Stop Saying, “Putin Invaded Ukraine and Annexed Crimea” , it’s nonsense

Stop Saying, “Putin Invaded Ukraine and Annexed Crimea”

By Chris Kanthan

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” – Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister. This is perfectly applicable to the accusations about Russia and Putin regarding Ukraine. Every pundit and politician keeps repeating the mantra that Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. However, like many big lies, this narrative quickly falls apart under objective scrutiny.

Putin did not “invade” Crimea in 2014. Russia has a naval base in Sevastopol, Crimea, and thus it’s normal for Russian soldiers to be in Crimea.

Crimea wasn’t even truly a part of Ukraine. It was known as the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” after the dissolution of the USSR.

Putin did not “annex” Crimea. Crimea had a referendum and the people overwhelmingly (>95%) chose to go with Russia.

Why the referendum was not “rigged”: More than 75% of Crimeans speak Russian as their native language. Obviously they would choose to join Russia. There’s also intense and overt anti-Russian racism in Ukraine. For example, since 2014, Ukraine has banned Russian TV stations, Russian social media, websites, etc.

Even without the ethnic factor, deciding whether to join Russia or Ukraine is a no-brainer – it’s similar to asking a region if they want to be a part of the U.S. or Mexico.

Nobody protested after or since the referendum. In fact, Crimeans called the outcome “going back home.”

Historical link between Russia-Ukraine-Crimea: It’s important to remember that Crimea has belonged to Russia for 200+ years (since 1783). In 1954, Russian leader Khrushchev – a Ukrainian by birth – transferred Crimea to Ukraine. He did it as a goodwill gesture to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of Russia. Nobody in Russia at that time could foresee the fall of the USSR.

Ukraine borders Russia, and Kiev was the birthplace of Russia more than 1000 years ago.

Half of all Ukrainians speak Russian. The eastern half of Ukraine is predominantly made up of ethnic Russians and would gladly secede and join Russia any time. In fact, Ukraine has been virtually split in half for the last three years.

Crimea’s Strategic Importance: Black Sea – where Crimea is located – is strategically important to Russia, since it’s the only gateway to the Mediterranean, Africa, etc. Thus it’s important for shipping, oil/gas pipelines, as well as for military operations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it would be suicidal for Russia to give up Crimea and control of Black Sea.

Globalists Coveting Ukraine/Crimea: Going back 170 years, the British and the French attacked and stole Crimea from Russia. Thus the West attacking Russia has been a constant theme for two centuries (add in Napoleon, Bolshevik revolution funded by Wall Street, Germany during WWI, Japan funded by Wall Street, and then Hitler).

The US has also been planning on “stealing” Ukraine from Russia for a long time. Right after WW II, the CIA allied with Nazi and guerrilla groups within Ukraine to stir up trouble for the USSR. After the fall of the USSR, geopolitical strategist Brzezinski laid out the plan in his book, The Grand Chessboard, where he suggests that Ukraine should become a part of EU and NATO by 2010.

If Ukraine becomes a part of NATO, the US will place missile systems there, just 400 miles from Moscow. Moreover, Ukraine can start a war with Russia, and then US/EU will be obligated to join the fight. Hello, World War III.

Neocon Schemes: As Asst. Sec. of State Victoria Nuland admitted, since 1991, the US has spent more than $5 billion to lure Ukraine away from Russia. This was spent on propaganda, bribes, NGOs, recruitment of activists etc.

What happened in 2014 was a simple and illegal coup d’état. George Soros, John McCain, Neocons and EU leaders openly intervened in a sovereign nation’s democracy and manipulated the system.

Rather than waiting for a new election, Western elites staged violent protests in Ukraine’s capital and simply overthrew the government. (Neo-Nazi groups such as Svoboda played a major role in the riots.) Then new unelected President and Prime Minister were hand-chosen by the West and installed as puppets.

Horrific Results: Just like they destroyed Libya and Syria in “humanitarian wars” and then moved on with no guilt, the Neocons have done the same in Ukraine. For three years, a civil war has been raging on in Ukraine.

Its debt-to-GDP ratio has doubled and close to 60% of the people live below the poverty line. Its industries are crumbling, and pensions/social welfare have been deeply slashed. Neo-Nazi groups are on the rise, and 80% of young people are desperate to leave the country. One group estimates that one in four prostitutes in Europe are now from Ukraine.

Basically, the country is ruined and has no future. Congrats to Neocons and warmongers who keep repeating like robots, “Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea.” Still bitter at Putin, the Pentagon has included $350 million of military aid to Ukraine for the coming fiscal year. More Ukrainians will keep dying for the globalist agenda.

Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Syria – War of Deception. It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto.


How to Become NATO Secretary-General-Aspirants must be willing to swear allegiance to Washington’s imperial agenda, its wars of aggression

How to Become NATO Secretary-General

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Aspirants must be willing to swear allegiance to Washington’s imperial agenda, its wars of aggression, its rape and destruction of one country after another – on the phony pretexts of democracy building and humanitarian intervention.

They must abandon their morals, ethics, and integrity, willingly ignore international laws, norms and standards, as well as stay silent about horrific crimes of war, against humanity and genocide – committed by US-led NATO member states, blaming victimized countries for alliance crimes.

They must bash Russia about everything, claim America stands for democratic rights it abhors. Lying must come easy for them, truth-telling on vital geopolitical issues a disqualifier.

Jens Stoltenberg, like his predecessors, passed the test, a willing imperial stooge, doing America’s bidding, dutifully following orders, his speeches covering what Washington wants him to say – on Monday in Bucharest, Romania.

“NATO is an alliance that keeps its promises,” he roared, none positive, all destructive, he failed to explain.

“We are adapting to the new security challenges we face.” Threats Stoltenberg cited don’t exist nor so-called “challenges.”

“Our deployments are a direct response to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. NATO’s actions are defensive, proportionate and entirely in line with our international commitments.”

“We are concerned by Russia’s military build-up close to our borders. And its lack of transparency when it comes to military exercises such as ZAPAD 2017.”

Fact: Stoltenberg is a liar like other Western officials, notably when it comes to Russia and blaming victimized countries for NATO’s high crimes.

Fact: The whole world knows no Russian “aggressive actions” occurred in Ukraine, none ongoing or planned.

Stoltenberg: “We continue to call on Russia to abide by its international commitments. We do not want to isolate Russia. NATO does not want a new Cold War.”

“Our actions are designed to prevent, not provoke conflict. And we are committed to transparency and predictability, which are in everybody’s interest.”

Fact: NATO is a killing machine, waging war on humanity.

Fact: Russia supports world peace and stability, mutual cooperation among all nations, and strict observance of international laws.

Fact: NATO’s agenda is polar opposite, addicted to war, waging them endlessly in multiple theaters.

Stoltenberg: “NATO has played a role in the fight against terrorism for many years.”

Fact: US-dominated NATO is humanity’s greatest threat, supporting terrorism, not combating it, risking eventual nuclear confrontation.

Stoltenberg: “The situation in Afghanistan is challenging. We all understand the cost of staying in Afghanistan. The human cost and the financial cost.”

“But the cost of walking away would be much higher. If NATO leaves too soon, we risk Afghanistan returning to a state of chaos. A safe haven for international terrorism.”

“The last time that happened then it led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.”

Fact: Stoltenberg must think listeners to his address are morons, ignorant of what’s going on.

Fact: Afghanistan is a colossal mess, violent and chaotic, US-led NATO to blame for waging naked aggression on the country.

Fact: The terrorist threat is headquartered in Washington and other NATO capitals – 9/11 the mother of all false flags, state-sponsored by Washington.

Fact: As long as US-led NATO remains, Afghans will never be free.

Fact: Waging endless war and occupying the country has nothing to do with combating terrorism, everything to do with imperial aims discussed at length in earlier articles.

Stoltenberg: “The Alliance is now a full member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”

Fact: The alliance supports ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Stoltenberg: “ISIS is losing ground. And they are on the run.”

Fact: No thanks to NATO trying to prevent it, providing its fighters with weapons, munitions and other material support. Russia deserves full credit for smashing this scourge in Syria.

Stolenberg: “(W)e are working hard throughout the alliance to make our societies more resilient to attack.”

Fact: The only security threat nations face comes from US-dominated NATO. As long as the alliance exists, world peace is unattainable. Washington won’t permit it.

NATO’s so-called “collective defense” is solely for offensive, naked aggression against targeted countries.

It’s how imperialism works, smashing countries for power and profit, no matter the human toll – Stoltenberg a front man for Washington’s destructive agenda

Comfortable places for proxy wars, Jewish strength, monarchy, Terminator 2 and other news

July 08, 2017

Comfortable places for proxy wars, Jewish strength, monarchy, Terminator 2 and other news

July 8th, 2017

by Scott Humor and Baaz

Family photo at G20

Germany tried to place Trump at the end of the line, but Macron jumped in and saved the moment.

Family photo 
Germany tried to place Trump at the end of the line 🙂
Good boy Macron jumped in, saved the moment 

Emmanuel Macron jostled his way to the front of a G20 photo to stand by Donald Trump

Emmanuel Macron jostled his way to the front of a G20 photo to stand by Donald Trump

The Defense Minister of Poland, Antoni Macierewicz, issued a statement stating that:

“The enemy that we face is Russia, and the Patriot missiles are our response to the Iskander  missiles (Russian – ed.)”

Macierewicz also thanked the deputy minister of defense Bartoszowi Kownackiemu for negotiating with the United States.

It is apparent that the Defense Minister of Poland is illiterate and doesn’t know anything about the technical characteristics of said missiles. Iskanders targeting Poland from Kaliningrad cannot be stopped by Patriot missiles.

Wild fires can potentially devastate a small rural community. That’s why it is excellent news that the Emergency Ministry and Russian Orthodox Church signed a Cooperation Agreement to work together on disaster relief, with the Church managing local teams of volunteers and the MCHS training and providing them with firefighting equipment. They will be training volunteer firefighters and nurses. The ongoing coordination of the volunteers will be done by the priests, and I would assume the local church councils.

Maybe in the near future, robots will be actively participating in firefighting.

Promobot came up with another entertaining video in which their robot “saves” a child. This is same company that released last year a video of their robot “escaping” a lab and wondering the streets.


I don't know how good they are in robot building, but they are really good at producing viral videos that everyone talks about.

News about the Church being in the middle of the countrywide efforts to fight fires and other natural and manmade disasters has been met by the predictable hysteric of the liberal media screaming something about the church being separated from the state.

It’s true, but it’s not separated from the life of the country and communities. And, it’s not like the liberals and other critics have a better idea how to organize firefighting everywhere in the country. No, they just like to report on devastating fires and floods and people in remote areas being powerless to deal with them.

Now, when the neo-liberal systemic and non-systemic opposition had failed so spectacularly, there is an ongoing effort to stirrup three virtual teams, White, Red and Blue, or fake “Christian patriots,” fake “monarchists” and fake “communists.”  These are those who are going to try to destabilize the society this fall and next year spring for the presidential elections.

Some of the current and former priests like Vsevolod Chaplin, an agent provocateur, who was sacked from his position as the chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society, makes the most outrages and bizarre statements using the name of the Church. What he says has nothing to do with Christianity and it throws some weak-minded individuals off their rockets. For example, he proposed to invite the ISIS, international anarchists, and other “freedom fighters”  to relocate to Russia, in order to build a “ideal society.”

Poklonskaya, former Prosecutor General of Crimea, has also been making bizarre pro-monarchy statements; for example she just said that people who would watch an insulting neoliberal creation about Nicolai II will be banned by the Church. The Church even issued a statement saying that Poklonskaya was spreading fake news.

There are many people concerned about the agenda Natalia Poklonskaya is pushing forward, and they are looking into her background to see what’s there and why she acts this way, instead of being a productive member of the government and to do the job she is paid to do, instead of trying to destroy the country.  So far, it looks like there are more questions than answers about this person, and how she came to be in Crimea from post-Maidan Kiev, and even her real identity.

Not to be outdone by Natalia Poklonskaya, whose close connections with a gang of fake Romanovs has become a true handicap of her working as an elected representative in the Duma, bishop Hilarion Alfeyev started making friendly noises towards the idea of restoration of monarchy.  He, too, has been noticed as being very closed to the self-proclaimed heirs to the Russian throne.

Make no mistake, the calls for restoration of monarchy in Russia or for a “White color revolution” is an attempt to change its constitutional order and to topple its republican government, which is a criminal offense.

What’s there to be said about this idiotism if not a treason?

  1. The Romanov’s relatives were known Hitler collaborators.
  2. The Romanovs weren’t Russians. They were German, and Dutch.
  3. Because they were foreigners who didn’t speak the Russian language and treated Russia as their personal colony, they were universally despised and hated by all people, including the old pre-Peter nobility. They led immoral lives and had enormous personal debts that they placed on the shoulders of the Russian people. They exchanged Russian territories like Alaska for their personal debt to the Rothschilds. They started an illegal war on Germany, in which 5.5 million Russian men perished. The list of their crimes goes on and on.
  4. A little known historical fact that during so-called “February revolution”,  the Church, whose head was the monarch, didn’t do anything to support him and his institution of power. Even more, the highest church hierarchs gathered together for a private meeting in March 1917 and decided “to fire” the ex-Emperor. They went so far as to taking out his chair from the Synod building and placing it into a museum.

Nikolai and his family were arrested by the Mensheviks, and it was the Interim government that took  the class on the Divine Law out of school programs. The country was rapidly becoming a failed state, and all they wanted to do was to prevent children from studying the Bible. And they were “the White team,”  before the Red team showed up.

On March 9th 1917, the Synod issued a statement, “To the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church about experiencing current events.” The message starts with the following: “God’s will has been done. Russia has embarked on a new life and statehood. May God bless our great Homeland with happiness and glory on its new path.”

So, it’s disingenuous for the Church employees to come out and to say that what had happened to Nikolai was a crime committed by the Russian nation. I cannot be charged with a crime committed by someone else, even if this someone else claims that they committed this crime in my name. And so no one else can’t blamed for the crime committed by the well known historical figures. This is if the crime was even committed. No one proved that it was. Right now we are all waiting for the results of the new investigation into the murder of the last tsar and his family to be completed and revealed.

The Romanovs were canonized along with their servants as saints by the Church for how they died, not how they lived.

If you want to know my opinion, the Romanovs should be charged for the crimes committed against the Russian nation, at least a court process would help us to settle the score. Maybe then, those people claiming to be the real Romanovs should be charged in the war crimes committed by this family during the WWI and their collaboration with Hitler during the WWII and made paid retribution to the Russian people whose relatives perished in this WWI and the WWII.

Let’s see how fast these wannabe monarchs/ slave holders will vanish.

President Putin said: “Thank God we are not a monarchy. Thank God Russia is a republic,”


Another Russian programmer was kidnapped by the US on the territory of the third country and illegally transported to the US and being held for fictitious crimes.

The hunt for the Russian software engineers and abuse of those who already live in faraway lands has reached horrendous proportions.

I have wrote about programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who was nearly destroyed by his former employer Goldman Sachs, after he had designed for them the best high frequency trading algorithm.

Last year, Russia’s foreign ministry had issued a caveat emptor for all those young, talented engineers from Russia, to stay home until the dust from the falling US empire settles. But, being in a free country, they are not banned from traveling abroad. Some of them view themselves as liberals, and they don’t understand, until it’s too late, that it’s irrelevant what political views they hold, as long as they have the expertise that the US government needs. They travel to the NATO cesspools like the Baltic republics, where the laws has been effectively suspended, or they travel to CIA playgrounds like Singapore. The US kidnaps people of high value, just like Israel kidnaps Iranian physics, the Ukrainian SBU kidnaps rich individuals, and ISIS kidnaps journalists.

Yuri Martyshev has become the US latest victim. He is reportedly being held in a facility in Arlington, Virginia, where, by all accounts, other kidnapped programmers are being held.  Guccifer comes to mind, also known as Marcel Lazăr. A Romanian gardener, who discovered Hillary Clinton’s illegal server installed in the basement of her house in Chappaqua, NY.  He didn’t publish any of the found documents and emails. He just shared his discovery with his peers, and for that he has been jailed for years.

Knowing the modus operandus of CIA, it’s a fair game to assume that programmers snatched all over the world are being coerced and tortured into working for the US government in writing software programs. Judging by the former FBI director Comey complaining back in 2014 that they couldn’t find hackers to fire because they all smoke weed.

It’s no secret that the federal government is having a hard time hiring cybersecurity experts, largely because many hackers can find more lucrative deals that don’t involve working for the feds.”

Considering the US state and non-state actors just steal anything of value with impunity, and considering that the Russian programmers are the best in the world, they are the high value targets. I have a sneaking suspicion that if the US won’t be able to kidnap them, it will try to kill them. So, staying home and traveling only to Russia’s allies is the best strategy for now.

Kaspersky Lab‏’ NoRansom will help you to get your files back

Хотим напомнить вам, что иногда зашифрованные файлы – это не конец света. Есть бесплатные дешифраторы: 

No Ransom – Касперский

На сайте No Ransom можно скачать бесплатные декрипторы для расшифровки файлов, испорченных троянами-шифровальщиками (вирусами-шифровальщиками).

By now everyone with at least half a brain knows that the US government and its affiliates use buzzwords like “fight for democracy and freedom” as a cover up of its illegal wars against the world nations in order to pillage them off their national wealth.

It’s remarkable how they don’t even try to hide their two-tier ideology, one tier for plebs and another for themselves.

For example, this week the US government owned and funded NPR radio announces as news that a war is taking place in Yemen “between the Yemen government and the Houthi rebels.”

This being said at the same time as ghoulish Robert D. Kaplan says that for the US Yemen is “a comfortable place to have a proxy war.”

A link to his lengthy A&Q is here.

He talks about an advantage that the US had when the infrastructure of the Soviet Union, Europa and China had been dissipated during the WWII. This helped America to become the global empire.

He also talks about utter economic devastation of America today.

Despite that, he says that “America is fated to lead the world” and that “America has moral responsibility to lead.”

“America has experience in nation building that’s why it has the moral responsibility to lead.”

Based on Somalia and Bosnia

“If you declare and indentify human tights catastrophe somewhere to the American people… The American people, even trump’s people, they will feel compassionate, they will feel concern, they are not bad people,  or heartless people, and that may gets the troops there to help the human rights problem. But the minute you start taking casualties, you better be able to articulate the naked national interest in a fifteen second soundbyte, or else the public will desert you in a second.”

“That’s the balance that you have to maintain. Humanitarian interests, which are the bla-blabs to get for you troops there in place, but it  won’t keep them there without naked national interests.”

“Even if you don’t have an argument for robust intervention, you staffed out problems in advance. You have an assistant secretary, deputy assistant secretaries, undersecretary, who have an articulated policy response to things that could have been predicted in the first place. Even if cannot intervene in a robust satisfying way, there is always  other things that you can do with your allies.”

About the Pentagon taking control over Trump’s policy at 18:00:

“This has been going on for the last twenty-five years. It’s been a gradual process of the pentagon overtaking the state department. It’s actually because in so many situation, actually carrying out  policy, involved some military action or another, even if it’s non violent.

“It may not be healthy to have the military so front and center, but they is all we have got.”

The most notable expressions from the video:

At 21:00

“America lacks the ability to set complex Islamic societies to rights in the correct direction.”

“Policy elite, which doesn’t seem to learn and wanted to go into Syria in a big way. They toppled the dictator in Libya, who has given up his WMDs, who is cooperating with American and other Western intelligence services. As bad and oppressive as he was has kept the country that was never really a country together.”

About the cost associated with the foreign policy establishment has become too large, the globe has become too flabby and America being overly adventures, and America being perceived as too weak and not as effective

At 23:00 The American foreign policy establishment has become bigger and bigger because of the economic prosperity, and it had the emergence of the policy class, who all grew up  wealthy, and in nice suburbs, many of them never served in the military, they didn’t have an experience of witnessing the war or cover war, And their entire careers and they economic self-interest was tied up with America projective power in a big way. And Trump has essentially saying that these people have failed us.”

About Jaksonian impulse (after Andrew Jackson)

At 24:00

“What is Jalsonian impulse dumbed down… We are not in a business of promoting democracy around the world. That’s not what we do. We are not going to set up little Americas around the world… We are not going to tell you how to live your life, but don’t tell us how to live our life. And if you humiliate us, or hurt us, we will hunt you down and kill you.”

About the North Korea at 25:00

“The North Korean hatred directed against Japan, not South Korea.”

“North Korea as a weaker economy and military will be taken over by the South Korea.”

In reality is the opposite, The North Korea has huge mineral resources, estimated to be at $10 trillion. North Korea has booming economy, while South Korea has a weak economy that is failing.

“President Obama sent very unhelpful signal when he toppled Kaddafi. because Kaddafi had given up his WMD, and we toppled him any way. That sent a signal to North Korea, don’t give up your WMDs. because that’s the only thing that is protecting this regime.”

By bombing Syria and dropping bombs in Afghanistan, we sent a signal that we relish the projection of power in a way that Obama administration did not.”

At 30:00 about having a proxy war with Iran in Yemen.

“Yemen is a safe place to have a proxy war.”

The US is concern that Iran will gain a control over the strategic chock point of the Red Sea. Especially considering that the is a Chinese military base in Djibouti on t the other side of the Red Sea very nearby.

“Yemen is impossible to rule country. It’s has never been cohesive”.

It’s monologue of a cannibal discussing other countries like a meat market.

Kaplan’s monologue is a manifestation of evil in its most horrifying, simple, completely devote of compassion to humanity, psychopathic form.


Exclusive: Seymour Hersh Dishes on New Exposé Upending the Official Story

About Trump and Syrian Chemical Attacks (Interview)

“Relying on a high-level adviser to the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency as his source, Hersh punched holes in the official narrative of the chemical attack, reporting that the Syrian bombing had actually targeted a high-level jihadi meeting with conventional munitions and warned the U.S. government of the strike beforehand, using a deconfliction channel.”

AJC Global Forum June 2017

Bernard-Henri Lévy about the strength of the Jewish community :

Jews have been for so long weak, shy, as we say in French “hugging the walls,” being in the shadow. And, one of the peculiarity of our times, for Jews all over the world, Europe, Israel and America, is that this behavior is finished.The strength, which we are committed to,  is a political strength. is when it’s needed a military strength, but above all, it’s a spiritual, intellectual strength.”.

Bill Kristol, Editor-at-Large, The Weekly Standard, joined French author Bernard-Henri Lévy and MK Tzipi Livni for the “A Jewish Lens on Global Trends” panel at the AJC AJC Global Forum 2017, exploring the geopolitical developments shaping our world and what they mean for the Jewish community.

Power, Politics, and Putin Russia’s Role in Today’s World Order Video

During the 2016 presidential election, a new term entered the lexicon of political pundits—kompromat, incriminating material on a public figure compiled for purposes of blackmail. And that was just the beginning. From Russia’s role in Syria and Ukraine to its support for far-right nationalist parties in Europe and its alleged hack of the DNC email system, it is no wonder Russian President Vladimir Putin was dubbed “the world’s most powerful man” by Fareed Zakaria. To help us understand what Russia wants and what strategies it will employ to get it, during this AJC Global Forum 2017 session hear from three experts: Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus, NYU and Princeton; Julia Ioffe, Staff Writer, The Atlantic; and Andrew Weiss, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Moderater Jason Isaacson, AJC Associate Executive Director for Policy. Introduction by Steven Zelkowitz, AJC Executive Council.

Stephen Cohen at the AJC 2017 Forum, about Russia and Terrorism (Video)

“Remember The Jackson–Vanik (1975) sanction that were placed on the Soviet Union, according to them the SU couldn’t trade with the US on favorable conditions? Those sanctions were placed until the Soviet Union would let the Jews to go.”

“Years later, more Jews are coming to Russia, then they are leaving, but those sanctions are still in place.”

[ Remarkably, the AJC: Global Jewish Advocacy forum has been mostly about Russia. Should we take the words of Bernard-Henri Lévy as a threat? Scott]

The True Cost of Jackson-Vanik

This article is from 2012, but is still relevant.

“Thirty-eight years later, the Soviet Union no longer exists, there is visa-free travel between Russia and Israel, and daily flights connect Moscow and Tel Aviv. Many formerly Soviet Jewish émigrés have returned to Russia to work, albeit in most cases without Russian citizenship. While Jackson-Vanik remains on the books, Russia has been certified as being in compliance with that law by successive U.S. administrations every year since 1994. Thus, for almost two decades Jackson-Vanik has persisted as a relic of the Cold War era, surviving statutorily mostly due to inertia. Aside from occasional remonstrations from Moscow—which still bridles at the perceived stigmatization—Jackson-Vanik has had little material impact on the course of post–Cold War U.S.-Russia relations and, therefore, there has been no compelling reason to remove Russia from the scope of that law.”


5 Reasons America Should Not Fight Iran, Russia and Assad in Syria

Pursuing an ambitious mission against all three adversaries in Syria is dangerous, imprudent and unnecessary.

The United States Can’t Eradicate ISIS in Syria

There’s No Foreseeable Stable End State for Syria

We Don’t Want a War with Iran

The United States Can’t Sideline Russia

U.S. Interests in Syria Aren’t as Vital as Those of Its Adversaries


News In Brief

by the Saker’s research assistant Baaz


Article by Vladimir Putin published in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt


Where Lies the Power of Russian Weapons

Jul 7, 2017

Subscribe to Vesti News…
Russian weapons in Syria demonstrate reliability and great possibilities, so it’s important to carefully analyze and use Syrian combat experience when creating new weapons. Vladimir Putin set this task at a meeting of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation. The President expressed his special gratitude to the developers of the Kh-101 cruise missile.


Russia: Coalition ‘provocations’ lead to expansion of terrorist activities in

Syria – Shoigu Eng subs

Putin Launches Manufacturing of Turbine Engines for Ships in Russia instead of those manufactured in Ukraine

Russia Is Prepared To Respond to US Preemptive Nuclear Strike, Eng subtitles


Russian Terminator 2 Combat vehicle got new guns


Russia tests terminator-2 in Syria

The BMPT-72 fighting vehicle is undergoing tests in Syria. It will most likely go into mass production and join the Russian Armed Forces in the near future.
On June 27, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the Khmeimim Russian base, where he was shown the newest Russian BMPT-72 (aka Terminator-2) armored fighting vehicle.
The vehicle was invented to protect tanks from rocket attacks in an urban environment.
The Russian Ministry of Defense recently sent a single combat BMPT-72 to Syria to test the vehicle and decide its future.
Details of the Terminator-2’s mission in Syria are unclear. It may participate both in guarding Khmeimim, and in battles in Syrian towns and cities…


Russian Spetsnaz”Alpha” & ”Vympel” Vs. international terrorists



Scott Humor

Director of Research and Development

author of The enemy of the State

Follow me on twitter

In case you have forgotten what happened in Ukraine, this book should refresh your memory with the incredibly precise and humorous chronicles: ANTHOLOGY OF RUSSIAN HUMOR: FROM MAIDAN TO TRUMP

Understanding Russia: The Continuum of History

June 20, 2017

by Yameen KhanUnderstanding Russia: The Continuum of History

The United States is actively committed to bring Russia into submission via encirclement and a two pronged attack.

NATO’s expansion of bases in vassal states right up to Russia’s borders, coupled with an attempt at encroachment in Syria, should allow The Hegemon to undermine Russia’s underbelly from the Caucasus to Central Asia.

To understand how Russians usually respond to Western power a little time travel, starting 1219 AD, is more than useful.

This was a time when a cataclysmic event left deep scars on the Russian character; an abiding fear of encirclement, whether by nomadic hordes then or by nuclear missile bases today.

Russia then was not a single state but consisted of a dozen principalities frequently at war with each other. Between 1219 and 1240 all these fell to the Genghis Khan hurricane, whose lightning-speed cavalry with his horse-borne archers, employing brilliant tactics unfamiliar to Europeans, caught army after army off guard and forced them into submission.

For more than 200 years Russians suffered under the Golden Horde of the Mongol – named after their great tent with golden poles. They left the Russian economy in ruins, brought commerce and industry to a halt, and reduced Russians to serfdom. Asiatic ways of administration and customs were superimposed on the existing Byzantine system.

Taking full advantage of its military weakness and of its reduced circumstances, Russia’s European neighbors started to help themselves to its territory, starting with German principalities, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The Mongols couldn’t care less so long as they received their tribute. They were more concerned with their Asiatic dominions.

Still, European cities did not match the riches of Samarkand and Bukhara, Herat and Baghdad, whose incomparable wealth and splendor outshone wooden-built Russian cities.

Russia’s greatest fear begins here – crushed between their European foes to the West and the Mongols to the East. Russians were to develop a paranoid dread of invasion and encirclement which has tormented their foreign relations ever since. Hardly ever has an experience left such deep and ever-lasting scars on a nation’s psyche as this cataclysm did on Russians. This explains, among other things, their stoical acceptance of harsh rule at home.

And then came Ivan III – the man who freed the Russians from the Golden Horde.

Muscovy then was a small provincial town overshadowed by and subservient to its powerful neighbors. In return for allegiance and subservience locals were gradually entrusted with more power and freedom by the unsuspecting Mongols. Over time the Principality of Muscovy grew in strength and size, eventually to dominate all its neighbors.

In 1476 Ivan refused to pay the customary tribute to the grand Khan Ahmed. In a fit of rage Ivan trampled the portrait of Ahmed and put several of his envoys to death.

The showdown came in autumn 1480 when the Khan marched with his army to teach a vassal a lesson, but was astonished to find a large well-equipped force awaiting him on the far bank of the River Ugra, 150 miles from Moscow. For weeks the two armies glowered at one another, neither side wanting to make the first move.

The stakes were clear. Ivan did not need to cross the river. He would change the course of history if he did not lose. A stalemate could become a turning point in history.

For Ahmed Khan there is no choice. He must cross the river and engage. Win or die like Tariq ibin Ziyad in 711 AD, another age and time, when a brilliant Arab general landed on the ‘rock of Hercules’ subsequently called by Arab Historians ‘Jabal Tariq’, meaning the ‘mountain of Tariq’ and later anglicized as Gibraltar.

Tariq, by one master stratagem, with a much smaller force (12,000 against 90,000 Spaniards) at the Battle of Guadalete defeated Roderic and thus opened the road for the subsequent Arab commanders to march all the way to Tours in France.

With the arrival of winter, the river began to freeze. A ferocious battle appeared inevitable. And then something extraordinary happened. Perhaps a miracle. Without warning both sides turned and fled in panic. Despite their inglorious act, the Russians knew that their long subservience was over.

The Khan had lost his stomach for a fight. The once invincible Mongol might had evaporated. Their centralized authority in the West had now collapsed, leaving three widely separated khanates (Kazan, Astrakhan and Crimea) as their last remnants of the once mighty and the largest contiguous land empire in history.

It was in 1553 when Ivan the Terrible, a successor of Ivan III, thirsting for revenge, stormed the fortress of Kazan on the upper Volga, slaughtered its defenders and thus ended the Mongol rule. Two years later the Khanate of Astrakhan, where the Volga flows into the Caspian met with similar fate.

Starving Napoleon’s army

Fast forward to June 1812, and the fateful day, the 24th , when Napoleon’s Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army.

Napoleon’s aim was to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to stop trading with British merchants through proxies and bring about pressure on the United Kingdom to sue for peace. The overt political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia (as the US claims of Eastern Europe today). Thus the campaign was named the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretense for his actions.

The real aim was domination of Russia.

The Grande Armée was massive; 680,000 soldiers. Through a series of marches Napoleon rushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, and in August of that year winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk.

Any invading army must consider war in Russia as a war at sea. It is futile to occupy land or city or cities. The aim of an invading force must be to destroy the military machine of Russia. The aim of Russian commanders has always been to survive and use its vast land mass to exhaust its enemy, learn from him and defeat and annihilate him with his own tactics and stratagems, only better executed.

Napoleon engaged the Russian army for a decisive battle at Maloyaroslavets. The Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle. His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat.

He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of “General Winter”. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army.

When Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 fit soldiers remained. The Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. A riveting defeat.

All those Afghan overt – and covert – wars

Four centuries after the cataclysm of the Mongol invasion, the Russian Empire had been steadily expanding at the rate of 55 square miles a day – or 20,000 square miles a year. At the dawn of the 19thcentury only 2,000 miles separated the British and the Russian empires in Asia.

Both the Russians and the East India Company (as in the British Indian Empire) sent their officers, businessmen in disguise, as Buddhist priests or Muslim holy men, to survey uncharted Central Asia.

One such chap was Captain Arthur Connolly of the 6th Bengal Light Cavalry in the service of the British East India Company. The East India Company was the British version of America’s Halliburton.

Connolly ended up beheaded as a spy by the orders of Alim Khan, the Emir of Bukhara. It was Connolly who coined the expression “The Great Game”, which Kipling immortalized in his novel “Kim”.

By the end of the 19th century the Tsars’ armies had swallowed one Khanate after another and only a few hundred miles separated the two empires. In some places the distance was only twenty miles.

The British feared that they would lose their Indian possessions – the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ – to the Tsar; and two theories emerged to defend the frontiers of British India.

The ‘forward policy’ and its proponents (hawks, today’s US neocons) argued to stop the Russians beyond India’s frontiers by getting there first, either by invasion, or by creating compliant ‘buffer’ states, or satellites, astride the likely invasion route.

But there were those who did not buy this proposition and did not believe that the Russians would invade India. The opponents of the ‘forward policy’ argued that India’s best defense lay in its unique geographical setting – bordered by impassable mountain ranges, mighty rivers, waterless deserts, and above all warlike tribes.

A Russian force which reached India surmounting all these obstacles would be so weakened by then that it would be no match for the waiting British Army. Therefore, it was more sensible to force an invader to overextend his lines of communications than for the British to risk theirs. And above all this policy was cheaper.

NATO today has a forward policy of deploying troops all over Eastern Europe and creating bases around Russia in an effort to encircle it. The final straw for the Russian Federation has been the occupation of Ukraine, by proxy, by Washington.

Guess who won the policy debate in 19th century Britain? The hawks (the US neocons of today), of course.

In 1838 Lord Auckland decides to replace the current Emir of Afghanistan, Dost Muhammad Khan with Shuja-ul-Mulk.

One could easily replace Dost Muhammad of Afghanistan in 1838 with today’s Gaddafi of Libya or Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Or Putin of Russia. Or anyone who becomes an obstacle to the West’s geopolitical, geoeconomic domination.

And yet the British suffered a massive defeat after a year’s occupation of Afghanistan. The only soldier who eventually reached Jalalabad was William Brydon. The Afghans may have spared him so he would be able to tell the tale of this horrific defeat.

You would think the British would have learned from history. Not at all. They did it again.

Tension between Russia and Britain in Europe ended in June 1878 with the Congress of Berlin. Russia then turned its attention to Central Asia, promptly sending an uninvited diplomatic mission to Kabul.

Sher Ali Khan, the Emir of Afghanistan (the son of Emir Dost Muhammad Khan) tried unsuccessfully to keep them out. Russian envoys arrived in Kabul on July 22, 1878, and on August 14, the British demanded that Sher Ali accept a British mission too.

The Emir not only refused to receive a British mission under Neville Bowles Chamberlain, but threatened to stop it if it were dispatched. Lord Lytton, the viceroy, ordered a diplomatic mission to set out for Kabul in September 1878 but the mission was turned back as it approached the eastern entrance of the Khyber Pass, triggering the Second Anglo–Afghan War.

After several defeats in various battles except one, and thus abandoning the provocative policy of maintaining a British resident in Kabul, the British were forced to withdraw.

One would think the British would have enough sense to cease with the stupid policy of occupying Afghanistan. Not at all. They tried it for the third time.

The Third Afghan War began on May 6, 1919 and ended with an armistice on August 8, 1919. An Afghan victory, again.

The British finally abandoned their forward policy. It had failed – just as the American neocons “policy” is failing.

And yet, roughly 60 years later the Russians would don the madman’s (British) hat and on December 25th, 1979, launched a vertical envelopment and occupied Kabul.

Their main aim was the airbase at Shindand, about 200 miles as the crow flies from the Straits of Hormuz, the choke point of the Persian Gulf, through which at the time 90% of the world’s oil was flowing.

They placed 200 Bear Bombers – the equivalent of the US B-52’s – as if sending a message to President Carter: “Checkmate”. A certain game was over – and a covert war was about to begin.

As our historical trip takes us from The Great Game to the Cold War, by now it’s more than established that the United States took on the mantle of the British Empire and filled in the power vacuum left by the British. If Connolly were to come back during the Cold War he would be right at home – as the Cold War was a continuation of the Great Game.

In between, of course, there was a guy named Hitler.

After Napoleon, it was Hitler who considered the Russians as barbarians and despite a nonaggression pact invaded Russia.

The Second Great European War (GEW II) was in fact fought between Germany and the USSR. Germany deployed 80% of its economic and military resources on its Eastern Front compared to 20% against the rest of the allies on the Western Front, where it was merely a ‘fire brigade operation’ (Hitler’s words).

Paul Carell describes the moment when, at 0315 on June 22nd 1941, the massive ‘Operation Barbarossa’ over a 900-mile front went under way.

“As though a switch had been thrown a gigantic flash of lightening rent the night. Guns of all calibres simultaneously belched fire. The tracks of tracer shells streaked across the sky. As far as the eye could see the front on the Bug was a sea of flames and flashes. A moment later the deep thunder of the guns swept over the tower of Volka Dobrynska like a steamroller. The whine of the mortar batteries mingled eerily with the rumble of the guns. Beyond the Bug a sea of fire and smoke was raging. The narrow sickle of the moon was hidden by a veil of cloud. Peace was dead.”

Bagration revisited

Russians are masters of Sun Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”

These principles were recently applied in Ukraine and Crimea. For background, one just needs to study the battle of Kursk as well as Operation Bagration.

The Soviet military doctrine of maskirovka was developed in the 1920s, and used by Zhukov in the 1939 Battles of Khalkhin Gol against Japan.

The Field Regulations of the Red Army (1929) stated that:

“Surprise has a stunning effect on the enemy. For this reason all troop operations must be accomplished with the greatest concealment and speed.”

Concealment was to be attained by confusing the enemy with movements, camouflage and use of terrain, speed, use of night and fog, and secrecy.

Operation Bagration – the Soviet destruction of the German Army Group Centre – was, arguably, the single most successful military action of the entire war. This vital Soviet offensive is symptomatic of the lack of public knowledge in the West about the war in the East. Whilst almost everyone has heard of D-Day, few people other than specialist historians know much about Operation Bagration.

Yet the sheer size of Bagration dwarfs that of D-Day.

“Army Group Centre was really the anchor of that whole German front,’ writes Professor Geoffrey Wawro, ‘blocking the shortest path to Berlin; and the Russians annihilated it at the same time as we were landing on D-Day and marching on, liberating Paris and then heading towards Germany. But the scope of the fighting was much bigger in the East.

You had ten times as many Russians fighting in Bagration as you had Anglo/American/Canadian troops landing on the Normandy beaches.

And you had three times as many Germans in action fighting trying to hold up the Russian advance as you had defending the Atlantic Wall.

So, it’s a perfect encapsulation of the problem (of lack of appreciation of the scale of fighting on the Eastern Front). I mean, think about it, when D-Day and Bagration jumped off, the allied armies in Normandy and the Russian armies on the Eastern Front were equidistant from Berlin, and in the German view they were sort of equal threats.

After Operation Bagration, Russia is seen as being the principal threat because they just kicked down the door altogether and reoccupied all the ground that was lost in 1941. They take most of Poland and they move into East Prussia and they’re at the very gates of Berlin while we’re still slogging our way through Normandy and towards Paris.”

Operation Bagration was a colossal victory for the Red Army. By the 3rd of July Soviet forces had recaptured Minsk, capital of Belorussia, a city which had been in German hands for three years. And by the end of July the Red Army had pushed into what had been, before the war, Polish territory, and had taken Lwow, the major cultural center of eastern Poland.

Before Operation Barbarossa, the German High Command masked the creation of the massive force arrayed to invade the USSR and heightened their diplomatic efforts to convince Joseph Stalin that they were about to launch a major attack on Britain.

Maskirovka (deception) was put into practice on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk, especially on the Steppe Front commanded by Ivan Konev.

The result was that the Germans attacked Russian forces four times stronger than they were expecting.

The German general Friedrich von Mellenthin wrote, “The horrible counter-attacks, in which huge masses of manpower and equipment took part, were an unpleasant surprise for us… The most clever camouflage of the Russians should be emphasized again. We did not .. detect even one minefield or anti-tank area until .. the first tank was blown up by a mine or the first Russian anti-tank guns opened fire”.

Broadly, military deception may take both strategic and tactical forms. Deception across a strategic battlefield was uncommon until the modern age (particularly in the world wars of the 20th century), but tactical deception (on individual battlefields) dates back to early history.

In a practical sense military deception employs visual misdirection, misinformation (for example, via double agents) and psychology to make the enemy believe something that is untrue. The use of military camouflage, especially on a large scale, is a form of deception.

The Russian loanword maskirovka (literally: masking) is used to describe the Soviet Union and Russia’s military doctrine of surprise through deception, in which camouflage plays a significant role.

There are numerous examples of deception activities employed throughout the history of warfare, such as: feigned retreat leading the enemy, through a false sense of security, into a pre-positioned ambush; fictional units creating entirely fictional forces or exaggerating the size of an army; smoke screen – a tactical deception involving smoke, fog, or other forms of cover to hide battlefield movements; Trojan Horse – gaining admittance to a fortified area under false pretenses, to later admit a larger attacking force; strategic envelopment – where a small force distracts the enemy while a much larger force moves to attack from the rear (that was a favored tactic of Napoleon’s).

And that brings us to Syria, and its importance to Russia.

The deep state in Washington wants to keep the entire spectrum from the Levant to the Indian sub-continent destabilized – shaping it as the platform to send sparks of terrorism North to Russia and East to China. At the same time the US military will keep a physical presence (if China, India and Russia will allow it) in Afghanistan, from where it can survey the Eurasian land mass. As a master geopolitical chess player, Putin is very much aware of all this.

Syria is right at the underbelly of Russia and would be strategically important if it were in the hands of remote-controlled thugs like Ukraine is today. It has the potential to destabilize Russia from the Caucasus to Central Asia – generating as many Salafi-jihadi terrorists as possible. The region from the Caucasus to Central Asia holds about 80 million Muslims. Russia has enough reasons to stop US advances in Syria and Ukraine. Not to mention that in Iraqi Kurdistan the Pentagon is aiming to build a mega base, a springboard to create mischief in Central Asia for both Russia and China, in the form, for instance, of an Uyghur uprising in Western China, like it has done in Ukraine for Russia.

Once again; it may be helpful to look back to the continuum of history. It tells us these current efforts to encircle and destabilize Russia are destined to fail. (edited by Pepe Escobar)

Selected bibliography:

Carell, Paul: Hitler’s War on Russia (George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., London, 1964).
Fraser-Tytler, W.K.: Afghanistan: A Study of Political Developments in Central Asia (Oxford University Press, London, 1950).
Hopkirk, Peter: Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia (First Published by John Murry (Publisher), 1980; First issued as an Oxford University Press, paperback 1980, Oxford).
Tzu, Sun: The Art of War (Edited with an introduction by Dallas Galvin; Translated from Chinese by Lionel Giles, First Published in 1910, Produced by Fine Creative Media, Inc. New Yor
Gibbon, Edward: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III (Random House Inc. Manufactured in the United States by H. Wolf).
Weatherford, Jack: Genghis Khan and the making of the Modern World (Three Rivers Press, New York).
Wawro, Geoffrey: (Professor of Military History at the University of North Texas).

Russia and Islam, connecting the dots and discerning the future

June 18, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review

Russia has often been in the news over the past years, mostly as the demonized “Empire of Mordor” responsible for all the bad things on the planet, especially Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, the Russian intervention in Syria and, of course, the “imminent” Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland or even all of Western Europe. I won’t even dignify all this puerile nonsense with any attention, but instead I will focus on what I think are important developments which are either misunderstood or completely ignored in the West.

First, a few key dots:

1) The Russian intervention in Syria

There are so many aspects of the Russian military intervention in Syria which ought to be carefully studied that I am confident that many PhD theses will be written on this topic in the future. While I have mostly focused my work on the purely military aspects of this campaign, it is important to look at the bigger picture. To do that, I will make the admittedly risky assumption that the civil war in Syria is pretty much over. That is not my conclusion only, but also an opinion voiced by an increasing number of analysts including a Russian general during an official briefing. With the fall of Aleppo and now the latest Syrian-Hezbollah-Russian move to cut off the US controlled forces from their planned move to the Iraqi border, things do indeed looks pretty bleak for the terrorists, the “good ones” and the “bad ones”. In the Syrian-Russian-Hezbollah controlled areas, normal life is gradually returning and the Russians are pouring huge amounts of aid (food, medical supplies, mine clearing, engineering, etc.) into the liberated areas. When Aleppo was under Takfiri control it was the center of attention of the western media, now that this city has been liberated, nobody wants to hear about it lest anybody become aware of what is a huge Russian success.

Even more impressive is the nature of the Russian forces in Tartus and, especially, in Khmeinim. The Russian military TV Channel “Red Star” has recently aired two long documentaries about the Russian facilities in Syria and two things are clear: first, the Russians are going to stay for a very long time and, second, they have now completed an advanced resupply and augmentation infrastructure which can accommodate not only small and mid size aircraft and ships, but even the immense An-124. The Russian have dug in, very very deep, and they will fight very hard if attacked. Most importantly, they now have the means to bring in more forces, including heavy equipment, in a very short time.

Again, this might be a premature conclusion, but barring any (always possible) surprises, the Russians are in, Assad stays in power, the Takfiris are out and the civil war is over.

Conversely this means that: the USA lost the war, as did the KSA, Qatar, Israel, France, the UK and all the other so-called “friends of Syria”. The Iranian, Hezbollah and the Russians have won.

So what does all this really mean?

The most radical consequence of this process is that Russia is back in the Middle-East. But even that is not the full story. Not only is Russia back, but she is back in force. Even though Iran has actually made a bigger effort to save Syria, the Russian intervention, which was much smaller than the Iranian one, was far more visible and it sure looked like “Russia saved Assad”. In reality, “Russia saved Assad” is a gross over-simplification, it should be “the Syrian people, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia saved Syria”, but that is how most people will see it it, for better or for worse. Of course, there is more than a kernel of truth in that view as without the Russian intervention Damascus would have probably fallen to the Daesh crazies and all the other Christian or Muslim denominations more or less wiped out. Still, the perception is that Russia single-handedly changed what appeared as an inevitable outcome.

The Russian success was especially amazing when compared to the apparently endless series of defeats for the United States: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and now the latest mess with the Saudi blockade against Qatar – the Americans just don’t see to be able to get anything done. Just the contrast between the way the US betrayed Hosni Mubarak with how the Russians stood by Assad is a powerful message to all the regional leaders: better to have the Russians on your side than the Americans.

2) How Russia transformed Turkey from an enemy to a potential ally

To say that Turkey is a crucial ally of the US and a vital member of NATO is an understatement. For one thing, Turkey has the 2nd largest army in NATO (the US being the biggest one, of course). Turkey also holds the keys to the Mediterranean, NATO’s southern flank and the northern Middle-East. Turkey has a common border with Iran and a maritime boundary with Russia (over the Black Sea). When Turkey shot down a Russian SU-24 bomber (with US complicity) the situation became so tense that many observers feared that a full-scale war would break out between the two countries and, possible, the NATO alliance. Initially, nothing happened, the Turks took a hard stance, but following the coup against Erdogan (also with US complicity), the Turks suddenly did an amazing 180 and turned to Russia for help. The Russians were only glad to help, of course.

We will never really know what role the Russians really played in saving Erdogan, but it is pretty clear, even by his own words, that Putin did something absolutely crucial. What is indisputable is that Erdogan suddenly moved away from the USA, NATO and the EU and turned to the Russians who immediately used Turkey’s ties with the Takfiris to get them out of Aleppo. Then they invited Turkey and Iran to negotiate a three way deal to end the civil war. As for the Americans, were not even consulted.

The example of Turkey is the perfect illustration of how the Russians turn “the enemies into neutrals, neutrals into friends and friends into allies”. Oh sure, Erdogan is an unpredictable and, frankly, unstable character, the Americans and NATO are still in Turkey, and the Russians will never forget the Turkish support for the Takfiris in Chechnia, Crimea and Syria or, for that matter, the Turkish treacherous attack on their SU-24. But neither will they show any external signs of that. Just like with Israel, there is no love fest between Russia and Turkey, but all the parties are supremely pragmatic and so everybody is all smiles.

Why does this matter?

Because it shows how sophisticated the Russians are, how instead of using military force to avenge their SU-24, which is what the Americans would have done, they quietly but with great resolve and effort did what had to be done to “de-fuse” Turkey and “turn” it. The day following the Turkish attack Putin warned that Turkey would not “get away with just some tomatoes” (referring to the Russians sanctions against Turkish imports). Less than a year later, the Turkish military and security services got almost completely de-fanged in the purges following the coup against Erdogan and Erdogan himself flew to Moscow to ask to be accepted by the Kremlin as a friend and ally. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

3) Russia and the “Chechen model” as a unique case in the Muslim world

Many observers have commented in awe at the miracle Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov pulled-off in Chechnia: after the region was absolutely devastated by two vicious and brutal wars and after being a “black hole” for assorted terrorists and common thugs, Chechnia turned into one of the most peaceful and safe parts of Russia (even while neighboring Dagestan is still suffering from violence and corruption). I won’t revisit it all and describe all the dramatic changes in Chechnia, but I will focus on a often ignored aspect of the “Chechen model”: Chechnia has become an extremely strict and traditional Sunni Muslim region. Not only that, but it is also one which has basically comprehensively defeated not only the Wahabis themselves but also their Wahabi ideology. In other words, Chechnia today is unique in that this is a Sunni Muslim culture which is strictly Islamic but with no risk whatsoever of being re-infected by the Wahabi virus. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this unique feature.

In the 1990s most of the Muslim world supported the Wahabi insurgency in Chechnia in a completely knee-jerk reaction I call “wrong or right – my Ummah”. This is largely the result of the very sophisticated AngloZionist propaganda aimed at the Muslim world which completely distorted the truth about the conflict taking place there (the same happened in Bosnia, by the way). Nowadays, however, the “Chechen example” is attracting a great deal of attention in the Muslim world and the personality of Ramzan Kadyrov is slowly becoming somewhat of a hero. Even the Saudis who financed a great deal of the Chechen insurgency and who threatened Russia with terrorist attack during the Sochi Olympics, now have to be very courteous and “brotherly” with Ramzan Kadyrov. The truth is that the Saudis are directly threatened by the “Chechen model” because it proves something the Saudis want to categorically deny: the traditional and strict Islam does NOT have to be Wahabi or, even less so, Takfiri.

Think of it: the biggest threat to the Saudis is, of course, Iran because it is a powerful, successful and dynamic Islamic Republic. But at least Iran is Shia and that, in the minds of some Sunnis, is a grievous heresy and almost a form of apostasy. But the Chechens are potentially much more dangerous to the Saudi ideology – they are anti-Wahabi (they call them “shaitans” or, literally, “devils”) and they are willing to fight anywhere in the Muslim world to counter the “good terrorists” supported by the CIA and the House of Saud. Time and time again, Ramzan Kadyrov, and many other Chechen leaders and commanders, have repeated that they are willing to fight for Russia “anywhere on the planet”. They have already been deployed in Georgia, Lebanon, Novorussia and now they are fighting in Syria. Each time with devastating effectiveness. They are true Muslim heroes, recognized as such even by the non-Muslim Russians, and they want absolutely nothing to do with the Wahabis whom they hate with a passion. As a result, more and more people in the Muslim world are expressing their admiration for the Chechen model.

The Chechen model also is noticed and hotly debated inside Russia. Russian liberals absolutely hate it and, just like their western curators, they accuse Kadyrov all sorts of unspeakable crimes. Their latest invention is that homosexuals are jailed and tortured by Chechen security service. This kind of stories might be taken seriously in San Francisco or Key West, but they get zero traction with the Russian public.

Chechnia is ideally located to influence not only the Caucasus but also other Muslim regions of Russia and even Central Asia. The large number of Chechens in the Russian special operation forces also makes them very visible in the Russian media. All this contributes to the high-visibility and popularity of a viable traditional Sunni model which is the exact opposite of what is happening the EU. Let’s compare the image of Muslims in the EU in Russia.

A couple of important caveats first. First, the picture was not always quite as rosy, especially not in the 1990s when Chechens were seen as thugs, brutes, crooks and vicious terrorists. Some Russians have neither forgotten nor forgiven (and, of course, some Chechens still hate Russians for what they did to Chechnia during the two wars). Second, this table compares what I call “ethnic Muslims” in Europe, meaning people coming from Muslim countries or families but who are not necessarily true, pious, Muslims at all. In fact, most of them are not. This is why I put “Muslims” in quotation marks. When I speak of Chechens, I refer to those conservative Chechens who support Kadyrov and his strict adherence to Islamic values. So, in a way, I will be comparing apples and oranges, but I do so because I want to show the greatest contrast possible and I believe that these apples and oranges play a crucial role in the development of the societies they live in now.

“Muslims” in the EU “Kadyrov Chechens” in Russia
Seen as alien/immigrants/”others” Seen as neighbors/locals
Seen as disruptive of the local culture Seen as representing a conservative/traditionalist strand in the Russian society
Seen as potential terrorists Seen as the prime victims of, and allies against, terrorism
Seen has disloyal to the native people Seen as the most loyal defenders of the Motherland
Seen as criminals and hooligans Seen as “law and order” types
Seen as lazy welfare leeches Seen as hard-working and skilled businessmen

Again, these are not scientific findings, they are not backed by careful opinion polling and they do compare apples and oranges. So take them with a big bag of salt. And yet, I think that what this table shows what are deep and contrasting trends inside the EU and Russian societies: the EU is on a collision course with the Islamic world while Russia is not. In fact, Russia represents a model of how a (nominally) Christian society can coexist with a large Muslim minority to the benefit of both communities. Russia also represents a unique example of how two very different religions can contribute to the development of a *joint* civilizational model.

Now an attempt at discerning the future

So let’s connect the dots above: First, Russia is arguably the single most important actor in the Middle-East, far eclipsing the United States. Second, Russia has successfully built an informal, but crucial, alliance with Iran and Turkey and these three countries will decide of the outcome of the war in Syria. Third, Russia is the only country on earth where Sunni Islam is truly safe from the Wahabi virus and where a traditionalist Sunni society exists without any Saudi interference. Combine these three and I see an immense potential for Russia to become the force which will most effectively oppose the power and influence of the Saudis in the Muslim world. This also means that Russia is now the undisputed leader in the struggle to defeat international Takfiri terrorism (what Trump – mistakenly – calls “Islamic fundamentalism”).

The AngloZionist rulers of the Empire have been very clever, if also very short-sighted: First they created al-Qaeda, then unleashed it against their enemies, then they used al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to wreak havoc on a number of secular regimes just to “re-shape” a “new Middle-East” and now they are finally using al-Qaeda/ISIS/Daesh to set the West on a direct collision course with the entire Muslim world (1.8 billion people!) which will prevent the imperial slaves, that is all of us, the common folks living the the EU and USA, from ever looking at the real cause of our problems or, even less so, overthrow our rulers.

Thus we see the disgraceful and, frankly, stupid propaganda against Muslims and Islam as if somehow there was a real Muslim or Islamic threat. The reality, of course, is that all those Muslims who do represent a real threat for the people in the West are invariably associated with western security services and that since 9/11 the vast majority of terror attacks have been false flags. True, there were some apparently “real” (that is: undirected by western special services) attacks, but the number of victims in such, frankly, amateurish attack was minuscule and blown out of proportion.

Just like the “thug life” musical propaganda in the USA resulted in large numbers of US Blacks being killed, mostly by shooting each other, so the “Islamic terrorist” hysteria in the media will result in a few genuine terrorist attacks. But if you add up all the numbers you quickly realize that this paranoid hysteria is completely out of proportion with the real danger.

Somebody wants us all the be afraid, really afraid.

Sadly, this hysteria has affected many, not only in the official Ziomedia, but also in the so-called ‘alternative’ media. The result? Just as the rulers of the Empire need it, the West and the Islamic world are now on a collision course. Who is your money on in this clash? Just take a look at the clowns we have for leaders and tell me that the West will win this one!

The West will, of course, lose this war too, but the consequences of this defeat are not the topic of this article. What I am trying to illustrate here is that the West and Russia have taken to radically different approaches to the challenges of an increasingly more influential Islamic world. I would compare Russia and the West to two swimmers caught in a powerful riptide: the West is determined to swim directly against it while Russia uses this riptide to get where she wants. Again, who do you think will fare better?

But this is not just about the West anymore, this is about the multi-polar world which will replace the current AngloZionist hegemony. In this context, one of the most interesting processes taking place is that Russia is becoming a major player in the Muslim world.

Only 10 to 15 percent of Russians are Muslim, that amounts to about 10 million people. Most Muslim countries are way bigger. And since 85 to 90 percent of Russians are not Muslims, the influence of Russia in the Muslim world cannot be measured by such relatively modest numbers. However, when we consider the central role Russian Muslims play in the Russian policies towards the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle-East, when we take into account that Russian Muslims are mostly Sunni and very well protected against the virus of Wahabism and when we recall that traditional Sunni Islam has the full backing of the Russian state we can truly get a sense of the unique combination of factors which will give the Russian Muslims an influence far in excess of their relatively modest numbers.

Furthermore, the Russians are now closely collaborating with Shia Iran and with (mostly) Hanafi Turkey. Most Chechens belong to the Sha’afi Sunni tradition and about half are adherents to Sufism. It might be because Russia is not a majority Muslim country that she is the ideal place to re-create a non-denominational form of Islam, an Islam which would be content to be Islam and with no need to subdivide itself into competing, sometimes even hostile, subgroups.

Russia only has an observer status in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) due to the fact that she is not a majority Muslim country. Russia is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which brings together China, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Russia , Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , India and Pakistan. Let’s look at the approximate number of Muslims in the SCO countries: China 40’000’000 , Kazakhstan 9’000’000, Kyrgyzstan 5’000’000, Russia 10’000’000, Tajikistan 6’000’000 , Uzbekistan 26’000’000, India 180’000’000, Pakistan 195’000’000. That’s a grand total of 471 million Muslims. Add to this figure the 75’000’000 Iranians which will join the SCO in the near future (bringing the grand total to 546’000’000) and you will see this stunning contrast: while the West has more or less declared war in 1.8 billion Muslims, Russia has quietly forged an alliance with just over half a billion Muslims!

Russian nationalists (as opposed to Russian patriots) did try their best to infect Russia with her own brand of Islamophobia, but that movement was defeated by an absolutely uncompromising stance by Vladimir Putin himself who went as far as stating that:

I need to say that, as I have repeated many times before, from its beginning Russia had formed as a multiconfessional and multiethnic state. You are aware that we practice Eastern Christianity called Orthodoxy. And some theorists of religion say that Orthodoxy is in many ways closer to Islam than to Catholicism. I don’t want to evaluate how true this statement is, but in general the coexistence of these main religions was carried out in Russia for many centuries. Over the centuries we have developed a specific culture of interaction, that might be somewhat forgotten in the last few decades. We should now recall those our national roots.”

Clearly, as long as Putin and those who support him remain in power, Islamophobia will have no future whatsoever in Russia.

[Sidebar: while this is never mentioned anywhere in the western literature, there are real political prisoners in Russia and there is one group of people which the Kremlin has truly persecuted on political grounds: the Russian nationalists. This topic would deserve an article on its own, but here I will just say that since Russia is a state where the rule of law is official policy, the Kremlin has to resort to some creative ticks to jail these nationalists including accusing them of “attempting to overthrow the state by using crossbows” (I kid you not!). Nationalists are often persecuted on charges of violating laws against hate speech, for distributing extremist literature, etc. Basically the authorities harass them and try to disrupt their activities. Again, the western champions of civil rights and various Putin-haters never speak about these very real political persecutions in Russia. Apparently western human rights organizations live by the motto of the “Angel of Death” of the French Revolution’s infamous “terror” period, Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, who famously declared “pas de liberté pour les ennemis de la liberté” (no freedom for the enemies of freedom). It is clear that as soon as Putin came to power he immediately realized the potential danger to the Russian society posed by these nationalists and he decided to clamp down on them every bit as hard as he did on the Wahabi recruiters and neo-Nazis propagandists in Russia.]

Furthermore, Russia has now become the most influential member of the SCO which represents the strategic interests of over half a billion Muslims worldwide. In the Middle-East, Russia has made an amazing comeback – from a quasi-total departure in the 1990s to becoming the single most influential player in the region. Russia has successfully convinced two very powerful potential competitors (Iran and Turkey) to work together and now this informal alliance is in a very strong position to influence the events in the Caucasus and Central Asia. At this point it is already clear that what we are seeing is a long term process and long term strategic goal of Russia: to become directly involved in the struggle for the future of Islam.

The struggle for the future of Islam

The Islamic world is facing an immense challenge which is threatening its very identity and future: the Wahabi-Takfiri ideology. That ideology, by its very nature, represents a mortal threat to any other form of Islam and a moral threat, literally, to every non-Takfiri Muslim living on the planet. The Takfiri ideology also represents a real existential threat to all of mankind, very much including Russia and Russia cannot simply sit back and wait to see who of the AngloZionist West or the wannabe Caliphate of Daesh will prevail, especially since the two are also loacked in a weird symbiotic relationship between the western deep state and special services and the Takfiri leaders. Furthermore, assuming the West is willing to seriously fight terrorism (and so far there is no sign of that whatsoever) it is also obvious that Europe is useless in this struggle (due to an acute lack of brain, spine and other body parts) and that the USA, being protected by large oceans, are not facing the same threat as the states of the Eurasian landmass. Russia therefore has to act on her own, and very forcibely.

This is not a struggle which will be determined by military means. Yes, being willing and capable of killing Takfiris is important, and Russia can do that, but at the end of the day it is the Takfiri ideology which must be defeated and this is where the Russian Muslims will play an absolutely crucial role in the struggle for the future of Islam. Their status as a minority in Russia actually serves to protect Russian Muslims simply because there is absolutely no possibility whatsoever for any type of Wahabi Islam to gain enough traction in Russia to threaten the state. If anything, the two wars in Chechnia are the best proof that even in the worst possible conditions Russians will always hit back and very hard at any attempt to create a Wahabi state inside, or next to, Russia. President Putin often says that Russia has to sent her forces to fight in Syria not only to save Syria, but also to kill the many thousands of Russian citizens who are currently in the ranks of Daesh before they come back home: better to fight them there than to fight them here. True. But that also means that Russia will have to take the ideological fight to the rest of the Islamic world and use her influence to support the anti-Takfiri forces currently struggling against Daesh & Co worldwide.

The future of Russia and the Muslim world are now deeply intertwined which, considering the current disastrous dynamic between the West and the Muslim world, this is a good thing for everybody. While the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire are using both Russia and the Muslim world as bogeymen to scare their subjects into submission to the international plutocracy, Russia will have to become the place where the Islamophobic myths will debunked and a different, truly multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic civilizational model offered as an alternative to the monolithic Hegemony dominating the world today.

Modern secularist ideologies have given mankind nothing except violence, oppression, wars and even genocides. It is high time to kick them into the trash heaps of history where they belong and return to a truly tolerant, sustainable and humane civilizational model centered around spiritual, not materialistic, values. Yes, I know, for the media-brainwashed zombies out there religion is not exactly associated with the ideas of tolerance and compassion, but that is just the inevitable consequence of being exposed to particularly nasty and hypocritical forms of religion. That, and a basic lack of education. These things can be remedied, not so much by debating them ad nauseam, but simply by creating a different civilizational model. But for that Russia and the Islamic world will need to look inside themselves and focus on healing their own (still numerous) pathologies and dysfunctions (especially spiritual ones) in order to create such a spirituality-centered alternative to the Almighty Dollar. In the words of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, “acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved”. I think that this is a future worthy of fighting for.

The Saker

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

 Politico, the most read “Capitol Hill” publication online, has released an investigation arguing that Veterans Today and SouthFront are shaking pillars of American society, foremost among them the military.

From our own point of view the article written by Ben Schreckinger provides another evidence of a high evaluation of our collaborative effort by mainstream media outlets and think tanks funded by corporates and governments. It explains why more and more people turn away from the mainstream coverage and analysis of the military and geo-political issues of our time.

SouthFront provides a full text of Politico’s investigative report (LINK):

“How Russia targets the U.S. Military. With hacks, pro-Putin trolls and fake news, the Kremlin is ratcheting up its efforts to turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column.”

In the fall of 2013, Veterans Today, a fringe American news site that also offers former service members help finding jobs and paying medical bills, struck up a new partnership. It began posting content from New Eastern Outlook, a geopolitical journal published by the government-chartered Russian Academy of Sciences, and running headlines like “Ukraine’s Ku Klux Klan — NATO’s New Ally.” As the United States confronted Russian ally Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons against Syrian children this spring, the site trumpeted, “Proof: Turkey Did 2013 Sarin Attack and Did This One Too” and “Exclusive: Trump Apologized to Russia for Syria Attack.”

In recent years, intelligence experts say, Russia has dramatically increased its “active measures” — a form of political warfare that includes disinformation, propaganda and compromising leaders with bribes and blackmail — against the United States. Thus far, congressional committees, law enforcement investigations and press scrutiny have focused on Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s successful efforts to disrupt the American political process. But a review of the available evidence and the accounts of Kremlin watchers make clear that the Russian government is using the same playbook against other pillars of American society, foremost among them the military. Experts warn that effort, which has received far less attention, has the potential to hobble the ability of the armed forces to clearly assess Putin’s intentions and effectively counter future Russian aggression.

In recent years, intelligence experts say, Russia has dramatically increased its “active measures” — a form of political warfare that includes disinformation, propaganda and compromising leaders with bribes and blackmail — against the United States. Thus far, congressional committees, law enforcement investigations and press scrutiny have focused on Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin’s successful efforts to disrupt the American political process. But a review of the available evidence and the accounts of Kremlin watchers make clear that the Russian government is using the same playbook against other pillars of American society, foremost among them the military. Experts warn that effort, which has received far less attention, has the potential to hobble the ability of the armed forces to clearly assess Putin’s intentions and effectively counter future Russian aggression.

In addition to propaganda designed to influence service members and veterans, Russian state actors are friending service members on Facebook while posing as attractive young women to gather intelligence and targeting the Twitter accounts of Defense Department employees with highly customized “phishing” attacks. The same Russian military hacking group that breached the Democratic National Committee, “Fancy Bear,” was also responsible for publicly posting stolen Army data online while posing as supporters of the Islamic State in 2015, according to the findings of one cybersecurity firm. And the hacking group’s most common target for phishing attacks in the West has been military personnel, with service members’ spouses making up another prominent target demographic, according to another cybersecurity firm.

While the military and its contractors have long been the targets of cyberattacks from hostile foreign powers, the Russian campaign is noteworthy for its heightened intensity, especially since the imposition of Western economic sanctions following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, and for the novel tactics it is employing online. All of it amounts to a new kind of low-intensity or “hybrid” warfare that Western governments are still struggling to effectively counter.

“We are focused on the azalea bushes at the edge of a redwood forest,” said retired Gen. Philip Breedlove, who stepped down last June after three years as supreme allied commander of NATO, where he witnessed a surge in Russian active measures against Baltic states and in efforts to spread negative disinformation about the alliance’s soldiers stationed in Europe.

The active measures campaign has followed Breedlove home and into retirement. In July, emails hacked from his Gmail account were published on the Russian front site DC Leaks, and Breedlove said he was recently targeted with a series of more than a dozen sophisticated phishing emails purporting to come from his bank. Breedlove declined to name his bank but said it is used by the majority of his fellow officers, leading him to conclude the motives of the phishing attack were political rather than financial. “What Russia is doing across the gamut from our internal audiences to military audiences and others,” he said, “is quite astronomical.”


In the 20th century, intelligence agencies looking to build ties with foreign soldiers might have gone through the trouble of sending agents out to watering holes near military bases, waiting for servicemen to show up and gaining their trust one drink at a time.

Now, social media makes it cheap and easy to target soldiers and veterans in their virtual hangouts for intelligence gathering and influence campaigns.

John Bambenek, a threat intelligence manager at Fidelis Cybersecurity, whose work has included investigating the DNC breach, said Russia is one of several foreign powers using social media lures to gather intelligence on the U.S. military. “Some are quite unsophisticated (attractive women sending friend requests), some get more complicated,” he wrote in an email. “Spies understand that a great deal can be discerned about what militaries are up to based on the unclassified behavior of soldiers.”

Forming connections on social media could help foreign states directly communicate with groups of American soldiers, a tactic employed in recent conflicts by both Russia and the U.S. During the first days of the annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian soldiers were bombarded with demoralizing text messages such as, “Soldier you are just a raw meat for your commanders.” Ahead of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military emailed Iraqi soldiers en masse, encouraging them to surrender, according to Richard Clarke’s 2010 book, “Cyber War.”

The Pentagon is clearly worried. Defense Department spokeswoman Linda Rojas declined to comment on specific activities, but said new technologies have made the military more vulnerable in cyberspace. “The proliferation of internet-based communications and social media applications has elevated the potential for nefarious use that could affect our personnel,” she wrote in an email. Rojas also said the military was working to address the mounting threats posed by hacking and online influence operations. “We make every effort to educate and inform DoD personnel of these threats, while bolstering our network defense capabilities to protect IT infrastructure from outside intrusions,” she wrote.

Becoming Facebook friends with American soldiers also gives foreign agents the ability to post propaganda that will show up on their news feeds.

Serena Moring, a former military contractor from a military family, said she first became concerned about pro-Russian sentiment among soldiers on social media last spring, when an unverified report purporting to relate the story of a Russian soldier who died heroically while fighting ISIS in Syria began circulating among American service members on social media.

“All of the response from the military guys was like, ‘That is awesome. That’s an epic way to die,’” recounted Moring, 39. “It was a very soldier-to-soldier bond that was created through social media.”

Moring said she has become further alarmed as friends of hers in the military, including military intelligence, have become avowed admirers of Putin, and that she now expends considerable effort arguing about Russia on Instagram and Facebook channels geared to military audiences.

In the Wild West of social media, it is difficult to sort out pro-Russian sentiment that is organic—Putin’s approval rating has surged among U.S. Republicans since 2015, and he is often the subject of positive coverage in right-leaning outlets like Fox News—from that which is manufactured. But Breedlove said much of the sentiment is being generated by a concerted Kremlin influence campaign. “People popping up on veterans’ sites and singing the praises of Putin, you can guarantee those are trolls and part of the army that’s sitting over there attacking us every day,” he said.


Putin has made the creation of a pro-Russian “alternative media ecosystem” to, in his words, smash “the Anglo-Saxon monopoly on the information stream” a top priority of his foreign policy. A significant prong of those operations is aimed at the American military community, and the Russian activity has ramped up in recent years as tensions have increased over sanctions, the annexation of Crimea and the expansion of NATO.

Veterans Today is a homegrown American site that was founded in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and soon began publishing wild conspiracy theories. Before it partnered with Russia’s New Eastern Outlook in 2013, it had forged ties with Iran’s state-backed PressTV and counted among its editorial board of directors a former head of Pakistan’s intelligence services, publishing headlines like, “Israeli death squads involved in Sandy Hook bloodbath” and “Water Terrorism by India to Overawe Pakistan.

New Eastern Outlook “chose to work with VT after following us for a while and seeing us for the unique platform that we are,” Veterans Today managing editor Jim Dean explained in an article about the arrangement. He described it as a “marriage made in heaven.”

A Veterans Today bio for Dean lists several relatives and ancestors who served in the military and describes his membership in several military-themed groups but does not indicate he himself has served. The site’s chairman, Gordon Duff, served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam and began contributing to the site in 2008. In one 2012 interview, he stated, “About 30% of what’s written on Veterans Today, is patently false. About 40% of what I write, is at least purposely, partially false, because if I didn’t write false information I wouldn’t be alive.”

Veterans Today is the flagship property of the “Veterans Today Network,” which includes a jobs board, a cancer foundation and a sister site, Veterans News Now, which describes itself as “an independent online journal representing the positions and providing news for members of the military and veteran community.” The network is also affiliated with the Veterans Housing & Education Foundation, which has the stated goal of raising $500 million in five years.

A form on, which as of this writing was down for maintenance, invited veterans in need to request help by filling out a form that asked them to submit personal details, including the handles for their social media accounts.

An administrator for the Veterans Today Network who asked that his name not be used said that the jobs board,, currently has 35,000 active résumés in its system and that it has partnered with “major companies in the U.S. in helping them find veterans for employment.” The jobs board lists dozens of featured employers — including Bank of America, Merck, Geico and Westinghouse — that according to the administrator have purchased premium annual memberships. A 2011 article by Fox Business recommends the jobs board to employers.

The administrator said that though Veterans Today and the jobs board were both owned by Success Spear, there would be no way for foreign states to access veterans’ personal information via their partnerships with Veterans Today. The administrator said the cancer foundation had not yet fully launched.

In October 2013, at the same time that Veterans Today began publishing content from New Eastern Outlook, its sister site Veterans News Now began publishing content from the Strategic Culture Foundation, a Moscow think tank run by Yuri Profokiev, a former head of Moscow’s Communist Party and member of the Soviet Politburo.

In October 2015, Veterans Today also partnered with a slickly designed, anonymously authored military affairs website called South Front that had been registered in Moscow that April just as Russia was ramping up its influence operations in response to Western sanctions.

Since then, the site has consistently published articles that push the Kremlin party line, both from its Russian partner and its own contributors. Now, in addition to learning about “The Coming Shift to Cosmic Fascism,” readers who cruise to Veterans Today — which has 45,000 Facebook followers and claims more than 900,000 unique visitors per month — to catch up on the news or to check out the free services offered to veterans can read headlines like “Pravda: Ukraine indignant at 80% of Jews in power” and “Trump Humiliated: Syria Shoots Down 34 of 59 Cruise Missiles, Russia to Upgrade System Soon.” Recent contributions from South Front include “U.S. Suffers Reverses as Trump’s Plan to Aid Terrorists is Realized by Russia” and “The Political Uses Of Russophobia.” And recent contributions from New Eastern Outlook include, “If NATO wants peace and stability it should stay home” and “Brussels, NATO and the Globalists in Total Disarray.”

In late 2014, Duff and Dean attended a counterterrorism conference in Damascus at which Duff proclaimed to delegates from Russia, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon his theory that “the U.S. government is subservient to a worldwide criminal organization.” This March, the Veterans Today chairman attended a “VT Reception” in Damascus at which attendees gave speeches flanked by over-sized portraits of Assad and Putin, according to video he published on YouTube. Duff did not respond to a question about whether any foreign entities had been involved in funding his travel to Syria.

A State Department expert in Russian influence campaigns who was not authorized to speak on the record said he had taken note of Veterans Today’s partnership with New Eastern Outlook and that Southfront appears to be a Russian front that deliberately obscures its origins. The expert also described the Strategic Culture Foundation as a part of the Kremlin’s influence apparatus and noted that Russia has long sought to amplify the voices of Western conspiracy theorists.

Kate Starbird, a professor at the University of Washington who has studied the role of Veterans Today in the Russia-aligned “alternative media ecosystem,” described the website as an “active partner” in the dissemination of Russian propaganda.

Despite the often far-fetched claims and clunky feel of Veterans Today and other outlets used by Russian propagandists, Starbird said she has come to consider them potentially potent vehicles for disinformation. “I used to think it, and others like it, were quite fringe,” she said. “But the intentional targeting of U.S. military, active and retired, seems to be a strategy of information war. I have anecdotes from friends, family members and now strangers who tell me about their family members who are deeply engrossed in this information ecosystem.”

Joel Harding, a former Army intelligence officer who now works as independent researcher, describes Veterans Today, Veterans News Now and South Front as “Russian proxy sites.” Harding said that in combination with other components of Russian influence efforts, the sites could successfully influence the military community over the long term. “Veterans Today and Veterans News Now will not cause soldiers, Marines, airmen, or seamen to defect or become pro-Russian, not by themselves,” he said. “But if someone regards them as a reliable source of truthful information, does not recognize that they are pushing Russian propaganda or information with a pro-Russian perspective, over time they will change.”

In an email, representatives of South Front who did not provide their names said the site has no links to the Russian government. They suggested that identifying South Front as part of the Kremlin’s influence apparatus would run contrary to the principles of freedom of speech and be discriminatory against Russians (one common tactic of Russian influence operations is to invoke Western values in their efforts to undermine Western societies). The Strategic Culture Foundation did not respond to messages requesting comment and emails sent to the contact address provided by New Eastern Outlook were rejected by the journal’s web servers.

Dean said he was not aware that researchers had identified Veterans Today as a vehicle for Russian propaganda. “We appreciate the publicity,” he wrote in an email. “Please ask them to keep up the good work.” He did not address a question about whether the site received funding from foreign entities. Debbie Menon, the Dubai-based, recently departed editor-in-chief of Veterans News Now did not respond to an email seeking comment.


In addition to influence operations, military personnel and veterans have been the subject of a disproportionate share of hacking attempts in Russia’s active measures campaign against the United States.

In fact, the Russian military hackers who breached the DNC appear to expend as much effort on current and former military personnel as on political targets. A security oversight by the hacking group, most commonly known as “Fancy Bear,” gave researchers a public window into the targets of thousands of its phishing attempts between March and September of 2015. Of the people targeted by Fancy Bear outside of the former Soviet Union, 41 percent were current or former members of the military, according to a report by cybersecurity firm SecureWorks. Authors and journalists made up 22 percent of Fancy Bear’s targets; NGOs, 10 percent; political activists, 4 percent; and government personnel, 8 percent. Of the journalists and authors targeted, more than one-fifth were spouses of military members who blog about military life.

The posting of hacked data, a novel tactic used in Russia’s assault on the American political system, has also been a component of the country’s active measures against the American military. Last summer, Russian hackers leaked emails stolen from Breedlove in an effort to embarrass NATO. And in 2015, a group calling itself Cyber Caliphate hijacked the Twitter account of the United States Central Command, directing the account’s followers to a site where the group had posted data stolen from the military. Cyber Caliphate purported to be supporters of ISIS, but in fact, this was a “false flag” designed to obscure the true identity of the perpetrator, which was Fancy Bear, according to a report by the Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro that said French authorities confirmed the firm’s own analysis fingering the Russian hacking group.

As Washington comes to terms with the scope of Russian active measures, the hacking campaign against the military continues. Last month, Time reported that American counterintelligence officials concluded in March that Russian hackers were targeting 10,000 Department of Defense employees with highly targeted messages on Twitter designed to trick them into downloading malware that could compromise their Twitter accounts, computers and phones.


While there is no expectation of a “Red Dawn”-style Russian invasion of the United States, the Kremlin’s active measures campaign has the potential to blunt the military’s ability and weaken its resolve to counter future Russian military aggression elsewhere.

The active measures are not targeting the military and political system in isolation, but as part of a broader effort to subvert Western institutions including the news media, financial markets and intelligence agencies. Because of its multidimensional nature and use of unconventional tactics, the U.S. government has struggled to effectively combat the effort. “This is obviously a really difficult challenge and a lot of people are worried that our response to date hasn’t been effective,” said one expert on active measures who recently testified on the issue before Congress.

And rather than abating after the presidential election, these campaigns have only continued to get more brazen, according to Strategic Cyber Ventures CEO Tom Kellermann, who has watched them closely.

In May and June of 2015, Kellermann, who was then the chief cybersecurity officer at Trend Micro, said the firm warned the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Kremlin hackers had drawn up a list of 2,300 people, comprising the most powerful leaders in Washington and New York along with their spouses and lovers to target with a concerted hacking campaign. Kellermann said he does not know whether the government acted on the tip, which warned that the hackers had the ability to turn on microphones and cameras on the personal devices of their targets to obtain sensitive information about their personal lives. But he believes the campaign has successfully compromised American leaders, emboldening the Kremlin. “When you wonder why certain people act certain ways,” he said, “You have to remember these people have been warned that their dirty laundry could be aired.” (Spokespeople for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI declined to comment.)

Kellermann cited the activities of the Shadow Brokers, a hacking group believed to be Kremlin-backed that began publishing data stolen from the NSA last summer and most recently published a leak in April. The upticks in online attacks are harbingers of armed aggression, said Kellermann, who predicted that conflict between the United States and Russia was most likely to break out in the Baltic region.

“I’m very, very concerned,” he said. “Cyberspace is always the precursor to kinetic reality.”

Shawn Musgrave and Andrew Hanna contributed to this report.

First of all, we’d like to thank Politico because they, as journalists, thought it necessary to contact us while preparing the article. Naturally, the final draft either omits or distorts the answers they received.  But these are minor details, the customary double standards used by mainstream media (MSM).

Question 1:

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

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Answer 1:

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

Click to see the full-size image

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

Click to see the full-size image

Question 2:

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

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Question 3:

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

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Answer 2:

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

Click to see the full-size image

Politico: Veterans Today and SouthFront turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column

Click to see the full-size image

We are, however, astounded by something else. Is it really true that top US experts and journalists actually believe that SouthFront and Veterans Today represent a significant threat to the US military? To its morale? And merely because these sites publish information that causes discomfort in the State Department, Pentagon, or the CIA? If so, this leaves only two possibilities.

  1. The US society and system of government have deteriorated to such an extent that any alternative assessment of military and political activity, any neutral depiction of combat operations, is seen as a breath of fresh air in the smog of MSM lies. The principles of democracy have been discredited, and double standards are apparent to all. The people are rapidly losing faith in America’s global mission. In their government’s efforts to protect freedom and justice, rather than mere clan interests of the financial elites. If that’s the case, it is the veterans and military servicemembers who are the most vulnerable. They are the ones who were sent to the combat zones. They have seen the results of US policies overseas with their own eyes, and now they are observing them at home. They are much more resistant to being engulfed by the matrix of MSM virtual reality. Moreover, they are men and women of action. In such circumstances, even the weak voice of SouthFront should cause panic among the US political establishment.
  2. The other possibility is hardly better. The mainstream expert community is no longer able to discern societal trends. It is acting like a frightened ostrich who sticks his head in the nearest, pardon the expression, pile of manure. It has convinced itself that societies stopped developing. From now on, content Americans will do nothing more than silently watch the political spectacle being enacted by professional actors. But it is not so. We believe that it is precisely that kind of perception of reality which represents the main threat to the United States. Those who call themselves the elites have separated themselves from the people and stopped respecting it. But while this state of affairs can continue for a lengthy time in countries with a short history of democracy, in the US it will quite predictably bring about protest, both within and without.

This is likely the reason the alternative positions expressed by SF and VT attract audience interest. The SF project is a form of civil society, in the main of volunteer nature. Its participants are the most ordinary citizens of the US, EU member states, Russian Federation, and other countries.

Politico experts err in the sense that SF is not attempting to create problems in the US military or society but are merely casting light on what already exists. We are interested in, and want, global stability, which is impossible without stability of the US itself.

But let’s back to the claims of SF content threatening US interests, which is the assessment of Politico, The Washington Post, and of DOD and State Department spokespeople. We’d like to draw the attention of our esteemed opponents to the fact that SF is trying to provide objective coverage of military activities. If there are US, Coalition, or US-controlled proxy force successes in Iraq or Syria, we always inform our audience of them, just as we do of their failures. This, we feel, is the main distinction between SF and mainstream media, both Western and Russian ones.  Both provide only a one-sided coverage of events. Some members of our team believe that’s the reason this project has received a silent treatment by the Russian mainstream media.

As far as military and political analysis goes, we already stated above that our point of view often fails to coincide with that of official Washington, Moscow, Ankara, and others.

Concerning Politico’s claim the site is registered in Moscow, we’ll take this opportunity to explain to our dear friends in Politico certain peculiarities of the contemporary digital society. Yes, it’s true that the SF domain was obtained (and registered) using the official Russian domain registrator This was done because it was more convenient for those team members who registered a new domain 2 years ago. Therefore the site contains contact information of’s office in Moscow, not of SouthFront. Internet allows one to obtain the domain you want from nearly any corner of the world, using nearly every registrator available. SouthFront uses a variety of services in its work, some of them based in the US, others in Russia or yet other countries. We are, after all, living in the Information Age. And yes, the SF team includes both US and Russian citizens.

Finally, we are amazed by Politico’s statements concerning anonymity. In the course of our correspondence, we received that question and provided an extended answer. One can find names of many members of our team on the SF site. The fact that much of our material has no byline simply means it’s a news item, or an editorial piece that expresses the view of the entire project. As far as we know, it is consistent with journalism standards.

In any event, we’d like to take the opportunity to thank Politico one more time for at least their desire to understand the opposing team.

Russian fighter jet again ‘buzzes’ US plane in Black Sea — media

(TASS) Russia’s Su-27 fighter has flown close to another US Navy P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane in the Black Sea in a second similar incident this week, Fox News reported on Saturday night citing a US defense official.

The incident occurred on Friday morning in the northern section of the Black Sea, about 160 kilometers from Russia’s Crimean Peninsula.

The Pentagon has stepped up its reconnaissance flights in the Black Sea since Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2014.

In a previous similar incident that took place on Tuesday, an armed Russian Su-30 jet flew within the distance of seven meters of the US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane.

The US aircraft “was conducting routine operations in international airspace,” according to Captain Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for US Naval Forces Europe.

The interaction was considered safe and professional by the US aircraft’s commander, she said.

At noon on May 9, Russia’s airspace control means detected an air target over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, which was approaching the state border of Russia.

“The Su-30 fighter jet of the air defense forces on duty in the Southern military district was scrambled to intercept the target,” the ministry said.

“The Russian fighter jet performed a maneuver of ‘greeting’ for the US pilots and after that the US surveillance plane changed the flight route towards moving from the border with Russia. The Su-30 fighter jet safely returned to its base airfield,” the ministry said.


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