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What Is Going on Inside the Kremlin’s Head?
Paul Craig Roberts
The Russian Ministry of Defense announced that “a massive retaliatory strike [consisting of] high-precision long-range air, sea and land-based precision weapons, including the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system, hit key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure, enterprises of the military-industrial complex, as well as energy facilities providing them with power.” https://sputniknews.com/20230309/russian-military-conducts-massive-retaliatory-strike-in-ukraine-in-response-to-bryansk-terror-1108210949.html
The Ministry of Defense said that the attack was in retaliation for an Ukrainian terror attack on civilians in a Russian town situated on Ukraine’s border.
The question that jumps to mind is why is a terrorist incident needed for Russia to attack the war-fighting capability of the government with which Russia is at war? Why wasn’t the Ukrainian military infrastructure taken out long ago in order to get the conflict over before it spins out of control?
The statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry makes no sense either. “The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the use of NATO-provided weapons in the Bryansk attacks raised questions about the West’s culpability for the acts of terrorism.” What does the Foreign Ministry mean “raised questions about the West’s culpability?” It is obvious from the weapons used that the West is culpable. What does it mean “warned”? The Kremlin never does anything about its warnings, so why issue them?
The conflict is now in its 13th month, and the Russian Army is still not involved. It is a war conducted by a private para-military organization, the Wagner Group, and the Donbass militias. Although it is called a “Russian invasion,” it most certainly isn’t. The Kremlin has done little to hamper Ukraine’s war-fighting capability, limiting its force to villages and towns in the Russian populated areas of eastern and southern Ukraine.
The Wagner Group and the Donbass militias are slowly forcing the Ukrainians out of Donbass, but the slow process does not limit the conflict, as Putin’s “limited military operation” intends. Instead, it has greatly expanded the conflict by giving Washington/NATO plenty of time to become involved in the conflict. Common sense should tell the Kremlin that to avoid a wider war, a quick victory is necessary before the growing involvement of Washington and NATO spin the conflict out of control.
The Kremlin’s foolishness is brewing more potential “Ukraines” for Russia. Washington has taken advantage of the Kremlin’s preoccupation with Ukraine to cause disturbances in the former Russian province of Georgia ( https://southfront.org/no-right-for-georgia-to-strengthen-its-sovereignty/ ), and in Transnistria where Russia has 1,500 troops guarding a Soviet-era arms cache ( https://www.rt.com/russia/572675-transnistria-ukraine-terrorist-attack/ ).
Wars that linger tend not to have good outcomes, as in Washingtons war in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Yet the Kremlin has gratuitously allowed the Ukrainian conflict to linger and linger, while the Kremlin withholds the force to bring it to a quick end. Little wonder Washington removed its bans on supplying Ukraine with tanks, long-range missiles, and soon perhaps jet fighters and troops.
Putin’s failure as a war leader has put the world on the path to nuclear war.