GREAT TURBULENCE ahead, Part 1
Military situation in Ukraine, June 20
The former CIA intelligence officer, Graham Fuller, predicts a gloomy outcome of the proxy war in Ukraine. Gloomy for Ukraine, the US and Europe. On his website, he states clearly:
- Russia is winning the war and Ukraine has lost the war. American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.
- There are already deep cracks in the European facade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the Americans to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.
- Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long-term confrontations with Russia or other competitors of the US.
- Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.
All the above had already been said on this website many times but is good to see that seasoned US intelligence people are now coming to similar conclusions.
Some weeks ago, I wrote also that the AFU will soon reach a breaking point, based on Russian Grind Mill (heavy artillery) grinding day after day.
Russian Defense Ministry’s daily reports on the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine tell a dismal Ukrainian story, which is supported by other sources of information:
- troops losses of AFU are amounting up to 2000 per day (dead, wounded, lost etc.)
- number of killed officers (from generals to sergeants) is alarming high and accelerating; yesterday a missile strike on AFU command post near the village of Shirokaya Dacha, 57 top-level officers were killed (generals, colonels, majors etc.).
- Territorial Defense battalions that arrive from the western regions of Ukraine for reinforcing refuse to head to the front.
- equipment losses exceed clearly all replacement supplies by foreign countries (mainly by the US and EU); e.g. number of destroyed American howitzers M777 is nearly up to 50
- massive losses based on AFU forces failed attempt to capture Snake Island
It is definitely impossible to keep fighting at this level of losses for any army for long time. No doubt, the breaking point will be reached within next couple of weeks.
A new spinoff from Ukraine crisis came up in the third weekend of June 2022, as Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad.
Obviously, the biggest Russia-West provocation of the entire four-month long war in Ukraine has occurred this weekend but few in the mainstream media has noticed this event, which has the potential to quickly spiral toward a WW3 scenario.
Baltic EU/NATO member Lithuania has implemented a ban on all rail transit goods going to Russia’s far-western exclave of Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad Oblast, which is Russian sovereign territory on the Baltic Sea but which issandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, has a total population of some one million people (with Kaliningrad city including almost 450,000 – and 800,000 total, if outlying suburbs are counted). The EU sanctions list notably includes coal, metals, construction materials and advanced technology and thus the ban would cover around 50% of the items that Kaliningrad import.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad, writing in a statement that they consider the “provocative measures” to be “openly hostile” and warning thatthe Kremlin may take action to “protect its national interests.” The ministry emphasized that Russia had strongly protested against Lithuania’s decision and Russia has demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the ban on a number of goods to the Kaliningrad region.
“The situation is more than serious and it requires a very deep analysis before formulating any measures and decisions,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a statement to the press. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergissaid they were simply complying with sanctions imposed by the EU, and that they were taken after “consultation with the European Commission and under its guidelines.”
Crucially, the EU enforcement measure being implemented from Vilnius marks a complete break in a three-decade long treaty that’s been in effect since 2004. The treaty was part of Lithuania’s 2004 accession to the EU, where Lithuania “will apply in practice the principle of freedom of transit of goods, including energy, between the Kaliningrad Region and the rest of Russian territory.”
Parliament elections in France
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to face a potentially tumultuous five years of deadlock after his centrist alliance fell short of an absolute majority in a parliamentary runoff on Sunday, just weeks after he was reelected to the Elysée. Macron faces five years of gridlock after stunning parliamentary defeatwill have to battle for his promised reforms after far-left and far-right rivals log historic gains.
Voters massively came out in support of the far-right National Rally (led by Marine Le Pen) and the left-wing coalition NUPES (led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon). Macron’s Ensemble coalition has won 245 seats, down from 345 in the outgoing chamber, NUPES got 131 seats, while National Rally walks away with 89 seats. Macron has suffered a “stunning blow”, because his party lose the absolute majority, crippling his hopes of major reform in his second term.
Falling short of an outright majority forces Macron – who will keep control of the executive branch but with far less power – into tricky partnerships with other parties on the right to force through legislation, putting much of his second-term agenda at risk. There could now potentially be weeks of political deadlock as the president seeks to reach out to new parties. The most likely option would be an alliance with Les Republicans LR.
Taking into account skyrocketing energy bills, increasing food prices, active societal functioning of Yellow Vest-movement, just to mention a few French features, we can wait a very turbulent rest of the year 2022 in France.
Rail strike in the UK
Millions of passengers in England, Wales and Scotland face disruption. Only 20% of trains are understood to be running during strikes. Passengers are being advised to avoid all but essential travel, after staff at Network Rail and 13 rail operators walked out at midnight. Further strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday. The RMT is striking over what it calls “an aggressive agenda” of cuts to jobs, conditions, pay and pensions.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the strikes as “causing significant disruption and inconvenience” making it more difficult for people to get to work, risking peoples’ appointments and making it more difficult for children to sit exams. “I want to emphasize to everybody this morning why I think those strikes are so wrong and unnecessary.”
In the UK, even the local management of energy companies have been shocked by skyrocketing consumer energy bills and have expressed their fears about the coming winter. In the aftermath of Brexit, the British economy has been “more or less upside down” and now these price hikes have caused more shock waves around the society. But don’t worry, much more is to come.
I will be some summer days off but will follow all important events, at least with “half-eyely”.