Was there ever any doubt?
The city of Artyomovsk, or Bakhmut as it is known by Ukraine, is of more symbolic than operational importance, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has claimed. The battle for Artyomovsk – a major stronghold and logistics hub for Kiev’s forces in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) – has continued for months, being described by some as the fiercest in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Asked about the city during his trip to Jordan later the same day, Austin suggested that the city was “more of a symbolic value than it is [of] strategic and operational value,” according to Reuters. Yan Gagin, an adviser to the DPR’s acting head Denis Pushilin, said on Monday that Russian forces have encircled the key city, trapping around 10,000 Ukrainian troops inside. The Pentagon chief, however, said he wouldn’t consider it a strategic setback if Ukrainian troops decide to reposition themselves on new defense lines west of the city.
Well, Monty Python saw this decades and miles away.
Meanwhile Russia continues the removal of Western NGOs, finally, and the new kid on a chopping block is Transparency International.
Translation: MOSCOW, March 6 - RIA Novosti. The Prosecutor General's Office recognized the activities of Transparency International in Russia as undesirable, the agency said in its Telegram channel. It is emphasized that this decision was made after studying the materials received by the supervisory authority.
Russia also stopped providing info about her Armed Forces to OSCE (in Russian) and that also is about time. Generally speaking, the whole spectrum of West dominated institutions from OSCE to UN should be completely destroyed and then reconstituted in some other form, e.g. new UN and its HQ should be removed from NYC. UN is an absolutely corrupt organization and is due for major cleaning operation for a very long time. It is a travesty that such economic and military pip squeaks as France and UK are permanent members of UN SC, while India with her massive economy and serious military and nukes is not. Time to rethink UN. I am also on record that International Olympic movement is dead and stinks to heaven with its corruption--that thing should simply be killed off. I omit here pure propaganda BSers such as IMF and WB.
James Kunstler today brilliantly described the issue:
We’re waiting for financial markets, banks, and monies to blow, as an engine will when submerged in water. It can’t not happen, though every known device has been deployed to keep up appearances. The credibility of finance was thrown overboard a long time ago. Capital was sloshing around in the bilges as the ship heaved and pitched in the angry waters, and it had to go somewhere. The next turn will be when you go looking for where it went and you discover to your nauseated chagrin that the capital is just… gone! Through some legerdemain of physics, it disappeared… turned into a kind of anti-matter… fell through a black hole (possibly ripped by that iceberg), or up the smokestacks, like it was never there at all.
Parallels with Titanic are not just warranted, but irresistible. This is your Monday primer.