The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

So, the Separatists are now on the offensive in the Ukraine

Granted, I think the evidence points to significant Russian support.  Nonetheless, the Ukrainian army is just embarrassing at this point.

Back in 2008 I wrote that Crimea and the Ukraine would be the next likely flashpoint, and that Russia would never tolerate any possibility of losing Sevastapol.  The serious people who know how the world works told me how wrong I was—that the Ukraine and Europe and Russia were in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

But arrangements change, and Russia has always been a country with a clear view on what its strategic interests are.

So now we have an economic war against Russia and a shooting war in the Ukraine, encouraged by the Russians (and by the Americans: the first big Ukrainian offensive occurred after CIA chief Brennan visited.)

Sanctions did little to the Russian economy, but crashing oil prices did.  Russian currency dropped almost exactly in concert with the drop of oil.  Given the consensus that dropping oil prices so precipitously was a Saudi decision, meant in part to take out high cost unconventional oil production, but also in part to damage Russia and Iran, this can only be seen as hostile foreign action by the Russians.

Russia’s vulnerability is due to mistakes made by the Russians.  The lack of diversification of the economy, and the vast corruption made Russia a petro-state, reliant almost entirely on oil revenues.  Countries which need to import a great deal are always vulnerable to foreign economic action.

The question, then, is this: how threatened does Putin and the rest of the Russian leadership feel?  Putin is unlikely to survive a leadership change for long unless it is his hand-picked heir who takes over, and maybe not even then.  Many others in his government would similarly be in danger.

If they feel endangered, then the traditional thing to do is start a war.  This proxy-war in the Ukraine may not be enough.

Keep an eye on the security of Putin’s leadership.  If it starts looking insecure, the Americans will think they are close to getting what they want: a new leader, who will understand he rules only so long as they are kept happy.  But it will also be the point Russia becomes most dangerous.

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Yes Virginia all that money printing did show up as inflation


Is Declining Violence Only A Good Thing?


  1. Lisa FOS

    Considering that it was the Kiev forces that started the current battles and Kiev also pulled out of peace talks and rejected (on US instructions no doubt) further creasefire moves (eg move artillary further away from front lines) I fail to see how it is Russa/NF forces being ‘agressive’.

    The move by the NF to grab the airport was a, long awaited, reaction to the endless indescriminate shelling by Kiev forces on Donetsk combiined with Kiev pulling the plug on the ceasefire/peace/etc talks.

    The last thing Russia wants is any more fighting there, since it knows it will be blamed and more sanctions will be heaped on it.

    I suspect this is coordinated, since the EU is readying new sanctions (as the US is):

    Kicking Russa out of SWIFT can’t be far off now.

    Mothod: Tell Kiev to kick up a fight (throwing away yet more men and materiel, since they have lost every battle they have fought) then apply more (pre organised) sanctions.
    Rinse and repeat and escalate at every turn.

    Obama’s SOTU speech mentioning Russia was very telling, boasting, yet again, about the Russia being isolated and its economy being crushed.

    They are not going to stop now, the aim is to try to do an Iran on Russia.

    The EU killed the South Steam gas pipeline, Russia, correctly has moved the supplies to Turkey and a transit to the border of Greece, where if the EU wants gas to the south they will have to build their own pipeline. Russia announcing ending transit gas through Ukraine in 2-3 years, after the Turkey pipeline expansion is finished, is simply logical for them.

    Now here is how I see the US/EU thinking. Ok Germany, the only place that counts, is thanks to North Stream ok for Russian gas suppplies. Southern EU can be hung out to dry after Ukrainian gas transit is ended.

    Logic, this doesn’t quite end all gas sales to the EU, but reduces them considerably and hurts Russia economically, it kills, Italy, Greece etc but they have been written off anyway.

    Not quite the US desire for all gas sales to the EU ending, but close enough and pays off German business opposition (sort of). However is depends on Russia still selling gas to Germany….interesting bet, in they are guessing Russia will be so bankrupt by then (plus all the addtional sanctions that will be heaped on it) that they will supply Germany because they will be totally desperate for money.

    This is total economic war that is not going to stop.

    The next step in the military side seems to be training/creating terror groups to run around NovaRussia (and maybe even Russia itself). Hence the US trainers being announced (well the addtional ones over and and the ones already there plus the ‘mercenaries’). Since even the US is now slowly realising that a military victory seems hopeless now and the long awaited (and much wished for) invasion of Crimea is not going to happen.

    Hence Kiev’s hopeless escalations are now just for political reasons.

    This is the big one folks, Iraq and all the rest are by comparison irrelevent, the US and EU elites have made the decision, Russia has to be completely crushed and ideally broken up.

    There is not going to be some sanity coming out, or a change in direction, or a realisation that this is insane, they are going to escalate at every turn.

  2. V. Arnold

    This thread does not reflect what I think is Putin’s status. According to the Saker, Orlov, and RT News, Putin and Russia are just fine thank you.
    The WH cabal are fighting a mis-information war against Russia and have no, as in zero, proof Russia is aggressing in Ukraine.
    I’m sick to death at the bullshit and lies emanating from the U.S., UK, and most especially NATO.

  3. Synoia

    The Germans have a gas pipeline from Russia through the Baltic. No one is hurting now, and the challenge is for the EU to build pipelines to connect to Turkey from Eastern Europe, cutting out Ukraine.

    “Kicking Russa out of SWIFT can’t be far off now”

    Kicking Russia out of BIS would be more effective. SWIFT is a message transfer system, and is NOT controlled by the US. After the US passed surveillance laws SWIFT moved it operation from Belgium & the US to Switzerland.

    With the US sanctions on Russia, Russian Banks are already blocked from Fedwire.

    This is not true:

    “this doesn’t quite end all gas sales to the EU, but reduces them considerably”

    Nothing has changed because it is a declaration of intent.

  4. VietnamVet

    A full force propaganda and economic war between the East and West has started. Clearly the West is pushing for regime change in the Kremlin. Ethnic Russians know this is the beginning of the next Western military invasion of their homeland that occurs every 30 or 50 years. The Clash of Civilizations has commenced again.

    The psychosis of human greed is so overpowering that the Plutocrats and their puppet politicians can’t grasp that this war will naturally escalate to the ignition of hydrogen bombs that will destroy human civilization.

  5. Gaianne

    Is there a reason your recent posts are not accessible from your main blog site?


  6. V. Arnold

    Russia, China, BRICS, and the Shanghai economic bloc are increasingly making SWIFT and the U.S., economically irrelevant.
    The only thing left is sabre rattling its nukes; a dying empire is an ugly and dangerous thing to behold…

  7. Ian Welsh


    they are accessible to me, even when logged out. What are you seeing on the main blog site?

    V. Arnold: Putin’s support is currently very strong, yes. But the economic damage is real and going to get worse. Putin is already, in effect, using a foreign enemy to prop up his popularity.

    Agreed that SWIFT etc… will become less and less important. It’s one of those weapons the West has overused, and as a result it will be taken away.

  8. V. Arnold

    @ Ian

    Of course Russia’s economy is crap right now, but whose isn’t? Russia has about $400 billion in cash reserves, which are projected to last 2-3 years. China also has Russia’s back and that is not insignificant.
    In fact there are positive aspects the the EU’s sanctions; they’re forcing Russia to diversify its economy, especially its agricultural sector. Russia has been remiss in not acting sooner in this respect.
    The U.S. has drastically over played its hand and will pay dearly for that; coming soon…

  9. Everythings Jake


    Happens to me as well from time to time. Clearing my cache fixes it.

  10. Jeff Wegerson

    Since I read the same stuff as V. Arnold I tend to agree with V’s take. Isolating even small countries is becoming harder and harder. Cuba and Iran have both suffered and no country wants to go down those paths. But I agree that the rise of China has seriously changed the world dynamic. It is China that is the heart of the BRICS notion. The dollar has become hollowed out internally at the same time as it is being increasingly end run-ded internationally.

    But to me this all like Asimov’s Foundation series where the artificial intelligence computer is still talking about a world that no longer exusts. Oil, all fossil fuels, are about to be swept away by simple wind technologies and complex solar ones and a raft of other renewable diversified technologies. Talking about Germany’s access to Nord Stream ignores the fact that they are in the middle of a shift away from fossil fuel.

    That is the real danger to the Russian economic dependence on gas and oil export exchange currencies. Notice I did not say exchange dollars. I bet though that when Russia turns its attention to wind that they will be able to do it fast. After all a wind generator is nothing but airplane wings attached to a big electric motor run backwards. Russians can do aircraft and they can do electric motors.

    It is interesting that the Saker blog (which I got connected to from this site, the comments maybe? you Ian?), or rather the “Saker” himself feels the need to ban discussion of climate change. In the solar world right now they are talking of “Kodak moments” for utilities. Apparently Kodak saw it coming. But the change happened a lot faster than they anticipated or could adapt to. Now this is mostly about electricity at the moment. Commercial installations of solar in optimal places like Dubai is being installed at an unsubsidized cost of six cents a kilowatt. That beats gas at nine cents. In the rest of the world you can install a new renewable “plant” faster and cheaper than a new coal plant.

    And yes the U.S. is very very dangerous, especially at this moment. They (I will not say we) have Russia locked into a very delicate dance where the wrong move will be deadly and potentially deadly for us all. And yes if your future direction depends upon one person then the exit of that person can well spell the end of that direction. Look at Venezuela with Chavez gone. In that sense China is more stable.

    So I have come full circle. China’s engagement at this time with Russia might be enough to assure that any next Russian government will hew in a very similar direction that Putin’s does. The U.S. has screwed itself in its relationship with Russia by not welcoming it into the European Capitalists club. The U.S. hated Russia (USSR) when they were so-called communist and now they hate Russia when it is co-called capitalist. The more deals between China and Russia, economic, currency, high-speed-rail, energy, consumer goods, military exchanges, the more organic the relationship becomes and the harder for any new leader to shift away. China has Solar down pat. And unlike the Saker they are more than willing to talk climate change, if for no other reason than to breathe.

  11. Lisa FOS

    Good Chris Floyd artciel on thi vis Information Clearing House, which I do urge everyone to support. Tom does a great job.

  12. Lisa FOS

    Jeff Wegerson I’ve been predicting this for years over on the Fabius Maximus site (whcih is sometimes good despites its bias).

    The US elites won’t go down quietly like the UK and USSR ones did, they will take everything down with them, up to and including nuclear war.

    My (long repeated) statement was “we are in a race, between total US ecnomic and societal collapse and WW3”. The very dynamics and interreltionships of the US military/national securty/foreign policy/ etc elites allows no other options. The neo-cons are in total control now of foreign policy just as the neo-liberals are for economic policy.

    These are total idealogues and just all of their ilk they are incapable of rational thought. When Kissenger is classed now as a ‘realist’ (he never was) and is now ignored when even he raises some alarms then you know that there has been a total ideological capture within the US, reality be damned, they make their own.

    Escalation is their game, like a desperate gambler who loses all the time they double up at every turn.

    The unwritten story of Syria is instructive, a last minute deal (24-48 hours before the massive US bombing was going to start). Why didn’t they do it?

    Was it public oppostion…nope never worked before or after. Was it the US military’s desperate, behind the scenes efforts to defuse it by proving it wasn’t Assad’s nerve gas…nope. Facts have never stopped the US before or since, the Administration was determined to take out Assad.

    It was the showdown by the USN and the Russian Navy in the Med. Russian ships (and subs) off the coast facing down the USN ships further out all ready to fire their cruise missles (always the first stage of an attack to take out air defneces so the USAF can go in).

    The USN blinked, especialy when (this is uncofirmed but makes sense) they tried some test firing which were GPS jammed and went all over the place. Hence Obama blinked.

    Not long after that the Ukrainan button, been built up for ages by the way, was pushed, primarily to neutralise the Russian Navy, but also to get NATO right on the doorstep and within easy firing range of Moscow.

    See the standard pattern, lost but then escalated.

    So we are right on the brink. Russia knows this hence repeated exercises, including its entire nuclear forces (twice last year) to keep itself on hair trigger alert.

    Part of this is because many of the US elites ‘creating ther own reality’ really believe they have nuclear primacy over Russa right now. Yep they can first strike and their AMD systems will sweep up the rest (at least towards the US, Europe and all the others…well who cares).

    This is insanely dangerous rght now. There will be no backing down by the US, though some EU Govts falter a bit, they soon come back into line (wasn’t Charlie so timely for that too since the French seemed to be wavering about their ship sales, not now though) but the EU elites are all the way with the US right now. There will be new US and EU sanctions soon of course.

    The State Dept and the CIA already have massive control over the Kiev’ Govt’ right now, maybe they are the Govt. US ‘trainers’ and ‘advisers’ are all over the place. US ‘mercenaries’ are already fighting, more of these to come, plus equipment.

    Correlation is not causation, however when the first attacks by the peacefully (at that tme) resistance from the Dunbas people against the new junta were just after Biden arrived there. That was a disaster and the Donbas people fought and won. Then Brennan went there and it escalated.

    It has always escalated at US command, sometimes in the hope Kiev forces would win and then they can go onto Crimea, the real prize, other times for political reasons to ‘justify’ sanctions.

    The palpable panic at the last NATO conference when the (now) Novarussian forces obliterated the Kiev forces in a masterful display of 3GW warfare, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the German victory over France (aided with huge Britain forces) in 1940. Outnumbered (to a rediculous degree), outgunned with no air force this is one for the military history books.

    There can be little doubt that if Russia supported them as much as claimed they would have easily doubled their territory. Russia has, maybe until now, held them back to try (0ver and over again) for a political settlement.

    Since Kiev (at US orders) has torn up the peace attempts and gone yet again for a totally failed offensive..maybe Russia might let them loose this time and really grab territory (including a link to Crimea). I would argue they should because there is no longer any room for negotiation and Russia might as well grab a serious strategic advantage for the future and now inevitable war with NATO.

    As for direct Russian forces directly fighting , Dimitri Orlov said it best in one of his wonderful snarky articles. You know when Russia sends in its forces, because Russian troops on day 3 are directing the traffic in Kiev.

  13. V. Arnold

    Russia most assuredly will not be crushed, by anybody. The myth of its isolation is believed only by the ignorant. The damage done by sanctions is greatly overrated but does hurt Europeans greatly and the farmers in particular.
    The constantly missing narrative is the character of the Russian people. Tough as hell, resilient, innovative, and resourceful. I was part of a Russian immigrant community via marriage to a non-U.S. born Ukrainian. It afforded me a first hand experience and one I’ll not forget.
    But this is never factored in the (mostly) bullshit in 95+% of the news.
    The U.S. hubris in claiming any, ANY, moral high ground is just fantastical…

  14. par4

    Speaking of “support” check this video out. Funny he doesn’t sound Ukrainian.

  15. JustPlainDave

    Given that the Saker, Orlov, and RT News are to modestly varying degrees propaganda outlets, I’m going to go with Ian’s view on Russian constraints and threat perceptions on this one.

    The acronym over-awed should add INS to their repertoire.

  16. V. Arnold

    @ JustPlainDave
    January 25, 2015
    Given that the Saker, Orlov, and RT News are to modestly varying degrees propaganda outlets,
    But what about the western media?
    Far worse, IMO, but rarely questioned.
    Are you really that western centric?
    This is some serious shit, no?

  17. V. Arnold

    …almost all media are propaganda outlets; some more accurate than others.
    At this juncture I’ll go with those which most closely align with reality and RT, The Saker, and Orlov trump western bullshit by a fair margin…

  18. JustPlainDave

    You must have a much better crystal ball than I if you can reliably differentiate between internally consistent stories and good alignment with reality at this remove. One of the things that I have noted about Internet commentary over the years is that the readership values consistency much, much more than accuracy (and shortfalls in the latter can usually be papered over simply by vocally claiming accuracy).

  19. Lisa FOS

    Latest map of the conflict:

    Yet another ‘cauldron’.

  20. GPrl

    The acronym over-awed should add INS to their repertoire.


  21. JustPlainDave

    Inertial Navigation System. Contrary to the assertion above, these types of GPS guided systems don’t go “all over the place” when they encounter jamming. They default to alternate systems such as INS, TERCOM, or even the pleasingly retro celestial. Accuracy does tend to be degraded, yes, but less than most would apparently believe.

  22. V. Arnold

    @ JustPlainDave
    January 25, 2015

    Two examples:
    First, MH-17: the U.S., with no evidence, claims the shoot-down was separatist rebels. The western media buys it and goes with it. All of the evidence, including an eye witness, say it was a Ukrainian Su-25, even naming the pilot.
    Second, Russian troop invasion: The U.S., again with no evidence, claims thousands of Russian troops and armour invaded the Donetsk region. As wrong as two left shoes. Putin himself said volunteer Russian troops (on vacation) did in fact go across the border to fight.
    The difference in the narrative is so vast as to be absurd. The result is obvious; the west has lost all credibility with its blatant lies.
    The recent dust up with the idiot Lack equating RT with ISIS and Boko Harram is beyond hyperbolic, IMO.
    I’ll stick with RT, Orlov, and the Saker among others, but only Democracy Now from the western media circus.

  23. JustPlainDave

    See, I *said* your crystal ball must be better. Clearly, it gets freaking Netflix. Mine only gets re-run BBC documentaries. Boooooring.

  24. V. Arnold

    @ JustPlainDave
    January 26, 2015
    See, I *said* your crystal ball must be better. Clearly, it gets freaking Netflix.

    LOL. Erm, what’s Netflix? I’ve been far away for almost 12 years.

  25. Lisa FOS

    A cruise missle uses GPS, INS and terrain following. The problem the USN faced was a long flight over water, where TF is useless and with GPS being jammed it is INS only which starts to ‘drift’. The rendered attempts to ‘precision hit’ anti-aircraft systems, military bases, power, water, Govt buldings, etc (and yes they were all targets according to the leaks) pointless since the CEP became too large.

    There also the prospect of the RN shooting them down too.

    Unless the air defences were cleared, or at least degraded, by cruise missle attacks the USAF wasn’t going to attack.

    Therefore the Russian tactic of keeping the USN well away from the coast essentially neutralised them and the USAF as well.

    They could have still done it of course, but the aircraft losses would have been heavy, politically dynamite and not something Obama would allow. An easy pounding into dust wouid have been fine, but faced with the prospect of politically damaging losses the administration blinked.

  26. JustPlainDave

    At the ranges we’re talking about, these missiles would ingress the coast +/- about 800 metres from programmed flight path on INS alone. At that point they would commence scene matching – apparently the latest versions can achieve a CEP of about 10 metres, even unaided by GPS and that lovely northern Syrian terrain has lots of nice contrast to work with. Quite beyond that, for the systems to need to default to INS and terrain matching in the first place, the stated fairytale requires successful, uninterrupted, large scale GPS jamming over a very, very large area – notably including on the target area, requiring magical levels of co-ordination with SAA forces. If one believes all that, one would also probably have to believe in the tooth fairy.

    It’s a wonderful piece of propaganda being passed on, but that is all it is. It ranks right up there with the crap folks swallowed about MH-17 being taken down by cannon fire, without ever asking themselves how it is that something like a dozen shells could hit inside a space less than three feet square, when the geometry of a front quarter hit would require a crossing to down the throat shot at many hundreds of knots of closure. It would be a challenge to group the shots that closely with a Bushmaster if the a/c was parked nice and stationary 200 metres out on the freaking ground. That geometry, those speeds, air-to-air? Please – the only place one sees that is Netflix (a streaming entertainment service specializing in Hollywood movies and television).

  27. V. Arnold

    @ JustPlainDave
    January 27, 2015

    Nobody is saying MH-17 was taken down by 30mm cannon fire, no idea where that came from.
    First disabled by A to A missile.
    So, how do you account for the through and through, very round holes, from both sides, allegedly. I’ve seen the photos, they’ve been in the news, but disappeared along with everything else.
    The U.S. went strangely silent, which is curious given the potential anti-Russian propaganda there would be to mine.
    By the way, a good shooter can group 5 rounds (5.56mm) from a Bushmaster within 3″ @ 200 meters. They’re quite accurate for an assault type weapon. The target version closer to 2″ (or less) @ 200 meters. I owned one just prior to leaving the states.
    Streaming entertainment; how much does that cost? (not that it matters, just curious)

  28. John Puma

    “Separatists” = those who object to the US-conceived and coordinated fascist coup in their country.

    Please, the evidence of “Russian support.” And, if you do deign and manage to supply the evidence, please explain: why Russia, which gave the Ukraine its independence (at the insistence of the west), which physically borders it and which left millions of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, is in ANY way less justified in “supporting” the resistance of those millions to the illegal coup against their democratically elected regime, than is the US to have concocted and and achieved that coup that illegally overthrew that regime?

    You’ve got to love this one: ” xxxx is already, in effect, using a foreign enemy to prop up his popularity.” (from IW comment, above @ )

    “xxxx” is Putin in the comment. Two points:
    1) WTF DID the US think would happen to the Russian citizens’ assessment of Putin, when it decided to threaten Russia? Sure, if the US were attacked tomorrow, the media and 50% of the people WOULD blame Obumma but the rest of the world is not as clinically insane as America. (see below.)

    2) Of course, “xxxx” could just as well be Obumma in this saga (as in, “would we want to be so foolish as to change the party registration of the commander-in-chief during such a tense stand-off with our arch-enemy Russia?” Then enter Generalissima Clinton who, without doubt, collaborated closely with comrade Nuland to foment this artificial, if ever dangerous, crisis, presumably nominated her to the position in the State Dept that allowed Nuland to realize the crisis and who, if elected first woman president, just might nominate Ms Nuland as Secretary of State. )

    Lisa FOS, above, mentioned Obumma’s gloating about the demise of the Russian economy. This attitude is a promotion of severe and dangerous mental illness of the citizens of powerful empire. It not only cynically diverts US citizens away from the myriad abuses forced on them by the controllers of their own “economy” but it is a sort of wishful genocide that we would like to think we can affect on others but which Mr Welsh prefers to blame on Russia itself.

    In regards that analysis, in a crisis such as the current one, and in the future, in general, a country with enough energy to have “incorrectly” made its economy dependent upon energy sales revenues, will manage much better than those countries who are not independent from the rest of the world for their energy.

  29. JustPlainDave

    @ V. Arnold – Actually there are a fairly significant number of folks out there maintaining that MH17 was downed by 23mm cannon fire from a Ukrainian Su-25. They commonly cite as “evidence” a damaged segment of the a/c hull from under the port cockpit windows, imagining that HEI rounds punch nice, neat 23mm holes.

    There are, unfortunately a couple of problems with this. First, 23mm cannon shells should blow holes roughly around the size of a smallish tea saucer (I haven’t seen reference impacts from 23mm on a/c skins, but I have seen 25mm on cars, which should be pretty similar – keeping in mind that 25mm has about half again as much explosive payload, but moves somewhat faster). Second, those nice “round” holes really aren’t all that round and there’s a pretty large number of them that are much, much too closely spaced to be from air-to-air cannon fire.

    Collectively, the impact evidence is very consistent with frag from an air-to-air missile exploding slightly above, left and ahead of the aircraft (in addition to the penetrations below the cockpit windows, there are penetrations to the cockpit roof and floor, as well as down the port side of the fuselage and the upper surface of the port wing). The amount of frag and its dispersion over aircraft structures (as well as the explosive pitting around the cockpit) are consistent with a warhead of the size usually found on surface to air systems (there are a handful of air-to-air missiles with warheads of comparable size, but they are pretty rare and notably aren’t fired from Su-25s). Folks are saying that they see entry and exit holes on the same side of the a/c because they don’t understand that when projectiles moving this fast hit laminated structures, expanding gases can “puff” the top structure back towards the origin of the shell (this can be further exacerbated by airflow over the surface of the aircraft).

    The Bushmaster that I was referring to is the 25mm M242 chain gun. In Canada, we mount it on the LAV-III and Coyote, but it is also found on the M2/M3 Bradley and LAV25. There may be some other foreign systems that it is mounted on, but those are the ones that I recall off the top of my head. It is notably not a 1 MOA weapon when firing on automatic (this is actually a good thing, as a little dispersion makes the weapon more effective).

  30. JustPlainDave

    Forgot to mention – IIRC, Netflix is something like $10 or so a month (I haven’t looked at a statement in a while). You might have to run through a proxy server showing a US location – don’t know whether they offer it in your current country of residence (lots of folks here do this because the content licensed for the US is thought to be much better than that licensed for Canada).

  31. V. Arnold

    @ JPD

    At this juncture we can’t really “know” because we have no facts, just supposition. What is more important to me is that some people do know the truth and are intentionally withholding it from being known.
    What is the reason for this? One can only guess.
    I found a video at the Saker a week or two ago in which a Ukrainian man is claiming he witnessed the Su-25 take off with AA missiles and return empty. Further, he knows the pilot and names him. He also stated the pilot was upset about his just completed mission. A Kiev government spokesmen confirmed they had a pilot by that name, but he did not fly that day. We do know how reliable the Ukkie government’s statements are (wink, wink).
    Anyhoo, we’ll see.

    One MOA = 1.047″. I’m with Townsend Whelen; quote; “Only accurate rifles are interesting. “

  32. Gaianne


    Your main blog site ends with “Talk Turkey about Greece”

    I just came over from Galloping Beaver, through a direct link to a particular post. When I use the Galloping Beaver’s link to the blog itself. I get the same thing that I get with my own bookmark: All of the posts up to “Talk Turkey about Greece” which is where it ends.


  33. Ian Welsh

    This is very strange.

    Can others check the main page and let me know if they are seeing a page with no posts since Talking Turkey about Greece?

    Also, Gaianne, I’ve purged the cache. Can you try again, also on your own computer? please clear out temporary internet files, etc…

  34. V. Arnold

    No problem here. Every once in awhile I have to refresh the page to get the latest comment.

  35. JustPlainDave

    V. Arnold, we may not know beyond a reasonable doubt from this remove, but observers are able to assign gross relative probabilities to alternative scenarios. Based on what I have seen in the depictions of physical evidence and what I know about how things work, a large ground launched SAM is a far more likely scenario. There are many different tales floating around, some of which give strong support for the a/c having been downed by a SAM – I basically take them to be noise, with much of it being aimed quite specifically at obscuring events.

    One can readily understand why it is the powers involved might not want to go too far in their assertions. One possible scenario is that it was Russian troops that downed the a/c. Me, as a leader, I would not want to publicly acknowledge that for fear of whipping public sentiment up too much and becoming prisoner to what the great unwashed might demand.

    As an aside, it is worth clarifying to the readership that 1 MOA is ~1 inch at 100 yards, ~2 inches at 200 yards, ~3 at 300 and so on. Personally, I have found that it is not entirely necessary for a rifle to be hugely accurate for it to be interesting – or, perhaps more properly, for “interesting” things to happen around it…

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