Russia/Ukraine Panel Discussion

Here is a video of a panel discussion I took part in on Friday in my role as Senior Fellow of the Institute of Peace and Diplomacy. In this, we debate the current crisis in Russian-Western relations, with particular reference to Ukraine.

Happy watching!

59 thoughts on “Russia/Ukraine Panel Discussion”

  1. All this counter-bluster from the Western side is only meant to accomplish one thing – to demonstrate that the only reason Russia did NOT initiate an attack on Ukraine was because the West stood it down.

    A simple self-fulfilling prophesy meant to pull a winning rabbit out of a collapsing hat. Never underestimate western guile, nor its public’s gullibility.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sickeningly sweet introduction, singing the praises of NATO as a muse would sing praises to the gods, when it was Canada itself and its fascist fifth column of Ukrainian diaspora that in great part brought us to the brink of WWIII frankly turned my stomach.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. It was nonetheless a diverse and informative panel, well worth to listen. Some additional points could be made. Something which will be hopefully out soon.


  2. Just really sick and tired of listening to all these still wet behind the ears NATO sycophants and their sophomoric mind-reading exercises. They’ll do anything to ignore the core issues, one of which is very simple:

    Minsk II – and its cosigners
    UNSCR 2202 and the UNANIMOUS acceptance by the Security Council, incorporating Minsk II as the guts of it.

    Now, see how the US slithers out of its commitments made at the UNSC and provides perpetual cover for Kiev’s refusal to comply:

    “There is a frequent attempt to use UN Security Council Resolution 2202 as a justification to ignore the commitments that were undertaken by Russia when it signed the Minsk Protocol and the Minsk Memorandum. I just want to remind my Russian colleague that UNSCR 2202 expressly endorsed a Package of Measures to implement the existing Minsk agreements.”

    This back and forth of useless banter will never go anywhere. Russia manning up and calling out this endless cycle of bullshit is well overdue.

    Paul, you’re a fine fellow and a credit to your profession but I’m afraid too mild-mannered to affect much of anything at this advanced stage of insanity. The war drums are beckoning and God help us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only reason Poroshenko signed onto Minsk II (and the US voting for UNSC Res 2202 in its aftermath) was to stop the total destruction of Ukraine’s attacking forces on the Donbass or their renewed effort until the US et. al. had had a chance to bolster Ukraine’s forces for a renewed attack with greater chance of success. Anyone that can’t understand this ‘universal’ logic and not strictly Russian, excuse me – is a complete fool. Of course neither party is to be trusted and of course they themselves understand why but will never own up to it. How could they?


    2. Paul, you’re a fine fellow and a credit to your profession but I’m afraid too mild-mannered

      I don’t recall a less mild-mannered Paul, as in this video. Especially the passage: ‘strongly endorsed’ by Anatol. Where Paul strongly disagrees with Alexander Lanoszka …

      It’s somewhat interesting that the two youngsters seem to miss even the slightest critical distance to NATO/SACLANT. …

      It felt Yuliia was chosen to present the Ukrainian perspective, she vaguely reminded me of a PR spokesperson for her country of birth. But I have to listen to it again. The passage which Mao Cheng Ji’s seems to refer to above felt slightly sycophantic.

      Can’t really place Alexander Lanoszka, but a very superficial look at his publications give me the impression he is in support of “New Europe” (Bush’s Eastern Europe’s Coalition of the Willing), e.g. supporting a strong US presence in Poland.

      But then I did not understand Zachary Paikin’s first question to him: More than thirty years ago, we were talking about WHAT??


  3. Well done Prof Robinson. Under the circumstances it was not possible to ask Ms. Ivaniuk what “malignant activities” she repeatedly attributes to Russia. She is not the only Ukrainian who does this. As far as I can see, Russia has been consistently reactive throughout its relations with the west ever since the “controlled demolition” of the USSR.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ‘Malignant activity’ to me means above all else, the purposeful helter skelter bombardment and slaughter of Donbass’ civilian population and justifying it by branding them ALL ‘terrorists’. A malignant cancer would be more appropriate in fact. If Ukraine objects to being labeled as fascists and neo-nazis, then it should stop acting like the fascists and nazis of WWII.

      If the US chooses to sleep with such deviants, so be it – but don’t be surprised when the shit finally hits the fan and its blowing its way.


      1. The Donbass breakaway republics have over these past 8 yrs managed to create their own political and socioconomic realities fully independent from Ukraine. I very much doubt they could ever be forced or even coaxed, as unlikely as coaxing would ever be by Kiev, into reintegration into Ukraine.


    2. Second that. Watching this excruciating exercise, I felt a lot of compassion for the Professor being almost the sole voice of an actual Canadian “patriotism”, as it were. As in, looking out for the actual national interest.

      It’s pathetic to watch the likes of Yuliia and Alexander pretending they give a sh*t about Canadian interests, and sure, they might even be Canadian citizens, but it is clear even to a 2-celled blastocyst without a functioning neuron, that their true “patriotic” loyalty is to the Ukrainian Banderite entity. Canada is just a tool for them. Which is okay, I myself reside in a nation I feel no loyalty for, so it would be hypocritical of me to judge them; except that I don’t pretend to just be looking out for somebody else’s interests while promoting my true agenda. (As they do.)

      Watch Yuliia especially (who, by the way, looks much cuter on zoom than her photograph would suggest) twist herself into pretzels trying to explain why it’s in Canadian interest to go to war against “malignant” Russia on behalf of her Ukrainian ancestors and diaspora.

      I googled these 2 charming Banderite “scholars”, there is lots of CV, their academic jobs as shills, etc., but was unable to find anything about personal biography or family history. Therefore unable to determine, without further research, who, or how many generations back, was the Nazi.


      1. Yalensis, I try to engage in polite debate with those with whom I disagree. Please refrain from gratuitous and evidence-free personal insults against them! It’s unbecoming what I hope to achieve on this blog, which is respectful, reasoned argument.


      2. Then again, you prop Yalensis unlike some others as is your right.

        On this matter and some others, I sympathize with Yalensis, while agreeing his comments to be over the top.

        I’ve drafted an acceptable rebuttal to the diverse discussion you had. Let see how “respectful” you are towards it.


      3. Well, I did say that Yuliia was cute, after all, that’s a compliment, no?
        Professor, I understand your position, and I think you’re a decent guy, but I don’t think you understand these diaspora Ukrainians and how they tick. I mean, look at Chrystia Freeland, who tried to hide her Nazi Chomiak ancestry. Or somebody like Ulana Suprun who, as a teenager, met her future husband in an American-Ukrainian Banderite summer camp, and then went on to be appointed (by the U.S. State Department) to Ukraine’s post-independence “Ministry of Health”. Most of these people descended from at least one individual who — ahem — departed from the Soviet Union rather hastily towards the end of the war, and then lied on their immigration visa to the U.S. or Canada.

        I personally believe it is important to expose these diaspora networks, their malignant ideology of Banderite fascism and anti-democracy, how they propagate this toxin from one generation to the next, and to call a spade a spade.
        Having said that, it is true that I know nothing about these 2 individuals (Yuliia and Alexander) other than their bare CV, I would have liked to learn more about their family lineage so I could say “Aha!” but that information is not available to me. If it should turn out they have no Nazis in their genealogy, then I would owe them an apology.

        Having said that, there is a very simple litmus test. Whenever meeting with any Ukrainian diaspora person, even on Zoom, just somehow drop into the conversation: “All glory to Stepan Bandera! He will return and restore order!” If they jump up and salute, then you know you got ’em.


      4. Mikhail (aka Michael Averko)….. your constant complaints of persecution are tiring. Give it a rest, dude.


      5. who tried to hide her Nazi Chomiak ancestry. Or somebody like Ulana Suprun who … met her future husband in an American-Ukrainian Banderite summer camp…

        I met absolutely great people who carefully studied their ancestor’s guilt. … Do you realize you are verbally practicing: ‘Sippenhaft’/kin liability:

        That out of the way, the question to what extent ethnic minorities should dictate a countries foreign policy or a partisan perspective is a different but interesting matter. Remember the G.W..Bush admin’s Iraqi expat circles? Ahmad Chalabi? Or to shift from suspicious expat’s with ‘Nazi’ roots to a country’s specific interest circles. Scenario: The tail wagging the American/Canadian military dog?

        Both Yuliia and Alexander seem to have a heavily militaristic partisan perspective in search of a strong partner, Canada maybe, but ideally the top dog US of A??? But you have to act where you end up.

        Paul and Anatol were absolutely great. Without both and the quite good moderator it would have been unbearable to watch, I guess.


      6. Ouch moon, you wound me to the core! No, it’s not Sippensaft at all, this is a completely different thing!
        Meanwhile, on the topic of the moderator, Zach, he kept reminding me of somebody, and it was driving me crazy, and then I realized: he looks a lot like David Duchovny!


      7. “‘Then again, you prop Yalensis unlike some others…’

        Change the record love, that one’s broken!”


        Quite appropriate when the professor bashes Yale for dissing one of the panelists.


      8. RE: yalensis JANUARY 17, 2022 AT 6:53 AM

        I’m inclined to agree. Now that Breivik is in the news again, I remember an exchange well before Maidan, on some forum or other with a certain active female member of the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress at the time of Breivik’s arrest, whereupon she began showering Breivik with compliments, commenting even on ‘how handsome he was’. This unfortunate mindset is what Canada covertly nurtures under its cloak and curiously brushes aside simply as ‘inconsequential’. Inconsequential it is not. I’d rather call her comments the canary in the coalmine.

        Then we have the added curiosity of Breivik’s first bomb attack outside Stoltenberg’s office when he was Norway’s PM, killing 8. So we in effect have Stoltenberg directly threatened by an unreformed neo-nazi ultra-nationalist a decade ago, yet firmly in the camp of equivalent ideologues in Ukraine today. This level of cognitive dissonance and denial is what is the greatest threat to stability in Europe today. Russia itself has raised the danger of this intellectually unstable and irreconcilable state of affairs and I agree. It’s as if the western intellect is operating with one lobe consisting of matter and one lobe of anti-matter. it’s only a matter of time before the two lobes meet with unimagined destructive force. How does the west reconcile this internal dichotomy? By blaming external factors, of course. This is the ultimate danger we’re all in. A nuclear war sparked by the internal schizophrenia of the west and seeded by an unstable and quite schizophrenic itself – Ukraine.


  4. “Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO or EU are slim to none…should we indeed be risking war with Russia for the principle that Ukraine has the right to chose even if it is not going to be able to make that choice anyway?”

    When Zachary Paikin said this, I felt sorry for the poor little Yulia for the whole 30 seconds. It’s like, the West to 🇺🇦:
    “Did you REALLY think I was going to marry you, you squat-nosed little guttersnipe? Get dressed. Here is your tip.”

    Sorry little sis but you chose to learn the hard way…


      1. Ukraine as a country got used, RS, and it got used in a most vulgar fashion. It’s the story of Little Em’ly from David Copperfield.

        That’s how I see it, and that’s how I describe it. Sorry, life doesn’t always smell like roses.


      2. Obviously no offense meant to Dr. Paikin. It’s just that his words brought home the ugly truth of the situation, and poor Yulia came across as the representative of 🇺🇦 who had to publicly face up to it.


    1. Lola, I thought your comment was brilliant and not vulgar at all. I saw what you saw, Yuliia’s little face fell and she looked for a moment like she would burst into tears. Only thing, as I mentioned before: In her photograph she does actually look squat-nosed (she looks like a younger version of Chrystia Freeland), yet on zoom she appeared much younger and cuter than her photograph. How is that possible? Maybe it’s that famed Zoom filter…

      [As a former Lit Major, I also applaud the literary comparison with Little Em’ly. Which would make Uncle Sam James Steerforth?]


      1. Hmm, I suppose that makes the EU Littimer, the servant Steerforth tried to marry Little Em’ly to? 🤔

        It would’ve fit, except Em’ly really didn’t want to marry Littimer… and EU was the first to “propose”…

        Oh well. I love perfect analogies, but it’s clearly not working out.


    2. ‘chances are slim to none’…. not so.

      Those who would bring Ukraine into NATO tomorrow out of geopolitical advantage, are the very same who would bring it in today, out of mere spite.

      Never underestimate the egos of neocon/neolib strategists. Their Venn circles overlap to such a degree that they’re virtually indistinguishable.

      How the majority of Republican leaders fit into this scenario and why they play games of russophobic one-upmanship with the neos is still a mystery to me. Maybe an objective psychologist could explain, if such still exist.


  5. Les citoyens Canadiens n’ont jamais été informé de la Connection FREELAND-CHOMIAK. Elle a le même sang dans ses veines que ce criminel de guerre.
    J’ai demandé à plusieurs politiciens, journalistes de nous informer des sommes, que représentent les cadeaux en argent, prêts, les armes, les vêtements les bateaux pleins de produits canadiens livrés à l’Ukraine après 2014.
    Mme Joly (MISS DONUT 11( fut envoyé en Ukraine par Mme Freeland et nous devons exiger un compte rendu de cette aventure.


    1. That someone has the “same blood” as someone else is NOT a relevant connection. Not a fan of Mme Freeland, but people must not be judged by their blood lineage. Only by their deeds and, to a lesser extent, by their words.


      1. Olga: Agree in principle, Ye shall not be judged by the blood of your ancestors.

        Indeed, all of us have skeletons in our family closet. Even my family has an ancestor whom we don’t talk about very much.

        Also, a person could be the son of Hitler and still a very nice person (in theory).

        That being said, this Ukrainian diaspora thing sort of breaks that very logical and humanistic rule, in the sense that the Banderite ideology gets passed down from generation to generation along with the blood line. As I mentioned before, the Ukrainian diaspora has single-mindedly kept the faith alive, along with the bloodline. There are exceptions, of course, people who break out of the mold and don’t buy into the family heritage. But for those who do, I think they are fair game to point out the Nazi in the closet. Especially for people like Freeland-Chomiak, who denied the whole thing and who blow smoke about their own political leanings, pretending to be Canadian “patriots” and “democracy-lovers” when in fact they are true-believing fascists and Banderites.

        I mean, I think it would be okay, if somebody just came out and said: “My grandfather worked as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp, but I personally don’t believe in any of that nonsense, and I don’t believe in fascism or Banderism, either.” One could truly have respect for such an individual. But that’s not the people we are talking about, we’re talking about the ones who lie and obfuscate about their ancestors, and who still fly the banner of Stepan Bandera. They flew it in secret for many years, just inside the family home. But when 2014 arrived, they could bring it out into public and run it up the flagpole.


      1. Merci, Richard, je veux répondre en anglais.

        On first sight slightly activist. But quite helpful source due to helpful information and links helping to grasp the larger historical context. Needs a little editing (note links) and updating. A thesis, he mentions, is available now 2021. Fascinating topic for me for several reasons.

        Concerning Freeland, stunning that she responds by labeling it Russian propaganda.

        Sabine Marschal, Editor, 2020,
        Public Memory in the Context of Transnational Migration and Displacement: Migrants and Monuments,
        Per A. Rudling, Long-Distance Nationalism: Ukrainian Monoments and Historical Memory in Multicultural Canada.

        Interesting to see that Richard Sanders also struggles with one of our ‘special friends’, Marcus Kolga … I start to realize the dimensions. Estonia …


    2. Oooh oooh! Thanks, Richard, I get to practice my French!
      TRANSLATION, for those who don’t read French:

      The Canadian citizens have never been informed about the FREELAND-CHOMIAK connection. She [Freeland] has the same blood in her veins as that war criminal.
      I have demanded of many politicians, journalists, to inform us about the sums [of money?] which comprise gifts of gold, loans, weapons, uniforms, boat loads of Canadian products donated to the Ukraine after 2014.
      Mademoiselle Joly (Miss Donut 2011) was dispatched to Ukraine by Madame Freeland, and we deserve an accounting of that adventure.


  6. Thanks for sharing this Paul. Let me acknowledge and commend you on your comments (expressed with appropriate emotion) in your segment at around 30 minutes. Much of the rest was over my head and just word salad to me and I almost threw up listening to the opening by Robert Baines, President and CEO of NATO Association of Canada. I wanted to pause him and ask him about Libya in particular.

    Or as ‘Canada, Know Thyself’ expressed it in an earlier comment – “that sickeningly sweet introduction, singing the praises of NATO”

    This was a timely forum and post because just last night I was drawn to this article on the ‘U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’ channel

    • Victoria Nuland: Ukrainians Deserve For Respect From Their Government

    (And let’s not forget the very overt involvement of John McCain and his cohort’ Lindsey Graham.)

    I wandered through the ‘U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’ channel and then watched suffered through this recent forum for an update – I watched this before your post.

    • Deterring Putin – U.S.-Ukraine Foundation

    Participants: Robert McConnell (facilitator/host), John Herbst, Gen. Phil Breedlove, Debra Cagan and Don ?

    It was a pure hawkfest of word salad. I was amazed at how these people can talk so much and say so little …

    Your participation in the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy forum at least restored some balance.

    With all NATO talk about ‘rules based order’, ‘liberal democracy’, ‘protecting sovereignty’ and stuff, no wonder they are being laughed at. (Of course it could still be all theatre.)

    You would have noticed this …

    • Canadians told to avoid Ukraine due to ‘ongoing Russian aggression’


    1. “Victoria Nuland: Ukrainians Deserve For Respect From Their Government”

      She certainly is not referring to the Ukrainians of the Donbass, is she?

      Because they have none.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When Nuland utters the words “the Ukrainian people” it’s like Clinton using the words “the Serbian/Yugoslavian people”, Bush “The Iraq people”, Obama “the Libyan people” or Obama AND Trump “the Syrian people”.


      2. Julius Skoolafish
        JANUARY 18, 2022 AT 11:51 PM
        When Nuland utters the words “the Ukrainian people” it’s like Clinton using the words “the Serbian/Yugoslavian people”, Bush “The Iraq people”, Obama “the Libyan people” or Obama AND Trump “the Syrian people”.

        I thought Bush referred to them as the Czechoslovenian people.

        Czech Foreign Ministry: “We are NOT Chechens, Mr. Bush.”


    2. Some day far away, another Picasso will emerge to create another Guernica called ‘Donbass’ that will also hang in the halls of the UN, while another Bolton will emerge to call for its creator to be hung in its place.

      Why, Ukraine, why? Are you mad?


  7. …about the ‘role of Canada’ segment.

    I was watching, on youtube, a discussion of the recent RF-US meeting in Geneva, and various analyses/commentaries related to it. Apparently high-level US officials declared that they don’t want any ‘allies’ to be part of these negotiations. But, US officials say, later, if/when some agreements materialize, we will, of course, have consultations with the European allies.

    Yes, specifically with the European allies. Canada isn’t even mentioned. It seems that Canada is all but invisible in all this. And I’m saying it’s a bad place to be.


  8. Despite this whole panel being just fringe-y thing in the Greater West Academia ™ that will be ignored by both the Powers That Be and the general public, at least our most gracious host deserves some accolades for having courage to state obvious facts.

    As the highest form of the British praise goes – not bad, maestro.


  9. Both Maestro and Anatol Lieven keep mentioning “international peacekeeping force in Donbass”. To pretend that this is not just a face-saving ploy by them, so that their opponents would have less reasons to accuse them of being “Kremlin stooges”, but a real suggesstion, I have to ask – international peacekeeping force made out by *whom*? Surely, maestro, if you are suggesting such a measure, you’ve also can answer this question.


    1. Certainly not the OSCE. They have proven their purposeful uselessness time and again. Granted, given time, they may acquire the usefulness of an OPCW, but that would hardly be a positive step.


    2. At one point, Lieven also referred to “Russian aggression” and the Russian troop buildup – both which appear questionable.

      He’s a liberal who has criticized Russian military action in Chechnya and (if I’m not mistaken) some Israeli actions. If so, at least he’s consistent unlike the neocons.

      I get the impression that he might (not a mind reader) periodically choose his words in a way to be handshake worthy enough for the elites.


  10. This comment is for Lola, continuing thread of literary analogies.
    Okay, so I think this one works better than the Dickens Little Em’ly analogy:

    Ukraine is Marianne Dashwood from Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”.
    The European Union is John Willoughby, with whose dashing and handsome self Marianne falls madly in love. But for Saucy Jack it’s just a fling with an innocent and overly-trusting young girl: When a better match presents itself to him [hm… China?], he rejects poor sweet Marianne and returns her lock of hair in an envelope. [That metaphor works brilliantly, because Ukrainian “khokhol” literally means lock of hair!]

    Marianne is heartbroken, but eventually finds solace in the arms of the older but honorable man she initially rejected. Namely Colonel Brandon. [Do I need to spell it out? Brandon is KGB Colonel Putin!]


      1. Oh, I almost forgot the happy ending [and punchline] to the story: At the big wedding finale, after Marianne lifts her veil and kisses her Colonel, the guests all guzzle their champagne, then toss their goblets into the fireplace and call out the toast: “Let’s go, Brandon!”


  11. Julius Skoolafish
    JANUARY 18, 2022 AT 11:51 PM
    When Nuland utters the words “the Ukrainian people” it’s like Clinton using the words “the Serbian/Yugoslavian people”, Bush “The Iraq people”, Obama “the Libyan people” or Obama AND Trump “the Syrian people”.

    I thought Bush referred to them as the Czechoslovenian people.

    Czech Foreign Ministry: “We are NOT Chechens, Mr. Bush.”

    GWB: “Oh, sorry. Chechnyans then. My bad.”


  12. Everything except for Mr.Robinson’s remarks was a clown show. Even Mr.Lieven. Very disappointing.

    The inability to understand the adversary’s position is simply stunning. Much like the belief that they can read Putin’s mind when they can’t comprehend what the man says.


  13. I’m surprised they didn’t invite Chalupa to the panel. Her dance card’s been pretty empty lately and it would have been a nice gesture. 😉


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