Pre-emptive condemnation

Regular readers will know that I have been decidedly sceptical of the idea that the Russian Federation is about to launch a full-fledged assault on the Ukraine. To be quite frank, I don’t want to believe it, as it would be an act of criminal folly – both criminal and folly, to be precise.

It would also be a humanitarian tragedy, as such an assault could not but result in a large amount of completely unnecessary death and destruction. Let us be quite clear, if it happens, I will condemn it totally and unreservedly. At that point, I will terminate this blog, as its mission to contribute to more rational discussion of both Russia and foreign policy in general will have failed absolutely and without any hope of redemption for many a year. It will be time to call an end to it all. Following a Russian invasion of Ukraine, no even remotely nuanced discussion of things Russian will be conceivable for quite possibly the rest of my life. It will be time for me to drop all punditry, cut all ties with Russia (including ending my relationship with RT), and return to being a historian safely digging in the archives of the past.

I’ve often criticized all those politicians, journalists, and think tankers who backed the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, and so on, and yet who keep on pumping out hawkish screeds. They will have won the day. I’ve always said that there should be accountability. Well, I will hold myself accountable, and withdraw from public life.

To be honest, it’s hard to remain sceptical about the ‘Russian invasion’ in the face of the absolute certainty of the predictions of impending doom coming out of the United States, and to some degree the UK. I don’t trust such predictions, but things don’t look good. Komsomolskaia Pravda correspondent Aleksandr Kots reports that there has been heavy fighting today in Donbass. Meanwhile, the leaders of the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics have appealed to Vladimir Putin for help to resist the alleged Ukrainian attack. I can’t say that Putin won’t respond as requested. The result might not be a full-fledged assault on the entirety of right bank Ukraine, and might just be an offensive to drive Ukraine out of Donetsk and Lugansk provinces, but even that would be, in my view, unacceptable. I have repeatedly condemned the West’s wars of aggression in recent years. A Russian war against Ukraine would be no worse than, for instance, the invasion of Iraq, but it would be equally criminal.

Let us hope that it doesn’t happen. If it does, you’ve seen the last of me.

62 thoughts on “Pre-emptive condemnation”

    1. Totally uncalled for. I can appreciate the professor’s sentiment and it shows integrity to state it however, I wonder – what would be the circumstance if Ukraine launched an all out attack on the Donbass. They’ve already done it once, even twice……. finding it to be their preferred, even solitary, method of conflict resolution.

      Would such integrity as the professor has shown here be shown by those in Congress? In the White House? By Canada’s, the UK or the EU’s Parliament? We all know the answer to that. Even further, they most likely would applaud it, no?

      So, professor – we find ourselves once again with the possibility of being set adrift in an ocean of …..something I no longer can find sufficient words for.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Frankly, I’m surprised at all the negative reaction in the western media. I thought Russia was just following the ‘rules-based international order’ of pre-emptive strikes against major threats, as defined in US military doctrine.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Possible wiggle room in the form of what’s noted in this article:

      https://nationalinterest.org/feature/will-tensions-ukraine-boil-over-200725

      Contrary to Western mass media, there’re very credible claims of Kiev regime provocation, on top of the fact that the Russian government recognizes the rebel claim to territory currently in the control of the regime.

      Mass media and academic wonkdom can get nasty. Just saw a CGTN America aired panel which included an overly obnoxious Hanna Shelest.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. To the OP. I thought Putin was doing nothing more than serious mock wr-games. I see that he’s inculcated the ethos of the Huns, Goths,Vikings, Mongols, Tartars who claimed the Russian and Eastern Europe frontiers because THEY COULD with a total amoral faith in their kinetic ability. Moral rationalizations being for the sensitivities of the conquered people

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  1. If you must end the blog, please at least do not delete it. It was a delight to read it, to see what you were researching, thinking, writing. You always called the Russian government out for its failings. You did what was right. If nothing else it is worth preserving as a record of what you wrote, when, how the situations evolved, where the conversation went, where there were potential roads not taken and so on. These sorts of primary source observations will be valuable. If it all goes wrong – we will need to start somewhere when we sift through the debris.

    With you though I will condemn Russia completely for its act of aggression if it invades. Saddam’s odiousness was no justification for the war in Iraq. Ukraine’s bad faith in respecting the Minsk Agreements and promotion of fascism are no jus ad bello. Whatever the case I hope I will see more posts on this blog for the rest of the year.

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      1. You misunderstand.

        “A full-fledged assault on the Ukraine” that “could not but result in a large amount of completely unnecessary death and destruction” is not the same as preventing a slaughter in Donbass.

        I am all for stopping the slaughter, but I won’t stand for an assault resulting in unnecessary death and destruction.

        Will you?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly.
        Recognising Donbas was no big step. I’m puzzled how the US have both claimed to have reacted very strongly while doing so little, I guess shout loudly, carry no stick at all is the new philosophy.
        But at present we do have attacks all one way (though Paul for once fails to highlight this). Something needs to be done.
        I would hope this is a temporary period while enough evidence for the world is created and that no one bar those who suffer Western media can be in any doubt where the trouble is caused and who is in the right.
        Much as no one outside Europe and US believes in a Ujghur repression, or how the 2015 emergence of the US connection to ISIS made entrance to Syria easily justified.

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      3. I assume you do know, that there are plenty of ethnic Ukrainians with family names ending in _nko etc. in the DLNR that oppose the Kiev regime too.

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    1. I’m sure we will see many more years to come. On a slightly lighter note, I noticed something today, that Jack Matlock was making his case for NATO non-expansion on the most beloved program of the liberal russophobia crowd, PBS’ Democracy Now! After years of beating the war drums over Russia in HC’s name, they’ve now invited the ‘heretic’ Matlock to explain why NATO expansion is the root cause of today’s crisis. How could they do such a thing?, you might ask. Well, that the Republicans are now in competition with the Democrats over who can beat war drums over Russia the loudest, and with Trump gone, maybe they’ve had an epiphany. Or maybe not. With this lot, you never know.
      One thing I now know for sure…… American politicians should never be allowed to play with sharp objects or foreign policy.

      ‘Ex-U.S. Ambassador to USSR: Ukraine Crisis Stems Directly from Post-Cold War Push to Expand NATO’, Feb 17, 2022

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  2. If it is the only way to protect Russian borders from western arrogance and incompetence, then it has to be done. You refuse to negotiate and that refusal just means ‘what has Russia to lose?’ The trouble with your narrative has always been the same, you think Russia should do what the US (or god forbid) the UK wishes. outside of that there is no ‘independent’ Russian initiatve to be taken or to be allowed. The western model is broken beyond repair, so to try and dictate to Russia what it should or shouldn’t do is a fallacy. One would hope that the West or the Biden crash test dummy will defuse and give some cause to talk but quite frankly the off the scale over reaction by the west is just default ‘do as we say not as we do’
    Thankfully NATO/UK has left the battlefield and deserted the Ukraines, yet again showing that they are completely unreliable partners and simply not to be trusted. Ukraine has been used for the primary objective of destabilising Russia. No more. Russia will now write its own story by turning east and south, the West can be left to its financial, corrupt and amoral demise. Please feel free to enjoy it.

    Karaganov wrote an essay in RT today. You should read it, it is the future, the West is the past and a not very nice one at that. The Century of Russia being the Wests whipping boy is over.

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    1. More or less my sentiments too. It’s hard to be sympathetic to the Anglo world. They are fomenting yet another war far away from their lands. Now Hungary has an even crazier neighbor, which wants to go nuclear. Thank you, so-called allies. Mind boggling Western arrogance.

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      1. I also think the disappearance of this blog would be a loss. I did appreciate your work.

        I don’t quite understand your reasoning though. If there’s nothing in the work presented here to be ashamed of, why stop the blog? It’s not like you claimed cold fusion works, but then got caught fudging the data and doing bad science. How could you be responsible for Russia’s actions? Nobody can predict the behavior of governments and countries. This is not physics and even there weather prediction is far from perfect.

        However, I don’t know the exact pressures you are under. Maybe the academic environment in Canada has changed such that any ‘connection’ to Russia/RT would threaten your job. In Germany it certainly is the case that being sympathetic to the Palestinians and critical of Israel is often a career ending move.

        Whatever comes stay safe and maybe there will be a time when you restart the blog.

        Best regards,
        Akos

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  3. “but even that would be, in my view, unacceptable”

    Hmm. The 8/8/8 Georgian war was judged as mostly justified, by official EU investigators (international lawyers, presumably). And if something similar was to happen in Ukraine, why would it be any different.

    Anyway. Sorry to see you leave. This was a great blog, I liked it a lot.

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  4. If I were religious I’d be praying now but as it is a pre-emptive thank you for everything will have to suffice 💙

    Hope dies last but people being what they are it rarely survives a generation

    & hope you find time to read that book

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  5. Only Israel has the right to protect its own citizens. When Russia is doing the same 8 years after the Ukr. Amy slaughtered Russian-speaking civilians and rebels in Donbass, then it’s an invasion. Bloody hypocrites.

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    1. https://www.eurasiareview.com/23022022-motivating-factors-behind-russias-recent-independence-recognition-oped/

      Excerpt –

      As I’ve previously noted in my January 11 and February 9 WABC Talk Radio appearances, terms like “Russian aggression” and the 1990s era utilized “Serb aggression” are propagandistically and culturally biased in application. Western mass media doesn’t​ say “US aggression” and “Israeli aggression” when these two countries pursue the military option. This observation isn’t intended to poke at the US and Israel. Rather, to highlight the gross hypocrisy out there.

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      1. You make an excellent point!

        I conducted a series of searches of this blog, using variations of the term “X aggression”.

        Here are the results:

        “NATO aggression” = 1 instances

        “US aggression” = 0 instances

        “American aggression” = 2 instances

        “UK aggression” = 0 instances

        “British aggression” = 1 instance

        “English aggression” = 0 instances

        “Western aggression” = 2 instances

        “Russian aggression” = 43 instances!!

        Admittedly, most of the time the term “Russian aggression” is used by way of countering, to one degree or another, claims of Russian aggression by others. But this is not always the case.

        Clearly, the good professor feels far more comfortable discussing the concept, and using the emotionally loaded terminology, of “Russian aggression” in general; that is, far more so than he enjoys applying equivalent terminology in connection with Western powers.

        As we have seen, he likes to come out strongly against Russia, every once in a while, indulging in speculative fantasies about Russians poisoning people or blowing up depots.

        The bottom line is this demonstrates, simply put, that it’s extremely difficult to shake that elevated background self-regard, that implicit bias in favour of Western “superiority”. It must be extremely difficult for any Westerner to shake this “internalized colonialism”, let alone a former British intelligence army officer and current Canada-based historian/academic.

        And so, in the name of “principled even-handedness”, every once in a while, we’re exposed to these florid displays of stern, fatherly disciplinarianism against Russia. In this particular instance, the good professor shall teach Russia a lesson, provided she happens to misbehave and acts beyond certain acceptable bounds, by henceforth not only cutting off any formal relations with her, but also entirely refusing to even speak of her! (Of course, for all the dead bodies piled up over the past decades, we don’t see any sort of equivalent disciplinary action vis-a-vis the US, UK, EU, NATO and the rest.)

        I suppose, as the saying goes, one beats the dog one loves best, perhaps just so as to prove, every now and then, that one must not play favourites.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I also find a lot of the claims flying around now implausible. (Starting with the over-the-top claims of the US, with daily predictions of an imminent reverse Barbarossa into Kiev).

    The questions of DNR and LNR borders are also, IMO, up in the air. Latest reports are now maximalist claims via possibly confused referencing of the constitutional language. The constitutions seems to claim the borders on the day the republics were created???? (primary sources, is there a qualified scholar in the house??), but then this is now interpreted as maximalist, which indeed seems rather inflammatory. Then again, Ukraine’s claim of “0” is also maximalist in light of the comparatively peaceful status quo of the past 7 years, so what goes around comes around perhaps. Last couple of days we saw what looks like tit-for-tat destruction of civilian electrical stations on both sides, and who knows what was done in tit-for-tat response to the car bombings.

    From a distance, not much to do but keep a cool head. R2P style security mission deployed to existing DNR/LNR borders is pretty certain now, and shouldn’t surprise anyone in the slightest.

    I’m not particularly expecting anything more, except unfortunately as a pre-telegraphed (that being consistent pattern from Russia so far) response to further escalatory steps by Ukraine. Alas those are to be expected, since it isn’t clear who is in charge, if there is even a single chain of command of all the forces lined up!

    More drama I guess . . .

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  7. I’m very sorry to read this. I assume it to be indicative of the pressures that you must currently be under, both due to concern for the already-bad and potentially-catastrophic humanitarian situation in Ukraine, and due to challenges which have clearly been made to your own positions. The integrity of this blog has been unquestionable, its methodology sober, and its information good. If Russia were – contrary to your and my expectations – to march on Kiev, then commentators such as yourself would need to recalibrate in order to accommodate such an unexpected turn of events, and would then be more-than-ever needed in public debate in order to provide maximally-informed, and sober, analysis of the unfolding events. If all those who had been following Russia the most closely and sensitively were to abandon Russia-related commentary at precisely such a point, then the ensuing debate, and therefore the prospects of a minimally-violent resolution to the situation, would be that much the poorer. Is the hypothetical Russian academic who commentates sensitively on the US, and appears on US television, to fall silent whenever the US violates international law? Finally – would a Russian defence of the Donbass against a hypothetical Ukrainian incursion actually be no more defensible, no less illegal, than the US invasions of Iraq and Libya? In any case, I hope to be reading you for years to come.

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    1. Professor Robinson, Ms Brown has said it much better than I could, but I share her view. Please don’t abandon the field, even if (and it’s too soon to say for sure, as you yourself implicitly acknowledge) your predictions are disproven. Even if you conclude that you were wrong about some things, does that mean that your analyses were unfounded? No, it does not.

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  8. I have to echo some fellow posters, alleged Ukrainian attack?!

    Kiev had been playing silly buggers trying to parasite off the West and Russia for years. Even before the civil war, and then did jack to hold up their end of the Minsk agreements.

    Whilist making scumfuck degenerates like the Azov battalion as an official part of their ”security forces”. (The irony there being that as Slavs and/or undeniable elements they’d have been sent to camps or just flat-out shot by the OG Nazis) and lets not forget the rehabilitation of the rat-faced Waffendweb, Hitler cosplaying, pervert and weirdo Bandera into a founding father of modern Ukraine.

    So yeah, the Ukraine did pretty much everything they could to get invaded, if it does happen boohoo.

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  9. paul – thank you for providing this blog, sharing your knowledge and insights and allowing for people to comment to share theirs as well… i am saddened at your position here, but i respect it.. perhaps you will have a change of heart.. hard to know… i do also agree with the posters up above – Gerald, Akos Horvath and Olga Vladi.. i find it odd your position here, but it is what it is..

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  10. “might just be an offensive to drive Ukraine out of Donetsk and Lugansk provinces, but even that would be, in my view, unacceptable.”

    If the military intervention was designed to secure the existing DNR/LNR “borders” (not expand them), and enforce their sovereignty, would you also find it unacceptable? And if so, why?

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  11. Dear Paul R, before you hang up your pen and retreat back into the halls of enlightened academia, I would like to ask some questions of you if I may. What part of No WMD’s at our front door, do you not understand? What part of No color revolutions fomented by American imperialism, do you not understand? What part of No efforts to splinter peaceable relationships with historic neighbors, do you not understand? It’s a shame that you cower from addressing such vital questions that your western countrymen have ignored since the US and NATO reneged on the pledge to move no closer to Russia’s borders made to Gorbachev back in 1999, albeit, tragically undocumented. There is so little sensible discussion about Russia in the west that it’s a wonder that anyone dares to think differently. I for one did enjoy some breath of fresh perspective from your columns, but alas, it was not for long.

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  12. My humanist atavistic (aka proto-human) self says that I would like nothing better than to see Russia round up all the perpetrators of war crimes against civilians in 2014 and beyond (and there are many) and subject them to a war crimes tribunal and proper disposition and if an attack on Ukraine were able to accomplish it, no matter the bloodshed, then so be it.

    But my rational self says that atavism is like a drug, a drug that can overwhelm the best of us and already has in great part with far too many Ukrainians, and that drug addicts all end up destroying themselves in the end, so why not just be patient.

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  13. I would seriously regret this decision…..this has been one of the most insightful,refreshing ,nuanced ,thought provoking,unbiased opinion sites on Russia and her foreign and domestic policy .
    Whatever may happen Russia will stay an important power in international affairs and eventually some accommodation or relations have to be maintained with Moscow…The insight Professor Robinson brings to this will remain invaluable now and in the future and I really hope for a change of heart should the time come.

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    1. I agree. I don’t often comment here because I don’t know as much about the subject as others do. I do come here often to get a better understanding of the overall situation. If you leave, where will people like me go to get balanced, objective discussions?

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  14. Whatever happens it would be a pity to close down this blog completely. If I were you I would think, in the worse case scenario, of only cutting your output back markedly. Probably it will be a couple of years before emotions settle down again, but in the meantime, hopefully, you will still have the occasional thing to say. I thought that an original motivation for the blog was as a vehicle to encourage discussion among your students so perhaps that idea could be cranked up a bit. I imagine too, that from time, you will be interviewed by various organisations and it would be valuable if such interviews could be posted here. In any case, thanks and best wishes for the future.

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  15. Well, thanks for writing this blog and I’ll miss you. Please leave it up for posterity, including the links. 🙂

    By the way, I don’t believe your reason for stopping. There won’t be open conflict between the West and Russia/China after bifurcation and there will be a much greater need for expertise there and I think you know this. But the West today is increasingly like the Soviet Union of the 1980s and that process will only accelerate. Relatively liberal place all things considered, but you’ve got to do what you got to do to protect your professional position and hope to have an impact by being more subtle. One day you’re making a pun about truckers, and the next day the government freezes their bank accounts, and says Russia is under economic sanctions for being authoritarian and aggressive. Wonder what will happen to the bank accounts of people doing business or being friendly with Russia?

    Well, good luck.

    P.S. I can get you an anonymous ID for the Urbit network if you would like to continue to post political commentary anonymously. Or at least give a link to a place that distributes them so that I won’t know the identity.

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  16. PS – All things considered, I don’t believe Russia is planning the kind of “assault” the collective West expects – the kind that’d lead to “unnecessary death and destruction”. I don’t believe we are this kind of country, not to mention this kind of people.

    But – one “asset” we have is our fearful reputation. So we use what we have.

    And if we do “deza”, we do it well. We do it convincingly. We’ll up the ante until Kiev, abandoned by its sugar daddy, starts getting cold feet. Until, perhaps, there is a Maidan-2 that kicks out the freaking Nazis.

    And if they don’t… well, I don’t know. Much as I love my country, it is terrible in its fury.

    But I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that.

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  17. I understand you point, it will be very sad to see you go, a very nuanced and balanced voice like yours will be a net loss in the very hard times that probably are coming our way. Like you, I didn’t believe all the US and UK warmongering, but here we are, honestly I am disappointed.

    I hope this doesn’t spiral towards something worse, for the sake of humanity, like you said, it will only bring net losses for everybody involved, but things do not look good. It was a pleasure to read your analysis and opinions.

    I still have hope that for some reason we might see you again.

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  18. Given the scurrilous record of US provocation against Russia this century, unlike you, I’d shrug off a takeover of left-bank Ukraine. It’s less of a country than Belgium … but if he doesn’t move quickly, it’ll have missile bases pointed at Moscow. Anatoly Karlin seems to have been right, after all, at least at this preliminary juncture.
    *Fox reports [eye roll emoji] citing *Ukraine officials {eye roll emoji] that there are already missile and airstrikes. Jennifer Griffin labels Putin a ‘madman,’ which he certainly isn’t, and suggests he’s going to invade Poland and the Baltics too.
    I’m still skeptical. I’ve seen a lot of media hysteria and ‘false’ false flags, At 2330 EDT, this might be more of that. My guess is, Putin has targeted pro-Russia Eastern Ukraine for takeover, and selectively attacked C&C and airbases that might try to fight that off
    Unlike reports from Iraq in 2003, there’s really no noise in the background.

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  19. Thank you for all your good efforts and wise columns, Paul— including, sadly, this one. 25 years of Western aggression and provocations . . . but Putin’s reckless, criminal act today will wash away all consideration of that A tragedy for Ukraine, Europe, and most of all Russia. A gift to the demagogues and arms merchants.

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  20. I would be sorry to see this blog closed even though I didn’t always agree with Professor Robinson’s opinions. I don’t consider that Irrussianality failed in its objective to contribute to more rational discussion of Russia and foreign policy: I have always felt Irrussianality was as much about the comments and discussions its readers had about Professor Robinson’s posts, and those extra contributions were done in a good spirit of genuine enquiry with very little trolling (from what I saw). In that context, Irrussianality succeeded, and succeeded well.

    At the very least, if the blog must be closed, I would like to see its posts and the attached discussions archived.

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  21. Please do not drop this blog. “invasion of Iraq, the wars in Afghanistan and Libya, and so on” – all those did not prevent from rationally talking about Western policy. The reverse should be true as well, and even if the hawk voices are going to be much, much louder, the more value would be in yours.

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  22. Thank God or whoever we need in times of peril for the fact that the content of the existing blog will be there still. It has and I hope will still be an oasis in a time of few such for people in movements or elsewhere in need of a calm eye and place to rest from the irrationality of much of other debates that can be summoned in my country and many other Western countries: It is better to be rich and democratic than poor and oppressed. In spite f having understanding for your position you have to keep in mind that there are many of us that do not have the privilege of being able to track back to an academic closed milieu and at the same time live with the fact that without an academic title we are not allowed into the public realm and our home page is banned by Facebook so that way is alos limited. If you find a slight and hopefully friendly criticism of your approach in my description of the Swedish debate as saying it is better to be rich and democratic rather than poor and oppressed it is intended. Arm chair analysis is needed and your comments on Putin’s speech helpful but maybe it lacks that understanding which is common from commentators in rich countries, Russia is so poor and insignificant and at the same time the greatest threat on Earth.

    Sweden was able to prevent EU and US ideas that Russian speaking population in Estonia and Latvia would be granted citizenship at the same time as Swedish advisor helped the shock therapy both in the Baltic states and Russia. Now Swedish politicians say Russia is corrupt because it is irrationally autocratic and thus corrupt. The number of Swedish companies caught bribing their way through post Soviet states are numerous, hypocrisy. So to put it bluntly your may be understandable if need be and at the same time you put the rest of us in the shit who d not have your option and you end up in the gang of those claiming it is better t be rich and rational than poor and irrational.

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  23. “At that point, I will terminate this blog, as its mission to contribute to more rational discussion of both Russia and foreign policy in general will have failed absolutely and without any hope of redemption for many a year.

    […]

    …Well, I will hold myself accountable, and withdraw from public life.”

    >more rational discussion of both Russia and foreign policy in general will have failed absolutely

    AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAAAAhHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAAAAHAHAH…HA!

    Me thinks maestro have failed not today, but… lemme check it out… Oh – how about February 2014?! All of you “sympathetic Westerners” were a waste of space. ALL OF YOU. You did what you did because you wanted to become “court loyal opposition”, which would have been invited to the panels, talk shows, seminars to act as “balancers”, while waffling around and daring NOT to suggest anything even remotely challenging to the Western mainstream.

    Oh, and you knew all along that your pure performative act is useless. remember maestro your “open letter” to BoJo written on this very blog? I remeber. Anyone doing basic search can find it, read and weep.

    To Hell with you useless lot.

    >I will terminate this blog

    Well – *that’s* the reason for me to un-mute me-self for this one last thing then. For you – and other “Russia watchers” from among the middle-class Westerners who “want dialog and understanding”:

    P.S. Did I tell all you, dear commentariat, that the moment push would come to show Mr. Robinson will remember his oaths sworn to Her Majesty the Queen?

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  24. Be seeing you then. After a little while.
    Recent events have proved that if anything, post Cold War world have left the “western democracies” clueless and inattentive, missing every single opportunity to de-escalate situation and instead judging it to be a good investment moment.
    Now we get to see if that brain rot has only affected the extremities or the entire structure is going to disintegrate in our time after suffering one blow to it’s confidence after another.

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  25. Like all ‘reasonable’ westerners you’ll deign to sympathise with the victims of western machinations only so long as they remain passive, obedient victims bemoaning their fate and waiting patiently for fair treatment – the Palestinians have endured decades of misery waiting for this strategy to bear fruit. Happily the Russians have better options than waiting on the useless approval of you and your fellow ‘realists’.

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  26. Dear PaulR,

    You may be right about this: “Following a Russian invasion of Ukraine, no even remotely nuanced discussion of things Russian will be conceivable for quite possibly the rest of my life. ”

    Please do not think that you failed. The relevant timeline may be longer than you think. I mentioned to my 30-year-old daughter that I would miss reading Paul Robinson. Your name meant nothing to her but she became curious and she found your January 12 essay, “Why Russia Fears NATO”. She loved it! She recognized that the essay was profoundly human, and wise. My daughter will incorporate your ideas into her own life, and she will have influence upon other people.

    Certainly, take a step back from IRRussianality. Get some distance. Thank you for what you have done, and here’s hoping you find a happy way to write more superb essays for the public.

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    1. Yes, western elites were always going to be beyond reach of reason on this issue. They are too heavily committed to the modernist, anti-sovereignty agenda. The only significant audience that was ever going to be open to Paul’s work were those outside elite circles, i.e., the “people”. The fact that they are not part of the (current) elite does not make them an unimportant audience.

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  27. “Crimea’s water crisis is an impossible problem for Putin: Clara Fererra Marques Bloomberg opinion 19 March 2021”

    “Footage of the dam that was blocking access to water in Crimea being blown up. The Ukrainian blockade is fully lifted & for the first time in eight years, the peninsula has free & secure access to fresh water. 26 Feb 2022”

    An ‘impossible’ problem resolved – an 8 year long fresh water blockade lifted.

    There is a thin fence, too narrow for even the most nimble verbal gymnast to sit upon, that separates the idea that Ukraine Neo Nazis murdering women and children day in, day out for 8 years is unacceptable from the idea that Ukraine Neo Nazis murdering women and children day in, day out for 8 years is totally acceptable.

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  28. I have read many web sites relating to the Russia Ukraine issue, I really do believe that this provocation was planned well in advance which has sadly left Russia with no option. The USA and UK are not to be trusted, and I say that as a UK citizen. Global governance instigated by the WEF and all it’s followers is happening. Boris Johnson stated that after the covid virus had subsided, that the “world will be a veruy different place”. I think you can say without any doubt that the world is indeed a very different place, but it is not for the good of humanity, this is about total control of world population. The WEF is an evil organisation – sorry to sound dramatic, but it is. I am losing faith, Christianity has all but disappeared in the UK and what is left is being eroded. Family values are under attack, even science itself is being manipulated, we are told men can have babies in the UK! They are forcing multi gender acceptance on people, the right to free speech is being taken away. Censorship on virtually everything is being put into place – where will it end? The answer is that it won’t unless people wake up and act now. Fascism and Communism are theoretical opposites but meet at the centre i.e. they have the same goals of complete control over every aspect of life and even death. If Russia lose, the world will indeed change, the USA and UK have always wanted to destroy Russia, but didn’t want a war directly hence Ukraine was selected as the battleground to wear Russia down. I pray for peace, but also not a world controlled by the rich and influential self indulgent…..
    Gow bless you all
    Ian

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