Turkish state television on the U.S.-Russian confrontation over Ukraine

To my regret, I am very much in demand these days from various international broadcasters. Were it not for the ongoing crisis in relations between Russia and the Collective West over Ukraine, over Russian demands to radically revise the security architecture of Europe with the associated risk of an outbreak of war in Europe that could go horribly wrong, I would be left in peace to mind my wine collection in Brussels and to prepare our vegetable garden in our dacha plot south of Petersburg.

However, present day reality steals time from such pastimes and I am being asked to provide insights into the degree of risk to global peace day by day.  Today I was invited by TRT Turkish international English language television to join their panel discussing the latest state of play in the unfolding crisis over Ukraine. My fellow panelists were an expert on deterrence and a researcher on Russian policy-making at the federal level. The high level of the panelists was matched by the very capable presenter and by the station’s technical staff.

It is my pleasure to offer the link to this half hour program: 

Your comments will be most welcome.

Today was also a day when my latest observations on the U.S.-Russian negotiations in Geneva were picked up and disseminated in an analytical article published by a Belgian scholarly news portal.  True, my name does not appear in the text, but an embedded link in the first paragraph of this lengthy article takes you straight to my latest piece entitled “Blinken and Lavrov Meeting.”

For those of you who are not comfortable with Dutch, the text is readily machine translatable by insertion into www.linguee.fr or via Google translate.  I believe you will find this small effort is worthwhile.

I take particular satisfaction in this publication because of the company I keep there: a widely published American think tank expert, Anatol Lieven, and a director of the prestigious Royal Egmont Institute, Sven Biscop.

In the academic world, as in the business world, institutional affiliations count for a great deal. They are easier to rank than quality of output of any given researcher – writer, so that this bias for institutional names is understandable. I am able to break that rule for the simple reason of the added value I bring on my own, without prestigious affiliation. While my peers, including the two experts just named, are watching one another or are piled up on the scrimmage line of the day’s latest news from Western news providers, I am daily paying close attention to the Russian side of the equation.  This entails close monitoring of Russian media as an indicator of the predisposition of Russian political, business and social elites.  Those elites, of course, do not set policy in Russia, but they do set constraints on what policy makers above them can do, and occasionally provide a narrative to explain or justify decisions taken above on other grounds, for example Realpolitik, which is never popular in pure form. Moreover, as an occasional insider, as for example by participating in Russian domestic political talk shows, I know better than most academics who is who on the Russian side, and especially who may be acting as an unofficial spokesperson for the Kremlin to send us signals that should not be missed.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

10 thoughts on “Turkish state television on the U.S.-Russian confrontation over Ukraine

  1. Very interesting comments, Mr.Doctorow. There was one piece of info that contradicts sources that I have, and that was your statement that “half of the Ukrainian army” was poised to strike “at the Dnieper”. I am led to believe that 120,000 Ukrainian men have been in fact placed inside the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasti, that is in the immediate vicinity of the line of separation (or “The Anti-terrorist Operation Zone” as the Kiev government calls it. That of course would make the danger of a sudden flare-up of hostilities much more acute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6rz5rJ9Gjo

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  2. Gilbert, a great interview – you were the most erudite of the three people there. I totally agree with you also on the specific focus on the perfidious road that the British intelligence have chosen – indeed to be the tail that wags the dog – and I would add to the Steele dossier and the Skripal affair also the entire strategy of branding Russia with the chemical weapons blame, in Syria (the UK role in establishing and organizing the White Helmets and the numerous chemical ‘attacks’ including Duma), in Russia (the even more curious Navalny affair)… I am also familiar with Dutch, and read the article with interest. I do believe that Russia has a chance here to make Europe a safer continent with less American, and more Russian and Chinese influence. That is a good, and necessary thing. To divine whether the Russians plan a strike on Romania’s base (did the French and Spanish catch on?) or do they plan on something closer “on the doorstep” of the USA… Davai posmotrem.

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  3. Hi Gilbert. The statistics of my website ‘Geopolitiek in context’ show that your link to my article, in which I quote you by means of an embedded link, has resulted in unusual but naturally welcome traffic. I was following you as you are a Russia-expert. I have seen your frequent participation in Peter Lavell’s CrossTalk on RT, and we briefly met in 2019 at the Egmont Palace in Brussels during a day long event organized by the Russian Embassy in Brussels, actually ending there with a walking dinner and concert.

    For what it is worth, I agree with your view on Anatol Lieven, but am not so positive about the Egmont Institute, see ‘Het Egmontinstituut, spreekbuis van Buitenlandse Zaken’

    https://geopolitiekincontext.wordpress.com/2019/11/11/het-egmontinstituut-spreekbuis-van-buitenlandse-zaken/

    and ‘Het Oekraïne-dossier: nood aan doortastende Europese initiatieven’

    https://geopolitiekincontext.wordpress.com/2022/01/24/het-oekraine-dossier-nood-aan-moedige-europese-initiatieven/

    , specifically my comments on publications by Sven Biscop and Alexander Mattelaer, under an Egmont hat clearly lobbying biased opinions and at the same time teaching students at the VUB, resp. UGent universities. I hope the students of these scholars have a mind of their own, exactly what we need in times like these.

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    1. Hello, Paul
      good to make contact. btw I am more easily reachable at gdoctorow@yahoo.com
      with regard to Egmont, I was just being formally respectful; they are Royal, after all, though I find the Royal Cercle Gaulois far more hospitable and tolerant of nonconformist views. regrettably Egmont are a closed minded shop not an open forum for intellectual discourse. And among the most arrogant of their staff is Biscop, who is an academic climber never missing a free lunch grant from the Atlantic Alliance folks. A couple of weeks ago I wrote to him suggesting they might host a Round Table on the present conflict over Ukraine. Biscop wrote back nastily that they are doing just fine without any experts from outside their stable.

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      1. Excellent interview and to the meat of the matter. There’s only one item that I’d suggest be phrased differently and that is the reference to a genocide in Donbass. Not that I don’t believe that Ukraine’s ultra-right factions leading a Donbass push incapable of genocide. Their past behavior (and not mincing words, blatant war crimes) towards the East’s civilian inhabitants would suggest the very opposite, certainly at the very minimum – calls for an ethnic-cleansing as they themselves, along with calls for a ‘softer’ ethnic cleaning by govt. officials, have invoked time and again. It’s just that, other than to those that have followed events carefully from Maidan onwards, such a charge is a trigger word that because of its extraordinary weight immediately invokes skepticism from the audience. Without an in-depth explanation, even treatise, on why one chooses the word, it often will create the opposite reaction to the one intended (I believe that’s self-evident), therefore need be applied sparingly. Other than that (and even for that) – kudos to you, sir.

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  4. Interesting to see a real discussion ‘allowed’ on TV. This is the kind of thing that should be happening in Europe and the UK but zero chance of that I’m afraid. An interesting cross section of opinions. There is certainly starting to percolate the view into public consciousness that the US can win nothing in this situation, they have got themselves into a rather awkward position, wherein they cannot win a war against Russia but neither can they be seen to stand on the borders of eastern Europe and watch the Russian military emasculate western Ukraine. US then loses the last shreds of political and military credibility it has. (and of course what point US security ‘guarantees’ etc) The sands are ever shifting but the hysteria form the West regarding invasion leads nowhere. America has to negotiate.

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  5. I absolutely agree with Mr. Doctorow re: the Elizabeth guest. She seems to live in a world of rose gardens re: British modus operandi. She reminds me a bit of the vacuous EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton post-Maidan. I was happy to see that she was called out.

    2014: “There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Urmas Paet said during the conversation.

    “I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn’t pick that up, that’s interesting. Gosh,” Ashton answered.

    2022: Thanks to Katchanovski’s investigations (certainly not Ashton’s), we now know that Paet was right.

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  6. I really enjoyed that TV segment over my morning tea here in Ukraine. A breath of fresh air, such a pleasure to listen to erudite views and a diversity of opinions.

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  7. Very good points made by Gilbert Doctrow here. The other commentators were obviously chosen for balance, but much of their opinions were reiterations of media sound bites none of which stands up to detail scrutiny in which Mr Doctrow excels.

    Fortunately the interviewer ended with Mr Doctrow and he was able to succinctly expose the duplicity of the British in this regarding the declassified intelligence which of course cannot possible be true.

    Then just for good measure to reinforce its lack of validity, Mr Doctrow threw in the other two recent “British Intelligence” canards, regarding the Skripal affair and the Trump Dossier.

    Rather like the boy who cried wolf fable, by the time you get to your third canard no one believes you anymore.

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