59 thoughts on “Disposition of Forces in Donbass Region, Ukraine

  1. Moses Herzog

    I read there were multi-nation military exercises going on in Germany today and over the next few days. It’s obvious why they are doing this, less obvious how useful it is with weak and defective leaders like donald trump. What are we to believe donald trump will do when Putin swallows up the east half of Ukraine and uses the west half of Ukraine as a proxy?? There have been many chess moves to do exactly this for those bothering to pay attention (some may notice one of the links above is dated for last August). Of course you can’t tell the “sammys” or McConnells of the world this, they’re too busy rationalizing traitorous behavior, rationalizing why exposing the blackmailing of an ally with military aid is a “witch hunt”, and telling us why we shouldn’t see documents and hear White House witnesses to high crimes.

    Monkey see no evil, monkey hear no evil, monkey speak no evil is the new RNC official platform. Who knew?? Maybe the Maine Parkinson’s victim and the Mormon closet racist in Utah can explain it to us all when they “go along” telling us why they think that’s healthy for American democracy. Get ready for it, because they will.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Stop dumping on “the Mormon.” Romney is so far the only GOP senator who says he will vote to see any witnesses, at least John Bolton.

      1. pgl

        It sounds like Mitt is trying to convince more Republican Senators. Let’s wish him the best on his one principled position.

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ Barkley Rosser
        My immoveable and resolved stance on that is I will believe it when I see the vote cast on C-SPAN and documented in the NYT and/or “Roll Call”. The rest is bullcrap for the cameras. You’re bad at identifying skewed distributions, let’s see how you fair with common addition on this website. Quote me a total number Biffy:

        This’ll be your 2nd chance to “call me out” on something in a legitimate fashion. Good luck.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          No, Moses, you are the one that is bad identifying skewed distributions, a topic that only leads to you being publicly humiliated.

          Romney might not vote for witnesses, but as of now he is the only GOP senator to say that he is, although so far only for Bolton. Collins is making a lot of noises, but has not said how she will vote. In any case, as of now Romney is the last GOP senator you should be dumping on, but you keep doing so, making yourself look like foolish and messed up.

          1. Moses Herzog

            “Messed up”?!?!?!?!?! Oh my….. foolish is one thing, but spare me the egregious felony of “messed up”. This could effect my kinsfolk relations in collateral damage to their daily activities!!!!! There could be giggling just around an aisle corner of the local grocers!!!!

            May the record show, on the issue of Mitt Romney voting for the allowing of witnesses in the impeachment trial of donald j. trump, that I was wrong. Please leave all considerations in memoriam to be sent as a digital currency gift to “The Society of the Messed Up”.

    2. Paine

      Great game hoodoo

      Russia couldn’t sustain an occupation
      of eastern Ukraine
      or it would have happened already

      Ukraine is Europe’s new ” Poland ”

      Uncle should step back dissolve NATO
      And work to morph the defense of Europe
      A EU member only security treaty

    1. Moses Herzog

      “Bolton is as guilty as Trump for the plight of Ukraine”. Considering his objections to the involvement of Giuliani, his referring to it as a drug deal, HIS excellent and astute choice of Fiona Hill as his chief assistant (arguably an equal peer), me thinks thou dost protest too strongly. And for the record, until the very most recent events I was not a Bolton fan. I believe he has at least now put himself a 1/2 step above the Dick Cheneys of the world. That’s not much, but it’s something.

      Writing a book using a controversy “you” were part of yourself as a publicity tool is nothing new to D.C folks, and arguably, isn’t always “unethical”.


      1. baffling

        “I believe he has at least now put himself a 1/2 step above the Dick Cheneys of the world. That’s not much, but it’s something.”
        i would not read too much into the “patriotic” actions of one john bolton. this is not a patriotic duty to preserve the integrity of the republic. his actions were simply to cover his own ass, and he figured out a book would be profitable as well. john bolton is still an evil person as far as i am concerned, callously sending off other peoples kids to die in wars to prove his ideology.

  2. ilsm

    History, in the 1950’s the US Army had early TV The Big Picture, a few soldiers working it followed Gen Sarnoff to NBC news: you need to get the Big Picture some segments are on YouTube.


    Independent Donbass Region is not a problem for me, it may be a career opportunity for Mr Vindman as future minister of defense of Ukraine. Forcing Donetz and Luhansk People’s Republics back into Ukraine is an opportunity for war profits, and will pay Ukraine oligarchs rather than Russian. A lot of war over there is a good thing for Lockheed and General Dynamics stocks.

    The independence referenda in Luhansk and Donbass People’s Republics was 90% for separation from Kyiv. Of course, when elections are not convenient they are not recognized, why there was no referendum required by the 1954 accord on Vietnam!


    Before the Nazi Kursk offensive was decided/lost Hitler ordered it terminated because the Red Army was massing for a thrust southeast toward the Donttz Basin an are rich in resources mainly coal. Hitler was fighting an economic war at that time. Holding Donetz was appealing to the German generals who hoped for bargaining chip in a separate peace in the east.

    The Russian are not occupiers like US in Vietnam, in fact an election had 90% vote for independence of both Donetz and Luhansk.

    Why not put Croatia or Bosnia back in Serbia, their constitution like Kyiv’s requires separation approve by the voters of the whole country?

    On military aid: US sold Javelins in early 2018. The stipulation was they be used to defend not attack. Which put question to axis of the impeachment.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Did you read that link you provided on the referenda in Luhansk and Donetz? There were serious problems with them and nobody other than Russia and Crimea accepts them, including generally close Russian ally Belarus. Polls showed support for independence at less than 20 percent. Especially in Luhansk the wording of the referendum was vague including possibility of federalization/decentralization without independence, but the leaders there claimed it showed support for independence. These referenda were farcical.

      Do please keep in mind that in both of those places the original leaders who seized government buildings and declared independence were actually Russian “little green men,” although after awhile they managed to get actual locals in charge of these “republics.”

      1. ilsm

        Donbass was pretty ravaged during WW II. I just finished https://www.amazon.com/s?k=armor+and+blood&i=stripbooks&crid=2J1PNYQZ0IIFP&sprefix=blood+and+armor%2Caps%2C430&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_15 on Kursk.

        Yes, I read that and more. The Donbass region has been an outcast from Kyiv, viewed by both “sides”. The 2014 “coup” was enough disruption and enough turmoil to encourage secession. Polls are polls, who asks, not votes. The polling I saw was done by some think tank in Kyiv. Elections are suspect especially if some want different results. There is no internal resistance to the DPR’s.

        The order of battle graphic is from a Ukraine site, the “about” page is in Cyrillic type. It may be situationally accurate, but it is from Kyiv.
        Ukraine has been used to muddle the US.

        The Normandy Format (June 2014), 4 heads of state just met in Dec 2019…… US should get in on that.

        I recommend David Warsh’s post for 26 Jan 2020, it is a hint toward a less negative view of Russia, and why do US have to repeat cold war mistakes (NSC 68).

        I read Amb Taylor’s NYTimes piece from yesterday, a cold warrior talking his case.

          1. ilsm

            My background is Air Force system acquisition, logistics and product support, since 1985, my exposure was strategic systems mostly electronic defensive and command and control. My early career (pre 1985) was unit support mainly large aircraft, including planning to deploy aviation units.

            I discovered the book walking through the military history aisle at the town library (do that a lot now retired). It is a pretty good book, and the author covered both sides quite well. I am a logistician and learned a lot about how both sides kept huge materiel resources intensely engaged from 5 to 14 July 1943. 2slugs should check the book out!

            I heard of Kursk before and saw a documentary. In the US there has not been enough writing on the WW II eastern front. I suspect WW III in central Europe would have followed the tactics similar to Kursk.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          Again, ilsm, neither of these “coups” was carried out by locals. They were both carried out by Russians.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            To ilsm,

            (Thought I put this up, but not here, so again…)

            The proclaimed leaders “elected” by the initial protesting mobs were indeed locals, although ones who spent a lot of time in Russia. However, those crowds themselves consisted heavily of freshly arrived “Russian tourists” from across the border, aka,”little green men,” although not actually wearing green. A source? Hal Roth, New York Times, March 3, 2014, “Russian tourists” in title of article, two days after demos in Donetsk initially started.

        2. pgl

          “Polls are polls, who asks, not votes.”

          You are retreating from your earlier (dishonest) statement here. But yea – you lied about the polling data and no one in Eastern Ukraine has voted to go with Russia. But keep on spinning as it is the only reason Putin is paying you for this nonsense.

    2. pgl

      “it may be a career opportunity for Mr Vindman as future minister of defense of Ukraine.”

      That dual loyalty garbage? This is part of Trump’s dishonest spin to excuse his treason. Since Trump is Putin’s puppet and you are a Russian bot, it is no wonder that this slimy garbage shows up in your latest rant.

      1. baffling

        slander like what ilsm stated is characteristic of todays trump supporter. it is behavior akin to bigotry, using ethnicity and nationality against somebody in a quite derogatory way, when there is absolutely no evidence to suggest otherwise. i have just as much evidence to justify calling ilsm a pedophile as he has to make such a statement about vindman. so islm, would you have any issue if this blog referred to you as a pedophile going forward? or is it ok to simply make up false accusations and innuendo?

      2. ilsm


        “That dual loyalty garbage?” Mr. Vindman is “loyal” to some whim of East Ukraine being the front line in an arcane view of “common defense” selling a new cold war. He is loyal to NSC 68 as it applies to Ukraine. His first loyalty is not the US constitution or his oath to defend it. I do not see him loyal to his C and C. Nor to the US Army going out of chain. But, hey, my officers’ commission was signed by Richard Nixon.

        Seems to me Mr Vindman is loyal to some think tank that don’t like Trump’s hinting that there is something different than their own views for a new expensive and dangerous cold war, one that the EU seems to discard.

        1. Barkley Rosser

          The EU has supported Ukraine in all this more than has the US. You are losing it here, ilsm.

        2. pgl

          Mr. Vindman? Mr.? Try Lt. Colonel. In the U.S. military. Come on islm – this slandering of an American patriot is beneath contempt. I would ask you if you have no shame. But the answer is clear. You do have no shame.

        3. pgl

          “Seems to me Mr Vindman is loyal to some think tank”. Another disgusting lie. But we know who you are loyal to – Putin. Enough with your lying and slanders.

    3. pgl

      I did read this Wikipedia reference. Let’s see – one poll showed only 27.5% of those polled wanted the region to become part of Russia. Another poll put that at 5%. So where did ilsm get his 90% BS? Oh yea – he lied. Just like Trump would do.

      1. ilsm

        Polls versus votes…… yeah Schiff don’t trust the voters [either] to oust Trump in Nov either. The polling done by a Kyiv humbug factory. You can find the vote with a modest search and the reference includes that no other country is allowed to recognize the two new republics.

        1. pgl

          Again with changing the term from polls to votes! You lied about the polling data. When did they vote to go Russia? They didn’t. But keep on lying. That is what a loyal KGB agent does!

    4. noneconomist

      “The Russians are not occupiers like the U.S. in Vietnam Nam.” In the 60’s and 70’s (and into the early 90’s) what were Russians occupying? A bit more than Russia, I’d say.

      1. noneconomist

        BTW, ilsm, speaking of non occupying Russians v. occupying Americans, can you find Afghanistan on a map?

        1. ilsm

          Nope! But I could tell you what an E-11a was doing there!

          Accomplishing nothing making sure the ground soldier could call in air support to stay the course and get nothing done but pillage the treasury.

          US has used the most bombing sorties, look that up, in the last 10 years in that place I won’t tell you where it is on an unmarked map.

          1. noneconomist

            The E11a was there from 1979 to 1989? Serving with Soviet forces? Helping the mujihadeen (sp?)? On a secret mission? You claimed the Russians are/were not occupiers. Explain with reference to the ten years between 79 and 89.
            Then you can explain Eastern Europe, c. 1945-1990.

  3. Manfred

    Not sure what the point of this post is. But… whatever.
    Lost in all this is, of course, the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine, and annexed Crimea, in 2014.
    I am so old that I remember that in 2014 Donald Trump was not president. And that he had not even announced his candidacy.
    Somebody else was president. And, I do not recall Econbrowser to be so concerned about Russian presence in Ukraine.
    But, whatever.

      1. Moses Herzog

        I’ll tell you my personal take on this: Bot or no bot, it’s kinda like when you hear someone say “this isn’t about money”. What do we think to ourselves when someone says “this isn’t about money”?? When someone tells you “Not sure what the point of this post is” it’s usually a red flag indicator they knew exactly what the point being made was, and it just royally p*ssed the hell out of them.

      2. Paine


        Cold war liberals
        by 1965 had a lot to reassess
        As the great society sank in the Nam quick sand

        Great satin Putin as Stalin 2.0
        is a two headed hoax

        Ponder for the day:

        Forward leaning opportunistic
        Russian containment
        uncle ‘s
        Geopolitical strategy
        between 1993 and 2012
        Had consequences

        1. pgl

          Our Russian bot is babbling incoherently again. Someone either adjust his programming or pull his plug!

    1. pgl

      “And, I do not recall Econbrowser to be so concerned about Russian presence in Ukraine.”

      Then you have lost it completely. Such false accusations of the host of any blog is generally grounds for the blog host to ban trolls like you. Some of us wish you were banned. But I guess our host is kind enough to let you comment. Stop with these lying insults as they are a waste of everyone else’s time.

    2. noneconomist

      Can you do us a favor though, Manny? If you’re having that much difficulty recalling events on this blog from five + years ago, consult your physician (or your chiropractor or astrologer) for help. Perhaps purchasing crystals might help as would the assistance of a shaman. Then embarrassing yourself may be more difficult. Or noy

  4. Willie

    I expect that there will be some kind of fallout from Russia’s adventures. The Russian economy is in shambles, so far as I can tell. They may well end up trying to shake down Europe, with unpredictable consequences. Mr. Trump (R-Moscow) and Mr. McConnell (R-Aiding and Abetting) don’t seem to care, so long as they remain in power.

    By the way, I’m beginning to do my taxes. The tax bite will likely be greater for a whole lot of people this year. That’s going to leave a mark. More winning.

  5. Rick Stryker

    Trump sold Javelin missiles (tank-busting) to Ukraine, something that President Obama refused to do. He also sold them in a sensible way, forbidding deployment without US permission on the front lines, so that a skirmish doesn’t necessarily turn into a full scale war.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: I think we’re talking about the Trump administration, not engaging in “what about-ism”. And why did the Trump admin cut off the Javelins after DoD previously certified Ukraine was making progress against corruption, and *had* supplied missiles.

      I guess we’ll have to wait for yet another Trump-appointed White House official to confirm — either in book form or testimonry — the fact that Mr. Trump cut the aid to pressure Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation of the Bidens.

      1. pgl

        Bolton’s book is scheduled for publication on March 17. Price tag = $32.50. But no need to pay that or wait that long as the NYTimes has an advanced copy. And my is it damning!

    2. pgl

      Are you one of Trump’s lawyers before the Senate? They are peddling the same BS which is so weak of a defense that the whole world is laughing. At you – not with you.

    3. Moses Herzog

      And donald trump has no idea who Lev Parnas is, never met him:

      This is kind of like donald trump denying documents and witnesses to Congress, which he says prove “no crimes”. If they prove no crimes why hide the documents and deny witnesses?? Only Rick and the folks wearing red colored dunce caps can tell you.

    4. Barkley Rosser


      Obama admin held off because there was serious corruption in the Ukraine govt and DOD and others did not trust the Ukrainians to use them well. This is easily checked on, btw, if you are interested inf acts rather than propaganda.

      The big joke is that the people over there that Trump and his pals like Giuliani like are exactly those ones who were so cottupt the US govt resisted giving them top weapons. We are talking about the clown Biden demanded be removed, backed by EU and IMF and who was not investigating Burisma, indeed was investigating almost nobody, which was the problem.

    5. 2slugbaits

      Rick Stryker Barkley Rosser has it exactly right. Under Obama it was the DoD that would not sign off on sending Javelins to Ukraine because they were concerned that some of those missiles would end up in a Moscow laboratory. The Javelin anti-tank missile contains a shaped charge, which means that it depends on precise timing when it hits the outer surface of its target. If you get inside the guts of the missile, then you can defeat it by surrounding the tank with skirts and explosive reactive armor. Armor combat is all about a game that uses an unknown mix of shaped charges and kinetic energy rounds. You can design a tank to defeat one, but not the other unless the enemy knows the engineering behind the shaped round.


      1. baffling

        2slugs and barkley, just a reminder that the slippery dick striker knows exactly what you are stating. but dick is not interested in the truth, he is simply a political hack who comes on this site every once in a while to troll for business. he is a sad example of what happens to some men when they get old and bitter-they get joy from bringing pain to others.

      2. pgl

        Now, now. You forget that Rick Stryker and Donald Trump are agents of the Putin government. So if Ukraine gave these weapons to Russia, Team Trump would be pleased.

    6. baffling

      rick stryker, trump will never let a skirmish turn into a full scale war. the russians have the peepee tape for deterence.

      1. ilsm


        I should think Russians (Putin) would like some other country’s boys, funded by Middle East oil money, engaged in wearing down the US.

        1. baffling

          as we have seen, the peepee tape is quite effective at keeping the us out of putins efforts. very effective foreign policy play by the russians. they effectively control the white house response to russian foreign affairs. you appear to support these efforts islm.

  6. ilsm

    First line in Andrew Bacevich’s new book on how US squandered the victory in the cold war:

    “Without the cold war what’s the point of being an American” Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a character in John Updike’s Everyman.

    Enjoy your propaganda led cold war.

  7. pgl


    “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” BY John Bolton is scheduled to be released on March 17, 2020 at a price = $32.50.

    Save your money as copies of it have been leaked to the New York Times.

    The gall of Bolton to try to profit off of this. The gall of him and all the Republicans to delay telling the truth until after the Senate “trial’. Have this clown testify under oath as what he wrote in that manuscript is very damning to the serial lies of Trump the Traitor!

  8. pgl

    Is Rick Stryker really Doug Collins? Collins came out today with the old yawn “the facts never change”. Of course the only fact fast talking Collins ever considered are those talking points that Trump wrote on a 3 by 5 card for him!

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