FOR those of you who find the standard Western media reporting on the Ukraine war inadequate, biased or a vehicle for Zelensky’s propaganda, and don’t know where to turn, I would like to point you to Simplicius The Thinker’s substack, which offers ‘in-depth geopolitical and conflict analysis’.
While most of us can make a 95 per cent probability guess as to who blew up Nord Stream (not Russia), understanding what happened to and who is to blame for the catastrophic destruction of the Kakhovka Dam is significantly harder. Many in the Western media are very quick to cast Russia as the villain, Sky News for example stating categorically that there is ‘no evidence to back Russian claims of Ukraine attack in dam footage.
Simplicius’s detailed and balanced post-mortem of the dam breach however, which you can read here, suggests the opposite and casts a long shadow of doubt on any such conclusion. His article, published on June 7th, starts by asking the question that should be on everyone’s mind: ‘Who was responsible for the Kakhovka dam, and as a corollary, who does it benefit most?’
He then proceeds to conduct a comprehensive and forensic evidence-based analysis – a report even – which shows that it could make sense for either side, Ukrainian or Russian, to have blown the dam up. He reminds us that the Ukrainians hit the dam last year when Russian troops were withdrawing from the west bank of the River Dnieper. He reports Ukrainian officials and top Telegram channels caught deleting their previous posts from last year where they gloated and bragged about having hit the dam repeatedly; and other sources that argue for Russians to have blown the dam would be like ‘blowing their own foot off’. He also points to the advantage its collapse gives to the Ukrainian forces by washing away a number of Russian defensive lines and a large number of mines, put there in anticipation of a huge Ukrainian landing force attempt. And that although the ground will not be trafficable for some weeks by Ukrainian armour this is only a short-term issue. He says it also diverts attention from other areas which could be the focus for attacks.
There is much other detail on the energy loss impact. Perhaps most important is the case he makes about propaganda and psyops value to the Ukrainians: ‘It allows Ukraine, with the help of global media, to get another major psychological victory in the form of international pressure against Russia at the key moment of the kick off of their offensive’. What he does not speculate is whether it could have been orchestrated to coincide with our very own Foreign Secretary’s visit there – creating possibly a great anti-Russian propaganda opportunity?
For the Russians to have done it, the case Simplicius puts is that it secures their western flank, albeit at the cost of soldiers’ lives. But again, that is short term and it would allow the movement of troops from there to other areas of the front. He ends by saying: ‘Note that the Russian side of the river suffered the worst of it, particularly the town of Kakhovka, which as I said before was known all along, as the unique geography there simply makes Russia’s side more vulnerable to the flooding. Which, again, is a point against the theory that Russia did it.’
Reading the full article (which I do recommend and it is here) demonstrates how complex and difficult is ascertaining truth, and the general failure of the Western media even to attempt this. The huge danger is that reported by our media without any objectivity or scepticism the claim that ‘Russia did it’ is extremely useful for those only interested in escalating this endless war.
Which brings me to Professor John Mearsheimer’ analysis of where this is all leading. At the end of last April he was interviewed by Gita Wirjawan on his EndGame podcast on his geo-political analysis. It pivots to the topic of Ukraine at 24 minutes in where he explains why he thinks the war in Ukraine is set to go on for a long, long time. Biden he says has always been particularly hawkish on Ukraine and how when he became President he doubled down – the end result being this war. It never needed to have happened. And now, he says ‘we (the USA and the West) are taking a bad situation and making it worse. And we have done this consistently since April 2008. We made a bad move then and we have not corrected our behaviour at any point. We continue to double down and make the situation worse’.
A fascinating interview on the very real tragedy of political hubris.
You can watch it here.