 20:09

    Terrific analysis by Scott Ritter. Hopefully, the upcoming and much touted winter offensive by Russia will bring Ukraine to its knees, forcing Zelensky to negotiate a settlement. Otherwise, this war could drag on for years, resulting in even more casualties.
    ——US imperialism MUST be halted. Ukraine is the crucible upon which the next epoch will be written. Through BRICS, SCO, BRI and other institutions Russia and China are helping facilitate a multi-polat world of peaceful/cooperative trade agreements from Eurasia to the Global South. The US is unwilling to accept these realities – the war ON Russia via Ukraine is the long-planned campaign to overthrow Russia, in preparation for war with China.

    Between the duplicity of the West in bad faith negotiations of the Minsk Accords and the surge of neo-Nazi killing of folks in Donbas (Jan. 2022) , Russia was left with little choice other than to invade. —–> Article 51. “Responsibility to Protect”—–> subjects you are not likely to hear in corporate news.

    • A Boyles
      January 12, 2023 at 11:27

      Imperialism must be shown to be unprofitable for it to stop. And this war might be the one that forces the investors to question their objectives. However I think it will be a setback only. But I’ll take a setback for now, as the US is in for many more setbacks in the future and eventually like a fighter on a losing streak, the investors will look elsewhere for profits.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      January 12, 2023 at 12:06

      U.S. citizens are so propagandized and so lulled into insensibility by banal 24/7 television and celebrity worship that they have no idea of what is going on in the world. An anesthetized populace is easy to fool. A Congress that greets a Nazi with the equivalent of flowers and kisses (there may be actual kisses) has lost all honor and dignity it ever had.

  28. Ed B
    January 11, 2023 at 20:06

    RFK of Child Health Defense (CHD) filed a lawsuit against the Truusted News Initiative. Perhaps this will help break the Iron Curtain of censorship that since Covid as redoubled its ability to cancel anything that might contradict the official justification for our sperpetual misbehavior. Until then, we can expect the majority of our citizens to never see information like what is presented here–information I have been exposed to for months, but which one has to search for and cannot find anywhere on the MSM and social media power houses. America is headed for a great catastrophe–and so is Boris who perhaps now is beginning to regret urging Ukraine to fight to the end because our support will be unlimited. I have an image in mind: Musoline hanging by the heels in Rome alongside his mistress. Aah, the schadenfreude.

  29. Mikael Andersson
    January 11, 2023 at 19:17

    Yes Scott, the course of events cannot be known in detail, but the outcome is certain. There never was any possibility of Ukraine prevailing. The decision to continue the conflict in April 2022 will be regretted. I believe that the price already far exceeds Ukraine’s ability to pay – recognizing that its civil administration is now funded by US citizens’ taxes. Its military is similarly funded. Perhaps Americans have infinitely deep pockets, but the price in Ukrainian lives will be decisive. When Ukrainian grandmothers are conscripted to replace their dead grandsons the result will be known. I agree with your prediction of a decisive Russian military victory. Ukraine will cease to exist in its present form. The neighbors smell blood in the water and are circling. Zelensky will escape to a new TV show.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      January 12, 2023 at 12:08

      The working class of the United States doesn’t have deep pockets and the billionaires don’t pay any taxes, so essentially it is the American workers who are paying for this while being denied basic social services that the government tells them there is “no money” for.

    • Lenny
      January 12, 2023 at 13:09

      US citizens have no idea that the Empire ate the Republic long ago.

      Many still listen to Oliver North who has emerged again on TV.

      Having funded a proxy was with Nicaragua, Ollie remarked on Newsmax:

      “We will win with American bullets and Ukrainian blood.”

      That he is not locked up is a testimony to how little Americans know about the world and our role in it

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