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The spectre of another Cuban missile crisis The West is in denial about Russian escalation

The nuclear-powered submarine Kazan arrives in Havana (YAMIL LAGE / AFP)

The nuclear-powered submarine Kazan arrives in Havana (YAMIL LAGE / AFP)


June 15, 2024   5 mins

When a four-ship Russian flotilla sailed into the port of Havana on Wednesday, US authorities were quick to downplay the event’s significance. We were reminded that Russia’s deployments were part of routine naval activity and that it’s not uncommon for the Russian Navy to sail warships into the Western hemisphere. “Nothing to see here,” went the memo.

And yet, these are clearly not ordinary times, and this was no ordinary convoy. The flotilla that arrived in Cuba was the largest in years. It includes the guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov, one of the Russian Navy’s most modern ships, armed with hypersonic missiles, and the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine Kazan, one of the most advanced Russian submarines in service today — and the first-ever submarine of this kind to be deployed to a foreign port. On their way to Cuba, moreover, the four Russian vessels conducted “high-precision missile weapons” training in the Atlantic Ocean, which involved firing missiles at mock enemy targets from a distance of more than 370 miles. The Russian ships are expected to remain in the region throughout the summer for a series of planned military exercises in the Caribbean, and to possibly stop in Venezuela.

As “routine” as this deployment may be, the symbolism of a Russian nuclear-powered — and nuclear-capable — submarine gliding above water just 90 miles from Florida wasn’t lost on anyone. American authorities have previously described these submarines as being “capable of presenting “a persistent proximate threat to the US homeland”. “The warships are a reminder to Washington that it is unpleasant when an adversary meddles in your near abroad,” Benjamin Gedan, director of the Latin America programme at the Washington, DC-based Wilson Center think tank, told AP, referring to Western involvement in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Though this is not yet a second Cuban missile crisis — officials from Cuba, Russia and the United States have been at pains to clarify that no nuclear weapons are deployed on either the Kazan or the Admiral Gorshkov — it’s hard not to see this as a Russian response to the recent intensification of the US-Nato proxy war against Russia. Over the past few weeks, the US and several other Nato countries have, for the first time, formally authorised Ukraine to use Western-supplied long-range weapons — and even Western F-16s — to attack Russian territory, which Ukraine promptly proceeded to do. Meanwhile, Ukraine conducted, almost certainly with Western approval, long-range drone strikes on two Russian radar stations that are part of the country’s early-warning radar system designed to detect incoming intercontinental nuclear missiles. Various Nato countries, most notably France, have also begun openly talking of sending troops to Ukraine.

In response to the West allowing Ukraine to use their weapons against targets on the Russian territory, Putin warned that Russia was considering doing the same — that is, providing long-range weapons to allied countries to strike Western targets. He responded: “If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a war zone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don’t we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those countries?” Russia has also begun, for the first time since the invasion, a series of nuclear drills involving tactical nuclear weapons, including exercises in Belarus, which last year agreed to host Russian tactical nuclear weapons, with explicit statements that this is a response to “provocative statements and threats of certain Western officials regarding the Russian Federation”.

Speaking at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which took place last week, Putin clarified that he currently sees no threat to Russia’s sovereignty that would warrant the use of nuclear weapons. However, he reiterated that Russia would retaliate if someone threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian state — which, from Russia’s perspective, includes Crimea and the Donbas. He also used the opportunity to remind the world that many of Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons contained 70-75 kilotons of explosive power — around five times the size of the US nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945.

You would think that such statements, coupled with Russia’s exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons, would at the very least give pause to Western leaders, not only in Europe, but in the US as well — especially in light of Russia’s beefed-up presence right off the American coast. Yet, it has become commonplace in Western circles to dismiss Russia’s nuclear threats as mere ruses. “Time to call Putin’s bluff,” declared former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger in an article in CNN last month. Meanwhile, retired general Philip Breedlove, former ambassador Michael McFaul, Stanford professor Francis Fukuyama and dozens of former US officials wrote in a letter to the White House that Russia’s threats were “demonstrably empty” — and that the US should simply ignore them.

Just the other day, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, shrugged off Putin’s warning, saying “this is nothing new”. The argument is that since Russia has not responded to US provocations in the past, Nato can keep crossing Russia’s “red lines” without consequences. But this forgets something important. There are very good reasons why Putin has so far avoided using nuclear weapons and, in general, responding to Western escalation in kind: after all, if Putin had chosen to respond more aggressively to Western provocations, he would have offered Nato the justification to directly enter into the conflict, with potentially unimaginable consequences. Instead, Putin opted for a low-intensity war of attrition in which Russia clearly had the upper hand, given its advantage in manpower and its ability to produce more artillery and ammunitions than Ukraine and the West combined — the reason Russia is winning the war.

However, this does not mean that Putin is bluffing this time. To the contrary, evolutions in the rhetoric, capabilities and posture underpinning Russian nuclear threats — the greater emphasis on tactical nuclear weapons in military planning and an apparent lowering of the barriers to their use — “indicate that Moscow is slowly but surely working to undermine strategic stability and increase the credibility of its threats”, as Giles David Arceneaux, a fellow at the United States Air Force Academy, recently wrote. The risk of nuclear escalation is low but “very real”, he added. Indeed, insofar as Russia’s relative restraint in the face of Western escalation continues to be interpreted by Nato as a sign that it can continue to escalate with impunity, it seems reasonable to assume that at some point Russia may be compelled take action to restore deterrence credibility.

So, why are Western leaders so confidently discounting the possibility of nuclear escalation? One possible explanation is that the current Western leadership is simply lacking the intellectual, strategic and moral sophistication that characterised policymakers during the Cold War. Back then, it was understood that any scenario that entails a non-zero chance of the other side using nuclear weapons should be avoided at all costs — and that, therefore, when it comes to nuclear weapons, you don’t bluff and you don’t assume that the other side is bluffing.

“Why are Western leaders so confidently discounting the possibility of nuclear escalation?”

Today’s Western leadership, defined by a volatile and fickle blend of ignorance, hubris, moral nihilism and desperation, seems to have forgotten these basic tenets. And coupled with the Western elites’ obsession with holding on to a hegemonic order that no longer exists, this has resulted in such a detachment from reality that some are still making the argument that the West must “unambiguously endorse Ukraine’s war objectives”, including “total territorial reconstitution back to the nation’s 1991 borders” — a scenario that would almost certainly result in Russia’s recourse to tactical nuclear weapons. It’s almost as if such analysts are deliberately trying to provoke Putin into doing this — perhaps believing it will turn Russia into a pariah state and result in a geopolitical win for the West.

Such considerations have probably informed Russia’s reluctance to pursue such action. But in the face of constant Western escalation, how long will Putin be able to resist the growing calls for a strong response coming from the more hawkish factions of Russia’s foreign policy circles? A senior member of an influential Russian think tank, for example, recently suggested that Moscow consider a “demonstrative” nuclear explosion to cow the West into refusing to allow Ukraine to use its arms against targets inside Russia. “To confirm the seriousness of Russia’s intentions and to convince our opponents of Moscow’s readiness to escalate, it is worth considering a demonstrative (i.e., non-combat) nuclear explosion,” its director Dmitry Suslov wrote in the business magazine Profil.

No doubt Western leaders will publicly claim that this is yet another bluff. But what if they’re wrong? Have we really reached the point where a mushroom cloud is needed to puncture our complacency?


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago

To put it in plain English, as wrong and ugly as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is, a) denying the role of Nato/EU in bringing this about is historically ignorant, and b) it’s not worth pushing the increasing likelihood of worldwide nuclear war. And how does prolonging this benefit Ukraine? THEY’RE LOSING THE WAR.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

None of us care do we. As it’s only stupid Ukies dying. But we care about Palestinians dying. It must be because they didn’t bring it on themselves and they are defenceless.

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

What staggering nonsense. (a) Wanting to again subjugate Ukraine, Russia very obviously brought about this war – to prevent Ukraine becoming unsubjugatable by joining Nato. (b) As with Hitler before him, If Putin isn’t stopped here, he’ll just move on to the next victim.
And No the outcome of the war is not settled.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

The first and last rule here is the more you attack Russia the bigger a buffer zone they’ll need against you. One way or another. Your future is in your hands. Better to avoid conflicts which are bound to be be more trouble than they can possibly be worth . Unless you’re a Utopian investor who think they world should be their oyster.

George West
George West
1 month ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

By what metric is Ukraine losing the war? If you say territory, remember that Ukraine has regained the majority of the territory lost to Russia’s surprise invasion. If in terms of the ability to make war, Ukraine is receiving a steady stream of resupply from the West; Russia, on the other hand, has suffered catastrophic losses which will have a generational impact in its ability to wage war. And, if in terms of geopolitics, Ukraine has gone from being perceived as a failed state to being perceived as a scientifically innovative fighter occupying the forward trenches against totalitarianism.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
28 days ago
Reply to  George West

We’ve been hearing over and over how the tide is about to turn in the Ukranians’ favor. Shades of Vietnam. Now they’re attacking inside Russia with American weapons while Russia sends submarines to the Cuban coast. NATO has cynically been promising membership to Ukraine for years without actually following through with it. This whole ugly mess could have been avoided but as it is, is this worth risking WWIII over? Especially with the bumbling, weak, corrupt embarrassment of an American president we have right now?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago

So Russia can slam cruise missiles into Ukrainian tower blocks in scenes reminiscent of the Blitz, threaten to use nuclear weapons and sails warships close to the American shoreline and that’s all fine.
The west gives Ukraine permission to hit the targets causing this destruction to its cities and suddenly it is the west that is crossing a line and acting provocatively?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The West crossed the line when NATO expanded Eastwards despite a promise that NATO would not expand ” an inch Eastwards”.
Of course that promise was made by people who had experienced WW2 and the Cuban Missile Crisis and fully understood the risks entailed in doing so and the consequences of a war and nuclear exchange.
As the article states, we now have leaders who are driven by immediate local political concerns and who regard politics as a means of becoming personally wealthy by fulfilling the wishes of those who can provide it.
As for Ukraine a prosperous future of EU membership but neutrality as per Austria was beckoning but the corruption of its rulers by the West ensured that wouldn’t happen.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

When and where was the agreement that NATO wouldn’t expand signed? Details, please.

Roger Farmer
Roger Farmer
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

I recommend listening to this interview with Jeff Sachs. https://www.jeffsachs.org/interviewsandmedia/lhklf2aek7dtlkd9waelcy3xp8pd8a
Professor Sachs was intimately involved in the reconstruction of Eastern Europe after the end of the Cold War and he is on first name terms with most of the major actors in both the United States, Europe and Russia.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Farmer

He asked you to show the document. Bla-bla-bla is not a document, it’s bla-bla-bla

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

As I recall, the promise was made by James Baker (known as “the Velvet Hammer”…for obvious reasons…) US Secretary of State, a man whose promises, and threats, could be relied on. Regrettably later figures were of less substance.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

The Internet is your friend. Not only did the US assure the Russians of no eastward expansion after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was also this thing called the Minsk Accords that were meant to end one of this conflict’s precursors. There is also the matter of US sponsorship of a coup in Ukraine, but no one likes to talk about such things. It’s always Russia, Russia, Russia.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Wagner

It was all over the tv and radio at the time.

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

The West’s expansion of NATO eastwards can now be viewed as having been a very wise move indeed.
The sooner we expand NATO to include Ukraine the better.
Ukraine has been losing but with new permissions to strike targets in Russia that are attacking Ukraine will see a resurgence of Ukraine’s success in defending themselves.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago

Yes indeed, always wise to lie to and provoke a strong competitor who is likely to react vigorously. I strongly recommend you try it personally.
Of course much better to provoke one and let your weaker paid for sidekick take the reaction, then you can buy up his assets cheaply afterwards once he has been destroyed.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

That’s exactly the plan.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

Yes it is exactly that

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

That’s nonsense. The “not one inch eastwards” quote is in relation to East Germany and giving the old Soviet regime a timeframe to exit the area before it was incorporated into West Germany. It was nothing to do with the likes of Poland joining NATO. There’s also no treaty or written agreement that those sovereign countries shouldn’t be able to choose their own defence strategies, and Russias treatment of Ukraine shows those eastern bloc nations were right to join NATO.
Also why is the Budapest Memorandum never mentioned in these arguments? A written agreement signed by Russia that it would accept Ukrainian sovereignty and borders in exchange for giving up the nukes? It’s fine for Putin to ignore that presumably?
Finally, if Cuba is going to be hosting hostile warships off the American coast are the yanks justified in annexing Cuba for the same reasons Russia is using to justify its actions in Ukraine?

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

People like me just want all of this to f**k off out of our lives.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
27 days ago
Reply to  jane baker

I do sympatize with you here, but this is just wishful thinking. Geopolitics are here to stay.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I’m unaware of any statement to the effect that the “not one inch eastwards” applied only as you say; can you give a source?

Indeed Ukrainian sovereignty was agreed.

But the CIA coup deposing a duly elected President obviously broke that, as did NATO by the subsequent arming and training of Ukrainian troops (clearly aimed at Russia…) not to mention the West’s admitted duplicity on the Minsk Agreements.

As for Cuba you may have noticed the Yanks tried once before to annexe Cuba…that didn’t work out too well…nor did the Missile Crisis when the Yanks almost started a nuclear war…(they didn’t know there already were operational nukes there…the US military wanted to invade…thank god common sense prevailed…)

So it was probably best for tge West just to leave Ukraine alone…but it didn’t.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

I guess the difference is the JFK had actually served in a war,he didn’t think so blithely about it.In her memoir the late Duchess of Devonshire,I forget which sister she was,wrote how JFK and Macmillan got on surprisingly well as they both had wartime experience WW2 + WW1,so they both knew how it was and did not want to subject their populations to it.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

Quite! Macmillan was wounded and many of his friends killed in battle; they were entirely unlike the current armchair warriors where violence only happens to others…and of course they don’t matter

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 month ago

Cuba is an sovereign country. If it allies with Russia that’s its business. The US claiming jurisdiction over Cuba and Cuban waters is exactly the same as Russian claims to sovereignty over its near abroad. If Ukraine can ally with nato then Cuba can ally with Russia.

It would be better if saner heads prevailed and nato didn’t expand east or invite Ukraine into nato, and Russia and Cuba kept their distance but what comes around goes around

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 month ago

The West’s expansion of NATO eastwards can now be viewed as having been a very wise move indeed.
The sooner we expand NATO to include Ukraine the better.
Ukraine has been losing but with new permissions to strike targets in Russia that are attacking Ukraine will see a resurgence of Ukraine’s success in defending themselves.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

For 20+ years in power, Putin did none of the things we are now told he will do or wants to do. So our answer is to provoke him into doing those things? And you’re defending it.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

He invaded the sovereign territory of Ukraine. What on earth does Putin not have to do to justify your “none of the things” claim?

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Yes…so different to the invasion of Iraq, US troops in Syria, CIA coup in Ukraine, attempted CIA coup in Turkey, destruction of Nordstream…

Come off it, Putin merely applies the West’s own rationale; the West cannot complain.

The problem the West has is that the “rest of the world” realises the Wests dual standards and won’t play along…

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Ukraine is about as sovereign as the UK – a loathsome lickspittle of the US.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago

You are historically incorrect.
In agreement to conclude Cuban missile crisis, Soviets agreed to remove the missiles and USA agreed not to invade Cuba.
In Budapest memorandum, Russia agreed to respect territorial integrity of Ukraine, which they did not.
The other counterparties to this agreement were USA, uk etc.
The least the West should do is to provide weapons to country which is defending its territory against Russian aggression.
Anyone who believes that Europe will be safer if Putin succeeds in Ukraine don’t know recent history.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The duly elected President of Ukraine was removed by a CIA coup, so much did the West respect Its territorial integrity.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

The President of Ukraine was ousted because he was elected on a platform of European integration and instead did a 180 and pivoted towards Russia instead.
Blaming the CIA completely removes the agency of the Ukrainian people who were rightly angry at this pivot

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

So you agree, removed because he displeased Western interests. At the price of plunging Ukraine into civil war. While some Ukrainians were only too keen to attack their compatriots, you have to remember that Zelensky was elected with nearly 80% of the vote promising to end civil strife and restore good relations with Russia. When he ramped up hostilities instead and raffled off Ukrainian land and labour rights, his popularity fell to 22% . At which point he launched the all out assault on the Donbas which provoked Russian intervention. That’s the relation between the Ukrainian people and the Kyiv regime.

As was, anyway a few years ago. Now that half the country’s population are gone, one way or another, its economy is shredded and its defences on their last legs, we now see what Washington meant when they talked about fighting to the last Ukrainian.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

No I don’t agree. He was removed by the Ukrainians because he tried to do the exact opposite of what he promised to do when elected. His situation isn’t really comparable with that of Zelensky who didn’t choose to ramp up hostilities with Russia, Russia chose to invade his country.

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Comic-book tripe.

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

I’m an American. I’ve been fascinated by the, to me, astounding claims of the influence by my country and the near magical capabilities of my CIA, contrasted with how much goes wrong for my country internationally.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Holmes

I personally am surprised, perhaps far too often, by the view that Britain is our puppet state. Our societies are very similar, and they’re arguably our closest ally, but they go their own way often enough. (Particularly when we have a bumptious, bungling administration conducting foreign policy, not to name names, like Obama or Biden.) We hardly order the British about, and anyway they’re naturally a very helpful, decent, and well mannered society.
Britain is far more amenable than France, of course, who are always a bit dour, and the UK doesn’t get into nearly as much trouble as Israel, who are surrounded by psychopathic enemies, but those are true of all of our other allies as well.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The terms of the Budapest memorandum were cast aside by the Western sponsored Maidan coup in Kyiv which overthrew the constitutional Ukraine government. If that wasn’t enough, the new Kyiv regime then opened a civil war attacking its own citizens. Over there, people wondered why Putin didn’t intervene earlier. Much earlier.

Fortunately, Putin understood that he was not only dealing with a renegade regime but scheming Beltway Neocons aiming to divide Russia from Europe and, hopefully, restore Yeltsin era chaos in Moscow. While Putin may have failed in immediately overturning Zelensky’s regime, he was able to secure key strategic points in the East and South and most importantly, use Western sanctions as a springboard for regenerating the Russian economy.

However, if Russia’s now stronger than in 2021 in every way, that doesn’t mean it’s now a threat to Europe. That notion was never more than a piece of NeoCon propaganda to keep Russia and Europe apart for their own reasons. And an objective they continue to pursue by open ended hostilities, as all see now,

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago

It is precisely because the perenially imperialist Russia expressly refuses to keep its distance, that Ukraine needs protection from a defensive alliance. All sane heads can see this.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

Complète fantasy. No one’s been able to explain how or why Russia’s supposedly expansionist. They already have more territory and resources per person than they need. It’s the fact that others covent those resources which means they have to defend themselves, whether it’s against Berlin or Washington.

The more you attack Russia the bigger a buffer zone they’ll need. Anyone can see that.

George West
George West
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

Russia’s expansionism comes from–
Its view of history. Historically, Russia, no matter what the governing ideology, practices irredentism. Russia views itself as the rightful ruler of, not only Ukraine, but the Baltic states (and the Baltic itself), Poland, and even parts of present-day Germany and France.
Its view of destiny. Culturally, Russia sees itself as the third cultural pole, neither Eastern nor Western. It feels a duty to project that unique cultural perspective as the only true view of religion and polity. Ukraine and Poland, in particular, are seen as being in need of Russia’s unique vision, and part of its religious and historical identity.
Its view of economic life. Russian culture has always seen a huge gap between those who do the work, and those who control those doing the work. As a result, Russia has always practiced a sort of internal imperialism, requiring sections of its contiguous empire to be colonially subservient, providing cheap labor and resources to a central, uniquely Russian, government.
And a question: Who actually attacked Russia in this situation? Russia attacked a globally recognized sovereign state, Ukraine, after guaranteeing its safety and freedom by treaty.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

You mean apart from their carving off large parts of Georgia…or annexing Crimea…or their forces attempting to carve off large areas of Donbas 10 years ago….or the current invasion of Ukraine?
Yep, no evidence of expansionism at all

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 month ago

Russia knows it would be the loser if it took action against the West, they may be a brutal rogue state, but they are not stupid

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

It’s not going to lose.

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

In terms of its original objectives, it already has. With a flow of western arms Ukraine will continue to bleed Russia (as it bleeds itself unfortunately) and this is being demonstrated right now in the failed Russia offensive in the eastern Ukrainian border areas.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davie

Not true at all. Russia’s doing really well defending itselfwirh rising wages revenues and investment driving growth above that of US and approaching that of China. It’s the only country in Europe now pursuing anything like the social democratic programnes of fifty years ago.

The implications are huge. It all works for them because the country is not mobilised for war. It’s a sensibly balanced defensive strategy. None of this would work if a Russian government chose to mobilise for imperialist expansion.

George West
George West
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

A sensibly balanced defensive strategy does not strip itself of the forces needed for defense. Russia’s huge losses have caused it to redeploy troops needed for security in other parts of the Russian Federation. Russia has also deliberately sacrificed both its specialty forces– like the people who operate and maintain nuclear missles– and its training cadre to meet the ever-growing demands of “human wave” tactics.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago

But you are!

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
1 month ago

Go study Putin especially his early years in school where he was subject to severe bullying at a young age ,won’t tell you how he quietly but surely worked assiduously then openly in full view presented his tormenters with a scenario that put all in no doubt that should far less they but any care to ever attempt to bully again then
‘ I will KILL you ‘ needless to say none have even ever thought of attempting to challenge him
Furthermore well and truly Putin is a Natural born Hunter Killer just as a Great white Shark ,Tiger or Polar Bear is
When he comes for you then be absolutely certain that you will never know When ,Where and How
The sole purpose of Putin if he ever
Makes a move for you then it will be unforeseen, swift and lethal
That’s exactly how all Hunter Killers operate
Make no mistake re.this
Calling his bluff will never provoke him into a wrong response
He shall always maintain control and pick his day where when and what he hits you with
And no warning or even a hint of what’s about to hit you
Just like the Shark or Tiger will

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Retain control as he did when his intent was to crush Ukraine in 72 hours and take it over lock stock and barrel.
He’s made so many wrong responses it’s nigh impossible to catalogue them all.
Putin will be defeated, have no doubt about it.

Michael Cazaly
Michael Cazaly
1 month ago

Russia never assembled a force strong enough to take over Ukraine lock, stock and barrel, clearly because that wasn’t the aim.

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Cazaly

Clearly it was the aim, repeatedly stated.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

Ha ha ha Ho ho ho. Bet you believe in Santa Claus too.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
1 month ago

On ye go then because if The West amounts a major attack upon Russia you have just dragged in the worst possible enemy that you shall ever confront and your downfall shall be certain
Who’s that I hear you ask
Answer China
Why
Because by accident China lives under the Russian nuclear umbrella and the vast majority of nuclear Warhead’s would have to traverse through Russian air space to hit China
Therefore Russia would have insufficient time to ascertain what and who the intended target is so Russia would immediately launch as many of their nukes in retaliation
And to add this explosive mix China knows all too well that should The West neuter Russia then China is next in Western gun sights
And that has been the case since Obama reconfigured US forces away from Europe and the middle East to the Sth Pacific
Big Big Big mistake
As China has now completely commissioned a fully integrated advanced Access Denial defence system just like their 1st Great Wall Which if you breach then your destruction certain
It’s common knowledge now amongst senior military strategist’s than by way of the vast array of Chinese Hypersonic missiles that USA carrier groups are now dinosaurs
Hence America finally accepting this believes that the way forward is their nuclear hunter killer Subs such as the Ohio class
But alas in their stupidity they have not reckoned on Chinese ingenuity who have now developed a complete new technology and integrated system to identify and locate such submarines far less their most lethal modern Type 055 D which well equipped to destroy enemy subs once the subs position known
Destroyers bristling with anti sub torpedoes
What’s this new Tech.now fully tested and passed for deployment ( Think Chinese and how fast they manufacture and deploy )
Nuclear subs such as the Stealth Ohio class are remarkably difficult to detect by way of conventional Sonar
So the Lateral thought process
Which is in the very DNA of the Chinese look at this problem and conclude devising sonar to
Detect highly unlikely to prove successful
Given that China looked at unconventional methodology to overcome the problem
Result when a large object with a specific shape such as a Sub
Has to move positions submerged they no matter at what depth or speeds then a bow wave is unavoidably created So they study such with dedication and lo and behold these bow waves produce a ripple effect upon the surface waters but very small ones but uniquely identify by way of the variances of such surface ripples
Not only is it Sub , but it’s depth, speed,location ,direction of travel and the actual type and class of Sub that’s producing these effects
So what does China do now armed with such vital special info
It’s deploys it’s most recent high tech cameras / imaging equipment into its sattelites most of which they already have
Places constellations of these sattelites into strategic positions so that 247/365 coverage of the seas and oceans to keep a keen eye on
This system is fully integrated into a Highly advanced AI computing system which then alerts immediately it’s naval and air resources to make its way to their targets
Remember as soon as a Sub indentified and located then it’s
Fate is virtually sealed
This once more being developed as Access Denial defence system
Their lateral thinking was deployed against carriers by simple study of the WW2 in the Pacific and the results of such studies were it was not a case of building carriers and support fleets but one of sinking them
Which resulted in the development and massive deployment of Hypersonic missiles
What was the evidence that convinced them to walk down such a road
Japan from the beginning to the end of WW2 Pacific war one way or another had a total of 29 carriers but come the end only 1 was left
China strictly is Confucioun in modus Operandi
And hope these extracts help you comprehend all I say
‘ Stand Tall and See Far ‘
Always display your Humility but hide all your Strengths
Few and very few can even begin to comprehend Chinese philosophy and how their mind operates
And to add China is clever enough never to reveal exactly what type of Nuclear Warhead’s in its Arsenal far less launch methods , numbers etc.
But here’s their lateral thinking again and without even putting
Hypersonic ICBM with nuclear Warhead’s into the equation
They have stealthy constructed 5000Km of tunnels thru mountains c/ w Railways , Roads, power stations , vast industrial machinery of a rocket, missile and satellite nature
And to cap it all many a tunnel boring machine
Why because should you wish to block these tunnel ingress / egress routes then you must deploy at least 100 Nuclear Warhead’s to do so for just one exit / entrance
Therefore here is the Chinese strategy in the event of all out Nuclear conflict
They know most of the military sattelites will be knocked hence what’s in the tunnels
They simply wait to the West has exhausted their nuclear stockpiles and despite the damage to China no matter how severe they simply wait for a few weeks and launch new sattelites to reveal what activity remains in its enemies who attacked China with nukes
Then launch what’s in the tunnels to rain down upon you
And truly sending you back to the Stone age and never ever again present a threat to China
Just as their 1st Great wall did with the Mongolian hordes
Their Hypersonics and much more of their advanced Air and Sea resources are China’s 2nd Great wall
The Tunnels are the absolute ultimate of Walls and their third Great wall
And just like the 1 St great wall it’s is purely defensive because if you ever stupid enough to breach these walls then your total destruction is guaranteed
Don’t for even a Millie second even think about far less attack. China if you do your history is already written and awaits publication
It’s no accident that China is a 5000 yr old civilisation

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

China would quickly lose a nuclear war with the West. Their navy could give our Pacific fleet a run for their money, certainly. But their two aircraft carriers are barely operational, their “hypersonic missiles” are few in number and hardly battle proven, and their cities as well as their missile batteries would be quickly flattened by our missiles, stealth bombers, and submarines.
Russia is weaker yet, and neither country is suicidal.
Neither, of course, are we, but we nevertheless shouldn’t allow invasions, bullying, or oath breaking to go unpunished.
I expect at some point that saner heads will prevail, Russia will roll back a bit, and Ukraine will cede a bit of its territory. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth on both sides, but any society tires of war at some point, or simply runs out of soldiers, sailors, and airmen, or its economy sputters out. War is purely waste, economically speaking.
China’s growth is flattening as it’s population ages – by design, as they refused to reproduce anywhere near a replacement rate – and their rapid expansion led to vacant neighborhoods, godawful pollution, huge amounts of waste, blatant financial and economic fraud, and worldwide resentment.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

He’s made a mess of it, but he will win the war.

Buck Rodgers
Buck Rodgers
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Are you erect?

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

He’s the man.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

He’s a shitty, cowardly psychopath.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Huh. He’s made a mess of Ukraine, even with overwhelming military superiority. He will win the war, but it’s been a mess.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 month ago

Yep. How we got here is a story of epic stupidity, and having arrived at a place so improbable from where we were in 1991, we just dig in deeper. Great work.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

So the mindless insistence on expanding NATO to include Ukraine gets a free pass. Seriously?

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

So its ‘mindless’ to affrord Ukraine protection from Russian imperialism? Just as it was ‘mindless’ to oppose Nazi Germany’s similar imperialism?

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

Punksta, Oh grow up for God’s sake.

George West
George West
1 month ago
Reply to  P Branagan

That’s not an answer. It’s a personal attack. You might do well to follow your own advice.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

Fat stupid playground Bullies don’t like what they do being done back to them.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

Yes, that’s what Zelensky found. What goes round comes round. Still, he’s taken enough from the tills to buy nice houses abroad.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
27 days ago
Reply to  0 0

Most probably not as nice by far as Putin’s.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 month ago

Both the people and the “leadership” of the West have lost their minds. Encouraging the Ukrainians to fight on with no realistic hope or any real intention of seeing them win is madness. Continuing to under-estimate Putin’s game of International Poker, even though he’s won most of the hands so far is Madness.
Likewise, imagining a ‘two-state solution” in the Gaza War or the Biden cease-fire plan ( Israel stops trying to destroy Hamas and releases hundreds of prisoners in exchange for a promise from Hamas that they will return the hostages) is Grade A Madness.
I’ve been reading history all of my life but I never imagined this kind of global madness. This puts a kink in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Are we, in the end, genetically bound to destroy ourselves with stupidity?

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago

Not calling Putin’s bluff is what is madness. The very last thing he wants to do is justify Nato countries actively entering the fray.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

Please crawl back under your slithery rock Punksta.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
27 days ago
Reply to  P Branagan

This is not the kind of language i wish to read in this forum.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

Unlike Western poseurs, Putin’s bluff is not fluff.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

My comment assumed that the reader does NOT want WWIII. Those of you who are looking forward to it are way beyond my help.

Punksta .
Punksta .
1 month ago

There is of course no “war against Russia”. Only aganst Russian imperialism.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Punksta .

That’s easy then. You have peace. Because there isn’t any such Imperialism. They were happy selling and buying things with us in Europe. It was someone else who didn’t like that.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago

Fazi, Western politicians are certainly not distinguished by their intelligence, but even they are far from you. If the West followed your logic, Russian soldiers would already be trampling the Atlantic coast of Portugal with their boots.

Citizen Diversity
Citizen Diversity
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

But here in the UK, that sceptred isle, demi-paradise, we have the English Channel. Oh, wait a moment…

0 0
0 0
1 month ago

US run talk shows in Switzerland and Italy try to cover over their disarray and lack of legitimacy with fine words. It’s a parody of the Western vanity and deceit Putin’s always defined himself against. Russian democracy requires more transparency and facing up to realities on the ground. Putin’s responded to that by showing ready to walk the the walk before he starts the talk. So his ‘bluffs’ are not fluffs.
.
And, although by nature and experience a cautious man, Putin’s can and does take definite, even bold, steps. Much criticised over there for being slow to intervene in the Ukrainian civil war in defence of Donbas separatists, he’s made it clear they’ll never be abandoned now, even if the cost is Armageddon. But he’s also drawn a clearer line than ever around the limits of Russian aims in defending them and itself. Stoltenberg and others would have done better to take his proposal for a partition of Ukraine at face value rather than idly mocking it. Small withdrawals from the Donbass margins without further loss and an end to bombardment, what’s not to like? And Russia’s security buffer zone defined merely as confirming Ukraine’s absence from NATO. A generous present, which, if hardly deserved by the Kyiv regime, confirms Russia’s interest in de-escalation and, dare one suggest, peace.

If, on the other hand, Zelensky’s, Biden’s and Stoltenberg’s rhetoric of mounting conflict begins to be matched on the ground, that will put Russia in need of a larger buffer zone, which could extend, as you suggest, beyond the boundaries of Ukraine. Even to the Carribbean.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  0 0

Russian democracy requires more transparency – You are healthy?

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 month ago

The author acknowledges wise leadership successfully stood opposed to the USSR, but ignores the fact that the USSR had nuclear weapons and the threat thereof, just as Putin rattles his bombs today. How can wisdom then be stupidity now?

Claire M
Claire M
1 month ago

Excellent analysis of a thoroughly depressing set of circumstances. We are very fortunate that Putin – the only intelligent adult in the room – continues to treat western leaders as children throwing tantrums in the playground. We are fortunate he is so patient and long-suffering in the face of the empty-headed recklessness of western governments. The battleships in Cuba are a clear message that U.S. hegemony and bullying is over. We would do well to accept the irrefutable truth of this.