If you’re pushed for time and just want his answer, go to 46:05 of this 52:34 interview of Dimitry Orlov – last featured on New Year’s Eve, when I called him “this highly intelligent man” – but you’ll be cheating on yourself. Along the way, and guided by the admirably succinct questioning of Nima Rostami Alkhorshid, who lets interviewees do the talking, Dimitry addresses a bunch of burning issues. For instance:
Why was Russia not invited to the December peace talks?
Because Zelenski’s demands are ridiculous and their concession – “return” of Crimea, Donetsk etc 1 against the express wishes of their peoples – would under Russian law be treason. And because Washington knows this.
What is the role of Washington’s European partners?
They aren’t partners but vassals. As such they have no say in any settlement.
Why is Russia defeating NATO where the USSR could not? … What are NATO’s future prospects? … Could Biden be re-elected? … Can US, UK and Israel defeat Yemen? … Could the USA descend into civil war? … If so, what are the implications for Europe and for Israel?
Whether or not we agree with all he says, and for the most part I do, as my posts at least as far back as February 2022 show, 2 when this man holds forth it’s like a keynote lecture by a prof at the top of his game on a subject he’s too familiar with to need flashy rhetoric. There’s neither the gung-ho boyishness (at times unseemly and more importantly a threat to objectivity) of the otherwise excellent Scott Ritter, nor the nerdiness of the otherwise excellent Alex Mercouris …
… just a man – raised in Leningrad, living for decades as a US citizen and an engineer who long ago turned his considerable intellect to the study of an empire in decline – who knows his stuff. I’d like to see him in discussion with Michael Hudson, since each not only picks up where the other leaves off but makes frequent forays into the other’s terrain. When Dimitry compares the effectiveness-driven nature of Russia’s arms sector with the profits-driven nature of America’s, he touches, whether he knows it or not – and it’s my guess he does – on Michael’s turf: the self-destructive tendencies of neoliberal, hyper-financialised economies.
Finally, this is a man whose invaluable insights are leavened by dry and wickedly dark humour. Enjoy.
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- The Maidan ‘colour revolution’ of February 2014 ousted Viktor Yanukovitch from Kiev to shoe in a US-pliant regime anointed by Victoria Nuland and hostile to Ukraine’s ethnic Russians. The following month Crimea (historically Russian but in 1954 assigned to Ukraine by Khrushchev for reasons unclear but of minor import when both were Soviet Republics) voted overwhelmingly to annexe with Russia. As for Donetsk and Luhansk, Kiev’s refusal to honour Minsk 2 – now admitted by Merkel and Hollande to have been a calculated lie – was the last straw, after years of provocation, which triggered Russia’s SMO.
- For the record I take seriously Dimitry’s occasional conspiracy theorising. I learned the hard way, eating humble pie re 9/11, that it is foolish at best, mendacious at worst, to reject an argument on the a priori ground that it posits a conspiracy. Some conspiracy theories are absurd even on their own terms, others resoundingly upheld. On yet others the juries are still out.