Victoria Nuland, Major Force Behind Failed Project Ukraine, Retires Unexpectedly

It is a cause for celebration that behind-the-scenes neocon mover-and-shaker Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is retiring at the end of March. Her replacement is Dick Bass, former ambassador to Afghanistan, and like Nuland herself, also a former direct report to Dick Cheney, i.e, another dyed-in-the-wool warmonger. However, Nuland was singularly effective, as proven by her longevity and in serving both parties, with the Trump Administration her only time out of formal power since 1993, when she was chief of staff to Strobe Talbott, then Deputy Secretary of State. As most readers know, she is part of a neocon family enterprise, married to Robert Kagan and the sister in law of Kimberly Kagan, President of the Institute for the Study of War. From the Wikipedia entry on Robert Kagan:

A co-founder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, he is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kagan has been a foreign policy adviser to U.S. Republican presidential candidates as well as Democratic administrations via the Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He writes a monthly column on world affairs for The Washington Post.

Nuland’s star seemed to start fading almost immediately upon her promotion to the Acting Secretary of State position last summer, which she assumed temporarily through February while retaining her Under Secretary of Political Affairs role. Larry Johnson argues that Under Secretary of Political Affairs role is more powerful since the overseas bureaucracy of the State Department reports to it. And he also points out that there is no other gig for her that would be better, even if she had not put the retirement gloss on her resignation.

Nevertheless, it was the newly-nominally-elevated Nuland that was dispatched to try to rally support from African states to oppose a military coup in Niger, which the US had treated as a linchpin for “democracy” and counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel. Her intervention was an embarrassing bust:

This felt like a portent that her star was fading. But the big story is of the massive backfire of her long-standing campaign to damage Russia, ideally via regime change against Vladimir Putin. Nuland was a visible figure in the 2014 Maidan coup, famously handing out cookies, where a democratically elected but now unpopular President had agreed to early elections…but that was not good enough. President Yanukovich fled Ukraine as his presidential vehicle, en route to Kharviv, was targeted (he was actually on helicopter and proceeded out of the country). He was removed by a non-constitutional process and a new constitution was adopted, again outside the prescribed forms. Confirming that the US had its hands all over this scheme, she and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoff Pyatt, were caught on the notorious “Fuck the EU” recording, discussing who should replace Yanukovich even before the coup was in the crisis phase.

Nuland along with Biden also bragged that the US would be able to make sure NordStream 2 would not go forward if Russia invaded Ukraine. More recently, Nuland asserted that Putin would suffer some “surprises” soon; one has to wonder if that included the plan by the German military (note against the orders of the political leadership) to use Taurus missiles to take out the Kerch Bridge (the generals clearly considered this to be an ineffective use of scarce but powerful weapons and debated hitting other targets). Even though the US press is reporting the German consternation over the security breach of Russia obtaining the recording of the phone meeting, there is also uproar about the military trying to advance an agenda contrary to the official government position of no Taurus missiles to Ukraine.

But even before the possibility that Nuland had her fingers in this scheme, there was another big sign of her diminishing power, a reflection that Project Ukraine was going pear shaped. Nuland made an emergency trip to Kiev when General Zaluzhny was refusing Zelensky’s demand to resign. Recall that Nuland had and presumably still had strong connections to some Banderite power-brokers; Zaluzhny was a hard-core fascist. It’s not clear exactly what she wanted to happen but the optics of this presentation point to a big failure:

She’s outside in an empty square, dressed as a political maven put it “looking like a garbage truck,” with no crowd and bad lighting. This means at a minimum that Zelensky (and perhaps Zaluzhny too) refused to let her use any space in the government buildings to stage her talk. In other words, this was a big diss, yet she insisted on trying to apply porcine maquillage to it.

Some additional commentary:

The only gratifying part of this picture is her life’s work is turning into a heap of ashes in real time. But that’s occurring only at huge human and financial cost.

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  1. Froghole

    This news reminds of Oscar Wilde’s famous remark on ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing.”

    Only Ms Nuland’s legacy is no joke. She has been one of the most ‘consequential’ US policymakers of the period after 1990, and perhaps in US history.

    1. Neutrino

      How many, in theory holding responsible positions, during her tenure had the opportunities to oversee, redirect or quash her more destructive impulses? She is emblematic of unfettered behaviors and redefining the boundaries of sociopathic acts. Some legacy.
      Was there ever a good cop to attempt to balance or cancel those deplorable acts?
      Or was she purposely allowed and encouraged to indulge in private crusades and quixotic adventures as part of some twisted notion of foreign relations?
      She, the PNAC, and how many other insiders, think-tankers and other self-anointed super-elites continue to operate in the name of the USA without accountability. One resignation is not enough to rid the government of those hyphenated hypers, but is slightly encouraging.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Only the Pentagon when they would actually become responsible would ever stop these people even when it includes the brass. The widespread calls for a no fly zone were emblematic. There was no doubt a no fly zone would materialize. I think the Pentagon logistics people had to sober everyone up, but it was people who do things like understand how far planes can fly who had to end that dream.

        The 800 bases and deindustrialization of the US is stopping the US. Just look at the State department. Kerry may have been the best of the lot since Christopher. Even then, conditions restrained the US. We had the story of Dempsey explaining to Kerry that Syria could retaliate. Kerry didn’t nave a clue before pushing policies.

      2. spud

        as long as the american elite never have to pay a price for their follies, we will get one after another running the american government. hillary and many like here and her husband, are waiting impatiently in the wings for their turns.

      1. JohnA

        Those would have to be wooden stakes, driven through her heart (if she has one), to finally finish her off.

        1. pjay

          A very fitting observation. Neocons don’t die. They only retreat to some think-tank or cushy corporate position until they are summoned to rise again and bring Hell back to the world in a future administration. Until I see that stake I’m not celebrating much.

  2. Guy Liston

    Nuland, a real horror, and one hardly to be included in the human race. I’m no Christian but I like to think she will end eternity in a most special section of Hell, Mike Liston

  3. john r fiore

    Why is it the US, far and above any other country, produces so many “hawkish” female diplomats and technocrats? Is it the consequence of complete takeover by the MIC? How is it possible that a diplomat with no military background or experience is permitted to make or take part in, military related decion-making in foreign countries? How is it possible that after a string of grotesque failures, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, she continued to be promoted? Is there no one at the state department who can see this?

    1. Gregory Etchason

      Success or victory isn’t part of the business model of the MIC. Destruction, death, consumption and diversion of government resources is the model of the MIC. In that sense Victoria Nuland is a giant of the 21st Century.👹

    2. Paul Art

      I have thought long and hard about this and have come to the conclusion that Good Leaders produce other Good Leaders and Bad Leaders produce other Bad Leaders. Its a kind of ‘Demonstration Effect’ coupled with the “Role Model” effect. The rot started with Kissinger I think and then we had Brzezinski, Albright, Hillary and all these war mongers probably spawned Vicky. I do doubt though if she needed any motivation considering that she sprang from the original lunatic Russophile Hatchery viz. the Kagan family.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The turning point was Obama. He had the opportunity to clean house which was vital, and he didn’t. Now, the president is an Iraq war monger among other issues. Nuland’s association with Cheney should have kept her out of any job.

        It’s not that isolationism is good, but even if you pretend the rot really started in 2001, that is still 20 years worth of hires and promotions that need to be cleaned out. It’s why Blinken would go to Africa and be put out African leaders asked for concessions in exchange for doing what the US ordered them to do. There is no one left to keep the political side in check.

        Like Nuland’s reception in Africa and some other high profile receptions, everyone knows the US is just bizarre amateur hour. Biden hosted the Chinese in Anchorage and proceeded to have them berated. Biden told Iran he would reenter the Iran deal if Iran made concessions. If Trump was as bad as claimed, everyone in the foreign policy side of things should have told him to reenter the deal and dunk on Trump. I just don’t think those people exist anymore.

        1. Reply

          Obama’s Nobel is a wasting asset, amortizing rapidly during the waning days of the Biden trip. His place in the pantheon looks evermore tenuous. Those hopes and dreams of the Committee have faded along with their relevance. The Nuland interval is sans medals, and is further punctuation or puncturing of those Sub-Elite lies. A good housecleaning, or stable cleaning, is in order.

      2. Gregory Etchason

        We suffer the dregs of Late Capitalism. All that remain after scarcity is the business of war to maintain power. Power the ultimate drug of choice of “elites.” History is a tale of elites misguiding and mishandling the efforts of society.

    3. Buzz Meeks

      Her allegiance is to Israel. Israeli/ Zionist interests control the US government. These are people whose every bone and thought is twisted and crooked so Nuddles has been a perfect choice for helping to bring the US down and to destroy and kill millions of non Jews to further Israeli aims in the Middle East.
      Israeli interests have formed US foreign “policy” since planning the first Gulf war. A long record of disaster, starvation, bloodshed and failure.

    4. IMOR

      Far and above contemporary Germany or Estonia? You sure?
      It’s a West-wide phenomenon, isn’t it?

  4. Steve H.

    Janet and I were discussing what sort of undead to describe her as.

    Hillary qualifies as a Lich Queen. A lich is a magician that has become undead for immortality. Completely self-absorbed, so overcome by ambition that they literally sacrifice their soul. When you look for the abyss in the dark mirror, eventually you see it’s your own eye.

    Nuland, on the other hand, has been motivated by an external hatred. Janet did well with Vampire, sucking the life’s blood out of hundreds of thousands of people.

    But, upon consideration, I don’t think it’s quite right. Vampires maintain their form through eternity, until dust. I was shocked to see early pictures of Nuland, and her form has changed a great deal. Not just the bloating, which could be too many cookies. It’s been said that hate is anger AND disgust together, and that face fits the description. Her naso-labials look like they’ve been juicing.

    So I think it might be more along the demonic lines, bloating with the souls they’ve consumed. Maybe a dragon, like the Umber Sprite in ‘Mage’.

    Open for suggestions.

      1. Robert Hahl

        “Just a small town girl with a dream — to destroy Russia.” Alex Christoforou

      1. .Tom

        Withes, vampires, lich queens, dragons and all the rest are way more cool, as far as I can tell from the culture that deals with them, than this dismal example of a human being.

    1. timbers

      Maybe Victoria resigned so she can join the UAF, but herself where her mouth is, and help defeat Russia. What would that then make her?

      Something like Darth Vader who’s destiny was to “balance The Force” at just the right moment so that neither side grew too strong, who at first stumbled into the Dark Side but can equally stumble back to the Good Side because that was his destiny and so he was not totally evil and with a possibility of redemption?

    2. chris

      These people are more like revenants or strigoi. They don’t have the force of will to become a lich a la D&D, nor do they have one weak point that if you destroy it they perish. They just keep coming back to torture the living. In both sets of mythology you create these foul spirits by living a life of sin and dying under a curse. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear that Ms. Nuland, Ms. Clinton, Ms. Albright, and the cast of women warmongers in Europe fit that description.

    3. Daniil Adamov

      The vampires of older South Slavic folklore were bloated from the blood they drank. Like mosquitoes.

  5. LawnDart

    No statute of limitations on crimes against humanity and mass-murder

    I hope that she’ll soon have a bounty on her head and is made an example of, be it by judicial means or other.

    1. Paradan

      I saw a blurb on Twitter where Bannon commented on her. His advice to her was to get her paperwork and documents gathered up, and start putting together a legal team, because they(Team Trump) intend to prosecute her. She is directly responsible for the mess in Ukraine.

      Of course if they actually tried that it would be a mud-storm like no other. Our ruling class has a longstanding tradition of not being held accountable.

      1. Feral Finster

        Trump will do no such thing. Soon as he took office in 2016, he dropped “lock her up!” like it was a hot turd.

        For that matter, even if Trump tried, Nuland would instantly become a #resistance martyr and cause celebre. Sort of like Vindeman and those general who basically ignored the orders to leave Syria (who also weren’t ever charged with anything) .

      2. chris

        No, if there was a just God, we would read tomorrow that Vicky and Bob, all the Pelosis, all the Clintons, all the Bushes, all the Obamas, all the McConnells, the editorial team of the Atlantic, and all the CIA democrats, were mysteriously sent to the last place they had brought freedom to. Never to be heard from again.

        Silence. Ignominy. Derision. Social ostracization. No one picking up their calls. No one offering cushy tenured gigs. No one offering them board positions. Just vanishing in a poof of smoke to live small lives someplace where no one will ever find them or hear from them again. They should all live long, healthy, lives, and die very old, so that they do not become martyrs.

      3. cousinAdam

        I heard the Bannon ‘observation’ from Mark Sleboda during a podcast interview featured on his Substack page. I view him as a speed freak slimeball ( there was a time when even Trump seemed ‘spun up’) but he sure ain’t no dummy. I didn’t hear Sleboda say that the lawsuits would come from Team Trump but I can’t say I’m surprised.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    I wrote a comment yesterday that went into the ether, through my own fault. Hours later, I am still contemplating this resignation, in particular because I am in Italy, which has been damaged by NATO shenanigans in Yugoslavia, Libya, Palestine, and Ukraine.

    One must speculate:
    –Nuland is only 62. According to U.S. practice, she isn’t even eligible for full Social Security monthly benefits. So I’m wondering about her next career. Keebler Elf at the Magic Poison Oak?
    –There’s something odd about the timing. Isn’t the State of the Union set for tomorrow? Surely, anger-addled Joe will have to comment. To what effect? On her “fierce passion” (sheesh)? I doubt that events at Avdiivka pushed her out the door.
    –Right now, Ukraine is collapsing “below the radar.” Even the people demonstrating for Palestinians don’t seem to be able to put two and two together, that both wars are of a piece. (As is the occupation of Syria.) So I’m wondering if it is the failure in Ukraine that cut her down. Meaning >
    –I suspect the problem is Israel. The Israeli stories aren’t working out (NYTimes and Anat Schwartz troubles, the mystery of killing people in a breadline, the murders of Palestinians on the West Bank…). Someone misjudged and mismanaged Israel.

    The mind boggles at the intrigue of the court of Byzantium.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      There is something hasty about the press release, too, written as it is in International English Drivel, now so common throughout the world.

      Note the bad line break in paragraph for at the word “world.” No one proofreads a one-page announcement?

      Then the use of the word “seamlessly.” Yeah, sure, Tony.

      “She finds light in the darkest moments.” Who knew that the banality of evil would be this excruciating? But indeed it must be.

      Yep, she was pushed out. But I still want to know why.

      1. jan

        There is something hasty about the press release

        Maybe they used ChatGpt. More than she deserves.

      2. Keith Newman

        @DJG, Reality Czar, 7:43
        Why Nuland’s departure now? At this level everything happens for a reason.
        My hope is it’s a signal the Biden administration will role back project Ukraine and Israel’s genocide, at least until after the November election. Biden’s chances for reelection are being badly affected by both. If both fade into the background by May or June they will be largely forgotten by USians by November.

    2. Cervantes

      You mention 62 as not being eligible for social security, but that is actually the age when a U.S. worker can start to receive diminished social security benefits, and it is also the age when a federal employee under the FERS system can receive their full pension with a 10% bonus (1.1%*high three*years instead of 1%*high three*years). So, 62 is a natural year to retire.

      1. Harry

        But generally you don’t get to receive SS and Federal employee pensions. Usually Federal Government employees are not entitled to SS.

        1. Cervantes

          That was true under CSRS, but the modern FERS system which replaced CSRS includes a pension, social security, and a 401(k)-like plan called the TSP. All new employees from the late 1980s are on FERS. Since Nuland started in the 1990s, she would be on FERS.

    3. Robert Hahl

      My guess is that the State Dept. was finding it impossible to retain and recruit employees while she was in the building.

    4. vao

      Israel you say?

      Wasn’t there a furtive announcement a couple of days ago that many high-ranking Israeli officials (including the IDF spokesman) were resigning? I have not seen anything more about this.

      My guess is that the mess in Ukraine, Israel, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Red Sea, and the Sahel has reached such proportions that ferocious infighting between factions has erupted to determine who is responsible and who will now take over.

    5. NotThePilot

      Right now, Ukraine is collapsing “below the radar.” Even the people demonstrating for Palestinians don’t seem to be able to put two and two together, that both wars are of a piece. (As is the occupation of Syria.)

      Yup, a lot of people still don’t seem to recognize this is technically a world war, if only because the theaters are linked through US/NATO resupply and strategy. So far (thankfully) it’s just been a crazy-quilt, hybrid war rather than the nuclear apocalypse pop culture dreamed up.

      That’s why Venezuela’s moves on the border of Guyana are definitely something to keep an eye on. And it might not be just an opportunistic attack if the US gets pulled in deeper to other fronts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Iran and Venezuela have talked about opening up that front “at the right time” as part of the escalation ladder in Palestine.

      Then there are Pakistan, the South China Sea, the coups in West Africa, etc. But yeah, Nuland finally jumping the shark and retiring shambolically is definitely a win. A very small one for a world in such a big mess, but you take your wins where you can get them.

  7. Trees&Trunks

    I am a bit more terrified now. She is now unfettered from any state-level boundaries of the polite people.

    Bill Gates was a pusher of crappified software and the arguably the source of the word crappified. However his evil was unleashed after he stepped down from Microsoft: kiddie fiddler with Epstein, covid-profiteering&promotion and media bribery to not cover those and other stories related to this mass murderous paedophile (,

    Given her pathological hatred of Russia, the weapons leaked out of Ukraine, her buddies being Ukronazis and Zionazis, there is a true risk of her engaging in pure terrorism, say together with CIA and other terrorist organizations. It would give the USA regime deniability.

    Favourite Nuland-exit would still be seppoku.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Perhaps, like all those US military in Ukraine after their “resignation”, she is heeding Zelensky’s call for women to go to the front and fight the Russians, and is packing her fatigues as we speak.
      Perhaps she teed up a gig while in Kiev recently, as General Nuland?

  8. The Rev Kev

    Back in 2021 Biden pulled US forces out of Afghanistan which puzzled me at the time. It was not like Biden to pull back from an imperialist venture and certainly not one that was so lucrative. But several months later it became clear that the reason that Biden did so was to clear the decks for Project Ukraine which would be a helluva lot more lucrative. So maybe we are seeing a repeat here. Project Ukraine has proved a bust and the Russians are set to tie this one up. What I am saying is that perhaps this is the beginning of an effort to clear the decks so that the US can go onto their next project in 2025 – Project Taiwan or should I say Project China. Nuland here is the keystone player for Project Ukraine so she would have to go first. Blinken is a major player too but they can hardly get rid of the SecState. So I would not be surprised to see several more players leave the scene in the coming months and being replaced with anti-China players. The guy that replaced Gen. Mark Milley – Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. – is a known China hawk so the pieces are falling into place.

    As for Vicky, I like to picture here wondering her house late at night tearing her garments and occasionally knocking her head against the wall shouting ‘Grandfather, grandfather. I have failed you and my dreams are shattered. I tried to destroy Russia for you but instead it has grown bigger and stronger than ever (screech).’

    1. upstater

      May she drown her sorrows with more unhealthy food and less movement. I want to see this monster weighing in at 200 kg. Ditto for the hubby.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        While I otherwise never comment on the physical appearance of a female public figure, she exudes an intense foulness that is commensurate with her behavior.

        1. XXYY

          What’s that creepy jewelry around her neck in her official picture?

          It looks like the withered hand of some horrific deep sea creature that died a long time ago.

        2. JBird4049

          When you look at her earlier official portrait of IIRC 20 years ago, the changes from that are remarkably horrifying. We all get unpleasant changes as we age, but I wonder if she has done anything else besides her public litany of Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and Africa that would etch her face so deeply? Or would that be darkly?

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            As Nelson Algren (I think, reputedly) said, “At twenty you have the face you’re born with, at fifty you have the face you deserve.”

    2. bonks

      I too fear that this may be the beginning of a direct conflict with China, beginning with the attempts to ban Chinese EV cars, and just yesterday, Tiktok, for the umpteenth time. Beijing is eschewing some traditions at this year’s Two Sessions as if in a rush to get back to business; they might know something the lay people don’t. I only hope that they’re worrying about the economy, and not a hot war the rest of us are unaware of yet.

    3. Feral Finster

      I suspect that NATO will only continue to double down on Ukraine. And why shouldn’t they? Western leaders are feeling no pain themselves, and they flaunt their contempt for the people the rule over as so many cattle to be slaughtered and sheep to be fleeced.

    4. Lena

      The image of Vicky trying to avenge her immigrant grandfather’s experience in Russia is a compelling one but I wonder where it comes from? She never knew her grandfather, who died in 1958, three years before she was born. Her immigrant grandmother died in 1941.

      Her father mourned the loss of his mother but had a difficult and distant relationship with his father. Much of her father’s life was an attempt to assimilate into WASP culture in America: changing his first and last name, marrying twice to Gentile, not Jewish women, etc. (According to rabbinic law, Vicky, if she has a Gentile mother, would not be recognized as Jewish unless she undergoes an Orthodox conversion.)

      Why would it be so important to her to destroy Russia in the name of a grandfather she never knew, a grandfather who caused her own father a lot of psychological pain? I have seen references to this family-related need to avenge before but I don’t know the basis for it. Is it something she has talked publicly (or privately) about? It seems much more likely her hatred for Russia was formed by her husband’s influence and perhaps her own academic study.

    1. Susan the other

      The legal question should be, Who the hell did she think she was? And who did Blinkie think he was? And those twerps Zelensky and Johnson? And so on. Who gives anyone the authority to create a slaughter of anyone like this? Millions of people. Fucking millions. When Vickie said “Fuck the EU” she was expressing her unjustified frustration at the EU’s reticence to engage in a war against Russia so close to home. If you look at it in those perverted terms, Victoria did succeed. The EU has been tragically orphaned by their big custodian and they are dithering over their sudden and premature obligations to pay their own way. So Vickie won that one. What she lost was her soul. (But only is she had one.). It looks like she won her own obsessive battle but she lost the war. Tsk tsk.

    1. Lena

      Tony’s looking like a hollowed out shell of a human being, because that’s what he is. His stepfather, Samuel Pisar, Auschwitz survivor, lawyer and closest friend of Robert Maxwell, would be so proud.

  9. Benny Profane

    Nasty surprise, indeed. Something is up. Maybe negotiations are well underway, and she was the first sacrifice for the deal? Or just a gesture to Putin?

  10. Lena

    The picture of ‘Toria’ in her green blazer reminds me of one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings about a person who lets a big one rip, then innocently asks “Who did that?”:

    “Smellers, owners”

    Unfortunately, I think her stink is going to be around for quite a while.

  11. ciroc

    If I could question her, I would ask her if she really wanted to “liberate” Ukraine, the land of her fathers, from Russia and turn it into a prosperous, free and democratic nation, or if she only saw it as a kamikaze drone state to attack Russia in line with the interests of the U.S. empire.

    1. Feral Finster

      Don’t expect an honest answer, just lots of Eagle Flag Freedom talk, not a word of which she believes herself.

    2. Snailslime

      I strongly suspect it’s mostly the later with her, BUT since there is a strong and very widespread tendency amongst people one could describe as ultranationalist to be willing to lead their own (supposedly beloved) countries into ruin and slaughter, I wouldn’t exclude a hefty dollop of the former either.

      Being utterly and chillingly callous about the actual lifes and wellbeing of the flesh and blood people, caring only about some hyped up, abstracted, romanticized and ultimately fictional idea of the country instead, seems pretty much constitutional to being an “ultranationalist”.

  12. mrsyk

    She’s bailing out so as to put a little distance between herself and the upcoming “L” on Ukraine. Next stop is probably the think tank circuit. I’m sure the Atlantic Council will be happy to have her back.

    1. Benny Profane

      Yeah, there will be a nice at least six figure income for her, somewhere. She’ll be fine.

      I wonder if she’ll have the cajones to write a book about all this. Betcha. But she may be restricted by law.

      1. elkern

        “How Biden Lost Ukraine” would sell pretty well. Publishing it before the election might endear her to Trump. Mirriam Adelson could probably persuade Trump to give her a big chair, and the MSM would applaud Nuland as an experienced “diplomat” with bipartisan credentials.

  13. MaryF

    The Ukraine project seems to be overtoasted and on its way to the bin officially, but I can’t believe this appalling woman is going to start knitting and baking.
    Perhaps freeing her from her official role is to enable her to continue her anti Russia pro Ukronazi duties more illegally under the radar and under the protection of the CIA and the Kagan family umbrella.
    Her successor seems in the same mold but with an anti China focus
    Good times continue

    1. Feral Finster

      Lady Macbeth gone Lady Macbeth. She cannot do or be anything else other than what she is, and past predictions of her departure have proven premature (such as when the Trump Administration fired her).

      The thing with sociopaths is that, once you pull back the mask, once you look past The Will To Power, there is nothing else there, you are staring into an abyss, a void.

      It’s like talking to a cancer cell, a virus, if a virus could speak.

  14. Nikkikat

    I think she was pushed out too. I also think there was something fishy about the timing. I think she has been up to her neck in israel too. The Ukraine was a disaster as ill planned and stupid. Israel is a disaster too. I find it hard to believe that the brain addled Biden is in charge of anything. Tony’s memo is also a puzzle. She is quitting and just got herself promoted. The message she sent from Ukraine on her last visit was unprofessional and deluded. It sounded like she had plans to continue to foment terrorist attacks, why would she quit now? It doesn’t make any sense. But it doesn’t make sense either that Biden fired her. Hoping for some leaks somewhere. What a relief she is gone.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden is flippant and prone to outbursts. It’s entirely possible he was given a more level headed assessment. Even the Afghanistan withdrawal story was precipitatedited by basically Biden having to listen to assess briefing instead of mugging for the camera. Biden can’t fire Blinken, so he fired a woman. I mean retired a woman. Given Biden’s history, we can’t overlook her gender and who has been retired especially when Trumpers are still around.

    1. timotheus

      Perhaps she will land at some “independent” agency charged with monitoring the information that is permitted to reach us given that blame for the mega-debacle in Ukraine must be attributed to a failure of will among Americans, whose minds were poisoned by Putin-lover propaganda. Or some even more shadowy entity cooking up “resistance” attacks on Russia. BTW, can you imagine being her grandchildren? Scenes from “The Zone of Interest” come to mind.

  15. Victor Sciamarelli

    It might be that Nuland is merely abandoning a sinking ship. Still, the problem isn’t Nuland; it’s Biden. The fact that she worked with Cheney and Biden tells us how little daylight there is between the two parties on foreign policy and that Biden is the super war-hawk who wanted Nuland on board.
    Biden as vp was Obama’s emissary to Ukraine. On Nov. 10, 2019, the NYT published, “What Joe Biden Actually Did in Ukraine” By Glenn Thrush and Kenneth P. Vogel. They wrote, “When Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2014, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., pressed President Barack Obama to take decisive action, and fast, to make Moscow ‘pay in blood and money’ for its aggression.” “Mr. Biden worked Mr. Obama during their weekly private lunches, imploring him to increase lethal aid, backing a push to ship FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev.”
    It’s no surprise that as president, Biden wanted nothing to do with diplomacy or avoiding a war with Russia. Nuland was a welcomed addition to Biden’s savage neocon administration.

    1. Benny Profane

      Biden will be dead and gone soon. She’ll be with us for maybe fifteen or more years. So, she and her ilk are the problem.

      1. undercurrent

        Some people would reasonably argue that biden is already dead, and we’re living in his private hell. Our ice cream melts, his runs down his chin.

      2. Victor Sciamarelli

        It was Joe Biden who nominated Nuland for the position of undersecretary of state for political affairs. Nuland was widely known as an interventionist and not a diplomat.
        If Biden wanted a diplomat in that position, there was nothing to stop him.
        Biden is responsible for bringing in Nuland and he is responsible for the Ukraine debacle.

        1. undercurrent

          Joe Biden is a genuinely evil man. Evil might be a word that has gone out of fashion, but it’s exactly correct, and appropriate,to describe the man. Seemingly soulless, remorseless, witless, he has it all, and I swear that a day doesn’t pass when he, a ‘practicing’ catholic, either does something, or fails to do something, that I find utterly beyond honest belief. He, a shitty old man, has made it possible, no, obligatory, to resurrect not only the notion of evil, but of sin.
          So what does joe biden want? An end to the dying and destruction in Ukraine? An end to his genocide in Gaza? A government that works to help everyday Americans live better lives? Happier lives? No, joe biden remains indifferent to all that, because all joe biden really wants are those things that only benefit himself and anyone named biden.

          1. nippersmom

            As a practicing Catholic, I find it offensive that Joe Biden, an adherent of genocide, war & regime change for profit, mass incarceration, and a score of other oppressive polices, claims to be a member of my faith. Quite frankly, I think his support for the Zionist regime and its inhumane actions should alone qualify him for excommunication.

  16. Jeff A

    She’ll have first options on some Gaza beachfront, along with Zelensky and all the other wretched characters since the zionists took over America.

  17. Richard H Caldwell

    Ding-dong, the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead! A cause for celebration; but why, oh why, did Biden let her in in the first place? The damage and carnage is breathtaking.

    1. Samuel Conner

      My first thought on seeing the news, yesterday ~ 1 PM at MoA, was “the Wicked Witch of the West” is gone.

  18. John W.

    Kurt Campbell was elevated to deputy secretary of state one month ago. He is a China obsessive. That he immediately pushed Nuland out means simply that the China obsessives have sidelined the Ukraine obsessives, and that the US is likely gearing up for war in the Pacific.

  19. Skip Intro

    This celebration is very premature. These people fail up. Even if she was defenestrated, she is bound to turn up as next head of NATO, or ambassador to Taiwan. Maybe Kamala will tap her for the VP slot, when old Joe finds his way off stage.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Agreed. These people always fail up and are always taken care of with plush new jobs. Ursula von der Leyen’s whole resume consists of her failing badly and then getting promoted to a higher job.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The head of NATO will always be a European.

      She’d never get a truly political post.

      And she RETIRED which = no more jobs. She can give speeches, write books, be on a couple of corporate boards.

      1. Jams O'Donnell

        “The head of NATO will always be a European.”
        The General in command of armed forces is always a US General. Guess which one has the power.

      2. Skip Intro

        From your keyboard to god’s screen!
        My speculation was intended for entertainment purposes only.
        I hope.

        Can she still get President of Harvard?

  20. BM

    Maybe ‘Toria’s terminally ill. She looks ungodly unhealthy. Lost her sense of uplifting black humor that so amused Blinken, perhaps?

    Anyway, hubby, notorious neocon postulator Bobbie Kagan, can no doubt support her in retirement and provide a stack of a dozen fat pancakes slathered in butter and drenched in genyooine all-American high fructose GMO corn syrup for brekkie of a morn.

    Given that Biden is now so obviously mentally incapacitated, and Tony Blinken so obviously not an aithoritative figure, who actually is running the US at the moment? Only the Shadow knows. With historically recent Afghanistan failure, now Ukraine and Israel on the ropes, how does the US propose to beat China over the head into terrified submission in Further Adventures in Sociopathy? You know, and still prevent empty inventories at Amazon and Walmart and their ilk. Well, they’re not thinking that far ahead, because neocon sociopaths don’t do that. Today is all that matters, and hell, as Biden once said, “We’re the United States of America, for God’s sake!”

    1. Lena

      Illness is a possibility. On her father’s side of the family, there’s a history of cancer. Her paternal grandmother died young of colon cancer (her paternal grandfather had syphilis). Her surgeon father died from cancer. His side of the family had a lot of other serious health problems (tuberculosis, heart disease, several infant deaths). Her father wrote a book about death, a subject that seemed to consume him. He suffered from severe depression and at one point considered having a lobotomy. I don’t know anything about her mother’s side of the family.

    2. ChrisPacific

      The whole ‘Toria’ thing was weird. Who uses a name like that in a retirement announcement? It’s like somebody referring to Bill Clinton as ‘Bubba’ throughout a press release.

      Leaving aside the idea that there are people out there with enough affection for her to use a familiar diminutive nickname, which I suppose I knew was true in theory but I prefer not to contemplate if I can avoid it.

  21. dingusansich

    From the closing sequence of Three Days of the Condor: “The fact is, there was nothing wrong with the plan. No, the plan was alright; the plan would’ve worked!”

    What was the plan? Same as ever. Divide and conquer. Split Russia into 41 countries. And ours be the power and the glory. Forever.

    Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. But see it from Nuland’s point of view. This is doable. This will be good. If we just …

    To speak of Nuland as a classic Ugly American is not to demean her appearance. She simply personifies a stance long recognized for arrogance, presumption, and obliviousness. Nor is it an American monopoly. In the century before last we might have spoken of the Ugly Brit. What we see instead is a dimension of corruption by power, the appetite for more, the belief you’re entitled—no, obliged—to take whatever you can. Talk like a gardener, by all means. Why stir up needless opposition? But act like king of the jungle.

    But pride has a way of overestimating means and underestimating obstacles. It becomes like King Canute, commanding the tides, while failing to understand the story as a lesson in humility and limits. Instead we hear pompous proclamations and read confidential tidbits from blob-like chickenhawks, the empire’s apparatchiks, about how they are history’s actors and reality is what the say it is. Restraint is for losers, the weak, what they sneeringly call the “virtuous.” The strong dominate. And make some money on the side.

    Thus the notorious absence of a reverse gear. If pushing isn’t working—push harder. That is the credo of the faction. You do not get ahead by saying “Um …” You get ahead by saying “Can do.” Because if you’re not getting ahead, you’re falling behind. That’s not the American way (for god’s sake).

    So while it’s heartening to see “Toria” go, it’s not the last we’ll see of Torias. They come in all races and genders. They are Democrats and Republicans. They are not in short supply.

    1. Jams O'Donnell

      ” . . . a classic Ugly American is not to demean her appearance. She simply personifies a stance long recognized for arrogance, presumption, and obliviousness. Nor is it an American monopoly. In the century before last we might have spoken of the Ugly Brit.”

      Now you have to talk of ‘Ugly Westerners’, as the Europeans, Australians, Canadians etc. all want to get in on the ‘ugly Brit/Yank’ act. Fortunately for them, not much ‘acting’ is required – it all comes naturally.

      But this mad arrogance and blindness is so widespread that I almost begin to believe that there is some environmental/political cause – perhaps ‘Late Stage Capitalism’ is inevitably throwing up this garbage?

  22. Morongobill

    That last photo of her had me wondering, where have I seen that look before.

    Then it hit me.

    In Shogun, when the head of Lord Yabu was presented to Lord Toronaga.

  23. none

    Nuland’s Wikipedia bio says she wanted to become Deputy SecState but Biden appointed someone else, so Nuland decided to step down.

    1. .Tom

      Wikipedia gave this AP source on that one

      She had been a candidate to succeed Wendy Sherman as deputy Secretary of State and had served as acting deputy since Sherman’s retirement seven months ago but lost an internal administration personnel battle when President Joe Biden nominated Kurt Campbell to the no. 2 spot. Campbell took office last month.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That is interesting. I had assumed the Deputy Secretary position would be more influential, certainly more prestigious. It certainly appears to = more face time with international leaders. Larry Johnson (who recall is ex CIA) contends her Assistant Sec for Political Affairs has way more practical power due to the # of personnel that report to it.

        1. elkern

          Based on Nuland’s [inadvertently public] record, she doesn’t seem like a good choice for “more face time with international leaders”. Maybe that was just a rare case of managerial good sense by someone on the Biden FP Team?

      2. Lena

        That has the ring of truth. When you are serving as an ‘Acting Whatever’, and are passed over in favor of another person for the permanent position, it is never a good career sign. Shows a lack of confidence in her by TPTB. Must have ticked her off.

        1. .Tom

          Agreed. I concluded this was compatible with what DJG, Reality Czar wrote above, “Yep, she was pushed out. But I still want to know why.” It could be all sorts of things, including very likely the most banal and petty things.

  24. Gregorio

    For some reason, she has always reminded me of Nurse Ratchet in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

    1. RA

      I’m sure it’s good but beyond me. Please help me get it.

      “Elizabeth Bathory” I found with a search. Appropriately nice lady.
      But I find nothing that fits Choaties. Can anyone help explain that reference?

  25. Russell Davies

    It is said that good (or is it bad?) things come in threes, so what are we to make of the following triptych?

    Firstly, there’s the New York Times’s fantasy of a reluctant CIA finally giving way to the assiduous courtship of Ukrainian intelligence officials, not even saying no when those very officials began staging assassinations and other lethal operations, to build a joint Ukraine/CIA intelligence operation from 2014 onwards (which also included MI6 and Dutch intelligence). Secondly, there’s the leak of a conversation between German officers of the Bundeswehr plotting to destroy the Kerch bridge and other targets – and perhaps plotting to destroy Olaf Scholz at the same time. And thirdly, there’s Victoria Nuland’s “retirement”.

    All three occurred in the last two weeks, although the Bundeswehr conversation took place a little earlier on 19 February. Despite its multiple fantasies (Russiagate, Russia’s intention to topple the government in Kiev, etc.), the NYT piece reads like a eulogy to a sometimes difficult relationship which has now produced a child mature enough to venture out on its own.

    The question of who leaked the Bundeswehr conversation has yet to be revealed. John Helmer has a piece on his website from Vzglyad by security analyst and former GRU officer Yevgeny Krutikov who speculates that the leak had to come from US intelligence because it’s unlikely that Russian intelligence was following Brigadier General Frank Gräfe around the world in the hope that they could catch him out with an indiscreet use of an insecure Wi-Fi network. Krutikov has a mole providing the leak, but what if it was a deliberate leak by US intelligence, effectively warning Scholz of the plot to undermine him?

    Finally we come to the demise of Victoria Nuland – or Toria as we must now call her – the chief architect of the Ukraine policy, the one who spent $5billion to engineer the coup that got rid of Yanukovich. Now she’s been got rid of but not without the nauseating eulogies: “There is so much to admire about Toria beyond her diplomatic skill,” said Tony Blinken in yesterday’s press statement. Is cutting loose Toria a prelude to cutting loose Ukraine?

    Do these three events mark the point where the US decides that it has got what it wanted from Ukraine and now it’s up to the Europeans to manage the mess left behind?

    Before the Russian invasion, Michael Hudson said that Germany was the US’s main target in this conflict and Germany has seen its energy costs multiply to the point where it’s seen its industries shredded, or move to the US; it has also been comprehensively cut off from Russia, not least by the Nord Stream sabotage.

    Halford Mackinder’s concept of an East Europe stretching from Berlin and Vienna in the west to Moscow and St. Petersburg in the east has been completely sundered. There is now no East Europe capable of commanding the Heartland and a World Island that extends from West Europe to East Asia is broken. The problem for Europe is that it has become nothing more than “a little promontory on the continent of Asia”, as Paul Valéry wrote one hundred years ago, while Russia and China reap the benefits of a Eurasian connection from which Europe has deliberately excluded itself and, in the process, become completely dependent on the US.

    But if the US is withdrawing from Ukraine, is it now switching its focus to China to create havoc in the East through Taiwan?

  26. Feral Finster

    She is getting the WWIII that she wanted, it is baked in the cake, so why not retire now at her crowning moment of her life’s work?

  27. Retired Carpenter

    Most of the commentariat know the Lira presentation about Ms. Nudelman ( ); it might be useful to review it to understand some of her motivations. Ms. Nudelman has the blood of milllions on her hands. In a just world she would be prosecuted as a war criminal. May Fate treat her like Lady Macbeth.
    Retired Carpenter

  28. mehitabel

    I work at State, and this is the first I’ve heard about it. Nobody tells us anything.

  29. Barbara Crane

    Aurelien Nails it!

    Long and detailed dismemberment of what she stands and worked for;

    quote from end:

    “Internally, the loss of Ukraine and the strategic adjustments that will follow will be a shattering blow to the self-image of the Professional and Managerial Caste, and to their radical Liberal ideology.
    Consider: a state that publicly values religion, tradition, families, culture, language and history has just wiped the floor with a globalist ideology that denies and seeks to destroy all these things.
    Not only will this cause an identity crisis within the PMC, it will also cruelly expose the fact that current globalist liberal ideology gives people nothing to fight for: indeed, it systematically denigrates and destroys all motives for which people have historically struggled, whether politically, industrially or militarily.
    Its ideology tells people that they live in evil societies which are structurally racist etc. and whose histories are a cause for shame and humiliation.”

  30. Willow

    Odd that Nuland steps down & gives up just because Russia is winning. Would have thought there’s plenty of work to done on the next phase which would be an insurgency in a Russia occupied Ukraine. Three reasons I can think of as alternative reasons:
    1. Joining someone’s campaign team and expecting to return with a promotion.
    2. Anti-China deep state really really pissed resources wasted on Ukraine and everything has come to naught and under pressure she needed to bow out.
    3. Cunning as a shit house rat, strategically stepping aside in short-term as doesn’t want to be part of a Biden Admin/gov’t team that may end up getting done in the Hague for supporting genocide in Gaza.

  31. ChrisRUEcon

    This brings me much joy! I feel like a team should get an award for this, like a while bunch of writers coming on stage at the Oscars … LOL

    Putin! The unassuming man who took Russia over when Yeltsin couldn’t deal with the self inflicted drunken stupor he descended into when he realized the colossal magnitude of his family-blog-up! Western media has turned Putin into a super-villain the likes of which no comic-book or spy-thriller writer could ever conjure onto a page or screen. He hacks elections! He turns minds! He murders foes! He remains undefeated! To borrow a term from sh**-Libs, Putin has truly persisted!

    Elvira Nabiullina! A special shout out to this magnificent woman! She’s got ice in her veins! Cooly and calmly, she has navigated the assault of foreign sanctions, working with bi-lateral partners (namely China & India) to shore up the external sector despite USD assets being unavailable. Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

    Xi Jin Ping! Big Xi swatted away all efforts to put additional pressure on Russia like Dikembe Mutumbo playing against a bunch of fourth-graders! The Sino-Russo relationship is not what is was, and may never return to the halcyon days, but Russia (and Russians) will have sufficient memory of who their friends were during this awful time.

    The Russian people! Yes! You were awesome with import substitution, and doing without. You didn’t care too much that you lost McDonalds! You’ve made do with “Vkusno & Tochka”. You’ve borne the horrible results of the SMO – your dead and wounded – with grace. You, unlike Nuland, will be able to say “C’Dnem Pobedi” (over the west) one day!

  32. Glen

    I am not the conspiracy theorist type, but I think if Joe McCarthy was still around he would be calling Victory Nuland a Soviet sleeper agent. She has, over her career, been instrumental in wrecking the American empire.

    So I’d like to see the question asked when she is interviewed – is she some sort of “sleeper agent” or just a massive idiotic [family blog] up? Because those are really the only two choices.

    1. Paris

      Yes, always blame others for your own failure. It’s public info that the daughter of Eastern Europeans Jew immigrants hates Russia to her black heart. Btw, I know many others like her, totally irrational people in their hatred. Americans are just stupid, don’t try to blame the Russians for that.

      1. Lena

        Nuland’s father was born in NYC and her mother was English, born in London. Her mother is usually identified as being a Christian. They were not immigrants from Eastern Europe.

  33. Lena

    I find this of interest, perhaps most at NC already know about it, but I didn’t: Victoria’s parents met in London. They had known each other for only a few months when they married. Her mother was 20 years old at the time of the wedding, about 10 years younger than her husband. Soon after their marriage, she began to show signs of serious mental illness, which was later determined to be bipolar disease. Victoria’s father, a prominent surgeon, also suffered from mental illness. He had severe depression and obsessive thoughts, was institutionalized and treated with electroshock therapy, which he later said was helpful in his recovery.

  34. Jamie

    “She’s outside in an empty square dressed, as a political maven put it “looking like a garbage truck,” with no crowd and bad lighting . . . yet she insisted on trying to apply porcine maquillage to it . .”

    Bwahaha. Heading to the Tip Jar.

  35. RA

    Avast, Nulandia Ho!

    Ding dong the [w, b] itch is Dead
    (choose the letter you prefer in the following)

    Once there was a wicked witch in the lordly USA
    And a wickeder, wickeder, wickeder witch there never, never was
    She sold the folks in Muraka land with terror and with fear
    ‘Till one fine day from Ukraine-way a failure seemed ahead
    That brought the wicked, wicked witch her doom
    As still she urged… more kaboom
    But the losses fell on upon her head and the politics pronounced her dead
    And thru the world the joyous news was spread

    Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch
    Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead
    Wake up from all the wars, no more lies, no more dread
    Wake up, the wicked witch is dead!
    She’s gone, may she never show, please let it be so
    Let’s open up and care-eeo, and cut out all the war-eeo
    Ding-dong! the merry-o sing it high, sing it low
    Let them know the wicked witch is dead

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