Russian soldiers killed: 3,500; Russian tanks destroyed: 100+; Russian combat vehicles destroyed: 500+; Russian jets shot down: 14.

If I could, I would give you tomorrow’s news NOW!

Unfortunately, cluing in the world to yesterday’s news and Russia’s blood-and-soil religious fantasia might be easier.

To such elites, all of whom fall on the spectrum of Western Educated Industrialized Rich and Democratic, WEIRD for short, Putin represents an atavism whose motivations they cannot understand. The Kremlin strongman adheres to a distinctly throwback view of international relations where the use of force is normal, and countries protect their national interests unapologetically, with all the instruments of national power. Putin’s wholehearted embrace of religiously-infused nationalism, which boasts a venerable history in Russia, leaves WEIRDs befuddled yet has real resonance among average Russians. Western doubts that the former KGB man has “a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” miss the point, but then the West has never understood Russian Orthodoxy very well. No matter what Putin really believes, his public embrace of religiously-grounded national conservatism provides his regime with an ideological anchor, one which happens to view Ukraine’s subservience to Russia as a spiritual as well as geostrategic necessity.

Schindler, John. “Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Is a Religious War.” Top Secret Umbra, February 24, 2022.

Related on BackChannels: “Read and Weep: Signal of the Return of Endemic Russian Anti-Semitism: Bausman: Russia Insider: January 15, 2018.

I’ve heard that religious wars are the bloodiest as there are no ends to arguments about the Divine or even its existence.

Screen capture February 20, 2022.

Perhaps EU/NATO should have seen this coming with the truth about 9/11 (i.e., where terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri spent winter 1996-7 courtesy of the KGB) and the reflexively controlled “New Nationalism”.

I’ll go “Full Tonto” on you here and add to the plausibility of the related “Truthers”: “Explosive cutting of a steel girder using Dioplex 30mm” (Alford Tech, YouTube, October 8, 2013); “Jonathan Cole-9/11 Experiments: The Great Thermate Debate-AE911Truth.org (AE911Truth, December 3, 2010).

Of course, Plausibility in no way neutralizes Deniability.

However, add at least one or two sideshows.

On the same day gun rights activist Maria Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison for acting as an unregistered Russian agent, the president stressed his support for gun rights at an NRA meeting.

Mak, Tim. “The NRA, Maria Butina and Trump”. NPR, April 27, 2019.

Okay, no biggie, but Butina most certainly chose to target with her charms a most conservative institution representative of not only America’s heartland but its gun-and-hook and healthy outdoor and clean living heart.

From major flag-bearer of democracy Anne Applebaum:

in the 21st century, we must also contend with a new phenomenon: right-wing intellectuals, now deeply critical of their own societies, who have begun paying court to right-wing dictators who dislike America. And their motives are curiously familiar. All around them, they see degeneracy, racial mixing, demographic change, “political correctness,” same-sex marriage, religious decline. The America that they actually inhabit no longer matches the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant America that they remember, or think they remember. And so they have begun to look abroad, seeking to find the spiritually unified, ethnically pure nations that, they imagine, are morally stronger than their own. Nations, for example, such as Russia.

Applebaum, Anne. “The False Romance of Russia.” The Atlantic, December 12, 2019.

Donald Trump’s in this too: “Trump again praised ‘smart’ Putin amid Ukraine invasion and said the US had become a ‘stupid country’ (Alia Shoaib, Business Insider, February 27, 2022), and with good reason — on this blog, “Trump’s America in Retrospect: Russian Real Estate Entanglements” (October 9, 2021) — if I do say so myself (and I do).

Mike Pence, far to his credit as regards devotion and pledge of faith to his nation’s ultimately humanist and secular Constitution, has taken a hard line on Russia.

So, in my best Orwellian: Trump Medieval! Pence Modern! And “Pompeo Medieval!

The Cold War–the west’s struggle against Russia’s Soviet Union and its Communist Party–has been regarded as having ended on December 25, 1991 in relation to the bankrupting of the state in relation to its defeat in Afghanistan in 1989.

With relation to America’s national security interests and international peace, what arrangements were made between the United States and Russian security cultures in 1992?

I have no answers for that.

America’s wacky political paranoia, however–more for entertainment than righteous cause, some portion of Americans has loved The X-Files, made pilgrimage to Area 51, and bought in on UFOs–has also produced a notorious anti-Constitutional Administration (2016-2020) — with its Head of State fully entangled with Russian money — and has done so in defense of lost eras and lost powers.

What happened back there — in 1992, perhaps — to bring us to this passage with a now former authoritarian American president steaming in the wings while a deeply disturbed and piratical Russian power in the figure of one Vladmir Putin makes a mess of modern Ukraine?

I have been breathing for 15 seconds after the last question mark, and I still don’t know. 🙂

However, we of EU/NATO geopolitical space have seen in action Russia’s Active Measures, Cyber Warfare, related Destabilization Measures, Hybrid Warfare, and the twists of a “New Nationalism” accompanied by authoritarianism and mafia drift in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and the United States (add France in the making of a big deal about Marine Le Pen) — and on this day a warning and perhaps a bid from Russia presaging nuclear warfare.

Applebaum, Anne. “The False Romance of Russia.” The Atlantic, December 12, 2019.

Financial Times. “Ukraine war news from February 27: Moscow places nuclear forces on high alert, BP exits stake in Rosneft, Norwegian oil fund divests from Russia.” Live Updating Ukraine coverage. Financial Times, February 27, 2022.

Good Times Bad Times. “Ukraine Defends and Waits for Supplies. Day 3. YT Video. February 26, 2022.

Hayden, Michael Edison. “U.S. White Nationalists Group Linked to Pro-Kremlin Propagandist.” Southern Poverty Law Center, October 6, 2020.

Michel, Casey. “How Russia infiltrated the world of American religious-right filmmaking.” Think Progress, February 8, 2019.

Mak, Tim. “The NRA, Maria Butina and Trump”. NPR, April 27, 2019.

Oppenheim, James S. “Trump’s America in Retrospect: Russian Real Estate Entanglements.” BackChannels, October 9, 2021.

Oppenheim, James S. “United States of America — Basic Training.” BackChannels, February 2, 2017.

Rampton, Roberta. “U.S. Vice President Pence’s hawkish tone on Russia contrasts with Trump approach.” Reuters, August 4, 2017.

Samuels, Brett. “Pence: Biden’s Russia sanctions ‘don’t go nearly far enough’.” The Hill, February 25, 2022.

Schindler, John. “Exploring Al Qaeda’s Murky Connection to Russian Intelligence.” Business Insider, June 10, 2014.

Schindler, John. “Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Is a Religious War.” Top Secret Umbra, February 24, 2022.

Shoaib, Alia. “Trump again praised ‘smart’ Putin amid Ukraine invasion and said the US had become a ‘stupid country’.” Business Insider, February 27, 2022.

Sosa, Michele Gama. “The Deadliest Religious Conflicts in History Explained.” Grunge, January 24, 2022.

Stewart, Katherine. “Christian Nationalism Is One of Trump’s Most Powerful Weapons.” Opinion. The New York Times, January 6, 2022.

Tsvetkova, Maria. “Russia, Ukraine agree to talks; Putin puts nuclear forces on alert.” Reuters, February 27, 2022.

Vasovic, Aleksandar and Alexander Marrow. “Russia, Ukraine agree to talks; Putin puts nuclear forces on alert.” Reuters, February 27, 2022.

Walker, Carter. “Who’s Charles Bausman? A closer look at the pro-Putin blogger who moved to Lancaster.” Lancaster Online, October 30, 2021.

Wikipedia. “Aleksandr Dugin“.

Wikipedia. “Night Wolves”.

Wikipedia. “Russia Insider”.

Wirestone, Clay. “Former Kansas congressman Pompeo quick to heap praise on Russia’s ruthless Putin.” Kansas Reflector, February 23, 2022.