Monday, April 10, 2023

Why Putin May Have Exposed the US/NATO Ukraine Operations Documents

By Thomas Lipscomb - April 10, 2023 at 10:05AM


While the US, at least since 1992, has been riding rough shod over international law and custom under its preferred “rules based order,” in an imperial pursuit of hegemony as arrogant as it is incompetent, Russia’s Putin has apparently been patiently filling out what it saw as compliance briefs and required paperwork during the same period of time, assuming the governing validity of international law.

In a major reversal from previous Cold War practice, the US and West floats even the most improbable propaganda when it chooses to offer an explanation at all, as we can see from the idiotic constantly changing stories about Nordstream, while Russian communications have been clear, pointed and detailed. One forgets too easily Putin is a lawyer and whatever contempt we may have for his education in Soviet law, he clearly takes legal restraints seriously. Putin builds a record, thoroughly and in detail, and is consistent in giving advance warning and then an explanation for his actions, step by step.

The “Special Military Operatio” seems like a rather contorted and constrained format for the Russian intervention compared to the bull in china shop American filibustering of the past 30 years. But there were lawyerly reasons Putin organized it that way. Although he had barely begun the SMO, Putin almost immediately recognized Lugansk and Donetsk as part of Russia because he saw that waa required under Russian law to carry out his operation, and alter and expand it as necessary. 

It is significant that with Ukraine on the ropes after the New Year, Putin has still taken a considerable amount of time educating both his own Russian public and the international onlookers as to how America’s actions since its exercise of the Maidan coup of 2014 had left him no alternative but to intervene in Ukraine. And he had taken every action he could to avoid it and negotiate a settlement. Just last week, to her amazement, America’s distinctly undistinguished new ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, was treated to a lengthy detailed lecture on how American plotting and bad faith had brought the whole Ukrainian mess about. And China’s Xi has used his ‘peace proposal” to carry the same points in conversations with Macron, the Ukrainians and others.

What does this have to do with the bizarre release of what look like 100 pages of authentic secret US/NATO operations memoranda on Ukraine? After all many have correctly observed there are really few newsbreaks here and there is nothing really in it that is a surprise to anyone other than the fact that someone was able to get their hands on the documents. So what purpose does releasing these documents have and to whose benefit?

Perhaps they make it possible to use US/NATO documents, rather than Russian assertions alone, to establish a legal framework and build the record for whatever settlement Putin plans to impose upon Ukraine. It helps prove Putin’s case that his intervention was required by an active and ongoing conspiracy led by the United States to use Ukraine to attack and subvert Russia.

In the world in which the Ukraine war began, under an assumed prevalent US hegemony based upon “rules” dictated by America’s inclination du jour, Putin’s “record” might have been accurate under the standards of international law but had no real power. And western financial and military power had subverted many of the international courts and and regulatory agencies to serving Western interests rather than those of the international community. But given the immense changes in the international power structure wrought by the contest in the Ukraine, the United States and the West is being dragged kicking and screaming into a world in which they are just several of many powers and no longer predominant. Russian diplomacy has skillfully turned the majority of the world against Western illusions of dominance. Now that the war is coming to its conclusion in a Ukrainian defeat that exposes the military and economic weakness of the Western powers, Putin’s de jurerecord may become operative and de facto in a multi-soverign world returning to standards of international law.

It has other uses as well. With the exposure of these documents Putin lays the groundwork for perhaps diverting much of the anger of the new Ukraine against the US and the West for using it in a proxy war that was not so much pro-Ukrainian as anti-Russian as well as advancing his case before the international community and the bar of history itself.

Reprinted with permission from



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