by SIMPLICIUS THE THINKER
The big threat is that Ukraine now is signaling a series of major attacks on Crimea. Note that Crimea is actually not really a military target. Yes, there are military bases there, but they do not really constitute the ‘rear’ of the SMO as real brigade level ‘rears’ are all at the deep end of Zaporozhye. For instance, not only major forward supply areas/depots like the one blown up recently in Rykove, near Melitopol, but even as an example the big rotary wing airfield in Berdiansk I recently wrote about. All of these are strategic forward deployed areas which are not in Crimea. The point being that any attacks on Crimea would really be more psychological in nature, akin to attacking Belgorod or Moscow region, rather than the actions of a military power actually trying to win a war militarily.
So, in light of these developments, Shoigu has issued a statement that such long-range strikes on Crimea would constitute involvement of the US/UK and would result in immediate strikes on Ukrainian decision-making centers:
Shoigu said that the use of such weapons outside the zone of the special military operation would induce immediate Russian strikes on “decision-making centers in Ukraine” and would “mean the full involvement of the United States and the United Kingdom in the conflict.”
The reason being that Ukraine promised their masters not to attack ‘Russian territory’ with any newly-provided long range precision weapons, but US/UK do not officially recognize Crimea as ‘Russian territory’, therefore their own personal proscriptions for UA strikes are only against Russian territory like Belgorod region, etc.
Now, adding to this mix of rising tension, we have a recent swell of voices calling for Russia to use nuclear weapons in an effort to dissuade the Atlanticist forces from their endless escalations. The most ominous was Putin’s erstwhile advisor and Russian defense council member Sergey Karaganov, who wrote an entire Op-ed exploring the idea that perhaps Russia should nuke Ukraine in order to draw a final red line:
He argues that the West may not stop escalating because the classical nuclear deterrence inherent to nuclear weapons appears to have eroded due to Russia’s refusal to actually use them. The only way to make the West fear Russia and back off is to give them a proper ‘showing’. I urge everyone to read the article, as it is extremely powerful in elucidating the historical spiritual cross-roads that Russia is at, and the eschatalogical danger of the moment humanity currently occupies as a dying, writhing West attempts to take humanity down with it in its death throes. In fact the article is so rich and nuanced I’ll be tempted to dedicate an entire separate piece to its full break down. But for now, use auto-translate: https://profile.ru/politics/primenenie-yadernogo-oruzhiya-mozhet-uberech-chelovechestvo-ot-globalnoj-katastrofy-1338893/
I’ll post a couple excerpts:
And here I come to the most difficult part of this article. We can still fight for a year, two or three, sacrificing thousands and thousands of our best men and grinding tens and hundreds of thousands of residents of the territory that is now called Ukraine who have fallen into a tragic historical trap. But this military operation cannot end with a decisive victory without imposing a strategic retreat or even capitulation on the West. We must force the West to abandon its attempts to turn back history, to abandon its attempts at global dominance, and to force it to take care of itself, to digest its current multi-level crisis. Roughly speaking, we need the West to just “fuck off” and not prevent Russia and the world from moving forward.
But what if they don’t back down? Have you completely lost your sense of self-preservation? Then you will have to hit a group of targets in a number of countries to bring those who have lost their minds to life. This is a morally terrible choice – we use the weapon of God, condemning ourselves to heavy spiritual losses. But if this is not done, not only Russia may perish, but, most likely, the entire human civilization will end.
He goes on to theorize that the Chinese would perhaps publicly condemn such a move, but secretly permit it or even rejoice in it, seeing such a powerful blow be dealt to their arch nemesis.
He ends on a slightly more hopeful note:
But in the end, the winners are not judged. And the saviors are thanked. European political culture does not remember well. But the rest of the world remembers with gratitude how we helped the Chinese to free themselves from the brutal Japanese occupation, and the colonies to throw off the colonial yoke. If we are misunderstood at first, there will be even more incentive to engage in self-improvement. But still, there is a high probability that it will be possible to win, to bring the enemy to reason without extreme measures, to force him to retreat. And in a few years, take a position behind China, as it now stands behind ours, supporting it in the fight with the United States. Then this fight can do without a big war. And we will win together for the benefit of all, including residents of Western countries.
And then Russia and humanity will go through all the thorns and traumas to a future that I see as bright-multipolar, multicultural, multicolored, enabling countries and peoples to build their own and common destiny.
This brings me to next point, which is that several readers mentioned Gilbert Doctorow’s new piece about the fact that U.S.’s supply of F-16s to Ukraine will be a major nuclear escalation due to the fact that the F-16s are “nuclear capable”. I suggest reading this article also for anyone who’s interested in fully following the tapestry I’m weaving here, as Doctorow further ties together all of the aforementioned data-points about Lukashenko and Belarus nukes, Poland’s planned coup attempt, etc.
He notes that a retired Russian colonel who’s ‘in the know’ has stated the Kremlin is already definitively making plans for destroying NATO bases from which the F-16s operate, and that the vector would be nuclear:
However, yesterday evening’s edition of the Vladimir Solovyov talk show indicates that the Republicca reporter was closer to the truth than I. A patient and knowledgeable Russian colonel in retirement who is a frequent guest on the talk show explained that the Kremlin is now considering exactly with what means to destroy such a NATO air base, not whether to do it. And the likely means will be use of tactical nuclear weapons on a Ramstein or whatever NATO base is involved. We may say that Germany is placing itself in the bulls-eye of any escalation in the Ukraine war if it proceeds with the F-16s to Ukraine program.
Recall Shoigu’s quote I had just mentioned above, and also recall Putin’s recent statement from the roundtable discussion that Russia would look at way to strike F-16 deployment points should Ukraine begin using the jets from foreign airbases.
Why all the fuss over the F-16s, you may ask. After all, Putin has said loud and clear that Russia will destroy the F-16s in the air just as it has been destroying the Leopard tanks and America’s Bradley armored personnel carriers while pushing back the ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive. To understand better, we have to thank the good colonel once again. He alerted us to an important detail that you will not find mentioned in The New York Times: the first F-16s scheduled to be supplied to the Ukrainian Air Force are from Belgium and Denmark, and are all nuclear-capable, which is not a necessary feature of these planes. Since the Russians are unable to determine what kind of munitions the “Ukrainian” F-16s will actually be delivering to the war zone, they must assume that they are carrying tactical nuclear bombs intended to be dropped on the Russian Army troop concentrations. The effect of such an attack could be devastating, hence the Russian threat to the air bases from which such planes are launched.
Now, let me first say that I’m not really that convinced by this angle. It sounds ‘scary’ to see it written on paper: ‘nuclear-capable F-16s’—as if they are capable of launching some kind of unstoppable nuclear missiles which can reach Moscow. But in this case ‘nuclear-capable’ merely means that they can carry the infamous(ly old) U.S. B61 gravity bombs.
Gravity bomb means it’s a free fall “dumb bomb”. That means the F-16 has to literally deliver it to the target. In parachute mode, the F-16 would have to release it from very high altitude to give it enough time to escape and not get blown up in the ensuing nuclear blast itself. However, there is a tricky ‘laydown’ delivery mode where the bomb can be dropped on the ground from low altitude with a timer of 30 seconds so the jet can escape. But then it would have to pretty much fly directly over a group of troops who would likely shoot the jet down anyway.
Either way, due to these limitations I’m not quite convinced of the nuclear threat angle from F-16s. All this was to bring you up to speed in order to make my conclusory thesis point.
Which is that I believe there is one chief point everyone overlooks when making an argument for nuclear war between NATO and Russia. It is the China factor.
You see, NATO, and particularly the U.S., cannot risk being neutered by Russia without China taking any damage in the ensuing exchange. If U.S. goaded Russia into some kind of nuclear exchange, it could destroy both the U.S. and Russia, and then leave China to become the ascendant global superpower.
Even if we take away the less realistic “full nuclear exchange” or MAD scenario and focus only on a more limited scenario of European continental tactical exchange, for instance Russia nuking NATO bases in Poland/Germany/etc., with perhaps some limited reciprocal U.S. response. The problem is, this still weakens U.S. drastically, as it too will take inordinate amounts of damage from such base hits.
U.S., in my eyes, cannot risk being mortally or critically wounded by Russia on the eve of their own fatefully perceived showdown with China. This same argument is even stronger in regard to satellite warfare—and I’ve made it before. The U.S. absolutely cannot overstep and risk goading Russia into destroying its space recon fleet. Because if Russia and the U.S. each exchange blows and destroy each other’s satellite capabilities, it will leave China as the sole space hegemon which would give the Chinese immediate global domination over the U.S. and spell the end of the U.S. empire. Forget the arguments of ‘space Kesslerization’ on this account as I don’t think the limited destruction of E/O and SARs satellites would snowball into full Kesslerization as there is a limited amount of such prestige satellites on each side.
The point is, the U.S. has to be very careful in not escalating too much, as it could inadvertently induce Russia into terminally hamstringing it against China. So it’s because of this, that I’m very skeptical that U.S. will dare escalate the situation high enough to even risk having Russia cripple them in this way. They may talk tough on the surface, but internally they know the score. U.S. is aware that China is the real, main, final goal, and no amounts of personal enmity towards Russia can distract from that. Ultimately, the U.S. needs to come out of this conflict unscathed so that they are not gimped against the even much more daunting proxy war in Taiwan looming ahead.
Remember, I’ve said it before but contrary to popular opinion that U.S. is acting ‘wild and reckless’ in Ukraine, my personal heterodox view is that U.S. has actually been immensely restrained in Ukraine and palpably fearful of Russian reprisals. Given the amount of systems, hardware, and capabilities the U.S. has, what they’ve given to Ukraine could not, to me, be characterized as U.S. going “all out” without “caring for Russia’s red lines”. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have literally de-programmed Ukraine’s HIMARs to lock out Russian territory from strikes.
To prevent them from firing on targets in Russia, the United States secretly modified “hardware and software” of the HIMARS rocket launchers bound for Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday . HIMARS trucks were also modified to ensure that Ukrainian forces could not fire non-GMLRS rockets sourced from other countries.
Does that sound like the audaciously reckless U.S. we hear so much about?
So, personally, I don’t see a threat of nuclear war of any kind just yet. But what I do clearly see are threats of a lunatically unhinged Zelensky and his unstable controllers wanting to blow the ZNPP to cause a nuclear accident in order to blame it on Russia and have NATO “step in” in some shape or form. From the point of view of Zelensky and his Frankenstein cretin Budanov, blowing the ZNPP can accomplish any number of perceived strategic positives:
- It could create a radioactive exclusion zone which restricts Russia’s Crimean landbridge as illustrated by the earlier-posted map, and additionally irradiate a large area of Russian-controlled territory in order to complicate and hamper Russia’s logistics, lower population morale and generate outrage against the SMO
- It could simply muster solidarity between the waffling NATO members and global countries in general in order to build an even more formidable coalition to fund and supply Ukraine ad infinitum
- My personal pick: it could force NATO to declare a global emergency ‘civilian evacuation corridor’ which would “require” NATO rapid response “peace keeper forces” to occupy Odessa and/or other regions for the sake of “evacuating radiation-stricken civilians from the Putin regime’s evil nuclear attack”
And of course, were it to come down to that, the corrupt IAEA would support Ukraine in whatever fake cover story they’d come up with. Just watch this Rossiya 24 journalist’s account of Rafael Grossi’s recent visit to the plant. She confirms that the IAEA had no interest in actually evaluating the ZNPP reactors, but were in fact occupied with taking secret recon/surveillance photos of Russia’s military positions around the plant for the AFU.
This had already been confirmed by Russian troops on the ground, who if I recall correctly even confiscated one of the official’s cameras or at least made them turn them off. Just like the vile OSCE before them, these organizations are there only to further Ukraine’s terrorist cause, nothing more. Any actual impartial ‘inspections’ they pretend to carry out are all fraudulent performances. They are nothing more than the Ukraine’s version of the insidious OPCW, responsible for Syria’s fake chemical attack charade.
All in all, the main panicked point of argument behind closed doors of the West and NATO’s upper echelons can be summarized as follows: “We know we can’t beat Russia on the battlefield using Ukraine as a proxy, so we must find some black swan event that can turn the tables in our favor.”
They know they can’t compete with Russia in the industrial war, so they need an underhanded gimmick of some sort. Not only did Stoltenberg state their arsenals are almost empty:
But Germany confirmed that they only have 20,000 shells left for themselves, which is enough for one day’s moderate usage for Russia.