Original article The Avanturist [Translated by Dmitry Orlov]
Since we are at a turning point in world history, here are some thoughts. Just thinking out loud, without detailed arguments, graphs and protracted discussions. No time for that!
First, a couple of words about the Ukraine, because it is the hottest topic. Smart people have been warning the Ukrainians for 20 years. If they did not hear and did not understand, they alone are to blame.
I believe that the decisions taken by the Kremlin were correct and timely, and the good results are plain to see.
A few more days and the military operation will end with the liquidation of the Comedic Reich, war crimes tribunals, and a complete reset of the Ukrainian project. Part of the Ukrainian regions will sail off in the general direction of eventual integration into Russia. Another part will form a new Ukraine in the form of, formally, a federation, but in fact a confederation. Naturally, its constitution will be written in Moscow, it will sign treaties of eternal friendship with it, it will host permanent Russian military bases, etc. Basically, this should not take much time, except for the re-education of the deluded masses.
And now the important news on the current Western economic attack on Russia and its consequences. The West is striking out very hard and will go on doing so. And the consequences will be catastrophic for us already in the medium term—let us not harbor illusions. The British, on behalf of the entire merry band of thieves, said that they would not rest until they have destroyed the Russian economy—and we should take them at their word. This is an open declaration of war with the goal of the complete destruction of Russia. If we answer civilly and moderately, as we have done before, then Russia will be defeated outright within 3-5 years.
But there is an important consideration. Never—never!—in all 1000 years of East-West confrontation, has the West started a war against Russia from such a weak, vulnerable and I would even say hopeless position. It is just that for some weird reason they are seriously hoping that we will play by their rules and quietly die in a corner.
To be honest, we don’t have that many means of bringing them to see the light. We could close our airspace. This would please the Asian airlines and ruin half of the European ones in 2-3 years: unpleasant but not fatal. We could confiscate all the property of Europeans and Americans in Russia. Again, this would be unpleasant, but no one would die on a grand scale. We could stop supplying aluminum, nickel, titanium, palladium, etc. They would suffer in the short term, but then they would change their logistics and, in spite of additional costs, get everything they need in the right volumes. We could introduce a ban on the supply of fertilizers and grain. Tough, but the European poor would just pay double for food—what else would they do? All of these measures can and should be taken, but these are nothing more than slightly painful pokes and prods. And most importantly, the tangible consequences of most of these pokes and prods will not be felt immediately. What’s needed is a single quick and convincing blow with an oar to the temple. Everyone knows what that would be like, but not everyone understands how it would end and how quickly.
The Eurocrats have calculated that if Russia cut off natural gas to the EU, it would have enough reserves for six weeks, and then help would arrive in the form of LNG from all over the world. They would suffer for a month and a half but would muddle through. And Russia would go bankrupt without gas revenues. Well, well! In fact, everything play out a little differently.
First of all, our naïve little friends, who said that it would just be the natural gas? If the Kremlin flips the switch, it will cut off everything at once: natural gas, crude oil, fuels and lubricants, coal, alternative fuels and electricity. They don’t even have to stop deliveries, but simply switch to prepayment in physical gold—without violating their supply contracts. If Russia is cut off from SWIFT, it won’t be able to accept money for payment. Europe has enough gold for just for 3-4 months. That’s the way to rolling them: turn off their lights, but formally simply change the means of payment to a more reliable one because of force majeure. So sorry, but you brought it upon yourselves.
And now, the consequences. These will arrive not in 6 weeks, and not even in 6 days, but literally within hours, as prices for fuel, gas and electricity in Europe and the US will skyrocket. Don’t we know how dealers, speculators and other brokers react to such news? Shortly thereafter, battles over gasoline will begin at gas stations, up to and including the use of firearms. At most a few days later public transportation and freight will stop running. Since all supermarkets work from a warehouse on wheels, and there will be no means for delivering goods, it will not take long for shelves in the stores to be swept clean. Any delivery truck that manages to breaks through to a shop will be looted right in the street.
Two such presents in just the first few days are already sure to be met with jubilation by the general population. But don’t worry, folks, a few more surprises are on the way. Specifically, $5,000-10,000 per thousand cubic meters for natural gas on the spot market and a correspondingly high price for electricity. What can be produced at such energy prices. That’s right, nothing! The entire industrial sector will stop at once, with mass layoffs. Without products, there will be no need for services: good-bye, small business! And so on down the food chain.
All of these suddenly liberated workers, in an amount of slightly less than 100% of the previously employed population, will find themselves sitting on their last can of gasoline with about a few cans of spam they won in a fistfight, looking at their layoff notice and thinking at their leisure about the impossibility of paying their utility bills, which have increased tenfold and are slightly more than their bank account balance.
Let’s not even mention such trifles as the collapse of the financial markets which are now so precarious that a mere loud sneeze could collapse them by 60-70% in a month; or commodity inflation, which within days can turn into hyperinflation; or a severe shortage of fertilizers and fuels and lubricants for planting, guaranteeing crop failure of grain and other foods come harvest time. And so on along the path of full Somaliaization of Western economies.
Are the bureaucrats ensconced in Brussels and Paris so sure that the population will meekly and patiently wait for tankers to arrive from the US? Will those tankers definitely come? Will they really help out? And what if Russia does not just introduce a trade embargo but immediately follow it up with a continental blockade? Russia could simply declare that no tankers need to go to Europe and Japan just yet because we wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to them. Will private traders and vessel owners ignore this message? Perhaps at first, until a test firing of a Kaliber missile nearby causes them to suddenly remember that China had also asked them for some oil and gas.
Thinking that the EU will be able to hold out for 6 weeks would amount to drug-addled optimism. The consequences of such an embargo-cum-blockade would be comparable to a massive nuclear strike and would cause the EU to collapse in a few weeks, maybe even days. The fashionable head cold, lockdowns, restrictions, financial losses, the uncertainty of the future and other pleasures of the last two years have brought a significant part of the population in Europe very close to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Russia’s participation can push it across it. Why watch chaos on TV—as it unfolds in the Ukraine—when you can watch it live right at home? Given all of that, in a couple of months, somebody much fatter than the Ukraine will be sign an unconditional surrender.
And then it will be time to talk about lifting the sanctions, about disbanding NATO, about the political status of Eastern Europe, about ending American presence in Europe, and about Western reparations for all of the damage caused to Russia since the time of Alexander Nevsky (1221-63). Russia might accept payment in gold, lands, intellectual property, people—whatever it needs. Smart people have been warning Western fools for 20 years now that the world is heading into a resource crisis. There is no need to quarrel with those who control the resources and can protect them with harsh measures and, moreover, can simply cut you off.
Considering that Putin went for broke in the Ukraine, which is something that practically no one expected him to do, there is every reason to expect that he will also raise the stakes with Russia’s eternal Western “friends.” Right now, Russia has a realistic chance to close out the millennium of “Drang nach Osten” once and for all, present all bills for payment, and start building a new world order that will be convenient and beneficial for it.
The winner will write the rules while everyone will gets to look up to him and to try to be friends with him.
How long will this take? Well, if the Ukraine is buttoned up by March 2nd, then Russia could turn the valve on the EU and Japan by the following weekend. And then by April Fool’s there should be a delegation of fools arriving at the Kremlin, ready to sign whatever is on offer. And then everything should be fine by summer. By the way, this would also be a perfect time for China to get back Taiwan. And then maybe Russia could get back Alaska and California.