Time to start worrying again!

Some readers have commented in direct emails to me that they have taken comfort from my writings insofar as I have been a moderate voice, avoiding alarmism over the often troublesome daily news in and around the Russian war with Ukraine, or more properly speaking today, Russia’s proxy war with NATO in and about Ukraine.

For this very reason, I hesitated whether to share with readers the deep pessimism that overcame me a couple of days ago over our chances of avoiding nuclear Armageddon. This followed my watching the latest Solovyov political talk show on Russian state television. I have used this show regularly as a litmus test of the mood of Russian social and political elites: that mood has turned black.

Whereas in the past, going back six months or more, I had reported on the open contempt which leading and highly responsible Russian academics from university circles and think tanks were showing for the American political leadership in their statements on the political talk shows, this contempt has moved into an actionable phase, by which I mean that serious, God-fearing Russians are so furious with the rubbish propaganda coming out of Washington, repeated with bullhorns in Europe that if given the chance they would personally “press the button” and unleash nuclear attacks on the United States and Britain, in that order notwithstanding the possibility, even probability of a return strike, which, however enfeebled, would be devastating to their own country. That is to say, deterrence as a policy is fast losing its psychological impact on the Russian side of the argument.

Whatever the words of the Biden Administration about nuclear war being ‘off the table,’ America’s aggressive and threatening behavior, including the ongoing ‘training in nuclear weapons’ currently going on in Europe under U.S. direction, has made rational and very serious Russians ready to give it a try.

One of the most sober-minded international affairs experts to appear on the Solovyov show, Yevgeny Satanovsky, president of the Institute of the Near East think tank, contained his rage with some difficulty, saying only that while he had once held some sympathy for the United States, he would see its utter destruction now with little regret; he left no mention where his feet are pointed when he added that he could say no more on air for fear that he will be censored and his words removed from the video.

For these reasons, I have given to this essay addressed to the Collective West, and in particular to the fomenters of world disorder in Washington and London, a title that fits the current situation. 


As we have seen from even before the launch of the ‘special military operation,’ Russian talk programs identify by name individuals in the Biden team whose outstanding stupidity, obtuseness and rank ignorance they find unbearable, with the likes of Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Lloyd Austin among those coming in for special mention. We are left with the impression that when Biden calls in his advisers to the Oval Office, he, senile dimwit that he is, is the bright light in the room. The Russians conclude from this that they have no one to negotiate with.

Now the naming of idiots in high places carries over to all discussion of European Union and British leaders. The denunciation of incompetence, rank stupidity and, yes, neo-colonialist or fascist mindsets among European leaders was well reflected in the latest Solovyov show. The most discussed whipping boy was the EU’s commissioner on external action, Josep Borrell, who seems to be speaking to the world daily and acknowledges no limits on what he may proclaim, as if it were official EU policy in defense as well as diplomacy.

The Solovyov show put up on screen a brief video recording of Borrell expounding smugly on Europe’s privileged position as ‘a garden of liberal democracy, good economic prospects and social solidarity’ which is surrounded by ‘the jungle.’  That jungle reference fits in well, Solovyov remarked, with the colonialist mindset of Rudyard Kipling and is deeply offensive to the Rest of the World, of which Russia is a part. More to the point, Borrell was also notorious in Russia this past week for his statement that any use by Russia of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be met by a massive non-nuclear attack from Europe which would ‘annihilate’ the Russian army. However, Borrell was not alone in the stocks: other European leaders who were decried for their stupid policies this past week included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emanuel Macron.

So you have no bomb shelter? Then, as the Russians said decades ago, it is high time to throw a bed sheet over your shoulders and slowly walk to the nearest cemetery.


One of the two latest fake news stories being disseminated simultaneously and ubiquitously in Western major media this past week is that Russia is considering using against Ukraine ‘tactical nuclear weapons,’ meaning warheads with a destructive force equivalent to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombs mounted on cruise or medium range ballistic missiles.  Our print and electronic media speculate on the numbers of warheads Russia currently possesses (2,000 or more), as if that would make any difference in an assault on Ukraine.

Rubbish say the Russians on Solovyov’s show: we have no need of nuclear arms to finish off the Ukrainians. The only nuclear forces we would deploy in the current situation are strategic arms, and they are directed against….Washington with the help of the Sarmat and Poseidon delivery systems.

The other major fake news disseminated massively by Western media in recent days was the allegation that the Russians are seeking to freeze the Ukrainians to death by their strikes against power generation infrastructure. Images of Stalingrad were evoked by our broadcasters. A similar freeze is said to be inflicted on Western Europe by the cut-off of Russian energy supplies to the EU.

More rubbish say the panelists on the Solovyov program. The attack on the electricity grid in Ukraine is not directed against civilians per se; it is intended to halt rail deliveries of advanced weapons systems and munitions coming into Ukraine at the Polish border and being moved by train to the fronts in the east and south of the country.  Without these inputs, the Ukrainian army will be kaput and the war can come to an early conclusion with the capitulation of Kiev.  As regards the EU, whatever chill out may be coming this winter is due solely to the unprofessional and ignorant decisions of the Commission on imports of Russian hydrocarbons that have been blindly followed by the Member States without due consideration of consequences for their own populations.


The Collective West speaks of ‘sham’ referendums in the four Ukrainian oblasts that have now been reintegrated into (or annexed by, depending on your politics) the Russian Federation. In this spirit, in the middle of the past week the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a U.S. sponsored resolution refusing to recognize the legality of this annexation. Among those who voted against Russia were such prominent ‘friendly states’ as Serbia and Hungary. One hundred forty states voted with the United States; four states, including the pariah regimes in Venezuela and North Korea, joined Russia in voting ‘nyet,’ and thirty-five states abstained.

The United States trumpeted this victory at the UN over the mischievous and rules-breaking Russians. EU chief of diplomacy Borrell was also gloating, though he expressed regret that 20% of the member states had not voted for the resolution.

The Russians, for their part, insist that this vote was a sham, given the carrots and sticks that U.S. and European diplomats used to get the results desired. Blackmail of all kinds was applied, say the Russians. Morever, the number of states in each tally tells only part of the story: among the 35 abstaining countries were India and China, which between them alone account for 35% of humanity.

Meanwhile, over in Europe, on the next day the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg adopted a resolution condemning Russia for its alleged aggression against Ukraine with a bill of particulars several pages long and including a call for the 46 member states to declare Russia a ‘terrorist state’ as Zelensky had requested of them. The vote as published was said to be 99 for the resolution, 1 opposed.  No mention was made in the announcement of vote results that the actual number of deputies in PACE is 306. The point was not missed by the Solovyov panel, who here too cried ‘foul.’

Putting aside these two votes that garnered so much attention in the propagandistic Western media, there were other international developments bearing on the relative standing of Russia in the global community which Western media chose to ignore, but Russia media, featured prominently. 

I think in particular of the three days of summitry in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The first of these gatherings brought together 27 heads of state from across Asia, running from Israel and Palestine, Qatar and the Emirates in the west to Korea in the east. Let us remember that a goodly number of the participants were from countries that voted against Russia in the UN General Assembly. Their presence in Astana gave the lie to the notion that they were expelling Russia from polite society.

The key personality at the meeting of 27 was clearly Vladimir Putin. Film footage on Russian television showed him in animated conversation with these leaders in group and bilateral formats. Of these the most significant was likely the face-to-face with Turkish president Erdogan, during which the two discussed immediate steps to implement the Russian proposal that a new pipeline be added to Turk Stream so as to greatly increase possibilities for delivering gas to Europe by this southern route through the Balkans. In this concept, Turkey will become a major gas hub, which represents fulfillment of a long-held dream by the Turkish leader.

In its capacity as hub, Turkey would be able to mix Russian gas with flows from Azerbaijan and possibly later from Turkmenistan, so that the product sold as a Turkish export would be bullet proof against American or European sanctions. The additional line could probably be laid down within a year, that is to say, more quickly than the problematic repairs to the damaged Nord Stream 1 pipelines.

The next day in Astana, another summit was held between leaders of the Community of Independent States. This reduced circle of members was also of great importance insofar as it confirms Russia’s standing as facilitator of diplomatic solutions between member states experiencing armed conflict with one another, the Azeris and Armenians being first in line. And the final summit, among the leaders of Central Asian republics with Russia had yet another important agenda:  agreeing security measures to defend against spillover into their region of the developing civil war in Afghanistan, where the U.S. and Britain are aiding extremist groups seeking to overthrow Taliban rule. From the body language of leaders, it would seem that Putin’s ear was much in demand. Relations with Kazakhstan leader Tokaev appeared to be solid once again after a trying period of several months earlier in the year.

In considering the meaning of these gatherings, I think that a remark made several days ago on another Solovyov show and with regard to the decision of the Saudis and Gulf States to snub the insistent demands of Biden that oil production be raised: the decision to make common cause with Russia came not out of pity for the weak but out of Realism, namely the assessment that Russia will win the military contest with NATO/Ukraine.  These rulers in Opec, like the rulers who came to Astana this past week, back winners not prospective losers.

If I may draw any positive conclusions from the otherwise bleak analysis in the foregoing, they are that Russia is successfully resisting massive U.S. and E.U. pressures, and that the world is realigning before our eyes in a more multi-polar and democratic direction.  And yet, the fears of miscalculations on one side or another in this tense and unparalleled contest mean Armageddon constantly threatens in the background.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022

26 thoughts on “Time to start worrying again!

  1. Dear Mr Doktorow,

    I share your pessimisme. Being Dutch i am astonished by the lack of realism of Western leaders. The propaganda is overwhelming in our Dutch newspapers (almost all in the hands of a few Belgium olicharchs). A lot of people can’t stand it. It is so onesided and out of perspective.
    You see the same approach to this conflict as to the Covid problem: Onesidedness, silencing opposit voices. Emotional or agressive call to obedience. No critical thinking alowed.

    I understand that we are in an critical moment of history. The shifting of power from one to several superpowers. In history this process was almost always decided through war. This time even more dangerous because of the power of destruction of the weaponry.
    It is sad that mankind has still this fear for the other. Technically we have come far, but our psyche seems to be living in the stoneage.
    I understand the difficulties Russian leaders face. The coolness to handle this situation has to come from their side i’m afraid. Western leaders seem to have brought themselves in a state of mental illness.

    Let ‘s hope for the best, thanks for your essays.

    Ton van de Noort

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As usual a very interesting post. Maybe Soloviev could invite Elon Musk to his talkshow … just a thought but the fact that Musk shut down Ukrainian access to Starlink is another positive sign. Pity Pozner has shut down his show.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mr Doctorow, thanks for another cool and dispassionate look at the situation. It is quite worrying, especially from the UK viewpoint as we now have a leader who is a scraping from the bottom of the barrel, both ignorant and belligerent. She won’t last long, but possibly long enough to do a lot of damage. Where do people like her and Biden come from? What kind of system can bring such scum to the top? Rhetorical questions of course – an unrestrained totally Neo-liberal system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I fully agree, although Truss is simply the most outspoken and least sophisticated Russophobe in government here in the UK. Jeremy Hunt (whose father was an Admiral and is himself as “establishment” as they come) would clearly toe the same line. Potentially Rishi Sunak might be less bellicose, reflecting his greater connectivity to more balanced and sensible Indian opinion, but when push comes to shove he will likely go with the flow.

      Can fully understand the attitudes that educated Russians are now taking. When a whole culture is vilified unfairly then any humans are eventually like to react at some point. The only shock is how restrained Russians have been up to now.

      The irrational Russophobia in the west is deeply evil. I also had the same thoughts about Rudyard Kipling when I read Borrell’s latest ridiculous speech about gardens and jungles. Racism has not gone away from the west. Despite all the high minded claims and virtue signaling by the so called elite. A plague on their houses. War mongers and imperialists.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think that the “jungle” reference is to Ariel Sharon’s description of relations between Israel and its neighbours. It is undoubtedly racist in the white settler tradition. No need to point out the nature of the ‘civilisation’ from which the hapless Borrell comes.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, we are in the greatest danger of nuclear war. If it happens, it will be in the next two years. The western oligarchy is going down and may want to take everyone and everything with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The negative feelings among Russian media figures and officials are fully understandable. However, I would not classify them as frustration that can lead to violent (Russian) reactions. They are emotional reactions, but Russians have very good minds, so at the end of the dat they definitely know better. The West does say that Putin threatens with nuclear weapons, but as Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria made clear in the penultimate episode of Peter Lavelle’s CrossTalk, Putin does not threaten (a first use of) nuclear weapons. All he does is warn that a Western attack could trigger the activation of Russia’s nuclear doctrine.

    In April this year, Biden decided to change the US “no-first use” policy. The US reserves the right to be the first to use a nuclear weapon. A recent fact sheet additionally says that US nuclear weapons should deter a nuclear attack on the US, allies and partners, and the US only considers the use of nuclear weapons if “the vital interests of the US and allies and partners” are at stake. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton stated that a no first use is inconsistent with strategic deterrence. Ambiguity is the most effective way to deter Russia, China, North Korea or other nuclear-armed adversaries, the senator said.

    Rumors have it that the Russian Belgorod submarine has set sail with its Poseidon underwater drones. If so, Russia has deployed a vital part of its nuclear deterrent. With a first use of Western nuclear weapons against Russia, the West has no defence against a Russian response in the form of the six thermonuclear warheads. The more effective the deterrent, the smaller the chance of a first American attack. Belgorod’s deployment therefore does not pose any threat to the West, but it does send a message: don’t get it in your head!

    The emotional reactions of the Russian top figures are understandable, but under the circumstances what is required is cool heads and patience. Russia cannot win the Western communications war, but it can win the kinetic war. It must make the Western supply of weapons impossible, and take the economic wind out of the West’s sails by encouraging as many supporters as possible to ditch the petrodollar.

    For a detailed account of these thoughts, I refer to my two-part article “Opinion makers on the Ukraine Crisis and the Reality on the Hybrid War Against Russia” on my website, https://geopolitiekincontext.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The purpose of Western leaders talk of nuclear weapons – including false accusations Russia is saying she might use them in Ukraine as a first strike – is to lay the ground work, the preparation – for the West to use nukes in a false flag operation so as to accuse Russia of doing so first. Just like they staged false flag chemical weapons events in Syria, then blamed Assad. It’s all very transparent to those of us who pay attention to how USA operates, they have done this soooooooo many times in they recent past it has become very very predictable and very easy to spot. My only concern is…are the Russians prepared for this? Because given Putin insisted on go slow as molasses approach, he hS handed Washington a LOT of time to prepare for a nuclear false flag and I am 100% certain if given enough time, Washington absolutely do a nuclear false flag.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I rather suspect the purpose is to cause fear. Scared people hand over power and as the west goes under it needs a powerless population.

      We are being played in the time-honoured tradition.


  7. It isn’t a duplicate comment.
    H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956): “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    William Casey (CIA Director 1981-1987): “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

    The White West has long used self-serving prattle and imaginary threats to justify brutal imperial violence. It’s no accident that CONservative fashions lionize Latin and Roman ‘virtues’ of rape, slavery, imperial conquest, and oligarch rule. Ignorant Western pinheads blathering about Russian nuclear threats is another Bucha PR tactic. No doubt every NAYOYO nuke attack on Russia will be called a false flag: that Russians nuked themselves.

    Martin Jacques: “At the heart of globalization is a new kind of intolerance in the West towards other cultures, traditions and values, less brutal than in the era of colonialism, but more comprehensive and totalitarian.”

    F. Sionil Jose: “Colonialism subdues in many dulcet guises. It conquered under the pretext of spreading Christianity, civilization, law and order, to make the world safe for democracy.”

    Western foreign policy has long been based on maintaining US credibility surrounding its promises and treaties. These have been revealed as completely worthless. US-NAYOYO-OAS, now and always makes allies of the most corrupt, violent collaborators. Recently, US trained military yahoos have committed 8 coups in West Africa. Of course, military coups are cheaper than honestly negotiating Oil & Gas rights with responsible, democratically elected, popularly supported leadership. ‘Los Zetas’, Mexico’s worst narco gang were trained and armed by US ‘special forces’. Honduras, where democracy was recently restored after a US-OAS coup installed a president and family now facing decades in US prisons for drug trafficking. El Salvador, where ex-President Cristiani is facing murder charges for the executions of 6 Catholic priests, housekeeper and young daughter, that advocated for negotiations and peace. NAYOYO welcomes military coups and death squads everywhere so long as it favours corporate greed and human rights violations that terrify popular dissent. Only the most savage, racist, drug-dealing monsters are embraced as worthy NAYOYO allies because they have NO LOCAL support. These collaborators know their lives and future depend on following CIA instructions.

    Simon Bolivar: “The United States appears to be destined by Providence to plaque America [and the rest of the world] with misery in the name of liberty.”

    These crimes are only from the past few years. They don’t stretch back to Libya, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, WWII fire bombings and nuclear bombs, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor, Operation Gladio, colonialism, racist genocides of First Nations, Asians, Muslims and Africans. The Golden Billion won’t acknowledge these Bandera Nazis began their first genocide to coincide with Operation Barbarossa; they were committed followers of Hitler’s racist ideology; they were protected and paid by the CIA to attack Soviet Russia after WWII. Mexico, and Venezuela supported the West through WWII with cheap, greatly profitable crude. Iran supported the West through both wars. These people received contempt, poverty, and death squads in return for their generousity.

    Homer: “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.”

    This war was started to support Biden’s mid-term political hopes and supposed to cripple Russia. Using roughly 15% of Russian forces, much less than those Ukraine deployed behind long developed defences, Russia has comprehensively ground AFU units to dust. Russia’s economy has never looked stronger while the EU looks set to collapse into a long depression under punishing energy, food, and raw material shortages. It’s ironic the White West appears ridiculous politically, economically, and militarily. The Ukraine War’s most surprising outcome is lack of support for US actions by Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The Global South knows they must hopelessly capitulate if Russia and China fall.

    Winston Churchill (1944): ”I have left the obvious, essential fact to this point, namely, that it is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the [Nazi] army.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. But it is not the first time that Russian TV toys with the idea of nuking Washington and London. There were many videos about that, some of which being circulated in various MSM. I have just read an article saying that there is one power who would love to see Russia use nuclear weapons (not on them though) and it is precisely the US, because these actions would break the alignment between Russia and its partners, China and India, which is as strong as before the war. The article discusses tactic weapons but I thought it made a fair point on the consequences of Russia breaking the nuclear taboo and how the Us would ultimately benefit from it. Also, regarding your earlier post about Putin learning from Nixon when escalating to de-escalate, I’m sure you have read the latest essay on Foreign Affairs dealing with the comparison Ukraine-Vietnam. The author though reverses the point of view, stating what the West should learn from this precedent, which is, to ignore Putin’s bluffs. I hope for the best, as I don’t have a bunker and I am in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe Doctorow’s point is (could be wrong) that this basically IS the first or least a recent development, that elite Russian decision makers, spin minsteers…whatever they be called…are considering nuclear FIRST strike. And in the sad context of constant drumbeat of intense loudspeaker accusations from the West (totally utterly false accusations) that Russia is threatening first strike nukes, I have to say, I can not condemn the Russians for this especially in view of the fact the Western talking points EXACTLY MATCHES the same talking points they used against Syria just before the West staged a false flag chemical weapons attack and IMMEDIATELY blamed Assad with US Fake News and blatant lies instantly declaring Assad did it. It’s a rerun of movie many of have over and over many many times….over and over again and again.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I should add: If I can see the same script the West is now using on Russia regarding use of nukes that was used on Syria regarding use of chemical weapons, no doubt Putin Lavrov etc see it, too, and much better and clearer than I can possibly understand. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the West is following their standard false flag staging and it involves nukes, to blame Russia. They may only use something similar that can be mistaken for nukes so the Fake News Western media can plausibly report are nukes, but I am 100% convinced this game plan is in motion right now. Western voices are far too co-ordinated creating a chorus of totally false accusations that Russia has threatened to use nukes. This is being stage managed just like in Syria.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. And anyway, I hope that there are decision makers among your readership whose course of action could be swayed by the warning you give. As to us common people, who have zero agency, the title and content of your recent post only sap whatever little joy is left in our worried life. Let’s just hope the “God-fearing” Russian consider the unimaginable evil they would unleash on countless children and innocent people, let alone our planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much more than that: We need “God-fearing” [or even minimally competent!–how about that?!] USA leaders (sic) not of the ilk of Biden and Blinken, the MIC, the MSM, and the Zionist Billionaires and operatives maneuvering and controlling the USraeli “entangled alliance” to consider….


  10. 🇺🇸Don’t use nukes!
    🇷🇺We don’t need them to solve the Ukraine issue
    🇺🇸We warn you – don’t use nukes
    🇷🇺We don’t want to
    🇺🇸AGAIN – if you use them we will erase you!
    🇷🇺How ever – we don’t want to
    🇺🇸…we also have nukes
    🇷🇺We would strike back…

    Via Geroman on Telegram

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I don’t make predictions but I will. Nuclear anything, tactical, dirty, will be a false flag perpetrated in Ukraine blaming Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree. In Syria, Western accusations Assad was about to use chemical weapons generally appeared greatest when Syria/Russia was “winning” a strategic battle. Many non brainwashed Westerners started wondering out loud…why would Syria use chemical weapons if it is winning, only to invite US interventions that might set Syria winning hand back? The correct answering being of course Syria did not use nor was it planning to use chemical weapons – it was all a Western fabrication so they could have an excuse to escalate their attacks on Syria.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Unorthodox Truth and commented:
    Thankyou. The US Govt, distinct from the USA, my country, is a criminal enterprise that lies, cheats, steals and murders with impunity its own people as well as anyone who refuses to take a knee to its anti-American and anti-world and anti-planet ideologies.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I agree entirely Gilbert Doctorow – it’s very worrying, a knot in the stomach. Trouble is western countries have partisan press and partisan governments that put out whatever allegations made by US/UK/EU as if they were true, when these very countries have killed millions in 20 years of wars on several countries, based on false pretexts, like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but that wasn’t the only lie. All those wars Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Yugoslavia etc were based on lies.
    Now there’s the lie that Russia might use nukes in Ukraine. Hasn’t Zelensky called for nuking Russia,? perhaps using the largest nuke power plant in Ukraine? But the false allegations against Russia, hide the fact that America has made real nuke threats against Russia. Roger Wicker, member of US Armed Services Committee on Fox news in Dec 2021 said he did not rule out direct military intervention that is using nuclear weapons first. Russia, being far more intelligent and respectful of life, does not have such a dangerous policy. Then there’s the bizarre fact that US considers so called, “low-yield,” nuclear weapons as “useable.” They are 3 times the power of the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima, killing 140,000 immediately, and many more thousands in later weeks. Few people seem to know about the US “low-yield” mini-nukes, that are not mini at all, and which if used would be met with an automatic response from a country like Russia or China that would bring about nuclear annihilation of life… I’m with Russians about this, very angry about the perfidious US/UK/NATO western countries and their totally misplaced sense of superiority.

    Liked by 2 people

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