The Comprehensive And Real Story You’ve Never Heard About Russia and Ukraine

“Capitulation” by Petr Krivonogov, 1946 (cropped)

In my last post about our dismal state of affairs, I got a comment shooting out a link, and I read it this morning. Here’s a money quote.

As a former head of the Warsaw Pact forces in the Swiss strategic intelligence service, I observe with sadness—but not astonishment—that our services are no longer able to understand the military situation in Ukraine. The self-proclaimed “experts” who parade on our screens tirelessly relay the same information modulated by the claim that Russia—and Vladimir Putin—is irrational. Let’s take a step back.

OK, but who the fuck is he and who should care? Easy.

Jacques Baud is a former colonel of the General Staff, ex-member of the Swiss strategic intelligence, specialist on Eastern countries. He was trained in the American and British intelligence services. He has served as Policy Chief for United Nations Peace Operations. As a UN expert on rule of law and security institutions, he designed and led the first multidimensional UN intelligence unit in the Sudan. He has worked for the African Union and was for 5 years responsible for the fight, at NATO, against the proliferation of small arms. He was involved in discussions with the highest Russian military and intelligence officials just after the fall of the USSR. Within NATO, he followed the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and later participated in programs to assist the Ukraine. He is the author of several books on intelligence, war and terrorism, in particular Le Détournement published by SIGEST, Gouverner par les fake news, L’affaire Navalny. His latest book is Poutine, maître du jeu?

Oh, my. Almost sounds a little more expert than the retired colonels and generals supplementing their retirement pay through “expert” bla bla and yak yak appearances on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. Incidentally, as a former US Navy officer I can’t get through a single guest appearance by any of them ever. I know high-ranking military officer bullshit-speak when I hear it. I only ever knew one single flag-officer in 8 years I didn’t think was mostly a liar and mostly full of bullshit most of the time. They’re politicians. That’s how they get there when it’s not no-shit war.

Well, might as well mention the one dude who was straight-up mensch. Henry H. Mauz.

Henry Herrward Mauz Jr. (born May 4, 1936) is a retired United States Navy admiral and the former Commander in Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet from 1992 to 1994.

After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1959, Mauz went on to serve in Vietnam, operating river patrol boats along the Mekong Delta. He went on to command a minesweeper, USS Prime (MSO-466), the guided missile destroyer USS Semmes (DDG-18), and the guided missile cruiser USS England (CG-22) (1980–1982).

Mauz served as commander of the United States Seventh Fleet from 1988 to 1990, and in August 1990 assumed command of all United States Naval forces in the Persian Gulf.

Mauz retired from active duty in 1994 as Commander-in-Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet. A 1965 graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, he was President of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation, and currently serves on its board. Mauz’s education includes the Naval Academy, Naval War College, a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University.

Well, I know a lot of flag-officer resumes read similarly but personally, Mauz was different. Perhaps it was because he maybe could have been a pro golfer instead. He had a 3 handicap, and this is when I knew him in his 50s (US Seventh Fleet Staff).

People are so prone to authority figures. And it’s pathetic and fucking stupid. Here’s the real hierarchy:

  1. Solid record of being right and producing important results that are obvious and can be accounted for with math
  2. Job titles held
  3. Degrees held

And 3 and 4 are entirely superfluous because only #1 matters, and 2 and 3 are not prerequisites. Fuck off already about this. It’s really fucking sad that we live in a world were #1 real results are only taken seriously if 2 and 3 are prominent. I know we all fall prey to its seduction.

…For another quick diversion before I get to the meat course, fucking Alex Berenson. A lefty, former NYT reporter, author of some books, etc. He’s one of the few lefties with credentials that went after the Covid scam. He wrote a book, Pandemia: How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives, published last November and has been a top seller in spite of zero media attention or marketing from his publisher. I haven’t read it, but I know a couple who have and who give it high marks. Here’s a review by a German academic. In short, Berenson’s stuff on Covid has been narrative smashing and that’s what’s important.

See, you have these lefties cropping up now and again—even Bill Maher—who from time-to-time get shit right and everyone stands and applauds. Dave Rubin, a guy who actually dropped his leftism altogether makes this point on his YouTube channel all the time. Stop congratulating them. They still don’t fucking get it. They’re as fucktarded as ever. No accolades are warranted until they drop the cognitive dissonance altogether and come to a semblance of sanity. Entirely.

It’s apparent if you look. Berenson, for instance, goes after Robert Malone as a pioneer of mRNA tech with 19 patents in the field. He goes after Ivermectin, cherry picking bullshit studies when thousands of actual physicians worldwide attest to its effective use in actual clinical settings where a doctor is treating a patient sick with Covid.

That is died in the wool leftist hubris, and a sign of an automatic liar with zero true integrity. Fits Berenson to a T. Read what he put up—clearly out of his lane and any semblance of expertise—about the Russia and Ukraine conflict. Just yesterday.

It’s as if the Russians want to make their Western apologists look as stupid as possible

So the Russians are retreating from their attack on Kiev – leaving mass graves in their wake.

This does not look good for either Vladimir Putin or the American conservatives who have been been foolish enough to fawn over him.

Let’s review: back in February the Zs rolled over the border.


Yes, five weeks ago, the evil Ukrainians posed some existential threat to the good citizens of Russia.

What was the threat? I can’t exactly remember. Nazis? Biolabs? BioNazis? Or maybe the chance Ukraine would get to join the European Union in 2030 and enjoy lower tariffs on delicious French Burgundies. Something like that?

Or was it just that the Russian army needed the practice?

Help me out here.

Anyhoo, whatever it was, it was SERIOUS. THIS WAS NOT A WAR OF CHOICE, YOU SAVVY?

Except apparently it was. Because after five weeks of fighting – badly – the Russians are taking their tanks, the ones the Ukrainians haven’t blown up, and heading out. It was real, it was fun, but it wasn’t really fun, as the mean girls in high school used to say.

At a minimum, this little adventure of Vladimir’s has killed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and forced millions from their homes.

Keep in mind the West, including Uncle Joe, was perfectly prepared to let Russia have Ukraine. Europe needs Russian natural gas like Hunter Biden needs Colombian cocaine, only worse, if that’s possible. That is the ONLY strategic calculation Vladimir Putin has gotten right in this war.

No, the only folks who truly had skin in the game when the Russians rolled over the border were the Ukrainians themselves (and maybe a few well-disguised Delta and CIA operators helping the Ukrainians use our comms intercepts to reduce the life expectancy of Russian generals).

Still, things did not look good for the home team back in February.

Russia has three times Ukraine’s population and supposedly advanced military technology. The logistics should have been simple, too, since the Russians could supply themselves from their own country.

Yet the Russians couldn’t take Kiev. Not even after they started firing missiles at malls and leaving civilians dead in the street. Apparently the Russian army is not what it used to be.

Now Vlad and the boys have moved to plan B, which is likely stealing the natural gas fields in eastern Ukraine. If their army can’t even manage that much, they’ll go to plan C, annexing Donbas and calling it a day.

This is not how you fight when your national survival is at stake. This is not how you fight when you believe half the propaganda you are spitting. Or 10 percent of it. This is the military equivalent of the bully trying to steal the fourth-grader’s lunch money and learning the hard way that the fourth-grader takes taekwondo.

Don’t worry, though, new excuses from the useful idiots will be coming in three… two… one… (just check the comments section below to find out what they are!).

It’s falls under the category of embarrassing to post and so fucking stupid, it’s not even wrong.

How can he get it so right on the Covid narrative and so wrong on the Rukraine narrative?

Easy. When leftists still stay leftists but pop their heads up to take on a narrative they can’t accept, they become a stopped clock—rather than a typical well-oiled timepiece that lives in the service 24/7 of all Democrat/Media/Corporate narrative.

See, they just got it wrong THIS ONE TIME!!!

All narratives, right or left, are wrong at all and every time and there are no exceptions. It ought to be the job of a news-media outlet to call bullshit on all narratives, no exceptions…then do investigation and report facts such that there is never any narrative or story, but just the facts. Analysis is fine, but not so far as to make a story or easily-swallowed narrative out of it for the consumption of Lazy-Boy “news” watchers too stupid to think for themselves.

FFS, Berenson. Your good work on Covid demonstrates you can do better. If you’re really interested in this Russia/Ukraine thing, then give it the same level of serious work you gave to Covid.

Now here’s the piece I read this morning and came away thinking it’s about the single best, comprehensive, and thorough piece written on the whole thing. I’ll try to quote a few things to see if I can do that justice, but know that I’ll fail and there is no substitute for reading it.

You’ll learn a lot, I promise.

The Military Situation In The Ukraine

Part One: The Road To War

For years, from Mali to Afghanistan, I have worked for peace and risked my life for it. It is therefore not a question of justifying war, but of understanding what led us to it. I notice that the “experts” who take turns on television analyze the situation on the basis of dubious information, most often hypotheses erected as facts—and then we no longer manage to understand what is happening. This is how panics are created.

The problem is not so much to know who is right in this conflict, but to question the way our leaders make their decisions.

Let’s try to examine the roots of the conflict. It starts with those who for the last eight years have been talking about “separatists” or “independentists” from Donbass. This is not true. The referendums conducted by the two self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in May 2014, were not referendums of “independence” (независимость), as some unscrupulous journalists have claimed, but referendums of “self-determination” or “autonomy” (самостоятельность). The qualifier “pro-Russian” suggests that Russia was a party to the conflict, which was not the case, and the term “Russian speakers” would have been more honest. Moreover, these referendums were conducted against the advice of Vladimir Putin.

In fact, these Republics were not seeking to separate from Ukraine, but to have a status of autonomy, guaranteeing them the use of the Russian language as an official language. For the first legislative act of the new government resulting from the overthrow of President Yanukovych, was the abolition, on February 23, 2014, of the Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law of 2012 that made Russian an official language. A bit like if putschists decided that French and Italian would no longer be official languages in Switzerland.

This decision caused a storm in the Russian-speaking population.

This prelude is important because as I read it I was reminded—as an international liver for 10 years now and traveller all over—how damn important a person’s langue maternale is to them individually, familially, socially, and culturally. Everything is bound up in it.

We Americans think of Canada as an English-speaking country. Go try to make English the official language of Quebec.

With rare exception, the language you speak goes headlong toward your sense of identity. Exceptions are true bilinguals and those who emigrated young enough to adopt and fully incorporate a new language wholly. But usually: one language, bound up in one culture. It tends to work.

It ought not be surprising that the very root of the problem is Ukraine trying to take Russian away from whole societies who’ve been speaking Russian for as many generations as historical records could show.

The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side. As Ukrainian failures continued, tank, artillery and anti-aircraft battalions swelled the ranks of the autonomists. This is what pushed the Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Agreements.

But just after signing the Minsk 1 Agreements, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko launched a massive anti-terrorist operation (ATO/Антитерористична операція) against the Donbass. Bis repetita placent: poorly advised by NATO officers, the Ukrainians suffered a crushing defeat in Debaltsevo, which forced them to engage in the Minsk 2 Agreements.

It is essential to recall here that Minsk 1 (September 2014) and Minsk 2 (February 2015) Agreements did not provide for the separation or independence of the Republics, but their autonomy within the framework of Ukraine. Those who have read the Agreements (there are very, very, very few of those who actually have) will note that it is written in all letters that the status of the Republics was to be negotiated between Kiev and the representatives of the Republics, for an internal solution to the Ukraine.

That is why since 2014, Russia has systematically demanded their implementation while refusing to be a party to the negotiations, because it was an internal matter of the Ukraine.

I could quote more from this section but the bottom line is that 2014 move ushered in a total shit show for fucking years, expectedly. Ukraine has been massacring its Russian-speaking population in the east for 8 years now, to not a whimper from anywhere, especially from any Social-App virtue signaller who only [maybe] just now got a clue of where Ukraine is.

The integration of these paramilitary forces into the National Guard was not at all accompanied by a “denazification,” as some claim. Among the many examples, that of the Azov Regiment’s insignia is instructive.

Part Two: The War

In violation of the Minsk Agreements, the Ukraine was conducting air operations in Donbass using drones, including at least one strike against a fuel depot in Donetsk in October 2021. The American press noted this, but not the Europeans; and no one condemned these violations.

In February 2022, events were precipitated. On February 7, during his visit to Moscow, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed to Vladimir Putin his commitment to the Minsk Agreements, a commitment he would repeat after his meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky the next day. But on February 11, in Berlin, after nine hours of work, the meeting of political advisors of the leaders of the “Normandy format” ended, without any concrete result: the Ukrainians still refused to apply the Minsk Agreements, apparently under pressure from the United States. Vladimir Putin noted that Macron had made empty promises and that the West was not ready to enforce the agreements, as it had been doing for eight years.

Ukrainian preparations in the contact zone continued. The Russian Parliament became alarmed; and on February 15 asked Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of the Republics, which he refused to do.

On 17 February, President Joe Biden announced that Russia would attack the Ukraine in the next few days. How did he know this? It is a mystery. But since the 16th, the artillery shelling of the population of Donbass increased dramatically, as the daily reports of the OSCE observers show. Naturally, neither the media, nor the European Union, nor NATO, nor any Western government reacts or intervenes. It will be said later that this is Russian disinformation. In fact, it seems that the European Union and some countries have deliberately kept silent about the massacre of the Donbass population, knowing that this would provoke a Russian intervention.

At the same time, there were reports of sabotage in the Donbass. On 18 January, Donbass fighters intercepted saboteurs, who spoke Polish and were equipped with Western equipment and who were seeking to create chemical incidents in Gorlivka.

Are you getting a clue, here? This continual mention of the Minsk Agreements. Seems Macron knew of them and a lot of others. When has Fox, CNN, or MSNBC given anyone a Cliffs Notes on them and what they mean? Oh, crickets? I see. Well, then why?

Probably the most essential thing to understand in the whole piece, beyond the established Minsk Agreements.

In fact, as early as February 16, Joe Biden knew that the Ukrainians had begun shelling the civilian population of Donbass, putting Vladimir Putin in front of a difficult choice: to help Donbass militarily and create an international problem, or to stand by and watch the Russian-speaking people of Donbass being crushed.

If he decided to intervene, Putin could invoke the international obligation of “Responsibility To Protect” (R2P). But he knew that whatever its nature or scale, the intervention would trigger a storm of sanctions. Therefore, whether Russian intervention were limited to the Donbass or went further to put pressure on the West for the status of the Ukraine, the price to pay would be the same. This is what he explained in his speech on February 21.

On that day, he agreed to the request of the Duma and recognized the independence of the two Donbass Republics and, at the same time, he signed friendship and assistance treaties with them.

The Ukrainian artillery bombardment of the Donbass population continued, and, on 23 February, the two Republics asked for military assistance from Russia. On 24 February, Vladimir Putin invoked Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for mutual military assistance in the framework of a defensive alliance.

In order to make the Russian intervention totally illegal in the eyes of the public we deliberately hid the fact that the war actually started on February 16. The Ukrainian army was preparing to attack the Donbass as early as 2021, as some Russian and European intelligence services were well aware. Jurists will judge.

In his speech of February 24, Vladimir Putin stated the two objectives of his operation: “demilitarize” and “denazify” the Ukraine. So, it is not a question of taking over the Ukraine, nor even, presumably, of occupying it; and certainly not of destroying it.

My oh my. Isn’t it ironic that part of the aspect of all of this is NATO and its constant and needless encroachment upon Russia since the Soviet Union fell in 1993—because allies go to each-other’s defense—yet Russia recognizes independence on the basis of existing agreements (Minsk) and signs a treaty with them, and as Ukraine forces continue assaults, he finally acts after being asked to.

Bet the talkin’-head generals on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC never mentioned that to you, did they? Hey, even if they were to say, “here’s what they’re claiming and we think it’s BS,” they don’t even do that.

Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are the masters of CRICKETS!!! when they don’t want their equally lazy and zombie-like audiences to know shit.

…OK, there’s so much more in this finest of the fine pieces on the whole thing and quoting any more of it does it a further disservice than what I’ve already done.

Any truly serious person would be compelled to read it if this whole thing is on their circle of interest and in my view, this is over 1 million times more important than anything about that beer virus ever was.

Some weeks back I began doing posts exclusively for the paid members. It was effective enough that I’m back doing some public stuff for a bit. So thank them for that. I just checked and I’m at 698 members. I began this 11 months ago, and have had 6 membership cancellations. So, less than 1%. Therefore, I’m in good standing by saying that there is a better than 99% chance that if you join, you’ll like it enough to stick around.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. MIne Derien on April 5, 2022 at 02:00

    Glad you re-brought the article to light. I went right to check it when it was first posted in the comments and quickly realized it was a gem!

  2. Tim Steele on April 5, 2022 at 09:55

    I can’t stand watching retired Generals, either. The other night the former head of SHAPE was on…blah, blah, blah. Pure politics, all of them.

    Do you know about Blackrock? Wikipedia: “BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with US$10 trillion in assets under management as of January 2022.” … “Anti-war organizations objected to Fink’s statement, saying that BlackRock is the largest investor in weapon manufacturers through its iShares U.S. Aerospace and Defense ETF.”

    Chairman is former National Security Advisor to Barry:

    But, whatever…

    • Richard Nikoley on April 5, 2022 at 10:02

      There’s a great video I watched about a year ago that went into extensive detail about how just about every fucking thing is owned by Blackrock and Vanguard.

  3. Eddie Osh on April 5, 2022 at 15:03

    More details on the shit show that is the corruption of the UKR, this time from Billy (of the DRASTIC team).

  4. Christopher Herrera on April 8, 2022 at 10:16
    • Richard Nikoley on April 8, 2022 at 10:56

      Yea, good one. Worth the read.

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