Young Russian men are fleeing Russia even faster than normal, because it is beginning to look like they may have to fight for the corrupt mafia state, if they stay.
Russian men facing potential military conscription have fled the country in the wake of President Vladimir Putin’s partial military mobilization order earlier this week, the Associated Press reports.
Driving the news: The exodus signaled the unpopularity of the order and the extent people were willing to go to avoid being sent to fight in Ukraine, after Putin said as many as 300,000 could be called up for service.
Peter Zeihan’s latest hour long convention speech, catching the earliest phase of the current Ukrainian multi-prong offensives against the Russian invader. He elaborates on the raw materials global supply lines crisis in agriculture and energy, and he explains yet again why CCP China is on the way out.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to overcome fundamental structural challenges in attempting to mobilize large numbers of Russians to continue his war in Ukraine. The “partial mobilization” he ordered on September 21 will generate additional forces but inefficiently and with high domestic social and political costs. The forces generated by this “partial mobilization,” critically, are very unlikely to add substantially to the Russian military’s net combat power in 2022. Putin will have to fix basic flaws in the Russian military personnel and equipment systems if mobilization is to have any significant impact even in the longer term. __ Understanding War (ISW)
Latest Perun video explains why Ukraine’s latest capture of high volumes of Russian weapons systems is such a boon to the Ukrainian war effort.
Russian losses as of today:
57,200 Russian troops killed (approximately three times that number wounded and captured)
4,857 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles destroyed
3,711 vehicles and fuel tanks
1,369 artillery pieces
970 tactical unmanned aerial systems
260 fighter, attack, and transport jets
330 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS)
224 attack and transport helicopters
241 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses
172 anti-aircraft batteries
131 special equipment platforms, such as bridging equipment
For Putin, this war was all about being able to play the part of “Peter the Great” before large adoring crowds in sports stadiums and in big parades. It was a big macho vanity project which his propaganda lackeys have tried to dress up in half-way reasonable justificatory language. The less intelligent members of the Russian population may actually have believed his overt justifications.
For Ukrainians, it has always been an issue of life and death, freedom or slavery. Russia has never minded enslaving other populations, because at heart most Russians are still serfs themselves. Those who have escaped Russian slavery once, do not wish to have to repeat that process.
Russians are fleeing the country after Putin promised to begin conscripting his countrymen, beginning with an initial 300,000 allotment and then going on from there. Protests broke out in over 20 Russian cities.
Russia’s Invasion Goes Into Reverse
Russia is losing ground in Ukraine on a daily basis. If that isn’t bad enough news for Putin, Russia is also losing weapons and ammunition in large quantities — and it is losing its logistical hubs as well. Without logistical hubs, Putin may as well pack up his surviving troops and go home.
Peter Zeihan explains why the recapture of the important logistical hub Mariupol may be next up for Ukraine, and why Russia does not have many more young men that it can lose — and continue to exist as a “country.”
Vladimir Putin’s latest escalation over Ukraine not only demonstrates that even he doesn’t think he’s winning the war but what happens when a leader knows he has to do ‘something’ but doesn’t quite know what.
Momentum was, after all, no longer on his side. He seems to have hoped that over a hard winter, either Ukraine would lose the will to fight or the West would succumb to ‘Ukraine fatigue’. However, Ukraine’s impressive counter-offensive in the north-east not only confirmed Kyiv’s continued and even growing will and ability to fight but also galvanised Western support.
The “small scale” of the Russian redeployment is a signal of its inability to mount any serious operations, the senior defense official told CNN.
So far, Russia has responded to Ukraine’s advances by launching attacks against critical infrastructure like dams and power plants – attacks that the US sees as largely “revenge” attacks rather than operationally significant salvos, this person said.
Absent more manpower that, right now, it simply doesn’t have, sources said Russia has few other options to penalize or push back Ukrainian forces. Putin is “struggling,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said in an appearance on CNN on Wednesday. Russia’s military has “poor unit cohesion, desertions in the ranks, soldiers not wanting to fight,” Kirby said.
After Putin’s recent saber rattling, flights out of Russia quickly filled up, the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg echoed with protest, and the beleaguered Russian military went looking for reserves it didn’t have, to send for training for which it is no longer equipped. Putin destroyed Russia’s military, but now somehow he expects it to bail him out!
Young Russian men are becoming an endangered species. But there are not many old Russian men left, either. Putin is threatening to conscript men as old as 65 years old, but in Russia few men live that long — at least few men in any condition to get anywhere near a battlefield or a weapons system.
Any surviving Putin admirers will no doubt cling to the idea that Putin will use nuclear weapons to annihilate NATO assistance to Ukraine. But that would be the end of Russia, so to whose benefit would that be done? No one sane, certainly.
Peter Zeihan looks at which cities Putin will threaten to nuke, in order to try to achieve goals that his half-destroyed army is unable to achieve:
The main Ukrainian army is moving to take away the occupied territories from the invaders. Russia never actually controlled these territories, since the civilian populations of Ukraine never gave up the fight. Ukrainian partisans are active behind enemy lines, killing collaborators and the same Russian occupiers who are supposedly to conduct the coming “annexation.”
Ukrainian partisan activity is likely driving panic among Russian occupation authorities and collaborators. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on September 19 that Ukrainian partisans used an IED to kill collaborationist policeman Denys Stefanok in Melitopol on September 18. Stefankov was reportedly responsible for interrogating Ukrainians and hunting for Ukrainian partisans. Occupation authorities denied reports of his death on September 18. The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported on September 19 that Russian forces are increasingly hunting for saboteurs in Berdyansk following an attack that killed two collaborators on September 16. The Ukrainian General Staff reported on September 19 that Russian collaborators and pro-Russia residents of occupied Bilokorakinskyi and Troitskyi, the two northern raions of Luhansk Oblast that are closest to the Kharkiv border where Ukrainian forces are advancing, are fleeing to Russia.  __ Source: Understanding War (ISW)
Russians Becoming Trapped Inside Stranded Crimea
Ukrainian forces are now attacking on a broad front and expect to control all of Kherson province by the end of the year. This means major losses for the Russian in terms of troops captured or driven out of the area. In addition, Ukraine will control most of the water supply for the Crimean Peninsula and control territory close enough to the Kerch Strait bridge to damage or destroy it with missiles or airstrikes. The Kerch Strait bridge was completed in 2014 at a cost of nearly four billion dollars. It is the main supply route between Russia and Crimea. The only other rail line runs from Donbas to Crimea and is under attack by Ukrainian partisans.
Russia troop losses are another problem. Russia is unable to recruit enough troops to replace losses and a recent leaked report from the Russian Ministry of Finance completed in late August gave the Russian army’s “special military operations” in Ukraine some death toll numbers. According to this report, the Russian government needs to allocate 361 billion rubles for the pensions of the fallen Russian troops, an average of about 7 million rubles per person, and a total of 48,759 dead. Ukrainian military intel currently puts the Russian dead at about 54,000, a number many Westerners dismiss as inflated. Another Russian weakness that is largely ignored by Western media is the degree of corruption in the Russian military. This has led to chronic shortages of essential supplies and equipment for the troops. This was particularly the case with thousands of Russian “reserve” troops recruited and financed by individual provinces.
The Growing Partisan Movement in Ukraine Bodes Ill for Russia
Kyiv was a booming city when Moscow was a slum of mud covered sticks. Ukraine is an actual country. Russia is a make-believe country, a slapped together empire of unhappy nations and peoples who have long been eager to break from the serfmaster.
The continued success of Ukrainian forces results in more Ukrainians believing the situation is improving for them personally and for all Ukrainians. This shift in attitudes towards Ukrainian success and against Russia has created a growing partisan movement in the occupied territory and open hostility towards Russian civilian and Ukrainian collaborators. More of these pro-Russia civilians are fleeing to Russia and Russian troops in the occupied territories find themselves under growing attack by the partisans, who are directly supported by Ukrainian special forces with clandestine supplies of weapons and air and missile attacks on targets identified by Ukrainian civilians in the occupied territories.This sort of thing hasn’t been seen in Europe since World War II, when it played a major role in driving the Germans out. The Russians never expected this degree of popular resistance and are unable to deal with it.
Ukrainians are less surprised because Ukrainians have been fighting foreign domination for about 1,500 years. It was 1,500 years ago that the first “Ukrainians” appeared, if you define a nationality as a common language and cultural customs. This occurred at the same time a unified Russia appeared and was able to expand more rapidly than Ukraine so that today there are six times more Russian than Ukrainian speakers. Forcing others to adopt your language is a common tool for linguistic expansion. Ukrainians had much less ambition for imperial expansion. This means that the continued existence of the Ukrainian language and nationalism is something of an achievement, one that Russia hoped to eliminate with a successful invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Europe Faces a Tough Winter; Russia May Not Survive
Europe is facing a great “growing up moment,” when it begins to realize that its great dreams of running their nations on “wind and solar power” were nothing but childish fantasies. They had been secretly relying on Russian oil & gas while they were pretending to be succeeding with their grand green renewable dreams. The stupid ones will keep on dreaming, but the more practical and intelligent Europeans are being forced to face the music of their former stupidity.
Russia’s delicate position does not make Europe’s precarious situation any more pleasant. Europe had made itself utterly dependent on Russian petroleum and other Russian raw materials. Doing without is going to be painful.
Putin did not have to invade Ukraine. He was having one of those Peter the Great moments and he suddenly felt like having a nice satisfying conquest. The funny thing is, it had not been going too badly for Russia overall before the invasion. But you know what they say about undersized dictators who are addicted to conquest: They never know when to stop. That was certainly true for Hitler, up until that fateful moment in the bunker.
Russian Army Losing A Battalion Every Day
The Russian army is losingat least a battalion’s worth of vehicles and men a day as twin Ukrainian counteroffensives roll back Russian territorial gains in eastern and southern Ukraine. That’s hundreds of casualties and scores of vehicle write-offs every day.
These losses are catastrophic for Russia. The Russian army barely was sustaining a little over 100 under-strength battalions in Ukraine before Kyiv’s forces counterattacked in the south on Aug. 30 and in the east eight days later.
In just under two weeks of brutal fighting, the Ukrainians have destroyed, badly damaged or captured 1,120 Russian tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery systems, trucks, helicopters, warplanes and drones, according to the Ukrainian general staff. Independent analysts scouring social media for photos and videos have confirmed nearly 400 of the Russian losses.
Up to 200,000 Russian troops have been killed, captured, wounded, deserted, or mutinied since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine began. Russia is recruiting violent criminals from prisons and mercenaries from some of the most unsavory places on Earth, in an effort to keep warm bodies on the battle front.
Russia thought it was ready to defend against a Ukrainian counter-offensive, but it expected only one such attack — in the Kherson area to the south. Russia was not prepared for a two-pronged counter-offensive in both the northeast and in the south. And who knows what other surprises the Ukrainians have up their sleeves?
Russia is fighting a WWII Soviet-style war of mindless attrition against sovereign Ukrainian territory, including civilians and civilian infrastructure. Ukraine is presently shifting the momentum of the battle in a more intelligent, 21st century manner. We will see how Russia’s brutal torture kidnap rape-murder-annihilate war machine out of the last century can adapt to opponents capable of thought and maneuver.
Russia is a backward hellhole of a country. The question is how much longer the Russian people will allow their mafia government to lead the nation down the path of utter decline. Putin did not have to invade Ukraine. But it made him feel like the big man to do so.
Russians take a lot of punishment before they are willing to act outright against authority. We can hope they will see the need to do what is needed before too much more permanent damage is done to Europe and the civilized world– and to Russia’s own dwindling prospects..
Bonus Video: Zooming in on Ongoing Ukrainian Offensives
Perun’s Youtube channel is one of the best in terms of collating large numbers of open source details and making sense of the large volume of contradictory information at large on various topics. The latest Perun video examines the current Ukrainian military offensives. His analysis begins with the early days of the war leading up to the rising expectations for a counter-offensive against Russia in Kherson Oblast in August 2022.
From there he launches directly into what actually happened, contrasting it mercilessly with what had been expected by mainstream sources. A very interesting video.
The open letter to Putin from municipal deputies in the Russian capital’s Lomonosovsky district started out by seemingly trying to let him down gently, telling him he had “good reforms” in his first term and part of his second.
But then, “everything went wrong,” the deputies said.
“The rhetoric that you and your subordinates use has been riddled with intolerance and aggression for a long time, which in the end effectively threw our country back into the Cold War era. Russia has again begun to be feared and hated, we are once again threatening the whole world with nuclear weapons,” the letter read.
“We ask you to relieve yourself of your post due to the fact that your views and your governance model are hopelessly outdated and hinder the development of Russia and its human potential,” the deputies said in closing.
Though they made no mention of the war against Ukraine, their plea came as Putin’s deranged “special military operation” next door took a spectacular nosedive, with thousands of Russian forces fleeing as Ukraine’s military launched a series of surprise counter-offensives and reclaimed nearly 400 square miles of territory in a matter of days.
Somewhere down from the poorly maintained rooftops of the Kremlin, screeching sounds fall like shattering glass, as the fiddler on the roof V. Putin takes a musical break from his solitary masturbatory sessions in front of the massive ballroom mirrors in the private presidential suite.
“Not so fast! He might still drop a nuke on Kharkiv or Kherson.” Sergey Yerkunov quirked his mouth then downed another shot of Elit vodka.
“And what would that prove?” Boris asked. “That he’s the biggest son of a bitch this side of Beijing?” Boris was keeping up with Sergey with his shots, but just barely.
“I don’t know, but it’s what a lot of his close friends are urging him to do.”
Peter Zeihan Says Russia Has All the Numbers on Its Side
In the video below, Peter Zeihan admits that Russia is suffering a number of serious setbacks. But he maintains that Russia has been in situations just as bad in the past, and has come back swinging to turn things around.
Peter Zeihan says that Ukraine has obtained more weapons from Russia in the past few days than it has received from all of NATO over the past 6 months! In terms of quantity that may help Ukraine, but in terms of quality they may do better just to destroy the Russian weapons they are seizing.
Videos show light Ukrainian forces mounted in armored Humvees tearing into town, heavy machine guns blazing, while infantry dismount. Such “flying columns” would be foolhardy against a well prepared adversary, but they are effective for rapidly seizing ground when the enemy is fleeing and unable to mount a robust defense.
“The winter will be difficult for everyone – from Latvia and Poland to Britain and the United States. But we can make this winter the most difficult for Russia, for the one who is responsible for all the created problems – military, social, price problems, energy problems and many others. We can make the path to our victory clearer after these 90 days,” the president said.
He stressed that “after these 90 days, real security begins for decades from all those threats that are so painfully experienced now. When we endure all this, our neighbor will never be able to do anything to all of us. Russia has already embarked on the path of its historic defeat – and the clarity of this path, the contours of its defeat will become obvious after these 90 days. If we are all honest and persevere. All who value peace more than war.”
Zelensky thinks that “economic unification in Europe has been achieved. I believe that political unification in Europe has been achieved. But now a real value-based unification of the entire continent is being achieved – and, by the way, thanks to Ukraine as well. The last barriers that existed between European countries are disappearing – and this is thanks to the fact that Europe really protects freedom.”
When an entire society falls under the spell of a destructive ideology, long periods of madness and brutality can ensue. Among recent ideologies which bring far more destruction than growth include radical Islam, communism, all forms of socialism (including NAZI national socialism), leftist environmentalism, wokeism, and postmodern “progressivism.”
The latter ideologies are contributing to a stark reduction in births among more intelligent women, leading to a society-wide reduction in aptitude, competence, and achievement. The degradation of west coast American cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle can be laid at the feet of modern leftist ideologies that have infested American media, academia, governments, and popular culture.
On 9/11/2001 New York City and the US Pentagon suffered deadly attacks caused by radical muslim ideology. But destruction far worse in the long run is being perpetrated on America by radical leftist ideologies that have infiltrated American institutions almost unremarked.
Black Americans are particularly vulnerable to these radical ideologies, as are large numbers of college educated youth. The intent of organizations such as George Soros’ “Democracy Alliance,” and the DNC, are to destroy societal foundations of clear thought and effective action so that there will be no resistance to arbitrary and absolute radical leftist rule.
It is crucial that society has trustworthy education and media that are separate from government control — and also separate from censorship of large corporations and media conglomerates. More importantly, it is crucial that as many avenues of separation from government oversight and control in all aspects of daily life are explored and exploited.
The importance of the creation of “islands of competence” amid the oceans of general ideological and societal decay cannot be overstated. Time is passing quickly, and most of the big money and big power seems to be backing decay.
China is heading for economic decline as its working age population crashes before the nation can find the innovation and worker productivity it desperately needs. China has been trying to make up for its ongoing decline by the accumulation of massive amounts of debt. But the “debt cure” is not working as well as it did 10 years ago. And it will work even less well 10 years from now, as the workforce slides downward in numbers leading to massive wage inflation and loss of foreign investment.
“If you add enough money to the system, you can keep refinancing the old debt, but you have to add money exponentially.”
The country has been exponentially incurring indebtedness, perhaps creating debt about seven times faster than it has been producing nominal gross domestic product.
Nobody knows how much debt China has accumulated, but total country indebtedness could be an amount equal to 350% of GDP. Because of the infamous “hidden debt” and Beijing’s misreporting—exaggeration—of economic output, the percentage could even be higher.
… headwinds to come include already-slowing productivity rates relative to the experience of other emerging economies. It’s often said that the Chinese might get old before they get rich. Turns out, China also might grow old before it gets sufficiently productive and innovative.
China has stolen intellectual property and processes from other nations and international corporations for so long, that it is becoming unable to do for itself. As China grows ever more isolated from the rest of the world, that will be a serious problem for the counterfeiting sneak thief.
Russia Pulling China to the Desperate Edge
… the evidence has increased that, first, Russia has few options, and second, China seeks a confrontation with the US and its allies. More likely than not, Putin knows that he holds a China card.
It is shocking how ordinary challenges of existence suddenly become huge insurmountable crises when control is transferred to people who are less competent and more corrupt than previous leadership. This has happened in cities such as Detroit and in countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa. As the populations of countries in Europe fall and the populations of countries in subSaharan Africa rise, a transfer of populations northward to Europe will accelerate — leading to more transitions such as we have seen in Detroit and in Zimbabwe/South Africa.
Why can’t we simply substitute one group of people for another, and expect everything to continue to run as they have previously?
The world had best face up to this problem and decide what needs to be done to keep the lights on, the food on the table, and the homes/workplaces/schools safe, dry, and comfortable.
It is likely that war will break out in multiple locations, as food and energy shortages stretch national and international resiliency to the breaking point. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has lowered the threshold for future wars, due to its nonsensical justification and its particularly brutal execution and characteristics of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
If China decides to jump on the war train and invade Taiwan, the international threshold of war will be lowered even more.
Putin looked into the future and saw nothing but decline for Russia, unless he did something drastic. And so he invaded Ukraine based upon a long chain of delusional beliefs. As China’s future looks more and more bleak, Xi may arrive at similar conclusions and take similar actions. With both Russia and China engaged in brutal wars of conquest, would-be dictators and strong men around the world will look at broken supply chains for food, energy, medical supplies, technology, and other vital supplies and they will see windows of opportunity for carving out their own little pocket empires.
War fever can be contagious at times.
That is what Putin has unleashed, and what he wants to drag Xi into with him. It is true that neither Russia nor China has reason to be particularly optimistic demographically, economically, or in terms of global influence — outside of nuclear blackmail. If conventional war does not get them what they want, these two power-mad dictators may want to escalate to other forms of war that many countries have not prepared for.
Since Ukraine has been using Turkish drones to target the forces of the Russian invader, it is only fair that Russia turn to Iran to replace its drone losses. Does this mean that Iranian drones are better than Russian drones? More likely it means that the Iranian manufacturing infrastructure is operating under fewer constraints than is the Russian manufacturing infrastructure at this time.
In the video above, Peter Zeihan discusses some of the problems Russia is having with its military manufacturing and the impending collapse of the Russian military industrial complex if it is truly resorting to buying its ammunition from North Korea.
—Russian domestic financial markets, as an indicator of both present conditions and future outlook, are the worst performing markets in the entire world this year despite strict capital controls, and have priced in sustained, persistent weakness within the economy with liquidity and credit contracting – in addition to Russia being substantively cut off from international financial markets, limiting its ability to tap into pools of capital needed for the revitalization of its crippled economy
Europe is facing a cold winter without Russian natural gas. Europe is typically seen as weak in the knees and without gumption. Certainly the EU does not have a reputation as a union of tough national characters, making one wonder how Europe expects to survive in tough times. The way that Germany has given up its national economic advantage by allowing the erosion of its indigenous energy foundations — making itself vulnerable to its natural enemy Russia for its industrial survival — spells not only weakness, but also stupidity.
The fact that Germany and other European nations are even trying to keep the pressure on Russia, is a huge surprise. It is a startling show of unity in opposition to Russia’s mafia state of conquest and energy intimidation.
According to the Washington Post, the wooden HIMARS decoys have attracted as many as 10 Russian Kalibr missiles. As the Russians generally rely on unmanned systems to find and identify targets for their artillery, the wooden HIMARS have been particularly effective. “A decent decoy, situated and camouflaged as an actual HIMARS would be deployed, is almost indistinguishable from the real thing to Russian targeting drones and satellites that provide information to Russian warships carrying cruise missiles in the Black Sea,” Parson wrote. “The Ukrainian decoys are made out of wood but can be indistinguishable from an artillery battery through the lens of Russian drones, which transmit their locations to naval cruise-missile carriers in the Black Sea.
….soldiers had pushed Russian forces out of the region entirely.
A photograph of Ukrainian soldiers raising the Ukrainian flag over the village was shared by an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, declaring victory. The photograph, which was shared on Facebook showed three soldiers on rooftops in the town attaching a Ukrainian flag to a pole.
The Ukrainian president announced the liberation of three settlements in total on Sunday but stopped short of offering the names of the two other towns. Two villages are believed to have been recaptured in southern Ukraine – one of which is likely Vysokopillya – and another was reportedly recaptured in the east.
If Putin had used charm instead of invasions and artillery, he could have avoided all the bad feeling between the two sovereign countries. When the two nations were allies, Ukraine was a critical supplier of crucial high technology systems and components to Russia. As enemies, all of Ukraine’s ingenuity is aimed at removing the Russian invaders from all Ukrainian soil.
At the current pace of Russian advances, it would take decades for the Russian military to reach Kiev.
Given its economy and arsenal, which is eroding daily, it seems unlikely Russia can wage this level of conflict for another decade.
What seems most likely, in my view, is that this war of attrition will continue until one side is either defeated or exhausted, and that is likely years away.
Putin is likely to be dead within that time frame. After years of increasing hardship, will Russia’s population still be in the mood to continue this genocidal war of attrition against the only nation in the world with a population so historically and genetically close to ethnic Russians? The entire enterprise makes sense only in Putin’s mind. Time will not make this fiasco stink any less, particularly after Putin is removed from the picture.
Ukrainians on the other hand, are motivated and optimistic. They have every reason to want to push the Russian invader back across the border.
Russia’s elites are being held hostage by Putin’s desire to rip Ukraine to shreds. Very few of them agree with Putin.
I asked a variety of people what percentage of the top Russian ruling class supported the war. The answers ranged from a low of 10% to a high of 30%. Hundreds — if not thousands — of people at the top have lost millions and billions of dollars, expensive real estate in delightful European countries and the United States because of sanctions and/or the collapse of the stock market. All they get for their loss is endless lamentations from wives and mistresses that “living in this Russia” was not part of the deal. Children studying at Western universities and boarding schools in Britain, Switzerland, and the United States were forced to return to Russia when their educational institutions refused to accept their parents’ toxic money.
That said, people mentioned the names of a couple of billionaires who, despite the sanctions and huge personal losses, called for “striking” Ukraine with nuclear weapons. There is also grumbling in the middle stratum of power brokers, who have lost a lot in mutual funds and especially in cryptocurrency.
No one can predict how the political situation in Russia will develop now. Some give the regime until the spring of 2023, others predict a further intensification of repression in the coming months and are confident that the regime has enough strength to survive another ten years. They insist that the upcoming 2024 elections and the next round won’t change a thing.
I’m not so sure. I’m not sure that Putin’s ruling class, which is made up of dollar millionaires and billionaires and is used to making money in Russia and spending it all over the world, will agree to live and die in a cage.
Putin expected Zelensky to take the first American transport out of Kyiv as soon as Biden offered it. Zelensky told Biden that he needed weapons and ammunition, not a ride. That surprised the hell out of Putin, and it certainly surprised Biden as well. Six months later the world is still surprised to see Zelensky still pushing back against the mafia thugs of the Kremlin.
There is something about high Moscow windows that are proving lethally dangerous for Russians who Vladimir Putin believes are his enemies. In this case it was Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov who got too close to the edge and proved unable to survive the 6 story fall. Perhaps he should have stayed in the hospital bed — or perhaps he should not have criticized Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. You be the judge.
Russian Economy On the Brink
Economies — like people — can fall off a precipice. In this case it is Putin’s Russian economy that has begun its acceleration downward.
An in-depth analysis of key figures suggests that around 40 percent of Russia’s GDP is under threat of being lost due to businesses withdrawing, putting more than five million jobs at risk. The Russian economy is overly dependent on energy exports to Europe – which are believed to be the main source of funding for Vladimir Putin’s war machine – leaving the Russian despot facing an unaffordable war in Ukraine and domestic unrest.
The authors of the study said that media reports of the state of the Russian economy since the invasion began have relied on “increasingly cherry-picked” releases by the Kremlin, “selectively tossing out unfavourable metrics while releasing only those that are more favourable”.
The Russian economic decline is far worse than “official Russian statistics” admit. But even the fake economic data being released from the compromised Rosstat reveal the ominous downward shift toward oblivion facing Russia.
Russia’s economy has started to decline and is likely facing a prolonged period of stagnation as a consequence of Western sanctions…
While global inflation is helping Russia’s energy sector, it’s hurting its people. Much like the rest of Europe, Russians are already suffering a cost of living crisis, made much worse by the war in Ukraine.
Nechaev, who helped steer Russia through a much more dramatic economic collapse in the 1990s, is worried.
“In terms of the standard of living, if you measure it by real incomes, we have gone backwards by about 10 years,” he says.
The Russian Metallurgical industry is a microcosm of Russian Decline
The Ministry is now forecasting demand for iron and aluminum to halve in 2022, falling to 220−250,000 and 720−760,000 tons respectively. Roughly 97% of iron production is used in steel, so by implication the Ministry expects a collapse in construction and industrial steel consumption. Aluminum is similarly used for construction purposes, but is also affected by the collapse in automotive production — light automobile manufacture was down 61% year-on-year for H1 and has fallen so far that Uzbekistan leads the CIS in light automotive production for the year.
Falling iron ore demand implies a significant fall in domestic nickel demand. Heading into 2022, roughly 70% of nickel is consumed in the production of stainless steel. Nornickel depends on exports for its earnings, and saw its EBITDA decline 16.1% year-on-year for H1 along with its profit margins because of sanctions-related increases in logistical costs despite sky-high nickel prices. The company lacks any significant new projects in the pipeline too.
In Desperation Move Putin Shuts Major Gas Pipeline
The Nordstream 1 gas pipeline to Europe will be shut down for the time being, depriving Europe of desperately needed fossil fuels as winter looms over the horizon. Just how badly is Putin losing his bet on Ukraine? Pretty badly, if he has to resort to this kind of blackmail.
Just as the war in Ukraine is ramping up, so is the Russian economic decline ramping down. No one in Russia can explain to skeptical Russians why Putin decided to conduct a genocidal war against Ukraine at this particular time. Putin has made it illegal to call his war by its rightful name — war. He is even killing fellow Russians who criticize his bloody fateful decision, which has set Russia on the one way path to decline.
This entire fiasco is proving an utter disaster for the people of Russia, who have no choice but to kneel before the brutal dictator or risk being killed themselves. There is a person who should probably die to put an end to all the madness, and that person is the president of Russia.
The Energy Crisis is Artificial, Brought to You by Greens
Germany is on the cusp of a catastrophic fuel shortage leading to an economic collapse and civil unrest, thanks to the influence of Green politicians and government officials and the complicity of current and former top government leaders. If an energy-starved Germany goes down, all of Europe will be at risk of economic and political turmoil. A few German energy experts are beginning to speak out a warning, but it looks to be too little too late. Germans overall seem to be living in some kind of parallel universe fairy-land, and will do so until life’s harshness swoops down and knocks them on their heads.
Elon Musk Understands that Fossil Fuels are Indispensable
Asked if he believes oil and gas should continue to be used, Musk replied in the affirmative.
“Realistically, we do need to use oil and gas in the short term because otherwise civilization will crumble,” he said.
“In order for civilization to continue to function, we do need oil and gas,” he continued, adding that “any reasonable person would conclude that.”
Not only should oil and gas should continue to be used to keep civilization running, Musk said that further exploration “is warranted at this time.”
Use of fossil fuels should continue at the same time as ongoing efforts around “accelerating the advance of sustainable energy,” he added.
Fossil fuels will be needed for the next century or more to fuel ships, aircraft, and heavy land transportation vehicles such as locomotives and heavy road freight haulers. Smaller personal craft will need fossil fuels for at least the next five decades, and possibly beyond if the transition to electric vehicles runs into unforeseen obstacles.
Nuclear Reactors of the Future Will Assume Many Shapes and Sizes
Microreactors would allow for thriving communities far from existing power grids, in addition to providing secure power backups in case of large-grid shutdown and a resultant “islanding” of and segmentation of the power grid prior to a black re-start of the larger grid.
Other new types of nuclear fission reactors will include small modular reactors, molten salt reactors, fast neutron reactors, and other next generation reactors which will be safer, more reliable, and that will burn a far larger portion of the nuclear fuel — leaving far less radioactive waste material behind that needs safe sequestering. A lot of political roadblocks and human obstructionists of the green persuasion will need to be removed to expedite these developments.
China’s Energy Crisis and Real Estate Crash Hurting Steel Production
The prognosis looks bad, as evident from this statement by Li Ganpo, founder & chairman of Hebei Jingye Steel Group. Ganpo reportedly warned at a private company meeting a few weeks ago that almost a third of China’s steel mills could go bankrupt. This would result in massive steel supply chain disruptions.
Many in China have lost hope of a turnaround in the near future. This pessimism is clear in the many reports coming out of China.
The real-estate crisis has not only affected property developers and steel makers but even banks. Once one of the largest producers and consumers of steel and related products, Chinese steel mills would regularly manufacture over a billion tons. This accounts for about half of all global output. Now, this seems a distant memory, with the slump affecting iron ore prices and even supply mines in Brazil & Australia.
China is at severe risk of having its energy supply choked off by naval blockade, perhaps in reaction to a Taiwan invasion as early as this October. Several nations of the world are capable of such a feat, and if it happened the nation of China would be reeling for lack of fuel.
Without Abundant Fuel and Energy, Advanced Civilization Would Collapse
All advanced nations of the Earth share similar critical infrastructure requirements. From Wikipedia, here is a short list:
All of the critical infrastructure items listed above rely on either abundant electric power, abundant fossil fuels, or both. Without these crucial ingredients, the whole enterprise collapses and a huge portion of the population would die. That is why discussions of the loss of electric power and fossil fuels are not merely theoretical. They are life and death issues.
Greens — whether in government or outside the government — are not serious thinkers, although they may be intensely emotional and seriously dangerous. The worst of the greens mean to reduce human populations on Earth to a tiny fraction of current numbers. They do not plan to die, necessarily. But they do plan for you to die. Governments of Europe and the Anglosphere are infested with large numbers of them, as are university faculty and staff, large media conglomerates, and the graduates of government schools and universities.
The Ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine is Pertinent to this Question
Russia is one of the world’s leading suppliers of oil and natural gas. But Russia is less and less able to ship its production of oil & gas to willing customers. In addition, Russia lacks adequate storage facilities for unsold oil & gas to prevent product from backing up to the well head and doing serious damage to wells and well heads. This will require a shutdown of millions of barrels per day of Russian output — output that may never be resumed after hostilities are ended and sanctions are dropped.
Parenthetically, before the current war, Russia was one of the world’s leading suppliers of global weapons and weapons systems. A brief viewing of the video below will indicate why this will probably not be the case any longer.
With the loss of sales from much of its former oil & gas production, and the loss of sales from weapons and weapons systems, Russia will be in a much weaker position to launch further invasions in the future — once the country’s leaders come back down to ground level reality from their lofty visions that led them to launch the Ukrainian invasion in February.
Everything is Based on Energy and Fuel But More is Needed on Top of That
Russia has plenty of energy and fuel. But it does not have a system of rights, rule of law, and secure personal safety and property from government caprice, that would be needed to build a modern nation with a future — attractive to large numbers of potential immigrants of high aptitude and productivity.
Other countries such as Germany have decent institutions and systems of laws and rights, but by the actions of their own governments are running critically short of fuel and electric power.
Germany’s political leadership has brought the country to the brink of disaster, and survival is not guaranteed. Other nations such as Australia are flirting with a similar disaster that will come from loss of reliable supplies of fuel and electric power. Such insanity is intimately connected to the green philosophy, green activism, and green political parties. The threat of severe hardship directly linked to green actions over the past 30 years — in government, in university, in media, and in popular culture — is quite real and very dire.
For the most indoctrinated, it is too late for awaking from the fever dream that is so prevalent. For those who have preserved their ability to reason, a number of mitigating actions can be taken. But do not expect assistance from most governments — and expect active and sometimes violent opposition from institutions such as universities, media conglomerates, political activist groups, and other agents of malaise and destruction.
Winter is coming to Europe, just as supplies of Russian natural gas are being choked off. Is this an unfortunate coincidence, or do the geopolitics of Putin’s bloody war on Ukraine have something to do with it?
For years, mainly under former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s watch, the country became hooked on cheap Russian gas, which covered industrial and household needs. With Europe now trying to push back against Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war, President Vladimir Putin is using gas as his crucial bargaining chip.
The pain inflicted by Putin is beginning to hurt ordinary Germans. “Utility companies are passing on the increased costs of gas to their customers. Gas heats more than half of the homes in Germany, and many residents will struggle to pay for it,” German state broadcaster DeutscheWelle reported last month.
Since then, the prices have soared even further, with the German newspaper Bild noting on August 12 that the “electricity and gas prices are going through the roof. The electricity already costs more than four times as much as it did a year ago, and gas seven folds as much.”
Days after Russian state-owned energy Gazprom announced that it was temporarily halting its main natural gas pipeline to Europe (Nord Stream 1), another gas pipeline — this time the one that brings gas from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan via Russia — has gone out of operation “due to damage.”
Meanwhile in Ukraine, the Game is Attrition and Logistics Degradation
Ukraine’s strategy: “To cause the Russians to have as many casualties as possible rather than defending specific pieces of terrain. And then what we see around Kherson is that Ukraine has figured out a way to accelerate that attrition among the Russians by luring them into a trap where they send reinforcements into an essentially undefendable area.” So the frontline isn’t moving, but “the Ukrainians expect them to run out of supplies eventually, and then it will be easy.”
Her murder came via the FSB and the Putin camp. Of that much I am fully convinced. Putin needs something to rally the people, to overcome the reluctance (and even possible mutinies in the armed forces) to mobilize more fully if not fully to deal with the Ukraine. A pretext for that and/or crackdowns in Russia.
Ms. Dugina had become problematic in terms of her presentations to the West, discussions in public of what she would do if she was the defense minister versus her cynical reversals in private, and even attempts to usurp her father. Neither are the close Putin allies they portrayed themselves as being, as I noted yesterday that is a thing of the West, not Russia.
By murdering Daria Dugina, Putin kills three birds with one stone. He gets rid of a troublesome journalist, he forces Alexander Dugin to toe the line or else, and he justifies his own brutal and unprovoked attack against a sister nation. Only in Putin’s mind . . .
Rumbles of mutiny echo through the ranks. And it will only get worse.
A Russian paratrooper has revealed gut-wrenching details in a new memoir about the war in Ukraine, describing friendly-fire incidents, hordes of starving, marauding troops, and panicked commanders unable to stop general chaos.
The front-line experience of Russian soldiers is quite different from the picture of the war being painted by Russian Official State Media. Putin has made it a near-capital offense to present an honest account of his brutal and unprovoked Ukrainian invasion. But it is impossible to keep the troops from telling the people what is really happening.
The author of the 141 page account referred to above was able to leave Russia covertly, before the secret police could grab him.
Meanwhile a Russian resistance group is making itself known inside Russia
Just after Alexander Dugin had given a talk promoting new Russian conquests through military might, his daughter was killed in a car bomb explosion. A Russian insurgency group calling itself the National Republican Army (NRA) has claimed credit.
Dugin was likely the intended target of the car bomb. He is associated with the regime and particularly the neo-imperialism it brought to Ukraine, but he is not important enough to merit the security a top government official is afforded. It is possible, however, that his daughter’s killing was the work of the Kremlin, perhaps seeking to silence some of the criticism of its actions from the ultranationalist right. (It is difficult to overstate how little is known at present.)
When any murderous act occurs inside Russia, it is prudent to include Putin as a possible suspect. He used that trick in his famous apartment bombings to justify a brutal war against Chechnya. He may have sent a friendly warning to Alexander Dugin not to jump ship at a difficult time for Putin.
Putin’s wishful thinking about the power of the Russian military is reflected in his apparent expectation that it could conquer Ukraine with only 150,000 military personnel. This is significantly less than the 250,000 soldiers in the Ukrainian armed forces and far off the ratio of offensive to defence forces traditionally needed for a successful campaign – 3:1. Putin seems to have decided to launch the invasion based on the expectation that Ukrainian citizens would surrender without a fight and their political leaders would run away. Clearly, the data he drew on was deeply flawed. Several publicly available studies conducted shortly before the full-scale invasion showed that Ukrainians would resolutely take up arms to defend their homeland. But the Kremlin – like many Western experts – must have simply ignored them.
Ultimately, it comes down to our view of humanity. We must, Austin Williams has suggested, decide whether humanity represents “the biggest problem on the planet” or the “creators of a better future.” We still have the ability to raise living standards, encourage economic growth, and restore housing affordability and upward mobility, all of which are critical to family formation. It’s really a question of whether we build a sustainable economic and social environment or regress to the demographic and economic torpor of the Dark Ages.
The bright and productive populations of Europe, East Asia, and the Anglosphere are shrinking. The dull and indolent populations of sub Saharan Africa and other tribal regions are growing. Humans need their best minds to solve the problems of the future — but the best minds are not reproducing. They are wallowing in a groupthink delusion and are dying off. What kind of future will be left for the tribal peoples who look to inherit the Earth?
As labor forces decline in the high-income countries, the developing world’s “youth bulge” is expected to peak in this decade. For these workers, the demographic slowdown in high-income economies could prove devastating. The very things places like sub-Saharan Africa need—new energy sources, growing export markets, and capital—will not be easy to procure from stagnant economies concerned largely with satisfying their pensioners. The key potential markets for Africa’s exports, besides some rare metals, will be shrinking while Western countries automate and could impose carbon taxes on imports. __ Joel Kotkin in Quillette “The Unexpected Future”
China’s working population is in decline. China is slowly sinking under the weight of its old people, and China has no meaningful retirement system or social safety net. But of more immediate concern is that the one thing that has been supporting Chinese economic growth since 2008 — the building and real estate boom — is crashing, leading to growing social unrest.
“The real estate industry in China is in a vicious cycle—defaults have severely dampened the confidence of investors and home buyers, resulting in limited external funding and plummeting sales,” Katherine Jiang, a Hong Kong-based financial analyst, told The Epoch Times.
“Falling sales drive down developers’ operating cash flows and dent the market sentiment, jeopardizing property developers’ ability to access the debt and banking market and significantly affecting their financing cash flow. Home buyers would also delay their purchase and opt for a wait-and-see approach. As a result, property sales will fall further, and [property] prices will also drop.”
As the collective west attempts to, using their words, “manage the transition,” they do not have mechanisms to control an outcome of this magnitude. It is simply too big a situation to manage. Where the rubber meets the road, the think-tanks and high-minded climate change ideologues do not have the ability to manage a transition and still meet the needs of people. Beyond the esoteric thinking, there are real consequences from these actions.
Many people have discussed the potential for longer-term food shortages and recently, shorter-term winter heating. However, beyond that, the downstream geopolitical consequences are seemingly being ignored. Instead, what we see is an effort to keep pretending the climate change ends will justify the means (disruption of energy production).
In this connected world, when the western nations stop buying things, we find ourselves domestically with economic trouble. Businesses fail, unemployment rises, financial stress ripples throughout the economy, dependency on government subsidy increases and real pain is felt. However, beyond the domestic issues the supplier nations run into even bigger problems.
Unemployment in Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and even China, creates an entirely different set of regional stability issues on a geopolitical level.
There is no precedent for this. Never before in the history of industrialized nations has any government intentionally tried to lower its economic activity. It has never been done with intent before because within the contraction nations get more poor, people suffer.
Demographics Sets the Stage, Various Disasters Ensue
It is important to realize that the doom that gets you will not be demographics. It will be something else that was made possible by the demographic implosion that shook the ground from beneath your feet, somewhat unexpectedly.
When elites are tangled up in ideology at the expense of reality, bad things are likely to happen.
In Russia, a corrupt Putin and his pals are caught up in the “Great Russian Empire” delusion which they cannot let go of. Unable to accept the reality that Russia is just a mid-level economy based upon its primary role as an oil/gas producer and not a superpower, Putin felt compelled to invade Ukraine in order to maintain his delusions.
In China, a megalomaniacal Xi is convinced that it is his destiny to lead China to its rightful place as the global hegemon. But Xi did not see that the props were falling out from under China’s rise to economic and political dominance. If Xi makes the mistake of invading Taiwan, it will be out of Xi’s misguided sense of “manifest destiny.” But it will be the failing demographics of China that sets the stage for his failure.
In Europe, a delusional commitment to the ideology of apocalyptic climate change led countries like Germany to abandon workable forms of electric power and heat, in favor of unworkable unreliable intermittent forms of junk energy, such as wind and solar. Coal may be dirty, but it works! And that is why even an idiotic green-tinged government such as Germany’s can be forced to revert to coal, when winter is coming. Remember, if not for demographic implosion, Germany would have a lot more bright people who would not so easily have fallen for the con-game of greens and wokesters.
In North America, the woke delusion is running rampant over universities, media sources, governments, popular culture, and a neighborhood near you. Due to the fact that intelligent women are not having babies anymore, the average IQ of North America’s youth is falling. And when these less bright youth go to university, they are being taught by radical left professors who have signed on to the plan to degrade populations, degrade education, degrade culture, degrade energy, degrade media, and degrade government at all levels. Thanks to demographic collapse, it becomes a lot easier to indoctrinate kids into crap ideology.
Australia/NZ are just microcosms of what is happening in North America, UK, and Europe.
We are also experiencing something of a kulturkampf, in which singleness increasingly prevails as sex roles shift from the 1950s model of the single earner to more flexible and less well-defined archetypes. Since 1960, the percentage of single person households in the United States living alone has grown from 13 percent to 27 percent (2019). In the European Union (post-Brexit), 35 percent of households consist of a single person, while in Finland they constitute 45 percent of households.
In rapidly urbanizing China, traditionally a bastion of familialism, there are now 200 million unmarried adults, including 58 million single people between 20 and 40 years of age. The proportion of people living alone in China, once a virtually unimaginable situation, has risen to 15 percent. China’s young men are so disconnected socially that the Communist Party and some private firms are teaching them how to “act masculine.”
In Japan, the harbinger of modern Asian demographics, single-person households are expected to reach 40 percent by 2040. Roughly a third of men enter their 30s as virgins, and a quarter of men are not married at 50. This sex recession even affects places like Hong Kong’s famous Wan Chai “red light” district, which is now being remade into an upscale hipster area as the sex trade plummets.
If the future belongs to those who reproduce — and if the main reproducers are descendants of less intelligent evolutionary populations — we are not likely to see much of the “Gee Whiz!” future that is being predicted by the most enthusiastic futurists such as Ray Kurzweil, or even by somewhat less enthusiastic futurists such as Yuval Noah Harari.
In fact, if we are stuck with the future of a few competent and intelligent people who are swamped beneath the large numbers of unintelligent and incompetent people, the best we may achieve — if we are lucky enough to avoid a large scale nuclear war — is a sea of deep and broad stupidity dotted with small islands of competence. That is why I created both the Society for Creative Apocalyptology and the Dangerous Child Institutes. The goal is to build islands of competence that are capable of communicating and working together in emergencies.
Sometimes the tsunamis of stupidity, incompetence, and ideological delusion are too overpowering to oppose directly. Sometimes, regretfully, they must be allowed to sweep over the landscape until they subside naturally, leaving the high ground of islands of competency to begin the long process of recovering a once brilliant human future.
The leftist nightmare sweeping over many western nations is meant to be a death blow to the rational world view. But the top-down authoritarian leftist dream is diametrically opposed to human nature, which is recapitulated with every new human birth. The left can only win by bringing the human race to extinction — that is their ultimate goal. Anything less will eventually be overthrown by a human nature that the left cannot overcome.
As many as 100 mercenaries are believed to have been killed in the massive strike, including several deputy chiefs. Yevgeny Prigozhin is not believed to have been killed in the strike. Prigozhin, often referred to as “Putin’s chief,” had not responded to the strike as of Monday night.
Serhii Haidai, the head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, revealed some information about the attack in a television interview.
The HIMARS strikes were also confirmed on the Russian Telegram channel Radio Liberty and various Wagner PMC Telegram channels.
“I cannot disclose the details of this operation yet but, if it turns out that over 100 Wagner mercenaries from the leadership team have been killed, well, it will be nothing new to us,” he said. “Unfortunately, regarding ‘Putin’s chief,’ most likely we will not have such great news. But his deputies, yes.”
Video footage that also appeared on social media over the weekend, allegedly filmed by a Ukrainian, showed Russian soldiers loading the bodies of deceased Wagner soldiers into trucks at the site of the strike. The man filming the video can be heard making derogatory comments about the soldiers.
Crimea Under Fire: Russian Logistics for Kherson Region Blasted
The Ukrainian military is taking out the important logistical hubs that run Russian operations in Ukraine. The latest target was a large ammunition and fuel dump in Crimea. This is the second strike against the annexed peninsula in less than 10 days after the Ukrainian military took out several Russian fighter and bomber jets at the Saky Air Base in Crimea.
The Russian military launched offenses around Kherson in an attempt to stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive or frustrate its momentum, but both Russian ground assaults in the north and northwest part of the southern front failed.
Putin still wants to take over the entire country of Ukraine. He promised to “rape” Ukraine, and has repeatedly said that Ukraine is not a real country. He talks like a mafia tough guy, but on the ground things are not going very well for him.
Attacks on Russian positions in and around Crimea are likely part of a coherent Ukrainian counter-offensive to regain control of the west bank of the Dnipro River. Russian supply lines from Crimea directly support Russian forces in mainland Ukraine including those in western Kherson Oblast. Ukraine’s targeting of Russian ground lines of communication and logistic and support assets in Crimea is consistent with the Ukrainian counteroffensive effort that has also targeted bridges over the Dnipro River and Russian logistical support elements in occupied Kherson Oblast. The net effects of this campaign will likely be to disrupt the ability of Russian forces to sustain mechanized forces on the west bank of the Dnipro River and to defend them with air and artillery assets on the east bank from Ukrainian counterattacks.
Germany Caught in the Cross-Fire: Energy Crisis in Germany Worsens
Over the past 20 years, Germany made itself fatally vulnerable to Russian natural gas. The German government under Angela Merkel did this for ideological reasons, against all logic and reason. Now, there will be hell to pay.
In 2009, nuclear energy and natural gas accounted for 11 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of Germany’s primary energy consumption.
By 2021, nuclear energy had fallen to 6 percent of Germany’s primary energy consumption whereas natural gas had increased to more than 30 percent. By the first half of 2022, nuclear power provided for only 3.1 percent of Germany’s primary energy consumption.
It is not entirely clear from the images above, but all of Germany’s claims for their renewable energy sector are lies and deceptive exaggerations. The first image is from 2010 and the lower image is from 2021. Over those 11 years, nominal wind and solar energy production “rose” from 1% of total consumption to just over 5% of total consumption (see the image expansions top and bottom and look specifically at “wind” and “solar.”)
But the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar means that those two renewable energy sources are net power liabilities rather than net power assets. Germany cannot base its huge industrial export economy on any amount of intermittent wind and solar. That is why Germany is suddenly scrambling to bring back nuclear and coal power, now that its unwise gamble on Russian fossil fuels has backfired so badly.
The fact that the Germans put themselves under the Russian thumb in such a naive and hapless manner reveals far more about the German character and rationality than most Germans are ready to understand at this time.
Peter Zeihan predicts that China will not exist under current management in ten years. He predicts the same fate for Russia within twenty years. But since Putin’s demented miscalculation in Ukraine, Russia’s prospects for survival have been curtailed drastically. Due to its massive energy mismanagement over the past decade, Germany should also be placed on the endangered list.
For Dangerous Children, I recommend reading between 5,000 and 10,000 books by the age of 21, including the books read to them as very young children. Books provide children with vocabulary as well as proxy knowledge of the larger world that they will eventually inhabit.
If you are reading and learning, you will have less time for getting into trouble. It is difficult to read while you are inebriated, gambling, driving too fast, or going out and committing petty crimes. Reading can also help keep a person away from social media — a particularly destructive habit.
I recommend that adults average about 3 books per week or greater. With the dawn of the cheap or free ebook, it is much easier and less expensive to carry around a large library in one’s shirt pocket or handbag.
There is a huge difference in the quality of knowledge that one gets from books, and the quality of knowledge that one gets from television, movies, social media, YouTube, or other “short attention span” forms of media.
Authors of books can serve as mentors to both young people and adults, even long after the author has died. But there is a limit to the amount of real time feedback that a reader can get from a book if the reader is confused about something he has read. That is why real-time real-world mentors are so important.
For any given area of knowledge or experience, books can provide a baseline of knowledge and ideas for the person’s imagination — grist for the mill. That kind of knowledge is crucial. But when a child or an adult needs to expand his skills — or when he needs to expand his knowledge in a field that has a lot of learning blocks — a teacher or a more capable peer can get a person past the roadblocks.
In other words, for most people there are limits to what they can learn on their own without access to someone who can answer their questions and give them suggestions for expanding their thinking or for practicing (See: Zone of proximal development)
Of course, if you are Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein, those limits may not apply.
You may have heard about the 10,000 hour rule for developing expertise. It is best to consider that figure to be more of a rule of thumb. If you listen to the podcast at the link above, you will better understand what you might expect from 10,000 hours of practice to learn a skill.
The 10,000 book rule for becoming an educated person is likewise more of a rule of thumb rather than a hard prediction or rule. If one reads good books carefully and thoughtfully — beginning at an early age — he will build a scaffolding of knowledge that can be elaborated and further developed his entire life.
The Dangerous Child is expected to acquire the skills to support himself in three different ways by the time he reaches the age of 18. To do this, the child must have learned to be self-starting in his reading, in his practicing of skills, and in his seeking out of mentors to help expand his sphere of skills. The base curriculum for Dangerous Children can provide a useful foundation of knowledge and skills formation. But unless the child has learned to teach himself and motivate himself to move along his own path, he will remain limited in comparison with what he might have achieved.
Probably the biggest problem for the Russian military is the unsustainable rate of casualties it is suffering. The Russian forces simply can’t replace the infantry that they are losing on the frontlines, and that has a direct effect on the ability of the Russian military to conduct large-scale, offensive operations.
Russian invasion forces in Ukraine are suffering enormous losses in men and materiel. The brutal invader can eventually replace the large number of lost planes, helicopters, tanks, ships, and other weapons systems. But it cannot replace the tens of thousands of men who are being lost. Given the top-down nature of Russia’s primitive military system, it will be extremely difficult to replace its depleted officer corps.
As Russian troop losses in Ukraine continue to rise, reports of the 100th colonel killed by Ukrainian forces have emerged. It comes as Vladimir Putin is said to have sacked six generals for poor performance
After more than a century of lies, deceit, poor leadership and heavy losses, the young Russian men who end up in the infantry, as well as their families, are refusing to be killed in another unnecessary war in Ukraine.
Following the death of the USSR, Russians enjoyed a tenuous interaction with the rest of the world. Many Russians were quick to lose the “Us Against the Whole World” mentality that the Soviet propaganda state had smothered them with for several decades and took advantage of many of the opportunities that the larger world offered them. But now Putin has brought this stifling paranoia back, and unless Russians can jettison Putin, the nation may not survive this latest dip into the cold ocean of paranoid isolationism.
Understanding How Bad Russia’s Demographic Crisis Is
This video featuring demographer Nicholas Eberstadt has been embedded on this site before. But the raw and chilling reality of what is facing the nation of Russia cannot be overstated.
Knowing this, it is no surprise that Putin is scouring Russia’s prisons and hinterlands in search of ever more cannon fodder to pour into his epic invasion miscalculation. Death rates are high, birth rates are low, disease rates are high, and the numbers of healthy young people who will be capable of manning Russia’s future is shrinking to the vanishing point. Drugs, alcohol, violence, infectious disease, and rampant environmental toxicity combine with a pervasive sense of hopelessness. Who wants to die in Putin’s senseless war?
Those millions of Russian civilians who found themselves outside the country at the start of Putin’s war, should probably extend their overseas stays until things settle down — assuming they intend to go back eventually.
India is entering a high growth period which China is leaving forever. Russia is squandering its future possibilities on a wasteful and ultimately humiliating war in Ukraine. India’s growth in wealth and power is likely to have a seriously adverse effect on the future of China, and will do very little to keep Russia from destroying itself.
With 70% of its oil on sea-lanes running about 300-500 kms from its shore, India can effectively interdict Chinese foreign trade with the region. The PLAAN will be loath to engage the Indian Navy in an area where the leading Indian Ocean power, the US Navy also dominates.
…China will be interested in keeping any conflict limited and restricted to one dimension, it will be in India’s interest that it quickly escalate to the other two dimensions where it can bring its superior disruptive power into play.
China is vulnerable to multiple maritime chokepoints which are crucial for both imports and exports. The following video discusses this critical vulnerability and how India can exploit China’s weaknesses.
India’s close relations with Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan — along with other strategically placed military bases — have built a land-and-sea necklace around China. More in the video above.
India is corrupt and deeply divided by religion and dozens of languages and ethnicities. But India also has many strengths including economic growth, a strong military, a large population that is not aging or shriveling away like China’s, a strong scientific and technological infrastructure, solid educational institutions, a rational approach to energy and electric power, and a strong system of international alliances which neither Russia nor Communist China will ever match.
India is perpetually at risk of a catastrophic war with its neighbor Pakistan, and Pakistan is a close ally of China. This is a weakness which India must constantly consider, along with low average population IQ and the wealth inequality and corruption which inevitably accompany that statistic around the world.
Interestingly, it is probably Russia that is most interested in using India as a foil against China. The biggest strategic threat to the future of Russia is not the US or the west, but China. Just a quick glance at the map and a rapid perusal of geopolitical events and trends over the past few decades shows the threat to Russia immediately. But Russia cannot play the international tough guy without China’s economic and geopolitical enabling.
Being the tough guy bully boy is not in Russia’s long term interest, but in the mobster minds of Russia’s current leadership it seems to be the only way forward that is being considered. If anything changes in that regard, the Russia – China alliance will be immediately endangered.
India’s rise is a threat to China, but not to Russia. But Russia’s demise is written in the demographics, regardless of what India does. The same with the CCP’s China.
Meanwhile, the offspring of India have spread from the subcontinent to populate large parts of Europe and the Anglosphere, and will likely exert considerable influence as time goes by. The phenomenon of India will be something to watch over the rest of the 21st century.
We are becoming accustomed to hearing doom and gloom from Peter Zeihan. The problem is that the message is getting worse as time goes by. Zeihan is the long range herald for the darker future, but others are slowly catching on.
Jordan Peterson is better known for his no-nonsense tough love approach to helping people make their lives better through clean, moral, honest living. But Jordan can get dark with the best of them, when he feels the need.
Peterson’s conversation with combat correspondent Michael Yon shines a light on the many wars being fought behind the curtain of international information war obfuscation. The enemies of an abundant and expansive human future are many, and come from the eastern totalitarian states as well as the western internationalists. For now, information is the main weapon being used against the future of your society. But things are likely to deteriorate, given the decadent leadership in the western world.
If you want to understand the varieties of doom-bringers walking the planet right now, you will have to seek out many multiple observers and sources. If you choose to ignore the forces that are lined up against your freedom and way of life — or even cheer your enemies on (!) — then the doom that gets you will be one that you do not see coming.
The most proximate bringers of genuine apocalypse to the affluent west, are those who threaten to destroy our energy and electric power infrastructures. Everything else is built upon those two things. Without them, our world crashes around us.
In Germany, the enemy is the German politicians who adopted a “Green Energy Transition” and made the country fatally vulnerable to Russian energy blackmail. And almost everywhere across the western world corrupt politicians, green entrepreneurs, air-brained true believers, and nihilist activists have pursued a green vision that progressively leads societies toward a bifurcation point of collapse and destitution.
The demographic implosion that Peter Zeihan talks about combined with a deep rot in academia/media/government, makes it easier for corrupt elites to take their countries down the garden path of oblivious self-destruction — combined with a growing vulnerability to malignant outside interests.
The best way to avoid a war is to be ready to fight and win a war. If you are only ready to lose a war, you probably will. That is the posture which modern elites are striving to force their societies into, for reasons that they themselves probably do not even know.
For years, Germany has been shutting down its indigenous nuclear power production in favor of burning Russian natural gas — and strangely calling the transition “Green.” Sure Germany built a lot of expensive wind and solar “nameplate capacity”– but it has been Russian gas that kept Germany’s buildings warm and its industrial exports machine humming. Now Germany is in danger of losing it all, and it is nobody’s fault but the German government’s and the people who enabled the gang of crooks during the long demolition derby.
Meanwhile in sunny and energy-rich Australia, a looming green nightmare is bringing on a monumental energy crisis.
Remember those coal plants various Aussie governments celebrated shutting down? Any of them could have taken the edge off today’s spiralling energy prices.
Remember those nuclear plants Australia refused to consider building? Nuclear plants are immune from short term price fluctuations, they only have to be refuelled every two years, and the next batch of fuel can be prepared ahead of time, ready for use. Australia has vast reserves of Uranium.
The one thing which won’t save us is renewables. If a nation of engineers like Germany can’t make renewables work, if Germany can’t sever their dependency on Russian gas through all the billions they have invested into renewables, nobody can.
Green energy is unreliable and intermittent, not to mention ruinously expensive — driving up energy bills. And that is just in the early stages of the “great energy transition.” The raw material quantities needed for a full-scale “transition” would ruin the global environment and destroy the global economy.
The world currently mines about 7,000 tons per year of neodymium, for example, one of numerous key elements used in fabricating the electrical systems for wind turbines. Current clean-energy scenarios imagined by the World Bank (and many others) will require a 1,000%–4,000% increase in neodymium supply in the coming several decades. While there are differing underlying assumptions used in various analyses of mineral requirements for green energy, all reach the same range of conclusions. For example, the mining of indium, used in fabricating electricity-generating solar semiconductors, will need to increase as much as 8,000%. The mining of cobalt for batteries will need to grow 300%–800%. Lithium production, used for electric cars (never mind the grid), will need to rise more than 2,000%. The Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia last year analyzed 14 metals essential to building clean tech machines, concluding that the supply of elements such as nickel, dysprosium, and tellurium will need to increase 200%–600%.
Rich countries are in danger of becoming poor countries if they continue to destroy their electric power infrastructures out of fear of a phantasmagorical climate apocalypse that has no basis in science.
Shockingly, the United States could literally turn off the entire country from any source of fossil fuels, and global emissions would still grow according to U.S. Congressional testimony in 2017. The reason why is “one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide emissions is developing countries.”
This questions the validity of man-made climate change and how “scientific breakthrough,” such as carbon-capture technology coming from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the answer for rising emissions. It’s difficult to trust climate-naysayers when every apocalyptic prediction from the last fifty years has never come true.
Meanwhile, the EV fad continues to gain adherents in the “crazy states” of the US:
Electric vehicles have a lot of disadvantages. And if you think you are going to hit the open road in your EV and experience the freedom you remember from your teenage years, think again. If you ever need to go somewhere in your EV, it’s going to be a nightmare — if you ever do get there.
“How long could it possibly take to charge the 30 miles we need to make it to the next fast station?” I wonder.
The charging station for electric vehicles at Park West and Mobility Works. (FOX Business / Fox News)
Three hours. It takes 3 hours.
I begin to lose my mind as I set out in search of gas-station doughnuts, the wind driving sheets of rain into my face.
Seated atop a pyramid of Smirnoff Ice 12-packs, Little Debbie powdered sugar sprinkled down the pajama shirt I haven’t removed in three days, I phone Mack. “What if we just risk it?” I say. “Maybe we’ll make it there on electrical fumes.”
“That’s a terrible idea!” she says, before asking me to bring back a bag of nuts.
Back on the road, we can’t even make it 200 miles on a full charge en route to Miner, Mo. Clearly, tornado warnings and electric cars don’t mix. The car’s highway range actually seems worse than its range in cities.
Overturning national and international infrastructures in an economically destructive manner might be worth it if you actually had a workable solution to your problem at the end of it all. Unfortunately, wind and solar can never be an ultimate solution to a national or international energy problem. Intermittent unreliable energy sources only add more problems to those you already had. And they leave you flat busted and less able to pursue real solutions after they have worked you over.
Green energy is for fools, suicides, and the thoroughly corrupted. It is not for anyone who wants to move forward into an abundant and expansive human future.
Just by its existence, a prosperous and technologically advanced Taiwan acts as a constraint on China’s potential domination of the Pacific region. The US alliance with Taiwan is an irritating thorn in China’s side. China is warning the US to stay out of its upcoming invasion of Taiwan this October.
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s reported visit to Taiwan, if it happens, could trigger a Chinese military response…
Once his third term is confirmed, Xi’s status as China’s undisputed leader will enable him to take such action with little to no opposition within the Chinese government. Dissenting views, though faint, have persisted inside the system, but Xi’s success in claiming apparently indefinite rule and his appointment of loyalists to key positions will eliminate them. The echo chamber in which China crafts its foreign policy will be sealed even tighter, amplifying the voices of security services and propaganda departments. With no expiration date for Xi’s reign, his critics will have few channels, official or unofficial, through which they can express their opinions or hope for a change in leadership. Bureaucrats will not only follow Xi’s policies but also augment the tough approach they believe is Xi’s preference.
Chinese cities have recently brought battle tanks onto the streets, as the combined real estate – banking crisis is heating up. The Chinese people have very few places to invest their money, and real estate has been the most popular choice. But the great Chinese real estate dream is turning into a nightmare, just as the Chinese economy overall is beginning to slow under a massive debt burden.
Chinese entrepreneurs are also growing disillusioned with the communist regime. Many millionaires are in a hurry to leave the country. The Xi Jinping government is gunning for capitalist entrepreneurs. It looks like there is growing confusion over political ideology – should China work towards becoming the numero uno economic power or go back to its hardcore communist practices? The demographics isn’t in favour of China either as the working population is shrinking. In the next 15 years, as much as 45% of the Chinese population will be over 60 years of age, and thus, government spending will increase massively to provide for an ageing population.
China’s system of governance is a key impediment for American and other foreign firms looking to do business there, the ITA says: “Despite significant Chinese government efforts to streamline bureaucracy and reduce red tape, foreign companies continue to complain about lengthy and opaque administrative procedures, especially with respect to permits, registration and licensing.”
China needs safe sea lanes for its very existence as a modern industrial nation. China ships most of its imported energy and raw materials by sea. In case of an international conflict with any of its powerful neighbors or international rivals, China would be cut off from resupply and its economy deprived of energy, food, and essential materials — not to mention essential high precision machinery and high tech materials..
China’s resupply by sea is naturally threatened by several island chains controlled by its rivals, including three pictured below. Another equally threatening chokepoint for Chinese shipping cuts the Indian Ocean essentially in two.
Ukrainian civilians are being detained and deported to Russia through so-called filtration operations, according to a newly declassified report from the National Intelligence Council, which provides analysis for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“The filtration process includes temporary detention, data collection, interrogation, and in some cases abuse of detainees” at 18 or more processing centers, the document says.
After so many civilian murders, rapes, tortures, kidnappings, and enslavements, you’d think that we would grow hardened to Russian atrocities in Ukraine. But knowing that the criminal Russian government is kidnapping young children for deportation to Russia for reasons unknown, is enough to raise my disgust levels toward Russia even higher.
Is the Russian Economy Collapsing?
The Russian oil and gas industry is the foundation stone for the Russian economy and the Russian government. But Russia cannot produce much of its oil & gas without the help of international oil field services companies — most of which have pulled out of the country.
The Russian upstream industry has also long been reliant on Western technology, which combined with the loss of both Russia’s erstwhile primary market and Russia’s diminished economic clout leads to even the Russian energy ministry revising its projections of long-term oil output downward.
There is no doubt that, as many energy experts predicted, Russia is losing its status as an energy superpower, with an irrevocable deterioration in its strategic economic positioning as an erstwhile reliable supplier of commodities.
Russia can afford to lose many of the destroyed tanks, planes, helicopters, and armored vehicles now rusting away in Ukrainian ditches and fields. But Russia cannot afford to lost its pilots, its officers, and its elite level fighters in the special forces and paratroopers. This is a loss that Russia will feel for generations to come.
An advanced weapons system provided by the U.S. has allowed Ukraine to destroy 50 Russian ammunition depots since arriving in June, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said Monday in televised remarks.
“This cuts their logistical chains and takes away their ability to conduct active fighting and cover our armed forces with heavy shelling,” Reznikov said.
Other Russian officers recently killed include two high ranking colonels who were flying fighter aircraft over Ukraine.
A claim concerning the fatalities was made by the city’s Russian-installed administration, which attributed the strikes to HIMARS weapons Kyiv had recently received from the U.S. Ukraine’s armed forces did not, on this occasion, confirm whether the strikes had been launched using such weapons.
Among the victims of the strike was Chief of Staff for the 22nd Army Corps of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Major General Artem Nasbulin, according to a post on Telegram by the spokesman for the head of the Odesa regional military administration Serhiy Bratchuk.
“There is information about the liquidation of another Russian general after HIMARS missiles hit the headquarters in the Kherson region. The chief of staff of the 22nd Army Corps of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (military unit 73954, Simferopol) Major General Nasbulin has gone to war,” Bratchuck said.
Russian forces have been firing a lot of artillery shells through low quality cannon barrels. The wear and tear is beginning to show.
We spoke about the barrel life of Russian artillery, which is of vastly inferior manufacture. And it is simply a question of math. The Russians have about 110 battalion tactical groups in Ukraine. Each Russian BTG has three batteries of artillery. Each battery has six guns. That comes to about 1,980 artillery pieces. The Russians are firing an estimated 60,000 shells daily, which comes out to about 30 rounds per artillery piece.
Russian artillery has a barrel life of between 2,000-2,500 rounds, meaning they need to send barrels in for maintenance or replacement in less than 100 days. Thus Russia’s artillery will probably need a massive overhaul in short order. This is an area to watch closely in the coming days and weeks.
“The Russians are using the scorched-earth tactics across the entire Donbas,” Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said on television. “They fire from the ground and from the air to wipe off entire cities.”
The invading forces also struck cities in Kharkiv. One of them was Chuhuiv, where workers searched for survivors under rubble after 12 rockets landed before dawn, damaging a cultural center, school and other infrastructure, authorities said.
“All these years our society, residents have been creating and building comfortable life conditions,” Mayor Galina Minayeva said. “And now the enemy is destroying all this, killing children, peaceful residents. It’s very hard to describe all this.”
Russian forces in Melitopol are threatening to blow up the infrastructure if Ukrainian forces liberate the southeastern city, Mayor Ivan Fedorov told Interfax-Ukraine. Russian troops are positioning their military equipment and military facilities in the immediate vicinity of residential high-rise apartment buildings so the Ukrainian military can’t respond to shelling, the mayor said.
Putin’s original aim was to take over the entire country of Ukraine, and call it the newest part of the rapidly expanding Russian Empire. This would have increased the population of Russia by almost 45 million people. But contrary to expectations, Ukraine did not back down. Now Putin is left with a dirty war of his own making, against a peaceful neighbor whose people are the most like Russians of any other country. Now the hatred in Ukraine against all things Russian is palpable. And it will persist for generations.
Have you ever changed your mind about something that was of critical importance to you? Have you had beliefs that you were sure you would never change, but which you were forced to change by the evidence? That has happened to me more times than I can remember. But for many people, even one such deep reworking of their mindsets would be enough to break them.
For mental toughness, clarity, and survival, either a person must be trained to weigh the evidence and to be ready to change a belief if necessary — even a strong one — or they must be particularly resilient mentally. Preferably both.
Knowledge vs. Belief
Knowledge is what we gain through experience and experimentation. It derives from the realities of the world around us. As the world progresses, various sources of knowledge have also expanded. On the other hand, belief is all about conviction. This is mostly visible in religious settings, where the ideals are not tested but merely believed. This is the main difference between the two words.
Most people seem to think that if they feel strongly about something, that it must be true. Religion, politics, climate, the environment, all are subject to being reduced to fanatical cultism when a person identifies so closely with a strong belief that he cannot see any other rational perspective. Feeling too strongly about one’s beliefs can be one of the toughest barriers to attaining knowledge on higher dimensions.
A thinking person should be skeptical of authority and should be highly resistant to propaganda. Prejudice is inescapable, but thinking persons should learn to recognize it and have ways of dealing with it. Logical fallacies must be studied in detail, and thoroughly understood, if one wants to be as immune to them as possible. I first studied books on logical fallacies in my early teens, and found them more entertaining than most other reading.
I tend to neither believe nor disbelieve most of “facts” that I come across on a daily basis. They are sorted into categories, given probability ratings, and forgotten about until they come into play for some reason.
Digression 1: Anti-Aging Supplements
Brian Wang recently revealed part of his own personal anti-aging regimen, involving some rather heavy-duty life-extension supplements.
Berberine is a Geroprotector which canb slow the aging process. It is in the same class as Metformin. Metformin can be difficult in the USA as you need to get unless a doctor prescribe for pre-diabetes or diabetes. There is Metformin available online from Indian and other foreign pharmacy sources.
NAD+ restoration is enhanced with NMN. NAD levels decrease as we age. Restoring NAD using NMN can improve health. NAD+ is a nucleotide found in all living cells that plays an important role in energy metabolism. Levels may decline markedly with age and restoring them to a youthful state using various oral precursors, transdermal patches or IVs is believed to have beneficial effects on health and longevity.
Fisetin is a first-generation way to reduce zombie cells in the body. Our bodies produce a lot of cells when we are young so any cells that have any problem are removed from the body. When we get older our bodies do not produce a lot of new cells so our body keeps dysfunctional cells which produce toxins. Our body thinks it is better to have a half-effective cell than no cell. This choice is not good for our health as it makes arthritis and other conditions worse.
SIRT6 Activator helps Sirtuin 6. Sirtuin 6 commonly known as the longevity sirtuin, has many health benefits. SIRT6 enhances DNA double strand break repair under oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage all components of the cell, including DNA. SIRT6 recruits PARP1 to facilitate DNA repair. SIRT6 is instrumental for your energy as it increases the efficiency of ATP production. SIRT6 has been shown to be closely related to a number of metabolic pathways and genome maintenance, as well as telomere stability.
SIRT6 is neuroprotective, and patients with Alzheimers disease have low levels of SIRT6. The SIRT6 protein plays a key role in DNA repair, maintenance of genomic stability in cells and healthy ageing. Activating SIRT6 can provide broad tumor suppressant and health promoting benefits. Professor Gorbunova and her team are currently carrying out a study using Do Not Age’s SIRT6Activator® and full publication is due in November.
Be aware that diving too deeply into the world of anti-aging supplements can cost a lot of money. And there no guarantee that you will achieve anything more than making very expensive urine.
Here is a more conventional grouping of longevity supplements from a popular website promoting health products:
In the image above, the supplement Resveratrol roughly corresponds to Brian’s supplement Sirt6 in terms of function. Quercetin roughly corresponds to Brian’s supplement Fisetin. The supplement labeled “NAD” in the image above corresponds to Brian’s “NMN.” There is no mention of Berberine in the image above, although Berberine is well known to life extension insiders as a potent phytochemical with multiple effects.
I recommend no smoking, no drugs, no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day, regular exercise, and an overall prudent lifestyle including medical checkups, screenings, and vaccinations. An active social life, active pursuit of intellectual curiosity, and spiritual calm and equanimity are all recommended.
Digression #2: Energy Realism is Life or Death
Without electricity and heat, civilization drags to a halt. A lot of modern people have become very sentimental about the idea of “saving the Earth” from the human taint, so sentimental in fact that they are in danger of dooming themselves and their descendants to nonexistence.
That might seem irrational, but it is perfectly consistent with the last half-century of the organized environmental movement…. In part because of its association with nuclear weapons (and the close connection between the green and antiwar movements in the 1970s), environmentalists long ago categorized nuclear energy as an unnatural technology to be shunned. Many people today are also concerned about possible meltdowns and natural disasters, of course, but the environmental movement’s antipathy to nuclear energy was established long before anyone had heard of Chernobyl or Fukushima. Thus, the one technology that could realistically replace hydrocarbon combustion as a source of reliable power has been taken off the table in many parts of the world, even amidst what climate activists insist is a rapidly unfolding planetary disaster.
One does not need to be wise or to know anything in order to be a vocal political or environmental activist. All you need is a very strong and blinding belief to protect you from any contrary ideas that might otherwise lead you astray from the true faith.
Digression #3: Peter Zeihan Achieves Respectability on Times Radio
Soon after listing on the NYT Bestseller List, and ranking high on the Amazon.com bestseller list, Peter Zeihan taped an interview with Times Radio. If this is not respectability, it is perilously close.
Digression #4: Russian Soldier Says They are Losing
True believers are a dime a dozen. People who can entertain large sets of conflicting and contradictory ideas while maintaining operational clarity are more rare. Dangerous Children tend to fall into the latter category of thinkers. It’s a good thing, too, because in the future the more conventional type of thinker is likely to be made obsolete — or worse.
…Russia is dying. It’s been well-established that Russia has suffered from a severe brain-drain in recent decades, but what is perhaps less obvious is that the nation’s population is declining at an alarming rate.
Russia has concluded that in order to fully assimilate occupied Ukraine, it must first annihilate it culturally and politically. Ukraine, as a national identity distinct from Russia, cannot co-exist in the retro-czarist fantasy that Putin is pursuing. Instituting a national policy of mass-migration from their communities to foreign lands reflects his profound delusional obsession with resurrecting the Russian Empire. What is being done is not the extermination of a people, but of a people’s identity
Every unhappy Ukrainian that Putin drags into Russia is a time-bomb waiting to explode all over him and his criminal regime. But back in Ukraine, an insurgency of partisan fighters is gearing up to resist the Russian occupation from here to eternity. Already hundreds of Russian troops have been “destroyed” by these freedom fighters, and the more territory Russia occupies, the bloodier the resistance will become.
Russia Wants to Steal As Much of Ukraine as Possible
As partisan attacks will likely continue, Russian efforts to absorb and stabilize Ukrainian territory will be exceptionally difficult. The Russians will have to fight a two-front war, split between internal and external threats. This split – if properly exploited – could cripple the Russian occupying forces from within.
The Russian military seems to be running out of steam, so to speak. Lack of ammunition and basic supplies because of the Ukrainian long-range fires now join the pervasive manpower issues that the Russian military has been facing for some time now. Time is running out for Putin, and his Kremlin advisers concerning Kherson and, indeed, potentially other occupied Ukrainian territories, and they might try to annex them in the immediate future because that would provide some sense of security—howsoever legally bogus that might be—to the territories as they would nominally be considered part of Russia.
The Ukrainian military is climbing up a steep combat learning curve in an effort to resist a national slavery under the Russian mafia government in Moscow.
Ukrainians have proved themselves resourceful and faster learners, requiring much less time to master modern weapons systems. All NATO needed to do was deliver the vehicles, in working order, to the Ukrainian border with Poland, Slovakia or Romania and the Ukrainian troops would do the rest, including crossing the border to receive training in operation and maintenance of the armored vehicles. Ukraine insists that M1 tanks would be the ideal weapon to spearhead its offensive operations. These tanks would be high-priority targets for Russian attacks and Ukrainians would do whatever it takes to get the M1s to where they are needed and keep them operational. As in other recent situations, the Ukrainians have demonstrated an ability to be resourceful and inventive in their use of these Western weapons. Many Western tank officers and civilian armor specialists believe Ukraine should get the M1s. How else is anyone going to find out how much the M1 can take and remain operational against a near-peer opponent?
All Putin really wanted, to begin with, was to increase Russia’s population by 45 million people. Sure, he said he wanted to rape Ukraine, but he also said that Ukraine was not a real country anyway. He also said that he himself was another Peter the Great, leading Russia in a great war of conquest and territorial acquisition.
He thought it would all be over within a few days after the start of the invasion in late February 2022. He was wrong. Everything he has done in an effort to mitigate his early errors is only making it worse for Russia, in the long run.
Most Russian men who are Putin’s age are already dead. His judgment is clearly shot. But as long as he can pick up the phone and have anyone in Russia killed — and their family too — the Russian elite will hesitate to do what should have been done long ago.
Belarusian volunteers are fighting on the ground in the Russian war against Ukraine. They are fighting in the Ukrainian army, killing Russians. Meanwhile back in Belarus, the Russian army has occupied the entire country and is using Belarusian territory to launch air, missile, and other artillery attacks against Ukrainian territory.
Putin had intended for Belarus to take a more active military role in his ongoing attempt to annex Ukraine and its 45 million people. As a reward to Belarus, Putin intended to make Belarus itself a part of the Greater Russian Empire. But Belarus is not playing the game the way that Putin wants. This has to make Putin a little bit nervous. Because inside Belarus, the people are very restless.
Nobody Likes Lukashenko, Not Even Putin
Lukashenko has four major problems at home, some of them insurmountable for him. If Lukashenko allows his country to be drawn fully into Putin’s war, he himself is toast. Even if Lukashenko continues to hold back his forces against Putin’s wishes, if Putin is ultimately seen as the loser in the Ukrainian war, Lukashenko’s days are over.
After Lukashenko is disposed of, the bulk of the Belarusian people would prefer freedom from Russia. But they are currently occupied by the Russian military, and Belarus itself has a very small military and no combat experience — even less than the shrinking Russian military.
We know that Germany’s industrial base currently exists at the mercy of Russian natural gas. Belarus’ vulnerability to Russian energy is much worse than Germany’s. So Lukashenko will not risk offending Putin too far, because he himself would not last — and Russia would openly annex the country under a transparently puppet-style government. So Lukashenko is hated by his people, and he is not liked by anyone else, not even Putin. He is on a tightwire. Perhaps he is stalling for time, hoping that Putin will die soon.
How Goes Ukraine, So Goes Belarus
Russian rocket attacks on the Donbas front have markedly decreased in recent days, for unkown reasons.
Ukraine’s destruction of Russian ammunition depots using HIMARS is likely one of several factors that reduced the quantity of observed heat anomalies in Donbas between July 10-15. The reduced number of observed heat anomalies also corresponds in part to the assessed Russian operational pause from July 6 – July 15. The number of observed heat anomalies began increasing on July 15 – the day ISW assessed that Russian forces began emerging from their operational pause. The intensity of Russian artillery attacks along the Slovyansk-Bakhmut axis in the coming days may clarify the degree to which the reduction in intensity was due to the operational pause or the result of Ukrainian attacks.
Russian ammunition depots, command centers, and staging areas have suffered many multiple rocket strikes from Ukrainian forces over the past two weeks. Some are wondering whether the Russian forces are changing their tactics in an effort to limit such losses.
“Striking targets like ammunition [storage sites]…and other logistical supplies, command and control [facilities], and all those things have a direct impact on the ability to conduct operations on the front line,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “So I would say yes, although they’re not shooting the HIMARS on the front lines, they are having a very, very significant effect on that.”
Some data appears to show that Russian artillery fire in Donbas has tailed off in conjunction with the introduction of the HIMARS into Ukraine.
If indeed the Russian plan can be impacted so strongly by the influence of a relative few western mid-range rocket systems, imagine what would happen if a larger number of truly powerful weapons were introduced on the Ukrainian side.
Ukraine is not going to quit. No one expected them to be fighting toe to toe against Russia’s artillery might, this long past Putin’s invasion. Everyone expected Ukraine to be reduced to a rag-tag insurgency force by this time. But everyone was wrong.
Ukraine’s military force is just being trained, equipped, and toughened. It is early days for them. But Russian forces are in danger of breaking if this thing drags on too long. The Kremlin had better consider how long Putin has left to prove that he can recover something that was worth all the global humiliation Russia has suffered.