Here Is Why Europe Just Launched The "Nuclear Option" Against Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

Europe's leaders, we assume under pressure from Washington, appear to be making a big weather-related bet with their taxpayers' lives this winter.  As they unleash funding sanctions on Russia's big energy producers, Europe has pumped a record volume of natural gas into underground inventories in an effort to 'outlast' Russia and mitigate any Napoleonic "Winter War" scenario. The plan appears to be to starve Russian energy firms of cashflow - as flows to Europe are already plunging - and remove their funding ability, potentially forcing severe hardship on Russia's key economic drivers. There appears to be 3 potential problems with this plan...


As Bloomberg reports,

Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas shipments via Ukraine is declining after the region pumped a record volume of the fuel into underground inventories, minimizing the risk of shortages during the coming winter.




The blue line above shows average daily flows at Velke Kapusany on the Slovakian-Ukrainian border, the biggest single entry point for Russian gas into the European Union, last month fell to a record, according to data from Slovak grid operator Eustream AS going back to 2011. The red histogram shows the 28-nation bloc has pumped a record volume of gas into storage, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe, a lobby group in Brussels.


Natural gas flows from Russia to the EU haven’t been affected in the current crisis. Storage sites in Slovakia, which had to seek emergency imports after its supplies were cut in 2009, were 92 percent full on Sept. 4, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.

*  *  *

So Europe is stocking-up - which makes perfect sense - just in case Russia pulls the plug... but has now taken the situation to "11" on the Spinal Tap amplifier of escalating tensions by planning sanctions on Russia's energy providers.

The plan appears clear:

stock-up now (to survive the winter)...


starve Russian firms of cashflow (thanks to stockpiles)...


cut off their funding source (sanctions)...


force Putin's economy into a tailspin...


Putin folds and it all ends happily ever after

*  *  *

There appears to be 3 problems with this plan...

1) What if the weather is considerably colder than normal this winter? (i.e. they need more supply)

It already appears as though the developing El Nino pattern may mean noticeably colder weather this winter...



Central based El Nino's seem to be associated with much colder European winters than eastern based El Nino's. Temperature anomalies come out on average 2-3c colder than a "normal" European winter.


With a central based El Nino forecast for winter 2014/2015 this would suggest a chance of some brutal cold moving much of central and northern Europe at times this winter.


For the United Kingdom and Ireland a central based El Nino does suggest a colder than average winter as well - Because of our proximity to the Atlantic Ocean the negative anomaly is much less extreme for Great Britain than it is for central Europe and Russia. Nevertheless, with the temperature anomaly coming out at 1c colder than average, the UK would still have a greater chance of a colder than average winter than an eastern based El Nino.

2) Russia has already committed to supporting the sanctioned firms (and we would hardly be shocked if China chipped in)

The Russian government, according to Bloomberg, is ready to provide 1.5 Trillion rubles financing to Rosneft to support production at current level, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says in Vedomosti interview.


Details, ways of support are under review


Support wouldn’t be in one yr; needed to sustain output because Rosneft is budget’s main taxpayer

and furthermore, Gazprom appears to be quickly funding before the sanctions are actually put in place...

As Bloomberg reports, European banks may organize new borrowing for Gazprom, Interfax reports, citing people familiar it doesn’t identify.


The company's board to consider some loans Sept. 23, no details yet, news service reports


Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg

3) What happens in Spring? German industrials need energy?



It appears that Putin is a patient man... why not wait till the stockpiles have dwindled, winter is over, and then press...?

*  *  *

It appears Europe's short-term plan to mitigate the "Winter War" may have bigger boomerag consequences than they seem to believe (and bear in mind the consequences of cold, pissed off Europeans in the past).

*  *  *

We point out that planned sanctions are on Gazprom Neft will be sanctioned (not the gazprom nat gas entity) as Europe appears to be focused on the crude oil side of things for now.

As WSJ reports,

New European Union sanctions on Russia will expand the number of Russian companies unable to raise money in the bloc's capital markets to include three state-owned oil companies, according to documents seen by The Wall Street Journal.


The documents show the EU seeking to hit Russian oil companies, but leaving unscathed those involved in gas production and export, which are critical to many European countries' energy supplies.




Under a modest expansion of sanctions introduced in late July, the three oil companies - Gazpromneft, the oil-production and refining subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, oil transportation company Transneft, and oil giant Rosneft - will be forbidden from raising funds of longer than 30 days' maturity.

*  *  *

So jab at oil companies, and mitigate natural gas restriction blowback?

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Pinto Currency's picture


That is not Why Europe Launched the Nuclear Option.

The why is petrogold, loss of US reserve currency status and the BRICS gold exchange standard currency starting on Sept 26 with the Shanghai Gold Exchange opening to foreigners in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

nope-1004's picture



Financial warfare.  It's how the fat, lazy panzies in power in the West fight nowadays.  lol

Wonder what will happen to energy prices once the stockpiles are gone?  lmfao. 

MalteseFalcon's picture

4.  Putin could be in Slovakia in 3 weeks.

Just joking.  Let's not have any war here.

knukles's picture

Weather wars ahoy, maties.  Chemtrails and HAARP to become very high profile stuff.
Hah ha ha ha haah ah ah ha ahhhhhh

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

This reminds me of a medieval siege. In this case, we are talking energy. Putin just needs to wait outside the castle walls before the EU freezes. It is a matter of time.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

I lost the plot, what is it that the Rothchild shadow Government is asking of Russia, other than to place a Zionist in control of the Country? Seriously, what do they want from Putin?

Anusocracy's picture

Not to upset the dollar applecart.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

How cold is nuclear winter?? Can they stockpile enough gas to make it thru one of those??

Xibalba's picture

D. Orlov nailed it:

Because if Russia invaded on Thursday morning, this is what the situation on the ground would look like by Saturday afternoon.

1. Ukrainian artillery fell silent almost immediately. They are no longer shelling residential districts of Donetsk and Lugansk. This is because their locations had been pinpointed prior to the operation, and by Thursday afternoon they were completely wiped out using air attacks, artillery and ground-based rocket fire, as the first order of business. Local residents are overjoyed that their horrible ordeal is finally at an end.

2. The look of military activity on the ground in Donetsk and Lugansk has changed dramatically. Whereas before it involved small groups of resistance fighters, the Russians operate in battalions of 400 men and dozens of armored vehicles, followed by convoys of support vehicles (tanker trucks, communications, field kitchens, field hospitals and so on). The flow of vehicles in and out is non-stop, plainly visible on air reconnaissance and satellite photos. Add to that the relentless radio chatter, all in Russian, which anyone who wants to can intercept, and the operation becomes impossible to hide. 

3. The Ukrainian military has promptly vanished. Soldiers and officers alike have taken off their uniforms, abandoned their weapons, and are doing their best to blend in with the locals. Nobody thought the odds of the Ukrainian army against the Russians were any good. Ukraine's only military victory against Russia was at the battle of Konotop in 1659, but at the time Ukraine was allied with the mighty Khanate of Crimea, and, you may have noticed, Crimea is not on Ukraine's side this time around.

4. There are Russian checkpoints everywhere. Local civilians are allowed through, but anyone associated with a government, foreign or domestic, is detained for questioning. A filtration system has been set up to return demobilized Ukrainian army draftees to their native regions, while the volunteers and the officers are shunted to pretrial detention centers, to determine whether they had ordered war crimes to be committed.

5. Most of Ukraine's border crossings are by now under Russian control. Some have been reinforced with air defense and artillery systems and tank battalions, to dissuade NATO forces from attempting to stage an invasion. Civilians and humanitarian goods are allowed through. Businessmen are allowed through once they fill out the required forms (which are in Russian).

6. Russia has imposed a no-fly zone over all of Ukraine. All civilian flights have been cancelled. There is quite a crowd of US State Department staffers, CIA and Mossad agents, and Western NGO people stuck at Borispol airport in Kiev. Some are nervously calling everyone they know on their satellite phones. Western politicians are demanding that they be evacuated immediately, but Russian authorities want to hold onto them until their possible complicity in war crimes has been determined.

7. The usual Ukrainian talking heads, such as president Poroshenko, PM Yatsenyuk and others, are no longer available to be interviewed by Western media. Nobody quite knows where they are. There are rumors that they have already fled the country. Crowds have stormed their abandoned residences, and were amazed to discover that they were all outfitted with solid gold toilets. Nor are the Ukrainian oligarchs anywhere to be found, except for the warlord Igor Kolomoisky, who was found in his residence, abandoned by his henchmen, dead from a heart attack. (Contributed by the Saker.)

8. Some of the over 800,000 Ukrainian refugees are starting to stream back in from Russia. They were living in tent cities, many of them in the nearby Rostov region, but with the winter coming they are eager to get back home, now that the shelling is over. Along with them, construction crews, cement trucks and flatbeds stacked with pipe, cable and rebar are streaming in, to repair the damage from the shelling.

9. There is all sorts of intense diplomatic and military activity around the world, especially in Europe and the US. Military forces are on highest alert, diplomats are jetting around and holding conferences. President Obama just held a press conference to announce that “We don't have a strategy on Ukraine yet.” His military advisers tell him that his usual strategy of “bomb a little and see what happens” is not likely to be helpful in this instance.

10. Kiev has surrendered. There are Russian tanks on the Maidan Square. Russian infantry is mopping up the remains of Ukraine's National Guard. A curfew has been announced. The operation to take Kiev resembled “Shock and Awe” in Baghdad: a few loud bangs and then a whimper.

Armed with this list, you too should be able to determine whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

knukles's picture

Now, what about Friday's list?

Leonardo Fibonacci2's picture

Some Kenyan in Washington trying to play a master in chess moves.  Putin will get the last laugh and the Kenyan will go back to his birthplace back in Africa.

Leonardo Fibonacci2's picture

Someone told me Obama is a Niger native?  Nigeria that is.....

Paveway IV's picture

The "through Slovakia" transit isn't the right way to look at it. Russia isn't going to send anything through the Nord Stream line either if sanctions are in place.

EU-28 have about 100 days of stored supply when averaged over the entire year and all countries. That supply is less than two months' worth total in the middle of winter if averaged across all EU-28 nations (gas consumption 2x summer consumption per day). Some individual countries reserve and cross-connect transfer capability is limited - they may only have weeks worth of reserve where other countries may have three or four months of reserve. 

If Russia is anticipating these sanctions, then they're going to shut down all sales now - not wait until the middle of winter.

old naughty's picture

"Friday's list..."

Early Friday morning, ICBM launched.

Few hours later, Sun don't shine...

Dead silent on the Western Front !


Coz, it was never about Ukraine. "Fxck EU", remember ?

The other (invincible) hand, stirring...

philipat's picture

So, can we conclude that Europe's "Leaders" are totally fucking stupid??

jeff montanye's picture

yes but they have company.  at least the u.s. and by extension, israel.

with gathering momentum since 9-11, the corrupt and brutal attempts at short-term advantage have bankrupted the u.s. of its capital, both financial and moral, and revealed, to particularly the newer generations, the degree to which the zionists have copied from their former nazi associates:

Elvis the Pelvis's picture

I'm no fan of the European powers-that-be.  With that said, Putin did commit an act of war.  He's just a Stalin wannabe.  Putin's a dinosaur who needs to fade away.

Ginsengbull's picture

What you smoking Elvis?


How did Putin do that?

NihilistZero's picture

The operation to take Kiev resembled “Shock and Awe” in Baghdad: a few loud bangs and then a whimper.

It would not resmble Baghdad in a very key way.  The Rusian Army actually WOULD be greeted as liberators LOL!

Plato's Law's picture

Thank you for the best international news I can remember reading, ever.

I would pay to watch a Russian trial of any American diplomat for war crimes.  Conviction even better.  If it's legal, I'll send money to Putin to pay for the bullets for the execution. 

Again, if it's legal. 

exomike's picture


"If it's legal, I'll send money to Putin..."

"Again, if it's legal." 


I see you live in the "Land of the Free"..., ;-)

Of course I mean that in the most legal way being in the "Land of the Free" also.



luftmensch's picture

wow, thanks for the play by play straight from the Kremlin!

I see this site is still utterly infested w Putin's blogger brigade of cubicle-jockey disinfo serfs.

But seriously, its sad that Putin's oligarch's (including his judo instructor and other peeps he picked up along the way) have crippled Russia's economy through totalitarianism, and now have to invade a weak, harmless neighbor because they can't think of anything better to do to feel good about themselves.

You know, actually freeing your people to live their lives without being treated like criminals in an open air prison can actually do wonders for a country.  Just look at all the countries your oligarchs flee to to raise their families after raping your mother-land and looting its wealth.

Russia could be a great place if they would actually throw off the chains of their oligarch, klepto-mafia oppressors.  Russians, wake up, read news in other languages!  Be a patriot of the Russian people, not of the criminal gang that is running your country now like a giant feudal estate with you as the serfs who get the left-over crumbs.


Joenobody12's picture

I met a Rusian woman in Moscow who is as free spirited as can be. She refused to join the KGB after she graduated from the university ( they give you a Rubble to get in and you pays them two to get out ). She laughed at the KGB building as being the tallest in the old days because from that building you could see Siberia. Yet of all these sarcism. She said most people, especially the young ones supports Putin adn think he has done a great job for Russia.The only ones who dislike Putin are hte older folks who long for the secure communist era pension etc. Are you one of them ? It is funny that statistic of Russian's economy seem to contradict your "facts" of "Putin Crippled Russia's economy". 

Personally, I do not care if Putin or his successor are good guy or bad. I care what is wrong and what is right. Anyone with more than two brain cells would do the same. 

luftmensch's picture

Rofl, so you think people who don't like Putin are commies?!  

Wake-up, people who don't like Putin want Western European FREEDOM.

The 1st thing any Russian who gets enough $ or education does is LEAVE.

Putin's own family is enjoying life in HOLLAND.

Its the most educated (and generally younger) who want a FREE Russia, not a continuation of totalitarianism.

I'm writing you from the free world good sir.



Joenobody12's picture

Like I said, I dont know Putin and frankly dont care. However , Americans have a tradition of rooting for the underdog. In this case, the US(Zionist) and EU are ganging up against Russia for no apparent reason other than being aggreesive , bringing trouble to Russia's door step. I also think that the Ukraine Nazis planned and carried out the downing of MH17 and your beloved Holland just dispicably covered up the truth. I admire what Putin has done in fighting back and outsmart them so far. I dont like bullies. 

luftmensch's picture

komrad, you are hilarious.  The underdog is Ukraine.

Not fascist, expanionist, kgb propaganda blaring, Russia.

Gorbachev let everyone vote and they decided to BREAK-UP THE USSR, because IT SUCKED!

No need to try and recreate it!  Lets move on, Russia needs to clean its own house, and stay out of others...

Plato's Law's picture


Search American citizen the late "Anwar Al Awlaki."  Search his deceased 16 year old son, also an American citizen by the same name.  Search how America says it "accidentially" assasinated the 16 year old son with a drone missle, a weak after killing the father the same way, sans trial, sans description of any criminal offense other than Prez. Obombya's words, "Trust me, he deserved to die." 

A shining example of American "freedom" to have one's name written on a kill list.   

Search "kill list" in the top desk drawer of Prez. Obombya.  Search "kill list criteria" and learn how our dear Prez. can keep secret the criteria to have one's name added to the "kill list." 

Some staunch ultra-liberals condemned 24/7 Bush's abuses of power while he was president.  Now they defend Obombya "kill list" with ardent fervor.  When asked if they would similarly defend Prez. Sarah Palin's "kill list," the silence is deafening.  Maybe their name will top the list and they can get a taste of their medicine.    

Anyone suggesting that ultimately there is less "freedom" for Russian citizen than American citizen is naive, stupid, or more likely a government troll, AKA blood sucking scum bag parasite killing its host. 


luftmensch's picture

Plato try googling "Stalin" (20 million killed, not including anything from WWII).

Try googling  "Ukraine famine genocide" - estimated 10 million Ukrainians killed by USSR policies to steal all of the food from Ukraine.  Ukranian farmers were killed for trying to eat their own food, or trying to travel to get food.  

You can libel anyone, indeed disinformation and libel is one of Putin's top skills.  I mean, it was his actual profession as a KGB disinformation officer in East Germany working hand in hand with the Stasi East German spy agency, known for spying on virtually every citizen of East Germany.  You can find something wrong with any person or government.

But when taken in total, the crimes, totalitarianism, and lack of freedom in Russia far far outweighs the rest of the free Western world.  Which all of your rich, educated, elite are fully aware of, which is why they leave Russia in droves to go live in Europe and the U.S.

Looks like you've been injesting a little too much of Putin / Kremlin disinfo machine...try to taper off of it a little bit at a time.  Open up your eyes, and come out of the cave Plato.


Proofreder's picture

... still utterly infested w Putin's blogger brigade of cubicle-jockey disinfo serfs.

Well, yes, you are here, are you not?


luftmensch's picture

is your iq in the 2 digits or are you just out of words?

Bananamerican's picture

Seriously, what do they want from Putin?

"It All"

SDShack's picture

Correct... it's the sociopath way. Eventually it always comes down to various sociopaths, all trying to destroy each other in order for one "to win". Unfortunately, the rest of the world is collateral damage.

The Big Ching-aso's picture

If you kick someone in the nuts and then they hit you over the head with an anvil doncha think it's gonna take a lot more than a kick in the nuts next time?

This whole thing is getting nuttier by the minute.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Seriously, what do they want from Putin?

My wild guess is they think Russia will be put into serious economic trouble if they do not sell Europe gas. It is like one large restaurant chain stops buying food from their largest farm. Yeah, the farm may hurt in the short run. The restaurant now lost its' largest food supply and will have to shut down. Idiots. 

Nage42's picture

It's worrisome... the West thinks that: "if we can make the Russians suffer, then they will knuckle-under and subjugate themselves to our [foreign and distantly-remote] will!"

Seriously, these guys in the West think that this strategy will actually work... like their "advisors" know that this will work or something...


It makes me weep in hilarity... 


A person in the West's "I had a hard year, but I'll manage" = They lose 15% in their portfolio, someone steals their iphone, their dog got hit by a car

A Russian's "I had a hard year, but I'll manage" = War destroys their home, their brother and mother die of starvation, they had to walk across 500Km of war-torn land to escape to another country, many many more


We are talking different planes of existence of fortitude... 6M jews get annihilated by Hitler and it's "never forget," 25M Russians get annihilated by Stalin and it's "we moved on."


Get this straight... there's "hardship," and then there's "Russian hardship," and they cannot be measured on the same scale.


sumo's picture

There's "Western" hardship and then there is "Russian" hardship ... yes.

A story from my Russian in-laws: woman goes to her husband's mistress - the prettiest woman in the village - and says "stay away from husband". Mistress laughs and says "no, what are going to to about it?"

Wife says nothing. Wife grabs mistress by face, bites her nose, and tears it off between her teeth. Mistress runs screaming from village, never seen again.

The Russian way, in action. Think NATO as the mistress, Putin as the wife.

tenpanhandle's picture

yikes!!!  Note to self:  stay off those Russian bride websites.

TheReplacement's picture

I don't know what Jewish nationalists want from Putin but the criminals running things over here want... EVERYTHING.

COSMOS's picture

And they are getting it through complete control of the eyes and ears of the US public including their internet access.  Who controls the media controls the country and its politicians.

Joenobody12's picture

It is called " you support our enemy neighbor Syria, we create an enemy in your backyard " - even if that means WW3. Folks, take these Zionist mother fucker seriously for they are no better than the ISIS they support. 

LaForce's picture

Putin was allowed into power because $the global elite$ longed for a enemy, a cold war style enemy - and what is more convenient than a strong Russia - the age old propaganda allready soked in the sheaple's aspartame-eaten brains, weapons and fear stockpiled... and so on! So after looting and but-fucking the bear for some time they allowed Putin to thake control. But he did way beter than they hoped... he rides the bear so good that now it can eat the very same elite.

Any way if they can someway manage to make the bear eat Europe's business and peoples instead they can probably continue to fuck the rotten leftovers of those same peoples afterwards...

So the endgame is - they want war to justify there existence and control. Putin wants them dead...

LibertyBear's picture

It's annoying. I see at least 5 chemtrails a day.

hobopants's picture

If they pass this crap it's going to get really, really interesting. I imagine the EU won't exist in it's current form by next spring. It also has the potential to throw a big, heavy wrench into our basket case of a financial system.

I think ZH is right, they are going to make Russia into the bogeyman and blame them for both freezing children and the collapse of the system. 

Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Yes Knuckles,

Expect incredibly abnormal weather to be the talk of the globe. All of the rain supressing done in the West is to control the precipitation and crops in the Midwest..

Thus, behold the bumper crops in beans and corn, (wheat to some extent).

Food wars... who needs to eat? China? 

The NATO countries all have active weather mod ocurring. The general W to E flow creates a strategic opportunity where moisture can be removed from the air prior to arriving at countries just East of its application. Look at the geography of NATO encirclement, in conjunction with weather/jetstream flow and you'll know what possibilities exist.

China backs off with its Shanghai coop with Russia to feed its people, Russia loses its new petrol/gas buyer. Petrodollar stays in control longer.

Hook Line and Sphincter

Lore's picture

Natural cyclical changes don't need to be 'explained' by fantastic Weather Wars.  Even the AGW terror meme seems to be shelved as other things take priority.