PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Russians in Ukraine

Recent disclosures provide an incomplete inventory of the West’s covert activities in Ukraine. There is more than we have been told, surely.

Kherson street after Russian strike on the city center on Feb. 2. (National Police of Ukraine, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News 

You may have read or heard about the freakout that ensued after Emmanuel Macron convened a summit of European leaders in Paris last week. At a press briefing afterward, the French president allowed that NATO may at some point send troops to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian military forces.   

Before I go further, let me suggest a couple of thoughts readers can tuck somewhere in the corners of their minds for later consideration.

One, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked. Two, all the Kremlin’s talk about the threat of NATO hard by its southwestern border is nothing more than the distortion and paranoia of “Putin’s Russia,” as we must now refer to the Russian Federation.  

It went this way in Paris last week. At the presser following the summit Macron was asked whether Ukraine’s Western backers were considering deploying troops in Ukraine. The French president replied that while European leaders had not reached any kind of agreement, the idea was certainly on the table when they gathered at Elysée Palace. 

And then this:

“Nothing should be ruled out. We will do anything we can to prevent Russia from winning this war.” 

Instantly came the vigorous objections. The Brits, the Spanish, the Italians, the Poles, the Slovakians, the Hungarians: They all said in so many words, “No way.” Even Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s war-mongering sec-gen, objected to Macron’s assertion. 

No one was more vehement on this point than Olaf Scholz. “What was agreed among ourselves and with each other from the very beginning also applies to the future,” saith the German chancellor, “namely that there will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO states.” 

Plenty of Offensive Hardware

Scholz and Stoltenberg, December 2021. (NATO, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

O.K., but at the same summit those present joined to support sending long-range missiles to the Ukrainians, weapons fully capable of reaching cities, power grids, industrial plants and other targets deep inside Russia. So: No troops, plenty of offensive hardware.

The Paris gathering precipitated a significant moment of truth, if we can call it such. Scholz, who is on a knife’s edge politically in part for his government’s support for Ukraine, immediately asserted that Germany would not send its Taurus long-range missiles to Ukraine because German troops would have to go with them, as the Ukrainians could not operate them on their own. 

Look at the British, Scholz added indelicately. When they send their Storm Shadow missiles (and I must say I love the names the West’s arsenal minders come up with for these things) British personnel have to go with them. 

Yikes! Such indiscretion.    

As Stephen Bryen reported in his Weapons and Strategy newsletter, “The British cried foul and accused Scholz of ‘flagrant abuse of intelligence.’” Abuse of intelligence is a new one on me, but never mind. Bryen, who follows these matters closely as a former Defense Department official, continued:

“Scholz confirmed what everyone already knows, that NATO officers and trained personnel are in Ukraine operating weapons such as the Patriot and NASAM air defense system, the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system, the British–French Storm Shadow cruise missile (SCALP–EG in France), and many other complex weapons provided to Ukraine.”

There we have it — or there we have had it, if covertly, for a long time. 

Last week The New York Times published a long takeout on the Central Intelligence Agency’s presence and programs in Ukraine, which extend back at least a decade and almost certainly much further.

[Mykola Lebed, a top aide to Stepan Bandera, the leader of the fascist OUN-B, was recruited by the C.I.A. in 1948, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. National Archives.  See: On the Influence of Neo-Nazism in Ukraine.]

This includes an archipelago of sub-surface tracking, targeting and communications centers the agency set up and now helps operate for the Ukrainian intel services, a dozen of which are strung along Ukraine’s border with Russia. 

Another case of the covert turned overt, in the Times’ case by design. As your columnist has noted elsewhere, the Times’ reporters could never have unearthed the C.I.A.’s doings in Ukraine had the agency not decided to give them a guided tour.  

Then there are the Western mercenaries and others of indeterminate status. There is naturally no accurate count of these, but they certainly number in the thousands — Americans, Brits, French, Germans, Poles, Romanians and who have you. 

In mid–January the Russians announced they had shelled a hotel in Kharkiv that served as a base for French “volunteers,” as the common euphemism has it, killing 60 of them. Paris marked this down as “disinformation,” that useful catchall for inconvenient disclosures. 

But Moscow had immediately summoned the French ambassador to complain of “Paris’s growing involvement in the conflict over Ukraine.” Does this kind of thing figure in any disinformation op you’ve ever heard of?

It is unthinkable, at least in my view, that these recent disclosures make a complete inventory of the West’s covert activities in Ukraine. There is more than we have been told, surely. But let us consider what has to date been brought into the open.  

Stephen Bryen puts best the point that must be made in view of these facts literally on the ground. “If NATO is so much against sending troops to Ukraine,” he asks, “why doesn’t NATO demand that the soldiers already there be sent home?”

Over-Invested in the Conflict 

Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelensky addressing NATO summit in Madrid, June 2022. (NATO)

Excellent question. My answer: The Western powers, radically over-invested in Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia, are panicking as the Armed Forces of Ukraine retreat in the face of Russian advances and as support for this folly wanes on both sides of the Atlantic.

If anything, the covert presence of Western personnel in Ukraine may increase.    

It is obvious that Ukraine is losing its war against Russia, and at a faster pace than most analysts seem to have anticipated even last autumn. I am reading reports now that the final collapse of the AFU may prove three or so months away.  

You have to wonder what then. Pulitzerworld will recognize the Times’ perfectly dreadful Ukraine coverage with one or two of those ridiculous prizes the big dailies pass around among themselves. All those neo–Nazis the Times euphemizes as the AFU’s “elite commandos” will have to work off their pathological Russophobia in some other fashion. 

The West’s weird, disparate presence in Ukraine: This will not look the same. But it will not go away. And so we come to the truth at the heart of this recent raft of revelations. 

It is this. The Russians — “Putin” if you like — were right all along. The Ukraine crisis is merely the latest phase of the West’s long campaign to surround the Russian Federation up to its borders, destabilize it and finally subvert it. Regime change in Moscow was and remains the final objective.   

This is not a war in defense of “Ukrainian democracy” — a phrase that causes one either to laugh or do the other thing. It is the West’s proxy war, start to finish, Ukrainians cynically cast as cannon fodder, expendable stooges. 

Russia had no choice when it intervened two years ago, this after eight years’ patience as the Europeans — Germany and France, this is to say — broke every promise they made by way of supporting a settlement. The Americans didn’t break any promises because they never made any — and no one would take them seriously if they had.

I come to the judgment I offered when the war that began in 2014 erupted into open conflict two years ago. The Russian intervention was regrettable but necessary. I took some stick for this view back in 2022. I learn lately it is recorded in some European intelligence files as if it were a major transgression. 

It is as true now as then. All we learn in drips and drops about the Western powers’ various covert doings in the sad, failed state they have done much to ruin, confirms this.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for The International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows, available from Clarity Press or via Amazon.  Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

TO MY READERS. Independent publications and those who write for them reach a moment that is difficult and full of promise all at once. On one hand, we assume ever greater responsibilities in the face of mainstream media’s mounting derelictions. On the other, we have found no sustaining revenue model and so must turn directly to our readers for support. I am committed to independent journalism for the duration: I see no other future for American media. But the path grows steeper, and as it does I need your help. This grows urgent now. In  recognition of the commitment to independent journalism, please subscribe to The Floutist, or via my Patreon account.

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

51 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Russians in Ukraine

  1. March 8, 2024 at 08:39

    Once more, all too accurate, and today, that is a cardinal sin.

  2. anon
    March 7, 2024 at 17:54

    Nuland is out.
    Looks like the Russia Haters are losing out to the China Haters.

  3. anon
    March 7, 2024 at 09:38

    The clownish MI6 mouthpiece Hamish De Bretton Gordon has just called for British troops in Ukraine, “it’s time to put boots on the ground.”

  4. peter mcloughlin
    March 7, 2024 at 09:16

    “…The French president allowed that NATO may at some point send troops to Ukraine to join the fight against Russian military forces.”
    And when that fateful step is taken it will be taken in the delusion that world war three will not result. When a power gets closer to the war it is seeking to avoid (its own defeat) the more convinced it becomes of victory – as a certainty. But world leaders need to focus on history. And history comes down to a simple syllogism: every great empire eventually faces the conflict it is trying to avoid; everyone wants to avoid WWIII; therefore, that is the fate that awaits. Paradoxically, the only chance of avoiding that fate is to accept it.
    But this message is not getting across, and unless it does humanity will perish. I deal this in my new title The Doomsday Syllogism.

  5. Gene Poole
    March 7, 2024 at 07:24

    If we keep in mind that for public consumption, the US and EU were oh-so-careful not to mention sending anything more weapon-like than a safety pin in the early stages of the Ukraine fiasco – kevlar vests? -, it would not surprise me at all if little Macaroni said he might send troops to Ukraine purely as cover for the ever-increasing deadliness and range of the weapons US/EU are indeed sending and probably have been since the start. Troops? Never! But long-range missiles and the uh, personnel to service them? Why of course.

  6. Jeff Harrison
    March 7, 2024 at 00:54

    I toja so!

  7. Rafi Simonton
    March 6, 2024 at 22:09

    I know a thing or two about Russian history and culture plus I knew someone who was involved in the arms reduction negotiations. Thus it was difficult for me to believe the strident anti-Russian line, which seemed to me to bear more than a passing resemblance to what might be called propaganda. Nor do I see anything “neo” about the old Lviv Bandera fanatics.
    But what do I know? I’m merely a working class nobody. Certainly those superior Ivy League grad Dems along with their Euro equivalents from Oxbridge and the Sorbonne know best, right?
    Ah, but as we labor types have long known (and the econ elite has long feared,) some of us can read, write, and think. I’ve read The March of Folly and The Best and the Brightest. And now I read Patrick Lawrence.

    • Carolyn Zaremba
      March 7, 2024 at 21:58

      So does Scott Ritter and he was a weapons inspector in the Soviet Union for years. Read his book “Disarmament in the time of Perestroika”. Watch him on Rokfin.

  8. wildthange
    March 6, 2024 at 21:16

    The male dominance theory of western military and religious permanent war profiteering is the long term character of our civilization over the centuries. Full spectrum dominance of world culture is more at risk of having to share our planet than ever before and we in the west are panicking particularly due to China and Asia in general for cultural and economic world profits.

    Plus the permanent war technology protection racket and top predator status requires constant feeding that in this age is an imminent threat to human civilization that will be needing its resources put to better use soon. The lies of our R2P system is too obvious as is the hatred and defamation of character that is bedrock our Roman religious empire created for god given rights over the planet..

  9. zhernova
    March 6, 2024 at 19:27

    I have now read yet another moving speech by a Russian intellectual who has given up his personal freedom to stand up for his principles. Oleg Orlov’s “Final Word” from his trial at which he was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison is short and poignant. And today we see Ilia Yashin’s commentary in The Guardian – there is something very convincing about the viewpoint of a person who grew up in the system and, rather than emigrate, became a prisoner of conscience. Other prisoners of conscience who deserve our attention and respect: Boris Kagarlitsky, Alexei Gorinov, Alexandra Skochilenko (sentenced to 7 years in prison for replacing grocery store price tags with anti-war messages); there are many others as well. It is going to take a generation or more for the wounds to heal from this horrible war; hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides, soldiers and civilians maimed for life, the suffering of millions of people on both sides, the lifelong scars of post-traumatic syndrome, the hundreds of billions of dollars of destroyed towns and cities, an entire generation of children from all parts of the Ukraine who are terror-stricken and will require years to recover. I find it unbelievable that people thousands of miles away can turn out cold commentaries opining which side is winning and which side is losing without lamenting the totally appalling human cost. I pray for the victims. And I pray for the rapid end of this folly.

    • anon
      March 7, 2024 at 09:26

      If you’re worried about repression and censorship, we’ve got far worse problems in all the pro genocide western countries. Julian Assange, Gonzalo Lira, the January 6th protestors given 20-30 year sentences for trespass. In Czechoslovakia and Poland you can get 25 years in prison for saying anything deemed to be favourable to Russia. There is rigid censorship and no free speech. Anyone criticising the government is subject to vicious smear campaigns and vicious persecution. Russia and China are havens of freedom compared to western countries.

      • Solog
        March 7, 2024 at 22:09

        Some news for you: no country called Czechoslovakia anymore. Not too worried about what is happening in PL and CZ as long as they are not invading their neighbors. Very few long sentences for Jan 6, and they weren’t for “trespass” – come on, you know these things. “Havens of freedom” – people vote with their feet. Which way is the predominant flow of traffic?

  10. Peter Cann
    March 6, 2024 at 14:24

    The Times in London led on the story that SAS and US Delta Force troops were in Ukraine. That was March 2022, a month after the war started. Funnily enough, the story never appeared again, anywhere.

  11. DisinfectantSunlight
    March 6, 2024 at 14:15

    It feels like we are near the endgame.
    This period of uncertainty is also dangerous and ripe for a large false flag operation such as chemical weapons attack in Ukraine and blaming on Russia as they did multiple times in Syria when they were clearly losing after the Russian intervention, as requested by the Syrian government.
    OPCW is now totally controlled by the West. Chemical weapons being used by the retreating Ukraine forces are being reported by the Russian Defense department. This is not reported by even Independent Media, something to keep in mind.

    • Alan Hodge
      March 9, 2024 at 05:31

      This is surely the most ripe fear among rational observers.
      The Ukrainian military is collapsing along a line of contact that bisects Ukraine’s pre-war territory.
      If the west could magically gift Ukraine an endless supply of shells, their artillery tubes are overused to the point of being crazed and darn near drooping. If we put the shiny new guns they require for parity on the front tomorrow morning, Ukraine will not have the manpower to fire them. More to the point; this is a beaten army. It is dissolving.
      Based on past observation, Mr. Putin will probably pause in expectation of some rational response from the west. He does this sort of thing because expecting rational behavior from our junior league ego-invested Idiots in Charge is among his glaring weaknesses.
      You will know the rest of the story when the sky above your city catches fire.

  12. Caliman
    March 6, 2024 at 13:54

    “The Russian intervention was regrettable but necessary.”

    I partially disagree with this. Offensive war is always regrettable and almost never “necessary” … other policy choices existed then, as they do now. Russia chose war, as it seemed (and likely was) the best choice for their ends.

    I realize that this is an unpopular POV on this forum. However, as I pointed out then and do now:

    – Ukraine being a de-facto member of NATO is NOT an existential issue for Russia … there are other members of NATO already closer to the Russian heartland than Ukraine (the Baltics). Ukraine stationing western forces/weapons on its soil would simply be a convenient place to aim the nukes at during WW3.

    – Ukraine becoming an actual member of NATO was not a foregone conclusion … there were several NATO members (Hungary, Germany, maybe even France) who would have resisted it.

    – By attacking (rather than being attacked, as in Georgia in 2008), Russia lost good will of its few friends and spooked/excused NATO creep in Sweden and Finland … a doddering and unnecessary relic (NATO) was thus given a new lease on life. The MICIMATT cannot thank Russia enough for this.

    There are many other reasons … again, there are always options for a regional hegemon short of war that accomplish political and security aims … many many other tools in the toolshed. And hundreds of thousands of fellow eastern Slavs are dead and many cities ruined because of the choice made.

    • WillD
      March 6, 2024 at 20:35

      I’ll take issue with the NATO in Ukraine is not a threat to Russia paragraph. That might be your opinion, but it is certainly not Russia’s, and it is Russia’s opinion here that matters.

      The whole purpose of NATO in Ukraine is to pose a threat to Russia, and to ‘contain’ her! This has been openly stated by the US and NATO many many times – it is public knowledge, so why do you query it?

      Finally, Russia didn’t lose any goodwill where it mattered. It has many friends all over the wordl, if you hadn’t noticed.

      • Caliman
        March 7, 2024 at 12:27

        Again, You guys are taking the empire’s commentary as if it’s the honest opinion of the imperial managers rather than the propaganda and narrative exercise that it always really is. I don’t care what Stoltenberg and Blinken and Macron and the German nobodies have to say … their role is to lie and obfuscate.

        NATO in Ukraine (if it were to happen) would have simply been the dying gasp of a relic bureaucracy trying to add one more captive market and make a few more tens of billions for the “owner” class. Just ask yourself, if Russia had resisted the undeniably flagrant provocations of the “west”, secure in the knowledge of Russia’s superior weaponry (including the world’s largest nuclear forces) and patriotic citizenry, what exactly would/could the “west” had done further? Would not the ludicrous nazi flame had burned out in Ukraine eventually and Slavic brotherhood re-established? Was that not worth striving for?

        Remember, time is on the side of the BRICS/Global South … the west is dying and slowly losing relative power and influence … the only thing that can revive it is engaging with them at the game they are undeniably best at: narrative control leading to loss of legitimacy at home.

        I just hope China is better at resisting the provocations that will be attempted in Taiwan and Philippines than Russia was here …

    • paul
      March 6, 2024 at 23:28

      Easy for you to say. “Ukraine being a de-facto member of NATO was not a foregone conclusion”- why not sit tight and see what develops? You were not in Putin’s position…what responsible leader of a country would allow the encroachment and sabre rattling of a hostile entity on your borders to shell their citizens who share your ethnicity for years? What an absurd take on the conflict you have.

    • Mojo
      March 7, 2024 at 02:16

      What choices do you suggest. Russia had spent years asking The West to honour agreements made after WWII and indeed American promises to keep Ukraine neutral. I also believe that war could always be avoided by peaceful negotiation. However, when your opponents break every agreement made in order to arm themselves, create bio labs on your border and destroy the heritage of the people living in that region, what else can be done. Once trust has left the table there is only one way forward. Unfortunately it has been the Western powers who, yet again, broke that trust. Not only broke that trust but actively encouraged a group of people whose history of cruelty and destruction has caused conflict throughout Europe and Russia for millenia.

    • Gene Poole
      March 7, 2024 at 07:28

      “Ukraine stationing western forces/weapons on its soil would simply be a convenient place to aim the nukes at during WW3.” Are you going to explain that sentence in the spirit of this thread and of Patrick’s clearly hasty clarification? Or is it really as stupid and juvenile as it sounds?

      “here are always options for a regional hegemon short of war ”
      As several people have explained, including Jens Stultenberg himself, the war started in 2014.

      • Caliman
        March 7, 2024 at 12:34

        The point is that the Russia of today is not the Russia of 1812 or 1940, the last two times they were existentially attacked from the Ukraine direction.

        The Russia of today can only be defeated from within, if its leaders lose focus on the needs on their people. NATO can’t do a damned thing to it. Like the US and more so that even China and India, it is unconquerable.

        Thus, there is no legitimate existentially “defensive” reason for it to attack anyone outside its borders.

    • anon
      March 7, 2024 at 09:33

      Let’s see what happens if Russia or China ever try putting troops and nuclear weapons in Mexico.

      Putin tried to solve this politically and diplomatically for years, and was played for a fool by Merkel and the rest, something they openly brag about. He had to prevent the imminent ethnic cleansing of Donbas.

      • Caliman
        March 7, 2024 at 19:52

        Ah, so it’s not about nato or security for Russia but the ethnic Russians of Donbas?

        But Donbas, like it or not, was a recognized part of Ukraine. Whether or not the people there were being abused by their country, much like Tibet or Punjab or anywhere else ethnic minorities are being not allowed to go their own way, policing what happens is not the responsibility of foreign countries.

        Or do we all of sudden believe in
        The R2P that has been so abused by the “west”?

    • Alan Hodge
      March 9, 2024 at 05:40

      Well-reasoned and stated. Nevertheless, what matters is how Russian leadership perceives the situation.

  13. Horatio
    March 6, 2024 at 13:40

    Lest anyone forget, this war was started to humiliate Russia, steal its resources, and make money for the fat cats in Washington and the Military, Industrial, Congressional complex. That the flower of Ukrainian manhood had to die is just collateral damage. Now, on to killing Palestinians.

  14. Kay
    March 6, 2024 at 13:37

    I was taken aback by that beginning comment by Patrick Lawrence as well, that “Russia’s attack on the Ukraine was unprovoked.” It seemed so contrary to Patrick Lawrence’s views. I thought perhaps that he was being sarcastic or his editor had left out some quotation marks.
    As I read on Lawrence did not believe this – quite the opposite. I breathed a sigh of relief when he supported the idea and more that the West was out for regime change and to destroy Russia as we know it.

    • March 6, 2024 at 17:56

      You misread, perhaps because I might’ve been less clear than I could’ve been. I mean to suggest that reader bear in mind two fallacies commonly advaned in the West to obscure the wars causes.
      I see you came to understnd this as you read on.
      Thanks for taking the time to write, and thanks as well to all those commenting.

  15. Rafael
    March 6, 2024 at 13:35

    “Before I go further, let me suggest a couple of thoughts readers can tuck somewhere in the corners of their minds for later consideration. ”

    This passage has led to a fair amount of confusion by readers who thought you were endorsing the thoughts. Maybe you can edit it to avoid the confusion, for example: “for later consideration *and disposal*”

  16. Dr Bruce Spencer
    March 6, 2024 at 12:21

    Please include the bragging of the NATO chief “that NATO had successfully brought Russia to illegal war without having to fire a shot” (paraphrased) – reported in Consortium news.

    I think this should be reason enough for NATO to be disbanded — how crazy do you have to be to provoke a nuclear armed enemy?

  17. Irfan Haqqee
    March 6, 2024 at 11:24

    The attack was provoked by Ukraine, at the behest of US/NATO backers, by increasing attacks on Donetsk and Luhansk. Kremlin made several approaches to both US and its NATO allies to diffuse the situation, but they never responded, on purpose. The idea was to provoke the situation so much that attack becomes the only resort for Russia. US/NATO were too confident that the sanctions following the attack would cripple Russian economy and bring down Putin government. A deal was agreed upon between Russia and Ukraine in April that would have stopped the conflict, but Boris Johnson intervened, and that deal was scuttled.

    • Susan Siens
      March 6, 2024 at 15:51

      Totally agree, but I would not use the word “confident.” I would call it unbelievable hubris which saturates the entire West. The Greeks believed that hubris was what led to the downfall of empires, and living in this collapsing empire, I agree. The shocking arrogance PLUS stupidity of our “leaders” is profound and thorough.

  18. Henry Steen
    March 6, 2024 at 11:22

    Patrick was right in 2022 to call the Russian intervention regrettable but necessary. He is still right today. The only way this war ends is if Washington finally abandons regime change in Russia and accepts “Putin’s Russia” as a reality. The departure of Victoria Nuland gives some glimmer of hope that this may be starting to happen.

  19. Frank Lambert
    March 6, 2024 at 11:18

    A bright and logical explanation of the European/NATO/American imbroglio in Ukraine and the foolish whims of the former Rothschild employee, President Macron, probably puzzled why his European counterparts aren’t backing him up on an “all-out war” with Russia, starting in Ukraine.

    Between the US and Western European capitalist/imperialist class of greedsters in cahoots with the infamous “international bankers” who profit during wars, they’re uncertain of how to destroy the Russian Federation, steal their plentiful natural resources, then lend them money at usurious rates to “rebuild” the nation after the war is over. They’ve watched too many Hollywood melodramas thinking it can happen in Russia. Methinks not!

    Overall, the puppet prince in Kiev, Zelensky, is trying to drum up more financial and weapon and munitions support for Ukraine, and is in denial thinking he can defeat the Russkies with NATO help. Ain’t gonna happen folks.

    My hat goes off to you again, Mr. Lawrence. You’re a godsend to the world of journalism and factual reporting rather than the usual distortions by the big corporate media conglomerates.

  20. Joe Moffa
    March 6, 2024 at 11:10

    “One, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked. Two, all the Kremlin’s talk about the threat of NATO hard by its southwestern border is nothing more than the distortion and paranoia of “Putin’s Russia,” as we must now refer to the Russian Federation.”

    The above statement shows that either Mr. Lawerence has been living in a cave or has selectively chosen when history starts. Until he realizes that the war started in 2014 instead of 2022, he will not understand how Victoria Nuland and Obama chose to have a coup in Ukraine.
    The overthrow of the democratically president in Ukraine in 2014 started the war. The new president was NOT elected based on the Ukranian constitution. This started changes in Ukraine that was directed at the Ukraine citizens who were of ethnic Russians in the South and East. The most brutal part of this change of government was the bombing of the Donbas region where over the course of 8 years before Russia sent troops in 2022 the Ukranian government had managed to kill over 10 thousand of their own citizens.

    The US/EU has lied several times when discussing Ukraine with the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation. The Minsk Agreements were used as a delay tactic to allow time for NATO to train the Ukrainian. military. See Germanys Merkel for her comments on the subject. The destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines shows the extend of what the West will do.
    There are current lies in a article in the NY Times that goes over the lie about the downing of the Maylasia Flt. 17 by Russia. The lies and distortion of fact is prevalent in the West. If I were Russia I would not trust anything out of the Western media.

    If anyone is interested I can supply the sources to back-up my comments.

    • anaisanesse
      March 6, 2024 at 13:25

      Oh Joe! You are obviously not a regular reader of Mr “Lawerence” or CN!

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 6, 2024 at 13:36

      See my reply to Helga. You need to read it in the context of the article.

    • Dwight
      March 6, 2024 at 13:44

      I’m pretty sure Mr. Lawrence was being facetious, was using a rhetorical device or thought experiment, and/or was defending against AI censors.

    • bardamu
      March 6, 2024 at 14:19

      Reread the paragraph, preferably with the surrounding article: Lawrence asked us to bear those thoughts in mind. He doesn’t support them.

    • susan mullen
      March 6, 2024 at 17:20

      US complains about “Crimea,” but most Crimeans had voted for the president US violently removed in 2014. Did the US ask Crimeans’ opinion before they removed him, you know, democracy-wise? Today US illegally occupies one third of Syria. US taxpayers must be separated from the Pentagon.

  21. Lois Gagnon
    March 6, 2024 at 11:05

    Right on the mark as always Patrick. The CIA was the worst thing that could have happened to this country. JFK knew it and paid the ultimate price for saying so. Now it is the whole world that is paying the price of their destabilization campaign of stable governments in service to the Western banking empire.

    • Guy St Hilaire
      March 6, 2024 at 15:24

      Yes Lois .The banking empire is what feeds the warmongers because they are all invested in it .Wall street etc. I have said this for quite a number of years now ,the only way to end this forever war is for the $ to crash .It is not a good thought as it will mean much hardship for everyone ,namely the Western world .It will certainly be the end for the biggest elephant in the room that sits in the Middle East .Not so much an elephant anymore as it has been exposed , worldwide .
      The crash I am afraid will be a necessary catharsis for a new positive reset .Not the WEF reset .
      If you have ever heard of Edgar Cayce ,this a quote of his ,worth pondering I believe in the 1930s :

      “”What then of nations? In Russia there comes the hope of the world, not as that sometimes termed of the Communistic, of the Bolshevistic; no. But freedom, freedom! that each man will live for this fellow man! The principle has been born.
      It will take years for it to be crystallized, but out of Russia comes again the hope of the world. Guided by what?
      That friendship with the nation that hath even set on its present monetary unit “In God We Trust.” (Do ye use that in thine own heart when you pay your just debts? Do ye use that in thy prayer when ye send thy missionaries to other lands?
      “I give it, for in God we trust”? Not for the other fifty cents either!) [Cayce (3813-01)]”

  22. Drew Hunkins
    March 6, 2024 at 10:15

    “I come to the judgment I offered when the war that began in 2014 erupted into open conflict two years ago. The Russian intervention was regrettable but necessary. I took some stick for this view back in 2022.”

    To heII with them Patrick.

    Putin had absolutely no choice but to launch the liberating SMO. The West was up to its old b.s. tricks again about harassing and invading Russia every century or so. Putin seems to have nipped it in the bud this time, though with Macron doing his Napoleon impersonation lately we shall see.

    • Susan Siens
      March 6, 2024 at 15:55

      Now we need to see him with one hand under his suit jacket! What an ass!

  23. Dacer Ludinant
    March 6, 2024 at 10:12

    Bravo. The cold truth and nothing else. As they say “As you sow, you shall reap” . A dire warning for the west that has been ignored.

    • Selina Sweet
      March 6, 2024 at 13:15

      There is an excellent analysis by Professor Brenner of U if Pit today that complements/dovetails with Mr Lawrence’s analysis. Using more of a psychological lens to illuminate the miserable state of affairs.(See Professor Michael Brenner. “The West’s Reckoning” I encourage interested readers.

    • Charles E. Carroll
      March 6, 2024 at 14:03


  24. Helga I. Fellay
    March 6, 2024 at 10:08

    Re: “Russia’s intervention in Ukraine two years ago last month was unprovoked”. That is not true for two reasons:
    1. The citizens of Ukraine’s Donbass area were all ethnic Russians who spoke Russian, and they were being attacked and killed by Ukraine by the thousands. Russia had a right to protect its citizens.
    2. Putin and the Kremlin are not idiots. When the US/Victoria Nuland’s in 2014 attakcd Ukraine in a regime change coup, Russia knew what they were up to – the US needed a pretext to attack Russia, and now they found one.

    • Lois Gagnon
      March 6, 2024 at 13:29

      You need to read that again. Patrick Lawrence is not making these claims. He’s pointing out that’s the original narrative to keep in the back of your mind while reading the current statements by European leaders.

    • Susan Siens
      March 6, 2024 at 15:55

      READ THE ENTIRE ESSAY! I cannot believe that people comment on something they have clearly not read or comprehended.

      • Gene Poole
        March 7, 2024 at 07:15

        Susan, Patrick clearly needed to take more care with that third paragraph.

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