Thursday, September 18, 2014

AMS in PRL: the positrons do stop increasing

...but the evidence for an actual drop remains underwhelming...

In April 2013, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02), a gadget carried by the International Space Station that looks for dark matter and other things and whose data are being evaluated by Nobel prize winner Sam Ting (MIT) and his folks, reported intriguing observations that were supposed to grow to a smoking fun proving that dark matter exists and is composed of heavy elementary particles:
AMS-02 seems to overcautiously censor solid evidence for dark matter

AMS: the steep drop is very likely there
I had various reasons for these speculative optimistic prophesies – including Sam Ting's body language. It just seemed that he knew more than he was saying and was only presenting a very small, underwhelming part of the observations.

Recall that among these high energy particles, there are both electrons and positrons. The positrons are more exotic and may be produced by pulsars – which is a boring explanation. However, they may also originate from the annihilation of dark matter "WIMP" particles. If that's so, the dark matter particle physics predicts that the positron fraction increases as you increase the energy of the electrons and positrons. But at some moment, when the energy reaches a few hundreds of \(\GeV\) or so, the positron fraction should stop growing and steeply drop afterwards.

Was that observed in 2013? Has it been observed by now? Finally, today, AMS-02 published a new paper in prestigious PRL:
High Statistics Measurement of the Positron Fraction in Primary Cosmic Rays of \(0.5\)–\(500\GeV\) with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on the International Space Station (PRL)

CERN story, CERN press release + PDF supplement, copy at, APS, NBC, Symmetry Magazine
The PRL abstract says that for the first time, they see that for the first time, they observe the positron fraction's increase with energy to stop somewhere, approximately at \(200\GeV\) although e.g. puts the place at \(275\pm 32\GeV\). Moreover, the derivative of the number of positrons with respect to the energy exceeds the same derivative for electrons around dozens of \(\GeV\) which makes it more likely that these lower but high-energy positrons indeed directly originate from a high-energy source and not from deceleration.

While the claim about the end of the increase of the positron fraction agrees with the graphs like those above (other graphs show the positron fraction stabilized at \(0.15\) between \(190\) and \(430\GeV\) or so), I find the "end of the increase" or a "potentially emerging decrease" tantalizing but still unspectacularly weak and inconclusive. Indeed, the "straight decrease" itself still seems to be unsupported. Even if we were shown these graphs in April 2013, and we were shown a bit less than that, I would have thought that Sam Ting's hype was probably a bit excessive.

Just to be sure, the behavior in the graphs is compatible with a (below) \(1\TeV\) dark matter particle like a neutralino (supersymmetry's most convincing dark matter candidate), and indeed, I tend to think that this is what actually exists and will emerge at the LHC, too. Incidentally, some sources tell us that the LHC is back to business after the upgrade. It's a bit exaggeration of the actual ongoing "business" but let's hope that in April 2015, the \(13\TeV\) and perhaps \(14\TeV\) collisions will start smoothly and abruptly.

SUSY and related scenarios predicts the positron fraction as a function of energy that looks like the red graph above (two values of the neutralino mass are depicted). Up to a certain energy, it looks just like what AMS-02 has already shown us – which is good news for WIMP and/or SUSY – but we still haven't seen the dramatic drop yet. Of course, it's conceivable that Ting et al. are still hiding something they already have – and maybe have had already in April 2013. Maybe the hiding game is needed for the continued funding of their experiment. But this is just another speculation.

The neverending story that takes place at the ISS is described in this musical video clip.


  1. It's counter-intuitive for Russia to want to take over all of Ukraine. If it did so, it would have to engage in the sort of ethnic-cleansing campaign of Ukraine's neo-nazi elements that Ukraine's neo-nazi elements are attempting on Ukraine's east. Since to engage in such campaigns, one needs the western world's acquiescence AND a place for the refugees to go - Russia would be in no position to do it, nor desire I should think. Unless of course, the Czech Republic would be willing to accept the refugees? I thought not. ;-)

  2. You've missed the entire point of Lubos' discussion. IMHO, the only reason he raises the nuclear question is that there are certain newer generation elements in American so-called 'think tanks' that since the demise of the USSR have been emboldened and I dare say 'enamored' with the idea of a first-strike option, if only as some sort of a preemptive exercise which seems to be all the rage in western military circles these days. I think what Lubos would like to convey is that MAD is still very much at play and since there is no longer any existential, ideological threat of capitalism vs. communism to consider, the entire discussion should be relegated to the madhouse where the issue of San Francisco to the cinders clearly belongs.

    One of the major obstacles to the problem of 'getting along' with Russia is the American doctrine of 'exceptionality' which it successfully cultivated for decades in the post WWII western space and which in all fact, is not inclined to share or dilute willingly.

  3. Politics is not rigorous mathematics so the answer to the precise question you write down is No.

    However, I can demonstrate that I am right and my foes like you are deluded to everyone who has at least some background and understanding of the situation, at the level that is expected in political issues.

  4. Exactly. The point is really just that it is as dangerous, irresponsible, and potentially suicidal to play these "conquer and humiliate another nuclear superpower" as it was 30 or 50 years ago.

  5. Majority of us Americans know the situation in Ukraine in a way that is completely opposite to what you just described. I say "majority" based on my daily conversations as well as the ovewhelming majority of comments left by Americans on KyivPost website. But your personal opinion is not totally unique and indicates that Russian propaganda in the US has been somewhat efficient - probably due to the materials agressively fabricated by RT.

  6. The proposition that others would retaliate against Russia, whether it is true or not, doesn't mean that Russia will not flatten New York or L.A. if it is forced to do so.

  7. How does this knowledge compares say to experience of someone who spend more than 3 decades living in Ukraine, has many relatives and friends there and visited Ukraine quite recently?

  8. Stupid yes, but Putin tops them all:

  9. So if you disagree with someone you start with the statement that (1) you know more than your opponent and (2) if your opponent knows more than see (1). Excellent logic!

  10. This "quote" by Putin comes from a claim by Poroshenko himself. Whether Putin has said it has about 50% chance to be true and 50% to be a lie - pure noise.

    Even if he had said it, the numbers disagree with what he (verifiably) told Barroso - the actual estimate is that 2 weeks are needed to take Kiev.

    But maybe the Baltic States, Warsaw, and Bucharest can be taken more quickly. At any rate, there is absolutely no justification in anything you wrote that would imply that Putin is stupid.

  11. Lubos, you state cynically: "Thank God I can look at these events from a place that is keeping much of its distance (even though it's just 1,200 km from Pilsen to Kiev)." And this is despite the fact that Soviet tanks were in Prague and atrocities were caused by the Soviet invasion just few years before you were born. Or perhaps you believe that the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia was a proper response to the Prague spring of 1968?

  12. It wasn't "Soviet tanks". It was tanks of 5 countries of the Warsaw Pact including Poland, for example.

    They didn't really cause any "atrocities" in my country. Like in most cases, such invasions are almost completely peaceful in my country as the Czechs avoid hopeless resistance.

    I am surely not happy as a Czech that a promising softening of socialism was terminated in this way (although I would probably not have been born if the history went along a different path) but I am still sane enough to realize that within the conditions that existed at that time, it was *inevitable*.

  13. BTW, You are wrong if you think that I am your "foe". It's crazy how insecure you must be feeling to think that way.

  14. Lubos, just curious - have you ever thought about blacklisting yourself? Or you firmly believe in a one way street, a sort of diode principle. LOL

  15. pew pew pew ! swine flu down :)

  16. It compares very favorably because if someone lives in a largely dysfunctional country - one that's been largely dysfunctional for centuries - for most of his life, he will probably be unable to see what is right and what is wrong.

  17. Putin's Russia needs to understand, or needs a lesson, about its place in the world, which is that of a slave to those who buy energy from Russia. Not the other way around. Russia burns all its reserves in a year without coal, gas and crude income.

  18. Russia - or Putin's Russia - won't accept this or any other lesson from inconsequential deluded clowns like you.

  19. Unfortunately, it became rather likely that if the conditions deteriorate further, in a way that cannot be excluded, it will be inevitable for Russia to occupy Poland and other countries in a near future, too.
    It is probable but not guaranteed that Russia could occupy Ukraine for a short time. USSR that had a crushing military superirority couldn't even sustainably occupy Afghanistan which was arguably miltarily much weaker than Ukraine.
    There is perhaps another Universe in which a large part of Ukrainians doesn't immediately start a guerilla war against the occupant but in our Universe they would. Not mentionning the fact that they (Ukrainians) would enjoy the support of most European/NA countries with military technology more advanced than the Russian one.
    I do not think that there exist any conditions under which Russia would see its suicide so inevitable that it would try to "occupy Poland".
    From the purely military point of view it is impossible to maintain a functionning supply line for the agressing russian armies in Poland without securing the north flank (Baltic countries) and the south flank (Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary).
    This is no scoop - the Wehrmacht strategist found out already 75 years ago that to attack Poland it was necessary to occupy Czechoslovakia first. Hungary was already an allied country anyway.
    But this would be an unsolvable problem because these states flanking a hypothetical Russian agression on Poland are NATO members.
    I have no doubt that NATO would respond with all its military might against such an agression and those hypothetical Russian armies trying to progress in Czechia, Hungary and Poland would have their supply bombed to oblivion in short order.
    We live in a satellite era and a Russian military fuel storage wouldn't survive in a hostile country 24 hours before getting a Cruise missile.
    Going beyond that, even the evil empire of USSR didn't consider a use of nuclear weapons in its plans to invade western Europe that became known after 1989.
    Even if Rusia was as evil as USSR was, I hope it is not dumber and doesn't consider use of tactical nukes if things go wrong for their armies either.
    That's why I do not see any sane politician launching his country in a wholesale suicide.
    If the Russian leaders are really as insane as you suppose them to be to seriously consider an attack on Poland/Czechia/Baltic lands/Hungary eventually accompanied by a nuclear war in Central Europe, then my advice to all Czechs and you Lubos would be to better put much more than 1200 km between you and Russia.
    Personnaly I have posted here already long ago that :
    a) Crimea will be annexed and nobody will care beyond some formal protests
    b) Russia has neither interest nor the power to start a war in europe by invading Ukraine (let alone Poland)
    c) Russia will use eastern Ukraine tension as a bargain chip but won't get directly involved
    I am still convinced that this is the right prediction and the main reason is that KGB officers were evil but not dumb.

  20. I think it is already nice that the hints for something more interesting have not gone away so far ... :-)

  21. I'm not giving the lesson. Customer is. And contrary to the putin delusion customer is always right (and cannot be bullied, like Russian voters). Claim otherwise and I call you old fassion enemy of the state communist.

    and dont try to convert this into climate/fossil issue. It doesn't serve you.

    To the previous; at the end it doesn't matter whether or not Poroshenko and that marxist and others are lying. Matters are as they appear. Now it appears as that Putin is shooting in his leg or higher.

  22. Hello Lubos,

    I am an aspiring theoretical physicist from Slovakia working in UK. I have been following your blog for quite some time now. I must say I enjoy reading it from both physics and politics side.

    Although I am arguably quite on the opposite side of the political spectrum, I find myself agreeing with you on many issues here. Maybe I am becoming schizophrenic or something :)

    I have been talking to my friends and family about the issue of Ukraine for some time now and frankly, I am becoming depressed and worried from the kind reaction I have received. Very similar to the one you are receiving now here. I have been label naive delusive Russophile, idiot, creationist and many more untasty invectives. And all that because I dare to disagree with this rather monochromatic point of view fed to us by media like Guardian, CNN etc. I have been telling to people, that you can't just start an economic war of this size just on basis of some twitter posts, couple of youtube videos and and one unlabelled satellite image. Apparently I am an idiot. I find it shocking that I live in 21st. century in technocratic society where every second person has an University degree and yet people buy every last written by unprofessional journalists with O(epsilon) expertise in the area. And all of that for what? To support some corrupted oligarchs in the war against their own people? Or to oppose the Russian bear? If we want to play the historical comparison game (which I find very deceiving btw) then let me have a go: This reminds me of 1936- the Spanish Civil War where Western politicians, although formally neutral , quietly supported Franco just to "oppose the Soviet expansionism" (notice how the word Russian has come back in different incarnation). We all know how the conflict ended and I dare to say the whole 2nd war could have happened very differently if West bet on the right card back then.

    I am sorry for this public catharsis on your blog , Lubos, feel free to delete it.

    Keep writing, Lubos! I am happy to see that there are still some rationally thinking people out there who are not afraid to speak up!

  23. Oh, Poroshenko said that... Remind me, is it the guy who recently claimed to have destroyed a Russian convoy nobody could find a single trace of ?

  24. LOL, Oleg, exactly. Yesterday, I listened to a speech of Okamura, a Czech-Japanese entrepreneur and lawmaker.

    He's a nut but the speech was very good, and he also quoted the untrustyworthiness of those leaders, including the example that Poroshenko has completely destroyed a Russian convoy so that not even a single screw was left. ;-)

  25. Servus, on the contrary, thanks for this nice contribution that reveals a lot about the way how the world works and how the unity - about preposterous views as well - is often being enforced.

    It's a very good observation that it's often Twitter rumors and funny pictures that are deciding about these issues of global security and the global trade war - billions of dollars.

    The people who are behaving in this way often paint themselves as smart and witty. For example, everyone is supposed to repeat the joke that a Russian soldier got lost near the border - it's so funny so we surely have to cut 5% of our national exports or imports.

    Oh, really? Whether the 10 soldiers got really lost - which is completely plausible in the structureless Russian-Ukrainian borderland - or whether it is just a silly story to make them look more innocent can't change anything about the fact that whatever happened is at least 6 orders of magnitude less important than e.g. economic sanctions against whole countries with over 100 million people, or a military campaign that kills hundreds of civilians. But none of those people even asks this question whether their stupid anti-Russian joke is really rational evidence for any broader things they are saying or a justification for any acts they decide to make. Of course it's not for for them, it's heresy to even *ask* this question.

    Please, don't get distracted by these things too much. Be sure that there are people in the world who are with you and who feel like with you, and if you're not effective in bringing sense to those who don't see it, maybe it's better to give up.

    When I was a grad student, for example (in the late 1990s), I didn't experience *any* political tensions that would really distract me. You have the right for that, too. Be sure that both in Slovakia and in Czechia, your views are completely common and respected, and to a large extent, the "official Britain" knows that they must be respected, too. However numerous the people who want to suppress your opinions or humiliate you for your knowledge are, you must always realize that they're legally inconsequential individuals who don't really define what these countries mean and stand for.

  26. Some interesting thoughts, Bloodymir. There is a good chance that you are smarter than your friends and this alone can perhaps explain why majority of your friends have views opposite to yours. But what is your explanation of their views? And how do you see that alternative ending of the World War 2?

  27. Oleg, you don't think that the dozens of coffins coming back to Russia may have been somehow related to the destroyed convoy?

  28. Pilates & MargaritasSep 19, 2014, 3:30:00 PM

    What I have done since February's overthrow is read western mainstream media (CNN, BBC, alternatives like Mother Jones, etc.), Kyiv Post, as well as Russian media outlets such as Ria Novosti and RT. I also follow the international monitors OSCE who have been on the ground since the conflict began.

    When you start to compare and watch how the "facts" and stories emerge, then compare to OSCE and later UN official figures, Russia's reporting of events is consistently more reliable than Kyiv Post and Western Media.

    I compare the evidence myself (watching long, unedited video footage from the conflict, understanding the history and demographics of the region).

    It takes just a little critical thinking and a lot of close attention. This is something that most Americans are unwilling to do, especially for some "unsexy" country like Ukraine. (For the record I think Ukraine could have been quite sexy considering it's location, amazing soil - arguably the best in the world, educated people - though many sadly have been brainwashed for generations.)

  29. Poroshenko speech in US Congress – a pathetic example of contradicting statements from those who wrote this garbage.

  30. I am afraid that your grasp of American politics is not quite up to your (apparent) knowledge of physics. The intellectual/cultural/political/economic deterioration of the US is quite a bit more serious than most of your posts indicate, and you frequently just miss the point in your comments on current US events. The default intellectual position, whether consciously adopted or not, in the US is that reality is socially constructed. This delusion persists because the ruling class never faces the consequences of its actions. No doubt you understand Eastern European geopolitics better than practically anyone in the US. It just doesn't matter because nobody in power here cares. The US (its elite) is in the process of destroying its own economy and culture. Do you think it cares if it destroys some other country's economy? Look for much much worse before the election. We may indeed be lumbering towards a serious war for purely political reasons, or for no reason at all.

  31. "I have never considered the overwhelming majority of the Americans to be this breathtakingly stupid" Diversity; No Child Left Behind, Everybody Goes to College, social promotion, drugging of bright schoolchildren, fundamentalist religion, centrally-enforced economic desuetude.

    America is a Federally mandated nation of crybabies, wimps, pantywaists, poltroons, milksops, wimps, capons, mollycoddles, geldings, wusses, lapins, softlings, pansies, segs, jellyfish, wethers, mamby-pambies, haviers, weak sisters, cry-babies, milquetoasts, stots, cream puffs, invertebrates, old women, sissies, and gutless wonders.

  32. Your words go to the crux: The US (its elite) is in the process of destroying its own economy and culture. Do you think it cares if it destroys some other country's economy?

    A little dog wagging before the election certainly has plausibility with me.

  33. "you can't just start an economic war of this size just on basis of some
    twitter posts, couple of youtube videos and and one unlabelled satellite

    Well, the Crimea takeover was for real. And the very sudden reversal of military fortunes in East Ukraine seems unlikely not to have involed Russia somehow, even if one can't be sure in what form. The real question is whether Russia had legitimate reasons to get involved in Ukraine. Which it well might have. Or not. But that's the question.

  34. "The reverse of military fortune" was just a matter of time. There are many reasons for that with the primary one being that the rebels are extremely well motivated unlike the government troops consisting mostly of conscripts. The latter also enjoy zero support from the locals (not engaged in military activities). The pro-Kiev forces made a number of strategic mistakes such as pushing at full throttle toward Donetsk in order to capture it by the Independence day. That uncoordinated effort resulted in a large number of troops being surrounded and also generously enriched the rebel supplies in armed vehicles, etc. In order to justify this defeat, the Russian invasion hysteria was created.

  35. Coffins of volunteers do come back. This has nothing to do with the imaginary convoy supposedly consisting of a large number of armed vehicles, which was 'destroyed' by the brave pro-Kiev army (alas, with not a single screw left on the battlefield).

  36. Maybe. I still find it extremely counterintuitive that Russia wouldn't be more directly involved, at least at the level of military advisors, maybe some limited special ops forces, etc. I may be wrong, of course, but in any case, I want to reiterate my previous point that I see as the core issue not whether Russia was directly involved in East Ukraine, or who did what to which satellite photo, but whether Russia's interests in Ukraine are legitimate on the one hand, and on the other, what realpolitik constraints a wise person would accept on the possible actions by the West even if some or most of Russia's interests were not legitimate. The flip side of the very last point is the question of what action would be unwise to avoid taking if one wanted to prevent even bigger problems in the future.

    I know this sounds a bit unsentimental and unkind, but I am just trying to anlalyze the situation to best of my understanding and ability.

  37. Thanks for the consolation, Lubos ;)
    You are right. I do spend more time than I would like to follow these events .
    I much more prefer thinking about physics and am still doing so most of the time.
    I just have this stupid habit of being easily irritated by lack of reason (aka stupidity) in my vicinity and find it very difficult to just neglect it without doing anything.

  38. You see, I perfectly understand these people and don't judge them. It's a phenomenon I would call "intellectual laziness" . People are very busy these days and don't always find the time to dig deeper in the internet , to consider multiple sources and then put some of their own thoughts to make conclusions. For us scientists, this the obvious approach. We make progress by questioning/improving established results. To get a viable conclusion you first need to consider different sources (read enough papers) , try to understand/redo their analysis and see if you come to the same conclusion.

    Unfortunately many people (even some scientists) don't seem to understand this process these days and prefer just following what others or media serve them without single question.

  39. Bloodymir, but we scientist do make mistakes. And when experiments don't support our theories, we simply correct our theoretical knowledge. When historical events are in disarray with someone's believes, faulty believes tend to persist, they don't get corrected. As a result socio-political views remain sharply divided even among intellectuals despite the fact that they dig very deeply into the subject. Such a disagreement is hardly sustainable in physics but in social, political areas they are quite common.

  40. yes, the MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian jets:

  41. They are authentic. You can check the pictures taken from other angles confirming these pictures, for example from Jeroen Akkerman`s site, the journalist who was at the crash site a day after the downing of the MH17:

  42. Oleg - so you have not seen the gut wrenching videos of the destroyed tanks and burned body parts around.

  43. Demol, what specifically does make you think that it is authentic information?

  44. Josef, what is in your opinion the most vivid example of the most striking contradictory statement in this speech?

  45. Bloodymir, but you realize that if you are a top current or future theoretical physicist, the rest 99.999% of the population is less smart than you are. Unfortunately, the majority of historical processes are determined by those who are not in the top 0.001% intellectually. So we scientists can understand things better than others, but the question that has never been answered is how we can affect historical events in a positive way. Perhaps I am wrong but I don't think that there is a single example of intellectual power of an individual to have a profound effect on historical turning points. By contrast, all substantial epic changes in the human history are always linked to some sort of avoidable "mistakes" and other things contradicting common sense.

  46. Lubos, you have a very interesting debate here on your blog. But, sorry, what is the point of criticising Nick when he said "more than 100 million" which is mathematically correct! 320 is more than 100?

  47. Ah, yes...the Kyiv Post, that bastion of objective thought. I'd completely forgotten its habit of citing supportive articles from our western media that seem to have out-Pravda'd the Pravda of the USSR's prime.

    I must have been too busy watching the countless you-tube videos of dead and dying civilians torn to shreds by Ukrainian 'anti-terror' operations in the East and apparently missed the Kyiv Post's objective commentary on the subject.

    Please excuse my oversight.

  48. Seriously, I never thought I'd see the day when someone was so idiotic as to invoke the Argument from Authority into politics. Can one get any more stupid? No wait, don't answer.

    Since when in the US did people need "experts" to explain politics? Except since the King of America said to ignore that silly document called the constitution and put your faith in the expert King who was a community fund raiser with no qualifications for the office.

    Oh, and Nick, you might want to pay more attention to who is actually in politics. Rush D Holts, Jr, congressman from New Jersey was assistant director at the Princeton Plasma Physics Labs. Of course, he had no interest in physics, he just needed a day job, right?

  49. OneStringToRuleThemAllSep 20, 2014, 9:40:00 PM

    Good post Lubos ! Please be more critical of the US politics in general.

  50. Yes. In general and more often :)

  51. Politics is the study of human behavior (and some say, exploitation thereof). It's a soft science, albeit still a science and so must follow (albeit through a circuitous maze) the rules of all sciences.

    One of those rules is that rules are momentary, ever changing and fluid, including the rule that defined those properties of rules. You take it from there.

    Personally, I gave up on understanding anything in the political realm as soon as I heard that a member of our (US) House Science Committee changed the age of the Earth from 6,000 to 8,000 years. I cannot support such blasphemy.

  52. This needs to be on a front page of something more visible. Except that the two songs in the end make it look like it is some sort of a joke. I hope it is not.

  53. You wrote that Poroshenko's regime is killing Russophones. You are probably not aware that he is himself a russophone... Also I want to remind you that the conflict is not in the east Ukraine, but only on a very small part of it, and almost all of the east Ukrainians are russophones. So what are you saying is wrong.
    Also you are writing, again, that "Poroshenko's regime got into power by violently overthrowing a democratically
    elected president and it quickly banned the opposition in the Parliament". This is simply bullshit.
    1)Yanukovich stopped being legitimate president after killing hundreds of protesters, despite of being a criminal (donetsk mafia) who's family became billionaire after few years being in the post of president...
    2)Poroshenko was democratically elected.
    3)In one month there will be new parliamentary elections.

  54. Don't be silly.

    Poroshenko speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently and of course that the conditions in which he was elevated push him to speak Ukrainian only.

    I've never written that he is killing "all" Russophones. But the people his regime is killing are almost entirely Russophones.

    The political orientation and the language are correlated but they are not the same. One may find pure Russophones who support Kiev. But most of the new leaders of the Donetsk separate republic are actually ethnic Ukrainians, so there are also exceptions on the other side.

    Your comment about Poroshenko's being more legitimate than Yanukovitch are utterly ludicrous.

  55. So Poroshenko turned illegitimate pretty much immediately as he murdered women, pensioners and children.
    PS: if you want to know who is responsible for the deaths on Maidan, you should check your Wolfsangel buddies.

  56. "Millions of people in the U.S. would rally to convince the U.S. government to stop the war and surrender."

    You've got a whole lot of delusion and poor understanding of Americans in your post. If Russia were to attack an American city, especially as a first nuclear strike, the last thing Americans would be calling for is surrendering. Quite the opposite would happen.

  57. I've been wondering how the Ukrainian military and punitive battalions
    with their vast numbers stock of artillery, armor and aircraft could be
    defeated by a rag-tag bunch of separatists mostly armed with Kalashnikovs. Owing to the fact that despite scouring the
    internet I can't seem to find any convincing evidence of any significant
    organized Russian military intervention, your explanation seems right-on.

  58. I think the reason the US Congress didn't give Poroshnko the military hardward he asked for is that all the Ukrainian coup government's existing military hardware, which they have been trained to use and for which they have spare parts and ammo is vintage Russian. In order to supply Poroashnko with compatible waeapons or ammo the US would have had to order it from Russia.